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.

Thursday, April 18, 2019


Caroline Clemmons here, filling in for Carra Copelin. Carra's busy being caregiver for her husband, who has had major health issues.

Obviously, I love reading, especially romance. If the romance includes mystery or suspense, even better. But I also love movies, especially when I can enjoy them in my own home. When my eyes are too tired to focus or my mind and body too tired to concentrate, a good movie on TV or one of the many subscription venues is relaxing. Like a mini-vacation for the mind.

Willie Nelson
Hero and I enjoy an evening movie, and it doesn’t have to be newly released. Recently we watched the Willie Nelson remake of “Stagecoach” starring him, Waylon Jennings, Kris Kristopherson, Johnny Cash, June Carter Cash, and others I recognized but can’t recall their names. Willie Nelson co-wrote the music and sang it. Here in Texas, Willie Nelson is much revered. Hero has always been a Johnny Cash fan. This movie pushed all the buttons for us. Oops, I digress.
When a movie is a depiction of a favorite book, I have mixed emotions. With a book, the author’s descriptions create images of characters in my head. If the book is engrossing, I know who these characters are, how they dress, even how they walk. The reader is privileged to characters’ internal dialogue as well as vivid descriptions. Of course, a movie doesn’t need setting descriptions, but I miss the author’s version. One that comes to mind is Loretta Chase’s LORD PERFEC T.  When the main characters first see one another, Ms Chase has what I think is the most enchanting reactions recorded in any book I’ve read. My favorite is the hero’s thoughts about the heroine’s astonishing beauty and presence : “She is a woman who causes accidents merely by crossing the street.”

Depicting a book like Nora Roberts’ or Debbie Macomber’s as a screenplay usually results in a very pleasant movie. I love Ms Macomber’s Mrs. Miracle movies. (Say that fast three times.) For me, though, the movie doesn’t quite live up to the book. For instance, one of my favorite books by Nora Roberts is MONTANA SKY. That book scared me in many places and kept me turning the pages hurriedly to learn about the sisters. In the movie, some of the edginess disappeared. Oh, the movie was satisfying, but the book much better.

Hugh Jackman
For long, involved books like LES MISERABLES or EYE OF THE NEEDLE, only portions appear in the movie. Of course I enjoyed “Les Miserable.” Hugh Jackman! Oh, um, I mean the movie inspired me. Each of the actors performed superbly.

Ken Follett’s EYE OF THE NEEDLE is one complicated book, as are each of his tomes. The movie depicted only the last few chapters of the protagonist’s journey and the heroine’s courageous actions. I enjoyed the movie, but it paled in comparison to the book. Ken Follett is a gifted author and I am in awe of his ability. 

Every author hopes one day his or her books or book will be adapted into a movie. The fact is, though, that I enjoy reading books. I like to visualize each of the characters and the settings. Perhaps it’s because I’m old enough to have played “pretend like” as a child before watching TV or playing video games commandeered imagination. I also find that when an author's characterizations and descriptions are vivid, the pictures in my head don't match the movie version. 

Yes, I watched TV, but the selections for kids were very limited and I had chores and homework to keep me from being glued to the set. And, I read and read and read. Not great works like LES MISERABLES. Nope, but Nancy Drew and Louisa Mae Alcott launched me into other worlds.

Which do you prefer—movies, books, or both?

I hope you like books and will read my latest, MONK'S BRIDE, Kincaid series book 5, which is available on Amazon with this Universal buy link

My next book, ALEXANDRA'S AWAKENING, Pearson Grove series book 2, is available for preorder and will be released April 26. That Universal link is

Through a crazy twist of fate, Caroline Clemmons was not born on a Texas ranch. To compensate for this illogical error, she writes about handsome cowboys, feisty ranch women, and scheming villains in a tiny office her family calls her pink cave. She and her Hero live in North Central Texas cowboy country where they ride herd on their three rescued indoor cats as well as providing nourishment outdoors for squirrels, birds, and other critters.

The books she creates in her pink cave have made her an Amazon bestselling author and won several awards. She writes sweet to sensual romances about the West, both historical and contemporary as well as time travel and mystery. Her series include the Kincaids, McClintocks, Stone Mountain Texas, Bride Brigade, Texas Time Travel, Texas Caprock Tales, Pearson Grove, and Loving A Rancher as well as numerous single titles and contributions to multi-author sets. When she’s not writing, she loves spending time with her family, reading her friends’ books, lunching with friends, browsing antique malls, checking Facebook, and taking the occasional nap. Find her on her blog, website, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Google+, and Pinterest.

Join her and other readers at Caroline’s Cuties, a Facebook readers group at for special excerpts, exchanging ideas, contests, giveaways, recipes, and talking to like-minded people about books and other fun things.

Click on her Amazon Author Page for a complete list of her books and follow her there.

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To stay up-to-date with her releases and contests, subscribe to Caroline’s newsletter here and receive a FREE novella of HAPPY IS THE BRIDE, a humorous historical wedding disaster that ends happily—but you knew it would, didn’t you?

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

No Excuses, Do It by Joan Reeves #SmartGirlsReadRomance

Oops! I had today's date on my calendar as usual. So why wasn't there a post, by me, published this morning?


I can only say that after being gone most of March and coming home to deal with yet another crisis that I was too tired to even look at my Day Planner in the last couple of days.

Is being exhausted and wanting nothing but sleep a good excuse?

Hmm. Probably not. I know I always feel frustrated when someone fails to follow through on something he/she promised to do.

Is There a Good Excuse

I checked to see if there are any acceptable good excuses—other than I'm in a hospital or I'm dead.

After all, I can't say the dog ate my post, can I?

What I found were wise quotations about excuses. {sigh} Apparently, no one accepts any excuse for failure to follow through.

Derek Jeter said, "When I was younger, I was always taught not to make excuses." (I was taught that too.)

Cam Newton said, "I. Hate. Excuses. Excuses are a disease."

Melvyn Douglas said, "Don't make excuses, and don't talk about it. Do it."

"If you really want to do it, you do it. There are no excuses." ~ Bruce Nauman

"Excuses destroy success every time." ~ Jon Taffer

"Not looking for excuses is the right thing to do. I have made a lot of mistakes, and I still make mistakes, but I am not ashamed to look for the reasons behind those mistakes." ~ Gianluigi Buffon

Emily Weiss said, "You can make a million excuses for why something didn't go well, but ultimately, just fix it and get on with it. Be a solutions person."

Well, none of this excuses me—darn it—so I'll do what Ms. Weiss said and fix it. In fact, that's what I've been doing since I sat down to write. I'll publish this post in a few minutes. It's not the post I planned, but you know what they say about plans and good intentions.

Heroine With Excuses

Madeline Quinn is a trust fund baby who had a walk-in closet full of excuses for her Paris Hilton-style behavior.

A DUI forced her to take a hard look at herself. She quit making excuses and changed her life.

Now she wants to claim her full inheritance but she needs one little thing before she can do that. A husband.

Mad Maddie, as the tabloids christened her, learned the hard way that men only see dollar signs when they look at her.

She decides a marriage of convenience is the only answer. She turns to the one man in the world she can trust, her housekeeper’s son.

He always treated her like a little sister when they were growing up—until one disastrous night when she acted impetuously.

Jake Becker hasn’t seen Maddie since the night she tried to seduce him.

Why should he help the woman who changed the course of his life? Simple. Revenge.

Or is it something else? Something that sizzles like steam heat between Maddie and Jake that neither can resist!?

April Fool Bride is a Kindle Unlimited Free Read if you're a subscriber, or buy it and keep it forever.

Joan ReevesKeeping Romance Alive…One Sexy Book at a Time—is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Contemporary Romance. All of her stories have the underlying premise that it's never too late to live happily ever after.

Joan lives her happily-ever-after with her hero, her husband. They divide their time between a book-cluttered home in Houston and a quiet house at the foot of the Texas Hill Country where they sit on the porch at night, look up at the star-studded sky, and listen to the coyotes howl.

Visit Joan Online and be the first to know about New Books and Giveaways by signing up for her Mailing List/Newsletter.

Amazon Author Page | BookBub Author Page | Facebook Fan Page | Twitter | Joan's Website | YouTube Channel

Sunday, April 14, 2019

How Ranger Stopped Being Ranger Danger by Bea Tifton

I’ve wanted a Maine Coon Cat since I started reading one of my favorite series, The Cat in the Stacks series by Miranda James. The protagonist owns one, and Diesel is an important part of the books. 

A month ago, a woman on my neighborhood app put up a notice that they had a Maine Coon Cat available for free adoption. One almost never sees Maine Coon Cats for adoption, and certainly not FREE.  I thought about that notice for a week. It just kept popping up. 

Finally, three weeks ago, I called her. Yes, the cat was still available. He would be two years old in May, so he’s still a youngster. Her daughter originally brought him home but she was moving to Alaska and didn’t want to take him. The woman hadn’t found someone she felt was right yet. Yes, she was still taking appointments. How about the next day? I couldn’t believe it, but I set it all up.

When I met Ranger, he hissed at me. Despite our not so stellar introduction, I agreed to take him on a trial basis. Maine Coon Cats are supposed to bond with their owners, to love being around people, and to be affectionate, mellow pets. He was just beautiful. I managed to drive home with him protesting loudly all the way, then I put him in my bedroom to separate him from the other pets.
Ranger Danger, poised to attack
The first night was tough. Ranger had been behind my chair all day, but apparently he decided to try to make a break for it during the night. He pounded on the door, almost lifting me out of bed. He sliced through the darkness with an eerie, banshee wail the like of which I’ve never heard.  He alternated between pounding and wailing all night. The next night I put a stool next to the door, no pounding, and the wailing stopped the following evening.

Ranger was not eating. I was pretty worried. I even tried tuna. He would only come out from behind the chair to hiss at me and bare his teeth. Think of a little house cat doing that. Now think of a tiger roaring. Ranger is somewhere in between.  He jumped up once and rang my bell he slapped me so hard, then another time he scratched me on the eyebrow, frighteningly close to my eye. 

When I would try to pet him, he would indulge me once, then swipe at me. None of the telltale ear, eye, or tail movements with which I was familiar precipitated his attacks. When I ignored him or didn’t pet him, he also attacked, weaving in and out of my legs like he wanted to be petted, then, slash. My hands and legs (He was a real ninja when it came to sneak attacks), are covered with scratches. But, I continued to talk to him in a calm, reassuring voice.I sat with him while working on my laptop during the day.  The times I could pet him increased. He started eating.  Two days ago, when I was taking a nap, he jumped up to lie beside me for about ten minutes. Last night, he slept beside me for the entire night. He lets me pet him and he loves to follow me around.  

Tonight, as I’m writing this on my laptop in bed, he’s lying right beside me. As I paused in my typing, he laid his head on my arm and gazed at me adoringly. Then, he closed his eyes and purred himself to sleep. Ranger Danger no more.