A Carefree Novel series by Leslie Ray I knew I’d made a huge mistake before I ever finished the first book in this series. I’d only bought first two books and I was devouring them. Thankfully, the third novel was only an email away.
I haven’t taken much time to read until lately. I’ve been so busy with work, writing and life. Getting older sucks. But one thing I’ve learned is I have to take time for myself. I can’t continue to push myself without risking my health. Taking time to read, watch a movie with my husband or hang out with friends and family are a great way to keep the doctors away. Finding great books to read isn’t difficult when you know so many authors but finding the books that resonate with you is a bit more of a challenge. I have a confession, I’m a moody reader. I read eclectically but I have to be in the right mood to read certain books and genres.
The Carefree series hit all the right spots but warning you’ll have to read these books with a fresh pack of tissues close at hand.
Carefree, South Carolina is a peaceful small town, or it was before Julia Hawthorne arrived. Julia didn’t know about the house her father left her in his will, but it might just be the haven she needs. Healing from one heartache after another, Julia plans to restart her life and Carefree’s slower pace is just the ticket. Unless she ends up with a ticket or in lock up… after a few run-ins with Carefree’s police chief she’s not so sure that her new life is going to start out behind bars.
Miles Scott, the Carefree Chief of Police is in for a roller coaster ride as Julia leads him on a whirlwind chase. Returning home after years in the military, Miles hasn’t let people get too close, including his big noisy family, but he has an instant attraction to Julia Hawthorn. Can two broken people heal each other? Secrets from their pasts collide and their fears have them running away, will they take a chance on love or is their fear greater than their attraction.
Kat Henley is the big, shouldered broad who owns the local diner Kat Got Your Tongue. She’s not a person who lets anyone else tell her what to do. Kat is happiest tending everyone else’s business, but she doesn’t like to have the tables turned. Preparing for her twin’s wedding, she has an unexpected surprise that changes everything. Ashamed of choices she made in her past, will she continue to let it control her or is she brave enough to face the future?
Officer Marshall Brooks is Miles’ best friend and a fixture in the Scott family. He’s been in love with Kat since they were kids. New challenges and old fears threaten their future as he tries to convince Kat to take a chance on them. Will he give up on the woman he’s loved nearly his whole life? This was an awesome sequel to Exposure. The feel of the town of Carefree and the secondary characters adds so much richness to this story. I could see Carefree as a series. I can’t wait to read the last book in the series, Division.
Trent’s Melody eBook goes live tomorrow. I enjoyed writing this story and discovering who Trent and Melodie are. They both have broken pieces and a shared past. It took several years for them to find the courage to try again but together they are stronger than they are alone. Seeing the beauty of two people coming together and finding their strengths and allowing their person to help them through their weaknesses, that is romance whether in a book, movie or real life.
I have been blessed to find my person. That one person in the world who makes me stronger and helps me be me. I don’t have to pretend when I’m with my husband, he sees the real me and still likes me and I like him. It’s not enough I think to just love and desire each other, though I think that’s a big part of life and romance but sharing a connection that runs deeper. This weekend, I spent time with a couple who really brought out the best in each other. They balanced one another. He taught her to play, and have fun, she showed him that being serious wasn’t boring. Like the fictional couples we adore, sometimes opposites attract but their also has to be a key element that links them together. For my friends and my husband, it is a generosity of spirit, an innate kindness.
In Trent’s Melody, Trent is vulnerable but still strong. He is kind but often tries to hide it. He is afraid to love and open himself up to hurt but along the way he knows, he’s not happy alone so why not take a chance? Life is about taking chances, doing things that scare us. That’s what shows us were alive. I drove down a mountain, climbed a tower, and am scheduled to do some public speaking (my real fear.) I continue to push myself and my characters into uncomfortable situations because I want to continue to grow and learn.
I hope you will read Trent’s Melody and I hope you enjoy it as much I love writing it. The print book is available through Amazon. I have signed copies available upon request. Ebooks are available at most retail locations online and through many libraries. If you have trouble finding any of my books, just contact me and I’ll help you out. Thank you again for being a part of my author journey and taking a chance on me.
What the readers are saying…
Funny, sexy, heart-wrenching, and exciting! K B Davenport
In the latest entry in the Harrell Family Chronicles series, Hollister’s signature thrills, romance, and slice-of-life drama are ever-present. Trent’s Melody is at turns funny, sexy, heart-wrenching, and exciting. Main characters Trent and Melodie are facing down a complicated history. With so much guilt and regret behind them, they struggle to find the good in each other and in themselves.
As always, Hollister manages to provide deeply human drama with peppered comedic relief. There are lots of steamy, romantic moments as well. I really enjoyed the reality series element, as I’m a big fan of home renovation shows. It also gives the characters some interesting stakes beyond their relationships.
The familiar faces from Hollister’s other books in the Harrell Family Chronicles series are nice to see. There’s a sense of family and community in this series that reminds me of my hometown and all the antics that come with it. Fans of suspense and spicy romance will love Trent’s Melody!
Brenda Mayo Jones says…
This book will grab you from the beginning! You get to meet Trent and Melodie who had a past. A past that includes death, music and hometown renovations! You find out how people can put their past behind them and rekindle their love on an entirely new level. One that is more mature. As with most of her books, there is romance, intrigue, a stalker and a couple coming to terms with their differences and learning how to make the best of each other come out in the end! Wonderful story with everything you enjoy in a suspense and romance book all rolled into one!
Marni Graff calls it a compulsive read!
New thrills and chills w/body heat: betrayal takes a back seat to a stalker bent on revenge, when a reno competition brings singer/songwriter Trent back into writer Melodie’s life. But what if her heart and body send a different message? A compulsive read
This has been a busy month. It was supposed to be a month dedicated to writing, finishing my two Christmas novellas and working on my NaNoWriMo project. My friend, Vickie and I went to a writers’ retreat in Murfreesboro where we both were inspired to write something new. We had a lovely farewell ceremony for our fellow writer, Adrienne Dunning who died this summer. Adrienne was supposed to have joined us on this retreat. We’d made plans just hours before her death. We are none guaranteed tomorrow.
I took several days off this month to work on my stories, help my son move next door and spend time with family and friends but my mom fell…she spent three days in the hospital and now is in rehab. Life is altered in the blink of an eye. The good news is she is still with us, nothing is broken, my son got moved in and they’ve been feeding us, or rather we’ve been taking turns feeding each other. I even managed to finish both novellas, at least the ebook version. I’m hoping to have the print version available soon.
Only in My Dreams is a World War 2 romance. After her brother is killed at Pearl Harbor, Nurse Lydia Davis leaves her lover, pilot and mechanic, Jeremy Cross at the altar when she joins the Women’s Army Nurses Corp. The lovers are reunited at Christmas in England but will they renew their vows to each other or simply take comfort from the horrors of war?
This story was inspired by World War 2 Navy Nurse, Ann Windley, a strong and vital part of my community and someone I am blessed to call a friend.
The novella is only 99 cents at any ebook retail store.
The Harrell Brothers: one married young, one married well, one married a psychopath straight from hell.
Welcome to The Harrell Family Chronicles where three brothers, their families and friends battle those determined to take over the rudderless sex trafficking cartel that has bullied their town for decades. Old family secrets entwine with new as ghosts from the past threaten the family and the town, and new threats pop up where they least expect.
The Harrell family were farmers until the two youngest brothers decided it was more lucrative and less dependent upon Mother Nature to turn half the farm into a campground. The oldest, John will always be a farmer at heart, but that was not the life his brothers wanted no matter how much he tried to force it on them after their father’s death.
John wouldn’t have met Willow Rider had he not left the farm and joined the military. She was not the typical farmer’s wife. She was destined for great things, and he wouldn’t stand in her way. He’d take her however he could keep her, even if it meant spending most of his time without her.
Charlie, married at sixteen, never wanted to be a farmer. He wanted to go to school and become an electrician. He went to school and got his general contractor’s license and later his electrical license so he could build the cabins for their camp.
Charlie and Liz, despite the odds managed to stay married, raise seven children and are mostly happy together. They said it was because it was the two of them against everyone else, they had to be united, but sometimes, it just works.
The youngest brother, Robert, preferred to be a hunting and fishing guide. He attended college only because his mother threatened him. He earned credits to be a wildlife officer but lacked motivation until his young wife pushed him to do something.
Robert’s wife was beautiful, but they didn’t fit. Nicole was big cities and loud parties; Robert was happiest alone on the river. Robert was the only one surprised when she left. But everyone was surprised by what happened next.
The farmer and the psychiatrist. Willow and John should have never met, much less fallen in love, but they did. Thirty years later their relationship is in limbo. When her nephew dies in a tragic fire, Dr. Willow Rider knows she has to repair her relationship with her husband and sons before it’s too late. She is a terrible mother and an awful wife but she’s an awesome therapist. Can she take her own advice and save her family?
Saint John, the oldest of the Harrell brothers has sacrificed everything to ensure his family’s happiness. Isn’t it time he grabs his own happiness? He is willing to do anything for a second chance with Willow, even take her crazy bet. But as he makes the same stupid mistakes, he pushes her farther away.
When a motorcycle club believes the only thing keeping them from gaining control of the local sex trafficking cartel is the Harrell family, they are their town come under attack.
Willow and John’s second chance at happiness may go up in flames as they find themselves at war with the Steel Marauders.
People have often asked me why I don’t write about my adventures raising six sons. I have to admit that I prefer to write their stories as fiction because no one believes the stuff they put me through if I tell it as fact. In fiction I can clean my boys up a little when I like them and make them the heroes of my stories and if they’ve pissed me off, I can make them the villains. It’s been a running joke around our house that mom will put you in her book and kill you off on page fifty, but some know they’re the smelly corpse discovered in the ditch at the very beginning of the story. Heck, it’s not even a threat anymore my grandkids are begging to be put in my books and even telling me how I can kill them off. I mean really, where’s the threat in that? We put the fun in dysfunctional, what can I say? I have long conversations with my children and grandchildren about blowing things up and how to get rid of bodies. The holidays are never boring around our house.
Willow’s Retreat makes my eighth novel. I have been writing since I was ten years old, but I’ve only been published since 2017. I’m married to my own romantic hero, and we’ve lived several romance tropes from our friends-to-lovers reunion beginning, to our second chance romance, blended family romantic adventure. After thirty years of marriage, six sons and twenty-one grandchildren we are still writing our romance book.
John has sacrificed his own happiness to ensure the happiness of everyone else his whole life. As the oldest of the Harrell brothers, he believed it was his duty to protect his younger brothers. When Charlie came to him and told him his high school girl friend was pregnant, he left the farm he loved to join the military so Charlie would have a way to support his family. He never asked, he just did what he felt was best.
When he met Willow, he knew she was amazing. He was willing to accept her on whatever terms he could keep her. He knew she wasn’t the typical farmer’s wife, but he didn’t care, he loved her. When his father died, he didn’t ask her to come back to the farm with him. She had a chance to work at one of the most prestigious hospitals, he couldn’t take that from her. He never asked, he just did what he felt was best. He packed up their son, Walker and moved back to the farm to take care of his mother and brothers.
A farmer and a psychiatrist, can they find a place where they both belong?
Will John continue to sacrifice his own happiness to give those he loves what he believes they need, or will he finally learn to ask?
I believe in happy endings, but some take longer to achieve.
Who Wants to Marry a Duke by Sabrina Jeffries Narrated by Beverley A. Crick
There are very few authors who I pre-order, Sabrina Jeffries is one of them. I love this series and was anxious to read it. It was worth the wait, another fabulous story.
Women of strength and substance people Jeffries’ novels, the latest heroine is chemist Miss Olivia Norley. When she offered to clean a stain from the new duke’s waistcoat at a party, Thorn, aka the duke of Thornstock, Marlowe Drake believes she set him up to get caught so they would have to marry. When she refuses his proposal, he misconstrues her reasons.
Years later the pair finds themselves teamed up when Thorn’s half-brother Grey needs a chemist to prove his father was murdered. The attraction is still there but Thorn’s secret could tear them apart.
Raised to believe that every young woman wants to marry a duke and will stop at nothing to catch one, Thorn is twice surprised when Olivia refuses him. What will it take for the beautiful and intelligent chemist to say yes?
Sabrina Jeffries makes the reader believe in possibilities. For a moment we can believe in a world where a young woman of the ton carries the necessary chemicals in her purse to clean wine from a vest. We believe in love at first sight. She even makes us believe in the strength of a young woman’s character that she would refuse a proposal not given with his whole heart. We also believe that love will win in the end, that the truth will come out and the bad guys will be punished.
I impatiently wait for the next story in The Duke Dynasty Series.
Janie’s Secrets is a recycled novel. I wrote the original a dozen years ago as Plain Janie. It has been a slapstick comedy i.e. I Love Lucy style, an amateur sleuth similar to Janet Evanvich’s Stephanie Plumb series, check out One for the Money and Two for the Dough (a couple of my favorites and what influenced my writing for a while). But as I was copying other writers’ styles, I was still searching for my own voice.
When I first started writing The Leeward Files series, I never thought it would be more than three books. I wanted to tell Rae Lynne’s story supported by her friends’ stories. As I was writing Dana and Jenna’s books, I began to learn more about each character and the town of Leeward. I knew I couldn’t stop until the bad guys were caught and each of these characters had their happy ending (even if it didn’t last). But don’t worry, those of you who have read all the books, there is another happy story in the works for our characters but I do feel the need to torture them once in a while.
As I neared the end of The Leeward Files Series, I knew I still wanted to live in this town. I like it here. I wanted to tell Janie’s story and I wanted to bring in her crazy, somewhat dysfunctional family into the mix. So Plain Janie turned into Janie’s Secrets (there were other names for this book before I finally decided on this), and The Harrell Family Chronicles became a spin-off of The Leeward Files.
Follow me to Leeward.
sherrilhollister.com/Suspense She Writes Bookstore Dismiss