Freaky Fun Facts by @JoanReeves #mgtab

Add these to your trivia treasury!

First I’ll apologize if this post looks crazy. I logged in to post for today and discovered WordPress changed everything since last month. Oh, well, here goes my blog attempt. Wish me luck.

History is full of quirky little facts. Sometimes, I like to work one or two of these interesting tidbits into the books I write—as long as I can do it organically.

For example, in Heat Lightning, a romantic suspense, I had the nervous heroine entertain the hero with some trivia she’d read about the invention of the vacuum cleaner. Sounds silly, I know, but it broke the ice between them. Trust me, there was plenty of ice between those two.

Of course, I collect far more facts than I can ever use. For your entertainment, in no particular order, here are a few to entertain you. Warning, I read these in a couple of those trivia collection books but cannot verify the truthfulness of them.

Hard To Believe, But…

In 1439, kissing was officially banned in England in an effort stop disease from spreading. (Bet the whole nation became a bunch of lawbreakers.)

In 1912, a Paris orphanage held a raffle to raise money and gave away live babies as prizes!

John F. Kennedy, Anthony Burgess, Aldous Huxley, and C.S. Lewis all died on the same day.

Karl Marx was once a correspondent for the New York Daily Tribune.

Ronald Reagan was a lifeguard during high school and saved 77 people’s lives. (Seriously?)

Everyone knows the Aztecs made human sacrifices, but did you know in 1487, 20,000 people were sacrificed at the dedication of the temple in Tenochtitlan.

The Romans used human urine as mouthwash. (OMG!!!)

On the subject of urine, in the Regency period when men retired to a room for whisky, it was common for them to urinate into the fireplace.

In the 19th century a popular medicine for kids was Mrs. Winslow’s Soothing Syrup which had morphine as the active ingredient.

In early Rome a father could legally kill anyone in his family.

A couple of centuries ago, pregnant women were not given anything to relieve the pain of childbirth because pain was considered God’s punishment for Eve’s eating the forbidden fruit.

Attila the Hun bled to death from a nosebleed on his wedding night.

People have been wearing glasses for about 700 years.

February 1865 is the only month in recorded history not to have a full moon.

There is no known civilization that did not tax. Even the very first known civilization, the Sumerians, recorded their tax history on clay cones.

For Your Consideration: Heat Lightning

Secrets, lies, passion. What Tessa doesn’t remember may just be the death of her.

Her husband found her, claimed her, rescued her. David’s touch makes Tessa throb. Desire flashes between them like heat lightning on a summer night. Her body knows David, but when she looks at him, he is a stranger to her. Not a flicker of memory is left of him or their life together since she awakened from a coma.

Amnesia has left her with nothing but questions. Who is she? Why does David seem to hate her even as he pulls her into his arms? What is he hiding? How can she trust him when her gut says, Trust no one?

As her love for David grows, so does her feeling of foreboding—as if something awful is watching and waiting.

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Post Script

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Time Flies, Be Happy Now by @JoanReeves #mgtab

Time flies. Be Happy. As you begin to read this post you may think I’m just writing down whatever thoughts are spinning around in my brain, but I promise you I do have a point.

I woke up this morning from a dream in which my older son was holding a book. He asked me, “Why do you have this old book? You should get rid of it.”

I went on to tell him it was a book from my mother’s library and that the title came from an incident when Alabama was struck by a huge  meteor storm in 1833.

My mother had told me that her grandmother recounted the incident to her children, telling them it was so bright outside that the roosters crowed as if it were dawn, and the chickens exited the hen house. Everyone awoke thinking it was time to get up and start their day.

Mom had quite a collection of southern literature, and I remember seeing the book in her bookcase. Often, I’d think I should read it, but time flies. Life is too short to do all we want. When my mother passed, I, as the book lover in the family took her books home with me.

While my coffee brewed this morning, I went upstairs to my library and pulled the book from the shelf. Why had I dreamed of this book?

The inside title page shows it was published in 1934 by The Literary Guild in New York. It’s a first edition.

With thoughts of my mother on my mind, I thumbed through the book, thinking that the older I get, the more I miss her and my dad even though they were not the easiest people to get along with—not with each other and not with their children.

My mother and I had our love of reading and of books in common. Unfortunately, she was a perfectionist. It’s not easy having a perfectionist for a mom. She had a difficult time being happy because life is so imperfect. Maybe that’s why I write romance, creating characters who, by the end of the book, have found their way to happiness. In many instances, they learned how to be happy. Learned? Yes. Happiness is a learned skill. Sometimes, it’s a choice we make.

For my mom, everything had to be perfect for her to be happy. That’s rather odd, because when I was a kid, I remember my grandfather—her father—often saying, “Folks are about as happy as they decide to be.”

Many times through the years, I’ve remembered my grandfather saying it. Maybe he was saying it for my mother’s benefit too?

So, my point in today’s post is that it’s never too late to learn to be happy. Even though I don’t read all the books in my mom’s collection, just having them in my bookshelf makes me happy and makes me think about the things that joined us together rather than the things that kept us apart.

As a writer, I spend a lot of time thinking about human nature and motivation. One thing that’s true for fiction and real life is that most of us seem to make the same mistakes as we bumble our way along the road of life.

If you have a hard time being happy, here are a few tips I’ve learned along the way.

1. Never take advice from anyone who’s more screwed up than you.
Everyone likes to give advice, but always ask yourself if the person dishing out the advice is living life more effectively with less hiccups than you.

2. Learn from others because you’ll never live long enough to make all the mistakes yourself. Model their positive behavior and adapt what they did to your efforts.

3. Be patient with those you love, especially when they interrupt you as you’re trying to accomplish something you feel is important, but in the grand scheme of things, it may not be.

4. Spend your time working effectively rather than hard.  Assess what your doing and how you’re doing it so you can keep what works and toss what doesn’t.

5. Enjoy yourself and your life. Have a good balance between work and play.

6. Change how you think about work. If you can think of it in more positive terms, then you may enjoy it more rather than dreading it. This is important since you probably spend more time each day at work than at leisure.

7. Always make room in your life for the people you love. If you tell them, “Not now,” often enough, they’ll go away.

8. Be patient and slow to anger and bite back words that may poison your relationship. Too many people vent their frustration and irritation on those around them. Words really can hurt. Words can kill relationships. If you need to vent, hang a body bag in the garage and get a pair of boxing gloves and go at it.

Post Script

Embrace your life and everyone in it.

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A Year Later

I hope you all had a wonderful Valentine Day.

While we celebrated Valentine Day in our special way with loved ones, family or friends, the teenagers of Parkland held a day of remembrance to pray for their lost friends and promise they will never forget them. My grandchildren live in Parkland and were a mile away in their own school when the shooting took place.

One of the survivors, a lovely young woman only 17 last year, was interviewed in the Parkland Lifestyle magazine and explained how she overcame the trauma and her fears. She needed to show the world that this drama could not be repeated again. I was so impressed by the article I’d like to share some of its thoughts with you.

The day after, this MSD senior talked to her congresswoman and organized a march. “This happened at my high school. I had to do something. I’d wake up at 6 a.m. and slept at 2 a.m. I made so many phone calls. I contacted the bus companies, the parents, chaperones, reached out to the Civic Center in Tallahassee, organized cots from the Red Cross… “

Many more marches followed in the “Road to Change”. Those young people, not even 18 yet, explained they didn’t want to take guns away. They had conversations about extreme risk protection orders or universal background check or disarming domestic abusers. People would say, “Oh I can get behind that.”

People were receptive and the students felt America was behind them to protect the children in school. It’s amazing how fear can create courage.

This is not a political post, but a salute to my grandchildren, their classmates, friends and team members from various sports and activities.

You are still very young but you can make our world a better place.

Here are two new boxes of romance and a free one to enjoy:

UNFORGETTABLE PASSION: Unforgettable Charmers Available at Amazon

 

SWEET AND SASSY IN THE SNOW Available at Amazon

 

 

Unforgettable Valentine

UNFORGETTABLE VALENTINE — FREE this week Available at Amazon

 

 

Balance in Life

My husband often asks me to balance my time. To prove his point he showed me an article about the value of balance. According to that article, most of our troubles are due to imbalances.

We should divide our day in such a way that we can balance work, family time, socializing, exercise, spiritual time, and fun time. If a person works eight hours a day, drives half an hour each way to work, breaks at lunch for an hour, exercises for an hour, and sleeps seven hours, this adds up to a total of eighteen hours. I assume the remaining six hours are used for family time, fun, socializing, and spiritual time.

I am not sure in which category I can fit cooking, dinner and dishwashing time. Reading should go under the hour or two of fun time. And what about writing?

I retired from my day job years ago and write full-time—or to be more accurate I sit in front of my computer full time. I can manage an hour to exercise or walk every day. I can cook twice a week and eat leftover or eat out the rest of the week, socialize two or three times a week. I consider this to be a perfectly balanced life.

Except… Around Christmas time, I deliberately put work aside. With the kids visiting it’s impossible to reach my computer, considering there are always a couple, or more teenagers sleeping in my office who can never sleep early or wake up early. So I graciously relinquish my work area and remain in the kitchen where I’ve already spent two weeks cooking, baking and preparing for the family gathering and a happy holiday. Call it family time, fun and socializing,

Yes a perfectly balanced life. Except on the two days I have to take care of the grandchildren, picking them from school, driving them to their various after-school activities and waiting for them, cooking and serving dinner—all of that goes under work and family time. Let’s not forget their adorable Cocker spaniel, Bosty, that I have to walk—call it exercise and fun.

Quite a balanced life. Except on the weeks where I have a deadline for a book and write nonstop to finish my story and edit, or format a multi-author box, or promote a new release… The eight hours of work morph into twelve or fourteen hours of non-paid overtime. Forget exercise, except running to the bathroom, forget family time, my husband swore that I become deaf during this period and never answer with cohesive sentences.

Considering there is so much I want to do, I’m still faced with the same problem of balancing my time.

I think balancing one’s time is wonderful. In theory. I always learned that to be successful you ought to give your main goal your 101%.  So how can you divide your time in multiple activities and still be successful?

Yet some people manage to multitask and be successful at everything they do. If you are one of these fortunate people, how do you do it?

Don’t forget to check our two new boxes:

Unforgettable Passion – Unforgettable Charmers (The Unforgettables Book 10)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sweet and Sassy in the Snow: Find Your Winter Romance!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Enjoy the Modern Princes Series:

A Bride For Prince Paul: She can’t abandon her patients for his crown!
A Bodyguard For The Princess: A murder at Harvard in Princess Chloe’s student building.
Jingle With My Princess: The doc and the princess… He saves lives but Princess Charlene may save his heart.