5 Rules for Happiness in 2019

Got your bubbly ready? Toast your friends and loved ones then share this with them.

5 Rules for Happiness in 2019

1. Never take advice from anyone who's more screwed up than you.

Always ask yourself if the person dishing out the advice is living life more effectively than you. If not, smile, nod, and ignore what they say. Unless what they tell you is based upon their own bad experience from which they've learned a better way

2. Learn from others who have been where you want to go.

Model their behavior. Find out how they did it and adapt their method to your efforts. Unless the way they achieved it was dishonest. You can't model negative behavior without far-reaching consequences.

3. Stop working hard--learn to work effectively instead.

Unless you assess your efforts and realize you really aren't working hard--you're just giving lip service to the idea of working hard.

4. Enjoy yourself more.

Unless you're already spending way too much time in the pursuit of pleasure. You have to have a good balance between hard, effective work and play. Too much of either will upset your happiness quotient.

5. Change your attitude about work.

The more you see work as something exciting and fun, the less your brain links work to unpleasantness.

Good: Work = Fun.

Bad: Work = Pain.

Those who love what they're doing have an easier time succeeding because the more you enjoy something; the less it seems like work. This formula is a winner: Love + Work = Happiness.

Takeaway Truth

Invest time, energy, and brain power in a worthwhile goal. Happy New Year! Pass me a glass of champagne.

Learn Words to Auld Lang Syne

The time is ticking away to New Year's Day. It's time for you to learn the lyrics to Auld Lang Syne, the song just about everyone on the planet sings at midnight on New Year's Eve.

Here's the song with 5 of its many verses and the chorus to be sung between verses.

Now you'll know more than the first few words when you lift your glass of bubbly.

This is the modernized version, not the Scots version with words you may not understand, like my jo which means my dear.

Click to read the Scots version and the history of the song.

Click here to read Robert Burns's original Scots verses, the English translation, the Scots pronunciation guide, and the pronunciation guide using the poet's own Ayrshire dialect.

AULD LANG SYNE: New Year's Anthem

Verse 1

Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and old lang syne?


For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we'll take a cup of kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

Verse 2

And surely you'll buy your pint cup!
and surely I'll buy mine!
And we'll take a cup o' kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.


For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we'll take a cup of kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

Verse 3

We two have run about the slopes,
and picked the daisies fine;
But we've wandered many a weary foot,
since auld lang syne.


For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we'll take a cup of kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

Verse 4

We two have paddled in the stream,
from morning sun till dine†;
But seas between us broad have roared
since auld lang syne.


For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we'll take a cup of kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

Verse 5

And there's a hand my trusty friend!
And give me a hand o' thine!
And we'll take a right good-will draught,
for auld lang syne.


For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we'll take a cup of kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

Takeaway Truth

Can't wait for New Year's Eve. How about you?

7 Pieces of Wisdom Writers Need to Heed

A lot of writers bewail the fact that they aren't selling enough books. Hey, I've been known to feel that way and say that too.

It's natural to bewail the sales numbers when we compare what we're selling now to what we sold a few years ago.

7 Pieces of Wisdom for Writers

1. Learn everything you can about marketing and pick what you can do in that arena without sacrificing the writing. Yes, we must market and promote, but find an ad venue that offers results. Do your homework rather than shotgun it--scattering your dollars around thoughtlessly. Pick one or two social media sites you enjoy rather than trying to be on all of them. That way lies insanity.

2. Write and keep improving. Never let a day pass that you didn't write something--even if it's just a few sentences. I come from the old school of calculating how many days it takes to write X number of pages.

What is a novel? 4 pages a day for 3 months, or roughly 90 days which is 360 pages.  At 250 words/page (which is how publishers always computed it), that's a 90,000 word novel. (4 X 90 = 360 X 250 = 90,000)

Nothing you write is wasted. Even if you cut it from a manuscript, you learned something by writing it--and then editing it out.

3. Discipline yourself to write a manuscript from beginning to end without going back to edit, polish, etc. That's the secret of producing more. When you get to the end, that's when you edit, proof, and polish.

4. Strive to publish at least 2 books a year to keep growing your audience. In today's highly competitive publishing environment, those who produce often do have an edge.

5. Learn to ignore bad reviews because you will ALWAYS get them.  There's no avoiding them. Just read some of the scathing reviews the biggest names in your genre, and you'll realize that there are a ton of people who don't like the most popular names in your genre!

6. Focus on the good--making sales even if they're few and the good reviews you do get.

7. Adopt the attitude that you're in a marathon, not a sprint. Tomorrow will be better and brighter.

Takeaway Truth

Write--often. Write--a lot. All writing is practice.

I'm sure your parents told you the same thing mine told me. Practice makes perfect.

Writing, writing, writing. That's the practice that will make you a better writer--and produce a big inventory. Then all you have to do is edit, polish, and proof. *g*

Joy to the World

Christmas Greetings to everyone.

Hope your day is full of joy.

Takeaway Truth

Peace on Earth. Please.

Christmas Eve: Texas Family Style

Are the kids on Santa watch?

In our home, we go to Christmas Eve services at church.

Afterwards, we come home to a meal with lots of food and laughter and noise.

We play games usually with either a Christmas music in the background or a Christmas movie as background sound for everything going on.

We're a musical family in that several of us play or played instruments, most of us sing, and all of us love music. As you can see by the YouTube video that follows, our taste in music is very eclectic.

One song I haven't heard this year is one of my all-time favorites. So here's a little video for you. This one was made in the 1990's.

If you want to see the classic Gene Autry version, click HERE because it can be viewed only on YouTube.

Takeaway Truth

Merry Texas Christmas, You All!

Christmas Traditions

When people talk about Christmas traditions, most of them mention things that are large-scale and sweeping, but traditions can also be little things.

Yesterday was a perfect example. I bought a box of chocolate-covered cherries. Just one box. Then I called my older brother to tell him. Sounds silly, doesn't it?

The big deal about that box of chocolates is that our grandfather bought us a box every Christmas.

They were Brach's chocolates back then. Now, Queen Anne is about the only brand I find. Unconsciously, I'm on the lookout for these chocolates when the Christmas season begins.

When I score a box and call my brother, we talk about our grandfather and how wonderful he was. We laugh about the same gift every Christmas and how much we loved it and looked forward to it.

Takeaway Truth

God is in the details. You've heard that expression often. It's true because the little details make up a life.

Love Actually Viewing Count

In 2003, my husband, daughter, and I watched a Christmas movie called Love Actually.

I don't know what was wrong with the audience that night because we were the only ones laughing--and we laughed like crazy people!

Little did we know that we'd started a tradition. Every Christmas, we watch that movie as obsessively as we watch It's a Wonderful Life.

So far this year, I've watched it 3 times. Once with my daughter, once with my husband, and once by myself when I needed cheering up.

Love Actually seems to be one of those movies that's either loved or hated. That seems to be the way it was received by critics.

Takeaway Truth

As for me and my family, we love it. I'll probably watch it again before the holidays are over.

Cinderella Rocks Christmas

This month I'm celebrating the anniversary of my Christmas romance, Nobody’s Cinderella.

This romantic comedy is a particular favorite of mine. Happily, readers seem to love it too. After all, who doesn’t love a Cinderella story?

The Cinderella Myth is still one of the most popular folk tales in the world. You’ll find it in not only European countries but also in India, Vietnam, and Africa.

In truth, it crosses all cultural lines. There are hundreds of folk tale versions of the Cinderella story.

Surprising History

You might be surprised to learn that one of the earliest recorded versions comes from China. According to the Chinese story, the heroine doesn’t have a fairy godmother, but a magical fish who helps her.

However, a golden shoe leads a prince to her, and they marry. Some sources say the story actually originated in Greece even earlier.

That Was Then, This Is Now

Nearly 1200 years later, Cinderella is still having her story told by countless authors – including me with Nobody’s Cinderella (Book 1 of San Antone Two-Step). In my book, Darcy Benton is a Cinderella who wishes on a Christmas star instead of waiting for her fairy godmother to cast a spell and send Darcy her prince.

In this case, Darcy’s prince is Chase Whitaker, owner of an oil exploration/production company.

Of course, I put pretty shoes on the cover of this romantic comedy. After all, what is Cinderella without a pair of knock ’em dead shoes?

About Nobody’s Cinderella

In this sassy, sexy romantic comedy, Darcy is the oldest cliche in the world–a woman in love with her boss.

Other than that little quirk, Darcy is no-nonsense, practical, mature, and sober. She’s just the kind of woman Chase wants as head of accounting for his company. She’s definitely not the kind of woman he wants in his bed.

Enter Darcy’s meddling, matchmaking best friend who has a plan to transform Darcy into a hottie designed to attract Chase’s interest. All it takes? A couple of little lies.

Oh, and a wish on a Christmas Star. Darcy should have heeded that old advice. Be careful what you wish for.

Nobody’s Cinderella is available only at Amazon for $3.99 or read for free if you're a Kindle Unlimited subscriber.

Nobody’s Cinderella Audio Book is available at Audible.

Takeaway Truth

Treat yourself to a holiday romance that will leave you with a smile.


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Review: Peppermint - Brava, Jennifer Garner!

Peppermint is non-stop action, believable characterization, great acting, and spot on with the character's transformation from suburban housewife to vengeance-seeking angel.

I find the scathing reviews of this suspense thriller interesting because I think the reviews would have been vastly different if a man had been the lead actor.

No Kidding

I had already read the online reviews before I watched it yesterday.

As the credits rolled at the end, I said, "If this movie had a man as hero, it would have received raves for its action and no-holds-barred revenge premise.

With a woman as the star, it was panned by most reviewers. I must say I was shocked by the vehemence of some of the reviewers.

As a woman and a mother, I completely understand the character's grief, anger, and desire for justice.

Gun Fu? She's a Master

The action was non-stop and Garner held her own. She looked the part with her rippling biceps and was letter perfect with her close quarters combat moves.

Jennifer Garner as Riley North is a woman who can match Keanu Reeves as John Wick with gun fu.

Takeaway Truth

I'd love to see this become a franchise. Come on, Hollywood, get with the program. Women are multi-faceted and are just as heroic as men.

The time has come for a franchise like this. If you don't know how to build a sequel, look at the scene in the convenience store when she takes down a drunken abusive father and pulls his driver's license. Perfect setup.

Christmas Ornaments Just For Women

Snowman Picture Ornament $7.50
I have a little shop in cyberspace called WriteWay where I sell my original designs on everything from coffee mugs to tee shirts and more.

I have designs that speak to the love of reading, and designs that writers adore. 

My designs are whatever strikes my fancy. This Christmas my fancy led me to create designs with quotations about strong, indomitable women.

3 Holiday Ornaments

These ornaments brighten whatever spot you hang them in--not to mention your mood!

These ornaments feature quotations by Louisa May Alcott since most women authors have a fondness for Alcott and her novel, Little Women.

Snowman Picture Ornament shown above says: "Nothing is impossible to a determined woman." That is the absolute truth. *g*

Santa & Witty Quote Picture Ornament $7.50
Each of these custom aluminum ornaments are 2.375" x 3" with the image/quotation design printed on one-side in full color with a glossy no peel finish. Red ribbon included for hanging.

Each ornament is only $7.50 if you click on the link in this post.

If you go to the CafePress Marketplace, they'll cost considerably more so use the links in this post and make sure the price before any tax and shipping is $7.50.

Santa & Witty Quote Picture Ornament says: "Nothing provokes speculation more than the sight of a woman enjoying herself."

Another truth, right, ladies?

The last new design is another image/quotation by Louisa May Alcott.

Quotation for Women Picture Ornament $7.50
The Emerging Woman Picture Ornament says: "The emerging woman will be: strong-minded, strong-hearted, strong-souled, strong-bodied. Strength & beauty must go together."

All of our daughters and granddaughters should be taught this!

Yes, I like to celebrate woman power and love doing it with wisdom from some of our greatest authors.

If you're a book lover, you want these. If you're an author, you'll want them too!

Takeaway Truth

Win BookBrush Lifetime Plus Plan Subscription

BookBrush has quickly become my favorite graphic design tool. This post is illustrated with some of the infographics I created using their website.

Launched earlier this year, BookBrush keeps making improvements--all with the goal of making it as easy as possible for the author to produce beautiful, professional-looking marketing designs like the one above.

But Wait, There's More

As part of their Christmas giveaways to authors, they are having a contest with the prize being a BookBrush Lifetime Plus Plan Subscription!

Wow! I was an early signup for their Plus Plan so I know what a bargain it is. I'd love to win a Lifetime Subscription.


This Campaign is open only to those who have signed up at BookBrush either for their free subscription plan or the Plus Plan. So if you are a subscriber at any level, you should receive an email.

Click here to read the Contest Rules.

My latest release. Only 99cents thru 12/17, then $2.99.
To enter, you just need to do 2 things. BookBrush will draw a random winner in one week so make sure you do the following.

(1) Share something in an Authors Facebook group you are in about BookBrush.

This could be just letting people know about it or showing off an image you created. You can decide how best to share in your group.

(2) Reply to the email from BookBrush and give them the link to the Facebook post you made about BookBrush.

Another of my Christmas Romance Novels
The Big Prize

Any free subscriber who wins will get a free lifetime upgrade to the Plus Plan.

Any Plus Plan subscriber who wins will have a 100% code applied to their account so they are not charged for any future renewals.

Takeaway Truth

I'm entering immediately! If you're not a subscriber, hurry over to BookBrush and sign up. It's too late this time, but don't miss out on the user-friendly graphic design website and another opportunity should it come along. You'll love the marketing infographics you can create with BookBrush.

Christmas Romance Lovers Giveaway & Book Fair

If you love Romance, you'll love the Christmas Romance Lovers Giveaway.

To make this event even better, there's a Book Fair with a bonus prize.

The Christmas Romance Lovers Giveaway and Book Fair started December 1 and conclude on Christmas Day, December 25.

Seven lucky people will be our winners, and the prizes are great: like a Kindle Fire 7, Ebook Prize Packs, Amazon Gift Cards, and more. Our Christmas Giveaway celebrates Romance with wonderful authors who specialize in Happily Ever After.

Click here to enter the Rafflecopter now.

You can enter often to increase your chances to win! Details are on the Rafflecopter page.

While buying for others, don’t forget to treat yourself! Shop our Book Fair for Holiday Romance bargains. Plus, get your FREE exclusive download and enter the bonus giveaway!

Christmas Romance Giveaway is sponsored by these authors listed below:

Allyson R. Abbott • Amanda Uhl • Amy Knupp • Angel Lawson • Bethany Strobel • Cailin
Briste • Christine Ashworth • Constance Phillips • D. Lieber • Danni Rose • Debbie White
• Elizabeth Rose • Holly Cortelyou • Honey Phillips • Inge-Lise Goss • Jacki Delecki • Jan
O'Hara • Jana Richards • Joan Reeves • Jordyn White • Katherine Gilbert • Laura
Ashwood • Lucy Lakestone • Melissa McClone • Mona Sedrak • Naomi Bellina • Nicole
Casey • PG Forte • Rose Pearson • Simone Leigh • Stacy Gold • Tena Stetler • Aileen

Takeaway Truth

Enter the Christmas Romance Lovers Giveaway and shop the Book Fair for a bonus prize. Awesome! Good luck. I hope you win.

Quick Fixes for Common Problems

I wanted to pass along some simple solutions for some annoying problems.

1. Ever get a song "stuck" in your head? I do, and it drives me crazy. I read that some smart people did a study about this phenomenon and came up with a solution.

Chewing gum. Yes, you heard me. Apparently the brain perceives the act of chewing gum as a form of silent speech. The action disrupts the mental pathway responsible for holding onto the song.

2. If you lack motivation and/or you're feeling unfocused, try eating a piece of dark chocolate (must be 60% cocoa). The antioxidant-rich chocolate activates your brain and increases your ability to pay attention.

3. Have new jeans that are so stiff they could stand up by themselves? Throw the denim into the dryer with 2 tennis balls and turn the dryer on low for about 30 minutes. The bouncing balls will break down the starch and fabric finishing chemical.

4. Trying the Keto or another low carb diet and in a lousy mood? This seems to affect women more than men. I know I've been trying to lose a few pounds this year. Going low carb works, but I get to the point where I'm angry, moody, and can't sleep at night.

My daughter who has become very knowledgeable about diet and nutrition suggested I add a half cup serving of a baked sweet potato at the evening meal. This helps the brain produce serotonin, the feel-good hormone we all need.

5. Finding time to exercise is a problem. I've always heard to do it in the morning. Ugh. I'm not a morning person. Scientists who study things like this had people exercise for 30 minutes, 3 days a week.

One group started at 7am, another at 1pm, and the last at 7pm. Guess what? The good effects of exercise were the same for all. In addition to overall good health, those who exercised fell asleep faster at night and reduced the times they woke during the night.

Takeaway Truth

I love simple solutions for common problems.

Natural Relief for Itchy Eyes

I have very sensitive eyes. If I spend a lot of time outdoors, especially when the wind is blowing, my eyes itch like crazy.

I've tried every kind of OTC eye drop, but the only one that helps is a gel drop that makes the world one big blur.

For obvious reasons, I only use this at bedtime.

Mint To the Rescue

However, I found a natural  way to soothe itchy, irritated eyes whether that's caused by allergens, dry air, or tiredness. All you need is some mint tea bags which you can find in just about every super market.

1. Add 2 mint tea bags to 1 cup of boiling water.

2. Let steep for about a minute.

3. Remove each tea bag, squeeze to get all the excess water out, place teabags on a saucer, and put in refrigerator until they're cool--not cold--just cool.

4. When cool, lie down, close your eyes, and place a teabag over each eye.

5. Stay that way for 10 - 15 minutes.

You can meditate or take a catnap while you're lying there. Mint is used in aromatherapy to relieve anxiety, pain, and improve memory and alertness. Just about any variety of mint works in aromatherapy because both peppermint and spearmint are from the same mint family.

Takeaway Truth

Relief the natural way helps relieve your eye problem and also provides some aromatherapy benefit. Sounds like a win-win to me.

Identity Theft Resource Center

Identity Theft is something we hear about constantly. It's become so common that most of us know someone it has happened to.

Recently I read an article in Costco's magazine about this. I wanted to pass on a resource for you if you've become an identity theft victim.

If you don't need that kind of help now, save this information for the future.


The mission of the Identity Theft Resource Center, or ITRC, is to provide free help and information to consumers.

They want to be a voice for identity theft crime victims who don't know what to do about the situation. Visit their website or call them at 888-400-5530.

The ITRC website also gives information about scams and fraud and categorizes ID theft crime: child, criminal, elderly, financial, government, medical, and military. Sign up for their newsletter while you're there.

Takeaway Truth

You never know when something like this may happen. Sign up for their newsletter and/or  save this blog post.

Fun Facts About Voice Actors

I was preparing an audition script for my books that don't have audio editions yet.

I've worked with some wonderful narrators and am looking forward to diving into audio production again. The narrator can make or break an audio book.

Here are some interesting facts I learned along the way from my first audio book production to now.

1. The first voice over made was in 1900. Canadian inventor Reginald Fessenden, while working for the United States Weather Bureau, recorded a test he made reporting the weather. He also became the first voice of radio at Christmas time in Boston in 1906 when he recorded a program of music, Bible verses, and messages to ships at sea.

2. Robin Kohn Glazer, the voice actress who narrated the audio edition of my romantic comedy Still The One, was the voice of Lucy in the original Peanuts animation TV specials.

3. The actors who voiced Mickey and Minnie Mouse were actually married in real life. Wayne Allwine and Russi Taylor were married for 18 years until Mr. Allwine died in 2009 from complications caused by diabetes.

4. Felicia Greenfield, the narrator for my romantic comedy Just One Look, has TV credits from just about every popular series.

5. The voice of Yogi Bear was by legendary voice artist Daws Butler.

6. Leah Frederick, the narrator who breathed life into Jane (I'm Still Single) Jones, has done commercials for radio, TV, and Internet; educational and corporate narrations, dozens of audiobooks, and even a Nintendo video game!

7. Jim Dale is the voice of Harry Potter in the audio book series. Actually, he created 134 different voices for the series.

8. Nicole Colburn, narrated my Christmas romantic comedy, Nobody's Cinderella, and breathed life into my heroine and hero. Like all good actors, she made the book sound as fun, romantic, and sexy as I meant it to be.

9. Dick Hill has narrated books from Mark Twain to Dave Barry, but most people know him best as the voice of Jack Reacher, the hero of Lee Child’s best-selling series. Since I've listened to several audio books by Hill, I understand why fans seek out other books he's narrated.

10.  Holly Adams has narrated several of my novels. She has been an entertainer since she was 13 and has sung, danced, and acted her way from coast to coast and beyond. Her first narration for me was my book, The Trouble With Love.

Takeaway Truth

Audio book popularity is growing faster than ebook popularity did. I think that's because audio books make it possible to "read" more than ever before, especially if you are short of time.

Frazzled? Have Some Christmas Humor

If you're like me, you're already feeling frazzled by the hurrying and scurrying--shopping, baking, wrapping, partying, etc. Sometimes, it helps to take a deep breath and laugh.

Here are a few funny things people have said about Christmas.

“Santa Claus has the right idea. Visit people only once a year.” – Victor Borge

“Once again, we come to the Holiday Season, a deeply religious time that each of us observes, in his own way, by going to the mall of his choice.” – Dave Barry

“The principal advantage of the non-parental lifestyle is that on Christmas Eve you need not be struck dumb by the three most terrifying words that the government allows to be printed on any product: “Some assembly required.”” – John Leo

“I love Christmas. I receive a lot of wonderful presents I can’t wait to exchange.” – Henny Youngman

“Let me see if I’ve got this Santa business straight. You say he wears a beard, has no discernible source of income and flies to cities all over the world under cover of darkness? You sure this guy isn’t laundering illegal drug money?” – Tom Armstrong

“Mail your packages early so the post office can lose them in time for Christmas.” – Johnny Carson

There. Hope that gave you a smile. Feel better?

Answer the question in Comments.

Be sure and leave your email address written out to be entered in the random draw Giveaway this month.

Takeaway Truth

Feel better? You're welcome.


Amazon Author Page * BookBub Author Page * Facebook Fan Page * Twitter * YouTube * Joan's Website.

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Top 10 Christmas Songs

Christmas Carolers by DonnaSkolnick0, Pixabay
Yesterday I wrote a review of a wonderful book you must get if you love the Songs of Christmas.

Written by Ace Collins, Stories Behind the Best-Loved Songs of Christmas is a treasure trove you must have because it tells the stories behind the Christmas songs we all love.

Reading the book made me wonder what the top Christmas songs are so I went to Google and looked it up.

Many websites have Top 10 lists of Christmas songs. I don't agree with some of the lists, but this list which actually contains the Top 50 coincides with some of my favorites even though I have a problem with their ranking.

You can go to the website and see the entire list of 50. You can vote and also leave a comment if you wish.

I'm just going to list the top 10 songs from that list here. Do go and read their list. Bet you'll be humming some of the songs as you go read the list.

Top 10 Christmas Songs
Jingle Bells Music by geralt, Pixabay

1. Jingle Bell Rock
2. Waiting for Christmas
3. All I Want for Christmas Is You
4. Silent Night
5. White Christmas
6. Do They Know It's Christmas
7. O Holy Night
8. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
9. Jingle Bells
10. Santa Claus Is Coming to Town

What's your favorite Christmas son? Did it make the Top 50?

Answer the question in Comments. Be sure and leave your email address written out to be entered in the random draw Giveaway this month.

For details, see December Giveaway at the top of the left sidebar.

Takeaway Truth

I can't imagine Christmas without music. It's always been a part of my holiday celebration since I was a child and went caroling with my Sunday school class.

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Story Behind Do You Hear What I Hear

There's a wonderful book you must get if you love the Songs of Christmas.

Written by Ace Collins, Stories Behind the Best-Loved Songs of Christmas is a treasure trove you must have because it tells the stories behind the Christmas songs we all love.

I'll give just one example from the book.

Do You Hear What I Hear?

I've always loved this song. After reading the story about how the song came into being, I'm even more impressed by the lyrics and music.

Gloria Shayne was an American, and Noel Regney was a Frenchman with a deep love of music.

When Regney was young, World War II broke out. He was forced into the Nazi army but managed to escape. He joined a band of resistance fighters. With the war over, in the 1950's he came to the United States. He wandered into New York's  Beverly Hotel and saw a beautiful woman playing the piano.

From Europe to America

Although he spoke little English, he introduced himself to Gloria Shayne. Within a month, Gloria and Noel were married.

These two seemed like complete opposites. Noel Regney was in the States to record classical music. Gloria Shayne was determined to write rock and roll music. Yet, they clicked I guess.

By the 1960's, her song "Goodbye Cruel World" had been recorded by James Darren and was at the top of the charts. She was a song-writing machine.

For Noel, the constant wars since WWII involving France and the U.S.--Korea and Vietnam--brought back the horrors of WWII. He found himself disillusioned and depressed.

Regney searched for something to bring him peace. He wanted the all humankind to have a chance to live without hate, conflict, and fear.

Inspiration Leads the Way

Inspired, Regney wrote a poem about the first Christmas, concentrating on the events leading to the birth of Jesus.

He remembered walking through the fields in France and watching the sheep and thought about the innocence of a newborn lamb, appropriate since Jesus is often referred to as the Lamb of God.

When he finished the poem, he gave it to his wife and asked her to compose the music. She went shopping and the first line of music "came to her," but there was a hiccup.

I won't tell the rest of the story. You need to read Noel and Gloria's story for yourself, and you can because it's available in ebook for only $1.99. You can also find it in print.

Question of the Day: What is your favorite Christmas song?

Answer the question in Comments. Be sure and leave your email address written out to be entered in the random draw Giveaway this month. For details, see December Giveaway at the top of the left sidebar.

Takeaway Truth

Chances are the story of how your favorite song came to life is in this book. Add Stories Behind the Best-Loved Songs of Christmas to your Library for only $1.99 on Kindle and read the rest of Gloria and Noel's story along with all of the others. You'll love this book.


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9 Holiday Trivia Tidbits

Here's some holiday trivia so you can rock the holiday games at parties.

1. Every elf has a bell on the tip of his shoes.

2. A snowflake traditionally has 6 points.

3. Of the 8 reindeer, 2 have names which, in German, are weather phenomenon. They are Donner, German for thunder, and Blitzen, which means lightning.

4. England is credited with the creation of eggnog.

5. Santa goes by many names, one of which is St. Nicholas who actually belongs to the country of Turkey.

6. The Christmas tree that is placed at Trafalgar Square in London is always a gift from Norway.

7. The first state in the United States to recognize Christmas as an official holiday was Alabama.

8. The last state in the United States to recognize Christmas as a legal holiday was Oklahoma.

9. The red and white costume of Father Christmas aka Santa Claus was allegedly first introduced by the Coca-Cola company.

How many of these Holiday facts did you know?

Answer the question in Comments and/or leave a trivia fact about the holidays.

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Takeaway Truth

Who knows why a tidbit of a fact will prove useful or at least entertaining?


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