Sunday, April 30, 2023

Family is Everything by Laura Scott


Mother's Day is right around the corner, and that holiday always makes me think of family. I know, it's a little strange, because I don't get that same feeling from Father's Day. (Then again, I'm not a dad, ha!) Family is very important to me, and I'm sure to many of you as well. 

Sure, there are good and bad times with families. Siblings don't always get along. But when times are tough my experience has been that family pulls together to get through the difficulties. 

Some of you may have read my Finnegan First Responders series where the focus is also on family. A fictional one to be sure, although I have to be honest. They've come alive in my mind, and hopefully that is reflected on the page.

I've had so much fun writing the Finnegan siblings! There's something about how they come together in a crisis that I find reflected in my own life. Maybe not because bullets are flying or bad guys have chased me down, but any trouble, big or small tends to draw our family together.

If you haven't tried my Finnegan First Responder series, you may want to give it a try! The first book, Explosive Truth was released in January. The fourth book in the series, Midnight Abduction will be available on Tuesday May 2nd. Just in time for Mother's Day!

To me, Family is Everything. And that is a core believe among the Finnegan's too.

Check them out! You won't be disappointed.

Midnight Abduction by Laura Scott $3.99

Walking the line between danger and love…


Kidnapped in the dead of night!


Grace Ramsey is horrified when she realizes her six-year-old son Caleb has been snatched from his bed at midnight. The only man who can help her now, is FBI Agent Brady Finnegan, Caleb’s biological father. She had good reasons for keeping Caleb a secret, and while Brady does not agree, they decide that the main priority is to find Caleb and bring him home.


Brady is furious to learn he’s been betrayed by the woman he once loved, but manages to thrust those feelings aside in order to find the missing boy. As he and Grace follow one lead after another, his anger and resentment fades and they grow closer together in their shared mission. They can’t go back and change the past, but they can rebuild their future. If they can find Caleb in time…


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Saturday, April 22, 2023

Preorder Camy's new book for 40% off

Lady Wynwood’s Spies, volume 6: Martyr is now up for preorder! It’s at 40% off, but the price goes up on the release date, April 26th (the price will change to $4.99), so preorder your copy now!

Here’s the back cover description:

A Christian Historical Adventure set in Regency England with slow-burn romance and a supernatural twist
Part six in an epic-length serial novel

Lady Wynwood has discovered the gardening notebooks belonging to Bianca Jadis, the deceased mistress of the late Lord Wynwood and a former member of the treasonous group, the Citadel. However, the team is dismayed to discover that parts of the notebooks have been written in some sort of code.

Mr. Sol Drydale has kept hidden the fact that the notebooks have been found because he is unable to fully trust his superior officers at the Ramparts, the secret branch of the Alien Office. After all, when one of his own was kidnapped, the men who should have assisted him had seemed more interested in obtaining the Root potion that gives men supernatural strength.

But then two Ramparts agents bring information about an opportunity to capture the poisoner Apothecary Jack, one of the members of the Citadel. Sol is ordered to integrate these newcomers into his group, then plan a daring raid upon Jack’s new laboratory.

When things take an unexpected turn, Sol is faced with a terrible choice. Will he disobey orders, or will he forfeit the life of someone he holds dear?

PLEASE NOTE: Like the novels published in Jane Austen’s time, this is a novel in multiple parts. Each volume has a completed story arc, but this is NOT a stand-alone novel and the story continues in volume 7.

If you haven’t read it yet, book 1 in the series is only 99 cents and it’s available to borrow on Kindle Unlimited.

Start the series with Lady Wynwood’s Spies, volume 1: Archer:

A Christian Historical Adventure set in Regency England with romance and a supernatural twist
Part one in an epic-length serial novel

She met him again by shooting him.

After four seasons and unmarried because she is taller than most of her dance partners, Miss Phoebe Sauber receives the shocking news that she is being callously banished from her father’s estate because he is remarrying. Feeling betrayed by her father and by God, and wanting to escape her family’s presence, she attends an archery tournament with her friends.

But her perfect aim fails her, and her arrow hits a piece of paper held by Mr. Michael Coulton-Jones, whom she hasn’t seen much in society in several years. But strangely, her arrow tears a section of the paper with a partial symbol that looks eerily familiar to her.

He met her again while searching for a killer.

Michael had quit his work as a spy for the Foreign Office when his brother was poisoned. His search for the murderer leads him to Apothecary Jack, a criminal underworld leader with a penchant for poisons, who is gathering a powerful army through an alchemical potion that can give men supernatural strength.

But his path unexpectedly crosses again with Miss Sauber, who saves him from a trap laid by Jack. She and her Aunt Laura, Lady Wynwood, have found a vital connection to Apothecary Jack and the mysterious group he works for.

Now Michael, who had vowed to never again allow civilians to come to harm, must work with a nobleman keeping dangerous secrets, a human lie detector, a chemist, a fellow former spy, and the one woman he’s never allowed himself to get close to.

And it is only this ragtag group that stands against a traitorous organization that could enable Napoleon to conquer the world.

PLEASE NOTE: Like the novels published in Jane Austen’s time, this is a novel in multiple parts. Each volume has a completed story arc, but this is NOT a stand-alone novel and ends on a cliffhanger.

Buy Kindle ebook
Buy paperback

Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Friendships In Sweet Romance by Merri Maywether

 When I pick up a sweet romance novel, I look for three things, the small town setting, the friends, and of course, the happily ever after. 

The small town's setting, via the element of proximity, is the doorway to romance. It’s hard to get away from people when everyone shops at the same grocery store, eats at the same burger place, and attends the same signature activities, like the annual zucchini festival. There is always a sense of anticipation.

Will Mabel win the blue ribbon for her chocolate zucchini pie again this year?  Of course. She always wins. But, the two people on their way to happily ever after–that’s something that will catch the eyes and hearts of everyone involved with the story.

Because book friends give the character the space for candid honesty, they add flavor to the love story. Book friends are the listening ear, the shoulder to lean on, and the speaker of the wise words the character (and sometimes the reader) need to hear. I’ve learned to be a better friend through the actions of many best friends in sweet romance stories. 

When the friends guide the character to see that it’s his or her turn at love, I giggle with delight. In Lyn Cotes, Mavis’s Forever Christmas, there is a scene where the calls-it-as-he-sees-it character stated what he thought was obvious. We all need that person in our lives. 

Josie Riviera’s 1-800-Summer highlights how friends rush to action when the character needs help. It sweetens those salty moments in life while setting the foundation for the characters to believe in love.

And there is the friend that gets in trouble alongside the character. In my book Paradise Hills Summer, my cast of friends unknowingly set up a blind date for my main character with her ex-fiancé. In true friend fashion, they stick by her side, and the eight of them ended up sitting around her living room eating out of takeout boxes. 

There are so many more variables of small-town sweet romance friendships, and I am a softy for all of them. I know I barely grazed the list of great friends in stories. So please share in the comments. What type of sweet romance friend do you like reading about?

💝 💝 💝

They moved to Paradise Hills, Montana for a second chance at life. Faith and Clark found each other.  Paradise Hills Summer is a story about second chances and the power of love.


Paradise Hills Summer is 99¢ at your favorite online retailer.

| Get Paradise Hills Summer

Monday, April 17, 2023

Lyn Cote Asks Do you Like Free Ebooks?


If so, here's one for you!

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 or to shop!


Friday, April 14, 2023

A Character's Backstory by Merrillee Whren


Most novels begin right in the middle of some kind of action. The characters are often confronted with a new situation in their lives, or the reader might catch a glimpse of the everyday life of a character. The reader learns something about the characters, but you don't know what has brought them to this place or this situation. That's where backstory comes in. 

When I first starting writing, I was told it is a no-no to have what is called an info dump about the character's backstory. This is so true. The backstory needs to be woven throughout the book. This way a reader will learn about the character's past a little at a time. Below is an excerpt from Annie's Hope, the first book in The Village of Hope series. In this excerpt, there is information about the hero and heroine's past, but the reader doesn't learn it all. 


      Doubts crowded Annie Payton’s mind as she paced in front of the windows looking out on The Village of Hope’s campus. Redbrick buildings with white Georgian columns formed a quadrangle around an expansive lawn. Tall pines and majestic oaks accented with maples and flowering dogwoods added to the beauty of the scenery.
She always loved early spring in Georgia, when the dogwoods dressed the landscape in lace. The pleasant warmth of a late March afternoon helped to take away some of her anxiety as she waited to meet with the lawyer who hopefully could help her get her kids back. Could this place really return hope to her life?
The scent of newly mowed grass wafted through the open window. Closing her eyes, she breathed deeply and wished she could mow down all the bad things in her life and make it fresh and new. But isn’t that what God had done when He’d covered her sins with His grace? Why did she doubt that God had forgiven her?
The click of the door on the far side of the room made Annie turn and look. A man, with his back to her, talked with someone in the hallway. Annie braced herself for this meeting and prayed that the decision to come here was a wise one.
When the man faced her, Annie gasped. What was Ian Montgomery doing here?
“Hello, Annie.” He looked as handsome as ever with his tobacco-brown hair and gray eyes that reminded her of a stormy sky. Those eyes held no welcome.
Her pulse thundered all over her body. She swallowed hard. “You’re the lawyer?”
“The one and only.” He motioned toward the chair in front of his desk. “Have a seat.”
Like an automaton, Annie sat on the black leather chair. Why did Ian have to be the one person who could help her get what she wanted most in life? Pastor John from the rehab facility often told her things happened for a reason. Could God use this meeting with Ian for good, too?
Annie sat there, not knowing what to say.
Ian broke the silence. “You’re looking good.”
Annie wanted to tell him he looked great in his dark pin-striped suit, but she thought better of it. “Thanks. I’m feeling good, too. I’ve been clean and sober for a year and twenty days. I intend to stay that way.”
“I’m glad for your sobriety, but I have to be honest, Annie. You told me that several times before, and you didn’t follow through.”
“I know.” Annie smiled halfheartedly. Everything he said was true, and he had the right to doubt her statement. She would show him that his doubts were unfounded this time.
Ian gave her a look that told her she would have to work hard to prove she had changed. “I understand Melody Hammond, our women’s ministry director, has explained our program and gotten you settled in an apartment.”
“She has. She said I have more paperwork to fill out.”
His gray eyes narrowed. “I hope Melody also told you I only have a few minutes with you today.”
“She did. She said you have an important meeting to attend.”
Nodding, Ian grimaced. “The quarterly board meeting.”
“You don’t look too excited.”
“Let’s just say it’s not one of my favorite things.” Ian tapped the file on his desk. “You want your kids back. That’s what we need to discuss.”
Annie nodded, a lump forming in her throat at the thought of Kara and Spencer. Her babies were nearly four and three—babies no longer, but she’d missed a whole year of their lives. She longed to hold them in her arms, kiss them, and tuck them into bed at night. Could she ever make it up to them? She promised herself she would get her kids back. She would.
“How long have Kara and Spencer been in foster care?”
“Over a year. DFCS took them away….” Annie stopped as her voice cracked. She pressed her lips together as she tried to regain her composure. She wouldn’t cry in front of Ian. “I was more messed up than ever, but losing the kids made me realize I had to get help and get it right this time. I want to reunite my family.”
“Annie, I don’t know whether I can help you. I have to be sure you’re going to stay sober before I can. Besides, I don’t feel comfortable being your attorney considering our past relationship.”
“But Melody said the lawyer here would help me. Since you’re the only one, doesn’t that mean you have to represent me?”
“Not necessarily. I have a friend who can probably take your case.”
“I can’t afford to pay someone.”
“He volunteers his services here from time to time.”
Annie breathed a sigh of relief, but her heart ached because Ian didn’t believe she could stay clean. Could she blame him? He’d seen her relapse too many times, but this time was different. “When will I get to talk with him?”
“I’ll arrange a meeting as soon as I can.” Ian stood as he picked up the file folder and headed for the door. “I’m sorry I have to go. We can talk again later after I contact Scott Bartlett, the other attorney. I’ll set up a time for the three of us to meet.”
“So this is it? Hi and goodbye?” Annie followed Ian to the door. He had a meeting, but his eagerness to be rid of her punched a hole in her heart.
“That’s the way it has to be today. Melody wanted me to talk to you, so I agreed.” He put his hand on the doorknob.
“She doesn’t know about us, does she? Does anyone here know?” Annie couldn’t believe she was confronting Ian this way. Was she trying to alienate him?
Staring at her, Ian took his hand from the doorknob. “That’s a fair question. Adam Bailey, the administrator here, knows everything, but no one else. I’m not going out of my way to talk about my former wild life.”
“Guess my presence is going to open up your past whether you like it or not.” Annie wondered why she continued to needle him. Maybe it was a defensive mechanism. She needed to keep him at an emotional distance because his presence aroused old feelings that were better buried and forgotten.
“You’re probably right, but I’ll deal with it in my own way. You don’t have to worry about it.” Ian opened the door and held out a hand. “After you.”
“Thanks.” Annie stepped into the hallway.
Ian closed the door behind him. “I’ll be in contact.”
“Okay.” Annie stood there, not knowing what to do now.
Ian looked as if he was going to dismiss her as he walked into the hallway, but then he turned back. “Walk with me.”
His request caught her off guard, but she was grateful he didn’t dismiss her as they headed toward the reception area. “Sure.”
“Do your parents know you’re out of rehab?”
So that’s what he wanted. More information. He didn’t really want to walk with her. “No. My parents haven’t spoken to me in over three years. For all they know I could be dead.”
“Are you sure about that?”
She nodded, not wanting to think about the parents who had abandoned her. They’d called it tough love, but Annie called it no love. Could she ever prove to them that she had changed? She had to show them all that she had. Ian. Her parents. The court.
“Annie, if you need help, talk to Melody. As the director of the women’s ministry, she’s here to give you advice while you settle in. This is a good place for you to find your way again.”
Annie forced a smile. “Thanks. I guess I’ll see you later. Hope your meeting goes well.”
“Thanks. Me, too.” He smiled in return.
Annie nodded and hurried away with the image of Ian’s smile filling her thoughts. She didn’t want that smile to make her think he might care about her on a personal level. That kind of thinking could only lead her to more heartache. She’d had more than her share, and she had no one to blame but herself.
Annie forced herself not to run or to look back at Ian. The whole meeting with him had been surreal. He’d been so matter-of-fact. He obviously didn’t have any remnants of those long-ago feelings they’d shared. To a casual observer, his demeanor would have given no hint that he’d been talking to his ex-wife.


 Right now Annie's Hope is on sale for 99 cents. You can find it at the retailers below. 




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What do you most like to learn about a character's past?

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.