Hello, it’s me.

Wow, I can’t believe I’ve let so much time pass. So much time and so many important milestones in my life and I haven’t talked about a single one of them. Well, okay, I have sporadically. On Facebook and Instagram and occasionally on Twitter. But I’ll be honest, I’ve taken a huge break from social media in general the last year. For personal reasons, really. There’s just too much going on in the world. Too much arguing and hate and not enough happiness and peace for me. I’m not downing one side or the other. Everyone has a right to their opinion. I’m just saying for my own piece of mind and sanity, I have to close my eyes and ears and block it out and the only way I know how to do that is to quit looking at Facebook (I completely signed out for six months and didn’t miss it a bit), quit trolling Twitter and turn off the TV. I guess I could also throw in that I quit updating my blog, but then it’s been more than a year for that.

I know there’s a lot of important things going on right now and just about everyone of them are more important than anything that’s happen to me, but just in case anyone is curious, I thought I might catch you up real quick.

Almost a year ago, I made the decision to leave my employer of 19 years for a change. I’d been burnt out for a while, a long while actually, and I hadn’t kept it a secret from my boss. Luckily, he’s a pretty cool guy and I was comfortable enough to let him know those kinds of things. Then an opportunity to advance in my field came up and after much agonizing thought and going back and forth, I made the hard decision to take the position. It was pretty emotional for both of us. I’d been with this employer for almost as long as I’ve been married to my husband (we celebrated 20 years this month) and he and his family had become like family to me and my family. In the end, he wished me well, he teared up, I cried, we hugged and well, we still talk pretty much weekly, have taken a few vacations together and, yeah, we’re still like family. It was a good move for me. I love my job. I mean, I really, really love my job. I’ve learned more than I imagined and truly feel like I’m making a difference and contributing to the program. I’m challenged daily and was blessed to be taken in and surrounding by not only a darn good staff, but others who I never would have gotten to know and befriend if I hadn’t taken the chance.

Speaking of those vacations I mentioned a moment ago, well, I’ve done a lot of travelling. Travel is my passion. I would probably starve if it meant I could sneak away somewhere and yes I’m well aware of how immature and irresponsible that viewpoint is, but I’m being honest here and if it came down to saving a dollar or taking a trip, I’m packing my bags.

Unfortunately the worlds current circumstances have stalled my travel plans and as much as I hate to admit it, it’s probably for the best. Last July after travelling to Alabama to vacation with my cousin and her family, I developed a DVT (Blood Clot) in my right leg. Luckily, my cousin is a nurse and recognized the signs. After a healthy dose of blood thinners, I thought I would be on the mend, but for whatever reason, I just didn’t seem to bounce back very quickly. Maybe it was coincidence, but it seemed every time I turned around I was sick or ill and not feeling well and then in mid February I got more bad news. I woke up one morning with extreme pain in my left side, shortness of breath and coughing up small amounts of blood. I won’t go into all the dramatic details (although, the story of how I made my rounds to three different hospitals that day is pretty good), but it turned out that I got myself a week long hospital stay for bilateral pulmonary embolisms. In plain words, that means I had blood clots in both lungs. It was pretty scary, especially when one of the doctors said that if I hadn’t gotten to the hospital when I did that my day probably would have ended a lot differently. It turned out that not only did I have the blood clots, but I also had some right ventricle heart strain and permanent damage to the right lung. But, hey, the good news? You can live with one lung! All joking aside, it’s really opened my eyes. About my health, about life and about many other things. I’m no where near back to where I was. I still can’t seem to get over what I call a “hump.” I tire easy and get frequent short of breath. Of course, it doesn’t help that I’m still doing testing with my heart. So what caused the last blood clots? We have no clue. I’ve had more blood drawn and more test done in the last four months than I’ve ever had. It’s just one of those things I guess I’ll never know.

As if major health issues wasn’t enough to deal with, my oldest son turned eighteen and graduated high school during quarantine. I guess the powers that be just couldn’t see fit to have a little mercy on me. First let me say, my kid was perfectly fine with skipping prom and not having a normal graduation ceremony. His momma, though, yep, I cried. I mean, his girlfriend finally talked him into going to prom and wearing a tux and it get’s cancelled. How fair is that? I’ll probably never see that kid all dressed up, but I guess it is what it is. Which brings me to my next topic.

COVID19. I know most people have an opinion, but I don’t even know what to say anymore, so I’ll just say aside from the inconveniences and limitations that everyone is dealing with, my husband and I have been absolutely, one hundred percent, truly blessed that it hasn’t affected our family so far. I have been working from home since mid-march with no date of return in site and while my husband hasn’t been quite as lucky, neither of us have lost wages or a job. If I’m being real honest here, when I took my new job last year, I also took on a two and a half hour round trip commute each day, so working from home is ideal for me.

I made that two and a half hour commute today for the first time since mid-march. I woke up at 4:45 and was there by 7:00 am. Why? Well, I have one staff member in the office (by choice) and they needed to be out today, so I went in to cover things like retrieving mail and printing and faxing for those working remotely. Plus, I needed to pick up a few things I had left behind. I enjoyed my day. It was nice being back in my “space.” The office was quiet, but it was also nice to see the (very) few that remain in the building. I’d forgotten how fast the internet is compared to what I have at home and how much more exercise I get walking up and down the stairs and back and forth to the copier room. It was also nice to actually dress up and put makeup on, fix my hair and wear shoes that weren’t a flip flop or tennis shoe. I got to swing by The UPS store on my way home and I ordered groceries from Kroger last night to be picked up today because I don’t have those conveniences in my small town. It made me realize how much I miss my staff, though. We talk regularly and have weekly calls, but it’s not the same. Does this mean I’m ready to go back to the office? I can’t say that I am. I really like working from home. It has it’s perks and hey, that two hour commute is saving gas, wear and tear on my car and time. But do I wish I could work from home under different circumstances? More than anything.

Being home more has given me the opportunity to do more writing. I’ve kept pretty quiet about it, but I have three different storylines I’ve been working on. A series I’ve been planning and working through in my head for a long time and I finally decided to get serious about it again. I have about seventy-five thousand words between the three and I’m happy with that for now. I thought about the stories during my commute today. It’s something I do when I’m driving. Actually, I thought about writing in general and how much peace it brings me. That lead me to thinking about my blog and well, here I am now. I’m certain I may have a touch of adult ADHD. Regardless, it has prompted my first update in … I don’t even want to guess how long.

I know this has been random and not at all filled with anything promising or exciting, but that’s okay. I’m writing and I’m at peace even after a very long day. For your enjoyment, check out the surprise I found at the office today. My lone staff member has a sense of humor.

I hope you all stay safe, healthy and strong. Don’t forget to do the things that make you happy. ^ Dena

I had a dream

So I had a dream. Not a vague what did that mean dream, but a vivid, in the moment dream that felt so real, I woke up and was like “holy cow.” I’ve had this book idea playing through my head for a while now. Years if I’m being honest and while I’ve sat down a few times and put some words out, it’s had holes that I just couldn’t fill. And then, I had this dream and it played out all the things that were bugging me.

So now it’s time to sit down and get some long over due writing done. Maybe soon I’ll fill you in on all the change in my life over the last few years, as well as, catch up with what’s been happening in the writing world.

Until then, happy writing!

I’ve Moved

Stalk Me

As some of you know, I recently upgraded to a self hosted site and I wasn’t sure if my post were being routed properly, so I did a test post of my “following” issue last night, trying to figure out who it reached and who it didn’t.  Thank you to those who let me know if it did or not.  Much as I suspected, my post weren’t being routed properly, but I think I have that little bug fixed.  However, I found out today my email subscriptions weren’t transferred over.  After researching this on WordPress, I found that they will gladly move them for me, but I must first notify you all of what I’m doing.  So, please take notice that I’ve moved and I’m moving you with me!  I hope you don’t mind 🙂  For those that don’t receive email notifications, my post will still flow through your reader, so you’re all good, but if you want to make sure you don’t miss anything, I’d love for you to check out the new site at www.dena-rogers.com and subscribe.  I’ve got some things coming up and I’d love to be able to share them with you.

And thank you to everyone who’s taken the time to read, comment or share a post.  You’re awesome!


Stalk Me

Well, I’m not here.  Honestly I’m not sure where I am.  I’m still trying to figure out this whole .com and .org stuff out.  I can tell you my post are no longer feeding here, though.  I thought it was routed to my new site dena-rogers.com, but I’m not so sure that’s happening, although wordpress tells me it is.  I’m sort of lonely over there except for a few good friends.  Or maybe, it’s because I’ve really dropped the ball on blogging and no one comes by to say hello.  I know, bad, bad me.  Life has just been busy and hectic and well, quite honestly, I’ve tried to spend most of my spare time writing instead of everything else. I’m trying to be better about that- along with a million other things.  I do have some things coming up.  Some EXCITING things, so if you’d like to stay in touch and you’re not getting notifications of my post, I’d be humbled if you’d jump over and follow my new site.  There isn’t that nifty little follow button at top, but you can subscribe by email.  And if my post are getting to you, I’d love to know that, too.




They say writing your second novel is easier.  After all, you have the experience of a full manuscript behind you, which should make you a pro.  And I don’t mean pro in the sense of style, because I think as writers we are continually mastering our craft, but as far as the basics go, we should have them down, especially if we’ve already gone through the process of editing and publishing.  Well, I’m here to tell you that “they” lied.

Writing that second novel is not easy.  At least it hasn’t been for me.

We all want our follow-up to be better than our debut.  We want it to shine and for our readers to be wowed by how much our writing has matured.  That in itself adds pressure as we sit with our fingers posed and our heads blankly staring at the screen.   I’ve gone through a myriad  of emotions with this second book.  From self-doubt to being ready to kick its ass. But even when I finally got into the grove, I found that words didn’t come easy.

I had a full manuscript at one time.  Completely done from start to finish and then I started editing.  I cut this, added that, and then decided my characters needed to wait on having sex.  My heroine liked this friend and then decided she didn’t.  My hero loved his coaching job, but then decided he had higher aspirations.  There was a baby and then none and then someone else got pregnant.  A death.  More sex, less sex, no sex.  Should they be scorned from past struggles or be bold and decide that those things don’t matter?  My characters might seem fickle, but really they aren’t. In the end, they know what they want, I just have to work through the process of getting to know them better.  I don’t mind this part of writing.  I actually love visualizing a scene over and over in my head and talking with my characters until it all comes together.  But, none of that has come very easily with this second book.

Writers block?  Not exactly.

I never gave much thought to the rules of writing, before.  I wrote what and how I wanted and somehow it just all came together. Now, though, I find myself lost in everything I’ve learned and the pressure to incorporate it as I’m writing, gets very distracting.  Every time the word, “was,” pops up in a sentence, it’s an immediate joykill.  I stop and think.  And think and think some more about how can I eliminate it, because “was” is a dead ringer for passive voice, right?  Right.  Punctuation also trips me up.  Not periods, exclamation points and question marks, but whether to use an ellipsis or an em-dash?  And don’t even get me started on commas.  Be careful about using adverbs, too.  I have all these rules running through my head and I try to apply them as I’m going along, but the stopping and starting zaps my creativity and before I know it, I’ve spent an hour on a paragraph trying to make it perfect and that scene that a moment ago, was fresh in my head, shrivels up and evaporates.  I’ve determined, I was a much better writer when I had no clue what I was doing.

It’s been hard, but I’ve been trying to ignore all the rules and just write.  It’s been about three weeks and you know what?  I’ve finally made progress.  Good progress.  Like two more chapters to rewrite progress.  Sometimes having no clue what you’re doing works to your advantage and sometimes it helps to pretend that you’re clueless even when your not.  Maybe some day I’ll learn how to balance this out, but in the meantime, I ‘m forgetting the rules and letting the words pour out.

I’m forgetting how to write.



Hello!  I’m excited to have Romancing Austin on the blog today.  I grew up about an hour north of Austin so it’s like having a little bit of home, seven times over, in this anthology.  I absolutely can’t wait to dip into these stories!  Take a peek and don’t forget to enter the giveaway for a $75.00 Amazon giftcard.
Seven Romances. One Wild Party

A multi-genre contemporary romance anthology


Introductory Price:$0.99 (limited time)

Former rock star Dex Reed throws a wild comeback party in his Austin penthouse, and seven romances heat up the night.

No Quitting Allowed, Rebecca Royce

One last assignment and then Lana is quitting her job, quitting Austin, and moving on with her life. Until Jake stumbles into her and changes the direction of her whole world.

 Twisted, Cara Carnes

Caleb “Colt” Douglas agreed to close out Twisted Delirium’s sold out world tour with a gig at SXSW for one reason–win back the woman he left behind.

Do Over, Chandra Ryan

When life offers Juliana a fresh start, will she follow her heart or play it safe?

Consortium, Riley Bancroft

Record exec Holt Michaelson married the enigmatic Chloe to keep his assets safe from a vindictive competitor, but after a fiery encounter with his new wife, he’s determined to claim her as his own, body and soul.

 Tall Order, Irene Preston

Dylan made the worst mistake of his life when he chose his career over Aston, but tonight he’ll take a risk on Aston even if it’s too late.

 Enchanted, Evelyn Berry

Stripped of her magic, fairy princess Aurora is torn between her duty to her imperiled family and to a brilliant musician who holds the key to their freedom…and her heart.

One Night with the Vampire, Jax Garren

Tonight Alex will finally possess the woman he’s craved, but Sofia’s dangerous family secrets threaten to tear them apart.


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Excerpt from No Quitting Allowed by Rebecca Royce

“You’re staring at me.” She set her glass on the bar and it made a large clink. “You’re beautiful. It’s easy to look at you.” She waved her hand as if to indicate the room. “Stare at someone else.” He looked around for no other reason than to appease her. She was a woman who needed a break. How badly did you have to be pushed to shove a bag and your job at your boss? He caught the gazes of two of his employees. They waved with a lot of gusto. He grinned. They’d be hung over in the morning. It was a good thing he’d given them a few days off to enjoy South by Southwest. Employees weren’t productive when they’d rather be somewhere else. “Nope,” he turned back to Lana, “I think I’d rather focus all my attention on you.” “Why? Don’t you want to gaze at Dexter adoringly?” “Let’s try a new refrain. We’ve had the Dexter back and forth already. I’ve registered it. You hate him. I don’t care one way or another about DBR. I listen to eighties’ punk. How about you?” She pursed her lips. Whatever she was about to say, he’d wager money she would shout it. He could feel it in his bones. In their short acquaintance, Lana liked to yell. God, she was really going to be an exciting person to know. So completely impolite on the street—and he had to admit, in the elevator. Yet, when she’d collided with him in her haste to get away from DBR, she’d apologized. Somewhere in all her bluster was a huge heart. He could see her light. “I enjoy listening to Broadway musicals.” She shouted the fifth word, exactly as he’d known she would. “And any other music found in New York City.” “Ah, I can feel an Austin dig coming on. And your criticism of my beloved city, I won’t take. Hate DBR all you want. Hate Austin? No, ma’am, no one with a soul can hate my city.” The full blaze of Lana’s temper turned on him and all straight from her eyes. What did it say about him that he got so fucking hard? Tonight would be an important turning point in his life; he could feel revelations buzzing in his bones. By the end of the evening, he would know himself better. Life was funny. The universe showed him truths at the most unexpected times. He’d known when he saw her on the street he had to purposely bump into her. She was a woman he needed to become acquainted with. “Have you ever been to Manhattan?” He smiled. “Sure.” “And you wouldn’t rather be there than anywhere else in the universe?” He threw his head back and laughed. “Right, Lana, baby.” He had to add the last bit to watch her color rise. “I’m right where I want to be.” Her grin twisted. “Hey, can I ask you a question?” “Sure.” Her query would be great, her mind had so far taken her mouth to really unusual statements. “If any of the bedrooms in here are unoccupied, would you want to fuck me? A really big quasi-anonymous romp in the sheets? Immediately?”


As a teenager, I would hide in my room to read my favorite romance novels when I was supposed to be doing my homework. I hope, these days, that my parents think it was worth it.

I am the mother of three adorable boys and I am fortunate to be married to my best friend. I live in Austin Texas where I am determined to eat all the barbecue in town.

I am in love with science fiction, fantasy, and the paranormal and try to use all of these elements in my writing. I’ve been told I’m a little bloodthirsty so I hope that when you read my work you’ll enjoy the action packed ride that always ends in romance. I love to write series because I love to see characters develop over time and it always makes me happy to see my favorite characters make guest appearances in other books.

In my world anything is possible, anything can happen, and you should suspect that it will.

I’d love to hear from you!


Visit Rebecca Online:

 RebeccaRoyce.com | Blog | The Decadent Divas | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest  GoodReads | Amazon


Excerpt from Tall Order by Irene Preston:

 “Hello, Dylan.” Dylan closed his eyes at the unfairness of the whole fucked up night. Damn, damn, damn. The sound of his name on Win’s lips still made him weak at the knees. It made him want to punch the asshole in the other room and anyone else who’d touched Win while he was gone. It made him want to take Win home, and take him to bed, and remind him they belonged to each other. Dylan and no one else took care of Win. Unfortunately, none of that was possible, and it was all his fault. He turned. “Win.” It was all he could manage. Up close Win was even more devastating. Dylan locked his knees so he wouldn’t take a step closer. If he started moving toward the man standing in the doorway, he wasn’t sure he could stop. “Most people just call me Aston now.” I’m not most people. Dylan stopped himself from saying it out loud. Win watched him for a minute. “I didn’t know you were back in town.” Was there a shadow of hurt in his eyes? Dylan couldn’t tell. The realization sliced him, because he had always been able to tell exactly what Win was thinking. “Just got back.” What else was there to say? Yes, he was back in Austin. No, he wasn’t in New York. Yes, his Big Chance had been a Big Mistake. No, he never should have left. He should have stayed here, a medium-sized fish in a medium-sized pond instead of trying to swim in the ocean. He should never have forced Win to choose. Win took a few steps closer and all the thoughts running around in Dylan’s head stopped cold so his brain could focus on one fact. Win. Right in front of him. I could touch him. Win was so close Dylan had to tilt his head to keep looking at him. The angle brought back the memory of every time he’d angled his head just so when Win leaned in to kiss him. Dylan held his breath, held as still as he could, and tried not to give the thought away. Win gazed at him for a minute, then lifted one hand and trailed a finger down the front of Dylan’s shirt, lighting up nerve endings as he went. “Cute.”

 Read More from “Tall Order


Irene Preston has to write romances, after all she is living one. As a starving college student, she met her dream man who whisked her away on a romantic honeymoon across Europe. Today they live in the beautiful hill country outside of Austin, Texas where Dream Man is still working hard to make sure she never has to take off her rose-colored glasses.

 Visit Irene Online:

 IrenePreston.com | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | GoodReads | Amazon



Please say a big HELLO and welcome Kate Foster to the blog.  A woman of many talents (as you’ll see in question number one below), who works on a variety of projects at any given time, Kate graciously gave me a few moments of her time and answered some questions about herself and her newly released, middle grade novel, Winell Road. But, before we get to the fun stuff, take a look at that beautiful cover and the blurb for Winell Road.  I must say, my boys are already dying to read this (me too!)

Winell Road cover 2

Twelve-year old Jack Mills lives at 5 Winell Road and probably has the world’s weirdest neighbours. Like freakishly weird. And to top it off, he lives with Mum: nosy, interfering, a hideous cook, and Dad: unsuccessful inventor of the Camera Belt and Self-Closing Window. All in all, it’s a boring, embarrassing, dead-end place to live.

So when Jack arrives home from school one day, a close shave with a UFO is the last thing he expects. But the fact it doesn’t abduct him, and that no one else, not even Mum, sees the gigantic flying saucer hovering over the street, adds a whole new layer of strange.

Soon after, an alien encounter threatens Jack’s life and he becomes embroiled in a galaxy-saving mission. With the assistance of his new neighbour, frighteningly tall Roxy Fox, he discovers Winell Road is hiding secrets—secrets Jack might wish he’d never uncovered.



Now for the fun stuff.

Kate, please tell us a little about yourself.
I’m a writer of children’s fiction, obviously, mainly middle grade novels and picture books, although I do have a chapter book series I’m working on — when I get time! I’m a freelance editor and proof reader, and volunteer my time for Ink Pantry Publishing (part of the Open University in the UK) proof reading articles and interviewing authors. I’m originally from a small village in the UK but now live on the Gold Coast in Australia with my family. 

Where did your inspiration for Winell Road come from?

My children, mainly. The main character is based on a mixture of my two eldest sons. But I find inspiration comes from anywhere and everywhere to make up my novels as a whole. In the case of Winell Road, an awesome scene from one of my favourite movies (True Lies – the bit where, after Arnie and his wife are captured, he then explains what the bomb is and Jamie Lee Curtis is like, ‘WHAT? But you’re just a sales rep!’) gave the wheels the push they needed, and from this the story grew.

I have boys and from reading the blurb, it sounds like something they’d both enjoy. Do you feel Winell Road is a gender neutral book or does it mostly cater to one or the other? 
I have boys, too, so I guess, understandably, I wrote this initially with them in mind. But in truth the book will certainly appeal to both boys and girls. Although the protagonist is a boy, Jack, his new neighbour, Roxy Fox, is a feisty, confident and fascinating girl, as well as being frighteningly tall, and she shows Jack how to 1. have fun, and 2. believe in himself.

What was the most difficult part of writing this story?
The first draft. I’m not afraid to admit that I despise them. I have all these grand ideas and vivid scenes playing out in my mind like movies and translating them into words can be a struggle at times. And I don’t like getting things wrong, so when I write something that I know isn’t portraying the imagery perfectly, I get extremely cross with myself and the world.

Is it a standalone or will it become a series?
It’s the first in a series. The second book is written, the third is plotted out and ready to write. One day.

Do you have a writing process?
Not really. I write when I have spare moments, and I have to admit I have numerous projects on the go at the same time – so I could be described as a messy writer. But all these ideas have to come out of my brain straight away or I will forget them, and I absolutely hate writer’s block. It makes me feel low – not good – so I like to be able to move away to another project if this happens. I’m yet to experience writer’s block on all my projects at the same time, but if I do, I will most definitely start something new!

Are you currently working on anything else?
Yes! I have a handful of picture books in various stages of the editing process, some out on submission to agents. I have the second in the Winell Road series to polish, and another unrelated mid grade I’m editing. Mix that in with various articles and blogs, and I think that’s probably enough!

You’re also an editor.  Can you tell us your favorite thing about editing?
The entire process, to be honest. There isn’t a part I can say I dislike. I love rearranging sentences and paragraphs, scenes and chapters, and even entire storylines, until they run smoothly and sing to the reader. And pair that up with getting to know new authors every day and watching their careers go from strength to strength is pretty close to bliss for me.

Is there a message you’d like your readers to get from Winell Road?
No, not really. Is that bad? If they do then that’s great, if not, I just hope they’ve had a ball and want to continue with Jack on his adventure. I want them to experience what I did as a child when I read Enid Blyton’s Magic Faraway Tree books and The Wishing Chair series; magic.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Enjoy as much of the process as possible, NEVER give up, and listen to advice. Whether you take it or not is up to you, but get as much feedback as you possibly can from as many people as you possibly can and at every stage of the book’s life.

And now a few favorites, just because I’m nosey 🙂
Color – Brown
Time of Day – Bedtime
Food – All of it
Book – Can I have two? The Uninvited by Liz Jensen and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime by Mark Haddon
Hobby – Writing!
Season – In England it was spring, in Australia it’s winter.
Holiday – (Does this mean a trip I’ve taken abroad? If yes…) Andalucia in Spain.
Type of Music – I love a good bop, so dance music


Give A Little

nepalPicture courtesy of Authors for Nepal Facebook Page

We’ve all heard about the earthquake that ravished Nepal, so there is no need to go into a lengthy post about the loss  and devastation there.  I’m fairly certain nothing I could say would ever properly describe the havoc those enduring this tragedy are currently faced with.  However, I can help.  A little.  And so can you.  A little. And maybe my little and your little will encourage the next person to donate a little, too.

I know we all have causes to support and many of us struggle just to pay the bills, but there are many ways, other than financially, that you can help.  How? Well,  couple of women came up with the idea to run an literary themed auction and have reached out through a Facebook page, Authors for Nepal, for donations.

Again, how can you help?  In all kinds of neat and creative ways.  Some have donated signed copies of their books, while others are offering up their services.  I even saw a chance to name a character in someone’s next book, which I think is a pretty awesome idea.  In the grand scheme of things, this might be small, but every little bit helps and hopefully all these small efforts pulled together will make a big difference.

If you’d like to learn more, please like and follow the Facebook page, as  information about the auction will appear there.  If you don’t have anything to donate, but would like to help anyway, check out the auction when it goes live.   I’ve seen the list of donations and I’m am sure there’s going to be lots of goodies to chose from.

Money raised goes toward rural early childhood and school centres affected by the Nepal 2015 earthquake.  Monetary donations can be made to Earthquake Relief for Nepal disaster page created by FIRST STEPS HIMALAYAa New Zealand based charity providing early years education for rural Nepali children.

For any questions regarding donations, please email Julia at jccmoffatt@btinternet.com


Please welcome Susanne Matthews to the blog.  While you’re at it, wish her a happy release day for The White Carnation, the first installment in The Harvester Series.  Happy book birthday Susanne!  Now, I’ve mentioned before that I’m a cover kind of girl and when I saw Susanne’s cover, I said “Wow!”  I’m so excited to share it along with an excerpt and a get-to-know the character, Faye Lewis.  Named after Susanne’s own best friend, she sounds like my kind of gal! The+White+Carnation- sussanneThe last person disgraced reporter Faye Lewis wants back in her life is Detective Rob Halliday, the man she blames for ruining her career and breaking her heart. But when she finds an old friend murdered, he’s the one she calls. For the past year, Rob and his team have been hunting the Harvester, a serial killer who ritualistically murders new mothers and vanishes with their infants. What Rob doesn’t need is another case, especially one involving his ex-fiancée. Then Faye is assaulted, and Rob realizes the cases are connected. She may hold the answers he needs to find the elusive killer. But the more they investigate, the more complex the situation becomes. Can they set the past aside and work together, or will the Harvester and his followers reap another prize? EXCERPT: Every hair on Faye’s body stood on end as she approached the oak door. It was open. Mrs. Green never left the door open. The woman double- and triple-locked everything. The last time she’d been here—was it really two years ago?—it had taken forever for the woman to undo the locks and let her in. “Mrs. Green, are you there? It’s Faye.” She pushed open the door and the unmistakable scent of blood—that slightly sour, coppery scent she’d never forget—greeted her. She swallowed a scream. The place was a disaster: furniture overturned, papers, books, CDs, and DVDs littering the floor. There, amidst the chaos, lay Mary’s mother, the jagged red line along her throat testifying to her death. Faye dropped the flower and damaged purse, some of the contents spilling out and landing in the pool of blood—a tube of lipstick, a pack of gum, a roll of breath mints—strange sprinkles on the deep red surface. The pristine white petals of the carnation soaked up the redness, adding to the eeriness. She ran to the powder room and threw herself on her knees barely in time to spew what was left of her cucumber and watercress sandwiches into the toilet. The pungent, sour aroma of vomit filled the room. Tears tracked down her cheeks. The gut wrenching heaves that followed brought up bile and left her exhausted. She sat back on her heels, trying to control her anguish. With a shaking hand, she pulled her cell phone out of her jacket pocket and dialed a familiar number. “Homicide, Rob Halliday.” The voice was tired, bored, resigned. “Rob, it’s Faye. She’s dead. Lucy Green’s dead. There’s so much blood. Someone’s murdered Mary’s mother.” “Where are you?” Rob was all business, as if there were no painful history between them. Deep down, she knew this no-nonsense, professional side of him was what she needed, why she’d called him and not 9-1-1. “Third floor, seventeen thirty-seven Marlborough. It’s in Beacon Hill.” “I know where the damn street is, Faye. Stay there, and don’t touch anything. I’m on my way.” Meet Faye Lewis: Creating three dimensional characters the reader will identify with is a challenge faced by most authors, including myself. For Faye to be “real” to the reader, she had to be “real” to me. I wanted my readers to love her, identify with her, and care about her and her struggles the same way I did. Faye Lewis, the heroine in The White Carnation, Book One of The Harvester Series, is named after my best friend, and in writing the story, I tried to give Faye Lewis those qualities I admire most in my friend. With apologies to the real Faye, I’ve tortured my heroine, but she’s a fighter, and believe me, she gets her happily ever after in the end. So what kind of person is Faye Lewis? Dedicated: Faye’s an aspiring journalist who’ll do whatever it takes to get the story. She’ll work long hours, and make whatever personal sacrifices are necessary on the way to her ultimate goals—a Pulitzer Prize and the number one spot on the crime beat at Boston’s most prestigious newspaper. Caring: She has a soft spot for underdogs, and befriends those who are marginalized by others. She also jumps to help those who ask for her help. She accepts people at face value, but if you get on her bad side, forget it. She can and does hold a grudge. Knowledgeable: Faye’s intelligent and well-read, and has done a lot of research on a number of different topics in her quest for the truth in reporting her story, and her search for the story that will win her that Pulitzer Prize. Perceptive: She has the ability to look at a number of seemingly disconnected points and pulling them together so that they make sense. She’s invaluable to Rob as they try to solve the Harvester case. But, in order to be well-rounded, Faye also has her faults. Stubborn: When Faye thinks she’s right, nothing can make her change her mind. Distrustful: Due to her father’s behavior, Faye expects to be let down by people. She doesn’t trust anyone, not even the man she purported to love. Quick-tempered: Irish to the roots of her chestnut hair, she loses her temper quickly, jumps to conclusions and says things she regrets almost as soon as she’s said them. When the story starts, Faye has two fears: clowns and electrical storms. The White Carnation is available for pre-order from most major e-retailers. Visit my website http://www.mhsusannematthews.ca/ for direct purchase links to this and the rest of my books. new+picture+of+me- susanneAUTHOR BIO: Susanne Matthews was born and raised in Cornwall, Ontario, Canada. She’s always been an avid reader of all types of books, but always with a penchant for happily ever after romances. In her imagination, she travelled to foreign lands, past and present, and soared into the future. A retired educator, Susanne spends her time writing and creating adventures for her readers. She loves the ins and outs of romance, and the complex journey it takes to get from the first word to the last period of a novel. As she writes, her characters take on a life of their own, and she shares their fears and agonies on the road to self-discovery and love. WEBSITE/BLOG    FACEBOOK   TWITTER  AMAZON  GOODREADS

COVER REVEAL: TIME OF WANT By: Amanda Bianco & Stacie Jacobs


Time of Want

Book one of The Times Trilogy

Samantha Bennett has the perfect life. A beautiful home, a loving husband, and all the designer labels a girl could want. But she is lonely. Feeling trapped at home while her husband John works long hours, Samantha craves love and attention. She is desperate for the one thing she can’t have – a child.

Following one let down after another, Sam questions her existence. Her lonely lifestyle drives her to want more. She looks to fill the void from John’s hectic business schedule.

That’s when the Millers move in across the street.

Derek and Elizabeth have moved to Long Island so that Elizabeth, a successful pediatrician, can take up a new post close to her family. She is expecting their first child, and Derek, a former sports writer, has given up work to stay home with the baby and write a novel. Quickly, the Miller’s become friends with the Bennett’s. But cracks soon appear in their marriage as Elizabeth works long hours at the hospital.

Derek’s head has been turned and now he too is faced with his own demons.

As temptations grow, Sam begins to slip back into her old mischievous ways. She is willing to risk everything she and John have worked for, because for Sam it is all about the thrill of the chase.

However, Derek has his own agenda and is playing by a different set of rules. This leaves Sam even more confused. She begins to question if it’s all worth it…

Have you ever wanted something so much that you would risk everything for it?

Even if it meant hurting the ones closest to you?

A contemporary novel of,

Love, Loss, Desire, and Deception




Amanda was born and raised on Long Island, New York, and still lives there with her husband of eight years, and two small children. Their son is six and daughter is two. After giving birth, she was fortunate enough to stay at home with her children. Amanda is the youngest of four girls, and loved growing up in a big family. Once she graduated high school, she started working in retail full time.  She has always had a creative imagination, but her passion for writing only started a few years ago. The more she read, the more obsessed she became. Now, she loves to write and create stories that people will hopefully enjoy reading. A few of her favorite things to do are: listen to music, read, bake, and spend time with family.

Stacie was born and raised on Long Island, New York. She is the youngest of three girls. After high school, Stacie went to Dowling College and then to St. Joseph’s college, with the hopes of being a teacher or speech pathologist. Her senior year, she became very ill and left. At the age of thirty two, she was diagnosed with severe rheumatoid arthritis. Wanting a change, Stacie relocated to Texas in 2006, and shortly after moving, she met her husband. Within six months, they married and now have a three year old son. They hope to complete their family with another baby soon. Now, being a stay at home Mom, Stacie has hopes of finishing her degree and to continue writing.

Amanda and Stacie have been friends for over twenty years. The first ten years, they worked in retail together, until they both decided to pursue other careers. The friendship has grown stronger over the years and no matter how far apart they live, it continues to grow. Amanda and Stacie have always made a great team.