Tourists Prayer (funny)

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Sharing a tourist prayer with those of you who are planing your next vacation:

Heavenly Father, look down on us your humble obedient tourist servants, who are doomed to travel this earth, taking photographs, mailing postcards, buying souvenirs and walking around in drip-dry underwear.

Give us this day divine guidance in the selection of our hotels, that we may find our reservations honored, our rooms made, and hot water running in the faucets.

We pray that the phones work and that the receptionists speak our tongue.

Lead us, dear Lord, to good, inexpensive restaurants where the food is superb, the waiters friendly and the wine included in the price.

Give us the wisdom to tip correctly in currencies we do not understand. Forgive us for undertipping out of ignorance or overtipping out of fear. Make the natives love us for what we are and nor what we can contribute to their worldly goods.

Grant us the strength to visit the museums, the cathedrals , the palaces and castles listed as ‘musts’ in the guidebooks.

And if perchance we skip a historic monument to take a nap after lunch, have mercy on us for our flesh is week.

For Husbands Only
Dear God, keep our wives from shopping sprees and protect them from ‘bargains’ they don’t need or can’t afford. Lead them not into temptation for they know not what they do.

For Wives Only
Almighty Father, keep our husbands from looking at foreign women and comparing them to us. Save them from making fools of themselves in cafes and nightclubs. Above all do not forgive them their trespasses for they know exactly what they do.

Available at Amazon

The perfect fiancé is a cheater and the fabulous Christmas wedding is off. But the would-be honeymoon cruise may fulfill the dreams of Julia and her unexpected companion.

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author, Mona Risk published more than twenty books, some translated in German and French.
She received an Outstanding Achiever Award at Affaire de Coeur Magazine and is a
Best Romance Novel winner at Preditors & Editors Readers Poll;
Two-Time winner of Best Contemporary Romance Novel at Readers Favorite;
EPIC’s Ebook Award Finalist; and Kindle Top 100 Bestselling Author

Mona Risk

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author, Mona Risk, received an Outstanding Achiever Award from Affaire de Coeur Magazine. She’s a two time winner of Best Contemporary Romance of the Year from Readers Favorite; a winner of Best Romance Novel of the Year from Preditors & Editors Readers Poll; and an EPIC Award finalist.
Mona Risk’s name has often been posted on the Amazon.com 100 Most Popular Authors in Romance list, and her books have garnered: Top Pick, Outstanding Read, Sweetheart of the Week, and Best Book of the Week from various reviewers, and received two mentions in Publisher’s Weekly.
Mona lives in South Florida and has traveled to more than eighty countries on business or vacation. She writes contemporary romances, medical romance, romantic suspense, and paranormal fantasy. Sprinkled with a good dose of humor, her stories are set in the fascinating places she visited or more simply at home.
If you like to travel and love to read, come and enjoy her international romances. Meet the spirited heroines and special heroes who share irresistible chemistry in stories that simmer with emotion.
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Springtime is for roses

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Rainbow Sorbet grown exclusively in water with goldfish

Springtime! Time for fresh roses!
But also for late frosts or snow… What a bummer, having to wait to plant bare root roses because of fickle weather patterns.
But wait! I found a solution!

I plant my bare root roses in water. This may not work in all areas of the world, but it’s a real winner in Alaska where summers (at least around Anchorage) seldom get over 80 degrees. Your best bet for success is using a higher grade rose, at least grade one and a half, so it has a good root system.

There is a problem with ‘planting’ in 5 gallon buckets (or similar sized containers), though. Mosquitoes. Those little bloodsuckers love standing water, the perfect incubating area for their eggs and larvae.
Goldfish to the rescue! You can buy feeder goldfish at pet stores or larger Wal-marts for about ten cents each. I put a couple in each bucket of water and let them eat any mosquito larva that appear.

Queen Elizabeth grandflora rose grown in water with goldfish

There is an added bonus to the goldfish. Not only does their swimming keep the water from becoming stagnant, the by-product of their feasting (fish poop) is an ideal fertilizer. My Queen Elizabeth roses were nearly seven inches across one year!

Also, it’s fairly simple to move the containers inside if the forecast is for freezing temperatures. This works on both ends of the growing season. You can also ‘chase the sun’ if their once sunny spot becomes too shady later in the season. Note: all roses need at least six hours of sunlight.
Be aware, though. This method only works for one season. You are essentially forcing the roses to grow and there isn’t enough nutrition in the water to replenish the plant for a second season. If you’d like, you can plant the roses in the garden anytime, but at least six weeks before the first hard freezes. It takes at least that long for soil-feeding roots to become established. If your winters are mild, you will probably have success. However, if you have six months or more of sub-freezing temperatures, I recommend just tossing the plant in the dumpster. The stems and thorns are too tough to compost.
The blooms you get from growing your own roses may not be as fancy as the ones from the florist, but if you’ve chosen well, they’ll most certainly smell better.
More pictures and detailed ‘planting’ information at www.growalaska.net and www.chilloutroses.com. Note: emails and phone numbers are not correct. These are old sites for reference purposes only. I no longer sell roses, either.

Here’s a pretty bunch of roses for you! Yours for only #99cents!

Kiss Me, Thrill Me: As Only You Can. Seven great stories by USA Today and NY Times best selling authors. Available exclusively on Amazon (and for a limited time).

Dani Haviland

Dani Haviland, formerly of Connecticut, Arizona, and Alaska, recently semi-retired from selling tractor parts, tools, and roses. She moved to a more temperate climate in western Oregon to pursue her passions: writing, gardening, and photography.
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Reading, reading, reading

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I was a reader way before I was a writer–but not by much. My mom saved my first illustrated story about the fictional character Tracie (instead of Traci) and her pet ant named Blip. I think I was six…it wasn’t a blockbuster but it had a beginning, a middle and an end. My ant looked like a baked potato–which is why I never pursued art.

In Stephen King’s On Writing, he is adamant that in order to be a good writer, you need to read. I think that because I write, and edit, I’d lost track of reading for enjoyment–audible really helps with a different way to get that story in! But for 2017 I made a promise that I would read again. Actual print books mixed with what I’ve got on my Kindle.

I forgot how much I love devouring a story. Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl and Sharper Objects–wow. The gorgeous sentence structure, the characterization and, oh yeah, subject matter, all are on point. I’ve read The Road, Cormac McCarthy, an awesome tale of dark hope. I’ve started Elizabeth Chadwick, The Greatest Knight, oh, and I’ve read Magdalen Girls by V.S. Alexander, a timely historical about the Catholic Church and the girls in the laundry–this book takes place in 1960 ish, and is climbing the charts.

What I thought might be a tough thing to follow through on has been a rediscovery and a delight. What books are you reading? Is that how you “escape” after a hard day?

Happy Tuesday, readers,

Traci

www.tracihall.com –read by the sea

 

Traci Hall

Traci Hall

With an impressive bibliography in an array of genres, USA Today bestselling author Traci Hall has garnered a notable fan base. She pens stories guaranteed to touch the heart while transporting the reader to another time and place. Her belief in happily ever after shines through, whether it’s a romantic glimpse into history or a love affair for today.

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How You Can Help A Single Mom by @DonnaFaz

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Did you know that one-quarter to one-third of all families in the world are headed by single mothers? In the past, death of a spouse had been the biggest factor. But today the reasons have become much more varied and complicated. Increased rates of divorce and non-marital childbearing, changes in cultural trends, as well as an increase in positions for women in the workplace, and the list goes on. Furthermore, it is estimated that fifty percent of children born today will spend some portion of their childhood in a single-parent household. Would you like to know how you can help a single mom?

Because support is one thing that every parent needs, that’s exactly how you can help a single mom: by offering your help. If you know a single mother, consider reaching out to her with offers of:

  1. A listening ear—Everyone needs to vent emotionally every now and then.
  2. Babysitting—A night to relax away from the kids can do a single mom good!
  3. Taxi Service—There’s no way for a mom to be in two places at once. Consider offering transportation to school or sports practice. This is especially easy if your child attends the same school or is on the same team.
  4. Uplifting—Good deed don’t have to take a lot of time or effort. Bake a cake, send a card, offer a smile, invite her over for dinner, cook dinner for her, help with lawn care (planting flowers in the spring, pulling weeds in the summer), or any other pick-me-up that you can think of.

While stress does take its toll on the emotions and on the health, you can help by reaching out today to a single mom you know.

How You Can Help A Single MomOn sale Feb 27th through March 5th: FALLING FOR A SINGLE MOM – Two Sweet Romance stories for just 99¢. “Fun, Flirty Romances! 5 Stars!”

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Donna Fasano

USA TODAY BESTSELLING AUTHOR DONNA FASANO is a three-time winner of the HOLT Medallion, a CataRomance Reviewers Choice Award winner for Best Single Title, a Desert Rose Golden Quill Award finalist, a Golden Heart finalist, and a two-time winner of Best Romance of the Year given by BigAl’s Books & Pals Review Blog. Her books have sold nearly 4 million copies worldwide and have been published in two dozen languages. Her books have made the Kindle Top 100 Paid List numerous times, climbing as high as #5.

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To Homeschool or not to homeschool

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  I sometimes run into folks who downgrade a homeschool education. Usually it is because they feel the kids won’t get “socialized.” I can see where this might have been a problem in the Middle Ages, where a child might be taught by a tutor and have little outside contact, but not in today’s world.
   When I attended public school it was in a one room schoolhouse. We had eighteen kids on the average, one teacher, and a teacher who came in only in the mornings. There were eight grades, no kindergarten. 18 kids + 8 grades, + 1 teacher = outstanding education. It was like going to one great big homeschool. When we reached high school, the teachers would say “You must have gone to a country school,” because we knew so much. That was because we 1) heard the lessons of the grades ahead of us, over and over, 2) had to help teach the younger children as we reached the upper grades, 3) had to figure out our own math and other subjects when the teacher was busy. We had open access to the answer key, and would correct our own papers, then figure out why we got something wrong. We had no bullying (older kids took care of that), no cliques (not enough kids your age), and no major problems. We got along, despite the huge age range, but mainly because of it.
   Later I taught 6th grade in a public school, only to find distinct disadvantages. The main disadvantage is that 1) all the kids the same age are grouped together. This promotes bullying and cliques. Disadvantage # 2 is that they were all supposed to learn the same thing at the same time. This doesn’t happen, so I had to individualize the program and the books they wanted me to teach. I don’t care if it is a public or a private school, if they throw all the same age kids together, they create problems, both learning and social.
   Home schools on the other hand, usually have an age range. They interact with adults more than public school children do. When the older children help the younger ones, they learn to be kind. I’ve gone to homeschool conferences where the kids come too, and in general, all the kids are well behaved. Often the older children in the family are “caring for” the younger ones as they go around to choose their curriculum.
  Home school children are BETTER socialized that public school kids. They do after-school sports, and learn swimming at the area pool while other kids are in school. They do the shopping with their parents, learn how to keep house, maybe animal care or mechanics. Because homeschool takes up half the time during the day than public school does, kids and parents are not trying to squeeze in homework at night when everyone is tired. Home schoolers can take trips as part of their education. They usually end up being independent thinkers, while public school children are put on the “conveyor belt” to be educated as little robots. They learn the family values rather than the teacher’s values. Independent work is discouraged (like in Common Core).
   Homeschool is SAFE compared to the public schools.
   So, YES, I completely recommend home schooling. If you can do it, give up whatever else you are doing, and start. You don’t have your children that long, so any sacrifice is worth the start.
  Even if you can only homeschool for a year or two, there is a big difference in a child’s maturity. A teacher once said, when watching my mature-acting home schooled grandson, “++ is twelve going on seventeen.”
Nancy Radke

Nancy Radke grew up on a wheat and cattle ranch in SE Washinton State. She attended a one-room country school through the eighth grade. She learned to ride bareback at age 3 (Really! It was a common practice.) and when she got off or fell off, she would pull her horse’s nose to the ground, get on behind its ears, and the horse would lift its head so she could scoot down onto its back. She spent most of her childhood exploring the Blue Mountain trails that bordered the ranchlands. She and a friend once took a trail that turned out to be a two day trip. They always rode with matches and pocket knives, so made camp and returned the next day. These long rides worried her parents, but provided plenty of time to make up stories. Her first novel was set in the Blues, and is entitled APPALOOSA BLUES. TURNAGAIN LOVE was the first one published. It rated a four star review from Affaire de Coeur. Scribes World said “Turnagain Love has some fascinating twists and turns, unexpected complications, and charming scenes.” It is light and humorous.
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Academy Awards Ceremony – the good, the bad, the ugly!

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Millions of people were glued to the TV last night to watch the cream of Hollywood stroll down the runway in their designer dress and tuxes, and to celebrate their art, with all the glamour, the hype, the expectations, and rewards. Along with that comes crushing disappointment, and sometimes confusion and wounded pride.

Last night was brilliant right to the end. How in the world did the wrong envelope get into Warren Beatty’s hand? He seemed at a loss, checking the envelope more than once before announcing the best film winner. La La Land – a story itself about hope and longing, and never giving up on your dream. A worthwhile, beautiful film. But then it was taken away and to everyone’s shock Moonlight was declared the winner. I have not seen this, so can not comment. But the horror and embarrassment of being up on stage, handed the highest honor of achievement, Best Movie, only to have it snatched away, was painful to watch. 

 As writers we can identify with the Hollywood dream. Those who want to write a screenplay, those costume designers and everyone behind the scenes, the directors who want to bring out the best in each film, and the actors who are so driven they will do anything to pursue their dreams, while knowing most of them will not succeed.

Oh yes, writers know that well.  We write for years and face rejections everyday. It can come from editors, readers who don’t like the book, publishers who don’t think your story, or your writing, or your grandma is worthy. But we persevere and stubbornly don’t give up. That is our job. That is our love, and it is our passion.

So I’m raising an Oscar to each and every one of you! Celebrate each and every success, no matter how small, or how long it takes. Live the Dream. Believe in yourself and find your happiness.

I did, and I couldn’t be happier!

Patrice Wilton

Patrice Wilton knew from the age of twelve that she wanted to write books that would take the reader to faraway places. She was born in Vancouver, Canada, and had a great need to see the world that she had read about.

Patrice became a flight attendant for seventeen years and traveled the world. At the age of forty she sat down to write her first book—in longhand! Her interests include tennis, golf, and writing stories for women of all ages.

She is a mother of two, has four lovely grand-daughters, and a wonderful man at her side. They live in West Palm Beach, Florida, where he teaches her golf, and she teaches him patience.

Her best selling books are the CANDY BAR series, SERENDIPITY FALLS series, and most recently PARADISE COVE and A CHRISTMAS COLLECTION series. She is a New York Times best selling author.

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Carole Mortimer – author of 220 books! #incredible #mgtab

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Hi Everyone,

Spring is definitely on its way because I have snowdrops out in my garden and the daffodils are all about 6” tall!

I would like to thank all of you for making 2016 such a successful year. All 9 books in my Regency Unlaced series have reached the Amazon #1 spot, with the books in my Knight Security series all being Amazon #1 & Top100 Bestsellers. I couldn’t have done any of this without all of you.

The pre-order of the 1st book in my brand new series, Regency Sinners, is now available. The book’s title is Wicked Torment (Regency Sinners 1), with a publication date of April 28th. I intend to write eight books in the Regency Sinners series, the heroes linked through friendship and their years spent together in the army. All of the stories in this series will be complete, with a HEA ending, but with a mystery that will continue throughout and conclude in the 8th book. Intrigued? I hope so!

Today is release day for Tamed by the Earl, the 9th and last book in my Regency Unlaced series. I’m really sorry to say goodbye to the characters in this series, but who knows, maybe a hero or heroine, or even two, will appear in the new series, Regency Sinners?

Enticing Ian, the 6th book in my contemporary Knight Security series is also available for pre-order and will be released on March 31st.

The stories in my romantic suspense series Regency Sinners, Regency Unlaced, Knight Security, and Alpha, are more explicit in their language and sexual content than my other books. In other words, they’re hot, so you have been warned!

Hope the rest of February is good for all of you.

Carole xx

Buy link for Tamed by the Earl (Regency Unlaced 9)

Amazon

Also available on Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Kobo and Smashwords

Pre-order Link for Wicked Torment (Regency Sinners1)

Amazon

Also available on Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Kobo, and Smashwords

Pre-order Link for Enticing Ian (Knight Security 5)

Amazon

Also available on Barnes & Noble, ibooks, Kobo and Smashwords

*~*~*

 

Carole Mortimer

Carole has written 220 novels in contemporary and Regency romance. She is 2015 Recipient RWA Lifetime Achievement Award. USA Today Bestselling Author. 2014 Pioneer of Romance Award from Romantic Times. 2012 recognised by Queen Elizabeth II for ‘outstanding service to literature’. She is happily married to Peter, has six sons, and lives on the beautiful Isle of Man.

Recipient 2015 RWA Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award.
Pre-order – Tempting Zander (Knight Security 4) Release January 27th 2017
Pre-Order – Tamed by the Earl (Regency Unlaced 9) release February 24th 2017
Website page and newsletter – http://www.carolemortimer.co.uk

  

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From New Orleans to New York City

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Thirty years ago, I went on a business trip to New Orleans with my husband. He was busy all day working the booth for the Associated Press at the American Newspaper Publishers Association convention while I ran the streets. To this day, it was the most fun I’ve had. What a great town to be free to do whatever I wanted. I spent eight days in the French Quarter, poking into shops, wandering down private alleys, and looking in windows of wonderful old homes.

Toward the end of the trip, I finally came across something that wasn’t so wonderful. The horses that pulled the tourist carriages around the Quarter did something to my heart. They didn’t look that happy to me. On the last afternoon I’d have the privilege of visiting, I sat alone at Café Du Monde drinking coffee and people watching, trying not to focus on the horses. The concern didn’t go away, however, and the idea to write a story about their plight settled in my head. For all the beauty of the Quarter, there was something dark and sad about the horses.

Returning home, I began researching; this was before I knew how to use a computer, so it was at the library, microfiche, old travelogues, and encyclopedias. I could find nothing sensational about the horses in New Orleans, which appeared to be well-taken care of in spite of my concerns.

“The child Alexandra lived with her mentally ill mother behind a museum in a converted chicken coup.”

A story began to grow about a child, a little girl, who could communicate with the horses of the Quarter. Alas, when I finished, it reminded me too much of the old Mr. Ed television series and I scraped it.  The feeling persisted, dark and unsavory, and soon I began working on The Savant of Chelsea. In this story, a young woman from the French Quarter who is on the autism spectrum goes to medical school, and on to do a residency in neurosurgery in Manhattan.

Publisher’s Weekly reviewed The Savant of Chelsea a few years ago and one of the lines from the review has become its tagline – A New York brain surgeon returns to New Orleans to face the secrets and tragedies of her youth.  To read the review go here.

The Savant of Chelsea is in a Contemporary Thriller giveaway – enter to win fifty books and a Kindle fire. Click here to enter.

I love reading the progression of my author friend’s stories, starting with an idea, and often, like The Savant of Chelsea, developing into something much different than originally planned.

 

 

Suzanne Jenkins

Get Suzanne’s newsletter and never miss a new release! Receive a FREE Pam of Babylon short story by signing up at http://suzannejenkins.net

Suzanne’s Gift to You! DOWNLOAD FREE and Bargain EBOOKS
Start the first installment of Suzanne’s bestselling series, Pam of Babylon FREE! Download Today – The Greeks of Beaubien Street 99 Cents (Greektown Detroit Detective Stories) Also free, Atlas of Women, a compilation of the novella, Mademoiselle and four short stories, and Burn District: The Prequel.

Her anthology of romance titles with eleven other authors, A TOUCH OF PASSION, has just become the 2016 WINNER of The Romance Reviews Readers’ Choice Awards.

Suzanne writes page-turning contemporary romance, mystery, and women’s fiction with passionately gripping characters that stay with readers long after they turn the last page. The Detroit Detective Stories, beginning with The Greeks of Beaubien Street are a reflection of American fantasy with historical reality. Pam of Babylon books consistently rank in the Top 100 Best Sellers in American Drama with over 500,000 downloads.

Suzanne’s stand alone novels include Someone Like You, the Family/LGBT themed Alice’s Summertime Adventure, suspenseful The Savant of Chelsea, Slow Dancing, The Liberation of Ravenna Morton and Perfect for Him, her latest romance story. “Bring the tissues,” readers say.

Burn District, Jenkins new sci/fi series, follows an American family as they flee from political insanity to save their lives in the Arizona Desert.

Her short story, Vapor appeared in Willow Review, Spring 2013.

A retired operating room nurse, Jenkins divides her time between the west Michigan lakeshore, the Brandywine River Valley, and the mountains of Southern California, traveling across country with her husband, Jim and dog Oscar in an RV, to visit their children and grandchilden on different coasts.

Visit http://suzannejenkins.net where you may subscribe to an email list entitling you to free stories and excerpts of soon to be released and new releases.

   

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