Cyber Monday Is Here

Yes, it's Cyber Monday! Whee! Bargains galore are now available at Amazon.

Cyber Monday deals are available from now through Monday, November 28, at 11:59pm PST.

I'm going to list just a few of the deals that interest me. To see more bargains and special deals that may interest YOU, visit the Cyber Monday Deals Page and be amazed.

The first item up is a little kitchen appliance that my kids used to love because they could "cook" themselves something hot for a snack, or for a meal when they were in college! I didn't know it had been brought back.

Reduced from $46.99, this little appliance has 22,477 reviews averaging 4.6 out of 5 stars.

Great for a quick hot breakfast, lunch, or snack. Easy enough to use it that kids love it. Great gift idea. 

Hamilton Beach Electric Stand Mixer $71.49

Want a stand mixer that does everything the Kitchen Aid stand mixers do? But at a much lower price point? 

Try this Hamilton Beach version that has 1,966 reviews averaging 4.4 out of 5 stars. It's a 4 quart stand mixer with dough hook, a flat beater attachment, a splash guard, 7 speeds, and whisk. 

This model is black. You can get some pretty color models, but they cost more. Even costing more, they're still less than the Kitchen Aid stand mixer that does the same processes.

If you're interested in picking up Smart Plugs, Smart Thermostats, Smart Lamps for Kids, or Air Quality Monitors—for your home or for gift giving, check out the Smart Home Devices that are reduced for today.

I've been checking these devices at my local Costco. Doorbell, security cameras, floodlights, pan and tilt camera—all of these security devices are on sale for Cyber Monday, and the price reductions are steep. Do yourself a favor and check them up.  


Those are the Cyber Monday deals that most interest me, but there are tons more of bargains to be had today. You can find them categorized on the Cyber Monday Page. Happy shopping!

Joan participates in Amazon Services LLC Associates affiliate advertising program designed
to provide a way for websites to earn advertising fees by linking to products on Amazon.

What to Do With Thanksgiving Leftovers?

Is there any of that turkey left from yesterday?

What about the stuffing, gravy, side dishes, and all the other food?

Any pumpkin pie?

If you have all of that and more, what do you do with all that leftover food?

Here are a few websites with great suggestions on what to do with Thanksgiving Dinner leftovers.

61 Best Thanksgiving Leftover Idea from the Food Network

40 Thanksgiving Leftover Recipes from Delish

25 New Ideas for Thanksgiving Leftovers from A Taste of Home


Hope that helps. Enoy your Black Friday shopping!

Happy Thanksgiving, U.S.A.

Yes, Thanksgiving dinner is being cooked in many households throughout America.

Hopefully any newbies who have never cooked a turkey before will know to remove the packet of innards tucked inside the turkey's cavity.

I didn't know that with the first  turkey I cooked many years ago. That was the year we had sandwiches, assorted side dishes, and a lot of desserts for our Thanksgiving feast.

No turkey because that twenty-pounder ended up in the garbage can.

Whatever you cook and wherever you eat, give thanks for the many blessings you have. We never really think about how fortunate we are until we see someone less fortunate.

I'm grateful for those who read SlingWords and for those who buy my books, read them, love them, and review them.

Thank you all from the bottom of my heart.


Happy Thanksgiving. Tell those you love how much you appreciate and love them. Enjoy your celebration.


Thanksgiving Thoughts

This is the season of gratitude and giving thanks, of showing and sharing love, and of resolving to do those things every day of the year not just at Thanksgiving.

Thank you being readers of SlingWords. Here are some words to inspire you and some to make you smile.

"Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings." —William Arthur Ward

"There is one day that is ours. Thanksgiving Day is the one day that is purely American." —O. Henry

"Thanksgiving dinners take eighteen hours to prepare. They are consumed in twelve minutes. Half-times take twelve minutes. This is not coincidence." —Erma Bombeck

"Thanksgiving is a time when the world gets to see just how blessed and how workable the Christian system is. The emphasis is not on giving or buying, but on being thankful and expressing that appreciation to God and to one another." —John Clayton

"An optimist is a person who starts a new diet on Thanksgiving Day." —Irv Kupcinet

"What I love about Thanksgiving is that it's purely about getting together with friends or family and enjoying food. It's really for everybody, and it doesn't matter where you're from." —Daniel Humm


"Thanksgiving is one of my favorite days of the year because it reminds us to give thanks and to count our blessings. Suddenly, so many things become so little when we realize how blessed and lucky we are." —Joyce Giraud

Black Friday Deals Available Now

I love Black Friday sales. I do a lot of Christmas shopping on that day after Thanksgiving.

Since I won't be home until late on that day, I'm organizing my shopping list now. Fortunately, many of the things I plan to buy are already available for purchase.

I thought I'd share my list with you because you might want some of these bargains too.

(At the time I wrote this, these products were available at the prices shown and are supposed to be available at the prices shown on Black Friday, but check to make sure before purchasing.)

First up is a gift for my Darling Hubby. No secret. He knows I'll be buying this because he's been asking me for the longest time to

Well, you need a deep fryer to create something like apple fritters. You guessed it. I'm buying a deep fryer.

Hamilton Beach Electric Deep Fryer $48.99

This countertop appliance has Cool Touch Sides, Easy to Clean Nonstick Basket, and has an 8 Cup capacity. It has 8,157 reviews averaging 4.5 out of 5 stars. 

Regular price is $62.99. It's available now, and it's Prime so free shipping if you're a subscriber.

REDMOND Waffle Maker $44.99

Actually, I don't know if this classic waffle iron is a Black Friday sale or just a promotion. I found it as I as cruising through Kitchen specials. It has 646 reviews averaging 4.4 out of 5.

This is not a Belgian waffle maker. The regular price is $59.99. On the day I viewed this there was also an 8% Coupon offered. Be sure you click that box if you purchase this.

Classic waffles are thinner than the Belgian type, and the indentations are smaller so you end up with a crisper waffle which is what we like. This appliance is Nonstick and makes a 4 Slice Square Waffle. The compact design means you can store it on its side.

Cuisinart DCC-3400P1 12-Cup Programmable Coffeemaker $129.95 

This is our current coffee maker. I love it because of the Stainless Steel Thermal Carafe that keeps the coffee warm for hours instead of "cooking" the coffee on a heat plate.

This is NOT a Black Friday special, but I'm buying one just to have as a spare should the one we now have dies. It's 3 years old and makes the best cup of coffee I've ever had. No wonder It has 53,677 ratings averaging 4.6 out of 5.

Hamilton Beach Bread Maker Machine $84.95

We make bread every week using organic bread flour. The bread is delicious and much healthier than anything you buy in the store. We've been doing this for about 15 years I guess.

This bread machine is not part of Black Friday, at least it doesn't have that banner on the webpage yet, but it is reduced from $121.99. Our old machine was a workhorse so I think Hamilton Beach makes a great appliance. We're using our new HB machine now.

This new machine has 2,996 reviews averaging 4.5 out of 5.

Sure, you can pay hundreds of dollars for a bread machine, but why would you do that when this one has all 14 settings to make artisan bread including Gluten-Free.

Over the Door Organizer: Cookie Sheet, Cutting Board, Muffin Tin $16.80

This is sheer genius and something I really need. I'm ordering 2!

I am so excited to discover this Black Friday Deal.

This item that has 2,105 reviews averaging 4.5 out of 5 and is normally priced at $21.74.

This next item is the last on my list. It's a little different and is based on everything I've read about getting a good night's sleep.

Wake Up Light Sunrise Alarm Clock $39.98

If you've read anything about the causes of poor sleep, you know about the benefits of waking to sunrise and not looking at screens after a certain time at night.

If you're the kind of person who hates alarm clocks and the sounds they make, this is perfect for you. Instead of a raucous noise, it has a light slowly brightens to simulate sunrise. It has 22,258 reviews averaging 4.5 out of 5.

Recommended for Kids, Heavy Sleepers, and those who hate traditional alarms, it features an FM Radio, Snooze, Nightlight, Daylight, USB port, and produces 7 Colors and 7 Natural Sounds. Regular price is $59.99. There's a 5% off coupon so be sure and click that.


I have a lot of my Christmas shopping done with these items. I hope maybe you'll find that some of these are perfect for your gift giving too. Happy shopping.

Joan participates in Amazon Services LLC Associates affiliate advertising program designed to provide a way for websites to earn advertising fees by linking to products on Amazon.

Dogs Are Awesome Quotations

Good morning! When Freddie visits, he loves to sit on the bench on the patio so he can keep an eye on any the back yard.

We have a lot of trees around our home, and many trees mean many squirrels.

Freddie thinks it's his job to bark at the squirrels. I guess he's saying, "This is my yard. Stay away."

Freddie is a good ambassador for the canine world. He's loving, intelligent, and funny. In fact, he's total goofball sometimes and makes me laugh. He reminds me of how awesome dogs are.

No offense to you who are cat people. I know how much you love your felines. Cats have never been an option for us because we have a couple of kids who are very allergic to cats.

I've included dogs in a few books. One that comes to mind is Last Christmas, on sale now for only 99¢. (It's also on Kindle Unlimited.) In this book, you'll meet Friday, a mixed breed dog who has already had a rough life. He'd been hit by a car and was found laying by the road on a Friday.

Taken to the local animal shelter, he was rescued by the new police chief, and it was a match made in heaven. 

Yes, Last Christmas is a love story—2 love stories. The first is Annabelle and Rick's romance. The second is Friday and Rick's story.

In the end, the whole town comes to love Friday who proves he's a hero dog. Last Christmas is on sale through December 9.


If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die, I want to go where they went. —Will Rogers

The average dog is a nicer person than the average person. —Andy Rooney

If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you; that is the principal difference between a dog and a man. —Mark Twain

Ever consider what our dogs must think of us? I mean, here we come back from a grocery store with the most amazing haul—chicken, pork, half a cow. They must think we're the greatest hunters on earth! —Anne Tyler

A dog teaches a boy fidelity, perseverance, and to turn around three times before lying down. —Robert Benchley

Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea. —Robert A. Heinlein

You can say any foolish thing to a dog, and the dog will give you a look that says, "Wow, you're right! I never would've thought of that!" —Dave Barry

I've seen a look in dogs' eyes, a quickly vanishing look of amazed contempt, and I am convinced that basically dogs think humans are nuts. —John Steinbeck

If you think dogs can't count, try putting three dog biscuits in your pocket and then give him only two of them. —Phil Pastoret


People should take a tip from dogs and love unconditionallly.

Joan participates in Amazon Services LLC Associates affiliate advertising program designed to provide a way for websites to earn advertising fees by linking to products  on Amazon.

Sunday Thoughts: 7 Ways to Keep Hope Alive

Let's talk about Hope.

I have someone in my life who has lost hope in recovering from a series of medical crises.

I've realized that an atitude of optimism is crucial to maintaining Hope.

I also realize that one cannot make another keep Hope alive. That's a hard truth to accept when you're praying every day and night for that person to feel a surge of optimism—to feel a flutter of hope and begin to believe in a better tomorrow.

I think there are many in today's world who have lost Hope of health, security, financial stability, and so many other valuable aspects of life.

It's hard to hang onto Hope when life keeps flinging problems, disappointments, and tragedies at you.

So how do you hang on to Hope and let it grow inside you from a tiny flame to a raging bonfire? Here are a few ways that I thing work.

1. Stay healthy by eating a healthy diet and getting exercise and sunshine. That's a start. If you feel tired, sleepy, and semi-sick all the time, it's going to be hard to be hopeful.

2. Adopt a series of beliefs to help you create a state of mind in which you believe that life can get better. Build the belief that you can have a brighter tomorrow even if today looks gloomy.

3. Build belief by implanting positive thoughts in your subconscious. Examples of positive thoughts:
"I believe in a better tomorrow."
"I believe I'm emotionally strong and can weather tough situations."
"I believe my Life has purpose and meaning."

If you are religious, by all means pray and instill the positive thought: "I believe in a merciful God who guides my way."

Repeat the positive thought many times when you're falling asleep and when you awake in the morning. Say it silently to yourself. Write it down with pen and paper. Internalize it.

4. Avoid the bad news buffet that is known as "the news" because there's never anything good on it. I always say too much "reality" is a bad thing. There's nothing like all this political crap and financial news to send you spiraling into negativity and depression. Be hopeful.

5. Take time to meditate and be consciously aware of all the good things in your life.

6. Hang out with optimistic people. They'll make you feel better and reinforce the positive beliefs to which you're clinging.

7. Avoid negative people. They're like the black holes of the universe and will such every bit of life out of you.


Life is full of peaks and valleys. It's heartbreaking to see someone you love stuck in a deep valley. You can only change yourself so learn what not to do as well as what to do. Keep faith and hope in your heart and pray for those who have lost it.

Saturday Share: Strawberry Bread With Cream Cheese Spread

What is it about cold weather that makes a person want to bake?

Is it that having the oven on warms the kitchen and the rest of the house?

Is it the delightful aroma that floats in the air that draws everyone to the kitchen?

Is it that there's something so satisfying about creating something from scratch and it's finished in a short amount of time?

I guess it's all of those things. I do know that today I'm baking Strawberry Bread and making a strawberry cream cheese spread that pairs beautifully with it.

The bonus is that strawberries make me think of summertime and warmer weather on this cold, rainy winter day. (My heart goes out to all of you stuck in the terrible snow storm that hit up north. Wish I could ship you some of this delicious warm bread.)

My mom made a strawberry layer cake that was also delicious, but that's a recipe for a summer day. Hopefully, I can remember to post that in May.


(1) Set out a block of cream cheese to come to soften and come to room temperature. You'll need 4 ounces.

(2) Set out frozen unsweetened strawberries. I buy the frozen sliced ones as shown on Amazon Fresh, but you can find them in any supermarket. I just posted this so you can see the package. You'll need 10 ounces.

(3) If you plan to use butter instead of cooking oil, set out 1 stick of butter.

Now, if you're like me—usually impulsive and a last minute prepper—you can soften the cream cheese and butter in the microwave, but don't liquefy or cook it. Defrost the strawberries the same way and save the liquid resulting from the defrosting.


Bread Ingredients

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 cup white sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 cup butter or cooking oil

2 eggs, well beaten

10 ounces sliced frozen strawberries, thawed (1/4 cup liquid from thawing saved)


(1) Grease and flour a 4x8 loaf pan or a Bundt should also work well.

(2) Preheat oven to 350.

(3) Combine flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon and mix well.

(4) Mix the beaten eggs, the fat (melted butter or cooking oil), and the strawberries in a separate bowl or large measuring cup.

(5) Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour all the liquid ingredients into it and mix well. Slow speed on mixer or by hand.

(6) Pour batter into the pan and bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

(7) When done, remove from oven, and turn upside down on a cooling rack.



While the bread bakes, mix up the spread. You'll need:

1/4 cup of liquid from the strawberries (You can even add a couple of mushed up strawberries if you want a stronger strawberry flavor.)

4 ounces soft cream cheese

2-4 teaspoons of powdered sugar, but white granulated sugar will work too.

I'll 'fess up. I always make a double batch of the spread because my guy really likes it. 


(1) Blend the cream cheese and strawberry "juice" until smooth.

(2) Add the sugar and mix well.

When the bread is still a bit warm, slice and serve with a dollop of the spread.

To store the bread, slice all of it and wrap securely in foil or in a glass container and store in the fridge. For the spread, I scoop it into a small glass jar, cover, and store in the fridge. (You can use plastic containers if that's what you prefer.)


This year, I started eliminating plastic storage containers. That's my choice. I just don't think plastic storage is as healthy as glass. I had some small Pyrex containers with lids that belonged to my mom. I started using those and began saving glass jars that I'd normally put in the recycle bin.

I found a Laura Scudder Peanut Butter jar with a lid contianing a rubber seal is perfect for storing leftover soups, stews, and other "moist" kinds of foods. 

Then I invested in some glass food storage containers with locking lids that can go from freezer to microwave or oven.


I hope you enjoy this Strawberry Bread and Strawberry Spread. If you do, drop me a note in comments. Have a great weekend.

Joan participates in Amazon Services LLC Associates affiliate advertising program designed to provide a way for websites to earn advertising fees by linking to products  on Amazon.

Friday Facts About November

Ah, November. The month about which Emily Dickinson said, "“November always seems to me the Norway of the year.”

Once upon a time—back in the day of the Roman calendar—November was the 9th month of the year. January and February didn't exist.

Since it was the 9th month, it was called Novem which is Latin for 9. The name stuck even when the calendar changed to the Julian and then the Gregorian.

Here are a few more November facts to add to your treasury of trivia knowledge—could one say novem more facts? Nope. Not grammatically correct, but you get my meaning. Right? 

(1) A Native American phrase for the full moon of November is the Beaver Moon.

(2) The November birthstone is the topaz which signifies honor and strength. Citrine, another yellowish semi-precious stone, is also considered a birthstone for November. 

(3) November weather folklore says that if there's heavy snow in November, it will last until April.

(4) November is Native American Heritage month.

(5) November babies are often the result of a romantic Valentine's Day. In a study, British researchers attributed a 5% increase in births in November to Valentine's Day nine months before. 

(6) On first day of November in 1848, the first medical school for women opened. The Boston Female Medical School had 12 students.

(7) Anglo-Saxons called this month the Wind Monath, meaning wind month. How appropriate since this is the time of the year when the cold winds blow—at least in the northern hemisphere.

(8) There are many holidays and commorative days in November, but the best known and most celebrated in the U.S.A. is Thanksgiving. The first Thanksgiving was in 1621.

(9) One of the greatest writers ever, William Shakespeare, never mentioned the month of November in any of his 37 plays, still in production today, or in his 154 sonnets.


Enjoy this month of gloriously colored leaves, bright blue skies, and windy, chilly days.

Romancing the Weekend: Holiday Romance Episode 1

From now until New Year's Day, this time is a gold mine for readers—especially those who love Holiday Romance.

Yes, that's the trope, or theme, you'll find in the books today.

In fact, Holiday Romance is so popular with readers, that I'll feature it every Thursday from now to the end of 2022.

Of course, I'm not the only one featuring Holiday Romance. You'll find movies celebrating this theme on network TV, cable, and all of the streaming services.


The popularity of this theme makes the Hallmark Channel one of the most frequently visited streaming services from November through January.

In case you think only women love these movies, I know a cop whose idea of relaxation is to watch one of the Hallmark Christmas movies. It takes him away from the tough job that is today's law enforcement. His wife asked me once if I knew of a town like any in the Hallmark movies. She wanted to book a Christmas vacation as a present for them both.

Here are some some wonderful Holiday Romance novels for your browsing pleasure. I hope you find some you love.




This Holiday Romance also has these themes: Enemies to Lovers, Workplace Romance, Grieving Hero, Steamy Contemporary.

Come to Bangers Tavern for an enemies-to-lovers tale of reconciliation, found family, holiday cocktails, and the steamiest Christmas miracle ever.

Bartender River Lundqvist has a damn good reason for hating Christmas. Bangers Tavern is the perfect place to lay low over the holidays—until Charlie walks in. His first encounter with the saucy server nine years ago was utter humiliation. Her reappearance stirs up powerful desires and hopes for a new start. But the timing is all wrong.

Back in Tacoma to care for her estranged dad over the holidays, freelance web designer Charlie Khoury braces herself for the suckiest Christmas ever. A temporary job at Bangers Tavern gives her a chance to escape Dad’s criticism and blow off some steam. But why does the hunky bartender seem to hate her?

A pretend girlfriend is just what River needs to keep his family off his back—until a kiss under the mistletoe flares hot enough to melt the North Pole. When greedy developers threaten Bangers Tavern, River and Charlie must team up to save it. Their sizzling chemistry feels like the real thing—but everyone knows rebound relationships don’t last.



This Holiday Romance also has these themes: Sweet Romance, Small Town Romance, and Single Parent Romance. Christmas in the Air is on sale for 99¢ from now until December 31, 2022.

What if you told your innermost secrets to a guy you assumed you’d never see again?

Toy business owner Penelope Reid, a single mom in her late 40's is raising a challenging 12-year-old son, meets an elusive, handsome stranger on a plane. She confesses her problems, fears, aspirations, and unrealized goals, believing the man is only half-listening. 

Two months later, she meets him again and learns Jacob Williams is the new pediatrician in town. He  knows too much about her. Will he use his knowledge to embarrass her? Or pursue her? As they get to know each other, she learnes of Jacob's poverty-stricken childhood, his mother’s disapproval, and his new job.

Touched and impressed by his goals to forego ambition and help people, she's also envious he's decided what he wants and is going after it. Things take a turn for the worse when romance develops under the disapproving eyes of her son and the community who thought they knew her.

Does she have room in her heart after a disastrous divorce for a new romance? Can her son show maturity and accept responsibility for the puppy he wants? Will things work out for this single mom and her son?


This Holiday Romance also has these themes: Paranormal Cozy Mystery, Amateur Sleuth, Saving Christmas, Detective Animal, Friendly Ghost.

She doesn’t see dead people, but her dog does. Can the spirits help her solve the mystery and save Christmas?

Marissa Hale is excited to visit her friend Grace’s new Inn. But the twinkly lights attached to the inheritance are frightful, and finding a dead body resembling one of Santa’s fabled elves in the poinsettias is not delightful. The death of Grace’s aunt was already suspicious, is someone trying to scare Grace into selling the Kringle Inn?

Grace’s bloodline is the magic mainline for keeping the yuletide spirit alive, and losing the Inn could mean the end of Christmas. The clues to both deaths may reside with the spirits of the Inn, but Marissa’s dog is the only one who can see them.

Does Marissa stand a ghost of a chance of solving this mystery to save Christmas?

Magic, Mimosas & Mistletoe is the high-spirited third book in the Charmed Cocktail Cozy mystery series, and is a Kindle Unlimited selection. 

Kindle Countdown Sale Alert — From 12/09/2022, 8:00am EST thru 12/15/2022, 11:00am EST, Magic, Mimosas & Mistletoe will be only 99¢.



This holiday romance also has these themes: Reunion Romance and Secret Baby.

Caterer Lorelei Warner juggles her fledging Southern California business and raising young twins with the help of her mother and sister. Handling a three-day wedding event stretches her limits…and then her old beau walks in and threatens the delicate balance.

Stained glass restorer Wynn Tatum hopes to cross paths with the woman he left behind to pursue his dreams. What he doesn’t expect is that seeing Lorelei again sparks the feelings from six years ago. Now that he’s held her in his arms again, and learned he’s the father to five-year-old twins, he will do anything to stay in touch. How can his family be whole if he and Lorelei live on two different continents?



This Holiday Romance also has the theme of Fake Date/Fake Romance.

Her family surprises her when they arrive to meet her new fiancé. Too bad he knows nothing about their supposed relationship.

Hawaii is touted as the most romantic place on earth, and Meredith’s job as Event Planner at the posh Four Seasons Kona-Kohala Resort backs that claim with the number of weddings that take place at the resort each year. She only wishes her family was not so anxious to hear about her own, non-existent wedding plans.

Meredith has dodged Christmas back home and her interfering family’s good intentions for years, inventing a fake boyfriend who works with her at the Resort. Her faux-fiancée is loosely based on Asher, the lethally good-looking and charming Outdoor Activities Director, whose number one activity appears to be dating any and all attractive women, on and off the resort. He’s not the type to interest her a bit in real life. But this is make-believe. Until her family surprises her with a Christmas visit and he steps into his role with far too much enthusiasm.

Asher knows he has a reputation as a player, which comes in handy to rebuff the guests’ overtures, but makes it hard to be taken seriously. He enjoys his easy friendship with Meredith and the better he gets to know her, the more intriguing he finds her. Is Meredith really that impossible-to-get, or is it all an act?

Then her family shows up believing he’s her fiancée; the perfect opportunity to break down Meredith’s defenses once and for all. But with the family expecting a wedding date soon, Meredith tells him he has to dump her in front of everyone. What if he doesn’t want to?


This Holiday Romance also has these Romance themes: Later in Life Romance and Second Chance Romance.

Take one Christmas grouch...Add one vivacious widow, and you get a second chance at love.

Kirk Fontaine can't bear to talk to anyone, let alone enjoy Christmas. Away from home, in a small harbor city in Canada, broken-hearted Kirk is lost and alone until one small dog refuses to give up on him.

Vibrant widow Miranda Bailey is ready to move into the next phase of her life, except this Christmas is shaping up to be the worst since her husband's death. But instead of hiding, she takes charge, and drags Kirk into her Christmas miracle.

Not-So-Blue Christmas is a Kindle Unlimited selection.

FROM HOLIDAY TO HOLIDAY: A Moment in Time Quartet


This Holiday Romance also has these Romance Themes: Second Chance at Love, Love at First Sight, Friends to Lovers, and Fear of Commitment to Love.

From Holiday to Holiday features friends and family with entwined lives who find love when they least expect it.

Designed for readers who love Romance but don't have the time to read a full-length novel, A Moment in Time series gives you  satisfying stories that can be read in those odd bits and pieces of time in your busy day and evening. 

From Holiday to Holiday is a collection of the first 4 stories in the series and begins with an emotional Christmas story and ends with a St. Patrick's Day celebration. This bundled set is available at most ebook sellers.


Get in the holiday spirit with this selection of Romance Novels with a Holiday/Christmas theme. Life is going to get rather frantic from this point on so grab some relaxation reading. Romance—the Optimistic Genre! Look for Holiday Romance Episode 2 on December 1.

Joan Reeves is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a way for websites to earn advertising fees by linking to products on Amazon.

Top 10 Romance Tropes for 2022

I received some emails with questions about the Thursday feature I've been publishing called ROMANCING THE WEEKEND.

It all started with a post last month on SlingWords, when I published a post with a list of the Romance Tropes, or themes, that have been popular in the last few years.

I expanded on that post with one on Smart Girls Read Romance, a group blog to which I contribute. Click the link if you want to read the full post.

I thought I would republish the gist of that post here on SlingWords so everyone would know what the Thursday Feature is all about.

Authors, if you want to submit a book to be featured, email me. If we are not acquainted, just leave a comment with your email address, and I'll get back to you.

Readers, if you have a favorite trope and you'd like to find more books with that theme, leave a comment and tell me your favorite trope.

Top Romance Tropes for 2022.

1. Friends To Lovers
This has increased in popularity, moving up to the #1 spot. These are romances that feature a couple who have always been friends, but the guy or the girl is secretly in love with the other. Afraid to ruin their friendship by making a move, they love silently until something propels them to try for more.

2. Enemies To Lovers
The reverse of this is in the #1 spot. Authors have found that readers also love enemies who discover they're not so far apart in thinking and who find they're really attracted to each other.

3. Fake Romance
This can be fake dating, romance, engagement, or even a fake marriage. Faking together makes the attraction sizzle and the heart grow fonder.

4. Forced Proximity
On my previous list, I actually broke this out into 2 tropes: Snowed In and Stranded Together Somewhere because there were so many romantic stories that featured the couple snowed in and cut off from the rest of the world. However, for this list, I'm just lumping those two things together for any story that forces the couple to be closeted together for whatever reason.

4a. Workplace Romance
In today's world, most people spend more time at work together than they do waking hours away from work. It's natural for singles to navigate to each other and find love, but it sure can complicate the work life when there are so many restrictions—legal and other pitfalls—against acting on mutual desire.

Conflict of many different types is ineveitable. 

In the workplace, this trope usually has the boss and underling in the starring roles.

But equals who share an office or cubicle or work in adjoining cubicles  also may share the same trials, challenges, and triumphs—and desire.

My romantic comedy Nobody's Cinderella is a Workplace Romance. So is Cinderella Blue, the second book in this San Antone Duet, with the workplace being the cop shop aka police station.

4b. Roommates
This was a separate category on my new trope lists that I found, but I think it could legitimately fall under Forced Proximity because roommates share the same kitchen, entertainment area, and maybe even the same bathroom. They're together from the time they get home from work until they go to bed at night—until maybe the forced proximity pushes them toward each other. Living with someone, albeit platonicly in the beginning, creates plenty of conflict for the hero and heroine as well as romantic possibilities.

5. Love Triangle
I think this has been popular since the dawn of time, but the vampire book/series Twilight really threw gasoline on the fire. A heroine or hero who must choose between two likely mates. The key is to make both choices appealing, but only 1 really fits perfectly. Great conflict.  

6. Single Parent
Yes, the single parent romance is huge, and it's finally on the top romance tropes list. This is just what it says. Single moms and dads need love too.

7. Opposites Attract / Different Worlds / Different Backgrounds 
We all know this trope. He's a city slicker; she's a country girl. She's a rich heiress; he's the gardener's son. He's from Mars or another planet; she's from Venus or Earth or wherever. Yes, science fiction mines this trope too. So does paranormal—he's a shapeshifter; she's human.

My contemporary romance Foolishly Yours mines this trope. She's part Cherokee, Hispanic, White, and African American. He's a blond-haired, blue-eyed hunk. She's a cop. He's a surfer bum. She's from an over-achieving family. He's a wanderer looking for the perfect wave.

7a. Grouchy Curmudgeons / Pollyanna Sunshine
Yes, Mr. Grumpy or Little Miss Sunshine is now listed as an actual trope, but they're really just another version of Opposites Attract. He's the brooding cranky hero. She's the patient optimistic heroine. Or maybe they have reversed those roles.

8. Hidden Identity
I think this is a spinoff from the caper or heist trope and the spy/espionage trope. This trope is all about the lies or secrets one or both characters may hide. Yes, the hero or heroine can be a spy, but maybe he's in Witness Protection, or maybe she's hiding from a stalker. 

9. Best Friend's Brother or Sister
Hello, teen world! Longing for your best friend's big brother or big sister is something we may all have done when we were kids. People may not outgrow that feeling though, and that's the premise behind this trope. The heroine has always been in love with her brother's best friend or her BFF's big brother. Or vice versa. Yearning and longing and knowing nothing can be done about it is a hallmark of this trope.

10. Celebrity Romance
I was actually surprised to find celebrity romance on a top of the heap list.

Long ago when I was traditionally published, my editor said never to write a story with a celebrity as the main character because they were never believable.

Indie self-publishing has turned that edict on its ear. I've read a bunch of celebrity romances in the past year. One might even say the billionaire romance gave birth to this trope. One might also consider this another version of Opposites Attract / Different Worlds, but it's becoming so popular that I put it in its own category. 


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