About Joan Reeves

Joan Reeves—Keeping Romance Alive...One Sexy Book at a Time—is a NY Times and USA Today bestselling author of Contemporary Romance. From Romantic Comedy to Romantic Thriller, all of her books have the same 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 a book-cluttered home in Houston and a quiet house in the Texas Hill Country where they sit on the porch, stare at the big night sky, and listen to the coyotes howl. Sign up for Joan's Mailing List and be the first to know about new books and giveaways. Visit Joan's Blog, SlingWords.

Gingerbread Cake Means Christmas by @JoanReeves #mgtab

In our home, it’s not officially Christmas until I make Old-Fashioned Gingerbread.

Everyone talks about gingerbread men and gingerbread houses during the holidays, and both of those items are really cute. But, to me, they look better than they taste.

I don’t like crisp, hard-baked gingerbread cookies. Maybe it’s because my mom never made gingerbread people or houses. She made gingerbread cake and served it warm from the oven with a dollop of cream cheese frosting sprinkled with lemon zest on top. From scratch.

Oh, my goodness, the smell of the gingerbread baking made salivary glands go into overdrive. And the taste? Amazing.

Many people think it takes too long to make a cake from scratch so they buy a cake mix. I’m sure the cake mix is probably a good product, and you may want to try it.

However, I’d like to share my recipe for homemade gingerbread with you. It’s darker in appearance than the picture shown on the box. That’s probably because my recipe calls for molasses. That’s what gives it the darker color, rich aroma, and depth of flavor.

Old-Fashioned Gingerbread

  • 1/2 cup sugar, white or brown
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 1 cup hot water (hot from the tap, not boiling)
  1. Butter a 9x9x2 inch baking pan and set aside. Turn your oven on and set it for 350 degrees F.
  2. Sift flour into a small bowl along with the ginger, baking soda, nutmeg, and salt.
  3. Cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl, and add the egg. Beat well.
  4. Add the molasses to the butter mixture and beat well.
  5. Add the sifted dry ingredients to the butter mixture a little at a time. Mix well after each addition until all is incorporated.
  6. Carefully stir in the hot water and mix well.
  7. Pour the batter into the baking pan and place in the preheated oven.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 40-45 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  9. Serve warm plain or with a dollop of whipped cream or cream cheese frosting.

I made Gingerbread this past weekend so, for me, it’s officially Christmas!

Be sure and enter our Rafflecopter on our Home Page and check out all the wonderful Holiday Romances—books and box sets galore—you’ll find from the very talented authors of The Authors’ Billboard.

Holiday Romances by Joan Reeves

Above are a few of my Christmas Romances for your consideration. I invite you to sign up for my Newsletter which has new release information and giveaways too.

I wish you a Merry Christmas and a very Happy, Healthy, Prosperous New Year!

Better Late Than Never? by @JoanReeves #mgtab

I think the phrase “better late than never” came from someone who was simply overwhelmed with life and had too much to do in too little time.

Take today for instance. I had my day planner marked to post to this blog on the 23rd. However, I was so busy playing catch-up in other areas and meeting appointments that I completely forgot to check my day planner yesterday.

I hate missing something I’d scheduled. So, this post is “better late than never” I guess. Saying that once again made me investigate the origin of this expression which I’ve been using far too often of late.

According to what I found, the origin of “better late than never” can be found in classic literature. Attributed to Geoffrey Chaucer—yes, that far back—the phrase was first seen in 1386 in The Yeoman’s Tale, found in The Canterbury Tales, to wit: “For better than never is late; never to succeed would be too long a period.”

Rather than preen about quoting something that is vaguely intellectual, I think I’d rather promise myself to be better at prioritizing and always check my day planner at the end of the day.

I think I need to take a day off and do something fun like this sign says. Keep calm and read a book.

I have just the thing in mind too. Well, it’s not actually a book but a collection of short stories by my friends and me.

I’m talking about CHRISTMAS SHORTS, only 99cents on Amazon. My story in the collection is STUCK ON THE NAUGHTY LIST. I’ve been wanting to read the other stories in the set. Today, the weather in Houston is sunny and mild. I think I’ll take my Kindle outside to the patio and read.

CHRISTMAS SHORTS is a #1 Best Seller. some stories are sweet; some are spicy and deliciously naughty. In other words, there’s  something for everyone.

Grab a copy and see why everyone loves this box set.

Personally, I love short stories because they allow me to read and finish something in the fragments of time that somehow describe my days. Like many, I’m so busy that I find myself gravitating to short stories that satisfy my desire to read.

Be sure and enter the Authors Billboard November Giveaway and check out all the featured books on the Home Page. We have published many Box Sets so visit our Books Page and browse the wonderful bestselling collections we’ve created.

Enjoy this Season of Giving Thanks and the calm before the storm of holiday shopping!

Ghost Towns of Texas by @JoanReeves #mgtab

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Well, it does if you’re a writer who began plotting and writing Christmas romances a few months ago.

You’re going to be delighted with CHRISTMAS SHORTS, the new holiday romance collection we’ve created just for you. I’m taking the opportunity today to do a cover reveal for my story in the box set, Stuck on the Naughty List, a romance about a girl who left the man she loved so he could live the life he’d been groomed for since birth.

Now, you may wonder what that has to do with Ghost Towns of Texas, one of my hobbies one might say.

Stuck on the Naughty List is set in Capitola, Texas, a town that no longer exists. Like many of the more than 1,000 ghost towns, Capitola, located in Mason County which is part of the Texas Hill Country,boomed briefly and then faded away.

This was the 3rd book I’ve set in a town that was once a real town and is now just a memory.

Capitola intrigued me from the moment I read about it because it was founded by a woman—and not just any woman, but an avid reader.

Sarah E. Jenkins, the postmistress, founded the community was founded in 1894. She loved to read and named the town after the heroine in a popular novel of that era: The Hidden Hand, or, Capitola the Madcap by American author E.D.E.N. Southworth. (That’s Emma Dorothy Eliza Nevitte Southworth.)

The little community failed to thrive, and the post office closed its doors a dozen years later. Then the route of the main road was altered, and the town faded away. However, it was the perfect inspiration for me to create a series with a western swing dance hall, the Capitola Palace Dance Hall, as the center of the social life in the town and surrounding counties.

In case you don’t know, American Western Swing music is a genre that’s entirely Texan. It came out of the Great Depression with Bob Wills as one of the co-founders of the genre.

The song by Waylon Jennings, “Bob Wills Is Still the King,” is a tribute to Wills and Western Swing music which is played in Austin and by popular bands like Asleep at the Wheel. (Check YouTube!)

I loved “meeting” Cassie and Ben and will feature them in the second book as they join forces with a couple of newcomers to save the Capitola Palace Dance Hall from destruction.

While you’re waiting for CHRISTMAS SHORTS, be sure and check out all the other wonderful holiday collections and other box sets we’ve produced. Remember to enter our Giveaway.

Enjoy autumn! It’s delightful here in Texas.

How To Properly Store Books by @JoanReeves #mgtab

Writers are die-hard readers first and foremost, and we know how to properly store books.

In fact, we probably buy more books than the average reader, and many of us have massive home libraries.

Whether you’re talking an online bookseller or a brick and mortar store, we find it had to pass them by without browsing the sale books, new releases, and collectibles.

I’ve written before about how to remove the smell from books one may buy in a musty used book store. Today, I thought I’d talk about how to store books properly. At the end of this post, I’ll even talk about the proper storage of ebooks since so many of us now prefer to read those because of convenience and the inexpensive price point.

Print Books Rule

If you’re like me, you have a considerable financial investment in printed books that comprise your home library. Actually, according to recent book sale statistics, softcover and hardcover print books are rising in popularity.

I’ve lost many readers because they tell me they read only print. They love the feel of the printed pages, and digital just doesn’t give them the same feel. (I plan to get all my backlist in new print editions by the end of January 2020 if not before.)

Our personal book collections are more valuable than we realize. If you add up the amount you have invested in your personal library, you might be stunned by the tally. Protect your library by storing your books properly.

5 Tips on Storing Your Print Books

1. Store books upright to prevent warping. It’s always best to completely fill the book shelf so they are supported on each end. If you don’t have enough books to do this, be sure to use strong bookends.

2. Keep food and beverages away from books because insects, along with heat and humidity, are a book’s worst enemies. Cockroaches, silverfish, and carpet beetle larvae, better known as—you guessed it—the bookworm are attracted to the smallest residue of nutrients. Keep your books clean, cool, dry, and nutrient-free.

3. Use bookmarks to hold your place in a book. (Roses are not appropriate bookmarks.) Do not dog ear the page (I am so guilty of this!) or lay the book down, open-faced (Sigh. I do this too.) which will damage the spine of the book.

4. Books aren’t double-jointed. Never “crack” one open, that is, don’t force it open past its own natural angle.

5. The purpose of the dust jacket, the paper cover that comes on hardbacks, is to keep the book from becoming soiled and to protect it from wear and tear. Never discard it because if you think you may hang on to it as a collectible, the lack of a dust cover lowers its value.

It’s okay to remove the dust jacket, as long as you follow Rule #2, so as not to tatter it while reading the book, but return it to the book when you finish reading.

How To Store Ebooks

Stuff as many as possible into your selected digital reading device as often as possible. You’ll find hundreds available from the Authors of Authors Billboard. Just look at the Home Page for some suggestions and subscribe to our Friday weekly newsletter to see new releases and ebooks on sale.

*LOL* Okay, that’s not really a rule, but an ereader stores your ebooks without your doing much more than downloading the ebook. Plus, you don’t have to dust the books on your digital shelf. Anything that gets me out of dusting is a good thing.

For your consideration, try my romantic comedy Just One Look.

Here’s what a recent  Review said: “This story gripped me and didn’t let go. I finished it in five hours! It was fast-paced and filled with emotion and very HOT moments. The hero — Matt — is delicious and sweet. And confident. Very enjoyable read.”

Seriously, it’s never too late to learn the proper way to do something. Make new book handling habits today and teach them to your children.

Be sure and shop the Home Page for books and also enter our Rafflecopter while you’re there.