Saturday, December 31, 2016

January 1, 2017

Happy New Year! We’ve got a new President to take us into the new year. A renewed chance to do the things we were going to do in 2016, but never accomplished. A new year to remind those who mean something to us how much we appreciate them. I, for one, have appreciated my readers, and that includes YOU! Without you I wouldn’t continue to do what I do. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

In this Issue:
Quote of the Month    
Check This Out
Featured Author   
New Releases
Author Recipe of the Month 
Upcoming Book Signings/Appearances
Coming Next Month

Quote of the Month:  “The new year begins in a snow-storm of white vows.” ~~ George William Curtis (American author, 1824-1892)

Check This Out:  I'm sure you've noticed the new look to the old Maxine’s Musings. I hope to bring you new authors to check out this year and that you find Affairs of the Heart just that. Also, since I have renewed my love for western heroes and found how much I enjoy writing western historical romances, I have four new scheduled into my 2017 calendar! The next two books in the Brides Along the Chisholm Trail series and two stand alones. You can read more about them on my WIP shelf.

Featured Author:  Linda Carroll-Bradd

The heroine of Dance Toward The Light, Dorrie Sullivan, was introduced in the first book of the “Entertainers of the West” series, and this novella explores her story. At first she was only intended as a secondary character with a minor plot function. But as I developed the stories of the York sisters, (books 1 & 2) I didn’t want to leave Dorrie out in the cold. So I had quite a bit of leeway in figuring out where she came from and the reasons behind an 18-year-old farm girl in 1881 to run off and join a vaudeville troupe. The hero, Valerik Andrusha, was also introduced in book 1, Laced By Love, but only named as a family member off in the Canadian wilds. He’s in Morgan’s Crossing to visit his brother and gets swept into the whirlwind that is Dorrie.

Ex-vaudevillian Dorrie Sullivan is restless, looking for a new occupation. A community dance is just what the citizens of Morgan’s Crossing needs, and she has the expertise to host it. From the first night, things have a way of not going as planned, but Dorrie vows to persevere. Even when a mysterious stranger who moved into the shop next door drives her to distraction.
Devastated emotionally and physically by the past winter, trapper Valerik Andrusha travels to Morgan’s Crossing seeking refuge with his brother. Instead, Valerik meets the vivacious neighbor who has a knack for drawing him from his depression.
The dances are a success and to help Dorrie, Valerik fights past his reserved nature and shares his musical talents. Although she’s drawn to Valerik’s kindness, Dorrie can’t open her heart to a man she thinks won’t stick around. When the summer ends, the pair must make tough decisions about where their futures lie--together or apart. 
Author Links:  Twitter  /  Facebook  /  Website  /  Amazon Author  /  GoodReads  /  Blog

New Releases This Month:
January 3

Second chances, love lessons, and horseshoes...

January 6

Stella McCord believes marrying as a mail-order bride will bring a new beginning.
Travis Stone hopes to escape his lawless past by winning a rundown hotel.
Will Stella have Travis gambling for more than he wants?

January 9 

Working together, can they prevent the Army from requisitioning their beloved horses?

January 10

Dressed as a boy, Cora joins a cattle drive headed to Kansas - but she soon realizes the strength she needs may not be enough as the trail boss fights her every step of the way.

January 13

A mail-order bride returns home to claim her first love--what will he do when he realizes he's fallen for his first love, a woman he can't trust, again?

January 19

Gloria, daughter of a shipping tycoon, always does the proper thing. To have a tavern pianist tutor her sounds crazy. Can music cross class lines and harmonize two hearts?

I’d like to share a quick and easy recipe—my favorite kind. I can’t claim credit for this one. It’s from my mom, and now it’s a staple at our house whenever we have company . . . and even when we don’t. 😊 This recipe reminds me of the good times I had with Mom.

Streusel Coffee Cake

1 package yellow cake mix
1/4 cup firm butter
1 cup brown sugar (packed)
3/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups (12 oz) sour cream 

Heat oven to 350°. Spray a 13x9x2 baking pan with non-stick cooking spray (or grease and flour the pan). Measure 2/3 cup dry cake mix into small bowl. Cut in butter until crumbly. Mix in brown sugar and walnuts. This will be the topping. Set aside. 

In a large bowl, beat eggs lightly with fork; stir in sour cream. Blend in remaining dry cake mix, scraping bowl often. (Batter will be thick and slightly lumpy.) Pour half of the batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle half the topping over the batter. Spoon and gently spread remaining batter in pan, top with remaining topping mix. Bake 40-45 minutes at 350° 

Diane Burton combines her love of mystery, adventure, science fiction and romance into writing romantic fiction. Besides the science fiction romance Switched and Outer Rim series, she is the author of One Red Shoe, a romantic suspense, and the Alex O’Hara PI mystery series. She is also a contributor to two anthologies: Portals, Volume 2 and How I Met My Husband. Diane and her husband live in West Michigan. They have two children and three grandchildren.

For more info and excerpts from her books, visit Diane’s website: 

Amazon author page:
Sign up for Diane’s newsletter:

Upcoming Book Signings / Appearances:

Coming Next Month:  It’s the month love and it’ll be everywhere. Also on tap will be featured author Nicole Fitton.

With much gratitude, until next time…keep reading.

Spark your imagination and entice your mind
Be adventurous in your own mind
Take a journey into a new world and be inspired
Enjoy the pleasures of reading ~~
It does the mind and body good.

Above photo found on Pinterest
AULD LANG SYNE by Sissel - Happy New Year video found on


  1. I like your newsletter, I will share it with others.
    Happy New Year Maxine.

    1. Thank you Debbie! I hope to see you again at a meeting this year.

  2. Great newsletter, Maxine. Thanks for featuring my recipe. Happy New Year!

    1. You are welcome Diane. I hope you honor me with another visit soon! Happy New Year!

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Great way to do your newsletter!
    Good luck and God's blessings

  4. That looks delicious! I'll have to try that recipe.

    1. I hope you enjoy it, Maureen. Not only does my daughter-in-law include it with the Christmas brunch for her family in Phoenix, her sister in Colorado serves it, too. How that recipe has traveled. :)

  5. What a fun, interesting newsletter!

  6. Thank you Marissa, if you'd like to participate sometime please let me know.