Monday, November 30, 2020

Full House

The girls are home and once again, we’re a full house. Four of us working from home. Four of us eating. Four of us using way more dishes and utensils than necessary. Four of us on completely different sleep/awake cycles. Four of us trying not to breathe on each other as we enter and exit quarantine at different times.

 But somehow, we’re making it work. 


The girls are finishing up their classes, preparing for finals, and making their schedules for next semester.


Michael is continuing to work from home, as he’s done since March. He still gets the multiple monitors, the office with the door, and the “understood” do-not-disturb.


I’m finishing up two manuscripts by the end of the year, sending another out on spec, and continuing random edits on things in the pipeline. My lack of door is improved by my claim to the couch. Thus, I have the most comfortable work environment.


Although it’s just the four of us during the holiday season, it’s still noisy and bustling. There’s still lots of cooking and baking going on. Movie nights, fire pit and game nights are once again happening—or will as soon as we are assured no one will give anyone else the plague (we’re almost there, but I don’t want to jinx it).


And somehow, we’ve come to terms with the new normal. We appreciate alone-time more, revel in family time in small bursts (because, you know, there are four of us, and one of us is always driving the other three crazy), and are learning to navigate our way through an odd time in history.


It’s not what we’d choose, but we’re making the best of it. And so far, it’s working out fine.

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Spotlight on Christmas Rekindled by Sadira Stone

When two Scrooges unite to save a bar in trouble, a kiss under the mistletoe sparks the sexiest Christmas miracle ever.

Back Cover Blurb:

Bartender River Lundqvist has a damn good reason for hating Christmas. Bangers Tavern is the perfect place to lay low over the holidays—until Charlie walks in. His first encounter with the saucy server nine years ago was utter humiliation. Her reappearance stirs up powerful desires and hopes for a new start. But the timing is all wrong. 

Back in Tacoma to care for her estranged dad over the holidays, freelance web designer Charlie Khoury braces herself for the suckiest Christmas ever. A temporary job at Bangers Tavern gives her a chance to escape Dad’s criticism and blow off some steam. But why does the hunky bartender seem to hate her?     

A pretend girlfriend is just what River needs to keep his family off his back—until a kiss under the mistletoe flares hot enough to melt the North Pole. When greedy developers threaten Bangers Tavern, River and Charlie must team up to save it. Their sizzling chemistry feels like the real thing—but everyone knows rebound relationships don’t last. 

Come to Bangers Tavern for an enemies-to-lovers tale of reconciliation, found family, holiday cocktails, and the sexiest Christmas miracle ever.



Her low, throaty chuckle made him want to kiss her again. Though he pretty much wanted to kiss her anytime she was within range.

She laid her hand palm-up on the center console. “The thing is, I’m not looking for a relationship.”

Remembering a bit of Dawn’s wisdom, he nestled his hand into hers. “You never find a relationship when you’re looking for one.” 

Her gaze softened, open and vulnerable. “Are you looking?”

Warning sirens blared inside his head. This was a question to answer very carefully. “If you’d asked me a month ago, I’d say, ‘No way.’ But then, I kissed this girl under the mistletoe, and…”

She closed her eyes, lifted his hand, and pressed it to her sternum. Beneath his palm, her heart thudded fast. His pulse sped to match hers. He held his breath. 

“I like you, River.” Her whisper matched the brush of snowflakes against the windows. 

“I like you too.”

She inhaled deeply, then met his gaze. “Enough to be my friend?”

He nodded, mesmerized.

“Because my life is a mess right now, and I have no idea what the fuck I’m doing.” 

Her coarse language stirred up a heady swirl of laughter, sympathy, and arousal. He scooted as near as the center console allowed and placed his lips close to her ear. “I’ll tell you a secret. Me neither.”

Fire flickered in her eyes’ inky depths. Her lips parted. A golden thread wound around his heart and tugged him toward her. His thumb stroked the delicate line of her jaw as he closed the distance.

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Ever since her first kiss, Sadira’s been spinning steamy tales in her head. After leaving her teaching career in Germany, she finally tried her hand at writing one. Now she’s a happy citizen of Romancelandia, penning contemporary romance from her new home in Washington State, U.S.A. When not writing, which is seldom, she explores the Pacific Northwest with her charming husband, enjoys the local music scene, plays darts (pretty well), plays guitar (badly), and gobbles all the books. Visit Sadira at

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I’d love to hear from you! Please visit me on all the socials. 

I write steamy contemporary romance set in the U.S. Pacific Northwest. My Book Nirvana series centers around a quirky bookshop in Eugene, Oregon. Gelato Surprise is a steamy older woman/younger man beach romance novella. The Bangers Tavern Romance series is set in a neighborhood tavern in Tacoma, Washington, where I live—the town, not the tavern! Each story features a holiday celebration in Bangers Tavern: Christmas, St. Patrick’s Day, Cinco de Mayo, 4th of July, Halloween, etc. During this sad time when so many bars, restaurants, and other businesses are shut down, Bangers Tavern gives me the chance to virtually share the fun, camaraderie, and bar food I miss so much. And each volume includes tasty cocktail recipes I’ve personally tested and tweaked—a tough job, but I do it for my readers (wink).


Under my own name, I write cozy mysteries and creepy short stories—think The Twilight Zone—but so far only one creepy short has been published. I’ll get to the rest of them eventually, but right now I’m having too much fun writing romance!

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Welcome, Darlene Fredette

Redford Falls is an ‘imaginary’ small town I created from my favourite place to visit. My family takes day trips to the Annapolis Valley every summer. There are several quaint little towns where you can spend the whole day leisurely walking around. It’s peaceful and relaxing. The valley inspired me to write stories taking place in this perfect setting, but I also added The Falls Park from another nearby small town that has beautiful walking trails and the largest waterfalls I have ever seen. 

Because I started the series with a Christmas theme, I borrowed a few names from my favourite Christmas movie: It’s A Wonderful Life – Bailey, Potter, Bishop, and Martini. Then I added a spin on a few others – Candice ‘Candy’ Cane, Jackson Frost, The Kringles, The Marleys.


There is one element that can be found popping up in each book. Thumper, as many of the town’s residents refer to him, is a mysterious rabbit who has a small but significant role. Thumper is a legendary rabbit – a fable, a romanticized matchmaker. The elderly town’s people believe those who see the legendary rabbit will fall under cupid’s love spell.


All the books in this series are stand-alone titles because I didn’t want a reader to feel lost if they started with book three. However, I recommend starting with book one, so you can get to know this adorable town that is all about family, friends, and falling in love.

His Candy Christmas ~ A Redford Falls Story ~ Book 1

Who knew returning home would contain a cool nip in the air, irresistible chocolate, and a Santa suit?


His Candy Christmas

A Redford Falls Story ~ Book 1

August 31, 2020

The Wild Rose Press

Original Publication: 2013 - One Sweet Christmas

His Candy Christmas ~ A Redford Falls Story ~ Book 1

It’s going to take more than a few pieces of chocolate to fill this Scrooge’s heart with Christmas cheer. Luckily Candy has a whole shop full.

Candice Cane is not proud of the way she acted after her last encounter with Jackson Frost. Sure revenge was fun, but now Jackson is angry and looking for answers, and standing on the welcome mat in her chocolate shop. Now he's after some revenge of his own.

Jackson returned to his small hometown for one reason and one reason only. So, he's not sure how he ended up in a Santa suit in the middle of a chocolate shop, at the behest of its beautiful owner, instead of high-tailing it back to the city as fast as he can.

Kissed By Winter ~ A Redford Falls Story ~ Book 2

A woman who knows what she wants and a man who knows what he needs.


Kissed By Winter

A Redford Falls Story ~ Book 2

September 30, 2020

The Wild Rose Press

Original Publication: 2017 – Winter’s Kiss

Kissed By Winter ~ A Redford Falls Story ~ Book 2

She's been on a flight from hell for over eight hours, lost four hours of daylight, and arrived in temperatures twenty degrees lower than accustomed to. Disliking winter for a reason she refuses to discuss, Danielle Lerato would rather be anywhere than in Redford Falls. She needs to get the job done and return home before getting caught up in the small town's charm—and the arms of the handsome, brown-eyed restaurant owner.

Andrew Bailey's first encounter with the buttery blonde didn't go so well, and he well-remembers the chill of the glass of water she dumped over his head. Now, nine months later, a raging storm drops Danielle back into his life. She's determined to leave, but he'll do whatever it takes to convince her to fall in love with Redford Falls…and him.


Under The Apple Blossoms ~ A Redford Falls Story ~ Book 3

This spring the blossoms aren’t the only thing blooming in Redford Falls.


Under The Apple Blossoms

A Redford Falls Story ~ Book 3

October 26, 2020

The Wild Rose Press

Under The Apple Blossoms ~ A Redford Falls Story ~ Book 3

A tragic accident tore them apart. She left him behind and broke his heart. Is he strong enough to risk it again?

Police officer, Tyler Kringle, keeps his heart locked behind bars. His first and only love, Maripier Nadeau, left Redford Falls many years ago after a family tragedy. She moved on, leaving him to pick up the shattered pieces of his heart. But now Maripier is home to care for her father and to attend a dedication ceremony in her mother’s honour. Her return rattles Tyler’s cage, causing old emotions to resurface. Once he discovers the truth from the past, can he reclaim the love of his life and lock-down their future before she leaves again?


A Recipe For Forever ~ A Redford Falls Story ~ Book 4

She has one last hope – a small, family-run bakery that might just be baking up second chances. 


A Recipe For Forever

A Redford Falls Story ~ Book 4

November, 2020

The Wild Rose Press

Original Publication: 2016 – Nothing To Lose


A Recipe For Forever ~ A Redford Falls Story ~ Book 4

Dwindling finances has Jess Robinson running out of options. With a past filled with failures, she longs for a new beginning. Applying for a job she isn’t qualified for may be another crazy mistake, but at this point Jess has nothing to lose. 

Juggling two jobs, Travis Cooper has absolutely no time for a relationship and isn’t looking for one. But when his mother hires an unqualified baker, he has more to worry about than three-tiered wedding cakes and fighting fires. Will he break his own no-dating-employees r

About Darlene Fredette

Darlene resides on the Atlantic Coast of Canada where the summers are too short and the winters are too long. An avid reader since childhood, Darlene loved to develop the many stories coming to life in her head. She writes contemporary romances with a focus on plot-driven page-turners. When not working on her next book, she can be found with her husband, her daughter, and her yellow Labrador. Darlene’s favourite pastime is taking summer day-trips to the Valley to soak in the small-town feel.



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Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Welcome, Susan Furlong

 Thank you to Jennifer for inviting me to be on her blog today and letting me talk about being the new kid.

I’ve been the new kid quite a bit in my life. My dad worked in women’s ready-to-wear clothing, buying and selling for major department stores. He was well-respected, but he could only work for someone for about two years before he told them off, and that meant another move. He always had another job ready to go, and so I’d be the new kid again!

After I married, I moved to my husband’s small town, and again I was the new kid. Greg had lived there all his life, along with his entire extended family, so I was “Greg’s City Wife” for quite a while. I taught school in that town while Greg commuted to a nearby larger city, and after a time he became “Susan’s Husband.”

Now I’m the new kid again in this world of book publishing. Like most of you who are reading this blog, I’ve been a writer all my life. Stories float around in my head all the time, and I’ve put a number of them on paper. However, once I decided to try official publishing, the entire game changed. I knew nothing about the “secrets” that other writers and publishers seemed to know, and I learned the hard way. Rejections were commonplace and acceptances few, but over the years I learned.

My writing itself became better each time an agent or editor replied with even the slightest amount of encouragement. I spent time online checking out what else I should know, and I paid to send my work to a freelance editor, and her advice was invaluable. 

I sent my work to The Wild Rose Press who accepted my first book, Steadfast Will I Be, right away, but little did I know I had a lot more to learn. My editor, Eilidh MacKenzie, is terrific at improving my writing, catching plot holes, and checking on historical facts, but when it came to marketing my book, advice about promotion overwhelmed me. I did my best with book signings, email posts, and, being ignorant about social media, hired smarter people than I to get a website up and running and to make regular Facebook posts.

Now I discover I am the new kid again with my second book, By Promise Made.  I’m new to the world of blogging, but am so grateful to other authors who are willing to encourage us new kids. 

I wonder if Nora Roberts or James Patterson ever felt like the new kids.





She wants to take off his head! He wants to win her heart! 


All Hugh Cullane wants to do is to return home to the Highlands after delivering a message of betrothal from the English king to four-year-old Queen Mary of Scotland. What he doesn’t count on is Katherine Payne, Mary’s guardian, who in rejecting the marriage proposal, orders him beheaded and his head sent back to England in a jar. Nor does he count on falling in love with her. 


Katherine, trained to protect Queen Mary at all cost, sacrifices any expectation of a personal life, but the handsome rogue carrying the despised message of marriage unsettles her single-minded sense of duty. Now trapped on the battlefield between the English and Scottish armies, she must escape with Mary. Hugh, knowing that Katherine is the woman he needs to counterbalance his untamed spirit, joins her as they are chased by men determined to murder Mary in their own quest for power. 




“Believe me, mistress, I mean ye no harm,” he said. “I am a man of my word, and if ye will honor me with one kiss, I would be truly grateful. I’m no’ greedy.” He had said these words often enough before, and he had always received that kiss. Holding her with a relaxed, steady gaze, he said, “One kiss from the sweetness of yer lips is all I ask, nothing more.” 

He lowered his lips until he felt her body heat on his face as he murmured in husky tones, “Just one kiss to remember for the rest of my life.” 

Locking eyes with her, he waited until she nodded ever so slightly. Then he kissed her, tenderly. She tasted like warm honey. A whimpering sigh left her throat that encouraged him to lean ever closer so his tongue could gently wet and separate her full lips. She opened her mouth a bit and kissed him back. 

Lifting his head, he looked at her curiously. Something stirred inside his chest, something he’d never felt before, and he didn’t quite understand it. All he knew for sure was that just one kiss from this beautiful woman would never be enough. He wanted to know everything about her. He wanted to hear her voice, to see her smile, and to find out all about her. Who she was and who she wanted to be. 

He wanted this woman to know his secrets, to hear his wishes. That itch inside him, the one he could never quite scratch, the one that made him restless and careless, eased and softened. Although this wasn’t his first kiss, it somehow mattered more than any other kiss he’d ever had. 

He kissed her again. His tongue darted along her teeth and then into the juicy cavern of her mouth. She did not refuse him as he suckled her tender lips. She responded to his kiss, pulling him near, offering more of her mouth. She moaned quietly and ever so slightly eased her body closer to his as her hands worked their way up his back. 

Pausing briefly in the most delicious kiss he’d ever had, he whispered, “My name is Hugh Cullane.” He brushed his lips against hers again. “What should I call ye, my beautiful princess?” Softly he licked her lips with his tongue. 

“Call me whatever ye wish,” she said, locking her fingers into his hair and snapping his head and shoulders away from her with unexpected strength. She swung her right fist squarely into his jaw, and after a quick jerk of her knee into his groin, he fell to the ground, coughing and gagging. With one last powerful kick to the ribs, she ran madly away around the hill. 

As he struggled to take a full breath, a sharp jab of pain bit through his side. Letting his head drop to the ground, he rolled over onto his back. 

“Oh, my Lord!” he said aloud between coughs. “I do believe I have offended the lady.” 



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Monday, November 9, 2020


 There’s too much going on in the world for me to talk about it on my blog. So, instead, I’m going to give an update on my writing world.

Writing during a pandemic and an election year and 2020 has been tough for me. My attention span could probably compare to that of a flea, only I’m not really sure who’d win. To combat that, I write or edit in short bursts and try to take comfort in the fact that at least I’m getting words on the page. I boil everything down to twenty-minute intervals, or editing one chapter, and congratulate myself when I do that one small thing. Sometimes I continue from there—another twenty minutes, an additional chapter. Other times, I color. J


But, I do have several projects going on simultaneously.


I’ve started the second book I’m writing for the multi-author anthology, Ticket to True Love. The first book, Whispers in Washington, came out at the end of September, and it was my most successful launch to date. Thanks to any of you who helped to make that happen. The next book, tentatively titled, Better Together in Boston (they gave me the letter B this time, so I claimed Boston), is also Jewish, and focuses on Naomi’s friend Anna. I’ve written the first draft and now I’m doing major editing—that’s necessary when you change the plot focus halfway through your first draft. J Right now, it’s in shambles, but I hope to send it off to an editor in December. It’s due to publish in May—the day before my daughter’s college graduation. Gulp.


I signed a contract with The Wild Rose Press for a four-book contemporary romance series (not Jewish). I don’t have a series title yet—well, I do, but it’s awful, so I’m still working on that—but the first book is titled, A Reckless Heart. I just turned in to my editor what I hope are final edits. Next step is to get copy edits back and hopefully a cover. The cover is definitely the most fun part of everything. After that, I’ll get a release date. In the meantime, my critique group is helping me with the second book in that series (all of them are written already).


I’m also working on a super secret project, which I won’t talk about, except to tease you a little here. It might work out, it might not, but it’s exciting, and I’ll be sure to share if and when I get the green light.


I'm always marketing, of course, and right now, I'm focusing on reminding people about my Hanukkah novella, Waiting for a Miracle. Because everyone is looking forward to the holidays. 

Wishing you all peace and health as we move ahead, day by day.

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Welcome, Tena Stetler!

Hi Jennifer! Thank you so much for hosting me and HIDDEN GYSPY MAGIC on your beautiful blog. I’m thrilled to be here and so excited to share with you the inspiration for my fantasy, time travel, adventure.

I am a panster, I write by the seat of my pants. LOL When I sit down at my computer to start a new story. I have already completed a five page worksheet on each of my Characters involved in that book concerning their likes, dislikes, goal, motivation, conflict in how to get what they want, hair and eye color, type of dress, behavior traits, etc. I also have a good idea where the story is going, but usually the tale gets high-jacked by my characters. Consequently, where I think the story is going and where it actually winds up can be entirely different. While this makes the writing fun when you don’t know exactly where  its headed, it can be a nightmare when two of more characters disagree on the direction the book should take.  LOL That’s when I step in and take it where it needs to go. Believe it or not that doesn’t happen too often. Almost like the characters have agreed ahead of time how they are going to high-jack my…ahem… their story.  

Part of the inspiration for Hidden Gypsy Magic was the characters themselves. Gwen was introduced in A Witch’s Journey. Brock came to fruition in A Witch’s Holiday Wedding. They insisted on their own story. Then my friend adopted three baby desert tortoises. A story line began to play out in my head, since Gwen is a wildlife rehabilitator and Brock is a veterinarian. They live and work in Salem, Massachusetts. Salem as always intrigued me, so I put a twist on the witch trials and a trip back in time. Then I threw in poachers in present time and a dog and owl rescue. Still what if’s just kept coming and Hidden Gypsy Magic was born.   

Additional inspiration was the Salem Witch Trials.  How can you set a story in Salem, Massachusetts and not mention the Salem Witch trials? Okay I admit it, I’ve always been enamored with the Salem Witch Trials since I was involved in a high school play The Crucible. Research into the Salem Witch Trials led me to believe that things were not always as they seemed. I wondered if the accounts of those judging the supposed witches had something to hide or were they on some kind of power trip. 

Researching one highly visible individual Judge in the witch trials, I had an epiphany. What if that person was not who or what he claimed to be? What if he had intimate knowledge of witchcraft and not just as a bystander?  Well, that could put a kink in the accounts of the Salem Witch Trials. Don’t you think? That’s what’s fun about writing fiction. LOL 

How about a little more about Hidden Gypsy Magic?

The Salem Wildlife Sanctuary is Gwen Taylor's life work.  Her Irish Gypsy heritage provides a hidden talent she uses to help the creatures under her care.  But even her magical skills can't help new rescues in dire need of veterinary care.


The opportunity of signing on as the vet for Gwen's sanctuary dropped into Brock Scutter's lap after he expanded his practice to include wildlife. The personal attraction he and Gwen experience is undeniable the more their professional and personal lives collide. 


Touring the only "non-haunted" house in Salem they both feel a spark of magic.  A trip to his family's cabin uncovers a heritage he didn't know existed.  If they want a future together, it means facing the consequences of awakening hidden Gypsy magic and a race against the clock to correct past wrongs.


A sneak peek between the pages of Hidden Gypsy Magic:

Carefully, Gwen took the poppet and eased her hand back into the painting. A vortex sucked her arm then her entire body into the painting swirls of red, blue, and yellow swam around her then she was falling. She gulped in air as her stomach flipped threatening to spill its contents into the void. Her throat hurt from screaming, yet there was no sound. Something hard hit her backside, then it was quiet, she blinked and rubbed her eyes. Finding herself sitting in a rocking chair that squeaked announcing her arrival, she straightened and several pairs of eyes peered at her with interest. The room was familiar— it was the living room of Brock’s soon-to-be house, only the furnishings were quite different. The dragon staircase…

Before she could grasp what was happening a swirling portal of colors opened up in the center of the room. With a whoosh her best friend, Pepper unceremoniously landed in the middle of the hardwood floor with a thud.

Pepper jumped up and brushed herself and stared at Gwen. “Another fine mess you’ve gotten us into. I nearly didn’t catch a hold of your magic trail into the painting.” She paused and glanced around. “Where the hell are we?” Pepper switched her attention to the three women and two men observing them from wooden chairs scattered around the room. “Hey, this is Brock’s house…but it isn’t. Oh no…” Her hand flew to her mouth as she sidled over and positioned herself to the side of Gwen’s chair.


“Judging by the clothes these people are wearing, and the decor, the painting seems to have sucked us back in time,” Pepper whispered eying the group sitting before them.

“Holy cow, Brock is never going to believe this.” Gwen glanced at their surroundings. “If we ever get out of here."

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About the Author:

Tena Stetler is a best-selling author of award winning paranormal romance with an over-active imagination.  She wrote her first vampire romance as a tween, to the chagrin of her mother and the delight of her friends. Colorado is home; shared with her husband of many moons, a brilliant Chow Chow, a spoiled parrot and a forty-five-year-old box turtle.When she’s not writing, her time is spent kayaking, camping, hiking, biking or just relaxing in the great Colorado outdoors. 

 Her books tell tales of magical kick-ass women and mystical alpha males that dare to love them. Travel, adventure and a bit of mystery flourish in her books along with a few companion animals to round out the tales.


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