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Monthly Archives: January 2021

Jan Selbourne grew up in Melbourne, Australia. Her love of literature and history began as soon as she could read and hold a pen. Her career started in the dusty world of ledgers and accounting then a working holiday in the UK brought the history to life. Now retired, Jan can indulge her love of writing and travel. She has two adult children and lives near Maitland, New South Wales.

2020 Character Interview

Beverley: What’s your name?

Adrian: Adrian Bryce

Beverley: Where did you grow up?

Adrian: Kent, England

Beverley: D uring what time period does your story take place?

Adrian: 1914, at the beginning of a war which enveloped the whole world.

Beverley: What’s your story/back story? Why would someone come up with a story about you?

Adrian: I was wealthy, and I admit, an arrogant man with business interests throughout Europe. I had everything -influential friends, homes, servants, a boring wife and children at my country home. A beautiful mistress in London.  Unknown to anyone, I worked for the newly formed British Secret Service Bureau.  I had no idea that life as I knew it would blow up in my face.

Beverley: What’s your goal in this story?

Adrian: My goal was to not only survive a betrayal and a war but learn some painful truths about myself.

Beverley: What conflicts are you facing?

Adrian: I was ordered to accompany my estranged wife on her annual visit to her stifling, boring relatives in Belgium. The Secret Service Bureau believed her uncle Henri Meyvier was supporting the German Empire’s quest for war. It was there that life as I knew it crashed. I discovered my mistress, working for Meyvier, was spying on me.

Beverley: Do you have a plan for resolving them?

Adrian: I didn’t have time for a plan. Belgium was invaded, setting off the first sparks of a world war. My wife and I were horribly betrayed, forcing us to flee for our lives. For the first time we had nothing but the clothes we wore, we hid in barns and ditches, we stole food and a horse and buggy and, for the first time, we had to rely on each other to survive.

Beverley: Is there anything else you’d like us to know about you?

Adrian: While facing death, injury, hunger and brutality I fell in love with the woman I had neglected shamefully for eight years. How can I convince her I am not the man I once was?

Excerpt from Perilous Love Excerpt

As the world rushes towards a war, Adrian Bryce, wealthy businessman, is ordered by the British government to leave his mistress and accompany his estranged wife Gabrielle to Belgium.  They require proof Gabrielle’s uncle is supporting the German Empire.  Adrian discovers secrets which plunge him and Gabrielle into a nightmare of betrayal.  Forced to run for their lives as Germany invades, they must trust each other in the midst of danger, brutality, and injury.   

Gabrielle enjoys her role of mother of their two children. Wanting only to be with her lover, and now fearful of exposure, she readies herself and her children for a difficult trip.  With no way out, Gabrielle knows the two weeks visit with her aristocratic traditional family will be a trial, and Europe is on edge.  She had no idea the danger she, Adrian and her children would be in.  

Will Adrian and Gabrielle reach safety? If they do, are they out of danger or will the intrigue and treason follow them back to England?

Buy Links for Perilous Love : perilous love jan selbourne

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I try to eat a healthy diet. I’ve given up on all those fancy weight loss diets and those special ones for the disease of the month.   I have a few health issues and want a diet that’s healthy and good for my body without additives. For healthy nutrition I loosely follow the Mediterranean Diet. It’s ranked number one for the last four years.

But I still like to see the superfoods each year. It used to contain way out foods but this year they are mostly foods we’re aware of and may already include in our diet. Exotic fruits and ancient grains have different foods. I may look at trying them. And kale is still there. Sigh…

Here’s Cosmopolitan’s list of super foods.

Fermented foods such as kombucha, yogurt, and pickles 



Exotic fruits are a source of antioxidants, potassium, and fiber . They are acai, Maqui berry, and pitaya

Green tea


Spinach and leafy greens



Ancient grains such as amaranth, millet, teff, farro and freekeh


If you’d like to check out this list here’s the link.

I also checked a second list to see what the differences might be. They weren’t all that different. This one came from Eat This, Not That.

Leafy greens

Nuts and seeds

Fish and seafood


Citrus Fruits

Nitrate-rich fruits and veges. They help with exercise performance, lower blood pressure, and help brain function. They include beets , green leafy vegetables (like spinach), celery, carrots, citrus fruits, pomegranates, and watermelon

Whole grains which, besides the ones listed above also include barley, buckwheat, corn (including whole cornmeal and popcorn), oats, quinoa, brown or wild rice, rye, sorghum, certain types of wheat.

Legumes which include chickpeas, peanuts,   black beans , green peas, lima beans, kidney beans, black-eyed peas, Navy beans, great-norther beans, pinto beans, soybeans, and  lentils .

If you want to check this list further, here’s the link.


            Here’s to Good Nutrition in 2021

Happy New Year, everyone! Rhobin is starting the new year by getting us to focus. At least that’s how it’s working for me. Our topic for this month is – What is on your writing to-do list for this year? Do you have any long-range goals or just wrap-ups?

Covid is still here and I found that last year Covid fatigue began affecting my writing. Staying home, social distancing and no hugs left me with decreased motivation and diminished energy which worsened with cold weather, snow and ice. My writing suffered and I wrote less and less.

We’re still in lock-down, wear ing masks and social distancing but there is a vaccine and a light in the tunnel that life will improve. And spring is only a few months away. So, I’m meditating, eating healthier and getting motivated again. My writing to-do list is a combination of both long-range goals and wrap-ups. I have my novel which I had hoped to finish last year. I didn’t, so finish the book and get it published is on the wrap-up list. I took a workshop last year on advertising and doing ads and I haven’t utilized the information. I want to start doing some ads on a regular basis – another wrap-up item. I need to finish reading a fe books and write reviews for them – another wrap-up.

My to-do list is to write a novella, which I want to put up on Amazon for free. I also want to write a short story to give away on my website to those who sign-up for my newsletter. I also want to do research for the short story, the novella, and for my next book which I would like to start in the fall.   

I look forward to seeing what’s on everyone else’s list for the year.

Skye Taylor Victoria Chatham Marci Baun

Connie Vines Dr. Bob Rich Anne Stenhouse Diane Bator Fiona McGier Judith Copek Rhobin L Courtright

Get off Your High Horse

Love Down Under Book 3

by Cynthia Terelst

Genre: Contemporary Royal Romance

When two opposites collide, will their differences ignite a spark or send them into turmoil?

Frankie and Sebastian live totally different lives. Lives that are entwined through polo, the sport of kings.

Frankie’s a country girl, working hard toward her dream of turning the family farm around. She needs to endure one more polo season to make that happen. She has no interest in high society or the rich, arrogant riders she has to deal with, especially Sebastian. Her heart may be softening to his charm, openness and love of working with horses, but her brain won’t be convinced. She looks forward to her summer break on the farm, away from him, until her parents decide to invite Sebastian to stay.

Sebastian descends from royalty. Rich and arrogant come with his family title. But that status is something he’d rather avoid, just like he avoids returning home to a life he doesn’t want. Sebastian sees a freedom in Frankie he wishes he had. Her life is full of love, family and horses; something he can only dream of. And her, he can dream of her. But a dream is all it will be, seeing as Frankie does her best to avoid him.

If only he can convince her to look past his title, and see that his hopes and dreams aren’t so different from hers.

Excerpt  from Get off Your High Horse


“Princes have many talents I’m sure you’re not aware of.”

“Such as?” She turned to face me; her body so close I could feel her breasts pressing against my chest.

“We like to roll around under the covers as well.”

“Is that so?” Her breath brushed against my lips. Her body pushed against mine, sending electricity through me. I imagined her standing there in her lace bra and matching knickers. I wrapped one arm around her back pulling her tightly against me. The other cupped the back of her head, tangled in her pony tail. Her lips met mine and opened and I sought out her tongue. Her hands found their way around my back and held tight.

I couldn’t let her go. I wouldn’t. I’d wanted to kiss her like this for months. This was so much better than what I’d imagined. My erection pressed against her. I deepened the kiss, holding her tight. She sighed into my mouth.

I shouldn’t have kissed her. I shouldn’t have invited her down the road of misery I would soon be facing. Only one of us should have a broken heart.  



  About the Author

Cynthia Terelst is a project officer by day and a writer by night. She is a contemporary romance writer who likes to share a little bit of history, some Australian scenery and a whole lotta love. Cynthia does not shy away from difficult topics, as she feels that they should not be ignored.

She lives in Queensland, Australia, where the sun shines at least 283 days a year.

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Monique DeVere grew up on a plantation on the beautiful island of Barbados, where her childhood was all about exploring and letting her imagination run free. She moved to the UK as a teen and soon fell in love at first sight with her amazing, strong-silent-type husband. They have four beautiful children and four incredible grandchildren.

Monique writes sweet ‘n’ spicy romance, and when she isn’t working on the next novel or movie script, she can be found spending time with hubby and family, armchair travelling, creating recipes, reading about health and nutrition, or working on her spiritual growth. She enjoys going for walks, gardening, or simply crazy-dancing around the house. Monique loves to hear from her readers. You can email her at , or contact her by visiting her website: or blog: to learn more about her books. You can also visit her Facebook author page: or follow her on Twitter: @MoniqueDeVere or Instagram: authormdv

Get The Forever Deal FREE when you sign up to Monique’s New Release Newsletter.

Character Interview

Beverley: What’s your name?

Sabrina: Hi, Beverley, I’m so happy to visit your blog today. For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Sabrina Newton-Giordano, Matt’s Pregnant Runaway Wife, the heroine from Monique DeVere’s new release.

Beverley: Where did you grow up?

Sabrina: I grew up in Somerset, England. I have a huge close-knit family who mean the world to me.

Beverley: During what time period does your story take place?

Sabrina: My story is contemporary romance. Monique doesn’t wish to date my story, so COVID-19 doesn’t exist in my romance.

Beverley: What’s your story/back story? Why would someone come up with a story about you?

Sabrina: I’m an award-winning pastry chef, and I worked in the London branch of Giordano’s Sicily, one of my husband’s chains of restaurants. I first met Matt when he visited the restaurant for a surprise inspection. When I saw him, his presence blew me away, but I think I hid my reaction well. Our romance was whirlwind, and I’m starting to wonder if we didn’t rush into things. How is it possible to be so intimate with someone, and, yet so distant at the same time? I know he doesn’t like to talk about his past, but I’m only now realising how little I know about the man I married.

Beverley: What’s your goal in this story?

Sabrina: I need to meet Matt’s family and discover why he’s so angry with them. What could they have done that was so terrible to keep him away for so many years? I have to fine out.

Beverley: What conflicts are you facing?

Sabrina: Matt and I are going to have a baby. I want our little one to know the kind of love I had growing up with two sets of adoring grandparents. I want our children to know their Sicilian culture and to be able to visit their grandparents in Sicily. But something happened in Matt’s past, and he’s estranged from his parents. I’m so sad that he refuses to let me in and wouldn’t talk about his past.

Beverley: Do you have a plan for resolving them?

Sabrina: I’ve decided to hide my true identity and find a way to meet the in-laws without causing too many problems. My curious nature and my own bad experience forces me to take action.

Beverley: Is there anything else you’d like us to know about you?

Sabrina: Now that I’m pregnant, I’ve become super conscious of health—eating right, drinking more water. I’m thinking of going vegan. As a result, I’ve decided to look into the feasibility of vegan desserts. Matt doesn’t know this, yet. J

Blurb for Matt’s Pregnant Runaway Wife:

This might be the biggest risk of her life.

When her whirlwind romance with gorgeous Sicilian-born restaurateur Matteo Giordano culminates in marriage, award-winning pastry chef Sabrina Newton-Giordano thinks she has it all…until Matt refuses to introduce her to his family. Sabrina desires their baby to have the same love she knew from her grandparents, but Matt’s outright rejection of his family could result in their baby never knowing his or her paternal grandparents, something Sabrina will not accept. Until that is, she hits on the perfect solution—run away to Sicily to meet the in-laws! 

Matt wants only one thing—to keep his wife and unborn child safe. For a man intent on never allowing anything to stand in his way, it should be an easy task. But Matt hasn’t bargained on how stubborn his irresistible, runaway wife can be. Despite his stern objections, she’s determined to form a relationship with his family. He knows, from past experience, they’d never accept her or the baby. Now Matt is torn between the urgent need to protect his wife and fear of causing her undue stress in her pregnancy. 

  Excerpt from Matt’s Pregnant Runaway Wife

She kept him on his toes, he’d give her that. From the moment he met her he’d known she was unique to any other woman. The first hint was when he’d arrived unexpectedly to check on his London restaurant. Everyone, except Sabrina, had nervously tripped over themselves in his presence. She’d simply continued to work as though his arrival was as insignificant as a dust mote drifting past her head. The second hint had knocked him the moment she glanced up and locked eyes with his. Something he’d never experienced before had happened. His body had responded to the instant connection in a way that had been shocking and potent. He’d decided right then to make her his. Even then, she hadn’t made it easy for him. She’d resisted their attraction, had flat-out refused to have drinks, dinner, or—her words—anything else with him. To say that she’d become a challenge he’d fixated on was to understate the level of his attraction for Sabrina.

Then one day, after weeks of him putting his best moves on her and about to admit defeat, a delivery arrived at his office. It was a beautifully presented slice of his favourite dessert along with a note that read: if you want more, come and get it! He was pretty sure the soles of his handmade Italian shoes left scorch marks on his office rug in his haste to get to Sabrina. The rest had been white-hot sizzling sexy, whirlwind, and incredible. And now here he was, fighting to keep his marriage from falling apart only after eleven-and-a-half months of wedded bliss.

Matt washed his hands at the kitchen sink, then rummaged in the under counter fridge.

He chuckled. “Surprise, surprise, nothing but dessert and fruit.”

Yep, one thing he could be sure of was that he’d always find some sort of dessert in their fridge at home, thanks to Sabrina’s never-ending effort to create new and exciting after-dinner treats. And, oh look, she had his favourite dessert sitting in a small yellow and white cake caddy, as though she’d somehow been expecting him. When he grabbed the container his gaze landed on the four red apples in a bowl on the shelf below, so he snagged one of those, too.   

Buy Links for Matt’s Pregnant Runaway Wife

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 Amber Daulton is the author of the romantic-suspense series Arresting Onyx and several standalone novellas. Her books are published through The Wild Rose Press, Books to Go Now, and Daulton Publishing, and are available in ebook, print on demand, audio, and foreign language formats.

She lives in North Carolina with her husband and demanding cats.

  Blurb for  Harmony’s Embrace

Divorced dad Birley Haynes is too busy raising his children and running his family’s music academy to start a relationship. Then Harmony Holdich, his high school sweetheart, returns home to Willow Springs, Vermont for Christmas and falls into his bed. She brings light and fun back into his life, but he can’t brush aside the threatening incidents around his workplace.

Harmony hadn’t expected a complication like Birley, especially so soon after the death of her unfaithful husband. With her life a mess, she plans to move across the country and start over. All she can offer him is a fling, but her heart yearns for more.

When the threats rise, how will Birley keep his children safe and convince Harmony to give love another chance?

Excerpt from  Harmony’s Embrace

            Dear God. His heart slammed harder. He’d died and gone to Heaven.

Harmony stretched her arms above her head and danced in the middle of the living room. Her hips pulsated with the beat of the music. Twisty locks of her hair bounced around her shoulders. She winked, then glided her hands across her breasts and stomach, daring his gaze to follow.

Birley licked his lips. The organ pressing against his zipper throbbed. Sweat slicked his nape. He dropped his scarf beside her purse, jacket, and beanie on the coffee table.

“Dance with me?”

Her husky entreaty ricocheted through him like a ping-pong ball. How could he deny her? He gripped her waist. She slid her arms around him. They swayed, their bodies a scant inch apart. She nuzzled his neck, her breath fanning his skin. His hair prickled. The air crackled around them. He shuddered and held her tighter.

“I’ve missed this.”

His chest heaved. He struggled to fill his lungs with air. “Dancing?”

“Dancing with you.” Harmony stroked his clean-shaven jaw. “I’m sorry things didn’t work out with you and Susannah, but I wouldn’t trade this moment for anything.”

Oh, God. He kissed her and swept his tongue past her parting lips. Delicious. The taste of chocolate and wine clung to her breath. He nibbled and licked the smooth slope of her neck.

“Birley, yes.” She ducked her head and claimed his mouth with hers. Then she feathered kisses across his face. “I need your hands, your mouth, your scent all over me. Take me, Birley. Hard, soft, I don’t care.”

Fuck. Her breathy plea wrapped around his heart and shot blood to his groin. She eased back, drawing him with her. The wall halted her retreat, and he trapped her between it and his body. Their tongues dueled and teeth clanked. Heat sizzled through his veins and pulsed through every organ. Her body writhed against his. Was she trying to drive him mad? He snapped open the fasteners of her pants and slid his finger beneath the waistband of her insulated leggings. Silk brushed his skin, then he slipped into her warmth.                               

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The Queen of Emerald Falls

by J.J. DiBenedetto

Genre: Romantic Comedy

  She’s spontaneous, passionate and has a habit of mangling the English language.

He’s calm and controlled and always has the perfect thing to say in every situation.

I f their differing personalities were the only obstacle, they’d probably have smooth sailing. Unfortunately, things aren’t that simple in the town of Emerald Falls, and life keeps throwing curveballs at Sheryl Jones and Dr. Jon Hardy.

If they’re going to find true love, they’ll have to deal with Sheryl’s archenemy trying to destroy her business, and Jon’s interfering brother showing up to try and ruin his life. And then there’s the vindictive daughter of the richest man in town, not to mention a stolen vintage Rolls Royce.

Can this star-crossed couple fight their way past all the obstacles and make their way back to each other without losing their jobs, their sanity or going bankrupt in the meantime?

Romantic comedy fans will love this quirky mix of “How I Met Your Mother” and a daytime soap opera.

Excerpt from The Queen of Emerald Falls

Her mother began expanding on the tales related in the diary. “You’re going to let me tell it, right, Doc?”

“I will only chime in with corrections or supplementary details.”  Ariel imagined there were going to be a lot of those.

“Fine, Doc.  corrections and details only.  So let me set the stage.  It was the spring of 1994.  Bill Clinton was President, and the governor was…well, it doesn’t really matter, he doesn’t come into it anyway, I was just creating the mood.  Bill Clinton, and The Lion King , that was 1994, right, Doc?”  Her father shrugged.  He did that a lot.  “And the Olympics, right?  The crazy figure skater, the one who hit the other one with a lead pipe?  Tanya Tucker, wasn’t that her name?”

Now her father sighed.  He did that a lot, too.  “Tanya Tucker is a country singer, Sheryl.”

“Oh, right,” her mother said.  “I knew that.  ’Stand By Your Man.’”  She almost sang the words, producing another sigh from her father.

“Tammy Wynette sang that.  Tanya Tucker sang,” her father paused for a moment, clearly trying, and failing, to recall a song Tanya Tucker had sung.  It was strange to see him come up empty; that almost never happened.  “Well, I’m sure she sang a lot of songs, but that’s neither here nor there.  You were thinking of Tonya Harding, and it was her boyfriend who actually hit the other skater with a lead pipe.”

“Whatever.  Like I said, I’m just setting the mood.  The Lion King , and Bill Clinton, and Tonya Harding, and wasn’t Fraiser on TV?  You used to get so annoyed at that show, Doc.”

This time her father growled.  “Must you mention that miserable program?  It made a mockery of my profession!  Fraiser Crane was completely unrepresentative of a practicing psychiatrist, and his brother was even worse!  It should never have been allowed on the air!” 

Moving on,” her mother said breezily, “Spring of 1994.  Bill Clinton, The Lion King , Tonya Harding, Fraiser , and then there we were, me and your father…”


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About the Author

J.J. (James) DiBenedetto was born in Yonkers, New York. He attended Case Western Reserve university, where as his classmates can attest, he was a complete nerd. Very little has changed since then.

He currently lives in Arlington, Virginia with his beautiful wife and their cat (who has thoroughly trained them both). When he’s not writing, James works in the direct marketing field, enjoys the opera, photography and the New York Giants, among other interests.

J.J. is the author of the Dream Doctor Mysteries, the Jane Barnaby Adventures and several other works.

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It’s the New Year and I’m looking at my blogsite. I’m wondering what readers and authors would like to see on my blog.

I have guest authors who present their new book or their backlist. Most of

the time they share a little about themselves or about their characters plus

all the usual about their book.

I can continue my present format or tweak it slightly, but I was wondering when you check a blog with a guest author what don’t you see that would be of interest to you? Questions about their pets? Hobbies and tips? Recipes? Their nutrition? Do they exercise? How they’re handling the Covid restrictions?

Anything about their book that you don’t usually get? Maybe something on the research they did for the story?

Yes, I’m asking you to do my job, but not really. I want to make the blog more interesting to you. If you spend some of your precious time reading my blog, I’d like to make that time share something of interest to you.  

I’d love to have you comment even if it’s just one or two words.

Happy New Year! Good-bye 2020!

Whew! We made it. I don’t know about you but I’m suffering from Covid fatigue. I also think I’m developing the characteristics of a hermit.
2020 was a difficult year. The most challenging I remember, and the challenges are not over yet. We’ve got a few months to keep ourselves and our communities safe, so wear a mask, wash your hands and social distance. 


I do believe that 2021 will be a good year, certainly a better year. There is a vaccine. Actually, there are two vaccines and maybe more. In four or five months we should all be able to receive the vaccine. A new normality could be starting to set in. So keep a positive thought. 


Do you make New Year’s resolutions?

I don’t make resolutions anymore. I always broke them within a few weeks and then forgot about them.

I switched to setting goals. I set goals for the year and dates to assess and revise them throughout the year. 

I set personal goals, like nutrition and exercise. This year I might have to set one to re-learn socialization. 😊 I set business and writing goals, marketing goals, like learning how to do Amazon Ads, figuring out meta data, and word counts for writing a novel. I also set reading goals. I may also think about goals to survive Covid in the next few months. 


I’m blaming it on Covid, but December I spent online shopping for Christmas, doing baking, cooking, etc. My writing was limited. I did manage a few short stories and I belong to 100 words a day and managed to scratch those 100 words out but that was it. I’m hoping I start January energized and enthusiastic. I also hope my muse will return, even if it wears a mask and maintains appropriate social distancing, and I’ll finish Lydia’s Story. I’m working on that story, slowly. In the meantime, I’d love to have you read Death Southern Style. It’s a fun paranormal, romantic suspense set in New Orleans. 


Here's An Excerpt

There was a fine dust on counters and doorknobs from the forensics team. She’d clean it up later.

After programming the coffeemaker, she popped a slice of bread in the toaster. When the percolating stopped, she poured a cup of strong, black coffee, buttered the toast and carried both outside to the courtyard.

In broad daylight it looked like it always had when she had come out here. Her mother loved the courtyard. She remembered thinking about how they had spent many a pleasant hour chatting away while digging in the dirt, planting bulbs and enjoying the color of the flowers and the deep scent of the begonias. She took a deep breath. She remembered there had been the scent of begonias in the air last night, right before her mother showed up.

She put the plate on the rock ledge, sat down with her mug in both hands and took a sip of steaming coffee. She stared at the place where Mom had appeared. The clouds were gone, sun was starting to warm up the air.

Would she show up again? Maybe she had been dreaming. No, Mom had been there. Julie Ann breathed in the scent of the begonias and felt a hand on her shoulder.

A sharp bark broke through her reverie. She lowered her coffee mug. A small, brown, mixed breed dog sat a few feet away. It barked again.

“Well, hi there, fella. Where did you come from?” Julie Ann dropped one hand from her mug and wiggled her fingers. The mongrel jumped up and moved closer so Julie Ann could scratch behind the dog’s ears.

A smile played with her lips while Julie Ann rubbed his or her head and scratched under its chin. “Good boy, good doggie. How did you get back here?”

She looked around, wondering if there was a hole in the wall somewhere. The only way into the courtyard was through the house or the walkway between her house and Martha’s. But there was a wrought-iron gate that blocked the entrance to the courtyard. She could see the gate was closed.

“So how did you get in here?” She rubbed the dog’s head. “It wasn’t through the house and you may be skinny but not skinny enough to slip through the wrought-iron. Did someone drop you over the wall?”

The dog growled in pleasure and rolled over to have its belly rubbed.

“So, you’re a girl. I guess us girls need to stick together. I wish Mom was here, too. I thought I felt her again, for just a second. I can’t believe how empty my life is and will be without her.”

The furry mongrel raised her head, crooked an eyebrow and looked at her.

“Oh God, I miss her.” Julie Ann bent down and wrapped her arms around the dog. The tears overflowed and she wept into the dog’s neck. “I, I really ... really miss her. She taught me how to live life to the fullest and how to be happy. She taught me to stand on my own two feet and to trust my instincts.”

The dog sat patiently while Julie sobbed. Gradually the sobs quieted. Julie Ann finally released her hold on the dog’s neck and sat back.

The dog put one paw up on Julie Ann’s leg.

Julie Ann gave the dog a hug.

“Mom, where are you? Why did you leave me last night? I need you to tell me who is after us and why.” Julie Ann wiped her face and bent down to pat the dog. “You think I’m crazy – right? But she really was special. She came back last night to warn me. I just wish she’d told me what to watch out for.”

The dog sat up on her hind legs and rested her head on Julie Ann’s knee.

“You are kind of cute, you know. I can’t figure out how you got in here. Are you lost? Maybe I should put an ad in the paper. Do you want something to drink?”

The dog looked up at her and whined, then rolled over to have her tummy scratched again.

“Okay, girl, let’s get you some water. Have you got a name?”

Julie Ann searched for a collar but didn’t find one.

“No? Maybe I’ll call you Marie, Marie Laveau. They say she was my great, great grandmother you know. Not really on my side, but on Perrine’s. Maybe she sent you here to protect me, except Perrine wasn’t my birth mother so I’m not sure how that works. I know it’s just a made-up story, but Marie helped the sick and the poor, and you helped me cry again and move ahead with my grieving. So okay Marie L., let’s go get some breakfast.”

The dog followed her obediently into the kitchen, her short stubby tail wagging in the air.

Julie Ann glanced down at the animal.

“It’s probably coincidence, isn’t it, you showing up in the courtyard right after Mom appeared, and in the courtyard? And yes, I know I’m being silly. You’re a stray dog who probably dug your way into the courtyard.”

The dog bounced in front of Julie Ann as she walked into the kitchen and then slowed down and let Julie Ann pass her. Julie Ann felt a cloud of love touch her when she passed beside the dog.


Here’s the link to order. 





I’m not doing a lot of guest spots in January, but you can find me at a few places. I’d love to have you drop by and say “hi.”


You might also be eligible for gift certificates at these sites: 


Spotlight NN Light’s New Year’s Fete I’ll be there January 13th


February 1 - I’m guest blogging on Amber Dalton’s blog at  

Beverley Bateman Blogger


And you can follow me follow me on my blog Tuesday and Thursday at for how I’m doing, tips, hints and guest authors. There are some exciting authors and their new books this month.