Smart Girls Read Romance

Smart Girls Read Romance -- so do the bestselling and award-winning Authors who write this blog. Join them as they dish about Books, Romance, Love, and Life.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Southern Grandma & Small Towns by @JoanReeves #SmartGirlsReadRomance

Occasionally, I post something funny. Since I'm late blogging this morning, I thought I'd share a joke with you. (See the end of the post for a FREE ebook offer.)

Actually, this joke is more than a joke. It's a picture of life in small towns and rural America--and not just in the South.

A friend who grew up with me sent it to me by email a while back. We are both from the same small southern town.

He and I could probably name more than a dozen women, heck, make that two or three dozen, who could be the Southern grandma at the heart of this story.

Let the Joke Begin

Lawyers should never ask a Southern grandma a question if they aren't prepared for the answer. In a trial, a Southern small town prosecuting attorney called his first witness, a grandmotherly, elderly woman to the stand. He approached her and asked, "Mrs. Jones, do you know me?"

She responded, "Why, yes, I do know you, Mr. Williams. I've known you since you were a young boy, and frankly, you've been a big disappointment to me. You lie, you cheat on your wife. You manipulate people and talk about them behind their backs. You think you're a big shot when you haven't the brains to realize you never will amount to anything more than a two-bit paper pusher. Yes, I know you."

The lawyer was stunned! Not knowing what else to do, he pointed across the room and asked, "Mrs. Jones, do you know the defense attorney?"

She again replied, "Why, yes, I do. I've known Mr. Bradley since he was a youngster, too. He's lazy, bigoted, and he has a drinking problem. He can't build a normal relationship with anyone, and his law practice is one of the worst in the entire state. Not to mention he cheated on his wife with three different women. One of them was your wife. Yes, I know him."

The judge asked both attorneys to approach the bench. In a near whisper, he said, "If either of you idiots asks her if she knows me, I'll send you to the electric chair."

In Summation

Yes, that's how it is in small towns. Everyone knows everyone else from cradle to grave. One thing about it, you can't get away with anything in a small town.

That sense of community--the good and the bad--is why I love setting a book in a small town. Recently, I published a romance short story, another in my short reads series A Moment in Time.

Blame It On Chocolate

A Moment in Time is all it takes for Love to be revealed.

Chloe Elliot was the good girl. She’d never been a hell-raiser. Never gotten drunk, used drugs, smoked pot, or slept around. She didn’t even curse!

Since her dad was the son of a minister and the oft-elected mayor, and her mom was the elementary school principal, she'd had no choice but to live a life above reproach. Truthfully, it really hadn’t been that difficult.

Until Hunter Cole returned to his home town.

That was the beginning of Chloe's fall from good girl status. There was just something about the man that addled her brain and created havoc in her body.

Hunter Cole reckoned he had the best of all possible worlds. He'd played for the NFL, and even though two back surgeries had ended that career, he was lucky enough to follow in his dad's footsteps and work the family ranch and also follow his granddad's path and be the sheriff in his west Texas town. Life was perfect.

Until he dropped by the library to say hello to his best friend's little sister.

Chloe wasn't so little any more. In fact, just looking at her made his common sense evaporate. She affected him like no other woman--and he'd had women throwing themselves at him since he was a high school quarterback! If he made a move on her, her brother would nail his hide to the wall. There was only one thing he could do, but did he really want to do that? The thought of it made his bachelor heart shudder with alarm.

This romantic comedy short story, Blame It On Chocolate is only 99cents, and it's available only at Amazon Kindle for now.

Get a free ebook today! Just click to claim yours. Joan is giving away copies of one of her most popular romantic comedies. Just click and follow the prompts.

Joan Reeves is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Sassy, Sexy Contemporary Romance. Her books are available in audio, ebook, and print. All of her books have the same underlying theme: It's never too late to live happily ever after.

Joan lives her happily ever after with her hero, her husband, in the Lone Star State. Visit Joan online: Blog, Website, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube.

Monday, August 14, 2017

New Old Book.....

Getting the rights to a book back from a large publishing house can be a challenge. I spent at least three years trying to get the rights back on my last traditionally published book, MAN OF THE WEST.

Last year, I finally got that letter returning all rights to me. I'm now currently in the process of making some revisions and will soon be releasing it as an Anna Jeffrey book. It was originally published under the pseudonym Sadie Callahan.

I had to have a new cover designed. First, you aren't allowed to use the publishing house's original cover because they own it. Second, it had Sadie Callahan's name on it, a pen name that I will probably never use again. So I called on the fabulous Kim Killion (as I always do) to design the new cover.


This book is a sequel to LONE STAR WOMAN. The hero is the second Strayhorn cousin who is still trying to live down his father's disgrace.

Sheriff of a small, remote town in the Texas Panhandle, Jake Strayhorn’s calm and uncomplicated life changes when he meets the Circle C Ranch's new cook. He’s drawn instantly to her wholesome beauty, different from any other woman he’s ever known. As a career cop, his honed instincts detect she’s running from something, but she refuses to reveal her past. How can he protect her if he doesn’t know what's making her so skittish?
Escaping an abusive, drug-addicted husband in the dead of night, Jolie Jensen found the perfect hiding place on the Circle C Ranch, working as a cook. This seems to be the safest place she's found in years, yet fear lingers. Billy Jensen’s bound to find her and their daughter, and with no family, the only person she knows she can lean on is the too-attractive sheriff. He’s shown himself willing to be her protector, but can she protect her heart from the quiet, strong Jake Strayhorn?
 I love writing sagas about big families and all of the drama that can be associated with them. And here's the blurb to LONE STAR WOMAN, a book that was also originally released as a Sadie Callahan book.

Jude Strayhorn, the only child of the vast Circle C Ranch’s CEO, is in constant conflict with her father and grandfather. Her greatest desire is to exert her education and influence on the ranch’s operation, but the two men thwart her at every turn. Giving up, she goes outside the Circle C intending to use her trust fund to buy a small spread from a deceased widow’s estate where she can put her ideas into practice. That is, until she runs headlong into the widow’s heir, Brady Fallon, who has his own plans for the 6-0 Ranch.

Brady Fallon is no stranger to Willard County, though he hasn’t been around since childhood. His inheritance needs a lot of work and he needs money to put it back into shape and revive it as a cattle operation. He hires on as a hand at the Circle C Ranch, a move that leads to unexpected benefits for his future as well as unwanted conflict with his boss’s daughter. Can he set his attraction to her aside for his own good?

A third book is planned for this series. It will be the third Strayhorn cousin's story. The title is SON OF THE PLAINS.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

DON'T read my files or history! by Paty Jager

As I get older and help my family members and friends go through the effects of someone who has deceased, I am struck with the knowledge one day this could be me.

And boy will my family find some interesting things! Especially in regards to my writing. I write historical western romance and murder mystery.

The murder mystery makes sense. I have books on poisons, how to strangle someone, and different calibre of guns and the size holes they would make. I have files on my computer where I copy and paste information that comes across a crimescene loop I'm on. Like what kind of bleeding could one expect from a stabbing, how heavy of an object will crush a skull. You get the drift. It's not your average grandma's files or books.  The history and bookmarks on my computer look like fodder for a nonfiction book on how to kill your neighbor. 

And while my family may cringe, then grin, knowing it was information that helped me write books that made me happy, they might be a bit embarrassed by other elements I've "ahem" researched.

ghost tour building
Did you know that some of the first condoms were made from intestines? And that lemon halves were inserted into a woman/prostitute to prevent her from getting pregnant? If the "covering" didn't stop the sperm the acid of the fruit would kill it. I tend to look up information of a personal nature that I want or need to know for a book. I was ecstatic, when this summer while on a ghost tour of a brothel during the Wild Deadwood Reads, we were handed a pamphlet with prices and services  in the Capacious Capsulation Parlor of the early 1900's.  When I arrived home, I handed it to my husband all excited to have come across prices. He glanced at it and shook his head, muttering, "I hope the grandkids don't see this."

I'd give you a sample, but I believe this blog is PG or  nothing more than R rated. All the wording for the "services" wouldn't be appropriate here.  But the service prices range from $0.49 to $30.

This little flyer is in my files along with a few other items that may or may not turn my children's faces red. LOL 

As I've said many times since I started writing, the part I love the most about writing a book is the research. It is a never ending learning experience even if the information I learn will only ever be used in one book, one scene, one paragraph, one sentence. It was the hunt and the thrill of the find that makes me dig and question when I write a scene and wonder "what if".

Paty Jager is an award-winning author of 32+ novels, novellas, and anthologies of murder mystery, western romance, and action adventure. All her work has Western or Native American elements in them along with hints of humor and engaging characters. This is what Mysteries Etc says about her Shandra Higheagle mystery series: “Mystery, romance, small town, and Native American heritage combine to make a compelling read.”

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photos: Canstock and Paty Jager