Thursday, December 1, 2011

December IN TOUCH with Karen Rose Smith e-zine

Hi, everyone.  Happy holidays!  It's hard to believe they're here already.  In my books, I like to use holiday themes.  I've focused on JAKE'S BRIDE this month, book 2 in my SEARCH FOR LOVE series because it has a forgiveness/Christmas theme and ends on Christmas Eve.  This is a contemporary romance/marriage of convenience/secret baby book that spotlights not only Jake's romance but also his work with Gillian Moore from NATHAN'S VOW.  To make information simpler for my readers I've set up a website devoted to my SEARCH FOR LOVE series.  You can access it at Search For Love series.  There you will find excerpts and also preview my book 6 book cover.  You can email me to let me know how you like it from the website or chat with me on Facebook--"like" my page so you can post Facebook Karen Rose Smith Author page or on Twitter Tweet with Karen.  I'd love to hear what you think about the series.  I've tried to include several different types of contemporary romances to suit lots of different tastes.


I also had the terrific news that HIS COUNTRY CINDERELLA was nominated for Romantic Times' Reviewers' Choice award for Best Special Edition.  I surely fell in love with this country singer hero and I guess my readers did, too.  Also in my news is that Book 5 in my SEARCH FOR LOVE series, HEARTFIRE, made #1 on Amazon's free Contemporary Romance Bestseller list.  I don't know how much longer it will remain free, but it's available for download at Nook and Amazon now.

I'm working on Book 6, a novella, CASSIDY'S COWBOY.  In it Lucy and Cassie from Book 4 in my SEARCH FOR LOVE series, ALWAYS HER COWBOY, search for their dad.  Cassie also falls in love with her foreman's nephew who is staying at Twin Pines Ranch with his daughter for a few weeks.  I hope to have this ready in January 2012.

This month we're all about holiday preparation.  I like to take my time wrapping presents and baking so I'm not stressed with fitting it in around my writing.  So I start early.  Of course, the cats join in and like the activity.  They watched with interest as my husband attached our half tree to the wall and we decorated it.  They are fascinated by the twinkle lights and of course like to roll in a piece of tissue paper.  Our early snowfall on Halloween ended most of the color in my gardens.  But I can still find a few gems, even in December.

In preparation for the holidays I often sort through my mom's Christmas recipes.  Baking or cooking the way she did brings back warm, lasting memories.  So I thought I'd share one of our favorite cookies that she and I made every year when I was a child.

Cream 2 sticks of butter and add 1/2 cup confectioners sugar.  Add 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla and 1 3/4 cups of flour and 1/2 cup chopped pecans.  Chill for two hours.  Then shape into balls.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.  While still just slightly warm, roll in sifted confectioner's sugar.  Makes 3 dozen balls.  


I celebrate my birthday in December so I wanted to have a contest with something especially memorable.  So this month I'm giving away a Technibond rose ring, size 8/9, a sachet filled with rose petals from my garden, and a copy of ONCE UPON A GROOM, my latest REUNION BRIDES release. 
Use the button on the right to enter.  This month there is a way to have an extra chance to win.  Leave a comment!  If you do, I will add your entry TWICE and give you double the chance to win.  Please only one entry per email address. They are sorted.  Contest ends on December 31 at midnight EST. Winner will be notified by January 15 EST and will have to email me his/her snail-mail address. If winner does not verify by midnight January 31, a new winner will be drawn.  THIS CONTEST IS OPEN TO US/CANADA WINNERS ONLY.  Good luck.  Have a wonderful holiday season.
Don't forget to stop by my blog at CATS, ROSES...AND BOOKS!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

I have to admit I love the holidays. There are so many memories attached to them that come with accompanying scents, colors and sounds. Those are great tools for a writer and those memories are one reason I often set books around the holidays. This month I've epubbed HEARTFIRE for your reading pleasure. This novel was my first Silhouette Romance published under Kari Sutherland. I've revised and updated it so it's now part of my Search For Love series. Readers can catch up with Linc and Emma from ALWAYS DEVOTED in HEARTFIRE, a reunion/family story. Tessa, the journalist from ALWAYS DEVOTED, returns to Connecticut for her godson's birthday and stays to help him with the problems he seems to be having. She'd once dated his dad, Max, who after their break-up had married her best friend. She doesn't count on falling in love with Max all over again! The book takes place in fall in New England, including a Halloween party for Tessa's godson and ending on Thanksgiving. I hope your best memories of the holidays return when you read it. BUY AMAZON $.99 kindle bargain

I'm editing WEDDING BELLS AND BABY BOOTIES (working title), for Harlequin Special Edition. This couple, Riley and Brenna, find the sizzle between them difficult to manage when they are under the same roof for the sake of their baby. This secret baby/reunion romance is such fun to write. I hope you enjoy it when it's released in 2012.

Mikala and Dawson's romance is still in editing. I hope to have a title and a date for their novel soon. In the meantime, I'm working on Cassidy Sullivan's novella. Cassidy is Lucy McIntyre's twin sister. In ALWAYS HER COWBOY, Lucy finds Cassidy and they embrace each other as sisters. Cassidy will find her own true love in BEN'S COWGIRL.

I have lots more planned for the coming months.


I can't believe it but we're getting our first snowfall today and it's not even the beginning of November!!! I've never experienced one this early before. To prepare for the colder weather, I've brought my herb bin inside. The gardens have their own fall beauty with foliage changing color. My zinnias are still going strong, though I don't know what will happen with the snow. My roses like the cooler weather and I've been bringing in rosebuds that open beautifully inside. Their scent permeates the house.  I've started to assemble sachets with the summer rose petals for Christmas presents. That provides a nice break when I need to leave the computer behind for a while.Our kale looks like a bush, so pretty as a decorative plant in the garden as well as to eat. And our weeping cherry tree, whether in spring, summer, fall, or winter provides beauty in the yard.

My cats, Ebbie and London, are thrilled with the fall position of the sun. It shines in most of the morning, lighting up the sun catchers. When I set them to swinging, Ebbie and London chase the rainbows. They get exercise and I see that we all need to chase some rainbows in our lives to find happiness. They often join me on my desk, and as you can see, Ebbie was "helping" while London took a bath and nap in elsewhere.


My Special this month is a contest for a print copy of HIS DAUGHTER...THEIR CHILD and a Lee Sands' natural stone bracelet. Jewelry often plays a part in my romances so I like to give it away as a prize.  I thought this bracelet would be a great fall present for a lucky reader.  Use the button on the right to enter. Please one entry per email address. Contest ends on November 30 at midnight EST. Winner will be notified by December 15 EST and will have to email me his/her snail-mail address. If winner does not verify by midnight December 31, a new winner will be drawn.  This contest is open to U.S. winners only.  Good luck.  Enjoy your fall.
Don't forget to stop by my blog at CATS, ROSES...AND BOOKS!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

October 2011


ONCE UPON A GROOM, Book 2 in my REUNION BRIDES series is new this month. Available in print where books are sold, you can also find it on Amazon and Nook. Old fires reignite as Jenny and Zack, once high school sweethearts, face a struggle on the Rocky D ranch to reveal secrets and heal past hurts, discovering the road to their happily-ever-after.  This book became more than a romance while I was writing it.  It's about Zack's relationship with his dad and Jenny's relationship with hers...and how those bonds change and grow over the years. Another theme is how to leave bitterness and regret behind to find a happy future.
I've also been working hard to format and upload a new book for my SEARCH FOR LOVE ebook series, ALWAYS A COWBOY which will be book 4 in the series. Here's a preview of the cover.  Remember Zack, the doctor in Always Devoted?  He's the hero of ALWAYS A COWBOY as he searches for a new future.  More about this book next month.

In December I hope to give you book 5 in my SEARCH FOR LOVE series, HEARTFIRE. The journalist in Always Devoted, Tessa Kahill has roamed the world after the next breaking story and the best interviews. But maybe her heart has always belonged to one man, a man she once left behind. Stay turned for more next month.

Mikala and Dawson's romance, Book 3 in my REUNION BRIDES series will hopefully be out in 2012.  Maybe I'll have more news about this music therapist and CEO who needs help with his son next month.

Check out my blog—IS CINDERELLA STILL RELEVANT?  I'd love to hear your thoughts on this popular dream. Cats, Roses...and Books!


My gardens are still alive with tall bushy zinnias, marigolds and roses.  We've had so much rain I'm surprised they haven't washed away.  But each time the sun comes out, they reach for it.  I think there's a lesson in that!  The leaves on our weeping cherry tree are just starting to turn and fall is right around the corner.  Believe it or not, I've begun Christmas shopping. I like to enjoy the holiday and take my time with it so I've pulled out the wrapping paper, too. I use lots of sticky notes to remind myself what's in the packages.

Ebbie and London are settling in between seasons. They seem to change where they sit and play with each one. Right now they seem to be in the middle of everything, even a manuscript on my desk!


My Special this month is a contest for a print copy of ONCE UPON A GROOM and a fresh water pearl and rose quartz bracelet with a tiny heart charm. In ONCE UPON A GROOM, Zack gives Jenny a pearl necklace that his mother treasured. I thought this bracelet would be a romantic token to remind readers of this book. Use the button on the right to enter. Please one entry per email address. Contest ends on October 31 at midnight EST. Winner will be notified by November 15 EST and will have to email me his/her snail-mail address. If winner does not verify by midnight December 1, a new winner will be drawn.  This contest is open to US winners only.  Good luck.  Enjoy your fall.
Don't forget to stop by my blog at Cats, Roses...and Books! Cats, Roses...and Books!

Friday, September 2, 2011

September 2011


So much is new! I'm excited to tell you about my latest project ALWAYS DEVOTED that just went live on Amazon and Smashwords. It's an original never-before-published novella for my Search For Love series. Two of my backlist titles, Nathan's Vow and Jake's Bride are connected books. Linc Granger was introduced in Nathan's Vow as his best friend. He was such great hero material that I've written a story just for him. And to branch out a little, ALWAYS DEVOTED isn't merely a romance. This novella also has a mystery element as the heroine searches for her sister. It was great fun to write and I enjoyed stretching my wings. If you like it, I'd appreciate you spreading the word to family and friends. Also, because you're taking the time to read my e-zine, here is a coupon code to download NATHAN'S VOW, Book 1 in the Search For Love series, free at Smashwords—FY44J for a limited time only. I appreciate my readers and their support.

Also this month is marked by my new Harlequin Special Edition release HIS COUNTRY CINDERELLA. This Montana Mavericks—The Texans Are Coming! romance is book 3 in the latest series. My country singer hero Zane Gunther can make hearts patter with just a glance. He captured my heart immediately when I created him in FROM DOCTOR...TO DADDY, last year's Montana Mavericks release. (See contest below for its country theme!)

I'm in the midst of writing Book 4 in my REUNION BRIDES series for Harlequin Special Edition. It's working title is Wedding Bells And Baby Booties. Brenna and Riley were high school sweethearts who had to keep their feelings hidden because of their feuding families. But the night of the reunion, old sparks burst into flame and now Brenna returned to Miners Bluff with Riley's infant son.

You can check my reader letter on my website for updates and the latest news but you'll hear it here first.


Well, I can't let the month go by without mentioning that we had an earthquake and a hurricane within the same week in our neck of the woods! We're still picking up branches and staking up plants and flowers but I'm so grateful we didn't have any worse damage. My heart goes out to anyone caught up in the storm.

My cats, Ebbie and London, took all of it in stride!  Ebbie was on my desk when the earthquake happened and she didn't run for cover. She road it out with me—I was on the computer—then just looked at me as if to say—What was that? And London who is sometimes my problem child was still sleeping on her chair by the window when it was over! Yet they hide under the bed during thunder storms.  

The tomatoes keep coming in. My favorites for the season were heirloom tomatoes Marianna's Peace, which produced 1 1/2 pound tomatoes and Anna Russian, which is a heart-shaped tomato. Fitting, don't you think? 
So here is a recipe for one of my favorite tomato salads. So easy and so good!

Tomato, Cucumber, Feta salad

  • 6 plum tomatoes
  • 1 small cucumber - peeled, quartered lengthwise, and chopped
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, cut into thin strips
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  1. In a large bowl, toss together the tomatoes, cucumber, green onions, basil, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and feta cheese. Season with salt and pepper.

My roses liked all the rain and they're blooming again. Both the blooms and the buds are gorgeous, scent-filled and perfect for bringing in and filling the house with perfume. I'm also gathering rose petals to use in sachets for Christmas.

One of the best summer gifts in our area is fresh peaches. Terrifically beautiful this year, juicy and perfect! So with some of them I had to make a peach pie!

The special for the month is another contest.  This month I'm giving away a copy of HIS COUNTRY CINDERELLA and two CD's—Tim McGraw and Jason Aldean. Use the button on the right to enter. Please one entry per email address. Contest ends on September 31 at midnight EST. Winner will be notified by October 7 EST and will have to email me his/her snail-mail address. If winner does not verify by midnight October 15, a new winner will be drawn.  This contest is open to US winners only.  Good luck.  Congratulations to July's winner—Charlotte Padgett!  Enjoy your summer.

Don't forget to stop by my blog at Cats, Roses...and Books! Cats, Roses...and Books!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

August 2011


So much is new this month!  I'm publishing new editions of two backlist books with new titles, covers and editing.  NATHAN'S VOW and JAKE'S BRIDE are interconnected books, the first two romances in my Search For Love series.  In NATHAN'S VOW (originally ADAM'S VOW), psychic Gillian Moore helps Nathan search for his two daughters.  JAKE'S BRIDE (originally SHANE'S BRIDE) has one of my favorite plotlines—marriage of convenience and secret baby surrounding a Christmas theme.  This book is all about the ability to forgive and how important that is in a marriage.  I just love these new covers and I'm grateful to my artist, Judy Bullard, for their design.  My plans for the upcoming year are to write a novella about a secondary character in NATHAN'S VOW, Linc Granger, as well as to e-pub a third book in the Search For Love series.  I found this book in my archives and it only needs a chapter or so to finish it!  I hope you enjoy venturing into NATHAN'S VOW and JAKE'S BRIDE as readers did when they were originally published.  NATHAN'S VOW. Buy Amazon
                               JAKE'S BRIDE. Buy Amazon

I was really excited  to see that my re-release LOVE IN BLOOM hit #1 on Amazon's Free Contemporary Romance Bestseller List.  If you hurry, you might still be able to download it for free!  This giveaway is for a limited time.

Also in August—
HIS COUNTRY CINDERELLA, Montana Mavericks: The Texans Are Coming!, will be released at the end of the month.  Zane Gunther, a country singer I introduced in last year's Montana Mavericks, couldn't wait to become the hero of his own book.  I've actually written a country song for this one.  Read an excerpt on my website.  Excerpt

I've started the fourth book in my Reunion Brides series—WEDDING BELLS AND BABY BOOTIES, which is the working title. This book is scheduled for mid-2012.  I have lots to keep me busy, including socializing on Twitter.  If you'd like to follow, you can find me @karenrosesmith.


We have tomatoes and zucchini everywhere!  At a recent picnic, we gave away zucchini as door prizes with this delicious chocolate zucchini bread recipe.  Even friends not too crazy about zucchini loved the bread!

Chocolate Zucchini Bread
2 (1 ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate
3 eggs
2 cups white sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups grated zucchini
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Lightly grease two 9 X 5 inch loaf pans.  In a microwave-safe bowl, microwave chocolate until melted.  Stir occasionally until chocolate is smooth.  In a large bowl, combine eggs, sugar, oil, grated zucchini, vanilla and chocolate; beat well.  Stir in the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.  Fold in the chocolate chips.  Pour batter into prepared loaf pans.  Bake in preheated over for 60 to 70 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a loaf comes out clean.

As you can see from the photos, zinnias are blooming everywhere and the flower pots I planted are teeming with color.

Everything in the gardens in summer makes me smile, especially the hummingbirds that visit our feeders.  They chirp at us and frolic and bring me a special kind of pleasure.  I've also included a photo of one of my favorites.


This month, enter my contest for a chance to win a romantic LIA SOPHIA anklet and a signed copy of HIS COUNTRY CINDERELLA.  Use the button on the right to enter. Please one entry per email address. Contest ends on August 31 at midnight EST. Winner will be notified by September 7 EST and will have to email me his/her snail-mail address. If winner does not verify by midnight September 15, a new winner will be drawn.  This contest is open to US winners only.  Good luck.  Congratulations to June's winner—Lisa Kendall!
Enjoy your summer and don't forget to stop by my blog at Cats, Roses...and Books!  

Sunday, June 26, 2011

July 2011

What's New??? 

I'm excited about the e-book re-release of FOREVER AFTER, a spicy emotional romance that was first published as a Precious Gems. And I absolutely love the new cover. My artist Judy Bullard used a Jimmy Thomas photo and it was absolutely perfect. This cover captures my heroine Darcy's innocence and my hero Seth's sexiness. Yes, this cover is a little different from my usual style of covers. That's because this book is spicier and I wanted my readers to know that.

Just a peek:
Attorney Seth Hallaran fights for dads who want custody of their children. When he meets Darcy Kearn, a feminine auto mechanic who turns his thoughts to satin sheets and dark nights of passion, he must rethink his life and career. Can Darcy transform his cynicism into love that will last FOREVER AFTER?

This romance is set in Hershey, Pennsylvania. As a child, I visited Hershey often to enjoy the amusement park. As an adult, I've watched Broadway shows in the theatre. But the real draw for me was always that enticing aroma of chocolate that tourists could get a whiff of as they drove through the town. And then there's the uniqueness of the chocolate kiss street lights! Hershey was the perfect setting for this sensual and emotional romance.
Buy Amazon          Barnes & Noble          

I'm also beginning Book 4 of my REUNION BRIDES series for Harlequin Special Edition. WEDDING BELLS AND BABY BOOTIES is on its way. I've already fallen for my ex-Marine hero Riley. My heroine Brenna who is a bridal gown designer is a match for him. Although their families have had a feud for years, Brenna and Riley discovered resurrected high school chemistry the night of their fifteen-year high school reunion. When Brenna turns up with a month-old baby on Riley's doorstep, his heart knows he's the dad. More about this romance in the months to come.


We returned from a trip to Oklahoma to find our garden gone wild! The zucchini leaves could practically be fans. And we even harvested our first one which is early for the northeast. As you can see daisies and cones flowers are gorgeous right now as well as the day lilies. I post pics of those often on Facebook. Each day brings a new one opening. As fresh vegetables come in from the garden, I'll be cooking with them and the herbs that are also doing well. Below is one of my favorite zucchini recipes good enough for home, easy enough for company.

Italian Zucchini Crescent Pie
4 cups thinly sliced, unpeeled zucchini
1 cup coarsely chopped onion
1/4 to 1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. sweet basil leaves
1/4 tsp. oregano leaves
2 eggs, well beaten
8 oz. (2 cups) shredded natural Mozzarella cheese
8 oz. can refrigerated quick crescent dinner rolls
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
Heat oven to 375 degrees. In 10 inch skillet, cook zucchini and onion in butter until tender about 10 minutes. Stir in parsley and seasonings. In large bowl, blend eggs and cheese. Stir in vegetable mixture.
Separate dough into 8 triangles. Place in ungreased 10 inch pie pan or plate, 12 x 8 inch baking dish or 11 inch quiche pan. Press over bottom and up sides to form crust. Spread crust with mustard. Pour vegetable mixture evenly into crust.
Bake at 375 degrees for 18-20 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. (If crust becomes too brown, cover with foil during last 10 minutes of baking.) Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Cut into wedges to serve; serve hot. 6 servings.

Our backyard seems to be a haven for bunnies,  hummingbirds and a variety of birds. Almost every evening a green hummingbird with a ruby throat flutters around the feeders. The barn swallows dip and swoop in a beautiful dance and the bunnies frolic in the grass, hide under the pine and in the lily garden. I love to sit on the patio and just enjoy it all.

With this month's contest, I'm giving away a signed original collector's copy of FOREVER EVER and a $15 Subway gift card for those hot summer nights when you don't feel like cooking. Use the button on the right to enter. Please one entry per email address. Contest ends on July 31 at midnight EST. Winner will be notified by August 7 EST and will have to email me his/her snail-mail address. If winner does not verify by midnight August 15, a new winner will be drawn.  This contest is open to US winners only.  Good luck and have a wonderful summer! 
Don't forget to stop by my blog at Cats, Roses...and Books!  New blog about Dead Wood In Manuscripts will be posted next week.  Cats, Roses...and Books!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

June 2011

What's New? 

I've published a new e-book this month. EVERYDAY CINDERELLAS is a collection of romantic short stories that I hope will spotlight the fact that any woman can be a Cinderella! I've showcased women from many walks of life—a teacher, a nurse, a home-town girl. I love the cover which captures the essence of all the stories-women can feel like Cinderellas with a caring, everyday guy. This e-book anthology of seven short stories is $.99 and would be great for reading while you wait anywhere.

BUY Amazon
BUY Barnes and Noble
BUY Smashwords

Cinderella will be my theme for the next few months. At the end of August my Harlequin Special Edition HIS COUNTRY CINDERELLA will be available. This is book 3 in the Montana Mavericks continuity series HERE COME THE TEXANS! My hero is a character I created in FROM DOCTOR...TO DADDY last year's Montana Mavericks release. Zane Gunther, my country singer hero, has plenty of down-home charm. And I'll tell you a little secret no one but my editors know yet. I penned a country song for this one! In From Doctor...To Daddy, I wrote a refrain. But For Zane's book, I wrote a whole song. It was fun and challenging and something I always wanted to do!

     And at the end of September watch for ONCE UPON A GROOM, book 2 in my Reunion Brides series. My heroine, a horse gentler has never forgotten the hero. He is an Oscar-winning movie director now who has come home to his family's ranch—the Rocky D—to settle the past once and for all.  Sweethearts in high school, Zack and Jenny find feelings and secrets from the past are every-present now. Their reunion is a passionate and emotional one.

All three of these projects have brought me joy as a writer and I hope you are swept up in these romances as I was.

For work-in-progress, I'm writing book 3 of my Reunion Brides series, working title A DANCE WITH HER PRINCE CHARMING. Mikala is a music therapist who is helping the hero's son overcome a traumatic accident. It's an emotional story and the last third will be a challenge. But I can't wait for that moment when Mikala and Dawson realize they belong together forever.


This is the time of year when my gardens bring relaxation, sensory fulfillment and peace. My herb bin is coming along nicely. Our tomato garden as you can see is full of tomato plants but also catmint, poppies, and ornamental grass. There might even be a marigold or two. Our patio becomes a refuge with ceramic pots sitting around the edges. I planted them all, putting together tall and short plants and colors as I would weave together a book! Yes, those are tomato plants amid the planters that are waiting for friends to come and pick them up.


This month I'm running a contest for a beautiful keepsake box with lavender and amethyst colored crystals in a butterfly design (1 7/8 x 2 1/8 inches) along with the first book in my Reunion Brides series, HIS DAUGHTER...THEIR CHILD.Use the button on the right to enter. Please one entry per email address. Contest ends on June 30 at midnight EST. Winner will be notified by July 15 EST and will have to email me his/her snail-mail address. If winner does not verify by midnight July 22, a new winner will be drawn.  Good luck and have a wonderful summer! 

Remember to stop by my blog at Cats, Roses...and Books! Cats, Roses...and Books!