Facing Life’s Challenges Head-On- #amwriting @mgtab @jacqbiggar

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No one said it would be easy…

Why is it some people seem to breeze through life as though they’re blessed by every good luck charm known to man? Gorgeous, popular, healthy, rich, if you want it, they’ve got it.

Obviously, there’s more to these divine beings than what we lower humans see, but it’s hard to believe. They’re just so… perfect.

For the longest time, romance writers focused their H/H on these imaginary deities, the dashing earl or beautiful movie star. But as the industry grew, readers demanded more. They wanted relatable characters. One who go through real life traumas and come out the other side stronger, wiser. It’s not enough anymore to have a meet-cute relationship ending in a happy-ever-after. Writers need to dig deeper, make readers gasp, cry, and swoon as they follow the protagonist’s journey of growth and personal awareness. We want to share their pain, laugh at their blunders, and celebrate their successes.

Romance is still an important component of these books, but not as necessary as knowing in the end, the H/H have overcome their internal crises and vanquished personal demons in order to enjoy a fulfilling relationship with the less-than-perfect love interest.

Because life is real, and while we might dive into a book to escape to an imaginary world for a few hours, we crave a deeper connection and count on our favorite author to make our emotions sing.

The story I’m working on will hopefully achieve this goal. It’s based on the true story of a little girl’s life-changing battle with cancer. I met Luna on Instagram and was immediately taken with her warm spirit and positive attitude even though continuous chemo treatments are ravaging her body. She works hard to stay strong and her beautiful smile is never very far away.

If you get the chance, follow her. She’s an inspiration!

https://www.instagram.com/luna_perrone/

Love, Me

Will a Christmas wish bring two lonely hearts together and give a little girl the family she’s always wanted?

Single parent, Grace Donovan arrives in the small town of Emerson with the hope a trial program at the local cancer clinic will be the answer to prolonging her young daughter’s life. She doesn’t expect to fall for her handsome boss.

As principal of Emerson Elementary, he is aware of the students’ medical issues and his heart goes out to little Cassie Donovan and her mother. When he learns Grace is in need of a job, he fabricates a childcare program, and is pleasantly surprised by its success. Now, if only he could help Cassie’s recovery and get Grace to give him a chance before she learns of his duplicity.

Cassie Donovan barely remembers the father who died when she was just a toddler, but she does know her mother is sad. Even though Cassie wants a puppy more than anything, she gives up her wish to ask for a daddy from Santa Claus, that way if she gets sick again, Mommy won’t be alone.

This Christmas, two families are brought together by a Christmas wish and a child’s need for a miracle.

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3iZ5SJv

Universal: https://books2read.com/Love-Me-A-Christmas-Wish-Novel

bookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/books/love-me-a-christmas-wish-novel-by-jacquie-biggar

GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/58805215-love-me

What do you look for in a romance novel?

My grandchildren’s favorite meal

My children and the extended family children and grandchildren started eating cannelloni at a very young age, and grew up calling it their favorite meal. I usually prepare it in advance, freeze it, and do the final cooking just before serving. It’s always a winner at family reunion and big holidays.

Cannelloni  Recipe

  • Prepare the mix:
  1. 3 eggs
  2. 1 ¾ cups of 2% milk
  3. Tsp of butter 1 cup of flour

Mix together in a blender or mixer. 

 

 

  • Prepare the pancakes (or crèpes)
  1. Use an electric skillet or any other type but adjust the stove temperature to 400o  
  2. Melt ½ a Tsp of butter in the skillet at 400
  3. Measure ¼ cup of the mix and pour over the melted butter 
  4. Spread evenly in the skillet 
  5. Remove when cooked and slid in a plate 
  6. Repeat until the whole mix is made into pancakes
  7. You usually get 10 big pancakes with one dose of mix.
  8. I like to cut all the pancakes in half.
  • Prepare the filling
  1. 1 lb of ground beef 
  2. 1 small onion 
  3. 1 tsp all spice 
  4. Salt and pepper 
  5. 1 cup Ragu tomato sauce

Darken and cook the ground beef, onion and spices, until well cooked. Add the sauce and simmer till the meat is done. Set aside.

  • Rolling the cannelloni
  1. Use a clean plate. Arrange one half pancake on it.
  2. Transfer a Tsp of ground meat over the pancake and roll it over to form a cannelloni.

Repeat with the rest of the pancakes. With this dose of mix you can prepare about 20 small cannellonis or 10 big ones.

 

  • Cooking

    The tomato sauce and sprinkled parmesan cheese still needed to be added when this picture was taken.

  1. Spray the the pan with Pam Brush the bottom with tomato sauce.
  2. Arrange the cannellonis in a 9×13 pan in two rows.
  3. Pour enough tomato sauce to cover each cannelloni
  4. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese or Romano cheese.
  5. Bake at 300o for 20 minutes.

Bon appétit.

Here is Bosty, my grandchildren’s dog waiting for Grandma to have him taste whatever she’s cooking that smells so good.  

I use some of my recipes in my romance novels, whenever I have a grandmother of Italian or Greek background.

 


On sale at Amazon. Cozy mystery. Book 2 of The Senator’s Family Series.

FAKE FIANCEE:   https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01NAW3TRE/ Joshua Dutton’s lifestyle and tabloids pictures threaten his father’s senatorial campaign. His parents insist on finding him a sweet temporary fiancée to repair the damage.
With only her German shepherd for friend, Emma Cassiero struggles with a heap of problems. Attraction sizzles between her and Josh, but no one mentions the secret deal made by her stepmother and the Senior Duttons. When the truth comes out Emma is devastated. Were Josh’s kisses part of the charade? Has Josh lost her or would he be able to team up with her German shepherd to love and protect her?

On sale at Amazon. Cozy mystery. Book 8 of The Senator’s Family Series.

HALF A DOZEN WITH LOVE  https://www.amazon.com/DP/B08HKQSRYC

When a tragic accident deprived Tammy Fletcher of her loving parents at the age of nineteen, she pledged to take care of her five brothers and sisters, ranging in age from eight months to sixteen years. But she’s up against her greedy step-aunt who wants to get her hands on the children’s trust fund, and the CPS caseworker who insists on putting the children in the foster care system.
Dr. Jack Conan, the orthopedic surgeon treating the children’s grandmother, is both impressed by Tammy’s efforts to keep the family together and irresistibly attracted to the gorgeous and so-serious young woman. Determined to help her, Jack goes out of his way to solve her dilemma. Will his unorthodox solution only complicate Tammy’s problems—or bring her into his arms?

 

10 Powerful Quotes to Ponder

Powerful QuotesHere at Authors’ Billboard we are firm believers in positive thinking. Below, we’ve chosen 10 powerful quotes that we hope will lift you up to a wonderful place today!

Not until we are lost do we begin to find ourselves.

Consider difficulties an opportunity for joy; for when we are tested, our endurance has a chance to grow.

Positive thinking evokes better energy, which promotes better initiative, which instills more self-confidence, which brings greater happiness, which leads to inner peace.

You are not what you have done; you are what you have overcome.

Your life does not get better by chance; it gets better by change.

Attempting to change the direction of the wind is futile; work, rather, at adjusting your sails.

We rise by lifting others.

Your scars do not make you less lovable, nor should they make you less loving.

Your mind is a powerful thing… When you change your thoughts, you can change your life.

Every accomplishment begins with the decision to try.

Do you have a favorite quote that uplifts you? I’d love for you to share it in the comment section. Thank you, and have a beautiful day!

Need more powerful quotes? Try here.

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A Cruise to the British Isles

An affable cruise representative met us at Heathrow Airport, London, and accompanied us to the bus that drove a whole group of passengers to the ship terminal in Southampton, where we boarded the ship, our home away-from-home for the next twelve days. We didn’t visit London where we have previously spent time.

The next morning we docked in Guernsey Island (St. Peter Port), 30 miles west of Normandy,  where the French author Victor Hugo lived in exile for 25 years at Hautevile House and wrote both Les Misérables and The Hunchback of Notre-Dame. We were welcomed with a gorgeous sunny weather and 70 oF 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. Many of the houses in Guernsey’s west have an unusual strange piece of granite sticking out of them – these are “witches’ seats”. Back when they supposedly ran wild in the western parishes, residents built them onto their houses so that the witches could stop and rest, rather than causing havoc. The world-renowned Guernsey cow produces some of the most rich and delicious dairy products in the world.

St. Peter Port is the main town on the island of Guernsey. It’s full of hills, colors, and super cute shops! 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.

The Little Chapel is actually the smallest chapel in the world! But the astonishing thing is that the entire chapel, interior and exterior, is covered with broken bits of pottery, glass, and china. 

We sailed to Ireland and stopped in Cork where we visited the romantic ruins of Blarney Castle. In the Blarney garden, the trees were dressed in knitted wool. Many visitors climbed the one-person narrow stairs to the Stone of Eloquence, all the way to the top of the castle (NOT me) and admired the amazing view.

In the Blarney village, we shopped for wool and Waterford crystal, and didn’t buy any, but we enjoyed watching young girls performing an Irish dance for us.

Dublin, capital of the Republic of Ireland is an old city boasting imposing castles and estates. The Druids believe the shamrock could ward off evil and the Christians believe it represent the Holy Trinity. In Dublin, we visited Trinity College and St. Patrick Cathedral.

Trinity College is huge, with several buildings. We were impressed by the crowd of young people and students. A Ford ancestor was autistic, and bullied by his friends. He was shot and fell from the window and died. They say that his ghost roams the University ground. His sibling left and went to the US. His grandson is Henry Ford.

TRINITY COLLEGE founded in 1592

At St. Patrick Cathedral we saw  the tile of Dean Jonathan Swift, who had been the dean of the Cathedral. When someone dozed during his homily, he had a chaplain drag his sermon chair to the culprit and hit him with his cane. My son-in-law’s grandmother had the same name and claimed him as an ancestor.

Our next stop was Liverpool, England, where we visited a very modern and circular church, the Catholic Metropolitan church of Christ the King and the Liverpool Anglican Cathedral that is humongous, of Gothic style in red brick, with gorgeous painted glass.

We strolled along Penny Lane and took pictures of the street where the Beatles lived.

In Belfast, capital of Northern Ireland, we visited the yard of City Hall with Queen Victoria statue and a moratorium for the people who died in the Titanic. The “unsinkable” Titanic was built in Belfast over two years and sailed from Liverpool. After it was built, the engineer said: “Not even God can sink the Titanic.”

In Scotland, we docked in Greenock and drove through Glasgow. Our guide wore a lovely yellow kilt. We passed by George Place, in front of the spectacular City Hall, big square with several statues, among which that of Walter Scott.

After a day at sea, we were still in Scotland. Our next stop was in Inverness and Loch Ness. We woke up at 5:30 am for the long ride by bus. It was rainy and cold but worth it. I stoically waited under the rain with my umbrella while my husband climbed up the old castle.

During my visit to Guernsey, I was greatly impressed by the peaceful island that boasted a tumultuous history. As our guide described the special autonomy and numerous privileges the residents enjoy under the leadership of a Lieutenant Governor, I decided that this Channel Island would become the Principality of Rensy Island, the setting of a new series of romance novels. So far, I have five books relating the stories of the princes/princesses from Rensy Island. I hope you will enjoy reading this 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. Should she run or risk her heart? 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. Do fairytales exist?