10 Best Things About Summer’s End by @JoanReeves #mtab

Many people bemoan summer’s end, but there are 10 best things about this time of the year that are particularly enchanting.

1. Kids are back in school, and all of us get a break from keeping children occupied 24/7. Celebrate with your mom friends.

2. School supplies are in the stores, and that means hundreds of boxes of Crayola Crayons perfume the air. I love that smell which takes me back not only to my children’s childhoods but also to my own.

3. At last, you can pick up the clutter, toys, and other detritus that accumulates when the kids are home full time. Isn’t that a relief?

Action American Football, Photo by Football Wife, Pexels

4. The high school football season has started, and in Texas, that means Friday Night Lights — the band and color guard at half time not to mention the game. Lots of fun!

5. Major league baseball teams are trying to slide home and into playoff position for the World Series. I love baseball. Go Astros!

6. The lawns are lush and green and the smell of newly mown grass is refreshing. Enjoy it because it will soon end.

7. A seasonal change is coming. Even here in Texas, leaves on some trees are beginning to fade, hinting of the autumn to come. There’s something about the changing of seasons that is rejuvenating.

8. Take advantage of the big discounts offered by the cruise lines. Book a cruise for the fall months. The weather is still good, they’re not as packed as usual, and the prices can’t be beat.

9. Start your holiday planning now rather than waiting a week before Thanksgiving. That’s what many of us do. Suddenly, we push the panic button because we realize how much shopping, cooking, gift buying, etc. that must be done! Now is the time to take charge of your holiday schedule.

10. When your kids do homework, sit with them and read a good book. You’ll find several on our Home Page. While you’re on the Home Page, be sure and enter our August Giveaway with Amazon Gift Cards as the prizes.

Of course, I’d love it if you added one of my books to your To Be Read list. Try Second Chance Bride for a steamy romance about a love that was meant to be.

He was the only man she wanted—and the one man she could never have.

Kindle Unlimited free read, or buy this compelling romance and keep it forever!

Happy Summer’s End!

Great summer reads and eats! #mgtab

There’s something about summer that calls for celebrating good eats! Case in point, it’s only August 11, but since July 30, three other authors here at The Author’s Billboard have shared food favorites here on the blog:

Rebecca York discusses yummy Werewolves‘ . . . er, appetites 😀 . . . and generously gives us her fabulous Barbecued Beef Brisket recipe.

Donna Fasano, whose wonderful 3-novel bundle, A Family Forever, is on sale for just $1.99 this month, provides a unique dinner idea (perhaps to go with the above brisket? ), Summer Farro Salad.

Patrice Wilton celebrates the launch of her and Traci Hall’s new cozy mystery (such great summer reading!), Mrs. Morris and the Ghost, and provides a perfect snack to go with it, Artichoke Dip with Fontana Cheese. Mmmm!

So I’m in good company, hey?! 😊🍽️🍷

This year I discovered small batch canning. It was really eye opening for me and so exciting! I love storing away a wealth of summer yumminess to enjoy on cold winter nights, but I learned to can, jam, and freeze from my mother who had a huge family and preserving was a big ordeal . . . like two twelve hour days of carrots, two more of bean everything, two for cukes, etc., etc., etc.! When I make jam, even after giving tons away, I have enough for years, LOL. But no more! I’m making, gasp, eight or ten half pints (or smaller!) of a way bigger variety of things. So fun!

Hand-in-hand with my new less and more philosophy, my newest foodie obsession is fermenting things (or . . . fermenting everything, LOL). My first batch ever of blackberry wine (from my own massive jungle of a patch) is bubbling away, and I’ve made so, so many pickles. . . . and I have to say, fermented pickles are sooo crazy easy and so delicious I may be a forever convert! (Though I did a canner of my traditional pickles because, hey, tradition—and also yum.)

If you’re a fellow fermenter, I’d love to hear your favorite recipes. If you haven’t fermented anything, but want to, here’s the very first thing I made: The Savory Lotus’s Easy Fermented Pickles. 🥒🥒🥒And they are sooo easy (and sooooo tasty on/with pretty much everything)!

The other thing I love about food gathering, prep, cooking, and preserving, is how it not only feeds my belly (eventually, anyway), but how it nourishes connections with friends and family (the eating, but also sharing the labor, or, at least, various recipes!) and how it also fuels my imagination. I get a lot of plot and character ideas while I’m working away, and I don’t think it’s a coincidence that a lot of my characters find gardening and/or cooking cathartic, Noelle, from SPOONS especially.

When you first meet Noelle, she is struggling in pretty much all parts of her life . . . but as she reconnects with aspects of her identity she’d let go of, things like gardening and doing physical work, for example, she starts to feel that sense of connection I was talking about and experiences a new sense of hopefulness and empowerment over the pickle she’s found herself in. (Sorry, could not resist the terrible pun!😁)

If you’re looking for a great summer read (that pairs wonderfully with good summer eating), I’d love to entertain you with SPOONS, and I hope you enjoy your visit to River’s Sigh B & B, immensely.

AMAZON ~ KOBO ~ NOOK ~ iBOOKS ~ GOOGLE

Happy summer book (and food) devouring! Ahhhhhhh . . .

😊 Ev

P.S. Don’t forget to enter this month’s contest here at The Author’s Billboard! 

If You Could Live Your Life Over Again…

If you had your life to live all over again, what would you do differently? Would you go to – or stay in – college? Would you pass on marrying that guy you dated throughout high school and take care of yourself first, not him?
How about never smoking (not guilty)? Or ever overeating (guilty)? Would you have tried harder to make that first marriage work and not rushed into divorce (no comment)?

If any of these thoughts tumble over and over in your head, like dark and light clothes in a dryer, then you might have the internal wiring of a writer. At least, that’s how I started.

‘What ifs’ are great beginnings to fiction! ‘What if a tornado carried a farmhouse in Kansas away to a mystical land and it fell down on a wicked witch, freeing a bunch of little folks from her terror?’ L. Frank Baum wondered, wrote it down, and the rest is literary (and cinematic) history.

Did all the horrible or fantastic events I’ve written about in my thirty or so books actually happen? Absolutely not! How about Stephen King? Let’s hope not! But regardless, creative minds manufacturing worlds and people (and critters) to populate them makes life so much more interesting.
Just because it seems like a great idea, how about grabbing a virtual (or real) box of chocolates and downloading a Valentines Day box set or two or three into your Kindle? They’re free to read with Kindle Unlimited (http://bit.ly/2KuSignUp). Oh, and if you haven’t tried KU, the first month is free! Hundreds of thousands of books to read for only $9.99 a month. And that’s not fiction!
Unforgettable Valentine, A Valentine She’ll Remember and Sweet and Sassy Valentine, dozens of Happy Ever Afters to make you smile or maybe blush…but certainly great diversion.

From Canada With Love – a book sale you won’t want to miss! #mgtab

I don’t know if there’s anything more Canadian than packing up for a summer camping trip! In just three more sleeps, I’ll be laking it up in the Cariboo. 🏕️ 😊(And I’m definitely hoping that my woodsy vacation has none of the woes described here by Jacquie Biggar! I go out a lot, so . . . fingers crossed, LOL!) The most important part of my prep? Making sure I have enough to read, of course!

And speaking of stocking up on summer reads, I’m super excited to be part of a fabulous @Kobo promotion this week, From Canada With Love! The 1-week sale features 13 Canadian authors and 79 titles across a variety of genres. HINT: You don’t need a Kobo eReader to take advantage of the deals. Download the free app and shop to your heart’s content!

It’s Buy 1, Get 1 50% off, but there are no limits. You can mix-and-match authors, and/or buy as many titles as you want, paying regular price for one, 50% for the next, and so on. In fact, if you’re extra wild, LOL, you could buy 40 books and then get the remaining 39 at 50% off each. (And hidden away on your eReader, no-one will ever know how much you treat yourself! 😁)

So what are you waiting for? Snap up your @KoboBooks deals today and very happy reading to you! 

😊 Ev 

CANADA ~ US ~ UK ~ AU ~ NZ