Merry Christmas

Just two days left.

My family went to Grandma’s this year. The funny thing is that we keep moving, and we’ve yet to move ‘away’ from Grandma. Three years ago, to Georgia we went, over the river and through the woods, and 3.5 hours to Grandma’s. When they told us we would be moving last summer, we warned the family… we’re moving. People need to step up and get down to Grandma’s. We won’t be so close anymore.

Wrong.

Over the river and through the woods and 3 hours to Grandma’s in Mississippi. Actually closer than we’d been. We’ll be moving in 2020 [yay, another move]. But don’t worry, we’ll only be 5.5 hours from Grandma!

I have two thoughts behind this.

How lucky we are! They Italians have such rich traditions in food and faith. Our kids will remember being at Grandma’s. They won’t forget so quickly as military families and families who live far from each other often do. They’ll have crazy stories to tell. Experiences to share as they grow older.

Yet, it makes me apprehensive, as if God knows something we don’t. He wants us close to Grandma’s for a while, until…what? Morbid, but it’s life, too.

There’s only one sure thing in life, right? Are you ready?

I’m working on it.

Don’t miss out on my Christmas story, Letters From Home, available from Entangled Publishing!!

An Army doctor, Lena Rodriguez has always been too busy with school or the Army for romance. But the letters she received during deployment have captured her heart. Back home for the holidays, she awaits Christmas morning to meet the man who has turned her life upside down.

When Zack Benson watched his best friend’s sister, Lena, leave for Afghanistan, he knew he had to tell her he loved her. So he sent her anonymous love letters. Now that she’s home, he realizes he’s made a tactical error. Lena has fallen for the man in those letters but still thinks of him as a brother. He has to convince her otherwise because if he succeeds, he’ll get the best Christmas present ever. But if he fails, he could lose her for good.

About Beth Rhodes

Beth jumps into life with both feet...or head first. Impulsive and spontaneous to a T, she joined Passionate Critters and never looked back. She loves writing and reading, which made this wonderful group of woman a perfect match for her.

Guys & Galentines: This is For You

If the person you love literally looks like this (to the right), then you should be reading this post because I have some killer gift ideas for you for the month of love.

The Book Boyfriend candle smells delightfully “manly” scents of a light cologne, musky earthy notes, and clean cotton to remind you of the boys from your favorite books.

That’s a direct quote from the artisan’s etsy listing.  Who wouldn’t love to settle in with their favorite book (boyfriend) and light this candle? Boys in books aren’t just better, they smell better, too.

A beautiful vintage hardback book style e-reader and tablet cover handmade in England using 40 years of bookbinding experience.

Someone has taken their skills from the past into the next century to give us the ability to read any book, carry around hundreds in your pocket, all while looking like a beautifully bound cover of Pride and Prejudice (or what have you).

Any book reader will love the humor and your special appreciation of the joys a good book boyfriend can bring.

So, does your best friend/girlfriend take her book boyfriends seriously enough to wear this adorable t-shirt? Because, well, I do. “Try Living Up to My Book Boyfriend,” it reads. Try, indeed.

This is a small, easy reminder to love what you read and own it.

This may be my favorite (but in fairness, that could be because I collect coffee mugs). All the same, this is a winner for any romance reader.

This may be the best gift yet, especially if you’ve got the mouth of a well-educated sailor and (again) love coffee mugs and reading almost as much as I do.

In short, I hope my husband, daughters, and/or friends find this post because I basically low-key want every item shown here. Please?

About Lori Sizemore

Lover of nail polish, pens, her Kindle, and fresh coffee. She likes romance filled with messy, real characters and lots of snarky banter. Reading was (and still is!) her BFF; when she discovered writing she fell in love. Come for the snark. Stay for the story.

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Sorry I haven’t been here much this year. Lots of things happened and I’m back on the track with writing, life and a whole lot more!

Promise I’ll be back to tell you all about it starting next month!

About Lynn Crain

Award winning author Lynn Crain has done it all in her life. From nursing to geology, her life experiences have added to her detail rich stories. She loves writing full time as she weaves contemporary, fantasy, futuristic and paranormal tales, tame to erotic, for various publishers. Her home is in the desert southwest and she’s just returned from her latest adventure of living in Vienna, Austria while her husband worked his dream job. You can find her hanging out online at www.lynncrain.blogspot.com, https://www.facebook.com/LynnCrainAuthor, and on Twitter, @oddlynn3. She loves hearing from her readers at lynncrain@cox.net.

The Perfection of the Parody

Happy December, everyone!

I’m a sucker for parody songs. Who doesn’t smile when they see/hear something funny played to the beat of a familiar tune? As a child, I’d sit with my cousins and we’d spend hours making up our own fun lyrics to existing songs. The sneaky Bunny (done to the music of Two Princes by Spin Doctors) or The High School song (done to the music of Nirvana’s Smells like Teen Spirit). To this day, Weird Al is one of my favorite human beings 😉 His work always makes me smile.

Today I’d like to share a couple of my favorites in hopes of making you smile!

This parody of Jason Derulo’s “Talk Dirty” is one of my go-tos when I’m feeling low. I’m big into gaming and this video is just pure awesome. 🙂

 

Another favorite is Dark lord Funk (an Uptown Funk parody)

I’ve got no video skills, and trust me when I tell you, you wouldn’t want to hear me sing–but I still love to write my own parodies.

Since I’m currently in the editing phase of the book I’m working on, and it’s the holidays, here’s one I wrote a few years back (because, for some reason, I always seem to be editing something during the holiday season…).

The Twelve Days of Edits

On the first day of edits, my CP gave to me a plot hole as big as the sea

 

On the second day of edits, my CP gave to me:

two mismatched loves

and a plot hole as big as the sea

 

On the third day of edits, my CP gave to me:

three crutch words

two mismatched loves

and a plot hole as big as the sea

 

On the fourth day of edits, my CP gave to me:

four repeated phrases

three crutch words

two mismatched loves

and a plot hole as big as the sea

 

On the fifth day of edits, my CP gave to me:

five pointless scenes

four repeated phrases

three crutch words

two mismatched loves

and a plot hole as big as the sea

 

On the sixth day of edits, my CP gave to me:

six clichéd themes

five pointless scenes

four repeated phrases

three crutch words

two mismatched loves

and a plot hole as big as the sea

 

On the seventh day of edits, my CP gave to me:

seven subplots hanging

six clichéd themes

five pointless scenes

four repeated phrases

three crutch words

two mismatched loves

and a plot hole as big as the sea

 

On the eighth day of edits, my CP gave to me:

eight too many hotties

seven subplots hanging

six clichéd themes

five pointless scenes

four repeated phrases

three crutch words

two mismatched loves

and a plot hole as big as the sea

 

On the ninth day of edits, my CP gave to me:

nine more swoony scenes

eight too many hotties

seven subplots hanging

six clichéd themes

five pointless scenes

four repeated phrases

three crutch words

two mismatched loves

and a plot hole as big as the sea

 

On the tenth day of edits, my CP gave to me:

ten sharks jumped

nine more swoony scenes

eight too many hotties

seven subplots hanging

six clichéd themes

five pointless scenes

four repeated phrases

three crutch words

two mismatched loves

and a plot hole as big as the sea

 

On the eleventh day of edits, my CP gave to me:

eleven weak descriptions

ten sharks a jumped

nine more swoony scenes

eight too many hotties

seven subplots hanging

six clichéd themes

five pointless scenes

four repeated phrases

three crutch words

two mismatched loves

and a plot hole as big as the sea

 

On the twelfth day of edits, my CP gave to me:

Twelve cheesy villains

ten sharks a jumped

nine more swoony scenes

eight too many hotties

seven subplots hanging

six clichéd themes

five pointless scenes

four repeated phrases

three crutch words

two mismatched loves

and a plot hole as big as the sea

 

I hope everyone has a wonderful and safe holiday, and a very awesome new year!

 

About Jus Accardo

JUS ACCARDO spent her childhood reading and learning to cook. Determined to follow in her grandfather’s footsteps as a chef, she applied and was accepted to the Culinary Institute of America. But at the last minute, she realized her true path lay with fiction, not food. A native New Yorker, she lives in the middle of nowhere with her husband, three dogs, and sometimes guard bear, Oswald.

Stuffed

I began this week, thinking… uh, oh. Diet Sabbatical, here you come. With all the foodie inspiration popping up on Facebook, this holiday week is bound to be filled with every amazing dish known to mankind. And it was true… we had turkey and baked dishes filled with cooked down veggies and creams and sauces. Pies like you just can’t even do more than once a year!

I’m stuffed. My buttons are tight. I’ve run in an effort to balance, but let’s be honest…ain’t no running enough to counteract the Diet Sabbatical!! haha.

You know what else I’m stuffed with?

Good ideas.

I’ve had a great week of pulling back, spending time with family, and just listening. I’m returning home from Florida today, feeling refreshed and ready to go. Excited to end the year on a good note and carry it through to 2019. I hope this Thanksgiving has found you doing the same: eating, enjoying life, relaxing, and filling your soul with the next best selling idea!! Whether that be the burnt fried turkey…the fight Uncle John had with Aunt Maude…Cousin Frankie’s new tattoo…or your sister’s announcement that she is pregnant with number 12 [she does know how that happens, right?].

What’s one thing that happened this week that will definitely end up in a book someday?

About Beth Rhodes

Beth jumps into life with both feet...or head first. Impulsive and spontaneous to a T, she joined Passionate Critters and never looked back. She loves writing and reading, which made this wonderful group of woman a perfect match for her.

A Month for Beheadings

February is the month we celebrate Love. Isn’t it funny that Saint Valentine [the first and the second] were both beheaded? So, I did a little digging to find out more…why do we celebrate love and couples and this bond between two people on a day where we also remember the life of people who were beheaded for doing what was right? [so much more on that in a minute, btw!] [Also, excuse the history lesson. I don’t mean to bore you.]

And I read this, “Today is the feast day of St. Valentine.  Did you know St. Valentine was a real person?  Well, actually there are at least 2 St. Valentines in the ancient martyrology of the Catholic church.  While very little is known about Valentine of Rome and Valentine of Terni, we do know that Pope Gelasius declared February 14th his feast day in 496.  He is the patron saint of happy marriages, engaged couples and young people….

It is believed that Valentine was a priest arrested by the Emperor Claudius for marrying Christian couples secretly during a time of persecution in the Church.  Legend has it that while he was imprisoned and waiting for his martyrdom, he sent letters to his fellow Christians signing them, ‘From Your Valentine.'”

Okay. I get it now. It makes me think of this odd world we live in where people are persecuted every day. Through history, since the beginning of time, we have needed a HERO. Someone who would break the rules for justice, for belief. I think, as romance novelists, we see those stories. We find hope in the memory of the people who fight–hero or heroine. Already, I’m thinking of people from the 6th century who wanted to get married but weren’t allowed! LOL 😀 There’s a story there.

I kept reading….and found so much more!

During the Medieval Age, a common belief in England and France was that birds began to pair on Feb.14, “half-way through the second month of the year.” Chaucer wrote in his “Parliament of Foules” (in Old English): “For this was on Seynt Valentyne’s day, When every foul cometh ther to choose his mate.” For this reason, the day was dedicated to “lovers” and prompted the sending of letters, gifts, or other signs of affection.

Another literary example of St. Valentine’s Day remembrances is found in Dame Elizabeth Brews “Paston Letters” (1477), where she writes to the suitor, John Paston, of her daughter, Margery: “And, cousin mine, upon Monday is St. Valentine’s day and every bird chooseth himself a mate, and if it like you to come on Thursday night, and make provision that you may abide till then, I trust to God that ye shall speak to my husband and I shall pray that we may bring the matter to a conclusion.” In turn, Margery wrote to John: “Unto my right well beloved Valentine John Paston, Squyer, be this bill delivered. Right reverend and worshipful and my right well beloved Valentine, I recommend me unto you, full heartily desiring to hear of your welfare, which I beseech Almighty God long for to preserve until His pleasure and your heart’s desire.”

Such passionate writing for a woman of those times… or is it? The idea that passions are greater now because we are freer now, seems to be a myth, yes? I love hearing stories from other centuries about love and the call to become one with another soul.

It makes me smile to know that humanity is ingrained with the need for a soulmate and meant to share life with a person. Centuries have gone by and more centuries will pass, and romance and love and the pain and conflict that comes with it, will thrive…it will make stories worth reading.

Aren’t you so excited?!

Now, I must go document another wonderful, powerful story of Love.

Have a great week!

About Beth Rhodes

Beth jumps into life with both feet...or head first. Impulsive and spontaneous to a T, she joined Passionate Critters and never looked back. She loves writing and reading, which made this wonderful group of woman a perfect match for her.

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