Painted Rocks, Joy, and Childhood Revisited

I grew up spending my summers at the beach, and one of our favorite pastimes was collecting rocks and shells, and painting them.

Well, imagine my surprise when I recently discovered adults all around the world have taken to painting rocks, and tucking them in fun spots for other folk to find. Rocks with messages, or not. Rocks with great artwork on them…or not.  The point is to spread a bit of love.

So last Tuesday, my besties and I on our “girls playday,” painted rocks, and on the weekend I took them to the beach where the Sea Festival was happening, and I left them here and there, in plain view.

I could only imagine the childlike joy of finding such a special gift—something another human being had created with love.

Guess what we’re doing this Tuesday? Yep, painting more rocks, and this time I might leave a couple at the hospital, or in odd spots around town. My goal in life is to make people smile, and I’m tickled to find this new way that will hopefully bring a moment of joy to a total stranger.

 

 


Kat loves crisp sunny days, the warm breath of a horse, cats with a sense of humor, the smell of the ocean, and her very own charming prince—in no particular order.   http://kathrynjane.com


 

Soul destroying questions and equally stunning answers have Dusty digging deeper than she ever thought possible, and when she discovers her Self, in an entirely foreign landscape, she begins anew, more determined than ever to achieve her lifelong dream.


Sisterhood of Suspense

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Favorite Authors

by Kathryn Jane

Have you ever attended the RWA National Conference?

I’ve been twice, RWA2014, and RWA2016, but I won’t be there this year because, well, reality. Between airfare, accommodation, and conference registration it would cost this Canadian about three grand, and that’s almost three month’s rent!

But as we slip into July, and the buzz has begun, I find myself thinking about my “best” conference moments.

It’s an incredible feeling to be in the same room as the authors you’ve been reading for years. Authors who have moved you to tears, made your heart swell with happiness, or perhaps inspired you.

I am grateful:

For laughter with Sam, AJ, Beverly, Stephanie, and Debi.

For time spent with Loreth and Toni.

For finally meeting my Sisterhood of Suspense peeps in person.

For the first ever meeting of the Seasoned Romance group.

For the incredible fangirl moments when I nearly brushed elbows with Roxanne St Claire, Kristan Higgins, and Jill Shalvis.

For the privilege of sitting in a room jammed to the roof with fans listening to Nora Roberts speak candidly about writing–a gracious, and down to earth woman, with a voice I could listen to all day.

I absolutely love that she breaks the rules of writing, and does it so perfectly we don’t notice or care. I reread The Bride Quartet, and The Chesapeake Bay trilogy (plus one), at least once a year.

And I’m addicted to her JD Robb In Death series. It’s 45 books long now, and yep, I reread it at least once a year because I absolutely love Eve Dallas and Roarke, and all the other characters.


So what about you? What are you grateful for?

Are you going to Nationals?

Who are your favorite authors? Who would you like to meet? Listen to?

Do you reread books? Series? Which ones?


Award winning author, Kathryn Jane writes the popular Intrepid Women Series. Novels filled with mystery, suspense, adventure, psychic abilities, and romance. Think MacGyver, Criminal Minds, and James Bond…with a dash of I Love Lucy.

Kat loves crisp sunny days, the warm breath of a horse, cats with a sense of humor, the smell of the ocean, and her very own charming prince—in no particular order.   http://kathrynjane.com


 

Soul destroying questions and equally stunning answers have Dusty digging deeper than she ever thought possible, and when she discovers her Self, in an entirely foreign landscape, she begins anew, more determined than ever to achieve her lifelong dream.



Giveaways

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It’s #ReleaseDay for Love, Christmas #HolidayRomance #RSsos #mgtab @jacqbiggar

Love, Christmas

by Bestselling authors from The Authors’ Billboard

Genre: Contemporary Holiday Romance

Release Date: October 18, 2015

Holiday stories that will be a song in your heart!
You’ll love this heartwarming collection of 20 all-new Christmas stories from NY Times, USA Today, and national best-selling authors. Every title in the set is from a Christmas song suggested by a reader. Here’s just a sample of the wonderful variety in these pages: In LAST CHRISTMAS, after a year of heartache, a young woman confronts the man who ran out on her the December before. Can SILVER BELLS bring two stubborn souls together and give a little girl the Christmas gift she wants most? HOLLY JOLLY CHRISTMAS showcases a young couple confronting the dilemma of an unwanted pregnancy. In FROSTY THE SNOWMAN, the collection turns from angst to humor when two strangers and a cute but mischievous Samoyed puppy are stranded by a freak snow storm in the Alaskan bush. And then there’s the shopkeeper in WHITE CHRISTMAS who’s hit by a car and goes into a coma—or is she really at Santa’s workshop? All these and the rest of the collection will launch you into the Christmas spirit.
♫♪Put a song in your heart with 20 all-new Christmas Romances from NY Times, USA Today, and national best-selling authors. Each brand-new title is inspired by a Christmas carol and will lift your spirits and bring on the holiday cheer.♫♪

We Need a Little Christmas by Leanne Banks

When hard-edged, Christmas cynic, Justin Dane Burgess encounters Christmas fan, Lilly Johansen, he doesn’t know what to think. Can this Christmas cynic fall for the human equivalent of a Christmas angel? More importantly, can he be the man she needs?

Frosty the Snowman by Mimi Barbour

Stranded in an Alaskan snowstorm, strangers Hali and Terry are forced to rely on each other for survival.

Due to a freak snowstorm that forces him to land his small Cessna, strangers, Hali and Terry, and a cute but mischievous Samoyed puppy are stranded in the Alaskan bush. From the beginning, she’s never known a man so independent and rigid in his need to have things done his way. And he’s never known a woman so willing to help, stepping on his pride in such a lovable way that he can’t take offense. The frigid temperatures are brutal and when he falls through the ice to save a puppy, the stakes for survival become enormous. Can their blossoming mutual attraction withstand their multiple challenges?

Last Christmas by Joan Reeves

Annabelle fell in love at first sight with a mysterious stranger. After a week of unforgettable passion, he walked out of her life.

A year of heartache accompanied by the dirty tricks life can serve up finds her back in her hometown, determined to forget the man who still haunts her dreams.

Who should walk into her grandmother’s Christmas party? Why the man who seduced her, lied to her, and betrayed her. He has a new name and a new identity, but his effect on her is as old as time.

Rick Lassiter thinks he can woo Annabelle back to him—and his bed. But, he didn’t count on the passionate sweet-tempered woman he remembered as having a will as strong as his and a desire to make him pay for breaking her heart.

Holly Jolly Christmas by Mona Risk

This novella is a prequel to the Holiday Babies Series

Heather and Jeff have always been in love. But to find herself pregnant now, at eighteen, before she starts college and he joins MIT for a master’s degree… Talk about the wrong time. Besides, the news might kill her father, who is battling cancer.

Although the decision to give up her baby is breaking her heart, Heather contacts an adoption agency. Except that Jeff absolutely refuses to consider her solution and their perfect relationship is slowly deteriorating.

How can they revive their loving bond and protect their baby’s future?

Do You Hear What I Hear? – Patricia Rosemoor

The song “Do You Hear What I Hear?” was written as a plea for peace during the Cuban Missile Crisis in the middle of the Cold War. Now Christmas is just around the corner, and live-in-lovers Shelley and Jake are in a cold war of their own. Detective Shelley Caldwell has all wonderful memories of Christmas, while Jake DeAtley, born of a mother turned vampire while pregnant with him, has none. They’ve come to a compromise inthat she can decorate “her half” of every room, but no Christmas tree. Then a case of hit-and-run leaves a dead body and a magical Christmas tree that Shelley can’t resist bringing home, heating up the war between her and Jake. There is more to the tree than either knows. When they discover the truth about it, will it bring them together or keep them farther apart?

White Christmas – Rebecca York

The snow is coming down so fast, Amelia Parsons doesn’t see the speeding car until it’s too late. One moment she’s crossing an ice-rutted street in St. Stephens, Maryland. In the next, she’s flying into the air, and the world goes black. She wakes, confused, in what appears to be Santa’s workshop during the holiday rush. If that’s not strange enough, a hunky FBI agent named Daniel is there, demanding to know why she’s involved in a plot to ruin Christmas. Can she convince him she’s not the villain and then work with him to find the real saboteur?

So This is Christmas – Denise Devine

Annabelle Lee—is looking forward to a weekend of catching up, munching cookies and enjoying Christmas cheer with her childhood girlfriends. She hasn’t had a vacation since this time last year and desperately needs the time off. Her business has taken a toll on her life, leaving her exhausted and questioning the price of success. She arrives early at Ellie Stone’s family cabin to relax and decide the direction of her future, but to her dismay, she’s not alone. Ellie’s twin brother is also there and declares he isn’t leaving until Friday.

Christopher Stone—is the boy who mercilessly teased her when they were kids. He has grown into a handsome man with a career in professional baseball and a pop-star girlfriend. He appears to have an idyllic life, but the longer they talk, the more Annabelle suspects his love life isn’t as perfect as he claims. She can’t deny her attraction to him and knows he’s attracted to her as well.

Best Friends Forever—will this week be like old times or the beginning of a new chapter in her life?

Grown Up Christmas List – Donna Fasano

Dina Griffin is on the run and wants only one thing this Christmas—to feel safe. However, Officer Gav Thomas tries to arrest her. Arrest her? Yes. But the two become friends, and soon the attraction they feel is unmistakable, even though Gav senses Dina is hiding something. Is he really a local cop… or her guardian angel?

Blue Christmas – Traci Hall

Librarian/waitress Tamsyn Lee is all about accepting change, while Evan Hawke must do everything just the same in order to find his muse. He hopes the seaside grill he wrote his first mystery masterpiece in will kick-start his third book before his publisher drops him. Tamsyn has zero tolerance for divas, but she’s read Evan’s novel and knows he has the talent. Besides, helping him takes the focus off of spending Christmas without her family. Evan realizes he needs a miracle—could feisty Tamsyn be an angel in sneakers and a ponytail?

Santa Baby – Taylor Lee

Dancing to Eartha Kitt’s sultry list of all goodies she expected Santa Baby to put under her tree, Lily slid down the pole and stifled a sigh. A blue convertible? A sable? A Tiffany ring? Right! Like Lily could expect anything remotely like that under her tree! How about first making sure she had a tree.

At that moment she saw him. The big man with the shaggy blond hair and gleaming dark eyes was leaning casually back in his chair. His narrowed expression was hard, knowing. It was clear that he was studying her. Stunned, she quickly looked away, her carefully honed rules fleeing in her panic. The imposing man had “cop” written all over him. Squashing down her terror, Lily pasted a professional smile on her face, waved to the screaming crowd, and fled the stage.

Anyone who’d ever tangled with dirty cops knew that the hard blue line protected the most egregious acts committed by one of their brothers. If anyone doubted that was true all they had to know was that Aiden was a free man and Lily was on the run.

Lily’s only hope was that this time she and Gabriella had run far enough, fast enough, that he wouldn’t be able to find them.

If he was any judge of women who shed their clothes for a living, and Zach most certainly was, he recognized her startled wide-eyed expression. He’d seen it far too many times in his line of work. It was fear, pure and simple.

The Vice Cop reminded himself all that meant was that the beautiful woman had something big to hide.

Let it Snow – Stephanie Queen

Guilt and sorrow eat at ex-special ops legend Dane Blaise like kryptonite until he can’t remember why he wanted Shana, his ex-Scotland Yard partner and former balm for his soul.

Shana can’t reach him and she’s desperate until a stranger, a padre from South America shows up in a snow storm on Christmas Eve. The stranger claims he’s there to help, but what can he possibly do…

Merry, Did You Know? – Jennifer St. Giles

MC Love has decided to give her soon to be born baby up for adoption. In her experience, the cons of growing up in the Love’s family dynasty far outweigh the pros. She wants her baby to have stable parents and a normal life, far from her family’s dysfunctional insanity and the paparazzi that hound her and her seven sisters, all of which are step except one (Her mother, True Love, is still looking for the love of her life). None of the Loves are lucky in love. Her sisters Pure and Sweet had a reality TV show, Love’s Truth about the Loves’ romantic tragedies.

MC does not want her own misfortune in the gossip columns or on her sisters’ show. She has kept her pregnancy a secret as is currently hiding on St. Simons Island, Georgia while her family thinks she is vacationing in a villa in France. She has a week to choose the parents for her child which is due in one month. Everything is on track.

What MC doesn’t plan on is Doug Warren, the man who lives in the condo next to her. The man whose music in the middle of the night makes her heart sing and weep. The man who changes everything.

Doug Warren is trying to breathe again. After the tragic loss of his wife and daughter three years ago, he has his head down, focused on surviving one day at a time. Christmas is the worst time of year. He can’t afford anything to shake the fragile balance he has gained. Two things happen to throw him into the deep end. His family tells him they are descending in mass at Christmas and his neighbor’s adoption papers smack him in the face.

Once he meets MC, he is unable to go back to his status quo. How could she give away what he would die over and over again to have back? He sets on a mission to find out why. And as she helps him prepare for his family’s arrival, his mission changes as the impossible unfolds. Doug’s not only breathing, but his heart is beating, stronger than ever for a woman and her unborn child.

Can he convince her to believe in miracles and trust in him?

O Christmas Tree – Alicia Street

Blaming himself for the collapse of a storm shelter that took the lives of his wife and son in a violent tornado, Cody has spent the last three years running, moving from place to place, taking whatever odd job is available to sustain his empty life.

Piper knows what it takes to endure and hope in the face of the odds, especially at Christmas, so when the ruggedly handsome man with the desolate look in his face steps into her cat cafe to deliver a box of stray kittens, something tells her it’s going to be a very interesting holiday.

Sleigh Ride – Katy Walters

Having lost her father, The Reverend Stuart Vale, the third son of an Earl to yellow fever, Miss Sophia Vale, faced a life of genteel poverty. Not for her the whirl of balls, routs and clandestine meetings in Vauxhall Gardens, nor for her the thrill of meeting that special beau. Yet being of strong will, she determined to banish such frippery dreams and help her bereaved mama to rear her brood of six daughters and one young son.

However Baron Jude Hawsley, a lecher with a penchant for young maidens has other ideas for the unwitting Sophia.

Enter Lord Wells, the Earl of Breconbridge, renowned as a rakehell, his saving grace being a conscience. Yet he guards a secret life, involving much danger for himself and those close to him. Will his conscience win the day? Will he save Sophia from the horrors of enslavement to the baron.

Deck the Hearts – Rachelle Ayala

Holly Jolly lives for Christmas. It’s the only time of the year, as far as she’s concerned.

Gordon Gills doesn’t need a reason to hate the holiday season. He doesn’t see the point.

Gordon returns to the mansion he inherited and finds Holly making a mess with her Christmas decorations. Unfortunately, his great-aunt’s will stipulates that he must make merry every Christmas if he wants to keep his inheritance.

Holly is determined to infect the grouchy Gordon with every dose of Christmas cheer she can muster up and show him what Christmas is really about, while Gordon doesn’t believe Holly can be truly that cheerful. He’ll make the entire ordeal anything but jolly for the redheaded elf, if only he wasn’t so attracted to her.

Will Gordon prevail and turn Holly into a Grinch, or will a sprinkling of Christmas magic show Gordon that there’s no fighting love, especially when it’s wrapped up in a gorgeous red-headed package of jolly holly?

Silver Bells – Jacquie Biggar

Mystery writer, Joel Carpenter, has no time for romance. He has a deadline to meet, and too many skeletons in his closet to trust the slightly spinny artist renting his house.

Christy Taylor has her hands full dealing with an ailing business and a diabetic daughter, she doesn’t need the temptation that is her landlord, Joel Carpenter.

Can a Christmas wish bring two stubborn souls together and give a little girl the gift she wants most?

A family of her own.

Hark the Herald Angel Falls – Michele Hauf

To earn her halo, angel Merit must convince the person who holds her earthly soul in limbo—her husband—to stop loving her.

Little Drummer Boy – Dani Haviland

Reduced to becoming a drummer boy at half wages, the young scout shows his worth when a small band of post-Revolutionary War soldiers and citizens become lost in the worst winter storm of the late 18th century. Will the unexpected arrival of his malcontent father help or hurt their situation?

I’ll Be Home For Christmas – Nancy Radke

Fleeing an invading army in the Middle East, Sofia Morgan and Lee Trahern meet in a rowboat in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea. They have barely enough water to make the trip across, and when bullets fly, most of their containers are shot full of holes. Can these two make it to safety, and even be home for Christmas?

Santa Claus is Coming to Town – Cynthia Cooke

Santa Claus is coming to town, and so is Nicole Flattery. When this big city girl must return to her small hometown, she runs headfirst into the handsome boy next door—who is none other than the town Santa. And he needs an elf. 1.Nicole better Watch Out for her father has taken a fall. 2.She better Not Cry when she has to wear an elf costume and be at Santa’s beck and call. 3.She better Not Shout even when she has lost it all. Santa is making a list, and he’s checking it twice. He’s going to make sure she’s naughty and nice. So, hold onto your heart, because Santa Claus is coming to town!

Interested in having a sneak peek into the box set?
Get the first chapter of each book at any of these three sites for FREE.

Leanne Banks

Leanne Banks is a national #1 best-selling author with over fifty romance novels to her credit. Leanne was born and raised in the wonderful town of Roanoke, Virginia. Growing up in “the star city of the south” had a huge impact on her outlook and her writing. Her B.S. in Psychology only qualifies her to treat fictional characters and she began writing when her two children were very young. Leanne believes in the transforming power of love, so writing romance novels comes naturally to her. Her muse is a 4.5 lb Pomeranian who is happy to snooze beside Leanne while Leanne creates. Leanne loves travel and trips to the beach, but what’s most important to her is family. Leanne’s home on the web is www.leannebanks.com. To get the most up-to-date scoop on Leanne, visit her on facebook.

Mimi Barbour

New York TimesUSA Today, Best-selling author – Mimi’s been heard to say: “I’m an author who loves to write uplifting stories about romance. Add in some time travel, or maybe an angel, or even a little romantic suspense and it makes the story more fascinating because of the incredible possibilities.”

Mimi is an Amazon best-selling author who’s sold over 500,000 copies of her books world-wide. Her five romance series: The Vicarage Bench/ time travel at its best, Angels with Attitudes / angels love romance, Vegas / fast-paced plotting, Elvis / make a song a book and her newest, Undercover FBI / with sizzling conflicts and lots of humor.

Joan Reeves

Joan Reeves is a NY Times and USA Today bestselling author of Contemporary Romance. Available as ebooks and audiobooks, her romance novels all have the same underlying theme: “It’s never too late to live happily ever after.” Joan lives her happily ever after with her Hero, her husband, in the Lone Star State. Sign up for Joan’s email list/newsletter for readers.

Mona Risk

A tireless traveler, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Mona Risk writes contemporary romance, medical romance, and romantic suspense novels, all simmering with emotion. Sprinkled with a good dose of humor, her stories are set in the fascinating places she visits— or in Florida, her paradise on earth.

Patricia Rosemoor

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Patricia Rosemoor writes “dangerous love.” She has had 98 novels with 8 publishers and more than 7 million books in print. Patricia has won a Golden Heart from Romance Writers of America and two Reviewers Choice and two Career Achievement Awards from Romantic Times BOOKreviews, and in her other life, she taught Popular Fiction and Suspense-Thriller Writing at Columbia College Chicago.

Rebecca York

NY Times & USA Today best-seller, Rebecca York, is the author of over 150 books. She has written paranormal romantic thrillers for Berkley and romantic thrillers for Harlequin Intrigue. Her new romantic-suspense series, Decorah Security, is set at a detective agency where agents have paranormal powers or work paranormal cases. She also writes an Off-World series where each story is a science fiction romance taking place on a distant planet in the far future.

Denise Devine

Denise Devine has had a passion for books since the second grade when she discovered Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder. She wrote her first book, a mystery, at age thirteen and has been writing ever since. She’s been a member of Romance Writers of America (RWA) since 1991 and has won or placed in numerous writing contests. In 2008, her contemporary inspirational romance, This Time Forever, was a finalist in RWA’s Golden Heart contest for unpublished writers.

Denise lives on six wooded acres in East Bethel, Minnesota with her husband, Steve and her three problem (feline) children, Mocha, Lambchop and Tigger. She loves to read, write, study and travel.

Donna Fasano

USA TODAY BESTSELLING AUTHOR DONNA FASANO is a three-time winner of the HOLT Medallion, a CataRomance Reviewers Choice Award winner for Best Single Title, a Desert Rose Golden Quill Award finalist, a Golden Heart finalist, and a two-time winner of Best Romance of the Year given by BigAl’s Books & Pals Review Blog. Her books have sold 4 million copies worldwide and have been published in two dozen languages. Her novels have made the Kindle Top 100 Paid List numerous times, climbing as high as #1.

Donna has a website, and can be found on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites. Contact information can be found inside Donna Fasano’s books. She loves to interact with readers.

Traci Hall

With an impressive bibliography in an array of genres, USA Today bestselling author Traci Hall has garnered a notable fan base. She pens stories guaranteed to touch the heart while transporting the reader to another time and place. Her belief in happily ever after shines through, whether it’s a romantic glimpse into history or a love affair for today.

Taylor Lee

USA Today Best Selling author Taylor Lee writes Suspenseful Mystery Thrillers – with a heavy dose of Sexy to Sizzling HOT Romance.

In the four years that she has been writing, Taylor has written more than forty books. Her eight, series track her Special Operatives, Covert Agents, Cops, Firefighters and other iconic heroes and heroines, through the harrowing situations that make up their lives. From human trafficking rings to corrupt politicians, Taylor investigates the underbelly of society and the criminals who flourish there.

Taylor says: “From the residue in my personal blender of mixed races, cultures and world views, my characters emerge. It comforts me to know that while evil slinks in the shadows, the “good guys and gals” of the world sniff it out – and snuff it out.

My characters are arrogant alpha males and the feisty women who bring them to their knees – and vice versa… They fight hard, love hard and don’t mince words. They are dangerous men and women in dangerous times. Love, passion and ridding the world of evil? What’s not to like?



Stephanie Queen

A romantic at heart and a writer by nature, Stephanie Queen has the enthusiastic soul of a cheerleader. So of course she loves creating stories where the good guys always win. Although she’s lost count of all the jobs she had before she settled on being a Novelist, her favorite was selling cookies as a Keebler Elf. She is a graduate of UConn (go Huskies!) and Harvard U and lives in New Hampshire with her family, her cat, Kitty, and her (real or imagined?) chauffeur, Myren.

Jennifer St. Giles

USA Today Bestselling author, Jennifer St. Giles, aka Jennifer Saints, J.L. Saint is a Golden Heart, three-time Maggie, two-time National Reader’s Choice, Marlene, RT Reviewer’s Choice and Daphne du Maurier award-winning author. Jennifer writes in multiple genres, including: romance, paranormal, contemporary, historical and military and paranormal crime. She is a nurse in a surgery center and the Vice-President of a charitable foundation which helps women and children’s causes. Jenni believes fervently in following your dreams and never giving up.

Alicia Street

Alicia Street is a USA Today Bestselling Author and Daphne du Maurier award-winner. She writes both sweet romance and sexy romance and sometimes collaborates with her husband, Roy. Her years as a professional dancer, choreographer and teacher provide the inspiration behind her Dance ‘n’ Luv contemporary romance series. A compulsive reader of every genre, Alicia loves watching old black-and-white movies and inventing new recipes for soup.

Katy Walters

I began with a publisher but loved the freedom of Amazon and so I am an independent author living on the South Coast of the UK. Previously, I enjoyed a career as a research psychologist and psychotherapist, As the children grew and flew the nest, I decided to write about my experiences to help others, but as I began writing, my pen spelt out a different course and I was soon writing novels. These are historical romance suspense, with an underlying theme that I hoped inspire those who long to overcome their inhibiting fear, and reach their goals. From the reviews and private emails from readers, this has worked and I am so glad. It makes my writing even more worthwhile. I am now on the twentieth book and love it.

I get a lot of my inspiration for plots whilst walking with my dog Lily along beaches and in the nearby woods. She features in all my books under pseudonyms and is portrayed as her own wonderful zany self.

Rachelle Ayala

Rachelle Ayala is a bestselling author of contemporary romance and romantic suspense. Her foremost goal is to take readers on a shared emotional journey with her characters as they grow and become more true to themselves. Rachelle believes in the power of love to overcome obstacles and feels that everyone should find love as often as possible, especially if it’s within the pages of a book. Her book, Knowing Vera, won the 2015 Angie Ovation Award, and A Father for Christmas garnered a 2015 Readers’ Favorite Gold Award.

Jacquie Biggar

JACQUIE BIGGAR is a bestselling author of Romantic Suspense who loves to write about tough, alpha males who know what they want, that is until they’re gob-smacked by heroines who are strong, contemporary women willing to show them what they really need is love. She is the author of the popular Wounded Hearts series and has just started a new series in paranormal suspense, Mended Souls.

She has been blessed with a long, happy marriage and enjoys writing romance novels that end with happily-ever-afters.

Jacquie lives in paradise along the west coast of Canada with her family and loves reading, writing, and flower gardening. She swears she can’t function without coffee, preferably at the beach with her sweetheart. 🙂

Michele Hauf

Michele has been writing romance, action-adventure and fantasy stories for over twenty-five years. Her first published novel was DARK RAPTURE.

France, musketeers, vampires and faeries populate her stories. And if she followed the adage ‘write what you know’, all her stories would have snow in them. Fortunately, she steps beyond her comfort zone and writes about countries she has never visited and of creatures she has never seen.

Dani Haviland

Dani Haviland, an Alaskan recently relocated to Oregon, loves writing, gardening and photography. She’s ‘stuck in the 80’s’ – the 1780’s,that is – where many of her colorful characters struggle and/or survive, love and/or argue, but always persevere.

Nancy Radke

Author Nancy Radke, started out writing full-length, modern romance and suspense stories, then switched to novella length for her western series, The Traherns, and now writes both, usually two or three books at the same time. She has published ten Sisters of Spirit books, thirteen Trahern books, and one book of a new Brothers of Spirit series. Born on a wheat and cattle ranch, which included riding, shooting, and milking cows, she has lived in Alaska, Hawaii, and Washington state. When she went through the Peace Corps outward-bound program, she learned to rappel off mountainsides and survival swim in the Atlantic Ocean. Her books are G-rated, no sex, no swearing.

Cynthia Cooke

First published in 2003, Cynthia Cooke is an award-winning author who has published 18 novels in 12 different countries with Harlequin, Entangled, and Amazon Kindle Worlds. She has a deep affection for romance stories and playing in the ocean. On her best days you can find her on the beach with her notebook, a novel in hand, and her dog, Angel, by her side.

Embrace the Seduction and prepare to get a little naughty and have a fun!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Baby Boomers Rejoice the birth of Seasoned Romance!

 

KathrynJane_DanceWithMe_800px

I was born at the tail end of the baby boom. I grew up in the sixties to: the tune of the best music; girls finally being allowed to wear pants at school; and slightly less expectation that we make one of only three choices for our future–become a teacher, become a nurse, or get married and have children.

I sense nodding among the crowd.

Graduating from high-school in the early seventies meant I was the generation riding the wave of freedom hard won by my sisters just a few years older… Not that I went out and conquered the world, but the possibilities were there, and devouring romance novels set me up to dream.

Fast forward forty years, and here I am still in love with reading. Okay, so what’s the rejoicing part you say?

Seasoned Romance … because love is ageless!

For those of us who aren’t interested in reading about romance between twenty-somethings, there is a new, burgeoning genre. One where the heroes and heroines are at least thirty-five, and (hallelujah) much older!

I’ve heard from plenty of readers who feel no emotional connection to stories about people the ages of their children and grandchildren. These are women who glance at the bookshelves and ask, “What about us? Why can’t there be stories about older women who’ve kicked butt as executives, pilots, wives, mothers, jockeys, nurses, doctors, dog walkers, and everything in between. Why can’t we read about the kind of women we are or want to be, and the heroes we’d love to meet.”

Good news, older generation heroes and heroines do exist in the world of romance books.

Better news, a group of authors already writing this kind of story have banded together to get our Seasoned Romance genre recognized by agents, publishers, and booksellers.

Meanwhile, there are Seasoned Romances already available. Great stories about women finding love for the first, second, or seventh time, single moms, empty-nesters, divorcees, widows, financially secure women looking for adventure, married couples rediscovering each other after retirement…

My own brand new book set to release in a few weeks, Dance With Me, is about a married couple in their early sixties. Julia and James, the mother and father in my Intrepid Women series have some serious issues to get past, plus a mystery to solve before they can get on with a romantic reconciliation.

I’d love to hear what you think about Seasoned Romance. What is your favorite age range to read about? Young, to relive your youth? Older to feel a connection to the characters? Tell me, tell me, so I can get the word out to other authors 🙂

If you’d like to be kept up to date on my new Seasoned Romance releases, as well as those by the Sisterhood of Suspense authors (and many others), hop on over to my website and sign up for my newsletter. Easy peasy.

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Addicted to the ocean, award winning author Kathryn Jane lives on the west coast of Canada with her fabulous feline assistant, and a devoted mutt to keep her charming prince company while she’s busy penning fast-paced mysteries and adventures about Kickass Women and the Men who Dare to Love them…

 



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What Would You Do? #FosterAbuse #FamilyMatters @jacqbiggar

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What would you do if you saw children being abused?

The sad truth is many of us care, but not enough to get into the middle of what could be a dangerous or embarrassing situation.

We don’t do it out of meanness, as much as self preservation.

If we don’t get involved, we can’t get hurt, right?

 

This is a video from ABC News. It illustrates why many parents enter the foster system and how those children are mistreated.

 

 

Happily, there are those who will step up and help those in need, though in some cases this can cause an escalation in the violence these kids endure.

The CBC News in Canada did a post on the crisis children face within the foster system.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/canadian-foster-care-in-crisis-experts-say-1.1250543

Some children are placed in foster care without full safety checks while others wind up in supervised apartments or overcrowded homes, say child advocates who warn of a deepening crisis across the country.

In one case, a four-year-old girl was removed from the care of her aunt in 2006 after she was found to be neglected, malnourished and suffering from recurring physical abuse. An investigation found that the aunt had not been appropriately screened.

 

If you know of a case like this, or see signs of abuse please do the right thing and contact your local child protective services.

And if you are a child in need of help:

Childhelp® is a national organization that provides crisis assistance and other counseling and referral services. The Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline external linkis staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with professional crisis counselors who have access to a database of 55,000 emergency, social service, and support resources. All calls are anonymous. Contact them at 1.800.4.A.CHILD (1.800.422.4453).

If you need help with personal or family situations, you may wish to visit our resources on Where to Find Help.

If you suspect a child is being abused or neglected, or if you are a child who is being maltreated, contact your local child protective services office or law enforcement agency so professionals can assess the situation. Many States have a toll-free number to call to report suspected child abuse or neglect. To find out where to call, consult the Information Gateway publication, State Child Abuse Reporting Numbers.

This material may be freely reproduced and distributed. However, when doing so, please credit Child Welfare Information Gateway.

 

My new book, Summer Lovin’, explores this issue.

Two young boys are left in the care of a neglectful uncle after their mother dies. All he’s interested in is the monthly allowance he receives for their care.

When school secretary, Rebecca Sorenson, meets one of the kids and is threatened by the uncle, she decides to seek help from the sheriff.

 

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Here’s a short excerpt from Summer Lovin’

Tommy cried all the way home. Not great hiccupping sobs like he’d done in the past when they’d first arrived at his uncle’s house and realized they were worse off now than when their parents died. No, these tears were silent. A steady stream that ran down his face and dripped unheeded off his chin. Tears of despair, of a childhood lost, of faded dreams.

Just for a moment today with that pretty schoolteacher he’d felt something close to peace. Her scent when she’d held him in her arms reminded him of his mom and he hadn’t wanted to let go. But then his uncle had shown up.

He reached the edge of town and looked for the overgrown drive. A broken down gray wooden fence and a lopsided Keep Out sign pointed the way to the old cabin hidden amongst tall spruce trees. The dirt lane was rutted so bad it tossed his bike from side to side but he refused to walk; his uncle had warned them there were snakes in the grass just waiting for little boys. Tommy wasn’t taking any chances.

He pulled up next to the sagging porch and slowly laid his bike on its side, listening for his brother. A soft humming led him to the corner of the building. Jasper sat in the dirt, his scrawny bare back bent over a little toy truck he was using to make roads with in the sand. Tommy sighed his relief, no new marks that he could see. He’d gotten here in time then.

“Hey, brother, whatcha doin’?” He let Jasper know he was there before moving forward.

Jasper jumped up, ready to flee, then realized who’d spoken and cracked a mile wide smile. “Tommy, Tommy you’re back.” He ran and wrapped his arms around his brother and Tommy frowned at how thin they were.

“Did you eat the food I hid for you?” he demanded.

Jasper shrugged, his chin digging a hole in Tommy’s chest. “I wasn’t very hungry,” he mumbled.

Tommy frowned and set him back so he could look him in the eye. “Jas, you gotta eat. We ain’t ever gonna get outta here if you ain’t strong enough to run.”

Jasper’s eyes lit with hope. “Can we go now? Can we, huh?”

Tommy cursed his big mouth. Why’d he go and say anything? “No. We can’t go until we have a plan.” Jasper’s lips wobbled and Tommy changed the subject. “Show me the roads you’ve been building.”

It worked, for now. Jasper trotted over and sprawled out on his belly, reaching for the little blue car he’d been playing with. “Wait ‘til you see this. I made a hill and my car flies,” he said, his voice filled with excitement.

Tommy followed more slowly, his mind on that nice teacher. Why couldn’t someone like her have taken them in? He missed his mom so bad and yet sometimes he got scared because he couldn’t quite picture her in his head anymore. The teacher reminded him of her though. She smelled good too and had a pretty dress. His mom always wore nice clothes; she said she liked to look pretty for her boys. Man, he missed her. She’d know what to do right now because he sure didn’t. The only thing he did know for certain was that he’d promised to take care of his brother and he darn sure was going to.

The rumble of a vehicle coming up the drive had both boys scrambling for cover. A ratty blue tarp hanging over a pile of scrap metal nearby did the job, though it was a tight fit. Their uncle had warned them often enough to keep outta sight of strangers.

“Who is it?” Jasper asked, his voice squeaky with a mix of fear and excitement.

“Shh, we’ll know soon enough,” Tommy whispered. “Just keep quiet, okay?”

The rattle as the engine shut down told him who it was even before the tinny door slammed shut and his uncle stomped around the corner looking like the axeman from Snow White.

“Where the hell are you hiding, you stupid little shits?” he roared. His heavy work boots kicked up tufts of dust as he circled the yard in search of them. He glanced at Jasper’s toy car, reached down, picked it up, and sent it flying into the bushes.

Jasper whimpered but thankfully held silent, his body vibrating so hard the tarp rattled. Tommy jerked him away, pulling him up against his own shaking body. He was so scared he needed to pee.

“You come on out of there or your stupid ass brother is going to pay the price.” The edge of the tarp lifted and a hand reached in and latched onto Tommy’s arm in a death grip. Jasper’s eyes grew big as pie plates and welled up with tears. Tommy cried out in pain but shook his head viciously at his brother, warning him to keep quiet and stay still.

And then he was yanked out and thrown to the ground. Uncle Pete stood over him as he lay in the dirt, lips twisted in a snarl that sent shards of fear through Tommy’s gut.

“You better explain yourself, boy.” He nudged Tommy with his boot. “What did you think you were doing at the schoolhouse today?”

Tommy thought fast. There was no way he was going to tell this man the real reason. He had to come up with something to defuse the anger brewing in his uncle’s eyes. He reached into his pocket and reluctantly withdrew the gold chain he’d taken from the teacher lady’s purse.

“I was getting you some money, Uncle.” A beefy hand reached out and swiped the necklace from his hand. His uncle eyed him suspiciously for a moment before lifting the cross on the chain to the light.

“You aware this is stealing, boy?” He gave the chain a little shake and the cross glinted so bright it practically blinded Tommy.

“I did it just the way you showed me, sir.” Tommy lifted himself to his elbows. “She won’t know who it was.”

Uncle Pete frowned, his brows like bats wings over his eyes. “You better hope the hell not, kid. Your brother doesn’t like when you screw up.” He laughed, his belly jiggling under the dirty plaid shirt. He turned and strode toward the shack, hollering over his shoulder, “Git in here and make me some grub, I’m hungry after chasing you all over creation.”

Tommy waited a few minutes, knowing full well that it was his uncle’s routine to go into the house, grab a bottle of booze and flop down on the ugly green sofa for the night. He had time to make sure his brother was okay now.

He pulled back the tarp to let Jasper out, then went searching for the toy car, the last thing Jas had from their mom. A few moments later he found it under the edge of a blackberry bush. Careful to avoid the painful spikes, he managed to retrieve it with only a couple of minor scratches.

“Here you go, buddy, I found it.” He turned and offered it to Jasper but his attention was on the house. “Don’t worry, I won’t let him touch you again.” And when his brother looked at him with eyes that knew more than any five-year-old kid outta know about pain, Tommy’s gut tightened with a white-hot rage.

He fingered the wallet in his pocket he’d also stolen from the teacher. Soon. Soon he’d have enough to get them far away from here. And they weren’t never coming back.

I hope you try Summer Lovin’ and if you enjoy the book please consider leaving a review. I’d appreciate it, thanks!

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