Would you like to know more about this pretty girl and how she ended up on the cover of Finding Joy? Check out my blog post over on Sweet Romance Reads today!
Have you heard about Sweet Romance Reads? It's a group of authors that all write sweet romance in a variety of subgenres. We've built a community for readers who enjoy a sweeter read and would like to get to know the authors that write them!
I'd like to invite you to come check it out - you'll be glad you did! We have new blog posts every day on the website. The Sweet Romance Reads Cafe is a Facebook group that's very active. We also host several large Facebook parties a year. Sign up for our newsletter and receive a free collection of romance novellas!
Do you like to read? How about some one-stop shopping where you can browse through 52 clean romances for only $0.99 each? Yes, please!
Please Note: This sale is supposed to include only clean romances. However, I know there is at least one title that would be considered steamy, at the least. I'm saddened to see this. Please double check your titles before purchasing from this list. My apologies to all of you!
Finding Joy is one of the many books you can snag for just $0.99. It's a new release and will be sent directly to your Kindle application or device first thing on the 14th. How's that for a Valentine's Day treat?
Sometimes, what looks like a dead end, is really a new beginning.
A horrific accident changed everything for Parker Wilson. The beautiful new employee his mom hires is the last thing he needs and he'll do whatever it takes to make the girl quit and regain the peace and quiet he prefers.
Nothing short of desperation would force Chelsea Blake to work on a local cattle ranch. She may not be cut out for ranch life, but her determination to succeed is stronger than her handsome employer’s efforts at forcing her to leave.
Unprepared to discover all they have in common, if they set aside their initial dislike, they might find joy beyond measure.
You are cordially invited to join all of us at Sweet Romance Reads Valentine's Party. We can't wait to chat with you! There'll be books, giveaways, and lots of fun. And you just might win one of three Amazon gift cards: $25, $10, and $5.
Times are EST
2:00 - 3:00 pm: Raine English, Liwen Y. Ho, Milou Koenings, Cindy Flores Martinez
3:00 - 4:00 pm: Rachelle Ayala, Patricia Forsythe, Grace Greene, Magdalena Scott, Merrillee Whren
4:00 - 5:00 pm: Mary Alford, Christine Bush, Josie Riviera, Roxanne Rustand, Kristin Wallace
5:00 - 6:00 pm: Lyn Cote, Julie Jarnagin, Victoria Pinder, Mona Risk
6:00 - 7:00 pm: Shanna Hatfield, Kristin Holt, Pat Simmons, Melanie D. Snitker
7:00 - 8:00 pm: Melinda Curtis, Margaret Daley, Denise Devine, Jean C. Gordon, Ciara Knight
All threads will remain open for 24 hours. Prize winners will be posted by noon on Saturday.
Research is a part of writing any book. In Finding Joy, Parker and his family own a ranch in Kitner, Texas. In addition to the Angus they raise for beef, they have a small herd of Texas longhorns. Working with these animals brings up a lot of memories for Parker and I wanted to learn as much about them as I could so I could give all of you a true sense of what they were like.
I did a lot of reading online, but I was especially excited to learn that we have a longhorn ranch not too far outside of town. Justin and Diane own and run the Whining Bull Ranch. They and their son, Jordan, were kind enough to invite me over for a tour so I could see the longhorns up close and personal. I jumped at the chance!
Armed with my camera, I couldn't wait to learn more. They were wonderful about answering my long list of questions. After visiting for a while, they took me on a tour of their beautiful ranch.
We first went across to the far pasture to see the longhorns there. Much like a scene I wrote in Finding Joy, I got to watch the herd race to meet us. Justin had range cubes and they were excited to come and get a treat. I knew their horns could be huge, but I had no idea until I was standing right there in front of them. Magnificent!
I even got to feed a range cube to their bull and that was a fun experience! When Chelsea gets to feed a longhorn in the book, I write that the tongue felt much like a large, warm slug. It also reminded me of the way a giraffe tongue wraps around your hand when you feed it. lol
It would have been easy to just sit down and watch the bull, heifers, and the adorable calves for hours.
Afterwards, we went back to the pasture closest to their home where some of the steers and the weaning calves were located. I enjoyed hearing stories about the animals, including how the steers even get babysitting duties while the heifers go off to graze for a while. lol
I'm truly thankful to Justin, Diane, and Jordan for the opportunity to experience this in person. It's something I won't forget, and it allowed me to add a lot more details to Finding Joy that I hope you wonderful readers enjoy!
Sometimes, what looks like a dead end, is really a new beginning.
A horrific accident changed everything for Parker Wilson. Unable to find solid footing in his disrupted life, he returns to his family's ranch, a place he thought he'd left behind for good. The scars on his face are a daily reminder of all he's lost, yet his mom still insists he needs to stop hiding and live his life again. The beautiful new employee she hires is the last thing he needs, despite his mom's best intentions, and he'll do whatever it takes to make the girl quit and regain the peace and quiet he prefers.
Nothing short of desperation would force Chelsea Blake to work on a local cattle ranch. But if she's going to avoid her parents' judgment when they arrive in three weeks, she must turn the temporary job into a permanent one. Between dodging mud, feeding longhorn cattle, and dealing with a handsome boss who keeps giving her the cold shoulder, staying gainfully employed is proving to be a challenge. Chelsea may not be cut out for ranch life, but her determination to succeed is stronger than Parker's efforts at forcing her to leave.
Unprepared to discover all they have in common, if they set aside their initial dislike, they just might find joy beyond measure.
Check out the entire Love's Compass Series
and experience the stories of faith, love, and family.
Hi everyone! Please join me in welcoming author Josie Riviera. Her novella, I Love You More, is the perfect story to read for Valentine's Day and has such a beautiful cover. It's on the top of my TBR list!
A billionaire and a single mother have more in common than they know.
He’s a billionaire businessman …
Luciano Donati, entrepreneur and eligible bachelor, lost his first wife to cancer. So though he lives in romantic Charleston, SC, he has every intention of ignoring the upcoming holiday for lovers … at least until he sets eyes again on his younger sister’s best friend.
He remembers Anastasia as a teenager who idolized him, not this lovely, fragile woman with heartbreak in her eyes. Heartbreak that he finds himself wanting to cure. Her smile warms his soul, her touch ignites his desire, and her little girl Soo-Min melts his frozen heart. Adopted internationally himself at a young age, Luciano understands all too well the strong need to belong somewhere.
She’s a single mom …
Anastasia Markow, cancer survivor and divorced mother, didn’t come to Charleston, SC, for romance. She's here to make sure she has custody of her adopted daughter, Soo-Min. But when she encounters the first man she ever loved, here in the city of horse-drawn carriages and candlelight, her battered heart can’t help but bloom again. And when Luciano and Soo-Min take to each other, resisting his charm becomes even harder.
Handsome, self-assured, every inch the successful billionaire, Luciano is out of Anastasia's reach. But when a hurricane strands them together and they must trust each other to survive … things heat up despite the driving rain and gale winds.
Can Valentine’s Day bring this unlikely pair together … this time for good?
Don’t miss this poignant story of love, loss and renewed hope.
Get your copy of the novella today!
through the 10th
Ebook | Paperback
Itunes, Nook, Etc.
Author's Note: Thousands of families around the world have opened their homes and hearts through international adoption. Soo-Min is the embodiment of many, many fortunate adoptive children and parents who’ve together created forever families.
This sweet romance novella touches on international adoption, a subject close to my heart as my husband and I adopted our daughter from S. Korea. (Note the Asian child on the cover.)
About the Author
Josie Riviera is a USA TODAY Bestselling Author of contemporary, inspirational, and historical sweet romances that read like Hallmark movies. She lives in the Charlotte, NC, area with her wonderfully supportive husband. They share their home with an adorable Shih Tzu who constantly needs grooming and live in an old house forever needing renovations.
Eating healthy and sticking to a calorie count when it comes to meals has been working for me. But lets face it. Sometimes, a snack is just plain necessary. Snacks can help me get from one meal to the other without feeling hungry or grumpy (not that that ever happens lol), but they are also a great incentive or even a wonderful way to reward myself after getting all my steps in for the day, making it through an especially rough Monday, etc.
So, since I'm a huge fan of snacks, I thought I'd share some of my favorites. And if you have some you enjoy, I'd love to hear about them! We can all use more snack ideas.
Snow peas, green beans, bell pepper, radishes, jicama, carrots, celery, cucumber, and more I'm certain I'm not including.
These are all great choices. I like to cut up a bunch at one time and even divide into baggies with the calorie count written on the outside. It makes it easy to grab one when I get hungry or if I'm on my way out of the house.
This is a very low-calorie way to add some flavor to raw vegetables. My favorite is roasted red pepper, but there are flavors ranging from plain to spicy.
Fresh fruit is a wonderful snack and a good way to get a little sugar if you need it. I'm a big fan of dried fruit as well. We almost always have a bag of dried apples and apricots in the pantry as well as raisins.
Another favorite of mine is Stretch Island's fruit leather strips. These are SO good and come in handy packages so you can just throw a few in your backpack or purse. It helps having these when you're out of the house and get hungry.
I've also made my own fruit leather using a dehydrator in the past and it's wonderful. I make a lot of it in the summer and fall, but tend to buy the fruit leather strips in the winter and spring.
Nuts and Seeds:
If you need more calories, nuts are always a great option. Cashews are my personal favorite, but I also like sunflower and pumpkin seeds. There are also almonds, peanuts, etc. There have been times where we've combined nuts and dried fruit to make a great snack mix.
I listed some of my preferences in my breakfast post. But I eat these for snacks, too. Usually 1/2 cup (1/2 of a serving) of cereal, and no milk.
This is one of my favorite snacks. I usually try to go with rice or corn crackers because they taste amazing, they're very light with little to no sugar in them (and sugar is my biggest addiction when it comes to food, so finding something without it that I like is great), and you get a LOT of crackers per serving.
These Good Thins corn crackers are my new obsession. They are so yummy! I could eat these all the time if I let myself. They are super crunchy and perfect for just snacking on, dipping in hummus, or even eating with some meat and cheese as a meal.
This brand also has other flavors. I've tried the rice and they are good as well.
Nut-Thins are another amazing brand. Their rice, almond, and pecan crackers are fantastic.
Another go-to that's easy to take with me anywhere.
Yes, I did say the word. I personally don't think there's a thing wrong with having a little candy as a treat or snack. Especially if you're wanting something sweet as opposed to actually feeling hungry. The fact is, if you completely cut out those sweet treats, you're going to crave them even more.
I'll be honest, I probably have about 200 calories a day that are an indulgence. Not always candy. Sometimes it'll be 4 oz. of some kind of fruit juice in the morning and then another 100-120 calories worth of candy.
If I do have candy on hand, I try to limit it to either a specialty candy that I'll want to make last for a while, like a dark chocolate bar. I personally can't eat a lot of dark chocolate at a time, so I'm perfectly content to eat a square of this at a time.
Or I'll get candy that's wrapped in small pieces. A favorite is Pearson's mint patties. These are 30 calories each, so I can have three of them for less than 100 calories and feel like I had a treat. Or spread them out and have one or two after lunch and dinner.
How about you? Do you have a healthy snack you like to eat?
Hi everyone! I wanted to let you know about a fun two-week event on Shannon L. Brown's blog. Every day through February 14th, stop by to meet an author and enter to win a giveaway. You won't want to miss a day!
Please join me in welcoming author Milou Koenings as we celebrate the pre-release of her new sweet romance novel, I Love You Three.
A former Marine. A single mom. Two broken people.
Mac’s struggling to adjust to civilian life after the death in combat of his best friend. When a teaching job opens up in the small town where his friend used to work in the summers, Mac takes it as a sign and moves to Green Pines, hoping to find refuge from his demons.
For Julie, there’s no refuge from night feedings, a crazy mom, an ex-mother-in-law and an overdrawn bank account. She’s struggling to build a better life for herself and her baby and the only thing she knows is she’s not falling for any guy again.
There’s only one problem. You never know when love will knock you off your feet.
About the Author:
Milou Koenings is an award-winning USA Today bestselling author who writes romance because, like chocolate, stories with happy endings bring joy to the world and so make it a better place.
Breakfast has always been one of my favorite meals of the day. As a kid, I enjoyed eating toast cups (a hole cut out of bread and an egg fried in the middle), cereal, or Cream of Wheat during the week. And I looked forward to the weekend because often my dad would make a big breakfast complete with scrambled or fried eggs, bacon and/or sausage, biscuits or pancakes, and gravy.
Even now, I could take some hashbrowns and an omelette any day. I will say that I rarely have time to make anything in the mornings during the week. But there's something about trying to eat healthy that results in sudden cravings for these big breakfasts. lol
Over the last month and a half, I've tried a variety of approaches to breakfast. For a while, I was skipping them entirely in favor of saving more of my 1,200 calories for lunch or dinner. Which really wasn't too big of a deal because we typically eat lunch just after eleven, and I tried to drink several glasses of water during that time.
But I soon found that, if I tried to get any walking in during the morning, not eating wasn't going to cut it. So I needed some calories to get me going.
My Typical Breakfast Choices
Yes, these are super simple. But making sure I have these things on hand makes a huge difference. I tend to get bored with food easily, so feeling like I have a variety is important.
As a side note, I don't eat the cereal with milk. I like pouring it into a cup and munching on it over time. My grandma gave my husband and I a set of Fiesta ware when we got married. I love the fact that the mugs hold exactly 1 serving of juice or cereal and the little tea cups hold 1/2 serving.
Rice Krispies - 130 calories for 1 1/4 cups
When you're munching on cereal, Rice Krispies can last for a while. If I feel like snacking in the morning, I go with this choice. These have the least amount of sugar, too, which is great.
Multi-Grain Cheerios - 110 calories for 1 cup
These don't have much sugar in them, either. But they are lightly sweetened, are still easy to snack on, but not quite as hard to eat as the Rice Krispies.
Raisin Bran Crunch - 190 calories for 1 cup
This is my favorite cereal. It definitely has more sugar than the other two mentioned, but it's very filling and there's something about the different textures that makes it the most satisfying to eat as well.
Simply Orange Juice - 110 calories for 8 oz.
I've always loved having juice or chocolate milk or something like with breakfast. I don't drink chocolate milk anymore, but we always have orange juice in the fridge.
Cliff Bar - Cool Mint Chocolate - 250 calories for 1 bar
I usually reserve these for days where I know I'll be super busy and having lunch late. For me, that's usually Mondays. I cut this bar into two and eat half of it first thing (for 125 calories) and it helps boost my day. This particular variety of Cliff Bar contains both protein and caffeine. I have also been known to replace lunch with one of these if necessary, though that's pretty rare.
Scrambled Eggs with Bell Peppers and Onions - Approximately 110 calories
At the beginning of the month, I try to buy a bell pepper or two and an onion, chop them up, and put them in a baggy in the freezer. That way, if I have a craving for a nice breakfast, I can stir a few in with a scrambled egg. That's usually enough to make me feel satisfied and go on with my day.
Mix and Match
The beauty about the choices above is that I can mix and match them. It's not unusual for me to have 1/2 cup of Raisin Bran Crunch along with 4 oz. of orange juice. Couple that with several glasses of water and I'm rarely hungry until lunch.
Or, if I'm going to be home all morning and I'm feeling the urge to snack, I'll have 1/2 serving of Rice Krispies, try to get my two miles of walking in (I walk indoors), drink a glass of water, and have 1/2 serving of Raisin Bran Crunch if I'm still hungry.
Do you have a favorite low-calorie breakfast? Share below - I'd love to hear from you!
The grand prize giveaway for our A Second Chance at Romance event has been extended! Click below to enter for your chance to win these five paperback books. The giveaway is open through Friday, January 27th.
Visit the participating authors to learn more about their books:
Stacy Claflin - https://facebook.com/stacy.claflin.author
Crystal Walton - https://facebook.com/crystalwaltonwrites
Krista Noorman - https://facebook.com/bykristanoorman
Sarah Monzon - https://facebook.com/sarahmonzonwrites
Melanie Snitker - https://facebook.com/melaniedsnitker