Friday, December 25, 2015

#SweetRomance #FridayReads Guest: Margaret Daley

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 our Christmas Day guest, my friend Margaret Daley. She and I are both members of the Sweet Romance Reads author cooperative. Although we've only met once in person, we've worked together online quite a bit. I'm honored to host her and her new romantic suspense tale here on the blog.


~*~

Years ago I came up with a concept for a story. I wondered what would happen when a falsely convicted man, finally released, had to find the real killer and work with the prosecutor, who fought in court to put him in prison. What kind of relationship could develop? What emotions would each one of them have? Could forgiveness grow out of this situation? Could they discover who the real killer was? From there I came up with Deadly Noel.



Kira Davis put the wrong man in prison. Now she has to catch the real killer before he kills her.
From USA Today Bestselling Author, Margaret Daley, the 5th book in the Strong Women, Extraordinary Situations Series.

Assistant district attorney, Kira Davis, convicted the wrong man—Gabriel Michaels, a single dad with a young daughter. When new evidence was brought forth, his conviction was overturned, and Gabriel returned home to his ranch to put his life back together. Although Gabriel is free, the murderer of his wife is still out there and resumes killing women. In a desperate alliance, Kira and Gabriel join forces to find the true identity of the person terrorizing their town. Will they be able to forgive the past and find the killer before it’s too late?


Amazon   ~ Barnes and Noble ~ Apple ~ Kobo 
~ Google Play 



Margaret Daley, a USA Today Bestselling author of over ninety-five books (five million plus sold worldwide), has been married for over forty years and is a firm believer in romance and love. When she isn’t traveling, she’s writing love stories, often with a suspense thread and corralling her three cats that think they rule her household. To find out more about Margaret visit her website at http://www.margaretdaley.com.



~*~

Thank you for visiting today, Margaret. Happy Friday and Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

The McClains of Legend, Tennessee

I've had fun sharing my Ireland reminiscences with you on Tuesdays, and introducing you to other sweet romance authors on Fridays.

It's been so much fun, in fact, that I haven't been posting much about my own books. I hope you don't mind that it occurred to me I should do this occasionally.

A quick update from Legend, Tennessee...

I've put two bundles together, for readers who like to quickly plow through a series. How I wish I could write that quickly. Bundle #1 contains MIDNIGHT IN LEGEND, TN; CHRISTMAS COLLISION; and WHERE HER HEART IS--the first three novellas about the McClains.

Bundle #2 picks up with the companion story to WHERE HER HEART IS, and contains BUILDING A DREAM; SECOND CHANCES; and CHRISTMAS CHARM (brand new short story).

You can snag your copies here:

Bundle #1
Amazon  
Kobo 

Bundle #2

And if you already own all five of the novellas and only want the short story, here's the blurb for CHRISTMAS CHARM:

In spite of her intentions to spend Christmas on the beach, Meg is on her way to Legend, Tennessee for a small town Christmas with her boyfriend and his family. When Christopher’s flight is delayed, Meg finds herself staying with his mother, Anne McClain Bradley, and in the midst of an old-fashioned holiday with a family that’s not her own. 
But the McClains, and the other good people of Legend, Tennessee know how to make anyone feel loved and welcomed--especially at Christmas. 
There’s no better time than Christmas to visit Legend, Tennessee. Hot cocoa tastes better in the shadow of the Great Smoky Mountains.


My only McClains of Legend, Tennessee stories that aren't bundled are the series prequels, UNDER THE MISTLETOE (1975) and THE HOLLY AND THE IVY (1978). At this moment I don't have any plans to bundle them. 

All of the Legend book links are on the Legend page of the website.

Next time I do an update, we'll chat about what's new, and what's in the works for Serendipity, Indiana. Hint: a LOT.

If you haven't already done so, it's quick and easy to subscribe to my monthly-ish email newsletter. Newsletter subscribers get an early heads-up on cover reveals, etc. Please click here to subscribe.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Ireland Trip Blog Series: #5 - Cathedrals

More photos than words this week. You're welcome.

Galway Cathedral had floors made of all the different types of Connemara marble. I am a new fan of said marble, thus the floor pics. Also glorious windows.


















Here are my photos from St. Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin:






















 Author Jonathan Swift is buried in the cathedral.


I love this photo. A reminder again of the gorgeous weather we had for most of our trip.


Friday, December 18, 2015

#SweetRomance #FridayReads Guest: Melinda Curtis

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 Melinda Curtis. She and I met through the Sweet Romance Reads author cooperative. What always comes to my mind about Melinda is her amazing energy level. She has several new releases each year, does DIY projects at home and for family members, teaches an exercise class... You get the idea. 

~*~

I’m Becoming My Mother by Melinda Curtis

I’m becoming my mother. Isn’t that what every woman dreads saying?

I’m becoming my mother. (sigh)

I walk into rooms and forget why I came. I forget what day it is (frequently Wednesday becomes Thursday and Thursday becomes Friday). When the dog misbehaves, I call her by the name of the dog we had twenty years ago. See? I’m my mother.

Which was why a story about amnesia drew me. I understand the frustration and comedy behind not being able to remember. In A Memory Away, Jessica Aguirre wakes up from a car accident able to remember how to make sugar cookies from scratch, but unable to remember how she got pregnant. Her journey to find the man who might have loved her takes her to Harmony Valley and a man who wants nothing to do with family and responsibility. Here’s the scene of their first meeting, where brave, hopeful and very pregnant Jessica is trying not to panic.

~*~

A man got out of the truck. Dark hair. Straight nose. Familiar eyes.

It’s him.

She leaned forward, peering through the paned glass, her heart sailing toward him, over ever-hopeful waves of roses and rainbows.

Jess didn’t usually let herself dream. But now…today…him…

And yet…

He wore a burgundy vest jacket that clashed with a red long-sleeve T-shirt. Worn blue jeans. A black baseball cap.

Instead, she saw him in a fine wool suit. Black, always black. A navy shirt of the softest cotton. A silk tie in a geometric pattern. Shiny Italian loafers…

He took the stairs two at a time, work boots ringing on wood.

Jessica’s heart sank as certainly as if someone had drilled holes in the boat carrying her hopeful emotions. Clouds blocked the sun. The rainbow disappeared. Unwilling to sink, Jess clung to joy. To the idea of him.

He entered without a flourish or an energetic greeting. He entered without the smile that teased the corners of her memory. He entered and took stock of the room, the situation, her.

Their eyes met. His were the same color, same shape, so heart-achingly familiar.

It was the cool assessment in them that threw her off. Not a smile, not a brow quirk, not an eye crinkle.

He came forward. “I’m Michael Dufraine, but everyone calls me Duffy.”

His name didn’t ring true.

Had he lied to her?

She couldn’t speak, could barely remember her name.

The wind shook the panes. The house creaked and groaned.

He smiled. A polite smile, a distant smile, an I-don’t-know-you smile.

Disappointment overwhelmed her. Jess resisted the urge to dissolve into a pity puddle on the floor.

“And you are…?” He extended his hand.

On autopilot, she reached for him. Their palms touched.

Jessica’s vision blurred and she gripped his hand tighter as clips of memory assailed her—his deep laughter, him offering her a bite of chocolate cheesecake, his citrusy cologne as he leaned in to kiss her.

It is him.

Relieved. She was so relieved. Jessica blinked at the man—Duffy—who she vaguely recalled and, at the same time, did not.

She’d practiced what to say on the hour-long drive up here from Santa Rosa. Ran through several scenarios. None of them had included him not recognizing her.

She should start at the beginning. Best not to scare him with hysterics and panicked accusations, of which she’d had five months to form.

Don’t raise your voice. Don’t cry. Don’t ask why.

And don’t lead the conversation with the elephant in the room.

Despite all the cautions and practicing and caveats, she drew a breath, and flung her hopes toward him as if he was her life preserver. “I think I’m your wife.”

~*~

Bio/Release Info:
Award winning, USA Today bestseller Melinda Curtis writes sweet romance and sweet romantic comedy. A Memory Away is Book 6 in the Harmony Valley series. Brenda Novak says: “Season of Change has found a place on my keeper shelf”.  Melinda also writes more traditional, fun and sexy romances as Mel Curtis. Jayne Ann Krentz says of Blue Rules: “Sharp, sassy, modern version of a screwball comedy from Hollywood's Golden Age except a lot hotter.”

Ebook Buy Links for A Memory Away:
Amazon ~ Kobo ~ Barnes and Noble ~ iTunes

Print Book via Harlequin (available January 1, 2016)
Print Available in Super Wal-Marts: January 1, 2016

Special Offers/Freebies:
During the month of December, Harlequin is offering a FREE short & sweet romantic comedy from Melinda’s Harmony Valley series – A Kiss for the Cook – available here

Readers of this blog will be emailed a FREE companion cookbook for A Kiss for the Cook by signing up for Melinda’s book release email newsletter.


~*~

Thank you so much for being her on the blog today, Melinda. Happy Friday!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Ireland Trip Series: #4 - Signage

I'll admit two things right up front.

  1. I had no intention of spending my time in Ireland taking photos. I meant to be "in the moment" and aware of what was going on, not seeing the trip through a camera lens.
  2. That plan went out the window early on, except that I saw it through the lens of my phone's camera. 

Our bus driver/guide encouraged us to photograph signs because it would help us later on to know what we were looking at pictures of. Smart man. Without some of these, I might have no idea. I think you can click on each to enlarge it if you're interested.

This oval sign tells some of the history and lore associated with Blarney Castle.


This sign about boat tours is nice because there's a bit of scenery behind it. And behind me when I was taking the photo is Ross Castle.


Yum. Signs at places we ate. Always a nice reminder. The Scarriff Inn has a fabulous view, and a very fine shepherd's pie.


Another photo at Scarriff Inn. I told you they had a great view--and here's proof, right on the sign.

This is one of the places where I should have kept in mind that vehicles are driving on the left side of the road. Fortunately they were looking out for me more than I was looking out for them. Our bus was parked on the far side of the road from the inn, and thanks to those observant drivers, I didn't miss the rest of the tour because of being run down after a delicious lunch.

Their restrooms had cloth towel rolls. Do you remember those? Lots of places we visited in Ireland had the cloth towels as an option. Nice little blast from the past.

Not that it's a great picture at all, but this is one of few photos I took that remind me there are two languages in Ireland. Gaelic is their home language, and students must learn it in school. But nearly everyone speaks English most of the time. Muckross House. Sigh. Did you read the blog about tour guides? Golden Light...


The replica cottage was super cute from the outside, and I love the movie "The Quiet Man." Best part about this stop was one of the guys on our tour doing a brief bit of John Wayne-speak. There was also a lovely B&B/coffee stop/modern gift shop adjacent to the cottage. And of course the requisite bathrooms for a tour bus load of folks.


See the big orange W on the Galway Cathedral sign? Failte - Welcome. We felt so very welcome everywhere. Churches and cathedrals blog is coming up. I promise!

You may think I didn't quite get this photo the way I wanted it, but oho--turns out, I did. My purpose here was to get the magpie, who's after the shiny thing (in this case, berries). Magpies are always, always after the shiny thing. Remind you of anybody? And yep, it was just outside a Tourist Centre, down the street from a church. (Sh--don't tell anybody I have a church picture on Signage Blog Day.)

This was inside the Tourist Centre. Baby Nappy Changer Unit. How cute is that? I had a photo of the instructions for where not to put baby nappies, but that one doesn't seem to have survived. Diaper is such a boring word, compared to nappy. Just sayin'

Makes me smile every time. This was in the parking area of Sligo Park Hotel. It just refers to stripes on the pavement, not actual zebras. I must admit to being a little disappointed.

It isn't the easiest job in the world to find a parking place for a huge tour bus in downtown Dublin. So our driver told us if he couldn't find a spot in the official lineup, we should look for him across from Knobs & Knockers. Seriously, how could I resist this photo? Why even try, in fact?

If I were doing it again, I might go back to my outdated habit of buying a postcard at each site. The picture is on the front, the explanation on the back. But then I'd have missed some of these, which are amusing to me, at least.

I hope you're enjoying my oddball reliving of the Ireland trip. I sure am!

Magdalena