Compassion in the 21st Century
Compassion: a desire to help someone in need. When you show compassion to another person, it enriches your life as well as his. Yet to show compassion to someone, you must become involved in his life.
How do you become involved in another person’s life? Usually you talk to him, and learn about what is going on. Where he’s having problems and needs help. When he needs it. He will tell you! Last century, the telephone was invented, and people could now talk to each other even over large distances. People communicated, and reached out to each other. It was wonderful. I remember using our party line, how everyone knew everyone’s business, and how we came together as a community to show compassion for each other.
Then, in this century, with the invention of the cell phone, texting became the normal way of communicating. Everyone texts, it seems, short sentences sometimes with the words shortened to U and FYI, which require an interpreter to read them. People text while they are walking in traffic, while shopping, while in a class, but worse, people text while they are at home, alone. How involved can you become when you can’t even hear the other person’s voice, whether he sounds tired or discouraged or happy or defiant? How do you know that this person needs the compassion or friendship you are willing to give?
Instead of becoming an aid to communication, texting on cell phones has become a tool of isolation. Many people isolate themselves at home, reaching out only through texts. Teens shut themselves in their rooms, when they should be out developing social skills needed for life. Texting should never replace conversation, which is how we interact with other people. When you talk to someone, you find out much more about him and his life, his feelings, and thoughts; more than you will ever find out by texting. Texting is great for setting up appointments, but it should not be used to as the sole way to sustain friendships. Everyone needs friends, as man is a social being.
Cell phones have replaced our computers, watches, alarm clocks, maps, and our way of communicating. Lets not let them replace our families and friends.
In my book, Turnagain Love, the heroine is isolated on a small island. With no cell tower close by, she can’t call for help. Since three of anything—three large rocks, three honks, three shouts—is the universal signal of distress, she places her white clothes into three groups, making three large white circles out on the beach. Her efforts are rewarded by the arrival of the hero in a large motorboat. But he hasn’t come to help her. If fact, he never even noticed her signal. So what is he doing?
Turnagain Love is the first of the Sisters of Spirit series. It is part of the Sweet & Sassy Collection, #1, which is available for 99¢
I’m personally and professionally a relationship freak. Personally, I’m lucky to have many important relationships, most of which are incredibly satisfying and bring me joy. Professionally, I’m a romance writer which means that my “work life” revolves around writing about relationships. In all my books, the relationship challenges between my heroine and hero are an important part of the story. In some books the guy is the troublemaker and the woman tends to be the problem solver. In other series, the woman comes close to being a pain in the ass, while the guy is the peacemaker. Or, more often, they mix it up. Given that I’m a stickler for Happily Ever After endings, my books always end with peace, at least for the moment, between my main characters.
In addition to analyzing and creating fictional relationships, I also like to study them. I came across some interesting research that identified the factors that mark a successful relationship. The most intriguing element of the research, which was done at the University of Georgia and published in the journal Personal Relationships, concluded that two words were the determinants of happy, successful relationships.
What are the two magic words that make couples happy with their relationships?
Drum roll, please. They are: Thank You.
The University of Georgia research confirms that individuals who take the time to say thank you to their partners, their lovers, their family members, and friends tend to have the happiest, most fulfilling relationships.
Given that, I want to say thank you to all of you–my readers, my newsletter followers, my treasured team, and my fellow Author’s Billboard authors, who make my life so fulfilling.
Thank you, guys. I appreciate the heck out of you!
On her first mission, Officer Hailey Michels confronts the leader of a dangerous Cartel. Her chance to become a hero evaporates when the powerful Cartel member turns out to an undercover agent. It was bad enough to blow his cover but when she discovers who he really is, Hailey’s budding career, along with her heart, takes a decided nose dive.
The rookie cop learns the hard way that when tangling with the Justice Brothers, Justice—like Love– isn’t always fair or easy.
Jared is available from:
There’s always something relaxing and soothing about being read to. Perhaps it brings us back to the nights when our moms and dads read good night stories to us or circle time in kindergarten when the teacher swung a picture around while wowing us with the antics of a beagle or a little caterpillar. The lyrical voice of a good storyteller transports us into that magical dimension of a story.
Nowadays, it’s rare as a grownup to have anyone read to you. But you can still recapture the joy by listening to audiobooks. And these days, they are more exciting and engaging than ever, with actors and actresses playing the roles of the characters, wowing and enchanting the listener.
Here are some of the joys of audiobooks.
- You can rest your eyes. Close them and lay back, whether on a hammock or porch swing, or even in a bathtub [just make sure not to drop your player into the water.] Let romance seep into the suds and dream about that hot hero and lazy nights at the beach.
- You can exercise while listening. Get your steps in on a brisk walk around the lake, or a quiet stroll through the park. If you prefer a faster pace, plug in the earbuds and run to the tune of a heartpounding thriller.
- You can cut boredom while waiting in line, sitting on the bus, riding the subway, or driving to work. Extra bonus, listen to a engaging mystery while driving can keep you awake.
- You can multitask. Get in a romantic comedy while scrubbing the kitchen or cleaning the bathroom. Don’t worry if someone hears you laughing out loud while chopping vegetables or dusting your living room.
- You can babysit your pets. Studies have shown that dogs are calmer and more relaxed when in the presence of their pack–in many cases, that’s you. Hearing your voice or a calming, soothing human voice lowers their heartbeat and anxiety. Many people leave the TV on, but the constant interruptions of commercials, as well as gunshots and violent sounds, can leave your pets more anxious than you’d like. Playing back a playlist of audiobooks allows you to control what your pet is hearing and lets them relax at the sound of familiarity. Perhaps your dog might like to snooze to a classic or get his tail wagging to a hot romance.
This year, as an author, I’ve invested in getting my most popular stories produced in audio. I’ve enjoyed casting the “right” narrator for the mood and tone of my story, from Christmas novellas to steamy sports romances.
I bet you have more ideas on how to use audiobooks. Please comment and let me know how you like your audiobooks served.
Please check out my Audiobooks on Audible.com AND if you don’t have a membership, you can get one of my books free if you sign up for a 30-day free trial.
Here’s a review for Her Christmas Chance narrated by Kate Marcin
” …every teardrop worth crying ”
For me reading a story is like watching a movie. In my mind there’s an image of how the scene will play out, but it doesn’t always end up that way. Her Christmas Chance is like a wonderful gift. It inspires and entertains while waking up even the blackest of hearts. The words were all there, the beauty was evident, all that Bella and Chance needed was the perfect voice to bring their fairy tale to life. Kate Marcin proved the right person for that tough job. It’s only fitting that since the author put so much of herself on display that the narrator do likewise. Ms. Marcin made every teardrop worth crying and every smile a well earned reward.
“Be the change you want to see in the world.” Ghandi
Some people see themselves as ordinary people going about their daily activities without concerns about their surroundings. They are just happy to make ends meet, put enough food on the table, take care of their families with a little extra on the side for entertainment and vacation. They may complain on and off if things go wrong. When asked about what they do for a living, they shrug and mention they do what they have to do to keep the JOB that gives them a paycheck. Exactly what I did, when I graduated from University, got married and started a family. All I wanted was a job that would help me make money and improve our difficult beginnings.
Driven by ambition, others are dedicated to their careers and devote every moment to accomplish their goals. When asked about what they do for a living, they talk about their CAREER, about their hard work and perseverance to climb the ladder of success in their field.
That’s me again. At the age of thirty-five, a slipped disc in my back forced me to avoid standing on my feet all day. I quit my job in the lab and enrolled in a Ph.D. program. Once I received my diploma, I changed my goals and worked hard to succeed in my new career as lab manager, and later director of the environmental division of my company.
A few special people want to make a difference in their world. They really believe in a cause larger than themselves and they would go out of their way to make a difference for others. When asked about what they do for a living, they enthusiastically elaborate about their calling, their mission in life, their vocation. Their happiness does not come from money, or status, but from having a positive impact on the lives of others.
I have gone through the three phases. Burned-out by many years of heavy responsibilities, long hours in the office and continuous traveling, I took an early retirement to write novels and help others around me.
How do you analyze your accomplishments? Wealth? Status? Inner satisfaction? Positive impact on the others?
To start your holidays, I have three books in three very different genres to offer you, a sweet romance, a sexy mythological adventure, and a sassy modern romance, all at bargain prices.
Just released: a sweet and funny Christmas Story
IN TIME FOR CHRISTMAS
Dr. Sylvia Reynolds promised to be at her parents’ house in time for Christmas dinner. With a blizzard paralyzing the Midwest, passengers are trapped in airports for endless hours. While rushing toward the gate, Sylvia stumbles on a baby rattle, sprawls on the floor, and meets a gorgeous man and his baby niece.
James Alexander must deliver his five-month-old niece to her grandmother. The successful lawyer, who doesn’t know the ABCs of baby care, is at his wits’ end with the crying baby who holds on to Sylvia for sheer survival.
Sylvia helps as much as she can, but when James holds her in his arms…
An Armchair Trip to Ancient Egypt with adventure, suspense and hot passion among the gods.
OSIRIS’ SECOND LIFE
“Full of adventure, romance and humor this is a great holiday read.”~Love Reading
“[The story] takes the reader on an entertaining and fun journey to ancient Egypt,… blend of historical and contemporary feel to it, … with realistic contemporary emotions and expectations.“~nanjar
A BRIDE FOR PRINCE PAUL is free on Kindle Unlimited.
“Who wouldn’t fall for a prince? Dr. Amy Tyrone falls hard for Prince Paul of Rensy Island, though she doesn’t realize he’s royalty. Discovering the truth forces her to make a difficult choice – her patients back home or the man she loves? This charming story whisks you away to the romantic settings of Paris and the Channel Islands for a modern-day fairy tale that will warm your heart.”~ Sue
Okay, I’ve still got my pumpkins and gourds on tables and shelves and will keep them there through Thanksgiving. But I confess, as soon as the air starts getting that crisp, cold feel I start sneaking out little Christmas things. Like a Santa Claus vase or an angel plate or a music box that plays “Joy to the World” and of course my favorite dancing reindeer mug.
Like most romance readers, this time of year means many of my favorite authors have released holiday stories that I begin to collect—and soon I have a TBR pile that will easily carry me into the New Year. Especially when I have to mix in many of my older faves. I know I’m far from the only one who can’t wait to sink into stories of holiday romance. Hallmark Channel has already begun their Countdown to Christmas holiday movies.
I also love writing Christmas romance and just released The Christmas Sparkle Test.
When the three Abbott sisters agree to return to Peconic Bend for one last Christmas in their childhood home before their dad sells it, Heidi knows it means facing memories she’d rather forget. Like Connor James, the guy who stole her heart, then broke it. Will seeing him again reopen a wound that still lingers? Does a spark still burn between them? Or will the magic of Christmas make that spark turn to sparkle?
It is also available in the Authors’ Billboard boxed set ~ A Christmas She’ll Remember.
Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and because my family is divided throughout the Midwest, it’s easier for most of us to get together then as opposed to Christmas.
Fall foliage makes for a brilliant display here in Illinois, and decorating for the holidays is a pretty big thing in our area of the country. So, as both a former wholesale and retail florist, I’m sharing some methods for preserving greens.
PRESERVING FALL FOLIAGE
Glycerin/Water Method keeps the leaves fairly flexible. This preserving method works because the natural moisture present in the leaves is replaced by the glycerin solution, maintaining the leaf’s texture and form.
- Flat pan or disposable plates
- A weight or something to keep leaves submerged
- Mix the glycerin and water so that it is one part glycerin and two parts water. You only need enough to submerge the leaves — about one cup.
- Pour the solution into a flat pan, place the leaves in the solution, and then put the weight on the leaves to keep them submerged. (Tip: try using two Styrofoam or other disposable plates. Put leaves and enough glycerin solution to just lightly cover the leaves in the bottom of one plate. Then put the other plate on top of the leaves and solution. Now you can put a weight of your choosing on the top plate without getting the weight in the solution.)
- Keep the leaves submerged in the solution for 2-6 days.
- Dry the leaves gently with a paper towel. They should feel soft and pliable.
Pressing between wax paper.
- Wax paper
- Thin towel or paper
- Ironing board
- Place a leaf between two pieces of wax paper.
- Put a towel or a piece of thick paper over the wax paper.
- Press on the towel or paper with a warm iron to seal the wax sheets together. This takes about 2-5 minutes on each side, depending on how moist the leaf is. Once you have finished one side, flip the leaf over and do the other side.
- Cut around the leaf, leaving a small margin of wax paper to ensure that it will stay sealed.
- Rather than cutting out the leaves, you may want to try to peel the wax paper off the leaves, leaving a coat of wax behind to protect the leaves. Try this on one leaf first to see if this method works for you.
Using a microwave:
- Fresh leaves that have not dried out
- Paper towels
- Acrylic spray from a craft store
- Arrange the leaves on top of two paper towels. Lay another towel over the leaves to cover them.
- Microwave the leaves for 30-180 seconds. Be very attentive and careful. Leaves that are cooked in the microwave too long can catch fire. The drier the leaves, the less time they will need. Leaves that curl after removal from the microwave have not been in long enough. Leaves that are scorched have been in there too long. Only dry them for a few seconds at a time.
- Let the leaves sit for a day or two and then finish by spraying an acrylic sealant on both sides of the leaves.
Learn more (includes some other cool projects): https://learning-center.homesciencetools.com/article/how-to-preserve-leaves/
And how does something like designing relate to my writing?
Sometimes the easiest way to come up with a new story is to write about what you know, and since I have a degree in Ornamental Horticulture, Tales of Dragonfly includes a heroine who’s not only a florist, but a wedding planner and designer.
In Flight: A Tales of the Dragonfly Novel
A woman who’s afraid to trust. Successful designer, Penny Wentworth has arrived from New York to take charge of the wedding flowers for the new owners of the Dragonfly Pointe Inn. As a single parent of a severely autistic and mentally impaired son, she has no romantic illusions; her experience with an abusive husband has left her wary of relationships.
A man who’s afraid to love. Haunted by his past since discovering a six-year old girl brutally murdered at Dragonfly Pointe over twenty-two years ago, Sam has intentionally avoided returning home. But after resigning from his job as a homicide detective in New Orleans when his marriage fell apart, Sam is now the chief of police in Crystal Rock, Wisconsin.
An undying passion that’s endured throughout the years. Penny’s escort for the wedding, Sam had once been the object of every single one of her teenage fantasies.
When Sam’s search for a killer leads him back through his tarnished past, will a woman who’s afraid to love be able to forgive a man who feels undeserving of her love?
I hope everyone has a beautiful Fall-
And a fantastic Thanksgiving to those of you in the U.S.!!
Connect With Tamara Ferguson
Why food, of course! Remember, I did say “almost”. Next to writing sexy romantic thrillers, along with my very special guy, I enjoy, make that–lust after food. I love to cook it, eat it, discuss it, and frankly, play with it. Which for sensualists is totally understandable given that food in all its glorious iterations is sensuality personified. As Robin Leach says in his intro to Amy Reiley’ terrific sensual cook book Fork Me, Spoon Me “Forget the bedroom. The new sensual spot is in the kitchen—the perfect foreplay to getting hot and steamy, at—or on—the counter.”
Face it. What can be more erotic than paging through glorious recipes featuring lusciously beautiful, tasty food in preparation for a special night—or morning or mid-afternoon with your special guy? To me, one of the best indicators of a man’s sensual “acumen” is how he relates to food. Does he eat for the pleasure of it as well to satisfy his hunger? Does he choose food based on color, taste, texture and aroma? And the real test, does he like to play with his food, eat with his fingers and of course to feed succulent pieces to you?
Two of my favorite cookbooks are InterCOURSES; An Aphrodisiac Cookbook by Martha Hopkins and Randall Lockridge and Reiley’s Fork Me Spoon Me. Both books feature tantalizing recipes guaranteed to liven your tastes buds and stoke your hormones. They are encyclopedias to the time-honored aphrodisiac powers of various foods. The pictures alone are sensual visual treats. So grab your favorite guy/gal and head to the kitchen—the new sensual hot spot!
Check out our sexy: Cooking with the Authors of Summer Heat edited by Rebecca York. Each tempting recipe is linked to a novella in the sexy new Box Set: Summer Heat, Love on Fire– a collection of sixteen sexy romances by New York Times, USA Today and other Bestselling Authors. Available on Amazon. http://amzn.to/2yKWeBr
Check out my NEW RELEASE: SEIZED: Book 2; Sizzling Hot Detective Series, The Criminal Affairs Collection. WARNING: Romance so HOT it singes the pages. HOT, tough, explicit. Not for the faint at heart. Definitely bring a fan!
Special Introductory Price: $0.99 http://amzn.to/2gJ9z8S
Which comes first, the idea for a complete story or maybe just for the book’s title? Or maybe it’s an image or a quote that gets the words reaching and stretching for each other, bumbling and fumbling until they tumble together into paragraphs and pages.
There’s no telling what will be the prompt for a new book.
For my latest release, these two words popped up and wouldn’t leave me alone until I gave them a story to live in:
Okay, you two, you’re a title. Now, how about making some sense?
“Mom, remember when I was little and always asked, ‘When’s it going to be Christmas?’ and you’d say, ‘There’s no sense in chasing Christmas. It’ll get here when it’s time.’”
Okay, so now the title makes sense, but I needed more for my historical tale.
And then I saw her. Her eyes told part of the story, but I had to translate it into words, then give her hope and a destiny.
It’s not as easy as it sounds.
“I hate writing, but I love having written,” is ascribed to Dorothy Parker and many other authors. Hmm. I think at some point, all authors feel the same way. I guess the ‘love’ part overrides the ‘hate’ part because we keep on doing it.
Enjoy Chasing Christmas, part of Sweet and Sassy Christmas – A Time for Romance, available today! ELEVEN Christmas tales, some sweet, some sassy (or more) by NY Times and USA Today Bestselling and award winning authors.
Only 99 cents or free to read with your Kindle Unlimited subscription.