On caregivers, faith, family, and writing…

Posts tagged ‘Romance’

Latest Review of Tatia’s Tattoo

kris morgan

March 12, 2019

Tatia’s Tattoo is one of the best books I have read this year. Ms. Brendle handles the horrors of human trafficking with honesty without being too graphic. Because of the subject matter I cannot say i enjoyed Tatia’s Tattoo, but I could not put it down, in fact at times I was moved to tears. If I had my way I would have all junior high students read this book to be aware of what dangers are out there. So grab a glass of mango iced tea, a box of tissues and settle in for an impressive read.
Final_Tatia's Tattoo Cover trim size
Available at Amazon

Author Interview: Alice Patron

Today I have a visitor – Alice Patron, author of Rachel’s Valley. She stopped by to tell me and my readers a little bit about herself and about her book, released by Anaiah Press under their Romance imprint on February 26. Here’s a picture of the beautiful cover, a link where you can find the book, and a little bit about the story.

Cover Rachels Valley


About the book:

Not long after saying “I do,” Rachel Wood finds herself abandoned by her husband in a mining town in the West. After a year and a half of waiting for his return, she needs to move on. She responds to an ad in the newspaper and becomes the caretaker for two girls in the small town of Breckenridge, Colorado.

The moment he sees the beautiful young woman climbing into his wagon, widower Clint Harvey second-guesses his decision to hire someone to teach his daughters. But Rachel Wood is just what his girls need. And it doesn’t take long to realize that she is exactly what he needs, too—if only she didn’t keep holding him at arm’s length.

Clint is the only man who has ever shown Rachel true love and friendship, and it becomes almost unbearable to not let herself fall for him. But she doesn’t want to cause a scandal in such a small town, so she keeps her marital status under wraps. But when she finally receives a threatening letter from her “husband,” she begins to question whether her marriage was even legally binding in the first place. Now, she must unravel the status of her supposed marriage before her chance of happiness with Clint has passed—and follow God’s law no matter that outcome, which just might be the most difficult thing of all.

Welcome, Alice. Your cover is beautiful, and your story sounds intriguing. Now let’s talk about you. When did you first begin to write?

My sister published a regency romance novel about four years ago, which got me thinking about how much I’d love to write. A few of us in the family started meeting weekly to write together. Rachel’s Valley came about because of the support and encouragement of family and friends, but especially from those I’ve been meeting with.

That’s an interesting way to begin a writing career. Is Rachel’s Valley your first book? And do you have other books in progress or in your head?

I wrote a YA fantasy novel before starting on Rachel’s Valley. It was a fun learning experience. I’m not sure if I’ll get back to that book someday, but I also have a couple other stories floating around in Google docs. One of those is a novella that’s a modern retelling of the Daddy Long Legs story. One story I’ve started is another historical romance set in the west. I’m also collaborating on a WWII romance. I’ve got plenty to keep me busy!

It certainly sounds like it! What inspired you to write Rachel’s Valley?

I love hiking in the west, and I love the history and geography of the west. In my opinion, it’s a very romantic setting! I can look up and see the Rocky Mountains every day, so my inspiration was all around me.

Having traveled in the mountains quite a bit, I can understand how you feel about them. Who has been your favorite character, and who was the most difficult to write?

Rachel’s sister Edith was probably my favorite character to write. The most difficult was probably Clint – I wanted his voice to be his own, but it was hard to put myself in the shoes of a widower.

Yes, I imagine that would be difficult. Did you have to do any research for Rachel’s Valley?

I did have to do a little research for Rachel’s Valley. From geography, to history, to railroads, ranching, and mining, I had to consult Mr. Google several times while writing. I actually didn’t mind the research aspect too much though – I learned some interesting things!

I’ve had similar experiences – and I wonder how authors managed to complete a project without the Internet! In spite of research and planning, scenes sometimes don’t go where you expect them to go, and characters don’t act the way you intend them to act. Have you experienced anything like that in writing Rachel’s Valley?

This is a frustrating aspect of writing for me. I’d love to make a very detailed outline then flesh it out. I still make outlines, but they inevitably change. The picnic scene, for example, didn’t end how I originally planned.

Now I can’t wait to read the picnic scene! When is your favorite time to write and where is your favorite writing place?

I don’t get to write when and where I would like. I’m usually writing on my phone when I have a spare minute or two. Apparently, kids need lots of attention! If I could have my way, I’d love to write in the mornings while snuggled up in bed with a laptop and yummy snacks.

Writing would be easier if we lived in a bubble, wouldn’t it? What do you hope your readers will take away from Rachel’s Valley?

Life is hard and messy, but the hard things we face can build our faith and strength. I wanted to write strong characters with faith that overcome hard things and in the end find love and happiness. I want readers to feel like they can get through hard things and hope for the good things to come.

From what I know about Rachel’s Valley, it seems like you have achieved your goal. What is your next project?

I’m hoping to finish a rough draft by the end of the year on a WWII romance.

Best of luck with that project and with Rachel’s Valley, and thank you so much for stopping by for a visit.

About the author:

Alice Patron Head Shot

Alice Patron grew up in a small town in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. During college she served for her church in Chile, studied abroad, and did an internship for the forest service. She worked as a pharmacy technician until becoming a stay-at-home mom, her favorite job of all!


You can find Alice on Facebook.







Love Is Stronger than Alzheimer’s | by Linda Brendle

12 days of Christmas GiveawayToday is my day in the 12 Days of Christmas Giveaways. Read to the bottom of this post to find out how to enter for a chance to win a signed copy of the first edition of A Long and Winding Road: A Caregiver’s Tale of Life, Love, and Chaos along with assorted other goodies.


~ ~ ~

Young Helen and Elmer

Young Lovers

Mom and Dad met when they were 17 years old. They lived on adjoining farms in West Texas, went to the same church, went to the same school, and travelled in the same social circles. I love the story of the day their romance really began.

Even into his late 80s, Dad was a nice looking man, but he was a real cutie as a teenager. All the girls wanted to catch his attention, but he sat quietly on the school bus, wrapped in his own thoughts and shyness. They watched him, giggling and hoping he’d look their way. (more…)

Romantic is as romantic does | by Linda Brendle

Published in the Rains County Leader on October 16, 2018:

RingsIf your idea of romance is roses and chocolates, then you wouldn’t call my husband David a romantic guy. It’s true that, when we were dating, he showed up unexpectedly with a bouquet of Tyler roses just because, and he bought me a beautiful diamond ring when he asked me to marry him, but flowers and jewelry aren’t on his typical shopping list. He’s a romantic at heart, though, and he has his own special ways of expressing his love and letting me know that he’s thinking of me. (more…)

#MysteryExchange Treasure Hunters #Romance + #Suspense by @Kris_Bock

Kris Bock’s Southwest Treasure Hunters novels mix action and adventure with romance. The stories explore the Southwest, especially New Mexico. Each novel stands alone, with a new main couple, and is complete, with no cliffhangers.

The Mad Monk’s Treasure

“Smart romance with an ‘Indiana Jones’ feel.”Twitter-MadMonk (2)

A legendary treasure hunt in the dramatic – and deadly – New Mexico desert…. Reviewers give it a 4.6 star average. Get this romantic adventure for only 99 cents or FREE with Kindle Unlimited!

 The lost Victorio Peak treasure is the stuff of legends – a heretic Spanish priest’s gold mine, made richer by the spoils of bandits and an Apache raider. When Erin, a quiet history professor, uncovers a clue that may pinpoint the lost treasure cave, she prepares for adventure. But when a hit and run driver nearly kills her, she realizes she’s not the only one after the treasure. And is Drew, the handsome helicopter pilot who found her bleeding in a ditch, really a hero, or one of the enemy?

“The story has it all – action, romance, danger, intrigue, lost treasure, not to mention a sizzling relationship….”

Get The Mad Monk’s Treasure on Amazon.


The Dead Man’s Treasure

The Dead Man’s Treasure is fast-paced and a perfect read for the weekend. I highly Twitter-DeadMans-smallrecommend this one.”

Rebecca Westin is shocked to learn the grandfather she never knew has left her a bona fide buried treasure – but only if she can decipher a complex series of clues leading to it. The hunt would be challenging enough without interference from her half-siblings, who are determined to find the treasure first and keep it for themselves. Good thing Rebecca has recruited some help.

Sam is determined to show Rebecca that a desert adventure can be sexy and fun. But there’s a treacherous wildcard in the mix, a man willing to do anything to get that treasure – and revenge.

Action and romance combine in this lively Southwestern adventure, complete with riddles the reader is invited to solve to identify historical and cultural sites around New Mexico.

“I can’t say enough how much I loved this book! It has mystery, adventure, danger, romance, and above it all family remains a huge theme.”

Get The Dead Man’s Treasure on Amazon – free with KU.


The Skeleton Canyon Treasure

“A wonderfully suspenseful light romantic read filled with the old Southwest, treasure, Twitter-SkeletonCanyoncharacters you’ll love and an amazing cat.”

Camille Dagneau – beautiful, brilliant, and prickly – isn’t quick to trust, especially when a strange man has broken into her machine shop at night. But Ryan MacAllister insists he’s merely looking for his missing uncle, who has disappeared while hunting for a lost treasure. He believes Camie is the key to finding the treasure, and his uncle. Camie can ignore the attraction she feels, but she won’t pass up the chance for an adventure.

The pair set off with Camie’s feisty cat Tiger to track down the clues in the missing man’s journal. Graveyards, steep cliffs, and creepy caves don’t intimidate Camie, but she’ll need to trust Ryan to overcome all the challenges that stand in their way. A man’s life is on the line and time is running out, but her heart may be the one thing Camie is not willing to risk.

“If you like strong women and adventure, you’re going to love this.”

“The Skeleton Canyon Treasure is a light, breezy action/adventure/romance that’s perfect for summer reading.”

Get The Skeleton Canyon Treasure on Amazon – free with KU.


Excerpt from The Mad Monk’s Treasure:

Among all the legends, all the fact and fiction, one story stood out. The Victorio Peak legend had it all. A Franciscan priest and a swindler. Torture, murder, a government cover-up. Where was the truth, among all the stories? Erin wanted to find out. Over time, and with Camie’s encouragement, she’d started to take the treasure hunt more seriously. It wasn’t so much for the treasure itself—that would most likely belong to the government or the landowners. But it would make her reputation, open up new job opportunities—change her life in ways she hardly dared dream.

She touched the book gently. The pages were falling out; she didn’t want to risk carrying it around. Instead, Erin snapped a picture of the petroglyphs with her phone. That would be enough to show Camie for now.

The timing was perfect; she just had to turn in grades and field a few tearful last-minute requests for extensions, and she’d be done for the semester. What better way to spend the summer, than hunting for buried treasure?

Erin shook her head. Who would’ve thought that she, the quiet, studious girl who’d spent her entire adult life in academia in one way or another, would be planning such an adventure?

Erin wheeled the bike around the front of her house and mounted. At the corner, she paused and looked both ways. The long frontage road was dangerously narrow, with a cement wall on one side and a ditch on the other. Fortunately, traffic was normally light, and at this time of day the road lay empty. Erin pushed off, still grinning from her find. She rode on the right side, by the ditch, instead of facing traffic, because it was just too frightening to ride alongside the wall when a car passed.

She’d gone a block when she heard the hum of a car engine as it pulled out from a side street behind her. She rode along the very edge of the pavement, even though the car would have plenty of room to pass her without oncoming traffic.

Erin glanced over her shoulder. The black SUV 20 feet behind her hadn’t bothered to pull out into the road at all. Jerk. When would drivers learn to share the road with bicyclists? Erin pulled onto the two-foot wide gravel strip between the pavement and the ditch. She couldn’t stop without risking a skid, but she slowed so the SUV could pass.

The engine roared. Erin glanced back again.

Black metal bore down on her. Her heart lurched and the bike wobbled. This guy was crazy! She whipped her gaze forward, rose up in the seat, and pumped the pedals with all her power, skimming along inches from the ditch. He was just trying to scare her. She’d get his license plate and—

She felt the bumper hit her back tire. The bike seemed to leap into the air, and she went flying. The dried mud and weeds of the ditch seemed to rise up to meet her.

She didn’t even have time to scream.


Kris Bock writes novels of suspense and romance with outdoor adventures and Kris Bock hikingSouthwestern landscapes. Whispers in the Dark features archaeology and intrigue among ancient Southwest ruins. What We Found is a mystery with strong romantic elements about a young woman who finds a murder victim in the woods. In Counterfeits, stolen Rembrandt paintings bring danger to a small New Mexico town.

Fans of Mary Stewart and Barbara Michaels will want to check out Kris Bock’s romantic adventures. “Counterfeits is the kind of romantic suspense novel I have enjoyed since I first read Mary Stewart’s Moonspinners.” 5 Stars – Roberta at Sensuous Reviews blog

Read excerpts at www.krisbock.com or visit her Amazon page. Sign up for the Kris Bock newsletter for announcements of new books, sales, and more.

Kris Bock Blog

Kris Bock on GoodReads

Kris Bock on Facebook

Kris Bock on Twitter

Kris Bock on Pinterest

Kris, thank you for a quick tour through your Southwest Treasure Hunters novels. I know many of my readers have added them to their to-be-read lists. Best of luck with them, and thanks again for stopping by.




Sink or Swim by Stacy Juba – A #MysteryExchange Post

How do you call for SOS Twitter

Personal trainer Cassidy sails into the public eye while competing on a TV game show set aboard a Tall Ship. After she returns home and catches the attention of a stalker, her well-ordered life turns topsy-turvy. As Cassidy’s competitors disappear one by one, she teams up with Zach, the charming photographer tasked to record her personal moments for the newspaper.

Is Zach trustworthy? He shadows her as easily as the stalker. Despite the chemistry simmering between them, Cassidy fears he has a secret to hide.

She hates the bizarre rules in this guessing game, but when her stalker forces a showdown, Cassidy plays to win. . .this time for her life.

If you’re in the mood for a fun mystery that keeps you glued to the pages, then pick up your copy of Sink or Swim today.


Cassidy straightened as Detective Sean Pierce returned with a Styrofoam cup of coffee and a Coke. He popped open the can and handed it to her. Nondescript in his gray striped button-down shirt and khakis, Detective Pierce scraped up a plastic chair beside her. From his retracting brown hair and the crinkles under his dark eyes, he looked as if he was in his early forties, but he had the trim build of a thirty-year-old athlete.

He shot her a curious glance. “You were on that game show. I recognize you from the newspaper. Must have been quite an experience.”

“That’s an understatement,” Cassidy said.

Detective Pierce emptied a packet of sugar into his coffee and stirred it. If he was attempting to help her relax, he wasn’t succeeding. Her mind wouldn’t shut off. “The dispatcher tells me you have an unwanted admirer.”

“Yes. I feel a little silly coming here when this person hasn’t even approached me yet, but he gives me a bad vibe. He’s really persistent, and if you read his letters, he’s not all there if you know what I mean.” Cassidy passed over the pile of envelopes and picked up Raggedy Ann from the floor beside her feet.

“He calls himself Miles,” she said. “He sent this doll to the studio in New York, then a letter came to my apartment. I found a half-dozen others in my fan mail from the network.”

Detective Pierce unfolded one of the letters and held it between his fingers. He read a few lines and frowned.

“What do you think?” Cassidy asked, dropping the doll onto his desk and leaning forward.

“Why Raggedy Ann? She doesn’t exactly symbolize romance.”

“On the show, I mentioned that I had one when I was a kid. My father gave it to me.”

He nodded and flipped the page. “This guy sounds like a real winner. He sure rambles. You don’t know anyone named Miles?”


“Did he threaten you in any of these letters?”

“No, I’d call them obsessive, not threatening. But that doesn’t always matter, does it? Isn’t it true that stalkers can start out flattering and turn violent?”

“Yes, but I’m glad to hear you haven’t gotten any threats yet. How about ex-boyfriends? Could any of them be hung up on you and hiding behind this Miles persona?”

Cassidy pulled herself erect, balancing the soda can on her knee. She’d been the one to end most of her short-term relationships, but none of the guys had seemed overly distressed. They’d taken the hint and stopped calling. Unfortunately, the one man who made her toes tingle was engaged. “I don’t think so. It’s someone who saw me on TV. It has to be.”

“Give me the names anyway. I’ll run a background check.”

She scribbled a list of all her dates since high school, a deep flush coloring her cheeks. Four names, only one in the past year. Working her way through college hadn’t left much time for a social life and she’d turned down several dates at the gym to avoid awkward situations when the relationship soured. Cassidy had even less girlfriends – most of her high school pals had moved away, either getting married or accepting jobs out-of-state.

She reviewed the list before handing it to the detective. “This is a dead end. These guys would contact me directly, not use an alias.”

Detective Pierce trailed his finger down the short list of names. “You’re sure about that?”

“Yeah, and besides, none of them were serious. I dated them all a handful of times. They weren’t lunatics. I’m telling you, this guy is a stranger.”


Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Sink-or-Swim-ebook/dp/B004GHN6CW/ref



iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/audiobook/sink-or-swim-unabridged/id646216223

Also available in Kindle Unlimited as part of the Young Ladies of Mystery Boxed Set

Author Bio:

Author PhotoStacy Juba got engaged at Epcot Theme Park and spent part of her honeymoon at Disneyland Paris, where she ate a burger, went on fast rides, and threw up on the train ride to the hotel. In addition to working on her Storybook Valley chick lit/sweet romance series, Stacy has written books about ice hockey, teen psychics, U.S. flag etiquette for kids, and determined women sleuths. She has had a novel ranked as #5 in the Nook Store and #30 on the Amazon Kindle Paid List. When she’s not visiting theme parks with her family, (avoiding rides that spin and exotic hamburgers) or writing about them, Stacy helps authors to strengthen their manuscripts through her Crossroads Editing Service. Visit her website to get your free Mystery Lovers Sampler.


Website: http://stacyjuba.com/blog/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Stacy-Juba-100155471301/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/stacyjuba



Release Day – Tatia’s Tattoo – What’s it all about? | by Linda Brendle

The most horrific incidents of child sex trafficking happen in the streets of your town, not on the Hollywood screen.

Final_Tatia's Tattoo Cover trim size

Now available at BookPros and Amazon

I loved it! Tatia’s story touched me to the core. It captures the intense struggles and tragic events confronted by the many victims of sex trafficking. The story is compelling and well written, and I had to dry my eyes many times. The dialogue is amazing, particularly in the courtroom. – Christi Palmer, Beta Reader and Fellow Author

This is a wonderful book! Dealing with sex trafficking as often as I do, I can attest to how often it truly happens this way. Eric’s grooming of Tatia is very realistic. – Sara Attaway, A child welfare attorney

 I was very impressed by how the author described very difficult scenes in a way that is affecting while not being lascivious. – Christian Piatt, President and CEO of BookPros

Would you be shocked to learn that a thriving child sex trafficking trade exists in your town and that the children who go to your schools and play in your parks might be the next target of the local pimp?

I was stunned to learn about the sex trafficking trade that thrives in a small East Texas town less than fifty miles from where my husband David and I live out our country retirement. Tatia’s Tattoo is about a child who has been sidelined by life and has fallen through the cracks of a system that should have protected her from this type of insidious crime.

 Tatia’s Tattoo begins on a Friday morning as Tatia Robins, a successful D.C. attorney, awakens from a nightmare that has tormented her for over a decade, a replay of her twelfth birthday when Eric stole her innocence and then sold her for the first time. After spending some time in prayer, she finishes packing and leaves for Royal Children’s Camp, a Christian camp for foster children where she first met Jesse and Mrs. G and now serves as a counselor every summer.

The journey to camp each year stirs up memories of her journey from a happy child in the arms of loving parents to one more statistic in the sex-trafficking industry in a small Texas town. She also remembers her day in court when she stood up to Eric, the man who was supposed to have loved her.

She is met at the airport by Mrs. G, the woman who recognized her as one of the least of these in spite of her skin-tight mini dress and the prisoner’s band around her wrist. Throughout the weekend, she looks forward to a reunion with other members of the Grochowsky Rescue Academy and with Jesse, the Christian tattoo artist and biker who waits patiently for Tatia to feel safe enough to tear down the protective walls she has built around herself. Will the love of her new family and Jesse’s surprise gift be enough to help her reclaim the power that Eric stole from her?

It is my hope that Tatia’s Tattoo will give a voice to the oppressed and broken children who cannot speak for themselves. – From the Author

Filled with tragedy, crime, redemption, and love, Tatia’s Tattoo is a poignant story that exposes the sordid underbelly of sex trafficking in small-town America and shines a light of hope on how it might be defeated.

Buy now at:





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