My Review of Dr. Steven Bentley’s “A License to Heal:Random Memories of an ER Doctor”

A License to Heal: Random Memories of an Er DoctorA License to Heal: Random Memories of an Er Doctor by Steven Bentley
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

If you’ve ever worked in a hospital, ER, or with EMS, you’ll be nodding along as you read Dr. Bentley’s accounts of becoming a doctor and then working as an ED/ER physician. And if you’ve never worked in the medical field but have been frustrated by ER wait times, this book will give you a keen insight as to why ER’s have become so overcrowded and why those wait times are so long. The book reads like most memoirs, written in first person, but Dr. Bentley adds a personal touch to the stories that draw the reader in, making them feel as if Dr. Bentley is sharing his “war” stories over coffee. The one downside was with the editing. I hope he did not pay for an editing service because at one point in the book, the word “cliche” was actually spelled “clic***”, and the editor didn’t even catch it! Despite that, I enjoyed the stories within the book a great deal. Some made me laugh, some made me cry, and some made me angry. Having worked with this doctor before, I knew he had a kind heart, but the book really emphasizes his compassion. Which brings me to one other editing issue. Dr. Bentley used the word x-ray technician (a severely out-dated term) instead of x-ray technologist, several times, but since he admitted to being a dinosaur, it’s an understandable mistake. I still use the term ER instead of ED because I too am fast becoming a dinosaur. Dr. Bentley also delved into issues with the VA and the affordable health care act, letting his views be known without getting political, and quite frankly, I think he hit the nail on the head. You can’t run health care as you would a fortune 500 company and expect it to remain affordable. A really good read and had it not been for the editing issues, I would have given this book 4 stars.

View all my reviews

Ah, The Victorian Era

Most historical romances are set in Regency England or they are Westerns, Civil War novels, or Medieval romances. I love all of these genres but I also love the Victorian Era.

clonedlongdress ancestors The Victorian Era encompasses the time of Queen Victoria’s reign from June 1837 until her death in January 1901. It was a time of peace, prosperity, and refined sensibilities. During these years, Americans living in larger cities, New England, and the Deep South, followed the fashion, fads, and lifestyles popular in British cultural and so this time frame is also called the Victorian Era in America.

It was a time of time of romanticism and mysticism with regard to religion, social 027 (3)values, and the arts.It was a time when people believed in spirit mediums and communicating with the dead through séances.

It was also a time of moral values and sexual restraint—a time when women began to question and later protest their roles as nothing more than mothers, wives, and housekeepers. It was an era of reform and enlightenment-a time when women protested for the right to vote.

099 (3)It was an era of economic, colonial, and industrial expansion–a time when liberal views shifted in the direction of political and industrial reform.





S5004133Entertainment was quite diverse during the Victorian era. Besides the theater, balls and soirees, freak show exhibits became popular during this time.



These “shows” boasted a variety of “freaks” from famous conjoined twins Eng an Chang to Joseph Merrick, The Elephant Man.

Classic literature was popular but so were Dime and Gothic novels.
Dime novels typically idealized law enforcement, outlaws, or both. Gothic novels were a genre of literature that combined horror and romance.

Since women were known to write and publish Gothic novels using male pseudonyms, it has become a popular theme in many romance novels set in both the Regency and Victorian Eras.




015 (3)Tuberculosis –then called consumption—was the main cause of death in the latter 19th century. Because of this dreaded disease, sanatoriums were created where sufferers were often sent to recuperate or die.

Most died.

Before Luis Pasteur suggested germs as the cause of disease and microscopes proved him right, most people believed bad odors–called miasmas–caused sickness. Both London and New York smelled horribly in the early years of the Victorian Era as sewage was dumped directly into the streets. Luckily, the flushing toilet and advent of modern sewers came about during the Victorian Era. But contrary to popular opinion, Thomas Crapper did not invent the flush toilet. However, he did increase the popularity of the toilet and developed some important related inventions, such as the ballcock. And, he is the reason the toilet is often called the crapper and why crap, is well, crap.

The Victorian era was a time of discovery, when germs and cleanliness were recognized as contributing factors in survival rates after surgery. Other than alcohol and opiates such as laudanum, painkillers had not been invented. Chloroform was the only known anesthesia, which didn’t come into effect until the middle of the 19th century. It often caused paralysis or death, so many surgeries were carried out with no anesthesia at all. Operations were painful procedures that more closely resembled torture.

The Victorian Era was also a time of serial killers and advancements in detective work. In 1882, fingerprinting for identification was first used in New Mexico. In 1883, author Samuel Clemmons, aka Mark Twain, used fingerprinting in his book, Life on the Mississippi, to identify the killer. In a later book, Puddin’ Head Wilson, there’s an entire courtroom scene using fingerprint identification.


In London, Jack the Ripper gained notoriety during the Victorian Era. In America, Lizzy Borden grabbed headlines. So did a lesser known sadistic killer, the Chicago Butcher—Adolph Luetert.
In 1897, Luetgert, Chicago’s main sausage manufacturer, was known for his dalliances with other women. The rich entrepreneur had dozens of mistress, but when his wife protested his infidelities, Luetgert stabbed her, boiled her, and put her remains through the sausage grinder. Coincidentally, the electric chair was also introduced during this time in history.

As photography became more common place, so did a macabre interest in photographing the dead. For a vast number of “Victorians” death photos were the only time a loved one was photographed.081 (3)
dead guyOddly enough, my mother has a death photo of an ancestor, Herbert Newton, in her collection of family photographs.

Creepy. Huh?

gm&fSwimming became popular during this time period and the bathing suit became a noted fashion. Although, Victorian swimwear was quite modest and those daring enough to swim in the ocean did so by hanging on to a rope.

Throughout most of the civilized world, this was a time of industrialism and creativity—a time of inventions such as: the automobile, telephone, radio, toilet, camera, stamp, train, vacuum cleaner, and sewing machine. Steam was used to power factory machinery, ships and trains. Just writing this post reminds me of all the great story ideas I have for romance novels set in the Victorian Era.

So, what’s your favorite historical era?

Germany and Austria: What’s Not to Love?


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While other writers jetted to New York this week for the RWA conference, I stayed home, winding down from my ten day trip to Germany and Austria.

IMG_5148My daughter, son-in-law, and one-year-old granddaughter live in Germany, so, we have free accommodations in Germany, but this year, my daughter booked us rooms in Austria so we could tour Salzburg. What a beautiful city!



What’s not to love, right?

First off, let me say the scenery is gorgeous.IMG_5162

IMG_5150And the rooms spacious. I love the plumbing in Austria and Germany. No nasty water sitting in the toilet bowel, and I love the duel flush feature for number one and number two.










IMG_5162aAnd the breakfast buffet was to die for, not only was there a huge assortment of German, Austrian, and American breakfast foods, but they had Champagne on the buffet so you could make your own mimosas…and it was real French Champagne.


But the electricity was a bit of a culture shock for me.

Forget the weird, two pronged round plugs, the switches are all backwards. Granted, I like the square switches better than the tiny little flip switches in the states, but they were backward, with up being off and down being on.

I did like the red light that signaled an occupied restroom, but the hotel electricity was kind of spooky. Everything was connected to motion detectors. There were no lights in the hall until someone stepped into the hall, and then the lights would turn on. It was kind of creepy with the lights flicking silently on and off every time I stepped in or out of my room. I kept thinking someone could crouch in the dark and as soon as you stepped out into the hall, the lights would flick on and there the person would be just lurking and waiting. Like I said, creepy. Still, it was very Eco-friendly.

But that was only half of it. The electricity in our room didn’t work unless we put the key card in a small electric box above the light switch. Without the key card engaged, the electricity didn’t work. So, every time we left our room, we either left one of our key cards in the electric box or the air conditioning turned off.

And that’s another thing. Air conditioning. There isn’t any.

IMG_5093We were lucky enough to have air conditioning in our hotel room in Austria, but we didn’t eat in a single restaurant in either country with air-conditioning. They just opened up the doors and windows to let in a breeze…and the flies.

My daughter’s house had just one small portable unit in the living room, but our room was on the ground floor so the fan kept us quite cool at night.

Thankfully, western Europe is neither as hot nor as humid as NC, but this year has been one of the hottest yIMG_5238ears on record in Europe, and a couple of days we were there, the temperatures soared into the low 90’s. And let me tell you, if you’re hiking up a mountain to a fortress in Salzburg in 90 degree heat and you have a history of asthma, you will wish you had packed your inhaler!11700877_10153540035497318_8025918343233671975_n

But once at the top, we were able to refresh ourselves with a dark beer–another thing to love about Western Europe.




IMG_3512 The beer! And the wine. And no one bats an eye if you drink before noon.

Then there’s the food. Delicious and plentiful.






When my husband ordered a schnitzel at Schinderhannes in Wieden, Germany, he had no idea how big it was going to be, and he paid no more for it than he IMG_5430would a big Mac, fries, and a drink. The beer was even reasonably price, especially since the dollar is so strong at $1.00 to .90 Euros. Now that’s a good exchange rate.







But, if you’re in a hurry, don’t eat in a European restaurant. WIMG_5426e waited to get our menus, waited for the waiters/waitresses to take our orders, and waited for the food. The good part was that we all got our food at the same time, even if more than one server had to deliver it. Then, we had to wait for our check.

It was definitely a leisure dining experience, but I’d trade the slower service for the lower prices and portion sizes in a heartbeat.

IMG_3510Food and alcohol were definitely cheaper in Germany and Austria, and we didn’t have to break the bank to have a great meal. Not to mention the fact that there’s no tipping and no taxes added. The price you see on the menu is the price you pay.

Gas, on the other hand, is not cheap. Looking at the signs and seeing 1.14 Euros looked like a great deal until I realized the price was per liter…not per gallon. Since there are about 3.7 liters in a gallon, that put the price of gas at approximately 4.32 Euros. In dollars, that’s about $4.75, and that’s cheaper than it normally is, or so my daughter says.

I also love the fact that Germans are so environmentally conscientious. Not only do they recycle, but the government makes it easier than here in NC. My daughter and son in law were supplied with color-code recycle dumpsters for glass, plastic, and paper, but they didn’t have to sort the plastic or the glass the way we do in NC, and they don’t have to haul it to a recycle center themselves.

IMG_5528Zoning is another difference I noticed in Germany. Or, the lack of zoning. My daughter lives in a town plopped down in the middle of farmland.





IMG_5395 Across the street are houses and a gelato/beir shop. A post office is on one side of her, and a horse stable on the other.











IMG_5506Many business owners live above their shops, and the cobbled streets don’t look much different than the cobbled walkways and driveways.





I had a hard time distinguishing private drives from streets and alleyways. IMG_5509

And it was a bit disconcerting to be walking down a busy street in town while smelling cow dung and freshly mowed hay. It was even more odd to see tractors and combines driving down city streets behind transfer trucks and Aston Martins.IMG_5661







IMG_5458Every street we walked down was a beautiful mix of old and new. From centuries old stucco to modern service stations, I fell in love with the architecture and history, especially the churches, which seem to be the focal point of every city and town.




While riding on the audubon, we passed hops fields and pastures dotted by houses and businesses clustered around churches. These towns of various sizes dotted the countryside.





Even from the air, you can see the differences between Germany and America.

IMG_5047 From the air, Raleigh, NC and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania seemed to sprawl out without rhyme or reason.





IMG_3590Sure, the city is clustered together, but there didn’t seem to be any sort of pattern from the air.





IMG_5055 Germany, on the other hand, looks like a patch-work quilt, beautiful, even from the air.






IMG_5068In cities like Munich, there was some trash and graffiti, but not like I’ve seen in some American Cities. And there were beggars on the street, but the seemed to add rather than detract from the landscape. It might have helped that I couldn’t understand them, so they didn’t seem to stand out as much, but they seemed less intrusive and demanding than some of the panhandlers I’ve seen standing in the medium at busy intersections in Raleigh and Durham.

But of all the things I enjoyed seeing and doing while visiting Germany and Austria, the most favorite thing of all was spending time with my daughter, granddaughter, and son-in-law. They made the trip worth while and my daughter is one heck of a tour guide.DSCF7629


A Free Read for the Fourth


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In honor of America’s Independence Day tomorrow, my guest, contemporary memoriialromance author, Skye Taylor,  is sharing a free read. I’ve read several books in Ms. Taylor’s The Camerons of Tide’s Way series, and I have fallen in love with the characters and her fictitious little beach community, Tide’s Way, North Carolina.

Her free read, Happy Birthday 4th of July, is set in Tide’s Way.


“I’m not going.” Natalie plopped her chin onto her fisted hands and slumped in her chair. Mutiny glared back at me from her pretty green eyes. Eyes almost as green as her father’s.

Truth be told, the last place I wanted to be on this day of celebration, parades and fireworks was at a beach party. Today was my birthday, too, and staying home and close to the computer in case Jeff found a moment to Skype with us would have been my preference. But we didn’t have a choice. I’d not only committed myself to attending the Camerons’ annual Independence Day party, but I was in charge of churning the homemade ice cream.

“We have to go, honey. Remember we cooked all that ice cream last night? Now we have to go so we can churn it, and everyone gets to taste how wonderful we made it. We promised.”

“I didn’t promise anyone anything.”

“You promised daddy you’d be good while he was gone, and that you’d help me whenever I needed helping.”

Natalie kept her unhappy pose, but the rebellion was fading from her eyes. My daughter and I had a lot in common and unquestioning love for Jeff was one of them. Even as a brand new bride, I’d never questioned Jeff’s decision to accept a commission in the Marine Corps, and I’d promised to be strong every time he deployed. It just never got easier.

I hauled the cooler to the center of the kitchen floor and began loading the tubs of pudding that would become ice cream with the help of a lot of ice, a little salt and an hour or so in a churn.

Natalie slid off her chair and squatted beside the cooler.

“Don’t forget the Oreos.” Cookies and cream was her favorite flavor.

I handed her a baggie with the already crushed cookies, and she hugged them to her eight-year-old chest. “Are you making Daddy’s favorite, too?”

I reached for a second baggie, this one filled with crushed Heath Bars. “Yup. We’re making strawberry with real strawberries, and chocolate, too.”

“That’s a lot of ice cream,” Natalie remarked getting to her feet.

“Well, there’s going to be a lot of people to eat it. Go get your bathing suit and a towel and we’ll be on our way.”

Two hours later, I pushed my damp bangs off my forehead with the back of my hand before lifting the last batch of ice cream from the bucket of ice.

Distracted by the crowd of kids frolicking in the ocean and making sand castles on the beach, Natalie had put aside her worries about her missing father. I wasn’t so fortunate. All around me were happy families. Happy wives whose husbands tended the grill, or set up tables and chairs. Occasionally one of those husbands would pass his wife and pause long enough to offer an affectionate kiss or pat her bottom with an appreciative hand. One of the tall Cameron brothers stood with his arms about his wife’s waist, his chin resting atop of her head, while they kept watch over the kids in the water.

Everything in me ached for Jeff. He’d been gone so long I almost didn’t remember what it felt like to have him around, patting my bottom and claiming kisses when I was busy with some project and barely aware of his presence until he touched me. Every time he returned home, I promised myself that I was going to remember every touch, every funny little thing he did that made me smile. But then he’d deploy again and as the weeks turned into months, the memories would fade. The only things that never faded were the love in my heart and the ache of missing him.

“Here, I’ll take care of that,” Ben Cameron squatted beside me and reached for the bucket full of salty, icy water and half melted cubes. “You okay?” He peered at me with a furrow between his eyes.

I forced a smile to my lips. “I’m fine.” I stood up and stretched my cramped muscles. Four churns full of ice cream had kept me hunched over the churn almost since I’d arrived at Ben’s parent’s home.

“It’s not easy,” Ben said softly as he straightened up. He glanced toward the group of kids where Natalie stood slightly to one side, momentarily remembering what was missing from her life.

Ben knew better than most. He’d married a Marine, too.

I shook my head, agreeing with him, but unwilling to talk about it.

Ben wrapped an arm about my shoulders and gave me a quick hug. “You’re not alone, you know. You can call me any time if you need anything.”

My eyes stung with sudden tears. “Thanks.” I didn’t trust my voice to say more because the understanding in his kind blue eyes almost undid me.

Ben hefted the bucket and trudged off to dump it.

I blinked hard to get my raw emotions back under control, and a few minutes later Sandy Cameron announced that it was time to eat. A mad dash for the tables began.

I backed away from the jostle and chatter, still doing my best to pull myself together and put on my happy face again. Even Natalie was caught up in the bustling line of people reaching for plates and loading them with food. I was alone at the edge of the happy celebration. My heart was half a world away.

Suddenly everyone was looking my way. Natalie turned from the table and dropped her plate with a shriek. For a moment I just stood there, puzzled and uncomprehending. Then the sensation of his presence hit me, and I sucked in a gasp of shock and surprise.

Jeff was home. He was with me. Not half a world away. I turned just as his strong arms closed around me. The real fireworks wouldn’t happen for hours, but they paled in comparison to the explosion of joy in my heart.

Natalie barreled into us, and Jeff scooped her up to join in our embrace. He kissed Natalie’s cheek, then my mouth. A long and hungry kiss full of promise.

“Happy Birthday sweetheart,” he whispered. “How did you like your present?”

SkyeTaylor2About the author, Skye Taylor

Skye Taylor lives in the oldest city in the US where she finds inspiration dressing up to participate in historical activities and walking on the beach. She loves travel and adventure and has jumped out of perfectly good airplanes, camped on remote tropical Islands, climbed a volcano, ridden an elephant and rafted down rivers in Southeast Asia and explored old castles in Europe. She spent two years in the South Pacific as a Peace Corps volunteer (2002-2004) She’s a mom and grandmother and the author of the Camerons of Tide’s Way contemporary romance series: Falling for Zoe, Loving Meg, Trusting Will, Loving Ben and Mike’s Wager as well as a mainstream political intrigue: Whatever It Takes. She is a member of Florida Writers Association, Women’s Fiction Writers Association, Romance Writers of America and Ancient City Romance Authors.

From the Camerons of Tide’s Way Series:

Loving Meg (on sale Now!)Loving Meg - 600x900x300

When Meg Cameron, a Marine MP, returns from a war zone, she and her husband Ben struggle with the toll guilt & loss have taken on their marriage. Ben is also fostering a police dog named Kip who lost his handler and his spirit to a perp with a gun. As Ben tries to help his wounded warriors find healing, Meg strives to fit back into her civilian life and debates a return to active duty. Ben’s fears mount. What if her pain and confusion take her back into harm’s way again, and he lost her forever?

Available on Amazon

Trusting Will - 600x900x300(1)Trusting Will

Brianna Reagan’s life fell apart when her husband was killed in combat. Now, she has a new life and a new job in Tide’s Way, and she’s convinced that her eight-year-old son Sam is all the man she needs in her life. Then Sam joins the Cub Scouts and Brianna meets his scout leader. Will Cameron has a killer smile, and he isn’t shy about his interest in her. Unfortunately, he’s a state trooper. Another fearless hero who puts his life on the line for the sake of others. Can she put her heart in harm’s way again for him?

Available on Amazon

And you can find the rest of the books in this heart-warming series on Amazon as well.



Restoring my Great Grandmother’s Dining Table

When my grandmother died, my mom got her dining room suit that had once belonged to my great grandmother. Since my grandmother was born in 1913, I figured the furniture is at least that old if not older. Soon after my grandmother’s death, my mom gave the dining room suit to my sister. A few years later, her son got married, and my sister bought new furniture and gave my grandmother’s dining room suit to her son.

Then last month, my nephew and his wife moved to Louisiana. They kept the buffet but didn’t have room for the table. So, they gave it to me.

The table was well used, well loved, and needed refinishing. And since I had refinished furniture before, I jumped at the chance to restore my grandmother’s table and chairs. Below, are before and after pictures.
This is what the table looked like when I got it.IMG_3247

This is one of the chairs:IMG_3245

I removed the seats and found an older chair bottom underneath. (This is the IMG_3253chair covering I remember from my childhood.)

Then I sanded the chairs.IMG_3246

IMG_3248Stripped and sanded the table.

Washed the wood in mineral spirits-IMG_3251

IMG_3249Added brackets to the table legs for stability.

Stained the chairs


IMG_3261Stained the table.

Sanded it a second timeIMG_3305

IMG_3306Added three coats of polyurethane

Reupholstered the chair cushions-IMG_3259

Went over the wood with fine steel wool, dIMG_3309(1)usted and polished it-

And moved it into the house-


I think I did my grandmother proud. What do you think?

IMG_3337 IMG_3336

Spotlight on Chrys Fey’s Witch of Death

Thank you, Lilly, for letting me hop in and take over your blog for the day. I am going to share a special scene spotlight for your wonderful readers.
Spotlight for Witch of Death:
An hour later, Reid walked
into the Medical Examiner’s Office where Jonathan Crane’s body lay on a metal slab. “Hey, Tish,” he said. “Any news?”
Tish McGinnis, the Medical Examiner, looked up from her report. “News? Yes. What you want to hear? Probably not.”
He frowned. “What do you mean?”
“This body you brought me is a real mystery.” Tish set down her clipboard and moved to the examination table. “He hasn’t been dead for long, but it’s as if he’s been dead for years. There isn’t a drop of blood left in his body. His veins are completely dry.”
“Could natural causes do that?”
“Natural?” She laughed. “There’s nothing natural about this. I’ve never seen a body drained of all its blood after a couple of hours post-mortem. If I didn’t know any better, I’d say he died because he bled to death, but he doesn’t have any wounds to indicate that. He doesn’t even have teeth marks on his neck.”
“Teeth marks?”
“You know, from a vampire.”
Reid groaned. “Fiction aside, how would you say he was killed? What would be your professional explanation?”
Tish rolled her shoulders. “My professional explanations are running low on this one.” She scratched her forehead as if irritated. “I don’t know of any weapon that can steal all the blood from a body without leaving a large hole. And I certainly don’t know any method of murder that can cause this either. Right now, my professional explanation is he died from blood loss, but as to how he lost his blood?” She shook her head. “I don’t think I’m ever going to figure that out.”
Reid blinked in surprise. “So, she was right,” he whispered and recalled how Libby walked on air. How can I doubt that? Clinging to his skepticism, he turned, but paused at the door. “Tish, do you believe in the supernatural?”
She glanced at the body on her table. “Definitely.”
1.    If this were a movie, what song would be playing in the background?
Superstition by Alexz Johnson would be the perfect song for this scene to go with Detective Reid Sanders’ feelings about the supernatural.
2.    Did you have to do research to write this scene?
I didn’t have to do any research. I’m obsessed with movies and shows about murder, so I knew what I needed and wanted to do for this scene. It’s not as technical as the scene in Witch of Death with the coroner in that story, but some stories need more scientific talk and some need less.
3.    If you could rewrite this scene, would you change anything?
I wouldn’t change a thing. I love the mystery and humor mixed into this scene. I even find the mention of vampires to be fun. I also like the conversation at the end about whether a medical examiner believes in the supernatural. I thought it was interesting for an ME to admit she does believe in the supernatural when she deals with science day in and day out.
Title: Witch of Death
Author: Chrys Fey
Genre: Supernatural/Suspense
Format: eBook Only

Page Count: 45 (short story)

Release Date: May 20th, 2015
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press


Detective Reid Sanders doesn’t believe in the
supernatural, but when he’s faced with a crime scene that defies the laws of
nature, he has no other choice but to start believing. And solving a magical
murder involves working with a witch.
Liberty Sawyer embodies the look of your classic evil
witch, so, it’s no surprise when she uncovers the murderer is a witch that she
becomes Reid’s number one suspect. If she can’t convince him otherwise, more
people could lose their lives to dark magic, including her.
Jolie Montgomery, a twenty-one-year-old woman, wakes up
in an alley next to her corpse. She has no memories of her murder or the night
she died. She didn’t even see the killer’s face before he or she took her life.
Wanting justice, Jolie seeks answers in the only way a ghost can…by stalking
the lead detective on the case.
Avrianna Heavenborn is determined to find the person
responsible for a young woman’s death. She gets closer to the killer’s identity
with every clue she uncovers, and Jolie is with her every step of the way.
But if they don’t solve her murder soon, Jolie will be an
earth-bound spirit forever.
Book Links:


Chrys Fey is the author of Hurricane Crimes and 30
Seconds. She is currently working on the sequel to Hurricane Crimes that’ll
serve as book two in the Disaster Crimes series.
When Fey was six years old, she realized her dream of
being a writer by watching her mother pursue publication. At the age of twelve,
she started writing her first novel, which flourished into a series she later
rewrote at seventeen. Fey lives in Florida where she is waiting for the next
hurricane to come her way.
You can connect with her on Facebook and her blog, Write
with Fey. She loves to get to know her readers! 

Author Links: 
Facebook / Blog / Website / Goodreads 

Thank you all for visiting and hopefully commenting. 😉 

In Memoriam

Memorian- A Latin word that means “into memory.”

171Memorial Day- Originally called Decoration Day, is an American holiday celebrated on the last Monday of May. It is a day to honor IMG_4110and remember those who died in service of the United States. Today is Memorial Day.

So, while you are celebrating with cookouts and picnics, take time to remember the fallen heroes from the American Revolution to the conflicts in the Middle East, and commit their sacrifice into memory. And if you happen to see a soldier, sailor, or marine, remember to thank them for their memoriialservice.

To all who have served or will serve- May your sacrifice never be forgotten.


Spotlight on Carpe Demon – A New Release From J.C. McKenzie

Check out J.C McKenzie’s latest release and enter her Rafflecopter contest for a chance to win a $25 gift certificate to Amazon. Link to the Rafflecoter contest follows this brief promotion:

How can she make a choice that will break one heart and complete another?

Carpe Demon~

CarpeDemon_w9702_750 (2)As an ambassador with the Supernatural Regulatory Division, Andy McNeilly is responsible for acting as the Liaison for the Vancouver Vampire horde. The problem? She detests the Vampire Master, and the SRD can’t discover the beast she keeps locked inside.

After a menacing Demon throws an important Vampire event into chaos, Andy finds herself sniffing out crime scenes to identify and locate the mystery fiend from the nether realm. What she learns chills her bones.

Threatened by the Master Vampire to deal with the Demon, Andy’s complicated personal life doesn’t make things easier. She’s willing to risk her life and pride to keep loved ones safe. But how can she make a choice that will break one heart…and complete another?

Book Specs:
Title: Carpe Demon
Series Name: Carus Series, Book Three
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press 
Editor: Lara Parker
Cover Artist: Debbie Taylor of DCA Graphics
Theme(s): Shapeshifters, Vampires, Witches, Demons
SubGenre(s): Urban Fantasy/Paranormal
Rating: Spicy (PG13) 
Keywords: Shifters, Werewolves, Witches, Demons, Vampires, Wereleopards, Assassin, Vancouver, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Dark Fantasy
Page Count: 298
Word Count: 69345
Digital Price: $4.99
Print Price: $15.99
Digital ISBN 978-1-5092-0147-1
Print ISBN 978-1-5092-0146-4


The Demon’s grin widened. Standing a foot away from him with no room to maneuver and nothing to separate us, the serrated details of his shiny enamel glared at me.
My fingertips tingled as I started to shift.
Not fast enough.
The Demon lunged. His long nimble fingers closed around my neck as I shot my hands out, inside his arms, and dug my claws into his face. My elbows pushed against the insides of his arms. His hold should’ve weakened, but this Demon possessed uncanny strength. His frame stretched, growing to almost eight feet in height and giving his body an emaciated appearance. He pulled me close, his nose touching mine. I wrenched to the side, but my toes dangled above the floor.
“Bola sends his regards,” he said, his breath hitting my face.
My gums stung as fangs protruded and I hissed at him, ready to make the full change and get my fight on. I yanked on the mountain lion and spurred her into action.
“By all means, little nugget, shift into one of your animals.” He gnashed his sharp teeth together. “I love to rend the flesh of livestock, to mutilate the bodies of creatures, and to smash the bones of beasts.”

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Headshot1About the Author:
Born and raised on the Haida Gwaii, off the West Coast of Canada, J.C. McKenzie grew up in a pristine wilderness that inspired her to dream. She writes Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance.

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An Interview with Peggy Jaeger, Author of: THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME

perf5.000x8.000.inddHappy Friday! Today, I’m interviewing author, Peggy Jaeger, whose contemporary romance, THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME releases on May 6, 2015

What’s your book about? Give us a quick back cover blurb:

Symphony pianist Moira Cleary comes home after four years of touring, exhausted, sick, and spiritually broken. Emotional and psychological abuse at the hands of someone she trusted has left her gaunt, anxious, and at a crossroads both professionally and personally.


Moira’s best friend, veterinarian Quentin Stapleton, wants nothing more than to help Moira get well. Can his natural healing skills make it possible for her to open her heart again? And can he convince her she’s meant to stay home now with the family that loves her – and with him – forever?

What inspired your latest novel?

I love writing about families and this book is the continuation of my first book, Skater’s Waltz. I wanted to explore what happens when you’ve known someone since birth – truly – you’ve always been friends, and then something happens to change that relationship. Can the friendship survive? Does it become stronger? Weaker? What are the feelings of the characters as they realize they love one another more than in a friendship way.

How many other books have you published and with which publishers?

Skater’s Waltz 3/15 with Wild Rose Press

Have you ever tried self-publishing?

No, basically because I’ve always felt the professionals who do this for a living are vastly better at the nuances, ins and outs, than I am. I wouldn’t know what to do in order to generate publicity, marketing, etc.

How long have you been writing?

Since I was 8. I had a great deal of success in my 20’s and 30’s with non-fiction magazine writing and short story fiction writing. I have been writing romance full time for a little over 2 years.

How difficult was your road to publication, and how long did it take you to get that first, coveted contract?

My road to publication wasn’t that difficult because I didn’t start pursing it actively until two years ago when I was downsized at my job. I’d always written but it was only for me, not for public consumption. When I decided to see if anyone other than myself liked what I was writing, I entered a contest, won my division, and I had a publishing contract with WRP within a few months. Honestly, I feel like all the planets aligned at just the right time in my life. Who knows if I had started pursing romantic fiction publication in my earlier years if it would panned out.

What’s the one thing you hate most about being a writer?

Marketing! I wishwishwish someone else would do it for me!

You and me both! What do you love the most about being a writer?

The fact that I can play God to my characters and make them do, say, and act however I want them to. Plus, I am always a sucker for a happy ending, so I like being able to create that for my characters.

What are you working on next?

Books 4 and 5 in the MacQuire Women Series, books 2 and 3 in my Laine Girls Series, and various short stories. I tend to write a lot of different things at the same time because my mind wanders! Truly – all over the place on most days.

Can you share a brief excerpt of THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME?

“Remember when your cousin Tiffany got married in the backyard here?”

Confused, Moira nodded. She licked her lips, running her tongue across his caressing finger. The hiss that blew from him made her thighs shake.

Quentin rubbed her bottom lip with the pad of his thumb. “When the Reverend told Cole ‘you may now kiss your bride,’ and he swooped her off the ground, spun her around, and kissed her silly? Remember what you said?”

Moira tried to conjure the scene. “I think I said it was the most romantic thing I’d ever seen.”

He nodded. “The exact quote was ‘I hope someone kisses me like that some day.’”

Her grin was quick at the memory. “Pat snorted and said I’d better be satisfied with licks from the horses and Rob Roy because no guy was ever going to kiss me like that.”

“He wasn’t known for tact back then,” he said, rubbing a hand down her back as he held her next to him in the soft lamplight from the porch. The soothing, rhythmic smoothing of his hand made every nerve on Moira’s body stand at attention.

“Later on that day, behind the barn, remember what happened then?”

Because she did, she couldn’t stop the heat from spreading up her face like wildfire. When she merely nodded, he traced a kiss across the area he’d just caressed, and said, “You wanted to know what it felt like to be kissed like that and since I was your best friend, you thought I should be the one to do it, because you—quote—felt safe with me—unquote.”

“What was I? Eleven?”

About the Author: 

PJPeggy Jaeger’s love of writing began in the third grade when she won her first writing contest with a short story titled THE CLOWN. After that, there was no stopping her. Throughout college and after she became a Registered Nurse, she had several Nursing Journal articles published, in addition to many mystery short stories in Literary Magazines. When her daughter was born, Peggy had an article titled THE VOICES OF ANGELS published and reprinted in several parenting magazines, detailing the birth and the accident that almost turned this wonderful event into a tragedy. She had two children’s books published in 1995 titled THE KINDNESS TALES and EMILY AND THE EASTER EGGS, which were illustrated by her artist mother-in-law. While her daughter grew, Peggy would write age appropriate stories for her to read along with, and finally, to read on her own. Her YA stories are mysteries involving smart and funny 12-13 year old girls and an unusual collection of friends and relatives. They all take place in the 1980’s.

She has a Master’s Degree in Nursing Administration and had several articles published on Alzheimer’s Disease when she ran an Alzheimer’s In Patient care unit during the 1990’s.

In 2005 she was thrilled to have an article on motherhood placed in the CHICKEN SOUP FOR EVERY MOTHER’S SOUL edition. She has won several awards in various Writer’s Digest short story and personal article categories over the years. Recently, she has placed first in the Dixie Kane 2013 Memorial Contest in the Short/Long Contemporary romance Category, and in the Single Title Contemporary Category, and third place in the ICO Romance Contest for 2013, and in 2014 she was a finalist in the Put Your heart in a Book contest.

A life-long and avid romance reader and writer, she is a member of RWA and her local New Hampshire RWA Chapter.

Peggy has embraced the techno age and writes for three blogs, all detailing events in her life. One titled, 50 pounds for 50 years is a personal blog about weight loss, one about her life as an EMPTY NESTER and her most recent one MOMENTS FROM MENOPAUSE, a humorous and informative guide through this time in a woman’s life.

She also has her own website where she writes about everyday life and how it relates to writing. Twitter is her current obsession, but she is never far from her Facebook pages.

In 2015 she will have her first two contemporary romance novels published by The Wild Rose Press: Skater’s Waltz, book 1 in the MaQuire Women Series, and There’s No Place Like Home, book 2. Four more are in the works for this series, in addition to her Cooking with Kandy series.

 Buy links:


The Wild Rose Press:

Barnes and Nobel:

 Social media/contact info:





Amazon Author Page: