Why My Outdoor Lights Stay Up Until March

Why My Outdoor Decorations Stay Up Until March by @_NancyRadke #mgtab

I am one of those who put my outdoor lights up around Thanksgiving and don’t take them down until after March. I especially love the white fairy lights that cast a warm glow on everything. This year I plan to put up some larger, colored lights, but I still want the tiny white fairy lights around my windows.

So why do I leave my decorations up so long? It has nothing to do with decorating and everything to do with a slight amount of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). I live near Seattle where it gets dark around 5 pm, starting in November and continuing through February. I happen to be very sensitive to outdoor light or lack of it.

In the summer, I get up with the sun and am pretty much happy all day. I rarely close my curtains. (Some of my windows don’t even have curtains.) But in the winter, when it is dark out, it makes me want to sleep and not get anything done. Closing the curtains doesn’t work. I KNOW it is black on the other side. Pitch black. Dark as the inside of a wolf’s mouth at midnight.

One year I put up fairy lights as a decoration. I didn’t think much of it until I realized that it kept my windows from feeling dark. Even though I KNEW it was dark outside, it didn’t FEEL that way. I could leave my curtains open. Even with them shut, light shone on them from the outside, as if it wasn’t dark out.

I no longer wanted to start closing down at 3:30, 4 pm, and instead felt full of energy. Hooray! Fairy lights are wonderful. I put them on a timer so that they would come on before it started getting too dark and not go off until 10 pm. This worked so great that I left them up until the spring equinox was close enough that I no longer needed them.

So if you feel dreary during the long northern winter nights, get those fairy lights working for you. Don’t take them down in January just because the holiday season is over. You may be the only house on the block with your lights on, but if it works, keep them on.

My Christmas story this year, Three French Hens, takes place on a Montana ranch, with freezing cold weather, darkness, and the bank threatening to foreclose on a widow and her son. The hero finds his way to her door because she had put a bright light up on the barn to help guide herself back home. He thought at first it was a star helping him find his way. That’s the way I feel about fairy lights.

Click here for set containing this story.

The set shown here is Unforgettable Christmas Dreams, put out by the Authors’ Billboard. If you want to enter our monthly contest, click this link.

https://authorsbillboard.com/

Porch Bandits & Christmas

Christmas shopping has gone online, and delivery trucks jam the roads, zipping from porch to porch dropping off the goodies and gifts for all the good boys and girls. But there’s always the pesky porch bandit to ruin the stew.

There are traps, hidden cameras, and shotguns to use, but in Christmas Creek, Sheriff Brad Wing decides to set his own trap.

Who will he catch and what surprises await him?

This Christmas, Mimi Barbour and her group of merry writers have a special treat for you. What’s more fun than 18 short and fun stories centering on the Christmas spirit, loving, giving, and adventure? Treat yourself to 18 Christmas cookies while snacking on Christmas Shorts [quickie short stories from NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Authors].

My Christmas Creek Romance series is romantic and full of surprises, like a runaway sleigh on a wintry day. Every story weaves itself in a magical and unexpected direction, full of Christmas spirit, small-town hijinks, and love in the frosty air. Deck the Hearts, Book #1 appears in Love, Christmas: Songs of the Heart, and A Christmas Creek Carol, Book #3 is in Love Christmas: Movies You Love. And of course, A Christmas Creek Caper, Book #5 is in this year’s set Christmas Shorts. (Her Christmas Chance, Book #2 and Kitty, It’s Cold Outside, Book #4 make up the rest of Christmas Creek with more to come in coming years.)

Rachelle Ayala’s Christmas Creek Romance Series

What’s Going On?

Everything to heat up YOUR Kindle, that’s what!

Halloween will soon be over, leaving you with much needed R & R (Reading and Relaxing) time before the holiday season arrives.

So, without further ado, let’s get to it…

I’m doing the Happy Dance ~ my new baby is now available for pre-order! Sparkles of the Season: “Savor the Christmas spirit as two unlikely couples rediscover love and commitment, after a magical meeting with Saint Nick.” Just 99 cents~

Sparkles-of-the-Season-Cover_Ricci_9-20-2019-2

Get it here: https://www.amazon.com/Sparkles-Season-Susan-Jean-Ricci-ebook/dp/B07ZKCGDV5

Bonus: Here’s some tempting new collections to indulge your favorite pastime, and brand new Christmas anthologies The Authors’ Billboard is eager to present ~ ALL are 99 Cents, or Free on Kindle Unlimited:

Available Now! Sweet and Sassy Heroes

Presenting…a new anthology starring a daring display of heroes in action. These men are every woman’s dream come true! Whether fighting to save their families, hot detectives in pursuit of the truth, young sweethearts facing difficult choices, or a strong man offering a broken woman comfort, this SEVEN book box-set from NY Times and USA Today Bestselling authors will get your heart pounding and keep you turning pages long into the night. Get it Here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07YK2XYS4

Available Now!  Unforgettable Christmas Dreams: Gifts of Joy (The Unforgettables Book 14)

As they seek peace, joy, and family life, these dedicated heroes and heroines struggle to heal wounded hearts, reveal dangerous secrets, travel to find a loved one, hide from danger, and work to save desperate patients. But their greatest wish is to bring holiday happiness to those around them. To you, our dear readers, we offer these gifts of joy at Christmas time.
New York Times and USA Today bestselling authors have mingled Christmas dreams and composed beautiful love stories that range from sweet to spicy, with romance and suspense, to keep you entertained and dreaming in Unforgettable Christmas Dreams. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07ZCBXNRY

Christmas Shorts

The Authors’ Billboard has a special holiday treat for you this year! Spanking new short stories – from the naughty and the nice list – to add fun to your 2019 season and keep your spirits high.
Eighteen of our masters of romance have contributed to this incredible deal for your entertainment this Christmas. Eat goodies, drink hot toddies, read, enjoy, make wishes and… dream.

Now available for Pre-order: 99 Cents ~ Delivered to your Kindle on November 14, 2019 https://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Shorts-Mimi-Barbour-ebook/dp/B07ZMSNB1L

Don’t forget to enter our Monthly Giveaway! You can win Amazon Gift Cards, eBooks, and More – Click Here to Enter: http://authorsbillboard.com

Enjoy your week ahead!

Ghost Towns of Texas by @JoanReeves #mgtab

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Well, it does if you’re a writer who began plotting and writing Christmas romances a few months ago.

You’re going to be delighted with CHRISTMAS SHORTS, the new holiday romance collection we’ve created just for you. I’m taking the opportunity today to do a cover reveal for my story in the box set, Stuck on the Naughty List, a romance about a girl who left the man she loved so he could live the life he’d been groomed for since birth.

Now, you may wonder what that has to do with Ghost Towns of Texas, one of my hobbies one might say.

Stuck on the Naughty List is set in Capitola, Texas, a town that no longer exists. Like many of the more than 1,000 ghost towns, Capitola, located in Mason County which is part of the Texas Hill Country,boomed briefly and then faded away.

This was the 3rd book I’ve set in a town that was once a real town and is now just a memory.

Capitola intrigued me from the moment I read about it because it was founded by a woman—and not just any woman, but an avid reader.

Sarah E. Jenkins, the postmistress, founded the community was founded in 1894. She loved to read and named the town after the heroine in a popular novel of that era: The Hidden Hand, or, Capitola the Madcap by American author E.D.E.N. Southworth. (That’s Emma Dorothy Eliza Nevitte Southworth.)

The little community failed to thrive, and the post office closed its doors a dozen years later. Then the route of the main road was altered, and the town faded away. However, it was the perfect inspiration for me to create a series with a western swing dance hall, the Capitola Palace Dance Hall, as the center of the social life in the town and surrounding counties.

In case you don’t know, American Western Swing music is a genre that’s entirely Texan. It came out of the Great Depression with Bob Wills as one of the co-founders of the genre.

The song by Waylon Jennings, “Bob Wills Is Still the King,” is a tribute to Wills and Western Swing music which is played in Austin and by popular bands like Asleep at the Wheel. (Check YouTube!)

I loved “meeting” Cassie and Ben and will feature them in the second book as they join forces with a couple of newcomers to save the Capitola Palace Dance Hall from destruction.

While you’re waiting for CHRISTMAS SHORTS, be sure and check out all the other wonderful holiday collections and other box sets we’ve produced. Remember to enter our Giveaway.

Enjoy autumn! It’s delightful here in Texas.