On Father’s Day



            This year for the first time, my children will celebrate Father’s Day without enjoying their dad’s physical presence. I know they will think of him. Sadly, I know they will cry, because the grief is still so close and so new.

            Growing up, Father’s Day wasn’t joyous, although I said all the right things and shopped for gifts with siblings from carefully parsed money my Mom provided. My siblings and I were abused children before the condition really was recognized or accepted, but even with the unspeakable events of our pasts, there were bright moments along the way that made us grateful. And so we celebrated, and only now, perhaps, question the reasons.

            Finally understanding all the nuances and insanities of the past, I find myself appreciating good fathers—men who don’t abuse children. Men who encourage and build rather than instruct in the fine arts of sarcasm and venom—men. I appreciate men who are real fathers.

            My children are fortunate to have had a humble man with a good heart and unfailing work ethic. He wasn’t perfect—who is? But he loved his kids, Sometimes, knowing how much he did, forgiveness was easier to find, and one of the reasons we spent more than forty years together. Our constant strength was the love of and for our children.

            My children are blessed even as they face their first Father’s Day alone—they will be surrounded by love. Three of the four are raising bright, caring children who adore them—which is a testament to their own ability to love. All of them will share priceless memories along with the sadness, and they will know they were much loved—and still are.

            Tomorrow, to all the Dads out there—I wish you happiness, health, and a beautiful day surrounded by your children’s love. To service members and first responders who are fathers—prayers always, but especially tomorrow. Wherever you are stationed, or on duty—bask in the love and comfort your children enjoy because you are their dads, and I hope every Father’s Day finds you home.

            But this year, as never before—to those of you who have lost Dads, to whom the grief may be recent or of years—I’m thinking of you. The fact that your father’s love is still with you so strongly means that you had a man who was, in fact, a real father. A good father. I ache for those of you still feeling the loss, but am glad you knew a man like your dad.

Happy Father’s Day.


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Skunk Summer and Summer Love

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Skunk Summer, Love, and Poetry

 Those of you participating in the Summer of Love Giveaway, good luck. Those of you who aren’t, should be!

A wonderful group of authors has been sharing love through books, gift cards, and goodies of all kinds for several years now, and I’m delighted to be participating. For extra entries, visit all of us and perform some simple task. Here at Return to Rio, just read this blog and leave a comment when you finish.

Although two of my romances, Unattainable and A Love Beyond, will bring you to the searing south Texas heat, the ‘skunk summer’ mentioned in the title evokes love of a totally different kind—love that fills our lives and lingers, regardless of the state of our romantic love journey. Or journeys.

You’ll find Skunk Summer in my collection of poetry, Always the Moon, on sale this week for .99, along with poems from every strand of life. Living brings a lot to love—from those sizzling encounters along the way to the incomparable love that shoots through your chest when you hug a child close.

Not every poem is a love poem, of course—because that’s just not how life is. One of my shortest poems echoes in my head most loudly right now, and it’s a poem about loss, and going on. I wrote it years ago, yet with my husband’s recent passing, it seems a page torn right out of my life and so many others’  …this being life, sometimes you cry. But before and after the tears, love gets you through.

During a college English class, one of my Lit professors proclaimed that women were incapable of writing poetry after their mid-twenties or after marriage, if ever. Now, disregarding the political correctness or incorrectness or theoretical considerations, I’m curious. I’ve written few poems in recent years, focusing instead on romances and other projects. But to me, poetry is still very much the language of life—and love, during the summer or any other season.

Please feel free to comment however you choose on this post—but if you have thoughts on poetry—it’s relevance, if any, to you personally, for example—I’d love to hear. Do you or did you write poetry?

But if that’s just too close to homework—hey. How’s summer treating you this year?

(And for those with kids going off, coming home or just close to your hearts this summer, The Children Go is for you.)




A Love Beyond



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Sweet Texas Secrets Bundle Releases!

STS 3DWho doesn’t love Texas intrigue–head-turning, heartbreaking men and women, and scorching secrets–and romance. BE SURE TO ENTER RAFFLECOPTER SWEEPSTAKES AT BOTTOM OF POST!  Sweet Texas Secrets is now available. Here’s what you want to know:

Small town. Big secrets. Welcome to Sweet Ridge.

The Cooper brothers receive the shock of their lives when their deceased father, owner of the lucrative Guac Olé company, wills away their inheritances to three random women, leaving them each only a mysterious object and a riddle to solve. You don’t want to miss a sexy minute of their search for answers—and love.


Sweet Texas Kiss

Sweet Texas Secrets #1

Monica Tillery

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29338064-sweet-texas-kiss


The Cooper brothers receive the shock of their lives when their deceased father, owner of the lucrative Guac Olé company, wills away their inheritances to three random women.

No one’s more surprised when Jack Cooper leaves the family estate to music superstar Macy Young than his oldest son. Seeing his childhood memories being handed over to his high school rival—the first woman to break his heart—stings, especially when Gavin is left only a pair of old reading glasses and a cryptic note. Luckily, Macy can’t sell the house for one year—plenty of time for Gavin to find a way to get it back.

Living in the harsh spotlight of country music fame has cost Macy, and a little hometown peace and quiet just might heal her soul. But giving up and giving back Gavin’s greatest prize may not be the tune she plans to sing.

Can a country star and a country veterinarian find a way to bury their animosity and rediscover their first love in the process?

 Author Bio:                                                                                          MonicaTillery    

Monica Tillery lives in Texas with her own real-life romance hero and two wonderful sons. When she’s not reading and writing romance, Monica can be found enjoying her family, hanging out and playing games with friends, and wasting time online.

Website: www.monicatillery.com

Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/monicatillery

Facebook: www.facebook.com/monicatilleryauthor

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7068528.Monica_Tillery


 Sweet Texas Fire

Sweet Texas Secrets #2

Nicole Flockton

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29410392-sweet-texas-fire


Gage Cooper has always wanted the family cabin. Not only for the oil on the property, but as a way to prove to his father that Gage’s past doesn’t define his future. When his dad wills the land to stranger Charlotte Wilkinson and all Gage gets is a mysterious key, he’s determined to do anything to get his rightful inheritance back.

Charlotte Wilkinson never expected to inherit a piece of property in Sweet Ridge, Texas—the Aussie businesswoman is focused on building an environmental analyst career here in the States. But the moment arrogant oil-man Gage Cooper walks into her office accusing her of seducing his father, all plans for selling the property to him fly out the window.

Then fate threatens to send her back to Australia and the dueling duo are forced to accept a fake marriage to keep their dreams alive. But as they discover common ground and a surprising chemistry together, suddenly Gage must decide what’s worth more: the land he’s always coveted or a future with Charlotte.

Author Bio:                                                                                                                                                Nicole-7502-LR-BW

Bestselling author Nicole Flockton writes sexy contemporary romances, seducing you one kiss at a time as you turn the pages. Nicole likes nothing better than taking characters and creating unique situations where they fight to find their true love.

On her first school report her teacher noted “Nicole likes to tell her own stories”. It wasn’t until after the birth of her first child and after having fun on a romance community forum that she finally decided to take the plunge and write a book.

Apart from writing Nicole is busy looking after her very own hero – her wonderfully supportive husband, and two fabulous kids. She also enjoys watching sports and, of course, reading.

Find Nicole at:

Website: www.nicoleflockton.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/NicoleFlockton

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NicoleFlockton?ref=hl.

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6479388.Nicole_Flockton

Newsletter: http://nicoleflockton.us3.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=027e33e71494440b9403da0d1&id=215ef7fa1b


 Sweet Texas Charm

Sweet Texas Secrets #3

Robyn Neeley

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29472737-sweet-texas-charm


Becca Nash has no idea why kind, old Jack Cooper left her half of his company since she never had more than a few polite conversations with the guy. Neither does Grayson Cooper, Guac Olé’s CEO, who is seething over the strawberry-shaped charm his dad willed him. He goes undercover boss to find out how he can steal back those shares, but surprisingly loses his heart to Becca instead. What he does discover is a secret that could blow apart not only Becca’s world but his whole family. Now Grayson must determine whether it’s better to follow his head or his heart.

Author Bio:                                                                             RobynNeeley

Robyn Neeley is an east coaster who loves to explore new places; watches way more reality TV than she cares to admit; can’t live without Dunkin Donuts coffee and has never met a chocolate chip cookie she didn’t like. If you have a must read romance suggestion or a fabulous cookie recipe, she wants to know. Visit her at http://www.robynneeley.com.

Readers can find me on social media at https://www.facebook.com/RobynNeeleyAuthor/ and @RobynNeeley. I also send out a quarterly e-newsletter with updates and exclusive subscriber giveaways. One regular feature is a small business spotlight where I interview one of my amazing friends who sells jewelry, gourmet products, wine, you name it! They always come with a fun giveaway. Readers can sign up for my e-newsletter at www.robynneeley.com.

Website: www.robynneeley.com

Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/RobynNeeley

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RobynNeeleyAuthor/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7068555.Robyn_Neeley

Newsletter: www.robynneeley.com

Giveaway: $5 Amazon Gift Card + E-copy of ANY of Monica Tillery’s back list Titles; $5 Amazon Gift Card + E-copy of ANY of Nicole Flockton’s back list Titles; $5 Amazon Gift Card + E-copy of ANY of Robyn Neeley’s back list Titles (International)

Link: https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/40fc5f2975/

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Summer Of Love Giveaway Comes to South Texas


Be sure to comment on this post or any other page for a chance to enter! Also–I will award two extra prizes to two visitors who left comments between May 1 and May 8! Good luck!

That Summer Read

Summer joys…barefoot days at the beach. Crushes and flirtations. Time to live, and to read those can’t-put-down books that sometimes blind you to everything else, but are a part of your life. Now, you can bring it all together during the Summer of Love Giveaway. Win baskets of books that will you feed your cravings all summer, along with gift cards, Kindles, beach totes—myriad gifts all designed to make your summer perfect.

Being included in this year’s Summer of Love does my heart good. I began as a summer reader, winning the city-wide Summer Reading Award of Douglasville, GA when I was six. 137 books, and the librarian wouldn’t let me count Patsy Gray’s Galloping Gold more than once. I read every horse book Douglas County had, then dog books, and airplane books—and I hate airplanes. I didn’t read any romance—seems they didn’t have any for first graders. But that award carried me through until the summer I read Rosemary Roger’s Sweet, Savage Love—and the rest, as they say, is history.

`               This summer, I hope you find a new author, a new subgenre, or a new go-to book you’ll read and reread. I hope you win in our giveaway, and have a wonderful summer. Go to the beach if you can. Read a lot. Love more. Live—and let summer happen.

Author’s Note: Remember to comment! I used to sit on my black Shetland pony, Smokey, and read horse stories. Now I write western romance–and there may be a horse or two involved. If you’d like, check out the page for Always the Moon, my poetry book–I’ll post a poem about summer to magnify the mood. (Does anyone need summer to be magnified?)

Thanks for coming by!




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Galen Rose–A Place to Rest My Heart

no crimson PTRMH image Catch Galen Rose’s fresh and different romance–on sale now at just .99! Also on sale in the UK! Don’t wait too long and let it slip away!


Sean Muldoon knows trouble when he sees it, and he sees it in Laney Murphy the minute she passes out in his arms. He thinks she’s a con artist, and she thinks he’s just like everyone else, arrogant and judgmental.

Much to Sean’s dismay his family is determined to help Laney and he just doesn’t understand why. That is until he gets to know her and realizes under her tough exterior beats a heart of gold.


“Move, Ace. You’re in my way.”

“Sweetheart, I haven’t even begun to be in your way.” He leaned against the doorway, arms crossed. “I will not allow you to hurt Tommy or Molly, so why don’t you pack up your schemes and dreams and hit the road. You won’t get a penny from them. I’ll see to that.”

I have never been known for having an even temper but I’ve worked hard to keep it under control, but not this time.

“Look, asshole, I don’t have a clue what you’re talking about. You’re delusional if you think I have any intention of taking a dime from Tommy that I haven’t earned. I pay my way!”

“Sure you do. I ran your fingerprints, darlin’, right off your juice glass from this morning. You’ve got a nice background there, Laney. Pandering? Breaking and entering? Those are great ways to pay your way, huh? You got a scam to bilk Tommy, but you might as well hit the road running, babe,” He smiled, acting quite pleased with himself. “Tommy and Molly all too often fall for the sob story and feel sorry for the strays that come along.”

I felt that to my core. Stray? Felt sorry for me? The last thing I needed was anyone’s pity.

But right at the moment the only thing I felt was the need to strike back at Sean. “Stray, huh?      “Weren’t you a stray too? They feel sorry for you then? Take you in on pity?” I saw his jaw  tighten and knew I’d scored.

“Leave now and I won’t tell them your plans to take them for a ride,” he growled.

“My plans? You’re so sure about my plans, huh? Wow, you sure are smart, Sean Michael Muldoon. You ran my fingerprints and so now you know my whole life story in one fell swoop? Look, you arrogant ass, you have no idea what my life has been like and a couple of knocks on a police sheet only tells you what your narrow-minded brain wants to hear. But for your parents’ sake, I’ll go and save you the trouble of making a fool out of yourself.”

I tossed the case of champagne at him. He let out a curse, as he lunged to catch the box and I shoved him hard when I went through the doorway. I heard him hit the shelves, rattling bottles and swearing a blue streak. I heard the case of champagne hit the floor with a thud and the sound of breaking glass.

I know I could have done worse and to this day I still have no idea why I didn’t kick him in the nuts, or flat out deck him. I should have done something other than leave. I wanted to do anything other than leave, but I couldn’t bear having to own up to some of the missteps I had made long ago.

About the Author:

Galen Rose lives in the Santa Cruz Mountains and is an avid cook, gardener and traveler. Over the years, she has repaired bikes, been a telephone solicitor, a day care aide, managed the order department of a family law publishing firm and for nine years ran her own on-line Celtic jewelry and gifts store. Oh, and you can add in wife and stay-at-home-mom too. A Jill of many trades but not one true color for her parachute, until the day she really sat down to write and kept on writing and hasn’t stopped.

You can find out more about A Place to Rest My Heart and get your specially priced copy  at :






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Help Susanne Matthews Take on Kindle Scout!

Cover Hello Again  Susanne Matthews is an accomplished author in romantic suspense–her ‘White’ series is as nail-biting, cringe-worthy as it gets. While Ms. Matthews’ career with Crimson Romance has brought her to the attention of the vast reading public, she has decided to challenge the requirements through the Amazon Kindle Scout program. If enough readers check out her excerpt for Hello Again, a paranormal romance/suspense, Kindle Scout may choose her latest work for publication.

Here’s Ms. Matthews to explain the program herself:

Hello. Thank you for having me here today.

As an author, I’m always looking for ways to stretch my wings. Last year, Amazon developed the Kindle Scout Program, which is reader-powered publishing for new, never-before-published books. It’s a venue where people can read the first 5K of a book and decide whether or not the book will be chosen for publication through Amazon’s Kindle Press. In essence, it’s a popularity contest of sorts, not unlike Harlequin’s annual So You Think You Can Write contest with a publishing contract as the ultimate prize. To thank the readers, Kindle Press provides a free an early, free e-copy to those who nominate a book that receives a publishing contract. For readers, it’s a win-win situation. For authors, it’s a chance to get published and maybe win a few new followers in the process.

Readers determine the worth of a book for publication based on four criteria: the author’s previous work since a Q&A and social links for the author in question, a short blurb for the book itself with a kitchy tag line, the first 5,000 words in the story and the cover. Mine was designed by Danielle Doolittle. Amazon promotes the book in the Scout program as well as on Amazon and Goodreads, but the author has the responsibility to promote the campaign, too.

If you’d like to consider supporting the book, a paranormal, romance, suspense, you can check it out here. It’s free and there’s no cost to you! https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/18M9BEDK8IVLH

As a bonus, here’s an excerpt from later in Chapter Two for you to read. Enjoy.

After the funeral, Charley had come home to this house, and instead of trying to get organized, she’d read everything she could about incompetent cervixes and spontaneous abortions—the clinical term for a miscarriage like the one she’d had. Had the shock of losing Mike forced her body’s extreme reaction? Nothing she’d read linked the two, but everyone knew shock could be deadly.

Losing the twins hadn’t been her fault, just as Dr. Edwards had said, but that made the loss of her babies, on top of the man she’d loved, no less painful. She knew what needed to be done the next time she got pregnant, but there wouldn’t be a next time, just like there wouldn’t be another man in her life. Whenever she looked at the urn, she felt guilty, reminded that she was denying Mike his final wish, but there was nothing she could do about that.

She’d told Phil she’d sprinkled Mike’s ashes on the wind the day after the funeral. She’d driven near the place where Mike had rescued the wolf, but the truth was she hadn’t even been able to get out of the car. She couldn’t let the ashes go. If she did, she’d be truly alone, and she’d never survive that final separation. No, she’d cling to Mike and her memories until her number was up, and while she prayed it would be soon, she was convinced her prayers fell on deaf ears.

“I love you, Mike,” she said caressing the urn as she done so many times recently. “I understand why your mother did what she did. Some losses are too painful to accept. I’m as trapped here as you are.”

The letter Mike had left for her, the one he’d written before he’d been deployed, sat on the coffee table, now covered with watermarks from the glasses littering its wooden surface. She reached over and picked up the sheet of paper. His instructions were specific, but she’d never be able to follow through with his requests. It wasn’t fair of him to expect her to.

“Damn you, Mike for dying, for leaving me this way. You didn’t have the right,” she said aloud, her voice echoing in the empty room. Drawn to the page, she read the words once more although she didn’t need to. Each one was engraved on a piece of her shattered heart.


If you’re reading this, it’s because I let you down. I didn’t come back to you the way I promised, and I’ll always regret not being able to look into those baby blues of yours, and say goodbye. I never thought it would come to this, that we’d have so little time together. I wanted to take care of you, make you happy, and spend the rest of my days telling you how thankful I am that you are part of my life. We knew this might happen, and it was a choice we made when I enlisted and you married me, but saying goodbye like this is a lot harder than I ever thought it would be.

You’re the light of my life. I imagine our children running around the house, around that garage we were going to open—a boy who’d resemble me, a little girl who’d look just like her mama. We’d grow old together doing the things we loved, checking off each item on that bucket list we made before we were married.

I still want you to do those things, babe, even if I can’t be there to do them with you. There isn’t a lot of insurance money—I always meant to get more, but there was always something else that needed to be done, and since I expected to be there, earning it side by side, I figured fifty grand was enough.

There were so many things I wanted to show you, places I wanted to take you, but you’ll have to find someone else to do those things with now. That’s right. Once I’m gone, you need to move on.

I can hear you saying no, see you shaking your head, but you need to listen to me. I know you’re still mourning your father, but you have to let me go, let both of us go, and the best way to do it is to get rid of the things chaining you to the past—like that old car you baby all the time. You need something safe and reliable. You may be the best damn mechanic in the world, but eventually, a car needs to be scrapped. As far as I go, I’ve left instructions with Phil to cremate my body as quickly as he can after my death. I know you’ll want to see me, but babe, I want you to remember me the way I was when I was with you. Scatter my ashes on the wind. Don’t keep me cooped up in a fancy vase or box like my mother kept my dad. Once that’s done, I need you to open your heart and find a good man, a decent man who’ll love you and make you happy. I’d find one for you, if I could, but there are some things you’ll have to do for yourself.

I don’t know what there is after death, and religion wasn’t part of my life growing up, but when I think of moving on like this, I’m reminded of the stories my grandfather told. He was fascinated by his First Nations’ ancestor, even if he couldn’t claim status. The Sioux believed that the living and the dead lived together, even if only the shamans could see those who’d died. If that’s true, I’ll never leave you. I’ll watch out for you in any way I can. You won’t see me, hear me, or feel me, but I’ll be there waiting for the day when I can say hello again.

Right now, I can picture you standing there, tears running down your cheeks, and that’s the last thing I want. I know how stubborn you can be, but Charley, this is important for both of us, so please, mourn a little like I know you need to, but then move on.

Live, love, laugh, darling. Enjoy life the way you were meant to. I’ll always love you, now and forever,


She swiped at the tears that crept down her cheeks.

“You’re wrong, Mike. I’ll never be happy again. The only way there’ll ever be a man in my life, is if you find a way to come back to me, because I’m not going looking for one. So ‘Rescues Wolf Pup and Gets into Trouble,’ if I can’t have you here and now, I’ll wait until we can be together, but don’t make me wait too long.”

Thank you. I hope you’ll consider supporting Hello Again for publication.


I loved the excerpt, and paranormal is something I seldom read. Ms. Matthews captures the feel of folktales that come to be truth–which is, after all, how paranormal was born–but her story is snatched from news stories and friends. There’s a growing eeriness, too–if you read Ms. Matthews, you’ll see she and terror take chilling walks through dark places together. The good news is, there’s usually love and sunshine on the other side–and since I really want to read the end of Hello Again–please consider her excerpt and nominating her as a Kindle Scout choice!

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Kristina Knight What the Bachelor Gets

Bachelor copy          Kristina Knight is sharing the cover for her newest Crimson Romance release, What the Bachelor Gets, ahead of its February 8th debut.  And as a bonus, Kristina is offering a sneak peak into a reunion romance you’ll love!

What the Bachelor Gets Book Info:

Title: What the Bachelor Gets
Series: Billionaire Cowboys, Book 1
Author: Kristina Knight

 Release Date: February 8, 2016


Vegas Nightly just named local property developer Gage Reeves its Sexiest Bachelor, not a title he likes, especially when it brings showgirls, local socialites and entertainers to his doorstep 24/7.

Callie Holliday has a plan: make her day spa the hottest ticket in Vegas. The problem? She’s saddled with a bad location and a zero account balance. A chance meeting with childhood friend Gage Reeves offers one solution: setting up shop at his new development.

Gage’s ordered life twists out of control when he begins to fall for his childhood friend because Callie is determined to keep things business like. She doesn’t like to depend on people, but Gage makes it hard to remember exactly why…


Standing still in an elevator really shouldn’t be this hard. The mirrored doors had swooshed closed about five seconds before. Callie stood beside him, leather attaché slung over her shoulder and hands clasped before her, watching the numbers count down, down, down.

Gage resisted the urge to pull at his tie. But counting down the numbers on the elevator screen wasn’t nearly as interesting as watching Callie.

He’d been watching her, goading her a little, since he’d realized it was her across the table from him and not a stranger. Not that he could call Callie a friend when he hadn’t spoken to her in ten years. She was an acquaintance. That was a good word.

The fact did nothing to temper his response to her. She’d heated up the office. Now she was turning the elevator into a veritable inferno. From the top of her oh-so-blonde head—had her hair always been this shimmery?—to the tips of her oh-so-red toenails, she made him want things.

Drinks on the beach. A quiet dinner by candlelight.

He’d never thought of her this way in the past. She was just Callie. The girl who helped him master calculus, cheered at his football games, and rode her favorite horse beside his lake on hot summer days. The gorgeous woman standing beside him was so different from the buddy he remembered.

The old Callie was smart and tenacious, which made the new Callie a good investment. The old Callie was dedicated to her work—another mark in New Callie’s favor. The biggest mark in her favor, though, was the empty space in his new development. A space that would be perfect for Callie’s business, while also filling a hole in his.

Plus, under the polish of her suit, he could still see his friend. The mistiness of her gaze when she talked about her parents leaving town, the fierce grip when she squeezed her hands together as she made her pitch.

“Have you been to a Rebels game since you got back?” he asked.

Small talk. He hated small talk.

“I’m not much for basketball.”

“It’s actually still football season, but the first preseason basketball games start in a couple weeks. We should catch a game sometime.”

Shut up, Gage. Just shut up. He didn’t ask business associates out. What the hell was wrong with him?


“You love football.”

A smile spread across her face. “Mostly I loved the space that cheerleading took up in the ‘extracurricular’ column of my college applications.”

“Oh.” How had he never caught that she wasn’t into sports?

Better question: how had his radar missed Callie, in general, all those years ago?

Author Bio:

Once upon a time, Kristina Knight spent her days running from car crash to fire to meetings with local police–no, she wasn’t a troublemaker, she was a journalist. Her career took her all over the United States, writing about everything from a serial killer’s capture to the National Finals Rodeo. Along the way, she found her very own Knight in Shining Cowboy Boots and an abiding love for romance novels. And just like the characters from her favorite books, she’s living her own happily ever after.

Kristina writes sassy contemporary romance novels; her books have appeared on Kindle Best Seller Lists. She loves hearing from readers, so drop her a line!

Author Links:

Website: http://www.kristinaknightauthor.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/kristinaknightromanceauthor

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/authorkristina

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/authorkristina/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5827833.Kristina_Knight

Google+: https://plus.google.com/+KristinaKnightAuthor/posts

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Morgan O’Neill’s Time Travel On Sale

Morgan O’Neill (Deborah O’Neill Cordes and Cary Frates)  has graced Rio Rendezvous before with her incredible time travel series–from medieval Italy to Elizabethan England, you’ll love these sagas–and now you can pick up the Italian ventures for just .99 cents/pence! These 5 star works are a bargain at full price, but why not pick them up now?

The Other Side of Heaven will be at the special price from today, 12/16th, until 12/22:


 The Other Side of Heaven

Book One of the Italian Time Travel Series

Morgan O’Neill 

Publisher: Time’s Arrow Productions

Publication Date: October 8, 2014

Genre: Historical/Time Travel Fiction

About the Book:

Californian Gwendolyn Godwyn seeks to learn her family’s history and hopes to restore the bond that once existed between her Italian forebearers and those who live in America. While visiting her ancestral Italian town, Gwen is caught in a violent earthquake and inexplicably thrust through time. At first refusing to believe what has happened, she nevertheless uses her wits to survive, donning a monk’s cowl to hide her identity as a woman. Ripped apart from all she has ever known, Gwen finds herself in the midst of brutal territorial battles in an era she once blithely called “The Dark Ages.” When the golden Italian summer of 951 emerges from the strife and gloom, Gwen joins forces with a cadre of gallant men, allies in the struggle against the evil nobles, Willa of Tuscany and Count Berengar, kidnappers of Italy’s rightful queen, Adelaide. Along with Father Warinus and Lord Alberto Uzzo, Gwen seeks to rescue Adelaide and restore her kingdom. In the midst of this great adventure, Gwen falls in love with the complex and passionate Alberto, to whom she reveals her identity as a woman. But can Alberto learn to love her strong and independent nature and help Gwen in her quest to discover her rightful place in time?

Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Other-Side-Heaven-Italian-Travel-ebook/dp/B00NPC9YMA/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1449873118&sr=1-2&keywords=the+other+side+of+heaven

Time Enough for Love will be .99 cents/pence from 12/22 until 12/28th!


Time Enough for Love

Book Two of the Italian Time Travel Series

Morgan O’Neill

Publisher: Time’s Arrow Productions

Publication Date: October 8, 2014

Genre: Historical/Time Travel Fiction

About the Book:

Through dark magic, Californian Gwendolyn Godwyn has been swept back in time to medieval Italy. There, she finds herself in the midst of a war between Italy’s rightful queen, Adelaide, and those who have kidnapped her and seek to usurp her crown. Risking her life, Gwen elects to play a pivotal role in the planned rescue. In the midst of the chaos, she is drawn to the queen’s champion, Lord Alberto Uzzo, who battles not only their military foes, but also his personal demons. Tested to the limit when he discovers Gwen’s true identity as a time traveler, Alberto nevertheless fights through his doubt and the whirl of superstition that surrounds this intriguing and strong-willed woman. Time is of the essence as the lovers seek to overcome the evil forces rallying against the queen they’ve vowed to save. Will Gwen and Alberto be able to overcome the groundswell of danger to find time enough for love?

Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00NPCGH34/ref=series_rw_dp_sw

DeborahCordes&CaryFrates new

About the Authors:

A chance meeting at a writers’ conference brought Cary Morgan Frates and Deborah O’Neill Cordes together, two award-winning authors who connected because of a mutual love of time travel fiction. Collaboration ensued, the search for a pen name the first step in their working relationship. Their maiden names provided the solution—and “Morgan O’Neill” was born.

Cary and Deborah’s backgrounds are uniquely suited to writing stories steeped in atmosphere and history: Deborah has a Master’s Degree in history and is a dedicated genealogist; Cary is a talented linguist in French and is currently a student of Latin. They’ve traveled to Europe’s ancient and medieval sites many times, with Cary living on the Continent for five years.

The Morgan O’Neill time travel novels have received a number of literary awards, including two finalist wins in the Booksellers’ Best Awards, two semifinalist wins in the William Faulkner-William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition, first, second, and third place wins for the Mainstream Novel with Strong Romantic Elements category of the Golden Rose Contest, a top ten finalist award in the Pacific Northwest Writers’ Conference Zola Awards Literary Contest, and a top ten finalist win in the Orange Rose Contest. In 2014, the Oshawa Public Libraries of Ontario, Canada included Morgan O’Neill’s entire Roman series—Love, Eternally, After the Fall, and Return to Me—in their list for Top 100 Romance Novels of All Time.

Author Links:

Website – http://www.morganoneill.com/

Newsletter – https://madmimi.com/signups/125219/join

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6423103.Morgan_O_Neill

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/morgan.oneill.books.12

Twitter – https://twitter.com/authormoneill

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Morgan O’Neill Releases Begun By Time

BegunbyTime_MorganONeill_1600x2400 (2)    You can go forward in time, or you can go back…Morgan O’Neill makes the journey rewarding whether you begin in ancient Rome or modern London. Her current Elizabethan time travel series is especially rewarding for me, because my mother always insisted that on her side of the family, we go back to luminaries such as the pirate Harry Morgan and the aristocratic Lord Nelson.

I had the honor of hosting a spotlight of The Thornless Rose here, the first in the series, which goes back to a London few would recognize now–unless you regularly read Morgan O’Neill works!

Now, I’m thrilled to feature the prequel to that first book, the brilliantly crafted, heart-rending, and utterly satisfying Begun by Time.

Begun by Time begins in another foreign time to many of us–wartime London, when air sirens might signal a terrifying dash for shelter–or the horrific loss of loved ones to a German bomber attack. While that setting might not seem the appropriate backdrop for an ageless love story–trust me. Begun by Time, with its courageous heroine and unforgettable heroes, will captivate you. In honor of release day today, August 24th, 2015, here is what you should know:

Begun by Time

The Prequel to The Thornless Rose

Author: Morgan O’Neill

Publisher: Entangled/Macmillan Select Historical

Publication Date: August 24, 2015

Genre: Historical/Time Travel Fiction

About the Book:

In 1945, a man disappeared into thin air… In the final days of World War II, Catherine Hastings meets the man she wants to marry. Flight surgeon Jonathan Brandon isn’t just handsome—he’s everything Catherine could hope for in her betrothed. But her dream of a happily ever after is shattered when Jonnie disappears shortly before their wedding…leaving Catherine bereft, broken-hearted, and with a lifetime of unanswered questions. Arthur Howard is smitten with the lovely Catherine the moment he sees her. He’s certain he’s found the woman he wants to marry. Yet behind Catherine’s sparkling green eyes is a haunted look—the look of a woman who has known loss. But can he love a woman who still grieves the loss of her fiancé? Now Arthur wants answers about the man Catherine intended to marry.

But the truth about Jonnie’s disappearance is far stranger than fiction…

Entangled http://www.entangledpublishing.com/begun-by-time/






About the Authors:

A chance meeting at a writers’ conference brought Cary Morgan Frates and Deborah O’Neill Cordes together, two award-winning authors who connected because of a mutual love of time travel fiction. Collaboration ensued, the search for a pen name the first step in their working relationship. Their maiden names provided the solution – and “Morgan O’Neill” was born.  Cary and Deborah’s backgrounds are uniquely suited to writing stories steeped in atmosphere and history: Deborah has a Master’s Degree in history and is a dedicated genealogist; Cary is a talented linguist in French and is currently a student of Latin. They’ve traveled to Europe’s ancient and medieval sites many times, with Cary living on the Continent for five years.  The Morgan O’Neill time travel novels have received a number of literary awards, including two finalist wins in the Booksellers’ Best Awards, two semifinalist wins in the William Faulkner-William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition, first, second, and third place wins for the Mainstream Novel with Strong Romantic Elements category of the Golden Rose Contest, a top ten finalist award in the Pacific Northwest Writers’ Conference Zola Awards Literary Contest, and a top ten finalist win in the Orange Rose Contest.

Author Links:







And once you read Begun by Time, don’t forget to pick up The Thornless Rose. This acclaimed Elizabethan time travel will prove just as breathtaking and engrossing as Begun by Time. A brief recap if you missed the original posts:

The Thorness Rose_1600 (3)

Publisher: Entangled/Macmillan Select Historical

Publication Date: December 29, 2014

Genre: Historical/Time Travel Fiction


About the Book:

No one ever knew what really happened to Dr. Jonathan Brandon back in 1945. He simply disappeared from a London pub, leaving behind an unsolved mystery and his fiancée—Anne Howard’s grandmother. Seventy years later, Anne herself is haunted by the strange tale, along with inexplicable hallucinations straight out of Elizabethan England. Including a scarred, handsome man whose deep blue eyes seem to touch her very soul….

Anne wonders if there isn’t something more to the story. Is it even possible that Jonathan disappeared into England’s dark past? And why does Anne keep hearing him whisper her name? Because now she too feels the inexorable pull of the past, not to mention an undeniable attraction for a man she doesn’t even know.

It’s just a matter of time before Anne will step back into history, and face a destiny―and a love―beyond imagining…

***Entangled http://www.entangledpublishing.com/the-thornless-rose/






Also from Morgan O’Neill:

LoveEternally_CVR_1x1dot5 (2)   AfterTheFall_CVR_1x1dot5 (2)ReturnToMe_CVR_1x1dot5 (2) OtherSideHeaven_CVR_LRGTimeEnoughLove_CVR_LRGAlienneMine_CVR_96x144 (2)DDthumbnail (2)








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Deborah O’Neill Cordes Releases Alienne Mine

AlienneMine_CVR_LRG  Deborah, welcome back to Return to Rio. I’m excited when you visit–you’re always buried in projects and have wonderful news for us, so it feels like a celebration.  You actually have a couple of new releases this month,  Alienne Mine, a prequel to Dragon Dawn, and, with Cary Frates, the other half of Morgan O’Neill, Begun by Time, the prequel to The Thornless Rose, your Elizabethan Time Travel series.

I had the pleasure of getting a sneak peak at Alienne Mine, which isan exquisitely crafted story of improbable love, vast, far-flung dreams, and a meeting of dinosaurian and human hearts and minds.  I don’t regularly read time travel and was skeptical about the science fiction elements of dinosaurs who evolved with human-like qualities. I needed to be won over–and Deborah blew me away with Dragon Dawn. The prequel  is shorter, completely stand alone–but just as beautifully and believably crafted

Deborah, thanks for agreeing to share some background on Alienne Mine. Let’s get started.

 You’ve visited Rio before, so we know a little about you. But you stay so busy! What would you like to share so that we can more or less catch up with you?

There’s an old adage that says “idle hands are the devil’s workshop.” **smiling** I tend to be at my happiest when I’m busy, but it seems this past year has been positively frantic. In addition to writing my sci-fi prequel, Alienne Mine, the Morgan O’Neill Elizabethan time travel series (of which I am a co-author) was launched. On August 25, 2015, Begun by Time, the prequel to The Thornless Rose, will debut from Entangled/MacMillan. And the third novel to the series is due to Entangled in March of 2016. Oy! In reality, I am quite thankful for the work, but I have discovered that publishing deadlines are not for the faint of heart.

Your schedule is a little frightening. But as long as you’re smiling! I’m always struck that from your Italian time travels to Elizabethan England to your dinosaurian series, your research is meticulous—but never boring. How do you accomplish such painstaking work while keeping it simple and relevant enough to interest your readers? Are there significant differences in researching actual human periods that have more factual historical documentation, such as Elizabethan England, and dinosaurian periods, in which there is fossil evidence that must be interpreted through the lens of modern sciences and not from actual human observation?

Thank you. I’ve worked quite hard to learn how to insert information into my narrative and dialogues without overwhelming the reader with info dumps. I also taught seventh and eight grades (and high school), and I learned by trial and error what captivates inquiring minds (junior high/middle school students are great at letting you know if you are boring). As for researching human vs. dinosaurian periods, imagination is needed for both. I find I’m looking through the proverbial “glass darkly” because we will never truly know what existed before our own time. I do believe human emotions and motivations to some extent mirror what we feel and observe today. As for dinosaurs, we have the birds to study. For all intents and purposes, they’re the living, breathing descendants of the theropod dinos. I just visited a zoo with my grandniece, where we watched emus walk about and feed. Dinosaurs! Just add a bit of imagination, a few ancients plants and animals like horsetails, magnolias, turtles and crocs, then a dash of terrible wonder, and you have a Cretaceous environment just ripe for literary adventure.

 Through teaching, we become the taught! And on the general subject—the Jurassic Park series—do you love the movies or hate them, either on a personal or scientific level?

I’ve read Jurassic Park and seen the movies Jurassic Park and the new Jurassic World. Michael Crichton must be commended for his brilliant and original idea for Jurassic Park. The novel is great fun, and the flicks are wonderful popcorn movies, although they stretch reality and scientific findings a wee bit. For example, in Jurassic Park the amber which provided the DNA for creating the velociraptors was supposed to come from Central America. But velociraptors lived in Cretaceous-era Asia, so that DNA would not have been found in samples of mosquito blood preserved in American amber. In Dragon Dawn, I tried to make certain my ancient plants and animals originated and lived in the correct places. That being said, I take my hat off to the late Mr. Crichton for a really good read.

Alienne Mine is the prequel to Dragon Dawn, a short, very compelling story that introduces us to Drajulal-kishah, or Alienne, a sentient alien who selects a human, Ed McAdams, as her Chosen. Alienne’s character intrigues me. How did she come into being, and how did you achieve such a perfect blend of qualities human readers could relate to and admire, while creating the other worldliness she possesses?

It was a mixed bag regarding Alienne, with no major preparation on my part ahead of time. Regarding her physical appearance, I adore the colors blue and green, so I wanted to make her beautiful and appealing, hence her skin and eyes colors, which have all the shades of a tropical sea. The rest just happened as I wrote about her; she seemed to evolve before my eyes. After several dozen edits, there she was!

She’s a beautiful creation. I think Steven Novak does credit to her–and your series–in his covers for Alienne Mine and Dragon Dawn. Stunning work! Part of Alienne Mine is set in Hawaii, and you describe settings there unlikely to be known to the common traveler. Is Hawaii of special importance to you? Are there other locales in the world that you feel especially attached to or interested in?

My husband loves Hawaii (I do, too, of course), and we’ve visited numerous times over the years, especially Kauai. On our last trip, we went to a remote beach on the western side of the island. My character Edward’s experiences on the shore there mirror some of my own recollections, except I didn’t find an alien in the surf! **wink**

As for other places for which I have a special attachment, I’ve always loved England, especially Westminster Abbey. In The Thornless Rose, I hope my readers experience the Abbey through my own heartfelt memories in the scenes where Anne Howard confronts the past—and her own future. Writing those scenes was so much fun!

I don’t want to get off track, but the Elizabethan time travels–wow! A royal success!  For the moment, though, your next chapter in this journey through space and evolution  is Dawn of Time. When can we expect it, and are there any special tidbits you might throw our way while we wait?

I now have the beginning and ending of Dawn of Time written, but a huge chunk of the middle exists in that mysterious zone I liken to some kind of ether or ozone. I will tackle pulling it from the proverbial mist next year, when I’ve finished work on the Elizabethan time travel series. As a tidbit I’ll let you know there is a happy ending for Tasha—I could not let her suffer the loss of Lex for all time.

That is good news! I like to end interviews by asking my guests to tell me anything they want to include—professional, personal—whatever you’d like Rio guests to know as we wrap things up.

I want to express my gratitude to everyone who stopped by and read my words. It is always a pleasure being here, Leslie! And my sincerest thanks to one and all for reading books and supporting me and my fellow authors.

Deborah, thank you for coming. And I hope I won’t embarrass you when I mention to our other visitors today that besides laboring over your stories to create unforgettable stories for your readers, you’re always ready to offer anyone words of encouragement and support. Best of luck with today’s release of Alienne Mine, and your visit–I hope you’ll come back again soon!

Deborah’s provided some special goodies, and if you’d like my take on Alienne Mine, you can find my review on Amazon.

Alienne Mine, a Prequel to Dragon Dawn.

Book blurb:                                                                                                                              AlienneMine_CVR_LRG

Far from her home world, an alien female clandestinely observes the Earth, but her intense need for a mate overwhelms her desire for secrecy. It is time to pick her Chosen, the one who will share her life. With her keen ultraviolet vision, she’s watched the human astronaut, Edward McAdams, a man with a unique and compelling aura. Is he the one? If so, will he agree to leave Earth and travel with her to the stars? But her plans are threatened when she discovers dangers lurking in the vast reaches of the Milky Way galaxy, menacing aliens who may not only imperil Edward, but everyone else on Earth.

Dragon Dawn, Book One of the Dinosaurian Time Travel Series.                         

  Book Blurb:                                                                                                                                         DragonDawn_CVR_100x150


What if the extinction of the dinosaurs hadn’t occurred? An alien stranded on Mars is determined to find out by sending human astronauts back in time to rewrite Earth’s past. But a female astronaut, through a strange twist of fate, survives the change in the space-time continuum. After finding herself in a dinosaurian body, she must race against time – and the formidable alien – to restore the universe to its rightful course.

Deborah O’Neill Cordes website: http://deborahoneillcordes.com/

Morgan O’Neill website: http://www.morganoneill.com/

Buy link for Alienne Mine on Amazon US:


Buy link for Dragon Dawn on Amazon US:



Bio:                                                                                                                                              DeborahOneillCordes-2 (2)

Deborah O’Neill Cordes is an award-winning screenwriter and novelist of historical and speculative fiction. She is the author of the sci-fi time travel novel, Dragon Dawn, Book One of the Dinosaurian Time Travel Series, and its prequel, Alienne Mine, which blends fields of study she loves in equal measure – Deborah holds a bachelor’s degree in zoology and a master’s degree in history. She is also the co-author of the Morgan O’Neill time travel novels. Deborah resides in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and two West Highland White Terriers, who, alas, are precocious terriers and therefore never white.

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