Compassion in the 21st Century
Compassion: a desire to help someone in need. When you show compassion to another person, it enriches your life as well as his. Yet to show compassion to someone, you must become involved in his life.
How do you become involved in another person’s life? Usually you talk to him, and learn about what is going on. Where he’s having problems and needs help. When he needs it. He will tell you! Last century, the telephone was invented, and people could now talk to each other even over large distances. People communicated, and reached out to each other. It was wonderful. I remember using our party line, how everyone knew everyone’s business, and how we came together as a community to show compassion for each other.
Then, in this century, with the invention of the cell phone, texting became the normal way of communicating. Everyone texts, it seems, short sentences sometimes with the words shortened to U and FYI, which require an interpreter to read them. People text while they are walking in traffic, while shopping, while in a class, but worse, people text while they are at home, alone. How involved can you become when you can’t even hear the other person’s voice, whether he sounds tired or discouraged or happy or defiant? How do you know that this person needs the compassion or friendship you are willing to give?
Instead of becoming an aid to communication, texting on cell phones has become a tool of isolation. Many people isolate themselves at home, reaching out only through texts. Teens shut themselves in their rooms, when they should be out developing social skills needed for life. Texting should never replace conversation, which is how we interact with other people. When you talk to someone, you find out much more about him and his life, his feelings, and thoughts; more than you will ever find out by texting. Texting is great for setting up appointments, but it should not be used to as the sole way to sustain friendships. Everyone needs friends, as man is a social being.
Cell phones have replaced our computers, watches, alarm clocks, maps, and our way of communicating. Lets not let them replace our families and friends.
In my book, Turnagain Love, the heroine is isolated on a small island. With no cell tower close by, she can’t call for help. Since three of anything—three large rocks, three honks, three shouts—is the universal signal of distress, she places her white clothes into three groups, making three large white circles out on the beach. Her efforts are rewarded by the arrival of the hero in a large motorboat. But he hasn’t come to help her. If fact, he never even noticed her signal. So what is he doing?
Turnagain Love is the first of the Sisters of Spirit series. It is part of the Sweet & Sassy Collection, #1, which is available for 99¢
The Benefit of a Writer’s Group
A few months ago Mimi Barbour, creator of The Authors’ Billboard, a group of over thirty bestselling romance writers, came up with the ingenious idea of setting up box sets varying in size from six to eight books and enrolling them into the Kindle Select program.
The hope was to gain new readers, and of course sales, of our individual books. We started out with two or three sets, just to see how they would do.
There was such a fantastic response from our readers, three more followed. Then three more, then… well, you get the picture 🙂
As quick as we could put them together, they were getting read; to the tune of millions of pages read (Kindle Select’s method of determining how much to pay authors from a fund Amazon adds to each month)
It has proven to be a snowball effect, benefiting the group in ways we never expected.
We’ve become stronger as a group.
Friends who have each other’s backs. We support and promote new releases. Celebrate achievements. Share information. Build on our successes. And commiserate our failures.
No matter what, we know there’s someone who will listen when we need advice.
If you ever get the opportunity to join a writer’s group, I highly recommend giving it a try!
If you’d like to meet our group and have some fun at the same time, stop by November 29-30 at our 2nd Annual Christmas Bash on Facebook. There’ll be plenty of chatting, games, and giveaways! You don’t want to miss the party, we’d love to meet you there!
And here’s a listing of our #boxsets: available for a LIMITED TIME!
Reviews are the lifeblood of any successful author. Without you, we can’t be heard.
If you enjoy the story, please consider sharing on your favorite social media sites, as well as GoodReads and from wherever you’ve bought the book and visit us online for great deals, interesting blog posts, contests, and much more!
We’d love to have you subscribe to our blog and to sign up on for our Weekly Newsletter.
It’s impossible to say how many people in the United States will be eating turkey for Thanksgiving this week, and but suffice it to say that there will be a lot! Most will be commercially grown, a few from local farms or raised at home, and even a few turduckhens (a deboned chicken stuffed in a deboned duck which is then stuffed in a deboned turkey). I’m really curious, though, about how many will be wild turkeys. I doubt I’ll ever know, but I know I won’t be eating one of my feral ‘pets!’
There are thousands of wild turkeys here in western Oregon, including the neighborhood flock I’ve watched grow from a few hens and their chicks. Yes, we stop on the road for the foraging birds who will fly short distances when spooked. They make the same ‘gobble gobble’ noise we’ve heard the barnyard variety make. The males do display their tail feathers to impress the females, but I’ve only seen that in the spring when the toms are trying to impress the hens. By the way, the young males are called jakes and look a lot like hens.
A few things I didn’t know: there are six species of Melegaris gallapavo in the US. All of them have keep eyesight and hearing, but have a poor sense of smell. Although their preferred foods are grasses, seeds, berries, and insects, they love creepy crawlies (including snakes and salamanders). They also eat wild flower seeds and quail eggs, and scratch up the ground thoroughly, so some folks consider them a pest. My high ‘deer proof’ fence keeps them out of my yard and garden, but sometimes I wish I could bring them in for a day or three, just so they could eat my arch enemies, slugs! I’d definitely open my gates for a few days if they ate moles and gophers! Since they don’t eat furry vermin, I’ll simply enjoy watching and hearing the moving scenery of the biggest ground bird native to his area: the wild turky.
Enjoy your Thanksgiving meal and be glad it’s not this wily bird. Because they’re so active, their meat is tough..
Looking for a book to help get in the mood for the Christmas season? Right now, I have THREE new novellas in these FOUR box sets. Enjoy 47 stories for $3.96 total (or read for FREE with Kindle Unlimited). Download now. These are limited release sets.
There’s always something relaxing and soothing about being read to. Perhaps it brings us back to the nights when our moms and dads read good night stories to us or circle time in kindergarten when the teacher swung a picture around while wowing us with the antics of a beagle or a little caterpillar. The lyrical voice of a good storyteller transports us into that magical dimension of a story.
Nowadays, it’s rare as a grownup to have anyone read to you. But you can still recapture the joy by listening to audiobooks. And these days, they are more exciting and engaging than ever, with actors and actresses playing the roles of the characters, wowing and enchanting the listener.
Here are some of the joys of audiobooks.
- You can rest your eyes. Close them and lay back, whether on a hammock or porch swing, or even in a bathtub [just make sure not to drop your player into the water.] Let romance seep into the suds and dream about that hot hero and lazy nights at the beach.
- You can exercise while listening. Get your steps in on a brisk walk around the lake, or a quiet stroll through the park. If you prefer a faster pace, plug in the earbuds and run to the tune of a heartpounding thriller.
- You can cut boredom while waiting in line, sitting on the bus, riding the subway, or driving to work. Extra bonus, listen to a engaging mystery while driving can keep you awake.
- You can multitask. Get in a romantic comedy while scrubbing the kitchen or cleaning the bathroom. Don’t worry if someone hears you laughing out loud while chopping vegetables or dusting your living room.
- You can babysit your pets. Studies have shown that dogs are calmer and more relaxed when in the presence of their pack–in many cases, that’s you. Hearing your voice or a calming, soothing human voice lowers their heartbeat and anxiety. Many people leave the TV on, but the constant interruptions of commercials, as well as gunshots and violent sounds, can leave your pets more anxious than you’d like. Playing back a playlist of audiobooks allows you to control what your pet is hearing and lets them relax at the sound of familiarity. Perhaps your dog might like to snooze to a classic or get his tail wagging to a hot romance.
This year, as an author, I’ve invested in getting my most popular stories produced in audio. I’ve enjoyed casting the “right” narrator for the mood and tone of my story, from Christmas novellas to steamy sports romances.
I bet you have more ideas on how to use audiobooks. Please comment and let me know how you like your audiobooks served.
Please check out my Audiobooks on Audible.com AND if you don’t have a membership, you can get one of my books free if you sign up for a 30-day free trial.
Here’s a review for Her Christmas Chance narrated by Kate Marcin
” …every teardrop worth crying ”
For me reading a story is like watching a movie. In my mind there’s an image of how the scene will play out, but it doesn’t always end up that way. Her Christmas Chance is like a wonderful gift. It inspires and entertains while waking up even the blackest of hearts. The words were all there, the beauty was evident, all that Bella and Chance needed was the perfect voice to bring their fairy tale to life. Kate Marcin proved the right person for that tough job. It’s only fitting that since the author put so much of herself on display that the narrator do likewise. Ms. Marcin made every teardrop worth crying and every smile a well earned reward.
“Be the change you want to see in the world.” Ghandi
Some people see themselves as ordinary people going about their daily activities without concerns about their surroundings. They are just happy to make ends meet, put enough food on the table, take care of their families with a little extra on the side for entertainment and vacation. They may complain on and off if things go wrong. When asked about what they do for a living, they shrug and mention they do what they have to do to keep the JOB that gives them a paycheck. Exactly what I did, when I graduated from University, got married and started a family. All I wanted was a job that would help me make money and improve our difficult beginnings.
Driven by ambition, others are dedicated to their careers and devote every moment to accomplish their goals. When asked about what they do for a living, they talk about their CAREER, about their hard work and perseverance to climb the ladder of success in their field.
That’s me again. At the age of thirty-five, a slipped disc in my back forced me to avoid standing on my feet all day. I quit my job in the lab and enrolled in a Ph.D. program. Once I received my diploma, I changed my goals and worked hard to succeed in my new career as lab manager, and later director of the environmental division of my company.
A few special people want to make a difference in their world. They really believe in a cause larger than themselves and they would go out of their way to make a difference for others. When asked about what they do for a living, they enthusiastically elaborate about their calling, their mission in life, their vocation. Their happiness does not come from money, or status, but from having a positive impact on the lives of others.
I have gone through the three phases. Burned-out by many years of heavy responsibilities, long hours in the office and continuous traveling, I took an early retirement to write novels and help others around me.
How do you analyze your accomplishments? Wealth? Status? Inner satisfaction? Positive impact on the others?
To start your holidays, I have three books in three very different genres to offer you, a sweet romance, a sexy mythological adventure, and a sassy modern romance, all at bargain prices.
Just released: a sweet and funny Christmas Story
IN TIME FOR CHRISTMAS
Dr. Sylvia Reynolds promised to be at her parents’ house in time for Christmas dinner. With a blizzard paralyzing the Midwest, passengers are trapped in airports for endless hours. While rushing toward the gate, Sylvia stumbles on a baby rattle, sprawls on the floor, and meets a gorgeous man and his baby niece.
James Alexander must deliver his five-month-old niece to her grandmother. The successful lawyer, who doesn’t know the ABCs of baby care, is at his wits’ end with the crying baby who holds on to Sylvia for sheer survival.
Sylvia helps as much as she can, but when James holds her in his arms…
An Armchair Trip to Ancient Egypt with adventure, suspense and hot passion among the gods.
OSIRIS’ SECOND LIFE
“Full of adventure, romance and humor this is a great holiday read.”~Love Reading
“[The story] takes the reader on an entertaining and fun journey to ancient Egypt,… blend of historical and contemporary feel to it, … with realistic contemporary emotions and expectations.“~nanjar
A BRIDE FOR PRINCE PAUL is free on Kindle Unlimited.
“Who wouldn’t fall for a prince? Dr. Amy Tyrone falls hard for Prince Paul of Rensy Island, though she doesn’t realize he’s royalty. Discovering the truth forces her to make a difficult choice – her patients back home or the man she loves? This charming story whisks you away to the romantic settings of Paris and the Channel Islands for a modern-day fairy tale that will warm your heart.”~ Sue
It’s funny how the mind works–and doesn’t work. And thereby hangs the tale of a book.
Recently, I uploaded the final manuscript for my latest book, DEAD HEAT, a romantic suspense that surprised me when I realized that it was set a couple of weeks before Christmas!
Now, I didn’t set out to write it as a Christmas book–and it’s not what you’d call a Christmas book unless it’s of the Die Hard Christmas genre. *LOL*
What happened was that I was brainstorming ideas last year about how I wanted to develop the Outlaw Ridge, Texas series. The first book in the series was HEAT LIGHTNING. I knew I wanted the word HEAT in the title of each book, but I didn’t necessarily want the book set in summer.
The phrase, dead heat, fit the scope of the story since the heroine and the villain are in a dead heat with the prize being her life or death.
I decided to set DEAD HEAT in the winter–December in West Central Texas to be precise.
My husband read the manuscript to make sure I got the “guy stuff” correct. (That’s guns, bullets, fighting moves, etc.) He asked, “Is this a Christmas Romance?”
I said, “Huh?”
He laughed and asked, “Do you realize you set it just before Christmas?”
I said, “Huh?”
No, I did not realize that. I was just living in the world of Outlaw Ridge, Texas, and trying to figure out how Sabrina, the covert operative heroine, can keep her secrets from John, the Navy SEAL hero who was her lover, yet enlist his help to save herself from an international criminal intent on capturing her.
I guess it’s a perfect case of tunnel vision. In any event, I ended up happy with this edgy romance that I first finished in August as a 20,000 word novella. When I was bored during Hurricane Harvey’s 4 days of pounding rain, I played around with the story and ended up expanding the novella so much that it became a full-length novel of 63,000 words by the time I typed THE END for the second time.
THE END — now I can live happily ever after with this latest book up on pre-order and due to publish Nov. 14.
About Joan Reeves
Joan is a New York Times and a USA Today bestselling author of Contemporary Romance. All her fiction have the 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. They divide their time between the hustle and bustle of Houston and a quiet house in the country where they grow fruit trees while battling gophers, skunks, coyotes, deer, and the occasional copperhead snake.
Be the first to know about new books and giveaways. Get a free ebook just for signing up for Joan’s Reader Friends.
Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and because my family is divided throughout the Midwest, it’s easier for most of us to get together then as opposed to Christmas.
Fall foliage makes for a brilliant display here in Illinois, and decorating for the holidays is a pretty big thing in our area of the country. So, as both a former wholesale and retail florist, I’m sharing some methods for preserving greens.
PRESERVING FALL FOLIAGE
Glycerin/Water Method keeps the leaves fairly flexible. This preserving method works because the natural moisture present in the leaves is replaced by the glycerin solution, maintaining the leaf’s texture and form.
- Flat pan or disposable plates
- A weight or something to keep leaves submerged
- Mix the glycerin and water so that it is one part glycerin and two parts water. You only need enough to submerge the leaves — about one cup.
- Pour the solution into a flat pan, place the leaves in the solution, and then put the weight on the leaves to keep them submerged. (Tip: try using two Styrofoam or other disposable plates. Put leaves and enough glycerin solution to just lightly cover the leaves in the bottom of one plate. Then put the other plate on top of the leaves and solution. Now you can put a weight of your choosing on the top plate without getting the weight in the solution.)
- Keep the leaves submerged in the solution for 2-6 days.
- Dry the leaves gently with a paper towel. They should feel soft and pliable.
Pressing between wax paper.
- Wax paper
- Thin towel or paper
- Ironing board
- Place a leaf between two pieces of wax paper.
- Put a towel or a piece of thick paper over the wax paper.
- Press on the towel or paper with a warm iron to seal the wax sheets together. This takes about 2-5 minutes on each side, depending on how moist the leaf is. Once you have finished one side, flip the leaf over and do the other side.
- Cut around the leaf, leaving a small margin of wax paper to ensure that it will stay sealed.
- Rather than cutting out the leaves, you may want to try to peel the wax paper off the leaves, leaving a coat of wax behind to protect the leaves. Try this on one leaf first to see if this method works for you.
Using a microwave:
- Fresh leaves that have not dried out
- Paper towels
- Acrylic spray from a craft store
- Arrange the leaves on top of two paper towels. Lay another towel over the leaves to cover them.
- Microwave the leaves for 30-180 seconds. Be very attentive and careful. Leaves that are cooked in the microwave too long can catch fire. The drier the leaves, the less time they will need. Leaves that curl after removal from the microwave have not been in long enough. Leaves that are scorched have been in there too long. Only dry them for a few seconds at a time.
- Let the leaves sit for a day or two and then finish by spraying an acrylic sealant on both sides of the leaves.
Learn more (includes some other cool projects): https://learning-center.homesciencetools.com/article/how-to-preserve-leaves/
And how does something like designing relate to my writing?
Sometimes the easiest way to come up with a new story is to write about what you know, and since I have a degree in Ornamental Horticulture, Tales of Dragonfly includes a heroine who’s not only a florist, but a wedding planner and designer.
In Flight: A Tales of the Dragonfly Novel
A woman who’s afraid to trust. Successful designer, Penny Wentworth has arrived from New York to take charge of the wedding flowers for the new owners of the Dragonfly Pointe Inn. As a single parent of a severely autistic and mentally impaired son, she has no romantic illusions; her experience with an abusive husband has left her wary of relationships.
A man who’s afraid to love. Haunted by his past since discovering a six-year old girl brutally murdered at Dragonfly Pointe over twenty-two years ago, Sam has intentionally avoided returning home. But after resigning from his job as a homicide detective in New Orleans when his marriage fell apart, Sam is now the chief of police in Crystal Rock, Wisconsin.
An undying passion that’s endured throughout the years. Penny’s escort for the wedding, Sam had once been the object of every single one of her teenage fantasies.
When Sam’s search for a killer leads him back through his tarnished past, will a woman who’s afraid to love be able to forgive a man who feels undeserving of her love?
I hope everyone has a beautiful Fall-
And a fantastic Thanksgiving to those of you in the U.S.!!
Connect With Tamara Ferguson
Halloween originated with Samhain, the ancient Celtic festival of bonfires and costumes meant to ward off roaming ghosts. It was the time of the year when the veil between the living and the dead lifted so spirits could walk on Earth. (Celts appeased them with treats.) Later in Ireland and Britain, on All Hallows Eve, Christians prayed for protection from evil in the world.
November 1 is All Saints Day, meant to remind us how we’re supposed to live. On November 2 , All Souls Day, people pray for the dead trapped between heaven and hell.
Throughout the Middle Ages, this three-day period was celebrated. The Pagan tradition of appeasing the spirits of the dead remained, including the practice of lighting candles for souls waiting to go to heaven.
To remember the departed, many cultures prepare meals for the souls of the dead, light candles or leave flowers on relatives’ graves. Each celebration touches on cultural beliefs about the spirit world, honoring the dead.
Day of the Dead in Mexico combines the ancient Aztec custom of celebrating ancestors with All Souls’ Day. Celebrated on November 1 and 2, Day of the Dead is joyful inthat it helps people remember the deceased with candlelit altars so spirits can find their way back to their relatives. The altars are set with the deceased’s favorite foods — in case they’re hungry — and personal items they favored. Papier-mâché skeletons and small plastic or clay skeletons represent Day of the Dead.
Halloween and Christmas have always been my favorite holidays, and creating the series RETURN TO JENKINS COVE with Rebecca York and Ann Voss Peterson added some fun Halloween scare via ghosts into the Christmas season. By why is Jenkins Cove haunted? Why can’t the ghosts move on …
Christmas… Ghosts… Mystery… Romance…
Something evil lurks in the charming town of Jenkins Cove. When Sophie Caldwell devotes a room in her B&B to communicate with spirits, dangerous secrets rise to the surface, and the lives of three couples will never be the same.
But why is Jenkins Cove haunted? Why do the ghosts remain behind? What justice must be served before they can move on?
Christmas Delivery (Return to Jenkins Cove Book 3)
Haunted by ghosts, Jenkins Cove will now have to deal with Simon Shea who has “returned from the dead” seeking revenge…only to reconnect with Lexie Thornton, the girl he loved, and the daughter they conceived thirteen years ago.
Excerpt from Christmas Delivery:
The fog was lighter here, the chill greater, and once past the fence’s wooden gate, which had been left open, Simon realized where he was. The cemetery. Why had the spirit brought him here?
Following the curving redbrick path lined by boxwood on both sides, Simon kept track of the mop of pale hair, which appeared on the other side of the hedge, then lost him altogether. When he came to the open area dotted with gravestones and markers, Simon only half hoped he would actually find him again. He gazed around, past a couple of large willow oaks and a magnolia tree in the center of the graveyard, then spotted the ghostly figure at a far gravesite, touching the stone that identified its occupant.
Again, he looked up with hollow eyes and gestured that he should come.
Reluctantly, Simon did. Not wanting to cross anyone’s grave — he’d had enough of that in his former life — he stayed on the brick path, keeping his gaze locked on the figure still summoning him.
One minute the fog seemed to circle the kid, the next he seemed to fade away into the mists. “Wait! Don’t go!” But the demand came too late. He was already gone. And Simon was moving to the headstone he’d touched, had obviously wanted Simon to see.
A deep, arctic cold suddenly surrounded Simon and then the breath was knocked out of him as he stopped in the spot where the wraith had disappeared. Looking down, Simon understood why Lexie believed he was dead and buried. The headstone bore his name and the dates of his birth and of his supposed death on Christmas Eve thirteen years before.
Not a man who easily believed in what he couldn’t see, Simon had no doubts about who had led him here. Or who was buried in his grave. He was certain the kid he’d seen shot had taken his place. Thirteen years ago and his ghost still wandered, unable to rest, Simon thought. How many ghosts inhabited this area? How many souls were denied eternal rest?
Of one thing he was certain. The boy he’d seen shot had been buried in his stead. How had they pulled that one off? They looked nothing alike. A closed coffin, then? How had he supposedly died so that no one would have raised the alarm? Who had been in on his supposed death? More questions that needed answering. Another reason for him to stay undercover awhile.
Did ghosts seek retribution? he wondered. Considering the evil that had stalked the town unchecked, probably not.
But now the town had to deal with him.
99c each through November 7
Christmas Spirit by Rebecca York
Christmas Awakening by Ann Voss Peterson
Christmas Delivery by Patricia Rosemoor
Christmas Spirit …Christmas Awakening …Christmas Delivery
Each of these stories are complete novels, but only the full series will get to the bottom of all the ghostly happenings in Jenkins Cove.