Home is Where the Heart Is- #SundayStills #Lifestyle


Where is your happy place?

Terri Webster Schrandt invites us to share our homes on this week’s #SundayStills challenge. You can see Terri’s photos and join in here.

For many years hubby and I dreamed of downsizing our home to an RV and traveling wherever the wind took us.

In 2012 we bought our 5th wheel garage hauler and began the process of bringing our dream to reality.

Spacious master bedroom with pull-out closet
Marble countertops and stainless steel sinks
Fireplace and entertainment center next to double-door fridge
Garage with full back screen and two dropdown queen-size beds

It took a lot to give up most of our ‘stuff’ in order to downsize to a 45 foot trailer, but we were determined.

We put the house we loved up for sale…

Our home

And gave away or sold our furniture and knick-knacks. I had a beautiful fountain outside (you can just see it at the corner of the house) but it was too big and HEAVY to bring with us. Hubby had a garage FULL of stuff to go through. Mom lived in the basement and made the decision to move with us instead of going to a senior’s apartment (Yay!), so we had to go through her things, as well.

Me on our back deck with a crabapple and lilac in the foreground

Do I miss our home? Yes. We worked hard to make it beautiful. We had the basement renovated for Mom. Ripped up the carpeting and installed gorgeous wood flooring. We removed the old, tired siding and replaced it with fresh, white vinyl siding. The deck and fencing were replaced with stronger, better versions. DH built flower beds front and back and we planted trees. It was our home.

But our dream beckoned…

We made the move to Vancouver Island, bought Mom a trailer so she could have her own space (right next door) and haven’t regretted it for a minute!

It didn’t take us long to fill up the new yard!

Dodging a #Health Bullet and #ClimateChange


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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

This past week was a tough one for me. We returned from a quick trip home (2500 miles in 3 days!) tired and a bit depressed. The hometown four generations of my family grew up in, is dying.

What was once a vibrant, growing town deep in the middle of oil, gas and coal country has been hit with a downturn in the economy like nothing I’ve ever seen.

To say it was disheartening would be an understatement.

I understand climate change is a concern for everyone, but should it come at the cost of livelihoods? People are losing jobs, homes, hope.

There has to be a compromise and it’s up to us to find it.

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Edson, AB 1939

 

A day or two after our return, I developed this horrible pain in my lower back, left side. I put it off to a kink and took my ever faithful pain killers. But, it didn’t get better. In fact, it became unbearable every time I laid down- like a fist grinding into my back.

I hate, hate going to the doctor (it’s been 6 years since my last visit, other than for Mom and grandson) so that’s my explanation for what I did next. I attempted a self-diagnosis via the internet.

Please, don’t do this at home!

Talk about freaking out! When many of the so-called professional sites started throwing the ‘C’ word around, I quickly changed my mind and decided to call Mom’s doctor and see if I could get in. I nicely explained my dire emergency to the receptionist and that Mom, darling daughter and buddy were all patients of the clinic- imagine my surprise when she didn’t care, lol. They were fully booked and not accepting new patients- sorry.

Okay, fine. Give it another day or two to mend on its own then. Except, it didn’t. That night I moaned and groaned the hours until dawn away. The moment the walk-in clinic opened I was there. Forty minutes later, I got into the clean, stylish office (not half as bad as I’d imagined) and met with a doctor half my age, who kindly didn’t laugh when I explained the diagnosis I had come up with. Instead, he assured me it was nothing more serious than a muscle strain- possibly caused by all the gardening we’ve been doing- and subscribed some pain killers and muscle relaxants.

When I arrived home, DH ran outside to hear the news and give me a relieved hug and kiss- after all, who else was going to do his laundry? 🙂

Moral of the story- Don’t let pride go before the fall. If in doubt, visit your physician, they’re there to help.

A few of the flowers in our garden.

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Clematis

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Sweet potato vine, lobelia and petunias

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Rose and monkshood in the background

Busy bee

Robyn: A Christmas Bride by @Jacqui_Nelson #WesternRomance #BookReview


Who’s the perfect match for a flame-haired Welsh tomboy who loves driving wagons?

Raised by three free-spirited older brothers, Robyn Llewellyn has learned to fight for what she wants—and now she wants to transform her boss and best friend, Max Peregrine, into a lifelong partner. Determined to become the image of what a marriage-minded man wants, Robyn trades her trousers for a dress and heads to Max’s hometown of Noelle, Colorado. But changing who she is with the help of the now happily married Brides of Noelle puts her friendship with Max at risk.

Who’s the perfect match for a work-addicted Denver business owner who loves his independence?

Defying his brother and grandpa’s wishes for him to stay with them in Noelle, Max Peregrine has created his dream job—leading a highly successful branch of Peregrines’ Post and Freight while working beside Robyn, the only person who makes him smile every day. But when she leaves without a word, Max follows her to Noelle where the choices they both must face could make it impossible for them to stay together beyond Christmas day.

Inspired by My Fair Lady, The Gift of the Magi, and the spirit of gift giving, Robyn: A Christmas Bride is a classic Western historical love story set in a small town high in the mountains during Christmas 1877.

 

 

Biography

Fall in love with a new Old West… where the men are steadfast & the women are adventurous. You’ll find Wild West scouts, spies, cardsharps, wilderness guides, and trick-riding superstars in my stories. Those are my heroines. Wait till you meet my heroes! My love for historical romance adventures with grit and passion came from watching Western movies while growing up on a cattle farm in northern Canada. I’ve been nominated for over 20 awards and won the RWA® Golden Heart® & the Laramie® — but my best reward is hearing from readers who have enjoyed my stories.

Follow me on Amazon to be the first to hear about new releases.

Visit my website ~ http://www.JacquiNelson.com ~ and subscribe to my newsletter to receive a FREE STORY and be the first to hear about exclusive bonus content. 

DO YOU LOVE HISTORICAL WESTERN ROMANCES? 
Then why not join historical western romance authors and readers on the Pioneer Hearts Facebook group and share your favorite stories, photos, and all things Old West? http://www.facebook.com/groups/pioneerhearts

My Review

Robyn Llewellyn is determined to show her boss and best friend, Max Peregrine, that she would make him the perfect wife. Desperate for results, she heads to Max’s hometown of Noelle, Colorado to seek help from the happily married Brides of Noelle. Will the changes she makes ruin her chances to get Max to see her as more than just a friend?

 Max Peregrine enjoys his Denver job at Peregrines’ Post and Freight and can’t understand why his best friend, Robyn, has run away to his hometown just when he needs her most. He follows her to Noelle-and his past-where the stubborn woman leads him on a merry dance. Will Max find a way to let Robyn know he loves her just the way she is?

This is a sweet holiday romance filled with many of the characters we’ve come to love in the small town of Noelle and an important life lesson on the value of loving ourselves as we are.

I give Robyn: A Christmas Bride 5 lovely kisses- an enjoyable tale!

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Kellan Maguire’s on the run in Got it Bad by @Christi_Barth #Romance #NewRelease @InkSlingerPR


Today we have the release day blitz of GOT IT BAD! Check out the sexy new release and be sure to grab your copy today!

 

 

Title: GOT IT BAD

Author: Christi Barth

Genre: Contemporary Romance

About GOT IT BAD:

Kellan Maguire’s on the run from the mob, living a secret life. The only bright spot is his U.S. Marshal handler. Yeah, he wants to handle her….a lot. And in spite of all the rules it would break, Federal Marshal Delaney Evans secretly fears she’d risk everything for one night with Kellan. Even though Delaney’s career, her entire world, could implode if she admits how important he is to her. And all that is before the biggest complication of all hits…

Get Your Copy Today!

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Exclusive Excerpt:

“I know that you may have been on dates since you met me. But none of them distracted you from whatever’s simmering between us. You want to turn back the clock to the day I asked you out and follow through on it.”

“I don’t.” Her words were the verbal equivalent of a foot stamp. Then, softer, as if she didn’t mean to speak it out loud at all, Delaney said, “We can’t.”

In response, Kellan framed her face with his hands, tilted her head back more, and kissed her.

Not the light, polite, introduction kiss they’d shared the first time. Delaney had obviously pushed him past that step. Kellan kissed as if he needed her to know just how badly he wanted her. His lips worked across her mouth, moving and kneading. Kellan nipped at her wide bottom lip. It felt like punishment for her making him wait so long

It also felt like a reward for waiting so long, and she rewarded him with a tiny moan.

Delaney’s hands fisted in his thick hair, pulling and tugging. It undoubtedly showed him the insta-heat burning her up inside as much as the way her leg wrapped around his calf.

She wanted more.

His tongue teased at the seam of her lips, and Delaney opened for him like they’d already done this dance a hundred times. She tasted the sweetness lingering from his drink. Desire rocketed through her, turning her nerves to lava. From the way his penis had hardened to pure steel against her belly, Kellan felt the same.

He streaked the backs of his knuckles down the undersides of her raised arms. Kept going to just lightly brush them along the sides of her breasts, her ribs, the flare of her hips to finally land on the curve of her ass.

Kellan dug his fingers in and lifted. Just high enough to press her center against his penis. Instantly, she got on board with the position, rocking against him even as her tongue twined and teased.

It was impossible to stop the little, breathy moans that kept escaping from her. It was impossible not to undulate against his rock hard abs and dig her fingers into the sculpted muscles of his back. Kissing Kellan wasn’t foreplay. It was a sex act all by itself. Utterly satisfying even as it drove her hunger up immeasurably.

And while Delaney would’ve sworn it was impossible, he was a million times better in reality than all the ways she’d fantasized being with him over the past months. Kellan ripped his mouth away to burn a trail of kisses down the side of her neck.

A semi rolled by, and the driver honked for a long time. It had been easy to ignore the white noise of the cars passing, but the horn broke through to Delaney. It reminded her they were on the edge of a green-scummed pond, across from a strip mall. The world could see them making out. And they’d already shot way past a reasonable stopping point.

So she unwound her leg and put her foot back down on the ground. Kellan seemed to get the signal. He dialed back the intensity on his kisses and rained them up the side of her face, down her nose, to end with a light peck on her mouth before easing back. Then he moved his hands to her shoulders.

It took a moment for her eyes to re-open. When they did, it took another moment before Delaney fully focused on him.

“Not only can we kiss,” Kellan said with enough authority to make her realize he wouldn’t allow her to pretend this hadn’t happened. To pretend that she hadn’t just climbed him like a tree and responded with a fervor that matched his own. “We’re absolutely doing it again.”

 

 

 

About the Author:

USA TODAY bestselling author Christi Barth earned a Masters degree in vocal performance and embarked upon a career on the stage. A love of romance then drew her to wedding planning. Ultimately she succumbed to her lifelong love of books and now writes award-winning contemporary romance, including the Naked Men and Aisle Bound series.

Christi can always be found either whipping up gourmet meals (for fun, honest!) or with her nose in a book. She lives in Maryland with the best husband in the world.

 

Connect with Christi:

Website | Blog | Pinterest | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon Author Page | Facebook | Instagram

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Identity Crisis #writing #lifehacks #mgtab


 

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Photo by Lum3n.com on Pexels.com

 

Lately, I’ve been questioning my ability as a writer and it’s left me feeling lost and depressed.

Do you ever doubt yourself?

I think it began with the big change in our lives this summer. As many of you know, my daughter and grandson have moved over six thousand km away so she can continue with her dream to become a marine biologist.

While I’m incredibly proud of her, it’s also left a big gap in my days. I’m used to being there for my grandson, often picking him up for lacrosse or hockey or swimming practice.

He’s a key part of our lives and we are lost without him.

I’m empty inside and find it increasingly hard to put words on the page. I hope this is a short term thing, I mean it’s not like I can’t text or FaceTime him whenever I want. But, it’s not the same, either.

I’ve been working on a holiday novella for our Love, Christmas 2 collection set around the theme of our favorite holiday movies. Mine is Mistletoe Inn, taken from the Hallmark® movie, The Mistletoe Inn.

Here’s a short preview

 

For my story I’ve adapted the inn as more of a bed and breakfast with my hero as a scarred, bitter loner that the heroine, Molly McCarty, falls in love with.

 

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Molly McCarty has picked up roots and traveled across the country to run a bed and breakfast with a sweet-sounding old lady. Imagine her surprise when her partner turns out to be a surly, way-to-handsome recluse. It’s too late to back out now, she’ll have to mend his lonely heart in time for the holidays.

I’m enjoying this heartwarming tale, but it’s also making me realize Christmas won’t be the same this year.

 

What do you do to get rid of the blues?

 

Don’t forget to enter our name that title contest- ending soon!

 

 

ONLY $0.99 for 25 BRAND NEW Stories

Never Before Published Holiday Romances

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The Christmas Movie (Box Collection) Contest

  1. Twenty-five winners will have their favorite movie chosen as the title. (Slight changes due to copyrights may be made.)
  2. That particular story will be dedicated to the winner.
  3. The winners will receive a free copy of the ebook or a free copy of whichever book you choose from your author’s backlist..

 

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Empty Nesters for the second, or is it third time? #Familyfirst #Chasingthedream #mgtab


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This post is bittersweet. One week from today, DH and I will say goodbye to our daughter and grandson as she leaves to begin her graduate studies in marine biology– across the country!

But, this isn’t the first time.

When she graduated from high school she said goodbye to our hometown, the town five generations of family on the maternal side called home, and moved eight hours and one province away. There, she worked, made friends, and raised her son for five years before deciding to go after her dream of becoming a marine biologist. She applied to university and was accepted!

 

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We were so proud of her! But now, she was even further away, twelve hours and a ferry ride. We made the decision to move closer so that we could support her and see our grandson grow up.

Then, two years later the unthinkable happened– he was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes.

Those who know me, know how difficult and life-changing this has been for all of his family. There has to be constant care for T1D kids, and yet my daughter managed to not only learn everything from the dangers of the disease but how to manage it and allow him to enjoy a normal life.

From the JDRF website

Needs Constant Attention

Living with T1D is a constant challenge. People with the disease must carefully balance insulin doses (either by injections multiple times a day or continuous infusion through a pump) with eating and daily activities throughout the day and night. They must also test their blood sugar by pricking their fingers for blood six or more times a day. Despite this constant attention, people with T1D still run the risk of dangerous high or low blood sugar levels, both of which can be life-threatening. People with T1D overcome these challenges on a daily basis.

 

And through all of that, she worked hard at school and came out with a Bachelor of Science Degree with Honors this summer!

 

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But, her dream beckoned and she applied to universities to continue her graduate program working toward a PHD.

And once again, she was accepted! This time on the opposite coast in Newfoundland!

 

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I’m excited and worried. Will the healthcare system be as good there as it is here? Will they find a nice place to live? How cold are the winters? We’re from Alberta, so we’re used to -30, but I’ve heard some crazy stuff about northeasters that makes me pray she has a reliable vehicle. Will he like the school there? Will they know how to help him if he needs it?

They’re driving across Canada to get there, so I’m going to be sick the entire time. Yet, imagine the things they’ll see, the memories they’ll make.

It’s going to be a long two or three years, but God, I love them and wish them the very best.

I should be #writing, but… #SummerGetaways #mgtab


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I’m on a crazy tight deadline for an awesome box set releasing July 31st, but couldn’t resist when DH suggested going for a drive 🙂

Life is short, sometimes you just need to play hooky!

 

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This is on top of the Malahat on Vancouver Island, about half an hour’s drive out of Victoria. That ghostly white behemoth you see in the background is Mount Baker in Washington.

 

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The cedars are so tall they dominate the land!

 

 

We got home late, but I managed to get my final edits done and my book turned in and not a moment too soon- it’s due Sunday!

 

If you’re looking for some great summer reading, pre-order is available (hint, hint 🙂 )

 

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Sweet and Sassy at the Beach: Get Swept Away!

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07FDQ42QX

International link: http://books2read.com/Sweet-and-SassyattheBeach

From the Arctic coast to tropical beaches, Greek islands to the Jersey shore, love and romance swell with the tides. Find your perfect pair with Sweet and Sassy at the Beach, twelve titillating tales of love at first sight, second chance romance, Alaska villagers to a beachcomber billionaire, a rodeo clown to a Greek tycoon, sweet and sassy tales that will keep you grasping your Kindle ‘til the battery runs out. Keep your charger handy! You won’t want to miss any of these stories by award-winning, bestselling authors!

 

That Unbelievable Kiss (Kissed by Fate 3) – Tamara Ferguson
Bad boy Brian Lancaster marries Karen Andres so she can retain medical coverage for her gravely ill younger brother. Can their long-distance marriage of convenience lead to a lifetime of love?
Sweetheart Cove-Jacquie Biggar
Sand, surf, and soft island breezes bring two lonely hearts together in this heartwarming tale of second chance romance and a love that lasts forever.
Her Greek Tycoon – Mona Risk
Romeo and Juliette Greek style. Will the Greek Tycoon make peace with the past? Will the American lawyer find her happiness in Mykonos?
One Arctic Summer – Dani Haviland
Was she his Red Raven or just another cheechako, a tenderfoot from the outside world looking for excitement or a news story in his remote Alaskan village?
Leanne Banks – Royal Dad
What can a widower Prince do when a vivacious American tutor for his young son turns his world upside down? Can he ignore his burning attraction to the most tempting woman he has ever met?
Stephanie Queen – Beachcomber Billionaire
When two hearts from different worlds collide, will they stay together or continue in different directions?
Orchids & Hurricane Kisses – Stacy Eaton
It’s laughter and twenty questions for Rye and Amy as they get lost in a tropical island romance as a hurricane approaches the shores of Maryland. Will it take a tragedy or a miracle to bring them back together?
Nancy Radke – Trouble Never Knocks 
Evil men pursue them. Can Jesse and Karin stay alive and see the future together that they both want?
Rescuing the Cowboy’s Heart – Aileen Fish
Can Nicole help retired rodeo-clown-turned-CPA Trevor realize that he won’t find lasting love with numbers, that if he expects to find ‘the one’ at a certain time with his logical schedule, he is doomed and may never recognize what his heart stands to lose?
Lucky in Laguna – Rachelle Ayala
Tally shares a winning lottery ticket with Lucky, a reality show writer. She’s always dreamed of being on TV, so Lucky writes her into the show. However, sand, surf, and romantic nights in Laguna bring complications. Will the show go on? Or will love trump reality?
Sharing Sea Glass – Susan Jean Ricci  
After Peter rescues beach lover Jo Harrison from a near drowning at the Jersey Shore, this unlikely couple are inches away from falling in love. But are Jo’s emotions for Peter based on gratitude for saving her life? And is Peter’s attraction to her merely physical after watching her shower in a wet T-shirt?
Perfect for Him – Suzanne Jenkins  
When Jason’s beloved wife Harley gets sick, Tiffany jumps in and decides he’s fair game. What can a wife do to protect her handsome husband from the Tiffanys of the world?

Maggie’s Run by Kelly Hunter #BookReview #Romance @TulePublishing @KellyHunterova


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Maggie Walker has never called Wirra Station home. Orphaned as a child, she spent more time at boarding school, and then working in the city, than she ever spent on the edge of the outback. But when her great aunt dies, Maggie inherits everything and reluctantly returns to tidy the place up before selling.

Ambitious cowboy-next-door Max O’Connor has the means and the desire to buy Wirra Station outright and return it to its former glory. But first, he wants elusive Maggie Walker to know what she’s giving up. He challenges her to live at Wirra Station for three months—with him as farm manager. Just one season–and if she still doesn’t love the place, he’ll gladly pay up and she can be cashed-up and careless, with no ties to anything or anyone.

Three months. Two hearts. One Summer. Roll on.

 

About the Author

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Kelly’s career in science took her from outback Australia to the jungles of South East Asia before she turned to writing romance.

 

 

 

My Review

Written in the style of one of my favorite Australian romance authors, Margaret Way, Kelly Hunter takes us on a trip to the outback and the inheritance of the historical Wirra Station.

Maggie Walker never planned on returning to her childhood home and the ghosts she’d left behind, but the death of her great-aunt forces her to confront the past.

Including the boy who’d saved her life the night her parents died.

Max O’Connor has never forgotten the shy, introvert who’d grown up next door. Now that Maggie has come back he falls for the woman she’s become. But can he convince her to let the past go and give their future a try?

This book is filled with an emotional tug-o war between the main characters, Max and Maggie, and a horrifying accident they can’t forget.

Favorite line:

And then their eyes locked, and her heart tried to fly to him while the rest of her stayed perfectly still.

Hunter, Kelly. Maggie’s Run (Outback Brides Book 1) (Kindle Locations 1918-1919). Tule Publishing. Kindle Edition.

I give Maggie’s Run 4.5 lovely kisses- An emotional journey!

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A Distant Heart by @Sonali_Dev #womensFic #amreading @Barclay_PR


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Celebrate the Release of A DISTANT HEART! 

 

Infused with the rhythms of life in modern-day India, acclaimed author Sonali Dev’s candid, rewarding novel beautifully evokes all the complexities of the human heart in A DISTANT HEART.
 
“Searingly asks its characters what they’re willing to do for the people they love… explores family dynamics, class issues, and many layers of guilt, hope, and determination in ways that are both distinctly Indian and universally luminous. Another beautiful, breathtaking novel from a not-to-be-missed author.” – Kirkus, STARRED Review

 

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Add A DISTANT HEART to your TBR pile on Goodreads! Then keep reading to get an EXCLUSIVE first look and enter the giveaway for a prize pack from Sonali that includes a $50 Amazon gift card and print copies of A Bollywood Affair and A Change of Heart!

 

Check out the Book Trailer!

 

 

 

 

Title: A Distant Heart

Author: Sonali Dev

Genre: Romantic Women’s Fictoin

Release Date: December 26, 2017

Publisher: Kensington

Page Count: 100k

Print ISBN: 978-1496705761

Digital ISBN: B06XZR97YK

 

Synopsis:

 

Her name means “miracle” in Sanskrit, and to her parents, that’s exactly what Kimaya is. The first baby to survive after several miscarriages, Kimi grows up in a mansion at the top of Mumbai’s Pali Hill, surrounded by love and privilege. But at eleven years old, she develops a rare illness that requires her to be confined to a germ-free ivory tower in her home, with only the Arabian Sea churning outside her window for company. . . . Until one person dares venture into her world.

Tasked at fourteen years old with supporting his family, Rahul Savant shows up to wash Kimi’s windows, and an unlikely friendship develops across the plastic curtain of her isolation room. As years pass, Rahul becomes Kimi’s eyes to the outside world–and she becomes his inspiration to better himself by enrolling in the police force. But when a life-saving heart transplant offers the chance of a real future, both must face all that ties them together and keeps them apart.

As Kimi anticipates a new life, Rahul struggles with loving someone he may yet lose. And when his investigation into an organ black market ring run by a sociopathic gang lord exposes dangerous secrets that cut too close to home, only Rahul’s deep, abiding connection with Kimi can keep her safe–and reveal the true meaning of courage, loss, and second chances.

Infused with the rhythms of life in modern-day India, acclaimed author Sonali Dev’s candid, rewarding novel beautifully evokes all the complexities of the human heart.

 

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Available at:

AmazonB&NiBooksKoboBAMIndieBoundWalmartHudson Bookseller

 

Enter the giveaway for a prize pack from Sonali that includes a $50 Amazon gift card and print copies of A Bollywood Affair and A Change of Heart!

 

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A Distant Heart Excerpt

Copyright © 2017 Sonali Dev

 

Freedom was a beautiful thing! Mumbai in all its grimy, gray, pre-monsoon glory flew past Kimi as her auto-rickshaw sped between cars and pedestrians with the zeal of a bastard child born of a Diwali rocket and an immortal god. She almost asked the driver to slow down, but with the wind whipping her ponytail and the driver’s mop of curls in a joint symphony she felt as recklessly brave as the whirring vehicle racing along on its three wheels.

Emblazoned across the dashboard of the rickshaw was the goddess Durga dancing on the corpse of a demon like the evil-hunting badass she was. Bowing to her was Bollywood’s favorite superhero, Krish, with his muscles bulging like fat rubber balls and his hair coiffed high. In a perfect background score to Kimi’s life’s drama, the techno-beat-laden remix of an old Bollywood number drowned out the cacophony of horns the driver left in his wake.

The combination was delicious and exactly worthy of what she had just done. What she was about to do.

Freedom!

You know who else was badass? Kimaya Kirit Patil, that’s who.

There had been one hundred and twelve instances over twelve years when each breath had been a fight and her limbs had turned to mist. She had fought. Not like a warrior, because that would involve the use of said limbs, but like someone drowning, where all you could do is keep the water out of your nose, so it wouldn’t keep the air from your lungs. Breathe out. Breathe out. She had followed those breaths. Grabbed on to those thin wisps of air like lifelines and made herself live one grip at a time.

Then the cure she had waited twelve years for in a sterile room had come. A heart had become available. Surely that meant something. Someone had died, after all, so she might live. Someone with the exact kind of blood and plasma that would let a foreign heart beat within her chest with the confidence of an indegene. Surely that meant she could now have what she never thought she would—all that she had gazed upon from the windows of her room, sealed tight with every technology known to man, so no germ, no pathogen would dare venture into her world, let alone an entire human being. Except Rahul—he had ventured. And then gone on venturing until he was all the way inside.

He’d helped her understand calculus and the nuanced stories of Premchand. He had known how atoms split, why Europe went to war twice within half a century, and the why and when of each invention that transformed the history of civilization. He had touched her, despite promises he’d made. Because it was exactly what she had needed. His gloved hand in hers. He had given her anything she had asked for when everyone else had been too afraid. And she had known that if she lived, if her parents got what they had sealed her in a room twelve years for—a daughter who lived—she would spend the rest of that life taking care of him. The way he had taken care of her.

Except she hadn’t considered the most important part of her plan: him. She had returned from Hong Kong with her new heart and he had looked at her with those dark-tar eyes turned even darker by all that emotion when she ran to him. “You’re running,” he had said, as usual choosing the least words to say the most.

“Yes,” she had said, knowing exactly why every single hard-won breath had been worth it. But then she had told him her grand plan: the two of them living happily ever after.

As always she had asked him for what she wanted. What she hadn’t for one moment considered that he didn’t also want.

He had thanked her for the offer to love him forever, and passed on it.

The person who had kept her from being alone when she was locked up in a room had finally shown her what loneliness was when he walked away from her, leaving her alone in the crowded world she had craved for so long.

No one had the right to that kind of power.

She leaned back into the overstuffed vinyl seat of the speeding auto-rickshaw feeling awfully light.

It only made sense that losing a part of yourself would bring lightness.

No. She wasn’t doing that. She was not going all morose and doing the Tragic Princess shit anymore. That wasn’t her. No matter how people saw her, that was not her. Not anymore.

Actually, it had never been her. Why the hell was she letting herself go down that path now?

She was past the Rahul-induced sadness. Done with it. He’d made his intentions clear. They were no longer—well, they just weren’t anymore. Nothing, anything, they just weren’t.

Plato would ask if the fact that they weren’t anymore meant they had never been. Or was it Aristotle? You know who would know? The one person who she could not, would not, call for a fact check. This wasn’t a Tragic Princess thought, but here it was anyway: She had to stop thinking of life in terms of thoughts she saved up for Rahul like seashells collected on a walk along the beach. It was time.

 

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Praise for A DISTANT HEART

“Dev crafts another thrilling story filled with intense drama, deep emotion, and well-developed characters; a can’t-put-down book.”—Library Journal, STARRED Review

“Thrilling action sequences and a complex, weighty romance propel this smart, sensitive story. A natural wordsmith, Dev dives into the psyches of disparate characters with voice-driven prose that includes both chilling insights and quirky humor… This poignant, sensual, and exciting tale captures a range of emotions and conflicts.”Booklist, STARRED Review

“Award-winning Dev returns with another of her emotionally resonating stories that explore, in depth, the intersection of friendship, love, sacrifice and desperation… There is a tremendous richness to this story… A truly captivating tale of friendship and love. Dev always delivers!”RT Book Reviews, 4.5 Stars, TOP PICK!

 

 

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About Sonali Dev

Sonali Dev’s first literary work was a play about mistaken identities performed at her neighborhood Diwali extravaganza in Mumbai. She was eight years old. Despite this early success, Sonali spent the next few decades getting degrees in architecture and writing, migrating across the globe, and starting a family while writing for magazines and websites. With the advent of her first gray hair her mad love for telling stories returned full force, and she now combines it with her insights into Indian culture to conjure up stories that make a mad tangle with her life as supermom, domestic goddess, and world traveler.

Sonali lives in the Chicago suburbs with her very patient and often amused husband and two teens who demand both patience and humor, and the world’s most perfect dog.

Sonali’s novels have been on Library Journal, NPR, Washington Post, and Kirkus’s lists of Best Books of the year. She won the American Library Association’s award for best romance 2014, and is a RITA® finalist, RT Reviewer Choice Award Nominee, and winner of the RT Seal of Excellence. She was hailed by NPR.org as a ‘stunning debut’.

Connect with Sonali at: Website | Facebook | Twitter| GoodReads | Amazon

 

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Singing in the Rain #Inspiration #amwriting #Globalwarming


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It’s raining!

I don’t know about you, but those of us in the northwestern part of Canada are celebrating. Every year it gets hotter and drier and the earth is aging seemingly before our eyes.

It was always a dream for DH and I to move to Vancouver Island. We came here on our honeymoon and every year after that we could afford the trip. I craved the beautiful cedars, rhododendrons, ivy, and ferns. The lush greenness of the rainforest, the scent of the ocean on the air, the slap of the waves upon the shore… I could go on and on, lol.

Thirty years later we made the move and it was just as amazing as we remembered!

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Photo curtesy of Tofino Photography

I’ve made new friends, explored this magical place I’m blessed to call home, and learned to feel the pulse of the land.

And it worries me.

The birds and wildlife that count on the weather to keep the forest green and the food plentiful, are suffering.

Global warming is not simply a term-it is a view of our future. Unless we do something to change it. Not soon.

Now.

We’ve just come through the worst fire season in our province’s history. I shudder to think how many animals perished along with our forests, crops, homes–lives.

The hurricanes in the southern United States destroyed countless businesses, displaced thousands of people, cost billions of dollars.

And that’s only the tip of a quickly thawing iceberg.

I know this seems all doom and gloom, but it doesn’t have to be. I think we’re being warned, shape up, or face the consequences.

The tide is turning. Many areas now are banning plastic bags, urging economical use of gas and electricity, and promoting more green spaces in cities. This is all good, but we need to do more.

Being part of the baby boomer generation, I think much of the blame lies with us. We grew up in a time of exploration (the first trip to the moon), innovation (personal computers and cell phones), and excess. Lots of excess! Plastic water bottles, disposable baby diapers, takeout foods. You name it, we’ve done it.

I’m amazed by our growth and embarrassed with our neglect.

And I thank God every day that the new generation has learned from our mistakes. My grandson knows all about recycling, composting, energy efficient bulbs, healthy eating, exercise, growing your own sustainable produce.

And he’s ten.

This tells me that we still have a chance.

I’m writing this, drinking herbal tea and listening to the rain as it dances on my roof, and I’m grateful because Mother Nature is forgiving if we just make an effort.

What if your superheroes had Regency-era doppelgangers? The Mercenary Pirate by Katherine Bone #historical #NewRelease @katherinelbone


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What if your favorite superheroes had Regency-era doppelgangers? And what if a group of them were recruited by the Duke of Wellington to gather intelligence for him during the Napoleonic Wars while they protected their own parts of the realm?

 

You’d get The Heart of a Hero Series.

 

Wolfgang, one of Lord Wellington’s craftiest spies, is a fighter, an indulgent loner who is cunning and bold enough to go where others do not dare. He hates distractions and complications, especially those involving the fairer sex, and his instincts have always fueled him and kept him on course, mission after mission. That is, until his talents steer him toward a destiny he didn’t know he had and a search for the brother he barely remembers. And when he comes into contact with a brave young woman disguised as a boy, the urge he feels to protect her might just lead him on the biggest adventure of all.

Selina’s wedding day did not go as planned. Instead, she was kidnapped by pirates and ransomed for an exorbitant sum. Her diabolical captors didn’t hold up their end of the bargain, however, and kept her imprisoned even after their demands were met. More clever than her kidnappers expected, she managed to escape and disguised herself as a boy. Forced to lie, cheat, and steal in order to stay alive, she loses hope of ever returning to the man she intended to marry. Desperate, she agrees to become a handsome and compassionate sea captain’s cabin boy to gain passage back to Cornwall, but the captain endangers the one thing she cannot afford to lose—her heart.

 

Buy Amazon

 

The Mercenary Pirate is the final book in The Heart of a Hero Series. Wellington’s spies, kidnapped bride, betrayal, greed, espionage, superheroes reimagined, corsairs, a heroine disguised as a cabin boy, and plenty of action and adventure make this last book in The Heart of a Hero Series one epic thrilling ride!

Grab your FREE copy of No Rest for the Wicked, the prequel novella TODAY! (Included in the back of the book, you’ll get the first chapters from the entire series.)

No Rest for the Wicked by Cora Lee, Prequel novella

Only a Hero Will Do by Alanna Lucas, Book Two

Once Bitten by Aileen Fish, Book Three

Lightning Strikes Twice by Jillian Chantal, Book Four

No Hiding for the Guilty by Vanessa Riley, Book Five

The Marquis of Thunder by Susan Gee Heino, Book Six

The Good, The Bad, And The Scandalous by Cora Lee, Book Seven

The Archer’s Paradox by Ally Broadfield, Book Eight

The Missing Duke by Heather King, Book Nine

The Mercenary Pirate by Katherine Bone, Book Ten

 

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National best-selling historical romance author Katherine Bone has been passionate about history since she had the opportunity to travel to various Army bases, castles, battlegrounds, and cathedrals as an Army brat turned officer’s wife. Who knew that an Army wife’s passion for romance novels would lead to pirates? Certainly not her rogue, whose Alma Mater’s adage is “Go Army. Beat Navy!” Now enjoying the best of both worlds, Katherine lives with her rogue in the south where she writes about rogues, rebels, and rakes—aka pirates, lords, captains, duty, honor, and country—and the happily-ever-afters that every alpha male and damsel deserve.

 

Katherine’s Ports of Call:

Website  / Katherine’s Official FB Fan Page  / Twitter 

Amazon Author Page   / Goodreads  /  Katherine’s BookBub Page

 

Thank you for sharing my book release today! Huzzah!

Blessings,

Katherine

Do You Have a Bucket list? #Inspiration #lifegoals #mgtab


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Do you have a bucket list?

The older I get, the more I dream about things I’d like to do before I leave this earth.

Here are my top five:

 

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I love the idea of sailing. A bottle of wine, the perfect companion, billowy white sails, it doesn’t get much more romantic than that. 🙂

 

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I’m amazed by architecture and sculptures. Some of the oldest and most intricate pieces reside in Italy. I could spend weeks in this beautiful country.

 

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Is there anything as amazing or beautiful than our oceans? I’d love to scuba dive off the Caymen islands or Australia one day. To see the coral reefs and marine life would be a true dream come true.

 

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I’m not sure about white-water rafting, but I would love to visit the backcountry of Canada and this would be a fun way to do it!

 

And number five:

I dream of seeing my books on the shelves in book stores and libraries. That would be the ultimate thrill and verification that I’ve made it as an author.

Who knows, maybe none of these will ever happen, or maybe all of them will.

It doesn’t hurt to hope!

 

September 5, 2017 will see the release of my twelve novel, Tempted by Mr. Wrong. I’ve always been fascinated by the dynamics in blended families. How do they learn to live together, trust each other, grow together? What about if the children aren’t really children at all? And what if they gain feelings for each other?

 

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Tempted by Mr. Wrong

How can something so wrong, feel so right?

Falling for her step-brother is a mistake T.J. doesn’t want to repeat, but one look into those sapphire blue eyes and she’s ready to give him whatever he wants.

Tammy-Jo Hawthorne’s marriage was floundering, but she never expected her husband to make her the laughing stock of Magnolia.

And she definitely didn’t expect to trip over him in their front yard after he’d been murdered.

Jason McIntyre was forced out of his home and the love of his life by the man who’d haunted his nightmares for ten long years.

Now Jason’s back–and he wants revenge.

 

http://a.co/eHqYH64

International link: http://books2read.com/TemptedbyMrWrong

Add to your TBR List: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35609451-tempted-by-mr-wrong

The Healer by LizAnn Carson #Fantasy #BookReview #amreading


The Healer

Imagine a Land…

Where the air is clear, and life is lived simply but fully;

Where the seasons follow the sun from sowing to harvest, from winter’s hibernation with music and stories through the revels and feasting of summer;

Where people called Weavers, people with special powers, walk the byways to bring healing, entertainment, and knowledge to towns and hamlets.

And now, imagine this peaceful land under threat…

Her Healing Powers Were Ripped Away

Willow left her childhood behind to become a Weaver, one of a select group of men and women who bring their skills as Healers, Bards, and Scribes to the scattered hamlets of the Midland. She has never been without access to the planetary Aura, the all-pervasive energy that enhances her healing skills, as well as assisting with tasks like starting fires and communicating across distances.

Then a space pod from a devastated planet disrupts her peaceful existence. It carries two grievously wounded men and threatens not only the Aura, but a way of life. Nor is the Aura as benign as everyone believes, and Willow pays the price.

A shadow of herself, she sets out through spell-clad hills to find her own healing.

 

 

About the Author

LizAnn Carson

I live with one husband and two cats on the west coast of British Columbia, in a city that’s large enough to have all modern conveniences, but not so large as to have hours-long traffic jams or heavy-duty pollution. I can follow a trail to my local supermarket, or be downtown in twenty minutes.

Yes, I spend much of my time writing (and editing, formatting, critiquing for other writers, battling recalcitrant computers, and occasionally tearing her hair out). I enjoy a variety of crafts. Recently I have been learning to play early music (Baroque and earlier) on my baritone ukulele – it works! I have studied herbology and homeopathy, hands-on and distant healing.

Diverse interests, all grist for an author’s mill.

My Review

A young woman named Willow, sets out on a journey of self-discovery and ends up on a path to save the destiny of her planet.

The author does a commendable job of drawing the reader into her world, painting the picture of a strong, willful heroine desperate to find the source of a disruption to her precious healing powers.

Filled with fresh, visual lines such as:

Willow woke to find early morning sunlight brushing her bed.

this is a fantasy adventure you won’t want to miss!

I give The Healer 4 lovely kisses

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I Can See You Now #inspiration #amwriting #MFRWauthor


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Did you ever wonder how authors manage to visit all the places in the world they write so eloquently about?

Believe me, if I could travel to exotic locales I would (not so sure about different worlds though!), but most of us have to make do with researching the areas we’re interested in placing our characters into.

Whether it’s a castle in England

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or the vineyards of Italy

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We can get real-time views thanks to modern day search engines like Google. With Instant Street View simply type in any address and you’re instantly transported there with a complete 360 picture of the area.

Another great search tool for authors is Pinterest. You can find just about anything you’re looking for on subjects ranging from fashion to settings, and of course inspiration 🙂

My upcoming release, Hold ‘Em: A Gambling Hearts Romance, is set in the Texas hill country. I had visions in my head of what the area should look like, but needed to make sure of some facts such as what sort of flowers are prevalent in the open ranch fields? I did an online search and came up with this lovely field of bluebonnets:

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Perfect for my scene! Here’s a little taste of what I wrote:

Cassandra stared at him, bemused. The sun had decided to peek out from behind the clouds, turning his hair antique gold in the streaming light. Their clothes were soaked, but on him, it was a good look. His shirt plastered to his torso highlighted strong shoulders and a well-defined chest. One she wanted to rest her head against.

Startled out of her trance, she jerked her gaze out across the most beautiful valley she’d ever seen. Bluebonnets and healthy green grass waved back and forth, teased by a playful breeze. An old log cabin, its roof sagging and covered with moss, crouched by a babbling brook shaded by a giant cottonwood. And just to finish the fairytale, a multi-hued rainbow cast its benevolent glow over the entire picturesque area as though daring the rainclouds to return.

“Wow,” she said. “You weren’t kidding. This place is fantastic.”

A deer broke cover and slowly made its way down to the brook, testing the air every few feet.

Cass grabbed Matt’s arm, intensely conscious of the coiled strength that lay just under the skin. She cleared her throat and pointed, “Look, Matt, it’s a Bambi.”

Matt gazed at her instead of the animal, the quirk of his mouth causing a heart-palpitating dimple to appear. “What is it with women and Disney creatures?”

She laughed and dropped her hand, uncomfortable now with his sole attention. “Are you telling me you never had a favorite character from a movie when you were a child?”

He lifted his head and eyed the deer, his profile reminding her of a proud animal. When he turned back the humor was gone. “We should get down there before the weather decides to break again. You ready?”

Curiously sorry she’d ruined the moment, Cassandra nodded and they started out for the valley floor. The deer took one look at them and bounded away, disappearing into the woods on the far side of the clearing.

“What is this place?” she asked, lagging along in his wake, her hand brushing the top of the grass as they walked.

Matt glanced back, then kept going, his body cutting them a trail. “It was my great-grandfather’s first home. Dad used it as his fishing shack when he wanted a break from ranching.”

Cassandra gazed upon the valley with new eyes. She imagined an adventurous young man with Matt’s face riding across the Texas plains until he happened upon this magical land. Easy to see why he decided to stay.

If you’d like more of my vision for this story, check out my Pinterest board here

What about you? How do you research your settings? Any tips or tricks you’d care to share?

Hold ‘Em releases August 15th, I hope you give this funny, heartwarming book a try!

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In the game of love all bets are off

When professional poker player Matthew Shaughnessy wins the pot of a lifetime, he didn’t expect to land himself a fiancée.

Cassandra Gardener is left with little choice but to play the part of a Texan’s fiancée for a week if she wants to clear her father’s gambling debt.

Can two people with so much to lose win the biggest bet of all- love?

http://a.co/9OJfSea

International Link: http://books2read.com/HoldEm

Add to your TBR List: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34682965-hold-em

Booked 4 Murder J.C. Eaton #CozyMystery #SummerReads @BPICPromos @JCEatonauthor


 

Booked 4 Murder
by J.C. Eaton
Series: Sophie Kimball Mystery, #1
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Release Date: June 27, 2017

 

 

Never judge a book by its cover…

Sophie “Phee” Kimball is not a cop. She’s a divorced, middle-aged mom who works as an account clerk for the police department in a small city in Minnesota. But her retired mother, Harriet Plunkett, is convinced Phee is the only one who can solve the mystery of a cursed book. According to Harriet, four members of her book club have already succumbed to the deadly curse. Harriet insists Phee catch the next plane to her retirement community in Sun City West, Arizona, to investigate.

Is her mother just bored and lonely? She does have a new pet—a long-haired chiweenie (half Chihuahua, half Dachshund)—for company and a host of pals (although that number is admittedly dwindling). Phee is certain that their book club selection isn’t cursed, but is somebody really knocking off the ladies? As Phee starts to uncover dark secrets hidden in plain sight under the blazing Arizona sun, she’ll need to read between the lines before it’s someone else’s final chapter….

 

“I’m telling you, Phee, they were all murdered. Murdered by reading that book.”

I tried to keep my voice low, even though I felt like screaming. I had gotten the full story last night, but apparently it wasn’t enough.

“That’s insane, Mother. No one drops dead from reading a book. Look, can we talk about this later? I’m at work.”

“Then you shouldn’t have answered your cell phone.”

She was right. It was a bad habit. One I had gotten used to when my daughter was in college and had all sorts of would-be emergencies. Now it was my mother in Arizona who seemed to have a never-ending supply of issues–the plumbing in her bathroom, a squeaky garage door, the arthritis in her right hand, a bridge player from her group who was cheating and trouble keeping her succulents alive. Today it was some bizarre story about her book club. I glanced at the bottom of my computer screen for the time and decided to let her speak for another minute or so.

“Like I was saying, all of us in Booked 4 Murder are going to die from reading that book. There’s a curse on it or something.”

“Honestly, Mother, you can’t be serious. We went through this last night. Minnie Bendelson was eighty-seven, overweight, diabetic and had a heart condition! Not to mention the fact she was a chain smoker. A chain smoker! Edna Mae Langford fell, broke her hip and died from complications of pneumonia. And she was in her eighties.”

“What about Marilyn Scutt? She was only seventy.”

“Her golf cart was hit by a car going in the wrong direction!”

 

 

 

J.C. Eaton is the wife and husband writing team of Ann I. Goldfarb and James E. Clapp who reside in Arizona.

Ann I. Goldfarb

New York native Ann I. Goldfarb spent most of her life in education, first as a classroom teacher and later as a middle school principal and professional staff developer. Writing as J. C. Eaton, along with her husband, James Clapp, she has authored the Sophie Kimball Mysteries (Kensington) set for release in June 2017. In addition, Ann has nine published YA time travel mysteries under her own name. Visit the websites at: http://www.jceatonauthor.com and http://www.timetravelmysteries.com

James E. Clapp

When James E. Clapp retired as the tasting room manager for a large upstate New York winery, he never imagined he’d be co-authoring cozy mysteries with his wife, Ann I. Goldfarb. His first novel, Booked 4 Murder (Kensington) is set for release in June 2017. Non-fiction in the form of informational brochures and workshop materials treating the winery industry were his forte along with an extensive background and experience in construction that started with his service in the U.S. Navy and included vocational school classroom teaching. Visit the website at http://www.jceatonauthor.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

You Are My Sunshine #LazyDaysOfSummer #amwriting #mgtab


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I don’t know about you, but when the warm winds and indigo blue skies of summer appear on the horizon, the last thing I want to do is sit in a chair forcing myself to fight past the sticky middle of my current WIP (work-in-progress).

It’s literally like pulling teeth.

I’d much sooner have my hands buried up to the elbow in fine black planting soil, or daydream on the end of a water hose watching the hummingbirds and butterflies play in the breeze.

 

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But, I also realize if I want to take this writing career seriously, and I do, I need to sometimes make sacrifices.

One thing I’ve learned is better time management. I’m a late riser, mornings are not my thing :), so I usually sit at the computer with my coffee and go through the social media platforms sharing and promoting.

Then I spend an hour or two visiting my mom next door before FINALLY waking up enough to begin my day!

I take the computer outside to our gazebo where I can work on my story while watering the flowers, and occasionally catching a glimpse of a friendly hummingbird or two.

 

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Sometimes, I don’t get much writing done, but that’s okay. It’s a WIP, just like me 🙂

If you’d like to see what I’ve been up to lately, you can check out the new anthology written by members of my critique group to celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary!

 

My Baby Wrote Me A LetterA family's brush with the past will threaten the fabric of their lives.

 

Dreams and Promises

Dreams and Promises includes six short stories and novellas written by authors who live in beautiful British Columbia.

It’s our way of honoring Canada’s Sesquicentennial.

Some of Canada’s major cities were founded in the seventeenth century, but July 1st 2017 marks 150 years since our country became a Confederation.

Our stories range from the era of the fur trade, to a commercial enterprise that opened up the Canadian and American West, to present day James Bay, a thriving neighborhood in the garden city of Victoria, British Columbia.

Universal link: http://books2read.com/DreamsandPromises

 

Amazon: 

 

Add to your TBR List: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35387646-dreams-and-promises