Ride ’em Cowgirl! Here Come the Cowboys of Clark’s Folly, Texas!!

Love you some cowboys?  Here are 4 cowboy stories to touch the heart and the libido…


Ride ’em in, let ’em out,
Cut ’em out, ride ’em in!!

Mount up girls!  Don’t get bucked off.




The Cowboys of Clark’s Folly is now available for pre-order on Amazon.  Will go live April 16th. Texas will never be the same…


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Feeling Good

Pop Quiz: When was the last time you exercised?

As writers we sit for hours staring at computer screens. In one way, that is a good thing because we are following our dreams. In another way, it is bad because sitting all day is a silent killer. The benefits of exercise are immense, no matter what shape you are in. Exercise clears the mind. It helps us to deal with anxiety. It helps with depression and alleviating body aches and pains. It helps us to sleep better, live longer, write more.

You can join a gym or exercise group. If you’d rather use the time to connect with your spirit, walk in your neighborhood. Here’s how:

·         First, consult with a doctor to make sure it’s safe to exercise.

·         Gather your exercise clothes the night before. This takes care of all the excuses we create to avoid exercising.

·         Stretch and then walk ten, fifteen, or thirty minutes a day around the neighborhood. A treadmill is another option, but I love the outdoors. Do whatever works for you. Start slow and build on your successes. The end goal is to reach thirty to forty-five minutes at least three days a week. Do more if you can.

·         Or participate in an aerobics class and get your heart pumping.

·         Use technology to help you. Apps on your cell phone remind you to stand up and stretch or take a five minute break. My favorite app is Stand Up.


Pop Quiz: When was the last time you experienced a moment filled with serenity instead of worry or fear?

Incorporating time for reflective meditation is just as important as exercise or eating a balanced diet. Meditation is not complicated and doesn’t require you to sit in an uncomfortable position for hours, repeating mantras. It helps to alleviate stress, anxiety, and live in the moment.

All it takes is a little practice. Start slow and build up to thirty minutes a day. Here’s how.

·         Sit quietly in a chair or stretch out in a prone position.

·         Take a deep breath to the count of two seconds and release it to the count of four seconds. Repeat three times.

·         Relax your muscles starting at the top of your head, your eyes, shoulders, arms, fingers, stomach, thighs, legs, ankles, feet, toes.

·         Create a positive image in your mind and hold it. Focus on the feeling the image gives you. Or just sit quietly and calm your mind. Don’t try to push away any thoughts that surface. Let them flow through your mind as you refocus on the moment.

Are you up to the challenge?

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Oh Danny Boy–What do the words mean?

“Oh Danny boy, the pipes, the pipes are calling
From glen to glen, and down the mountain side
The summer’s gone, and all the roses falling
‘Tis you, ’tis you must go and I must bide.


My newest sweet romance full-length novel, Oh Danny Boy, is set in Ireland.


Danny Boy is one of the first songs that comes to mind when thinking or singing about Ireland. Ironically, this piece was written by Frederick Weatherly, a lawyer and lyricist, who was an Englishman!

No one knows the true meaning of the lyrics, although some thoughts are:

A girl saying goodbye to her sweetheart.

A young man leaving his homeland and parents behind.

Parents saying goodbye to their son and/or sending their son off to war.

What do you think the words to Oh Danny Boy mean?

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.

Follow her on Instagram.

Subscribe to her newsletter and receive a free historical romance!

And now available on audiobooks:  (because it’s always time for Christmas!)

Candleglow and Mistletoe







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My First Published Novel – Gemini Rising

My 5-year contract with the current publisher is up in June of this year and I’ve asked for my rights back. The book is controversial, though it has gotten good reviews, I was surprised when Double Dragon sent me a contract.

Long story short, when I get my rights back, we’re changing the title to Gemini Unveiled (or Gemini Revealed)–which do you like better–and Class Act is going to publish it under the new title.  Of course, I have to “fiddle” with it before I send it in, maybe toning down the love scenes and cutting a few. Or maybe I’ll leave it as it is.

I can thank Toni Sweeney for the two titles, both of which are good.  That is the original cover and it will be a challenge coming up with a new one.  Simon, my son, does covers for Class Act, and it will be his challenge.

The tag line is: One man, one woman–two hearts, one love…forbidden love. Only together can they be complete.


Remember the dog sags? I’m driving about 2 hours north on Saturday to meet the lady from the rescue group and adopting Wilson – who shall become Wilson Nightingale, Duke of Windsor, lovingly called Windsor.

Here’s a pix after his first bath upon being rescued from wandering beside the road when his family abandoned him and his siblings. He is part Coton de Tulear, which is what I wanted.

Ladies and Gentlemen!  Windsor!

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Introducing guest author Melanie Snitker!

I am thrilled to host wonderful author, Melanie Snitker, on our blog.



Melanie D. Snitker has enjoyed writing for as long as she can remember. She started out writing episodes of cartoon shows that she wanted to see as a child and her love of writing grew from there. She and her husband live in Texas with their two children who keep their lives full of adventure, and two dogs who add a dash of mischief to the family dynamics. In her spare time, Melanie enjoys photography, reading, crochet, baking, archery, target shooting, learning about essential oils, and hanging out with family and friends.


Her new book, Finding Joy,  is at the top of my TBR pile!


Here’s the blurb:

Sometimes, what looks like a dead end, is really a new beginning.

A horrific accident changed everything for Parker Wilson. Unable to find solid footing in his disrupted life, he returns to his family’s ranch, a place he thought he’d left behind for good. The scars on his face are a daily reminder of all he’s lost, yet his mom still insists he needs to stop hiding and live his life again. The beautiful new employee she hires is the last thing he needs, despite his mom’s best intentions, and he’ll do whatever it takes to make the girl quit and regain the peace and quiet he prefers.

Nothing short of desperation would force Chelsea Blake to work on a local cattle ranch. But if she’s going to avoid her parents’ judgment when they arrive in three weeks, she must turn the temporary job into a permanent one. Between dodging mud, feeding longhorn cattle, and dealing with a handsome boss who keeps giving her the cold shoulder, staying gainfully employed is proving to be a challenge. Chelsea may not be cut out for ranch life, but her determination to succeed is stronger than Parker’s efforts at forcing her to leave.

Unprepared to discover all they have in common, if they set aside their initial dislike, they just might find joy beyond measure.


And here’s the links:


And check out the entire Love’s Compass series!


Stay connected with Melanie on her website.

Facebook       Twitter 

Bookbub        Goodreads

Pinterest    Instagram





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Thinking of Getting a Dog

I haven’t had a dog since I was a kid.  I’ve fallen in love with the Coton de Tulear breed, and tomorrow I’m meeting a woman in Eunice, LA to exchange money for dog.  I’m so hoping that will go all right and I’m not horribly disappointed after driving that far. Paranoid me, I’m fearing a scam!

Wikipedia says of the Coton: The Coton de Tuléar is a breed of small dog named for the city of Tuléar in Madagascar and for its cotton-like coat.  The one I hope I’m getting is clipped but when they are full-coated, the coat looks like combed silk.

Like the Andalusian is the Horse of Kings, apparently the Coton is The Dog of Kings. More in another blog and I can tell you if I actually got a Coton de

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I Do Love Irises!


I wish these flowers belonged to me. My neighbors work hard on their flowers and lawns. I don’t.


This child wants to bloom!


I do love my irises!

These bulbs came from Mama’s house 16 years ago.

I do hope the neighborhood deer didn’t steal the other blooms. I spotted a few buds waiting to bloom! We shall see! There should be purple irises and yellow ones this week.

Mama had flowers blooming in colorful profusion, but I have a few stubborn blooms.

My published books should grow in number this year. I plan for my writing to grow and bloom!

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Introducing USA Today Bestselling author Kristin Holt

I am thrilled to introduce wonderful author, Kristin Holt, today!


Kristin Holt, USA Today Bestselling Author writes Sweet Victorian Romance set in the American West. She writes frequent articles about the nineteenth century American west–every subject of possible interest to readers and amateur historians. She contributes monthly to Sweet Romance Reads, Sweet Americana Sweethearts, and Romancing the Genres.

Her new book, SOPHIA’S LEAP-YEAR COURTSHIP, is a fabulous read!

Here’s the blurb:


Union Pacific Station Agent Chadwick Hughes has everything in a state of readiness to welcome his mail order bride…everything but the bride. The woman he’s corresponded with for a year didn’t change her mind or miss her train in Omaha—she never existed. Chadwick’s mortified to discover he’s been swindled by a fraudulent matrimonial agency in Chicago. He needs a lawyer if he’ll ever recover a dime of the fortune he spent on worthless membership fees and the nonexistent bride’s transportation west.

Sophia Sorensen, Attorney at Law, is a spinster on the edge of propriety. The good people of Wyoming Territory are open to a lot of things, including Lady’s Privilege during Leap Years, but some aren’t fond of her day-to-day behavior. Why, the woman rides her bicycle hither and yon, showing her petticoat ruffle and ankles. She might be the least ladylike specimen beneath Wyoming skies, but it’s entertaining to watch her court the U.P. Station Agent, Chadwick Hughes, the most-eligible bachelor in the county.

And here’s the links:







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Herbs and Flowers For A Fairy Garden

Who doesn’t want to attract fairies to their garden? Of all the herbs associated with the little folk, the most important one is thyme, which I love. I’m forever planting more varieties of thyme. In Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Titania, the fairy queen, sleeps in a bed of wild thyme growing on a bank. Sure. Why not?

Foxglove is also essential for a fairy garden. According to legend, fairies sleep in the bell-shaped flowers, and wear them as gloves. Which use they choose, probably depends upon the size of the fairy. Other common names for foxglove include fairy fingers, fairy thimbles, and fairy cap. However, I’m extremely challenged in growing foxglove in my farm garden(s). The plants soon figure out they’re not in their native dappled woodlands.

Colorful foxgloves

Colorful foxgloves

Another favorite herb is saffron, also known as the saffron crocus, which bloom in the fall. Fairies are said to be especially fond of this culinary herb/spice used for flavoring cakes and dyeing cloth. Other recommended plants are fragrant rosemary and roses. Roses are much loved by fairies for their beauty and divine scent, and by me. And I am never without rosemary. I bring these herbs indoors in pots in late fall. They’re not exuberant about life in my sunspace but generally survive to glory again in summer. Wood anemones are beautiful plants preferred by fairies because the flowers close at the onset of bad weather and at night and offer the tiny beings a safe spot to rest or wait out the bad weather. I have some anemones, also called windflowers. These beauties grace the spring garden.


Not to neglect bluebells, also beloved by fairies. These beautiful blue flowers that carpet woodlands in spring are also known as harebell, Scottish bellflower, and fairies thimble. It was, and maybe still is, widely believed that fairies live among the flowers. Another name for bluebells is Dead Man’s bells because fairies were thought to cast spells on those foolish enough to pick or damage the delicate blossoms.

When meandering through drifts of bluebells, it’s wise to stick to the path, or you may stir up the wrath of fairies and release the spells trapped in the blooms. Never a good idea, and one that would be echoed by our resident fairy expert, my 12-year-old niece, Cailin, who warns never step into a circle of flowers or go anywhere without the fairies’ permission, or they will get very upset. And you do not want an upset fairy, or fairies, on your hands. Particularly the furious wind fairies, but that’s another story.


A dear author friend of mine who is quite knowledgeable about fairies says they love many kinds of herbs and flowers. She has spotted some tiny ones in photographs of my garden. I’ve read they are drawn to the same plants that attract butterflies and hummingbirds. Keep watch, you never know where they may be.

These images are all from my garden(s) except for the foxglove. I wish.

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How I was Conned into Writing A Novel and its Sequel

I wrote Absinthe on a dare. I was kicking back after completing my 8th novel and somehow the subject got around to how some writers change genres after many years of writing one kind…like Stephen King and his mysteries. My friend felt I should do the same.

Me? oh,ha-ha, no.

It went something like this…

“You really ought to branch out a little, you know,” the lady said. “Tell a story about something other than vampires once in a while.”

“Oh?” I asked. “Like what? I’m open to suggestion, as long as it’s still in the realm of the supernatural.”

Too open. I’d be a good hypnotism victim.

“That covers a lot of territory.” She looked thoughtful. “How about a horror novel?”

“I write about vampires,” I reminded her. “I’d think that qualifies as enough horror right there.”

“Okay…historical then?” She wasn’t to be sidetracked. “A historical horror novel.”

“You mean like Frankenstein or something?  I don’t know.” I envisioned a thick-paged tome whose weight could crack walnuts. “That’d probably involve a lot of research. You know I want everything to be as factually authentic as possible.”

I was beginning to regret letting the conversation go this far. I was happy writing vampire stories, so why change? Who brought up the subject, anyway? If it was I, I’d better watch what I said from now on.

“You need to have more variety,” she persisted. “Spice of Life and all that.”

 “I don’t think switching genes was what whoever said that meant,” I protested. “Anyway, some of my novels are set in other time periods,” I added as I saw her recharging. “So… I think they could meet the requirements for historical novels, too.” I paused, thinking I’d won that particular argument. As usual, I didn’t know when to shut my big Southern mouth. I went on, “If I do something different, it should be really different, in a genre I’ve never tried.”

“That covers a lot of territory.” She thought a moment. “All right then…how about m/m? Have you ever done one of those? Write a historical, m/m, horror novel…” She took the rolling of my eyes heavenward as a sign of defeat. “I’ll bet you can’t.”

“Is that so?”

“I dare you.” She really knew how to push my buttons.

 What could I do? I had to accept.

So I wrote Absinthe: A Tale of Magic, Love, and Revenge. It should’ve read “A Tale of Magic, Obsession, and Revenge,” but the tagline didn’t get changed, so…some readers questioned that “love” part.

I guess a few liked it because it was voted #2 in M/M/ Historical Horror for 2014 by the Paranormal Romance Guild’s Reviewers Choice.

I went on to other things but eventually Absinthe again reared his handsome, if slightly debauched, head. I had deliberately written an epilogue which could lead into a sequel if I ever decided to write one…and my friend didn’t let me forget it.

“So…when are you going to write a sequel to Absinthe?” she asked, out of the blue one afternoon.

“Probably never,” I replied, and continued with what I was doing, which was writing a chapter of my new novel.

“You mean you didn’t write that epilogue with a sequel in mind?  Come on.” 

“Nope…” I kept my eyes on the computer screen.

“But…what about all the questions left unanswered?” she demanded.

“What questions?” I tried to pretend I didn’t know what she meant.

It didn’t work.

“What questions…?  Don’t play stupid. What happens when little David grows up? Are he and Rouge going to have the same relationship as Absinthe and the other Rouge? Will Étienne tell David about his father? And what about this twin sister? Where did that idea come from?” She caught my arm and shook it, jerking my hand from the keyboard which sent it nearly toppling from the typing shelf. I managed to catch it before it crashed to the floor. “Come on, don’t leave us hanging…there’s more to the story and you know it!”

I did know it…and as much as I tried to ignore it and work on something else, the idea had been buzzing around in my brain for a bit.  Sighing and saving what I’d been working on, I bowed to the inevitable and took up the threads where they’d been left hanging…and Essence of Absinthe was the result.

This novel takes up the story of Absinthe’s son, David…a young man the exact opposite of his father in every way. He’s shy, obedient, and, in his twentieth year, still chaste. Indeed, David doesn’t know he’s Absinthe’s son. He believes himself the son of Étienne, the Marquis Delafée, who is in reality his grandfather. This fact, hidden from David, will cause problems later on, for when his “father,” fearing the upcoming rumbles of revolution in France, decides to take his family to the safety of Louisiana, he delivers his “son” to the very place where the spirits of the dead have been waiting, for two decades…

Essence of Absinthe may be considered mild in comparison to its predecessor but that’s because the subject matter has changed. Absinthe was a tale of obessesion; Essence of Absinthe is a story of possession, and how the desire for revenge can survive and fester and wreak itself upon the innocent.

I hope those reading the story will applaud the way I handled that.


The noble family of Vaurien has secrets, and one Étienne Vaurien and his wife have suppressed for twenty years is about to be discovered. Taking his family from France to escape the murmur of revolution places his son David in mortal danger.

A city may change but some things remain the same. Hatred and the desire for revenge are at the top of the list. David’s resemblance to Étienne’s deceased eldest son, Absinthe, is remarked upon by many but to one person it means more than a mere likeness of features.

Genevieve, Etienne’s abandoned mistress and Absinthe’s amour, has pined twenty years for her young lover. Now, she has a chance to get him back…and she isn’t going to let death stop her.

In a short time, David’s living body will house the spirit of a dead man who wants once again to live…and love.



David decided to ask something always bothering him. “I know you’re not a particularly religious man, sir, but why don’t you like the chapel? They say you haven’t been inside since the fire.”

Immediately he wondered if he should’ve mentioned that, since it brought up a reference to the near-forbidden subject of Étienne’s lost son.

They?” Étienne’s eyes held a surprising twinkle at his son’s remark. “What else do those mysterious “they” say?” He gave David a direct, near-confrontational stare. “Who are “they,” exactly?”

“I don’t know…servants…townspeople…visitors…” David waved his hands.

“Ah…that hazy and indistinct group which forms our opinions for us.” His father nodded, a finger going to his lips. “I see.” He appeared amused by his son’s vagueness. “You still haven’t told me what else they’ve said.”

“Nothing,” David admitted. “Apparently no one wishes to speak of it.”

“I wish you wouldn’t.” Étienne’s reply was abrupt. Softer, he went on, “You know I don’t like to be reminded of what I lost that day.”

“I’m sorry, sir.” David truly was.

He acknowledged his father kept a tight rein on his emotions. When in public, even if a mere visit to the village, he was, while not cold, at least aloof…polite and friendly, but reserved and a little distant. Very rarely did the Marquis Delafée let outsiders see his gentler side.

“Not that I haven’t regained it through you, mon fils,” Étienne added hastily, as if realizing how his statement sounded. “It’s simply…” He stopped, shaking his head.

“I apologize for mentioning it at all.” David hesitated, then said, in a softer tone, “It’s only…you never speak of him if you can help it, and that makes me curious, of course…of what happened that day.”

There was silence, broken only when Étienne muttered, “I really don’t want…” He studied his son briefly. “I didn’t intend this to be a day of revelations.”

He stopped again, then replaced the quill he held in its holder with a deliberate movement.

“Perhaps, you should know more.” Étienne sighed, as if in surrender. “Sit, son.” He indicated a chair placed to the side of the desk. “No need to stand like a servant.”

David dropped gratefully into the chair as Étienne continued, grudgingly, “It was his wedding day. He died in that fire before the ceremony could be completed.”

“As did Rouge’s father.” David remembered the inscription on his brother’s vault…that a second body lay in the tomb with him. The engraving chiseled into the granite stated for all to see that his best friend’s father was also buried there.

“Rouge Meurtrier, pèreoui.” Briefly, the marquis avoided his son’s gaze.

“My uncle died, also.”

“Uncle?” Étienne looked up. “Whom do you mean?”

“Didn’t Mamère’s brother die that day, too? Jean-Paul? Why don’t they speak of him, either?”

“How do you know about Jean-Paul?” Étienne half-rose from his chair, leaning  across the desk toward his son. “Who’ve you been talking to?”

“No one, I swear. It’s merely another of the questions I’ve long wished to ask.” Startled, David found himself bending backward as if to escape his father’s grasp though the marquis hadn’t raised either hand.  He struggled to keep any condemnation out of his voice. “Once when I went to visit Gran’père Georges, I wandered into the garden. At the end of it, I found the family burial plot. The mausoleum was open and I went in. Morbid curiosity I suppose…to see the names of Mamère’s ancestors,” he added. “You know my hobby.”

His father nodded and relaxed.  David was surprised. Until that moment, he hadn’t realized Étienne was tense. Why should he be?

“I found his vault…Jean-Paul la Carrière, Vicomte la Proie.”. Just that and his death date…the same as my brother’s…and Rouge Meurtrier’s.”

Oui. Jean-Paul died that day also. He was Absinthe’s…compagnon de mariage…”

“Absinthe. Why did they call him that?” David persisted, fearing his father might soon regret reawakening the tragedy and refused to say more.

“Because of his eyes…they were the color of that infernal liqueur.” Étienne took a deep breath, looking away as if to hide the fact his own eyes were also that color, but in his case, he’d been called Peridot.

Using that surnom to differentiate the deceased child from his living namesake had become habit but it still cause an ache. To his son, it sounded as if he were controlling great fury.

“I don’t wish to speak of this any longer, David.”

Absinthe is available from Class Act Books and amazon.com

Essence of Absinthe will be available in March, 2017.

paul-copy-002About the Author:

A writer of French Huguenot extraction, one of Tony-Paul de Vissage’s first movie memories is of being six years old, viewing the old Universal horror flick, Dracula’s Daughter on television, and being scared sleepless—and he’s now paying back his very permissive parents by writing about the Undead.

Find out more about Tony-Paul at:

Twitter:  @tpvissage

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tonypaul.devissage?fref=ts

Publisher’s website: http://www.classactbooks.com/index.php/our-authors/manufacturers/tony-paul-de-vissage

Amazon author’s page: https://authorcentral.amazon.com/gp/profile





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