Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Free Books for You!

 

AMY'S FOREVER LOVE by Lyn Cote is 
FREE through Jan 28th!
Never free before.

One frigid evening, Amy and her twin  girls find and take in two orphaned kittens. When she meets the local veterinarian, his basset hound instantly “adopts” the kittens too. Like it or not, Amy and the vets’ lives intersect with some “help." Can a basset hound, two kittens and twin girls succeed as matchmakers? Click here for more info.


"Amy’s Forever Love is a wonderful, heartwarming, sweet and clean romance. Amy and Jake’s story pulled me right in. I was delighted with the kittens in the story and the antics of Jake’s dog, Bummer. The active twins added a special touch to the story! A fantastic story you don’t want to miss!"


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Target For Terror by Laura Scott FREE through January 31st.



From USA Today Bestselling Author Laura Scott

"If you leave on your own, you’ll be dead by morning." 

Critical Care Nurse Natalia Sokolova can’t ignore former FBI Agent Sloan Dryer’s dire warning. After the Deputy Prime Minister of Russia dies under her care, her house explodes in front of her eyes and now she’s found her best friends brutally murdered. Ironically, the only bright spot in this nightmare is Sloan’s bad Ukrainian accent and his willingness to protect her.

Sloan is convinced that someone wants to kill Natalia and when he finds a link to her family, he’s not sure who they can trust. As they run for their lives, and from the attraction simmering between them, they uncover a terrorist plot that could bring the nation to its knees. Time is running out. Can Sloan and Natalia save their country and their future, before it’s too late?

"Thrilling! If you enjoy the works of Irene Hannon or Elizabeth Goddard, you will want to give this a try." L. Couter VINE VOICE


Amazon B&N Apple GooglePlay Kobo

Monday, January 24, 2022

My Best Book Covers Ever! by Pat Simmons

  As an author, it's heartwarming when readers compliment our covers. I've had some great and gorgeous covers---indie and traditional--over the yers, but there are two that stand out. DRIVEN TO BE LOVED, featuring my daughter Simi Simmons and my most recent Christmas story, WAITING FOR CHRISTMAS. I mean what's the point of being an author mom and not have your son and daughter grace the covers? :) As any child, or adults in this case, they had a preference on what kind of story they would represent. I had to remind them, the stories aren't about them.

It was funny for friends and relatives to see the newest cover and say, "That looks like my nephew."

My response, "It is."



Simi is on an updated cover of a traditionally published story. The book cover I imagined for Jay didn't work for him because he didn't like the hero in the story. Really? I had to create WAITING FOR CHRISTMAS from scratch and it pressure. I've written about 40 books and novellas, and the pressure was intense. I had to make my son be a good guy in case some of his coworkers thought the story was really about him, and I felt my writing had to be better than best in case people hadn't read me. 
Yeah, it was pressure. Well, my mission has been accomplished and I'm glad it's over. Whew. Now, on to my next project.

I hope you will check these stories out. They're good. Take it from the Mom. LOL
About WAITING FOR CHRISTMAS
A chance meeting.
An undeniable attraction.
And a first date that starts with a stakeout that leads to a winner takes all shopping spree. It’s the making of a holiday romance.
While philanthropist Sterling Price believes in charitable causes, he and licensed social worker Ciara Summers have a difference of opinion on how to bless others.
Ciara is a rebel with a cause and a hundred reasons why helping those less fortunate is important.
Sterling is a man of means who believes there is a financial responsibility that comes with giving.
The Lord will make sure everyone’s needs are met, and He has something extra for Sterling and Ciara that  can’t wait until Christmas.

About DRIVEN TO BE LOVED:
It doesn’t matter how many years go by, love will always find a way….On the surface, Brecee Carmen has nothing in common with Adrian Cole. She is a pediatrician certified in trauma care; he is a transportation problem-solver for a luxury car dealership (a.k.a., a car salesman). Despite their slow but steady attraction to each other, neither one of them is sure that they're compatible. To complicate matters, Brecee is the sole unattached Carmen daughter when it seems as though everyone else around her—family and friends—is finding love.Through a series of discoveries, Adrian and Brecee learn that things don't always happen by coincidence. Generational forces are at work, keeping promises, protecting family members, and perhaps even drawing Adrian back to the church he had strayed from. Is it possible that God has been playing matchmaker all along?

Visit my Amazon page: 
--------------------------
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 four-time recipient of the RSJ Emma Rodgers Award for Best Inspirational Romance: Still Guilty, Crowning Glory, The Confession, and Christmas Dinner. Pat’s first inspirational women’s fiction, Lean On Me, with Sourcebooks, was the February/March Together We Read Digital Book Club pick for the national library system. Here for You and Stand by Meare also part of the Family is Forever series. Her holiday indie release, Christmas Dinner, and traditionally published, Here for You, were featured in Woman’s World, a national magazine. Here for You was also listed in the “7 Great Reads That Help to Keep the Faith” by Sisters From AARP. She contributed an article, “I’m Listening” in the Chicken Soup for the Soul: I’m Speaking Now (2021).

 

As a Christian, 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 and worked in various positions in radio, television, and print media for more than twenty years. She oversaw the media publicity for the annual RT Booklovers Conventions for fourteen years. Visit her at www.patsimmons.net.

Friday, January 21, 2022

Quilts of Valor #NSD2022 by Janice Lynn

 If you know much about me at all, then you know I am a proud advocate for the organization, Quilts of Valor Foundation. If you're unfamiliar with them, they're a group whose mission is to wrap our military, past and present, in quilts of healing. The organization was started in 2003 after its founder, Blue Star mom, Catherine Roberts, had a a dream where a dejected soldier was wrapped in a quilt of comfort and his demeanor changed. At the time, her son was deployed in Iraq. She and her quilting group began making & awarding these comforting quilts and from that, Quilts of Valor Foundation was formed. The group will soon award its 300,000th quilt. Yep, that's 300,000 men and women wrapped in quilts to welcome them home and to let them know they are appreciated. 

Straight from the Quilts of Valor Foundation website, "

What is a Quilt of Valor?

A Quilt of Valor® (QOV) is a quality, handmade quilt that is machine or hand quilted. It is awarded to a Service Member or Veteran who has been touched by war.  The Quilt says unequivocally, “Thank you for your service and sacrifice in serving our nation.”

To use the term Quilt of Valor, Quilts of Valor or QOV, the quilt must be a specific size, must have a label with required information, it must be awarded (it is not a gift) and it must be recorded. "

If you've ever done much sewing, then you may be aware of how much work goes into making a quilt. Finding the right material, buying it, cutting it up to then sew it back together in your chosen pattern, sandwiching the top with the bottom with a batting in the middle, then quilting it. Much love goes into a Quilt of Valor. I sew with more passion rather than any real talent. Sometimes I feel as if I rip out more stitches than I leave in. Fortunately, there are many men and women who do have great talent and some of the quilts that have been presented are just amazing. Fortunately, like me, one doesn't have to have great skills to be involved. There are many, many ways to help, should you want to. One of those ways is the great National Sew Day that they sponsor each first Saturday in February. This year's #NSD2022 is on February 5th.  QOVF will be sharing videos of the day's events on their Youtube channel. Everyone is welcome to join in with the Sew Day in their homes and online. 

But I'm not a quilter, you may say. Do you sew? If not, maybe you'd like to learn? I encourage you to reach out to your local Quilts of Valor groups. I'm amazed by just how many of them there are, but if you're not fortunate enough to be near one and there aren't other sewing/quilting groups in your area, then check out Youtube. There are wonderful tutorials to walk one through the basics of making a quilt block. Yep, a quilt block, because you see, you don't have to make a commitment to making an entire quilt. The reality is, an entire quilt is a huge commitment and maybe some day you'll feel up to doing just that. For now, I challenge you to commit to making a single quilt block, two, three, or more if you feel so inclined. Any patriotic quilt block would be appreciated and used, but each year QOVF does a specific block drive. This year's is called the Floating Churn Dash. PDF2022-Floating-Churn-Dash.pdf



In my sweet Hallmark Wrapped Up in Christmas series, I write stories featuring Quilts of Valor. In the first, my hero received a Quilt of Valor made and donated by the heroine. That quilt changed his life and he wanted to thank her and thus their story starts. 

I'm truly a believer in that it is better to give than to receive and it is in giving that we achieve true peace and joy in life. I hope you'll join me on Saturday February 5th as I'll be sewing/posting/partying on my Facebook page. I'll be doing some fun giveaways that day, so don't miss out. :) @JaniceLynnAuthor



Janice's Wrapped Up in Christmas books from Hallmark Publishing are available!
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. www.janicelynn.com  The WRAPPED UP IN CHRISTMAS books are available at AMAZON Barnes & Noble WALMART & many other place where you buy books. WRAPPED UP IN CHRISTMAS #4 coming Christmas 2023.

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

An Update On Life From the Far, Far North by Merri Maywether


This is Merri.

I have a quick update from our slice of the world. Our year started with a proud moment.  Montana State moved on to the Football Championship Subdivision. Don't ask me what it means. I just know from the excitement and numbers being thrown around that it was a big deal. It had been the first time in ten years the team had reached that level of success.

What made it even more exciting is one of the starting players came from our little school.

When we first moved to Sweet Grass, I substituted. To this day, I remember substituting for the phys ed class. The girls did not want to play, and they were pretty vehement about it.

We were playing kickball. I was like, c'mon, it's kickball. The kind with the red bouncy ball. And because it was too cold outside, we played inside the gym. The worst thing that could happen was we would lose. To emphasize the point, I volunteered to play.

Boy, was I wrong.

The girls added rules to the game. If the ball touched the ceiling, the kicker had to run laps. The teams had to switch after the other team accumulated ten points. There were others, and the boys agreed. That should have been my sign that I was in over my head. 

The boys were gracious enough to take the field for the first inning. Well, our first kicker hit the ceiling. The second girl got on first base. I was up, and I soft kicked it, so the boys would have to run in for the ball. 

It worked. Remember, one of these kids went on to play college football. The small space worked to my advantage. Until they had a handle on the ball. The kid that went on to be a college player threw that red bouncy ball so hard I saw my life flash before my eyes as it whizzed by my head. 

I stopped running to yell, "Hey, why would you throw a ball that hard at an old lady." 

These kids were competitive and clever. They replied, "Nice try. Thirty isn't considered old." 

My team lost the game. The girls gave me the "I told you so glare," and life went on. 

Three years later, the same kid that tried nailing me with a red bouncy ball got a football scholarship to Montana State. None of us were surprised. And all of us were proud. 

When the Montana State Bobcats hit a winning streak, we knew he had something to do with it. 

It also meant making football food. Chatter about recipes hit the aisles of our mercantile. When I heard the taco pie recipe, I had to make it, and I was not disappointed. It was so good; my husband volunteered to wash the dishes. 

As for the game–well, the team we played (North Dakota State) had won the past eight out of the ten championships. And our quarterback was injured and out of the game after the first play. 

Montana State may have lost the game, but it won a large chunk of admiration from a small town that is just south of the Canadian border. 

And now I'm not so bitter about losing that kickball game all those years ago. 

***

 p.s. Here is a copy of the taco pie recipe. May it bring you volunteers to wash the dishes too. 


Monday, January 17, 2022

Bargain Books For Our Readers!

 


FATAL WINTER by Lyn Cote is on sale for 99c until the 19th

Bookstore owner Sylvie and detective Ridge share a painful history — but when they discover the dead body of Sylvie’s cousin, they have no choice but to work together to unravel the truth…


“This book grabs your interest on page one and never lets up. Sylvie and Ridge and various family members are well developed and believable…This typical small town mystery is superb!”


“It was nonstop action from beginning to end and a great addition to the Northern Shore Intrigue series. Each book is a standalone with no cliffhanger…


She creates her characters with such detail you can almost see them and the storylines draw you in as a participant. Twists and turn, love and mystery.”


Winter Fury~ “There are layers of things going on. This book is well thought out and worth every moment of your time!” 


“Although Fatal Winter is book three, it can be read as a stand alone.” Why not download today while it’s on sale—ONLY 99 cents? Click here for more info.


****



NEW YEAR HEARTS by Josie Riviera is a new release and on sale for only 99 cents for a limited time.

This set includes three sweet romances:

A Chocolate-Box New Years

Some recipes don’t turn out quite as you predicted…

A Chocolate-Box Irish Wedding

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

1-800-NEW YEAR

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

 

Four Little Blessings on sale for 99 cents through January 21, 2022.



Available at these retailers

Amazon

Apple

B&N

Kobo

Sunday, January 16, 2022

My Favorite Things by Kimberly Rose Johnson

 

This is my second annual post about my favorite things. I've divided my favorite things into categories and they are in no particular order.

Household Cleaners- I have very sensitive skin so I'm careful about the products I use.  
Dr. Bonner's 18-In-1 Hemp Peppermint Pure-Castile Soap is my newest favorite. I dilute it and use it for hand washing as well as general cleaning. It smells super good and it is literally one of the best cleaners I've ever used. Most importantly, it doesn't bother my skin at all!
Norwex Laundry Detergent. I have a high efficiency washer and in my opinion those things don't clean well, so I need an exceptional cleaner. Norwex Laundry Detergent makes my towels feel soft and they have zero scent. I LOVE it. 

Coffee- I discovered two coffees recently that I absolute love: 
Barnie's and Silver Falls. Both are pictured below. After getting headaches constantly from various coffee brands I realized that decaf coffee can be decaffeinated in more than one way. One uses nasty chemicals and another uses a water filtration process. Silver Falls uses a water filtration process and now I no longer have a headache after drinking decaf coffee. I also can't have gluten. Barnie's coffee is gluten free and the taste is Amazing. My favorite blends are in the pictures below.

Apps- I'm a bit of a health nut as well as sweet romance movie nut. I've discovered two apps that feed my hobbies. 
Fiton: A free app you can download to your smart TV,  computer or phone. They have exercise classes that are extremely well done and are constantly updating the content. I highly recommend this app. I use it four to five days a week. LOVE it!
Frndly TV: This is a paid app, but the cost is low. It includes all the Hallmark channels, UP TV and many more family friendly channels. I had so many Christmas movies available to watch this year, I had to pick and choose. I was like a kid in a candy store.

Personal Care- As I already stated I'm a health nut, as such I seek out personal care products that are clean. 
Kopari Coconut Melt is simply coconut oil to be used as moisturizer. It's sold at places like Sephora rather than the grocery store. Sure I could save money and pick up standard coconut oil but this stuff is a luxury that for me is worth the money.

Entertainment- 
Audiobooks are my absolute favorite. I'm on the computer a lot, so reading after work is a challenge for my eyes. Enter audiobooks. I can listen while I cook dinner, clean, drive, or exercise. I even set the timer at night sometimes so I can be read to sleep. Sometimes I actually fall asleep and have to go back to see what I missed lol.
Vinyl records: I'm old enough that in the early years of my life all I had were vinyl records. I recently re-discovered them and have to wonder why I ever stopped using them, other than for convenience. I can't listen to vinyl in the car or on a walk etc...

That's my list for 2022. What are some of your favorite things?

Award winning author Kimberly Rose Johnson writes suspense and romance that warms the heart and feeds the soul. Learn more about Kimberly at https://kimberlyrjohnson.com/

Friday, January 14, 2022

New Release by Merrillee Whren!

My latest book, Hometown Hero, the fifth book in my Kellersburg series is now available at the following retailers.

Amazon

Apple

B&N

Kobo 

This book features lots of dogs and a dozen places across the United States. I've lived in eleven states, so when I thought about doing the Twelve Dogs of Christmas, I needed twelve places where the recipients would live. I decided to use the states where I have lived. Since I've only lived in eleven states, I used the town where one of my daughters lives to make twelve. So if you like a little bit of armchair travel, this book may appeal to you. I also incorporated a little bit of real life into the story. In one scene where the troupe visits Tombstone, Arizona, I used this experience to write the scene. That's me, the lady in red!

I also put this cute little pup into the story. This is Bella, our granddaughters' dog, a sweet Maltipoo. In the story I named her Angel.

What is your favorite breed of dog?
 
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.
 
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 11, 2022

Walking into 2022 by Josie Riviera

 I post this every January because the sentiment proves so popular. Here it is again. 

Only the year has changed.




"I'm walking into 2022 with a clear heart and a clear mind.  If you owe me, don't worry about it--you're welcome.  If you wronged me, it's all good--lesson learned. If you're angry with me, you've won. If we aren't speaking, it's cool. (I love you and I wish you well.) If you feel I wronged you, I apologize. Life is too short for all the anger, grudges, and extra pain, and we as people are not perfect."

God bless us all! Here's to 2022!


New Release! New Year Hearts

Only 99¢ for a limited time.




This boxed set includes 3 sweet romances:

A Chocolate-Box New Years

Some recipes don’t turn out quite as you predicted…

A Chocolate-Box Irish Wedding

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

1-800-NEW YEAR

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


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/




Friday, January 7, 2022

Epiphany Donuts ~ Jean C. Gordon

For those of you have been reading the blog for a while, you may recall me mentioning my father's tradition of making donuts to celebrate the Feast of the Three Kings, a tradition he got from his mother. Dad would make a half dozen of the donuts without jelly inside and put a dime inside five and a quarter in the sixth. Whoever got the quarter was the "winner" for the day.

Unfortunately, Dad's recipe was lost when my brothers and I cleared out Mom and Dad's house. This year, I finally found a recipe that duplicates his. Thank you The Spruce Eats!

Traditional Polish Pączki

Prep: 35 mins ~ Cook: 18 mins ~ Rise Time: 2 hrs 15 mins
Total: 3 hrs 8 mins ~ Yield: 24 doughnuts

Ingredients 

1/2 cups milk, warm, about 110 F

2 packages active dry yeast (4 1/2 teaspoons)

1 1/2 cups milk, warm, about 110F

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup butter, at room temperature

1 large egg, at room temperature

3 large egg yolks, at room temperature

1 teaspoon salt

4 1/2 to 5 cups all-purpose flour (about 20 1/4 ounces to 22 1/2 ounces)

1 gallon vegetable oil, for deep-frying

About 1/2 cup granulated sugar, for rolling, optional (Dad favored granulated sugar)

About 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar, for rolling, optional

1 cup jam or fruit paste, for filling, optional

  • Directions

    Add the yeast to the warm milk. Stir to dissolve and set aside.

    In a large bowl or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the sugar and butter until fluffy.

    Beat in the egg, egg yolks, and salt until well incorporated.

    Still using the paddle attachment, add 4 1/2 cups flour, alternating with the milk-yeast mixture. Beat for 5 or more minutes by machine or longer by hand until smooth. (Old-fashioned directions call for beating the dough with a wooden spoon until it blisters.) The dough will be very slack. If it's too soft, add the remaining 1/2 cup flour but no more.

    Place the dough in a greased bowl. Turn to grease the other side.

    Cover the top with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in bulk, anywhere from 1 to 2 1/2 hours.

    Punch down and let rise again, about 45 minutes.

    Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Pat or roll to 1/2-inch thickness. Cut rounds with a 3-inch biscuit cutter close together so you will have minimal scraps. Remove scraps and reroll and recut.

    Cover the sheet with a damp towel and let rounds rise until doubled in bulk, 30 minutes or longer, before frying.

    In a large skillet or Dutch oven (Dad used a deep fryer), heat oil to 350 F. Place the risen pączki top-side down (the dry side) in the oil a few at a time and fry 2 to 3 minutes or until the bottom is golden brown.

    Flip them over and fry another 1 to 2 minutes or until golden brown. Make sure the oil doesn't get too hot so the exterior doesn't brown before the interior is done. Test a cool one to make sure it's cooked through. Adjust cooking time and oil heat accordingly.

    Roll in granulated sugar while still warm. If you want to fill them, poke a hole in the side of the pączki and, using a pastry bag, squeeze in a generous dollop of the filling of choice. Then dust the filled pączki with granulated sugar, confectioners' sugar, or an icing glaze.

    Pączki don't keep well, so for the best taste, be sure to gobble them up the same day you make them or else freeze them. Enjoy.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Dad's recipe isn't all I have to share today. I also have a COVER REVEAL with a special Kindle only preorder. Some of you may have lent me a hand coming up with cover art in the Sweet Romance Reads Cafe on Facebook

    For all intents and purposes, they’re complete opposites. 

    Midwife Autumn Hazard catches babies and offers her mothers the option of home births. Ob/GYN Dr. Jonathan Hanlon delivers his patients' babies only at a hospital or other medical facility with the most advanced equipment available. She loves the small-town birthing center where she practices. To him, the center is simply a stepping stone to something bigger. Family is everything to her. He keeps his distance from his.

    Complete opposites. Except, that is, when it comes to love.

    Welcome to Paradox Lake (Book Four)

    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.

    SPECIAL KINDLE ONLY PREORDER 

    (Available soon from other online booksellers ~ Releases February 10)

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


    For My New Releases