What I miss the most…

CoronaVirus has locked me at home since mid-March–six months to the day. At first I thought it would be a three to four weeks confinement and accepted the situation with resignation. I prepared myself a uniform for grocery shopping, something easy to wash regularly, and I chose a pair of pants and a long-sleeved shirt I was about to give away, my oldest pair of sneakers, a cap, and the little yellow purse I hate. Unfortunately after three washes, these clothes shrank…and I uploaded five pounds all around.

In front of Walmart

But grocery shopping once a month was not enough outing for oxygen breathing. I was suffocating at home, writing eight hours a day or chatting on the phone. I hardly saw my grandchildren once or twice a month, on the beach or in their backyard, always with masks on and never for more than twenty minutes. To exercise, without mask, I walked on the building catwalk with my Fitbit recording 4 to 5 miles a day. I lost my claustrophobic feeling but developed a horrible pain in my left heel, diagnosed as Plantar fasciitis by the podiatrist. I had to stop walking and I started swimming–actually floating with a noodle–in the ocean, or swimming in the building pool if I was on my own or with only two or three people. Now I bought a foot peddler and use it while watching TV at night.

Life has changed so drastically. I miss hugging my grandchildren. I don’t even see the Chicago grandkids. I miss seeing my friends and our Saturday evening dinners in a restaurant or at each other’s place. I miss shopping at the mall or my favorite stores. After gaining fifteen pounds during this pandemic, my wardrobe is reduced to a pajama with elastic band and a t-shirt. I miss wearing dresses, jewelry, makeup. And oh God, how I miss going on cruises! I don’t think I’ll ever feel comfortable in a plane or a cruiseship again.

Unfortunately, we lost too many relatives during the last six months, two to the Covid-19 and several to strokes, heart problems, and even a goal bladder inflamation, all not treated on time for fear of going to the hospital. I was tested once for Covid-19 when I had a cold in July and was so relieved the results were negative.

Now I live day by day. It’s too depressing to remember the easy-going life from before Pandemic and too scary to think about the future. As long as I can swim, use my peddler, cook and write, I count my blessings.

I just uploaded four new books, funny stories and heart-warming romance that will cheer you up. They are on pre-order:

His Son, Her Daughter: High school sweethearts reunited after twenty years by their small children. Their conflicting baggage prevents them from fully trusting each other. Yet what wouldn’t Daniel do for his son and her daughter? https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08HKPNRWH

To be RELEASED on Septenber 23, 2020

Sunshine Over Snow: When his children manage to ruin his second wedding, Brad is caught between a furious fiancée and an offended ex-wife, both determined to keep him and make him pay for his mistakes. https://www.amazon.com/DP/B08HHNSSSK

To be RELEASED on October 14, 2020

Half a Dozen with Love: At twenty, Tammy is left with the responsibility of five brothers and sisters. Dr. Jack Conan stops the Foster Care system from separating the children, but his unorthodox solution may complicate Tammy’s problems—or bring her into his arms? https://www.amazon.com/DP/B08HKQSRYC

To be RELEASED on December 2, 2020

Between Babies and Girlfriends:Abandoned baby twins, a former girlfriend, an almost fiancée complicate Dr. Brian Dutton’s life to no end.

To be RELEASED on February 11, 2021

The Beauty of England … @josieriviera, #mgtab

England, in fact all of the British Isles, are beautiful and intriguing. Ancient to modern often stand side by side. The countries of England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales at one time ruled independently. Kingdoms were eventually joined, yet each remains unique and distinct.  

There is mystery, too! The story of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table were real.

Or were they?

Some believe that Tintagel Castle in Cornwall, is where King Arthur ruled. His sword, Excalibur, is guarded by The Lady of the Lake in Dozmary Pool, on Bodmin Moor, if the legends are to be believed.

Some of the most beloved authors, poets, and playwrights are from within the borders of the British Isles. From Jane Austen, who told of the lives of the upper-class society during the Regency Period, to Shakespeare, whose plays are often reimagined into movies.

And then there is Mary Shelley the author of Frankenstein.

Architecture, old and new is often found side by side. The Tower Bridge, often incorrectly called London Bridge, was built in 1886. Along the banks of the Thames is the London City Hall, an ultra-modern glass egg, shaped building.

From castles to landscapes, museums, and theaters, there is history around every corner.

Love inspirational Regency romance set in England?

Be sure to snag your copy of Seeking Fortune. Available in ebook, paperback, audiobook, and Large Print Paperback. FREE on Kindle Unlimited.

Location, Location, Location by @JoanReeves #mgtab

man on motorcycle, woman standingLocation is supposed to be the most important thing in real estate, at least that’s what the old joke says. In writing, location, as in setting, is also very important. Why?

Because a location can tell you something about the characters. In The Key to Kristina, my novel in Forutune’s Favor: The Treasure, the heroine is from a sparsely-populated West Texas county.

In her words, she lives in a “crappy house trailer she called home in a dry, windy West Texas county.” Later, the reader learns, “Through the deserted highways of West Texas, she’d driven eighty until she reached a more populated area.”

Farther on, she says, “Yes, I know about video monitoring, but we don’t have to worry about Big Brother watching our every move in the wide open spaces where the buffalo once roamed.”

In truth, the lack of people, the wide open spaces, the crappy house trailer, and other details build a picture of a lonely woman of limited means.

Many West Texas counties are sparsely populated. I’ve driven through a lot of them and knew I wanted to set a book in one because the people are always friendly, the sunsets are amazing, and the monochromatic landscape can be either discouraging or beautiful depending on one’s mood.

From Desert to the Beach

From arid West Texas, I moved to Last Chance Beach for my next story, Hot August Night. This romance short story and the 13 others are set at a fictional resort island called Last Chance Beach.

I wrote the Legend of Last Chance Beach and included it in the box set. Then all of us created the details about the island paradise like the names of hotels, beach houses, restaurants, gift shops, and all the other businesses you’d find at an island resort. Creating the bible or the Master Plan of this community was a lot of fun.

When I created the concept of Last Chance Beach: Summer’s End, I thought of all the beaches I’ve loved: the one bordered by coral boulders below my house overlooking the East China Sea, the one in Italy on the Adriatic Sea, the one at a Mexican resort on the Pacific, and Galveston beach, the one nearest my home.

I took the atomosphere, the details, the landscape of trees, shrubs, and flowers, the character of the oceans—in other words all of the sensory details that make readers “identify” with the location even though this island resort is a figment of the imagination.

If you’re still “staying home” and wish you could travel, then do it the safe and easy way. Read a book! In The Key to Kristina, in Forutune’s Favor: The Treasure, the heroine starts out in West Texas, goes to Houston, then to Michigan, Memphis, a small town in Louisiana, and back to Houston.

Then, chasing a different kind of treasure, they head out to West Texas to a completely different area than where she started. That road trip is a lot of traveling!

Or pack your virtual suitcase and head to Last Chance Beach for Summer’s End! Maybe you’ll run into celebrity chef Zander Rojas, a former Navy S.E.A.L. and his nemesis, Chelsea Elliot, a Houston police detective who find a Hot August Night can change everything.

By the way, both of these box sets are priced at only 99¢, a bargain in anyone’s book. They’re both in Kindle Unlimited so if you’re a subscriber, you can “read free.”

Sign up for Joan’s FREE Newsletter, and you’ll be the first to know about new books and giveaways. When you confirm your subscription, you’ll receive a link for a free ebook.

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The Beauty of Chocolate @josieriviera, #mgtab

Why not celebrate chocolate? Typically, it’s a Valentine’s thing, but let’s face it, this year has thrown us a LOT of curveballs. An August celebration of creamy, delicious, delectable chocolate is in order and well deserved.

Chocolate was first used as a fermented drink around 400 BC. The Aztecs believed the cacao seeds were a gift from the god of wisdom, Quetzalcoatl. The seeds were thought to be so valuable they were even used as currency. While the history is interesting, here are some ways you can ENJOY chocolate:

A childhood favorite and staple is Chocolate Chip Cookies. Enjoyed with a glass of milk, it seems they can make any little problem fade away. Just the smell can bring you a sense of comfort. 

I am sharing this delicious recipe today. Perhaps you can bake a few cookies and revisit your memories around these delightful treats.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, bake time 10 minutes. Yield 2 dozen.

  • 4 ounces butter, room temperature
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 ¼ cup flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (your choice of what type, I use semi-sweet)

Cream the butter until fluffy. Add the brown and white sugar, cream until blended. Mix in the egg and salt. Next, add all the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Finally, fold in the chocolate chips. Also known as, the yummy goodness!

Form into small balls, place on your baking sheet, leaving room for them to spread out and bake for 10 minutes. Serve with a glass of milk, for dipping, if desired.

 

️ New Release! 

A Chocolate-Box Summer Breeze, my sweet contemporary romance and the 4th book in my reader-favorite Chocolate-Box Series, is only 99¢ for a limited time.

A disillusioned widow longing for a change. A hard-working truck
driver looking for love. Will Emily and Joe find their happily-ever-after in a
forgotten summer breeze?

 

Grab your copy today before price goes up. Also available in Paperback and
Large Print Paperback.

FREE on Kindle Unlimited.