Book Blast: Spring at the Little Duck Pond Cafe

I’m happy to welcome author Rosie Green. Today, Rosie shares Spring at the Little Duck Cafe, Book 1 in the Little Duck Pond Cafe Series.


Fleeing from a romance gone wrong, Ellie Farmer arrives in the pretty village of Sunnybrook, hoping for a brand new start that most definitely does not include love!

Following an unscheduled soak in the village duck pond, she meets Sylvia, who runs the Little Duck Pond Cafe. Renting the flat above the cafe seems like the answer to Ellie’s prayers. It’s only for six months, which will give her time to sort out her life, far away from cheating boyfriend Richard.

But is running away from your past ever really the answer?

Clashing with the mysterious and brooding Zak Chamberlain, an author with a bad case of writer’s block, is definitely not what Ellie needs right now. And then there’s Sylvia, who’s clinging so hard to her past, she’s in danger of losing the quaint but run-down cafe altogether.

Can Ellie find the answers she desperately needs in Sunnybrook? And will she be able to help save Sylvia’s Little Duck Pond Cafe from closure?


I have never climbed a tree in my life.

But I suppose there’s a first time for everything.

It’s a gaspingly cold mid-January morning with an ice-blue sky overhead – not exactly the ideal conditions in which to be lurking on the pavement outside a stranger’s house, nervously eyeing up the oak tree in their garden.

Camera gripped in my freezing hands, I stamp my feet and blow out misty breath as I psyche myself up to be bold. I’ve driven sixty miles from Newtown, where I live, to the pretty, chocolate-box village of Sunnybrook in Surrey – with the ultimate goal of climbing this very tree and taking photos of the view from up there.

The tree is almost exactly how I pictured it in my imagination – old and gnarled with broad, evenly-spaced branches. My eye homes in on one branch in particular. It reaches out to the left, a little over six feet from the ground; the perfect place to sit and gaze out over the village green and the duck pond. (As I knew it would be.)

Tears fill my eyes. But I’m smiling, too.

It’s all in a good cause.

Stop dithering and just do it!

When I push it open, the garden gate swings inwards without creaking and the windows remain blank. I drop my bag by the gate and head for the tree.

It’s amazing how fear can give you almost super-human powers. Under normal circumstances, I’d need someone to give me a bunk-up into this tree. But today, with Adrenalin pumping through my system, I manage to swing myself up there with no problems at all . . .

Amazon (US) | Amazon (Canada) | Amazon (UK) | Amazon (Australia)

*Readers will be able to read the whole series on Kindle Unlimited.

Author Bio and Links

Rosie has been scribbling stories ever since she was little.

Back then, they were rip-roaring adventure tales with a young heroine in perilous danger of falling off a cliff or being tied up by ‘the baddies’.

Thankfully, Rosie has moved on somewhat, and now much prefers to write romantic comedies that melt your heart and make you smile, with really not much perilous danger at all – unless you count the heroine losing her heart in love.

Spring at the Little Duck Pond Café is the first in Rosie’s brand new series of novellas centred around life in a village café. Each novella is a ‘stand-alone’ read.

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Rosie Green will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour. Find out more here.

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

Spotlight on The Rebound Effect

I’m happy to welcome author Linda Griffin. Today, Linda shares her latest release, The Rebound Effect.

In the small town of Cougar, struggling single mother and veterinary assistant Teresa Lansing is still bruised from a failed relationship when Frank McAllister sweeps her off her feet.

Frank is a big-city SWAT officer who moved to Cougar only four months ago. He’s handsome, charming, forceful, very sexy, and a bit mysterious. He had his eye on Teresa even before they met and is pushing for a serious relationship right away.

Teresa finds his intense courtship flattering, and the sex is fabulous, but she doesn’t want her deaf six-year-old son to be hurt again. Her former fiancé cheated on her when he got drunk after being unjustly fired, but he loves her and her son, and the whirlwind romance is complicated by his efforts to win Teresa back.
And then there’s the matter of the bodies buried at Big Devil Creek…

“Frank!” she cried, laughing, but a little scared—what if he dropped her? He was strong, but she wasn’t very light. He didn’t drop her—or he did, but deliberately, from about an inch above the cool, clean sheets of his bed. They were both laughing, and he started kissing her randomly, here and there. This can be a lot of fun, she told herself. Enjoy it while it lasts. “Remember when you asked if it was too soon for me to date?” she asked.

“Yeah, and you said it depended on the definition.”

“It turns out it was too soon,” she said, “and now it’s too late.”

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I was born and raised in San Diego, California and earned a BA in English from San Diego State University and an MLS from UCLA. I began my career as a reference and collection development librarian in the Art and Music Section of the San Diego Public Library and then transferred to the Literature and Languages Section, where I had the pleasure of managing the Central Library’s Fiction collection and initiating fiction order lists for the entire library system. Although I also enjoy reading biography, memoir, and history, fiction remains my first love. In addition to the three R’s–reading, writing, and research–I enjoy Scrabble, movies, and travel.

My earliest ambition was to be a “book maker” and I wrote my first story, “Judy and the Fairies,” with a plot stolen from a comic book, at the age of six. I broke into print in college with a story in the San Diego State University literary journal, The Phoenix, but most of my magazine publications came after I left the library to spend more time on my writing.

My stories have been published in numerous journals, including Eclectica, The Binnacle, The Nassau Review, Orbis, Thema Literary Journal, and forthcoming in Avalon Literary Review, and and in the anthologies Short Story America, Vol. 2 and The Captive and the Dead. Four stories, including two as yet unpublished, received honorable mention in the Short Story America Prize for Short Fiction contests.

Member of RWA and Authors Guild

Website * Facebook – Author Page * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram * Pinterest * Bookbub * Amazon * Goodreads

Linda Griffin is offering a $25 Amazon gift card in a Rafflecopter giveaway. Find out more here.

Follow Linda on the rest of her Silver Dagger tour here.

Spotlight on M. S. Spencer

I’m happy to welcome multi-published author M. S. Spencer. Today, Meredith shares her writing journey and latest release Orion’s Foot.

Here’s Meredith!

Although I’ve lived and traveled in five continents, I spent thirty years mostly in Washington, D.C. as a librarian, Congressional staff assistant, speechwriter, editor, non-profit director, and parent. I hold a BA from Vassar College, a Diploma in Arabic Studies from the American University in Cairo, and Masters in Anthropology and in Library Science from the University of Chicago. Once I escaped academia (for which my mother never forgave me) I worked for the U.S. Senate, the U.S. Department of the Interior, in several library systems, both public and academic, and at the Torpedo Factory Art Center in Alexandria, Virginia. I now divide my time between the Gulf Coast of Florida and a tiny village in Maine. All this experience has insinuated itself into my books.

Although I’ve been writing all my life (including the novel that sat in a drawer until my husband inadvertently threw it out), my first novel was published in 2009. Since then, I’ve released twelve more romantic suspense or murder mystery novels, with two more on the way. I had my share of rejection slips, but my luck changed when an accessions editor who—even though she rejected the manuscript—gave me invaluable editing advice. I took it to heart and Lost in His Arms was accepted on the next submission. After the requisite shriek of joy, I got down to work. As many authors have discovered, the validation a signed contract brings is all you need to keep writing.

Below is an introduction to my latest book, Orion’s Foot: Myth, Mystery, and Romance in the Amazon.

Monsters and mystery lurk deep in the Amazon—a tale of passion and obsession.


Petra Steele is wallowing in self-pity after being dumped at the altar, when her brother Nick invites her to come to the Peruvian Amazon. Before she even sets her suitcase down, she’s confronted with a murder victim. In a research station peopled with a quirky assortment of scientists, she is drawn to Emory Andrews, a gruff, big man with a secret past. That is, until his beautiful ex-wife shows up. More murders, more secrets, more mysteries ensue, all in the deeply romantic, sizzling jungle.

Excerpt: Lure of the Amazon

“I can see why you became a librarian.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“You want to put everything into neat categories.”

“And what’s so wrong with that?”

He pulled her to him. “Because I don’t fit in a neat category, and neither do you.”

She grinned but pushed him off. “You’re saying I’m special?”

“Yes. And so is every other creature on the planet.” He kissed her hand. “However, if it will make you happy, I’ll put you in the class Mammalia, order primates, family Hominidae, genus Homo, and species…let’s call it bibliothecarius. And leave you there. Not very romantic, but rational.”

Heaven forbid he should be romantic. She shrugged off the touch of melancholy. “They’re waiting for me.”

He grew serious. “Be very careful. Something out there is unhappy with us.”

“I will.”

The others waited in the boat. “Where have you been?”

“Getting last-minute instructions from Emory.”

Denys’s eyes narrowed. “Like what?”

Petra’s hand went unconsciously to her top button.

She held up Emory’s phone. “And to record any bird sounds we hear.”

Aguirre spat. “The hoatzin are easy—they sound like feral swine.”

Nick tossed the line onto the dock. “I don’t think we need to go by their calls—I hear you can smell ’em a mile away. It’s like passing a dairy farm on a sultry summer afternoon.”

“It’s true. That’s why we call them stinkbirds.” Winston took the tiller, and they headed north. A few miles up, the Pacaya fed into the Amazon proper. As it had the first time Petra came down from Iquitos, the vastness of the channel awed her. The water—though not quite as silty as its tributary—still ran olive brown, giving the impression that the river carried a bit of everything in its currents: plants, animals, diseases and their cures, all the colors of the spectrum. Even the dreams of explorers were lifted and propelled ever deeper into the jungle on the mighty Amazon.

Explorers. That’s where I heard the name Aguirre! Let me see…a movie…that’s right. It was an old movie—black and white—about a Spanish explorer. Aguirre—Wrath of God. A conquistador named Aguirre had gone to Peru with a band of men to search for the lost cities of gold. Instead they dealt with hostile natives, swarms of mosquitoes, and carnivorous caimans. As his followers fell away—dead of fever, poisoned arrows, or predators—he soldiered on, clinging to a raft on the river and hurling invectives at his god.

She looked at the fellow’s namesake. His sharp, black eyes were riveted on the shoreline, his hawk-like nose raised as if waiting to catch the scent of his quarry. His body was taut, and his hands clenched the rail, the knuckles white. He is driven. A true scholar? Or a madman?

Buy Links

Wild Rose Press | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | iTunes | KOBO | Google Play | Indigo | Indie-bound | Walmart

My author page at Amazon lists all thirteen novels:

Where to find M. S. Spencer…

Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest | Instagram | LinkedIn | Bookbub

10 Authors on my Keeper Shelf

I’m happy to welcome award-winning author Helen Johannes. Today, Helen shares ten of her favorite authors and her latest release, Lord of Druemarwin.

Here’s Helen!

Ten Authors on my Keeper Shelf—in no particular order—and what makes me return again and again to their work…

#1 – Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Breathing Room, First Lady, It Had to Be You, etc. – Complex, fully realized characters whose sometimes wildly inappropriate actions are always properly and expertly motivated and who have a deep and authentic backstory.

#2 – Deborah Crombie, Duncan Kincaid, Gemma James (A Share in Death, Bitter Feast, etc.) series – Careful world-building, engaging characters that have become a family, and seamless interweaving of past and present so that the anatomy of a crime can be traced to the root cause.

#3 – Elizabeth Peters, The Amelia Peabody mysteries – The creation of characters, relationships, and settings sufficient to sustain a thoroughly fascinating series set during the archeological heyday in Egypt.

#4 – Rick Riordan, Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, Heroes of Olympus series, Magnus Chase series, etc. – Can’t-put-it-down pacing, humor, wildly imaginative world-building, great characters whose strengths are also their flaws, and—not to be forgotten—terrific chapter titles.

#5 – Jennifer Crusie, Faking It, Welcome to Temptation, Agnes and the Hitman, etc. – Fascinatingly flawed characters who fail at love at first but keep trying—in often hilarious ways—until they get it right.

#6 – Louise Penny, Inspector Gamache/Three Pines series – Amazing ability to lure the reader into a story with apparently ordinary words that nonetheless resonate and make the reader care and care deeply about these characters.

#7 – Janet Evanovich, Stephanie Plum series – Humor, pacing, snappy sentences, an unmistakable voice, and something never fails to explode.

#8 – JRR Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings – Incredible world-building, vast scope, great and memorable characters, and a mind-blowing ability to weave all the threads of an enormous plot together over three epic books.

#9 – Jayne Ann Krentz/Amanda Quick – Hook openings, flawed but immediately engaging characters who find a way to confront their demons and heal their wounds, effective dialogue, and fast pace.

#10 – Dick Francis – Spare, tight writing, intense action scenes, moral conundrums realistically handled.

Give me great characters and a strong sense of place, throw in some action, humor, and a mystery to solve or crisis to avert, and I’m likely to pick up your book. And because these elements please me as a reader, I try my best to incorporate them into my own writing. Well, except for the chapter titles; I bow to others’ greatness there.

*************LORD OF DRUEMARWIN*************

PAGES FROM THE HEART Winner in Fantasy Romance

Tag line: In a world of lies and betrayal, can they trust each other?


Lady Raell can fight, ride, and argue politics as well as her brothers. Only being mistress of her father’s household keeps her in skirts. In Naed, the new Lord of Druemarwin, she has found devotion, a kindred spirit, and a marriage promise. But when a forgotten and unwanted betrothal comes to light, she has no choice but to run.

Amidst sweeping revolution, Naed must rally his people, fend off assassination attempts, and fight against claims he’s a traitor. Then he discovers everything about his lineage and family is a lie. And his beloved belongs to another.

With lives and a kingdom at stake, Raell and Naed must find a way to protect the innocent and save their love.


“Raell, now is not the time—”

Aye, it wasn’t. They stood in torchlight on an open parapet while assassins stalked them, but this might be her only chance to reach him across that precipice he’d thrown up between them, to secure the future they were meant to share.

“Does my honor mean naught? When weighed with D’nalian honor, is mine lesser because ‘tis a woman’s honor? Or because ‘tis a Tolemak’s honor? Be honest and tell me that.”

The world had gone silent; Raell could hear nothing over the rush of blood in her ears, the terrible heavy beats of her heart while she waited, dizzy with fear, breathless with longing, for the man she loved to respond with a word, a look, even a blink. Even a shift of his gaze she’d take as a sign he’d at least heard, mayhap begun to consider—

“Yes, be honest, Lord Naed,” said a voice she’d heard but once, a voice that raised all the fine hairs on her body and made her innards contract into a cold, tight knot. “Tell us both how much honor means to a bastard who’s betrayed his countrymen and his blood.”

Buy Links

Amazon | Nook

Author Bio

Helen C. Johannes writes award-winning fantasy romance inspired by the fairy tales she grew up reading and the amazing historical places she’s visited in England, Ireland, Scotland and Germany. She writes tales of adventure and romance in fully realized worlds sprung from pure imagination and a lifelong interest in history, culture, and literature. Warriors on horseback, women who refuse to sit idly at home, and passion that cannot be denied or outrun—that’s what readers will find in her books.

Other Books: The Prince of Val-Feyridge | Bloodstone

Where to find Helen…

Blog | Author Central | Goodreads | BookBub | Email

I Have an Amazing Life Ahead of Me!

I’m happy to welcome award-winning romance author Peggy Jaeger. Today, Peggy shares her writing journey and new release, Today, Tomorrow, Always.

Here’s Peggy!

Thank you so much, Joanne, for hosting me on your wonderful blog today.

Writing careers are as varied and different and plentiful as there are stars in the night sky. Writers come to the craft from every direction, at every time in life, and through all avenues, myself no different. I was a lifelong diarist and non-fiction writer before I ever got a fiction book published by a traditional publisher. I had a great deal of personal and professional success with published articles on the nursing profession during my time as a registered nurse, a head nurse, and a nursing care coordinator, but nothing in the fiction arena.

From a career in nursing I entered another field in my thirties as an ophthalmic technician and worked as such for over 20 years. In that time frame I also had many trade articles on contact lenses, kids with contact lenses and the elderly wearing contact lenses all published in various journals and magazines of optometry and nursing.

In my fifties, while undergoing severe menopause insomnia, I decided to start writing a story that had been swimming around in my head for several years. That little story, written during the hours of 1 am and 4 am every day for 3 months, became the first book I ever had published.

That was 2015 and four years on, I’ve never looked back. With the release of my two newest books, TODAY, TOMORROW, ALWAYS ( 12.4.19) and A PRIDE OF BROTHERS: RICK (1.13.20) I’m up to 20 published works and all but one are from traditional publishers.

I’m 59 and looking forward to what my life is going to be like in my 60’s. If it’s anything as rewarding as my first 5 decades were, then I have an amazing life ahead of me!


Lawyer Cathleen O’Dowd wants to break free from her boring image. Widowed young, she’s toed the good-girl line but now wants a little fun and laughter in her days…and nights. Living in a small town, though, she can’t do anything that would tarnish her professional reputation.

Mac Frayne’s tragic past has turned him into a sullen loner. In town to write a book on the city’s founder, his plan is to get it done, then head home to his solitary existence.

When circumstances force them to work together, their opposing personalities clash, but the sexual attraction between them is palpable.

Can a simple affair with an end date be just the thing to brighten up their lives?


His expression changed from wide-eyed with excitement to something entirely different. Something deep and dark and—gulp—wild.

He repeated my name, and before I could blink, a pair of strong arms wrapped around my waist and a torso I knew was as solid and defined as a redwood tree flattened against the front of me.

He dipped his head, those dreamy eyes dark now with desire, and zeroed in on my own like a laser pointer. Hypnotized by the naked need facing me, I took a breath—a physical and a mental one—and pushed up on my unshod toes until my lips pressed against his.

For a nanosecond, Frayne stilled. The notion that he didn’t want this blew across my mind. A beat later and the thought died as his arms tightened and he pulled me fully against his body.

And then kissed me back.

Having read and thoroughly enjoyed Dearly Beloved, the first book in the series, I eagerly awaited this installment. From the start, I rooted for Cathy and Mac, the delightfully flawed, older protagonists, who are instantly attracted to each other. The scenes with Nanny Fee and Cathy’s sisters add humor and even more drama to the storyline. Ms. Jaeger excels in the writing of second chance romances and multi-generational tales.

Next, please!

Buy Links

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Apple Books


Peggy Jaeger is a contemporary romance writer who writes Romantic Comedies about strong women, the families who support them, and the men who can’t live without them. If she can make you cry on one page and bring you out of tears rolling with laughter the next, she’s done her job as a writer!

Family and food play huge roles in Peggy’s stories because she believes there is nothing that holds a family structure together like sharing a meal…or two…or ten. Dotted with humor and characters that are as real as they are loving, she brings all topics of daily life into her stories: life, death, sibling rivalry, illness and the desire for everyone to find their own happily ever after. Growing up the only child of divorced parents she longed for sisters, brothers and a family that vowed to stick together no matter what came their way. Through her books, she’s created the families she wanted as that lonely child.

When she’s not writing Peggy is usually painting, crafting, scrapbooking or decoupaging old steamer trunks she finds at rummage stores and garage sales.

A lifelong and avid romance reader and writer, Peggy is a member of RWA and her local New Hampshire RWA Chapter.

As a lifelong diarist, she caught the blogging bug early on, and you can visit her at where she blogs daily about life, writing, and stuff that makes her go “What??!”

Where to find Peggy…

Website/Blog | Twitter | Amazon | Facebook | Pinterest | Goodreads | Instagram | BookBub | You-Tube

Spotlight on The Invisibles

I’m happy to welcome multi-published author and poet Rachel Dacus. Today, Rachel shares her new release, The Invisibles.


Sisters Saffron and Elinor inherit a cottage on the Italian coast from their father, along with its resident ghost and a secret manuscript. Their rivalry explodes through a struggle for control of the inheritance.

Saffron has a genius for creative living, but ever since her judgmental older sister interfered in her love life, Saffron and Elinor haven’t spoken. When death brings them together at their father’s funeral in Rome, the battle re-ignites. It continues as they travel up the Italian coast to take possession of their cottage. Both secretly wish to mend fences, but they have opposite views about the best way to live.

Saffron has always sensed the “Invisibles”, people lingering after their demise. When the spirit who lives in the house predicts one sister might die, she takes it seriously, but can’t convince her practical-minded sister.

As they prepare the house for sale, Italy infuses its magic in food, festivals, and local love interests — until a shocking night changes everything for the sisters and their friends.

A tale of sisterhood and the supernatural, perfect for fans of Mary Ellen Taylor and Barbara O’Neal.

Praise for The Invisibles

Author Dacus does a superb job bringing the village of Lerici to life, from the smells of the sea to the pungency of the local olive oil, and showing how the Italian way of life changes both women. An enjoyable, romantic read. — Suanne Schafer, author of HUNTING THE DEVIL


Saffron glared at her black-suited sister across their father’s grave in Rome’s Protestant Cemetery. It was nearly empty for their father’s funeral, only Elinor, this small bunch of stylish Italians also wearing black, and herself in lavender. Was it worth coming all the way from Berkeley, with her domineering sister, for this ritual? Ellie had written a solemn ceremony, as if Dad would have enjoyed the pomp. Okay, maybe he was enjoying it, but Saffron knew he was hating being dead.

She could tell by the purple glimmers that swarmed over his casket that Dad was disturbed by his situation, but he’d soon grow calm.

Her superior sister, with her perfect pageboy and dark suit, looked embarrassed tossing red rose petals onto the casket. Good, she should. The cheesy petal-tossing idea had been Ellie’s. She was always planning and calculating. She could never do anything spontaneously. It was as if all the energy in Ellie’s body flowed up and gathered in her brain, where it pulsed in constant, bossy motion.

But then Saffron remembered she didn’t want to be critical, especially not with her sister, who had invited her to come. She tried to put on a hopeful expression, to please Ellie—and then she remembered Ellie wouldn’t like to see her smiling at the funeral.

The judgmental vibes were probably flowing from Ellie, who was always embarrassed by something. Often it was by Saffron and her spontaneity, which was, yes, a little messy. And what Elinor dismissively called imaginative. To Ellie, the mix-up with the plane reservations had proved yet again why Saffron wasn’t competent. After Saffron booked the wrong dates, Elinor took over with a flourish. Her sister loved to take charge. Ever since childhood, Ellie had honed her management skills by running Saffron’s life.

Yes, it was true, Saffron needed help. Of course, she wasn’t perfect. Okay, she was about to turn thirty and hadn’t yet begun adulting. But at this moment, she was proud of herself for coming along and trying to mend fences with Ellie—as proud as you could feel with drizzle plastering your hair onto your face, your boot heels sinking into the spongey ground, and your sister frowning at your smile.

Ms. Dacus has an extraordinary gift for making each scene come alive. At times, it felt like I was actually on location, sampling the delicious coastal food, participating in local festivities, and immersing myself in all that Italy has to offer. I found myself rooting for both half-sisters, who have been torn apart by their diverse personalities and rivalry. I hoped they would reconcile and restore their once-close relationship. Introducing ghosts—aka Invisibles—and a treasure hunt for a missing manuscript add elements of suspense to this well-written, character-driven novel.


Author Bio and Links

Rachel Dacus is the author of The Invisibles, a novel of sisterhood with a touch of the supernatural. “An enjoyable, romantic read.” The Renaissance Club is a time travel love story featuring the great 17th century Italian sculptor Gianlorenzo Bernini, who meets and falls for his superfan from future time. “Enchanting, rich and romantic.” Dacus has written four poetry collections: Arabesque, Gods of Water and Air (poetry, prose, and drama), Earth Lessons and Femme au Chapeau. She lives in Northern California with her husband and Silky Terrier. When not writing, she raises funds for good causes.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads


Rachel Dacus will be awarding a $40 Amazon/Barnes & Noble gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour. Find out more here.

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

De-Stress With Humor

According to one study, adults laugh—on average—seventeen times a day. Pre-school children, on the other hand, can laugh up to 300 times a day.

That discrepancy becomes even more pronounced at this time of the year. With less than three weeks to go before Christmas, many of us are scrambling to buy gifts, finish decorating, plan and prepare that special meal, and a host of other activities on a never-ending To-Do list.

Continue reading on the Soul Mate Authors blog.