Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Wedding Whoopsies in the Month of June ~ by M.J. Schiller #RomanceGems



Ahh, June. The fairer month. June for me means two things which can seem contradictory, freedom and commitment.


Freedom because the school year's over. To celebrate, on the last day of school, I would always blast Alice Cooper's "School's Out" (for the summer) in our carpool on the way home. There I'd have waiting my Peanut Buster Parfait Ice Cream dessert to make things even more festive. After the daily grind of the school year, a much-deserved break was welcome.


June also means commitment to me. The commitment I made to my husband on our wedding day. On June 3rd we celebrated our 33rd anniversary. (Man it feels weird to say that!) I wanted to share a few memories with you of that day...

All weddings are going to have their glitches. Some big, some not so big. We had our fair share. The first thing was the fact that, through miscommunication, one of the bridesmaids showed up having not altered her dress to tea-length as the others had. She was distraught, believing she'd "ruined" the wedding. Luckily a quick-thinking florist provided floral tape to adjust the dress to the proper length and save the day.


I was walked down the aisle by my stepfather on one side, my dad on the other. During the rehearsal we'd worked out that I would turn to my stepdad first, he would lift the veil and give me a kiss and then I would turn to my dad. But I was so nervous--shaking with more fervor than a Latin dancer--that I blanked out and turned to my dad first. He just said, "Honey, you're supposed to have RJ lift the veil." Minor mistake. I was counting the fact that I'd even made it down the aisle as a win.

Our next little hiccup was sort of just that. One of my bridesmaids was extremely pregnant and felt so nauseous she had to step away. But she did it so discretely I barely noticed that. (Although she also cried and said she'd ruined the wedding. Weddings are very emotional days all around.)



I didn't notice Lori's exit, but I certainly did notice the moment my nightmare came true. I had a dream the night before that our best man, Tate, dropped the ring and it rolled under the pews and for some reason, I had to get down in my dress and crawl around searching for it. "Umm...excuse me. Excuse me. Pardon me. Just searching for a ring..."

I have to explain that the best man's real name is Jerry, but everyone calls him Tater, or Tate for short. The name Tater does not inspire a lot of confidence or call to mind someone who is the portrait of responsibility. And our boy is a true Tater. I have never seen him serious a day in his life. So, as you can see, I had reason to be worried about him. During our real ceremony, the priest asked for the rings and I heard a ding. Unbelievably, Tate had dropped the ring, but he scooped it up on the first bounce and in one fluid movement put it on the plate provided for blessing it. I've gotta tell you, though, my heart stopped beating for a moment there.




The rest of the ceremony went fairly well, but I had made a fatal error. I should have worried about more than Tater dropping the rings. Like the fact that they were in his possession and had a very personal message engraved inside them. The cat was pretty much out of the bag, though, when we went out to our car and it was covered in shaving cream reading "D-bear (my husband) and Bubba (you're right, I have no right to question the name Tater) forever." What a schmuck I was!

But, I was married to my best friend, so nothing could phase me...until I searched for the car keys. My mom, in an effort to help, had taken my purse to the reception venue. (And remember, these were the days before cellphones.) I remember thinking, "There's a party going on for us. Too bad we're not there." I don't remember how we worked things out, but we eventually did.



At the end of the night, one of our dear friends (come to think of it, his name is Jerry, too) locked his keys in the car. We spent part of our wedding night sitting on the curb with Jerry until a locksmith came. But Jerry was and is hysterical, so that wasn't a problem.

Shoo! What a day to remember! If I had to do it over again, I would be more than happy to rush down that aisle to my handsome groom. However, I would probably rethink my inscription on the ring.



Well, thanks for listening to me reminisce. What wedding snafus have you been witness to? Come on! I know I'm not the only one.

Hope the rest of your June rocks! -mj

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

A Few of My Favorite Things
by Nora LeDuc

Beach Roses

It's June and romance month. Today, I'll tell you how I discovered some of my best-loved romances. 

A few years ago, before I started writing, I heard that a women who volunteered at my children's school, was a huge reader. I happened to run into her and introduced myself. Soon, the conversation turned to books. She told me how she loved to read and how she set up her shelves of keepers in alphabetical order. What surprised me the most about her? She only bought romances. To be truthful, I'd never met anyone who loved and admitted they were a romance reader. Most likely, if you confessed you were a fan of the genre, people wouldn't take you seriously. My new friend asked if I'd like to borrow a book, and of course, I agreed. And that was how I discovered one my favorite authors, Jude Deveraux.


I devoured every release Miss Deveraux published in those olden days. Like many fans, I could not put down Jude's A Knight in Shining Armor. "New York Times bestselling author Jude Deveraux will capture your heart with a signature classic novel, a time-travel featuring a present-day heroine and a dashing hero from the sixteenth century!" I still have my hard cover on my shelf that is not in alphabetical order.



 

Another author who hits the top of my favorites is Robyn Carr, who wrote Virgin River. Recently, I came across this writer while on a FB thread recommending Netflix shows. Virgin River was on the list. In the first few minutes of watching Episode 1, I excitedly realized I was watching a love story! Yes, I bought the first book of the series and admired how much of the dialog was used in the film production. And now I’m hooked and waiting to find out who shot Jack, the cliffhanger from last season. 




Another oldie I'd recommend is Cry Wolf by Tami Hoag. I found this author while rummaging around at Annie's Book Store. "In the rural parishes of Louisiana, young women are disappearing one by one, only to turn up on the banks of the bayou, strangled and cast aside where they are sure to be found." Yes, this story has it all. I loved the setting of the book. Picture the Spanish Moss hanging from trees. Listen to the voices of the night creatures as you glide through the swamp water with the hero on a hot steamy evening. The hero just happens to be the local rogue who plays the piano in the bar at night and writes thrillers by day. The heroine is a disgraced lawyer who lost her most important case and is seeking to be left alone. Mix the mystery with a strong romance and you're hooked.



I’m sure you have plenty of favorites on your shelf at home. Let me know their titles. I may fall in love with them too. 

Don't forget to follow me on Facebook, Goodreads, Twitter. Amazon

And it's almost Christmas in July! Don't miss my book Christmas at the Easy Breezy, only .99. "From the moment Darcy stomps snow from her boots in Leo's restaurant you are rooting for them to get a HEA. And this book delivers BIG TIME." 




 ❤️ Take Care, My Friends đź“–

Monday, June 28, 2021

A Book For Julia by @KaraONealAuthor #RomanceGems

THE INVENTOR'S HEART is up for pre-order, and while I'm very excited about this, I'm more excited about the conflict in this story.

My heroine, Julia Forrester, is dyslexic. Now, the book takes place in 1885, so they didn't call it that back then. A doctor in Germany termed it "word blindness". 

I'm a special education teacher, and Julia's story is very dear to my heart. Her feelings of uselessness, of embarrassment, etc., are what my students battle every day. I shed tears while writing this book, let me tell you.

As luck would have it, sweet Julia is in love with the town genius, Alex Davis. But when she realizes he loves her in return, she gets scared. She feels her academic weaknesses would be a burden to him and rejects his proposal. Which causes Alex to take on the fight of his life, proving to Julia that she is, in fact, quite brilliant.

This was the book I was writing when my publisher went out of business a year ago.

You can imagine the sadness I felt, as Alex and Julia's story is VERY important to me. I wanted this one in the hands of readers so badly. But now, I didn't know what to do...

I wondered if I should keep writing.

I agonized over it, because I wasn't sure if I could publish a book on my own. And, quite frankly, I wasn't sure if I was even doing the right thing. Writing takes time. As does publishing. Then marketing...well...that job never stops. I also had my day job to contend with, which can be pretty demanding. And writing takes time away from my family.

So, I wondered if it was all worth it.

And then, about one month after my publisher went out of business, something happened...

My fabulous editor sent me the following message:

"I wanted to thank you. I've struggled with reading all my life and your book got me to thinking about color again. I discovered I can actually change the color of the page in Word. I finally figured out a way to make editing easier for me. But it helps with my writing, as well. I actually look forward to writing now!"

My joy was immense, let me tell you. I mean, I have tears now reading this. Goodness! So...her message sealed it for me. I was going to figure out how to self-publish come Hell or high water.

And now, THE INVENTOR'S HEART is ready and available for pre-order. It releases on the July 7th.


THE INVENTOR'S HEART

Pike's Run, Texas, 1885

Alex Davis has just returned to Pike's Run, Texas, from Yale with a fabulous invention that could revolutionize the use of electricity. He can't wait to show his work to his family and his dearest friend in the world, Julia Forrester. But from the first day he arrives home, Julia avoids him. He doesn't understand and tries everything he can think of to spend time with her, but he fails.

Julia Forrester has loved Alex Davis since their school days. He was her confidante and her champion whenever she struggled with her studies. She helped him with his inventions, spending as many of her free hours as possible with him. She'd thought he'd loved her, but when he went off to college without her, her heart broke. And the infrequency of his letters proved his feelings didn't match hers. Now that he has returned, she is determined to move on with her life. She has written a symphony, and she won't let past hopes and dreams overtake her again.

But Alex won't give up, and when Julia confesses the reason for her distant attitude, the "Genius of Pike's Run" realizes his stupidity. He is in love with Julia and will now move Heaven and Earth to have her. But he is battling more than her distrust. Julia has another reason to keep away from Alex, and he sets out to fix it. Will the "genius" be able to prove his theory?


BUY THE INVENTOR'S HEART

Saturday, June 26, 2021

I see brides...everywhere! by @Peggy Jaeger

 Until recently, I don't think I ever considered just what a social phenomenon the business of being a bride is in today's society.

Take reality television for instance.

TLC has SAY YES TO THE DRESS, cataloging various brides-to-be as they shop for the perfect dress for their big day. This show is so popular, it spawned spinoffs SYTTD Atlanta, SYTTD Randy Knows best, not to mention the UK version of the show.



BRAVO brought us KANDY'S WEDDING, detailing RHOA star Kandy Burress's wedding prep, TAMRA'S OC WEDDING, I DREAM OF NENE: The Wedding, and DON'T BE TARDY for the Wedding. All feature Real Housewives of various cities as they become brides.

And don't think other networks are missing out on taking a bite of the lucrative bridal pie. There's  My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding, Married at First Sight, My Big Redneck Wedding, Four Weddings, Bridezillas, Bridalplasty, and Wedding SOS just to name a few American bridal-themed shows.



The amazing thing to me is that all these shows bring in huge revenue for their networks which means they are being watched. A lot. More than a lot. And continually. SYTTD is in syndication now.

The business of being a bride isn't relegated to the small screen only, though. In recent years big blockbuster movies about brides have made their way into our collective consciousness. 

BRIDAL WARS, The Runaway Bride, Bridesmaids, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Made of Honor, 27 Dresses,  are just a few of the more popular ones, but there are dozens more.


Most of the big-screen versions of being a bride are romantic comedies set in the contemporary world, much like the books I write.

When I decided to write a series about a wedding planner and her sisters who reside in a small town in New England, I never realized what big business the wedding industry is. It's been a looooooong time since I got married. Back in the day, there were no bridal planners unless you were a Rockefeller or a Kenndy and planning a political or family merger shindig where you really did need the help. The bride and her family and friends planned everything. I'm sure there were some brides-to-be who could have been labeled bridezillas, but back then, their behavior was simply referred to as wedding jitters and nerves.

The research I did on the wedding industry so that I could give  Colleen O'Dowd, my wedding planner, a truthful and realistic feel, really opened my eyes to this multibillion-dollar industry and the way it has become a needed entity in the everyday lives of brides everywhere.

My  MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN Series along with the 2022 release of my HEAVEN'S MATCHMAKER series, tap into this bridal mania. Using humor and the love of a family to navigate through the craziness of weddings, brides, and inlaws, both series were a labor of love to pen.

A MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN is available now in print and ecopy everywhere digital books are sold.



 HEAVEN'S MATCHMAKER will release beginning in June 2022 with cover reveals coming soon!

Are you attending any weddings this June ( or summer?) I've already been to 1 and it was fab. Comment below for a chance to win an ecopy of any of the MMIH books ( 1-3)

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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: A GAME! Something different this month!

The cast of the last show you watched is planning your wedding. Tell us who is planning and what your wedding will be like. Let’s have some fun!

“I've been watching season 6 of Once Upon A Time. (For like the millionth time) And there's actually a wedding in that season. So...if the characters from this show were planning my wedding, I'm certain it would be a fairytale ordeal, with a gown made by the fairies, knights as the groomsmen, and singing!!!” ~ Kara O’Neal

“I haven’t watched TV in years, but I tuned into Bridgerton because I’d met Julia Quinn years ago and read and loved the entire series. So I guess Violet Bridgerton is planning my wedding, and it will be the event of the century. Live music (no, not the Smythe-Smith quartet!) in the ballroom at one of the leading homes in London. Everyone will be decked out in their finest formal wear. Anyone who is anyone in the ton will be in attendance (though I’d leave Cressida Cowper off the list if I didn’t think it would cause an uproar).” ~ Kari Lemor

Liz Flaherty's Wedding
“I am watching the Kelly Clarkson Show right now. I've never seen it before, but  someone else arranged some beautiful flowers and another gentleman is featuring some wonderful-looking  gumbo. I think my wedding is going to be a lot of laughs and the food's going to be great, which sounds like a harbinger of all things good! (I made up the beach part)” ~ Liz Flaherty

“The last show I watched was The Dead Files, so I guess I’ll have a spooky haunted wedding! The psychics will keep telling me what all my nosy deceased relatives are saying while the cops will be keeping my current relatives in line. It’ll be fun for all!” ~ Laura Hunsaker

“My wedding would be planned by the cast of Jimmy Kimmel Live. Naturally, we’d have the music played by Cleto and the Cletones. That’s where the “normal” would end. Guillermo would be dressed in a flower girl’s gown and sprinkle Skittles across the stage. Jimmy would be dressed in a judge’s black gown with a white curly wig on his head. He’d be standing in front of a trellis decorated with wilted flowers and be reading from a Marvel comic. The vows would be to refrain from murdering each other on the honeymoon to get on a murder porn tv show.” ~ Bonnie Edwards  

“Going to get married to my firefighter, at the firehouse, among all our firefighting friends from the Chicago Fire department. The firefighter’s union rep is walking me down the aisle to my future husband and the fire department chaplain is waiting at the altar. I am in my white dress, the groom and the entire fire department are in their firefighting gear. We say our vows and the chaplain says “you may kiss the bride.” Our kiss is interrupted by the bells and whistles, everyone heads to the firetruck and ambulance and they are on their way to the next call.” ~ Constance Bretes

“Last night I watched the Hallmark Movie, Chasing Waterfalls. Loved it.  The leading man, Christopher Russell is the perfect groom. I'm a cougar and 6ft. 2in, 38year old, Russell, fits the bill for this 5ft.10 woman. That smile. That voice.

“A waterfall as the setting…tranquil.., private... well for the most part private. The movie was filmed in Seattle and British Columbia, two of my favorites for their breathtaking views.

“Wedding planners? The Married at First sight Australia experts: John Aiken, Mel Schiling and Dr. Trisha Stafford. Their reception venues are the best.

“Yes, I’m all for chasing waterfalls.” ~ Marcia King-Gamble

“I've no doubt my wedding will be one Helluva celebration since it's being planned by the cast of Lucifer! My wedding cake will be devils food, of course, topped with icing so fluffy it must be a Heavenly cloud. We'll dance to CCR's I Put a Spell on You and Devil in the Blue Dress and finish off the night with a downright devil of a honeymoon.” ~ Nancy Fraser

“The last show I watched was Loki, which is a new Marvel show. Loki is a shapeshifting prankster and god who is always up to mischief. Sometimes he’s the villain, but always a sympathetic one. His brother is Thor, and who wants to live up to that? Loki is played by Tom Hiddleston who seems to be both a sweetheart and funny in real life, so the wedding would definitely be unforgettable, fun, and off-beat. Only problem would be, it would be hard to concentrate on my groom with Tom Hiddleston there! He looks good in anything and oozes sex appeal.” ~ M.J. Schiller

“I’m binge-watching True Blood again after all these years and loving it! BUT it does make for a rather bizarre wedding. Of course, the reception would be at Merlotte’s – I do enjoy a great local diner/watering hole. Maid of Honor and Best Man – Sookie Stackhouse and Bill Compton. Bridesmaids – Tara, Arlene, and vampire Jessica. Vamp fashionista Pam MUST help me buy my wedding gown and shoes! Jason Stackhouse is not invited, because he’s nothin’ but trouble. LaFayette oversees all food, decorations, and music. And…I’m marrying Eric Northman, the Nordic vampire owner of Fangtasia. Absolutely. No questions asked. (Sorry Mr. H. hahaha) ~ 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 ~

Friday, June 25, 2021

99 cents sale! Such a deal! by Jan Scarbrough

There’s a debate about what constitutes a second chance romance. Is it when the same couple gets back together probably years later? Or could it be a person, who has lost her first partner, finds love again with a new one?

The idea behind my Bluegrass Reunion Series, for the most part, is that the same couple comes together again—a reunion. Sometimes I throw in a secret baby or a single mom—and of course, a horse or two.

In my March blog, I mentioned The Top 12 Most Powerful Tropes in Romance Novels. Second chance romance is one of the twelve. The Bluegrass Reunion Series gives you second chances and other familiar tropes.

Kentucky Woman
What is Jack willing to do to win the heart of this spirited Kentucky woman? (Marriage of Convenience)

Kentucky Blue Bloods
When Kentucky blue blood tangles with British blue blood, are they willing to take a gamble on love? (Enemies to Lovers)

Kentucky Cowboy
Will Mandy take a second chance with her Kentucky cowboy and risk her heart a second time? (Friends to Lovers)

Kentucky Rain
Carrying a torch is ridiculous. There’s no time like the present to move on. But does Scott really want to? (Friends to Lovers, Forced Proximity)

Recently, I’ve combined four of the eight series romances together into a box set. A couple stories have a thoroughbred horse setting. It’s Kentucky, of course. Kentucky Cowboy takes advantage of the research I did into professional bull riding. Yes, a professional bull rider can come from Kentucky. Kentucky Rain carries on some of the characters from Kentucky Cowboy.

Interested? You might be more so when you discover the box set is on sale for a limited time for 99 cents! Such a deal, such a deal!

Run on over to your favorite ebook retailer for your copy. Go here for links to Kindle, Nook, Kobo, Apple, Google and more.

And as can be expected…my heroines end up as brides even if not in June!


Thursday, June 24, 2021

Book Signing... by Liz Flaherty #RomanceGems

Sneaking in here on a Surprise Day to invite you to a book-signing I'm sure you won't be able to attend. I'm doing this for more than one reason, though. Aside from the obvious and embarrassing self-aggrandizement, I'd love to hear from other writers--and readers!--about book-signing experiences, both good and bad. Thank you for sharing. 


From Legacy Outfitters and Black Dog Coffee at 116 S 6th St, Logansport, IN.

"We're so exited about our upcoming Book Signing and talk by author Liz Flaherty next Saturday, June 26th from 11am to 2pm. Liz is one of our favorite customers and her 'Window on the Sink' columns in the Peru Tribune are now in book form.

Romance readers know her as the author of over 20 novels published by Harlequin, Kensington, Carina Press, and The Wild Rose Press. Her work has also been in The Saturday Evening Post, Ladies Home Journal, and the Christian Science Monitor. But it's her Window on the Sink essays she's most happiest writing. Each essay is a personal, thoughtful slice of life, recalling moments spent in the small town of Macy where she and her husband, musician, Duane, live and raised their kids. As one reviewer says, 'Family comes alive in this book and you'll laugh and cry and feel good all over.' Copies of her book are available now and at the signing."




Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Celebrating Summer with A New Release! by Kathryn Hills #RomanceGems

It’s Summer 2021, and I’m celebrating by going back to my FAVORITE beach! Diamond-white sands, warm breezes, and turquoise waves. Visit the iconic Secondhand Hearts Antique Shop and stay at the charming Sandpiper Cottage out on the point. A romantic picnic on the beach? You’ve got it! A fancy dinner at The Sands Hotel in town? Absolutely! Coffee on Main Street and S'mores by the bonfire? What would summer on Last Chance Beach be without those things?

How about a sweet, summer romance you never saw coming? One that sweeps you off your feet and changes everything? That’s what my characters find in Secondhand Hearts – A Last Chance Beach Novella.

This book is novella-length, meaning it’s perfect for an afternoon by the shore or pool. Or in your favorite chair with a snuggle buddy. Did I mention there’s a dog? There’s always a pet in my books, since I adore them.

Originally part of the best-selling Last Chance Beach: Summer's End boxed set, this new release includes additional scenes and story, giving you more sun, fun, and romance on Last Chance Beach!

Available now from your favorite digital bookstore.

Life takes you down many winding paths. Will theirs lead to love on Last Chance Beach?

Tasked with convincing her beloved grandmother to move back to the mainland, Kat Worthington returns to Last Chance Beach. This vacation island paradise is filled with cherished memories, and the thought of relocating her loved one weighs heavy on Kat’s heart. Is the alternative to uproot her life, stay on the island, and help run Gran’s charming B&B and antique shop?

Handsome neighbor, Ben Hadley, sure hopes it is. He and his playful pup are doing their best to upend Kat’s plans. Will their efforts convince her to stay?

Or will it require some of Gran’s special island magic?

Heads up! My next Last Chance Beach Romance is coming this September. You bet, we're going back to the beach for a Halloween-themed romance! 

Can a weekend visit to Last Chance Beach undo decades of brokenhearted memories? Conjuring up some island magic might just be the trick. Or treat!

It’s October, and Last Chance Beach is celebrating with an island-wide Fall Festival. Everyone will be there, including the ghost that haunts Sandpiper Cottage B&B.

Will a weekend getaway bring romance or revelation to two near strangers? Can they survive family gatherings and back-to-back Halloween events while pretending to be a couple?

Pre-Order Sand, Salt, and Spirits today!

Thanks for reading. See you at the beach, everyone!

~ Kathryn 

Find Kathryn Hills Online 

Website * Facebook

Twitter * Amazon Author Page * BookBub

 

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

What's Love Gotta Do With It?

 

By: Marcia King-Gamble

www.lovemarcia.com

June, and the perfect month for weddings and love. But in this modern day and age, are some of these marriages arranged? Is it love, or as Tina said, what does love have to do with it?

Let’s say the marriage is arranged, has this age-old tradition undergone a change?

One article, recently written, estimates that over 50% of marriages are arranged ones. I tend to agree.  Call it what you will. People marry old family friends, the guy or girl next door, the old school chum, and even the deceased spouse’s bestie. People marry those they feel comfortable with. So, does love or respect have something to do with it?

The old school way of looking at a traditional marriage is that it’s one planned by the respective families, mostly that of the bride’s and groom’s. To date, over 20 million of these marriages exist in the world today. Given that the divorce rate is somewhere between 40% to 50%, these marriages have a surprisingly low rate of divorce, and are allegedly as low as 4%. This may be for a variety of reasons.

With lust and passion out of the equation, rash decisions aren’t often made. The blush of infatuation only lasts so long. There better be mutual admiration and respect. This can develop over time if the right foundation has been laid.

So, does this mean arranged marriages work, or does it mean the people who agree to them are likely not to file for divorce?  Let’s face it, it does require a certain personality type to agree to this kind of union. A physical attraction plays a big part in what we like and don’t like, and some may never have seen their partner until they walked down that aisle.

Arranged marriages have been around for years, and while not considered popular in western culture, (although that is debatable,) they are now widely promoted on the Internet, and on TV shows. An amazing number of websites have sprung up, giving families even a wider variety of places to cast that net and find that match.  There are TLC shows like Married by Mom and Dad. The difference today, however, is that this age-old practice allows one or the other party to have some say and decline the match.

Reality shows like Married at First Sight and 90 Day Fiancé are popular, and contestants, line up out the door to get on them. In the first, the bride and groom put their fate in the hands of relationship experts and hope for the best. In the second, one party meets the other abroad, brings them back to the USA on a K1 visa. They then have 90 days to seal the deal, or the non-American goes home.



While we’re on the subject of arranged marriages, how many royals do you know that actually married for love? In most cases they married family members (3rd or 4th cousins removed), or the match was made with another foreign royal considered in their league. Like begets like and money often marries money.

But it’s June, folks, and weddings are the flavor of the month. It can be a campy backyard ceremony, or a fancy country club soiree. It might be a quick courthouse nuptial, or the destination of the bride’s choice. Is it held on land, air or sea?

 Whatever the venue, there’s something about a June bride that makes us hopeful that love will blossom. Except for this Russian couple (pic taken by me.)

 

Do you think this marriage was arranged, or is he just more comfortable with his cell phone?  Will the groom put it down long enough to help his bride into the car?

Still shaking my head as to the wonder of it all.

 

 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.

Visit Marcia at www.lovemarcia.com or “friend” her on Facebook: http://bit.ly/1MlnrIS

Be sure to join her newsletter mailing list.

Instagram * Amazon * Website * Facebook * Twitter

 

Sunday, June 20, 2021

FATHER'S DAY AND WEDDINGS! #RomanceGems @CarolinClemmons

By Caroline Clemmons

Happy Father’s Day--Late! Although our theme this month is about June weddings, because of the special day, I’ll mention the two most important men in my life: my father and my husband. This is still about weddings and happily-ever-after.

Daddy was a remarkable man (says most women). He valued education and started his adult life teaching school. His brothers repeatedly urged him to work with them at the cotton gin, where he could make more money. (He regretted this change later.) He was a widower with four children when he met my mom, who was twenty-three years his junior. Don’t you know that caused a lot of raised eyebrows and speculation? Almost four years later, I was born.


As my mother told me, the two of them met when she accompanied her mother and stepfather to the grocery store late one afternoon. She saw a group of friends plus Daddy talking in front of the store. One friend asked her if she was going to a certain party that evening. She told him she couldn’t because she didn’t have transportation. The friend offered to take her and take her home, so she told my grandmother where she was going.

When they were ready to get into the friend’s car, Daddy said, “I believe I’ll ride along with you.”

Mother said he didn’t ask her to dance at the party, but stood at the edge of the room and talked to some of the men.

When they got to her house, he held the car door open for her and said, “Now that I know where you live, I’ll be coming to call.”

And, he did. They were married several months later. Their marriage lasted thirty-five years before Daddy died of a stroke brought on from emphysema.

Five weeks shy of thirteen, I helped my friend plan and give her birthday party. We were sort of location friends since we were the only two girls in our church youth group who lived on our side (the wrong side) of town. Plus, we were in Girl Scouts and school choir together. I knew she had a brother who was a twin. Whenever she said “my brother”, I thought she meant the twin. At the party, I was passing her gifts to open when an older male appeared carrying a camera. My future husband, who I call Hero, had come home from work early to take photos of his sister’s thirteenth birthday party. He was fifteen, and I thought he was the most suave and handsome male I’d ever seen. I still think he’s handsome.


He made honor roll grades, worked several jobs, and participated in ham radio activities. We dated for a while when I was seventeen and eighteen but parted ways over something silly. When I was twenty-three, we reconnected and were married several months later. Sometimes I actually get something right, and our marriage is the best example of that and the best thing that has happened to me! After a gazillion years that seem like only a decade, we are still married and have two loving daughters. I couldn’t love Hero more than I do today! 



Saturday, June 19, 2021

Weddings and June #RomanceGems #lucindarace

 Hello Again, 

 

June is a month filled with love and weddings. I often wondered why is it that so many people get married in June. Of course, I had to look it up. The month is named for the goddess Juno, the protector of women in all aspects of life, especially marriage and child bearing. My personal theory, the weather is spectacular. The cool rainy days of spring are behind us the hot muggy days of summer are ahead so June weather is usually JUST right. 

 

Oh, and I was a June bride, our wedding anniversary was on the 9th.  When did you tie the knot? 


 

I found this fun little anecdote when I was doing a bit of research… 

 

Married when the year is new, he’ll be loving, kind and true.
When February birds do mate, you wed not dread your fate.
If you wed when March winds blow, joy and sorrow both you’ll know.
Marry in April when you can, joy for Maiden and for Man.
Marry in the month of May, and you’ll surely rue the day.
Marry when June roses grow, over land and sea you’ll go.
Those who in July do wed, must labor for their daily bread.
Whoever wed in August be, many a change is sure to see.
Marry in September’s shrine, your living will be rich and fine.
If in October you do marry, love will come but riches tarry.
If you wed in bleak November, only joys will come, remember.
When December snows fall fast, marry and true love will last.
–Anonymous

 

Now onto the love of books. So many of the Romance Gems have been writing and releasing new books. Yours truly included. I’ll be releasing two Christmas themed books this fall as well as Blush in August, Vintage in October and Bouquet in January. I hope you’ve been able to pick up Blends or Breathe and start reading about the Price family. 

 

Oh, and I did a thing… my first full length book, Lost and Found is now PermaFree on e-book retailers  and ALL my books are now on Google Play. So, it has been a busy June so far with much more to come.

 



 

Until next time, 

Stay healthy, happy and in love. 

Lucinda  

Friday, June 18, 2021

The Meaning Behind June Brides by @karilemor #RomanceGems

 

June is a very popular month to get married. These days, it’s often because the weather is starting to get nicer, but not too hot. But why is being a “June Bride” such a big deal?



Going back in history, we see the name June is derived from the Roman goddess of marriage, Juno. Many people believed when a couple got married in June their marriage would be blessed forever with happiness.

But June weddings were also done for quite logical reasons. Many people married in June so conception wouldn’t interfere with the harvest. Yep, count nine months later and you don’t want the wife trying to pick the crops as she’s about to give birth.

Another theory is that in many years past, baths weren’t as common as they are today. Some families only got one a year (and they had to share the water – yuck!) Often the yearly bath was in May or early June. So marriages took place to ensure the bride still smelled fairly decent for her groom (and vice versa). Yet, the bride wanted to be sure to have a pleasing scent, so she carried a bouquet of flowers to help.



But flowers and bouquets had other meanings too. Summer was great for taking advantage of fresh flowers for the ceremony. There are numerous symbolic meanings with flowers that show loyalty, purity, and love. In early Rome, the bride did not carry a bouquet but rather wore a garland that symbolized a new life and fertility. Often aphrodisiacs such as Dill were added so the newlyweds got in the right mood for the wedding night. Some cultures added stronger herbs and plants to the bouquet (like garlic!!!) because they were superstitious and wanted to ward off evil spirits from showing up at the wedding.

The tradition of tossing the bouquet goes way back. At weddings, the bride was considered to be lucky, so many women guests wanted a piece of that luck. Thus, they would try and tear off a piece of the wedding dress. So the tradition of throwing the bouquet to grant luck onto another guest began, avoiding decimation of the lovely bride’s gown. Can you imagine paying a bazillion dollars for your dress just to have people tear it apart?



The tradition of wedding rings has also been around for a very long time.  The band represents eternity because it doesn’t have a beginning or an end, and is what the happy couple wishes for their marriage. The couple places the rings on their fingers as a sign they agree to a never-ending commitment.

Another tradition is ‘Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.’ Is still around today. The old represents continuity and stability. Something new symbolizes optimism and good fortune in your new life together. Something borrowed represents borrowed happiness from someone who loves you. And the blue symbolizes love and fidelity.

Whether you’re a traditionalist or prefer something more modern, weddings are beautiful because they show us that two people love each other so much they are willing to work together to and sacrifice to be with each other.

I have a few books that have weddings in them but I think my favorite is my Marriage of Convenience story, Elusive Dreams. Erik has promised to look after and adopt two children he rescued from the same bombing that left him seriously injured. But that injury is keeping him from being the ideal candidate to take the kids. Enter introverted neighbor, Tessa. She’s crushed on Erik since she was a teenager and now he wants to marry her? It’s her dream come true.



Here’s a peek at their wedding:

When she looked to the end of the aisle, there stood Erik, and her heart actually stopped. But when it started again, it beat triple time. God, how could any man be so devastatingly handsome? His Marine uniform was blue from broad shoulders to above his spit shined shoes. The red stripe down the lighter blue pants focused attention on his long legs. His white cover sat on top of the fresh haircut he’d gotten two days ago and the amount of decorations he had on his chest filled her lungs with air and pride. This was no mere mortal. This man was a hero and for some strange reason he’d agreed to her stupid suggestion of getting married. There were a dozen women in town who he could have asked who would have agreed to marry him to keep the kids. One who was much prettier and not such a fr…introvert.

He looked up. His eyes glowed and a huge grin crossed his face. It was similar to the one he’d worn the times they’d practiced kissing this week. Forget about her heart. Every damn organ stopped functioning. How would she get the last few steps to reach him?

“Don’t keep him waiting, dear,” Hans whispered in her ear. “It’s obvious he’s a mite impatient.”

She took a step and then another. Soon she was close enough and he shifted his cane and reached out with his left hand. Putting her hand in his, she held on tight. For Erik, she’d hold on as tight and as long as she needed to.

ELUSIVE DREAMS

Here's where you can find me!

 Website: https://www.karilemor.com/ 

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/Karilemorauthor/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/karilemor

Pinterest:  https://www.pinterest.com/karilemor/

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/karilemorauthor/

 Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9756283.Kari_Lemor

 BookBub:  https://www.bookbub.com/authors/kari-lemor

 Amazon Author page:  https://www.amazon.com/Kari-Lemor/e/B00ON2YDI6/

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Celebrate Marriage! by @BonnieEdwards #RomanceGems

 June is wedding month and yes, I'm coming at the whole wedding day with a different take. For me, it's the marriage that's important. The couple stressing over the finances, the music, the food, the venue, all seems a little over-the-top to me. 

I know, I know! Some of you are thinking "But, but, what about the perfection of the DAY!" And to that, I say, "What about the vows and what they mean to the people saying them?" A perfect day means nothing without the vows being said in earnest, after thoughtful consideration. Weddings can be large, fun, hectic, exotic and these days, in your parents' back yard with very few people.

But, seriously? As long as the couple shows up, says their vows, then it's a done deal.

And marriage begins. 

Marriage is built each day. Some days the foundation is unshakeable, others, it can feel like the bricks are tumbling down...but deep in your heart, you know you took a vow. You gave your word and time doesn't change that. So, this month celebrate marriage in all its forms, no matter how it started...or even if there was no wedding. Because common-law is marriage too. Two people committed to a future together is rare and beautiful and important. 

See the bride with the running shoes on? Is she making a dash for freedom? Or making a statement about comfortable footwear? I don't know why I included the image, but I knew a bride once who felt much like running. (she should have) 


A small reminder that on August 15, I'll be taking readers back to Last Chance Beach for a full-length novel about a man who really, really doesn't want anyone invading his space, and the woman who charges in. When I have a date for pre-order I'll be announcing it first in my newsletter: Bonnie's Newsy Bits. 


Bonnie Edwards has been writing all her life, starting with a poem about Santa suffering with gout. She was seven, Santa was a thousandteen years old. Delighted with writing, she went on to write family sagas, humorous contemporary romance, romantic suspense, erotic paranormal ghost romances and more.

With over 30 titles to her credit, she has been translated into several languages and sold books worldwide. Aside from standalone romances, she has 4 ongoing romance series, Tales of Perdition, The Brantons, and Love at Christmas. Contemporary family sagas find a home in Return to Welcome. She's hard at work on a new series releasing in August 2021. Learn about more exciting releases and get a free romance by subscribing to her newsletter, Bonnie’s Newsy Bits

Cheers and happy reading!

Bonnie Edwards


https://www.bonnieedwards.com/   BookBub Twitter  Facebook

 

 

 

 

 



Monday, June 14, 2021

WARMING UP TO 'CHRISTMAS IN JULY' WITH A DICKENS HOLIDAY SEQUEL by Nancy Fraser


What better way to kick off those inevitable 'Christmas in July' promotions than with a holiday prequel in June? My Dickens Holiday Romance Prequel, Making Christmas, releases today! The novelette features the lovestory of the parents of my hero from last year's Millie's Awesome Holiday Miracle, from the Dickens Holiday Romance Anthology.

This story was so much fun to write, especially since I remember the 1980s fondly (and, unfortunately, easily).

Here's a bit about the book:

A 1980s Vintage Romance ...

It’s been five years since William Barrett returned to Dickens to take over as CEO of Wil-Bar Toys. He’s spent these past years helping build Wil-Bar into a leader in creative, handmade toys. His work ethic and drive has left him little time for a personal life. Or, perhaps he’s still pining for the one who got away.

Catherine Gates moved away from Dickens six years earlier. Now a staff reporter for a woman’s magazine, she’s returning to Dickens to do a story on Wil-Bar Toys new production methods and get the scoop on their upcoming holiday line.

When Will and Cat meet up again for the first time in years, it’s as if they’ve never been apart. Rekindling their friendship, and attraction, becomes more important than Cat’s article, or even the secrecy of the new toy lines.

Can these two childhood friends make up for lost time and pursue the romance they missed out on years earlier? Or, will Cat’s story expose too much and put them at odds with one another?


And, an excerpt:

Catherine made her way through the front doors of Wil-Bar Toys and toward the reception desk. “I’m here to see Mr. Barrett. I have a ten o’clock appointment.”

“I’ll buzz Margaret and she’ll come to get you,” the young woman said.

Catherine waited for Margaret, obviously a new edition to the staff since she didn’t recognize the name.

Moments later, a woman who looked to be in her late twenties entered the lobby. “Hello, I’m Margaret Weatherby. If you’ll follow me, please.”

She fell in step behind the woman, going through the heavy oak double doors she remembered from her childhood. They continued down the hallway leading to the main offices, coming to a stop in front of the desk outside the large corner suite.

“How long have you worked at Wil-Bar?” Catherine asked.

“Two years now. I was originally hired to work for Mr. Wilfred Barrett but when the younger Mr. Barrett’s secretary left to get married, I took over for her as well.”

“That must keep you very busy.”

The woman nodded. “It does, especially this time of year. However, it’s such a wonderful place to work, I couldn’t see myself going anywhere else.” She paused, then added, “I’ll let Mr. Barrett know you’re here.”

“I’d appreciate—”

Her words of appreciation were interrupted by a man’s booming voice. “Margaret, do you have the report I left for photocopying earlier?” The voice was followed by the man’s appearance outside the office door, his footsteps coming to a halt when he saw her standing there.

She lifted her head, meeting Will Barrett’s intense gaze head-on.

“Cat? Cat Gates. I’ll be dam...darned.”

“Hello, Will.”

“You two know each other?” Margaret asked. When they both nodded at the same time, Margaret added, “Well, that certainly saves time on introductions.”

Will motioned for her to follow him into the office. “You’re the journalist they’ve sent to write a story on Wil-Bar?”

“Yes,” she said, taking the seat he offered. “I assume they thought I’d have an inside track on the place since I’m from Dickens.”

His chuckle sent a flurry of butterflies rushing her stomach.

“Inside track. I’d say so. You know every nook and cranny of this place—or at least you did before we remodeled.”

“Some I knew all too well, given I spent more time hiding than you and Tommy did seeking.”

“Sorry about that,” he said with a broad grin. “We were pretty mean to you back then.”


Available on Your Favorite eBook Platform

Of course, there's a trailer...



In addition, fellow Lady of Dickens, Peggy Jaeger and I are doing a joint tour for our Dickens prequels. You can find the entire list of tour stops at Goddess Fish Promotions.



Until next month, please stay happy, healthy, and well read.

Nancy