The Beauty of … A Personal Retreat

If you’re like most of us, you spend much of your time caring for others. Driving the kids to and from school, cooking, cleaning, the list is endless.

Many times, I feel overwhelmed, and a quiet retreat may be just the ticket for feeling rejuvenated.

You might think that you can’t possibly abandon your daily responsibilities. However, an overnight stay at your local hotel, AirBnB, or a cottage at the beach—somewhere you’re sure to get a good night’s sleep—isn’t an overly long time to be away.

The benefits of allowing yourself the time for new experiences and fresh starts cannot be overrated, because self-care is important for our well-being and overall health.

So, as we begin the summer season, carve out time for yourself. Don’t let the basics of every life get in the way.

Have you ever planned a quiet retreat? Please share your comments below.

New Release! Summer Hearts

Bundle up and save with captivating stories celebrating the promise of new beginnings and beautiful summers. This set includes three sweet and inspirational romances:

The last thing she can fix is her own life. Until one man’s offer changes everything.

A Chocolate-Box Summer Breeze
Will Emily and Joe find their happily-ever-after in a forgotten summer breeze?

A Summer To Cherish
Faith is fragile. Faith takes time. And the best solutions are always painted with love.

Special introductory price of only 99¢. Grab your copy of Summer Hearts today before the price goes up. Also available in paperback and Large Print paperback. Audiobooks for each book sold separately.

Enchanted by Vikings #RachelleAyala @Mimisgang1 #mgtab


Everywhere I turn there’s a new movie, television series, video game, heavy metal bands, even costume-partygoers celebrating this ancient culture that hailed from the icy regions of Northern Europe.

Why are modern men and women of the twenty-first century so enchanted by Vikings? Perhaps it is a yearning to return to what we believe to be a simpler life, one that was in touch with nature and the elements of raw survival. Or it’s the fascination of muscled and bearded men who were too wild to be tamed. Or the glory of a warlike society, where valor, honor, and bravery were highly regarded. Possibly, it’s their reputation for brutality and slaughter and the fear they engendered on their raids. Although to be fair, the Romans, Assyrians, Mongols, Iroquois, British and all other human groups were no less brutal. Or it could be the love affair we have with their gods and goddesses and the stories they told that have been passed down to us. Their antics, their cavorting, their origin stories, and their views concerning fate and the afterlife and the finality of Ragnarok.

The Norsemen did not call themselves Vikings, and a lot of the stories have become romanticized as time went by. They get made and remade into operas, movies, novels, symphonies, plays, and video games, and the characters are invented and changed. Even a Norseman’s appearance has been creatively embellished. For example, they didn’t wear horned helmets as they were commonly depicted, and we don’t truly know how they wore their hair and beards, or whether they were as heavily tattooed as movies and popular culture now depict them. From Wagner to Marvel, everyone has their own appropriation of Norse culture, mythology, legends, and stories.

For me, I like the Norse mythology–from the world tree to the serpent surrounding the world, and stories of the various gods, goddesses, giants, dwarves, and other creatures in their pantheon. The stories and myths vary with the teller, and indeed the gods take on shapes of birds, totem animals, or even other gods as they scheme and plot for either power or entertainment. The Norse were also fatalistic, believing in norns who have woven the strands of their lives before they were born. The fatalism extended to Ragnarok, the end of the world or at least the end of most of their prominent gods. No one could stop what was foretold. It happened exactly as predicted. It was a horrible ending, and yet, some minor characters survived, but nothing is recorded or survived to our day. What happened after Ragnarok will always remain a mystery or even better, we’re free to invent our own endings or new beginnings.

I did just that with Red Hexed: Ruby where a modern-day woman in San Francisco comes face to face with a Viking in search of a berserker sword. She’s drawn into his quest to stop Ragnarok when he asks her to impersonate Hella, the goddess of death. Along the way, they get tangled up with Odin, Loki, Freya, Hella, and Surt while a shapeshifting horsefly turned cockatoo leads or misleads them while inadvertently playing matchmaker. [Check it out for 99c release week special].

The Beauty of … Summer Picnics.

Summer is the time of year our schedules slow down, and we have time to enjoy the beautiful warm weather. The days grow longer, leaving more time for outdoor picnics like those of our childhood.

A time to create memories with family and friends that will last a lifetime.

There are plenty of things that you can do to create a memorable day:

Have a cook-off! Pick one ingredient or dish and have each family make their recipe, then judge whose is the best. Give them bragging rights until next time!

Pet Olympics. Everyone can bring their dogs, or maybe an adventurous cat, to compete in an agility course, a game of fetch, or race with their owners. Of course, award medals to the winners!

A photo booth. Have a theme or props. Take everyone’s picture, then share the pics with everyone who attends.

Outdoor movie night. Enjoy a movie experience in the backyard complete with popcorn and snacks, just like the old-fashioned drive-in.

Make your own Sundae Bar. Who can say no to an ice cream sundae? The fun will be multiplied with fun and innovative toppings.

Whatever you choose, I hope you make this a summer to remember.

Do you love holiday inspirational and sweet romances anytime of the year?

Grab my newest release, Holiday Hearts Volume 4, today.

Three books in 1 boxed set and only 99¢ for a limited time!

Available in ebook, paperback, Large Print paperback, and Hardcover.

The Beauty of a Fresh Start @josieriviera, #mgtab

There are three times a year that seem like natural times for a fresh start. New Year’s, Spring, and Fall.

On January 1st you have a new planner with blank pages, and an entire year to reach your goals and dreams. It’s always exciting to think about what can be accomplished in the 365 days that lie ahead.

Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365-page book. Write a good one.” Brad Paisley.

When Spring arrives, and he days get longer, we think about planting our garden, watching it grow, and enjoying the beauty of nature as it blossoms.

“The beautiful spring came, and when nature resumes her loveliness, the human soul is apt to revive also.” Harriet Ann Jacobs

And finally, Fall arrives. The weather cools and the days become shorter. As children return to school, we look forward to completing the goals we have set all year while preparing for the winter ahead.

“If a year was tucked inside of a clock, then autumn would be the magic hour.” Victoria Erickson

We can have a fresh start today. Set new goals, and let’s all move forward together.

What changes do you want to see in your life? Please leave your comments below.

A Homecoming To Cherish, my newest inspirational contemporary romance, is now available for only 99¢. Pick up your copy today before price goes up. Available in ebook, Paperback, Large Print Paperback, and Hardcover.