Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Calling All Animal Lovers - by Laura Scott


Good morning! Today I'm talking about pets in books. This is Otis, for those of you who follow me on Facebook, I post pictures each Tuesday of my grand puppy. This may be the closest I get to being a grandma, ha! 

Otis is my son's dog and I watch him while Jon's working 12 hour shifts as a nurse at the level one trauma center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Otis is a red fox English Lab, and the cutest dog on the planet. He's about a year and a half old, and full of energy. I end up taking him on two walks a day just to wear him out so I can write. 

I love including pets in my stories, although it's not always easy when writing suspense. But I've managed to add a cute kitten in Caitlyn's Christmas, and my new series that kicked off this month, features a dog in every story! 

I'm allergic to cats, but my daughter has two and they are adorable. For me, there's nothing like coming home to a happy and excited dog.

I invite you to share your pet photo, and to follow me on Facebook to see more photos of Otis.

I mentioned my new series: Called to Protect. The first book, Sealed with Courage released on March 1, 2022 and the second book, Sealed with Honor released on March 15, 2022. 

The third book Sealed with Justice will release on April 5, 2022. The next three books will release in July, August and October. If you enjoy dogs you'll love this series!

Sealed with Justice by Laura Scott $3.99

Will they survive long enough to uncover the truth?

Retired Navy SEAL Hudson Foster returns to his hometown in Idaho minus one eye and suffering debilitating migraine headaches, thanks to his last op. His faithful German shepherd, Echo, keeps him grounded. When he unexpectedly runs into his former crush, Kendra Pickett, he learns she’s been poking her nose into a twenty-year-old murder, one in which he was the prime suspect. When the bullets start to fly, he’s grateful to save her, even though he is certain the killer is determined to tie up loose ends.

Critical care nurse Kendra Pickett has always believed Hudson Foster guilty of murdering her best friend, Zoey, but when shots are fired, Hudson saves her life. As the attempts against her escalate, she realizes someone else is responsible. Teaming up with Hudson is the best way to uncover the truth, even if that means putting her heart in his hands. But can they stay alive long enough to find the real killer?

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

A Bargain Sweet Later in Life Romance for You!

 Lyn Cote here~my clean romance mystery, UNCERTAIN SPRING, is on sale through March 30th for 99 cents! (Usually $3.99)

By starlight, a frantic dog leads Lois to a young woman lying in the snow, unconscious…

In the morning, the girl is diagnosed with a state of dis-associative fugue, a form of amnesia. No ID, no car, no clues. Taking in the nameless young woman and her dog, grandmother Lois finds an ally in the local vet, Dr. Jacob. Attraction sparks but isn’t falling in love only for the young?

And why isn’t anyone searching for the young woman? Or is someone? 

Another suspenseful, heart-warming, second chance on love romance set on the rugged shore of Lake Superior by a USA Today bestselling author.

Beautiful shore, Dangerous seasons~

“A very enjoyable and encouraging story! Just enough suspense, family drama and romance to keep you anticipating where the story would take you. I love the characters, human and furry, and the setting is perfect!”

“I love this author! She wraps the story around you and you don’t want to stop until the end.”

Click here for more info.


Monday, March 28, 2022

Writing Book Reviews: Cheryl St.John

It can be intimidating to write a review, and the process doesn't come naturally to everyone. Readers even say it's irritating when the seller immediately sends an email asking for a review, and they haven't had time to finish the book yet.

Don't be rushed

Enjoy the story and take notes as you're reading. The author doesn't expect you to be a professional writer--that's their job. The author loves it that you take the time to express how you felt about their story.

Read reviews on other books

What sort of reviews help you select a book to buy? Do you like quotes pulled from the book? Do you like fair warning about emotional triggers? What do others say that you can appreciate about their review style?

Hook the reader

Why did you pick up this book? Why do you think another reader should or shouldn’t? What was your takeaway? Explain what caught your attention.


Don’t write a synopsis of the book
Authors spend a lot of time on their story blurbs on the sales pages where readers can learn the premise. Focus on elements that you feel particularly strongly about or you think that your readers will want to be aware of. If you liked a character, explain why. If you didn’t like a character, make it clear why you felt that way. Did you appreciate the author’s writing style? How did the story make you feel?


Avoid spoilers
Please don't give away spoilers about secrets. Writers take special care to reveal plot points and secrets at appropriate times in a story. Reviews giving away the big moments are disappointing the the author, and readers don’t appreciate knowing what’s going to happen ahead of time. If you’ve done this in the past, please be kind and revise.


What matters is how you felt about the characters and their story
What worked or didn’t work? Was the story satisfying? Did you appreciate character development? Did the story end the way you hoped or was the conclusion better or worse than expected?

Always proofread

Did you use correct character names? Do you have typos? Did you give away a spoiler?


Where to leave reviews

There are places to leave reviews that help the author with visibility and sales. Familiarize yourself with them.

        Your blog




You love books, so have fun
Readers read reviews to make buying choices. Everyone appreciates a well thought out commentary on a book. Be creative with your remarks and write as though you’re speaking to the next reader trying to decide what to buy. You are.


Cheryl St.John is the author of over fifty novels, both historical and contemporary, print and indie published. Her stories have earned numerous RITA nominations, Romantic Times awards and are published in over a dozen languages. One thing all reviewers and readers agree on regarding Cheryl’s work is the degree of emotion and believability. Words like ‘heart-warming, emotional depth, touches your soul, tugs your heart, endearing characters and on my keeper shelf’ are commonly used to describe her work.

In describing Cheryl’s stories of second chances and redemption, readers and reviewers use words like, “emotional punch, hometown feel, core values, believable characters and real-life situations.” Amazon and Goodreads reviews show her popularity with readers.


Nashville fans will enjoy this story of a beloved country singer who returns to her roots and encounters the cowboy whose song she unknowingly stole.

Audrey Knox sacrificed to make a successful career in Nashville, but the bigger her star shines, the smaller her world has become. After an eye--opening incident on tour, she wants her daughter to experience small-town life as she knew it, so she takes a break from touring to reconnect with her roots and introduce the eight-year-old to life on Big Pines Ranch. Facing the past might be her biggest challenge yet.

Jericho Tanner has loved Audrey since they were children on adjoining ranches, their families entwined. He fills the void of intimacy, love and belonging with ranch work and his deputy position in Rockwell County, with aspirations of taking over as sheriff. Emotional vulnerability is frightening, and his walls are sturdy and tall. When Audrey and her young daughter show up in Spencer, he’s forced to see his wounds in a new light.

Sweet romance from a USAToday award-winning author

Saturday, March 26, 2022

The Bucket List

When did you first encounter the idea of a bucket list? And how did that idea strike you? My reaction was, shall we say, mixed? Though I wasn't sure how I felt about buckets...and kicking them, I liked the idea of listing what I wanted to see, do, and accomplish in my allotted years. Today I'm sharing a few of the stranger items I "bucketed" way back when.

1. Live on a horse ranch. This one seemed unlikely for a whole bouquet of reasons, but I achieved it in an unusual way. Years ago, we bought a home on the outskirts of town. It came with acreage and a stable with stalls and attached paddocks. Though we didn't own horse, we stabled them for others. One day as I was feeding, brushing, walking, and generally playing with "our" animals, I realized I was there, on my imagined horse ranch. Check off item #1.

2. Pet a live tiger. Okay, so I was a weird kid, but aren't tigers beautiful creatures? And their coats look so soft and warm! When my husband learned that the tigress at a nearby preserve had twins, he took me for a visit. The tiger I stroked was about two months old, beautiful, soft, and warm.

3. Visit every state and all the continents. This was a flight of fancy. Ordinary people didn't travel! Times have changed, and I can happily report that I've visited 45 of the 50 states and set foot on every continent except Antartica. One of our sons couldn't believe Hawaii is among the states we haven't seen. He said, "You've been to Egypt? And you haven't seen Hawaii?" Um, yeah. We now have our airplane tickets and within a few weeks, we'll check this one off the list. Then I'll just have the top three states in New England and, oh yeah, North Dakota. (I'm told that one's last for most folks.)

4. Watch a glacier calve. A cruise is a great way to achieve this and my husband took me cruising a few years ago. The sight was every bit as spectacular as I had imagined. What I hadn't imagined is a moving glacier's sound. Amazing! 

I still haven't seen the northern (or southern) lights, and I have other goals still waiting, but I can report that the Southern Cross looks the same from both Melbourne, Australia and Viacha, Bolivia. I've fed a Tasmanian devil joey, hiked in the Amazonian rainforest, flown in a helicopter, and held a koala in my arms. All in all, I've had surprising success with my goals and with a variety of rich experiences.

I'm sure my list is different from yours. We all get to create our own, and we all get to alter or add to them as we go. I'm thrilled at the items I've been able to cross off, and I look forward to checking off a few more. Each adds to the awe I feel at the amazing, wonderful world we share.

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.

Thursday, March 24, 2022

Celebrate Childhood Memories by Pat Simmons

Recently, I spoke with twin sisters from my old grade school. They were one of two sets. I hadn't connected with them since we graduated from a Catholic grade school that has since been demolished and replaced with condos.

I got a call from "Ann", one of the first set of twins about a rumor that a fellow classmate had died. The news saddened me, because the only memory of H.D. was he had a crush on every girl in our class. We promised to get together for lunch or dinner when the other set of twins visited St. Louis.

When I reached out on Facebook to tell "Lisa"--the other set of twins, she told me about another classmate who died. WOW. On a conference call weeks later with "Lisa" and her twin "Luella", we chatted about classmates who died too young, our families and ailments. We promised to stay connected. 

In a moment of reflection, I asked myself am I that old, or too young, to start losing classmates? My mom, who is in her 80s, often tells me about this or that classmate who passed away, but I never thought I would hear it so soon.

Some of the ones who died from my class were women who met tragic ends. Neither of them is in this photo. Yet, I still have memories of them. Reunions are important—class, family, company reunions. Life is short. I'm going to do better to stay connected.

Below is a picture of Wayne, "Ann", "Anita", and me at a grade school reunion a few years before the pandemic. Although Facebook has its faults, I've found about a dozen of them. I hope those I have lost touch with are healthy and blessed.  

Have you attended your high school reunion? What about your grade school? Do you have any old childhood photos?


Pat Simmons is a multi-published Christian romance author of more than thirty titles. She is a self-proclaimed genealogy sleuth 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. Christmas Dinner was also an Emma Award winner for Book of the Year. Christmas Dinner and Here for You were featured in Woman’s World Magazine.

As a Christian, Pat describes the evidence of the gift of the Holy Ghost as a life-altering experience. She has converted her sofa-strapped sports fanatical husband into an amateur travel agent, untrained bodyguard, and GPS-guided chauffeur. 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. Visit her at

Check out one of her most popular series inspired by her own family genealogy research.


Monday, March 21, 2022

Travel Tips for Long flights by Janice Lynn


In my Wrapped Up in Christmas series from Hallmark Publishing, one of my butterflies, Claudia, longs to travel (I think she gets that from me! LOL). Definitely, flying is on my brain as later this year my husband and I will be taking our first trip to Europe. We're doing some land things, but also a Mediterranean cruise. We're sailing out of Barcelona and will be visiting ports in Spain, France, & Italy. We've tacked on a few days for visiting London and Paris prior to setting sail. Wanting to not make amateur mistakes, I've been reading lots of blogs and watching Travel Tip videos. I've a long list of tips. I'm noting anything that stands out, but I'll cull my actually bringing with us list way down prior to our trip. 

Although there are a lot of fun and useful gadgets out there, I want to keep my packing simple and light. I doubt I'll end up doing it, but I've been contemplating only bringing a carry-on bag and handbag as that's what lots of travel blogs recommend. My best friend keeps saying No, don't do it!! LOL. I'll make the final determination based upon how much of my stuff fits into my carry-on. For now, as we plan ahead, I have ordered a few items and have them ready for use. 

Some of the more fun items are a collapsible cup. Most of the videos I've watched have recommended bringing your own water bottle. I kept thinking how I didn't want to have to carry a bottle around with me all the time and how much room it would take up in my suitcase. One of the videos recommended using a collapsible cup/bottle. I read lots of reviews and ended up ordering two of this one. We plan to try them out prior to traveling, but I really like how convenient they are. 

Another find I'm happy with is my travel pillow. The gray bag hooked next to the cup has the pillow, an eye mask, and ear plugs in it. When I removed it from the bag the first time, I worried that I would be able to get it all back into the bag, but I got it without a lot of trouble by rolling it up tightly the way the instructions recommended. Yay! Both the cup and the neck pillow bag are easy to unclip. I have the heart clip on my bag as it was something I already had to make my bag stand out from all the other black suitcases. It's small, useful, and easily hooks to the zipper. 

I've bought packing cubes, TSA approved toiletry holders, European & UK plug converters, a selfie stick that works as a tripod and has a remote, and another eye mask for hubby. 

I'd love to hear about your travel must have items. Something I'm still hoping to find is a great personal item bag for international travel. I have a few bags saved, but I haven't purchased one, yet as I haven't found exactly what I want. 

In case you're traveling and interested in some of my finds, I'm sharing links below for your convenience. I am not endorsed by any of these companies. These are just things I found via research that I liked enough to buy and that are in my photo. There may be way better items, but when I compared my options these worked well for me.

Also, I may already have them on my list, but I'd love to hear your cruise/travel tips. Any dos or don'ts that you feel I should know when going to Europe? Am I crazy if I only bring a carry-on?

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.  The WRAPPED UP IN CHRISTMAS books are available at AMAZON Barnes & Noble WALMART & many other place where you buy books. WRAPPED UP IN CHRISTMAS LOVE  coming Christmas 2023.

Saturday, March 19, 2022

Signs of Spring by Merri Maywether

Last week, my principal entered the building, beaming. He had good news and was excited to share it. He barely made it in the hall when he announced, “I saw geese.”
We hooted, high fives were shared, and everyone smiled for the rest of the afternoon. His news was truly good. 

This was a big deal because we still had snow on the ground, and probably will until after Easter. While our friends are posting pictures of budding trees and flower blossoms, we’re looking at snow and mud. That doesn’t deter us from our appreciation of spring. We just have to look for different signs.  In this post, I will share the signs that spring is on the way. 

Signs of Spring When You're From Central Montana

🌱 We hear the geese flying north to Canada.
🌱 We see the male gophers running along the dirt roads.
🌱 The sun rises minutes before our school day begins.
🌱 4H has its annual butter braid sale.
🌱 The three churches join together for the weekly pot luck soup supper.
🌱 The kids are anxious to play outside–they just as quickly want to return indoors because the sunlight is deceptive and it’s still cold. 
🌱 We can get away with wearing hoodies in the afternoon.

🌱 People switch from hot cocoa to tea.
🌱 The sun is still up when we drive home at the end of the day.
🌱 We can hear the high school students talk about prom dresses and tuxedo styles.
🌱 The local drive-in opens, and regardless of the weather people will visit it to buy a chocolate milkshake. (This is my favorite sign)
Sure this is a list, but it is something even more exciting to us. It means that the days of eating fruits and vegetables fresh from our gardens, sitting around the outdoor fires and chatting, and exploring the state are just around the corner. 

All of us sweet romance readers are from different parts of the country. What is your favorite sign of the changing season?

🌱   🌱   🌱

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.  Abigail Cahill returns to her hometown of Three Creeks, Montana. The traditions are the same, but the people are different than she remembered. In this feel-good, love story, her brother's best friend will help her find the beauty of second chances and the meaning behind Welcome Home. 

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

Friday, March 18, 2022

New Release: Maybe I'm the One and a Playlist

 Nashville fans will enjoy this story of a beloved country singer who returns to her roots and encounters the cowboy whose song she unknowingly stole.

Audrey Knox sacrificed to make a successful career in Nashville, but the bigger her star shines, the smaller her world has become. After an eye--opening incident on tour, she wants her daughter to experience small-town life as she knew it, so she takes a break from touring to reconnect with her roots and introduce the eight-year-old to life on Big Pines Ranch. Facing the past might be her biggest challenge yet.

Jericho Tanner has loved Audrey since they were children on adjoining ranches, their families entwined. He fills the void of intimacy, love and belonging with ranch work and his deputy position in Rockwell County, with aspirations of taking over as sheriff. Emotional vulnerability is frightening, and his walls are sturdy and tall. When Audrey and her young daughter show up in Spencer, he’s forced to see his wounds in a new light.

Sweet romance from a USAToday award-winning author

I create a playlist for each book while I'm writing it, and it goes through a metamorphous before the book is finished and ready to share with the world. The songs must convey a mood or portray how a character was feeling during a scene. In Maybe I'm the One I'd have been remiss if I hadn't used a Maybelle Carter song, since Maybelle was Audrey's idol, and Audrey owns something really special of hers.



You Are the Reason – Calum Scott

Adore You – Harry Styles

To Love Somebody – Beyries

Have I Told You Lately – Rod Stewart

Good as You – Kane Brown

To Fight is to Lose – Mia Dyson

This Time – Connie Britton

Changes – Langhorne Slim

Fade Into You – Sam Palladio & Clare Bowen

This Little Bird  Marianne Faithful

Wildwood Flower – Maybelle Carter

Fearless – Cyndi Lauper

Landslide – Liam Titcomb

Time After Time – Eva Cassidy

When the Right One Comes Along – Sam Palladio & Clare Bowen

A Groovy Kind of Love – Phil Collins

If you have Amazon Music, you can enjoy listening here.

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Cover Reveals from Author Kimberly Rose Johnson

 There are times in life where everything comes together at the same time. That is how 2022 has been for me. It's been quite a whirlwind for sure!

When this post goes live, movers will be at my house packing it away into storage until our little cabin is finished being built, hopefully sometime soon, but I'm not holding my breath. 

At the same time, I have a book releasing on audio, and I received the cover art for the final audio book in my Protection Inc. series. I will picture both below.

Love Finds You in San Antonio is also a movie! This will be my first credit pictured on the TV screen. When my publisher called me up and asked me to co-write this book, I jumped at the opportunity. I've been writing screenplays for a couple of years now, so to be able to write the book for a movie was a no brainer. 

I was assigned to write the story for Sandra, a strong secondary character. Talk about fun! I hope you check out the book on GoodReads or Amazon and mark it as "want to read." The book is on pre-order for a discount and it will be in Kindle Unlimited.

Here's the back cover description:

For TV chef Adela Romero, the lights of LA have lost their luster. The grief of her husband’s death three years ago still hangs heavy over her and her daughter, Fabi.

When Adela hears her mother-in-law’s Mexican diner is struggling, she decides to return to San Antonio and try to make a fresh start—though she can’t leave the media attention entirely behind.

Local food critic David Agraponte has a history with Adela. A history he’d like to rekindle. When he interviews Adela, sparks fly—both good and bad. In Adela’s struggle to put her past behind her, she’s tentative about a new relationship, but David hopes she’ll stay at Romero’s long enough to give him a chance.

Sandra always dreamed of managing Romero’s one day, but her chances of proving herself to her aunt are slim with her famous TV-chef cousin taking all the attention. Can’t her aunt see that Adela’s just passing through on her way to her next big gig? Still, as much as she resents it, Sandra may need Adela’s help if there is going to be a Romero’s left for her to manage.

When Adela gets a TV offer that’s sure to shoot her career to the stars, her choice may hold more than just her future in the balance. Can David and Adela find a way to save Romero’s and hold onto their own dreams, or will Adela’s opportunity push them apart?

Kimberly Rose Johnson writes stories that warm the heart and feed the soul. Her books include: contemporary romance, romantic mystery, and cozy romantic suspense. Learn more about Kimberly and see her book list on her website

Monday, March 14, 2022

Happy Pi Day by Merrillee Whren

March fourteenth is Pi Day. I have often blogged about Pi Day because my blog day is the fourteenth of each month. This year I was thinking that Pi Day may only apply in places that write their dates with the month first, rather than the day first. 

We recently went to Cancun, Mexico, on a vacation with our younger daughter and her family. When we were filling out the forms for immigration when we arrived, we were reminded to put the day of the month first, which is opposite of the way we here in the USA write our dates. So I'm thinking a lot of places that write their dates with the day first wouldn't even think of March fourteenth as PI Day. Maybe they like to think of it as PIE Day. 

Here is a blueberry pie, marked with the Pi symbol, that I baked on Pi Day a few years ago just for fun.

In the sixth book of my Front Porch promises series, A Baby to Call Ours, a marriage of convenience story, my heroine doesn't know how to cook, but she is learning. She wants to bake an apple pie, but while she's at the store, she hears some disturbing news.

Here's an excerpt.

     Now everything was different. She had no baby on the way. Did Jimmy feel trapped in this marriage? She wanted to talk to him about it, but she didn’t know how to bring it up or what to say. He still needed a wife. A divorce wouldn’t look good to his uncle. She wished she knew what Jimmy wanted. She wished she knew what she wanted. Her emotions floundered in a sea of confusion.

     Shaking away all the troubling thoughts, Kelsey got out of the car. Jimmy would be home tonight after another out-of-town trip. She wanted to buy some groceries to make him a special supper to celebrate his return. She had surprised herself at how much she enjoyed cooking. Besides fried chicken, Mary had told Kelsey that he loved steak and baked potatoes. That should be easy to fix, if she could figure out how to light the grill.

     Kelsey grabbed a shopping cart and pushed it into the store. She headed for the produce department in search of the perfect baking potatoes. After she selected two, one large and one small, she spied the apples. Did she dare try to make an apple pie, another one of Jimmy’s favorites? She would try.

     After she selected the apples, she moved on to the large display of cheeses. Jimmy loved cheese in the sandwiches he often took in his lunch, and she wanted to get him something special. While she perused the cheeses, she heard two women talking as they stood on the opposite side of the display. The mention of Jimmy’s name caught her attention.

     “Do you know who’s back in town?” asked one woman, not waiting for the other woman to respond. “Whitney Hamilton.”

     “She hasn’t been back in years, even to visit. Why is she back?”

    “Her dad’s health has really declined in the last six months. I think her mom begged her to come home to help.”

     “I wonder what she thinks about both Mitch and Jimmy being married.”

     “I don’t think she cares that much about Mitch. She always had her sights set on Jimmy. He was the one she was in love with, even when she dumped him for Mitch.” The woman sighed. “Jimmy Cunningham can sure turn some heads with those good looks of his.”

     “Yeah, but then he runs off and marries some young thing that he barely knew.”

    “Someone told me they thought she was pregnant, a one-night stand that resulted in a rush to get married.”

     “I heard they don’t even live together. Is that true?”

     “I don’t know, but it wouldn’t surprise me, if Whitney has her way, that Jimmy won’t be married for long. Those two couldn’t stay away from each other even when she was engaged to Mitch.”

     Kelsey wanted to run out of the store. If those women saw her, would they know who she was, or were they just talking about some nameless, faceless woman who was part of the small town’s rumor mill? She would forget the cheese, grab the steaks, and get out of this store.

     Hoping the women couldn’t see her, Kelsey kept her face turned away as she found her way to the meat department. Hurriedly she looked over the steaks and grabbed a couple of packages and threw them into her cart and barreled down the aisle toward the checkout lane.

     When Kelsey finally reached her car, she tossed the plastic bags containing her purchase on the passenger seat as she slid behind the wheel. While she drove home, she let those women’s comments replay in her mind. Had people guessed about her pregnancy? Well, now there was no baby.

     Kelsey’s heart twisted, and the tears flowed. She wasn’t even sure she knew why she was crying. The loss of her baby. All the pretending. The thought of losing Jimmy. Maybe all of it pressed down on her spirit. What had happened to the cheerful college student she’d been last fall when she’d first met Jimmy?


Is Kelsey able to make a pie? Does Whitney go after Jimmy? Grab a copy of A Baby to Call Ours and find out. Click on the title to find buy links.

So whether you celebrate Pi Day or Pie Day, celebrate with a book.

If you live outside the USA, how do you write your dates? If you live in the USA, have you ever had to write the date starting with the day rather than the month?

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.

Friday, March 11, 2022

Maffie Stage Stop and a New Novella by Vickie McDonough

About ten years ago, my husband and I visited the MaHaffie Stage Stop when I was doing research for a series I wanted to write a series set in Kansas. Little did I know then that my trip to MaHaffe's would inspire me to write a three-book trade fiction series. Years later, I penned a novella called Julia, which is set on the Santa Fe Trail, where MaHaffe's is located near Olathe, Kansas. Now, I'm writing another novella, Laney, with the same setting. 

Mahaffie Stage Stop and Farm

James B. and Lucinda Mahaffie purchased the farm in 1857. In 1858, the Mahaffies used oxen to move the wood frame home from the downtown lot they purchased in November of 1857 to their new holdings, about a mile outside of Olathe. The family lived in that home until the new stone house that still stands was finished late in 1865. The Mahaffie farm was one of the most prosperous in Johnson County in the 1860s and early 1870s. The farm is located on the “Westport Route” of the Santa Fe Trail, which also carried travelers leaving Westport, Missouri and crossing what is now the Kansas City metro region for the Oregon and California Trails as well as the Santa Fe Trail.

Julia is on sale for 99 cents / Laney is on pre-order

The Barlow, Sanderson, and Company Stagecoach Line contracted with the Mahaffie family to provide one of the stops needed for their coaches carrying passengers and, in some cases, mail between Fort Scott and Fort Leavenworth, and from Independence, Missouri all the way to Santa Fe, New Mexico.

It is believed the Mahaffies started serving meals to travelers from their first home as early as 1858. By 1864, coaches began using the farm as a stop. Late in 1865 and until about 1870, coach passengers and other hungry travelers took their meals in the basement of the “new” stone farmhouse, designed to serve as a kitchen and dining hall.

In 1867, Lucinda, her daughters, and hired helpers might have served as many as 50 to 100 meals a day. While coach passengers ate, incoming teams of horses were switched for fresh animals. Follow in the footsteps of these same passengers and travelers when you visit!

What can you see there? The Heritage House Museum gives you some of the history of Mahaffie's, and you can tour the historic farmhouse, barn, ice house, cellar, smokehouse, blacksmith, and more.  Check out