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.

Follow me on Amazon: http://bit.ly/dhAuthor 

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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How do authors manage to visit all the places they write so eloquently about? #Travel #Inspiration #mgtab @jacqbiggar

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Did you ever wonder how authors manage to visit all the places in the world they write so eloquently about?

Believe me, if I could travel to exotic locales I would (not so sure about different worlds though!), but most of us have to make do with researching the areas we’re interested in placing our characters into.

Whether it’s a castle in England

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or the vineyards of Italy

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We can get real-time views thanks to modern day search engines like Google. With Instant Street View simply type in any address and you’re instantly transported there with a complete 360 picture of the area.

Another great search tool for authors is Pinterest. You can find just about anything you’re looking for on subjects ranging from fashion to settings, and of course inspiration 🙂

My upcoming release, Hold ‘Em: A Gambling Hearts Romance, is set in the Texas hill country. I had visions in my head of what the area should look like, but needed to make sure of some facts such as what sort of flowers are prevalent in the open ranch fields? I did an online search and came up with this lovely field of bluebonnets:

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Perfect for my scene! Here’s a little taste of what I wrote:

Cassandra stared at him, bemused. The sun had decided to peek out from behind the clouds, turning his hair antique gold in the streaming light. Their clothes were soaked, but on him, it was a good look. His shirt plastered to his torso highlighted strong shoulders and a well-defined chest. One she wanted to rest her head against.

Startled out of her trance, she jerked her gaze out across the most beautiful valley she’d ever seen. Bluebonnets and healthy green grass waved back and forth, teased by a playful breeze. An old log cabin, its roof sagging and covered with moss, crouched by a babbling brook shaded by a giant cottonwood. And just to finish the fairytale, a multi-hued rainbow cast its benevolent glow over the entire picturesque area as though daring the rainclouds to return.

“Wow,” she said. “You weren’t kidding. This place is fantastic.”

A deer broke cover and slowly made its way down to the brook, testing the air every few feet.

Cass grabbed Matt’s arm, intensely conscious of the coiled strength that lay just under the skin. She cleared her throat and pointed, “Look, Matt, it’s a Bambi.”

Matt gazed at her instead of the animal, the quirk of his mouth causing a heart-palpitating dimple to appear. “What is it with women and Disney creatures?”

She laughed and dropped her hand, uncomfortable now with his sole attention. “Are you telling me you never had a favorite character from a movie when you were a child?”

He lifted his head and eyed the deer, his profile reminding her of a proud animal. When he turned back the humor was gone. “We should get down there before the weather decides to break again. You ready?”

Curiously sorry she’d ruined the moment, Cassandra nodded and they started out for the valley floor. The deer took one look at them and bounded away, disappearing into the woods on the far side of the clearing.

“What is this place?” she asked, lagging along in his wake, her hand brushing the top of the grass as they walked.

Matt glanced back, then kept going, his body cutting them a trail. “It was my great-grandfather’s first home. Dad used it as his fishing shack when he wanted a break from ranching.”

Cassandra gazed upon the valley with new eyes. She imagined an adventurous young man with Matt’s face riding across the Texas plains until he happened upon this magical land. Easy to see why he decided to stay.

If you’d like more of my vision for this story, check out my Pinterest board here

What about you? How do you research your settings? Any tips or tricks you’d care to share?

Hold ‘Em releases August 15th, I hope you give this funny, heartwarming book a try!

 

jacquiebiggar_holdem_800px

In the game of love all bets are off

When professional poker player Matthew Shaughnessy wins the pot of a lifetime, he didn’t expect to land himself a fiancée.

Cassandra Gardener is left with little choice but to play the part of a Texan’s fiancée for a week if she wants to clear her father’s gambling debt.

Can two people with so much to lose win the biggest bet of all- love?

http://a.co/9OJfSea

International Link: http://books2read.com/HoldEm

Add to your TBR List: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34682965-hold-em

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Jacquie Biggar
Lives in paradise along the west coast of Canada with her her husband, daughter, and grandson. Loves reading, writing, and flower gardening. Spoils her German shepherd, Annie and calico cat, Harley.
And can’t function without coffee.
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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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You Are My Sunshine #LazyDaysOfSummer #amwriting #mgtab @jacqbiggar

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I don’t know about you, but when the warm winds and indigo blue skies of summer appear on the horizon, the last thing I want to do is sit in a chair forcing myself to fight past the sticky middle of my current WIP (work-in-progress).

It’s literally like pulling teeth.

I’d much sooner have my hands buried up to the elbow in fine black planting soil, or daydream on the end of a water hose watching the hummingbirds and butterflies play in the breeze.

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But, I also realize if I want to take this writing career seriously, and I do, I need to sometimes make sacrifices.

One thing I’ve learned is better time management. I’m a late riser, mornings are not my thing :), so I usually sit at the computer with my coffee and go through the social media platforms sharing and promoting.

Then I spend an hour or two visiting my mom next door before FINALLY waking up enough to begin my day!

I take the computer outside to our gazebo where I can work on my story while watering the flowers, and occasionally catching a glimpse of a friendly hummingbird or two.

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Sometimes, I don’t get much writing done, but that’s okay. It’s a WIP, just like me 🙂

If you’d like to see what I’ve been up to lately, you can check out the new anthology written by members of my critique group to celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary!

 

My Baby Wrote Me A LetterA family's brush with the past will threaten the fabric of their lives.

Dreams and Promises

Dreams and Promises includes six short stories and novellas written by authors who live in beautiful British Columbia.

It’s our way of honoring Canada’s Sesquicentennial.

Some of Canada’s major cities were founded in the seventeenth century, but July 1st 2017 marks 150 years since our country became a Confederation.

Our stories range from the era of the fur trade, to a commercial enterprise that opened up the Canadian and American West, to present day James Bay, a thriving neighborhood in the garden city of Victoria, British Columbia.

Universal link: http://books2read.com/DreamsandPromises

http://a.co/fl5TEBI

Add to your TBR List: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35387646-dreams-and-promises

Jacquie Biggar
Lives in paradise along the west coast of Canada with her her husband, daughter, and grandson. Loves reading, writing, and flower gardening. Spoils her German shepherd, Annie and calico cat, Harley.
And can’t function without coffee.
View website
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CREATING ROMANTIC CONFLICT @PRosemoor #mgtab

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CONFLICT IN EVERY SCENE/TENSION ON EVERY PAGE

Writing a romance? This goes to the heart of the story, the thing that keeps the reader reading…

•    Conflict/tension between the hero & heroine drives plot and keeps the reader turning pages

•    Romantic or emotional conflict is something inside the heroine and/or hero that creates a problem  exacerbated by their situation

•    Emotional conflict grows from feelings, doesn’t need to be logical, can’t be reasoned away. It comes from experience, how the character sees him or herself

•    What prevents your characters from making that leap into love is more than just external forces. Love is a matter of the heart, and not about the events, no matter how dramatic

•    The conflict must be both believable and substantial enough to carry the book

•    Emotional conflict should always be in the characters’ and the readers’ minds.

•    External conflict prevents your characters from accomplishing their goals

•    Internal conflict which comes from the characters themselves (Theme) should go along with the external conflict of the story that comes from the circumstances, or is created by other characters. (Plot)

•    Don’t substitute external conflicts for internal ones; enhance emotional conflicts by using externals to provide a context

•    The best romances are built around a complex emotional conflict played out against  an equally interesting story (external conflict) that forces the characters to deal with each other and their issues.

•    Whatever is happening externally in the plot should somehow reinforce what’s going on internally in your characters’ hearts and minds. Think of the plot as a journey where your characters face obstacles that help them confront their inner demons and conflicts.

•    So make sure the final resolution of the romantic conflict comes from inside your characters and not from the events.

Next time, I’ll cite some examples of how to make conflict work for you.

 

 

 

 

My current release, In Dreams, has a ton of conflict, both internal and external. Um, the heroine is running for her life…

 

 

 

 

Patricia Rosemoor
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Patricia Rosemoor has had 99 novels, 8 publishers and more than 7 million books in print. Patricia writes dangerous love, romantic suspense or paranormal romantic thrillers. Patricia has won a Golden Heart from Romance Writers of America and two Reviewers Choice and two Career Achievement Awards from Romantic Times BOOKreviews, and in her other life, she taught Popular Fiction and Suspense-Thriller Writing at Columbia College Chicago.

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It’s Release Day for Luck of the Draw #Lucky13 #Romance #mgtab @jacqbiggar

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It’s Release Day!

 

I have fabulous news for you this month, starting with an exclusive excerpt of my upcoming contemporary novel, Hold ‘Em: A Gambling Hearts Romance, available exclusively in the Luck of the Draw Box Set!

This is part of a brand new set filled with books from USA Today and International Bestselling Authors and available for a LIMITED time-don’t miss out!

http://books2read.com/LuckOfTheDraw

http://a.co/h2N3DdQ

Add it to your TBR Pile: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34609578-luck-of-the-draw

Next, I have #Giveaways! I knew you’d like that one 🙂
Also, there’s news of FIVE other box sets I’m participating in within the next two months. Yes, you read that right, FIVE!

No wonder I have bags under my eyes, lol
Anyway, there’s lots of fun and news so grab a drink, cosy back into a comfy chair and prepare for a great read.

Follow me on Amazon

Follow me on Bookbub

 

Exclusive Excerpt

Cassandra barely waited until they had left Matt’s family behind for the cool, terracotta comfort of the house before she turned on him.
“I am not sleeping with you,” she hissed, all but

stamping her foot. Lapis-lazuli eyes snapped like fireflies and her fists clenched at her sides like she wanted to whap him one. Was it wrong that he was turned on?

“Relax, princess.” Matt grinned. “What do you take me for? I’m not that kind of guy.”
She snorted. “You’re all that type of guy.” Her purse strap had slipped off her shoulder, her cute summer dress was rumpled, and the carefully styled hair she’d started the day with looked as though it had come through a wind storm.

He liked it. It made her seem more approachable. Until she spoke.
“What is that?” she squealed, ducking behind him and peeking around his shoulder.

Matt looked to where she was pointing and laughed outright. “That’s my dog, Chewy.” He bent in time to catch the hairless Chihuahua limp-racing across the tiles, nails click-clicking to a chorus of yapping. Consuela, dressed in a colorful swirly skirt and white peasant blouse with bangles jingling on her outstretched arm hurried around the corner. “Oh, Master Matt, I’m so sorry. He was eating one minute and then he was gone.”

Matt tried to control the excited pooch working its way up his chest, tongue hanging weirdly out the side of its mouth and little bug eyes glittering with joy. “It’s okay, Consuela, I was wondering where he was.”

“It’s good to have you back, your abuela misses you.”
Matt ran a gentle hand over his pet’s bony spine, flattening the narrow black strip of coarse fur that had a mind of its own. “And I missed all of you, but I’m home now, and…” He twisted his torso until Cass came into view, “I brought a fiancée.”

Cass gave him an ugly glare, then switched on a warm smile for the housekeeper. “This is my first trip to Texas. You have a beautiful home here, Consuela.”

She nodded and stepped forward to take Chewy from his arms. “Thank you, miss. The Shaughnessys are like family.” She patted Matt’s cheek. “This one, he is special.”
Warmth for this woman, who had helped his grandma raise a troubled boy, flooded his chest. “If I am, it’s because of you. I can’t thank you enough for taking care of all of us over the years. And now…”
“Shh, don’t talk of it, child. We don’t want to invite bad spirits.”

Matt smiled through the ache. He couldn’t count the number of times he’d been warned about the spirits. “Yes, ma’am. I’m going to show Cassandra to her room. It’s been a long day.” He hugged Consuela and whispered in her ear. “It’s good to be home.”

He stepped back and smiled into her tear-filled eyes. “None of that now. This is meant to be a celebration.”
Consuela swiped at her wet cheeks and nodded. “We will make it special. You get married here, on the ranch? Your grandmother, she’s been talking non-stop about it since you called. Wait until you see her plans. It’s been good for her. For all of us.” Matt winced. He couldn’t believe he’d gotten himself into this mess. What started out as a simple way to please his grannie before she passed on had turned into a three ring circus. He glanced at the fuming woman beside him and wondered how long it would be before she blew the lid off this charade. Time to find some privacy and remind her of her obligation.

“We’ll discuss the wedding tomorrow.” He tugged Cass under his arm. “My bride-to-be is swaying on her feet.” He got them moving, heading down the hall toward his childhood bedroom. “C’mon, honey. Let’s get you tucked in so you can get your beauty sleep.”

She poked him in the ribs and he grunted. Damn, she had bony elbows. As soon as Consuela was out of sight, Cass escaped his hold. Her heaving breasts were a distraction until he realized he was staring, and jerked his gaze to her face.
“This has gone too far,” she snapped.
Matt opened the door to his room and ushered her through, determined to keep this private. He secretly agreed with her, but they’d already entered into this bargain, he didn’t plan on letting her renege.
He closed the door and leaned back to watch Cassandra pace his boyhood room. She avoided the king-sized sleigh bed he’d exchanged for the twin he had until early teens, to check out his trophy collection from swimming and baseball. Then she moved on to the few framed pictures lining his dresser, mainly him and his friends mixed with a couple of him and Gran, out riding horses or herding cattle. She’d always taken an active role in the running of the ranch. Right up until the doctor told her she couldn’t do it anymore three months ago. Funny how life fell into two categories like

that. The before filled with days taken for granted, and then the after diagnosis where every moment becomes something to be cherished.
“Is this you?” Cassandra asked, holding up a picture of him in a black and white tux, his then girlfriend, Candy, perched on his arm in a bright yellow ball gown.

“Prom,” he answered, amazed he’d ever looked that young.
She ran a finger down the glass and his body responded as though she’d physically touched him. He cursed under his breath. The last damn thing he needed was to be attracted to a woman who detested the ground he walked on. Never mind the fact she was engaged to be married—and it wasn’t to him.

He shoved away from the wall and stalked across the spacious room to his desk where his overnight bag had been left by one of the staff. He unzipped the side compartment and pulled out the distinctive blue box.

“Put this on.” He tossed the container at her and had to admit he was impressed with her swift catch. She eyed it warily, then slowly slid the lid off to reveal the midnight blue velvet box within. “Is this what I think it is?”
There she went with that finger again, rubbing the box like it was a gene’s lamp. Matt stared. Goosebumps chased up his spine and whispered in his ear that he was in a boatload of trouble. Yeah, he had that part figured out.
“You need a ring,” he said, shifting to ease the sudden pressure behind his zipper. “Grannie will expect you to have one. You can keep it when we part ways—consider it a bonus.” God, he could be such a dick sometimes.
She sent him a glance that cut to the bone, then carefully pulled the box out of its wrappings and opened the lid as though she thought it might explode in her hand. The flash of surprise she quickly hid tugged at his heart. She liked it. “Where’s my ring?” she asked, sliding the pretty solitaire onto her finger.
He was happy to see it fit. “You mean my ring, don’t you?”
She snapped the jewelry box closed and he winced. “It’s in a safe place. You live up to your end of the bargain, princess, and I’ll live up to mine.”
Cass waved her hand in the air, and the new ring glinted under the lights. “I’m here, aren’t I? Let’s just try to get through this week without killing

each other.” She flopped onto the side of his bed and bounced a couple of times. “Where are you going to sleep?”
Matt hid a grin. If this weren’t so serious, and she wasn’t holding all the cards, he’d be hard-pressed not to like this girl.

“Well, darlin’, that’s where it gets interesting.”

 

Mega Mulit-Genre Giveaway!

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Romantic Suspense Giveaway!

Love to read romantic suspense?

Enjoy the chance to win 60 romantic suspense novels from your favorite award- winning and bestselling authors, plus a brand new Kindle Fire!

 

Dangerous Encounters: Love on the Edge

Love and Suspense, Heart-pounding romance and thrills!

7 full-length action- suspense romances from New York Times and USA Today bestselling and award- winning authors. Danger and excitement, secret agents, sexy SEALs, hot police detectives, undercover female operatives, and heat! And a French aristocrat hiding an old secret in his chateau! What more can a woman want? Get yours today before it goes away. LIMITED TIME ONLY.

 

Risky Encounters

Action packed romantic suspense by USA Today, NY Times and international Bestselling Authors. Novels guaranteed to sweep you away with danger and excitement filled pages you won’t soon forget! Discover Southern steam and a deal with the devil, amnesia and intrigue on a horse ranch, fame gone terribly awry, star- crossed lovers haunted by betrayal, and an elegant hotel where danger lurks behind every door.

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Mystic Lovers

Enter our realms and explore your fantasies! These tales will enthrall you with their sexy heroes and spellbinding heroines. They will thrill your imagination, intrigue your spirit of adventure and take you to unique settings you never dreamed possible.

Treat yourself to the ultimate, enchanting read. Lose yourself in the inexplicable inspiration of 6 NYT & USA Today Best-selling authors. Delight in stories that feature Egyptian Gods, Time Travel, Angels, Ghosts, and more. Come – spend time with our mystic lovers in their enchanted worlds.

Just You and Me

Heat up your eReader with these 15 tantalizing reads written by today’s hottest USA Today, Bestselling and Award Winning authors. These stories offer up something for everyone, from hot to scorching, this set is sure to tempt and tease you with romantic tales told with passion, emotion, and utter sexiness.

 

In The Shadows

Quench your thirst and satisfy your cravings with this enticing collection of 12 paranormal stories written by the hottest USA Today, and Bestselling authors. From wolves, and demons, to big cats, alpha males and vampire tales, you’ll be sure to find something you love because there is always something lurking… In the Shadows…

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Mother’s Day Sale!

 

Is it too late for second chances?

Jared Martin left Tidal Falls a hotheaded youth. Eight years in the military has turned him into a cynical, disillusioned man.

Then he returns home to find out he’s a father.

When an old enemy follows and causes mayhem in the small town, can Jared overcome the odds to protect the woman he’s always loved and the child he never knew?

Or is it too late for them to have a second chance?

Don’t forget to check our home page for our fabulous May contest and some great deals on books!

See you next time,

Jacquie Biggar

Jacquie Biggar
Lives in paradise along the west coast of Canada with her her husband, daughter, and grandson. Loves reading, writing, and flower gardening. Spoils her German shepherd, Annie and calico cat, Harley.
And can’t function without coffee.
View website
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New Year Black-eyed Peas @JoanReeves #mgtab

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New Year's 2017 Graphic ImageNew Year’s Day is on the horizon. In the South, the first day of the New Year calls for Black-eyed Peas.

Some home cooks think cooking these beloved little legumes requires too much time and energy so they opt for the canned variety.

So I thought I’d share this really easy slow-cooker method. You just do a little prep work, throw them in your slow cooker or Crock Pot, and in about 6 hours you’ll have the most delicious black-eyed peas you’ve ever eaten. So if you want to serve black-eyed peas at midnight on New Year’s Eve, put them on at 6pm.

Black-eyed Peas the Slow Cook Way

1. Pour a 1-pound bag of dried black-eyed peas into a colander and wash them. Then place them in a cooking pot with 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil. Let boil for 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat and pour into the colander and rinse.

2. Place the rinsed peas in the slow cooker.

3. Add 3 cups of water to the slow cooker.

4. Add your choice of a pork meat product: 1/4 pound of bacon, fried crisp and crumbled OR 1/2 pound smoked ham, cubed OR 1 ham hock.

5. Add 2 medium-size onions, chopped

6. Add 1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt. I give this range because some bacon and ham can be very salty. So start with a little salt and add more if needed when they’re almost ready to serve.

7. Add 1/4 teaspoon coarsely-ground or cracked fresh ground black pepper.

8. Optional: 1-2 cloves of minced garlic if you like garlic. I use a little garlic because I don’t want to overwhelm the flavor of the peas.

9. Kick it up another notch with a few drops of Tabasco if you like this Creole flavoring. I always add 4-6 drops of Tabasco.

10. Final option: add a can of diced tomatoes to the mixture in the slow cooker.

Once everything is in the slow cooker, stir to mix well. Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on high for 4 to 6 hours. The aroma as they cook is mouth-watering.

I always serve these with cornbread and rice. Like most legumes, black-eyed peas are an incomplete protein so if you want to serve them as a complete protein main dish, serve them with steamed rice.

I hope you’ll try these. They’re really delicious and so easy to make that you may find yourself making them even when it’s not New Year’s.

Of course, remember the bottle of chilled bubbly.

My New Year Wishes For You

May you and your family have good health, good relationships, vocations and avocations you love, prosperity, the ability to endure and persist when life throws curve balls your way, and peace within.

Joan Reeves writes sexy Contemporary Romance Novels–available at most ebook sellers. Check out my Amazon Author Page for a list of books.  (Audio editions available at Audible, and iTunes.) All of Joan’s books have the same underlying premise: “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. Readers, sign up for Joan’s Mailing List/Free NL and receive a free ebook. Connect with Joan Online: Blog * Facebook * Twitter * YouTube.

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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My #free gift to you this holiday season! #mgtab

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I have recently found a new website called Instafreebie where an author can set up a book to be given to his/her readers and fans without actually having to make it free on Amazon, Kobo and the other venues.

I love this because it means that I can single out some of my friends and followers and give them a special Christmas treat with very little effort.

There’ve been many times I’ve wanted to make this type of gesture but if the book is sold everywhere, it can be a battle trying to make sure it becomes free for the days you particularly want it to be.

And I required this to happen, because I wanted to surprise you all with a gift for the season and I needed it to be available for no cost to you.

So… please take the time to download it to your eReaders, phones or tablets and enjoy the spirit of the holidays in this wonderful story.

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SNOW PUP

Holiday Heartwarmers Series

Book #2

In this delightful Christmas love story, Deputy Shawna Mallory finds Billy McCrae – a runaway boy sleeping in a mound of snow with an anxious puppy guarding him. He’s a sad child surviving a terrible existence until she puts a stop to it and becomes his foster parent. She’s drawn to the snarky kid and just wants his life to be happier, his and the stray mutt who won’t leave his side. Not that the boy cares about the dog… or her. Then she meets his father, the one who abandoned the boy when he was five.

John Reid McCrae wants only one thing in his life to make it worth living. Years ago he’d lost his son to a bitter wife and now his goal is to get Billy back. He’ll do whatever it takes, no matter who gets hurt. Until he meets the town’s stunning deputy. Can he put his needs ahead of her happiness?

 

Mimi Barbour
Mimi is a New York Times, USA Today & Award-winning Best-selling author who’s sold over 500,000 copies of her books world-wide. Her five romance series include: The Vicarage Bench/ time travel at it’s best, Angels with Attitudes / angels love romance, Vegas / fast-paced plotting, Elvis / make a song a book and her newest – Undercover FBI / with sizzling conflicts and lots of humor.

Mimi’s an author who’s been heard to say: “I’m a story-teller who loves to write uplifting stories about romance and adventure. Add in some time travel, maybe an angel, or even a little romantic suspense and it makes the story more fascinating because of the incredible possibilities.”

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