Smart Girls Read Romance

Smart Girls Read Romance -- so do the bestselling and award-winning Authors who write this blog. Join them as they dish about Books, Romance, Love, and Life.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Who's Ready for Summer?

How about this deep freeze that has a grip on so much of our country? I love the winter but it seems so many people are overwhelmed with the snow, ice, power outages, and the inconvenience that follows. I thought I'd share some sun, sand, and memories with you to warm you up a bit.

There are so many cities and towns in Texas that own a piece of my heart. Galveston is but one of them. My first trip to the island was in 1965 when I was a junior at Sam Houston High School. I was a member of Vocational Industrial Training of America, and our class went there to participate at the State Conference.

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Galveston Arial View

You can imagine the fun we had with our first major trip away from home. I think there were eight of us along with our teacher, Mr. Kenneth Pickett, one other teacher I think, and my mother as chaperone. If memory serves, I think my younger brother tagged along, too. We stayed on Seawall Boulevard just across the street from the Gulf of Mexico and the beach. By the way, I brought home first place!

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Galveston Beach

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Galveston Beach

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The Flagship Hotel
A main attraction for many years was the Flagship Hotel which was built out on a pier into the Gulf. We stayed there once when our kids were small. Unfortunately, it didn't survive Hurricane Ike in 2008.

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Pleasure Pier Present Day
Now they've built a Pleasure Pier with rides and games for tourists.

Visiting these pictures of fun filled summers days makes me long for those lazy hazy days of summer and good times on the beach. How about you? Do you have memories of the beach or a fun vacation you'd like to share? Tell us about it and I'll gift you your choice of one of my ebooks.
Follow the link to my Amazon author page to make your choice.

Thanks for visiting Smart Girls Read Romance!
Hugs, Carra

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Baby, It's Cold Outside by @JoanReeves #SmartGirlsReadRomance

I don't know about you, but I don't like cold weather.

Houston, Texas, is having a very cold winter. Very cold here means high 20's to low 30's Fahrenheit at night and low 40's to low 50's in the daytime.

Normally, this kind of weather lasts a day or two. During Christmas, we had a solid week of that. Unbelievable!

Now, we're in for another round of this miserable cold, sleet, and maybe more snow. We had 2 inches of snow in early December.
The Reading Angel caught the snow.

Quit Snickering

Now, if you live in cold country, I'm sure you're rolling your eyes at what you probably think sounds like a week in the tropics compared to Chicago, Detroit, or Calgary.

Go ahead, feel smug. I understand. I lived in the Dakotas for a year when the temperature in November never went above forty below zero. Finally, it warmed up one day to zero, and all of us were outside in our shirt sleeves!

Passing The Time

When it's cold, I like to make soups and stews and bake cornbread to go with those and hot muffins to slather with butter for teatime. (I've always thought 3:00 tea was a delightful custom I'm pleased to copy from the British.)

Yummy, Hot, and Delicious

This morning I made Raisin Bran Muffins which were amazing with my morning cup of Dunkin Donuts coffee. (Hey, Mr./Ms. Dunkin Donuts, call me any time if you'd like to pay for product endorsement. *g*)

Photo: Muffins, Image: 168822 by George
Raisin Bran Muffins

1/1/4 cups milk
2 1/2 cups Post Raisin Bran (Darling Hubby's favorite)
1/4 to 1/2 cup raisins (I love lots of plump moist raisins in them.)
1 1/2 cups Bisquick Baking Mix
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons sunflower oil or another vegetable oil
1 egg

Heat over to 400 degrees. Place paper liners in each of the 12 "cups" in a muffin tin or grease each with a little vegetable oil. (Keep paper liners in the pantry. They're so much easier than scrubbing those little cups in a muffin tin.)

Place the Raisin Bran in a bowl and pour the milk over it. Let it set while you mix the rest up.

In a larger bowl, beat the egg well, add the brown sugar and the oil and blend well. To this, stir in the Bisquick, blend well but don't beat it to death. Add the extra raisins at this point.

Now, pour the Raisin Bran-milk mixture over the Bisquick mixture and combine well. It will be a bit lumpy and thick.

Scoop into the muffin tin cups. An ice cream scoop works well for the thick batter.

Bake until golden brown and firm which takes about 20 to 25 minutes.

Makes 12 really delicious and fairly healthy muffins. Split, butter, and enjoy with your favorite beverage for breakfast or for 3:00 teatime.

Romance Will Warm You Up!

Now that we're nice and warm on the inside, let me tell you about Last Chance New Year, one of the stories in my A Moment in Time Romance series.

In this romance short story, a woman decides to take a leap of faith and reveal her feelings to the man she loves. What better time to yield to a bit of craziness like this than New Year's Eve?

Last Chance New Year is only 99 cents so that's a modest way to start your reading this year.

I'll be publishing at least 2 more short stories in this series in 2018. Each story is linked by a chain of relationships.

Some stories are funny, some are thoughtful, and all are romantic and sexy. Pick one up today.

Wishing you a New Year full of dreams that become reality, more good times than bad, lots of fun and the good kind of excitement.

Joan Reeves is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Sassy, Sexy Contemporary Romance. Her books are available in audio, ebook, and print. All of her books have the same underlying theme: It's never too late to live happily ever after.

Joan lives her Happily Ever After with her hero, her husband, in the Lone Star State. Visit Joan online: Blog * Website and Follow her on  Facebook * Twitter * YouTube * Amazon Author Page * BookBub Author Page.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Plans for the Future...

I never make resolutions for the new year. I'm afraid they would just end up depressing me because I would never accomplish them.

However, I have made a few plans. Number 1, I intend to get smarter about social media. I admit I'm uncomfortable sharing much of my personal life on the Internet. I just think it's not smart. I know people whose whole life is on their phone. I know people who have Alexa, which is one of the scariest thing to come down the pike lately. I will never have Alexa.

With Facebook on the brink of making some major new changes (which I don't yet understand), I'm going to learn more about using Facebook as a marketing tool. I have 3 Facebook pages. First, there's my profile page

There is my professional page, Anna Jeffrey Books: On this page, I mostly comment about books and writing. My Facebook store is also on this page, with links to Amazon to buy books and audio books. I haven't yet figured out how to add links for other retailers yet, but I'm working on it.

After that, there is my new Anna Jeffrey Readers Club: This is a closed group you're welcome to join. We are supposed to talk about books and movies and share opinions and thoughts. (no politics, no flame-outs and no promotions) It's supposed to be like we all get together for coffee and cake and we're supposed to have fun. .... I don't know about you, but I have a hard time finding people to discuss good books with.

I'm going to be more active on Twitter. If you'd like to follow me on Twitter, my I.D. is annajeffrey@annajeffrey. Twitter is where I'll be making announcements if Facebook becomes un-tolerable after they make their changes and their announcements.

There's my blog, on which I'm going to try to post more. I post all kinds of things on my blog (except politics), but including a few recipes from time to time. I also have a few guest authors promoting their new releases. If you would like to subscribe, a sign-up box is on the blog or it's at my web site,

I'm on Pinterest. There I have boards on my books as well as a few other things that interest me, such as great people, food, and art. I would love to have you follow me there.

I'm on LinkedIn and Instagram, but I'm not quite into using those two yet.

And in the middle of all of this, I'm going to try to find time to write. As soon as I finish THE HORSEMAN, I'm going to start on the revisions of MAN OF THE WEST, which is a sequel to LONE STAR WOMAN. Originally, this book was to be Book #1 of a trilogy.

It took forever to get the rights to MAN OF THE WEST back from the New York publisher, but I finally succeeded. I hope to get that done in the next few months and I will be releasing it as an Anna Jeffrey book.

So those are my plans. Not resolutions.😀

Friday, January 12, 2018

Audio them or not? by Paty Jager

I'm excited to start 2018 with a schedule to put out four more audio books in the Shandra Higheagle Mystery series this year. While the sales haven't been anything to write home about, hearing my books told by narrator Ann M. Thompson, a Cincinnati radio news anchor, has been a thrill!

How do you feel about audio books? Love them? Hate them? I read more than I listen, but I have enjoyed all but one book I listened to. It was a case of the female narrator didn't do a good job with the male voices. Luckily, Ann's voice has a huskiness to it that works well for the male voices. And she has a great way of giving a different dimension to the voices of each character.

So far the audio reviewer who has listened to the first four books has enjoyed Ann's telling of the book and this last review said my mysteries keep getting better and better. As a writer I love that!

Here is the info on Murderous Secrets. If you'd like to get a code to download the book for FREE read to the bottom.


Book four in the Shandra Higheagle Mystery Series

The accident that took her father’s life has always haunted Shandra Higheagle. When her dreams become too real, she knows it’s time to discover the truth. It doesn’t take long to suspect her father had been murdered and that someone is unhappy with her probing. 

Detective Ryan Greer knows Shandra well enough to insist he be kept informed of her investigation into the decades old death of her father. When signs implicate her mother, he can’t withhold the information, even though he realizes it could complicate their relationship.

Buy Links  Audible - Amazon - Apple - Nook
And these vendors--
How can you get a free download code? Be willing to leave a review at one of the places that sells the audio version of Murderous Secrets and out your email in the comments section. I'll check back for a week to gather emails and send you codes. They are Audible US and UK codes.

Paty Jager is an award-winning author of 32 novels, 6 novellas, and numerous anthologies of murder mystery, western romance, and action adventure. All her work has Western or Native American elements in them along with hints of humor and engaging characters. This is what Mysteries Etc says about her Shandra Higheagle mystery series: “Mystery, romance, small town, and Native American heritage combine to make a compelling read.”