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!

 

What is RWA?

In case you didn’t know, RWA stands for Romance Writers of America. I’m a member and right now (July 20, 2018), we’re nearly finished with our annual conference. This year it’s being held in Denver, Colorado. Talk about a tremendous number of folks gathered with the same goal in mind!

Nearly two thousand women and a few men are here to find out how (or to share how) to make a writer’s HEA (happy ever after) story become a hit with readers, whether through fine-tuning the craft of writing or exploring the best ways to promote the works.

One of the nice things about this group is that there isn’t any ego-fueled competition. Even at the award ceremonies, the women (all were women this year) were saying how they felt like sisters and honored to be nominated. It sure looked like they were truth-telling, too.

What’s your favorite flavor of romance? Are you into romantic suspense, sweet and/or sassy, how about a little rom com (romantic comedy)? Would you like to know what

it feels like to fall in love with a prince or duke, either now or in the past? How about lovin’ on a vampire or a werewolf in a paranormal adventure?

They may all be considered ‘romance,’ but there are so many sub-categories, there’s never a reason to be bored. Loads of diversity here!

My author friends and I have put together a huge variety of box sets for you to enjoy, all available for only 99 cents each or free to read if you have a Kindle Unlimited account. (Search my name or some of the other authors to find more sets)

Click on some of the links and find out why I finally gave in and admitted that I am a romance writer — and proud of it.

Oh, and if you can’t wait for a new solo book from me, ONE ARCTIC SUMMER is live today! If you want to wait until the end of the month, it’ll be in SWEET AND SASSY AT THE BEACH. Either way, it’s a great story of a sassy college grad who learns what life is really about when she visits Barrow, Alaska in 1994, the coldest and warmest city in North America. 

 

Comedy relief or humor compulsion?

Is a sense of humor hereditary?
I know a person’s general body shape and coloring is hereditary, but is the compulsion to bring levity to a conversation or situation caused by genetics or environment? After spending just a few minutes with the half-sister I had never met, I’m beginning to believe it’s genetic.
We were reared by different people, had different colors of eyes and body shapes because we had different mothers, but we both had a boisterous silliness that our mutual friend spotted right off the bat. My second daughter doesn’t look a thing like me, but the same situation occurred when we met new people who only knew me. “She has to be your daughter. You don’t look anything alike, but that sense of humor…”
I really don’t see any reason to suppress it. Even when I’m writing romance novellas, the urgency to give a situation a humorous spin is unstoppable. Here’s an excerpt from Three Are One, part of Sweet and Sassy Brides box set, released today. The mother of a deceased (and very dishonorable) soldier is in complete denial that her son has died.

Forsythe pulled the sheet back, exposing the head and shoulders of the corpse, the cloth bandage disguising the fact that the back of the soldier’s skull had been blasted away by his 9 mm service revolver.
Heath and the corporal were at her heels, ready to catch her when she passed out, but they weren’t needed. She did grasp the edge of the table, though, her knees buckling briefly.
“He did such a good job of finding a doppelganger. This man looks so much like my Butch.”
“Ma’am,” Forsythe said, “they matched the fingerprints, too. This is your son.”
“Hmph! If it was my son, he’d have six toes on his right foot. I seriously doubt any body double would be able to duplicate that!”
She stepped to the end of the table and grasped the end of the sheet.
Heath and the corporal rushed to either side of her.
She pulled the shroud off dramatically, took one look, then said, “Oh, shit!” and fainted.
“Some people just won’t believe what you say, no matter what,” the corporal said. “Now what’ll we do?”
“I have smelling salts right here,” Forsythe said, patting his chest pocket. “Do you want to give her a minute?”
Heath looked side to side, lips pursed in frustration, hoping for inspiration. “Yes, wait a minute. Cover him up again, then let’s get her out of here before we rouse her. I don’t want her fainting all over again.”

“Ma’am. Ma’am,” Forsythe said, wafting the ammonia-filled snifter under her nose. “You have to wake up now.”
Her eyes fluttered, then popped open and shut again, squeezed tight against reality.
“Mrs. Wadsworth,” Heath said, his voice stern and uncompromising. “You have to get up. We’ll have a driver take you to your hotel. I just talked to your husband. He’s expecting you.”
The woman was feigning unconsciousness, her eyes and lips wrinkled as she forced them closed.
“Well, then, I guess I’ll just have to take you to the post medical center. Or would you rather go to the hospital in Anchorage?”
Still no reply.
“All right, then,” Heath said. “Post medical center it is. They don’t have any private rooms, and you’ll probably have to wait in the lobby for a couple hours before the medic can see you. Still, it’s clean and better than spending the rest of the afternoon in a mortuary. Come on, Corporal—you grab her legs and I’ll get her shoulders.”
“Don’t you dare!” she screeched, sitting up like someone had poured ice water on her head.
“Sorry about that, ma’am,” Heath said. “I couldn’t let you stay lying out here. And I truly am sorry for your loss…”
“Oh, shut up.”
(Read more in the box set Sweet and Sassy Brides or as a single in Three Are One)

A good sense of humor will get you through tough times better than a bucket of beer. And there’s no chance of a DUI with it, either! Dani Haviland