Officially fall…time to curl up and read, knit, and write!

millenniumforce15_jpg_920Now that the golden leaves are showering my car, I’m in hibernation mode. All I want to do is knit or read. Just bought the new Jill Shalvis book It’s in his Kiss, and I’m saving it for the weekend. Got some variegated green wool yarn that is several inches of scarf already. I think I need a cabin in the woods so I can indulge my reading and knitting habits.

What am I writing right now? I have pages of notes for three different novels, but am on pins and needles waiting to hear from a publisher about the trilogy of my heart–three books set in the family-run amusement park and resort Starlight Point. See that roller coaster in the picture? That’s me right now. Sure I’m having fun, but geez…

Foolish me–I can’t get words on paper while I’m waiting for the phone to ring. I’m knitting my angst into a scarf that may end up being fifteen miles long! Watch for the pictures…

Janet Eaves visits Sweet, but Sexy tour

Sweet-Sexy-BSet-3D-LGThanks for joining us today as we welcome another of the authors included in the Sweet, but Sexy tour. This great boxed set includes 8 novels and 2 bonus stories for only $.99 for a limited time.

Sweet can still be sexy!

 

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | KOBO | IBOOKSALL ROMANCE EBOOKS SMASHWORDS | TURQUOISE MORNING PRESS

Please welcome Janet Eaves!

Thank you for inviting me to be a part of your blog! I’m very excited to be a part of the SWEET, but SEXY Boxed Set, published through Turquoise Morning Press.

It is always thrilling to work with other authors on a project, so I am so delighted to team up with Maddie James, Jennifer Johnson, Constance Phillips, Jennifer Anderson, Amie Denman, Magdalena Scott, and Jan Scarbrough to be a part of his sweet collection of romance novels.

 

My contribution, CROSSROADS, (a Ladies of Legend series novella) is about a young crossroads -  2woman who faced many trials and tribulations in her young life. Raised by the town whore, Sharon Clark made some pretty bad choices of her own, but, by example, a mentor gave her hope for a better life outside of the quaint little town of Legend, Tennessee.

 

Unfortunately, Sharon went from the frying pan into the fire by quickly marrying a man who had his own agenda in taking her and her unborn child in. Even after giving it her best, she now finds herself once again in need of a change. Destitute and at a crossroads, Sharon reluctantly accepts the inheritance gift of a home from the now deceased mentor, and returns to Legend to search for a job to sustain her and her son until she can figure out what to do next. But once there, she must once again face the realities of her past, and decide if the wonderful man who hired her, is worth risking her heart… all over again.

 

A single mother returns to a small Tennessee town in this Ladies of Legend novella. Despite the length constraints, Eaves crafts believable settings and characters. Not only is this a quick read, but it works successfully as a stand-alone story.”    Karen Sweeny-Justice,  RT Book Reviews (September 2014 edition)

 

Excerpt:

8:00 a.m. Courtroom 204, Memphis Municipal Court

“As to the matter of spousal support, the petitioner’s request is denied. Ms. Gilbert, given your statement that you have been the one to maintain the family income without expectation of support from Mr. Gilbert during the course of the marriage, it is the determination of this court that spousal support is unwarranted.

“As to the matter of child support, the petitioner’s request is warranted and therefore granted. Even though you state, Mr. Gilbert, that the minor, Kyle Gilbert, is not your biological child, he was born while you and Mrs. Gilbert were legally married and you have represented yourself as his father since. Therefore it is the determination of this court that you will pay child support at the standard percentage rate until midnight the date before the child turns eighteen years of age. Have proof of your income to my clerk this afternoon at the latest.”

The judge turned to his bailiff. ”Who’s next?”

****

10:30 a.m. The Cock and Crow Sports Bar and Grill

“I’m sorry, Sharon, you’ve been great, and dependable, and I’ll be happy to write you a letter of recommendation, but I have no choice. We aren’t making enough to stay open. I’m really sorry but you’re out of a job just like the rest of us.”

****

2:10 p.m. 2120 Pricilla Street, Apartment 310

“Look, I’m sorry, but your husband signed the letter of Intent to Vacate a month ago. I’ve already rented the apartment. You have to be out by the end of the month. I know that’s only a couple of days away and I’m sorry about that too, but it’s done. I assumed you knew Mr. Gilbert released the apartment.”

****

“What’s that?”

Sharon looked at the envelope she still held out in front of her and shrugged. “I’m not sure. It’s from a lady I knew a long time ago.”

For the first time since entering the apartment he actually looked at her. “Are you going to open it?”

Sharon stared at him helplessly before she nodded and quickly slid her finger under the sealed flap then winced when it sliced her fingertip. She stuck it between her lips for only a second before opening the flap.

“It’s a letter,” she said, shaking out the single page with one hand while returning the burning finger to her mouth.

“Duh!”

Sharon silently counted to ten then focused on the letter with the staple in the upper left hand corner that held a business card against the letter’s back. Ms. Addie’s large script had always made her think the woman sang songs in her head while writing.

“What’s it say?”

Sharon glanced up without moving her head. Given his attitude she wanted to tell him it wasn’t addressed to him, but since he rarely if ever expressed interest in anything she decided to read it out loud.

“My Dearest Sharon,

It has been such a long time since I last laid eyes on you, but I am sure you are as beautiful now as you were all those years ago. I, on the other hand, have dwindled with age and heart illness these last few years.”

Sharon’s eyes filled, remembering how robust and healthy Ms. Addie was the last time she’d seen her. She cleared her throat and continued, “But God has blessed me with a very long and fruitful life and blessed me with more than I deserved by the people He brought into my life. You were most definitely one of His greatest blessings, as well as mine.”

Warmth surrounded Sharon as if Ms. Addie’s arms were encircling her. Hugs were something Ms. Addie had always had in abundance, and she was the only person in Sharon’s young life who ever bothered to make her feel worthy.

She sniffed and continued reading. “I’m writing you this letter today because I may not be able to tomorrow. I grow weaker by the day and know the Good Lord is about to call me home. I’m ready. Although many of the children who came to live with me for a period of time thought I lived in a mansion, I know the one waiting for me will make this place look like a shack in comparison.

My poor grand-nephew will inherit this monstrosity as long as he’s willing to take care of my cats, (He’ll be so mad to learn that! Ha!) but I have other properties to disperse as well, and I have a special one just for you.”

Sharon was torn between amusement at Ms. Addie’s wicked sense of humor and the heart thumping anticipation of what was to come. She glanced up at Kyle, seeing he too was intrigued with the missive. She cleared her throat again, more loudly this time.

“There is a little cabin up on the mountain overlooking Legend Lake my husband took me to the night we were married. At the time it was owned by someone else, and we just rented it for that one night. But years later my love bought it for me as an anniversary present, and though it has stood empty all these many years, I made sure it was well tended and properly maintained. The appliances are old but functional. The plumbing recently updated. But it is yours, dear. Free and clear. To do with as you will.

I know you couldn’t get away from Legend fast enough all those years ago, and understandably so, but I also know the heart sometimes leads us back home. If you don’t want it, sell it. But if you do, you know you will always have a home to come back to. You can contact my lawyer at your convenience. His card is attached.

I know you are going to wonder why so many years have passed between my getting to meet my Maker and you receiving this gift. That, my dear, is because I know you. And I know you are not yet ready to consider coming back to Legend.

I’m tired now, and my hand grows weak, but I want to tell you one more thing. Whatever life brings, grab the good stuff and let the other stuff go. Even as many years as I have been given, it really was all over in just a blink of the eye.

Be well, my lovely. Be well.

Addie”

Sharon didn’t realize she was crying until Kyle’s arms were suddenly around her. She inhaled the scent of him and, for the first time in a very long time, remembered she was loved.

 

Amazon Best Selling Author of the Ladies of Legend series and Unforgettable Heroes boxed set, Janet Eaves is a wife of more than three and a half decades, a mother of two, a grandmother of one (unless you count her grand-pup – then two). She lives in the beautiful Tennessee countryside where she watches deer, rabbits, and other wildlife from her gazebo office while spinning tales. Currently, Janet has seven Ladies of Legend stories out, and is sure more will come in the future, as well as other books she’s written off and on over the years. CROSSROADS is her newest release, and she was happy to include it in this boxed set.

Jennifer Johnson visits the Sweet, but Sexy tour

 Sweet-Sexy-BSet-3D-LGThanks for joining our blog tour for Sweet, but Sexy!

This is a boxed set of 8 contemporary romances that prove that “sweet” can still be “sexy.” Only $.99 for a limited time!

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | KOBO | IBOOKSALL ROMANCE EBOOKS SMASHWORDS | TURQUOISE MORNING PRESS

Hello, I’m Jennifer Johnson, and I’m excited my book Double Dog Dare is part of the Sweet, But Sexy boxed set.ddd_-ebookfinal_grande

Double Dog Dare came about from a game I like to play called “What If.” I’d heard a song about a woman who wakes up next to a man she doesn’t know because she drank too much the night before. Although it was a catchy tune, good girl me, thought, Wow! That’s something I’d never do. But then I thought what if a good girl like me did wake up in a hotel room next to some guy she didn’t know? How could that possibly happen?

Hence the story of Double Dog Dare.

Each chapter begins with a quotation from a famous children’s book. And Cheris, the heroine, spouts lines from old movies when she gets nervous. Geoff, the hero, grew up a child prodigy and now spends most of his nights stargazing, that is, until he meets Cheris.

This is a story about the healing redemption of love, even love at first sight.

Romancing the Book rated it 5 stars: “Double Dog Dare is a charming read filled with memorable characters, lots of laughs, and tons of fun.”

Romancing the Books says, “Double Dog Dare is a sweet and funny contemporary story. I enjoyed it very much and had many opportunities to smile and laugh. If you love a heartwarming story about falling in love, Then I dare you — double dog dare you even, to get yourself a copy of this great book.”

Who is Jennifer Johnson?

I am a writer.
I write contemporary romantic fiction.
I aspire to be Wonder Woman with the awesome leotard and the criminal-fighting boots on some days.
On other days, I am Wonder Woman with my lasso of Truth and my no-nonsense-pursuit of justice.
I live in the South across the river from the Mid-west. I’m married to Super Man with a Tony Stark mind. We have Wonder/Super children and a bionic dog. All in all, it’s a comic book kind of life.

Find me at www.booksbyjenniferjohnson.com

https://www.facebook.com/jenniferjohnson.author

https://twitter.com/BooksbyJennifer

 

 

 

 

Jan Scarbrough talks about Sweet, but Sexy

Sweet-Sexy-BSet-3D-LGThanks for joining our blog tour for Sweet, but Sexy!

This is a boxed set of 8 contemporary romances that prove that “sweet” can still be “sexy.” Only $.99 for a limited time!

Jan Scarbrough’s Secrets is part of the Sweet But Sexy Boxed Set

 How was she going to keep her secret? It had been with her like a living thing for twenty-one years.

I’m glad Secrets is included in the Turquoise Morning Press Sweet But Sexy boxed set along with stories from other fine TMP authors. The book was special to me, because as I wrote it, I reflected on my teen and young adult relationship with my mother. We were friends at her passing, but not without changes on both our parts.

 A “sweet” romance, Secrets is a book my mother would have liked. In fact, she told all her blue-haired lady friends that the “editor” wrote the love scene in my first romance. And it was really tame!

 Secrets BlurbSECRETS200-300

With her daughter all grown up and married, single mom Kelly Baron can start her new life in North Carolina, responsible only for herself. But first she must help her mother by returning to the small Indiana town she fled years ago.

 Newly divorced lawyer, Rob Scott, seeks solace in his small-town roots. The last thing he’s looking for is a relationship—until he runs into Kelly, and the secret she’s been keeping from him for twenty-one years.

 Review

The Romance Studio’s 2011 CAPA Award Nominee for excellence in romantic fiction

 “In a nutshell, this sweet romance speaks to those who fear, those who hide truths, and those who have lost hope and yet somehow hope to find it. Jan Scarbrough rewards with romance and redemption and her next endeavor is eagerly awaited.” The Romance Reviews

 Jan Scarbrough BioJan Scarbrough

Jan Scarbrough is the author of the popular Bluegrass Reunion series, writing heartwarming contemporary romances about home and family, single moms and children, and if the plot allows, about another passion–horses. Living in the horse country of Kentucky makes it easy for Jan to add small town, Southern charm to her books, and the excitement of a horse race or a big-time, competitive horse show.

 Jan also contributes to the Ladies of Legend series, collaborating with writers Maddie James, Janet Eaves and Magdalena Scott. Set in fictitious Legend, Tennessee, these romances bring together the small town family atmosphere so many readers enjoy.

 Leaving her contemporary voice behind, Jan wrote a medieval called MY LORD RAVEN. Her first paranormal Gothic romance, TANGLED MEMORIES, was a RWA Golden Heart finalist, and she’s recently released a second romance with paranormal elements called TIMELESS.

 A member of Novelist, Inc. and the Romance Writers of America, Jan has published with Kensington, Five Star, ImaJinn Books, Resplendence Publishing and Turquoise Morning Press. She has recently self-published another romance set in the Bluegrass called BETTING ON LOVE.

 Jan lives in Louisville, Kentucky, with three rescued dogs, two rescued cats, and a husband she rescued fourteen years ago.

 Excerpt: Chapter One

 Seneca Park
Louisville, Kentucky

 “Kelly, will you marry me?”

 Heat swept Kelly Baron’s face, and it had nothing to do with the warm June day. Choking back dismay, she stared at the kneeling man at her feet. “For goodness sakes, Thomas, stand up.”

 Thomas struggled to his feet and sat down beside her on the park bench. His normally flushed face was peppered with sweat, and he had an expectant look in his eyes. “I’m serious,” he said, fumbling in his pocket and withdrawing a small, black velvet box. “Dead serious.” He lifted the lid.

 Secured inside the box was a spectacular princess-cut diamond solitaire set in a white gold, cathedral setting. Kelly was somewhat of an expert about diamond engagement rings because of her daughter’s recent wedding, but she never expected Thomas Dunlap to offer her one, let alone one that looked to be the size of a carat.

 Kelly focused on the beautiful ring, avoiding the conflicting emotions whirling in her head and the warning bells ringing in her ears.

 Her usually reticent suitor became assertive and removed the ring from its box. “Here. Try it on.”

 Before Kelly could demur, Thomas grabbed her left hand and slipped the ring on the third finger.

 “It’s too big,” were the only words she could force from her dry lips.

 “That’s no problem,” Thomas said, bending over her hand. She could see the thinning spot of hair at the top of his head. He slid the ring up and down on her finger, and then raised his eyes. “We can get it sized to fit. What do you think?”

 “It’s lovely.”

 “No, about marrying me.”

 That again. Panic set in. It’s not that Kelly didn’t like Thomas. They had been dating since his divorce. He was an elementary school principal in Jefferson County, and she taught fifth grade in a local Catholic school. They liked to walk for exercise, go to Broadway Series plays, and eat Italian. They had a lot in common. But she had never, ever considered marrying anybody, not even when she’d been pregnant with C.B. and needed to get married in the worst way.

 “I’m not sure it’s the right time,” Kelly mumbled, looking at the way a thin strand of salt and pepper hair fell across his forehead.

 ….

 Time for a forced smile. Did she want to spend the rest of her life with Thomas Dunlap? Become Mrs. Thomas Dunlap? No. For one thing, if she ever married, she would keep her maiden name. She would never succumb to an out-of-date tradition. And besides, she was too self-reliant, too used to doing what she pleased with only her daughter and her aunt to put her life in the hands of another.

 But Aunt Bess was dead and C.B. was married. Thomas was right. She was free.

 “This is such a surprise. Will you let me think about it?” She hated the timid note that crept into her voice. Slowly, Kelly disengaged her hands and withdrew the sparkling ring from her finger. It was too much bling. It was too much pressure. She handed it back to him. “You know I don’t do change well.”

 Thomas slid the ring back into its protective velvet box. He had the look of a man receiving a death sentence. I hate to hurt his feelings. She hadn’t quite told him “no,” but she hadn’t said “yes.” If the situation were reversed, she’d feel like shit.

 “You have a habit of avoiding things,” he said with a sharp shake of his finger, reprimanding her as if she was a six-year-old caught hitting another child on the playground. “It’s a character flaw you need to work on.”

 Kelly shifted on the park bench. Thomas was always too blunt. That was his character flaw. She pressed her right hand hard against the bench and fought down her annoyance.

 Yet could Thomas be right?

 Twenty-one years ago she had avoided telling C.B.’s father she was pregnant, but that was because his mother had found out they were secretly dating and warned her away from him. She made it perfectly clear her son had a future that didn’t include a small town girl from the wrong side of the tracks. It was evident she went behind her son’s back because he never said anything about his mother’s interference. Probably her husband didn’t even know about her scare tactics.

 But his mother was right. When they talked about life after high school, he made it clear he didn’t intend to end up in a small town like his father. He intended to go places, be important. Kelly was never part of that future he painted for himself.

 When she found out she was pregnant, Kelly couldn’t tell him. He didn’t love her. He would reject her and their child.

 And so once Kelly started keeping the secret, she had never revealed the truth to anyone, especially not her own father, who had threatened to beat it out of her and confront the boy and his parents. It was just as easy to avoid telling her mother, who could be bullied by her husband, and later C.B., who accepted life without a father. Leaving her hometown and moving to Louisville put distance between her and the problem.

 Thomas cleared his throat. “I won’t wait forever,” he told her.

 “Of course not.” Kelly shook off the memories and touched his sleeve. How did she soften her response? “I just need time to process this. Please?”

 He kissed her then—a typical Thomas kiss with lips pressed firmly shut and eyes closed. Kelly responded, as always, timidly, tepidly—trying to deny the longing in her heart for the love of her life—someone who cherished her, didn’t want to change her and loved her just the way she was.

 Someone she was too afraid to find.

 

Maddie James visits with Hard Candy Kisses

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Thanks for joining our blog tour for Sweet, but Sexy! This is a boxed set of 8 contemporary romances that prove that “sweet” can still be “sexy.” Only $.99 for a limited time!

 

 

Please welcome my guest bestseller author Maddie James!

maddiejames4Hard Candy Kisses, a Matchmaking Chef story in the SWEET, BUT SEXY Boxed Set

IT’S A RARE opportunity for me to participate in a sweet boxed set, but I’m thrilled to be able to share my story Hard Candy Kisses in the Sweet, But Sexy Boxed Set! I have very few stories that are written without sex, but this one just seemed like what Patti Jo and Jim would want – all of their hard candy kisses to happen behind closed doors!

 Hard Candy Kisses is the last book in the Matchmaking Chef series. I like for my Legend characters to make appearances in all of my books, if possible, and I realized that Kate and Mike, and Patti Jo Baker and Jim Hamilton, had not appeared in any other books besides Murder on the Mountain. This meant that I had to hook Jim and Patti Jo up, and I hope that I did their story justice!

I love writing quirky and fun characters like Patti Jo and pairing them with unlikely subjects. Hard Candy Kisses was a fun write for me, and I really hope you enjoyed their story—and the series!

If you have only visited Legend through the Matchmaking Chef series, be sure to look for my other books set in Legend, Tennessee, along with books by my friends and fellow authors who write about Legend—Janet Eaves, Jan Scarbrough, and Magdalena Scott. You can visit us at www.legendtennessee.com

Suzie is likely going to retire from matchmaking soon, after all, there are only so many single people in the town of Legend, but be on the lookout for a cozy mystery featuring Suzie. Deadly Scoop will be available in 2015. Who knew that a simple scoop of ice cream could be a murder weapon?

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | KOBO | SMASHWORDS | ALL ROMANCE EBOOKS | TURQUOISE MORNING PRESS

 Here’s the book description for Hard Candy Kisses:HardCandyKisses-MJames-LG

 New Year’s Eve is just around the corner and Legend Elementary teacher Patti Jo Baker has tried every trick in the book to land a date for the annual New Year’s Eve Bash at The Lodge. This includes setting up a kissing booth at the Legend Elementary Winter Carnival—a booth which Principal Jim Hamilton promptly shuts down. Because if Patty Jo Baker is passing out kisses, any kind of kisses, he wants to be both first, and last, in line—and he definitely doesn’t want to sample them in front of the student body.

 And here’s the opening!

 “I need a man.”

Patti Jo Baker watched her best friend, Kate, turn her way and roll her eyes. “Patti,” she began, shifting her teacher’s bag full of papers on her shoulder, “You’ve been saying that for years.

If you need a man so darned bad, why don’t you go out and get you one?”

Feeling a little defensive, Patti shot up off her teacher desk chair and, hands on hips, glared at Kate. “It’s not like I haven’t been trying!”

Kate waved her off. “Oh, posh. Get serious. What have you really been doing besides draping yourself in tinsel and hanging out at Hooters in Pigeon Forge? I tell you, Patti, the men at Hooters are not there to find a date. At least not one to take home to Mama.”

“I know, they go for the wings.”

“And the breasts.” She grasped her arm. “Face it. They are just there to ogle. That’s not where you find a man.”

“So where do I find one then? You tell me. Because I’ve tried every online.com matchmaking service there is, and I’ve done them for years. You know, matched.com, singlemingle.com, marryarichguy.com, cuddleup.com and even that ebliss.com which costs big money. I splurged. And guess what? They hooked me up with a little Republican Jewish guy with small hands. I clearly stated that I was liberal and Baptist. What were they thinking? Besides, those places don’t work, and the same guys are on all of them, and they’ve been there for years.”

“Small hands? What does that have to do with anything?”

“I like a man who can handle me.”

“Patti!”

“I mean, shoot. Small hands are dainty. Who the hell wants a man with small hands or, for that matter, feet? I can’t believe they matched me with that guy. My perfect-for-you match. Geez.”

Kate arched a brow. “That should tell you something.”

“What do you mean?”

“Those things don’t work.”

“But have you seen the commercials? And the testimonials?”

“How many years have you been on all of those sites?”

She shrugged. “I dunno. Five? Six?”

“I rest my case.”

Patti thought about that for a moment, glancing off over her empty classroom. How else was one supposed to meet a man in Legend, Tennessee? She knew every single man in town and there were no prospects here. None. She was forced to go out of her boundaries. She needed a man bigger than what Legend could offer—larger than life, worldly—one that would worship the ground she walked on and love her quirkiness unconditionally. But how far would she go? She’d heard of a woman once who found a husband by placing an ad in the magazine Mother Earth.

Maybe she should try something like that. Not Mother Earth, perhaps, but maybe something like A Man’s Cave or Alaskan Wilderness.

But not now. It was the end of the day, and she was tired. The classroom Christmas party was over, and the kids just left for their winter break. She had a mess to clean up in here, but she wasn’t in the mood.

Sighing, she looked back to Kate. “I guess I would settle for a date for New Year’s Eve.”

“Hire Suzie.”

“Who?”

“Suzie Matthews. You know, The Matchmaking Chef.”

***

Whether writing traditional contemporary romance or building paranormal worlds, bestselling romance author, Maddie James, pens stories that frequently cross a variety of romantic sub-genres. Sweet or spicy, suspense or comedy, western or time-travel, her heroes and heroines always chase one thing—the happily-ever-after—whether they realize it or not!

Visit Maddie’s website: www.maddiejames.com

 

 

Sweet, but Sexy boxed set featuring my Blue Bottle Beach

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Thanks for sharing our excitement about the new release Sweet, but Sexy contemporary romances. It’s a boxed set of 8 sweet novels and 2 bonus stories for under 1 buck! We hope you love it!

My book Blue Bottle Beach is included in the set, and here’s a little story about the inspiration behind it:

Have you ever taken a vacation that didn’t turn out exactly as you planned? Uh…I’m not the only one, right? Here’s a story taken right from my own honeymoon in Key West. And I swear it’s all true.

When we got married, my new husband was a physically adventurous kind of guy. Motorcyles. Jetskis. Scuba diving. Roller coasters. As a new wife, I was determined to play right along. So we planned a semi-adventurous trip to Key West, Florida. I’m pretty sure any trip to Key West is an adventure, but we planned to add moped riding and scuba diving. Keep in mind, I had never been on a motorcycle or moped of any kind in my life. Bicycle, yes. I thought that qualified me to ride a moped.

It did not.

Did you know you have to pass a “Moped Test” in order to rent one in Key West? I was under the impression there were NO RULES there. I was wrong. The teenager in charge of rentals set up a little course with orange cones in the parking lot, gave me fifteen seconds of instruction on operating the machine and wished me good luck. After two false starts and two crushed cones, the test was over. I failed. Failed! The teenager (who did not look sad or apologetic at all) said, “Lady, I can’t rent you a moped.”

My new husband, whom I had hoped to impress, watched from the sidelines. He consoled me by suggesting I could ride on the back of his moped after he sailed right through the obstacle course like a pro. Seeing Key West on the back of a moped with a confident and somewhat reckless driver was not as much fun as you might think.

The next day, we were signed up for a scuba diving course. My new husband was already a certified diver. I knew how to swim and hold my breath, so I thought this qualified me to sail right through the scuba course at the hotel.

It did not.

After a day of pool instruction in which I didn’t embarrass myself much, our crew of divers went out on a boat. Into the OCEAN. The ocean is very large, salty, and wavy. There were nine-foot waves that day. NINE FEET!! This is too tall. I know this now. Before our boat got out to the reef where we planned to dive, I had already barfed over the side of the boat thrice. I was not alone. Still, I was determined to gut it out and prove to myself and my new man that I was an adventurous gal.

We got in the water with the assurance from the dive instructor that it would be less wavy underneath. Our seasickness would abate.

It did not.

Did you know that you can puke under water? Did you also know that if you puke under water, pretty colorful fish will swim over and eat it?

I tell this story not to impress you with my glamor and talent, but instead to make a point. When I write about flawed and goofy heroines who end up in situations they never would have expected, I know what I’m talking about.

They say you should write what you know. I do.

BBB_final_MD

Blue Bottle Beach is a contemporary romance that will take you to the hot sands of Key West.

There’s no better place for a bachelorette party than Key West, Florida. Jackie and her accountant friends call in sick and escape wintry Chicago to celebrate in the sunshine, but an unexpected twist breaks up the party. On her own for a weekend in America’s least inhibited city, Jackie meets a man who makes her heart do a tropical dance. Mitchell is handsome, charming, and knows just where to touch her. If he looks a little familiar, the thought is quickly lost on the hot sands.

Mitchell finds Jackie equally irresistible as he romances her on Blue Bottle Beach, but he has no idea she should be in her cubicle in Chicago balancing the books for one of his many companies. Opening his heart to any woman after an ugly divorce is tough for Mitchell, but something about Jackie makes him want to forget everything.

When they both return to reality and wintry Chicago at Christmastime, they have to face who they really are without the sparkling sunshine and sands of Key West blinding them.

Sweet, but Sexy boxed set featuring Jennifer Anderson

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Please welcome fellow author Jennifer Anderson as we share our excitement about the Sweet, but Sexy boxed set of contemporary romances. 8 books under 1 buck!

Here’s Jennifer!

My Brother’s Wedding wasn’t a story I was dying to write. In fact, I didn’t have a clue it Jennifer-7emaillingered in my head until I was attending a TMP meeting. Our boss was describing changes with our new category romance lines and she explained how all the books within each line would have similar covers. For example, Next Door covers would be a blue wavy design with the title at the top and the author’s name at the bottom but the middle pictures were customized for each book. She shared mock-ups and used me for one of them. And she titled this fictitious book My Brother’s Wedding.

My Brothers Wedding - Jennifer AndersonThe more I stared at the cover and enjoyed seeing my name and title on the cover, the more I hashed out a story in my head. As you might know from my Honey Creek stories, I’m a huge fan of the boy next door type of stories. High school loves. People who share a past. Maybe it stems from my own relationship with my high school sweetheart or maybe I’m just a romantic who likes to keep it close to home! Who knows. But as I began writing the story, I knew I wanted to feature St. Louis. In fact, the coffee house, MoKaBe’s, Ryan and Allison share lunch at is one of my favorite places in St. Louis. And the bridal shop is the very location I purchased my own wedding gown many years ago.

Originally, the story evolved into more of a women’s fiction book, which never felt complete to me. I want romance. I want my characters to have a HEA ending. So with some cutting and deleting, I finally arrived at the sweet story we have today.

It’s funny where we find inspiration. For My Brother’s Wedding, it all started with a cover!

My Brother’s Wedding blurb:

Allison Daughtry is catapulted into a past life when she returns to her childhood home to attend her brother’s wedding. Bombarded with memories of a night she’d shared with Ryan Johnson, her reason for leaving and forever crush, she attempts to navigate her feelings while maintaining a fake romantic relationship with her best friend. Complicated emotions surface and Allison struggles to remember what’s real.

Excerpt:

“Adam, this is George Fitzepatrick. He’s my…”

“Boyfriend.” George stepped forward and thrust his hand in Adam’s direction.

Adam looked back at Allison’s guilty smile. “A boyfriend? I didn’t know you were seeing anyone.”

“Yeah,” Allison replied, fighting to find better words. She stepped back from her brother’s hold, feeling his arm fall from her shoulders. “Surprise. Your sister is dating someone.” She shrugged hoping he’d interrogate her later.

“Since we work together, we’ve kept our relationship a secret. Although, now that we’ve both taken off at the same time, I’m sure everyone will know,” George offered.

Allison was grateful for George’s quick words. She hadn’t rehearsed her part well. In fact, she arrived in St. Louis unprepared for any sort of questioning about her relationship with George. Rooky move on her part. Her mother listed off questions when she called a few weeks prior to announce her plus one. Then, Allison offered simple, short answers not giving up many details. She’d hoped her mother relayed her answers to Adam. Obviously not.

Adam released George’s hand and looked back over his shoulder at his sister. Allison swore his eyes reflected hurt. She couldn’t risk telling Adam the truth. She needed to get through the week and George, her pretend boyfriend, was the only way. Once she was safely sitting in her lonely apartment in Chicago, she’d confess to her brother. She’d tell him how George was her only friend in Chicago. That her long hours at work kept her out of the dating scene and the highlight of her day was sharing lunch with a hot guy who couldn’t careless how she looked naked. She’d also add how George preferred, rather insisted, on dating men.

Mrs. Daughtry shook her towel at the small group forming in her kitchen. “You three go sit down and I will make you a plate.” Her mother moved to the stove and stopped. “Where’s Sarah? I’m sure she’s hungry, too.”

“She got dragged into the dining room by Crazy Aunt Phyliss. Something about wedding hair or I don’t know. Girl stuff.”

“You just left her alone with those people.” Allison stared at her brother in disbelief and concern.

“Excuse me,” their mother interrupted. “Those people are family.”

“Yes, Mom, but they’re crazy.” Allison turned back to her brother. “You have to save her.”

Adam waived at his sister. “Nah. She’s tough. Plus, she likes them all, for some reason.”

Allison gagged. “Maybe you should get her checked out. She’s sounds like she’s getting a little nutty. You don’t want to have babies with a nut job.”

“That’s enough you two. Now,” Mrs. Daughtry grabbed her son’s arm and pulled him toward the small kitchen table. “Sit, eat and I’ll bring Sarah a plate.” Their mom slid plates in front of Allison and George loaded with steaming beef, potatoes and carrots. “There’s plenty on the stove.”

“Yes mom,” they both offered. Adam hunched over his plate with both elbows rested at his side. Allison snuck a peek at George and watched him push the food around with his fork. His usual lunch consisted of a diet soda, salad or a piece of fruit. In fact, her lunch had consisted of mainly the same due to the limited funds and lack of time to eat. George caught her watching, smiled and shoved a piece of roast in his mouth.

After fifteen minutes of being hunched over a plate, Adam sat back, rubbed his belly and grunted in approval. “Mmm. Good.”

“What’s good?” A new voice asked from the kitchen door.

Almost in slow motion, Allison turned her head, sending her ponytail flying. Her eyes began their feast. Dark jeans sat low on a slim waste followed by a pale blue button-up shirt with a v of a white T-shirt winking at her. His teeth almost shined like a prince in a cartoon with a sparkle from the track lighting fixture dancing in his dark eyes. A hand ran through the slight curl in his brown hair, tousling the locks before they fell against his temples.

A gasp escaped her lips.

Ryan Johnson.

Sweet, but Sexy boxed set featuring Constance Phillips

Sweet-Sexy-BSet-3D-LGPlease welcome fellow author Constance Phillips as we share our excitement over the recent release Sweet, but Sexy Contemporaries. 8 books for under 1 buck!

 

Here’s Constance:

All That’s Unspoken in the Sweet, but Sexy Boxed Set

For me, writing sweet romance was something new, but it seemed appropriate to the tale that needed to be told in All That’s Unspoken. I am so pleased that it was chosen to be part of the Sweet, but Sexy Boxed Set.

I’d always heard that writers put a little bit of themselves into their characters, and would have to say I have done that with every character of every book I’ve written. When it came to All That’s Unspoken, however, I felt myself digging a little deeper into my own psyche while building the heroine, Hailey.

I can bottle up my emotions and hold on to things that—if I would only say them aloud—wouldn’t be as bad as they felt internally. In All That’s Unspoken, Hailey has spent eight years trying to forget what she did–or rather the things she didn’t—say to Nate before leaving town early for college.

From the time I conceived this story, I knew it was a small-town tale. Caseville, Michigan, wasn’t my first choice, but as I began telling the story and digging into those personal emotions, I knew it needed a personal connection, like being set in the community where I grew up.

While there are pieces of the author dispersed through this story, I hope that you will enjoy Hailey’s and Nate’s special story of letting go of the past and facing the future…together.

BUY: AMAZON BARNES & NOBLE | KOBO | IBOOKS | ALL ROMANCE EBOOKS |SMASHWORDS | TURQUOISE MORNING PRESS

 ATU - Nate teaser

All That’s Unspoken

Hailey Lambert came home for the holidays to help her father. Instead, eight years later, she is forced to face all that was left unspoken between her and high school crush, Nate.

After eight years, Hailey is back in Caseville, Michigan. Just months after her mother’s death, her siblings want to put their father in a nursing home and rent out the family farm. If that wasn’t enough, the prospective tenant is Nate, the high school crush she left behind the day after they acted on their mutual attraction.

After high school, Nate Jenkins planned to leave small town behind, but life dealt him a different hand of cards. He’s now back in Caseville, raising his daughter and running his family’s diner. His daughter’s speech disorder has been improved by therapeutic horse riding and if he can lease the old Lambert farm, he can get her a horse of her own. The only thing standing in the way is Hailey, the same woman who left him eight years ago without even saying goodbye.

Can they get over all that’s unspoken between them?

Excerpt for All That’s Unspoken

Only when she heard the bell above the door ring out, was she able to unclench her fists and let out the breath that had tightened her chest. She’d seen Nate lingering around the edge of the counter with her plate of pancakes in hand but didn’t want him to approach her now.

She really didn’t have it in her to deal with him.

He came forward anyway, and set the plate in front of her. After a hesitation, he asked, “Can I sit for a minute?”

Her eyes fluttered closed, but she gestured to the chair. She heard it scrape against the old worn tile and could feel him just inches away from her.

“I’m sorry your dad’s health is on the decline. I’ve always really liked him. It stinks, you know.”

She took a deep breath; maybe they could talk as old friends and ignore the complications of the night they’d spent together. “I don’t think he’s that bad. Jake and Kelly are overreacting.”

He twisted his hands on his lap. “I can see how you would think that. Some days when I see him, he’s sharp as nails. Others….”

Her phone vibrated against the table. The habit to check the ID won out against the desire meet Nate’s stare. An eight-hundred number flashed, twisting Hailey’s stomach into knots. Another bill collector wanting to take the money she was trying to stretch just a little further, hoping to get through a few more weeks. She hit the button to ignore the call.

“I overheard what you said about your dad wanting the property to stay the same,” Nate said. “I’ll take real good care of the place and won’t change a thing. I love that farm the way it is.”

That brought her attention back. “What are you talking about?”

“I’ve been talking to Jake about renting the house.”

She took in his deep brown eyes and almost black hair. It was cropped short like he was trying to beat-the-heat, even if the average temperature this week was somewhere around ten degrees. Much shorter than he wore it in high school. The neatly trimmed beard and mustache were new too.

He looked older. More settled.

How ironic.

They’d both thought this small town would smother them back then.

For a fleeting moment it comforted her to picture Nate cooking in her family’s kitchen, and then she realized it wouldn’t be her house anymore. She’d be on the outside looking in. “It feels like everything is being taken away from me.”

His body stiffened as he pulled back. “It’s not like I’m stealing it. I’m going to pay you for it.”

“This isn’t about money!”

“Then what is it about?”

She reached for her purse and fumbled for her wallet with trembling hands. “Everyone seems to think that just because I don’t live here, I don’t have a voice, but you’re all wrong.” She threw a twenty-dollar bill on the table. “I didn’t leave the planet, I moved to New York. I didn’t abandon my family, but it feels like they think so. I’m sick of being treated like an outside in my hometown, in my family home, in my own life.”

She stood and tried to turn, but he grabbed her wrist. Looking back would weaken her resolve—Nate had always had that effect on her—but she did it anyway.

“Please, it would mean a lot to Lori…and me.”

His daughter. The child he’d had with someone else. She couldn’t stand the thought of the two of them in her living room without her.

Why did it hurt so much?

It wasn’t as if he left her. She’d pursued and claimed the future she’d always wanted.

Hadn’t she?

If everything she’d attained had been all she ever wanted, why was it tearing her in two to know Nate had gone on with his life without her? It wasn’t as if she’d expected he wouldn’t. She should be happy he was settled. Instead, it made her long for that place next to him even more.

A lump formed in her throat, making speech impossible. Instead, she headed for the door.

“That’s right, Hailey. Run away. It’s what you do best!”

His words stopped her, and she twisted back. “I what?”

“Run. Away. When the pieces of your life don’t come together like a neat little puzzle, you scatter them all around you and stomp out of the room.”

She bristled at the venom in his voice. “That’s not what happened.”

“Oh, no. You handled it so well, just breezed out of town with no concern for those you left behind.”

They weren’t talking about her father or her house anymore. This was about how she’d reacted eight years ago, when the feelings got too real.

Just as they were now.

“I care, dammit!” She let out a long exhale. “I always have.”

About the Author

Constance Phillips lives in Ohio with her husband, daughter, and four canine kids. Her son, now on his own, is planning a wedding, reconfirming that romance still lives and breathes. When not writing stories of finding and rediscovering love, Constance and her husband spend the hours planning a cross-country motorcycle trip for the not-so-distant future…if they can find a sidecar big enough for the pups.

You can friend, follow, or find out more about Constance at the following sites: Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest

 

 

Sweet, but Sexy boxed set featuring Magdalena Scott

Please welcome my fellow author MAGDALENA SCOTT as we gush about our boxed set of SWEET contemporaries SWEET, BUT SEXY.Sweet-Sexy-BSet-3D-LG

Hi there!

I’m so happy to be here today. I feel very fortunate to have a story included in the SWEET, BUT SEXY boxed set. It’s always a treat to hang out with a group of sweet romance writers, and even better when we all get to share our stories with readers.

BUILDING A DREAM is a novella set in Legend, Tennessee. As of this writing, there are 29 published stories in this series, with two more to release this year. Learn about Legend and the other three authors who write about it—Maddie James, Jan Scarbrough, and Janet Eaves—by visiting the website, www.legendtennessee.com.

 

Here is the blurb for BUILDING A DREAM:buildingadream-rev

Chloe McClain is an artist, so she’s used to creating something from nothing. This time, though, the project is bigger than her usual canvas—this time she’s bought a big dilapidated building to rehab into a classy art gallery. Should be easy enough; she’ll hire Greg Andrews and his construction crew. Greg’s work has gotten good reviews from everyone in Legend. Of course there is kind of a rush on the project…

Greg is a professional, and his professional opinion is that Chloe’s pile of bricks should be put out of its misery. There’s no way he can bring the place up to code by her deadline, let alone turn it into the showplace she has in mind. But Chloe’s a McClain, and besides a wide stubborn streak, that means deep pockets. Speaking of which, Greg can’t keep his eyes off the back pockets of Chloe’s jeans…

When you live in Legend, Tennessee, there are certain things to remember. People in Legend pull together. Community before self. And you never want to take a wrong step around a McClain—even the cute females.

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Excerpt

 “You must be kidding,” Greg said, walking carefully around the hole he’d dropped his leg into earlier. “No way can this be rehabbed in a month. No possible way. Mike said you had a time frame in mind—but thirty days is plain crazy.”

“Fine,” said Chloe McClain. “I’ll get someone else.” She closed a small notebook and slid it into the back pocket of her snug jeans, then stuck the ballpoint behind her ear. The motion made the cascade of bell-shaped earrings tinkle softly. The sterling silver caught what little light came through the crud-encrusted windows. There was also a diamond stud up high in one ear. Greg had never considered ears to be particularly sexy, but on Chloe McClain, it seemed everything was sexy. At least, everything he’d seen. Her blonde-and-dark-brown streaked hair was wavy and cropped close to her head, but it grew a bit long in the back, and curls caressed her delicate neck. Her eyes were big and brown and bright as a child’s. The long lashes and dusky eye shadow had him wondering what those big dark eyes would look like if Chloe were feeling passionate about something besides an ugly old building. Her mouth was generous and shaped as perfectly as any he’d seen on lipstick commercials. Even her nose intrigued him. Short and straight, but turned up on the end. It made her look spunky, and he had an idea it wasn’t false advertising. Her body wasn’t runway model thin, but slender and pleasantly curvy. She looked even better once you started talking to her. Then her eyes began to snap, her head moved in emphasis to her words, the music started from her strange earrings, and that gorgeous mouth had you looking there more of the time than you probably should. Good thing she was nuts, or he might be attracted to her.

“So… You’re Mike’s sister?” he asked. Mike McClain had worked for Greg a while now, but there were so many McClains in and around Legend, Greg couldn’t keep them straight.

“Cousin.” She rolled her eyes, turned on the heel of her beat-up sandal, and headed for the door, where she flicked off the lights. Greg looked up at the half dozen bulbs hanging from the ceiling, suspended by dangerous-looking wires. Pathetic. The whole place was pathetic. He sure didn’t want to get into a situation of trying to bring this dump up to code in thirty days, let alone do the project to her unreasonable expectations.

Chloe shut the door after them, and locked it. Right. As if anybody in his right mind would actually want to go in there.

“Well. Thanks for the opportunity, Miz McClain. Sorry I can’t help you with this. Good luck finding somebody else.

“Uh-huh. Thanks. Well, I’ve got some contacts around. I’m sure there’s somebody who could take it on. I need to have the place ready to go on deadline, or else…” She let the sentence trail off.

“Or else?” Not that he cared. Just making conversation.

“Or else I can’t do the exhibition I’ve committed to.” She pushed some round-lensed dark glasses onto her nose, and caught her lower lip between her teeth. Frown lines marred that perfect brow, below the fall of wispy dark and light bangs.

Exhibition. Whatever. He needed to move on down the street. “So what kind of exhibition is that?” He hadn’t meant to ask.

“Nothing. I need to go.” A sultry breeze came down the street, making the bells in her earlobes play again. She turned without another word and walked away from him into the breeze. Greg shivered. Some brush-off. Why he cared, he wasn’t sure. He enjoyed watching her from behind until she turned the corner and was gone.

Oh well. Cute, but not my type. Dating a cousin of Mike’s would surely be more than he wanted to deal with anyway. Might get awkward when it ended. Greg’s relationships generally ended dramatically. Yelling and name-calling were sometimes part of it, and he sure didn’t need Mike to be in that picture. It was complicated being a single man in Legend, Tennessee.

****

The other stories in the boxed set are

BLUE BOTTLE BEACH by Amie Denman, ALL THAT’S UNSPOKEN by Constance Phillips, SECRETS by Jan Scarbrough, CROSSROADS by Janet Eaves, MY BROTHER’S WEDDING by Jennifer Anderson, DOUBLE DOG DARE by Jennifer Johnson, and HARD CANDY KISSES by Maddie James.

 

For a limited time, the boxed set is only 99 cents. Just one more reason to snag a copy at your favorite ebook retailer. Thank you for reading!

–Mags

 

 

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | KOBO | SMASHWORDS | ALL ROMANCE EBOOKS | TURQUOISE MORNING PRESS

 

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Magdalena Scott is a bestselling author of the Ladies of Legend series. You can catch up with her on her website, www.magdalenascott.com