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Wednesday, September 28, 2022

You Won't Believe Who I Met

 I'm filling in for Beth Trissel. 

I have a friend who’s a namedropper. She’s a lot of fun and she’s quite nice, so I just smile and try to look impressed. She’s had a very interesting career, or really two careers, and in her retirement she volunteers, so she’s had many opportunities to rub elbows with the famous. Her stories are peppered with the local movers and shakers, local celebrities, and politicians (even a former president, but I didn’t vote for him so I wasn’t really impressed). I wonder sometimes if the people she mentions knowing even realize she considers them acquaintances.

In the town where I live, the local arts community holds an annual Gallery Night. All the art galleries in the city have open houses, most with wine and light refreshments. People travel from place to place socializing, eating, drinking, and purchasing. A family friend of mine talked me into going to Gallery Night with her one year. She bragged about knowing a specific artist who was well known in the area. She considered him a friend of hers and her recently deceased husband’s and thought the artist would be so pleased to see her. When we arrived at that particular gallery, my friend bounced up to him and greeted him effusively. He looked at her without any sign of recognition, curled his lip, and turned around to continue his conversation with an obviously wealthy woman who was considering a purchase. My friend was hurt and humiliated. Absolutely mortified. I made light of it and rushed her along. It did seem to me that this stranger could have at least been polite.



One of my friends is a locally famous jazz singer, who’s name I will not reveal because, well, it  would make me a terrible hypocrite. I do get amused watching her fans react to her the way they do. She came to my church to perform a couple of years ago and I was also amused to see the reactions of various congregational members who saw that we were obviously really friends. One couple had always been a bit snobbish to me, but they were very friendly the next Sunday. When I met her, it was because she was temping at the placed I worked, so I didn’t actually see her perform until we were friends.

What is it that makes us act so oddly around those who have acquired more than their 15 minutes of fame? Are they really so different from us? And those women who are so sure that if they could just meet their crush, he would be squiring them down the red carpet within a year. Does it make us seem like we’ve somehow accomplished something by knowing these people?  Most people are good at something. And we all have jobs at some time during our lifetime.  It just happens that some people are teachers, some people are letter carriers, and some people are famous actors, etc.













That said, I’m sure that there are some people who would cause me to have my own fan girl moment.  Of course, I won’t tell you exactly who. I just can’t abide name dropping.




Photo Credits: 
Andrea Piacquadio "Two Women Holding Long-Stem Wine Glasses with Red Liquid"                   Darya Sannikova  "Woman Leaning on Man Standing Inside Room"                                               Nappy "Photo of Woman Teaching"                                                                                                  Artistic Operations/1996 "Mail Truck"                                                                                          Cottonbro "Woman in White Floral Lace Dress Smiling"                                                                Mikhail Nilov "A Woman Wearing Masquerade Mask While Posing"                         





Monday, September 26, 2022

Bad Jokes by Laura Hunsaker

 I love bad jokes. Like the kind you groan after hearing. You know, stuff like "Do you think the ocean is salty because the beach never waves back?" Those sort of dad jokes, if you will. I also think I'm the only person in my whole family who likes those groaners. Well, obviously I'm like the best mom ever, and since we've already established that I'm super funny, I of course continue to force my humor upon share my sense of whimsy with my children.

So I played a funny joke on my kids.

One day, the milk went bad. I made sure to let the kids know. See? I'm so helpful!


I thought it was funny, anyway. I grabbed a fresh gallon after work and I was kind enough to let the kids know that the milk was good. Again, me being helpful.


Apparently my kiddos didn't appreciate my jokes, but that's all right. It brings me joy to be this goofy and I don't mind that they don't think I'm funny. Hopefully one day they'll look back fondly, and maybe even use my corny jokes amazing material with their own children.

I don't write Rom Coms, but I do try to have my sense of humor show through in my books, even the Romantic Suspense books. Hopefully the jokes are better than the ones I use in my household.

However, I do write under the pen name Kenzie MacLir for paranormal hockey romance...and I'd like to think those are successfully fun and funny. There may even be a fart joke in there (I regret nothing! It's a hockey locker room, people!). So while my Romantic Suspense may have some fun moments, it's the Hockey Romance that really allows my frivolity to shine! Donut eating contests, Nerf gun battles, swear jars, I think you'll really enjoy it! 

And if you're up to the challenge, drop your best (or worst!) dad joke in the comments!


Amazon


Caught in the Crossfire by Stacey Agdern

Bryce Emerson only agreed to draw an account of the Empires Goalie Tryouts to humor his brother. But when a vision convinces him the woman who saved his prized pen from a snowy grave is in danger of being injured by a faulty mask, he takes it upon himself to make her a new one.

Goaltender Carly Fein is trying out for the New York Empires, and the last thing she needs is the complication of an artist. But when she agrees to let him make her a new mask, Bryce Emerson finds his way under her skin.

Can Bryce and Carly figure out what happens when they’re caught in the crossfire of love and hockey? Or will the stress of new love and competition drive them apart.

Crashing the Net by Isabo Kelly

Billionaire Connor Evans needs a challenge. Trying out for the New York Empires’ hockey team fits the bill, even if it is just a publicity stunt and a way to shut his twin brother up. Running into the woman who left him six years earlier, a woman he’s never gotten over, is not part of the plan. Once he sees Matty, though, Connor knows he can’t let her go again. But he’s got secrets he can’t risk sharing. And Matty is the one person who could uncover those secrets if he lets her get too close.

After traveling the world, Matilda Thomson is ready for a real job and a more stable life. Her internship with the New York Empires will give her the experience she needs to move into that future. But first, she has to face Connor again, and one of the most painful losses she’s ever experienced. The only way she can move forward is to confront her feelings and risk her heart one more time.

Heat and passion spark as hot as ever between them. But trust doesn’t come easy. And if Connor can’t open up and let Matty in this time, he’ll lose her forever.

Against the Boards by Kenzie MacLir

Kyle Sandberg is living his best life. He’s one of the top hockey players in the world. Has two amazing best friends and all the sarcastic hockey t-shirts he could wear. After his own family turns their backs on him, he’s happy playing for the Empires and hanging out with his own found family. What he doesn’t want is his pain in the ass twin brother back in his life or a mate.

When paramedic Faith Church left Puerto Rico for New York, she had zero intentions of getting involved in the local pack. Having had her fill of pack politics, she was ready to go lone wolf. But being left alone was too much to ask when her cousin was the Alpha’s mate.

What neither was counting on was Fate, having her own plans for them. A chance encounter at a traffic accident changes everything. Kyle and his wolf are willing to go with Fate’s plans. But Faith, having finally broken away from her pack’s expectations wants nothing to do with Fate, or Kyle. Too bad her wolf disagrees…

Friday, September 23, 2022

MAGICAL SEPTEMBER

 by Judy Ann Davis

“By all these lovely tokens, September days are here.
With summer’s best of weather and autumn’s best of cheer.”
– Helen Hunt Jackson

 Magical September waltzed in with her cooler temperatures and autumn splendor.

 Let’s remember to:
      Admire September’s magical sunsets and the harvest moon
      Enjoy the beauty of goldenrod along our roadways.
      Appreciate the last green leaves before Jack Frost hauls out his paint box
      Take a few minutes to watch the rolling fog lift itself from the land.
      Drink a glass of refreshing apple cider.
      Call a friend and grab lunch to share in the fall merriment.

If I were to ponder the summer of 2022, I’d have to admit Central Pennsylvania had a hot humid season with temperatures rolling upward near ninety degrees many days. We received enough rain to encourage every weed in our flowerbeds to flourish. I grew a horse weed plant taller than I am. I filled buckets with purslane, plantain, dandelion, dollar weed, quack grass and clover. Humid conditions during the day and hot muggy nights encouraged white mold on many plants’ leaves, but our ferns went crazy, loving the humidity. Ironically, my tomato plants were stubbornly lazy and didn’t produce as well as they had in other years.

But now, it’s time to watch September spin the last of its magic as it blows a farewell kiss to us in less than a week. The hummingbirds have disappeared. Crows gather in noisy flocks. Geese honk farewell as they wing their way south.

Hans - Pixabay

  Acorns plummet to the earth with a plop. Mushroom 
  silently pop up from the ground. Milkweed pods 
  burst open sending seeds sailing into the air on 
  fluffy floss. Pleasing scents fill the air: smoky wood 
  fires, hot chocolate, cinnamon and nutmeg spices, 
  roasts in the oven, and apple   and pumpkin pies. 
  Oh, and let’s not forget pumpkin spice coffee
  sold in every establishment in town
                                   

JIMaro Morales - Pixabay
In many northern states,  September delivers the first frost of the season and signals autumn is approaching. I love autumn because of the exquisite colors it brings. Maple trees cover our landscape in gold, scarlet, and orange. It’s a painter’s paradise.                                
 
September is also jacket weather on cool nights. It’s the season when we dig into the back of our closets and pull out those jeans, flannel shirts, and fleece coats. Dry leaves rustle beneath our feet when we take a walk in the brisk outdoors.

Do you have a favorite sign of the autumn season? Share it with others in the comments below. And watch out for those falling acorns!

Book 1 in the Musical Christmas Series 
Now on Sale for $0.99


Thursday, September 22, 2022

Welcome to My Crazy Wonderful Life

Hello, I am Zerry Greenwood, and I write Historical Romances based in the Idaho territory.

I am a lighthearted, simple woman, and my writing reflects those attributes. I was born and raised in the Rocky Mountains of Idaho, and I love my state. I hope you will not only fall in love with my heroes but my state as well.

I started writing only after the death of my mother, whose unpublished manuscripts gave her back to me in her written words. I decided to give that same gift to my seven children and many grandchildren.


My mother and I had so much in common: looks, faith, writing, fertility. Well, except she named her children, Jerry, Terry, Sherry, Merry, Kerry, Cherry, Perry, Zerry, and Berry, and I gave my children normal names.

Enough about me. 

Let me introduce you to the man who inspires all my heroes. He is not only HOT; but also kind, hardworking, honest, faithful, and funny.
 

We have been married 38 years, and in that time, I have fallen madly in love with him six times. Not the, gosh I love my husband love, the OMG I cannot believe I am so lucky to have this man, head-over-heels, ga ga love. We have 7 beautiful children. Five hardworking sons and two drop-dead gorgeous girls.


We raised and homeschooled them on the same cow ranch my husband was raised on.
Now our son, the spitting image of his father, plans to do the same with his children.
Hopefully, one day, his son will join him in operating the ranch.

The ranch has been a haven to raise children. No, it is not one long-running romance. It is hardships and struggles, long days and short nights, hard work and hard play, new life, and pain-filled deaths.

Grandchildren now fill my world with new adventures and trials, but I would not change my crazy wonderful life for anyone else's.


 

 

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Moments and Memories and Stories by Liz Flaherty #SmartGirlsReadRomance

My husband and I were talking about our paternal grandparents tonight. Neither of us remembers them well. My grandfather died when I was two, Grandma when I was seven. I was near the end of the line of her 20-some grandchildren and she was 77 when I was born. I remember where she sat in the living room and kitchen of the house that is still in our family. I remember that she drank her coffee from a cracked cup and that she wore her long white hair in a bun at the back of her head. I remember her funeral. 


Other than that, the only sharp memory I have of Grandma Shafer is the day I followed Dad into the kitchen and she looked past him at me and said, "What did you bring her for?"

I have no idea what she meant. Was she serious? Teasing? Just tired of kids being around every day of her life--first her nine and then the next generation? 

I laughed about it when Duane and I talked about it. "It doesn't matter," I said. "It didn't hurt or enhance my life."

"I think it does matter," he said, and I just shook my head. 

And yet 66 years later, I still remember where she sat, the sharp look on her face when she looked at me, stepping back behind my dad again. 

It didn't change my life in any way. Or did it? I know if I ever said words like this to my grands, they'd know I was kidding. They'd know I love them more than my life. That they are so much fun. I'm not sure I'd be so careful of that if I didn't remember Grandma's words.

It is moments like this that sometimes start stories for us, isn't it? The March girls bemoaning a sad and poor Christmas. Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm riding on the coach with Mr. Cobb. Scarlett O'Hara deciding what dress to wear. In my own book, One More Summer, Dillon shows up 15 years late for the prom. 

I've been dreaming about the beginning of my next story. About a woman whose name I think is Maggie who inherits a cottage on a nondescript little lake. I don't have much yet, but the idea came with two words. Trilby died. 

Like the remembered words of my grandmother, those two don't matter. Except that they opened the previously sealed envelope of Chapter One. 

I'm so excited. 




Friday, September 16, 2022

September Is For Lovers by Joan Reeves #SmartGirlsReadRomance

Did you know that research shows colder weather makes people want to get together.

In centuries past, this may have been a primitive survival instinct. Get in a relationship so you wouldn't be alone in the winter. You know, the share body heat idea.

Fortunately, we have central heat now, but getting into relationships increases in the fall. 

We now know that testosterone levels in both men and women jump up in the fall. When testosterone levels increase, sex drive increases too. It's likely that's what drives the desire to be in a relationship.

National First Love Day

On September 18, National First Love Day is celebrated in the United States. We are the only country to celebrate this holiday that was created in 2015.

Yes, this is the day to remember that first rush of feeling that made your heart pound—that first spark of attraction with someone you fancied. We've all had that feeling.

Rarely does that first love end up being our last love, but there is a song that celebrates that. Barry White release his song, You're The First, The Last, My Everything in 1974, and it hit No. 1 on Billboard's Hot Soul Singles chart.

Whether your first love was your last love or not, First Love Day is a time to look back on that time in your life. You may be sentimental and nostalgic about the experience or you may shudder and be deeply grateful your experience never went beyond a "first love."

Why First Love Day

I read that this holiday was created to remind us where it all started in our own lives and in the lives of others.

The day is supposed to remind us of the first time we felt love in a romantic relationship. Like I said, these memories could be good or bad, but that first love was a rite of passage.

Love is the emotion we feel when we care about someone else. We give our love, hoping it will be reciprocated.

Through the centuries poets have written about love. Philosphers have expounded about love. Singers have sung about it. Like the movie Love, Actually says: "Love really is all around us."

By the way, in case you wonder about people who end up with their first love. I read a statistic that said 97% of people who married their first love think they will be with them until they die.

A Personal First Love Story

My grandparents met when they were children. This was in the late 1890's. Weird, I know.

When my grandfather was a young man, employed, and of an age to marry, he ended up having to support his widowed mother and his sister who never married.

When he was in his early forties, his mother died, leaving him as the sole support of his sister, but he was tired of waiting.

He bought a beautiful ring with a large solitaire ruby, took a train back to Mississippi, and found my grandmother in th same small town where he'd left her.

She lived alone and made her living as a seamstress. His brother had traveled with him and served as his witness. They were married the next day.

Theirs was a first love. Theirs was a true love. True love lasts through thick and thin, and isn't diminished by distance.

(In case you're wondering, his sister Nancy never married. She lived with my grandparents until her death. I found out before my mom died that Nancy Jane had loved a young man, but he had died. She never loved again.)

Why I Write Romance

Maybe my grandparents' love story is what inspired my love of romance. That could be why I write romantic stories.

First love is the trope in several of my books like Deceptively Yours

By the way, I'm one of the women who is delighted that my first love in high school—a mere infatuation—didn't end up being my last love. 

I was like the traveler in the yellow wood on the road that diverted. I took a different path which made all the difference and gave me a wonderful husband and a wonderful life.

Have a marvelous September!

(Joan Reeves is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program, which means she may earn a small commission if you click her link to her book on Amazon.)

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Burning down the house by Cathy Shouse


 

 

     I’d been telling our son for years that he could have a puppy “some day.” One summer day when he was eight and our daughter was two, we were visiting my cousin. She had just adopted a puppy for her kids. Murphy was a Beagle mix, and there were other puppies in his litter that still needed homes, she told me.

 

     Overcome by the cuteness overload of Murphy, I seriously considered checking out the rest of his litter. But when I told my dad, a dog lover, he was against the idea. We had a dog when I was growing up but we lived on a farm. Dad thought having a dog in town would be a mistake.

 

     My husband and I went with the kids and picked out Lucky and brought him home anyway. It was one of the few times I had overruled my dad. My cousin and I and our four kids between us thought it was the coolest thing ever that our dogs were brothers. Our husbands were on board too. We would let the kids and puppies play in the yard together. She and I discussed endlessly whether our puppies greeted each other in any special way since they were related, just as we were all related.

 

     One day as the weather was turning colder, Dad came to our house and dropped off a doggie electric blanket for Lucky. He lived outside in a kennel surrounded by a tall fence, in a doghouse shaped like an igloo. Dad also attached material to the opening of the dogloo to keep the wind out. I was so grateful for the help, especially since Dad had been opposed to our getting Lucky! 

 

     One morning I’d been up late with our daughter, woke up early, and peered out the back window at the dog kennel. Where the dogloo had set, there was a small pile of ashes. I was nearly hysterical, and glad the kids were still asleep. How could such a wonderful idea turn into such tragedy?  As my husband and I went out to look for our puppy among the ashes, I wondered how much therapy it would take for our kids to get over knowing their new, sweet puppy had burned to death in the backyard. :(

 

     But we couldn’t find any remains. A couple of hours later, Lucky came trotting in from the field behind our house, unharmed. He must have chewed that heating blanket, which created a spark and started a fire. Our tiny dog had been so scared, he’d figured out how to scale the fence of his kennel.

 

     I called Dad, a man of few words, and told him what had happened. He said, “Well, I wondered about that.” 

 

To follow my adventures, and to check out my upcoming novel scheduled to release Oct. 4, 2022, Her Billionaire Cowboy’s Second Chance: A Galloway Sons Farm Novel (A Fair Creek Romance, Book 1), go to www.cathyshouse.com where you will receive a free novella for subscribing to my newsletter.

Saturday, September 10, 2022

Wisdom Quotes by Bea Tifton

Last time I posted, I wrote about the crones; the women who were the wisewomen, the healers,  leaders; the soothsayers. I started thinking about wisdom, so here are some inspirational words of wisdom. Take from them what you will.

“Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls, the most massive characters are seared with scars.” Kahlil Gibran

“Decide who you must be, then do what you must do.“  Epictetus

“Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.” Buddah

“To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.”  Thich Nhat Hanh

“Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” Lucille Ball

“First principle: never to let one’s self be beaten down by person or by events.”  Marie Curie



“Once I learned to be like me more than others did, then I didn’t have to worry about being the funniest or the most popular or the prettiest. I was the best me and I only ever tried to be that. “
Issa Rae

“If your actions create a legacy that inspires others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, then you are an excellent leader.”  Dolly Parton

“Your job is not to judge. Your job is not to figure out if someone deserves something. Your job is to lift the fallen, to restore the broken, and to heal the hurting.”  The Crone’s Grove























Photo Credits:                                                                                                                                  "Mysterious Woman Covering Face Behind Green Leaves" Anete Lusing                                      "Close-up Shot of Woman Wearing Hijab While Standing on Beach Shore" PNW Production        "Photo of Woman Looking at the Mirror" Andrea Piacquadio                                                        "Woman Holding Newspaper While Burning" Produtora Midtrack                                              "Brunette Woman in Green Dress" Elina Sazonova                                                                        "Woman Standing in Yellow-petaled Flower" Edu Carvalho                                                           "Couple Practicing Yoga" Marcus Aurelius                                                                                    "Woman Sitting and Smiling" Guilherme Almeida

Thursday, September 8, 2022

Great Reads Bookathon by Liz Flaherty



Calling all readers! Have you read all your beach reads over the summer and

looking for new books to dive into this month? We’re celebrating books from all

genres at N. N. Light’s Book Heaven’s fourth annual Fall Into These Great Reads

Bookathon. 30 books featured plus a chance to win a $75 Amazon gift card.

I’m thrilled to be a part of this event. My book, Life's Too Short for White Walls,

will be featured on September 14. Wait until you read what inspired to write my

featured book, plus what I love about fall/autumn. You won’t want to miss it.


Open internationally. You must have a valid Amazon US or Amazon CA account
to win.




Monday, September 5, 2022

The Dog Days of Summer and a New Puppy- Sherri Easley



Fifteen years ago, I went to Canton Trade days and bought two puppies. One for me, and the other for my daughter. Before you scold me, understand that I lived in a very rural area and we had no shelters. All I can say to this is to repeat Maya Angelou’s quote of “Do the best you can do until you know better, then do better.”  

I let my daughter choose, and she chose the little black one and named him Mister, leaving me with the white one- I named Bandit.

Mister was some pup, eating a sim card, a set of hearing aids, and sugar free gum which ended up in an emergency trip to the vet to have his stomach pumped. He also tore up carpet and ate several door frames. For the nine years before she had children, he was my daughter’s baby, dressing up for Halloween and going on adventures. 

I called Mister my Grand dogger because my daughter was in college, and he lived with me almost as much as he lived with her. Sometimes I traveled 200 miles round trip to meet my daughter to get him so he could come home with me.

Bandit lived in the country with me. He was quiet and reserved and didn’t live the glamourous life of Mister, but I am not sure his personality would have been right for that. He loved Mister, and it was like cousins visiting when they were together.

Both were sweet babies that brought an enormous amount of joy into our lives.

We lost Mister to bone cancer early this year, and I lost Bandit to cancer at the end of July. Both had already lost their hearing and were growing senile, so it was their time, as hard as that is to accept.


Initially, I wasn’t sure I wanted another pet. I have two cats, Button and Bobbin and my ten-year-old Shih tzu, Pekingese mix, Snooki. I did not realize how much I had been working to clean up after Bandit in his last days and life was easier, not constantly wiping up puddles, but Snooki seemed to be depressed.




I began the process of finding a dog to adopt. There are so many pets out there, it is heartbreaking. I sent seven applications to rescues and heard from two, with both dogs already taken. I started looking every day at Petfinder, sorting by recent adds and found a couple of candidates. I was second in line for one pup and if it came to me, I would hear on Tuesday and was invited to go meet another at Petsmart. Then, my friend had referred me to a rescue, and a potential pup came up with that one too.

By this point, I was going to get zero pups or three, and I didn’t know which.

I went to Petsmart and immediately fell in love with Zeke and was chosen as his new mom. I was so happy after looking for over a month, I could have cried.  


Zeke is an 8-month-old Shih tzu, owner surrender. He is very social and extremely smart. He loves water and enjoys jumping in the shower with me, although he does not like being dried. He reminds me of little Mister in his behavior and he loves my grandkids.





I did not get the call for the second pup, but I am still in line for this little girl. Another eight-month-old owner surrender. I am not sure if I will get her or not, but Zeke needs a friend with as much energy as him. His name should have been Bolt or Rocket, he is so fast.
  

I am pretty sure these will be the last pets I get, unless I adopt a senior pet. It is such a hard decision, but my life would be so lonesome without them.