Friday, September 30, 2022

#NewRelease from Darlene Fredette: Derailed Hearts

Darlene Fredette visits with a look at the sixth book in her Redford Falls series, DERAILED HEARTS. She's playing Quick Five with answers to five questions about her favorite things. Congrats on the new release, Darlene!

Thank you, Jana, for allowing me to share my new release with your followers! 

Derailed Hearts is the sixth book in my Redford Falls series. Each book reads well on its own with many characters from previous books making an appearance. There is one character introduced in the very first book who makes an appearance in subsequent books. Though his presence may be short, he’s definitely a significant character. I’m talking about Thumper, the mysterious matchmaker in the form of a rabbit. Thumper is only a folklore legend…or is he? Those who believe in him, appreciate his power to unite destined hearts. Sometimes his attempt to play cupid is obvious and other times he is quite coy. But once someone has a ‘sighting’, love is in their future whether they are looking for it or not. Be sure to keep your eyes open for the mysterious matchmaker to make his appearance in Derailed Hearts

Quick 5 - Darlene's Favorites! 

Favorite sightseeing – Peggy’s Cove, it’s a historical landmark and has awesome views of the Atlantic Ocean.

Favorite show to binge watch – Survivor, I’ve watched every season.

Favorite pie or cake – Both, if they have strawberries!

Country life or city life – a little bit of both, weekdays in the city and weekends in the country.

What’s your favorite kind of sheet?  Flannel and fleecy, the softer the better, but then I’m so comfy I don’t want to get out of bed, lol.

Derailed Hearts

Release Date: September 28, 2022


Nana Marley has her heart set on more great-grand babies, and with the help of a folklore legendary rabbit, she might receive her wish.

Single father and ER doctor, Ethan Marley, is ready to put down roots. He and his daughter embark on a train adventure across Canada from west to east coast. Boarding the train, he meets a woman who steals his breath, and he learns that she too is headed to Redford Falls. He is intent on maintaining a friendship only, but Jenn makes his heart race faster than the train.  

Fashion designer, Jenn Martini, travels by train to Redford Falls to visit her father. Her plan for a solitude escape derails after meeting Ethan and his daughter. Sharing a confined-spaced cabin sparks an immediate attraction, and by the end of the trip, she longs to be a part of their family. Only as she opens her heart to love, do the scars from her past begin to heal.

With more in common than relatives in Redford Falls, is their love strong enough to overcome the truth behind the accident…and save their future? 


Avery pointed to herself, Ethan, and then Jenn. 

Ethan rested his forehead against his daughter’s. “You want Jenn to come, too?” 

Avery nodded.

The little voice in Jenn’s head told her to return to her cabin and to stay clear of Ethan and his daughter. They were as enticing as strawberry ice cream. “I would love to join you.” The words fell from her lips. 

Ethan stood and set Avery on her feet. 

The child held onto her father’s hand and reached outward with the other. 

Jenn accepted the tiny hand and in doing so, she sensed a comfortable connection to this family—a connection she suspected would be incredibly hard to break.

Universal Purchase Link:

About Darlene Fredette:

Darlene resides on the Atlantic Coast of Canada where the summers are too short, and the winters are too long. An avid reader since childhood, Darlene loved to develop the many stories coming to life in her head. She writes contemporary romances with a focus on plot-driven page-turners. When not working on her next book, or painting, or drawing, she can be found with her husband, her daughter, and her yellow Labrador. 

Social Media Links:



Amazon Author Page CA:

Amazon Author Page US:




Other Books by Darlene Fredette:

Law of Attraction

Twist of Faith 

Hershey’s Choice

His Candy Christmas (Redford Falls Story 1)

Kissed By Winter (Redford Falls Story 2)

Under The Apple Blossoms (Redford Falls Story 3)

A Recipe For Forever (Redford Falls Story 4)

Cherry Red

Finding Home Again (Redford Falls Story 5)

Friday, September 23, 2022

#NewRelease from Tammy Lowe: The Sleeping Giant

 Author Tammy Lowe is on my blog today with her book blitz celebrating the release of The Sleeping Giant, book 2 in the Acadian Secret series. Make sure to enter the giveaway at the end of the post. Welcome Tammy!

The Sleeping Giant
Tammy Lowe
(The Acadian Secret, #2)
Published by: The Wild Rose Press
Publication date: September 21st 2022
Genres: Fantasy, Historical, Time-Travel, Young Adult

When a tormented man begs 17-year-old Elisabeth London to travel back in time to save his life, she reluctantly agrees. Assuming Scotland is the destination, she ends up in Ancient Rome instead.
The good news is she finds the man; now a bold 17-year-old named Aquarius. The bad news is he’s an indentured slave, sentenced to death in the arena, and doesn’t even know her yet. 

Elisabeth helps Aquarius escape and becomes an outlaw herself. Armed with her wits and his rock sling, the new friends are on the run from a relentless slave dealer, Rufus Leptis.

Elisabeth soon realizes she’s not here to save Aquarius from Rufus, but from the doomed city of Pompeii. Although trying to be brave, the thought of remaining in Aquarius’ swashbuckling world a minute longer than necessary is inconceivable.

At least, it used to be.

Before that darn, happy-go-lucky slave stole her heart.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo


The thundering sounds all around them seemed to fade into the distance as Elisabeth stood pinned against the side of the cliff. Her gaze darted up to the grassy overhang. There were only two ways off this ledge; the tunnel or the rushing river that would sweep them over the falls within seconds. About to hyperventilate, Elisabeth buried her face in David’s back. Every millisecond moved at an unbearable speed. She held her breath as the inevitable moment drew nearer. Their only chance would be if Rufus didn’t step outside of the tunnel, but that would take a miracle. David looked prepared to fight, but from the side of a mountain ledge with a giant of a man? That could end up a bigger disaster.

She pushed a pile of rocks aside with her foot and shuffled as far along the ledge as possible so David could step back and they’d be flush against the wall. When they heard Rufus grumbling, she knew he had to be near the end of the tunnel. Her leg muscles tightened. Elisabeth wanted to run, but there was nowhere to go.

He was so close.

Too close.

She dared not look to see if he had walked onto the ledge. He would only need to step outside to see them.

What was that noise?


Elisabeth felt the color drain from her face, and then turned ever so slightly to look at the ground beside her.

She gasped, and the sound of her heartbeat thrashed in her ears. If anyone thought the situation couldn’t get any worse, they’d be wrong. Coiled at her feet, next to the dislodged rock, was a snake, looking as startled as Elisabeth. Her mouth fell open, repulsed, but unable to look away from the creature.

“No…no…no…” she whimpered.

Author Bio:

An adventurer at heart, Tammy has explored ruins in Rome, Pompeii, and Istanbul (Constantinople) with historians and archaeologists.

She’s slept in the tower of a 15th century castle in Scotland, climbed down the cramped tunnels of Egyptian pyramids, scaled the Sydney Harbour Bridge, sailed on a tiny raft down the Yulong River in rural China, dined at a Bedouin camp in the Arabian Desert, and escaped from head-hunters in the South Pacific.

I suppose one could say her own childhood wish of time traveling adventures came true…in a roundabout way.

Website / Goodreads / Instagram / Pinterest

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Friday, September 16, 2022

Felony Melanie and the Prank War, based on characters from the movie Sweet Home Alabama is a laugh-out-loud #YAlit #RomanticComedy #comedy #romcom #romance

Kris Bock has a new release called Felony Melanie and the Prank War, book 3 in the Felony Melanie series of young adult comedies. Kris wrote this series with her brother Douglas J. Eboch, and based it on the movie Sweet Home Alabama which Douglas wrote. Best of luck with the new book, Kris and Douglas!

Felony Melanie and the Prank War

by Douglas J. Eboch & Kris Bock

You met her in the movie Sweet Home Alabama. Now see what Melanie Smooter was like before she became hot fashion designer Melanie Carmichael.

In high school, Melanie Smooter is known as Felony Melanie, the teenage troublemaker of Pigeon Creek, Alabama. Aching to escape the boredom of small-town life, her restlessness sparks many reckless adventures. Her boyfriend, Jake, is always by her side – and the local sheriff is usually close behind.

This week, everyone in town is looking forward to the big football game against Greenville, Pigeon Creek’s hated rivals. Jake is more excited than most – as the new quarterback, he’s poised for stardom. But the lead up to the game becomes as exciting as the game itself when pranksters from Greenville steal Pigeon Creek’s pig mascot. Then Jake’s playbook goes missing, which could get him kicked off the team. Could the pranksters have stolen it as well? Melanie, Jake, and their friends embark on an undercover mission to recover the stolen mascot and find Jake’s playbook before the team is disgraced in front of the whole town.

Head back in time to the early 1990s for this laugh out loud rom com based on one of the best rom com movies of all time.

Sign up for our Rom-Com newsletter and get Felony Melanie Destroys the Moonshiner’s Cabin. These first two chapters from the novel Felony Melanie in Pageant Pandemonium stand alone as a short story. In the future, you’ll get fun content about upcoming Felony Melanie novels and other romantic comedy news and links. Or Visit the Amazon series page for Felony Melanie:  Sweet Home Alabama romantic comedy novels or find the books at other E-book retailers.


Chapter 1


Melanie jumped so bad she almost smeared her lipstick. It sounded like someone was setting off fireworks out in front of the school. Melanie quickly finished applying her makeup. She hadn’t seen Jake since lunch period, and she wanted to look good for him. She tapped the spot on the mirror where she had carved “MS+JP” back in ninth grade, then scrambled out of the girls’ bathroom to see what all of the fuss was about.

Sure enough, fireworks were going off in front of the sign that normally read “Pigeon Creek High,” but now had a piece of poster board taped over it that read “Go Greenville!” Roman candles shot streaks of flame skyward, while a fountain sprayed colorful sparks and tendrils of white smoke into the air.

Looked like the rivalry week pranks had begun. 

Greenville was Pigeon Creek’s biggest rival on account of two reasons: one, the town was just up the road, the closest school in their district. Two, they were a bunch of snooty rich kids. Pigeon Creek’s football team was playing them Friday night. A swell of pride filled Melanie’s chest at the thought of the game. Jake was the starting quarterback this season. He’d show those Greenville snobs that they’d better not look down on the country kids.

A dozen other students had been drawn out by the commotion. Jolene, captain of the cheerleaders, stomped up and down in her red and yellow cheerleader minidress loudly vowing revenge.

Lurlynn ran over from the practice field in her cheerleader outfit. “What’s going on?”

“Greenville prank,” Melanie said. “Kind of a lame one if you ask me.”

 Lurlynn frowned. “It’ll get worse. You know how this week goes.” “Hey,” Jolene pointed at Lurlynn. “Aren’t you supposed to be watching Oinkers?”

Oinkers the pig was Pigeon Creek High’s live mascot. Pigeon Creek’s team was called the Wild Boars, which was way more intimidating than a farm pig, but wild boars were also a lot harder to manage, so the 4-H kids supplied a stand-in each year. Lurlynn had raised Oinkers to his current chubby 150 pounds. The cheerleaders and pep squad took turns guarding him during rivalry week. Melanie had been a cheerleader for about three weeks, but it just didn’t suit, with all the practicing and silly rules and the mean ol’ coach practically trying to dictate her whole life. When the coach kicked Melanie off the team, it was a huge relief.

“I was watching Oinkers,” Lurlynn said, “but then I heard…” Her face went pale. She bolted back toward the field. Melanie followed.

Oinkers wallowed in a little chicken-wire pen until it was time to run out on the field with the team or do his patented touchdown dance, the one Lurlynn had trained him to do. But now the pen was empty. The fireworks weren’t the prank, they were a distraction.

Lurlynn crouched down, hands over her cheeks. “Oh no.”

Melanie kicked at the gate post of the empty pen. Those Greenville High kids would pay for this.

Jolene strode up. “You had one job!”

Lurlynn snuffled. “I’m sorry.”

“Sorry won’t help us beat Greenville.”

“I was only gone for a second.”

Jolene sighed. “There’s a tree stump in my backyard with a higher IQ. If you had an idea, it would die of loneliness.”

Melanie felt bad for her friend, but Lurlynn had screwed up. Course that didn’t mean Jolene had to be such a jerk about it. Melanie patted Lurlynn’s shoulder.

Jake emerged from the gym wearing his football uniform for practice. Melanie ran over and gave him a kiss.

“What’s going on?” He wiped the lipstick from his mouth. “Why’s Jolene pitching such a fit?”

“Greenville kids stole Oinkers.”


“Quiet!” Melanie heard something, off in the woods at the edge of the field.


“They’re still here. Come on!” She took off in the direction of the noise.

Author Bio: 

Douglas J. Eboch is a screenwriter and author who wrote the original screenplay to the movie Sweet Home Alabama starring Reese Witherspoon. In his novel Totally Rad Wormhole, two nerds from the eighties accidentally open a wormhole to today, go to their high school reunion, and meet their future selves. Horrified at what they’ve become, they set out to change their fate.

His sister is the author of over 100 books under the names Kris Bock, M.M. Eboch and Chris Eboch. As Kris Bock, she writes novels of mystery, suspense, and romance, many with outdoor adventures and Southwestern landscapes. In the Accidental Detective series, a witty journalist solves mysteries in Arizona and tackles the challenges of turning fifty. This humorous series starts with Something Shady at Sunshine Haven. The Furrever Friends Sweet Romance series features the workers and customers at a small-town cat café, and the adorable cats and kittens looking for their forever homes. 

Sign up for our Rom-Com newsletter and get Felony Melanie Destroys the Moonshiner’s Cabin. These first two chapters from the novel Felony Melanie in Pageant Pandemonium stand alone as a short story. In the future, you’ll get fun content about upcoming Felony Melanie novels and other romantic comedy news and links. Or Visit the Amazon series page for Felony Melanie:  Sweet Home Alabama romantic comedy novels or find the books at other E-book retailers.

Visit Doug’s website or his Amazon page. Find Doug on Goodreads, Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Interview with Western writer Mike Torreano

Mike Torreano sits down with me for an interview today. He's such an interesting writer and an interesting person. I was surprised to learn that the genre he'd most like to write that he hasn't written before is romantic comedy. I hadn't expected that from a western writer! But it makes sense because Mike says he always adds romance to his westerns. Thanks for being here today, Mike!

Where did you get the idea for White Sands Gold?

Inspiration for the story came from a conversation with a friend of mine, who said, “I’ve got the idea for your next book.” He then spun a tale of hidden gold, thousands and thousands of bars, underneath a mountain north of Las Cruces, New Mexico. He’d been exploring the area for years.

Me: “How’d this gold supposedly get there?”

Him” No one knows for sure, but there are several different theories.”

Me: “When was this supposed to have happened?”

Him: “No one knows that for sure, either, but legend says the gold’s been there for centuries.”

Me: “How come no one’s found it?”

Him: “Folklore says someone did, and brought some of the bars up in the 1930s. But he got shot.”

Me: “Who shot him and why?”

Him: “Good question.”

I went home and did an online search. When page after page about the fabled gold popped up, I created a few twists, crafted some interesting characters, and had my next novel.

Why did you choose this genre?

In fifth grade, back in Ohio, I had a teacher who made us read a book a week and write a report. She’d call on someone to read theirs, so you had to be ready. That first week, I pulled a Zane Grey novel off the little shelf and was hooked on the Old West. I read every ZG story I could get my hands on after that. From then on, I always had the idea of writing westerns, and when I retired, I started!

Do you have any unusual writing habits?

Lots of times I write while sitting in front of the TV, like I am right now!

What genre have you never written that you’d like to write?


When were you first published and how did that happen? Was it a long or short journey?

First published in 2014 in an anthology for my short story, The Trade. Set in the Yukon Gold Rush, 1898, it chronicled three men who had to decide whether to leave a critically-injured fourth or not. Inspired by my grandfather’s time there.

What is the hardest part of being a writer for you?

Won’t come as a surprise when I say marketing and promotion. The more I learn about technology and social media, the more I realize I’m just falling behind at a slower pace than before.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?

If you look in the dictionary under ‘pantser’ you’ll see my picture. I’m considering putting a conference session together on the perils of pantsing. But I always enjoy seeing what my characters are up to.

Would you like to have lived the stories you write? 


A genie grants you one wish. What is it?

More wishes.

If you could get rid of something in your life that would give you more writing time, what would it be?

I like my life. Busy, but whose isn’t?

What genre is your favorite to read?


Share a photo of your writing space.

If money were not an object, where would you most like to live? Why?

An Italian villa. The country has a beauty and peace of its own.

Name two authors we might find you reading when taking a break from your own writing.

Re-reading Zane Grey and Agatha Christie.

What do you like best about your hero in White Sands Gold? 

Twill is not driven by the usual motivations most heroes are. There is one most important thing in his life and that’s not to disappoint the woman who raised him and for whom he took a guardian oath.

What do you like best about your heroine in White Sands Gold

I love Lottie (Charlotte). She’s direct, no-nonsense, smart, and yet is vulnerable and uncertain at times.

How do you choose the names and physical characteristics of your characters? Do you base them on real people? 

First question-Names just seem to come from somewhere. I wish I had a more helpful answer to that. Second question-not so much individuals as amalgams of the people who have been in my life and in my reading.

How can readers reach you or find you online?

Facebook author page-

Facebook personal-






Tell us a little about your current work in progress.

The Return is the third in my South Park (Co) series. In 1879, Ike and Lorraine must move from their beloved ranch to Denver for medical reasons. There, he’s gradually isolated from everyone in his life and must find out who’s stalking him before he loses his own.

What’s your tagline?

Can you really ever go home? 

Why did you choose it?

In my novel, Ike and Lorraine try to return to their ranch from the city, but find that things aren’t the same and never will be.

If I was a first time reader of your books, which one would you recommend I start with and why?

I’d start with The Reckoning, the first in the South Park series, then The Renewal, and follow those with White Sands Gold and A Score to Settle.

Tell us about your current release.

New Mexico Territory, 1890

In a hidden cavern, a treasure trove of  gold bars sits alongside an ancient relic. 

To find her treasure-hunting brother, Lottie Durham enlists the help of an easygoing lawman she can’t stand—at first. When a mysterious woman known only as Ma asks her to join the relic’s guardians, Lottie’s world spins. Should she take on this solemn obligation?

Twill, leader of the secretive guardians, has sworn a vow to protect the centuries-old religious relic. Regrets bedevil him and his dedication to his oath is repeatedly tested. If he breaks his promise, he’ll fail Ma, the one person he’s never wanted to let down.

Will a looming raid by a band of determined killers be the end of the guardians, the gold, and the relic?


Lottie lowered to the damp ground, which brought the deputy down as well. She fought the urge to look his way. She was alone in the desert wrapped in a semi-bear hug with a man she met yesterday. She eased a hand to her holster and picked the leather loop off her hammer. Probably didn’t need a gun to protect against someone who’d already saved her life, but…in case he tried something.

The deputy snugged his hat lower and shut his eyes. 

“Hold on, cowboy. We can’t be sittin’ here just sleepin’. I mean…you oughta be talkin’ to me, reassurin’ me. How about it?”

He two-fingered his hat up a touch. “You seem to be able to take care of yourself fair, you should probably be reassurin’ me.” He glanced sideways at her, his face not more than a few inches away. 

That same half-smile that had been so irritating somehow didn’t look so annoying anymore.

Buy Links:


Barnes and Noble-


Author Bio:

Mike Torreano has a military background and is a student of American history and the Old West.

His debut western mystery, The Reckoning, set in South Park, Colorado in 1868, was released in 2016 by The Wild Rose Press. The sequel, The Renewal, also in South Park, 1872, was released in 2018. His third western, A Score To Settle, was released October 2020, also from The Wild Rose Press. White Sands Gold is his latest western mystery, and was just released by Wild Rose. He has a coming-of-age novel, Fireflies At Dusk, set during the Civil War, and his short story, The Trade, a tale of the Yukon Gold Rush, was his first published work in 2014. 

Mike’s written for magazines and newspapers for many years. An experienced editor, he’s taught University-level English and Journalism. He’s a member of the Historical Novel Society, Pikes Peak Writers, Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers, Western Writers of America and several other writing groups. He brings his readers back in time with him as he recreates life in mid-to-late nineteenth century America. He and his wife, Anne, live in Colorado Springs.

Thursday, September 8, 2022

#NewRelease in the The MacKenzie Chronicles series by Brenda Whiteside

 I'm helping Brenda Whiteside celebrate the release of CURSE OF WOLF FALLS, book 3 in The MacKenzie Chronicles. Read the post she wrote for this blog and make sure to enter Brenda's giveaway. Best of luck with the new book and the series!


Secrets of the Ravine

The MacKenzie Chronicles Book 1

by Brenda Whiteside

Genre: Romantic Suspense 

Lies can haunt, but the truth will kill.

Magpie MacKenzie doesn’t believe in coincidence. But when a ringer for her long-dead love walks into her life the same day skeletal remains are unearthed, she’s convinced the universe is sending her a message. Fearing her father will be accused of the crime, Magpie will do whatever it takes to find the truth. Even risk her heart on this familiar stranger who may hold critical clues to the unsolved mystery.

While visiting purportedly haunted Joshua, Arizona, lawyer Zack Peartree is instantly drawn to the free-wheeling shopkeeper. His attraction propels him on a collision course between past and present where digging up secrets could prove fatal.

Using decades-old clues and Zack’s déjà vu moments, the couple embark on a treacherous race to prove her father’s innocence before Magpie becomes the next victim. Can they save her from a murderous fate, or will love be the final casualty?

**Kindle Countdown Sale – Only .99cents until Sep 5th!**

Amazon * Bookbub * Goodreads

Mystery on Spirit Mountain

The MacKenzie Chronicles Book 2

The past never sleeps, and the truth never dies.

Only Harlan MacKenzie can sense the troubled history of the Big Purple House. When he's hired to restore the historic mansion, he doesn't foresee the insidious secrets—secrets that entangle his family in deceit and murder.

Phaedra is selling the house that has been in her family for decades. As her friends-to-lovers relationship with Harlan escalates, she’s forced to choose between her way of life or his, even though she risks losing him forever.

After a stranger comes to town, weaving her web of deception, hell-bent on correcting an old grievance connected to the house, dark revelations of the past implode the present. Harlan and Phaedra are plunged into a dangerous mystery, risking their love, their future, and their lives.

Curse Of Wolf Falls

The MacKenzie Chronicles Book 3

Secrets can protect what the truth will destroy.

Elidor MacKenzie has a gift she can't return—the ability to absorb the joy, pain, and suffering of others. She's spent her life running from what she considers her curse. Now, her best friend is dead, and she alone holds the key to an archaeological discovery that could destroy a culture. With newfound inner peace, Elidor has returned home to make amends and guard the secret revelation. But greed-driven scavengers have followed her. Once again, the energies of Joshua will stir the hurricane, with her at the deadly center.

Jules never got over Elidor. Twenty years and a famous journalism career later, he's back in Joshua—and so is his first love. If his heart can stand the torture, he'll risk reviving their relationship. But saving Elidor from herself and the secret she won't give up may be the death of them both.

With Jules by her side, Elidor is determined to outrun the scavengers, guard the secret, and renew their love. But fate is coming after her, and there's nowhere the couple can hide.

My turn. Speak, Elidor.

“Hi, Julien.” She couldn’t bring herself to use her name of endearment for him, Jules. She didn’t really know him anymore, did she? “I heard you were in town. I’m sorry Snuff isn’t doing well.” Without thinking, she touched his arm. Emotions flooded her like a tsunami rolling toward her core. She jerked her hand back to her lap, not bothering to take the time to analyze if they were her emotions or his.

“I’d ask you to join us, but we’re about done.” Annette caught her eye, seeming to sense her discomfort.

Thank you.

“That’s okay.” He uttered a light cough. She remembered he did that when nervous. “I’m here for a takeout order. Uncle Jeff had a craving.”

“How’s he doing?” her dad asked. “He seemed pretty spry when I stopped by yesterday.”

He shook his head, one brow arched as if in wonder. “I don’t know what to make of him sometimes. Since I’ve been back, he seems to be growing stronger.” He shrugged. “He’s an enigma for sure.”

“You bring him joy.” The explanation appeared obvious to Elidor. Having his nephew in his personal space, sharing what life he had left renewed Snuff’s will to live. Julien’s eyes revealed the mutual pleasure he shared in return.

“I do love the old hippie.” He smiled. 

The label he’d called his uncle when he came to live with him over two decades ago brought back happy memories and made her chuckle.

“I better pick up the order and get it back to Uncle Jeff before it goes cold.” He glanced at each of them, his gaze resting on her. “Don’t be a stranger.”

Could she be anything more? She managed a nod. They were strangers, regardless of their past. No matter what her heart told her. 

Amazon * Bookbub * Goodreads

My husband is my consistent beta reader for all of my books. When he read Secrets of Spirit Mountain, the second book in The MacKenzie Chronicles, one of his comments, “I didn’t know you knew so much about architecture,” made me smile. Research, my dear. I believe a good fiction story has to have the details to make it real for the reader.

The MacKenzie Chronicles stories required me to research a wide variety of subjects, and, luckily, I either had a connection to each one or had a lifelong interest in the subject matter. Researching used to be one of my least favorite tasks in writing, but the plot lines for The MacKenzie Chronicles was right up my alley.

For instance, pulling a few of the file folder names from my Research File: clairsentience, Jerome, AZ, auras, 1960s slang, hippies, 1920s architecture, flora and fauna, Jerome climate, 1970s, sun/moon, present day jewel prices.

The setting for The MacKenzie Chronicles is a fictional town, Joshua, Arizona, inspired by a real-life Arizona destination, Jerome. Once dubbed “The Wickedest Town in the West,” the history is rich with tales of mining, brothels, and ghosts from another century. Add to that history the hippie settlers of the 1960s and 1970s who revitalized the crumbling town into an art mecca. The streets are stacked on the side of the mountain. There’s a jail still intact that literally slid down the mountain decades ago. Wine, food, ruins, and adventure await the tourist. The town looks much the same as it did in the early part of the twentieth century. If you get to Arizona, you really must visit Jerome.

Brenda Whiteside is the award-winning author of mystery romance and suspense. She's penned a couple of historicals and straight romance, but she's found villains and danger make a good story that much better. After living in six states and two countries—so far—she and her husband have settled in Central Arizona. They admit to being gypsies at heart so won't discount the possibility of another move. They share their home with a rescue dog named Amigo. While FDW fishes, Brenda writes.

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Tuesday, September 6, 2022

#NewRelease from Karina Bartow: The Story Behind the Story

Karina Bartow is my guest today and she's telling us the real story behind her semi-fictional story, WRONG LINE, RIGHT CONNECTION. Karina also wants us to know that another book that her character Mabel is featured in, FORGETTING MY WAY BACK TO YOU, is on sale for .99 cents at Amazon from September 5-10. Best of luck with the new release and the sale, Karina!

The Real-Life Love Letters Behind a Semi-Fictional Love Story  

Most authors would shudder to be accused of plagiarism, much less admit to it. In regard to my new novel, however, I’d proud to recognize that I had a little help from some old friends. Wrong Line, Right Connection is inspired by dear friends, Mabel and Roy, who were the first to meet me right after my mom and I were released from the hospital. Throughout my childhood, they—especially Mabel—became like grandparents to my sister and me.

Sadly, Roy passed away before I was two, so I don’t have very clear memories of him. Mabel, on the other hand, lived until just after I turned fifteen, and because of the time we spent together coupled with her firecracker personality, I remember her as if I saw her yesterday. Even at my young age, I already had my sights on being an author, and I often teased that I’d write a book about her one day. 

That talk gained momentum when we were going through some of the belongings she willed us, and we found a stack of old love letters Roy had written her while they were dating. I don’t recall much about the first time we sifted through them, but my mom alluded to the fact of them being useful if I ever wrote a book. In all honesty, I couldn’t imagine writing a love story about my grandparent figures, but I tucked the thought away just in case. 

When I finally came around to the idea, I strategized how I could implement the love letters. I didn’t pull them out and read them, however, until I approached that part of the plot. After years of build-up, I can’t say the letters lived up to my dreamy imaginings. They were written in the month leading up to their marriage, and Roy primarily discussed the preparations he was making for her when she moved in. 

The sweet way he spoke gave me insight into how he talked, and I used a few of his phrases and subjects he mentioned. Still, they didn’t offer anything too swoon-worthy that I could latch onto for my tale. If he were here right now, he’d probably tell me, “I didn’t write them for you!”

Shortly before I finished my first draft, I uncovered the gem I’d been seeking. Amidst everyday matters, he penned, “Love comes from way down deep and never dies if it’s really there.” I’ll never know why he said that—maybe they’d had a lovers’ quarrel—but the beautiful line resonated with me and shaped a critical part of the story.    

Attesting to the truth in his words, I continue to cherish them decades after they passed, and this book is the culmination of that. For those who read it, I hope you’ll see their unforgettable wit and the precious love that bond them.


Could a mortifying day on the job end up netting you true love?

When switchboard operator Mabel Jennings reports to work on a Monday in the summer of 1964, she doesn’t have any interest in finding love again. Out-of-towner Roy Stentz rings up her station, however, and makes her reconsider.  Mabel’s intrigued by his deep yet kind voice, but she endeavors to remain professional. Her attraction frazzles her mind, causing her to transfer Roy to the wrong line. When he calls back to give her another try, she repeats the mistake, humiliating herself. 

The haphazard introduction sets an unexpected romance into motion. Though she falls quickly for him, Mabel's bittersweet past refrains her from giving Roy her full devotion. Can she overcome her memories of love lost to embrace the new one calling out to her?


When the motel lit up a third time, she dropped the preamble. “I’m sorry, Mr. Stentz. I’ll get it right this time.”

“No problem, but now that I think about it, you can give me the number, anyhow. That way, I won’t have to trouble you if I need to make another call during my stay.”

She did her best to conceal her humiliation while she recited it. She didn’t cry often, but to her alarm, a tear traced down her cheek. With him living out of the state, they probably would never cross paths, but discouragement washed over her. She blew her chance, if she had one to blow in the first place.

“Thank you, miss.” His chivalry didn’t crack, a sign of what a nice fellow he must be, given what she put him through. “Since I have you again, I wanted to ask if you’d like to go to dinner with me tonight? I was hoping someone could show me the sights before I head north. Plus, I’d like to find out if you’re a better date than you are an operator.”

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Author Bio:

Karina Bartow grew up and still lives in Northern Ohio.  Though born with Cerebral Palsy, she’s never allowed her disability to define her.  Rather, she’s used her experiences to breathe life into characters who have physical limitations, but like her, are determined not to let them stand in the way of the life they want.  Her works include Husband in Hiding, Forgetting My Way Back to You, and Brother of Interest.  She may only be able to type with one hand, but she writes with her whole heart!

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Friday, September 2, 2022

#NewRelease: A SUMMER'S ENCHANTMENT by Kathleen A. Gallagher

Kathleen Ann Gallagher returns with another new release! This time it's A SUMMER'S ENCHANTMENT, a paranormal romance in her Moonlight and Jasmine series. Kathleen is playing Quick Five and sharing five of her favorite things. Thanks for visiting Kathleen!


1 . Favorite movie:  I have two favorite movies. The first one is Splendor in the Grass. It stars a young Natalie Wood and it was Warren Beatty’s debut movie. My friends and I used to watch it every time it came on television. The ending made us cry every time. The next one is Out of Africa with Meryl Streep and Robert Redford. The sound track is amazing. The costumes are beautiful. The story is fantastic. Yes, I cried at the ending.

2. Favorite TV show:  Days of Our Lives. How many of you watch or have watched soap operas?

3Broadway show: I have two favorites. Phantom of the Opera. The other one is Rent. I’ve seen both multiple times.

4. Favorite song: Always by Bon Jovi. I even use it as my ring tone. My heroine and hero dance to it in A Summer’s Enchantment.  

5Favorite book: I have so many. I’ll tell you one of them. Beach House by Jane Green.

A Summer’s Enchantment by Kathleen Ann Gallagher


A strange request brings Cassandra and Jake together, but opposite worlds may tear them apart.


Cassandra Wales, an independent and determined registered nurse,
finds her plans for the future shattered when her boyfriend dumps
her. Her witchcraft made him squirm, but she wasn’t about to
change for him. Decorating her new home keeps her mind off her
failed relationship. She never expected to find an elderly woman,
accompanied by her hot and sexy grandson, at her doorstep with an
odd request.

Jake Connor is an ambitious, up-and-coming lead singer in a rock
band. When his grandmother has a dream about her late husband
and she asks him to drive her over to their first home, he doesn’t
question it. Once there he meets the woman of his dreams. But how
can he expect her to take a back seat while he pursues his big break
in the exciting world of rock and roll?

Cassandra can’t resist Jake’s magnetism, yet she has her 
doubts about a man who has women begging for his attention. Can a rocker and a nurse who practices witchcraft have a future together, or will their different worlds put a halt to their budding romance?



The DJ played Always by Bon Jovi. Cassandra smiled. “I love this song. It’s one of my favorites.”

“Let’s dance,” he said.

“I’d love to.”

Jake took her by the hand, his gaze locked on hers. He led her to the dance floor, and they found a spot in the far corner, away from the crowd. With their bodies close, as if they’d danced together before, each step was effortless and seductive. She placed her head on his shoulder, with her hand across his chest, and slowly advanced down his arm, her body alive with desire. How could she respond so easily to a man she’d just met? His breathing sped up as she snuggled up against his cheek.

“You’re so sexy,” Jake whispered in her ear.

Her fingertips glided across his back, exploring each muscle, making her delirious with longing. Lost in his tender embrace, she felt warmth ignite between her legs. It seemed as if they were alone on a desert island, and she wanted nothing more than to stay all night. It was the most sensual dance she’d ever experienced. If a slow dance was this good, the sex would be unbelievable. A longing to feel his bare skin against hers was undeniable. She secretly imagined his lips trailing down her chest to her belly.

His warm breath on her neck tantalized her. Jake brushed his lips against her cheek and she responded with uninhibited whimpers. His woodsy scented cologne was hypnotic. He sang the song nuzzled up against her ear, making her light-headed. It didn’t scare her; it felt wonderful.

When the song ended, they remained wrapped in each other’s arms. Jake pulled back, but kept his arms around her waist, their foreheads touching. “You’re so beautiful. I’m happy I gave my grandmother a ride the other day. Thank God for her dream about my grandfather.”

Speaking of your grandfather, I think he’s come back to his old house for a visit.”

“What do you mean? Come on, let’s sit a minute.” He took her by the hand and guided her back to the table. They sat down, and he moved close to her. “Now, what were you saying?”

“Strange things have been going on in my house,” Cassandra confessed.

“What kind of things?” He looked at her curiously.

“I sense a spirit, and it gets cold when he visits. I’ve experienced this before, and I’m sure he’s hanging around for a reason.”

“I hope he’s not calling my grandmother to join him. She’s got so much life in her.” The sad look in his eyes made her heart ache.

“It doesn’t mean he’s here for her. There are a number of reasons spirits return to their homes. Maybe he wants to check up on her.”

“Yeah, then why isn’t he in our house?”

“You have a good point.”

She’d try a spell to free his weary spirit, but now, all she wanted to do was pick up where she and Jake had left off. It seemed like the energy had shifted from a romantic one to one of concern. She should have kept her mouth shut until another time. She took a long, cleansing breath, hoping he’d be okay.

“I have to get back.” Jake pulled her into him and kissed her. “You’re overthinking.”

His smile was infectious.

“Maybe so.” She laughed. “Go on. I’m going to the restroom, but I’ll be right here when you’re done with the set.”

“I’m counting on it.” He took off.


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Kathleen is originally from New Jersey, but currently resides in

Southwest Florida with her husband and her Coton de Tulear, Luc.

She has been writing stories since she was a young girl. When

Kathleen is not dreaming up a plot for her next romance, she

enjoys performing in community theater. You might also find her

relaxing on one of Florida’s pristine and sparkling water beaches.

Kathleen loves meeting her readers, and she is extremely grateful for

their continued support.

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