Amazing Summer Adventures by @JoanReeves #mgtab

Vintage traveler suitcase with sunglasses straw hat old camera and maps.I’ve had the most amazing summer—and July hasn’t even ended yet. Let me tell you all about it.

I attended a high school reunion and met the first guy I ever fell in love with. He was a nerd in high school, but he left our small town and went to Harvard. Over the last ten years, his investments have made him a billionaire. Plus, he’s no longer nerdy looking. He’s completely gorgeous. He arrived at our high school in a stretch limo with his entourage.

I couldn’t believe he had come back to our little home town. For me, he was the one who got away.

Wait a minute. That didn’t happen to me. That happened to the heroine in JANE (I’m Still Single) JONES, the romantic comedy I’d written that went into the Sweet and Sassy Summertime Volume 1 Collection.

Nine SWEET AND SASSY STORIES of SUMMER, including Four Brand New, from New York Times & USA Today Bestselling, Award-Winning Authors. “Some like them sweet, and some like them sexy, but if you’re looking for a little heat, spice up your summer reading with this hot selection of stories!”

Sorry about that. Let me tell you about going on a hunt for hidden treasure. This was unbelievable. My father never gave me anything but a hard time until he died and left me a key, but I didn’t know what the key unlocked. However, he had arranged for this guy to join me in a Quest to find The Key To Kristina. We traveled to a lot of different locations, and there were some shady people following us.

To my surprise, the guy accompanying me turned out to be the kind of man I never thought I’d find. We had so much in common: both had ex-cons for fathers, both had a strong will. He called me opinionated and bossy, but I’m really not. I’m smart enough to figure some things out that he can’t. It was the greatest adventure. You’ll never guess what the treasure was. In fact, you’ll have to read…oh, wait.

I’m so embarrassed. That didn’t happen to me. That happened to Kristina Rivera, the heroine of The Key to Kristina, a new book I wrote for Fortune’s Favor: The Treasure. Oh, my, I had so much fun writing about Kristina and her Quest and Wyatt her partner who is a crusader for lost causes.

Fortune’s Favor: The Treasure 

Fortune favors the Bold, and bold women and men through the centuries have sought Fortune’s Favor in Life and Love.

A quest, hidden treasure, inheritance, Spanish Gold, and missing jewels inspire five riveting action adventure tales of women and men seeking redemption and rewards, searching for legacies, revealing secrets, finding romance, falling in love and winning that happily-ever-after that make all the challenges they must overcome worthwhile.

For the best Kindle Beach Read 2020, go treasure hunting with five NY Times, USA Today Bestselling, and Award-winning Authors as they seek Fortune’s Favor: The Treasure.

Let me rhttps://amzn.to/3fR1hoYegroup. I know I had some kind of adventure this summer. Oh, right. I know. I went to Last Chance Beach. I’d read the legend before. It’s about a woman and man back in the 18th or 19th century, I forget which, who had fallen in love. She was a rich man’s daughter; he was a poor young man seeking a way to make a living by writing.

The father had him thrown into the hold of one of his ships and sent back to the new world. The daughter ran away to find him. She searched for years until she ended up on this island that had been newly settled. He was there! He’d washed ashore after a shipwreck. They reunited for their Last Chance at Love which is how the island got its name. Anyway, that place is a popular vacation spot now. I went there because I really needed to de-stress.

It’s hard being a woman cop, especially when you’ve been undercover for almost a year. I stayed in this adorable cottage called Blue Moon House. My friend Bogey owns it. I had just arrived when someone broke in!

Well, he didn’t exaclty break in. He had booked the cottage for the same 2 weeks I was supposed to have it. I guess Bogey forgot to notify the management company that I was staying there. Of all the men on the planet, why did it have to be him aka the Jerk?

He’s a celebrity chef all the women are ga-ga over refused to leave. Can you believe that? We knew each other and already disliked each other. What happened next was completely unexpected.

Oh, no! I did it again. That wasn’t me staying at Blue Moon House. That was Chelsea Elliot and Zander Rojas. They’re the “stars” of Hot August Night, my story in the LAST CHANCE BEACH: Summer’s End Romance Collection.

LAST CHANCE BEACH, the island paradise where Dreams go to live again, and Wishes may come true. It’s Summer’s End on the island, and the cottages, condos, hotels, and bungalows are filled to capacity. There’s plenty of time left to find summer fun and summer love, new romances and second chances, hot alpha males and heartwarming heroes, love at first sight and romantic delight, enemies to lovers and opposites to attract.

Throw a log on the beach bonfire tonight and celebrate LAST CHANCE BEACH: Summer’s End, a special romance collection of 14 all-new short stories from bestselling and award-winning authors. These summer stories—created especially for this collection—will thrill the hopeful romantic in you. Some are sweet: some are sizzling! Some are humorous; some are serious.

LAST CHANCE BEACH: Summer’s End will make you want to book a vacation to the island of legend and love, the place where soul mates find each other and love at first sight happens all the time!

Being an Author: Best Job Ever

An amazing summer? Yes! I may not have left my home and office, but I did travel to all of these places in my imagination. Being an author is the best job ever because I get to create wonderful adventures and heartwarming small town stories—dramas, mysteries, and comedies. Then I’m the one who breathes life into the smart, sassy heroines and the brave, charming heroes who “live” the stories I write.

Click the “Keeping Romance Alive” image to subscribe to my newsletter. You’ll receive a free ebook when you confirm your subscription.

All of the box set collections mentioned above are only 99cents, and they’re all on Kindle Unlimited too!

Wishing you a fabulous summer of reading—the best and cheapest vacation for the mind and the spirit that you’ll ever find. Happy reading!

Top 3 Funniest Love Declarations in Books

Howdy, everyone! Sorry I’ve been MIA for a while, but I’m working on several projects at a time. I must say, building a multilingual career as an author is unexpectedly exhausting, and the rewards are slow to come, especially during these times.

As always, reading is what helps me stay sane, and last night I got the idea for this post while I was re-reading Nora Roberts’s “Angels Fall”, a book I particularly enjoy. The excerpt I’ll reveal below made me laugh out loud, as it does every time. The story’s main characters are Reece – a troubled woman who’s trying to escape some deep traumas, and Brody – a man who’s apparently an unfeeling jerk, but who develops a soft spot for the heroine in which many women will find themselves.

Unlike the typical, syrupy love stories, their romance is more interesting and unusual. So, without further ado, here is my Top Three Funniest Love Declarations in Books:

Love you worse 2

#3 is a scene from the very Queen of Comedy, Janet Evanovich and her well-known screw-up heroine, Stephanie Plum, forever torn between the love of two men, Ranger and Joe Morelli:

“How could you be tired? It’s eight o’clock. It’s time to get up! I’m leaving. Don’t you want to kiss me good-bye?”

Nothing. No answer. I whipped the sheet off him and left him lying there in all his glorious nakedness. Morelli still didn’t move.

I sat on the bed next to him. “Joe?”

“I thought you were going to work.”

“You’re looking very sexy . . . except for Mr. Happy, who seems to be sleepy.”

“He’s not sleepy, Steph. He’s in a coma. You woke him up every two hours and now he’s dead.”

“He’s dead?”

“Okay, not dead, but he’s not going to be up and dancing anytime soon. You might as well go to work. Did you walk Bob?”

“I walked Bob. I fed Bob. I cleaned the living room and the kitchen.”

“Love you,” Morelli said from under the pillow.

“I l-l-l-like you, too.” Shit.

 ~Eleven On Top, JANET EVANOVICH

 

#2 presents Claire and Jamie Fraser, the famous characters from “OUTLANDER”, the equally famous odyssey written by Diana Gabaldon, which has inspired Starz to create the TV series with the same name. This is when Claire first declares her love to her new husband:

“Oh, Jamie, I do love you!”

This time it was his turn to laugh. He doubled over, then sat down at the roadside, fizzing with mirth. He slowly fell over backward and lay in the long grass, wheezing and choking.

“What on earth is the matter with you?” I demanded, staring at him. At long last, he sat up, wiping his streaming eyes. He shook his head, gasping.

“Murtagh was right about women. Sassenach, I risked my life for ye, committing theft, arson, assault, and murder into the bargain. In return for which ye call me names, insult my manhood, kick me in the ballocks and claw my face. Then I beat you half to death and tell ye all the most humiliating things have ever happened to me, and you say ye love me.” He laid his head on his knees and laughed some more. Finally he rose and held out a hand to me, wiping his eyes with the other.

“You’re not verra sensible, Sassenach, but I like ye fine. Let’s go.”

~Outlander, DIANA GABALDON~

 

And now…

Periods love

#1, the excerpt that has started this post, and one of the many reasons I love Nora Roberts’s books, full of edgy humor, among other things:

“I love you. I’m in love with you.”

She heard absolutely nothing for ten full seconds. And when he did speak, she caught the faintest trace of fear mixed in with the annoyance.

“Hell. No good deed goes unpunished.”

She laughed, rich and full and long. And the warmth of it soothed her raw throat, her raw nerves. “And that’s why, I must be out of my mind. Don’t worry about it, Brody.”

~Angels Fall, NORA ROBERTS~

 

And speaking of romance and fun, do check The Authors’ Billboard new release, Summer Shorts!

From sweet to spicy, and contemporary to suspenseful, these sixteen Summer Short Stories will be sure to heat up your heart and help you escape reality in a blaze of fun, drama, and romance.
Sixteen NY Times & USA Today popular authors have put together these delightful novellas to give you that spurt of entertainment you can often finish in one sitting. These Summertime stories will delight the romance lover until the sun sets in a blaze of glory.

I hope you enjoyed this post, and if it put a smile on your face, as it was intended, feel free to share the fun! And don’t forget to enter our monthly home page contest! 😉

Story Elements: Conflict

So when we plan a storybook romance, what are some of the elements, besides the First Meet, we try to put into it? We can’t make everything smooth sailing, or we’d have no story. A good story always contains conflict of some type. We have to make one or both of the main characters hard to get, or give them problems to overcome, or dangerous adversaries to defeat.

In The Quietest Woman in the South, I put in a murderous family that pursued them across several states, trying to kill them. They tried to escape, then fought back. This element is called External Conflict, and can be a source of suspense and unexpected plot turns.

Or the woman may not realize that this is the man for her. She thinks he is too handsome or rich or popular to see anything in her. Or she doubts his intentions until he has rescued her from danger, or has demonstrated that she can trust him. This element is called Internal Conflict, and can be the more emotional of the two types of conflict.

The best books usually have both types of conflict in them. Tennessee Touch held an emotional uncertainty for the heroine. She had had numerous stepfathers, including one who tried to attack her, so that she distrusted men in general.

In “The Prettiest Girl in the Land,” Ruth Trahern is plain compared to her sister, Mary. So Ruth doesn’t think any handsome man would be interested in her. This is how she feels:

He sat there atop his horse, with hat, boots, bandana, and chaps, looking so much the western cowboy that I hadn’t recognized him, even though he’d tipped that hat to me several times during the morning. He was handsome enough to bring a dead polecat back to life, and my heart did a little flip.

But this was Gage, who was a rolling stone, handsome as the devil and not responsible for anything except to break women’s hearts. I reminded myself of that, and my heart just flopped right back down in place.

Another element is the Other Woman, or the Interfering Parent, or Best Friend who really isn’t a friend. Then there is always the Boss who can be a source of conflict, either in the office or as an officer in the military. When doing a longer novel, it is handy to have one or more of these mixed into the story.

Series or Standalones #amwriting #Romance #mgtab @jacqbiggar

Series or Standalones

That was the question posed by a member of The Story Empire earlier this week. You can read his full thoughts here– well worth your time.

I’ve read many great standalone books, (Cinderella anyone?) but have to admit I enjoy stories set in a series much more. There’s a deeper connection to a) the characters, and b) location- though either of those can, and often do, change throughout the course of a series.

From NY Book Editors:

Writing a book series can be incredibly challenging (that’s the bad news), but it’s also one of the best ways to develop a loyal fan base (that’s the good news).

NY Book Editors-2016

The books can follow one or two main characters through a variety of adventures- such as J.D. Robb’s In Death series or the Harry Potter franchise.

They can also be set around a location and the citizens within- Susan Mallery’s Fools Gold series or J.R Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood.

Some follow a progression of events and are best read in order, while others are self-contained stories within the series and can easily be read out of order.

Whichever style you prefer, series seem to be growing in popularity, some are even twenty books long and counting!, and readers can’t get enough.

I’m currently working on the third story in my Gambling Hearts series, My Girl. The series follows the lives, and loves, of three siblings born and raised on a Texas hill country ranch.

This is Aaron’s story:

Sometimes, the right decision isn’t the easiest one to make

Trish Sylvester knows her family and when they accept a week long stay at a rustic dude ranch, she is concerned- especially since it’s at her ex’s home.

Aaron is overjoyed at the opening of his family’s guest ranch, until he learns their first guest is his ex-girlfriend, her parents–and a fiancé.

And that isn’t the only surprise.

Excerpt

“I met your fiancé,” he said, his voice ripe with challenge. The outdoors clung to her skin, sun and flowers combining to intoxicate him more than the whiskey.

She lifted her chin, eyes narrowing. “What did you say to him, Aaron? I’d hoped we could all act like adults while we’re here.”

Aaron laughed, his hands doing the job his heart urged him to do, forcing her to come up against his chest with a soft oomph. “Darlin’, I’m definitely a man, make no mistake.” He leaned down and brushed her lips, setting up a warning through his chest. He was playing with fire, and if he wasn’t careful, there was little doubt who was going to get burned. Again.

“Aaron, stop this,” she murmured, though her lips parted on a sigh. “We can’t…”

He lifted his head and stared at her upturned face. “Can’t what, Trish? You invited yourself onto my territory and brought reinforcements. I want to know why.”

She moved out of his arms. He pretended not to feel the loss.

“We needed a break from the city,” she said. “Surely, you can understand that? Your sister sent an email to me highlighting the new business venture—congrats, by the way—and I thought it would be fun to come and check it out. End of story.”

He eyed her nervously tucking her hair behind her ear and knew she was bluffing. The question remained; why?


Box Set News

We have a new box set releasing August 30th!

Sweet and Sassy Baby Love 

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2KHEMW5

Add to your TBR list: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/47873355-sweet-and-sassy-baby-love

Recommend us on Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/books/sweet-and-sassy-baby-love-by-suzanne-jenkins-and-jen-talty

Nine NY Times and USA Today bestselling authors offer stories of men and women who go to great lengths for the children they love.

A scent of innocence, that touch of softness, an angelic nap, and deep belly laughs. Babies and toddlers bring great joy, love, humor, and even conflict into our lives. But first, we need a passionate encounter, a romance that transcends time.

How do you feel about series or standalone stories? Let’s talk about it.

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