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.

Green Thumb Secrets by @JoanReeves #mgtab

Photo of young woman walking along a garden pathI’ve given in to the call of spring and decided to share some green thumb secrets with you.

I tried to resist spring’s siren call, but I couldn’t ignore neither the fragrant jasmine outside my kitchen window nor the soft evening breeze that brought with it the smell of roses.

So I had a meeting with my houseplants first—hey, haven’t you heard you should talk to your plants?—and we all agreed it was time to repot some of them.

How To Make Houseplants Happy

(1) Before you stick a plant into a new clay pot—which is mostly what I use—take time to condition the pot first. Immerse the clean clay pot in a bucket of water and leave it until the bubbling stops. (If you lean close to the bucket, you can hear hissing. That’s all the minute particles of trapped air in the clay filling with water.) The conditioned pot will have absorbed moisture so it won’t “rob” water from the potting soil. This makes newly-potted plants less likely to wilt.

Park Bench and Large Potplant

My front patio with large pot plant

(2) If you plan to use a larger pot that has been used before, make sure you wash the pot thoroughly. Just because it holds soil doesn’t mean any old dirty pot will suffice. Bacteria, mold, and/or plant disease cells may exist in a dirty pot. Give the plant you’re repotting a fighting chance by putting it in a clean pot.

(3) Know how much to water a plant. Always use a plant saucer below the pot. Then water until water is running from the drain hole in the bottom of the pot. Stop. Empty the water from the saucer and replace.

(4) Every other month, if possible, immerse your pot plants in a tub of water so all the roots get wet. When the bubbling stops, remove the pot and set it in a place to drain. I’ve got some huge pots on both patios so I can’t do this with them so I try to take the time to let a trickle of water from a garden hose cover the entire top surface.

(5) If you don’t have a lot of time to tend houseplants and your plants are pront to drying up, set the pot plant inside a second larger pot. Line the space between the pots with sphagnum moss. Soak the moss once a week, and the moisutre will seep through the inner clay pot to evenly moisten the plant.

Romance and Gardening

I’ve never had a heroine or a hero who gardens, but in The Trouble With Love, Susannah’s mother is a gardener extraordinaire. The description I give of her mother’s landscaping was the way my yard looked when I wrote the book. After all, write what you know, and I know marigolds and other summer flowers and shrubs.

Cover art for The Trouble With LoveHang on to your Stetson as the fun and games begin in a sexy romantic comedy hotter than a bowl of Texas chili! By-the-book Deputy Susannah Quinn has all she can do to resist rule-breaking FBI Special Agent D. E. Hogan.

To catch a thief, Susannah and Hogan pose as husband and wife and go undercover. Unfortunately, Susannah and Hogan have already been undercover—in a Houston hotel where they first met.

For her part, Susannah wishes her lapse in judgment would take a flying leap and land on Jupiter. Hogan, on the other hand, wants to get the contrary deputy into his bed, but the complications caused by family—his and hers—pretty much guarantee that’s never going to happen.

Throw in an over-the-hill Romeo and his lady love, a middle-aged mom determined to have her own love affair, and the charm of a small Texas town, and you get a story with heart, soul, and passion—lots of passion.

Can Susannah and Hogan, two mismatched lovers doing everything in their power to avoid falling in love, catch a thief and recover stolen jewels? The clock is ticking. They have only seven days—and nights—to complete their assignment and resist the sweet siren call of desire.

The Trouble With Love is a Kindle Unlimited free read if you’re a subscriber, or only $3.99 if you want to buy and keep forever. It makes for great holiday reading fun.Social Media Icons

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The Authors Billboard May Giveaway has Amazon Gift Card up for grabs. Be sure and enter today. Also shop the fabulous box sets we’ve created. You’ll find them on Authors Billboard Books Page.

Wishing you the Joy of Spring as well as the Joy of Reading!

 

Staying healthy

I found this article carefully saved in my To Keep folder. “The 10 Best Fat-Melting Foods” as suggested by Lucy Danziger. I don’t exactly agree with all she suggested.  But with the pandemic confinement, I added twelve pounds and I’m seriously concerned about not to being able to shed them.

Apples: This fruit’s 4 to 5 grams of fiber not only are filling but also help ferry out some of the fat and calories you take in from other foods. YES, AGREED
Lentils: These legumes are rich in resistant starch (RS), a carbohydrate that may encourage fat burning and shrink fat cells. NOT SURE.
Sweet Potatoes: These spuds have RS, the same carbs found in lentils that may turn up the body’s fat-scorching furnace. RS may also increase production of peptide hormone compounds that signal the brain to stop eating. I RARELY EAT THEM. Eggs: The breakfast staple is loaded with choline, a compound known to help block fat absorption. YESSSS!!!
Edamame: The green soybeans supply 17 g of protein per cup, and your body torches more calories digesting protein than it does processing carbs and fat. NEVER TRIED IT.
Kiwifruit: A large kiwi has 84 milligrams of vitamin C—more than a day’s quota. C helps form carnitine, a compound that transports fat into cell mitochondria, where it’s burned for energy during exercise. NOPE. I PREFER MANGO.
Wild salmon: The fish’s omega-3 fatty acids could help you fight flab more effectively. They alter the expression of certain genes, shifting your body to burn fat rather than store it. ONCE A WEEK IS A MUST ON MY TABLE.
Yogurt: Lowfat and nonfat Greek and regular yogurts contain 20 percent or more of your daily calcium needs. The mineral slows production of cortisol, a hormone that encourages belly-flab buildup. DAILY. SEVERAL TIMES A DAY.
Quinoa: A complete protein, quinoa has all the essential amino acids needed to build metabolism-revving muscle. LOVE IT, BUT I DON’T KNOW HOW TO COOK IT. INSTEAD I COOK RICE.
Olive oil: Healthful monounsaturated fats found in olive oil could potentially switch on genes related to fat burning and storage.
the weight that dieters who ate the same calories but less total fat and protein and more carbs lost, a study in the Archives of Internal Medicine reveals. A MUST FOR ME.

Sitting at my desk six to eight hours a day doesn’t help. But writing is as important to my soul as comfort food.

Recommending the following books and boxes of books:

ON AMAZON: What could be more exciting for a American architect than to live in a French chateau owned by a handsome count, and to work on the restoration of a chapel in the Loire Valley?But when her professor is killed because he knew too much about a missing statue, Cheryl’s summer job changes into a dangerous treasure hunt and Count François is faced with a difficult choice. Are the statue and his chateau worth endangering the life of the impetuous young woman who’s turned his life upside down?

ON AMAZON: Natalie Borikev’s dream is finally materializing with a fabulous contract to dance on a Las Vegas stage. To save her young brother from drug addiction, she escapes to Boston with Eric Devereux, a devil-may-care, running away from gambling thugs. In Boston nothing is as Natalie expected. Her charming rescuer is actually a prince with bright prospects, but she lost everything—her budding career as a dancer, and even her brother’s affection.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08413RKNN/
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B084HNMFBL
https://www.amazon.com/ebook/dp/B084FJFCFB/
http://mybook.to/IrresistibleWeddings
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0855W6MLB/