Author Spotlight with Jana Richards

I’d like to offer a warm welcome to author Jana Richards.  Enjoy today’s spotlight on her latest release, Unexpected – Book 3, Masonville Series.


Unexpected – Book 3, Masonville series

By Jana Richards

Genre: Small town contemporary romance

Themes: Marriage of convenience, friends to lovers, second-chance love, family conflict

Keywords: smalltown romance, addiction, damaged hero, infertility, troubled past,

ISBN: 978-1-5092-3829-3 Paperback
           978-1-5092-3830-9 Digital

Length: 352 pages

Heat Level: Spicy – R

Release Date: September 27, 2021

Cover Artist: Rae Monet



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Tagline: A marriage of convenience. An unexpected love.


Single dad Ben Greyson wants only to retain custody of his two stepdaughters. A dysfunctional childhood has made family the most important thing in his life. When his late wife’s parents sue for custody, a desperate Ben is left with two choices – run away with his girls or marry his next-door neighbor.

Jamie Garven wants to be a mother. She’s intrigued by her handsome new neighbor and falls in love with his little girls. Then Ben is faced with losing his children, and Jamie agrees to marry him for a chance at motherhood. They’re determined to show the world, and the girls’ grandparents, two loving parents.

Their marriage of convenience turns to unexpected love. But Ben interprets Jamie’s efforts to save their family as betrayal-they could lose everything, including each other.


Excerpt #1 – 281 words

“Is there anything I can say to make you change your mind about running away?”

“Say you’ll marry me.”

The words were out of his mouth before he knew he was going to say them. Jamie stared at him, eyes wide.


“Marry me. You’re the only woman I’d trust with my girls.”

It suddenly made sense. If Jamie married him he could keep his kids.

She jumped to her feet, waking one of the dogs who’d been sleeping on the couch next to her. “What kind of marriage do you want, Ben? Are you proposing something for show?”

“No! I don’t know!” He stood and grasped her arms. “If you’re asking me if we’ll sleep together as man and wife, I don’t know.”

Her mouth twisted as if she was holding back tears. “You know I love the girls, but please don’t ask me to pretend. The last few months of my marriage, all I did was pretend. I pretended I had a husband who loved me. I swore I’d never do that again.”

Ben wanted to take her in his arms and hold her. He hated doing this to her, hated making her relive unhappy memories. He was asking too much of her and he didn’t blame her for saying no.

“Please, forget I said anything.”

He’d stick to his original plan. He and the girls would disappear. He’d change their names, go someplace where no one knew them. A life on the run wasn’t what he wanted for his children, but he’d do whatever he needed to do to keep them.


“I’m sorry, Jamie.”

Ben was out the door before he could hear anymore of her objections.

Excerpt #2 – 385 words

Ben was assailed by an overwhelming need to talk to someone. Jamie had been a good listener. He’d told her more about his circumstances, and his feelings, than he’d shared with either his brother or sister. He wasn’t sure why he’d opened up to her. He only knew she’d been kind to the girls. And to him.

Before he could talk himself out of it, he was looking up the number for the clinic on his phone. A moment later he listened to the phone ring.

What the hell am I doing? She didn’t want to hear from him, especially in the middle of a busy day at work. He was about to end the call when someone answered.

“Masonville Veterinary Clinic. How can I help you?”

Ben cleared his throat. “Can I speak to Jamie, I mean Dr. Garven?”

“I’m sorry, she’s with a client right now—oh wait, she just left the examining room. Can I tell her who’s calling?”

Again, he considered hanging up. Instead he heard himself say, “It’s Ben Greyson.”

“One moment please.”

The line went silent as she put him on hold. Ben paced back and forth on a small patch of gravel road in front of the clinic. He stared at his shoes, noting the dust covering the smooth leather. He didn’t know what he was going to say to Jamie. Why was he even calling her?

“Hello, Ben?”

The moment he heard her voice, his whole body relaxed. “Hi. I’m sorry to bother you at work. I know you’re busy.”

“No problem. What can I do for you?”

“Well, the girls have been asking about meeting Hector. Do you think it would be all right if I brought them over some time?”

“Yes, of course. I’m not working on Friday. Why don’t you guys come over for dinner?”

“I wasn’t angling for a dinner invitation.”

“I know. I’m offering. I’m a fantastic cook, if I say so myself.”

That made him smile. “Now I’m intrigued. Thank you. What time should we be there?”

“Come a few minutes before five and I’ll introduce Bella and Sophie to Hector.”

“Okay. See you then.”

“See you. Bye.”

Ben grinned as he put his phone in his pocket and began walking back to his office.

Everything was going to be okay.

Excerpt #3 – 414 words

Jamie didn’t sleep the rest of the night. The logical part of her brain told her if Ben lost custody it wasn’t her fault. Circumstances beyond her control, and Ben’s, had conspired against them. But guilt and worry wouldn’t let her rest.

The crazy thing was she could see the four of them together as a family. And she could see herself with Ben. She’d been fighting her feelings for him since the day they met. Learning he was a recovering alcoholic was a shock, but she knew he was much more than that. He was kind and funny, and a loving father.

But he didn’t love her.

She remembered what it was like to watch, day by day, as Carson fell a little more out of love with her. Every day another piece of her soul withered. To the outside world they probably still looked like a happy couple. But she could feel Carson pull away bit by bit, like water trickling out of a broken vase. It was in the awkward silences between them, the unexplained absences, the times he didn’t reach for her in the night.

Eventually the slow trickle turned into a torrent and he was gone. It had nearly destroyed her.

Could she live with a man who didn’t love her for a second time? Could she willingly step into a relationship, knowing it would likely end the same way her relationship to Carson ended?

Thoughts and emotions whirled in her brain, making her dizzy.

At four a.m. she gave up all pretence of sleep. She went to the kitchen for a drink of water and as she ran the tap, she saw the lights were on in Ben’s house. He probably couldn’t sleep either.

What must he be going through? She couldn’t imagine losing a child.

The old longing ache she’d worked so hard to dispel pressed on her heart. This is your chance, her heart whispered. Maybe your only chance to have children.

Jamie groaned out load. She couldn’t say no. Ben and the girls needed her.

Yet how could she say yes and expose herself to almost certain heartbreak?

Maybe some things were more important. Maybe it was enough to be a mother to the girls and create a family with them. She couldn’t expect Ben to love her as well. It was asking too much.

She couldn’t let him lose the girls. And she couldn’t let her one chance to be a mother slip away.

Author Bio:

When Jana Richards read her first romance novel, she immediately knew two things: she had to commit the stories running through her head to paper, and they had to end with a happily ever after. She also knew she’d found what she was meant to do. Since then she’s never met a romance genre she didn’t like. She writes contemporary romance, romantic suspense, and historical romance set in World War Two, in lengths ranging from short story to full length novel. Just for fun, she throws in generous helpings of humor, and the occasional dash of the paranormal. Her paranormal romantic suspense “Seeing Things” was a 2008 EPPIE finalist.

In her life away from writing, Jana is an accountant/admin assistant, a mother to two grown daughters, and a wife to her husband Warren. She enjoys golf, yoga, movies, concerts, travel and reading, not necessarily in that order. She and her husband live in Winnipeg, Canada. She loves to hear from readers and can be reached through her website at

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I Survived: The Galveston Hurricane, 1900

I am thrilled to be hosting a spot on the I SURVIVED, THE GALVESTON HURRICANE, 1900 by Lauren Tarshis Blog Tour hosted by Rockstar Book Tours. Check out my post and make sure to enter the giveaway!



Author: Lauren Tarshis

Pub. Date: Paperback, eBook, & audiobook: September 7, 2021. Hardcover: November 2, 2021

Publisher: Scholastic Inc.

Formats: Hardcover, Paperback, eBook, Audiobook

Pages: 144

Find it:  GoodreadsAmazon, Kindle, AudibleB&N, iBooks, Kobo,


More than a century later, the Galveston Hurricane of 1900 is still America’s deadliest disaster. Lauren Tarshis’s story of one child surviving the horrible event churns with page-turning action and bold hope.

The city of Galveston, Texas, was booming. Perched on an island off the southern coast of Texas, Galveston had been founded in the 1830s. By 1900, it was Texas’s richest and most important city. Boats loaded up with American cotton and wheat steamed from Galveston to countries around the world. Arriving ships were crowded with immigrants. The streets, paved with crushed oyster shells, sparkled like they’d been sprinkled with diamonds.

True, this glittering city was prone to flooding. But just a few years before, a weather forecaster had said the idea of a hurricane striking Galveston was absurd.

So when a storm started brewing on September 8, 1900, no one believed it would be any worse than previous storms. They gathered on the beach to cheer on the wild waves. But what started as entertainment soon turned into a nightmare as those wild waves crashed into the city. By morning, hundreds of homes were destroyed. Eight thousand people were dead. The city had all but disappeared,

In this thrilling installment of Lauren Tarshis’s New York Times bestselling I Survived series, one child finds safety only to head back into the treacherous waters to make sure his neighbors are safe.

Check out all of the I SURVIVED BOOKS! Each can be read as a standalone.


LAUREN TARSHISNew York Times bestselling I Survived series (which has over 34 million copies in print!) tells stories of young people and their resilience and strength in the midst of unimaginable disasters and times of turmoil. Lauren has brought her signature warmth and exhaustive research to topics such as the battle of D-Day, the American Revolution, Hurricane Katrina, the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the attacks of September 11, 2001, and other world events.

Lauren is also the Senior Vice President and Editor-in-Chief/Publisher of Scholastic Classroom Magazines, where she oversees more than 25 classroom magazines. In her more than 25 years with Scholastic, Lauren has helped transform the company’s print magazines into the powerful learning tools they are today. In her current role, she is helping to expand the magazines’ deep connection to American classrooms and ensure their vital role in providing teachers and students with an understanding of the contemporary world. She lives in Connecticut with her family, and can be found online at

Website | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Goodreads | BookBub | Amazon

Photo Credit: David Dreyfuss

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3 winners will win a finished copy of I SURVIVED, THE GALVESTON HURRICANE, 1900, US Only.

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Tour Schedule:

Week One:

8/30/2021Celia’s ReadsExcerpt
8/31/2021Kait Plus BooksExcerpt
8/31/2021#BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee BlogExcerpt
9/1/2021BookHounds YAExcerpt
9/2/2021The Bookwyrm’s DenReview
9/3/2021Lifestyle of MeReview

Week Two:

9/6/2021Lily Luchesi’s BlogExcerpt
9/6/2021The Momma SpotReview
9/7/2021Don’t Judge, ReadExcerpt
9/7/2021Books and Zebras @jypsylynnReview
9/8/2021Nonbinary Knight ReadsReview
9/9/2021Locks, Hooks and BooksReview
9/9/2021Little Red ReadzReview
9/10/2021Two Points of InterestReview
9/10/2021Two Chicks on BooksExcerpt



AROUND 10:15 A.M. 


There was a big overflow, even bigger than the one  that he and Sarah had played in a few days ago.  People were lined up on the sidewalk on the edge of  the water. Excited voices rose up over the thunder 

ing roar of the waves. 

“Look at those huge rollers!” a man shouted,  pointing at the waves. 

“Incredible!” cried a woman.


“Mama!” a little boy squealed. “Take me  closer!” 

Each wave towered up — as tall as Charlie’s   house — and then crashed down. 




Kids weren’t splashing and floating in the  street like last time. Today’s big game was to  stand on the flooded beach, wait for the waves  to rise up, and sprint away before a wave could  crash down over you. Lots of kids were doing  this, shrieking and laughing as they ran back  and forth. A few bigger kids were at least half way down the beach. 

It looked fun — but Charlie had to admit that  the waves scared him a little. The entire Gulf  looked different — churning, foaming, furious. 

He thought of Lulu’s cloud monster. And what  Sarah had said about how people once blamed  storms on angry gods and goddesses. 

Watching the crashing sea, it was easy for  Charlie to imagine Poseidon standing above on a 


cloud, his long beard whipping in the wind, rais ing his arms to create each wave. 




Charlie’s stomach did a flip. Poseidon seemed  very angry. 

But no one else seemed worried. The whoops  and claps of the excited crowd got louder with  each enormous wave. 

Charlie felt almost hypnotized by the waves —   until he spotted a tall, beefy kid in the middle  of the beach, one of the risk- takers closer to the  Gulf. Even from the back, Charlie could tell his  chest was puffed out. 


Before he could lose his nerve, Charlie reached  into his pocket. He plucked a cockroach from the  box. He tucked the insect into his palm, locking  it into place like he’d practiced. His hand was   shaking — bad. 

He waited for a lull between the waves — the  big ones came every two minutes or so — then 


he took his chance. His knees wobbled as he  waded onto the beach, where the water came up  to his thighs. 

The wind pushed against his back like an  invisible hand. 

Go. Go. Go. 

Before he knew it, he was standing behind  Gordon Potts. He took a breath and tapped Gordon  on the shoulder. Gordon looked at Charlie with  surprise, and then his usual sneer. 

“What do you want, twerp?” He practically  spat the question. 

Charlie opened his mouth. But the words he’d  practiced were all gummed up on his tongue. “Did you know . . . ?” His voice was high and  squeaky. “An ancient trick . . . cockroaches . . .” Charlie’s hand was suddenly slick with sweat.  The cockroach slipped out and plopped into the  water. 

He looked up at Gordon, who seemed ready to  pounce. 

What had Charlie been thinking? He needed  to get out of here. Now!


Some kids around them had the same idea.  Most were laughing, but a few were shouting. “Look out!” 

“It’s a big one!” 

And then the sky seemed to disappear above  Charlie as a giant wave towered up, bigger than  any that had come before. It rose higher, higher,  higher . . . 

Charlie and Gordon turned to run. But this  wave was too fast and too big. Charlie barely had  enough time to take a breath before the wall of  water curled over and swallowed him up.



The churning, gritty water was everywhere at   once — over Charlie, under Charlie, up his nose,  down his throat. The salt water stung his cut lip. 

Luckily the twisting ride didn’t last long. The  wave spat him off the beach. He rolled. He  stopped just before he smacked into the edge  of the raised sidewalk. He pulled himself up,  amazed he wasn’t hurt. He’d torn the knee of his  trousers, but that was it. 

Three younger kids had also been swept here  by the wave. 

“Let’s do that again!” screamed the littlest one, 


and they all took off back toward the beach. Charlie glanced nervously around — scanning  for Gordon. But he didn’t spot him. Hopefully  the wave had carried him all the way to Hawaii.  But no. Gordon had to be somewhere close. A  sickening feeling swirled in his stomach. He had  to get out of here before Gordon found him. But first he had to catch his breath. Charlie  climbed up onto the sidewalk and stood behind  three young men. All around him, people were  still cheering as the waves crashed down. These  men screamed and clapped at each wave like they  were at a baseball game. 

But then an angry shout interrupted them. “What are you laughing at?” 

Charlie turned as an old man in a green hat  hobbled toward them. Charlie was surprised to see  it was Mr. Early, Grandpa’s friend. He didn’t seem  to notice Charlie. 

“This is a hurricane!” he scolded the men. The word — hurricane. It jarred Charlie, as if  Mr. Early had cursed.


The four men eyed one another. 

“Don’t worry, sir,” said the loudest of the group.  “Hurricanes can’t hit us here in Galveston.” He  was talking to Mr. Early as if the old man were a  toddler like Lulu. 

“That’s dead wrong!” Mr. Early growled. He  frowned, as if he’d argued about this before. “A  hurricane nearly destroyed the whole island in  1837. That was before Galveston was even a city.  But I was here back then. I was right here, and I  remember it.” 

He looked off into the distance. 

“The wind tore houses apart. Water was every where, even where it had never gone before. And  then the sea suddenly rose up, swallowed the  entire island. So many lost . . .” 

Mr. Early’s voice trailed off. A strong gust of  wind lifted his hat off his head, but the old man  didn’t notice. He seemed like he was far away  from here in his mind. Charlie reached up and  snatched the hat from the air before it blew away. 

The men eyed Mr. Early impatiently — he’d 


interrupted their fun. The loud man signaled to  his two buddies, and they moved farther down  the sidewalk. 

Mr. Early didn’t notice that, either. 

“That tree — that’s how I got through. I  climbed up. Somehow I managed to hang on  until the sun came up. And when the storm was  done, there was nothing left. Nothing at all.” 

He stood there, staring at the waves, his thin  white hair blowing in the wind. 

Charlie waited until he was sure Mr. Early was  done with his story. 

“Mr. Early,” Charlie said finally, speaking up  over the gusts. “Here’s your hat.” 

Mr. Early looked surprised. He took his hat,  put it on, and smiled at Charlie. 

“Do I know you, son?” 

Charlie didn’t know what to say. Of course  Charlie knew him. Charlie had joined him and  Grandpa on a few fishing trips. But then Charlie   understood — Mr. Early’s memory must be slip 

ping away from him. The same had happened to  Grandpa before he passed away.


I should help him get home, Charlie thought.  But then Mr. Early tipped his hat and hobbled  away. And before Charlie could go after him, a  chorus of gasps rose up from the crowd. 

“The Pagoda!” a woman shouted. 

Charlie whipped around and stared out at the  Pagoda . . . or what was left of it. Waves were  attacking the building, clawing it, ripping it to  pieces. The roof cracked apart. The long walk 

way twisted and split in two. 

Charlie remembered once seeing a pack of dogs  fighting over the body of a squirrel. The terrible  snarls and growls. The swiping claws and bared  teeth. The hunks of fur that flew through the air. 

That’s what the ocean looked like now — a  pack of wild beasts, devouring a carcass. Soon  nothing would be left of the Pagoda but its scat tered bones. 

A chill slowly rose through Charlie’s body. Mr. Early’s story . . . could it be true? 

The cheering had stopped, and it had started  to rain. 

The wind gusted even harder.



A wave crashed. 


Mr. Cline said that it was impossible for a hur ricane to hit Galveston. But Mr. Early said he’d  lived through one. Charlie suddenly didn’t know  what to think. 

He turned and ran. 

He had to get home, now.


Cover Reveal: A Christmas at Gingerbread Falls


Title: A Christmas at Gingerbread Falls

Author: Katie Mettner

Genre: Contemporary Romance / Christmas


Actress Carrie Murray’s films are a Christmas lover’s delight. Filled with twinkling lights, festive carols, and happy endings, they’re the perfect escape from reality. For her and the audience. Then Tinseltown calls.

Braxton Timothy is Hollywood’s biggest action star. Handsome and talented but decidedly on the naughty list, no one can fathom his sudden desire to produce a feel-good Christmas movie—least of all, his no-name co-star.

Alternating between scenes reminiscent of everyone’s favorite made-for-TV movies and unexpected, off-screen chemistry, Gingerbread Falls has surprises in store this holiday season. The question is, will there be enough Christmas magic to convince two imperfect people that they’re perfect for each other?


Katie Mettner writes small-town romantic tales filled with epic love stories and happily-ever-afters. She proudly wears the title of, ‘the only person to lose her leg after falling down the bunny hill,’ and loves decorating her prosthetic with the latest fashion trends. She lives in Northern Wisconsin with her own happily-ever-after and three mini-mes. Katie has a massive addiction to coffee and Twitter, and a lessening aversion to Pinterest — now that she’s quit trying to make the things she pins.








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