Monday, May 31, 2021

Lipstick on the Cup and Other Memories by Liz Flaherty #RomanceGems

I hope you've all had a lovely May, complete with romance, flowers, and wonderful Mom moments. I have had, from start to finish, but I must admit when I tried to write a post about it today, nothing came. So I went looking into my blogging past and found one that brought some sweet memories back. I hope you don't mind reading it again.

"Flowers in the city are like lipstick on a woman -- it just makes you look better to have a little color." - Lady Bird Johnson

Several months ago, I put on makeup to go out and realized I looked better with it on. My friend Nan and I were off on a weekend soon afterward and did a little high-school-freshman shopping at Walgreen's or CVS and I added to my cosmetics supply. On her advice, I even started wearing eye shadow. I'm still not good at it, but I'm getting better. Whether I like to admit it or not, the truth is that when I look better, I feel better. That being the case, I wear makeup nearly every day, even if I'm not going anywhere. The roommate likes me in it, too, and mentions it, and while I don't think I'd wear it for that reason alone, the "new look from an old lover" doesn't hurt.

A few days into my makeup-wearing adventure, I looked at my coffee cup and saw lipstick on its edge. My first thought was, I'll admit, "Yuck," and I grabbed a napkin to rub it away. My second thought was of my mother-in-law, who left lipstick on every cup she drank from and, more importantly, on everyone she kissed hello or goodbye.

In short, lipstick was part of Mom's telling you she loved you. I think of her every time I see my "Tickled Pink" lip print on my cup. And I leave it there.

You might wonder, and rightfully so, what lipstick smears have to do with writing romance or women's fiction. The only time the prints show up is on murder mystery covers or if a wayward husband is having an affair.

But my kids grew up with their grandma's lip prints on their foreheads and their cheeks. It is a memory that has a place in all our hearts. It gives joy to me each time I look at the pink spot on my cup.

As an author, this is what I want to give to people who read my stuff. They don't have to remember all my titles, protagonists, or story lines. They don't have to finish a book if it doesn't click after the first chapter, although I thank them for trying.

But, if they remember Grace Elliot saying "geezy Pete," or Lucy Dolan's cat, Kitty Kinsale, or that Cass Logan made the best gingerbread men in Christmas Town, I'm happy with that. I hope they are, too. I hope it's the lipstick print on their cups and that they smile when they remember.

Sunday, May 30, 2021

A Rose By Any Other Name Would Smell Three Times As Sweet ~ by M.J. Schiller

 Moms, roses, and romance. Hmm. I know my mom has read some of my romances, but I don't like to think about that, so we'll skip the mom part and focus on the roses. And I know the roses are supposed to be tied in with mom, but when I think of roses the first thing that comes to mind is the year I received three dozen roses for Valentine's Day. 

No, my husband isn't some kind of massive Romeo. Actually, I can count the times he's purchased flowers for me on both hands, and we've been married for coming up on thirty-three years, been together for thirty-five. But the story I'm thinking about happened some years ago...

The year was 1990. We were fresh out of college, having moved out of state and to a city where we didn't know a soul. My husband had begun his career at the Fortune 500 company he hopes to soon retire from. I was teaching junior high school English and Composition to freshman at the junior college. A huge ice storm had most of the city, well, frozen. With no heat, we went to the mall to watch Driving Miss Daisy and keep warm. (This was back in the day when malls had movie theaters. Remember that?) When we got back, my husband expected there to be a dozen roses there for me, but, alas, they were missing. After a call to the florist-- who was extremely apologetic--we received two dozen roses to make up for the mistake. A half-hour later, the neighbor knocked on the door with another dozen roses, which she'd accepted delivery on for us. Whoops! Three dozen roses in the little townhouse we lived in when we first moved here was pretty overwhelming. Needless to say, I haven't seen the likes of that since, nor would I have expected to see that ever again. It was kind of nice, though.

So, that's my rose story. Of course, as a writer, it got me thinking of roses in my work. With twenty-six books out, I'm sure I'm forgetting some significant rose scenes, but the two that come to mind are creepy, not romantic. In THE HEART TEACHES BEST Laney's sister's murderer sneaks into her bedroom when she's asleep and leaves a rose on her pillow. Later, he leaves one on a carousel that Laney was on to taunt Cooper, her policeman love interest, and show him how close he was able to get to her despite Cooper's best efforts to protect her.

In BETWEEN ROCK AND A HARD PLACE, rock star Jasmine Barrett finds her best friend murdered in the singer's bed. The killer dipped a rose in her friend's blood and left it, theatrically, beside the body. Later, a key clue comes from a vase of roses in Jazz's dressing room. The killer leaves a coded message with the bouquet that doesn't seem like a clue until someone casually mentions one of the words on the card much later. That offhand remark leads Heath to the realization of who the murderer is. But will he get to Jasmine before the killer does?

Maybe it says something about me that the only significant scenes with roses from my books that I can come up with are not some grand romantic gesture by the hero, but instead they are foreboding messages from the villain.

What about you? Do you have a favorite story about a time you received flowers? Do you receive or purchase flowers often?

Thanks for reading! Come back for more tomorrow from another fabulous Romance Gems author!

Saturday, May 29, 2021

She Plays a Mother on TV by Nora LeDuc #RomanceGems

TV Moms are one of my favorite subjects. Take your pick, you can find all kinds of mums on the small screen. I've chosen a few for us today.

Every Wednesday, we can tune in to "The Goldbergs." Here we have a prime example of an embarrassing, meddling smother-mother. Beverly Goldberg. She's the kind that's always at the school, making sure her children are treated fairly and perfectly because her kids are...perfect. (I bet we've all known a few women like Bev.) Although Beverly learns a lesson about parenting from her misguided efforts, she can never quite cut those apron strings. I've always been more intrigued by the history behind the scripts that are inspired by Adam Goldberg's video recordings of his family's lives. Yes, Beverly is his mother who occasionally makes an appearance in the show. More than once I've read the true-life happenings of the clan had to be toned down for a G audience. Darn.

Another popular TV mom is Marie Barone of "Everybody Loves Raymond." Marie is the parent of two grown men, Raymond and Robert. Raymond, the oldest, continues to be Marie's obvious favorite. This does not go over well with his younger brother Robert, but doesn't stop Marie. She also feels free to give unwanted advice to her sons who are often too afraid of her to cross her. As a mother-in-law, Marie knows little about boundaries and often barges into Ray and his wife's home without a knock and usually at inconvenient times. If you think about it, Marie might remind you of a relative or a friend who means well but is a little too close. And here's a trivia fact for authors-the actor who played Marie's husband, Peter Boyle, was a cousin of Kensington Editor Kate Duffy.

Don't you dare open your mouth when I'm asking you questions.

Before I finish, I must add Clair Huxtable from the former "The Cosby Show" to this list. (Forget Bill.) Every Thursday night, I loved to see what Clair was wearing. Her colorful style of clothing fascinated me. She seemed able to put on anything and look wonderful, but the character of Clair was so much more. As the stable center of the family, she was a wife, a lawyer, and a mom of five who actually talked to her children about their problems. Then, she gave them good advice. She could be funny, but stern when needed. Clair showed us that although mothers worry about their children or make mistakes with them, they will turn themselves upside down to love and guide them into happy, well-adjusted adults. That's a mother.

I have written two stories with moms. My latest, Christmas at the Easy Breezy, takes places in the White Mountains of NH. If you're looking for a happy uplifting book this story is for you. The main character, Darcy Malone, is divorced and a mother of a five-year-old. Darcy is desperately seeking to connect to the family she's never known. Little does she realize what she'll find when she arrives at the Easy Breezy Diner and meets the sometimes-grumpy owner Leo Homes.

Please Follow Me on Social Media and Stay Healthy, Nora.

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Friday, May 28, 2021

My "Big Idea" Lady by @KaraONealAuthor #RomanceGems

My mother can sing. Really, really well. She has a voice like Kathryn Grayson. They have similar looks, too. My mother is timeless and classic. She reminds me a lot of Jackie Kennedy. And, well, she was raised in that era, so....

She's good at a lot of things. Cooking, sewing, gardening, leading, directing, caring for others....

The list is endless. She worked for the American Heart Association for 20 years in Houston. Which means she worked with some VERY smart doctors, and they ended up nicknaming her the "velvet hammer". (I think I know why, but I've never actually asked.)

I call her the "Big Idea" lady because she was always making me do things. Sometimes these things were actually worthy, but other times.....UGH. Piano lessons? Really? No. (But I had to take them for FIVE years.)

Before my mother graduated from college, she was invited to attend the conservatory in Paris. I'm not really sure what that is, but she chose not to because she wanted a family.

She's been an amazing mother. There's no way I could tell y'all everything, but I have one example of her commitment.

My brother had seizures as a baby, and there were many appointments as doctors tried to figure out what was wrong. And, of course, there were many scary moments. One of those occurred either right before or right after church -- I can't remember because I was six. They had to take my brother to the hospital, and the only way my brother would sleep was on my mother's chest. So she stretched out on a gurney in her dress, slip, and hose and laid there for several hours so my brother could get a decent sleep. She couldn't move or she'd wake him.

"Mother" means so much that I doubt Webster accurately defines the word. "Father" means just as much, but this month is for the mothers. And they deserve ALL the roses.

It's quite fitting for me as my current release, MAGGIE'S SONG, which is available for pre-order, is about a mother who's risking so much to save her child. And not only that, the heroine can sing. Maybe not as well as my mother, but certainly well enough! Ha!


Pike’s Run, Texas, 1883

In the dead of night, Maggie Nelson flees New Orleans with her five-year old daughter, Iris. Maggie can’t live with her abusive husband any longer and seeks safety in the home and arms of her aunt, Aletta Williamson in Bordersville, near Pike’s Run, Texas. When she arrives, surprise her dear aunt, Maggie tells her Haywood died. She is too ashamed to tell the truth about her marriage.

Pete Jerkin, the town blacksmith and livery operator, is a leader in Bordersville. He is taken by Maggie and Iris, especially since the child doesn’t fear him. With his large stature, he usually puts off females and children. As Iris tugs on his heartstrings, his gaze strays to the lovely Maggie. But he’s promised himself he wouldn’t ever court a woman. Not again.

However, love is sneaky, and Pete can’t help himself. Neither can Maggie. As the weeks pass, she grows more scared each day that Pete will learn the truth about her husband, that Haywood will come knocking. And ruin everything.


I was able to write this story because I had the best inspiration and role model for it. I've learned so much from my mom, and there isn't a way to properly thank her. Perhaps this blog post will do it. (I bet she's crying. Should I see that as success?)

I love you, Mama. Thank you.

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Wednesday, May 26, 2021

She did the best she could, by Peggy Jaeger

 Strange title for a blog post, I know. 

This month's topic is supposed to be about romance and roses for mom since...Mother's Day. I'm gonna skip the roses and romance part for a bit and just discuss the mom part, so please, bear with me.

My mother was divorced in a time when the national average wasn't 1 in 2 marriages heading to court. In the very early 1960's, a divorced woman was an anomaly and a  divorced Catholic woman, a pariah. My mom's legal unpairing from my biological father occurred before Vatican II, so mom was looked upon as a fallen woman by the Church, stripped of her ability to receive Communion ( which, if you are a Catholic you know is a BIG thing) and because a child was conceived from the now-defunct union, I was considered a bastard child in the eyes of the Church.

Hurtful? Definitely. Archaic and misogynistic? You betcha. Accepted by society? Unfortunately.

So, my mother became a single mom at the age of 24 in a time when women weren't even allowed to have credit cards if they weren't married.

The term misogynistic comes to mind again.

My father was an immature baby of a man and a gambler to boot, so child care and alimony were never something she received on a regular basis. If a horse came in on a trifecta in Belmont or OTB, then he paid. If not, he didn't. So my mother was forced to work at menial jobs just to put food on the table for her and I and a roof over our heads. Since she never finished high school, the jobs truly were menial, low-paying, and often backbreaking.

There were many times in my childhood I truly resented the fact we didn't live in a nice home but an apartment building with cockroaches the size of chihuahuas, my clothes mostly came from Goodwill shops or the Salvation Army because she couldn't afford brand name store-bought ones, and the food we ate was all generic and store-specific brands and not name brands. Trust me when I tell you there is a real difference between cow's milk and powdered - not only in price, and that mayonnaise on white bread is not a nutritious sandwich for a child's lunch. Potatoes were our only "vegetable" and "chop meat" was our only protein. 

As an adult, I realize that blaming my mother for our misfortune was misplaced anger on my part. It should have been directed at the man who put us in the tenuous position of poverty, and not my mother. Hindsight, as they say, is 20/20 and I've got perfect vision now.

We may not have lived in a palace, but we weren't homeless. 

My clothes may have been a little faded and tattered, but I wasn't running around naked in the streets. 

And we may not have had all the material things I so desperately wanted as a child, but my mother kept us together, never took a dime in government relief ( not that there was much at that time), and taught me the value of hard work. She could have walked away from the life she was forced to live and sent me to live with my grandmother or aunt. 

She didn't. 

She stuck, kept me with her, and worked like a proverbial dog to make sure we were safe, healthy, and that I knew I was loved. We may not have had much, but we had that love and she showed it to me every single day.

In essence, she did the best she could with a bad situation she didn't create.

And despite being a rebellious kid with a mouthy attitude and a chip on my shoulder,  I turned out just fine.

I think the true essence of being a mother is this kind of fortitude, stick-with-it-ness, and resolve to do the best you can for your family no matter what the circumstances. And I tend to think the reason I write characters who are such strong women and devoted mothers is because of what I was shown as a child. My mother defines the term backbone of steel. 

Speaking of writing strong women and devoted mothers ( how's that for a segue, hee hee) in my upcoming Holiday Novella SANTA BABY which is releasing into the book reading world on June 7, Amy Dorrit is a single woman who becomes an instant-mom when she finds a baby on her doorstep on a cold Christmas Eve morning.

Here's a quick peek at the blurb:

It’s Christmas Eve morning in the tiny New England town of Dickens.

Santa’s arrival is imminent, and a hint of snow is in the air.

Amy Dorrit is just about to open her popular diner for the breakfast rush when she discovers an abandoned baby on her back doorstep.

Amy knows she should call the authorities and turn the infant over to them, but she just can’t. Thoughts of her own abandonment as a baby flood through her and she wants to keep the little one out of the hands of the authorities until the mother – hopefully –returns.

But will the mom come back? And if she doesn’t, what is Amy prepared to do about the baby who has, already, claimed her heart?

Intrigued? Here's where you can preorder your copy: UNIVERSAL LINK

Looking for me? Here's where I hang out: 

Blog me // Tweet me // Buy my books // Friend me // Pin me // read me //picture me // watch me // review me

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Until next month, peeps ~Peg

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 did you want to be growing up?

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Sailor, Rich Man, Poor Man, Beggar Man, Thief… Have you ever heard that old counting game/clapping rhyme/song? Maybe you used it on the playground as a way of deciding who’s “it?”

My assumption is that many Gems knew they wanted to be writers from an early age, but perhaps not. Share with us what you wanted to be growing up and if that desire impacted your books in any way. Let’s talk!

“I didn’t always want to be a writer. While it’s true I started writing fiction young – I was 8 when I penned my first curious girl adventure series, my ultimate goal in life wasn’t writing – it was helping people. For as long as I can remember I wanted to be a nurse. My father pushed me towards medicine because of my smarts, but I didn’t want that. I wanted the 1-on-1 of caring for people, hands-on, when they were in a time of great need and crisis. I was lucky enough to achieve my goal. My nursing career was long and fulfilling. And even though I’m retired now, I still use my nursing knowledge daily. The added benefit: I met my husband while nursing and instead of being a doctor, married one!” ~ Peggy Jaeger

“A ninth grade class assignment was to present in front of the class what we wanted to do when we grew up. I researched free lance writer, but I never thought I’d be able to become one. I went to college and majored in English and history. Five years of high school teaching did me in, and I changed careers to become a technical writer. In 1998, my first book was published. Today, with a name change and 35,000 more words, this is Kentucky Flame.” ~ Jan Scarbrough

 “I had a few job ideas when I was a child -- an adventurer (think Indiana Jones), a spy (like Harriet), and I wanted to play second base for the Houston Astros. Being a writer, I kind of get to be the first two, but the last one....oh well!” ~ Kara O'Neal

“When I was little I wanted to be a fashion designer, marine biologist, a mermaid, a space get the idea. Like most kids I didn't know.

“But one thing was constant-I wrote stories. In fifth grade my best friend and I wrote a story together, and from that point on, I think I was always scribbling in notebooks. It's when I look back that I see that I always was a writer, I just didn't realize it. So it comes as no surprise that my chosen career is a writer, even if I didn't know it when I was younger.” ~Laura Hunsaker

“When I was a kid, I wanted to be lots of things. A rock star. Movie Star. But mostly I wanted to be a Kindergarten Teacher. And for twenty years I was. Then I moved to teaching third grade for ten years before I retired to write full time. Surprisingly, writing was nowhere near any list of careers for me. I hated writing. Comparing or contrasting. Analyzing things. But no one ever asked me to create characters, especially ones who fall in love. One day all the stories in my head finally cried out to be heard. I listened.” ~ Kari Lemor

“As I’m sure is true for the others, I’ve been a writer since I could understand the concept, but I was never encouraged to seek it as a career as it really wasn’t seen as one. I fell back on my next great love, which goes hand in hand with writing, reading. I decided to teach and share my love of books with students. Some people were born to that career, but for me, it produced more stress than I could handle, at the time. I have great admiration for teachers, though, and have several characters who are teachers.” ~ M.J. Schiller


“When I was young, my parents pushed me to become a nurse, which they considered the perfect career choice for a female.  Luckily, my Grandfather Lawless, impressed by how much I read,  planted the suggestion in my impressionable preteen head that I should write my own stories one day.  It made sense to me.   Creative writing was my favorite class in high school, and my teacher reinforced the idea of me becoming a writer. So one fateful day, while my first born napped, using a borrowed typewriter and a gallon of white out, I typed Chapter One.  The rest, as they say, is history.” ~ Kathleen Lawless

“Don’t laugh, but I always wanted to be a cowgirl. My mom used to joke, saying I grew up in the backseat of her car, because of her chauffeuring my big sister to and from riding lessons. I loved western movies and TV shows, every horse that ever lived, and all things farms, and barns. I took my own lessons when I was big enough. English saddle first, but that soon grew to include a Western seat. I visited a dude ranch for a school field trip and never looked back. Strange, but I haven’t written a western romance. Although I’ve read many. Humm…You never know. 😊~ Kathryn Hills

“To be honest, my youth is so far away, I don't remember if I ever had a dream career. What I do remember is my 9th grade English teacher telling me I had a flair for writing. I've had three complete (10+ years careers) but, until I began writing, I'd never *loved* what I was doing. Just goes to show you ... teachers are the best!” ~ Nancy Fraser


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 ~

Monday, May 24, 2021

Another NEW cover! By@BonnieEdwards #RomanceGems

 I am very excited to announce that more books are coming from me set in the lovely beach town created last year in Last Chance Beach. You may recall that I wrote Hangover Husband in a lovely box set of short romances. 

Today I'm revealing my next full length novel titled FAKE ME. You guessed it, this is a fake relationship story. 

What happens when a matchmaker matches a matchmaker with her grieving brother? He gets well and truly tired of being set up.

Never mind that Grady O'Hara's turned himself into the biggest grouch in Last Chance Beach and hidden away in the Landseer Motel...his sister is determined to pull him out of his bolt hole and bring him back into the light. 

Except Grady has a secret he won't share with anyone, especially not his sister. And this pretty, sweet-faced, pitbull wannabe that shows up at his door won't make him.

Grady O’Hara has gone to ground at the Landseer Motel in Last Chance Beach.

For months he’s licked his wounds after his fiancée’s drowning. What the world doesn’t know is she’d been on her way to her lover when her canoe tipped the night before the wedding. Grady is in no hurry to return to his life in New York. He’s unkempt, unhappy, and likes it that way.

Farren Parks needs the Landseer Motel and the man ensconced there. Her plans for Singles Fest, a dating app aimed at single parents and their children hinge on providing the amenities, location, and price range of the closed motel.

Farren needs Grady to open his motel, and his grouchy, bruised heart. What she finds when she forces her way into the international real estate broker’s life is enough to make weaker women run for the hills. But Farren’s future depends on getting Grady onboard with her plans.

Grady knows the real reason Farren has been sicced on him. His sister is back to her matchmaking schemes and he’s had enough, considering how the last set-up ended.  The only way to get his sister to leave him to his solitude is to pretend the match with the delectable Farren Parks has paid off. 

Grady promises to help Farren with her fledgling business and open the motel if she’ll play along with his fake dating plan. Only to get his sister to back off, of course. 

Author Bonnie Edwards lives with her husband and pets on the coast of British Columbia. She has written novels, novellas, and short stories for Kensington Books, Harlequin Books, Carina Press, and Robinson (UK) although now she publishes her work herself. With four ongoing romance series and contemporary family novels in her newest series, Return to Welcome, she rarely spends a day without writing. For new release info and to get a free romance sign up for her newsletter: Bonnie’s Newsy Bits.

See more about her here: Find her online here: BookBub Amazon Twitter Facebook Instagram

Sunday, May 23, 2021

Prom Night Palooza by Kathryn Hills #RomanceGems

May…It’s the prelude to summer, PLUS the month we celebrate all things MOM here in the USA! As I see many great posts on social media about moms, kids, grandkids, even pet moms, it got me thinking…What could I share today about motherhood that might make you smile? After all, it’s not all pretty cards, flowers, and smiling faces in shared pictures. It can be rough. But it can also be funny. Sit back, and let me tell you a story…

It was a balmy May evening almost a decade ago when Darling Daughter went to her first prom. (Hard to believe, it was that long ago!) A dear friend volunteered to host an “After Prom Party” at the high school, so our local kids that wanted a fun place to go and celebrate could be safe. Dusk to Dawn, everything from copious amounts of food to a bonfire, crafts, photo booth, movies, a live band, plus a DJ. My friend went all out, soliciting donations and recruiting volunteers from all around the community. Hats off to her!

On prom night, when our kids were at the actual event, parent volunteers went to work…decorating, cooking, prepping everything. It was a mini army of do-gooders, excited to help. Pretty fun, if I may say. Maybe it was that I got to take over a BIG cafeteria kitchen? Those giant refrigerators, stoves, and cooking utensils…OMG, I missed my calling! Hahaha

Then my friend handed me a list of things we were missing or still needed.

Like any good volunteer with a list, I left that kitchen and headed to Walmart. At midnight. That was something new. I’m in bed by ten o’clock, people, let’s be serious! But I grabbed my cart and began tackling the list. It wasn’t until checkout that I realized how crazy I looked.

Here was my list…Extra Large Trash Bags, Bleach, Clorox Wipes, Latex Gloves, Duct Tape…and "ALL the Whipped Cream you can find." *blink*blink*

Just imagine the looks I got in that checkout line. At midnight! That’s a heck of a party, unless you’re the one gettin’ murdered. Writer’s brain…I know…we’re weird sometimes. Okay, all the time.

So, here’s to all those wonderful moms out there! We couldn’t host a Prom Night Palooza, or do much of anything else, without you!


This is a silly story from my life. But honestly, I love writing about families and family dynamics. Keep an eye out for these two books from me COMING THIS SUMMER! Secondhand Hearts – A Last Chance Beach Novella and Sand, Salt, and Spirits – A Last Chance Beach Romance. There’s a hefty dose of family mayhem in both books!

Thanks for reading!

~ Kathryn

Saturday, May 22, 2021

The Mother in You!

By: Marcia King-Gamble

This month of May is all about Mothers. This brings up the question of what is a mother? 

Is it a woman who gives birth to a child (birth mother), or is it the person who provides emotional care and support?

To me, a mother is so much more than the woman who carries a child, goes into labor and then gives birth. There are men who have stepped in and been both mother and father to a young one.

 Now, I’m going to say something that may or may not be controversial. Not everyone is cut out to be a mother. This is evident by turning on the television or tuning into the news. Almost every day a baby is abandoned or given away. Some leave the baby at the hospital or on a church’s doorstep. Others, less caring, dump the baby in the trash. Babies have been left in subways or abandoned in bathrooms. Then there are those who for a variety of reasons put their child up for adoption, either because they are simply not ready or have way too many mouths to feed.

 I’m not here to judge. Each birth mother has her own reasons. Not everyone is able or fit to take on that task. Mothering is a lifetime business, and some make the difficult or necessary decision to opt out. The reasons are varied, ranging from short on finances to single parent status. Some are just not feeling the maternal nudge.

 So, what’s my definition of a mother? A person who nurtures and cares for you. A person who is your biggest supporter, and who at times may demonstrate tough love. She/he is not necessarily an enabler, but someone there through thick or thin. She/he gives you a well needed kick in the butt when needed, and when not, waves your flag.

 Over time, I have had many mothers. They each taught me something valuable. My biological one was tough as nails and far from a shrinking violet. A woman way ahead of her time, she taught me the value of an education, and she promoted independence. She believed if you wanted something, you went out and got it yourself. No handouts for her or her children, and no dependence on a man. And by the way, she was married to my father for over fifty years.

My second mother, my aunt, was a free spirit, and probably more nurturing than my biological mother. You could tell her anything. She believed in me, and she found a way for me to go to that out-of-town college. If I ever needed something she was there, no questions asked.

Friends’ mothers often mothered me. We grew up on a small island where everyone made it their business to know your business. If you stepped out of line, your “Aunties” were right there admonishing you, and with your biological mother’s permission to give that backhanded slap. Back then, no one called Child Protective services if you got a well-deserved whack.  In fact, there was no Child Protective Services.

Even as an adult, an author friend, stepped into the role of “Mom” for me. She had five adult kids of her own. I became the 6th. I learned to be more diplomatic from this wonderful woman who taught me the art of turning the other cheek. More importantly, she taught me that kindness really mattered. While she recently passed away, I will always cherish the memories of her generous spirit, and her reminder that when life hands you limes, lemonade should be made. Thank you, Linda Anderson.    

A book that we should all read, (not one of mine) also comes to mind. It’s titled a Mother’s Promise by KD Alden. While it’s not the easiest read, (in terms of a feel-good book), it does depict motherhood in a variety of forms.

So, what does a “mother” mean to you? Is she the cookie-cutter apron-wearing ‘mom,’ or is she today’s woman with a full-time job? There is no handbook for mothers to read. Mothering is just something that is trial and error and comes from the heart.

Have a Happy May. Big hugs to the mothers out there!


About Marcia King-Gamble

Romance writer, Marcia King-Gamble originally hails from a sunny Caribbean island where the sky and ocean are the same mesmerizing shade of blue. This former travel industry executive has spent most of life in the United States. A National Bestselling author, Marcia has penned over 34 books and 8 novellas. She has contributed to Michael Fiore’s DigitalRomanceInc and served as a moderator on the now defunct eHarmony advice boards.  Having witnessed the bad, the ugly, and the not so good in relationships, she still prefers to write about happily ever after. Caring for her animal family keeps her grounded and sane.

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Thursday, May 20, 2021


By Caroline Clemmons

May flowers bring pleasure for the soul. Is it any wonder that gardening is a popular hobby? Don’t you enjoy seeing a well-landscaped yard with colorful border plantings?

Gardening used to be one of my hobbies. Can you picture me riding a lawnmower over almost an acre of grass? Or, watching me with a shovel while I plant various shrubs and roses? Since we downsized, a crew of yard men take care of the mowing, raking, and tidying. Hero and I plant border flowers or renew the patio planters.

What are your hobbies? I have too many, but that means I am never bored.

One of my hobbies is collecting religious symbols. Nativity sets, angels, and crosses are included in this collection. Have you noticed collections grow—almost on their own? Once family and friends know you like a particular thing, they help add to that accumulation.

A friend tried to teach me to crochet an afghan. She said it was a relaxing activity to be enjoyed while watching television or chatting with others. For her, but not for me. My fingers did one thing while my brain ordered them to do something else. I practically wore out the yarn unraveling my mistakes. Disgusted, my friend took the yarn and finished the afghan for me.

Add to these my love of browsing antique malls, oil paints, reading, and other pastimes and you’ll understand my diverse interests. But my favorite pastime is writing. I’ll bet you knew that.

This brings me to my upcoming release, ADELINE, book 10 of the Cupids and Cowboys series. Adeline “Addie” McGee is the adopted daughter discovered by Stuart McGee in Bachelors and Babies series, STUART. She was a toddler when Stuart rescued her, but now Addie’s a teenager. You can preorder ADELINE (hint, hint) now for June 1 release and delivery to your Kindle. The buy link is

Addie and her best friend, Nancy, play Cupid for their teacher and Nancy’s cousin. Do you remember being thirteen, going on fourteen? These two are lovely, intelligent, spirited young women with the best intentions. Their plans create awkward, humorous, and disastrous situations. My romance stories always have a happy ending.

Here’s the back cover description for this sweet western historical romance:


A woman in sorrow…
A man’s longing…
Two matchmaking girls’ mischief…
Result = Mayhem!

After the death of her fiancé, Violet Evanston escapes to Broken Wheel, Colorado, the furthest teaching job she can find. She loves the children and the community, but something is missing. At least she’s away from the pitying glances and whispers of those in her hometown.

As the second son, Clark Abernathy knows he won’t inherit the family business. He’s happy to move to Broken Wheel and assist his uncle Abe with his carpentry business. Building for the future is fulfilling, but his personal happiness is incomplete. So far, he’s been too busy to reflect on the long-term.

Adeline McGee and her best friend, Nancy, adore their teacher. They believe she’s far too kind and pretty to be alone. They’re also fond of Nancy’s cousin, Clark. When the girls decide to play Cupid, the town isn’t safe from fun, adventure, and happily-ever-after.


I hope you get to enjoy the beauty of May’s flowers, whether in your garden, a neighbor’s garden, or a park. I’ll leave you with a couple of flower quotes I like:

“Where flowers bloom, so does hope.” Ladybird Johnson

“Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful; they are sunshine, food and medicine for the soul.” Luther Burbank  

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

It's My Mom's Fault #lucindarace #romancegems

 Hello again, 

My mom cultivated my love of reading and writing. I can say she is not only my biggest cheerleader but without her I wouldn’t be writing and publishing books today. 

When I was nine or 10, I ran out of books during a summer vacation. I had read my brother’s Hardy Boys collection, exhausted all the other bookshelves in our house and our small-town library was only open one day a week. What was I going to read? My mom hated to throw away magazines, she liked to reread articles, which led me to hitting the jackpot of words, specifically Good Housekeeping magazine. The stack was a couple of feet high and organized in order by publication date. I picked up the first one and read it from cover to cover, including the romance novella. I was hooked. 

Me- age 10 
So, you can see after that summer I really didn’t have a choice; I fell in love with reading and then writing the Happily Ever After. Thanks Mom! 


Which leads me to why I am so excited today! Crush, book 2 in the Crescent Lake Winery series is released today.

When I began to plan the series, long before I started actually doing the writing, I named the town and the winery Crystal Lake. Then I sent out pages to an editor told me there is a horror movie series in a town called Crystal Lake. What the heck, I don’t read horror and definitely don’t watch horror movies so how was I supposed to know. I decided to put something up on my Facebook page to see what readers thought and would they be put off by the connection.  It was pretty much unanimous, people did make the connection, so it was time to change the name of my town. 

I stewed for a couple of days, what could I call my town, and still hold true with the glacier moving through the region? I put out Crescent Lake to the Facebooks readers, it was a winner. So, the winery had a new name as well as the town.


I wanted to share something special with you about when Colin and Anna meet for the first time, not in Crush but in Ready to Soar - which was released July 2016 – almost 5 years ago. 

Here is that scene when Sam Price, Anna’s dad, is in the hospital with a mild heart attack and Colin is his nurse…

Colin, this is my family. Let me introduce you to my kids.” He pointed to Don. “My oldest, Donovan, and his wife, Kate. That’s Tessa standing next to her mother, and Jackson and Anna on the end of the bed, and of course Liza and my two grandsons. Everybody, this is Colin. My nurse.”

Anna murmured hello and studied the floor.

Colin nodded to each in greeting. “Okay, well, Sam I would appreciate it if your family would keep their voices down.” Colin’s gaze strayed to Anna and her cheeks flushed bright pink. “Anna, are you feeling okay?”

Mortified, she muttered, “I’m fine.”

Colin took one last look around. “Alright then. Sam, you need to get some rest so the family should leave soon.” Colin gave each family member a stern look. He did his best to catch Anna’s eye, but, unsuccessful, he left the room.

After writing this scene I just knew Colin was the perfect guy for Anna. I hope you read Crush and let me know what you think. Of course feel free to post a review on your retailer of choice, Goodreads or Bookbub. I love it when you do. 


To purchase your copy, click this link and if you’d like a signed paperback, drop me an email at


Until next time, 

I wish you, health, happiness and love. 



Tuesday, May 18, 2021

What Does Mom Say? By @karilemor #RomanceGems

Originally I’d planned to write a beautiful post about my newest grandchild. My first granddaughter. My oldest daughter has two boys, highly active boys, and this third baby is a precious, little girl.

Unfortunately, the darling flower has decided to be shy and stick around in Mama’s belly for ten days longer than she was supposed to. Thus, I needed to go to Plan B for this post. Unfortunately, again, I didn’t have a Plan B.

I decided to let other mothers everywhere write the post for me. So here are some humorous quotes from moms. Because when you have children, you have to make sure to laugh!


"No one told me I would be coming home in diapers, too." – Chrissy Teigen

 "Motherhood. It takes patience, humor and a lot of wet towelettes."  — Unknown

 If evolution really works, how come mothers only have two hands?” — Milton Berle

 "Silence is golden. Unless you have kids. Then silence is just suspicious."  — Unknown

 "I always say if you aren't yelling at your kids, you're not spending enough time with them." – Reese Witherspoon

  "I want my children to have all the things I couldn't afford. Then I want to move in with them." – Phyllis Diller

  “The majority of my diet is made up of foods that my kids didn't finish." — Carrie Underwood

  "I’ve learned to use meditation and relaxation to handle stress. Just kidding, I’m on my third glass of wine."  — Unknown

 Why don't kids understand that their nap is not for them but for us?” — Alyson Hannigan

 "Like all parents, my husband and I just do the best we can, and hold our breath, and hope we've set aside enough money to pay for our kids' therapy.” — Michelle Pfeiffer

  "A mother is the person you can always call to see how long chicken lasts in the fridge."  — Unknown

 "If at first you don’t succeed, try doing it the way your mom told you to do it from the start." — Unknown

 The 2 y/o grabbed my cheeks, looked into my eyes, smiled sweetly, leaned in close, and …coughed in my face. And that sums up parenthood.” –Jenn H Scott

 Toddler: A small creature who is only hungry after you throw away the food she refused to eat the first eighty times you offered it to her.” -Hollow Tree Ventures

 There should be an energy drink name 6 AM toddler.” – Simon Holland

 I don’t want to sleep like a baby, I want to sleep like my husband.” — Unknown

 A two-year-old is kind of like having a blender, but you don’t have a top for it.” — Jerry Seinfeld

 That moment when you go to check on your sleeping baby and their eyes ping open so you drop to the floor and roll out of the room like a ninja.” — Unknown


I love writing children and have been told I do them well. I suppose after three of my own plus thirty years of teaching young elementary school, I should know what they are like.

Here are my books that feature children:

Running Target

A deadly game of cat and mouse…

A price on his head.

A family to protect.

Getting the goods on a mob boss won’t be easy,

especially while he’s a running target.


Elusive Dreams

Creating a family might be the only way to heal two scarred souls...

An injured Marine,

 an introverted loner,

two orphaned children needing a home.

Can they create a perfectly imperfect family?



Broken Dreams

True family is more than an image…

A new single dad.

An unconventional nanny.

A little boy in his own world.

Can she show them that family is more than an image?


 Here's where you can check out all my books!!

Other places to stalk me!!