Another Year Coming to a Close

I’m hoping everyone had a fabulous Christmas! It’s the most wonderful time of the year, a time for family get-togethers, forgiveness and love. It’s a time of renewal, looking forward to a wonderful New Year.

Now that Christmas is behind us, there is the new year close at hand. 2017 held happy days, sad days and sometimes delightful opportunities beyond belief. Whatever your 2017 held, be thankful and know that 2018 holds promises we can embrace as we advance into the future.

I’ve not made New Year’s Resolutions in a couple of years, because I know I’ll remain on track for a couple of months – then it’s back to the same old same old.

Maintaining sanity is key, so I decide what I need to do, then make those goals habits. Hey, it works for me.

Why make goals? A new year means a new beginning, and new beginnings mean change. Change is a good thing, but not if you’re frustrated trying to reach goals that are too widespread. So aspire to make resolutions that are attainable, meaningful. When goals are realistic, they’re easier to follow. Whatever plan you have in mind, make it work for you.

So…again this year I’m simply going to do what works even if those undertakings need a tweak here and there. Who doesn’t need to tweak? I do, and have a feeling some of you do too.

Happy New Year, everyone! I wish you Love, Butterflies and Music.

To keep in touch with what the Authors of Main Street are up to, go to the right top of this page, and sign up for our newsletter. We appreciate each one of our readers and love sharing our stories with you!

If you haven’t gotten a copy of our latest Anthology, please check it out! We offer wonderful warm stories with Christmas Babies.

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Please check out these links to my books, available at:

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Thank you…and please enjoy!

Happy New Year!

Where Did Summer Go?

Summer slipped by me this year and I don’t know why. In fact I don’t remember seeing my Tiger Lilies bloom. I remember when the daffodils were blooming. And I saw my Vitex go into bloom along with the Crepe Myrtles, but I don’t remember too many other plants. But already there’s a nip in the air and I noticed while driving yesterday that many of the trees have begun fading from their green color into what will eventually become golds, oranges, and reds. So just how did I miss summer?

Usually I’m writing and I have done plenty of that, but I’ve also done quite a bit of reading. Especially while my editors were busy with my tales. It was fun to read! Especially when I was reading various stories for our Christmas boxed set. But I’ve also read some other stories. Seems I never get the luxury of just finding a book and reading it. I’ve been proofreading or doing content edits for friends – that sort of thing, but I discovered something as I read. It’s the heroes.

Yes, for me, it’s about the men. If I fall in love with the hero and there’s a happy ending, I’m happy.  Yet so many authors and readers say it’s about strong women. Hmm.

A Novella Within our AoMS Boxed Set Christmas Babies on Main Street

The right man can make a woman strong and confident. Not that women don’t come that way, nor does that mean women need a man to make them strong.  In my Christmas novella, A Sister’s Christmas Gift, the heroine was strong, very strong and she didn’t need a man to complete her life. She had a perfectly good life. Put her in a domestic setting and she had no clue which end was up. She’s also going to butt heads with anyone who cops the attitude that he’s the man of the house.

I believe women have a natural inner strength, even that wallflower. I knew a woman whose husband had treated her so poorly over such a long period of time that she’d lost her inner strength. Her grown son and daughter moved her out of the house and put her someplace safe. It was a disastrous for her as she adjusted and the following year got better. Five years later, it was hard to believe that she was the same woman whose children had to rescue her from a verbally abusive marriage. She reached down, found her boot straps, and pulled herself up.

Such men would be villains in our stories because they are real life villains and poison to the women in their lives. In A Sister’s Christmas Gift, there are two men. They are not villains. They are both really great guys. One has lost his way. He’s always worked, so when he finds himself retired before he’s fifty, he doesn’t know how to fill the hours in a day. He’s no longer in the city where all the cultural things kept him occupied. Now, he’s a fish out of water. The other man is a total opposite. He’s got that confidence  and he knows exactly what to do with his spare time.  But he also is the type of man to give a woman freedom.

Maybe that’s what I like in man. The one who is not afraid to let a woman have freedom. But he’s also there to protect her, help her, support her, and share his life with her.  And if he knows how to fix plumbing or a gazillion other things around the house or car, I like that even more.

Reading gave me a chance to see other men portrayed and their women. Naturally I looked at the story lines and analyzed each one. But it’s the characters that I enjoy. Maybe I’ll never go back to just being a reader. Maybe it has something to do with being a writer that will prevent the brain from journeying backwards to just being a reader. But as I read, I discovered that I enjoyed the women who were average women. That meant they had their strong areas and that weaker side.

But those men – it’s the quiet heroes. The ones that don’t need to show off muscles to prove their strength. But can disarm another man with lightning speed. They can whip up breakfast or at least a basic meal, and carry on a real conversation. They, too, have that tender side and will stop to rescue a kitten from the busy intersection. Their skills vary but they can flash that smile and make our hearts flutter. I’ll even forgive him if he has to call the plumber. But he’s not going to say I told you so. And he isn’t going to say no, unless he can convince the heroine that whatever she’s about to do is just too risky, dangerous, or totally wrong.

What do you love about what you read? The types of stories or heroes, the heroines? Is there a particular trait that you like in the characters? And what is your favorite story line? We’d really love to know. As as the seasons change, grab your cuppa, pull up a chair, and tell us what you love.

 

Christmas! It’s Available for Pre-Order

Our 2017 edition of Christmas stories is now on Amazon on preorder,  Christmas Babies on Main Street. Release date Oct. 12, 2017. All your favorite Main Street authors have stories tucked inside. Remember, we are an international group so everyone’s Main Street is a little different. But don’t you think that’s what makes it fun?

These are clean stories you don’t have to hide from the children, and of course the same wonderful quality that you’ve come to expect from us.

And if you have a horse lover in the family, expect your Kindle to vanish while she reads the novella from Lizzi Tremayne!

All though Sept. you’ve been reading snippets of these stories. All of our stories are complete, not teasers! And they are all brand new stories!

So grab your 99c copy today! It will be delivered to your Kindle Oct 12. And as one reader commented on our boxed sets, there’s not a sinker in the bunch so read them all! And what is Christmas without a little romance?

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Christmas is over

Is Christmas over for you?

Not for me. My son and his family are still visiting, so Christmas will last until Sunday when they leave. Then the house will look empty. A big lump will lodge in my throat as I go from room to room and pick up a forgotten toy.

I go through the same feelings, year after year. So happy before they come. Call it expectation. So busy while they are here. Working non stop to cook, set a table, clean, play with the kids, help with the bath, take them to the pool. A dotting grandmother who adores her little ones. They know it. And they come one by one to whisper in my ear: “I’m your favorite, right?” And I always answer, “Of course.”

Once they leave, I spend the day cleaning, putting back everything in place. Only then, when my house is back to its usual shape will I lose the lump and try to breathe better and reassure myself. They are with their parents, with their friends, going back to school, to their games.

Time to go back to my writing, to my life with my husband, my dear companion. Time to continue and finish the sequel of Christmas Babies.

Christmas Babies A heartwarming holiday story, set in South Florida.

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Dedicated to her patients, the serious Dr. Madelyn Ramsay never had time for fun. An unexpected health problem jolts her into the realization that there’s more to life than just work. She longs to surrender to the magic of Christmas.

But can she handle the charming and secretive Dr. Nick Preston who carries his own package of  disillusions? Can she allow two newborn twins to worm their way into her
heart?

Holiday Reading with the Authors of Main Street

I’m so looking forward to today. I slipped into our little Main Stholiday themereet Café extra early to make sure everything was perfect. Carol DeVaney will be here any second. Mona Risk and Tori Scott will be stopping by, and I’m crossing my fingers Pepper Phillips will be here. Pepper is buried under all those last minute things we must do to publish a book. But I’m very excited that Debra Holland is going to be my special guest on Main Street. She’s coming from sunny California to be here. She writes the Montana Sky historical westerns. Well, she does write several other things, but she’s probably best known for her Montana Sky books which have put her on top of all the national best seller lists.

EA: Hi, Carol. What can I get for you to drink? Coffee, tea or something else? It’s a little chilly today, and it’s beginning to feel a whole lot like Christmas.
CDV: You know how I love hot chocolate with a dash of cinnamon. But, right now I need strong coffee. Oh and add a tsp. and half of cream if you would please. Today was busy, and my copy of A Smoky Mountain Christmas came by UPS! What a thrill to hold my novel in my hands! I’m looking forward to many new readers.
EA: That’s so exciting that your e-book is now available in paperback. It doesn’t exactly look like a Smoky Mountain Christmas around here. But I loved your story. Don’t laugh, but snow sounds and smells different when you’re in the mountains. What made you write about the mountains?
CDV: Thanks, E. I’m so glad you enjoyed A Smoky Mountain Christmas. A friend sent a one-line challenge to me, and from the get-go Tina popped inside my head and so did the snowstorm and the mountains. I spent much of my teen years about fifty miles Carol DV SM eBook smaller for website-1from the Smokies, and since I’m familiar, there was no other area I wanted to set the story. Yes, mountain snow has a scent of its own. I think it’s probably all the trees mixed in that gives the air such a sweet, clean smell. (laughs softly)
EA: Here’s your coffee. Be careful. It’s very hot. I think it’s the pines. I love the way their branches droop with heavy snow as if they were completely relaxed.
CDV: While I wrote the first few pages, Sandra Bullock was Tina. Down to her infectious smile. I saw Sandra all through the book. If there were moments of writer’s block, I pictured Sandra and viola! A scene popped inside my head and onto the pages. I can see her playing the role of Tina. I’m working on a sequel to A Smoky Mountain Christmas. Gotta see if we can rectify some of the problems with Tom and his son. By the way, I’ve had several people email me to see if there would be a sequel.
EA: I think a sequel would be great. Oh, look who just walked in! Debra, I’m so glad you could join us. Make yourself at home, and tell me what you’d like to drink. I can fix almost anything.
DH: Hot chocolate with whipped cream, please.
EA: Do you realize that all three of us have written Christmas books. I love the cover on your Montana Sky Christmas. It’s so tranquil. While I get your hot chocolate tell us why you wrote a collection of short Christmas stories.
DH: I, too, love the cover for Montana Sky Christmas. I asked my designer for a snDeb Hollandowy forest scene, and I didn’t want any Christmas “symbols.” I love the purply white color of the snow. (big smile)
EA: Here’s your hot chocolate. But what prompted you to write a collection?
DH: How I came to write this book…humm… (sips her hot chocolate) I had three ideas for Christmas stories, and I thought I’d put them together in an anthology. So I started to write them and more ideas came to me. I ended up with seven stories. In the process, I found I loved writing short. I hadn’t known that before. I have a few more Christmas story ideas, so there may be a volume two in the future. Or perhaps I’ll adapt them to another time of year.
EA: I think writing shorts is very difficult. (shakes head)
DH: Originally, I planned on six stories.But one day during a trail run with my woman’s fitness bootcamp, we passed an older gentleman walking with a companion. One of my friends said, “Oh that’s so-and-so. He used to be on the city council. He’s known for always wearing red socks.” I asked her why, and she didn’t know.
We kept running and I just KNEW there was a story in those red socks. I started to imagine a cowboy who always wore red stockings. By the half-way point in the run, I had my hero all figured out and a vague idea of the storyline. On the way back, I figured out the heroine. I wrote the story in three days. It just poured out of me. That’s the best kind of writing!
EA: I so agree. I love when the words just flow.
DH: I enjoyed writing about some of the characters in my books, or developing new ones and weaving them into the life in my town. Not all seven stories are romances, but all are about love.
EA: That is such a wonderful story about the red socks. Isn’t it amazing how things like that trigger something in our minds and turn our muses loose? A Snowy Christmas in Wyoming is a collage of things that my muse combined, starting with a horrendous blizzard many years ago that hit a friend’s daughter’s ranch. What that family went through was heart wrenching. Then I added ASCIWCaroline and Andy to it and a wonderful old character named Barbara.
As soon as I added Barbara, the whole story just came together. She was the glue. A woman with the capacity to love, the ability to work hard, and this wonderful business sense. She loved her granddaughter enough to let her go and find her place in the world, knowing that the young woman was firmly anchored to the ranch and would never forget her roots. Barbara also had enough sense to know that Andy was exactly who she needed. And when Andy was given custody of his baby daughter, she guided and steered him. She helped him step into fatherhood. I love writing about families. Can’t you tell?
CDV: Debra, Montana Sky Christmas is a wonderful book. And…I do love the cover. I love that the old man’s socks triggered one of the stories. That’s similar to what happened to me when I wrote my first published short story. Poof! The story came all at once. What’s next for you?
DH: Look for my new novella, Painted Montana Sky, to be out by Christmas, and the last book in my fantasy romance trilogy, Harvest of Dreams, to be out by the end of January.
EA: That’s so exciting. Two books that close together? I don’t think people have any understanding of what it takes to do that.
CDV: E, could I have a refill while we chat?
EA: Certainly. I need more coffee, too. Let me know when you’re ready for a refill, Debra.
CDV:You know, I think Barbara added so much to A Snowy Christmas in Wyoming. I can’t imagine the book without her now. She’s the grandmother everyone wishes for. I rooted for Caroline and Andy all the way through the story. Do you think there will be another story with these characters?
EA: Creeds Crossing is a rather small community, so anyone is apt to show up at any time. It’s part of the reason I like writing within the same setting. The area becomes part of the story and it anchors the story for the readers. Often with a series, each book needs to be read in order. I don’t do that. Anyone can read any story without fear of missing something.
Careful your coffee is hot. Oh, and look who just walked through the door. It’s Mona! Tell me what you want to drink and I’ll get it for you. I just got your book Christmas Babies, and it’s on the top of my TBR pile.
MR: Hi everyone. I’m drinking awful concoctions these days. Now I’m trying boiled ginger with a spoon of honey. Not bad for taste. Apparently it’s excellent for congestion and coughing. I’m bringing it with me. For years I’ve wondered what Christmas on the beach would look like. Now I love it. All our palm trees are decorated with colorful lights.
EA: Well, let me heat it up for you. Somehow palm trees and Christmas Babies MsChristmas just don’t mix in my mind. I want snow. (big smile)
MR: I wrote Christmas Babies during my recent long cruise. I was relaxed. No phone, no internet. The ideas and the words just flowed on my laptop. It has such a cute pair of babies on the cover. Exactly as I imagined them. Christmas Babies is part of a series called Holiday Babies. I’ve already started writing Valentine Baby. I’m announcing it to force myself to write. No procrastination allowed. Hopefully, I’ll have an Easter Baby or… Too early to decide.
EA: Ah, a cruise. How wonderful. The cover is adorable. Maybe a nice warm Christmas would be the perfect change of pace. I love the idea of more baby stories and I know your readers love them, too.
(looks at door and pouts) I was so hoping Pepper was going to join us. She’s been furiously working on her Christmas book, and the last I heard she was waiting for her cover artist to send her the cover. Maybe she’ll drop by later and give us the title. thechristmaswish_C                           Here’s Tori’s cover. Isn’t it adorable? I think she’ll be here in a few minutes to tell her Christmas story about a young woman who doesn’t think very much of Christmas.
I’m thrilled that we have so many Authors of Main Street with Christmas books. It’s wonderful having you all here at the Main Street Café. Relax and make yourselves at home while I figure out how to show off our covers around here. I’m sure we’re going to have lots of visitors with questions and comments. And I know Pepper and Tori will be joining us!