Friday, November 27, 2015

#SweetRomance #FridayReads Guest: Shanna Hatfield

On Fridays I introduce you to friends of mine, and their sweet romance books. Some of the authors may write all sweet, others may write hotter stuff. But for the purposes of this blog we'll just be learning about their sweet (G/PG rated) tales. 

Please welcome today's guest, my friend Shanna Hatfield. I met Shanna through Sweet Romance Reads, and she's visited here before. She has three new stories to share with you. I'm not sure how she gets so much writing done, because it seems she's always ready to help out if someone needs assistance. When you read her blog below, you'll understand how that all comes together.


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Are you full of turkey and pumpkin pie today? Maybe you’ve already made the rounds catching Black Friday sales or perhaps you’re taking a leisurely day at home to curl up by a cozy fire and read.
Whatever your plans, I hope this day finds you with a heart full of gratitude.

Mine is overflowing with all the wonderful blessings in my life — my health, my home, an ample supply of chocolate, the ability to do something I love so much every day, and my awesome hubby (Captain Cavedweller).

One thing I’m particularly grateful for is to opportunity to host the second annual Cowboys and Christmas campaign to raise funds and awareness for the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund.  
JCCF is a non-profit organization that steps in and provides assistance when professional rodeo athletes sustain catastrophic injuries.

Ask any rodeo cowboy and they’ll tell you it’s a matter of when they get hurt, not if.

Originally, I got involved with the JCCF when I reached out to the Justin Sportsmedicine Team® with research questions for the first book in my Rodeo Romance series.

Since my first encounter with the folks there and at JCCF, I’ve been impressed by all they do and how much they care about others. Although I don’t have any family competing in the rodeo, I do have friends and am so grateful for the existence of JCCF and the Justin Sportsmedicine Team®. I’ve been so blessed by the people I’ve encountered through JCCF and decided to give something back to them.  

November 1 through December 24, ten percent of the net proceeds from all my book sales are donated to the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund. To help generate more funds and awareness, I have three new releases this month.

Capturing Christmas is the third installment in the sweet holiday western Rodeo Romance series. 
 Life is hectic on a good day for rodeo stock contractor Kash Kressley. Between dodging flying hooves and babying cranky bulls, he barely has time to sleep. The last thing Kash needs is the entanglement of a sweet romance, especially with a woman as full of fire and sass as the redheaded photographer he rescues at a rodeo. Determined to capture the best images possible, rodeo photographer Celia McGraw is fearless and feisty. Not one to back down from a challenge, her biggest risk isn’t in her work. Danger lurks in the way her heart responds to one incredibly handsome stock contractor. Will Kash and Celia capture the spirit of the season?
 You can order your copy  from Amazon by clicking here.

The Christmas Vow is the fourth book in the Hardman Holidays sweet Victorian romance series. 
 Columbia River Pilot Adam Guthry returns to his hometown of Hardman, Oregon, after the sudden death of his best friend. Emotions he can’t contain bubble to the surface the moment he sees the girl who shattered his heart eleven years ago. Widow Tia Devereux escapes her restrictive life in Portland, returning to the home she knew and adored as a girl in Hardman. She and her four-year-old son, Toby, settle into the small Eastern Oregon community, eager for the holiday season. 
Unfortunately, the only man she’s ever loved shows up, stirring the embers of a long-dead romance into a blazing flame. When her former father-in-law, a corrupt judge, decides he wants to raise Toby, Adam may be the only hope she has of keeping her son. 

 You can also find it on Amazon by clicking here.

Dacey: Bride of North Carolina is  book #12 in the a brand-new 50-book American Mail-Order Brides series of novellas.

A conniving mother, a reluctant groom and a desperate bride make for a lively adventure full of sweet romance.
Braxton Douglas spends his days managing the family’s plantation and blissfully avoiding the state of matrimony. Unbeknownst to him, his mother tires of waiting for him to choose a wife and sends for a mail-order bride. When the woman arrives, ready to wed, Braxton has his work cut out for him if he plans to remain unaffected by the lively, lovely Dacey Butler.
Dacey releases on Monday, but you can pre-order copies today on Amazon.

Many, many thanks, Magdalena, for hosting me today. It’s such a treat to be here with you and your readers. Wishing you all a wonderful weekend and a happy holiday season!

Author Bio:
USA Today Bestselling Author Shanna Hatfield writes character-driven romances with relatable heroes and heroines. Her historical westerns have been described as “reminiscent of the era captured by Bonanza and The Virginian” while her contemporary works have been called “laugh-out-loud funny, and a little heart-pumping sexy without being explicit in any way.”
Convinced everyone deserves a happy ending, this hopeless romantic  is out to make it happen, one story at a time. When she isn’t writing or indulging in chocolate (dark and decadent, please), Shanna hangs out with her husband, lovingly known as Captain Cavedweller.
Shanna is a member of Western Writers of America, Women Writing the West, Romance Writers of America, Sweet Romance Reads, Cowboy Kisses, and Pioneer Hearts.

Find Shanna’s books at:

Shanna loves to hear from readers. Follow her online at:



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Thank you for being on the blog today, Shanna! Happy Friday!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Ireland Trip Blog Series: #1 - A Dream Come True

Ladies' View Overlook
Did you know I went to Ireland this autumn? I've had so many questions about the trip, I thought a blog series might be the best way to "talk" about it. Today is my first post, and I plan to share something about the trip, and a photo or video each week until we all get tired of the topic. Fair enough?

Here we go!

Although I always hoped to visit Ireland, I honestly never expected to. Today's post is about how that dream came true.

On Easter weekend, some friends and I were texting, and one of the girls said she'd heard about a tour to Ireland. She wanted to go, and needed a roommate. All the other girls had conflicts with the dates, but I was nearly jumping out of my chair as I texted back.

Me! I can go! IF I can swing the cost...

Peat Fire!
After I returned from the trip, a woman said to me she'd love to visit Ireland, but couldn't--because she didn't have my money. Her statement took me by surprise, and I've shaken my head about it many times since. My money? 

I think there is a common misconception that all authors are millionaires. Oh boy, is that a misconception!

Although I have enough for my daily needs, and can tithe each month, although I'm blessed with the riches of relationships with friends and family, I'm not financially wealthy. I live a quiet life with few frills. If you're a numbers person, you can tally in your head how much I save each year by living this way:
St. Patrick's Cathedral
  • My vehicle is over ten years old, and I bought it used.
  • I live and work in a studio apartment.
  • I don't have cable or satellite TV. (I do have internet for my computer - almost a requirement for my work.)
  • I seldom go to a movie theater or see live professional productions. I see movies when they're available on disc, and maybe get to a play in Louisville once a year, which makes it a very big deal.
  • I pay for a restaurant meal only once or twice a week, and generally drink ice water (free).
  • Although I have a closet full of clothes, many of them are several years old.
  • Because I live in an apartment, my appliances are furnished. My washer and dryer are second-hand.
  • In January 2015, I made my own window insulation panels. The project cost less than $50 and has saved me hundreds of dollars so far on heating and cooling.
  • I have an aversion to shopping, and don't care about name brands, or having the newest, coolest, shiniest anything. 
Guinness
I'll spare you more examples, but my point is that I was able to afford the trip because I don't spend money on these other things. Being able to go to Ireland and do other travelling (it's been a busy year--New York City in July, and San Francisco in August) is worth it to me, and I enjoy the challenge of stretching my money.

Even though ours was a ten-day tour, I wanted to travel with just my 14-inch rolling suitcase and a big tote-size bag. I spent loads of time looking at specialty clothes for fans of travelling light. But instead of dropping money on "travel" clothes, I ended up wearing (and hand-washing in the hotel room, to wear again) comfortable clothes I already owned.

My Luggage for 10 Days
I took a pair of shoes I've had for years, but also bought a pair of cute and comfy ballet flats. I also invested in a set of compression packing cubes, but only needed them on the way home when there were a few extra items to fit into my carry-on. Before I left on the trip, a friend gave me a DK Eyewitness Travel Guide, something I'll likely treasure forever. (I fell in love with Dorling-Kindersley books when my son was young. I adore the pictures!) It was nifty to have the book along, even though we were on a tour and didn't have many decisions to make. A few of our fellow travelers enjoyed looking at it, too.

I had to get a passport for the first time ever, but you can see I didn't spend lots of money on travel prep.

Each decision we make about spending time and money affects other facets of our lives. I have a minimalist life, and save money toward memories instead of stuff. That's just me, and I'm not saying it's the only way to go.

Beef Stew
For some reason I needed to let you know all that before launching into the actual trip. I hope you enjoyed the photos, and that they'll whet your appetite for more. (Pun intended, re: stew and Guinness.)

My plan for this series is to cover the following topics, not necessarily in this order:

The Sea ~ The Burren ~ Villages ~ Castles  ~ Pubs ~ Hotels ~ Manor Houses ~ Fellow Travelers ~ Flights and Traveling Light ~ Tour Guides ~ Scenery ~ Dublin ~ Weather  ~ Home Design  ~  Sheep  ~ Food and Drink  ~ Environmental Friendliness.

I hope to see you here next Tuesday when we get into more about the wonderful trip to Ireland. And please visit my new feature here on Fridays, in which I introduce some of my sweet romance-writing friends.

In the meantime, Happy Reading!

Magdalena





Friday, November 20, 2015

#SweetRomance #FridayReads Guest: Janet Eaves

On Fridays I introduce you to friends of mine, and their sweet romance books. Some of the authors may write all sweet, others may write hotter stuff. But for the purposes of this blog we'll just be learning about their sweet (G/PG rated) tales.

Please welcome today's guest, my friend Janet Eaves. Janet and I have known each other for a few years, and even though we live in different states and seldom meet in person, we've spent loads of quality time visiting online, and writing tales set in our beloved Legend, Tennessee. 

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UnBreak My Heart, by Janet Eaves, is for both lovers of romance, as well as those who just love heartwarming stories of renewal that bring emotions to the surface. These short stories may make you laugh, or cry, or even just think, and remind that sometimes a simple kindness, or act of concern, is all it takes to change everything in someone’s life.

Available now for only $0.99 at:
Amazon
Smashwords

This book delivers four short stories set at Christmastime, including:

ANGEL ON BOARD - Will having lost everything, make him want to end it all?

ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS - Eleven year old Cameron only has one wish, and that's for a family all his own.

IF TOMORROW NEVER COMES - An unexpected storm on Christmas Eve fills one woman's life with more lessons than she could have ever imagined, and returns hope that was lost.

PLEASE SANTA, PLEASE – After their son asks Santa for help with their failing marriage, can a night of recalled memories with each other unbreak their hearts and reignite a passion feared lost?

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Janet Eaves is a multi-published Amazon Best-Selling Author in transition. Due to the recent closing of her Publisher’s doors, she is now working to get her many books back up for distribution. If you read and enjoy UnBreak My Heart, and are interested in more books by this author, please go to her Amazon author page or her FB page to see when her other books are available again.


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Thank you for being on the blog today, Janet. Your stories sound amazing, as always. Happy Friday!

Friday, November 13, 2015

#SweetRomance #FridayReads Guest: Maddie James

I'm excited to be starting something new here on the blog. On Fridays I'll introduce you to friends of mine, and their sweet romance books. Some of the authors may write all sweet, others may write hotter stuff. But for the purposes of this blog we'll just be learning about their sweet (G/PG rated) tales.

Please welcome today's guest, my friend Maddie James. Maddie and I first met at a Kentucky Romance Writers meeting in Lexington, Kentucky, and it's largely because of her that I have had any success at all as an author. She's here to share news about one of my favorite imaginary towns--Legend, Tennessee!

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Have you visited Legend, Tennessee, lately?

What? You haven’t? Well let’s fix that right now, but perhaps I should catch you up a bit first. You see, Legend exists in the hearts of its readers, and the mind of its authors. It’s not really a place—or is it?

I’ll let you be the judge.

Stories set in Legend, TN are written by four authors—Magdalena Scott, Jan Scarbrough, Janet Eaves, and well, moi, Maddie James. To date, we have thirty-plus stories that take place in this small town nestled in the Great Smoky Mountains. My stories revolve mostly around my favorite character, Suzie Matthews, the local B&B owner and chef, who likes to dabble in matchmaking.

Previously, Suzie set out to “matchmake” eight Legend couples in the Matchmaking Chef series, and recently, a couple of secondary characters from one of those stories decided to spin a yarn in my head. Will Nora Patterson (from the book Side Dish) hook up permanently with Reverend Rock Peters (from Dates Du Jour)? Time will tell, time will tell…

This sweet short romance story was recently released, and just in time for Christmas. Here is a little more information:

A Legend's Landing Bed & Breakfast Christmas Short Story
Nora Patterson crashes into the back end of Reverend Rock Peters' SUV on a snowy Christmas Eve night, and finds herself snowbound with the attractive minister. She’s prayed for someone to share her life—could Rock be the one? Or once again, will love pass her by this Christmas?

Now, Suzie Matthews tells me that there may be more to this story down the road. I’m not sure what she means by that, but I’m going to keep my mind open in the process. After all, the Reverend Rock and Nora only had a few brief hours together on Christmas Eve. Could Not This Christmas mean more than the title implies? Hmmmmm…..

You can find Not This Christmas at all ebook retailers.



While you are there, be sure and look for the rest of the Legend’s Landing Bed Breakfast stories, and stay tuned for Deadly Scoop, coming in 2017, a cozy mystery, when Suzie Matthews turns from chef to sleuth!
















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Thank you so much, Maddie, for starting off our new feature. Happy Friday!