Monday, April 24, 2017

Free Book

How's that for a headline? Free book, yes indeed, and it has one of my prettiest covers ever.

Please help yourself to a copy of Emily's Dreams, which is book #2 in the Serendipity, Indiana series. We're trying to get the word out about the series, and Emily is out there spreading the word!

Here's the blurb:

Emily Kincaid was seriously injured in a car wreck (Small Town Christmas). Now she has to figure out how to live instead of simply surviving. Her past includes a series of broken relationships and dead-end jobs, but her future is a giant question mark. Everybody wants to help--the nurse aide Emily can't stand, Emily's grandmother who had the perfect marriage and wants Emily to find the right man, and her teenage sisters who are eager to get her out of their way. David Standish wants to help too, but he's the guy Emily can never have. He's older, and cosmopolitan while she's small-town boring...

And on top of all this, there's the voice in Emily's head that keeps giving her advice she can't understand.

Come to Serendipity, and believe in the magic of Love!


You can read an excerpt on the Emily's Dreams page.

I hope you'll love Emily's story. She's a special young lady!


Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Join me at Sweet Romance Reads?

Hi there! This month we're doing a reintroduction of ourselves on one of the group sites I participate in. Please click here to read my article on the Sweet Romance Reads page.

I'm so jazzed to see new reader reviews on some of my Legend, Tennessee titles. I especially love the one about Book #4, Building a Dream. Have you visited Legend lately? It's a nice, peaceful spot.

I hope your day is a good one, and that you find time to read something that leaves you with a happy sigh!


Friday, April 14, 2017

Donna Fasano and Made in Paradise

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Once Upon a Time - in Serendipity

I've been working on the next project in this year's rather ambitious writing line-up, and just realized I forgot to share  here on the blog about Taylor Kincaid's story, Once Upon a Time. This book (omigosh, so excited with the way it's going!) is scheduled to release on June first. The blurb is below, along with the pre-order links currently available.

Just so you know I'm not falling apart completely, I did a cover reveal for the book in my recent newsletter.

Taylor's twin sister, Hannah, will get a Christmas romance (yay! love those, right?), and I already have the cover for that one. (Please sign up here for my newsletter to get this type of info first.) 

Have you read books about twins? If so, what do you like best about those?

Once Upon a Time
Serendipity, Indiana - Book Eight

You met Taylor Kincaid (and her twin, Hannah) in Emily's Dreams. Now the twins have graduated college and are ready to leave Serendipity forever... The only problem is an absence of jobs in their field.

They decide to stay in Serendipity temporarily, living with their parents again, and taking a little sabbatical from all the hard work (and partying) of college.

But Marcus Kincaid has different expectations of his daughters. The free ride is at an end, and they have to get jobs in Serendipity if they expect to live at home. 

Hannah accidentally volunteers to work at the Standish Family Christmas Tree Farm with sister Emily (Kincaid) Standish. But Taylor floats resumes in the little town, to find a job that will help pad her bank account and be easy to leave when the right employment opportunity comes along.

It's a great plan, until Taylor steps into the antiques shop on the town square, and meets its handsome, enigmatic new owner. Now leaving may be more complicated than staying.

iBooks ~ Kobo ~ Nook  ~  Smashwords
Pre-order coming soon to Amazon  

Friday, April 7, 2017

Authors in Bloom Winner

I hope you enjoyed the Authors in Bloom blog hop! The name of the grand prize winner will be posted on the blog of Dianne Venetta, who organized the event.

I chose the winner of my giveaway by using (But I enjoyed reading comments about farmers' markets. Only downside: Made me hungry, and in a hurry for ours to open!)

The winner of a paperback from me is Rhi. Congratulations, Rhi!

Thank you, everyone, for participating. Those who signed up for my newsletter will get an email containing their coupon code for a free ebook. So please do watch for that!

Until we meet again, Happy Reading!


Monday, April 3, 2017

If you enjoy Facebook parties, or have been wanting to try one, here's the perfect opportunity. Shanna Hatfield's Third Annual Petticoat Ball is sure to be great! (Click image to go to the party page.)

Hosting authors will bring games, books, and other prizes--and will join guests in lots of fun sharing time.

I'm tickled to be one of the guest hosts. (Please note, the party is being held on Pacific Time, 10 AM to 2 PM on April 6th.)

We all hope to see you there!


Monday, March 27, 2017

Authors in Bloom - Blog Hop!

Welcome! I hope you're enjoying the 6th annual blog hop. This is my first year to participate, and I'm excited about it!

I'm a USA Today Bestselling Author of small town romance and women's fiction. I have two series. Please click on the group of covers to learn more about each series.

While you're here, grab two free books. (McClains series)

At the end of the blog hop, each newsletter subscriber will get a Smashwords coupon code for a free copy of Small Town Christmas (Serendipity series)Sign up for the newsletter here.

Now--about Spring, and Blooming...I live in a studio apartment, so when the local farmers' market starts up, I really get jazzed. Here's a photo of some goodies I bought last year. Zucchini, summer squash, strawberries, and the bread lady's fabulous sourdough. Mmmm.

My favorite summer lunch is sauteed veggies. Sometimes I add thinly sliced carrots, and/or broccoli, but here's my favorite:

Summer Vegetable Sautee
Sautee in extra virgin olive oil: Summer (yellow) squash, and zucchini, washed and sliced 1/4 inch thick, and sweet onion--diced. Sprinkle with creole seasoning. Stir occasionally. A few minutes before done, add cashews as desired. (I try not to cook the cashews too long.) Can be served alone, or on a bed of wheat spaghetti.


Do you have a local farmers' market? If so, what are your favorite finds?

Answer that question in the comments, below. You must include your email address in your comment to be eligible for the grand prize at the end of the hop. (The organizers will be checking that everyone visited all the blogs. Plus they need a way to get hold of you, if you win.)

Your comment also puts your name into the hat for a random drawing to win one of my paperbacks. I'll put up a post announcing my winner on April 7th.

Good luck!

Be sure to visit all of the participating blogs, listed below. The tour ends April 5th at 11:59pm EST. The grand prize winners will be posted April 7th, on blog #1 (Dianne Venetta) and #50 (Bloomin Thyme).

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Click here to see the entire blog hop schedule.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Frankly, My Dear: Creating Unforgettable Characters

For all of us writers, today is potentially a very big day! Melinda Curtis's new book, Frankly, My Dear: Creating Unforgettable Characters, is now available.

I was fortunate enough to get an early copy, hoping to help spread the word about this great new reference work. I am so excited about the possibilities this book offers!

(Please Note: There's a lot of information, but it's broken down so as to be easily understood and utilized. In other words, Don't Panic.)

Here's the official blurb:

It doesn't matter if your writing style is planned, spontaneous, or somewhere in between--it's the character and conflict that sells! Character and conflict hooks in studio execs, holds an editor’s attention, and draws in readers, compelling them to turn the page. So what is the secret sauce? How can you hack into believable and compelling characters? By using a tried and true psychological principle adapted for writers by Melinda Curtis, an award-winning, USA Today bestseller of over 35 books and novellas.

In this book, you’ll find the basics of character and conflict, along with a multi-faceted psychological principle that can be used to create characters who need to grow and change. Inside are numerous tips to create and deepen character and conflict from the beginning of your story to the end. You’ll discover hacks to give your characters depth and provide them with behavioral bumpers so they act consistently throughout your story, until they grow and change in an emotionally satisfying finale. As an added bonus, there are over 100 examples from movies and television that illustrate how to use each principle. That means adding this book to your writing toolbox will help you sell to editors and studio execs, and create compelling reads that bring audiences back for more.

On the face of it, that might sound complicated, and even daunting, but Melinda explains clearly, with examples of characters  that, once met, we carry with us forever. (You immediately thought of Rhett and Scarlett when you saw the book title, right?)

I'm examining my works in progress in light of Melinda's information, and you can bet that when planning future books, I'll have Frankly, My Dear close at hand.

I've also added Frankly, My Dear to my website page for writers.

I'd love to have a print copy of this book, to put on my writers' reference shelf. (And that, from Minimalist Me, is a very big deal!)

Many thanks to Melinda for doing the research, and compiling this information for all of us!


Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Where the Magic Happens

This is the third in my series, inspired by Brian Gardner's No Sidebar post, "50 Simple Things You Need to Hear."

Well, YES.

Maybe that's why I can't pass the stationery aisle without perusing the blank books. I'm trying not to purchase any more, and am slowly using the ones I have. But, oh my goodness, just to look at, and run my hand down, the beautiful, pristine paper. 

All those blank books are waiting for people to write their stories. 

Alice Williams's tale, The Blank Book, began with that premise. What if you wrote a story (ostensibly about a fictional character, but really a thinly disguised version of yourself) and that story began to come true? It was a wild ride for Alice, and for the unsuspecting Robert Diamond, but finally, after the mystery was solved--whew--they had a happy ending. 

White space also, to me, means the exhilaration of opening a fresh, empty word processing document when I'm ready to start working on a new story. 

The possibilities seem endless. I hope to eventually finish all the stories I've begun, as well as the ones that are still nebulous ideas floating in my head, or scribbled onto scraps of paper.

White Space All Around

Five years ago, we were nearing completion of the renovation project my landlords undertook, to create the studio apartment where I now live. My color choices became a running joke between us. As in, if there was paint to be applied, I wanted white. The plain, un-adulterated, cheapest white in the store was, and is, perfect.

Even now, approaching my fifth anniversary in this space, when I climb the stairs and walk into my apartment, a feeling of peace immediately washes over me. 

It's like stepping into a cloud.

I try to keep the space uncluttered--a task that requires daily effort--so the peaceful feeling is maintained. With soft jazz playing, and a cup of coffee nearby, there's no better place to let creativity take over.

White Space on the Calendar

This is a tough one. My time management isn't perfect. I try to write, walk, meditate, see people, eat healthy, and do at least one home care task each day. Sometimes I work ten or twelve hours a day, or more. Having a calendar that isn't full of go here, do this makes my flexible schedule possible, and gives me at least a chance at having a good night's sleep.

White Space for my Online Guests

I recently updated the look of the blog, to make it easier on your eyes, and to keep the focus on whatever article you are here to read. Over time, the look of the page has evolved. I shake my head now, remembering that for a short while, I had two (not just one, but two) sidebars, to showcase my books, and... You know, I can't even recall all the stuff that was in those sidebars. What a nightmare. I love this streamlined look, and hope you do, too. 

I hope the simple, peaceful look gives your eyes and mind a moment's rest.

That's what I have on today's topic. If you have ideas to share, please leave them in the comments.

If you want to read the previous articles in this series, they're here:

I hope you're enjoying these peeks into my minimalist journey. If you want to learn more about my novels, just click on the Serendipity tab or the Legend tab. I'm happy to report that this year's increasingly ambitious writing goals seem possible. WOOT. 


Friday, March 3, 2017

#SweetRomance #FridayReads Guest: Kristin Holt

Union Pacific Station Agent Chadwick Hughes has everything in a state of readiness to welcome his mail order bride…everything but the bride. The woman he’s corresponded with for a year didn’t change her mind or miss her train in Omaha—she never existed. Chadwick’s mortified to discover he’s been swindled by a fraudulent matrimonial agency in Chicago. He needs a lawyer if he’ll ever recover a dime of the fortune he spent on worthless membership fees and the nonexistent bride’s transportation west.

Sophia Sorensen, Attorney at Law, is a spinster on the edge of propriety. The good people of Wyoming Territory are open to a lot of things, including Lady’s Privilege during Leap Years, but some aren’t fond of her day-to-day behavior. Why, the woman rides her bicycle hither and yon, showing her petticoat ruffle and ankles. She might be the least ladylike specimen beneath Wyoming skies, but it’s entertaining to watch her court the U.P. Station Agent, Chadwick Hughes, the most-eligible bachelor in the county.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Kristin Holt, USA Today Bestselling Author, writes Sweet Romances (G- and PG-rated) set in the Victorian American West. While secular in nature, her titles are “Appropriate for All Audiences” and appeal to selective readers and fans of Christian historical romance.
Readers are welcome to contact Kristin on her website ( with questions, feedback, comments, or just to say hello.  Her site offers links to social media, previews of upcoming releases, book lists, an ever-growing cache of articles about all things “Old West”, and more!
Connect with Kristin: Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Website ~ Goodreads

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, February 27, 2017

Seasoned Romance Giveaway

Today, I have a fun surprise to share with you.

I’ve teamed up with 30 fantastic seasoned contemporary romance authors (with books featuring characters over 40), to give away a huge collection of novels, PLUS a Kindle Fire, to one lucky winner! 

That winner will get the ebook version of my novel, SECOND CHANCES, plus ebooks from authors like Karen Booth, Maggie Wells, and Susan Haught.

Enter the giveaway before the deadline, by clicking here:

Please note: Although my story is sweet, 
the romances in the giveaway have a varied range of heat levels. 

Good luck, and enjoy!


Friday, February 24, 2017

#SweetRomance #FridayReads Guest: Raine English

Preorder: FROM NOW ON by Raine English

Step into the world of the South with the Magnolias and Moonshine series. Twenty New York Times, USA Today, and Amazon bestselling authors joined together to bring you a taste of Southern charm. A new novella will be released daily beginning April 10th through April 30th. Raine’s contribution to the series is FROM NOW ON.

Who says love’s sweeter the second time around?

When Whitney Adams discovers her first love is back in Atlanta, she can’t help but wonder if they might have a second chance at love. But after she learns there’s more to his kisses than wanting to rekindle their romance, she isn’t about to let her heart rule.

Cash Galloway has never forgotten his high school sweetheart, so when he might have another chance with her, he’s elated. However, his happiness is short lived once he discovers his new dream job involves acquiring Atlanta Belles—Whitney’s popular salon and spa. Will Cash lose the perfect woman a second time, or will love prevail?

Preorder FROM NOW ON today at the following retailers for just $0.99 and have it delivered to your ereader on April 24th.


USA Today bestselling author Raine English writes sweet small-town contemporary romance, along with paranormal and romantic suspense. She’s a Daphne du Maurier Award winner and a Golden Heart finalist. To receive information on all her new releases, you can sign up for her newsletter, visit her website, like her on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

6 Ways to Unplug

This is the second in a series of posts I am writing, inspired by Brian Gardner's No Sidebar post, "50 Simple Things You Need to Hear."

I've certainly found this to be true. The problem is, I keep "discovering" how important it can be, to my regular life, and to my writing life. I need to really learn this lesson, and build on getting better at it. Sheesh!

Last March I spent a week in Tucson, staying with friends. 

My plan was to get up early, watch the sunrise, write, 
and then do fun stuff with my friends the rest of the day. 

Instead, I went to bed early and slept late every single day. It was the most restful, relaxing, rejuvenating trip I've ever taken. Wifi was available, but I didn't use it much. I also didn't make any progress on the story at hand, The Ring. Evidently I was at the edge of exhaustion--and from what? I have designed a simple life. The only thing I can imagine that had me so worn out was hours of being online. 

Cell phone addiction? Got it. 
Spending too much time checking stats on Amazon? Been there. 
Sucked into the facebook, instagram, or twitter feeds? Oh yeah.

Because I'm very easily distracted--Squirrel!--I've often failed to accomplish the work I want to do, or fully enjoy the fun things that come along. So I chose Mindfulness as my word for 2017. (You can read about OneWord 365 here.)

Being mindful is a big challenge for me. My brain seems to have a constant need to think about everything at the same time. It's chaos up there. This is exhausting (especially when it happens at night) and unproductive.

Below are some things that work for me. Your mileage may vary--and if you have suggestions, please leave them in the comments.

1-Writing a first draft in longhand

I recently decided to try this, and love having my first cup of coffee along with my first 1,000 words of the day. I turn on just one small light, next to the recliner. This feels cozy and indulgent, and yet it's productive. The words are flowing very well, and even though my handwriting stinks, I'm able to decipher it.

2-Leaving the phone out of reach, and silent

Leaving my phone on the other side of the room when I'm writing, and almost always having sounds turned off except for emergency notifications, both help. But if I'm out and about, waiting somewhere for even a few seconds, my habit is to pull out the phone to check what other people are doing somewhere else, instead of noticing what's going on around me. I'm trying to make the conscious effort to leave the phone in my purse and just notice the people nearby, or the blue sky. I don't want to be so addicted to this expensive electronic tether. Still struggling.

3-Taking a long walk

Walking outside is better for mindfulness, because I don't listen to music, or an audiobook. I notice the curve of the path, watch actual squirrels, hear the children playing, and am conscious of traffic. (A good thing, because some of those drivers aren't into taking a break from their phones.) When weather doesn't allow an outdoor walk, I use my stepper, and plug into a podcast about the publishing industry, or listen to an audiobook. I walk an hour or so a day, usually six days a week.


For years, I had thought about trying meditation, and with all that's happening in our world, the beginning of 2017 seemed the perfect time. I'm doing ten minutes after my walk, and ten minutes right before bed. It's not magic, but I find it helpful. I consider meditation to be an investment in my health. I use the Headspace app.

5-Limiting online time

Since I write first, have a healthy breakfast, take a long walk, meditate, and then shower, I don't even touch my laptop until much later in the day than I used to. Before, it was coffee and laptop each morning, and even if I intended to add to a story's word count, I often drifted online, checking weather, facebook, twitter, favorite blogs, etc. 

6-Not watching TV

I haven't watched TV for fifteen years. I have a couple dozen DVDs that I can watch on my "old" laptop, and I can view movies on my Kindle Fire. But most of the time, if I have a free evening at home, I'd rather read. The TV is gone now--given away, leaving space for my writing reference books. I get my news online, and intentionally limit this very strictly. 

Do you have thoughts to share on the topic of unplugging? I'd enjoy hearing them!


Friday, February 17, 2017


My friend Donna Fasano has a new contemporary romance novel coming out next week. I think it sounds great!

WILD HEARTS OF SUMMER, Ocean City Boardwalk Series, Book 3
Now Available for Preorder!
Cathy Whitley’s two best friends, Sara and Heather, may have found the men of their dreams… and that’s all well and good for them. But that’s not going to happen to Cathy. She allowed love to catch her off-guard once and it drained her dry, emotionally and financially. She’ll never let it happen again. Ever.

Brad Henderson has been chasing Cathy for years. He’s settled for their on-again-off-again, “friends with bennies” relationship for far longer than he expected. Attempting to swim through the rip currents surrounding her heart has left him swimming in circles.

Then Brad inherits a business worth millions from billionaire Harold Hopewell.Hopewell had traveled the world and was touched by the stories of the people he met. In death, Hopewell is giving back, leaving an unusual will filled with life-altering bequests. Brad can’t believe his stroke of luck. Now Cathy will surely see him in a new light. Right?

One way or the other, it’s time to draw a line in the sand…

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

New Release: Finding Joy by Melanie D. Snitker

Sometimes, what looks like a dead end, is really a new beginning.
A horrific accident changed everything for Parker Wilson. Unable to find solid footing in his disrupted life, he returns to his family's ranch, a place he thought he'd left behind for good. The scars on his face are a daily reminder of all he's lost, yet his mom still insists he needs to stop hiding and live his life again. The beautiful new employee she hires is the last thing he needs, despite his mom's best intentions, and he'll do whatever it takes to make the girl quit and regain the peace and quiet he prefers.

Nothing short of desperation would force Chelsea Blake to work on a local cattle ranch. But if she's going to avoid her parents' judgment when they arrive in three weeks, she must turn the temporary job into a permanent one. Between dodging mud, feeding longhorn cattle, and dealing with a handsome boss who keeps giving her the cold shoulder, staying gainfully employed is proving to be a challenge. Chelsea may not be cut out for ranch life, but her determination to succeed is stronger than Parker's efforts at forcing her to leave.

Unprepared to discover all they have in common, if they set aside their initial dislike, they just might find joy beyond measure.

Finding Joy is only $0.99
Now through February 19th

Check out the entire Love's Compass Series​ and experience the stories of faith, love, and family. 

About the Author:
Melanie D. Snitker has enjoyed writing for as long as she can remember. She started out writing episodes of cartoon shows that she wanted to see as a child and her love of writing grew from there. She and her husband live in Texas with their two children who keep their lives full of adventure, and two dogs who add a dash of mischief to the family dynamics. In her spare time, Melanie enjoys photography, reading, crochet, baking, archery, target shooting, learning about essential oils, and hanging out with family and friends.

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