Monday, September 29, 2014

Please Join the Release Week Festivities

Please join us September 29-October 3, 2014, as we celebrate the release of Sweet Christmas Kisses.

Every day there will a fun question and answer session at Sweet Romance Reads website. All fourteen authors are participating. We've already submitted our answers to each daily question. But each of us was limited to a few words for each answer. Do you know how hard that is? It will be fun to see the resulting compilation. Click here to go to Sweet Romance Reads website. As always, please join in if you have a comment.




There's also a big party on Facebook September 30, which is the actual release day of the 14-story boxed set.

We all know your time is important, and we appreciate you spending some of it with us. The party will be fast-paced and fun, with lots of opportunity to join in. There will also be prizes galore.

Besides the authors of this set, we have lots of special guests, too. It's likely that one or more of your favorite sweet romance authors is participating. Click here to be magically transported to the facebook event page.  UPDATE: THE PARTY WAS FANTASTIC! HUGE CROWD, LOTS OF FUN GAMES AND INTERACTION. I'M SORRY IF YOU MISSED IT.

I hope to see you at one or both of those places. I won't be here this week. Busy, busy, busy.  :)

Magdalena

Thursday, September 25, 2014

The Man in the Brown Suit and the Novelist in the Boxed Set

It's dangerous to even open Amazon on my laptop, because I start looking at things like sales rank. I can spend a lot of time not writing the next book by looking to see how past books are performing. Shame on me.

This morning, though, it wasn't my fault. A fellow author emailed to let me know that I was ranked in the top 100 of Kindle Romantic Mystery authors. Here is a link to the page, but I don't know who will be ranked where when you click on it. The list changes every hour, and as I'm writing, my rank is 64.

Small Town Charm, Love and Mystery is selling great. I've said before how much fun it is to have mystery novels and romance in the same collection. Results seem to show it's a good idea for sales too. We only have a couple of reviews so far, but they're five star. So very exciting all around.

I hope Agatha Christie will always be above me in mystery sales (paperback + ebook). Did you know she also wrote romance? As a teenager, I read The Man in the Brown Suit and discovered a new-to-me genre: romantic mystery! *Sigh*

This paperback survived our downsize. About 40 boxes of books went to the friends of the library, and I kept about 40. Not 40 boxes. I kept about 40 books, so you can see how much I treasure this one.

Have a wonderful day, and here's hoping you'll have some happy surprises along the way. I sure have!

Magdalena

P.S. My new Christmas story, and the series it kicks off has romance, a modicum of mystery, and a pinch of paranormal. Just FYI.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Do Women Write Better than Men?

The Grammarly people provided me with this lovely infographic which represents the results of a 3,000-person study.

I'm posting it here because I know all my women readers/writers will enjoy it. 

So, tell me, do the findings of this study surprise you?



 

Friday, September 19, 2014

Happy Friday, and Something New

I took an online class in August about writing and sending good newsletters. Years ago I sent an occasional one, then real life took complete precedence.

Now that I'm back to writing, and things are happening rather quickly, I'm taking the plunge. I'd love for you to plunge with me.

Here are my promises to you.


  • I won't bombard you; newsletters will be emailed once a month, and sometimes less often. 
  • I will never give or sell your information to anyone or anything.
  • Each newsletter will have something special for you. Something that no one will have access to unless they are also a newsletter subscriber. This will vary each month, and I won't advertise what the special thing is, because it is only for newsletter subscribers. 
  • Each newsletter will be concise, because I know your time is valuable.
  • You can unsubscribe at any time.

Sound fair? Interested?

Thank you for considering it--and Happy Friday!

Magdalena


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Meet Jennifer Anderson and read about ICE PRINCESS

Welcome to Honey Creek, Ohio!

Take a walk around town, where there is only one stoplight, one gas station, one grocery story, many churches and one lake. But, oh man, what a lake.

Honey Creek Lake is where a lot of the magic and drama happens in the sweet, little town. Maybe take a dip in our man-made waters. Walk along the edge and watch the boaters zip by sending waves a water to lap the shores. Have a lazy day, cast out a line and wait for the fish to bite. Or maybe, grab the hand of your loved one and step inside our new gazebo. Slip under our famous Weeping Willow and steel a kiss from your sweetie. Every corner of our lake holds a story. When you’re there, create your own.

Head five miles back into town from the lake, stop by our White Cottage Restaurant, and have a slice of strawberry pie, although I’m partial to the lemon meringue. The pie display case and red-topped tables only add to the incredible yummies filling every plate. Catch 22 Pizza sets off the perfect Italian mood with soft lighting and scents of garlic, warm bread and spicy sauce. Grab a slice or an entire pizza pie. Is doesn’t matter because after one bite, you’ll be back for more.

If you’re only here for a short while, maybe plan a trip back during our summer months. We host a Strawberry Festival with music and booths full of berry fare. July plays host to a Fourth of July celebration with a parade and fireworks at the lake. Rent a cabin and stay awhile. You’re sure to find whatever you’re looking for in our charming town and rural county.

Honey Creek sets the stage for a sweet Young Adult novella, Ice Princess. In it, Mya wants to shake things up in her small town. But once she’s given what she wants, will she change her mind and crave for normalcy.

Here’s an excerpt from Ice Princess, Honey Creek Royalty Book 1:
“Okay. Stop me if you’ve heard this one. A farmer and a pig….”

“Stop,” I yelled without looking up.
“I already told you that one?”
“No, but any joke starting with a farmer and pig can’t be good.” I rolled over on the large towel we’d spread across the sand. It was the last day of summer vacation, and Michael and I agreed to spend the day together doing nothing but enjoying the sun. Living in Ohio, we weren’t sure how many more days we had left. Soon the leaves would fall showing off snow-covered cornfields.
“Can you toss me a Dr. Pepper?”
“Sure.” Without looking, I reached into the small red Igloo cooler we brought and produced a cold dripping can. I knew it was for him since I preferred bottled water to soda. Not Michael. The kid lived on caffeine and sugar. Which made the lack of fat on his body hard to explain. Not that I’d ever noticed. Michael Graves was my best friend. And nothing more.
“So, you ready for tomorrow?”
“Sure, I guess,” I answered. “How’s it any different than the last three years at Fayette County High? Really, we’ve known the same people and gone to school with them for the past twelve years. We all know who we’re gonna eat lunch with or who we’re gonna sit with at opening assembly. Boring.” I wasn’t a pessimist or a Debbie Downer, but Honey Creek needed some excitement and I didn’t think our senior year would prove to be any different unless something unusual happened.
“Ok. So why don’t we spice it up a bit.”
“Like what?”
“Let’s start a nasty rumor or sit at a different table at lunch.”
“Ooh, Michael, you’re so scandalous! Have I been rubbing off on you?”
“Hardly. I think the most daring thing you’ve ever done was streak across my yard when we were five because you’d heard wearing your bathing suit gave you tan lines. Even though you had no idea what tan lines were, I might add,” he said with a smirk. The afternoon sun danced across his blonde moppy hair, intensifying his golden highlights. He sat next to me in a short beach chair staring out at the water. Everyone we knew was out enjoying the last weekend of August. All of the rental cottages were empty from the few Honey Creek vacationers that came to visit the lake. It was a manmade watering hole, but that didn’t take away from the fun had there. Boats skidded across the water pulling skiers or tubers in their wake. The sand was dressed with towels and blankets full of half-clothed bodies soaking up the sun like Michael and me.
“So word around town is there’s a new kid coming to school.”

4 Star LASR Review: Great Read!
It is a wonderfully emotional short story with just the right balance of sweetness and sadness. I recommend it to anyone who relishes a charming story of love and friendship.”

"The emotional scenes in the hospital and day of funeral are great - I know I cried when I reviewed initially, and I cried again in both read throughs this week - I'm such a sap :-)" -Wendy on GoodReads

Blurb:
Mya Newman never minded the routine or quiet that came with living in Honey Creek, Ohio. For her senior year, she craves something exciting to happen instead of it melting into a cookie cutter routine like the previous years.

When a new girl, Audrey Moore, moves to town, Mya finds herself caught in a triangle. She discovers hidden feelings for her best friend, Michael Graves, but he seems to have eyes for the new girl.

After Mya's father becomes ill and eventually passes, she turns to her best friend, Michael. He never leaves her side, but she wonders if he'd rather be elsewhere. With fear of rejection and loss of friendship, Mya decides she can't confess her recently discovered feelings.

When Michael and Mya share a dance at the Winter Formal, does she open her heart to him? Or does she shy away, forever longing to be the princess who finds her prince?


Thank you for having me *wink wink*. Small Town Charm, Love & Mystery is available wherever e-books are sold.


About Jennifer Anderson:
I'm a Mommy, wife and now author. Even though I've spent many years on either coast, I've spent a majority of my life in the Midwest. Here is where my heart grows with the love and support of my family and friends and here is where I find inspiration for my stories.
I'm also excited to announce Spider, my first non-series YA novel will also release in 2013. My Brother's Wedding, a contemporary romance, releases in e-book only in August 2013. Stay tuned for more news.

My complete list of releases:
Ice Princess, Honey Creek Royalty Book 1
Prince Charming, Honey Creek Royalty Book 2
Queen Mean, Honey Creek Royalty Book 3
King of the Lake, Honey Creek Royalty Book 4
Spider, May 2013
My Brother's Wedding, August 2013
Print edition of Books 1-3 from Honey Creek Royalty Series are now available!

You can visit me at www.jenandersonauthor.com and www.musingsfromthepeanutgallery.blogspot.com
Twitter: @JenniA8677



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Sunday, September 14, 2014

Meet Judy Alter and read about MURDER AT THE BLUE PLATE CAFE


Our guest today is mystery author Judy Alter, here to talk about her book, Murder at the Blue Plate Cafe, in this new boxed set.



***

A city girl discovers small-town Texas

Coming from Chicago, where I’d been raised, I thought I’d met small towns when I moved to Kirksville, Missouri (pop. 1960s about 12,000). But I didn’t really know about small towns until the late 1970s when I started visiting Ben Wheeler and Edom in East Texas. My good friends, Charlie and Reva Ogilvie, had a guest ranch outside Ben Wheeler, and we ate at The Shed in Edom frequently.

Ben Wheeler bothered me. It was then almost a ghost town, with boarded up store fronts, though I understand it’s had a renaissance, thanks to the man who bought Arc Ridge Ranch from the Ogilvies. It was like many small towns I had driven through: it needed a coat of paint. We went once to a dilapidated roller skating rink (my kids loved it) and more often than I liked to a dismal grocery store, since boarded up, where I trusted neither the cleanliness nor the temperature of the refrigerator and freezer units. Don’t even talk about the freshness of the vegetables. For real grocery shopping, we went to Brookshires in Canton, but I guess that’s a feature of small-town life—going to the nearest good-sized town for a lot of things.

Edom, on the other hand, delighted me. We went several years to the annual craft fair, and other times we wandered the main street which featured craft shops—pottery, leather workers, jewelry makers, and a wonderful women’s clothing store. I was amazed that the main street, a state highway, had neither stoplight nor stop sign. You took your chances and you ran like hell.

The best thing in Edom to my family was The Shed.

I suppose The Shed isn’t much different from lots of small-town cafés with chicken-fried steak, fried catfish, glorious meringue pies (Charlie told me it was all air so no calories, and  I reminded him about the pudding bottom), and huge breakfasts. The thing I loved most was that everyone knew Charlie and Reva and greeted them happily. We basked in a small afterglow of fame because we were their guests.

That café and that town became so firmly embedded in my mind that they formed the setting for my mystery series, Blue Plate Café Mysteries. I changed the town name to Wheeler, but no one from that part of the state will be fooled, and I was careful to note that the murders there were from my imagination and reflected in no way on Edom or its residents. But the fictional counterpart of The Shed is central to the story.

A friend who grew up in Granbury, Texas wrote me, “You nailed small-town life.” It was the biggest compliment I could have gotten.    

About Murder at the Blue Plate Café

When twin sisters Kate and Donna inherit their grandmother’s restaurant, the Blue Plate Cafe, in Wheeler, Texas, there’s immediate conflict. Donna wants to sell and use her money to establish a B&B; Kate wants to keep the cafe. Thirty-two-year-old Kate leaves a Dallas career as a paralegal and a married lover to move back to Wheeler and run the café, while Donna plans her B&B and complicates her life by having an affair with her sole investor. Kate soon learns that Wheeler is not the idyllic small town she thought it was fourteen years ago. The mayor, a woman, is power-mad and listens to no one, and the chief of police, newly come from Dallas, doesn’t understand small-town ways. Kate is suspicious of Gram’s sudden death, “keeling over in the mashed potatoes,” as Donna described it, and she learns that’s not at all what happened. When the mayor of Wheeler becomes seriously ill after eating food from the café, delivered by Donna’s husband, Kate is even more suspicious. Then Donna’s investor is shot, and Donna is arrested. Kate must defend her sister and solve the murders to keep her business open, but even Kate begins to wonder about the sister she has a love-hate relationship with. Gram guides Kate through it all, though Kate’s never quite sure she’s hearing Gram—and sometimes Gram’s guidance is really off the wall.            


Review Quote
Judy Alter, as she did in her other books, creates a comfortable atmosphere for her new Blue Plate Mystery series. Alter serves up a delicious whodunit by stirring up a healthy serving of suspense and a splash of romance, then bakes them to downhome perfection. Add an appealing protagonist, and you have Murder at the Blue Plate Café. Highly recommended.—Polly Iyer



~~~*~~~



An award-winning novelist, Judy Alter is the author of five books in the Kelly O’Connell Mysteries series: Skeleton in a Dead Space, No Neighborhood for Old Women, Trouble in a Big Box, Danger Comes Home and Deception in Strange Places.
With the Blue Plate Mystery series, Murder at the Blue Plate Café and Murder at the Tremont House, she moved from inner city Fort Worth to small-town East Texas to create a new set of characters in a setting modeled after a restaurant that was for years one of her family’s favorites.

Before turning her attention to mystery, Judy wrote fiction and nonfiction, mostly about women of the American West, for adults and young-adult readers. Her work has been recognized with awards from the Western Writers of America, the Texas Institute of Letters, and the National Cowboy Museum and Hall of Fame. She has been honored with the Owen Wister Award for Lifetime Achievement by WWA and inducted into the Texas Literary Hall of Fame at the Fort Worth Public Library.

Follow Judy at her website or her two blogs Judy's Stew or Potluck with Judy. Or look for her on Facebook or Twitter.

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Friday, September 12, 2014

Meet Suzanne Lilly and read about SHADES OF THE FUTURE


Is it a dream or a premonition? 
Guest post by Suzanne Lilly 

Daydreams, night dreams, dreams of the future, dreams of the past. They all affect us in some way.

Everyone has dreams of what they want in their own futures. But what if you could see the future and it wasn’t what you wanted? That’s the question that inspired my book, Shades of the Future. You see, I’ve always had inklings of things to come. I might be driving down the road and realize that I haven’t seen so-and-so in such a long time, and wouldn’t it be funny if I ran into her today? If I get little goose bumps down my spine, I know it will happen. There was the time I was driving home from work and I just knew I was going to have a car accident. I brushed it off as stress, but sure enough, at the top of an overpass, I was accordionated along with six other cars when the driver of the car in front slammed on his brakes.

Fortunately no one was hurt. The weirdest part of that one was my husband knew I’d been in an accident, almost as soon as it happened, even though he was miles away. Then there was a time a friend told me she was going on a weekend visit with someone she’d met online. I immediately thought of her getting pregnant, and goose bumps quickly followed. She laughed at me and told me it was nothing like that, there wasn’t going to be any hanky-panky because they were just friends. I think you can guess the ending to that story.


The thing is, although I sometimes get these inklings, there’s never a darn thing I can do about it to change them. I’ve often wondered what’s the use of knowing about things in advance if you can’t control the outcomes. That’s exactly the situation my heroine, Mariah Davis finds herself in when she puts on a pair of sunglasses that allow her to see the future. She sees some good things and some bad things coming down the road. She tries to do everything she can to stop the bad things. Instead of avoiding fate, she faces it head on and has to learn how to deal with the hard times, as well as how to trust in those she loves.

You can read Mariah’s story in Shades of the Future, one of the eight books included in the Small Town Charm, Love and Mystery boxed set for only $.99. This video trailer of Shades of the Future will get you in the mood for box full of love and mystery. In the meantime, care to share stories? Have you ever known about something before it happened? What was it, and were you able to change it in any way?

About Suzanne Lilly 

Suzanne Lilly is a teacher and a writer who occasionally takes time off to zipline in Alaska, teach in China, and traipse around Rome. She writes sweet stories with a splash of suspense, a flash of the unexplained, a dash of romance, and always a happy ending. Sign up for her email newsletter to find out about upcoming books before anyone else. You’ll also get exclusive bonus materials and contests just for subscribers. One subscriber is chosen to win a $25 gift card each time the newsletter comes out.
Sign up for my occasional newsletter

What reviewers are saying about Shades of the Future

This is ultimately the coolest YA book I've ever read. You don't have to be a teen to love this book! ~~~LAS YA Reviews Long and Short Reviews
This is a charming YA book! The character of Mariah is someone you would love to hang out with--and the town of Honey Creek--let’s just say I would love to have grown up there! ~~~Judy Thomas

Find Suzanne Lilly online at these sites:
Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/Suzanne-Lilly/e/B006HY79IY
Author website: http://www.suzannelilly.com
Author newsletter: . Sign up for my occasional newsletter
TeacherWriter blog: http://www.teacherwriter.net
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SuzanneLillyAuthor
Goodreads author page: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5258804.Suzanne_Lilly
Twitter: @suzannelilly http://twitter.com/suzannelilly



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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Meet Cheryl Norman and read about REBUILD MY WORLD


FIVE LESSONS ON FORGIVENESS
by Cheryl Norman

REBUILD MY WORLD is romantic suspense, but its theme is forgiveness. In the course of the story, several characters must learn the power and peace of forgiveness. It isn’t a preachy story or a religious one, rather a lesson in mental health.

You read that right. Forgiveness is good mental health.

How can Taylor Drake forgive the man who attacked her and murdered her roommate? How can Adam Gillespie forgive the man who contributed to his family’s financial ruin? How can Taylor and Wil forgive the person responsible for their mother’s death? How can Adam forgive the man who abandoned his pregnant sister and later forgive a startling betrayal within his own family?


Yet, ultimately, they do forgive, and that’s the heart of the story. Have you had to forgive someone when it went against every fiber of your being? Or have you had to forgive yourself?

I’ve watched television programs about people who visit the killer of a loved one in prison and forgive them. How can they? I’ve asked myself repeatedly. Could I do that? Frankly, I hope I never have to test myself on that one!

I remember after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, when ministers called on their congregations to forgive those attackers. How’d you do with that one? I struggled. I was angry and shocked. I wanted swift justice. Forgiving those responsible for all those innocent lives asked too much. Yet I finally made peace with myself and forgave them, thanks to the five lessons I learned (and share below).

Forgiveness isn’t easy. It can be one of the hardest emotional decisions you’ll make. If you aren’t able to forgive, the price you pay is high. The Drake and Gillespie families find this out for themselves until they learn these five lessons:

1. Forgiveness isn’t earned. You don’t forgive an offender because he deserves it.

2. Forgiveness isn’t necessarily wanted or requested. The offender need not ask you for forgiveness. In fact, he may be indifferent to your feelings.

3. Forgiveness isn’t approval. You aren’t endorsing the behavior by forgiving the offender.

4. Forgiveness can be anonymous. Just because you forgive an offender, doesn’t mean he or she will know about it (i.e. he may even be dead).

5. Forgiveness is healthy. It relieves stress. (Remember, resentment is an acid that eats away at its container).

In conclusion, forgiveness is about the forgiver, not about the forgiven. Do it for your own health.

I hope you enjoy the mystery and romance that unfolds in REBUILD MY WORLD. Although its theme is forgiveness, the story is much more. Enjoy.



Cheryl Norman lives in the Suwannee River Valley area of Florida, near her fictional Drake Springs. She writes romance in several genres: romantic suspense, time-travel, inspirational, and sweet series romance, including the upcoming Drake Springs category romance series. 

She also writes cookbooks and hosts the award-winning blog, hastytastymeals.com

For more about Cheryl, follow her on Twitter (cherylnorman) and visit her site (cherylnorman.com). Her author blog is at http://cherylnorman.blogspot.com.

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Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Emily's Dreams

Image: Fotolia
This is Emily Kincaid, who had a bit part in my story, Small Town Christmas*She was a babysitter for little Matthew Singer, and one morning Matthew's mom got word that Emily had been in a car wreck.

When I sent the story out to beta readers, all of them wanted to know what happened to Emily. I added a few lines to the story and thought Emily could continue to convalesce off-stage.

I sent the final version of Small Town Christmas to the formatter and tried to gear up for Alice Williams's story, which was slated to release in January 2015.

But Emily had other ideas. I went for a plot-walk and realized lots of things were going on with Emily. Lots and lots of things--some bad, some good, some inexplicable.

Emily is a very different person now, after her accident. Her outlook on life has changed dramatically, as often happens to people who've had a brush with death.

Since Emily lives in a small town, the changes in her personality are well known among the other townsfolk. Known, but not fully understood.

Emily's story will be Book 2 in the Serendipity, Indiana series. Emily's story will be the book that releases in January 2015. And in Emily's story, something will happen that is very important to Alice's story (which should now release in March 2015).

So far I'm calling this new book Emily's DreamsI have no doubt she'll let me know if she wants that changed, too.

Love this writing life!

Magdalena

*P.S. You can pre-order Small Town Christmas in the Sweet Christmas Kisses boxed set. So far it's just available at Amazon, but the full release is Sept. 30 and then you'll find it everywhere fine ebooks are sold.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Meet Julie Ann Lindsey and read about BLOOM

FEISTY HEROINES MAKE ME SMILE 

by Julie Anne Lindsey

I love a good romance. Who doesn’t? What I don’t love is a heroine who’s too waify. Too proper. Too snorey. When I set out to write my first sweet romance, I hoped to create a woman who'd make readers smile. For me, that meant making my heroine relatable...and again...for me, that meant she needed to be kind of exuberant, perhaps even a well-meaning hot head. *Looks in mirror* *waves*
Hey, I like big personalities. I can't help myself. They make me smile. I couldn’t help wonder what a slow speaking, hay baling, small town hero might do if faced with an uptight, displaced former local? It was this course of thought that led to my first sweet romance heroine. Voila! Cynthia Potter was born.

In Bloom, my heroine Cynthia says what she means…at the moment… and causes a problem or two as a result. She’s feisty. I like her. She puts her foot in her mouth. A lot. Gets caught kissing someone she didn’t intend to kiss.  (Who hasn’t been there?) And makes an embarrassing discovery of biblical proportions. <-- a="" after="" bloom="" heart.="" hhh="" joke.="" my="" nbsp="" o:p="" own="" s="" she="" that="" woman="">

Writing sweet romance opened a whole new world for me. I learned what mattered most was the chemistry, banter and will-he, won't she of it all.  I get screwed up in a knot on my couch writing every “Kiss her already!” moment, and I LOVE it. In sweet romance, every sentence leads up to the all important confession, “I love you.” And getting there is SO much fun. CYnthia finds a lot more than romance in Honey Creek, but you'll have to take a peek for yourself to see what else. *insert winky face*

If you’re in the mood for a sweet & sassy heroine , I hope you’ll visit Honey Creek. It’s a beautiful place where anything can happen. Kick off your shoes, relax into that porch swing and cuddle up to a steamy hot toddy. Take a trip to Honey Creek. They're just a click away : ) See you there!

Bloom by Julie Anne Lindsey

In a town filled with her past, she never expected to find her future….

Seven years ago Cynthia left Honey Creek with a broken heart. Three years ag

o Mitchell arrived with one. Now Cynthia’s come home, and these two hardened hearts can’t stop arguing. If they’d only take a break long enough to find some common ground, they might be surprised to find love can grow anywhere.

If they let it, love will find a way to Bloom.

Read more stories like this in the Small Town Charm Box Set! 8 Stories. 8 Authors. 99 cents!

**for a limited time**
Small town America has its charm—not to mention its fair share of romance and mystery!

Everyone knows small towns have their own unique charm, that’s why they make fabulous settings for stories! Turquoise Morning Press presents the best of their small town settings—all in one volume, and for one very small town price!

From Drakes Springs, Florida, to Briny Bay, North Carolina, to Wheeler, Texas, where a little romance and a lot of murder and mystery take center-stage—and then to Honey Creek, Ohio and Legend, Tennessee, where home-grown romance blooms, and love lives right next door.


Eight fabulous authors share their views of small town charm, love and mystery in this eight book boxed set—providing you with a satisfying glimpse into the lives and stories of the quirky characters who live in these charming settings.


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Saturday, September 6, 2014

Meet Jan Scarbrough and read about HEART TO HEART



The Cats of Heart to Heart
By Jan Scarbrough

Heart to Heart is part of a four book Ladies of Legend series called Return to Legend. The premise of all four stories is the return to Legend, Tennessee, a fictitious town created by authors Maddie James, Magdalena Scott, Janet Eaves and me.

When I wrote the story of Heart to Heart, about an animal communicator and her relationship with the owner of six cats, I knew the cat characters were critical to the story. I thought it might be fun to honor a few of cats I knew, as well as those of my Legend co-authors.

Tinkerbelle
Last winter dogs killed a cat named Tinkerbelle at the barn where I take riding lessons. The character of Tinkerbelle is my way of honoring this sweet, little cat.
Notes: Long hair pale gray – gentle – likes attention and being the center of things
Quote: “The gray cat had followed them into the living room and continued its leg rubbing routine. Jeremy clenched his teeth, forcing himself not to kick the animal off his pant leg. This was his best Armani suit, for crying out loud. He didn’t want cat hair on it.”

Attila
My cat hero is named after Magdalena Scott’s companion of the same name. Magdalena often writes emails about Attila, and that gave me the idea of using the name in my book.
Notes: Male, Maine coon – big cat, sturdy, rugged – uneven, shaggy coat, long tail carried proudly, large, well-tufted paws – intimidating size – brown tabby with white underbelly and white paws
Normal cats have a total of 18 toes, with five toes on each front paw and four toes on each hind paw; polydactyl cats may have as many as eight digits on their front and/or hind paws.



Calliope
Calliope is one of Maddie James’ cats.
Notes: Calico – long hair – knows she’s beautiful – princess - tri-colored
Quote: “The top of the desk was empty except for a longhaired, tri-colored calico cat stretched out in the center preening herself. A tiny pink tongue licked a white paw in a leisurely manner. The cat didn’t even look up to greet them.”

Clio
Maddie James has a second cat named Clio. The real Clio is a tortoiseshell female. I changed Clio’s color in the book and his sex.
Notes: Orange tabby with white bib – nervous – comes up for affection some times after gets to know you
Quote: “The last cat in the room, an orange male tabby named Clio sat next to the water fountain watching the other cats in the room with a worried gaze.”

Jinx
I gave my husband a fiftieth birthday gift—a black cat named Jester. You can tell where I found my character Jinx.
Notes: Black cat – prowls, sneaky, pops up expectantly
Quote: “Jinx, the sleek black cat prowled the perimeter of the kitchen as if he couldn’t stay in one place for long.”

Gloria
My favorite cat of all time was Gloria. My daughter, the veterinarian, brought her home from college at Thanksgiving one year. Knowing my daughter is dangerous, because she has a knack for placing homeless pets. How do you think Maddie James got her two cats?
Notes: Tortoiseshell – female, this color is typically reserved for cats with relatively small or no white markings.
Quote: “Gloria was the oldest cat in the house, a tortoiseshell in color—reddish orange and black—with a distinctive orange stripe down the bridge of her nose.”

~~~*~~~ 



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Jan Scarbrough is the author of the popular Bluegrass Reunion series, writing heartwarming contemporary romances about home and family, single moms and children, and if the plot allows, about another passion--horses. Living in the horse country of Kentucky makes it easy for Jan to add small town, Southern charm to her books, and the excitement of a horse race or a big-time, competitive horse show.

Jan also contributes to the Ladies of Legend series, a collaboration with writers Maddie James, Janet Eaves and Magdalena Scott. Set in fictitious Legend, Tennessee, these romances bring together the small town family atmosphere so many readers enjoy.
Leaving her contemporary voice behind, Jan wrote a medieval called MY LORD RAVEN. Her first paranormal Gothic romance, TANGLED MEMORIES, was a RWA Golden Heart finalist, and she’s recently released a second romance with paranormal elements called TIMELESS.

A member of Novelist, Inc. and the Romance Writers of America, Jan has published with Kensington, Five Star, ImaJinn Books, Resplendence Publishing and Turquoise Morning Press. She has recently self-published another romance set in the Bluegrass called BETTING ON LOVE.

Jan lives in Louisville, Kentucky, with three rescued dogs, two rescued cats, and a husband she rescued fourteen years ago. 

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Thursday, September 4, 2014

Meet Bobbye Terry and read about BURIED IN BRINY BAY


Welcome to Briny Bay, North Carolina
By Trixie Frye & Roxie Turner

“Hi everyone. My name is Trixie Frye. I’m the second born in a wild and crazy bunch of siblings. Our oldest sister got out of our little bayside town early while the gittin’ was good, and who knows if she will ever be back. However, my sister, Roxie and baby brother, Jack, still live in Briny Bay, North Carolina.  It’s not that we don’t love the stuffin’ out of our little dysfunctional home. It’s just that the place defies explanation. I mean, if you knew it recently gained notoriety for having  the highest per capita murder rate on the Eastern seaboard, you’d probably think just setting your dainty little foot on our sandy soil would be enough to make you seriously consider increasing your life insurance. But, as sure as I am Southerner, you don’t have to worry your pretty little head one tiny bit. Why, we don’t even lock our doors at night.”
 
“She’s right you know. Roxie Turner here. Nobody from Briny Bay’s gonna’ bother you unless it’s one of our town drunks, and they’ll just crawl up on your porch and sleep it off.”

“It’s my turn to talk, Roxie so stop your yapping. As I was saying, when it comes to As upstanding, everyone except my couch-potato husband, Floyd, and his bunch of misfit sports buds go to church on Sundays. And, thank the Lord for donations at our last picnic social, we even have a pet cemetery. No, we don’t deserve this bad press. Truth be told, we have gone and gotten a bum rap just because of a few mutilated bodies that had the unmitigated gall to end up dead here. Coincidence,  sheer coincidence. You see, it all started with Georgia Adam’s murder. She was Roxie’s lifelong nemesis and Georgia up and croaked in the town landfill with a knife through her eyeball. “

“That’s enough sister. It’s time for me to take over this conversation. She was my nemesis and I did almost go to the big house over this unfortunate misunderstanding. You see, readers, most of the town folk are convinced I, Roxie Turner, the younger prettier sister, am the reason for our sudden surge in the death toll. I don’t understand how rumors get started. Someone out there obviously doesn’t follow the International Snoop Guidelines. When I tell someone the latest gossip, I make sure they repeat it back to me for accuracy before I let them loose to spread the word. Anyway, who knew somebody would take me seriously when I said I was going to kill Georgia. I mean, really? I’d just been saying I’d snuff her for a couple of decades. If I were really going to do it, don’t you think I’d gone ahead back then when our feud started? It would have been an easy task to just blow her up or push her off the cliff into the bay.”

“Now, Roxie, my honest-to-God need to get all the facts on the table requires I, the smarter more detailed sister, butt in, that is, respectfully submit additional information. You see, it’s not just that you always wanted to run down Georgia so she was deader than road kill on a one-hundred degree day, but that you have an uncanny way of stumbling over dismembered body parts and corpses and then feel the need to touch them. Whoever invented baggies never knew the ghoulish ways some people like you might use them.”

“Trixie Frye, stop trying to turn our audience against me. Tell you what, readers, why don’t you read Buried in Briny Bay and decide for yourself? It’s in the Small Town Charm, Love and Mystery boxed set for just $.99. It’s cheaper than a piece of Trixie’s lemon icebox pie and a lot easier on the waistline. We’d love to hear what you think, and come to see us sometime.”

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Bobbye Terry is a multi-published author of romantic comedy, fantasy and suspense.  Her writing credits also include inspirational nonfiction books and dozens of national and international magazine articles. Bobbye continues to write with extensive humor, where southern charm sometimes meets macabre reality. Her awards include Eppie finalist and two-time finalist of Detroit's Bookseller's Best Award.
Bobbye resides among the cotton fields in West Texas with a spoiled chocolate Labrador who has a sock-fetish. Bobbye remains a voracious reader of anything from novels to tabloids in the grocery line; a collector and depository of strange and unusual trivia and observed behavioral idiosyncrasies of strangers, and a connoisseur of rich dark chocolate, fine roasted coffee and smooth red wine.

Links:


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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Matthew Singer

(Image: Fotolia)
This Guy and I were shopping on Monday, and I saw something that would be the perfect gift for someone I know.

I said, "Oh, look! Wouldn't this be--"

I stopped mid-sentence because I was about to suggest the purchase of a book about trucks for little Matthew Singer.

Matthew loves trucks so much, and books are always great gifts, right?

Except that...um...Matthew Singer is a fictional character in Small Town Christmas. I spent a LOT of time with Matthew and his mother Melissa, in and around Standish Family Christmas Tree Farm this past weekend.

(The Jewel Box is Sleep Deprivation Central these days.)

I hope the characters of that story come to life as much for the readers as they have for me.

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In other news, I finally started an author page on Facebook. Please come over and like me if you are so inclined. My fb author page is here.

Magdalena


Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Meet me on my own blog and read about the new boxed set!


I'm excited to have a story included in this new boxed set.

It's the first set I've been a part of that includes not just romance, but also mystery. What a great idea!

I will have guests here starting Sept. 4 and ending Sept. 16. Each of these authors will be here to tell us about the individual books in the boxed set.

Today (Sept. 2) is my day to be at all of their blogs, which is busy but fun. Today is also Release Day, so we're all jazzed. Links are below, to view more information at your favorite ebook retailer.

~*~

So...about my book in this set:

Midnight in Legend, TN is a sweet romance.

This story actually began as a writing exercise with Maddie James, Jan Scarbrough, and Janet Eaves. One Saturday we decided (via email) to each create a character from the name of our first pet and the street we lived on as a child.

My character was named after my beautiful black cat, Midnight. That name helped me decide what the character would look like: Tall and slender with super-black hair, porcelain skin and black eyes. The writing
exercise progressed as each heroine was given a profession. We each decided where our heroine would live, and who her hero might be.

The details changed over time, including some of the names. Eventually the fictional town was named Legend, Tennessee, a map was drawn, and the four stories were published.

Since then, many more characters have strolled the streets of Legend. Jan Scarbrough's Heart to Heart, in this boxed set, is the 29th book, and the 30th book, by Maddie James, will release in October.

Thirty books! That seems quite a milestone, and I'm immeasurably grateful.

Having four authors writing a series could be a challenge, but our friendships have grown right along with the number of books. I wonder if that's part of why Legend, Tennessee is a place readers love to go.




Magdalena Scott is a bestselling author of the Ladies of Legend series. She lives in her own fantasy world of Magdalenaville, Indiana, and spends her time writing stories with small town settings. As a lifelong citizen of small town America, Magdalena knows that life in a “burg” is seldom dull—if you’re paying attention. There is mystery, romance, scandal, and the occasional unexplained occurrence. Step into Magdalena’s world and find out what’s hidden just below the surface of those tiny dots you can barely see on the map.









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