Positive attitude

Today I went to visit Miss Jane.

Let me introduce this wonderful woman. She’s been a teacher and principal years ago, and when the school closed doors and she lost her job, she started babysitting. Upon the recommendation of the daycare center, my daughter hired Miss Jane as a nanny. She’s a gregarious person, bursting with energy, who talks loud and laughs a lot, mingles with people easily and befriends adults and kids alike. My granddaughters adored her right away. She acted more like a grandmother than a babysitter.

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At the Dolphin and Swan Resort where the RWA Conference took place.

At the time of the 2010 RWA National Conference in Orlando, my granddaughters were spending a month with me but I badly wanted to attend the conference. The complex hosting the event was splendid with several pools and outdoor activities for the children. I decided to take the girls and invited Miss Jane to come along and watched them while I was busy attending seminars.

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At the RWA book signing

Not only did Miss Jane supervise the children, she appointed herself my marketing manager. She distributed my bookmarkers, boasted of my talents and managed to sell several of my novels to people sitting around the pool.

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The fabulous pool-pond of the resort

Last year Miss Jane told me she had stomach problems. We compared notes and I suggested she saw a gastroenterologist. All her tests, procedures, and MRI came negative. Yet she kept losing weight. A doctor, more thorough than the others, asked for MRI of the head. That’s when they discovered she had a tumor the size of a tennis ball sitting on her cerebrum. She was stunned. No pain, no fatigue, just a loss of weight that she welcomed at the beginning.

Any surgery would be dangerous. A surgeon finally agreed to cut part of the tumor. Miss Jane improved right away. After therapy she was able to go home. At fifty-five she wanted to go back to work, but six months later, the symptoms returned. The tumor has doubled in size and engulfed the cerebrum. Nothing can be done to save her now.

Last week they moved her to the hospice, with the bleak prognosis of two to three weeks left for her. My daughter took her girls to visit. They found Miss Jane sitting in her bed, watching funny oldies. She chatted, laughed, and played card with them.

Her Christmas Cruise Bestseller SShe read most of my books. Today I printed a pfd copy of Her Christmas Cruise and took it to her. For almost an hour, she talked about many things, never mentioned her condition, and asked me to bring her more novels. Next time I visit, I will bring her my Holiday Babies Series.

I was sad and worried about this visit. Yet this wonderful woman managed to lift my spirits. She keeps busy with games, reading, TV and friends’ visits, and enjoys life one day at a time. I left the hospice relaxed and pledging never to complain again about meaningless frustration.

May I ask for your prayers for Miss Jane as the girls call her?

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WHAT’S FOR DESSERT?

How many times have you heard those words?

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When the scrumptious Thanksgiving Dinner has been eaten and settled, what’s the next best thing? Well, besides gathering with family and talking or playing games or game of football, or taking a long walk or a nap. Special times with family are a blessing.

That’s right! Dessert. Dessert and a steaming cup of rich aromatic coffee of your choice. I can taste it now.

If I listed all delicious desserts people make for Thanksgiving, we’d be here for hours. So, here is one favorite of mine. Sweet Potato Pie. They aren’t as hard as you might think to make.

Easy.

One thing I might mention is, fresh sweet potatoes are best to make pies. You can used canned, but the difference in the flavor is quite noticeable.

 

 Sweet Potato Pie

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2 cups peeled, cooked, (boiled or baked) sweet potatoes

1 cup sugar (or ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons Truvia for sugar free)

1/2 stick melted butter

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

1 cup whole milk or whole cream

1 unbaked pie crust 9 inch

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F

With an electric hand mixer, thoroughly mix sweet potatoes, sugar, butter, eggs, vanilla, salt, and spices. Add the milk and mix well.

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Pour the filling into the pie crust and bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Place pie on a rack and cool to room temperature. Serve with a dollop of Whipped Cream, or you can make a meringue.

That’s it. Simple and smells delicious while it bakes.

Wishing you and yours, the best and most wonderful Thanksgiving ever.

Do you have a favorite dessert you’d like to share?

 

A Smoky Mountain Christmas Wedding – Book Two, coming soon.

My books are available at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Kobo, Diesel, Apple and Smashwords.

You can find links on my website for all my books.

http://caroldevaney.weebly.com/my-books.html

Once Upon a Wedding – Cover Reveal

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Today, I have the pleasure of sharing with all of you, my beautiful cover for Once Upon a Wedding. This will be the first book, of four, in my One Day at a Wedding Series, releasing 12/12/14.

Pre-Order: Once  Upon a Wedding, at Amazon Today http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00Q5L7O2K

It will be available at all outlets on 12.12.14!

Synopsis: Cassie Anderson, bridesmaid extraordinaire, is tired of attending her friend’s weddings either solo, or with her best friend, Thad. Finding a real date is simply too much work. Especially when she sees an old acquaintance from high school, Dan, at her friend Shelley’s wedding. After the spark shared between them, Dan has become the object of her affection. Too bad he has a nasty habit of having a date on his arm at every turn. Stealing another woman’s date is against the rules, but if she could just catch him alone…well, that would be fair game! Unfortunately, timing is everything, and she and Dan seem to have the worst. Always the bridesmaid, walking away with nothing more than a dreadful dress, Cassie is committed to changing her luck and getting her man!

Please be sure to keep an eye out on my Facebook page and Website for that Pre-Order information.

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I am so looking forward to sharing this group of characters with you all, it should be a fun wedding season with the group, from my One Day at a Wedding Series!

A special thank you to the ladies here, on Main Street. Our June boxed set was the inspiration for my series and earned me a spot with Forever Red Publishing, who is now publishing my series. Being a member of this group is invaluable in many ways, they will all be added to my gratitude list, come this Thursday!

Wishing you well, in fiction and real life!
Kelly Rae

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Getting Organized for Thanksgiving by Pepper Phillips

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I love Thanksgiving for several reasons.

The food. Family. It marks the beginning of the holiday season for me.

Several years ago, I finally got smart about planning Thanksgiving Dinner.

I adore spreadsheets and use them for about every area of my life.

So, I designed a Thanksgiving Dinner spreadsheet to assist with the menu, the shopping list and a time schedule for getting the meal on the table at a certain time.

Since we like certain things to be served at our Thanksgiving Dinner, it isn’t changed. So I can use this menu every year.

First, decide what you are planning to serve and make of list of the dishes.

We have turkey, cornbread dressing, giblet gravy, green bean casserole, macaroni and cheese, sweet potato souffle, cranberry cloud, green jello salad and jellied cranberry. Pumpkin pie with whipped cream is for dessert.

So…in the first column of my spreadsheet I have the dish listed. Let’s do one that’s been in my family for decades.

Green Jello Salad.  With a cut and paste it looks like this below. The numbers in the second column represent where in the store that item is stocked. Handy when making the shopping list.

The third column is the ingredient.  Fourth column is the order in which it is made. Fifth column is what I am supposed to do.

Green Jello Salad 2.46 Jello – Green – Double box or 2 reg. 1 Dissolve in two cups boiling water
Green Jello Salad 2.56 Crushed Pineapple – Can  20 oz. 2 Drain
Green Jello Salad 2.21 Cottage Cheese – Small curd – one medium carton 3 Mix with jello and pineapple – refrigerate – add topping when firm.
Green Jello Salad 2.66 Mayonnaise – 1/2 cup 4 Mix with cream cheese until smooth
Green Jello Salad 2.21 Cream Cheese – 8 oz. 5 Spread over jello.

And I do that for every dish.

For my shopping list, I sort the list by Column 2.

When it’s time to cook or assemble the dish, I go by Column 4.

This is an easy dish and can be made on Wednesday.

Try it and see if you like my method.

 

 

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Let’s Decorate & Read by Joan Reeves

Holiday Decorating, a Free Companion Book to Christmas on Main Street 2014Happy Pre-Holidays!

This post may be a bit longer than usual because I want to show you a picture of each craft in our wonderful free book, Holiday Decorating, available at these ebook sellers:

Amazon * iTunes * Kobo * Nook

Although only 12 of us participated in the Christmas on Main Street Romance Collection, all 13 of us Authors of Main Street contributed a favorite holiday craft to the free Companion Book, with detailed supply lists and step by step instructions for each.

Here’s a cute video about Holiday Decorating.

Sneak Peak at the Crafts

In the order that each author’s Christmas story appears in the Christmas on Main Street Romance Collection, here are the respective authors and their crafts!

Joan Reeves Holiday CraftJoan Reeves, Book 1

Christmas Stocking Hanging System

Yes, this is my craft. Everyone always tells me what a great idea it is when they see all my stockings hanging from the mantel.

I invented this method of hanging Christmas stockings many years ago. Now, darling hubby and I hang 19 stockings every year.

My how my family has grown!

E. Ayers Holiday CraftE. Ayers, Book 2

The Kissing Ball

Like most of us, E. Ayers first made her Christmas craft many years ago when she and her husband were first married.

If you’re a romance reader, then you absolutely must make a Kissing Ball this Christmas.

Be sure and hang it prominently!

 

Kelly Rae Holiday CraftKelly Rae, Book 3

Waterless Snow Globe

These are delightful, and they’re super easy to make! Plus, kid-made presents are adored by parents and especially grandparents.

Kids love these, and they love to show off their handiwork so be sure you get several jars to make a bunch.

Shake them and watch the glittery snow fall!

Tori Scott Holiday CraftTori Scott, Book 4

Salt Dough Ornaments

The little boy next door just made Salt Dough Ornaments in pre-school. He was so excited and proud when he showed his creations to me.

These are so easy and adaptable for every skill level. Small children can easily do these, and adults can have fun embellishing them to make them rise above their humble origin.

 

Mona Risk Holiday CraftMona Risk, Book 5

Manger Built By Kids

Kids will love this craft, and parents will love it too because it takes a bit of time to complete which keeps the kids occupied on a cold winter’s day.

Building a manger is great team craft that the kids will want to do each year.

From year to year, you can see how their skills improve.

Jill James Holiay CraftJill James, Book 6

Crafty Gift Tags

I love this craft because it’s a wonderful way to recycle Christmas cards.

So many people send digital Christmas cards now that it’s a special treat to get a print card in the mail.

This craft will be a way to share the beauty of cards with those to whom you give presents. What a lovely way to make a present even more special.

Kristy Tate Holiday CraftKristy Tate, Book 7

Fan Chart

This craft was something totally new to me. It’s a way of making a family tree and incorporating that genealogy with a Bible verse.

Be sure and visit Kristy’s Blog to see her own Fan Chart.

What better time of the year to make your family tree than at Christmas.

Leigh Morgan Holiday CraftLeigh Morgan, Book 8

Christmas Fortune Candle

Leigh’s Holiday Craft was also new to me. It combines the warm glow of candles with the good wishes we give to our family and loved ones.

This unique craft is easy to make and sounds like a good gift idea too.

I plan to make some of these as party favors for our annual Christmas Open House.

Carol DeVaney Holiday GiftCarol DeVaney, Book 9

Christmas Tree Photo Decoration

Carol combines recycling with a great craft idea: tree decorations made from photographs and/or old Christmas cards.

The sky’s the limit with this craft. You can make them simple or embellish to your heart’s content.

Show off your kids and grandkids with a photo tree ornament.

Pepper Phillips Holiday CraftPepper Phillips, Book 10

Holiday Decorated Mailbox

Pepper has inspired me to decorate my mailbox. I never thought about doing that before, but it’s such a clever and cute idea.

She gives directions for decorating a mailbox next to the curb or highway and also for a mailbox mounted on your house.

Genius!

Stephanie Queen Holiday CraftStephanie Queen, Book 11

Drum Ornament

Stephanie’s Holiday Craft celebrates the beloved Christmas carol “Little Drummer Boy.”

You’ll notice that Stephanie may not have contributed her craft to the book yet. She’s been away taking care of family. The book will be updated when she returns.

In the meantime, just know that you can get an updated book file when her content is added.

Susan R. Hughes Holiday CraftSusan R. Hughes, Book 12  

Kid Friendly Christmas Crafts

Susan offers not 1 but multiple crafts that the kids can do, and the kids from young to older children will like these.

A Snowman. A Reindeer. A Snow Globe.

Stock up on supplies and let the kids make at least one of each. Perfect for a cold winter’s day.

 

Bella Street Holiday CraftBella Street

Christmas Card Putz House Ornament

Bella was not able to contribute a book to the Christmas on Main Street Romance Collection this year, but I’m thrilled that she was able to participate in the publishing of Holiday Decorating.

Her idea is so darling! The picture you see to the left is one of her Putz House Ornaments she made from a Christmas card. With her easy to follow instructions, we can all make this!

All the Links

Here are all the links mentioned above.

Holiday Decorating Video

Get free book, Holiday Decorating: Amazon * iTunes * Kobo * Nook

Buy Christmas on Main Street, a Romance Collection of 12 Novels, for only 99cents: Amazon * iTunes * Kobo * Nook

Post Script

Wishing you all a very happy Thanksgiving with lots of great food, fun, family, and friends!

(Joan Reeves, author of funny, sexy Romance Novels, lives her happily ever after with her husband in the Lone Star State. Her books are available as ebooks and audiobooks. Joan publishes Writing Hacks, a free NL for writers, and WordPlay, a free NL for readers. Find Joan online: Blog, Website, Facebook, Twitter, & other social media. Her motto is the underlying theme of all her books: It’s never too late to live happily ever after!)

Paper, Plastic or Kindle?

Choices, choices, choices….

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This past week I had the opportunity to travel with my daughter who will soon to be graduating from the University of Wisconsin to visit Portland’s National College of Natural Medicine, NCNM. It’s exciting for me to visit new places, although I’ve been to Portland before, especially when I’m traveling as a means to broaden my view of the world.

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The whole idea of my daughter choosing an alternative way to bring health to those she wishes to engage as patients in a healthcare system that currently treats disease, while doing little to promote preventive care, was mind opening on its own. Seeing her move from a state of anxiety over the traditional medical school process to a state of hope and excitement over the concepts behind Classical Chinese medicine, Naturopathy—a modality that aims to treat the causes of disease while evaluating and treating the whole person–as well as incorporating various types body work, was thrilling to see. She, for lack of a better description, literally came alive with energy at the thought that this kind of practice could become her reality.

I’ve got nothing against tradition or the practice of it when it makes sense and is, upon weighing the options, the most helpful, comforting or otherwise the best choice.

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I love tradition when it comes to books too.

The scent of books. The feel of old, quality paper. The fact that the author had to take great pride in the lovely presentation of her work. Not to mention one of my secret love, collecting those richly colored, flamboyantly painted, romance covers from the 1980’s. Wow, that just makes me feel good.

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Enter, POWELL’S BOOKS in Portland. Powell’s headquarters, Powell’s City of Books is said to be the largest independent new and used bookstore in the world.

My daughter and I spent the better part of a day in the original store in Portland (there are others in the chain in Portland) and were swept away in the sheer overwhelming allure of books. The scents, the fact that new and old are on the same shelf for perusing and for sale. The energy of the place is fantastic. Everyone in there loves books and by extension, learning. A heady and wonderful thing that.

The mythology section is where I could have spent days, had we had more time. I thumbed, opened, and even purchased a few books there. I was limited by weight. Literal weight, more than cost. I was traveling and didn’t have the space or weight for more than the three paperbacks I purchased.

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When I got home I posted this photo on FB of Powell’s Book Store. I got numerous comments, among them were a few about paper books being THE mode for reading; superior to reading on a Kindle, Nook, i-Pad, or any of the other readers available. As an avid lover of books, for the first time this offended me.

I read most often on my i-Pad using the Kindle app. I can carry more than 1000 books at any time on my i-Pad or my Kindle; I have an older Nook that I won in a contest and I don’t know how many books I can store, carry and read on that, but I’m guessing it’s more than 500. With a reader I can increase the font when my eyes get tired. I can download almost any book almost anytime and have it automatically delivered to me. I can bold, underline and take notes. I can also un-bold, un-underline and get rid of my notes.

I can hold and read a wonderful box set of twelve Novellas, each with their own rich covers, without hurting my wrists or having to read at a table because the volume is too big, too unwieldy, nor do I have to worry about the binding breaking as I try to read those middle pages.

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So, as much as I love reading Longfellow in hardcover from a period closer to my parents’ and grandparents’ time than my own, I love reading contemporary fiction on my reader. Less waste. All the benefits of technology which enhances my note-taking and scholarship. The pages never get smeared or torn. I don’t have to store or give away the 3-4 paperbacks I read per week.

 

 

 

 

 

I get to enjoy twelve really great stories for .99, something no paperback can do unless it’s old and worn and discounted, years after it’s published, in an effort to get it off the brick and mortar bookstore shelves because they no longer have room to store it.

Tradition can be wonderful and nostalgic and heartwarming. It can also be comfortable because of its familiarity. All good things.

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Here’s a story my grandmother used to tell me about her first try at family Christmas dinner as a young bride: She wanted to make ham the traditional way her grandmother did when she was a little girl. Grandma brought out the ham with both ends cut off and put it on the table. Her grandmother asked why she cut the ends off. My grandma said, “because you always cut the ends off.” Her grandmother replied, “That’s because my pan was always too small for the ham.”

My grandma had a big enough pan. She never had to cut the ends off again.

Embracing new and alternative vehicles for enjoying what we love can enhance our lives as well. It’s not an either or, a one is better than the other, it’s a mind-shift that says there is room for both, and each makes life better. Each offers something the other cannot.

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If you haven’t embraced e-books and all they have to offer, you have a real treat coming when you do. Being spoiled by choice and affordability is a wonderful thing. I couldn’t enjoy all the box-sets I currently enjoy or the really phenomenal new-to-me-authors I have found without embracing indie authors and e-books.

Here’s to being thankful for new and old, and taking advantage of both. Happy Reading, however you chose to read, and Happy Thanksgiving!

Leigh

Spirit of the Season

While Americans are gearing up for Thanksgiving, up here in Canada we celebrated Thanksgiving last month. Now that Remembrance Day has also passed, our thoughts are turning to Christmas.

Could it be that Christmas is just over five weeks away? I would say the season sneaked up on me, but it’s impossible to miss the festive music and decorations that popped up in stores the moment the Halloween merchandise left the shelves. Santa is already taking gift requests at our local mall.

I can’t say I mind. I love everything about the atmosphere of the Christmas season. Nothing brings up warm feelings and wistful childhood memories like the traditional movies, TV shows and songs of the holidays. Here are some of my favourites:

Movies and TV Specials:

Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol is a quintessential holiday story that I have loved since I was a child.rich little

You’ll need the twelve days of Christmas (and then some) to watch every adaptation. I have special memories of the Rich Little TV version from 1978. Rich Little impersonates famous actors of the day playing the various roles in this cheesy but lovable production, complete with songs and a laugh track (of course you can watch it on YouTube if you’re curious). A piece of advice: no matter how much you may have loved Frasier (as I did), keep away from the Kelsey Grammar musical version of A Christmas Carol.charlie

In my house, the 2003 Will Ferrell movie Elf is an annual tradition. So are Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas and A Charlie Brown Christmas – who can resist that sad little tree?

Christmas Music:

By the time December 25th rolls around, the Christmas music piped into malls and grocery stores can begin to wear on your nerves. However, there are two traditional carols I never get tired of: Ave Maria and O Holy Night. Something about their melodies tugs at my emotions, and whenever I hear them sung with a pure voice, I’m nearly reduced to nata puddle on the floor.

Of course it wouldn’t be Christmas without classic modern songs like “The Christmas Song” or “Baby It’s Cold Outside” in their various renditions. Any holiday song performed by Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra or Elvis Presley puts me in the spirit. More recent recordings (though they are a few decades old now) that get happily stuck in my head are Ppaulaul McCartney’s “Wonderful Christmastime”, Wham’s “Last Christmas” and Boney M.’s “Mary’s Boy Child”.

What movies, TV specials or songs puts you in the Christmas spirit?

I am thankful for…..

…being a writer. It is not the easiest or the hardest job in the world. Sometimes it can feel like I’m frying my brain to come up with the perfect sentence and sometimes my body feels the abuse of butt in chair for long hours to get the job done. But it isn’t digging a ditch or being the guy with the shovel walking behind the elephant!!

…having writer friends. They are the people who ‘get you.’ Like the lovely ladies here at Authors of Main Street. It was serendipity that we all came together, get along, and enjoy doing the things we do, like the boxed sets of stories, together.

…getting to do what I’ve dreamed of all my life. Taking the scenes and voices out of my head, putting the words down on paper, and sending them out into the world for others to actually want to read. I pinch myself everyday that this is my life.

…all the amazing people I’ve met in person and online who connected to me through books–either the ones I’ve read or the ones I’ve written.

thanksgivingBlessings and Wishes for a Happy Holiday Season to all!!

 

 

Getting Ready for the Busy Holiday Season

It’s that time of year again. You know what I’m talking about. That time when we run non-stop, shopping, cleaning, cooking, entertaining…and we do it for weeks on end. Sometimes we wonder why we do this to ourselves every year, but the answer is obvious. We do it out of love–love for our families, love for our friends. We’re women, and it’s what we do.bigstock-Abstract-Christmas-background--26329868

But all that stress can wear you down, making you vulnerable to germs the family brings with them. So as you begin the marathon time of taking care of everyone else, don’t forget to take care of yourself, too. If you don’t, you may find yourself stuck in bed while others eat all that food you cooked!

Take at least an hour a day just for yourself. Take a long bath. Take a walk. Read a good book or watch your favorite television show while curled up on the couch with your hubby or your pet. Take a nap. Take time to just breathe and relax. Then get back to the hustle and bustle of the season, refreshed and renewed.

I’m the queen of cleaning for company. Here are my top ten tips for getting ready for visitors.

1. Make a detailed list of every single thing you need to do to get your house company ready, from washing the china to dusting under the couch. It’s extremely satisfying to mark each item off the list and you won’t lie awake at night trying to think of what you need to do the next day.

2. Do one room at a time, and don’t move on to the next until it’s completed. I used to bounce around all over the house, dusting, sweeping, etc. until I realized how much easier it was to stay in one room, working until everything on my list was done. I start in the farthest room from the main living area so I don’t give up. I know the main areas HAVE to get cleaned, so I save them for the final days before company arrives.

3. Make menus for every meal you’re going to cook well ahead of time and start picking up the items you’ll need well in advance. (Make a grocery list as you plan the menu) That way you’re not spending the rent money on groceries at the last minute or spending hours in the grocery store trying to get everything on your list.

4. Take one day to wash all the bedding and make all the beds. Yes, I know I just said do one room at a time, but you can strip the bed as you clean that room, then make the bed on that one day reserved for that chore. Seriously, it’s much easier and you won’t forget whether you changed the sheets or not.

5. Make a list for hubby and the kids, too. Why should you do all the work? Yes, I know sometimes it’s easier to just do it yourself, but it’s a bad habit to get into and it deprives the rest of the family of fulfilling their responsibilities. Check items off as they’re completed so they get that same sense of satisfaction.

6. Make gift wrapping a family affair. Fix hot chocolate and a favorite dessert, put on the Christmas music, get down on the floor, and get the chore done in a flurry of paper, ribbon, laughter, and fun.

7. Cook ahead if you can. Not everyone has the refrigerator or freezer space to do this, but it’s a huge help if you can bake and freeze cookies, pies, cakes, rolls, casseroles, and even candy ahead of time. Then you’ll have time to enjoy your company instead of being stuck in the kitchen.

8. Buy the best products you can afford for cleaning and polishing. While you might be able to pick up bargain products at the dollar store, there are some things worth paying a little extra for. One of my favorite products is Howard Feed-n-Wax Wood Polish and Conditioner. Why? Because I can dust with it and not have to dust again for a week or more. I can clean my hardwood floors with it and they’ll shine their way through to the new year. It can turn old, faded wood into something that looks brand new, including your kitchen cabinets. Yes, it’s more expensive that a can of dusting spray, but totally worth it.

9. Gather up all the items in the main living areas that don’t add to the charm that is your home at holiday time, stick them in a box, and put them in the garage. Things like magazines, newspapers you haven’t read yet, ragged couch pillows, knick knacks that don’t go with the holiday, junk mail, coupons, whatever clutters up the house and doesn’t add to the ambiance, get it out of the way. It will make your home look cleaner and more inviting, and it cuts down on things you have to keep picking up and cleaning around. You can bring the box back in after the holidays, but you might decide you like your house better without all that stuff. Also, clear the kitchen counters of things you won’t be using during the holiday time. Your kitchen will look better and you’ll have more room to work.

10. Try to finish your list at least a day or two before company arrives. That way you”ll just need to do one last speed clean of vacuuming, sweeping, and dusting before you reward yourself with a bubble bath and a good book–which will leave you refreshed and ready to take on the days ahead.

As I write this, I have company arriving in less than 2 weeks. We’re still in the process of a total kitchen remodel, so I have boxes stacked nearly to the ceiling, holding nearly every kitchen item I’m going to need. The living room is piled high with construction materials, sinks, flooring, paint, stain, tiles, boxes, and tools, and everything is covered in a thick layer of sheet rock dust and saw dust. We have at least another week of work on the kitchen, so that will leave me only one week to unpack the kitchen, clear out the construction mess, and get things ready for company.

Can I do it? Lord, I hope so. I’m going to try my best, but my lists are going to get a real work out. Somewhere on that list is a hot bubble bath and a copy of Christmas on Main Street that I’m hoping to re-read to get me into the holiday spirit. XMAS 2014sm 849 x 500

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I hope you have a great time with family and friends.

 

 

 

It’s Christmas on Main Street Again!

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Last year the Authors of Main Street released Christmas on Main Street—11 holiday stories for only .99 cents. It was a soaring success, flying to the top of Amazon’s bestseller list. Tuesday, November 11, the boxed set will once again hit the airwaves, but this time we’ve added a story from our own bestselling author, Joan Reeves.

My book, A Light in the Christmas Cafe, is number 7. It was the fifth book I published, but it was my first completed novel, so of course, it holds a tender place in my heart. But that is true of all my books, and like all of my books, it’s completely family friendly. It’s a great gift for anyone ages 8-102! If you buy my book and write a review, please let me know so I can thank you with a 100% off coupon for any of my other books.

Christmas cafe copy

And to further sweeten the deal, we’ve created a companion book, Holiday Decorating.

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Our decorating book is a gift from the Authors of Main Street to our readers, and is free with each purchase of our Christmas on Main Street boxed set. Here we have gathered our favorite holiday crafts and traditions to share with you and your family.

Main Street once was where everyone in small towns and even large cities congregated. This holiday season, you’ll find the Spirit of Main Street alive and well in a wonderful collection of twelve holiday romances, the Christmas on Main Street Box Set. With the spirit of Christmas guiding us, we have priced Christmas on Main Street inexpensively as our holiday gift to you.

This boxed set is the perfect gift for a fraction of the cost of a card and stamp. For less than a dollar, your loved-ones can receive 12 heartwarming, holiday stories perfect for snuggling by a fire on a chilly night, or a quick read on the plane while traveling, or something to help you unwind after a hectic bout of shopping. And the companion decorating can help you add a touch of holiday cheer to your home and heart.

Merry Christmas to all our readers on Main Street! May you all find love to share this holiday season.

Snippets from Christmas on Main Street.

 Nobody’s Cinderella by Joan Reeves. Darcy Benton is the oldest cliché in the world–a woman in love with her boss.

The Christmas Wish by Tori Scott. Merry is a long way from home and missing her family as Christmas approaches, until she falls right into Santa’s lap.

Her Christmas Cruise by Mona Risk. The perfect fiancé is a cheater and the fabulous Christmas wedding is off. But the would-be honeymoon cruise may fulfill the dreams of Julia and her unexpected companion.

A Snowy Christmas in Wyoming by E. Ayers. A Native American cowboy with his thirteen-month-old daughter and a national news anchorwoman have nothing in common, except for their pasts, but in this season of giving, will fate reach through time and give the gift of love?

The Christmas Con by Jill James. Contemporary Romance. Two reformed jewel thieves, Robin and Ian, are on the job to retrieve a priceless necklace, but Santa has special plans for a reunion of the ex-lovers.

Small Town Glamour Girl Christmas by Stephanie Queen. Small town girl Julie hates being an Audrey Hepburn look-alike. When the big city man of her dreams comes to town for Christmas will she sell out to model in the city or settle into small town life on his terms?

The Christmas Gift by Pepper Phillips. When an opportunity to make money presents itself, eleven-year-old George faces the biggest decision of his life. Will he become a thief like his father or will he discover the fact that giving, rather than receiving, is the best gift of all?

A Potters Wood Christmas by Leigh Morgan. A plot to steal an ancient artifact in the Bennett’s possession could be the key to opening an even greater prize. Will Cian find family and the spirit of Christmas again?

A Baby for Christmas
by Susan R. Hughes. When Ryan opens his home to Paige, a beautiful stranger who happens to be pregnant, will it take a Christmas miracle to make them realize where their hearts truly belong?

A Light in the Christmas Cafe by Kristy Tate. A food thief, a haunted house, a matchmaking grandmother and a handsome stranger: Are the apron strings tying Deirdre to her grandmother’s café tangling up her life plans or are they leading her to love?

What if…this Christmas by Kelly Rae. Will a marriage proposal be the end of Katie and Chris’ forever?

A Smoky Mountain Christmas by Carol De Vaney. Falling in love wasn’t in Tina’s plans. She’d survived the snowstorm, but could she survive the love of recently divorced Hank Gordon who’s sworn off women?

Do you have a favorite holiday story to share? Please leave a two sentence blurb and a buy link. Share your cheer!