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.






Saturday, September 30, 2017

Family Now Complete by Suzanne Rossi

Hi everyone.

For the past year, you all have been listening to me about our adventures in moving and renovation. Happy to say that now both are finished. Oh, we still have a few boxes to unpack, but I figure it's no big deal. If I haven't missed it, I don't need it and have already gone out an bought a replacement if I did. The kitchen is wonderful. So roomy! I can actually cook and not wonder where I can cut up a tomato. The addition is just as I envisioned it would be--plenty of space to eat, enjoy the view of the pool, and sit in a quiet spot to read.

So, now you think I can lean back and relax. Not so!

During this entire process, my husband and I put off something that is near and dear to our hearts. We both grew up with dogs in the house. When we were married, we lost no time in adopting one. She was a sweet little Scottie mix named Peaches who lived to the ripe old age of sixteen. Our next dog was a Shih-Tzu. Pip was gentle and cracked us up when he'd hide under the dining room table to bark whenever someone knocked on the door. Fifteen years later, he crossed the Rainbow Bridge. Next, we were determined to get two dogs who could keep each other company while we were at work. We rescued Liza, a Pitbull mix and Lucky, a lab mix. Life was never dull with those two around. We lost our angel Liza in 2013, and Lucky followed in 2015. Since we were in the process of selling our home in Fort Lauderdale, we decided to wait a while before going through the process again. That wait took longer than we anticipated.

So, yesterday we went to the Humane Society and adopted a bonded pair of homeless dogs. The female is a Bulldog and heaven-only-knows-what mix who weighs in at a hefty sixty pounds. A good diet and plenty of exercise should get her down to fifty pounds by Christmas. The male is a beagle and something mix. Cute as a button. Both are about three years old. They were strays together and formed a close relationship. Since we wanted two dogs again (the experience was great and I can highly recommend thinking about it if you plan to add to your family) and because they were a boxed set, we said sure, why not.

As soon as the paperwork was finished we trekked to PetSmart and spent a small fortune on beds, dishes, and toys. By the time you read this, they will be in their new home with a real back yard and lots of love. Our family is now complete. I'll post pictures next month.

Oh, and for those of you who grew up in the '50s or watch TVLand, the dogs' names are--ready for this?--Fred and Ethel!

Can you tell I'm excited? Thought so. LOL. So, until next month when I can give you an update on everything, have a great October.

Suzanne Rossi

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Where I Get My Story Ideas

The White Lady, (Book 2 the Ladies in Time series), is out on November 11th, and available in pre-order now. The story was inspired by the ghostly white woman lore I'm familiar with from the Shenandoah Valley and surrounding mountains. One such account speaks of a young woman dressed in white observed walking along the riverbank by the children of a valley family. When asked, their father told them she was the spirit of a brokenhearted woman who had died years before, that they would likely see her again, and to leave her alone. They did and kept their distance. As would I, I'm sure. 



After researching these haunting tales, I discovered this lore is widespread in America and the UK and dates back centuries. It's a paranormal 'thing,' or should I say she is? The white woman is described as a sad solitary figure deep in mourning, having been jilted in love, possibly left at the altar, maybe pregnant. Desperate, she generally kills herself or fades from illness and then lingers as a mournful restless ghost. While creepy, she's not usually vindictive. Usually....

In addition to research into ghostly white woman lore, I had one of my waking visions. I was walking around our meadow with the cows when I saw a young couple in my mind. He was fixated on the beautiful portrait of a mysterious lady while the girl endeavored to get his attention. She called him Ignus--a name I've never heard before--and warned him of the inherent dangers she sensed in this ghostly woman. He wouldn't listen. Guys never do. But there was something exceptional about Ignus, and then there's her best friend Stan...
This paranormal time travel romance takes place in a Victorian house in Staunton, Virginia at Christmas with flashes back to the Civil War and the end of WWI.

Story Blurb

Avery Dunham has always been ready to follow her friend, time-traveling wizard, Ignus Burke, on incredible adventures. This time, though, she has serious misgivings. It’s just one week before Christmas, but she cannot get him to change his mind. The usually cool and collected magic-wielding leader is wholly obsessed by the portrait of the White Lady whom he is bent on rescuing.

Almost as soon as they begin their journey, it becomes clear their mission is a trap. Avery was right: this adventure is not going to be like any other.~

Excerpt:

Avery had a few queries on the tip of her tongue, like, “Are you out of your freaking skull?”
If she didn’t ask, Stan probably would. 

They’d graduated from high school this past June and worked part-time ‘nothing’ jobs, taking a break before college while finding their way, as Avery’s mother put it. Mostly, they were drawn to Ignus like moths to a flame, especially Avery. Not that he noticed.

If only he’d look at her the way he did the white lady. More and more, the portrait seemed to dominate his thoughts. How could a petite, okay short, girl in a sparkly pink sweater and unicorn leggings compete with this tantalizing beauty?

Avery wasn’t plain, some even referred to her as cute, but exotic didn’t describe her. Quirky, sure. She wouldn’t term her brown eyes deeply affecting, and her face wouldn’t compel men through centuries to her side. The best she could do was plead with him.

“Ignus, be reasonable. Please.”

No reply. He wore his stubborn look. 

Crossing his arms over a lean chest, he tilted his head to better view the femme fatale on the wall above them. The tousled brown hair covering his ears and forehead needed a trim. In his red Zombie Preparedness hoodie with a white rescue logo, gray dress pants, and white high-topped sneakers, he was the quintessential
nerd. Most importantly, he was a wizard and time traveler with a passion for rescuing lost souls. His fervor for this particular lady was alarming.~

Get The White Lady in kindle at: https://www.amazon.com/White-Lady-Ladies-Time-Book-ebook/dp/B075XBTY1J

****Follow my Amazon Author Page and keep up with my new releases: https://www.amazon.com/Beth-Trissel/e/B002BLLAJ6/

***The Lady in Time stories do not need to be read in order. If you are interested in reading and reviewing this story please contact me: bctrissel@yahoo.com

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

CAUGHT WITH MY PANTS DOWN

By Vonnie Davis

For the past month or so, I noticed some changes in my husband. His legs were filling out, both his calves and thighs. His ankles, not so much. So I thought he was putting on weight. I admit I was pleased because I thought he was too thin.

Then his breathing became raspy. I could hear him breath across the room; almost as if he had asthma. That evening he couldn’t finish a sentence without being out of breath. I told him he was going to the doctor the next day.

I thought he had bronchitis.

A heart attack never entered my mind.

But that’s what he was having. The weight gain I thought he was having in his legs was fluid retention. He was hooked to an IV to flush out the fluid. In four days, he lost twenty-eight pounds.
I spent his first night in the hospital room on the recliner, holding his hand. They planned on putting him through a battery of tests the next afternoon. I went home to grab some decent sleep, shower and change clothes. I talked to the kids before rushing back to the hospital.

He was sitting up in the recliner when I barreled into his room. “Hey, they’ve got you sitting up. That’s a positive sign.”

“Not in my opinion,” he groused. “This IV makes me go to the bathroom every time I blink my eyes. They had the footrest up. I lowered it so I could stand and the damn chair catapulted me onto the floor where I laid until a nurse found me. Now they’ve got a buzzer on this chair and under my mattress to go off whenever I stand up.”

A nurse unhooked the buzzer on the recliner so I could use it after Calvin got back in bed. Later, after the lights were out, he said, “I miss lying next to you. I can’t sleep unless we snuggle. Get in bed with me.”

Well, I’m an extra-fluffy woman and I eyed the bed with skepticism. I slipped off my jeans, folded them over the arm of the recliner, and crawled into bed with my husband. That’s when all hell broke loose. Who knew adding weight to the bed would make the alarm go off? It sounded like ambulance sirens, fog horns, air-raid blasts, and moose in heat. All at once, the door flew open, the lights came on, and six—count ‘em, SIX—women charged in our room only to find two senior citizens snuggled under the covers.

One eagle-eyed nurse spotted my jeans and whispered to the nurse next to her, “Is she in that bed naked and her husband only one day post heart attack?”

I laughed that much harder. I’d been caught with my pants down.

Calvin is home, seeing the Cardiologist twice a week. He’s been diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure, but making progress. I’m learning to cook without salt. I’m determined he’ll get better just like he did after his first heart attack.

Retired English professor Calvin
and Vonnie Davis

Sunday, September 24, 2017

See You in September



by Judy Ann Davis


See you in September. See you when the summer’s through.”

Can you name that song?

Of course, “See You in September,” which was originally sang by the group, The Tempos in 1959. It became much more popular when it was later released in 1966 by the group The Happenings. Since then, it has been released by various other groups like The Pacemakers.

It’s one of my favorite songs since Labor Day and September signal the end of summer and the beginning of autumn. The clever landscape artists will arrive in Pennsylvania in four weeks and will paint our hillsides in colors of gold, scarlet, and tangerine. Autumn brings cooler misty nights, foggy mornings, and warm sunny days.

It’s sweat shirt weather and the sound of crackling leaves and the bubbling laughter of children as they gather at the bus stop. It’s the smell of wood smoke in fireplaces and outdoor fire rings. It’s also the most wonderful time to play a game of golf in moderate, cool temperatures. The downside? Trying to find your golf ball among the early falling leaves.

September also reminds us that we need to finish all those fair weather chores before winter creeps up on us. The mild weather lets us reassess what we hoped to accomplish and determine what we really need to get done.

For me, September is a new beginning and a chance to evaluate the writing projects I want to complete before the holidays come galloping into my life to distract me. I love September in Pennsylvania. 

Enjoy the fall.  And I’ll see you in October—right here on this blog!

                                                                                      ~~*~~    ~~*~~    ~~*~~

I have edited and released a second edition of “Up on the Roof and Other Stories” with a bonus short story included. It’s a collection of nineteen eclectic—humorous and serious—short stories exploring the lives and relationships of the young and old.  You will laugh, you will cry, but you will be able to relate to the dilemmas of the life. 

A grizzled old farmer, Pop, climbs up on his farmhouse roof to meditate, check his chimney and antenna, and ends up talking to God on his portable phone in “Up on the Roof.”

In “Bald Revelations,” Maureen is convinced her husband of twenty years is planning to leave her when he purchases ten new pairs of black socks and starts singing Beach Boy songs


Find Judy Ann Davis at:

Friday, September 22, 2017

HOW TO CONNECT

By Rain Trueax

Finding a way to communicate with readers is an ongoing issue for many writers. In 2013, I discovered videos of authors discussing their work. One particularly memorable one was by Mary Alice Monroe. It was lovely to watch her on the river as she discussed her book. 



Other videos were of writers sitting at their desks discussing inspiration for their latest book. I liked both types but it was the latter that made me think-- hey, I could do that. All it needed was a webcam or cell phone, and willingness to give it a try. In 2013, I made my first.

Creating a blog, [Videos and Discussions], I kept its title loose because it was in my mind that maybe I could find others who would share their videos there and by others, I was thinking not only writers but painters, photographers, potters, sculptors. I've seen videos of painters showing their work coming together and it's exciting to view process. Well, the sharing with others didn't transpire, and then I forgot about doing them for a few years until early this September when I'd been watching RV folks talking of their lives. Hey, I could do that and did my first new one since 2015. 

When we have something we dearly love doing, the topic isn't hard to find. Where I still use my webcam, it'd be easy now to use a cell phone and I might switch to that in the future if I do some outdoors. 

I think of mine, not as a lecture but chatting with a friend. To that end, I do not write out a script or outline. To find what I want to say, I begin by talking into the webcam for about four minutes-- these are not keepers. I usually do a couple while I figure out what works.

Since my desk is in the living room, I want lighting right for the webcam, which is above my monitor. Turning off and on some lights, I aim for stronger lighting on one side of the room. Next, comes getting me ready. I put on makeup, the kind that I only use when heading to town. Neutral colored tops seem to work best for me. When I looked back over the videos I've made, I realized I own a lot of tan tops... If I play music, it has to be very soft, unless it's where I own the digital rights, as some regularly look for copyright infringements on YouTube-- and it can be an infringement if it's recognizable. 

Once I am doing them, the phone will ring or my husband walks into the room when he didn't know what I was doing. Eventually though (third try for the one below), I get one that works. Listening to it, there were a few 'ands and uhs' that I wish hadn't been there but not enough to redo it.  Doing it too many times would make it stale and lead me to be bored and showing it. Last step is sending it off to my YouTube channel. That's where I also have book trailers and nature videos that have come out of trips.

If you have done such videos, I'd love to add yours to Video and Discussion. For me it is part of connecting on a different level, making ourselves real to those who only know us online, and sharing our inspirations.




Wednesday, September 20, 2017

HILDIE McQUEEN'S LATEST RELEASE!

Jaded: Luke
Laurel Creek Series #1
by
Hildie McQueen
Genre: Contemporary Western Romance


Haunted by PTSD and a failed marriage, Luke Hamilton returns home to Laurel, Montana. Going home isn’t an easy fix, but it beats ending up in prison or dead. At first the familiar surroundings and open land seem to set things right, but soon his old demons rear their ugly heads and he realizes it's the wrong time to enter any relationship. 


Leah Morgan’s experience in the corporate world has prepared her to prosper her father’s ranch in Montana. She knows everyone expects her to fail, but nothing will stop her from turning the ranch around and selling it to the highest bidder – especially not a rancher. The quicker she closes the deal, the sooner she can get out of Laurel and move on with her career. 


But when Luke and Leah cross paths, they both discover that starting over can be a complicated business.








Except from Jaded: Luke 

Needing fresh air, Leah went to the front door and stepped out to the wide porch that ran across the entire front of the house. Although some of the white paint on the walls and columns was chipped, it remained steadfastly beautiful. The wide porch with rockers had always made a perfect first impression to the graceful home she’d grown up in.

A truck rambled toward the house and she glanced at her watch. Whoever it was came early. The meeting was not for half an hour.

“Damn it,” she looked down at her worn jeans and bare feet. She’d hurriedly pulled on a t-shirt and jeans to cook and planned to change before the meeting. Too late now.

The truck stopped and a man surfaced. Over six foot of muscles, tattoos with the blank expression of someone who would snap your neck and spit down your throat sauntered toward her.

Eyes wide, she took a step back. This was not one of the Hamilton’s at least not someone she remembered. Of course she’d seen Tobias and Taylor in the last couple weeks. Luke, Tobias’ twin was gone, lived in Texas, or somewhere south last she heard.

“Who are you?” She said having made it just inside the doorway with one hand on the doorknob so she could close it before he reached the porch.

“He stopped in his tracks giving her a chance to study him.

This was not your typical Montana rancher. Instead of a Stetson, he wore a baseball cap. No plaid shirt for this man, instead his form fitting black t-shirt, left no illusions of the muscular body underneath. If it weren’t for the flatness in his eyes and the stoic expression, she’d find him utterly gorgeous.

At the moment, however, she’d describe him as more of a serial killer than a hunk. A hunky serial killer. She moved back and closed the door a bit. “Who are you?”

“Luke. I’m Luke Hamilton. And you’re Pesky Morgan.”

No one had called her that since...well since middle school. Then it was Luke Hamilton who’d started everyone at school calling her that.”

“I hate that nickname. Don’t ever call me that again.” She relaxed and opened the door wider. “What are you doing here? Where’s Tobias, or Taylor. We have a meeting.”

His wide shoulders lifted and lowered and his upper lip lifted in what she could only describe as an Elvis snarl. “Neither want to deal with you. So they sent me.”

“From where?”

“From Hell. I’m the devil.” His right eyebrow rose, the only hint he was kidding.

Leah blew out an annoyed breath. “Well come in, Lucifer. I have to get brownies out of the oven.”





Bestselling author Hildie McQueen loves unusual situations and getting into interesting adventures, which is what her characters do as well. She writes romance because she is in love with love! Author of Romance in Highland historical, Western Historical and contemporary, she writes something every reader can enjoy.



Most days she can be found in her pajamas hiding from deliverymen while drinking tea from her David Gandy coffee mug. In the afternoons she browses the Internet for semi-nude men to post on Facebook.



Hildie's favorite past-times are romance conventions, traveling, shopping and reading.


She resides in beautiful small town Georgia with her super-hero husband Kurt, an unruly boy Chihuahua Pepito and a spoiled rotten girl Chiweenie named Lola.






Monday, September 18, 2017

Huge $.99 Sale - Plus - Pistols and Poplin


Hi, everyone and welcome to another Monday. Since I've retired from the working world, Mondays don't have the same stigma as they did, but I still use them to begin my week. The good part is that I can do it in my Pj's.

This Monday I have the pleasure of promoting two special events I hope you'll be interested in. The first one is by thirty-six top authors who have come together for a phenomenal sale - The books in this set are all priced at $.99 each, from September 18 - September 22, 2017. Follow the link to load up your Kindle!

http://www.newwesternromance.com/99historicalromancesupersale/



                                                                             ****************                                                                 


The second bit of excitement I want to share with you is the release of a Historical Romance Anthology I've been asked to participate in called, Pistols and Poplin. This collection contains five brand new sweet western novellas by Kirsten Osbourne, Amelia C. Adams, Peggy L. Henderson, Margery Scott, and me, Carra Copelin. The price is $2.99 or free for those in Kindle Unlimited.





Mail Order Miller by Kirsten Osbourne 

No one wants to employ Doris Miller, and no man is interested in her. Traveling two-thousand miles across country to marry a stranger may seem strange to some, but it’s the answer to her troubles.
Harvey Butler’s children are the scourge of the town of Salmon, Oregon. When one of the women of the town insists he needs a bride, he’s certain he could never find someone willing to marry him. When he receives a response from Doris Miller, he’s convinced it will be a marriage of convenience, and they will simply coexist. Will Doris be able to change his mind about his future? 

The Risk and the Reward by Amelia C. Adams

Sybil James has worked her way up and is now employed as the ladies' maid for Lady Douglas, a wealthy woman of distinction. When Lady Douglas decides to travel to America to visit her son, she gives the girl a chance to see the world and experience things she could only dream about before.
Grant Douglas is enjoying his life as an American businessman, all the while knowing that he'll eventually return to England to run the family estate. Circumstances force his hand early and he must drop everything to set things to rights--one of those things being the stewardship of a lovely young ladies' maid who finds herself without a home. 
Two very different worlds collide . . . two hearts must decide what it is they most want.

Emmeline: Bride of Arkansas by Carra Copelin


Emmeline Weidner was left at the altar by her intended. Seeking to heal her bruised feminine ego, she moves in with her sister, Laurel. While learning to cope with her new life, she discovers she isn’t content to live the life of a spoiled society woman. Can she let go of her newfound independence when the right man comes along?
Lincoln Bass returns to Flat Rock Point, Arkansas a year after the accident that almost cost his life. His former employer has asked him for help at the lumber mill. He is apprehensive, but feels he owes the man who saved his life. Then he crosses paths with the most delectable, yet bewildering female he’s ever encountered. 

In His Thoughts by Peggy L. Henderson


Assigned to a position in the newly formed Yellowstone National Park, life seems like it couldn't get any better for Ben Ferguson. But patrolling for poachers is fraught with danger, and he soon finds his future looking bleak. Images of a blue-eyed guardian angel are the only thing he has to pull him from the edge of death.

Crazy. Worthless. Demon-possessed. Clara Youngblood has been labeled many things by people who cannot understand the challenges she must confront every day within her own mind. When all seems dark, a glimmer of hope appears in the form of a retired soldier.

Ben and Clara wouldn't have chosen the circumstances that brought them together, but they soon discover their importance in rescuing each other. 

The High Stakes Bride by Margery Scott 

Chloe Taggart has one goal—to leave Rocky Ridge as soon as possible and see the world. She has no intention of ever being under a man’s thumb, and she has no desire to spend her life cooking and cleaning when she could be sailing the Pacific or touring ancient Greek ruins.

Even though Austin Hayward is content with his life on his ranch, it would be perfect if he had a wife to share it with. Unfortunately, there is only one woman he’s interested in marrying—Chloe Taggart. Chloe and Austin have known each other for years, but she’s never looked at him as anything more than a friend.

When Chloe’s father loses his diner to Austin in a poker game, Austin makes her a proposition—her father will get his diner back, and Austin will get Chloe.



Pistols and Poplin - Amazon   





Saturday, September 16, 2017

Meet Big Fluffy by @JoanReeves

I seem to have missed most of September. Like many people in the Hurricane Harvey zone, I feel as if time telescoped from August 25 to mid-September.

For nearly a week, I could not tear myself away from the television footage of flooded homes and high-water rescues.

I have a couple of friends who had to be taken out in boats. Looking at their homes, you'd never suspect there was water up to the second floor.

After that it was taking care of my own hurricane damage which was "normal" not a house full of water, thank goodness.

Hmm. What Else Is September Noted For?

What is September noted for other than hurricanes in the last few years and back to school woes for kids? Well, Susan Sheehey already told you this--which spoiled the 16 Facts About September I had written for my post today. Oh, well. Great minds think alike, right, Susie?

So I'm afflicted with the writer's eternal conundrum, i.e., what can I write today? I decided to write a more personal post than usual and introduce you to the newest member of our extended family.

Readers, Meet Big Fluffy
Big Fluffy & Adina


Actually, that's his pseudonym, or, as my daughter Adina tells me, that would be his rapper name. I like Big Fluffy better than his real name so that's what I call him.

Some of you may know about my daughter Adina. She had 2 back surgeries in 2016 to fix a badly herniated disc. The back pain grew worse after each.

The Pain Management doctor said she need injections in her spine to make the pain go away. Each one of them made the pain worse.

Long story short? This year, we learned she had developed Adhesive Arachnoiditis as a result of the surgeries and pain abatement procedures.

This chronic pain condition has changed her life completely. It's also changed my life and her dad's, and, of course, her husband's too. There's very little that has proved helpful--a diet free of processed foods and yoga and dry needling with physical therapy--and much (just about all the prescription drugs prescribed for her) that has harmed.

Baths make Big Fluffy Unhappy
Constant Pain Makes Life Miserable

I had encouraged her and her husband to get a dog. There are many studies that show having a dog helps people deal with serious pain i.e. cancer and common ailments like high blood pressure and depression. She finally convinced her hubby to get a dog.

In August, Big Fluffy came to live with them. Big Fluffy is a very large--88 pounds--Golden Retriever they adopted. He is a doggy senior citizen who will live out his life in their loving home. He has a few health problems, but that doesn't matter to his new owner.

Having Big Fluffy has helped my daughter tremendously. She has someone to keep her company at all times. She can cry to him, complain, and he just listens and doesn't judge. Most of all, he doesn't do what people do and offer her platitudes, meaningless advice, and comments like, "You don't look like there's anything wrong with you."
Big Fluffy Like Bacon. Please, please, please?

What Big Fluffy Does

He makes Adina laugh. This big goofy dog does big goofy things that are hysterically funny. He follows her everywhere, and makes her laugh (laughter releases endorphins, you know).

She's laughed more in this last month than she has in several months.

Adina showers Big Fluffy with love, and he gives it right back to her. He's funny and sweet and loving, and he's just what she needed at this point in her young life.

Big Fluffy must have been a carboholic in a past life because if bread is baking in the bread machine, you can't pry him away from the kitchen. The same is true of bacon.

When the bacon goes into the frying pan, he suddenly appears in the kitchen, right next to the stove. He does not budge as long as the bacon is frying. His nose twitches a mile a minute while he's absorbing all those aroma molecules.

Big Fluffy Loves St. Augustine Grass
When Big Fluffy smells certain human foods--bacon, bread, fish, meat-- he treats any person in the house to the saddest, most pleading look any dog ever directed at a human.

We know human food isn't good for him so we don't give in to his begging which makes all of us feel like the meanest, most heartless people on the planet.

The thing Big Fluffy really likes is rolling in the sun-warmed grass.

When he does this, and you see the grin on his face, you remember being a small child and rolling around the soft, sweet-smelling grass on a warm summer day.

Thanks, Big Fluffy, for all you do!


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 * Amazon Author Page.