4/03/2020

First Friday's With The Crew..."The First Romance I Read Was..."

Do you remember the very first romance you read? Do you remember where you were and what you were doing? How old were you?



C.H.:

I remember Mom letting me walk to North Island by myself (I was 12 and quite independent) because our public library's Bookmobile would be parked there all day!  Summers were busy around our house with the four of us kids driving Mom crazy most of the time, in between doing our chores and then helping Mom garden or canning peaches, tomatoes, chili sauce or making jam, etc.

I remember the warmth and beauty of the bright summer day changing as I stepped into the bookmobile--library card in hand. It was cooler and smelled faintly of old books. I couldn't have been happier! Searching through the titles, one jumped out at me: Lost Island by Phyllis A, Whitney. Mom was pretty stern about only taking out one book, and leaving the rest for other library patrons on the Bookmobile's stops that day.

My world irrevocably changed that day through the power of Phyllis A. Whitney's words. I fell in love with Lacy and Giles and a new genre for me: Romance. I returned the book on time, but kept thinking about it. My Dad bought me the paperback copy. I still have it and have read it too many times to count and taped the binding at least a half dozen times over the years. I had to take a pic of the cover...check out the price back in 1970...95 cents ;) 



What was the first Romance you read?





AMANDA

My enjoyment of reading stretches back to a summer spent in southern Missouri with my grandmother. Thus, began a life-long love of eclectic reading that ranges from The Boxcar Children to Alfred Hitchcock, from Dr. Zhivago to dictionaries. (Yes, I still love perusing dictionaries for new words and Thesaurus as well- but, that’s another topic) Fast forward to junior high (just after dinosaurs became extinct)) and as an impressionable and shy student librarian,(all through my junior high/high school career) I was also deeply passionate about many things.

I discovered the book Five Smooth Stones, by Ann Fairburn, which by definition today may not have been considered a “romance”-rather an historical fiction. Set during the American Civil Rights movement, it told the story of a young couple, of different backgrounds, struggling with the obstacles of race and prejudice and trying to hold on to a love that, at the time, was not widely accepted at the time. The struggle was real. Their love even more so.

Their passion for each other, their character, and desire to make the world a better place made such a profound impact on me that it inspired the first book I ever penned--pages and pages in a three-ring notebook-a story that would never see the light of day.

This book set me on the path to loving character-driven stories where ordinary people placed in extraordinary situations rise up to overcome their obstacles-internal and external-to achieve their HEA. It was the inception of the belief I carry now in my writing and in my life that #lovewillfindaway.

.

LIZBETH
As usual, I'm breaking the rules a little because I honestly don't remember the very first romance I read. I fell in love with love stories from some of my earliest-ever books. My dad was a HUGE reader--both to himself and out loud to my brothers and to me. He also would bring us books from the library that were not what we would have chosen ourselves but ones he was sure we'd like. And we always did. Any book that  had love and happy endings was my favorite. Then I started falling in love with the heroes of books I read. My first true love met in the pages of a book was Alec Ramsay--hero of Walter Farley's Black Stallion series. 
But...real romance books is what we're remembering! My grandma had a collection of 50 or 60  Grace Livingston Hill books. GLH wrote what we now call inspirational romance, and these were hard and fast "altar call" stories--where the hero and or heroine came to faith in the pages of the very sweet romance! I devoured these like M&Ms! 
The first specific romance I remember in vivid detail is LaVyrle Spencer's "Hummingbird." The story of a spinster who takes in a wounded train robber, who turns out to be the exact opposite of what she expects has THE greatest sex scene ever (a 180-degree change from Grace L. Hill's stories, and a wonderful eye-opening experience) and is romantic from start to finish. I'd been hooked on romance from an early age--but LaVyrle's stories made me a lifelong junkie. And Hummingbird, dated as it is now, was the true gateway drug!





3/27/2020

41 years of Taxes in our upstairs closet...and now I have time to shred them!

I couldn't believe that although I had planned to start weeding through our yearly tax papers saved as the first 7 year period passed, somehow I never got around to it. Life got busy, we had a toddler and new baby by that time. Two years later we had our youngest and I can't even begin to imagine why I didn't think to start going through those tax papers again.

When the kids were little I used to work part time while they were in school and be home to meet the school bus. And then I discovered the need to write...and I have NO idea where all those years in between went. Aside from kids going through those teen years, driver's licenses, accidents, and just life in general.

Soooo, here I was the other day chatting with our darling daughter--and missing our grandbabies to absolute pieces--and I mentioned that I was thinking I should order a shredder from Amazon and start shredding tax papers. Our daughter thought that was the funniest thing she'd ever heard. When she stopped laughing, she asked, "You mean the 41 years' worth in the upstairs closet?"





Well that had me getting my gumption up and telling our darling smarty-pants, yes since I have forced time to do it, being under the stay-at-home order from our governor, I was going to order the shredder! I could hear her chuckling. She doesn't think I'll do it...but it's on the task list for tomorrow!

Today's tasks are working on a couple of projects: Writing Blogs for GLIAS, keeping tabs on the e-books that I'm in the process of transferring to Kindle Unlimited so that all of my e-books will be in one place. Finally! But that may take another 2 weeks until that happens. Until then, all of my e-books are specially priced at 99 cents. C.H.'s Amazon Author Page

Isn't our new shredder pretty???





Soooo....way back under the eaves at the front of the house, we have this closet space where I put the Christmas ornaments, and a bunch of other stuff I can't live without. If you look past the Christmasy-boxes, there are some white priority envelopes. Those envelopes and from there back are seriously 41 years of taxes waiting for me to go through them, saving what's important, and shredding the rest. Well okay, except for the past 7 years.






I'm giving away 3 digital books...1 e-book (Reader's Choice) to 3 different winners!

To enter, leave a comment (and your email address to contact you) answering the question: Do you have any plans to tackle a task that's been waiting longer than mine while you're homebound?

ICYMI: I released the "Sweet" Version of my Small Town USA Contemporary Romance Series. The first three books are available in digital form in Kindle Unlimited and print. My Christmas Novella will be available in Kindle Unlimited in two weeks. 

Coming in April...large print versions of all four books! (my personal fave LOL)


     

     

    


Stay safe! Happy Reading
C.H.

3/23/2020

Coming Soon from Regan Black

For fans of romantic suspense, I'm excited to share two new releases coming your way in April!

First, COLTON COWBOY JEOPARDY, part of the Coltons of Mustang Valley miniseries from Harlequin Romantic Suspense:



On the run from a sociopath, and no one to trust... Mia Graves is in danger—and so is her baby. Jarvis Colton is exploring a family mystery when their paths cross on the outskirts of Rattlesnake Ridge Ranch. After the trauma of losing his parents, this businessman turned cowboy has no intention of making himself vulnerable ever again. Just this once, he can help a family, but can he protect Mia without falling in love?

Colton Cowboy Jeopardy will be available April 1st in ebook and April 7 in paperback!
Available at Amazon or your favorite bookseller.

And on April 14th, TYLER, a new addition to the Elle James Brotherhood Protectors world! This Guardian Agency novella is full of heart, heat, and action and available exclusively on Amazon.



About TYLER:  She's a vigilante on a mission...

Autumn Curley has no interest in changing her ways. After escaping her captors, her sole purpose is to destroy the gangs that prey on Native American women and make sure no one else suffers like she did. But she doesn't know the gangs are closing in and about to spring a trap.

You can read an excerpt of Tyler at my website!

Live the adventure!
Regan




3/20/2020

FREE BOOKS March 18-22!!

Romance writers believe in overcoming obstacles, 
both internal and external.

At this challenging time, I'd like to offer for FREE digital copies of my "first " books. 

Something to occupy your time while we navigate this uncharted waters and hopefully give a boost to your heartstrings and the belief that 
#lovewillfindaway

FIND THESE BOOKS ON MY AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE







3/16/2020

Blast to the Past: Adella's Enemy + Irish hero Cormac McGrady + St. Patrick's SALE!

Time for another BLAST TO THE PAST and an oldie-but-goodie, previously-released book and excerpt! ☘️ In honor of St. Patrick's Day ☘️, I'm sharing Adella's Enemy (my railroad romance featuring Irish hero Cormac McGrady) which is ☘️ on SALE for $0.99 ☘️ for a limited time. Or you can read the story for FREE any time with a Kindle Unlimited subscription.



Writing my "romance on the railroad" story was inspired by authors E. A. Burke and Jennifer Jakes --  and the Hell on Wheels TV series. So it seemed fitting that my railroad-foreman hero would be Irish. Cormac McGrady soon became larger than life as most Irish characters tend to do.

I ❤️ Cormac McGrady! He's the perfect match for my post-Civil War spy Adella Willows -- who is as capable as she is headstrong. But alas, poor Adella has a soft spot for...Cormac McGrady! ;)

Blurb ~ Adella's Enemy


The War Between the States ended five years ago, but she still pursues her enemy…

Rebel spy turned government rabble-rouser Adella Willows receives her mission straight from a Washington senator—play havoc with the Katy Railroad and derail its bid to win the race. The senator craves wealth. Adella craves revenge against the man responsible for her brother’s death. But her plans crumble into chaos when she enters a battle of wits with the railroad’s foreman.

An ocean separates him from his failures in Ireland, but he’s still haunted by those who died…

Seasoned railroad foreman Cormac McGrady’s sole desire is keeping his workmen safe and employed, which means keeping the Katy ahead of its rivals. But the beautiful spy bedeviling his railroad needs protecting as well. Cormac must choose between winning the race and winning Adella’s heart, while Adella must choose whether she lives for revenge or dies for love.

Can the pursuit of an old enemy lead to a new love?

Excerpt ~ Adella's Enemy

Adella & Cormac's first kiss... Almost!


Kansas - 1870

Adella’s fingers brushed the piece of paper hidden in her cleavage and she went as still as Cormac. Blast! She’d forgotten about the telegram! She needed Cormac to stay in her hotel room, but she couldn’t let him see the telegram.

“How do you know what I want?” she whispered, stalling for time.

“I don’t. But this is what I want.” In two strides, he devoured the gap between them. Then his mouth claimed hers in a hot, heady possession.

Pressed against the door, all she could do was kiss him back. She did so with abandon. Her skin tingled, and her blood raced as if her body had woken from years of sleepwalking. She didn’t want the feeling to stop. She wrapped her arms around Cormac’s neck and pulled him closer.

He suddenly lifted his head. “I want more than one kiss,” he murmured against her lips. “And I don’t mean merely claiming everything that’s under this dress.” His hand slid up her ribcage to cup her breast.

The telegram! With a gasp, she covered her chest with both hands. The corner of the paper poked her palm. Thank Dixie. It was still there. But had he seen it? She drew back against the door.

Cormac retreated as well, lifting his hand to rake it through hair that was already disheveled. Had she done that? He reached for the doorknob and she jumped aside.

“Stay away from the worksite, Adella.” He opened the door without his customary restraint. It banged against the wall. “And, for God’s sake, stay out of trouble. Don’t provoke a man beyond his patience.” 

~ * ~ 

Download Adella's Enemy on sale (or read the story free with Kindle Unlimited) on 
Amazon US | UK | Canada | Australia 

Adella's Enemy 99 cents St. Patrick's Sale

To learn what inspired Adella and Cormac's story, visit my Story Inspiration page on my website.

Wishing you a happy St. Patrick's Day 

Jacqui ❤️☘️ 

~ * ~ 

Jacqui Nelson - Author Picture
Fall in love with a new Old West...where the men are steadfast & the women are adventurous. 

Website: JacquiNelson.com
Amazon: www.amazon.com/author/jacquinelson

Join my newsletter & receive Rescuing Raven (Raven and Charlie's story in Deadwood 1876) for free: JacquiNelson.com/download-my-free-read 

3/12/2020

New for March from Harlequin Desire

Tell me if any of these hot new reads from Harlequin Desire are waiting in your TBR stack. Have you already fallen for a new hero or fabulous new power couple?



SECRET HEIR SEDUCTION by Reese Ryan
Texas Cattleman’s Club: Inheritance

Fashion mogul Darius Taylor-Pratt is shocked to learn he’s the secret heir of the wealthy Blackwood family! That’s not the only surprise as he reconnects with his ex, diamond heiress Audra Lee Covington. As old passions flare, new revelations threaten everything…

Pick up your copy today at Amazon or your favorite bookseller.


THE DATING DARE by Barbara Dunlop
Gambling Men

Jilted by their former lovers, friends James Gillen and Natasha Remington vow to reinvent themselves and maybe find love again in the process. But their daring new makeovers reveal a white-hot attraction neither was expecting…

Pick up your copy today at Amazon or your favorite bookseller.


RECLAIMING HIS LEGACY by Dani Wade
Louisiana Legacies

Playboy Blake Boudreaux will do anything to protect his family…including seducing the beautiful philanthropist Madison Armantine to get back a beloved heirloom. But as the secrets—and desire—between them grow, he’ll have to reveal the truth or lose her forever…

Pick up your copy today at Amazon or your favorite bookseller.


HEARTBREAKER by Joanne Rock
Dynasties: Mesa Falls

Gage Striker vows to protect Mesa Falls Ranch from prying paparazzi at any cost—even when the press includes his former lover, Elena Rollins. Past misunderstandings fuel current tempers, but will this fire between them reignite their attraction?

Pick up your copy today at Amazon or your favorite bookseller.


JET SET CONFESSIONS By Maureen Child

Fiona Jordan is a professional fixer and her latest job is bringing billionaire Luke Barrett back to his family business. As she goes undercover, the sparks between them are instant and undeniable. But she learns not everything is easy to fix when Luke discovers her true identity…

Pick up your copy today at Amazon or your favorite bookseller.


ONE NIGHT WITH HIS RIVAL by Robyn Grady
About That Night…

After a night of passion, smooth-talking cowboy Ajax Rawson and successful life coach Veda Darnel don’t expect it to happen again…until it does. But will old family business rivalries threaten to end their star-crossed romance before it even begins?

Pick up your copy today at Amazon or your favorite bookseller.

Happy reading!
:)




3/09/2020

C.H.'s Recipe Share & New Release Welcome Back to Apple Grove




~ ~ ~


One of the recipes mentioned in Welcome Back to Apple Grove, the 3rd book in my Sweet Small Town USA Series is Firehouse Chili. The recipe appears in the front of the book. The fun part...former FDNY firefighter Patrick Garahan is the one doing the cooking for his new firehouse in Ohio.

~ ~ ~



Firehouse Chili ~ feeds 5 or 6 hungry men in your life
(or 2 men with leftovers)...Easy Peasy!



Ingredients:
3.5  to 4 pounds of freshly ground chop meat 80/20% (the more fat, the more flavor)
2 to 3 large containers of your favorite chunky medium salsa
splash of vegetable oil 

Toppings:
Shredded Cheddar Cheese (or Monterrey Jack)
Green and/or Black Olives
Sour Cream



In a large Dutch Oven, brown the chop meat in the splash of vegetable oil. Stirring until done. Add the 2 to 3 large containers of salsa and stir to combine. Cover an bring to a boil, then simmer, checking often to prevent sticking, for 30 to 45 minutes. 

Scoop into bowls, topping with shredded cheddar, olives and a large dollop of sour cream. To encourage my guys to eat the dreaded 'green things,' I serve the chili with a tossed salad and another favorite: Honey Cornbread (or corn muffins). I use the recipe right off the Indian Head Cornmeal bag ;) *Note: since my darling hubby has diabetes, I cut the sugar and the honey quantities in half. Still tastes yummy.


~ ~ ~


So excited to be releasing the Sweet Version of book 3 in my Small Town USA Series. I loved writing about Patrick and Grace. If you've read my Small Town Cowboy Series, you've already met Patrick's brothers in book 3, Jesse ;).

I'll be releasing Sweet Versions of my Small Town Cowboys sometime during the year. More on that later.

Here's a snippet from Chapter 11 in Welcome Back to Apple Grove:

“ ’Bout time you got here, Garahan,” Dan said as he pulled into the Mulcahy’s driveway.
“Where’s your car, Dan and how’d you beat me here?”
“Meg dropped me off. I had a change of clothes in the car. She and the kids had an errand to run. We took the shortcut.” His friend nodded toward the cooler sitting on the picnic table. “Would you mind asking Grace for the ice I stowed in their freezer yesterday?”
“Be right back.” The sight of Grace barefoot and humming to herself caught his attention the moment he opened the door. She had her back to him and was stirring a big pot and swiveling her hips to whatever tune played in her head.
Sucker punched. That’s what he would later remember. The sight of Grace Mulcahy just then felt like that time his older brother had sucker punched him over Jenny Rosenkrantz.
“Hey, Dan,” Grace called out mid-stir. “Would you mind handing me the lid I left on the table? I just want to give this sauce a little more love before I—”
Grace looked over her shoulder and smiled. A slow, lovely smile that started with her eyes, softened her features, and added another blow to his midsection when her dimples deepened. He was a goner.
He grabbed the lid and handed it to her. “Smells amazing.”
“Mmm,” she murmured, stirring in random patterns. “It’s Mrs. McCormack’s recipe—no wait, maybe it’s Katie’s grandmother’s—” Grace broke off and laughed at herself. “Sleep deprived, can’t remember, but you’ll love it. Packed with garlic and spices, the red sauce will have you singing for your supper.”
Before she slid the lid in place, she opened the drawer next to the stove and pulled out a tablespoon. Dipping it in the sauce, she blew over the surface and touched it to her bottom lip to check the temperature. Patrick’s simmering libido shot sparks of awareness and desire to places better left alone. Damn.
She held the spoon out to him. “Taste it. It’s not too hot.”
He shifted to box her in against the countertop. Her sharply indrawn breath was music to his ears. He snagged the spoon and licked it clean, all the while staring at her mouth. Her ragged sigh had him leaning close, capturing her lips and savoring the combination of herbs, spices, garlic, and Grace. His head spun from the delectable delicacy he sampled.
Craving another taste, he nibbled on the fullness of her bottom lip before soothing the spot with the tip of his tongue and gorging himself with another mind-blowing kiss. She was warm, willing, and ripe for the picking. He needed air. With a swift kiss to the end of her nose, he drew in a deep breath and rested his forehead against hers.
“Hi.”
She sighed. “Hi yourself.”



Giveaway! C.H. is giving away a signed copy 2 copies of Welcome Back to Apple Grove -- print or e-book, Book 3 in her Sweet Small Town USA Series. 
Leave a comment to enter ;)


Happy Reading!
C.H.

3/04/2020

AUTHOR CONFESSIONS, part four

LIKE CHARMS?
We've got some if you're attending Booklovers Con 20!
And I have a couple for Get Lost in a Story readers.
Just leave a confession regarding your reading.

Pre-Order ~ Available Oct 2020






















Purchase



Purchase















Don't forget to leave a confession
regarding your reading.

Drawing on Wed, March 5th.

3/03/2020

AUTHOR CONFESSIONS, part three

LIKE CHARMS?
We've got some if you're attending Booklovers Con 20!
And I have a couple for Get Lost in a Story readers.
Just leave a confession regarding your reading.

















































Don't forget to leave a confession
regarding your reading.

Drawing on Thursday, March 5th.

3/02/2020

New for March from Harlequin Romantic Suspense

Looking for heart-racing romance and breathless suspense? The Harlequin Romantic Suspense authors have four great new books for you to dive into - available today!



IN COLTON’S CUSTODY by Dana Nussio
The Coltons of Mustang Valley

After receiving a message that his daughter may have been switched at birth, Asher Colton immediately goes to the mother of the other baby to get to the bottom of things. Willow Merrill has already had her childhood ruined by the Coltons, but she reluctantly agrees to help Asher. However, neither of them expected threats to both of their lives and families!

Pick up your copy today at Amazon or your favorite bookseller!


COLTON MANHUNT by Jane Godman
The Coltons of Mustang Valley

K-9 cop Spencer Colton blames himself for the death of his girlfriend and he’ll never take another chance on love. But when dog trainer Katrina Perry is endangered while looking for her missing sister, he’s forced to confront the emotional connection between them while keeping her safe.

Pick up your copy today at Amazon or your favorite bookseller!


THE RANGER’S REUNION THREAT by Lara Lacombe
Rangers of Big Bend

Isabel Cruz has been avoiding Wyatt Spalding ever since his betrayal—after they spent one passionate night together. But someone is threatening her family and their ranch, and Wyatt is the only person who can help. Can they put their mistrust behind them long enough to stop a killer?

Pick up your copy today at Amazon or your favorite bookseller!


DEADLY TEXAS SUMMER by Colleen Thompson

After a suspicious death on her team, environmentalist Emma Copley knows someone needs to investigate. When the authorities won’t, she decides to do it herself, despite Beau Kingston’s warnings. He may have a financial incentive to stop her investigation, but he certainly doesn’t want her hurt. Can they trust each other long enough to find the real culprit?

Pick up your copy today at Amazon or your favorite bookseller!


Are any of these great new reads on your TBR stack?