My Own Greek Bookshelf

From Sharon Blomfield

The Sifnos Chronicler

P1150546What is it about Greece that so inspires writers, always has? With Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey, it’s where the very idea of literature in the western world began. The Histories by Herodotus came, relatively speaking, not long after and in the centuries since then, this muse has infected countless others. Some like Cavafy and Kazantzakis were of Greek heritage, others became so enamoured with what they’d encountered on their travels that they had no choice, really, but to put pen to paper.

I’m one of those. On my first visit a dozen or so years ago, the island of Sifnos took a firm hold on my heart and the result is my two books, The Sifnos Chronicles: tales from a greek isle and Sifnos Chronicles 2: more greek island tales, as well as this blog. Up until then, I’d never ever considered myself a book author. Now I am…

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From New Orleans to New York City

Thirty five years ago, I went on a business trip to New Orleans with my husband. He was busy all day working the booth for the Associated Press at the American Newspaper Publishers Association convention while I ran the streets. The trip was the most fun I’ve had by myself. What a great town to be free to do whatever I wanted. I spent eight days in the French Quarter, poking into shops, wandering down private alleys, and looking in windows of wonderful old homes.

Toward the end of the trip, I finally came across something that wasn’t so wonderful. The horses that pulled the tourist carriages around the Quarter did something to my heart. They didn’t look that happy to me. On the last afternoon I’d have the privilege of visiting, I sat alone at Café Du Monde drinking coffee and people watching, trying not to focus on the horses. The concern didn’t go away, however, and the idea to write a story about their plight settled in my head. For all the beauty of the Quarter, there was something dark and sad about the horses.

Returning home, I began researching; this was before I knew how to use a computer, so it was at the library, microfiche, old travelogues, and encyclopedias. I could find nothing sensational about the horses in New Orleans, which appeared to be well-taken care of in spite of my concerns.

SuzanneSavantOfChelsea (1)

A story began to grow about a child, a little girl, who could communicate with the horses of the Quarter. Alas, when I finished, it reminded me too much of the old Mr. Ed television series and I scraped it.  The feeling persisted, dark and unsavory, and soon I began working on The Savant of Chelsea. In this story, a young woman from the French Quarter who is on the autism spectrum goes to medical school, and on to do a residency in neurosurgery in Manhattan.

Publisher’s Weekly reviewed The Savant of Chelsea a few years ago and one of the lines from the review has become its tagline – A New York brain surgeon returns to New Orleans to face the secrets and tragedies of her youth.

The review: This gripping novel from Jenkins delivers complex twists and turns from start to finish. Alexandra Donicka is a talented but unstable brain surgeon living in New York City. When her mother dies, Alexandra travels to New Orleans to face the tragedies and secrets of her youth. These include childhood abuse and the birth of a child, who was taken from Alexandra by her mother more than two decades ago. As Alexandra searches for her daughter, she must grapple with long-hidden emotions and discover her own humanity. Jenkins creates fully realized, believable characters and ably portrays mental illness in this dark tale that provides nonstop thrills and culminates in an explosive and unexpected finale.

A New York surgeon travels to New Orleans after her mother dies to face the secrets and tragedies of youth, leading on a journey to madness.

Win a Pam of Babylon Book Cover Bracelet

On February 8th, Linda won! xo

Stephanie won! I’m going to do another drawing next week! xo  I used this number generator. We had 160 comments and the random number was 65. Stephanie’s comment was the 65th comment. bracelet feb 1

pam bracelet

Comment below to enter to win the new, updated bracelet with all the covers, including #22, Ginger Harrow!  The winner will be announced February 1st. xo GH.jpg

My Son


(On October 8th, Andy died after a two year battle with a rare form of pancreatic cancer, leaving behind his beloved wife and four children, his sister and her sons, and Jim and me. This essay was first posted for family and friends on Facebook, but I wanted to share it with my readers now that I can finally take a deep breath. xo )

Today is the one month anniversary of my son’s death. So far, everything they say about grief is true. It definitely comes in cycles. Certain things are helpful, others not so much. I have a pile of sympathy cards that I’ve been stalling opening. It’s extremely helpful getting the cards so I’m not sure what my fear is. My sister is coming from Michigan tomorrow and she promised to help me go through them. I’ve heard from people I was close to at one time, but years and miles separated us. I’ve also received cards and gifts from new friends and friends I didn’t even know were friends. It has all been so helpful through this process. Thank you so much, all of you.

Today for some reason, I want to tell people that my son died. I want to say the words.

Andy died. My son, Andy.

Last night, we were watching The Handmaid’s Tale. Offred was giving birth, and boy, it was so realistic. The actress is amazing. It reminded me of Andy’s birth, forty nine years ago. He was my first born.

I was so young. Jim and I got married at age eighteen. The following year, through fear of the draft, he joined the Air Force. The recruiter said his chances of going to Vietnam were slim. Of course, that wasn’t true. He went.

Orders took us to California and once we were there, my goal was to get pregnant. I wonder what made me think I was mature enough to have a baby at that age.

Nowadays, there’s a chant telling young women they don’t have to have children. I never heard that I had to have a family when I was young. I just wanted my own home and family so badly. I couldn’t wait to be pregnant and have a baby!

I’ll never forget what it was like bringing my baby home from the hospital. The reality was shocking, the responsibility overwhelming. I couldn’t put him in a toy box when I was done playing with him. The baby would be there for the rest of my life. The neighborhood we lived in was just outside of the Air Force Base and less than ideal. I had a plan for me and baby Andy if our house was invaded in the night when Jim was at work. Parenthood meant a cycle of protecting and planning, protecting and planning. That didn’t end when the children became adults, either.

Then, when Andy was five months old, Jim got orders for Vietnam. It was just me and baby Andy. There is nothing good to relate about the nightmarish months Jim was gone. To this day I get a sick feeling inside, remembering how lost I was. I’m just glad we survived until Jim returned home.

Following that time were the happiest years of my life. I had my children up on pedestals. I was such a nerd growing up. Lol! I’m surprised to this day that Jim even looked my way. And to have two, beautiful, intelligent children! Wow. It was the first time in my life that I thought maybe I was okay. I was worthy. I’m smiling thinking of it. There’s nothing bad about it.

When other people would talk about how challenging it was raising teenagers, that wasn’t my experience at all. My kids were a riot. We had so much fun. Our house was the house where the kids congregated. There were some difficult times but we got through them.

As adults, both of them continued to make strides, have successes, deal with disappointments like everyone. We were still having a great time together. Andy’s wife, Sarah is my second daughter. She made a comfortable home for him and for us to enjoy.

Two years and some months ago, at the end of July, my daughter, Jennifer and her children were here in California staying at Andy and Sarah’s house. We were going to celebrate my grandson and Andy’s shared birthdays and a few days later, my little granddaughter’s. Erroneously diagnosed with hepatitis first, Andy didn’t feel wonderful but he was socializing and his usual happy self. Over the weekend, he got worse and took a trip to the emergency room. In a few hours, Andy got the cancer diagnosis that to this day I still can’t believe. I feel sick, like I’m just hearing it for the first time.

The past two years had been so hard in spite of a very early diagnosis. He had a short time of feeling better. I try to focus on those times. My little granddaughter is just six. She’s so wonderful. We were talking about losing her father and she asked me how I was doing. I said I just pretend he’s alive somewhere. She said, “Grandma, don’t do that. He’s dead. Just be sad.”

She has spoken. I’m not going to pretend. I know some of my acquaintances don’t want to hear about it any longer; if I say anything they change the subject. A well meaning friend said I would harm my granddaughter if I grieved a certain way. She was wrong. I have to grieve any way I can. Friends who have suffered a personal battle fighting cancer and those who have lost children have been a great support. It’s unfathomable, the loss.

So I’m going to continue saying it when I need to. My son died. It’s only been a month. We’re still living, working, moving forward. But we will never get over losing Andy.

JAMES MOUSHON: Generosity Runs Supreme on the Blogosphere

Author SR Mallery’s Blog Post About James Moushon


For an author, much good can come from participating in a boxed set. Exposure, of course, is the number one benefit. In addition, another title is automatically added to your stable. But by far what I found to be the most rewarding gift I received when I joined the set of, “Love In Times Of War,” was meeting new authors who have now become friends. It also brought James Moushon. A fine novelist in his own right as well as a consummate reviewer/blogger/promoter, as soon as I ‘met’ him he proved to be incredibly supportive of me and so many others. After giving reviews for each author in this particular boxed set, he then invited every one of us onto his blog, where he proceeded to interview and create very nice looking, well composed promotional posts.

That wasn’t all. To my delight, he continued on with this path of…

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Please help me make HISTORY today! 🏆

Our new release, Love Christmas 2 is out today!

Melinda De Ross


One of my favorite authors, Paulo Coelho, once said, “If you stop dreaming you stop living life.
I suppose he was right. I used to be a big daydreamer in my teens, but as the years passed, life and the inevitable disappointments got me down to earth. So I’ve decided I would set realistic goals for myself and work relentlessly to achieve them.
You may not believe this, but today it’s up to you to help me realize one of my biggest dreams: to be the first Romanian in history to become a USA Today bestselling author. And it costs you only 99 cents.
As I mentioned in my previous newsletter, I’m part of a Christmas anthology alongside 25 amazing authors, writers with incredible credentials who worked tirelessly for the past months so we can make my dream come true – together. To be part of…

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Sunday #Recipes #Baking up Memories #mgtab

What are your favorite fall baking recipes?

Jacquie Biggar-USA Today Best-selling author

person flattening dough with rolling pin Photo by on

Are you a baker?

For me, baking is like pulling teeth, something to be avoided as long as possible. But I do like the heavenly scent of baking in the oven and my family appreciates when I take the time to try, so I’m going to start a Sunday post with #Family #recipes that are as close to fail-safe as possible!

Today’s recipe comes from my husband’s side of the family. My S-I-L makes the best banana bread I’ve ever tasted, moist, flavorful, and decadent!

two green and yellow bananas plastic figures Photo by Acharaporn Kamornboonyarush on

Here’s her recipe:

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

1/2 cup butter or margarine

1 cup white sugar

2 eggs

1 cup (3 med) very ripe, mushy bananas

1 3/4 cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

3/4 cups choc chips

Cream butter and sugar in medium sized bowl…

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Everything is perfection. Nothing can go wrong, right? #RomanticSuspense @suzannejenkins3

Sexy Romance Novels


Title: Esmerlda’s Happy Time Cabin For Lost Hikers 
Author: Suzanne Jenkins 
Genre: Romance, Suspense 
Add to your TBR – Goodreads 
Kelly and Jeff Fairchild live a charmed life in their renovated Victorian mansion in the Jersey suburbs. Wall Street traders with a golden touch, they plan their vacations with the same detail and finesse used with their deals on Wall Street. 
The next big outing is a hiking trip on an island in the Canadian Muskoka. Everything is perfection, from the brand name of their hiking boots to their silk long johns. Nothing can go wrong, right? 
They’d been married for five perfectly lovely years and had five perfect notebooks of five fabulous vacations lined up on a special shelf in the den. Professionally framed photographs of the vacations covered the den walls. A…

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My Books-My World


13240487_1015016428568388_5130318938500939203_nWhat’s your name and what genre would you consider your books to be?

HI, I’m Suzanne Jenkins. I write all genres but love women’s fiction the best.

Tell me about your book. How did you come up with that (story, angle, idea)?

My new release from September 25th is Esmeralda’s Happy Time Cabin for Lost Hikers. About five years ago I was talking to my Canadian daughter -in-law about a story I couldn’t get out of my head of hikers who encounter a group of grifters.  The characters from Michigan and Manhattan paths would cross and I was debating which location would be the best and she suggested the Muskoka.

41723638_2095375213865832_7580811646184980480_nHow did you get interested in writing this particular genre (historical novels, mysteries, sci-fi, children’s books, etc.)?

I have stories in my head and they need to come out so I can get…

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