Things That Make Me Happy–Friends’ Books

This year I’ve had a few friends reach the goal of seeing their book published, either traditionally or self-published. Some of these friends have worked years and years and years for this goal. I thought I’d share some of this excitement with you.

Most recently, my friend Hattie Mae, one of the first to befriend me when I joined SARA, published her first book this week.


Nestled between the Atchafalaya Basin and Sugar Island lies Bon Amie, a friendly, quiet town, where nothing exciting ever happens. Until Joelette Benoit’s two sons find a man washed up in the murky water at the edge of the swamp.

Joelette Benoit, a widowed single mother, has sworn to never believe the promises of another sweet talking man. Fiercely independent and determined, she’s hidden away her heart, while struggling to provide for her two sons and lively mother-in-law. She swears the stranger will stay one night, and one night only, until she discovers he has no memory. Now duty-bound to aid him, Joelette decides to offer him a place to heal in exchange for his labor.

Against the colorful backdrop of life on the bayou, she watches as he immerses himself not only in her family but also in her town. She can do little to prevent her sons from bonding with the only man they’ve come to trust since the death of their father. Though she, too, is drawn to his kindness and vulnerability, she will not risk the heart of her family because without a past, this man cannot promise a future. But when his memory returns and he realizes he has blood on his hands, he knows he has unfinished business to attend to before he can claim the family he has grown to love.

Available only at Amazon, right now.

Also my friend Leslie Garcia, who I’ve known online for years, commiserated with over both writing and teaching, published her first book this year. It’s currently on sale at Amazon for $1.99.


Unreachable. Dell Rosales gained her nickname, “inalcansable,” or “unreachable,'” the old-fashioned way, earning it with every new rip in her heart.
Unwanted. Dell returns home to salvage her father’s ranch by opening the place to a group of girls with problems and pain not unlike her own. With her outlook on love soured – perhaps beyond salvation – she clings to Becky, the tiny little girl whose own mother preferred a life of drugs and men to motherhood.
Unwinnable. Former DEA agent Jovani Treviño has seen that the war isn’t winnable: people keep dying. Drugs keep killing them. But pleas for help from the DEA make him agree to one last battle for the good cause – checking out heiress Dell Rosales, whose ranch on the Rio Grande provides a perfect spot for traffickers to cross if she allows them to.
Unattainable. Suspicions, passion, and their respective pasts draw Dell and Jovi into a tumultuous relationship that both must avoid. Love seems distant, foolish to seek – unattainable. When an epic flood threatens not only Dell’s ranch but the surrounding area, will anything survive?

My friend Kris Fletcher revealed the cover of her second Harlequin Superromance. Kris and I have known each other online almost 20 year. We both had little kids when we met, and we’ve gone through graduation, college selection and I watched as she opened her heart and home to two little girls to add to her family. How she had time to write…

She just revealed her new cover on Facebook, and it’s an eye-catcher! Available on Amazon for pre-order.

Café owner Lydia Brewster wants to shake things up. And J.T. Delaney, infamous legend of Comeback Cove, just might be the man she needs. With his wild reputation, who better to help a girl shake off a “poor widow” image she’s too young to keep wearing?

Despite the rumors, J.T. doesn’t seem quite the troublemaker Lyddie’s heard about. He actually seems focused on business—the subject they don’t see eye to eye on. Really, all she wants is a fling. But after a few long, hot nights together, the most dangerous thing about J.T. is the unexpected way he makes her feel….

My friend Maureen Hardegree published her first historical paranormal just last month, available only at Amazon.


Autumn 1893

For seven years, professional nurse Elizabeth Brion has pretended to be something she isn’t. She has embraced science over the conjurer’s medicine practiced in the past she prefers to forget. In the autumn of 1893, when a deadly hurricane destroys coastal Louisiana, she cannot ignore the call to help and returns to the world she left behind. Rejecting her root and herbal knowledge, however, becomes difficult to justify in the face of great suffering. Even harder to keep at bay is her growing attraction to the enigmatic local doctor Holt Chatham, whose gruff exterior cannot hide how deeply he cares for his son, for the superstitious people who work his father’s land, and for his patients. Will she keep her carefully wrought mask in place? Or will she drop it and risk losing Holt’s love to save those around her from the dangerous conjurer who hides among them?

My friend Nancy Goldberg Levine, who I’ve known about as long as I’ve known Kris, has several of her books now published on Amazon.


Mr. Tall, Tan…& Tasteless…At her brother’s wedding, beautician Lorrie Galloway blurts out her undying love for paralegal Scotty Caldwell, her brother’s best friend. Scotty never saw the evidence coming. Once he gets used to the idea, he has to present his opening arguments and convince Lorrie that he’s in love with her. When his parents arrive from Miami and find Scotty and Lorrie kissing, his dad brings up old issues and insists that Scotty marry Lorrie…immediately. Can he patch things up with his dad and win Lorrie’s heart before her closing arguments lose his case for him?

And last, my friend Stef Feagan released her first historical romance. It’s at Amazon and BN.


Michael, Duke of Blixford, was all Lady Jane Lennox ever wanted in a husband. Growing up with her gregarious widower papa and six raucous older brothers, Jane was drawn to the handsome, taciturn duke and purposefully set her cap for him. Unfortunately, despite his attraction to her, the duke was less than impressed with her unladylike skills, and after he ruined her, then proposed at the same time he called her his very last choice as his duchess, she fled to Scotland.

To keep the ducal title and holdings from reverting to the crown, Michael needs a wife to give him an heir – but he doesn’t need to love her. Called the Duke of Death, a pariah said to have demon seed, Michael has lost three wives in childbed. His worst nightmare is following his father into grief driven madness after the woman he loved died. His iron discipline failed him four years ago when he succumbed to his fascination with Jane, and his fury was great when she jilted him. Now, she’s returned to London and, just as he is her only choice, she is his last chance.

She’s determined to have a real marriage; he’s determined to hold her at arm’s length. But when the past catches up and old ghosts demand their due, Jane is devastated, and Michael risks everything to save his last duchess from permanent ruin. All he has to do is not fall in love.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Leslie P Garcia
    Jul 16, 2013 @ 12:56:00

    MJ, thanks so much. Like you, I’m delighted to see Hattie’s book out–she’s the friendliest, most gracious woman, and I’ve been waiting to read her stories of LA! Featuring friends’ books was a touching gift, and I know everyone appreciates it!


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