Escape to Africa Anthology

Escape to Africa Anthology ~ 6 stories by 6 Authors for ONLY 99 cents!!

I’m thrilled to share this exciting new Anthology!

Take a trip to fascinating, breathtaking, beautiful Africa, without ever leaving your home! These stories will send you on a journey filled with danger, love, and excitement. Travel from Casablanca to Morocco, across the plains of the Serengeti, to the ruins of Carthage, from the desert of Algeria, to the shores of Tripoli. Six international romance authors share spellbinding love stories told across time.

 Dangerous Liaison – Historical Romance by Denyse Bridger

In late 1942, Casablanca, liaisons can be deadly, especially those that involve intelligence the Germans are willing to kill for…

 A Pirate’s Lady – Time Travel Romance – Lynn Crain

Amanda Hoskip, a Time Travel Bureau agent, is intent on discovering who is tampering with time. But when she’s captured, she must pretend to be the wife of fellow agent and rescuer, Trevor Haines, which seems impossible because he thinks she’s failed her mission.

 Dying to Love You – Contemporary Romance with Paranormal Elements by Alicia Dean 

To avoid purgatory, unloving and unlovable Autumn Baines is sent to the Serengeti where she must perform a selfless deed and find someone to fall in love with her. What she didn’t count on was falling in love herself, or that her selfless deed could save a life, but sentence Autumn to eternal damnation.

 Treasured Times – Romantic Suspense – Gemma Juliana

Nerissa Noir is a woman with many secrets. Leon Rizzo intends to figure them out, without revealing his own. From the shops of the exotic souk in Tunis to the ancient ruins of Carthage and beyond, deadly mysteries must be solved before time unravels… can they trust each other?

 The Ravine of the Wild Woman – Historical Romance by Marie Laval

Algeria, North Africa, 1865.

Lenora Sharp is Azerwal’s perfect woman. Brave, determined and unconventional, she is also related to the man who stole his name, his childhood and his identity – the very man and he has vowed to destroy, even if it takes him all the way to hell. Will love get in the way of revenge, or will Azerwal lose his soul before he loses his heart?

 An Object of Desire – Romantic Suspense by Jenny Twist

Two students on holiday in Morocco discover that two sinister looking characters are following them. They meet an attractive man who offers to take them to their next destination.  All seems well until one of the girls disappears.

Purchase here: Amazon

 Find excerpts and more here: World Romance Authors



Josie Riviera is a USA TODAY Bestselling Author of contemporary, inspirational, and historical sweet romances that read like Hallmark movies. She lives in the Charlotte, NC, area with her wonderfully supportive husband. They share their home with an adorable Shih Tzu who constantly needs grooming and live in an old house forever needing renovations.

Sign up for her blog and subscribe to her newsletter for a free ebook on her website:










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Of Flowers, Turtles and Friends

I love this photo because I adore flowers and because a dear friend insisted on helping me prop it up in the rain for a good photo.The big deal abut that is that a light sprinkle became real rain while we worked, but my friend insisted we keep working until we got it right.  I no longer have a gladiola in my yard. Maybe I need to get some bulbs and long sticks for next year. I also love the blooms waiting to replace the ones blooming. As a writer I always have stories that show themselves when I’m working on a project. The stories in my head are like the buds waiting to bloom.



This jewel I found as I was leaving a tutoring session.  It reminded me of wedding bouquets and Mother Nature’s good work and staring off in space or gazing at the stars.


Who me? This colorful guy carries his house around like I make my car look as though I live out of it. Actually, I keep spare clothes in the back seat and tutoring materials, just in case, as well as long sleeved shirts and light jackets for those times I might need one in a cold place.

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The Day You’ve All Been Waiting For…National Ice Cream Day!

It’s a hot, humid summer night. What’s the first thing that comes to mind? Well, in my house, it’s ice cream!

In 1984, President Ronald Reagan proclaimed July as, fittingly, National Ice Cream Month.  And, he set the third Sunday of July as National Ice Cream Day.

So go ahead and splurge! Set aside your diet–you can always start tomorrow!

What is your favorite ice cream flavor? I’m a chocolate lover! Please leave your comments below.

Josie Riviera is a USA TODAY Bestselling Author of contemporary, inspirational, and historical sweet romances that read like Hallmark movies. She lives in the Charlotte, NC, area with her wonderfully supportive husband. They share their home with an adorable Shih Tzu who constantly needs grooming and live in an old house forever needing renovations.

Send her an email at:

Sign up for her blog and subscribe to her newsletter for a free ebook on her website:

Can’t travel to Europe this summer but always wanted to see beautiful Ireland? Be transported to Ireland by picking up a copy of my sweet contemporary romance, Oh Danny Boy.



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Horses! And More Horses! From a Horse Lover!

From the time I was born, I was in love with horses.  Every Christmas, I’d rush to the window to see if there was a pony tied to a tree.  Sadly, there never was until my parents moved to a small farm near where we’d formerly lived. Then they bought me a black paint gelding I named First Fling. I was thirteen at the time. From that beginning, after I married, I went on to breed Egyptian Arabians and later the magnificent Andalusian horse.  My stallion Bonito was three times National Champion.

I was never a cowgirl, per se, but I liked this picture, and dedicate The Cowboys of Clark’s Folly, an anthology of four Western romances, by MM Mayfield (our MM), MJ Flournoy, Carol Shaughnessey, and c’est moi, to Cowgirls Everywhere!!

So, it was predestined that at some time I would write a book about horses and the people who love them.  I can testify that this love can be one to distraction!  I had never participated in 3-Day Eventing, a very demanding and dangerous sport, but my friend in Florida was an eventer.  If I ran into a problem with the technical information, I called Helen.  She’d walk me through the event. I didn’t ramble off into too much detail because I didn’t want to bore the non-horsey reader. The techniques of the half-pass, the shoulder-in, and the canter pirouette are probably not familiar to most people outside the horse aficionado.

Gambler’s Choice is the name of a jumping class in a horse show. I think that name and the excitement of that race against the clock inspired the book.  In this class, each team (horse and rider) that makes a clean round goes on to the next.  The fences are raised, and again they must beat the best time of other entries.  A sit-on-the-edge-of-your-seat kind of experience.

I named the equine star after the class.  Though the book is a romantic suspense, the story is really about two people who love one horse.  Becca is willing to pay any amount for Gambler’s Choice. Austen is not going to sell his best friend for any price. Perhaps, a horse person is the only one who’d understand how dramatic this conflict is.

Gambler’s Choice is Available from The Wild Rose Press or on Amazon —  for horse lovers!

I love this GIF so I’m going to add it yet again in my ramblings about horses.  This, Ladies & Gents, is the majestic Andalusian horse in what appears to be only schooling tack.

Have a wonderful weekend!!



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Welcome Marie Higgins and Her Heroic Rogue Series!

RE-INTRODUCING… Heroic Rogue Series

Marie Higgins

Have you ever read a story and realized that something was off? Well, I have. A series of my stories, in fact. This is my personal favorite series, my favorite twists and turns, and my favorite falling in love scenes…and yet something was missing. These books were in the wrong era!

When I first wrote the Heroic Rogue Series, each book was set in the Colonial era in the US, just before the Revolutionary War. Once I realized I needed to take these stories and put them into England during the Regency era, everything began to take shape. Now my stories fit perfectly!

Heroic Rogue Series – Heroes who fight to protect their country from Napoleon’s controlling hand…and men who won’t give up on the women who have captured their hearts.


“Pretending You’re Mine” – Portraying her twin is the only way Mercedes Maxwell can get close to her sister’s husband to learn his secrets. William Braxton is confused about the sudden change in his wife, and yet, now he’d drawn to her like never before. Can they fall in love with numerous secrets between them?


“After the Loving” – Marcus Thorne / Captain Hawk is determined to capture Napoleon’s spies, even if one is so very lovely and seductive. Isabelle Stanhope gives her heart to her captor, even if she’s forced to marry a man she doesn’t love. Can they fight against fate’s rules?

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“Wonderland by Night” – Nobody must know that Lady Emiline Lucia’s uncle is Napoleon Bonaparte. She must protect herself against those who hate France’s emperor. Gabriel Lawrence hides his identity as a spy. How can he protect them both if a spy against the crown is always one step ahead…and wants Gabe dead?

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“Worth Fighting For” – Lindsay Lennox, youngest daughter of Turkey’s governor, will do anything to meet and kiss a man…even sneak aboard a ship that is sailing to England. Captain Barry Braxton is heading home to take over his dying father’s place, co-partnering with his uncle (William Braxton). Will the lovely stowaway stop his plans?

GIVEAWAY – leave a comment on this blog with your name and email, and you’ll be entered into a drawing to receive a free book of your choice! (I have 42 to choose from)

Author’s Bio

Marie Higgins is a best-selling, multi-published author of Christian and sweet romance novels; from refined bad-boy heroes who make your heart melt to the feisty heroines who somehow manage to love them regardless of their faults. She’s been with a Christian publisher since 2010. Between those and her others, she’s published over 40 heartwarming, on-the-edge-of-your-seat stories and broadened her readership by writing mystery/suspense, humor, time-travel, paranormal, along with her love for historical romances. Her readers have dubbed her “Queen of Tease”, because of all her twists and turns and unexpected endings.

Visit her website / blog to discover more about her –

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And Twitter –

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Two reasons why National Sugar Cookie Day is a Fun Holiday

Today is National Sugar Cookie Day, which works for me. In my house, sugar cookies usually don’t last very long.

Why would sugar cookies have their own special day? Well, because everyone, young and old alike, love sugar cookies!

So what are the two reasons National Sugar Cookie Day is such a fun holiday?

  1. You can satisfy your sweet tooth all day long.
  2. Sugar cookies are easy to make.

Do you have a favorite sugar cookie recipe? Please share in the comments below.


Josie Riviera is a USA TODAY Bestselling Author of contemporary, inspirational, and historical sweet romances that read like Hallmark movies. She lives in the Charlotte, NC, area with her wonderfully supportive husband. They share their home with an adorable Shih Tzu who constantly needs grooming and live in an old house forever needing renovations.

Send her an email at:

Sign up for her blog and subscribe to her newsletter for a free ebook on her website:

Can’t make it to Ireland this summer? Oh Danny Boy, my sweet contemporary novel, will transport you there. Snag your ebook or paperback copy today!




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Rope a Cowboy for Only $2.99–What a Deal!!

A cowboy is highlighted in the sunset and is looking down.

The Cowboys of Clark’s Folly is now in PRINT! and to celebrate the publisher, Gilded Dragonfly Books, has placed the eBook on sale for only $2.99. Authors MM Mayfield  and MJ Flournoy asked me to join them and Carol Shaughnessy in this anthology of love and romance in Texas.

An excerpt from my story Return to Folly (the hero Ash meets the heroine Trish):

Behind him, Charlie said, “Quarter Horses race, too.”

“Faster than a Thoroughbred in a quarter-mile.” Ash spun on his boot heel. Giving Charlie a thumbs-up.

“Best you remember that.” An average-looking woman of average height stepped to Charlie’s side. She didn’t smile.

Squinting in the sun, Ash sized up a girl about his age. On closer examination, he decided she was striking in a non-fancy way. Dirty blonde hair fell over one big brown eye. An elegant hand stained with hoof polish swiped the silky strands back from a high forehead. The unsmiling mouth was generous and wide. Feed her and clean her up and she’d be a presentable…opponent. The look in her eyes was as unwelcoming as Deanne’s steely gaze.

He snapped a smart salute, mocking her stance. “I’ll do that, ma’am. I’m Ash McGowan. You are?”

“Trish.”  One word. No introduction, more or less bugger off.

Tempted to exercise his unused English accent, he said, “My pleasure, Trish. I presume you work with the horses.”

“Right presumption.”

“Maybe I’ll see you around the stables.” He continued to the rear of the car, dismissing her as curtly as was polite, but smiling inside. What a feisty filly.

“The funeral is day after tomorrow,” Trish said loudly enough to carry. Her native Texan accent appealed to his ears. “Mrs. McGowan waited for you to get here.”

He froze with his hand on the hot trunk. Without turning, with voice like ice he spat, “Thank you for telling me.”

“You didn’t know?”  The incredulous question burst from the gutsy Trish.

Gritting his teeth on the pain, he rammed the key into the lock. “No one told me.” He hoisted his valise and faced a sea of surprised faces. Glaring at Deanne, he halted in front of her and could no longer resist. “Were you going to wait until after the funeral to advise me of the date, Mrs. McGowan?” He added sarcastic emphasis to her supposed title.

At least the woman had the decency to look shocked. “Ash!”

“Dad had my number.” Whether you knew it or not, we talked often. His tense jaw ached. “You could have called.”

She merely glared back at him, a queen confident in her authority.

Ash shot her a thunderous parting glance and stepped around the female hellhound, not respecting her boundaries. Staring straight ahead, he edged through the spectators. He felt their eyes on him, but his path to the door didn’t waver. He’d never been angry enough to kill before. In those few heartbeats staring into her eyes, white-hot fury blazed through him.

As he strode past, Trish’s incredulous accusation echoed in the country stillness. “Mrs. McGowan?”

The girl was brazen to the point of irritation, but she was brave challenging the reigning monarch of Marathon Ranch. Another surge of anger burned his stomach. He planned to bring the intruder’s false reign to an end.

Have a fabulous weekend! The Amazon links for Cowboys are:  Ebook and Print

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A First I’d Prefer To Forget!

One week ago I had a first I’d just as soon forget! For as long as I can remember I have been proud to announce that I still have my original organs. I see doctors only when I must to get prescriptions filled and I only take one regularly. I sleep off the flu! No doctor visit for me.

I’m always the slowest eater in a group. I don’t hurry, because I can’t. Since some foods make me cough, usually dry ones, I avoid most of those! Eating before I tutor doesn’t often happen. Liquid meals work best before I have to teach. My point is that I am a careful eater!

Last week I had prepared fish and spinach and was looking forward to enjoying my tasty dish!  I dug in for two bites! The first made my taste buds happy. The second one made my esophagus close! I’m not talking allergy but stubborn muscles! I could breathe fine. I just couldn’t drink or eat anything. Even saliva stopped at the spot where the fish lodged. Relaxing in my chair didn’t work. Heading to bed to rest didn’t work. NOTHING worked! This event was not the first referenced in the title. A Thanksgiving meal 20 years ago was spoiled by that first hungry bite and the stubborn tube that was supposed to take my food down to my stomach.

I missed helping photograph a wedding because of one bite of cheese and lunch meat. Anything can cause that problem to a lesser degree. It seldom lasts more than a few minutes.

Back to last week. 7 hours after the bite stopped its natural pathway I had tired of having my saliva come back up. So I prepared for a first I hoped wouldn’t happen. I dressed, hoping making the decision to deal the the problem would make it go away. Then I got into my car and drove to the hospital. The problem persisted. Yes I was making my first trip to the emergency room!  At 74 I made my first trip to the emergency room because my esophagus had closed and wouldn’t open. I don’t go to the emergency room! But I did!

That was not my favorite first! When the doctors and nurses told me I shouldn’t have waited, I knew I hadn’t wussed out. The food removal made it better! Time for the procedure to widen my wimpy esophagus!  Meanwhile, slow eater Mary is being slower eater Mary!

And folks say I’m stubborn!

Another first! Recently I edited and then published this anthology or collection!  Check it out if you know someone who likes short reads that make a person feel good or raise low spirits for any reader! Author/121044561311561

Follow Mary Marvella on Twitter @mmarvellab








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Happy Fourth of July!

July 4th became a federal holiday in the U.S. in 1870.

Since then, Independence Day has remained an important symbol of patriotism for America, as well as a national holiday.

Because the Fourth of July falls during the summer, many people celebrate with outdoor barbecues and fireworks. Don’t forget to sing “The Star-Spangled Banner, which is the United States national anthem.

My family and I will get together for a barbecue, complete with hamburgs, hot dogs, salt potatoes and maybe a pineapple. LOL!

How will you celebrate the fourth of July? Please leave your comments below.

Have you picked up your copy of Oh Danny Boy? Enjoy the holiday and be transported to Ireland! Happy Reading!


Josie Riviera is a USA TODAY Bestselling Author of contemporary, inspirational, and historical sweet romances that read like Hallmark movies. She lives in the Charlotte, NC, area with her wonderfully supportive husband. They share their home with an adorable Shih Tzu who constantly needs grooming and live in an old house forever needing renovations.

“Like” her Author Facebook page.

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Inspiration from the Garden

‘The greatest gift of the garden is the restoration of the five senses.’ ~Hanna Rion

We enjoyed a splendid June in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia until the past few days. Late June and July are hot and humid. Rains keep passing us by so I’m praying we get some of these storms soon, but not the really bad ones. The battle to survive without succumbing to nature’s harsher side is here.
I’ve prepared the gardens as best I can. The plants we grow are hardy wildflowers, heirlooms, and herbs, with some vegetables and fruits mixed in. Many of the flowers choose their own sites.
Every single day in the garden is different and constantly changing from early spring through late fall. A perpetually altering world, magical in its way. I ordered more seeds from my favorite site and am expanding.
I must have planted another pound of wild flowers this past week. There are many nooks and thistly spots on the farm that could use some magic. Coreopsis, hollyhocks, aster, evening primrose, and larkspur are prominent. I also have a lot of Shirley poppies and other varieties. Poppies are sacred to my people.
‘In my garden there is a large place for sentiment. My garden of flowers is also my garden of thoughts and dreams. The thoughts grow as freely as the flowers, and the dreams are as beautiful.’ ~Abram L. Urban
I do mightily love seeds, brimming with possibility. What wonders may come…all from a packet of tiny life-bearing seeds. If they grow. I can’t stop planting them to see. Then watching, gleeful when they sprout. And waiting for the blooms, like an Easter egg surprise, because only I know what will be when the majesty unfolds. A wonderful secret to hold and tend, and to share. If it rains, or I must water like a mad woman.
Larkspur and miniature hollyhocks to the left in front of the house. I love the early summer flowers.

‘The best place to seek God is in a garden. You can dig for him there.’ ~George Bernard Shaw

This is very true. The garden is a deeply spiritual place. I find much inspiration there. Also for my stories. Scenes and plots come to me while I’m at work. The only problem is writing them down. I think I’ll remember and sometimes I do.
(Heirloom poppies and Chinese Forget-Me-Nots)
‘It is good to be alone in a garden at dawn or dark so that all its shy presences may haunt you and possess you in a reverie of suspended thought.’ ~James Douglas, Down Shoe Lane
There is something magical about dawn or dusk in the garden. Both times of day are wonderfully special. Below is a pic I took a few days ago of the back garden at dusk. You can see my lovely hollyhock and the barn up above it.
 (Pale pink heirloom hollyhocks with the barn behind them)
How fair is a garden amid the trials and passions of existence. ~Benjamin Disraeli
Amen. I’m trying to beautify my bit of earth.
(My mini wildflower meadow)
 ‘You can bury a lot of troubles digging in the dirt.’ ~Author Unknown
One of our neighbors. Image by Hubby. Garden images by me
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