Category Archives: 10 Moments that Changed My Life

“10 Moments That Changed My Life” by Allie Boniface ~ New Release: Summer’s Song

Please help me welcome author Allie Boniface. She’s sharing a riveting list of moments that changed her life, PLUS, her new release sounds like a fantastic read!

First off, thanks to Alicia for hosting me here today! I’m excited to be celebrating the re-release of my 4-book Pine Point series with Entangled Publishing: Summer’s Song, Winter’s Wonder, Spring Secrets, and Autumn Allure. They’re all set in the small town of Pine Point, where secrets, suspense, and quirky characters abound. I hope you’ll check them out!

And now, a little about me. Thinking of 10 moments that changed my life was a rather challenging task for this blog post. I’m sure there are others that might have made the cut, but in sitting down to write, these are the ones that came to mind (in roughly chronological order):

    1. Going to college – This wasn’t really a single moment, but freshman year of college was so profound for me because I went from living in a small, very homogenous town to a competitive, prestigious university with students from all over the country. I met so many people from all walks of life, so many vastly intelligent people who’d experienced life so differently than I had to that point. It really opened my eyes.
    2. Adopting my first fur-baby – After I’d finished graduate school and was teaching in the community college system, living on my own in Cleveland, OH, I adopted my first cat, Smooch, from the local shelter. It might sound silly to some, but being wholly responsible for another living being for the first time really taught me a level of responsibility and compassion that I didn’t have before.
    3. My first (and current) full-time teaching job – In 1997, I accepted the job I currently have, teaching English at a career & technical education center. In the course of 20 years, I’ve learned a lot about teaching teenagers, won a couple of teaching awards, developed curriculum for a brand new program, mentored I-don’t-know-how-many other teachers, and met my husband. It definitely changed my life!
    4. My wedding day – My husband was actually on the interview committee that hired me. We started dating 6 months later (we were also team teaching in the same classroom!) and got married on July 6, 2001.
    5. September 11, 2001 – I live about an hour north of NYC, so the terrorist attacks literally hit close to home. I lost a friend from college, as well as neighbors who were working as firefighters that day. Most profoundly, though, that day was what kick-started my pursuit of writing seriously for publication. I had always said “Someday I’d like to publish a book.” September 11 reminded me that “someday” isn’t guaranteed. If we want to do things, we should do them now, and not wait for some other, better time down the road.
    6. Traveling abroad for the first time – I didn’t leave the USA until 2005, when my husband and I joined my sister and brother-in-law on a 10-day trip through Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and the Czech Republic. It was amazing, to say the least. I now love traveling to other countries, not just for the beauty and the history, but because you can learn so much about yourself and others when you’re out of your comfort zone. I recommend international travel to everyone!
    7. Publishing my first book – About 6 years after I decided to get serious about publishing a novel, The Promise of Paradise (originally titled Lost in Paradise) was published by The Wild Rose Press! I went on to publish with Samhain Publishing, Lyrical Press, and most currently, Entangled Publishing. I’ve also indie published several titles and hit the USA Today best-sellers’ list in 2015 with a boxed set, Passionate Kisses.
    8. My father’s death – On January 10, 2009, my father passed away from cancer. We were very close, and he was a young 66. I miss him every day.
    9. Losing my dream teaching assignment – In 2014, due mostly to political reasons in my school district, the program I had built from the ground up was dismantled. That was my dream job, teaching college English to honor students and mentoring students who wanted to pursue careers in the education field. Though I continue to teach at the same school, my assignment is now very different. I do miss my old position, though the change has forced me to find new ways to define myself outside of teaching.
    10. Founding a non-profit organization – One of these “new ways” has taken place in my very own small town, where I’ve joined a group of 8 other people in establishing a non-profit organization that recently bought a 100-year old school building in town, saving it from demolition. Our plans are to renovate the building and turn it into a community center that offers classes, events, activities, resources, and more for our rural area. It’s something I’ve never been involved with before, and I’m learning a lot!

    Well, that trip down Memory Lane was kind of fun. Thanks for sticking around to find out about my “10 Moments.” I hope you’ll take a peek at Pine Point and my small town romance series before you go. Each book is only $0.99 through August 27th!

     

Blurb:

  • Summer Thompson doesn’t remember the night her brother died, and she certainly doesn’t want to go back to Pine Point and face any memories that might be awoken there. But ten years after leaving her small hometown, she’s back to settle her estranged father’s estate and be rid of the half-renovated mansion she’s inherited. What she doesn’t expect is to find the house occupied by a hunky handyman reluctant to talk about his past.Damian Knight has been helping his mother and sister hide from a brutal stalker, but now the peace and carefully guarded safety they’ve found in Pine Point is in danger. The refuge they live in is about to be sold out from under them by the lovely but haunted Summer, a woman who quickly finds her way through Damian’s defenses and steals his heart.But in a small town full of powerful secrets, the past won’t remain buried. Summer has to face her memories and could lose the man she loves, and maybe even her life.Each book in the Pine Point series is a standalone story that can be enjoyed in any order:

    Book #1: Summer’s Song
    Book #2: Winter Wonder
    Book #3: Spring Secrets
    Book #4: Autumn Allure

     

Excerpt:

  • “Hey, you can’t go up there.” A strong hand grabbed her elbow.Summer turned with a start. “Why not?”“Not safe yet.” He motioned to the steps, and when she looked closer, she saw a missing riser that gaped like a placid crocodile, ready to snatch up her unsuspecting foot.“Oh.” She smiled an apology at Mac’s assistant.

    He was tall, with light brown hair and deep blue eyes, and his broad, shirtless chest shone with sweat. Muscular biceps, no doubt made strong from summer labor, twitched as he reached for an itch between his shoulder blades. Summer swallowed and tried to chase away a crazy urge to scratch the spot for him.

    “I’m Summer Thompson, by the way.” She reached out a hand in greeting. “The—ah—the new owner of this place.

    He studied her with a serious expression. “So I guessed. Damian Knight.”

    The one who’s renting the farmhouse. “Listen, I…” She meant to talk to him about that, but she couldn’t quite process the words as his blue eyes locked with hers. He hadn’t yet dropped her hand, which she didn’t mind in the least. Strong. Warm. Sending electricity straight through her

    “Summer!”

    Mac’s hand on her shoulder broke her reverie. Summer turned and plastered on a smile she hoped looked normal. “Hi, Mac.”

    “Can’t believe you’re here.” He shook his head and grinned, and she glimpsed the chipped front teeth she remembered from high school.

    “Well, I wanted to see the house. I just…” She faltered. “I just found out about it.”

    “I know. Your father wanted it to be a surprise for you. Sorry about your loss, by the way.” He looked over his shoulder. “He did a great thing, buying this place. Wish he could have seen it finished.” Mac gestured around the yard. “We’re working on the roof today, obviously. Got another day or so before it’s done. There’s some interior work to do after that. And don’t use these front steps, okay? We still gotta replace a few.”

    “Can I see the inside?” she asked. She wanted an idea of the mess she was dealing with. But her doubt grew as she looked around. The needed repairs seemed overwhelming, and those were just the ones she could see.

    Damian ran one hand through his hair and sent a cloud of sawdust flying. A grin touched his eyes and, for a brief second, Summer saw her own reflection in his gaze. She looked small and dark, a little girl floating on the blue of his iris. He smiled, and in the sunlight, the blue deepened until she felt like she was falling inside it, floating, forgetting who and where she was. Something jumped in her stomach, and her palms tingled. Knights in Pine Point? There hadn’t been any for as long as she could remember

    Don’t fall for the guy whose heart you have to break tomorrow…

    Buy link(s):

    Entangled Store: https://entangledpublishing.com/summer-s-song.html

    Amazon: http://bit.ly/SummersSongAmazon

    Apple: http://bit.ly/SummerSongApple

    B&N: http://bit.ly/SummersSongNook

Bio:

  • Allie Boniface is the USA Today best-selling author of over a dozen novels, including the Cocktail Cruise, Hometown Heroes, and Pine Point series. Her books are most often set in small towns and feature emotional romance with relatable characters you’ll know and love.A graduate of the University of Rochester and Case Western Reserve University, Allie is a full-time high school English teacher in the beautiful Hudson Valley of New York. When she isn’t teaching or writing, she and her husband love to travel.Take some time to browse around Allie’s website, check out new and upcoming releases, and sign up for her newsletter. You can join Allie’s All-Stars too, an exclusive readers’ group on Facebook where fans and friends chat about life, characters and story ideas, and have exclusive access to prizes, giveaways, and early sales!
    Contact links:
    Website: www.allieboniface.comFacebook: www.facebook.com/AuthorAllieBoniface

    Allie’s All-Stars: https://www.facebook.com/groups/AllieBonifaceAllStars/

    Twitter: @AllieBoniface1

    Newsletter Sign-up: http://bit.ly/AlliesNews

 

 

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“10 Moments That Changed My Life” by Elle at Home blogger Lacey Hill

Please help me welcome Lacey Hill, sharing…

10 Moments That Changed My Life – By Elle at Home blogger Lacey Hill

  1. Spending two years in Bahrain with my grandparents when my father was deployed to Egypt. We learned so much about middle eastern culture, and the experience will be in my heart forever. I will always remember the museums, learning about the pearl divers, and the appreciation that I gained for the entire culture.
  2. Discovering The Babysitter’s Club books when I was in elementary school. Reading quickly became my favorite escape and once I finished the entire BC series, I moved on to any and every book that I could get my hands on. To this day, I love to read and my knowledge has grown vastly thanks to my love for books.
  3. Moving with my father, sister, and brother to Alaska when I was 11. My father was in the Army and this was the furthest we had PCSed (Permanent Change of Station) away. We took a road trip with our grandparents in a huge King of the Road camper and experienced America and Canada in the most amazing cross country trip. Highlights: Yellowstone and the witnessing Aurora Borealis.
  4. When my father met my mother in Alaska. She is technically my step-mother, but she raised me since I was 11 and has been an amazing mother to me. Our family became whole when she brought my new sister and brother into our fold, making us a family of 7. Little did I know that 15 years later they would adopt my three youngest sisters, making us a family of 10!
  5. Moving to North Carolina where I spent my 4 high school years and met my future husband, who I’ve been with for 14 years. This was the longest that we stayed in one place during my school years and I am so grateful that I got the entire High School experience in one place! I still talk to friends from school and I remember those 4 years so fondly.
  6. My first year in college, where I started figuring out who I really was. I lived a fairly sheltered life, and I never got the freedom that many of my friends did. That’s probably for the best, since I stayed out of trouble for the most part. College was my first experience with people from all over the world and my first foray into FREEDOM. I learned a lot about my strengths, weaknesses, and loves when I got out on my own.
  7. Apartment hunting! When my husband and I searched for our first apartment, we had such a great experience with the Leasing Agent. She told me that they were hiring for another Leasing Agent and the rest is history! My career was started 9 years ago and since then I’ve been promoted three times to my current position. It’s changed our lives for the better and having a stable career is something that I’m so thankful for.
  8. Having my children. Becoming a mother changes everything about your life, and my experience was no exception. I’ve grown so much through the years and the births of my two children. I’m so grateful that I’ve been given the gift of motherhood and I know that my life is better because of my children.
  9. Reuniting with my sisters. I have two half-sisters who live on opposite sides of the country, and who I never thought that I would see or speak to again. When we were all grown, my sister and I and two half-sisters all found each other through Facebook and we are a solid foursome of female power. I had such a realistic and powerful dream about the four of us that I’m now writing a book about it.
  10. Discovering blogs through Pinterest. I’ve always loved writing but I never had an outlet before. When I was pregnant with my son, I discovered a mommy blog on Pinterest and I quickly became emerged in the world of parenting, style, beauty, and lifestyle blogs that helped me branch out my own tastes and hobbies and rally just further enriched my life. I started my own blog http://www.elleathome.com in 2016 and I’ve loved every minute of it.

Wow…those are some incredible moments! You’ve had an amazing life. Thank you so much for joing me today! I took a quick peek at your blog, and I plan to go back and spend more time. It’s fabulous!

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“10 Moments That Changed My Life” by Marie Higgins Plus: PRETENDING YOU’RE MINE Historical Romance

Please help me welcome author Marie Higgins, sharing the…

10 Moments That Changed My Life”

  1. Writing a skit for girl’s camp when I was 17 years old, and getting the award of ‘best written’. At this age, I didn’t even know I wanted to be a writer.
  2. Receiving awards for my skits in the community. When I was in my mid-twenties, I wrote skits for my community which were performed and judged. The awards I received were “Funniest” and “Best Written”.
  3. Reading my first romance book, A Rose in Winter by Kathleen E Woodiwiss. I was in my mid-twenties, and my step-mother-in-law brought me this book to read when I was very sick. I was so caught up in the story that I couldn’t put it down. After I finished this story, I searched for more books by this author, and then more historical romance books. That was the point in my life when I fell in love with historical romance.
  4. Watching a romance/suspense movie that had the worst ending! Yes, believe it or not, this did change my life, because I was so upset that the producer/writer of this movie made the audience fall in love with the hero and heroine and yet they didn’t end up together at the end. This was the very thing that pushed me to write my own happy endings!
  5. I’ve always had movie-like dreams. The day I watched that crappy movie, I had a dream that night about a happily-ever-after story. The next morning, I decided to write my dream. That’s all it took to kick-start my muse. The rest, they say, is history…
  6. Joining RWA (Romance Writers of America). Can you imagine how excited I was to join a group of other writers who loved romance as I did? The years I was with the Utah Chapter, I met so many great women (who are still my friends today), and I learned so much about writing. I realized if I was going to be a writer, I’d better learn how to do it the right way.
  7. Winning Second Place in a writing contest! I entered my story (which is now titled “Charmed By Knight”) into a RWA contest, and I won second place! I was shocked…and on cloud nine. It was exciting to think that readers actually enjoyed my story.
  8. Received my first email from an agent from my dream agency. She had read “Charmed by Knight”, and loved it…but she couldn’t fit it into her schedule to represent me. So although I never did get with this ‘dream agency’, it was a thrill knowing she enjoyed my story. I even kept the email. lol
  9. Getting my first publishing contract. In 2010, I had a publishing company offer to contract one of my stories (which is now titled “Her Own Fairy Godmother”). The editor told me how much fun she had reading this story, and how she couldn’t put it down. Unfortunately, this particular publishing company was one of the worst mistakes I made, but at the time, I was thrilled that a publisher wanted my stories!
  10. Discovering self-publishing! In 2011 I had heard so many great things about self-publishing, so I decided to give it a try. That was one of the BEST decisions I’d ever made. Many of my stories were in Amazon’s top 100 best sellers, and I received many 5-star reviews! Now, all these years—and 44 books—later, my stories are still making it to Amazon’s top 100 best sellers, and I’m still receiving many awesome 5-star reviews.

Wow, Marie, what an excellent, fun list! I can definitely relate to your Kathleen Woodiwiss moment, except mine was The Flame and the Flower – Brandon and Heather, I’ll never forget reading that and being completely swept away. Although, my first experience with passionate historical romances was Rosemary Rogers’ Sweet, Savage Love. I read it 8 times! But, enough about me, LOL. Tell us about your book…

HEROIC ROGUE SERIES (all ebooks 99 cents through the month of July).

PRETENDING YOU’RE MINE (book 1)

Mercedes Maxwell is devastated when her twin sister is driven to take her own life by none other than her husband, William Braxton. Determined to make her brother-in-law pay for the injustice, Mercedes travels to Dorchester, England to find him. She is shocked to find that William is unaware of his wife’s death, and when Mercedes is mistaken for her sister, she decides to pose as her twin to glean some answers. Mercedes embarks on an adventure she never dreamed of in hopes of bringing justice to her sister. Instead of justice, Mercedes uncovers a plethora of secrets and mystery. As she works to unravel the mystery and discovers who she can trust, Mercedes finds that all is not as it seems, and that William Braxton may be the one man she can trust.

 EXCERPT :

Thundering hooves of a horse bore down upon them. Mercedes switched her attention to the man on the steed. The small crowd parted, and the man atop the animal dismounted. His horse had whipped up a cloud of dust in the dingy alley and she waved her hand in front of her face to keep from sneezing. The sight of the rider left her speechless and a bit weak at the knees.

His rugged appearance shocked her, his strength evident in his muscled arms and legs. Rather than the fancy clothes of the English gentry, the beige shirt and brown leather vest of a farmer’s attire stretched taut across his wide chest, and the black material of his trousers molded to his legs and fit snugly into his black knee-boots. But this man was no farmer. That much appeared evident by the way he carried himself as he strode toward her, his step too confident, too graceful.

When he neared and she gazed upon his face, her breath caught in her throat. The sun had turned his skin a light brown, and the sureness of his jaw bespoke authority. Chestnut hair tousled by the wind framed his head, and she had a sudden urge to swipe the unruly locks off his forehead.

He was quite handsome, if she dared admit, and he literally made her lungs stop working. Never had that happened to her from just admiring a man. Looking into his fiery hazel eyes, she swallowed hard.

He stopped mere inches away, towering over both Mercedes and the soldier like a dark cloud of doom. She leaned her head back to take in his height.

The handsome man met the soldier’s stare. “Sir, will you kindly remove your hands from my wife?”

Her jaw dropped. Wife?

“Correct me, Mr. Braxton, but was your wife not running from you?” The soldier shook his head. “A few hours ago, I had heard that you reported your wife missing. Now here she is caught running. There must be a reason for that.”

She sucked in her breath. Mr. Braxton? This handsome and very powerful man was William Braxton, her sister’s husband?

The pulse in her temple grew stronger. She couldn’t speak, and she couldn’t think. Telling him about Kat’s death was crucial, yet she didn’t want to do that in front of all of these spectators.

If only her mind would cooperate with her tongue and voice, perhaps she wouldn’t feel like a trapped animal. But more importantly, why did she find her brother-in-law dangerously attractive?

When the man in question settled his eyes on her, his expression softened and a smile touched his mouth. “Yes, my dear. Please inform the captain and all these good people why you were running from me.”

 Purchase link to Amazonhttp://a.co/aZ0bGdL

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Marie Higgins is a best-selling, multi-published author of Christian and sweet romance novels; from refined bad-boy heroes who make your heart melt to the feisty heroines who somehow manage to love them regardless of their faults. She’s been with a Christian publisher since 2010. Between those and her others, she’s published over 40 heartwarming, on-the-edge-of-your-seat stories and broadened her readership by writing mystery/suspense, humor, time-travel, paranormal, along with her love for historical romances. Her readers have dubbed her “Queen of Tease”, because of all her twists and turns and unexpected endings.

Visit her website / blog to discover more about her – www.mariehiggins.com

Find her on Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/marie.higgins.7543

And Twitter – https://twitter.com/mariehigginsXOX

 

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“10 Moments That Changed My Life” by Karen Whalen ~ NEW RELEASE: Not According to Flan

I’m especially excited to introduce today’s guest. Karen is one of my authors at The Wild Rose Press, and her books are wonderful! They are a fun mix of humor, mystery, cooking, and murder. (Yeah, I said that… :))

Please help me welcome author Karen Whalen, sharing her latest release and the…

10 Moments That Changed My Life”

  • My mother pulling me in the little red wagon to the public library each week before I started kindergarten. I checked out the maximum number of books allowed each time—ten. 
  • My English teacher in high school encouraging me to join the newspaper and yearbook staff. She saw something in me that I was not aware of myself. Many people have attributed great things to teachers who made a difference in their lives. Teachers have impact.
  • Finding my soulmate, marriage and children. Nothing is more fulfilling in life.
  • Moving from Illinois to Colorado. I should have been born in the west because I am a westerner through and through.
  • Landing a paralegal job at a major law firm in Denver. This taught me analytical skills and taking care of details.
  • Joining Toastmasters. This gave me confidence in public speaking and taught the value of an elevator speech (a 30 second, concise, plug for yourself or your book).
  • Receiving a reply to a fan letter I wrote to Erma Bombeck. I have always been a huge Erma Bombeck fan, reading her column and all of her books. Her writing is both profound and humorous.
  • Teaching CLE classes for paralegals. Once I worked my way through Toastmasters, I started teaching day-long seminars for continuing legal education credits. This was an incredible career booster and confidence builder.
  • Submitting my first article to a national paralegal magazine and being asked to write a regular column. At this point I realized writing was something I wanted to do full time and started taking my efforts seriously.
  • Joining a gourmet dinner club group taught me how to host a dinner party, how to set the table and present gourmet dishes, and how to plan an event. I also learned to be daring in trying out new and complex recipes for the first time while hosting 6-8 people for dinner! This became the basis of my dinner club murder mystery series. 

Fun, Karen! Your passion and enjoyment for the dinner club really shows through in your writing. Love the little red wagon story. 🙂 Thank you so much for joining me today!

 

Blurb:

Jane Marsh wants to shake off the empty nest syndrome, plus the notoriety of the death of her first and second husbands, by starting over in a new place. She sells her family home to move to a far northern suburb of Denver. At the same time, Jane’s dinner club is undergoing a transformation, and a new man—a gourmet chef—enters her life. But, things turn sour when, on the day Jane moves into her new home, she discovers a dead body. She cannot feel at home in this town where she’s surrounded by cowboys, horse pastures, and suspects. Not to mention where a murder was committed practically on her doorstep. How can she focus on romance and dinner clubs when one of her new friends—or maybe even her old ones—might be a murderer?

Excerpt*

She slipped outside into the warmth of the early September, blue-sky, Colorado day to check on her puppies sniffing around their new territory in the backyard. Leaning over the deck railing facing the lot to the east, she gazed into the bottom of an open excavation where a basement was being poured. Someone had parked a tractor down in the dirt, and near it a white cowboy hat lay on the ground. A man’s hand stretched toward the hat’s brim. Had someone fallen into the pit?

Jane bounded down the deck stairs and out the wooden gate, only stopping for a moment to secure the latch. She rounded the corner of her new house and rushed to the adjoining lot, pausing near the edge of the concrete that formed the basement’s foundation.

A man was shoved against the corner of the foundation wall. His torso and legs were partly covered with dirt. The cowboy hat concealed the top of his head. His left hand almost touched the brim, as if he were about to take off his hat and say, “Howdy do.” A large manila envelope lay a foot or so away from his other outstretched hand.

On the envelope tall, block letters spelled out: “Jane Marsh—welcome to your new home.”

Buy link(s)

https://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/paperback-books/5110-not-according-to-flan-paperback.html

https://www.amazon.com/According-Flan-Dinner-Murder-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B06ZZLBT2V/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1494433693&sr=1-1&keywords=not+according+to+flan

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/not-according-to-flan-karen-c-whalen/1126256725?ean=2940157538422#

Bio*

Karen C. Whalen is the author of the Dinner Club Murder Mystery series. She worked for many years as a paralegal at a law firm in Denver, Colorado. Karen has been a columnist and regular contributor to The National Paralegal Reporter magazine. She is a member of Sisters in Crime and participates in a local writing group, the Louisville Writers Workshop.

Contact links

FB: https://www.facebook.com/whalenkarenc

Website: http://www.karencwhalen.com/

 

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“10 Moments That Changed My Life” by Judy Ann Davis ~ NEW RELEASE: Four White Roses

Please help me welcome author Judy Ann Davis, sharing her latest release and the…

“10 Moments that Changed My Life”

  1. In my senior year of high school, I was selected as a Rotary Exchange Student to Sweden and spent a year abroad traveling throughout Europe.
  2. After graduating with a journalism and communications degree, I worked for a television (WYOU-TV ) and radio station (WGBI Radio) in Scranton, Pennsylvania, creating commercials and continuity, preparing daily t.v. logs, and learning about the industry.
  3. I married my husband, Scott, and moved to Central Pennsylvania where I worked in education and industry writing technical and public relations materials.
  4. The birth of my first son in the middle of the coldest winter in December was a pleasant defining moment. A major in the Texas Air Guard and HC-130 navigator, he has been deployed five times, but has also managed to garner a degree from Texas A&M Law School.
  5. My birth of my second son on a sweltering day in August, two years later, was another spectacular event. My boomerang kid, a certified teacher and lawyer, is now an Administrative Law Judge for the State of Alaska.
  6. The day my husband presented me with a band saw was utterly awesome. I was able to start my own small woodworking business.
  7. When I received my first check for writing a short story for a literary magazine in Loveland, Colorado, called “Short Stuff for Grown-Ups,” I knew I had a chance at pursuing fiction. I framed the first dollar from that payment.
  8. When my first novel, Red Fox Woman, was accepted for publication in 2010, and was also selected as a finalist in the Best Book Awards from USA Book News as wells a finalist in the International Book Awards, my dream of being a fiction writer became a reality.
  9. Both my husband and I travel a lot with family so far away, but when we took a Viking cruise down the Rhine River, it was like a fairy tale come true. Castles, good food, and German beer!
  10. I sent in my DNA sample to Ancestry.com and received the results last week. My four grandparents emigrated from Poland, but Poland is bordered by seven countries and has been ruled by many other factions and countries over its long history. My results? Eastern European (Polish)…but 2% Finnish!

What a great list…I’m so envious of your Viking cruise. How cool. Thank you for joining me!

Just Released: FOUR WHITE ROSES – Can a wily old ghost help two fracture souls find love again?  A romantic mystery with comedy and paranormal elements!

Blurb:

When widower Rich Redman returns to Pennsylvania with his young daughter to sell his deceased grandmother’s house, he discovers Grandmother Gertie’s final request was for him to find a missing relative and a stash of WWI jewels.

Torrie Larson, single mom, is trying to make her landscape center and flower arranging business succeed while attempting to save the lineage of a rare white rose brought from Austria in the 1900s.

Together, the rich Texas lawyer and poor landscape owner team up to rescue the last rose and fulfill a dead woman’s wishes. But in their search to discover answers to the mysteries plaguing them, will Rich and Torrie also discover love in each other’s arms? Or will a meddling ghost, a pompous banker, and an elusive stray cat get in their way?

Excerpt:

“Okay, the blue shirt with the gray slacks doesn’t make you look as stiff and lawyerly-looking as the white shirt does,” Marlene said. “Too bad you don’t have any softer-colored shirts.” She dangled three other ties in her hand she had brought along with her.

Rich glowered at her. “Lawyerly-looking? Softer colored? Are they even words? All I want to do is not look like an affluent stuffy lawyer with a stick up—”

He stopped and looked over at his small daughter, then continued in an irritated voice. “I want to look dressy, but not straitlaced or smug. You know what I mean.”

“But you are a stuffy lawyer, and it’s no secret your bank accounts won’t bounce, you dolt,” Lulu said with a huff. “I thought you and Torrie were going out as friends.”

He looked at the elderly housekeeper. “We are. But I don’t want her to feel uncomfortable, and I want to feel casual, but well-dressed.”  He picked up a blue and white striped tie and held it to his chest. All three females groaned. He chose a darker blue one and the groans grew louder. He glared at them. “I’ll have you know some of these ties are pure Italian silk and cost a fortune. To some people, neckties are a symbol of success and authority.”

“Then send them back to Rome and let the Pope bury the lifeless-looking things.” Lulu rose. “They look like they should be on a corpse.”

Rich looked at Marlene. “Can you believe I’m paying her to insult me?”

Lulu snorted. “No, Perry Mason, you’re paying me to feed you, do your laundry, and oversee the household. The advice is free.” She headed for the door. “I’m going home, kids. See you in the morning.”

“I can’t wait,” Rich muttered and followed it with a dismal shake of his head.

Lulu paused and offered him a don’t-you-dare-tangle-with-me stare, then looked at Estella with a tender, warm, grandmotherly smile. “Your daddy doesn’t realize the only reason I take his grief is because I love to be with you, doll face. Tomorrow we’re making brownies and Perry Mason here is getting zip, zero, none, nichts, nada.” She headed out the door.

“Stop calling me Perry Mason!” Rich shouted at her retreating back. He heard her cackling laugh as she hustled toward the stairs.

“Okay, Sunshine.”

 

BUY LINK for Four White Roses:   https://www.amazon.com/Four-White-Roses-Judy-Davis-ebook/dp/B06XPBKY7F/

Visit her on:

Her blog: www.judyanndavis.blogspot.com

The web: www.judyanndavis.com

Facebook: Judy Ann Davis Author https://www.facebook.com/JudyAnnDavisAuthor/

Twitter: JudyAnnDavis4   https://twitter.com/JudyAnnDavis4

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/judyanndavis44/

Author Page:

https://www.amazon.com/Judy-Ann-Davis/e/B006GXN502/

Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4353662.Judy_Ann_Davis

Bio:

With a degree in Journalism, Judy Ann Davis has written everything from copy and continuity for radio and television to curricula and technical materials for industry and education.

Over a dozen of her short stories have appeared in various literary and small magazines and anthologies, and have received numerous awards.

When she is not behind a computer, you can find her looking for anything humorous to make her laugh or swinging a golf club where the chuckles are few. She divides her time between Central Pennsylvania and New Smyrna Beach, Florida.

 

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“10 Moments That Changed My Life” by Jean M. Grant ~ NEW RELEASE: A Hundred Kisses

Please help me welcome author Jean M. Grant, sharing her latest release and the…

“10 Moments that Changed My Life”

  1. Thai food and Comedy Improv night and talking in the rain – first date with my now husband of 11 years.
  2. When I saw the tiny flicker of a heartbeat on my oldest son’s ultrasound.
  3. Not passing the Ph.D. candidacy exam in graduate school– which took me on an altered Masters path in Immunology & Microbiology instead.
  4. The mentorship of an elementary school art teacher, who nurtured my creative soul.
  5. Traveling to New Zealand for my honeymoon – my first big trip anywhere– and what an inspiring, breathtaking one! (A trip to Scotland, also equally stunning and fulfilling a lifelong dream of mine, came a few years later).
  6. The phone call – when my son’s teacher called to express a behavior concern which ultimately led down the path of tests, doctors, evaluations…and a high-functioning autism/Asperger’s diagnosis.
  7. More food –this time spicy Japanese – that triggered labor and the birth of my enigmatic, exuberant second son.
  8. My mother’s death from ovarian cancer. I was only 25 at the time.
  9. The loss of my sister a year after my mother, this time to a car accident. She was only 27.
  10. The day an editor at The Wild Rose Press emailed to say, “yes” to give this writer a chance after 19 years of writing/trying/drafting practice novels to become a published author.

Wow, Jean. Such a fascinating list. It’s funny how life-changing moments are almost always a mixture of joy and heartbreak. I’m sorry about your mother and sister, so tragic.

Thank you for sharing with us today!

 

 

Blurb:

1296

Two wedding nights. Two dead husbands.

Deirdre MacCoinneach wishes to understand her unusual ability to sense others’ lifeblood energies…and vows to discover if her gift killed the men she married. Her father’s search for a new and unsuspecting suitor for Deirdre becomes complicated when rumors of witchcraft abound.

Under the façade of a trader, Alasdair Montgomerie travels to Uist with pivotal information for a Claimant seeking the Scottish throne. A ruthless baron hunts him and a dark past haunts him, leaving little room for alliances with a Highland laird or his tempting daughter.

Awestruck when she realizes that her unlikely travel companion is the man from her visions, a man whose thickly veiled emotions are buried beneath his burning lifeblood, Deirdre wonders if he, too, will die in her bed if she follows her father’s orders. Amidst magic, superstition, and ghosts of the past, Alasdair and Deirdre find themselves falling together in a web of secrets and the curse of a hundred kisses… 

Excerpt:

She sensed no colors in the murky, lifeless water, and it was freeing. All breath escaped her. Muted visions passed before her eyes—her mother, her father, Gordon, and Cortland. Just a moment longer, she thought…

Suddenly, a burst of warm light invaded her thoughts as air filled her lungs. Red-hot hands burned her shoulders and ripped her from her icy grave. She breathed life into her body. She coughed, gagging on the change.

Muffled words yelled at her.

Oh, God, so hot. His fingers were like hot pokers. Her head pounded as she slowly returned to the present. Heat radiated from her rescuer. Somebody had pulled her from the water.

“Wh—?”

“Hush, lass. You nearly drowned.”

His voice was as soothing as a warm cup of goat’s milk on a winter’s day. A red-hot glow emanated from his body. Never before had she felt such a strong lifeblood, and it nearly burned her. She struggled in his arms to get free. She blinked, only seeing a blurry form before her. “Release me!”

She splashed and wriggled, and he did as told. She clambered to the shoreline. Numb and shaken, she began to dress. It wasn’t easy as she fumbled with slick fingers to put dry clothes over wet skin. She instantly regretted her naked swim. She pulled on her long-sleeved white chemise first.

She faced the forest, away from her rescuer. He quietly splashed to shore. His lifeblood burned into her back. He wasn’t far behind, but he stopped. She refused to look at him until she was fully clothed, not out of embarrassment of her nudity, but for what had just happened. He released a groan and mumbled under his breath about wet boots. His voice was not one of her father’s soldiers.

When she put the last garment on, her brown wool work kirtle, she squeezed out her sopping hair and swept her hands through the knotty mess. She fastened her belt and tied the lacings up the front of the kirtle. Blood returned to her fingertips, and she regained her composure. Belated awareness struck her, and she leaned down and searched through her bag for her dagger. She spun around.

She gasped as she saw the man sitting on the stone-covered shoreline, his wet boots off. Confusion and the hint of a scowl filled his strong-featured face. She staggered back, caught her heel on a stone, and fell, dropping the dagger. Dirt and pebbles stuck to her wet hands and feet, and she instinctively scrambled away from him.

His glower, iridescent dark blue eyes, and disheveled black hair were not unfamiliar. Staring at her was the man she had seen in her dream—it was the man from the wood.

Buy Links:

Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/Hundred-Kisses-Jean-M-Grant/dp/1509214410

Links on TWRP:

E-book: http://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/all-titles/5014-a-hundred-kisses.html

Paperback: http://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/paperback-books/5070-a-hundred-kisses-paperback.html

 

Bio:

Jean is a scientist, part-time education director, and a mom. She currently resides in Massachusetts and draws from her interests in history, science, the outdoors, and her family for inspiration. She enjoys writing non-fiction articles for family-oriented and travel magazines, and aspires to write children’s books while continuing to write novels. In 2008, she visited the land of her daydreams, Scotland, and it was nothing short of breathtaking. Jean enjoys tending to her flower gardens, tackling the biggest mountains in New England with her husband, and playing with her sons, while daydreaming about the next hero to write about…

 Contact links:

Website: http://www.jeanmgrant.com

Twitter: @JeanGrant05

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jeanmgrantauthor/

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“10 Moments That Changed My Life” by Iris Blobel ~ New Release: New Beginnings

I LOVE the 10 Moments That Changed My Life posts, and we haven’t had one in a while, so I’m pleased to share one from author Iris Blobel…

 

New Beginnings

by Iris Blobel

Thank you, Alicia, for having me on your blog and a big hello from Australia to you and your readers.

Here my 10 moments that have changed my life … in no particular order:

  1. The first “moment” that comes to mind is my move from Germany to Australia. It was scary and such a big step for me. Life here is great, and I don’t regret the decision, but I do miss my family back home.
  2. My wedding, of course, another memorable moment and one that has changed my life. We celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary only recently – such an achievement J
  3. Having children has changed my life, no doubt about it. Suddenly life’s priorities have altered and the love of the two human beings I created is the most important part of my daily life.
  4. My grandma died when I was twenty and for the first time in my life, I had to deal (and cope!) with “death”. It was a hard lesson which took me a long time to come to terms with it.
  5. This one is a recent change of my life – Last November I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I’m still in treatment, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I’m feeling better every day and I’m looking forward to going back to something close to a routine soon again.
  6. After my traineeship at the TV station, I went for a year to the UK. Life changing in a big way … returning not only more mature, but also more confident, and with the idea that there’s more to life than finishing school and start work. I knew then that I wanted to travel the world.
  7. Publishing my first book was a massive event for me. I always considered myself, and probably still do, more a “numbers” person. Writing a book in a second language and have a decent (local!) success changed my life in a sense that I do something I have come to love, something my teacher told me I was useless at. Writing is my escape from routine.
  8. I’ve been presenting the German program at our community radio for a few years now. It’s great and so much fun.
  9. Travelling through Canada and Alaska for three months was one of the highlights as well. I meet my (Australian) husband while on a tour.
  10. And … last but not least, a moment that didn’t necessarily change my life, but one that was hard and might be life changing one day: the day I had to say goodbye to my mother last year not knowing whether I’ll ever see her again.

Oh my, Iris. You have had some experiences. I am sorry about the breast cancer. Thank God you’re improving. Sending good thoughts and prayers your way. Thank you so much for sharing with us today!

BLURB NEW BEGINNINGS

The chance to start life all over with the help of a stranger. 

Twenty-two-year-old Sophie Levesque has been guardian to her eight-year-old sister Mia since their mother’s death a few years ago, and it hasn’t been easy. Luck comes their way when they inherit a small house in Hobart. Problem is, though, they don’t know and have never heard of Clara Bellinger, the testator. Settling into their new life, Sophie is still afraid it’s all a mistake.

Mark O’Connor, attorney in Hobart and the bearer of the good news for Sophie and Mia, curses himself for the lack of information about the testator. However, researching the questions gives him an opportunity to see Sophie again, and the more time he spends with the two, the more he realises that his life is missing something. And it’s not his casual lover Linda.

But then there’s Zach, Sophie’s sexy neighbour from across the road… and a very good friend of Clara’s.

Will unravelling the mystery unravel Sophie and Mark’s promise of a future?

EXCERPT

Sophie Levesque stared at the attorney in front of her, waiting for some answers. She and her little sister, Mia, had been quietly sitting in Mr. O’Connor’s office for more than half an hour, learning about the details of their inheritance.

Once he was finished, silence hung in the air before she asked with raised eyebrows. “Who?”

“Clara Catherine Bellinger.”

Mia leaned closer to her elder sister and gave a soft tug on Sophie’s shirt. “Who is she?”

Sophie shrugged. “I wouldn’t have a clue.” Then turned her attention back on Mr. O’Connor and asked the same thing. “Who is she?”

The handsome attorney on the other side of the massive desk leaned forward and rested his elbows on it before he started to repeat his earlier speech. Although hearing his words, Sophie still found it all very hard to comprehend. Here she was in this old office, furnished with heavy antique oak furniture, the curtains in a pretty shade of aubergine, and the carpet beneath her shoes thick and warm in a matching shade, hearing about an inheritance from someone she’d never even heard of.

Startled by the subtle sound of the clock chiming across the road, Sophie’s gaze turned to the window, where she saw the post office building across the road. It looked impressive and old. It’d been only a few hours since they’d arrived in Hobart, the most southern capital in Australia, but she already liked it. A lot more than Sydney, the place she’d lived all her life.

Hauled back from her thoughts, she heard Mr. O’Connor say, “I believe she was a distant relative of yours. I’m afraid I don’t have any further details.”

Sophie arched an eyebrow in disbelief, doubting the accuracy of it all. Not only did she try not to question his competence as a lawyer, but she also hoped it wasn’t a dreadful misunderstanding.

With a slight shrug of her shoulder, she asked, “Why not?”

He met her gaze steadily. “Pardon me?”

Sitting up straight, she repeated, “Why not? Why aren’t there any further details?”

He rubbed his chin with his fingers, his unease now obvious, and although she almost felt sorry for him, she tried not to care. She needed to know more. And not just the what, but why and who as well.

 

PURCHASE LINKS:

AMAZON US: http://amzn.to/2a1BSJ7

AMAZON UK: http://amzn.to/29FTb4B

AMAZON AU: http://amzn.to/2a9yKgW

 

 

BIO:

Iris Blobel was born and raised in Germany and only immigrated to Australia in the late 1990s. Having had the travel bug most of her life, Iris spent quite some time living in Scotland, London, as well as Canada where she met her husband. Her love for putting her stories onto paper has only emerged recently, but now her laptop is a constant companion.

Iris resides west of Melbourne with her husband and her two beautiful daughters.

Next to her job at a private school, she also presents a German Program at the local Community Radio.

 

Social Media Links:

Click here to subscribe to Iris’ Newsletter

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/IrisBlobel

Twitter: https://twitter.com/_iris_b

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4067254.Iris_Blobel

Instagram: https:/www.instagram.com/iris_blobel/

 

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Filed under 10 Moments that Changed My Life, Author Blog Post, New Release