Happy Halloween!

Hello and Happy Autumn! I’ve been quite lazy with my blog posts lately, and to make up for that, there are a few things happening in today’s post.

First, in celebration of Halloween, there’s a brief excerpt from Sanctuary showing how Jack Darcy began his first Halloween in Maine.

After the excerpt, you’ll find my Sanctuary playlist, if you’re interested in checking out the music that inspired me as I wrote the story.

And then, beyond the music, you’ll see a poll of sorts. I’d love to know your thoughts—and would appreciate them greatly!—so please leave a comment on the blog post, or go to the contact page and reach out to me there.

But first things first! Here’s the excerpt from Volume 3 of Sanctuary, which takes place on Halloween morning.


Standing in the kitchen that morning, Will released a great yawn. I should be wide awake

He’d never heard Jack get up and climb out of bed. Elizabeth hadn’t either, and so both of them had slept until Elizabeth’s alarm clock sounded and she’d slapped the snooze button. She was heading back to work today, as was Will, but neither was in a hurry to get there.

Elizabeth rolled toward him, spooning him and snuggling against his back, and both of them drifted off again until Jack bent over his father to wake him, shaking him lightly.

“Dad, it’s time to get up. Dad. Daaad. Dad. Are you gonna get up?”

Will slowly cracked open one eye and received the scare of his life. Staring back at him was the face of a menacing robot. He’d jumped and uttered what was probably a very unmanly sound, and because his first lucid thought had been to move as far away as possible from the thing looming next to his bed, he’d very nearly crushed Elizabeth.

“Ow! Hey!” she’d called out, her voice muffled due to Will nearly lying on top of her head.

“Sorry, sorry,” he said, rolling off of her.

Jack thought the whole thing hysterical, of course, and burst out laughing. “Sorry Dad. I shoulda taked my mask off.”

“You planned that,” Will joked, his voice hoarse.

“Nope, I didn’t,” Jack answered, laughing again. “I just forgot about it.”

Elizabeth lifted her head to peer over Will’s body. “Good grief, Jack!” she said, laughing as well. “Are you trying to give your father a heart attack?”

“Nope, I was just comin’ to see if you guys are gettin’ up. I needa have breakfast.” He took his mask off. “Can I have cheesy eggs?”

Thinking back on the whole thing now, Will laughed again. Elizabeth had poked fun at him for a few minutes until he’d finally kissed her into silence.

He could hear the familiar sound of her shoes on the stairs before she appeared in the kitchen. She grinned at him, her eyes shining mischievously, but when she opened her mouth to speak he beat her to it.

“Not. Another. Word.”

She laughed. “I wasn’t going to say a thing, I swear. I was only going to remark on how handsome you look in your suit.”

He narrowed his eyes at her. “Liar. You’ll be teasing me for weeks.”

Still laughing, she put her arms around his waist. “I won’t tease you anymore about that big, scary robot monster, okay?”

He groaned and looked away from her until she pulled his face toward hers and kissed him soundly.

“You big baby,” she murmured against his lips.

He silenced her in the best way possible—by kissing her thoroughly.


I hope you enjoyed the excerpt! And now, moving on to the music… As I mentioned in a previous blog post (which you can find here), music really sparks my creativity. When I posted Sanctuary online at a couple of fan fiction sites, I included lyrics to some songs at certain points in the story. A lot of readers enjoyed the musical aspect and finding out which songs inspired certain chapters/scenes, or what song Elizabeth was playing or singing in a particular scene. Because of copyright issues, I had to remove the lyrics from the published version of the story; so I decided to put the playlist here, for your listening pleasure. If you click on the song title, it will take you to YouTube; I linked to videos that are just the audio of the song, they’re NOT the real music videos. I apologize if you have to sit through an ad or two! Happy listening!

And So it Goes” by Billy Joel (inspiration for title)

Just Give Me a Reason” by Pink f/Nate Ruess

 “Can’t Stop” by MoZella

“Belly Full” by Dave Matthews Band

Amazing” by One eskimO

Tonight I’m Loving You” by Enrique Iglesias

Naked As We Came” by Iron & Wine

Future Days” by Pearl Jam

Crush” by Dave Matthews Band (long, epic love song with great lyrics)

This Dance” by Five For Fighting

The Way I Am” by Ingrid Michaelson

Living in the Country” by George Winston (instrumental)

Shakin’ All Over” by Eilen Jewell

Make You Feel My Love” by Adele

I Will Not Take My Love Away” by Matt Wertz


What do you think?

If you’ve hung around long enough to reach this part of the post, I thank you! This is the “poll” I mentioned earlier, and I’d really appreciate your feedback.

I’ve been contemplating the launch of a monthly author newsletter, and have my first one just about mapped out and ready to launch in six weeks or so, but first I’d like to know how people—how you—feel about them. If you enjoy them, why do you enjoy them? What do you like to read about? What kind of content would you like to see—personal things about the author, mixed with a little bit of business, i.e. upcoming releases and work-in-progress updates? Or an ‘all business’ newsletter, with no personal anecdotes? If you don’t subscribe to any author newsletters, why is that? Do they clog your inbox? Do time constraints prevent you from reading them? Do you just want to read the author’s books, and nothing else? Would you rather get updates and news from authors via Facebook or other social media?

I value your opinion! Please leave a comment on this blog post, or reach out to me via the contact page if you’d like to keep your remarks private.


Thank you! Stay safe and well.

10 thoughts on “Happy Halloween!

  1. I certainly enjoy the excerpts you post along with updates on future publications. I can’t wait for the song list for Dance the Tide. Looking forward to your Harvest book of which I read the original through the Meryton Assembly.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Ebbie! Glad you’ve enjoyed the excerpts. I would love to publish ‘Dance the Tide,’ but there would be so much involved, just because of the music references alone. Editing would be tough. But I’m looking forward to getting ‘An Unexpected Harvest’ out in the spring! I’m working on it steadily. Thanks for stopping by!


  2. Love this excerpt! I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it but I love this series ❤️. I’m currently halfway through book one on my third read.
    Some great songs on your list. I especially love Just Give Me A Reason.
    As for the newsletter? I would love any posts. I enjoy reading about works in progress, I’ve loved seeing your photos and details of your trip. As I can’t travel, I do enjoy seeing the world through other people’s travels!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glynis! I can’t believe you’re on your third read! Blows my mind. I’m so glad you’re enjoying it. I love that song too…I love all of those songs! I hope to do a little more research on newsletters this week, but the feedback I’ve received so far has been helpful. Thanks!


  3. I would love your newsletter, I’m sure. I subscribe to a few and enjoy them. I would like both personal and professional, but mostly I would like to see what you are working on. (FYI, love everything Dave Matthews Band)😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi there! I hope to do a little of both, but the ‘professional’ stuff would definitely come before the ‘personal’ stuff…and I was thinking of having a theme for each month (as I’d only do one newsletter per month). Giveaways are always good too, and short stories…is there anything else you like to see? And yes, DMB is fabulous! I’m a huge fan. Thanks for commenting, I appreciate it!


  4. The music choices are so perfect. I had to laugh when my son moved my hard copies of your books on the shelf because he said they had nice covers. I think so too. I read a few author newsletters and it can be fun seeing what they are thinking about the book or what they were doing while they wrote it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad you like the music choices! And your son is so sweet, I’m glad he (and you) likes the covers. I’m quite proud of them! Thanks so much for your thoughts on the newsletters. Feedback has been encouraging, so fingers crossed for a December launch. Thanks again!


  5. I would subscribe! I also follow other favourite authors. I think a mix of all the elements you mentioned make for a good newsletter. It’s nice to get updates of WIPs, excerpts, flashbacks like this one about Jack. I’m hoping for a future sequel when he grows up and finds the love of his life. I love him! It’s also nice to to know a little of the personal, like what inspires your writing, travel, thoughts about the JAFF genre, etc. In other words, anything you wish to share! 🤓. Love your work!


  6. Happy Halloween 💜
    One year later .. but still… So instead of just answering your question (although yes I do live newsletters, especially if they mix personal news with ‘shop’ ideas and glimpses on WIP! ), I’ll have one of my own: what was the issue of the poll? Do you have the newsletter now? I looked quickly but didn’t see the ‘sign for newsletter’ icon … 😉


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