Tuesday, May 30, 2023
Friday, May 26, 2023
By Caroline Clemmons
There were times (and may still be in some areas) when people went to the cemetery to clear out weeds and trash so that the graves of loved ones looked as nice as possible. I’m aware of a business in Parker County, Texas that sends their employees out to clean cemeteries in the months they are not delivering much gas to homes. For the most part, though, cemeteries are “perpetual care” where the cost of the gravesite covers continual care.
That’s the type in which my parents and Hero’s are buried. My mom chose to be cremated, but then have her ashes buried next to my father. I was fortunate to have parents who set a good example and who cared about me. I’m sorry my father didn’t live long enough to see me published, although I suppose he knows anyway. Here are the photos of my parents, separately because they never sat for a portrait together. I wish they had.
My dad, Pearson Madison Johnson, was a generation older than my mom, Lena Mae Phifer. She was well on the way to being an old maid when she married him. I was born just over three years later. At the time, we lived in Dodson, Texas, almost on the Oklahoma line. Dad managed the Davis cotton gin. When I was not quite one, Mr. Davis died and one of his sons decided to manage the gin, so my Dad was out of a job. My half-siblings urged him to move to California where the four of them lived. We moved to Southern California, settling in Oildale, a suburb of Bakersfield not far from my oldest half-sister. Dad was a contractor who built houses.
But, I developed San Joaquin Valley Fever and the doctor said I had to leave the valley or I would die. In fact, I was so sick that I don't remember our move the summer before I was eight. We moved back to Texas and I did improve remarkably. I grew up in Lubbock, a very nice place to live if you can take the sandstorms. Obviously, we could. My younger brother, an Oops baby, was born when I was ten.
I can’t imagine how hard it must have been for my father to start over all those times. He was in his fifties when I was born. He worked in hot temperatures to get his start in California. Then he had to start over when we moved back to Texas and he ended up buying cotton until he lost his eyesight fifteen years before he died. Since he was much older than my mom, he died before she did. In fact, he died on May 26, 1972.
Mom loved her children, grandchildren, her stepchildren, and their children. The day of her death on January 24, 2007, she’d been to a meeting of our church women and we went to lunch at her favorite restaurant for sweet and sour chicken. Surprisingly, the minister accompanied us. I spent the afternoon with her chatting and helping her with a few bookkeeping details. She had such a wonderful time that day. It was only in the evening that her stomach distress began.
When she had broken her hip four years earlier, she confessed my dad came to her and held out his hand, but she was afraid to take it then. She said she was no longer afraid, and if it happened again, she would take his hand. Hero and I were with her when she lay dying. She reached up her hand above her as if grasping something in the air. Then, her eyes rolled back and she passed. I am positive my dad came for her. Though I miss them still, knowing they are together is of some comfort.
Wednesday, May 24, 2023
The Secrets She Learns
A Better Late Romance
Sisters, Lovers & Second Chances Book 4
by Jacqueline Diamond
Genre: Contemporary Romance
secrets, unexpected love, a cold-case mystery—and a nosy
At the age of 50, nurse Anni discovers she has two half sisters, both of whom were hurt by a con man who has disappeared. Determined to bring her new family together and unravel the past, she hires a handsome P.I., and gets more than she bargained for. That includes his newly adopted dog, who isn’t shy about fostering a romance or digging up evidence.
Former police detective Jon, now in business for himself, is frustrated by the one who got away, a swindler who tricked folks including Jon’s own mother out of their savings. His new neighbor, appealingly warm-spirited Anni, is more than the perfect client. She’s also a woman who sends the barriers around his heart crashing to the ground.
Don’t miss this delightful entry in the Sisters, Lovers & Second Chances series by the author of the beloved Safe Harbor Medical romances and mysteries. #1 New York Times bestselling author Debbie Macomber says, “Jacqueline Diamond writes stories from the heart with a wisdom and tenderness that remain long after the final page.”
USA Today bestselling author Jacqueline Diamond has sold more than one hundred titles, including medical and contemporary romances, romantic comedies, mysteries, Regencies and more. A former Associated Press reporter and TV columnist, Jackie has been honored with a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award. She is best known for her Safe Harbor Medical romances and mysteries, and for her series Sisters, Lovers & Second Chances. You can learn more about Jackie’s books and audiobooks at jacquelinediamond.net.
Monday, May 22, 2023
The Rogue's Ring
A Treasure Tale Novel #3
by Nancy Lee Badger
Genre: Historical Romance
out on his horse, Ghost, into the snowy Highlands of Scotland in
January 1817 was not sane, but Bryce Ketteridge would never let down
his friends. If a duke, an earl, and a former spy felt finding the
owners of nobleman’s rings was important, he would do his share.
Coming across masked bandits, and shooting one, turned his life on
end. What follows was not in his plans.
The last thing Cat Douglas wished to do was steal coins from the handsome stranger she meets at a tavern. When he later shoots her while she threatened a nobleman’s coach, she suspected he had no idea it was her. Kidnapped boys, pirate threats, and murder propel them to save a boy named Blake. He was, after all, special to them both.
Nancy Lee Badger grew up in Huntington on New York’s Long Island. After attending Plymouth State, in New Hampshire, she earned a Bachelor of Science degree and met and married her college sweetheart. They raised two handsome sons in Rumney, New Hampshire while she dreamed of being a writer. When the children had left the nest, and shoveling snow became a chore, she retired from her satisfying job as a 911 Emergency Medical Dispatcher and moved to North Carolina, where she writes full-time. Nancy is a member of Romance Writers of America, Heart of Carolina Romance Writers, Fantasy-Futuristic & Paranormal Romance Writers, and the Triangle Association of Freelancers. She finds story ideas in the most unusual places.
Friday, May 19, 2023
By Caroline Clemmons
Mojo (mainly US, informal, slang)
Mojo is a singular noun meaning magic, power, (life) energy or something intangible. It can mean anything, but it is mostly used to mean magic. For example, saying “I’ve lost my Mojo” means you can no longer do something as well as you did before, or maybe you are downcast, depressed.
There you have it—me. For the last few weeks, I have spent too much time contemplating life instead of either cleaning out the bedroom closet or concentrating on writing my next book. I like the characters of the book, but the plot was getting too far off my usual stories. I have been despondent. Fortunately, Hero is patient and hasn’t told me to get over myself.
In general, authors are highly strung individuals who spend a lot of time listening to characters only they can hear. You may be thinking that mental institutions are filled with people who have similar problems—and you’d be right. The difference is that authors understand that no one else can know these characters unless we translate what’s in our heads onto the computer monitor.
We also totally obsess over methods to sell our books. Should we have ads on Facebook and Amazon? Does our newsletter have enough opens and clicks? Are the new covers working? Should we run an ad on this site or another? Would we recoup the expense of a Book Bub ad?
But I digress. You see, I lost my Mojo a couple of months ago. I moped around the house, spend too much time on Messenger and Facebook and email, read too many books, dithered over this and that, until it’s a wonder my family didn’t take me to a mental hospital.
This is about retrieving my Mojo! I have to thank Australian author Margaret Tanner, whose books I enjoy. In a Facebook author group, she mentioned that she doesn’t run ads and doesn’t have a newsletter, yet she makes a living wage. (Not luxury living, but a watch-your-budget living). Reading her comments was as if Margaret had come to my house, taken me by the hand, and said, “Just write. Write what you love.”
So, that’s what I’m doing and my Mojo is back! I put aside the book I was struggling to like well enough to finish. Joyfully, I started work on a new book that I love. I hope you will love it, too. It's titled KEITH AND THE MAIL ORDER BRIDE. He is such a cutie!
Wednesday, May 17, 2023
Book Blurb:ALWAYS BEING A BRIDESMAID IS GETTING OLD...
Pediatrician Sable Miller is sick and tired of being the go-to, dependable bridesmaid in all her family and friends’ weddings. But her demanding job, the ridiculous hours, and endless family commitments keep her from finding the perfect man. A matchmaking service? Sounds like too much work. Swipe right dating? Not her thing. The bar scene? When was the last time she even had an evening free to go to a bar?
And forget about dating the myriad of on-the-make doctors and residents in her hospital. Besides, workplace romances never work out.
Sable’s options to meet the man of her dreams and start a family are dwindling and time is running out, because she promised herself the next wedding she would attend would be her own.
Kristopher Lee, the Physician’s Assistant assigned to Sable has a crush on his new mentor. But she’s got a hands-off rule when it comes to dating someone she works with. Kris is nothing if not persistent, though. After all, he didn’t survive two tours in the Army without focusing on a goal. And making Sable Miller fall in love with him is his best goal yet.
Excerpt:Twice in her career, Sable had given in to temptation and dated someone she worked with. Once had been when she was a pediatric resident, he a staff physician. They’d been having a lovely time together, despite their busy work hours. He’d told Sable he was divorced. When his wife – the one he was definitely not divorced from – showed up in the restaurant they were having dinner in one night and caused a major public scene, Sable learned the truth and put an immediate end to the relationship.
She learned a valuable lesson from that situation. Namely: fact check.
Her second work relationship – if you could even call it that – had been with a lab tech. This time she made sure he wasn’t married before agreeing to have drinks with him. After three dates he invited her back to his apartment because he wanted to show her the experiment he was conducting for his Master’s degree in biotech. When he told her she was a perfect candidate to be included in the research, Sable’s Spidey-senses went into hyper-drive. When he said he would need to draw a sample of her blood and get a few locks of her hair, she begged off. She then blocked his number from her phone. Whenever she spotted him in the hospital hallways or the cafeteria, she did a one-eighty and speed-walked in the opposite direction.
No. Dating someone from work never worked out, and no matter how good-looking or charming or intelligent this new guy was – she wasn’t interested.
Sable tossed the nurse another headshake. A quick glance at the patient board above the nurse’s station told her she had no patients other than the broken ankle kid to see to at the moment. While she waited for the orthopedic resident to cast the kid’s limb, she decided to make a quick cup of tea. The break room was, thankfully, empty. With her cup of much-needed caffeine to get her through the night shift, Sable went back out to the station.
She spotted Gale talking with a guy in a scrub suit. From the back, the description she’d been given of the new Physician’s Assistant drifted into her mind. This guy had short black hair, wide shoulders tapering down into a trim waist/hip area and his scrub top looked as if it had been sewn onto him.
Obviously, this was the man of the hour.
“Here she is now,” she said, ticking her chin toward Sable. “Let me introduce you.”
With an internal groan, Sable placed her most benign, polite smile – the one her brother Chance called cold with a hint of frosty – on her face, and moved toward the duo.
Swiping her hand across her lab coat, she prepared to give him a professional handshake when she stopped dead in her tracks as he turned around.
No. No. It couldn’t be.
“This is our favorite pediatrician,” Gale said, “Dr. Sable Miller. Doc, this is—”
“Kristopher Lee,” Sable whispered as all the air left her lungs.
Family and food play huge roles in Peggy’s stories because she believes there is nothing that holds a family structure together like sharing a meal…or two…or ten. Dotted with humor and characters that are as real as they are loving, Peggy brings all aspects of life into her stories: life, death, sibling rivalry, illness, and the desire for everyone to find their own happily ever after. Growing up the only child of divorced parents she longed for sisters, brothers and a family that vowed to stick together no matter what came their way. Through her books, she has created the families she wanted as that lonely child.
As a lifelong diarist, she caught the blogging bug early on, and you can visit her at peggyjaeger.com where she blogs daily about life, writing, and stuff that makes her go "What??!"
Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00T8E5LN0
Monday, May 15, 2023
The Captain's Curse
Sentinels of Savannah Book 8
by Lisa Kessler
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Ian Flynn would die for any one of his crew…if he could. Now
he might have to.
Because one of the only known weapons able to kill an immortal is
missing. The Spear of Destiny—a priceless religious artifact from
the crucifixion—is in the hands of his ship’s ruthless
ex-captain. Now the lives of the Sea Dog’s immortal pirate crew are
all at risk…along with the headstrong mortal Ian never should have
Writer Lily Bouchard isn’t sure what’s worse. That she fell for Ian Flynn only to get her heart broken, or that she romanticized the man like he was some gorgeous viking straight out of a movie. So when he shows up suddenly with some absurd tale of immortal pirates and mythical religious relics, Lily doesn’t know what to think. He’s always had a wildness beneath his well-tailored appearance…but how could any of this possibly be real?
Now a centuries-old vendetta between two pirate captains has erupted, and Ian will do anything to keep Lily safe—even if it means risking everything. But she won’t give him up without a fight.
The only thing more dangerous than killing an immortal is falling for one…
Each book in the Sentinels of Savannah series is STANDALONE:
* Magnolia Mystic
* Pirate's Passion
* Pirate's Pleasure
* Pirate's Persuasion
* Pirate's Promise
* Pirate’s Paradox
* Pirate’s Protector
* The Captain’s Curse
Kessler is a Best Selling author of dark paranormal fiction. She's a
two-time San Diego Book Award winner for Best Published
Fantasy-Sci-fi-Horror and Best Published Romance. Her books have also
won the PRISM award, the Award of Excellence, the National Excellence
in Romantic Fiction Award, the Award of Merit from the Holt
Medallion, and an International Digital Award for Best
Her short stories have been published in print anthologies and magazines, and her vampire story, Immortal Beloved, was a finalist for a Bram Stoker award.
When she's not writing, Lisa is a professional vocalist, and has performed with San Diego Opera as well as other musical theater companies in San Diego.
Friday, May 12, 2023
By Caroline Clemmons
Do you need something cheerful and uplifting to read? If so, grab your copy of the sweet historical western romance, MURDOCH’S BRIDE, while it’s on sale for 99¢ from May 12th - 16th. Books can educate and entertain. They can transport you to distant lands and other times. Books may make us laugh or cry or have us checking under the bed to be certain no one is hiding there.
Personally, I prefer a happily-ever-after ending in my reading (and writing). No matter the obstacle, I want everything to turn out well for the hero and heroine. That’s why I read and write historical and contemporary romance—and sometimes a time travel or cozy myster.
A book I especially enjoyed writing was MURDOCH’S BRIDE. I had a relative like the aunt in this book. You probably have, too. Charity lives up to her name in the way she treats her cantankerous aunt.
MURDOCJ’S BRIDE and the others in the Loving a Rancher Series were first published in Debra Holland’s Kindle World. When Amazon cancelled that program, I changed the supporting character names from Debra’s to mine and republished the books. Working with Debra was very pleasant, and I hated that Amazon discontinued that program.
Here’s a bit about MURDOCH’S BRIDE:
Stranded in the snow…
Charity Kelso is accompanying her fussy Aunt Edwina from New York to Oregon when their train is wrecked and several passenger cars burn. Sweetwater Springs doesn’t have a hotel, so passengers are parceled out to townsfolk’s homes. No one wants anything to do with complaining Aunt Edwina. That also leaves Charity and their newly widowed friend Amelia nowhere to stay until the tracks are repaired. A new blizzard is headed their way, so what are they to do?
Logan Murdoch and his brother came to Sweetwater Springs to restock before the next storm arrives. Against Logan’s better judgment, the sheriff convinces him to take three “innocent, stranded women” to Murdoch Ranch. Other than their housekeeper-cook, a woman hasn’t set foot in the Murdoch home in the twenty years since Logan’s mother abandoned them. He doesn’t expect his father to welcome these unwanted visitors.
Both Charity and Logan are surprised at the events that unfold. How could this have happened?
As if being stranded in the snow with a griping aunt isn’t bad enough, Charity hates that she is powerless and trapped in place. She and Logan spar from the first time they met.
Here’s an excerpt:
Logan said, “Ornery old cow.”
Charity gave Edwina her hanky and stomped toward him. “Mr. Murdoch, may I speak to you privately?”
Surprise showed on his face. “Uh, sure. Guess we can go into the office.”
He led the way to a room she hadn’t seen, obviously where the ranch records were kept. “Will this do, Miss Kelso?”
She closed the door behind them. “Logan Murdoch, you have your nerve calling my aunt names. For your information, she’s had a horrible life and no one, not her selfish parents, not her cheating husband, not even her only son ever loved her. And, that includes my father, who’s her younger brother.”
He stood looking poleaxed. “I never said—”
She stabbed at his chest with her forefinger. “I heard what you said. You called her an ornery old cow. She may be difficult sometimes, but if you knew everything about her you’d understand and be patient and forgiving. You can make fun of me all you want, emphasizing that I’m Miss and not Mrs., but you treat her with the respect someone her age deserves.”
He moved her hand away from his chest and leaned into her face. “You might try practicing some of the charity you’re named for and at least give me a chance to defend myself. I was talking about our cow. In case you haven’t noticed, I have milk all over my legs and boots because she knocked against the pail.”
Heat rushed to Charity’s cheeks. She stepped back. “Oh.”
He stood with his hands on his hips. “That’s a good comeback, Miss Kelso.”
She sensed a blush’s heat spreading across her face and neck. “Once again, I must ask your pardon.”
“When you’re angry, sparks fly from those big blue eyes. Reckon I’m lucky I wasn’t set on fire.” He closed the short distance between them and he brushed a hand gently along her cheek.
She knew he was going to kiss her but stood frozen in place. He tilted her head up to meet his and pressed his lips on hers. She thought he would withdraw then, but his arms were around her, pulling her closer. As if they had minds of their own, her arms encircled him.
When they broke apart, he stared at her with a horrified expression. “Damn.”
With the realization she’d cooperated in the kiss and even enjoyed it, horror shot through her. “My stars.”
She took a deep breath and left the office.
You can find MURDOCH’S BRIDE here: https://www.amazon.com/Murdochs-Bride-Loving-Rancher-Book-ebook/dp/B07G2JY77F/
Stay safe and keep reading!
Stay safe and keep reading!
Wednesday, May 10, 2023
Rescuing Whiskey's Salvation
Whiskey's Salvation Book 1
by Chrissy Hartmann
Genre: Sweet Contemporary Western Romance
Rescuing Whiskey's Salvation is a humorous sweet romance tied up in a nontraditional western cozy. No longer happy dealing with the glitz and glamour, cosmetic heiress, Evie Mae Stockton plans to reopen her “dead” uncle’s homeless shelter in Whiskey, Texas. But, the town’s favorite cowboy, Griff Bryant, a land developer has other ideas for it.
with her finances, the repairs to the shelter, and a homeless Troupe
of Clowns who unknowingly terrorize her, Evie doubts her decision of
coming to Whiskey… Until Griff wants to help. Evie’s brain
stubbornly insists she can do this on her own, but her heart whispers
to let him in.
While her heart warms to his, the mayor’s revitalization committee, a committee Griff sits on, threatens to lasso the shelter via eminent domain.
Crushed with the news, Evie must decide between the cowboy or the shelter. Will her stubbornness stop her from RESCUING WHISKEY’S SALVATION or will it prevent her from finding true love?
Cherishing Whiskey's Salvation
A Whiskey's Salvation Series Novella 1.5
back to Whiskey!
If only a good cup of coffee could solve Charlie Stockton’s problems. Not that his
circumstances will allow him to enjoy even a single cup in peace.
Now a retired United States Army colonel and a Texas cattle rancher, Charlie is used to tough challenges. But his 28-year-old daughter's plans to quit her high-powered job at his wife's company to instead reopen a homeless shelter might break him.
Charlie will need much more than coffee to save his faltering marriage, especially when supporting his daughter seems like betraying his wife. Throw a troupe of clowns into the mix, and no wonder Charlie feels at the end of his rope.
Loaded with humor and a touch of quirkiness, this contemporary sweet western romance is sure to brand your heart with love.
**Get it FREE May 11th-15th!!**
Award-winning blind Ohio author, Chrissy Hartmann hopes to one day hit the Best Sellers list with her contemporary Western romances. Now following her debut novel, Rescuing Whiskey's Salvation, is her second book to the Whiskey Salvation Series, a novella, Cherishing Whiskey's Salvation.
Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!
$30 Amazon – 1 winner!
Aluminum book cover bookmarks – 4 winners!
Monday, May 08, 2023
Stay For Me
The Balefire Series Book 5
by Tam Derudder Jackson
Genre: Contemporary Rockstar Romance
I’ve made a few mistakes over the last decade, but the one I regret most was letting Olivia Carter go. When I see her again, the past crashes over me, reminding me of everything I ever wanted and gave up when I let our dreams separate us.
Managing Balefire into the world’s biggest rock band came at a personal cost—walking away from my only love. When fate brings her back into my life, I’m determined not to screw up again. After Balefire hires her studio to produce their next music video, I have a second chance to rewrite our song—if I can convince her I’m a changed man.
Ten years ago, Garrett Phillips chose to go with “his boys” and leave me in the dust of a ratty old tour bus. Now I’m working my ass off to make a name for myself as a Hollywood music video director. Unfortunately, my fledgling studio is bleeding money, and my only hope of saving it is to make a video with the biggest rock band on the planet. Too bad that means working with the man who tore my heart out of my chest when he chose his rock ’n’ roll dream over me.
He says he’s grown up. He says we can make things work. But can I truly trust that this time he will stay for me?
Don't miss the other Balefire books!
Play For Me (The Balefire Series Book 1)
Sing For Me (The Balefire Series Book 2)
Wild For Me (The Balefire Series Book 3)
Hot For Me (The Balefire Series Book 4)
Tam DeRudder Jackson’s love of all things Celtic led her to write the Talisman Series. Steeped in Celtic mythology, these steamy, fated mates, paranormal romance adventures are set in the mountains of Tam’s native Montana and the Highlands of Scotland. Rogue, the most recent book in the series, was named a best romance of 2022 by the Independent Book Review.
An avid fan of rock music, Tam never misses a chance to see a live show, especially if it’s Shinedown, one of her favorite bands. Her love of rock music inspired her contemporary rock star Balefire Series, a sexy fun ride following the lives and loves of the members of a fictional mega-band. Readers of this series consistently give the books five-star reviews.
Tam earned her BA in English from Montana State University and her M.Ed. in literacy from Lesley University. After a short teaching stint in Bath, England, she settled in the wilds of Wyoming where she taught adolescents all about the Celts and a bit about writing before she stepped out of the classroom to pursue her writing career full time.
When she’s not writing, you can find her working her way through her mountainous TBR piles, alpine skiing, or traveling to some new place on her ever-expanding bucket list. To stay up to date on her adventures, connect with Tam on her website www.tamderudderjackson where you can subscribe to her newsletter and hang out with her on Instagram at https://instagram.com/tamstales32.