Sunday, October 27, 2019

Cover Reveal

Book 3 in Mesa Falls - February 2020

by Joanne Rock

Happy Sunday, my friends! Today I wanted to share a special cover reveal as Harlequin just released the refreshed Harlequin Desire look for the February 2020 books. My Dynasties: Mesa Falls book, Rule Breaker, got the special treatment with this gorgeous cover!

He always gets what he wants…

She’s strictly off-limits.That’s never stopped him before.

Rebellious rancher Weston Rivera knows saving April Stephens during a blizzard at his luxury retreat is risky. But it’s not nearly as dangerous as the desire blazing between them. After all, Weston is a prime target of April’s current financial investigation at Mesa Falls—and he’s hiding secrets. Now their searing passion is melting the lines between business and pleasure…even as it threatens Weston’s entire world.


There are six books and an online read for Mesa Falls, beginning with The Rebel in November. Marcus Salazar heads to a remote ranch in western Montana to honor his father's dying wish, only to uncover his dad led a second, secret life. Complicating things for Marcus is Lily Carrington, a woman he needs to avoid, not only because she's way off-limits, but also because he's certain her real loyalty is to his rival-- his half brother, Devon.

The miniseries continues in December when you'll meet Devon Salazar, in The Rival. Then, look for Rule Breaker and Heartbreaker in 2020. 

*What's in your TBR this fall? Are you ready for Christmas novellas? Still reading some spooky paranormal for Halloween? Share with me and I'll give one random poster an advance copy of The Rival.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

The Editing, It Never Ends ~ @AuthorKristina Knight

You Can't Edit a Blank Page.

Sometimes I feel like there hasn't been a time I haven't been editing. In journalism school we edited and edited to get our news articles just so and once they were perfect on the page we printed them out and pasted up the paper. When I moved into TV news I learned that kind of editing was simple. In television they send you out in the big, wide world, tell you to shoot good pictures and get good interviews...and then come back and make the hour of footage you just shot into a story of a minute or less. And then I started writing my own stories and learned all that editing would stand me in good sted...because writing the perfect story the first time through is truly a myth. At least for me.

But I've learned a few things along the way and editing isn't the heinous crime against creativity it once was.

First, don't tackle it all at once. There are layers to my editing. As I'm writing the first draft, I read through the previous chapter before starting fresh with a new chapter. During that pass I correct small misspellings or grammar issues. I don't allow more than that. Once the book is finished I allot time for 3 full passes: 1 to check on grammar issues, 1 to check continuity - is that character's name really Reginald? WTF was I thinking?!? - plot and flow issues (this sounds like a lot but I've found they work well together), and a final pass to see what I've overlooked. On that final pass I print out a copy in 14ish point type and some kind of color ink (lately I like blue). I find the bigger font and color change helps me catch little issues I haven't to that point.

Second, time is my friend. You know those editing layers? I don't tackle them on the first, second and third day after finishing the draft. I wait at least 2 weeks before starting any kind of editing. And I try to let at least a few days slip by before going from one draft phase to another. Those built-in waits help me 'forget' the story so each time it's like looking at it with fresh eyes.

Third, new projects are a great carrot. During those wait times, I'm not twiddling my thumbs. I'm reading - out of and in the genre I write. I'm writing - sometimes on a new book, sometimes researching a new book, sometimes just free-writing some really, truly, horribly bad poetry that will forever be locked under my bed. But I'm still working on the creative side of my brain.

The subject line up there comes from La Nora herself. She said something to that effect a few years ago and it's kind of caught on in writing circles. Because she is 100% right. You can't edit a story that hasn't been written. In some cases you can't tell a story that hasn't been edited.

Do you have an editing tip that you live by?

Kristina Knight's latest release, Moonlight Match, is available now! 

Moonlight Match is part of the Resort to Romance continuity project ~ 10 sweet romances, all set during a week-long matchmaking event in the Bahamas! 
Aster Harrington believes in love but love doesn’t seem to believe in her. She’s hoping Goldie and Ginny, the matchmakers who’ve matched on two generations of Harringtons, can work a little love magic for her…

Some call Ethan Talbot rigid, but he prefers to think of himself as prepared. Unfortunately, when he’s matched with Aster Harrington at Joy Island’s Matchmaking Week, all those carefully prepared plans go out the window. He can get back to finding a suitable wife once he’s home in New York. After all, how much damage can one week in the Bahamas do to his plans?

Kristina Knight is a contemporary romance author, part-time swim-kid wrangler, and full-time ThinMints enthusiast. You can find out more the book and Kristina on her website, and feel free to stalk follow her on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

Monday, October 14, 2019

Christina Hollis: Writing History—Wet Washing and Drying Days

It's been raining cats and dogs here in Gloucestershire for days. While the downpour setting has swung backwards and forwards from "car wash" to "drizzle" it has at least been mild. The winds, though blustery, have been nothing compared to the terrible hurricanes and typhoons suffered in other parts of the world. I love letting the washing dry on a line strung across the kitchen garden, but there's been none of that this week.

My first few weeks back at university have been busy. I've been deciding on modules for this semester and the next, along with my ideas for my dissertation. One of the reasons I signed up for this course in Creative and Critical Writing  was because I found researching Struggle and Suffrage in Bristol fascinating. I wanted to find out more. Where better to do that than in a university? It  has zillions of books, and a huge archive.

I'm working on the effect technology had on women's lives during the twentieth century—specifically, the way it made household chores easier.
Find out more at
Until mid-December 1930, the wives of miners in the Forest of Dean didn't have one wash-day a week. They had at least five days of hauling water, and heating it on the stove in order to scrub their husband's work clothes. Men came home filthy at the end of their shift at the pit. After stripping off his boots and dirty clothes outside the back door, a man would soak in a tin bath in front of the fire in order to get clean.

Meanwhile, his wife had the mammoth task of getting his clothes clean and dry as fast as possible. That wasn't easy at a time when Forest villages had no electricity supply. There wasn't much money about in those days, so when it came to clothes the general rule was "one on, one in the wash". During the summer, drying clothes outside on a washing line was easy—until it rained. Then, and during the winter, it was a case of living with steaming wet washing draped over clothes horses and fireguards all around the house.

On Saturday, 20th December 1930, Christmas came early for some of those Forest of Dean wives. After months of anticipation, Cannop Colliery opened some state-of-the-art pit head baths. 

Instead of walking home filthy, men stripped off their wet clothes as soon as they reached the surface. They showered in comfort, then dressed in everyday clothes for their walk home. They left their sodden workwear to dry overnight in the bathhouse's specially-designed heated cabinets. From that day on, the women's drudgery of doing laundry after every shift down the mine became a memory. Washday became a task done once a week, usually on a Monday.

Not to be thrown out with the bath water...
In the days before my family bought a washing machine, that was the routine in our rural Somerset home, too.  It was an all-day job. Water was heated in an electric boiler.  Shirt and blouse collars and cuffs were scrubbed before being worked up and down in soapy water. 

Then the washing was rinsed, hauled out of the water, wrung, then put through the mangle (mind those fingers!) 

Even as a tiny child I was involved in every stage. I used to love blowing soap bubbles between my cupped hands. I wasn't so keen on getting wet cuffs, though. Gran would roll up my sleeves but somehow they either slid down again, or the water would run up my arms!

The best things about washing day before automation was the sound and sight of fresh washing cracking and dancing in March winds, or the fragrance of Fairy Snow and Sunlight soap on a hot June morning.

Do you have any memories of wash-day?

Christina Hollis's first non-fiction book, Struggle and Suffrage in Bristol is published by Pen and Sword Books. You can find out more about that here, catch up with her at, on Twitter, Facebook, and see a full list of her published books at

Sunday, October 13, 2019

100 Episodes!

Last week, Susan Gable and I posted our 99th episode of Trippin' with Holly and Susan! That means tomorrow we'll be posting our 100th episode!! Have you seen them? We try for a nice mix of videos about writing, books, reading, tv shows, movies, Erie PA tours...

Basically, no topic is off limits! Well, almost no topic! LOL

As we approach finishing up the first 100, we're looking at the second 100 and asking for your help. We'd love to know what you'd like us to talk about. So please send us questions or suggestions for topics. Or send us places in Erie you'd like us to visit and take you along for the ride!

I know most of you watch them on Facebook, but I have been busy parking them at YouTube. So if you've missed an episode, or (eek!) haven't seen an episode, you can always find them there! You can post any suggestions here or on Facebook, or send them to me at HollyJacobs1 (at)

Thank you all for trippin' with us! And for helping to fill the tank by buying our books!


October Sales:

Are there any you've missed? Now's the time to get them!

Hold Her Heart:
Steamed, Maid in LA Book 1:
Dusted, Maid in LA Book 2:
Spruced Up, Maid in LA Book 3:
Swept Up, Maid in LA Book 4:
Polished Off, Maid in LA Book 5:
Once Upon a Thanksgiving, PTA Book 1:
Once Upon a Christmas, PTA Book 2:
Once Upon a Valentine's PTA Book 3:

Wednesday, October 02, 2019

The Things I Do to Avoid Writing by Susan Sands

Most days I sit down in front of my computer screen with the very best intentions of writing like the
wind. BUT, I get sidetracked. Do you? Like any other kind of work,  some days, I do almost anything besides what I should.

And I rationalize that it's necessary. I mean, a good social media presence is a vital part of the author's brand, right? So, there's the quick run through to see what's happening in the world. A lot, most days, let me tell you. And it's important to find something cute or funny (for me anyway) to post on my timeline on FB or IG first thing. Then, there's the never-intended quick stop that can turn into a hellish black hole of Twitter. I try to look away, truly I do. Don't even get me started on the dog and cat videos.

Sometimes I have a quick look to see what books my author friends are reading and recommending, what BookBub's got on sale, and who's released a new book. Y'all, this stuff is legit and it takes time.

By this time, I might need a snack or a bathroom break. I know you're nodding because you understand what I'm saying.

I do write a lot of words. Some days more than others. But it's a process and it takes me a while to gather my courage to open that Word file and get back into the story that's been calling to me in my sleep. By the time I finally do, I'm more than ready to tackle my plot hole, my next complicated scene, or whatever the day's writing holds. Do I take breaks? Yes. But I also hold myself accountable to a word count and deadlines.

Best to all my writer friends out there, and I'm in awe of those of you who can resist the rabbit holes of excessive research and other dastardly temptations to stray from your manuscript.

Happy Writing!