Thursday, July 04, 2013

Time For A Change

For a number of years, American Romance authors have shared successes...and a few failures, joys...and a couple of tribulations, hopes and the very best of dreams with our readers right here on the Harlequin American Romance Authors' blog.  More than any other single location, this has been the place where we reached out to you, our readers.  The place where we introduced you to the heroes and heroines in our stories.  The place where we talked about the small towns, the communities and the families that are central to American Romance.  

Today, though, there are so many other avenues for you to reach us, that this site isn't as effective as it once was.  So, the time has come to board up the windows and move on.  Instead of continuing with the blog, we invite you to visit us on our websites, drop in to chat on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and look below for a special good-bye from some of your favorite authors.  

We're in the process of setting up a new home on Facebook (, but it's not quite ready yet.  In the meantime, we'll continue to write the wonderful, heartwarming stories you've come to expect from Harlequin American Romance.  You can find all our new releases at the Harlequin website. 

Wishing everyone a happy Fourth of July while bidding adieu to the Harlequin American Romance Authors' blog makes for a bittersweet day to be sure.  It's been my honor to meet so many wonderful readers over the years, both here on the blog and at various booksignings and other events, and I hope you'll keep in touch. 

You'll always find my current and new releases on my website at, and from there you can also link to me on Facebook and sign up for my mostly monthly eNewsletter, Life in the Slow Lane, featuring recipes, writing news, giveaways, and contests.

Wishing you many long and happy hours of reading,
Lee McKenzie...writing fifty shades of pink!
Thanks to all the loyal Harlequin American Romance readers.  It's been a pleasure connecting with you here.  Please visit our personal websites for updates on future books.  My Facebook and website links are listed below.
Megan Kelly

Thank you to everyone who's stopped by for a visit over the years!  Selling my first story to the Harlequin American line well over a decade ago was one of my Top Ten most favorite life moments.  The fun that's followed in meeting so many warm and funny and caring readers has been another tremendous blessing.  Please remember that, even though our blog is retiring, our line is still going strong!  As are all of our talented authors!  Please feel free to find us on Facebook and Twitter, or on our individual web pages.  Happy reading!
Laura Marie Altom
Happy Fourth of July, and a fond farewell to the Harlequin American Romance Authors' blog.  It's been my great pleasure to have participated in this group blog for a number of years and to have met so many wonderful readers here.  But this isn't a final good-bye! 
 Please drop by my website, where you can get in touch via e-mail and stay up-to-date with all my writing news.  I hope you'll visit me there and will also stop by to chat with me on Facebook and Twitter. 
All my best to you.
Until we meet again,
Barbara White Daille
The first entry I wrote for the Harlequin American blog was in December, 2006, so I bid farewell to this blog with much fondness.  I'll be guest-posting elsewhere and including links at my JacquelineDiamondAuthor page on Facebook.  Thanks to all of you for reading!
Jacqueline Diamond

All good things end.  It's been fun writing for this blog, and I'm sad to say goodbye.  But I'm not gone.  Visit anytime, or drop me an email at

Ann Roth

The day I received an invitation to post on the Harlequin American Romance Authors' blog I literally danced for joy!  And I've loved participating here and meeting all our wonderful readers.  I hope you'll keep in touch!
Leigh Duncan




Monday, July 01, 2013

June Winner!!


You’re the June winner of two American Romance books. Please contact Amanda Renee and Roxann Delaney through their websites to receive your books.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Summer Living

Also known as barbecue season at my house. Here in the Pacific Northwest we tend to barbecue year round, but during the summer it's virtually every day. I love it because cooking outdoors means less mess in the kitchen and the food, while delicious, tends to be fresher and simpler.

Summer is also salad season, so I thought I would share this delicious potato salad recipe with you.

Lee’s Favourite Potato Salad

1-1/2 pounds red-skinned baby potatoes
1 sweet yellow pepper
2 or 3 green onions, sliced
1/4 pound sugar snap peas
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon dried dill (or 3 tablespoons fresh, chopped)
salt & pepper to taste

Cut the potatoes in half, cook till tender, drain and set aside to cool. Cook the peas in boiling water for 1 minute till they turn bright green, chill under cold running water and drain. Core and chop the yellow pepper into bite-sized pieces. Put the chilled potatoes, peas, pepper and onion in a serving bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, lemon juice, mustard and salt & pepper. Pour the dressing over the salad, toss and enjoy. Serves four.

I love this salad because it's colorful, quick to make, and stores better than a salad with a mayonnaise dressing.

For those who enjoy collecting recipes, feel free to drop by my website and request a set of Ready Set Sold recipes cards. They're not just free, but I pay the postage! The newest recipe is for Lee's Luscious Lemonade, which just happens to be the same lemonade Maggie makes in Maggie's Way, my latest Harlequin Heartwarming.

While you're at my website, feel free to sign up for my newsletter, Life in the Slow Lane. One of the perks of being a subscriber is being eligible to enter my monthly contests.

Happy reading! Happy summer!

Until next time,
Daddy, Unexpectedly (Harlequin American Romance, May 2013)
Maggie's Way (Harlequin Heartwarming, May 2013)

Friday, June 14, 2013

What's Summer Fun?!

Proud of myself for finally ditching the winter wreath and hauling off the poor dead fern! LOL!!
Ahh . . . summer.

The word calls to mind turquoise swimming pools and sunshine glinting like diamonds on oceans lapping sandy shores. Summer makes me think of picnics and ice cream and watermelon. Planting flowers and reading on the shady front porch.

Um, yeah--if you're at Casa Altom, now's the time to make that annoying scratchy record sound, because so far, our summer has super sucked.

After more kid angst than even I could ever imagine--and that's saying somethin'--we've now moved on to a new window leak, hose spigot leak, fleas, and one or two ants in random places. Our nearly sixteen-year-old dog Sweet Pea just had tooth surgery and yesterday, all three kids managed to squelch any attempt at writing with minor medical emergencies that began at 7:40 AM with a trek to the dermatologist, then to the dentist, then the urgent care center for an issue EVERYONE knows to never call me for . . . I'm turning green just thinking of it!!  LOL!!

Knock on wood, but thankfully, everyone's healthy again and today has been selfishly, wonderfully all mine!!! It may not be very summer-like, but I've written a few pages, gabbed on the phone with my bestie, watched an episode of Lost, and even manged to cheat on my diet.

Great times, right? My fingers are crossed that any day now, even more summer fun will hit me like a truckload of yummy s'mores!!

How about you? Got anything awesome planned for June, July or August?


Thursday, June 13, 2013

Where does it all come from?

I’m asked that question all the time. Some of it comes from memory, some of it comes to me the instant I close my eyes and let my fingers glide across the keyboard. Yes, I do tend to type with my eyes closed. What better way to describe something than to visualize the scene playing out before you? And while we don’t have time to cover every character, today I will touch on the ones I’m asked about most frequently.

Years ago, I interned in breed management on a reining horse ranch back in New Jersey. While the ranch no longer exists, it was state-of-the-art at the time and gave me the idea for the Bridle Dance Ranch in the Ramblewood series. Equine artificial insemination fascinated me and Lexi Lawson, Ramblewood’s equine vet was born.

Who are the Langtry brothers? They are a combination of every sexy, confident, red-blooded American male I have come across. But I do have to admit, the basic idea of them probably originated with the Dukes of Hazzard. Who could resist those Duke boys?

Everyone wants to know who Mable Promise is. Mable is my all-time favorite character of any book I’ve read. She even beats out Scarlett O’Hara and I didn’t think anyone would ever touch that golden spot. Mable is the most honest, kind-hearted, mom-to-everyone, gospel loving woman you will ever meet. She’s also the first person to set you straight and put the fear of God into you if you dare walk across her clean kitchen floor with your mud cake boots. She’s a blend of many people I’ve known and a woman with a story of her own.

People always ask what town I patterned Ramblewood, Texas after. It’s a combination of all the small towns I’ve traveled to and through over the years. It sits in the heart of Hill Country where family and community come together as one. Ramblewood’s not perfect by any means. People have some deeply buried secrets, which you’ll start to see in BLAME IT ON THE RODEO.

When I started writing BETTING ON TEXAS, I knew Ramblewood would never just be one book. I had originally planned a four book series, featuring the Langtry brothers, but as BETTING ON TEXAS ended, a few other characters came to the foreground and begged me to tell their stories. Where will end? It may not – Some towns live in our hearts forever as I hope Ramblewood will for my readers.

So when I’m asked, where does it all come from? I have to reply…from the heart. In writing this series, I hoped to create a place where the readers want to stop and grab a bite to eat at The Magpie or take a canoe ride down Cooter Creek before heading to Slater’s Mill for a beer and a night of dancing. Ramblewood lives in the heart of all of us looking for a warm place to call home.

August brings about the release of HOME TO THE COWBOY, the second book in the Ramblewood series. Tess Dalton is home for a visit, but you know how those Langtry men can put a wrinkle in a woman’s plans, and Cole is no exception! So if you find yourself driving through town, or browsing the bookstore aisles, pay a visit to the folks in Ramblewood and catch up on your favorites. I’ll see you there!

Amanda Renee
HOME TO THE COWBOY (August 2013)
BLAME IT ON THE RODEO (February 2014)

Wednesday, June 12, 2013


It's June, and although summer doesn't officially begin for another couple of weeks, kids are finishing up the school year, people are firing up their backyard barbecues, and families are heading out on vacations. 

When I was a child, summer vacations were always spent on my grandmother's farm in southern Alabama.  There, my cousins and I spent long, hot days hoeing acres of butter beans,  field peas, tomatoes and okra.  We rose early to pick the ripest fruits and vegetables, then spent hours in the kitchen, canning the harvest for the winter.  Evenings found us rocking in the double-swing on the wide front porch with enormous bowls in our laps.  While the swing rocked, we popped peas out of their shells or snapped beans into the bowls. 

And we talked.  About the boys and the stores and the adventures of our city-lives.  Listened to our cousins from Alabama share their own tales of boys and cows and what Ol' Man-this and Ol' Lady-that had done lately.  Hung on every word that fell from our Massachusetts cousins who spoke so differently from the rest of us but had the best stories to tell. 

As I grew older, I missed those summer days.  I went to college, which meant I needed a j-o-b during the summer or there'd be no money for brain food, aka pizza, once classes started again.  I married a Navy man, and we moved...a lot.  We had children and spent our vacations visiting their grandparents. Too many years passed.  My grandmother's house changed hands several times and, although family members still own it, it's no longer the gathering place it once was. 

This weekend, though, a bunch of us cousins did get together again.  And though it had been a l-o-n-g time since many of us had seen each other, we made ourselves at home on a front porch where we shared the stories of our lives...and vowed not to wait so long to get together again. 

Family, it's one of the central themes of Harlequin American Romance.  I so enjoyed touching base with my family this weekend.  How about you?  Any plans for a family reunion this summer? 

Friday, June 07, 2013

Writing about cowboys (or astronauts or firefighters) can be challenging to those not living in those areas of the country or not in that line of work. In the Midwest, we don't have many cowboys. I can research horses at our local stables and through the Internet, but the mind-set of the cowboy is more of a mystery. Face it, 1) he's a man, which makes it hard enough to figure what's going on in his head, and 2) he's usually the quiet type, not revealing much by talk and internalizing all his feelings. At least my cowboy heroes are.

I like the *idea* of the hard-partying cowboy, but I've never quite latched onto him as a hero. Maybe someday...

I'm hooked on the new A&E TV series Longmire. Why? It's complex. It has people with real life problems, set in a locale alien to me. The hero is flawed. Deeply. Secrets abound in his life and in the county he oversees.

But I'm pretty sure I love the series for the same reason we all love cowboys.
Walt Longmire is a man of strength and honor, upholding the law, doing what's right for his county. He respects people and understands them. He fights for truth and justice. He lives the "American way." Pardon me for borrowing the label from another superhero, but Superman has a lot in common with the cowboy.

So while we wait to watch Longmire or Man of Steel, we have books to read (like those to the right) that will fill the need to believe in honorable men who do the right thing. Just because that's who they are to the core of their being.

Wishing you many happy days of reading,

Megan Kelly