10 Best Things About Summer’s End by @JoanReeves #mtab

Many people bemoan summer’s end, but there are 10 best things about this time of the year that are particularly enchanting.

1. Kids are back in school, and all of us get a break from keeping children occupied 24/7. Celebrate with your mom friends.

2. School supplies are in the stores, and that means hundreds of boxes of Crayola Crayons perfume the air. I love that smell which takes me back not only to my children’s childhoods but also to my own.

3. At last, you can pick up the clutter, toys, and other detritus that accumulates when the kids are home full time. Isn’t that a relief?

Action American Football, Photo by Football Wife, Pexels

4. The high school football season has started, and in Texas, that means Friday Night Lights — the band and color guard at half time not to mention the game. Lots of fun!

5. Major league baseball teams are trying to slide home and into playoff position for the World Series. I love baseball. Go Astros!

6. The lawns are lush and green and the smell of newly mown grass is refreshing. Enjoy it because it will soon end.

7. A seasonal change is coming. Even here in Texas, leaves on some trees are beginning to fade, hinting of the autumn to come. There’s something about the changing of seasons that is rejuvenating.

8. Take advantage of the big discounts offered by the cruise lines. Book a cruise for the fall months. The weather is still good, they’re not as packed as usual, and the prices can’t be beat.

9. Start your holiday planning now rather than waiting a week before Thanksgiving. That’s what many of us do. Suddenly, we push the panic button because we realize how much shopping, cooking, gift buying, etc. that must be done! Now is the time to take charge of your holiday schedule.

10. When your kids do homework, sit with them and read a good book. You’ll find several on our Home Page. While you’re on the Home Page, be sure and enter our August Giveaway with Amazon Gift Cards as the prizes.

Of course, I’d love it if you added one of my books to your To Be Read list. Try Second Chance Bride for a steamy romance about a love that was meant to be.

He was the only man she wanted—and the one man she could never have.

Kindle Unlimited free read, or buy this compelling romance and keep it forever!

Happy Summer’s End!

Confessions of a Binge Reader by @JoanReeves #mgtab

Hi! My name is Joan, and I’m a…a…Binge Reader.

There I said it. Whew! I feel so much better now.

I’ve been a binge reader my entire life. I was the kid with the book and flashlight under the covers because I couldn’t bear to close my book at night.

Come to think of it, that may be why I’m an insomniac. At any rate, I still read far past my bedtime at night.

Wonderful World of Ebooks

Today’s ebook world is a wonderland for readers like me. I think the Kindle is one of the best inventions ever.

Another great invention? Box sets! Wow. How did we binge readers get along before there were box sets.

My trusty Kindle is loaded with happily-ever-after box sets so I can happily read one book after another. We here at Authors Billboard have embraced the concept of box sets and offer several to readers who are like me.

Are you a binge reader too? If you suspect you are but aren’t sure, here’s a questionnaire that will help you discover whether you too suffer from this awesome disorder.

Binge Reader Questionnaire

  1. Are you unable to place a bookmark and close a book once you’ve started reading?
  2. When you finish a book, do you immediately start reading another one?
  3. In the rare event that you have no books to read, do you find yourself in an online bookstore and don’t know how you got there?
  4. Would you rather read than watch TV?
  5. Do you sneak a read when you’re supposed to be doing something else like laundry, working on a spreadsheet, or cooking dinner for the family?
  6. Do you stay up late at night reading even when you’re tired and should be sleeping?
  7. Do you have stacks of books to read and a full ereading device, but you can’t resist buying another book or box set?
  8. Have you ever said: I can quit any time I want?

If you answered yes to at least half of these questions, you may have a problem. If you answered yes to all of them, you’re a Binge Reader. You probably have a cluttered home and piles of work awaiting you.

Who cares? There are worse addictions than reading. Look on the bright side.

  1. You’re well-read.
  2. You can converse on many different subjects.
  3. Your kids are probably readers too, and that’s helped them develop critical thinking skills.
  4. And you’re probably happy.
  5. If you’re happy, chances are, your family is happy too.

Read on!

Check out our July Giveaway. I hope you’ll click my Rafflecopter button even though my name is listed as Joanne rather than Joan. *LOL*

While you’re at the July Giveaway page, take a peek at all the wonderful box sets available from The Authors of Authors Billboard.

By the way, pick up a copy of my free romance short story LuvU4Ever, Book 1 of A Moment in Time.

He promised to love her forever? So what happened? Can nine little words destroy love? “I told you to never call me at home.

I love a good short story with a beginning, middle and strong ending and ‘LuvU4Ever’ delivers with no cliffhangers to cheat the reader. ‘LuvU4Ever’ is one short story I would recommend to all lovers of romance!” ~Jane Jones, Top 1000 Amazon Reviewer

 

10 Great Romance Movies by Joan Reeves #mgtab

Although I love making video trailers, I don’t fancy myself to be a movie maker by any means, but perhaps my love of movies inspires by video book trailers.

Recently, I bought a copy of one of my favorite romance movies of all time, The Love Letter starring Campbell Scott and Jennifer Jason Leigh. Many years ago, I happened upon this Hallmark movie late one night when I was channel surfing because of insomnia.

Made in 1998, the story is about a man who buys an antique desk and finds a hidden compartment containing letters written by a woman who lived during the Civil War.

Oh, what a romantic, poignant time travel story the movie was. It took me a long time before the DVD was available. I had it in my Amazon Wish list for a long time but didn’t want to pay the SRP. To my surprise, the price dropped to less than $10.00 last week. My copy was delivered today!

Subjective Taste

It’s funny how some things catch our imagination and speak to us so eloquently. However, movies, like books appeal subjectively to people. Since we’re all romance fans on this website, I wondered how many of my personal favorites “speak” to you. So here’s my list of romance movies I love that I think have stood the test of time. I chose the ones that you probably won’t find on film critics’ lists. They’re not in any special order because prioritizing the list would be completely impossible.

1. The Love Letter, 1998.

2. Ladyhawke, 1985. Starring a young Rutger Hauer who looks like a fallen angel with his blond hair and piercing blue eyes. Two lovers who can never be reunited.

3. The Last of the Mohicans, 1992. Starring a gorgeous long-haired Daniel Day-Lewis and Madeleine Stowe as Cora, with a stirring musical score that still gives me goosebumps.

4. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, can’t leave those out!

5. Notting Hill, 1999. So funny and so romantic with Hugh Grant as the diffident would-be lover of a famous movie star.

6. Love Actually, 2003. Hugh Grant got a promotion to Prime Minister, a politician who meets his Waterloo on the day he arrives at 10 Downing Street. A talented ensemble cast with separate stories that are funny, heartwarming, and poignant. 

7.  American Dreamer, 1984. JoBeth Williams and Tom Conti. Frustrated writer stuck with a husband who doesn’t “get her” wins a trip to Paris, gets mugged, and wakes up thinking she is her favorite fictional heroine. Funny, romantic, and memorable. (I’ve got a copy.)

8. Something New, 2006. Opposites, landscaper and CPA, attract resulting in a delightful, emotional romance. Stars Simon Baker and Sanaa Lathan.

9. The Holiday, 2006. Jude Law, Cameron Diaz, Kate Winslet, and Jack Black. Sometimes you have to go across the pond to find Love. Funny and romantic, my favorite combination.

10. The Jane Austen Book Club, 2007, with an ensemble cast of Kathy Baker, Maria Bello, Amy Brenneman, Marc Blucas, Jimmy Smits, Emily Blunt, and Hugh Dancy. I absolutely adore this movie.

Looking for Romance?

If you’re looking for a romantic movie, try some of the ones on my list. For romance novels, drop by our Authors’ Billboard Books page where you’ll find stunning romance collections at amazingly low prices.

Have a great summer filled with Romance!

10 Best Slow Dance Songs by @JoanReeves #mgtab

I love music and have very eclectic taste. Depending on my mood, I may listen to anything from a Chopin polonaise to “Killing Strangers” by Marilyn Manson to “Moonlight Serenade” by Glenn Miller to “99 Problems” by Hugo.

My current favorite songs are several tracks from “Lucifer” like “Being Evil Has a Price” by Heavy Young Heathens. In other words, I’m one of those people that probably screws up Pandora‘s “recommended for you” algorithm because I listen to so many different genres and artists.

Most of my books have characters listening to music too. I always make a playlist for a book. I used to include the list in the back matter of my books. I think I’ll start doing that again but make a menu tab on my blog, SlingWords, so readers can find the music that inspired certain scenes if they’re interested.

Dance to the Music

I guess it’s only natural that I also love to dance. My husband and I are always the first to take the floor at any event where there’s dancing. No, we’re not trained professionals. We both just love to dance.

In several of my books, like Second Chance Bride, the hero and heroine dance together. What better way is there for them to be in each other’s arms?

When I write scenes like that, I choose the music carefully. In Second Chance Bride, they’re at a small town Texas festival—we have a lot of them in our small towns—and there’s always dancing in the street.

In this particular scene, they dance to “Crazy” by Patsy Cline, an old country classic that most small town bands play. That song fit everything about the scene from the small Texas town setting to the emotion between the characters. I thought I’d share some of the other songs I’d considered. They’re not in any order like good to best, and this is just half of the other songs on my list that “speak” to slow dance romance for that book.

10 Best Slow Dance Playlist

  1. So Into You by Atlanta Rhythm Section
  2. Just the Way You Are by Billy Joel (totally different from the Bruno Mars song)
  3. Amazed by Lonestar
  4. I Could Fall in Love by Selena
  5. I Want to Know What Love Is by Foreigner
  6. Need You Now by Lady Antebellum
  7. Can’t Help Falling in Love by Elvis Presley (this is still on a global list of most popular wedding first dance songs).
  8. I Can’t Tell You Why by The Eagles
  9. Unbreak My Heart by Toni Braxton
  10. Don’t Wake Me Up by Lianne La Havas

In Second Chance Bride when Constance and Alex (Alejandro) finally overcome all their problems, there is a wedding. I won’t tell you the song that plays as Constance walks to meet Alex to say their vows nor will I tell you the song playing when they kiss at the end of the ceremony. Each song means something to them and to their journey from the beginning of the book to the end.

I get teary-eyed just thinking about it. *LOL* I’m not crazy for feeling that way. Most authors are like me—their characters are “real” people to them.

Second Chance Bride is an Amazon Exclusive. Here’s what a review said:

This is such a lush book. The pacing is smooth, and the plot is engrossing. The reason behind Constance’s move to Lantana Lane is mysterious at first, so I was stunned when I learned what it is. It’s a great plot twist.

Alex/Alejandro is a dear man. The way he encourages and supports Constance is utterly sweet. The best part, though, is how Constance’s past is redeemed. It’s absolutely beautiful. ~ Amazon Review

What Are Your Slow Dance Faves?

Have you slow-danced with your beloved to any of these songs? Chances are, you have your own list. What songs speak to the romantic within you?

Post Script

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