A Bride for Prince Paul on Kindle Scout

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My Kindle Scout campaign for A Bride for Prince Paul has launched.

Here is the URL: https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/37BZQ1K8SCMK7

May I count on your nomination? If I get selected you will receive a free copy of this delightful book set in Paris and Rensy Island in the Channels.

After you enter your nomination and rating, please leave your name in the comments or email me at mona@monarisk.com To thank you, I will gift you a copy of one of my books from the Holiday Babies Series.

Here is the URL: https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/37BZQ1K8SCMK7

To Nominate me, click HERE

A Bride for Prince Paul (Modern Princes Series Book 1) by MONA RISK

She can’t abandon her patients for his crown!

To please his dying grandfather and protect his country’s autonomy, Prince Paul of Rensy Island must marry an American doctor, descendant of a Rensian princess. Paul, a confirmed bachelor, agrees to meet Amy incognito during her vacation in Paris. Although her career and ex-boyfriend are major interferences, attraction sizzles between Amy and her ‘driver’, but the rumor of her engagement to ‘Prince’ Paul outrages her. Can he convince her that he loves her, in spite of his lies by omission?

I wrote this story while cruising the British Isles. The setting of the book was inspired by the quaint Guernsey island, an island in the Channels.

 

 

 

The guide explained that the residents of Guernsey speak English and French, don’t pay taxes and enjoy free medical care for children under seven and seniors over seventy. The island has alternatively belonged to England and France, and is now part of the British Commonwealth. The ruler is a governor and the constitution states that in case of problems the island would revert to England.

I loved the romantic setting. My muse immediately replace the governor with a prince, just like Monaco or Luxembourg, both in Europe, and my imagination changed their constitution–the heir to the throne must be married. The ruling prince is old and dying, and his grandson is a handsome businessman and playboy who enjoys his freedom and his work. But grandpa worries about the future of his country and summons his grandson!

All of this played in my head while I was in the bus touring the island and visiting the landmarks.

Imagine if Kate Middleton (Dr. Amy in my story) were an American doctor, dedicated to her career and her patients.

 

 

What if Prince William (Prince Paul in my story) wanted to make sure his future wife will love him for himself and not for his crown?

What if he decided to act as her driver and guide, in Paris, to get to know her better?

What if their attraction turns into passionate love?

What about her medical career and her patients?

What if the paparazzi haunt them at every turn? What if the tabloid magazines spoil everything? What if…what if…what if…

 

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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.”

 

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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

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Marry On April Fool’s Day by @JoanReeves #mgtab

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Tomorrow is April Fool’s Day so here’s a question for you. Would you marry on April Fool’s Day? I think you’d have to possess a very good sense of humor to do that.

In light of our changing culture, perhaps the better question is, would you get married? Ever. I have a couple of friends who refuse to marry. Each lives with the man she loves, but they absolutely refuse to marry.

In today’s world where couples live together and often have children without marriage, getting married seems to have become the ultimate commitment if not the ultimate love story.Weddings are celebrated in ceremonies ranging from small, family-only events to splashy galas costing as much as a house.

Ancient People Knew What Was At Stake

It wasn’t always like this. Ancient history tells us that marriage was first a private, domestic affair.

According to Curious Customs of Sex and Marriage by George Ryley Scott (out of print but available at used book outlets), the basic function of marriage was to multiply. After all, the population was small. Disease was rampant. Under-population was the big problem. The planet needed more people. Marriages were simply a way of sponsoring procreation.Bride Cartoon

You may kiss the bride. Go forth and procreate.

Women Were Valuable–Commodities

It didn’t take men long to decide that the value of a woman–daughter, sister, or a female related in any way that gave them domination over the woman–lay in making marriage contracts that enabled them (the men) to gain more wealth and power.

Yet, marriage was a hard sell to most men. Those testosterone-fueled beings didn’t embrace the concept. They took persuading which is probably why the dowry played such a big part in landing a man who would enhance a father’s power and wealth.

Perhaps that explains why so many nations (remember, just about all society was patriarchal) experimented with Polygyny, a form of plural marriage in which a man is allowed more than one wife, and Polyandry, a form of polygamy whereby a woman takes two or more husbands at the same time. So they could have many wives and get many dowries in order to expand their power base.

Along Came Monogamy

Eventually, in most civilized nations of the world, monogamy was accepted almost universally, at least in theory, as the perfect form of marital union.

As we all know, nothing and no one is perfect, but monogamy was probably what kept the world rocking along for a couple of millennia—dragging all of the customs and superstitions created along the way into our modern world.

Customs Transform To Fit The Times

Many marriage customs continue, with some slight alterations. Although some may still practice Marriage by Capture, that’s usually performed in an altered version called Elopement.

Betrothal in Infancy and Arranged Marriages still survive as do matchmakers. Even Marriage by Purchase survives in other countries although cynics assert that Marriage by Purchase is alive and well in western civilizations too. Just look at all the wealthy sugar daddies–and a few sugar mamas–who are always looking for sexy young sugar babies. Of course, maybe they’re all just looking for love like the rest of us.

Marriage of Convenience

Another classic tradition in the wedding arena is the Marriage of Convenience in which an unwilling man or woman is forced into a marriage. Sometimes this is because of the need for protection or for economic reasons. This is one of the most popular themes in romance novels.

I explore that theme in my romantic comedy, April Fool Bride which is on sale for only 99 cents today through April 16. (Be sure the price is 99 cents before you click Buy.) You can find April Fool Bride at: Amazon * Nook * iTunes * Kobo (U.S.) * Smashwords.

Blurb

Is it a marriage of convenience or something more? Something that sizzles like steam heat between Maddie and Jake that neither can resist!

Oil heiress Madeline Quinn needs a husband by the time she turns twenty-five in order to claim her full inheritance. Mad Maddie, as the tabloids christened her, has learned the hard way that men only see dollar signs when they look at her.

Maddie decides a marriage of convenience is the only answer. She turns to the one man in the world she can trust, her housekeeper’s son who always treated her like a little sister when they were kids growing up together.

Jake Becker hasn’t seen Maddie since the night she tried to seduce him. Why should he help the woman who changed the course of his life? Simple. Revenge.

Review

This is a wonderful love story. April Fool Bride is well plotted and beautifully told. As the story came to an end I found myself wanting to read more. I read a lot of books, but I don’t read them all to the end, and I only write a review on the ones I love. I thoroughly enjoyed April Fool Bride. 5 Stars!! ~ Mary Adair, Author

A charming novella with romance, passion, humor. Maddie needs a husband by April to be able to control her inheritance. The only man she can trusts to help her without taking advantage of the situation is Jake who was her friend when they were both teenagers. His mother used to work for Maddie’s family until the night her stepmother caught Maddie in Jake’s bed and threw him and his mother out. Now Jake is a successful businessman and doesn’t need the money or the lucrative deal Maddie is offering for him to marry her on paper for a year. Yet he accepts because…[*g*] Funny and sexy is the trademark of Joan Reeves’ books, add emotion and passion. ~ Amazon Reader Review

I wish you a Happy April Fool’s Day. Play a corny prank on your kids or your spouse. This is a day made for laughter–and romance if you work it right. *g*

Joan Reeves writes sexy–often funny–Romance Novels. Her books are available at major ebook sellers with new print editions coming this year. (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. Sign up for Joan’s Mailing List/Free NL and get a free ebook. Connect Online with Joan: Blog * Facebook * Twitter * YouTube.

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Blame It On Chocolate @JoanReeves #mgtab #NewRelease

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Dog holding Valentine balloon.A funny thing happened on the way to writing this Valentine post. I didn’t get Blame It On Chocolate, a new entry in my short story series, A Moment in Time, finished.

Agh! Life has just been plain difficult since the New Year began. Of course, that was how 2016 was so I don’t know why I’m surprised!

I did however belatedly publish Last Chance New Year, another short story in A Moment in Time. It was, of course, a month late. Do you see a pattern here? *sigh* I’ll stop moaning and tell you a bit about Last Chance New Year.

This highly sensual romance short story should be available at all ebook sellers within a day. For now, it’s only at Smashwords and Amazon Kindle, and it’s only 99 cents.

In 2015, I thought it would be nice to start a short story series for all those little ideas that pop into my head. Thus A Moment in Time Romance was born.

After all, A Moment in Time is all the heart needs for Love to blossom.

The first short story was LuvU4Ever, and it was about Noelle and David Morales at a crisis in their marriage.

LuvU4Ever is free at all ebook sellers: Kindle * Apple iBooks * Kobo * Nook * Smashwords.

This past Christmas I started writing Last Chance New Year in which David and Noelle play matchmaker for two of their employees who are obviously in love with each other but haven’t done anything about it. They don’t know it, but one of those employees has also decided to remedy the situation.

Cheyenne SmithCover of Last Chance New Year by Joan Reeves, better known as C. A. Smith to her co-workers, decides New Year’s Eve is the perfect time to give in to insanity and throw herself at Luke Harper, the man she loves, and hope that he catches her.

By tomorrow, Last Chance New Year should be available at all ebook sellers.

As I said, it’s live only at Smashwords with Kindle for now.

A Taste of Chocolate

Actually, it’s a taste of Blame It On Chocolate which should be ready to publish in a couple of days. Here’s a teaser to whet your appetite.

Excerpt, Blame It On Chocolate by Joan Reeves © 2017

In years to come, Chloe Elliot decided if she ever told anyone about this night that she’d blame it on chocolate. Okay, maybe that and the bottle of Merlot she and her best friend and sister-in-law Sarah had drunk with the Valentine chocolates from the heart-shaped box Sarah’s husband—and Chloe’s big brother—had given his wife.

At the moment, Chloe’s heart beat so hard and fast that she ought maybe she was in danger of having a heart attack. Wouldn’t that be just peachy? They’d find her dead in this closet. Wearing nothing but red hooker stilettos and outrageous, hot pink lingerie beneath her khaki trenchCover of Blame It On Chocolate by Joan Reeves coat.

No way. She willed her heart to settle down. Besides, she was too young for a coronary, wasn’t she? She’d just turned thirty today. A Happy Fricking Valentine’s Day and Happy Birthday combined. What a catastrophe.

Don’t panic, she told herself again. She wouldn’t have a heart attack. She didn’t dare. What would her mom say if she was found dead—like this!—in the coat closet in her brother’s insurance office? And her dad? She shuddered at the thought.

Chloe took a deep breath and released it slowly. Then another. The roaring in her ears subsided enough that she could hear the sounds beyond the closet door. Nothing. Maybe Hunter had left. Please God let that be the case. She pressed her hand over her heart to still the wild pounding, certain it was beating so hard that it interfered with her hearing.

She listened intently. Nothing. Oh, thank the good Lord above. Relief made her weak in the knees. She swore to go to church every Sunday and to never, ever, do anything remotely crazy again. Her hand was on the doorknob when she heard his voice. Goosebumps raised on her overheated skin. Who was he talking to? She didn’t hear another voice so she decided he must be on the phone. Slowly, she removed her hand from the doorknob and held her breath.

No one had a voice like Hunter Cole. Instead of baseball, he should have gone into broadcasting or acting. She imagined that voice could charm a woman out of her panties as easily as the perfection of his hard-muscled body. Even in high school when he’d been a senior, and her brother’s best friend, and she’d been a lowly freshman, one look at him had turned her brain to mush and her body to molten lava.

Why couldn’t he just go away?

Chloe’s feet hurt in the crippling stilettos, and she needed to pee. Plus, she could hardly breathe in the confined space. At least her nerves had settled so she might as well wait it out.

A little of his conversation seeped through the door. She strained to hear what he was saying.

“…a dozen of your best red roses…big heart-shaped box of chocolate…address…tonight even though it’s late.”

Chloe’s heart no longer pounded. It might have turned to lead in her chest or maybe plummeted to her toes. He was order flowers and chocolates for a woman. Another woman. Not for her.

Now she didn’t feel just ridiculous. She felt humiliated. How had she let Sarah talk her into this? If Sarah knew Hunter so well, why hadn’t she known that he was interested in a woman? She’d never had a chance. If she’d known Hunter was seeing someone, she’d never have done this. She felt a tear trickle down her  cheek. She swiped it away, determined to shove her stupid fantasy to the back of her mind. And she would just as soon as she escaped the closet.

Silence now filled the office. Had he finally left? Surely it was obvious to him that her brother hadn’t asked to meet him here. He should be leaving and racing over to his honey’s house to reap the rewards of the Valentine gifts that were probably being delivered at this moment.

Nothing had broken the silence for almost five minutes. Relieved, she opened the closet door and stepped out.

Right into Hunter Cole’s arms.

Valentine's Day note with rose.I hope you enjoyed that little teaser. Have a wonderful Valentine’s Day with your true love.

Joan Reeves writes sexy Contemporary Romance Novels–available at most ebook sellers. Check out her 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.” Sign up for Joan’s Mailing List/Free NL and receive a free ebook. Connect with Joan Online: Blog * Facebook * Twitter * YouTube.

 

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Precious and Free

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Just because something is free doesn’t mean it has more value than an item that cost hundreds of dollars (or more).
Is that heavy diamond ring you received from that *#!% ex-husband more precious than the beach glass and copper wire ring your now departed daughter made you for Mothers’ Day, years ago?
Is a mass-signed hardcover copy of the current NY Times best-seller more dear than your great-grandfather’s journal of his trek across the Plains with a handcart in 1863? (I really have this!)
I believe value is rated by the heart and not the calculator.
One of a person’s greatest blessings is to know this and to realize that the dearest in life isn’t always tangible.
Savor and recall those tender or giddy moments: the view of sunsets and rainbows of grandeur with that special someone, the excitement of helping that little tyke ride her bicycle by herself for the first time, the birth of that puppy that is now gray-nosed but still full of love for you.
These are most precious and dear and can never be purchased, at any price.
And be generous to yourself and others. Keep a journal and record these events that mean so much to you. Plus, you can relive them when you’re feeling blue and give yourself an attitude adjustment!
And who knows? Maybe your great-great-granddaughter will find your journal and enjoy those moments with you, long after you’re gone.

In the meantime, though, here are a few freebies (good until February 14th, at least): http://bit.ly/2kiByrI  DatePromo.com runs lots of events where folks can win or simply click and acquire (you’re not buying if it’s free, right?) e-books.

He’s not what she thinks he is.

My book, Aye, I am a Fairy is part of this promo and free until February 14, but you can read it at no cost after that on #KindleUnlimited. It may be 2nd in the series, but The Fairies Saga is written so you can read in any order. Just think of it as released in Star Wars order. ; )

 

 

 

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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.

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A Holly Jolly Christmas by Mona Risk

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The holiday season has officially started. For Christians, it’s the Advent and the joyous preparations to celebrate Jesus’ Birth. For Jewish, it’s the Hanukkah and lighting of the Menorah. Both traditionally happy celebrations.

I am not trying to depress you, but being a realistic person, let me ask you, what if the coming days are not particularly happy? One of our dear friends lost her husband this week. I wonder how her holiday will turn. Another friend just had open-heart surgery and four by-passes. We hope he will recover soon. Oops, sorry if I’ve depressed you. Not my intention. Life is not always rosy.

In my story, Holly Jolly Christmas, the heroine’s father is very sick. He knows his days are numbered, and he fight hard to build as many happy memories for his family as he can. His Christmas must be a Holly Jolly Christmas. And it does. Even after he passes, he leaves a last letter to his wife Barbara, and his five daughters–a legacy of hope and clear encouragements.

Dear Family:
Life MUST continue. Claire and Tiffany, I count on you to ace your studies and go to college. Roxanne and Madelyn, do your best at work, but remember that a career is not enough to fill a heart. You need a loving partner. Heather and Jeff, take good care of your baby. Barbara, you need to learn to live again. Loneliness is not good.

HOLLY JOLLY CHRISTMAS is my contribution to the USA Today bestseller anthology, LOVE, CHRISTMAS. You’ll love this heartwarming collection of 20 all-new Christmas stories from NY Times, USA Today, and national best-selling authors. Every title in the set is from a well-known Christmas carol and we hope while reading these delightful stories, they will put a song in your heart.14481843_10207545069410046_3314279722083324058_o

http://bit.ly/LoveChristmasUS
http://bit.ly/LoveChristmasKobo
http://bit.ly/LoveChristmasBN
http://bit.ly/LoveChristmasApple

HOLLY JOLLY CHRISTMAS is the prequel to the Holiday Babies Series

With high moral values and a strong sense of unity, the Ramsay family counts five daughters—Madelyn, Roxanne, Heather, Claire, and Tiffany, and their mother Barbara. Later, stepdaughter Monica Roland joins the clan.
Christmas Babies: Can a career fill her life? (Madelyn and Dr. Nick Preston)
Valentine Babies: Can he love a woman expecting another man’s baby? (Roxanne and Dr. Greg Hayes)
Mother’s Day Babies: Never too late to find love and happiness. (Barbara and Lou Roland)
Wedding Surprise: Is it the worst or best wedding surprise? (Claire and David Wheeler)
Christmas Papa: Who’ s my papa, Mommy? (Monica and Michael Wheeler)
meme-2On Christmas Eve: We want a mommy for Christmas. (Tiffany and Dr. Matthew Alonso)

Free today: RIGHT NAME, WRONG MAN

 

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Easy Cheesy Baked Rigatoni by Denise Devine

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easy-cheesy-baked-rigatoni1 box (16 oz) rigatoni
1 jar spaghetti sauce (any of the cheese-added variety)
½ ring of sausage (such as Hillshire, etc.)
1 can cheddar cheese soup
1 soup can of milk
1 cup sour cream
1 cup shredded cheese (parmesan or mozzarella)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Cook rigatoni in a large saucepan, drain and pour immediately into a lasagna pan.

Pour spaghetti sauce, soup, milk and sour cream into large saucepan and heat, stirring occasionally. In the meantime, thinly slice sausage and add to mixture. When sauce is smooth and bubbly, pour over rigatoni noodles, top with shredded cheese and bake for 15-20 minutes until cheese is melted and pan is bubbling.

Let sit for 10 minutes then serve.

As always, any recipe can be modified to your tastes. Feel free to experiment!

Note:  This recipe makes a lot of sauce, but trust me, it’s not too much. Rigatoni absorbs a lot of moisture when baked and this casserole (or hot dish, as we call it in Minnesota) will come out of the oven very creamy, but that is what makes it so good. As it begins to cool, it will thicken.

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