Saturday, February 29, 2020

I Heart February by Laura Scott

I HEART February by Laura Scott

Good morning,

I know February is almost over, but this month holds a special place in my heart.

Thirty-six years ago on Valentine's Day, my husband proposed to me. I know that proposing on Valentine's Day is a bit of a cliche, but allow me to tell my story.

I was dating a guy who didn't treat me very well. In fact, he often ignored me when he was around his friends. I soon learned I was only important to him if no one else was around, and quickly became disillusioned with this guy.

On January 21, 1984 I was at a Super Bowl party with this same guy. Who once again, was ignoring me as if I didn't exist. Just so happened the day before, I went to see a band play at a bar with my sister and some friends. I met this tall, lanky guy named Scott. He chose me, over my skinny sister and our friends, spent time teaching me to shoot pool (I was terrible) and danced with me. We laughed and he told me that he'd be there the following night if I was interested, but I made no promises. After all, I was (technically) still seeing the other guy.

Until that Super Bowl party. When I told my boyfriend I was going to head home, he didn't even look at me just lifted his hand as if to say, see ya. My sister tried to stop me from leaving, and I told her I was done and might go back to the place we were at the night before to meet Scott. She offered to go with me, so we went. That night, Scott asked for my phone number (remember land lines?) and asked me out for the following Wednesday.

Fast forward 24 days on February 14, 1984. Scott took me out to a very nice dinner, then took me back to the apartment I shared with my sister. He proposed marriage and I honestly almost fell off the sofa.

Marriage? After knowing him 24 days? Was he crazy?

Was I crazy?

I said yes.

You see, it became very clear to me the differences in how Scott teated me compared to my old boyfriend. He cared about me, about what I wanted to do. What I was interested in. He showed me off to his friends and his family.

I'm not saying I recommend this whirlwind type of romance. In fact, I'm fairly certain many people thought we'd be divorced after five years. But we will be married 35 years this May. (Hey, at least I waited a year to marry him.)

So tell me your engagement story. I'd love to hear it...

Laura Scott

#sweetromance #laurascottbooks #romancewriter

Friday, February 28, 2020

Solo Travel: Florida in February by @MagdalenaScott

Have you read about the recent increase in solo travel? It's becoming more prevalent, especially with women. I've read quite a bit about it. Now I'm getting a taste of it first-hand.

I love to see new places, and life keeps turning me into a person who is on her own. I realized I can either stay home all the time or take the plunge into solo travel.

So far this year I've taken a small plunge (a weekend at one of our lovely Indiana state park inns while attending a traditional music festival), and a big one:

Ten Glorious, (mostly) Sun-Drenched Days

From February 15th through 24th, I was on a motorcoach tour from Louisville, KY all the way to Key West, FL, and back--over 2,000 miles. We relaxed at St. Pete Beach and did the tourist thing in Fort Myers. We rode an airboat in the Everglades! We had two nights in Key Largo and saw the sunset at Key West. We were buffeted by cold wind at Kennedy Space Center (oh well, can't always have great weather, and it was 17 degrees back home!) and explored our country's oldest city, St. Augustine.

Since the coach was big but the group was small, everyone had plenty of room to stretch out and be comfortable. Most of my fellow travelers were married couples or pairs of friends or relatives sharing the trip and the expense. I was traveling solo--my first big trip on my own. Two other ladies were doing the same. (I'm very proud of us!)

Over the years, I had heard from many friends that Toby Tours does a great job, so I was confident that the trip would be fun and well-organized. Sure enough, the driver and tour director were terrific, and everyone on the coach was fun to be with. When you travel with a group, you have to follow the prescribed schedule, but this trip also allowed some free time. Two favorite memories were made when I struck out on my own: a lazy day and meandering stroll along St. Pete Beach, and days later, a brisk walk to St. Augustine Lighthouse.

I was fortunate to get a delicious dose of sunshine before coming back home to skies that are as gray and rainy as when I left.

Would I take another motor coach tour? Yes. I'd also like to try a solo trip by rail.

But since Selina missed me terribly, she and I have been discussing the possibility of an RV. That way she could come along on my next adventure.

For now, she's glad to have me home, and I'm thankful for the memories made.

Florida in February was just about perfect.

Is solo travel something you have done, or would be interested in trying?

USA Today Bestselling Author Magdalena Scott is a practicing minimalist, having downsized from a 3,000 square foot house to a studio apartment, where her Giant Closet continues to resist taming. When not writing at home or spending time with family and friends, she loves to travel–carry-on baggage only–and is always pleasantly surprised at the kindness of strangers.


Thursday, February 27, 2020

Do You Like Daylight Savings Time by Margaret Daley

Daylight Savings Time

Do you like Daylight Savings Time? Would you rather not have to change your clock two times a year?

Soon we will be springing forward in March here in Oklahoma. I know there are some states that don’t move the clock time twice a year. I wouldn’t think that changing a clock one hour forward or backward would be too big a deal, but every time it takes my body several days adjusting to the change.

Your body does best when you consistently sleep about the same time because if you don’t it affects your circadian rhythm (which affects your body secreting melatonin, a sleep promoting hormone). Your circadian rhythm also affects your alertness, so if you usually wake up at 7:00 a.m. and you do, your body still thinks it’s 6:00 a.m. and isn’t quite ready to get up.

The changing of the time often causes a person to lose sleep. People tend to eat more and not exercise as much while they adjust to the difference in time.

There are a couple of things you might try to help with this time change. A few days before the change, begin with fifteen-minute increments going to bed and rising from sleep, so by the time you make the change, it won’t be as much of a shock to your system. Also, you should not use devices like a cell phone (playing games, etc.), an iPad and other types of technology within two hours of going to bed.

Don’t forget to change your clock come this March 8th when time springs forward.

New Release on Pre-Order:
Missing, Everyday Heroes, Book 6—Coming out March 17th
Kidnapping. Evil. Redemption.
When two young girls go missing, Dr. Emma Reichs, a child psychologist who worked with the two teens, turns to Brody Taylor, an ex-Green Beret, who founded the Pals Center, a safe haven for kids, to help her find the girls. Brody along with his retired military canine, Charlie, is determined to find the people behind the kidnapping of young people in his community. 

In the midst of the search for Piper and Maria, more children are taken. Brody and Emma realize they’re fighting against a ticking bomb to find the teens before they disappear for good. Their partnership brings them closer and awakens feelings for each other, but can they stay alive long enough to end the nightmare for the kids and still have a future together?
Pre-order: AmazonB&NAppleKoboGoogle Play, and Smashwords

Love Run Deeps—99¢ until March 4th or Free in Kindle Unlimited
By Margaret Daley
Kim Walters and Zane Davidson were high school sweethearts until Kim’s father interfered with their teenage relationship, making it clear his daughter wasn’t good enough for Zane who was from a poor family. Fifteen years later, a hurricane strikes their hometown. Zane, a successful contractor, has returned to Hope and agrees to help Kim rebuild the family’s antebellum home. As they work together to restore the beautiful house, can Kim and Zane put their past behind them and find love again?

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Setting as Character by Susan Aylworth

Whether the scene is a Noah's Ark-type vessel in outer space or a three-masted square-rigger afloat on the Pacific, I love to read stories with interesting, different settings. I enjoy tales in which the setting functions almost as a character. Because that's what I want to read, it's also what I try to write.

The Seasons of Destiny series takes place in a small town in the Sierra Nevada forests. The fictional community of Destiny, California was founded during the Gold Rush by miners who discovered a few nuggets and believed they'd found their destiny. The couples who discover each other there find another kind of good fortune. 

The Rainbow Rock Romances happen in an entirely different kind of setting. Also a fictional town, Rainbow Rock is on the edge of the Painted Desert and named for the stripes of color in the dunes. Scenes from several of the stories are set in the Navajo Nation and other scenic parts of the Four Corners region. Such a picturesque setting makes an excellent character, functioning nicely in each of the nine stories.

Perhaps my interest in beautiful settings comes from the places I've lived, including my present home at the edge of the Sierra Nevada foothills and a former home in the Four Corners portion of Arizona. Plenty about my Nor-Cal home is photogenic and portrait-worthy.  As I write, the almond orchards that surround our town are in full bloom and hives of bees are busy pollenating, making sure those blossoms will turn into nuts before the autumn harvest.

Surrounded by such beauty, I try always to be aware and make it a point to enjoy. The imaginary friends who people my stories love the beauty of their settings as well. I'm eager for the Daughters of Destiny to bring it all back to the Sierra foothills at the same time they're exploring exotic new settings of their own. May we all find joy in the natural world this spring. 

Susan Aylworth is the author of 20 novels. Her newest series, "Seasons of Destiny," explores romance in every season of the year in the small town of Destiny, California.  Paris in the Springtime, Sunny's Summer, and Amber in Autumn are all available now in e-book and paperback. Look for Winter Skye, coming soon. Find her at 

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Bargain Books ~ Jean C. Gordon, Donna Fasano & Josie Riviera

Bargain e-Books!

Limited Edition 
Available only through February 29 at Any Price
Sometimes love is right in front of you and you don't even know it...

These six inspirational women have spent their lives watching their friends and family all pair off and seem to move on, even though love never seemed to be in the cards for them. But when past crushes, coworkers and best friends step in during times of need, these heroines start to see their unexpected heroes in a new light.

Strap in for a bumpy ride with these six charming and inspiring friends to lovers romances that will keep you up and glued to your kindle to get to the happily ever after! This collection includes...

Love's Promise
Taylor's Legendary Heart
Love's Odds
No Time for Apologies by Jean C. Gordon
Healing Hawk 
Mommy Loves the IT Guy
Between all these books, you're going to fall in love over and over again!

*  *  *  *  *

Final Days to Save $2 Off the Regular Price.

As teens, Josie and Alex met under golden sunshine, frolicked in the surf and sand, and fell head over toes in love. But circumstances arose that ruined their one glorious summer, and Josie fled Ocean City with a broken heart.

Now Josie’s grandmother is ill and needs help with the family business, a thriving harbor-side diner called Joe’s Place. So after more than a dozen years, Josie returns to her hometown only to discover she has a 180 pound problem—Alex is the Kitchen Commander at Joe’s Place. Surely, Josie can work with Alex to keep the diner going and retain her dignity until her grandmother is back on her feet. However, when Alex’s little girl starts scheming, not a single heart will be safe against the twelve-year-old matchmaker.

This book contains bonus recipes from Joe’s Place!


Look for all the titles in the Ocean City Boardwalk Series:
Following His Heart, Book 1
Two Hearts in Winter, Book 2
Wild Hearts of Summer, Book 3
An Almost Perfect Christmas, Book 4
Grown-Up Christmas List, Book 5
The Wedding Planner's Son, Book 6
Second Chance Valentine, Book 7
Her Mr. Miracle, Book 8

*  *  *  *  *
Last chance to snag my sweet romance ebook, A Chocolate-Box Valentine for only 99¢, before price goes up.  Grab your copy today.

It’s your last love who truly matters.

Available in ebook, paperback, Large Print paperback, and audiobook.

Monday, February 24, 2020

Birthday Goodies by Pat Simmons

Birthday celebrations have changed over the years. I believe they should be memorable. Such as, when my daughter turned twenty-one years-old, I had twenty-one of her friends—young and older—from across the country call at designated times to wish her happy birthday. She was clueless until at first until friends ended the call with, “I’m number 7, or number 8…and on. It was a hoot. Here I am on Facebook going live. 

One of my favorite things to do is to call people on their birthdays and serenade them with every rendition of the birthday song in whatever key my voice finds—loud, soft, off key—mind you it wouldn’t be memorable without that call from me. In turn, I got a couple of those off key calls myself from early morning to late at night and I song along with them. 

Surprise parties are cool, but last year, I thought outside the box. When I turned the big 60, I didn’t want an elaborate party. Instead I asked sixty of my closest friends to enjoy dinner with me, not on me. My guest list  included my first friend from kindergarten to my newest friend from the previous year. All my siblings and their children were there. It was one of my best birthdays, because those who attended represented the good memories in my life.
Fast forward to this year, it was ALL about the freebies I could get. Since most people were off work on Monday, they contributed the day off to President’s Day. I corrected them that the national holiday was in my honor—Pat Simmons’ Birthday. They played along.
So I was on the hunt to find out how many perks I could get in honor of Pat Simmons’ Birthday.  Ultra Beauty emailed a coupon for a free mascara as a birthday gift. Right on time too. The local fabric store had a Pat Simmons Birthday sale—got tons of bargains. I’ve already warmed up my sewing machine. From this pile, I have enough fabric for two blouses, two skirts, one dress and one long top. 
DSW sent me a birthday coupon for $5 off shoes. You know I’m using that one! I ended the night with another freebie, a free meal at Tucanos Brazilian Grille. 
Others were there celebrating their birthdays, too, so I tweaked the holiday to National Birthday in our honor.
Lastly, the birthday wishes on Facebook from family and friends were overwhelming and countless. Thanks everyone! Yes, 2020 was memorable, because the best part—I’m healthy, not wealthy, but God has supplied all my needs.

Another birthday is my newest release, LEAN ONE ME, is featured as the "Together We Read"  National Book Club selection. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!
What’s the best part of your birthday? Do you go after all the cool stuff you can get? 
Pat Simmons is a multi-published Christian romance author with more than thirty-five titles. She is a self-proclaimed genealogy sleuth who is passionate about researching her ancestors, then casting them in starring roles in her novels. She is a three-time recipient of the Romance Slam Jam Emma Rodgers Award for Best Inspirational Romance. Pat describes the evidence of the gift of the Holy Ghost as a life-altering experience. She has been a featured speaker and workshop presenter at various venues across the country. Pat has converted her sofa-strapped sports fanatical husband into an amateur travel agent, untrained bodyguard, GPS-guided chauffeur, and administrative assistant who is constantly on probation. They have a son and a daughter. Pat holds a B.S. in mass communications from Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts. Visit her at

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Blind Dates and Capers by Laura Ashwood

I know it's a little past Valentine's Day, but I didn't want to miss the fun of sharing how my husband and I met. I was working at a law office in Minneapolis at the time and one of my coworkers insisted that I meet a friend of her husband's. Having just gotten out of a bad relationship a few months earlier, I wasn't interested in the least. She was persistent. Eventually, I agreed to pass along my phone number and him and I ended up talking on the phone many time before we agreed to meet. To make things more comfortable, we arranged a group date at a small town rodeo.

We had a lot of fun that night, but I just wasn't ready to date. So....I friend-zoned him. True story. God truly had a plan in place though because even though I moved two states away shortly after our blind date, we remained good friends. We talked nearly every day on the phone and two years later - we got engaged. Having just had the one blind date. It's fun when people ask how long we dated before we got engaged because we laugh and tell them just once was enough.

Cooking is a second passion of mine. I'd read recipes that called for capers a number of times but not being familiar with what they were, always avoided them. After ordering Chicken Piccata once at an Italian restaurant, I learned capers are not only not scary - they are delicious! And cheap! (Bonus!)

This recipe is one of my husband's favorite "fancy" meals. I made it for him this year for Valentine's Day. It's really easy to make and so delicious. I hope you try it.

Chicken Piccata for Two

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
Juice from 1 lemon
2 T olive oil
1/4 - 1/2 cup flour
1 cup white wine
2/3 cup chicken broth
2 T capers, drained
2 T butter
Salt and pepper to taste

Place thawed chicken in a gallon zipper bag and pound with a meat mallet until about 1/2 inch thick. Heat olive oil in large pan until hot and dredge chicken in flour. Place in hot oil and cook until chicken is nicely browned on each side (about 4 minutes per side). Transfer to plate and set aside.

Into the same skillet, add the white wine and bring to a boil, scraping the tasty browned bits from the bottom of the pan. When the wine has reduced by half, add in the chicken broth, lemon juice and capers. Then add back in the chicken, reduce heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes - until the sauce has thickened some and the chicken is cooked through.

Just before serving add in butter and let melt, you can garnish with lemon slices and parsley if you like. I serve this over pearled couscous or orzo noodles. In the photo, I was short on couscous, so I added the orzo and used them both!


We all know that strong women fall the hardest when love finally finds its way into their busy schedules. Luckily this rising star of the fashion world, celebrity race car driver, and royal dog trainer, each have a special corgi best fur friend to help soften the landing.

In this charming three-book collection, you’ll find heartwarming romances with all the feels and none of the naughty bits. Share with your mother, sister, or even the young reader in your life as each journey to love takes you through a thrilling world of glitz, glamor, and celebrity.

This special boxed set includes three full-length novels, Flirting with the Fashionista, Digging the Driver, and Romancing the Royal. Each of these stand-alone stories includes sweet romance, heartwarming adventure and, of course, an extra helping of Corgi glitter. Enjoy!

Friday, February 21, 2020

Filling Up Your Well by Janice Lynn

In addition to my writing career, I work full time as a nurse practitioner. I'm fortunate in that I love both of my professions, but some days, well, some days are just killer. Mainly those days when you're the bearer of bad news that you know is going to forever change that person's life and their family's lives, and everyone who knows and loves them's lives. Although cancer is the most emotionally draining diagnosis to give, even things like diabetes make me empathetic to my patients because it also forever changes that person's life, and has that same trickle effect to those in their circle. Fortunately, that's not something I have to do every day, but occasionally, I'll have a day where I have more than one and by the end of the day I am so emotionally depleted that I have to fill up my well.

Filling up one's well is also something I discuss with patients from time to time because I believe taking care of our emotional and mental health is every bit as vital as taking care of our physical health and I often encourage them to fill up their well. Most of the time I don't say those exact words, but it's what I'm telling them to do, just phrasing things a little differently.

So, when I have those icky, draining days that leave my shoulders and neck muscles tight and achy, how do I fill up my well? 

OOOOOh, I'm so glad you asked. ;)  I imagine the obvious answer it that I lose myself in a good book, letting the story and the characters take me away from reality and restore me to a world where ultimately goodness and happiness reign supreme. It's one of the reasons I am very selective on what types of stories I choose to read. I don't want intense, dark, scary, suspenseful stories. I want happy feel good stories. I want the story to lift me up not take me down treacherous paths. That said, I've read some amazing suspenseful thrillers over the years and I don't mean to take anything away from those brilliant stories. They're just not what I reach for when I'm emotionally drained. I've had a few days over my career to where the only thing I feel can lift me up is reading my bible and so that's what I'll do. Or what I'll listen to, as is sometimes the case.
Which brings me to my next well filler upper as I listen to the bible almost always while I'm doing this one: Quilting. I love taking something, coming up with a design, whether that be one of my own or from a book or online site, and creating something beautiful and useful. For me, there's something much deeper with my quilting, though.

You see, I quilt, and then I give them away. I've only kept one quilt I've made. I've given some to my kids as I'm making each kiddo a quilt and that's seven, folks. I've also made and donated quilts for charity auctions to help raise funds for various individuals or foundations. I love doing that!
And, I'm a member of Quilts of Valor, and have made and awarded quilts for this amazing cause. On all of these, I believe that something deeper is right in line with Quilts of Valor Foundation as their mission is to wrap military members, past or present, in a quilt of healing. Sometimes when I say that, I see eyes glaze over, like yeah, right. But when you stop to think about the role quilts often play in our lives, it makes more sense. I mean, what do we often do to comfort a baby or small child? Wrap them in a blanket. What do we do when we don't feel well/are sick? Wrap up in a blanket. I think it's inherent to find comfort in being wrapped in a blanket/quilt. Definitely when I wrap up in one of the quilts my grandmother made, I feel comforted and close to her.
Do I write to fill up the well? The answer to this is yes, but not on those super drained days. Emotionally, I just don't have anything to give to my words. I rarely write on days I've worked at the medical office. But on my writing days, when I get that scene just the way I want it, have my characters say something so funny it makes me laugh out loud or do something so sad it makes tears run from my eyes, that does lift me up and fill that well. I write for Hallmark Publishing, so feel good stories are our specialty, right?

I love doing for others and am a strong believer that doing for others, lifting up others, is one of the most effective ways of feeling better about oneself and about life in general. 

There's other things such as spending time with hubby or my kids, going for a walk (especially walks with hubby to local waterfalls), taking a bubble bath (no picture here--be thankful! ;) ), etc. that fill the well, so to speak, for me. What are some of the things you do to fill your well back up after emotionally exhausting days? 

USA Today & Wall Street Journal Bestselling author JANICE LYNN lives in Tennessee with her Prince Charming, their kids who think they're all royalty, her vivid imagination, an adorable Maltese named Halo who's the true princess of the house, and bunches of unnamed dust bunnies that moved in after Janice started her writing career. In addition to writing romance, Janice is a nurse practitioner, a quilter, an exercise queen, a military mama, and an avid supporter of the Quilts of Valor Foundation. Just kidding on the exercise queen.   WRAPPED UP IN CHRISTMAS available at AMAZON Barnes & Noble WALMART

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

New Releases for Sweet Romance Reads

A Doctor's Reunion
Laura Scott

Nine years had passed since Flight Nurse Kristin Page had been humiliated in front of her teenage crush, and she thought she’d successfully put the past behind her. Until she comes face to face with Dr. Holt Baxter. She’s horrified her old attraction hasn’t faded but knows it’s best to keep him at a professional distance. As much as she wants to despise him, she finds Holt to be a great, down to earth physician, willing and eager to learn.

Holt Baxter knew his younger sister was out of line that day nine years ago, and has to live with the fact he didn’t come to Kristin’s defense. He longs for a second chance to make things right, but Kristin isn’t interested in a relationship. Or is she? As they work together saving lives, Holt hopes they may also work together toward a future. 

Available on  Amazon Paperback B&N GooglePlay Apple Kobo 

A Chocolate-Box Valentine
Josie Riviera

It’s your last love who truly matters.
Available on  Amazon

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.
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