Celebrating a Milestone- Realizing a Dream #Romance #Writer #eNovAaW

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Celebrating a Milestone

Five years ago, I decided to quit feeling sorry for myself and do something about it. You see, I’d recently moved away from home and was lost and lonely.

But, I had a dream.

One I’d carried in the back of my mind for years. I wanted to write a book. Deciding the genre was the easy part. Romance. I was an avid reader of romance novels. They took me to faraway places, fed my spirit and thrilled my heart.

Yep, romance it was.

Okay, now what?

I had a computer that I used for my bookkeeping, but had no idea how to use it as a writing tool. I needed to learn though, my lefty handwriting was atrocious- that wouldn’t work.

I searched online and found RWA® Romance Writers of America, a group of thousands geared toward helping authors better their craft. I also managed to find a local writing group and gathered up the courage to go to one of their meetings where I immediately felt at home. I joined both and began to take classes to learn the art.

It took time (I’m still a work-in-progress) but finally, FINALLY I published my first book in September of 2014.


I could barely contain the excitement blooming in my chest to see a book with MY name on it for sale. But then came the realization. People were going to read it. My heart and soul on those pages and they were all out there– I felt sick.

The reviews trickled in, some good, some not so much, but the addiction was born. I loved to write!

This week I’m celebrating that momentous moment by sharing my first book with you- free!

Jan 11-15

Click the picture to go to Amazon


Nick jogged through the early morning streets, Jake trotting by his side, enjoying the peace and quiet before the town woke for the day. Little songbirds greeted him as he passed a cedar hedge on his way to the park. The air was fresh and cool at this hour. He was glad his strength had returned, his breathing even and stride long. It’d been an uphill battle. For a while after the ambush he’d shut down. Closed everyone out. He wished now he’d made it his business to keep in touch with all his old teammates. The faint sounds of a dog’s bark had Nick looking down at Jake, loping alongside. He’d healed up well, and only flinched at sudden loud noises these days. His hip had taken the brunt of the damage. When the explosion had thrown them, Nick worried he’d need to put him down, but he’d pulled through. Tough mutt.

After his run, he would head over to Sara’s and have a look at those files, see what they were looking at here. Nick had a bad feeling that Tommy boy was into some heavy shit. They needed to solve that first, before there could be a chance for him and Sara.

A sudden sharp pain stabbed him behind the eyes, causing him to falter. Jake whined, sensing his distress. Squinting through slit eyes he spotted a nearby bench, and slumped onto the seat. He pushed a shaky hand through his hair, and then using his thumb and middle finger squeezed in towards his nose, relieving the pressure. “It’s okay, boy. I’m fine. Let’s just take a little break, hmm.” The doctor had explained in excruciating detail while he lay in that hospital in Germany, how lucky he was. The explosion had hit him and sent him flying right up against the stone wall of a nearby house. Shrapnel had gouged a deep line on his forehead, right above his old bullet wound. A centimeter farther to the left and it would have been lights out, of the forever kind. Unfortunately, it’d taken his short-term memory away from him. He’d been told it would come back in dribbles, or one big slam––or maybe not ever. Nice. It angered him that he couldn’t break through the fog to discover the truth of what happened to him and his team. There was something there he could feel it.

He supposed he should be grateful he could remember his childhood, though those memories he could have lived without. Years of mental and physical abuse at the hands of his old man had sent him down nothing but a path of trouble during his high school years. Alcohol, substance abuse, vagrancy, you name it he tried it. His motto had been if you’re not living on the edge, you’re just taking up space.

Then he’d met Kendra in one of the few classes he’d decided to show up for and they’d fallen in love. She’d been the only child of lawyer parents, sweet and innocent. The odds had gone against him when they’d had unprotected sex on a hot summer’s night. She’d gotten pregnant. At least he’d done the right thing and proposed. And though her parents of course hated him, they agreed the marriage should take place. Maybe if they’d stopped it, or if he’d just walked away, Kendra and his son would still be alive today.

They’d been too young, and in the end, it tore them apart. He couldn’t even recall what the fight had been about––no doubt his lack of a ‘respectable’ job. He’d been working at a local garage at the time––all he did remember was getting up to answer the door, only to see two uniforms on the other side. Devastated, blaming himself, he spent the next couple of months shit-faced drunk. Coming out of an alcohol-induced daze one day he saw a poster for enlisting in the marines. Not caring much whether he lived or died at that point, he’d signed up. They sent him to Lackland Airforce Base in San Antonio, where he met Jake. They’d been inseparable ever since.

The searing pressure eased enough for him to open his eyes. Jake sat with his head cocked to the side, his ears laid back in commiseration. Nick nudged him with his knee and gave his sides a good hard rub, Jake groaning his thanks. “Okay, big guy, what do you say to finishing our run?” He’d learned a long time ago that pushing through the pain was often the best medicine.

He had that in common with Sara. She’d gone through both a physical and a mental trauma that would have crushed most. She was doing great, but he bet a violation like that was something from which no woman ever fully recovered.

It humbled him that she had trusted him enough to allow him to make love to her last night. Nick would never hurt a hair on her head, but there was no real way for her to be sure of that. He hoped and prayed no one would ever crush her again, and swore to do everything in his power to make sure of that, starting with Sheridan. If those files contained half of what Sara had intimated they did, he’d need some help. Checking to make sure no one was around, he pulled his cell out of his sweats and made the call.

“Hey, Chief, how are you? It’s Nick, Nickolaus Kelley. Long time, sir, too long. Shit, I’ve missed the team. How’s the whizz kid?” A big grin split his face as he listened to Frank describing Jared’s latest and greatest.

“No kidding, trust Martin to take the term, Land of opportunity, to a whole new level, right?” He laughed. Man, it was good to talk to the chief again. Why did people always let the important ones in their lives fall to the wayside, while they went about the business of life?

He could well believe Jared had almost shut down the strip; the man was scary good with electronics. “I understand that you’re out of the loop these days, sir, but I was hoping I could ask you, and Jared if he’s still with you, for a helping hand. I have a situation here and could really use your input.”

Relief coursed through his veins at the quick response to his plea. “I’ll tell you all about it when you arrive. Tomorrow then, and thanks—Frank.”


    1. Thanks for the share!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Darlene says:

    Congratulations on 5 years of writing!! You have done very well in a short time. I found writing really helped me when I moved to Spain 4 years ago. I also was homesick and lonely. Although I have been writing published novels since 2009, the last three were completed living here. My characters are my best friends and are great company. Keep doing what you are doing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I imagine it was difficult moving countries! The writing is an escape hatch, of sorts. It helped me in the early days after the move, and now I couldn’t give it up, lol
      Thanks for stopping by, Darlene. I’m sitting here at +6 this morning (good compared to the rest of Canada) and am envious of you in Spain 🙂


  2. What a great milestone, Jacquie, and with a kind offer. Big congratulations. I like Nick already.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Mary! Nick will always be my favorite, he was the first (character, that is ;))

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I understand. ❤ ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Many congratulations, Jacquie. It just goes to show that we can conquer our fears if we allow ourselves, too. Next month, I will have been blogging for five years. Fast forward to today, and I’d have never have believed that I am now a self-published author and have become a proud member of the online writing community, some of whom I’ve also actually met in person.
    Here’s to the next five years. 🥂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was a timid mouse to begin with (still am, to be honest) but the online and local writer friends I’ve made have been kind and generous- not the scary monsters I pictured at all.
      I agree, Hugh. The first steps are the hardest, but it WILL get easier.
      Congrats on all you’ve achieved!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. You bring back wonderful memories. Your cover is amazing. And ‘military men’–right up my alley!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lol, they are rather swoon-worthy 🙂
      Thanks for stopping by, Jacqui


  5. D.L Finn, Author says:

    Congrats on you five year amniversary Jaquie:) Thank you for sharing your first book with us I will pick up a copy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yay, thank you, Denise!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Congrats on your milestone, Jacquie! I snagged Tidal Falls!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, wow! Thank you, Jennifer!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Cindy Plamondon says:

    Congratulations my talented cousin on 5 years of wonderful, interesting books 📚! They’re all fantastic reads!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw, thanks for all your support through the years, Cindy. Love you to the moon and back!


  8. Jacquie, what a wonderful, heartfelt post. Thank you for sharing it, and topping it with a generous free book! Mega hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Teagan. I’m feeling nostalgic this month and maybe a bit sad ( my dad passed away January 11 of 1995) and needed an affirmative post.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Lyn Horner says:

    Congrats, Jacquie, for reaching your big milestone! And thank you for the freebie. I just grabbed it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yay, you’ve made my day! Thanks, Lyn 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Lyn Horner says:

        My pleasure, Jacquie.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. My writing career started with a move too, Jacquie. Funny how that can shake us up and ignite new dreams and resolve. Congrats on your success and I wish you many more years of joyous creativity and avid readers. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. From your lips… 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Kathryn Jane says:

    Congratulations on five years of publishing, Jacquie! You’re rockin’ it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Kathryn. The time has literally flown by, lol


  12. Congratulations Jacquie, that’s so amazing! Here’s to many more years of fabulous book writing!💜

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Trisy!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Staci Troilo says:

    Happy anniversary, and kudos to you! Thanks for giving us a gift.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Staci. I think it’s important to share these milestones. Helps keep the incentive fires burning 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for sharing my post with your readers!

      Liked by 1 person

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