Saturday, August 31, 2019

Nobody over 65... by Liz Flaherty #RomanceGems

I can't keep up.

I don't know if it's because my birthday was several weeks back or if this month has been a time of loss and grief for my family or if it's just the natural progression of things, but there it is.

I am behind. And I'll probably never catch up. I may as well get rid of all those Chapter Ones I've saved, because they'll likely never proceed to Chapter Two. I need to lessen the mess that will be left for my loved ones when I'm gone. Get rid of all the size 10s I'll never wear again.

I need to catch up.

But this week I saw a meme on Facebook. (I might not be so far behind if I spent less time there, but that's a thought for another day.) And I thought all kinds of things, none of them printable or repeatable. "You rotten little weasel" was a pretty kind one.
It made me think that being behind isn't such a big deal. Keeping up is a goal, but it won't be the first one I didn't achieve. Catching up? Meh. Maybe. And maybe not.

But, I'll write until I can't. I'll laugh until I can't. I'll volunteer until I can't. And I'll vote until I can't. Because not being able to keep up isn't the same thing as being done. And I'm nowhere near done.


When Steven Elliott accidentally rides his bike into Carol Whitney's car at the cemetery, their out-of-control lives take on new and exciting possibilities. Long friendship wends its way into something deeper and feelings neither of them expected to experience again enrich their days and nights. But what will happen when the long summer ends and Steven leaves their hometown to once again take up his prestigious career as a cardiothoracic surgeon and Carol loses the dream of the family, commitment, and future that she's allowed herself to want?

Life gets in the way before either Steven or Carol are ready, and they wonder if their romance will fade and fall with the leaves when hot days turn to the briskness of autumn.

Coming October 30!

Friday, August 30, 2019

Surprise! #FREE Book by @BonnieEdwards

Throughout the month, we have what we call Surprise Days, which mean there's no post scheduled.

This system gives the Gems some leeway when we have a special promotion going on and that's what brings me here today.

All week, my sexy, fun novella Body Work (which kicks off the trilogy, The Brantons) has been free.

Today, Friday the 30th is the last day you can get it. This Amazon exclusive is here:

Can first love turn into a second chance romance?

Lisa Brady Delaney left Tyce Branton and the trailer park in her rear view mirror. Years later, he’s the only one who can help her fulfill an important promise. After that, it's rear view mirror time again.

Tyce hates that he wants Lisa again at first sight, but can he keep his hands off when he’s a hands-on kind of man? And when she leaves again, will she take his heart with her? Because she did that once and he can't deal with it again...

Please stay tuned to Romance Gems as we gear up for another exciting month of giveaways for September!

And Happy Reading!

Thursday, August 29, 2019

CHCH CHANGES by Nora LeDuc # RomanceGems

As the August days grow shorter and cooler, I grow excited for the upcoming season. September is a strange month in New England. Summer will make a teasing comeback, while autumn lurks in the chilly evenings and mornings. Despite our hopes, fall will win the battle and bring us fresh opportunities.

Sweater weather means digging out the warmer wardrobe and hoping it still fits! I look forward to apple picking and the delicious odor of baking pies filling my kitchen. Each day, I'll check for the first glimmer of the turning leaves. Mother Nature's oranges, reds and yellows always astonish me. It's also time when we say goodbye to our vacation plans. My husband and I will savor one last bittersweet trip to the beach. We like to head to the Seafood Festival. For one price, you can eat to your heart's delight or just enjoy walking in the main street closed to traffic. You can take in the sights of the pop-up tents lining the walkways and sporting crafts, food, or clothes. Maybe while you're browsing, you'll run into a friend or two.

Another fun trip is going to the fair. In my imagination, I can already catch the pungent odor of fried onions. hear golden crisp french fries sizzling, and the taste of the chicken grilled or barbecued. You can grab a ride on the Midway, but beware the spinning types if you just ate. I love to wander through the 4-H exhibits to discover who won ribbons this year. Then there's the flute man selling his CDs, the man hawking knives that cut through soda cans, and of course the beef jerky. When you'd done with the booths visit the barns. Seems every year a cow or pig has her little ones with her. Who can resist them? And don't forget the shows. The Axe Women of Maine is a favorite and truly unusual.
The Axe Women of Maine

So as as the daylight decreases, we can spend more hours reading. I'm happy to report my book TRAIL OF Secrets is free today and tomorrow. This is the first story in my new series: Love & Lies in Paradise, a Romantic Suspense novel set in a small town in Florida.

Who killed the vivacious Emily McGuire and laid out her body at the town water tower? Orderly, rule-follower Mia McGuire is the least likely person to answer this question. Mia's life has taken a downward spiral with her sister's murder, the breakup with her boyfriend and losing her editor position. But when the homicide investigation crawls, Mia can't stand by doing nothing. She hires ex-cop and daredevil Lucas Davis to her her find the truth. Together they being a journey that puts themselves and their hearts at risk.

Don't forget to get your copy!! Happy Reading, my friends.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Big Ideas by Kara O'Neal #RomanceGems

God save me from a mother with a purpose.

For me, the month of August was always spent in a state of "hurry up" because I simply HAD to fit in as much fun as possible before the dreaded school bell rang. And let me tell you, I worked pretty hard at it because not only was I battling time, I was also doing everything I could to avoid the "big idea" lady.

For those of you unused to the term, let me tell you what a "big idea" is....

Piano lessons. Arts and crafts week. Shopping for dresses. Hair-brushing. Nature lessons. Brownie meetings. Tea time. Mother's Day Out. Tutoring.

The list goes on. She interfered all the time. I would be outside, doing important things like digging a ditch, or playing kickball, or baseball, or riding my bike, or finding tadpoles. And then she would call my name, yelling at the top of her lungs and, as a former opera singer, I could hear her for miles.

The sound traveled up my spine and lodged in my brain and let me tell you, it was spirit-crushing.

"Kara!" she would call. "Time to practice!" she would holler.

Ugh. Why, why, why?

Well, these "big ideas" continued throughout my life, AND she recruited help.

Enter my "other" mothers. A bevy of planners. Of doers. Thinkers.

They sewed us clothes. They made us try weird food. They dressed us up in costumes and made us put on plays. They made us do art projects.

Well, the art stuff wasn't really that bad...

They are a force. A group not to cross. Ladies of wisdom and humor, experience and trials. They are, for better or worse, the people I lean on. The voices in my head reminding me who I am and who I am supposed to be. They have made me a good mother. One who isn't perfect, but only has perfect intentions.

And I dedicated Love's Promise to them. It seemed appropriate.

Love's Promise is about three ladies who, against some difficult odds, open a bakery together. Eliska is my "big idea" lady. Sugar is the one with the big heart. And Cora Ann is the girl with the all the sass and vinegar. They were a joy to write. And I was able to do it because of my "big idea" gals. I love them with all my heart. (And don't worry, I hold no grudges that they ruined some of my childhood fun.)

 An excerpt:

Eliska followed them, anxious for the first sight of her future. Two boys pushed open the bay doors, and there, in bold, black letters stamped on the sides of large crates, were the words “Sears and Roebuck”. Her insides flipped in nervous anticipation.

Mr. Miller leapt inside and went through the forest of wooden boxes, checking his own inventory sheet. He lifted his head and looked down at her. “I believe it’s all here. Won’t know until we get it unpacked, but we have the right number.”

“Oh, Eliska!” Sugar exclaimed behind her. “This is really and truly happening.”
Yes, it was.

The women stood back while the men, accompanied by Pikes Run’s giant of a blacksmith, unloaded the crates. Other people watched, their curious gazes bolstering Eliska’s hope for their eventual grand opening.

Once every box had been removed and loaded onto two trailers, Mr. Miller and Mr. Boswell pulled one, and the blacksmith and Thurston took the other.

The women followed as did the interested onlookers, but when everything had been carried into the bakery, the crowd dispersed. It took some time, but after the ladies and Mr. Miller had everything unpacked, they were able to see all the pieces had arrived safe and sound.

Sugar hugged Eliska exuberantly. “See? It’s going to be marvelous.”

“If not marvelous, then definitely properly outfitted,” Cora said with a dry tone.

Eliska shook her head and wondered if anything would ever prompt eagerness in Cora Carter.
Mr. Miller and Mr. Boswell took charge of putting the stove and ovens together. Before Eliska could walk into the kitchen to offer her help, Thurston called her over.

After sharing a look with Cora and Sugar, Eliska went to his side.

“I don’t want to keep you from your work, so I’ll be quick.” He cleared his throat. “You said you’d have dinner with me sometime this week. Will you have a free evening?”

Most definitely. “Thursday night would be possible.” As would Wednesday, but she didn’t want to appear overeager.

Pleasure gleamed in his warm gaze. “Perfect. Is six all right?”

“Perfect,” she told him, giving back his word.

With a tip of his hat to her, he beamed then left. She watched him go, her heart tripping inside her chest. What had she agreed to?

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