Solar Eclipse Mania and Aliens

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On Monday, August 21, I’ll be in the path of the total eclipse of the sun. Big deal. Well, really it is.
I’m sure other areas of the US are going through the same craziness as Oregon is. For over a month now, the front page of the local paper has featured at least one story about the solar eclipse and the impact it will have on the local residents.
Okay, not so much the eclipse itself, but all the eclipse watchers. Highways are predicted to slow to a near standstill between Portland – the nearest major airport – and throughout the Willamette Valley with the influx of over a million visitors. Backyards and open fields will be turned into temporary tent or camper cities (already happening). Public water and septic systems will be overtaxed (not likely). Food and gas supplies will run out or low (no telling). The local economy will boom (hopefully).
Because the traffic is expected to be horrible, garbage pick up has been delayed one day, many local businesses have given employees time off, and non-essential government workers are taking leave (or whatever they call it).
Right now, roads are blocked off in towns around here, not for safety, but to cordon off city blocks for vendors, events, and parties. I don’t know if they planned it this way, but a huge three-day country music extravaganza is going on right now in the Willamette Valley. If these folks came from far away, I doubt they’ll be in a hurry to leave Sunday night. Or if they are, they’re in trouble. I just hope the weight of all these extra people doesn’t cause a major earthquake!
What do people expect out of the eclipse besides a long weekend of partying? Some are saying it will allow the world to see the extra sun (or is it a planet?) that’s been hiding behind the sun.

Here’s a recent picture taken in Dallas, Oregon by Ashleigh Sawicki. Her aunt saw the same thing in Florida as did my friend in Alaska. It’s not exclusive to the United States, either. I hear it’s been sighted in South America and Europe, too. Oh, and if you say it’s just the camera, why would someone take a picture of the sun? Had to be something strange to want to take that shot.
I guess we’ll find out what all the noise is tomorrow. Unless the aliens attack or, gasp, they take out our internet.

No matter what happens, enjoy the life you have, and if it needs improving, be the one to make the changes.

In the meantime, here’s some great diversion. Romance box sets in different flavors!Feeling like a sweet story? Sweet & Sassy is perfect. Need some suspense? Dangerous Encounters and Risky Encounters. Historical fiction: Rebels, Rogues, and Romantics. Paranormal or time travel? Mystic Lovers. Check them all out! All but Love, Christmas are available to read for free with your Kindle Unlimited account. Don’t have KU? Try it for free for 30 days. See Amazon for details.

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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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Choose a Man: Navy SEAL or Fire Fighter

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Two twenty-something women are sitting in a bar in San Diego or New York City. In the lounge of PF Chang’s or Ruth’s Chris Steak House. One of these women is you. You’re wearing four point five inch glossy red strappy sandals, one leg crossed over the other so your black and white polka dot skirt is halfway up your thigh. You’re chatting with your friend and she’s wearing light pink matte lipstick, a three-inch wide pink Bakelite bangle bracelet and her blond hair in a high ponytail of cascading waves.

You know you both look hot, but you always do. So, it’s no big deal. Another warm summer night out in the city. You feel the attention, but it’s like a second skin—always there. Music, clinking glassware and slightly tipsy conversation surrounds you while you take your second sip of your Singapore sling then exhale to relax after your initial catch-up with your friend.

Now you look around. At the men. And there are plenty of them.

Are you in the neighborhood pop-spot near the Coronado Navy base filled with newly inducted warriors?

Or are you in the neighborhood hot spot of a downtown Manhattan Firehouse frequented by hot-off-their-shift lifesaving men?

Do you want the kind of man who would kill to protect you?

Or do you want the kind of man who would run into a fire to save you?

Don’t worry, there is no right or wrong answer—unless you say neither. (But what woman would say that? Honestly?)

You might say either would do, but I think most would have a preference, most of us would see the subtle distinction and maybe come down on one side or the other.

Me, you ask? I’d go for the Navy SEAL. Don’t ask me why.

But I’m going to ask you (fair or unfair) which you would pick and WHY?

Go ahead—tell me.

In the meantime, I’m working on a few stories starring two best friends. One is a Navy SEAL and the other is an FDNY Fire Fighter. Coming soon…

Catch up with me and my progress on these stories at



Stephanie Queen
About USA Today Bestselling Author Stephanie Queen
A romantic at heart and a writer by nature, Stephanie Queen has the enthusiastic soul of a cheerleader. So of course she loves creating stories where the good guys always win. Although she’s lost count of all the jobs she had before she settled on being a Novelist, her favorite was selling cookies as a Keebler Elf. She is a graduate of UConn (go Huskies!) and Harvard U and lives in New Hampshire with her family, her cat, Kitty, and her (real or imagined?) chauffeur, Myren.
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Reading versus Listening

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Like most of us, I am busy. Sometimes so busy that I can’t read. My job is writing stories. Editing stories. Reading stories. It used to be that relaxing meant curling up with a good novel and a cup of tea, or wine, and delve into another world. Now, because of my constant eye on the screen, I just can’t relax by picking up a book. I am so grateful for Audible, and audio versions of books I’ve wanted to read.

My goal for 2017 was to read more, to connect more with what is out there. Audio books have allowed me to do that. My favorite stories are historical fiction…of the last 10 books I’ve listened to, 8 of them have been historical. I love Christopher Moore–the Serpent of Venice. Alyssa Maxwell and her Newport murder series, Julia Quinn, Margaret Atwood, David Morrell. Right now I’m listening to Amy Snow by Tracy Rees.  I love a little mystery, and listening allows me to turn off my inner editor. Although sometimes I will make a note to self regarding a sentence, and how it could be stronger in the narration. Usually I am too caught up in the story to notice, which is nice.

The bad part for me with audio is not being able to turn back to a page that might be confusing. You can’t just put it down to pick right back up again when people insist on talking to you, lol. You need headphones, which can drop into the sink when you aren’t paying attention. The terrific part is that I listen when I exercise, so sometimes I do an extra lap to find out what happens next.

Do you have a favorite way to get your story fix? I love the story. I love being carried away, and I will do whatever I must to satisfy that craving!!!!  I have a few free downloads to offer for my first contemporary romance, Ambrosia by the Sea. If you’d like one, or to try out the first book in the series, email me at



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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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Planning a Family Reunion by @DonnaFaz #mgtab

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Planning a Family ReunionAre you thinking of planning a family reunion? The perfect weather of fall—sunny and mild—makes for a great time to get everyone together. Family Tree Magazine has a great article called 10 Steps to Family Reunion Success which offers helpful tips and advice for planning a family reunion. And I found this Pinterest page that has some suggestions, too.

Start by picking a date and location. Choosing a theme might be a good idea for some families. Gather a team to do the organizing. Don’t forget to come up with a budget that works for everyone. Come up with a menu that accommodates all diets (meat-eaters, vegetarians, diabetics, etc.). Be prepared with a backup plan (you know, just in case Uncle George forgets to bring the ice or cousin Sandy doesn’t show). Get the word out by mailing invitations, using social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc), and making phone calls. On the big day, offer something for everyone: appropriate music for the older generation, games, crafts and a place to play for the kids, and don’t forget to provide a place to sit, catch-up, and reminisce.

To some people, family is everything… and planning a family reunion is a wonderful way to make memories that will last a lifetime.

Speaking of family… I have bundled together three books from A Family Forever Series which is coming out on August 21st.

Planning a Family Reunion A Family Forever Box Set

The box set is available for pre-order at these find stores:

US Kindle        UK Kindle

Nook Book

iBooks Store



Other titles in the series:

An Accidental Family, Book 4

Nanny and the Professor, Book 5



Thanks for stopping by today!

We hope you enjoyed what we shared with you today! Please take a few moments to share with your friends using the share buttons below. Subscribe to our blog so that you don’t miss a single post. —>>

 And be sure to subscribe to our newsletter, get some free books and then get a note containing sales and new releases each Friday.

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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Enter My World by Ari Thatcher #mgtab

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Every story has a setting that’s like a character in the book. Without that setting, the story would be completely different. Imagine Romancing the Stone set in Beverly Hills. It’s possible– a romantic-adventure writer must rescue her sister from kidnappers with the help of a brash mercenary. Subtract the jungle and swinging on vines, add in car chases and a crowded city. It’s the same story, but it’s not.

Likewise, take Pride and Prejudice out of the Regency era and drop it into present day. Oh wait, that’s been done—a few times—my favorite being Clueless.

World building is one of my favorite parts of writing, and I love visiting the worlds of other authors. In Regency romance, the social norms of the day create the boundaries in which the story evolves. Paranormal romance is more fun because I get to create physical as well as social rules for my characters. I love being my own boss.

Even in contemporary romance, setting is key to the story. Small towns, big cities, corporate business or foreign countries all create different challenges, and allow for different tools to reach a goal.

What book or movie would you like to see set in a different world?

My Regency Tales series is based on fairy tales set in Regency England. The most recent release is His Elusive Nightingale, based on Hans Christian Anderson’s The Nightingale:

The Duke of Killiekrankie extends an invitation to Senorita Jimena Abreu-Cuevas to sing for his pleasure. A reward of £200 will be given to the man who discovers her whereabouts and escorts her to Killiekrankie.

When Malcolm Lennox, part time magistrate and amateur sleuth, sees the duke’s outrageous offer, he seeks out Kitty Fairfax, the singer’s maid, to accomplish the challenge.

Kitty is hesitant to join Mr. Lennox in his search, but when her mother hears of the reward, she insists she go along, to provide for her family. Their adventure offers a distraction from daily life, but with each day that passes she realizes how empty her life would be when he returned to Scotland.

Little does Malcolm know what intrigue lies ahead, and the damage a few passionate nights with a maid will do to his heart. Will he manage to bring the songstress to the duke, and will his reward be worth the cost?

You can find it here.

USA Today Bestselling author Ari Thatcher is the naughty side of sweet romance author Aileen Fish. Ari has always loved sexy romance where love takes the leading role and is focusing on Regency historical and paranormal romance. Reviewers have called her work “captivating” and “compelling”, and her characters “intelligent, intriguing and realistic.”

Stay up to date through her website, Facebook and Twitter @arithatcher.

Ari Thatcher
USA Today Bestselling author Ari Thatcher is the naughty side of sweet romance author Aileen Fish. Ari has always loved sexy romance where love takes the leading role. Reviews have called her work “captivating” and “compelling”, and her characters “intelligent, intriguing and realistic.”
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Get Your Bloom On! #mgtab

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When my first gardenia flower bloomed from my new plant last week, I posted the flower on Facebook. I took the flower to work and shared with the people in the office. I was so excited to I finally have gardenias blooming in my yard. It’s such a simple thing on the surface that some of you will read this and say, What’s the big deal?” Flowers bloom everywhere all the time, right? And this wasn’t the first flower to bloom from plants or bulbs I’ve ventured to grow in the Georgia red clay surrounding my home. So why was this special?

Because it was one of those little things that I’ve desired for almost thirty years, that I had promised myself to have one day, but never seemed to make happen for one reason or another. So, when I walked outside one morning and saw this beautiful, perfect gardenia blooming by my front door, it made my heart and soul smile. My son jokingly said, it’s as if that flower set your world aright and brought a ray of hope to shine. I laughed, but the more I thought about it, I realized it was true. Not because I had a gardenia in my hand, but because I made a “someday thing” happen today.  No matter how you live life, as busy as things are, we all have undone someday things.

What I’ll-do-it-someday-things are you carrying around in your heart?

I’m encouraging you to get your bloom on and make them happen now!  Even if it is something as simple as planting a flower or as complex as writing a book. As wild as backpacking through your dream place or as tame as making a gourmet dinner.

Give me a shout out on what your “bloom” is by commenting here, or sending me a tweet @jenniferstgiles, or email me from my website  And while you’re there check out some of my books.

Happy Reading

Jennifer St. Giles, Jennifer Saints, JL Saint

Remember Every day to dream, believe, create, love, heal, succeed, grow and share wealth

Jennifer St. Giles
USA Today Bestselling author, Jennifer St. Giles, aka Jennifer Saints, J.L. Saint is no ordinary Georgia Peach. She’s a Golden Heart, three-time Maggie, two-time National Reader’s Choice, Marlene, RT Reviewer’s Choice and Daphne du Maurier award-winning author. Jenni writes in multiple genres, including: romance, paranormal, contemporary, historical and military and time travel. She is a passionate patriot, event planner and the Vice-President of a charitable foundation which helps women and children’s causes. Jenni believes fervently in following your dreams and never giving up.
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Two Weeks In Hell

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Occasionally to challenge my usual sense of well-being I wonder what it would be like to be in hell. Would it be a fiery dungeon filled with gargoyles and wanna be devils armed with sharp pikes and no water? Or would it be a surprisingly freezing tomb, like being packed naked in dry ice unable to stop my body-quaking tremors for eternity? Well, for better or worse, these last two weeks I have been in what can only be described as a ‘living hell’. I’ve been moving. In Arizona in July, no less!

Out of nowhere, a house appeared on the market that was everything we’ve been looking for. Fighting to be first in the flurry of offers the owners were considering, we weren’t deterred when they added a high bar—one we were foolish enough to believe we could clear. They gave us two weeks max to move. Never looking back, we gave our current landlord notice and began the process of turning our lives upside down. It’s hard to believe that when we made the decision, my daughter and I actually thought we could pull it off. Heck, with our usual aplomb, our confidence was high. We were that excited.

Being as organized and disciplined as I am, I even assumed I could manage my usual writing schedule and not miss a single one of my daily two-hour workouts. Granted, I did have to take a weekend off to run a long-scheduled trail run in Flagstaff, but I treated that as a holiday refusing to admit it shortened my moving preparations by three full days. I even promised myself that unlike previous moves, this time I would be totally organized. I would sort through all of our things and take to the new house only the things we really need and use. Knowing that you all have moved at one time or another and certain that some of you may even have as much “stuff” as we do–you can imagine how quickly our foolish optimism turned to mush.

My final cave-in was acknowledging that I would not be able to sort through the stunning collection of old photos that I have accumulated over the years. As a mother of three and grandmother of four, I conceded that organizing and eliminating excess isn’t in my DNA, at least when it comes to pictures of my glorious offspring. Thanking my angels for the wonderfully spacious storage bins in our new garage, I made the solemn promise that should I ever be foolish enough to move again, I truly will sort through the twenty-two boxes of old photos and organize them into carefully dated albums. Meantime, I will close the door to our over-filled garage and begin to enjoy our beautiful new house. Heck, I might even write today and go for my daily seven mile run. Or…maybe not:)!

Taylor Lee
USA Today Best Selling author Taylor Lee writes Suspenseful Mystery Thrillers – with a heavy dose of Sexy to Sizzling HOT Romance.

In the five years that she has been writing, Taylor has written more than forty books. Her eight, series track her Special Operatives, Covert Agents, Cops, Firefighters and other iconic heroes and heroines, through the harrowing situations that make up their lives. From human trafficking rings to corrupt politicians, Taylor investigates the underbelly of society and the criminals who flourish there.

Taylor says: “From the residue in my personal blender of mixed races, cultures and world views, my characters emerge. It comforts me to know that while evil slinks in the shadows, the “good guys and gals” of the world sniff it out – and snuff it out.

My characters are arrogant alpha males and the feisty women who bring them to their knees – and vice versa… They fight hard, love hard and don’t mince words. They are dangerous men and women in dangerous times. Love, passion and ridding the world of evil? What’s not to like?

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Is “Rich Author” Oxymoron @JoanReeves #mgtab

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Graphic Image: Young surprised woman in eyeglassesDo you think “Rich Author” is an oxymoron?

Side Note: I love the word oxymoron: “a figure of speech in which apparently contradictory terms appear in conjunction.” The example usually given is: military intelligence.

Yes, these are the things I think about while I idle through life on a summer day. After all, hot summer days are perfect for sitting around and thinking about stuff. That’s such a fun thing to do instead of slaving over a hot keyboard and pulling recalcitrant thoughts from my brain.

I was watching a morning show interview with Ms. Famous Author. Curious about her past, I did an online search for her name. One of the SERP’s (for those who don’t speak Internet, that’s Search Engine Result Page) that popped up was How Much Is Famous Author Worth.Graphic Image: Dollar Sign

Inquiring Minds, Etc.

Seriously. Isn’t that a terrible invasion of privacy? Yes, but that’s not going to stop us from visiting that page, is it?

So I continued my procrastination research. I found a website that gives Top 10 lists. Just in case you ever wondered who the richest authors in the world are, I can now definitively answer that, courtesy of Trending Top Most.

This website gives lots of juicy details about celebrities, and rich authors are celebrities. (So rich author is not an oxymoron.) The author list gives the books that made them such huge bestselling authors so be sure and check it out for all the details.

There are some surprises such as Jim Davis of Garfield fame. I’m rather certain his making the list was due to licensing deals.

I take issue with the inclusion of Candy Spelling. Even though she is an author and has appeared on the NYT list, I don’t believe she accrued her $600 million from her authorial works. I think her riches came from being the heir to her late husband Aaron Spelling. But that’s just my supposition.

Graphic Image: The Winner IsTop 10 Richest Authors (In David Letterman Order)

10. Stephenie Meyer- $180 million (in 2010 and 2011 alone, she earned over $40 million!)
9. John Grisham- $200 million
8. Dean Koontz – $275 million
7. Tom Clancy- $300 million
6. James Patterson- $310 million
5. Danielle Steel- $375 million
4. Stephen King- $400 million
3. Candy Spelling- $600 million
2. Jim Davis- $800 million
1. J.K. Rowling- $1 billion

Of one thing, I’m completely certain. No one on this list need worry about being pushed aside by me.

Back to the Salt Mines ComputerGraphic Image: Heat Lightning Book Teaser

Enough procrastination research. Back to writing Dead Heat, Book 2, Outlaw Ridge, Texas.

Book 1 is Heat Lightning, set during a hot July in Texas.

Heat Lightning is on Kindle Unlimited so you can read for free. (Buy for only $2.99.)

Within Heat Lightning is an excerpt for Dead Heat, the new romantic suspense, which I think you’ll love! The new book will be published in August.

Graphic of writing penAbout Joan Reeves

No, you won’t find her name on a Top 10 Richest Authors list, but she is a New York Times and a USA Today bestselling author of Contemporary Romance. All her fiction have the same premise that is her motto: It’s never too late to live happily ever after.

Joan lives her happily-ever-after with her hero, her husband, in the Lone Star State. They divide their time between the hustle and bustle of Houston and a quiet house in the country where they grow wine grapes and fruit trees while battling gophers, skunks, coyotes, deer, and the occasional copperhead snake.

Be the first to know about new books and giveaways. Sign up for Joan’s Mailing List.

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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