chaos rains (as opposed to reigns) – Carolyn

I look out my front door and see little yellow ranunculus (my least favorite flower in the entire world) invading my pitiful flowerbeds and my pastures. According to the German dressage people, they are poisonous to horses. Since horses never eat them, however, it doesn’t really matter. I just hate the way it crowds out all the good stuff. The pastures are also being overrun with purple clover, which I am informed is not clover at all but some sort of wild other non-clover thing. Just shows you how much I know about flowers. I can identify many of the poisonous ones—lilly of the valley being one of my favorite, right up there with hemlock, the poison that killed Socrates. The African violet that one of our more horticultural (and optimistic) members of Malice in Memphis gave me a couple of months ago is not only still alive, but still thriving. That is a miracle. Rappacini’s daughter, whose very touch in the garden killed whatever she touched, has nothing in me. As I have noted in the past, I can kill philodendron. Also Mother-in-law’s tongue. Both are supposed to be indestructible. But a corollary to Murphy’s law is that whenever God makes something indestructible, we manage to make a more efficient destroyer.

On that note, the book is going well, so my house looks as though that destroyer has had a high old time rampaging through it. My bed is not even made. I NEVER leave my bed unmade. I discovered in college that a room where the bed is made looks relatively straight, even if it’s not. A straight room with an UNMade bed, however, looks messy even if you could safely eat off the floor or show your closets to strangers. So, no writing this afternoon. Dusting and picking up and vacuuming and…oh yuck! I’d rather sit on the patio with my Ipad and read mysteries on Kindle. Which is probably what I’ll end up doing eventually. I may also go groom horses. Or even—wait for it—pull a few weeds out of the flower beds.

But don’t hold your breath.

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Happy St. Patty’s Day – celebrate with a new romance!

The corned beef is in the crockpot. The cabbage is large, crisp and looking pretty. The carrots were freshly picked by my granddaughters from my neighbor’s organic truck farm (Yes, I do live in paradise.) And I even bought Guinness. :-) Who else is ready to party?

St. Patricks Day dog

I’ve celebrated St. Patrick’s Day for as long as I can remember, but I don’t remember why?

imgresMaybe to honor Bridget O’Brien — my great-great grandmother? Somehow that seems unlikely.

imgresMaybe because it’s starting to feel like spring? The green grass is ready for mow #3.

imgresMaybe because I never think to buy corned beef any other time of the year?

I really don’t know. Why do you celebrate this odd holiday on March 17th?

Regardless of the motivation, I do have a special WAY to celebrate. I plan to finish reading CHARMED BY CHOCOLATE by Steena Holmes. I started it last night and I must say…I am charmed.

charmed by chocolate cover

When Leah ran off to Southern California, she hoped to leave freezing cold winters and unrequited love behind. She was never meant for a small town life and the timing with her longtime best friend–and secret soul mate–was always hopelessly off.

But after a mishap on the hit reality show Charming, Leah declares her love for Wade nationwide and is publicly dubbed “Lonely Leah.” She returns to Marietta to hide at her family’s home–from the media who wants to turn her into a human interest story, from the townspeople upset with her blunder, and most of all, from Wade, who wants to talk.

It took Leah leaving town to wake Wade Burns up to the reality that he’s head over heels in love with his best friend. But now that she’s back home, she’s giving him the cold shoulder. With chocolate and a grand gesture, can Wade charm his way back into Leah’s heart?

AMAZON  BN  IBOOKS  KOBO  GooglePLAY

It’s garnering delicious reviews. I think you’ll enjoy it, too.

CHARMED REVIEW 2

“I thoroughly enjoyed this story of a second chance romance. Leah has returned home to Marietta, which she never wanted to return to, after embarrassing moment on a reality tv show to lick her wounds. Wade has never left Marietta and has always loved Leah. Their timing has always been off in the romance department but now he has one more chance to move his love with chocolate and fun things to do around Marietta. The whole town is rooting for this couple.

This was great addition to the Chocolate Shop stories. Many laugh out moments through the story. Plenty of chocolate and home made goodies that will leave you hungry. I highly recommend this book along with the rest of the series. Can be read as a stand alone.”

~ Shari, Goodreads Review

Happy St. Patty’s Day, my friends!

Deb

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Perfectly Honest (Guest Post – Linda O’Connor)

Cover Perfectly Honest I’m excited to share the first book in the Perfectly Series. The Perfectly Series books are stand-alone stories, some of them featuring doctors, all of them quick, fun, entertaining reads.

Perfectly Honest
You never know where your words will take you…
When Mikaela Finn agreed to be Sam’s ‘fiancée’ for a weekend, she probably should have told him that she’s a doctor. Sam O’Brien, aka ‘Dr. Eye Candy’, is trying to shed his playboy reputation and convince a small town hospital that he’s ready to settle down. But when his ‘fiancée’ helps deliver a baby in the middle of the meet and greet, it’s a bit of a shock. If he’d known the whole truth, he might have done things a little differently because somehow his ‘fiancée’ ends up stealing his job and his heart. Not exactly the change he wanted. Lies and deceit – it’s a match made in heaven!

Excerpt from Perfectly Honest, Book 1 in The Perfectly Series:
Mikaela woke with a start to the sound of voices. Disoriented, in unfamiliar surroundings, she looked down at her short shorts and loose shirt covered with spatters of paint. Painting, of course. She must have fallen asleep in the chair, and checking her watch, she saw that it was two o’clock in the morning. She rubbed her eyes and yawned. Pulling herself out of the chair, she listened to the voices. One voice was female, sounding impatient and unhappy and one male, sounding apologetic and resigned.
“I know it’s not ideal, Sophia, but it’s what I want. I’m tired of the large city, the tertiary care center, and all the politics. I’m tired of all the meetings and all the committees. I want a smaller hospital in a smaller city. I want a life.”
“Nonsense, Sam,” the woman shot back. “You don’t know what you want or what’s good for you. You need to pay your dues now to reap the benefits later.”
“Look, I don’t expect you to understand. I’m grateful you’ve agreed to help me out, but . . . ”
Mikaela wandered into the hallway and stopped when she saw the two of them at the front door. The woman had unbuttoned her coat, and as she put her hands on her hips, there was a flash of the red cocktail dress she wore underneath. The man was a foot taller and wearing a suit. A very nice fitting suit, Mikaela mused, as she came up behind him.
The woman noticed Mikaela first, and her startled gasp had the man looking over his shoulder. Mikaela wasn’t sure who looked more shocked, the man, who moved to shield the woman, or the woman, who raked her gaze over Mikaela from head to toe. As Mikaela fought the urge to straighten her shirt and fix her hair, she decided, definitely, the woman.
The woman’s eyes narrowed, the hands on her hips became clenched at her sides, and her face flushed red. Mikaela held her breath.
The woman pushed at the man’s shoulder and spun him around to face her. “Why you! You! ‘I can’t invite you in, the house is being painted,’” she mimicked. “Is that the new code word for ‘mistress?’ You could have just told me we were through. Well, I’m done. This is the last straw. You pig!” The woman spun on her heel and wrenched the door open.
“Sophia, wait!”
“No, wait,” Mikaela added. She lurched forward, now wide-awake.
The woman stormed out and slammed the door.
The man turned to Mikaela. “Who the hell are you?”

Linda O'Connor authorLinda O’Connor started writing a few years ago when she needed a creative outlet other than subtly rearranging the displays at the local home décor store. It turns out she loves writing romantic comedies and has a few more stories to tell. When not writing, she’s a physician at an Urgent Care Clinic (well, even when she is writing she’s a physician, and it shows up in her stories :D ). She hangs out at www.lindaoconnor.net.
Laugh every day. Love every minute.

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Troubles, troubles (Pat)

Sorry to have been missing lately, but at the same time my newest book, “The Seal’s Return,” was released in early February, my house flooded due to a leak in a water pipe.    Four weeks later, I’m still involved in the clean-up.

I have, in the interim, discovered many new facts.   There are some plumbers who know nothing about faucets.   There is one man in the Memphis area who knows how to detect where a leak has occurred (I call him the leak diviner as opposed to a water diviner) and he charges $500 for ten minutes work and won’t allow  another plumber within a block for fear his secret might be learned,  and that neighbors are wonderful people.  (Did you know that you can attach a neighbor’s outside faucet to your outside faucet by a hose and get water to your house?   It even goes through the hot water heater).   I’ve discovered that most plumbers do not know this very valuable tip.   The fact is I have a wonderful neighbor and lived off his water for three weeks.  (I could do everything but drink it.  Neither could my two dogs).

I also learned that carpet layers, carpenters and painters come on time.    Plumbers do not.   I learned that someone who pulls up a tree, including roots, does not necessarily feel bound to cut it up and cart it off.  Rather, they leave a twenty foot plus tree on one’s sidewalk.   The neighbors were not amused.  I also learned never plant a Magnolia or Crape Myrtle tree over a water line (I didn’t, but the previous owner did).   I was warned, too late, by several of the plumbers who visited.

I also discovered that if a leak is outside the house on a narrow strip between the house and driveway but  NOT under the drive pavement, the house owner is responsible for the cost of repairing said leak, although if it WAS under the pavement the insurance would cover it..

In addition, I also learned after packing a thousand books or so in cartons that the people who move furniture would do it in one-tenth the time and it WAS covered by insurance.

I have learned lots of things, and my only satisfaction is that they will all appear in a  future book some day in the future.

In the meantime, four weeks after the leak, I am nearing the end of repairs.  I have suffered through bare cement floors (after the wet carpet was carted off) and minimal furniture for three weeks, without water to drink from the faucet for two weeks although, thanks to my neighbor, I had water for the bathroom and washing machine.   (I was offered a hotel room but I had two dogs, including an elderly girt who needs frequent trips outside).   I was not going to leave her in the kennel.

Needless to say that with people tramping in and out on a regular and irregular basis, I didn’t get much writing done, nor promotion for my latest Covenant Falls tale.

One positive note: I had to clean out my closets and Good Will is a very happy organization.

I hope to do better in communicating this week.

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Her Secret Life (Tara Taylor Quinn)


On Tour with Prism Book Tours

Book Tour Launch for
Her Secret Life
By Tara Taylor Quinn

Note from the Author

I’m so glad you’re joining us at The Lemonade Stand. It’s a place where secrets really are safe. Life is filled with choices. It’s odd, though, that the time in our lives when we have to make the choices that will shape our entire lives, is when we’re too young to know what we need to know to make the best choices…

Growing up in front of a camera, Kacey Hamilton was certain she wanted to spend her life in front of it. She loves the bright lights and being ‘on.’ She’s good at it. And yet…she finds herself thirty years old and…alone. Not literally, of course. Kacey can always have an entourage…a list of suitors. She never has to worry about getting a date or a party invitation. But all the glitz and glamour can’t cover up the emptiness beside it. She’s doing the only thing she ever wanted to do. She’s happy doing it. And yet…it’s not enough.

If you’ve never read a ttq novel before, you’re just on the cusp of getting your first introduction. I love glitz and glamour, but it’s not enough for me. My stories look behind the larger than life things that happen in life. They go deep into the messy part of living. The feelings that we all experience, but so often shy away from. The emotions that are confusing. Sometimes threatening. And yet…if we can find a safe place in which to explore them, we can often times find that elusive happiness we’ve been seeking.

The Lemonade Stand is Kacey’s safe place. I hope my books can be one of yours.

—TTQ

Her Secret Life
(Where Secrets are Safe #10)
by Tara Taylor Quinn
Adult Contemporary Romance, Suspense
Mass Market Paperback & ebook, 384 pages
March 1st 2017 by Harlequin Superromance

It takes courage to choose love… 

Internet security expert Michael Valentine knows his place in Kacey Hamilton’s life. The soap opera star lives in two worlds: glamorous Hollywood and small town Santa Raquel, where she volunteers with him at The Lemonade Stand women’s shelter. The key to their friendship is maintaining boundaries. And after an accident years ago left him badly scarred, he won’t expect anything more. But when threats against Kacey escalate, Michael will stop at nothing to protect her. Even if his investigation means confronting more than just her attacker as Kacey’s interest in him starts to go deeper than friendship…

GoodreadsAmazonBarnes & NobleHarlequin

Tour Schedule

March 5th:
Brooke Blogs
Nicole’s Book Musings
EskieMama & Dragon Lady Reads
March 6th:
Thoughts of a Blonde
Angels with Attitude Book Reviews
March 7th:
Book Lover in Florida
Celticlady’s Reviews
Deal Sharing Aunt
March 8th:
Beck Valley Books
Becky on Books
March 9th:
underneath the covers
Kindle and Me
Harlie’s Books
March 10th: Grand Finale
March 18th: Harlequin Junkie

Other Books in the Series
(Books released as of February 2017. Each can be read as a standalone.)

  
  
  

About the Author

The author of more than 70 original novels, in twenty languages, Tara Taylor Quinn is a USA Today bestseller with over six million copies sold. A 2015 RITA finalist Tara appears frequently on bestseller lists, including #1 placement on Amazon lists, and multiple showings on the Publisher’s Weekly Bestseller list. She has appeared on national and local TV across the country, including CBS Sunday Morning.

Tara is a supporter of the National Domestic Violence Hotline. If you or someone you know might be a victim of domestic violence in the United States, please contact 1-800-799-7233.

WebsiteGoodreadsAmazonFacebookTwitterPinterestInstagramWattpad

Domestic Violence Shelter Drive

As Tara supports speaking out against domestic violence and supporting those who have been abused, both through her books and in her community, she would love for you to join her in donating items to a shelter in your area. Find out more here.

Tour Giveaways

1ST RAFFLECOPTER:
1 winner will receive ebooks of Where Secrets are Safe series books 1 – 13 (open internationally)
1 winner (per the four tour segments) will receive a $10 Amazon eGift Card (open internationally)

2ND RAFFLECOPTER:
1 winner will receive 25,000 Harelquin My Rewards Points, equivalent to 5 books (US and CAN only)
1 winner will receive 5,000 Harelquin My Rewards Points, equivalent to 1 book (US and CAN only)

Both Rafflecopter giveaways end November 30th, 2017

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animal games – Carolyn

Oh, shoot! Here it is almost midnight and I am just getting around to doing my blog for Sunday. Just shows what happens when the book I am working on is actually working. I forget everything else. I don’t play music when I write, because I never hear it anyway. Nor television. Half the time not even the telephone. I have tunnel vision that makes the Holland Tunnel look like a mouse hole. Meanwhile the bills don’t get paid, the correspondence and the Internet don’t get tended to, and obviously I forget blogs. For which I am heartily sorry.

If the book hits a snag, all of a sudden I get an urge to clean out my closets and polish the silver. Anything to avoid facing the keyboard. I think most writers function like that. When things are rolling, we can’t wait to sit down to write. When they are drifting or flat out stalled, we’ll do anything at all to face the screen.

I am not a linear writer. My solution when I am stuck and/or bored is to pick a scene that may be much farther along in the story and write that. Then when I reach the point where it fits, it’s already in rough draft and waiting for me. It’s the tying everything together from start to finish that can get boring. And the last thing I want is for things to get boring for my reader.

My present book is about people who rescue abandoned wild animals. I had no idea we had so many of them in my neck of the woods, but we do. For instance, Reelfoot Lake North Of Memphis has one of the largest groups of bald eagles in the world. When we were canoeing down the river in Yellowstone, we saw eagles’ nests that had been in the same locations for a hundred years. The same thing holds true in Reelfoot. The lake was only created during the earthquake of 1812, and I don’t how soon the eagles discovered it was a good place to nest, but they do return year after year after year.

And they are arrogant. From time to time they wind up close to me, south of the lake. A year or so ago I came around a curve by my house to find a white-headed and therefore mature bald eagle standing in the middle of the road with his winds (humongous) fully spread. He was not about to move, but simply glared. I slammed on my brakes and sat there blinking my lights to warn anyone coming from the other direction. After a couple of minutes, having, I assume, made his point as to who was boss, he folded his wings and flew away. Truly awesome. But kind of dumb, too. In a duel between the eagle and my Escape, the Ford would have won hands down.

Anyway, I am enjoying hearing stories from the people who actually foster wild animals. I hope my readers will enjoy the final book. No idea what the title will be.

 

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Dodging Trolls – 4 tips to avoid a sleepless night

Major panic yesterday.

In addition to writing books, I oversee the office for our family construction company. We recently hired a new bookkeeper. She’s lovely and very good at her job. Unfortunately, we encountered a printer problem that’s outside her realm of expertise. My wireless printer wouldn’t “talk” to our business PC. She went (she thought) to HP support and clicked on a very authentic-sounding link.

Trolls 1

With my okay, she wound up giving remote access to my PC to a bogus troll with a thick middle-eastern accent (I believe he said his name was Christopher). 

Trolls 2

I figured out the scam about two minutes into the conversation. Around the time he opened a note on screen and started typing in how much it would cost me to pay him to fix my million-or-so really awful, horrible, freakish problems.

TRolls 3

My real, human tech guy came the next morning to assess the damage. I’d already checked all my bank accounts and credit cards online. He removed any detected malware (scary word) and installed a reliable (based on experience) protection. Marcus, my new hero!

Marcus killing trolls

Here are the two FREE protection programs he installed for me: Malwarebytes and AVIRA Internet Security. Hopefully, you’ve got a system that works for you. But if something changes and you find yourself the middle of a dark cyber alley in the company of a fast-talking stranger…

trolls tip 4

Now, do you need a FREE romance novel to get the bad taste of this blog out of your mouth? I do.

FREE arrows

The Chocolate Cure (Love at the Chocolate Shop Book 4)

No more chocolate! No more meddling! No more men!New Year’s resolutions are great. Announcing them in a crowded bar, with a chocolate martini in her hand? Not Maddie Cash’s finest moment. It’s time this new realtor got serious about her life and this time, she means it.

But when hospital volunteering lands her at the bedside of bruised and battered Mick Meyer, who has no knowledge of Maddie’s reputation – and no memory of the kiss he begged from her during that long, pain-filled night, her best-laid plans are put in jeopardy. It’s not just his sweet tooth that’s tempting her.

The hunky bush pilot with the concussion has an old family property to unload. Making this sale could rejuvenate Maddie’s dying career. But when Mick turns on the charm, she’s in danger of forgetting all her best intentions… on chocolate… on meddling… and especially on men.

Download THE CHOCOLATE CURE for FREE now!
                    
AmazonUK / AmazonAU / AmazonCA

Happy reading! Be safe out there. #notrollsallowed

Deb

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Booksigning for an anthology – Carolyn

Saturday the Malice in Memphis mystery writers group of which I am a member had a booksigning at a real live bookstore in Bartlett, a suburb of Memphis. In a week in which our largest independent bookstore closed its doors, having an actual booksigning was kind of an affirmation of faith in the written and physically printed word. I love my Ipad to death, but let’s face it, I still can’t take it in the bathtub to read a book, nor easily lend a book I like to someone else, now make notes in the margins. I still miss actual books with pages that turn physically rather than electronically.

Can’t have a booksigning for a virtual book either. There are good things and bad things about that. On the one hand, a writer sitting all alone at a table in a bookstore while shoppers walk by and stare, while said writer pasts a stupid smile on her face in hopes of conning a prospective customer in to at least have a bit of conversation is not so good. I’ve found that more than half the time, the prospective customer says something like, “Oh, I never read. I mean, who has time?” Then they wonder why their children never pick up a book.

And there is the ever popular, “Where do you get your ideas?” Frankly, I haven’t a clue. All it takes is a nudge and a modicum of “what if?”

Setting up a booksigning for an anthology in which there are stories by eleven different writers is not a piece of cake. We try to keep it neat and orderly so that the books pass around from author to author and wind up with every story signed. Somehow, however, the order invariably gets messed up—some authors sign, some authors miss their turns and have to hunt up the copies they didn’t sign. People change seats or go to the bathroom or wander off to look at the mysteries or the romances. Eventually, however, we did get all the copies signed. At least I think we did.

The fun of a booksigning is talking to those prospective customers. Not trying to sell them anything, but simply enjoying meeting and chatting with them. Everybody has a story. Our latest anthology is based on ghost stories. At least in the south, everybody has at least one story of an encounter with a ghost. And in a small bookstore like the one we signed at today, the atmosphere is relaxed, people do enjoy conversation whether they buy a book or not.

I love booksignings, because I like talking to strangers. I tend to be shy and standoffish in large groups, but with four or five people I have a wonderful time.

The people who read books are by definition interesting. So, the next time you run into a stray booksigning somewhere, go chat with the author or authors. I promise you they’ll welcome your company.

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Hi there! (Pat)

Hi,

 

This will be short because I have a deadline on the first three chapters of a fifth book in the Covenant Falls series and I’m way behind.   It will be the story of news correspondent JennyTalbot and Ranger Captain  Cole Hammond..

This has been a hectic week.   I/m still engaged in cleaning up after my house was flooded by a water leak.  It took eight days to find the leak and get it fixed, but now all the carpet on the ground floor of my house has to be replaced and I have books, books and more books to be moved.   The advance man for the carpet firm came into my house and blanched.   I’ve been trying to help by loading boxes with books and willowing out some to donate to the local library.  Not much luck.  They are all to precious, and I know I’ll want to read them again.

I’m also doing publicity for my new book, “”The Seal’s Return.”   You can find out all about it on http://prismbooktours.blogspot.com/     It includes several reviews and five different blogs about the book.  You can also enter a contest for a $25.00 Amazon gift card or a e-copy of my first Covenant Falls book.

Have a wonderful week ahead.

 

g

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Greetings from San Francisco–it’s Free Book Friday!

San Francisco rocks

Hi, everyone. I’m in San Francisco for the annual Indie Uncon where published authors get together to share advice on what works, what doesn’t, what’s coming and what’s new. It’s a lot of fun, but also some mind-blowing a-ha moments–and a chance to reconnect with old friends.

But while I’m on BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) headed for my hotel, my newsletter is going out. In case you missed it, I have two announcements that might interest you, so I’ll share here, too.

 #1: It’s #freebookfriday

Free CURE

I love Roxanne’s delicious sense of humor. I know you’ll enjoy her characters and witty, delightful dialogue. And wait till you meet her lovely hero…be still my heart!

Chocolate Cure snippet 1

The Chocolate Cure (Love at the Chocolate Shop Book 4)

No more chocolate! No more meddling! No more men!

New Year’s resolutions are great. Announcing them in a crowded bar, with a chocolate martini in her hand? Not Maddie Cash’s finest moment. It’s time this new realtor got serious about her life and this time, she means it.

But when hospital volunteering lands her at the bedside of bruised and battered Mick Meyer, who has no knowledge of Maddie’s reputation – and no memory of the kiss he begged from her during that long, pain-filled night, her best-laid plans are put in jeopardy. It’s not just his sweet tooth that’s tempting her.

The hunky bush pilot with the concussion has an old family property to unload. Making this sale could rejuvenate Maddie’s dying career. But when Mick turns on the charm, she’s in danger of forgetting all her best intentions… on chocolate… on meddling… and especially on men.

Download THE CHOCOLATE CURE for FREE now!

Amazon     IBOOKS     KOBO    BN    GOOGLE

AmazonUK / AmazonAU / AmazonCA

&

#2: MORE GOOD NEWS….

The newest The Inheritance book is here!!! And it’s by the wonderful, amazing Donna Fasano. You are so going to love WILD HEARTS OF SUMMER. And don’t forget to vote for your choice of charms. The winner will be announced in just a few months.

The Inheritance Collection Book Eleven
WILD HEARTS OF SUMMER (Ocean City Boardwalk Book 3)

Cathy Whitley’s two best friends, Sara and Heather, may have found the men of their dreams… and that’s all well and good for them. But that’s not going to happen to Cathy. She allowed love to catch her off-guard once and it drained her dry, emotionally and financially. She’ll never let it happen again. Ever.

Brad Henderson has been chasing Cathy for years. He’s settled for their on-again-off-again, “friends with bennies” relationship for far longer than he expected. Attempting to swim through the rip currents surrounding her heart has left him weary.

 

Then Brad inherits a business worth millions from billionaire Harold Hopewell. Hopewell had traveled the world and was touched by the stories of the people he met. In death, Hopewell is giving back, leaving an unusual will filled with life-altering bequests. Brad can’t believe his stroke of luck. Now Cathy will surely see him in a new light. Right?

 

One way or the other, it’s time to draw a line in the sand…

 

Read an excerpt HERE!

 

Purchase WILD HEARTS OF SUMMER now!

AmazonUK /AmazonAU /AmazonCA

CURRENT CONTEST: WILD HEARTS OF SUMMER by Donna Fasano.

Happy Friday, my friends! And happy reading. I know you’ll enjoy both of these great books.
Deb
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