Soup Month: Mom’s Potato Soup by @JoanReeves #mgtab

Did you know that January is National Soup Month?

I guess the people who create these “national” months and/or days figured National Cold, Windy, Rainy Dreary Month didn’t sound very appealing.

Yesterday evening I came home—cold, wet, and bedraggled—from a day of fighting the traffic amidst a downpour. By the time, Darling Hubby and I walked into the kitchen, darkness had fallen.

Image by Kranich17 from Pixabay

What’s For Dinner?

He’d been out in the bad weather with me all day, and we had missed lunch because of one thing or another. I didn’t take offense when he tiredly asked, “What’s for dinner?”

I gave him an equally tired answer. “Soup.”

He brightened, and so did I because soup is my go-to meal for dreary winter days. I fixed Potato & Greens Soup, an unusual potato soup because of the fresh greens in it which is Mom’s effort to push veggies at every meal.

Potato & Greens Soup

  • 1 pound russet potatoes
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 1/2 pound of your favorite sausage with the casing removed
  • an additional 2 cups of chicken broth
  • 1/2 pound of fresh spinach
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream

Peal and dice the potatoes. Place in a pot with the salt, black pepper, and 2 cups of chicken broth. Cook until potatoes are done then mash the potatoes in the broth that remains. Set aside while you prepare the other ingredients.

Slice the sausage thinly. Saute and drain well. In a large cooking pot, pour in the other 2 cups of chicken broth, heat to boiling. Add the fresh spinach or other fresh greens of your choice to the hot broth. Cook until just wilted. Whisk in the mashed potatoes, cooked sausage, and mix well.

Serve with one or all of the following as garnishes: a snip of fresh greens, a grating of black pepper, and/or a bit of shredded cheddar cheese. Serves 6 hungry appetites.

Warm Up Winter With DEAD HEAT, an Exciting Romance

Sabrina Snow knew she was going to get herself killed if she didn’t get help. Someone was after her, and he wasn’t going to stop. She ran to the only man she trusted…the only man who had the skills to save her. Too bad he probably hated her.

But she owed him the truth even though she’d wanted to keep the knowledge from him. What if she were killed? John needed to know where to look. If he’d hated her before, what would he feel once he learned the depth of her deception?

Navy SEAL John Galloway doesn’t trust Sabrina. She lies for a living so how can he? So what’s he supposed to do when she shows up in the last place he ever expected to see her?

DEAD HEAT, available as a Kindle Unlimited Free Read or buy and keep forever.

Remember to enter our January Giveaway, and also check out all of the wonderful box set collections of romances on Authors Billboard Books.

The Beauty of Inspiration

Now that January is almost over, and our remnants of the holiday season are safely stored away, have you embraced the new year?

I have, and one of the reasons is because of the wonderful encouragement and support I have received from my readers.

What is the definition of inspiration? There are many, but I love this one:

“An uplifting influence on another person’s intellect, feelings or imaginativeness.”

I love reading, and, of course, writing. In many ways, reading allows us to armchair travel to exotic locales, cultivating excitement and inspiration along the way through our heroes and heroines.

Who needs inspiration?

Everyone. Your best friend, your children, your significant other. We can never offer too much inspiration and encouragement.

How can we offer inspiration?

By a light touch or word of comfort to a friend.

Sending cheerful emails.

Showing up at a hospital to cheer a loved one.

Quietly listening when your teenager complains.

Reminding your husband or significant other how special they are.

And lastly, as we begin this new year, evaluating the past with a different point of view. Go easy on yourself.

There is a bright 2020 future ahead, just waiting to be explored.

Is there someone in your life you can inspire this week? Please leave your comments below.

New Release! Inspirational Regency Romance! Seeking Rachel.

Rachel clashes with an arrogant ex-sea captain, and she remembers God’s promise: I will not leave you comfortless.

When Nash stumbles upon the outspoken Rachel, his weary heart sparks with life. Can he set a course for a future with her, and trust that God has prepared the way?

When faith is adrift, the heart is the compass leading the way home.
This poignant Regency Inspirational romance will fill your heart with love and hope. This is the 4th book in the well-loved Romany Gypsy Seeking Series. Only 99¢ for a limited time!

Also on sale for only 99¢, Seeking Patience

Do people prove their worth by strength, or by character?

Feed The Creative Juices

Authoring can be all consuming at times. There can be days when I don’t speak to another human for eight hours–pretty bad when you and your husband are both home all day. But it is one of those things, when the words are flowing, then the hands on the clock seem to whiz around at lightning speed.

Being an introvert, I don’t crave others company, am happy in my own skin, and love the solitude that my writing gives me. But, every now and then, I can feel drained of the creative juices and need to step back from the pages and find something to kick start my creativity.

I broke for Christmas this year, I hate taking full breaks as it always seems to take twice as long to get back into the swing of things. But Christmas was busy, with lots of guests staying over so, writing was not on the table. Going back to it in January, I thought I’d be refreshed, but it has been an up-hill slog. I’m writing, but feel that it is a case of supergluing my bum to the seat to make myself do it. While scrolling through social media–an avoidance tactic–I spotted a course being promoted by a talented cover designer that I admire.

Now, some of you may know that the other hat I wear is that of Book Designer. I create and sell covers for the Cat’s Pyjama’s. I started this out of necessity, way back in the beginning of my writing career, because I was so clueless about the whole book publishing business. Back then, I was truly terrible, as I had no idea how to use Photoshop. I may have lacked the skills, but I had big ideas and have always had an artistic bent. Many of my hobbies fall into that side of things. I also have a good eye and a nose for analyzing the market in this area. So, with the help of my daughter, an Art student at SCAD at the time, I set about learning how to use the Photoshop software.

Once I had gained enough skills, I started producing my own covers, then ones for friends, and finally moved on to selling them wider. The course I spotted the other day, sounded like just what I needed. It promised to teach the most useful 20% of the software’s features that book designers will use 80% of the time. Being self-taught, I knew my gaps and my limitations so I signed up immediately.

OH. MY. God!

Talk about game changer. I have spent so many hours watching the videos and then practicing the skills that a whole week has whizzed by. Surprisingly, I have also managed to fit in writing a couple of chapters a day too! My hubby has had to remind me when to eat, and around ten o’clock at night, he opens my study door and mumbles, “are you gonna be on there all night?”

picture of a chair burning in a room

Day 1 challenge, becoming more adventurous with layers and blends

Even when I go to bed, I have been running through the stuff I have learned in my head, and thinking up new possibilities. It’s been a long time since I have been this excited about something. But improving my design skills aside, I have also noticed a bit more pep in my step with regards to my writing–even though part of that is due to wanting to get on my computer to do the next lesson! I am now drafting out a chapter a day, and rewarding myself with doing the next element of the course.

Day 2 – refining composition and using pen tool more adeptly for cutting out

Trouble is, I am running out of classes. Still, my creativity juices are flowing, and my brain seems to have enjoyed the chance to do something different for a while. More than that, expanding my knowledge has given me a sense of fulfillment. Pushing my skills to the next level, challenging myself to understand all the tricky nuances associated with that very technical piece of software, is quite uplifting and re-energizing.

So, I am making a late New Year’s resolution, to take more meaningful breaks over this next year, and I’m going to take that time to give myself training. Other, big companies do it. They see the value in training their staff, so even though I am a one-man band, Author Angela Stevens will be closed for training until Wednesday next week, and scheduling more motivational courses for the summer.

But for now, I am upping my game, and just completed new covers for my next release, Hat Trick, in my brand new pin-off series Hockey Boyz. For those of you that loved my Hockey Punk series, then you should know, this book stars one of the Hockey Punk guy’s sons. We are going Next Gen!

picture of 3 books with hockey theme

No New Resolutions by Mona Risk

May the New Year bring you health, joy, success, and many books. Have you made any resolutions for this year? Walk more? Eat less? Read more if you are a reader? Write more if you are an author?

Good books offer the best entertainment and vacation, sometimes even an armchair trip in the comfort of your home.

As I was reviewing my last year’s efforts and achievements, I discovered I wrote SEVEN new books. Seven?!  I was the first one amazed by the number! That makes more than a book every couple of months. Any short break was used for promotion, or editing and formatting.

Let’s count them:

Prince Philip’s Cinderella — Modern Princes Series, Book 4

It was also part of Sweet and Sassy Cinderella

A charming jogger saves her from danger. But he’s a prince… And she comes from nothing. Do fairytales exist today?

Not Ready Yet — The Senator’s Family Series, Book 4

It was also part of Unforgettable Charmers

M NotReadyYet.jpg
High school sweethearts separated by life… They meet years later, Successful but different, Each with a heavy baggage.

A Complete Family — Love You Doc Series, Book 1

It was also part of Unforgettable Christmas Dreams

Nurse Melody has an adorable four-year-old girl, a vicious German shepherd, a meddling neighbor-nanny. But Dr. Aidan wants to give her a complete family.

The Captain Christmas Leave –Sweet but Sassy Series, Book 2

It was also part of Christmas Shorts

Wounded and almost divorced, Dr. Joshua Alexander lost his medical career and any chance of happiness…until his sassy wife takes matters into her own hands.

A Dance for Prince Eric–Modern Prince Series, Book 5 Not published individually yet, but part of All That Glitters Box on pre-order

Love in the ER– Love You Doc Series, Book 2 Not published individually yet, but part of Doctors in Love 1 -Passionate and Dedicated on pre-order

Love on the Slopes– Love You Doc Series, Book 3 Not published individually yet, but part of Doctors in Love 2 -Sexy and Determined Coming soon