Truck Tent Camping

Pretty cool, huh?  We’re getting a new-to-us RV this summer, but this would definitely provide more flexibility and sleeping space.

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https://www.amazon.com/Sportz-Truck-Tent-Blue-Grey/dp/B004O733MC

(((sigh)))  Can’t wait for summer.  I’m not a beach kind of girl.  I’m more of a Mountain Hobbit.  “Moutains, Gandalf!  Moutains!  And then find some quite place to finish my book.” – Bilbo Baggins.

The Less-Than-Romantic Romance Novel Hero

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This is Liam Neeson who is not at all unromantic, but whose photograph is here to represent the ideal.   More on that later.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liam_Neeson

I’m sorry if this comes off as a rant.  I’ve hit a reading slump when it comes to the Romance genre.  I keep running into books with wonderful heroines.

And boring heroes.

Booooooring.

This is James Stewart who is also not unromantic.  Definitely what I call a Classic Hottie.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Stewart

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The thing is they hit all the beats for a Romance Novel Hero, but they don’t feel real.  The sex is just sex, no matter how graphically it’s written.  Not good enough, dang it.  Big Hint:   If the Hero bores me anyway, I’m not going to keep reading long enough to get to that part anyway.

Check this out.  Over 35% of Romance Genre readers have been reading in the Romance Genre for over twenty years.   https://www.rwa.org/p/cm/ld/fid=582

20.

Babe, that’s two decades.  Almost as long as I’ve been married.  Do you realize what this means?  Drum roll, please.

A significant percentage of Romance Genre Readers have lived long enough to know a lot of Real Men in Real Life.  I mean, a lot.  We know a fake when we see it.

And we’re not easily impressed.

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Did you ever wonder why James Stewart has so many kids in It’s a Wonderful Life?  Because he was so romantic she forgot how to count.  That’s how.

My husband says all the heroes who appeal to me are just glorifications of him.

Guess what?  He’s right.  They’re always tall, boyishly handsome, and good with babies.  Well, like I always say, the best part of the Romance Genre is in restoring our faith in fairytales.  Without faith, there is no love in real life.

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I’m also bad at math.  We have four children.  They’re massive.

So, please, if you have anything to do with putting out Romance novels, pay special attention to the heroes, ‘kay?  Thanks.

 

Review: SPECIAL DELIVERY BABY by Sherri Shackelford

Will Canfield is a founding father of Cowboy Creek.  He’s got no time to be a father to a foundling too.48a125_4d931f1e59414f7894eae6540be3cd7a

The Civil War is over, but it’s left a mark on him.  A bad leg and a cane are the outward signs.  He’s also Mr. Uptight Grumpypants.  Sure, he wants to settle down to peacetime bliss, but with a sweet, dulcet bride with good manners.  Not a rowdy redhead with the crazy idea of rodeo show.  Texas Tom turns out to be a girl, Thomisina, but no one knows where the baby came from.

Thomasina averted a disaster of cattle storming down main street and then she had the nerve to insist she had every right to hold her show in Cowboy Creek.

The baby was well-fed and came with carefully folded, hand-sewn clothing and every indication she was loved.

Will can’t get his female friend to help with the baby, since she and her husband have one of their own on the way.  And he can’t get Texas Thomasine out of his town or off his mind.

Dude, it’s time to loosen up.

But, Will and Thomasina hardly have time to court, even if they could.

A gang’s in town stirring up trouble, like spearing a bull just before Tom’s show.  It goes crazy, people get and almost get hurt.  Someone gets dumped, badly injured, during the ruckus.  Tom almost gets kidnapped.  Now her pa is dead, she’s free game to cowboys who don’t like to take orders from a female.  Even her buddy from the old droving days seems to turn on her.  Meanwhile, the baby still doesn’t have her mama.

Thomasina decides it’s high time she got into a new line of work.  She enlists help to learn how to dress like a girl and finds out she and her pa actually socked away a tidy sum of money.  Still, she feels she needs to work or she’ll go crazy.

And Will is almost finished building a big house, but his last bride-to-be is long gone.

Thomasina turns Will’s shirts pink trying to work at the laundry.  She tries working in the café dining room and just about boxes the ears of the unruly offspring of guests.

Seems like they both always turn up when there’s trouble.  And then there’s the preacher’s daughter who looks after the baby and seems to be getting too attached to it.

The characters in this story are well-rounded.  Thomasina grows and adapts in a believable way, but holds on to her feisty personality.  Will can’t shake his attachment to her, despite the fact that she doesn’t fit his idea of good wife material.

The baby and her care were believably portrayed, but I would have liked to see her more involved in story and encountered her on more pages.  I don’t fault the author for that, because she obviously knew what she was doing.  I suspect the publisher doubts readers want babies more involved.  Maybe that’s true for other readers, but not me.  What’s so scary about babies?  Big, bad babies, seriously?  If you’re going to have a baby in a story, then really have her in the story, I say.  Let the poo fly where it may.  Builds character.

Ms. Shackleford has a wonderful, growing book list.  Check her out.  http://www.sherrishackelford.com/book-inner

 

Blog Tour Grand Finale Blitz (and a Giveaway!): The Wedding March by Tara Randel

Banner - The Wedding March

On Tour with Prism Book Tours.

Book Tour Grand Finale for
The Wedding March
By Tara Randel

We hope you enjoyed the tour! If you missed any of the stops, go back and check them out…

Launch – Note from the Author

I hope you enjoy Cassie and Luke’s journey in The Wedding March. And if you’ve read my previous books set in Cypress Pointe, you’ll catch up with familiar characters who pop up in this book. Thanks for stopping by!

— Tara

Falling Leaves – Excerpt

“I’d love to talk to you about your song-writing days. You’ve been—”

He held his hand up “Let me stop you right here.”

She blinked. His sudden displeasure indicated she’d gone too far.

“I’m not going to talk about music careers, song writing or whatever you have your mind set on.”

“I didn’t mean to upset you.”

“You didn’t. I just need you to know I’m not available for whatever it is you want.”

Reading Is My SuperPower – Review

“The Wedding March needs to be on your TBR list. Clean romance, fun characters, and a sweet story. It’s a look at how to deal with the tough-to-love people in our lives, as well as encouragement to hold out hope to the people struggling to find their place. This book will put a smile on your face and in your heart!”

Book Lover in Florida – Excerpt

What had she been thinking? How had she expected to pull off a full-blown concert in two weeks’ time? Therein lies the problem. She hadn’t been. Her only thoughts were to impress Luke.

How’s that going?

Cassie paced the stage, clasping her sweaty palms together as the tech team buzzed with activity around her. A late afternoon coastal breeze picked up, swirling the ankle-length sheer skirt around her high-heeled boots, carrying with it the scent of salt water sweetened by the newly blooming orange blossoms. Her entire outfit, a black mesh with gold embellishments around the waist and hem, fit over a black tank minidress. She’d even dyed the pink streak in her hair black to match.

Hearts & Scribbles – Excerpt

“Are you always so antsy before a performance?”

She shyly glanced at him. “It’s not every day I play with Luke Hastings.”

“It’s no big deal.”

“To me it is.”

He didn’t want to be flattered, but he couldn’t deny the pleasure her words brought. After his ex had pretty much flattened his ego, Cassie was a breath of fresh air. She didn’t try to railroad him. Didn’t go on and on about her place in the music business. She liked his friends. Had come up with this idea to raise money for the Klub using her own resources.

Christy’s Cozy Corners – Review

“I really loved the fact that there is a kids at risk program in this book. There need to be more “real world” centers like this. I really loved the teens in this book. They make great secondary characters and their stories are so real. Cassie and Luke are great too, and I love how they get together through songwriting.

Clean romance lovers will really enjoy The Wedding March.”

The Silver Dagger Scriptorium – Excerpt

Luke grinned as he viewed the scene before him. Denny and Kyle high-fived, laughing, while a group of kids clapped over their success. Erin stood on the periphery, biting a fingernail. Cassie stood beside him, dripping wet, but smiling. Despite the fact that Luke had just learned someone had stolen money from the Klub, his heart expanded. He’d figure out what was going on and fix this mess, just as Cassie suggested. Maybe even with her at his side.

Bookworm Lisa – Review

“This is a cute and sweet story. The characters have both had a lot of heartache and suffer trust issues. The story is one of forgiveness and learning get to love again.”

Rainy Day Reviews – Review

“I loved the sweetness of the story and even though I am not a fan of mushy lovey stuff, it wasn’t heavy in this story. I really appreciated that this romance was clean as well as sweet and fun. All in all, this was a great read and I look forward to not only reading the first three in this series but the rest that will follow. This was definitely a fell good story with all the feels.”

Heidi Reads… – Excerpt

“We aren’t talking about me.”

“Maybe we should.”

Her steady gaze held his. His heart pounded. This close, he could see the distinctive shade of green mocking his words. She knew, maybe even better than he did.

“Talent like yours doesn’t go away,” she echoed.

“Maybe it should.”

Katie’s Clean Book Collection – Review

“I love a romance with some meat to it and this isn’t a fluffy insta-love story. The struggles are real and the love is gradual. I love how the romance is mixed with music and the relationships with this group of troubled teens, which combined, puts some cracks in the emotional walls. There is a minuscule thread of mystery, which adds to the tension and makes for an overall well-balanced diet of words.”

Mel’s Shelves – Review

“I loved this story from the beginning and had a hard time putting it down! Cassie and Luke were both easy characters to like and the romance was natural. There were other great characters and side stories to keep things interesting. It’s a fantastic, clean contemporary romance!”

Rockin’ Book Reviews – Review

“This is a wonderful tale presented by two different people’s concepts. It is a story of a few individuals raised in a dysfunctional and/or abusive life style. It offers a great concept for “at risk” children. Adventure, mystery and romance atre also a part of this book, written for Adults, but YA will love it, too!” – Lu Ann

“This a fun story. I like the theme of the story. It was quick to capture my attention and then interesting enough to hold it throughout the story. . . . I would highly recommend this book to other readers. It was a great read.” – Vickie

Wishful Endings – Review

“THE WEDDING MARCH is a steady-paced story that involves family drama, a teen outreach program, musical fame, and sweet romance. It embodied this Harlequin line of books with a story that is sure to touch readers’ hearts. If you enjoy sweet romance with plenty of depth from complex relationships and situations, then definitely give this one a try!”

Getting Your Read On – Review

“I enjoyed the natural progression of Cassie and Luke’s relationship. They were both so wary in the beginning but slowly became friends and confidants. It didn’t feel rushed or over the top. It was just a gentle and sweet story. I really enjoyed it!’”

underneath the covers – Excerpt

“Maybe it’s time.”

“To start again?”

He nodded.

“How about with me?” she asked, her voice small.

He froze. He’d thought about working with her. But the memory of their kisses stopped him. He’d been romantically involved with his last partner. He wasn’t sure he wanted to travel that same path with Cassie. He wanted something different with her.

Hardcover Feedback – Review

“Seeing the story progress, watching Cassie and Luke interact with one another as well Cassie’s involvement with the kids, was very enjoyable.

I feel this story can easily be read as a stand-alone, but I do want to read the first story now because of the scenes with Nealy and Dane. I think anyone who enjoys Harlequin’s Heartwarming line will have a good time reading The Wedding March. I definitely recommend it.”

Harlie’s Books – Review

“By the end of the book, I was sad. I didn’t want it to end but alas, it had too. I will miss the colored streak in Cassie’s hair, Luke’s kisses (Oh my), Denny and Erin and the goings on in Cypress Pointe. Great character growth and depth from Cassie and Luke. And yes, Ms. Randal gets it too. She writes a beautiful love story that everyone can read and have a happy heart in the end.”

Becky on Books – Review

“A gentle and sweet romance–like book 3 ( The Bridal Bouquet) there’s a bit of a mystery involved, and a whole lot of (mostly family and ex-related) drama. This time, though, throw in the complications that the music industry and fame bring with them, plus a healthy dose of writer’s block and…yikes. Yeah, Cassie and Luke have obstacles galore on their way to an HEA.”

Don’t forget to enter the awesome giveaway below, if you haven’t already…

The Wedding March Cover

The Wedding March
(The Business of Weddings #4)
Tara Randel
Adult Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 384 pages
March 1st 2017 by Harlequin Heartwarming

The help only he can offer…

Cypress Pointe, Florida, is a long way from LA, where pop singer Cassie Branford needs a hit to prove she’s not a twoalbum wonder. But her case of writer’s block could be over when the struggling songwriter meets Luke Hastings at a family wedding.

The legendary musician walked away from success at the height of his career. Yet Luke is already inspiring Cassie with his dedication to building a permanent community outreach center for troubled teens. Volunteering to help bring music into these kids’ lives is also bringing her and Luke closer. Maybe they’re not as different as he thinks…

GoodreadsAmazonBarnes & NobleHarlequin

Tour Schedule

March 13th: Falling Leaves
March 14th: Reading Is My SuperPower & Book Lover in Florida
March 15th: Hearts & Scribbles
March 16th: Christy’s Cozy Corners & Rainy Day Reviews
March 17th: The Silver Dagger Scriptorium & Bookworm Lisa
March 19th: Heidi Reads…
March 20th: Katie’s Clean Book Collection, Mel’s Shelves & Rockin’ Book Reviews
March 21st: Wishful Endings & Getting Your Read On
March 22nd: underneath the covers & Hardcover Feedback
March 23rd: Harlie’s Books & Becky on Books
March 24th: Grand Finale

Other Books in the Series

Honeysickle Bride Bk 2

The Bridal Bouquet Bk3

Magnolia Bride Bk1

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tara Randel

 

USA Today Bestselling Author Tara Randel has enjoyed a lifelong love of books, especially romance and mystery genres, so it didn’t come as a surprise when she began writing with the dream of becoming published. Family values, mystery and, of course, love and romance are her favorite themes, because she believes love is the greatest gift of all. Tara lives on the West Coast of Florida, where gorgeous sunsets inspire the creation of heartwarming stories, filled with love, laughter and the occasional mystery.

WebsiteGoodreadsFacebookTwitter

Tour Giveaway

 US PRIZE PACK: Signed copies of the first three books in The Business of Weddings series by Tara Randel, a $25 gift card for Dunkin’ Donuts, a coffee mug with an inspirational message: “Something beautiful is on the horizon,” and a Harlequin Heartwarming tote bag. (US only)
– $25 Amazon eCard (open internationally)
Ends March 28th

Click on this link to enter the Rafflecopter:

https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b9a55db3206/?

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Not a Regency Chick

I have a confession to make.  Never got into Jane Austin or any of those Regency chicks, despite my love of history.  Sorry.

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Unless Emma Thompson was involved.  Ah, but who cares how you came to the Romance genre, right?  So long as you’re here. 😉

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I grew up on Star Trek, so I got into the Romance genre with the likes of Linnea Sinclair.  Now, there’s some hero material in those books.   http://linneasinclair.com/index.html

This one’s my favorite with my favorite hero.