Tuesday, August 30, 2016

More Great Books and Promotions

All month long, Harlequin Books has been celebrating the Dog Days of Summer. There's still time to share your pet story here for a chance to win a terrific dog-themed prize pack.

While you're visiting the Harlequin website, you might want order your copies of this month's terrific Heartwarming releases (see right bar) and take advantage of this spectacular offer.
Yes, today only, you can get a free book for each book you purchase!

And if you're looking for your next book to read, you might want to try Rula Sinara's After the Silence.

After the Silence has just been named a finalist for the Heart of Denver Romance Writers' Aspen Gold Award. Congratulations, Rula!

With summer nearing its end, thirteen of your favorite Heartwarming authors have gotten together to release A Heartwarming Thanksgiving. It will release on November 1st, but you can preorder you copy now.

If you still need more books for your TBR pile, you can find our July releases in select Walmart stores this month.



With all these terrific books to choose from, what are you reading right now?


Monday, August 29, 2016

Current and Upcoming Blog Tours and More

Do you enjoy interacting with and learning more about authors and their books through blog tours? You will have three chances to do so from now until the end of November.


The Prism Book Tours grand finale for Amie Denman's Carousel Nights is underway and will end on September 2nd. You can learn about the tour here, and there's still time to enter to win one of ten copies of Amie's first Heartwarming book, Under the Boardwalk.

If you happen to be all caught up reading this month's Heartwarming releases, don't forget that some of our authors also write for other Harlequin lines, such as Love Inspired and Western. In fact, here are two terrific July releases by Pamela Tracy and Roz Denny Fox you might want to add to your TBR pile!

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But that's not all! Another two of our beloved Heartwarming authors will be on tour in September and November with exciting new books outside the Heartwarming line that are sure to please. Visit Prism Book Tours here to learn more about these tours or, if you are a blogger/book reviewer, to sign up for the tours.
Happy reading!


Saturday, August 27, 2016

Sit Down Saturday - For Love Or Money

Today I'm talking about:

For Love or Money – there’s no ‘or’ for me. It’s always for love. But sometimes loving means needing money. Most particularly when you’re a single mother of a special needs child who needs therapy that isn’t free.
It’s so easy, many times too easy, to make snap judgments. To sit in judgment. To think we know better. We hear a story – usually just one side – or read a news article – so often biased to one way of thinking or another – and we determine right and wrong. We judge people we don’t know. And people we do know without hearing both sides of the story.
So…for love or money…which would you choose? Would you sacrifice more for love? Or for money? Would you put yourself out, do uncomfortable things, for love? And would you do more if it meant you’d make a lot of money? Are you better if you choose one over the other?
What if loving someone meant you needed the money?
What if winning the money meant that you couldn’t love someone as completely as they deserved to be loved?
I set out to write a sweet little story about a single mom who wins a chance to be a contestant on a cooking show. I should know better. My stories never turn out to be sweet, easy reads. Life happens to me every time. Muck gets in the way. Kind of like real life. Halfway through the book I’m faced with the realization that there are no easy answers. No matter how much I want to make it be so.
And yet…if I just trust, have faith, listen to the small voices inside of me, life has a way of working itself out. I don’t have all the answers. I don’t even have most of them. But I have one. The only one I need. Love exists. It is the strongest force in the universe. And if we have open our hearts to it, we will know moments of true joy.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Why Do We Read Romance Books and Write Them? by Roz Denny Fox


I wanted to blog about something more fun this month than life advice. I started thinking about all of the people I meet who ask why I read and write romance. I’m usually slightly offended and tell them rather soundly that it’s a genre I like, and that generally ends the line of questioning. However, I do ponder why it’s something people ask. I wonder if they think I don’t look like a romantic. If that’s the case, why not? Or do they feel the genre is less than—say mystery or sci fi, or even nonfiction? If so, what wrong impressions do they have? Some I sense stop short of asking why I don’t write a “real book”. (Grrr!) Those people I want to stomp on their toes.

But I decided to reflect on my reasons for reading and writing in the romance genre. My reasons may be very different from any of yours. If you’ll indulge me today, here goes:

I grew up in a rural Oregon farm community where reading was more than a pastime. It was a way to escape a fairly unexciting life. It was a way during pre-television to explore the world. Today’s kids would probably think I lived a hard life. My dad was a logger, a machinist, and a farmer. He didn’t give my sister or me spending money. We earned it. I hoed rows of onions under a hot sun, or strung miles of poles for pole beans to climb. We’d get up at four a.m. to do outside chores like water gardens before catching a bus to go to fields where we got scratched picking blackcaps, boysenberries, raspberries, or crawled down wet rows picking strawberries. The next crop was bush beans. We filled metal buckets then dumped them in gunny sacks. Dragging full sacks to the end of the row was backbreaking. The same was gathering walnuts, filberts, or prunes in rainy, pre-dawn hours before school days in the fall.

And yet because we all did the same thing, there were sing-alongs on the bus, laughter and fun. And looking back I see these were jobs that didn’t interfere with my daydreams.

My friends and I talked about finding the perfect mate. We talked about traveling to exotic places. We imagined meeting a man of wealth. Someone who’d love us as we wanted to be loved. Yes books fed those dreams, and yet I can’t think of anyone in my circle of friends who didn’t know the difference between a pie-in-the-sky dream and reality. (That’s what some people think romantic fiction does. Feed young, impressionable minds with impractical whimsy.) Naysayers really think readers can’t distinguish fact from fiction. Really? Baloney.

Love stories can give readers a respite from normal lives. Or they can show that the readers that their lives aren’t so bad.

Yes, wouldn’t it be fantastic if a white knight rode into my kitchen today and swept me away? Since I know there’s a fat chance of that happening I can smile and enjoy it when he saves a worthy heroine from her hum drum existence.

In truth most of our characters are mature, savvy, average people. They suffer with and wrestle quite ordinary or complex problems. Romance heroes and heroines could be our neighbors, or our ancestors. I believe love extends a global connection and has worldwide appeal.

Because I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t think love is attainable, that brings me back to not understanding why some question my wanting to read and write in this genre. I happen to think the universality of love is what keeps readers pulled time and again into stories with similar plots.

I do know some of the questioners think romance books are formulaic. Bah humbug. They should check out the variety of romance sub-genres. I’m happy to write for a broad market. I’m equally glad to read in that same broad market.

So if you’ve ever had anyone ask why you read and write romance, I’d like to hear if you answer them, and if so, what do you tell them?

Thursday, August 25, 2016

A Note From My Projects (Tara Taylor Quinn)

Here I am again, sitting down just to chat, and have three projects pushing at my back, insisting that I use this time to share them with you. They run my life, you know. These projects. They are my life. Not just because they take up such a huge chunk of it, but because they are the way in which I process and express everything that goes on in my world. In the worlds I observe. And one thing I've very clearly learned...I don't argue with them. They'll just make my life miserable until I give them their voice. They sound kind of spoiled. They aren't. I promise. They're just...intense. Important. They have things to contribute to the world. And so...here they are...

First up - This month saw the debut of my new Harlequin Heartwarming series, Family Secrets. Preliminary reviews have been really exciting. I love this series. It has so much going on...so many avenues to explore. We've got a reality cooking show. Contestants competing with secret family recipes. We've got some actual cooking tips. And we've got family secrets that are haunting those keeping them. If you haven't already checked out For Love or Money, Book One, it's here:


Next up is an exciting pre-order opportunity for our upcoming Christmas Anthology! 15 novellas written by current Heartwarming authors all set in the same town - a wonderful, loving town - Christmas Town, Maine. I've loved my time spent in Christmas Town! The people here have problems, face challenges, but that Spirit that embodies Christmas lives here and it's the strongest force in the world. I personally believe in the Spirit of Christmas with all of my heart. I believe in this power. I turn to it. I know it really is the strongest power on earth. And I am thrilled to be a part of this very special project! Right now you can pre-order it for just $.99!!


And third (not in importance, I'm doing these strictly in order of release!) is another very very special anthology - A Heartwarming Thanksgiving!! We're giving you two holiday anthologies this year!! A Heartwarming Thanksgiving is also a set of novellas, all written by Heartwarming authors - 13 of them! The stories are set in different places, with all kinds of plots, and each one of them revolves around Thanksgiving!! It is also available for pre-order right here:


So...they've said I did well. I am now allowed to go fold a load of laundry! Happy Thursday, everyone!



Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Research, the bedrock of an author's existence

I’ve been thinking a lot about research these days – I guess that’s because I’ve been doing so much of it. And then today Heartwarming author Kate James posted a Facebook post of sister author, Catherine Lanigan enjoying a bit of research, and it made me smile. Most authors like the research aspect of writing. We learn a lot, we sometimes experience things we wouldn’t otherwise. A mystery writer friend of mine, Nancy Cohen, who is quite well known for her “Bad Hair Day Mysteries,” exposes readers to some new and interesting aspect of modern life in each of her books. I’ve been fascinated by her info on tilapia farms, animal testing, and other subjects.

I’ve spent this summer in one of my favorite places, the high country of North Carolina. My condo has a view of Grandfather Mountain, my lungs have been breathing in the most refreshing cool air, my research juices have been working overtime. So far I have researched a Christmas tree farm, a whitewater rafting business, and tomorrow I will speak with an administrator at a local home for children, the beautiful campus of Crossnore School in Crossnore, NC. Forget what you know about “orphanages” -  dark, stone buildings with dormitories and cold winter days. Crossnore is a beautiful leafy-green facility with cottages, a school, a charming chapel, and many amenities that make life special for these needy kids.

I still have to interview the small town police department of the village I’m staying in. But when I get all my facts organized, hopefully you will see characters in an upcoming trilogy living the mountain life my research will bring to you.


Edge of the World Whitewater Rafting experience, Banner Elk, NC

Sugar Plum Tree Farm Plumtree, NC wjere they grow Faser Firs
Eight people per raft on the Watauga River, NC>

I hope you enjoy these pictures of my latest research. My next blog will include shots of the serene Crossnore School. Till then, please check out The Bridesmaid Word Sneakers, my August Heartwarming release, still “hot off the press.”
Happy end of summer.

Cynthia

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Winding Down by Janice Carter

The signs are everywhere on Garden Island, where I write and spend my summers, but I'm trying my best to ignore them.  Golden rod rampant in the meadow; apples already ripening in the orchard.



Rafts of ducks - the ducklings now indistinguishable from their mothers - drift along the shore throughout the day, feeding and feeding.  Prepping for their fall leave-taking.  The bees are working harder than ever, frenzied by the abundance of golden rod, and our honey harvest, ongoing since June, has 'ramped' up.

Gardens are overgrown as plants and vegetables are desperate to spin through the fruit to seed cycle as quickly as possible.
                                        Whoa!  Too much time writing instead of weeding.

The island itself is quiet these days too, as many cottagers are resident only on weekends while others, driven by the heat, stick to the water, avoiding the 'hot spots' of lane and meadow.
Yes, it's that time again.  End of summer.  When I was still a teacher, my late August nights would be fraught with back-to-school dreams.  Sometimes nightmares.  Yes, teachers get them too!  But retirement has eliminated all those anxieties and late summer winding down is simply that.  A segue to autumn and so on.  Seasonal changes are refreshing, in spite of their constant reminders of time passing.  And I no longer want those reminders!
             Before long I'll begin the packing up and carting off to the city of many of our belongings.  The hens will go to their winter home, care of a farmer and his young son on Wolfe Island.  The small herd of deer will wander freely - and blatantly - up and down the lane and through abandoned gardens.  The chipmunks, despite our best efforts, will find ways to sneak into the cottage to hide acorns and chokecherry seeds in our shoes and under our pillows. (No kidding!)
            Another kind of beauty fills the island in autumn and I'm looking forward to it.  Winter?  Not so much.
                                         Our family walked across the frozen St.Lawrence one winter.
                                         Once was enough for me.
     

 Once in a while, on a stormy day in the city, I'll dream - just briefly - of the next season, the next sunset on Garden Island.