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!

10 Best Slow Dance Songs by @JoanReeves #mgtab

I love music and have very eclectic taste. Depending on my mood, I may listen to anything from a Chopin polonaise to “Killing Strangers” by Marilyn Manson to “Moonlight Serenade” by Glenn Miller to “99 Problems” by Hugo.

My current favorite songs are several tracks from “Lucifer” like “Being Evil Has a Price” by Heavy Young Heathens. In other words, I’m one of those people that probably screws up Pandora‘s “recommended for you” algorithm because I listen to so many different genres and artists.

Most of my books have characters listening to music too. I always make a playlist for a book. I used to include the list in the back matter of my books. I think I’ll start doing that again but make a menu tab on my blog, SlingWords, so readers can find the music that inspired certain scenes if they’re interested.

Dance to the Music

I guess it’s only natural that I also love to dance. My husband and I are always the first to take the floor at any event where there’s dancing. No, we’re not trained professionals. We both just love to dance.

In several of my books, like Second Chance Bride, the hero and heroine dance together. What better way is there for them to be in each other’s arms?

When I write scenes like that, I choose the music carefully. In Second Chance Bride, they’re at a small town Texas festival—we have a lot of them in our small towns—and there’s always dancing in the street.

In this particular scene, they dance to “Crazy” by Patsy Cline, an old country classic that most small town bands play. That song fit everything about the scene from the small Texas town setting to the emotion between the characters. I thought I’d share some of the other songs I’d considered. They’re not in any order like good to best, and this is just half of the other songs on my list that “speak” to slow dance romance for that book.

10 Best Slow Dance Playlist

  1. So Into You by Atlanta Rhythm Section
  2. Just the Way You Are by Billy Joel (totally different from the Bruno Mars song)
  3. Amazed by Lonestar
  4. I Could Fall in Love by Selena
  5. I Want to Know What Love Is by Foreigner
  6. Need You Now by Lady Antebellum
  7. Can’t Help Falling in Love by Elvis Presley (this is still on a global list of most popular wedding first dance songs).
  8. I Can’t Tell You Why by The Eagles
  9. Unbreak My Heart by Toni Braxton
  10. Don’t Wake Me Up by Lianne La Havas

In Second Chance Bride when Constance and Alex (Alejandro) finally overcome all their problems, there is a wedding. I won’t tell you the song that plays as Constance walks to meet Alex to say their vows nor will I tell you the song playing when they kiss at the end of the ceremony. Each song means something to them and to their journey from the beginning of the book to the end.

I get teary-eyed just thinking about it. *LOL* I’m not crazy for feeling that way. Most authors are like me—their characters are “real” people to them.

Second Chance Bride is an Amazon Exclusive. Here’s what a review said:

This is such a lush book. The pacing is smooth, and the plot is engrossing. The reason behind Constance’s move to Lantana Lane is mysterious at first, so I was stunned when I learned what it is. It’s a great plot twist.

Alex/Alejandro is a dear man. The way he encourages and supports Constance is utterly sweet. The best part, though, is how Constance’s past is redeemed. It’s absolutely beautiful. ~ Amazon Review

What Are Your Slow Dance Faves?

Have you slow-danced with your beloved to any of these songs? Chances are, you have your own list. What songs speak to the romantic within you?

Post Script

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“What If” Guides Imagination by @JoanReeves #mgtab

Great box set collections are popping up like the bluebonnets here in Texas. The latest of these is UNFORGETTABLE SUSPENSE: Hot and Dangerous, with books by 8 NY Times and USA Today bestselling authors.

My book in this collection is Heat Lightning, Book 1 of Outlaw Ridge, Texas. I’d like to tell you a little about this romantic suspense that is an amnesia story.

This story began with a “what if” which is where many stories begin.

What if a woman disappeared and was found many months later with no memory of anything? That’s called global amnesia. When she is reunited with the man who is her husband, she’s immediately drawn to him–overwhelmed by desire for him. What does she do? Act on that desire or treat him like a stranger?

That’s the way just about any story is developed from scene to scene. What if’s can lead to disastrous decisions and a growing mountain of complications.

One reviewer said: “Just when you think an amnesia book can’t be done well… Joan Reeves figures out how to do it. I’ve read quite a few amnesia plots in my day, and I enjoy them, but this one felt like it was ripped from the headlines. (I could hear the Law and Order music playing in the background).”

If you like romance that goes hand in hand with danger, you’ll love UNFORGETTABLE SUSPENSE: Hot and Dangerous.

We’ve priced it at only 99 cents–that’s a nice spring gift, isn’t it? If you’re a Kindle Unlimited subscriber, it’s even better because it’s free! Happy Spring

Joan Reeves is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Sassy, Sexy Contemporary Romance. All of her books have the same underlying theme: It’s never too late to live happily ever after. She lives her HEA with her hero, her husband, in the Lone Star State. Visit Joan online at her Blog and Website. Follow her at: Facebook * Twitter * Amazon Author Page * BookBub Author Page. Sign up for Joan’s mailing list and receive a free ebook. Just click here to sign up.

Santa Baby by Taylor Lee-#mgtab

SantaBaby_CVR

I was delighted to join 20 best-selling authors to create the Love, Christmas, Box Set, a gift to our readers and everyone who loves Christmas. Each of the twenty never-before published Novellas in the collection is a tribute to a special Christmas song. What could be more Christmasy? We even had a contest asking readers to choose their favorite Holiday song. JoAnn Varner participated in our Love, Christmas Box Set contest and I am honored to dedicate my story, Santa Baby, to her!

I’ve always gotten a kick out of Eartha Kitt’s rendition of Santa Baby, a sultry ode to Christmas materialism. As she ticks off the list of Christmas goodies she hopes to receive from Santa, I smile at her brazenness.

In my story, I took the song Santa Babyand turned it on its head. My heroine is a young woman with a four year old child on the run from a crime she didn’t commit. Rather than wishing for all the things the singer wants under her Christmas tree, my heroine just hopes she can somehow manage to get a tree. And more important that she can stay one step ahead of the dangerous man closing in on her and her daughter.

As you can see from the cover, my heroine does the only thing she can to make money—yep, she’s a stripper. But no fears, this is a distinctly Happy Ever After Christmas story. However, it does take a hard look at the people who are not wishing for “things” for Christmas, rather praying that they can somehow protect their children and themselves from harm.

A Teaser from my Santa Baby story:

Dancing to Eartha Kitt ticking off all the goodies she wants her Santa Baby to put under her tree, Lily slid down the stripper pole and stifled a sigh A blue convertible? A sable? A Tiffany ring? Right! Like Lily could expect anything remotely like that under her tree! How about first making sure she had a tree.
At that moment she saw him. The big man with the shaggy blond hair and gleaming dark eyes, was leaning casually back in his chair. His narrowed expression was hard, knowing. It was clear that he was studying her. Stunned, Lily quickly looked away, her carefully honed rules fleeing in her panic. The imposing man had “cop” written all over him. Squashing down her terror, Lily pasted a professional smile on her face, waved to the screaming crowd, and fled the stage.

• Anyone who’d ever tangled with dirty cops knew that the hard blue line protected the most egregious acts committed by one of their brothers. If anyone doubted that was true all they had to know was that Aiden was a free man and Lily was on the run.
• Lily’s only hope was that this time she and Gabriella had gone far enough, fast enough, that he wouldn’t be able to find them.
• If he was any judge of women who shed their clothes for a living, and Zach most certainly was, he recognized her startled wide-eyed expression. He’d seen it far too many times in his line of work. It was fear, pure and simple.
• The Vice Cop reminded himself all that meant was that the beautiful woman had something big to hide.

love-christmas

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