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Friday, December 27, 2019

New Year, New Goals by Janice Seagraves

Soon, it'll be a new year and a new time of possibilities.

If you've read my New Year posts before then you'll know I don't make resolutions, I make goals for myself.

By New Years Day, my goal is to be 199. I want to be under 200 pounds. I know I can do this. Why? Because I've lost over sixty pounds already.

As for my writing goals, I should be getting my rights back on some of my titles in 2020, which I will be self-publishing after the mandatory three months wait.

I'm also working on some new titles. 

So, my goals are a thinner healthier me, and more books published.

What are your goals for the new year?


Year of the Cat

Morgan isn’t expecting romance when she accompanies her friend for a week of skiing, but when she meets Jared all bets are off.
Haunted by the loss of his parents, werecat Jared Catterick earns his keep working for the Catclaw Clan. Jared has secrets that he doesn’t mind sharing with a special lady, and he hopes Morgan is that special someone. When his past and present collide it’s worse than he imagined, and he’s forced to fight for his life.

Auntie walked into the middle of the hollow. “We the Catcall Clan are gathered here together to witness a challenge. Called by Munch son of Tiger, who challenges Jared Catterick son of nobody.”

“I am the son of somebody,” Jared yelled. The sudden flow of anger had his heart pounding hard against his ribs.

“Who? What are their names?” Auntie crossed her arm and leaned on one hip and tapped a toe.

“I donna remember. I was too young when they killed them and took me away,” Jared muttered.
“And she knows that.”

“Is Catterick your real last name?” Killer asked him in the canine speech.

“Aye. I donna remember much about me old life, but I never forgot me name.”

“Just tell her Mr. and Mrs. Catterick,” Killer said.

“Me parents were Mr. and Mrs. Catterick,” Jared said in a loud clear voice.

A few people around the hollow snickered.

Auntie gave a quick nod. “Jared son of Mr. and Mrs. Catterick. Munch challenges you for the death of his da, Tiger.”

Munch marched to Auntie’s side. He was every bit as big as his father. Well-muscled and not just tall but wide. Where Tiger’s hair was gray and white, Munch was blond and black. Another man accompanied him, his second, a tall, lanky male named Boyd. Jared knew him well, even though he was younger.

“Och. Here we go,” Jared told Killer and walked out into the middle of the hollow.

“He’s big,” Killer said in the canine speech.

“And ugly. I wouldna want to ride him into battle.”

Killer stayed at his side. “Psst.”


“You can fight, right?” Killer asked.


“Good to know.”


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Tuesday, December 24, 2019


Christmas Greetings

It’s Christmas Eve, a magical time for me, and I hope for you.

I know most of you are extremely busy with last-minute shopping or parties, or family gatherings. Savor your time with family and friends. Hug them, tell them you appreciate them. The same for the furry members of your family. Hug your cats and dogs.

Take time for yourself. Relax, put your feet up, preferably before a roaring fire. Have some hot chocolate, a glass of wine, a hot toddy, whatever is your drink of choice. While you’re relaxing, read a romance to put you in a happy mood.


PS-This is my last blog for RB4U. As of January 1, 2020, I will no longer be a member author. Personal circumstances have caused me to make changes in my writing life. I will still be a member of RB4U. I want to thank Marianne for all she's done in putting this great group together. She's left it in good hands with Nicole.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

I Got Nothing

I started thinking about what to write for this post. I thought of a few ideas—Holiday gift list for writers and readers, a writing craft post, holiday movies and television shows—but in the end I discarded them all.


They were boring or I wasn’t sure exactly how to write the actual post or various different  reasons. I swore that somehow an idea would pop into my head. But absolutely nothing came. 

I have no topic for this post so I decided that that would be the subject. After all in life sometimes we don’t know what to do.

For writers that can be a scary truth, our own personal horror like a haunted house except nothing pops out of dark corners. Yet, that happens for some writers they can stress about that fact until writer’s block takes over then nothing comes. A very bad thing. It affects all parts of life, not just writing.

So, instead of tearing at the anxiety until it’s nothing but frayed bits, I always decide to let it go. Focus my energy on something else and let the pounding demand for an idea fade away because one day, probably tomorrow after I post this I’ll have something.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Origin of the Christmas Colors

Like so many other traditions, the exact origins of red and green as the colors of Christmas are lost in time. Despite a variety of theories, it is clear the tradition didn’t evolve as part of the Christian religion, but can be traced to the ancient Celtic peoples who commemorated different holidays, usually related to the change of seasons, with different colors.
They venerated the green holly with red berries for being evergreen during the cold winter and believed the plant was meant to keep the world beautiful even in the winter. Decorating their homes with holly for the winter solstice celebrations was believed to protect them and bring good luck in the coming year. Celtic peoples as well as many other pagan religions celebrated winter with evergreens.
Even the Romans used Fir Trees to decorate their temples at the festival of Saturnalia celebrated in the season that is now Christmas time.
Most Christians understand that Christ was not born on the day we now call December 25th. The scriptures don’t identify the season although there are indicators that He may have been born in the spring time because Luke references sheep grazing in the fields, which only happened in warmer months.
The birth of Jesus was not celebrated until the fourth century AD. In that era, the Roman scholar Hippolytus projected the birth of Christ at a time of year near the winter solstice. The first recorded commemoration of Christmas was 336 AD in the time of Roman Emperor Constantine, the first Christian emperor, and was used as a way to discourage Christians from participating in pagan winter solstice rites.
During the Middle Ages, after the fall of Rome, not many people celebrated Christmas. However, during this period many Celtic and other pagan traditions and celebrations were subsumed by Christian beliefs and practices.
After a month of fasting (Advent) and preparation, the Christmas festivities lasted for 12 days, from Christmas to January 6 (Epiphany). Replicating the pagan traditions, “inversions of order occurred across medieval society around Christmas. One of the most colorful was the election of a boy bishop, who presided over processions and church ritual on the Feast of the Holy Innocents (28 December).
Regardless of the origins, each of the colors has accumulated traditional beliefs which still hang around today.
Green signifies life - Plants are green because they depend on chlorophyll for life. Thus, to many societies the color green symbolizes life, fertility, and the rebirth of life after winter. About two hundred years before the birth of Christ mistletoe was used by the Druids to celebrate the coming of winter. Green is an ancient reminder that winter doesn’t last forever.
● Christian belief - The color green is a natural representation of eternal life, specifically the evergreen tree and how it survives through the winter season. That’s why, in Christian belief, green represents the eternal life that Jesus Christ offers.
Green in the Middle Ages – During this period, green represented love and fertility, and brides often wore green on their wedding day. Pagan Wedding Dress                                              
Paradise or Miracle Plays of the 14th century – On Christmas eve these plays were performed to teach Bible stories to people who couldn’t read -- the vast majority. The tradition was to present the Paradise Play, the story of Adam and Eve and the Garden of Eden. The Paradise Tree within the garden was normally a pine tree with red apples tied to it. That inspired people to decorate their homes with evergreen bows and decorating with red apples.

McMillian Education Poster – Painting by unknown 20th century artist of a Miracle Play
Red Berries signify fertility and new life – Holly is one of the plants that remains green during the winter and it happens to have red barriers. Berries, because they carry the seeds for new plants, could be symbolic of fertility and new life. Mistletoe has green berries. Go figure.
● Christian belief - The color red symbolizes the blood of Jesus that he shed to save mankind.
Paradise or Miracle Plays of the 14th century – The association of red with these play comes from the story of the apple tree and the apples tied to the evergreen.
● Red is also the color of Bishops robes. St. Nicholas, as a bishop, would have worn red. It is a possible connection to the Santa Claus uniform.
Coca-Cola started using a Santa image in its advertising in 1931. Later, when they hired artist Haddon Sundblom to draw their Santa Claus ads, his image of the jolly elf bestowed on Santa Claus by western culture became that created by Coca-Cola.
The first Coca-Cola Santa advertisement – 1931

There are many more colors associated with Christmas time and used during the holidays. You’re not stuck with Red and Green. 


Converting oxygen to carbon dioxide for more than three quarters of a century
Travel to Foreign Lands for Romance and Intrigue
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Sunday, December 8, 2019

Christmas memories inspired my collection~by Joanne Jaytanie

I’m excited to have had the opportunity to return to Forever Christmas in Glenville, a collection that is near and dear to my heart. Forever Christmas in Glenville was inspired by my childhood memories of the village of Sherburne, located in upstate New York.

My dedication in the Forever Christmas in Glenville Collection book.

Christmas Chemistry, book three of Forever Christmas in Glenville was recently released in the Christmas at Mistletoe Lodge collection. This multi-author collection hit the USA Today list.

I hope you enjoy this Christmas Chemistry book trailer and excerpt below.

Excerpt from Christmas Chemistry:

Owen stood at the door. He’d grown up in this house, but it never felt like home. He reached out for the door handle and hesitated. He released it and rang the bell.

“Welcome, Owen! Glad to have you home,” the maid said as she opened the door.
“Thank you, Betty,” he said. She reached for him and hugged him. Betty’s hair had turned gray, although her eyes still twinkled with warmth. She’d been the one constant in Owen’s life. Betty loved his family and had freely expressed it. It was good to see her still at the house. She’d been with his family for the last twenty-two years.
“Your mother is in the library. Rose should be down soon.”
“How is mother?”
“She has her good days and her bad days. More bad since the loss of your father.”
“And Rose?”
“Rose is Rose,” Betty said, rolling her eyes. Owen chuckled and patted her on the shoulder.
“You’re a saint, Betty.”
He walked into the library. Nothing had changed. Four years after his father’s death, everything remained where he’d left it. His father’s favorite chair was still in the corner of the room, his side table still held his father’s ashtray and pipe. A book, curled from reading one-handed, still perched on the chair. Owen was certain his mother’s rapidly declining health was worsened by her need to remain in the past.
His mother sat in front of the huge bay windows and gazed out at her glass hothouse. Her favorite place, she used to spend hours there with her orchids. Owen walked over to her and laid his hand on her shoulder.
“Hello, Mother. How are you feeling?”
She looked up at him and blinked rapidly.
“Alfred, you said you’d be joining your friends at the club for lunch. I have nothing prepared.” She blinked again as she broke eye contact and her gaze darted around the room.
“Mother, it’s me, Owen.”
She studied him and he could swear he saw the very instant she realized her Alfred wasn’t here.
“Owen. I didn’t know you were coming.”
            “Mother, we talked about this last night and again this morning,” Rose interjected as she swept into the library. “See what I mean?” she asked him. “She’s been experiencing more of these episodes over the last few weeks.”
“I’m fine, Rose. Stop fretting over me,” their mother snapped.
They spent the next hour in the hothouse. Owen pushed his mother around in a wheelchair that was new since his last visit. He and Rose had spoken about it and agreed with her doctor’s recommendation; it was safer for her, as she had fallen a couple times.
Betty joined them in the hothouse. “Mrs. Brock, it’s time for you to come inside and rest,” she said. “You’ve been out here enjoying this wonderful day for a long time now. But if you don’t rest, you won’t want to come down for dinner.” Betty smiled sadly at Owen and wheeled their mother away.
“We need to talk,” Rose said.
“That’s why I came, Rose. To talk.”
“The doctor came by yesterday. He feels the time has come to put Mother in a home where she can be cared for.”
“Is that what he feels is best for her?”
“He does. Mother has left the house twice in the last few days,” Rose said. “She doesn’t get very far, but we’re all worried one of these times she will fall down the front steps or get mugged.”
“Mugged? In Glenville?” Owen smirked at Rose.
“It could happen,” she answered in an exasperated tone.
“When was the last mugging in Glenville?”
Rose’s neck and face flushed red. “It’s also possible she could get lost; her memory is failing.”
“If that’s our next move, I’ll go to her attorney tomorrow and work out the details,” Owen said. “My guardianship of Mother should make the transition run smoothly. If Mother needs to go to a retirement home, I want to add a decent severance package for Betty in addition to her retirement.” It was apparent to him that Rose had no concern for their childhood nanny. They wandered out to the main living room. “I suppose you’ll be returning to Charleston.”
“I’m not sure I’m going back,” Rose said. “I’ve met someone here. He caught me entirely by surprise.” Owen wasn’t going to comment. Rose’s track record with men was spotty at best. At least she had managed to come away with a good settlement when she divorced her most recent husband.
“What about your house and your social responsibilities you kept telling me about? And I told you time and again to go back to Charleston. Are you saying that now you don’t want to? Betty had everything under control and I’d already planned to bring in a nurse.” Owen stopped and thought about what he just said. “In fact, I’m going to contact Mother’s doctor tomorrow and suggest that very thing.”
“No, Owen,” Rose abruptly cut him off. “It’s not safe for her here.”
“And a nursing home is better?” He would be speaking to everyone involved in the next couple days no matter what Rose said. “Father wouldn’t have wanted that.”
“Father isn’t here!”
“Precisely. And he left Mother’s care in my hands,” Owen reminded Rose. Lately he had to do this quite often. “I need to look at Mother’s current situation from all angles. If I conclude that it’s in Mother’s best interest to put her in a nursing home, then per father’s instruction, we’ll be putting the house on the market.”
“I’m staying here, Owen.”
“Yes, you already informed me.”
“In this house. I’m living here,” Rose put her hands on her hips.
“That’s not what is specified in the will.” Owen began to think there was more to all this than Rose was saying.
“My plans have changed. I have found someone and I’m staying in Glenville and living here.” Rose crossed her arms and glared at him.
“Fine. It doesn’t matter to me who buys this house.”
“I’m not buying my family home!” 

Wishing you and all those you love a very Merry Christmas!

Until next month,

Friday, December 6, 2019

All She Wants for Christmas is...Him - Baby, It's HOT Inside - Erotic Holiday Romance - RomCom - Bad Boy Plays Santa - Tina Donahue Books #TinaDonahueBooks #HolidayRomance #EroticRomance #ContemporaryRomance #RomCom

Baby, It's Hot Inside - an erotic holiday romance - romcom

Bad Boy plays Santa - yeah, it's HOT, but oh-so romantic!


All she wants for Christmas is…him.

For Laurel, Christmas so sucks. She’s out of a job, money, and luck until her neighbor Scott plays Santa. This tall, dark, and sexy hunk delivers sweet decadence and holiday magic that makes being bad oh-so good.


God, god, god. Laurel indulged in Scott’s clean, wondrous flavor, his intense heat, and male need.

He groaned savagely.

The unrestrained sound and his impassioned embrace said more than words could. He wanted her as no other man had.

With one hand firmly on her ass, he pulled her into him.

Trapped in the best possible way, she surrendered to his desire and her own.

They kissed as lovers would after a lengthy separation, his stubble scraping her cheeks and chin. Few things could have better defined or intensified his masculinity.

She couldn’t touch him enough and stroked his firm pecs, broad back, silky hair, and the precious package between his legs.

A fierce sound spilled from him. He pushed her tongue aside to fill her mouth and fondled her boob.

Her nipple came alive within his lusty caress, the tip and halo painfully tight.

Getting close enough proved beyond necessary and seemingly impossible to achieve. They were practically welded together and it wasn’t enough. She clawed his top, wanting the damn thing off.

On a rough moan, he cupped her ass and lifted her into his arms, her weight inconsequential against his brute strength. Lost in intolerable need, she pressed her thighs to his narrow hips, her pussy snug to his cock.

He tottered backward and dropped onto the sofa, her straddling him.

Clothes flew. Her tank top and bra tangled with his Henley.

He cupped her naked breasts, his grin stretching from ear to ear.

Warmth swirled in her stomach and pussy, his pleased reaction doing wonders for her battered heart. Especially given his physical gifts: smooth olive skin, taut pecs, and beautifully defined abs. Even Photoshopped male models didn’t look this good. “Where’s your phone? I have to take your picture.”

“Later. Yours first though.” He tongued her nipple into his mouth.

Riotous pleasure shot through her. Never had she experienced such intense heat. Her head fell back.

He suckled hard, soft, and somewhere in between. His tongue flicked her tip relentlessly.

Nerve endings fired. She trembled.

He held her tightly, preventing escape.

As if she were crazy enough to be anywhere but up close and personal.

Finished with one boob, he sucked air and leaned toward the other.

“No, no, no.” She gripped his head. “Stop!”

Alarm flooded his handsome features, dread beneath it. “Why?”

“I want—I have—I can’t wait any longer. Sorry.” She scrambled off his lap, knelt between his legs, and tugged his fly.

“Whoa.” He gripped her wrists. “Let me help before you draw blood.”


“Believe me, I’m trying.” He yanked his button free and rammed down his zipper. Together, they shoved his jeans and stretchy boxer briefs to his thighs.

His cock sprang out, wavered, and landed on his belly, the thick shaft so hard it pointed north.

“Wow.” She cupped his lightly furred balls, their weight and warmth pure wonder. “You’re gorgeous.”

He sagged against the sofa but also pressed his family jewels into her palm. “Yeah?”

“I have to take a picture.”

“Not fucking now.” Breathing hard, he cupped her hand over his dick and balls. “Don’t you dare stop.”

“No sir. I’ll be good.” She took his rod into her mouth, tonsil deep.

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Thursday, December 5, 2019

Happy Holidays!

We usually kick off the Christmas season by putting up at least a few decorations after Thanksgiving but I’m a little behind this year. Which is kind of odd since this is the first time in a couple of years that I’m not rushing toward a deadline or anything else.
Last November, after realizing I’d spent the last ten years trying to stay relevant in a business that changes daily, I decided to take the holidays off. No writing, nada, zip. I shopped; I cleaned and cooked like I was inviting a platoon to dinner and ended up sending most of it home with the kids. If something didn’t work out as planned, I didn’t stress, I adapted and wonder of wonders; the world didn’t end.
Two months stretched well into 2019 and during that time closets were cleaned, some healthier recipes were tried and I started taking nature walks with hubby. No, the pounds didn’t melt off and I didn’t have any profound revelations but I did find myself laughing a whole lot more. We added a twice weekly yoga class this past September and I have to say my energy levels have improved and so has my attitude.
I have to admit that as a former workaholic, I had let the well run dry and in order to fill it up again, I had to change my ways, which meant along with the new routines, taking some much needed time for a little introspection.
The process has taken a little longer than I’d anticipated but I’m writing again, and reading some old favorites and finding new ones. In short, I’ve rediscovered my passion for the pure joy of storytelling. These days I’m juggling a few old projects and a couple of new ones, and definitely looking forward to the upcoming year.
Wishing you all the best; I hope you enjoy peace, love and a joyous holiday season.


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