Sunday, February 16, 2020

Five Tips to Combat Winter Blues via Kimberly Rose Johnson

Maybe you love winter, the gray skies, rain, snow, ice and short daylight hours, but I prefer sunny clear skies, because too much winter makes me feel down. Here are five tips help to combat the winter blues.

  1. Eat healthy food. This plays a big part in your mood. Healthy foods include: vegetables, lean meats, and low sugar fruit. Avoid highly processed food.
  2. Exercise. It is mind blowing how a short walk or even breaking a sweat doing anything from housework to dancing will improve your outlook. It has a direct positive impact on your brain.
  3. Listen to your favorite music. For me, listening to music is an instant mood changer, but choose your music wisely. It can as easily send you into downward spiral as it can make you feel happy.
  4. Read a book. I assume that if you are reading this blog you enjoy reading. As with music, be careful what you choose. Some books are feel good books, while others will send you spiraling into sadness. 
  5. Use a light therapy lamp. I have one of these, and it fools my mind into thinking it's sunny. 
I have used all of the above tips and have found them to be a help in my life. 

What has helped you combat winter blues?
Below is a book I have on sale for 99¢ until the February18th.

When two strangers cross paths their lives are forever altered.

Kayla Russel hates Valentine's Day and has all but given up on finding love until a new guy to town walks into her flower shop right before her least favorite day of the year. There is something mysterious about him that intrigues her, but when she finds out the truth everything changes.

Derek Parker wants to leave his old life behind, but it proves to be harder than he'd anticipated when his past finds him. Now the woman he has come to care for feels deceived.

Will his secrets come between them and destroy what could have been something wonderful?

Amazon Link

Friday, February 14, 2020

Happy Valentine's Day by Merrillee Whren

Today is Valentine's Day and for those who have read my February 14th blog post every year, you'll know that today is also my wedding anniversary. We are celebrating forty-four years of marriage. This is a photo of my hubby and me sharing a kiss. My brother took this photo while we were visiting a winery near Spokane, Washington a few years ago. Here's another kiss on our wedding day. Our hair is much darker in this photo.
Besides, sharing some real life kisses today, I'm sharing an "almost kiss" from my book, Hometown Promise, the first book in my Kellersburg series. Tap on the link to get more information and buy links for the book.
     He reached into the backseat and brought out a small bag decorated with red hearts. “I got you a little gift. Happy Valentine’s Day.”
     Juliane’s heart fluttered. “But I didn’t get you anything.”
     “I didn’t expect anything. Your going to the banquet with me was a gift.”
     The intensity in his gaze took her breath away.
     She took the bag and opened it. A little wooden house sat nestled in the tissue paper. She lifted it out.
     “It’s a German weather house.” Lukas pointed to the figurines standing in the doorways on either side of the thermometer mounted on the front. “When the weather is bad, the man comes out slightly, and when the weather is sunny, the woman comes out.”
     “It’s adorable. I love it.” Looking up, she saw relief in his eyes. “Thank you.”
     “I have to give Grandpa credit. He suggested it.” Lukas pointed to the thermometer. “The temperature indicates that I should get you out of this cold car.”
     “Good idea.” Juliane laughed and put the weather house back in the bag and slipped her arm through the handles.
     Walking to her front porch in the cold night air, she snuggled against him as he draped an arm around her shoulders.
      They skirted an icy patch in front of the steps. “You should get some deicer for that spot. I wouldn’t want you to fall and break something.”
     “You’re right.” She was falling all right—falling for this wonderful man. She hoped it wouldn’t mean a broken heart. When they stepped onto the porch, she turned to face him. Her heart hammered as he smiled. “I had a great time tonight.”
     “Me, too.” He stepped closer.
     Her pulse raced with anticipation as she raised her head to look into his eyes. She couldn’t miss the caring in them. Every nerve hummed. He gently pulled her into his arms.
He lowered his mouth to hers. But at the last second, as she was about to close her eyes, that old incident raced through her mind in a blinding flash, leaving her shaken. Alarm took over, and she turned away.
     A huge lump formed in her throat. All evening she’d waited for this moment, anticipated this kiss. Why had she panicked? She wished the porch would open up and swallow her.
He stepped back, a troubled expression clouding his features as his forehead creased in a frown. He didn’t say anything, just stared at her.
     Embarrassed, she quickly turned to the door and fumbled to fit her key into the lock, the gift bag dangling from her arm. “Thanks again. I had a lovely time.”
     “Did I do something wrong?”
     She hunched her shoulders, afraid to turn and face him. Misery marched in and swept away all the good feelings of the evening. She thought she’d forgiven him, thought she’d put the past behind them. Why had she let that bad memory ruin everything? How was she going to explain?
     Taking a deep breath, she shook her head. “I’m sorry. It’s not your fault. It’s mine.”
     “Would you care to explain, or should I go?”
     She couldn’t let him go. He deserved an explanation. Maybe getting that event out in the open would put this relationship on a better footing. Wasn’t that what she wanted?

Have you ever had a kiss that didn't go quite as you had planned?

Merrillee Whren is the winner of the 2003 Golden Heart Award presented by Romance Writers of American. She is married to her own personal hero, her husband of forty-plus years, and has two grown daughters. Connect with her on her Facebook page and sign up for her newsletter.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Bargain Books by Lyn Cote

Lyn Cote here~~I have two books on sale for 99 cents right now!

Click here to learn more.

Click here to learn more.
Hope you'll give them a try!--Lyn

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Dark Chocolate Pudding in a Mug by Cindy Flores Martinez

Valentine’s Day is the celebration of love. And it’s also the perfect day to celebrate chocolate! Wouldn’t you agree? Here’s an easy recipe to enjoy with the one you love.

I’ve shared this recipe before, and I’m sharing it again because it’s so delicious—and healthy. Well, sort of. You won’t feel guilty for enjoying it. And believe me, you’ll enjoy it.

***Dark Chocolate Pudding in a Mug***

Mix the following ingredients in a mug or small microwavable bowl:

1 tsp cornstarch
2 Tb dark chocolate chips
1 Tb sugar or sweetener of your choice (maple syrup, honey, etc.)
1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk (or milk of your choice)
1/4 tsp vanilla

Microwave for 30 seconds. Stir. Microwave for an additional 30 seconds and stir again. Depending on your microwave, you might need to cook it for another 10 seconds or so.

Let it cool at room temperature and enjoy while it’s still warm or let it cool in the refrigerator.

Cindy Flores Martinez is a USA Today bestselling author who writes Christian Romance. She has an MFA in Creative Writing with an emphasis in Screenwriting. Her debut novel, Mail-Order Groom, started as a screenplay and movie project, which she shopped around Hollywood, New York, and other parts of the world. You can learn more about her at

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

February, The Month of Love by Josie Riviera

We are just a couple of days away from celebrating Valentine’s Day. As a romance writer, of course, I love Valentine’s Day! For that matter, I love, love!

Did you know though Valentine’s is about more than just romance? Most of us think only about lovey-dovey romantic dinners, flowers, and candy. In fact, St Valentine’s Day is also supposed to be about friendships and admiration too! So not only should we honor our significant others, we should also celebrate those friends and acquaintances who bring joy to our lives. The wonderful thing is, you can love and appreciate all your Valentine’s, and it can be inexpensive or even free! Here are a few ideas for you to do just that.
·      Take a few moments and call them, tell them what they mean to you.
·      Write a note to mail to them or simply leave it somewhere they will find it, say a lunchbox or their computer screen.
·      Make a date to simply go outside and go for a walk. This is good for your heart and theirs.
·      If you prefer doing something digitally, send an email or post through social media, and remind them of how you met or a special memory you have of them.
·      Go for a coffee or dessert date.
·      See a funny movie and laugh until your sides hurt.
·      Of course, candy works too! Who doesn’t love candy?
These acts of kindness will surely bring smiles to their faces, and yours! Remember too, while Valentine’s Day may be February 14th, you don’t have to limit these gestures to just one day, spread it out over the month. Better yet, make time to do this all year. The world needs more love.
What could you receive that would make you feel loved and appreciated this Valentine’s Day? A fancy dinner? Beautiful flowers? Or maybe some lovely candy?
Please leave your comments below.

Love a sweet Valentine story with a guaranteed Happily Ever After?

For a very limited time, Valentine Hearts, will be available for only 99¢. (Regularly $9.99) Grab your ebook copy today!

And my newest sweet romance Valentine book, A Chocolate-Box Valentine, is on pre-order and will be released on February 14th. This is a short, short book for a quick read and only 99¢ for a limited time! 

It’s your last love who truly matters.

Also available in Paperback, Large Print paperback, and Audiobook.

Josie Riviera is a USA TODAY bestselling author of contemporary, inspirational, and historical sweet romances that read like Hallmark movies. She lives in the Charlotte, NC, area with her wonderfully supportive husband. They share their home with an adorable shih tzu, who constantly needs grooming, and live in an old house forever needing renovations.

To see her latest family adventures, follow her on Instagram.
And remember to join our Sweet Romance Reads Facebook cafe.