Thursday, February 27, 2020

To the Rescue

by Joanne Rock

This winter seemed like a good time to revisit the best of my backlist, something I've been meaning to do for awhile. I recently celebrated my 90th book release with Harlequin (Rule Breaker), and hundredth-something overall. Which means I have a lot of older works that many of my readers might not have seen!

But contemporary books need updating. The world has changed so much in the last twenty years, and there are things that sound "off" to my ears in the older books, or there are snafus with technology that is so much different now. Luckily, I found some time this year to dive back into some stories I loved in the past to freshen them up and make them right for today.

Book 1
So I've got my "To the Rescue" series ready to share! I connected military and ex-military heroes from books that were all lightly suspenseful and sexy, too. The series begins with Renegade, which was released in an earlier form as Up Close and Personal. I loved Rocco, my ex-SEAL repo man hero, and Jessica is a sensuality guru who embraced her calling after a life trauma made her feel distanced from her own body. I admired her strength. Bonus? You'll get a visit to San Diego- aka, SEAL central--for this story. All three of the To the Rescue books have beachy settings.

For Protector, I moved to beautiful Puerto Rico as my matchmaker heroine travels to test the validity of her dating software and winds up with a sexy... well, protector! And the series winds up with Defender, set near Virginia Beach where my Navy explosives expert is recovering from an injury. 

The books are on all platforms, with Renegade at a special price to get you started!

**I set these stories at three beaches I've loved! What's your favorite beach? Or are you not a beach person? I've got a copy of THE RIVAL for one random poster!

Sunday, February 23, 2020

The Nevada Cowboys are Coming

Publishing is a weird thing. We write our books and send them off to our editors and a few rounds of edits later we send our little book babies out into the world. And they are out there. We don’t really have the opportunity to make changes or adjust little bits or bobs that maybe our readers caught but we didn’t.

That, I think, is as it should be. Because, I don’t know about you, but I could pick a book to death changing this comma or that incomplete sentence (used for emphasis, of course) or that spelling oops (seriously, how did we miss that oh-so-obvious misspelling?).

When I turn that final edit in, though, it’s like a release for me. That book is still mine, but it’s a signal to my writer brain (and heart) that it isn’t just mine now. It’s my editors and my readers and, yeah, even the haters.

But every now and then, authors get the chance to do something a little different. We get to re-release books. And that’s what I’ve been working on for the last month or so.

A couple of years ago I had a cowboy trilogy out: three brothers, their ranch outside Las Vegas, their stories. I loved that series but my publisher (Crimson Romance) was bought out by a bigger publisher (Simon & Schuster) and they allowed us (not just me, all the authors) to request rights back on our books at a certain time.

The time for my cowboys – it’s now! And I’m finding that digging back into their stories is so much fun. I’ve fallen in love with Gage and Connor and Jase all over again…and with Callie, Miranda and Sabrina, too. I’m so grateful to my editors Jess Verdi and Julie Sturgeon who helped me get these books ready for the world back in 2016 and I’m so glad I’ve had the chance to re-read their stories and clean up those last few typos (that I swear some word processing gremlins had to put in there because the three of us couldn’t have just missed them!) and develop new covers for them.
Today I’m sharing those new covers – and blurbs – with y’all! Book 1 of the trilogy releases this month, but you can order book one now and pre-order books two and three!

Here's a bit about the series: Hot Las Vegas nights get even steamier for these three powerful, wealthy businessmen with cowboy roots and the strong, independent women who fall for them. What happens in Vegas certainly won’t stay there as these successful tycoons win at love.

Gage, Nevada Cowboys Book 1: Hot shot property developer Gage Reeves is taking Vegas by storm – that is, until his brother makes him the face of desperate bachelors everywhere. Enter Callie Holliday, who is trying to get a new, upscale spa off the ground. Callie’s connections in Vegas run just as deep as Gage’s, but unlike Gage’s family past Callie’s is pristine. They make a deal: her business venture, his building but what starts off strictly professional turned decidedly personal. Will Gage and Callie risk their professional success for a shot at love?

Buy Gage today: Amazon  iBooks  KOBO

Connor, Nevada Cowboys Book 2: Denver publishing heiress Miranda Clayton is tired of society parties and shopping, but her tycoon father refuses to take her seriously. Her solution? Beat him at his own game by going to work for his top competitor, Connor Reeves. Connor isn’t fooled by Miranda’s act for a second. He knows exactly who she is; the question is what does the lady want?

Pre-order Connor today: Amazon  iBooks  KOBO

Jase, Nevada Cowboys Book 3: Twenty-something ice queen Sabrina York enjoys fame and fortune writing self-help books for a largely female audience—but she could do without her reputation as the Oldest Living (Supposed) Virgin in Vegas. Jase Reeves knows Sabrina’s not nearly as cold as she would like people to think. He didn’t intend to have a one-night stand with the Vegas Virgin, but now he can’t get her out of his head. Now Sabrina has one goal: stay away from the handsome gambler before he melts her career—and her heart.

Pre-order Jase today: Amazon  iBooks  KOBO

Kristina Knight's latest release, Gage, Nevada Cowboys Book 1, is available now in paperback or e-format! 

Knight is a contemporary romance author, part-time TKD-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 FacebookTwitter or Instagram.

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Happy 200th Birthday to Susan B Anthony by Michelle Styles

Today 15 February 2020 is the 200th anniversary of Susan B Anthony’s birth. This amazing woman was a tireless campaigner for women’s suffrage and abolition in the US. Although she died before women achieved the vote in the US, she and her tireless energy  was a major reason why the movement succeeded in 1920 in securing the right for women to vote in the US when the 19th amendment was ratified.
Susan B Anthony from Wikipedia
As she said just before she died in 1913  failure is impossible. And so it proved.  It meant women had the right to say how they would be governed. Lawmakers had to take women’s concerns into account.
Susan B Anthony was a tireless organiser and a woman who was not afraid to make enemies in the pursuit of a cause which she knew in her heart was right. Her skill at organisation is one of the main reasons that women’s suffrage grew as a  cause and an unstoppable force.
 Too often as women, we are taught to play nice and to be subservient or risk being labelled difficult. Difficult is why Susan B Anthony and others like her achieved the vote. They became stubborn and stuck to their principles. They were not afraid to make enemies.
Hester C Jeffery from Wikipedia
Interestingly the one layperson to speak at her  funeral was Hester C Jeffery, a noted African-American activist and a good friend of Anthony’s. Jeffery also arranged for the first memorial to Anthony. It can sometimes be overlooked that African-American women worked just as hard (if not harder) for women’s suffrage.  This is slightly surprising as the women’s suffrage movement grew out of the abolition movement.
Today, it can be tempting to take the right to vote for granted. It can seem like a chore or a nuisance. There can be better things to do with your life. In the US, unlike in Britain, people are not entitled to take time off from work to vote. But voting is the one thing you can do to hold your law makers to account. It is a chance to make your voice heard.  Voting is a privilege rather than an onerous duty.
Now is the time to make sure you are registered and ready to vote in the coming US presidential election (for example as a US citizen who lives overseas I am allowed to vote in federal elections as an absentee but I always have to request my ballot at the right time). It doesn’t matter how you vote, it just matters that you do and that when you do,  take pride in doing something that people worked for many years to ensure your right.
In other news:
The Sons of Sigurd continuity is about to kick off with Michelle Willingham’s Stolen by the Viking. There is also a free online read by Michelle Willingham starting on 16 March on
Sons of Sigurd
Driven by revenge, redeemed by love
When Sigurd, King of Maerr on Norway’s west coast, was assassinated and his lands stolen, his five sons, Alarr, Rurik, Sandulf, Danr and Brandt, were forced to flee for their lives.
The brothers swore to avenge their father’s death, and now the time has come to fulfill their oath. They will endure battles, uncover secrets and find unexpected love in their quest to reclaim their lands and restore their family’s honor!
Join the brothers on their quest in
Stolen by the Viking by Michelle Willingham
Falling for Her Viking Captive by Harper St. George
Conveniently Wed to the Viking by Michelle Styles
And the story continues with
Redeeming Her Viking Warrior by Jenni Fletcher
Tempted by Her Viking Enemy by Terri Brisbin
Coming soon!

Michelle Styles writes warm witty and intimate historical romance in a wide range of time periods for Harlequin Historical, most recently Viking. Her next book Conveniently Wed to the Viking will be published in July 2020. You can learn more about Michel and her books on

Friday, February 14, 2020

Christina Hollis: A Romantic City for Everyone...
Pic via Pixabay
Valentine's Day should mean spending time with the one you love—but what if you're unattached? If you are intentionally single, or sorry to be alone, February 14th can be a difficult day. It feels like the whole world is part of a couple, except you.

That's not true—and even if you are happily paired, it's not all romantic restaurants and early nights. I've got so much work to do for my university course, I can't take a day off today. I'm looking on the bright side, though. Tomorrow's Saturday, so OH is taking me to out to lunch at our favourite cafĂ©—as long as I promise to leave all my text books at home!

If you'll be at home this weekend, you could try out some of the cheap and cheerful fixes I wrote about on my blog during the post-holiday slump. I'm unlikely to get a holiday this year as I've got too much studying to do. I won't even be able to make it to the Romantic Novelists' Association's conference, which is the first time I'll have missed it since I started attending, about eight years ago!'ll have to make do with looking back at the photos we took during our last holiday in Florence. I love the city, and can't wait to go back. There's something for everyone: centuries of history on display, (usually) wonderful weather, friendly people, stunning scenery, and of course the amazing artwork in the Uffizi gallery. 

Florence was the inspiration for my Mills and Boon romance, The Italian's Blushing Gardener, where a career girl meets her match in a new boss. This has just been re-released as the three-romances-in-one collection With Love From Florence, which also includes love stories by Scarlet Wilson and Heidi Rice. 

If you need cheering up, why not visit my blog today for a chance to win a copy of With Love From Florence?

Christina Hollis writes contemporary fiction starring complex men and independent women. She has written more than twenty novels, sold nearly three million books, and her work has been translated into twenty different languages. When she isn’t writing, Christina is cooking, walking her dog, or gardening.

You can catch up with her at, on Twitter, Facebook, and see a full list of her published books at

Thursday, February 13, 2020

The Reader and Writer Connection

Susan and I talked about Perfection, which led to us talking about creating and letting go this week on our Trippin' with Holly and Susan video series. I'd done a blog post about it not too long ago. That idea of making then letting go is one I think every writer and artist grapples with.

I had an English teacher years ago and we kind of disagreed about books' meanings. She'd say, "The author was trying to say..."  I didn't agree. I might find a certain meaning in a writer's words, or in a painting or piece of ceramics. But I'm bringing my own experience and bias to it. If you read the same book or looked at the same piece, you might see something entirely different. So unless the teacher had a written explanation of intent from the author or knew them, she could only know her opinion. Each of us brings our own experience and bias to any art. We see what we want to see...sometimes what we need to see.

That's the beauty of creating. I create with intent. But once I let a book go, you own the story. It speaks to you in whatever place you happen to be.

That's a beautiful, symbiotic relationship.

Thanks to everyone who's partnered with me in the past! I hope you'll come back and check out my new Hometown Hearts series!


Sunday, February 02, 2020

My Weird Love of New Car Shopping by Susan Sands

I like to shop for cars. It's a strange obsession, I admit. A complete waste of one's time. Possibly. An avoidance of writing? Definitely. But we all have our oddities. Some writers clean to avoid writing. Some go on social media. (Me too, but lately it's such a mood killer that I've begun avoiding it.)

Back to my car shopping. I don't have endless funds to buy cars. Nope. But I love the new technology in them. The smell of them. Driving them. I'm a salesman's nightmare. Or happy dream. I leased my first car almost three years ago and got an email that they would take it back early. I got excited and jumped on the opportunity, ran to the dealership and drove all the new cars. My husband suggested I branch out to other makes and models because they would pay off my remaining lease to get my business.

As you can imagine, this opened up a whole new world of test drives and time wasting. I live five minutes from eight or nine dealerships. I decided I would be open minded about my decision. Not pressured by brand identity. I would pick the car that I loved the most. (Within budget reason)

I have quirks about cars/SUVs. I have to be able to see all around me. Nothing claustrophobic, and the vehicle has to accommodate my shortish arms. My elbow must reach the middle console as an armrest. And the telescopic steering wheel must come out enough so that I don't drive with straight, reaching arms, because my leg length to reach the pedals is normal. And I like a light interior because of heat and dust. The newer trend for all black shows everything and is very hot here in Georgia. Finding all this is all much harder than you think.

I had to rule out over half the cars I drove outright. And you wouldn't (or you would) believe some of the male personalities I dealt with. I asked if there were female sales people. There aren't. The reason given is the six-day-per-week, ten-hour schedule. Part time doesn't allow the sales person to hit any of their numbers. Wow.

So, I found my car. She's beautiful and perfect. She has ALL the new safety features and technology. She has a cream interior and is guaranteed not to show denim transfer. She has seats that have a massage feature (???). Heated steering wheel. All of it. I'm completely in love and my exciting search is over. I get to do it again in about 2 1/2 year. Can't wait...

Now I must write my book. It's getting good, y'all. The whole time I was wheeling and dealing with the sales guy, I was thinking about my book. So, maybe there is a benefit to all the time away from the writing. I've found my aha moment for the story.

Anybody else love to shop for cars?

I'll be in the writing cave if anybody needs me!

Have a great weekend!