Happy Autumn by @JoanReeves #mgtab #KissThrill

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Happy Autumn! It’s the first day of Fall!

I guess it may look like autumn in many parts of the country, but not here on the Texas coast. We’re still in summer and probably will be for another month before the cool down starts. Our first blue norther will probably blow in around Thanksgiving.

Contrary to popular belief, we do have trees that change colors. This photo is one I took last year that shows the beautiful foliage in my neighborhood. Our changing leaves are most frequently seen on crape myrtles, sweet gum trees, and tallow trees. Although the photo shows only one tree, there will be a few more trees with autumn leaves scattered amidst the massive live oaks that grow here.

Fall Means Winter’s Coming

Now that Fall has, uh, fallen, cold weather will be coming. Many of you will be turning on furnaces and putting away the garden hoses much sooner than we will. Now is a good time to go through a seasonal checklist because there’s more to getting ready for winter than putting away a garden hose and turning on a furnace.

Take Care of Your Home: 9 Things to Do Now

Take care of your home so it doesn’t end up looking like the one at right!

1. Service your furnace and change the filters in the air returns. If you don’t have an annual inspection plan, now is a good time to get one with a reputable heating/cooling company. They usually do a fall and spring check and do it more thoroughly than you can. Ask your neighbors for recommendations because this really is a good thing to pay for.

2. Drain garden hoses. Coil them up, secure with extra long cable ties or twist ties, and store in the garage or a shed until the spring thaw. They will last a lot longer if you do this even in moderate climates like Texas.

3. Clean all gutters and downspouts. Even better, hire someone to do this. This is a dreaded job. Far easier to pay someone a few bucks than to tackle it yourself. In fact, pay someone to put gutter guards on them. We just had that done.

4. Winterize, clean, and store your lawn mower. Winterize usually means draining oil and gas if needed. Wash the underside and remove built up grass “scum.”

5. Check all doors and window seals for cracks in the caulking or in the frame itself. Caulk and weatherize as necessary. This costs little but can save you a lot of money in heating and cooling.

6. Visually inspect your roof. Actually, see if you can take a good set of photos so you can compare the roof aging from one year to the next. (Good reason to buy a drone, right?) If you see any suspiciously dark spots or cracked shingles, call a roofing company. Squirrels

can do a lot of damage to a roof so if you have a lot of squirrels in the area–like we do–check your roof every month.

7. Check out the way your lot drains. Has anything overgrown its spot in your landscaping and now keeps rain from draining away from your house? Rain water should always drain easily away from your house not flow back to it.

8. If you have a chimney, inspect it. Clean out the fireplace if you didn’t do it at the end of the last cold weather. If you burn a lot of “dirty” woods like pine, etc., get a chimney sweep to clean the inside of the chimney. Always check the chimney cap. (That drone would really come in handy!) We found out during Hurricane Harvey that our chimney cap was cracked. It cost us $1,200.00 to repair the cap and the interior damage from a leaking fireplace. Far cheaper and easier to handle small repairs than to let it go and end up replacing the entire roof.

9. Trim overgrown shrubbery and trees away from the roof and exterior of your home. Tree branches scraping against a roof can prematurely age the roof. Clean up all debris. Where home maintenance is concerned, procrastination is disastrous and expensive. Inspect at the beginning of fall and spring. These few things, if done now, might save you thousands of dollars.

Kiss Me, Thrill Me ~ As Only You Can

Celebrate Autumn with a Romance Collection that’s FREE today and tomorrowfree for everyone.

After that, it’s free on Kindle Unlimited and reasonably priced for 6 full-length novels.

Have a wonderful Autumn!

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Joan Reeves
NY Times and USA Today bestselling author Joan Reeves makes her home in the Lone Star State with her hero, her husband.

They have 4 children who think they are adults and a ghost dog, all the ingredients for a life full of love and warmed by laughter.

Joan lives the philosophy that is the premise of her romance novels: “It’s never too late to live happily ever after.”

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What’s the Difference (Words)? Authors’ BillBoard

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What’s the difference between can and may? Does it matter? Words make a difference. As an author, I have to be careful with what words I choose. A mother teaches her children (or tries to) to say “May I have a cookie?” which is asking permission, rather than “Can I have a cookie?” meaning, “Am I capable of having a cookie?” Today people use the word “can” to ask permission, so I use it that way when I’m writing dialogue, but not in the rest of the story.

When the difference is between can and will, it is a question of being able to (can) as opposed to wanting to do it or not (will). A scripture says, “If any will not work, neither let him eat.” Notice the use of the word “will.” This refers to someone who is able to work, who could find a job, but won’t. He’s lazy. It is not referring to a person who cannot work because he is unable.

I think everyone has their set of words that gives them problems when they write. Mine is lie and lay. I always have to stop and look them up whenever I want to use them in a sentence. Simply put, lie means to recline, and must never have an object. Lay means to put or place something down, so has an object (the thing you put down). The problem arises when you need to use the past tense of lie, which is lay, so it feels like you are using the wrong word.

When I write my Trahern series, which involves a family moving west after the Civil War, I sometimes bring in a tiny bit of dialect. I use more when my characters are just out of the mountains, and less if they’ve been out for a while. A sprinkling of such words is all that is needed to give the impression.

The Handsomest Man in the Country is the first of the Trahern series and is free, so give it a try.

Link to Handsomest Man

The problem I notice most often in other people’s writing is it’s and its. It’s (with the apostrophe) means it is, whereas its means something belonging to it. It is the first day of the shop’s grand opening, would be written: It’s the first day of its opening. The error occurs because we usually show possession by an apostrophe. I have to go through my books, checking all the “its” to make certain I didn’t slip up. It’s so very easy to do.

What words give you fits?

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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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“Book” your free romantic summer getaway!

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Ah, summer, the most glorious time of the year! (Or it is where I live in northern BC, anyway: lush and green–warm, finally–and sooo alive and lovely smelling. 🙂 )

I adore everything about this warmest season, but especially love:

~ Playing in the lake.

~ Road trips. By myself or with my hubby or with a girlfriend or my kids, nothing is more fun than hitting the road for a day or a week. I love that you can feel like you’ve had a real break for cheap, cheap, cheap.

~ Gardening. I do some of my best thinking and most fun daydreaming while I labor in the dirt. (A fact you can read more about here. 🙂 )

~ Meandering along forest trails and out of the way paths. (I’m definitely not a hiker; I am all meanderer. 😉 )

~ Reading on a blanket on the beach. Reading beneath a shady tree. Reading in a comfy chaise lounge in a sunny corner of the house. (Are you sensing a theme here?) Taking a break from reading to listen to an audio book and do some weeding or watering. Reading in a hot car, while my hubby runs a 2-minute errand and spends (inevitably) 45 minutes talking to everyone he knows in the store. (Seriously, I do love that . . . hot car and everything.)

If you’re a book worm, nature lover and romantic at heart like me, you might enjoy “booking” a romantic getaway or two (or five, LOL) to River’s Sigh B & B. Each book in the series makes a great standalone, so jump in with whichever one catches your fancy most . . . but then again, it’s always fun to start off with Book 1, isn’t it? (And lucky you, Book 1, WEDDING BANDS, is free right now. You can also sign up for my newsletter and get another book free–ONE TO KEEP. Enjoy!)

Wedding Bands by Ev Bishop - River's Sigh B & B Book 1 - FreeFall in love at River’s Sigh B & B FREE with Book 1, WEDDING BANDS: 

A terrible misunderstanding separates high school sweethearts, Jo and Callum. When they meet again years later, will they be able to get past their hurt pride and old wounds, or will they go their separate ways permanently?

Amazon.com ~ Amazon.ca ~ Amazon.co.uk ~ Amazon.com.au ~ KOBO ~ Barnes & Noble (NOOK) ~ Apple/iBooks

 

 

One to Keep by Ev Bishop Free River's Sigh B & B novella for Ev's Newsletter sign upSign up for Ev’s News and ONE TO KEEP can be yours to keep – FREE!  

CLICK HERE TO GET YOUR COPY! 

When chance throws Sophie and Jesse together at River’s Sigh B & B this New Year’s, they’ll each have to face their worst fears: their unacknowledged yearnings for love that lasts. Can love tempt them to commit? Maybe. If they’re brave enough . . .

 

Ev Bishop lives and writes in a remote small town in wildly beautiful British Columbia, Canada—a place that inspires the setting for her cozy sweet romance series, RIVER’S SIGH B & B.

Book 1 in the series, WEDDING BANDS, is FREE right now, so go to your favorite eBook vendor and grab your copy today!

Ev also writes and publishes under the pen name Toni Sheridan.

In addition to writing novels—her favorite form of storytelling!—Ev is a long-time columnist with the Terrace Standard and a prolific scribbler of articles, essays, short stories and poems. To see her ever growing body of work, please visit her website.

When Ev’s nose isn’t in a book or her fingers aren’t on her keyboard, you’ll find her hanging out with her family and dogs, or playing outside with friends, usually at the lake or in some garden somewhere.

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