Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Interesting Fact About Book Covers by @JoanReeves #GemsInAttic

Did you know that Author’s names didn’t used to be printed on book covers?

It's true!

Back in the early days of publishing, the covers of the first printed books were considered works of art.

Indeed, they really were works of art. Early book covers consisted of original artwork drawings and were of leather and even gold. They were so ornately rendered that there wasn’t a place for the author’s name.

Today's Book Covers

Today, book covers try to visually represent the story in tone, theme, genre, etc. While most of not original works of art in this day of royalty-free images, we authors still like to think they're artistic.

For Your Consideration:  Second Chance Bride

He was the only man she wanted—and the one man she could never have.

At eighteen, she left all the pain and heartbreak behind and reinvented herself as wealthy, successful Constance Quinn. In her rigidly controlled life, there's no place for love.

Now older and wiser, she's determined to find the part of herself that got lost in her transformation.

When she meets Alex Martinez, something hot and urgent passes between them. Their attraction is mutual. Their desire is palpable, but she's playing with fire because she has a secret Alex must never discover.

Personally, I love the cover of Second Chance Bride. It depicts the characters well and shows the compelling romance between them.

Review for Second Chance Bride

"This is such a lush book. The pacing is smooth, and the plot is engrossing. The reason behind Constance's move to Lantana Lane is mysterious at first, so I was stunned when I learned what it is. It's a great plot twist. Alex/Alejandro is a dear man. The way he encourages and supports Constance is utterly sweet. The best part, though, is how Constance's past is redeemed. It's absolutely beautiful." ~ NetGalley

Prize is 1 of these Writing Journals
Still Time to Enter November Giveaway

What about a cover attracts you? Leave your answer in comments to be entered.

(1) Prize is a Writing Journal if you're in the U.S. Outside U.S., prize is ebook selection.

(2) Leave your comment and email address written out, NOT as a hot link.

(3) Winner chosen by random draw from all those who leave comments on my blog posts.

(4) Drawing held on Black Friday, November 23, 2018, and announced on the blog.

(5) Winner will be contacted by email no later than Nov. 28.


Amazon Author Page * BookBub Author Page * Facebook Fan Page * Twitter * YouTube * Joan's Website.

Be the first to know about New Books and Giveaways, sign up for Joan's Mailing List.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Why America should join Canada at Thanksgiving by @BonnieEdwards #GemsinAttic

Ahh...Thanksgiving. The time of year the people of North America consider all they're thankful for.

Too bad America's got it in the wrong month. November? Actually late November? Really? The weather's awful...the gorgeous Autumn colours have mostly fallen away. Sometimes, in some places, there's snow, or storms or even hurricanes.

Maybe it's time to consider changing the holiday to October, the way it is in Canada. We still have gorgeous sunny days, the air is crisp at night, the leaves are still a patchwork of gold, red, green, and yellow.

And consider how much more time there is until the next busy holiday season, Christmas.

Canada's Thanksgiving weekend is three days long. The day itself is the second Monday of October, guaranteeing a long weekend for most employees.

In the US Thanksgiving Day is a Thursday, which means a lot of people only get one day off (and now with retailers opening their stores on the day itself - a lot of people don't get a break at all).

Canadian Thanksgiving - something Canadians are grateful for.

Maybe it's time for a Thanksgiving movement. There are some holidays we share, of course, like Labour Day, Christmas, New Year's. And there are some that are close to each other, like Canada Day and Independence Day.

You don't want to get me started on why America needs Boxing Day!

Amazon Exclusive 
In Invitation to Christmas the entire time frame of the story runs through a year of holidays, both shared and different starting with a Christmas kiss and ending a year later at a Christmas gathering of friends and family.

Christmas brings family together…
Jordyn Bailey kissed Tom Fontaine last Christmas.
But their parents are engaged…

For Jordyn keeping secrets in a family determined to mesh their lives is all kinds of crazy. Secretly sleeping with her younger soon-to-be stepbrother could get messy because she’s on the baby track while he’s on the party track.

If they’re careful and keep their attraction under wraps maybe it will burn out and they can be friends.

Now…It’s Christmas again and Tom wants to unwrap everything, including Jordyn. 

I'd love it if you follow me on BookBub! They're the best at keeping readers informed on New Releases and deals. You can post reviews of books you love, too!

Monday, November 19, 2018

Bi-Country Family Traditions

I was born and raised in Detroit, MI ... many, many years ago. My parents eventually moved to the suburbs and, within a month or two, I was married and moved away from home. That move was just across the river to a "foreign" country ... namely Canada. From that day forward, we were a Bi-Country family.

Once I had children, what were once small family get-togethers became larger family traditions ... again shared across international borders. What that meant, for my boys growing up, were two different holidays in May (Victoria Day in Canada, Memorial Day in the U.S.), two July holidays and, most importantly to growing boys ... two Thanksgivings!

My parents would come to Canada in October and celebrate. We'd let the boys take the day off school in November and we'd make the trek to my mother's or my aunt's house for the big family holiday.

Now, even though my parents are gone and I'm now the grandparent, we still celebrate both Thanksgiving holidays. My youngest son is hosting this year, the traditional feast with turkey, dressing, and all the trimmings. As requested by my grandchildren, I will be making desserts, namely Sweet Potato Pie and Banana Pudding, both from my mother's family recipe!

Grandma Kelley's Sweet Potato Pie
  • 1 lb sweet potato (1 large or 2 medium)
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • ½ cup milk (preferably whole)
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ t nutmeg
  • ½ t cinnamon
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 1 pie crust (9”) unbaked (deep dish is best)

  1.  Boil sweet potatoes in skin for 40-50 minutes or until done.  Run cold water over the potato until able to handle and then remove skin.
  2. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Break potato apart in large bowl, add butter and mix well with mixer.
  4. Stir in remaining ingredients and then beat on medium speed until mixture is smooth.
  5. Pour filling into unbaked pie crust.
  6. Bake for 55-60 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.  Pie will puff up and then will sink down when it cools.
  7. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream.

~ ~ ~

Family traditions are important, especially in this hectic day and age of everything electronic. I look forward to continuing them for as long as possible.

I'd love to hear about your favorite family traditions.

Wishing everyone a wonderful Thanksgiving and an organized and stress-free winter holiday season!


Sunday, November 18, 2018

What I'm thankful for by Cheryl Bolen

I have so many things to be thankful for, I can’t narrow it down to just one. I’m blessed to have shared five decades of my life with a great, caring husband. I’m blessed to actually be able to make a decent wage doing the thing I love most: writing. My husband and I are blessed in the two sons we adore. Our youngest has had some health problems that terrified us, but he’s doing better. I thank God everyday for watching out for our boys. And one more thing: I’m very thankful for my readers and especially thankful to those who write lovely reviews about my books.

For your consideration:
Since being named Notable New Author for 1997, Cheryl Bolen has published more than 35 books with Kensington/Zebra, Harlequin, Love Inspired Historical, Montlake, and independently. She has broken into the top 5 on the New York Times and hit the USA Today bestseller list. Her 2005 His Golden Ring won Best Historical, Holt Medallion, and her 2011 My Lord Wicked was awarded Best Historical in the International Digital Awards, the same year her Christmas novella was chosen as Best Novella. Her books have been finalists for other awards, including the Daphne du Maurier, and have been translated into eight languages. She’s also consistently been the number 1 bestselling historical romance author in Germany. Her favorite pursuits are watching the University of Texas Longhorns play football and basketball, traveling to England every chance she gets, and reading diaries and letters of dead English women. 


Here's a snippet from the first review of her newest book, Last Duke Standing, Book 3 in the Lords of Eton trilogy: “Cheryl Bolen spins a delightful tale of mystery, politics, and (of course) romance.”—In Print 

You can preorder it at




Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 17, 2018

What I'm Thankful For by Jan Scarbrough #GemsInAttic

During this Season of Giving Thanks

I'm thankful for my health. As a much younger woman, I sat with my parents and children at a church Thanksgiving service. We were asked to give thanks for one thing. My father said his health. I thought that strange. But at that time, I didn’t realize the importance of feeling good, not hurting anywhere, and being able to face the day with hope. As I grew older, I was able to better understand my father, because now I overanalyze each pain and ache. I bemoan the fact I can’t do what I once did exercise-wise. But I can still go to Zumba class, also attended by a remarkable 85-year-old woman, and I can still take my weekly horseback riding lesson. So, I'm thankful.

For Your Consideration

Jan Scarbrough is the author of Kentucky Flame, available at Amazon and other ebook retailers.

In the Bluegrass of Kentucky, two American Saddlebred horse trainers face danger and each other. They must work together to discover who’s threatening Mel’s life and the safety of their daughter. Is there enough of an ember in the ashes of their past to reignite the flames of love? 

Happy Thanksgiving!

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