Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Let's Make This Your Year by Merri Maywether

Every year I say the same thing. “This is my year.” I squeeze my right hand into a fist, tighten my chest, and claim it.  Then somewhere around November, I look around for evidence. Was it my year?

Last November, I waved the year behind me. Somebody else can have 2020. I don’t want her. Not really. LOL. With effort, I gleaned some great moments. 

2020 was the year where I…

☃️ learned how to make some cool masks

☃️ found friends who enjoy reading and writing sweet romance as much as I do 

☃️ made some great desserts

☃️ reconnected with friends who live all over the globe

☃️ convinced my husband to buy a snowblower

☃️ made peace with that extra five pounds around my waist

This year I made the same claim. 2021 will be my year. This year I have a tangible goal. From January 1st,  I’ve made it my objective to make people smile. At the end of every day, I write myself a note of when I achieved the goal. 

The cool thing about this goal is in the gray moments; it has been an umbrella. And, next November, when I ask myself if 2021 has really been my year, I’ll have a journal to remind me of what I wanted to achieve. 

Now, I’ll pass the baton to you. If you had one thing to prove you had a good year, What would it be?

☃️. ☃️. ☃️

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. 

Welcome Home is the first book in my Three Creeks, Montana series.
In this feel-good, love story, Abigail discovers the beauty of second chances and the meaning behind Welcome Home. 

Welcome Home is available for 99¢ at your favorite online retailer.

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Sweet Romance Reads New Releases


A Chocolate-Box Irish Wedding
Josie Riviera

A woman who wanted more. A man who wanted her. Can they rediscover their love in the seaside town where it all began?

Purchase on Amazon or mybook.to/ chocolateIrishwedding 

Trusting His Kiss
Jean C. Gordon

A Paradox Sweet Romance Novella

Trusting His Kiss kicks off Jean C. Gordon's new Paradox Lake Sweet Romance Series.

Life is complicated for nurse and widowed mother of three, Kari Hazard. Her 15-year-old son Myles is rebelling, and she is not sure how to handle it. Still, Kari is not immediately thrilled with the actions Myles’s handsome new school guidance counselor is taking. 

Eli Evans is a former Air Force officer and can relate to Myles’s feelings regarding his father who was killed in Afghanistan. Eli also finds Kari extremely attractive, but an issue from his past could pose a problem for any prospective relationship. However, an even larger obstacle is Kari’s residual anger and complicated emotions toward the military and her late husband. 

In the small town of Paradox Lake, fate (with a little help from Eli’s mother), keeps pushing them together. Can Kari and Eli leave the past behind them and find a way forward to new love?

Available on Amazon | Apple Books | B&N | Google Books | Kobo 
Buy Link books2read.com/TrustingHisKiss

Target for Revenge
Laura Scott

Sun Yin-lee is surprised to hear from her old Mensa friend Mack Remington about her mother being in danger. Tasked with uncovering the location of a possible nuclear bomb and the deadline fast approaching, Sun reluctantly accepts Mack’s help. As danger escalates, so does the attraction between them.

Computer genius Macklin Remington has always treated Sun like the younger sister he’d never had, but working closely with her now, he realizes his feelings are anything but sister-like. As they dodge gunfire at every turn, Mack is determined to keep Sun safe while they search for the bomb. Will they find the nuclear device in time? Or is their chance for love and a future over before it has a chance to begin?

Purchase on Amazon B&N Apple GooglePlay Kobo

Saturday, January 16, 2021

A New Year A New Perspective

I had thought to write to you today about whatever national day it is, but can you believe it's National Nothing Day? Seriously! Today was set aside as a day to not celebrate, honor, or observe anything. 

Enjoy National Nothing Day!

I have a hard time doing nothing though, so I'd thought I share about my new perspective. Last year brought challenges none of us had ever experienced. We each handled them in our own way.

I was unable to focus for the longest time. I was easily distracted. Reading books took me even longer than normal because I couldn't focus. I turned to movies and television for my entertainment. That hasn't really changed much, but what has changed is my perspective.

I have decided enough is enough. I could no longer be aimless in my writing. I had to buckle down and accomplish something. The only way that would happen though was if I gave myself concrete deadlines. I did this by booking two book tours for my 2021 releases. I wrote 6,208 words this week! That's a huge leap from the 200-400 words a day I was struggling to write.

Deadlines are my friend. Who knew? Definitely not me.  

What is one positive change you've made in your life recently?

Award winning author Kimberly Rose Johnson writes stories that warm the heart and feed the soul. 

From a young child Kimberly has been an avid reader. That love of reading fostered a creative mind and led to her passion for writing. She especially loves romance and writes romantic mystery and suspense.

Learn more about Kimberly and her books at https://kimberlyrjohnson.com/

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Quotes about Reading by Merrillee Whren

Today I'm sharing quotes about reading from famous authors.

1.  “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies . . . The man who never reads lives only one.” – George R.R. Martin

2.“You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.” – C.S. Lewis

3. “The man who does not read good books is no better than the man who can’t.” – Mark Twain

4. “You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.” – Ray Bradbury

5.  “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” – Dr. Seuss

6. “I kept always two books in my pocket, one to read, one to write in.” – Robert Louis Stevenson

7.  “The person who deserves most pity is a lonesome one on a rainy day who doesn’t know how to read.” – Benjamin Franklin

8.  “We are of opinion that instead of letting books grow moldy behind an iron grating, far from the vulgar gaze, it is better to let them wear out by being read.” – Jules Verne

9. “Books to the ceiling, Books to the sky, My pile of books is a mile high. How I love them! How I need them! I’ll have a long beard by the time I read them.” – Arnold Lobel

10.  “Read the best books first, or you may not have a chance to read them at all.” – Henry David Thoreau

11.  “Some books leave us free and some books make us free.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

12. “If you are going to get anywhere in life you have to read a lot of books.” – Roald Dahl

13.  “To acquire the habit of reading is to construct for yourself a refuge from almost all the miseries of life.” – W. Somerset Maugham

14. “If you don’t like to read, you haven’t found the right book.” – J.K. Rowling

15.  “Children are made readers on the laps of their parents.” – Emilie Buchwald

16.  “Books are good company, in sad times and happy times, for books are people – people who have managed to stay alive by hiding between the covers of a book.” – E.B. White

17.  “I intend to put up with nothing that I can put down.” – Edgar Allan Poe

18.  “I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of any thing than of a book! — When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.” – Jane Austen

19.  “Fools have a habit of believing that everything written by a famous author is admirable. For my part I read only to please myself and like only what suits my taste.” – Voltaire

20.  “Of course anyone who truly loves books buys more of them than he or she can hope to read in one fleeting lifetime. A good book, resting unopened in its slot on a shelf, full of majestic potentiality, is the most comforting sort of intellectual wallpaper.” – David Quammen

It is hard to choose just one quote as a favorite, but I like the first one. Which one of these quotes is your favorite, or do you have a quote of your own?

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.



Tuesday, January 12, 2021

My DNA Test Disaster by Cindy Flores Martinez


Have you seen those TV commercials where people take a genealogy DNA test and learn wonderful things about themselves? Their ancestry and their ancestors are both surprising and fascinating. Before my dad died, he took a genealogy DNA test, and I took one sometime later, but our experience was nothing like in the commercials. The test results only confused us. Last year, I finally realized my dad was adopted.

When I look back at the year 2020, the pandemic and everything else that happened are a blur. The one thing that occupied my thoughts the most was the discovery that my paternal grandfather wasn’t biologically related to me. My grandmother was a distant cousin. Not only was it a complete shock and a great loss, but it made me feel as if I didn’t know who I really was.

I had started writing a new book and made plans to re-write and re-publish the stories I wrote over the past several years, but suddenly, I no longer felt connected to them because I was no longer Cindy Flores Martinez. My last name Martinez was my dad’s adoptive name, and I could tell by looking at the family trees of my close DNA cousins that I wasn’t as Mexican as I thought. I needed to take a step back to try and figure things out.

Despite an exhaustive search, I still don’t know who my birth grandparents were. I'm still trying to figure things out, and I’m still searching for my real last name.

I've written about a similar topic in my new book, which is publishing in May. The heroine's experience was inspired by my own real-life experience.

AMAZON PRE-ORDER: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08QYQ9ZCH

What about you? Have you taken a genealogy DNA test and learned something that changed your life?

Cindy Flores Martinez is a USA Today bestselling author who writes sweet and 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 www.cindyfloresmartinez.com

Monday, January 11, 2021

Fresh Starts and Winter Fun by Josie Riviera

 The holidays are past,  2020 is gone, and it's time to welcome January 2021.

This month is a good opportunity for fresh starts and winter fun. I've always enjoyed January for the opportunity to start anew--whether it be a new diet (hah!), learn a new skill, or catch up on my TBR pile of books.

This month also allows us to slow down and "hibernate." Sipping a hot cup of fresh tea or coffee, relaxing by a fire in the fireplace, and reading, is something I look forward to each year.

Of course, when I was younger and lived in upstate New York, snow days off from school were always cause for great celebration. Making snow angels in piles of snow, or going sledding on favorite hills, are fond memories. Now that I live in the Carolinas, snow days are few and far between.

I hope you take time this month to slow down, curl up with a good book, and appreciate the beautiful winter season.

Celebrate with me! Seeking Rachel, my Regency inspirational romance, received a wonderful review in Publishers Weekly!

And, take an armchair trip to Ireland with my newest sweet romance short story, 

A Chocolate-Box Irish Wedding.

Now on pre-order for only 99¢!

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 renovation.

Please "like" her Facebook author page.

And remember to join our Sweet Romance Cafe.

Friday, January 8, 2021

Defining Moments.... by Christine Bush

  It’s a new year! New day!  A time for changes.

The present and the future will probably be filled with lots of changes for all of us, no matter what age or stage of life we are in.

But today I wanted to talk about the past, about the times in our lives when we were faced with a “crossroads”.

Or a decision.


Or when a giant change was thrust upon us.  Whether we wanted it or not.


I call these moment “defining moments.” They show the stuff that we are made of!

They are sometimes the times that often take amazing courage. Our decision alters the path of our life.

We quit a job instead of allowing ourselves to be belittled by an incompetent boss one more time.

We say yes to the ring! 

We bite our tongue during a heated argument, and do NOT say the thing that would be hurtfully remembered forever.

We stand up for something or someone when it’s right, even though we know there will be a cost.

Or sometimes, by some minute, or surprise choice, life changes just as much. It can be for good or bad.  Like someone taking a right turn instead of a left,  unwittingly missing a bad accident.

Or randomly selecting a lottery number (let’s all hope for this one).


If the decision was forced upon us, the strength comes from how we handle the circumstances.

We are strong women, and I think we need to applaud ourselves and each other when we show this courage.

How about the characters we love in our books?  I find those strengths in the characters I love, the ones I remember.

In my book “Christmas with the  Crazy Cowboy”, my heroine has absolutely turned her life upside down for the good of her child’s emotional needs.  And my hero is at a crossroads.  Defining moments.  Can they find love?  Spoiler alert….. Yes!

Christmas with the Crazy Cowboy - Kindle edition by Bush, Christine. Romance Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com.


And how about you?  Have you faced some “defining moments?”  And in your most loved books, are there some “defining moments” too?  I’d love to hear!

Love, Christine

 Christine Bush is a USA Today Bestselling author of romance, romantic mystery, and suspense.  She can be found living in the Lehigh Valley in Pennsylvania with her husband and 2 lazy cats, and spending time with her 14 grandchildren.   When she’s not writing, she’s teaching Psychology at a local college, and working with clients in her private practice as a Marriage and Family Therapist. She loves to hear from readers and writers!


More heroines with more defining moments!

Christine’s Anthology of four sweet Christmas novellas is available now for $2.99!










Thursday, January 7, 2021

Writing Resolutions for 2021...by Kristin Wallace

While most people make New Year’s Resolutions, authors tend to make Writer’s Resolutions. At least I do. Every year I have grand plans to write X number of books. Unfortunately, I made very little progress is my writer goals due to continuing health issues that mess with my ability to focus, which makes creative writing extremely difficult. 

Plus, the craziness of 2020 made it hard to even think about writing. But once again, I'm hoping to get back on track for 2021. I do have plans and plenty of ongoing projects to keep me busy.

I still want to reissue my inspirational series, COVINGTON FALLS CHRONICLE. I also hope to continue with that series. There are so many characters begging for stories in my quirky Southern town. I also want to get back to working on a new series called THE LOST ROYALS about separated siblings who find out they are royalty. 

Finally, there is a joint project/series that I want to publish with one of my author friends. It’s a modern-day take on Cinderella featuring a pair of magic shoes and a cursed Stepmother who might not be as bad as everyone thought. 

So those are my plans…now to get writing! 

Kristin Wallace is the USA Today Best Selling Author of inspirational and sweet contemporary romance filled with “Love, Laughter and a Leap of Faith”. The Christmas in Shellwater Key boxes et will release this winter. 

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

My Word for 2021 ~ Jean C. Gordon

A planner, but never one for New Year's resolutions, for the past few years, I've picked a guiding word. This year, my word is ALIGN. I thinks it's exactly what I need I need.

For the past few years, I've been primarily writing for multi-author series—The No Brides Club Series and various Indigo Bay Series—and group projects. This year, I'm launching a solo-series: The Paradox Lake Sweet Romance Series. And I need to remember to not let my work take over the rest of my life.

Who else has a word for 2021?

Trusting His Kiss kicks off Jean C. Gordon's new Paradox Lake Sweet Romance Series—Today

Life is complicated for nurse and widowed mother of three, Kari Hazard. Her 15-year-old son Myles is rebelling and she is not sure how to handle it. Still, Kari is not immediately thrilled with the actions Myles’s handsome new school guidance counselor is taking. 
Eli Evans is a former Air Force officer and can relate to Myles’s feelings regarding his father who was killed in Afghanistan. Eli also finds Kari extremely attractive, but an issue from his past could pose a problem for any prospective relationship.  However, an even larger obstacle is Kari’s residual anger and complicated emotions toward the military and her late husband. 
In the small town of Paradox Lake, fate (with a little help from Eli’s mother), keeps pushing them together. Can Kari and Eli leave the past behind them and find a way forward to new love?

Welcome to Paradox Lake
Any fan of sweet romance will love the stories of small-town love in the Paradox Lake Sweet Romance series. Grab your tea or coffee, settle into your favorite chair, and be swept away into the cozy Adirondack town where complex characters navigate challenging situations as they find their way to love. Whether it’s love at first blush, old flames reuniting, or second chance romance, you’ll find pure reading enjoyment and satisfy your craving for sweet, wholesome romance. 

Part of an ongoing series full of familiar faces, each story will stand on its own. With novel and novella lengths available, there’s something for everyone. Paradox Lake is written by USA Today Bestselling sweet romance author, Jean Gordon, who’s penned stories for the No Brides Clubs Series, Indigo Bay Series, and Harlequin Love Inspired, as well as for multiple sweet romance collections.

(Kari and Eli's story previously appeared in Sweet Kisses Limited Edition Box Set, which is now out of print.)

Available from: Amazon | Apple Books | B&N | Google Books | Kobo

For My New Releases

Follow me on BookBub
Sign up for my Readers Newsletter 
Visit my Website 
Facebook: JeanCGordon.author 
Twitter: @JeanCGordon

Have You Signed up for the 

Sweet Romance Reads Quarterly Newsletter Yet?

If not, you can at the top right of the blog page.

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

A Cozy Start to 2021...and a drawing for a free book


Best wishes to you all in 2021!

I think we're all relieved to wave goodbye to 2020, and start feeling hopeful as 2021 begins.  I hope you and yours have been untouched by the pandemic, and that you will stay safe.  

Have you found yourself changing during all of this?  Staying at home has made me appreciate everyday things much more. Time to appreciate the cozy fireplace. More time with my husband. More time to read. The chance to connect with dear friends via telephone or Zoom.

What are your goals for this coming year? Have you made a list?

Mine are to treasure every moment with family, once it's safe to gather again, and to not take even a single moment of that for granted. To read my Bible every day without fail. To finally get back on the treadmill, too. To write more.  And to continue the ongoing saga of downsizing--which never seems to end. How that can be is a mystery to me! But I'm sure being very sentimental plays a big part. I just can't bear to let go of the things that belonged to my mom...or that I saved from each of our children's childhood. 

Looking ahead, other goals are to release two sweet (clean and wholesome) series of full-length novels in 2021. The first is the Northern Pines four-book series, which will begin in February with Forever After. 

By the way, the last of my Coupled by Christmas six-novella series, Christmas in Paris, was released in December, and for the next two weeks they are all still on sale at $.99 each! To see the full list and find the links to buy, CLICK HERE.  And to check out my blog or sign up for my newsletter, CLICK HERE.

Leave a comment, and be entered in a contest for a free book!

Blessings and peace to you during the coming year,

Roxanne Rustand

Saturday, January 2, 2021

How To Use That Leftover Eggnog by @Donna_Fasano

 Have you been wondering what to do with that leftover eggnog? Here’s a recipe that is sure to please. The cake contains the spices found in eggnog AND a nice dollop of actual eggnog. There’s another splash of eggnog in the glaze. Enjoy!

 Eggnog Loaf Cake

For the cake: 

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

4 Tbsp. butter, softened

4 Tbsp. vegetable oil

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 large eggs

1 tsp. vanilla extract

3/4 cup eggnog


For the glaze:

1 cup confectioner’s sugar

1/4 tsp. cinnamon

Pinch of nutmeg

2-3 Tbsp. eggnog



1.     Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 9-inch loaf pan with cooking spray and set aside.

2.    In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

3.    In a large bowl, beat together the butter, oil, and white and brown sugars until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. Add half of the dry ingredients, followed by half of the eggnog, mixing after each addition only until fully incorporated. Add the remaining dry ingredients and eggnog, stirring after each addition. Do not to overmix.

4.    Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and spread into an even layer. Bake on the center rack for 50 to 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack. Cool completely.

5.    Make the glaze by combining the confectioner’s sugar, the cinnamon, and the nutmeg. Stir to combine. Add the eggnog a tablespoon at a time until the glaze is thick but pourable. Glaze the cooled cake and serve.