September #TBR Challenge

For September’s Wild Card theme, I chose a book I heard a lot about earlier this year. I picked up a copy of Sinner’s Creed at the Berkley signing at RWA16, intending to use it as a giveaway for my mailing list.  But I read the first chapter and was hooked.

Sinner’s Creed is set in the world of outlaw bikers and according to her bio, author Kim Jones is part of that world as a biker’s “ol’ lady.” It’s not a pretty world. But the two main characters and their story—told entirely from the hero’s POV– was so compelling, I kept on reading, even though I knew the story would go places I wouldn’t like.

Dirk is a Nomad, a roaming assassin for the Sinner’s Creed motorcycle club. He’s never known another life and considers himself an unredeemable monster.  The one bright spot in his life are his chance encounters with a beautiful blonde girl from a world far removed from his.  Saylor is innocent, and to Dirk, an angel out of his reach. But one day, he finds her walking along the side of the road in tears, demanding that he take her with him when he leaves town.

He does.

Dirk’s life as a Nomad doesn’t allow room for attachments or love, but with Saylor he finds both. He changes, and though he’s still part of a brutal world, he’s never cruel to Saylor.  But Saylor has a secret, and without spoilers, I can’t reveal it, beyond saying that it ends hope for an HEA, at least in the conventional sense. 

Dirk doesn’t expect he’ll find happiness, but romance readers do expect it, which is why this book raised such a controversy when it was released.  I won’t weigh in on whether Sinner’s Creed qualifies as a romance, but it is an excellent example of why the RITA Awards need a category for Fiction with Romantic Elements. This book was well-written, with fully developed characters acting out a compelling story in a vividly depicted world.




While I won’t debate Sinner’s Creed’s romance novel bonifieds, I will offer another view on this book, one some may find just as unexpected. Despite the sex, drugs, violence and f-bombs, Sinner’s Creed is at heart, an inspirational romance. Saylor’s faith is an integral part of her character, and in an early scene, Dirk finds her kneeling in prayer on the floor of gas station restroom. Though Dirk considers himself beyond redemption Saylor doesn’t, and near the end of the book, he prays the sinner’s prayer, well-known to Christians.  It’s not a big, climactic moment, but a quiet one of only a few lines. Yet it completes Dirk’s journey and insures his reunion with Saylor.  While it’s not a conventional HEA, it’s deeply moving.

While fans of traditional inspy might be put off by the crude language, sex and violence of Dirk and Saylor’s world, I highly recommend Sinner’s Creed to those looking for a faith element in a gritty mainstream romantic novel.  It’s not an easy book to read, and plenty about it will break your heart, but don’t be afraid to climb on and enjoy the ride.

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July and August #TBR Challenges


It’s time to double up on my TBR Challenge. While I’ve been keeping up with the reading, I can’t say the same for the posts. Between conferences, finishing one project and starting a new one, I’ve fallen a bit behind. But I’ve genuinely enjoyed the books I read, without further ado, here are my #TBRChallenge reads for July and August.


July #TBR RITA Finalist/Winner

Fire Me Up- Kimberly Kincaid


I chose this book because I met Kimberly Kincaid at the 2016 Barbara Vey Reader Weekend and Fire Me Up is a 2016 RITA Finalist for Best Long Contemporary.


I was drawn to the story mostly because of the bad boy chef hero.Despite the cover, the book has little to do with motorcycles, beyond the initial crash that brings together hero Adrian Holt, and EMT heroine Teagan O’Malley, and sidelines Adrian with a broken collarbone.

For Adrian, being unable to work is more than an inconvenience. An ex-convict now on parole, he moved to Pine Mountain to work in the local resort’s fine dining restaurant, and avoid any trouble that could make his hateful parole officer send him back to the big house. But the kitchen is the only place where Adrian knows control and stability, and eight weeks away from it feels one step closer to his old, chaotic life. At loose ends, he ends up a local pub one night, only to discover that the incompetent short-order cook fumbling her way through backed-up orders is Teagan.

Teagan despises the kitchen but has taken over running her father’s bar and grill after he suffers a stroke. Adrian offers his assistance that first night, and returns the next night, drawn by both Teagan and the heat of the…um…kitchen. He offers to help Teagan run the Double Shot while he’s recuperating, provided everything is on the up and up. Teagan assures him it is, only to discover that her dad is in debt to a local shark to the tune of $15,000.

Adrian and Teagan have hot chemistry, and for a bad-boy, there’s a sweet, tender side to Adrian that I loved. He’s also the first hero I think I’ve ever read with platinum hair. Teagan is the classic caretaker who has devoted her life to watching over her father, but she’s not a sheltered pushover. In fact, she’s the decision-maker everyone turns to in a crisis.  She’s tough—not in a kiss-ass sense, but in a capable sense. But occasionally, she tires of all the responsibility and watching Adrian support and care for her was one of my favorite parts of the story.

Something else I loved about Fire Me Up, was that the story and central problem—how to raise $15K pronto, felt very real.  There’s not a lot of glamour in Teagan and Adrian’s world, but there’s a love for family, community, a life’s business, and of course food. Fans of small-town romance, open to characters that are bit of a departure from the typical firefighter hero/sweetshop-owner heroine, should give Fire Me Up a read.


August #TBR- Kickin’ It Old School

Only In Your Arms by Tracy Cozzens


Published in 2000, this book fit the criteria for the August challenge, which was to read a book more than ten years old.  I discovered it through a recent Retro Review on Super Librarian Wendy’s website and ordered a 50-cent copy of the long-out of print historical from Thriftbooks.


While I was initially wary of the mullet-ed hero on the cover, I loved Only In Your Arms.

Set in the early 1600s, this cross-class romance turns the trope upside down, as well-born Lady Judith Ashton falls for poor Shakespearean actor, Marcus Sinclair.


I won’t go into all the plot twists and turns, other than to say that there many, and they give the story something of a swashbuckling feel. While some of the dialogue sounds jarringly modern (was “okay” used in 1602?), there’s a lot of interesting historical detail in this story. Cozzens provides insight into the life of an actor, puts us in the audience at the Globe Theater.  There’s even a cameo by the Bard himself.


But what’s best about this book are its vivid characters.  Some are despicable, others redeemable, and three I loved from the get-go; Marcus, Judith and Judith’s gutsy ladies maid, Audrey.


Low born Marcus is kind, handsome and noble. And though he’s viewed with disdain by the nobility, his love and sacrifice for Judith prove his sterling character. Wealthy Judith knows she must honor her father’s wishes and preserve her family’s name and legacy. Though they yearn for each other, both know that a match between a noblewoman and an actor is unthinkable. Audrey is protective, brave, and willing to stand up to an earl’s son’s advances, only to fall for him—as he falls for her.


It’s through this secondary romance that Cozzens effectively shows how in this world, well-born men had all the advantages. While Lord Richard’s match with a maid leaves his snobbish mother aghast, the men in his family applaud his choice of saucy, pretty Audrey.  On the other hand, loving outside her class gets Judith slapped, subjected to a humiliating physical exam to determine if her virginity is intact, and locked away in a tower. Marcus is brutally beaten on the street, only to end up in Newgate Prison.  I’ve read few Black Moments as black as this one.


Marcus and Judith get their HEA, but not because of a plot twist that reveals him as a long-lost prince in disguise.  Marcus’s station doesn’t change, but other characters do, and to me this was much more satisfying than a contrived “fairy tale” ending.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and thanks Wendy, for bringing it to my attention!


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This Week At Rosedale Cottage…Welcome to Linda McLaughlin



We do love a summer picnic here at Rosedale Cottage. Here’s a photo of a recent one. See how smooth and tidy our blanket is? And those two pieces of unidentifiable fruit in the middle. That’s all we’re having because we’re so health-conscious…and smiling.

Actually our picnics look nothing like this. Where are the ants, the mosquitoes, the jumbo bag of Cheetoes? And who wears socks with their strappy sandals or a jaunty little pom-pom hat in late July?

No one at the Cottage, I assure you.

Just ask this week’s guest Linda McLaughlin, here to share her favorite summertime  #RomanticIdea.


Take it away Linda…

“A Jug of Wine, a Loaf of Bread—and Thou” – The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám

I love that quote, and it makes me think of romantic summer picnics—at the beach, by a lake, in the mountains or a park—whatever location works best where you live or vacation. But what to pack? Wine, bread, meat and cheese are a given, but don’t forget the summer fruit—ripe red strawberries, lush juicy peaches or crisp apples. There’s nothing like a taste of fruit to sweeten a kiss.

That sounds great Linda….maybe I’ll rethink the Cheetoes. Would you like to share a little bit about your sweet Regency romance, Lady Elinor’s Escape?

I’d love to!

Lady Elinor Ashworth always longed for adventure, but when she runs away from her abusive aunt, she finds more than she bargained for. Elinor fears her aunt who is irrational and dangerous, threatening Elinor and anyone she associates with. When she encounters an inquisitive gentleman, she accepts his help, but fearing for his safety, hides her identity by pretending to be a seamstress. She resists his every attempt to draw her out, all the while fighting her attraction to him

There are too many women in barrister Stephen Chaplin’s life, but he has never been able to turn his back on a damsel in distress. The younger son of a baronet is a rescuer of troubled females, an unusual vocation fueled guilt over his failure to save the woman he loved from her brutal husband. He cannot help falling in love with his secretive seamstress, but to his dismay, the truth of her background reveals Stephen as the ineligible party

Can we read an excerpt?

Absolutely. In fact, it’s all about a picnic.

Elinor looked around her. “Where shall we have our picnic?”

“I have a particular place in mind.”

A few minutes later, he reined in the horses near a small pond with a few ducks paddling on the surface. He put his hands on her waist and swung her down from the curricle. His hands lingered for a moment longer than necessary as he stared into her eyes. His were a dark liquid amber, like honey, and the warmth in his expression set her heart to racing.

Alarmed by her reaction, she stepped away from him. Oh my, this very private picnic might not have been a wise idea at all.

After tethering the horses, he spread a blanket under a nearby oak, and then produced a picnic basket. While Elinor lowered herself onto the blanket, removed her gloves and bonnet, he dug into the basket. The picnic turned out to be a hearty repast of cold chicken, cheese, bread and butter, cider and sweet, fresh strawberries.

Elinor did not realize how hungry she was until she took the first bite of chicken. Before she knew it, she had devoured a bit of everything, aware of Stephen watching her the entire time.

“I did not mean to eat so much,” she said, feeling a bit embarrassed.

“As you are so slender, I had not expected you to have such a hearty appetite,” he remarked with a smile. “I approve.”

“Everything was delicious.”

“I’ll pass your compliments on to Mother’s cook. She kindly provided the food.”

“You mean you cajoled her into it,” Elinor teased him.

He flashed her a boyish grin. “Cook always did have a soft spot in her heart for a hungry boy.”

“You must have had a wonderful childhood.”

He shrugged his shoulders. “Fairly typical, I should imagine, except for my habit of bringing home stray and injured animals. I was the despair of my mother.”

Elinor laughed softly. “Then you have not changed much, only now you collect stray females. What does your mother think of that?”

Again he shrugged. “If only I were to marry one of them, she would not object at all, or so she says.”

“I see.” So he was under familial pressure to marry. But he could hardly consider a liaison with a seamstress. Was he pursuing her as one last fling before getting married?

“There is one strawberry left.” He held it out to her.

She leaned toward him and bit into the sweet pulp. A trickle of juice ran down her chin. With one finger, he captured the moisture, and then licked it off, all the while holding her gaze. Her eyes widened at the intimacy of the gesture as heat rose to her cheeks. She was in over her head here.

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Author bio:


Linda McLaughlin grew up with a love of books and history, so it’s only natural she prefers writing historical romance. She loves transporting her readers into the past where her characters learn that, in the journey of life, love is the sweetest reward. Linda also writes steamy to erotic romance under the name Lyndi Lamont, and is one half of the writing team of Lyn O’Farrell.

You can find her online at:





Twitter: @Lyndi Lamont

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June #TBR Challenge- Favorite Trope

Sleeping With The Enemy- Tracy Solheim



It’s June for another hour, so I still have time to post this month’s TBR challenge book- favorite trope. I chose Tracy Solheim’s Sleeping With The Enemy because I had the pleasure of meeting her at this year’s Barbara Vey Reader Appreciation weekend. For a Packers fan, she was lovely. (just kidding, she was lovely anyway)  I purchased one of her books, and when I pulled it off the top of my TBR pile, I was delighted to find it combines sports romance with one of my favorite tropes, reunited lovers. Oddly, it also combines two of my least favorite subgenres and tropes: Billionaire romance and enemies to lovers.

So which won? I’m glad to say that the elements I liked in this book far outweighed the things I didn’t.

Bridgett and Jay met in Italy as summer interns during college, fell in love, and then had their lives turn upside down in a matter of weeks, as Jay’s wealthy stepfather died, and Bridgett discovered she was pregnant. Through a series of misunderstandings, and the devious  actions of Jay’s vindictive ex-roommate, each believed they had been dumped by the other. Thirteen years later, Jay is a dot-com billionaire and owner of the Balitmore Blaze football team. Bridgett is hired as his attorney when the team and Jay are sued by a disgruntled cheerleader, and hounded by a mysterious blogger.

I won’t go into a detailed explanation of the plot, because it’s twisty and there’s only an hour left in June.  Suffice to say, while it contains a few (too) lucky coincidences, for the most part, it makes sense. I liked that the action played out over a week and culminated at a football game, though much of the action took place away from the field.

I liked Bridgett, who was strong but vulnerable, after losing both Jay and their baby. Jay has dealt with his pain by focusing everything on business, and approaches every facet of his life (Bridgett included) as a deal he must close. While this was kind of off-putting, Bridgett’s reaction to him now, versus the man she once knew, as well as Jay’s gruff tenderness toward his wild-child young sister, showed he was more than a young Donald Trump clone with good hair.  By the end of the book, I wanted this couple together and was satisfied that their HEA was the real deal.

I’m glad I gave Sleeping With The Enemy a read, and will look forward to reading more of Tracy’s books.

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RITA Nominated Authors Best First Book Giveway


Would you like to win one of 2 $50 Amazon gift cards? Or win a collection of the eight amazing books which are the  2016 RITA Finalists for Best First Book…(including Pairing Off!)

Read on!

Today we are sharing an incredible giveaway hosted by the 2016 ‘Best First Book’ RITA Nominated Authors! They are giving away 2 $50 Amazon Gift Cards, and a copy of each of the nominated titles. There will be 3 winners total. Be sure to sign up below and check out the authors who are participating and their incredible titles. Contemporary romance, historical, paranormal, suspense, and YA. There’s something for everyone!



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NO BETTER MAN by Sara Richardson

Book Blurb:
When it comes to business, Avery King always comes out on top. So after a very public breakup, work is the perfect excuse to flee the Windy City for the gentle breezes of Aspen, Colorado. Her mission: acquire the land of a rundown mountain ranch. Avery expects an easy win . . . until she meets the rugged and irresistible rancher who won’t give up his property without a fight.

Bryce Walker is stunned by the stubborn beauty determined to get what she wants. But what she wants is his last connection to the life he used to have. Bryce has plans to return the ranch to its former glory and no way will he sell his family home. Yet the more time he spends with Avery, the more her sweet touch makes him forget his painful memories. Now Bryce must decide whether living in the past is worth losing his future . .


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NIGHT HUSH by Leslie Jones

Book Blurb:

Night Hush is a 2016 RITA® nominee for Best First Book, and the winner of the New England RWA’s Reader’s Choice Award.

In this gripping and action-packed debut, an Army Intelligence officer and a Delta Force soldier must race against the clock to stop a catastrophic terrorist attack …

When Army Intelligence officer Heather Langstrom’s military convoy is ambushed and she’s taken prisoner, she knows she’ll need all her strength and courage to survive, escape her captors, and report the whispers of unrest brewing in the Middle East.

Delta Force Captain Jace Reed isn’t one to throw caution to the wind, but when his team stumbles upon beaten and weak Heather fleeing the terrorist training camp they’ve been dispatched to destroy, he’ll risk everything to get her to safety.

Once back on base, they learn her convoy’s ambush was no accident … she’d been targeted. As the evidence of an impending attack mounts, Jace and Heather uncover a deadly terrorist plot that could kill hundreds of civilians.

But Jace’s protective instincts and Heather’s fierce independence put them at constant odds. And as they close in on the extremists, they must learn to trust one another in order to save innocent lives … even if it means sacrificing their own.


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Strongest_Steel (1)

Book Blurb:
“An incredible story about healing, pain, and trust…you don’t want to miss this one!” –New York Times bestselling author Jen McLaughlin

“I know what you’re up to,” she said.
“And what would that be?” he asked with a devious smirk.
“You know.”
“Is it working?”
She looked over her shoulder to where he was still reclining against the wall, watching her patiently. All the reasons she’d vowed to stay alone, to remain uninvolved, fled as he grinned at her.

In Scarlett Cole’s The Strongest Steel, Harper Connelly never expected to find herself outside of a tattoo parlor at one in the morning. The scars that decorate her back are just one more reminder of things she’d rather forget, the past she wants to leave far behind her, but before she can move on, she needs him.

Trent Andrews has his own reasons for specializing in inking over scars. And there’s no way in hell he’s going to turn Harper away. Not when a swirling mix of tenderness and desire slams into him every time he sees her. Being with Harper is like going ten rounds in the ring―exhilarating, powerful, and dangerous. She stirs feelings in him he thought were long gone… if he can only get past her carefully constructed defenses.

Running was the only thing that saved Harper last time, but each session at Second Circle Tattoos brings her closer and closer to Trent. His lingering touches seduce her, making her believe in a life without fear, where she can be happy, whole, in love. But when cryptic messages start appearing on Harper’s phone, strange deliveries arrive at her door, and Second Circle is vandalized, Harper is convinced that her ex-boyfriend has tracked her down, and worse, that he knows about Trent. She ran from her past once before; this time will she have the strength to fight back?

“This book gave me so many feels! Angst, passion, and love all set in Miami, my favorite city. I can’t wait for more from this author and I can’t recommend this book enough.” – Sidney Halston,USA Today bestselling author of Against the Cage


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ALTERED by Marnee Blake

Book Blurb:

When “normal” ends, survival begins…

The sickness came on suddenly and violently. When it was done, waitress Blue Michaels was different in a really strange way. And the entire town of Glory was dead…except for her.

Only that’s not exactly true. A handful of people made it, including U.S. Army Specialist Seth Campbell, who was caught in the wrong town at the worst time. He’s fierce and protective, and way too good-looking. As much as they need a leader—as much as Blue wants to trust him—there are too many questions and not enough time for answers. Now they are hunted. But what their pursuers don’t know is each of them has strange new powers. And they’ll use their “gifts” to survive…no matter who stands in their way.


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Book Blurb:

Immortal Vikings are among us.

Leif Skarsganger and his elite band of immortal warriors have been charged to protect humanity from the evil Norse god Loki.

Under attack from Loki’s minions, Leif is shocked to encounter a dark-haired beauty who fights like a warrior herself. Wounded and feverish, the Viking kisses her, inadvertently triggering an ancient Norse bond. But when Naya Brisbane breaks away and disappears before the bond is completed, Leif’s warrior spirit goes berserk. If Leif doesn’t find her fast, he’s going to lose himself to permanent battle fury.

But Naya doesn’t want to be found…and he’ll do anything to track her down. Because they’re both running out of time.


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KRISTI ANN HUNTER_NobleMasquerade (1)
A NOBLE MASQUERADE by Kristi Ann Hunter

Book Blurb:

Lady Miranda Hawthorne acts every inch the lady, but inside she longs to be bold and carefree. Entering her fourth Season and approaching spinsterhood in the eyes of society, she pours her innermost feelings out not in a diary but in letters to her brother’s old school friend, a duke–with no intention of ever sending these private thoughts to a man she’s heard stories about but never met. Meanwhile, she also finds herself intrigued by Marlow, her brother’s new valet, and although she may wish to break free of the strictures that bind her, falling in love with a servant is more of a rebellion than she planned.

When Marlow accidentally discovers and mails one of the letters to her unwitting confidant, Miranda is beyond mortified. And even more shocked when the duke returns her note with one of his own that initiates a courtship-by-mail. Insecurity about her lack of suitors shifts into confusion at her growing feelings for two men–one she’s never met but whose words deeply resonate with her heart, and one she has come to depend on but whose behavior is more and more suspicious. When it becomes apparent state secrets are at risk and Marlow is right in the thick of the conflict, one thing is certain: Miranda’s heart is far from all that’s at risk for the Hawthornes and those they love.


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Book Blurb:

Imagine a world where your destiny has already been decided…by your future self.
It’s Callie’s seventeenth birthday and, like everyone else, she’s eagerly awaiting her vision-a memory sent back in time to sculpt each citizen into the person they’re meant to be. A world-class swimmer. A renowned scientist.
Or in Callie’s case, a criminal.
In her vision, she sees herself murdering her gifted younger sister. Before she can process what it means, Callie is arrested and placed in Limbo-a hellish prison for those destined to break the law. With the help of her childhood crush, Logan, a boy she hasn’t spoken to in five years, she escapes.
But on the run from her future, as well as the government, Callie sets in motion a chain of events that she hopes will change her fate. If not, she must figure out how to protect her sister from the biggest threat of all-Callie, herself.


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PAIRING OFF by Elizabeth Harmon

Book Blurb:

American figure skater Carrie Parker’s Winter Games dreams were dashed when her philandering partner caused one of the greatest scandals in skating history. Blacklisted from competing in the United States, her career is over…until she receives a mysterious invitation and is paired with the most infuriating, talented—and handsome—skater she’s ever met.

Russian champion Anton Belikov knows sacrifice. He gave up a normal life and any hope of a meaningful relationship to pursue his dream. And he’s come close—with a silver medal already under his belt, the next stop is the gold. All he needs is a partner. While he’s never forgotten the young American skater he seduced one long-ago night in Amsterdam, he never expected to be confronted with their past…never mind share the ice with her.

When what starts as a publicity stunt grows into something real, Carrie and Anton’s partnership will test their loyalties to family, country and each other. With only a few months to train for the competition of a lifetime, can they master technique and their emotions, or will they lose their footing and fall victim to the heartaches of their pasts?


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This week at Rosedale Cottage…#RomanticIdeas from author Rachael Kosinski

Reblogged from: Elizabeth Harmon’s Ramblings of a Writer-girl

No, climate change hasn’t hit Rosedale Cottage THIS hard, but this photo of our neighbor’s 12-foot snowman is a perfect way to introduce our newest guest, historical romance author Rachael Kosinski, who is going to share her winter-themed release with us. But first, a summertime #RomanticIdea. Rachael, what’s yours?

“I find anything lake-oriented can be really, very cute. Walk along the shore, go swimming, have a lakeside picnic—go jet skiing, or boating or both! I live right next to a lake, and on weekends my family will explore this little town that everyone flocks to during the summer; it’s the perfect place to grab some ice cream and just wander as the sun sets. Have you ever seen the sun set across a lake, dappling the surface? Pretty romantic, if you ask me. It’s a thing you can watch for a long time. Then you can just hold hands and meander around all the little shops, or plunge off into the foliage if your lake of choice has parkland right next to it like mine does. Nothing feels more adventurous than anchoring the boat and swimming to shore, then wandering the quiet forest down a worn dirt path until you dry off. I’ve never actually done this date-wise, but it’s on my list!”

I love this idea Rachael. I live near a lake too, and love heading over there late afternoons when my workday’s done. It’s a great way to come up with story ideas. Speaking of… tell us a little about your latest release, The Christmas Lights.


“This is a short book, half a book, really. A novella. But please, don’t let that make you shy away. Short can be good! Short can have you straining your eyes against your Kindle, Nook, iPod or laptop (it’s only in electronic form as of now) because some serious plot conflict is afoot. Short can mean cuddling up on a couch with a mug of coffee and having a book snuggle. And who doesn’t like book snuggles? If you like intense deadlines, the nooks and crannies of European cities, eccentric artists, nearly blind fiancés, London factory boys, Faberge eggs, the power of love and its ability to withstand literally ALL obstacles, and if you’ve ever been even the teensiest bit curious as to why we hang colored lights from our houses during the winter, I strongly suggest you give ‘The Christmas Lights’ a try.”

OMG, you had me at eccentric artists and London factory boys! I’m definitely intrigued by your description. Care to share an excerpt?

“Because your father requires…a dowry, of sorts. A guarantee you’ll be well taken care of.” 

Emmy’s hand turned sweaty. “Oh, Louis. What does that mean?” 

I swallowed the sour taste at the back of my mouth, nerves trembling in my fingers. “Our engagement lasts until December twenty-fifth. If by that time I’ve not returned—” 

“Returned?” Emmy’s gaze burned me. “Louis, where are you going? Won’t my father give you a job?” 

I didn’t move and barely opened my mouth to let the words escape. “He’s got me a job.” 


I loosened my shoulders and shrugged. “Marks Brothers pays their floor workers very well.” 


“I’d stack inventory outside, in the clean air, and I’d work with a few fellows who’d watch out for me…” “Louis!” 

“…I hear factories in London are much safer than here.” 

“London! Louis, Louis, what are you talking about?” Emmy grabbed my face. 

I squinted at two sparkling brown orbs. Was she crying? 

“No.” Emmy covered her mouth with a hand. “No, you aren’t going to London. How could you? No one loves you there. No one knows you there…”

Your father seems to think it is my home country. 

“Emmy. Emmy Emmy Emmy.” I held her close, stroking her hair. “I don’t plan to work there.” 

She sat back. “What?” 

“I’ve heard Mr. Godfrey talk about them. A London factory is the last place I should work. Your father means well, but I can’t do that. They wouldn’t take a blind boy.” 

“Wh-where will you go, then? How on earth will you make money?” 

“I have family in Paris. Mother says they have wine vineyards. I’ll work for them.” 

“That…” Emmy’s fingers traced the veins on the back of my hand. “That’s much safer.” She was silent for the longest time. “You’ll be safe? And come home quickly?” 

I pulled her hands away and stood, playing with the ring on her finger. “I will. I love you.” 


“Emmy. I don’t have a choice. You want to marry me, don’t you?” 

“Of course I do. But, Louis…” 

“Yes, love?” 

“How long will you be gone?” How long? How long to board a ship, to find a place I’d only heard about, to earn and save an impossible amount of money? How long, indeed. 

I set my expression. “I’ll be home by Christmas.”

Hey, we’re half-way to Christmas. Why not indulge in a little holiday cheer? Where can we buy a copy of “The Christmas Lights?”

Where to find the book


When she was little, Rachael Kosinski wanted to be a paleontologist, an astronaut, a nature photographer, a writer for National Geographic, an Egyptologist, and the next Jane Goodall. Instead of being a new link between man and chimp, or discovering a planet suitable for sustained human life, or maybe even winning renowned fame by stumbling across an undiscovered dinosaur, Rachael finally decided that, if she never became a writer, she would simply die. Nine years later, she now possesses a quirky knowledge of world mythology, an addiction to coffee, and a penchant for making over-expressive faces at her laptop.


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This week at Rosedale Cottage…#RomanticIdeas from author Barbara White Daille

Reblogged from: Elizabeth Harmon’s Ramblings of a Writer-girl


Welcome to Rosedale Cottage, where we’ll be talking about great summer reads all summer long and sharing #RomanticIdeas to make this summer special.

This week’s guest is contemporary romance author Barbara White Daille, who will share a tunefully #RomanticIdea, and a little bit about her newest release. Thanks for stopping by the cottage, Barbara!

Glad to be here. My #RomanticIdea?

Check your area for summer music festivals.

They’re sometimes held in local parks, which gives you fresh air, beautiful surroundings, and of course, some great music. (As a bonus, they’re often offered at no charge.)

That’s a great suggestion, Barbara. I’m a big fan of outdoor music, and of free! Put the two together and it’s a winner.

Tell us a little about your new release, A Rancher’s Pride.

Sam Robertson’s life just changed. In one short day, he found out that he’s a daddy; that his beautiful little girl, Becky, is deaf; and that her aunt, sign language teacher Kayla Ward, intends to fight him for custody.

There are plenty of reasons Sam shouldn’t fall for Kayla. A city girl like her has no place on his ranch, particularly when she’s his ex-wife’s gorgeous sister. But thanks to the judge’s orders, Sam’s spending a lot of time with Kayla, trying to give Becky the stable home she’s never known.

Despite their ongoing custody battle, Sam and Kayla’s love for Becky brings them closer than they ever expected, and Sam knows that no matter who wins in court, he could still lose—Kayla or his daughter.


In this excerpt, Kayla believes she can convince Sam to learn American Sign Language, but her student is having trouble staying on task…



“N-no fair,” She protested. “You’re not holding a blue crayon.”


“I was talking about your eyes. They’re blue. Very blue. And your cheeks are bright pink all of a sudden.” He smiled and leaned closer. “I can learn all my colors,” he murmured, “just by looking at you.”


Her heart thumped heavily. She wanted to lean back but couldn’t. She should get up and walk away. Somehow, she couldn’t do that, either. “There are more signs than just colors, you know.” Her voice cracked on the last word.


He smiled. He knew just what he was doing to her. And darn him, he was enjoying it.


“True.” He nodded. “How do you say ‘I’?”


She pointed her index finger at herself.


“And how do you say ‘want?’”


“You…do this.” She held both palms up and crooked all her fingers as she pulled her hands toward her body.


He leaned even closer. “And how do you say ‘a kiss?’” he whispered.


“Uhh…” She paused. “I forget.”  She had to draw the line somewhere.


Didn’t she?


Chuckling, he shook his head. “Well, maybe this will help your memory.” He slid his arm around her waist and held her close.


Before she could react, could close her eyes or even take a breath, Becky’s high-pitched laughter rang out. She stood in the kitchen doorway, her shoulders hiked up near her ears and her hands trying to cover the huge grin splitting her face.


A gesture that could probably be understood in any language.


Then she put the fingertips of each hand together and pursed her lips.


“Saved,” Kayla said, gently pushing Sam away. “You’ve just seen the sign for ‘kiss.’”



Where to find the book

Larger Print re-issue

Publisher: Harlequin    

Original e-book version


Barnes and Noble




Barbara White Daille lives with her husband in the sunny Southwest. Though they love the warm winters and the lizards in their front yard, they haven’t gotten used to the scorpions in the bathroom.

The first of her Flagman’s Folly stories, A Rancher’s Pride, is available in Larger Print from Harlequin. You can also find the original version at most major e-tailers.

The next book in Barbara’s popular The Hitching Post Hotel series, Cowboy in Charge, releases July 2016, with other books in the series to follow. In November 2016, she begins a new sweet romance series for Entangled Bliss.



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