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.”

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Amazing Summer Adventures by @JoanReeves #mgtab

Vintage traveler suitcase with sunglasses straw hat old camera and maps.I’ve had the most amazing summer—and July hasn’t even ended yet. Let me tell you all about it.

I attended a high school reunion and met the first guy I ever fell in love with. He was a nerd in high school, but he left our small town and went to Harvard. Over the last ten years, his investments have made him a billionaire. Plus, he’s no longer nerdy looking. He’s completely gorgeous. He arrived at our high school in a stretch limo with his entourage.

I couldn’t believe he had come back to our little home town. For me, he was the one who got away.

Wait a minute. That didn’t happen to me. That happened to the heroine in JANE (I’m Still Single) JONES, the romantic comedy I’d written that went into the Sweet and Sassy Summertime Volume 1 Collection.

Nine SWEET AND SASSY STORIES of SUMMER, including Four Brand New, from New York Times & USA Today Bestselling, Award-Winning Authors. “Some like them sweet, and some like them sexy, but if you’re looking for a little heat, spice up your summer reading with this hot selection of stories!”

Sorry about that. Let me tell you about going on a hunt for hidden treasure. This was unbelievable. My father never gave me anything but a hard time until he died and left me a key, but I didn’t know what the key unlocked. However, he had arranged for this guy to join me in a Quest to find The Key To Kristina. We traveled to a lot of different locations, and there were some shady people following us.

To my surprise, the guy accompanying me turned out to be the kind of man I never thought I’d find. We had so much in common: both had ex-cons for fathers, both had a strong will. He called me opinionated and bossy, but I’m really not. I’m smart enough to figure some things out that he can’t. It was the greatest adventure. You’ll never guess what the treasure was. In fact, you’ll have to read…oh, wait.

I’m so embarrassed. That didn’t happen to me. That happened to Kristina Rivera, the heroine of The Key to Kristina, a new book I wrote for Fortune’s Favor: The Treasure. Oh, my, I had so much fun writing about Kristina and her Quest and Wyatt her partner who is a crusader for lost causes.

Fortune’s Favor: The Treasure 

Fortune favors the Bold, and bold women and men through the centuries have sought Fortune’s Favor in Life and Love.

A quest, hidden treasure, inheritance, Spanish Gold, and missing jewels inspire five riveting action adventure tales of women and men seeking redemption and rewards, searching for legacies, revealing secrets, finding romance, falling in love and winning that happily-ever-after that make all the challenges they must overcome worthwhile.

For the best Kindle Beach Read 2020, go treasure hunting with five NY Times, USA Today Bestselling, and Award-winning Authors as they seek Fortune’s Favor: The Treasure.

Let me rhttps://amzn.to/3fR1hoYegroup. I know I had some kind of adventure this summer. Oh, right. I know. I went to Last Chance Beach. I’d read the legend before. It’s about a woman and man back in the 18th or 19th century, I forget which, who had fallen in love. She was a rich man’s daughter; he was a poor young man seeking a way to make a living by writing.

The father had him thrown into the hold of one of his ships and sent back to the new world. The daughter ran away to find him. She searched for years until she ended up on this island that had been newly settled. He was there! He’d washed ashore after a shipwreck. They reunited for their Last Chance at Love which is how the island got its name. Anyway, that place is a popular vacation spot now. I went there because I really needed to de-stress.

It’s hard being a woman cop, especially when you’ve been undercover for almost a year. I stayed in this adorable cottage called Blue Moon House. My friend Bogey owns it. I had just arrived when someone broke in!

Well, he didn’t exaclty break in. He had booked the cottage for the same 2 weeks I was supposed to have it. I guess Bogey forgot to notify the management company that I was staying there. Of all the men on the planet, why did it have to be him aka the Jerk?

He’s a celebrity chef all the women are ga-ga over refused to leave. Can you believe that? We knew each other and already disliked each other. What happened next was completely unexpected.

Oh, no! I did it again. That wasn’t me staying at Blue Moon House. That was Chelsea Elliot and Zander Rojas. They’re the “stars” of Hot August Night, my story in the LAST CHANCE BEACH: Summer’s End Romance Collection.

LAST CHANCE BEACH, the island paradise where Dreams go to live again, and Wishes may come true. It’s Summer’s End on the island, and the cottages, condos, hotels, and bungalows are filled to capacity. There’s plenty of time left to find summer fun and summer love, new romances and second chances, hot alpha males and heartwarming heroes, love at first sight and romantic delight, enemies to lovers and opposites to attract.

Throw a log on the beach bonfire tonight and celebrate LAST CHANCE BEACH: Summer’s End, a special romance collection of 14 all-new short stories from bestselling and award-winning authors. These summer stories—created especially for this collection—will thrill the hopeful romantic in you. Some are sweet: some are sizzling! Some are humorous; some are serious.

LAST CHANCE BEACH: Summer’s End will make you want to book a vacation to the island of legend and love, the place where soul mates find each other and love at first sight happens all the time!

Being an Author: Best Job Ever

An amazing summer? Yes! I may not have left my home and office, but I did travel to all of these places in my imagination. Being an author is the best job ever because I get to create wonderful adventures and heartwarming small town stories—dramas, mysteries, and comedies. Then I’m the one who breathes life into the smart, sassy heroines and the brave, charming heroes who “live” the stories I write.

Click the “Keeping Romance Alive” image to subscribe to my newsletter. You’ll receive a free ebook when you confirm your subscription.

All of the box set collections mentioned above are only 99cents, and they’re all on Kindle Unlimited too!

Wishing you a fabulous summer of reading—the best and cheapest vacation for the mind and the spirit that you’ll ever find. Happy reading!

Surviving on Courage

“Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear—not absence of fear.” Mark Twain

Every day, every hour, and even every minute we are struggling to show courage, to resist fear, to face the stress in our life or around us. People believe that laugh is a good antidote to fear. I received daily jokes about the Coronavirus. At the beginning I found them highly amusing, but after five months I stopped laughing. The statistics listed on TV are heart-wrenching. In addition my husband and I lost four relatives in one month, and I am constantly worried about very dear people working in hospitals.

I don’t want to depress you with sad stories, and I don’t have the heart to relate any funny anecdotes. So I would like to share something I read.

“We need four hugs a day for survival. We need eight hugs a day for maintenance. We need twelve hugs a day for growth.” Virginia Satir

“Hugging is healthy. It helps the immune system, cures depression, reduces stress, and induces sleep. It’s invigorating, rejuvenating and has no unpleasant side effects” — Except in time of CoronaVirus!

“Hugging is nothing less than a miracle drug.” But in time of pandemic we are advised to distance and wear a mask. How can we hug a person in need of a hug? How about replacing hugs with kind words? Think of the people in your life. We all need a virtual hug and words of encouragement.

“Hugging is the ideal gift.” No, sorry! Instead of a hug, give a kind word–You can’t even smile behind your mask!

“Hugging is practically perfect. When we open our hearts and arms we encourage others to do the same.” ~ Charles Faraone

 



A Bride For Prince Paul A Bodyguard For The Princess Jingle With My Princess
Prince Philip’s Cinderella A Dance for Prince Eric

 

There is beauty all around us

I’m spoiled. Really, I am. I am living in Oregon, the destination for thousands of folks in the 1800s. It truly has some of the richest soil in the world. That means great farming for trees, foods, and flowers.

Rhododendrons in Oregon in various stages of bloom

Quarantine while on property with flowering plants and trees (some over fifty years old) and ideal temperatures isn’t house arrest, it’s heaven. But that’s really not the point. There is beauty all around. You just have to open your eyes to see it. Even if you’re confined to an apartment, do you have electricity? Internet? Someone to talk to? How about the gift of sight, even if you have to wear glasses or ‘readers’?

DOZENS of box sets with all types of romance stories, just waiting to be read (and reviewed).

Are you bored? Honestly, read a book. Try out a new recipe. Contact a friend or family member and challenge one another to a cook off using the same limited or odd ingredients. Take a piece of paper and draw portraits of each other or where you’d rather be? Can you draw a palm tree? A movie screen? How about a bar loaded with patrons drinking Coronas with lime? You don’t even have to be in the same room to do these activities. Remember that box of photos you were going to organize ‘one of these days’? Well, today’s the day. How about the files and files of photos on your phone you’ve taken and never printed out? Check out sites like FreePrints.com on your phone. Get prints for free, just pay for the shipping. Or take those pictures and play with your phone’s editing tools, saving your creations in a folder. Remember to record everything you do with a date and place. A year from now, or five or ten years forward, you can look back and tell others that this is what you did to keep from going stir crazy.

Or you can go outside and pull weeds to make a bigger flower and veggie garden. Either way, make good use of your time. Find, create, and enhance the beauty that is all around.

Did you know that The Authors’ Billboard now has a Romantic Comedy Boxset? Check it out: CUTE BUT CRAZY: WACKY, WONDERFUL WOMEN is rated #1 (still!). CUTE BUT CRAZY 2: DITZY DUDES is available for preorder.