Saturday, October 22, 2016

Hop on the ABA Halloween Blog Hop!

Welcome to the ABA Halloween Blog Hop! We've got lots of fun and prizes for readers including a Grand Prize $50 gift certificate for one lucky participant. Make sure you hop on the ABA train and visit all the blogs. Most, including mine, will offer an extra prize on their blog. Enter the Rafflecopter at the end of my post. I'm giving away one e-copy each of my books BURNING LOVE, RESCUE ME. and SEEING THINGS.

To get on the blog hop and read other great posts, go to 

Why do people like scary movies?

People like to be scared. If they didn’t, horror movies wouldn’t be so popular. Why would people willingly subject themselves to a frightening experience? After all, experts tell us that when we watch a scary horror movie, our body reactions – increased heartbeat, sweaty palms, decreased skin temperature and a spike in blood pressure – are the same as they would be if we were in a real life scary situation. Professor of communications Glenn Sparks from Purdue University says "We can tell ourselves the images on the screen are not real, but emotionally our brain reacts as if they are.”

So why do so many people love scary horror films if they have such a strong reaction to them?
Psychologists have a few ideas about what makes horror films so alluring.

1. Tension – Viewers love the suspense, mystery, shock and gore of the movies.

2. Sensation seeking – People who like horror films are the same people who like other exciting things like bungee jumping and rollercoasters.

3. A sense of unrealism – We know it’s just a movie so even though it scares us, the fictional nature of horror films affords viewers a sense of control by placing psychological distance between us and the violent acts we have witnessed.

4. A source of catharsis - a way of purging negative emotions and/or as a way to relieve pent-up aggression. Author Stephen King argues that horror acts as a safety valve for cruel impulses. If we can experience such an impulse on-screen, we don’t have to act it out in real life. Unfortunately, researchers say the opposite is closer to the truth; people who consume violent media feel more hostile.

5. A sense of justice –Justice is served when the villain gets his in the end. But what about when innocents end up hacked to pieces?

6. Morbid fascination – It’s the same sort of impulse that has us staring at car accidents; we just can’t look away.

7. Defiance - Sometimes young people watch horror movies just because adults look down on those kinds of movies.

I think a certain segment of the population will enjoy horror movies just as some people like country music and romance novels and other don’t. It’s all a matter of taste.

Do you have any favorite horror or Halloween movies? Don’t ask me to answer this question; I’m way too scared to watch horror movies!

And just to prove it, here's the blurb and excerpt from my paranormal/comedy romance BURNING LOVE, which is not the least bit scary:

After causing three cooking fires in her apartment, Iris Jensen finds herself evicted and homeless. She lands on Riley Benson's doorstep, looking to rent a room in the beautiful old home he's restoring. It's only for six weeks until Iris leaves Portland, Oregon for her new job on a cruise ship. Firefighter Riley knows firsthand what a bad tenant she can be. But he needs money to finish the work on the house he loves. And something about Iris pulls at his heart…

Meanwhile, in Heaven, two angels watch over the young lovers. Angelica and Hildegard work in Heaven's Relationship Division, where angels match mortals with their soul mates. The angels believe so strongly in Iris and Riley’s love that they break Heaven's rules to help them. Can the angels convince them their love will last a lifetime?


Riley looked into her beautiful blue eyes and her smiling face and did the only thing he was capable of doing at the moment.

He kissed her.

Maybe later, he told himself, when sanity returned, he’d think of a hundred reasons why pulling Iris into his arms, holding her snug against his body, and plundering her soft, sweet mouth was not a good idea. But for now, right now, as she wound her arms around his neck and made tiny sounds of excitement deep in her throat, it felt exactly right.

Heaven. Having Iris in his corner made him believe everything was possible.

He stepped backward toward the stairs, pulling Iris with him, intent on taking her upstairs to his room. He suddenly tripped, nearly losing his balance. He glanced behind him and saw the object he’d stumbled over. A set of luggage sat next to the stairs, still bearing tags from the retailer.

“What the hell is this?”

Iris kissed his neck. “I’m sorry. I should have taken them up to my room.”

Iris had bought new luggage for her trip. Her plans hadn’t changed.

She’s leaving me.

The thought acted as effectively as a bucket of cold water tossed over his head. What was he doing? She was leaving in three weeks and didn’t plan to return. The calendar in the kitchen reminded him of that every day. Why start something that would only lead to heartache?

He’d already lost too many people in his life.

And Riley instinctively knew that if he let himself get close to Iris, let himself love her, a part of him would not survive when she left.

To win an e-copy of BURNING LOVE, enter the Rafflecopter below:

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A Day at the Spa

I recently spent a lovely, relaxing day at a spa. I wasn't sure I'd like it, but it turned out to be wonderful, and it makes me think I should relax more often. Find my story at Word Wranglers

From the Thermea Spa website

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Devon McKay in the Spotlight!

Today fellow Wild Rose Press author Devon McKay is my book spotlight guest with her novel STAKING A CLAIM. Take it away, Devon!


For most people, seeing Alaska is a dream come true. For Miami Beach resident, Samantha Held, it is merely a job assignment. Creating an advertisement for vacationing in the state gets her one step closer to achieving her career goal—partnership in Kolinsky’s Advertisement Agency.

Blake Langford is not willing to accept any exploitation of his beloved state, no matter how desirable the striking, southern blonde bombshell with fiery green eyes is, and he’s determined to sabotage Sam’s goal in every way. Falling in love with the enemy, however, was never part of the plan.


     Fuming, Sam held his gaze as she considered his offer. She couldn’t have asked for a better opportunity to be dropped into her lap. She could learn everything she needed to know about Alaska and have a handsome, but overly protective, guide of the state to show her. Not to mention what his knowledge could do for the brochure.

     It would also mean more time in his temperamental company.

     Sam considered her options. She had gotten lucky finding Carlton Landing, but what about locating her elusive hotel? As proven last night, it was more than evident she couldn’t even read a map correctly. So, what real choice did she have?

     She pictured her new office…the view of the ocean…the partnership. She was willing to take the chance. Besides, she’d never been the kind of girl who shied away from a challenge. Hell, so far, her life had been a series of challenges.

     “It’s a deal.” Her voice came off cool and professional despite the quickening of her heartbeat. She offered her hand to shake on the agreement. “We haven’t officially met. Samantha Held. I go by Sam.”

     “Blake Langford.” He extended his, grasping her hand and repeating the name she already knew by heart. He held onto her grasp for a minute longer than necessary. “I go by Wolf.”

     Again, the breathtaking grin resurfaced, and an odd pulsation spiked through Sam, leaving her insides quivering like a bowl of gelatin as she second guessed her decision.

     What kind of fool makes a deal with a man called Wolf?

Book Purchase Link(s):


Barnes and Noble:

Author Bio: 

Devon McKay writes contemporary romance with a western flair. If she's not writing, she's busy with chores on her small ranch, working on a stained glass project or walking one of her three dogs through the woods. Her greatest joy is putting a smile on a reader's face and hearing from fans.

Author Links:

Saturday, October 15, 2016

To Indie Publish or Not to Indie Publish

I'm contemplating whether I should publish my newest works-in-progress (a three book series) myself or submit to a publisher. Does self-publishing provide freedome for a writer, or is the price too high? If you're a writer, what would you do? Read about my thoughts at Word Wranglers

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

The Heartwarming Holiday Tour Continues

Today we're talking holiday romances with Cari Lynn Webb. Cari is a Harlequin Heartwarming author and is one of 15 authors contributing to A Heartwarming Holiday. My fellow Word Wrangler Liz Flaherty also wrote a novella for this boxed set, and visited Journeys with Jana back in August to talk about her story, The Magic Stocking. I love holiday stories and these sound like very good reads. Please welcome Cari Lynn Webb!

Countdown to Romance by Cari Lynn Webb

My mom likes to share a story about my childhood friend who found herself in a fast food drive-thru with my mom and me one evening. My friend and I were in the third grade and swam together on the same swim team. My mom picked us up from swim practice, took us through the drive-thru and passed our orders to us in the back seat.

In between bites of her hamburger, my friend looked up and said, “I’ve never eaten in a car before.”
I dipped my French fry in my perfectly balanced pool of Ketchup on the hamburger wrapper (this was before those convenient plastic to-go Ketchup containers made for dunking that my daughters enjoy today) and said, “I only ever eat in the car.”

According to my mom, my friend was somewhat appalled at her dining conditions while I was completely unfazed. With three older brothers and no outside food allowed in the basketball gym or the wrestling match and limited food options at the baseball game, I grew up cramming French fries into my mouth so that we could get inside the gym before the basketball tip-off or wrestling match buzzer. There didn’t seem to be a night where there was a pause in activities. (As a parent with only two daughters, I marvel at my mother’s ability to get us all to our activities with such patience and humor.) And I should mention, we had a dinner table, but with such varying schedules rarely sat down together to eat. Perhaps that is why we always lingered over holiday dinners and even today when our entire family is together the holiday meals are more of an experience that include good food, but even more stories and a lot of laughter. My drive-thru dinners worked for me – I liked to watch the cheerleaders at the basketball games and there were usually other little sisters to play with under the baseball bleachers. And in the car, no one stole my French fries and I had my mom’s undivided attention.

In Countdown To Romance, my heroine, Emily Hayes knows something about being on the move as a travelling nurse. Emily wouldn’t bat an eye about eating dinner in her rental car. She’s only ever used the dinner table in her various rental apartments as a convenient place to fold her washed scrubs. And she’d long ago locked away her childhood memories of tense family dinners along with her heart.

But her brother’s New Year’s Day wedding brings Emily home to Christmas Town. However, she’s determined to spend the week in a secluded cabin at the Blue Spruce Ski Resort, keep memory lane closed and her heart safe. Except she forgot to lock the doors on her rental car and keep former Navy SEAL, Zach Evans, out. She’d been fine with drive-thru dinners and solitude before she’d returned home. Before she’d met Zach. Before her heart threatened to step out of lockdown and open up.

Emily plans to leave town before she polishes off the dinner table and adds one more place setting. But Zach has plans of his own and convincing Emily to listen to her heart becomes a challenge he can’t refuse. I enjoyed watching Emily countdown the days to her departure while her heart counted down to something even better: New Year’s love.

Author Bio:

Cari Lynn Webb lives in South Carolina with her husband, daughters and assorted four-legged family members. She's been blessed to see the power of true love in her grandparent's 70 year marriage and her parent's marriage of over 50 years. She knows love isn't always sweet and perfect, it can be challenging, complicated and risky. But she believes happily-ever-afters are worth fighting for. She loves to connect with readers. Visit her at her website.

Author links:

Twitter: @carilynnwebb


This holiday season, warm your heart with 15 connected sweet, clean & wholesome holiday romances set in Christmas Town from 15 Harlequin Heartwarming authors who are USA Today, national bestselling, and award-winning authors.

There are five connected books in A Heartwarming Holiday. That means each set of three novellas shares characters and storylines! This collection of PG-rated holiday romances are all set in Christmas Town, Maine, a location introduced in the 2014 Harlequin Heartwarming release Christmas, Actually.

 A Heartwarming Holiday will bring you laughter, tears, and happily-ever-afters.

Book 1: Once Upon a Holiday by Anna Adams, Anna J Stewart & Melinda Curtis: Three former college roommates start a business to bring the magic of the holidays to everyone in Christmas Town.

Once Upon a Thanksgiving by Anna Adams, award-winning, USA Today bestselling, Harlequin Heartwarming author.

Once Upon a Christmas by Anna J Stewart, award-winning, USA Today bestselling, Harlequin Heartwarming author.

Once Upon a New Year’s Eve by Melinda Curtis, award-winning, USA Today bestselling, Harlequin Heartwarming author.

Book 2: Holiday Heroes by Leigh Riker, Tara Randel & Cari Lynn Webb: Three former Navy SEALs come together to restore an outdated resort.

Thankfully Yours by Leigh Riker, award-winning, USA Today bestselling, Harlequin Heartwarming author.

Cooking Up Christmas by Tara Randel, Barnes and Noble bestselling, USA Today bestselling, Harlequin Heartwarming author.

Countdown to Romance by Cari Lynn Webb, USA Today bestselling, Harlequin Heartwarming author.

Book 3: 24 North Pole Lane by Carol Ross, Amy Vastine & Cheryl Harper: Romance is being delivered to 24 North Pole Lane this holiday season.

Hers by Thanksgiving by Carol Ross, USA Today bestselling, Harlequin Heartwarming author.

Peace, Love, and Baby Joy by Amy Vastine, USA Today bestselling, Harlequin Heartwarming author.

Never Say Never on New Year’s by Cheryl Harper, USA Today bestselling, Harlequin Heartwarming author.

Book 4: Magic Moments by Tara Taylor Quinn, Shirley Hailstock & Liz Flaherty: Three different times, three different stories. They all bring magic to Christmas Town.

Christmas Past by Tara Taylor Quinn, USA Today bestselling, Harlequin Heartwarming author.

It Only Happens in Christmas Town by Shirley Hailstock, Harlequin Heartwarming author.

The Magic Stocking by Liz Flaherty, USA Today bestselling, Harlequin Heartwarming author.

Book 5: Nutcracker Sweethearts by Dana Mentink, Roz Denny Fox, & Amie Denman: As the stage production of the Nutcracker unfolds in Christmas Town, three couples find love with the help of a little holiday magic!

Thanksgiving Duet by Dana Mentink, Harlequin Heartwarming author.

Christmas Curtain Call by Roz Denny Fox, Harlequin Heartwarming author.

Set for New Year’s by Amie Denman, Harlequin Heartwarming author.

If this boxed set appeals to you, look for our previous holiday anthology: A Heartwarming Christmas.


And don't forget, included in A HEARTWARMING HOLIDAY is an exclusive coupon worth $1.00 off any Heartwarming title from Who doesn't love heartwarming romances?

And also don’t forget, if you missed last year’s collection, A HEARTWARMING CHRISTMAS, it’s available now for 99 cents!

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Canadian Thanksgiving

Monday is Thanksgiving Day in Canada, and I'm thankful for many things. Read about what makes me thankful at Word Wranglers today.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

USA Today Best-Selling Author Susan R. Hughes Joins Me!

USA Today Best-selling author Susan R. Hughes is my guest today and I'm aiming the spotlight at her contemporary romance A BABY FOR NEW YEAR'S. Welcome Susan!


After an emotionally destructive marriage, Meg has settled into a quiet life as a single mother. When her pregnant teenage niece arrives at her door, seeking shelter, Meg finds herself caught in a family drama between the girl's parents. She hasn't seen her estranged sister Kelly or her former brother-in-law Evan in years, but she hasn’t forgotten her secret crush on him when they were teenagers. Now that he's single again, he still makes Meg weak in the knees. As the New Year brings complications she never thought she wanted, should she listen to her heart and take a chance on love?


Evan stood waiting at the top of the stairs, a small smile hovering on his lips. “They’re great kids,” he whispered.

“Yeah, they are. And you’re going to be an awesome grandfather,” Meg added with a quiet chuckle. “You know, before Julie was born, I couldn’t picture you as a dad. But you were a natural with her right from the start. And right now, I honestly can’t picture a kid calling you ‘Grandpa.’ But I know you’ll be wonderful.”

His smile widened. “Thank you, Meg. That means a lot to me.”

She meant to walk past him and head downstairs. But she paused beside him, overcome with feeling for him, and lifted her hand to touch his face. She caressed her fingertips across the coarse day’s growth on his cheek, her thumb grazing his soft mouth. The dim light from the living room glittered in his beautiful eyes.

“You’re a wonderful man,” she murmured.

Evan’s lips parted slightly. His warm, intent gaze tangled with hers, while his hand covered hers and he pressed a gentle kiss to the tip of her thumb.

Awareness quivered from Meg’s hand straight to the pit of her stomach. Her heart slammed against her ribs with a blow that made her catch her breath.

She knew she ought to suppress her feelings. She should walk away and send him straight back to his hotel. But she stayed rooted to the floor, only letting her hand fall from his mouth as he bent to graze his lips against her temple.

“You’re wearing that rose scent again,” he whispered. “That fragrance haunts my dreams.”

Meg closed her eyes as desire for him spiralled through her in a heady rush. Tilting her face upward, she leaned into him and brushed her lips against his mouth.

Author bio:

I'm a USA Today bestselling author of contemporary and historical romance. I live in Ottawa, Ontario, with my husband and three children.

Buy link at Amazon: