About Rachelle Ayala

Rachelle Ayala is a USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance and romantic suspense. Her foremost goal is to take readers on a shared emotional journey with her characters as they grow and become more true to themselves. Rachelle believes in the power of love to overcome obstacles and feels that everyone should find love as often as possible, especially if it's within the pages of a book. Her book, Knowing Vera, won the 2015 Angie Ovation Award, A Father for Christmas garnered a 2015 Readers’ Favorite Gold Award, Christmas Stray received a 2016 Readers' Favorite Gold Award, and Playing for the Save got the 2017 Readers' Favorite Gold Award in Realistic Fiction. She is also a writing teacher and founder of the Romance In A Month writing community. She lives in California with her husband and has three children and two birds.

Writing Christmas Romances in July? #mgtab @mimisgang1

Baby, it’s HOT outside. The sun is shining and the beach is beckoning. But inside my writing den, it’s cinnamon spiced and Christmas scented with jolly Christmas music jingling and the click-clacking of keyboards popping. July and August are Christmas time for me and my Author’s Billboard buddies–busy little bees tapping out Christmas all summer long.

Christmas hits our house early in the year. Shortly after the New Year, while the confetti’s sprinkled on the floor and the empty champagne bottles hit the recycling bin, Christmas is already a sparkle in my eye. Our Author’s Billboard team starts thinking about our Christmas boxed sets. We brainstorm themes and concepts and comb through our series looking for characters needing a merry, ho, ho, ho, and love under the Christmas tree.

Tentative titles are jotted down, covers made, and the ideas go into hibernation until June, July, or August. Then it’s crank up the Christmas playlists, browse for Christmas photos, stream Christmas movies to get into the mood, and sample Christmas recipes and research Christmas traditions and decorations. While the weather is hot outside, snow and evergreen trees swirl in my mind. My son comes downstairs and ask, “What’s with the Christmas songs? What’s going on?” My husband wonders why Christmas paraphrenalia are showing up at the door: a snowglobe here and an ornament there. It’s all part of living with Christmas all summer long.

This year, I’m writing three Christmas romances. Two of them are with my editor and the third one is just getting started. You’d think I’d be sick of Christmas by now, but I love it. It’s a season of joy and cheer, of family and friends, of giving and forgiving, and of love and re-loving. It’s the magic of a child’s wishes, a grandmother’s care, a friend’s suggestion, and a stranger’s yearning–a season for belonging and a reason for welcoming. Some common themes are: coming home, finding a friend, going from Grinch to elf, turning charitable, warming up the grieving, and blessing the poor in spirit. An outsider is brought into the fold. An estranged relationship is restored. Or an unexpected distraction turns into attraction. These are some of the fun Christmas romance themes to write about–all year round.

Rachelle Ayala’s 2021 Christmas Romances

[Sweet] Dashing Through Christmas, Misty Jolly and Dash Weston play guessing games while rushing through a Christmas project with no help from Westie, a “talking” dog.

[Sweet] Dottie’s Christmas Wish, All Merry Jolly wants is to make Dr. Colton Dale smile. All his daughter, Dottie, wants is a dog. Will Christmas wishes come true for three lonely hearts?

[Sassy] Santa on Strike, Bette’s bar is on the ropes when her biggest attraction, the barroom Santa, goes on strike a few days before Christmas.

Be sure to sign up for the Author’s Billboard Newsletter to be notified of our upcoming Christmas boxed sets for a fun festivities and romance in the air.

We Still Need Heroes by Rachelle Ayala #mgtab @mimisgang1

Photo by RODNAE Productions from Pexels

Heroes are the men and women who step up in times of crisis. They charge into burning buildings and rush toward disaster zones. They defend us against bullies and bad guys, and they stay on their jobs when others retreat. We appreciate our heroes because they inspire us and give us hope. They help us in times of need, and they do their duty while others are fleeing and hiding. We appreciate our heroes on special days like Veteran’s Day and anniversaries of their heroic acts. But do we understand the toll it takes on them and their families?

Being a hero entails sacrifice and putting others in front of self. Our military men and women not only fight bad guys but give aid and support to vulnerable populations. Our first responders put their safety at risk when responding to disasters or calls for help. Our health care workers stood at the front line to treat patients when an unknown disease sickened their communities. Every day, mothers and fathers put their children’s welfare in front of their own by working long hours to put food on the table or sacrificing for their education.

The qualities that heroes have: bravery, courage, resourcefulness, duty, honor, and sacrifice are still needed today. We need men to stand up for what’s right and women to nurture the weak and helpless. People to hold the line for freedom and individual liberty against the dark side of totalitarianism and mind control.

I’m grateful for all heroes: the police who catch criminals, the firefighters who save lives and homes, the military who secure our freedoms, the pastors who preach the Bible, the parents who protect the children, the essential workers who did their jobs, the patriots who stand against tyranny, and most of all, God who gave us his only begotten Son.

Forgive me for being sentimental. The 20th anniversary of September 11 just passed by, and while the ending of the war was not what we expected, it does not in any way diminish the heroism of the policemen, firefighters, and rescuers who charged into the buildings or all of the many military men and women who held the line against terrorists and warlords. They battled at tremendous personal cost and we owe them continued gratitude. Who knows how many attacks were prevented by their sacrifice?

Many years ago, I wrote about an Afghanistan War veteran, Tyler Manning, who returned home disillusioned and suffering from PTSD. He was homeless, subjected to flashbacks, and had lost his faith. It took a tiny four-year-old girl, Bree Kennedy, to see something special about him as he sat underneath a Christmas tree scavenging thrown-away food from a mall food court. I wish the war had ended better, but I know his effort was not wasted. Tyler’s story became a three-part Christmas series called: A Veteran’s Christmas.

In book 1, A Father for Christmas, Bree finds Tyler under a Christmas tree and brings him back to society and a romance with Bree’s mom, Kelly.

In book 2, A Pet for Christmas, Tyler returns to Afghanistan to work at a charity he founded, only to have it blown to bits. He and his translator then embark on a daring escape from Afghanistan with the help of a stray Kuchi dog.

In Book 3, A Wedding for Christmas, Tyler gets involved with a former Afghan female soldier and helps her get off the streets–all while trying to juggle his wedding to Bree’s mom, Kelly

Check out the first book, A Father for Christmas FREE.

A Father for Christmas by Rachelle Ayala

So let us remember to honor our heroes every day and to let them inspire us to give a helping hand and nurture those in need. All of us can be an every day hero by standing up for the values and ideals that made our country great and by giving our time, labor, and care to others. Like the children’s song says, JOY is Jesus, Others, You with yourself last.

Be sure to sign up to Author’s Billboard Newletter and also check out Author’s Billboard’s four Fabulous Freebie boxed sets.

Fabulous Freebies 1: Romantic Suspense

Fabulous Freebies 2: Steamy Romance

Fabulous Freebies 3: Paranormal Romance

Fabulous Freebies 4: Sweet Romance

More coming … so please subscribe to the Author’s Billboard Newsletter!

American Heartland: Sweet Country Hearts

https://books2read.com/LongerThan

American Heartland is my latest romantic theme: a collection of books that celebrate all that is both good and true across our rugged and heroic land. Desiree is the new girl in town, a sleepy hamlet in Southern Indiana. Kyle Landon’s roots run long and deep in the rich land his ancestors settled. He’s a mystery writer, a collector of stories and a teller of tales, but he has a big problem. His eldest cousin, Trey, is the big man in town and his grandmother is actively matchmaking with Desiree’s father to get her and Trey together. Kyle befriends Desiree as the groom to her horses, but as he takes on spooky trail rides into the deep, dark woods and tells her folktales of love gone by, he draws her imagination into his orbit and weaves a romance both magic and tragic: of passion, of sin, of lust, of vengeance, and sometimes … death.

Life in the past was not as sanitized as our twenty-first century sensibilities. Wars, disease, injustice, and trauma mar the lives of those who’ve gone before. From the ancient Greek dramas to the murder ballads of the old American mountain folks, man has soared to heights of heroism while confronting the darkness in his heart. The age old quest for love is a tug of war between surface pleasures and societal niceties and the frightening passions that plunge deep like a vein of coal. The question is, which would you rather have? A sanitized Disney version of love with a superficial veneer of heroism or the monster that tips your heart in a tragic balance between heaven and hell?

Admittedly, my story is not that dark and it is a sweet romance taking place in the weeks leading up to the Fourth of July festival. But check it out. It’s on sale for 99c from August 14 to August 31. [Book Link]

Is summer hot enough for you? Don’t forget to check the ABB monthly board for great books and prizes. Oh, and check out this week’s ABB newsletter where you’ll find lots of free and bargain ebooks.

Do you Bitcoin? #mgtab @AyalaRachelle @mimisgang1

Photo by Thought Catalog from Pexels

Where were you when you first heard of Bitcoin?

If you’re like me, you probably thought it was money for a computer game or something boys did when betting on sports. Or maybe you heard of someone making and losing a lot of money on it, and you steered clear of it.

I first became interested in Bitcoin when the governments all around word started printing money in the middle of the pandemic. Suddenly, trillions and trillions of dollars flooded the economy. It was supposed to stimulate the recovery and create jobs for people who lost their jobs. It was supposed to help common folks make ends meet and give people an opportunity to improve their lives.

Instead, all that money [liquidity] flowed into the stock markets and the real estate market. Prices shot skyhigh and people were still out of work. Oil prices skyrocketed, lumber prices went through the roof, and the inflation rate just came out at an eye-popping 5%.

What does this have to do with Bitcoin? Well, it made me investigate Bitcoin’s claim of being digital gold, something that doesn’t inflate or devaluate. And that led me to figure out what sound money is. It’s money that keeps its value. Money that doesn’t lose purchasing power.

Did you know that every time they print money? When they create dollars out of thin air, that they are stealing from all of us? That our existing dollars become worth less? That inflation is a stealth tax on everyone, and extremely regressive? Meaning it hurts the lower class worse since they don’t own assets [real estate, stocks, and commodities]. It hurts those with fixed incomes, living on Social Security, getting a paycheck that doesn’t keep up with inflation, trying to keep their heads above water.

Well, it turns out Bitcoin is a non-inflating currency, and it is enforced on a decentralized network of computers by mathematical properties in such a way that no one can “print” more of it. There will ever be a fixed number of Bitcoin, and it can be used to store monetary value and help people who are disenfranchised by the traditional financial system be able to keep what they earn. The country of El Salvador became the first country to make Bitcoin legal tender in an effort to lift its citizens out of poverty. https://www.coindesk.com/its-official-el-salvadors-legislature-votes-to-adopt-bitcoin-as-legal-tender

So, if you haven’t heard of Bitcoin before, or you’re curious about it, then please look into it more, because it can hedge your financial health against all of the “money-printing” central banking system. I felt this was so important, that instead of writing my next romance, I wrote a book to help you take a deeper look at Bitcoin. I made it understandable and skipped the hype. My book is a common sense approach to taking a closer look so you can make your own decision, or at least understand what all the conversation and debate is about. https://books2read.com/smartwomansbitcoin

https://books2read.com/smartwomansbitcoin

This book is for the busy woman who wants to discover Bitcoin and understand enough of its mathematics and technology in order to gain conviction on how she’ll relate to Bitcoin.

  • You will learn about sound and unsound money, and why Bitcoin can never be inflated.
  • You will understand the way Bitcoin is created and why it is stronger and more secure than other cryptocurrencies.
  • You will get an introduction on ways to invite Bitcoin into your life: exchanges, wallets, payment systems, affiliate rewards, and tax considerations.
  • You will also get a dose of Bitcoin FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt) and explore reasons why Bitcoin might not be the right date for you.
  • Finally, you will be treated to a short list of influential women in the Bitcoin space to inspire you and let you know what can be done with Bitcoin to make the world a more equitable and inclusive place.

Good luck and happy Bitcoining!