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Please join me in welcoming Milou Koenings to my blog today. Milou is a fellow member of Sweet Romance Reads, an awesome person, and a very talented storyteller.

I had the pleasure of reading her new release, I Love You Three, a Green Pines Romance. She grabbed my attention on the first page and held it throughout the whole romance. I’m a sucker for a military veteran story and I love stories with babies – and this one had both! Such a great book full of heartwarming, tender moments sure to melt your heart.

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 Genre: Sweet romance, clean & wholesome

 

About the book:

A former Marine. A single mom. Two broken people.

Mac’s struggling to adjust to civilian life after the death in combat of his best friend. When a teaching job opens up in the small town where his friend used to work in the summers, Mac takes it as a sign and moves to Green Pines, hoping to find refuge from his demons.

For Julie, there’s no refuge from night feedings, a crazy mom, an ex-mother-in-law and an overdrawn bank account. She’s struggling to build a better life for herself and her baby and the only thing she knows is she’s not falling for any guy again.

There’s only one problem. You never know when love will knock you off your feet.


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Interview with Milou:

 

  1. Why did you write I Love You Three?

Because the characters pretty much insisted!

As I was writing the first Green Pines Romance, Reclaiming Home, I found myself falling in love with Mac and Julie, a young couple who featured briefly in that story. I kept wondering how those two had met. Then I wrote another Green Pines Romance, and there they were again! So when I started hearing from readers how much they liked Julie and Mac as well, so I knew I had to write their story.

  1. So this is part of a series?

It’s the newest in my Green Pines Romance series, but chronologically, it happens before any of the others. If you want to read them in chronological order, it would be: I Love You Three, The Kampala Peppermint Twist, Reclaiming Home and Sweet Blizzard.

  1. Was there any one person who was your inspiration for either of the main characters?

I’m not saying! What I will say is Julie’s ex-mother-in-law is nothing like mine. I have an ex-mother-in-law, too, and she is still one of the most wonderful blessings in my life.

  1. In this book, you deal with post-traumatic stress disorder. What made you tackle this subject?

 I grew up in a war zone, falling asleep to the sound of gunfire almost every night. I survived a terrorist attack. So PTSD is something I deal with every day. And I’m surrounded by ex-military men. So to me, it’s more like what took me so long to write about it?

  1. When do you write? Is it easier to write in the morning or at night?

 I’m so busy with my family, I have to write any chance I get, no matter what time it is!

 Buy Links:

Amazon     http://amzn.to/2lj3TiF

Barnes and Noble  http://ow.ly/XPyw308LtIF

Kobo http://ow.ly/YvUT308Lqdo

Draft2Digital (iTunes, Inktera, 24 Symbols) https://www.books2read.com/u/31g5M7

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Excerpt:

Julie squared her shoulders and looked both ways down the hall as she left the security of her office. It had been bad enough spending most days alone in the building, at the mercy of the unsettling fantasies about the new coach that she’d been enjoying for the past few weeks. She couldn’t seem to help it happening. Ever since the day he’d knocked her off that ladder, she’d had trouble concentrating whenever she was alone. It was really aggravating. She hadn’t behaved like this since junior high. And that had been before he moved to town.

That he was actually here, in the building, bothered her more than she wanted admit. She was grateful Mr. Kelley had given her advance warning that Mac would be coming in that morning, but she didn’t want to run into him more than she had to.

She heard the voices when she left the auditorium. Her stomach clenched as she recognized the sounds of the Gordon boys, and Cody Williams answering something in return. What now? She ventured down the hall, dreading the disaster she was going to discover. She hardly dared hope she might catch them before they’d wreaked their havoc. When she turned the corner, Julie stopped and blinked. It took her a moment to process what she was seeing. Surely she was dreaming.

The Gordons, Cody, and Jimmy Barker, too, she noticed, were wiping paint drops off the floor. The row of lockers behind them was gleaming with pristine, wet paint. Mac pointed toward the gym and send Cody back there with a bucket of rollers and brushes.

“Coach, how do I get this off? It dried already.” That was Mikey Gordon, his thin frame squatting and rubbing at the small strip of tile under a locker. Mac squatted next to him with a plastic bottle.

“Don’t breathe this in,” he warned, dabbing a bit of the spirits onto an old rag. “Here.”

Mike scrunched up his nose. “Man, that stinks.”

“Didn’t I just tell you not to breathe?” Mac grinned. Julie sniffed the cadaverous smell of wood turpentine wafting toward her and almost gagged. But she couldn’t help but smile at the way Mike scrubbed the tile, all the while glancing at Mac to make sure he was doing it right. It was sweet how the kid was already seeking his approval. Mac was good with him. Julie was impressed.

“Yeah, that’s right. You got it.” Mac closed the bottle. “I’m going to help the others clean the brushes. You finish up here and join us, okay?” Mikey nodded seriously. Mac stood up and caught Julie watching them. “Hey, look at this — didn’t these guys do a great job?” he swept his arm toward the lockers.

Julie didn’t like how all the air seemed to get squeezed out of her lungs when he looked at her. Or that agitated flutter in her stomach. She frowned, wiping her suddenly damp palms on her jeans, determined to fight the reaction. Unauthorized use of school resources, that’s what this was. School paint supplies. The principal should have signed off on this. And on his first day on the job, too. Weren’t military types supposed to be sticklers for rules and procedures? She would have pointed out all this, but then she remembered Mikey, still crouching nearby. She glanced at the kid’s hopeful face turned up to her and her frown melted away. She couldn’t remember when Mikey Gordon’s face hadn’t reflected dread at a coming punishment instead of hope. She couldn’t let her own discomfort ruin his moment. Julie smiled at the kid.

“Mikey, this is awesome. You guys did great job! The entire hallway looks so much better,” she said. Mikey’s whole demeanor lit up. He mumbled an embarrassed thank you, scooped up a drop cloth and headed into the gym to his comrades.

Julie, watching him walk away, could have sworn he looked taller than before. She glanced at Mac. Whatever he’d done, it was more than anyone else ever managed with those kids.

“That was a nice thing you did,” she said softly.

Mac raised an eyebrow and grinned. “A sentence of hard labor? Not sure they’d call it nice.”

Julie chuckled. “I’m not even going to ask what the sentence was for. I think it’s the first time I’ve ever since that bunch not being destructive.” She paused. “It isn’t really Mickey’s fault you know. He just tags along.”

“Yeah, I got that.”

Good. Maybe he was more perceptive than she might have thought. But hopefully only about kids. She didn’t need him turning that talent on her.

She turned back toward the other end of the hall. Mac stopped her.

“Was there something you wanted?” he asked.

She looked at him standing there, tattoos up his arms, paint-spattered shorts and a gray T-shirt that only highlighted how ripped he was, and forgot how to breathe. Her eyes trailed the swirl of inked words that snaked up his right bicep and slipped under the sleeve of his T-shirt. Semper Fidelis.

Always faithful? Oh, yeah, sure. Her jaw clenched. “No thanks. I just heard the kids’ voices and thought I’d better investigate.” She walked away and only let out her breath once she’d turned the corner.

Was there something she wanted? She sure wasn’t about to answer that.

 

 

***

 BIO:

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

Contacts and Social Media:

Website     www.miloukoenings.com

Twitter       https://twitter.com/MilouKoenings

Facebook   https://www.facebook.com/MilouKoenings/

Pinterest    https://www.pinterest.com/miloukoenings/

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7578772.Milou_Koenings

Amazon Author Page    http://amzn.to/2jlzGxZ

Newsletter http://bit.ly/2jlDIGG

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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If you are a writer looking for some good resource books to add to your writing toolbox, think about getting Melinda Curtis’ new release.

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Frankly my dear… Creating Unforgettable Characters truly is a book full of tools, tips, and clever hacks to create memorable, realistic, flawed characters.

The book provided the basics for creating characters and conflict as well as offered a fascinating look into eighteen schemas.

A schema is a mental concept that provides the framework about what a person can expect from a variety of experiences and situations. Schemas are developed based on life experiences and the information is then stored in memory. Schemas are created by our brains as a short cut to make navigation easier in similar situations that may arise in the future.

These schemas, and Curtis’ in-depth look into how they can relate to characters, can help drive your writing of characters to the next level.

You can find the book on Amazon today!

***

It doesn’t matter if your writing style is planned, spontaneous, or somewhere in between–it’s the character and conflict that sells! Character and conflict hooks in studio execs, holds an editor’s attention, and draws in readers, compelling them to turn the page. So what is the secret sauce? How can you hack into believable and compelling characters? By using a tried and true psychological principle adapted for writers by Melinda Curtis, an award-winning, USA Today bestseller of over 35 books and novellas.

In this book, you’ll find the basics of character and conflict, along with a multi-faceted psychological principle that can be used to create characters who need to grow and change. Inside are numerous tips to create and deepen character and conflict from the beginning of your story to the end. You’ll discover hacks to give your characters depth and provide them with behavioral bumpers so they act consistently throughout your story, until they grow and change in an emotionally satisfying finale. As an added bonus, there are over 100 examples from movies and television that illustrate how to use each principle. That means adding this book to your writing toolbox will help you sell to editors and studio execs, and create compelling reads that bring audiences back for more.

***

And if you want to find out more about your schema, you can do this quick little quiz: http://www.oprah.com/omagazine/whats-your-schema_1

***

USA Today and Amazon Bestselling Author, Melinda Curtis is the award winning author of contemporary romance that spans the sexy scale – from sweet romance to sweet romantic comedy (written under the Melinda Curtis brand) to fun, sexier romances (written under the Mel Curtis brand).

 

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A new release from my fellow Sweet Romance Reads author Donna Fasano!

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WILD HEARTS OF SUMMER, Ocean City Boardwalk Series, Book 3

Cathy Whitley’s two best friends, Sara and Heather, may have found the men of their dreams… and that’s all well and good for them. But that’s not going to happen to Cathy. She allowed love to catch her off-guard once and it drained her dry, emotionally and financially. She’ll never let it happen again. Ever.

Brad Henderson has been chasing Cathy for years. He’s settled for their on-again-off-again, “friends with bennies” relationship for far longer than he expected. Attempting to swim through the rip currents surrounding her heart has left him swimming in circles.

Then Brad inherits a business worth millions from billionaire Harold Hopewell.Hopewell had traveled the world and was touched by the stories of the people he met. In death, Hopewell is giving back, leaving an unusual will filled with life-altering bequests. Brad can’t believe his stroke of luck. Now Cathy will surely see him in a new light. Right?

One way or the other, it’s time to draw a line in the sand…
US Kindle: http://amzn.to/2kc92bQ

UK Kindle: http://amzn.to/2jjb2ir

Nook: http://ow.ly/uREb308dA9y

iBooks: http://ow.ly/IzDR308dAiB

Kobo: http://ow.ly/tPoT308dAmS

~Donna Fasano~

USA TODAY Bestselling Author
Blog  l  Newsletter  l  Facebook  l  Twitter  l  Pinterest

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Please join me in welcoming the talented and entirely awesome Kristin Holt to my blog today. She has a brand-new release to share with us!

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Sophia’s Leap-Year Courtship

Union Pacific Station Agent Chadwick Hughes has everything in a state of readiness to welcome his mail order bride…everything but the bride. The woman he’s corresponded with for a year didn’t change her mind or miss her train in Omaha—she never existed. Chadwick’s mortified to discover he’s been swindled by a fraudulent matrimonial agency in Chicago. He needs a lawyer if he’ll ever recover a dime of the fortune he spent on worthless membership fees and the nonexistent bride’s transportation west.

Sophia Sorensen, Attorney at Law, is a spinster on the edge of propriety. The good people of Wyoming Territory are open to a lot of things, including Lady’s Privilege during Leap Years, but some aren’t fond of her day-to-day behavior. Why, the woman rides her bicycle hither and yon, showing her petticoat ruffle and ankles. She might be the least ladylike specimen beneath Wyoming skies, but it’s entertaining to watch her court the U.P. Station Agent, Chadwick Hughes, the most-eligible bachelor in the county.

sophias-leap-year-courtship-ebookAmazon buy link http://a.co/8GciS0l

Enter a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule

Feb. 27 Heidi Reads / Bookworm Lisa / Donna Fasano

Feb. 28 Singing Librarian Books / Peggy Urry / Shanna Hatfield

March 1 Wishful Endings / LDS Writer Mom / Getting Your Read On

March 2 My Book a Day / Milou Koenings / Mel’s Shelves / Literary Time Out / Margaret Daley

March 3 Katie’s Clean Book Collection / Smiling Book Reviews / Magdalena Scott /

Melanie Snitker / Bubble Bath Books

Connect with Kristin online:

Twitter :https://twitter.com/KHoltAuthor

Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/KristinHoltSweetVictorianWesternRomance

 

Website: http://www.kristinholt.com/

Goodreads link: https://www.goodreads.com/KristinHolt

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My incredibly talented and very dear friend Melanie D. Snitker is releasing Finding Joy – book 5 in her Love’s Compass series.  

From start to finish, the book kept me engaged, interested, and dying to know what happened next. The mixture of longhorns, a good-natured dog, a newborn baby, and characters that you cheer for to fall in love made for a fabulous read! Get your copy today! I absolutely loved this story!

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Sometimes, what looks like a dead end, is really a new beginning.

A horrific accident changed everything for Parker Wilson. Unable to find solid footing in his disrupted life, he returns to his family’s ranch, a place he thought he’d left behind for good. The scars on his face are a daily reminder of all he’s lost, yet his mom still insists he needs to stop hiding and live his life again. The beautiful new employee she hires is the last thing he needs, despite his mom’s best intentions, and he’ll do whatever it takes to make the girl quit and regain the peace and quiet he prefers.

Nothing short of desperation would force Chelsea Blake to work on a local cattle ranch. But if she’s going to avoid her parents’ judgment when they arrive in three weeks, she must turn the temporary job into a permanent one. Between dodging mud, feeding longhorn cattle, and dealing with a handsome boss who keeps giving her the cold shoulder, staying gainfully employed is proving to be a challenge. Chelsea may not be cut out for ranch life, but her determination to succeed is stronger than Parker’s efforts at forcing her to leave. 

Unprepared to discover all they have in common, if they set aside their initial dislike, they just might find joy beyond measure.

Finding Joy is only $0.99
Now through February 19th
Check out the entire Love’s Compass Series
and experience the stories of faith, love, and family. 
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melaniedsnitker2016
Melanie D. Snitker has enjoyed writing for as long as she can remember. She started out writing episodes of cartoon shows that she wanted to see as a child and her love of writing grew from there. She and her husband live in Texas with their two children who keep their lives full of adventure, and two dogs who add a dash of mischief to the family dynamics. In her spare time, Melanie enjoys photography, reading, crochet, baking, archery, target shooting, learning about essential oils, and hanging out with family and friends.

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The Writer’s Book Launch Guide from Keely Brooke Keith is an informative, helpful tool that is great for first-time authors and those who are multi-published veterans of the industry.

Filled with tips and tidbits to help you successfully launch your book, Keith’s guide is a valuable addition to your writing resource library.

Although the information she shares is more big-picture than nitty-gritty details, it offers a wealth of information writers need to know.

***

 

The Writer’s Book Launch Journal: A Guided Book Marketing & Promotions Planner

Let The Writer’s Book Launch Journal guide you through the marketing and promotional tasks every author should do to ensure a successful book launch. Filled with checklists of essential tasks, an abundance of publicity suggestions, and questions to personalize your promotions, The Writer’s Book Launch Journal will lead you on the journey to a fun and fulfilling book launch.

Discover how and when to:

  • Ready your author website
  • Craft a compelling book description
  • Rally your writing allies
  • Recruit a launch team
  • Build media connections
  • Get book endorsements
  • Create a media kit
  • Find book reviewers
  • Use social media
  • Create promotional videos
  • Run giveaways
  • Contact book bloggers
  • Let book websites spread the word for you
  • Throw a book launch party
  • Send email announcements

And much more!

Title: The Writer’s Book Launch Journal: A Guided Book Marketing & Promotions Planner

Author: Keely Brooke Keith

List Price: $9.99

Page Count: 152 pages

BISAC: Reference / Writing Skills

ISBN-13: 978-1537300337

ISBN-10: 1537300334

Find online:

Amazon | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Goodreads

Keely Brooke KeithKEELY BROOKE KEITH is the author of Aboard Providence, releasing October 2016 with CrossRiver Media, and the Uncharted series (Edenbrooke Press). Her novels are known for blending genres in surprising ways. When she isn’t writing stories, Keely enjoys playing bass guitar, preparing homeschool lessons, and collecting antique textbooks. Originally from St. Joseph, Missouri, Keely resides with her husband and their daughter on a hilltop south of Nashville where she dreams up stories, hoping to encourage, comfort and inspire readers. She is a member of ACFW.

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By Kristy McCaffrey

My many thanks to Shanna for letting me stop by and share my new release. I figured the polite thing to do would be to introduce myself.

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I write historical western romances because, well … to be honest, I’m not sure. I was born and raised in Arizona, so it’s possible I simply ‘absorbed’ the stories hugging the buttes and hiding among the saguaro. I was never a huge fan of westerns (I’m afraid I was a Star Wars nerd) but I love grand, mythical tales and the Old West had loads of ’em.

I’ve always written, ever since I was a wee child, but I didn’t pursue writing in college. I suffer from an annoying amount of insecurity, so I studied engineering in school because I did so want to impress my dad. But the sad truth is that while I had good grades (fear of failure is a great motivator), I was a terribly un-intuitive engineer. But what am I good at? I can filter the magic of the world into tales of heroism, love, and adventure.

I have a movie log, which I started when I was ten years old. For a very long time, I had no clue why I compulsively recorded every movie I’d ever seen (and still do). But one day, the proverbial bolt of lightning hit me. It’s my collection of stories. People need narratives, and writers especially need to keep their coffers of story-bones filled in order to harness the creative well of their own work.

 

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What is my writing process? I’m an amalgam of a plotter and pantser. I’ve written 7 novels (one is unpublished), 1 long novella, and a handful of short stories, and just when I think I’ve got a handle on my practice, I realize that I don’t. Each project dances to its own beat. (Much like my four kids—they all turned out completely different. Phoning it in as a mom never worked.)

So, how to write a book? First, I brainstorm, and anything goes. Second, I do a first pass on research to get a feel for what I can get away with (since I write historical westerns I must adhere to some of the rules of that time period). Then I write and write and write, and often it’s garbage. I will attempt to plot in an effort to make sense of the narrative but almost always abandon it. More writing, and more attempts at plotting. At this point, I hopefully have a first draft complete. My first editing pass is fairly involved. I rewrite A LOT. When that’s finished, a second editing pass is required, but that goes more quickly since I’m just picking up loose ends, bad transitions, and inconsistent characterizations. At that point, the story is pretty much at 85% and that’s close enough to send it off to the editor. There will certainly be more cleanup, with at least one deep editing pass based on the editor’s comments, along with 2-3 more proofreads. It’s generally here that I become convinced my writing is bland, the story is boring, and I’ll scream if I have to read it one more time. So, naturally, it’s time to share it with the world!

 

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Now Available

Amazon or read for FREE in Kindle Unlimited.

99 cents for a limited time.

Can be read as a stand-alone novel.

Molly Rose Simms departs the Arizona Territory, eager for adventure, and travels to Colorado to visit her brother. Robert left two years ago to make his fortune in the booming silver town of Creede, and now Molly Rose hopes to convince him to accompany her to San Francisco, New York City, or even Europe. But Robert is nowhere to be found. All Molly Rose finds is his partner, a mysterious man known as The Jackal.

Jake McKenna has traveled the bustling streets of Istanbul, exotic ports in China, and the deserts of Morocco. His restless desire to explore has been the only constant in his life. When his search for the elusive and mythical Bluebird mining claim lands him a new partner, he must decide how far he’ll go to protect the stunning young woman who’s clearly in over her head. A home and hearth has never been on The Jackal’s agenda, but Molly Rose Simms is about to change his world in every conceivable way.

Please note: Contains mild violence and a sensuous love scene.

Excerpt

McKenna’s jet-black hair curled along the collar of his shirt, and a coal-colored stubble had sprouted on his strong jawline. When he shifted his gaze to her, his eyes put her in mind of molasses. Molly chewed on her lower lip and glanced away, lest McKenna catch her staring.

Shaking off her fascination, she asked, “How did you meet Robert?”

“In a poker game.”

Molly gasped. “Robert gambles?”

McKenna chuckled. “You’ve already been to a whorehouse. If you wanted to remain innocent, you shouldn’t have come to Creede.”

Her backside stiffened. “I’m not naïve to the ways of the world.”

Another grin lit his face. Her breath caught and her heart pounded more intensely. She honestly couldn’t look away. She’d read about people who possessed a charm that swayed the masses and opened doors with merely a glance, but she’d never met such a person.

What was the word she’d come across? Charisma, that was it. In this moment, the meaning became crystal clear.

“Whatever you say, Miss Simms. Why did you come to Creede?”

“To visit my brother, of course.”

“You came by yourself all the way from Tucson?”

“My folks believed that Robert would be here to meet me.”

He nodded, his amiable demeanor slipping a bit. She took a steadying breath to quiet the knot in her stomach that never quite receded. Please be all right, Robert.

“My folks thought that Robert would look after me,” she added, her voice muffled as rain continued to pound on the roof of the cabin. “But I assure you that I can look after myself.”

“I don’t doubt that. I’m at your service, nevertheless.”

“For what?”

“Protection.”

He held her gaze, and a frisson of awareness shot through her. She shifted her eyes to the stove. She hadn’t traveled all this way to fall for the first rugged buckaroo who crossed her path, charisma or not. She had more important things to do with her life first.

Copyright © 2016 K. McCaffrey LLC

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Bio

Kristy McCaffrey has been writing since she was very young, but it wasn’t until she was a stay-at-home mom that she considered becoming published. She’s the author of several historical western romances, all set in the American southwest. She lives in the Arizona desert with her husband, two chocolate labs, and whichever of their four teenaged children happen to be in residence. She loves to travel and frequently blogs about her adventures.

 

Connect with Kristy

Website: http://www.kristymccaffrey.com

Blog ~ Pathwayshttp://www.kristymccaffrey.blogspot.com/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKristyMcCaffrey

Twitter:  https://www.twitter.com/McCaffreyKristy

Newsletter: http://kristymccaffrey.com/Newsletter.html

Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/2erVsze

 

 

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