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, May 24, 2018

Rainy Days in May

                                              by Judy Ann Davis

Living in Pennsylvania is always a treat when spring rolls around. This year was exceptional because we had a late spring with endless days of rain. As glossy raindrops drum against my dining room window again, I think of the farmers’ axiom, “Rain in May, a barn full of hay.”

Our flowering crab tree in bloom
In such a busy world, I’m thinking the Almighty sends down the rain to allow us time to slow down and take a breath. Rainy days are for dawdling. This is the time when we can enjoy our second cup of coffee, or we can peruse that tall stack of magazines or paperwork we’ve labeled, to be read.  We can listen to a favorite song, read a good book, and finish an art project or indoor chore that’s been bugging us for months. It’s also a great time to write without the guilt that outside tasks are awaiting us.

I often say I’m glad that humans can’t control the weather, because it reminds me who’s really in charge. It also teaches us to embrace the unpredictable, to be flexible, and to welcome change in our lives. For those who like to plan or follow a daily routine, inclement days remind us that deviations from our conventional days can be enjoyable… and maybe, just maybe, there might be a rainbow as an added bonus.

What do you like to do on a rainy day? 

A GENTLE REMINDER:
"Four White Roses" in digital is on sale for $0.99 only until May 31sr. It's a romance and mystery with a touch of paranormal. "Can a wily old ghost help two fractured hearts find love again?" https://www.amazon.com/Four-White-Roses-Judy-Davis-ebook/dp/B06XPBKY7F/

Amazon: https://www.amzn.com/B06XPBKY7F 
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Judy-Ann-Davis/e/B006GXN502/ 
Twitter: https://twitter.com/JudyAnnDavis4 
Twitter ID:  JudyAnnDavis4 
Blog Link: “A Writer’s Revelations” ~  http://judyanndavis.blogspot.com/ 
Website: http://www.judyanndavis.com/ 
Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4353662.Judy_Ann_Davis 
Yahoo Groups:  wrppromo@yahoogroups.com and ahachat@yahoogroups.com and pennwriters@yahoogroups.com 
ITunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/four-white-roses/id1222189126/ 
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/four-white-roses-1
 


  

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

6 Ways to Celebrate the Approach of Summer


I’m always so excited when the weather gets warmer and summer arrives. Here’s 6 ways to get ready for summer:



1.  Check out your local farmer’s market for the best and freshest seasonal produce. Go one step further and add a salad to your meals several times a week.

2.  Too hot to cook? Consider a summer picnic including olives, fruits, nuts, cheeses fruit  and hard-boiled eggs.

3.  Get grilling! Everything tastes better, including chicken, hamburgers, hot dogs and vegetables.

4.  Go for a walk every day and enjoy the outdoors.

5.  Turn off the TV. Instead, bike, hike and check out new trails in your area. Pack a healthy lunch and plan to spend the day exploring.

6.  Bring your favorite paperback or ebook to your local park and enjoy a restful afternoon.

How do you plan to celebrate summer? Please leave your comments below.


If you love house flipping and home decorating, my newest sweet romance, 1-800-CUPID, is for you!



A house flipper looking for quick profit. A survivor with a dream. Can two broken hearts find a place to call home?

When a Miami investor calls in search of prime property flip prospects, North Carolina real estate broker Candee Contando expects to meet a balding, steely-eyed land shark. Turns out the first customer she’s had in months is a hot prospect in more ways than one.

Except his gaze has fallen on her dream house, a dilapidated Victorian she just bid her last penny on in hopes of creating a safe place for disadvantaged children—like the girl she used to be.

Teddy Winchester is adept at negotiating life’s curves, but Candee’s curves stop him in his tracks. She’s a warm spark in the emptiness he’s felt since his brother died, leaving him with a beloved nephew to raise.

Attraction glows in Candee’s eyes as well, but there’s also wistfulness as she points out all the reasons an old, tumbledown Victorian doesn’t fit into his tried-and-true house-flipping plan. Yet the more he looks at the house—and at her—he begins to think some things are worth the risk.


Now if only he can convince her that building a new life often starts with tearing down some walls…

When the heart flips, there’s no telling where the walls will fall.
Pick up your copy of 1-800-CUPID today!

  Josie Riviera is a USA TODAY Bestselling Author of contemporary, inspirational, and historical sweet romances that read like Hallmark movies. She lives in the Charlotte, NC, area with her wonderfully supportive husband. They share their home with an adorable Shih Tzu who constantly needs grooming and live in an old house forever needing renovations. Follow her on bookbub.


Sunday, May 20, 2018

Competing For A Cowboy -- Sibling Rivalry


by 
Laurean Brooks

Hello out there, fans of Smart Girls Read Romance blog. I've given considerable thought to what to post this month and finally settled on a topic.  Because it's May, and my favorite TV cowboy will celebrate his birthday on May 30th,  I decided to devote this blog post to him.

Since heart-throb Clint Walker, better known as Cheyenne, arrived on the screen in 1963, my heart has never been quite the same. My sister Jewell and I fought over this handsome, lanky, and muscular cowboy. Every fall, Jewell and I watched for the premieres of new TV Westerns. We would watch the first shows then decide who got to claim which cowboy. We divvied them up equally. This method worked out well with Bonanza, The Virginian, and the other Westerns.

Until . . .Cheyenne Bodie trotted in on a stallion, flashing his crooked grin right at me (Jewell insists he was grinning at her). Alas, our carefully made-up rules flew out the window. One look at this cowboy brought out the competitive spirit in two normally agreeable sisters. Neither of us gave in. When I yelled, “He's mine, I saw him first!” she would yell back, “No, I saw him first!” (Not.)


After weeks of debate that did nothing to settle the matter, we knew the only option was to share Cheyenne. At night, after everyone was in bed, we lay awake in our twin beds and took turns imagining scenarios then relating them, about life in the mid-1800s and our respective courtship with Cheyenne Bodie. Usually, we incorporated silly scenes that sent us both into hysterics.





The trouble was, Mama was a light sleeper. If her bedroom had been anywhere but across the hall, our giggles wouldn't have awakened her. But, with our luck, that's exactly what happened.

She'd yell from her bed, “If you girls don't quieten down and go to sleep, I'm coming in there. And you are NOT going to like it!”

I hate to admit this, but a couple of times she did march across the hall. When she stood over us, between our beds,  pointing her finger at us, we pretended to be fast asleep. It saved us, but my heart beat so loud I was sure she heard it. After, “Okay, this is your last warning!” she swept out of our room and back to hers. Out of sheer terror, we shut our mouths and willed ourselves to fall asleep.

Clint Walker will turn ninety this month. I can't believe how fast the time has flown. I still have the glossy picture of him (from his fan club) in a billfold I carried through junior high. It's even autographed, “Best Wishes.” And for what it's worth, Jewell does NOT have his picture.




Eat your heart out, Sis.

I hope you enjoyed this post. If you did, please leave a comment and tell us who your favorite heart-throb was. Some of us were born decades later, so we will have varying ideas on which guys made the list. Still, 'm sure our blog readers would love to compare our crushes with theirs.

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

If you enjoy a romance with multi-faceted characters who get themselves into  humorous situations, along with an intriguing plot, BENEATH A MACON MOON is the story for you. 


Click on link below.

https://www.amazon.com/Beneath-Macon-Moon-Laurean-Brooks-ebook/dp/B00UZXUL88/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top?ie=UTF8

Beneath A Macon Moon by [Brooks, Laurean]
When Jaela Andrews learns distressing news, she packs her bags and heads to Macon. But if she thinks she will find solitude and a quiet place to rethink her life in the Victorian home, she is wrong. 

Enter Eric Larsen, the Handyman, who is renovating Jaela's refuge. Sparks fly over the noisy tools. And who could guess the hilarious situations they fall into? You will laugh, you will cry.

Can a rich girl fall find common ground with a simple carpenter? The chemistry and attraction are strong, but is their mutual love enough to make it work?


Friday, May 18, 2018

See What's New!


Happy Spring!
I wanted to share with you something I've recently acquired for my writing. A portable, adjustable aluminum laptop desk/stand/table. I like to move around to different areas of the house when I write, sort of to keep things interesting, I guess. This portable desk helps me do just that. Oh, and I love my pink/purple laptop, too. We call her Pinky.


Here's a blurb and cover for the current book I'm writing a new Western Historical Romance called ADA AND THE TEXAS CAVALRYMAN, Brides of the Texas Code Series, Book 5 and will release mid-July in a ten author anthology, Under a Mulberry Moon.. It is set in 1900, in Brady City, Texas, in the Hill Country a few months before the 1900 Hurricane hit Galveston.

Blurb:

Donal 'Mac' McTiernan is on what he hopes to be his last mission for the U.S. Army. He's tracked the deserters to Brady City, Texas where he decides to operate under cover until he's ready to make his move and arrest the two men. Mac had planned to go home to Dallas and live out his life. He hadn't planned on encountering the green-eyed, red-headed woman who would completely turn his life upside down.

Ada Weathered has only two weeks to pay the mortgage on her land left to her by her father. She is working at the school and cafe to earn the money but won't make enough by the deadline. Will the handsome stranger, fresh off the trail, be the answer to her prayers?


See you next month!
Carra
Find me:
Join my FB Reader's Group: Carra Copelin's Corner
Follow me on Amazon

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Happy Anniversary to Me and my Hubby! by Paty Jager

Today is my-our anniversary. My hubby and I tied the knot on this day, a Saturday, 39 years ago.  It's hard to believe we've been together that long! It seems like yesterday when we met at an Under 21 Club.

I was 19 at the time and a friend, younger than me, insisted I had to go with her to the club. We went and I had pimply faced 15 and 16 year-olds asking me to dance. I was 19 had a year of college under my belt, and scanned everyone who came through the door.

There he was! A tall, broad-shoulder young man who shaved and had curly hair walked in the door. I have never been one to walk up to anyone and start a conversation, but that night, I did. I asked him to dance. We did and he followed me back to the table where my friend and I were sitting. He said, he was supposed to come with friends and they all bailed on him at the last minute. We talked and discovered we a quite a bit in common. Though I didn't like his name. He said he was Albert and it didn't fit. I asked what his middle name was and he said Albert. His first name was Gerrit. I said I liked that better and that's what I have called him ever since and he has started going by his first name.

Backstory here: His parents came to the U.S. from The Netherlands in the 50's. They lived in a Dutch community until moving to Oregon. My hubby grew up speaking only Dutch until he was enrolled in school, at which time the teachers put on his report card for 2 years, please speak English at home.

Back to the name- when his mother enrolled him in school and when she said "Gerrit" they thought it sounded like carrot. He didn't want to be called carrot so they used his middle name Albert which sounded close to the same. And we now know if someone calls and asks for Albert they are someone who went to school with him because after he met me he goes by his first name.

I became side-tracked again! Anyway, he offered to take me home. We walked out to the parking lot and he
Cruise on our 30th Anniversary
had a flat black 1957 International. We had to both get in the passenger door because the driver's side didn't unlock from the outside. There was blue angel hair hanging from the roof and the outside was covered in cow manure. He worked at a feed lot when he wasn't driving a semi.

We went back to the duplex I shared with a friend. She wasn't home and he came in to "talk" some more. He became handsy and I told him to leave.  He left.  I didn't have a phone number and didn't know how to contact him. I figured after throwing him out, I'd never see him. Three nights later there was a knock on the door. It was Gerrit. He asked if I wanted to go to a movie. He told me if I hadn't of been a good girl, which he considered wife material, he wouldn't have come back. He'd liked a lot about me, but wouldn't have wanted someone loose for a wife.

It wasn't long before we were talking long term commitment. But his mother told him he couldn't marry until he was 21. He turned that in April and we married in May. He is a momma's boy!

Three children and now 10 grandchildren we are pretty happy with our union and having fun as we play in the alfalfa and take short trips to places we've always wanted to see.


Because it's my anniversary- I feel like giving something away!  How about one of my books? Comment about how you met your significant other, or a date gone right and your name will go in the drawing for your pick of my books.

Don't forget the Wild Deadwood Tales Anthology is now available and all proceeds go to the Western Sports Foundation.


WILD DEADWOOD TALES Anthology
Rodeos and romance, Old West adventure, and even a few ghostly tales. Deadwood's wild past and exciting present come alive in seventeen original short stories written by USA Today and Amazon bestselling authors to benefit the Western Sports Foundation. Contributing authors: E.E. Elisabeth BurkeZoe BlakePaty Norman JagerTeresa KeeferMegan KellySylvia McDanielAmanda McIntyrePeggy McKenzieAngi MorganNancy NaigleJacqui NelsonTerri OsburnGinger RingMaggie RyanLizbeth SelvigTina Susedik and A.C. Wilson
Proceeds from this limited edition collection go to benefit the Western Sports Foundation, an organization providing critical assistance to athletes competing in Western lifestyle sports. Whether they need help recuperating from an injury or planning for the future, WSF is there for them.
Here are the links to the book:


Paty Jager is an award-winning author of 32 novels, 6 novellas, and numerous anthologies of murder mystery and western romance. All her work has Western or Native American elements in them along with hints of humor and engaging characters.This is what readers have to say about the Silver Dollar Saloon series: “Paty Jager brings her characters to life, right off the pages of her book. You will laugh, cry, be sad and get angry right along with the characters.

You can find me at these places. Paty's Posse is my western romance newsletter. 

blog / websiteFacebook / Paty's Posse / Goodreads / Twitter / Pinterest / Bookbub

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Royal Wedding Fever by Susan Sheehey

I'm enamored by everything royal. With the upcoming royal wedding between HRH Prince Harry & Meghan Markle, I'm on cloud nine.
Even more so with the recent birth of Prince William & Princess Catherine's third child, Louie.
The world could use more of that beauty and wonder.
I once read an article somewhere that the second Princess Catherine stepped out in her wedding gown, designers had it copied in less than thirty minutes. Ready for sale online, to fill dress shops the world over.
Wow, to have that kind of influence.


Her fashion style and sense is something I admire. Much like Princess Diana's.

I wrote a royal romance series several years ago, the Royals of Solana, and just finished my own Royal Wedding novella from that series. It releases Monday. Sorry, shameless plug. But I love royals that much.

All the royal television shows and movies are my crutches. Game of Thrones, Reign, and The Crown are just a few of my favorites. Grace of Monaco starring Nicole Kidman has been all over Netflix recently, and everything in that film is so beautiful.

A massive influx of royal related romances and fiction has surged onto the market recently, as well. Care to share any of your favorites?

How about your go-to binge-worthy shows and movies? What enamors you?


Susan Sheehey writes contemporary romance and romantic suspense. Visit her at www.SusanSheehey.com and follow her on Facebook, Twitter, BookBub, and Amazon.






Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Voice - The Everlasting Search


When you walk into a museum or a gallery and see a painting, sometimes you can just 'tell' who painted it.



Blurred strokes, waterlilies, dreamy colors...
Monet, right?
(We have this painting here in Honolulu)



Stars, watered-down images, directional brush strokes... Van Gogh? You got it!


But, that's not 'just' it. Artists go through their periods, they have their subjects and their 'signature' pieces, but one kind of image is not always all have to say or communicate to their audiences.

Sometimes it takes years for them to discover their styles and what subjects that become their well known work. Some never live to know what the public react to, but I can imagine that they were always searching for new ways to bring their creative vision out in their work.

How to convey the emotions they were feeling.
How to breathe life into a medium that by nature is flat and two dimensional.

To create a personal style and voice that you can see when the 'usual subject matter' is replaced.


Top: Monet 
Bottom: Van Gogh (it's one that we have here in the Honolulu Art Museum)

More beautiful works to appreciate!

Now, I'm not trying to say that I'm a master of writing like these two painters are at their craft, but I believe that an author's voice is created in a similar way. Years of writing, writing, and yes, more writing. And while you're writing you start to realize things that 'feel like you' and then readers comment on things that they can count on in your writing/stories/etc.

And through all of that practice and feedback, you build a confidence in certain aspects of what you do/use to communicate your messages to your audience. And hopefully that style of communication appeals to a wide audience of readers. 

I hope that my voice does develop throughout the years and while the elements that go into different sub-genres are different, I hope that there will always be one element that doesn't change... that's me. 

- Part of the reason I wrote this post is that I picked up a year pass to the Honolulu Art Museum and the Waterlilies Painting above and the Haystacks Painting sit side by side in the Impressionists gallery of the museum. There's a lovely couch facing them and I like to go in that room and write on my phone. I have spent many an hour absorbing their beauty.




Sunday, May 6, 2018

Manuscripts and Mascara

Manuscripts and Mascara 
by 

We all know by now I am raising my four nephews and my son... all teenagers now... all under 18. I once heard an author... I believe the great Sherrilyn Kenyon reference to owning a rake since she has boys. I now know what it's like.


OMG the things they shove under their beds.  But I tell ya, there's never a dull moment around here. The 25% rule is still going on for the one kid.
Slight backstory- my 13 and 14 year old boys earned $15 each one day helping out people in the neighborhood. The first night the 14 year old wanted to immediately go up to the convenient store.. probably to buy chips and a soda. I told him we had everything the store has and it wouldn't cost him a thing....I tried to explain that shopping at a convenient store isn't a wise investment of his money since the price of everything is like 4X as much. I told them if they can hang on to it until the field trip that I would double it. Excited, the boys  realized they could earn more money by not bringing their group of friends along, realizing they only had to split their money 2-ways rather than 5-ways.
Last Monday my 14-year-old remembers he had more money he wanted to put in his bag.. but took the bags into the other room...and then brought it back. He asked of he and his brother could go to their friend;s house who lives way on the other side of the neighborhood.

After the 14-year-old gives me the elaborate story.. he then says... the kids were outside now and that they were going to walk around and make money doing chores. 

If it doesn't sound right..
It probably isn't. And yes.. I did drive up to the convenient store in my pj's and stand behind him in line and ask him where he's supposed to be. Again.. if that's what he wanted to spend his hard earned money on...sure.. but it was the lie that got me.



So last month I was all in my feelings.... thanks for the support! I wasn't the only one who felt the pain and backlash of folks looking at the covers of our books and passing them by without a second glance just because the color of the models' skin doesn't match theirs, same thing as editors passing up our books when submitted. Like.. so what If write about beauty queens... One of the predominately white events... It's like folks pass my books like...







I'm still in that mixed feeling about writing. Aside from my planner-scheduled writing I cleaned out my makeup drawer...I didn't need a rake like I did with the under the boys' beds but it has been something I've been
meaning to do for a while. Do y'all have one? I have a collections of mascaras that I cannot get rid of. It seems like I am in search of the perfect lash..Stiletto, volume, thick, illegal lengths...I've tried false lashes.. eh.. I'm not so graceful... Either way, they're all water-proof because I am one of those folks who cries when happy or sad or excited for other people. You could really hire me as a professional crier.

But anyway... I also I broke out a spreadsheet of manuscripts I have completed, sorted them by completed, completed with proposal, query, pitch... then if not complete, do I have the proposal and first three chapters. Some are standalone, a few category, some action adventure.. but at the end of the .. well, book... There is a HEA. I went a step further to make a check sheet of which publishers/editors who said they are interested in diversifying their house.





I used this spreadsheet and got serious with crafting pitches. By afternoon I started hitting send on like a 1/2 dozen manuscript pitches. If you followed #DVpit mmm like 2 weeks ago, I totally felt like I killed it with a few of my manuscripts that I pitched. 

I got a bunch of 💓's on my pitch. I'm feeling all



THEN! In the MIDDLE of getting all these likes that have me feeling all confident and what not!


I get my rejection from Presents proposal 💔
I get my rejection from Presents proposal 💔
I get my rejection from Presents proposal 💔



I got  a rejection on my  Presents proposal 💔
I got  a rejection on my  Presents proposal 💔
I got  a rejection on my  Presents proposal 💔

I got rejected for Presents proposal 💔
I got rejected for Presents proposal 💔
I got rejected for Presents proposal 💔

I followed the guidelines. He was a prince, uber rich, she was high glitz with a dash of moxy




Technically it was a revise/resubmit to a DIFFERENT line... this other line has no sex and along with my proposal I submitted the first 3 chapters and it ended on a sex scene. 👀😕

Back to the #DVpit...A lot of my 💓s on pitches were from editors from the same house as my editor.. AND my editor even 💓-ed my pitches. I'm so confused.

So alas, the search for the perfect mascara and a home for my manuscripts goes on. like my kiddo with the 25% .. I am going to stop doing 25% of work when it comes to publishing.... I'm going to make sure that the novels that didn't have the ✔ next to them are 100% ready to go (

In the meantime... I have a book coming out just in time for summer weddings.
Follow my Once Upon a Tiara Series with, Tempting the Beauty Queen starring Ramon Torres and Kenzie Swayne.... excuse me... Dr. Kenzie Swayne. She's more than just a beauty queen.





Well, according to my planner, my time is up with blogging Happy Day after Cinco de Mayo

xoxo 

Friday, May 4, 2018

The Perfect Hero #western #romance @JacquieRogers


The Perfect Hero 
Much Ado About Mail-Order Brides
And Other Nonsensical Musings
by Jacquie Rogers

Usually it takes me a day or two to decide what to write in my SGRR article, but I have so much going on right now that I'll just shove it all in here.  I'm like that.

First of all, I have a new release scheduled for May 11th.  This is the sixth book in the Hearts of Owyhee series, Much Ado About Mail-Order Brides (may not be live yet--just wait an hour or so), available for preorder on Amazon.  Here's the cover:


Bram McKinnon has been in two other Hearts of Owyhee books, Much Ado About Miners and Much Ado about Mustangs.  If you've read the series, you know that he's perfect.  Yes, perfect.  But now it's his turn to be the hero, so this book is his.

Only thing is, he's perfect.  The first "rule" a writer learns when embarking on the journey of writing genre fiction is that your characters, especially your hero, must have flaws.  But Bram's perfect, I tell you.  So it took quite a while to figure out what kind of story would work.  Finally, it came to me.

Poor perfect Bram will be plopped into a situation where there's no "right" way out.  None.  Here's the blurb.

Three mail-order brides, but his heart belongs to another. What’s a man to do?

A man with a plan
Blacksmith Bram McKinnon always has a plan.  Now that he’s turning 30, it’s time to marry, so to check that off his list, he orders a bride.  Unbeknownst to him, his mother and sister also order brides for him and all three show up!  Now his perfect plan goes up in smoke, and what’s worse, the cute waitress at the new café sets his heart aflutter.  She’s the one he wants, but with three brides already in line to share his bed, how can he convince himself to listen to his head and not his heart?

A woman with a past
Café owner Mellie Emerson long ago escaped the traps of young love and has established a comfortable living for herself and her two boys. The last thing she needs is Bram turning her inside out and waking up a passion she doesn’t want to feel. But every time he comes into her café, her heart betrays her good sense. When a man from her past shows up who knows her deepest darkest secret, she fears he’ll ruin all she has worked to hide. Can Mellie trust Bram enough to protect her from the past and not break her heart in the future?

Join Bram in his quest to find the perfect wife in the sixth book of the Hearts of Owyhee series!

This book is long overdue and has pushed back my publishing schedule for my next Honey Beaulieu book, so what did I do?  Threw in with some of my favorite authors to write an extra book that wasn't on my schedule.  To be fair, I never claimed to have good sense.

This next week, I have to write a thousand-word excerpt for the anthology that I'm in with a few other SGRR authors (more about that later), go to an RV show (yes, we want one), pack (the theory is that we'll be moving in September, but I have other plans), and come up with a plot for Honey Beaulieu's fourth book--and on top of all that, create two workshops for my visit to Idaho May 12 to 21.

Meantime, you can preorder Much Ado About Mail-Order Brides, or on May 11th, read it for free on Kindle Unlimited. 



Click here to sign up for Jacquie's newsletter
Pickle Barrel Gazette

If you're on Snapchat, friend me!  My handle is jacquierogers.  You can get videos of Sassy's latest updates there.  And goofy pictures of her scribe.

Keep up with Jacquie Rogers' latest news at the

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

HAVING A SUPPORT NETWORK


How wide is your support network? No matter your profession, each of us needs encouragement in his or her life. Even the strongest of us can use others cheering us onward in our life’s journey.

How wide is your support network?

Most authors are in a solitary profession. A few writers I know write on their laptop at a coffee house or in front of the television with family coming and going. The majority seclude themselves in an office (or dining room or bedroom—wherever they write) for hours and hours of solitude. I’m the latter and write in a tiny, tiny office we call my “pink cave”. Spending so much time alone makes having encouragement all the more important.

This would be me if the
background was pink and
the cat was black and white

My most faithful cheerleaders are my family. Hero has been supportive through all sorts of my crazy schemes, but especially my writing. Among many other things, he formats and publishes my books. Both our daughters assist me in various ways as well. We're our own small publishing conglomerate. More importantly, my family members give me confidence to continue. Hero also does the cooking and cleaning so I can spend more time writing—something I appreciate every day!

Fans are a great source of cheer. A good review or an email saying a reader enjoyed my book is a huge boost to my morale. Even a poor review can be helpful if the criticism is constructive. Several fans repeatedly send emails or messages to let me know they want me to continue writing and many leave good reviews. Thank you!

Laughing with friends--who knew
it was like medicine for body and soul?

Friends—both online and face-to-face—are so valuable. For instance, my book club is made up of women I consider the cream of the crop. We’ve forgotten how long we’ve been together, but at least fifteen years. We started with twelve members but attrition has us down to six regular members now and one who comes when she can. We meet at a restaurant for a late lunch. These women make me laugh each time we meet. You probably know that the endorphins released when we meet with friends and laugh elevates our mood for up to three days.

Book Divas book club--Mina Bruner, La Dana Morris,
Karen Roades, Linda Box, me, Edwina Steele, and
minus one important member, Karren Lucas
Occasionally I’m able to lunch with one or several author friends. We laugh and commiserate and get those endorphins flowing. Who better understands the problems of being an author like another author?  

Carra Copelin (blog member), Bea Tifton,
me, and Jacquie Rogers (blog member)
sharing lunch while tired Sassy rests on table. If

Jacquie and I look tired, we are. During her visit
neither of us had much sleep. 
Whatever your life entails, I hope you have a strong support network. If not, I urge you to establish one, either online or face-to-face. There are so many opportunities--church, civic groups, book clubs, charities, and more. You’ll enable yourself to accomplish more and you’ll enrich your life.

My business life right now is writing a time travel romance trilogy in which a woman from the past comes forward to now. The first, TEXAS LIGHTNING, http://amzn.to/2H2N1rF,  was released March 17 and has a heroine who comes from 1896. TEXAS RAINBOW, http://amzn.to/2JOppZE,  was released April 18 and that heroine comes from 1921. TEXAS STORM will be released on May 25 and has a heroine from 1943. These time travels have been a lot of fun to write but they've meant a lot of research for each. The last one is kicking me in the patootie, but I think I like it best of the three. Then it’s back to traditional romances and a full schedule for the rest of the year. To keep up with releases, contests, and giveaways, sign up for my newsletter here.