Small towns, big families, and happy endings in “Misty Lake”


The writing was well-crafted and the dialogue had a natural flow to it. Jake’s investigation and dealings with people added authenticity to his role. The description of this small Minnesota lake town was beautiful and charming, a town you’d want to live in. It was a sweet and thrilling read that kept me turning pages to find out just who it was so determined to run Sam out of town. The characters are an interesting and fun cast, each adding their own little sliver to the story.” -Charlie Anderson, Blogger at Girl of 1000 Wonders

Misty Lake is the first stand-alone book in Margeret Standafer’s clean, romantic suspense series that’s been called “entertaining and engaging.” If you like small towns, big families, and happy endings, you’ll love getting to know the McCabes of Misty Lake, Minnesota.

Keep scrolling for a description and more:

Misty Lake: Book One in the Misty Lake Series by Margaret Standafer


Samantha Taylor has lost all those dearest to her…her parents, her brother, and now the grandfather who raised her. When his will is read and some of his secrets come to light, Sam finds herself back in Misty Lake, Minnesota, a place that holds countless happy memories but, as she quickly discovers, just as many questions.

Jake McCabe, Misty Lake’s sheriff, is as curious as anyone about the town’s newest resident but it isn’t until Sam becomes the victim of a particularly cruel vandal that he meets her and gets a look at the house that has everyone in town talking.

As Jake races to keep Sam safe from the escalating attacks, he also works to break down the wall she has built around herself and to convince her that a life without love isn’t a life at all.


More reviews:

“A great mix of mystery, intrigue and romance.” –Amazon Review

“Loved this book! So nice to find an author that can grab and hold your attention without the need for profanity or sex. Looking forward to the next book!” –Amazon Review

“What a great cast of characters in a quaint town. The story was very interesting and I especially liked the details about woodworking and how the main character used her love for woodworking to reach out and help struggling teens.” –Amazon Review

“This was an excellent read. The author has a smooth and engaging writing style. The characters come alive on the page. The setting was well done I could almost feel the fog on my skin.” –Amazon Review

Buy now!

Get Misty Lake here.

About the author

Margaret Standafer lives and writes in the suburbs of Minneapolis, MN with the support of her husband and children, and in spite of the lack of support from her ever-demanding Golden Retriever! When she’s not writing, she’s working as a substitute teacher in middle school and high school, gardening, hiking, walking her dog, traveling, or reading. Actually, she’s always reading and have found ways to incorporate it into most of the aforementioned activities! It is her sincere hope that you enjoy her writing.

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Post #8 of the holiday bookroll for participants in Indie Authors Monthly.

Take a Crash-Dive Into This Romance Series

“Ms. Jackson will transport you to a small town, nestled in the mountains through her very descriptive storytelling. She will make you feel a full range of emotions from contempt to empathy. She shares the characters’ memories and experiences to the point where you feel like you are really there, sharing in the moment.” –Elizabeth, PennyMinding Mom

One Wicked Storm. Forced Proximity. Endless Temptation.

Are you ready for adrenaline-surging romance? The Crashing Series by R.L Jackson is ready for you! Keep scrolling for a description, excerpt, and more of the latest in her series.

Crashing Into Me (The Crashing Series Book 1) by R.L Jackson


Getting dumped at the altar nearly broke Lana McKenzie beyond repair.

A year later, she was working to rebuild her life. Until a face from her past forces her to seek an escape.

Tucked away in a beautiful, secluded mountain estate, Lana finally finds her solace. That is until she comes face to face with her new roommate.

Kayden Capshaw is a sexy out of control party boy whose grief has pushed him to a much-needed getaway in the house on the mountain. But Lana was the last person he expected to find there.

  • She’s feisty, stubborn, and undeniably gorgeous.
  • He’s arrogant, flashy, and hotter than the sun.
  • She’ll do anything to stay away. He’ll do anything to get close.

Forced to ride out a winter storm together, a second-chance romance blossoms, but unwelcome guests threaten to interrupt the delicate fabric of their new relationship. Will their fiery passion continue to burn bright or will outside forces put out the flames for good?


More reviews:

“Absolutely loved the twists, turns, and suspense from beginning to end…well written with amazing characters…” ★★★★★

“Talk about a whirlwind of a read.  There is loads to keep you invested and also the chance to watch the characters grow stronger. This is the authors debut series and she has in my opinion done it well. She didn’t allow the story to become stagnant and provided enough information where it wasn’t overly done but balanced well. An exciting read that will leave you wanting more from her in the future.” -Teri, SJ’s Book Blog

“Florida author R.L Jackson’s series THE CRASHING SERIES of which CRASHING INTO ME is Book One shows promise of a very well skilled romance writer – a ringmaster of a dark circus of players whose identities may be a bit difficult to isolate at times but whose interaction produces a fast-paced ride guaranteed to keep your attention and your adrenaline high.” -Grady Harp, San Francisco Review of Books

“At the end of the day, when the kids are all tucked in bed I love to sneak away and have a few quiet minutes to myself. Most recently I could be found reading “Crashing Into Me” by R. L. Jackson. The author has created a contemporary romance with interesting characters that are defined by their unique life experiences. I love that neither character is perfect. They are flawed just like the rest of us. They both carry emotional baggage that developed from painful experiences in their pasts. The story shows us how your personal experiences make you into the person you are today. We see how these feelings shape whom you become and the decisions and actions you make through the lives of each character.”

Buy now!

Get Crashing Into Me here.

About the author

R.L Jackson is an independent filmmaker, magazine editor and screenwriter who writes romance and romantic suspense with an aim for readers to “Get Lost In Intense Passion and Diverse Worlds.” She lives in South Florida, enjoys binge-watching Netflix, uses her treadmill as an over-sized coat hanger, but loves to dance to the Fitness Marshall videos on YouTube.

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Find & Follow R.L Jackson:

Post #7 of the holiday bookroll for participants in Indie Authors Monthly.

Author Interview: Jean Baxter

“If you make mistakes in your life, learn from them. A broken heart can heal and love again. Forgiveness is a gift, both in giving and receiving.” -Jean Baxter

Are writer’s groups really that helpful? What do you do when you find yourself writing in a genre you didn’t expect? Is there a time limit for becoming an author? If you’re feeling like you’re running out of time, then it’s high time you—

Meet Author Jean Baxter!


Introducing Jean:

Jean Baxter began writing short stories in grade school. After taking a creative writing class as a young mother, she had a story published in a magazine which fueled her interest. She wrote a novel. Then she found herself raising two kids as a single mom and the writing took the back burner. After a thirty-year nursing career, she is loving retirement and has time to pursue her passion. That original book was dusted off, updated and recently published. Her niche is young adult, a fascinating time when everything is drama and crisis and firsts.

When she isn’t writing or reading, her interests include walking, gardening, traveling and spending time with her grandkids (more fodder for her stories!).

Let’s get started!

“The trouble with trust is once it’s broken, it changes who you are and who you will become—forever.” That’s such an intriguing tagline for Salvageable, your debut novel. How did the story of your main character, Michael Jarrid, come to you?

Many years ago a friend confided about a girlfriend falsely accusing him of fathering her child and his parents believed her instead of him. It always stuck with me how this devastated him. I thought it was so sad and it changed him. That’s where the opening to the book came from.

What do you hope readers will take away from Michael’s story?

If you make mistakes in your life, learn from them. A broken heart can heal and love again. Forgiveness is a gift, both in giving and receiving.


I see that a sequel to Salvageable is in the works! What can you tell us about Unfathomable? What stage is it in (already written, in the revision process, etc.)?

This second book picks up with the same main characters a couple years later. Michael is finishing up college and he and Annie are about to start a life together. It is at the publisher, I haven’t started the editing process. We hope it will be released late this year!

Has anything surprised you about writing for the romance market? Would you say your stories contain more than one genre?

It honestly surprised me that these books are romances. They were not written with that intent, but they meet the criteria. I had a hard time with genre because I think there are lessons for everyone in my books. Because of the ages of the main characters, I went with young adult. Unfathomable is more new adult but both could be considered chick or contemporary lit.

You’ve got a solid core in the teen and young adult market. Reviewers have mentioned that they’ve read and enjoyed Salvageable even though they’re not in the target demographic! Do you ever see yourself branching out into other audiences?

Maybe, who knows. I do love young adult though.


You must have been so excited when you received your publishing contract—now for two books! Prospective authors will want to know: How long did it take before you received your first contract? What’s it like working with a publisher?

I believe I counted thirty-five rejections as I was trying to get an agent. It was a little over a year I consistently sent it out.

Finally I decided to go right to the publishers with my queries. With the second query I sent, I had a response within a couple of hours asking me for my manuscript. I was elated!

Working with a publisher is a very slow, drawn out process. But once I got into the actual editing, it went very quickly. It took almost a year and a half for the print book to be released. The e-book was out in just under a year.

Let’s talk logistics. I don’t think you’ve ever stopped being busy! A full-time job, being a single mom, two kids and now grandchildren, not to mention hobbies and being with friends. Was there any particular moment that made you sit down and start writing your first novel? How do you carve out the time?

I wrote the main bones of this book years ago, when I still had the kids at home. I wrote a lot in the evenings. The book got put away for long periods but every so often I would read it, and I just knew there was something good there.

It came out of the drawer when I was nearing retirement and needed something to pour myself into. I didn’t know how I would cope with not being a nurse anymore. The manuscript needed to be updated to cell phones and computers from dial phones and typewriters. I asked my kids and grands a hundred questions as I’m not a tech savvy person. It came out okay, I guess. Now I try to write a little every day.

You’re a member of both the Green Bay Area Writer’s Guild and Wisconsin Writer’s Association. What benefits have you experienced? Would you recommend that authors join at least one writer’s organization?

I love my writer’s group and would highly recommend it to everyone. So many things were confusing to me about this whole process. Someone always had an answer and they are so encouraging. They are the ones who told me to start sending my book out and to not be discouraged with rejections. And they celebrate each success.

You’ve had a couple book signing events so far! How did those go? What advice do you have for authors who want to do book signings but aren’t sure how to get started?

My first book signing was awesome. My advice would be to start letting people know far in advance. And tell everyone you know. I told the church, who put it in a news letter, I told friends, people I go to the “Y” with, former co-workers. My kids told their friends and neighbors.

The event was held at a coffee shop. I gave a little talk and my daughter read from my book. It was fun to be able to watch the audience react and I sold a lot of books!

What’s on your list to do next?

As I await the edits on Unfathomable, I am finishing my fourth novel. Numbers three and four are both standalone, young adult books. I still need to revise, then I will start shopping them around.

Now for some just-for-fun challenge questions…

What type of book do you reach for to lose yourself in? Any favorite titles or authors?

I mostly read YA books, really like John Green. A Fault in Our Stars is my favorite book. I also really enjoy Kristen Hannah.

What’s your favorite non-writing, non-reading activity?

I love to ski, both downhill and cross country. I love being outdoors, I walk every day, rain, shine, snow or -20 windchill.


Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with good or challenging ones?

Yes, I read them. I find it very interesting that I have several from men who have liked the book as much as anyone. I haven’t had anyone really pan the book, yet…

If you could go back in time before you started your author career, what advice would you give yourself?

Believe in yourself and start sooner!

Here’s where to find and follow Jean, and purchase her books!