MJ’s Musing: Word Nerd

There used to be a board game called PROBE. Used versions on Amazon are shockingly expensive. When my parents cleared out their games a couple of years ago, I “called” PROBE, but one of my nieces ended up with it.

The purpose of the game is to come up with a word (using letter cards, face down on a rack) and other people guess the word, letter by letter. There are blank cards, too, a player can add to the beginning or the  end of the word.

To this day, I will see a word and think, “Oh, that would be a great word for PROBE.”

Some of my favorite words are: gypsy; rhythm, awkward, squirm, swarm.

I confess: I am a word nerd.




MJ Monday: MJ’s Manuscript-Betrayed By Moon Cover Reveal

With their packs’ very existence at stake, can two fated mates find the courage to love?

For generations, werewolves have lived under the protection of service-for-sanctuary treaties with the government. Now amid growing unrest there is a movement to abolish those treaties, risking the survival of werewolves everywhere.

Werewolf Ethan Calhoun’s mission to save the treaties means winning a powerful congressman’s support. He never expected to meet his life mate—and to discover she’s engaged in a life or death battle with the same politician.

Despite knowing she and Ethan are fated to be together, Selena Wolfe believes she’s too damaged to ever be anyone’s mate.  As they fight to save her pack, Selena wrestles her need for Ethan while he struggles to win her trust.

Working together they must confront an evil Ethan never imagined and Selena can never forget. 

Betrayed by the Moon, on sale June 26, 2019.

MJ’s Musings: Thistle Dew

A friend of mine owns an 1809 former stage coach inn in the foothills of New York’s Adirondack Mountains.

Her dream has always been to create a warm, welcoming place where her author friends could retreat and write. She has succeeded.

For several years, personal situations kept me from attending, but about two years ago, my circumstances changed,and I became a Thistle Dew regular. I always stay in the same room. I usually write in the dining room, although sometimes I move around to keep myself fresh.

The thing is, I can write here. I am so much more productive than when I am home. At home, my husband wants to spend time with me. The house needs me to spend time with it.

A few weeks ago, when I was desperately trying to finish a book due a month later, I planned an entire weekend at home, writing. HAHAHAHAHA.  The following weekend, I went to Thistle Dew, which is about 90 minutes from home, and I wrote over 10,000 words Friday afternoon/night, all day Saturday/Sunday morning.

Two weeks later, I finished the book at Thistle Dew .

Thistle Dew isn’t all work. There is plenty of eating (always) and laughter. I love getting to know people from my local RWA chapter with whom I might not interact at our monthly meetings. We forge new friendships and learn other writers’ strength and generosity. In warmer weather (i.e. no snow), we spend evenings around the fire pit outside and watch the sky while creating fond memories. And then there was the one night three of us encountered a ghost. Nothing bad. Nothing scary. Nothing threatening. But yeah. A woo-woo filled night. (A building constructed in 1809 is bound to house leftover energy.)

I am so lucky my friend had this dream and was able to make it come true.



MJ Monday: MJ’s Manuscript-Betrayed By Moon Exceprt

I’m pulling pieces of the manuscript before revisions, so these selections may change in the published version.


Selena stopped next to a neon cowboy hat advertising roast beef sandwiches and lifted her face to the night sky. Light pollution from the city cloaked most of the stars, although a few planets pierced the haze. The moon, waxing her way to the Milk Moon of May, begged for a song.

Selena sniffed the air as a precaution. No danger mingled in the hint of rancid grease from fast-food franchises, a rotting Dumpster, or the dog droppings someone hadn’t scooped. A smoldering cigarette added to the potpourri. Faintly, indiscernible to most humans, lilies of the valley leant their fragrance to the night. 

Selena resumed her jog. College town, the area around Warwick College, was safe enough. Still, she remained alert, her nose, her ears, and her eyes at the ready. She’d been careless once. Never again.

MJ Monday: MJ’s Manuscript: Excerpt from Betrayed By the Moon.

Another tidbit from my book, BETRAYED BY THE MOON,  tentatively scheduled for  late June 2019 publication.

“Who did you bring home?” Another male spoke from the shadowed corner.

Ethan bristled, ready to defend his mate from the intruder.

“Ethan,” Selena replied.

“Nathan? Nathan who?” The voice cracked.

“Ethan Calhoun,” Ethan said. “Who are you?”

“Channing Wolfe, Varulv pack alpha. You look familiar. Where are you from?”

Ethan grabbed his temper before irreparable damage resulted. “Loup Garou, Colorado.”

The man emerged from the shadows. He was old. Too old, in Ethan’s opinion, to be a pack alpha. The sparse hair on his head was as gray as his eyes and the circles beneath them. Ethan thought he heard joints creaking.

“Ethan, meet my grandfather.”

His intended mate was an alpha’s granddaughter? Whoa. Intense, especially considering his own alpha mated a human.

“You’re a long way from home. Were you planning on checking in?”

“Of course,” Ethan lied. Tokarz hadn’t mentioned another pack might claim northern Minnesota. Courtesy demanded he check in with the ruling pack. “I ran into your granddaughter as soon as I arrived.”

A quick glance at Selena showed one eyebrow arched. She didn’t contradict him.

“Mating fever bring you to Minnesota?” Channing was old, not stupid.

Ethan said nothing.

“New one on me.” Channing continued fishing.

“Strangest thing,” Ethan agreed.

“Is this any way to treat your intended?” Channing asked Selena. “Get him something to drink. To eat. You were raised better than a human girl.”

Selena opened her mouth, as if to argue, glared at Ethan as if he were to blame for the situation, and then stalked from the room.

“You have to forgive the girl. She hasn’t had a lot of female influence. Her mamma died when Selena was real young, and my mate died before Selena was born.”

“My appearance shocked her,” Ethan said to placate the old man. Although Channing wasn’t his pack elder, Ethan was determined to be polite, while at the same time protecting Selena.

“Are you going to court her in the traditional way?”

Ethan tried not to be offended by the question. He failed.

Channing must have read Ethan’s mind. “Your pack brews beer, right? Moonsinger? If making beer isn’t flouting the ways and nature of our kind, I don’t know what is. How can I be sure you’ll do right by my girl?”

Okay. Yeah, brewing beer was weird. Lycan allergy to alcohol versus the pack decision to brew craft beer as a method of supporting the pack was a hotly debated subject. Ethan’s grandparents still argued whether to stay with the Loup Garou pack or find a more traditional place to spend their waning years. Channing’s concern was valid. Still, Ethan had to force his teeth to unclench before he spoke.

“On the way here, I stopped and bought a blueberry and strawberry yogurt parfait. I made the offering. It’s still in my truck. I would never dishonor my mate by violating our rituals. If you’re concerned traditions won’t be honored, you should explain why your granddaughter refused the berries I offered.”


“I don’t need my grandfather’s permission,” Selena said as she returned to the front room. Somewhere along the way, she’d discarded her shoes. She carried a tray with a carafe of water garnished with floating lemon slices and a platter of what smelled like fish. She placed the tray on the table in front of a sagging sofa. “Sorry the walleye is partially cooked. I thawed it in the microwave.”

Ethan’s stomach rumbled. He hadn’t eaten in hours. “Smells great,” he said, as he helped himself to a chunk. “Thanks.”

“Have a seat,” Channing said. “You remind me of someone. Can’t think who, though.”

Ethan studied the room as he chewed on his fish. The seating options were limited. Channing reclaimed a worn recliner in the corner. Ethan’s only choice was a battle-scarred sofa. If he sat, he’d have to share with the female who had rejected him.

“I’ve been driving all night. I need to stretch my legs.” The perfect excuse to avoid proximity with her. He had his pride.

“Where are you staying?” Channing asked.

Selena, who leaned against the door jamb, as if she, too, were avoiding physical closeness to Ethan, winced.

Or flinched. Neither reaction flattered him. He dreaded what was coming next. “I haven’t had a chance to find a motel.”

“Nonsense.” Channing sounded as if he were trying to be hearty and jovial. He failed. Miserably. “You’ll stay with Selena.”


“Staying here isn’t a good idea, sir,” Ethan said.

“Nonsense,” Channing repeated. “The sofa pulls out if you’re being . . . modest.”

“Practical,” Ethan said. He stole a glance at Selena, who appeared upset. “I have other business in town and don’t want to inconvenience anyone.”

“What other business? You’re in Varulv territory.”


The lie came easily. “I’m with a band, and we’re between booking agents, so I’m scouting possible venues for us to play.”

“Doesn’t the Loup Garou alpha have a side gig besides the brewery? What’s the band’s name?”

“Toke Lobo and the Pack.”

“Aren’t they on the radio?” Channing asked, while Selena said, “Get out. You are not.”

Ethan now had an excuse to look directly at her. “Sure I am. I play steel guitar.”

“You do not.”

Ethan scowled.

Selena narrowed her eyes. “Prove it.”