It’s Complicated by Joyce M. Holmes

It’s Complicated
Contemporary Romance
by Joyce M. Holmes
Release date: December 4, 2017
He wants a real relationship, she’s afraid to love. It’s complicated, but is it impossible?
She’s a children’s counselor devoted to helping others; he’s a stubborn client reluctant to accept her assistance. He wants a warm and loving relationship; she prefers to keep things physical. Professional boundaries dictate neither of them can have what they want.
Having grown up with no one but herself to count on, Maggie Lapage carefully guards her feelings. Professionally, she goes above and beyond to give others the support she wishes she’d had as a child. When she develops a forbidden attraction to a client’s father, she does what she thinks is necessary, to save his family, and to protect her own heart.
Tom O’Shay finds his life caught in a nightmare when he risks losing custody of his daughter. It goes against his character to seek help, but he doesn’t have a choice. That doesn’t mean he has to like it. Everything changes when he falls hard for his daughter’s counselor, and he suddenly has two fights on his hands. One for his daughter, and another for the woman he loves.
It’s complicated, but is it impossible?

“That’s a big gallery, with lots of people
going through it. Just think of the exposure your work would get.”

Tom did take a moment to consider it. The
Langquest Art Gallery was highly reputable, and the show Tom had done with them
had been a sell-out. But to have Maggie go on his behalf to seek out
representation, that was too much.

makes you think I want or need to sell my pieces in his gallery?”

“Because, excuse me if I’m wrong, but I had
the impression you could use a little financial help at the moment.” The
sympathetic look in her eyes made him squirm. No bloody way did he want her
wasting any sympathy on him.

“The offer of support is nice, but seriously,
my professional life, at least, is doing fine. You don’t have to fix it for
me.” Which was the honest, if optimistic, truth. Business was passably good. It
could always be better, but it wasn’t on life support yet, and he sure didn’t
need Maggie out there drumming up customers for him.

She threw a hand up. “Look, maybe I’m
interfering and you didn’t ask for help, but,” she hurried on, gaining speed as
she went, “I spoke to this man with the best of intentions. You have lawyer
fees and counseling fees, and heaven only knows what else with this court case.
They can start to add up—”

“Okay, just stop. You’re making my head
hurt.” He folded his arms across his chest. He had no intention of discussing
the precariousness of his financial situation with Maggie. “This conversation
is over.”

Her eyes sparkled with the love of combat.
“Not if I keep talking, it isn’t.”

He glared at her, making it clear he didn’t
appreciate her interference. She met his accusing gaze without flinching.

“Know what your problem is?” she asked, after
an uncomfortably long stare-down.

“I only have one?”

She reached out and clutched at his hand,
those long slender, talon-tipped fingers curling themselves around his,
distracting him with their touch. Then she started yapping again, effectively
killing the moment.

“You put on a good show, and sometimes I
think you even believe it yourself, but you’re not invincible. You can use a
helping hand once in a while.”

He shook his hand free and swung away from
her, pacing off his frustration. “Contrary to what you believe, I’m not a
charity case requiring someone to rescue me. I’ve always maintained if you’re
looking for a helping hand, check the end of your own wrist first. I don’t need
your pity.”

She moved in front of him, forcing him to
stop, returning his impatient glare with an impressively irate one of her own.
“It’s not pity, damn it. And it’s not charity. It’s a practical solution to
your financial situation. Excuse me for caring.” Both arms flew into the air.
“Excuse me for trying to help you out. For going out of my way to come up with
some creative ideas to increase your income. This is a winning proposition for
you, one that can pay dividends for years to come. Why are you so stubbornly
against it?”

Her logic was infuriating, and it fueled his
temper that he didn’t have a reasonable comeback. “Please, just shut up

“Come on. We both know I can’t do that.”

He threw his head back and laughed, more out
of exasperation than amusement. “You really can’t, can you?”

“I was only trying to help.” Her tone
contained a pout, but her expression remained fierce.

“I don’t want your help. I didn’t ask for your help. Anyone ever tell you
how maddening you can be, Maggie Lapage?”

The force of his words didn’t make her
retreat. She stood her ground in front of him and poked a finger into his
chest. “And you’re the most pig-headed man I’ve ever met.”

He smiled. “Thank you.”

“That was not a compliment.”

“Sure it was.” Even though he was still
pissed off, it wasn’t hard to let the smile stretch into a smirk. She looked so
damn exasperated, and for some perverse reason he found it amusing.

“You’re infuriating!” she yelled and wheeled
away from him, flailing her arms in the air again. “Why can’t you see my
intentions were good?”

He let his smile twist cynically. “Have you
heard about the road to hell?”

“I…give…up.” She emphasized the words by drawing
them out slowly.

“Wish I could believe that.”
Tom O’Shay is a divorced father, who is trying to regain custody of his daughter. In order to do so, he seeks the help of counselor Maggie Lapage. As they work together to overcome Tom’s issues, sparks begin to fly. The two can’t resist their attraction, yet they know it’s best not to cross the professional boundaries.
This is a one of those romance stories filled with lots of drama. Of course there’s Tom story with his daughter, then there’s Maggie’s past of being afraid to love. These are two characters you root for to not only win the case, but also to fall in love and live happily ever after.


Joyce Holmes lives with her husband and very small dog in the beautiful Okanagan region of British Columbia. Photography and blogging about her travels are two of her passions, along with visiting her kids and grandkids. When she’s not dreaming up stories in her head or planning her next great adventure, she’s off enjoying the great outdoors.
A $10 Roane Publishing gift card!

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



Secrets and Wishes by Kathleen Rouser

Welcome to my stop on the Secrets and Wishes by Kathleen Rouser Blog Tour! Today I will sharing a bit about the book, and where you can find it on Amazon. Be sure to follow the #SecretsandWishes hashtag on Twitter to keep up with the tour and find the reviews, guest posts, and more!

Buy the Book on Amazon

Stone Creek, Michigan, April, 1901 Maggie Galloway and Thomas Harper clash after their sons collide in a fistfight. Both widowed, they’re each doing their best as single-parents. Outgoing Maggie has dreams for a home of her own and a business to provide for her son as she searches for God’s path for her life as a widow. Reserved Thomas struggles to establish his new pharmacy and take care of his four rambunctious children, while wondering how a loving God could take his beloved wife.

When Thomas becomes deathly ill, Maggie is recruited to nurse him back to health. Taking the children in hand, as well, is more than she bargained for, but she is drawn to help the grieving family. Both nurse and patient find themselves drawn to each other but promptly deny their feelings.

A baking contest sponsored by the Silver Leaf Flour Company brings former beau, Giles Prescott, back into Maggie’s life. When Giles offers Maggie a position at their test kitchen in Chicago, he hints that, along with assuring her a good job, it will allow them to possibly rekindle their relationship.

But then a charlatan comes to town, and tragedy soon follows. Maggie and Thomas discover the miracle potions he hawks aren’t so harmless when an epidemic hits Stone Creek. Thomas and Maggie realize they must work together to save lives.

Maggie finds herself caught up in battles within and without—the battle to help the townsfolk in the midst of illness and chicanery, and the battle to know which man—Thomas or Giles—deserves to win her heart.

About Kathleen Rouser:

An author and speaker, Kathleen Rouser, has loved making up stories since she was a little girl and wanted to be a writer before she could even read. Kathleen’s first novella, The Pocket Watch, was part of the anthology, Brave New Century, and was published by Inspired Romance in 2013. She has a short story in the bestselling anthology, Christmas Treasures, released in 2014. Her first full-length novel will be published by Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas in April, 2016.

She studied communications and English during her first college years. Kathleen has been published in Homeschool Digest, An Encouraging Word, the Oakland Press and Happy Sis. She interviews authors for the Novel PASTimes historical fiction blog. Her desire is to bring to life endearing characters, who resonate with readers and realize the need for a transforming Savior in their everyday lives.

During a long career as a home school instructor, she and her husband raised three sons. She graduated in 2012 with her Associate in Applied Science and is sometimes a mild-mannered Registered Dental Assistant by day. Kathleen is longstanding member of ACFW, former critique group moderator, past Genesis judge and former Great Lakes Chapter board member. Along with her sassy tail-less cat, she lives in southeast Michigan with her hero and husband of 33 years, Jack, who not only listens to her stories, but also cooks for her.

Visit Kathleen Around the Web:



Five Things I’m Thankful For by L.A. Racines


By Cheryl Bristow, a.k.a L. A. Racines

Author of historical novel, A Shield in the Shadows


This was a challenging question. I am actually grateful for almost everything in my life! But having to choose five from among them is no small task.

To give you a bit of background about me, I am Canadian, a born again Christian believer since the age of 11, a wife, mother and grandmother of four, and a life-long lover of great books and good stories.

As a young girl I read Anne of Green Gables, and decided then and there that, like Anne Shirley the heroine, and L. M. Montgomery the author, I too, wanted to be a writer someday. I set out at age 13 to read the books considered “classics” of literature at the time, and pretty much achieved that before I got to university.

I assumed I would study English at McGill University, but one look at the curriculum made me quickly turn the page. Instead I studied Anthropology and Sociology, and after graduation I headed for Africa to teach, basically looking for real life adventures in the lands I had studied. So far there is nothing particularly unusual about any of that.

So, what are the five things I am thankful for and want to share with you this Thanksgiving season?

1. A normal childhood

I doubt I appreciated that at the time. Didn’t everyone have one? Of course not, but I did not know that then. My own home was peaceful and orderly, my mother was strict but fair, and my father created a skating rink in our backyard in winter, organized street dances and corn roasts in the summer, put on a magic show for the neighborhood children at Hallowe’en, and dressed up as Santa at Christmas to hand out presents to us all. He even made cloth dolls for my sister and myself. I cherished mine. Even though my winter coat was thin and I had to wear a lot of hand-me-down clothing, I was growing up in an environment where I could focus on school, friendships, and other childhood interests. Thank God!

2. Adventure

As I got older, I rebelled, of course. There was a song that came out in the 1960’s by Malvina Reynolds. It was called Little Boxes and mocks suburban housing and middle class ambitions as “little boxes”, “all made out of ticky-tacky“, and which “all look just the same”. I began to eye my life and neighborhood through that lens and decided that the most boring existence in the world had to be a suburban housewife like my wonderful mother. (I have since decided that it’s not at all bad, especially these days.) I applied to CUSO, the Canadian equivalent of the Peace Corps, and was accepted to go to Nigeria as a high school teacher at a prestigious co-ed school deep in the forests of Yorubaland. There I taught mostly French, Bible Knowledge and African History. It says a lot for the much higher qualifications required these days that I would never be accepted with just a general B.A., but then I had to scrounge for materials, especially in the history course because there was no textbook, and try to stay one step ahead of my advanced French students.

I arrived just before the Biafran War broke out, and remained for my full two-year term, even though every other sending country had pulled their volunteers out. It was lonely at times, tough-going because of the amount of work and responsibilities I had, and a little scary at times, but I knew my role was important for the students. I travelled home on a shoe-string budget via the Sudan, Ethiopia, Egypt, Israel and several other countries, and appeased my need for adventure for many years. Thank God, because as a struggling clergy wife and young mother, those opportunities would not come again soon!

3. The plan of God for my life

My conversion at the age of 11 was a very powerful experience. I was breathing heavenly oxygen for several months thereafter, and every year my two-week stay at a Christian camp revitalized my faith. University was a challenge because of the concerted attempt to knock some sense into anyone who has the intellectual feebleness to believe in a personal God, or that Christ is the only True Way to God, but my spiritual life was sustained by fellowship and Bible Study with a wonderful group of Christians from many denominations. Thank God!

After university I innocently got into the occult through witnessing a couple of Ouija sessions, and then, to prove that the ‘ghosts’ were real, I conducted two Ouija sessions myself for skeptical friends. As a result, I immediately lost the sense of God’s presence with me and all appreciation for beauty in nature and music, and over time a heaviness weighed on my spirit and I began getting impulses to drive my motorcycle off the road. After several years of joylessness, I became convinced that even I, a born again Christian, could have an oppressive spirit operating in my life. I was engaged to be married and didn’t know if I even wanted to live. My fiancé prayed for me and commanded the spirit(s) to leave in the name of Jesus, and the next morning I was back to normalcy. I knew it because once again I was able to look at something beautiful and rejoice again. Thank God!

As the wife of a clergyman, I busied myself with leading several women’s Bible studies. One day I took a close look at the Beatitudes and got really angry. The picture Jesus was painting of the kind of person I was supposed to be did not add up with who I really was, even after nearly 20 years as a Christian and student of Scripture. I told God that if He didn’t find a way to “fix” me and fix the fissures in my faith, that I would just have to forget the whole thing. Almost immediately God led my husband and me to a Christian community that taught the life of the cross. That was hard, but it was also the start of some serious deepening in my walk with God. I began to walk in a spirit of repentance. This led to another crisis. I got so good at ‘being wrong’ and trying to fix everything in my life, that I became emotionally frail. I had to learn the difference between the ongoing condemnation that the Enemy of our soul uses to cripple us, and the sharp conviction of sin that the Holy Spirit gives us when we need to face our sinfulness. Once again I was pulled from the deep water by a loving God. Thank God!

I never gave up on the dream of being an author. As a clergy wife and mother, there was little time for pursuing my own goals. It was frustrating, and I wondered if I would have to give up on my dream. During the long decades of that desert period I took writing courses, helped to edit a magazine and published several articles, but there was no time to do a novel. I came to realize that I really did not want to write unless I had something to say that was worth reading. Life experience and maturity tend to grow that capacity.

The time came when I had a word from the Lord. It was a prophecy. It came at a moment of great need and rang true. It also contained some clues that I could follow. I went for it. The time was right. The location was conducive. I was now only a few years from retirement so would have the time to write, and I had enough money to pay for all the books I would need to prepare. The novel I wrote was worth the wait. It is far better than I ever thought I could do. Since publication, A Shield in the Shadows has won a couple of awards, been well reviewed and won praise from men and women alike. Thank God!

4. My computer

Sometimes I think about Charles Dixon and Jane Austin, and other writers who wrote their books prior to the modern computer age. I am old enough to remember having to type a letter to Mayor Jean Drapeau, the long-time mayor of Montreal TEN TIMES, because it had to be error-free, so writing A Tale of Two Cities, or Mansfield Park long-hand, or just using a type-writer seems like a nightmare to me. The book I have written required years of research, and then as I wrote it, a lot of fact-checking. Thanks to the miracle of computer technology and the invention of the World Wide Web, I am able to fix mistakes before anyone else sees them and carry on, explore the topography of particular locations in the Alps and Italy, learn about what kinds of horses the Gothic warriors rode, find out when white flags were used to indicate surrender and truce, and many other minute details. It makes my work seem very impressive and is actually very easy. Thank God!

5. A reason to get up every morning

When you retire you no longer have the chaos of a Monday to Friday work week, and usually you do not have many family responsibilities either. Life slows down A LOT!

When we left our last full-time church and moved to a new community, we no longer had responsibility for them, and lost contact with many of them. My call to write gives me a reason to get up every morning. I do not know what the future holds, but I know what I have to do now and for the forseeable future, and that is a real gift. Thank God!


New Release: To Make A King

Nothing says Fall like curling up with an awesome new YA Fantasy novel. The good news? There is a new release from Kristi L. Cramer that seems like just the ticket! Be sure to follow the blog tour for more awesome features, reviews, and more for To Make a King(The Magic of Verridian Book 1).

Add on Goodreads|Buy on Amazon

To Make a King is a Young Adult Fantasy in three parts.

Part One: A True Prince
Two friends discover the key to a mystery that, once unlocked, will change everything. Enemies they didn’t know they had unleash magical forces to make sure the secret never comes to light.

Part Two: To Make a King
Dark magic undermines the Crown Prince’s succession, and a young prince is encouraged to take action against his half-brother in a plot to usurp the crown. Before the sun sets on coronation day, brother will face brother and swords will be bared.

Part Three: Should Monarchs Stumble
When the new king stumbles, an old enemy is quick to take advantage, conspiring to take the kingdom by force. The king’s jester must decide whether to back the usurper, or help the king choose to be a better man.


About Kristi:

When Kristi isn’t riding her Harley or working at her “day job”, you can find her in front of her computer, hammering out exciting suspense stories for anyone willing to read them, or hanging around on social media.

While she has worked on her writing craft for +30 years, like many authors, she had to work other jobs to make ends meet. She has a strange and varied work history, having held jobs in a hotel, a car wash, an insurance company, an electronics assembly line, an auto parts warehouse, a blueberry nursery, and as a truck driver and owner of her own trucking company. She even delivered nuts and bolts around town for a fastener store/warehouse for a while as she pursued her writing career in earnest. Now she is a billing specialist for an agency that advocates for people with physical and mental disabilities.

She got married for the first time at 38, skipped being a mommy and went straight to Grandma. She says, “It worked out best for everyone that way.” It is fully her intention to go to her grave having never changed a diaper.

Visit Kristi:



Bringing Maggie Home


Title: Bringing Maggie Home

Author: Kim Vogel Sawyer

Genre: Women’s Fiction, Christian, Mystery

Publisher: Random House

Rating: 4 stars


Decades of Loss, an Unsolved Mystery,
and a Rift Spanning Three Generations

Hazel DeFord is a woman haunted by her past. While berry picking in a blackberry thicket in 1943, ten-year old Hazel momentarily turns her back on her three-year old sister Maggie and the young girl disappears.

Almost seventy years later, the mystery remains unsolved and the secret guilt Hazel carries has alienated her from her daughter Diane, who can’t understand her mother’s overprotectiveness and near paranoia. While Diane resents her mother’s inexplicable eccentricities, her daughter Meghan—a cold case agent—cherishes her grandmother’s lavish attention and affection.

When a traffic accident forces Meghan to take a six-week leave-of-absence to recover, all three generations of DeFord women find themselves unexpectedly under the same roof. Meghan knows she will have to act as a mediator between the two headstrong and contentious women. But when they uncover Hazel’s painful secret, will Meghan also be able to use her investigative prowess to solve the family mystery and help both women recover all that’s been lost?



A touching family story involving mystery and how events from the past shape the future.

Bringing Maggie Home tells the story of Hazel DeFord, who carries the pain of guilt for the disappearance of her younger sister Maggie. The incident has remained with Hazel for seventy years and played a role in the strained relationship she has with her daughter Diane. But a visit from granddaughter Meghan could not only help repair Hazel and Diane’s relationship, but also reopen the case into what happened to Maggie.

I love a good book that tugs at your heartstrings and Bringing Maggie Home is a story that definitely does that. Through flashbacks, you’ll see how Hazel and Diane’s history shaped the way they are now. The switching from the present to the past was well-written and added greatly to the story. You feel the characters’ sadness and anger; at times you’ll find yourself tearing up with them.

I loved all of the characters. From the trio of Hazel, Diane, and Meghan to the supporting character of Sean Eagle. Everyone played a huge role in the book and I was invested in their story. With Meghan, I loved how she was strong, yet she had a sensitive side as she dealt with some unresolved issues of her past. I would’ve liked for the story to delve more into the accident that caused Meghan to get injured. They mentioned she felt remorse, yet I would’ve preferred more explanation into how the accident happened.

The mystery of Maggie’s disappearance was a huge part of the book. From the beginning I had a hunch as to what happened to her and at the end my theory was proven right. I thought the author did a nice job of explaining the circumstances of what happened to Maggie.

I really enjoyed the story; I thought it was a nice mystery story with a touch of family saga. It’s a story that will have you in suspense while also tugging at your heart.

“I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for this review.”


KIM VOGEL SAWYER is a highly acclaimed, best-selling author with more than one million books in print, in seven different languages. Her titles have earned numerous accolades including the ACFW Carol Award, the Inspirational Readers’ Choice Award, and the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence. Kim lives in central Kansas with her retired military husband, Don, where she continues to write gentle stories of hope. She enjoys spending time with her three daughters and grandchildren.





Westmore: Second Chances Excerpt

Hello Everyone!

As you all know, Westmore: Second Chances has finally been released.

I promised to share an excerpt from the book so without further ado, here’s a sneak peek at what’s happening in the latest Westmore installment.





With her arms wrapped around a pillow, Alicia curled up on her side. The touch of a man’s hand on her hip interrupted her peaceful slumber. Startled she jumped; swinging her fists she managed to hit the man in the chest before he grabbed her arms. She tried to wiggle free, but he had a strong hold on her.

“Calm down, Alicia.” A male voice responded.

Alicia’s body fell limp at the voice, one she recognized. “Wayne, is that you?” He released her. “What the hell are you doing here? How did you get in?”

“I needed to see you.”

“So you broke into my house?” She threw her hands in the air. “You really are crazy. My stepdad’s a cop, he’ll arrest you.”

“I know it’s risky, but I couldn’t resist.”

“You need to leave; my mom or Jim could see you. Then you’ll be in trouble.” She cracked open the door to make sure nobody was awake.

“I don’t care.”

Exasperated, she shut the door. “Wayne, please go.”

“No,” he said in a firm tone.

“Please, I’m worried about you. If anybody finds out you’re here…”

“They won’t.”

The more he refused, the furious Alicia became. I can see stubbornness also runs in the Braxton family.

“Alicia, both you and I know you don’t want me to leave.” His fingers caressed her cheek, her smooth skin felt good to him.

Her body became weak at his touch. “Wayne, please.”

“Do you really want me to leave?” He put his finger on her lips as she opened her mouth. “Don’t answer yet.”

Pulling her closer, his left hand rested on her back as his other cupped her head. He took a moment to appreciate her beauty, everything about Alicia captivated him. Not wanting to wait another second longer, he pressed his lips against hers. She resisted at first, then she slowly came into the kiss. Parting her lips, she let his tongue explore her mouth. She wrapped her arms around his shoulders as he deepened the kiss.

He scooped her up in his arms and carried her to the bed. Gently he laid her on the covers. He pulled away; gazing down at her. Both of them were breathless from the kiss. “Do you still want me to leave?”

“No,” she whispered before pulling him down on her. His hands made their way under her tank top; Alicia closed her eyes and moaned. She didn’t want this to end.



Second chances are hard to come by. But when they occur, you have to grab the opportunity and prove your worth.

In volume 7 of the soap opera inspired series, fate gives Westmore’s residents a chance to redeem themselves.

*Wayne’s new venture lands him in the good graces of his family again. But his budding romance with Alicia Green could cause his downfall.

*Recovering from his divorce, Andrew decides to enjoy life with the company of another woman. Will he find love with his new lady? Or will he resort to bad habits for another shot at love with Elizabeth?

*A fatal shooting almost cost Jim his life, but he pulls through to reunite with Charlotte and his family. But his near death experience has him contemplating a huge decision.

*Laura and Rick vowed to leave their relationship in the past, yet a sensual encounter could have the lover reigniting the flame.

Will this these characters succeed in gaining their second chances? Or does destiny have other plans for them?

Find out in Westmore: Second Chances.

Available Now


Amazon Kindle




Westmore vol 7 is Finally Here!

Dear Readers,

It’s been a while since I’ve last blogged, but I wanted to share with you some big news.

Last week, I released Westmore: Second Chances, the 7th volume in the series.

 tv happy fun excited celebration GIF

The release of the book was a special moment for me. It took nearly two years for me to write, edit, and finally publish Westmore: Second Chances.

I had some stuff happen in life that affected my mood. I was in a funk and really didn’t feel like writing, so volume 7 just idled away on my computer.

I didn’t know when or if I’d ever publish it.

 cartoon worried waiting daffy duck waiting gif GIF

Then finally about a year ago, I decided to start working on it again. This time I was determined to stay on track and get it published.

It took some time, but I finally finished writing the book. Then after some tweaks in the editing, Westmore: Seconds Chances was ready for publication.

I was so happy to finally hit the publish button. Plus, I’m sure anyone whose read Westmore was excited to have volume 7 available.

I won’t give away too much about what happens in this volume, I’ll be saving that for next week’s post.

In the meantime, here’s a glimpse of the cover to tide you over.