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.

Does Autumn smell like sports to you?

No matter where I go, someone has a team logo pasted somewhere. Whether it’s a tee shirt for the local high school, bumper sticker for the university, or major league team hat, fans are everywhere. That means I need to write a sports romance!
Several of my Authors’ Billboard friends felt the same way, so we got together and wrote stories (some already had one written) with athletic themes. Boxers, footballers, soccer players, hoopsters, you name it. We tried to grab a bit of everything for The Players: Overcoming the Odds.
My story, Too Fast for You, is about a woman baseball player. I created a new format for this story. I call it Now and Then, alternating chapters between eras in Loren and José’s involvement with each other. Chapter One: Then is about their early years and Little League. Chapter Two: Now brings the reader to present day and what’s going on in their Minor League Baseball careers. Of course, Loren has to deal with gender prejudice (I wrote from my own experience there!) and José tries to help her adjust without letting her know he was once her best friend. We have some bad guys in there, too.

Take a minute to add The Players to your Kindle Unlimited library or buy for less than a buck. Now you’re ready for the weekend! Oh, and don’t forget to leave a review. Authors are forever grateful for them.

How To Properly Store Books by @JoanReeves #mgtab

Writers are die-hard readers first and foremost, and we know how to properly store books.

In fact, we probably buy more books than the average reader, and many of us have massive home libraries.

Whether you’re talking an online bookseller or a brick and mortar store, we find it had to pass them by without browsing the sale books, new releases, and collectibles.

I’ve written before about how to remove the smell from books one may buy in a musty used book store. Today, I thought I’d talk about how to store books properly. At the end of this post, I’ll even talk about the proper storage of ebooks since so many of us now prefer to read those because of convenience and the inexpensive price point.

Print Books Rule

If you’re like me, you have a considerable financial investment in printed books that comprise your home library. Actually, according to recent book sale statistics, softcover and hardcover print books are rising in popularity.

I’ve lost many readers because they tell me they read only print. They love the feel of the printed pages, and digital just doesn’t give them the same feel. (I plan to get all my backlist in new print editions by the end of January 2020 if not before.)

Our personal book collections are more valuable than we realize. If you add up the amount you have invested in your personal library, you might be stunned by the tally. Protect your library by storing your books properly.

5 Tips on Storing Your Print Books

1. Store books upright to prevent warping. It’s always best to completely fill the book shelf so they are supported on each end. If you don’t have enough books to do this, be sure to use strong bookends.

2. Keep food and beverages away from books because insects, along with heat and humidity, are a book’s worst enemies. Cockroaches, silverfish, and carpet beetle larvae, better known as—you guessed it—the bookworm are attracted to the smallest residue of nutrients. Keep your books clean, cool, dry, and nutrient-free.

3. Use bookmarks to hold your place in a book. (Roses are not appropriate bookmarks.) Do not dog ear the page (I am so guilty of this!) or lay the book down, open-faced (Sigh. I do this too.) which will damage the spine of the book.

4. Books aren’t double-jointed. Never “crack” one open, that is, don’t force it open past its own natural angle.

5. The purpose of the dust jacket, the paper cover that comes on hardbacks, is to keep the book from becoming soiled and to protect it from wear and tear. Never discard it because if you think you may hang on to it as a collectible, the lack of a dust cover lowers its value.

It’s okay to remove the dust jacket, as long as you follow Rule #2, so as not to tatter it while reading the book, but return it to the book when you finish reading.

How To Store Ebooks

Stuff as many as possible into your selected digital reading device as often as possible. You’ll find hundreds available from the Authors of Authors Billboard. Just look at the Home Page for some suggestions and subscribe to our Friday weekly newsletter to see new releases and ebooks on sale.

*LOL* Okay, that’s not really a rule, but an ereader stores your ebooks without your doing much more than downloading the ebook. Plus, you don’t have to dust the books on your digital shelf. Anything that gets me out of dusting is a good thing.

For your consideration, try my romantic comedy Just One Look.

Here’s what a recent  Review said: “This story gripped me and didn’t let go. I finished it in five hours! It was fast-paced and filled with emotion and very HOT moments. The hero — Matt — is delicious and sweet. And confident. Very enjoyable read.”

Seriously, it’s never too late to learn the proper way to do something. Make new book handling habits today and teach them to your children.

Be sure and shop the Home Page for books and also enter our Rafflecopter while you’re there.

Finders Keepers!

I remember being a little girl and other kids around me would find things and say, “finders keepers losers weepers.” I always found that to be strange saying when my parents taught me that if you found something valuable, you aways try to find the owner.

I’ve done a few writing workshops where every authors is given the same prompt and yet, when you read the stories, they are very different. One such exercise had been done at my local RWA meeting. The prompt was this: You walk into your hotel room and what to do you find? We had everything from puppies, to naked men, to a computer, to an ominous note, to a dead body, and more! It was very interesting to see how each writer took the same sentence and ran with it in totally different directions.

Since then, I’ve wanted to do boxset based on a similar concept and I came up with, what if you looked inside your purse and found something that didn’t belong to you? What is that item? I told that idea to Casey Hagen and Finders Keepers was born.

We have eight talented authors who contributed to this set. Each one picking a different item. Each story going in a different direction. We have some contemporary stories, suspense stories, and romantic comedies. A little something for everyone. You can’t go wrong with this set. Pre-Order your copy today! 

Welcome to Finders Keepers where Possession is 9/10ths of the law and it has never been so sweet…or scandalous! Curl up with eight romances where each heroine discovers a surprise in her purse that sends her on a wild ride to her happily-ever-after.

Open the clasp and see what’s inside!

USA Today Bestselling Author Jen Talty: What started as a reunion ends in a deadly twist and an unexpected finish.

USA Today Bestselling Author Casey Hagen: Mama always warned her that her sense of adventure would only lead to trouble. Tall. Dark. Delicious. Trouble.

Nicole S. Patrick: He’d cracked the wall around her heart.

Stacey Wilk: When a chance encounter warms the heart and lights the way home.

Rayvn Salvador: Their past is the key to everything, but the move to unlock the future has yet to be made.

Lisa Ricard Claro: When the past and present collide, love can be a real killer.

Robin Stone: He lost his true love. Will he ever find another?

Judy Kentrus: Their journey to love is battered by secrets from their pasts.

Available only on Amazon.