Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Taking a Break by Merri Maywether

This October, Randy and I took a weekend hiatus from teaching and writing to visit our sons, Chris and Charlie, in Arizona. Chris is thirty-one, and Charlie is twenty-eight years old.  

When they were little, our weekends were wrapped up in attending their school events. So the weekend was a visit to routines of the past. 

In the weeks leading up to our trip, we planned. 

Chris and Charlie wanted comfort food. Meatloaf, roast beef, and barbecue chicken. And, nary a vegetable was requested, so I planned on having a lot of raw fruits and vegetables. 

Because it was a whirlwind weekend, I made all the meals in the crockpot. We’d go out for the day and return to the house to have a hearty meal and play games. The raw fruit and veggies turned into great nibbling food.

On Friday, we visited the interactive Van Gogh exhibit in Scottsdale, AZ. I studied art history in college but didn’t do anything as clever as study Van Gogh’s self-portraits side by side. 

I was awed.

Vincent Van Gogh captured the aging process in every picture.

The way he used color to capture sound and motion was a testament to his genius.

The exhibit was touching, inspiring and prompted me to question; What stories will inspire people one and two hundred years from now? 

The adventure continued the next day with a viewing of Hamilton.

A year ago, we were in our own homes, talking every weekend, for hours, on zoom. 

I told the boys about watching Hamilton on Disney Plus. Seeing their reactions to the live show made it that much better.

They talked about both shows for the remainder of the weekend. Yes, a mom win!

I boarded the plane back to Montana with a healed heart and mind full of ideas for stories. 

I also was awakened with a keen awareness. Sometimes the cure for a tired heart can be found in the easiest place —with family.

Now that I've shared my story. I have a question for you. What are some things you do to fill your well when you feel yourself getting tired?

p.s. Here is an easy recipe for roast beef in the crockpot. We had no leftovers.

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.

πŸŽƒ  πŸŽƒ  πŸŽƒ  πŸŽƒ  πŸŽƒ

A Sweet October Read by Merri Maywether

πŸ₯£ Start with a mixed-up meet-cute set in small-town Montana

 πŸ₯„Add some community fundraisers and holiday activities.

πŸ‘ͺ Combine them with a close-knit family

πŸŽƒ and we have a sweet holiday romance.  

For a limited time, Paradise Hills Trick or Treat is available for 99¢ at your favorite online retailer. 


           Amazon | Apple  | B & N | Kobo 


Sunday, October 17, 2021

Vickie McDonough

Three Complete Novels

In the rugged North Dakota Badlands, the three McFarland siblings struggle to make their ranch a success.

Wild at Heart

Dime novelist Mariah resents Adam McFarland claiming her facts about the West are wrong. At his invitation, she

heads to his ranch in North Dakota. But when her train is robbed, and a man is shot trying to help her, she makes sure he gets home. When he turns out to be the very man she came to visit, she is shocked into silence about her identity.

As she falls for the troubled cowboy who has his own secrets, will the truth ruin their blossoming romance?

Outlaw Heart

When Deputy Marshal Brett Wickham's younger brother is killed in a bank robbery, he goes after the gang

responsible. However, a bear attack lands him badly wounded in the gang's hideout, with Lottie Salinger nursing him. The woman seems too kind and caring to be an outlaw, but the evidence against her is strong. When Brett starts to

care for her, he wonders if he can still do his job. Will justice prevail or will love win out?

Straight for the Heart

When the mail-order bride his grandmother secretly ordered for him doesn't arrive, Quinn McFarland is

relieved. But the only way to keep her from ordering another one is to find his own wife-and fast. When the sheriff suggests Quinn marry the gal in his jail, he balks. Marriage to Sarah could solve Quinn's need for a wife and fix Sarah's problems--but dare he marry an outlaw?

    Laura Scott

Will she ever escape her past?

Jayme Weston has come a long way from the abusive foster home run by the Preacher. While living on the streets, she’s done her best to protect her younger foster sister, Caitlyn while managing to survive and thrive. Now Caitlyn is living on her own, and Jayme finds herself at loose ends—until she is targeted by several suspicious fires.

Arson Investigator Linc Quade doesn’t understand why this particular firebug isn’t following a typical arson pattern. And the beautiful redhead isn’t nearly as forthcoming as he’d like. As the attempts against Jayme escalate, Linc becomes more determined than ever to protect her. Falling in love wasn’t a part of his plan. But when the elusive arsonist manages to kidnap Jayme, Linc knows time is running out. Will he find and rescue her, before it’s too late?

Saturday, October 16, 2021

Kimberly Rose Johnson Asks: What is Your Favorite Candy?

I don't know about you, but October is one of those months when I have candy on the brain. I was very tempted to pull over and visit Sees Candy the other day, but I resisted and kept driving.

Do you have a favorite candy that's hard for you to say no to?

In my Librarian Sleuth series, my main character Nancy Daley loves M&Ms. She and I have that in common. 

The first two books in that series are available in a bargain collection that's currently only 99¢ or free with Kindle Unlimited. Here's the blurb for the first book.

The Sleuth's Miscalculation

Librarian Nancy Daley loves a good mystery and enjoys moonlighting as a consultant for the sheriff's department. When license plates go missing in Tipton County, she's on the case.

Sheriff Deputy Carter Malone expects Tipton, Oregon to be a sleepy small-town, but he miscalculated. To make matters worse, he's forced to consult with the Sheriff's daughter who is only an amateur sleuth. When the minor case they are working morphs into something more, things quickly go from harmless to scary.

Can they solve the mystery before it's too late, and more importantly, what will they do about their growing attraction.

Available at Amazon.

Award winning author Kimberly Rose Johnson married her college sweetheart and lives in the Pacific Northwest USA. 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 contemporary romance and romantic mystery and suspense with a heart.

Kimberly holds a degree in Behavioral Science from Northwest University in Kirkland, Washington, and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers.

You can sign up for Kimberly's newsletter via her website at: https://kimberlyrjohnson.com/


Thursday, October 14, 2021

The Journey of a Book Series

If you like to read books in a series, have you ever considered what elements can create a series? Sometimes it can be family. Sometimes a series comes from a location. Other times a series might involve brides, animals, a common cause, or sports, just to name a few. A series might have a combination of these elements.

My Kellersburg series is a combination of family and a town that tie the books together. Eventually my Kellersburg series will have six books. Right now I'm plugging away on book number five, HOMETOWN HERO. How does a series grow? I started with two sisters, Juliane and Elise Keller, who are the heroines of books one and two respectively. The Kellers are the descendants of Kellersburg's founding fathers. In books one and two the reader becomes familiar with Nathan, who is the cousin of Juliane and Elise. He is the hero of book number three. The heroine of book three first appears in book one. Book four is about Nathan's sister, Caroline. Maisey, the heroine of the book I'm working on now, is a friend of Caroline's, and the last book will feature Maisey's brother, Wes. Although I started with the Keller family, the series branched out to friends who live in Kellersburg. 

I don't see the series going beyond six books, but I never know when a secondary character might cry out to have his or her story told. Some authors plan out their series much like they plot their books. I not only write my books by the seat of my pants, but I do the same with my series. I might know the beginning characters of a series, but new characters often appear as I write. 

What kind of a series appeals to you? What elements do you like to read?

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.

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Free Book!


Winter's Secret, 

Clean Mystery Romance

by Lyn Cote

In a small Wisconsin town, a record-breaking winter brings a series of disturbing crimes. 

The new sheriff and home health nurse will do anything to stop whoever is responsible. 

All the while they’ll try not to do something even more dangerous--fall in love. 

With God’s help, can they crack the bone-chilling mystery — and the secrets to their own hearts?

Welcome to Steadfast, Wisconsin, a small town 

whose people and mysteries you may never forget~

Click here to learn more. Lyn Cote

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Guilt-Free Pumpkin Spice Latte by Cindy Flores Martinez


I love pumpkin spice latte, but every year, I buy it only a couple of times. I worry that the ingredients aren’t good for me. That’s why I was thrilled to find recipes for a healthy, guilt-free alternative.

At first, it sounded too good to be true. I didn’t think a guilt-free version of pumpkin spice latte would taste anything like the real thing, but I decided to try it anyway.

After experimenting with the ingredients and making my own adjustments, I was impressed. I settled on a mixture that reminds me of my favorite one from a popular restaurant. The difference is that this version is a little healthier.

Guilt-Free Pumpkin Spice Latte

1/2 cup strong brewed coffee

3/4 cup almond milk

2 TB canned pumpkin puree

2 to 3 TB maple syrup

1/4 vanilla extract

1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Mix all ingredients together in a coffee cup and heat in the microwave.



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:


Monday, October 11, 2021

Happy Fall, Y’all! by Josie Riviera

I am here to say, (in my most Southern accent), Happy Fall, Y'all!

I am originally from upstate New York, but my family and I relocated to the Carolinas over twenty years ago.   If you've ever visited, you'll soon realize it's hard not to become a little Southern. The hospitality is as sweet as our tea, and everyone is welcome.

Now that Autumn has arrived, porch sitting has become more bearable, and we love nothing more. This past summer in the Carolinas has been hot! But now we can take in the day from a rocker on the porch and catch up with the neighbors.

As the cooler weather arrives and the leaves begin to change, the smell of bonfires fills the evening air. Tourists flock to the area for Fall festivals, such as the State Fairs and the Renaissance Faire. 
Both are such fun events!
Fall is a wonderful time to live in the Carolinas.

What do you and your family love best about the Fall season? Please leave your comments below.

Are you starting to think about Christmas? If you love sweet contemporary holiday romance, be sure to pick up your copy of Sweet Peppermint Kisses.  The ebook is only 99¢ on a Kindle Countdown sale. (U.S. residents only.)

There’s no place like home. Until the heart gallops off in an unexpected direction…

Available in ebook, paperback, large print paperback, audiobook, and Hardcover.

Josie Riviera is a USA Today bestselling author of contemporary, historical, and inspirational 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.

Sign up for her newsletter and get a FREE ebook on her website: http://josieriviera.com/

Saturday, October 9, 2021

Hear! Hear! Audio Books! by Christine Bush

 I’ve been an avid reader for all of my life.  In the early days, I’d always have at least one book stashed in my pocketbook in case “down time” appeared in my day.

On my bed stand, I had the often discussed “to be read” pile of stories by my favorite authors.  At times, I might even be reading more than one at a time.

Then the Kindle appeared on the scene, and in a flash, it was filled with a zillion books, easy to carry around and ready for any occasion.

I come right down the middle in the “kindle vs paper book” discussion.  I’ve decided it’s an “and”.  I like them both.

Reading, reading reading!

But then the pandemic hit, the library temporarily closed, and the zoom phenomena began. For a long time, my life was on screen.  I was writing on line, teaching zoom classes on line, reading those zillion books loaded on the Kindle. I was holding meetings of many types on line, reading college students’ electronically submitted assignments  and papers on line, communicating with friends and family in little zoom boxes…

After a while, it was clear that my eyes were feeling the strain.

Enter Audible books.

It was such a thrill to be able to download some of my favorite author’s stories.  I could sit back, close my eyes, and LISTEN.  And rest my  tired eyes.  What a joy!

So then, I had to learn how to bring my own stories to the audio world.  What an experience! Auditioning readers, hearing my work read out loud, I faced the learning curve. Exciting!

Three novellas are available so far..


Christmas Holly

Amazon.com: Christmas Holly (Audible Audio Edition): Christine Bush, Ann Bumbak, Christine Bush: Audible Books & Originals

Christmas Rose

Amazon.com: Christmas Rose (Audible Audio Edition): Christine Bush, Annika Connor, Christine Bush: Audible Books & Originals

Meddling Mona

Amazon.com: Meddling Mona (Audible Audio Edition): Christine Bush, Ann Bumbak, Christine Bush: Audible Books & Originals


Go check them out!  The first time you order from Audible, the book is free.  Give your eyeballs a break! I’d love to hear what you think. 


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!




Friday, October 8, 2021

Another Covington Falls Chronicle...by Kristin Wallace


I'm so excited to celebrate the upcoming release of my latest book, CHRISTMAS CHARADE! It's part of the HOLIDAY FAKE-OUT box set, with 22 other romance authors, including NYT Bestselling Author, Heather Graham. 

Perhaps the most exciting part is that the new book allows me to return to the "Covington Falls Chronicles". My heroine is related to an important family in Covington Falls, GA. She's the niece of the mayor's wife, Catherine Manning who my readers might remember from my first book, MARRY ME.


Maggie Lewis left her hometown of Covington Falls, Georgia three years ago with a broken heart and a dream to become a sculptor. Maggie’s family never understood her passion, preferring she act like the perfect Southern woman. She found a haven in Raleigh, NC, working as a waitress at Sullivan’s, a popular family-owned restaurant, while building her reputation as an artist. 

Now, she must return to Covington Falls for her cousin’s Christmas wedding. She can’t face returning alone, particularly seeing her HEX (heinous ex-fiancΓ©) again. So, she invents a boyfriend. Then she has to find one to take to the wedding. 

Turns out Maggie’s new “boyfriend” is closer than she thought, and she has a way to convince him to be her fake date to the wedding.

Wyatt Sullivan once had dreams of being a country music superstar. The sudden death of his parents meant giving up that dream so he could take care of his five younger siblings. Now, he runs Sullivan’s with them. Then Maggie Lewis offers a way to finally pursue his music career. All he has to do is agree to be her fake boyfriend at her cousin’s wedding. 

Maggie and Wyatt are prepared to fake a relationship, but they’re not prepared for the very real feelings that begin to develop. Can they find the courage to take a chance on love and end the Christmas Charade?

Pre-Order TODAY!


You can also enter to WIN an iPad. 

Thursday, October 7, 2021

Can You Help? ~ Jean C. Gordon

My next Paradox Lake Sweet Romance, Trusting Love, will release in February, and I'm looked for Hero-Heroine cover art. Which art above do you like best? A little background: She's a certified nurse-midwife. He's an OB/Gyn. They're co-practitioners with decidedly different prenatal-delivery approaches and styles. Share your choice in the comments.

October $2.99 Preorder Deal

If you haven't read the No Brides Club multi-author sweet romance series that I've participated, now is your chance to. These 4-Book Collections are each available for preorder for $2.99--that's less than the normal price for one book!

The No Brides Club is a series of sweet and wholesome, contemporary romances that allow an escape to the Big Apple without leaving your favorite reading chair.

The career-minded bachelorettes in this series share a common goal to put business before bridal plans. But what happens when they meet someone who makes them want to trade in their no-marriage vows for a walk down the aisle?

(includes my No Time for Apologies)
(includes my No Time for Detours)
(includes my No Time for Detours)


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                        Tuesday, October 5, 2021

                        Autumn beauty, and new beginnings

                        We had a long, hot summer here in the Midwest, so the arrival of fall is a blessed relief.  With temperatures now down to the mid-seventies and the promise of fall colors, I am rejoicing!

                        But though those colors have yet to appear here, each October a friend and I travel to the far north to visit a dear, mutual friend, Lyn Cote, and her family.  I'll post some autumn photos from up North at the bottom of this post.

                        Whether our weekend is cold, drizzly or sunny, it's the chance to be together that means everything. I look forward to seeing them all summer.  We talk a lot about writing and publishing, and I always leave feeling spiritually renewed because she and her husband are people of such deep faith. I am also motivated to increase my dedication for writing more books!

                        Do you have friends with whom distance and infrequency don't change anything in your friendship?  What a blessing it is! Lyn and I have been friends since 1992, when we were unpublished and praying for the day when we could see our books on bookstore shelves. What a journey that was for both of us. It's been wonderful to see her determination, focus, work ethic, and the trajectory of her career. I'm now at forty books, but she has far more!

                        Speaking of books, my September sweet romance,  ONE MORE KISS, is still free for Kindle Unlimited subscribers (or just $3.99 for those who are not.)  Romance with a touch of humor, suspense, and a troublesome menagerie, this was truly a book of my heart.

                        And releasing October 28th will be FINAL REFUGE, the first book in my new Montana Secrets romantic suspense series. A while back I posted questions on cover art options for this book on the Sweetromance Reads Facebook Cafe, and the majority of you chose this one (see cover at the top of this post.) Thank you! What do you think?

                        Leave a comment, and I will give a Kindle e-copy of ONE MORE WISH to the winner of my drawing.

                        Don't forget to scroll down for some autumn photos!  :)

                        Blessing to you all.


                        To receive notices about future book releases, click "follow me" at:

                        Sunday, October 3, 2021

                        The Perfect Autumn Beverage

                        I love mulled cider. In trying to decide which recipe to use for this post, I was torn between recipes offered by 2 Food Network chefs that I love—Bobby Flay and Ina Garten. I went with Garten’s recipe because I love the flavor and scent of star anise. If you’ve never used this spice, you have got to try it! It smells like a holiday all by itself. I often put a few star anise and few whole cloves into a saucepan of simmering water. This concoction makes my house smell wonderful. Be careful not to let the water evaporate completely or you’ll end up with scorched spices. Now, on to the recipe.

                        Mulled Cider 

                        by Ina Garten of Food Network


                        ·       1 gallon fresh apple cider

                        ·       4 cinnamon sticks

                        ·       8 whole cloves

                        ·       6 star anise


                        1.       Combine all ingredients into a pot and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes, or until all flavors are combined.
                        2.       Pour into mugs and serve hot.
                        3.       Makes 12 servings.
                        ~  ~  ~  ~

                        This month, I’m celebrating fall by putting MOUNTAIN LAUREL on sale for just 99¢ for Kindle readers. That's a $3 savings off the regular price. 

                        This sweet romance is the first book I ever wrote. It won a finalist spot on what was then called The Unpublished RITA Contest (now known as The Golden Heart). The book did not win the contest, but editor Tara Gavin of Harlequin did buy and publish the book. I was so proud! It's been completely edited and updated.

                        Links to buy in the Kindle Store:

                        US  #Ad





                        If your store isn’t listed above, simply search for “Mountain Laurel Donna Fasano” in your Kindle Store. Thank you!


                        Friday, October 1, 2021

                        Fall is for Reading by Vickie McDonough

                        After a long hot, dry August and September with over 55 days in the nineties, I'm really glad to see the cooler temperatures of autumn. Fall is the time for hot chocolate, pumpkin pie, and cuddling up with a blanket and a book. If you're in the market for a new book to read, check out my Romance in the Badlands series, which is now in paperback.

                        Romance in the Badland contains three novels that feature the McFarland siblings who live on the Rocking M ranch.

                        In the rugged North Dakota Badlands, the three McFarland siblings struggle to make their ranch a success. 
                        Wild at Heart 
                        Dime novelist Mariah resents Adam McFarland claiming her facts about the West are wrong. At his invitation, she heads to his ranch in North Dakota. But when her train is robbed, and a man is shot trying to help her, she makes sure he gets home. When he turns out to be the very man she came to visit, she is shocked into silence about her identity. As she falls for the troubled cowboy who has his own secrets, will the truth ruin their blossoming romance? 
                        Outlaw Heart 
                        When Deputy Marshal Brett Wickham’s younger brother is killed in a bank robbery, he goes after the gang responsible. However, a bear attack lands him badly wounded in the gang’s hideout, with Lottie Salinger nursing him. The woman seems too kind and caring to be an outlaw, but the evidence is against her. When Brett starts to care for her, he wonders if he can still do his job. Will justice prevail, or will love win out? 
                        Straight for the Heart 
                        When the mail-order bride his grandmother secretly ordered for him doesn’t arrive, Quinn McFarland is relieved. But the only way to keep her from ordering another one is to find his own wife—and fast. When the sheriff suggests Quinn marry the gal in his jail, he balks. Marriage to Sarah could solve Quinn’s need for a wife and fix Sarah’s problems—but dare he marry an outlaw?

                        Available on 10/16/21. 
                        Pre-order now: https://amzn.to/3AXSbB6

                        Lyn Cote Shares a Fall Recipe!


                        The view from my porch

                        I LOVE MAKING SOUP in the fall and winter. It's a real time saver for me. I make a huge pot and then I serve it for one supper (with extra cheese and crackers or bread) and then for as many lunches as it will last. My husband is not a man who enjoy cold sandwiches for lunch.😝
                        I tried this last year for the first time because previously if I'd suggested to my husband that he would like butternut squash soup, I would have gotten the "LOOK."
                        But he has learned to love roasted vegetables. He's even eating cauliflower and asking for more! AMAZING! This is the man who only ate iceberg lettuce and raw carrots when we married. 

                        Here is the recipe I started with but of course I can't just follow a recipe. So read my "adjustments" in parentheses.


                        Original recipe yields 4 servings

                        2 tablespoons butter 

                        1 small onion, chopped  

                        1 stalk celery, chopped 

                        1 medium carrot, chopped 

                        2 medium potatoes, cubed (I deleted this since we're low carb people)

                        1 medium butternut squash - peeled, seeded, and cubed (I avoided all this work but roasting it in the over for about an hour at 350 F so I only had to scoop out the MUCH MORE FLAVORFUL squash for the soup.)

                        1 32 fluid ounce container chicken stock  

                        salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

                        (I added half and half just before serving and warmed it slightly--avoid high heat to avoid curdling OR use whole cream and no problem. I also added cinnamon and nutmeg to taste.)

                        Step 1

                        Melt the butter in a large pot, and cook the onion, celery, carrot, potatoes, and squash 5 minutes, or until lightly browned. Pour in enough of the chicken stock to cover vegetables. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover pot, and simmer 40 minutes, or until all vegetables are tender.
                        Step 2

                        Transfer the soup to a blender, and blend until smooth. Return to pot, and mix in any remaining stock to attain desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper.

                        The soup got rave reviews and I of course, doubled the recipe! Here's a fall bargain for you.

                        My four book series OPPOSITES ATRACT is now in a boxed set and on sale for $4.99--that's right 4 books for just over the price of one!
                        Happy Fall Soups!