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Read Nan Reinhardt's latest release

4 Star Review from a Goodreads Reader!

5 Star Review for Breakup in a Small Town

Readers Love Kristina Knight's Slippery Rock Series

Tuesday, June 22

 


YAY! I'm clapping hands and flinging myself about with joy at the arrival of the cover for Book 1 of my new Lange Brothers series from Tule Publishing! More stories from River's Edge abound and Book 1, The Valentine Wager, hits the market on February 1, 2022. I'm delighted to share the cover here. Isn't it gorgeous? I love the simple elegance of it and it sorta says it all about Ryker and Kitt's romance.

Here's the back cover blurb:

He’s a notorious flirt, so she lays down a challenge she’s sure she’ll win.

When playboy police lieutenant Ryker Lange stops Kitt Boynton for driving on the wrong side of the road, his attraction to the feisty Irish lass is immediate. Yet, despite the sizzling chemistry between them, Kitt quickly turns him down.

Kitt has moved to River’s Edge for a fresh start and is ready to focus on her new marketing job at her cousins’ winery. She’s done with players, and vows she won’t let the local sexy cop distract her, but Kitt, a flirt herself, is definitely tempted. To keep her sanity as she prepares for several Valentine-themed winery events, she and Ryker make a bet: for the next three weeks, neither of them can flirt with the other.

The game starts out lighthearted, but when the town takes sides, Ryker and Kitt must choose between winning a wager or finding lasting love.

And here's the preorder link for The Valentine Wager. Hope you'll click and preorder soon, and even though it won't land on your e-readers until February 1, 2022, try to enjoy the anticipation. I promise I'll keep you informed and maybe even give you a couple of little snippets now and again to keep the excitement percolating.
 
Stay well, stay safe, and most of all, mes amies, stay grateful!
 

Saturday, June 19

June is Audiobook Month! by Jana Richards

Are you an audiobook addict? June is audiobook month and there’s a huge event going on at N. N. Light’s Book Heaven Celebrate Audiobook Month. 34 audiobooks featured plus a chance to win one of the following:

 

One lucky reader will win a $50 Amazon Gift Card

One lucky reader will win a $50 Amazon Gift Card

One lucky reader will win a $25 Amazon Gift Card

One lucky reader will win a $15 Amazon Gift Card

One lucky reader will win a $10 Amazon Gift Card

 

I’m thrilled to be a part of this event. My audiobook, CHILD OF MINE, will be featured on June 18, 2021. Wait until you listen to my audiobook clip. My narrator nails the characters and I’m so proud of it. Trust me, you won’t want to miss it.

Bookmark this festival and tell your friends:

https://www.nnlightsbookheaven.com/celebrate-audiobook-month

Friday, June 18

What I'm Working On, Part Two by Jana Richards

STRONG ENOUGH is Damon and Charlotte’s story, and is book four in my Masonville Small Town romance series. Other books in the series are CHILD OF MINE (book 1), TO HEAL A HEART (book 2) and the upcoming UNEXPECTED that I told you about back in May. Being strong enough to overcome the traumas of the past is a recurring theme in the series. The title came to me in a Pilates class (pre-Covid) when "Strong Enough" by Sheryl Crow was played.

Photo by Miguel Bruna on Unsplash

Charlotte and Damon have been noticing each other ever since Damon moved to Masonville. Actually, they’ve been noticing each other for much longer than that. The Greyson children, Ben, Damon and Blair, visited their grandparents on their farm outside of Masonville every summer when they were children and teens. The Saunders family farm was down the road, and every summer the six kids hung out together. But then several years pass before they see each other again.

If there were ever two characters who deserved a happily ever after, it’s Damon and Charlotte. Both have suffered trauma and pain in their lives and have worked hard to overcome it. Or in Charlotte’s case, to bury it deep inside. I really want to give them that happily ever after!  

Here’s a very unofficial blurb for STRONG ENOUGH, to give you an idea of what the story’s about:

Charlotte Saunders has a full life. She has a fulfilling career as a nurse, meaningful volunteer work at an animal shelter, and family, friends and pets she adores. But no matter how hard she tries she can’t forget a trauma in her past. 

As a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, Damon Greyson has worked hard to come to terms with the abuse perpetrated on him and now helps others suffering from trauma. He sees all the signs in Charlotte and wants to help her, if only she’d let him. 

As Damon and Charlotte work together to help veterans suffering from PTSD and abused dogs needing homes, their feelings for each other deepen. But when the trauma from Charlotte’s past roars back to life, both will be forced to confront their painful histories. Or die trying.

Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

Here’s excerpt from STRONG ENOUGH. Damon and Charlotte are at Blair and Garrett’s wedding: 

Charlotte made her way to the refreshments table and grabbed a glass of lemonade. She sat in an empty seat at the back of the hall and slipped off her shoes, sighing with relief as she tossed them aside. Smiling, she watched her sister Lauren dance with her husband Cole. Lauren had been crazy about Cole’s brother Billy through their teen years and believed she and Cole were simply good friends, but he’d been secretly in love with her all along. Cole continued to love her even after she’d married his brother. They’d been through hell, but now they were happy together and had a beautiful baby, her niece Piper. Charlotte was pleased for them.

She watched the couples dance by. Chris and Alison. Ben and Jamie. Even her parents, Grace and Robert. And now she could add Blair and Garrett to the list of happy couples. 

At one time she’d believed she’d be part of a happy couple someday, too. But those dreams had died a long time ago.

“Do you mind if I join you?”

Charlotte startled at the sound of the deep male voice. She looked up to see Damon standing next to her, a glass in his hand.

“No, of course not. I was just resting my feet for a minute. These new shoes are killing me.” 

“Yeah. I needed to get away from the crowd for a few minutes, too.”

“Speak for yourself, Greyson. I wasn’t being anti-social.”

“Just anti-shoes?” 

He always managed to make her laugh, even when she was annoyed with him. “Yes. Anti-shoes. I may start a new support group.”

For a few moments they didn’t speak. Instead, they sipped their drinks and quietly watched the dancers. All the happy couples. The group to which she’d never belong.

“Okay, that’s enough. Put your shoes on.” Damon got to his feet.

“What?”

“Enough brooding. Let’s get back out there and dance.”

“I wasn’t brooding.” Where did he get off telling her what to feel? What did he know about her? 

“All right. Wallowing then. Call it whatever you like, but we’re putting a stop to it right now.”

He held out his hand. Charlotte looked away, feeling petulant and angry. And scared. Why was she scared?

“Go annoy someone else, Greyson.”

Damon sat beside her once more. “When I get in one of these moods, I’ve learned it’s best for me to get out of my own head. I need to be with people, to change my thoughts before I’m that little boy once more, the one whose parents have repeatedly left him with a family friend who’s touched him in places no adult should ever touch a child. I need to change the channel, Charlotte. Will you come with me?”

He rose once more and held out his hand to her. Charlotte stared at it, her heart racing. Dear God. She'd never guessed what hell Damon had been through all those years ago when they were kids. Had he tried to push away memories of the abuse back then, to pretend it never happened? She could understand if he did.

She looked up into his face and saw calm acceptance there. Charlotte cried inside for the little boy he’d been, for the child whose parents had failed him so miserably. She had a strong urge to follow that child, to find out everything about him.

“Okay, but I’m not wearing those shoes. I’d rather go barefoot.”

“Suit yourself.”

Charlotte placed her hand in his and rose to her feet. Damon tightly squeezed her fingers.

She squeezed back. After what he’d just told her, Charlotte was overcome with the need to comfort him. “It’ll be okay.” 

He grinned at her. “Yeah. It will. I promise.”

As they walked to the dance floor together, she had the disorienting thought that he was the one comforting her. 


STRONG ENOUGH stills needs a lot of work but it's getting there. I'm currently working through critiques with some writing friends. I love these characters and I want to do justice to their story. I'll keep you updated on its progress!






Tuesday, June 15

In the Good Ol’ Summertime – by Janie DeVos

 

                                           

The Biltmore Hotel as it is today in Coral Gables, FL

     Ahhh, summer.  Who doesn’t love it?  Summertime heralds in that certain carefree, easy-going feeling that the other three seasons just don’t have.  Because the days are longer, there’s more time to play, which makes those sunlit hours even more important if one is still caught up in the corporate spider's web for eight to ten hours a day.  Livin’ is easier, as the old song goes—at least it used to be. 

When I was a kid growing up in Coral Gables, in the ‘60’s, summertime meant having to be creative to come up with ways to keep ourselves occupied.  My family was middle-classed, and though we didn’t have a ton of disposable money, my father (and later my mother, too, once the kids were old enough to drive), made a decent living, however, our summers did not include trips to exotic places, or stays at fancy hotels.  Instead, we spent two weeks in a rented cabin in the mountains of North Carolina.  To get there, we took Daddy’s company-issued car and we’d stay on the road for one night at the halfway point in a typical southern motel, with some such name as the Thunderbird, or the Dixieland.  As long as the place had a pool, we couldn’t have cared less if the television was a black and white model, or if the lobby had nothing more grand in it than a rack of brochures touting the local attractions, which were usually something like, “Wally’s Alligator Farm,” or “Big Bob’s Fruit and Nut Hut”.   Other than going to North Carolina in the summer, we’d head down to the Florida Keys every now and then, specifically, Islamorada, for a couple days of fishing, but that was about the extent of our travels.  The majority of our summer days were spent at home, which was just fine with us kids. 

From early in the morning until the mosquitoes started their nightly dive-bombing missions, my sister, Kathy, and I would be outside playing with the neighborhood kids.  Usually, we’d have our portable record player and game boards set up under the thick fichus tree in our front yard, where we’d wear out our 45’s, playing the Supremes, Rolling Stones and the Turtles.  When the weather was really hot, we’d climb up into the tree, competing with neon lime-green iguanas for space on the limbs.  Cool breezes blew through, stirring the leaves into mini fans that would dry the sheen of perspiration from our skin.  Once we’d had enough of that, it was time to take off on our bikes (complete with banana seats) for places of great adventure.  

One such place was our local 7-11, where a large man with white-blonde hair named Bill would sell us Coke-flavored Icees, and Nutty Buddy Bars.  When we were thoroughly refreshed, we’d hit the sidewalks again and ride over to the old Biltmore Hotel, which was about a mile from our house.  The creepy old place was vastly different way back then than the completely renovated version that it is today. 

The Biltmore’s history is long and varied since its completion in the 1920’s.  The hotel was a grand-dame, and the shining capstone of the beautiful Mediterranean architecture of the Gables, and, in those early days of opulence and elegance, my grandparents danced in its finely furnished ballroom, while golfers dressed in their knickers and flat caps took up the challenge of the hotel’s perfectly manicured 18-hole course.   After WWII, the hotel became a veteran’s hospital, as well as a medical research lab, until finally, the building was deserted and fell into great disrepair, allowing it to be reclaimed by nature and neglect.  Over the years, veils of vines crept up and over the fountains and walls in the Spanish tiled courtyard (which today serves a pricey brunch), and multiple doors with broken locks allowed entry for those who were brave enough to explore the purportedly haunted innards of the gigantic building.  Where once lively alcohol-fueled voices rang out over the sounds of Cab Calloway or Glenn Miller, only echoes of emptiness were left as a soft undertone to better days gone by.  

My sister and I would ride our bikes through the overgrown courtyard, and anywhere inside where we could maneuver our bikes, all while trying to avoid the one security guard left to watch over the vacant place.  The young man’s name was John, and we’d stop by to say hi to him outside once we'd completed our undercover indoor exploration.  Obviously, bored of guarding ghosts, John seemed glad to talk to someone who was still among the living, and would offer up the latest goings on of the strange occurrences in the building.  In truth, he probably embellished his tales to the fullest, but that was fine with us.  True or not, they scared the pee-wally out of us, and once we’d had our fill of being deliciously terrified, we’d bid John farewell and head on back home to see what Mama was cooking for supper. 

Religiously, at 6:15, food was on the table, and though my parents were lenient about letting us head out to hither and yon for a good part of the day, come hell or high water, we had better be at that supper table by 6:15, or have a real good excuse as to why we weren’t.  That was family time for the four of us, and during those forty-five minutes or so, we caught up on each other’s daily news.  No phone calls were allowed to be answered on our rotary phone during that time, and if some caller dared to interrupt our supper, Mama would say the same thing: “If it’s important enough, they’ll call back.”  We had no answering machines in those good ol’ days, and the thought never occurred to us that having such a contraption might be a handy thing, indeed.  Most nights, after dinner, Daddy would take us to Carvel’s for a soft-serve ice cream cone, or, back to 7-11, (oddly enough, my preference) where I would get a beef jerky.  Then, we’d home for baths, an hour or so of TV, and finally, bed.  Then wash, rinse, repeat again the next day, and the day after that, until the school bell called us back in September.  

As we venture back out into the world of possibilities post the pandemic, I keep hearing people say that they have the travel bug nipping at their heels.  I get it; we’re all ready to get involved in new adventures, a whole lot of them, in fact, and perhaps extravagantly so.  Some folks I know are planning trips to exotic places, while some are planning to travel to states they’ve yet to see in our big, beautiful country.  For me, however, I’d be happy to revisit, if just for a moment, those days that so easily slipped through my hands with each movement of the hands on a clock.  To my way of thinking, those simpler summer days was when the livin’ was easy, when the livin’ was good, and, in some ways, when livin’ was the best, because those were the days of that magical innocence. 

 

 

 

Saturday, June 12

FLAWLESS by Jana Richards #onsale for #99cents!


 France, 1942.  The world is at war. The Nazis have stolen the infamous blue diamond, Le Coeur Bleu, intending to barter it for weapons that will destroy the Allies. Jewel thief Hunter Smith is given a choice; help the French Resistance steal back the diamond and avenge the death of his best friend, or stay locked up in an English prison. He chooses revenge.


Resistance fighter Madeleine Bertrand’s husband died when he was betrayed by Hunter Smith. How can she now pretend to be married to the arrogant American? How can she betray Jean Philippe’s memory by her passionate response to Hunter’s kisses? Neither is prepared for the maelstrom of attraction that erupts between them. To survive they must uncover the mysteries of the past and conquer the dangers of the present. But first Madeleine must decide if her loyalties lie with her dead husband and the Resistance or with the greatest love of her life. 

On sale for .99 cents until June 18 at:



Friday, June 11

Found Treasures

by Margie Senechal

The past few Mondays have been spent with my friend Phil culling my backyard. I am ashamed to say I have let nature take it's course over the past two and half, or three years. And it is not a pretty sight. 

One of the curses of the Pacific NW is the Oregon Blackberry. Sure, blackberries are a tart, tasty treat, but my how they grow. Imagine Audrey Two with vicious stickers. They are not happy with simply a corner of the yard, no, they want it all. They have overtaken a Rhodie tree, two apple trees and encroached the patio. They trail along the house, creeping up the walls, framing the windows.

And now, I am dedicated to their demise. Plain and simple, there is not enough room in this yard for us both. I am tired of my yard looking like a scene from Life Without People, a tv series that looked at what would happen to earth if people died off. 

As we clear away the brambles, I have found treasures buried beneath. A bird's nest right outside my bedroom window. Gnomes scattered about the yard that I'd forgotten about and now they appear to be as much a part of nature as the nest.

As for my writing, I'm trying to dedicate myself to 500 words a day. That will be enough to finish Suitcases before our Wrangler retreat in August.

What I've found are a few other treasures. That's the beauty of a work-in-progress--the unexpected revelation of a character secret, a character flaw, an entirely new character all together. 

When I first began writing Suitcases, it was the story of Ana, a young woman who collected suitcases but was unable to travel because she was the caregiver of her infirmed mother. Then I added Danny, a bit a mystery with his PTSD behavior and amputated arm, but loved by all at the local market.

The cast continues to grow and last night, Lexie, Ana's best friend from high school found her own voice and revealed another aspect of Ana's mute mother. 

I know that soon I will have piles of words in which I will need to do another sort of culling, much like the bramble/branch piles on my patio, along the side of the house, in the yard. But, hopefully, by the end of summer, I will have two projects to be right proud of.