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Susan JP Owens

Dangerous & Sizzlin' Hot Romance ~ Where Spirits Guide Our Path ~






Featuring Authors:

M.J. Schiller & Susan JP Owens


By September, the majority of schools are open, students fill the classrooms, and the extra-curricular activities are in full swing.

In addition, the daylight hours are dwindling and our to-do lists are growing exponentially. We hustle from dawn to dusk, then we still have to cook a healthy, evening meal.

For many of us, meal planning can be a nightmare, especially if we have young kiddos, finicky eaters and/or teenagers who constantly eat.

Let's share some healthy meal ideas that are yummy and easy to prepare so we can create time for what we like, having fun moments with family, reading and/or writing.  


Okay, so I'm really cheating here, but I love this stuff and want to tell everyone about it! (And no, I don't own stock in the company, but I wish I did. This stuff is the bomb!)

It all started when my mom and step-dad came up to make me a birthday dinner and brought this wonderful coffee rub for steaks they grilled. These were like the best steaks. Just ask my kids. They still salivate when talking about them. I knew I wouldn't be able to find that exact rub, so I looked for one with coffee and discovered the Stubb's brand. Their sea salt, molasses, and coffee beef rub makes steaks mouthwateringly good!

But I'm not going to talk about that. ;) What I'm going to talk about for back-to-school meals is those packages there in the picture. Each has a rub, a cooking sauce, and a finishing sauce for the crockpot or skillet. Crockpot meals are the best for busy folk. Ya just throw the stuff in there in the morning and let Hamilton Beach do the rest! We first stumbled across the Hatch Chile recipe for chicken. Cook it up, throw it on tortillas, add some cheese and sour cream...yum! It has a little kick, and I don't usually like that, but this is so flavorful...we've been eating it about every other week. We'd actually eat it more, but we don't want to burn ourselves out on it. Every time we eat it we have to tell each other, "This is SO good!" It makes a big batch and you have several nights taken care of. Next we tried the Bar-B-Q Slider package. Throw a pork roast in with this for some of the best pulled pork ever. Again, a little kick, but delicious! Last time my boys were home from college I sent them back with a bunch of Stubb's stuff! 

There you have it. My cheat for a quick and tasty dinner when things are hectic and you're too tired to be bothered with a big meal. Enjoy!


Fast and easy meals are essential for the majority of us so rather than a meal plan or recipe, sometimes helpful hints can lighten our cooking times and cleanup.

1). One night, plan a 'roasting' meal. The meat, potatoes, and the vegetables can be cooked on one cookie sheet.

a). Use parchment paper for easy cleanup.

b). Cut the meat, starch, and veges in correct sizes so the food will be done at the same time. Or, 'add to' as cooking time progresses.

2). When I prepare our Sunday meal, which is usually our 'big' meal, I dice extra veges to cook or add to the salad later.

3). For an easy, inexpensive, and delicious meal, I buy two to three 'prepared' roasted chickens. 

a). After the meal, cleanup is a snap. Save the meatand the bones in a baggy, then when I get time, I'll I prepare another scrumptious fare.

ie: Chicken and dumplings, tasty vegetable or tortilla soup, another idea, chicken and okra for a mouthwatering bowl of gumbo.  

What are some of your favorite tricks and techniques for saving time during the week?



This month we're doing something we haven't done in the past, featuring a book we featured before. But the reason we're doing that is so that you can be some of the first to see the new cover for ABANDON ALL HOPE!

I'm bringing ABANDON ALL HOPE out for the first time in print, and I decided to re-edit it and update the cover while I was at it. And I added a tagline: Should he abandon Hope, or chase the love that once rocked his world? You see our hero is rock star Chase Hatton and he's about to be interviewed by photo journalist Hope Creswell. Hope just happens to be his childhood friend, turned high school sweetheart. The girl who walked away from him eight years ago. And he's been trying to forget her ever since. 

Here's the opening scene of the book, when Chase and Hope first meet:

Chase Hatton was bewitched by Hope from the start.

           He was…ten…no, twelve. Definitely twelve, as he played American Junior League baseball that summer. There was a break in the team’s schedule, so his mom asked the new neighbor lady over for dinner, along with her twelve-year-old kid. He was told he couldn’t go over to Bobby McGraw’s to play catch. He was needed at home to entertain, of all things, the new neighbor’s daughter. A girl.

          Chase sat on the back porch steps smacking a ball into his glove over and over. In his frustration, he dropped it. The ball hit the edge of the step, and ricocheted, rolling down the small slope of their backyard. He glanced up as they crossed the lawn.

          Mrs. Creswell wore a dress; she'd probably worn it to work as she just got home. Hope wore cutoff jean shorts and a blue, checkered, sleeveless blouse tied at her waist. She held a present, and as she walked, a long ponytail swished behind her in a somewhat mesmerizing rhythm. The sun began its descent behind them.

          Chase held up a hand and squinted, wrinkling his freckled nose. The sun rays seemed to be shooting off the two, as if they were the source of the bright light. Hope bent and picked up his ball. The familiar bang of the screen door opening behind him meant his mom was coming to greet their guests. She was probably wiping her hands on an apron as she descended the steps, blond hair swept up in a loose bun. The smell of her famous fried chicken wafted out the door and his stomach rumbled on cue.

          Hope gestured as if to throw the ball back and he stood, holding out his glove. With amazing accuracy, and equally impressive velocity, especially considering she still held the present in her other hand, Hope zinged it into his glove. The adults greeted each other with that loud, grown-up hullabaloo, but their voices faded into the background as she approached.

          She smiled at him. “Hi.”

          “H-hey,” he stammered, his palms becoming sweaty. He was caught up by those stunning eyes, unusual in some way he had yet to figure out. Bangs curled over her forehead, and her face was clear and bright. Maybe entertaining the neighbor girl wouldn’t be so bad after all.

          “Oh, this is for you.” She handed him the gift. He turned to set the glove and ball down on the step. The ball squeezed out of the mitt and rolled toward Hope again. She bent and scooped it up, tossing it back and forth as he tore open the wrapping paper.

          “Oh, wow. Cool!” Chase gushed, unveiling a model airplane. An Albatros D.V. Diecast Model German Air Force Jasta 11, also known as “The Red Baron.” It was the sweetest model he ever saw.

          “And its propeller really works!” She tucked the ball back into his glove on the steps.

“Thanks,” he breathed.

          “No problem.” She stuck her hands behind her back and rocked from heel to toe, beaming with pride.

          He interrupted the adults’ conversation, eager to check out his new plane. “Mom, can we go put this together?”

          “No, Chase.” She put a hand on top of his head. “It’s time for dinner. And after dinner, I want you to show Hope around.”

          “Yes, Ma’am.” He and Hope exchanged a look of disappointment and shuffled into the house with the grown-ups. “You’re a pretty good throw, for a girl,” he stated flatly.

           She seemed unsure of how to take his comment. “Tha-anks?”


Okay, here we go! Songs with a school theme. I try to give you trivia questions, plus some interesting background facts that you may not know. Use the clues provided to figure out the answers, and then post them to our Facebook page to gain additional entries into our monthly drawing.

1.) This song from a British band is one of the most well-known school protest songs. It was written as part of a rock opera about a child named Pink who loses his father. Pink is devastated by the loss and starts to build "The Wall." Lyrics boast "We don't need no education/ We don't need no thought control." This song provided the band's only number one hit and was voted #375 in Rolling Stone's list "The 500 Greatest Hits of All Time." Can you name this song?

2) This song came from a man who wrote songs that garnered 30 U.S. Top 40 hits between 1957-1964, and three more released post-humorously. The singer was shot and killed at the age of 33 in a Los Angeles hotel under strange circumstances, still disputed to this day. This song might not at first impress you as a school song, but the lyricist proclaimed that he didn't "know much about history," and mentioned other school subjects. Can you name this song?

3) This song, also by a British band, again may not come to your mind as a school song, but it is about a school teacher who has an affair with a student. The lyrics refer to a "book by Nabokov," meaning Lolita, which also explores the issues of an older male, much younger female relationship. The song was released in late 1980 and the group won a Grammy for it. The lead singer got his nickname by wearing a black and yellow sweater that reminded others of a bee. Can you name the song?

4) This song was written by a group we featured heavily in our summer music trivia. It is off the group's Little Deuce Coupe album and features the University of Wisconsin's fight song, On Wisconsin! It is actually a tribute, though, to Hawthorne High School, the school two of the band members, the brothers Wilson, attended. The melody of Hawthorne's fight song is the same as On Wisconsin! Band member Mike Love sang this song on a telethon on the Full House episode, "Our Very First Telethon." Can you name this song?

5) This is the jam I used to play in the car pool at pick up time on the last day of school. Released in 1972 the songwriter claims it was inspired by answering the question, "What's the greatest three minutes of your life?" He said, "There's two times during the year. One is Christmas morning, when you're just getting ready to open your presents. The greed factor is right there. The next one is the last three minutes of the last day of school when you're sitting there and it's like a slow fuse burning. I said, 'If we can capture that three minutes in a song, it's going to be so big.'" The song incorporate the childhood rhyme, "No more pencils, no more books, no more teachers' dirty looks" into its lyrics. The lead singer's syndicated radio show is still popular.One last clue, the lead singer's last name is also the word for a barrel maker. Can you name this song?

6) And I can't leave out this song, even though it didn't show up in my search for school songs. This is an awesome song with the best drum lead in ever! It describes an attractive teacher and has the classic line, "I don't feel late." Cracks me up! I actually included it in THE HEART TEACHES BEST when the police officer hero sings it to the teacher heroine. This band also features a pair of brothers. One of the brothers played drums, until he heard the other brother do the drum solo from "Wipeout." He then changed to playing guitar and was eventually ranked #8 in Rolling Stone's Top 100 Guitarists, and #1 by Guitar World. Makes you wonder what talent would have been lost if his brother couldn't play the drums! Can you name that song?

Once again, I hope you had fun playing! Remember to post your answers here:


Thanks for reading!




Featuring Authors:

M.J. Schiller & Susan JP Owens

The 2016 Summer Olympics is here!

Do you have a favorite sport you like to watch?

As we bask in the latter days of summer or winter, depending where you live, what will you be doing this month? 


So maybe you can tell by the picture above where my interest lies...

Last night I was up at 3 a.m. (switching medications has got my sleep totally messed up) creating a hockey board on Pinterest ( I love hockey! Why? Well I think it goes back to when I was a little girl.

The St. Louis Blues franchise began in 1967, the year I was born. (I forbid you to do the math!) ;) My parents were season ticket holders right from the start. I'm pretty sure I remember the babysitter having the hockey game on the TV while they were at the games. I must have thought that it must be pretty cool if my parents attended. When I was in second grade, my parents divorced. My little sister and I were sent to live with my mom, my older sister and brother went with my dad. On visiting weekends they would switch kids.

We lived in Iowa some of the time and my dad was still in St. Louis, so getting to see him was a rare treat. I remember Daddy taking me to the Blues games when they were in the Checkerdome (so named because Ralston Purina was a sponsor and their symbol resembled a checkerboard, and then there's the whole play on checking someone into the boards). He had a parking spot on the opposite side of the highway and we would have to cross a bridge to the other side. I was terrified! The cars whizzed beneath me so fast, and it was loud. Daddy held my hand. He was a statistician, a white-collar, tied to a desk, worker. His hands were big and soft. I loved that. Maybe my reasons don't have a lot to do with the sport--but in my mind the it does.

Besides all that gushy stuff, I love the speed at which hockey is played and the level of skill the players possess. If you've never attended a hockey game and had a seat in the lower bowl, you might want to try it sometime. You can't see the whole action very well, so don't do it often, but when you're down on that level you can really see how fast the players skate and how hard they are crashing into the boards. It's exciting! And it amazes me how these guys JUMP up in the air to grab a puck-- on SKATES! The daring shots, the spectacular saves...I'm practically salivating right now.

And, I'm totally a peace loving gal--except when it comes to hockey. Then part of me is as bloodthirsty as the rest, yelling, "Man! Did you see that? He really tagged him!" Part of me is cringing with each blow and worries about the players. I know some of those guys relish a fight, but I know there are others who have a certain amount of fear and dread when it comes to fighting. I feel for them.

Okay. I talked too much--but it's hockey! I can't help myself. I hope you have enjoyed your summer sports and that your winter teams do good--unless they're playing the Blues. Sorry. :) 


I enjoy watching the summer Olympics, and I'm excited for our athletes. Since I live in Texas where the extreme heat is dangerous, I'll be cheering them on in an air-conditioned room.

Have a terrific month wherever your endeavors may lead you.



Trapped Under Ice was the first in my ROCK ROMANCE COLLECTION, and so holds a place near and dear to my heart. It is largely inspired by Nickelback music. The scenes I included at the winery were based on a real winery that I have been to on several occasions, which is also kind of special to me. Here is what the story is all about...

Blurb ~

Chad Evans, lead singer of the platinum record award winning band, Trapped Under Ice, is haunted by his past.

Growing up in an abusive home, he is left alone at the age of thirteen to raise his kid brother. Years later Chad still fights the pain he felt as a child, and the anger it causes, despite being a wildly successful rock star. “Chad [tries] to play his heart out on the stage; but he [can] never quite seem to leave it there.”

Three years have passed since her husband, Paul’s, death, but Beth’s life is still shadowed by sorrow.

The lunch lady/writer is thrilled to be enjoying a Trapped Under Ice concert with her daughter, Cassie. But when the concert is over, they are followed and attacked by two men in one of the stadium’s bathrooms. When Chad and his bodyguard, Pete, come to their aid, an instant attraction sparks between Beth and the tall singer.

Will Chad and Beth be able to leave their pasts behind? Or will they remain TRAPPED UNDER ICE?

They have to face difficulties from without, (ex-girlfriends who resurface, crazed fans who don’t want to take “no” for an answer…), as well as difficulties from within, (jealousy, anger, fear…). And just as the two seem to be able to work through their problems, someone starts sending Chad death threats. Will their story end before it even begins?

Excerpt ~

Chad rang the doorbell, nerves making him tug at his sleeves to straighten his shirt. Everything had to go just right tonight. Beth opened the door and light fell on the porch. “Damn!”

          She laughed. “My, you do have a way with words.”

          “Let me see this!” He whistled, stepping in and circling around her so he could get the full effect. Beth had on a longer emerald dress, with four straps crisscrossing her upper back before plunging downward and long slits gliding up her legs. Again, her hair was swept up, making her neck seem so much more inviting. He returned to face her, admiring her from the front. He laughed. “I’m sorry, it’s just…damn!” He shook his head.

          “Oh stop,” she mumbled, her face flushing as she hit him with her handbag.

          “I love the way you blush.” Chad touched her hot face and gave her a kiss.

When he pulled away, she blurted out, bubbling over, “I’m so excited. So where are we going?”

          “Ah-ah-ah. Not yet. You need to wear this.” He pulled a silky, black scarf from his suit pocket.

          “Ooooh. What kind of kinky thing am I in for?”

          “You little vixen!” Chad gave her a sharp swap on the derrière. He positioned himself behind his date again and brought the scarf over Beth’s head to tie it behind her as a blindfold.

        “What are you up to?” she asked coquettishly.

      Chad leaned into that tantalizing neck, annunciating each word in her ear with a seductive whisper, “Try not to anticipate.” Then, unable to resist, he kissed her there.

She squirmed with delight. “Oooh. That’s so much better when I can’t see you.”

      “Uhhh…is that supposed to be a compliment? ‘Cause, it doesn’t sound like one.”

      “Oh, silly. You know what I mean.” She tried to reach for him. “I can’t find you to kiss you,” she whined in frustration.

      “That’s part of the fun,” he teased, his voice now coming from in front of her. “Okay,” he continued, leading the way, “you need to take a step down onto the porch. Where’s your key?”

“In my bag.”

      He took her handbag and locked the door. As he moved her toward the steps, another arm supported her on the right. “Wow, Beth! You look fantastic.”

       “Thank you, Pete. So he roped you into this, too?”

      “No rope needed. I wouldn’t miss this for the world.”

     Chad shot his usually tightlipped bodyguard a warning look, which Beth, of course, could not see. After the two men got her safely in the limousine and closed the door, Pete commented, “If you don’t propose to her, I will.”

      “Just you try it, old man,” he returned with a grin.

You guys know the drill! We're talking songs from sports movies, songs associated with sports, anything with even the faintest whiff of sports is eligible. :) Use the clues to figure out the answers, and then post them to our Facebook page to gain additional entries into our monthly drawing. This month we're adding a bonus Back to School $25 gift card!

1.) This is just like, everyone's favorite song. It was made famous in a sports movie that had several sequels. In fact, it was in the third movie when this athlete had gotten fat and lazy on his success and needed to regain his edge. He moved from his Las Vegas training camp, which had a host of interesting distractions, to train in Los Angeles, in the slums. The song's by Survivor, name that song!

2) This song was inspired by Yankee Stadium. The songwriter was from the West Coast in an area that had no professional baseball team, so he was impressed when he came to New York. He was the lead singer of major rock band Creedence Clearwater Revival, but this was the title track of his first solo album. Can you name the song?

3) This song is as much a part of American culture as a beer and a hot dog at the ballpark. Famously sung by Harry Caray and an array of well-known guests during the seventh inning stretch at Wrigley Field, you don't even need to be a Cracker Jack fan to like it. Do you know the title?

4) This song by Kenny Loggins is in a famous sports movie that is a comedy centered around golf. The film had an all star cast with Ted Knight, Rodney Dangerfield, Chevy Chase, and Bill Murray. One scene has an animatronic gopher dancing to this tune. Can you give us the title of this one?

5) This is a great song written by a man who named himself after a TV dinner. It features a male singer begging for a roll in the hay, battling against a female singer who isn't about to let that happen before she has a wedding ring on her hand. How is this a sports song? One section has a baseball play-by-play as the guy in the song tries to score. Can you name that tune?

6) And I've got to throw one final one in the mix, an Olympic song for Susan. This song came from a 1981 British historical film that took the Oscars by storm. The movie focused on two runners, one of whom refused to run in the 1924 Olympics because it was held on the Sabbath. It contained memorable scenes, including one where a runner leaps over hurdles balancing full champagne flutes. It also depicted one character taking on the Trinity Great Court Run which challenges individuals to speed around a college courtyard before the clock strikes twelve times. But the scene that reminds people most of the film is one with slow motion running on a beach. Can you name that song/movie?

I used this top forty sports songs list to come up with my questions:

Hope you had fun playing! Remember to post your answers here:




Featuring Authors:

M.J. Schiller & Susan JP Owens

Talking about summer and vacation

fun,we're reminiscing about vacations


Have you been to the beach? If so, do

you enjoy it? 


I don't really consider myself a beach person. For one, my Irish heritage makes being out in the sun unwise and extremely painful. And, I'm also not the type to just lay around. I get bored. However, I am a beauty person and in that way I love the beach.

I love the sound of the waves, especially at night, when you're lying in bed with the windows open. I love the wildlife, the herons and sandpipers leaving their triangular footprints everywhere.

I hope you have a happy and healthy summer. Safe travels if you take to the road, and I wish for you days full of sunshine and relaxation!


I love the beach, water, waves, and all the fun things involving the sand, sun and wind!

I enjoyed all the coastlines that I have visited, but three places brings back wonderful memories and a smile every time I think about them.

Belfast, ME: I appreciated the blend of tall cliffs and tree-lined hills that gave way to a variety of breathtaking shorelines on Belfast Bay.

Waikiki Beach, Oahu, HI: Did you ever experience moments in life that you'll never forget? My recollections are so vivid, it's like I was there yesterday. The ebb and flow of the azure water gliding over the pristine sand with Diamond Head in the background was breathtaking.

The third notable waterfront was a mixture of volcanic and lava materials known as black sand. I still remember the salty breeze cooling my skin from the sultry, summer heat, and when the waves receded, the tiny black granules sparkled.

All three destinations encompass distinctive shorelines and are impressive in their own unique way.

There are many more places to investigate which is similar to all the fantastic artists and authors who pen their voices for the world to hear and read.

No matter where your travels take you, enjoy, remember to use a high SPF rated product, add a cool-looking hat to your bag, and don't forget music and a book! Above all, have a safe journey.



I wanted to choose a book that would go with our beach theme and remembered a scene from ABANDON ALL HOPE. I'll include it here, but first I'll add a blurb to give you a better idea of what the book is about:

It was one of those mornings for newspaper-writer/photographer Hope Creswell.

The alarm clock didn’t go off and she cut her finger on broken glass. Not one to let such things get her down, Hope headed into her assignment meeting with excitement, only to leave it stunned. Her new assignment is to trail the sensational rock-star, Chase Hatton, for an article. Chase Hatton. No one knows the power that name holds for her. No one knows of the childhood friendship that blossomed into romance, only to abruptly die on the night of Hope’s senior prom. No one knows of the ache still filling her heart.

What starts out for Chase Hatton as an average publicity trip to Chicago suddenly becomes complicated.

His manager tells him Hope Creswell will be interviewing him in the morning.

He spent eight years trying to forget Hope, and now she would be in his penthouse in a matter of hours?

When Chase opens the door to his penthouse and finds Hope on the opposite side, his heart begins beating a rhythm the rocker has yet to capture in any of his music.

The smoldering embers of their former romance are fanned by their mere proximity. Will they both be burned again? And what about Hope’s boyfriend, Phillip? Where does he fit into the picture that Hope is developing?

Here's part of the beach scene:

As he taunted her, she continued to squeal in protest and tried to kick her way free. He pitched her into the heart of a wave. Her ears, so full of his laugher and her shouts seconds before, filled with the peculiar silence of water, which muffled all noise as she sank down. She let the water slow her, then, planted her feet, springing from the ocean like a discharged missile. Bobbing in the water she pushed her wet hair back and laughed.

I hope you enjoyed it and you are having a great summer!

In keeping with our beach theme and music quizzes we have--beach music! Think Beach boys, Jan and Dean, The Catalinas, The Drifters, Rockin' Louie and the Mamma Jammers... Use the clues to figure out the answers, and then post them to our Facebook page to gain additional entries into our monthly drawing. (Note: Some of the answers may be duplicates.)

1.) One of this group's biggest songs was inspired by a conversation the lead singer, Brian Wilson, had with his mother about how dogs can sense if a person is going to be friendly to them or not: "They feel the vibrations." Name the group.

2) It took the lead singer of this group five tries to get his driver's license--he kept getting distracted by the radio dial. One of the group's biggest songs may have been inspired by Barbara Anne Feldon from the TV show "Get Smart." Name the band.

3) The lyrics of this group's beach song describe a tryst between a man and his beloved in a seaside town, who plan to privately meet "out of the sun" and out of

sight from anyone else on the boardwalk above. This group could be said to move slowly on the water. Name the group.

4) This band was perhaps doomed to live in the shadow of their neighbors and contemporaries the Beach Boys, but they also played a large part in making Southern California's surf and hotrod music scenes into pop vocal for the masses. Even after the fad had passed, Jan Berry continued to follow an unconventional musical path...that is, until one of their songs became tragically true. Name the group.

5) At one point the lead singer of this band had all the furniture in his house replaced by gym mats so everyone could exercise together. Then, while he recorded "Smile," he had a sandbox built around his piano so he could feel the beach beneath his feet when he composed.  

Hope you had fun playing! Remember to post your answers here:




Featuring Authors:

M.J. Schiller & Susan JP Owens

June kicks off summer and

vacation fun!

What are your plans?


While we don't plan on traveling this summer, it is because in October we took a trip to Ireland! It is something we promised ourselves to do when our triplets went to college, which they did this Fall. As you can see, we didn't waste any time. Our son, Ryan, called it our "victory lap!"

This was a magical trip. We stayed in castles, visited the Cliffs of Mohr as well as the Ring of Kerry and the Giant's Causeway, had Yeats poetry read to us while enjoying lunch in a private home in Yeat's country (in Sligo), took a horse and buggy (jaunty) ride through Killarney National was truly unforgettable.


Though not traveling this summer, I have been looking forward to more time to devote to my writing. (As a lunch lady, I have my summers "off.") That sort of free time hasn't happened yet, but it will! I plan to be more organized and purposeful this summer, using part of each day marketing, writing, editing, reading books and articles about writing, and reading books in my genre. Wish me luck. It always seems like things pull me away from my writing more than I'd like.

I hope you have a happy and healthy summer. Safe travels if you take to the road, and I wish for you days full of sunshine and relaxation!


2016 is the centennial celebration for The National Park Service. Please remember we're responsible for our planet.

John Muir said it best:

"When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe."

My plans for the summer will be a staycation filled with swimming, campfires, and outdoor games with family and friends. I relish lounging in the pool. As I unwind, my mind wanders and allows me to plot my next story.

Later on in the evening, I will relax by a fire pit, savor a glass of wine, and cherish conversations and fellowship. If I can lasso anyone to play a game, I'm in!

I wanted to share some terrific memories from a few of our getaways. The above pictures are from Maui, HI and Ketchikan, Alaska, but I have a blast wherever I am. Even though the days and nights were filled with excursions, I had time to write. The lower left picture is where my husband could always find me, drinking coffee and writing. The beautiful scenery and magnificent experiences inspired me.

For all of you that will be vacationing/on holiday, be safe, have fun, and when you get back, share some pictures with us! 



I've been blessed to travel to Ireland twice and my first trip inspired DAMAGE DONE. I visited Cork, where Michael and Tess try to escape. The pub they work at in the beginning was patterned after the pub we frequented on our travels, only I changed up some of the details. Much of the rural scenery I describe is taken from memories from that trip as well.

But not only did I use my memories, I used my family history! Teddy Passmore McKee was my grandfather's name and his story, in part, was my grandfather's.

Here's a blurb to give you a better idea of what the book is about:

When an unhappy youth leaves him damaged, will Teddy Mckee be able to find love?

“Teddy Passmore McKee was born in Cork, Ireland, with a limp and a chip on his shoulder that threw his balance off all the more.” When he falls in love with the dark haired beauty born of an Irish father and a Spanish mother, will Gabrielle Quinn be able to restore his balance? And what about the charming Sean Hennessey? When Gabby catches his eye, too, will Teddy’s playboy best friend cause his own damage?

Fourteen years later, will Teddy and Gabrielle’s son be able to overcome the damage done to him in his childhood?

“Even through bloodshot eyes he could see she was different.” But can Michael leave behind the bottle, and his womanizing ways, to win over the lovely Tess Flanagan? Tess has sustained some damage of her own. Can she and Michael overcome the terrors of the past and learn how to love each other?

And if they do, will they be able to elude those after them who want to create their own damage?

On the run after an altercation leaves their boss in a pool of blood, will Michael and Tess be able to stay one step ahead of their pursuers? Or is it simply too late to correct the damage that has been done?

We had so much fun last month with our game, we decided to do something similar. Since this month is all about travel, each of the band names described below is a place you could visit on your summer vacation. Use the clues to figure out the answers, and then post them to our Facebook page to gain additional entries into our monthly drawing.

1.) Despite its name, this band was formed in England in 1970. It was comprised of a trio of sons of US Air Force personnel. Some of my favorite songs performed by this group are "Horse With No Name," "Sister Golden Hair," and "Ventura Highway."

2) Formed in Stockholm in 1979 this Swedish band is famous for their song "The Final Countdown." (I love that commercial where they are singing it in an office break room while something is cooking in the microwave!) You'd think their name would be Sweden, but it's not.

3) This band is actually named after the town they're from in Massachusetts. They had some great tunes including "Peace of Mind," "More Than A Feeling," and, the song that my husband would contend is their "sell out song," "Amanda." I don't know what he's talking about! I love "Amanda!"

4) Formed in "The Windy City" in 1967, this band describes itself as a "rock and roll band with horns." Initially a politically charged band that was often experimental, they really found their niche with a softer sound, producing several hit ballads. In fact, they are second only to The Beach Boys (another "traveling" band!) in Billboard singles and albums chart success among American bands. They have 23 gold, 18 platinum, and 8 multi-platinum albums to their name.

5) Again, despite their name, this band is British. Formed in 1981 they are a supergroup, comprised of four members from different progressive rock bands. Two of its members were in the band Yes and one is from Emerson, Lake, and Palmer. They are probably best known for their hit, "Heat of the Moment." (Which is memorable for Supernatural fans as the song that was repeatedly going off on the alarm clock during the episode that was patterned after the movie "Groundhog Day.")

Hope you had fun playing! Remember to post your answers here:



Featuring Authors:

M.J. Schiller & Susan JP Owens

What does music mean to you?


Well, as you may have been

able to guess from my

numerous rock romances, I

am into music. I love to go

see local bands, and attend

concerts whenever I can.I

even karaoke from time to

time. While I don't play a

musical instrument, I admire

those who do greatly and like

to watch them work. I listen to

rock music, like Three Days

Grace, Papa Roach,

Breaking Benjamin, Seether,

Five Finger Death Punch,

Starset, etc. I am currently

way into Panic! At the Disco,

though, and like mellower

artists like R.E.M., Adele,

Tonic, The Red Hot Chili

Peppers, and on and on.

Music inspires me, calms me,

jazzes me...depending on the

selection. I ran across this

statement recently and loved


"Words make you think a


Music makes you feel

a feeling.

A song makes you feel a


-E.Y. Harburg

Have a wonderful, musical



Musical May ~ Muse

I enjoy all genres of music, but certain rhythms and songs inspire my muse, expanding my imagination beyond the realms of ordinary life.

I'm working on The Truth Comes Quietly, a dark, romantic suspense, which is the second book of The Dawning Series.

Before I delve into the minds of the sinister antagonists, I meditate. After writing from their points of view, I select a type of music that creates an upbeat mood so I can alter my mindset and immerse myself in the goodness of my protagonists.


The Beginning Comes Quietly

Book One of The Dawning Series

Peyton Adams has two secrets: One, she's plagued by visions of gruesome slayings, yet is helpless to save the victims. Two, she's still in love with her ex-fiancé, even though he broke her heart.

Little does defense attorney, Cole MacLeod, know when he accepts the serial killer case that it will turn into a chase of life and death for the one woman who still holds his heart. Although he hurt Peyton years ago, he never stopped loving her.

Now, a dangerous adversary is toying with Peyton's mind--ultimately controlling her thoughts, and she experiences the excruciating torture of each victim. With every murder, the deranged maniac gains strength and taunts Peyton about her inevitable death.

Can Cole erase the pain he caused and claim the woman he loves, or will a madman end Peyton’s life before he has the chance to figure out how the psychopath is welding this gruesome power and prevent him from claiming anymore lives including the love of his life? 

To play this game, simply translate the lyrics below on our Facebook page. You will have one entry into our monthly drawing per correct answer. Let me give you an example.

She maneuvers in secretive fashion. (U2)

 She moves in mysterious ways.

1) She can murder with a grin. (Billy Joel)

2) Diety Annoint the US (patriotic tune)

3) She Trembled Throughout the Entire Eve (rock classic)

4) She's Taking the Steps to Paradise (rock classic)

5) The Pointy-shaped Covered Pennant (patriotic tune)

Click on the Facebook symbol below to be taken to our page or click here:

Along with Musical May it is also Military

May, National Military Appreciation month.

(Thus the patriotic tunes.) We'd like to

 thankall of the men and women who serve

 thisgreat country of ours, and their families

 forthe sacrifices they've made.

Keeping You In Suspense Newsletter

Pale With Color

The Beginning Comes Quietly

Walking Into Her Heart



.gr_container { font-family:"Helvetica Neue", Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; width: 250px; } .gr_book_container { border-bottom: 1px solid #d7d7d7; padding: 5px 0px; } .gr_book_image { float: left; padding-right: 20px; } .gr_book_title {} .gr_review_stats {} Susan J.P. Owens's books on Goodreads

Walking Into Her Heart Walking Into Her Heart (A First Realm Novel)
reviews: 4
ratings: 18 (avg rating 4.00)

The Beginning Comes Quietly The Beginning Comes Quietly
reviews: 2
ratings: 5 (avg rating 5.00)

Texting All Hearts Texting All Hearts
reviews: 1
ratings: 2 (avg rating 5.00)

">http:// Susan J.P. Owens's books on Goodreads
Walking Into Her Heart Walking Into Her Heart (A First Realm Novel)
reviews: 4
ratings: 18 (avg rating 4.00)

The Beginning Comes Quietly The Beginning Comes Quietly
reviews: 2
ratings: 5 (avg rating 5.00)

Texting All Hearts Texting All Hearts
reviews: 1
ratings: 2 (avg rating 5.00)


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