Jacqui Nelson’s North of the Border with guest Shelly Chalmers

Who’s next on my North of the Border guest blog series? Today we have Shelly Chalmers, author of the Sisters of the Apocalypse series (with the newly released book 4, Must Love War)!

Where does Shelly get her inspiration? How is Canada part of her inspiration? Read on and see...

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Early in my English degree, I was told again and again that Canadian authors are deeply rooted in our environment, in the seasons and the land. As a writer myself, I found this frustrating and false. My stories were more rooted in magic, myth, and yes, a bit of snark and humor. I never expected how much of my home, my country, and indeed, my environment would bleed their way into my writing too. This country and Darwell, Alberta –the small town I’ve come to lovingly call home–have me under their spell.

When it came to finding a home for my series about the four horsewomen of the apocalypse, I considered American settings, that version of small town where there’s a welcoming main street neatly lined with buildings. I considered some of the beautiful and mysterious islands Canada has to offer, like Fogo Island off the coast of Newfoundland. But it was while driving home on one of my typically long drives from the city that it occurred to me: I wanted to write a story set in the place I lived. I wanted the welcoming small town I knew to be immortalized in words.

Which was when Beckwell, Alberta, with it’s magical residents and misfits, was born. 

Beckwell, like the real small town I live near, the wonderful Darwell, is modest in size, but big on what it can accomplish, even – or perhaps especially – because it’s not exactly what you’d expect from just looking at it. 

Darwell was founded around 1915, the name selected randomly from a hymnal to settle an argument, but changed from “Darwall” to “Darwell” when the final papers were registered – and perhaps the final argument was won. It’s located in the county of Lac Ste. Anne, not far from the lake itself which was once known as Wakamne, or God’s Lake by the Nakota Sioux, and Manitou Sakhahigan, Lake of the Spirit, by the Cree First Nations, named for the mysterious creature believed to live in its depths, capable of creating unpredictable currents as it swam and overturning canoes. 

Whatever the case, Darwell has long been known as a welcoming place, whether that was for hobos traveling the rails during the Great Depression, or those looking for a place to make their homes. While many of the original town structures are gone, sold-off when they’d outlived their usefulness to pragmatic pioneers, what remains now is a small clutch of buildings centered on a four-way stop, surrounded by softly rolling ranch-land and great stretches of farmers’ fields, protected and hidden amidst boreal forest.

Each of the four corners divided by the four-way stop and intersection hold the small collection of buildings, many of which serve multiple purposes. The school sits on a small rise on the northeast corner, happily devoid of the drama and paranormal danger my fictional version suffers. The northwest corner holds two buildings: one with the store, gas station, and post office, while the other houses the restaurant and bar (neither of which, somewhat disappointingly, are owned by the Norse god Loki as they are in my fictional version – at least, not so far as I know.) 

They are friendly places, though, from which you can walk easily across the road to the modest metal buildings housing animal control and the peace officer station, or to the southeast corner, with the library sitting next to the Quonset-style half-round structures of the community hall and Golden Age Club. Behind that are the Agricultural grounds with the deep-red Cow Palace barn, and the single-story TriLakes Manor for independent senior living, which I greatly expanded in the fictional version to a full-service senior and health center – my rambunctious, magical seniors had to live somewhere. 

Real residents of Darwell, like their fictional counterparts and myself, appreciate their privacy and space. While there are a couple of houses visible from central Darwell, more of them are scattered among towering poplar trees around the area, standing bravely against the wind on isolated farms, or gathered together in spacious acreage communities. Though you’re sure to see plenty of people at the Darwell Annual Fair, around since the first one in the 1930s, but now boasting the Barnburner Country Music Concert and the Ag Drag.

To the casual observer, perhaps a small town like Darwell appears nothing like the magical version I’ve fictionalized. It might seem small, at worst mundane. Yet on late summer evenings, as the wind whispers and rustles through the poplar leaves, as the wide sky comes alive with pinks, purples, and golds, there is something magic afoot in this place. Sometimes, if you’re lucky and the breeze is blowing just right, the wheat or grass in the rolling fields ripples like an undulating, gleaming wave, and it’s one of the most beautiful and magical things I’ve ever seen. Something truly magical, truly enchanting comes alive in this small Canadian town, and I am so grateful for being able to share some small piece of it with my readers. 

I used to think my Literature Professors were batty for suggesting Canadian writing was inundated and heavy with the feel of Canada, of our seasons, our land...but maybe that’s the greatest magic of all. The magic of our land, the places we’ve been seeps into us and into our words, so we can spread them far out and around the world, into places where that magic can live forever.  

Thanks so much for having me, Jacqui, and to you, dear reader, for stopping by. Now it’s your turn! 


Comment below and tell me what you love about the place you live for a chance to win an ebook version of either Must Love Plague (book 1) OR Must Love Famine (book 2) of my Sisters of the Apocalypse series (your choice which one you prefer).

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Shelly Chalmers writes humorous paranormal romances that run the gamut from space opera to werewolves, all with a touch of magic, a sense of humor, and a dab of geek. She makes her home in rural Alberta, Canada, with her husband, daughters, and two nutball cats. 

Her latest book, “Must Love War,” completing the adventures of the four horsewomen of the apocalypse, is out now.

Twitter: @scchalmers or  twitter.com/scchalmers

Sisters of the Apocalypse series: books2read.com/ap/RDbkL8/Shelly-Chalmers  
Must Love Plague (book 1), Must Love Famine (book 2), 
Must Love Death (book 3), Must Love War (book 4)

~ All pictures (except for the 1st) are supplied by today’s guest with their assurance of usage rights. 


Amanda hosts #storiesoftheheart- Linda Broday

The Power of Believing 

by Linda Broday

Strength and Faith

We’re all tested from time to time because that’s God’s way of helping us grow and learn. Life is about overcoming and finding strength that we don’t know we have. Last year, my oldest granddaughter became pregnant and about four months into it, her obstetrician referred her to a high-risk doctor because she wasn’t gaining weight. The problem arose from her crohn’s disease. We became concerned but knew the doctors were on top of it.

At six months she’d only gained three pounds and our worry grew for the baby boy that my granddaughter had already named Asher James. The specialist checked him very often and he wasn’t gaining much either. We prayed and clung together as a family, putting our faith in God. We knew He had the power to make this turn out all right and we had to leave it in His hands.

By December 2018, my granddaughter, eight months along, had gained three more pounds for a total of six and finally had a small baby bump. My heart was heavy when the doctor delivered the news that the baby only weighed four pounds and was failing to thrive. He scheduled to induce the week after Christmas and Asher James was born on December 30 at five pounds. Though we breathed a sigh of relief, we knew he wasn’t out of the woods. In the days following, he lost down to 4 lbs 5 oz but stubbornly clung to life.

I’m happy to say that Asher is now three months old and steadily gaining weight, although still behind, not quite fifteen pounds. He has blessed our family in countless ways. Never doubt the strength God gives us and keep your faith strong for those trials yet to come. 

Linda Broday finds strength and hope in walking beside her granddaughter.


Meet N. Jade Gray

Cavalry scout Judson Stone needs to warn Lawrence, Kansas, of the impending threat of Quantrill and his raiders. Shot and left for dead, he awakes in a strange new time and place. Guilt riddles him over his failed mission as the days pass and he struggles to find a way back to his own time –and overcome growing feelings for a woman who doesn't trust him. 

Sadie Winters has her hands full juggling a full-time job, a start-up business, and the chore of keeping tabs on her mischievous grandfather. She doesn't need the further complication of caring for the stranger Gramps brought home. Little by little, the mystery surrounding Judson is revealed, and she throws herself into helping him find his way back to his own time. But how can she send him back, knowing she's fallen in love? 


N. Jade Gray grew up on a farm in Oklahoma with one sister and three brothers. She began reading romance novels in high school and was hooked. In an attempt to entertain her friends she began writing stories. The biggest hurdle she had to overcome with her writing was sharing her stories. Her former writing groups, the Wichita and Regional Authors and Low Country Romance Writer’s, helped with her confidence and shook the needed pom pom’s to get her motivated for publication. She is also a former member of the Romance Writers of America.

She met her husband, Nathan, while attending college and has two grown sons, Blake and Mason. Not really knowing what she wanted to do when she grew up, she’s held various jobs in the accounting and legal fields. She lives in Kansas with her husband, rescue cats Meera and Mango, and one spoiled dog-named Fabio. Yes, she helped named the dog. She loves to hear her husband calling for his four-legged companion.

Website   | Facebook  | Amazon  | Twitter @njadegray1  | Instagram: njadegrayauthor  | Previous GLIAS interviews

ANGI: What’s your favorite cartoon character?

JADE: My animation buddy would be Winnie-the-Pooh. No trip to Walt Disney World would be complete without a hug from Pooh.

ANGI: Daffy Duck or Donald Duck?
JADE: Rabbit season, Duck season. Going to go with the slobbering Daffy.

ANGI: What’s your favorite thing about your book’s hero?
JADE: Only one thing? 😊  His name. I woke up with his name in my head several years ago and he didn’t let me rest until his story was told. Judson Levi Stone.

ANGI: High Heels or Hiking Boots?
JADE: Hiking Boots! But, truthfully, can make a fool of myself in either tripping over my own feet.

ANGI: Got a favorite song? What makes it special?
JADE: I have many, but In the Air by Phil Collins ranks pretty high. Great memories of my younger days with friends when we “nailed” the drum solo!

ANGI: What’s your perfect day?
JADE: Can I answer April 25th like the movie Miss Congeniality? Ha
A cool spring or fall day where mosquitos and bugs don’t exist. I would take a hike and sit by a waterfall or brook and listen to the soothing water.

ANGI: Wild Flower or Roses?
JADE: I love orange or peachy colored Roses.

ANGI: Favorite inspiration or Quote?
JADE: I like this Quote from John Muir: “Climb the mountains and get their good tidings, Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you…while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.”

JADE: Loving my Fringe boots!

I love reading and watching Christmas stories. Yes, I’m kind of addicted to Hallmark channel. No judging.  😊

My Work in Progress is a Christmas story about my heroine going home to help a family member and finding herself connecting with her secret high school crush. It is still in the works and the draft Title is Tangled in Tinsel. 

Mitchell Reeves is in trouble. Someone is sabotaging his ranch, cattle are missing, his sister is testing her wings, and his quarrel with a neighboring rancher has heated to boiling. Adding a beautiful woman who claims to be from the future couldn't come at a worse time.

Computer programmer Rachel Morgan understands machines, but fails with the opposite sex. When a dog plays chicken with her car, her bad week becomes worse when she wakes to find herself in the past—in a very hunky, very delusional cowboy’s bed. 

Time spent in Mitchell’s company causes an unexpected glitch in Rachel’s determination to get home. Love. Found in the most startling place and time. Could she go home, if she had the chance, without knowing his true feelings?

When unwanted attention from another man turns to kidnapping, Rachel is torn between wishing she were home… and risking it all for the love of a cowboy.


JADE is giving away a signed copy of her recently released book Raider of Her Heart.

Get Lost on Facebook   @GetLostInAStory  #GetLostStories
AND OUR NEW Facebook Group: The Readers’ Spot

JADE WANTS TO KNOW:    You just won the Lotto. What country or vacation plans would you make? 


Jacqui Nelson’s North of the Border with guest M. A. Clarke Scott

Who’s next on my North of the Border guest blog series? Today we have M. A. Clarke Scott, author of the Having it All series!

Where does M. A. get her inspiration? How is Canada part of her inspiration? Read on and see...

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I suppose all writers put bits and pieces of themselves in their fiction. It might be events or anecdotes from their lives, or inspiration from family history such as Vanessa Grant shared in a recent post here.

One of the things about being a Canadian writer is how we sometimes feel as though we “don’t count” next to our giant neighbour to the south. There are just so many more readers in the US that telling stories set in Canadian locations was always deemed inadvisable, since, it was presumed, most readers would be unfamiliar with our cities, provinces and wild places. 

West Vancouver - photo courtesy of Unsplash
As an indie author, I chose early on to set my Having it All series in my home city of Vancouver, BC. It’s a place unparalleled in beauty, and holds its own in terms of climate, liveability, cultural amenities and recreational opportunities with any other place on the planet. Setting books here also meant I didn’t need to do research but could draw on my own experience and focus on telling the stories. 

So far the series includes Reconcilable Differences and Disruption by Design, and book three in the series is well on its way to completion.

Reconcilable DifferencesAmazon & Kindle UnlimitedPrint Books 
Disruption by DesignAmazon & Kindle Unlimited, Print Books 

This series involves a connected network of characters that mostly walk on stage in the first book. Each story is a standalone Romantic Women’s Fiction novel that explores the challenges modern women face while trying to deal with their pasts, find their place, fulfill themselves and balance career, family and love while feeling overwhelmed and having to make difficult choices.

In book two, Disruption by Design (though I’m considering changing its title and cover soon so watch for that!) my heroine is ambitious hard-working architect Alexa Jenner. Her love-hate interest is Bruce Kosczynski, a millionaire computer programmer who’s enjoying the good life, living on his beautiful sailboat, Belle Étoile, while renovating a heritage house he just bought on the slopes of West Vancouver.

Photo courtesy of Unsplash
In this story, I was able to branch out from the city of Vancouver proper to explore the gorgeous coastal neighbourhood where I spent the past 25 years. I wanted Bruce to live on the North Shore so that I could share some of my own lifestyle adventures, including renovating an old heritage house, and spending long, leisurely days, weekends and summer vacations sailing around the Gulf of Georgia on a sailboat. 

Photo courtesy of Unsplash
Since my background, like my heroine Alexa’s, is in architecture, of course I gave Bruce a more important old house than our own to renovate. In fact I drew on one of the most significant and inspiring schools of design that represent the quintessential spirit of living here. Known as the West Coast style, innovative, woodsy houses designed by some of the best early designers in our region are found nestled into the rugged forested slopes around West Vancouver. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Architecture_of_Vancouver

These buildings emphasize the natural attributes of site, including trees, rocks, slopes and panoramic ocean views, into their designs. They celebrate the environment by creating fluid connections between inside and outside, and take on shapes and use natural materials to emphasize this connection. One of the best of these architects was Ron Thom (you can read about him and see some of his work here: https://modernvancouverhouses.com/tag/ron-thom/)

Architecture of Ron Thom
The architecture of Ron Thom
The little house I gave to Bruce to renovate is of course fictional, but drew inspiration from several of Ron Thom’s actual designs. 

My architectural background gives me an advantage when choosing and describing the built environment in my novels. Some authors draw maps and plans of their spaces so they don’t get confused, or ‘paint’ themselves into untenable or illogical corners. I have a pretty good sense of space right inside my head that helps me avoid problems. More than that, of course, I love to share my experience and perspective with readers who may get a little extra from the places where my stories are set.

In addition to buildings, I love to take advantage of the spectacular natural setting here on the West Coast of Canada to lend vividness and richness to my story settings. Flowing from the design vocabulary and philosophy of the West Coast style designers, I chose to expand the setting of Disruption by Design to include both the sea, through a sailing (mis) adventure, and the nearby Gulf Islands that dot the Strait of Georgia (a continuation of the San Juan islands north west of Seattle for those who might be familiar with the West Coast.). 

I chose Denman Island for my hero’s mother’s place, where the characters make a fateful visit in the last part of the book. I’m pretty familiar with Denman, and it also lent itself very well to my story, the unique west coast community easily accommodating both Bruce’s artsy-hippy mother, his eccentric, colourful step-dad and the opportunity for a spiritual retreat for my heroine Alexa. The themes of “oneness with nature” and “going with the flow” from the architectural lessons above continue as Alexa evolves.

There aren’t many places on earth like Denman Island, and it again captures so well those unique qualities of the Pacific Northwest that those of us who live here treasure: the natural beauty, the mountains and the ocean, and something less tangible in the people who live here, like some of those characteristics of the old hippies, back-to-landers, artists and spirit seekers that gave us our nickname of ‘Lotusland.’

I hope you pick up and read Disruption by Design and fall in love with the sense of place I tried to capture in this story about family, home and belonging.

Thanks for reading!


Comment below (until April 27) for a chance to win a signed limited edition print ARC of Reconcilable Differences (including errata!)

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A Forged Affair (Life is a Journey series)
An exciting and romantic adventure set in the south of France
For more info, visit M. A.'s website or view the book on Goodreads

Single Dad in Studio 7D
A brand new novel available FREE exclusively to M. A.'s VIP Reader list subscribers
For more info, visit M. A.'s website or view the book on Goodreads  

The Art of Enchantment (Life is a Journey series)
Chatelaine Grand Prize winner

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M. A. Clarke Scott set out to write engaging stories that walk a tight rope between intelligent Women's Fiction and heart-warming Romance, and it's caused her nothing but trouble since, beginning with what to call it. In truth, she writes Romantic Women’s Fiction about women healing from past wounds as they define and achieve their own personal happily ever afters.

Chatelaine Grand Prize winner The Art of Enchantment is first in the Life is a Journey series about young women abroad who discover themselves and fall in love while getting embroiled in other people's problems. Reconcilable Differences is first in the Having It All series about professional women in Vancouver struggling to balance the challenge and fulfillment of career with the search for identity, love, family and home.

Clarke Scott lives on beautiful Vancouver Island, Canada with her husband and two cats. Although she knows she lives in Paradise, she still loves traveling the world in search of romance, art, good food and new story ideas.

Get M. A.'s newsletter and never miss a new release! Receive FREE short stories and bonus reads by signing up at www.maryannclarkescott.com. Download today- Birdwatching, Interrupted, Reconcilable Differences Deleted Scenes and a sneak preview of her latest release Disruption by Design! Stay in touch to hear about special deals and her next release- A Forged Affair.

Connect and follow on social media too!
Website: www.maryannclarkescott.com
Amazon Author Page: www.amazon.com/M.-A.-Clarke-Scott/e/B01KPSGXNO
Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/15160160.M_A_Clarke_Scott
Instagram: www.instagram.com/maclarkescottauthor
Bookbub Author page: www.bookbub.com/profile/m-a-clarke-scott
Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/authorMACS
Twitter: twitter.com/maclarkescott

Join M.A.'s FB "In Crowd" for book chat & video

~ All pictures (except for the 1st) are supplied by today’s guest with their assurance of usage rights. 


An Interview (and a Giveaway) With Kathy Douglass

Please welcome the fabulous Kathy Douglass to the blog today. We're talking about her new release, THE CITY GIRL’S HOMECOMING. The paperback hit the shelves last week and the e-book is available May 1, 2019. We're talking 

Here's a little bit about the book:

Eight dogs, eight cats…and one ornery cowboy!

Megan Jennings just found the ideal temporary home for sixteen suddenly displaced pets. Too bad the farm’s owner isn’t giving the two-legged, former New York attorney the same warm welcome. A city girl broke Cade Battle’s heart and no way the gun-shy cowboy’s trusting in the feelings Megan awakens. But after being orphaned as a teenager, Megan knows she’s finally found her forever family. Can she make Cade believe it, too?


Nancy Robards Thompson: Welcome, Kathy! I’m so happy you’re here today. How often to you get lost in a story?

Kathy Douglas:  Hi Nancy. Thanks so much for having me.

I get lost in a story all the time. It’s my favorite thing to do. Sometimes I get lost in a story when I’m not supposed to. I tell myself that I’m going to just read for a minute or two. The next thing I know that two minutes has turned into twenty. And going from twenty to thirty is quite easy. I try to be disciplined, but it’s so easy to get swept up into the world of books.

NRT: Tell us about your current release.

KD: My latest book is THE CITY GIRL’S HOMECOMING. It’s the fifth book in a multi-author continuity. The books revolve around a pet rescue in the fictional town of Spring Forest, North Carolina. Although it’s part of a series, my book stands alone.

THE CITY GIRL’S HOMECOMING is about finding family and being willing to trust in love again. My heroine lost her family in a tragic accident as a teenager and longs to feel the love of a family again. She has an open heart whereas my hero has been burned and has closed his heart to love. He has to learn to trust again if he’s ever going to experience the joy of love again.

NRT: Why will readers fall in love with your hero?

KD: Because although Cade’s grumpy, he has a heart of gold. He’s a good guy. He’s the kind of man who cares for his neighbor. If someone is in need, he helps. He also loves his dad and is a great son. He tries to put up walls around his heart, but his true self always comes through.

NRT: Tell us something special about your heroine.

KD: Megan is a giving and loving woman. She’s a hopeful person and although life has dealt her some harsh blows, she hasn’t become bitter. She believes in family and love.

 NRT: How many books have you written? Is there a secret to writing books? Any favorite places to write?

KD: THE CITY GIRL’S HOMECOMING is the sixth book that I’ve published. Before I was published, I filled many notebooks with stories that will never see the light of day. I recycled those notebooks and they’re now living happily as paper towels and paper cups.

If there’s a secret to writing books, I don’t know it. The only thing I know to do is to sit down and do the work. Some days are easier than others and the words just flow. Other days are more difficult and I’m lucky to get any words on the page. But little by little, the words find their way to the page until the entire story is told. I guess the closest thing to a secret I know is to keep writing. Keep showing up no matter how many or how few words you manage to write that day. Eventually you’ll get to type “THE END”.

I don’t have a favorite place to write. I have an office that I use early in the morning, about 5:00 a.m. or so while my husband is sleeping. Later in the day I might bring the laptop to my bedroom and work on the bed. Once the first draft is written, I print it out and put it in a purple three-ring binder. I tried other color binders, but they don’t work for me. Once I’m on the second draft, I can write anywhere. If the weather is good, I sit outside and work. If not, it’s the office or the bedroom.

NRT: Why do you write romance?

KD: I write romance because I love reading romance. I write the stories that I enjoy reading. This may sound a bit odd, but sometimes when I’m working on the first draft, I find myself thinking about the story and actually for a second think it’s a book I’m reading. Crazy, I know. But for that short period of time I want to pick up that book and finish reading it. Of course the only way to do that is to finish writing it.

NRT: When did you know you were a writer?

KD: Ooh. That’s a hard one. I spent many years writing and submitting before I finally sold my first book to Harlequin Special Edition. I guess I really knew I was a writer when I signed my first contract.

NRT: Are you an early bird writer or a night owl?  Do you try to keep a solid routine or is every day different?

KD:  I’m definitely not a night owl. I like to consider myself a middle of the day writer. In the early hours, I try and look at email, play around on social media, and reread the previous day’s words to kind of ease into the day. Occasionally I’m able to write good words, but most of the time not. But as the day progresses, I hit my stride. I’m generally done by late afternoon. If I’m on a roll, I might continue writing into the evening, but if not, I just shut it down. When I’m working on my second or third drafts, I might work later.

I try to keep a routine, but it might change from time to time, depending on where I am in the process. I don’t outline any more than is necessary for the proposal that’s required to sell the book, so the first draft is usually harder for me. There are times when I don’t have a clue what’s going to happen next. When that happens, I just stop writing for the day. But miraculously, the next day I know exactly what to do.

NRT: How do you celebrate when you finish a book?

KD:  I dance around the house. (I call it dancing even though others don’t agree.) Then I generally take a couple of days and clean up. The closer I get to the end of a book, the less inclined I am to clean or cook or anything. I am really focused on finishing. So, when the book is done, it’s laundry and cleaning. And I reward myself by reading.

NRT:   What’s your favorite flavor of ice cream (or whatever dessert you love)?

KD: I love Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia. It is my favorite ice cream. My mother loved butter pecan ice cream and I like that, too. Whenever I eat it, I think of her.

NRT: I know exactly what you mean. Certain foods make me thing of people I love. Those are good memories. Are you ready for the Speed Round? Just say the first thing that comes to mind.

*          What’s the first book you remember reading?  I grew up in a house of readers. My mother and father were always reading. My siblings always had their noses in books as well. I recall having many books read to me before I could read. Hop on Pop, One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish, and Go Dog Go are some of the titles I remember. I don’t know which book is the first I read on my own, but the one that made the biggest impression on me as a kid was Frederick Douglass Freedom Fighter.

*           What's your favorite cartoon character? My favorite cartoon character is Snoopy. I am a big fan of Charlie Brown cartoons. I watch A Charlie Brown Christmas every year. And I love Snoopy, Come Home, A Boy Named Charlie Brown and Race for Your Life, Charlie Brown.

*        Where’s your favorite place to read? My favorite place to read depends on the weather. If it’s a warm, sunny day, I like to read on the front porch. When it’s cold or late, I like to read in my bedroom. But to be honest, any place I have a book and time to read is a good place.

*        What sound or noise do you love?  I love the sound of a baby laughing. Baby’s laughter is just so sweet and filled with joy.

*         What’s your favorite movie of all time? My favorite movie is Wuthering Heights. I was very young when I saw it on television for the first time. I watch it every time it comes on TCM. My dad loved that movie and whenever I watch it, I think of him.

*        What’s your favorite season? My favorite season is summer. I love the warm weather and the longer days. And all that bright sunshine.

*         Coffee or tea? Tea

*         Beach or mountains? Beach

*        Cats or dogs? Dogs

*         Savory or sweet? Sweet

NRT: Kathy, this has been such fun! Congratulations on the new release and thanks so much for being here today.


Facebook: Author Kathy Douglass
Goodreads:  Kathy Douglass


My next book is A BABY BETWEEN FRIENDS. It’s my sixth Sweet Briar Sweethearts book and features Joni Danielson and Lex Devlin.

PREVIOUS RELEASES: (Provide a link to your book list, if possible):


Kathy is offering a copy of her first Sweet Briar Sweethearts book, HOW TO STEAL THE LAWMAN’S HEART. The giveaway is open  to U. S. only.

Answer the following question in the in comments below to be eligible to win Kathy's prize:

What is your favorite book?


Kathy Douglass came by her love of reading naturally - both of her parents were readers. She would finish one book and pick up another. Then she attended law school and traded romances for legal opinions.

After the birth of her two children, her love of reading turned into a love of writing. Kathy now spends her days writing the small town contemporary novels she enjoys reading.

Kathy loves to hear from her readers and can be found on Facebook or her website kathydouglassbooks.com.


Amanda Hosts #storiesoftheheart-Tina DeSalvo

Wisdom. Opinions. Experiences. Love. Humor. Inspiration.

By Tina DeSalvo

I am so grateful to the mature women in my life for sharing these gifts with me have a great time- part is especially fun to witness.
with words, and with their incredible actions. They sure know how to nurture friendships, care for their families and have a great time. Oh yeah, the -

My husband’s mother, who turned eighty this past fall, celebrated with a two-day birthday party, and then a few more later in the week for those who couldn’t attend. She and her group of lifelong friends, always amaze people with that kind of tireless energy and zest for fun. They’ve celebrated each other’s weddings, anniversaries, children’s births and yes, birthdays. They’ve also mourned together through illnesses and deaths. Because of this shared history, it made the thousands of meals, miles and card games they’ve had together, so much better. And, oh, the stories of those meals, miles and games are wonderful to hear about and witness. It’s the stuff that inspires my writing, layers my characters and is incredibly fun to recall. Like the time they were on a cruise for a “Girls trip” and decided it was more fun to skip going onshore to play cards in the library. They even solicited a few other passengers to join them.

My mother had this same jouie de vivre. She was always ready to do. . .have fun. In her nineties she enjoyed line-dancing, eating snowballs and being with her siblings. She had nine, but she especially loved spending time with her sisters, Mary and Rose. An observer might not think that was true. They often argued (sometimes using fiery Italian words) over childhood memories, each recounting an event differently than the other. But, then to see their heads resting against the other’s as they spoke in hushed tones of whatever it was they wanted to share, was the picture of that pure, special bond they had until their deaths. 

There is no better example or blessed memory I have of this loving connection than when my mother and Aunt Mary were saying goodbye at the airport. As Aunt Mary sat in her wheelchair waiting in the check-in line, she and my mother were arguing in the funny way they always did. Suddenly, Aunt Mary looked up, reached for my mother, her “baby sister”, and drew her closer. She kissed her cheeks and my mother returned the kisses. They looked at each other a long time afterwards with such open emotions of love and sadness, I still cry today thinking about it these years later. They knew, as I did watching them. . .this would be the last time they’d be together.

The fierce, adventurous, energetic women who have battled, defeated, lost and experienced more simply because they lived long enough to do so, are our world’s treasures. A testament to wisdom, love, endurance and good. Their lives are love stories – the kind that if we take a moment to notice, teach us what Happily Ever After is really about.

Tina DeSalvo lives in Louisiana and enjoys writing 
women's fiction that touches the heart and makes a difference.