Friday, November 17, 2017

This I know for sure...

I hope to get the majority of my holiday gift shopping done within the next 2 weeks. I also plan on doing as much of it as I can online. It's easier to shop online and have it shipped to my address or the gift recipient's address than having to fight the crowds or troll store parking lots trying to find a place to park. I will do some shopping in physical stores, but as little as I can.

Do you do a lot of your holiday gift shopping online or do you prefer to shop in stores?

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

What's Up Wednesday

This week...

My Current WIP (Work In Progress): Writing is on hiatus.

Quote of the Week: "How can you make yourself happier on a daily basis?” ~ Unknown

What I'm reading: I'll be starting Hot in Hellcat Canyon by Julie Ann Long this evening. This is the first book in the Hellcat Canyon series. 

Random Thoughts:  Many of my relatives live in the south so I don't see them very often. Unfortunately as we all grow older, it seems we only see each other at funerals. 

Random Photo of the Week:


                    Here Mrs. Green is pretending to be the Wicked Witch of the East.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Ruminating a Bit

I rarely do any writing from the week of Thanksgiving until January 2nd of the new year. With the hustle and bustle of the holidays and the accompanying additional shopping, cooking, baking, hosting of friends and family as they come to town for visits, and wrapping of gifts, it leaves very little free time so when I plan my yearly goals, I always plan for those 6 weeks or so to be writing free.

2017 in terms of writing and anything related to it has come to an end for me. It's earlier than usual, but I hope to use the time to get my holiday cards made and sent out. I felt like I needed to step away from writing earlier because I wasn't making any headway and was more often than not, making excuses to do anything but write. 

Besides hand making my holiday cards (with one or two birthday cards thrown in), I want to use the time to really figure out why I was spinning my wheels when it came to my writing. I've been looking at my 2017 goals and trying to see where I got off track. I will be honest and admit I came no where near meeting the majority of them. 

I've been reading articles to better help set goals and how to stay on track in terms of meeting them and how to get back on track when you go off the rails. I've been looking at different planners to see if a different set up will help me stay on point. 

I'm determined 2018 will be a much more productive year. If you have any tips or helpful hints that you use to keep you on track with your goals regardless of what they might be for, I'd love to hear them. Along with writing related items, I also want to set goals for trying different types of exercise, getting stronger, and to increase my savings.

Friday, November 10, 2017

This I know for sure...

Today we had our first snowfall of the season. While I've lived in upstate NY my entire life, I'm never ready for winter. I'm hoping this year we'll have less snow than the average 100 inches we usually get. I'd much rather have freezing cold temperatures each day and no snow or very little snow. People who know me well, know that's something for me to say since I hate being cold.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

What's Up Wednesday

This week...

My Current WIP (Work In Progress): As I mentioned in a previous post (titled Writing Hiatus - 10/23/17), I've decided to put my writing and revisions of completed manuscripts on hold until January. 

Quote of the Week:  “There are many reasons to get physically and emotionally stronger. Stronger people get what they want more often.” ~ Unknown


What I'm Reading:  I started Must Love Weiners by Casey Griffin. This is the first book in the A Rescue Dog Romance series. I haven't read anything by this author before. I realize the author had no say over the title, but I have to say it almost put me off reading the book. I hope the story is better than the title.

Random Thoughts:  I picked this week's quote (above) to go with the random thought of this week. As strange as it sounds at this time of the year with all of the holidays coming, I've started a new eating and exercise plan. My goal is not to lose weight, if I do that will be a bonus. My goal is to maintain my current weight. Every year I gain between 7 to 10 pounds in the time frame from the week of Thanksgiving through the week of New Year's day. So by changing up my eating plan and ramping up my normal exercise routine, I'm hoping to keep that from happening this year. I will, of course, still eat holiday treats, just not as much as I usually do. 

Random Photo of the Week:

                                  This is a picture of a card I made for my sister's birthday.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Baking

Feeling a bit unsettled after this past week, I decided to bake yesterday. I've always found baking to be soothing, the rhythmic kneading of dough, the scents emanating from the oven.

I bought a mini bundt pan a few weeks ago and hadn't had a chance to try it out so I pulled it out of the pan cupboard along with a recipe for olive oil bundt cakes I've been wanting to try. I've never had an olive oil cake before and was a little worried they might be heavy or greasy, but they turned out the opposite. The recipe below is a from a family friend. I hope you enjoy it.

Mini Olive Oil Cakes

Butter or Olive Oil Cooking Spray (I used Pam Olive Oil Spray.)
1 cup All Purpose Flour
1 1/3 cups Sugar
2 tablespoons Lemon Zest
2 large Eggs
1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2/3 cup Milk
1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray mini bundt pan with cooking spray and set aside. Whisk together the sugar and lemon zest in a medium sized mixing bowl. Add eggs one at a time, whisking after each one. Next add the olive oil and milk. Whisk mixture together with a strong whipping motion to ensure all the ingredients are will combined.

In a separate bowl, mix the flour, salt and baking powder together. Add to the egg/sugar mixture mixing just enough so that everything is combined. (The same way you'd make muffins from a box mix.) Pour batter into the individual bundt areas in the pan.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Cakes should be golden brown and spring back when lightly touched. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then remove from pan and cool completely on a wire rack. (My pan is a six mini cake pan. If you have a 12 mini cake pan, you may need to adjust the baking time down a little.)

I serve glaze on the side because some of my family members don't like it. (Crazy, I know.) For the glaze, mix 1 1/2 cups of confectioner's sugar and 2 to 3 tablespoons lemon juice to taste depending on how lemony you want it to taste. Whisk until smooth and and drizzle over the cakes.

This recipe makes 12 cakes.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Apologies

There will be no posts for the remainder of the week due to a death in the family.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Happy Halloween

                                      I know I'm a day early, but Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 27, 2017

This I know for sure...

I like to find new recipes to try so we don't have the same things for dinner week after week. This week we tried four new recipes.

Two were okay, but we decided they weren't anything spectacular where we'd want to eat those meals again so we didn't keep the recipes. One we loved and have moved into our "favorite recipes" file. These recipes we make at least two times a month. One we didn't like at all, but it wasn't so bad that we decided to eat cereal instead. Yes, that has happened in the past.

We've already decided that all the dinners this coming week will have no new recipes. We need a few nights of knowing that we're going to actually like what's for dinner.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

What's Up Wednesday

This week...

My Current WIP (Work In Progress): I printed out the entire manuscript, all 356 pages of it, so I can easily move scenes around, mark areas that need more fleshing out, and see where I can add more romantic elements without them seeming to be forced.  

Quote of the Week: “When you focus on the goodness in your life, you create more of it.” ~ Oprah Winfrey

What I'm Reading: I'll be starting The Duke by Kerrigan Byrne tonight. I can't wait. I've loved all of Ms. Byrne's books I've read so far.

Random Thoughts:  One of the goals I'm considering in setting for 2018 is to attend a writing conference. It's been a few years since I've attended one.

Random Photo of the Week:

                               A loving moment between Somebody and Mrs. Green.
 

Monday, October 23, 2017

Writing Hiatus

I hate to do it, but I'm putting my writing on hold until the first week of January. I have so many things going on that it's getting to be next to impossible to get any writing done and then I feel terrible because I didn't get anything writing related accomplished for the week.

If I'm honest with myself, writing isn't a priority right now. Wow, it bothered me to even write that. I want to write, love to write, but just can't find the time lately. There's a saying that goes something like, "If it's important, you'll find the time and if it's not, you'll find an excuse." Lately it seems I've been doing a lot of excuse finding, even if they are legitimate ones.

I was hoping that once I finished my licensing class for the day job that I'd be able to get back to writing on a regular schedule. It's been about a week and a half since I passed the state exam and I still haven't found time to write. And now that the holiday season is bearing down on us, things are only going to get busier.

I've decided my priorities right now are to get my holiday cards made and sent out before the week of Christmas (it may take me that long to get them all made) and to help my mom with Thanksgiving preparations and help with her holiday baking, shopping, and wrapping as well as take care of my own.

This week is already shaping up to be a busy one even with writing time taken out of the equation. I have two birthday cards to make for birthdays next week, two doctor appointments, one of which will be at least two hours, not including commute time getting to and from the appointment, and a promise to make banana bread with my niece one day this week. All of these things need to be accomplished after the day job.

By the end of the year, I also would like to take a 30 day writing class and sit down and write out goals for 2018 using the SMART method so I might have a better chance of accomplishing them.

So for now, no writing other than jotting down any ideas, dialogue, and such that might pop in my head at random times. 

Friday, October 20, 2017

This I know for sure...

While I don't believe I watch a lot of television, there are a few shows that are "must watch" for me. They are The Big Bang Theory, Chicago Fire, Grey's Anatomy, and Scandal. I have to admit I'm not liking Scandal so far this season. I'll probably continue to watch it though because it's the last season it'll be aired. Of course once Timeless begins airing again, I'll be watching that as well.

I watched Once Upon A Time from the very first episode through last year, but after watching the first episode this season, I've decided to stop watching it. I don't like that they are basically starting the whole story arc over again with Henry now being the "Savior" instead of his mother from the previous seasons and instead of the story focusing on Snow White, now it's Cinderella.

Are there any shows that are must watch for you?

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

What's Up Wednesday

This week...

My Current WIP (Work In Progress):  I spent last week going over what I've revised so far. Unfortunately, I realized that my romance novel needs more romance and less...other stuff.

Quote of the Week: "Don't fear failure. Fear being in the exact same place next year as you are today." ~  Elissa Robertson

What I'm Reading: I'm still reading Come Sundown by Nora Roberts. The pacing of the book is slower than I expected.

Random Thoughts: I need to start devoting time to making my holiday cards for the upcoming Christmas/Hanukkah season. The problem is each card usually takes about 4 hours to make which doesn't leave a lot of time for writing. So my dilemma is do I set the writing aside (again) and work on cards or do I try to fit in both even though I know that one of them will suffer for it. Please don't suggest purchasing holiday cards instead of making them this year as I've already gotten comments from some friends and family members stating how much they're looking forward to their card this year.

Random Photo of the Week:

                                                    Somebody and his new toy.
   

Monday, October 16, 2017

Happy Monday?

Very few people I know like Mondays and we all dislike them for pretty much the same reason - the beginning of a new work week. Not that we all hate our jobs. (I actually like mine.) I think it's because we lose the sense of freedom that we have on the weekends or days off to do what we want or need to do when we want to do it instead of having to cram what needs to be done in at the end of the day after we get home from work when all we really want to do is sit and relax and destress from the day.

My favorite way to relax is on the sofa with a good book and a few cookies (okay it's closer to 4 or 5 cookies depending on the size) and sometimes a cup of tea. This in mind and knowing I had a mostly free weekend without a lot of things on my "To Do" list, I decided to make cookies. I wanted something a little different than the usual chocolate chip cookies so I pulled out a recipe I'd made in the past for orange chocolate chip cookies from the Two Peas & Their Pod blog.

The cookies turned out just as good as I remembered. I haven't made them since last fall. If you like chocolate with a hint of orange, these cookies are for you. They taste amazing and are very easy to make. Here's the link - Orange Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe

I hope you enjoy them as much as I do and that they make any crappy day you may have better.

Friday, October 13, 2017

This I know for sure...

I am now licensed in my field for my day job. Well, I will be once I receive the actual paper license from the state. I took the state exam on Wednesday morning and passed with a score of 88%.

I'm thrilled that I did so well (you only need to get a 70 to pass the exam), but I wish I had gotten 4 more points. Someone asked the instructor during the last class if she knew of anyone who'd gotten 100% on the state exam. She said the highest score received that she knew of was 91%. Of course, I wanted to do better than that.

While I'm glad I took the course and passed the exam as it will mean a pay raise, I'm very glad I'm done with the class and all the homework and studying required to pass the class final and state exam. Now I can get back to my regular writing routine and not have to spend every free minute with the class textbook.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

What's Up Wednesday

This week...

My Current WIP (Work In Progress):  Back to writing starting today. I'm hoping to get a decent amount done in the remainder of the week.

Quote of the Week: "You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it." ~ Margaret Thatcher

What I'm Reading: I'll be starting Come Sundown by Nora Roberts this evening.

Random Thoughts:  The above quote is from my page a day calendar. I liked it because it can apply to so many things - the battle to lose weight, the battle to get published, the battle to stop smoking, the battle to stay sober, and more.

Random Photo of the Week:

                                              Somebody sleeping with his new toy.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Studying, Studying, Studying

No real post this Monday. I spent the weekend studying for my classroom final exam that will take place today. I have to pass the class final in order to be eligible to take the state exam.

My employer must have a lot of faith in me as the course I've been taking the last two weeks is considered an accelerated class in that the class is only two weeks long. The regular course is taught over a two month period. He has also registered me to take the state exam on Wednesday.

It was a lot to learn and remember about regulations and laws and what applies and in what cases so while I feel ready to take both exams, I'm a tiny bit nervous. Send good luck vibes my way.

Friday, October 6, 2017

This I know for sure...

The instructor for the state licensing class I've been taking these last two weeks is very inspiring. She retired from her every day job when she turned 65. She said she was home for about a week and was already going crazy with nothing to do all day. She applied for and became the instructor for the class I'm taking. She teaches the class for two weeks once a month and has done it for the last five years.

She said this keeps her busy and yet allows her the freedom to pursue other interests and travel if she chooses. She is a firm believer that you should never stop learning. She takes classes in everything and anything that she is curious about. She's taken a semester in car repairs, a semester in plumbing, a semester in political science, a semester in the science of cooking. She's also taken dance classes, knitting classes, and calligraphy classes to name just a few things.

I love that she doesn't see her age as any sort of limitation of what she can do or learn. She inspired me to make a list of all the things I'd like to learn more about or learn how to do. Now to find the time to actually learn these things.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

What's Up Wednesday

This week...

My Current WIP (Work In Progress): No writing this week. I'm in the second week of class to receive my state license in my field.

Quote of the Week: "Push harder than yesterday if you want a different tomorrow." ~ Unknown

What I'm Reading:  I'm not reading anything for pleasure right now. I have a lot of nightly assigned reading for my class. 

Random Thoughts: I'm very glad my employer decided to send me to the day class sessions. While it can be a long day in a classroom (8:00am to 5:00pm with 30 minutes for lunch), it's only for two weeks. The night class sessions are twice a week for four hours each for nearly six weeks.

Random Photo of the Week: 

    One of my favorite childhood memories is collecting chestnuts during the fall season.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Time for Reading

With all of the things we need to do every day from working outside the home, taking care of our families which may include elderly family members, making dinner along with other household chores, it's hard to find time to relax. And if we do take some time to do just that, we end up feeling guilty.

Or you may be like me and try to multi-task by doing something "constructive" and relaxing at the same time. I like to watch The Big Bang Theory and Grey's Anatomy so I usually watch them while folding laundry or something similar. That way I don't feel like I'm wasting time watching television when there are things that need to be done.

I do try to read every night for about an hour before going to bed as a relaxation method. I find it works as a great way to wind down from my day so I fall asleep easier and hopefully will sleep through the night. I have suffered from bouts of insomnia for years.

I mentioned to a friend not long ago that I felt guilty about taking the time to read when I could use that hour to do something on my ever growing To Do list. A couple of days ago she sent me the following link for an article in Family Circle magazine about how reading for pleasure (and relaxation) is important for your emotional health. Link: How To Make Time For Reading

After reading the article, I don't feel quite so guilty about taking time to read on a regular basis.


Friday, September 29, 2017

This I know for sure...

I have a few authors that I automatically buy their books without even knowing what the book is about. I do this mainly because I love their writing, have loved all of the books by them that I've read so far with many of the books ending up on my keeper shelf.

Then I run into a book by an auto-buy author that I just can't read. Either I hate the plot line, the hero or heroine, or in the most recent case, how the book is written. I don't mean the mechanics of the writing like POV, grammar, and the like but the fact that the story jumps back and forth in time. The book I'm referring to isn't a time travel novel, but is written where one chapter takes place in the present time that the book is set in, the next chapter is occurs three years prior, the next chapter is back in the present time the book is set in, the next chapter occurs one year prior, and on and on and on.

I felt like the author chose to write the story jumping back to various points in the couples' history so she could use all the backstory she developed without doing it in one giant dump which is considered a no no.

This is the first book by this particular author that I've been disappointed in. Will I continue auto-buy her? I'm not sure. I'll probably flip through a copy of any future books to ensure those books don't contain this type of plot device before purchasing it.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

What's Up Wednesday

This week...

My Current WIP (Work In Progress):  No writing this week and all of next week. I was told last Friday that I am being sent to classes for these two weeks so I can get my state license in my field. The state exam is the Wednesday following the end of the classes. Classes are from 8:00am to 5:00pm and will require nightly reading of at least 50 to 75 pages a night so that we'll get through the entire book within the two week time period. The nice thing about getting licensed is that I'll get a raise. I'm hoping it will be a significant one. 

Quote of the Week: "Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway." ~ Earl Nightingale 

What I'm Reading: The Day of the Duchess by Sarah MacLean. Ms. MacLean is one of my favorite writers and is one of my auto-buy authors.

Random Thoughts: It's hard to believe fall officially started last Friday. In my area, it's been in the high 80's all last week and has been in the 90's so far this week. It's not expected to cool down until the weekend. 

Random Photo of the Week:

     Mrs. Green is getting so big. It's hard to believe she was half this size just 3 months ago.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Please Welcome My Guest

Please welcome my guest, Milou Koenings. Milou is an award-winning USA Today bestselling author who writes romance because she believes that, like chocolate, stories with happy endings bring joy to the world and so make it a better place. 

Milou's latest release is The Gift of Yesterday and is the fifth book in the Green Pines Romance series. The Gift of Yesterday is part of the Sweet Christmas Kisses 4 box set consisting of 14 stand alone stories. She has taken the time to answer a few questions for us. 

Tell us something about yourself both writing and not writing related.

Let's see—writing related... I have way more stories in my head than I can possibly ever write. It's really hard deciding which ones will get to see the light of day.

Not writing related—I love working with fellow authors, like all the amazing writers in this box set. There's something wonderful about having the support of your tribe!

I couldn't agree more. Do you have a writing routine?  Where do you usually do your writing?

I'm an owl. I write best in a dark room with all the blinds down, or late at night, so my imagination can take flight undisturbed. 

Why do you write in the genre/sub-genre that you do?  Any plans in the future to write in a different one?

There's so much violence, darkness and crudeness out there, that I don’t want to add to it in my writing. I try to create worlds where people still treat each other with civility, respect and kindness, and I write stories that focus on the emotional aspects of romance. I want my books to be a pleasant place for readers to spend their time.

How do you stay motivated when writer’s block hits or your muse won’t cooperate?

I'm a terrible procrastinator! If I get stuck writing, I really have to fight the urge to go iron kitchen towels!

(Laughs) It's nice to know I'm not alone. What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever done in the name of research?

A few years ago, I was writing a story based in Paris, where I hadn't been since I was a kid. It wasn't working, because Paris has changed so much. So I sold some stuff I had around the house to raise the money for plane tickets, and within a week my kids and I were in Paris, staying with a friend. It was a totally crazy, spontaneous thing to do, but it was amazing. Book aside, it was one of the best things we ever did as a family.

Over the years, in the name of research I've taken drum lessons, interviewed so many interesting people, and for this latest release, learned to bake French pastry from a professional baker.

What a great experience for your children. What’s the best writing advice you were ever given? 

Don’t just write what you know.  If you need to do research, do it, but don't limit yourself to what you're familiar with in your own little neck of the woods. What you know deep down will come through anyway.

Good advice. What do you like to do in your leisure time?

Write. Although a few times a year, I get coaxed out of my lair to play percussion with a student orchestra at a local conservatory and I totally love that.

Tell us about your current release in a couple of sentences.

My new release is Sweet Christmas Kisses 4, a box set of holiday-themed novellas by 14 New York Times and/or USA Today bestselling or award-winning authors, all of whom write sweet romance.

My novella in the set, The Gift of Yesterday, is a second-chance love story between a young woman who has lost so much, and the guy who's loved her since they were kids. She's a pastry chef, so be warned, the read might make you hungry!

Here's the official line:
When Bailey returns to Green Pines to open a pastry shop, Joe Hudson sees all his Christmas wishes coming true—if only he can convince her to risk her heart again.

Can you tell us a little about your next project?

Sure. The Gift of Yesterday is the fifth story in the Green Pines Romance series. So I'm working on number six, a full-length novel, also set in my favorite fictional small town in Illinois.

Anything else you’d like to share?

Thank you so much for hosting me today. 

If I may, I'd like to invite everyone here to join us at our Facebook Launch Party today, September 26, between noon and 7:30 p.m. We'll be having book giveaways, prizes, contests and lots of fun!


 And to whet your interest a little more, read below to find out about the authors and their stories in Sweet Christmas Kisses 4:

Usher in the holiday season with 14 heartwarming all-new, stand-alone stories from New York Times, USA Today, national bestselling, and award-winning authors. Sweet Christmas Kisses 4 takes you from the Pocono Mountains to sunny Florida, and as far away as Portugal.

Curl up with your favorite hot beverage and enjoy this sweet romance boxed set that’s sure to put you in the mood for Christmas.


Mona Risk, In Time for Christmas
Dr. Sylvia Reynolds promised to be at her parents’, in time for Christmas dinner, but her priorities change after she meets a motherless baby and her gorgeous uncle.

 Beate Boeker, Unique Christmas
Chiara hopes to spend a solitary Christmas all by herself. But when a man jumps through her office window to save her from an accident, things spin away—beyond her wildest dreams.

 Christine Bush, Christmas with the Cat Lady
Carly is happy living alone in her mountain house with her cats. Can the handsome author who rents a room over the Christmas holidays change her mind?

 Lyn Cote, Loving Winter
At her cousin’s wedding, Winter Woodard, owner of her family’s garden center, isn’t expecting to meet her match in local football coach, Clay Dixon, (she isn’t IN to sports!) but he stands by her through a holiday season fraught with unexpected setbacks.

 Denise Devine, Once Upon a Christmas
Small town girl returns home to find love and success, but can she outlast the mistakes of her past?

Raine English, Christmas in Walnut Creek
Will a Christmas blizzard reunite a couple and give them a second chance at love?

Jean C. Gordon, A Team Macachek Christmas
Sparks fly from a Christmastime reunion of motocross racer Jesse Brewster and his ex-girlfriend Lauren Cooper. But is it the wrong time for their love?

Shanna Hatfield, Saving Mistletoe
A stubborn cop, a hotshot attorney, and a little girl determined to spend Christmas with her father need a miracle to make this holiday season jolly and bright.

Milou Koenings, The Gift of Yesterday
When Bailey returns to Green Pines to open a pastry shop, Joe Hudson sees all his Christmas wishes coming true—if only he can convince her to risk her heart again.

Josie Riviera, A Portuguese Christmas
The holidays—like love—can sneak up on you. And sweep you away like a riptide.

 Roxanne Rustand, A Christmas in Montana
Kristen Weatherby goes to Montana to get her late grandmother's house ready to sell, but finds much more than she bargained for: a house she can't let go, a charming mountain town, and a handsome veterinarian who just might steal her heart.

Magdalena Scott, A Cowboy for Christmas
Hannah Kincaid is in love with Jacob Hollingsworth, and will overcome her fear of horses and his bossy brother Michael to get a Christmas happily-ever-after with the cowboy of her dreams.

Kristin Wallace, Loving You at Christmas
Annaliese Matheson is convinced she’ll never love again. This Christmas will become the opening act for her holiday happily ever after.

 Merrillee Whren, Puppy Love and Mistletoe
Can a little girl and a fluffy black dog bring a reluctant couple together in a Christmas miracle?

Pre-order your copy today for just 99 cents!

And don’t forget to connect with the Authors at Sweet Romance Reads:
  
  ~*~
Author Bios:

Mona Risk
New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author, Mona Risk, received an Outstanding Achiever Award from Affaire de Coeur Magazine. She's a two time winner of Best Contemporary Romance of the Year from Readers Favorite; a winner of Best Romance Novel of the Year from Preditors & Editors Readers Poll; and an EPIC Award finalist. Her books have garnered: Top Pick, Outstanding Read, Sweetheart of the Week, and Best Book of the Week from various reviewers, and received two mentions in Publisher's Weekly.
Mona lives in South Florida and has traveled to more than eighty countries on business or vacation. She writes contemporary romances, medical romance, romantic suspense, and paranormal fantasy. Sprinkled with a good dose of humor, her stories are set in the fascinating places she visited or more simply at home.

Beate Boeker
Beate Boeker is a USA Today bestselling author with a passion for books that brim over with mischief & humor. She writes sweet sophisticated romantic fiction and cozy mysteries, many of them set in beautiful Italy. While 'Boeker' means 'books' in a German dialect, her first name Beate can be translated as ‘Happy’ . . . and with a name that reads ‘Happy Books’, what else could she do but write novels with happy endings?

Christine Bush
Christine Bush has been a storyteller all of her life. Always a lover of romance, mystery, and happy endings, it is no surprise that her novels have a lively mix of all three ingredients! Christine is a women's advocate, and believes with all her heart that women can face the problems in their lives with courage, creativity (and often humor) and make a difference in the world.

Lyn Cote
USA Today bestselling author, Lyn Cote has written over 45 books. A Romance Writers of America RITA finalist and an American Christian Fiction Writers Carol Award winner, Lyn writes contemporary romance, romantic suspense and historical novels. No matter which kind of story, her brand “Strong Women, Brave Stories” comes through. Her most recent achievement is being added to Romance Writers of America’s Honor Roll for bestselling authors.

Denise Devine
Denise Devine is a USA Today bestselling author who has had a passion for books since the second grade when she discovered Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder. She wrote her first book, a mystery, at age thirteen and has been writing ever since.

Raine English
USA Today bestselling author Raine English always wanted to be a writer. She began her career as a journalist, but writing romance novels was her passion. Her books have won many awards, including finalling in the Romance Writers of America Golden Heart and winning the Daphne du Maurier Award.  When not behind her computer, you can usually find her reading. She lives in New England with her family and two French bulldogs, Bailey and Dolly.

Jean C. Gordon 
For sweet romance author Jean C. Gordon, writing is a natural extension of her love of reading. From that day in first grade when she realized t-h-e was the word “the,” she’s been reading everything she can put her hands on. A professional financial planner and financial writer, Jean is as at home writing retirement- and investment-planning advice as she is writing romance novels, but finds novels a lot more fun.

Shanna Hatfield
After spending her formative years on a farm in Eastern Oregon, hopeless romantic Shanna Hatfield turns her rural experiences into sweet historical and contemporary romances filled with sarcasm, humor, and hunky heroes.
When this USA Today bestselling author isn’t writing or covertly hiding decadent chocolate from the other occupants of her home, Shanna hangs out with her beloved husband, Captain Cavedweller.

Milou Koenings
Milou Koenings is an award-winning USA Today bestselling author who writes romance because she believes that, like chocolate, stories with happy endings bring joy to the world and so make it a better place. The Gift of Yesterday is the fifth book in the Green Pines Romance series.

Josie Riviera
Josie Riviera is a USA Today Bestselling Author of contemporary, inspirational, and historical sweet romances that read like Hallmark movies. She lives in the Charlotte, NC, area with her wonderfully supportive husband. They share their home with an adorable Shih Tzu who constantly needs grooming and an old house forever needing renovations.

Roxanne Rustand
USA Today best-selling author Roxanne Rustand has written over thirty-five novels. She writes inspirational romantic suspense and inspirational romance For Love Inspired, and also writes sweet romance for the indie market. She lives in the country with her family, plus a menagerie of pets that sometimes find their way into her books.

Magdalena Scott
USA Today bestselling author Magdalena Scott writes sweet romance and women's fiction with small town settings.

Kristin Wallace
Kristin is a USA Today Bestselling author of inspirational and sweet contemporary romance filled with “love, laughter and a leap of faith”. Growing up she devoured books like bags of Dove Dark Chocolate. Her first Golden Book led to Laura Ingalls Wilder, Nancy Drew, C.S. Lewis and the Sweet Valley High series. Later, she discovered romance novels and fell in love all over again. It’s no surprise that Kristin would one day try her hand at writing them. She is the author of two bestselling series, Covington Falls Chronicles (inspirational romance) and Shellwater Key Tales (contemporary romance).

Merrillee Whren
Merrillee Whren is an award-winning, USA Today bestselling author who writes inspirational romance. She is the winner of the 2003 Golden Heart Award for best inspirational romance manuscript presented by Romance Writers of America. She has also been the recipient of the RT Reviewers’ Choice Award and the Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award. She is married to her own personal hero, her husband of forty- plus years, and has two grown daughters. She has lived in Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, Chicago and Florida but now makes her home in the Arizona desert. She spends her free time playing tennis or walking while she does the plotting for her novels.