Monday, June 29, 2020

I Do I Do –– by Nora LeDuc #Romance Gems


This month is famous for the theme love is in the air. The saying usually triggers many flashbacks of June weddings. This year we have had few in-person ceremonies. Too bad, because I enjoy going to them, being in them, and looking at pictures from them. The first nuptial I do remember was my aunt and uncle’s. I was the flower girl. Although I don’t recall much of the church happenings, a couple of facts stuck in my mind. My grandmother made my dress. I sat with the bridal party at their table for the reception, worried that no one would cut up my meat when                                        I was served. Apparently, I had my list of priorities even back then.



I have a lot of remembrances of my own wedding. I was nervous until I walked down the aisle and found myself surrounded by friends and family. They were nodding and smiling at me. Yes, this would be fun. For our honeymoon, my husband and I had decided to do a cross-country trip by car from New England to the west coast. We would camp along the way––although I’d never camped, I thought this would be exciting. On one of our stops, we set up outside Yellowstone. That night, it was thirty-two degrees. Neither of us slept much in our sleeping bags on the frozen ground. We both wore our coats over as many clothes as we had. But off we went touring the next day. Another evening a windstorm took down our tent while we were in it. We spent the remainder of the darkness at a rest area trying to sleep in in a Volkswagen bug.


Our destination was the happiest place on earth, Disneyland. We both still talk about the day we arrived in San Francisco, happy to rest in a hotel in a real bed. It was foggy, but we couldn’t help but focus on a bunch of men hanging out in the parking lot. They stared at us as we parked and marched inside.  I noticed the elevator’s posted inspection certificate had expired two years ago. But we got up in the morning, enthused and ready to visit Mickey. My husband went out to the car to get something and came back in to tell me someone had broken-in and taken our camping gear, his tools, and his Frye boots. They had left the tent, but we had more bad news. The pol­­­­ice were on strike. A desk clerk answered our call to the station. He said he’d mail us a form. We also learned that only renter’s insurance covered our vehicle’s stolen contents. Of course, we didn’t have this. And yes, we made it to Disney and had a fabulous experience.

Now as my husband and I travel the road of life, we still have our ups and downs, but we try to enjoy the little moments. The grass finally grew in the bare spot, we found a parking space at the beach, but best of all we do it together. If you're at a loss to find a positive, pick up a romance. They're guaranteed to lift your spirits with hope.

You can visit my page at Amazon Central to search for a book that fits you.

Take care, My Friends,
please follow me on Bookbub.
~Nora

***



Don't forget to enter our monthly Rafflecopter drawing for some great prizes in Amazon gift cards! You can find the complete details and full entry form on our Monthly Giveaway page. Or, you can enter via the Short Entry Form.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

It's All About The Characters by @KaraONealAuthor #RomanceGems

Summer has arrived! I'm a teacher, and this season brings much needed rest and fun. Summer is also when I can read and write to my heart's content. My children are older, so I get to spend more time with books and the characters within them.

I -- much to my family's affectionate frustration -- form attachments to the people in the stories I read. I can't help it. I worry, I laugh, I cheer, and I cry right along with them. I bet a lot of you are the same.



It's hard for me to let go when I finish a book. If it makes me feel something, I think about it for several days. And, of course, I re-read my favorite parts.



As the years have gone by, I have collected books I love, which can be found here, and books I enjoyed reading, which can be found here.


My attachment to characters extends to the one's I've created, as well. It's so hard to let them go, and I have discovered their lives have continued in my mind. So....I started a blog called, "The Story Continues". Here, I will be posting extra scenes and short stories that allow these people to live on.


Isn't that wonderful? I never have to leave them! (My family will probably shake their heads at me -- fondly, of course.)

Right now, I'm posting a three part story about Elinor, a feisty and rule-breaking debutante, and Trap, a rowdy cowboy. These two formed an attachment with each other in The Cowboy's Embrace, and I had a lot of fun learning about them. I felt their story wasn't over and had to delve further into their relationship. Come visit "The Story Continues" to see how everything goes for them!

Do you have a character, or characters, who have stayed with you? Answer in the comments and two people will win a free copy of Saving Sarah or Welcome Home!

In other news, y'all might remember that I was orphaned by my publisher in March. I have two books back up with the third coming next week.

If you would like to sign up for my monthly newsletter, click here.

Saving Sarah
Historical Romance

Sarah Kerry's world is shattered when a man from her past, Liam Devlin, shows up with proof that, if shared, would send her father to the noose. In order to keep Liam quiet, she must break her young courtship with Michael Lonnigan and marry Liam instead.

Michael is crushed and angry when Sarah abruptly ends their courtship, but he knows something isn't right. He's seen the new man hanging around the Kerry family and believes the man is blackmailing the woman Michael loves. Unwilling to let her go, Michael will do whatever it takes to save Sarah and make her his own.


Welcome Home
Historical Romance

Emma Prescott, determined and selfless, flees from wealth and her murderous father, wanting the love and forgiveness of poor cotton farmer, Kyle Lonnigan.

Although Kyle refuses to forgive her for her part in his father's death, Emma stays and works her own farm. Over the next several months, Emma proves to Kyle she is not the spoiled girl he remembers.

Emma's sudden re-entrance into Kyle's life only conjures long-buried painful memories. Kyle does his best to avoid her, needing to keep the pain at bay, and stopping her from reminding him of their last moments together before bullets shattered their world. But, he is unsuccessful. The love he denies is too strong, and soon Emma and Kyle are tumbling headlong into the past and passion.



I hope y'all have a wonderful start to your summer! And remember our giveaway!


Website     Amazon     Barnes & Noble     BookBub     Facebook     Twitter     Pinterest     Goodreads




Saturday, June 27, 2020

Finding Summer Fun for a City Kid by Peggy Jaeger

This month's theme - Summer Days and Summer Nights - leaves the door open to each of us to interpret just what we want to write about. Summer, obviously. But what pertaining to summer? Hmmm...

Well, I grew up in New York City - a city kid, for all intents and purposes. And as such, there weren't too many places aside from public concrete parks, municipal pools, or crowded city beaches a kid could find solace from the grueling city heat and have some fun during the two months of school vacation.

My mother worked full-time and couldn't afford to take time off to stay home with a child during the summer months, so until I was seven years old she had to hire a babysitter to watch me and make sure I stayed safe. The woman who did watch over me had five other children of varying ages to keep watch over so activities were mostly television viewing, eating lunch, and if we were lucky, playing outside on the street for an hour when the temps weren't scorching so much you could fry an egg on the sidewalk.

Not exactly a Leave it To Beaver or Brady Bunch existence.

The summer I turned nine, though, is one I'll remember forever because I finally got to do something I'd never done before: go to camp.

It wasn't sleep away camp like you see in the movies where kids are transported to idyllic locations in the deep woods, surrounded by a pristine lake for water activities, and staffed with camp counselors whose very existence is to make kids happy. No scary stories told around the campfire or marshmallow s'mores. No sleeping in tents or wooden dormitories.


No, I went to a daily camp where I was picked up by a giant rambling school bus every morning at 7 am and transported to the wilds of Brooklyn ( and that's a joke for anyone who knows Brooklyn!), namely Sheepshead Bay, to attend CYO camp. Many may recognize those initials. For those that don't they stand for Catholic Youth Organization camp.

From the name you may be picturing Sister Act nuns in thick black habits with gold crosses dangling from their necks and rulers in their hands ready to give a thwack to anyone who gets out of line; hours spent in silent reflection, on knees that are numb from kneeling, and continual prayer.


No.

CYO camp was the opposite of what you're thinking. It was actually loads of fun.

The counselors were all older teens and college aged kids who themselves had attended CYO camp in their younger years. We had daily Mass first thing each day yes, but that's where the overt religiosity ended.

We swam in the ocean every day for two hours; we made lanyards into bracelets, necklaces, and even pins. We had daily arts and crafts. We learned how to cook a few things - then ate what we'd made. Maybe that's where my love of cooking started, because until then I'd never been allowed to make anything more than a bowl of cereal at home.

I learned to swim, really swim, that summer. If you've ever swam in the ocean with the currents tugging at you, you know how different it is from swimming in a calm pool. I turned into one strong and confident swimmer that year and to this day ( 5 decades later) I'm still a strong swimmer.

The sense of camaraderie was strong at CYO camp. We were with our own age group, all mixes of nationalities and races, and all levels of intelligence. I had cooking class with the loveliest girl with Down's Syndrome. My swimming partner was a boy whose family had relocated from Haiti. My  best buddy during arts and crafts was an Asian girl named Lili.

That summer was one of the happiest in my memory bank in a childhood that didn't have too many happy stories.

Did you go to camp as a kid? If so, what are your happy memories of those times?

Now, since this is a writers blog, I must ( I simply must!) promote my current release which  just so happens to take place in SUMMER in the Seacoast of New Hampshire, surprise, surprise. Hee hee

VANILLA WITH A TWIST is part of the One Scoop or Two Summer series from the Wild Rose press and tells the story of ice cream parlor owner Tandy Blakemore and the man who walks into her shop one summer day, changing her life forever. It's a sweet, small town romance and I had to do a lot of vigorous research eating all kinds of ice cream to get the flavor for the story just right. ( hee hee!)


And, please don't forget out monthly giveaway.

Until next month, peeps, enjoy the long days of summer and never forget the fun you had as a kid ~Peg







Friday, June 26, 2020

Coffee and Conversation with the #RomanceGems

It's time for Coffee and Conversation with the Romance Gems! So, grab a cup of your favorite beverage and join us for some fun.This month's topic is: What are your plans for Summer 2020?

It’s officially summer here in the northern hemisphere! That typically means vacation-time and/or warm weather fun. But this is 2020, and lots of things are different. So, tell me… What are your plans for this summer? Is it a road trip in an RV, or maybe a visit to family? Are you traveling as usual or enjoying a staycation? The beach/pool with a good book? Or, fun in the backyard with the kids, grand kids, or pets? Let’s talk!

“Since my youngest was born, we have been spending a week or more with my in-laws camping, or "cabining" in the great state and wilds of Texas. We haven't exhausted all the vacation spots in Texas, but we've decided to venture out. We'll be heading to Arkansas this year, and we're VERY excited! Can't wait!” ~ Kara O'Neal

“My Summer plan is to survive my deadlines! What was I thinking? No vacation until September when I hope Covid19 is a thing of the past so I can go on a cruise and be pampered. Imagine! Food you don't have to cook? Lazing around and doing nothing but reading and drinking pretty cocktails with cute little umbrellas. If the cruise doesn't work out, I'll recreate that at home. Restaurant meals delivered for a week. There's even a place that delivers frozen margaritas and daiquiris! Unbelievable. So I'll happily write away the summer days, waiting for September.” ~ Joan Reeves

“I love the beach. Salty air, jetty’s and sand count me in and it doesn’t matter the season. Each summer hubby and I like to get away and camp. My dream is to set up right on the beach where I can wake up to the smell of the crisp air and stick my toes in the water before breakfast. These campgrounds are booked a year in advanced. I’m tenacious and I will be victorious. Until then, we’ll be a mile away, but in my mind, the ocean is just outside my front door.” ~ Lucinda Race 

Kathleen Lawless' Airstream Getaway
“Steel and I have a standing reservation, same-time-next–year-style at a rustic west coast resort, and we are always there for Summer Solstice. Except this year, as the place has yet to reopen. At first I was bummed—my time there pre-dates Steel, and over the years my son and daughter have secured their own reservations. Then I realized Steel and I could go some place different, some place we wouldn’t normally explore. So we took a chance and checked out a new resort with totally private restored Airstream trailers on a wooded acreage. We had a blast. And next year we’ll be back to the old favorite. But what a great opportunity to shake off the comfort zone. Other than that, we stay home in the summer. We love it here!” ~ Kathleen Lawless

“I plan to spend my summer at home, reading, basket weaving and working on my diamond painting kits. My publisher is battling cancer right now, so my new book release has been put on hold and I'm currently not writing as I work through the issues of being blind in one eye and working with some program to help me with writing. Alabama is really hot during the summer so it is best to stay indoors with central air and work on projects that I enjoy doing.”
~ Constance Bretes

Liz Flaherty's Sunrises/Sunsets
“Summer vacation of 2020 is destined to be the season of moments. We saw part of our family on Father's Day. We'll see a grandson walk for high school graduation in July. We've stared in awe at sunrises and sunsets. There has been new pleasure in cooking and contests with ourselves to keep from gaining weight from said cooking. I've read three books in the last week. We're experiencing leisure in a new way. As we speak of new normal, we also enjoy new happy. One moment at a time.”
~ Liz Flaherty

“The summer of 2020 for me will be filled with mostly one thing: WRITING I have BROKEN DREAMS, Book 4 of my Storms of New England series coming out in August and have all the prep work to get it there. I am also planning to rerelease my first series, Love on the Line, early next year. We've got new covers, tweaked stories, and books 4, 5, and 6 added to the mix. Work, work, work! But I may (yeah I will) take a little time to visit my kids and snuggle my adorable grandbabies!”
~ Kari Lemor 

“What Are My Summer Plans? We’re supposed to have summer plans? To tell the truth, I’ve been ensconced in this house for so long, I forgot we used to do things, go places. I will, however, go to the family cottage at the lake and get in some quality cool breezes. If they ever lift the restrictions on traveling between Provinces, I might even drive my grandchildren to Cape Breton Island to see their grandfather. Other than that ... I’ll be working on the next story in my Lusty Liaison's Series. At least I have air conditioning!” ~ Nancy Fraser

“Oh, the best laid plans of mice and men. Summer of 2020 is a total gamechanger. On the positive side of things, lockdown gave me time to get things done I've been putting off for years. I've cleaned closets, decluttered tabletops, and donated clothing not worn in years. I've injected new life into old manuscripts. What I value most is reconnecting with old friends. I finally have time to talk and not text. I can send those delayed handwritten notes. I have the time to really be a friend. Best of all, staying home means more time to write.” ~ Marcia King-Gamble

“This summer we’re planning a road trip with 2 little boys to a Gold Rush town in the mountains in the interior of British Columbia. A ferry trip and 8 hour drive. Sounds easy, right? But not in the time of Covid-19. There’s a lot more to do to prepare: checking for hotels that’ll take us, places to eat that’ll take us and even whether the roadside rest areas have open washrooms. No promises made to those little boys, but we’ll try! Everyone needs something to look forward to, now more than ever. Wish us luck…” ~ Bonnie Edwards

“This summer is all about the “staycation” for our family. Mr. H and Darling Daughter, plus the three crazy hounds. LOL Everyone together, which is simply fine by me. I’m super-busy writing now. And we have a new vegetable garden! Lots to keep me busy through the long hot days.” ~ Kathryn Hills

Okay, it's your turn to join the conversation! Add your comments below or send via email through the "contact us” link on the bottom of the left sidebar. You can also make suggestions on what you'd like to discuss here in the future.

Thanks for joining us!

 ~ The Romance Gems ~


HURRY! There's still time to enter our June Contest!
Details Here or Go Directly to the Rafflecopter

1st Prize: $20.00 Amazon Gift Card
2nd Prize: $15.00 Amazon Gift Card
3rd Prize: $10.00 Amazon Gift Card 

Best of luck to everyone!


Thursday, June 25, 2020

What about Kindle Unlimited? by Cheryl Bolen


A few years ago, Amazon started offering a low-cost subscription plan for readers. For just $9.99 a month they could get unlimited books each month. The downside, for readers, is that almost no books from major publishing houses are offered in the program, and most of the books are written by self-published authors. Of course, many of these are very good books. And many of them sell phenomenally well.

What, then, are the advantages for the author?

New and unknown authors enrolled in KU may have a higher chance of discoverability for their books. Being in KU also gives them an opportunity to get more reviews. 

And, as mentioned, the most successful of the KU books can earn a lot of money. In early May (which did not compete with popular summer reads), I counted 89 of the top 100 books in my Regency category at Amazon were KU books.

Subsequently, those books were either being sold or were earning off of “page reads” at a very high rate. Authors get paid a little under half a cent for every page read. I have one friend who has all of her 30-plus books in KU and earns $30,000 a month—after paying a whopping amount for advertising on Amazon devices. (That figure does include her income from audio and print books, as well as foreign editions.)

I am told that all those authors who sell well spend a hefty amount on ads, but they wouldn’t be doing it were they not making a significant return on investment. I know several who spend over $10,000 a month on Amazon ads.

Another advantage to being in KU is the ability to have five free days in the 90-day contract period. Other selling perks like Kindle Countdowns are also offered exclusively to KU authors.

What are the disadvantages to the author?

Books enrolled in KU cannot be sold as eBooks anywhere except at Amazon. Also, they cannot be offered to libraries for digital downloads.

In the years I’ve indie published I’ve never made less than $20,000 annually from cumulative sales at the other online vendors: Barnes and Noble, Apple Books, Kobo, and Google Play together. Even though Amazon holds the lion’s share of readers, I hate to give up a solid income like that.
I’ve been told that to be successful in KU, all your books must be there, and you cannot go in and out. Stay there and give it a chance. This was an extremely successful strategy for indie medieval author Kathryn LeVeque, who for years has held top spots on Amazon bestseller lists.

I personally have never had good fortune with my half-hearted attempts to go into KU. Admittedly, I’ve never gone “all in.” I’ve tried stand-alone titles or series with less-than-stellar sales in an attempt to boost sales. It’s never worked for me. I could not justify taking all my 40-plus books out of wide distribution for paltry sales.

Also, I’ve never had good success with Amazon ads, and I’m not alone. Perhaps it’s just the historical genre, but I’ve talked to far more authors who had no luck with Amazon ads than to authors for whom AMS ads performed well. Authors at the higher echelon pay for a special Amazon marketing program where the minimum investment is $10,000 a month to advertise one book on one device.
While I’m not enthused about using KU, there is one exception. I put the German books for which I hold the rights (some 25 of them) in KU Germany. Every single one of them was a bestseller there, and every one of them earned an Amazon All Star bonus, the highest being around $6,000 for one month (when I had 3 million page reads).

While they’re still in KU Germany, page reads have dwindled because the books are now old, and my last bonus was six months ago. 

I may look at KU differently at some point, but for now I’m staying in wide distribution.—Cheryl Bolen is the New York Times, USA Today bestselling author of more than 40 books, most of them set in Regency England. Her newest release is One Room at the Inn. You can find her on the internet at these locations:
Website          Facebook        Blog      Pinterest

Enter the Gems monthly giveaway here

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Try Judy's Scrumptious Cherry Cake! - by Judith Hudson


For years, in two consecutive houses,  we had big – I mean BIG – cherry trees. We had so many cherries every year that some years we made cherry wine just to use them up. By the time we moved two years ago I was hooked on having a freezer full of cherries. Now every year I wait like a cougar in a tree for the prices to drop: $6.99, $4.99, $3.99, then, finally,  when they hit $2.99 a pound, I pounce!
Judy sneaking cherries
The California cherries are the first, then Washington state, then finally, fresh BC cherries from the Okanagan Valley, the inland, fruit and wine producing region of British Columbia.  Sweet, dark and juicy, this year they are very BIG – almost too big for my doubled barrel cherry pitter. Yes, I’m serious about my cherries.

I usually freeze them with a dusting of sugar (don’t judge me!) but today I wanted to share my favorite cherry cake recipe. This buttery, almond flavoured cherry cake is an old family favourite. I’ve recently found it works just as well in a gluten free version made with almond and coconut flour.
The ingredients are nothing really special, just butter, quite a bit of butter, and eggs and flour (or almond and coconut flour) with a touch of almond extract. The secret is in the beaten egg whites that are folded in at the last minute that keep the cake light and fluffy. Then you stud fresh (or frozen) cherries into the top and pop it in the oven.

It's best eaten fresh, but that's okay because in our house it never lasts very long.

You can get the whole recipe, both wheat and gluten free, here on my website

http://www.judithhudsonauthor.com/recipe/cherry-cake-gluten-free-or-not/

Perfect for the holidays coming up on both sides of the border next week. Why not give it a try. The amazing cherry and almond aroma alone is worth the effort.

And don't forget this month's giveaway for your chance to win one of three great prizes:
June Prizes
1st Prize: $20.00 Amazon Gift Card
2nd Prize: $15.00 Amazon Gift Card
3rd Prize: $10.00 Amazon Gift Card
 
 

Until next month, keep safe.

Judith Hudson


For Friendship, Family and Happily-ever-after, get Welcome to Fortune Bay, the three book boxed set of Judith's small town romance series, on Amazon.


Tuesday, June 23, 2020

New Release: Ghost Mountain Ranch by Jan Scarbrough

Sometimes a simple suggestion leads to a two-year writing project. That’s what took me and my character Hank from the setting of the McKenna Ranch in Paradise Valley, Montana, into Gallatin Canyon which is across the mountain. It didn’t hurt that my husband and I had spent three days at the Covered Wagon Ranch in 2016.

To gather the back story for my series, I read a few books. One had the long title of Days of Rage: America’s Radical Underground, the FBI, and the Forgotten Age of Revolutionary Violence by Bryan Burrough. I’m not going to say any more about the back story, because it will ruin the plot.

So, now my series is finished. I wrote the lead in book in 2017. At the end of the Christmas story, Hank, the McKenna’s wrangler, gets a job at Ghost Mountain Ranch where he grew up. This sets the scene for reuniting with his old girl friend Darby. They’re older now and both need second chances.

Darby’s twin children “star” in the other two books. Slade, the first of these books is on preorder, and the last one Kelsey will be available soon.

Thirty years ago, torn by shock and guilt over the death of her mother, Darby York fled the dude ranch where she’d grown up in Montana. In her new life in the bluegrass of Kentucky, she’d become a horse groom, an artist, married a wealthy Thoroughbred owner, raised twins, and been widowed. But now, with word her father is growing feeble, Darby has to finally face the truth: no matter how far you run, the past has a way of catching up. Her father hadn’t been the only man Darby had left behind. Would the boyfriend she’d abandoned still be there?

Hank Slade, wrangler at Ghost Mountain Ranch, has never stopped carrying the torch for Darby. Her vibrant red hair may be tinged with gray now, but the natural, unsophisticated look about her remains—a look that speaks of home and comfort to Hank. But is he willing to risk his heart with Darby again?

What is the truth behind the death of Darby’s mother? When the past once again intrudes on the present, will Darby do what she’s always done—what her mother did—and run away? Grief and secrets had torn Darby and Hank apart once. Given a second chance at love, will the revelation of more shocking secrets from the past destroy their hopes for the future?

Darby: Ghost Mountain Ranch Book 2 is available at most ebook retailers:
More Universal Buy Links: https://books2read.com/Darby

My book Secrets is FREE on KindleUnlimited today through Saturday!

Don’t forget our Amazon Gift Card Monthly Giveaway.

Monday, June 22, 2020

A Midsummer Daydream

By: Marcia King-Gamble
www.lovemarcia.com


Ok, so it’s not midsummer yet in the USA, but can’t a woman still dream? Sweden, though, is celebrating its midsummer (midsommar) considered one of the most celebrated holidays of the year. And why not? It’s a country of two seasons; winter and summer.


Midsommar is there welcome to summer, and not the literal meaning of mid. Locals pick flowers and create floral crowns which they wear throughout the days. Folklore has it, if you place seven types of flowers under your pillow, you will dream about your future spouse. Wish I had known that way back when.

Anyway, with the kind of year we’ve had so far, we’re all entitled to dreams.  Big ones. Little ones.  Over the top ones. Romantic ones…. Bring them all on.

In past summers, I’ve traveled the country and the world, but this June, given our semi-lockdown status, like you, I’m stuck at home. Travel these days mean a fourteen-day quarantine, and who needs that? So, instead I’d like to share some of my favorite places. You may want to add them to your bucket list.



Come June, I think of places like Santorini, Greece (easily one of the most romantic places in the world,) Alaska (been there several times,) Copenhagen (could easily move there,) and Russia (beautiful and a whole other world.) These trips were both vacation and work.



Like most writers, I have a day job. My day job just happens to be in the travel industry. Covid, as you know, hit my industry badly. So, this year, Alaska for work or play is definitely out of the question. Past summers it was an old stomping ground. Seeing it by land, air and sea is unbeatable. That I could actually live there, surprises even me.  I’ve been to many Alaskan cities, places like: Juneau, Ketchigan, Anchorage, Fairbanks, Whitehorse, Sitka etc.. I’ve even taken a train to Denali. Yet my favorite city remains Skagway; Gateway to the Goldrush. My imagination goes wild there, and the Red Onion Brothel Tour is a favorite of mine. Nothing more appealing than enterprising women who know how to make a buck. Oh, the tales the rooms in that brothel could tell.



If you’ve not been to Santorini, Greece, put that on your dreamer list. I first went there on a cruise ship. A writer friend hosts an annual retreat that showcases that little piece of paradise. It helps that she’s Greek, because seeing the real Santorini and not the island the tourists know is a treat. Sadly, this year’s Write-In was canceled because of the Covid situation that has us all on lockdown. But I am here to tell you that sitting at the top of a majestic cliff, at day's end, aperitif in hand, watching the sun turn the water to spun gold, is pure magic, and an experience you will never forget.



Next up is Copenhagen, charming as can be. It’s Hans Christian Andersen’s country, and easily the city of my heart. Why? It boils down to two words, picturesque and enchanting. Think fairytale.



Nothing like climbing down those rocks to get up close and personal to the Little Mermaid. Here, with the sun setting, closer to 10pm  than 7pm, active people stay out and about, hiking, biking, running, skating and dining. Outdoor fairs, offer ancient books and beautiful artwork. One of my fondest memories is a visit to Amalienborg Palace which is home to Denmark’s royal family. There I flirted with a guard who flirted right back, though he reminded me to keep a respectful social distance.  Perhaps some of my fascination with this lovely city is the attention I get. Most women are tall, slender, and blonde. I am tall, slender, but blonde I am not. Hence the novelty of the dark skin.


Saturday, June 20, 2020

SUMMER HAS ARRIVED!

By Caroline Clemmons

As you've probably noticed, our theme for this month is Summer Days and Summer Nights.

Happy first day of summer. If you live in Texas as I do, you know summer heat began before today’s Solstice. Remember those old advertisements with the camel that said “Guess what day it is?” and then said “It’s hump day”? Think of today as Hump Day for 2020. The year is half over and from today forward, the days grow shorter and the nights longer.

This is a packed weekend. Today is my sweet husband, Hero’s, birthday. Tomorrow is Father’s Day. Hero was actually born on Father’s Day—a great gift for his dad. We tend to combine the two days. This year, after vowing to observe the stay home and stay safe rule, we are reneging and going out to lunch for Hero’s birthday. We’re going to his favorite restaurant and plan to be there when they open for an eleven o’clock meal. I called ahead and learned that they do practice social distancing with table assignments.

The other big thing that happened this weekend is that I have a new release. AN AGENT FOR JUDITH is a sweet western historical romance in the Pinkerton Matchmaker Series, book 77. This is a multi-author project that, as you can tell by the book number, has been very popular with readers. This is my third book in the series and I’ve enjoyed writing them. Each has a mystery or adventure of one kind or another. I especially love the cover for this one.

AN AGENT FOR JUDITH takes place mostly in northern New Mexico from Santa Fe to a fictitious town named Los Perdidos. Here’s the synopsis:

Judith McAdams has vowed to rescue her brother. 
Peyton Knight is determined to protect his group. 
Together they must outwit a cruel and powerful man.

Judith’s brother in New Mexico hasn’t been heard from since a letter saying he was being bedeviled by a neighbor who wanted his ranch. Judith wires the marshal to check on her brother. When he refuses, she goes to the Pinkerton Detective Agency in Denver. There she learns that as a civilian she can’t accompany a Pinkerton agent on a case. However, if she marries an agent she can become one, too.

Peyton values his job as a Pinkerton agent and is good at being a lawman. To keep the job he reluctantly agrees to a marriage of convenience to Judith. Together they will go to her brother’s rescue. Peyton is impressed with the beautiful and spirited redhead—if only she would admit he knows best. He even admires his mother-in-law but how did he end up with a civilian on their trip? At least he’s found three men he trusts to help him rescue the brother.

Their journey is filled with obstacles. Will Judith’s brother still be alive by the time they reach him? When they resolve the ranch issue, will Judith and Peyton part ways?

The Universal Amazon Link is https://mybook.to/Judith. The book is available as an ebook and in print and is enrolled in Kindle Unlimited. I just love a good romance, don’t you? I hope you said an enthusiastic yes!

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Have a lovely weekend.



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Friday, June 19, 2020

The busy month of June Lucinda Race #Romancegems


This month it’s my wedding anniversary, birthday, Father’s Day and my oldest granddaughter’s birthday. The first week of the month is the only quiet one. So many wonderful events that all encompass different kinds of love and that I write about in my books. 

This year with all the weird stuff going on in the world celebrations will be more low-key. But for the first time in fifteen years my dad lives less than two miles away instead of 250 miles so Father’s Day will be more about Dad and less about driving an exhausting nine hours round trip. My birthday usually falls on his special day and I like to tease him that I was the best gift he ever got. 

I’m currently editing a 5-book series, all the books are written. In each book the patriarch, Sam, with his brusque way of expressions of love and pride, has given the wrong impression to his six children. When I first introduced Sam in Ready to Soar I didn’t really like him. I thought he was arrogant and demanding. In the new series Sam’s personal growth is a testament to the deep love he has for the family first and the family business second.  Sam’s imperfections are genuine and real. I have since come to respect and love this character. It just goes to show anyone can worm their way in your heart. 

If you’d like to be introduced to the Price family pick up a copy of Ready to Soar, book 5 in the Loudon Series. You’ll meet the entire gang and coming in early 2021 the first book, Blush, book 1 of The Crystal Lake Winery series will be released.
Ready to Soar, Book 5: The Loudon Series

Don’t forget to enter our monthly Rafflecopter drawing for some great prizes in Amazon gift cards. You can find complete details and the full entry form on our Monthly Giveaway page. Or you can enter via the Short Entry Form.

Until next month I wish you, health, happiness and love. 
Lucinda 

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Thursday, June 18, 2020

Summer Days & Nights of Reading @karilemor #RomanceGems


With summer just about here and the need to still stay socially distant from the public, I know I’ll be diving into as many books as I can.  My brand new Kindle Paperwhite (the old one died a quick and painless death) is loaded with hundreds of books (no, I don’t have a book buying problem - one click is my friend) and I am READY! 

But what to read, what to read? I thought I’d share some of the books I’ve really enjoyed in the past and maybe you’ll find something you enjoy as well.



We’ll start with the always gracious Brenda Jackson. I’ve met this lovely woman three times now and each time she has been a joy to be with.  

Her series Catalina Cove, takes place in the Louisiana Bayou.  All three books are fabulous but I especially enjoyed FINDING HOME AGAIN maybe because I’d met the characters in the earlier books and was dying to find out what their story was.





I’m typically not one for royal or billionaire stories but I found this one to be quite fun and sassy.

Alyssa Cole - A Princess in Theory: Reluctant Royals.  I just downloaded the next two books to my device and I will be going on a journey very soon.






If you want a book to make you hungry, then you’ll want to pick up THE SECRET INGREDIENT by Kilby Blades.  

A chef on vacation and a handsome guy next door who wants to learn all about cooking. This book is YUMMY all around.  








PACKING HEAT -in the Blue Collar Lovers series by Zuri Day was such a breath of fresh air. It’s so refreshing to read a book about everyday people and everyday lives. The main characters in this book work at the Post Office.









If you want to escape from reality you can try PRINCE OF AIR AND DARKNESS (The Darkest Court series) by MA Grant. 

It’s a m/m fantasy that takes place among the fey. I totally fell in love with Finny and Roark. It’s part of a series but each book surrounds a different couple. I dare you to read the first and not want the rest!







Looking for a fun read where the characters already know each other? Try DANGEROUS CURVES AHEAD: A Perfect Fit Novel by Sugar Jamison

This book is adorable and has the heroine falling for her sister’s ex boyfriend.







How about action, adventure and some sizzling suspense along with a couple of sizzling guys? 

Layla Reyne has a series that follows two FBI agents on an epic hunt for justice.  SINGLE MALT:  Agents Irish and Whiskey is the first books but you’ll fall hard for Aiden and Jamison and want to see what happens next.







Kellye Garrett’s book HOLLYWOOD HOMICIDE -A Detective By Day Mystery Book is a cute story of a private investigator in the making. 

Well written and a mystery to keep you on the edge of your seat. It’s not a romance but there was definitely a little romantic interest thrown in.








And to end things off a very sweet and innocent historical by Lorri Dudley.  THE DUKE’S REFUGE (Leeward Island series) is an inspirational book that is extremely well written and had me turning the pages until I got to the end.






And if you’re looking for a fun beach read in small town New England, I’d love for you to take a look at my Storms of New England series. The books are based on the loving Storm family but do contain some language and steamy scenes.


đź’–ELUSIVE DREAMS - An injured Marine, an introverted loner, two orphaned children needing a home. Can they create a perfectly imperfect family?
(marriage of convenience, girl next door)

đź’–TRUE DREAMS - A recovering addict in search of a quiet life. An innocent optimist seeking fame and fortune. Can she see beyond his past to heal his damaged soul? 
(boss/employee, bad boy/virgin)

đź’–STOLEN DREAMS - An uptight perfectionist. A bohemian free spirit. Can she convince him a walk on the wild side is good for the soul?
(opposites attract, friends with benefits)

đź’–BROKEN DREAMS - COMING THIS AUGUST!!

PS: It's my birthday today and if you want to get me a present, I'd love for you to try one of my books!

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Don't forget to enter our monthly Rafflecopter drawing for some great prizes in Amazon gift cards! You can find the complete details and full entry form on our Monthly Giveaway page. Or, you can enter via the Short Entry Form.