A Case for Forgiveness by Carol Ross

I am so excited today is April Fool’s Day and not because I get to pull some hilarious pranks on my kids but because it means it’s the first day A Case for Forgiveness is available for purchase! This is the second book my awesome friend Carol Ross has written for Harlequin Heartwarming.

I was lucky enough to be roomies with Carol at last years RWA Conference and am pretty sure she is my soulmate. We laughed, we cried (from laughing so hard), and then we laughed some more. I should have known we’d get along when I read her first book in the Seasons of Alaska series, Mountains Apart. Her heroine accidentally took too many painkillers and ended up stripping down to her underwear before passing out in front of the hero. And that was only chapter one. Carol has an amazing sense of humor and knows how to weave a wonderfully emotional tale.

I try not to get too jealous of her completely gorgeous covers. Seriously, she might have the two best covers in all of Heartwarming. But it’s what’s inside that makes Carol’s books special. And because she is generous and fabulous all at the same time, she is offering a giveaway! Books and an Amazon gift card are up for grabs. The link to her Facebook page is at the very bottom of this post. Go there, like her page, and comment on her giveaway post for a chance to win. If you don’t want to wait, click on the links to buy her book TODAY! You won’t be sorry 🙂

A Case for Forgiveness (Seasons of Alaska #2)A Case for Forgiveness
(Seasons of Alaska #2)
by Carol Ross
Adult Contemporary Romance
April 1st 2015 by Harlequin Heartwarming

The past has its place…in the past!

Innkeeper Shay James has been telling herself for a decade that she’s over her ex-fiancé, Jonah Cedar. But now the Chicago attorney’s come home to care for his ailing grandfather, reawakening powerful feelings—along with painful memories. Shay can’t afford to repeat history.

At twenty-two, Jonah couldn’t wait to trade his secluded Alaska hometown for big-city success. Shay was supposed to share that dream. Yet even with unresolved issues between them, their connection is stronger than ever. Jonah’s visit was only going to be temporary…until a threat to Shay’s beloved Faraway Inn gives him a reason to stay and fight for that second chance.


“Shay, why do you always seem so shocked when I bring up a happy memory from our relationship? Am I not allowed to talk about the good times we had? We were friends forever, until we started dating and then we were together for five years. That’s a lot of memories for me–all my best ones in fact.” 

His voice was gentle now. “And you can’t just wish them away because of what happened…after.”

She stared at him, thinking…  She did do that. Why did she do that? Because the memories hurt, that’s why. But she realized that she needed to get a handle on that pain if she was ever going to truly get over him. 

So she dredged up a smile and said, “Remember how those stupid heels I wore were killing my feet? You finally plucked them off my feet and threw them into the bay because you wanted to dance? At first I felt weird but then other women starting taking their shoes off, too. But then you had to carry me all the way to your house where we’d left your pickup.” She laughed at the memory and it felt good–genuine.

Jonah winced. “I remember, my back remembers. You’re not exactly a feather, Shay. And I never should have let you have that second piece of cake.”

“Jonah.” She scowled playfully.

“I’m kidding, and you know it.” He lifted his hands in a gesture of surrender and the sound of his laughter nearly stopped her heart. “I could carry you to Anchorage and back. Seriously Gary and Ingrid’s reception was hands down one of the best nights of my entire life. That whole day was.”

“Mine, too,” she said, but barely heard the words come out of her mouth because they seemed to have such precious little air to propel them.

“Can we talk about some things, Shay?  About what happened with us? About what went wrong?”

Carol Ross was born and raised in Washington, where she lives with her husband and one perfectly lovable miscreant of a dachshund.  She truly adores the Pacific Northwest because it offers so many opportunities to do what she loves–hiking, skiing, running, and spending time outdoors.  Although she enjoys reading in many genres, she writes what she loves the most–romance, especially light-hearted stories about the fun, flirty, and often-tumultuous path toward a happily ever after.


Jo Richardson’s COOKIE CUTTER Book Blitz

Welcome to the promo stop for Jo Richardson’s Romantic Comedy, Cookie Cutter. Check out the teaser below and enter to win an awesome prize! I am so excited to be part of the blitz. Jo is one of my favorite people in the world and I absolutely cannot say enough about what an amazingly fun writer she is to read. Cookie Cutter comes out today and was sent to my Kindle this morning. I know what I’ll be reading over my Spring Break! I hope you will check it out as well.

Release Date: March 23, 2015
Publisher: Little Bird Publishing 

Purchase: Amazon

ON SALE for $0.99 for a limited time! 

Synopsis via GOODREADS:

Iris Alden and Carter Blackwood couldn’t be more different. Change-averse Iris likes her life neat and organized, while Carter’s itchy feet mean he doesn’t plan to stay in the same place for long.
When Carter moves into the house across the street from Iris, to renovate it, she fights the disruption it causes in her life. Before long, though, it’s not simply the house Carter’s rebuilding, but Iris’s heart, too.
(Iris Alden POV)
“What are you doing here?”
It’s Carter freaking Blackwood. Of course.
He smiles that ridiculously bright, white smile of his and lets out a soft snicker. “I’m fixing a floor for a friend,
what are you doing here?”
It’s completely obvious what I’m doing here, seeing as I’m carrying two huge trays of sugar cookies in my arms.
“A friend? You just moved in. How do you have friends already?” I say it a bit harsher than I probably should but honestly, how does he have friends already?  James and I were here a good six months before people started really talking to me.  It was a year before I could call any of them friends. The edges of Carter’s mouth turn down and his head dips to one side as his shoulders hunch then settle.
“People like me, I guess.”
The smug look on his face is enough to make me want to slap it.  Or kiss it.
Wait. Not kiss it. I didn’t mean kiss it. Why am I staring at his lips?
“People who don’t want to kill me that is.  Are you okay?”
I blink, and search my brain, but I’m still not quite sure what to say to him, so I extend my arms. “I brought
cookies.” As soon as I say the words, I hear them. I sound ridiculous and Carter’s bright eyes crinkle with amusement.
He closes his lids and he breathes the baked goods in. Then hums. The sound of his voice sends a vibration through me and I shiver. I am eternally grateful that he doesn’t see it happen.
His eyes open slowly. When they reach mine, I’m glued to his stare like a deer in the headlights.
“Those cookies smell really fucking good, Iris.”
The bedroom eyes catch me off guard and my mouth falls open so I snap it shut. I’m a buffoon with no ability to speak.
“Can I have one?” He reaches out and I balance the platter with one hand, then slap his fingers with the other
while I find words. A word that is.
“Ow.” He pulls his hand away, like a child getting reprimanded, only when we make eye contact again, he doesn’t seem child like to me. I wouldn’t say he’s angry. He doesn’t exactly laugh, either. And his eyes gleam
as he stares at me. I hate his eyes almost as much as I hate his teeth. Maybe more. Dammit, I’m staring, again.

“They’re for Ally’s class,” I tell him. “Fundraiser, I mean bake sale.” I fumble my words. He’s so frustrating.


About the Author

A movie fanatic, a writer of stories, a lover of life.

Jo grew up in Maryland with four siblings, three parents and an endless number of cousins within the vicinity – but it was too cold up North for this thin blooded girl. So today, she lives in Florida with her two girls and a husband that shares her same sense of humor and basic take on life as we know it.
Life is too short to put dreams on the back burner.
Jo tells contemporary stories with romance, humor, the supernatural, the paranormal, suspense, mystery, action and anything else she can think up.

THE BETTER MAN Blog Tour Launch!

A Themed Tour through Prism Book Tours.
We’re excited to be launching the BOOK TOUR for
The Better Man by Amy Vastine!
The Better Man, which is the beginning of the new Chicago Sisters Series, is set in the busy city of Chicago, but is full of family, friendship, and love. It’s also from the clean romance Heartwarming line of books from Harlequin. Scroll on down to read a little about this book and series and to read an exclusive excerpt! We hope you enjoy the tour!
September Tour Schedule
28 – Grand Finale
The Better Man (Chicago Sisters)The Better Man
by Amy Vastine
Adult Romance
Harlequin Heartwarming

January 1st 2014

Kendall Montgomery’s six-year-old son has barely spoken in the past year, locked in his world of silent grief. Then one day, he spots his dead father across a crowded street.Max Jordan moved to Chicago to be closer to his own son and prove he can be a better father than his deadbeat dad. His striking resemblance to Kendall’s husband and his track record with fatherhood make her determined to keep her distanceÖuntil Max helps her little boy come out of his shell. But can she trust him with their future? How can she be sure he won’t take off just when they need him most?

An Intro to The Better Man and an Exclusive Excerpt

The Better Man is the first book in the Chicago Sisters Series, which introduces us to the three Everhart sisters, Lucy, Kendall, and Emma. All three sisters live in the Lincoln Park area, and even though the story has a big city backdrop, the focus is still on family and community. These sisters always have one another’s backs, even though they couldn’t be any different. Funny how siblings can be raised in the same family but develop such separate identities! Lucy is the strong-willed, fanatical health-nut who takes up any cause she deems worthy. Middle-child Kendall is the shy artist, whose loyalty knows no bounds. Emma is the confident baby of the family who believes she has her entire life mapped out. The Better Man features Kendall and her son, Simon. Book Two, The Best Laid Plans, is Emma’s story and scheduled to come out in March 2015. Lucy’s story is told in the third book, with the working title, The Better Fight, and should be out at the end of 2015.

Here’s a little excerpt of the three sisters in action:

“And I am now, officially, the meanest mommy. Ever.”

Lucy put a hand on her sister’s head. “Oh boy. Just remember every mom has felt like that at one point in time. I know I crowned Mom the meanest when I was little. She was a repeat winner of the title for years.”

Kendall let out a breathy laugh. “I remember you being much meaner to her than she ever was to you.”

“Of course I was. I’m meaner than everyone,” Lucy said, unashamed.

“I still love you, though.” Kendall got up and grabbed a large bowl off the top of the refrigerator. From the pantry, she pulled out three bags of Halloween candy and tossed them on the kitchen table.

“You really shouldn’t give out candy. I could have brought over a whole bushel of organic apples.”

“We are not going to be that house.”

The two sisters opened and emptied the bags into the bowl. Lucy offered to help with dinner. Kendall had bought the ingredients for chili and no one chopped vegetables better than Lucy. Kendall set her up on the cutting board with an onion and some peppers.

“It’s better that you rip the Max Band-Aid off now rather than later,” Lucy said while they cooked. “Simon will get over it. So will you. It’s always better to be the one who walked away instead of the one left behind.”

“Which one were you again?” Kendall asked, recognizing that Lucy’s guard was down.

“Ha-ha. Iíve been both. At the same time,” she added. “Now, stop making this about me.”

“You love when things are about you,” Emma said, joining the conversation. Dressed in her nursing scrubs and a purple witch’s hat on her head, she sat down at the table next to Lucy with a bag of cheese puffs.

Kendall held a hand over her heart. “Maybe knock next time and give a girl some warning. Isn’t it against your nurse’s training to give people heart attacks?”

“And isn’t it against your nurse’s training to put processed poison into your body?” Lucy added. She snatched the cheese puffs out of her sister’s hands and walked them over to the garbage.

“Hey!” Emma sprung to her feet. “I was eating those! I haven’t eaten all day.”

“Another reason you shouldn’t eat them. Your body needs fuel, not intestine-destroying acids.”

“Uh-oh, who’s eating junk food in front of Lucy?” Kendall’s mom popped her head into the kitchen. “Girls, don’t fight over food.” She took the bag away from Lucy and handed it back to Emma, who scrunched up her face and pursed her lips at her sister.

“It’s your body,” Lucy relented. “Sorry for trying to protect it.”

Their dad followed behind their mom and gave Lucy a hug. “You’re a good big sister, but never throw away someone’s cheese puffs.”

“I’m coming over tomorrow and helping Mom throw away all your junk food. We’re putting you on a diet.”

“What?” He looked at his wife for confirmation.

 Maureen’s shoulders slumped and she glared at Lucy. “I wasn’t going to tell him what we were doing. If you don’t tell him, he doesn’t miss it. When you tell him, he gets all worked up.”
Amy Vastine has been plotting stories in her head for as long as she can remember. An eternal optimist, she studied social work, hoping to teach others how to find their silver lining. Now, she enjoys creating happily ever afters for all to read.
Amy lives outside Chicago with her high school sweetheart-turned-husband, three fun-loving children, and their sweet but mischievous puppy dog.

Website * Goodreads * Facebook * Twitter

Tour-Wide Giveaway

– Gift Card Grand Prize: $25 Amazon Gift Card and a signed paperback (US) or ebook (INT) of The Better Man

– US Grand Prize: Signed paperback of The Better Man plus swag (shown above)

– 5 copies of The Better Man (paperback for US and ebooks for INT)
– Ends October 5th

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Prism Book Tours


Release day!

The Better Man Final Cover

The Better Man is now available for purchase in the US and Canada.

The paperback is only available through the Harlequin website.

The ebook is available pretty much anywhere ebooks are sold. Here are the Amazon and B&N links!

Here’s a little excerpt:

Her eyes began to flutter open and, though it was absurd to think he had anything to do with her passing out, Max wanted to set her down before she came to. She looked up at him as he set her on the chair.

“Oh, God, did I die?” She was horror-stricken. Her eyes were wide and wild. “I can’t die. What about Simon!” Her hand covered her mouth.

“No, no, no, K. You’re fine. You’re alive,” Owen said, pushing Max aside and helping her sit up straight. “Mr. Jordan, here, brought you inside.”

“Mr. Jordan?”

The beautiful but somewhat strange designer rubbed her forehead and stared at Max. She was pretty enough to be forgiven for spilling her coffee all over his shoes. This time.

“Please, call me Max,” he said to both of them. This Mr. Jordan stuff made him feel uncomfortable. The only Mr. Jordan that Max ever knew was his grandfather, and his mother’s father was nothing but a mean, old man. He scanned the room. “Let me find you some water.”

The restaurant was a big, torn-apart space with nothing to offer but broken furniture and an empty bar. He decided to duck outside and spotted a Dunkin’ Donuts on the corner, down the street.

He bought Kendall water and a glazed doughnut, just in case low blood sugar really was the culprit. When he returned to the future home of Sato’s, the two designers were hugging. This was not how he expected day one to start. He waited for them to break apart before he handed over the food and drink.

The biggest, softest brown eyes stared up at him. This woman was the knockout. Her dark brown hair was pulled into a ponytail that fell halfway down her back. The navy V-neck shirt she wore accentuated the length of her neck, and her skin was the color of the cream he put in his coffee.

“I figured everyone likes glazed doughnuts. I’m a Boston cream fan myself, but some people don’t like stuff inside their doughnuts. I love vanilla pudding but hate jelly. I mean, if I want jelly, I’m going to put it on toast, not in my doughnut.”

Both designers stared and blinked, blinked and stared. They were beginning to make him self-conscious. He hadn’t had a pimple since the twelfth grade, but all their gaping had him wondering if he didn’t have a giant red bump on his nose.

“You should probably eat something,” he said, filling the awkward silence. “I bet you skipped breakfast this morning. Am I right?”

Kendall glanced at Owen, then nodded her head. “Yeah. I was in such a rush, I totally forgot to grab something. Thank you…Max.” She said his name like she was testing the way it sounded. As if he might correct her and tell her it was something else.

“You’re welcome,” he said with a wink. “Eat up so we can get to work.”

Kendall pulled out the doughnut and took a bite, humming in appreciation. She ate and she drank. She smiled and she blushed. She was even prettier with a little color in her cheeks. She wiped her mouth with the back of her hand instead of the napkin he had stuffed in the small paper bag, and she never stopped staring.


Congratulations to Corie, the winner of the random draw from my last blog post. Random number.org picked the number nine, making her comment the big winner. Thanks to everyone who commented!

Don’t forget to stop by The Better Man blog tour starting September 15th. Hope to see some of you on tour 🙂

The Better Man Banner

Happy Labor Day!

Countdown to P-Day (Publishing Day!)

Sunday is December 1.  This may mean several things to many of you.  For my brother, it means two more days until his birthday (Happy early birthday, Adam!)  For lots and lots of good little boys and girls it means 23 more days until Santa comes to visit late at night.  For me, it means ONE MONTH until my debut novel is published.  

I may be feeling a little bit like this …

To say I’m excited may be a bit of an understatement.  
So, I feel the need to spread the excitement around.  Someone suggested I start posting once a week until the book is released.  I decided that is a fantastic idea.  I can introduce you to some of the characters, give away some prizes, and share some fun little bits from the story.  
Sound like a good plan?
Rob says yes.  And really, that’s all I need to proceed.
This week, I have decided to introduce you to some of the characters from THE WEATHER GIRL.  If you have ventured onto my Pinterest board for the book, you have seen some of the things that have inspired me.  But WHO inspired some of the characters in the story?  Let’s see…
This is my Summer. She’s beautiful but doesn’t really have a clue how beautiful she is because her looks are the least of her worries. She’s usually more focused on what’s going on in the world of weather. Summer grew up chasing storms with her parents. She’s been all over the country and didn’t have a very traditional upbringing. She’s socially awkward and besides being able to feel when it’s going to rain, she also tends to rattle off random weather facts when she’s nervous. Luckily, Travis Lockwood finds that kind of adorable. 
This is Travis.  Yeah. He’s also adorable. You know, if adorable means the same thing as totally hot.
Travis was the star quarterback for the Miami Dolphins until he was permanently sidelined by a shoulder injury. The worst part is that he has no idea what else to do with his life. Football is all he knows, all he was allowed to ever know. His dad was a little … intense. He takes the job at the station because he’s got no other options. It doesn’t help that he totally sucks at his new job and the Weather Girl hates him. 
The story may be named after Summer’s character, but I think this novel is about Travis’s journey of self-discovery even more than it’s about Summer’s search for something more in her life.
Excerpt you say?  Okay, here’s a little snippet of Summer and Travis:
“Do y’all say break a leg or something before you go on?” 

“Um, no. No one says that,” Summer replied, trying not to laugh. The sound assistant adjusted her mic while Pete, one of the engineering techs, made sure the lighting was right. 

“Well, good luck, then, Weather Girl.” Travis started to walk toward the news desk but stopped. “You should wear blue every day.” 

Her mouth dropped open. “Huh?” 

“It looks nice. Makes your eyes stand out.” He pointed at her face as though she’d forgotten where her eyes were located. “You have amazing eyes.” 

Summer was momentarily speechless. She looked over at a scowling Rachel, who practically had smoke blowing out her ears. “Funny. I was actually encouraged not to wear blue today. It kills bears in Chicago or something.” 

Rachel pinched the bridge of her nose and shook her head. Travis’s brow furrowed. “The color blue kills bears? For real?” 

“I think. Maybe not. I heard that somewhere, but that person was probably wrong because why in the world would blue have anything to do with bears? I mean, that makes no sense, right? I’m sure bears like blue,” Summer rambled. How she wished she’d remained speechless.
Her nerves took over. “Did you know that even though Chicago is called the Windy City, it doesn’t even rank in the top ten windiest cities in the U.S.?” 


“Really. Blue Hill, Massachusetts, is actually the windiest city.” 

“Blue Hill?” Travis smiled. “Are you messin’ with me?” 

“I never mess around about the weather.”
2014 is set to be one of the best years yet.  I’ve just been offered a contract  from Harlequin Heartwarming for THREE more books.  Yep, not one, not two, but THREE more books.  Cue that overexcited baby gif one more time!  My youngest son and I did jump up and down in the driveway after I got off the phone with my editor.  I cannot wait to have a whole bookcase filled with books that have my name on them.
For now, I am anxiously awaiting the first of January and the very first book with my name on it. I hope you are too!  


After months and months of waiting, the time is finally here.  The official US cover for The Weather Girl has been released.  I seriously cannot believe there will be a book out there with my name on it.  A book with my words printed inside of it.  This is absolutely an unreal moment!  

Without further ado, here is the cover …

I couldn’t resist posting it LARGE.  Summer and Travis look like they’re falling in love, that much is for sure.  I love the red umbrella.  I love that my name is right there.  I wrote this book.  I did it.  

How does Harlequin create the perfect cover for each book?  Well, here’s some inside information.  Authors are asked right away to fill out an Art Fact Cover Sheet.  This is where we list all the things we can think of about our book.  Who are the main characters, what do they look like, where does the story take place, what are the characters interesting traits and hobbies.  They ask about everything.  You can even post pictures of people you imagine your characters to look like.  

Now, the art director isn’t going to get Alex Pettyfer to pose for my cover (darn it), but they dig in their stock photos and try to find something that fits the story as close to your descriptions as possible.  I would say they did a pretty good job with this one!  

Okay, enough about the outside.  How about a peek inside?  Here’s a little excerpt from The Weather Girl.

“Weather Girl.” Travis was all smiles as he sat on the corner of her desk. “Did you have a good weekend?”

“I had a great weekend,” Summer said, taking a good look at him. His hair was shorter, a lot shorter. It made him look older, less like a boy and more like a man. “It looks like someone attacked your head with some clippers.”

Looking sheepish, he rubbed his clean-shaven jaw with his knuckles. “I got a haircut,” he said, stating the obvious. “My aunt Kelly’s neighbor’s book club apparently thought it was too long. Kelly agreed and called my mother, who called me and said she wasn’t going to bake any red velvet cupcakes when I came to visit if I didn’t get it cut.”

“She drives a hard bargain.”

“You have no idea. Her cupcakes make me cry,” he whispered.

“Interesting,” Summer said, not interested in the least.

“I’ll ask her to bake you some. She likes you.” He cringed and closed his eyes. His cheeks turned pink. “I mean she watches you and likes you, you know, as a weather girl.”

If anyone knew about sticking her foot in her mouth, it was Summer. “If it makes you feel any better, my grandmother thinks you’re cute,” she confessed to ease his embarrassment.

“She does?” His eyes were bright like the clouds had lifted. “And would you say you consider your grandmother a wise woman?”

“Oh, Mimi is completely off her rocker. I mean, she is more than a few cards short of a full deck. Bonkers. Mad as a hatter. Crazy as a—”

“Okay, okay!” Travis put his fingers on her lips. “I get it.”

Summer’s heart skipped a beat, then flew into overdrive. Before she could process this unexpected physical reaction, Travis pulled his hand away and shoved it deep in his pants pocket.

“Did you know that the highest temperature ever recorded was 136 degrees Fahrenheit in Azizia, Libya?” she blurted out. “Can you imagine?”

His Adam’s apple bobbed up and down. “That’s crazy hot.”


I can’t even begin to tell you how much I can’t wait for this thing to come out and for everyone to read it.  There’s also a part of me that is completely terrified, by the way, but the excited part is winning right now.  The awesome news is that you can pre-order the ebook version now! 

But if you want that real book in your hands, on January 1, 2014, you can go to the Harlequin website and buy the paperback or the ebook HERE!  As of right now, the Harlequin site is the only place where you will be able to purchase the paperback version.  The editors of the Heartwarming line are hopeful that the line will go mass market paperback and all you’ll have to do is browse your local Target or Walmart for The Weather Girl!  Let’s keep our fingers crossed that this happens.

Until next time!


All cover art used by arrangement with Harlequin Ent. Copyright © Harlequin Enterprises. All rights reserved. ® and ™ are trademarks of Harlequin and/or its affiliated companies, used under license.