Getting to know Shelley Justice #author #contemporary #romance #fiction #books

My guest today embodies the spirit of never giving up and believing in yourself. And all wrapped up in a sweet and fun woman! Come on and meet author Shelley Justice and find out exactly what I mean. First, here’s a glance at her bio and then we’ll meet her and her latest book release.

Shelley Justice is a Southern belle who lives with her husband and two children in northern Alabama. Her love for the written word inspired her to start writing when she was thirteen years old, and she’s been living in her imagination and crafting stories ever since. In addition to being a bookworm, she is a self-proclaimed TV addict with a special affinity for dramas. She also loves romantic movies, especially of the black-and-white variety.

Author Social Links:  Facebook * Instagram

Betty: What inspired you to write the story you’re sharing with us today?

Shelley: This is a part of my series, and Brick is a popular character among readers of the series. When I began, I never intended for him to have a book all his own, but the more I wrote in the series, the more I liked this character and wanted to explore his story.

Betty: Which character arrived fully or mostly developed?

Shelley: Both of the main characters, Brick and Hope, were fully developed when I started writing. I liked the idea of an opposites attract trope for these two, and it worked well.

Betty: Which story element sparked the idea for this story: setting, situation, character, or something else?

Shelley: Hope owns a bridal boutique and designs her own wedding gowns. This was inspired by my love for the television show Say Yes to the Dress.

Betty: Which character(s) were the hardest to get to know? Why do you think?

Shelley: The antagonist. I won’t say who this person is because there’s a reveal close to the end. But this character was sort of a “throwaway” character, as I call them, one meant to add something to a more important character and then the throwaway character is gone and probably forgotten. It wasn’t until the midpoint of the book that I realized this character needed a more prominent role in the story. It meant having to go back and add some hints in what I’d already written, but I was glad I did.

Betty: What kind of research did you need to do to write this story?

Shelley: I didn’t do a lot of research before I started writing. I usually wait until a particular question comes to mind, and then I disappear down a rabbit hole of internet searches. There are some characters who work as commercial realtors, so I had to do some research into their licensing and qualifications.

Betty: How many drafts of the story did you write before you felt the story was complete?

Shelley: Two read-throughs and edits of the whole thing, start to finish. Multiple edits of particular scenes as I was writing. Something would occur to me, and I’d either go back and work it out in another scene so I could move forward, or I would make a note to edit that scene once I finished. Sometimes I have to edit as I go, otherwise I get stuck on something and can’t concentrate enough to move on.

Betty: How long did it take for you to write the story you’re sharing with us? Is that a typical length of time for you? Why or why not?

Shelley: About three months. Maybe a little more. Since I write part-time, it usually takes me three or four months to write a first draft, but that’s if the characters cooperate. I’ve had one or two in the series to take longer because the characters wouldn’t follow the story I had in mind. The longest amount of time it’s taken me to complete a first draft has been over a year.

Betty: What rituals or habits do you have while writing?

Shelley: I start with a list of characters and descriptions. Sometimes I find photos of random people online to provide me a visual of what the characters look like. Then I just start writing and see where the words take me. Sometimes I’ll have an inkling of how I want the main characters to meet, but the rest comes when it comes.

Betty: Every author has a tendency to overuse certain words or phrases in drafts, such as just, once, smile, nod, etc. What are yours?

Shelley: That is a BIG one. Smile or look/gaze/stare is another. I have an eye fetish I’ve discovered. LOL!

Betty: Do you have any role models? If so, why do you look up to them?

Shelley: My mentor, Maryann Jordan, is one I look up to. She and I have become great friends, and she’s been so patient in answering my endless questions about her writing career and her process. She’s published over 70 books and doesn’t have plans to stop. That’s a goal I’d like to shoot for. I also look up to Dolly Parton. She’s a Southern gal with sass and style and a don’t-care attitude that I wish I had. But I love her work with the Imagination Library and with literacy.

Betty: Do you have a special place to write? Revise? Read?

Shelley: Because I write part-time, I write everywhere. In the car, in the living room piled up on my recliners, in waiting rooms, you name it. Revising I prefer to do while I’m at home. Reading is something I do everywhere. If I’m bored, then I look for something to read usually.

Betty: Many authors have a day job. Do you? If so, what is it and do you enjoy it?

Shelley: I work in marketing for a community college. I never thought this would be a career I enjoyed, but I do. I have time for writing, but I’m able to be creative. I’ve also met some incredible people along the way.

Betty: As an author, what do you feel is your greatest achievement?

Shelley: Actually, publishing that first book. It’s something I’ve wanted to do since I was thirteen, but it never seemed to be the right time. I allowed my doubts about whether my writing was good enough or whether anyone would want to read it keep me from considering publishing an option. I don’t know how many times I almost talked myself out of doing it, but I have so many supportive people in my “tribe” who wouldn’t let me give up. It’s only been two years, but I’ve learned so much since that first book.

Betty: What other author would you like to sit down over dinner and talk to? Why?

Shelley: Harper Lee, the author of To Kill a Mockingbird. That book has always been a favorite of mine, and her story has always fascinated me. She’s an author from Alabama, which is my home state as well, and she just always seemed like someone who would shoot straight from the hip, as my grandmother would say. I admire people like that.

Betty: Success looks different to different people. It could be wealth, or fame, or an inner joy at reaching a certain level. How do you define success in terms of your writing career?

Shelley: I have set goals for my writing career, but I don’t believe meeting those goals would mean success for me as much as they would be a source of personal pride. Success for me is a single image I’ve had in my head a long time – to be in a library, to see my book on a shelf and to hear one reader (who doesn’t know me personally) to recommend the book to another reader. Knowing I created something that someone enjoyed enough to recommend it would be a humbling and joyful moment.

Hope Robertson has carefully thought out every aspect of her life. That plan does not include losing her mind, and she had a to-do list to prove it. Someone is disrupting her orderly life in ways so subtle no one believes they are anything more than just flukes. But she has no time for chaos, so she heads to the security firm next door for help.

After a successful military career, Brick Coffey landed at Knight Security and Investigations, and discovered a job he loves. He never imagined he could need or want more in his life — until he sees her. One quick look through the boutique window, and Brick can’t forget the vision dressed in a brilliant white wedding dress. He knows she is out of his league, but when she hires KSI to protect her, he can’t stay away from her.

Hope is French food and fine wine. Brick is barbecue and beer. He’s everything she thinks she doesn’t want. She’s everything he didn’t realize he had been missing. He’ll stop at nothing to protect her because when this case is over, he plans to show her they are more right than wrong.

Buy Links: Amazon

Thanks for swinging by, Shelley! I’m glad you didn’t give up and followed your heart. Your readers thank you, too!

Happy reading, everyone!

Betty

Best-selling Author of Historical Fiction with Heart, and Haunting, Bewitching Love Stories

Visit www.bettybolte.com for a complete list of my books and appearances.

Subscribe to My Newsletter to learn the inside scoop about releases and more!

Follow Me on Amazon / Facebook / Twitter

Getting to know Lynn Downey #author #historical #western #mystery #historian

I’m happy to welcome a fellow lover of history to the interview hot seat today. Cinch into your chair for a ride with author Lynn Downy and her debut novel set on a dude ranch! Let’s take a look at her bio and then find out more about her and her inspiration.

I’m a native California writer, historian, and archivist. I’ve been writing since I was a kid, but didn’t get paid for it until 1985, when I started publishing articles and books about the history of the West. I was the Historian for Levi Strauss & Co. in San Francisco for 25 years and wrote the first biography of the founder, Levi Strauss: The Man Who Gave Blue Jeans to the World. And my grandmother’s experience in a TB sanatorium in the 1920s led to Arequipa Sanatorium: Life in California’s Lung Resort for Women, which won a WILLA award from Women Writing the West. My next book is a history of dude ranching, American Dude Ranch: A Touch of the Cowboy and the Thrill of the West, which will be released in March of 2022. I’m obsessed with the dude ranch, which is also the setting for my first novel, Dudes Rush In, a finalist for the Will Rogers Medallion Award. I’m the Vice President/President-Elect of Women Writing the West, and a member of Western Writers of America. I live in the northern California wine country with 4 cats and a Pinot Noir vineyard in my back yard.

Author Social Links: Website * Blog * Instagram

Betty: What inspired you to write the story you’re sharing with us today?

Lynn: I have been writing books and articles about history for over 30 years, and I love to read historical mysteries. In 2012 I was reading one of Donis Casey’s wonderful Alafair Tucker mysteries, and when I finished, I thought to myself, “Gee, I’d love to write a historical novel.” Well, I had to grab pen and paper because as soon as I had that thought, the characters and plot of a story started running through my head as though someone had turned on a movie projector.

Betty: Which character arrived fully or mostly developed?

Lynn: My main character Phoebe McFarland, and the woman who wrote the diary that she discovers, Ellender Shepherd, both came to me almost fully-formed. They are very different, in back story, looks, and time period, and that actually made it easier for me to flesh them out as I worked on the book.

Betty: Which story element sparked the idea for this story: setting, situation, character, or something else?

Lynn: I’m fascinated by the concept of the dude ranch, which is the perfect setting for a novel, especially a mystery: an isolated location with its own language and customs, filled with people from different places with unique back stories of their own. Stick everyone together in the ranch house, throw in cowboys, horses, and beautiful scenery, and the drama will happen.

Betty: Which character(s) were the hardest to get to know? Why do you think?

Lynn: It was hardest for me to get into the head of the male characters. I think this is partly a function of being a woman, and partly being a first-time novelist. Luckily, I had a wonderful editor at my publisher, Pronghorn Press, who helped me get those details onto the page. The men in my book were a little two-dimensional, which I needed to fix.

Betty: What kind of research did you need to do to write this story?

Lynn: Historical research is my profession and my favorite thing to do, so I dived into the history of dude ranches, focusing on the 1950s. I have stayed at a few dude ranches, and I was able to translate those experiences into the book, making sure I stayed true to the decade in which my story is set. My fictional town, Tribulation, is based on one of my favorite places in the world, Wickenburg, Arizona, and I used aspects of its history for both plot and setting.

Betty: How many drafts of the story did you write before you felt the story was complete?

Lynn: I wrote 2 drafts of my manuscript before it was picked up by Pronghorn Press. Annette, the publisher and editor, liked my story but she made many editorial suggestions to strengthen the narrative. I ended up reorganizing some chapters and doing a lot of rewriting, all of which I started as the COVID pandemic took hold in the spring of 2020. I spent the entire first month of the lockdown working about 5 hours a day on my manuscript. It was a great way to distract myself from the horrors, was the hardest work I’ve ever done as a writer, and was also a great joy.

Betty: How long did it take for you to write the story you’re sharing with us? Is that a typical length of time for you? Why or why not?

Lynn: Dudes Rush In is my first novel, and I started it when I was still working full time. The germ of the idea came to me in the summer of 2012, I semi-retired in 2014, worked on it exclusively in 2018, and the book came out in the fall of 2020. I call that a long time! I’m working on the second book in the series now and I expect it to come out next year or the beginning of 2023. That’s certainly an improvement.

Betty: What rituals or habits do you have while writing?

Lynn: I always listen to music, and it has to be music that’s pertinent to whatever I’m writing. When I was working on Dudes Rush In, I listened to a lot of Western swing and theme music written for Western TV shows and movies. And I threw in some 1950s jazz, too.

Betty: Every author has a tendency to overuse certain words or phrases in drafts, such as just, once, smile, nod, etc. What are yours?

Lynn: I have a passive voice problem. When I edit—whether non-fiction or fiction—I have to go through the manuscript and fix limp, lifeless sentences.

Betty: Do you have any role models? If so, why do you look up to them?

Lynn: One of them is writer Donis Casey, whose work not only inspired me to try fiction, she was also personally supportive to me when I made a tentative beginning. Her family history inspired her books, and I also use my own family as a starting point in my novel. She is one of those authors who believes in lifting up others as they travel their own paths.

Betty: Do you have a special place to write? Revise? Read?

Lynn: I write on my computer in my home office, and I cover the walls with photos, pages from magazines, and other artifacts that pertain to what I’m writing. I surround myself with these visuals so that I’m immersed in whatever world I am trying to create. Sometimes my office looks like those rooms on TV crime shows that stalkers or serial killers have filled with the objects of their obsession. But it works for me! I like editing on paper in a bustling coffee shop, but that was out of the question for a long time in 2020 and 2021. So, I take my printed pages into my living room, sit on the couch and put on some music, hoping one of my cats won’t bat the pen out of my hand.

Betty: Many authors have a day job. Do you? If so, what is it and do you enjoy it?

Lynn: I’m a consulting archivist and historian. I work with companies, museums, and libraries to organize their historical materials, and I write everything from social media posts to books for my clients. I did this work full time until 2014, when I decided to move into the world of consulting, which allows me to choose my projects and gives me more time to write. History and historical archives are my profession and where my heart lives.

Betty: As an author, what do you feel is your greatest achievement?

Lynn: Being persistent and true to my stories. I sent the manuscript of my book Arequipa Sanatorium: Life in California’s Lung Resort for Women to a publisher I had worked with before. It was rejected (with extreme prejudice) and I was in such despair I almost gave up on it, but the book was something I had wanted to write for over 30 years. I had to keep going. Then, a historian friend introduced me to an editor at the University of Oklahoma Press, who looked at the manuscript, made some suggestions for improvement, and then saw it through to publication. As I mentioned earlier, the book won a WILLA award from Women Writing the West. I believed in my story and dug in and worked hard to make it happen. It’s a lesson I think about whenever I write something new. And the University of Oklahoma Press is also publishing my next book, so this connection has been personally and professionally fulfilling.

Betty: What other author would you like to sit down over dinner and talk to? Why?

Lynn: I would love to chat with historian and author Heather Cox Richardson, who has a unique perspective on how the American West helped to shape national history. And she has a clear-eyed way of looking at modern politics through a historical lens.

Betty: Success looks different to different people. It could be wealth, or fame, or an inner joy at reaching a certain level. How do you define success in terms of your writing career?

Lynn: Success for me is getting better at what I do, and writing the best version of whatever book I’m working on. Because it’s all about the story, which means it’s ultimately all about the reader.

In 1952 San Francisco, restless war widow and aspiring writer Phoebe McFarland decides to change her life and spend six months on her sister-in-law’s dude ranch in Tribulation, Arizona, called the H Double Bar. She has enjoyed many vacations at the ranch, she loves the desert, and is happy for the opportunity to spend time with her late husband’s family. In exchange for room and board, she helps out in the office and hopes to finally finish the novel she is working on. When a group of magazine writers comes to stay, including an attractive single man, Phoebe sees a chance to connect with the professionals. But Tribulation soon lives up to its name. When Phoebe finds an old diary hidden in her desk, she stumbles onto secrets from Tribulation’s past that collide with a shocking revelation of her own, leading her down a trail to both discovery and danger.

Buy Links: Website * Amazon * Bookshop

I enjoy stories with horses and cowboys, so this one is going on my ever-growing TBR list. Thanks for sharing, Lynn!

Happy reading!

Betty

P.S. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my newsletter, which I send out most every month, including news like new covers, new releases, and upcoming appearances where I love to meet my readers, along with recipes and writing progress. Thanks and happy reading!

Getting to know Tony Damascus, character of author Luanne Oleas #author #familysaga #inspirational #contemporary #romance #literary #fiction

Okay, gang, buckle in for my next guest, Tony Damascus, who has taken time away from his book to be grilled—er, interviewed by me. Thanks to author Luanne Oleas for giving him some time off to stop in. Let’s find out a bit about Luanne, and then we’ll dive into the interview.

Luanne Oleas was born in Steinbeck’s Salinas Valley, the setting for her novel, Flying Blind: A Cropduster’s Story. For several years, she worked as a reporter, features writer, and weekly columnist at the Salinas Californian newspaper with reprints in publications such as Reader’s Digest. After moving to the Silicon Valley, she turned her talents to technical writing, finishing her career at HP. She left high tech in 2017 to write novels full-time.

Her first novel, A Primrose In November, is a family saga set in England and France. It’s a story about loving, losing, and learning to love again.

When she isn’t publicizing Flying Blind, Luanne works on her upcoming novel, tentatively titled When Alice Played The Lottery. It’s the story of a 50-year-old widowed receptionist who starts a lottery pool with nine multi-cultural coworkers at a failing Silicon Valley startup. Just as the layoffs start, the coworkers win the big jackpot and go on to star in their own reality TV show. It takes place in the Silicon Valley where Luanne lives with her husband and Blackberry the cat.

Author Social Links: Website * Facebook * Twitter

Betty: How would you describe your childhood?

Tony: Fractured. My name is Tony Damascus and my life began normally enough with Mom and Dad, but it split wide open before I turned two. Mom died, Dad took off, and I entered the foster care system. Care is a loose term. Maybe I wasn’t the easiest kid to have around but locking me in a closet didn’t help. I spent a lot of time drawing airplanes and staring out the window.

Betty: What kind of schooling did you have? Did you enjoy it?

Tony: I attended public school—occasionally. It was good to get away from my foster family, but it was hard to stay out of trouble. By high school, I visited my classes off and on—enough to graduate. I spent more time at the airport than I did in any after-school activities. I did like getting to know the girls though, but I wasn’t always the guy parents wanted to see coming up the walk.

Betty: When did you have your first kiss and with who? How did it go?

Tony: It’s hard to remember exactly, but I want to say I was four. It was with my foster mother. You might think that doesn’t count, but trust me, if you had kissed her, you’d be counting it. My foster father counted it. I mean, she may have been a slut, but in my situation, I took what affection I could get.

Betty: What do you think is your greatest achievement? Why?

Tony: Easy question. Becoming a pilot was my greatest achievement. It wasn’t easy, flying for 15 minutes at a time and trying to build up the hours needed for my private and commercial licenses. Of course, the flying I dig the most is ag flying. Cropdusting. The hard part is eventually, you have to land. But being alone in the cockpit, with the earth below looking well-ordered, is a trip.

Betty: What is the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you?

Tony: Whoa. . . It’s hard to narrow it down to just one embarrassing incident. Getting caught with the boss’s wife is up there. It’s even worse when he fires you. Then, starts shooting at you. I did get caught using the spray plane to waterski on the Salinas River. That was kind of a bummer. Getting caught, I mean. Making rooster tails with the landing gear was great. I accidentally shot a hole through the neighbor’s bathroom window. That was embarrassing. It didn’t do much for our relationship either. The guy never let me borrow his lawnmower again.

Betty: If you could change one thing from your past, what would it be and why?

Tony: Just one? I suppose I should have stopped drinking sooner. Of course, it was fun for a long time, until it wasn’t. Oddly enough, it didn’t really seem to affect my flying, but it effed up more than one relationship. Of course, it inspired most of them, based on what I was drinking—and how much—when I met a woman. It ruined several marriages, but only one that mattered.

Betty: What’s your greatest fear? Who else knows about it?

Tony: Falling in love. Things were humming along just fine until that happened. Before that, I was partying like there was no tomorrow and having a grand time. I could tell you stories about a masseuse I dated but we’ll keep this PG. I suppose the only one who knew my fear, or let me know he knew, was my best friend, Bill. He was one of those stable guys with a library card and morals. It’s a little odd that we became best friends. Flying connected us. It’s probably a good thing we became friends. The dude saved my life. No B.S. He really did.

Betty: How much of your true self do you share with others?

Tony: Oh, everyone pretty much gets all of me. How long they stick around and tolerate it is another story. I don’t hold back. Like when I had to teach that priest how to fly. Huge mistake putting me in as his instructor. Especially when I was describing how flying fast and low was like making love with a beautiful woman. He didn’t know what I was talking about. When he asked me if it was like praying, I didn’t know what he was talking about.

Betty: Are you close to your family? Do you wish your relationship with them was different in any way? If so, how?

Tony: Are we close? Ha-ha-ha, very funny. I would have to say we are about as close as a group of porcupines. How do I wish my relationship was different? Well, with my foster family, I wish I didn’t know ’em. Especially my foster brothers. My wife invited them to the wedding. One shot up heroin and the other stole the maid of honor’s purse. As far as my real parents, I wish they had stuck around longer. Especially my mom.

Betty: What characteristics are you looking for in a potential lover/spouse?

Tony: Well, being good in bed matters. In fact, that used to be my only requirement until I met Angela. Don’t tell anyone, but I didn’t even get her in bed for a few months. It didn’t matter that she couldn’t cook. Finally, someone looked beyond how screwed-up I was and just got me. I never thought of myself as a provider. Hell, I could barely take care of a dog. But with Angela, I found I wanted to protect her.

Betty: How do you like to relax? What kind of entertainment do you enjoy?

Tony: I like women, guns, and yellow airplanes, not necessarily in that order. Flying relaxes me. It also turns me on. Listening to music definitely helps. My favorite tune is “Sexual Healing” by Marvin Gaye. Anything by the Rolling Stones works for me. Listening to music AND flying at the same time rocks. I did try duck hunting once, but my leg was in a cast at the time, and it got stuck in the mud. I had a motorcycle for a while. That was cool. I had to get rid of it to collect the insurance when I lost my job. I miss that old Hog.

Betty: If you could change yourself in some way, what change would you make? Why?

Tony: You know, giving that priest flying lessons made me wonder if there was more to life than sex and flying. I’m not talking about getting saved, but when your plane goes down and it looks like you might die, you wonder about whether there’s more to life than you know. I guess I wish I was willing to believe that faith crap. I think it might make me a better person.

Betty: What do you think you’re good at? Bad at?

Tony: I’m awesome at flying. I think I’m good in bed, too. I can fix an engine. Any engine. They used to call me the piano tuner because I fixed them by sound. Even with my lousy hearing. What am I bad at? You name it. Making a relationship work. Staying employed. Staying sober. I’m horrible with money. If I have it, I spend it.

Betty: What items do you carry in your pockets or handbag?

Tony: In my pocket right now, I have a lighter with a Great Lakes biplane on it. Don’t tell Angela—I wouldn’t want to hurt her feelings—but that masseuse gave it to me as a birthday present. That gal was fun to hang out with—until she got divorced from her long-haul trucker husband. Then she started rubbing me the wrong way, if you get my meaning. She started hounding me to settle down. What a drag! I also used to have a beer opener that looked like a naked lady, but it fell out of my pocket at the airstrip one day.

Betty: What foods and beverages do you routinely have in your refrigerator?

Tony: Beer. And more beer. Once I had this gal as a maid (she thought she was my girlfriend, but she was really just a housekeeper with benefits. I was the benefit.) Anyway, she used to make this great pineapple upside-down cake. It went well with screwdrivers. I like barbequing steaks, too. Great big ones.

Tony flees Texas at the point of a shotgun and finds himself unemployed. Taking a temporary job as a flight instructor, he demonstrates flying spray runs to his worst student, Father Roberto. Imagine the Great Waldo Pepper teaching Mother Theresa to fly in Steinbeck’s Salinas Valley in 1972.

An ace in the air, but a mess on the ground, Tony needs to tame his inner demons. Can he stay alive long enough to do that? Is flying fast and low really like making love to a beautiful woman?

Buy Links: Amazon * B&N

 Wow, Tony, you’ve had quite a life. I hope things work out for you in the best way possible. Thanks again, Luanne, for letting Tony stop by and talk to us.

Happy reading!

Betty

P.S. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my newsletter, which I send out most every month, including news like new covers, new releases, and upcoming appearances where I love to meet my readers, along with recipes and writing progress. Thanks and happy reading!

Getting to know Gayle Leeson #author #cozymystery #mystery #ghosts #haunting #fiction #books #mustread #amreading

I have a lovely surprise for you today, everyone! Author Gayle Leeson has given her character Amanda Tucker some time off out of her story, Designs on Murder, to come chat with me for a few minutes. Let’s take a glance at Gayle’s bio and then we’ll get to know Amanda.

Gayle Leeson is a pseudonym for Gayle Trent. Gayle has also written as Amanda Lee and Gayle Trent. As Amanda Lee, she wrote the Embroidery Mystery series, and as Gayle Trent, she writes the Daphne Martin Cake Mystery series and the Myrtle Crumb Mystery series. Going forward, Gayle intends to keep her writing under the Gayle Leeson name. Please check out her Ghostly Fashionista and Down South Café series.

Author Social Links: Newsletter * Facebook * BookBub

Betty: How would you describe your childhood?

Amanda: For the most part, it was great. My mom was—ha! is—a little overbearing and demanding sometimes, but my dad spoiled me rotten. Plus, Grandpa Dave and Grandma Jodie lived nearby, and I loved spending time with them. In fact, I still do enjoy living close to Grandpa Dave and see him nearly every day. Grandma Jodie is no longer with us, and Mom and Dad moved to Florida, so Grandpa and I keep a close eye on each other.

Betty: What kind of schooling did you have? Did you enjoy it?

Amanda: I went to public school, and it was all right. I loved drawing and sewing and making patterns, so I excelled more away from school than I did inside it. Still, I made good grades, and I recently graduated from college with a degree in business administration.

Betty: What do you think is your greatest achievement? Why?

Amanda: I feel that opening my shop this past year was my greatest achievement. Doing something so bold was both exhilarating and frightening; but I took the leap, the business has been successful, and I’m so glad I took the risk.

Betty: What is the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you?

Amanda: Well, this happens on a regular basis—I’m trying to talk with people in my shop and find myself answering Max, the ghost that they can’t see or hear! I’m sure my coworkers often think I’ve lost my mind.

Betty: If you could change one thing from your past, what would it be and why?

Amanda: I’d like to have found Max sooner.

Betty: What’s your greatest fear? Who else knows about it?

Amanda: Failure. I think Grandpa Dave knows, but he has enough confidence in me for the both of us.

Betty: How much of your true self do you share with others?

Amanda: Very little unless I’m really close to them. There are only a handful of people who know about Max, and that’s because they can communicate with her too.

Betty: Are you close to your family? Do you wish your relationship with them was different in any way? If so, how?

Amanda: I am. I wish my mom and I were closer. Now that I’m an adult with my own business/life, I realize that much of her domineering behavior comes from a place of love and fear. That doesn’t always make it easier to live with, but I can make an effort to understand her better.

Betty: How do you like to relax? What kind of entertainment do you enjoy?

Amanda: I love reading and watching old movies. Max and I have a sort of book club now. She adores reading but hadn’t been able to do so until I introduced her to eBooks.

Betty: If you could change yourself in some way, what change would you make? Why?

Amanda: I think I’d like to be more fearless—like Max!

Betty: What do you think you’re good at? Bad at?

Amanda: I’m excellent at designing a dress and creating a pattern for it. I’m horrible at saying no. I need to be less of a people-pleaser!

Betty: What items do you carry in your pockets or handbag?

Amanda: I’m never without a tape measure and a sewing kit.

Betty: What foods and beverages do you routinely have in your refrigerator?

Amanda: – Tea, bottled water, salads, fruits, and something chocolate to satisfy my sweet tooth.

What if you discovered your lively new friend wasn’t really…alive?

When Amanda decides to lease a space in historic Abingdon, Virginia’s Shops on Main, she’s surprised to learn that she has a resident ghost. But soon Maxine “Max,” a young woman who died in 1930, isn’t the only dead person at the retail complex. Mark, a web designer who rented space at Shops on Main, is shot in his office.

Amanda is afraid that one of her new “friends” is a killer, and Max is encouraging her to solve Mark’s murder a la Nancy Drew. Easy for Max to want to investigate–she can’t end up the killer’s next victim!

Buy Links: Amazon * B&N * IndieBound * IndieboundAudio

I hope you catch the killer without any scary moments yourself, Amanda. Thanks for swinging by!

Happy reading!

Betty

P.S. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my newsletter, which I send out most every month, including news like new covers, new releases, and upcoming appearances where I love to meet my readers, along with recipes and writing progress. Thanks and happy reading!

Getting to know Jennifer J. Chow #author #cozymystery #characters #YA #fiction #books

I’m so pleased that author Jennifer J. Chow has given her character, Mimi Lee, the opportunity to come cat…er, chat with us today. Let’s take a look at Jennifer’s bio and then get right to talking with Mimi. Here we go!

Jennifer J. Chow is the Lefty Award-nominated author of the Sassy Cat Mysteries and the forthcoming L.A. Night Market Mysteries (Berkley/Penguin Random House). The first in the Sassy Cat series, Mimi Lee Gets A Clue, was selected as an Overdrive Recommended Read, one of PopSugar’s Best Summer Beach Reads, staff picks for both Richland Library and Changing Hands Bookstore, and a Reader’s Digest Best Read from the 2020 Quarantine Book Club. Jennifer has also published other Asian-American novels involving secrets and mysteries. She’s active in Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and Crime Writers of Color.

Author Social Links: Website * Instagram * Twitter * Facebook

Betty: How would you describe your childhood?

Mimi Lee: Fusion. My mom is Malaysian Chinese, and my dad is Caucasian.

Betty: What kind of schooling did you have?

Mimi Lee: I got my undergrad degree in psychology at UCLA. Go Bruins! It’s a slight bone of contention with my boyfriend, Josh, who went to USC.

Betty: What do you think is your greatest achievement?

Mimi Lee: Hollywoof. It’s my very own pet grooming salon in Los Angeles. I’m glad that years of dog walking and pet sitting have led me to my dream job.

Betty: What is the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you?

Mimi Lee: Lots of stuff, but my meet-cute was a meet-oops with Josh because of a misunderstanding we had in our apartment complex’s shared laundry room. And that was on top of him seeing my delicates!

Betty: What’s your greatest fear?

Mimi Lee: That something bad will happen to my friends and family—that’s why I’m keen to clear their names whenever they get on the police’s radar.

Betty: How much of your true self do you share with others?

Mimi Lee: I share a lot with my younger sister, Alice, but even she doesn’t know about my talking sassy cat, Marshmallow.

Betty: Are you close to your family? Do you wish your relationship with them was different in any way? If so, how?

Mimi Lee: I love my close-knit family, although I’m glad that Ma has stopped her ludicrous matchmaking schemes now that I have Josh in my life.

Betty: What characteristics are you looking for in a potential lover/spouse?

Mimi Lee: Tall, handsome, and rich—in kindness toward animals.

Betty: How do you like to relax? What kind of entertainment do you enjoy?

Mimi Lee: I like a good YA novel and sometimes an entertaining show while snuggling with my two favorite guys, Josh and Marshmallow.

Betty: What do you think you’re good at? Bad at?

Mimi Lee: Good at looking out for my family and friends. Bad at following directions from a certain local homicide detective.

Betty: What items do you carry in your pockets or handbag?

Mimi Lee: Keys, money, cell phone, and some handy pet wipes—to clean my furry friends’ paws.

Betty: What foods and beverages do you routinely have in your refrigerator?

Mimi Lee: I love sushi and the occasional boba—but you can’t really refrigerate those drinks too long or the tapioca balls will harden.

When a local teacher is found dead, LA’s newest pet groomer Mimi Lee finds herself in a pawful predicament—with her younger sister’s livelihood on the line.

Mimi Lee is on top of the world. She has a thriving pet grooming business, the sweetest boyfriend, and a talking cat to boot. When she arrives at the elementary school where her sister Alice works, she’s expecting a fun girls’ night out—but instead finds a teacher slumped over in her car, dead.

Alice was the last one to see Helen Reed, which instantly marks her as the prime suspect. Unable to sit quietly and let the authorities walk all over her sister, Mimi starts snooping and talks to Helen’s closest contacts, including one jumpy principal, a two-faced fiancé, and three sketchy teachers. With the help of her sassy but savvy cat, Marshmallow, and a cute kitten named Nimbus, the clock’s ticking for Mimi to get to the bottom of yet another case before her sister gets schooled.

Buy Links: Bookshop.org * PenguinRandomhouse

I love cozy mysteries with cats as active crime solvers. Don’t you? Thanks so much for stopping in, Mimi Lee!

Happy reading!

Betty

P.S. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my newsletter, which I send out most every month, including news like new covers, new releases, and upcoming appearances where I love to meet my readers, along with recipes and writing progress. Thanks and happy reading!

Fun Friday w/ Radolf, Duke of Wolferton from The Blue-Eyed Black-Hearted Duke by #romance #author Sandra Masters #histfic #regency #paranormal

For Fun Friday, let’s learn a bit more about the sixth book in The Duke Series by spicy Regency romance author Sandra Masters. Not only are we treated to revealing tidbits about Radolf, Duke of Wolferton himself, but Sandra wants to give away an e-book to one lucky visitor! Simply comment for a chance to win. Take it away, Sandra!

The duke held particular joy for the Black Roses which he cultivated.

The hobby grew into a passion and to him it was an all-consuming endeavor for his tormented soul. The utter joy these dark beauties gave him knew no bounds. Each day his interest became piqued by The Turkish Halfeti Rose which grew only in Turkey where these unusual roses prospered. The pitch-black rose appeals to women because of its rarity and also its association with darkness. It depends on whether you seek the dark side of the rose in its morbidity or the light side in its magic. 

We are told these roses appear black to the naked eye, and are grown only in small quantities in the village of Halfeti, Turkey, which our hero, Radolf, Duke of Wolferton, visited on occasion. Water seeps in from the Euphrates River which has a unique pH level. On a first viewing, the rose is black unless one takes a magnifying glass to inspect it. 

Black roses aren’t a natural variation that you can purchase from your local nursery; they’re much more elusive and EXPENSIVE than that. Sometimes called Black roses, they are also known as the Turkish Halfeti Rose, Arab Bride or Arab Beauty, and bloom in small numbers. 

EXCERPT:

Later, Jaclyn re-read the words on the page, Dear Diary: Not sure how but Wolferton’skiss was mysterious and exotic. His tongue swirled, simmered and I experienced a consuming flame that became a fire that demanded quenching. His fingers tangled my hair, and hands cupped my head. Sweet heaven, it was molten, heat everywhere—no, it flowed through every vein in my body, surging, exploring, and intoxicating. All sanity and restraint left my brain with one lovely thought. Please don’t stop. The maddening heat of him pulsed my heart, and the last wonderful slide of his lips again sealed my fate. The universe crashed around me, and I was lost in the wonder of him.  

Sweet heaven. Hell…I’m going to hell.

How do you tempt a sinner?—Offer him a saint!

Dark, dangerous, brooding and in his eyes unredeemable, Radolf Wolferton, Duke of Wolferton, doesn’t fear death but welcomes it. Guilt-ridden because of his sinful past, the tormented hero of theWaterloo wars, honor-bound, believes he is undeserving of love and closely guards his black heart against love though the family prophecy predicts otherwise.

Powerfully drawn to him, Jaclyn Moreux, his ward, cannot deny his allure and the sizzling attraction that grows. Lured by his seductive pull, there are danger and passion in his embrace.

Can Jaclyn help Radolf conquer the internal demon who threatens their future and recognize that a higher supernatural power destines their love?

Can Radolf surrender to the supernatural power that speaks through the stained glass portrait of his red wolf persona and the archangel to fight for the woman he loves despite the pitfalls?

Amazon U.S.:  https://amzn.to/2QqJPug   

The Wild Rose Press: http://bit.ly/2ybd4ts        

Amazon U.K.: https://amzn.to/2Rnb9e4    

Amazon Australia: https://amzn.to/2NmHRsW    

Please go to www.authorsandramasters.com and subscribe in the upper right-hand corner of the Home page and you’ll be able to download Chapter One of The Blue-EyedBlack-Hearted Duke as your introduction to this good tormented soul. Here’s a quick sneak peek at the opening…

Chapter One:  His own worst enemy, he opened the desk drawer, took out the locket, and flipped it open. A winsome girl with dark hair and beguiling violet eyes peered at him.

An earthen container of black roses he cultivated resided on the left side of his desk. Imported from Halfeti, Turkey, they were his pride and joy. Somehow, he knew Miss Jaclyn Moreux, his ward, would be the white rose to change his future.

Now he was to endure the supreme test. The devil had sent him a saint to torment him.

Privacy information: I do not share any email addresses….ever. You will receive two or three Shout Outs during the year related to my writing, my characters, and my novels. Feel free to interact with me. I enjoy my fans.

From a humble beginning in Newark, NJ, a short stay at a convent in Morristown, NJ, to the boardrooms of NYC, and a fantastic career for a broadcasting company in Carlsbad, California, to the rural foothills of the Sierras of Yosemite National Park, Sandra Masters has always traveled with pen and notebook. It’s been the journey of ten thousand miles with a few steps left to go. She traded NYC boardrooms for Regency ballrooms, left her corporate world behind and never looked back. Nothing she expected, but everything she dreamed. She lists her occupation as Living The Dream.

She is a storyteller. Gather round her and allow yourself to become transported you to Regency England in the early 1800’s where the men were charmingly arrogant and the women were there to tame them.

She has more yesterdays than tomorrows and has known many things…content to look through the lens of make-believe to bring Regency Romance into your life.

Website: https://www.authorsandramasters.com

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/sandra.mMasters

Twitter: https://twitter.com/sandramasters10

This series does sound interesting! Thanks for sharing with us, Sandra! I hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season and finding time to spend with family and friends. Happy Holidays!

Betty

P.S. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my newsletter, which I only send out when there is news to share. News like new covers, new releases, and upcoming appearances where I love to meet my readers. Thanks and happy reading!

Visit my Website for more on my books and upcoming events.

Fun Friday with Rose Leeds from The Kiss of a Rose by #romance #author Augustina Van Hoven #PNR #ghosts #hauntings #secondchances #fiction

Fun Friday brings another cool story and an intriguing spectral character from Augustina van Hoven. I’ll let Augustina introduce Miss Rose Van Buren Leeds properly…

Thank you, Betty, for the opportunity to introduce my character, Rose Van Buren Leeds, from THE KISS OF A ROSE.

Rose was born in 1861.  She worked in her father’s dry goods store until the day she married John Leeds, who betrayed her. She died in1882. Rose’s first life is a sad story but with the second chance she is given, she makes choices that save the lives of many. Rose’s story flows through all three books of the Rose series.  For fun and relaxation, Rose likes to sew. In her own time, she designed and sewed her own clothes as well as shirts for her father. She creates her own gown for a ball in 1881 and makes her own wedding dress. In the second book, she draws from her experience and in modern time’s starts a dress shop where she designs and creates exquisite gowns for formal occasions with the elegance and flair of the 1800s. She doesn’t like the modern sewing machine her husband buys her but makes everything on a treadle machine. The dress shop becomes very successful. 

A DISTANT PAST

In 1882, Rose Van Buren loved the wrong man and paid for it with her life. Now, more than a century later, the angel Gabriel has granted her another shot at living. In exchange, she must convince a smart, handsome, up-and-coming lawyer to set aside his lofty ambitions.

A FUTURE PRESENT

Stephen Winship is headed straight for the governor’s chair. He has a brilliant career, solid allies, and a seemingly perfect girlfriend. But night after night he finds himself dreaming of a heavenly beauty, a luminous but long-dead girl. Like some altered Ghost of Christmas Past, she shows him her own tragic tale in order to “save him.” And he’s beginning to see Rose is risking her heart as much as baring her soul. Yet falling for her will cost him everything—and open him up to a happiness he never imagined.

Amazon     Barnes & Noble     Apple     Kobo

Augustina VanHoven was born in The Netherlands and currently resides in the PacificNorthwest with her husband, two dogs, and three cats. She is an avid reader of romance, science fiction, and fantasy. When she’s not writing she likes to work in her garden or in the winter months crochet and knit on her knitting machine. Get to know her at www.augustinavanhoven.com.

Twitter:  @augustinavhoven

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Augustina-Van-Hoven-Author/336028986575129

Pinterest: Augustina Van Hoven, Author

Another ghost story to add to my collection! Don’t you love it when life—or perhaps, in this case, death—gives us a second chance to make a difference in someone else’s life? I think it’s very noble of Rose to try to help Stephen make the right choices. Thanks for sharing, Augustina!

Betty

P.S. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my newsletter, which I only send out when there is news to share. News like new covers, new releases, and upcoming appearances where I love to meet my readers. Thanks and happy reading!

Visit my Website for more on my books and upcoming events.

Fun Friday with Iliana Passing from The Last Dreamer by #author Barbara Solomon Josselsohn #journalism #dreams #mustread #womensfiction

Fun Friday is back! With a question to ponder… When you look back at your life do you ever wonder about what might have been? For Iliana Passing her past returns to make her question her present life. Here’s Barbara Solomon Josselsohn to introduce you to Iliana Passing. The stage is yours, Barbara!

Iliana Passing, the main character of The Last Dreamer, is a one-time acclaimed journalist who left her job 15 years ago to raise her family, and is now questioning that decision, along with many others she made when she was younger. Don’t get her wrong — she loves her husband, adores her two children — 14-year-old Matthew and 12-year-old Dara — and knows she has a great life. But she also knows that she gave up a lot of the things that once made her…well, her…in support of her family. Her life now revolves around chauffeuring the kids to their sports practices and study sessions, shopping for groceries and household supplies, dropping off her husband’s suits at the cleaner’s, delivering the occasional forgotten violin or lunch to school, and doing other assorted chores. Where is the person she used to be, Iliana wonders — the person who had dreams of being a foreign correspondent, traveling around the world, writing gripping magazine articles and best-selling books? How did she become a supporting player in the lives of her husband and children, instead of a leading player in her own, unique life? Yes, her husband makes a big salary, and his job supports their lifestyle — but is her life less important, simply because she’s not the main wage earner?

Iliana is ready for a change — and her opportunity comes in the form of Jeff Downs, a one-time teen TV idol whom Iliana adored when she was young. Jeff disappeared from the limelight years ago — and it’s only through luck that Iliana discovers he is living a reclusive life, as a small business owner in a neighboring town. Thinking the key to her return to journalism is a good scoop, she pretends to be a New York Times reporter and engineers a meeting with the former TV star, so she can write a story about his post-celebrity life and restart her journalism career. But as she gets to know Jeff, she begins to revisit all the fantasies and dreams she once had, back when she was a teenager. Ultimately she has a decision to make: Can she ever be really happy with her current home and family? Or are her old dreams just too tempting to ignore?

For fun, Iliana loves being with her family — watching her kids’ sports games and school concerts, planning romantic dinners for her and her husband (when he’s not traveling for work), and arranging for family game nights in the evenings, when homework doesn’t get in the way. Her guilty pleasure, though, is to sneak downstairs late at night, when everyone is sleep, and watch old TV shows on Nick at Night and other oldies stations. She especially loves watching Jeff Downs’ old TV show, Guitar Dreams, about four high-school buddies who form a band known as The Dreamers. She particularly likes one episode, where Jeff falls for a girl at school who’s trying out for the school play. The episode includes a long and romantic kiss between the two — and when Iliana sees it, she remembers how delicious it used to feel back when she was watching the show as a 13-year-old and imagining Jeff was kissing her.

Iliana Passing—wife, mother, and former acclaimed journalist—gave up her career to start a family. Almost fifteen years later, despite how much she loves her husband and kids, she can’t help wondering how she ended up with a life spent carpooling and running errands.

Ready to get back into the journalism game, Iliana searches for an exciting lead. When she discovers that Jeff Downs, the heartthrob star of an old TV show and her girlhood crush, now owns a nearby textile company, she thinks she’s found her story: teen celebrity and its aftermath. But as Iliana gets to know Jeff, the two grow closer than she ever could’ve imagined. Now that her teenage dream has walked into her present-day reality, how far will she go to entertain an old fantasy?

Buy The Last Dreamer at: https://www.amazon.com/Last-Dreamer-Barbara-Solomon-Josselsohn/dp/1503949648/

BarbaraSolomon Josselsohn is a novelist and magazine writer. Her first novel is THE LAST DREAMER (Lake Union Publishing). Her articles and essays appear in a range of publications including The New York Times, Consumers Digest, Parents, American Baby, and Westchester Magazine. Online, her work appears at BrainChildMag.comGrownandFlown.comNextAvenue.comWorkingMother.comRoad2College.com, and TheManifestStation.net. She teaches novel writing at Sarah Lawrence College, in Bronxville, N.Y., and at other venues. She has three children, a wonderful husband, and an adorable shih-poo namedMosley. She is currently at work on her second novel.

www.BarbaraSolomonJosselsohn.com

Facebook.com/BarbaraSolomonJosselsohnAuthor

Twitter: @BarbaraJoss

Instagram: thelastdreamer_book

Thanks to Barbara for stopping by and sharing with us about her interesting story!

So any regrets lingering in your subconscious? Sometimes I wished I’d stayed with my viola playing but most of the time I don’t miss it. I never felt I played well enough to play professionally and had, by the time I sold the instrument, played in college and community orchestras for years. I bought a guitar which I played for a long time but my writing has taken over my time for the last few years. I do ponder picking it back up again, though. Soon, I hope!

Betty

P.S. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my newsletter, which I only send out when there is news to share. News like new covers, new releases, and upcoming appearances where I love to meet my readers. Thanks and happy reading!

Visit my Website for more on my books and upcoming events.

Fun Friday with Kenzie Macintosh from Heaven-sent Warrior by #romance #author Nancy Lee Badger #fantasy #faeries #PNR #paranormal

How about a bit of time travel for Fun Friday? Romance author Nancy Lee Badger is visiting today to introduce you to Kenzie Macintosh, art curator at a museum in France, who stumbles upon something rather startling… But I’ll let Nancy take it from there!


Thanks for having me here today to talk about a fun fact about the heroine in my recently released paranormal novel, Heaven-sent Warrior. Kenzie Macintosh works tirelessly as head curator at the fictional Raleigh Museum of Art, which I have based on a beautiful one-hundred+ acre museum near my home. Two large buildings filled with art keep Kenzie busy, but to relax she slips into her sneakers and heads out to walk the trails.

 

I am not much of a walker, but even these grounds grabbed my attention. Where else can you walk in the open beside a large flower-filled meadow ringed by forests and see a huge array of sculptures. Kenzie uses her walks to clear her head. She is much too thin because she forgets to eat, but walking the grounds keeps her healthy. Too bad she hasn’t time to meet a guy to share those walks with. Not until…well, check out the photos of this lovely museum.

 

Heaven-sent WarriorHenrí Chevalier’s last memory, before stumbling naked into a museum’s moonlit garden, was Auguste Rodin and his dusty Paris studio in 1886. To escape his broken heart, Henrí volunteered to sleep inside a statue until needed. Expecting to die, he discovers he must learn to use the unexpected powers Heaven has given him. Without them he will fail his mission against otherworldly creatures, such as demons and faeries.

Kenzie Mackintosh, a dedicated art museum’s curator, spies a naked man hiding among the bronze statues. A quick glance ignites desire within her, but she is too tied-up in work to act on it. Unaware of her fae heritage, their relationship heats up as he disrupts her job. While Henrí tries to process modern buildings, cars, and a broken elevator, a demon attacks and forces Henrí and Kenzie to enlist the aid of her powerful fae relatives. When the demon possesses the body of her ex-lover and threatens to kill him, then use her to take over the world, Henrí and Kenzie must learn to trust each other, even if Kenzie’s death might be the only answer to the world’s salvation.

Find all Buy Links Here:  https://nancyleebadger.blogspot.com/p/books.html

Nancy-squareNancy Lee Badger grew up in Huntington on New York’s Long Island. After attending Plymouth State in New Hampshire, she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Art Education and met and married her college sweetheart. They raised two handsome sons. When the children had left the nest, and shoveling snow became a chore, she retired from her job as a 9-1-1 Emergency Medical Dispatcher and moved with her husband to North Carolina, where she writes full-time.

Nancy is a member of Romance Writers of America, Heart of Carolina Romance Writers, Fantasy-Futuristic & Paranormal Romance Writers, and the Raleigh-based Triangle Association of Freelancers. She loves to travel and attend Scottish Highland Games and is never far from her laptop. She finds story ideas in the most unusual places.

Connect with Nancy Lee Badger:

Website     Twitter    Facebook     Amazon Author Page     Blog

BookBub     Goodreads


I do love to walk and this looks like a fabulous place to do just that. Out among nature and beautiful scenery. Unfortunately, at the moment, I have a fractured little toe so no long walks for me! Do you enjoy walking and hiking? Where is your favorite place to go?

Betty

P.S. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my newsletter, which I only send out when there is news to share. News like new covers, new releases, and upcoming appearances where I love to meet my readers. Thanks and happy reading!

Visit my Website for more on my books and upcoming events.

Fun Friday with Ruby Caldwell from Santa School by #romance #author Melinda Curtis #Christmas #smalltown #holiday #crafts

We’re only a month or so away from Christmas! So for Fun Friday I’d like to introduce you all to Ruby who runs a school to teach folks how to play a department store Santa. But I’ll let Melinda fill you in on the details!


Thanks for inviting me and my heroine Ruby Caldwell to drop by for Friday coffee. Ruby is a resident of Christmas Town, Maine – a small town created by Harlequin Heartwarming authors with over 50 clean romances in the backlist.

Ruby’s father loved Christmas. Growing up, he used to wake her up on Thanksgiving weekend wearing a Santa suit. They’d spend the morning decorating for Christmas, not shopping. He’s gone now, but Ruby started a company on the side – Holiday Cheer. Her first offering is Santa School, where she trains men and women to be a department store Santa Claus. This holiday season she’s running Santa School for Busy Elves. Her program is targeted to men who need confidence and ideas for executing Christmas. She covers everything from tree decorating to stocking stuffing to ideas for gift giving and gift wrapping. Now that her position at Christmas County Memorial Hospital is being eliminated, she’s got to make Holiday Cheer a year-round business. Yikes!

Ruby is a crafter. She believes Christmas trees can be simply decorated with paper chain, popcorn garland, and paper snowflakes. She writes names on store bought Christmas stockings with glue and dots it with glitter. She makes her own paper party invitations and holiday cards. And she does it all because she’s in love with the simplicity of Christmas. Me? I probably haven’t made a decoration or card by hand since my kids were in elementary school.

You can read an excerpt of Santa School here.

SantaSchool 500x750

Amazon     B&N     Apple     Kobo

MelindaCurtis (574x640)Prior to writing romance, award-winning, USA Today bestseller Melinda Curtis was a junior manager for a Fortune 500 company, which meant when she flew on the private jet she was relegated to the jump seat—otherwise known as the potty. After grabbing her pen (and a parachute) she made the jump to full-time writer. Between writing sweet romance for Harlequin and indie-pubbed sweet romantic comedy, Melinda finds time to bond with her husband over home remodeling projects. She recently came to grips with the fact that she’s an empty nester and a grandma, concepts easier to grasp than jet-setting on a potty. You can sign up for Melinda’s mailing list here and receive two free reads.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MelindaCurtisAuthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MelCurtisAuthor

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18124.Melinda_Curtis

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Melinda-Curtis/e/B001HCZ1D6/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1486681485&sr=8-1

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/melinda-curtis


So if you ever wanted to play a Santa, now you know a great school where you can learn how! Thanks, Melinda, for sharing this delightful holiday story just in time to nab it for Christmas.

One last thing I’d like to remind you all about. Speaking of holiday-themed stories, Thanksgiving is the perfect time to read The Touchstone of Raven Hollow as Tara and Grant discover the real meaning of the holiday and why it’s such a beloved and special day. I’ll share details below.

Thanks for stopping by and sharing the love of reading and all things books!

Betty

P.S. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my newsletter, which I only send out when there is news to share. News like new covers, new releases, and upcoming appearances where I love to meet my readers. Thanks and happy reading!

Visit my Website for more on my books and upcoming events.

The_Touchstone_of_Raven_Hollow_600x900He dug for the truth and found her magic…

Tara Golden has hidden her healing power all her life. But occasionally, she uses her abilities on people passing through town, sure they’d never figure out what saved them. Now a tall, sexy geologist is asking questions she doesn’t want to face, and he isn’t going to take no for an answer. There’s no way she would reveal her abilities and her gifted sisters for a fling.

The latest medical tests divulge geologist Grant Markel’s fatal condition is cured, but the scientist within him won’t accept it’s a miracle. When he meets the sexy, mystical witch who may hold the answer to his quest, he’s determined to prove she’s full of smoke and mirrors despite their mutual attraction.

When they are trapped in an enchanted valley, Tara must choose between her magical truth or his scientific beliefs. Can she step from the shadows to claim her true powers before it’s too late?

Amazon     B&N     Kobo     Apple     Books2Read     Google Books