Friday, July 29, 2016

Friday Freebie

Today's Friday Freebie is a clean romance by Marcia McClure called Dusty Britches. I haven't read it, but it was recommended to me, and looks like a fun afternoon read, so I'm passing it along!

Here's the back copy:

Angelina Hunter was seriously minded, and it was a good thing. Her father’s ranch needed a woman who could endure the strenuous work of ranch life. Since her mother’s death, Angelina had been that woman. She had no time for frivolity; no time for a less severe side of life. Not when there was so much to be done—hired hands to feed, a widower father to care for and an often ridiculously lighted-hearted younger sister to worry about. No. Angelina Hunter had no time for the things most young women her age enjoyed.

And yet, Angelina had not always been so hardened. There had been a time when she boasted a fun, flirtatious nature even more delightful than her sister Becca’s—a time when her imagination soared with adventurous, romantic dreams. But that all ended years before at the hand of one man. Her heart turned to stone…safely becoming void of any emotion save impatience and indifference.

Until the day her dreams returned, the day the very maker of her broken heart rode back into her life. As the dust settled from the cattle drive which brought him back, would Angelina’s heart be softened? Would she learn to hope again? Would her long-lost dreams become a blessed reality?

You can download your free Kindle copy here

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Look What Came In The Mail!

We have a Bellon Family Book Club and this was our pick of the week from my little ones. After I read it, I had to own it! The story was cute and funny and I know it's one I wouldn't mind reading to them over and over again. 

Here's the back copy: 

We all know the story of the Big Bad Wolf and the three little pigs ... or do we? Meet the great-great-great-great-grandson of the original Big Bad Wolf, also hot on the trail of some little pigs. Is he also up to no goodor is he trying to make friends at last? A hilarious twist on the original Three Little Pigs story, with stunning illustrations from acclaimed artist Eva Montanari.

Gets yours here!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

What I'm Reading Wednesday

I have been reading H.B. Moore's thriller Slave Queen. It's another installment of her Omar Zagouri stories and it is fantastic! An antiquities collector who is also trying to safeguard the lineage of the Royalists from the Ottoman Empire has discovered a letter that proves the rightful heir was wrongfully executed in the 1500s. With that evidence, he can recruit more people to his cause, perhaps make a name for himself in history. That is, until Omar is put on the case.

This story is a thrill ride. I loved catching up with Omar and his quick-wittedness in the field. As always, Ms. Moore's research and setting are incredible and add another layer of believability. The characters are deep and well-drawn and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The roller coaster was non-stop from the story of the sultan and his bride to Omar tracking down a killer. Make some time for this one because there's no good place to stop!

Here's the back copy:

Special Agent Omar Zagouri’s latest case is his most dangerous—and his most personal yet. The discovery of secret sixteenth-century letters unveils a plot between the sultan Suleyman and his chief wife, Roxelane, to change the course of the Ottoman Empire. A descendent of Roxelane, Zagouri learns he has an enemy whose revenge has been centuries in the making.

Targeted by an antiquities collector who’s also descended from a chief rival for the ancient throne, Zagouri soon uncovers a modern-day conspiracy that threatens the lives of his family and the security of a nation.

To expose the plot, Zagouri must team up with Naim, the son of his nemesis, who heads an international black-market operation that may have ties to the killings. From ancient Constantinople to the present-day Middle East, Zagouri is on a collision course with history. Time is running out to solve a royal mystery and stop a ruthless killer—one who has Zagouri’s name on his hit list.

You can preorder your copy here

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

No Castle But Kiefer's Back!

So, all of you know how sad I am that there is no new season of Castle to look forward to. It's been a staple of my TV viewing for so long it's like I've lost a friend.

But, I did notice that Kiefer Sutherland is coming back to the small screen and the show looks really good. I was a big fan of 24 and this just might help my Castle withdrawals. (No, it doesn't look anything like Castle, but I like Kiefer, so I think I'm going to watch and see.)

Here's the trailer. What do you think?

Monday, July 25, 2016

Book Review: Gears of Revolution

Today's book reviewer is my thirteen-year-old son who has been reading J. Scott Savage's Mysteries of Cove series. He just finished Gears of Revolution and here are his thoughts:

"I was excited to read the second book after the end of the first one because Fires of Invention left me wanting to find out what happened next. Gears of Revolution was written so well I could really imagine it in my mind. The author gives such great detail, it's like I'm right there. 
I like how the author has built the story around a solid plot. It's an awesome adventure story and it really teaches you to care about other people no matter what their background is. My favorite character was Trenton because he is so central to the story. I like how he acts as he tries to find the inventor. The author really has a wide range of characters that are all interesting and different.
Gears of Revolution also ends on a bit of a cliffhanger so I'm excited to get the third one. I wish the author could write faster!"

I'm just starting to read this story myself and I'm really enjoying it as well!

Here's the back copy:

After finding a compass and clues left by Kallista's father, Leo Babbage, Trenton and Kallista head west aboard their homemade mechanical dragon to search for the missing inventor. The two teenagers hope to find answers about their mountain city of Cove, but instead, they find only a blackened forest, ruined buildings, and a small underground city

Almost immediately, Trenton and Kallista are caught up in a civil war between a clan of scavengers called Whipjacks and the Order of the Beast, people who believe that dragons are immortal and divine.

Stranded in a new city, the two friends meet Plucky, a Whipjack girl with mechanical legs, and Ander, a young member of the Order who claims humans are able to communicate with dragons. Can they trust anyone, or have they unknowingly stepped into a trap?

And high above in the sky, the dragons are gathering . . .

You can preorder your copy here

Friday, July 22, 2016

TWO Free Books Today!

Today's Freebie Friday is featuring TWO free books!

The first one is a romance by Heather B. Moore called One Chance. I read and enjoyed this entire series of novella about five high school friends all grown up.

Here's the back copy:

Welcome to the Aliso Creek Novella Series...

Liz, Gemma, Arie, Jess, and Drew have been best friends since creating “the Five” at Aliso Creek High School. But that was over ten years ago, and each is still trying to find that perfect someone... if perfect is even possible.

Valentina is the odd woman out. She was part of “the Five” when she dated Drew for a couple of years, and she remains friends with the women, but with her traveling schedule as a runway model, it’s impossible to maintain a real relationship. When Valentina attends her cousin’s wedding in LA, she runs into Cesar, who she was a school friend with in Puerto Rico. Cesar is not the young, skinny boy she remembers but a grown man who seems interested in what’s beyond her model appearance. Back in New York, Valentina can’t get him out of her mind, but she also can’t deny the fact that they’re separated by well over a thousand miles.

Download your free Kindle copy here


The second one is a dystopian romance by Rebecca Belliston called Life (Citizens of Logan Pond Book 1). I haven't read this one yet, but it looks good!

Here's the back copy:

In a world without money, the fight to survive begins . . .

The economy crashed, the country is floundering, and Carrie Ashworth struggles to keep her siblings alive. She has two jobs in her newly-formed, newly-outlawed clan: grow crops to feed thirty-six people, and maintain contact with Oliver Simmons, their local patrolman. Carrie's life is almost content when Greg Pierce shows up. A man with the ambition to help them survive. A man determined to hate her.

Greg sets to work devising systems to protect the clan from the new regime, but it doesn't take long to realize the true reason behind their safety. Patrolman Simmons has fallen for Carrie. When a government raid nearly wipes out their clan, Greg takes it upon himself to give the socially-awkward patrolman what he wants. Only Carrie doesn't like Greg throwing her in Simmons' path, especially when Greg's brusque exterior melts, and she catches a glimpse of the real man underneath. Carrie is forced to choose: follow her heart or save her clan.

Life won't let her choose both.

Download your free Kindle copy here

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Trying New Things & A Sneak Peek

As some of you know, I've been toying with the idea of writing a romance with no suspense elements in it for a long time. I just wasn't sure if I could do it. But then I got asked to be in Under the Mistletoe: Timeless Romance Anthology to write a romance novella and after that experience I knew I could do it. I was still nervous, though, since I usually write romantic suspense. Doing a full length romance novel would be a big departure for me. But I'm six chapters into my new novel now and so far I'm really enjoying it.

Here's a sneak peek of the first paragraph:
The sun peeked out from between the clouds, adding light to the somber cemetery gray all around her. When Victoria Newel had buried her husband exactly a year ago, it had rained and she was glad. No one had questioned why she wasn’t crying and the raindrops hid her lack of feeling as she let them run down her face instead of salty tears.
It makes me nervous and excited to share, but mostly excited. I hope my fans will embrace this new endeavor for me. What's that old saying? Life begins at the end of your comfort zone? Well, maybe my writer life is beginning to go in a new direction. We shall see.  But thank you all for your support, your emails, and for being the best fans an author can have. I am trying new things and it feels good!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

What I'm Reading Wednesday

I was given Rachel Rassano's new book Honor: Second Novel of Rhynan yesterday and I've had such a hard time putting it down! She creates this amazing world that is familiar, and yet not, with intrigue and treachery and romance. I really loved the first book in the series and the second one is just as good so far! I definitely will do a full review of this one when I finish.

***Edited to add:

I loved this book! It was layered with action and decision, romance and intrigue, and topped with treachery and treason. The author transports us to a somewhat medieval world with regency undertones, but grounds the reader so well, it feels real. I loved the depth of the characters and how their emotions intertwined with the events that shaped their relationship. It was easy to root for Dentin to find love after being so long denied and Elsa was his match in every way. So well done. I can't wait for more in this series!

Here's the back copy:

The Earl of Dentin excels in his position as Securer of the Realm. But the king's order to pluck an orphaned child from a loving home unsettles Dentin. When a dark-eyed woman challenges his honor regarding the mission, Dentin finds himself unable to justify his actions or get her out of his mind. Something about her lack of fear intrigues him.

Lady Elsa Reeve attempts to avoid the marriage of convenience her brother and mother demand of her. She understands the need to pay off her brother's massive debt. She only wants her family to consider her wishes in the process.

As Elsa becomes further entangled in a snare of her brother's creating, only one man defends her. But can she trust Dentin, her unlikely champion, and his motives? With a murderer on the loose, Elsa's fate in jeopardy, and a traitor plotting against the king, Dentin finds his priorities shifting in an unexpected direction.

You can get your own copy here

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

My Apricot/Pineapple Jam Brings Out My Inner Domestic Goddess

I have been a domestic goddess today. I canned nearly seven quarts of apricot/pineapple jam! There is just something awesome about getting fruit freshly picked, cutting it up, and making it into jam. And it tastes so good!

Here's a picture of the first batch:

Someone recommended on Facebook to put the apricot/pineapple jam on grilled chicken so that's what we had for dinner tonight. It was SO GOOD! I highly recommend it. We also put it on pancakes. (And sandwiches. There are so many way to use it!)

Here's the recipe I used:

12 cups apricots, pitted and chopped
8 cups sugar
1 can crushed pineapple

Combine all three ingredients in a large pan. Cook on medium heat until it boils, then reduce heat and let simmer 3 to 4 hours. Stir often.

Do you can fruits and vegetables? What's your favorite recipe?

Monday, July 18, 2016

Book Review: Road Trip Collection

I loved the new Timeless Romance Anthology: Road Trip Collection. Each novella has the central theme of a road trip, but they are all so different!

The first one, What Falling Feels Like by Jolene Betty Perry, has a cute divorcee who refurbishes trailers while trying to get her life back together. She meets up with her best friend's younger brother that always hung around with them in high school. They take a little road trip to his sister's house and realize that maybe the feelings from high school weren't quite all resolved. Quite emotional for a short novella.

The second one is Antiques Road Trip by Sarah Eden. This one is about a reality show where the contestants dress like 19th century ladies and gentleman and have to get through challenges from the time period in order to win a trip to England and $100,000. There were so many sweet moments between Devon and Kelsey. I didn't know which one I wanted to win until near the end. This is one that you might need a tissue for, however, with a heart-tugging ending.

The third one is Wouldn't It Be Nice by Ranee Clark. Jacqueline's neglectful boyfriend lets her down and she's done. Leaving on a road trip with her friends, her old neighbor and childhood friend Hudson suddenly takes her boyfriend's place in the van. During the trip he tells her he has always had feelings for her, but things gets complicated when the boyfriend suddenly shows up. Who will she choose? Loved the characterization in this one and I definitely had a preference as to who I wanted her to pick!

The fourth one is Head Over Heels by Annette Lyon. This one was a fun and flirty meeting at a convention that leads to a road trip to Las Vegas. I loved all the witty banter between these two sprinkled with the romantic tension, especially with the feigned engagement. (Singing the 80s song together made me smile. I loved that part!)They were adorable while they were "pretending" and it was fun to see when the lines got blurred between what's real and what's not. Loved the ending!

The fifth one is Two Dozen Roses by Heather Moore. I was a little surprised to see a mother/daughter duo, but it totally worked. Dayna is driving her mother up the coast to her brother's home and they keep running into Garrett and Roman who are also traveling the same route to honor their sister's memory. I loved the emotional undertones and how kind Roman was. There was a really sweet energy in this one.

The last one was Try, Try Again by Aubrey Mace. Sarah has always loved Justin, and she might have a chance with him after he breaks up with his girlfriend. She doesn't want to be the rebound girl, though, and doesn't pursue it. After six months, though, the what-might-have-beens are kicking in and she takes a road trip (to a funeral!) to see him and figure out if they really have a chance or not. This one will pull you right in and hold you there hoping they'll get their happily-ever-after.

I love the Timeless Romance Anthologies because they are a sweet bite of romance. Each story is just long enough to pull you in and satisfy you like a slice of chocolate truffle. It hits the right spot every time!

Here's the back copy:

Six new contemporary romance novellas from bestselling authors:

High school was years ago, and Kendell is ready to admit that Tyler, her best friend’s younger brother, has matured into a good-looking man. But the once-popular Kendell is recovering from a marriage-gone-wrong, and she regrets turning Tyler down for high school prom. On their road trip to deliver a refurbished camper, Kendell rediscovers all the reasons she liked Tyler, but it might be too late to rekindle their friendship.

Kelsey is living out her dream for the weekend as she participates in a reality show contest by living on a 19th century film set. The contestant who wins the show receives a trip to England and $100k, more than enough to get her through grad school. When she meets Devon, who was coerced by his sister to participate, friendship blossoms. When things go wrong for Kelsey, Devon is there to help, and she soon realizes that winning the contest isn’t what she most desires.

WOULDN’T IT BE NICE by Ranee` S. Clark
When Jacqueline's boyfriend Colin drops out of their long-planned road trip with friends to put his job first—again—it's the final nail in the coffin of their dying relationship. But then Hudson, her best friend’s brother, takes Colin's spot for the road trip, and Jacqueline’s disappointment in her ex takes a back seat to the chance for reestablishing the close ties she once had with Hudson. When their friendship detours into romance, it forces Jacqueline to question her reasons for breaking up with Colin and her future with Hudson.

HEAD OVER HEELS by Annette Lyon
Tristan is proud to be an entrepreneur, running a popular singles’ lifestyle blog. So when she gets an offer to cover a singles convention in Las Vegas, she needs to find a way to get there from another freelance job in Salt Lake without breaking into her personal savings. Her friend sets her up with a co-worker who happens to be driving that way, and Tristan is more than surprised to come face-to-face with a man she has a lot in common with, not to mention seems to click with right away. The two decide to play a prank on Tristan’s friend, and pretend that they are smitten with each other, but soon, the lines between pretend and reality start to fade.

TWO DOZEN ROSES by Heather B. Moore
Dayna reluctantly takes time out of her busy work life to drive her mother up the Pacific Coast Highway from California to her brother’s home in Oregon. Strangely enough, they keep running into two brothers who are traveling the same route in honor of their sister’s memory. The older brother Garrett is a merciless flirt, but the younger brother Roman is who captures Dayna’s attention. Soon she realizes that the brothers are extremely competitive, and she’s just become their next target.

TRY, TRY AGAIN by Aubrey Mace
Sarah’s secret crush on Justin takes a sudden turn when he breaks up with his girlfriend and declares that he’s interested in Sarah. She believes he’s just on the rebound, and they slowly drift apart. Six months later, Sarah still can’t stop thinking about what might have been. She ropes her friend into taking a road trip to visit Justin, hoping for a second chance. When Justin sees her, he wants answers, and Sarah has to decide if she’s brave enough to finally tell him the truth.

You can download your copy here

Friday, July 15, 2016

Nearly Freebie Friday

If you haven't read any of Joyce DiPastena's historical romances, you've been missing out and now is your chance! Her novel, Loving Lucianna, is on sale today for only .99 cents!

Here's the back copy:

Sir Balduin de Soler gave up long ago on love. He never had the means to support a wife until an unexpected advancement in his fifties allows him to reassess his future just as the lovely Lucianna enters his life.

Lucianna Fabio harbors a secret, painful memory from her past that has kept her unwed, as well. Now in her forties, she thought herself too old to marry until she meets Sir Balduin. Now suddenly their lonely autumn lives feel very much like spring again . . . until Lucianna’s brother appears without warning and threatens to revive the secret that will destroy Lucianna’s second chance at love.

“Loving Lucianna" is a “Hearts in Autumn” romance, medieval romances revolving around heroes and heroines “in the autumn of their years.” Because love isn't only for the young!

Download your Kindle copy here

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Summer Survival Writing Tips

I always think at the beginning of the summer that I'll be able to find time for writing because we'll have a more flexible family schedule. Somehow that never happens, despite my best efforts.

So, I've gone back to my summer survival writing. Which means, I'm using all my tips and tricks to get some writing in every day and stay on track.

  • I can write in fifteen minute increments. Often, when I'm at the pool with my kids, or the library, or the park, I can be thinking of my next scene or the next piece of dialogue. Then, when I get home, I can head to my computer and spend the next fifteen minutes to half an hour writing down what I'd just imagined. I don't worry about editing at this juncture, I just get it down. 
     I also can write for fifteen, get my kids settled and busy for fifteen, and come back to the computer for another fifteen. Working that way can take some getting used to and finding your writing groove can be hard, but it keeps the scenes running through my head and the writing does flow once I've adjusted. Being a writermom takes balance and imagination, but it's worth it!

  • I carry my notebook with me to jot down ideas, outlines, and character arcs. I'm always surprised by how much time I find to write in that notebook and how my creativity is different when I'm away from a computer.

  • I almost always have a loose outline I work off of so when I do get to a computer I don't waste time and know exactly what I want to get down.

  • I have a regular time that I do a word sprint with a partner. She keeps me honest and gives me accountability. I also meet regularly with my critique partner and those meetings give me a deadline and a reason to put forth a concerted effort.

And last, but not least, I don't get down on myself when I don't make it to the word count I wanted to for the day. My family always comes first and we will have some great summer memories. But, using these little tips keep me on track to get my stories on paper that are anxious to be told. 

Have you heard of any great summer survival writing tips?

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

What I'm Reading Wednesday

Today I've been reading Spotlight by Traci Hunter Abramson. It's been a sweet romance with a little behind the scenes look at the movie business.  Newly minted Navy SEAL Craig Simmons has been assigned to the Saint Squad and they are helping to protect movie star Sienna Blake. It doesn't take long before Craig's feelings for Sienna move beyond professional, but can he protect her from an unknown entity bent on killing her?

I always enjoy a good romantic suspense  and this one has hit all the right notes. Craig is a young hero, but sincere, and Sienna wasn't the diva that seems to be the norm in Hollywood circles these days. They had a nice connection and romantic build in between the "accidents" and misunderstandings. It has a lot of LDS elements in it that a national audience might not understand, but it was a nice summer afternoon read.

Here's the back copy:

Navy SEAL Craig Simmons has pledged his life to serve and protect, so when this newest member of the Saint Squad observes a stunning young woman on the beach being shadowed by an armed man, he leaps into action. It doesn’t take long to realize his mistake, but it also puts him in a position to meet a very well-known actress, Sienna Blake. For Sienna, the timing couldn’t be more perfect—she’s preparing for a role as a CIA agent, and who better to help her prepare than a Navy SEAL?

Craig and Sienna develop a lighthearted friendship, though both are aware of their growing attraction. Neither realizes, however, that a treacherous enemy is setting in motion a terrifying plan to destroy Sienna . . . A series of near-fatal accidents on set are too close for comfort, and Sienna has been lucky to escape with her life—so far. Despite the rising danger behind the scenes, the show must go on. When the Saint Squad is enlisted by the FBI to safeguard Sienna on the ill-fated film set, Craig is driven to protect the woman he is quickly growing to love. As the list of suspects and motives grows, Craig and the Saint Squad will do whatever it takes to track down the perpetrator—before things turn deadly.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

We're Going On A Gnome Hunt

I took my kids to a local dinosaur museum today and we spent over three hours there. They have an ingenious program for getting kids to look at every single display and spend hours in the museum.

They've hidden thirteen gnomes.

Here's the sign you will see when you enter the museum:

And there are gnomes that are hidden in the mouths of the dinosaurs, in trees, and on the back of a massive shark, but the hardest ones to find were in the murals.  Like this one:

It took forever to find the hidden gnome here! But I must say, I learned a lot about dinosaurs while I was looking for the gnomes. And we were able to find eight gnomes! It was a fun day.

Have you done anything fun this summer?

Monday, July 11, 2016

My Book Got A Crowned Heart For Excellence!

My new novel, The Captain, was reviewed in InD'Tale Magazine today. Not only did it get five stars, but it also was awarded the Crowned Heart for Excellence. I am so excited!

Here was my favorite part from the review:

"Julie Coulter Bellon takes the reader on a magnificent journey filled with all the sights and sounds of the Middle East . . . a riveting story filled with excitement, intrigue, and love."

It feels good to have that sort of validation for my work. 

You can read the full review here

Here's the back copy of the book:

Captain Colt Mitchell is part of the elite Griffin Force team hunting down terrorist Nazer al-Raimi. After an attack on the Canadian Parliament buildings, the team gets good intel on Nazer’s whereabouts. They plan to grab him, but when the mission goes wrong, Colt is captured and dragged away. Bruised, restrained, and disoriented, Colt is stunned to see Brenna Wilson, the Canadian intelligence officer who broke his heart years ago, standing next to Nazer. But how deep is she in the operation and can she help Colt escape?

After the devastating attack on Canadian soil, Brenna is recruited to go undercover to find out what Nazer is planning next. She’s close to her goal until her former flame Colt Mitchell is taken hostage. Walking away from him has always been her biggest regret and she knows she has to save him, even if it blows her mission. Taking matters into her own hands, she pulls off a daring escape, but Colt and Brenna must learn to trust each other again if they want to stay alive. With their hearts and their lives on the line can they survive long enough to stop Nazer from ravaging another country’s sense of security?

You can buy your copy here

Friday, July 8, 2016

Freebie Friday

Today's Freebie Friday is a novella by Heather B. Moore called Lost Then Found. I loved the Aliso Creek series and if you love sweet romance, you will, too.

Here's the back copy:

Welcome to the Aliso Creek Novella Series:

Liz, Gemma, Arie, Jess, and Drew have been best friends since creating “the Five” at Aliso Creek High School. But that was over ten years ago, and each is still trying to find that perfect someone… if perfect is even possible.

Arie, at the top of her career as VP of an established real estate company, discovers that her professional success has led to a less-than-successful dating life. But she may have just met the ideal man in workaholic film producer Dustin Jacobs. When Arie discovers that Dustin’s life is more complicated than she thought, she wonders if there is room for her in it after all or if she should add him to her long list of disaster relationships.

Download your free Kindle copy here

Thursday, July 7, 2016

That Time I Was Escorted Out By Security

I'm a basketball mom. I go to all my kids' games and cheer for them, which means I go to a lot of games. This past week, I have been attending the Big Mountain Jam basketball tournament with my son. If you don't know what that is, it's held in an Expo center and there are around 33 basketball courts in one room. Here's a small idea of what it was like:

Yeah, super loud and tons of people.

With a lot of area to cover every day, there was a far door near the parking lot that I'd been going in to get to all the different courts. The second to the last day of the tournament I went through that same door and didn't think a thing of it. 

I should have, apparently.

As my son and I were making our way to his next game, I was stopped by two security guards. These men told me I couldn't be there. I explained I was his mother, had been attending the tournament all week. The man in front of me informed me that the first few days of the tournament are free for spectators, but on the weekend, everyone, even parents, must pay $12.50 to watch. (They must have made a killing with so many people that were there to watch!) The security guard behind him was nodding his head and watching me warily, like he thought I was going to bolt or something. It was a little surreal as I realized what was going on. 

Since I didn't have a wristband that proved I paid, the security guards escorted me out so I could buy one.  Yep, two security guards, one in front and one in back, frog-marching me to the lobby. It was strange to me that they needed both security guards for me. Did they think a basketball mom wouldn't go quietly? Maybe I look stronger than I think? Since I've never been in this sort of trouble before, it was my first personal brush with the "law" and very memorable for this mom. 

Never fear, though, I paid the fee, got the wristband and my "escorts" let me back in to watch my boy play. At least I got a great journal entry out of it and I can definitely use this experience in my next book. Ahhh, the joy of being an author . . .

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

What I'm Reading Wednesday--O'er the River Liffey

I have been reading O'er the River Liffey by Heidi Ashworth, and am really enjoying this charming historical romance. It is an installment of the Power of the Matchmaker series and I have to say I have enjoyed every book in the series!

In this story, we meet Caroline Fulton who is on her way to a house party with her father and best friend Fiona in tow. The baron who is throwing the party is wanting to marry again and Caroline's father wants her to have a title. Once Caroline gets to the baron's home, however, she realizes they will not suit. The baron does have a tutor for his younger brothers named Niall Doherty and he catches Caroline's eye, but her father would never approve. Niall is impoverished, but has a talent for telling stories that enthrall his audience. He is drawn to Miss Fulton, but knowing he could never rise to her station, he smothers his growing feelings. Will they both pass up the chance for true love?

I have really enjoyed this romance so far! The author does a great job of transporting the reader back to the time period and also showcasing the tensions between English and Irish society. The Irish stories that Niall tells add another perspective to the romance that has really kept me turning pages. I love the witty encounters between Niall and Caroline and I can't wait to see how it all turns out! I know I will be up late reading tonight to make sure we get our happy ending. I'll let you know what I think!

Here's the back copy:

Irish heiress Caroline Fulton knows this house party, ostensibly celebrating the victory of Waterloo, is really an audition: will she make a suitable wife? Her host, an English lord, has already won over her father, who’s determined to buy a title with Caroline’s dowry. She is far from taken with the baron, however, especially once she meets Niall Doherty, the impoverished, perceptive tutor to her host’s younger brothers. He shares her love of Irish fairy tales and seems to guard a troubled past…but neither quality will earn Caroline’s father’s approval.

You can buy your copy here

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Book Review

Today's book review is Summer House Party by Regina Scott, Donna Hatch, and Sarah Eden. Since historical romance is my favorite genre, I was really looking forward to reading this one!

Regina Scott is a new author to me and her novella, An Engagement of Convenience, is first up in the anthology. Kitty Chapworth has been relegated to being her cousin's chaperone and successfully diverts a fortune hunter suitor from stealing her cousin away in the night. At the same moment, however, their neighbor, Quentin Adair returns from Jamaica and steals Kitty's breath away. When he proposes a pretend betrothal, she agrees, but they have a difficult history to overcome. Will Kitty ever find true love for herself?

I really enjoyed this one and thought the characters were well-drawn. I wish there had been a little bit more depth, but for a novella, the writing style and plot drew me in. I will definitely look for full-length novels from this author.

The second story was A Perfect Match by Donna Hatch. I don't think I've read any other books by Donna Hatch, but her name is familiar to me. In her story Genevieve's friend has fallen desperately in love with Christian Amesbury and invited him to her summer house party. Genevieve wants to be supportive of her friend's grand romance, but the more she is around Christian, the more her feelings for him grow. Genevieve is in an impossible situation, wanting her friend's happiness, but can she set aside her own?

This story had a wonderful plot and I enjoyed Christian as an artistic hero. Somehow, however, the pacing seemed off. I did find out this is a prequel novella, so maybe that's why, since it's part of a larger story. I will definitely have to look it up to find out more of Genevieve and Christian!

The last story was The Pauper's House Party by Sarah Eden. Sarah is one of my favorite authors and she does not disappoint. Edward and his brother Tom have been invited to a house party where the estate an an income is up for grabs. Everyone on the guest list is in distressed circumstances and they are all vying for the chance to have such a prize. Edward meets Agatha at the party and they are both appalled at the manner in which the "winner" will be chosen. Their mutual distaste brings them together in a strange way, but what if one of them wins the game? Will it change things for them?

I loved the witty repartee between these two and how Agatha's dialogue made me laugh out loud. Their growing feelings for each other put a wrench into the house party plans, but this story is a wonderful way to end the anthology and shouldn't be missed!

You can buy your copy here

Here's the back copy:

Join three bestselling Regency Romance authors, Regina Scott, Donna Hatch, and Sarah M. Eden, for three new novellas in SUMMER HOUSE PARTY.

AN ENGAGEMENT OF CONVENIENCE by Regina Scott: Kitty Chapworth is nearly a spinster, and an orphan living on the charity of her uncle, with nothing to recommend her for the marriage mart. Her primary purpose is relegated to acting chaperone for her cousins until she can see them successfully married. Kitty remains focused on her duty even though she knows her future is bleak. When Quentin Adair returns from a long ten years working in Jamaica and proposes a wild charade to Kitty, she agrees, although the plan might reawaken her old feelings for Quentin. Can a reformed rake convince the perfect chaperone to overlook propriety for love?

A PERFECT MATCH by Donna Hatch: Genevieve attends a summer house party hosted by her best friend who can't wait to introduce her to a gentleman she wants to marry, Christian Amesbury. After meeting him, Genevieve determines Christian is perfect . . . for her. Torn between loyalty to her best friend and the yearnings of her heart, Genevieve must first escape the attention of a powerful lord who's obsessed with her and who tries to rob her of any hope for a happily ever after.

THE PAUPERS’ HOUSE PARTY by Sarah M. Eden: It’s a rare event that Edward Downy and his brother are invited to a house party by a member of the ton. But when they arrive, Edward quickly realizes this house party is different than any other. All invited guests are quite destitute, fallen members of Society barely hanging onto their homes. The hosts of the house party, the Warricks, then make a stunning announcement—they intend to gift all their properties to one fortunate guest. As the guests race to impress the Warricks, Edward finds a fast friend in Agatha Holmwood, who shares his same aversion to the horrible expectations. But their growing fondness for each other only makes the game more painful.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Happy Independence Day!

I hope you all got to spend this Independence Day with the people you love and lots of good food. I know I took a moment to reflect on the sacrifices that were made to make this country free and I'm so grateful for those men and women. Some of my very own ancestors were among those who fought for freedom and I'm proud of them.

So, Happy Independence Day! 

Friday, July 1, 2016

Happy Canada Day!

Happy Canada Day to all my Canadian friends!

I'm breaking out all my Canadian treats and getting ready to celebrate with some fireworks!