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I’m so bored in the COVID house… (Contest)
Thursday, May 26th, 2022

Okay, so it hasn’t been horrible. So far, anyway. We’ve had our shots, which I’m sure is why we’re doing so well.

My dd and I were feeling very superior yesterday A.M. Everyone in the house has had their symptoms to varying degrees. The 8-year-old had congestion and was tired (lazy, in my eyes—I mean, everyone else was being waited on hand and foot, so why not her?).  The 13-year-old had congestion, fever, headaches, and didn’t want to get out of bed (not lazy, in my eyes—she was genuinely miserable). The 18-year-old was on the mend after extreme fatigue and a terrible cough. He actually took his yoga mat out to the driveway with some hand weights to work out yesterday afternoon. Now, he’s just staying in bed, I’m sure, because he was texting with some girl into the wee hours. His mom has a list of chores to stick him with today—it’s character-building. My SIL had a terrible cough and fatigue but is on the mend. The 17-year-old had congestion, ran a fever until yesterday, but is feeling much better today. She’s working on completing her finals online because she can’t go back to school just yet.

Today, my daughter’s not feeling so superior. She ran a fever last night and had a splitting headache until this morning. But now, she’s lost her sense of taste and smell. She says it’s weird. Coffee tasted like cardboard (how she knows what it tastes like, I don’t know!).

So, I’m the only one left feeling superior. I had a bit of a cough for a couple of days. I took naps. That was it. So, unless I get that 5-day dip where everything goes to shit, I’m doing great. I’m even puttering around doing the dishes and trading out drinks on the TV trays we have set outside everyone’s bedrooms. I’m the only one still wearing a mask because, if I’m feeling good because my viral load was tiny, then I definitely don’t want another dose!

I’m a bit bored. Too much time in front of the screen makes my eyes teary, so I do have to get up and putter. Reading a book after editing a book—not something I want to do either. I’ve re-watched old movies I love—The Proposal and This Means War. I’ve sorted and cleaned out the junk in a couple of desk drawers. I varnished all my acrylic paintings I’ve done lately. See how bored I am?

I can’t go anywhere, and everyone in the house wants to sleep.

For a chance to win a $5 Amazon gift card, come up with some creative things for me to do—that don’t require crispy-clear brain cells or much effort. You can have fun and make up silly things, too.

Krysten Lindsay Hager: JFK Jr., Book Inspiration, and Me
Wednesday, May 25th, 2022

Years ago, I was in high school reading an article about John F. Kennedy Jr. and started wondering what it’d be like to deal with that level of scrutiny. As it was, I felt very judged in my hometown, so it threw me into imaging what he must have felt in his everyday life. Later in college, I wrote a short story imagining a teenage girl who was dating a guy who was basically a high school version of JFK Jr. I kept thinking about all the focus that had been on his wife, Carolyn, and I decided to turn that short story into a novel. I read (and watched) a lot of biographies on John and Carolyn and got a feel for what their lives were like behind closed doors. I read about insecurities they had, the opportunities he couldn’t take because of his family name, and what it was like living in a fishbowl with strangers watching you grow up and having an opinion on everything you did.

I really got into what it would be like to grow up where every move you made was watched, so then I imagined this teenage girl, Emme, who already has insecurity issues after being in a bad first relationship. I had Emme find a soulmate connection with this popular guy named Brendon who is also a well-known senator’s son. Brendon is trying so hard to live up to the family name and be the perfect son and student, but he is overwhelmed by the pressures on him. In my short story, I had given him a love interest that was his opposite, so I made Emme much more carefree and laidback. I pictured Brendon being on all these school committees and clubs and worried about grades and getting into his dad’s former college, while Emme is busy just being a normal high school student and trying to get on the school newspaper staff.

Then I thought about how important family ties were to JFK Jr. as I felt that connection with him as John passed shortly after I lost my grandpa. I wanted to include what my family had gone through with my grandfather’s dementia, and I thought I could have both Emme and Brendon dealing with grandparents with health issues which winds up cementing their bond even more. Brendon and Emme became more real to me as I was writing, and I almost felt bad giving this couple so many relationship obstacles on their path to true love. Notice I say, “almost.”

I re-released the updated book, Dating the It Guy, this April and since so many readers had asked if I’d do a sequel, I thought instead I would write an epilogue of what happens to Emme and Brendon couple years later after they graduate from college. In one way I was giving the readers a look into the future, but it was also a way for me to give my characters a happily ever after since it’s always been so sad that John and Carolyn’s lives were cut short. I learned a lot about John and Carolyn in my research and came to admire them both.

You can find the book here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B09Y2RFRM7

Clip of me reading an excerpt of the book on Book Notes: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=2134241629925807

About Me

I write novels about friendships, crushes, hope, dealing with self-doubt, finding where you belong as well as your soulmate. My sister says my books are an airing of my grievances, but I like to think I’m just working through issues via my characters to help my readers work through theirs. Either way, the bumps along the road gave me a lot of material.

I’ve been writing since I was a kid, but my mom made me show her I was serious about it my senior year when she signed me up for writing conferences to see if I’d sink or swim. Who knew I’d finally feel like I fit in somewhere…well, fit in-ish. I love reading, TV shows, watching strangers’ IG stories, and lipstick.

Website: www.krystenlindsay.com
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/krystenlindsay/
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/krystenlindsay

2 & 1/2 Years Later…
Tuesday, May 24th, 2022

We planned, worked the plan, kept ourselves apart… Then the local numbers improved. We got a little lax. We still wore masks inside at Walmart. We had just started eating inside restaurants (not often), but only when they first opened and weren’t very populated.

Then the 18-year-old had all these senior events and practices for graduation…

Graduation happened last Saturday. His symptoms started the next day. By last night, both him and his father tested positive for COVID. Now, everyone in the house has varying symptoms. My dd is making one last trip to Walmart—delivery to the car—for medicine and soups and tissues before we hunker down to get through this.

As for me, I have a sore throat and mild cough. I’ve had a headache for three days. My joints hurt. My eyes are constantly watering. Still, I’m sitting at my desk. I’ll hope for the best and keep moving. I’m healthy-ish, eat right, keep hydrated. I could use good thoughts. One of the family seems to be on a worrisome progression.

Tracy Reed: The Good Girl (FREE Book!)
Monday, May 23rd, 2022

I am so delighted to be with you today.  A few years ago, I was part of an anthology called Fling.  My contribution to the anthology was a novella entitled THE GOOD GIRL.  An office romance.

A little background on my writing.  I write a very different type of contemporary romance.  The sub-genre is edgy Christian romance.  Please don’t stop reading because I said Christian.  Let me clarify.  I do not write “preachy romance”. I write romance with characters who love God, fashion, hot guys and living out their purpose.  Some are wealthy and some are middle class.  None of them are perfect; they make mistakes and are faced with challenges. What sets them apart is how they handle their challenges.

I have chosen to use faith and sex as two of the elements in my books.  This is where the wide eyes come in.  Yes…I include open-door sex in my books.  I don’t use it for shock, but as the story warrants it.  When I start a series, sometimes the first book is sweet or low heat level.  The deeper the series goes the hotter the heat level becomes.  Some people like my style, and some Christians liken it to erotica.  Trust me, I don’t write erotica, and I’m not judging anyone that does.  Sometimes, I write steamy books.  Although I have a free poetry collection LOVE NOTES that Amazon liked to class as erotic.

Back to THE GOOD GIRL.  The heroine is Gabriella Townsend a young woman with very definite ideas about relationships.  She isn’t ashamed to say she loves God and is patiently saving herself for marriage.  Her boss is the opposite.  Phillippe Marchant is a hot part French and African billionaire with his own opinions on God and intimacy.  He loves God, but he’s not sold out like Gabriella, and he believes in physical intimacy outside of marriage.  The two probably shouldn’t be together, but that’s not what happened.  Let’s be real—I don’t know the woman that can or is willing to resist a hot Frenchman… I know I’m not her.  And if he’s the color of hot black coffee, I’m done.  This is Gabriella’s challenge—should she stick to her beliefs or give in to her urges.  Or will Phillippe reconsider his way of life for something different and possibly greater.

These two thoughts are why this story couldn’t be finished in a novella.  I thought I could finish it with a second book, but that one ended in a cliffhanger as well.  When I wrote the last chapter of part two, I knew what was going to happen…a third book.  I was so convinced I was going to tie up the series, I told my readers there would be no cliffhanger, but that didn’t turn out to be so, because that book ended on a cliff as well.

I like to think these additional books in the series are a perk to being a pantser.  If I were a plotter, I wouldn’t have gone past two maybe three books.  However, my writing style has done something I never expected, turn a twenty thousand plus word novella into a six-book series.  You read that correctly.  I am about to release book five in THE GOOD GIRL series, and just like the other books in the series, it ends with a cliffhanger, opening the door to part six.

The series follows Gabriella and Phillippe’s relationship.  There are some ups and downs and a few surprises. Here’s the main dilemma for this couple, one of them has to give up what they believe if they want to be together.  So does Gabriella turn her back on her beliefs or does Phillippe become celibate?  Here’s a clue: what happens in Anguilla (Part Three) didn’t stay in Anguilla.

I invite you to step into Gabriella and Phillippe’s world by starting with book one. Download your free copy of Part One (FREE DOWNLOAD).

The Good Girl
Part Five

Release date: 06.11.2022

Series: The Good Girl
Part One – The Introduction (Free download)
Part Deux – The First Date
Part Trois – The Elopement
Part Four – Secret Life
Part Five – The Wedding (Preorder)
Part Six – ??

“I’m living the worst kept secret married to a man I didn’t know, but love with all my heart.”

Gabriella is faced with a decision she never expected to make, stay married or walk away from the man she loves. Sometimes love and great sex aren’t enough to make a marriage work but are good for business.

“I wasn’t used to these feelings.  In a matter of months Gabriella had infected my blood.  I was no longer a cocky arrogant boorish man, but a prisoner of love.”

Excerpt:

Gabriella

The problem was simple.  I was being thrust into a life I wasn’t sure I could or wanted to handle.  It’s one thing to date or be married to a rich guy.  But this is different.  Phillippe and his family weren’t just rich, they were part of the secret rich.  They were the kind of people who build hospitals, community centers, sponsor the arts, fund research, influence politicians…elect politicians.

When things began to get serious, he told me there were things he couldn’t tell me.  I just had no idea, they included so many zeroes.  I’m not stupid or naive.  I knew Phillippe was well off, but this is way beyond my imagination.  It’s also a world I’m not sure I want to live in.  Sometimes love and great sex aren’t enough to build a marriage on.

Phillippe

I wasn’t used to these feelings.  In a matter of months Gabriella had infected my blood stream.  I wasn’t the same.  I wasn’t a cocky arrogant boorish man.  It’s like that man died the moment I laid eyes on the petite curvy ball of love, I was privileged and honored to call my wife.

I thought about going over to the manor, but I didn’t want to face Mere.  I was ashamed to tell her, I messed up things and may have lost the love of my life.  The other reason I didn’t want to go there was my grandfather.  If he were there I don’t think I’d…in my current state, I couldn’t be sure I wouldn’t do him physical harm.

He was the reason I was in this mess.  If it hadn’t been for him insisting I get married and me being so stubborn, I never would have gotten involved with Gabriella.  Now because of his interference, I may have lost the only woman I will ever love.

Platform Links:
Amazon: https://amzn.to/3xT605m
Apple: https://apple.co/3xTKn4W
Kobo: https://bit.ly/3vMMyEN
Nook/B&N: https://bit.ly/3EL17MW

www.readtracyreed.com

Desiree Holt: Beck’s Six (Read an Excerpt!)
Sunday, May 22nd, 2022

Teamwork makes the dream work, and that’s true for my upcoming multi-author series, Athena Project. Delilah is one of my cohorts, as is Reina Torres, Jen Talty, and Regan Black. All five books release on June 21st.

Read an excerpt from my story, Beck’s Six, and then learn how you can order a signed print copy!

Beck’s Six

Rebecca “Beck” Morrissey likes her black ops work but she’s tired of government politics, as are her closest friends. She’s spent way too much time working for secret government agencies, and she is fast approaching burnout. Her option? Join Hank Patterson’s Brotherhood Protectors—if she can convince him it’s workable. The last person she expects in the meeting is Roman McClain, the man she shared both a dangerous op and incendiary sex with four years ago. And it seems that attraction is still alive and ready to explode. How will that affect them when Beck and her friends join the Brotherhood Protectors for an extended training session in Wyoming’s Wind River Mountains?

Things get even more complicated when Beck’s sister disappears, just as they learn that a radical, antigovernment group, headquartered in the Wind River Mountains, is preparing for an attack on a major target. In all likelihood, they have snatched Beck’s sister to use her as a bargaining tool. Now it’s up to Beck and her group of friends and Roman and the Brotherhood Protectors to pull off a rescue and thwart a disaster, all while she and Roman deal with an attraction that is hotter and stronger than ever.

Excerpt from Beck’s Six…

It’s a great idea. A terrific idea. He’ll jump on it right away.

Yeah, keep telling yourself that.

Rebecca “Beck” Morrissey kept repeating those lines to herself as she drove up the driveway of Hank Patterson’s ranch to the big ranch house that also houses the offices of Brotherhood Protectors. She had a great proposal for him that was unique and had endless possibilities. Hank had built a great organization with Brotherhood Protectors and she was sure this would only enhance it.

She recalled when Hank had left his SEAL brothers to deal with trouble at his ranch in Montana. He’d told her he never realized what would evolve from that. First SEALs, then other Special Forces, became part of a still growing group that dealt with trouble better than anyone.

Now Hank had two very successful setups going already, the original Brotherhood Protectors based in Montana and the Colorado offshoot in Fools Gold, Colorado. Team Trojan, former Green Berets out of Fort Carson who had left the service and Fort Carson on a bitter note. They had formed the basis for that setup and it was working very well. But apparently the number of extreme bad guys was growing because the entire organization was constantly busy.

And they all thrived on doing the kind of work they’d trained for, but without the politics involved.

Beck and her four friends who she pitched this idea to wanted the same thing. They were all hoping Hank would say yes to her proposal. They had all been friends for a long time and had been involved in government agency dark ops or secret projects, so they brought a lot of experience with them. But like her, they were ready for something new. Something where they had fewer restrictions and could choose their cases. When Beck reached out to them with her idea they had responded with enthusiasm.

Hank will see the benefit of it.

She kept repeating it to herself as she parked her car, walked up to the house and rang the bell.

“You made it.” Hank grinned as he opened the door. “Good. How the hell are you?”

“I’m terrific.” She squeezed him back. “And getting better.”

“Well, I sure am damn glad to see you. And anxious to hear about this hot idea you have.”

“Which I hope you will think is as exciting as I do.”

“I am open to suggestion,” he told her. “Come on down to the offices. I’ve got one of the Brotherhood Protectors down there who knows you. Thought we could use his input.”

She wondered who the hell that could be? She knew a few of the men but she didn’t think she knew any of them well enough who might be on board with her suggestion.

She followed Hank down the stairs to the offices, which took up the entire basement of the ranch house.

And stopped.

Dead still.

When she saw the man lounging against one of the desks, for one brief moment she thought her heart actually stopped beating.

Holy crap!

She hadn’t seen Roman McClain for four years and she hated the fact that her body’s reaction to him hadn’t changed a bit. One glance at him and every one of her hormones jumped up and began to dance. Heat sizzled through her and it had taken every single ounce of willpower not to let it show.

She wondered what his reaction to her proposal would be, because Roman McClain was the last person she’d expected to be a part of this.

Oh, this was so not good.

Roman, on the other hand, looked very comfortable. She wondered how long he’d been a part of BP.

“Hello, Beck.”

His deep voice still resonated through her and lit fires under her hormones.

Damn!

“Hey, Roman.” She cleared her throat. “Long time no see.”

He nodded. “Four years.”

She couldn’t stop staring at him. She thought she’d buried her feelings deep but it seemed even after all this time Roman McClain still had an incendiary effect on her.

More than six feet of well-muscled masculinity, the jawline beard he still wore accented the high cheekbones and lips that delivered scorching kisses. Kisses that she still remembered after four years. Deep blue eyes studied her from beneath thick black lashes that were the same ebony as his hair and beard. She remembered running her fingers through that thick hair. Feeling the scratch of his beard on her thighs. His—

Stop it! Get your act together.

She could be a big girl about this. He’d made no bones about their one night together. That was all it would be, a sort of celebration of the op they’d completed so successfully. Just because he’d kept his word and that one night was all they had—or were going to have— didn’t mean they couldn’t at least be civil to each other. And apparently Hank was counting on Roman’s opinion of her proposal.

“So I take it you’re out of Special Forces and are now a part of Brotherhood Protectors?” It was as much a statement as a question.

He nodded. “I am.”

“Roman’s been with us for almost two years,” Hank told her. “He’s become a key member of the organization.”

“Well, good. That’s good.”

Or maybe not.

She used every ounce of discipline to get herself under control. Her training with black ops was a big help. She’d spent four years burying the memory of her one night with Roman McClain as deep as she could. He wasn’t a man who stayed around for more. She’d known that from the beginning. But that one night together had been worth it.

“How about a cup of coffee?” Hank asked.

“Uh, sure. That would be good.” And give her something to focus on.”

Once she had taken a couple of sips of the hot liquid she drew a breath and forced an air of calm.

“Okay.” Hank’s voice broke into her thoughts. “So how about telling us what’s brought you here today.”

“Okay. Well. You know I spent the past few years working for several black ops organizations within the government.”

Hank nodded. “And from what I’ve heard, did an incredible job.” He nodded toward Roman. “Roman here told me you and he had worked an op together and it went off like clockwork. I think the words ‘consummate professional” were used, if I recall.”

“Thanks for that, Roman. It’s nice to have good advance publicity.” She took another sip of her coffee.

“Okay, Beck.” Hank waved a hand for her to tell her story. “Let’s have it. Who are these women and why would they be a good fit for Brotherhood Protectors?”

“Anyway, I have four very close friends who also worked in that environment including the CIA, the Department of Defense and others I’m not at liberty to mention. And they were—are—all damn good. The point is, we’re all suffering a bad case of burnout.”

“I can get with that,” Hank agreed, “It takes a toll and working for the government can be very frustrating.”

“Amen to that.

So.” Another sip of coffee. “Anyway. Last month we were all in Virginia, having lunch and discussing our situations. And…”

Just tell him, idiot. 

Available for preorder on Amazon:  https://geni.us/BecksSix_AznALL

Want a signed print copy? Click here for details:  https://bit.ly/BSsignedprintorder

 

Saturday Puzzle Contest! (Plus, Open Contests)
Saturday, May 21st, 2022

Today the 18-year-old graduates from high school! I won’t be attending the ceremony—climbing bleachers is not my thing. But I will pop for a celebratory dinner for the family and a couple of his friends tonight! He enters the same university I attended many moons ago in the fall! We’re all so excited. One down! Three to go! LOL

Puzzle Contest

Solve the puzzle to check out the 2022 graduate!
Comment for a chance to win a $5 Amazon gift card! Let me know if you have high school graduates in your family or will soon. Also, share any words of advice I can pass along to him!

Open Contests

  1. Lexxie Couper: Who’s a Good Boy? from RESCUED! (Contest) — Win 2 FREE downloads, plus a SIGNED book!
  2. Saturday’s Puzzle Contest — Thinking Cold Thoughts… — Win an Amazon gift card!
  3. Deb Robinson: Let’s talk firsts… (FREE in KU Read) —  Everyone! Get a FREE KU read!
  4. My obsession with toys… (Contest) —  Win an Amazon gift card!
  5. To Bee or Not to Bee — World Bee Day (Contest) — Win an Amazon gift card!
To Bee or Not to Bee — World Bee Day (Contest)
Friday, May 20th, 2022

I told you I collect things. Well, one of my newest collections (meaning, I’ve only been collecting them a couple of years, not twenty) is by bee pin collection. All of these are Joan Rivers bees. I love the enameled ones in all their glorious patterns. My dd gifted me the leopard-print one at the middle bottom of the photo for Mother’s Day this year. I like pinning them to purses and jeans jackets to show my solidarity with the bees.

But, “Why bees?” you might ask.

Well, there would be no life without bees. I think I heard it said that one in three spoonfuls of food you eat every day exists because of bees. They don’t just pollinate flowers. They pollinate crops. And scientists are worried about dwindling bee populations because, again, there would be no life without bees.

I know some of you fear them. Yes, I’ve been stung, but not since I was a kid because I don’t excite them when they fly around me by getting excited! Plus, I’ve decided to figure out how I can do my little part to help the bees. For instance, what flowers do they love? I want to plant them!

For a chance to win a $5 Amazon gift card, share something about bees. Love them? Hate them? What flowers do you think I should plant?