Saturday, July 19, 2014

Christmas in July Hop!


Beginning July 22 (Tuesday) and running through the end of the month, I'm part of the Christmas in July blog hop sponsored by the hugely popular I Am a Reader blog!

I got to meet Kathy, who is behind the blog, at a recent writing conference. Kind of a fun fan girl moment for me. Here we are:

The blog hop is filled with a ton of great prizes: CHRISTMAS-THEMED BOOKS!

Here at The Lyon's Tale, I'll be giving away THREE copies of the upcoming Timeless Romance Anthologies Christmas collection, which will be called Silver Bells! Here's the gorgeous cover:

As always with the Timeless Romance Anthologies, I'll have a novella in the collection, as will Heather B. Moore and Sarah M. Eden. This collection's guest contributors are Lucinda Brant, Lu Ann Brobst Staheli, and Becca Wilhite. That's SIX clean romance novellas, all with historical settings.

The Timeless Romance Anthologies have become Amazon bestsellers, and our fans love how they can finish a whole story in one session, or, if they have time, they can read all six at once.

I'm excited about this collection; it's going to be awesome! And the winners will get to read it about a week before it's available to the public!

To enter for a chance to win a copy of the SILVER BELLS collection:

Simply leave a comment on this post where you include these TWO things: 
-A family Christmas tradition (from your childhood or one you have today).
-Your first name and e-mail address so I can contact you if you're selected as the winner.

Other Important Information: 
NO entries will be accepted until Tuesday, July 22, and all hop entries must be received by 11:59 PM, MDT, on July 31, 2014. So

DON'T leave your comment until Tuesday, July 22 or after July 31, or it won't count!

Winners will receive an electronic copy of the anthology, in Kindle (MOBI) or EPUB format, or, if desired, as a PDF file.

After I've e-mailed the winners, if I haven't heard back from them with their choice of file type within 24 hours, their prize is void, and another winner may be chosen in their place.

Winners' first names will be posted here on or before Monday, August 3, 2014, and the book files will be sent to the winners in early OCTOBER, prior to the official release on October 20, 2014.

Be sure to hop around the other blogs for chances to win other Christmas-themed books!


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Bargain Books & a Reader Party Pack!

I'm excited to be part of a great 3-day e-book sale going on at the end of this week, from Thursday, May 22 through Saturday, May 24, over at Bookmarked Bargains.

During the event, A Portrait for Toni will be on sale for only 99 cents, so get it cheap while you can!

My second-edition grammar guide is also on sale.

Click the image above this post to visit the sale.

While you're there, be sure to sign up for the Bookmarked Bargains e-mail newsletter. You'll get monthly announcements about new releases from some of your favorite writers. AND, by signing up, you become eligible to win the Reader Party Pack.

***Reader’s Party Pack: $160 value.***
Designed for readers. Organize your electronic library full of fantastic adventures in a chic messenger bag. Are you always on the go? Sneak a peek at the cliffhanger from your latest book while exercising or cooking dinner when you use a handy e-book stand. Stay up reading in bed with a fuzzy blanket (choose your own color), a stackable pillow, a mug of hot chocolate, a big bag of M&Ms, and a reading light. Everything a reader needs to enjoy a good book!

Remember, for a chance to win, sign up for the newsletter. Easy. (You won't be spammed.)

(I can't lie. Wish I could win the Reader Party Pack!)

Happy reading!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Author Interview: Jenny Hess

This interview is different from others I've posted here. I hope you'll stick around and read the whole thing; it's that valuable.

A few years ago, I had the fortune of crossing paths with Jenny Hess and being able to read a draft of the manuscript that would become a published memoir about her young son's sudden death and the journey of grief that followed.

Every year, I read a lot of books and manuscripts, but few stay with me the way Jenny's book has. Years later, I still think of her, her son Russell, and their story, with regularity. 

Sometimes it's when I'm out for a run and I remember the time Jenny was out running early one morning shortly after Russell's death. (I won't tell you what happened, but trust me; you won't forget it either.) When I hear an ambulance siren, I think of the trip Russell took to the ER and what happened there.

But I also think of Jenny's story when I see someone in pain. Someone grieving. I remember it when I face my own struggles. And when I discover someone else who has gone through a sudden loss and the subsequent grief. I like to think that learning of Jenny and her journey through pain and loss has taught me how to be more compassionate with others (and with myself). It's a story of pain, but it's also one of hope, joy, and, eventually, healing.

It's a book everyone should read, whether or not you've experienced something similar. This mortality thing is rough; chances are, you still may undergo a sudden loss. Chances are even better that you know someone who already has or who will soon go through a traumatic time and who must grapple with the grief that follows.

Here's our interview about her remarkable book.

AL: How would you describe your book: memoir? How-to? Other? And why?

JH: I would definitely describe my book as a memoir and not a how-to. Grief is an intensely personal experience to a deeply individual loss. People are given a disservice and tend to bristle when told how to grieve. In His Hands is simply my experience with the grief of losing my son Russell, and I hope it gives a grieving reader the validation that these strong, profound, overwhelming emotions are normal and that they are not alone in their pain.

AL: What prompted you to write about your experiences surrounding your son’s death?

JH: I was having so many conflicting emotions—the deep, dark, ugly wretchedness of missing Russell along with the holy, sacred and beautiful new insights into the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I felt these needed to be chronicled before they were lost in the fog I was engulfed in. But really, I began writing because through an
honest misunderstanding I’d inadvertently led my two-year-old son to believe Jesus kidnapped his older brother. I think I’ve resolved the issue, but I kept thinking then, that, if as a teenager, Joey wondered why deep down he didn’t like Jesus, I would have it there for him in print—that it was my fault.

AL: What was the writing process like? How long did it take? Did you always plan to publish it?

JH: I was writing Russell’s biography when I knew I needed to write this book. In His Hands is a book that tells how the loss affected me and my family, previous life experiences I felt prepared me for the loss, and the heavy and holy experiences of grief I experienced later.

Some days I wrote feverishly, the words just pouring out. Other days I wrote timidly, tip-toeing through painful memories. Some days I couldn’t write—not for a lack of material, but because it was just too much to handle.

I was really just writing for me and for my immediate family. Especially for Joey, so he’d hopefully have a vibrant and faith-filled relationship with our Savior. It seemed to take forever to write, but I think it was mostly done within six months of starting it. I hadn’t intended to get it published, but some close friends
encouraged me to try.

AL: What makes your book on the topic of grief different? 

JH: This book is different than any other grief memoir I’ve read. Unfortunately, there aren’t enough in the LDS/Christian market, although I’ve noticed more being published lately. While they maintain a belief in God that’s uplifting and inspiring, most seem to be written years after the loss, and the grief experience has lacked
the rawness of new grief. This diminished the significant emotions that were overwhelming me and left me feeling alone and misunderstood.

In contrast, secular memoirs I’ve read tend to open up and share the vivid and intense pain of grief. This validated my bleeding emotions and helped me feel like I’m not crazy. But a common theme to these books is the question, “How could a kind, loving God allow this to happen?” and it breaks my heart and sometimes my spirit to read how their faith is not only questioned, but seemingly crushed and broken beyond repair.

I know how a kind, loving God could allow this to happen, but I still felt so despondent that I could barely function. In His Hands is a realistic, faith-promoting look into the abyss of grief with a loving Heavenly Father at my side.

AL: Who do you think would benefit from reading the book? 

JH: Surprisingly, I’ve received feedback from people of all backgrounds telling me they’ve benefited from reading this book. We’ve all experienced loss to some degree, whether they be through death of a loved one, debilitating health issues, abuse, divorce, or even the loss of not having the life you imagined you’d be living by now. While those losses differ, many of the emotions are the same.

People who haven’t experienced much loss have expressed they learned from reading about the inner turmoil of my grief and as a result, gained a better understanding and compassion for friends and family who had.

AL: What is the greatest/most important lesson you’ve learned as a result of  Russell’s death? 

JH: My testimony of Jesus Christ has deepened and strengthened through the death of my son. My love for Heavenly Father and my appreciation for His plan have grown in immeasurable ways. I’ve always known They love me, but now I’m starting to see how much.

I’ve learned through the kind acts of others how important it is to “mourn with those who mourn,” and how I may feel lonely at times, but I’m never really alone.

AL: What would be your advice to someone facing a big trial, whether it deals with the death of a loved one or something else? 

JH: In His Hands was written during my worst grief. I’m still grieving the loss of Russell, but I’m not experiencing the profound grief that you’ll read about in the book. I’m in a much better place now. Please remember that while time itself doesn’t heal, it takes away the sharpness of the pain. It’s easier to see answers to “Why?” and lessons learned after—sometimes years after—the experience.

Trying to understand these lessons before they’re apparent is frustrating and breeds doubt. Just hold on through this. It will get better.

We recently marked the six-year anniversary of Russell’s death. For the first few years, I was just surviving. Don’t overdo things in the beginning of a difficult trial—it’s harder to survive that way. Sometimes you just have to slow down and feel. It’s painful. Healing from a traumatic wound usually is.

Around year three, I was back in a regular routine. I was able to function in a seemingly normal way. To the naked eye I was a “regular” person, although I still felt broken. I still broke from time to time, but I found my inner strength was able to usually get me through challenging situations.

Around year five, I realized I still wasn’t happy. I could experience happy moments, but I wasn’t happy. I wasn’t always depressed, either, which was good. So I gave up trying to be happy. I just tried to enjoy and appreciate. I figured I wouldn’t reach the level of “happy” until I was with Russell again. Letting go of  the unattainable goal of happiness allowed me to enjoy moments even more.

One average day, about 5 1/2 years after Russell died, I realized that I was feeling more than happy moments. I was feeling happy. Just in my everyday life. I was even happy to be alive. It just sort of snuck up on me.

And while I fall back down into the hole occasionally (especially during the time of year of his death), I’m still happy. And I know I’ll eventually make my way back out.

Grief is a long process, and it’s different for everyone. Please don’t lose hope if you can’t make your way through as fast as you’d like. Just hold on. There are good days and better times ahead.

* * *

About the Author
Jenny Hess was born in Boston, Massachusetts. She is an avid quilter and loves the outdoors. After serving a mission in Denmark, Jenny graduated from California State University Long Beach, where she met her husband, Kirk. They have five kids—four living on earth and one living in Heaven. As a family, they love spending time together surfing, camping, hiking, biking, exploring, rock climbing, and canyoneering. Jenny's story can be found on, and a video vignette detailing how the scriptures helped heal her is currently being shown at the Los Angeles Temple Visitor's Center in California. Jenny is the Grief Group Facilitator for her stake and spends time helping grievers on their path. Visit her at

Buy the book HERE.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

One of the Best TED Talks Ever + a Boxed Book Sale

First things first: 
Through March 29 (Saturday), BREATHTAKING, a 7 title e-book boxed set of romantic suspense novels is on sale for only 99 cents. I haven't read the books, but I know three of the authors and wish them the best.
Get it at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iTunes, and Smashwords.

A Must-See Video for Creative Types

Creativity is a funny/strange/aggravating/wonderful thing. It's complex and hard to understand (if understanding it is even possible).

A few years ago I found Elizabeth Gilbert's TED talk. If you don't know her by name, you surely know her by at least the title of her most famous book, Eat, Pray, Love, which was made into a major motion picture starring Julia Roberts.

I haven't read her work or seen the movie, so my opinion about her TED talk have no bearing on those things. And my opinion on the talk is pretty emphatic: If you are a creative type, you need to watch it.

I'm not the only who thinks so. Since it was filmed in 2009, the video has been viewed almost 10 million times (8.1 million times on the TED site, and another 1.7 times on YouTube).

I can't remember how I first stumbled on it, but it stuck with me. Every six month or so, I find myself drawn to watch it again, to listen to what she says about creativity, specifically the the creative genius and work as a creative person.

Every time I watch it, something different jumps out at me. And I'll admit that the first five times I watched it, there were entire sections I didn't remember hearing before. Maybe I hear what my creative mind needs to at any given time.

So here it is. Watch it. It's just under 20 minutes, and it's worth every second.

Oh, and here's the Breathtaking Box Set link at Amazon again, just to make things easy.

Friday, March 07, 2014

TWO Super Secret Projects & a Cover Revealed!

Many friends and readers have known for some time that Luisa Perkins and I have been working on two super secret projects. We're ready to reveal what they are!
Here we are at the 2014 ANWA Conference in February.
Aren't we totes adorbs?
(As my teenagers would say.)
Luisa and I have a long-time love of the English language. Long-time readers of this blog know my love, as evidenced by my Word Nerd Wednesday series.

We're now teaming up, creating a podcast about all of the language issues that frustrate so many people: Grammar, Usage and Mechanics.

I capitalized those words on purpose, because they are where the name of our podcast comes from: Luisa and I are your GUM Shoes! (Get it? Grammar, Usage, Mechanics? GUM!) Go like the Facebook page at that link so you can stay up to date. The first episode will be posted on Tuesday, March 11, and we'll be sure to share the link to the website when it's live.

Here's the badge you'll look for on iTunes. (Look carefully at the words in the shoe. Isn't the logo awesome?!)

Each episode will be short: a bite-sized tip to help improve your speech and writing. If you have specific questions for us, leave a comment on the GUM Shoes Facebook page!

Our other project won't be live until late April, but we're in the final stages of getting it ready. Many people have asked about our accountability partnership, and we've even blogged about it before. But those posts didn't cover everything we've learned over the years of working together, and people had many more questions, too.

We pitched the idea of teaching a class at the annual Storymakers Writers Conference about accountability partnerships, and we are teaching it!

But not everyone can attend that, and even for those who will, a 50-minute workshop isn't enough to cover the subject entirely.

So here's the second big project: We'll soon have a book released about how to create an accountability partnership to meet your goals. Check out the cover:

Again, awesome, right?! (And no, we didn't plan for both the GUM logo and the cover to be red and black, but it works!)

We'll be sure to link over when it's live. Exciting stuff, people! I'm thrilled to finally share the news!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

WNW: Grammar Girl's Quick & Dirty Tips Book Review

As long-time readers know, this isn't a review blog. The only reviews I post are about books I have handpicked, and they're usually nonfiction titles I want to pass along to fellow readers and writers. I think the last book I reviewed was Mignon Fogarty's 101 Words Every High School Graduate Needs to Know.

Truth be told, shortly after that post, I meant to post a second review of another book by Fogarty (also known as Grammar Girl, from the podcast of the same name), but after reading the other book, I promptly misplaced it in one of those cases of "I'll keep it in a very safe place so I won't lose it" and, of course, I promptly forgot the safe place.

I didn't want to post a review without having the book beside me because, as I do with so many reference books, I wrote in the margins and wanted to be able to refer to my notes.

For this week's Word Nerd Wednesday, the first bit of good news is that the book is found and at my side! Hooray! Now we can discuss Grammar Girls' Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing.

The second piece of news is that I had a great time rereading my notes and then going over the passages they refer to, and I found the book as delightful as I did when I first read it a few years ago. I found stars, underlined passages, and smiley faces all over the place.

Best of all, the author and I share many of the same stylistic peeves, which made me like her even more. Seriously, I couldn't stop grinning over to try and versus to try to on page 45, something I rant talk about on page 90 of my own grammar book. Beside her discussion of another of my peeves, the weak there is/are way of beginning a sentence, on page 81, I'd written, "Yay!"

Grammar Girl is known for her conversational, accessible style, and this book is no exception. It's laid out in an easy-to-read format, with clear headers and fun examples, as well as text boxes with background and other additional information, often fun trivia related to language. (Yes, fun and language can exist in the same sentence.)

The book goes over many common problems in writing, from grammar to punctuation to style issues. She even discusses why the rule of two spaces after a period has changed in the computer era (page 85). (See this post for my explanation, which agrees entirely with her.)

The final chapter is short, and while it won't be one you turn to regularly to remember a rule, it's helpful for writers of all kinds. It talks about breaking through blocks, finding writing groups, revising, proofreading, and more.

At the end of the book, you'll find appendices with lists of commonly confused words and other great references.

I can't cover all of the great parts of a book with more than 200 pages, but here are a few highlights I particularly enjoyed:
  • Squinty modifiers. (Page 65.) Great name for an easy error to make with modifiers, with a clear explanation and a great example.
  • The semicolon splicer image to help remember how to use the mark (page 75).
  • Properly punctuating indirect questions. (Page 89.) I've seen this issue a lot in my editing work, and agree with Fogarty so entirely that in that margin, I wrote "For the love!" because people need to learn this!
  • How to properly use a colon. (Pages 92 to 96.) A much-needed explanation.
  • The Oxford comma. (She favors it! Woohoo!) 
  • The title of chapter six: "Prozac for Pronouns: Getting the Stuntmen of Language Under Control." (Page 139.) LOVE IT.
And this gem on page 96: "Using a hyphen in place of a dash can cause your copy editor to have a mild fit."

Amen and amen.

The book is a quick read, and it's one you'll want to keep on hand as a reference for a long time. 

My only complaint is tiny: A few things have changed since the book's publication in 2008, such as how long Facebook status updates can be. Like I said, very small things. Considering how fast technology changes, I'm impressed how on top of technology she is, and that I noted only a couple of spots where things are different in 2014. 

Get a copy for yourself and another for the writer in your life. (Hint: That's everyone in today's society. We all need to know how to write clearly.) Here's the link again to make it really easy for you. And if you haven't gotten my book, here's that link too.

Stay tuned for the announcement of two projects I'm working on with Luisa Perkins. We'll roll out the first one in a few weeks, and the second one a few weeks after that. 

You won't want to miss out on them! 

Coincidentally, right now, Mignon Fogarty (Grammar Girl) is raising money to fund an awesome card game called Peeve Wars. I've chipped in; I hope you will too. The campaign has just 10 days left to reach its goal. Learn more about Peeve Wars and donation rewards HERE. If you have personal grammar and usage peeves (and you know you do), you'll want this game.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Valentine's Day Special: Romances for 99 Cents

To celebrate Valentine's Day we've put together an amazing $.99 sale of clean romance books. Here's the catchy title: Finding Romance this Valentine's Day. But I think we should just call it: Awesome books for $.99. Please scroll through the list, each has a short description and buy link, they're all fabulous.
Hope you have a fun Valentine's Day!
$.99 price effective 2/10/14 through 2/14/14

This Very Moment by Rachel Ann Nunes - Click here to purchase
Bill Dubrey is a sought-after plastic surgeon for LA’s prestigious and wealthy, and an equally sought-after bachelor. On the surface it appears he has it all—money, respect, and fame. Yet behind his aloof exterior lurks a tragic past that prevents him from finding lasting happiness.
All that changes on the day Kylee Stewart reenters his life. She alone knows Bill’s secret agony, and she is determined to help him face his past. During the years they’ve been apart, Kylee’s own life has been far from easy, but unlike Bill, she has turned to God in her need, finding a faith to which she desperately clings.
The tentative friendship they begin has Bill rethinking his stark future, yet he keeps his heart in check—afraid to commit, afraid to lose again. During Kylee’s darkest moment, when she needs him most, will he be there for her?

Tomorrow and Always by Rachel Ann Nunes
Click here to purchase
Anyone would think that Karissa and Malcolm have the perfect life. Young and successful, they've built their dream home on beautiful Kodiak Island in Alaska. But behind closed doors it's a much different story. Unable to have children and inactive in their religion, Karissa and Malcolm's marriage is beginning to fall apart. 
When Jesse and Brionney Hergarter move to Kodiak, Karissa senses a kindred spirit. With Brionney's friendship and support, Karissa feels a growing desire to return to activity at church. But this means confessing the one sin that has haunted her for years—the one sin that could drive Malcolm away forever.

A Portrait for Toni by Annette Lyon - Click here to purchase
Toni has no idea what she’d do without her best friend, Carter. Who else would she be able to vent to about her parents, her job at the dance studio, or her latest relationship woes? When Toni’s father lands in the hospital, Carter, as always, is there for her. 
That is, until he starts questioning Toni, saying he thinks she has an eating disorder. Then she starts dating Clint, the hot new guy at the studio, and somehow that puts a deeper wedge between her and Carter. When she’s hospitalized after an on-stage collapse, and Carter stupidly starts in with advice about food and weight, she sends him away—then instantly regrets it. 
One night after a performance, Toni tries to mend the hurt between them. Instead of finding Carter, she stumbles onto proof that he has feelings for her that go way beyond those of a friend. Toni is left with the very real prospect of losing Carter forever, unless somehow she can return his feelings—but that’s impossible. Isn’t it?

A New Dance by Lucy McConnell
Click here to purchase
For most people, letting go of a "what if" can be difficult - for Kiley Roberts it's almost impossible. As her final semester of college begins, a past relationship prevents her from fully opening her heart to Brandon, her almost fiance. When TJ unexpectedly drops back into her life as an assigned dance partner, Kiley's sure that it's a sign. Only she's not sure if it means she should put their past behind her or try for a future with the man with the broken heart.

Spy Noon by Jordan McCollum
Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble and!
Canada's the last place you'd expect to find an American spy, but CIA operative Talia Reynolds has problems piling up higher than a Canadian snowbank. When Elliott Monteith, her ridiculously handsome new coworker, shows up, Talia decides it's game on. She'll be the first to track down a dangerous counter-spy, and she'll give Elliott an unforgettable souvenir of his time in Ottawa: some humble pie.
Her plans don't work as well as she expects, though. Elliott's over-the-top flirting dredges up too many painful memories for Talia and undermines the confidence she's worked hard to regain. To do her job and keep her integrity intact, she'll have to keep her personal feelings at bay. Now Talia must find a way to work alongside Elliott—and maybe even trust him—to outsmart the enemy

Snowed Inn by Heather Horrocks - Click here to purchase
Mystery buff Vicki Butler plans to kill someone this weekend. Nothing personal, just business.
The killer grand opening weekend at her new Who-Dun-Him Inn is all fun and games---until an unplanned dead body makes an appearance.
With a murderer running loose, young widowed mom Vicki is forced to keep her family, guests, and actors safe while searching for clues. Her author guests, also the prime suspects, try their hand at solving this real-life whodunit, in the process hindering the investigation by local law enforcement officers. Things really go downhill when her twin Liz shows up, trailed by flamboyant Grandma Ross, who announces she’s seeking a boy toy among the suspects. When both a local younger man and an out-of-town newshound start sniffing around the inn---and her---Vicki realizes she's got more than just a murderer to worry about. Can she solve the mystery before the killer strikes again? Or will this case of opening-night jitters prove to be terminal?

Bah, Humbug! by Heather Horrocks - Click here for a free copy
 Lexi Anderson is an up-and-coming, Martha Stewart-type TV hostess whose two kids love the Jared Strong adventure novels, which happen to be written by their new neighbor, Kyle Miller. For the first time in his writing career, Kyle has writer’s block--until he sees the snowman on his lawn and realizes it’s the perfect solution to his plot problem. He digs in and discovers two things: one, his villain’s weapon will fit inside a snowman's body, and two, this particular snowman was supposed to be the backdrop for Lexi’s next show. From this improbable beginning comes friendship, but can there be a happy ending for a woman who is afraid to get close again and a man who has shadows from his childhood? Families join together and hearts are healed as this couple goes walking in a winter wonderland.

Click here to purchase
VL. Virgin Lips. You may not have heard of it, but where I live, it's a thing with a card, even if it is a figurative card. I was Brooklyn Hamlin, certified virgin lips, and I planned on clinging to that figurative card with all I had--while dating as many of the hottest guys at school as I could.
Maybe that's a bit strange. I mean, what teenage girl isn't interested in kissing? Locking lips definitely interested me, but the drama that came with it didn't. No kissing, no drama. Simple.
But on my sixteenth birthday, on my first real date even, the drama found me. His name was Luke Graham--cute, funny, and bad news for the whole female race.

The Princess Problem by Diane Darcy - Click here to purchase
In real life, she's given up on the fairy tale ending...
After having her heart broken twice, Alicia Dayne has sworn off men, decided to concentrate on her career, and is delighted to win a lucrative contract to make a commercial for Highborn Mattresses.
She could make the most awesome fairy tale commercial ever--except for Jonas Highborn, who isn't exactly thrilled with her Princess and the Pea ideas, and really doesn't want a prince in tights representing his company.
Though he's trying to keep his grieving mother happy by letting her have charge of the commercial shoot, and though Alicia's trying to keep in mind that this annoying guy is her boss for the moment, they can't seem to keep from clashing.
Throw in an overly-handsome prince, a matchmaking mama, and a stunning rose garden, and maybe, just maybe, Alicia can be convinced they have a chance at something real.
Because while she might not be a real princess, sometimes an ordinary girl's got to take a chance, even when it seems too good to be true.
When did Happily Ever After become so complicated?

Steal His Heart by Diane Darcy - Click here to purchase
What if keeping your job depended on keeping a secret? 
Daisy Manning has been testing security by shoplifting in Worthingtons Department store for five months. Not once in that entire time has she been caught by security personnel. Until today.
Kent Whitaker is disgusted by the beautiful thief he’s caught red-handed, and even more disgusted by his attraction to her. While he won’t allow himself to become romantically involved with a thief, he can certainly help out a friend by curing his daughter of bad habits. 
They both fight their growing attraction, Kent because dishonesty is the one trait he cannot tolerate, and Daisy because Kent is directly interfering with her long-range career goals. 
But when an unskilled matchmaker tries his hand at getting them together, the unexpected happens to them both as Kent gets distracted and Daisy steals his heart! 

Gifts and Consequences by Daniel Coleman
Click here to purchase

Jonathan decides to honor the wish of his dying wife – that he give away his fortune – but his methods are dangerously unconventional. He takes extreme measures to witness human struggle and watch the discovery of hidden strength. But when Jonathan goes too far, he faces consequences of his own.

The Colony by Cami Checketts - Click here to purchase
To protect her sons from the mistakes of her past, Brinlee Trapper escapes to a secluded mountain home. But there are dangers lurking in the mountains she has never encountered. The little family is saved from injury by Jed, a mysterious hunter. Brinlee is drawn to him, but she worries about his involvement with a peaceful commune hidden deep in the mountains behind her property.
Lance, Brinlee's attentive neighbor, has his own troubled history. Between his obvious attraction to Brinlee and his developing love for her children, Brinlee finds it more than difficult to guard her heart against this tender intrusion.
While Jed offers a life of excitement and freedom, Lance holds the key to the family Brinlee always wanted. When it comes time to choose, she learns that both men have secrets that could shatter her fledgling trust in men and the wrong decision could leave more than her heart exposed to danger.

Blog This by Cami Checketts - Click here to purchase
Will protecting children throughout the world cost Natasha her own family?
Devastated by the loss of her brother, Natasha Senecot works to expose the dangers of Matthew Chrysler's violent video games, succeeding in bankrupting and humiliating him.
Chrysler retaliates and sends a hit man after her. Natasha is forced to fake her own death to protect her children, but after witnessing another tragedy, Natasha won't hide any longer.
In a race against time, can Natasha expose Matthew Chrysler before his assassin murders her family and shatters her world?

All Fall Down by Julie Coulter Bellon - Click here to purchase
Ring around the rosy, a pocket full of posies, ashes, ashes we all fall down . . .
That simple rhyme turns negotiator Claire Michaels’ current hostage situation into an international incident. Claire just wants to help get everyone out safely, but as the crisis escalates she realizes she’s dealing with an al-Qaeda operative who has the means to become another bin Laden---with the potential to attack America. Claire has her own personal reasons for wanting to stop al-Qaeda, but time is slipping away as negotiations break down. Can she overcome her scars of the past in order to get the hostage out alive and possibly stop an assault on U.S. national security? 
Navy SEAL Rafe Kelly is on leave to recover from a knee injury he suffered during his tour in Afghanistan and he doesn’t expect to be fighting terrorists on his home turf. But when he is taken hostage and his brother is kidnapped, Rafe teams up with a hostage negotiator in order to stay alive and get his brother back. The terrorist is always one step ahead of them, however, and the situation quickly turns from desperate to deadly. Will Rafe be able to save himself and his country without anyone he loves getting caught in the crossfire?

The Reluctant Bachelorette by Rachael Anderson - Click here to purchase
Luke Carney has no idea what possessed him to move back to Shelter Springs, Colorado, to set up his veterinarian practice. His parents had long since left, the small farming community is on the brink of extinction, and only one close friend from his childhood remains--Taycee Emerson, his best friend's little sister, who isn't so little anymore. Then there's the matter of Shelter's Bachelorette, an online reality dating show created to raise some much needed funds for the town. 
Unknowingly cast as the bachelorette for her town's charity event, Taycee Emerson wants out. Especially when she discovers her old teenage crush, Luke Carney, is one of the bachelors and it's up to the viewers--not her--to decide which bachelors stay or go. Coerced into participating, Taycee does what any self-preserving girl would do. She launches a subtle attack on Luke's good name with the hope of getting him voted off the show. Unfortunately, Luke's an eye-for-an-eye kind of guy, and when he discovers what she's up to, it means revenge.

Fair Catch by Cindy Roland Anderson - Click here to purchase
Ellie Garrett never planned on being a divorced, single mother—she also never planned to get married again. Ever. Her ordinary life changes when the house across the street is sold. The new owner is Nick Coulter—quarterback and MVP for the Sacramento Defenders. Oh yeah, he’s also one of People magazine’s top 100 most beautiful people and America’s most eligible bachelor. So why would she pick him to have her first crush on since her divorce? 
 Recently retired from the NFL, Nick is more than ready to find a wife and start a family. He's tired of his high-profile lifestyle and moves to Pleasant Wood, Colorado, hoping to finally settle down and focus on his foundation Kids Come First. It would just feel nice to be a normal guy. Of course being rebuffed by Ellie the first few times he meets her makes him feel a little too normal. 
As Nick and Ellie become acquainted, their mutual attraction is hard to ignore. But Ellie’s been hurt before by her womanizing ex-husband. She’s not sure that Nick has left behind his playboy reputation. Can she risk falling in love with the celebrity football player or will she miss her chance at scoring big in the game of love?

*7 Romance Novels, 7 Bestselling Authors.

UPDATED TO ADD: The Romance Boxed Set is still available, but it's now for $9.99. Still a great deal for SEVEN complete novels! 

RUNNING BAREFOOT by NY Times & USA Today bestselling author Amy Harmon! *Over 260 4 & 5 star reviews* 
MASQUERADE by Janette Rallison, who has sold more than 1 million books! 
THE RELUCTANT BACHELORETTE by Rachael Anderson, Amazon Bestseller! *Over 230 4 & 5 star reviews on Amazon*
PRIDE AND PRECIPITATION by Heather Horrocks, Amazon Bestseller!  *Over 80 4 & 5 star reviews on Amazon*
MY OWN MR. DARCY by Karey White, Amazon Bestseller! *Over 120 4 & 5 star reviews on Amazon*
SHE OWNS THE KNIGHT by Diane Darcy, Amazon Bestseller! *Over 50 4 & 5 star reviews on Amazon*
HEART OF THE OCEAN by Heather B. Moore, Amazon Bestseller!