Sunday, October 30, 2022

Reading and #Reviews (Henderson and Labrecque)

I'm an author, but I'm also a reader. Each month, I'll share with you reviews of present and past reads. My available time to read is limited because I write, but I love to curl up with a paperback or an eBook at night for the last hour of my day. 

I tend to read what I write, but not exclusively. Besides Romantic Suspense, I read crime and law novels, once in a while a true story, WWII historicals, mysteries, and mainstream character driven books.

Here are some of the books I've read recently or in the not-too-distant past. Maybe you'll discover a new book or author.

Troubled Waters (Cypress Coast book 3) by Alison Henderson

Glassblower Angelica McDowell has aspired to be a full-time artist since she was a child growing up in Big Sur. When presented with a career-changing commission, she dares to believe her dreams might come true. However, the discovery of a desperate young woman on her doorstep and the subsequent murder of her shady landlord threaten to drag Angelica into a dark underworld, destroying her hopes, and possibly her life.

FBI Special Agent Hunter Blackstone, accompanied by his irrepressible pug, Jocko, has come to Monterey to join a task force pursuing a gang of international human traffickers. When he meets Angelica, he is immediately attracted by her bright wit and sunny disposition. But when she’s inadvertently drawn into his case by a pair of seemingly unconnected deaths, the stakes in their budding relationship soar, and he finds himself in a race against time to prevent her from becoming another victim.


This has been an entertaining series about three sisters. Mom plays a roll in the stories too with a restaurant I’d love to eat at. In the third book, Troubled Waters, Ms. Alison tackles human trafficking in her story, and she does it well. Heroine, Angelica McDowell has a fear of the water although living on the coast. That added another element of interest. A pug named Jocko almost steals the show, but I have to say FBI Agent Hunter Blackstone stands out in my mind. In fact, I loved him! His seemingly flat personality actually has depth. Ms. Alison does an excellent job of painting him for the reader. I love character driven stories and this book has that as well as a complicated plot. An entertaining read for sure.



Newsletter Nija 2: If You Give a Reader a Cookie: Supercharge Your Author Mailing List With the Perfect Reader Magnet Kindle by Tammy Labrecque 

You know you need a reader magnet. You know it will help you attract newsletter subscribers, launch to a bigger audience, and find more success as an indie author. You know that a good reader magnet can turn casual readers into superfans, and superfans into evangelists.

Everyone says so.

But knowing and doing are two different things
, especially when all the advice out there is overwhelming and confusing.
Newsletter Ninja 2: If You Give a Reader a Cookie
 is a thorough breakdown of all the aspects of reader magnets—from choosing which type to write, through planning how it fits into your catalog, to getting it into readers’ hands. Written in the same down-to-earth style as Newsletter Ninja, and packed just as full of solid information and useful ninja tips, Newsletter Ninja 2 will help you. 


Only authors will appreciate this book. I do have to read books that can help me in my career, and this one has already given me some direction. For some reason, I bought this one instead of book one, so I’m heading back to that one next. Authors, you need this book. 


Monday, October 17, 2022

Reinventing Yourself 101 by Liz Flaherty #romance #MatureHeroine #SecondLove


It's great to have Liz Flaherty back on Discover... for Muse Monday. I love books with mature heroines who have so much more to offer with life experiences. This story sounds like a fun one and makes my TBR list.

As any of us who’ve lived past the age of 40 know, life is all about reinvention. We wear so many hats as we go through those reinventions—the mom hat, the partner hat, the volunteer hat, the retirement hat, the nana hat…and so on. And on. Some of them fit really well and you never want to take them off, and some of them you might wear too long, or maybe they hurt your head, or maybe you wake up one morning and everything’s changed—hat and all.

Rye Winters grew up in Chicago, and she loves it there. After many years in a small-town subdivision, the forty-something widow is champing at the bit to go back. She’s sold her business and her house and made plans right down to the kind of apartment she wants to lease or buy—no more lawn-mowing or weed-eating for her! She’s not going to need a car—which is great because she hates to drive. She’d reinvented herself once—she could hardly wait to do it again.

But before making her final move, she goes to Fallen Soldier, Pennsylvania, population 2922, to be her best friend’s “widow of honor” in her wedding.

Where she meets the preacher, falls in love with a cottage on the lake, and can’t stop looking at a downtown building that has so many possibilities. Hmm…

He’s afraid a second time at love wouldn’t live up to his first. She’s afraid a second round would be exactly like her first.

Pastor Jake McAlister and businesswoman Riley Winters are in their forties and widowed. Neither is interested in a relationship. They both love Fallen Soldier, the small Pennsylvania town where they met, even though Rye plans to move to Chicago, and Jake sees a change in pastorates not too far down the road. Enjoying a few-weeks friendship is something they both look forward to.

However, there is an indisputable attraction between the green-eyed pastor and the woman with a shining sweep of chestnut hair. Then there’s the Culp, an old downtown building that calls unrelentingly to Rye’s entrepreneurial soul. And when a young man named Griff visits Jake, life changes in the blink of a dark green eye.

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“Your eyes,” he said, “are extraordinarily blue.”

“Yours are extraordinarily green.” His sweater, the same color as his eyes, was soft under her hands, covering shoulders and arms more muscular than she had expected. He was just the right height to dance with, too. Looking up didn’t hurt her neck, but he was enough taller than she to reduce her tendency to lead. “Is this our first date?”

He looked thoughtful. “No. Actually, I think we’ve had several. We’ve just kind of avoided calling them that.”

“That’s good then.” She sounded breathy again, but the truth was, she was feeling a little winded by his proximity and how it made her feel. “Because, I wouldn’t want to be known as someone who…you know…would kiss on the first date.”

“No, that wouldn’t be good, would it?” His arms tightened. “But maybe after several dates it would be okay?”

“I think so. A nice kiss goes well with wine and cheese and Ebenezer Scrooge’s story.”

“Does it?” His lips, warm and firm, met hers then. Searching. Tasting. Releasing. For a moment. “If one goes well, how would they be with two?”

“Oh.” She raised her hands, threading them through his thick, soft hair. “I think they’d be even better.”

The wine, cheese, and movie were wonderful after four kisses, splendid after five. The wine had had plenty of time to breathe and the cheese had warmed so that its flavor was rich and its consistency creamy.

Kind of like the kisses. Not the creamy part, but warm and rich and leaving her with a wish for more.

Bio: USA Today bestselling author Liz Flaherty started writing in the fourth grade when her Aunt Gladys allowed her to use her portable Royal typewriter. The truth was that her aunt would have let her do anything to get her out of her hair, but the typewriter and the stories it could produce caught on, and Liz never again had a day without a what if… in it.

She and Duane, her husband of at least forever, live in a farmhouse in central Indiana, sharing grown children, spoiled cats, and their grandkids, the Magnificent Seven. (Don’t get her started on them—you’ll be here all day.) To find out more about her, stop by or sign up for her newsletter at

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Friday, October 7, 2022

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


This is a fun fearless post...a restless teen who is game for reckless adventures. I remember the movie, and this series sounds like a great prequel. 

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

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

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

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

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


Melanie pounded on the door.

Jake opened it. “Melanie?”

“Y’all got to come with me, Jake. Right now.”

Jake looked over to Coach. “I’m kind of in the middle of something. As you know.”

“Yeah, but…” Melanie needed a story that would get Jake out of there immediately. “It’s your mama.”

“What about my mama?”

“She’s at the hospital. There was an accident at the roadhouse.”

Jake blanched. His lip trembled. “Is she okay?”

Uh oh. Maybe she’d gone a little too big. “Oh yeah. Just a little burn. There was a fire in the kitchen. Very small. She put it out with the fire extinguisher. She’s kind of a hero, actually.”

Coach stood up and grabbed a set of keys off his desk. “Come on. I’ll drive y’all over there.”

Melanie held up her hands. “No, no, no. That’s not necessary, Coach. She’s fine, really. She mostly went as a precaution.”

Jake crossed his arms. “Then why is it so important that I leave right now? I have something important to discuss with Coach.”

Shoot, this lie was growing bigger than a possum in a restaurant’s garbage can.

Author Bio:

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

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

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

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

Visit Kris’s website, Amazon page, or her blog, the Southwest Armchair Traveler. Find Kris on BookBub, GoodReads, Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram

Monday, October 3, 2022

Muse Monday Goes Medieval Monday by Jennifer Ivy Walker #medieval #French #fairy


Oh la la! Please welcome Jennifer Ivy Walker to Muse Monday on Discover... With some classic French tragedy. Fun post. Oui, oui!

As a high school French teacher, I used puppets to illustrate the medieval legend of "Tristan et Yseult" to my French IV students as part of our study of the Middle Ages.

I always took my students to the state competition where they performed a French I play I had written, "Yseult la Belle et Tristan la Bête"--a combination of the medieval French legend of "Tristan et Yseult" (Tristan and Isolde in English) with the fairy tale, "Beauty and the Beast".

Last summer, I had an epiphany--to incorporate that play into a trilogy.  A retelling of the classic French tragedy of "Tristan et Yseult", blended with my love of medieval knights, Arthurian legends, and dark fairy tales from the enchanted Forest of Brocéliande in la Bretagne (Brittany in English), birthplace of Merlin the Magician, Viviane, the Lady of the Lake, and Lancelot du Lac.

My debut novel, "The Wild Rose and the Sea Raven", is a compilation of my years of studying French literature, my numerous trips to France-- exploring troglodyte caves, medieval pilgrimage sites, châteaux of the Loire Valley, Normandy, Bretagne, and Provence--and my love for myths and legends. 

Book Blurb:

In this dark fairy tale adaptation of a medieval French legend, Issylte must flee the wicked queen, finding shelter with a fairy witch who teaches her the verdant magic of the forest. Fate leads her to the otherworldly realm of the Lady of the Lake and the Elves of Avalon, where she must choose between her life as a healer or fight to save her ravaged kingdom. Tristan of Lyonesse is a Knight of the Round Table who must overcome the horrors of his past and defend his king or lose everything. When he becomes a warrior of the Tribe of Dana, a gift of Druidic magic might hold the key he seeks. Haunted and hunted. Entwined by fate. Can their passion and power prevail?


The fairy witch motioned for Issylte to kneel at her side among the flowers. Her luminous brown eyes twinkled in the filtered sunlight.

“Every tree, plant, flower and herb has an essence. A spirit. A life force.” She gestured to the verdant forest all around.

Issylte raised her eyes to the lush canopy of trees overhead, the blue sky peeking through the fluffy clouds. She inhaled deeply, the green notes of pine mingling with the rich scent of earth and the tangy fragrance of blossoms in the early summer breeze.

“The essence of the forest can be beneficial. Benevolent. Essential for healing.” She picked up a sprig of red clover and handed it to Issylte with a knowing smile. “Yet others are harmful and deadly.” Maiwenn gestured to the alluring deep purple flowers before them.

Issylte’s breath caught in wonder. She sensed an aura. A tingle in her veins.

Maiwenn’s chestnut eyes bore deeply into hers. “Have you ever felt the thrum of the forest in your veins?”

Issylte nodded, her eyes wide with discovery and delight. She held Maiwenn’s gaze, nearly breathless with anticipation.

“That, Églantine, is power.” Maiwenn’s eyes were deep brown, like the nourishing earth of the Hazelwood Forest.

“You, my dear princess, are a forest fairy. Like me.”

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 Jennifer Ivy Walker 

Enthralled with legends of medieval knights and ladies, dark fairy tales and fantasies about Druids, wizards and magic, Jennifer Ivy Walker always dreamed of becoming a writer. She fell in love with French in junior high school, continuing her study of the language throughout college, eventually becoming a high school teacher and college professor of French.

As a high school teacher, she took her students every year to the annual French competition, where they performed a play she had written, "Yseult la Belle et Tristan la Bête"--an imaginative blend of the medieval French legend of "Tristan et Yseult" and the fairy tale "Beauty and the Beast", enhanced with fantasy elements of a Celtic fairy and a wicked witch.

Her debut novel, "The Wild Rose and the Sea Raven"--the first of a trilogy-- is a blend of her love for

medieval legends, the romantic French language, and paranormal fantasy. It is a retelling of the medieval French romance of "Tristan et Yseult", interwoven with Arthurian myth, dark fairy tales from the enchanted Forest of Brocéliande, and otherworldly elements such as Avalonian Elves, Druids, forest fairies and magic.

Explore her realm of Medieval French Fantasy. She hopes her novels will enchant you. 





Amazon link:

Barnes and Noble: