Friday, August 28, 2020

#NewRelease from Shirley Goldberg - MIDDLE AGEISH

Shirley Goldberg stops by for a look at her new release, MIDDLE AGEISH, an amusing take on on-line dating at fifty. Enjoy!

Middle Ageish released two days ago and it’s your first book.  What are five things readers need to know about Sunny Chanel, your character?

1. Sunny’s husband announces he wants a divorce on their anniversary. Since she’s never hung around where she isn’t wanted, Sunny leaves her husband behind in Paris and starts over in New Haven, Connecticut. She goes back to school at age fifty to get her master’s in teaching.

2. She’s shoved into online dating by her best friend’s boyfriend, who thinks he’s helping her. She and her good friend have a dating contest to see who’ll be the first to date twenty-five men. There’s even a prize. 

3. Her first online date throws a mushroom at the waiter and Sunny runs out of the restaurant. 

4. Sunny lives in New Haven. I grew up there, lived and worked in New Haven as a teacher for many years. 

5. Sunny is a fictional character, but bits and pieces of me are intertwined in her story. It’s a first novel, after all. Honestly, I couldn’t tell you what’s real and what’s not anymore. 


Share a favorite scene from your book and tell us why it's your favorite.  

One of my favorite scenes is when two of the characters have a picnic dinner in a motel room. Sunny is living out her fantasy from an old Audrey Hepburn movie where Audrey and Albert Finney, looking oh, so young and fine, are too poor to go to restaurants. They eat in their hotel room and Sunny, craving that closeness, recreates the moment from the movie. 

What are five things Sunny can’t live without?  

Sunny can’t live without her sense of humor, her best friends, her students, her books and her independence. Family? It’s a given. 

You write a lot about online dating, so you must be an online dating expert. What advice would you give readers about online dating?

It doesn’t matter if you’re twenty-five or fifty, like Sunny. Here are six things you should know about online dating: 

1. Online dating isn’t dating because nothing counts until you meet. No, emails don’t count as dates. Meet as soon as possible. These days, do one or two Zoom dates. It’s the closest thing to a first meet. 

2. You need a great picture and a profile that doesn’t read like spinach. That is, bland and boring. Tell a story, even if it’s short. Get your friends to help you. Seriously. 

3. Talk on the phone before you meet. It’s the best way to weed out the clunkers. No offense. Your clunker may be another person’s honeybun. 

4. Most first meets are mediocre. Dating is a numbers game. Email or swipe on a lot of folks. They come and they go. Don’t take it personally. 

5. Many people leave their manners at home when meeting someone for the first time. Don’t be one of those people. 

6. Never give up. Your person could be around the corner. 

7. For more dating tips, including distance dating ideas, check out my website.   

Any advice for aspiring writers? 

I’d give a would-be writer the same advice I give to my friends about online dating. Never give up. Your agent––or publisher––could be right around the corner. 

Don’t write in a vacuum. Join a writers group or find a critique partner. It’s so much more fun to have a group plotting party, even if it’s a Zoom event. 

Excerpt from Middle Ageish:

Of course, my goodbye party was at Chez Lulu in the Latin Quarter, Paris’ most Bohemian arrondissment. Lulu’s has that Fifties diner look—clean, spare and edgy like an Edward Hopper painting minus the feeling of isolation. It’s always packed, and the music is Buddy Holly, early Elvis, Patsy Cline, the Everly Brothers—a mix of rock and roll and country. 

“Dinner’s here,” announced Dulcie, waving her beer glass before taking a long pull. “Everyone let them through!” 

“Hey, ain’t this a swell party?” said Bertrand, arriving at our noisy table with an armload of gourmet burgers. “Who’s got the Marilyn Monroe with Mickey Mantles?” 

Have I mentioned all the waiters are imitation James Deans, white T-shirts and jeans with rolled cuffs? Bertrand and Albert—they both speak perfect, slangy English—are our favorites. Bertrand is flirty in a sweet way and working his way through the Institute d’Etudes Politiques de Paris. 

“And the Robert Mitchum with Buddy Holly fries?” Lulu’s boasts seven varieties of American fries, named for baseball players, or French and American pop stars. 

“Two Jane Russells with Joe DiMaggio fries?” Albert, at Lulu’s between acting jobs, shouted, and everyone quieted for a moment, shuffling plates and passing them across the table. Movie star burgers with caramelized onions on miniature baguette buns. My mouth was so ready. 

My going-away party...and I am not going to cry. Moving to New Haven and…I’m not not not crying. 

Next to me, Natalie held out The Middle-Aged Idiot’s Guide to Online Dating. “For when you start dating,” she yelled over the roar that is Lulu’s. “This book really helped––” 

“Dating? Seriously?” I grabbed two curly fries, the Joe DiMaggios, and popped them into my mouth. Picked up the burger, took a bite. Camembert oozed around the edges. Orgasmic. “Like dating is on my list of things to do?” I said around the burger. “Right below sticking a rusty fork in my eye?”

Right there, with my mouth around my favorite burger in the world, I lost my appetite. 


About the Author:

Shirley Goldberg is a writer, novelist, and former ESL and French teacher who’s lived in Paris, Crete, and Casablanca. She writes about men and women of a certain age starting over. Her website offers a humorous look into dating in mid life, and her friends like to guess which stories are true.  Middle Ageish is her first book in the series Starting Over. Her character believes you should never leave home without your sense of humor and Shirley agrees. 

Visit my website for another excerpt from the book. Sign up and grab a copy of Happy Hour, a short story about an online meet and a tiny misunderstanding:

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Nook/Barnes and Noble:

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Backlist Bonanza!

Looking to fill your e-readers? I've teamed up with over 30 authors to give you 66 must-read backlist reads. Check it out as well as the giveaway:

My book, A Long Way from Eden, will be featured on August 28!

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Tuesday, August 25, 2020

MY HEART WEEPS - #NewRelease and #Giveaway from Pamela Thibodeaux!

Author Pamela Thibodeaux is my guest today. Funny story: Pam and I discovered we'd given the male hero in our latest releases the same name - Garrett Saunders! I've never had that happen before! Neither of us knew until after the books were published. Great minds think alike, I guess! Make sure to comment to be entered into Pam's giveaway, and check the other stops on her blog tour listed below. Welcome Pam!

Thank you so much, Jana, for having me on your blog today with my new book, My Heart Weeps!


After thirty years married to the man of her dreams, Melena Rhyker is devastated by her husband's death. Relief comes in the form of an artist's retreat at the Crossed Penn ranch in Utopia, TX. She rediscovers a forgotten dream as her artistic talent flourishes into that of a gallery-worthy artist. Will she have the courage to follow the path she was destined to travel?

Garrett Saunders has been on the run most of his life. Abused and abandoned as a child, he escapes the clutches of a past filled with pain and shame, and hides from his calling as a Native American healer. His years as a CIA agent aid in overcoming his childhood and honing his talent and skill as a fine art photographer. 

Follow their journey as two people who come from totally different backgrounds, but share gifts of gigantic proportions, find meaning and purpose in the Texas Hill Country.


At 6 p.m., she pulled into the carport, turned off the engine and laid her head on the steering wheel.

“Well, I'm home again. Made it through another agonizing eight hours or so, now to get through another night.”

Gathering every ounce of courage she could summon, she disembarked from her vehicle, retrieved the mail from the box beside the door, and entered the house. She thumbed through the envelopes and advertisements, then laid them on the table and poured a glass of juice. She reached for the bottle of over-the-counter pain reliever and froze. 

It would be so easy to end this pain.

Oh, what an enticing thought. Just take a handful of pills and end it all. Would she wake up in heaven? Would Jesus meet her there? Would Jonathan? What about the kids or Mama—would they understand? Or would she destroy them? Where was the faith she claimed to have? Why was it failing her now?

My Heart Weeps is on sale for a limited time @ 99cents and FREE on Kindle Unlimited!

Purchase Link:

Let's Play "Quick Five" with Pamela Thibodeaux:

- Favorite color? Hhmmmm that’s a little difficult as I love colors of almost every hue but if I had to pick I’d say Peach and Purple (not necessarily together LOL!)

- Favorite author? This one is EASY – without a doubt Nora Roberts! I love to read and I’ll try different authors on a regular basis. However, when I’m pressed for time and want to read something, I’ll reach for one of Nora’s books because I know I’ll be entertained, sometimes challenged and always satisfied. 

- What song would best describe your life? On the Road Again…  Although I hate to drag the roads (run errands) I LOVE to travel. So far (besides my home state of Louisiana) I’ve been to 22 states and not just passing through either. I’ve visited National Parks in TX, NM, AZ, CA, WA, MT, MN, ME, OR, FL, NC, and MI. I lived the dream of a lifetime touring Churchill Downs in KY & Boonsboro, MD (Nora Roberts’ town!). I’ve experienced the joy of hop on/off trolley tours exploring Boston MA and Savannah, GA, and visited Vicksburg, MS. I’ve also visited family or friends in OK, AK, TN, NY, SC and DE. Whew! I think I’ve listed them all so far LOL! 

- Country life or city life? – Oh, definitely country! I’ve always been a country girl. I used to say I wanted to own 20 acres of woods with my house on the center five (cleared out of course). I love to fish and horseback ride and I walks in nature. I might enjoy a few nights on the town (in the city) but I r-e-a-l-l-y dislike traffic and noise and smog. Give me a meadow of wildflowers, a mountain view or a trickling stream and I’m one happy girl

- I love pizza with ... mushroom, pineapple and meat.

Author bio: 

Award-winning author, Pamela S. Thibodeaux is the Co-Founder and a lifetime member of Bayou Writers Group in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Multi-published in romantic fiction as well as creative non-fiction, her writing has been tagged as, “Inspirational with an Edge!” ™ and reviewed as “steamier and grittier than the typical Christian novel without decreasing the message.” Sign up to receive Pam’s newsletter and get a FREE short story!

Social Media Links:

Website address:



Face Book:

Twitter: @psthib


Amazon Author Page:




Pam is giving away 1 Ebook, 1 Autographed Print Book, 1 Audio Book, a $15 Amazon Gift Card, a 1-month Audible membership and a SURPRISE Giftpack to 6 lucky people! (1 prize per winner) Names will be collected throughout the tour which ends Sept. 30th. Winners will be notified, and prizes awarded by October 10th so be sure to leave your EMAIL Address!

Blog Tour Dates/Stops:

8/11 Gail Pallotta’s Peering Through Life’s Window

8/13 Liz Flaherty’ Word Wranglers Blog

8/15 Clare Revell’s The Word Can Wait Blog

8/18 Southern Writers Suite T Blog

8/18 Alina K Field’s Simply Romance Blog

8/20 Penelope Marzec’s Bookish Thoughts Blog

8/25 Jana Richards’ Romance Story Board Blog

8/27 Beverly Bateman’s BLOG

9/1 Valarie Goree’s Facebook Page

9/5 D. V. Stone’s Campfire Blog

9/9 Jacqueline Seewald’s BLOG

9/11 Linda Rondeau’s Snark & Sensibility Blog

9/14 Patricia Kioyno’s Four Foxes, One Hound Blog

9/18 Diane Burton’s BLOG

9/22 Alicia Dean’s BLOG

9/25 Jeny Hickman’s BLOG

9/30 Linda Nightingale’s Author…Musings Blog

Friday, August 21, 2020

#NewRelease from Linda Nightingale: LIFE FOR SALE

Linda Nightingale makes a return visit to Journeys with Jana with the next book in the Tomorrow's Angels series - LIFE FOR SALE. What happens when a high tech company creates sentient life? That's the question that Linda asks in this book and in book one, LOVE FOR SALE. Welcome Linda!

Thanks, Jana, for allowing me to take over your lovely blog today to ramble on about my hobby though horses are more than a hobby (ask any horseman). They are a lifelong love. Since I was very young, I’ve loved everything equine—books, films, TV or radio. At that time radio broadcasts were mostly racing. Didn’t you just adore Walter Farley’s Black Stallion series, Lone Ranger’s alabaster Silver, and Roy Rogers’ palomino Trigger?

I’ve heard that the way to make a small fortune with horses is to start with a large one.  If so, the journey is worth the ticket. But I can testify to the statement. For years, I bred, trained, and showed horses—first Arabians, then Andalusians. At one time, when Andalusians were rare in this country, we were the largest breeder in South Carolina.

Every Christmas morning, I awoke and hurried to the window to see if there was a pony tied to a tree on our front lawn.  There never was. Finally, at thirteen, my parents bought me a paint gelding whom I named First Fling. Fling was a trip—like the day he laid down with a friend and me in a plowed field.

My favorite breed is the Iberian horse—the magnificent Andalusian. You’ve seen them in movies, on TV, and in books. They are used a lot in film today. Fancy movement, long flowing manes and tails, arched necks make them look like a fairytale. They are beautiful, and they are kind and smart. They are intelligent.

The Andalusian is the bullfighting horse of Spain, quick or dead. Mounted rejoneadors depend on their horse to avoid the deadly horns of the fierce Iberian bulls while they place the picadors in the animal. They are also seen often in the modern dressage arena though they are perfectly suited to Classical Horsemanship, which is my interest. This school includes the Airs above the Ground: Capriole, Courbette which were designed to strike terror in the enemy foot soldiers.  In capriole, the horse leaps into the air and kicks out with his hind feet.  In courbette, he rears and jumps forward on his hind feet. 

I could expound for hours on classical horsmanshipo, but I imagine you’d rather hear about the horse.

The Andalusian is called the Horse of Kings because in the heyday of European monarchies, the Andalusian's flair, style, and formidable carriage made him the mount of choice for the aristocracy.  Many, many kings and queens had their portraits painted on Andalusians. 

One of the slogans of the International Andalusian and Lusitano Association is: ‘This horse will change your life.’  My stallion Bonito certainly changed mine. He won the national championship at halter twice and brought home a boxful of blue ribbons under saddle.

If you are in the market for a horse, I can personally and enthusiastically recommend an Andalusian. They tend to be gentle and calm (even the stallions) and loving. Riding an Andalusian, you will never go unnoticed. They are beautiful and showy. They come in bay, black, and gray which usually becomes white as they mature.  My boy stayed gray with a black mane and tail his entire life.

In my books, I almost always have someone who loves the Andalusian. Gambler’s Choice, my book about the horsey set, is not about Andalusians, but it is about people who love horses. The title is derived from a jumping class in a horse show. The class is a timed event, racing the clock as the fences are raised higher and higher, eliminating competitors until only one team of horse and rider remain.

In Life for Sale, March and Christian go on a beach trail ride in Jamaica with two of the other escaped androids. The villain swings the horse’s reins, hits March’s horse, and the heroine’s trusty trail mount bolts.  This is the only horse-related scene in the book, but I did get something about the horse into even a sci-fi romance.

I could indeed ramble all day about horses, but I’ll finish up now. I hope you have a good day … and rush right to the internet and research the Andalusian.  The international association can be reached at: or at 205-995-8900. Their website is

Series Blurb for TOMORROW'S ANGELS:

Mayfair Electronics has created life.

In Love for Sale, the high-tech electronics company, in black and white, offers “love for sale”. Mayfair has engineered sentient androids indistinguishable from humans. March Morgan flies to England and meets the man she has been searching for her entire life. Christian requires no programming to love March at first sight, but her past and his future soon threaten their happiness—and their lives.

In the sequel, Life for Sale, four of the Special Editions have escaped. Rebel, Christian and  March  are on the run, but they have a bigger problem than his creator's plan to destroy him. They've discovered that one of the renegades has suffered a dangerous malfunction, threatening them with more than just exposure. March and Christian must stop the insane robot before someone else dies. All the evidence points to March being the killer's next victim.


March shivered again, rested her face on his chest. “Hold me until I stop trembling.” Tears she didn’t want him to see welled in her eyes. The whole ghastly business had to be hard on a man encoded to protect not harm humans.

Her AI angel stroked her hair, and a sob broke through her control. She squeezed her eyes shut, battling tears.

“Shush, dear. It’s over now,” but he didn’t sound confident. The thing buried in the backyard could tear them apart or worse.  Any slight misstep, and they both faced Death in all his chilling glory.

“I love you,” she whispered.

He brushed a kiss to her lips and pulled held her closer.

For some time, they stood. taking comfort from holding each other and simply being, then, hand-in-hand, they walked, when they wanted to run, to the house. Christian had switched on the overhead light in the anteroom. In the brilliance, it was possible to pretend the past few minutes hadn’t occurred. Again the tears threatened, and he held her until she’d regained control. She straightened, gazing into his eyes. Battered emotions stained them darker blue. Mayfair hadn’t missed even that small detail. He cradled her face between his hands and kissed her tenderly, his lips soft and his body close. In a lifetime of searching, she’d never have found anyone like him. If she were to lose him…she couldn’t imagine living without him.

Once, Mayfair had taken him away.  They could do it again—and there was absolutely nothing she could do about it. The golden ring on the third finger of his left hand should protect Christian from Mayfair, but who’d investigate a missing robot, or even believe her in the first place?

With almost religious fervor, she and Christian had adhered to Mayfair’s first commandment. Above all, the company demanded secrecy. The Special Editions passed for human, and no one was ever to know that Mayfair had engendered life, but at any moment Aguillard, the wild card for whom the Christian line was named, might renege on the freedom he’d grudgingly bestowed. 


Linda Nightingale’s Life for Sale takes the characters from Love for Sale and sets them on a dangerous adventure for these androids posing as human. After fleeing at the end of the first book, they are trying to hide from the watchful eye of Mayfair, but decide a reunion is in order. One of the four, however, is suffering a murderous malfunction. The resulting story is not so much a murder mystery as it is a study of a chaotic mind, albeit lab created, yet eerily human in its madness. 
Nightingale has seamlessly made the unbelievable believable for the reader with a totally unexpected, but thoroughly satisfying ending to this duet. Imaginative premise, well developed characters and an insight into a mind gone wrong make this a great read…S. Hutchinson


Life for Sale -

Love for Sale -


After 14 years in Texas, Linda returned home to her roots in the South Carolina red clay. She has eight published novels, four of which are available from in audio. For many years, she bred, trained and showed the magnificent Andalusian horses. So, she’s seen a lot of this country from the windshield of a truck pulling a horse trailer. She’s won several writing awards, including the Georgia Romance Writers’ Magnolia Award for Excellence, the Raven Award, and the SARA Merritt. In real life, she was a legal assistant.


Web Site: – Visit and look around. There’s a free continuing vampire story.
Blog: - Lots of interesting guests & prizes
Book Bub:

Saturday, August 15, 2020

Tantalize Me Giveaway Continues!


I'm participating in the August - September Tantalize Me Giveaway. Thirty authors are giving away ebooks and gift certificates. For your chance to win, enter the Rafflecopter. It couldn't be easier!

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Friday, August 14, 2020

Five Things About ALWAYS, ALMOND FUDGE by Charlotte O'Shay

As someone who is fascinated by the events of World War II and its aftermath, I'm always interested in a book set during that era. Charlotte O'Shay combines the uncertainty of going off to war with the sweet promise of ice cream, and she tells us five things we should know about this book. ALWAYS, ALMOND FUDGE is part of The Wild Rose Press's summer series One Scoop or Two about everything ice cream. Welcome Charlotte!


1. Always, Almond Fudge begins on the eve of America’s entry into WWII. Our country had barely recovered from the ravages of the Great Depression when Pearl Harbor was bombed and the United States entered WWII. Is it any wonder this generation was called the greatest? Merry and Anthony knew the value of enjoying life’s simple pleasures—like ice cream.

2. The vacation ritual of getting ice cream every evening after dinner like Sebastian’s family does was one we enjoyed with our children. We all saved pennies through the year, counted them up and spent them in ice cream and sweet shops we visited on our Cape Cod vacations.

3. Always, Almond Fudge is a love letter to my parents, who were a quintessential love at first sight, age-gap couple if there ever was one. Anthony is very much like my father—happy go lucky, athletic, and confident. Somehow we never realized we were poor (we were seven kids) in part because Dad always worked as hard at home as he did driving a truck. He was a true partner to my mom, as he cooked, cleaned, changed diapers and fixed whatever needed fixing in our old house. 

4. The title Always, Almond Fudge is a statement, an inside joke, a salutation and a promise of forever.

5. The fictional town of Langford, Rhode Island was inspired by the Rhode Island town where my daughter and her family live. The kind of town where generation after generation thrives and no one ever wants to leave. Like Langford, there is a small town beach beyond Main Street and a gazebo with a bench overlooking a quaint marina.


On a lengthy car ride to their annual seaside vacation, a mother recounts the true story of a sweet family tradition.

It's the summer of 1941 in the seaside town of Langford, Rhode Island, and seventeen-year-old Meredith Franklin works as a server at Seymore's Ice Cream Shoppe.

When aspiring baseball player Anthony Fanelli strolls into the ice cream shop, his teasing banter leads to romantic sparks and dreams of forever love.

Their whirlwind courtship comes to an abrupt halt on December 7, 1941, when America enters World War Two, forcing the couple to put their future on hold.

Decades later, a treasure trove of wartime letters details the romance of Merry and Anthony and the sacrifices of a generation.


 Merry swallowed. Her powers of speech deserted her as she soaked in his animated features. What was happening to her? A planner by nature, Merry wasn’t ready for the way her imagination was flying off, far into the future. A future where she’d see the strong planes of Anthony’s tanned face every day for the rest of her life. Frightened by the strength of her vision, she occupied her trembling fingers, rearranging the cups and napkins behind the counter. It was getting near to nine p.m. She had work to do to close the shop.

“So, I’ve come for my ice cream. Your favorite.”

“You’re very confident,” she said. Her heartbeat fluttered then galloped forward with a curious combination of nerves and exhilaration.

He pressed his big hands to his thighs and shrugged. “Confident is the only way to go through life.”

Merry felt herself sinking deep into his densely lashed eyes. “I couldn’t agree more. Okay, Mr. Anthony Fanelli, which flavor do you choose?”

Buy Links:

Books2Read Universal Buy Link  

(click above link for Amazon, Kobo, Apple/IBooks, Barnes & Noble Nook & Google)

Author Bio:

Author Charlotte O’Shay was born in New York City into big family and then married into another big family.

Negotiating skills honed at the dinner table led her to a career in the law. 

But after four beautiful children joined the crowded family tree, Charlotte traded her legal career to write about happily ever afters in the City of Dreams.

Charlotte loves to challenge her heroines and heroes with a crisis and watch them figure out who they are while they fall in love.

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Tuesday, August 11, 2020

A Steamy Scene from CHILD OF MINE

Today I'm offering a scene from CHILD OF MINE, book one in the Masonville Small Town romance series. In this scene, long-time friends Lauren and Cole turn to each other on the day of Lauren's husband's funeral. Lauren's husband Billy also happened to be Cole's brother:


Cole wrapped her in his arms. He held her securely, whispering reassurances.

“It’s all right, Lauren. Don’t cry. It’s going to be okay, sweetheart.”

She clung to him, her face buried against his neck. It felt so good to be held, to be touched. It had been so long—

What was she doing? This was Cole, her friend. She pulled away from him. “I’m sorry.”

“You don’t have anything to apologize for.”

She turned away and tried to wipe the tears from her face. When she got her tears under control, she made herself smile at him. “Do you remember the homecoming dance when I tripped in my new high heels and sprained my ankle?”

“Of course I do. You couldn’t walk, so I carried you from the school gym to Billy’s car, and he drove you home. I remember you were a lot heavier than you looked.”

She swatted his shoulder, hiccupping laughter mixing with her tears. “Very funny. I was trying to make a point.”

He wiped the tears from her cheek with the pad of his thumb, his dark eyes full of tenderness. “So what was your point?”

“You’re a good friend. You’ve always been there when I needed you, and here you are again. Thank you.”

He stared into her eyes, but said nothing. She couldn’t look away. He continued to stroke her cheek with his thumb, the tiny caress acting like a balm to her battered heart. She placed her hand on his cheek.


They reached for each other in mutual need. He pulled her against his chest, his mouth descending on hers in a hungry, urgent kiss. She sighed against his mouth, and he brought her closer. He wants me. It had been so long since someone had wanted her. Only her.

They shed their clothes in a flurry of restless touches. In minutes, Lauren’s black funeral dress lay on the ground next to Cole’s white dress shirt. He kissed her again, his hands sliding up her ribcage to cup her breasts. She slid impatient hands over his broad shoulders, his muscled back, the curve of his buttocks. His skin was as smooth and hard as glass, but hot to the touch. She wanted more of his heat, more of his touches.

More of everything.

His erection pushed against her stomach, and her body shivered with excitement. The evidence of his desire emboldened her.

“You want me,” she whispered.

“Yes.” His voice was rough with need. “Lauren. Beautiful Lauren.”

He held her close and kissed her, and for the first time in a very long time, she felt cherished. Important.


Cole lowered her to the ground, the dried grass and leaves forming a bed beneath them. Then he was inside her, filling all her empty spaces. Joy flooded her heart as her climax built. Each thrust brought her closer to fulfillment, to happiness.

Her orgasm came suddenly, shattering her into tiny pieces. Her body shuddered.


A moment later he reached his own climax. She held him tightly as tears poured down her face and sobs shook her body. She had no idea why she was crying. What they’d shared had been so beautiful, so amazing. There was no need for tears. But still, they kept coming.

Cole’s body tensed. He pulled out of her and stared into her face. In the fading light, Lauren caught the look of pain in his eyes before he pushed away and began rifling through his clothes.
Her heart sank. He’s sorry he made love to me.

For a moment she thought she’d be sick. Her stomach roiled and her heart banged against her ribs. Cole avoided her gaze, presenting his back to her as he yanked on his clothes. Lauren swallowed and reached for her own clothing, getting to her feet on unsteady legs.

Had she disgusted him by reaching for him today, of all days? She was afraid she’d lost her best and oldest friend.

When he was fully dressed, Cole finally looked at her. “We need to go. You should get back to your family.”

Lauren nodded, unable to speak. She followed him out of the trees, back to the fence where their vehicles were parked. Cole held the barbed wire apart so she could slip through the fence. Once through, she stumbled toward her mother’s car and reached for the door handle.

“Lauren, wait.”

She dared a glance. His expression was full of anguish, and her heart clenched. The last thing she’d wanted was to cause him pain.

“What happened here,” he began, his voice gruff with emotion, “it was…we made a mistake. We were both grieving, maybe a little out of our minds.”

Lauren nodded, desperately holding back her tears. She’d made such a mess of things. Cole must hate her for throwing herself at him the way she had. She hated herself, too.

“I’m sorry,” he said softly.

The stupid tears burned behind her eyes, but she held them back. She fumbled blindly for the door handle, needing to get away before she broke down completely. As she got behind the wheel and started the car, Cole drove away in a cloud of dust.

Lauren rested her head against the steering wheel and cried. She cried for Billy and the loss of the love she’d thought would last a lifetime. But mostly she cried tears of humiliation. Cole must think she was a terrible, terrible person.

And he’d be absolutely right. What kind of woman makes love to her husband’s brother on the day of his funeral?


Lauren didn't intend to sleep with her brother-in-law Cole on the day of her husband's funeral. But now that she is pregnant, she's not sorry. Cole's given her a baby, a long-wished-for miracle. He's been her friend forever, though she never told him or anyone else how unhappy her marriage to his cheating brother was. And she's afraid to tell the small town that considered her husband a hero that the baby isn't his.

Cole's been in love with Lauren since he was sixteen. It kills him that everyone believes the baby is his dead brother's. All he wants is to claim the baby, and Lauren, as his own. Though she marries him, will Lauren's heart ever be his?

Lauren must tell the truth or risk losing Cole. Is her newly-discovered love for him greater than her fear of scandal in her hometown?

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To read other entries in this month's Steam Hop, hop over here:

#NewRelease from Stephen B. King: WINTER AT THE LIGHT

Australian Writer Stephen B. King makes a return visit to talk about his newest release. Stephen has been on my blog before talking about his psychological thrillers, but this time it's a romantic suspense. WINTER AT THE LIGHT takes place in 1952 on the shores of Western Australia. This looks like an exciting read. Welcome once again, Stephen!

A bit of a Biography, and how did I get to Winter at the Light?

I have eleven books published, and Winter at the Light will be number twelve. I won several short story competitions, published poetry and wrote music and lyrics in my long-haired rock band days as a guitarist, so I have been telling stories most of my, what seems like, very long life.

Winter at the Light is my latest release with my wonderful publisher, The Wild Rose Press of NY. For my first book, Forever Night I was contracted to a UK publisher who shall remain nameless. Before publication that publisher was bought out and the new owners (one of the big four) cancelled the line I was contracted to, which left me in publishing wilderness for a while.

I self-published my next four books until two years later, I signed with The Wild Rose Press to publish Thirty-Three Days. I followed up that with the Deadly Glimpses Trilogy and soon the trilogy will comprise five books – who knew you could do that? I wrote Winter at the Light, while simultaneously completing the fourth Glimpse book, titled Glimpse, the Angel Shot. Two more different tales you could never read.

“How do you find time to write?” Is one of the questions asked of me frequently, my answer is always that it’s easy to find time to do what you love the most.

Another question I’m asked is: “How can you write stories so diametrically opposed such as a serial killer rampage trilogy on the one hand, and a historical romantic suspense story like Winter at the Light, on the other.” Well, I suffer from random though syndrome. I might be driving along, watching a movie, gardening or something, and a weird thought will creep into my conscious mind. When I explore that thought, it sometimes turns into the beginnings of a story. In this case the random thought was: The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter. Expanding that thought further led to this book being written, and I have to say, without a hint of bias, I love it.

I believe any author worth his, or her, salt, should be able to tell a tale in any genre he, or she, is inspired to write. As my more famous namesake once said: ‘It is the tale, not he who tells it.’ Winter at the Light took me way out of my writing comfort zone for a few reasons, and I loved being there.

I had to do some research. Now, hang on, I hear you say, I do research for all of my books. That’s true, but not like this. Firstly, the era, WATL is set in 1952, and Molly my protagonist was a nurse, so I had to study hospital life for nurses in that time. Next: lighthouses and the equipment they had to use before modernization. I had previously visited the Cape Leeuwen Light in Augusta, Western Australia, built in 1895 and is the tallest in mainland Australia and had been fascinated. I gained enormous respect for keepers in days gone by.

Finally, I am a man, and I wanted to tell a story from Molly’s perspective and I was desperate to be true to her thoughts and feelings, and not how a man thought she would think and feel. Did I get that right? I promise you I worked hard at it and had five female beta readers go through it and listened to their critique. They were very complimentary and was validated and delighted to recently receive this review from a female reviewer for Reader’s Favorite, Susan Sewell. In part she said this:

Set on a lonely and isolated island, Winter at the Light by Stephen B. King is a thrilling suspense novel. It is an excellent story containing engaging characters, an intriguing plot, and a captivating storyline. Of all the characters, Molly is my favorite. With natural human qualities, her persona is superbly developed. Despite her fear and naiveté, Molly's will to survive and her inherent strength and courage add an admirable and authentic facet to her character. It is a captivating novel that is sure to satisfy those who love a great suspense story infused with intrigue and an element of danger. I recommend it to everyone who loves a good story with a strong female protagonist. Phew, thank you so much Susan.

“So, who is Molly and what is she about?” Great question, drag over a chair and let me tell you about one of my most favorite female characters I’ve ever created. Molly is twenty years old. Not unattractive, but as she says, she is not one of the beautiful ones, like some of her nurse friends she works with. She is a freckle faced red head who can never get her hair right. Even though she wears it up there is always errant strands falling down over her face.

Her mother was killed in an air raid during the war, while her father, a Chief Medical Officer in a naval convoy which was sunk by a German U-Boat. He was rescued to the news of his wife’s death and he was permitted to resign his commission to work in a British Naval Hospital and raise Molly. After the war they migrated to Australia, and the bond between father and daughter was strengthened because of it.

Molly wants to follow in her father’s footsteps into medicine, but after the war, women going into medical school wasn’t easy, so she became a nurse instead. Molly is sassy, strong willed, doesn’t suffer fools, and has a temper typical of a redhead. She adores her father, and when he leaves the medical field to run a lighthouse so he can find time to write the memoirs of his wartime experiences, she misses him terribly. He injures himself badly and needs to go to hospital and Molly knows she cannot refuse to mind the light for him until he is well enough to return.

Molly is frightened of being alone on a tiny island, many miles off the coast for three months, but can’t refuse else her father will lose the job he loves so much. She must find courage and inner strength as she fears she will go mad with boredom. Molly discovers a lot about herself and finds peace in her solitude, and an appreciation of her own company. But, just when she thinks all will be okay, the storm of the decade arrives and brings with it a man who will bring romance and danger to her. Molly must fight to survive, alone on a tiny island in the middle of a reef, twenty miles off the coast.

Winter at the Light blurb:

Forbes Lighthouse is a dangerous place. Twenty-year-old Molly McLaren agrees to tend the light when her father breaks his leg, so she leaves behind the city and her nursing career. Molly dreads the thought of three months as the sole inhabitant on the tiny island, nineteen nautical miles off the rugged coastline of Augusta in Western Australia.

Molly discovers she enjoys the solitude, and when a massive storm arrives bringing a life raft, Molly risks her life to save the unconscious man inside. On waking, he says he has lost his memory but as Molly nurses him back to health she wonders if he has. When the storm finally clears, Molly has fallen for the man she's nicknamed John, but still has doubts about his honesty.

The real danger arrives with two men who are searching for her mystery man. They want to kill him and anyone else who can identify them, and Molly quickly learns; on a lighthouse, there is nowhere to hide.

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Molly reached the rocky shore, where waves as tall as she was crashed at its edge and shot up shards of white foam spray to be flung in her face by the wind. The life raft ducked and dived only a few yards away and was coming closer by the minute. She propped the medical bag between two large boulders, determined to keep it from being washed away in the angry surf, then wondered what she could do next.

The dinghy’s opening in the tent-like awning faced away from her, no doubt acting as a wind tunnel, which helped drive the boat ahead of it, but that meant she still had no idea if anyone was inside or not. She cupped her hands around her mouth. “Hello, is anyone there?” she screamed, trying to be heard above the howling wind, but she feared she wasn’t.

There was nothing, no sound or movement from within, but the boat was coming closer, and she had to decide what she would do when it hit the rocks at her feet. Try to grab it and pull it ashore, I suppose, then look inside the damn thing.

“C’mon little boat, you’ve made it this far, don’t fail me now,” Molly murmured.

The next moment the rounded bow hit a protruding rock, and the wind driving from the rear nearly tipped it end over end. Without a thought for herself, Molly took five steps into the icy cold waves and grabbed the ropes strung along the side. She tried to pull it into safety. “If anyone is in there, get out, I can’t hold this forever,” she screamed, as loudly as she had ever shouted in her life.

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

LIES AND SOLACE on Sale Now for .99 cents!

LIES AND SOLACE, book one in my Love at Solace Lake series, is on sale for .99 cents! Get your copy while it's hot. The sale price is in effect only until Friday, August 7.


She can’t live with one more lie. He can’t tell the truth.

Harper Lindquist is convinced she’s found the answer to her financial prayers. Unless she pours cash into crumbling Solace Lake Lodge, she’ll lose her family’s legacy. Her would-be savior arrives in the middle of a Minnesota blizzard and she’s determined to prove to her reluctant, and trapped, financier the lodge is a sound investment. But Harper isn’t completely honest with him. And she has no idea the lake is hiding secrets of its own. 

Ethan James is a liar, but his money is very real. He isn’t convinced a broken-down inn is a smart investment opportunity. But the more he understands Harper’s dreams and desires, the more he wants to be the man to make them come true. The trauma in both their pasts means neither can fully trust the other. They must find the courage to love, to trust, and to accept, or yesterday’s sorrows will keep them apart.

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Tuesday, August 4, 2020

#NewRelease from Liz Flaherty - SOMETHING NEW

“Something New” is a short and extremely satisfying read in the Last Chance Beach: Summer’s End anthology. I hadn’t intended to consume it one sitting, but once I started reading, I was sucked in and couldn’t stop! Good thing it’s only 9,000 words! Despite the short length of this story, it packs a big emotional punch.

Manhasset Applegate (or Hass, who wins the prize for best heroine name ever) and her fiancé Zeke Merriweather are planning to marry in October. After graduating college, Hass wants one last summer of freedom before settling down to work in her family’s business and marrying Zeke. But as the days roll by in the idyllic oceanside cottage she’s rented, Hass discovers she has second thoughts about the career that’s been mapped out for her. And though Zeke has been her best friend for years, does he really want to marry her, or is he doing what he feels is expected of him? After all, he’s never told her he loves her.

This sweet story about two young people on the verge of the rest of their lives, asks the question “Do we do the safe thing, the thing expected of us, or do we go with our hearts?” Liz Flaherty answers the question with wisdom, common sense and love. I highly recommend “Something New”.

Interview with Zachariah from BLOODBOND by Sydney Winward

Sydney Winward makes a return visit to talk about BLOODBOND, the second book in the Bloodborn series. (Sydney visited last December with a look at BLOODBORN, the first book in the series) I'm intrigued by the idea of a vampire who will not kill. Very unlike a vampire! Enjoy the interview with Zachariah, this most unusual vampire hero. Thanks for being here today, Sydney!

Interviewer: Thanks for joining us today, Zachariah! Let’s get to know you a little better. Do you have any siblings? If you do, what are/were they like?

Zachariah: Adam, my older brother, and I could not be any more different. When our small village held dances beneath a new moon, he would either brood or paint in the corner while I danced every dance. It’s not easy getting him to smile, but even during hard times, I find things to smile about.

Interviewer: I’ve heard of the fierce blood hunter. I can’t imagine much would get him to smile. Where do you live now, and with whom? 

Zachariah: When I came out of my feral state, Adam asked me to come live with him and Willow in the country. But living with a newly wedded couple would be awkward. Especially with my enhanced vampire hearing. Didn’t want to be around that, to be sure. I decided to stay with Dracula in Ichor Knell. After being locked underground for ten years, I wanted to be among my own kind for a change.

Interviewer: Do you work in Ichor Knell? What is your occupation?

Zachariah: I only recently started apprenticing with physicians Enache and Rosetti in the palace infirmary. I am both intrigued and nauseated by the fact that very little can kill a vampire.

Interviewer: Dare I even ask what you are referring to? So you live with Dracula, yet you work as a physician. To which social class do you belong?

Zachariah: As Dracula’s kin, I am awarded certain privileges in elite vampire society. But instead of taking advantage of my position in society, I prefer to earn my own way. If I have to start at the bottom as an apprentice, then I would gladly do it.

Interviewer: A worthy and honest goal! On that note, are there occasions when you lie?

Zachariah: I can’t lie to save my life! There hasn’t been a time when I haven’t gotten caught in a lie.

Interviewer: Do you have any annoying habits, quirks, strange mannerisms, or other defining characteristics?

Zachariah: I am often self-conscious about the fact that I have never killed a human before, which is strange for a vampire. Especially for a vampire that used to be feral. I call myself a scavenger. When I hunt for my food, I make sure the human is already dead before I feed on their cold, stale blood. It’s not entirely satisfying, but it gets the job done. I refuse to kill others just so I can survive. 

Interviewer: That is definitely strange for a vampire, especially considering how long you were feral and locked underground. I’m curious about how much schooling you’ve had if you were locked away for half your life?

Zachariah: Very little. I grew up in a small, pastoral village, and what little I learned, I learned from my mother. I am very embarrassed that I don’t know how to read, but my new tutor, Laurel Covaci, says I’m making good progress.

Interviewer: What did you want to be when you grew up?

Zachariah: Definitely a soldier. I wanted to serve in the emperor’s army and make something of myself. Unfortunately, I have found that I don’t have the stomach for killing. I would have made an awful soldier.

Interviewer: What is the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you so far?

Zachariah: I painstakingly pressed flowers in a book and gave them to Laurel Covaci. She dumped the entire basket out the window in front of not only a group of nobles, but Dracula as well! My face burns every time I remember the incident.

Interviewer: Speaking of burning faces… When did you have your first kiss, and who with?

Zachariah: Margaret Hurst during the new moon dance back home. It was only days before our village was attacked by vampires and every last person beside me and my brother was killed. 

Interviewer: That’s awful. You two are fortunate to have survived. Last question. Do you believe in the existence of soul mates and/or true love?

Zachariah: The moment I laid eyes on Laurel for the first time, I fell headfirst into love. I believe she’s my soul mate. It’s a shame she doesn’t feel the same way.

Interviewer: That is a shame! I bet you will catch her eye yet. Don’t give up. And that’s it! Thanks for joining us today, Zach. It’s been a pleasure.


Zachariah Degore spent ten years locked under ground as a feral vampire. Now he has to redefine what it means to be healthy and whole. With his human life behind him, he starts anew in the vampire city of Ichor Knell with the vampire shah as his kin. He must prove he is worthy of his place in this new world. 

Laurel Covaci is vampire elite, she would never court a feral vampire. After two hundred years she has yet to find a mate who meets with her satisfaction. She hides the pain of past hurt and abandonment behind a cold façade. Zach is confident that Laurel is the vampire for him, but can he break through her icy walls and convince her he's the mate she's been waiting for?


She stared at him. And stared. Until it became uncomfortable. 

So he stood and started to pack up his things, but she glared at him and pointed to his seat. 

“Sit.” He did. Who could disobey a tone like that? “You can’t kill?” she asked incredulously. “You only recently came out of being feral, correct?” He nodded. “And you can’t kill? Human blood doesn’t send you into a rage. You refused to drink from the goblet at the service.” 

“Have you been spying on me?” 

She ignored his comment, and her mouth puckered slightly as if in deep concentration. He couldn’t help but stare. He’d never seen her do it before. Another endearing quality he added to the lengthy list of what made Laurel Covaci absolutely perfect. 

“I have searched high and low, but I simply cannot find any answers to this particular conundrum,” she finally said. Heat rose to his ears. She’d been thinking about him? 

He grinned. “Well, well, Lady Covaci. I didn’t realize I was filling up your thoughts.” 

She blushed prettily, and he almost expected her to get up from the table and leave, regretting she even sat down in the first place. But she stayed put. In fact, she stared right back as if challenging him. He enjoyed the eye contact. Her eyes were so blue. So beautiful. They took him back to green fields of his childhood, of staring back at the blue sky as clouds lazily drifted past. 

Author Bio:

Sydney Winward was born with an artistic brain and a love of discovery for new talents. From drawing to sewing to music, she has loved to explore every opportunity that comes her way. At a young age, Sydney discovered her love of writing, and she hasn’t been able to stop writing since. Her active imagination and artistic mind take her away to different worlds and time periods, making every new story a fantastic adventure. When she is not writing (or fawning over animals in the neighborhood) she spends time with her husband and children at home in Utah.

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