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.

A Romance For Every Reader by @JoanReeves #mgtab

Here at The Authors’ Billboard, we aim to please. We want to give you the kind of gifts you really want.

We’re not just romance authors; we’re romance readers too. That’s why we have created so many wonderful Holiday Romance Collections and offer them at such rock bottom prices.

We know what you want–lots of romance novels to read during the holidays. I guess one could call that binge-reading just as we binge-watch Hallmark Christmas movies. So grab these 6 Holiday Romance Collections, and let the binge-reading begin.

A Christmas She’ll Remember

Seven memorable Christmas Romances from 7 NY Times and USA Today Bestselling Authors!

Reminiscences of special gifts and favorite songs, old friends and heart-warming occasions keep most women happy over the Christmas holidays. But what really lights their hearts are the memories of a special romance.

Love, Christmas 1: Holiday Songs of the Heart

Holiday stories to put a song in your heart! Each of the 20 holiday-themed novellas are  inspired by a traditional Christmas carol.

Written by NY Times, USA Today, and national best-selling authors, these will lift your spirits and bring on the magic of the Christmas season.

Love, Christmas 2: Holiday Movies You Love

Sprinkle a little Christmas magic into your life with 26 new romances. Each title – exclusive to this set – is inspired by a favorite holiday movie and spun into a fantastic love story.

Written by NY Times, USA Today, and/or award-winning, bestselling authors and delivered to you is this wonderful collection full of cheer.

Snowflakes and Christmas Kisses

Do you love cuddle-up romances with “Happy Ever After” endings… ones that brighten your days and delight your romantic soul?

If you do, romp through the Christmas season with fascinating tales brought to you by 7 award-winning, NY Times and USA Today bestselling authors. We’ve blended suspense tales with contemporary themes and added a mystery to make this collection the best choice this Christmas.

Sweet and Sassy Christmas

Some are Sweet and some are Sassy. Eleven holiday romances to captivate and seduce.

NYT & USA Today bestselling authors have joined together to bring you tales from early America, abandoned puppies, military heroes, doctors and more.

Get a warm drink, find a comfy seat, and enjoy an armchair cruise into the world of Christmas lovers and their unique stories.

Unforgettable Christmas

Heat up your holiday with nine Unforgettable Christmas stories of love and giving, hope and desire.

Created by the same bestselling, award-winning authors who brought you the popular Unforgettable Romances and Unforgettable Heroes, this festive bargain boxed set will bring the joy of Christmas to your heart. So grab your favorite Kindle e-reader and cozy up with these amazingly romantic tales that are guaranteed to be… UNFORGETTABLE.

My friends in The Authors’ Billboard and I join together to wish you the happiest of holidays and an awesome New Year!

 

About Brianna’s Season for Miracles by @JoanReeves #mgtab

Man and woman embracing in the winter snow forms the Cover art of Brianna's Season for Miracles by Joan ReevesI’m happy today is my turn to tell you about Brianna’s Season for Miracles, my book in the wonderful Love, Christmas 2 Holiday Romance Collection.

Brianna’s Season for Miracles is a sequel in every way I suppose since it is a sequel to Last Christmas, Book 1 of my Small Town Texas Romance series which appeared in the all first Love, Christmas Collection: Songs of the Heart.

Brianna Walker was introduced in Love, Christmas 1, and she was–well, let’s say she wasn’t a very nice woman. In fact, just about everyone in the small town of New Estacado disliked her.

Redeeming a Hated Character

I actually received email about Brianna after Last Christmas came out. Everyone hated her. When I decided to make her the heroine of my romance for Love, Christmas 2 Holiday Romance Collection, I knew I had a tough job ahead.

I wanted my romance for LC2 to be an homage to one of my favorite Christmas movies, Season for Miracles. At first, I thought it would be a miracle if I could make Brianna liked and understood, but I knew the underlying truth about Brianna: why she acted the way she did and what her facade hid from the world.

I don’t want to spoil what I built up in the story to be a surprise, but I will tell you why I chose to write this kind of story. Because so many people have something they’ve struggled with all their lives–something they’re hesitant to confess except to the closest of friends. Sometimes this something is so shameful IN THEIR OPINION that they don’t want anyone to know.

Some Secrets Can Damage

The more powerful the secret; the more it rules one’s life.

In Brianna’s mind, her secret is the bane of her existence. She’s always done everything she could to hide it.

Even when she finally confronts the issue and does something about it, she still feels the need to hide. She still sees herself as this imperfect woman.

Like many smart people, Brianna found ways to cope that don’t reflect who she really is, but she finally realizes the woman the world knows is not her authentic self.

Last Christmas was the last straw for Brianna Walker. She hated her life and decided if she wanted her life to be different, she had to change. She ditched her so-called friends and the seductive persona she hid behind. She knew changing her habits and behavior patterns wouldn’t “fix” her, but she had to start somewhere.

When her father demands she come home for the holidays, she’s afraid she’ll revert to old habits to deal with social situations that always terrified her. Then she meets Daniel Kelly.

His warmth and kindness—qualities she’d never found in any of the men she’d dated—attract her. To her surprise, she finds his intelligence, courtesy, and niceness enormously appealing—and sexy. She usually avoids men like him for fear she might want forever out of the relationship. Daniel would never want forever with her if he truly knew her, but knowing that doesn’t stop her from falling for him.

Daniel already knows the secret Brianna is hiding. He also knows he shouldn’t complicate the situation he’s in, but the attraction between them is hot and sizzling.
What will happen when Brianna realizes Daniel has a secret too?

This was a hard story to write, but I really loved the characters and it seems readers do too. I hope you’ll love it and all the other stories in Love, Christmas 2 Holiday Romance Collection.Favorite Holiday Recipes Cookbook

Our Gift to You

Remember, to pick up your free copy of Favorite Holiday Recipes. Each recipe appeared in one of our books in Love, Christmas 2.

Thanks, Readers, for helping us hit the USA Today Bestsellers list with Love, Christmas 2 Holiday Romance Collection.

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A New Christmas Story Based on the Movie, “The Holiday”

My husband, Walt, and I lived in Hawaii for five years while we were both teaching school. We lived on the island of Oahu, near Waikiki, but neither of us enjoyed water sports very much, so we did a lot of hiking along the mountain ridges there. We bought a topographical map so we could find the trails. Many of the trailheads were semi-hidden, and if we missed one, we just walked along until we came across the trail further up the mountain. Once on the top ridges, the trails were worn so deep into the soil that a foot-high lip formed on each side. The mountainside often dropped away straight down, and sometimes not quite as steep, which is the side we came up on. During the wet season, these trails got muddy and slippery.

Once we had a group of friends who wanted to hike with us, so we took them on a trail we hadn’t hiked before. When we didn’t find the trailhead, we went straight up the mountain, knowing the trail cut across it. Halfway up, Walt, who was in the lead, stopped and said something like, “We might find the trail before we get to the top.” The others were all complaining as they pulled themselves up the steep slope by hanging onto the vegetation. They figured we were lost and wanted to turn back. I remember their surprise, as each in turn put their hands on the trail, then pulled themselves up to where Walt was standing, loudly wondering how much further the trail was. The last one looked around and said, “Here’s the trail. What are you guys talking about?”

We took our Australian collie on the trails, and when we were leading groups and got separated, Walt would send her back to me, then I sent her to him. It gave him some estimation of how far his group was ahead of mine.

Sometimes we spent the night on a wide spot in a trail. We took newspapers with us. The newspapers went under us, our jackets over us, and the dog in between as a heater. One Thanksgiving, we spent the night above a naval air station, which we found out later was off limits.

Hawaii doesn’t have snakes, but they do have mongoose. On one hike we met a mongoose running along the trail towards us, its nose to the ground, sniffing as it ran. About ten feet away it spotted us, and instantly dropped off the trail on the almost vertical side, out of sight. It moved so silently, we couldn’t tell where it had gone, and could just hope it was ok. Earlier, we had come across a wild hog. When it saw us, it also jumped off the trail, but we could hear it, like a rolling boulder, crashing through the underbrush, sounding like it bounced all the way to the bottom.

The Hawaiian Islands are a great holiday destination, and I chose them for the scene of my new book, The Holiday (Christmas). It is based upon the movie, “The Holiday,” where two women swap houses. I put the houses in Seattle and Maui. I put a puppy in it, belonging to the man who also ended up at the Maui home, and based the pup’s description on a dog my grandson owns, named General Washington.

I really enjoyed writing The Holiday, a modern Trahern novella. It is part of the new Love, Christmas 2 collection, now on sale for 99¢. Thanks to our many eager readers, this set skyrocketed into the top 100 on the USA Today bestselling list.

Did you know we are running a giveaway? Are you interested in winning a gift card or a free book? Click here to find out more details on this month’s contest.