Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Daffodils - The Delight of Spring by May Williams


April showers do bring May flowers, but I have plenty of blossoms in my northern garden already. I must confess to having a love affair with daffodils. I have early, mid, and late blooming ones plus mini and full size, yellow and white.🌼 My crocuses and snowdrops break through the wintry landscape first, but it’s the daffodils that win my heart every year with their happy flowers that sway in the breeze. Winter’s wickedness played an April Fool’s Day joke this year and sent a coating of snow, but the sunshine soon melted the snow and restored the daffodils to their brilliance.🌞

When we dug up a flower bed last summer, I salvaged the daffodil bulbs by putting them in the legs of a pair of pantyhose and storing them in a dry place until fall when I replanted them. They have graciously come up this spring. I’m delighted to see them since to me daffodils are always the promise of sunshine and better weather ahead.πŸ’›

My love for daffodils inspired the cover for one of my contemporary romances—Swayed by You. The other two books in the series have pretty yellow flowers on the covers, too, but I must confess it’s the daffodils that I can’t resist. In the spirit of the season, Swayed by You is on sale for $.99 on Amazon, and it’s available free to users of Kindle Unlimited.

Swayed by You by May Williams

When ex-army photographer Ian Kroft embarks on a mission to broker a real estate deal, he never pictured he’d fall for Colette Peterson, the property’s owner. She’s smart, beautiful, and dedicated to preserving her family’s land where she runs an animal shelter. The young veterinarian learned the hard way not to trust love, but there’s something about Ian that has Colette believing every word he says. Soon, Ian is torn between his love for Colette and his ambitions. Will he continue with his original plans or is he swayed by his love for her?

On sale for $.99 now at Amazon and free for 
users of Kindle Unlimited.


Finally, I'm celebrating my 50th Birthday today. I love being an April birthday girl even when it rains on my big day. This year Mother Nature is smiling on me with sunshine and plenty of Daffodils. 

I'd love to hear from readers on social media. Just click on the links below.




Monday, April 12, 2021

April Showers Bring Lovely Flowers by Laura Hunsaker

You know how they say beauty is in the eye of the beholder? I feel like that same saying can be applied to romance. I was chatting with a friend recently and we talked about how my husband had sent me roses at work. (He has never done this and has only sent me flowers a handful of times in our almost 20 years together). She was cooing over how romantic it was, and she said how lucky I am to have such a romantic husband. That made me think that I would never really consider my husband romantic.

He doesn't give me sweet talk, or sing songs to me (he plays guitar), or put on a show when we're with friends. He doesn't like a lot of attention and other than holding my hand in public, that's about as romantic as he gets...

But...I started to think that I don't really want a guy who writes me songs (I had that once and I felt so awkward when he sang to me). I don't want poetry, or all the things that are typically considered "romantic" because I have my guy who is romantic in other ways. Ways that I didn't realize were romantic when we were younger. 

I had back pain a lot after having our youngest, and writing in our bed was making it worse. So he bought me a desk that folds down and can fit in our room. He doesn't love the amount of books I have, but he built some amazing bookshelves for me. I look back at all of the things he's built or done for me, and while building an Ikea desk may not shout "romance!" to most, it absolutely does to me. It meant he listened when I'd complain about my back, and he cared enough to help me out. 

So circling back to those roses...when I thanked him for the roses, he literally said, "Oh were they roses?" I said, "Uh yes?" He replied, "I just saw that they were your favorite color." I mean, such a clueless comment...but he knows my favorite color. And the roses are beautiful. 

If you want a happy, sweet, and sexy story that Alexandra Ivy calls, "A story with charm, heartache and the promise of love that will bring a smile to your face..." then check out my latest DREAMS OF THE PAST. 

Amazon | Kobo | Barnes & Noble | Google Play | Smashwords | Goodreads

She needs rest, he needs relaxation… 

Jenny Travers wants a fresh start. Leaving the nightmares of her past behind her, she heads to Last Chance Beach. Renting the Sea Glass Cottage sounds peaceful and relaxing, which is exactly what she needs. 

 What she doesn’t need is a man. 

Lieutenant Commander Scott Gordon was injured by an IED on his last mission, and while his leg has healed, it’ll never be strong enough to stay on his SEAL team. Renting the Sea Glass Cottage sounds like the perfect place to figure out how he’s going to handle his new normal. 

He never expected to find a woman in his bed. 

A mix-up at the rental agency means Jenny and Scott are both renting the small cottage. Sharing a space with a stranger should be hard, yet they both feel more at peace than they have in months. 

Will their summer romance last, or is the magic of Sea Glass Cottage all they’ll have…

Sunday, April 11, 2021

IT'S RAINING MEN! MY FAVORITE KIND OF APRIL SHOWERS. By Kathleen Lawless @kathleenlawless


Back in my single days when my best friend said I needed a theme song, I chose “It’s Raining Men”.  Not because men were abundant in my part of the world where there are still eight single women to every single man. It was more like a plea and a belief in the power of positive thinking. 

Something must have worked because after 80, I stopped counting how many first dates I went on.  Suffice to say, very few contenders made it to date three.  After all, a girl has her standards.  And you can tell a lot just by a man’s name before you even meet.  I went through a spate of Garys, Larrys and Barrys, and none of them were for me.  Luckily there were always book boyfriends. 

These days, between my reading and writing it really does feel like it’s raining men.  With many of my own books having the name of the hero in the title, it’s not easy to come up with a new, yet suitable name for each of those hunks.  Plus, if I’m in a multi-author series, I have to make sure I’m not using the same name as one of the other authors. 

I must confess, because I work on more than one book at a time most days, it’s not always easy to keep the men sorted.
  Will is the ex-con.  Riley is the wealthy miner.  Shane is the bad-boy best friend of the heroine’s brother.  Denton is the sheriff.  Blaze is the stuntman.  Denby is the undercover investigator.  Then there’s my series with the seven brothers, where I gave each one a name beginning with B: Brody, Bradley, Braydon and so forth.  I liked the alliteration with Bride in the title, even though my editor worried my readers might get confused.  So far not a single complaint.  Phew!

What kind of name do you prefer your book boyfriend heroes have?  Do you like something different?  I mean, who could ever forget Roark in Shanna?  Or do you prefer a more formal name like Jonathan?  Personally, I like a name that rarely gets shortened, except perhaps by the heroine in a moment of intimacy.  Would it put you off reading a book if you didn’t like the hero’s name?  Cue back to my dating days.  More than likely it would for me. 

This month, BRODY’S BRIDE is on sale for only 99 cents in a multi-author promotion of first-in-series historical romances.  Check it out on Bookfunnel.  You might just fall in love with your next book boyfriend.  

No matter what the weather, as long as we have romance novels, it will always be raining men.  https://books.bookfunnel.com/histrom99c/ewt0st0z9n

There is also a promo of new historical releases from January to March.  Check here to see if you missed any favorites.     https://books.bookfunnel.com/histromnew2/fc2hrql36j      


For now, stay dry and enjoy a good read. 



Kathleen Lawless blames a misspent youth watching Rawhide, Maverick and Bonanza for her fascination with cowboys, which doesn’t stop her from creating a wide variety of interests and occupations for her many alpha male heroes.   

Her hero, Steele, in HER UNDERCOVER COWBOY is a modern-day cowboy, so when she was wooed by a man called Steel—while he’s not a cowboy, he is an Alpha male and her forever hero.  Which is why all of her stories end Happily Ever After.

Sign up for Kathleen’s VIP Reader Newsletter to receive a free book, updates, special giveaways and fan-priced offers.    http://eepurl.com/bV0sb1



Friday, April 9, 2021

What on Earth Are We Saying? by Hannah Rowan #RomanceGems

Writers, of course, have an affinity for words and too much curiosity, which can send us spiraling down some weird mental pathways. So when my fellow Gems chose April showers as this month’s theme, “raining cats and dogs” immediately popped into my head.

What kind of crazy thing is that to say, anyway? Off I went on a Google search that informed me of two very disturbing situations. Apparently in 17th century England it sometimes rained so hard and so long that the bodies of dead animals, including cats and dogs, washed up in the streets. Ick! Then again, some people speculate that in a heavy rain the bodies of small animals washed out of the thatched roofs of the cottages, landing on the heads of the hapless inhabitants. Either way, I’d recommend umbrellas and boots.

While the British cling to the somewhat factual cats and dogs, people in other countries use different expressions to describe heavy rains.  The most common seems to be pouring buckets or being doused by a watering can, which is kind of boring but sensible.  The Cantonese, however, say it’s raining dog poo, no kidding! We should all probably stay away from that part of the world, or at least remember that umbrella.

Since we’re discussing the origins of expressions, and I’m sure most people never wonder these things at all, I’ll admit that while calling bingo at the assisted living facility where I work, I tend to say “by George, you’ve got it” when someone calls out the correct winning numbers. But one day someone wondered…who the heck is George?

Sure, Henry Higgins said that in My Fair Lady, but why? He couldn’t have been the first person to use that expression.

Inexplicably, “by George” is a battle cry uttered by soldiers before charging into battle, again originating in Britain.  Or if you believe other sources, “by George” is a substitute for saying “by God.” I’m not satisfied with either explanation.

Again with the bingo crowd, because bingo leads to deep thoughts, people who are off by just one number often bemoan the fact that they “almost” won. Inevitably someone else will comment that “close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.”

Why? Naturally, I had to look it up.

Maybe I’m the last to know, but it seems in horseshoes as long as your horseshoe is close to the stake it doesn’t have to actually encircle the stake. Or the person closest to the stake wins. Or something.

The hand grenade thing is self-explanatory.

And by George, maybe I shouldn’t think so much.


Wednesday, April 7, 2021

April Showers—when it rains it pours by Jan Scarbrough

When I heard the theme for April, I immediately thought of my book Kentucky Rain. After all, showers are on the cover!

I-64 between Louisville and Lexington, Kentucky

Sheets of rain pummeled the windshield, the steady flap-flap-flap of the wiper blades filling the silence of the SUV. Kate Lawrence gripped the steering wheel, unsure whether her blurred vision came from the glare of oncoming headlights reflecting off the rain or from the tears welling in her eyes.

It had been a month since her divorce was final, and tonight was the first time Jerry had taken their daughter. Visitation was an ugly, ugly word.

For the first time since my divorce years earlier, I was ready to write about it in Kentucky Rain. “Exchanging children” had been a staple of many Friday nights and Sunday afternoons.

Kentucky Rain is the last book in an eight-book series called Bluegrass Reunions. Each book is set in Kentucky and most stories deal with a reunion or second chance at love. Most books have a single mom, but she is a mom for various reasons. Not until Kentucky Rain did, I write about the aftermath of divorce.

When I received my rights back from the initial publisher of the series, I was able to revise each book. My editor looked at each one. I bought new covers to consistently rebrand them. Then my husband published the series on eBook sites for me. Being able to publish these books myself allowed me great freedom. They were better books after another review and edit.

That’s the joy of self-publishing. It’s plenty of work, but it’s worth it because I can write what I want to write. And when something doesn’t work out, I can make a change.

That’s what’s happening to another series of mine. My first three western romances are getting a new series title. I’ve revised each one of the three books. My editor has done her redlining. I have new covers. I’m ready to rebrand the stories of Brody, Mercer, and Liz into The Dawsons of Montana. Who knows? There may be a fourth book in the works. Big happy face.

All three books are on Kindle Unlimited for a limited time.

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

It's time to go Barefoot! by @amiedenman

While parts of the world are enjoying a slow spring awakening 🌺 and April showers--our theme for this month--the Gulf Coast of Florida is hot and sunny!🌞 Just last week, I released the newest of my trademark beach romances. Truth? I ADORE FLORIDA!! I love everything about it. Humidity, crowds, orange groves, beaches, theme parks.🍊

In my mind and in my books, Florida is a magical place and the Gulf Coast is perfect for romance. πŸ’˜Welcome to Barefoot Key, a formerly sleepy beach town experiencing a revival. I first explored Barefoot Key in The Gull Motel (my bestselling book) and recently returned with The Barefoot Beach Rental.

Here's the story on The Barefoot Beach Rental: (in which I included my love of cake πŸŽ‚ and cats 🐈)

When a down-on-her-luck baker moves into the Barefoot Beach Rental for a month, she brings the heat to her sexy landlord while also finding a sweet spot of her own.

Ava Bottoms dreams of owning her own bakery where elaborate wedding cakes and custom creations abound. She has baking talent and experience, but she’s mixed romance with business a few too many times, so she’s starting over at the wise age of almost thirty. Burned out of a home and kitchen due to a recent incident with a flaming dessert, Ava checks in to the Barefoot Beach Rental for a month. The brochure promises a gourmet kitchen where she hopes to finish writing The Year of Cake—the book that will bring her the fame and fortune she needs to achieve her bakery dream. She’s sworn off distractions of the male kind, but it’s tough keeping her oven mitts off the sexy owner of her beach rental.

Dalton Neverly checks guests in and out at his Barefoot Beach Rental. Most guests stay only a week, and he savors temporary relationships. Six years after his divorce, he can still hardly look at the gourmet kitchen in rental unit two without remembering what his ex-wife cooked up with a visiting chef. Dalton loves his beach lifestyle, but when Ava moves in next door for a month and tempts him every day with sweets, he wonders if it’s time to feel the heat again.


I hope readers will love a trip to the beach--perfect for curling up inside during those April showers! I'd love to connect with you on social media or through my newsletter. Just click on the links below! 😍






I'm also participating in a Romance giveaway on BookFunnel all month. "April Happy Ever After Romance" includes almost 200 free downloads of romance novels! Find it here!


Monday, April 5, 2021

The Things Authors Say by Nancy Fraser

As authors, we often look to other writers for inspiration. I thought I’d share some of my favorite writing-related quotes.

Writers on Writing

I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by. - Douglas Adams

I love being a writer. What I can't stand is the paperwork. - Peter de Vries

If you start with a bang, you won't end with a whimper. - T.S. Eliot

There are three rules for writing. Unfortunately, no one can agree what they are. - Somerset Maugham

The first chapter sells the book; the last chapter sells the next book. - Mickey Spillane

If the sex scene doesn't make you want to do it - whatever it is they're doing - it hasn't been written right. - Sloan Wilson

Writers on Editing

Get it down. Take chances. It may be bad, but it's the only way you can do anything really good. - William Faulkner

It is perfectly okay to write garbage--as long as you edit brilliantly. - C. J. Cherryh

Never throw up on an editor. - Ellen Datlow

 Writers on Critics/Reviews

Asking a working writer what he thinks about critics is like asking a lamppost how it feels about dogs. - Christopher Hampton

It's none of their business that you have to learn to write. Let them think you were born that way. - Ernest Hemingway

 Writing Self-Deprecation

It took me fifteen years to discover I had no talent for writing, but I couldn't give it up because by that time I was too famous. - Robert Benchley

I am irritated by my own writing. I am like a violinist whose ear is true, but whose fingers refuse to reproduce precisely the sound he hears within. - Gustave Flaubert

Having been unpopular in high school is not just cause for book publication. - Fran Lebowitz

A Writer’s Obsession

We do not write because we want to; we write because we have to. - Somerset Maugham

When writing a novel, that’s pretty much entirely what life turns into: 'House burned down. Car stolen. Cat exploded. Did 1500 easy words, so all in all it was a pretty good day.' - Neil Gaiman

A writer never has a vacation. For a writer life consists of either writing or thinking about writing. - Eugene Ionesco

Just for Fun

He was such a bad writer, they revoked his poetic license. - Milton Berle

~ ~ ~

Until next month, stay happy, healthy and well read!