Fun Friday with Becky Hollister from An Innocent Man by #romance #author Augustina Van Hoven #PNR #ghosts #journalist #fiction

Fun Friday is here again, this time bringing Augustina van Hoven and her investigative reporter Becky Hollister in An Innocent Man. I’ll let Augustina introduce her properly…

Thank you, Betty, for the opportunity to introduce my character, Becky Hollister from AN INNOCENT MAN.

Becky is an investigative reporter with the Idaho Statesman.  She is a close friend with time traveling Jessica in my first two books of the Love through Time series and appears in both books.  Due to a devastating heartbreak she experienced, Becky moves from Boise to Lewiston and starts working for a new newspaper, The Lewiston Tribune.  She rents a small house and that simple thing changes her life, forever.

For fun and relaxation, Becky loves to garden, but being on the go makes a backyard garden impractical.  She also loves to cook.  This gives her a great opportunity to enjoy both things by growing herbs and vegetables indoors in mason jars and a hydroponic grower.

LETTUCEHerbs are easy to grow in a well-lighted area in quart mason jars. You place a half inch of small stones in the bottom of the jar to help with drainage then add potting soil and a plant or seeds.  Fresh herbs really add to the flavor of any food dish.  And by growing them in the house, you are guaranteed fresh herbs year round.  A good hydroponic grower runs around $120.  You can grow lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, herbs or even flowers in them year round.

Becky keeps her herb jars on shelves in front of a southern facing window.  Her Aero hydroponic grower currently sits on her counter and she’s growing lettuce in it.  She can have a great salad by grabbing her scissors.

AugustinaVanHoven_AnInnocentMan_HRAfter being jilted at the altar, journalist Becky Hollister moves to a new city to try to put her life back together and ease the heartache.  She’s surprised to find her new home is already occupied by a man who died 20 years ago.  Will solving his murder help her to learn to love again?

Sheriff’s deputy, Mark Collins, is intrigued by the feisty reporter and her determination to unlock the truth behind a crime that happened when he was a kid.  But every time he tries to get closer to her, she runs away like a wounded animal.  If he can help her solve the cold case, can he also help heal her broken heart?

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Tina small - CopyAugustina Van Hoven was born in The Netherlands and currently resides in the Pacific Northwest 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 machines. Get to know her at

Twitter:  @augustinavhoven


Pinterest: Augustina Van Hoven, Author

This one is right up my alley! I love a good ghost story! And fresh herbs in my cooking. I may have to try growing some—but then again, I do not have a green thumb. It’s probably safer for the plants if I buy what I need. How about you? Do you grow your own herbs or other plants? Without killing them, like me?


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 Patricia O’Neill from Going Through the Change by #author Samantha Bryant #superhero #humor #fiction #menopause

Fun Friday is really going to be a “super” fun one today! Meet Patricia O’Neill from Samantha Bryant’s Going Through the Change. I’ll let Samantha take it from there!

Thanks, Betty for inviting me and my character Patricia O’Neill to drop by and introduce ourselves! Patricia is one of the Menopausal Superheroes from my series. She’s featured in three novels and one set of short stories now, all available on Amazon or at your favorite book store upon request.

Image by Charles C. Dowd

Patricia O’Neill, aka “the Lizard Woman of Springfield,” was hard as nails even before she became bulletproof. Her climb up the corporate ladder began in the 1970s, and she smashed more than one glass ceiling on her way to the top. Her thick skin protected her from the slings and arrows of men who would have preferred to keep her “in her place” and helped her ignore the usual insults and threats hurled at women who make their way in a man’s world.

Until recently, Patricia’s idea of a good time involved expensive theater tickets, high priced wine, and conversations that last until dawn. Well, at least at night. By day, she always liked kicking butt, whether metaphorical butt in the boardroom, or actual butt in the gymnasium.

As a younger woman, she was a field hockey champion nicknamed “The Amazon” by her teammates for her amazing athleticism and six feet of height. As an older woman, she had taken to kickboxing and other forms of martial arts for release.

In Going Through the Change, when Patricia first goes through her more unusual changes, gaining the ability to transform into a bulletproof lizard woman, superheroic antics were the last thing on her mind. As she told her intern, who was trying to talk her into using her new abilities to make a difference, “I’m not Peter Parker. I don’t buy the whole ‘great power comes with great responsibility’ racket. I didn’t ask for this, and I don’t owe anyone anything.”

In Change of Life and Face the Change, the second and third books of the series, Patricia learns to be a little more of a team player. As she joined forces with the other Menopausal Superheroes, she learned to value the friendship of other women. She may even make room in her life for love. She said it herself: “I’ve got a big closet. There’s more than one surprise in there.”

all coversI can’t wait to find out what else Patricia has in store for me and for our readers as this series continues to develop! You can keep up with us both by signing up for my author newsletter (one email per month, maximum):

Contest! To enter for a chance to win an e-book of whichever of my novels you choose, please leave a comment telling me about a heroic woman you admire.

600-800GOINGTHROUGHTHECHANGE-COVERGoing through “the change” isn’t easy on any woman. Mood swings, hot flashes, hormonal imbalances, and itchy skin are par for the course. But for these four seemingly unrelated women, menopause brought changes none of them had ever anticipated—super-heroic changes.

Helen discovers a spark within that reignites her fire. Jessica finds that her mood is lighter, and so is her body. Patricia always had a tough hide, but now even bullets bounce off her. Linda doesn’t have trouble opening the pickle jar anymore… now that she’s a man.

When events throw the women together, they find out that they have more in common than they knew—one person has touched all their lives. The hunt for answers is on.


BOOK ONE: Going Through the Change

Samantha’s Amazon Author Page

meandbatman copySamantha Bryant believes in love, magic, and unexplainable connections between people. Her favorite things are lonely beaches, untamed cliff tops, sunlight through the leaves of trees, summer rains, and children’s laughter. She has lived in many places, including rural Alaska, Kansas, Kentucky, Vermont, England and Spain. She is fierce at heart, though she doesn’t look it.

She’s a fan of Charlotte Brontë, William Shakespeare, Emily Dickinson, Neil Gaiman, Shirley Jackson, and Joss Whedon, among many others. She would like to be Margaret Atwood when she grows up, but so far it doesn’t look like she’ll be growing up any time soon.

Samantha writes blogs, poems, essays, and novels. Mostly she writes about things that scare or worry her. It’s cheaper than therapy. Someday, she hopes to make her living solely as a writer. In the meantime, she also teaches middle school Spanish, which, admittedly, is an odd choice for money-earning, especially in North Carolina.

When she’s not writing or teaching, Samantha enjoys time with her family, watching old movies, baking, reading, and going places. Her favorite gift is tickets (to just about anything).

Her Menopausal Superhero series is available on Amazon or by request at your favorite bookstore. It now includes three novels and a set of short stories. You can find her online on at, on Twitter as @mirymom1, or on lots of other procrastination toys, um, social media.

What a fun series to read! I hope you all enjoy Samantha’s stories. Remember to leave a comment for a chance to win one of her books, too. Good luck!


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 Maximus and Lucius St. Albans from When the Marquess Returns by #author Alanna Lucas #histrom #mustread #fiction

Let’s travel to London for Fun Friday and meet Maximus and Lucius St. Albans from When the Marquess Returns by Alanna Lucas. Take it away, Alanna!

Thank you, Betty, for having me today! I’m excited to share When the Marquess Returns with you today. Although I’m supposed to do a post about what one of my characters does for fun, the hero is an identical twin with a rather jealous brother, so you get two for one!

Allow me to introduce identical twins Maximus and Lucius St. Albans. They’re the missing grandsons of the Duke of Warrington, who were stolen as infants. Prior to being discovered as the missing heirs, the twins enjoyed traveling the continent on the Grand Tour, while expanding their minds (although Lucius would add other *delights* to the list), and spending time with their adoptive family near Plymouth. Maximus has always enjoyed the quiet country life, finding pleasure in horseback riding, reading, and sketching plans for buildings he one day hoped to build, but Fate had a different plan.

Once the boys were discovered to be the lost heirs, London was abuzz with excitement. Every lady in Town vied for their attention, hoping to catch their eye, and an illustrious title. Maximus and Lucius’s days are now filled with endless lessons on how to be a proper heir to a dukedom and learning about their family ancestry.

However, Lucius being Lucius decided those lessons were not exciting and added frequent visits to one of London’s notorious gaming hells to his list of fun, leaving Maximus to clean up his brother’s messes. But despite Lucius’s propensity for trouble and the endless etiquette lessons, Maximus does find time to enjoy the simple things in life—reading, taking long walks, and trying to win the heart of the Cursed Heiress.

One guess which brother has more fun causing trouble?

Contest!! For a chance to win an ebook from my backlist leave a comment about what you enjoy doing for fun!

AL-eBook (1)A Marquess in Waiting and the Cursed Heiress…

The ton is abuzz and mamas are lining up their daughters; identical twins Maximus and Lucius St. Albans are making their entry into society. But they’re not just eligible―they’re the missing grandsons of the Duke of Warrington, stolen as infants.

However, Maximus doesn’t relish the battle with his cocky, reprobate brother to be the next Marquess. And he has no time for the simpering misses now vying for his attention. Only Miss Sabina Teverton has his interest.

She was resigned to life as a spinster but from the moment Sabina meets Lord Maximus, her heart is torn. She dreams of a match with him―but how can that be when she’s been branded as cursed…and she knows secrets of that night long ago when Maximus and his twin were snatched from their cradles?

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side headshotAlanna Lucas grew up in Southern California, but always dreamed of distant lands and bygone eras. From an early age she took interest in art, history, and travel, and enjoys incorporating those diversions into her writing. Alanna makes her home in California where she spends her time writing historical romances, dreaming of her next travel destination, and spending time with family.

Get to know Alanna at her website or follow her at Facebook, Twitter, Amazon Author Page, or BookBub.

Wow, that would be quite something to find out your heir to the throne and all that would entail. What a great story, Alanna!

Remember to leave a comment below to have a chance to win a copy of this tantalizing story!


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 Maud Somerset from Lady Soldier by #romance #author Jillian Chantal #histrom #regency #fiction #books #tomboy

Another Fun Friday has arrived! Bringing with it the feisty Matilda “Maud” Somerset from Jillian Chantal’s historical romance, Lady Soldier. I’ll let Jillian introduce her to you…

I’m super excited that Betty invited me to come by and introduce the heroine of Lady Soldier and yak about what she likes to do for fun.

Matilda “Maud” Somerset is not your standard Regency era girl. She’s what we modern women would call a tomboy. It’s not her fault. In fact, her mother places the blame squarely on the shoulders of Maud’s father, Richard Somerset, one of the younger brothers of the Duke of Beaufort. Lord James was a soldier in his younger years. In fact, he was a crack shot and served king and country as a sharpshooter.

Maud had a brother who was a year older than her. Their father was sure his son would follow in his footsteps and enlist in the army. He was resolved to train the boy in all the arts of war and he began this early in the boy’s life. The mistake he made that causes his wife no end of shame and worry? He allowed Maud to tag along. And now his daughter would rather shoot at targets, ride astride and fire arrows into bales of hay than sit in a parlor entertaining suitable beaus or doing needlepoint.

Her mother despairs of Maud ever making a suitable match. Maud isn’t interested at all in being the wife of a nobleman. She wants to continue in all the unladylike pursuits as they make her happy and feel useful. Not that she really has anything against playing the pianoforte. She’s just better at hitting a bullseye than hitting a high note while singing.

She knows she will eventually have to marry and settle down to a life of dull domesticity, but in the meantime, she’ll continue to thwart her mother. She and her horse are inseparable and she spends a lot of time riding and out in the sun which also makes her mother crazy as Maud’s skin isn’t as white and soft as is fashionable for young ladies. Maud promises to wear hats to shade her face, but somehow, they keep getting lost. Alas. And let’s not even mention the state her hair ribbons can manage to find themselves in.

Maud swears she truly isn’t trying to send her mother to an early grave, but a girl has to be true to herself, doesn’t she?

To enter to win an ebook copy of Lady Soldier, share a tidbit with me. What did you do to drive your mother crazy as a kid/teen? I’ll start. My mom despaired of me when I was a kid as I stayed dirty riding my bike and could go through 2-3 sets of clothes a day when she wanted me to change and stay tidy long enough to go out for dinner or shopping. Oh, and I could never find my shoes. I could lose those suckers in the back seat of the car between home and the restaurant.

Jill-ebook (2)Matilda “Maud” Somerset is a disaster. Her parents and uncle, the Duke of Beaufort, want her to make a spectacular match to a suitable beau. Maud is more interested in galloping across the fields on her stallion, Khan, and shooting arrows at targets. Her mother despairs of her and her father bears the brunt of his wife’s and the Duke’s anger for allowing the girl to learn all the arts of war when he was teaching them to his now-deceased older son.

When Maud’s father is recalled to the Army to fight Napoleon in the Peninsular Wars, Maud sneaks off to join his regiment in his place. His vision isn’t what it used to be, and fearing for his life if he fights, she disguises herself as a man and leaves before dawn. She’s determined to uphold the family honor, even at the cost of her own reputation.


Head shot0037 (2) (1)Jillian Chantal is multi-published in the romance genre. She’s a lawyer by day and writer, amateur photographer, and history buff by night. Jillian lives on the beautiful gulf coast of Florida and loves her little slice of paradise. But not too much to enjoy world-wide travel every chance she gets. After all, a writer and photographer needs new and exciting places to go and capture in order to stay fresh, right? And there’s nothing quite like seeing historical places in person, is there?

Jillian loves to hear from readers. She can be found at her website or or

Her books are available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble

Jillian, it’s funny you’d ask what I did that drove my mom crazy! I distinctly remember her asking me repeatedly why I had to analyze everything. I asked the “why” question so often, about everything that people did and said until she’d shake her head at me. I think that’s what makes me a good writer, though, noticing the details and finding out the motivation behind actions and words. Striving to understand…

Remember to leave a comment below for a chance to win a copy of this intriguing book. Thanks, Jillian, for introducing us to Maud!


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 Elizabeth Brenner from #author Judy Mollen Walters’ The Natural Order of Things #women #fiction #WF #books

Ready for some quiet fun today? Judy Mollen Walters shares how Elizabeth Brenner plays on today’s Fun Friday post. Take it away, Judy!

Elizabeth Brenner could spend every day just playing with her 4-year-old daughter, Lotty. In fact, she does. Lotty and Elizabeth do everything together from sunup to sundown—from baking to library runs to StoryTime to shopping for their dinner to meeting new people who shape their lives in ways Elizabeth can’t really imagine they will. At night they put their pajamas on early and watch movies and TV—sometimes TV you wouldn’t think interesting for a 4-year-old, like Wheel of Fortune and, in the mornings, Good Morning America. They love their solitude and quiet, but when Elizabeth gets a job on the library’s Bookmobile, which she and Lotty can do together, they discover how much they like to go out for lunch or visiting. It all sounds sort of quiet, but Elizabeth’s new friends are going to tell her their most private secrets, and Elizabeth will reveal some of her own.

ebook cover (1)When 22-year-old Elizabeth Brenner lands in New Jersey with her 15-month-old daughter, Lotty, she doesn’t know a soul. And she prefers it that way. She’s struggling with her own demons—her family in Utah, who essentially threw her out, her ex-boyfriend Evan and father of her baby, and just enough money so that she won’t have to work for a little while. Three-and-a-half years later Elizabeth is running out of money and needs a job. But what can she do without an education or any real work experience? When a job opening for a Bookmobile driver at her local library appears, she applies and gets the job. Now she begins to make friends: Estelle, a 95-year-old woman with a 70-year-old secret, Harper, a 16-year-old high school drop-out who isn’t homeless but might as well be, and Sabrina, a pregnant mother whose secret is so big that she won’t even tell her husband. As Elizabeth juggles all of her new friends’ needs, she meets her neighbor Jeff, and then she finds herself doing something she swore she would never do again….. Full of surprising people with surprising stories, The Natural Order of Things will make you laugh and cry, ponder and hope.


judyauthor2After my stint as an editor in nonfiction book publishing, I became a Stay-at-Home Mother to my two daughters nineteen years ago. I always wanted to be a writer and finally became a published author when my first book, Child of Mine, came out in 2013. In 2014, I published The Opposite of Normal, which became an Amazon best seller, and in 2015, I followed that up with The Place to Say Goodbye, about an autistic young man whose thoughts only the readers are privy to.  In 2016, I published Start at the Beginning, featuring best friends who have to make an agonizing choice. In 2017, I published A Million Ordinary Days, the story of an independent woman who fights her Multiple Sclerosis to maintain her career and take care of her daughter.



Being a single parent is never easy but apparently has its own rewards. This story does sound intriguing, doesn’t it? Thanks, Judy, for sharing a bit about Elizabeth and Lotty’s sweet relationship and the quirky friends they make. Enjoy your weekend, everyone!


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 the Brothers of Mayhem from #contemporary #romance #author Carla Swafford #bikergang #motorcycle #brotherhood #fiction

I have a special treat for you all for Fun Friday! Carla Swafford is sharing her special guys, the Brothers of Mayhem. I’ve had the pleasure of reading these gritty stories of family, loyalty, and love. But I’ll let Carla tell you all more about her stories.

Thank you, Betty, you’re a sweetheart for letting authors come to your blog and talk about our books. Though I’m supposed to have one character to say what he/she does for fun, I decided to let the three heroes of my Brothers of Mayhem series speak out.

First, let me introduce the fellows: Thorn (Hidden Heat) and Wolf Savalas (Naked Heat) are brothers, and Storm Ryder (Full Heat) is the brother-in-law to Thorn. They each are different as Thorn is the cop, serious and has a white knight syndrome. Wolf is the player, loves women, a big flirt, so laid back, and has always wanted to be part of the MC (motorcycle club). Then there is Storm, the youngest MC chapter president. The man has deep issues and is sensitive though he keeps it well hidden.

Me: “Fellows, you are here today to talk about what you do for fun. Let’s start with you, Thorn.”

Thorn: “Let’s see. I mostly have fun playing with my kids. The oldest, Bryan, loves to hold the wrenches while I work on a 1966 LeMans I’m restoring.” He inhales on the stub of his cigarette and then flicks it off into the gravel nearby. Thorn and Wolf sit on picnic tables outside the Skull and Bones Bar and Grill. Storm fiddles with his Harley a few feet away. He wipes a soft cloth over the chrome and groans when he sees a dent or scratch.

Wolf: “Yeah, kiss ass to the author, Thorndyke. She’s not about to write another book about you.” He winks at me and laughs.

Thorn: “You’re full of it, bro. It’s a classier version of a GTO. Has nothing to do with being the first car she’d own.”

Storm: “What you need is another Harley. Even since you started driving a cage twenty-four/seven, you’ve become an old man. You’re making my sister old too. Have you not heard of birth control? Four kids. You’re outnumbered.”

Thorn: “Stay out of it. Not that you have room to talk. Didn’t I hear that Mary Jane is expecting number three?”

Storm: His grin widens and then disappears. “Probably another boy, her mom is telling us. I’m hoping for a girl. One like her mother.”

Me: “Fellows, back on the subject. What do you do for fun? And no sex talk.”

Wolf: “Ha! She got you two there. Me and Sofia took care of our family in one fell swoop. The twins are enough. They can share a room for a couple more years. So meanwhile, we’re working on remodeling the kitchen and master bath. All of it is a pain, but I love making that woman happy.”

Thorn: Coughs. “Pussy whip.” He coughs again.

Wolf: “So f**king original.” He turns to me. “Oops! Sorry. Tell Betty I’m sorry. A problem being around the MC, a lot of military guys who talk like they’re still in service. Anyway, making the old family homestead into the home Sofia wants is fun to me. I love to surprise her and hear her giggle.”

The brothers turn toward Storm. Silence reigns since it’s Sunday morning and the bar is closed. Storm looks up and glances at me and then checks on Thorn and Wolf. He sighs and tosses the cloth over the handlebars. 

Storm: “Like you mentioned in your book. I love painting designs and pictures on gas tanks for motorcycles. Since then I’ve learned how to do the same on truck and car hoods. People love flames and skulls. Make decent money doing it and make my own hours. Mary Jane and I help out at the commune. We teach classes on arts and crafts and other stuff with her parents. They’re good people.” He stops and looks around, noticing the shocked looks of Wolf and Thorn. “What’s your problem?”

Wolf: “I don’t know about Thorn, but that’s the most I’ve ever heard you say at one time, and I’m supposed to be your best friend.”

Storm: “Maybe it’s because you never shut the fu—” He inhales deeply, regaining control of his temper. “You haven’t been to visit in a while. I’m more talkative. Even Mary Jane says so.”

Wolf: “I have to say, brother, you need to take it back what you called me. Storm has become the king of puss—” Storm charges Wolf and takes him down into the gravel and dirt. They roll, stir up dust, pounding each other, while Thorn roars with laughter.

Me: I glare at Thorn. “Stop encouraging them.” I shake my head. “Well, I guess that’s what my characters from the Brothers of Mayhem series do for fun. Ah, fellows, stop it. You’re going to get hurt and then the ladies will be mad at me and never let me interview them.”

For one lucky commenter, a chance to win a copy of NAKED HEAT in ebook. Winner will be announced on Labor Day! Thank you for commenting! Thank you again, Betty!  Hope everyone will give my books a try.

NAKED HEAT CoverWolf Savalas has a good reason for kidnapping Sofia Cruz, the favorite cousin to the leader of Thirty-Second gang. His MC plans to hit the leader’s home and sweet Sofia will be in the crossfire.

Sofia had stopped meeting the handsome biker for coffee after he admitted to being a deadly Mayhem Brother. So why is she now handcuffed to the sexy biker? And why is she not sure if she wants to be set free?

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 Kobo Books       Books a Million

carla headshotCarla Swafford loves romance novels, action/adventure movies, and men, and her books reflect that. And that’s not all, she’s crazy about hockey, and thankfully, no one has made her turn in her Southern Belle card. In 2015, Carla received RWA’s PRO Mentor of the Year Award. She’s married to her high school sweetheart and lives in Alabama.


FACEBOOK:  (Carla Swafford, Author)

INSTAGRAM: (@carlaswafford)

TUMBLR: (Carla Swafford)


GOOGLE+: (Carla Swafford)

YOUTUBE: (Carla Swafford)

TWITTER: (@carlaswafford)

If you enjoy a good romance with some tough and fierce bad guys as the heroes, you’ll love this series! But then I am a bit biased, as Carla has been a friend for a long time and I adore her as a person as well as an author.

Don’t forget to leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of Naked Heat! Good luck and thanks for stopping by!


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 Angelina Sprint from To the Stars Through Difficulties by Romalyn Tilghman #library #knitting #quilting #fiction

Today on Fun Friday let me introduce Angelina Sprint who discovers a love of quilting and knitting during one eventful summer in Romalyn Tilghman’s debut novel To the Stars Through Difficulties. Take it away, Angelina!

Hi, I’m Angelina Sprint, one of the voices in Romalyn’s debut novel. I’ve come back to New Hope, Kansas, my father’s hometown, to finish my PhD on Carnegie libraries. I’ve been working on this challenge for almost a decade, but I simply won’t give up despite the obstacles of a difficult professor. Luckily, I have a breakthrough when I find my grandmother’s journal and realize it was the local women who made the libraries happen, as much as Andrew Carnegie himself. I’m pretty much addicted to spreading the word about the 1500 Carnegie libraries built in this country, and so I drop snippets of knowledge about them wherever I can.

IMG_2256Much of my summer is spent at the Carnegie Arts Center, the renovated library, where the No Guilt Quilt Guild meet to do handiwork … and solve many of the community’s problems as well as their own. This gives me a glimpse of how powerful women are when they come together. Traci, the artist-in-residence, leads the charge in focusing the energy of spirited teenagers as well the “ordinary women”. She’s masterful at making art out of castoffs. Together, the teens and the quilters, inspired by our foremothers, find a way to build a cultural center in Prairie Hill, the community that was demolished by a tornado.

Over the summer, I learn to do simple patchwork as well as knit and purl. I’m particularly proud of a blanket I made from discarded blue jeans and a scarf I knit out of yarn dyed by Amanda Hope. (Amanda was my grandmother’s name; New Hope her town.) We read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn aloud to each other while we work, just as Carnegie’s father read in the weaving mills of Scotland. On my own, I enjoy “gentle reads” about books, such as the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society and 84, Charing Cross Road. I gather a dozen recipes for Jello and even more for casseroles, and I worry about weight gain from all the potlucks. I learn to treasure the Kansas landscape and Midwest work ethic.

My summer doesn’t turn out the way I expected, but you probably guessed that. I learn to love surprises! May your life be full of fun ones too!

aRomalyn_w stickers v3Andrew Carnegie funded fifty-nine public libraries in Kansas in the early 20th century―but it was frontier women who organized waffle suppers, minstrel shows, and women’s baseball games to buy books to fill them. Now, a century later, Angelina returns to her father’s hometown of New Hope to complete her dissertation on the Carnegie libraries, just as Traci and Gayle arrive in town―Traci as an artist-in-residence at the renovated Carnegie Arts Center and Gayle as a refugee whose neighboring town, Prairie Hill, has just been destroyed by a tornado.

The discovery of an old journal inspires the women to create a library and arts center as the first act of rebuilding Prairie Hill after the tornado. As they work together to raise money for the center, Traci reveals her enormous heart, Angelina discovers that problem-solving is more valuable than her PhD, and Gayle demonstrates that courage is not about waiting out a storm but building a future. Full of Kansas history―from pioneer homesteaders to Carrie Nation to orphan trains―To the Stars through Difficulties is a contemporary story of women changing their world, and finding their own voices, powers, and self-esteem in the process.

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About Romalyn Tilghman

Romalyn Steps 3 Closeup ColorStraight out of graduate school, Romalyn Tilghman was hired as Executive Director of the Association of Community Arts Councils of Kansas and was lucky enough to work with rural arts councils throughout the state. She saw first-hand how groups of (mostly) women encouraged culture on the Plains. From there, she went on to work for the National Endowment for the Arts as Regional Representative, eventually serving a territory that stretched over the Dateline, over the Equator, and over the Arctic Circle. She has worked as a free-lance consultant in the arts – conducting strategic planning, initiating audience engagement projects, and assessing grant programs for nonprofit organizations, government agencies, and private foundations. She has served on the boards of Americans for the Arts, Association of California Symphony Orchestras, International Performing Arts for Youth, and Western Arts Alliance, as well as on numerous national panels. To the Stars through Difficulties is her first novel.

That sounds like a great story! I want to listen in on their conversation and the books, too. Thanks for sharing!


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!

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Fun Friday with Maggie Blaine from Overkill by Sherry Fowler Chancellor #murder #mystery #romance #fiction

Another Fun Friday is upon us and this time Sherry Fowler Chancellor shares Maggie Blaine’s love of scrapbooking and a contest! Don’t forget to enter to win the prize… Okay, Sherry, take it away!

Thanks to Betty for letting me visit and introduce you to the heroine of the book Overkill and her hobby.

Maggie Blaine is a homicide detective who was called to the scene of a brutal death. What she didn’t expect was the victim was a former friend of hers who hurt her deeply. The victim went from backstabbing best friend (figuratively) to being literally backstabbed and dying on the grass in front of her office.

When the two of them were friends, they engaged in a couple of hobbies together. They would travel to fun spots like New York City, the Bahamas, and even took a trip or two to Europe. They both loved to try new foods and places and tour cities.

Upon returning home from their travels, they had marathon sessions where they’d create scrapbooks about their adventures. Maggie wasn’t picky about how artistic and perfect her creations were. She just loved spending time cutting and pasting. It relaxed her and kept her mind off her stressful job. Her former friend, on the other hand, was a perfectionist and would never allow a crooked photo or ink blot to stay on her pages.

Maggie hasn’t scrapbooked since she and the victim parted ways. It’s too painful for her to try to separate how the victim betrayed her and their friendship from her love of paper and glue. She still likes to travel, but the photos sit on her computer or in plain albums now.

Someday, she’ll rediscover her love for crafting. Perhaps when she solves this murder, she can finally lay to rest any bad feelings she has toward the former friend who didn’t know the definition of loyalty. But first…it’s time to work.

CONTEST! Overkill by Sherry Fowler Chancellor is available at all e-book retailers and published by Black Opal Books. For the chance to win an e-book copy, leave me a comment about your favorite place to travel. Either that you’ve been to or you want to visit.

overkillNo one liked Drusilla Isaacs. She spent a lifetime alienating people, as if making the most enemies was a personal goal. Now she’s dead. Shot, stabbed, and her neck broken…and that’s what the coroner can tell from a first look. It’s up to Maggie Blaine—former friend and one-time victim of the odious Drusilla—and Maggie’s partner, Jacob Brown, to figure out who, out of a seemingly endless list of suspects, would carry out such heinous acts. Their choices are varied. From Drusilla’s husbands—the former and the current—to the women in her life—her secretary, the mother of her husband’s son, or the new wife of her ex-husband. There’s also another option. A serial killer who randomly appears to insert himself into the mix. A tale of murder, gems, drugs, illicit sex, and a cast of villains who all have one thing in common—their hatred of Drusilla Isaacs.


Barnes and Noble:

Head shot0037 (2)Sherry Fowler Chancellor is a lawyer living on the gulf coast of Florida- a little piece of paradise. She started writing fiction for escape from the day job- a way to decompress from the rigors of contracts and legalese.  After all, how much more fun is it to write exciting romances than dry legal pleadings?

When she’s not practicing law or writing fiction, she can be found spending time with her family, taking trips for inspiration or playing around with her other love, photography.

Sherry loves to hear from readers. Contact her at:



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Fun Friday with Jim O’Flannery from The Wild Mountain Thyme by Kathryn Scarborough #Irish #football #leprechaun #reporter #romance

Please help me welcome Jim O’Flannery to my Fun Fridays series. He is featured in Kathryn Scarborough’s The Wild Mountain Thyme. Take it away, Jim!

Hello Betty, my name is Jim O’Flannery, and I’m the main man, (Seamus, eat your heart out!) in Kathy’s new book, The Wild Mountain Thyme.  Kathy told me you’d like to know what I do for fun.  I am a big Patriots fan, the Patriots and Tom Brady.  I play at least one game of touch football a week, unless the snow or the mud is up to my ‘nether regions,’ (ladies present).  I really get into listening to the oldies, music from the 70s and 80s, like Eric Clapton, Cream, The Righteous Brothers, and hiking, especially around the Adirondack Mountains.

I’m a Boston Globe investigative reporter and even though that might sound ‘wicked good’, hey, I’m from Boston!, it’s no glamor job.  I have to put up with my editor, a total intimidating grouch, but he did send me on this trip to Ireland and I met the love of my life,  Megan Kennedy.  She is a rare woman, beautiful, and a damn fine journalist.  We’re running around the old Emerald Isle tracking down a serial killer who’s only after Americans, Irish-Americans.  Great!  And then, you’re not going to believe this, a pesky leprechaun nagging me to marry Megan.  He says he’s my guardian angel, not sure I believe that one!  Who ever heard of an angel drinking beer, interrupting my passionate kisses to Megan, and quoting poetry at every turn.

That’s it in a nutshell, I’m just a simple guy writing the best story he can, and kissing Megan whenever Seamus lets up on the “there’ll be no paddy fingers if you please!”  Thanks for letting Kathy get her 2 cents in on your blog.


perf5.000x8.000.inddThere’s a serial killer murdering Irish-American tourists all over Ireland.  Jim O’Flannery of the Boston Globe and Megan Kennedy of the Irish Times, are teamed up to report on the killings.  They want to work together, but stay clear of each other emotionally; there was A LOT of trouble with the opposite sex in the past.  But, Jim’s guardian angel appears, as a leprechaun, to pester and cajole Jim into getting involved with Megan.  Jim can see Seamus, Megan can’t.

Jim and Megan trail the murderer to the west coast of Ireland, piecing together his motivation and where he may strike next.

An attempt is made on their lives, and only Jim’s quick wits saves the two.  Megan disappears.  Has the killer kidnapped her?  Can Jim, with Seamus’s help, save her from mortal danger?



3860 Kathy Noyes Personal Branding Images Terrence Jones PhotographyThe Wild Mountain Thyme is the title of an Irish folk song (the Scots will say it’s theirs, but I suppose they all came from the same place).  Seamus sings the song in the book along with some other pieces. Seamus can whip an Irish harp out of the air to accompany himself.  My high school heart throbs, The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem sing it on this YouTube rendition.  Check it out. “T’will make ‘ya teary-eyed,’ as Seamus would say.

Liam Clancy – Wild Mountain Thyme – YouTube

Drop me a line!


Twitter: @kathy60snc

Fun Friday with Sophie Dubois from The Pirate’s Bride by Cathy Skendrovich #sailing #pirates #historical #fiction #romance

Today I’m kicking off a new series I call Fun Fridays, where guest authors will share the cool and fun adventures of their characters with you. Starting the series, is Cathy Skendrovich with some sailing fun from her book, The Pirate’s Bride. Take the helm, Cathy!

“I want to become a pirate. My father was a pirate captain under your leadership. I want to replace him. There is nothing left for me at home, thanks to my father’s death, my husband’s desertion, and my lack of children. I repeat, I want my own ship.”

So states one of my favorite heroines I ever created, Captain Sophie Dubois, from my historical romantic adventure, The Pirate’s Bride. Sophie has always wanted to sail ships more than marry “advantageously.” In my book, she gets that chance, through a “series of unfortunate events,” to quote a famous kids’ author. She also becomes a female pirate.

2014-08-08 08.47.40                I love the ocean. I love looking at it, walking along the shore, and yes, sailing on it. In a very large vessel, mind you. You see, I’m also afraid of the water. But large boats, or ships? They’re okay.

I took my love of the ocean and gave it to Sophie. The wind streaming through her hair, the bright sunlight dancing on the waves, even the thrill from the gentle bobbing of her ship beneath her; all that came directly from me. Sailing over the waves, looking back at where I’ve been and forward to where I want to go, there’s nothing better. Add no seasickness, and you can see why my husband nicknamed me “Captain Jack,” for a certain pirate we all are familiar with.

One vacation, we took the ferry out of Seattle (the faster one, without cars) to go to Victoria, B. C. My husband downed some Dramamine and lolled about in his seat for most of the trip, while I gambled and took nothing. I’d never had motion sickness before, I reasoned.

I didn’t need any drug. Once we hit the open water, lots of people began visiting the restroom. Not me. I went out on deck and embraced the speed, the salt spray, the breeze. I walked the ship, enjoying every moment of the three-and-a-half hours it took across the ocean to get to our destination.

Sophie compares sailing a ship to freedom, and I think she’s right. Isn’t that why we like to drive our own cars, after all? But streets have rules, while the ocean, especially back in the days of pirates, had no rules except to stay afloat.

Sophie’s in charge of her own destiny when she sails a ship, and that was unheard of in the 1700s for a woman. She doesn’t want to rely on a man, and for good reason, which you’ll have to read the book to find out. Sailing gives her that escape and empowerment that I think we all crave, and she embraces it.

I tried like heck to bring out this love affair I have with the ocean in the book. I researched and researched, as well as relied upon my own experience. Pirating was only one facet of Sophie’s story. Becoming a strong, free woman who could protect herself and make her own decisions was so much more important to me. And it all started with a love for the sea.

Here is an excerpt from The Pirate’s Bride, the scene when Sophie’s pirate father-in-law finally gives her the helm of her ship. Read her reaction. I hope it makes you want to read more. Enjoy!

Finally, the reward was nigh on hand, and she would be sailing the ship out into the open ocean at last.


The next day it really was everything she’d dreamed of, and more. With the wind blowing her hair free from its plait and drying the tears straight out of her eyes, standing at the helm was heaven on earth. Louis Dubois actually steered the ship, but she was close enough to feel the freedom, the power of being in command.


The old pirate appeared to enjoy the sail as much as she did. He pointed out places of interest along the rapidly disappearing coastline, jabbering away at her. Soon only sun-drenched, sparkling swells surrounded them.


 “Take her.”


Her gaze snapped to his. “Now? Really?”


At his nod, she gingerly placed her hands on the smooth spokes of the helm, felt the ship shudder and sway as if alive and sensing her trepidation. She snatched her hands back and stared at Dubois. “It…it feels alive.”


He hooted. “Of course it does, girl. Isn’t the ocean a living thing? Now, get your hands on it and keep us at a southerly direction. Tell the crew what you want done, sail straight ahead until the sun hits the horizon, then drop anchor. Philippe and I will be below, wishing not to be disturbed during our card game. Unless, of course, we come under attack.”


He paused in his departure, looking over his shoulder at Sophie. “Oh, and Captain Dubois?” Was he talking to her? He must be. He continued, “Figure out on my charts where we are when you drop anchor, and come tell me. Now, ‘Ta.” He strolled away.

PB CoverFollowing a disastrous Coming Out season, Sophie Bellard vows never to become intimate with any man, preferring to sail the seas like her father before her. But an arranged marriage to a dangerous pirate changes her course forever.

Captain Andre Dubois enjoys pillaging, plundering, and seducing women. Settling down and producing an heir to continue his lineage in the Confederation of Pirates has never been important to him. Only when his inheritance is threatened does he reluctantly take a wife, a dark-haired beauty hiding a disheartening secret.

After a ruinous wedding night, Andre and Sophie spurn the attraction that ignites between them and go their separate ways, seeking the lifestyles they each gave up, and making enemies along the way. But, in a twist of pirate fate, their paths cross again, and they rediscover that spark, only to have it threatened by someone from Andre’s past. Can they fight off a murderous adversary, and rekindle an attraction too strong to be extinguished by time? Or, has it, and luck, run out for these two pirates?

Literary Wanderlust


2018 headshotCathy Skendrovich has always loved a good story, and spent her formative years scribbling what is now called Fan Fiction. The current heartthrob of the time featured heavily in all her stories. Unfortunately, once she went to college, her writing took the form of term papers, written on typewriters instead of computer keyboards.

Upon graduation, Cathy took a job as an English teacher in a middle school. Along the way, she married her husband of now thirty-three years, had two sons, and moved to southern Orange County, California. She chose to work part-time in the school system there.

Now she has returned to writing. Prisoner of Love is her first published novel, followed closely by The Pirate’s Bride. The sequel to The Pirate’s Bride, The Pirate Bride’s Holiday Masquerade, came out Oct. 1, 2017. Undercover with the Nanny, came out on April 23, 2018.

She likes writing romance because she feels it’s lacking in today’s technological world. While she enjoys writing contemporary stories, creating romance in bygone times fascinates her. She hopes her ability to write in both genres will be the beginning of a long and satisfying writing career.

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