Author Jo Huddleston

Sweet Southern Romance

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Florence Witkop, Chick Lit Romance


Leave a comment on THIS post through Tuesday, April 17, 2018, to be entered in the DRAWING for a copy of the book below. If you mention in your comment that you’re a follower (see right sidebar to follow), I'll add your name a second time in the drawing. U.S. mailing address required to receive a paper book. I may or may not have read books offered for giveaways. The mention and giveaway of books on my blog do not in any way indicate any manner of my endorsement of said books. Read book giveaway details at Disclaimers. To provide you security, please leave your email address like this: johnATyahooDOTcom. Winner announced in next Thursday's blog post. 

Shh – Don’t Tell
by Florence Witkop

Florence Witkop
Florence Witkop has written confession stories, non-fiction, literary fiction, science fiction, novels, novellas, done ghostwriting, editing, copywriting, and won the only literary contest she ever entered, becoming Minnesota’s Region 2 Literary Person of the Year.

When traditional publishing died, she transitioned to Winged Publications, where she writes Forget Me Not Romances and Take Me Away Books. In this clean, Christian-oriented market, she writes the kind of romances she likes to read! 

Her wide-ranging imagination takes readers from small towns to the depths of space and the realms of fantasy, with stories that celebrate the wonder of life and love.

Please enjoy the following article by Florence.

Shh – Don’t Tell that takes place in the fictional town of John’s Falls, Minnesota, as do several other of my novels, including the two in the Johns Falls Trilogy that will follow Shh – Don’t Tell and I also mention the others in the following:

Hi, and welcome to Johns Falls, the fictional small town in the northern Minnesota wilderness where everyone knows--or thinks they know--everything about everybody else, often before they know it themselves.

Where it’s not surprising that the people falling in love may be the last to know, even when they are the very lovers everyone’s talking about and asking for the lurid, juicy details. (Of which there aren’t any because these are wonderfully clean, fun romances that readers can enjoy wholeheartedly with their teen-aged daughters or read alone without blushing but with feeling--or feeling again--the gamut of emotions involved in the amazing act of falling in love.)

Johns Falls is the setting for several of my books. Spirit Legend was set there, though the first novel to make Johns Falls its home was Wanted: Sharpshooter. In both of those books the town was only a necessary backdrop, but later, Spirit Legend started there and came back to the town more than once and Wolf Legend also took place there, though again, the town itself wasn’t a major character in those stories.

But, as often happens in the writing business, magic took over and the town of Johns Falls just grew--and grew--and grew--in my imagination, the stores and parks and all kinds of interesting places popping full-blown into my mind on a daily basis with the whole town becoming crystal clear until, in the book I’m talking about today, Shh – Don’t Tell, and the remaining books in that trilogy, Johns Falls comes into its own as an integral part of the story.

So I invite you to join the residents of Johns Falls, Minnesota, as they watch three of their favorite couples fall in love in Shh – Don’t Tell and the soon-to-be-published rest of the trilogy, A Very Black Cat and The House In The Forest.

In Shh – Don’t Tell, Chloe has returned to her hometown of Johns Falls to recover from being jilted, goes to work for her aunt in the Garden Store and finds a mother Mallard duck sitting on a clutch of eggs in one of the vases for sale in the outdoor portion of the store.

Sound familiar? When you were a kid, did you love Make Way for Ducklings as much as I did? Did you cheer for the Mallard family? Did you love the pictures in the award-winning children’s book? If so then you know the inspiration for Shh – Don’t Tell, and I promise that the ducks in this book are authentic Mallards in every way. And lovable. And a fun family to know even if they aren’t the main characters in this book. 

The story centers around Chloe Brown, who is recently jilted, depressed, and dedicated to protecting the Mallard family, and Ryan, interim manager of the local newspaper who wishes he was in Europe instead of small-town Minnesota and who is as determined to document the lives of the Mallard family as Chloe is to keep them secret, and, eventually he plans to use their story as publicity to further his own ambitions.

They are both much too busy sparring with each other to realize that they are falling in love. But after the ducks fly south for the winter, they must face the fact that, somehow, sometime, during a busy summer of keeping the duckling’s existence a secret while protecting them from predators and fighting with each other, they have fallen in love and must decide whether to let their hearts determine their future or to follow their predetermined plans that will soon take them away from Johns Falls and each other.

Please tell us a little about your novel, Shh – Don’t Tell.
Recently jilted, Chloe Brown is back home in Johns Falls, Minnesota, working for her aunt selling furniture and other garden paraphernalia until she can recover emotionally, after which she’ll leave. When she discovers a family of Mallard ducks in one of the huge vases in the outdoor portion of the store, her aunt agrees to let them stay because protecting the ducks is taking her niece out of her severe depression. Soon Chloe meets Ryan, short-term, interim manager of the Johns Falls newspaper. The two agree to support each other during this temporary, small-town stage of their lives, after which they will happily leave Johns Falls and each other. They find themselves sharing confidences, but Chloe has sworn to protect the duck family and keep them safe, so she keeps their existence a secret lest Ryan write about them in the paper, because a story could bring unwanted publicity, too many visitors, and possibly danger. But secrets have a way of being uncovered, especially by experienced reporters. And love isn’t temporary.

Where can readers find you online? 
I’m almost ashamed to say that I have a presence on almost every social media site that exists. (Almost.) But I’m determined to simplify my life and my marketing by using each and every site to simply funnel traffic to my website. So that’s the only place I’m listing here: My Website

Where can readers purchase Shh – Don’t Tell?

Any parting comment?
I love putting a story together but at the moment I am not writing books with stories that are based around "big problems." I know such books help people who suffer from problems and I am glad for the help they get from such stories.

But for me, at least at this time in my life, I find that I most enjoy writing stories of normal, well-adjusted, reasonably happy people with interesting personalities and even more interesting personality quirks as they search intentionally for--or accidentally stumble upon--love and a happily-ever-after life. 

And I’m oh-so-glad that there are readers out there that like to read such stories.

Leave a question you’d like readers to answer. (Commenters not required to answer question to be entered in the book drawing.)
I live in northern Minnesota and I love the forests and lakes and wildlife. But I’ve lived in other milieus--city, suburbs, small towns, lakeshores, rural and farm areas. Each has its own charm, complete with good points and wonderful residents. 

Where would you live if you could live anywhere? (As an occasional science fiction author, that includes places beyond Earth if you are so inclined.)

Florence, thanks for visiting with my readers and me. Florence is offering an eBook copy of Shh – Don’t Tell to one commenter to this blog post.

Commenters, to enter the book drawing please leave your comment on this post through April 17, 2018, and remember to leave your email address so I can contact you if you’re the winner.

The winner of last Thursday’s blog post for a copy of The Wedding Barter by Alice K. Arenz is Jan. I’ll email you. Thanks all for commenting. Watch for more book giveaways.

Till next time … keep on smiling. 

My latest book is out – Her Reason to Smile, a novella. Here is the cover, and you can read more about the book and the first chapter here.


  1. As an ole' Minnesota gal, I for sure want to read this book. Sounds really interesting and like a fun read. sonja dot nishimoto at gmail dot com

    1. Sonja, thanks for stopping by and leaving your comment.

  2. I'd love to live in a cabin in the woods by a stream.
    I am a follower

    1. Nancy, thanks for following my blog and for commenting!

  3. I would live in a small town...they are charming :) I like the title "Shh – Don’t Tell" - very catchy!
    I am a follower!

    1. Natalya, thanks for commenting and for following my blog!

  4. If I could live anywhere, it would be right here.
    After all, this is home and home is where the heart is.
    Looking forward to reading Florence's books.
    I too am a follower.
    Janet E.

    1. Janet, thanks for leaving your comment and for following my blog!

  5. I use to live out in Rural Indiana for 14 years until 17 months ago I lost my Husband to Kidney Cancer, so I sold my house & moved back to my hometown of Chicago. I must say I prefer the big city life to country life. Thanks for your generosity.

    1. Linda, you're welcome. Thanks for leaving your comment.

  6. Book sounds wonderful and a new author to me. Following you.

    1. Diana, glad you found a new-to-you author here. Thanks for following my blog and for commenting!