Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Ring in the New Year by Laura Scott


Good morning! The new year is almost upon us, and many people use this time to look back on everything that happened over the past year. 

Since Covid, though, I feel like no one wants to look back. Just like last year, everyone wants to leave the pandemic behind and move forward. Unfortunately, I don't get the sense that Covid is going away any time soon. Viruses mutate, like the flu virus does every single year. Covid is proving to be the same. I hate to say this, but as a nurse I believe I think we're just going to have to live with it. 

I typically don't do New Year resolutions, they are too easy to ignore after the first couple of weeks. I prefer to do writing goals, and maybe some life goals.

Writing goals are relatively easy. I've recently signed a six book contract with Love Inspired Suspense and I'm planning a six book series featuring retired Navy SEALs and their K9 companions. If you saw my writing schedule you'd probably running screaming in the opposite direction. It's a bit overwhelming if I do say so myself.  

Life goals are tricky. These are the more nebulous things that are often spouted as resolutions. I will be more healthy in the new year. To do that I'll run three times a week on my treadmill. Hmm. Is that a goal or a resolution? Or both? 

I would also like to spend more time with my family. That's also a bit nebulous. Goals should be more specific, like we will get together once a month for dinner. I'd also like to stay connected with my friends. 

Sometimes this kind of thing stresses me out. So I've decided this is my life goal for 2022. To be the best person I can be. Sounds easy enough, doesn't it? 

Tell me what you are looking forward to for next year! 

Laura Scott

P. S. One last Christmas gift to all of you - A Doctor's Christmas is on sale for $0.99 through the end of the year.

From USA Today Bestselling Author Laura Scott

Falling in love while saving lives!

Can she trust him with her baby?

When Lifeline Pilot Megan Hoffman finds herself pregnant with her ex-fiancé’s baby, she is determined to remain independent and to raise her child alone. Normally keeping her distance from the rotating residents, isn’t a problem, until she meets the very attractive and very serious Dr. Drake Thorton who discovers her secret.

Drake hasn’t recovered from losing his wife and unborn child shortly before Christmas, but when he realizes Megan is pregnant and the baby’s father out of the picture, he finds himself unable to stay away. Megan is not only beautiful but an amazing pilot especially in a crisis. He opens himself up to friendship, and leans on Megan for support after discovering the identity of his birth mother. Will Drake learn to celebrate Christmas and allow himself to fall in love, again?

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Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Preparing for the New Year ~ by Magdalena Scott

My preparations for a new year usually include spending a chunk of December 26th boxing up the Christmas decorations. But this year I'm in no hurry to un-deck the halls. I'm still enjoying the lights on my teensy tree, and the musical sound of jingle bells each time I open the front door.

One thing that is the same this December--trying to figure out the best way to approach the future. 

What am I doing to prepare for 2022?

Buying a 2022 paper planner. Although I keep a digital calendar, I adore making a physical checkmark next to a to-do item. And, hey, sometimes it feels really good to make a thick mark through the to-do item. We all have those moments, right?

I've started working on my vision board for the new year. 

Making New Year's Resolutions? This is not for me. Your mileage may vary.

I like the idea of choosing a word for the year, although the exercise seldom pans out for me. Life happens, resulting in my word getting kicked to the curb. But with a few days of 2021 left, and with mulish hopefulness nudging me, maybe I'll give it another try.

Taking a break. This is my last blog post for a while. Personal challenges of the last four years, and this fall in particular, have caught up with me. In the coming new year, I'll be setting aside plenty of time to discern how to move forward.

You know what? Perhaps Reimagine is a good word for my 2022. 

I hope and pray that your new year will be healthy, happy, and peaceful.

How are you preparing for 2022?

Magdalena Scott

USA Today Bestselling Author Magdalena Scott writes sweet romance and romantic women’s fiction with small-town settings. She is a minimalist who loves to travel–carry-on baggage only–and is always pleasantly surprised at the kindness of strangers.

Magdalena's website

Sunday, December 26, 2021

"It's a Wonderful Life" Revisited

Happy Boxing Day, friends! Like the first spirit in Dickens' classic tale, we're celebrating another Christmas Past. I hope the day--and the whole holiday weekend--were lovely for you and yours. If your family is like ours, your celebration included yet another viewing of the classic movie, "It's a Wonderful Life." 

Given the movie's current popularity, it's hard to believe that the film was initially a flop. In fact, it failed so badly that it shut down the studio and just about ended Frank Capra's career. 

Based on a 1938 novel by Philip Van Doren Stern, the story initially found its way to movie producer David Hempstead. Cary Grant loved the story and took it to RKO, but the story was eventually sold to Liberty Films, who signed James Stewart for the leading role. The movie's debut was disastrous and proved the death knell for Liberty Films. 

Conversely, the movie marked a return to life for its lead actor. Jimmy Stewart had enjoyed a successful acting career before the second world war. Like many others of his age, Stewart enlisted as a private. He returned as a heavily decorated colonel in the Army Air Corps, a wing commander in charge of a squadron of airplanes.

Stewart distinguished himself as a bold and successful pilot who always returned from a mission and brought back his crew, even after 20 missions. He couldn't work miracles, though, and sometimes lost one or more of the planes in his squadron. When he returned from the war, the deaths of those friends he could not save haunted him, 

It wasn't called PTSD then, but the symptoms were the same. Stewart's life had been steeped in the darkess of warfare and he wasn't sure he could return to making light-hearted entertainment, The story of George Bailey, with its mix of darkness and light, gave Stewart the perfect vehicle. It was his first film back after the war, and his daughter later told reporters that the movie was her father's favorite. Meanwhile, Stewart continued his military career, finally retiring as a brigadier general.

The film's rise from failure to beloved classic may be due to a clerical error. At some point in 1976, someone forgot to renew the company's copyright, putting the film in the public domain. Thrilled to find a Christmas movie they could run without paying royalties, TV execs jumped at the chance to show "It's a Wonderful Life" and the rest is movie history. 

It's also become a regular part of Aylworth history. This year we saw IAWL on Christmas Eve. I expect it will continue to be a part of our celebration in every Christmas Future.

Susan Aylworth is the author of more than 20 novels. Over the Rainbow, a prequel to the Rainbow Rock Romances, is available free to everyone who subscribes to her newsletter on her website: Contact her on her Facebook author page or via or join her on Twitter @Susan Aylworth.


Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Christmas Decorations by Janice Lynn

 It's so difficult to believe Christmas is almost here! Our family has already had a few gatherings and we have a few more to go. I love getting together with family and the food--oh, the food!! Yum! Another of my favorite things about Christmas is the decorations. The house just looks so sparkly and magical with all the lights and pretties. A couple of years ago, I bought some new decorations as I wanted to do an additional tree in white and silver snowflakes and butterflies, but otherwise, I pretty much use the same decorations in the same places each year, just adding to them each years as the kids made things/I was given ornaments. When I pack my decorations up, I even put a sheet of paper into the tote that says where the items go. It helps me to know where each piece of garland fits, etc. so that I can more easily put my decorations up the following year.

This year we do have a wonderful new aspect to our Christmas as its our first grandchild's first Christmas. So much fun having a baby in the family again!

How about you? Do you use the same decorations each year? Do you tend to put things in the same spots? How long after Christmas before you pack away your decorations? 

Wrapped Up in Christmas Hope from Hallmark Publishing is available now!

Buy Your Copy HERE

USA Today, Wall Street Journal, & Publishers Weekly Bestselling author JANICE LYNN lives in Tennessee with her Prince Charming and their princes and princesses, her vivid imagination, an adorable Maltese named Halo who's the true royalty 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 & WRAPPED UP IN CHRISTMAS JOY are available at AMAZON Barnes & Noble WALMART

Sunday, December 19, 2021

A Week Before Christmas Treat by Merri Maywether

Twas the week before Christmas 

in a rural Montana town. 

Every kitchen was bustling 

Yet there was nary a frown.

Okay, that's where the poem ends--for now. I love Christmas for more reasons than I can list. Somewhere at the top is the treats. Everyone bakes and it is a different thing from every household.

This past week brought a pleasant surprise, and it came from a gift I received in September. A friend gave me a jar of Russian Tea mix for my birthday. I left it in my desk drawer for when the temperatures dropped.

What I hadn't anticipated was the result of that decision. 

My students noticed the jar every time they visited the drawer for a supply. Once the barometer dropped below ten degrees, they shared their keen observation skills. During study hall. As we'd gather our supplies and prepare for an hour of productivity, one or two students, or half the class would ask, “Can I have a cup of Russian Tea?” 

Our school is so small that meeting the request was doable. So every day until my jar ran empty, there were cups filled with the spicy, citrus tea. 

One thing I love about teaching in a small school is the constant real-world discussions. Once the tea ran out, our conversations segued to how to make a new batch. It was like a knitting circle, except it was twelve and thirteen years olds discussing their favorite variations of Russian tea over their science and social studies homework. 

With the school year winding down, we’re shifting the conversations into a real-world experience. The kids are bringing jars. I’m bringing ingredients. They are calculating the conversion so the recipe will have them all heading into the winter break with a pint-size jar of their favorite cool-weather treat. 

It really is good. Here is a down-sized recipe so you can make some at home.

Batch yields 6-pint jars or a large Rubbermaid container

When Susan makes a wish for Santa to bring her a special present, she sets off a chain of events.

Susan has helped other people find their true love. It only makes sense that her friends would try to repay the kindness. There is one little hitch to their plans. They're trying to match her with Hunter Lane. The same Hunter Lane she'd rather avoid for reasons she'd rather not disclose.

Hunter is the oldest of the Lane brothers, and the only one of them who is single. When Hunter sees Susan, he knows there's something special about her. As he gets to know her, Hunter learns two things. They have a shared past, and he sees Susan in his future.

When Susan finds herself in a situation that demands Hunter's help, they discover it takes more than a wish to hold on to love.

Christmas Wishes is available for 99¢ Amazon 

Merri Maywether lives with her husband in rural Montana. You can find her in the town's only coffee house listening to three generations of Montanans share their stories. Otherwise, she's in the classroom or the school library, inspiring the next generation's writers.

Friday, December 17, 2021

New Releases from the Sweet Romance Reads Authors

1-800-NEW YEAR
Josie Riviera

Her lost love is back in town. Is he back for a second chance…or closure?

In case you missed our Christmas book sale, here they are again. They may not be on sale, but there are still wonderful holiday stories.


This week, my book A Heart of Stone is on sale for 99 cents through today, then it goes up to $1.99 till Tuesday the 21st. The usual price is $2.99 Click here for more info.

Don’t miss this and tell a friend!–Lyn

A Heart of Stone

A baby girl’s future hangs in the balance and sparks a heart-rending mystery~Why Cash’s only sister willed guardianship of her baby girl to her best friend instead of him.

New Release by Josie Riviera! 1-800-NEW YEAR

Only 99¢ for a limited time.

Her lost love is back in town. Is he back for a second chance…or closure?

 A Doctor's Christmas by Laura Scott $0.99 

(For a limited time)

When Lifeline Pilot Megan Hoffman finds herself pregnant with her ex fiancé's baby, will Dr. Drake Thorton help her find the magic of love at Christmas?

Thursday, December 16, 2021

My Holiday Kickoff by Kimberly Rose Johnson

 Last month I attended the ICVM Storytellers conference in Orlando Florida and brought my husband along so we could fold the trip into a vacation. Though we are no longer much for the rides, we enjoy the memories going to Disney parks brings to top of mind, so we scheduled a few days at Disney World.

We've been there a few times during the Christmas season, and I absolutely love looking at all the decorations. Isn't this beautiful?

This time around I didn't take nearly as many pictures as usual, but I noticed I took more pics outside the parks at the resorts we visited. I think I enjoyed visiting the various resorts as much or more than that actual parks. Check out these gingerbread creations. Aren't they incredible? The house literally had people selling merchandise from inside it. 
This carousel reminded me of one I used to ride as a child. It was a tiny coin operated one outside a store my mom shopped at.

Animal Kingdom is not one of the parks we always make a point to go to, but we had a half day free on our travel day home, so we when there this time. The giraffes are my favorite. They were very close to our safari vehicle this time. I probably could have reached out and touched it if I dared, which I didn't.

Even though the parks were crazy crowded we still had a good time. We simply only spent about a half day at each park then resort hopped to see all the decorations. In case I missed saying so, the decorations are the biggest reason I enjoy going during the holiday season. 

Do you have a favorite thing to do during the holiday season?
Please share in the comments below.

Kimberly Rose Johnson writes stories that warm the heart and feed the soul. She is an award winning author with 31 published books. She writes contemporary romance, suspense, and mystery. Learn more about Kimberly and her books at


Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Twelve Dogs of Christmas by Merrillee Whren

Last month I talked about the service dogs in my upcoming book, HOMETOWN HERO, the fifth book in my Kellersburg series. You can find information about all the books here.

My heroine sings these words to the tune of "Twelve Days of Christmas." She and the hero are part of a group who is filming a documentary titled, Twelve Dogs of Christmas.

On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me, a little doggie on a settee.

On the second day of Christmas my true love gave to me, two pounds of Master’s.

On the third day of Christmas my true love gave to me, three doggie sweaters.

On the fourth day of Christmas my true love gave to me, four bowls of kibble.

On the fifth day of Christmas my true love gave to me, five rawhide bones.

On the sixth day of Christmas my true love gave to me, six toys a squeaking.

On the seventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me, seven leashes straining.

On the eighth day of Christmas my true love gave to me, eight balls a bouncing

On the ninth day of Christmas my true love gave to me, nine sticks for throwing.

On the tenth day of Christmas my true love gave to me, ten combs for grooming.

On the eleventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me, eleven clippers snipping.

On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love gave to me, twelve collars jingling.

Be sure to look for this book, available on the Twelfth Day of Christmas, January 5, 2022.

Also you can get this Christmas novella now for 99 cents. 






Christmas carols are a big part of the Christmas celebration and part of my upcoming book. What is your favorite Christmas carol? 

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.