Friday Finds

Welcome to Friday Finds! We would love your input for discounted books, free books, book recommendations or new releases and book contests (where books are the prize). Feel free to submit through our Friday Finds Submission Form. The cut-off is Wednesday for that Friday’s post, and please make sure that the offers you are submitting will be running that Friday. Please check the deals mentioned in this post before buying, as some may have expired. Thanks!


51UaWEV1fDL._UY250_Cold Burn of Magic

by  Jennifer Estep

There Be Monsters Here. . .

It’s not as great as you’d think, living in a tourist town that’s known as “the most magical place in America.” Same boring high school, just twice as many monsters under the bridges and rival Families killing each other for power.

I try to keep out of it. I’ve got my mom’s bloodiron sword and my slightly illegal home in the basement of the municipal library. And a couple of Talents I try to keep quiet, including very light fingers and a way with a lock pick.

But then some nasty characters bring their Family feud into my friend’s pawn shop, and I have to make a call–get involved, or watch a cute guy die because I didn’t. I guess I made the wrong choice, because now I’m stuck putting everything on the line for Devon Sinclair. My mom was murdered because of the Families, and it looks like I’m going to end up just like her. . .

Link/s to book: E-book deal. COLD BURN OF MAGIC, Black Blade #1, is on sale for $2.99.

Amazon Kindle | Barnes & Noble | Books-A-Million | iBooks | Google Play | Kobo



Say You’ll Marry Me

by Stacey Joy Netzel

“Why would I help you? We don’t even like each other.”

Truer words were never spoken, but Joy Dolinski needs a fake fiancé, and money is no object. Unfortunately, the one man who fits the bill turns her on with a hot kiss, then turns her down flat.

Though Logan Walsh desperately needs the half-million Joy offers to save his farm, pride refuses to let him be her charity case. Once he discovers why she asked for his help, a change of heart has the potential to change their future.

Amazon | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon UK | iBooks | Nook | Google Play | Smashwords

FF divider

51gqTz9SlsL._UY250_Irresistibly Yours: An Oxford Novel

by Lauren Layne

Meet the men of Oxford magazine! In the first captivating spin-off of Lauren Layne’s Sex, Love & Stiletto series, a not-so-friendly battle of the sexes turns into a scorching office romance.

Hotshot sports editor Cole Sharpe has been freelancing for Oxford for years, so when he hears about a staff position opening up, he figures he’s got the inside track. Then his boss drops a bombshell: Cole has competition. Female competition, in the form of a fresh-faced tomboy who can hang with the dudes—and write circles around them, too. Cole usually likes his women flirty and curvy, but he takes a special interest in his skinny, sassy rival, if only to keep an eye on her. And soon, he can’t take his eyes off her.

Penelope Pope knows all too well that she comes off as just one of the guys. Since she’s learned that wanting more usually leads to disappointment, Penelope’s resigned to sitting on the sidelines when it comes to love. So why does Cole make her want to get back in the game? The man is as arrogant as he is handsome. He probably sees her as nothing more than a barrier to his dream job. But when an unexpected kiss turns into a night of irresistible passion, Penelope has to figure out whether they’re just fooling around—or starting something real.

FF divider

51rXi+4liGL._UY250_All I Need is You

by Wendy S. Marcus

Hailed by Jennifer Probst as a “sexy, heartfelt story,” this sweet military romance reunites a headstrong dancer and a rugged army soldier after one steamy encounter tears them apart.

As a dancer who creates mesmerizing visions onstage, Neve James is looking for the same kind of stability in her love life. Her pen pal, Rory McRoy, is on leave from deployment in Afghanistan, so she heads to Boston to surprise him. After corresponding for months as part of a “Support Our Troops” initiative—and exchanging dozens of “Read When You’re Alone” letters—Neve knows what Rory likes, and she intends to fulfill his every fantasy. But all they get are a few blissful moments together before they’re interrupted by a woman claiming to be Rory’s fiancée.

Rory has fallen hard for Neve’s letters. When he finally meets her in person, he has to have her, right then and there—until Neve takes off in a fit of anger. Forced to return to Afghanistan before he can fix things between them, Rory waits four agonizing months to prove that he’s not the man Neve thinks he is. But by the time he arrives in New York, she’s already made up her mind. Luckily, Rory never backs down from a challenge, and he’s prepared to put everything on the line for love.

FF divider

51RJqihrchL._UY250_Darker The Release

by  Claire Kent

USA Today bestselling author Claire Kent continues her emotionally charged story of longing, betrayal, and insatiable desire as two lovers find themselves in a deadly standoff of seduction.

Kelly Watson got involved with mogul Caleb Marshall for all the wrong reasons: namely, to prove that he murdered her father twenty years ago. But Caleb is hotter than hell, the sex is mind-blowing, and Kelly’s afraid that she’s falling for him despite her chilling suspicions. Now, the more time she spends in his arms, the more she risks betraying her identity and losing her heart. The only way out is to discover the truth before Caleb figures out who she really is.

Caleb’s feelings for Kelly are taking him into uncharted territory, replacing his weakness for call girls and one-night stands with a hunger for something real. Still, the ruthless businessman in him can’t resist looking into Kelly’s background. When his investigation suggests that he’s not the only one with something to hide, Caleb is forced to decide if he can trust someone who’s been telling him lies. For the first time, Caleb understands how intimacy can be so tempting—and, in the wrong hands, so dangerous.



Pick Me

by Erika Marks

Recently dumped by the man she’d planned to marry, no-nonsense attorney Thea Dunn has returned home to Magnolia Bay to mend her broken heart. But when she learns her new neighbor is Calder Frye, the bad boy who sets the pulse of every good girl at Magnolia Bay High racing, Thea’s verdict to swear off men is in danger of being overturned…

Fourteen years after graduation, Calder has traded his rebel lifestyle to become an ER doctor—but his sex appeal is every bit as powerful as Thea remembers. Could her short-term residence be the perfect chance to live out a teenage fantasy? Or could their reunion be a chance for something more?



Posted in Edie's Posts, Friday Finds | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Going inside

As I sit down to write this blog I am feeling very aware of how externally focused we are in our culture today – at least the culture I find myself in here in Northern Canada. The news is all about external events, warning signs of danger. Work is all about deadlines and budgets and meetings where we report on progress. Don’t get me started about social media and that like button on Facebook. These are all external, measurable, fear inducing (and not always in a bad way – fear gives us the heads up so we can take some action to improve the outcome) moments that we respond to in our day.  Our capacity to deal with the external world is finely tuned. It is all very

(image from Johnston

What I long for is an equal proficiency at navigating my interior life. And while I’m making wishes, I want to live in a culture that does this too, so I am not swimming against the tide all the time. I imagine this culture would support spending time at a spa (a personal dream) and expect people to have free, playful time after work, and care about individual values and make room to live by them. I don’t want to replace the external focus with an internal focus – I want them both.

This begs the question – What do I truly value? When I can answer that confidently, do I trust it and shape my life in alignment with that value? That would create a world driven by love.  And I think it is the essential core of romance writing.

The first thing that comes to mind is that I value my family life (no question) and today, I’m looking around at a level of chaos in my home that shows I am neglecting the little touches that make a house a home because I have a lot of work deadlines. Short term, that’s fine, but long term it is a lack of attention to my interior world.

This is where I think novels and particularly romance novels are brilliant. Just the act of reading causes you to turn your attention inward, fire up your imagination and start walking around your interior world.  When it is a romance, I get out of my logical thinking brain and occupy my heart, guts and tips of your fingers. It is a love-based world and the more time I spend feeding my senses with delicious words, the more comfortable I become living with a compass that originates inside me.

It’s not just something I have noticed.  Research by Stuart Brown on Play has shown that when people are playful and doing what they enjoy, the effect lasts throughout their day.  We learn to stay centred on what is important to us personally, as we navigate the stress of the day.  We can be more confident sharing our authentic views because we value them ourself.  We can be more open to other people’s views because we are not confusing external acceptance of our opinion with a measure of how valued or loved we are. Romance writing can be very grounding in this way. I also think this is the ultimate turning point of the protagonist.


Learning to turn our attention from the external factors to our internal feelings is also the key to happiness. Taking care of all the external challenges will give you a sense of well being because you know you have done what it takes to be safe and comfortable.  This is the heroic story. The kind of well being that feels like happiness is an internal experience that money can’t buy. It is a feminine story that I call the Virgin story. It is the ability to notice your feelings and spend some time taking care of them until you feel good. It is to really know you are of value when simply being yourself, just like a Virgin forest.

Whew, I’m having a deep morning!  Catching up on my housework brings this out in me…

Have a great day.

Posted in Kim's Posts, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Artist and Cover Designer Jessica Allain


I am thrilled to introduce you to Jessica Allain. She had been doing some stunning work for me. I found her on Deviantart and contacted her and I’m so happy to have found her. Here is the progression of the third cover she did for me from photo to final for The Starbuck Chronicles. Below that are the three covers she’s done for me so far.

book progressino Chronicles 1-3

My name is Jessica Allain and I am 34 years old and currently residing in Atlantic Canada. I began doing digital art about 5 years ago but I have been an artist of sorts for the majority of my life. Growing up in the Country as an only child I was often left to my own devices in terms of entertainment so coloring and painting became my friends and sources of entertainment for me.

During my youth I lost touch with art, I was not very interested in the lame art classes offered in my school and was more interested in socializing than in creativity at the time.

When I was 28 my life drastically changed overnight when I was involved in a serious car accident and came close to losing my life. Due to my severe injuries I endured 4 surgeries and long hours of physio just to learn to walk again. During my period of recovery, I knew I wanted to fill my time and needed to get back to doing what I loved. My injuries were so painful that using an easel or painting in a traditional fashion was out of the question. I was however able to have my little laptop on my lap comfortably at the time. I quickly
began investigating ways to do digital art when I stumbled upon the site known as “Deviantart”. I was blown away with all the stunning artwork I found there, most of all I was intrigued with a type of artwork I had never heard of before called “photo manipulation”. I couldn’t believe the incredible artworks that were made
using photos. I then decided to purchase my first editing program of Photoshop elements.

I began the lengthy process of trying to learn photo editing and digital art. I spent many days and nights wanting to throw my computer out the window out of pure frustration. I also had many times of pure joy when I figured out how to do certain techniques. Learning Photoshop on my own was definitely one of the most difficult things I have ever had to learn but I was determined to do it. At the time I could only afford Photoshop elements which meant that most online tutorials were useless to me since they were mostly
created for full Photoshop programs. Eventually, I kept at it and got better and better the more time I spent creating.

Soon enough and to my amazement, people were noticing my work. Eventually I had people contacting me to do custom work, at first I refused, I did not feel confident in my skills enough to take on custom work. After some time and Once I felt comfortable enough I did take on a few projects here and there, even that was a  learning process for me. Eventually I was being contacted almost on a daily basis and decided in 2013 to try doing art full time.

Since then I have had my work published on over 50 book covers, several album covers, t shirts,mugs ect.I started a Facebook fan page in late 2012 and currently have over 75k followers which was quite a shock for me. I never set out to make art a full time job but it’s funny how life leads you into different directions from your original plan.

Had I not had that awful car accident I would never had gone down this path in life, I was also lucky enough to meet the love of my life on Deviantart, a site I would never had even known of if circumstances were different.

If you take anything from my story, take this….life can sometimes give you tragedy but from tragedy often comes triumph and joy.

Here are some examples of Jessica’s beautiful work:

Happy-Halloween leo glass-slipper fly-away Everything-She-Does-is-Magic Enchanted-Friendships Emerald-Fae










































































jessica-allain-1333006802-logo1Connect with Jessica through her FineArtAmerica, Deviantart or Facebook page.




A big thanks to Jessica. Her story is so uplifting and filled with determination, courage, and her own happily ever after. Just perfect!

Posted in Zoe's Posts | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

Working Through Tough Times and Tragedy


Tragedy drains you like nothing else does.  It takes away your happiness, your time, your concentration and sometimes, at least temporarily, your sanity.  But, as a professional person, there are often time limits put on how long you have to recover from tragedy before you are expected to be back to work. This is the society we live in.  And though this is difficult for anyone, there is an added layer of difficulty when your work requires you to be creative.

For me, to write novels or scripts, I need to feel creative.  My mind needs to open so my imagination can breathe life into my work.  But, I don’t always feel creative. Not when I’m unhappy or suffering.  Sometimes, the thing that gives me so much joy, my writing, becomes a laborious process that I dread.   But, in my opinion, this is where you need to be both gentle on yourself and strict with yourself at the same time.

If you have been working professionally as a writer then you are writing every day.  You have a routine or process.  It’s like “muscle-memory” with dancing or martial arts.  You move because you know the steps.  Maybe the writing won’t be great, but your body needs to show your mind that you can still function.  Until, one day, your mind joins in and you are creative again, loving what you do.  You exercise a routine of writing so, even if it doesn’t come easily, it can still occur.


Be kind to yourself during this time. Be patient with yourself.  Don’t  give up and stop just because the work isn’t flowing or maybe is even awful.  Be proud that you are functioning.  Don’t beat yourself up over quality or quantity.  Move slowly into the rhythm of your life and find where things go now.  You can’t have tragedy and think life will be the same. It won’t be.  So you will need to adjust to that.  If it’s a momentary tough time, tell yourself that “This time next year, this will be behind me.”  Give yourself permission to be imperfect and make mistakes, but don’t allow yourself to slip into procrastination or giving up entirely.

I have a laundry list of horrible things that have happened this year, the worst being my 24 year old nephew falling asleep behind the wheel less than a minute from home and losing his life.  It is so alluring to just stop.  To give in to the feeling that you just can’t be creative.  It is at this time that you must rely on the relationships you’ve nurtured and depend on.  Have a support system in place to help you when you’re down, or to help you help yourself.  Sometimes it’s just good to know that you’re not alone, or that someone recognizes how hard things must be for you.


When things are tough it’s not always easy to be yourself.  So don’t be.  Be who you are, going through this tough time.  Be who you are, after a tragedy.  Tough times change you.  You don’t get to be who you were before.  Now you choose to see your own courage and strength and be your own hero.  Choose to let go of pride or any other obstacle that keeps you from seeking help.  Choose to keep moving forward even if the words aren’t quite right.  Even if you can only write 100 words in a day.

Be kind to yourself.  Let others be kind to you.

The fog will clear and you will start to feel more grounded to life.  One day that creativity will just show up, because it lives inside of you.  It always has.  Love the person you are now and be grateful for the strength you found in yourself.

Have you ever had to work through a tough or tragic time?  What did you do to help yourself through it?


Posted in Sheila's Posts, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Not Falling for It

fallHappy fall! Or really, if you ask me, not so happy.

I used to not mind fall, and then we moved north. Way north to Wisconsin. Somehow, over the past six years, fall has become nothing more than a prelude to the awful, never-ending, cold, snow-filled season that I detest with all my being. Fall fills me with dread, because there is just no getting used to twenty-below-zero temperatures (without the wind chill!) and feet of gray and black snow still piled up in March and April.

This year, however, I’m making an effort to enjoy the beauty of autumn, to give it a chance and stop thinking of it as the harbinger of frozen horror. I have to work at it constantly, but I’m trying.

In light of that, I’ve made a list of the top ten best parts of fall—the parts I need to stop and appreciate and enjoy instead of dreading what’s to come. In no particular order:

  1. Color— Nature is awesome. Crayola’s got nothing on her.
  2. Hoodies—Both sweaters and sweatshirts. (93% of my wardrobe)
  3. uglyshoeUgly shoes—Skechers makes several types of slip-on, fur-lined shoes. They aren’t pretty, but they are my FAVORITES. All three of the pairs I own (in different colors, of course.) Toasty warm. <3
  4. Flannel sheets—Thank you to whoever invented them.
  5. Apples—Fresh-picked, local, one of the few foods I can eat.
  6. Leaf piles—With all the crackling as you walk through them, it’s impossible to be snuck up on in the fall.
  7. Football—Go Pack Go!
  8. Late Night in the Phog—It’s the start of basketball season at the University of Kansas. If you have to ask why it’s awesome, then my explanation would mean nothing to you anyway. 😉
  9. The Voice—I’m a TV loser, and this is the only thing I watch besides HGTV and Food Network. Religiously. (Don’t judge.)
  10. Homemade soup—It’s hot and hearty and healthy, and I love a good alliteration.

BONUS: 11. Curling up with a good book in front of a fireplace or under a blanket. :)

Your turn…got anything to add to distract me from…yeah, that?

Posted in Amy K's Posts | Tagged , , , , | 10 Comments

Friday Finds

Welcome to Friday Finds! We would love your input for discounted books, free books, book recommendations or new releases and book contests (where books are the prize). Feel free to submit through our Friday Finds Submission Form. The cut-off is Wednesday for that Friday’s post, and please make sure that the offers you are submitting will be running that Friday. Please check the deals mentioned in this post before buying, as some may have expired. Thanks!


51DR8RDi28L._UX160_Must Love Pets 2: A Romance Box Set

by Zoe Dawson, Dale Mayer, JB Lynn, Theresa Weir, Candace Carrabus, Barbara Samuel, Edie Ramer

The follow-up to MUST LOVE PETS: A ROMANCE BOX SET with over 100 top reviews!

Hounded (Going to the Dogs, Book 3) – Zoe Dawson
To keep her mother from losing her home, veterinarian Poe Madigan enters her two Jack Russell terriers to compete for a substantial cash prize. But when her partner sprains his ankle, she’s stuck with undercover security specialist Jared Taylor and his basset hound. If Poe and Jared aren’t careful, it won’t be just the prize they’ll lose, but their dogs and their lives.

Broken Protocols (Charmin Marvin Series Book 1) – Dale Mayer, USA Today bestselling author
Just as Dani’s year of hell is getting better, she’s tossed forward through time with her orange Persian cat, Charmin Marvin, clutched in her arms. They’re dropped into the home of Levi Blackburn in an age where breaking protocols have severe consequences, putting them all in danger…  Good thing Dani has her suddenly talking cat Marvin to help her navigate this new era. But she has to figure out Levi all on her own…

A Woof in Sheep’s Clothing – JB Lynn
While working a Missing Persons case, Detective Brian Griswald meets dog trainer Stephanie Browne, an independent woman who rescues mutts, and isn’t quick to trust. But when Brian is dragged into a case involving Stephanie’s beloved dogs, the two must work together. Who will rescue whom?

Geek with the Cat Tattoo (Cool Cats, Book 2)- Theresa Weir, NY Times, USA Today and international bestselling author, & Rita award winner
Shy music geek Emerson Foshay breaks into a cold sweat and is rendered speechless whenever Lola Brown, the girl of his dreams, steps into his guitar shop. But once a stray cat named Sam follows him home, everything changes and Emerson becomes the coolest guy in town.

On The Buckle: a humorous romantic mystery (Dreamhorse Mystery #1 – Candace Carrabus
All that’s between show-jumper Viola Parker and a trust fund is keeping her new job for  one full year. Soon after she and her horse arrive at the Missouri horse farm for her last chance to make the full year, her horse kicks her kilt-clad boss and she dreams about a dead horse. The question isn’t whether she’ll keep her job long enough to claim her trust fund, but whether she’ll live long enough.

Dog Heart – Barbara Samuel, seven-time Rita award winner
When Marcus Stone broke dog-whisperer Jessie’s heart by joining the SEALS, she vowed she’d never speak to him again. But when he brings a German shepherd service dog who’d been injured in a battle and has a bad case of PTSD to Jessie, she can’t turn them away. But can Jessie bear the close contact with the man who broke her heart? And can even she heal a dog so desperately wounded?

Miracle Pie (Miracle Interrupted, Book 4) – Edie Ramer, award-winning, USA Today bestselling author
Intuition tells Katie Guthrie what pies to make in the small Wis. Town of Miracle. To help a friend, she agrees to film a cooking pilot show.  Only to realize the filmmaker is the dying boy Katie used to call her angel when she lived in Chicago with her junkie mother. Only he’s no boy anymore … and he’s for sure no angel.

Amazon | Amazon UK | iBooks | BN | Google Play | Kobo

NEW RELEASES513j75ezQPL._UY250_More Than One Night

by Nicole Leiren

The Few. The Strong. The Brave.

Melodie Alexander, a children’s librarian, prefers to live life between the pages of a book. But when the death of her best friend
prompts her to step out of her comfort zone, she finds herself directly in the path of self-proclaimed bad boy, Daniel Bresland.

Daniel knew how to be a solider. Life after war? Not as easy. He served his country in Afghanistan, both in the military and as a
private contractor, but fighting the war came at high personal cost. Now he’s
determined to keep his relationships “casual” in order to protect his heart and prevent anyone from getting too close.

A chance encounter between Melodie and Daniel on a flight to Dallas proves that opposites really do attract. But when scars from the past threaten their new relationship almost before it starts, Daniel must decide if he can risk opening his heart again to convince Melodie he wants more than one night.


If you love men in uniform and believe the night belongs to lovers, then The Heroes of the night series is perfect for you! Stories of military heroes, sexy and flawed, and the women they love. | Amazon

FF divider


by Cora Maxine

Book blurb: To say that all Hell broke loose and to actually see it happen are two different things. You’ll have to trust me on this.

Jupiter Hayes thought she had seen and heard it all when she woke up in a paranormal facility and was told she had to choose a society to join. But no one said anything about royalty.

When the demons show up, things begin to change as Jupiter finds out she’s the one being chosen. How will she ever be able to make the right choice when there’s so much riding on her decision?




by Cora Maxine

I always wondered which paranormal being I would choose to be, but never thought I’d be forced to make the decision.

As an urban fantasy author, Jupiter Hayes knows all about the things that go bump in the night, but she never dreamed that those beings could be real.

Summoned to a secret paranormal facility within the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Jupiter finds out that not only are these beings real, but she’s destined to become one of them.

Soon she’s cut off from the life she once knew as she spends time getting to know each society in need of new members. But, some of those societies may be a better fit than others, due to her own bloodline.

Throw in a sexy vampire and a gorgeous warlock and it’s easy to see that Jupiter Hayes has some tough choices to make.


Posted in Edie's Posts, Friday Finds | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Website Revamp – Always a Work-in-progress










I have been struggling for a while now with my website. I had it revamped a little while ago and still wasn’t happy with the look. I was struggling mostly with the header and spent more than a year thinking about it. Then finally last week when I was talking to my website manager, it came to me. I think the new header makes a fresh, modern impact.

Zoe’s Brand New Revamped Website

I think the header might need a bit more work, but I’ll think about that and play around with it. Any suggestions would be welcome!

Do you drive yourself crazy with your own website or any creative endeavor?

Happy reading!


Upcoming releases:

Going to the Dogs 2: Piggy Bank Blues

Piggy Bank Book 1 SmlA penny saved is a penny earned.

Ian Lassiter is living the high life in Manhattan and loving it. He’s a successful artist and sculptor and has just adopted an adorable Mantle Great Dane named Ozzie from his sister, Callie. The bachelor life suits him, so he thinks until he gets a load of AlphaGroup’s newest client.

Elizabeth “Lizzie” O’Reilly is trying to save her art school for the deaf where she teaches. Thinking her clever Border Collie, Georgia who paints amazing huge abstract flowers could be commercial, she reads about grants available from AlphaGroup Investments that could help out. But, the guy she deals with, Ian, is not only drop-dead gorgeous, but he’s a renowned artist and touted as a confirmed bachelor. Lizzie comes from a big family and the man she gets involved with would have to embrace not only a happily ever after with her, but want kids as desperately as she does.

Ian just doesn’t fit the bill, or does he?

To Protect and Serve: Her Master Defender

9780373279395A battle-hardened marine and a driven NCIS agent join forces to survive…

Though survival training is Master Sergeant Tristan Michaels’s specialty, one of his students has been murdered. And sharing quarters with the ravishing NCIS agent sent to investigate is a challenge his expertise hasn’t prepared him for. Tristan has his reasons for distrusting NCIS agents, but Amber Dalton is stirring unwelcome feelings of a different kind…

Despite the fierce attraction between them, Amber is determined not to let it distract her from the mission. But when they’re captured by the killers, escape means combining forces and daring to survive freezing mountain terrain.

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Writing the seasons into books

Fall officially began last week. Woot!

I love fall. It’s my favorite time of year for so many reasons — pleasant days, cool nights, changing leaves, football, all sorts of apple, cranberry, and pumpkin dishes to make, eat, and enjoy. :-)

I also find myself writing about fall a lot in my books too. To me, it seems like fall and winter can become actual characters in my books more easily than spring and summer. Maybe that’s because many of my books are so dark and gritty, like my Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series. To me, the darker and colder seasons of fall and winter just seem to suit those books better.

Bitter Bite (2)And I love it when the cover reflects the season that’s in the book, like in the cover for Bitter Bite, Elemental Assassin #14. That book is set in November, and I talk about it snowing, so I think the cover really captures that well.

But in my Black Blade young adult urban fantasy series, the books take place during the summer months, mostly because the heroine Lila Merriweather lives in a tourist town full of magic, monsters, and mobsters. Since I’m talking about tourists being in the town, it made sense to set the books during the summer when more folks go on vacation.

But no matter which season I’m writing about, I always try to make sure that it has a presence in my books, whether I’m talking about how beautiful the colors of the fall leaves are, how cold the winter wind is, or even how muggy and oppressive a summer afternoon can feel. I like adding in those descriptions, and I think the seasons add another layer of interest for readers.

What about you guys? Readers — do you like it when books are set in a particular season? Authors — which seasons do you like writing about in your books?

Posted in Jennifer's Posts | Tagged | 8 Comments

Friday Finds

Welcome to Friday Finds! We would love your input for discounted books, free books, book recommendations or new releases and book contests (where books are the prize). Feel free to submit through our Friday Finds Submission Form. The cut-off is Wednesday for that Friday’s post, and please make sure that the offers you are submitting will be running that Friday. Please check the deals mentioned in this post before buying, as some may have expired. Thanks!


51n6b1Sh3AL._UY250_Out of Time

by Shona Husk

The fabulous New Adult series from Shona Husk continues: he wants to shut out the world; she wants to invite it in…

Mike Peterson has learned the hard way that the good really do die young. He and his mum only have each other, and now she’s losing her second battle with cancer. He wants to stay with her; she wants him to keep following his dreams. He doesn’t have long to decide and the rest of the band is waiting on him. Whatever choice he makes, he will lose.

Living at home has become impossible for Ava Brand. Her very religious, very traditional grandmother would like to see her married off to a nice Indian boy. But Ava wants to make her own choices. Meeting Mike gives her a chance to rebel.

What starts off as easy rapidly becomes complicated, as their problems expand and emotions bubble to the surface. Neither has time for complicated, as Ava’s family discovers her extra-curricular activities and Mike has to make incredibly hard choices. But love never waits for the perfect time, and Mike and Ava are going to have to decide if they’re playing for fun, or playing for keeps.

Amazon | iBooks | Kobo | Barnes and Noble | Goodreads


51kswPuS5vL._UY250_The Gauguin Connection (a Genevieve Lenard book)

by Estelle Ryan

Murdered artists. Masterful forgeries. Art crime at its worst.

As an insurance investigator and world renowned expert in nonverbal communication, Dr Genevieve Lenard faces the daily challenge of living a successful, independent life. Particularly because she has to deal with her high functioning Autism. Nothing – not her studies, her high IQ or her astounding analytical skills – prepared her for the changes about to take place in her life.

It started as a favour to help her boss’ acerbic friend look into the murder of a young artist, but soon it proves to be far more complex. Forced out of her predictable routines, safe environment and limited social interaction, Genevieve is thrown into exploring the meaning of friendship, expanding her social definitions, and for the first time in her life be part of a team in a race to stop more artists from being murdered.

Amazon | BN


51ISHS7sIEL._UY250_The Taming of the Billionaire (Billionaires and Bridesmaids)

by Jessica Clare

The New York Times bestselling author of The Billionaire and the Virgin returns with a tale of Shakespearean-style seduction…

Edie’s an overbearing cat behaviorist who’s not big on people. Magnus is a newly-rich game developer who likes to be in control. When the two of them meet at Gretchen and Hunter’s masquerade engagement party, the loathing is mutual. Unfortunately for them–and everyone else–they’re in the wedding party together and must deal with each other for the next few months.

But when Magnus’s younger brother falls for Edie’s sister, he begs for his brother’s help in concocting a plan to win her over. If Magnus can keep the prickly Edie occupied, his brother will have time to woo Edie’s sister. Of course, Magnus isn’t interested in the slightest, but Edie is…intriguing. And stubborn. And smart. And sexy. And they might have more in common than they thought.

Before long, it becomes a challenge between the two of them to see who will be tamed first. But how’s Edie going to react when she finds out that Magnus is using her? And how’s Magnus going to handle the fact that he’s fallen for a cat lady?

Amazon | BN

Posted in Edie's Posts, Friday Finds | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on Friday Finds

Author Pamela Hearon on putting your story in its place

Today, I am pleased to welcome author Pamela Hearon to the Magical Musings blog. Pamela writes contemporary romances for Harlequin Superromance. Take it away, Pamela:


Pamela Hearon Author PhotoA week-long seminar on The Poetry of Place pounded the importance of setting into a prominent section of my writing brain (and obviously a penchant for alliteration, as well). Setting ghost stories in old deserted houses and romances with views of the ocean places the reader into a place with a familiar personality, giving instant connection to emotions already in place. Just think of the places you’ve been that stand out as the most memorable, and you’ll understand how much personality setting can have.

I tend to think of setting as a ubiquitous giant of a character who pulls and tugs at the edges and pushes from the heart to shape the story into its most perfect form. My three most recent books from Harlequin Superromance—and the next two on the way—have just such a character named Taylor’s Grove, Kentucky.

His Kind of PerfectionWhen I started world-building the small, Western Kentucky town, I pulled from my hometown of Paducah, Kentucky, as well as other smaller towns where I’ve lived. Most important to keep in mind was how essential it was to remain true to the nature of the area.

Western Kentucky is Southern to the core in culture, language, and flavor, and what better way to personify those characteristics than the inclusion of a church, a school, and a diner? And the town is set on Kentucky Lake, so, of course, there had to be a marina.

Bit by bit, the town grew under the strokes of my fingers on the keys. With each addition of a place within the place—a street, a house, a business, the park at the center of town—the people cradled in its palm became more real to me until the town took on a personality all its own.

My giant was born.

Most surprising to me, though probably it shouldn’t have been, has been the realization that Taylor’s Grove is a dynamic entity that changes, grows, and adapts with each story to keep from being left behind and forgotten like those sad old ghost towns out West.

Change isn’t easy and certainly not always welcome, but it’s a fact of life we all face and a necessity, even for my gentle giant. And so, the giant stands tall and stretches its arms, pushing the boundaries that one time confined it … and making me one very proud mama.

My Way Back to YouThe world of Taylor’s Grove has become an integral part of these stories—just like a supporting character—so important actually, that the story would change if the town disappeared in a flood or if I tried to set the stories anywhere else. I see the town vividly in my mind and strive to make the reader see it through my eyes—strive to breathe life into the community so the reader thinks of it as a good friend and wants to come back again and again.

Just like in the real world, Taylor’s Grove has to compete with “bigger and better” places that offer more excitement. My books don’t take place only in the little village. That would be boring … and there is a whole world out there.

But Taylor’s Grove is the place my characters come home to, welcoming them with warm, giant hugs.

Some stay and some leave, but Taylor’s Grove stays in their hearts forever.

I hope you’ll plan a visit. Any of my Taylor’s Grove books will take you there, but they might be more fun to visit in the order they were written so you can experience those growth spurts the town has gone through.

Moonlight in ParisBook 1—Moonlight in Paris

Book 2—His Kind of Perfection

Book 3—My Way Back to You

Book 4—Right Where We Started (coming Dec. 1)

Book 5—TBA (coming Spring 2016)


Although she now makes the Midwest her home, Pamela Hearon will forever remain a Southern gal. Born and raised in Kentucky, the values, humor, and dialects of the South infuse her writing with down-home warmth—no matter how exotic the setting.

Writing was always one of Pamela’s favorite past-times. Childhood stories and angst-filled teenage poetry eventually led the way to book-length fiction—and the past-time began a passion.

Pamela is an avid reader, gardener, and enjoys traveling with her husband, searching for that next story that begs to be written.

Visit Pamela at her website:

Like her Facebook Page:

(The Sign Up form for her Newsletter is at the top of that page. See it? It says SIGN UP.)

Prefer Twitter? She’s there, too!


For a chance to win an autographed set of the first three books in the Taylor’s Grove series (US/Canada only), tell Pamela a book setting you’ve read that has a personality you can’t forget. To enter, use the form below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Posted in Guest Posts, Jennifer's Posts | Tagged , , | 19 Comments