Tips for Adopting a Puppy at Christmas by Josie Riviera

Considering bringing a furry friend into your home this holiday season? Remember to prepare your space, invest time in training, and ensure the commitment matches the festive spirit. A puppy’s love is the gift that keeps on giving.

Here are some puppy adoption tips:

  • Remove hazards and create a safe environment.
  • Start with basic commands and positive reinforcement.
  • Set consistent feeding, play, and bathroom schedules.
  • Introduce your puppy to various environments and people.
  • Consult your vet for a suitable diet based on age and breed.
  • Monitor health, vaccinations, and preventive care.
  • Provide safe and durable toys for teething.
  • Designate a cozy space with a bed and familiar toys.
  • Be patient, understanding, and consistent in training.

I’m so excited about my newest release: Cocoa’s Christmas Love

Adopting a Puppy

Step into the world of Evergreen Valley, where Ivy Bennett’s Wishing Blooms weave their magic and rekindle the spirit of Christmas in the most unexpected way. In Cocoa’s Christmas Love, Ivy, a spirited florist, finds herself facing challenges that threaten her flourishing flower shop. But when fate introduces her to Blake Shepherd, a disillusioned hometown photographer, the magic of the season begins to unfold.

Fall in love with the irresistible charm of a puppy for Christmas. A Happily-Ever-After is guaranteed, making this sweet, small-town romance a perfect holiday read.

Grab your copy today.

Cocoa’s Christmas Love is available in ebook, paperback, large print paperback, and hardcover.

Audiobook coming soon.

FREE on Kindle Unlimited.

A quirky author!

I have to make a confession.

Every time I look at my calendar and see that it’s time to start another story for my Holiday Heartwarmers Series, I get a real lift and smiles light up my world. I’m a sucker for puppies and kids.

Especially American Eskimo pups which is the breed I own. (Charli is a toy size, which means thirteen pounds of white fluff and love, with a sassy personality. She keeps me on my feet all the time and makes me laugh a lot.)

Of course, that helps me when I write about these lovely canines.

Having one wonderful son (out of the four I wish I’d had) is probably a reason why I enjoy creating stories about kids. I tried not to involve myself too deeply into his little-boy business while he grew up, but I found everything about his journey fascinating.

I guess the gods smiled down on my yearning for babies and brought me my lovely little niece to live with our family when she was ten. This time, I was able to delve into the thoughts and feelings of a little girl who worked so hard to find herself. To this day, she is my daughter and she has brought our small family a lot of joy.

Add in my favorite time of year, the Christmas season, and I’m in my glory.

Plotting the latest book was a very enjoyable trip into my imagination, one I thoroughly enjoyed. It’s called “Christmas is for Everyone”. Because I’ve recently heard so much about folks going through health situations with their parents and friends, many having mental difficulties like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, I just had to add a loveable old man with a similar condition. He quickly became one of my favorite characters.   

The story starts off with our heroine walking home from work at the beginning of a snowstorm. She comes across an older man wandering forlornly wearing only a sweater and slippers and carrying a bedraggled little puppy.

Both are lost…

Now available on Amazon

In all Amazon stores – FREE in Kindle Unlimited https://mybook.to/christmasisforeveryone

Travel with Mona to France-The Loire Valley

A Writer’s Inspiration: France

Of all the countries I visited, France has always been my favorite. Maybe because of its rich culture and history, or maybe because I am fluent in French and have several friends living in Paris who always welcome me.

With its cobbled streets, stunning Basilica, artists, bistros … Montmartre is full of charm! Perched on the top of a small hill in the 18th arrondissement, the most famous Parisian district has lost none of its village atmosphere that appealed so much to the artists of the 19th and 20th centuries.

The Sacré-Cœur basilica is a masterpiece of grace and grandeur. You can see this entirely white landmark from all parts of Paris. Built at the end of the 19th century in the Romano-Byzantine style, it is dedicated to the heart of Christ and is an important place of worship in the capital. It houses the largest mosaic in France, measuring no less than 480 m²!

A narrow street with cafes in Montmartre.
A unique view of the Tour Eiffel from the
balcony of my hotel room
Perched on the Butte (hill) Montmartre, the basilica is accessible by funicular from the Place Saint-Pierre or via the lawns and steps from the little public garden ‘Square Louise Michel’. 

If you go to Paris, you’ll probably climb the Tour Eiffel or use the elevator after staying in line for an hour. You’ll visit the Arc de Triomphe, Les Invalides, Les Tuileries, many more monuments and must-see places and of course Versailles.

Although Paris would inspire any visitor with fabulous dreams, there is more to France than its capital. A few years ago, my husband rented a car and we toured the Loire Valley.

The valley is known for its dry white wines,
and sparkling-wine 
Blois, a hillside city on the Loire River, is the capital of the Loir-et-Cher region in central France.

The châteaux of the Loire Valley (French: châteaux de la Loire) are part of the architectural heritage of the historic towns of Amboise, Angers, Blois, Chinon, Orléans, Saumur, and Tours along the river Loire in France. They illustrate Renaissance ideals of design in France.

The châteaux of the Loire Valley number over three hundred, ranging from practical fortified castles from the 10th century to splendid residences built half a millennium later. When the French kings began constructing their huge châteaux in the Loire Valley, the nobility, drawn to the seat of power, followed suit.

The Chateau de Chambord, the most sumptuous one, was built by King François I and inspired by Leonardo Da Vinci. The chateau remains one of the most famous and visited buildings in France. Chateau de Chambord was listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.

The château d’Amboise was built over an old roman fortress. Throughout France’s troublesome 16th Century, the château d’ Amboise was the home of King Henry II and his wife, Catherine de’ Medici. Leonardo Da Vinci spent the last three years of his life here, as a guest of King Francis I. Although he lived in the neighboring château of Clos Lucé, Leonardo da Vinci is buried in the Royal Château of Amboise.

The château de Chenonceaux, called the Ladies’ Castle, is famous for its architecture which bridges the Cher River. Founded on the pilings of a mill in 1513, the château was completed in 1522. The château was confiscated by Francis I in 1535. Henry II presented it to his mistress Diane de Poitiers. On his death his queen, Catherine de Médicis, forced Diane to give it up. Chenonceaux was extensively restored in the 19th century. The village was occupied by the Germans and slightly damaged in World War II.

The château de Chaumont, built in the 10th century, is one of the oldest castles in the Loire Valley.

Villandry is better known for the magnificent gardens surrounding the castle.

The château de Blois has been the residency of several French kings. It is also the place where Joan of Arc went in 1429 to be blessed by the Archbishop of Reims before departing with her army to drive the English out of Orleans.

The château de Cheverny was built between 1630 and 1640, because a young wife was caught cheating on her husband.

While visiting so many famous castles, I visualized gallant aristocrats entertaining beautiful women in lavishly decorated galleries and plush gardens. Stories played in my mind. I don’t write historical romances but kept thinking about the settings.

A year later, my niece related her summer training in France. As a Harvard University student in Architecture, she was offered the unique opportunity to work on the restoration of a chapel in a French castle. When I asked jokingly, “Was the owner a haughty old man?” My niece answered: “He was a young, handsome count and the five girls in my team had a crush on him. He dated my friend.”

Oh, oh. Château . Handsome count. Training on a historical chapel. Maybe looking for a historical statue. I had an epiphany. Here was my story premise. Below is the château I used in my story. When I pitched it to an agent at the RWA conference, she suggested I change the plot to make it a romantic suspense. I took her suggestion to heart and upped the stakes with a missing statue and the murder of a professor. THE MISSING STATUE was born.

THE MISSING STATUE: Are his statue and chateau worth endangering the life of the impetuous young woman who’s turned his life upside down? https://www.amazon.com/dp/B010FX4OOY/  

“… is a great romance with an excellent mystery.” ~Publishers’ Weekly

This is a wonderfully exciting romantic suspense novel. The characters are appealing and the setting is very romantic, a chateau in the Loire Valley. There is an interesting cast of characters. The plot is full of action and the reader is never sure who is on the side of good or evil.” ~ Romance Studio
“Murder, mystery, and intrigue seem to follow Cheryl as she assists Francois on his project. A great contemporary romantic read.” ~Review Your Book
Mona Risk brings old-fashioned romance back into style… full of mystery and intrigue.  I loved Ms. Risk’s injection of humor into the story. A sweet mystery romance you’re guaranteed to enjoy.” ~ Two Lips Review


If you have a chance to go to France, do yourself a favor and visit the châteaux de la Loire. I promise you won’t regret it.

I have three new books on pre-order.

KISSING PLANS: From best friend to lovers. But she’s engaged. What better way to get rid of the undesired fiancé? Finding him a girlfriend.

FAMILY PLANS: The plane crash devastated two families and revealed painful secrets. Can a brighter future arise from those ashes at Christmas time?

HEALING PLANS: He adopted two minority children but lost his wife. Finally things settle for him, until the lovely surgeon he hires turns his life upside down.

Dear Santa – Alone at Christmas

Hi There – It’s nice to visit every so often. I like to update you on what our members of The Authors’ Billboard are working on – especially during this season.

We love having you as followers, and as a group of authors, we always want to provide you with the best entertainment possible, and at the best price.

Therefore, a bunch of us – 18 to be exact – have gotten together and brainstormed a new collection called “Dear Santa – a Christmas Wish“. After discussing how we can satisfy a single niche during this special season, we decided that there were a lot of subjects we could use, Christmas babies, or puppies, or a second chance at love. Goodness, there were just so many paths to take. But one of our lovely ladies suggested we do it all and use Christmas wishes as our strategy. Wow – that resonated with everyone and so Dear Santa began to take shape.

Now… it’s ready for your holiday reading – Only 99 cents!

Purchase places:

AMAZON.COM, AMAZON.CA, AMAZON.UK, AMAZON.AU, APPLE, KOBO, B&N,

GOOGLE PLAY

***As most authors know, USA Today folks will calculate a percentage of sales from each store where it’s available, and so we hope to interest those of you who can buy from venues other than Amazon.

Purchase Places:

AMAZON.COM, AMAZON.CA, AMAZON.UK, AMAZON.AU, KOBO, B&N

***Amazon has promised Book Bites 13 will be free asap! I’m hoping it’s free now, but if not, please check back. Just so you know, I’ve written them again and begged! :->

We also organized a freebie called “Book Bites 13 – Dear Santa” and will be showing that as often as possible, especially in our weekly newsletters. This set has a collection of the first chapters of each of the 18 books and is a glimpse into what you will be receiving when you purchase the complete collection – Dear Santa – A Christmas Wish.

Because we’re so excited about this new collection and have challenged ourselves to take it as far as the USA Today list, of course with your help, we’ve decided to bring you a new post every day starting today. Each post will highlight one of the 18 brand new stories inside this wonderful cover.

I opted to be first…

My story is called “Alone at Christmas”.

I came up with this idea a long time ago when I was quite young and travelling to visit my folks for Thanksgiving. I met a chatty young woman on the bus who had no place to be that holiday. She was old enough to leave her family and was setting out to return to a small town a half day’s travel from where I was getting off. She’d chosen to go there because it was where her family had vacationed during earlier happy years, and she remembered it fondly. Having no place of her own, she’d decided to make a new life for herself in this strangely familiar setting, get a job, build a future, and try to be happy.

At one point, she left the bus to stretch her legs and her wallet had fallen from her purse. I spotted it and returned it as soon as she re-entered. Her expression made me understand that without that wallet, she would have been destitute. I warned her to be more vigilant, and she promised she would keep the strap around her neck at all times, and the purse zipped up.

Poor little auburn-haired beauty, so determined to make good, be strong and find her way. I would have scooped her up and brought her with me if I could have. I often wondered what had happened to her.

When it came time to write this story, she popped into my head, and I realized that if I were her, my wish from Santa that year would have been to find a special someone… so I wasn’t alone.

Tara overcomes her fears of being alone at Christmas by taking a bus trip to Carlton Grove where she once experienced happiness amongst kind people. Losing her purse during the trip results in her being stranded on the snow-filled streets. When the whines of a trapped puppy entice her to enter a dark, derelict house, she stumbles upon a stranger wounded and unable to move. Doing everything in her power to help them both, she strives to keep them warm during the vicious storm raging against the dilapidated building.

Once Ollie rouses, he finds the girl of his dreams doing everything she can to rescue him from the freezing elements. Being a firefighter, he’s usually the savior in these dire situations. Mind you, he’ll have a chance when she becomes injured in a freak accident. Will he have gained enough strength to save her when she needs him the most?