Friday, May 29, 2020

Freebie Friday for Romance Fans!

Susan Hatler's romance, The Wedding Charm, looks like a cute romance for the weekend and it's FREE today!

You can get your free copy here

Here's the back copy:

Maid of honor Sarah Carlton hasn’t failed at anything since her high school science project was sabotaged by a relentless competitor. So, she’ll do whatever it takes to make her best friend Jill’s wedding absolutely perfect. That includes taking the next flight out of Sacramento to retrieve the panicked bride’s cherished family wedding charm from her late grandmother’s attic in Atlanta Georgia.

Unfortunately, someone else has offered to come to the bride’s rescue—best man Ben Atkins, the same man who destroyed Sarah’s high school science project all those years ago. Now he wants to one-up her by retrieving the charm first? Sarah refuses to let that happen. The race is on.

When Sarah and Ben arrive in Atlanta, instead of finding the wedding charm there’s a letter from the bride’s grandmother directing the bride and groom to complete a series of tasks in order to prove their commitment to each other. With the wedding only two days away, Sarah and Ben must join forces by pretending to be the bride and groom in order to earn the wedding charm. Should be a cinch. After all, how hard can it be to fake true love for forty-eight hours?

Thursday, May 28, 2020

The Viscount's Vow Releases Next Week! Here's the First Chapter

I am so excited! The Viscount's Vow comes out June 5th. Which is NEXT FRIDAY! I can hardly believe it. I feel so attached to this book and the characters. I hope you love Edward and Charlotte as much as I do.

Here's the first chapter. Tell me what you think!

The Viscount's Vow
Chapter One
Copyrighted Material

Edward’s pulse was racing. He could hear the pounding of the cannons, a staccato rumble that 

penetrated the fog surrounding his brain. He had to move. He had to find Marcus and get to a more 

secure location. Why couldn’t he move? What the devil?

           “My lord, open the door!”
The voice calling to him definitely wasn’t his commanding officer, Christian Wolverton. It sounded like his butler, Jefferson. But what would he be doing on the battlefield?
Edward clenched his fists and tried to clear his head. He slowly became aware of soft carpet beneath his head. Where was he? Opening one eye, he saw an unlit fireplace in front of him. Not on a battlefield, then. The voice calling to him really was Jefferson. Coming fully awake, he remembered. He was at his townhouse in London.
“What is it, Jefferson?” His voice came out as little more than a croak. His mouth was dry and felt stuffed with linen. Swallowing, he tried again. “What is it!”
“I must speak to you. It is quite urgent.” Jefferson sounded out of sorts. Much like Edward felt.
He rose from the floor and dusted himself off. Looking down, the shirt and breeches he wore were horribly wrinkled. His evening jacket and waistcoat had been discarded on the desk. He couldn’t see his cravat anywhere. His valet would be vastly disappointed. Gibbs was a stickler for keeping Edward’s wardrobe impeccably maintained and turning him out in the first stare of fashion.
Squinting his eyes against the sunlight that had managed to filter through the heavy brocade curtains, he tried to remember where he’d been last night. The Kensington ball. That’s right. They’d had plenty of champagne and brandy in which Edward had freely indulged. He didn’t remember coming home, though.
Rotating his shoulders to shake off the aches from sleeping on the floor, he opened the door, eyeing his butler. “What is it, Jefferson?”
Jefferson stared at him as if he were an otherworldly spirit come to haunt him. “My lord,” he said, averting his eyes from Edward's unbuttoned and untucked shirt, not out of modesty, but to hide his disapproval. Jefferson was nothing if not proper.
Edward leaned against the doorjamb. He refused to ask for a fourth time. Instead, he would just wait for Jefferson to collect himself and state what the matter was. Besides, speaking made the ache in his head worse, and he’d decided on the spot to do as little of it as possible.
“My lord.” Jefferson looked behind him, then leaned in. “Your mother has arrived. I put her in the drawing room, but she is most insistent that she have an audience with you immediately.”
Edward groaned and his shoulders slumped against the wall. “Did you tell her I am indisposed?”
Jefferson bobbed his head. “Several times. She just marched past me and raised her eyebrows.”
Lowering his head, Edward rubbed his temples. His mother was barely five feet tall, but she had a commanding presence. “Fine. Tell her I'll be down directly.”
Jefferson motioned to someone coming down the corridor, urging him to hurry. “I sent for Gibbs. And I also ordered a tea tray to be brought to your mother while she waits for you.”
Gibbs scurried into view. He was a nervous man, but didn’t ask questions and kept Edward’s clothes pressed and ready. He could also tie a mathematical knot in a cravat. That was all Edward needed him to do.
Gibbs bowed. “I brought you a posset from Cook, my lord. It should help your head.” He handed Edward the cup and a horrible smell hit Edward the moment it was in his hand.
He reared back. “What the deuce is in this?”
“Cook’s secret family recipe, guaranteed to cure a sore head.” Gibbs carefully stepped around Edward and walked toward the wardrobe. “What would you like to wear to greet your mother?”
“I won't be changing.” Edward peered into the murky brown liquid of the posset. Did he dare drink it? He could just make out some suspicious-looking lumps floating on the side.
Gibbs turned to face him, his face aghast. He pointed at Edward’s attire. “But, my lord, your mother couldn’t possibly be expected to receive you in . . . in . . .”
Edward held his breath and tossed back the drink as quickly as he could. It tasted as disgusting as it looked. He swallowed again so he wouldn’t cast up his accounts on Gibbs’s boots. “My mother is not receiving me. I am receiving her. And as she has arrived unannounced, she’ll have to take me as I am.”
He handed the gaping Gibbs his empty cup and strode out into the hallway. As a sort of compromise, Edward did manage to run his fingers through his hair and tuck in his shirt. He hadn’t lost the entirety of his manners after all. Reaching the door of the drawing room, he hesitated to open it. There was only one reason for her to come to London. One he didn’t want to discuss.
            If he didn’t receive her, though, his mother would search the house for him. She was not one to be put off. With a sigh, he opened the door.
            She was sitting in the high-backed chair near the fireplace, her pale hands in her lap contrasting with the severe black of her mourning gown---a reminder that he should also wearing at least a black armband for his own mourning attire. The thought made his head pound again.
At his entrance, she stood, and even the whisper of her bombazine gown swishing around her feet seemed loud. With a quick glance at his apparel, his mother’s mouth pursed into a tight line. “Edward.”
            It never failed to surprise him how she could make his name sound like an admonishment. “Mother, what a surprise.”
            She raised both brows and waved toward his attire. “I can see that.”
            He slowly walked to where she stood, gritting his teeth at the pain in his head made worse by the overly bright room. Who had opened the curtains at this time of morning? “Could this not have waited until evening?”
Though he wasn’t planning to be at home then. He anticipated finding another ball or musicale where alcohol flowed freely and there were enough people to divert him from the otherwise empty hours stretching eternally in front of him. Too much time to think. And remember.
            The viscountess sat with a heavy sigh, and Edward gratefully sank into the chair next to hers. Blinking, he stared at her disapproving face, then turned away.
            “I can’t let this nonsense go on any longer,” she said softly, leaning over and taking his hand in hers. “I should have come to you weeks ago. Perhaps I could have saved us both some heartache.”
             "Father wouldn't have wanted that." Edward shifted uncomfortably in his seat. He’d need something to drink if the conversation went much further.
"He wanted exactly that. Didn't you get his messages?" His mother's other hand came over to rest on top, sandwiching his fingers between both of her hands.
"I got them. But I assumed he was calling me home only to once again remind me of my station, my duties, and my responsibilities." How was he to know his father had truly been on his deathbed? He’d thought it another ruse to lure him home, but now he'd missed the only chance he would ever have to reconcile with his father---all because of his own pride.
His mother patted his hand as if he were once again a small boy. "He had so much he wanted to say to you."
Edward pulled his fingers away, her touch adding fire to her reprimand. "Yes, I know I've disappointed you both." He pushed a hand through his hair. "But then, I was always a disappointment to Father."
Her mother pressed back into her chair with a long sigh, releasing his hand. "You and your father had difficulties, but he always loved you."
Edward wanted to shake his head. His father had loved the idea of molding a son into someone who cared only for performing their duty and responsibility. There had never been room for Edward’s own ideas on what his life should be. "Did you come to discuss Father?"
The door opened, and his mother paused while the maid brought in a tea service. She set it all out on the table next to the viscountess and bobbed a curtsy before she left. When the door was once again shut, his mother poured a cup of tea for him, with two sugars and a dollop of cream, just how he liked it. With the way his stomach was roiling, however, he didn't know if he could drink it. He took it anyway.
She stared at him over the rim of her cup. "I came to ask you to come home to Hartwell Manor,” she said before she took a sip.
He couldn't do it. He couldn't go back there. “No.”
She set her saucer back on the tea tray and faced him, unfazed by his flat refusal. "It's time, my son. It's been too long, and you're the viscount now. Like it or not, you have responsibilities and duties that must be tended to."
How many times had his father said the same thing? That he had duties and responsibilities. That he was born with duties and responsibilities. Edward stared into the fire, letting her words wash over him. He never wanted to be in this position---to be the viscount. That was partly why he’d run away and joined the army. "The steward is doing a wonderful job. I get weekly reports. There is no reason for me to be present."
"It's time to come home. The estate needs you. I need you." His mother's voice was soft, yet firm.
He looked over at her with a frown, fear twisting through him. "Are you in ill health, too? Is that why you're so insistent?"
She held up a hand in reassurance. "No, no, I'm quite healthy, and God-willing, will stay that way. But you've been home from the war for months. I'd like to get to know you again."
There was pleading in her eyes, and Edward groaned inwardly. How could he refuse his mother? So many men on the battlefield had called for their mothers at the end, wanting to see them one more time. He’d survived and had another chance to be in his mother’s company. He wouldn’t waste it, though he’d rather have more time to control the night terrors he’d been experiencing since he’d arrived back in England.
"Very well, Mother. I can come to Hartwell for a few days." He clenched his teeth. He could likely manage a short visit to Hartwell and be back in London before the next round of entertainments later in the week.
The viscountess immediately shook her head. "I'd like you to have an extended stay. You were gone for two years. Surely you can find it in your heart to stay with your mother for a month or two." She shifted in her chair and twisted her fingers in her lap. Edward suddenly realized that she was nervous to ask him to come home.
He knew what his duty was regarding the estate and his mother. If nothing else, his father had lectured him on that topic from the time he could walk. With a sigh, he looked at his mother’s face. She was still beautiful, but there were shadows under her eyes and lines around her mouth that hadn’t been there when he left for war. Perhaps it was time to go home, then. "Of course. I’ll pack for an extended stay."
She clapped her hands and stood with her arms outstretched. "I'm so pleased. And I know Charlotte will be as well. She's faithfully waited for you."
Edward stood and obediently went into his mother's embrace, but his mind was on the woman who’d faithfully waited. Even just hearing her name caused his chest to constrict.
Long hair, the same beautiful color of a good Spanish coffee, teasing eyes, and a ready smile. The only woman he'd ever loved and the one he was trying to forget.
He clenched his jaw, pushing the memory away. "I'm sure Charlotte won't be pleased to see me when David informs her that our betrothal has been broken."
            His mother pulled back, her eyes wide with surprise. She put her fingers to her mouth and shook her head. “No! Edward, you wouldn’t do that to her. She loves you.”
            “It’s nearly a fait accompli.” He grimaced. “Another disappointment to add to your collection regarding my actions.” He stepped back and clasped his hands in front of him. “I’ll present myself at Hartwell tomorrow, Mother. But you may regret your invitation.”
            He didn’t wait for his mother’s reply, just gave her a stiff bow before walking out. Truth be told, he didn’t want to see any agreement in his mother’s eyes that he truly was a disappointment to her or that she might regret her invitation. No, the only thing he wanted to see right now was his bed.
           And maybe the bottom of his glass so he could forget what his life had become.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

My New Grandbaby!

Well, with the news of the accident, I thought I would share some really, really GOOD news. I got a new little grandson!

He is so perfect and adorable. I'm completely smitten with him. I think I like this grandma gig!

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

A Little Excitement At Our House

I was getting ready for The Viscount's Vow book launch next week, when my husband came rushing upstairs. Our son had been in a car accident. Is there ever anything more scary when you're a parent and don't yet know how serious it is?

It turns out, he was at a complete stop when the car behind him slammed into him going the speed limit. (The older driver admitted he was distracted.) The force of the crash propelled our car into the one in front. So our car was sandwiched between the two---and it looked it.

Since then, our son has been fighting neck and back pain and headaches and the doctor diagnosed him with moderate whiplash. The car is also totaled. 

In spite of all that, I'm just so grateful that his injuries weren't worse with how smashed the car is, though whiplash isn't fun. It could have been so much worse.

I'm also very grateful for friends, family, and neighbors that reached out to ask about him---and me. My mama's heart might take a little time to recover as well!

Monday, May 25, 2020

Free Romantic Suspense For Memorial Day!

I hope everyone has a safe Memorial Day weekend. 

To honor those men and women who sacrificed everything, I'm offering my romantic suspense Ring Around the Rosie for free through Memorial Day!

Get your free copy here 

Here's the back copy:

A cop with everything to lose. A criminal bent on revenge. And a love that deserves a second chance.

Revenge is a dish best served cold . . .

As the ex-wife of a law enforcement officer, Sarah Reed has known loneliness and loss. In order to cope, she makes a life for herself that's full of routine while building a wall of ice around her heart. Everything about her is as predictable as she can make it until a tiny detour for her ex-husband, Ron, changes her life forever. Caught in a bomb crisis, Sarah is taken hostage by a man who wants Ron and everyone around him to suffer---and his idea of suffering is more terrible than Sarah had ever dreamed.

Captain Ron Reed has seen the worst of humanity in his job with the Hostage Negotiation Team, but he never expected his past to come back with a vengeance---literally. Aaron Starks, a criminal explosives expert, has stolen next-gen bomb technology and uses it to force Ron to bargain for the lives of his team and his ex-wife, Sarah, the woman he still loves. But the situation escalates when Ron discovers that Starks has an even bigger objective in mind---using the bomb to show how vulnerable America and her people truly are.

Ron is willing to risk everything to save his country and those he loves, but when negotiations break down, will his sacrifice be too little too late?

Friday, May 22, 2020

Freebie for Romance Fans!

Need a little book getaway this weekend? Summer in New York, a collection of six novellas, is free today!

Get your free copy here

Here's the back copy:

In USA Today bestselling author Janette Rallison’s delightful novella, JOB HAZARDS, Lydia Robinson is posing as a prostitute. Undercover of course. Lydia’s job as a police officer hasn’t reeled in her prince charming yet. That is, until Harrison Aldridge, old high school flame, pulls up to the corner to rescue the fallen damsel. Lydia can’t exactly give Harrison the truth without blowing her cover, and it takes a series of mishaps and another whole set of misunderstandings before Lydia will even consider letting Harrison back into her life.

In Heather B. Moore’s enchanting novella, A TASTE OF SUN, Winona Grant embarks on a summer-long visit to NYC to house-sit for her great-aunt after a nasty break-up with her boyfriend Paul. But when her aunt commissions neighbor Steve Monti to tour Winona around, they strike a deal. Winona has too many deadlines to play tourist, and Steve is looking for a distraction from his looming gallery opening. So Steve goes on the tours by himself, and Winona reports back to her aunt as if she’d gone too. The longer this happens, the more Winona wants to change her mind. Seeing the city with Steve might be the perfect solution to forgetting about Paul.

In Luisa Perkins’s sweet romance novella, DULCE DE LECHE, Marisol is desperate for another nanny job after being unfairly fired from her previous position. She has only two more semesters of college, but she’s too proud to ask her wealthy parents for financial help. When her potential new employer, a single father working long hours as an anesthesiologist, decides she’s too young and pretty to hire, she practically begs him for the job. Darius finally agrees, and as he watches her work miracles with his Asperger’s son, he realizes there is much more to Marisol than he first believed.

In TAKE A CHANCE, a captivating story by Sarah M. Eden, Miguel Santos has a stopover in New York. When the announcement of delayed flights comes over the PA system, Miguel is looking at spending several hours at the airport. Determined to get comfortable for the long wait, he’s surprised when he spies a familiar face amongst the stranded passengers: Jane Schoonenburg, the last person he expected to see. Three months have passed since he asked Jane to marry him—three months of misery. And now he knows that he must talk to her, if only to find out why she broke his heart.

Annette Lyon’s entrancing novella, FIRSTS AND LASTS, begins with Dani’s last week in New York. She’s failed in her dreams to catch a break as an actress and is now ready to return home and dust herself off. As she visits the places on her final to-see list, she meets Mark, another New York City transplant with big dreams. Except Mark hasn’t given up on his. As they spend the day together, Dani realizes that even though she hasn’t hit the “big time” she might be living her dream after all. Only problem: she has a one-way ticket back home.

In Lisa Mangum’s whimsically titled story: &, Lucy is riding a wave of success at having found a bestselling novel in the slush pile at an exclusive New York publishing house. If only her personal life was storybook perfect as well. Her relationship with Devon is on the rocks, and even though she's been put in charge of the house while her boss is gone on business, Lucy isn't sure she's up to the task. It will take a chance encounter with a handsome wordsmith to help Lucy claim the courage that has always been a part of her heart.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

My Readers' Favorite Review Is In!

I was so excited to see that The Marquess Meets His Match got a five star review from Readers' Favorite! Woohoo!

It's always a little nerve-wracking to have a book baby out in the world and it's just such a great feeling when other people love it as much as you do! 

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

The New Authors Off the Page Podcast is Up! Don't Miss This One

The new Authors Off the Page podcast is up! 

This month we're talking about fun summer reads and rain kisses, swapping snake encounter stories, (poor Jennifer Peel!) and reading an excerpt of our favorite summer scenes! 

Becky Monson hosted this month and did a really great job---we laughed a lot. You can hear the new episode here 

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Two on Tuesday!

I was featured on Kelsey Geitl's blog for Two on Tuesday! If you've ever wanted to know two little-known facts about me, check it out here! 

(And yes, there's a reason for the Princess Diana picture) Thank you for the shout-out, Kelsey! 

Monday, May 18, 2020

My New Book is Almost Here!

You guys! We are just WEEKS away from the release of my new regency romance, The Viscount's Vow! I can't wait to share Charlotte and Edward's story with you.

A man changed by war. The woman who loves him. And a secret that could tear them apart.

Edward Rutledge, the newly minted Viscount Carlisle, has come back from war a changed man. The echo of the battlefield and the death of his best friend Marcus haunt him to the point that he decides to break his betrothal to Charlotte---the only woman he’s ever loved. When he’s summoned home to Hartwell Manor, he comes face-to-face with her. Slowly, her strength and love make him see that he might be able to reclaim what he thought was lost. But when word reaches him that Marcus might not have died in Spain and yet lives, Edward will do anything to bring his friend home. As the mystery deepens, however, Edward is drawn into an intrigue that will change his life forever. Will he have to sacrifice everything he’s built with Charlotte in order to find the truth?

Friday, May 15, 2020

Freebie Friday for Regency Fans!

Sally Britton has a free regency romance today called The Earl and His Lady! Looks like a fun weekend read.

Download your free copy here

Here's the back copy:

A widow desperate to save her children and an earl looking for a purpose come together in a marriage of convenience.

Lady Virginia Macon, the recently widowed Baroness of Heatherton, has an impossible decision to make. Her late husband’s unscrupulous brother demands guardianship of her sons. The courts are on his side, unless she marries someone willing to stand in her late husband’s place. Locking her heart away and devoting herself to her children is the only way Virginia can countenance such a decision.

Wearied by the world, Lucas Calvert, Earl of Annesbury, is tired of being alone. His wife’s passing six years previous left his life gray and empty. His only recourse has been to make life better for those around him, using his considerable wealth and influence. When he learns of Virginia’s plight, he knows he can save her and her sons.

During one of the rainiest summers in England’s history, Virginia and her children bring light and color back into Lucas’s life. But will Virginia’s determination to protect her heart destroy their possibility of finding happiness together?

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Exciting News for Me!

I am so excited! I'm going to be getting a new grandbaby in the next few hours! I can't wait. With the COVID 19 restrictions I won't get to see him for a while, but we're just hoping for a safe and healthy birth.

Cross your fingers for us! 

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Second Look is On Sale!

Just a heads up that my Swoony Award-Winning romantic suspense, Second Look, is on sale right now for only $1.99! 

You can get your sale copy here 

Here's the back copy:

With everything on the line, can Nate trust the woman he wants by his side or should he turn her in as a traitor?

When the most wanted terrorist in the world escapes from a high security prison, Nate Hughes is part of the task force sent to recapture him. During the mission, he meets Abby, a fellow investigator that seems to have it all together. He's drawn to her and hopes they can join forces, but when her past is revealed, loyalties are called into question. Could she have turned against the country she once held dear?

The CIA wants her captured and interrogated, but with a terrorist attack imminent, Abby may be the only person in a position to help them stop it. Nate must make a choice to either trust her or turn her in---but the wrong decision would clear the path for the largest attack on freedom the world has ever seen.

And time is running out.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Book Review: Rakes and Roses

I've really enjoyed Josi Kilpack's Mayfield series and the new installment, Rakes and Roses, got moved to the top of my to-read list when it came out!

In this one we meet Lady Sabrina who is struggling through a pregnancy and is helped by a kind stranger in a garden. When she meets that kind stranger again, she is a widow without children, and he has developed some struggles of his own, including gambling and alcoholism. Sabrina wants to help him, and does so anonymously, but in a strange turn of events, he is beaten and ends up in her care at her estate. But Harry isn't an easy patient and Sabrina doesn't know if he can overcome his alcoholism. As they come to know each other a friendship forms, but will Harry's vices always stand between them? Could their friendship become something more?

This slow-burn romance had a little bit of intrigue to it that helped move the story along. The author is realistic in her portrayal of alcoholism, and at times it is hard to like Harry as a hero when he is so mired in his own selfishness. He does get a nice redemption arc at the end, however, that will satisfy readers. Sabrina is also dealing with demons of her own and I was hoping throughout that these poor tortured souls would eventually find solace in each other. I don't know that I would really call this a romance, per se, since nothing really happens between them beyond caregiving until the last quarter of the book, but I did like the ending and the sweet words between our hero and heroine as they worked to overcome the obstacles between them. I closed the book with a smile and am looking forward to the next one in the series!

Get your copy here

Here's the back copy:

Lady Sabrina endured an abusive marriage, a miscarriage, and early widowhood to emerge as a smart, successful, confident woman who found a way to make her mark in a man's world. She has friends and purpose, but cannot hide from the emptiness she feels when the parties are over and the friends have gone home to families she will never have.

Harry Stillman may be charming and handsome, but he's a gambler and a rake who has made a mockery of his privileges. He turns to the mysterious Lord Damion for financial relief from his debts, but still ends up beaten nearly senseless by thugs and left in an alley.

When Lady Sabrina comes upon Harry after the attack, she remembers the kindness Harry once showed to her six years ago and brings him to her estate to heal. Though their relationship begins on rocky footing, it soon mellows into friendship, then trust. But Lady Sabrina needs to keep Harry at a distance, even if he is becoming the kind of man worthy of her heart. After all, she is keeping a secret that, if exposed, could destroy everything she's so carefully built.

Monday, May 11, 2020

Final Hours to Enter My Giveaway and a Freebie for Romance Fans!

You only have A FEW MORE HOURS to enter my giveaway. You could win a $10 Amazon gift card, a Book Bundle prize pack, or a copy of my new book, Fifteen-Minute Marketing for Authors. (An alternate prize can be chosen if you are not an author.) 

Just go HERE to enter! I'd love to call your name as the WINNER!

I also noticed that Heather B. Moore's romance, Finding Us, is free today! This looks like a cute afternoon read.

Get your free copy HERE

Here's the back copy:

Felicity Miner is not normally an anxious person, and she’s been on her own since high school. But after a shoplifter steals from her bookshop, she calls the cops. When Officer Leo Russo shows up, Felicity has to tell herself that just because the romance novel she’s been reading has a hero police officer doesn’t mean she needs to project her imagination onto the real man. Yes, Officer Russo is unexpectedly generous, and he helps make Felicity’s home more secure when her worries won’t settle down. But the more Felicity is around Officer Russo, the more she imagines a future between them. Is he merely doing his duty, protecting and serving the citizens of Pine Valley, or is there potential for something more?

Friday, May 8, 2020

Freebie Friday for Romance Fans!

Do you need some short romantic reads this weekend? The Mail Order Bride collection of six novellas is FREE today!

Get your free copy here

Here's the back copy:

WRITTEN IN HER HEART, a charming novella by Stacy Henrie, Georgeanna is getting desperate. She can’t fund her favorite orphanage unless she marries and secures the rest of her inheritance left by her father. But her father’s financial planner, Clay, can't understand why she's not content with her current situation. Georgie determines to send out a notice as a mail order bride to attract suitors who won’t know her financial situation. Little does she know, Clay takes up the pen and sends her letters of his own under an assumed name. After years of working for Georgie’s father, Clay realizes he isn’t ready to watch her marry another, not when his heart is already claimed by her.

In Kristin Holt’s delightful novella WANTED: MIDWIFE BRIDE Dr. Naomi Thornton thinks she has it all: a beautiful house, a loving husband, and a fulfilling career. But when everything she holds dear is ripped away, Naomi has no choice but to start over. What will she find in the wild and untamed Wyoming Territory? Dr. Joe Chandler has waited years for a wife with the knowledge, skills, and tender heart he yearns for in a medical colleague and lifetime companion. When a midwife arrives with more expertise and secrets than he counted on, Joe quickly discovers there’s more to love and marriage than a simple mail order contract.

In THE SOUND OF HOME, a captivating novella by Annette Lyon, Marilyn is given the choice of either marrying the despicable Victor or being charged with a murder she didn’t commit. Refusing to believe that either is her fate, she finds a third option: she answers a mail order bride advertisement and boards a train to Wyoming to wed a man named Harry. Moments after her arrival, she learns that Harry isn’t who he seemed to be, and the advertisement turns out to be a giant mistake. Harry’s brother Thomas agrees to let her stay until she can figure out what to do next—after all, she simply cannot return to New York—but Marilyn quickly finds herself developing feelings for Thomas.

In Sarah M. Eden’s endearing novella FOR BETTER OR WORSE Gerald Smith, on the advice of his well-meaning neighbors, has decided it’s time to change his lonely existence. Mary Hill, on the advice of her empty pocketbook and non-existent roof over her head, has decided it’s time to secure herself a future. A mail-order marriage, they both realize, is no guarantee of happiness, but it is a risk they are willing to take. However, coming face to face on the train platform, the hapless couple discovers an unexpected truth: marriage to a perfect stranger is sometimes far preferable to the prospect of a lifetime with someone you used to know.

Heather B. Moore’s sweet novella THE INCONVENIENT BRIDE sees Carmela traveling from Boston to Colorado, eager to meet the man she’s been corresponding with and will soon marry. Her brother’s new marriage leaves little room for Carmela in her old life. Upon arrival in Leadville, she faces a rude awakening, and the only one who can understand her predicament is her fiance’s brother, Samuel. But Samuel can’t possibly help her out of an awkward situation, can he?

THE PRICE OF SILVER, an engaging novella by Si├ón Ann Bessey, Katie leaves New York for Idaho to marry Jake, a man she’s written to a couple of times. But when she steps off the train, his brother Caleb is there to greet her. Jake has gone to take a mining job he couldn’t pass up. Caleb takes Katie back to the family ranch to wait for Jake’s return. The more Caleb gets to know Katie, the more he envies his brother, but he can’t let his heart overrule his head unless Jake changes his mind about his intended bride.

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Book Review: Where the Stars Meets the Sea

Heidi Kimball is quickly becoming an auto-buy for me. I LOVE her new book, Where the Stars Meet the Sea. I'm still thinking about some of the moments the hero and heroine had long after I finished the book!

Juliet Graham is at a house party at Shaldorn castle so her cousin can woo the sister of a duke. She tries to sneak away from a long evening of polite conversation and meets up with a snarky, borderline insulting man who is also avoiding the rest of the party. She gives back as good as she gets and later finds out she was talking to the reclusive Duke of Halstead. Oops. But that encounter starts a chain of events that will have you turning pages long into the night. I nearly finished it in one sitting, because I couldn't put it down.

I loved how vulnerable Juliet was, and yet the more we get to know her, the more we realize the incredible inner strength she had to have to survive her situation. The duke is also vulnerable and fighting his own demons so putting these two together caused some really big sparks. I loved the push/pull between them and how the outer forces of family and society affected their slow-burn romance. So good! The duke was everything a wounded hero should be and everyone will cheer for him to find his happily-ever-after. The author's use of setting and society rules is superb, the secondary cast is memorable, especially the "villain" and the ending was sigh-worthy. Historical romance readers won't want to miss this one!

You can get your copy here

Here's the back copy:

Juliet Graham fervently counts the days until her twenty-first birthday, when she can claim the inheritance that will grant her the freedom she has always craved and the guardianship of her younger brother. Until then, she is trapped under her aunt Agnes’s domineering will. When forced to accompany the family to a house party at Shaldorn Castle, Juliet’s only objective is to keep to herself. That is, until a chance encounter with a boorish stranger stirs up an unexpected whirlwind of emotions in her. Thrown off-balance, Juliet does the unthinkable: loses her temper and insults the man—who turns out to be her unwilling host, the Duke of Halstead. Fully expecting to be sent away, Juliet is surprised when the brusque and callous duke instead takes an interest in her.

Drawn to the duke in unguarded moments, Juliet finds herself more and more intrigued by the man who shuns Society’s rules as completely as she does, and over the next few weeks, their unlikely friendship deepens into a connection neither expected.

But even as Juliet comes to recognize her true feelings, her scheming aunt issues an ultimatum that threatens the future she was just beginning to hope for. Juliet must choose: either break the promise she made to herself years ago, or lose the man who has captured her heart and soul.

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

In the Non-Fiction Corner

In the Non-Fiction Corner With Lauren

Motherhood: Empowered by Love Saved by Grace

This book by Christie Gardiner is like a little pep-talk for mothers on grace. It is a quick read and I felt like it was geared particularly to moms of young children. The author’s main focus is that she wants moms to know they are enough and they are doing a good job, even when they feel like they aren’t. She uses several examples of women who went through difficult trials and had to rely on the Savior and His grace to be the mom they needed to be.

I particularly enjoyed the portion where Gardiner says we need to “expect grace.” As members of the Church who are trying to do what’s right, even if you aren’t a mother, we can see grace every single day. We can see the little miracles in our life and be the woman we are to become if we rely on Him. Perfect for a Mother's Day gift!

Get your copy here

Here is the back copy:

Motherhood: We do what we have to do; we face what we have to face. We all experience our own seemingly insurmountable challenges only to somehow rise again.

Mothers traverse a lifelong path of ups and downs, often encountering seemingly insurmountable obstacles along the way. In those moments when the gulf between who you are and who you must be for your children seems too great to bridge, where can you find the strength to not only survive but also thrive? With an abundance of personal stories and thought-provoking questions, best-selling author Christie Gardiner reaches out to women in all stages of motherhood with the answer: through the grace of Jesus Christ, you can do all things.

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

The Marquess is Now Available in Audio!

You guys! I am SO excited to announce that my regency spy romance, The Marquess Meets His Match, is finally available in audio book!

I've been dying to share this one with you because it's narrated by the amazing London-based actress Jessica Elisa Boyd! She truly brought her A game to this one and the story just came to life with her voice talents! I can't wait to hear what you think of it.

You can get it on Audible HERE

You can get it on iTunes HERE

Monday, May 4, 2020

Teaching My Fifteen-Minute Marketing for Authors Class

Well, I'm teaching at a writing conference this week and I'm focusing on fifteen-minute marketing for Authors. It's hard to fit everything I want to talk about in a 50 minute class! But I finished the recording today and hopefully the students learn something new. Here's the picture of me teaching. I wore my lucky shirt, so hopefully that helped!

And if you'd like more information about Fifteen-Minute Marketing for Authors, you can see my book HERE

Here's the back copy:

Have you ever said, “I don’t have time to market my books and I don't know where to start?”

As a busy mother of a large family, best-selling author Julie Coulter Bellon was trying to balance kids, writing, and getting her books in front of the right audience. Some days it seemed impossible until she developed a system of marketing that harnesses the power of just fifteen minutes. Through proven patterns that have increased her visibility and sales, Julie will teach you her system of  fifteen minute marketing techniques with tools that any author---from beginner to advanced---can add to their marketing toolbox.

Friday, May 1, 2020

Freebie Friday for Small Town Romance Fans!

If you like small town romance, Loving the Bad Boy, by Shanae Johnson is free today!

Get your free copy here

Here's the back copy:

Can her love tame the Bad Boy?

Catalina Garcia is a cancer survivor. With the threat of her annual check up looming over her head, she decides not to wait for the results. Instead, she is going to start checking as many things off her bucket list as she can.

Until her resolve puts her face to face with the town bad boy.

Westley York never cared about his bad boy reputation with the residents of Hidden Hollows. After all, they made up their mind about him a long time ago—whether the facts were true or not. He has a week left before he’s off probation and moving on with his life.

Getting involved with the wide-eyed girl with a No. 2 pencil and a crazy to-do list? Not on his agenda.

But she’s trusting—probably a little too much, and Westley discovers that she’s determined to find her wild side, with or without him. Worried she might get herself hurt—or even killed—he reluctantly agrees to help.

It was only a week. One week until Cat finds out the results of her test and Westley is finally free of his past. Too bad all it takes is one week to fall in love.