February, a Time for…

It’s Valentine’s Day: a time for romance… Did you receive or give flowers, chocolate, cookies? Did you go out to celebrate, start or revive a relationship?

It’s Lent: a time to fast and pray, but not to go on a diet! “Give Love and Time to your neighbors, your family, friends or anyone who is lonely and in need of help,” our pastor said.

It’s snow time: a time to stay warm. Avoid careless and unnecessary driving. Get someone to shovel your driveway if you’re not in your best shape. OR it’s snow time: do you ski? What better time to enjoy a fun weekend on the slopes!

If you’re a student, it’s time for hard work and thorough studying. Keep the social gathering, partying, and celebration for vacation time.

It’s also time to get cozy: relax on your couch, sip a hot chocolate or tea, and enjoy a good book.

DOCTOR’S ORDERS

DOCTOR’S ORDERS series (a set of three winning novels): Babies in the Bargain, Right Name Wrong Man, No More Lies ( previously titled Rx for Trust)

We’re All Heroes

Contemporary Romance with emotion, passion, action, and humor.

How many reindeer did Santa have?

For most of us, visions of Santa’s magical reindeer fleet begin dancing in our heads as soon as the holiday decorations hit the store shelves. But have you ever wondered about the real-life animals behind the fairy tale?
Reindeer, also known as domestic or semi-domesticated reindeer, are a subspecies of the wild caribou. These hooved mammals inhabit the Arctic and subarctic regions of the northern hemisphere, covering areas like Scandinavia, Russia, Alaska, and Canada. Both reindeer and caribou boast amazing adaptations that allow them to not just survive, but thrive, in some of the planet’s harshest weather conditions. They possess incredible stamina and adaptations for living in extreme northern climates. Their wide hooves act as snowshoes to walk on snow. Special nasal passages warm cold air entering their lungs. Thick, dense fur insulates them against temperatures as low as -50°F. Their seasonal migrations traverse huge ranges as they continually seek out lichen and other sustenance.

One very interesting fact about caribou and reindeer is that the female of the species also gets antlers! Both genders drop the antlers in early winter (painlessly) and regrow them every spring, Do You know what that means? All those pictures of Santa’s sleigh being pulled by reindeer are wrong! Or they’ve been cleverly modified.
As it turns out, reindeer have a truly captivating connection to Christmas. Centuries ago, legends recounted that shamans harnessed the mystical flight powers of reindeer to traverse different spirit worlds. When emerging Christian traditions overlapped with existing pagan yuletide celebrations, the image of a sleigh led through the winter night by flying reindeer took hold in the public imagination.
The famous 1823 poem by Clement Clarke Moore “A Visit from St. Nicholas”- also known as ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas’ – introduced and popularized the enduring image of Santa and his reindeer to the public consciousness. Their names – Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donder (later Donner), and Blitzen – have become part of the Christmas tradition. Thus reindeer have come to symbolize the Christmas season through their connection to Santa Claus aka Saint Nicholas aka Sinterklaas.

Oh, and how many are there? Well, there are the original eight (named above), Rudolph, and ‘the other’ reindeer, Olive. What? You don’t know about her? Surely you recall the stanza in the song, “Olive the other reindeer, used to laugh and call him names…” That makes ten reindeer.

If you’re ready to tackle the tough side of life, and are ready for some tough gals who come out winners despite adversity, check out RECLAIMING ME, an intense collection of women’s fiction stories by some of your favorite authors. Inspiring! New Release.

‘Tis the Season to connect ~ Christmas Cards by Nancy Radke

I sat down yesterday and wrote out a bunch of Christmas cards to send before the days get really busy. Last year I didn’t get to them until the end of January, and I didn’t want that to happen again. I didn’t want to NOT send any out, as I want the chain to stay unbroken. Time has sped up so much that the months pass by as fast as weeks used to.

Christmas Cards

Connect with friends…

The cards we write at this time of year provide us with the incentive to connect with friends and relatives that we haven’t seen for awhile. For some of them, this is the only time we get in touch. A large Thanksgiving meal still includes only those whom you probably see regularly. Christmas cards reach out to other states and other countries where friends have moved over the years.

I love getting the cards that have a picture of the sender on it. If a short (or long) summary of their year is included, the card is more than just a happy greeting. You find out about their health, new babies, weddings, deaths, and sometimes a marvelous trip that you enjoy hearing about.

Get personal…

The little note I sent out with my cards this year included the expected arrival of another great-grandchild, along with information about my family. I included info on my health, which has greatly improved, including my mind getting clear now that my heart condition has been addressed. I’m still taking some heart medicines, but have reduced them from 5 to 3, plus I am taking the minimum dosages.

I went to Bellingham for Thanksgiving. Rural area. Really nice. Otherwise haven’t gone anywhere this year. No problem, as I’ve been busy.

I am still writing novels, but didn’t finish any books this year as I am trying to get the book of Acts finished for the DVD Show & Tell Bible while I still have my health. This project (1000s of hand-drawn pictures by various artists) was made more difficult as I had to re-do things I thought was done (while in a heart-induced brain-fog). I also put a group of parables and other teachings of Christ onto a program called Doodly. When I do the Gospels (partly done already) I plan to insert the Doodly motion files into it. I am working with my grandson in California to put the Old Testament books up on YouTube, then Acts when it is finished. Hope to eventually get the entire Bible up as a teaching tool.

Look for my novella, Changing Horses, which is a New Year’s story, along with all of my Christmas stories that are on sale. Christmas on Cougar Mountain is free. Look for our Authors’ Billboard Christmas collections that are on sale now.

Early Childhood Education

Keep safe, healthy, and enjoy your life. Have a happy 2024!

Travel with Mona on a Cruise Conference

For years I enjoyed cruising around the world—in the Caribbean, Cross-Atlantic via the North Pole and Greenland, in the Mediterranean Sea, the Far East, around South America, all the way to India and Singapore through the Suez Canal, in addition to several river cruises.

Let me tell you about a different kind of cruises that combined fun and business for writers. I’m talking about the cruise conferences organized by FRW [Florida Romance Writers] the South Florida chapter of Romance Writers of America [RWA]. (Unfortunately I think both groups don’t exist anymore.)

The FRW members gathered for their monthly meeting at a fixed location where a qualified guest presented a talk, but once a year, FRW opened its doors wide for the annual conference where editors and agents were invited to come and chat with the authors. For years this annual conference was set in a big hotel in Miami or Fort Lauderdale. Later it was moved to a cruise ship. I attended two of these memorable cruise conferences.

In the following pictures, you may recognize familiar faces–authors who are now multi-published and quite famous.

The obligatory drill

Together with the other passengers we attended the safety drill before departure. As soon as the ship sailed out of port, we gathered in one of the ship’s big lounges for an introductory meeting.

~*~ THE EDITORS=THE GODS ~*~ at the time !!!
Introductory meeting in the lounge with the three founding mothers of the FRW chapter. Joan Johnston, Sally Fairchild and Heather Graham.

Dinner took place in the main restaurant, with an editor or an agent sitting at each table to allow the writers easy access to the agent or the editor they want to approach about their latest book. Remember, this was before self-publishing became so popular.

So business was in the afternoon, fun in the morning, and more fun at dinner.

Shopping for a t-shirt and a mug.

At the Three Amigos: This restaurant/pub became a traditional stop for the FRW writers who needed a beer, a tequila and some fun.

At Three Amigos!

After a good lunch it was time to work. Seriously! We were at a business conference! Heather Graham separated us in 5 groups. Each group received a few words and had to come up with a blurb for an interesting story. My group included Senior Editor Eric Raab from Tor, and our words were: actress, roto-rooter, ugly, basement… We brainstormed our blurbs and then read out loud with everyone. Quite hilarious.

This workshop was followed by an open discussion with Agents Lucy Childs and Lucienne Diver: How can an agent help writers achieve their goals? In the past, to be published writers needed an agent.

For the next two hours we enjoyed a special treat called the Floridian Idol. Heather Graham and Traci Hall read the first two pages submitted anonymously by more than thirty writers. Each submission received a thorough critique by the agents and editors.

On the last night, we gathered at dinner for our formal night.

Yes my husband came along and volunteered to be FRW’s official photographer!

He met most of the writers and enjoyed the conference too!

But all good things came to an end–business and fun–when our ship returned to port.

Time to say goodbye. Here with Heather Graham, a fabulous author who has been an inspiration to all of us at FRW.

On Special Sale for the Holiday Season:

CHRISTMAS HER AND THERE

Christmas is the most beautiful time of the year, a time for family gathering, for sharing love and exchanging gifts, for spoiling the children…
And yet some people may run away from celebrations that brought them betrayal, grief, or frustration. In this box of three sweet novels and a sexy novella, our heroes/heroines are trying to avoid Christmas and their painful memories. But…

LOVE YOU DOC series

Dr. Robert Olson, a well-known cardiac surgeon and heart transplant specialist, and his wife Janice, an ER nurse lived in Florida and deeply cared for their close-knit family. At home, all they talked about was hospital, patients, surgery, recovery, etcetera…
Sure enough, their four kids studied medicine. The oldest brother, Nathan, became an orthopedic surgeon and worked in Boston. His brother Aidan finished a residency in neurosurgery and accepted a position in Cincinnati. Their sister, Sophia, was an ER doc, and the youngest sibling, Liam, was still in med school when their dad died. Sure enough, these successful doctors faced their share of problems before finding their HEA. The following books related their stories: A Complete Family, Love On The Slopes, Love In The ER, Secret Kisses.

MODERN PRINCES Series

While cruising the British Isles, I visited Guernsey, in the English Channel, 30 miles west of Normandy. We were welcomed in St. Peters Port with a gorgeous sunny weather and a 70 o F temperature for our visit of the island, an idyllic paradise with cobbled streets and picturesque seafront marina.
Guernsey is not part of the United Kingdom but it is part of the British Islands. Residents speak English and French, and their money is similar to the English pound. The top speed limit in Guernsey is 35 miles/hour. If you drive along the coastline of Guernsey you will hit military fortifications almost every 2 minutes or so. These were built during the Napoleonic wars to protect Guernsey from France.
St. Peter Port is the main town on the island of Guernsey. It’s full of hills, colors, and super cute shops! French author Victor Hugo lived in exile in St. Peter Port for 15 years at Hautevile House where he wrote both Les Misérables and The Hunchback of Notre-Dame.
This quaint island with special privileges and autonomy became Rensy Island, the setting of my new series, MODERN PRINCES.
Modern Princes Series:
A Bride For Prince Paul: She can’t abandon her patients for his crown!
A Bodyguard For The Princess: A murder at Harvard in Princess Chloe’s student building.
Jingle With My Princess: The doc and the princess… He saves lives but Princess Charlene may save his heart.
Prince Philip’s Cinderella: A charming jogger saves her from danger. But he’s a prince… and she comes from nothing.
A Dance for Prince Eric: A ballerina with a promising career on the run for her brother’s sake. A charismatic prince who saved them both.