5 Things Americans Don't Know About America

Let's have some fun today. Here we go, trivia buffs. Don't peek at the answers.


1. Does any state offer a unicorn hunting license?

2. Is unclaimed airline baggage sold to the public?

3. George and Martha Washington were the first president and first lady to live in the White House.

4. The deadliest job in America is being a firefighter.

5. Only 5 originals of the Declaration of Independence have survived.


1. True, and the state is Michigan, specifically the Lake Superior State University. In 1971, W. T. Rabe, a publicist, created the Unicorn Hunters thus creating the supposed hunting licenses for the same.

2. True. The Unclaimed Baggage Center in Scottsboro, Alabama, draws about 800,000 shoppers each year. Each day workers unpack around 7,000 items. Those that have value are set aside to be sold or donated, and the rest is thrown away.

3. False. John Adams and his wife Abigail were the first presidential couple to occupy the White House.

4. False. Statistics say being President of the United States of America is more deadly than any other occupation. Of the 45 men who have held the title, 4 were assassinated in office—Lincoln, Kennedy, Garfield, and McKinley—4 died in office of natural causes—Harrison, Taylor, Harding, and Franklin Roosevelt—which makes the death rate 18%, almost 1 out of 5 who died on the job. 

5. False. Hundreds of copies were made after the adoption of the Declaration of Independence. The Committee of Five—Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, and Robert R. Livingston—oversaw the reproduction. Of those, 26 survive with most in museums and libraries, and 3 are said to be in private collections.

Rick Harrison of the TV reality show, Pawn Stars, paid 1.45 million in 2021 for a copy of the Declaration of Independence.


In 2022, the Signer copy of Charles Carroll, the last surviving signer of the Declaration of Independence, was found in Scotland and sold at auction for a historic price of $4.42M.

Motivation Monday: Tackle the Difficult

Here's a little inspiration for jump starting your Monday.

"Tackle the difficult things first in the morning; make changes in the way you network.

"Treat everyone with respect and dignity. This stops you from cynicism and negativity.

"End your day with that same attitude you started. Renew your contract with a day well completed." —Rick Pitino, Basketball Coach


What great advice for the day of the week most people hate. With a good attitude, Monday can be as great a day as Friday.

Analysis of STONE ANGEL Video

Welcome to Part 2 of a discussion of what makes a video successful.

Here you go if you missed Part 1.


1. Focus

 2. Visual representation

3. Text

4. Music

5. Length  and Attention Span


1. With the opening image, I wanted to hook the viewer to watch the rest of the video. The image I created from a photo of a beautiful woman at a massive antique door superimposed over a moonlit scene was representative of her era, and text that said, "She was the beloved wife of a Creole aristocrat." 

2. Next you see scenes that are combinations of evocative images and text. A grief-stricken woman and text: "He was murdered. She was betrayed."

Text slides on a stormy background appear: "During a storm her chains are removed." Hopefully that indicates to the viewer that she had been imprisoned for some reason.

"She is taken to the family cemetery." That should give a sense of foreboding because nothing good could happen in a cemetery during a storm."

Then a stunning statement: "To be killed."

Video of lightning, image of a woman holding a dagger, harrowing text, dark images, and a video with an opening door that suggests something out of the ordinary.

Add it all together and it represents what happens in Act 1.

3. Text is used in coordination with the visual images to emphasize the message.

4. Music is so important.  From the first, It sets the tone for the video. Know the message you want viewers to get and match the music to the message. I listened to dozens of audio clips before choosing Black Mass by Brian Bolger, a dark, brooding piece of music that was perfect.

5. Length is the hardest element to master. You can make it short if you really focus on what your book is about—not the entire book, but the essence of the book.


 Most of all, have fun making videos. Like any creative project, the rewards when completed are worth the work.

Videos for Readers: 5 Steps to Video Success

I'm making videos again—specifically, videos for readers.

What is a Video for Readers? Simply put, it's a book blurb that's a mini movie.

Today, I have 5 Steps to Video Success to help you make a video too whether for a book or other project. 

I've done many videos over the years for myself and for others, but only a couple in the last few years due to circumstances beyond my control.


I was cleaning up my Playlists this weekend and noticed the thousands of views some of my past videos received. I watched them all on my Smart TV and remembered how much fun I had making them.

I set a goal to make more because I have a lot more books I've written plus so much more information to share about blogging, writing, and publishing.

As with any new goal, one must immediately take action. So I made a video for STONE ANGEL, my Kindle Vella that currently has 55 episodes available. Today, I'll be publishing episode 56 aka Chapter 56 of this paranormal romantic thriller.


Can a Video sell books? Not usually.

So why make them?

They can bring attention to your book and increase name recognition hat's always a good thing.

Personally, I make them because it's fun. I love presenting the emotion, tone, and premise of a book in a mini-movie.

I carefully choose the images, music, and text into the perfect package to represent my vision of a book or an idea.

I've done several videos for box sets in which I participate. I leave the video up even if the box set is no longer available because each individual book mentioned in the video is still available for sale. In the description of those videos, I encourage viewers to visit the respective authors' book pages.

Now, let me give you some tips on video production. 

Come back tomorrow, and I'll give a step by step breakdown of my new video for STONE ANGEL and how it fits my 5 step formula.


1. Focus

A book blurb can't tell everything about a book just as a movie trailer can't reveal everything about a movie.

It follows that a video for readers can't tell everything either. A book video should be focused on the main points like that 1-2 sentence concise summary every author should write for his/her book.

A good video should showcase: main character, goal, conflict, genre, tone, author style, and a good ending hook that makes a reader want to know more—wants to click the book link in the description and go grab it from Amazon or wherever it's sold.

2. Visual representation

How do you show all of that—character, goal, conflict, genre, tone, author style, ending hook—in a video? Especially in a 30-60 second video which is the ideal now. You select images that portray all of that.

Images that look like your character as you imagined him/her physically. Images that show conflict in action. Images that can represent the genre and the tone. An image that creates a stunning ending hook.

3. Text

In most book videos, you'll find text either as voice over, text on the screen, or a combination. Use the fewest words possible and make them resonate with the reader. Make them memorable. Avoid the mundane. Think sound bite. This is the element that can show the author's voice, tone of the book, and genre.

4. Music

The music you choose is critical and can establish the tone of the book, the genre, set the mood, and captivate the viewer.

5. Length  and Attention Span

I touched on Length in #2. My first video was for Old Enough to Know Better, produced in 2013, was over 2 minutes long yet it still had over 1,400 views. In the ensuing year, attention spans have grown shorter, and video length has had to adjust.

Call it the TikTok effect if you wish, but videos for books over a minute in length rarely get watched from beginning to end. Your video should aim at 60 seconds. Yes, it's difficult. That's why focus is so important.


Come back tomorrow for the breakdown, step by step, of my video for STONE ANGEL . I'll show you how it fits my 5 step formula and also give other tips to help you either create a video or know what a good visualization of your book should look like in case you decide to pay someone to make a video for you.

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

Clutter Bomb Cleaned Up

Tonight when I could stand it no longer, I cleaned up my office.

For the last 2 months, my desk has been buried under paper and other detritus—photographs, sentimental items leftover from December, stacks of mail, copies of royalty statements, computer printouts, paid bill receipts, etc.

I'm the kind of person who cannot think clearly when my environment looks as if a clutter bomb exploded.

I spent the evening filing, reading mail and things printed from the internet, and throwing away non-essential items.

I boxed up 2022 papers, updated my accounting spreadsheet, and plan to be ready for income tax once all the statements arrive.

Despite what some may say, clutter keeps you from focusing on the present and working effectively.

If you're organizationally challenged, read any of the bestselling books about getting rid of clutter. 

One I think is good because it comes with worksheets is Cluttered Mess to Organized Success by Cassandra Aarssen

You can get it in paperback or spiral bound. I wouldn't advise getting it in ebook because it's simply easier to refer back to sections with a print book plus this book has the checklists and worksheets. Besides, you can put it on your bookshelf and easily get to it if you find yourself backsliding. 

It's a new year so make some new habits. Me? I'm trying to reclaim my old habits. *LOL*


"Every minute you spend looking through clutter, wondering where you put this or that, being unable to focus because you're not organized costs you: time you could have spent with family or friends, time you could have been productive around the house, time you could have been making money." —Jean Chatzky

Amen to that!

Sunday Thoughts About January

January is the first month of this new year under the Gregorian Calendar, but it wasn't always that way.

When civilization lived under the  Julian Calendar, only 10 months were recognized.

January and February didn't exist then.

Garnet is the birthstone for January, and Carnation is the flower.


January was fittingly named for Janus, the Roman god of doorways. Janus had two heads, with one looking backward and one looking forward.

When the Gregorian calendar was adopted, January originally had 30 days. The 31st day was added by Julius Caesar.

This month is usually the coldest month of the year in our Northern Hemisphere which makes it the warmest month of the year in the Southern Hemisphere.

January starts on the same day as April and July when it's Leap Year.

In Christianity, the month of January is dedicated to Jesus.

According to astrological lore, those born in January are "generally talkative and like experimenting with new things. They will keep you entertained...it's difficult to get bored when they are around. They are a kid at heart and only turn mature when the situation demands. Plus, they are quite adventurous and introduce you to similar stuff as well."

As to the accuracy of that personality forecast, we have several January birthdays and most of them are not at all like that paragraph above.


January is almost over so cuddle up with someone you love and enjoy this winter month.

Saturday Share Recipe: Cowboy Soup

The cold weather has returned. What a great weekend to make a steaming hot pot of soup.

Today, I'm sharing a recipe from my mom's best friend's family cookbook. I've made a few additions to the recipe, but it's still Cowboy Soup.

This delicious beef and vegetable concoction  will warm you from the inside out.

Pair this with a skillet of hot cornbread or a crusty bread like sourdough, French, or Italian for an unforgettable winter meal you'll want to make again and again.

By the way, I linked the Ranch Style Beans and Rotel to Amazon in case your local store doesn't carry these items.



1 pound of ground beef

1 medium onion, chopped

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

4 medium potatoes, diced large

1 can whole kernel corn, drained

2 cans Ranch Style Beans

1 can Rotel Tomatoes

3 cups beef stock

1 can tomato sauce


1. Brown and crumble the ground beef. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Add the onions and saute about five minutes until the onion is soft.

2. Add the diced potatoes and saute another five minutes.

3. Add the rest of the ingredients.

4. Stir to mix well.

5. Simmer for at least an hour. Adjust the salt and pepper to taste. If the soup has thickened, add a little water and simmer for a few minutes more.

6. Serve hot. Store any leftover soup in the fridge. It will taste even better the next day.


I made this soup yesterday, but I forgot to take a picture. We had it for lunch and dinner. By then there wasn't enough left to make a good photo. Since it's one of my goals to take good photos of what I cook, I'll have to do better next time. 

Let me know if you enjoy my version of Cowboy Soup.

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

If you love Reading too, sign up for my FREE Newsletter and receive exclusive content, information about new releases, book bargains, and giveaways—plus you'll get a free ebook. 

Romancing the Weekend: New Beginnings Part 3

Welcome to Romancing the Weekend!

This is the first time this feature has appeared on a Friday. 

Throughout the year ahead, I'll publish a Romancing the Weekend post on selected Fridays.

Follow the blog to find those posts, and others, for readers and writers.

Today is also the last post that features the trope, New Beginnings. Want to browse through other books featured on Romancing the Weekend? Here's the list for your convenience.


If you'd like to browse through previous Romancing the Weekend posts, I think you'll find some books you'll want to read. Here's a list of the previous posts.

Romancing the Weekend: Second Chance Romance

Romancing the Weekend: Opposites Attract

Romancing the Weekend: Later in Life

Romancing the Weekend: Single Parent

Romancing the Weekend: Holiday Episode #1

Romancing the Weekend: Holiday Episode #2

Romancing the Weekend: Holiday Episode #3

Romancing the Weekend: Holiday Episode #4

And here are today's selections for New Beginnings Romance!



Sale Alert: This book will be on a 99¢ Kindle Countdown sale from January 13-20.  Also available in KU.

This book is also a Second Chance Romance.

A woman who wanted more. A man who wanted her. Can they rediscover their love in the seaside town where it all began?

Colum O’ Brien, a professional ballet dancer, is still hurt from a break-up four decades earlier. All this time, his heart has gravitated toward the woman who left him behind.

Sure, he’s moved on with his life, but he’s never forgotten his childhood sweetheart, Keira Murphy.That is, until he meets her again. Because his father is marrying her mother.

Keira was a famous runway model who moved away from her seaside Irish town with dreams of becoming a superstar. She left everything behind, including Colum.

With her skills as a seamstress, she’s now determined to return and open her own shop. Only she never expected to see Colum again—or to be instantly connected to him, just like when they were next-door neighbors and childhood sweethearts.

But when the pressures of demanding work schedules and living miles apart prevail, will it make their second chance at love impossible? Or will their individual journeys lead them right back to where it all began?


Price Alert: This book is priced at only 99¢ during its pre-release. The book publishes Feb. 1, 2023, and will be in Kindle Unlimited.

He came out of nowhere … encouraging her to ask the right questions.

Hannah believes her life in solitude is all she wants and all she needs. She’s settled in the small town of Fermosa Bay where she’s taken over a medical practice after leaving her husband. 

When the enigmatic Bigalow steps into her life, turning it upside-down, she can’t hide the growing irritation inside. Yet, slowly and steadily, he reminds her what life is all about and what she’s missing out on. Especially when she crosses paths with her neighbour, Gideon.

As she begins to ask the right questions, Hannah’s fondness for Bigalow gently grows, and so do her feelings for Gideon. But is she ready to hear the answers to her questions?


Three books (only $3.99) in this western romance series that feature these tropes: New Beginnings, Second Chances, and Later in Life Romance. 

3 Generations, 3 Second Chances

Would marrying Howard be the trap Grace fears?

Sometimes the only way to build a future is to face the past. When the dream of happily-ever-after is shattered, sometimes another door opens.



This book is a Kindle Unlimited selection.

Film director Baxter Reid is used to giving directions, not taking them!

Especially from April Thomas, who has been hired by Baxter's agent to enhance the director's less than illustrious social standing to help place him in the running for an Oscar-worthy film project he’s after.

Baxter is everything April dislikes. Cocky, arrogant, disdainful of women. Or has the media deliberately portrayed him that way? Either way, she has her work cut out to give him a social media makeover.

Reluctantly, Baxter goes along with April’s regime to improve his image, but when a smear campaign comes to light and they work together to trace its origin, surprises catch them both off guard.


This steamy, explicit Romantic Comedy, also available as an audio book, fits these tropes: Revenge, Bad Girl,  tropefits these additional tropes: .

No more Miss Nice Girl—Marlayna's turning over a new leaf!

Noah Drake walked out of her life without a word - just divorce papers.

Marlayna O'Brian wanted answers and he was the only man who could provide them.

But he was engaged to another woman—and she was invited to the party!

She gave him fair warning: "Seduction is the plan for today. Keep on your toes, Mr. Drake. You never know when or where I'm going to strike!"

Marlayna found it so very easy to be deliciously bad! Especially when an American castle provided so many erotic nooks and crannies.


This book is a Kindle Unlimited selection and fits these additional tropes: Enemies to Lovers, Beach Romance, Multicultural, and Second Chances.

Samantha Ruiz is proud of her 4 ethnicities: African, Cherokee, Hispanic, and White. Filling that out on standardized forms was fun. Not! She'd led a charmed life until 2 life-changing events. First, she got engaged. Second, she resigned her commission as an Army officer to become a Warrant Officer, a military cop, and attracted the unwanted attention of an officer at her new post. 

Both events ended badly. With her Army career ended and wounded by the bitter breakup with her fiancé, Sam moves to Last Chance Beach for a new beginning. She makes a new life for herself as a cop and is content. Or is she just complacent?

One night when she’s running on the beach and obsessing about the restlessness she feels, another runner, Grayson Crawford, collides with her, growls, “Sorry,” and continues running. She takes an instant dislike to the rude, insensitive man and is appalled to learn he’s on the island to stay. What’s worse, the man seems to turn up everywhere she goes.

To her horror, she finds herself attracted to the blue-eyed, blond-haired surfer who seems content to drift through life. Sam has never dated unsuitable men, and Grayson is exactly that! So why does he take her breath away? And why can't she stop thinking about him?

Despite her good intentions, she falls for him only to discover he's not who she thinks he is, and he has an agenda of his own. Has she made another crucial mistake in judgment? Will she have to start over again in another place?


The weekend is here, and it's supposed to be rainy—perfect reading weather. Grab some of the delightful books from this post or previous ones and snuggle under a cozy blanket. Happy reading!

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

Fighting Dragons

There are Dragons in life ready to ambush you just as they waylay the heroines and heroes of epic stories.

Their goal? If not, annihilation then destruction of your happiness and yourself.

Okay, maybe there aren't really fire-breathing dragons ready to burn you to a cinder, but there is something just as scary and destructive. 

What are they? The Challenges of Life.

Sometimes I think I'd rather be battling dragons since we have fire extinguishers now. Life is difficult, and you never reach a place in life where there are no challenges.

Illness, failure or lack of success, physical frailty, lost love, the death of someone you love—those are just a few the challenges we face in life. I have challenges, and so do you. There is no person on this planet who doesn't face some challenge or difficulty in life.

It takes strength—emotional, physical, and mental strength—to get through life.

You build that strength with habits learned from parents, i.e., don't quit when the going gets tough, work hard to achieve goals, be patient when frustrated, success takes preparedness, and so many other mental and emotional skills.

I learned much from my parents and grandparents. I also kept acquiring "persistence and endurance skills" as an adult by reading books by motivational thinkers like Earl Nightingale, Brian Tracy, Tony Robbins, Stephen Covey, and so many others. 

I'm a lifelong learner and proud of it. I've endured situations that I would have thought would have crumpled me like a paper wad—like my daughters who have had health challenges for nearly 15 years including brushes with death.

I've been the one who always took care of my immediate family and my extended family. I've mourned the loss of dear friends, parents, my husband's parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, a brother-in-law, and most recently my beloved sister-in-law.

Dragons Challenges are cruel. I finally faced a challenge to my physical health with a shoulder injury and then a knee problem. I spent most of 2022 in pain, and PT did little to resolve the issue. My main goal this year—just to be happy that I'm here—meant I needed to get my mobility and strength back which meant conquering the shoulder and knee problem.


This week I started my first session with what I decided to call PT on Steroids. The first 90 minute session was intense, but amazing I was able to walk without my knee feeling as if it would collapse. Hurrah! 

I'd like to leave you with a couple of quotations that might help you if you take them to heart.

"If you have a positive attitude and constantly strive to give your best effort, eventually you will overcome your immediate problems and find you are ready for greater challenges." —Pat Riley

"If I could talk to my younger self, I would just say that the path to great things is filled with a lot of stumbles, suffering, and challenges along the way. But if you have the right attitude and know that hard times will pass—and you get up each time—you will reach your destination." —Jonny Kim

Oh, how I wish I could speak to my younger self. I'd tell her this: "You're stronger than you ever thought you could be. Don't be afraid of what lies ahead. When life gets tough, be tougher because that kind of strength lies within you. You may not be aware of it, but it will grow stronger with each challenge you face and overcome."


Dragons, you better watch out!

Romancing the Weekend: New Beginnings Part 2

Welcome to Part 2 of New Beginnings, the Romance trope or theme featured this month.

January is the month for New Beginnings, isn't it?

I'm beginning physical therapy at a mobility clinic, a different doctor and everything, next week to deal with problems left over from last year.

So it's a new beginning for me because I'm determined to see some significant improvement.


Today's Romancing the Weekend post is the last time this feature will appear on Thurday. Beginning next week, the feature on romance themes, or tropes, will publish on select Fridays.

Now, let's get to the New Beginnings in some capitvating romance novels from some great authors.


If you'd like to browse through previous Romancing the Weekend posts, I think you'll find some books you'll want to read. Here's a list of the previous posts.

Romancing the Weekend: Second Chance Romance

Romancing the Weekend: Opposites Attract

Romancing the Weekend: Later in Life

Romancing the Weekend: Single Parent

Romancing the Weekend: Holiday Episode #1

Romancing the Weekend: Holiday Episode #2

Romancing the Weekend: Holiday Episode #3

Romancing the Weekend: Holiday Episode #4



This book also fits the Marriage of Convenience trope.

Her biggest dream’s offered on a platter, but the clincher is, she has to marry a perfect stranger.

When her employer offers the no-nonsense Shannon Nadjiwon the position of chauffeuring Séamus Daugherty, she jumps at the chance.

To work for one of Toronto’s most powerful families means she can make her biggest dream of owning a fleet of limos come true, something her female relations tooling away at her Ojibway community want badly for her, and she won’t let them down.

His reckless need for speed cost Séamus Daugherty his license. If he doesn’t marry, as demanded by his overbearing father, he will lose not only his lucrative job with the family business—the only positive aspect in Séamus’ gilded cage life—but everything Daugherty.

The unpretentious and gorgeous Shannon will make the perfect bride, and Séamus is ready to strike a deal with her, one that will ensure he keeps everything he holds dear if she puts a wedding ring on her finger. However, they face three big obstacles: his family, her family, and a marriage neither truly wants, leaving both wondering if the sizzling sexual chemistry and cozy rapport they share is enough to create a happily ever after.


This book also fits these tropes: Pregnant Heroine, Foodie Romance, Slow Burn Romance.

Cupid has lousy timing.

After kicking her cheating husband to the curb, nurse Anna Khoury discovers she’s pregnant. 

When Bangers Tavern’s hunky chef makes heart eyes at her, she dismisses that delicious thrill as the last thing she needs. Single motherhood will take all her strength and focus. Anna’s battered heart can’t take another blow.

Chef Diego Vargas is aiming higher than burgers and tater tots. His dream—his own food truck, the Empanada Angel, but he’ll need his family’s support to pull it off. Meeting Anna leaves him thunderstruck, even though his attraction to her threatens all his plans. Call it fate, call him crazy, but he’s determined to prove he’s in it for keeps.

With a belligerent ex-husband and two overprotective families set on breaking them up, Anna and Diego will need more than red-hot passion to pull them through. His career and her baby’s future are on the line.

Come back to Bangers Tavern for a spicy tale of forbidden love that will warm your heart…and other parts…and make you hungry for empanadas!



When Love Comes Home is Book 6 of Fitzpatrick Family, and it also fits these tropes: Second Chance, Sweet & Wholesome, Sweet Home Alabama with a twist. This book is a Kindle Unlimited selection.
Sometimes your heart knows what’s best.

Sammy Fitzpatrick and Tiffany Fischer eloped on prom night. The next day her father forced them to sign annulment papers then whisked her off to art school.

Sammy and Tiffany made secret plans to go to Guatemala with a mission group. She and her parents disappear without a trace. 

Resigned to a life alone, Sammy heads to the mission field missing a chunk of his heart.

Ten years later, he learns the annulment papers were never filed. Tiffany is still legally his wife, but she doesn’t know it. She's engaged to someone else. His heart has never let him forget. But is he too late?

As secrets unravel, will they be able to find the love they once shared again? 


Sex in the City grows up!

 Can newly-single Rachel Fontaine take her best friend’s advice and never turn down a sexy romp?

Such brazen behavior goes against her character. Or does it? Is sex-with-the-ex a mistake? 

What about sex with the hot new TV host? Do younger men really like older women?

When did fifty become the new thirty? Hold on for the fun as Rachel reinvents herself and discovers life after fifty is fabulous!


Once upon a time, their hearts beat as one…

Beating in Time is a New Release that's the latest in the Last Chance Beach Romance Series, and it's available for only 99¢ during this pre-order period. It publishes Feb. 5 so grab it today.

This book also fits these tropes: Rock and Roll Romance, Second Chance, Brother's Best Friend, Beach Romance.

Drummer Levi Cannon knows that all the platinum records in the world won’t fill the Remi-sized hole in his heart.

"I left Last Chance Beach and Remington Lawson behind when I took my shot at fame and fortune, but I had no idea what I was sacrificing. Now that a fundraiser has brought me home, I want more than anything to win her back. But it’s been eight years. There may be a bridge that connects the island to the mainland, but am I a fool to think that I can build something that will span the chasm of all those years?"

Remi Boyd knows that her love for her brother’s best friend has never died.

"But what kind of fool would I be to trust him again after he broke my heart? I was a child when he left. Now I’m a woman who’s been a wife and I’m also a mother to the most precious girl in the world. I can’t drag her through some torrid affair, and that is clearly all Levi can offer me."

Music took him away. Music brought him back. But is it too late to recapture what they once had? Or can Last Chance Beach work its magic for them?



This book, a Kindle Unlimited selection, fits New Beginnings as well as these tropes: Second Chance Romance, Marriage of Convenience, Emotional Scars, and Misunderstood Heroine.

Is it a marriage of convenience or something more?

Oil heiress Madeline Quinn needs a husband by the time she turns twenty-five in order to claim her full inheritance. Mad Maddie, as the tabloids christened her, learned the hard way that men only see dollar signs when they look at her.

Maddie decides a marriage of convenience is the only answer. She turns to the one man in the world she can trust, her housekeeper’s son who always treated her like a little sister when they were growing up—until one disastrous night when she acted impetuously.

Jake Becker hasn’t seen Maddie since the night she tried to seduce him. Why should he help the woman who changed the course of his life? Simple. Revenge.

Or is it something else? Something that sizzles like steam heat between Maddie and Jake that neither can resist?

Readers, if you have a favorite romance theme that you haven't seen featured, tell me what that is by leaving a comment on this post.

Authors, if you want to have a book featured on Romancing the Weekend, email me using the contact page on the blog.


The weekend is almost here. Pick a few New Beginnings romance novels to keep you company. Join me next week on Friday, January 20, for Part 3 of New Beginnings Romance.

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

Do you subscribe to Joan's Free Newsletter, I LOVE READING? Subscribers receive exclusive content, free and bargain books, and information about Joan's new releases. 

Celebrate Letter Writing Week

Time for Change linked to Letter Writing Week?

Weird, n'est pas? Not really.

If you're under the age of 25, you may never have handwritten a letter before.

Steve Carell said, "Sending a handwritten letter is becoming such an anomaly. It's disappearing. My mom is the only one who still writes me letters. And there's something visceral about opening a letter - I see her on the page. I see her in her handwriting."

This week is Universal Letter Writing Week so it's the perfect time to do something you've never done before and write a letter—by hand with paper and pen or pencil if you happen to own one of those.

Now, that's really a change isn't it? Not a typed and printed letter, not a text, not an email, but a real letter that requires an envelope to hold it, a stamp to pay for mailing it, and a post office to send it to the recipient.


Keanu Reeves said, "Letters are something from you. It's a different kind of intention than writing an e-mail."

The past is often illuminated in letters between relatives, friends, and lovers. Entire documentary series have been built on correspondence between people in turbulent times. Biographies of everyone from rock stars to politicians often contain the subject's correspondence to others, or his/her correspondence with self (that's called a journal).

If you love someone, have you ever proclaimed that love in writing? There's something precious about love letters. If you've ever seen pages yellowed by time and bound with a ribbon or kept safe in a lovely box, you've probably stumbled upon your grandmother's love letters from your grandfather. I have some of those that are dear to me.

Actor Ali Fazal said, "I am a diehard romantic, and I shamelessly accept that. I love writing letters."


Write a letter this week—use a computer and printer if you must, but sign your name—put it in an envelope, stick a stamp on it, and send it to someone you love. The rewards are great.