MORE MISSISSIPPI

Paddle of a steamer on an inland waterway

PART TWO ON THE MISSISSIPPI PADDLEBOAT TRIP

Thanks for indulging my recent and fond memories. I hope you enjoy the pictures.

We left off last week in a place called Clinton, Iowa and beginning with this blog we’ll pick up in Iowa’s oldest city. To be honest I’d never imagined visiting Dubuque before, but I’m so glad I did.  What a nice small city of 26,000 people. In the 1990s wise people on the historical society began redeveloping the riverfront and it is beautiful! Did you know that Dubuque has been on many list of bests? 100 Best Communities for Young People, The Most Livable Small City, and an all around Iowa Great Place. This little All American City seems to have it all.

First, I visited St. Luke’s church to see the exquisite Tiffany windows.

My pictures don’t do them justice, but I had to share. The reason Tiffany windows are so vibrant is because the color goes through all layers of the glass.

 

 

 

 

 

Culture abounds in Dubuque with it’s own opera house and the hundred year old hotel now called Julien, but I couldn’t resist the quirky ride up the world’s shortest, steepest railway to Fenalon Place. What was I thinking??? Evidently some rich guy wanted to go home for lunch and he worked down there and lived up there, so…where there’s a will there’s a way. Honestly, I could not believe this creaky old cable lift could possibly pass a certification, yet here we all were riding up and down the darn thing. The view from the top was certainly worth it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I particularly enjoyed the small Museum of Art, but what caught my eye the most was this wire sculpture on the lawn out front of it. Neat, huh. You can see right through it, I could have spent a lot more time kicking around Dubuque, but we had more river boating to do the rest of the night and on to the next morning to reach another discovery and new favorite of mine – La Cross, Wisconsin!

What a lovely place, but unfortunately I didn’t get to spend much time there because we signed up for a much smaller boat ride in Winona, Minnesota (another charming place aka The Midwest’s Best Kept Secret).  The Captain was a kick and very knowledgeable, and most importantly he delivered on many eagle sightings. Here are just a couple:

First one isn’t real. This was also the first place we had rain.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Plus some cute river turtles.

 

 

 

 

Winona has a fabulous history center where I took this picture

There is also an amazing Marine Art Museum in Winona. I could have spent hours and hours there! Wow

But we had more riverboating to do  and places to be.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunsets on the Mighty Mississippi are always gorgeous. I realize I’ve taking up too much time and will have to write a third blog because I want to share my experience in Red Wing, Minnesota at the National Eagle Center.

So, rather than cut that portion short, I will continue with Part Three of the Big Muddy River Cruise next week.

One last thing, I was tickled to see one of my books, Too Close for Comfort, is being feature in the top ten Sizzling Romance Novels Where Old Flames Reconnect And People From The Past Return at EZVID WIKI. See here.

thanks for reading!

Until next time, make it a great one!

Lynne

 

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UP THE BIG MUDDY, Part One


In August, my husband and I took a riverboat cruise up the Mississippi River beginning in St. Louis, Missouri and ending in Minneapolis, Minnesota. We’d done the lower Mississippi on the same paddle boat last year starting in New Orleans and ending in Memphis, and it sparked the desire to travel the rest of the way up north.

I’m setting my writer’s life aside for a bit to share some of our vacation photos.
We couldn’t go to St. Louis without taking a walking tour of the city and visiting the Gateway Arch, the 630-foot stainless steel monument also known as the gateway to the west during the westward expansion.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And Cardinal Stadium. We love visiting ballparks. View from our hotel room.

We loved the diverse neighborhoods, especially what we saw of the oldest and liveliest Soulard district,  known for having the biggest Mardi Gras celebrations outside of New Orleans but also for preserving the historic homes and shops. We also loved the abundance of beautiful parks inside and outside St. Louis.

 

 

 

Later, after visiting the Louis and Clark State historic site and much more, we embarked on our old-fashioned steamboat for the rest of our trip.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Traveling on a steamboat on the Mississippi River took us back in time, and our first big stop was in Hannibal, childhood home of Mark Twain. What could be more fitting!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Along the walls in this museum in Hannibal were posters of the original paintings done by Saturday Evening Post master artist Norman Rockwell of illustrations from Tom Sawyer. They were wonderful!

The next official port of call was Clinton, Iowa, but we popped over into Fulton, Illinois to see the Windmill Cultural Center, first. The cities are so close one storefront was called Illowa. My husband is half Dutch and it was interesting to note that 40% of the residents in Fulton were also of Dutch heritage. Cute town!

Later we caught a van driven by a local man who was a lineman for the county, to share the beautiful Eagle Point Park with its very own castle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My husband spent a lot of time as we cruised watching for Eagles and we saw many of them along the banks, high up in the trees.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Every night the dinners were grand, and the entertainment was topnotch with the occasional lecture dedicated to Samuel Clemens, a most amazing and forward-thinking man we’ve come to know as Mark Twain – who was once a riverboat captain on The Big Muddy himself.  Follow the link to find out the significance of this phrase and how he got his pseudonym. 1 – twain, 2 – twain, mark – twain…

For fear of boring you to tears, I’ll blog part two next week.

Until next time, make it a great one!

Lynne

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BACKLIST BINGO!

I love to write trilogies and look forward to sharing my upcoming Taylor Sisters trilogy for Harlequin Special Edition line in 2020, but that’s a blog for another day.

Today, I’m making a point about hanging around with the same publisher (Harlequin) for over thirteen years. After so long, one of the perks is a long backlist.

The beauty of a backlist is, the books have expiration dates when the author can ask to get them back. Which leads me to why I’m blogging.

Any author will tell you that of all their books there are always one or two that they hold a little closer to their heart. That’s how I feel about an entire trilogy I wrote for the Medical Romance line in 2009, which was published in 2010. It was set in Santa Barbara on the California coast, in a beautiful Victorian house turned medical clinic. Of course, that trilogy was never branded or promoted as a trilogy by the publisher, and it sold accordingly. >clears throat<

That’s where the backlist is such a blessing for any enterprising author. I asked (begged) for my rights back for each book in that trilogy as the contract expiration drew near, and surprisingly was able to get the North American Rights returned for all three. Yippee! But North America meant I could only sell the books is US and Canada. Which is actually a good thing, since there is a huge digital untapped audience here who has never heard of me or my books.


For those in the UK and Europe (Maybe even Australia) I’m here to tell you that all three books are still available in original digital format. In fact, the book I’m specifically talking about today is also getting republished in France in September as Un Bébé, Tout Simplement.

HERE ARE THE ORIGINAL COVERS

Which covers do you like better?July 17th will be the release of book #2 – MORE THAN HE BARGAINED FOR – (formerly The Heart Doctor and the Baby) in North America. It is available for preorder and is already for sale in print. I hope you’ll check out the digital book wherever you’re located. It’s one of my all-time favorites, and the very first book the wonderful and lovely Flo Nicoll edited for me. For that alone, I will always cherish the book.

BLURB:
The contract was straight forward – no obligations. But there was something he hadn’t planned on…

Jon Becker, divorced father of teenage daughters, is dedicated to his job and looking forward to a sabbatical.

René Munro longs for a baby. Thirty-five and single, her options are limited. Except…her colleague and trusted friend, Jon, seems ideal genetic material! Dare she ask him to help make her baby dream come true?

Until next time, make it a great one!

Lynne

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THE SCENT OF A WOMAN

For those who missed my Fresh Fiction blog in May, I’m repeating it here.

In my newest book, His Second Chance at Forever, (Book #1 in the Santa Barbara Sunsets trilogy) I write about a nurse practitioner who has different ideas from her brooding doc boss. In fact, it’s a main source of conflict between them right off. One of the fun things I included in a small secondary thread was how Claire Albright believes in alternative approaches to medical care for all-around wellbeing. She also believes in the calming effect of certain essential oils. Jason is clueless, and at first, more than a little skeptical.

For those who aren’t familiar with essential oils, they are concentrated forms of plants and flowers that are often used in massage therapy and aroma therapy. From my perspective, they are heavenly. More and more people are discovering them, too. What about you?

FYI: Breathing in essential oils goes to the part of the brain that is linked to emotions. Good ones. The soothing scents tend to cause a positive reaction in mood, blood pressure, and heart rate to name a few.

If you suffer from white coat syndrome (fear of seeing your doctor) you might appreciate how Claire set up soothing aroma therapy in the office waiting room without consent. Risking her new job, she uses Lavender, Frankincense, and wild orange at one point, and Lavender, Ylang-Ylang, and rosemary another time for the sake of nerves about seeing a doctor. Jason Rogers didn’t understand what was going on, but the patients liked the change, and the benefit was calmer people with which to deal. Win-win, right?

At another point in the book, I mention how Jason, a man who is permanently grumpy because of a heartbreaking reason, discovers that Claire often smells like cinnamon, and, like it or not, the scent is appealing to him. So much so, he can’t get her out of his head. Not a bad side effect, right? Soon, Jason lets his guard down and asks Claire to coffee. So, unbeknownst to Claire, her choice of alternative treatments for herself opened the door to romance.

Not to go too technical, but did you know that the antioxidants in cinnamon have anti-inflammatory properties? This is another tidbit I enjoyed researching while writing this book, so load that stuff on your oatmeal, cereal, or smoothies all you want!

IT ALL STARTED WITH A SCENT

When Jason notices and likes Claire’s scent, he doesn’t realize she smells that way because she uses it as part of her Lupus treatment. All he knows is he likes having her around and catching the special fragrance, and her scent drives him a little crazy. Which is the part of the story that begins to bring him back to life again, and eventually, as they each work through their personal issues—because that’s what we do in romance—into the open arms of his new love. Yes! Another happy ending. sigh

Have you heard of essential oils? If you have, do you use them? If not, I hope I’ve piqued your interest.

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THE REST OF THE STORY…

THE REST OF THE STORY…

First off, I am happy to call myself employed by Harlequin. I have been fortunate to write many books for them, currently working on number thirty. Most people know of them, many have preconceived attitudes and roll their eyes, others are avid readers of series romance.

Here’s the news – Harlequin is turning 70!!!

 

They’ve written a great blog about their trailblazing in publishing which you can read here

I’d like to add to their story.

Harlequin has published an interesting history at their blog which I linked to above. One thing stood out to me that two other important players were not mentioned, and both are women. Yes, the most well-known publisher of category length romance in the world is Harlequin and it was founded in 1949 by Richard Bonnycastle, a Canadian, who specialized in reprints of books such as westerns, thrillers and classics.

For those who used to watch 60 Minutes when the wise curmudgeon Andy Rooney closed out the show, you’ll remember the phrase I’m using regarding the trailblazing Mr. Bonnycastle. So here we go:

AND HERE’S THE REST OF THE STORY…

Bonnycastle’s wife, Mary, and the first acquiring editor for Harlequin – Ruth Palmour, discovered a surprise at the local library. A Large assortment of well-written medical romances published by a long-established London firm.

In 1957, at the request of Ruth Palmour, Harlequin began buying the rights to those romance novels from the English firm Gerald Mills & Charles Boon limited. Heard of them? They’ve been around since 1908. By 1930 Mills & Boon concentrated on women’s fiction, and during WWII the books proved to be popular as an escape from reality.

The first romances Bonnycastle bought from M&B were doctor nurse stories. (Yes, the conflict centered around a Lordly doctor and a subservient nurse) Of course we’ve come a long way, baby! These little doctor nurse stories written by women for women became so successful that, in 1964 the Canadian company began to concentrate on them, and soon romance comprised the entire Harlequin LTD list.

Interesting, right? Where would Harlequin be today if Mary and Ruth hadn’t opened the door to the solid romances published in the UK?

Now, here is a bit of shameless self-promotion (a requirement for every author these days of digital dominance), along with, I hope, an interesting tidbit.

My May 14th release is a book I’ve had the rights returned to me on from Harlequin Mills & Boon. I’ve updated it and changed things out and in, but overall it is the same story that Harlequin bought and published back in 2010. Yes, it is a doctor nurse story. I believe we still love to read them, though mostly these days, the books tend toward doctor/doctor romance. Currently, in the USA, statistics show more women are applying to med school than men.

Now for the SSP:
Here’s the book and the blurb.

He’s stuck in the past. She shows him their future.

Sweet Romance
The brooding doctor Jason Rogers prefers to keep people at a distance and his pain tucked safely inside. So what if he’s a grouch? He doesn’t care.

Claire Albright isn’t afraid to waltz into her new boss’s office and give her opinions. The fact she has a tagalong little girl, Gina, who reminds Jason of the daughter he lost, only adds to their bristly start.

Soon, against Jason’s will, Claire and Gina inject hope back into his dull existence. Dare he dream of a life he never thought he’d have again?

Here are links to two early 5 Star reviews:

Always Reading

Older/Smarter  

On sale Mary 14th, 2019 – book #1 in Santa Barbara Sunsets trilogy.
I hope you’ll check it out!

DO YOU HAVE ANY HARLEQUIN TRIVIA TO SHARE? PLEASE COMMENT.

Until next time, make it a great one,
Lynne

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SPRING CLEANING YAY OR YUCK?

After all the rain we’ve had this winter in SoCal, I am super happy to see the sun shining, and seeing the sun shine reminds me it’s spring. Yay!

But spring reminds me that it’s time to clean. Yuck.

 

Deep cleaning is not my favorite. Over the years I’ve discovered ways to trick myself into thinking I’ve done enough to count, though.

I’m not clairvoyant but I can hear your thoughts – If it’s beautiful outside, why stay in and clean? Oh, the irony! That’s why I try to make it as quick and painless as possible.

Here are the four things I do to pretend I’ve participated in what we call spring cleaning. Trust me, they are all easy.

  1. Change the shower curtains (if you still have them, like I do) and rings 
  2. Wash the grommet curtains or loop curtains and clean the rods. Send traditional drapes to cleaners
  3. Go through the closet and drawers and give away the clothes you keep thinking you’ll fit back into
  4. Go through your books and give stacks and stacks to local friends of library or senior center or both!

Then all you need to do is clean your house like you always do. Or not. Deep Cleaning – take a hike!

This is the part where avid book readers get lucky.

Once I’ve gone through my office closet and discovered how many extra print books I have, I have a reason to host another book giveaway.

Heads up Lynne Marshall newsletter subscribers – watch for the Spring-Cleaning edition coming your way soon! (sign up here)

Here’s a non-cleaning tip for everyone – Amazon currently has my Delaney Brothers trilogy on sale for a dollar off each book.

You can check that out here. I have zero control on when or for how long these deals run, so check out this one poste haste.

I hope I’ve given you some easy tips on how to practice faux spring cleaning. Have fun! Or not.

If you’re like me, just grin and bear it with a wink, it’ll be over soon enough.

Until next time, make it a great one,
Lynne
Follow me on Bookbub, Amazon, Facebook, and Goodreads (please?)

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Getaways and St. Patrick’s Day

Wishing everyone a great weekend and a glass of green beer if that’s your poison. I’m a Chardonnay girl myself, and I don’t need my drink to have green food coloring to enjoy it on St. Patrick’s Day or any other day.

Before I continue, I wanted to let you know about a sweet 99 cent deal that will continue until midnight on St. Patrick’s March 17th. A SOLDIER’S SECOND CHANCE She owes him the truth. He wants to get even. But that old chemistry keeps messing up their plans.

Last week my husband and I took a postponed trip from February (due to heavy rain) to Cambria, California. A quaint little town on the beautiful central coast, just a hop, skip and jump from San Simeon. Below are several pictures from the coast, Hearst Castle, and other stops from our morning hikes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From the rugged and gorgeous shore to the William Randolph Hearst outdoor Grecian pool to his “castle” designed by the incredible architect Julia Morgan, to indoor cottages used by the Hearst family and famous guests,

300 year old tree

 

to the indoor pool. Then back to the glorious views down the long and winding path back to the rest of civilization and back to the coast

 

where sea elephants beach for months at a time while pups get strong enough to take to sea.

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  • The weather was at times rainy, but mostly sunny and brisk. Our meals were delicious, especially the one at The Sea Chest which was within walking distance from where we stayed. We ended the trip with a long drive home and a visit with our granddaughters.
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  • Do you like road trips? Share one of your favorites in the comments.

Until next time, here is my wish for you on St. Patrick’s Day and all the year through:

Now, make it a great one!

Lynne

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Five Things I love About Valentine’s Day

If It’s February, there seems to be one thing on most people’s minds. What to do about Valentine’s Day? This is the month that both wrecks havoc with men and promotes high expectations with women. I know there is a huge political debate buried somewhere in that statement, but I’m NOT going there. Instead, I’m simply going to share the five things that I love most about Valentine’s Day.

  1. It encourages people to show their feelings to someone special
  2. Love is in the air
  3. The day usually involves chocolate (I rest my case)
  4. Or gifts – and jewelry is always a good idea
  5. It is the second most popular day to get engaged.

#5 probably surprised you right? Well, the MOST popular day to get engaged turns out to be Christmas.


Since I mentioned I like gifts so much, I wanted to share a gift I have for you! For the next five days, February 8-12, The Doctor’s Indiscretion, a sexy romance on my indie list, is free. Get it at Amazon:

Here is the link: Enjoy!

Wishing you a romantic day and many, many more.

Until next time, make it a great one,

Lynne

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2019 MY GAP YEAR

First off, Happy New Year everyone!

Though I write all year, traditional publishers’ schedules are what drive the release of my books. As it happens, I won’t have a book out with either Harlequin or TULE in 2019. This could send panic through a writer, because how am I supposed to maintain reader interest without having new books for sale?

INFO ABOUT FREE BOOKS BELOW IN THIS BLOG (Through Saturday January 5th)

That’s where the term hybrid author comes in. Fortunately, I thought ahead and last year secured the return of my North American rights on a trilogy I’d written for Mills & Boon. That trilogy was never packaged, marketed or promoted as such, and sold accordingly. I am thrilled to have my rights back, and with plans to self-publish them, have now updated and expanded the three stories making them sweet romances but with all the conflict and emotional tension still in place. The only difference is closing the door on the most intimate moments. We all have imaginations, right?

Watch for Santa Barbara Sunsets trilogy May, July and October 2019. See the beautiful new covers and titles below. Click here to read each blurb.

May 2019                                                                                                   July 2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

October 2019

For those outside the US, I was part of two anthologies in Great Britain in December 2018: London’s Calling (Hot Single Docs) with my book American Surgeon in London, and Wedding Bell Wishes featuring one of my Harlequin Special Edition stories, Her Perfect Proposal.

For readers in Europe and Australia, here is the list of my 2019 International books.

February: Italy – Dr. Tall, Dark…and Dangerous – aka Un Chirurgo Pericoloso

March: France – Forever a Father (Harlequin Special Edition book #1 of The Delaneys of Sandpiper Beach) aka Bien Plus Qu’un Baiser
March: AustraliaMaking the Surgeon Smile (Hot Single Docs Giving into Temptation)

April: France – Soldier, Handyman, Family Man (Harlequin Special Edition book #2 in Delaney family trilogy) aka Tout Contre Lui
April: Denmark – American Surgeon in London

May: Sweden – American Surgeon in London

I have my fingers crossed that France will also pick up the third Delaney brothers’ book, because it only makes sense to publish all three, right? So far I don’t see a date on the International schedule but that could change at any time.

I hope you’ll check out the self-published books by Lynne Marshall already at Amazon. Two of them are currently free there (until Saturday January 5th) One for the Road, and Too Close for Comfort. Check them out!

Until next time, make it a great one,
Lynne

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The Night Before Christmas!

‘Twas the night before Christmas and throughout our bungalow,
Not a creature was stirring, not even Mr. Milo.      
The stockings were hung from the mantle with pride,
Hoping from high on his sleigh, Santa would see them inside.

 

 

Me wearing an apron and Bill in Christmas socks,
We sat near the fireplace drinking cocoa and Schnapps.
With the fire so warm, us cuddling cozy, just right,
Our eyelids got heavy and soon we went night-night.

 

With a loud crack from the log, I awoke on a yawn,
To find a small herd of reindeer out on our front lawn.  
I flew from the chair to see what was the matter,
and caught a glimpse of Santa climbing a ladder.

 

 

 

Then in an instant I heard on our roof,
the clomping and crunching of boots as the proof!
It was Santa all right, with a bag full of toys,
And his sleigh sat nearby as he made all this noise.

 

He slid down our chimney, landing ever so light-ly,
Me scratching my head, with that big guy, how it could be?
Though face dirty and sooty, his eyes twinkled brightly,
His jacket cherry red and his beard gleaming whitely.

With my mouth open wide, I laughed, clapped my knee,
But Santa kept working as if he couldn’t hear me.
He filled both our stockings, they were up to the brim,
Then drank our cocoa and ate the cookies with green trim.

He turned with a jerk, as if I wasn’t even there,
Climbed back up the chimney, so easy, without a care.
He sprang to the sleigh not a word, those reindeer just knew,
They quit eating our grass, neatly lined up, and flew!

I watched as they rose quickly out of my sight,
Then I heard a clear voice call out in the night.
“The dawn will soon break, morning light’s almost here,
Merry Christmas to all and a Happy New Year!”

Make that Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from me, too!

Oh, and Milo 

Until next year, make it a great one!

Lynne

Contrary to the digital state at Amazon, Their Christmas Miracle is for sale at all other digital book venues.

Also, the newsletter contest winners have been chosen and I am in the process of notifying them. 🙂

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