A New Hands-Free Way to Enjoy Books! Audiobooks!

Do you multitask: drive, clean house, garden, knit, or crochet while listening to audiobooks or podcasts?

If you do and haven’t heard about Audible Plus yet, you’re in for a treat!

This new monthly subscription program from Amazon is a great bargain! Not only books and podcasts, but Amazon originals, too.

I was introduced to Audible Plus when Kindle Direct Publishing invited me to join Amazon’s beta program for it using their Virtual Voices. I jumped in with both feet. Now over half my catalog of single titles is available to listen to for one low monthly fee. Oh, and the first month is free so it’s a great time to catch up on the Haviland Universe of stories.

I produced/directed every one of the titles I uploaded. When needed, I added a pause or corrected the pronunciation of words read by my personally selected Virtual Voice narrator. I felt that some of my stories sounded best when narrated by a man. The guy I chose has a rich voice, sort of a cross between Sidney Poitier and James Earl Jones. Perfect for my sports-themed stories and That Twin Thing.

An English woman’s voice sounded better for my time travel audiobooks. I also used it for a couple of RomComs and Triplets: Three Aren’t One.

 

If you’d rather buy and keep an audiobook, many times you can buy the corresponding ebook for only $1.99.

#FREE on Friday, February 16th only, then on special low price of 99 cents for the rest of February is AYE, I AM A FAIRY.  This book is also available to listen to for free with your Audible Plus subscription. Over twenty hours of action, romance, and intrigue, narrated by the soothing voice of Number Eight. Check both the ebook and audiobook for ‘take me away’ entertainment. A time travel romance novel, the first of fifteen in The Fairies Saga series:

For a bundle of action, romantic suspense of all flavors to read on your Kindle reader, check out UNFORGETTABLE GUARDIANS. A veritable banquet of themes and characters. Enjoy for only 88 cents or #Free with Kindle Unlimited.

‘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!

Who says you can’t go to heaven unless you die? By Taylor Lee

I’m here to tell you that old wives’ tale is simply not true. And I have the deets to prove it. Every August for the last ten years my guy and I take off for somewhere wonderful for the month of August. Given that we live in Phoenix, Arizona, you can understand why we choose that month to beat it out of Arizona. But this year Phoenix outdid itself. The Arizona Republic declared, “It’s official: July in Phoenix was the hottest month ever recorded in a U.S. City.” Yep. Seventeen days in July, Phoenix hit maximum temperatures at or above 115 degrees. And on three days in July we reached 119 degrees.

August Vacations

Okay so you know why we fled Phoenix on August 1.

For the last four years we have gone to extraordinary places in Colorado, New Mexico and Utah. I’m in love with the four corners region. My two latest series, ten books in all, take place in one of those gorgeous states. But this year we opted for something different and headed to Sonoma, California in the heart of wine country. To be truthful, I was a tad worried that Sonoma couldn’t possibly compete with thee extraordinary mountains, red rocks and stunning vistas I’m infatuated with. BUT…  drum roll please.

Enter Glen Ellan, California. To begin with, Sonoma, particularly Glen Ellan couldn’t be more different form the Four Corners region if it tried. To begin with if I had to choose a single word to describe where we are staying it would be verdant. Seriously after the red rocks and mountainous climbs, I marvel at how green everything is. But it’s more than that. It’s as if everywhere you look something is growing. Lush flourishing vegetation as far as the eye can see. Having grown up in northern Minnesota, I’m accustomed to trees and farmland. But Sonoma is different. Miles after miles of “growing” things. Vineyards of course, but small farms growing every kind of vegetable you can imagine. I’ve obviously seen vineyards before but I’d never driven for mile after mile in wine country.  I’m infatuated with the rows of vines that look like they have been painted on the ground they are so perfectly manicured. And trees! I know, I know. How can a Minnesota chick marvel at trees? But after living in the desert for the last twenty years, I’m overcome by the trees. Everywhere you look that isn’t rows and rows of vines there are trees.

About Sonoma.

In Phoenix, after being forced to drive at least seventy miles an hour or be run off the road by irate drivers who think the seventy-five mile limit is the least acceptable lowest speed one can drive, the roads around Sonoma produce culture shock. Seriously, the two lane roads with no shoulders dare you to drive faster than the 20-30 mile maximum speed. In that my guy was doing all the driving, after the first week of white knuckles and closing my eyes for the most part, I’ve now become accustomed to being terrified but at least now appreciate the gorgeous countryside as we peel down the ads at a rousing 35 mile per hour.

Back to verdant.

The charming village of Glen Ellen (pop. 784) has one grocery store.  But given the annual household income of Sonoma County residents of $100,000 K plus plus, it isn’t surprising that the one grocery store competes well with the swankiest upscale markets I love. But then who needs grocery stores when you have Farmers Markets. Honestly I’m a Farmers Markets aficionado but I have never seen anything like the ones in Sonoma County. As a one time vegetarian, I’m in awe of the variety of the fruits and vegetables that fill the rows and rows of vegetables and fruit at the markets. Good grief, I was even introduced to a fruit I had not eaten…. I learned that a “pluot” is  a first-generation hybrid between  a plum and an apricot parent. Delicious.

And Glen Ellen makes it clear what they think about visitors. The frequent signs stating “homes not hotels” indicates that the long-time residents aren’t enthralled with the hordes of visitors that come their way. An indication that Glen Ellan has warded off the hordes is that our charming VRBO required a minimum of a thirty-one day stay.

We are coming to the last week of our extraordinary vacation. But maybe there is hope for us. According to the weather gurus, when we get back on Sep. 1, it will be a balmy 102°F to 95°F, unlikely to exceed 108 °F.  Ahhh, yes! Balmy indeed.

Now, onto books.

After all writing is my life. Be sure to check out the cool collection my author friends and I created! Snippets of great books that you will absolutely pique your interest! And right now, it’s FREE.

 

Inside this collection you’ll find chapter samples of eleven incredibly exciting books. Our hope is that you’ll be so thrilled, you’ll have to continue reading.
Many of the authors are NYT & USAT bestselling authors who understand that a reader loves to get snippets of a story before clicking that buy link. We’ve gathered these together to make the journey easier for you.

Since this is the perfect way for you to find your next book, we also hope it becomes a trail of discovery to a fresh author and her backlist.

Mimi Barbour – Special Agent Walker
Patricia Rosemoor – Fake ID Wife
Rachelle Ayala – Preying Heart
Dani Haviland – The Midwife’s Son
Rebecca York – At Risk
Denise Devine – Small Town Girl
Susanne Matthews – Sworn to Protect
Calinda B. – Gravestones
Taylor Lee – Forbidden
Cynthis Cooke – Deadly Secrets, Loving Lies
Susan Jean Ricci – Evasion

No Expiration Date for Sex!

“Humans are sexual beings throughout their lives, yet the culture has concealed that fact,” says Dr. W. Gianotten.in an interesting article I want to share with you

According to Rome, the purpose of sex is to make children. According to Hollywood, sex is only for the young, the healthy, and the beautiful. For the medical profession, sex consists mainly of risks or dysfunctions.

The results of these biases? Many middle-aged people fear their later sexual life. And medical professionals rarely ask about sexuality. “That failing can be harmful. Sexuality and intimacy are essential elements for quality of life, with clear physical, emotional, and relational benefits. Let’s look at the data when researchers dared to ask seniors about their sexuality,” Dr. W. Gianotten added.

The 2015 UK national research study on sexuality found a link between age and a decline in various aspects of sexual activity — but not a zeroing-out. For example, among men ages 70-79, 59% reported having had sex in the past year, with 19% having intercourse at least twice a month and 18% masturbating at least that often. Above age 80, those numbers dropped to 39%, 6%, and 5%, respectively. The reason behind the declines? A combination of taboo, fear of disease, use of medications or other interventions that disrupt sexual function or cause disfigurement, and a little bit of age itself.

What about women? Among women ages 70-79, 39% said they’d had sex in the past year, with 6% having intercourse at least twice per month and 5% masturbating two times or more monthly. Above age 80, those numbers were 10%, 4.5%, and 1%, respectively. Driving the fall-off in women were the same factors as for men, plus the sad reality that many heterosexual women become widowed because their older male partners die earlier.

Although erectile problems affect many in long-standing relationships, there is no reason to abstain from sexual pleasure. Many couples will replace intercourse with more cuddling, kissing, digital stimulation, and other forms of sexual pleasure.

What about the expiry date for sex? Beckman’s group interviewed 269 Swedish seniors, all without dementia, at age 97. Sexual desire was affirmed by 27% of men and 5% of women in the survey. Meanwhile, 26% of the men and 15% of the women said they missed sexual activity.

When caring for those with chronic diseases, or cancer, in the course of physical rehabilitation, and even in the last phase of life, the clinical experience indicates that patients are happy when physicians address sexuality and intimacy. Roughly 25% of patients are sufficiently helped simply by talking about sex. Addressing the importance of sexual pleasure is nearly always valuable.

If addressing sexuality has benefits, what about sex itself? We are gradually learning more about the many short-, intermediate-, and long-term health benefits of solo and joint sexual activity. Short-term benefits include muscle relaxation, pain relief (even, perhaps ironically, for headaches), and better sleep — all pretty valuable for older adults. Examples of intermediate-term benefits include stress relief and less depression.

Research from the United States has found that hugging can reduce the concentrations of proinflammatory cytokines, and kissing positively influences cholesterol levels. Finally, while the long-term benefits of sex might be less relevant for seniors, they do exist. Among them are delayed onset of dementia and a substantial reduction in cardiovascular and cerebrovascular problems in men. More sex has been linked to longevity, with men benefitting a bit more than women from going through the entire process, including an orgasm, whereas women appear to gain from having a “satisfying” sex life, which does not always require an orgasm.

MHO, any book dealing with romance or sex will greatly benefit you. Voila!!!

Amazon

Celebrate the Big 30 with Romance!

Once again, the amazing writers of The Authors’ Billboard have come together to bring you a box set filled with amazing stories of Unforgettable Love: Unforgettable Wonder. The 30th in the Unforgettable Romance Series box set collection will give you tingles and set your heart atwitter.
Join these talented and award-winning ladies on incredible and diverse journeys, where lovers find each other for the first time – sometimes under difficult or seemingly impossible conditions – or are reunited by fate after being torn apart by situations or deceptions.

No matter what life throws at them, these strong men and women will discover that Love will prevail.

Mona Risk – Secret Kisses: Will the three friends manage to convince their families to let them marry for love or will tradition tear the lovers apart?

Rebecca York – Nightfall: Will the mail-order bride be able to introduce her virgin husband to the pleasures of married love, while hiding her secret, all while living on a nearly lawless planet where savage wildlife roams?

Susan Jean Ricci – Sharing Sea Glass: A summer adventure nearly turns tragic when a young woman almost drowns. Her gratitude morphs into something else entirely different when she gets to know her handsome savior.

Stacy Eaton – Sometimes You Win: Can Haley be lucky enough to win the lottery and Devon’s heart too?

Josie Riviera – 1-800-IRELAND: A strong minded Irishwoman pursuing her dream. A disillusioned businessman ready to retire. Can two determined people separated by years find true love at the end of a rainbow?

Susanne Matthews: Beneath the Ashes: Can the archeologist’s fantasies really be memories of a past life in Pompeii? And if she gives in to them, what will happen to the future she has planned?

Rachelle Ayala – Longer Than: Storytelling and horses foil Desiree’s father’s plan to marry her off to Kyle’s cousin, the town’s most eligible bachelor. Desiree wants to please her father, but when Kyle weaves his magic with her as his muse, she’s drawn into a romance haunted by his dark tales.

Taylor Lee – All Gia’s Men: Fiercely independent, accustomed to controlling and managing every element of their lives, will this go-it-alone couple embrace or reject the joys of parenthood?

Mimi Barbour – My Cheeky Angel: In one sweet night of loving, everything changes friends. Due to an overabundance of nightcaps, his lady ‘buddy’ doesn’t remember the night he can’t forget!