Winners of To Woo A Wicked Widow ARCs

Happy Friday, Everyone! And Happy December! Such a cheerful month and the first thing I’m going to do is make two people very happy.

The Winners of the

To Woo A Wicked Widow

ARC giveaway are

Daryl Devore


Jennifer Wadkins

Congratulations, ladies! I’ll be contacting you shortly for your snail mail addresses so I can send your signed copies out ASAP! I certainly hope you enjoy your read!

Thank you so much to all those who came by and commented!

If you weren’t a winner this time, there’s another way you can get a copy. Sign up for my newsletter, which is going out early next week. My newsletter always contains news about my upcoming releases, early cover reveals, giveaways, and any other news about me and my writing. There’s going to also be an ARC giveaway for newsletter recipients in December, so if you sign up for my newsletter here, you can have another chance at a copy. 🙂



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Southern Comfort Food ~ Meemaw’s Chicken Vegetable Soup



Thanksgiving is past, but the turkey remains! This recipe can help use some of that giant bird.

Welcome back to Southern Comfort Food, my weekly post with a recipe that will taste like home and warm your soul.

This week’s is, to me, the epitome of southern comfort food–my mother’s chicken vegetable soup. Always good on a cold autumn or winter’s day, although I make it regularly in the summer and spring as well. And it never lingers in the fridge. My family eats it quickly.  My eldest daughter has been known to have it for breakfast!

It can also be made with turkey, which I did this morning. Unfortunately, my husband was the first to get home and put it away before I could take a picture of it for this post. So I found one that looks almost like mine, although I cook mine in the crock pot.



Meemaw’s Chicken Vegetable Soup

2  16 oz cans mixed vegetables, drained (you can also use fresh or frozen for all the vegetables)

1 can diced tomatoes

1 can lima beans, drained

1 can corn

1 can tomato sauce

1 large onion sliced

3 bouillon cubes

3 chicken breasts/thighs or any leftover chicken or turkey (about a pound makes it nice and thick)

salt and pepper to taste

Boil chicken in enough water to cover for about 20 minutes. This recipe works very well when you have a whole chicken you can boil and get the goodness out of the bones. Remove meat from the liquid and let cool. Pour liquid into the crock pot and add the bouillon cubes. (If you like your soup very soupy, you can add a can of chicken broth.)

When cool enough to handle, pull meat from chicken bones or chop breasts/thighs and put in pot. Add all the vegetables, tomato sauce, and onion. Salt and pepper to taste. Because of the tomato sauce, this soup comes out much more orange than most vegetable soups.

Cook on high for about 2 hours, then on low for about 4 more hours, stirring every once in a while. Ladle into bowls and enjoy! I got home too late tonight to eat my soup, but I’m taking it for lunch tomorrow!

Thanks so much for stopping by! Come back next week for another recipe full of southern comfort. 🙂


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Meet Jenna Jaxon!

Back when I got the contract with Kensington Publishing for my Widow’s Club series, I knew that I would sooner rather than later take the plunge and release my photo. I was told I needed an author photo for To Woo A Wicked Widow, for the back cover, so I knew the day was coming. But that was two years ago.

I’ve been protecting my identity because of my profession as a college professor, although there were no real ethical issues involved. Still, I was a bit shy about my identity becoming public knowledge.

Still, I worked hard for this book release and I really wanted my picture on the back cover. I thought it was time you got to see me.

So today is the day you get to meet Jenna Jaxon.

The photo for the cover of To Woo A Wicked Widow

In my opinion, I am not the most photogenic person, so a couple of weeks ago I hired a photographer (fantastic photographer!) to take pictures for me to possibly use. This is the shot that will be used on the cover. We had a great afternoon in the little town where I live taking shots up and down Main Street.

Love the color of the background building, somewhere on Main Street


This one is against a really pretty aqua-colored building. I’m not sure if the white is camera effects or just a lucky stream of light.

In the Library

And this one is the “author shot” of me in the local library with a book. 🙂 And no, it’s not one of my books. In fact, I just grabbed a book at random off the shelf. Why did I choose that book? It was the correct size for the shot!

So that’s the first cover shoot for Jenna Jaxon. There are several more shots that I deem good enough to see the light of day. You’ll be seeing them either here or on social media, with new ones from time to time as well.

Don’t forget I’m running a giveaway for a signed ARC copy of To Woo A Wicked Widow through this Thursday. Go to my Monday blog here, comment telling me you want a copy of the book, and I’ll pull two names at random on Thursday night and announce the winners on Friday. Hope to see you there!

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To Woo A Wicked Widow

Happy Monday! Hope your Thanksgiving weekend was happy and fun.

One of the more fun things that happened to me over the weekend is I received a box of Advance Reader Copies (ARCs) of my upcoming Regency release To Woo A Wicked Widow!  So excited!

In celebration of this milestone in my career as an author, I’m giving away two copies of the book this week. Comment below, telling me you’d like a signed copy of the book, and on Friday I’ll announce the winners.

To Woo A Wicked Widow, the first book in The Widow’s Club series, is available for pre-order on Amazon, B & N, and other e-tailers both in print and ebook.



Posted in Historical Romance, Marketing, Promotion, The Widow's Club, To Woo A Wicked Widow | Tagged , , , , | 27 Comments

Weekend Writing Warriors ~ 11/26/17 Falling in Time~ “For Queen Victoria”


Again this week I’m sharing from the book I’m revising as part of NaNoWriMo. Yeah, it may be a little outside the rules, but I’m expanding the novella by 50K words, so I think it works out the same. They have a badge for Rogue NaNos, so I’m going for it!

Anyway, its a time travel novella that was published in a boxed set several years ago, then called Crashing Through Time, now changed to Falling in Time. I’m turning it into a full length novel and currently am about 10 chapters in.

Corinne McGowan is on a sightseeing plane ride when the engine fails and she crashes into the countryside around Cornwall. Answering a call of nature, Corinne finds an old well in the forest (think the one from The Ring). She’s mesmerized by the sound coming out of the well and it pulls her into it. She comes to in the same woods and tries to find her way back to the crash site. When she meets Ian Hunterly she suspects something is wrong and eventually realizes she has traveled back in time to 1868.

In today’s snippet, Corinne is talking to Ian, improvising, trying to justify her presence on Ian’s uncle’s property and trying to get back to the well that brought her there. So in the sentences just above this snippet, she tells him she is a spy. (Very creative punctuation used to adhere to the WWW guidelines today.)

Victorian Actress

“I am not supposed to divulge any of this information, Mr. Hunterly, but if I am to enlist your cooperation, I fear I must.” She turned to him, her face set in determined lines and said, “I was sent as part of a Special Forces team who was supposed to rendezvous here yesterday; we are to take a boat just off the coast of St. Agnes and head for France and once there, we are to gather intelligence about the suspected French invasion.”

“France is planning to invade England?” Ian had to bite the inside of his cheek to keep from laughing aloud. “And we are employing American women to spy on France for us?”

“What better ruse, for who would suspect an American of such a thing?” Miss McGowan stared out of the window at the same view he had contemplated a few minutes before, continuing, “As my name infers, I am of Scottish ancestry so my ties to Britain are strong. All I ask is for you to take me back to the copse where you found me and let me continue my mission.” She swung around to gaze at him solemnly, her hands stilling her swinging skirts, and proclaiming, “For Queen Victoria—for England.”

God, she was so magnificent he rose to his feet and began to clap, shouting “Bravo!”

BLURB for Falling in Time:

More than hearts can be broken when you fall through time.

Theatre professor Corinne MacGowan is in a sightseeing plane that crash lands in a field in Cornwall. She wanders away from the crash site, led by a strange buzzing in her head that is coming from a black well (think The Ring). She falls down the well and ends up in Cornwall in 1868 at the home of her Master’s thesis subject, playwright Sir Robert Graysill. She immediately meets Sir Robert’s nephew, Ian Hunterly, and once she comes to terms with the fact that she has fallen through time, realizes from her research that Ian is doomed to die within a matter of weeks. Can she save him and change history? Or let history run its course and lose the man she has come to care for?

Check out my Amazon Author page for all my works!

Books in The Handful of Hearts series:





And don’t forget to check out the rest of the Warriors here.  There’s some fantastic snippets to be read.



Posted in Falling in Time, Historical Romance, on Victorian Romance, On Weekend Writing Warriors, Promotion, Time Travel Romance, Weekend Writing Warriors | Tagged , , , , , | 26 Comments

Happy Thanksgiving 2017!

A Norman Rockwell Thanksgiving

A Norman Rockwell Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

I hope today everyone of my friends and fans are surrounded by family and friends, enjoying good home cooking or a gourmet meal. However you are celebrating, here’s wishing you love and warmth wherever you are.

My family is back at my aunt’s house in Central Virginia again today.  Family from North and South have converged on her house once more, the one time of the year I get to see these folks in person. All the fixin’s have been prepared for another real old-fashioned Thanksgiving meal.  Everyone has brought their own special dish–mine is collards, my Dad’s secret recipe (which I divulged on my blog yesterday!).  I’m sure I will eat too much, but I’m not going to regret it one minute afterwards. 🙂

As in other years, below is a video of my favorite Thanksgiving hymn.  I post it each year because to me it holds the spirit of the holiday.  Hope you have a safe and happy one!


Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving

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Southern Comfort Food ~ PawPaw’s Collard Greens

Thanksgiving is here! Where am I today? In the kitchen cooking for the feast. Well, not exactly.

A napkin from our Thanksgiving Day set

My Thanksgiving traditions have changed over the years. All the years I grew up my parents and I had Thanksgiving lunch at 12:00 noon. I’d get up, watch the parades on TV, then set the table with china, glassware, tablecloth and linen napkins that were used only once a year on Thanksgiving. All the dishes that loaded the table were the same each year. In addition to the turkey and giblet gravy we had potato salad (never creamed potatoes for some reason), butter beans, squash and onions, deviled eggs, sweet potatoes, collards, dressing, brown & serve rolls, and pumpkin pie. Our plates were so loaded there was never room for seconds. And the butter beans,  squash, and collards all came from my father’s garden.

This tradition lasted long after I was married and my husband and two daughters all came to PawPaw’s and Memaw’s for Thanksgiving. With my mother’s death in 2001, my dad no longer wanted a big dinner, so I moved the dinner with all its trimmings to my house for several years, eventually moving it back to my dad’s house. After my father’s death in 2005 though, suddenly I wanted something completely different.

So my husband and children and I started traveling on Thanksgiving  Day to Berkeley

Cacapon State Park Lodge

Springs, WV for Thanksgiving at the Cacapon Lodge, a wonderful old pine paneled 1950s era lodge, with a dear friend of my husband’s from college. After stuffing ourselves at the lodge’s buffet we would adjourn to the lodge’s rec room and play cut-throat Scrabble. I was deemed the Scrabble Whore (SW for short) because I planned every play for the maximum number of points.

After many years of this tradition, my aunt and cousins started having a big family Thanksgiving celebration at my aunt’s house. Of course my family was invited and we began our current tradition of taking a side dish and having a fun day of food and family.

Fresh Collard Greens

From the beginning of this traditional Thanksgiving outing, my sole side dish to bring has been my father’s melt-in-your-mouth collards. I’ll be cooking them tomorrow and into Thursday, as I cook one pot for my house and one pot for the celebration. In fact, I cook a whole Thanksgiving feast–almost all the dishes I grew up with–so that after Turkey day, I can still enjoy all the dishes I so love for at least four or five days more.

PawPaw’s Collard Greens


3  pounds of collards, fresh or frozen. If fresh, be sure to wash thoroughly and trim the             stalks off and tear into pieces your desired size.

1 lb hog jowl bacon (only hog jowl will do. No other part of the pig–i.e. ham, bacon, fat              back will work)

salt and pepper to taste

Slice the hog jowl (it also comes pre-sliced) and layer the bottom of a slow cooker* to cover. Add 1/3 of collards (or one package frozen). Spread evenly over the hog jowl. Layer another layer of hog jowl and add another 1/3 of collards (a second bag frozen). Layer another layer of jowl and the final 1/3 of collards. If there is any jowl left, lay it on top.  If using fresh collards, add 1/2 cup water.

Cook on High setting for about 4-5 hours.

Check collards at 5 hour mark, stirring gently. Add water if they aren’t moist. Replace lid and switch to low setting. Cook an additional 6 hours, stirring every few hours and adding water as necessary (if they seem to be sticking to the sides of the slow cooker, add water).

After 12 hours the collards should be tender and melt-in-your mouth good. Serve with your Thanksgiving meal.

*My father originally cooked his collards in a pressure cooker that was, while much quicker, much more scary. I was always sent out of the kitchen when he was cooking them in case of an explosion. Eventually, he discovered he could get the same results by cooking the collards slower and longer in the slow cooker.

Thanks so much for stopping by! Hope you enjoyed my little walk down memory lane. Come back next week for pics of my Thanksgiving and another recipe full of southern comfort. 🙂


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