When Fiction Gets Real!

Have you ever had a dream that seemed prophetic? I mean you dream something happens and it does? That’s the way I feel these days with the Corona-virus pandemic.

It all started in 2015, when I got the idea for a series of books. At the time, I was following the news about women who’d been kidnapped and kept prisoner for years. I was appalled that such a thing could happen. It got me thinking about cults and people like Jim Jones and Adolf Hitler –people with the power to persuade others to do unspeakable things. With all this churning in my head, I began writing The White Carnation and created the Harvester. But, as the story progressed and grew inside my head, I realized that the Harvester was just a puppet, following orders. Thus, I created the Prophet, a leader whose ideas were so far-fetched, no one in their right mind could follow him. More horrific news convinced me that there was far more evil in the world than I’d ever imagined. That was when I realized that the Prophet couldn’t be contained in one book.

I moved on to book two, The White Lily, and with each page I fleshed out this monster I’d created, a megalomaniac, with people as equally deranged at his beck and call, people ready to do anything for him, no matter how many would suffer because of it. This Prophet fancied himself on the same level as Biblical prophets from the Old Testament, doing the creator’s bidding. He concluded that the creator wanted him to punish the sinners, much the way the Lord had when Noah had built his ark. So how would I have him wreak his vengeance?

That led to book three, The White Iris, written in 2016 and re-released in 2019. I decided with all the talk of bio-terrorism, that the Prophet would unleash what he called a plague on those who didn’t follow him. Hours and hours of research led me to the Spanish Influenza epidemic one hundred years earlier. At the time, one third of the world population was infected and an estimated 50 million people died. There had been no vaccine and no cure. Well, I wasn’t about to kill off so many, but my research gave me a new respect for the annual flu shot.

Fast forward to 2020 and COVID 19. Now you know what I mean when I say fiction becomes real. Fast work on the part of my heroes and heroines averted my plague, but the one we’re facing is way too real and all but out of control.

So for the last few months, I’ve been working on other dreams, some more real than others, but trying to stay upbeat and lighthearted, like my newest release, Tequila Sunrise, based on the last vacation I’ll have for some time. Tequila Sunrise is part of the new Summer Shorts box set. Sixteen novellas to help you pass the time as you stay safe. Enjoy!

The Art of Tenacity by @JoanReeves #mgtab

Sign saying Thoughts of Inspiration, Optimism, Faith, Hope.I grew up during a time when we had to read stories of bravery and courage in school and when old movies on television were about people struggling against great odds to achieve a worth goal. Much of my character was formed by those stories in print and on TV. One story I read that has stuck with me through the years was Message to Garcia by Elbert Hubbard, a little essay published in 1899.

Message to Garcia is a testament to tenacity, defined as “the quality or fact of being very determined.” The story takes place during the Spanish American War. Here’s a brief summary of the story.

It was of the utmost importance that the President get in touch with the leader of the Cuban Insurgents, a man named Garcia who was somewhere in the mountains where no telegraph could reach him. The President needed his cooperation, and he needed it immediately. A letter, sealed in an oil-skin pouch, was given to a man named Rowan.

This messenger—this Rowan—strapped the package over his heart, and in four days landed by night off the coast of Cuba. He disappeared into the jungle. Three weeks later, he came out on the other side of the island, having traversed a hostile country on foot. Rowan delivered that letter.

Just think…a night landing in the ocean…swimming to the shore…going into the jungle…hiking all over the island and into the mountains…living off the land..three solid weeks of this…twenty-one days—then he comes out on the other side. Mission accomplished.

Could you have done something that required such physical courage and strength as well as the sheer will to get it done…the will to prevail? When Life is tough, I think about that little essay. Rowan had tenacity…the will to prevail. Accomplishing something important comes down to the will to prevail. Tenacity. You either have it, or you don’t. It’s not a skill or talent you’re born with. It’s one you cultivate by living.

Hubbard’s essay was once the 5th most widely distributed book in history. In the last few years, it’s fallen out of favor because critics focus on the fact that the messenger accepted his orders without challenge. Well, that was a more than a hundred years ago. A different time and culture. I think the focus should still be on the importance of human initiative and determinaton. That’s what inspired me the very first time I read the essay, and it inspired me when I recently read it again.

Book: Vacation Between Two Coverssun Hat, Ebook of Cinderella Blue, Beach

When Life is tough, reach for a book. May I suggest something funny like Cinderella Blue?

Detective Andrea Luft—Andie to her friends—loves to say those three little words. Especially to bad guys who SO deserve it. Andie is undercover to catch the thief stealing designer wedding gowns from San Antonio bridal boutiques. She’s about to make an arrest when Detective Bruce Benton barges onto the scene. The suspect escapes, and, as a reward for this screw-up, Benton and Andie are paired together as partners to close the case.

These two commitment-phobic cops have nothing in common except their tendency to annoy each other—unless you count the desire sizzling between them. But a cop romance just isn’t in the cards for them. At a cop shop, a workplace romance can cause you to make careless mistakes that can be hazardous to your health—and your career!

Too bad because Benton realizes feisty, smart-mouthed Andie is the woman he’s been waiting for. He just doesn’t know how to convince her of that.

“This book was so much fun! I loved the humor and the barbs our couple threw at each other. And then there is the electricity between them….
This was a great beach read.” —NetGalley

Post Script

Maybe we all need some tenacity in our lives to get through COVID-19. Stay healthy. Be happy. Be tenacious. Read a book!

heart shaped ribbons

 

Joan ReevesKeeping Romance Alive…One Sexy Book at a Time—is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Contemporary Romance. Joan lives happily-ever-after with her hero, her husband. They divide their time between a book-cluttered home in Houston and a quiet house at the foot of the Texas Hill Country where they sit on the porch at night, look up at the star-studded sky, and listen to the coyotes howl.

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The Beauty of June …@josieriviera #mgtab

Summer officially begins in June.

This year finds us in a very different place. Children have been out of school and are remote learning. Many parents are working from home and balancing how to do it all, and do it well. Celebrations–the staple of summer–are being postponed or canceled entirely. Staying at home means not seeing our friends or family. It has been a difficult time, but necessary in order to keep people healthy.

We have spent so much time together, how will this summer be special and different? Here is a list of ideas:

  • Have a movie marathon, sit on the floor with lots of pillows, popcorn in a dark room, just like a theater. Or have a Drive-In experience under the stars.
  • Speaking of stars, look up! Try to find the constellations and the brightest stars.
  • Choose a new, or long abandoned interest. Sewing, knitting, painting, and of course, summer reading.
  • Start a garden and reap the rewards of fresh produce.
  • Go camping in your back yard and sleep in a tent.
  • Barbecue, and enjoy s’mores for dessert.
  • If possible, set up a backyard swimming pool.
  • Go horseback riding!

How do you plan to make this summer special? Please leave your comments below.

Start your summer with my newest sweet contemporary beach read, 1-800-SUMMER!

http://mybook.to/1-800-SUMMER

The last thing she can fix is her own life. Until one man’s offer changes everything.

Belle stirs the ashes of Andrew’s loneliness, but his first priority is doing whatever’s necessary to keep his daughter’s favorite equine therapist from drifting away. He never expected, when he set out to build the barn of Belle’s dreams, that he’d be building something else. A home for their hearts.

1-800-SUMMER is available in ebook, Paperback, and Large Print Paperback. Grab your ebook copy at the special #newrelease price of only 99¢ for a limited time.

Sunshine after the stormS

We’ve had our share of storms this year, medical, political, and natural storms, including the most recent one, first labeled hurricane, but in spite of the weather forecast prediction, Cristobal was kind enough to shift west and then north. This past week, we had a gorgeous weather in South Florida and the ocean looked so appealing, I couldn’t resist. After several months of lockdown I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed my first swim of the season.
The residents of Fort Lauderdale are mostly retirees and wise people who follow instructions and take the right precautions. No crowd on the beach. Mostly couples strolling, often with a mask on.

Two days ago I received an incredible surprise: my granddaughters’ visit. Number One turned sixteen in May and just received her driver’s license. With their masks on their faces, they signed up at the front desk of the building where a security guard recorded their temperatures. They went directly to the beach. My husband and I were waiting for them on the terrace. We took off our masks and headed straight to ocean. No hugs. I haven’t hugged them since February. This was the first time in four months that we indulged into spending time together. But what a fun time it was dodging the high waves. I lost my cap and my granddaughter saved my prescription glasses and ran to hide them in my flip-flop on the sand. After an hour, soaking the salty water, breeze and radiant sunshine, they left. They didn’t come upstairs to the condo to change or eat something, but drove straight to their house. Welcome to our new way of family life.

Maybe we will feel normal again, eventually. Although I’m not ready yet for shopping or eating at a restaurant. But the stressful lump in my throat is slowly melting away and I’m writing my new book with a light heart, and not because I have nothing else to do.

A Dance for Prince Eric: A ballerina on the run for her brother’s sake. A prince who saved them both. Do fairytales exit?
DOCTORS IN LOVE: Passionate and Dedicated, with dynamic and life-saver heroes And intelligent, warm-hearted heroines.
DOCTORS IN LOVE 2 – Sexy and Determined, the docs alleviate suffering, protect life and health, and restore respect for human beings
IRRESISTIBLE WEDDINGS Romantic, joyful, lavish, unexpected, noisy and fun. Special weddings with hot grooms and lovely brides. All about love!
SWEET AND SASSY DADDIES- Nothing tugs at the heartstrings more than the sight of a loving single dad caring for his child
CUTE BUT CRAZY: Undeterred by misadventures and challenges, these strong-willed ladies take life and love by the ears, embracing the men they have chosen through good times and bad.