Apocalypse not welcome here

Apocalypse: an epic, life-altering disaster. Yup. That’s the last five days.
Friday, February 12: The weather forecast for my small, end-of-the-road town was for snow. Instead, we got freezing rain. Life went on, but the county shut down. That meant our little church didn’t get the food we normally redistribute later that day. We did get a paltry (but welcomed) 223 pounds of bread from the next town (thank you, Dallas Food Pantry!). We had potatoes, onions, apples, tortillas, and a few winter squash on hand, so residents went left thoroughly chilled but not empty-handed.
Late that night, it got worse. The wind blew extra portions of frozen rain. Trees creaked and moaned with the extra weight of their icy coats. Creak, snap, pop, crash! Limbs and branches dropped, sometimes taking transmission lines with them. The whole town lost power. Roads were shut or narrowed to one lane because of downed timber.
The next day, we found out firsthand how extensive the damages were. My husband and I traveled to four towns before we found a place to buy gas. By the fifth one, we were able to get propane. If you could find a place open, the lines at gas stations and fast food restaurants were unbelievably long. I thought I was back in the seventies during the gas shortage. Cell phones didn’t work, either. For the first time in at least a decade, I heard ‘All circuits are busy. Please try again later.’
It’s been five days now. We made do. My husband reconnected our old gas heater and propane tank. We have two generators alternately running the laptop, house refrigerator, sump pump, and battery packs and last night, the big screen TV and blue-ray player.
What I miss the most? Hot showers! By the second day, I couldn’t stand it and took a ‘saucepan’ shower. I heated water on top of the gas heater. You’ll have to believe me that the rest was accomplished by determination, not convenience.
We still don’t have internet. Email service is sporadic if I stand at the end of the porch or in the yard. We still have intermittent rain, so I’m porching it. I can’t search the internet, though, and I can post but not look at Facebook.
I started to get fed up with it yesterday. Now we didn’t have cell service! ‘Can’t connect to a Network’ showed on my phone. We drove to Dallas and picked up a signal. I called my daughter, told her the latest updates, then after grabbing some Mexican food takeout, came back home.
Still waiting for power. Will the world stop if I don’t have internet? No. Am I frustrated? Yes. What have I learned? I’m more prepared than I thought (lots of matches, food, and candles), but next time, I’ll have more movies downloaded on my Kindle and more battery packs for my flashlights.
Be prepared. Download a few good books in case you lose power, too.


Check out THAT MAGIC TOUCH, a sweet love story about a young woman brought up without electricity and other conveniences by her doctor dad as he serves the poor in the Appalachian backwoods, also part of Doctors in Love 2: Sexy and Determined box set.

https://books2read.com/DocLove2

Frustrated Beyond Words

Have you ever had a day or event planned and it all fell apart for no apparent reason? I think we all have.

I was super stoked about releasing the 12th box set in the Sweet and Sassy series: SWEET AND SASSY HEROES. Pre-orders had been live for two weeks, promotions purchased, newsletters written (by all the authors in the set and a few others who weren’t), interviews given, videos produced: you name it.

And then the email from the big guys (who shall remain nameless): Your pre-order has been cancelled.

No reason was given, so as the publisher of the set, I made phone calls. After I spoke with three different representatives — including one at the senior level — I found out that they were as confused as I was. They still can’t figure it out, so asked for 72 hours to find an answer.

Corporations aren’t human, but they do make the same kind of mistakes. You know what I mean: dumb and unexplainable, costly and embarrassing, but mostly frustrating.

What can we do?  I guess we  – authors, readers, promoters – all have to be patient and wait for the Big Guy to find out why they thumped us off their list. Keep watching, though. SWEET AND SASSY HEROES will arise again: meaner, sassier, sexier. You can’t keep the great ones down, and this set is stainless!

Strong Women!

I’m the brunette in red, my mom (white hair) is next to me, her mother on the end. The others are three of my five daughters.

I know, it was just Fathers Day, but I was reared by a single mother.,,in the 60s!
My mother divorced in 1962, tried a stepfather for us, then when that ended horribly, decided she’d do it by herself. Now, that might not sound like such a big thing, but fifty years ago, it was.
First off, just being a divorced woman was a horrible stigma as was being in a family without a father. I swear, there were many kids whose mothers wouldn’t let me play with them because my mother wasn’t married. Divorced woman automatically meant ‘loose’ or ‘slutty’ woman to some folks.
And what a challenge! Even if there had been welfare (and there might have been), we weren’t on it. My mother groomed dogs, cleaned hotel rooms, did whatever she could to scrape together enough so we had food and a safe place to live. Eventually, she got a job as an accounting clerk. She and a young man had identical job titles and responsibilities, but he made twice as much money. When she asked her boss about it, he said a man was the head of the family and needed it. She reminded him that the co-worker wasn’t even married and that she had four kids! “Well, he could have them one day…”
I can’t remember what she did at that point. She couldn’t leave until she had another job, so she probably sucked it down. I know she did wind up changing employers down the road. Still, she always made less than men.
All four of us turned out fine, too. Even though my youngest brother was physically and mentally handicapped, he graduated from high school. Other brother served in the Army and Reserves and went to college on the GI Bill, graduating with a bachelor’s degree. Older sister married well and, after ten years of working and going to school part time while rearing two high-achieving children, also earned a bachelor’s degree. No trouble with the law for any of us or our kids, either!
Well, I didn’t graduate from college, but I did manage to get USA Today Bestselling Author status a couple times and establish a successful business, starting out with nothing but chutzpah and tenacity…and a great role model.
Not bad for kids of a divorced woman. Correction. A strong woman!
Do strong woman stories inspire you? Check out Invincible – Strong and Fearless box set. Inspiring stories for women (and men) of all ages.

 

A Romance For Every Reader by @JoanReeves #mgtab

Here at The Authors’ Billboard, we aim to please. We want to give you the kind of gifts you really want.

We’re not just romance authors; we’re romance readers too. That’s why we have created so many wonderful Holiday Romance Collections and offer them at such rock bottom prices.

We know what you want–lots of romance novels to read during the holidays. I guess one could call that binge-reading just as we binge-watch Hallmark Christmas movies. So grab these 6 Holiday Romance Collections, and let the binge-reading begin.

A Christmas She’ll Remember

Seven memorable Christmas Romances from 7 NY Times and USA Today Bestselling Authors!

Reminiscences of special gifts and favorite songs, old friends and heart-warming occasions keep most women happy over the Christmas holidays. But what really lights their hearts are the memories of a special romance.

Love, Christmas 1: Holiday Songs of the Heart

Holiday stories to put a song in your heart! Each of the 20 holiday-themed novellas are  inspired by a traditional Christmas carol.

Written by NY Times, USA Today, and national best-selling authors, these will lift your spirits and bring on the magic of the Christmas season.

Love, Christmas 2: Holiday Movies You Love

Sprinkle a little Christmas magic into your life with 26 new romances. Each title – exclusive to this set – is inspired by a favorite holiday movie and spun into a fantastic love story.

Written by NY Times, USA Today, and/or award-winning, bestselling authors and delivered to you is this wonderful collection full of cheer.

Snowflakes and Christmas Kisses

Do you love cuddle-up romances with “Happy Ever After” endings… ones that brighten your days and delight your romantic soul?

If you do, romp through the Christmas season with fascinating tales brought to you by 7 award-winning, NY Times and USA Today bestselling authors. We’ve blended suspense tales with contemporary themes and added a mystery to make this collection the best choice this Christmas.

Sweet and Sassy Christmas

Some are Sweet and some are Sassy. Eleven holiday romances to captivate and seduce.

NYT & USA Today bestselling authors have joined together to bring you tales from early America, abandoned puppies, military heroes, doctors and more.

Get a warm drink, find a comfy seat, and enjoy an armchair cruise into the world of Christmas lovers and their unique stories.

Unforgettable Christmas

Heat up your holiday with nine Unforgettable Christmas stories of love and giving, hope and desire.

Created by the same bestselling, award-winning authors who brought you the popular Unforgettable Romances and Unforgettable Heroes, this festive bargain boxed set will bring the joy of Christmas to your heart. So grab your favorite Kindle e-reader and cozy up with these amazingly romantic tales that are guaranteed to be… UNFORGETTABLE.

My friends in The Authors’ Billboard and I join together to wish you the happiest of holidays and an awesome New Year!