Down to Earth Romance

Archive for the ‘New Release’ Category

New Release! CATCH ME by Adele Downs #ContemporaryRomance #SweetRead #ShortRead #SweetRomance #SweetandCleanRomance #AmReading #AmReadingRomance #Books #RomanceReaders

New Release! CATCH ME by Adele Downs

(First published in the Love Is Like A Box of Chocolates Anthology)
Only .99! Free on KU!

A bicycle. An accident. A meet cute.
                          ***

Lillian Holmes is single and has never been in love. She spent most of her twenties and much of her thirties caring for her ailing mother—a choice she made willingly and without regret. After her mother passes away, Lillian fulfills her lifelong dream of living at the beach, and moves from her Midwestern hometown to a modest house on the Delaware coast. Beach living gives her freedom she’s never known, including walks at dusk beside the bay and morning rides on her bicycle. She’s content in her new life—and then an accident tosses her from her bike—and straight into the arms of a handsome stranger.

Release Day! HER IMMORTAL VIKING #Fantasy #Romance #Vikings #NewRelease #Books #AmReading

It’s release day for the new edition of HER IMMORTAL VIKING and I couldn’t be more excited to share the updated and expanded version with you. I hope you’ll buy a copy for your Kindle or download a copy free from Kindle Unlimited. Here’s a little about the book:

HER IMMORTAL VIKING: Winner of the HOLT Medallion Award

A Viking warrior unjustly cast into eternal servitude by a vengeful god is transported to the modern world to complete a task. When he falls in love with a mortal, he must find a way to clear his name and bridge the divide of a thousand years to stay with her.

About The Book:

One lonely night, desperate for relief from overwork and mountainous debt, Penny looks skyward, hoping that someone “up there” will ease her difficult life. She’s juggling a waitress job with a full-time class schedule, struggling to fix the old trailer she’s inherited, and steadily going broke. In desperation, she sings songs of praise, chants like a yogi, and rubs her belly like Buddha until the crystal charm at her navel shimmers.

In the West, beyond the seas, from the place between Heaven and Earth, an immortal Viking hears Penny’s cries. Once a celebrated warrior, Gunnar has been wrongly accused of crimes against the gods, and is cast into eternal servitude as punishment. While Penny sleeps, he comes to Earth to help her, and after seeing her, falls in love. But Penny wakes, and mortals are forbidden to see…or touch…or kiss the immortals of Alfheim. When the wrath of the gods rains on Penny and Gunnar, they must find a way to bridge life with the afterlife, and cross the divide of a thousand years to claim their love.

Excerpt:

Penny said, “Volumes have been written about Freyr and the lesser gods.” Had Freyr sent this Light Elf to her? Crazy at it sounded, that might explain the presence of the most incredibly handsome man she’d ever seen or would likely see again. His face and body were truly extraordinary, and she found herself resisting the urge to trace the line of his jaw and the bulge of his bicep.

The man’s eyebrows lifted. “They teach about Freyr here?”

Penny nodded. “In colleges, yes. Your god has quite the reputation.”

She also recalled that Light Elves who served Freyr were celestial creatures whose sole purpose was to lend a hand to mortals in need. They completed unfinished tasks while people slept, always in secret, and never taking credit for the work they’d done.

Only she had awakened, and the secret was out.

If myth had become reality, this ethereal being had heard her pleas and had come to earth to help her. As impossible as that might seem, Penny was desperate to believe it. For once in her life, she deserved to have something good happen.

Penny shifted onto her side and let her gaze drift over the stunning face before her. “Fairer to look upon than the sun.”

“What do you mean?” He shifted, too, watching her.

“That’s what they say about Light Elves in my textbooks. That you’re more beautiful than sunrise or sunset. In modern terms, we’d describe your looks in less poetic terms, but the meaning would be as true.”

He stared down at her and his expression turned wistful. “You are the most beautiful woman I have ever seen. Mortal or immortal.” He smoothed her hair and rubbed a thick tendril between his thumb and forefinger. “I am Gunnar.” He pronounced the name Goo-nar.

As he continued to stroke her hair, Penny noticed a symbol branded on the back of his powerful hand. She held the hand steady and examined the thick scar, recognizing Freyr’s sacred insignia. She ran her thumb over the emblem of the sun surrounded by a circle. “The pain must have been excruciating.” Without thinking, she lifted the old wound to her mouth and laid kisses along its perimeter before pressing a kiss to the icon inside.

Vibrations tingled over her lips when they touched the ancient symbol and her body prickled with the contact. The brand grew warm and then hot against her mouth, though it did not burn. She ran her tongue over the scar to erase the heat, and then licked the center, finishing with a tiny swirl.

Gunnar’s gasp of surprise was the last thing she expected when she lifted her head. He released her hair and drew away.

Penny swallowed. “I’m sorry. I have no idea what got into me. Have I offended you?” She’d always been attractive to men—though not always comfortable around them—but her behavior with Gunnar was bold, even for her.

She sat up. “Am I under some kind of spell?” She searched his face for clues about what to do next.

Gunnar shook his head. “I used my powers to heal you, but your free will remains intact.”

Penny recognized the desire that shined in Gunnar’s eyes, despite his wariness, yet something else shone there, too. Something rarely seen on earth these days. She couldn’t identify the emotion, at first, but after a moment, saw it clearly.

Gratitude.

Penny waited for Gunnar to speak again without letting go of his disfigured hand.

He stared down at their joined hands and said, “Kindness isn’t something I’m used to finding. Perhaps you’d be less inclined toward compassion if you knew what I’d done to deserve this brand of servitude.”

She reached out and draped an arm around his neck to bring him closer. Their gazes locked and held. Gunnar’s eyes were like pools of ice-blue water that pulled her in and down.

Her breathing slowed while the beat of her heart rushed blood through her ears. “I am Penelope. And if you’re from Alfheim, I know who and what you are. I just don’t understand why you’re here.” How could she deserve his rare, benevolent gifts? She was just an ordinary woman from an ordinary town, barely scraping by.

His warm breath grazed her cheek in shallow rushes, lifting goose bumps across her skin. His wide, firm mouth smelled of sweet ground parsley and fresh-picked mint. “Sometimes we get what we need simply because we ask. That’s the beauty and power of the unexpected.”

Amazon: Amazon.com: Her Immortal Viking eBook: Downs, Adele: Kindle Store

Goodreads Her Immortal Viking by Adele Downs | Goodreads

Visit Adele Downs and sign up for her newsletter on her website at http://www.adeledowns.com

99 Cent Countdown Deal! HER CHRISTMAS COWBOY by Adele Downs #99Cents #ChristmasRomance #WesternRomance #ContemporaryWesternRomance #ShortRead #ChristmasBook #Holiday #NewRelease #SweetRead

99 Cents for One Week Only!!!!

December 13-20

Available Free on Kindle Unlimited!

Here’s your chance to meet handsome Texas cowboy Treymont Woods and the woman he loves, Daisy Phillips, for only 99 cents in the tender Breezy Meadows Ranch romance HER CHRISTMAS COWBOY.

A promise can heal a broken heart, especially at Christmas.

“Her Christmas Cowboy was the perfect story to kick off my holiday reading!” 5 Stars! ~Amazon Reviewer
“I absolutely adore Trey. And frankly, I’m a little miffed that he’s only a character and not A REAL GUY!” 5 Stars! ~Amazon Reviewer
“This is definitely a heart-sighing, satisfying read.” 5 Stars! ~Amazon Reviewer
“Adele (Downs) creates characters that come alive on the page and find a love that is worth rooting for. This story is sweet and powerful.” 5 Stars! ~Amazon Reviewer

Standalone sequel to KISSING HER COWBOY

ASIN : B08H5XPVK9

Book Review-Grounds For Murder by Tara Lush #BookReview #GroundsForMurder @CrookedLaneBooks @NetGalley @TaraLush #NetGalley #CozyMystery

Grounds for Murder by Tara Lush
A Coffee Lover’s Mystery

Crooked Lane Books
Mystery & Thrillers
Pub Date 08 Dec 2020

Book Description:

Barista Lana Lewis’s sleuthing may land her in a latte trouble as Tara Lush launches her new Coffee Shop mysteries.

When Lana Lewis’ best — and most difficult — employee abruptly quits and goes to work for the competition just days before the Sunshine State Barista Championship, her café’s chances of winning the contest are creamed. In front of a gossipy crowd in the small Florida town of Devil’s Beach, Lana’s normally calm demeanor heats to a boil when she runs into the arrogant java slinger. Of course, Fabrizio “Fab” Bellucci has a slick explanation for jumping ship. But when he’s found dead the next morning under a palm tree in the alley behind Lana’s café, she becomes the prime suspect.

Even the island’s handsome police chief isn’t quite certain of her innocence. But Lana isn’t the only one in town who was angry with Fabrizio. Jilted lovers, a shrimp boat captain, and a surfer with ties to the mob are all suspects as trouble brews on the beach.

With her stoned, hippie dad, a Shih Tzu named Stanley, and a new, curious barista sporting a punk rock aesthetic at her side, Lana’s prepared to turn up the heat to catch the real killer. After all, she is a former award-winning reporter. As scandal hangs over her beachside café, can Lana clear her name and win the championship — or will she come to a bitter end?

Adele’s Review:

5 Stars!

Grounds for Murder was a lot of fun to read. The vivid setting of Devil’s Beach, Florida, and the protagonist’s cleverly named coffee shop Perkatory made me want to visit and sip a latte. Coffee isn’t just window dressing in this new series, it’s like another character, due to its rich presence throughout the book.

There were lots of things to like about this cozy mystery. It’s well-written, and though offbeat and humorous at times, it never became campy. The flirtatious attraction between the heroine, Lana, and the town police chief Noah Garcia (aka Sheriff Hunk) added a touch of romance to the story.

I look forward to reading book two in the series and wish the author Tara Lush all the best. Many thanks to NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for providing an ARC to read and review.

Amazon Link:  Grounds for Murder (A Coffee Lover’s Mystery Book 1) – Kindle edition by Lush, Tara. Mystery, Thriller & Suspense Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com.

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3352333283

Coming January 5, 2021! Her Immortal Viking by Adele Downs #Viking #Romance #Mythology #FantasyRomance #KindleUnlimited #PreOrder

I’m excited to share the upcoming release of my HOLT Medallion Award-Winning romance HER IMMORTAL VIKING. This revised and expanded edition goes on sale January 5, 2021, but is available for pre-order now!

Those of you who haven’t read the book will likely fall in love with Gunnar of Alfheim, as readers and reviewers have before you. Those who read the original version might enjoy the romantic adventures of Gunnar and Penelope in this new edition even more. (I’m counting on both!)

Here’s a little about the book:

A Viking warrior unjustly cast into eternal servitude by a vengeful god is transported to the modern world to complete a task. When he falls in love with a mortal, he must find a way to clear his name and bridge the divide of a thousand years to stay with her.

Here’s what reviewers had to say:

“Ms. Downs has woven a shimmering fairy tale​ for the modern age.” 5 Stars! ~Amazon Reviewer
“This book is fantastic with suspense, action, lots of humor and amazing Romance! It is a must read book! Adele is such a sweet and talented writer.” 5 Stars! ~Amazon Reviewer
“As a huge fan of mythology, I really appreciated the consideration and attention Ms. Downs poured into the story. So many layers, along with memorable characters, give the reader a satisfying reading experience. And, best of all, it will make you believe in fairy tales and in wishes coming true.” 5 Stars! ~Amazon Reviewer
“Downs’ clever mash-up of Viking elements and contemporary romance (and oh, the hot, hot Viking!) make this novella an absolute winner.” 5 Stars! ~Words, Words, Words

Pre-Order on Amazon Kindle! Release Date 1/5/2021

HER CHRISTMAS COWBOY by Adele Downs #ChristmasRomance #WesternRomance #ContemporaryWesternRomance #ShortRead #ChristmasBook #Holiday #NewRelease #SweetRead

Available now on Kindle and Kindle Unlimited!

HER CHRISTMAS COWBOY

ASIN : B08ND7TTXN

A promise can heal a broken heart, especially at Christmas.

Her Christmas Cowboy, Book Two in the Breezy Meadows Ranch series. Revised and Expanded 2nd Edition.

“Her Christmas Cowboy was the perfect story to kick off my holiday reading!” 5 Stars! ~Amazon Reviewer
“I absolutely adore Trey. And frankly, I’m a little miffed that he’s only a character and not A REAL GUY!” 5 Stars! ~Amazon Reviewer
“This is definitely a heart-sighing, satisfying read.” 5 Stars! ~Amazon Reviewer
“Adele (Downs) creates characters that come alive on the page and find a love that is worth rooting for. This story is sweet and powerful.” 5 Stars! ~Amazon Reviewer

Standalone sequel to KISSING HER COWBOY

ASIN : B08H5XPVK9

New Release! HER CHRISTMAS COWBOY by Adele Downs #ChristmasRomance #WesternRomance #ContemporaryWesternRomance #ShortRead #ChristmasBook #Holiday #NewRelease #SweetRead

HER CHRISTMAS COWBOY, available now!

ASIN : B08ND7TTXN

A promise can heal a broken heart, especially at Christmas.

Her Christmas Cowboy, Book Two in the Breezy Meadows Ranch series. Revised and Expanded 2nd Edition.

“Her Christmas Cowboy was the perfect story to kick off my holiday reading!” 5 Stars! ~Amazon Reviewer
“I absolutely adore Trey. And frankly, I’m a little miffed that he’s only a character and not A REAL GUY!” 5 Stars! ~Amazon Reviewer
“This is definitely a heart-sighing, satisfying read.” 5 Stars! ~Amazon Reviewer
“Adele (Downs) creates characters that come alive on the page and find a love that is worth rooting for. This story is sweet and powerful.” 5 Stars! ~Amazon Reviewer

Standalone sequel to KISSING HER COWBOY

ASIN : B08H5XPVK9

Cover Reveal! Her Christmas Cowboy by Adele Downs #CoverReveal #Romance #ShortRead #ChristmasRomance #WesternRomance #NewRelease #5Stars #KindleUnlimited

Coming November 17, 2020!

A promise can heal a broken heart, especially at Christmas.

Her Christmas Cowboy, Book Two in the Breezy Meadows Ranch series. Revised and Expanded 2nd Edition.

Standalone sequel to KISSING HER COWBOY

One kiss changes everything for two broken people.

Kissing Her Cowboy by Adele Downs #NewRelease #Western #Romance #WesternBook #ShortReads #MustRead #AmReading

KISSING HER COWBOY is here!

If you read romance and you L-O-V-E cowboys, I hope you’ll order a copy of the new, updated and expanded release of KISSING HER COWBOY. This short read is Book One in the Breezy Meadows Ranch series.

Kissing Her Cowboy by Adele Downs

One kiss changes everything for two broken people…

A cowboy with a fractured back and a cop with a broken spirit heal on a Texas ranch with the help of a stallion named Big Blue. For the police officer seeking redemption, riding lessons rebuild her confidence. The first ride after his rodeo accident restores the cowboy’s soul. Falling in love remakes them both.

Praise for Kissing Her Cowboy:

“Prop your boots up on the post and enjoy this read! You can’t go wrong with Adele Downs.” 5 Stars ~Will Work for Books

“So much heart was packed into this story!” 5 Stars ~Amazon Reviewer

Order Now!

Free on Kindle Unlimited!

Buy The Book on Amazon for $1.99!

Coming October 8! Kissing Her Cowboy by Adele Downs #Western #Romance #WesternBook #ShortReads #MustRead

“So much heart was packed into this story!” 5 Stars ~Amazon Reviewer

Kissing Her Cowboy by Adele Downs

One kiss changes everything for two broken people…

A cowboy with a fractured back and a cop with a broken spirit heal on a Texas ranch with the help of a stallion named Big Blue. For the police officer seeking redemption, riding lessons rebuild her confidence. The first ride after his rodeo accident restores the cowboy’s soul. Falling in love remakes them both.

Praise for Kissing Her Cowboy:

“Prop your boots up on the post and enjoy this read! You can’t go wrong with Adele Downs.” 5 Stars ~Will Work for Books

Pre-Order Now!

Free on Kindle Unlimited!

Buy The Book on Amazon for $1.99 starting October 8, 2020!

Cover Reveal! New Look, Updated KISSING HER COWBOY #WesternRomance #ShortRead #Cowboy #NewRelease #5Stars #KindleUnlimited

I’m excited to share my cover reveal with you!

Here’s the new look for the revised and expanded 2020 edition of my western romance KISSING HER COWBOY. This is Book 1 in the fictional Breezy Meadows Ranch series, set in Houston, Texas.

If you’ve read the first edition of the story, here’s your opportunity to enjoy the updated version. If you haven’t read the book, pre-order yours now! I hope you enjoy Trey and Daisy’s story.

Like it? I think the cover model hits just the right note of strong and handsome, but relatable, for my sweet but sultry romance. Please do let me know your thoughts in the comments section.

Here’s a little about the book:

KISSING HER COWBOY

One kiss changes everything for two broken people…

A cowboy with a fractured back and a cop with a broken spirit heal on a Texas ranch with the help of a stallion named Big Blue. For the police officer seeking redemption, riding lessons rebuild her confidence. The first ride after his rodeo accident restores the cowboy’s soul. Falling in love remakes them both.

Praise for Kissing Her Cowboy:

“Prop your boots up on the post and enjoy this read! You can’t go wrong with Adele Downs.” 5 Stars ~Will Work for Books

Pre-Order your copy now! Free on KU or $1.99!
Releases 10/08/2020

Book Review-The Vacation by T. M. Logan #BookReview @NetGalley #thriller #suspense @TMLoganAuthor #NetGalley @StMartinsPress

The Vacation by T.M. Logan
New Release!

Available Editions
EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9781250270771

About The Book:

In The Vacation (Titled The Holiday in the UK) a captivating thriller from T. M. Logan, the bestselling author of Lies and 29 Seconds, four best friends on a dream vacation come face-to-face with an explosive secret.

It was supposed to be the perfect getaway: Kate and her three best friends, spending a week with their families in a luxurious villa in the south of France. Through the decades and the wildly different paths down which life has led them, they’ve stayed closer than ever, and seven days of drinking crisp French wine and laying out under the dazzling Mediterranean sun is the perfect celebration of their friendship. But soon after arriving, Kate discovers an incriminating text on her husband’s cell phone.

A text revealing that he’s having an affair.

And that the other woman is one of her best friends.

But which one?

Trapped in paradise with no one to trust, Kate is determined to find out who has put her marriage—and a lifelong friendship—in jeopardy. But as she closes in on the truth, she realizes that the stakes are higher than she ever imagined. Everyone on the trip has secrets…and someone may be prepared to kill to keep theirs hidden.

Adele’s Review:

5 Stars!

I couldn’t put this book down! The Vacation is T.M. Logan’s third novel, and the second book I’ve read and reviewed and given 5 Stars. His books really are a cut above the rest; with exceptional, tight writing and great characterization, plotting, motivation and pacing. There are many characters in this novel, all integral to the story, and we come to understand each one.

When I reviewed the author’s second book, Lies, I wrote that I would have preferred he’d not done an info dump at the end to resolve the mystery, but woven the resolution into the story. In The Vacation, I was delighted to see the plot lines all unfold at the right times, with each plot point explained right up to the last page. I’m officially a fan.

The Vacation will make a great movie–I’ve heard a deal is in the works. I wish this author the best and will definitely look for future books. Many thanks to St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for providing an ARC of this novel.

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3314035374

Love Is Like A Box of Chocolates #SweetRomance #RomanceReaders #Romance #Anthology #NewRelease #WritersCommunity #WritersLife

Looking for a relaxing read? LOVE IS LIKE A BOX OF CHOCOLATES is a collection of sixteen sweet romance short stories to warm your heart.

Published by Camden Park Press
Edited by Lyn Worthen

Includes “Catch Me” by Adele Downs

“A great collection of sweet, clean romance stories you’re sure to love. They’re each well written and have a different theme… Highly recommend.” 5 Stars! Amazon Review

Here’s a little about the book:

We love sweet romance stories like we love truffles and cordials, toffees and caramels – and when they’re bathed in a decadent coating of rich, creamy chocolate, they’re satisfying, delicious, and we can’t stop with just one. LOVE IS LIKE A BOX OF CHOCOLATES presents sixteen stories that capture both the sweetness and variety of a box of chocolates. Ranging from new loves to rekindled attraction, these stories are filled with sweet meet-cutes, nutty quirks, and the unexpected richness hidden beneath the surface of the characters and their developing relationships. And all wound through with ribbons of chocolate.

LOVE IS LIKE A BOX OF CHOCOLATES contains sixteen sweet stories by M. L. Buchman, Katherine L. Evans, Tami Veldura, Cheryl Wright, Adele Downs, Eliza David, Debbie Mumford, Donea Lee Weaver, Jadelynn Asher, Jennie L. Morris, Marianne Bayliss, Meyari McFarland, Michele Dean, Neen Cohen, and Remi Carrington. Edited by Lyn Worthen.

Buy The Book!

Available in both e-book and print formats.

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B084S7D6NC

Books To Read: https://books2read.com/LoveIsLikeChocolate

Book Review-Little Secrets by Jennifer Hillier #BookReview @NetGalley #thriller #suspense @JenniferHillier #NetGalley @MinotaurBooks

New Release!
Little Secrets by Jennifer Hillier
Minotaur Books
ISBN 9781250154224

About The Book:

“Unflinching and unforgettable. Little Secrets has everything you want in a thriller” —Riley Sager, New York Times bestselling author of Lock Every Door

Overwhelmed by tragedy, a woman desperately tries to save her marriage in award-winning author Jennifer Hillier’s Little Secrets, a riveting novel of psychological suspense.

All it takes to unravel a life is one little secret…

Marin had the perfect life. Married to her college sweetheart, she owns a chain of upscale hair salons, and Derek runs his own company. They’re admired in their community and are a loving family—until their world falls apart the day their son Sebastian is taken.

A year later, Marin is a shadow of herself. The FBI search has gone cold. The publicity has faded. She and her husband rarely speak. She hires a P.I. to pick up where the police left off, but instead of finding Sebastian, she learns that Derek is having an affair with a younger woman. This discovery sparks Marin back to life. She’s lost her son; she’s not about to lose her husband, too. Kenzie is an enemy with a face, which means this is a problem Marin can fix.

Permanently.

Adele’s Review:

5 Stars!

Little Secrets is a gripping, fast-paced psychological thriller with twisting plot points that kept me turning the pages and guessing the outcome until the very end. Hillier has written a complicated book with a central plot and several subplots with their own story lines. She’s intricately woven the story threads into a uniform whole that brings the tale to a most satisfying conclusion. Great pacing, tight writing, entertaining, and highly recommended.

If you love to read thrillers like I do, don’t miss this one! Loved it! Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Minotaur Books for the opportunity to read and review an ARC of this novel.

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3127923051

Love Is Like A Box of Chocolates #SweetRomance #Anthology @CamdenParkPress #NewRelease #WritersCommunity #WritersLife

LOVE IS LIKE A BOX OF CHOCOLATES – New Release!

Have you ordered your copy?

Published by Camden Park Press
Edited by Lyn Worthen

Includes “Catch Me” by Adele Downs

Here’s a little about the collection:

We love sweet romance stories like we love truffles and cordials, toffees and caramels – and when they’re bathed in a decadent coating of rich, creamy chocolate, they’re satisfying, delicious, and we can’t stop with just one. LOVE IS LIKE A BOX OF CHOCOLATES presents sixteen stories that capture both the sweetness and variety of a box of chocolates. Ranging from new loves to rekindled attraction, these stories are filled with sweet meet-cutes, nutty quirks, and the unexpected richness hidden beneath the surface of the characters and their developing relationships. And all wound through with ribbons of chocolate.

LOVE IS LIKE A BOX OF CHOCOLATES contains sixteen sweet stories by M. L. Buchman, Katherine L. Evans, Tami Veldura, Cheryl Wright, Adele Downs, Eliza David, Debbie Mumford, Donea Lee Weaver, Jadelynn Asher, Jennie L. Morris, Marianne Bayliss, Meyari McFarland, Michele Dean, Neen Cohen, and Remi Carrington. Edited by Lyn Worthen.

Buy The Book!

Available in both e-book and print formats.

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B084S7D6NC

Books To Read: https://books2read.com/LoveIsLikeChocolate

Guest Blog-Author Marianne Bayliss Offers Readers French Chocolate #SweetRomance #Books #RomanceAnthology #WritersLife #WritersCommunity @CamdenParkPress

Australian author Marianne Bayliss has been invited here to share the inspiration behind her short story “Sweet Provence” in the LOVE IS LIKE A BOX OF CHOCOLATES romance anthology.

I greatly enjoyed Marianne’s story, set in the beautiful southeastern region of France, and hope you will too. Download a copy of the collection or buy the print version from your favorite online retailer, lift the cover, and delight in the sweetness of love and chocolate inside. ~Best, Adele

***

From Marianne Bayliss:

The inspiration for my story SWEET PROVENCE came from a wonderful holiday I shared last April with my 21-year-old daughter.

Our globe-trot included one glorious week in Paris, four days in Provence and ten days in Italy. We loved it all, but we loved Provence the most.

In Provence, we made our base in Aix- (pronounced: ‘aches’) -en-Provence and booked mini-van day tours to surrounding towns, just as my heroine did.

While each town was charming, with specific traits that made them unique, we discovered similarities that linked them.

First, the light. It’s golden. Everything appeared tinged in a caramelised aura. It had us turning our face to the sun and basking in the gentle glow: something we rarely do in the harsh Australian sunshine. While now I can’t remember the exact shade, I still recall the impression of the faint butterscotch blush and I tilt my head up when I call it to mind, as though the memory and the action are linked. It was easy to see why the great painters Cézanne and Van Gogh favoured this unique light and created their most famous paintings in this area.

Second, the scenery. Every aspect is postcard worthy. I was producing photos similar to those filling my ‘365 days in France’ calendar. I, as the photographer, needed no skill; Provence did the work. Each cobbled-stone laneway, fountain and potted plant appeared to have been designed with the camera in mind (yet with that nonchalance at which the French excel). While we, the models, may not have always photographed our best, Provence provided the perfect backdrop without fail.

Third, the food. Buttery, flaky croissants accompanied by creamy coffee or rich hot chocolate for breakfast. Crunchy baguettes filled with fresh produce for lunch. Whole roasted Camembert topped with stewed cinnamon apples for dinner. Need I say more?

Fourth, the friendliness. To be fair, I speak basic conversational French and tried to use it as much as possible, but we found the locals were warm and helpful. Our experiences started with a Boulanger, sucking a cigarette outside his bakery, who fixed a problem with our accommodation then gave us crisp pastry treats in a sweet little bag to enjoy while we waited. Two waiters shared a Limoncello with us ‘on the house’ during their shift. A stall holder in Roussillon engaged us in charming conversation after having seen us wander the market in Saint-Rémy the previous day. And a married couple from Marseille, who we met on the flight from Provence to Venice, insisted we join them in their private water taxi from Venice airport to the main island, instead of travelling by crowded water bus!

Outside Aix-en-Provence is the village of Puyricard, and home of France’s famous chocolaterie of the same name. This became the inspiration for my hero’s world and the location for much of my story. (My daughter and I actually outlined the story one evening on the walk from our accommodation to the café; by the end of dinner we had full stomachs and a basic plot!)

In SWEET PROVENCE, children’s book author and illustrator, Katie Monroe, seeks inspiration when she travels to Provence. But romance finds her in the form of Luc Julienne, the owner of France’s famous chocolaterie.

When distance and work conflicts threaten their relationship will Katie choose the job she loves or the man who has melted her heart?

LOVE IS LIKE A BOX OF CHOCOLATES presents sixteen stories that capture both the sweetness and variety of a box of chocolates. Ranging from new loves to rekindled relationships, these stories are filled with sweet meet-cutes, nutty quirks, and the unexpected richness hidden beneath the surface of the characters and their developing relationships.

You can purchase a copy of Love is Like a Box of Chocolates from your preferred retailer here:

www.books2read.com/LoveIsLikeChocolate

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B084S7D6NC

Armchair Travel to Provence, France #SweetRomance #Books #Anthology @CamdenParkPress

The worldwide Coronavirus pandemic has eliminated travel for many of us, and social distancing will keep us isolated until the virus is under control. I thought this would be a good time for an armchair view of Provence, France with Australian author Marianne Bayliss.

Marianne toured the French region last spring and found the inspiration for her story “Sweet Provence” in the LOVE IS LIKE A BOX OF CHOCOLATES anthology. Both her short story and her article are entertaining and beautifully written. Stop by this blog and read her guest post on Tuesday, 3/17/2020.

~Best, Adele

New Release-Love Is Like A Box of Chocolates #SweetRomance #Anthology @CamdenParkPress #WritersCommunity #WritersLife

LOVE IS LIKE A BOX OF CHOCOLATES – New Release!

Have you ordered your copy?

Published by Camden Park Press
Edited by Lyn Worthen

Includes “Catch Me” by Adele Downs

Here’s a little about the collection:

We love sweet romance stories like we love truffles and cordials, toffees and caramels – and when they’re bathed in a decadent coating of rich, creamy chocolate, they’re satisfying, delicious, and we can’t stop with just one. LOVE IS LIKE A BOX OF CHOCOLATES presents sixteen stories that capture both the sweetness and variety of a box of chocolates. Ranging from new loves to rekindled attraction, these stories are filled with sweet meet-cutes, nutty quirks, and the unexpected richness hidden beneath the surface of the characters and their developing relationships. And all wound through with ribbons of chocolate.

LOVE IS LIKE A BOX OF CHOCOLATES contains sixteen sweet stories by M. L. Buchman, Katherine L. Evans, Tami Veldura, Cheryl Wright, Adele Downs, Eliza David, Debbie Mumford, Donea Lee Weaver, Jadelynn Asher, Jennie L. Morris, Marianne Bayliss, Meyari McFarland, Michele Dean, Neen Cohen, and Remi Carrington. Edited by Lyn Worthen.

Buy The Book!

Available in both e-book and print formats.

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B084S7D6NC

Books To Read: https://books2read.com/LoveIsLikeChocolate

LOVE and CHOCOLATE #SweetRomance #Anthology @CamdenParkPress #WritersLife #WritersNetwork #WritersCommunity

LOVE IS LIKE A BOX OF CHOCOLATES Sweet Romance Anthology is a special new release for me. It contains my first published story since my dear husband of thirty years passed away suddenly in March 2018.

Steve’s death leveled me emotionally. I couldn’t work, couldn’t sleep, couldn’t get through a day without crying. Grief counseling helped and became my focus for many months. Friends and family were lifelines. However, I worried that my creative spirit was gone forever and that my writing career was over. I wondered if I would lose my readers along with the love of my life.

Then, quite by chance, (or maybe kismet) I read on Facebook about an open call for *sweet romance short story submissions from small independent publisher Camden Park Press, and decided to go back to my desk and try to make the words come. Over the next few weeks I poured myself into writing, revising, and then submitting my story about falling in love at middle age.

To say I was thrilled when editor Lyn Worthen contacted me to say “Catch Me” had been accepted for the romance anthology LOVE IS LIKE A BOX OF CHOCOLATES, and that my story was ‘just what she was looking for’ is an understatement. Despite my struggle with grief and loss, my creativity was revived, and so was I.

I do hope you’ll download a copy of LOVE IS LIKE A BOX OF CHOCOLATES from your favorite online retailer, or order a print copy from Amazon if you prefer paper to e-book. There are sixteen heartwarming, diverse, and entertaining stories in the collection; and any one of them can be read in about an hour. This book is perfect for the beach, quick reads inside waiting rooms or before bed, and also makes the perfect gift for friends and loved ones.

*By the way, in case you were wondering what “sweet” romance means, it’s code for ‘only contains a kiss.’

Buy The Book!

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B084S7D6NC

Books To Read: https://books2read.com/LoveIsLikeChocolate

The Inspiration for CATCH ME-Love Is Like A Box of Chocolates #SweetRomance #Anthology @CamdenParkPress #WritersLife #WritersCommunity

Photo copyright Adele Downs 2020

This is the bicycle that inspired my short story “Catch Me” in the sweet romance anthology LOVE IS LIKE A BOX OF CHOCOLATES. It’s not a particularly sexy bike; it’s sturdy with thick tires and a foot brake instead of the hand brake installed on racing bikes. It’s a Schwinn, and almost exactly like the bicycle I rode as a child, which is probably why I picked it out and brought it home from the local big box store.

Riding the bike, however, has been a challenge. I’m scared of my Schwinn. My fear of falling has taken some of the shine off my exercise good intentions and visits to neighbors. Understanding that practice might ally that fear hasn’t helped much. Riding my bike has become more about gritting my teeth and getting from point A to point B than the elated air-and-sunshine freedom at the beach I anticipated. However…I’m not giving up. This year, I intend to make my bicycle my friend… I hope.

My fear of falling off my Schwinn sparked the idea for my LOVE IS LIKE A BOX OF CHOCOLATES short story “Catch Me.” My creative spirit invented the heroine, Lilly, and the handsome construction worker, Theo, who meet after Lilly hits the asphalt when she loses control while riding beside Rehoboth Bay (pictured). Their happily-ever-after is a much better ending than the one I fear for myself. But, who knows, maybe with determination and practice I will regain the bike riding confidence of my childhood, soar beside the water, and make exciting new friends in my community along the way.

Buy the Book!

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B084S7D6NC

Books To Read: https://books2read.com/LoveIsLikeChocolate

Love Is Like A Box of Chocolates #SweetRomance #Anthology @CamdenParkPress #NewRelease

LOVE IS LIKE A BOX OF CHOCOLATES – Available now!

Published by Camden Park Press
Edited by Lyn Worthen

Includes “Catch Me” by Adele Downs

Here’s a little about the collection:

We love sweet romance stories like we love truffles and cordials, toffees and caramels – and when they’re bathed in a decadent coating of rich, creamy chocolate, they’re satisfying, delicious, and we can’t stop with just one. LOVE IS LIKE A BOX OF CHOCOLATES presents sixteen stories that capture both the sweetness and variety of a box of chocolates. Ranging from new loves to rekindled attraction, these stories are filled with sweet meet-cutes, nutty quirks, and the unexpected richness hidden beneath the surface of the characters and their developing relationships. And all wound through with ribbons of chocolate.

LOVE IS LIKE A BOX OF CHOCOLATES contains sixteen sweet stories by M. L. Buchman, Katherine L. Evans, Tami Veldura, Cheryl Wright, Adele Downs, Eliza David, Debbie Mumford, Donea Lee Weaver, Jadelynn Asher, Jennie L. Morris, Marianne Bayliss, Meyari McFarland, Michele Dean, Neen Cohen, and Remi Carrington. Edited by Lyn Worthen.

Buy The Book!

Available in both e-book and print formats.

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B084S7D6NC

Books To Read: https://books2read.com/LoveIsLikeChocolate

Book Review-The New Husband by D.J. Palmer #book review #NetGalley #thriller #suspense @djpalmerauthor @StMartinsPress

The New Husband is a riveting thriller about the lies we tell ourselves from D. J. Palmer, the author of Saving Meghan.

About The Book:

Just because you love someone doesn’t mean you know them.

Nina Garrity learned that the hard way after discovering that her missing husband, Glen, had been leading a double life with another woman. But Glen’s gone–presumably drowned while fishing on his boat–so she can’t confront him about the affair or any of his other misdeeds. A year and a half after the accident, Nina considers herself a widow, even though the police never found a body. Following a chance encounter with Simon Fitch, a teacher from her daughter Maggie’s middle school, Nina finds love again and has hopes of putting her shattered life back together.

Simon, a widower still grieving the suicide of his first wife, has found his dream girl in Nina. His charm and affections help break through to a heart hardened by betrayal. Nina’s teenage son, Connor, embraces Simon as the father he wishes his dad could have been, but Maggie sees a far darker side to this new man in their lives. Even Nina’s good friends wonder if Simon is supremely devoted–or dangerously possessive.

But Nina is committed, not only to her soon-to-be new husband but also to resuming her former career as a social worker. Before she can move forward, however, Nina must first clear her conscience that she’s not making another terrible choice in a man. In doing so, she will uncover the shocking truth: the greatest danger to her, and her children, are the lies people tell themselves.

Adele’s Review:

4.5 Stars!

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. The novel did what it was supposed to do—kept me turning the pages to see what happened next—creating thrilling entertainment from the first pages to the last.

I wanted the protagonist, Nina, to be smarter and more cautious about allowing a new man into her life and home and the home of her children, but there would have been no story if she’d done that, right? The New Husband is another cautionary tale about what can happen when otherwise smart, capable women ignore their instincts and good common sense and give the benefit of doubt to someone they barely know. Worse, when they take the word of a man over that of their child(ren) and side with him. When we ignore our instincts and our children’s feelings and perspectives, we invite monsters like Simon into our world. A chilling thought.

Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for the opportunity to read and review this book. I definitely recommend The New Husband for an adrenaline-filled experience.

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3104860441

Book Review-The Stranger Inside by Lisa Unger #bookreview @lisaunger @parkrowbooks #thrillers #suspense #bestsellers

THE STRANGER INSIDE by Lisa Unger

Product Details:

File Size: 1109 KB
Print Length: 384 pages
Publisher: Park Row; Original edition (September 17, 2019)
Publication Date: September 17, 2019
Sold by: Harlequin Digital Sales Corp.

Named a BEST BOOK OF FALL 2019 by People Magazine, Boston Globe, BookBub, PopSugar, CrimeReads and more.

“Completely unexpected and riveting.” (Houston Chronicle)

Even good people are drawn to do evil things … Twelve-year-old Rain Winter narrowly escaped an abduction while walking to a friend’s house. Her two best friends, Tess and Hank, were not as lucky. Tess never came home, and Hank was held in captivity before managing to escape. Their abductor was sent to prison but years later was released. Then someone delivered real justice–and killed him in cold blood.

Now Rain is living the perfect suburban life, her dark childhood buried deep. She spends her days as a stay-at-home mom, having put aside her career as a hard-hitting journalist to care for her infant daughter. But when another brutal murderer who escaped justice is found dead, Rain is unexpectedly drawn into the case. Eerie similarities to the murder of her friends’ abductor force Rain to revisit memories she’s worked hard to leave behind. Is there a vigilante at work? Who is the next target? Why can’t Rain just let it go?

Introducing one of the most compelling and original killers in crime fiction today, Lisa Unger takes readers deep inside the minds of both perpetrator and victim, blurring the lines between right and wrong, crime and justice, and showing that sometimes people deserve what comes to them.

Adele’s Review:

5 Stars!

Lisa Unger is an auto-buy author for me. Her thrillers are not only well-crafted and entertaining, her writing skills put her at the top of her genre. Reading Lisa Unger is like taking a Master Class in creative writing.

Her newest release, The Stranger Inside, might be her best book yet. This compulsive page turner kept me guessing until the very last page and made me wonder if we’ll see protagonist and new mother Rain Winter in a future book. I hope so. This could be the start of a compelling new series although the book stands well on its own.

Loved this one. Bought the book on Amazon.

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3014507292

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