Spring is for flowers

SHARE:Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on LinkedInShare on TumblrShare on RedditEmail this to someone

Don’t overdo it in the garden this weekend. Or next weekend, the traditional start of summer.
Those words or warning come from every garden blog I’ve ever read. That and make sure you stretch first.

Okay, so stretch, figure out what needs done, then ask friends and neighbors if they know of any kids who want to make a few extra bucks. Churches usually have youth eager to raise funds for a summer camp or special project. Contribute to the community, the next generation’s emotional/work ethic growth, and save yourself at least a bottle of pain relievers and maybe even a trip or four to the chiropractor. Delegate.

If you don’t have a garden or a yard, or even a window box, enjoy these flowers. I’ve always been passionate about them. I spent many of my early years in apartments without a patch of dirt to plant in. I’m very much enjoying my big yard, raised beds, hanging baskets, and yes, calling on church groups and teenagers to keep them maintained.
When the day is done, kick back with your Kindle and read a great romance novel or five. Here’s my suggestion: Rebels, Rogues, and Romantics. Historical romance tales about those rascals, the ‘wrong’ kind of man a woman have been finding irresistible for centuries. Scots, cowboys, musketeers, and an Indian brave or two. They’re all so hot!

(Only #99cents for five or #free to read on Kindle Unlimited)

Whether you actually get in the garden this weekend or not, enjoy your time. No one can please you without your permission. Give it to yourself.

SHARE:Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on LinkedInShare on TumblrShare on RedditEmail this to someone

The Birth of A #Hero #mgtab #Inspiration @jacqbiggar

SHARE:Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on LinkedInShare on TumblrShare on RedditEmail this to someone

17841780_667887290084508_1151115451_n

Readers often ask where do writers come up with ideas for their characters? In my case, the birth of a hero comes from a variety of sources. News reports, television programs, books I’ve read; all are great resources.

cropped-cup-of-coffee-1280537_1280.jpg

But my favorite characters grow organically from stories I’ve already written. For my new release, Missing: The Lady Said No, the idea for my hero, Augustus Grant, came to me from a previous book where the main character was a mystery writer suffering from writer’s block.

Gus is the character my hero, Joel Carpenter, (in the holiday romance novel Silver Bells) was writing about. I fell in love with the bumbling detective and decided then and there he needed his own story!

16466420_10211613245151079_1174612553_o

Gus is smart, irreverent, a little bit clumsy (okay, a LOT clumsy!) and still in love with the girl he let get away.

Rebecca Hayes.

Here’s a short excerpt. Gus is investigating a murder at a horse ranch and runs into the one person he never thought he’d see again.

Becky stood at the top of the grand staircase and felt the world give way.

Augustus.

It had been too long.

And not long enough.

She couldn’t believe he was here. Or maybe she could. It had always been his dream to become a detective. After all, that was the reason they had split up, wasn’t it? He’d craved the excitement, and she’d needed stability. Safety.

Well, it was too late now, on many levels. The best thing she could do would be to put on a brave face and escape with her pride.

“Hello, Augustus,” she called. Careful not to let him see her trembling, she gripped the banister and reluctantly went to join the man who had stolen her heart. He was every bit as tall as she remembered. Still just as handsome, too. A few more lines around the eyes and mouth maybe. She shied away from his lips, focusing instead on the crooked tie and wrinkled shirt. A wry smile touched her mouth.

“I see you still haven’t figured out the right side of an iron,” she murmured.

He glanced down and ran a strong, tanned hand down his chest. Something fluttered to life in hers.

He met her gaze with a grin that slowly faded away. “I looked for you,” he said.

Oh, God.

This wasn’t what she expected. After leaving Bourbonville and moving here, to Balmoral, she’d second-guessed her decision often, but never realized maybe he did too, just a little.

“You’re the cop. You could have found me if you tried.”

As you can see, there are a lot of unresolved feelings between these two. The question is, can Gus make it right? You’ll have to read on to find out. 🙂

missing-the-lady-said-no-ebook

Get Your Copy Here

Add To Your TBR List

This is part of a branded series set around the running of the famous Kentucky Derby. I hope you’ll enjoy my story and give the other books in the Chandler County series a try!

CC-1

SHARE:Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on LinkedInShare on TumblrShare on RedditEmail this to someone

Catting around?!

SHARE:Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on LinkedInShare on TumblrShare on RedditEmail this to someone

Yardley on her Cat D3 8/18/2013

Here, Kitty, kitty… Feral cats have always been in my life. From the kitties we ‘rescued’ from the hay barns as kids, to the cats my mother ‘stole’ from the park during her lunch breaks at the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (to have them fixed), to the abandoned cats my husband started feeding during the minus zero weather in Alaska. (Yardley, left, is now a wonderful indoor/outdoor cat).

Cats are survivors. One reason cats survive is because of sheer numbers. A female (queen) can start breeding at five months and have four litters a year.
If she has four kittens each time, that means in ten years, she’s populated the area with nearly 1.4 MILLION cats! (See the t-shirt for the math equation)

I recently helped control the local population explosion of feral cats by transporting a dozen of the offenders to the Feral Cat Coalition of Oregon. These citizens of the Oakdale Cat Colony were examined, wormed if necessary, checked and treated for ear mites, spayed or neutered, then given the ‘right ear snip’ that indicated a sterilized cat. These guys and gals already have jobs waiting for them and will be re-acclimated to their new work stations as barn cats in teams of two or more.

If you’d like to help, but don’t want to adopt a cat (or even transport a dozen or so), give to your local or regional agency or even to FCCO. I know they would appreciate any monetary help. Their suggested donation is $30 per cat. (notice the snipped right ear on the name plate)

So, where did the term ‘catting around’ come from? I don’t know, but if you do, please leave a comment so all of us will know!

Why do women go after these men who seem to be ‘catting around’? REBELS, ROGUES, AND ROMANTICS is a collection of five historical novels written by bestselling and award-winning authors about these types. Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited!

SHARE:Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on LinkedInShare on TumblrShare on RedditEmail this to someone

Tourists Prayer (funny)

SHARE:Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on LinkedInShare on TumblrShare on RedditEmail this to someone

Sharing a tourist prayer with those of you who are planing your next vacation:

Heavenly Father, look down on us your humble obedient tourist servants, who are doomed to travel this earth, taking photographs, mailing postcards, buying souvenirs and walking around in drip-dry underwear.

Give us this day divine guidance in the selection of our hotels, that we may find our reservations honored, our rooms made, and hot water running in the faucets.

We pray that the phones work and that the receptionists speak our tongue.

Lead us, dear Lord, to good, inexpensive restaurants where the food is superb, the waiters friendly and the wine included in the price.

Give us the wisdom to tip correctly in currencies we do not understand. Forgive us for undertipping out of ignorance or overtipping out of fear. Make the natives love us for what we are and nor what we can contribute to their worldly goods.

Grant us the strength to visit the museums, the cathedrals , the palaces and castles listed as ‘musts’ in the guidebooks.

And if perchance we skip a historic monument to take a nap after lunch, have mercy on us for our flesh is week.

For Husbands Only
Dear God, keep our wives from shopping sprees and protect them from ‘bargains’ they don’t need or can’t afford. Lead them not into temptation for they know not what they do.

For Wives Only
Almighty Father, keep our husbands from looking at foreign women and comparing them to us. Save them from making fools of themselves in cafes and nightclubs. Above all do not forgive them their trespasses for they know exactly what they do.

Available at Amazon

The perfect fiancé is a cheater and the fabulous Christmas wedding is off. But the would-be honeymoon cruise may fulfill the dreams of Julia and her unexpected companion.

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author, Mona Risk published more than twenty books, some translated in German and French.
She received an Outstanding Achiever Award at Affaire de Coeur Magazine and is a
Best Romance Novel winner at Preditors & Editors Readers Poll;
Two-Time winner of Best Contemporary Romance Novel at Readers Favorite;
EPIC’s Ebook Award Finalist; and Kindle Top 100 Bestselling Author

SHARE:Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on LinkedInShare on TumblrShare on RedditEmail this to someone

Springtime is for roses

SHARE:Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on LinkedInShare on TumblrShare on RedditEmail this to someone

Rainbow Sorbet grown exclusively in water with goldfish

Springtime! Time for fresh roses!
But also for late frosts or snow… What a bummer, having to wait to plant bare root roses because of fickle weather patterns.
But wait! I found a solution!

I plant my bare root roses in water. This may not work in all areas of the world, but it’s a real winner in Alaska where summers (at least around Anchorage) seldom get over 80 degrees. Your best bet for success is using a higher grade rose, at least grade one and a half, so it has a good root system.

There is a problem with ‘planting’ in 5 gallon buckets (or similar sized containers), though. Mosquitoes. Those little bloodsuckers love standing water, the perfect incubating area for their eggs and larvae.
Goldfish to the rescue! You can buy feeder goldfish at pet stores or larger Wal-marts for about ten cents each. I put a couple in each bucket of water and let them eat any mosquito larva that appear.

Queen Elizabeth grandflora rose grown in water with goldfish

There is an added bonus to the goldfish. Not only does their swimming keep the water from becoming stagnant, the by-product of their feasting (fish poop) is an ideal fertilizer. My Queen Elizabeth roses were nearly seven inches across one year!

Also, it’s fairly simple to move the containers inside if the forecast is for freezing temperatures. This works on both ends of the growing season. You can also ‘chase the sun’ if their once sunny spot becomes too shady later in the season. Note: all roses need at least six hours of sunlight.
Be aware, though. This method only works for one season. You are essentially forcing the roses to grow and there isn’t enough nutrition in the water to replenish the plant for a second season. If you’d like, you can plant the roses in the garden anytime, but at least six weeks before the first hard freezes. It takes at least that long for soil-feeding roots to become established. If your winters are mild, you will probably have success. However, if you have six months or more of sub-freezing temperatures, I recommend just tossing the plant in the dumpster. The stems and thorns are too tough to compost.
The blooms you get from growing your own roses may not be as fancy as the ones from the florist, but if you’ve chosen well, they’ll most certainly smell better.
More pictures and detailed ‘planting’ information at www.growalaska.net and www.chilloutroses.com. Note: emails and phone numbers are not correct. These are old sites for reference purposes only. I no longer sell roses, either.

Here’s a pretty bunch of roses for you! Yours for only #99cents!

Kiss Me, Thrill Me: As Only You Can. Seven great stories by USA Today and NY Times best selling authors. Available exclusively on Amazon (and for a limited time).

SHARE:Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on LinkedInShare on TumblrShare on RedditEmail this to someone

Cold weather and Flu

SHARE:Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on LinkedInShare on TumblrShare on RedditEmail this to someone

Winter may evoke a beautiful scenery of snow and Christmas time, but winter is also the time when cold and flu spread; the time for sweaters and coat; and probably hat, gloves and snow boots on certain days.

We spend more time indoors in the winter. In planes, buses or trains, at work or in school, we’re pressed against spluttering commuters, misting up the windows with their coughs and sneezes, it’s easy to see how this could send us over a tipping point that allows the flu to spread through a population.

A cold can leave us with the strange feeling that we’ve swallowed a scratchy throat, a running nose and a mild headache; if we’re unlucky, our body is wracked with a high fever and aching limbs for up a week or longer.

The flu season arrives so predictably when the mercury drops that it’s an integral part of winter. In the short days of winter, without much sunlight, we run low on Vitamin D, which helps power the body’s immune system, making us more vulnerable to infection.

How can you protect yourself and avoid becoming one of the flu victims? I have developed my own preventive system based on doctors’ recommendations, on reading various books and on my grandmothers wise advice.

  • Get a flu shot I have been taking it for twenty years. It doesn’t guarantee that you won’t catch the flu but it helps avoid complication such as bronchitis and pneumonia. Avoid shaking hands and hugging too many ‘friends’. Especially your adorable nephews. Children spread germs much faster than adults!
  • Keep a scarf in your handbag to wrap around your throat if it’s suddenly. When I fly I surreptitiously cover my mouth to avoid breathing the germs that the plane fans generously distribute.
  • Gargle with Cepacol morning, night and during the day. When I worked as a pharmaceutical analyst at Dow Chemical, the company placed bottles of Cepacol in the restrooms and insist all employees should gargle after washing their hands. I haven’t been sick during my years at Dow Chemicals.
  • Swallow a Vit C 500mg daily. It boosts your immune system.
  • Swallow a pill of Calcium, Magnesium, Zinc. Excellent to improve your immune system.
  • And now a few useful tips from my grandmothers that really, really work:
  •  Suck on ginger candies such as Ginger Chew from Trader’s Joe. They may taste bitter the first time and some of my friends spit them right away and yelled at me but others got used to the taste and like them.
  • Snack on pumpkin seeds from Publix or Kroger supermarkets–very rich in zinc that boosts the immune system.
  • Savor a tablespoon of honey with a few drops of lemon before you sleep.

Do you have any special suggestion to avoid catching a nasty cold? Please share with us.

Nothing like a hot hunk who adores you to keep you warm in winter!

Finally, Claire’s dream of a wonderful white wedding to the man she’s loved for ten years is about to come true. Two weeks before the big day, Claire and David receive an unexpected announcement that can destroy their relationship. Is their love for each other strong enough to turn the worst wedding surprise into the best?

SHARE:Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on LinkedInShare on TumblrShare on RedditEmail this to someone

Little Drummer Boy

SHARE:Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on LinkedInShare on TumblrShare on RedditEmail this to someone

 

Quick! Think of a Christmas song!

Now, not so quick, find your favorite one that is really about Christmas. If you’re like me, the two weren’t the same. It’s also quite possible that the first one you thought of wasn’t even a Christmas song, but rather a seasonal tune about winter.

The first song I thought of was Jingle Bells. Hmm. Not really Christmas-y, is it? Nowadays, travel over white and drifting snow usually means sitting in a four-wheel drive vehicle as it roars down the highway, not snuggled in a blanket, sleigh bells jingling, as a horse with an innate sense of direction brings you home in a fancy sled.

My favorite Christmas carol/tune is Little Drummer Boy. I guess it is popular with other folks, too, but Debbie Haston was the first to choose it in the Authors’ Billboard contest, so my book is dedicated to her. The song’s soothing tune blends well with its simple message. Thanks for entering, Debbie!

In this classic song, the little drummer boy was poor, but talented. He had no money, so instead shared his gift. The generous young man didn’t do it for attention. His parents didn’t coerce him. He did it out of love for the new-born king.

I always identified with the drummer boy in the song. We were poor when I was a kid, but I didn’t know it. I had siblings to play with, food to eat (even though it was often beans), and a dog. What else could anyone want besides the occasional soda or ice cream treat? We got gifts for Christmas, mostly pajamas and underwear, but Mom made sure we got at least one toy. We also had special food (turkey and real butter!), decorated a tree, and sang songs.

What I remember most, though, is being together. And healthy. Everything else was just stuff that was soon forgotten, broken, or thrown away. dani-leonard-janie-christmas-card-1955The card Mom made for her mother when I was three years old is still one of my most prized possessions. Inside was a picture of Mom’s three treasures: her first three children. A store bought card would have been lost or tossed long ago.

In my contribution to this boxed set the reader discovers how a 1780s family in North Carolina celebrates Christmas, and why love and giving of one’s self is more important than fancy wrapping paper and high dollar gifts. Little Drummer Boy, part of the Love, Christmas – Holiday Stories That Will Put a Song in Your Heart. Introductory priced at only 99 cents.

Amazon US   Amazon UK    Amazon CA     Nook      Kobo    Apple / iTunes

And remember to have a safe and friendly holiday season, no matter where (or when) you are.

usa-today-bestseller-01

SHARE:Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on LinkedInShare on TumblrShare on RedditEmail this to someone

Last Christmas from Love, Christmas @JoanReeves #mgtab

SHARE:Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on LinkedInShare on TumblrShare on RedditEmail this to someone

Cover of Last Christmas by Joan ReevesLast Christmas has always been one of my favorite holiday songs. Earlier this year, we ran a contest with Fresh Fiction and asked entrants to name their favorite holiday song–a classic carol or a popular song.

We authors had chosen a favorite song in advance. The first person to name the author’s song became the reader to which the author dedicated her novella.

My song was Last Christmas, made popular by Wham and recorded most recently by Taylor Swift. Several readers listed the song as a favorite, but Corissa Palfrey was the first to list it. So Last Christmas, my holiday romance in the Love, Christmas Collection, is dedicated to Corissa.

Why I Chose Last Christmas

I’ve always liked Last Christmas because the song is a study in contrast. The lyrics are poignant, but the rock and roll beat and tune don’t make you feel tearful and sad as so many Christmas songs do. When Last Christmas plays, you want to snap your fingers and tap your feet.

Further analysis shows that the song is actually one of optimism and personal growth. In the song, a girl gave her love unwisely to a man who didn’t value it, but she learned from the experience. That’s why this Christmas, she’s going to give her heart to someone special!

What If…

Every woman has probably had her heart broken at some time or other. The lyrics for Last Christmas fired my imagination and the story nearly told itself: a woman fell for a man and gave her heart to him. After a few days, he simply vanished!

Ever been told, “I’ll call you,” but the phone never rings–no matter how long you wait!

Sign says RetaliationWhat if the two lovers meet again?

What if he wants to rekindle the romance?

What if she wants to make him pay for breaking her heart?

Haven’t we all had similar fantasies of getting redress when wronged?

Blurb

Last Christmas Annabelle Cooper fell in love at first sight with a mysterious stranger. After a week of unforgettable passion, he walked out of her life with a promise to call her later.

ab_lc_lastchristmas_01_webA year of heartache accompanied by the dirty tricks life can serve up finds Annabelle back in her hometown, determined to forget the man who still haunts her dreams.

Who should walk into her grandmother’s Christmas party? Why the man who seduced her, lied to her, and betrayed her! He has a new name and a new identity, but his effect on Annabelle is as old as time.

Rick Lassiter thinks–hopes–he can woo Annabelle back to him–and his bed. But, he didn’t count on the passionate sweet-tempered woman he remembered as having a will as strong as his and a desire to make him pay for breaking her heart.

Rick wants redemption, but Annabelle has revenge in mind.

Special Price–Limited Time

Love, Christmas is the Collection of the YEAR, and it’s only 99Cents!!!

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 song, and we hope while reading these delightful stories, they will put a song in your heart.

love-christmas
Love, Christmas is on pre-order now! The Collection will publish on October 18. Get it now at these ebook sellers: Amazon Kindle * KoboBooks * B&N * iBooks.

Try Before You Buy

That’s right, we’ve put together a sampler, Book Bites 7, containing every first chapter of all the novellas in Love, Christmas. This Holiday Sampler is free! You’ll find it at these ebook sellers: Amazon * Kobo * B&N.

rsz_1bookbites7-1350-x-2015-resizedBut Wait, There’s More!

To celebrate the release of Love, Christmas, we are having Facebook parties with prizes, giveaways, and even a Treasure Hunt!

Love, Christmas Treasure Hunt graphicClick to join the Love, Christmas Treasure Hunt. There’s a lot of fun to be had and prizes too!

Click to enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway–there are some great prizes!

The Rafflecopter began Oct. 1 and runs through Oct. 25.

ab_lc_tour_bookpartners_fb-eventJoin the Authors of Love, Christmas on Oct. 17 and 18 for Facebook Parties thrown by Book Partners. All authors are giving away prizes. I hope to see you there!

For information about these events, check the Love, Christmas Facebook Page.

ab_lc_collage-wideBook Links Encore

Book Bites 7: Holiday Sampler. FREE! Amazon * Kobo * B&N.

Love, Christmas Romance Collection. Pre-order now and find it in your Inbox at midnight on October 18. Amazon Kindle * KoboBooks * B&N * iBooks.


Joan Reeves writes sexy Contemporary Romance Novels–available at most ebook sellers. (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 . Writers, subscribe to WritingHacks, Joan’s free NL for authors. Connect Online with Joan: Blog * Facebook * Google+  * Twitter * YouTube.

Save

Save

a Rafflecopter giveaway

SHARE:Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on LinkedInShare on TumblrShare on RedditEmail this to someone