Seasons

Being originally from Baltimore, Maryland I was used to four seasons: spring, summer, fall, and winter. Moving to California–not so much. LOL I’ve always joked that Cali has two seasons: wet and cold and hot and dry. Nowadays, it seems like it is landslide and fire.

Photo by Nong Vang on Unsplash

I did not realize when I moved to Reno, Nevada last year that we would again have four seasons. It has been glorious. It is already becoming autumn here. Today’s high was 74, with it being barely 50 this morning. The leaves are turning colors, the wind is cool and crisp, and the skies are a bright blue with a million stars at night.

 

Photo by Bogomil Mihaylov on Unsplash

The natives said summer was hot. After the years in California’s Central Valley, not so much to me. We had most days in the low 90s with a few days during the whole summer hitting 100. It was awesome.

 

 

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Spring was amazing. In the winter, everything is dormant and dead-looking, so each new bud, every little flower is a celebration of the earth waking up after a long-winter’s nap. If it wasn’t for allergies, spring would be the best season of all.

 

 

 

 

Photo by pparnxoxo on Unsplash

For the first time since I was a very little girl, we live where it snows for the winter. Looking out over a blanket of white covering everything is magical, no matter how old or young you are. Where we live, the snow is a few inches overnight and in the morning. By afternoon the sun hits it and it melts away.

 

 

It has been an experience to write for the boxed sets with the Authors of Main Street. Trying to feel the heat of summer when I’m sitting in my slippers, sipping hot tea and trying to envision the chill of a snowy mountain day as I swelter with the fan on full blast. A writer’s imagination is her greatest gift, but mine is still tasked sometimes to bring to life the opposite season it is. 🙂

Coming Soon! In My Dreams by Jill James in the Christmas Wishes on Main Street boxed set.

What is your favorite season? And why?

Jill James, romance author

Autumn is Coming!

autumn-leavesIt takes a little longer here in Northern California, but you can feel a difference in the air. The mornings and late evenings are getting cooler. Some trees are getting some color. My writing urges are in overdrive. I want to work on a dozen projects all at once.

First up is a Christmas novella. I’m enjoying listening to Christmas music to get me in the mood and look at the dusty red of the cherry tree outside my office window. It is still too hot some afternoons to work in the office so my temp desk is the couch in the living room. LOL Give it a few weeks and I’ll be at my desk with the window open to the cool breezes.

I love this time of year for walks on the bike trail without thinking I’ll melt into a puddle on the way. hahaha Soon I’ll be in shape for bike rides and really get to enjoy the changing of the seasons.

Do you do anything different to enjoy the coming of autumn? Or do you like another season better?


Jill James, romance writer

The Seasons and Writing – Jill James

autumn leaves 3I’m enjoying the feel of autumn returning to Northern California. We don’t get the colors of the Northeast, our leaves usually just turn brown and fall off, but we do get that slight chill to the air in the morning. The one that lets us know winter will arrive someday. The one that allows for a cup of hot tea nestled in your hands. By noon it is warm and breezy, and late afternoon can get into the 90s. But evening arrives a little sooner every day and the warmth disappears like a wisp of fog at sundown. Returning to that beckoning chill.

These are the days that I love to write. During the summer, my office is an oven, with my arms sweating and making puddles on my desk and my legs are sticking to my leather chair. It is easy to fall asleep at my computer in the middle of the day, in the middle of a thought or a snippet of dialogue. When my brain seems to forget how to spell and what a comma is for. LOL In the winter, my office is an icebox and I have fingerless gloves for my hands and a quilt on my lap, with my feet in socks and slippers. When I want to type fast to keep my fingers warm and I’m not sure what words I’m putting on the page. These days are my favorite, the in-between days. I have my mug of coffee and my window open for fresh, slightly chilled air. My brain can breathe and the ideas pop. This is when the stories happen and take shape much easier.

It is a time to write and to read and to get things done before all the madness of the holidays begins. Like getting my latest book up for preorder in time for Halloween, releasing October 26th. I’m already working on Book 3. (See! Better weather, more writing) If you think The Walking Dead could use some more romance, then the Time of Zombies series may be for you!

TheZombieHuntersWife 200x300Click on cover to preorder!
Walk with the dead, Jill James


Do you do different activities related to the season?

The Magic of Autumn

For me every season has its magic, its beauty, its wonder. Spring gives rise to hope and renewal; beauty springs forth and life blossoms anew. Summer is a time of growth, loving, and taking joy in all the activities warm weather and longer days afford us. Winter is a time of rest, contemplation and planning for the new year to come.

But fall is….magic.images

Technically autumn doesn’t start until September 22nd when the autumnal equinox happens. Then, the dark half of the year is celebrated in Celtic cultures, culminating in the feast day of Samhain, or Halloween. Halloween holds a special place in my heart because it samhain_1is my father’s birthday. Mine is on October 30th, so literally these days are blessed for me, and so it is with the whole season. This year for the first time in my life, I will celebrate my birthday—and my dad’s—without him. Weird that. Even the thought leaves me feeling conspicuously numb.

Still, it is rather fitting that I’ll be celebrating a life well lived at a time when the spirits of the dead are so close they are celebrated as well. We’ll see how that goes. I’m guessing pretty well, all things considered.

Halloween 3D I committed to doing a Halloween novella for a box set with other writers from my monthly writers lunch crew earlier this summer and that particular project has helped save me from engaging in too much thought of sorrow about the season. Harvest season isn’t a time for sorrow. It is the end of the growing season. It is the celebration of all the fruits of our labor from winter planning to spring planting and summer growing. It is a celebration of life…the circle of the year…the circle of a life.

So as I put the finishing touches on my Halloween novella: Midday Masquerade, Midday Masqueradewhich will be featured in the box set Entranced: A Halloween Box Set, I am even more conscious, if such a thing is possible, of the magic that is autumn. The riotous color, the scent of fallen apples on the ground and burning leaves in the air. (I’m a Wisconsinite, so we do get four glorious seasons every year, even if winter lasts for about five to six months.) Our falls in the Midwest can be glorious. Now the bright green sedum is just starting to turn pink. Over the next few weeks it’ll turn from blushing pink to deep scarlet. Maybe the geography of where I live contributes to the awareness that as the seasons turn we should enjoy–no– revel in them, because as they pass so does our time here.

To live well, we need to live fully now. Every day. My dad was fond of saying, “No one gives you tomorrow.” I prefer to flip that on its head. “Make the most of today. What you do now matters.” It’s also the only thing any of us can control.

TBT043 So in this time where historically I looked forward to birthday cake, and enjoying my favorite meal with my dad—both of us dressed up for Halloween, yep, every year—I now do so as the head of my Clan. A mantle I could have done without for another decade or so, but now choose to wear with pride, hope, and a feeling that a life well lived is one that should be celebrated forever. I’ll be just that on Halloween.

The Scottish Celts have a term for those who have recently passed yet still grow in our hearts. These souls are called: Flowers of the Forest. Here’s to all of you who have a forest where one flower or many grow. May the pain in your hearts ease as joyful memories fill them. May you love those around you even more. May you live every day like it contains all the seasons.

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Happy Almost Birthday, Dad. Happy Almost-Halloween. Here’s to celebrating a vibrant life and a vibrant season!

Leigh

I love Autumn!

fall-leaves-treeIt’s fall here in Virginia, USA, and I love this time of year. The weather is almost perfect. Cool evenings and crispy days that are still sun warmed. Pumpkins and gourds are everywhere.

I love it so much I wrote about it. A Skeleton at Her Door isn’t a Halloween story – it’s a love story. It just happens to take place during autumn. It starts a few pumpkinsdays before Halloween and ends shortly after Thanksgiving.

book coverI don’t want to spoil the story for anyone but the first scene is based on a real life situation. I opened my door to a skeleton! Then I did that whole what if and wrote the story. It’s a slightly sexy little story about two single parents finding love the second time around, overcoming fears, dealing with teens,  a little girl, and learning to trust again.

I’ve been incredibly busy trying to get several books out and it now looks like I’ll have release dates around the first of November.cover copy

I’ll start with the really big news. The Authors of Main Street have banded together and are creating a boxed set of eleven (11) holiday books! Each with a holiday theme from your favorite authors, Mona Risk, Tori Scott, Kelly Rae, Jill James, Kristy Tate, Carol DeVaney, Pepper Phillips, Susan R. Hughes, Stephanie Queen, Leigh Morgan, and me ( E. Ayers).  Yes, eleven books and it’ll be a super deal! Look for it around November 1. I promise we’ll have links to it on this blog as soon as it goes live!

I’ve got a short story in Debra Holland’s Christmas anthology, Sweetwater Springs Christmas, set in 1895, Montana. Scheduled for release in November.

I’ll have a historical novel that will be out the end of October that follows the story that is in the Sweetwater Springs Christmas, and it still does not have a title or a cover. You don’t need to read the one to read the other, but I do hope you read both. They are tales of two sisters, each with her own story. I promise to post the cover in our little widget as soon as I have it available.EQ Xmas

I have another very short contemporary piece in A Holiday Anthology by the Exquisite Quills that will be available free in most e-book stores around the beginning of November.

And if I ever catch my breath, I’ll have that historic diary ready to be released around Christmas.

Yes, I love holidays! Can’t you tell?

A pink ribbon to remind you!

A pink ribbon to remind you!

And don’t forget October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. Have you had a mammogram in the last year? They aren’t what the used to be. The new digital imaging makes them so much easier! It could save your life. Make that appointment.

For those of you who live closer to the equator, I’m sorry that you will miss out on all the beautiful fall foliage, freshly roasted chestnuts, and crunchy apples. The farm fields near me look as though snow has fallen, but it’s the cotton that had ripened and is ready to be harvested. The soybeans fields are turning a golden color, and the peanuts will soon be tossed from the ground. There are corn mazes, hayrides, and pumpkins to be carved.

And don’t forget to connect with me on Twitter. All this month I’m tweeting Halloween jokes. (The kind you can share witjack o lanternh the children. They’ll giggle and you’ll groan!)

Smile!

Halloween is coming! Happy reading.

Picking up the pace – and the leaves on the ground by Stephanie Queen

raking leavesHas anyone else noticed how much busier and more serious we are when Autumn strikes? Maybe we’re like the squirrels stocking up for winter in our own human way.

For SQ it means writing my fingernails off (eeuw!–not really) and running around from event to event–well not really running. Myren, my chauffeur,Chauffeur Hat drives me. Lately, I’m also cooking up a storm–I’m even considering a Pumpkin stew. I asked Myren to test taste it for me, but he said he had to wash his hair. (To tell the truth, I wasn’t sure he even had any hair under that uppity spiffy chauffeur’s cap. It’s pictured at the right. )

I think all the cooking is another squirrel-like instinct set off when the leaves start falling. Speaking of falling, the temperature is falling too. “Hey Myren – we need to get the furs out of storage!” You can’t hear him, but his response was a grunt. I think Myren is practicing for his bear-like hibernation. I wonder if he has a fur-lined version of that hat…

Anyway, my whole point here is the busyness of the fall. I’m very busy. Myren is even busy.  How busy you ask?  So busy that we almost ran out of gas from running so many errands the other day. Of course, that could be because the Queen-mobile only gets 3.8 mpg and Myren refuses to go to any gas station that doesn’t sell Debbie Cakes. But really, we’ve been doing lots of lifting and hauling in preparation for the WINTER. (As if the winter was a special cataclysmic event or something.) typing fast

All I know is, I’m typing faster on my laptop as I sit with my feet up on my specially cushy chair in front of the fireplace with the flatscreen above it. Doesn’t that sound busy to you?  I feel the pressure of impending deadlines–and they all happen to be this fall. squirrelCoincidence? I think not. I planned it that way. Why?

Who the heck knows. Like I said, I think it might be a squirrel thing.

It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

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While summer is a great time to lay out in the sun with a book, my summers are often too busy to read. Plus there are so many other activities that go with blue sky and sunshine. My books end up gathering dust.

For me the best time to curl up with a book is autumn. Rainy, blustery days when outdoor activities are limited…the chill nip in the air that behooves me to make a hot drink…the inviting overstuffed chair (once the dog is decanted)…there’s simply no better time to curl up with a book.

ImageOr a stack.

I get more books read in the fall in the lull before the holiday rush than at any other time of year. Once the holiday busyness descends, books hit the backburner. So before that happens is the best time to explore a new world, get lost in a mushy romance, or solve a mystery before the protagonist.

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So take some time as the leaves begin to change to read. Take a deep breath and settle in for a long read before your time is claimed by the tyranny of the urgent.

Start by checking out the list of authors here. Chances are some of their titles might even be free. There’s everything from science-fiction to suspense to womens fiction.

Grab a drink, a chair, and a book. Because it’s the most wonderful time of the year.