Review: That One Summer by Maddie James from Last Chance Beach: Summer's End

I'm reading the stories in Last Chance Beach: Summer's End, and I'm reviewing them, one story at a time. 

So far, I've reviewed:

Today, I have the pleasure of reviewing That One Summer by Maddie James.

It's the typical annual week on the beach with the girls—until her summer fling from 20 years back shows up. He's the one who got away. She's the one who couldn't commit.

There's nothing quite like a group of friends who have history. You know, the friends who have stuck with you through thick and thin? That's this group of girls, well, women, who have spent part of every summer together since college, at Last Chance Beach. That was 20 years ago, and there's a lot of life that has passed since then.

Lia Langston has had one major regret for all of those 20 years. She didn't end up with the love of her life. Instead, she "meandered" through her life and now finds herself facing the biggest regret of her life—Zach Allen.

They're back in the place where everything started and where everything fell apart. Can they go back to that beginning? Can they make a new beginning, or is it too late? Have they missed their shot at happiness?

Like the other stories I've read in Last Chance Beach: Summer's EndThat One Summer is a sweet romance with well-formed characters who leave you wanting more. 

You'll be pleased to know that open-ended tidbits about some of Lia's friends at the beach hint at future stories so I think we'll be seeing some of these characters again.

Did you get your free copy of Cocktails on Last Chance Beach

This companion book has a  drink recipe from each author with some remarks about why she chose her recipe to share.

You'll also get to read an excerpt from each story in the boxset.

Takeaway Truth

As a author, I enjoy writing for boxsets because it gives me an opportunity to connect with new readers. As a reader, I love boxsets because I get to try new authors and discover some great stories. 

Review: The Man in Gull Cottage by Caroline Clemmons from Last Chance Beach: Summer's End

I'm reading the stories in Last Chance Beach: Summer's End, and I'm reviewing them one story at a time.

Thursday I reviewed Something New by Liz Flaherty

Sunday I reviewed I Do...Again by Nancy Fraser.

Today, I'm reviewing The Man in Gull Cottage by Caroline Clemmons.

She faces a hard decision; he encourages her to choose with her heart. Will the solution drive them apart or into one another's arms?

I was glad to see a Contemporary Romance by Caroline Clemmons. I've read her western historical romance novels before and enjoyed them, but I'm mostly a contemporary romance reader.

The Man in Gull Cottage is Carter Harte, a reclusive famous person, but I won't tell you what the source of his fame is. No spoilers. Carter is one of the lucky few who actually owns beachfront property. Everything about him says wealth yet Zara Webb initially sees him as a beach bum because of the worn clothes he wears on his daily runs. 

Despite this, Zara finds herself attracted to Carter. Everything about him appeals to her—his intelligence, kindness, his charm. 

Everything she feels is reciprocated by Carter, yet he remains secretive about his identity.

Ms. Clemmons weaves a story that seems to be the perfect romance, but nothing is really perfect, is it? 

Zara is at a crossroads with a decision to make that will determine the course of the rest of her life. Carter's advice to Zara only complicates her decision.

What will Zara do? 

That's a nice surprise you'll enjoy discovering. Last Chance Beach: Summer's End is only 99cents so grab a copy today.

Also pick up a free copy of Cocktails on Last Chance Beach with a recipe from each author and why she chose that recipe. You'll also get to read an excerpt from each story in the boxset.

Takeaway Truth

Boxsets are great beach reads at only 99cents for 14 all-new romance short stories. Get a copy today!

Review: I Do...Again by Nancy Fraser from Last Chance Beach: Summer's End

I've started reading the stories in Last Chance Beach: Summer's End.

I'm reading and reviewing one story at a time.

Thursday I reviewed Something New by Liz Flaherty

Today, I'm reviewing I Do...Again by Nancy Fraser.

At a high school reunion; old flames meet again. Can they re-ignite what they once had and take a last chance on love?

Ah, the high school reunion! That's the event that sends women to the gym, the spa, and the shopping malls in an attempt to look their very best. Guys? I don't know what men do to get ready for that stressful event—probably nothing.

Nancy Fraser opens the story of Lily and Mitch with Meatloaf's song, I'd Do Anything for Love. The song is appropriate for what happened to this couple who loved each other in school. If you know the line that follows, you realize that doing anything for love apparently has limitations.

Those limitations derailed this couple who should have ended up together. Seeing each other again after so many years apart brings back familiar feelings.

But is there anything deeper there other than nostalgia? After all, a high school reunion is a few days away from reality. What happens when the reunion is over?

That's the question, and the author skillfully takes us through the uncertainty and vulnerability each of the lovers feel as they try to find an answer to that question.

Cocktails on Last Chance Beach

Remember to claim your free copy of the Companion Book Cocktails on Last Chance Beach.

Takeaway Truth

All of these romance short stories can be yours for only 99 Cents. Get your copy of  Last Chance Beach: Summer's End today.

How to Store Fruit & Vegetables

Do you buy expensive organic produce, put it in the fridge, and in a few days, it's just green fertilizer for the compost pile?

There really is a proper way to store all produce. Some like it in the fridge; some don't.

Some things should not be store together—like onions and potatoes. Potatoes excrete moisture which makes onions decay faster.

Never Store in a Refrigerator

1. Potatoes. Cold temperatures convert the starch in them to sugar. That doesn't make them a sweet potato; it makes them a yucky weird tasting potato. Place potatoes in a cool dry place in a plastic bin. I keep mine in a bin under the folding shelf in my laundry room.

2. Onions and garlic. They come in those mesh bags for a reason. They need air circulation. Leave them in the mesh bag and hang in a cool, dry space. If that's not possible, put them in a bowl in your pantry.

Store These in a Refrigerator

1. Green onions, scallions, carrots, parnsips, turnips, and beets. Be sure if you have humidity control on your refrigerator to turn it to the dry setting.

2. Apples and other fruit keep well in the refrigerator, and they need humidity. Just get out what you need day by day and set them in a ventilated spot on your counter. 

3. Be careful about putting apples in a bowl on a table especially if you put other fruit with it. Apples emit a lot of ehtylene gas which causes fruit to ripen. At 70 degrees F., the low-end of usual for an air conditioned house, an apple can quickly become overripe. Knowing this is one way to quickly ripen something that's picked too soon. Put the unripe fruit in a brown paper bag with an apple for about a day. The unripe fruit will ripen really fast.

4. Leafy greens. Wow, do these rot fast! Best thing to do is get a big salad spinner. When you bring these home, immediately wash, rinse, and spin these dry to get every bit of moisture out. Then take a long length of plain white paper towels and lay the greens on these. Carefully bundle them up and put them in a huge Ziplok bag. They'll keep longest this way.


The best way to store herbs is to put the bunch of cilantro, parsley, or whatever in a glass of cool water on your kitchen counter. If the kitchen is really warm, place the glass in the fridge. I actually use a small crystal vase so it looks as if I have a green bouquet on my kitchen window sill.

Takeaway Truth

Good produce is expensive. Take steps to make it last.


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Review: Something New by Liz Flaherty, from Last Chance Beach: Summer's End

I've started reading the stories in Last Chance Beach: Summer's End.

Since my reading time is limited, I decided to read one story each night and review it the next day.

Liz Flaherty wrote Something New, the second short story in the Romance Collection.

I'm starting with Liz's story because my story, Hot August Night, is first in the box set. I can't very well review my own story if for no other reason than I'm an extremely harsh critic of my own writing. 

Something New by Liz Flaherty

Their lives are planned out...until they're not! Are they in love or just stuck in a habit?

Manhassett Applegate and Zeke Merriweather have been best friends since they were children. Their relationship is comfortable and for years, everyone—including Hass and Zeke—have assumed the two would marry when they were adults and finished with their respective educations.

Their relationship is like a comfortable old sofa—with spontaneity, passion, and romance falling between the cushions and getting lost in the day to day mundane issues of life.

When push comes to shove, Hass begins to wonder if Zeke really loves her. 

She loves him, or she thought she did, but she begins to question everything about their relationship.

She takes all or her  worries with her to Last Chance Beach, needing solitude and the peace of the island community to answer the question that plagues her and keeps her from planning her wedding.

Are they really in love or just stuck in the habit of being together?

Something New is a heartwarming story about two people who need to learn to communicate better and voice their concerns rather than let a small concern grow into a barricade keeping them apart.

The story is beautifully told by Liz Flaherty. I absolutely give it 2 thumbs up. This is just 1 of 14 romance short stories in Last Chance Beach: Summer's End, only 99 cents for the entire box set. I think you'll love it

This little recipe book is a companion to Last Chance Beach: Summer's End. It's totally FREE. Get your copy today. Send one to a friend! 

Takeaway Truth

I love that a short read like these stories is something I can finish in a few hours—even with interruptions. 

Have a wonderful weekend! I'll see you tomorrow with How to Store Fresh Produce to make the most of your food dollar.

From Seeds to Salad Bowl

Release day for Last Chance Beach: Summer's End was 2 days ago. 

If you bought that 14-romance short story collection, I thank you.

If you didn't, I hope you will. Just click the title above to buy from Amazon where it's only 99cents.

This boxset is a limited edition collection and will be removed in November after it completes it Kindle Unlimited run.

Also, if you didn't get the free companion book, Cocktails on Last Chance Beach, click the title now to grab a copy, and please tell your friends about our great little drink recipe book.

Onward and Upward

My attention is now directed toward writing my next book, Heat Kills, Book 3 of Outlaw Ridge, Texas. I continute the stories of the Galloway brothers and the family lakehouse on Outlaw Ridge. 

All writers incorporate bits and pieces of themselves in their books. In the case of Heat Kills, the romantic suspense I start today, the heroine is into the simplest kind of indoor gardening—sprouting seeds.

As you may remember, I'm into gardening of all kinds. No matter how small your space is, you can garden.

When I lived in Japan, bean sprouts were easily available at every market. They're delicious in salads and also stir-fried with onion and other veggies. When I returned to the states, bean sprouts weren't found anywhere! (This was many years ago.)

I learned how to sprout seeds and beans then. Actually, it's really easy.

Equipment Needed

  • a measuring cup
  • a 1-quart wide mouth jar
  • cheesecloth or nylon netting
  • seeds such as mung beans, lentils, barley, alfalfa, pumpkin, rye, or wheat
  • water
I'd say try sprouting first. If you like the results, invest in a couple of sprouting lids instead of using cheesecloth or netting. They're relatively inexpensive and last a long time. You can find them online at many places.

These reusable Sprouting Lids fit wide-mouth Mason jars, and I found them at Amazon.

What Kind of Seeds

You're probably wondering what kind of seeds you can use. If a seed or a bean is sold as edible, it can be sprouted. If you don't believe me, try it with a few dried beans. They'll sprout.

You can buy seeds and beans especially for sprouting, but, like I said, most seeds work. There's one thing to avoid though. 

use seeds intended for planting in soil because they've been treated with chemicals that are poisonous.

Where to Buy Sprouting Seeds

You can buy seeds at organic groceries, some health food stores, or online. Amazon has an excellent selection of sprouting seeds.

I prefer the Non-GMO, organic seeds, and I like a mixture of seeds like the ones in the package shown at left. A mixture gives a nice depth of flavor.

How To Sprout Seeds

  1. Wash and pick over 1/4 cup of seeds or beans. Discard damaged or imperfect ones.
  2. Put the seeds of beans in the jar and add 2 cups of warm water.
  3. Fasten a double layer of cheesecloth or net over the mouth of the jar with a rubber band.
  4. Soak the seeds or beans for 8-12 hours.
  5. Pour the water out and refill the jar with the same amount of warm water. (Btw, you don't have to remove the net from the mouth of the jar. Just drain with it in place and refill with it in place.)
  6. Place the jar on a pantry shelf or other dark spot at a temperature between 70 to 80 degrees F. (Sprouts grown in the dark will be whitish. If you want sprouts that are gree, put the jar in the light for the last couple of days of growing.)
  7. Rinse with warm water twice a day until the spouts are as large as you wish.
  8. In 2 to 3 days, wheat, barley, and rye seeds will be ready to harvest. Munb beans, pumpkin, and lentils take 4 to 5 days. Soybeans take 5 to 6 days. Alfalfa takes 6 to 7 days.
Takeaway Truth

I find with sprouts, I always have an easy vegetable at meal time whether I toss a handul in a salad or do a stir fry with hearty greens, onion, red bell pepper, and a dash of soy sauce.

10 Things Authors Do on Release Day

Today is the big day! 

What do authors do on the day a book is published.

This is what I usually do on release day. 

I'm pretty sure the 13 other authors who created Last Chance Beach: Summer's End will be doing the same.

1. Check my Kindle to see if the book looks good or if something happened and the file blew up, and it's nothing but line after line of HTML code. (I lose sleep over that nightmare.)

2. Grin like an idiot when I look at all my hard work displayed on a webpage on Amazon.

3. Click the refresh button constantly to see number rating in the book's category.

4. Nervously dither about, unable to focus on anything more than a few minutes.

5. Email the other authors in the box set to see if they know something you don't.

6. Wait, with fingers crossed, for the first reviews.

7. Wait, with breath held until I'm ready to pass out, while I read the first few reviews.

8. One of two things. Laugh in exultation at good reviews. Or, feel like crying at bad reviews.

9. Repeat all of the above numberous times throughout the day.

10. Finally, have a glass of champagne while I email the other authors at the end of a long day of waiting.

Takeaway Truth

The last thing I'll do is go to bed exhausted from the all-day adrenalin rush, knowing I survived Release Day—whether the release was a winner or a loser—and will write again.

Finding Love at Last Chance Beach

Last Chance Beach, the Island Paradise of Legend and Love.

Last Chance Beach where Dreams go to live again and Wishes may come true. It's Summer's End on the island, but there's still time left to find love, new romances, second chances, hot alpha males, heartwarming heroes, love at first sight, and romantic delight—and still time left for enemies to become lovers and opposites to attract.

Celebrate LAST CHANCE BEACH: Summer's End, stories created especially for this romance collection by NY Times and USA Today bestselling authors and other bestselling and award-winning authors.

These summer love stories will thrill the hopeful romantic in you.

Some are sweet: some are sizzling!

Some are humorous; some are serious.

All will make you want to book a vacation to this island of legend and love where soul mates find each other and love at first sight happens all the time!

If you wanted to go to the beach this summer, but COVID19 made that impossible then read this Romance Collection. That's how I went to the beach in my imagination—I created an island where COVID hasn't reared its ugly head.

Tomorrow is the release day for Last Chance Beach: Summer's End, the Romance Collection written by my friends and me. For only 99cents you get 14 all-new Romance Short Stories. Read an imagine the smell of the ocean and the warmth of the sun on your skin.

That's right, just 99 pennies (plus tax if you're in a state that taxes online sales).

But Wait There's More

With Maddie James and Hannah Rowan in the role of Publisher, we created Cocktails on Last Chance Beach.

Cocktails is a FREE Companion book to Last Chance Beach: Summer's End.

Currently Cocktails on Last Chance Beach is on the Kindle Free Top 100 list at #1 for Alcoholic Beverages, #2 for Two-Hour Cookbook, Food & Wine Short Reads, and #5 for Special Occasion Cooking.

Grab your free copy, read an excerpt from each of the authors' stories, and make a delicious summer cocktail to sip.

Remember, it should be free, but if you're outside the U.S.A., make sure the price is zero before you add it to your Amazon cart. You can get your copy at these ebook sellers: Amazon, iBooks, or Kobo.

Almost Forgot

I was so busy putting this project together and managing it that I nearly forgot I had to write a romantic short story too!

I had just finished writing The Key to Kristina, a mystery romance, for the Fortune's Favor: The Treasure box set so I was in the mystery mode.

I started writing a funny romance, but a little bit of a suspense element sneaked crept in albeit in a small way.

My story for Last Chance Beach: Summer's End is Hot August Night.

When they met it was hate at first sight for celebrity chef Zander Rojas and junk food loving police detective Chelsea Elliot.

They’re not just dismayed when they discover they each have a reservation for Blue Moon House.

They’re determined to make life miserable for the other and be the last inhabitant standing when the feud is over.

Imagine how horrified they are when they realize they have the hots for each other!

Takeaway Truth

It's been a wild adventure of writing and publishing this summer. I think I'm ready to sip a cocktail and lie in a hammock and read about the shenannigans happening at Last Chance Beach!

Just Breathe

Of late, I find myself really tired.

I'd just like to curl up with a good book and read, but I have too much work.

Even if I were to take a few hours off, I'd be thinking about all the work piling up in my absence.

I have an affirmation I silently say to myself during these times.

"I have all the time I need to do all the things I want."

Takeaway Truth

Then I take a deep breath and move on to the next task.

Home Improvements Help Boost Your Mental Health

One of my regular readers sent me a wonderful article about Home Improvements to Help Boost Your Mental Health.

The article is rather long with several parts. I requested permission to excerpt part of the article because I think it's really good information.

In today's COVID19 world, we need every trick we can get to stay optimistic.

Excerpt from Home Improvements To Help Boost Your Mental Health

A home is more than just a roof over your head; it plays an essential part in your life and wellbeing. For those suffering from mental health issues, a happy and secure home can make all the difference.

We’ve created a few home improvement tips for those wanting to boost their mental health, and they don’t cost a fortune either!

Making Bath Time Relaxing

We’ll now look at mental health tips when it comes to taking a bath. While exercise is very important for your wellbeing, so is relaxing.

Naturally, most of us feel more relaxed when we’re home. This makes it an ideal and essential place for us to destress as effectively as possible during our winding down hours.

The benefits of relaxing include the release of feel-good hormones into our system, those being serotonin, oxytocin and prolactin while stress hormone levels are reduced.

In order to make your bathroom a more relaxing space, there are a number of steps to wellbeing you could take.

Adding a bubble bath or bath bomb, forms of aromatherapy can help to make the experience more relaxing. Pouring essential oils into your bath or adding Epsom salt can also prove beneficial. Epsom salt, essential oils and aromatherapeutic substances should not be mixed together.

Decluttering, dimming the lights and adding candles are all examples of good mental health tips as is playing relaxing music. Meditation, Zen or Gregorian music are some good examples.

A hot bath can improve blood flow and breathing, which can bring positive mental health benefits.

This is on top of the wellbeing gains you’ll earn from making the environment as tranquil as possible which as mentioned earlier, will help to release positive hormones.

Having a bath at night can help you wind down and feel more peaceful before going to bed.

Read all of these articles in Home Improvements to Help Boost Your Mental Health

Installing a Home Gym
Making Bath Time Relaxing
Changing Your Flooring
Getting a House Plant
Changing Your Lighting
Make Your Home Warm
Create a Happy Kitchen

Takeaway Truth

It's easy to get discouraged in today's world, but that won't help you or anyone else. Stay healthy and happy. Work at it!

I Went Treasure Hunting Or Did I?

Have I told you yet about going treasure hunting? The hunt for hidden treasure was unbelievable.

This adventure started with my father who never gave me anything but a hard time. Then he died and left me a key, but I didn’t know what the key unlocked.

However, he had arranged for this guy to join me in the Quest to find The Key To Kristina.

We traveled to a lot of different locations, and there were some shady people following us. To my surprise, the guy accompanying me turned out to be the kind of man I never thought I’d find.

We had so much in common: both had ex-cons for fathers, both had a strong will. He called me opinionated and bossy, but I’m really not. Maybe I can figure some things out that he can’t.

It was the greatest adventure. You’ll never guess what the treasure was. In fact, you’ll have to read…oh, wait. I’m so embarrassed. That adventure didn’t happen to me.

That happened to Kristina Rivera, the heroine of The Key to Kristina, a new book I wrote for Fortune’s Favor: The Treasure.

Oh, my, I had so much fun writing about Kristina and her Quest and Wyatt her partner who is a crusader for lost causes.

Fortune’s Favor: The Treasure 
Fortune favors the Bold, and bold women and men through the centuries have sought Fortune’s Favor in Life and Love.
A quest, hidden treasure, inheritance, Spanish Gold, and missing jewels inspire five riveting action adventure tales of women and men.

They seek redemption and rewards, search for legacies, reveal secrets, find romance, fall in love, and win that happily-ever-after that make all the challenges they must overcome worthwhile.
For the best Kindle Beach Read 2020, go treasure hunting with 5 NY Times and USA Today Bestselling, and Award-winning Authors as they seek Fortune’s Favor: The Treasure.

Takeaway Truth

That's the way a writer's mind works. I imagine all of these stories and then create people to have these adventures.

In a way, I live the adventure too. It's a lot of fun—especially when I get all of the story elements just right and the characters learn each other's secrets. 

Road Trip? Check Your Vehicle First

We're traveling as you read this.

When we were packing for the trip, I thought about the one thing most summer drivers fear: a road emergency.

That's because Darling Hubby took his pickup in because the fan on the radiator seemed to randomly come on and go off.

No rhyme or reason to it. Surprisingly, our trusty service manager discovered that a low battery was the cause of it.

Summers in Texas kill batteries if they're a few years old.

A battery should be charging at a certain number. The battery in our pickup charged at half that number. We could have been out in isolated country, stopped for a bite to eat, and discovered when we tried to start the truck again that it was as dead as an armadillo crossing a busy highway at night.

No matter where you live, before you leave on a road trip, you should do these basic inspections of your vehicle.

1. Battery. Check the battery. Is it charging properly? Batteries are rated for how many years they should work well. How old is the battery in your vehicle? There should be no charge to check this with your local mechanic.

2. Tires. Those round black things are another critical part of your vehicle. Hot pavement, hot outside temperature, and high speed can wreak havoc on tires.

This is a part of your vehicle that's rated by miles. If the tires on your vehicle are rated for 50,000 miles, and you've put 60,000 miles on them, don't take a long trip without getting your tires checked. Best thing to do is get a new set of tires.

3. Oil changes. Some people ignore this, but oil changes are required every few thousand miles. The number depends on the make of vehicle. Not changing your oil as required by the owner's manual will shorten the life of a vehicle engine. Absolutely get the oil changed before a trip if you're close to the miles requiring an oil change.

4. Radiaotor. Have it checked. Does it need flushing and new coolant installed? Get it done or you may be very sorry.

5. Overall maintenance. Most cars manufactured in the last few years are built fairly well.

Sure there are some lemons, but you probably read vehicle reports before buying. Right?

The owner's manual has a service log in the back that shows when various items need to be checked, replenished, or replaced.

The belts in today's vehicles are expensive, but if one goes, the repair is even more expensive. The timing belt usually must be replaced when the vehicle reaches a certain mileage. On our vehicles, that's 100,000 miles. What is it on yours? Do you know?

6. Owner's Manual. Many vehicle owners never read the owner's manual so they are uninformed about how to take care of a fairly expensive purchase. Be smart. Get your owner's manual out and read it, especially the part about maintenance.

Photo by Akent879-3188468 Pixabay
7. Emergency help. Program phone numbers into your cell so you'll know exactly what to do if you have a road emergency.

Some people have rescue plans through their new vehicle purchase. If you don't, consider signing up for an emergency road service plan.

8. Travel plan. Like being a private pilot who files a flight plan, write up a travel itinnerary and give it to a couple of friends or family members.

Make sure someone knows where you're supposed to be and when. Check in with them as planned when you reach various waypoints.

Takeaway Truth

Have a great week. If you plan to travel, be smart and be safe.  Enjoy this last weke of July. I intend to do that!

My July Adventure

I've had the most amazing summer—and July hasn't even ended yet. Let me tell you about it.

I attended a high school reunion and met the first guy I ever fell in love with.

 He was a nerd in high school, but he left our small town and went to Harvard. He's no longer nerdy looking. He's completely gorgeous.

Over the last ten years, his investments have made him a billionaire. He arrived at our high school in a stretch limo with his entourage.

I couldn't believe he had come back to our little home town. For me, he was the one who got away.

Wait a minute. This is so embarrassing. That didn't happen to me—that happened to the heroine in my romantic comedy, JANE (I'm Still Single) JONES. You can read it and 8 other fabulous lighthearted romance novels in the Sweet and Sassy Summertime Collection, Volume 1.

That's right, this "fun in the sun" collection has 9 full-length romance novels, and it's only 99cents plus it's on KU.

Sweet and Sassy Summertime Collection, Volume 1, from New York Times  and USA Today Bestselling Authors and Award-Winning Authors.

Some like them sweet, and some like them sexy. If you’re looking for a little heat and some fun beach books, spice up your summer reading with this selection of stories!

Read Romance—the optimistic genre that will make you feel better about life in general.

Review Snippet for JANE (I'm Still Single) JONES.

"Who hasn't attended their high school reunion and not felt what Jane feels? Even successful, the high school beauty queen, no less, you still feel somehow inadequate—and there's always that guy, the one relationship that didn't end right.

"Jane's story captures every nuance of reunion doubt and trepidation.

In fact every character in the story is so well defined...

"Joan Reeves...knows her genre inside and out and just how to serve it up with equal measures of snappy dialogue, humor and romantic delight.

"I loved this book and recommend it!" —Barbara Sissel, Bestselling Women's Fiction Author

Takeaway Truth

For 99cents, you get a week's worth of summer beach books! (If you love any of these books, please leave a review. Authors appreciate even a sentence or two.) Happy reading!

Kitchen Rules for New Cooks

For the first time in many years, people began cooking at home rather than eating out.

After a few weeks of picking up takeout orders and going through fast food drive-thrus, many more people decided to try cooking at home.

Married or single, everyone should know the basics of cooking.

That was my thinking when our first child went off to college.

I put together a cookbook in a binder with most of the family's favorite meals. I've thought about publishing that cookbook, which I entitled EAT WHAT YOU LIKE, but can never find the time to get it on my publishing schedule.

I figured if my kids had recipes and instructions, they'd prefer eating what Mom would have cooked rather than having burgers and fries and pizza every day of the week.

Instead, I'll continue to occasionally share items from it with you which brings me to today's post.

Kitchen Rules

1. The number one rule in the kitchen is: cleanliness is next to Godliness—and cruical for good health. Wash your hands before you start cooking, and wash them often as you cook.

2. If you have a guest in the kitchen who wants to cook, make sure he/she washes hands too.

3. Keep all surfaces clean and sterile. When you've been prepping food on the counter, wipe the counter off with a sponge or dishcloth (sink full of hot soapy water to wet the cloth or sponge and wring it out)  or spray counter with Clorox Cleanup.

4. In the kitchen, bacteria can bloom to lethal proportions faster than you can imagine. Any time you touch raw meat, wash your hands before touching anything else.

5. Keep 2 cutting boards. One for meat; one for everything else.

6. After using the cutting board for meat, wash it in hot, soapy water. Then spray with a product containing bleach or a homemade spray mixture containing bleach. Let the mixture set on the board for at least 5 minutes. Rinse and air dry.

7. Be careful handling eggs. Salmonella can be on the egg shell or inside the carton. Wash your hands after handling eggs. If you reuse an egg carton for any purpose, wash it first in hot, soapy water and let air dry.

8. If you use a fork, spoon, or similar utensil to turn raw meat, don't use that for to taste from or to touch the meat after it is cooked. Put it in the sink or dishwasher and get a clean utensil.

9. In fact, do not taste from cooking utensils. Use a clean teaspoon or fork each time. Go to a dollar store or charity thrift store and buy a dozen cheap spoons and forks. That way you always have a clean spoon or fork for tasting.

10. Use dish towels freely. Have stacks of dish towels. Personally, I like the 100% cotton bar towels.

Keep one for drying hands only. Change the towel if there are a lot of people in the kitchen cooking and washing hands.

To dry dishes, get a clean dish towel every time.

11. Toss the used dish towels into the washer or laundry basket every time you need to get a new one. I

n the evening when you finish in the kitchen, put out a clean dishtowel out for in the morning.

Takeaway Truth

Cooking is fun. So is eating. The last thing you want is to make someone sick because you have lousy cleanliness standards.

FORTUNE'S FAVOR: The Treasure—New Release

Woman splashing in the ocean next to an ereader displaying the cover of Second Chance Bride along with review quotes.
New Release

Only 99 cents for this     new Romance Box Set for those who want Adventure with their Romance!
Fortune favors the Bold, and bold women and men through the centuries have sought Fortune’s Favor in Life and Love.
A quest, hidden treasure, inheritance, Spanish Gold, and missing jewels inspire 5 riveting action adventure tales of women and men seeking redemption and rewards, searching for legacies, revealing secrets, finding romance, falling in love and winning that happily-ever-after that make all the challenges they must overcome worthwhile.
For the best Kindle Beach Read 2020, go treasure hunting with 5 NY Times, USA Today Bestselling Authors, and Award-winning authors as they seek Fortune’s Favor: The Treasure.
99 Cents for 5 Full-Length Novels
The Key to Kristina: Joan Reeves, New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author, reveals a story of betrayal, conspiracy, and a Quest for hidden treasure in an enemies-to-lovers story. “Kristina’s father never gave her anything but a hard time—until he died and left her a key. But what does the key unlock?”
The Missing Statue: Mona Risk, New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author, weaves a story of hidden treasure, and romantic suspense set in France. “Are his statue and chateau worth endangering the life of the impetuous young woman who’s turned his life upside down?”
That Devious Kiss: Tamara Ferguson, USA Today Bestselling Author, delights with a small town romance where opposites attract, underscored by romantic suspense and an inheritance. “When a century-old family feud brings a librarian and historian together, a devious kiss of seduction reveals that fate might have other plans in store for them. Have they already discovered the missing treasure?
The Richest Man in Texas: Nancy Radke, USA Today bestselling author, thrills with a western romance set in post-Civil War Texas, starring a larger than life hero and fiery heroine, and the search for a fortune in Spanish gold. “In 1866, Cole Trahern is crossing Texas when he encounters a sandstorm, a dying man, a Spanish girl with a Kentucky rifle, a jealous suitor, a controlling grandfather, and a huge amount of Spanish gold. Can he get the woman and the gold?
The Blue Dragon: Susanne Matthews, Award-winning author, inspires us with the story of lovers reunited and embarking on a search for missing jewels and perhaps a second chance at love. “Broken, alone, her dreams shattered, Samantha looks to a dismal future until Phil steps back into her life.”

Takeaway Truth

Grab hold of excitement—grab your copy of Fortune’s Favor: The Treasure today! 

My Fantasy Top 10 Rock & Roll Concerts

I've been to several rock and roll concerts in my life, but there were a few groups that I missed seeing.

Yesterday, Darling Hubby and I were watching various Rock & Roll Hall of Fame performances on YouTube.

What did we ever do before YouTube was invented?

He and I started talking about the bands we wanted to see but missed due to various reasons—too young, too broke at the time, tour never came near us, and just bad timing.

We made a list so I thought I'd share it with you since the 2020 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame recipients will be inducted in November with the ceremony being televised on HBO.

2020 Inductees to Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

  • Depeche Mode (oldest son loved them)
  • The Doobie Brothers (we saw them several times and they were awesome each time)
  • Whitney Houston
  • Nine Inch Nails
  • The Notorious B.I.G.
  • T-Rex. (love Bang a Gong: Get It On)
  • Jon Landau &Irving Azoff, Ahmet Ertegun Award.

My Fantasy Top 10 Rock & Roll Concerts

This was going to be a list of 5. Once I started thinking about it, the list grew.

Since this is a fantasy list, I guess I could list famous artists who have passed, but I'll save that for another day.

Today, the list is composed of artists still alive even though they may be past the age of cavorting on stage.

  1. Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band. My love for their music is right up there with my love for music by The Eagles. Mr. Seger came to the House of Blues in Houston last year, but the tickets were nearly $900.00 per person. Had to pass on that.
  2. Three Dog Night. Missed them last year when they came to Houston.
  3. Grand Funk Railroad
  4. Creedence Clearwater Revival
  5. Journey
  6. ZZ Top
  7. Santana
  8. Steely Dan
  9. Foreigner
  10. Genesis

Takeaway Truth

Since tickets are so expensive now, I'd have to sell a stadium full of books to afford 2 tickets.

Hurry, go buy one of my books!

79 Days of Using 1, 3, 5 List Method

My work ethic since May has been inspired by the 1, 3, 5 List Method which has dramatically changed my writing life!

On May 18, I blogged about the 1, 3, 5 List Method and announced I had started using it 2 weeks prior to that date—May 4.

I was ready to try something new because I was tired of listing 10-20 things every day that I needed to do and only getting 1 or 2 done.

I was pulled in too many directions and overwhelmed by everything that kept piling up.

I never seemed to get caught up and never seemed to accomplish much. Every day I was drained.

First Follow Up Report

On June 2, two days shy of a full month, I posted Rusults of Using 1, 2, 3 List Method. At that time, my results were phenomenal. I'd gone from writing a few hundred words a day to over 3,000 words a day!

Second Follow Up Report

I started the 1, 3, 5 List Method on May 4. Today is July 22. I've been using this method for 79 days. Here's what I have accomplished:

  • Formatted my novel Jane (I'm Still Single) Jones, a romantic comedy, for the box set Sweet and Sassy Summertime, Volume 1, available now for only 99cents.
  • Written a 70,000 word novel, The Key to Kristina, a mystery romance, for the box set Fortune's Favor: The Treasure, available now for only 99cents. Publishes July 24.
  • Created a concept for a series called Last Chance Beach to be written by my friends from RomanceGems and me.Created the concept for the first box set collection in the series, Last Chance Beach: Summer's End, available in pre-release for only 99cents. Publishes July 24.
  •  Set up a publishing company, wrote contracts, signed up volunteers, set up a giveaway promotion of a free ebook, coordinated all promotion activities, answered hundreds of emails every day from the participating authors, and more things than I care to mention here.
  • Wrote Hot August Night, a funny romance, for my story in Last Chance Beach: Summer's End.
  • Developed the concept for the next Last Chance Beach box set which will publish in the fall.
Before 1, 3. 5 I felt like this!
I'm amazed just listing all that, and it doesn't include the personal stuff. Rolling with the problems and worries created by COVID19.

(One of my sons and his 3 daughters caught it. The daughters are bouncing back, but my son has been having a tough time. Prayers gratefully accepted.)

I've done a tiny bit of cleaning up my environment aka housework which I abhor every day. I've also let go of the idea that I have to do all these other things that are low-priority.

Best of all, I don't feel overwhelmed and anxious for fear I might not meet a deadline. Now, I don't sign up for everything, and I don't go to bed with the nagging thought of all that I didn't get done.

I currently have 4 deadlines left between now and the end of October. In the past, I worked late and did everything possible just to ensure I met deadlines—even if I felt half-dead afterwards.

Now, when I go to my office, I know exactly what I'm going to be working on.

I make my  1, 3, 5 list in my day planner the night before. I list incidentals at the bottom of it. That's the things I might do if I have some lag time.

The 1, 3, 5 List Method made me a believer. I found it when I had despaired of ever being the productive writer I once was.

Takeaway Truth

If you're struggling, read my previous posts about how the 1, 3, 5 List Method works and give it a try. 

Larry the Cable Guy and Git-R-Done

I wanted to tell you why I missed a week of blogging, something that has rarely happend in the 15 years I've been writing and publishing SlingWords.

I've been getting the work done and completing several projects.

In other words, to quote Larry the Cable Guy, I've been in Git-R-Done mode since May when I blogged about the 1, 2, 3 List Method I was going to try to see if I was able to work more effectively.

I'll blog tomorrow about my results after nearly 3 months of using this organizational method.

Takeaway Truth

For now, a hat tip to Larry the Cable Guy and his Git-R-Done philosophy.

(Photograph NotesLarry_the_Cable_Guy.jpg  by Mojo Hand | Source=Cropped version of - Photo taken on 10 June 2007; cropped on 10 October 2008. Source File:Witless Protection0.jpg, Author Aja2104; modified by User:Kubigula - Permission for (Reusing this file) Public domain
I, the copyright holder of this work, release this work into the public domain. This applies worldwide. In some countries this may not be legally possible; if so: I grant anyone the right to use this work for any purpose, without any conditions, unless such conditions are required by law. Mojo Hand (talk | contribs) {{Information |Description=Picture of Larry the Cable Guy |Source=Cropped version of |Date=Photo taken on 10 June 2007)