Just Fine with Caroline review

Published October 11, 2016 by francesothomas


Just Fine with Caroline is darker in tone than I expected. The story is set in the Ozarks in a small town where everyone knows everyone’s business. This is usually my favorite kind of book.

I was expecting lighthearted fun. But all the moonshine in the hollers can’t change the fact that no life is perfect. Caroline’s mother has Alzheimer’s, her cousin has up and left an abusive husband, and her gay best friend is afraid to come out and face ostracism.

Tall, dark, and exceedingly handsome Noah left town years ago, but now he’s back to reopen what once was his grandfather’s business across the street from the bait shop that Caroline runs since her mother no longer can.

Secrets from the past eventually are revealed and interfere with the budding romance.

Personally, I couldn’t really warm to any of the characters except Noah. Even the HEA wasn’t as satisfying as I hoped. The writing is fine, but this one is not my cup of tea.

Making the Play review

Published September 30, 2016 by francesothomas


This time of year, Sundays find me cheering on my beloved Steelers. I would have swooned at the opportunity to meet one of the players back in the day.

Unlike me, Bethany, the heroine of Making the Play, gets that opportunity. She’s the single mom of a hearing impaired son who worships Grant, an injured player trying to get back in shape so he can return to his career. Also unlike me, Bethany is not impressed by Grant’s celebrity and tries to keep her distance. Her adorable son, however, has no such compunction.

Grant does his best to  resist Bethany and her son James. Once he’s cleared by the team physician, he’s leaving town.

It all “plays” out under the watchful gaze of his salt-of-the-earth family and the typical small town where nothing goes unobserved.

My post-game analysis: Kline scores a touchdown.


About the author:

T. J. KLINE was bitten by the horse bug early and began training horses at fourteen as well as competing in rodeos and winning several rodeo queen competitions but has always known writing was her first love. She also writes under the name Tina Klinesmith. In her spare time, she can be found spending as much time as possible, laughing hysterically, with her husband, teens and their menagerie of pets in Northern California. That is, when she isn’t running around the Gold Country of California researching new stories.

Tina Gayle #Romantic Travel guest post

Published September 27, 2016 by francesothomas



One of my favorite romantic trips my husband and I like to take is to go out to Palm Springs and play golf. We have a great time and get outside. The scenery along a golf course is beautiful and then we go out to a nice restaurant before heading back to our hotel room.  This is both relaxing and fun.

golf course.JPG

Here is a short youtube video I created.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dNfhj-hf66s for the mountain course at LaQuinta


CEO’s Widow  – Book 4 of the Executives’ Wives’ Club series

Genre: Contemporary Romance with strong women fiction elements

Four women…
One fatal car wreck…
Everyone’s lives changed…


CEO’s Widow


After surviving the grief from her husband’s death, Marianne Clark has built a new life with the help of the other Executive Wives. She plans to enjoy grandchildren and friends until her doctor tells her he found a lump in her breast. Her world turned upside down. She re-evaluates her priorities and decides she will grab hold of life with both hands.

Knox Turner lost his first wife to cancer. He’s determined not to let Marianne face this challenge alone.

Can this couple face the trials ahead and build a future together?



“What about you and Knox? Is Travis and Lyndsey’s relationship still causing problems between you two?”

In response to Brie’s questions, Marianne lifted her gaze, uncertain how to explain the true reason for not caring to become involved with Knox.

“He seemed determined today to put an end to the stand-off,” Sylvia inserted, her tone reflecting her amusement of the moment.

Brie captured Marianne’s gaze and slow shook her head. “You’re still not over Jack, are you?”

Jen swiveled her head, first to Brie, then back around to stare at Marianne. “Oh, no, that can’t be.”

“Awe shit,” Sylvia muttered and turned in her chair.

All eyes locked on her. Marianne dropped her chin and fought for something to say to ease her friends’ concern.

“I knew it, you assume because you’re interested in Knox you’re somehow being unfaithful to Jack.” Sylvia clasped her hand around Marianne’s forearm. “Well, you’re not. Jack would understand. Hell, if he were in your shoes, he’d have already remarried.”


Buy Links:

Available at Amazon Worldwide exclusively:




If you would like to sign up to be an exclusive member of Tina’s List simple visit:


You’ll receive a free short story – “My Future StepBrother.” This story leads you right into the story of the CEO’s Widow.

URL to cover: http://www.tinagayle.net//BannerforTinaFreeBook.jpg


Author Bio:

Tina Gayle loves writing and is currently working on finishing her Family Tree series, a contemporary paranormal suspense series.

When not writing, she enjoys spending time with my family and traveling around the country. She hasn’t hit every state, but she hopes to someday. You might also catch her on the golf course with her husband of 30 years.

Also, you can read the first chapter of any of her books by visiting her website or download an exclusive story “My Future Step Brother” and join her special friend’s list. All on her website http://www.tinagayle.net


Home – www.tinagayle.net

Blog – www.tinagayle.blogspot.com

Twitter – https://twitter.com/#!/AuthorTinaGayle

Goodread – http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1641826.Tina_Gayle

Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/tina.gayle


Step back from the TV

Published September 26, 2016 by francesothomas

The Lady Is a Mayor_kindlecover

It’s FREE today on Kindle

Protesters, clashing viewpoints, economic crisis.

No, not the presidential campaign. It all happens in my romance novella. And yes, it’s a comedy.

If you need a break from the debates, here’s a lighter look at political goings on in a sort-of fictional small town.

When the mayor of Calusa flees town in the middle of the night, Geneva Price finds herself in charge, the first female to hold this position, and trying to hold it all together. Seth Connor, a swoon-worthy hotel developer (with good hair), might be the answer to her prayers, in more ways than one. But first she has to arrange a truce between the ecologists and the economists. Just a typical day in Florida.

I had such fun writing The Lady Is a Mayor. I hope you enjoy it. .

The Perks of Loving a Scoundrel review

Published September 23, 2016 by francesothomas



In the  latest book of her Seduction Diaries series,  Jennifer McQuiston spins a variation of The Boy Who Cried Wolf story times two.

Geoffrey Westmore follows Miss Mary Channing into the library during a literary salon. He’s sure she’s leading him on, but she is only giving in to shyness and making her escape from the crush. When someone approaches, they hide behind the draperies only to overhear a nefarious plot being hatched. The conspirators leave, but West and Mary are discovered in a compromising position by the rest of the assembly.

The couple try their best to prevent the impending crime. The problem is nobody will take them seriously. He’s been a prankster all his life, and she is known for her vivid imagination.

The plot was unusual enough to keep me guessing with a nice twist at the end.

Mary would be an ideal contestant on Jeopardy. Her extensive reading has equipped her with an eclectic knowledge base that proves to come in handy more than once. West is a little heavier on  brawn than brains, so the twosome complement each other nicely.

Smart girls rule.





The Bookshop on the Corner review

Published September 20, 2016 by francesothomas




By Jenny Colgan

William Morrow Paperbacks

September 20, 2016

ISBN: 9780062467256; $14.99

E-ISBN 9780062467263; $9.99


Now that I am writing fiction set in a small town myself, I am on the look out for other authors who use similar settings. Some are in America like mine. Others are in Great Britain.

Having read a previous book by Jenny Colgan, I was eager to read The Bookshop on the Corner. I was every bit as delighted with this one. I feel as if I know her and as somewhat of an Anglophile, I have such fun reading British slang. Her descriptions of scenery and life in Scotland make you want to arrange a vacation.

Nina, the heroine of this book, would rather read than participate in real life. When she loses her job as a librarian, she finds the courage to take a leap of faith and turn her knowledge and love of books into a business. She buys a rickety van and turns it into a mobile bookstore.

Along the way, she also ventures into romantic territory.

All of her city friends end up envying her new lifestyle. Me too.


a Rafflecopter giveaway


The problem with good things that happen is that very often they disguise themselves as awful things. It would be lovely, wouldn’t it, whenever you’re going through something difficult, if someone could just tap you on the shoulder and say, “Don’t worry, it’s completely worth it. It seems like absolutely horrible crap now, but I promise it will all come good in the end,” and you could say, “Thank you, Fairy Godmother.” You might also say, “Will I also lose that seven pounds?” and they would say, “But of course, my child!”

That would be useful, but it isn’t how it is, which is why we sometimes plow on too long with things that aren’t making us happy, or give up too quickly on something that might yet work itself out, and it is often difficult to tell precisely which is which.

A life lived forward can be a really irritating thing. So Nina thought, at any rate. Nina Redmond, twenty-nine, was telling herself not to cry in public. If you have ever tried giving yourself a good talking-to, you’ll know it doesn’t work terribly well. She was at work, for goodness’ sake. You weren’t meant to cry at work.

She wondered if anyone else ever did. Then she wondered if maybe everyone did, even Cathy Neeson, with her stiff too-blond hair, and her thin mouth and her spreadsheets, who was right at this moment standing in a corner, watching the room with folded arms and a grim expression, after delivering to the small team Nina was a member of a speech filled with jargon about how there were cutbacks all over, and Birmingham couldn’t afford to maintain all its libraries, and how austerity was something they just had to get used to.

Nina reckoned probably not. Some people just didn’t have a tear in them.

(What Nina didn’t know was that Cathy Neeson cried on the way to work, on the way home from work—after eight o’clock most nights—every time she laid someone off, every time she was asked to shave another few percent off an already skeleton budget, every time she was ordered to produce some new quality relevant paperwork, and every time her boss dumped a load of administrative work on her at four o’clock on a Friday afternoon on his way to a skiing vacation, of which he took many.

Eventually she ditched the entire thing and went and worked in a National Trust gift shop for a fifth of the salary and half the hours and none of the tears. But this story is not about Cathy Neeson.)


Purchase Here:

THE BOOKSHOP ON THE CORNER – https://www.harpercollins.com/9780062467263/the-bookshop-on-the-corner


About the Author

Jenny Colgan is the New York Times bestselling author of numerous novels, includingLittle Beach Street Bakery, Christmas at Rosie Hopkins’ Sweetshop, and Christmas at the Cupcake Café, all international bestsellers. Jenny is married with three children and lives in London and Scotland.


Connect with Jenny Colgan

Website – http://www.jennycolgan.com/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/jennycolgan

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/jennycolganbooks




Kris Bock #RomanticTravel Guest Post

Published September 16, 2016 by francesothomas


The Mad Monk’s Treasure

A legendary treasure hunt in the dramatic – and deadly – New Mexico desert….

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 shy 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?

Erin isn’t sure she can trust Drew with her heart, but she’ll need his help to track down the treasure. She heads into the New Mexico wilderness with her brainy best friend Camie and a feisty orange cat. The wilderness holds its own dangers, from wild animals to sudden storms. Plus, the sinister men hunting Erin are determined to follow her all the way to the treasure, no matter where the twisted trail leads. Erin won’t give up an important historical find without a fight, but is she ready to risk her life—and her heart?

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

“The action never stopped …. It was adventure and romance at its best.”

“I couldn’t put this book down. You’ll love it.”

Fans of Mary Stewart, Barbara Michaels, and Terry Odell will enjoy these stories of love in the wild, from a New Mexico Book Award-winning author

The Mad Monk’s Treasure is the first Southwest Treasure Hunters book, followed by The Dead Man’s Treasure. Each novel stands alone and is complete, with no cliffhangers. This contemporary romantic suspense series mixes action and adventure with sweet romance.



Erin could hardly believe what she was seeing. Could this be it? After all this time waiting, searching, had she finally, finally, found what she was looking for?

She forced herself to sit back and take a deep breath. Don’t make assumptions. Don’t rush into things. She wanted to leap up and scream her excitement, but years of academic training held. Slow down, double-check everything, and make sure you are right!

She leaned forward and ran her fingers over the grainy photograph. With that one image, everything seemed to fall into place. This was the clue. It had to be.

She fumbled in her desk drawer for a magnifying glass and studied the symbols in the photo more closely. At a glance, they looked like your standard Indian petroglyphs. You could find them throughout the Southwest, tucked away in caves or scattered among boulder fields.

But this was different.

If she was right—and she had to be right—these symbols were a map. A map that could lead her to one of the greatest caches of buried treasure ever.

She reached for the phone. In a few seconds a voice said, “Yeah.” Erin could hear the sound of some tool on metal in the background.

“Camie? I found it!”


Kris Bock writes novels of suspense and romance with outdoor adventures and Southwestern landscapes. In The Dead Man’s Treasure, estranged relatives compete to reach a buried treasure by following a series of complex clues. In The Skeleton Canyon Treasure, sparks fly when reader favorites Camie and Tiger help a mysterious man track down his missing uncle. 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.


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

Kris Bock on GoodReads

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Kris Bock on Pinterest


My Romantic Getaway

My husband and I always spend our anniversary weekend in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico. Although T or C is small, it has several good restaurants and many spa services. We like to stay at the Fire Water Lodge, where each room has its own tub fed by geothermal hot mineral water. Each room is different, and you can see the specifics for each room on their website. Fire Water is one of the more funky/less expensive lodges. You can also find high-end luxury lodging.

There’s not a ton to do in T or C – which is part of what makes it relaxing. You can wander the small town and poke around used bookstores and art galleries. Nearby Elephant Butte provides three short hiking trails as well as a ten-mile trail along the lake, if you’re feeling ambitious. You can also sit on the beach, fly a kite, watch birds, or fish. At night, be sure to look up at the sky – we prefer to do this from our Jacuzzi tub – at a dark sky filled with stars.

For more Southwest travel, visit my Southwest Armchair Traveler blog. Check out the Labels for posts on different parts of the state.