Smart Girls Read Romance

Smart Girls Read Romance -- so do the bestselling and award-winning Authors who write this blog.
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Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Fond Memories of Snow Days , Snow Cream, and Sled Rides by Laurean Brooks.

When I was a child, my siblings and I impatiently waited for the last week of January because it usually meant the promise of snow days. As the end of the month neared, we crossed our fingers and prayed for a snowfall deep enough to close Palmersville School.

When snow fell during the night, Mama would turn on the radio the next morning and tune into the local WCMT station. We'd huddle with bated breath waiting for the radio announcer to belt out, “Weakley County Superintendent Biggs Danner has announced, there will be no school in Weakley County.” When we heard this, we shouted, squealed, and danced a jig. Well...everyone except Mama.

With the first layer of fresh snow lying like a pristine blanket on the ground, Ralph, Jewell, Paul and I couldn't wait to finish breakfast and pull the makeshift sled from the well house where it was stored for safekeeping. Our older brother, Ralph had constructed it from rough lumber. It was cumbersome and resembled a wooden pallet. Only after the snow was firmly packed would it glide down the hill.

In addition, Ralph had converted a lid from an old wringer-washer into a circular sledding machine by removing the knob. The circular top was impossible to steer, spinning its passenger around and around. as it swiftly descended the wooded hill and raced toward the frozen creek at the bottom. All the rider could do was get a good grip, pray, and hang on.

The most exciting part of the ride was halfway down the hill where the sled or top met a gnarled root protruded from a tree stump. The ice-covered root became a launching ramp for the sled and propelling the sled and top through the air. Staying on the sled was much easier than clinging to the washing machine lid, once it struck the root.

Gripping onto the lid for dear life, we struggled to stay upright. Ofttimes we were flung off at that point, spoiling the fun. Dizzy from the ride, it took a couple of minutes to get our bearings after the ride ended—that is if we made it to the bottom of the hill intact. The ride on the washing machine lid was comparable to a tilt-a-whirl, except it was free and we could ride as many times as we desired. At least until we tired of slogging up the hill with the lid tucked under one arm.

When our fingers and toes started to grow numb, we'd trudge up the hill to the house. On the porch, we'd stamp off the excess snow from our boots before we entered. Sometimes Mama had cups of steaming cocoa ready for us.

After we'd drunk it and warmed up to the Warm Morning wood stove, she might send one of us out to pack snow in a large mixing bowl, for snow cream. We were instructed to scoop it from either the truck hood or the the top of the well house.

“Just be sure there's no soot in it,” she'd holler from the back door, noting which way the wind was blowing the smoke from our chimney.

When we brought the snow in, she stirred in sugar and vanilla, then milk. She always used evaporated milk to make it creamier. Mm...I can almost taste that snow cream now.

Which January memories pop into your mind? Please share them with us. We would love to hear them.


When Jaela learns a devastating secret about herself, she flees her hometown. But can she hide from the truth? Or will the meddlesome, but charming Handyman who's renovating the Victorian home, her summer abode, push her to face the truth and guide her toward love and forgiveness?

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Quotes You Can't Live Without by @JoanReeves #SmartGirlsReadRomance

I may have been presumptuous when I entitled this post Quotes YOU Can't Live Without.

I probably should have called it Quotes I Can't Live Without because these offer inspiration for different areas of my life.

Some I read when I need a booster shot of inspiration for tackling difficult projects.

Others I read when I need a chuckle.

Still others I read when things don't go my way.

Then there are those that inspire my writing. Perhaps a quotation perfectly fits something with which my heroine is struggling. Or maybe a quotation clarifies why my villain is a villain.

Sometimes, I read something funny someone said, and I'll have a character speak that in conversation. Since I write romance, I thought I'd share some profoundly emotional quotes that define Romance because I describe the kind of romance I write as "profoundly emotional."

Love and Romance

And ever has it been known that love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation. —Khalil Gibran

Vulnerability is the essence of romance. It's the art of being uncalculated, the willingness to look foolish, the courage to say, "This is me, and I'm interested in you enough to show you my flaws with the hope that you may embrace me for all that I am but, more important, all that I am not." —Ashton Kutcher

Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope. —Maya Angelou

Romance is the glamour which turns the dust of everyday life into a golden haze. —Carolyn Gold Heilbrun

What is love? It is the morning and the evening star. —Sinclair Lewis

True love stories never have endings. —Richard Bach

I'm into all that sappy stuff - a surprise picnic, nice dinner, or traveling. I'm kind of an old romantic. —Will Estes

Love is friendship set on fire. —Jeremy Taylor

Love Is Friendship Set On Fire

That quote from Jeremy Taylor was the basis of the romance in my latest release The Key To Kristina.

When Kristina Rivera meets Wyatt Morgan, it is NOT love at first sight. In fact, she thinks he's everything she detests. She doesn't trust him. 

Kristina is broke—financially and emotionally. Yet, she finds herself undertaking a Quest with Wyatt that turns into the adventure of a lifetime.

More than a treasure is at stake. Danger stalks Kristina her every mile of their journey as she tries to discover the meaning of The Key To Kristina.

The Key To Kristina is a women's action-adventure romance with a mystery that keeps the pages turning. At least that's what reviewers are saying, along with "awesome" and "brilliant."

You be the judge. You can "read free" if you are a Kindle Unlimited subscriber or buy it and keep it forever!

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Thanks for reading! 

I wish you an easy winter, filled with sunny days, blue skies, and wonderland days—and good books to read when the weather is not so beautiful.

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Snow Day! by Bea Tifton

I confess. I love fall and winter, but not so much summer and spring. I live in North Texas. In the summer, the heat is searing and overpowering. I’ve always been susceptible to heat exhaustion, so summer is not my friend. I have to miss many fun things outside because I can’t take the heat. Really.  And Texas only has two meteorological seasons, summer and winter.  I dream of moving to a place where it snows. Not those killer blizzards that I couldn’t begin to know how to negotiate, just some light snow that would make it seem like a good day to stay inside by the fire where it’s cozy and dry. Yes, I know that’s a fantasy, but it’s mine. Please don’t hate me if you’re snowed in against your will.

Imagine my delight when the meteorologist began talking about a possible snow fall. Really? A snow day? My inner child and inner school teacher, let’s be honest, kicked in. How fun. A snow day. Then, the weatherman began hedging. Maybe it would miss me. Those North and West of me would get some. I scowled at the green patch on the map that was splotched right over my house. Still, I remained hopeful that Sunday would be Funday. 

And you know what? In midafternoon, it began snowing. Lovely, big flakes. True, not much was sticking. But it was so pretty. I watched out my sliding glass door, fascinated, joined by a very puzzled Maine Coon Cat. It had not snowed an inch since 2015, and not more than an inch since 2010. But it did snow in 2021.

Of course, I had to go out to see it. I bundled my very senior dog, Otis, up into his bear suit (he’s very cold natured and sort of, well, bald in places with age) and my younger dog, Zoe into her sweater, blocked Ranger the Main Coon Cat from going out with us, and bounced out the door. Zoe is pretty Zen. She runs out into the rain and does her thing, doesn’t get cold easily, and is not easily impressed. She didn’t seem to even notice the snow that much. Otis, however, was not a fan. He is almost completely blind, so he was very confused. What the heck WAS this stuff? We didn’t stay out long. 

Then I had to go out the front door, sans dogs. My house looked so pretty with the snow still falling and just enough to cover the ground blanketing the yard. As soon as I walked on it, the snow became slush and my grass showed through, but I managed to get the required, “Hey, it’s snowing in Texas” pics. I used the snow on my car to make a snowlady. Her name was Lola and she was wearing holly berry red lipstick.

The snow didn’t last long. Some parts of the area where I live got up to seven inches. Some didn’t see a flake. By the evening in my neighborhood, the snow was no longer falling and by Monday, it was gone. But what a glorious, fun Snow Day it was.