I admit it. I’m going to need therapy.


I’ve prepared for this moment for eighteen years now. But in these last few hours as a mom with a senior in high school, come Saturday, I know I’m going to completely fall apart.

Sure, after twenty-four weeks of puking my guts out and an emergency C-section, I cut the cord to my only son. Really. I did.

  • Who sent their five-year-old to Wisconsin for camp? I did.
  • Who sent their eight-year-old 700 miles away to summer camp where he’s going to learn to identify bear scat and sleep in the woods? I did.
  • Who handed over the key fob on that very first day the driver’s permit was issued and taught him how to drive all over Chicagoland? I did.
  • Who dropped their sixteen-year-old off at O’Hare Airport so he can board a flight to Boston and experience a three-week engineering adventure? I did.
  • Who got exceptionally nervous when she received a picture text from her I’m-way-too-busy-to-keep-in-touch son who captioned said photo: Literally lost at MIT? I did.



Who taught him how to make pancakes? Admittedly, I did NOT do this; apparently, he can read the box and follow directions. YES!! But wait! I taught him how to read. Therefore, I must have also taught him how to make pancakes. Booyeah!


So why am I going to fall apart this Saturday at the graduation ceremony and do it again when I drop him off this August so he can begin the next adventure of his life? Because…

  • Who’s going to point out what’s wrong with commercials X, Y & Z?
  • Who’s going to have a conversation with me about the plot of the latest show we’re addicted to, and how he’s über confident the plot is following Vivaldi’s Four Seasons because, to him, “It’s soo obvi.”
  • Who’s going to destroy the upstairs bathroom and have no clue it’s disgusting?
  • Who’s going to insist the 80’s music I grew up listening to isn’t in any way too loud and should, therefore, be cranked up even more?
  • Who’s going to beat me in Family Game Night?
  • Who’s going to tell me he loves me each morning before heading out the door?

The list could go on. After all, a lot has gone on during the short eighteen years from the moment he took his first breath to now. And it has been short, seemingly flying by like a next-generation fighter jet that is obliterating supersonic speeds well above Mach 6.72, which is 6.72 times the speed of sound, or 4520 miles per hour. Fast. No wonder everyone keeps saying, “Don’t blink, you’ll miss it.”

Yes, there is so much to look forward to in life. And ultimately this is exactly what hubby and I have prepared our son for. But, among many things, I sure am going to miss our evening mealtime, which turns into thirty minutes of Wheel-watching and a focused attempt at being the first to blurt out the answer to the puzzle.


Thankfully, I’ve got hubby at my side to help me solve the puzzles I can’t, friends who insist on four-hour lunches at Portillos, and my Main Street sisters to keep me busy. Now, where did I put that number so I can make an appointment for my first therapy session? Might it be 1-800-Disney?

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-Stuff- Where does it all come from?

Better yet…where does it go? Where do you put those memories when you simply can’t bring yourself to let go?

Really? You don’t save special gifts from friends or loved ones? Since they cared enough to share something they took the time to purchase, or make, it makes sense to hang onto those items. Right?

Come on. Fess up. You do don’t you?

Well…let me tell you, I do.

Hello. My name is Carol…and I’m a hoarder! Lol

One of our members is moving out of state. I’m happy for her and the new adventure that’s sure to follow. I can only imagine the trips back to their old hometown they’ll make to visit family and friends. Because family and friends matter. Yes they do.

I wondered how much ‘stuff” she’d get rid of before the move.

Then I looked around my house at ‘memories’ placed here and there. Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t saved each and every item I’ve ever received, I wouldn’t be able to walk through the house. Lol. But many, many are still with me, because I can’t seem to let go of them.

When my son was around five, he bounced into the house one day, with  a bunch of ‘weeds’ crunched in those tiny hands. With a shy gaze and a sweet smile, he said, “Mommy, I brought you some roses.” Let me tell you, my heart nearly burst with pride and joy. My son was, and still is, the most thoughtful and loving person. I still have those ‘weeds pressed within pages of my bible. Yes, I do.

I could go on and on, but I’m in the process of allocating at least two fifteen minute blocks of time to organize ‘My Stuff.’

Keep. Give away. Throw away. What to do? You may need a friend or family member around to make sure you don’t remove items from the give-away or throw-away basket and then add to the keep basket. Ha!

What’s an item, or items, you’d never rid your house of at any time?

Happy Memorial Day. Be safe.

Please check out these links to my books, available at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Kobo, and Apple. http://caroldevaney.weebly.com/my-books.html

I wish you Butterflies, Music and Love


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A Fun New Series ~ Raine English

Grab your beach hat and a towel and prepare for a brand new series brought to you by twelve New York Times and USA Today bestselling authors…

Twelve heartwarming, sweet novellas linked by a unifying theme.

Beach Brides! Fun in the summer sun!



Twelve friends from the online group Romantic Hearts Book Club decide to finally meet in person during a destination Caribbean vacation to beautiful Enchanted Island. While of different ages and stages in life, these ladies have two things in common: 1) they are diehard romantics, and 2) they’ve been let down by love. As a wildly silly dare during her last night on the island, each heroine decides to stuff a note in a bottle addressed to her “dream hero” and cast it out to sea!

It’s been three years and Amy Sheridan has yet to hear that her bottle’s been found, reaffirming her belief that love isn’t in her cards. So when the book club decides to return to the island for a reunion, she’s reluctant to go, until a psychic informs her that she’ll meet a handsome stranger there. Will romance be in her future after all?

Dawson Yates has it all…except a wife. Being a wealthy bachelor hasn’t been a problem until a talk show host questions his single status as CEO of a popular matchmaking service. After that, board members pressure him to give up his playboy lifestyle or step down from his position. Setting up a phony engagement at Enchanted Island seems like the perfect solution, until he learns that his chosen “bride” is already married. While pondering what to do next, he discovers a message in a bottle, wedged between some rocks. Could the author of the note be the answer he’s looking for, or will she steal his heart and break it in two?

Amy (Beach Brides Series) is available for pre-order!

** $2.99 on Kindle, FREE in Kindle Unlimited **


Find all of the Beach Brides at Amazon!


MEG (Julie Jarnagin)

TARA (Ginny Baird)

NINA (Stacey Joy Netzel)

CLAIR (Grace Greene)

JENNY (Melissa McClone)

LISA (Denise Devine)

HOPE (Aileen Fish)

KIM (Magdalena Scott)

ROSE (Shanna Hatfield)

LILY (Ciara Knight)

FAITH (Helen Scott Taylor)

AMY (Raine English)


USA Today bestselling author Raine English writes sweet small-town contemporary romance, along with paranormal and romantic suspense. She’s a Daphne du Maurier Award winner and a Golden Heart finalist. To receive information on all her new releases, you can sign up for her newsletter, visit her website, like her on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter.


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What would you do???

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Have you ever been so frustrated with those you love that you hand wrote and then texted to them a photo image of a “non-love letter”? I have. And it’s still taped to the microwave. I can’t say that this exercise stopped the activity it was written to end. I can say my husband couldn’t get a certain song out of his head for days. Punishment enough??? Yep…Grin.




This is not a love letter.

When you leave the house with every downstairs light on full without putting the dogs out with working collars on – that is UNGENTLEMANLY behavior.

Since this has been discussed repeatedly – I will assume that absent an alien invasion or the zombie apocalypse if this happens again it is intentional.

In that event the following random intentional acts may come your way. This list is illustrative not exhaustive:

  • Playing Darth Vader theme music repeatedly so you vcan’t get away.
  • The constant airing of BBC shows.
  • Liberal use of ice water – the shower is not a safe space any more.

One angry when dogs go wild before 6:30 AM romance writer

p.s. This is May’s blog – Congratulations!

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A Bride for Prince Paul on #KindleScout

Guest Post from Mona Risk

A Bride for Prince Paul on Kindle Scout

My Kindle Scout campaign for A Bride for Prince Paul has launched.

Here is the URL: https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/37BZQ1K8SCMK7

May I count on your nomination? If I get selected you will receive a free copy of this delightful book set in Paris and Rensy Island in the Channels.

After you enter your nomination and rating, please leave your name in the comments or email me at mona@monarisk.com


Prince Paul 2


To Nominate me, click HERE

A Bride for Prince Paul (Modern Princes Series Book 1) by MONA RISK

She can’t abandon her patients for his crown!

To please his dying grandfather and protect his country’s autonomy, Prince Paul of Rensy Island must marry an American doctor, descendant of a Rensian princess. Paul, a confirmed bachelor, agrees to meet Amy incognito during her vacation in Paris. Although her career and ex-boyfriend are major interferences, attraction sizzles between Amy and her ‘driver’, but the rumor of her engagement to ‘Prince’ Paul outrages her. Can he convince her that he loves her, in spite of his lies by omission?

I wrote this story while cruising the British Isles. The setting of the book was inspired by the quaint Guernsey island, an island in the Channels. The guide explained that the residents of Guernsey speak English and French, don’t pay taxes and enjoy free medical care for children under seven and seniors above seventy. The island has alternatively belonged to England and France, and is now part of the British Commonwealth. The ruler is a governor and the constitution states that in case of problems the island would revert to England.

I loved the setting. My muse immediately replace the governor with a prince, just like Monaco or Luxemburg , both in Europe, and my imagination changed their constitution–the heir to the throne must be married. The ruling prince is old and dying, and his grandson is a businessman and playboy who enjoys his freedom and his work. But grandpa worries about the future of his country and summons his grandson!

All of this played in my head while in the bus touring the island and visiting the landmarks.

Imagine if Kate Middleton (Dr. Amy in my story) were an American doctor, dedicated to her career and her patients.

What if Prince William (Prince Paul in my story) wanted to make sure his future wife will love him for himself and not for his crown?

What if he decided to act as her driver and guide, in Paris, to get to know her better?

What if their attraction turns into passionate love?

What about her medical career and her patients?

What if the paparazzi haunt them at every turn? What if the tabloid magazines spoil everything? What if…what if…what if…


Guernsey Island


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Change is in the Air

At 50+ years old, one usually thinks their life is how it will be. The children are raised. You are enjoying the grandkids. Life is cruising along…and then this happens!

I moved to California from Maryland when I was 7 years old. I’ve lived my whole life here. And now we are moving–to Nevada!! The husband woke up one morning and said, “let’s move, let’s buy a new house, let’s have an adventure.”

The next adventure in my life is beginning. We know no one there. Our family and friends are all here. The husband is finally retiring retiring. We will have a new home, new furniture, and a new life. It will be different. It will be exciting. At least, I hope so!! Fingers are crossed and I am sending positive thoughts out into the universe. Maybe my next book will take place in a Nevada ghost town. Ooooh, new book ideas already!

What exciting unexpected thing has happened to you?

Jill James, romance writer and adventurer!

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“Real” Moms and Their Kids

me and my babies09182014

Me and my babies too many years ago

“I don’t think she misses those kids at all. They weren’t her real kids, you know. They were adopted. You can tell she never loved them–not the way she loves the kids she had naturally with her new husband.”

This statement was uttered by a coworker yesterday regarding the long-ago breakup of a celebrity couple and the subsequent fallout to their children’s relationship with Mom due to Dad’s involvement in a religious cult.  

There are a lot of times I have to zip my lip or run to the ladies room to bang my head against a hard surface during the day job. My brow is still throbbing after this one.

I’m fortunate that I know all kinds of mothers, and let me assure you the giving birth aspect of motherhood has nothing to do with the love any of them have for their children. Every one of them is a real mother who considers all of her children her “real” children. It doesn’t matter if these are natural children of the parents, adopted children, foster children, grandchildren they’re caring for, or…yes…furbabies. Take it from me. No one spends years cleaning up poop and puke, dabbing bloody knees, gushing over dandelion bouquets, worrying about missed curfews, and comforting broken hearts because there’s nothing decent on television. You do it out of love: deep, unconditional, abiding love. 

A real mother is emotionally invested in every one of her children. She does not have less love for one than another. She loves all her children equally, but uniquely. What do I mean by uniquely? Just as each child is an individual, a real mom’s love reflects that same level of individuality. She’ll know, and be able to recite in the blink of an eye, her children’s flaws and gifts. She can tell you which one is gullible, which one is the leader, which one feels too deeply, and/or which one is the creative dreamer. She knows their likes and dislikes, can name her children’s best friends, favorite activities, the meals they dislike, their best and worst school subjects. When one of her children hurts, there’s no difference in the measurement of her empathy based on the circumstances of their birth. When one of her children makes her happy, she couldn’t care less if she carried that one inside her for nine months. The real mother is proud of all her children’s triumphs, commiserates with their disappointments. Real moms are human. Sometimes, they make mistakes. But the depth of their love is never one of them. 

This Sunday, here in the States, we’ll honor those real moms for all they’ve done for us. To celebrate, I’ve placed my Calendar Girls novella, CHARMING FOR MOTHER’S DAY, on sale for 99 cents for ten days, beginning today. This holiday story introduces readers to the town of Snug Harbor, where all my Calendar Girls stories take place. Colin Murriere has returned to Snug Harbor, the winning chef from a reality cooking show, ready to win back the girl he left behind. Lucie Soto’s life took a downward spiral when Colin broke up with her after a summer fling years ago. Now a single mom struggling to maintain a normal life, Lucie wants nothing to do with him or his dreams of a shining future. But her daughter, Ariana, an expert on fairy tales, knows Prince Charming when she sees him and will stop at nothing to bring these two their Happily-Ever-After.

Charming Promo

Happy Mother’s Day to all the real moms. It may not always seem like it, but we know we’re the luckiest kids in the world because you’re ours!

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