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Archive for 'COVID-19'

2 & 1/2 Years Later…
Tuesday, May 24th, 2022

We planned, worked the plan, kept ourselves apart… Then the local numbers improved. We got a little lax. We still wore masks inside at Walmart. We had just started eating inside restaurants (not often), but only when they first opened and weren’t very populated.

Then the 18-year-old had all these senior events and practices for graduation…

Graduation happened last Saturday. His symptoms started the next day. By last night, both him and his father tested positive for COVID. Now, everyone in the house has varying symptoms. My dd is making one last trip to Walmart—delivery to the car—for medicine and soups and tissues before we hunker down to get through this.

As for me, I have a sore throat and mild cough. I’ve had a headache for three days. My joints hurt. My eyes are constantly watering. Still, I’m sitting at my desk. I’ll hope for the best and keep moving. I’m healthy-ish, eat right, keep hydrated. I could use good thoughts. One of the family seems to be on a worrisome progression.

January George: The Way Back Home (Contest & Excerpt)
Sunday, February 20th, 2022

UPDATE: The winner is…K Campos!

Thanks to Delilah for hosting me again!

When I asked for this date, it was because I had planned to have the last book in my Rafferty Ridge series releasing next week, but life had other plans. So many plans. I have always written. I write in my head as I’m driving (wish I could master dictation but somehow it doesn’t work for me), I write in my head as I’m cooking, showering, watching TV. But finding time to write at an actual computer the last month or so has been HARD. My husband had hernia surgery in January and can’t lift anything over ten pounds and with two young kids, a full-time job in healthcare and so much laundry I could probably fill an 18-wheeler, writing kept getting pushed back. The last two years have felt like a juggling act, just trying to keep all the balls in the air with work, family, kids, school, something to keep myself sane like running or quilting. But it ends up feeling like I’m doing everything at a bare minimum, and that’s hard with writing. You want to put your best work forward and when you have limited time and energy, that’s where writing starts to be pushed to the back burner.

But I’m also working on being kinder to myself, we are all struggling right now and as much as I love to write, it shouldn’t be adding to my stress. The book will be finished at some point, but I am not exactly sure when. And that’s okay. In the meanwhile, the first two books in the series, Where the Light Comes In and The Way Back Home, are both available on Amazon and are really fun, quick reads. And I just might leave you scratching your head wondering how I’m going to redeem Sarah in book three (I’m still working on it).

What are some things that you have struggled with during this pandemic? What are some self-care things you have found that helped? Leave a comment for a chance to win a $5 Amazon card!

The Way Back Home

EXCERPT from The Way Back Home:

“You’re not going to say anything?”

Teo raised his eyes to hers, and they caught her like a fishhook. A glimpse of that old hurt, of a raw vulnerability that almost took her breath away. “You just sustained a head injury, My. It’s not the time.”

“When is the time? Because the minute you can get rid of me, you will, and I’ll never see you again.” She wished she could keep her voice flat, emotionless, but it cracked on the tail end.

He looked away, at the refrigerator that had started humming. “What difference does it make at this point?”

She stared at him. The protective shell she’d built had been ripped off and it hurt as much as the day he’d left. “What difference does it make? Did I really mean that little to you?” Her voice rose, thickening with emotion and anger.

“Mean that little to me?” For the first time she heard anger in his voice, real emotion that broke through that carefully hardened exterior. His posture changed, no longer languid, his body tensed like was readying for battle. “You were the one…” He trailed off, losing steam, and turned, bracing his hands on the counter. The muscles in his back and shoulders sagged under the thermal shirt.

“I was the one what?” Maya asked, uncertainty edged into her tone. The air had been sucked out of the room at his outburst and she couldn’t breathe.

His voice became flat and emotionless again. She couldn’t see his face, but his shoulders sagged. “You need to rest.”

“I was the one what?” she asked again. Her voice betrayed the tension that was making her headache worse. She wanted him to say it. She was the one who’d gotten pregnant. Who had ruined everything. She was the one.

The silence hung between them, the clatter of the fridge, the harsh sound of her breath in the cold air. And her heart squeezed and ached, still pathetically clinging to a shred of hope.

He didn’t move, didn’t turn, but his words had the impact of a sledgehammer. “You were the one that didn’t want me.”

2nd Shot! And Open Contests! (And New Contest)
Sunday, March 21st, 2021

UPDATE: The winner is…Delaine McLafferty!

I’m headed back to the Little Rock VA for my SECOND COVID SHOT! My dd and I are making a day of it. We’ve already picked out our favorite restaurant to hit—the Taj Mahal—but only if there are seats in the outdoor dining area! We’re also hitting the Indian grocer when we’re done to stock up on so many lovely things (spicy pickle, chutney, naan bread, curry, etc.). We’ll make a big deal out of the trip to get me the vax because that’s what we do. Everything can be an event or an adventure.

Are you adventurous at heart? You don’t have to jump out of airplanes. You can make big deals out of little things for fun. Let me know some of your ideas for a chance to win a FREE book, a download of your choice from my backlist! 

Open Contests and a Giveaway!

  1. FREE READ! Get your copy now! — Last Day! Get your FREE book now!
  2. Favorite Family Dinners? (Contest) — Last Day! Win a FREE story of your choice!
  3. Diana Cosby: Update — Romance Reader’s Build A Habitat For Humanity House (Contest) — Last Day! Win a special mug!
  4. Melanie Jayne: The Sad Song Playlist (Contest) — Win a FREE book!
  5. Because we all need a dreamboat… (Puzzle Contest) — Win an Amazon gift card!

And remember what’s coming in just two days…

Pre-Order your copy now!!

Ready for Spring? (Puzzle-Contest)
Monday, March 1st, 2021

UPDATE: The winner is…Rita!

I had my COVID shot yesterday, and some folks asked me to give them an update on any reactions I might be having. The numbness in my lips and the slight woozy-headed feeling went away by late afternoon. This morning, I woke up with my arm feeling like it’s bruised, but that’s it. My SIL told me to be ready for fatigue, but I had insomnia last night—which is not unusual, so that wasn’t a problem for me. A little discomfort is well worth not dying. Folks, go get your shots!

So, it’s Monday. After last week’s Snowmageddon, we’re having a week of rain. We were under a tornado watch last night and had some limbs come down. A funnel cloud was seen but never touched down. So, we’re knee-deep in mud and won’t be drying up anytime soon. The first day we have sunshine, I’m going to start working on the pool because I can’t wait for the warm weather! I hope you’re all doing well and looking forward to Spring like I am! Maybe the puzzle will help you get into the mood. 🙂


Comment for a chance to win a $5 Amazon gift card! Tell me what you think this picture is all about. Is there a story here?

“She’s got the shot! She’s got the shot!” (Music Video)
Sunday, February 28th, 2021


Today, I hit the VA in Little Rock to get my COVID shot! When I finished my 15-minute waiting period, I strutted out of that facility, da-da da-da, to the tune of “The Jack” by AC/DC, substituting “She’s got the jack” with “She’s got the shot!” If no one had been looking, I’d have been headbanging out the door I was so happy!

The shot didn’t hurt. My lips felt a little numb and my head was a teeny bit woozy, but those aren’t necessarily bad sensations, right? I lived through the 70’s—and I used to have to pay to feel that way! Okay, I’m being silly, but I’m soooo relieved to have the vaccine. That’s two down in my household—the SIL is a cop/first responder. Now, we have to wait for the rest to get theirs because then we’ll be getting closer to living with a little less paranoia. I hope your day comes soon, too! In the meantime, I’ll leave you with AC/DC’s “The Jack” in case you have no idea what this little gem sounds like… You’re welcome.

Reina Torres: Love in Lockdown — SUBLET, Part 5
Thursday, January 28th, 2021

Download your FREE copy of the latest installment of the Love in Lockdown story—SUBLET!

What happens when two exes have to live in an apartment built for one?

Reina Torres has installment #5 of her story, SUBLET, ready for you to read! And she’s not finished yet! There’s going to be at least one more! So, enjoy!

Follow this link!

The Gift (FREE Story & Open Contests)
Monday, December 28th, 2020

I can’t believe I forgot to post this notice on this page. I did post on the Collections site and put out FB and Twitter notes to advertise the new story, but for some reason, probably the holiday “fugue”, I didn’t post it here. But it’s never too late to pick up your copy of this holiday story!

Love in Lockdown: The Gift by January George!

Download your FREE copy of the latest installment of the Love in Lockdown story, THE GIFT!

An ICU nurse yearns for her family at Christmas… 

The LOVE IN LOCKDOWN authors are back with another short story! This one’s written by a nurse about an ICU nurse! January George’s short story is filled with details only a healthcare worker can provide. Read it for a little look inside at the hardships these brave folks face during these challenging times.

Follow this link!

Open Contests & Giveaways

Enter these contests while you still can!

  1. Flea Market Finds and Christmas Puzzle Contest!Last day to enter! Win an Amazon gift card!
  2. Lizzie Ashworth: A Holiday Gift for You! (FREE Books!)This offer ends soon!
  3. Susan Saxx: A Refuge Bay Christmas #1 — Their Daughter’s First Christmas (Contest–2 Winners!) — Win a FREE book!
  4. ‘Tis the Season to…Plan! (Contest–2 Winners!) — Win a FREE book!
  5. The Challenge, if you decide to accept it… (Contest) — Win an Amazon gift card!