Don’t Give Up by @PatriceWilton

Don't Give UpSorry folks, but we must admit that 2021 was a bust! After the previous year, we all had hoped 2021 would be amazing. We kept telling ourselves, “Don’t give up!” Yet, the deadly virus was not a thing of the past, our favorite enjoyments were limited with theaters and restaurants shut down. Schools were closing and our children had to learn virtually, without seeing their friends. The hardest part for many was not seeing their loved ones, even on special occasions. Safety was a priority, with our liberties in lockdown, and new variants spreading like wild fire.

LET’S FORGET THAT DOOM AND GLOOM!

It’s history and now 2022 is here to bring us the joy and happiness we all deserve. I for one believe this with all my heart. Belief is a wonderful thing. You wake up in the morning with a feeling that maybe something good is going to happen, and if you look around and open your eyes and your heart, it might appear out of nowhere.  You might stumble and find old coins or a package filled with money that will feed your family for a week. Sure, that’s unlikely to happen, but that joy and happiness could come in the form of a beautiful butterfly that catches your eye. A rainbow in the sky. A Cardinal when you’re thinking of a loved one. Maybe it’s more direct and material—like a juicy contract in the mail, a raise or praise, and the opportunities for a bigger and better job.

Rainbow

CHANGE YOUR LIFE FOR THE BETTER

With more openings than fillings this is certainly the time to strike out and find that job you’ve always wanted. You’re in the bargaining chair and have the power. Let your dreams and ambitions free, search for the highest star. Each day take a moment and close your eyes. Visualize what you want your life to be like. How to make it happen. Remember that each day is precious, so look for the silver lining, something to be happy for. Make it a habit, and you might find you’re smiling more!

Start out with small changes. Read a good book instead of watching TV. Take up a new sport or a hobby that you once enjoyed. Think deeply about it. This just might be the time to change Your World!

DON’T GIVE UP

Wishing every one of you joy and happiness and an exciting new beginning in the year 2022!

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Death in Sandpiper Bay is available as an eBook and in Paperback.

Death In Sandpiper Bay

Danger at Sandpiper Bay is available as an eBook and in Paperback

Danger at Sandpiper Bay

 

4 Tips to Get Organized in the New Year by @Donna_Fasano

Get OrganizedA brand new year always gives me a hopeful feeling. A chance to get on the right track. To get organized. And to declutter, clear out, rethink, and reorganize—my home, my work space, my mind, my life. It’s good to re-evaluate how and why we do the things we do or keep the things we keep. Whether it’s a full remodel job (I’m planning a DIY storage system for my walk-in closet) or just a small sprucing up of a room, a desk, or an exercise and diet routine, it’s great to start the New Year with a sense of accomplishment. Here are 4 tips to help you get organized in 2022.

Reassess your daily routine

What’s the best time to rise and shine? Which hours of the day are you most productive in your work? Do normal (breakfast, lunch, dinner) eating times work best for you? Or do you tend to eat off-schedule? Are you giving yourself enough down time? How’s your exercise routine going? Are you getting enough sleep? The answers to these questions will help you reassess and reorganize your daily routine.

Keep everything in its place

Stand in the middle of any room in your home and take a look around. If your gaze lands on objects you haven’t used in a while, seriously consider getting rid of them. (You don’t have to throw them away. Donate usable items to thrift stores.) While inspecting the room, do you see items out of place? Decluttering and keeping my things where they belong always, always makes me more productive.

Make lists

I love making a daily list of things I want to get done. Checking off those “things to do” always has me feeling that I’ve spent my time wisely.

Focus on one task at a time

Let’s face it, sometimes we all have to multi-task. But I find that I do a better job if I take a deep, cleansing breath and focus on one task at a time. Focusing my energy means I will get a job done in less time. Plus, when I do one thing at a time, I find the task is completed at a higher standard than it would be if I’m trying to do several things at once.

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The first three books in my Ocean City Boardwalk Series feature 3 women who live and work in the seaside town of Ocean City, Maryland. Young widow Sara Carson, serious-minded Heather Phillips, and wild-child Cathy Whitley have been friends since grade school. Follow these enterprising woman as they face hardship, life trials, and tense relationships. Life by the ocean isn’t just fun in the sun—love is waiting on those sandy shores!

These books are available:  Amazon  *  Barnes and Noble  *  Kobo  *  iTunes

The eBook version of Book one is reasonably priced at $1.99 at all stores. All 3 books are available in paperback:  Amazon  *  Barnes and Noble.


Ocean City Boardwalk

New Year, New Book Boyfriends by Stephanie Queen

That’s right—a fresh new batch of book boyfriends for you this New Year!

What are your top five traits for the best book boyfriend?

Are you looking for hot guys with rippling muscles or sweet guys who bring you flowers? Guys who make you laugh til you cry or quiet guys who will protect you til the end?
The list could go on, but here are my faves–

SQ’s Top 5 Traits for the Best Book Boyfriends:

  1. Hot & Sexy and knows how to make a lady feel that way
  2. Brings new meaning to the old rule: Lady’s First
  3. Master of self-control—except when his lady drives him crazy
  4. Would sacrifice the world for the woman he loves—and proves it
  5. Tough enough to show how much he loves his mom—and kittens too

What are your top five traits for the best book boyfriend?

Take advantage of this promotion and help keep your winter warmed up with these fab romances.

What’s your favorite? Do you like it steamy? Do you love bad boys? Are you into angsty, swoony guys and gals who frustrate you in the best way possible–aka, the slow burn?

We have rock stars, viscounts, football players and billionaires to keep your heart warm and your nights far from dull. Check out this video aesthetic to get you excited with anticipation for a Happy New Year!

This promo has it all and you owe it to yourself to check it out here!

Travel with Mona, visit Jerusalem and the Holy Land

Many trips to Israel and the Middle East had often been canceled or postponed because of political turmoil or instability. When a Canadian friend told us about a group from Montreal organizing a guided tourist visit to the Holy Land in March 2010, my husband and I found it an excellent opportunity to finally travel safely through the region.

We flew from New York to Amman, Jordan, where we met the eighteen people coming from Canada. The next day we boarded our comfortable bus and visited Petra that I described in a previous blog. From there we continued along the King Hussein Bridge between Jordan and Israel. The security was very tight with x-ray scanning, questioning and bag searches and passport control.

Monastery of the Temptation
 The sycamore-fig tree or  Zacchaeus tree

We stopped for lunch in Jericho, commonly known as “the oldest city in the world” (8000 BCE) and the world’s lowest city (1200 feet under sea level).” Jericho is a Palestinian city in the West Bank, an important historical, cultural, and political center located northwest of the Dead Sea. It is truly a place where the ancient past comes in contact with the immediate present and where the fragrance of oranges and citrus permeates the air.

After lunch, we spent the afternoon at the Dead Sea shore. The sea water is rich in minerals and salt, and so muddy. The mud is cleaned and sold as an anti-wrinkle facial cream at $90 the small jar. [Yes, I bought a jar. It didn’t erase a single line.]

The Dome of the Rock or Masgad El Aksa. A cabinet within the building houses a hair from the prophet Mohamad’s beard. Another tradition suggests it’s the mountain where Abraham nearly sacrificed his son Isaac.
A view of Jerusalem from Mount Olive

Finally we entered Jerusalem in the early night and checked in our hotel that was fully booked for the week. For our bad luck, millions of Christian pilgrims and orthodox Jews had flocked to Jerusalem to celebrate the Catholic Easter, Orthodox Easter, and Passover that all occurred on that same week in the year 2010. The hotel manager had programmed the elevators to stop at each floor in respect for the Jewish patrons who were not allowed to operate the lift. Imagine the slow traffic, going up and down.

In the morning we boarded our bus and headed to Nazareth where we visited the Basilica of the Annunciation and in the lowest floor an ancient house that tradition says is the site of the angelic announcement. Not far from it, we visited the Church of St. Joseph, the site of the Holy Family’s house and St. Joseph’s workshop. Later we had lunch on the Lake of Tiberias, and then drove through the verdant hills of Galilea, where we visited three more churches.

Lunch of fish on the Lake Tiberias known for its rough waves.

We spent the evening on the shore of the Jordan River. Many pilgrims wore a white robe to be baptized or renew their baptism vows in the Jordan River.

Sea of Galilee, also called Lake Tiberias, through which the Jordan River flows.

The next day, we stopped by St. John the Baptist Church, built over the house where he was born. We climbed 154 steps to the Church of the Visitation. Inside the church, 41 plaques, each in a different language, bear the Magnificat.

We visited the Museum of Jerusalem and saw the Dead Sea Scrolls, then admired a small model –maquette– of Old Jerusalem, with the Temple, Pilate’s fortress, Herod’ s Castle, and the walls of Jerusalem.

We continued to Bethlehem and the Church of the Nativity.

The Church of the Nativity is built above a cave which may have been the place of Jesus’ nativity.
The church was built by Queen Helena in 329, and renovated by the Crusaders. The cave includes two lobes, one with a star marks the place of Jesus’ birth, the other marks the place of the manger.

We passed by the Shepherd’s Field where the sheep and goats used to grate.

Later the hotel offered us a tour of Jerusalem by night, with a stop at Mount Olive. We crossed some villages, stopped by Victoria Hospital and Masada. We saw a temple, built by an American philanthropist on the model of the initial Temple of Solomon. It is said that the Masgad el Aksa, the mosque with the golden dome, was built on the location of the former temple.

On Holy Thursday, we returned to Mount Olive, visited a Jewish cemetery, walked by the Eastern Wall, and the Wailing Wall.

A Jewish crowd
A Christian crowd

We spent Good Friday walking through the Via Dolorosa and visiting old churches, and spent Friday evening and Saturday in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre .

Strolling along the narrow lanes of Via Dolorosa
A view of the Church of Holy Sepulcher
from Mount Olive
The Chapel built on top of Christ’s Tomb in the center of the Holy Sepulcher

It would take ten blogs to describe all that we’ve seen and learned during that week spent in Jerusalem and its surroundings. An amazing trip that will remain imprinted in my memory forever.

My latest published books are part of the Love Plans.

SAILING AWAY PLANS ; DATING PLANS ; RESCUE PLANS ;

WEDDING PLANS ; BABY PLANS