Happy – cough – New Year! Load your eReader and snuggle in. #mgtab

I was going to write a peppy post to celebrate 2019, something that started off with something like, Hey, we’re two weeks into our New Year, how’s it going? Fabulously, I hope!

And then I was going to share some of the dreams I’m dreaming for the next twelve months, some of the goals I’m aspiring to, some of hopes that I have (because I am one of those people—the list-making, journal-filling, overthinking types. 😂)—but then I got sick.

No sympathy needed, as it was just a bad cold and I’m well on the mend now. However, it did remind me that sometimes, yes, you want to cheer and yell, “Go me!” and make copious plans on piles of bright colored sticky notes—but other times you want to burrow into the couch, wrapped in blankets, your well-stocked eReader on your lap, a furry friend snuggled close, and a mug of soup or tea in hand. ‘Tis definitely the season for that!

And on that note, especially since we’re going into a weekend, I thought I’d help you load your digital bookshelves, so you’ll be prepared for some lovely “shut in” nights—though hopefully without sniffles or a bad cough. 😉

Read all the books? Challenge acceptedHere we go! As most of you know we Author’s Billboard authors have a treasure trove of box sets under our belts—with memes and themes and romance tropes to fit any mood. The wonderful Suzanne Jenkins has put them all in one place for your perusing and buying pleasure. They’re a great way to discover new-to-you authors and genres—but also just to stockpile the types of stories you already know you love. Have fun!

 

 

If you’re craving immersion in a whole new cozy world and longing for the fun of a connected series, I’d be honored if you give my just-released River’s Sigh B & B Vol. 1 – 4 collection a try. It contains the first 4 novels in the series (which are all full-length, standalone novels with HEAs) and offers all the fun of revisiting old characters you love (or hate, LOL) while you fall in love with new ones.

Amazon ~ iBooks ~ Nook ~ Kobo ~ Google 

 

Last but not least, for any of you kindred resolution-making, goal-oriented spirits who, while perhaps sympathizing that I was sick, were simultaneously disappointed that I didn’t share goals or resolutions in this post or provide an inspiring, motivating call-to-action, One to Keep will be right up your alley. Sophie always has lots of goals, too, and she’s especially full of determination and resolve this year, so much so that she has a special holiday planned to celebrate her newest resolution. A holiday for one, thank you very much.

 

 

Okay . . . that should keep you busy for a while. (I hope you stocked up on tea and easy snacks too!)

Wishing you a lovely, book-filled, germ-free weekend,

😊 Ev

Until next time . . .

River's Sigh B & B box set. Stay cozy!

Driving the Al-Can Highway in early 1960’s- Unforgettable Memory #6 by Nancy Radke

While my husband, Walt, and I were attending the University of Washington, we spent our summers in Anchorage with his parents, where I worked one job. Walt worked two 8-hour construction jobs since we had almost 24 hours of daylight up there. We drove up the Al-Can (Alaska-Canada) Highway each spring, and then back to Seattle each fall. We could make enough to pay our tuition for that year.

There were some unique features about the highway that I won’t forget. There were miles and miles of nothing but mountains and forests. Not all that many cars. If you came across a motorist with a stalled car, you stopped and gave him a lift to the next town. The towns were marked on the map, all named, but usually consisted of just one house and some outbuildings; sometimes with a gas station, but always with someone who had a tow truck and extra tires. Unlike Seattle, the gas stations on the Al-Can all had hot water in the restrooms, hot enough you would almost burn your hands, and I remember just how good that water felt.

We carried extra tires, but once blew three in a row, so Walt took one tire and I took another and we rolled them down the road until a truck came by and took us to a farm where the man fixed our tires and drove us back to our car.

The roads were smooth in the fall, but in the spring, after the winter had frozen and thawed the roadway, there were parts of it like a washboard, with a series of humps about a foot high. They appeared unexpectedly and had to be driven slowly or you would ruin your car. After going through the humps, you would drive slowly for a while, and then speed up until you hit the next series. The roadway had no centerline, and no warning signs before you hit the washboards.

Besides the beautiful scenery, the highway offered plenty of wildlife, since what animal would tramp through the tundra when it could walk down the roadway? The moose especially liked it. Once we had to wait for a herd of several hundred caribou to cross near Tok Junction. The roadway was often elevated four to six feet to get it above the permafrost, and one other time, also near Tok Junction, we had a huge bison suddenly jump up on the road in front of us. He stood there, head lowered, while Walt slammed to a stop and backed up as fast as he could. That bison waited a bit, then sauntered across the road and down the other side.

One spot on the highway hadn’t been elevated, and when we drove through the mud, our car’s bumper wasn’t high enough to clear, so we skimmed off the top of the mud as we drove along. It crept up over the hood, then our windshield and finally over the rest of the car. The wipers weren’t strong enough to clear the mud, so I would open my passenger window and wipe it off enough that Walt could see the road. This stretch seemed endless, but was probably only about 20 miles.

Anchorage just had another large earthquake, but I figure the folks there will get out their trucks and tractors and do a quick fix on the roads and throw up some army type bridges to get them through until summer construction time. No problem.

So far I’ve only “visited” Alaska once in my novels. In Stolen Secrets, my hero and heroine fly to Anchorage to try to find out who is stealing company secrets. Stolen Secrets is my story in the Sweet & Sassy Suspense collection.

#Writing like a Beast #Romance #mgtab

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Have you ever been up against a deadline and the words won’t come? Yep, welcome to my world.

 

I have a holiday novella due by the end of September and it’s kicking my butt. Some people thrive under stress- I’m NOT one of them, lol.

I’ve been staring my climatic moment in the eye for weeks now and it just won’t cooperate. My vision for this story is a sort of cross between Beauty and the Beast (not the Disney® version but the 1987-1990 television series) with a sensitive, lonely ‘Beast’ and the beautiful kind-hearted woman who draws him out of his shell.

 

 

And the Hallmark® Christmas movie, The Mistletoe Inn featuring an aspiring writer 🙂 who signs up for a writing retreat after being dumped by her novelist boyfriend.

 

 

I took these two concepts and came up with my hero, Noah Kincaid, a scarred, lonely man (though he thinks he’s fine) in need of a new publicity partner after the recent death of his aunt, and the young and pretty single mother who takes the job.

Molly McCarty is used to tough challenges. Divorced and raising a five-year-old boy is no easy task, especially when she’s surrounded by her ex’s friends and family who all want to help get them back together again.

Desperate for some breathing room, Molly searches the web for opportunities and comes across the position of innkeeper in Christmas, Michigan. Her curiosity about the town named after a famous holiday leads her down a road filled with possibilities.

If only she can break through her partner’s tough shell.

 

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Photo by Dana Tentis on Pexels.com

Here’s a short exclusive excerpt

Molly hurried to keep up as Leo wove in and out of the evergreens on display, the air tinted with the scent of pine and balsam. His childish laughter warmed her heart. He’d was unhappy leaving Alberta and his family behind. She couldn’t blame him, she’d been feeling down herself. Ever since her divorce from Jason, she’d been coasting, searching for… well, she wasn’t really sure. She just knew it wasn’t in Edmonton. That was her past, Christmas was her future.

Or, so she hoped.

“Leo, where are you?” she called, half laughing, half worried. The fairy lights strung in graceful arcs across the large gazebo-type structure were pretty, but they didn’t make finding a little boy in a dark jacket easy. Nearby couples glanced in her direction, then joined in the search. It wasn’t that big an area, but there were a lot of hiding places a mischievous little boy might discover.

“I’ve got him.” Noah strode out from between two thick conifers with Leo in his arms. He looked like an outdoor magazine model with his lived-in face and burly shoulders. Molly heard the appreciative sighs from the women around her and her heart stuttered. He really was a handsome man.

She thanked the searchers and shook her head as Noah reached her side. “He was there one minute and then he was gone. You seem to be making a habit out of coming to our rescue.”

He gazed at her with those dark eyes, his hair ruffled by the chilly breeze, and she had the strongest urge to reach up and kiss those uncompromising lips. He’d probably think she was crazy. She’d have to be to try, he hadn’t given any sign of a mutual attraction, and besides, they barely knew each other.

“He was just chasing after a puppy. I’m sure he’s sorry he worried you.” He nodded to Leo. “Better apologize to your mother, now.”

Leo looked at her, excitement sparkling in his eyes. “Mommy, you gotta come see. The puppy is so cute. He’s as white as snow and has blue eyes. Can I have him, Mommy. Please.” He kicked his booted feet, narrowly missing Noah’s groin. Noah winced and set him down.

Molly gave him an apologetic glance, then crouched beside her son. “Honey, you need to calm down. First, Noah is right. You should say sorry for disappearing the way you did. That’s a dangerous thing to do, and I don’t expect you to do it again. Capisce?”

Chastened, Leo scuffed his feet in the snow. “Capease.”

 

 

I’m close. I just have to rip out their hearts so I can hand them back again.

Easy, right?

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Identity Crisis #amwriting #life #mgtab

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Lately, I’ve been questioning my ability as a writer and it’s left me feeling lost and depressed.

Do you ever doubt yourself?

I think it began with the big change in our lives this summer. As many of you know, my daughter and grandson have moved over six thousand km away so she can continue with her dream to become a marine biologist.

While I’m incredibly proud of her, it’s also left a big gap in my days. I’m used to being there for my grandson, often picking him up for lacrosse or hockey or swimming practice.

He’s a key part of our lives and we are lost without him.

I’m empty inside and find it increasingly hard to put words on the page. I hope this is a short term thing, I mean it’s not like I can’t text or FaceTime him whenever I want. But, it’s not the same, either.

I’ve been working on a holiday novella for our Love, Christmas 2 collection set around the theme of our favorite holiday movies. Mine is Mistletoe Inn, taken from the Hallmark® movie, The Mistletoe Inn.

Here’s a short preview

 

For my story I’ve adapted the inn as more of a bed and breakfast with my hero as a scarred, bitter loner that the heroine, Molly McCarty, falls in love with.

 

MistletoecoverLG

 

Molly McCarty has picked up roots and traveled across the country to run a bed and breakfast with a sweet-sounding old lady. Imagine her surprise when her partner turns out to be a surly, way-to-handsome recluse. It’s too late to back out now, she’ll have to mend his lonely heart in time for the holidays.

 

I’m enjoying this heartwarming tale, but it’s also making me realize Christmas won’t be the same this year.

What do you do to get rid of the blues?

 

Don’t forget to enter our name that title contest- ending soon!

 

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