Sunday, September 16, 2018

A Dog is a Veteran's Best Friend...

There's no denying the extraordinary bond between our military veterans and dogs. Dogs are loyal, dependable, and devoted to their human companions.  

For our military men and women dealing with challenges, both physical and emotional, dogs love unconditionally and help our veterans feel safe.

I'd like to share with you two awesome books I recently read chronically some very special dogs who have given our veterans the love, support, comfort, and compassion so desperately needed in their times of despair.

Lone Survivor meets Marley & Me in this “inspiring and very moving” (Bear Grylls, host of the hit TV show Man vs. Wild) memoir of an extraordinary service dog whose enduring love brought a wounded soldier back to life.

A decade ago, special forces warrior Jason Morgan parachuted into the Central American jungle on an antinarcotics raid. He’d served with the famous Night Stalkers on countless such missions. This one was different. Months later, he regained consciousness in a U.S. military hospital with no memory of how he’d gotten there. The first words he heard were from his surgeon telling him he would never walk again. The determined soldier responded, “Sir, yes, I will.”

After multiple surgeries, unbearable chronic pain, and numerous setbacks, Morgan was finally making progress when his wife left him and their three young sons. He was a single father confined to a wheelchair and tortured by his pain. At this very dark, very low point, Morgan found light: Napal, the black Labrador who would change his life forever.

A Dog Called Hope is the incredible story of a service dog who brought a devastated warrior back from the brink and taught him how to be a true father. It is the story of Napal, who built bridges between his wheelchair-bound battle buddy and the rest of able-bodied humankind. It is the story of Jason, who found life’s true meaning with the help of his faithful companion. Humorous, intensely moving, and uplifting, Jason and Napal’s heartwarming tale will brighten any day and lift every heart.

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Barnes & Noble:


In 2010, Sergeant Craig Grossi was doing intelligence work for Marine RECON—the most elite fighters in the Corps—in a remote part of Afghanistan. While on patrol, he spotted a young dog "with a big goofy head and little legs" who didn’t seem vicious or run in a pack like most strays they’d encountered. After eating a piece of beef jerky Craig offered—against military regulations—the dog began to follow him. "Looks like you made a friend," another Marine yelled. Grossi heard, "Looks like a 'Fred.'" The name stuck, and a beautiful, life-changing friendship was forged.

Fred not only stole Craig’s heart; he won over the RECON fighters, who helped Craig smuggle the dog into heavily fortified Camp Leatherneck in a duffel bag—risking jail and Fred’s life. With the help of a crew of DHL workers, a sympathetic vet, and a military dog handler, Fred eventually made it to Craig’s family in Virginia.

Months later, when Craig returned to the U.S., it was Fred’s turn to save the wounded Marine from Post-Traumatic Stress. Today, Craig and Fred are touching lives nationwide, from a swampy campground in a Louisiana State Park to the streets of Portland, Oregon, and everywhere in between.

A poignant and inspiring tale of hope, resilience, and optimism, with a timeless message at its heart—"it is not what happens to us that matters, but how we respond to it"—Craig & Fred is a shining example of the power of love to transform our hearts and our lives.

Buy Links:


Barnes & Noble:


To Jason, Napal, and Rue, and to Craig, Josh, and Fred, thank you for your service!

Have a great week, Everyone!

(dog photos c/o

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Looking for a Writer's Contest?

I am a huge fan of writing contests! While I've been a finalist in several over the years, what I've looked forward to are the tips found in the judges' comments. My motto is "It's not whether you win or lose, but what the judges have to say!" 😊

Listed below are several contest which might be of interest:

"The Suzannah 2019"

deadline: October 1, 2018; sponsored by NOLA Stars; open to published and unpublished writers; entry should be maximum of 7,200 words (including synopsis); FMI,

"The 2019 Emily Contest"

deadline: October 2, 2018; sponsored by West Houston RWA; unpublished in the category entered; entry should be first 5,600 (no synopsis); FMI,

"33rd annual Hook, Line, and Sinker"

deadline: November 1, 2018; sponsored by Hudson Valley RWA; published and unpublished romance and YA authors; entry should be first three pages of your unpublished manuscript; FMI,

Good luck, and have a great week!

(photo c/o

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Summer Days are Drifting Away

Although the calendar tells us a few more weeks remain of Summer, the Labor Day holiday weekend generally means the end of the season for most folks. 

Almost everyone has finished their summer vacations on the beaches of New Jersey. In Philly, our school children will all be back in their classrooms by Wednesday.

So, Friends, enjoy the last holiday of the Summer of 2018. Relax, be happy, and most of all, be safe!

Have a good week, Everyone!

(photo c/o

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Interested in a Writer's Conference?

A quick look at a few upcoming writer's conferences. These events are a great way to brush up on a current "work-in-progress," hear from industry insiders, network, and simply have a good time. 

If you're looking for an upcoming event, check out the list below. 

Moonlight & Magnolias Conference

Sponsor: Georgia Romance Writers; October 4-7, 2018; Hilton Atlanta Northeast, Atlanta, Georgia; 

2018 Put Your Heart in a Book Conference

Sponsor: New Jersey Romance Writers; October 19-20, 2018; Renaissance Woodbridge Hotel, Iselin, New Jersey; FMI, 

Third Annual Writer's Digest Novel Writing Conference

Sponsor: Writer's Digest; October 26-28, 2018; Westin Pasadena,
Pasadena, California; 

Have a great week, Everyone!

(photo c/o


Sunday, August 19, 2018

Looking for a DVD?

A positive to a rainy day is the opportunity to catch up with my "to be watched" list of DVD movies. So, after munching on sweet potato chips and sipping iced tea, I would like to share my latest movie marathon with all of you. 

I always borrow my DVDs from one of my favorite places, The Free Library of Philadelphia. But, if you're interested in more information, I've posted Amazon links.

Forever My Girl

Forever My Girl tells the story of country music super-star Liam Page (Alex Roe) who left his bride, Josie (Jessica Rothe), at the altar choosing fame and fortune instead. However, Liam never got over Josie, his one true love, nor did he ever forget his Southern roots in the small community where he was born and raised.

The Post

Oscar winners Steven Spielberg, Meryl Streep, and Tom Hanks team up for the first time in this thrilling film based on a true story. Determined to uphold the nation’s civil liberties, Katharine Graham (Streep), publisher of The Washinton Post, and hard-nosed editor Ben Bradlee (Hanks) join forces to expose a decades-long cover-up. 

Friends for Life

Four orphaned wolf pups…a man facing a lonely future…and the act of kindness that 
saved them all.

If you've seen any good movies lately, please share. Have a good week, Everyone!

(photo of Snoopy & Charlie Brown c/o

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Memories of the 2008 World Series!

On Sunday, July 15th, Philly's NBC Sports Channel premiered a documentary on the 2008 winners of the World Series, the Philadelphia Phillies.

Most of the team greats featured --  Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Howard, and Brad Lidge -- are involved in other projects. Shane Victorino signed a one-day contract with the organization. Shane retired from playing baseball as a "Phillie" in an emotional ceremony at Citizens Bank Park on August 3rd. Chase "The Man" Utley and Cole Hamels (2008 series MVP) currently play for other MLB teams. 

The "moment of victory" in 2008

2008 World Series Trophy

But, despite the players having moved on, the memories, the excitement, and the celebration will always be there!

Fans lined Broad Street for the parade

Celebration at the Ball Park

The Phillie Phanatic 

Here's hoping our 2018 Phillies, who currently lead the NL East, can do a repeat! In Philly, we're always ready for a parade down Broad Street!!! 😊

Have a great week, Everyone!

(photos c/o

Sunday, August 5, 2018

In the Mood for Christmas...

Earlier this week, as I walked through my neighborhood, I noticed how bare the houses looked. Some homes had flags on their doors or in their windows, leftovers from our big Summer July 4th holiday. But, mostly the streets lacked pizazz.

Maybe it was the extreme heat we've experienced this summer, the blossoms on the trees tickling my allergies, or the Hallmark channel's "Christmas in July" marathon, but I found myself anticipating the Christmas season...decorations, lights on neighborhood Christmas trees, excited kids, and holiday festivities. So, to ease my dilemma, I put some hot chocolate on the stove, strolled over to my bookcase, and pulled out my Virgin River series Christmas reads.

The Virgin River series, written by Robyn Carr, focuses on a small town in California that reminds me of the tiny town in Vermont where I went to college. Virgin River is a place where everyone knows each other, helps one another, and friends become family. I occasionally check out Robyn's website and saw that the series now offers a boxed set of its Christmas reads.

Check out Robyn's website for more information on Virgin River, and her latest series, Sullivan's Crossing!

Do you have a favorite Christmas series? Favorite Christmas book? Please share!

Have a good week, Everyone! 

(Snoopy photo c/o