Category: Book Reviews

What covers reveal – and a cover reveal

Exciting news! I’ve received the cover from my designer for my current novella, Family Matters, a sequel to The Good Neighbor and Home for Christmas.

I’ll let you in on a secret—my designer is my daughter, Rosey Hudson.  Feel lucky to have such a talented graphic The Good Neighbor book coverartist for a daughter because it allows me to maintain a lot of control over the look of my covers, as well as getting her invaluable feedback.

And don’t forget The Good Neighbor is still 99¢ – until the end of February.

If you already have a copy of The Good Neighbor, make sure the Automatic Book Updates for your kindle are turned on. (See how HERE.). I’ve made a few small changes, a few—ahem—typos and commas that I just couldn’t stand for and I want everyone to get them.

I’m not planning to release Family Matters for quite a few months, but I’ll be sending free Advanced Reader Copies to everyone who lets me know they’ve reviewed The Good Neighbor on Amazon or GoodReads. Just email me at .

I have definite ideas about what I want my on my covers . If you’ve read my books you’ll know that I don’t write a lot of graphic sex, and I didn’t want my covers to promise something the books didn’t deliver. (No naked male torsos on the covers, although there are a few shirtless firemen scenes.)

Seriously though, I feel the cover is a contract between me and my readers, and to me these books are first and foremost a story about a woman. Sure, she has people in her life and one of them is probably a man who (spoiler alert!) she falls in love with, but I feel like the stories are more than just the love story. (And yes, a few of the men’s struggles have featured strongly too.)

Right now, I’m reading a book that really spelled out my feelings about the value of romance books, Cleaning Nabokov’s House, by Leslie Daniels. The quirky protagonist Barb thinks she’s found an unpublished novel by the late Vladimir Nabokov and so acquires an agent to try to sell it. The agent gives her a stack of romance novels and suggests, with her journalism background, that she try writing one. So Barb settles down to read them.

She says in the quote in my opening:

“I read the romances. They played me as if I were a piano, my grandmother’s black baby grand. I could feel it happening, like a drug taking effect. The drug was tenderness. It didn’t come from the sex scenes but from right before, right after. The narcotic was not lust but the tenderness between people, the love in spite of their unlovableness.”

That’s what I want people to feel when they read my books, that inspite of our unlovableness, there’s someone out there that can love each one of us.

Now, I can relate to this protagonist because I didn’t read a romance novel until I was in my mid-thirties. My mother didn’t read them and I didn’t have an aunt who passed them on to me. I read mysteries. Then I stumbled on a Norah Roberts book (Tears of the Moon, the Irish Jewels Trilogy) at the library and Oh my God!

I’d never heard of Dame Norah (I know – deprived!) and gobbled up every book I could get my hands on. I tried other authors, enjoyed some, was disappointed with others, so when I read Barb’s comments on romance today in the Nabokov book, it struck a chord.

Barb also goes on to say, “Lust is like a robin attacking his reflection in a pane of glass again and again.” I don’t think I’d go quite that far. (grin)

Thanks for reading Fortune Bay books.














Posting Reviews & My Review of The Matchmaker of Minnow Bay



Reviews are what make the wheels of online retailers turn. (That’s Amazon, Barnes and Nobel, Kobo and the iTunes store.)

I was THRILLED a few days ago when a friend sent me this Amazon promotion she received in her inbox. The first three books on the list were my first three Fortune Bay books! (The Good Neighbor was there too when you scrolled down.)

A real red letter day to me and I owe it all to you!

About the in=mportance of reviews for authors.

I harp on the importance of reviews to my readers, reminding them it doesn’t have to be a long review. A few words is enough.

Strangely, though, I notice that Amazon calls my one 3 star review (all the rest are 4 & 5 star) a “negative” review, although the reviewer has nothing but good things to say about the book?!? Bearing that in mind, I only post reviews on books to which I would give 4 or 5 stars.

Occasionally I give Advanced Readers Copies to readers, hoping for a good review to get things rolling on launch day. It’s a common practice in the publishing world.

Amazon’s policy on reviews for ARCs is that “Book authors and publishers may continue to provide free or discounted copies of their books to readers, as long as the author or publisher does not require a review in exchange or attempt to influence the review.” (From Amazon’s Guidelines for Reviews)  The other online retailers follow similar guidelines.

To post an Amazon review,  “you must have spent at least $50 on using a valid credit or debit card.” For most of us, that’s a given. LOL

To review any of the Fortune Bay books, just click on the covers in the sidebar,go to the retailer of your choice and post. It’s easy. On the book’s home page, scroll down to the reviews section, or just click on the “customer reviews” link under the title.

Today I am following my own advice and posting a review  on Amazon. (You don’t need to say this much. Just write what you’d tell a friend about the book.)

The Matchmakers of Minnow Bay, by Kelly Harms

I discovered this book on my kindle as a sample and was so glad I did. It didn’t begin like a romance and it took me a while to decide that’s what it was, but I like it all the better for not being formulaic in its approach.

minnow-bay-coverIn the short prologue set ten years earlier than the rest of the book, we quickly discover that Lily is a painter, just finishing art school. In the story, Harms deftly weaves the story back and forth between the present and the events of that earlier period of Lily and her friend Renee’s life. Although they are still friends, they are living very different lives now: Renee as a lawyer, married with children, and Lily as a single struggling artist, still in the apartment  in Chicago where she moved right after art school.

Suddenly Lily’s life hits rock bottom. Evicted from her apartment, she turns to Renee and her  boyfriend/art dealer only to discover neither of them will help. She’s been ignoring her responsibilities in life for years, and it is all coming back to bite her. Discovering that she might still be married to a man she met briefly on an  ill-fated trip to Vegas 10 years ago is the last straw, and sends her out in the dead of winter to the picturesque but almost Brigadoon-like village of Minnow Bay in the North Woods.

I loved this book and will definitely be looking up Kelly Harms’ other book, The Good Luck Girls of Shipwreck Lane.


Thanks for reading small town romance. Don’t forget to review the books you love.

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