Thursday, March 26, 2020

Coffee and Conversation with the #RomanceGems

It's time for Coffee and Conversation with the Romance Gems! So, grab a cup of your favorite beverage and join us.

This month's topic: Social Distancing - Gem's Style

These are very dark days as the world is told to "STAY HOME!" and excel at social distancing to prevent the spread of Covid-19. Fear and uncertainty are everywhere. But so are kindness and caring. We decided to check in with everyone and talk about what we are doing and experiencing. Join us!

“The coronapolcalypse has had a global impact on the economy, mental and physical health, and on everyday lives. I could stress and bite my nails to the quick. I could panic-buy toilet paper like some other idiots I know. I could burn my skin raw with disinfectant rub-downs. I won’t. I will, though, continue doing the things that bring me joy, bliss, and calm my soul: write, bake for the man I love, and cook healthy meals every night so we can both keep well. This will end and when it does, we will still be standing.” ~ Peggy Jaeger

“Well, with Las Vegas being locked down, my book signing was canceled, I'm not working (I teach kindergarten), and I'm home with all 3 children. I'm not home-schooling them by any means, but I am making them work a bit:

Laura Hunsaker's Book Character Day
Day 1: Social Distancing-Everyone got up at normal times and did whatever online or paper homework they had from last week.
Day 2: More Social Distancing with bike rides, hikes with the dogs, and the school district has some on-line work they can do.
Day 3: Actual lock-down of the city. More on-line work. Kids are staying up later and sleeping in later. I gave one kid a tardy.
Day 4: One kid got dress coded since she didn't have pants on when she came downstairs
Day 5: It's pajama day! All kids can stay in their pjs! Even the teacher can! ;)
Day 6: Umm...we have Honors Chores, Yard Work 101, and AP Laundry, and I think the kids are over it.
Day 7: It's another Pajama Day!
Day 8: Home Ec today. I taught them how to sew a button on. Now they're playing video games.
Day 9: We had a science experiment because the 12-year-old put dish soap in the dish washer instead of detergent.
Day 10: Dress as your favorite book character day! The teacher is the only one who dressed up.
We have more days to go...tell me what you're doing!” ~ Laura Hunsaker

“The week of March 8 was pretty much normal for me. I went to doctor’s appointments, the grocery, kept grandkids and took my riding lesson. My husband, who’s high risk, stayed home. The week of March 16 everything changed. My doctor advised me not to keep grandkids and told us both to stay home. I cancelled riding lessons, stopped going to the grocery, and we started ordering food online. I don’t mind staying home, but my W.I.P. (work in progress) has taken a hit. I can’t concentrate. Let’s hope my characters and I can pull together to finish the book!” ~ Jan Scarbrough

“I expect to come out of this self-isolation fat and happy. I can’t go to the gym, which is not a hardship since I didn’t inherit the compulsion-to-work-out gene and really never look forward to going. And while I enjoy baking, I normally limit my indulgence because I prefer my backside not mirror the size and shape of my desk chair where it spends most of every day. Since I can’t go out, it seems okay to make special treats like my favorite breakfast of all times, German Pancakes. Recipe below.

"I’m offering a free novella to anyone who signs up for my VIP Readers’ Newsletter."
~ Kathleen Lawless

Kathleen's No-fail German Pancakes

Kathleen's No-fail German Pancakes
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and spray or grease 2 9” round cake pans.
Beat 4 eggs well in the blender.
Add 1 Tbsp sugar and 1 Tbsp butter. Blend some more. You can not overbeat!
Add 2/3 cup of flour and 2/3 cup of milk. (in stages is best. I do flour, milk, flour, milk).
Blend the heck out of it.
Make sure the oven is hot (keep blending if it’s not) before you divide the batter into the 2 pans and slide into the oven.
Bake 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 and bake 10 minutes longer. Top with your favorite butter, fruit, syrup, jam or icing sugar combo.

“The last week or so I've been getting to know my 'co-workers' a bit better. One likes to hog the chair next to me so no one else can sit down. And the other one hangs out by the water cooler all the time. Me, I've been downloading tons of free and 99c books, looking for new-to-me authors. I may have found a few!”
~ Kari Lemor

“Solitude. You’d think a writer would be able to handle being home all the time. By choice, sure. Otherwise, not so much. I’ve been keeping busy with writing, creating book trailers, and my apartment has never been more organized. I actually managed to get rid of a lifetime supply of hotel soaps, shampoos and conditioners by making care packages for my neighbors.

Nancy Fraser's Grandson
"I miss my grandchildren, but they connect with me often through Facebook, talk or text. I hear most often from the youngest. And, like the saying goes ... “out of the mouths of babes”. Who better to put social isolation in perspective than a six year old?

"I asked him what he’d done today to keep busy and he informed me that he’d been allowed to go outside and that he'd shoveled the last of the snow off their backyard patio. I was about to say, “Good job”, when he continued. “Don’t worry, Grandma. I shut the door tight so the virus wouldn’t get inside.”

"Needless to say, I wasn’t sure whether to laugh or cry. Or, maybe a bit of both. I have faith we will get through this and when the day comes that we can socialize again, I intend to smother each of the five with some quality grandma hugs and kisses!

"Best wishes to everyone. Please stay safe.” ~ Nancy Fraser

“Like many, my thoughts and emotions are riding a roller coaster. Too much to absorb, so much fear, hopes and prayers non-stop. I watch the news and read important information. A glimmer of good news? Nope. Maybe. Nope. Yikes!

“I keep busy as we stay home for the good of all. I finished a great book by one of our Romance Gems – Lucinda Race’s Old and New. Highly recommend it! Mr. H and I prepped gardens and raked, enjoying New England’s early spring weather. Extra care is given to preparing meals, since I find myself with more time than I’ve had in decades. We even dusted off the old bread machine, and now Darling Daughter is a bread master! Our dogs are over-the-moon happy with this slowed-down pace. Family movie nights and togetherness are THE BEST! But then I watch the news again or see a post, and it all comes racing back.

“Saw a neighbor, playing with his young son in their yard. Shrieks of delight as monster-dad gave chase, their old dog in hot pursuit with a Frisbee. The family was rarely home because of work and school. And the knot around my heart loosens a bit. Up the roller coaster climbs…

“We WILL get through this together—it’s the only way—and then I’m taking my family to Disney World for some good rides.” ~ Kathryn Hills

Liz Flaherty - Sewing Masks
“Local healthcare facilities put out a call for surgical masks and those of us who sew are responding. Social distancing has been easy for me, but not feeling useful has not, so I'm grateful to be able to do this.

“My newspaper column was about the virus this week. You can read it here.  ~ Liz Flaherty

"We recently traveled home from Portugal where we spent two glorious months in the sunshine. Now, we're happily home and self-isolating. Life has changed, but all is not lost! Twitter is a kinder place than I remember before we left. Air is cleaner, water is clearer, and people's resilience is showing up in interesting ways. I've learned how to make antiseptic wipes and even a face mask out of paper towels! From live streaming of events from singers' homes, police singing in the street to lonely citizens to celebrating all the people who're doing their jobs in spite of being just as afraid as the rest of us. We're gonna make it, people and we may just have a better appreciation of us."

Here's a little deal to help ease the stress: Whole Lot O' Love (The Brantons Book 3) ~ Bonnie Edwards

“How are you coping with today’s events? I’m an introvert, so being away from my day-job, at home with my poodle, isn’t as difficult as it would be for an extrovert. It is, however, challenging.
I’m cleaning and organizing. Boring? Boring and harmless? Well, under normal circumstances I’m a wee bit obsessive (colored paper clips, clamps, pens, organizers and calendars (yes, plural).

“Now, picture me in my kitchen. I’ve purged all the unused items for donation, cleaned the counters tops and moved on to the fridge. I lined all the fridge shelves, reorganized the cupboards, spice rack, and pantry-where I found my empty bell jars. And my Brother labeler. Which led to cooking soups, chili (bell jars can be frozen, too) pancake batter, quiche...

“…until sitting down to write each evening.

“Please take care of yourself, your loved ones, and neighbors. Make use of food stuff in your cupboards. Dried beans into soup or chili or mix up yeast-free soda bread. Also, enjoy a novel—a mini vacation, an adventure while sipping your coffee and listening to uplifting music.” ~ Connie Vines

Lucinda Race's Office Mates
“During these next few weeks, I’ll be working from home for the day job where I’m a marketing manager. I have two new co-workers who for the most part are quiet. Initially I tried to have them keep their normal routine but that lasted about a half a minute. Jasper the cream mini-doxie sounded like a baby crying in the other room. So, I gathered up the puppy bed from the living room and brought it to the office. He happily pranced, with his baby, into the office and settled in like he had been working with me forever. Even now as I write this he is giving me a grumble and his sweet light brown eyes trying to guilt me into picking him up. Oh, and now he’s started sneezing which means he has moved onto the, I’m desperate for your kisses Mommy.

“So, of course I had to stop pick up the little man and give him snuggles. The other “co-worker” Griffin, just does his own thing. No time for kisses and snuggles. Life is on his terms he’s more like a cat.

“I’m happy to work in the home office with my two sweet office mates even with the occasional bark and grumble at some random sound outside. Now if the weather would cooperate and I could open a window, well that might ensure new barking jags from the pups. Oh well, no complaints here. Life is good.” ~ Lucinda Race


Okay, it's your turn to join the conversation! Add your comments below or send via email through the "contact us” link on the bottom of the left sidebar. You can also make suggestions on what you'd like to discuss here in the future.

Thanks for joining us. Most important... Stay safe and be well!

~ The Romance Gems ~

Please join us in celebrating our March promotion
- Lucky in Love!

March Prizes

1st Prize: $20.00 Amazon Gift Card
2nd Prize: $10.00 Amazon Gift Card

Best of luck to everyone!


  1. Thanks all. I'm glad I'm not the only one who's been eating a bit too much. I had saved my GS cookies and decided to break them open. Yikes addictive. Take care. I'll be looking for diet advice soon if you do that one month.

    1. Nora! I found three boxes in my pantry, and I'm thrilled! But, truly, they are addictive. Thin Mints, baby... Yum!

  2. We’re certainly luckier than some in that we can disappear into our fictional worlds where life is still normal. I appreciate that more now than ever!

    1. I've found it REALLY hard to write now, Bonnie. But, today my muse is sticking around. Cross your fingers for me. 🙂

  3. What fun it was reading what everyone else is doing. We've at last had a few nice days for doing things outside--what a boon that's been.

    1. Spring in New England has been a tremendous help for me, Liz! Snow and rain are on the horizon again for us, but soon... 🌷🌷🌷

  4. I really appreciate the positive vibe to everyone's comments. We will come out of this with new appreciation for the little things in life.

    1. I saw a meme yesterday, saying something like... Things will get back to normal, but then we must decide what kind of "normal things" we want back. Our family was always going, going, going, which is okay. Good, even. But, my time with them is now much more precious. I'm holding every moment in my heart.

  5. I am definitely making Kathleen's no-fail german pancakes. Thanks for the recipe. Everyone please stay safe and well.

    1. Deborah, they are so easy and everyone loves them that I've ever cooked them for. The hard part is waiting the half-hour till they come out of the oven.

    2. They look crazy-good, Deborah! I'm going to try to make them too! 😋

  6. Glad to hear everyone is handling this with patience, aplomb, and common sense. I'm still digging out from the backlog of things that didn't get done since I've been away so much since the New Year. Had a few doctor appointments which I made, wearing the ever-so fashionable surgical mask with puppy dog prints on it and coordinating blue nitrile gloves—both of which I had before CoVID19 reared its ugly head because of the need to learn how to give injections to younger daughter. We'll all get through this. Stay happy, healthy, and valiant.

    1. Nice to have you back, Joan. You were missed.

    2. Great to have you back, Joan!! Be well! ❤️

  7. Its a very trying time for everyone. My brother is waiting for tests results and my son is under 72 hour hold for mental care. Prayers to you all.

    1. Oh no... I'm SO very sorry to hear all this. Prayers is right! As Kathleen said, keep us posted. ❤️

  8. Prayers back! Thanks for keeping in touch. Let us know how it goes.


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