Thursday, December 31, 2020

Lyn Cote Needs Help Choosing a New Model or Models!

 

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HELP PLEASE!

Yes, I need help. For the first time I'm thinking of using a couple on a cover. This new series "New Neighbors Lane" revolves around a life-altering event for a family. Each story shows the characters helping Habitat for Humanity build their first house! 


The first book is titled "Amy's Forever Love" and features a young single mom with twin girls. Add in the hero's basset hound and two cute golden tabby kittens and you have a story I hope you'll enjoy! It's a winter in Wisconsin story so I've narrowed it down to three couples I've chosen.

AGAIN WHAT I'M LOOKING FOR IS A COUPLE THAT MAKES YOU WANT TO KNOW THEIR STORY, FACES AND A POSE THAT DRAWS YOU IN!

To see them, click here and go to my blog. Leave a comment and perhaps win a free ebook! Thanks in advance!!!--Lyn Cote

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Looking Forward to 2021 by Laura Scott

 

Good morning! As I begin putting my Christmas decorations away, I'm thinking about the upcoming New Year.

Remember how much we looked forward to 2020? As the ball dropped in New York, we had no idea what this year would bring. I know good things happened over the past twelve months, but they have been overshadowed by the not so good.

So what are we looking forward to in 2021? 

I'm looking forward to the Covid 19 vaccine, although I won't be in the first wave or the second. But maybe at some point I'll be able to receive it.

I'm also looking forward to publishing more books, through Love Inspired Suspense, my new Cozy Mystery series through Crooked Lane Books and my own indie series.

I'm looking forward to taking a vacation, to celebrate our 36th wedding anniversary. Not that we have it planned, yet, lol.

But mostly, I'm looking forward to that point in time we can reunite with family and friends, not just through a zoom screen but to hug them for real.

Hope and light is what will get me through the long winter months here in Wisconsin. I refuse to give up, to remain focused on what we didn't get to do over the past twelve months. I'd rather look forward to all the things we will soon be able to do. And you know what? We may even enjoy our family more, rather than taking them for granted.

So tell me, what are you looking forward to doing next year? 

Yours in faith, Laura Scott

PS. The third book in my Security Specialists, Inc. Series is available on January 5, 2021. My Christian International Thriller series has been getting great reviews. A perfect way to spend some of those gift cards you've received for Christmas!

The North Korean Regime is seeking revenge...

When Sun Lin's old school friend Mack Remington shows up unexpectedly, she's both surprised and suspicious. But when she learns he was attacked by members of the North Korean regime, and the possibility they are seeking revenge against her mother for defecting years ago, Sun can't ignore Mack's dire warning. Unfortunately, she's in the middle of a case, searching for a suspected North Korean nuclear bomb that has been allegedly smuggled into the city. Despite her secret childhood crush on Mack, she accepts his help.

Macklin Remington has always considered Sun a friend, they'd bonded during their years of Mensa boarding school. Working with her now, bring his protective feelings to the surface, along with an intense longing for something more. They're fighting assailants around every corner, while trying to track a small nuclear bomb, targeted for the upcoming presidential inauguration. The clock is ticking. Can Mack keep Sun alive, find the bomb, and convince her how much he loves her, before it's too late?

Amazon Apple B&N GooglePlay Kobo


Monday, December 28, 2020

What's in Your 2021 Toolkit? by @MagdalenaScott

Photo by EstΓ©e Janssens on Unsplash

Wow, kids, we've almost made it to the end of 2020. 

A year ago, many of us were planning 2020: choosing our word of the year, using our prettiest cursive in a lovely floral planner book, adhering colored sticky notes onto our Kanbans, or pasting the final magazine picture onto our vision boards.

2020 was to be my Year of Travel. Instead, I had a February of Travel, and I know I was fortunate to have that. Read about my coach trip from Southern Indiana to Key West here:  https://www.sweetromancereads.com/2020/02/solo-travel-florida-in-february-by.html

Since I can't locate a list of my goals for 2020, I can't beat myself up for incomplete tasks. (Woot!) 

But in preparing to write this post, I reflected on the things I have accomplished this year. It was a surprisingly positive experience. I suggest that you take a few moments to give yourself credit for achievements during the toughest months that any of us has experienced. 

I won't include my goals list for 2021 here (you're welcome!) but want to share some of the things that are going into my 2021 Toolkit. (Full disclosure: most of them were also in my 2020 Toolkit.)

Photo by Daria Nepriakhina on Unsplash

Here goes:

Trello app, physical kanban board, and paper calendar for planning and tracking my writing;

Vision board;

Instrumental soft jazz for background writing music;

Music with vocals for when I'm not trying to focus;

Singing along, loudly - also when I'm not trying to focus;

Meditation;

Prayer;

Daily walks in nature;

Photo by Jon Moore on Unsplash

Kitty cuddles;

Romantic comedy movies;

Google Meet;

As little Facebook as possible;

Even less Twitter;

Uplifting books to read;

Healthy food;

Plenty of sleep;

Hugs (really looking forward to hugs); 

Sense of humor;

Forgiveness;

Gratitude; and

Fairy lights.

Photo by Marcelo Matarazzo on Unsplash


What about you? What are some of the things going into your 2021 Toolkit?


Website: https://magdalenascott.com/


Saturday, December 26, 2020

The Post-Christmas Letdown

 Christmas has come and gone again and many Americans are sliding into a post-holiday slump--typical for many of us, but made worse this year by all the things we couldn't do to celebrate. Some of us are settling into the period of inertia (as in, inert) that follows the sugar-high of the day before. Others are hustling to get decorations cleaned up and put away before the weekend ends and real life (however that looks these days) returns on Monday. 

Let me suggest that we in the US take a cue from our friends in the British commonwealth. In the UK, Canada, Australia, and elsewhere, today is Boxing Day, a holiday in its own right and with its own traditions. If, when you think of Boxing Day, you're picturing something like you see here, I can't blame you. It was my first thought. 

But the history of the day suggests something much lovelier. Kinder, too! 

According to the history.com website, the origin of Boxing Day is lost to the annals of time, but one theory is it originated during the Middle Ages. Lords of the manor required long workdays of their servants on Christmas Day. As a kind of holiday bonus, they often allowed time off on the day after, and handed out boxes (hence the name) of money, small gifts, and leftovers from their own holiday feasts

Another theory holds that alms for the poor were collected throughout the pre-Christmas season. Then, on the 26th, clergy handed out boxes of food, clothing, and other necessities to those who were in need. December 26 is also St. Stephen's day, named for the first Christmas martyr. In Ireland, the 26th is celebrated as St. Stephen's Day. Either way, the origin suggests the day was always intended to be another day of giving, or "good will toward men," and acts of charity.

December 26 falls on Saturday this year, so in the UK and other Commonwealth nations, the national holiday will be celebrated on Monday, the 28th. Since we don't have an offical holiday here in the US, let me suggest that any day (or every day!) between now and the end of the year could be an extra day of charitable acts for each of us. 

We can celebrate the tradition by volunteering time, taking groceries to a local shelter or food bank, or performing simple services, like picking up needed items or shoveling sidewalks, for neighbors who may be quarentined or ill or otherwise in need of our assistance.

Maybe our voluntary Boxing Day efforts can extend into the New Year and help us remember how very much we still have to be grateful for and to appreciate always, even in unprecedented years such as the one we've just experienced. 

After all, there's never a bad time for random acts of kindness, encouraging words, or uplifting thoughts. Happy Boxing Day, everyone, and may we all have a wonderful 2021.

Susan Aylworth is the author of more than 20 novels. Her newest book is Joy Comes to Bedford Falls, a Bedford Falls Christmas romance. Her newest series, "Seasons of Destiny," explores romance in every season of the year in the small, former Gold Rush town of Destiny, California, nestled in the Sierra Nevada foothills.  Paris in the Springtime, Sunny's Summer,  Amber in Autumn, and Winter Skye are all available now in e-book and paperback. Susan is releasing new editions of her beloved Rainbow Rock Romances. Over the Rainbow, a prequel to the series, is available free for a limited time to everyone who subscribes to her newsletter. You can sign up on her website: susanaylworthauthor.com. Contact her on her Facebook author page or via susan.aylworth.author@gmail.com or join her on Twitter @Susan Aylworth. 


Thursday, December 24, 2020

10 Moments in 2020 by Pat Simmons

 Hi all,

As I celebrate Christ this time of year and year round, I want to reflect on the blessings in my life. I'm sure many of you can relate.

  1. I've never gone hungry
  2. I've never missed a bill
  3. I haven't lost a close friend/family member to COVID-19, although of know of others who have
  4. I haven't missed a church service--virtual after March
  5. God has watched over my adult children from sickness and harm
  6. God has spared my brother-in-law who is Deaf and mentally challenged from COVID-19, after being hospitalized twice for pneumonia
  7. God has blessed my writing ministry beyond measure with my new release, Christmas Dinner, featured in a national magazine, Woman's World. 
  8. Despite the evil and madness in the world, I haven't lost my faith in God
  9. Unexpected cards and gifts from friends
  10. COVID-19 might have kept me away physically from others, but relationships have been strengthened through Zoom


These are just some of the reasons why I'm grateful as 2020 comes to a close. Can you list 5 things that is making you thankful?
Until next year, may neighbors respect you, trouble neglect you, angels protect you and heaven accept 
you!
----------------------------




Pat Simmons is a multi-published Christian romance author with more than thirty-five titles. She is a self-proclaimed genealogy sleuth who is passionate about researching her ancestors, then casting them in starring roles in her novels. She is a three-time recipient of the Romance Slam Jam Emma Rodgers Award for Best Inspirational Romance. Pat’s first inspirational women’s fiction, Lean On Me, with Sourcebooks, was the February/March Together We Read Digital Book Club pick for the national library system. Here for You and Stand by Me is also part of the Family is Forever series. Her holiday release, Christmas Dinner, was featured in Woman’s World, a national magazine.

 

Pat describes the evidence of the gift of the Holy Ghost as a life-altering experience. She has been a featured speaker and workshop presenter at various venues across the country. Pat has converted her sofa-strapped sports fanatical husband into an amateur travel agent, untrained bodyguard, GPS-guided chauffeur, and administrative assistant who is constantly on probation. They have a son and a daughter. Pat holds a B.S. in mass communications from Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts and worked in various positions in radio, television, and print media for more than twenty years. She oversaw the media publicity for the annual RT Booklovers Conventions for fourteen years. Visit her at www.patsimmons.net.

 

Get your copy of her new release Christmas Dinner



How do you celebrate the holidays after losing a loved one? Take the journey, beginning with Christmas Dinner. 

For months, Darcelle Price has suffered depression in silence. But things are about to change as she plans to celebrate Christmas Eve with family and share her journey. Darcelle invites them via group text, not knowing she had included her ex.

Evanston Giles is surprised to hear from the woman he loved after months following their breakup. Seeking closure, he shows up on her doorsteps for answers.

A lot can happen on Christmas Eve. Restoring family ties, building her faith in God, and falling in love again are just the beginning of the night of miracles.

Sunday, December 20, 2020

A Very Covid Christmas by Janice Lynn

 Have you seen the social media meme touting a supposed upcoming Hallmark movie called A Very Covid Christmas? Well, if not, I'm posting it here. LOL. To my knowledge there isn't really such a movie in the works, but as we go into the week of Christmas 2020, it feels an appropriate topic for so many reasons.


Needless to say, the pandemic has significantly changed my holiday plans, and continues to make new edits in the final stretch as two of my adult children tested positive within the past week. Fortunately, they are healthy & should be just fine, but it's difficult as one lives out of state and this was the first Christmas he was going to be able to be home in several years as his wife is a hospital pediatrician who has had to work on the holidays the past several years. These continued plan changes has me thinking about how we're all celebrating this year. For me, Christmas is about family, love, and giving. That I won't be physically be with all but one of my children on Christmas day hurts this Mama's heart, but I imagine we will do Facetime or Zoom or something along those measures to interact that day. I am so thankful for the technology that allows this interaction to be able to see and hear my loved one when I can't physically be with them. It's something I imagine our military families are grateful for on a regular basis for when those precious calls come in.  I'm not asking who is getting together for Christmas and who isn't, because we each have the right to choose how we celebrate our holidays and each of our situations are different. For some, due to health reasons, it may be the last Christmas with family members so the risks may be worth taking so that family member doesn't spend their last Christmas alone. I definitely know of cases where I believe getting together while using common sense and safety precautions is the right thing to do. Loneliness is rampant in our elderly. 

Thoughts for if you're getting together with family:

1.) If anyone is sick with fever, headache, diarrhea, congestion, etc., ask that they get tested prior to attending even if they're positive that it's just the same old sinus thing they get every year. And, even if negative, they need to stay home. I'd like to think most people would do this, but after being a nurse for a long time, I know better. People don't want to miss Christmas and so ignore/go into denial that they have symptoms long enough to participate in activities. 

2.) If they have mild illness symptoms and they don't want to get tested, ask that they stay home to help reduce risk of spreading COVID to other family members. 

3.) Have family members wash or use hand sanitizer immediately after arriving and have sanitizer readily available in multiple locations to encourage frequent use during your gathering.

4.) Social distance within the house. Have households sit together with distance between family members of other households. 

5.) As disheartening as it is, consider a touchless Christmas. I'm a hugger so this one is especially difficult for me, but if your family is gathering and you must hug grandma, disinfect yourself and mask up prior to doing so to cut down on risk of possibly unknowingly exposing her to something.

6.) If you're not getting together with family members, reach out to them. I recommend anything where they can see your face as the best option, but a call or a text goes a long way to lift someone's day on any day. If due to COVID and health reasons, someone is spending Christmas alone, it can change the entire tone of their day. Aunts, Uncles, grandparents, parents, neighbors...take a few minutes and reach out. Merri talked about Random Acts of Kindness in her post this month. It was a lovely post and I'd like to suggest taking time on Christmas day to reach out to others, to show them you care, as an act of kindness. Not random, but intentional kindness, a showing of love for your fellow mankind. 

These tips are just my thoughts, as a nurse practitioner, on ways to approach your holidays this week and certainly aren't meant to replace what the CDC or your state health department is saying to do. 


Now, back to that upcoming Hallmark Christmas story...it isn't a COVID story (thank goodness as I love losing myself in Hallmark world), but I am working on my next Hallmark Publishing Christmas novel, Wrapped Up in Christmas Hope that will be out Christmas 2021. If you've not read the first two novels, Wrapped Up in Christmas 2019 and Wrapped Up in Christmas Joy 2020, there's lots of Christmas fun, kindness, and feel good moments in them and I hope you'll consider. If you're more into listening to stories, Chirp has a great deal going and both books are on sale for just$3.99 a piece.

I hope you all have a very merry Christmas, that you and yours are blessed with good health and happy memories that you'll look back on and laugh about that crazy year we all wore masks at Christmas and learned to appreciate the simple things such as the ability to shake someone's hand or gather in groups without such extreme measures being needed.


USA Today & Wall Street Journal Bestselling author JANICE LYNN lives in Tennessee with her Prince Charming, their kids who think they're all royalty, her vivid imagination, an adorable Maltese named Halo who's the true princess of the house, and bunches of unnamed dust bunnies that moved in after Janice started her writing career. In addition to writing romance, Janice is a nurse practitioner, a quilter, an exercise queen, a military mama, and an avid supporter of the Quilts of Valor Foundation. Just kidding on the exercise queen. www.janicelynn.com   WRAPPED UP IN CHRISTMAS & Wrapped Up in Christmas Joy is available at AMAZON Barnes & Noble WALMART

Saturday, December 19, 2020

Bargain Books by Lyn Cote, Josie Riviera and Laura Scott

 

FATAL WINTER

by Lyn Cote


In a small town where murder never happens, two people with a tragic history must work together to protect their families before another life is taken~


The mystery begins on the  evening Sylvie’s cousin Ginger arrives home from Alaska. Ginger ends their last conversation with these cryptic words: Sylvie, I am going to wow you with a big surprise tomorrow! 


Finding Ginger lying dead is not a surprise anyone would want. It propels Sylvie and Detective Ridge Matthews into danger.


What Readers Say:

“This book grabs your interest on page one and never lets up. Sylvie and Ridge and various family members are well developed and believable…This typical small town mystery is superb!”


“It was nonstop action from beginning to end and a great addition to the Northern Shore Intrigue series. Each book is a standalone with no cliffhanger…


She creates her characters with such detail you can almost see them and the storylines draw you in as a participant. Twists and turn, love and mystery.”


Winter Fury~ “There are layers of things going on. This book is well thought out and worth every moment of your time!” 


Click here for more info.

****************



A Chocolate-Box Christmas Wish by Josie Riviera

New Release and only 99¢!


He’s been all over the world. She’s a home-town girl. Can a holiday wish bridge the gap?

Available in ebook, Paperback, and Large Print Paperback.

************************


Christmas Redemption by Laura Scott $0.99

Who doesn't like puppies for Christmas?




Did he deserve a second chance?

Jack Keller AKA Jessie Kramer has remained isolated, living off the land for several years, until an unseen force is nudging him home to Crystal Lake, Wisconsin to see his brother Ian at Christmas. When Jack finds an injured woman living alone in the woods, he feels compelled to help her and her German shepherd Sadie, along with Belle the puppy, survive. What he doesn’t expect is to be drawn to Raven in a way he’s never experienced before. And when he realizes Raven is in danger, he refuses to leave until the guy is caught.

Widower Raven Clark prefers animals over people, but when drifter Jack Keller does odd chores and makes pretty gifts for her, she’s plagued by curiosity about him. Who is this man God brought to her doorstep? When a blizzard hits, Raven insists Jack seek shelter with her, rather than sleeping in his tent. She soon learns Jack isn’t what he appears and is touched by his determination to protect her. Will Jack learn to forgive himself for his past mistakes and open his heart to love?




Random Acts of Kindness by Merri Maywether

 “The fun is seeing the surprise in everyone’s face. When someone does something kind for one person, the change is palatable. Everyone around them starts to believe in good things happening.” 

~Iris Sinclair in Holiday Kisses

πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„


When I lived in a larger town, my children and I would have a random acts of kindness day. There was the ever-popular drive-thru, pay for the order behind you, deed. We’d go to Starbucks or McDonald’s and giggle the whole time. The boys stole glances out the back window, trying to determine who would be the lucky recipient of the coffee or burger. Delighted giggles filled the car. What I loved best was the reaction of the person in the pay window. First came the shock of our request. You want to do what? When the cash passed hands, their faces lit up. They would be the one to tell the next car that their meal or pep me up coffee was free. 


imageFrom there, we’d visit the dollar store. I gave the boys three dollars each. We’d hide nine dollars. Again the reactions were priceless. This time it was security guards tailing us because we were a little too suspicious.


We have an angel of kindness in our community. Around this time of the year, she’ll buy coats, hoodies, and gloves for the kids and leave them in the lockers of the kids who need them. When the presents start dropping, the kids approach me and mention in hushed tones, “Hey, The Secret Santa did something kind for me.”


Denying foreknowledge is a struggle. I have to practice my surprised face in the mirror and deny, deny, deny. I change the subject and ask about the gift. When the kid moves on to their next class, I sneak a message to tell this friend how the person loved the gift. 


I love being on either side of the giving. On one side, I get to see the reaction of the person who will receive the thanks. On the other, I am the recipient of appreciation. In both situations, the gift renews the belief of goodness in our world. 


Usually, I get grumpy about people being kind only in December. This year, my attitude has changed. We need it. People who were belligerent in June, July, and August have emerged with olive branches. I love the expressions on their faces when they are well received. We get it. When things are the hardest, it is the most important time to be forgiving. 


So I’m closing this note with a wish that you see kindness in your world. It may be someone letting you cut in line before them at the grocery store. This year, I gave someone something out of my cart when they couldn’t find it (it was a package of toilet paper). Or, it may be something you do to add some light to somebody’s bad day. And when you see it, I hope the giddy feeling endures. 


πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„

Iris Sinclair looks forward to the day after Thanksgiving. It's the day her Holiday Kisses season begins, and she leaves little presents to brighten people's days.

Things change when Iris's best friend, Jordan, notices something special behind her quirky personality. The change couldn't have come at a more inconvenient time. Iris's nemesis has recruited him to enlist Iris in a partnership she would never agree to without his influence.

The Paradise Hills promise of a magical happily ever after is tested when the best friends are forced to choose between their blossoming love or the secret.

πŸŽ„ Books to Read Link to get your copy of Holiday Kisses


πŸŽ„ πŸŽ„ πŸŽ„


Merri lives on a family farm with her husband in rural Montana. When she isn't crafting small-town romance stories, she is either in the school library with the next generation of readers or in the classroom, inspiring them to write their stories.


Thursday, December 17, 2020

SRR December New Releases

 



A Chocolate-Box Christmas Wish
Josie Riviera

He’s been all over the world. She’s a home-town girl. Can a holiday wish bridge the gap?

What’s on Cora Carpenter’s Christmas wish list this year? A new vacuum cleaner—and no dating for the foreseeable future. But the local TV station’s new anchorman’s warm smile and perilously blue eyes makes her wonder if it’s possible to forget the pain and humiliation of her past.

Purchase on Amazon




Brooklyn Christmas
Laura Scott & Maggie K. Black

Their mission: saving Christmas

Two exciting new True Blue K-9 Unit: Brooklyn novellas

In Holiday Stalker by Laura Scott, Max Santelli and his furry partner protect the team’s tech guru, Eden Chang, when she becomes the target of deadly attention. And in Gift-Wrapped Danger by Maggie K. Black, army veteran Adam Jolly teams up with Noelle Orton and her keen-nosed K-9 to take down someone smuggling drugs using toys donated to the single dad’s Christmas charity.

Available on: Amazon B&N Apple GooglePlay Kobo

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

My Favorite Things About Christmas by Kimberly Rose Johnson





I imagine we all have our favoriting things about Christmas. At the top of my list are the decorations. Back in 2013 my husband and I went to Disney World for the first time which spoke to my love of Christmas decorations and lights. The castle in Magic Kingdom is incredible when it comes to lights and decorations. 

Another one of my favorite things about the holiday are the sweets. I had to go gluten free about five years ago and stopped baking at that time. Since then they've come out with flour mixes that actually work well with my old recipes, so I've been baking Christmas cookies. Yay! Last night I had my first Christmas tree shaped sugar cookie with frosting and green sprinkles. 

Another  favorite is watching Christmas movies. Last night we watched White Christmas. We began this tradition when our boys were young. When my younger son went away to college he told his friends about this movie. To this day, six years later, they still all get together to watch it, granted they must do online watch parties now. I think it's so cool that he brought our tradition to his friends.

Of course I enjoy Christmas books, but I'll read those whenever. So for me they are not specifically a Christmastime thing. If you're looking for some new reads, I have some Christmas books as well as a bargain book that I will list below.

What are your favorite things about Christmas?

A Christmas Romance Collection is currently available for only 99¢ or free to read with Kindle Unlimited.  


It's become a tradition for me to write a Christmas book every year. Here is a sampling of some of my books, or click here.



Until next time, Merry Christmas and Happy Reading!

Award winning author Kimberly Rose Johnson married her college sweetheart and lives in the Pacific Northwest. From a young child Kimberly has been an avid reader. That love of reading fostered a creative mind and led to her passion for writing. She especially loves romance and writes contemporary romance and romantic mystery and suspense with a heart.

Kimberly holds a degree in Behavioral Science from Northwest University in Kirkland, Washington, and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers.

You can sign up for Kimberly's newsletter via her website at: https://kimberlyrjohnson.com/


 










 

Monday, December 14, 2020

Let It Snow

This time of year in the northern hemisphere many places get snow. I live in an area of Arizona that rarely gets snow except in the nearby mountains. I will share some photos of one of the rare snows where we live. First, here is a photo from this year of snow in the mountains near us. This is a view from our backyard.

 Below are photos taken after a New Year's Eve snow. It was gone by noon on New Year's Day.

It seems odd to see the big saguaro cacti surrounded by snow, but it gives the landscape a festive look. Snow can be fun, but it can also cause problems. I've used snow in several of my books. In A Match to Call Ours the characters have fun sledding and making snow angels, but a blizzard causes havoc with the cattle on the ranch. In A Family to Call Ours, which is now on sale for 99 cents, the hero's car breaks down, and he is stuck in a snowstorm without cell service. In Hometown Promise, a blizzard makes for unexpected closeness between the hero and heroine.


I like snow around the Christmas holidays if I don't have to go anywhere. I really like it in pictures and books rather than having to drive in it or shovel it. How do you like your snow?

Merrillee Whren is the winner of the 2003 Golden Heart Award presented by Romance Writers of American. She is married to her own personal hero, her husband of forty-plus years, and has two grown daughters. Connect with her on her Facebook page and sign up for her newsletter.

Saturday, December 12, 2020

It’s a Wonderful Life Trivia by Cindy Flores Martinez

 



It’s a Wonderful Life is one of my favorite movies. I watch it every Christmas season. The other day, I came across some interesting information about the film and thought it would be fun to share it with you. Here are a few things I gathered from several online sources.

 

Did you know?

 

It’s a Wonderful Life started as a short story titled The Greatest Gift by Philip Van Doren Stern. Frank Capra eventually bought the rights and made the movie.

 

Many believe that the town of Seneca Falls, New York inspired the fictional town of Bedford Falls in the movie. Frank Capra supposedly passed through the real town and recreated it at a movie studio just outside of Hollywood.

 

Cary Grant was originally chosen to portray the lead character, George Bailey. Frank Capra decided to replace him with James Stewart.

 

Some of the winter scenes were filmed in sweltering heat. If you look closely at the bridge scene, you’ll see that James Stewart has a wet forehead from perspiring amid the fake snow.

 

The movie was nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Picture, but it was a failure at the box office.

 

Bonus—

The movie inspired my next book series, which a few Sweet Romance Reads authors are part of. More details are coming soon. Stay tuned!

 

What about you? Do you enjoy watching It’s a Wonderful Life at Christmas time?




Cindy Flores Martinez is a USA Today bestselling author who writes Christian Romance. She has an MFA in Creative Writing with an emphasis in Screenwriting. Her debut novel, Mail-Order Groom, started as a screenplay and movie project, which she shopped around Hollywood, New York, and other parts of the world. You can learn more about her at www.cindyfloresmartinez.com


Friday, December 11, 2020

What is your Holiday Wish? by Josie Riviera

 

“We are all capable of looking up and making a wish on a star.”- Unknown 

Wishes. Defined as a hope or desire for something you want to happen or receive. 
For those around us, we may wish them a Happy Birthday, to be well, or have safe travels. For our family the wishes may be to accomplish their dreams, to feel loved, or to know their self-worth.




For ourselves, it may be to feel appreciated at your job, to lose those five pounds gained over the holiday, or to take a dream vacation.

Then there are the bigger wishes, beginning with world peace.
Large or small, there are more wishes than stars in the sky.

As we enter the holidays, wishes take on a more innocent and magical feeling. This year we may be wishing for traditions--baking cookies with loved ones, shopping and wrapping gifts with friends, or enjoying marathon game nights.
Many of us are wishing for life o go "back to normal." While normal may be a way off, the holidays are still full of magical wishes.

Children help keep the magic alive. Their sweet faces are full of belief that wishes will come true, and their faith is pure joy.

My wish for you this season is to enjoy the simple pleasures. Take a moment, look up to the night sky, and make a wish upon a star.

Happy Holidays!

Do you have a special holiday wish? Please leave in the comments below.

My holiday sweet romance, A Chocolate-Box Christmas Wish, is on pre-order for only 99¢!




He's been all over the world. She's a home-town girl. Can a holiday wish bridge the gap?

Available in ebook, Paperback, and Large Print Paperback.


Josie Riviera is a USA Today bestselling author of contemporary, inspirational, and historical sweet romances that read like Hallmark movies. She lives in the Charlotte, NC, area with her wonderfully supportive husband. They share their home with an adorable shih tzu, who constantly needs grooming, and live in an old house forever needing renovation.


"Like" her Facebook page.

And remember to join our Sweet Romance Cafe.