At the 2020 Winter Blogfest

Today, I’m participating in the Winter Blogfest, sponsored by Long and Short Reviews. In addition to sharing my latest release, I have included a post entitled, “Embracing Winter.”

Drop by and leave a comment. You could win a free ebook of No More Secrets.

Find out more here.


Book Blast: Secret Angel

I’m happy to welcome bestselling author Cherry Christensen. Today, Cherry shares Secret Angel, Book 1 in the Secret Series.

Blurb

Doctoral student Hannah Wagganer has big dreams of leaving her hometown of Glen Arbor behind to teach at a large university. That is, until Jasper Morgan, the new mail carrier, arrives in town. Not only does he send Hannah’s heart racing, but he creates an instant bond with her cat, Jingles.

While Hannah is busy preparing for the church’s candlelight Christmas Eve service and running the family store, she keeps bumping into Jasper—right in front of the prying eyes of the locals, who suspect there’s more going on than business as usual.

But then, a series of unexpected blessings occurs that changes the town’s focus: first, an anonymous donor pays to have the church furnace repaired, and then other locals suddenly find solutions to their problems. Is it coincidental, or the work of a secret angel?

Excerpt

“The meal was wonderful, and so was the company,” Jasper answered, turning briefly to catch Hannah’s eye.

“Glad to hear,” Sabela said, grinning. “Be right back.”

Hannah rolled her eyes. “Now you’ve gone and done it. We’ll be the talk of the town by tomorrow morning.”

“That’s one time I won’t mind being in the spotlight.”

The heat in his voice melted her insides to mush. “You’re crazy.”

“Uh-oh,” Sabela said, approaching their table. “I bet you weren’t supposed to figure that out until he had you completely under his spell.” She handed him the credit card and winked at Hannah. “Thank you and come back soon.”

Hannah laughed and put on her coat. Exiting the restaurant, frigid air smacked her cheeks as the door closed behind them. She pinched her collar tighter, stepping beside Jasper on the way back to the shop.

“I’m sorry if I embarrassed you in there,” he said, kicking a chunk of ice with the toe of his boot.

“It isn’t the first time.” She listened to the faint sound of a snow blower off in the distance, remembering other occasions when Sabela instigated rumors about Hannah’s love life. She quirked a smile, realizing fantasy was more gossip-worthy than reality, and perhaps Sabela’s meddling would somehow prove beneficial in the future.

“Is that a good smile or an ‘I’m plotting my revenge on him’ smile?”

She hastened her pace as Deer Crossings came into view. “I’ll never tell.”

“Hey, wait,” Jasper called out, his footsteps stomping behind her. “That’s not reassuring at all.”

buynow

Note: Secret Angel is regularly priced at $0.99. It’s the first book in my Secret Series.

Author Bio and Links

Cherry resides in the Mitten State with her husband of 19 years and a tabby cat named Caden. A true Michigander, she points at the palm of her right hand when telling people where she lives, drinks Vernors ginger ale when she’s under the weather, wears shorts and a sweatshirt at the same time, and measures distance in minutes, not miles. She also cheers for her favorite football team, the Michigan Wolverines. Go Blue!

A confirmed night owl, Cherry wholeheartedly agrees with whoever said, “I could be a morning person, if morning happened around noon.” It’s no surprise then she prefers to write in the evening. She’s a bit of a pantser writer, meaning she dreams up stories without using an outline, so every day is an exciting adventure as she waits to see where the characters lead her next!

A lifelong avid reader, Cherry turned to writing as a creative outlet. Drawing partly from her own experiences, and partly from her wild imagination, she weaves romantic tales with a smidgen of religion and a hint of mystery. Cherry’s first novel, The Fearful Heart, debuted in 2014, and she has never looked back. She continues to grow as an author, learning more about the writing craft with each book.

Facebook | BookBub | Goodreads | Pinterest

Giveaway

Cherry Christensen will be awarding a $10 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour. Find out more here.

Follow Cherry on the rest of her Goddess Fish tour here.


Strive for Balance

On Wednesdays, I share posts, fables, songs, poems, quotations, TEDx Talks, cartoons, and books that have inspired and motivated me on my writing journey. I hope these posts will give writers, artists, and other creatives a mid-week boost.

Years ago, a friend shared this thought-provoking reflection. I find it even more relevant during these challenging times.

Imagine life as a game in which you are juggling five balls in the air. You name them – work, family, health, friends, and spirit – and you’re keeping all of these in the air. You will soon understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back.

But the other four balls – family, health, friends, and spirit – are made of glass. If you drop one of these, they will be irrevocably scuffed, marked, nicked, damaged, or even shattered. They will never be the same.

You must understand that and strive for balance in your life.

Source: Brian Dyson, CEO of Coca-Cola Enterprises


On Tour with Goddess Fish – Day 10

It’s my tenth Monday on tour with Goddess Fish.

I’m visiting the Seven Troublesome Sisters’ blog and chatting about the main characters in No More Secrets. I’m also including a blurb, excerpt, and buy links.

Stop by and visit for a while. Remember to scroll down and enter the Rafflecopter giveaway. You could win a $20 Amazon gift card.

Find out more here.


The Four Tendencies for Writers

Earlier this month, I participated in a WFWA (Women’s Fiction Writers Association) webinar with writer Brigitte Russell. An educator, Brigitte has a PhD in history and has taught at both K-12 and post-secondary levels. In her work for the New Mexico Public Education Department, she has also delivered numerous in-person and webinar trainings for teachers and school administrators.

I was thrilled to discover that the webinar was based on the New York Times bestselling book, The Four Tendencies, by Gretchen Rubin. A longtime fan, I have also read Better Than Before, Happier at Home, and The Happiness Project.

Continue reading on the Soul Mate Authors blog.


My Favorite Holiday Movies

I’m happy to welcome back award-winning author Vicki Batman. Today, Vicki shares her favorite holiday movies and new release, Sommerville Holidays Too.

Here’s Vicki!

During the holiday season, if a holiday movie is on TV, I’ll watch. I can’t say the number of times I’ve seen some of them. They are a part of me and my holiday season as much as buying a Christmas tree, baking goodies, and partying with friends and family.

So here goes my top ten list of My Favorite Holiday Movies:

White Christmas –I have three sisters and this is a favorite of ours because of the “Sisters” number. The best time is when a lot of my family is together to watch this one, and we sing all the songs.

Stalag 17 – Why a WW2 movie set in a German prisoner of war camp? Because it is set on Christmas Day. And William Holden is incredible in it.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas – Seriously, doesn’t your heart melt when the Grinch’s heart grows three sizes that day?

Charlie Brown Christmas – I LOVE the part when Charlie Brown discovers the beautiful little tree, jumps up and down, and the friends sing “Hark, the Herald Angels Sing.” I have to sing too.

Millions – Came out years ago. When England is switching their currency to Euros, two brothers discover a bag of pounds. There is a beautiful scene when they see their late mother who is on her way to sainthood.

Love Actually – I’ve actually heard people say they aren’t fond of it, but I love it. The guy with the placards, the rock star, the writer, and many more find and lose love at Christmas. Great cast.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer – I remember when this one released and being entranced. And yes, I love the songs, too.

The Bishop’s Wife – classic Cary Grant as an angel, helping a minister find his way at Christmas time.

Star in the Night – This one is a must see! A Western take on the Nativity Story. It’s short and tender and won an Oscar.

While You Were Sleeping – an adorable film with Sandra Bullock and Bill Pullman who find love during the holidays.

I love to write short stories and have written many holiday ones. I’m happy to share my latest—Sommerville Holidays Too, three delightful tales full of fun and forever possibilities.

Blurb

Love blossoms in the small town of Sommerville in these heartwarming holiday tales, filled with fun and forever possibilities.

The Great Fruitcake Bake-off: When five-time baking champion Samantha Greene teams up with new neighbor, Dixon Roberts, for The Great Fruitcake Bake-off, they discover baking a prize-winning entry is complicated, bad guys are plotting to take the crown, and first prize isn’t just about a ribbon.

Christmas Romeo: When two feuding co-workers win Christmas river cruises at the company holiday party, they discover each other isn’t so bad after all.

Twinkle Lights: When the owner of a Christmas tree stand, which benefits the children’s hospital, has a heart attack, a do-gooder and a reformed high school delinquent turned lawyer show their holiday spirit and staff the business. The twosome meet the challenges of running the establishment and begin to fall for each other. Yet, when the revenue goes missing, fingers are pointed.

buynow

Author Bio and Links

Vicki Batman has sold many romantic comedy works to magazines, several publishers, and, most recently, three humorous romantic mysteries. Along the way, she has picked up awards and bestsellers. Avid Jazzerciser. Handbag lover. Mahjong player. Yoga practitioner. Movie fan. Book devourer. Chocoholic. Best Mom ever. And adores Handsome Hubby. Funny, sweet, and quirky, Vicki’s latest stories are full of her hallmark humor and romance and will delight all readers.

Website & Newsletter | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Author Central | Goodreads | Bookbub | MeWe | Word by Word

See Your True Reflection

On Wednesdays, I share posts, fables, songs, poems, quotations, TEDx Talks, cartoons, and books that have inspired and motivated me on my writing journey. I hope these posts will give writers, artists, and other creatives a mid-week boost.

I’m reading and thoroughly enjoying Think Like a Monk by Jay Shetty. Here’s one of my favorite passages:

Gauranga Das offered me a beautiful metaphor to illustrate the external influences that obscure our true selves.

We are in a storeroom, lined with unused books and boxes full of artifacts. Unlike the rest of the ashram, which is always tidy and well swept, this place is dusty and draped in cobwebs. The senior monk leads me up to a mirror and says, “What can you see?”

Through the thick layer of dust, I can’t even see my reflection. I say as much, and the monk nods. Then he wipes the arm of his robe across the glass. A cloud of dust puffs into my face, stinging my eyes and filling my throat.

He says, “Your identity is a mirror covered with dust. When you first look in the mirror, the truth of who you are and what you value is obscured. Clearing it may not be pleasant, but only when the dust is gone can you see your true reflection.”

Source: Think Like a Monk, pp. 7-8.


Happy Bodhi Day!

Today, we celebrate the transformation of Siddhartha Gautama into the spiritual leader we know as the Buddha.

A bit of history…

Born a prince in Nepal, Siddhartha lived a comfortable and sheltered life. While he could easily have enjoyed those circumstances, he traveled about the country witnessing the misery of old age, sickness, and suffering. Profoundly affected, he chose to leave his palatial home and seek the meaning of life.

He spent six years living the life of an aesthetic and served six teachers. Still unsatisfied, he tried different disciplines, among them surviving by eating only one grain of rice each day.

Frustrated, he vowed to sit under the Bodhi tree until he had answers. After fasting and meditating for an entire week, he woke up on the morning of the eighth day and experienced enlightenment. Those realizations became the basis of modern-day Buddhism.

Here are ten of my favorite quotes from the Buddha…

Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth.

The mind is everything. What you think you become.

You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.

Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.

We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.

Health is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth, faithfulness the best relationship.

Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.

All that we are is the result of what we have thought.

We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make the world.

Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.


10 Interesting Facts About The Earl’s Treasure

I’m happy to welcome Soul Mate author, Nancy Lee Badger. Today, Nancy shares ten interesting facts about her new release, The Earl’s Treasure.

Here’s Nancy!

1 This is the official release of my long-awaited book The Earl’s Treasure. I say Long-awaited because it took me many years to write. I put the story aside several times while I published others, then came back to it and decided it had to be shared with my readers.

2 Why did it take so long, you ask? I traveled to conferences, took on presidency of my local Romance Writers of America chapter, moved Mom to NC from Florida, published several paranormal novels with Soul Mate Publishing, worked for my county’s board of elections, and…so far, I have survived a pandemic.

3 Behind the scenes: my editor, Kathy Rothenberger, got the story clean enough for me to shop it at two conferences. It still needed work, so my mother took a look and made suggestions. Dear hubby helped with the Scottish side, and author Betty Bolte was kind enough to give it a read and make suggestions. It takes a village, they say!

4 Why this hero? Stone is a second son who bravely fought against Napoleon and spent some time as a spy. Wounded, he heads home when word arrives that his brother has died. Eric, our second son, fought for America while in Iraq but we were extremely fortunate that he came home to us unscathed. (His brother is fine, too)

5 What irks Stone? His mother’s ancestry. His English father taught him to despise everything Scottish. Check out what happens when a treasure hunt sends him to Scotland and he ends up in a kilt!

6 Who is Adele? She is a childhood friend of my hero. Ten years have passed since they kissed. Why they parted, why he disappeared from her life, and how he reacts when he finds out she married and was recently widowed brings surprises.

7 Why ‘Treasure Tales’ for my series’ name? A treasure is at the heart of the story, and I throw in hints of suspense, concerning things that go missing from Adele’s home. When a man tries to abduct her from the ball, she and Stone meet up once again. Adventure ensues!

8 Horses rule! I love horses and Stone’s war horse, Satan, plays a pivoting role. He saves the day in many ways. Another animal is shot to death, which was hard to write, but necessary.

9 Why do I love to set stories in Scotland? Why not?

10 The real answer to why I set this book partially in Scotland: This is my 30th romance and locating most of the action in Scotland is due to my love of that country. I have volunteered at the New Hampshire Highlands Games for over 25 years with family, but only recently discovered I am partially of Scottish descent. Ever since I wrote a book called Dragon’s Curse many years ago, I found the urge to write other Scottish historical paranormal novels. This book is not paranormal. Instead, it is a spicy romance based upon a mysterious treasure.

A Short Blurb

After Stone is wounded and thrust into an earldom, and Adele is widowed by an abusive husband, these star-crossed childhood friends meet at an English country ball, escape a kidnapper searching for a treasure, and depart for Scotland ahead of those intent on killing anyone in their way.

Excerpt from The Earl’s Treasure

“It’s up to me now,” Stone said to the horses. Their ears flicked back, as if listening. When Adele’s beauty shimmered in his head, the thought of making babies with her rose to a fever pitch, then fell just as fast. In order to beget the next earl he needed a nubile young innocent, not a barren, beautiful widow of twenty-six.

He sighed, then spied the peaked roofs of Gretna. Squeezing his fists until his knuckles hurt, he cursed. “Dear Lord! I am back in Scotland!”
Snow glistened on the thatched roofs, the village blacksmith’s hammer clanged, and the acrid scent of smoke made him cough. He steered the horses to an inn where they would stop for their comfort, then head to an area just north of town to eat the luncheon Sadie had packed for them. After he pulled on the reins to command the horses to stop he bounded to the ground, jarring his knees. Straightening, he rolled his aching shoulders. The one wounded in battle burned, as if the bullet remained deep in his flesh. A young lad appeared and gathered up the reins of their horses.

“Water them, but leave them hitched. We are not staying long.”

“Aye, my lord. Yer not getting’ hitched?” He chuckled at his own use of the slang word for being married over the anvil.

“No, lad.” He had tied his stallion to the back of the coach. “Don’t forget this one, lad, but be wary of his teeth.”

He opened the coach door and handed Adele down, with her eyes red-rimmed, and her steps unsteady. They entered the inn and she headed to the lady’s retiring room. The innkeeper recognized Stone which surprise him since he hadn’t been around since before he left for Eton.

“Sure as the day is half-past I recognize our Cora’s little lad,” the man said.

Stone pursed his lips, holding back the urge to tell the man what he could do with his statement. He never thought he looked anything like his Scottish mother, which seemed a blessing. Now, he wanted to have a drink, empty his bladder, and get back on the road.

“Yes, you have the right of it. Been ages since I visited Castle Bradan.”

“I’m sure ye had yer reasons, but the laird will love seeing ye.” The innkeeper poured whisky into a glass and set it in front of Stone.

Gingerly moving his foot, assured the gem rested between the leather and his wool stockings, he gulped the wee dram of aged Scottish whisky and awaited Adele. When she returned, he ordered her a tankard of spiced cider.

“Dear Lord!” the innkeeper said, “Is this little Adele Hartwell from the Glen House?”

“Aye, ’twas my name when a girl at da’s home. He passed away years ago, after I moved to Longtown.”

“Over yon border? Aye, I believe I heard telling of a baron winning yer hand.”

Stone marched away and took care of his personal needs while Adele stayed safe inside the inn with people she knew.

Let them reminisce about a life I no longer cherish.

Buy Links

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AUS

SPECIAL EBOOK PRICING NOW THROUGH DECEMBER 7TH!

What’s Next?

I hope to write several other books that feature secondary characters from this book. I recently released a tie-in story titled Love, Hamish. Find out how to get this novella FREE HERE.

More About the Author

Nancy Lee Badger grew up in Huntington on New York’s Long Island. After attending Plymouth State, in New Hampshire, she earned a Bachelor of Science degree and met and married her college sweetheart. They raised two handsome sons in Rumney, New Hampshire while dreaming of being a writer. When the children had left the nest, and shoveling snow became a chore, she retired from her satisfying job as a 911 Emergency Medical Dispatcher and moved to North Carolina, where she writes full-time.

Nancy is a member of Romance Writers of America, Heart of Carolina Romance Writers, Fantasy-Futuristic & Paranormal Romance Writers, and the Triangle Association of Freelancers. She finds story ideas in the most unusual places. Connect with her here:

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Amazon Author Page | Goodreads