Hi, Everyone! Summer is officially here. ☀️May passed by in a blur. Were you all busy too? Birthdays, graduations, Mother's Day. We did a spur-of-the-minute camp near Bernville, Pa, to meet up with friends we made in Florida. Hali got to see her winter fling, Bruiser. She was also fascinated by a man walking his duck on a leash at the Plum Creek Market and Creamery. We enjoyed delicious burgers and splurged on ice cream. I had strawberry cheesecake. Hali got a vanilla pup cup she shared with Bruiser and his brother Dom. Fun was had by all.
May 30th was my birthday. Many years ago, my nursing supervisor would make me one of my favorite cakes for my special day. Pineapple Upside down. I don't think I've had it since I left work at the prison. This year I decided to make my own as cupcakes. They didn't de-pan as well as I'd hoped, an a couple were a little wonky, but, Yay Me! I'm taking them to a BBQ.
And since May was also my 29th anniversary, I did an anniversary drawing instead of a birthday. Congratulations to Susan, who was also a May bride.
That was so much fun, and June is a traditional wedding month, so let's do it again. Who's a June bride? Send me a note to
And let me know, and I'll choose a random name for a prize.
On Facebook recently, we discussed re-reading books. Many of us did. However, there was a goodly amount who wondered why. I’ll tell you why I do. In my library, or over 1,000 books on my Kindle, I often need to relax, unwind, and take my mind off of things. Some books are like putting on a pair of comfy pjs and slippers. You get to revisit old friends and hang out with the familiar. Often in books, the characters are like my friends. Jan Karon has a series called The Mitford Series. These are hardcovers on my shelf. The books are about a small town where the individuals are loveable, frustrating, silly, and heartbreaking, just like people I know. Since reading the first book in the 1990s, I’ve returned to Mitford and hang out with Father Tim, Cynthia, Dooley, and Barnabas (the dog). There are so many others you’d love to hang out with.
What about you? Do you have a book or series that are reruns? Why or why not? I’d love to hear about it.
Oh, I almost forgot. If you live in the NJ, NY, or PA area, I'll be signing books, sitting on a discussion panel, and generally being me at the ⤵️
Passaic County Book Festival 2023
JUN 10 Sat, 11 AM – 4 PM
Weasel Brook Park, 1 Westervelt Pl
There will be many authors from all genres there to meet and greet you. I hope to see you.
Thanks again for being part of my world. I'm glad to be part of yours. Until next month and for all my June Brides and Grooms.
If a June night could talk, it would probably boast it invented romance. ~Bern Williams, as quoted in Reader's Digest, 1995
A Sour Note (A Music Box Mystery)
A cozy mystery.
World wide release June 26,2023
When murder provides a welcome distraction…
On the heels of a public, broken engagement, Maeve Cleary returns to her childhood home in Hampton Beach, NH. When a dead body turns up behind her mother’s music school, three old friends land on the suspect list. Licking her wounds soon takes a back seat to outrunning the paparazzi who spin into a frenzy, casting her in a cloud of suspicion. Maeve juggles her high school sweetheart, a cousin with a touch of clairvoyance, a no-nonsense detective, and an apologetic, two-timing ex-fiancé. Will the negative publicity impact business at the Music Box— the very place she’d hoped to make a fresh start?
Pre-Order your copy today at these retailers.
Barnes and Noble
A Peek Inside
With his mouth set in a grim line, he waited.
If anyone else had enough nerve to presume she owed them an explanation, she would respond with a solid mind your own business. Instead, the seventeen-year-old still inside her refused to tell him to get lost. “He was hiding money in his office.” This was one of those times when learning how to wait a few beats before blurting out inflammatory information would come in handy. Each second of passing silence decreased her ability to breathe in the confined space. She turned the ignition and switched on the air conditioner.
“How do you know?” His volume just above a whisper, each dragged-out word hung in the air.
“I found it.”
“When were you in his office?” He swiped at a bead of sweat trickling down the side of his face, then positioned a vent toward him.
“Last night.” When would she learn to bite her tongue? Finn’s switch from rapid-fire scolding to slow, deliberate questioning left her unable to swallow over the sandpaper lump in her throat.
“Where was Vic?”
She stared at the back of the building, wishing she’d kept her mouth shut. “He’d left for the night.” If she averted her gaze, she could pretend his eyeballs weren’t bugging out of his head, and his jaw didn’t need a crane to haul it off his chest.
“You were at the town hall after hours? Did anyone see you?”
“A custodian opened his door for me.” She snuck a glance. Sure enough, features contorted in shock and horror replaced his boy-next-door good looks.
About the Author:
Jill Piscitello is a teacher, author, and an avid fan of multiple literary genres. Although she divides her reading hours among several books at a time, a lighthearted story offering an escape from the real world can always be found on her nightstand.
A native of New England, Jill lives with her family and three well-loved cats. When not planning lessons or reading and writing, she can be found spending time with her family, trying out new restaurants, traveling, and going on light hikes.
For more about Jill, follow her at these sites.
Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Instagram ~ Amazon ~ GoodReads ~ BookBub
Around the Fire with Peggy Jaeger
I finally got to meet one of my favorite authors face to face. We both attended Roz Lee’s Wine, Romance, & more at a book signing at Brook Hollow Winery in Columbia, New Jersey. This fall we’ll also meet again at the Fall In Love With New England reader event. Check it out here and book your ticket early. https://www.fallinlovenewengland.com/
Attending readers will get to meet authors and receive a charm bracelet. Okay, enough lets get to our guest.
Peggy thanks for joining us. I have your favorite ice-cold Diet Mountain Dew. While I grab it please introduce yourself.
I was a registered nurse for forty years with a Master’s Degree in Geriatric psychology. I ran the first Alzheimer’s nursing home care group in a Wisconsin Nursing care facility when I lived there in the late 1980s. It was a 60 bed facility and every client had some degree of Alzheimer’s Disease. I’m also a wife ( x 35 years to the same man! WOW). I have a grown daughter who is everything I ever dreamed of having in a child. I am a grandma to my 18 month old grandson – who is the joy of my life and a dog mom to a 2 year old Chocolate lab named Maple who is the love of my life and the bane of my existence!
That’s an impressive resume. My lovely daughter in law just graduated from nursing school with her RN degree. Congratulations on your marriage. Pete and I recently celebrated our 29th. And I adore your picture and videos of Maple. You are quite a prolific author, but what interests besides writing do you enjoy?
I love to scrapbook and I have this weird hobby of decoupaging old steamer trunks I find at estate sales, or antique shops.
I’ll bet after being married for so long your hubby is a rock, but who else is your network or support system?
I am a member of RWA and my local NHRWA chapter. These girls in my chapter make me so happy I am a writer of romance, because their love and support has lifted me on dark writing days when the words wouldn’t come, or the ones that did were horrible!
Who or what books or authors are your inspiration?
Nora Roberts and her doppelganger JD Robb is/are my spirit writing warriors. IF I could have 1/10th the career she has had I will be happy.
I recently finished The Awakening by her and loved it. Do you have any fun or outrageous talent?
Nope. I’m boring, lol!
What is your neighborhood like? Are there any places you frequent? What makes them special?
I live in the woods on a property completely shrouded by tall evergreens and poplars. My nearest neighbor is almost a mile away, so to say I hibernate in winter wouldn’t be wrong, plus I’m a bit of a loner.
It sounds wonderful! Let’s chat a bit about writing and books. How do you select the names of your characters?
I give my characters unusual names for sure, and most of them have something to do with an attribute. For instance, in A SHOT IN THE DARK, the hero Kyros Pappandeous’s first name means SUN or LORD and there’s even an annotation that it means LEADER. That’s the one I chose for him, and the reason I named him that. In SABLE, I gifted my heroine that name because her hair is jet black, luxurious and looks “expensive” all synonyms for SABLE.
Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?
Does anyone ever admit the truth here? OF COURSE I READ THEM! Lol Conventional wisdom says you shouldn’t unless you have a steel cage around your ego – which I do. But I really read them to find out why I scored low in someone’s rating index. Most low ratings will have an explanation like, the pace was off, didn’t like the MC, not realistic for a plot. I think it’s important to know what a reader feels when she reads your book. Now do I like reading them?? HellaNo!!! But I find them necessary.
What is your favorite childhood book?
THE LITTLE ENGINE THAT COULD. Best book about self motivation ever written.
How long on average does it take you to write a book?
I actually track my word count everyday so I can finish a book on deadline. It takes me anywhere from 45 to 50 days to finish an 85000k+ book. Usually 2-3 weeks to finish a novella. Now remember: That’s a first draft. I usually take another 2 weeks to edit before sending it off.
Random question time. If they made a movie about your life, what would the title be, and who would play you?
Skinny Legs, Great big Knockers and Bette Midler. Which is actually a song she used to do in one of her live shows.
LoL! I saw Bette at Radio City many years ago. She was amazing. If you could only choose one song to play every time you walked into a room for the rest of your life, what would it be?
UNSTOPPABLE by SIA. It’s also my word for 2023
What was your first job?
At 15 I was a youth conservationist and helped clean up local beaches and parks during the summer months. Got a great tan and lost a lot of weight from walking miles every day and carting brush, debris, and garbage.
If someone came up to you and said, “Hey, do that thing you do!” what thing would pop into your head first?
I would probably act like a horse. If I stick my head to one side and blow on one cheek from the inside I sound like a horse baying or whinnying. ( Told you I was boring, LOL)
Peggy, thanks again for stopping by my fire. I’m sure everyone wants to know about your book Sable. So please leave us with some information. I can’t wait to see you again this fall.
Always a Bridesmaid ~ Sable
ALWAYS BEING A BRIDESMAID IS GETTING OLD...
Pediatrician Sable Miller is sick and tired of being the go-to, dependable bridesmaid in all her family and friends’ weddings. But her demanding job, the ridiculous hours, and endless family commitments keep her from finding the perfect man. A matchmaking service? Sounds like too much work. Swipe right dating? Not her thing. The bar scene? When was the last time she even had an evening free to go to a bar?
And forget about dating the myriad of on-the-make doctors and residents in her hospital. Besides, workplace romances never work out.
Sable’s options to meet the man of her dreams and start a family are dwindling and time is running out, because she promised herself the next wedding she would attend would be her own.
Kristopher Lee, the Physician’s Assistant assigned to Sable has a crush on his new mentor. But she’s got a hands-off rule when it comes to dating someone she works with. Kris is nothing if not persistent, though. After all, he didn’t survive two tours in the Army without focusing on a goal. And making Sable Miller fall in love with him is his best goal yet.
Grab your copy today
Want a more in-depth peek? Peggy gave us an excerpt.
Twice in her career, Sable had given in to temptation and dated someone she worked with. Once had been when she was a pediatric resident, he a staff physician. They’d been having a lovely time together, despite their busy work hours. He’d told Sable he was divorced. When his wife – the one he was definitely not divorced from – showed up in the restaurant they were having dinner in one night and caused a major public scene, Sable learned the truth and put an immediate end to the relationship.
She learned a valuable lesson from that situation. Namely: fact check.
Her second work relationship – if you could even call it that – had been with a lab tech. This time she made sure he wasn’t married before agreeing to have drinks with him. After three dates he invited her back to his apartment because he wanted to show her the experiment he was conducting for his Master’s degree in biotech. When he told her she was a perfect candidate to be included in the research, Sable’s Spidey-senses went into hyper-drive. When he said he would need to draw a sample of her blood and get a few locks of her hair, she begged off. She then blocked his number from her phone. Whenever she spotted him in the hospital hallways or the cafeteria, she did a one-eighty and speed-walked in the opposite direction.
No. Dating someone from work never worked out, and no matter how good-looking or charming or intelligent this new guy was – she wasn’t interested.
Sable tossed the nurse another headshake. A quick glance at the patient board above the nurse’s station told her she had no patients other than the broken ankle kid to see to at the moment. While she waited for the orthopedic resident to cast the kid’s limb, she decided to make a quick cup of tea. The break room was, thankfully, empty. With her cup of much-needed caffeine to get her through the night shift, Sable went back out to the station.
She spotted Gale talking with a guy in a scrub suit. From the back, the description she’d been given of the new Physician’s Assistant drifted into her mind. This guy had short black hair, wide shoulders tapering down into a trim waist/hip area and his scrub top looked as if it had been sewn onto him.
Obviously, this was the man of the hour.
Gale caught Sable’s eye and grinned.
“Here she is now,” she said, ticking her chin toward Sable. “Let me introduce you.”
With an internal groan, Sable placed her most benign, polite smile – the one her brother Chance called cold with a hint of frosty – on her face, and moved toward the duo.
Swiping her hand across her lab coat, she prepared to give him a professional handshake when she stopped dead in her tracks as he turned around.
No. No. It couldn’t be.
“This is our favorite pediatrician,” Gale said, “Dr. Sable Miller. Doc, this is—”
“Kristopher Lee,” Sable whispered as all the air left her lungs.
As if this wasn't enough, there's a whole series! www.amazon.com/dp/B0BSNLLJSX
(Grave Reaper Series Book 1)
Everlyn C Thomnson
Released April 10, 2023
Heat level R for adults only.
When self-professed hermit Theodora Edwards is attacked by a dark fae and infected with his magic, she finds herself thrust into the supernatural spotlight as the first possible changeling in centuries. As if surviving the transition isn’t hard enough, Theo has to deal with an attempted abduction by her newly turned vampire ex-husband, unwanted courting offers from salacious fae suitors, and her growing attraction to the guardian of the gate to Fairie.
Caught in a cruel tug of war between the queen of the fae and a surly law-enforcement agent, Theo must find a way to free herself before she loses her hard-earned independence for good.
Grab your copy today
I’ve heard that you’re supposed to write about things you’re familiar with – but I prefer to write about things I have no experience with. My stories are heavy on magic and mythical creatures even though I’ve never run into a vampire in a dark alley at night, or the dark prince of Fairy in a grocery store parking lot (but I have my fingers crossed it will happen one day). I have a pretty good knowledge base when it comes to yard work, daily chores and talking to my house plants, but as soon as I sit down at the keyboard, my brain starts screaming about vampires, shifters, fairies and all the fantastical adventures they need to have. With so many hours of my life spent creating happily ever after for these imaginary creatures, maybe their stories have become the very thing I’m most familiar with? If so, I’m good with that.
About the author.
Born and raised on the beautiful Canadian prairies, Everlyn prefers to spend her time outdoors with her family kayaking, skating, fishing, and hunting. She loves reading and writing about vampires, witches, fae and zombies that get to find their own version of happily ever after.
For more, follow Everlyn here⤵️
Order of the Dragon Knights Series Anniversary Celebration and Sale
Time-travel Historical Fantasy and Paranormal Romance
Order of the Dragon Knights ~They were an ancient order, descended from the great Tuatha Dé Danann, the Sidhe, or in simpler terms: the Fae. Half-human and half-fae, each knight blessed with mystical powers. Given to them were holy relics from the Fae and guardianship over their Dragons.
They were known as the Dragon Knights.
However, some believed the Order had too much power and they tried to possess it for themselves. They were evil and twisted, and their plan succeeded one fateful night. The brothers of the Clan MacKay—Dragon Knights, fought a battle. Blood spilled onto holy ground, bringing forth the wrath of the Fae. Their relics were taken, and the Order was banished—each name stricken from the hallowed halls of the Fae.
The Clan MacKay is no longer. The Dragon Knights have scattered across the land.
Yet out of the darkness, they will each fight for redemption, and the women they love.
For a limited time, Dragon Knight’s Sword is on sale for 99¢ from Amazon. Grab your copy today or collect them all! Sale dates: 5.11.23 – 6.02.23
Available at AMAZON
Book Trailer for Dragon Knights: https://youtu.be/iEruV9P6PtU
About the Author:
Multi award-winning romance author, Mary Morgan resides in Northern California with her own knight in shining armor. However, during her travels to Scotland, England, and Ireland, she left a part of her soul in one of these countries and vows to return.
Mary's passion for books started at an early age along with an overactive imagination. Inspired by her love for history and ancient Celtic and Norse mythology, her tales are filled with powerful warriors, brave women, magic, and romance. Now, the worlds she created in her mind are coming to life within her stories.
If you enjoy history, tortured heroes, and a wee bit of fantasy, then travel back in time within the pages of her books.
Connect with Mary here ~
Amazon Author: http://www.amazon.com/Mary-Morgan/e/B00KPE3NWI/
Around the Fire Tales of My Travels
It's been a minute since I've talked about my travels. Many of you know that my husband, Pete and I bought a 5th Wheel camper a few years ago. Her name is 2HOOTS. Thus named because if you know anything about us we can be a bit crazy. Also, I have a thing for owls and she'd decorated in the Owlish motif. She's 41ft long and 13ft high, and yes I drive her mostly on the highways but occasionally into gas stations. It can be a bit tricky. The length I don't worry overmuch but the height scares me. I still duck going under overpasses and bridges even though they are tall enough. One of our purchases was a RV GPS. You plug in the specifications and it plans the route for you.
So, on with the travel for 2023. We left on New Years Day. It's a great day to get on the road early. Traffic is light and we had good weather. Our first stop is a regular for us. Harrisonburg, Virginia has a KOA not far off the Highway. Pete's sister, Lori, lives about an hour away and this gives us a chance to visit her. Lori joined us for breakfast at Cracker Barrel near Waynesboro.
After a yummy pancake breakfast we were off south on the interstate for a sleep over in Enfield NC, then South Point, SC. The following morning we made our winter destination of Perry FL, where Pete has worked for the past two year. Taking several days to travel sure saves on the mind and body. We met a fellow in Florida who says he had a 3-rule. Sounds great to me. He either drives three hours, or miles and stays for three days. It's nice to be retired.
Posting about our time in Florida has been done so I'll share with you our return home in April. We took about 2 weeks to come back to NJ planning to be back by the book signing at Brook Hollow Winery in Columbia NJ.
The first stop was a Harvest Host. Check it out at harvesthosts.com This was our first time using the service and we were very happy. The site was a Farmer's Market and Orchard called Lanes not far from Macon Georgia. We boondocked in the parking lot for the night before heading to our campsite in Pigeon Forge Tennessee for a few days. Visiting Smokey Mountain National Park was amazing. Cold but amazing. In three days time I went from sea level and 80 degrees, to 6,000 ft above and 36 degrees. I've added some pictures below. Come on back next time to hear more. This blog is getting long and I want to tell you about two books I listened to during the trip.
When traveling, I enjoy listening to books, so this was the audio version.
If you saw the movie iRobot and never read the book, you are in for a surprise. The only thing in common was the missing robot.
The book is really several short stories tied together as an interview of robopsychologist Dr. Susan Calvin.
The book is thought-provoking, interesting, and the audio is well done. Occasionally a bit dry, but overall I stayed engaged.
The Awakening: The Dragon Heart Legacy review of the Audio book.
What an engrossing story. Amazing world and character building. A modern-day Fae tale that transports you from the USA to Ireland, to the Fae world of Talamh, and back. The relationships, both good and bad, are real. The friendship between Breen and Marco makes you want to be their friend too. A story of loss, toxic motherhood, and magic that will have you wishing for more. I can’t wait to listen to the next book.
Take A Chance On Love
April 2, 2023
Quilts & Quilting
Contemporary Christian Romance
Clean & Wholesome Romance
She’s sure forever is a fantasy. He won’t settle for less than a soulmate. Can these playful pals open their hearts to each other?
Dr. Landry Stark is hamstrung by trauma. After escaping abuse as a teen, the saucy physician doesn’t dare reach for anything beyond the sense of belonging she’s found in small-town Oklahoma. And though she enjoys flirting with her firefighter bestie, she knows better than to give in to her feelings…until in the wake of tragedy, he steals a kiss.
Daniel Davis’s roots run deep. Convinced his parents’ wedded joy is too rare to duplicate, the six-foot-tall boy-next-door’s delight over finally claiming his beautiful friend’s lips wars with worry that they’ll ruin their easy companionship. And the tension mounts when he convinces her to move in so they can temporarily foster a child hurt in a devastating explosion.
Discovering the simple pleasure of having someone to share life’s load, Landry grapples with uncertainty when she is called to New York City to respond to a medical crisis. And though Davis is unsure where their relationship stands in her absence, even the start of a global pandemic can’t dim his dreams of a lifetime spent loving her.
Can they turn a terrible disaster into happily ever after?
Take a Chance on Love is the sweetly intense fourth book in the Green Hills romance series. If you like independent heroines, true-blue heroes, and tight-knit communities, then you’ll adore Virginia’dele Smith’s silver lining.
Take a Chance on Love to risk everything today!
What others are saying.
Faith and love conquers all!!!!
I love the way Ashli can draw you into her stories and make you feel whatever the characters are feeling.
Ashli Montgomery is a wife, a momma, and an author whose passion is sharing love stories, books, quilts, yoga, recipes, and her favorite things in life. She is quilting to mend the mind by spearheading and educating a community of quilters through Quilt 2 End ALZ, Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit she launched to use her quilting hobby as a platform to advocate for an end to Alzheimer's disease.
Ashli writes wholesome and heartfelt, small-town romance under the pen name Virginia’dele Smith to honor Syble Virginia Tidwell, Adele Gertrude Baylin, and Etta Jean Smith. These three cherished grandmothers were beautiful role models, teaching Ashli to love without judgment and to always put family first. Through Grandma Syble’s journals and appetite for books, through Momadele’s priceless cards and handwritten letters, and through many, many hours of visiting over fabric at Mema’s kitchen island, Ashli also learned to treasure words.
You are invited to join Ashli in Green Hills and learn more about Virginia’dele Smith and the many hats she enjoys wearing by subscribing to Ashli’s newsletter, The Gazette, at AshliMontgomery.com.
Around the Fire is in Love With May!
May is one of my favorite months. This year marks my 29th Anniversary with Pete. We were married in Lafayette Federated Church on May 14th, 1994. Though we almost burned down the church with the Unity Candle. When we went to light it, the hot wax ran down our hands, and we nearly dropped the candles.
Here's a picture of us with my son, RJ. He was a little stiff but a good sport, except he didn't want to stand with the flower girl.
May is also my birthday month. When I was a kid I thought the parades were for me. Lol, nope it was traditional Memorial Day. From 1868 to 1970, it was observed on May 30, now it's the last Monday in May.
Memorial Day was originally known as Decoration Day and is a federal holiday in the United States for honoring U.S. military personnel who died while serving in the armed forces.
Traditionally, people visit cemeteries and memorials on the day to honor and mourn those who lost. Many place American flags on the graves of military personnel in national cemeteries. Memorial Day is also considered the unofficial beginning of summer in the United States.
Happily this Month my lovely daughter in law will graduate from nursing school. Congratulations to Veronika her pinning is on May 11th. I hope you'll send your prayers and good wishes for a long and fulfilling career as she touched lives with her healing hands.
Congratulations to Joannie, last month's winner of a signed copy of Sea Hunter via my newsletter. If you are interested in my monthly drawing you should sign up. Here's the link
I know I've been doing birthdays, but this month I changed it up a little and to see who was married in the Merry Month of May? Sign up and maybe you'll be my next random winner.
We just returned in time for my author signing at Brook Hollow Winery in Columbia, NJ's Day of Wine and Romance hosted by Roz Lee.
This is the first time I've seen my sister since December. We're a bunch of clowns in my family, so mugging for the camera is a natural thing. Notice the shoes or lack thereof.
If you missed this one I'll be at the following places planned so far this year.
Passaic County Book Festival
Saturday, June 10, 2023, @ 11:00 am
Weasel Brook Park
745 Park Drive, Clifton, NJ, 07012
RomantiConn 2023: A Romance Author Signing Event Jul 8
Trumbull Marriott Shelton 180 Hawley Lane Trumbull, CT 06611
For more information and tickets
Fall In Love New England 2023
Join sixty-plus romance authors entertaining readers in a fun-packed two-day event. Ticket options are available. October 20 & 21, 2023
Oct 20, 11:00 AM EDT – Oct 21, 7:30 PM EDT
Marlborough, 181 Boston Post Rd W, Marlborough, MA 01752, USA
If you never thought you could be a book reviewer, here's your chance. Sophia's Magic Beans is available for a limited time on Book Sprout. What you do is vist the link, download the book, read, and then add a review. What is the review? Simple.
1. I just read ____________________
2. By ___________________________
3. Genre or type of book ____________________________-for example Romance, fantasy, mystery.
4. Rating from 1 to 5 ______________________
5. One or two sentences about what you like and or disliked. ______________________________.
See how easy! Reviews are important to authors and help other readers find our books.
I received this email just the other day!
Congratulations on being a winner in this month's Creme de la Cover Contest!
All of the credit goes to Sydney Winward, the cover design artist. She's also an amazing author and woman. You should check her out at
My prize is a full-page color advertisement in June's issue of InDtale Magazine.
You can get a peek at the magazine at
I was looking for a quote for May but found this one and love it. Sometimes we're so busy chasing that we just forget to be.
“Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.”
— Nathaniel Hawthorne
So enjoy this Merry Month of May. Oh, there's a poem.
O the month of May, the merry month of May,
So frolic, so gay, and so green, so green, so green!
O, and then did I unto my true love say:
"Sweet Peg, thou shalt be my summer's queen!
Now the nightingale, the pretty nightingale,
The sweetest singer in all the forest's choir,
Entreats thee, sweet Peggy, to hear thy true love's tale;
Lo, yonder she sitteth, her breast against a brier.
But O, I spy the cuckoo, the cuckoo, the cuckoo;
See where she sitteth: come away, my joy;
Come away, I prithee: I do not like the cuckoo
Should sing where my Peggy and I kiss and toy."
O the month of May, the merry month of May,
So frolic, so gay, and so green, so green, so green!
And then did I unto my true love say:
"Sweet Peg, thou shalt be my summer's queen!"
Thomas Dekker (c. 1572–1632
Hi, Linda. I'm glad you can join me around the fire today. What can I get for you?
I think I’ve told you about my hot chocolate addiction before, and now that we’re headed into warmer weather, I’ll have to mention that I love me some ice-cold sweet tea, especially with fresh, hot popcorn.
I've been spending time in the south and they specialize in sweet tea. So, while I grab a frosty glass and pop some corn, will you introduce yourself?
Who you are other than your bio?
I’m someone who believes that beauty feeds the soul, so I spend a lot of my free time in art galleries and museums, as well as savoring the beauty in nature. I also have a T-shirt that reads “Look for Beauty,” which I gave to Teresa in The Rebound Effect.
Ah, beauty surrounds us. We only have to look. I was just in the Smokey Mountains and let me say Wow! What interests besides writing do you enjoy?
Other than those I’ve mentioned before, I like working jigsaw puzzles (like Frank and Kayla in Reluctant Hearts), although I’m not very fast and rarely work anything over 500 pieces. I also love watching Jeopardy and can often be found doing both of those at once.
My hubby and I love to do puzzles. Unfortunately our cat resents the puzzles and knock everything off the table. Who or what books or authors are your inspiration?
There are many answers to that question, but I’ll tell you my first one! I was six years old and read a Little Lulu comic book in which Lulu goes to a land of magical rocking horses. She then wakes up from what she believes was a dream only to find she has her horse’s tail in her hand. I stole that plot device for my very first story, “Judy and the Fairies.”
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
When the muse is active and the words are flowing, it definitely energizes me, which is a good thing because it also exhausts me when my characters favor carrying on conversations in the middle of the night.
Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?
I read them all but try not to take them too seriously. As Richard P. Brickner pointed out, a novel is just a drink of water to a reader, even though it’s an ocean to the author.
I love what's called Easter Eggs and use them often in my work. Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?
In Seventeen Days, the hero mentions an author who is actually a character in an unpublished story by my older sister. It wasn’t intentional, but an eerie coincidence, that something that happens to a character in Reluctant Hearts happened to me after I’d sent in the manuscript.
What was your hardest scene to write?
The climactic scene (no spoilers!) in “The Shape of Life” novella in Reluctant Hearts because I had looked forward to writing it and wanted to do it justice.
What is your favorite T-shirt with graphic or Meme?
I’m retired, so jeans and T-shirts are my regular attire, and I buy a lot of them on my travels. I have many favorites, but one in particular includes the words “Ask me about my book.”
Ha, I need that one. If you could eat anything in the world right now, what would it be? Normally it would be something chocolate, but right now I’m craving grilled cheese and tomato on sourdough!
Oh, yum. I just had a BLT on sourdough from a restaurant we saw on Guy Fieri's Triple D. It was delicious! Linda, thanks again for sharing your time with us Around the Fire. Would you leave a bit about your book and where to find out more?
Four couples, four stories:
Darien Francis and Richard Li meet during a bank robbery, but she’s afraid to love again.
Shane Kenniston and Beth Parker are reacquainted years after she had a crush on him, but she is a recent widow, and Shane’s life was upended by a false accusation.
David Early and Kate Howard meet in the Laundromat, but her life is consumed by the needs of her disabled child, and David isn’t ready for the responsibility.
Realtor Frank Ellison meets Kayla Barnes at an open house, but a mistaken first impression derails any chance of romance.
Can they all overcome the obstacles to love?
What others are saying
Reluctant Hearts by Linda Griffin is an engaging collection of four distinct short stories about
finding love even when we aren’t looking for it…Linda Griffin has a keen sense of timing and a
knack for shaping characters that are endearingly realistic and so easy to fall in love with!...Each
story and couple are so engaging that you’ll be hard-pressed to choose a favorite...Fully in the
realm of contemporary, the cast are working through issues familiar to all of us, adding that
enchanting sense that good things can happen in our modern, problem-filled world. However,
despite the difficulties the couples face, the romances discovered in Griffin’s writing are as light
and sweet as a lemon meringue pie. If you’re looking for a gentle collection brimming with
possibility, curl up with a copy of Reluctant Hearts.~ Indies Today
More about the author:
I was born and raised in San Diego, California and earned a BA in English from San Diego State University and an MLS from UCLA. I began my career as a reference and collection development librarian in the Art and Music Section of the San Diego Public Library and then transferred to the Literature and Languages Section, where I had the pleasure of managing the Central Library’s Fiction collection and initiating fiction order lists for the entire library system. Although I also enjoy reading biography, memoir, and history, fiction remains my first love. In addition to the three R’s—reading, writing, and research—I enjoy Scrabble, movies, and travel.
My earliest ambition was to be a “book maker” and I wrote my first story, “Judy and the Fairies,” with a plot stolen from a comic book, at the age of six. I broke into print in college with a story in the San Diego State University literary journal, The Phoenix, but most of my magazine publications came after I left the library to spend more time on my writing.
My stories have been published in numerous journals, including Eclectica, Thema Literary Journal, Avalon Literary Review, The Nassau Review, and Orbis, and in the anthologies Short Story America, Vol. 2, The Captive and the Dead, and Australia Burns.
Member of RWA, Authors Guild, and Sisters in Crime
Social media links:
The Lady and the Barrister – Book 1
The Return of the Ladies of Sommer-by-the-Sea Series
Ruth A. Casey
She swore she’d help him find his soul mate. Will she realize he already has?
Lady Anna Ravencroft shines brightly as a much-admired organizer and hostess. In her mind it is the one thing at which she succeeds. Inwardly she is shy, retiring… a wallflower. With two seasons that ended in disaster she has accepted marriage might not be in her future.
Lord Fraser Castleton, a London barrister is shocked when he inherits a title and estate from his mother’s
great aunt and becomes the 8 th Duke of Willbury. He returns to Sommer-by-the-Sea to take up permanent
residence. He crosses paths with his longtime friend, Lady Anna. He confides that he is the target of every
mother with an unmarried daughter. She commiserates with him. Every eligible gentleman sees the Ravencroft purse rather than her. Together they decide to find a mate for each other. Anna presents him with a list of several eligible women. Castleton is receptive, but not enthusiastic. He gives her the same reaction with the subsequent two lists. Will she realize he has already found his match?
Reginald Younge who doesn’t always play by the rules wants to be the next Member of Parliament for his borough. His political backer will support him if Younge can finance the campaign himself. He suggests Younge find a wealthy wife to support his political plans. Marrying a Ravencroft would all but guarantee not only his backer’s continued support but provide the steady stream of money needed to claim his place amongst the gentry. He calls on Lady Anna for assistance for a campaign event and has an ulterior motive.
With two men vying for her hand, who will she choose? The smooth politician or the down to earth barrister turned duke?
What others are saying
The Lady and the Barrister according to NN Light: …Ruth A. Casie is impeccable
when it comes to historical research. She imbues all her research into her writing and the result
is an immersive reading experience. Every detail, every feeling, every yearning is exquisitely
described. Trust me, it’s worth the read for the descriptive narration alone.
But in my personal opinion, it’s all about the characters. Lady Anna is a heroine you’re going to
adore. She has compassion. She’s an emotional creature but she’s also a woman whose feet are
firmly planted in reality. When she concocts a plan with her dear friend, little do they realize
they’re perfect for each other. Each character is written with purpose and etched beautifully. I
connected with them all…
If you’re looking for a historical romance with all the feels, pick up The Lady and the Barrister. I
can’t wait for the next book in the series.
Heat Rating PG
Buy Link Amazon KU Amazon KU
RUTH A. CASIE is a USA Today bestselling author. She writes historical adventures from the shores of medieval Scotland to the cobblestone streets of Regency London. Within the pages you’ll discover ‘edge-of-your-seat’ suspense, mind boggling drama, and heart melting emotions featuring strong women and the men who deserve them. She currently has three historical series, The Druid Knight, The Stelton Legacy, and The Ladies of Sommer-by-the-Sea. She lives in New Jersey with her hero, three empty bedrooms and a growing number of incomplete counted cross-stitch projects. Before she found her voice, she was a speech therapist (pun intended), client liaison for a corrugated manufacturer, and vice president at an international bank where she was a product/ marketing manager, but her favorite job is the one she’s doing now—writing romance. Grab your favorite cup of tea, or an ale if you prefer, and join her heroes and heroines as they race across the pages to find their happily ever after. Ruth hopes her stories are your next favorite adventures!
Social Media Links:
Ruth’s Newsletter Signup: http://ruthacasie.com/contact.html#newsletter
Facebook private reader’s page, Casie Café: https://www.facebook.com/groups/963711677128537/
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/RuthACasie/
Personal Blog: http://www.ruthacasie.blogspot.com
I’ve negotiated with my granddaughter (who I am hugging in the picture above) to help me get started in Tik Tok. You can find me at #RuthACasie and at #BookTok
Your Host D.V. Stone
Award winning multi-genre author and blogger. Fantasy, romance, mid-grade. Nothing better than a campfire, book, and glass of wine. Okay maybe there is.📚
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