Monday, January 22, 2018

Guest Post: From Short Story to Series by Sharon Hughson #RealityEverAfter #Romance #Giveaway


Reality Ever After
Virtual Match #3
By Sharon Hughson
Release Date: Jan. 22, 2018

Keywords: Contemporary, Romance, Novella, Sweet, Virtual Dating, Series

Happily ever after collides with reality to make or break their love.

Systems architect Marcus Jordan proclaims his love for career girl Veronica Shay, but life keeps hurling obstacles into their relationship. When Ronnie’s niece is born prematurely, Ronnie rushes to be the big sister Tony needs, knowing she is to blame for his fear of failing at fatherhood.

Marcus decides to help put their daddy issues to rest, but his discovery sends Ronnie into a tailspin. Ronnie already knows trusting men risks her heart and stability. Why would she want to meet the first man who rejected her?

An even bigger secret about Ronnie’s father convinces Ronnie to give him one chance to explain, never knowing it will bring her face to face with the true source of her trust issues.  Will the revelation come too late to restore the happiness she’d found with Marcus?


Guest Post: From Short Story to Series 

REALITY EVER AFTER, which releases today, is the third novella in the Virtual Match series. When the heroine, Veronica Shay, first visited me, she offered up a short story about the need for an invisible boyfriend. We both thought it was a “one-and-done” deal. 


The short story soon evolved into a 15,000-word novella that appeared for six months in a boxed set with seven other stories (by various indie romance authors) featuring one common thread: Virtual Match. My story generated a few exciting reviews (like this one and that kept Ronnie and Marcus in the forefront of my mind. 

Once the VIRTUALLY YOURS party ended, I wondered if I could find a home for this story. Imagine my pleasure when Roane Publishing started a line of sweet romance novellas. 

I dug out Ronnie’s story, embellished it a little, spiffed it a LOT and submitted it. And because I write elaborate backstories for most characters, I realized Veronica Shay had a closet full of secrets.  

So a second novella forced its way from my fingers into a Word document. This one had serious flaws, but there was a story. 

After some hard editing, the second chapter of Ronnie and Marcus’s love story hit the digital bookshelves. By that time, the conclusion of their story was flowing onto the page in my writing sanctuary. 

Today, you can read the culmination of more than two years with this cast of characters. 

To Veronica I’ll say, “You’ve come a long way baby.” 

Every interesting character believes a lie (or two) about themselves. The complex ones have a deep wound associated with this lie. And most of them are so busy lying about the wound that the lie becomes part of who they are. 

Until something shakes them up and forces them to take a hard lookAnd they discover that their painful past has built a fabrication around them. 

In the end, the truth about what they always thought comes out. 

If they accept it, they can evolve to a new level. But if they seek the safety the lie provides, they’ll end up in a worse state than where they started. 

That’s the journey Ronnie and Marcus take in REALITY EVER AFTER. They enter the dark land of lies. Their wounded hearts try to pull them into the hopeless abyss of “I can’t be loved.” 

I knew Ronnie’s wound ran deeper than the secret she reveals in book two. But it was such an old scar that she’d forgotten all about it. 

Until her brother’s insecurity in the face of fatherhood brings snatches of it floating to the surface. 

A good series need two things: 

  1. Separate story problems and goals for each installment of the series.  
  1. One over-arching problem that is introduced in the beginning, but isn’t resolved until the climax of the final installment. 

But all series must come to an end. Am I sad to say goodbye to these characters? Yes and no. 

Yes, because they’re finally getting to the “real life” phase of their relationship. The one where love takes the reins from romance and drives the couple into the sunset. 

But also no. They’ve been rumbling around inside my heart and mind for thirty-nine months and I’m ready for them to move along. 

I have plenty of other characters who want their stories told. Every goodbye to one story ushers in a hello to another. 

What’s your favorite series? Why is it your favorite? 

- Sharon


Links to other books in the series:



Since adventuring in Narnia as a trouble youth, Sharon Hughson has embraced the magical portal of reading. As a child, she wrote her first story and discovered a passion for creating new worlds. These days, with help from three cats, Sharon pens romance, young adult fantasy, women’s fiction, and nonfiction (too many story ideas for a single genre).

When summer turns to autumn, she picks up her substitute teacher satchel and ventures into the real world for new inspiration. She and her high school sweetheart (and husband) live near the Columbia River in Oregon, not too far from their adult sons. When she isn’t writing or reading, Sharon enjoys walking, hiking, crocheting, playing the piano and scrapbooking family memories.

Sharon has multiple short stories and three novellas published with Roane. She gladly credits them for launching her fiction writing career. For more information about any of her books visit




A $10 Roane Publishing Gift Card!

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use a Gift Code.  No purchase necessary, but you must be 18 or older to enter. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter, and announced on the widget. Winner well be notified by emailed and have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. The number of entries received determines the odds of winning. This giveaway was organized by Roane Publishing's marketing department.

Monday, January 8, 2018

NEW RELEASE: ONE SNOWY NIGHT #Sweet #Romance #Anthology @RoanePublishing #Giveaway



One Snowy Night
A Sweet Romance Anthology 
By Various Authors
Publisher: Roane Publishing
Release Date: Jan 8, 2018

All the Things I Should Have Told You

One snowy night, in an Accident and Emergency ward, a life hangs in the balance, and your best friend is going to tell you everything you don't know about him, about your life, and what you both might be about to lose.

Unforeseen Circumstances

Marlene Martin wants to start over, to escape the sad past she can’t seem to leave behind. Between her marriage falling apart and her brother passing away, she has no reason left to stay in Mistport, New York. Her pending move across the country is exactly what she needs—or so she thinks.

Brady Miller doesn’t want to love Marlene, not after their agonizing divorce. His constant travel for work keeps his mind off of where they went wrong. But when he moves back to his small hometown to help with his brother’s business, seeing her again awakens the feelings he had long pushed aside. Each time they bump into each other, his interest in her only deepens.

When Marlene wakes up in the hospital after a terrible accident, she turns to the first person who enters her mind: Brady. Her world is shattered when he reveals that they’re divorced and her brother is gone. Brady helps her sort through the pain of memories she’s forgotten while he tries to avoid complicating her life even further.

Is Marlene’s memory loss a second chance for their love, or will history repeat itself?

Somewhere Between Falling

Recent college graduate Danielle Haviland had her future planned as a bride, band PR manager, and world traveler. Her dreams are ruined when her fiancĂ©e dumps her. On top of her heartbreak, Dani’s demanding mother issues an ultimatum: choose a viable life plan by the New Year, or assume a position picked out for her in the family real estate business. Dani runs away to the beloved town of her childhood summers to heal, refocus, and decide her future.

Still reeling from a family tragedy, Quinn Martin has been hoping for a second chance at happiness. His old friend Dani’s return might provide the opportunity he needs. When he offers Dani a job, the two grow closer and see that time hasn’t diminished their bond. Their chemistry sparks and broken hearts begin to heal. Will the plotting of a devious ex separate the couple before they can explore the relationship both desperately crave?

Somewhere between falling snowflakes, a chance kiss on a city sidewalk might offer childhood friends a new beginning. 

One Snowy Day

When tragedy strikes again, Aunt Evvie once more steps to the rescue. Her sister attempts to poison her daughter even after her own suicide, leaving behind chocolates tainted with arsenic in her daughter's drawer and urging her to eat them in a note. Calling Molly's beloved aunt for help, Phillip sees her convince her niece that she is both good and lovable. Evvie surrenders her job to stay home with Molly and in in the process comes to realize her brother-in-law no longer feels like a brother. Phillip convinces Evvie to enter into a psudo-marriage to provide stability for the hurting child. After rejection and betrayal, can Phillip trust romance again? Can the Evvie, the plain, older sister, compete with her beauty-queen sister? 



Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use a Gift Code.  No purchase necessary, but you must be 18 or older to enter. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter, and announced on the widget. Winner well be notified by emailed and have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. The number of entries received determines the odds of winning. This giveaway was organized by Roane Publishing's marketing department.

Monday, December 4, 2017

New Release & Guest Post! IT'S COMPLICATED by Joyce M. Holmes #Romance #Giveaway


It's Complicated
Contemporary Romance
by Joyce M. Holmes
Release date: December 4, 2017

He wants a real relationship, she's afraid to love. It’s complicated, but is it impossible?

She’s a children’s counselor devoted to helping others; he’s a stubborn client reluctant to accept her assistance. He wants a warm and loving relationship; she prefers to keep things physical. Professional boundaries dictate neither of them can have what they want.

Having grown up with no one but herself to count on, Maggie Lapage carefully guards her feelings. Professionally, she goes above and beyond to give others the support she wishes she'd had as a child. When she develops a forbidden attraction to a client’s father, she does what she thinks is necessary, to save his family, and to protect her own heart.

Tom O’Shay finds his life caught in a nightmare when he risks losing custody of his daughter. It goes against his character to seek help, but he doesn’t have a choice. That doesn’t mean he has to like it. Everything changes when he falls hard for his daughter’s counselor, and he suddenly has two fights on his hands. One for his daughter, and another for the woman he loves.

It’s complicated, but is it impossible?



The Inspiration behind It's Complicated
by Joyce Holmes

Maggie Lapage, my female character in It’s Complicated, made her first appearance in Show No Weakness as a young co-worker of Joely Sinclair. Maggie had a knack for stirring up trouble. She called it helping people. Others might call it meddling. But she always had the best intentions. Several of my readers told me how much they loved her feisty personality, and their comments inspired me to write her story. I had a scenario in my head where she’d fit perfectly and, from there, the story quickly came together.

The storyline formed easily, but accurately portraying Maggie’s character was a little more of a challenge. She’s young, urban and loves all the girly-girl things I know little about. She’s tall and fashionable and very outgoing. Again, not anything I can easily connect with. I blogged about my dilemma at the time ( Secondary characters are easy and fun to write; they can be quirky and even a little outrageous without necessarily needing to reveal what made them this way. Lead characters require more depth and motivation. I really wanted to do right by Maggie, because after everything she’d been through, she deserved it. Yes, she was impulsive and just a tad of a busybody, but once her background and motivations were made clear, her personality quirks became understandable and relatable.

I once knew a young man named Thomas. He was very much his own man and stubbornly independent, sometimes to his detriment. Thomas left this earth far too young, and to honour his memory, I named my male character, Tom O’Shay, after him. I also gave Tom some of that same quiet strength of character and stubborn independence. Who better to pit Maggie’s helpfulness against than someone who abhors needing help?

My inspiration for the storyline came from the place where all my stories come from. The desire to convey a real life situation full of emotion, which tugs on the heartstrings, and eventually finishes with a satisfying happy-ever-after. Hopefully, my readers will find that I accomplished this goal with Maggie and Tom’s tale, It’s Complicated.



Joyce Holmes lives with her husband and very small dog in the beautiful Okanagan region of British Columbia. Photography and blogging about her travels are two of her passions, along with visiting her kids and grandkids. When she's not dreaming up stories in her head or planning her next great adventure, she’s off enjoying the great outdoors.




A $10 Roane Publishing gift card!

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use a Gift Code.  No purchase necessary, but you must be 18 or older to enter. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter, and announced on the widget. Winner well be notified by emailed and have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. The number of entries received determines the odds of winning. This giveaway was organized by Roane Publishing's marketing department.