Humorist Dave Barry’s “Ask Mr. Language Person”

Today I’m sharing a very funny post by one of my favorite authors, Dave Barry. I hope you will enjoy this laugh with  me.

Ask Mister Language Person:

Question: In the song, “I Shot the Sheriff,” how come the singer keeps loudly announcing that he shot the sheriff, but he did NOT shoot the deputy? Is he in some weird municipality where it’s a serious criminal offense to shoot a deputy, but if you shoot the actual sheriff, hey, no problem?

Answer: Your question is very important to us.

LOL! For those of us who are old enough to remember this song, we can’t help but smile. 🙂

Do you enjoy a certain comedian or humor columnist? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

USA TODAY Bestselling Author Josie Riviera writes Historical, Inspirational, and Sweet Romances. She lives in the Charlotte, NC, area with her wonderfully supportive husband. They share their home with an adorable Shih Tzu who constantly needs grooming and an old house forever needing renovations.

Follow Josie on Instagram.

Check out Seeking Patience, my Regency Inspirational Romance, now as an Audiobook! I love my narrator’s British voice!


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Those Bad Dreams of Being Naked in Public

The flowers have nothing to do with the article. They belong to a neighbor!


During my teaching days I seldom feared being caught with nothing to teach. I think the dreams of being in my pajamas in front of the classroom were not about teaching.  In those dreams the pajamas, which were inappropriate but covered personal parts, became a night gown, which shrank to thigh length and then to being only a top. Making the situation worse, I would realize I no longer wore undies.

Those dreams always went from bad to worse. At first I was at least covered, but then my clothing would shrink to the point that hiding behind a desk wasn’t enough protection. I don’t think it was about my confidence in my teaching but about something deeper. Or maybe not. What’s deeper than being exposed as a fraud? Maybe feeling people wanted me to fail? Maybe having so little control over my life or my job that I couldn’t even hide under my clothes?  I was a good teacher and could make a lesson from nothing and cover when test copies didn’t appear in my mailbox at school. (We couldn’t print our own tests.) Machines sometimes failed, and other things happened that weren’t within my control.

In those dreams I would eventually be completely naked. Nothing within reach would hide that. Borrowed shirts disappeared and there was no tape to make clothes from papers. The crazy thing is that I have had those dreams even recently. I haven’t been in a classroom for more than 30 years, so the dreams must be about more that teaching.

Last night I prepared for a webinar that didn’t happen. Fortunately for me the audience was small and understanding. I had done my prep. I had lovely and informative slides. I won’t go into the details, but I will try again tonight and hope last night’s technical difficulties will leave me alone!  I am way out of my comfort zone, but it’s part of growing.

I will still have 4 more sessions to do after tonight, so I need to practice a lot more on the set-ups required.


Editing to improve and polish your writing

And the Cowboys of Clark’s County is LIVE on Amazon.

Esther's Mustang







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Happy Easter!

Today’s celebration of Easter is a combination of pagan and Christian ideas because they both share some common traits.

Pagan celebrations may include the Easter bunny and Easter eggs. The name, Easter, came from the name of a Spring goddess of Anglo-Saxon mythology who was named Eastre or Eoster. Springtime festivals throughout history celebrate fertility and rebirth.

Even stronger ties between Christian and pagan celebrations are in the timing. Some sources indicate that the crucifixion of Jesus and his Resurrection occurred in April.

Another commonality is that both pagan and Christian celebrations center around rebirth. Spring is viewed as a time of rebirth. And for many, the Resurrection symbolizes humanity’s rebirth.

Do you celebrate Easter, perhaps with a special tradition?

Please share in the comments below.

USA Today Bestselling Author Josie Riviera writes Historical, Inspirational and Sweet Romances. She lives in the Charlotte, NC, area with her wonderfully supportive husband. They share their empty nest with an adorable Shih Tzu who constantly needs grooming and live in an old house forever needing renovations.

Follow Josie on Instagram to see her (mostly) daily exploits.

Hurray! My full-length Regency Inspirational romance, Seeking Patience, is now available as an audio book! Enjoy my narrator’s British accent here, and pick up your copy today!




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Texas Cowboys

This is directly from Wikipedia.  I found it interesting, and I hope it isn’t just because I live in Texas.  There really are other Texas Cowboys than the football team:

The Texas Cowboys is an honorary men’s service organization at the University of Texas at Austin. It was founded by Arno Nowotny and Bill McGill in 1922 with the purpose of serving the University of Texas, as well as the surrounding area, with the timeless motto: “Give the best you have to Texas, and the best will come back to you.” There are more buildings named after Texas Cowboys alumni than any other student organization at UT. The Texas Cowboys also serve as ambassadors to the University of Texas and are present at all significant university-sponsored events.

The Texas Cowboys are responsible for keeping and maintaining Smokey the Cannon, which is present at all Texas Longhorns home football games.[3] Smokey is fired off after the Eyes of Texas, at the end of every quarter, and after all Texas touchdowns, field goals, kickoffs, and two-point conversions.

Coming April 16th is The Cowboys of Clark’s Folly with some sexy cowboys and the cowgirls who ride those cowpokes hard.  I have a cowboy story (yes amazing it’s not paranormal) in this anthology and so does MM.  Take a look on Amazon at

See you in Texas, pardner. Linda

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Purple Irises & My First Crock-Pot


While working on editing projects and webinars I have been loving my new Crock Pot! So far I haven’t used a recipe, but I have cooked some tasty and easy to heat meals! The photo is of a pork roast and anything I decided needed to go into the pot.


I have yet to learn why different colors of irises bloom at different times. Now it’s time for purple irises! I love irises most of all!  Let me know if you notice something odd about the picture below. 20170412_163347

Available for pre-order: 4 cowboys and stories to set your hormones risin’! Get ready to lasso your favorite cowboy!  Linda Nightingale, M. J. Flournoy, and I have stories in this book. Notice M. M. Mayfield took over my story! We have added one more author, Carol Shaughnessy, to this anthology!

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Palm Sunday

For Christians around the world, Palm Sunday is the beginning of Holy Week, which begins on Palm Sunday and includes Holy Thursday and Good Friday, ending at midnight on Holy Saturday. Holy Week ends on Easter Sunday with the celebration of Jesus rising from the tomb.

Many of you may already know this, but Palm Sunday is the day in which Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey. His choice of travel is symbolic, because Jesus chose to show people that He came in peace. An examination of history shows us that when a king rode into a city on a horse, he entered for war. If a king rode into a city on a donkey, he came in peace.

Will you be observing Palm Sunday with a special meal and/or attending church services? Please share in the comments below.

USA Today Bestselling Author Josie Riviera writes Historical, Inspirational and Sweet Romances. She lives in the Charlotte, NC, area with her wonderfully supportive husband. They share their empty nest with an adorable Shih Tzu who constantly needs grooming and live in an old house forever needing renovations.

Follow Josie on Instagram.

And, I’m thrilled to announce that Seeking Patience, my full-length Regency Inspirational novel, is available as an Audiobook! Hope you enjoy!

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A Delicious Italian Cookie Recipe for Spring and Easter baking.

Delicious Italian Cookie Recipe:

Today I’m sharing my grandmother’s Italian Cookie recipe. You probably have most of the ingredients on hand. Enjoy!

You will need:

4 eggs

1 cup sugar

1 cup oil

1 cup milk

1 tsp. anise flavoring

1 tsp. vanilla

1 tsp. lemon flavoring (or lemon juice)

1 teaspoon orange flavoring (orange juice or grated rind)

6 tsp. baking powder

6 cups flour, or as much as you need. Dough should be soft.

Beat eggs. Gradually add rest of ingredients. Dough should not be tacky—add a little oil and flour on your hands. Shape into balls. This is a basic cookie dough—you may use this for a cut out cookie, etc.

Bake at 350 degree oven until golden brown, approximately 10-15 minutes.

Ice with confectionery sugar and a little milk until the right consistency.

Do you have a favorite cookie recipe? Please share in the comments below.

USA Today Bestselling Author Josie Riviera writes Historical, Inspirational and Sweet Romances. She lives in the Charlotte, NC, area with her wonderfully supportive husband. They share their empty nest with an adorable Shih Tzu who constantly needs grooming and live in an old house forever needing renovations.
Follow Josie on Instagram.

And check out her newest release, Seeking Patience, her Regency Inspirational romance, now as an audio book!


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Decisions and New Releases – April is Day after Tomorrow

Well, first we have April Fool’s Day–and I may be one because I’ve found another rescue dog — a purebred Coton de Tulear–that I can have on a 2-week trial.  The rescue is near Boerne which is a little drive of about 3 hours and 34 minutes each way.  To give you a frame of reference, Boerne is northwest of San Antonio. Hence, April’s Fool! and the dog has issues. 😦

But I do have two new releases in April.  Her General in Gray on 4/7: A Massachusetts lass purchases a southern plantation to discover that she has bought more than she bargained.  The house comes complete with its own ghost — a Civil War General — for the Confederacy.  The stage is set for another civil conflict.

On April 17, my cowboy story in an anthology with MM and MJ as well as Carol Shaughnessy will hit Amazon.  The Cowboys of Clark’s Folly (Texas) are sexy and fun and can capture your hearts.  Here’s a short excerpt for my story called simply, “Folly”:




Today Ash paid no attention to the natural stone construction or the black wrought iron and brass hardware on the stalls. He hurried to the open door framing a cameo of a pretty girl on her knees in the straw beside a sweating black horse. Trish’s wretched expression and the trembling hands stroking Jet’s neck broke his heart. If the stallion died a part of her would die, too.

“Do anything you can, Doc. I don’t care how much it costs.” Ash spoke from the doorway. “If he needs to be flown to A&M you have my okay.”

Trish looked up at him. A tear escaped her lashes, washing a path down her soiled cheek. “You won’t regret it, Ash.”

“Is he going to die?” Dorothy peered around Ash. “Trish, you’re everywhere I look.”

Irritation sizzled over him. Ash turned and took Dorothy’s shoulders. “Wait in the ranch office. Too many spectators won’t help Jet.”

She allowed him to lead her down an empty corridor. The other horses had been turned out to graze. Trish and Charlie never missed a step. He waved her ahead of him into the AC-cool office. Suddenly Dorothy in her clean, pressed jeans and crisp white shirt reminded him of Deanne. They were both beautiful dolls, only useful as toys.

He felt guilty for thinking such a thing, but it was true. On a ranch both were merely decoration. A woman like Trish…his heart faltered. Damn, he’d been so afraid of commitment he’d failed to recognize the rough-cut diamond in his hand.

“Make yourself comfortable.” He patted the back of the burgundy love seat positioned along the outer wall. “I’ll let you know what happens.”

“There’s no need for me to wait here. I’ll return to the house. Ring me on my mobile.”

He nodded, held the door for her, and stiffened when she brushed a kiss to his lips, but he simply couldn’t bring himself to apologize for leaving her alone.

She sashayed out of the barn, bound for comfort. He spun, hurrying back to the stall where Jet fought for his life. When he arrived he said nothing. Trish didn’t look up. She held the horse’s head for the vet to pump oil into his stomach through the tube inserted in a nostril.

Joe, the vet, shook his head. “If this doesn’t work, next step— A&M.”

The Cowboys of Clark's Folly by [Flournoy, MJ, Marvella, Mary, Nightingale, Linda, Shaughnessy, Carol]

Ash nodded. A desperate horsewoman tilted her head to hide her tears.

Within thirty minutes Plan B became the only option. From his mobile, the vet ordered air transportation to College Station from the small local airport. A privately owned van would trailer Jet to the veterinary school at Texas A&M for further diagnosis and treatment.

They arrived at the airfield fifteen miles from Marathon to find the plane could accommodate only one passenger.

“I’ll ride with Jet.” Trish looked on the verge of begging. “Okay, Ash?”

“Of course.” He longed to cradle her in his arms and comfort her, but as it was, he had to resist merely caressing her cheek. “The stallion knows and trusts you. He’ll follow you anywhere.”

“Thanks,” she whispered, tears misting the dark brown eyes.

“Charlie, please tell Ms. Applewhite I was called away on an emergency.” He gave the pilot a grim smile. “I’ll be your copilot, Captain Gaines.”

For which honor, he signed a credit card receipt in the amount of $3,500, but Ash held J.P. Morgan’s opinion, “If you have to ask how much a thing costs you can’t afford it.”

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Back To Teaching for a Day!

erotic relations

Do I have your attention? This has nothing to do with my blog, but….

Saturday I gave a workshop for the Southern Magic Romance Writers in Birmingham, Alabama.  Most of me was excited! Part of me feared the PowerPoint presentation wouldn’t work or that the slides would make no sense to anyone but me. And then part of me dreaded finding that no one cared about grammar and punctuation needed for editing. I knew writers would listen and participate in a workshop about characterization, plotting, setting, or other writerly topics.

To a lot of authors editing means reading a manuscript 2 or three times without knowing what the need to find and fix. Here a some suggestions for editing for anyone, including college students.

Editing Checklist 10 things +2

  1. Be prepared for more than one round of edits. MAKE TIME!
  2. Read each sentence out loud, word for word. MAKE TIME!
  3. Look for its and it’s, your and you’re, and there, they’re, and their.

Read it is each time you see it’s. Read they are each time you see they’re. Read you are for you’re. You can catch errors that way! I found a few my computer gremlin changed! I don’t do those, but I did!

  1. Check dialogue punctuation.
  2. Nouns of address require commas before and after them. Where are you going, young man? Where, young man, are you going?  Young man, where are you going? Young man is the noun of address. If addressing parents– I want to go, Mom.  Please come with me, Dad.
  3. Too and to. Too means also or in excess. He was too tall for the car. He wanted pie, too. When too means also, you need a comma. Check also, too. I’ll have a burger and a sandwich, also.
  4. Make sure you close quotations. “She is my favorite person, Bull said. Go back and add “ after person.
  5. Check names for consistent spelling, details about characters, and timelines.
  6. In, into, on, and onto. You run into the house, but you shouldn’t run in the house.(Once you get inside, stop running)  The dog jumped onto the couch.  He got into trouble for jumping on the bed. (He was already on the bed when he started jumping.) INTO and ONTO suggest location changes. IN and ON don’t.
  7. Connect independent clauses with and , or, and but AND A COMMA. I found the answers, I shared them. (NOPE, 2 sentences or add and after the comma. I found the answers, and I shared them. I found the answers. I shared them.
  8. Use italics to show internal dialogue only if it what a character would say if he spoke the words. He wondered where his sister was. HE WOULD NOT SAY THESE WORDS. Where can my sister be? HE WOULD SAY THESE WORDS OUT LOUD. HE MIGHT BE TALKING TO HIMSELF, MUMBLING OR SPEAKING.
  9. If all sentences sound alike, use different structures.

Smiling, he grabbed the pie. Looking around, he sneaked a bite.

Chewing carefully, he savored each bite.    



My first paid webinar/ lesson is on the schedule for Tuesday, April 4, so I need to get busy and make more slides.

Editing to Make Your Writing Stronger # 1

Hosted by Mary Marvella Edits

04/04/2017 07:00 PM



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5 Excellent Irish Proverbs on Love and Marriage

The Irish have a way with words.

Today I’m sharing some of the (many) Irish Proverbs on love and marriage that I came across when researching my sweet romance full-length novel, set in Ireland,

Oh Danny Boy.


“If you want praise, die. If you want love, marry.”

“It’s easy to halve the potato where there’s love.”

“Honey is sweet, but don’t lick it off a briar.”

“Beauty won’t make the kettle boil.”

“Honey is sweet, but don’t lick it off the briar.”


Do you know an Irish proverb? Please share in the comments below.

Josie Riviera is a USA TODAY Bestselling Author of contemporary, inspirational, and historical sweet romances that read like Hallmark movies. She lives in the Charlotte, NC, area with her wonderfully supportive husband. They share their home with an adorable Shih Tzu who constantly needs grooming and live in an old house forever needing renovations.

Sign up for her newsletter and receive a free sweet (and spicy) historical romance ebook.

Connect with her on Facebook.

New on audiobooks!

Seeking Catherine for only $1.99!


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