Saturday, October 1, 2016

October 2016 New Releases

The Good Mom
Cathryn Parry

 It's all for Brandon 

Single mom Ashley LaValley will do anything to help her twelve-year-old son, a cancer survivor, achieve his dream of becoming a doctor. Even uproot their lives and relocate to Boston when Brandon gets a scholarship to an exclusive prep school. Even accept help when Brandon risks flunking out…

Even when that help comes from Dr. Aidan Lowe, an arrogant, abrasive man recently returned from a stint in Afghanistan. But the guy's also charismatic and wickedly sexy. Ashley's spent years putting her son's needs first. Now Aidan's reminding her that she has needs of her own…


Prince Charming Wears A Badge (Tales From Whittler's Creek)
Lisa Dyson

You don't have to believe in magic to find it… 

Callie James never expected a handsome prince or a fairy-tale ending. She already knows that life is full of unhappy-ever-afters—like finding her boyfriend with another woman, and being forced to return to her hometown and deal with her troubled past. 


Fortunately, she's pretty much safe from romantic entanglements. That is, until she discovers the chief of police is also her teenage crush, Tyler Garrett. Now she must find a way to face her wicked stepfamily, win over Prince Charming…and save herself in the process.  



Accidental Bodyguard (The Florida Files)
Sharon Hartley

She can't make the same mistake again

Claudia Goodwin loved and trusted once. Now she's running from the man she thought would never hurt her. Hiding in the breathtaking beauty of a private Florida island until she can testify against her ex-husband, a ruthless terrorist, she has to stay focused on survival.

Sexy security expert Jackson Richards is the perfect man to have on her side, but trusting anyone—even him—isn't an option. The one thing she can't keep hidden is the crackling attraction between them. And desire for the man keeping her safe might not be enough to protect her heart…or her life.
 



The Rancher's Prospect (Montana Skies)
Callie Endicott

Digging a little deeper  

Running his family's ranch has always been Josh McGregor's dream. Dealing with his feisty grandfather, however, is not. Josh is struggling to maintain control, and ranch manager Tara Livingston doesn't help. The only thing they agree on is ignoring the attraction between them.

Tara has a special bond with his grandfather, but she won't stay in Montana forever. Yet her bold nature challenges Josh, making him question his goals. When Tara takes his grandfather on a treasure-hunting trip to the mountains, Josh has no choice but to go along. They may not find jewels, but they could come back with something even more valuable…

Friday, September 30, 2016

Real Life Heroes

This week, my thoughts keep drifting to the wildfire burning in our local mountains. It's called The Loma Fire and it's hard to miss. A huge brown cloud of smoke crowns the ridge top, visible from pretty much anywhere in my town. Hundreds of people were evacuated from their homes.  Ash is raining down on friends who live downwind.  Beautiful wild land is burning to a crisp under flames that, at times, rise up ten stories high.

View of the smoke from the local grocery store parking lot,  just an hour after the fire began.

I live in Santa Cruz, California. A beach town. A town full of people like myself, who love to bike and hike in the mountains. Who cherish the wildlife, the redwood forests and the high, dry, brush-covered mountaintops. It's hard to think of so much that is precious being destroyed.

The first night, the fire looked like an erupting volcano. Here is a photo from a local blog, Santa Cruz Waves, of the fire burning behind the historic wooden rollercoaster at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. The photo makes the fire look really close to town.  Don't worry, it's really not that close at all!

Photo by @xbirdo

While the smoke and the fiery glow are both very dramatic, the main reason I keep thinking about the fire is because there are over a thousand men and women up there right now, trying to fight it. And I, snuggled safely in front of my computer, can't imagine the kind of courage and strength it takes to do that.  To go to work knowing you might inhale toxic smoke?  To go to work and face down flames rising taller than most of the buildings in my town?  To go to work knowing you might be burned or killed on the job?

So I am thinking about the fire and I am thinking about heroes.  How many heroes are out there, and how little we know about them.

So much of what is reported in the news is disheartening. We hear about crimes and war and politicians.  We hear about all the bad that people, unfortunately, do.  And we don't hear enough about the women and men who are making a difference in the world. Who are rushing toward the flames while the rest of us look on in wonder.  Who are walking into classrooms, hospitals, non-profits, or neighborhood businesses and working as hard as they can to change people's lives.

That is why we started Real Life Hero Monday on the Superromance Facebook page.  Each week we post at least one article about a person who is making a difference.  Who is doing something positive.  Who is trying to better their world.  As authors, we love our fictional heroes. But why not look for inspiration among these real life heroes who move so quietly among us?

Please stop by the page on Mondays and join us in celebrating the people who are 'running toward the flames.' The regular folks who are turning toward the problems they see in the world and trying to solve them.

And meanwhile, please say a prayer or send good thoughts to the thousand plus firefighters up in the Santa Cruz mountains. Their hard work is paying off.  The local paper announced this morning that they may have the fire contained by Monday.  Everyday heroes, saving the day, one more time!

P.S. Here is a link to more photos of the Loma Fire.








Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Saying Goodbye

By Angel Smits

            There’s a place in the sandhills of Nebraska that has always been special to me.  The North Loup river winds through the prairie, cutting paths through the pastures and over the thick grasslands.  A bridge spans the water, creating sandbars here and there and making swimming an adventure.  My grandparents lived there, so of course it was a place filled with fun and love.

The North Loup River
My uncle, the last of my father’s siblings living there, recently passed away, and we all made the trek back to say our final goodbyes.  And while it was goodbye to him, it was also a bittersweet goodbye to the place.  As my aunt prepares to move into town, and the land will soon go up for sale, I realize there’s no reason for me to go back—even to visit.  There’s no reason to visit, no one to go see.  So, while I was there, I took the opportunity to visit all the places I might never see again. 
You see, that’s where I learned to tell stories, and more importantly, to write them.  As a kid, I loved to sit and listen to my grandfather talk about growing up there.  Reminiscing was something the grownups did around the dining room table.  It was as if they had to one up each other to prove who could remember the funniest or strangest events.  And there I sat, listening.  And as I discovered writing, I sat there with a notebook and a pen, writing in my journal, capturing so many of those stories.  Basically, taking dictation of some of the best stories. 
Not surprisingly, my first novel-length fiction was largely written there, a story that won the Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart award.  It is a story of returning home, of going back to a special place.  It’s about good Midwestern values and the life I’d been documenting for years.  While that story has never sold, it set the tone for the Super Romances I’m writing now.  Hearth, home and family.
Wandering around the small country cemetery, visiting the graves of so many of those other family members, I swear I could hear their voices still telling those stories.  There’s a new voice in their ranks now.
One of the best memories I have of my uncle--that farmer/rancher who definitely fit in with the rural mindset of country living--read my books.  He read my romance novels.  I know the image romances have, especially to a generation of men who pride themselves on being tough and unemotional.  Not that other people haven't read my books.  I wouldn’t have expected him--or my father for that matter--to read my books.  But they have, and it’s not just lip service.  They actually know my plots and have talked about specific parts with me.  Shocked at first, there was no ignoring that thrill when I realized they really had read my words. 

Not your typical romance reader...
What a gift they’ve given me. What validation.  I feel like the kid who’s finally been allowed to sit at the adult table and share in the storytelling.  And though I’ve come back to the city, and left the country behind, I can still hear their voices--laughing, telling stories and sharing the past with me.  I won’t ever forget the roots they’ve given me.

To celebrate the memory of that life, I’m giving away of a copy of A FAMILY FOR TYLER, the book that began my Hawkins Family series.  Leave a comment to be entered and if someone’s supported your dreams, toot their horn here.  Give them their due!  Life's to short not to appreciate the people who support you. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

What do you call it? - Lisa Dyson

Maybe it’s the writer in me, but I’m always fascinated by what people call things, depending on where in the United States they live. A few years ago, while reading my soon-to-be-published manuscript after copy edits had been done, I saw words I knew I hadn’t written. My secondary female character from southern Virginia was ordering a “pop.” It stopped me immediately. Unless she was a transplant from Ohio or upstate New York, she’d call it a soda. Luckily, this read-through was my last opportunity to make any changes to the manuscript before it went to press.

We talk about other English-speaking countries having different words for things. Our elevator is a lift, and our bathroom is the loo. So I did a little research for this topic and came across many things that are called by different names right here in the United States.

Soda/pop/coke seems to be the most popularly discussed. (My Pennsylvania parents drank soft drinks.) According to Wikipedia, there’s a long list. Things I never even thought about. Growing up in eastern Pennsylvania and then living in several different eastern states over the years, I find that I use some of the names interchangeably.

Here are a few with where they’re used in parentheses. Faucet (north) and spigot (south). In my house, the kitchen and bathroom sinks have faucets. But the outside hose is connected to the spigot. Teeter-totter (widespread) and seesaw (south and midland). I’ve called it both things and never realized it. What about pit (north) and seed (elsewhere)? In my mind, peaches have pits and tomatoes have seeds.

When I lived in Rhode Island, I found that a water fountain/water cooler is called bubbler (pronounced bubbla). In eastern Pennsylvania, we ate hoagies. But when visiting my grandmother in central Pennsylvania, they were called submarine sandwiches (which freaked me out as a young child because I only pictured those old diesel boats in the glimpses of war movies I’d seen). Now I just call those long sandwiches subs.

You can see how fascinating this subject is to me and I hope I’ve peaked your interest, too. Do you have any examples to share? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below. One lucky commenter will win an advanced autographed copy of my upcoming book, a twist on the Cinderella story called Prince Charming Wears a Badge. It’s the first book in my Tales From Whittler’s Creek series. (Ironically, the “creek” that ran through the playground where I grew up will always be the “crick” in my mind!) Rest assured that none of my characters drive on a rotary/traffic circle or go into the cellar/basement.

I'll announce the winner in the comments section on Saturday, September 24. I’m also giving away a signed copy to one of my newsletter subscribers/patrons/supporters, so sign up today at lisadyson.com!

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Winners from Cathryn Parry's Monday Blog Post

Congratulations, winners!
Dear Mary, Colleen C, Fedora, Tammy Y, Laney4, bn100 and Morgan,
Thank you for commenting about your moms--I enjoyed reading each story!

If you'll send your address to my website contact form, I'll send your book prize right out to you.

Thank you for reading our books (and our blog)!

Sincerely,
Cathryn
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