#ThorsDaySmaile – #AmLaughing – #Humor

Thor sure has been persnickety lately. I mean, first, he was in a catty mood, and after that, he went straight to the dogs, but now … NOW he said he’d like to get up to some monkey business! Huh. He’s apparently becoming more and more of a big ape every day. What can I say? It’s HIS day, so if he wants to monkey around, I reckon I’ll let him.  Here goes!

And that’s about all the monkeying around
I can stand for one day!
Hope you got a few

laughs from these silly pictures!
Now go have some real fun!

#ThankYou Everybody, With a Special Thanks to #GwenPlano!

Just wanted to say thank you to everyone who stopped by yesterday for #GuestDayTuesday with Gwen Plano, featuring her latest book, Redemption. It was lovely having Gwen visit The Write Stuff, and it was wonderful seeing all the beautiful comments from everyone, too. I wasn’t able to respond to  each one, as I usually do, though I know you all understand. You folks are the best!

Gwen, thanks again for visiting here,  and I hope you’ll stop back by again, soon. You’re always welcome, my friend!

Wishing you MUCH success with this latest book!


#GuestDayTuesday – #GwenPlano – #Redemption, A Father’s Fatal Decision

Welcome to #GuestDayTuesday, everyone! Today, our special guest is one of the super nice folks I’ve met through our writing and blogging community, Gwen Plano. I’m really happy to have Gwen  visiting us to talk about her newest book, Redemption, A Father’s Fatal Decision, so without any further delay, I’ll turn the floor over to her. Gwen, you’re on!

Thank you, Marcia, for welcoming me to your beautiful blog. Through you, I’ve met so many wonderful people, most of whom are writers. It’s an honor to share my new book with all of you. Before I introduce the book, though, I’d like to share a little background information. 

About a year ago, my husband and I moved from Branson, Missouri to the high desert around Prescott, AZ. At 5,000 feet elevation, much is different: the vegetation, the wildlife, even the sky. Every day is an adventure, and this adventure stimulates ideas and evokes prayer.

A recurring question I’ve had centers around the concept of redemption. With the world suffering as it is, and with many of us wanting to do something to help but not knowing what that could be, I thought about bringing the world to each of us. That line of thinking helped birth Redemption, A Father’s Fatal Decision.

My prior 3-book thriller series focuses on international threats, political leaders, and the military. Though I learned immeasurably from writing these books, I still wonder how we, simple voters, help shift the world as we know it. What role do we have?

Redemption, A Father’s Fatal Decision is my response. It is a mystery thriller focused on a family. It takes place in the southeast corner of New York state, in the towns of New Rochelle and Cortlandt. The characters occasionally travel to Old Lyme, Connecticut, but for the most part, the drama is in New York. Having spent about twenty years in and around that area, it was exciting to visit as a writer.

The book tackles themes of forgiveness, redemption, and absolution through suspense. A father is murdered on the first page of the book, and readers accompany the adult son and daughter as they try to uncover the reason for their father’s murder. What they discover prompts their questions about forgiveness, redemption, and absolution.

Sometimes complicated situations, such as the ones in this book, help us see our own challenges in a different light. That is my hope for this book. Most of us won’t experience threats like those of my characters, but pain is universal, as is joy. Seeing either in the extreme helps us recognize our own—and severe or elated, those emotions impact us.

The excerpt below sets the stage for the drama that unfolds.


The simple ranch-style residence appears odd on the street of two-story colonials. Modest by neighborhood standards, it has proven sufficient for their family needs. Once out of the car, Lisa does a 180-degree glance about and concludes nothing has changed. The yard still appears unkempt, the window shade still broken, and the screen door remains torn—all just as a year ago, two years ago, maybe even five years ago.

Apprehensive, she climbs the three steps to the front door, calls in her “hello,” and waits. Mom greets her first.

“Oh, Lisa dear, I’m so happy you’ve arrived safely. Come on in, come on in. Can I get you something? You must be hungry after the drive.”

Just as she starts to respond, her dad appears.

“Nice of you to visit. Traffic problems?”

Lisa shrugs off his insinuation of dawdling, takes a deep breath, and gives him a cursory hug.

“I’ll be right back. I need to get my clothes.”

Slump-shouldered, Lisa walks to her car, stepping more heavily than usual. After grabbing her suitcase, she slams the door shut. The hell has begun.

She retraces her steps back into the house and goes straight to her childhood bedroom. Just then, the doorbell rings and sends an eerie chill down Lisa’s spine. She drops her suitcase and shouts to her father, “Don’t answer the door, Dad. Something’s not right.”

 He doesn’t follow her advice, and instead, goes to the door and pulls it open.

“Joe.” Her dad says, shifting backward slowly. “You’re not supposed to be here. We agreed.”

“You broke that agreement. Where is it?”

“I don’t have it.”

“You were warned.”

One minute.

Three shots.

And Lisa’s dad lies lifeless on the worn planked floor.


From writer D.L. Finn: Redemption is a fast-paced thriller that hooked me from the first page. Lisa came home to visit her parents. She had a bad feeling when the doorbell rang, but she couldn’t stop what happened next. With her father dead, her mother fighting for her life, and her brother, Trace, in another country, she struggles to figure out what happened. Lisa quickly realizes she needs to be careful whom she trusts because her world is turned upside down as the truth slowly unravels. Luckily, her brother and his friend, Ryan, come to her aid. I love how they are there for each other, while Lisa’s strength, love of family, and intelligence are inspiring. She bravely stands by her mother while trying to understand her father. I found this book hard to put down with all the twists weaved into a family’s story. The research put into this mystery made it even more chilling because of the possibility that it could happen. The themes of redemption and forgiveness tugged at my heart, and I highly recommend this suspenseful family drama.

Buy Redemption HERE


Family secrets can be deadly. When Lisa visits her parents one fateful Saturday morning, she hugs her father and takes her suitcase to her childhood bedroom. The doorbell rings, and one minute later her father lies dead on the floor—three bullets to the chest. The death of Eric Holmes sends shockwaves throughout the quiet neighborhood. But for the Holmes family, it is devastating.
In this fast-paced psychological thriller, Lisa and her brother embark on a quest to solve the mystery of their father’s murder. The journey takes them into a secret world where nothing is as it seems. Once the puzzle pieces begin to coalesce, they realize that their father had multiple lives. As the facts unravel, the siblings discover the true meaning of Redemption.

Author Gwen M. Plano

In my pre-retirement years, I taught and served as an administrator in colleges in Japan, New York, Connecticut, and California. My academic background is a bit unusual, but it served me well. I’ve degrees in theology and psychology, both subjects helped me understand life a bit better. And to this day, I’m drawn to ancient truths found in Native communities, churches, and meditation halls. Since I was a child, I’ve sought answers, that’s an integral aspect of who I am. And though it’s taken years, I’ve discovered that Love underskirts all.    

My greatest treasure and most profound source of joy has been and is my four adult children. It is they who have guided me through life’s mysteries and brought me to a profound place of gratitude. My books, memoir, and thrillers address themes that arise from my questions and theirs.


Story Empire


Amazon Author Page
Amazon Purchase Page
Barnes and Noble




#HealthUpdate – #GoodNews&BadNews


As many  of you are aware , I’ve had some ongoing health issues for the last couple of years, including two breakthrough cases of COVID among other things. But as I found out last October, my extreme dizzy spells and heart palpitations were not pandemic related. It turned out that I have a heart condition called “Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy.” Essentially, the wall of my heart has thickened and is blocking full blood flow through the arteries that lead to the brain. (Not enough blood was getting to my brain, resulting in  dizziness, palpitations,  and various other issues.)

Good News #1: My cardiologist immediately put me on a beta blocker (Metoprolol) to slow my heart rate down, thus allowing more blood to flow through to my brain again. It worked GREAT from October through January. 

Bad News #1: In February the dizzy spells returned and began getting worse and worse.

Good News #2: Saw my doctor again last Tuesday and he added a new medication to the mix: Amlodipine, which is a calcium channel blocker that relaxes the blood vessels so even more blood can get through.  Next, I’m to be set up with a heart monitor for two to four weeks to get an exact readout and an overall idea of how it’s all working, and then, we will be doing new imaging, too. So … we’re on it!

Bad News #2: Sadly, I’ve been told to cut back on many of my activities–especially anything that can cause physical exertion–at least until we are done with the testing and can reassess my heath status. I’ve had to cancel my wildlife talks for now, and won’t be doing any gardening, hiking, bending over, heavy listing or other things of that nature. 

Good News #3: After a truly awful day last Wednesday, my new prescription was filled and I took my first Amlodipine that night. Within two hours, the dizzy spells stopped and the discomfort disappeared. And the last few days have been far, far better. I have a good feeling that we are on the right track now, and will find a way to manage my condition. (That’s my story, an’ I’m stickin’ to it!)

The main reason I’m sharing all this is because I may not be around as much as I usually am for a few weeks, However, I’ve already scheduled a lot of posts ahead, so things will still be going on, and I will check in as often as I can.  I also wanted to share because it occurred to me that some of what I’m going through might be of interest to anyone else who has  heart-related issues, too. 

I’ll keep you updated as things progress, hopefully with plenty of good news! For now, I may only have time or energy for “Liking & Sharing” everyone’s blog posts, but I know you’ll forgive me as I try to behave in  way that would make my cardiologist happy. And if any of you have similar issues you’ve dealt with, feel free to share your experiences or ask questions in the comments section. Maybe we can learn from each other.

Thanks for reading, and I’ll be back to business as usual as soon as possible. Blogging isn’t on my “Forbidden List” like planting roses in 90 degree heat is, so I should be able to to handle it as my condition stabilizes. That’s my clever plan, anyway! 😁

And that’s it for now. Will update as the situation progresses!

#NewSeries – #FiveMoreThings – #MarciaMeara

Just for fun–the main reason I do MANY things–I decided to offer everyone who’s already done a #TenThings post a chance to come back and share a few more tidbits with us. So, as of now, if you’re interested in participating in this new series, email me and I’ll get you set up. And to get the ball rolling, here’s MY “FiveMoreThings.” Hope you learn a few things about me you never knew before. Enjoy!


  1. I have always had to battle agoraphobia, or cocooning, as I call it. I’ve overcome it at times, and succumbed to it at other times, but it’s a constant battle, even today. And believe me, it’s tricky to teach painting classes, or share wildlife talks, when part of you would rather be home hiding from the world

  2. I spent a winter in Alaska when I was 12. We watched as the sun disappeared below the distant mountains more each night, and finally stopped rising above them for weeks and weeks. By the time we left, it had returned, and shone all but a couple of hours every day. We could also stand at our fifth-floor apartment windows and watch whales swimming by, daily.

  3. The only two things I drink are tea and water. Period. (Been that way for years and years, and I’ve never gotten tired of either one.) My favorite tea is … dare I say it? … “Earl Grey, hot.” (Oh Jean-Luc! How I do miss you!)

  4. I once figured out that, at a conservative estimate, I have canoed at least 600 miles on Florida’s rivers. For years, I went out on the river (usually alone) at least once a week, birding and enjoying our fabulous wildlife, but finally had to give it up due to back problems. I’ve been white-water rafting, too, but nothing made me happier than the peace and quiet … and stunning beauty … of paddling quietly down Rock Springs Run, or the Wekiva River, or even out onto the St. Johns. Glorious!

  5. As some of you may remember, I recently shared some pictures of me from a couple of years ago—like, forty or so—when I was a docent at the Central Florida Zoo. My favorite thing to do was stroll through the zoo with a five-foot long ball python draped over my shoulders, and introduce him to visitors. (Still can’t find the pic that shows the whole snake, so this will have to do once more.)

Yes, I love snakes. Always have, always will. But what I wanted to share today is that I’ve recently discovered the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree. This is my adorable four-year-old granddaughter, enjoying HER first experience with a python brought to her school by a visiting reptile expert.. Notice she’s SMILING! 😁

And there you have my first #FiveMoreThings.
Again, if some of you who have taken part in the #TenThings series would enjoy taking part in the new #FiveMoreThings series, email me, and we’ll make it happen!

#Bold&BlatantSelfPromo – #Excerpt – #TheLight – #WakeRobinRidgeBook4

Time for another Bold & Blatant Self-Promotion post, this time featuring the fourth novel in my Wake-Robin Ridge series, The Light. Hope you’ll enjoy checking out a blurb containing just a hint or two about a pretty big adventure in the lives of Rabbit, Mac,  Sarah, Branna, and Rabbit’s brand new friend, Austin Dupree,  along with the shortest excerpt accompanying any of these posts, so far. Thanks for reading!

The Magic is Back!


For Robert MacKenzie Cole—or Rabbit, as he’s known to all—the chance to accompany his family to see North Carolina’s infamous Brown Mountain Lights has him nearly dizzy with excitement. And what better night to watch this unexplained phenomenon unfold than Halloween?

But when the entrancing, unpredictable lights show up, Rabbit gets far more than he bargained for. He’s gifted with what folks in the Appalachians call “the Sight,” and it’s this extrasensory perception that enables him to spot the one light different from all the rest.

In his biggest challenge to date, Rabbit—aided by his daddy and his newest friend, Austin Dupree— begins a quest to learn more about the mysterious light. Their investigation unveils a web of cons and corruption none of them expected and exposes a brutal murder along the way.

Throughout all, Rabbit is unfaltering in his commitment to do whatever it takes to understand the truth behind the glowing orb and to determine how he can help it. After all, it followed him home.


January, 2014
North Carolina Mountains

A Frigid Winter Night
At a Deserted Mountain Overlook
On the Blue Ridge Parkway

 A GUST OF bitter, icy wind moaned through the trees, a barred owl’s mournful call the only reply. The night grew still again, with nothing breaking the silence along this deserted stretch of mountain highway.

As the sharp-eyed owl continued to watch for any movement below, his keen hearing picked up the distant hum of an approaching vehicle.

Out of the darkness, a low, sleek car roared around a curve, shattering the silence as it whipped into the overlook and came to a rumbling stop beside the stone parapet. The startled owl glided away to other hunting grounds, then all grew quiet again—though all was definitely not well.

A shadowy figure emerged from the driver’s seat, walked around to the back of the car, then opened the trunk. A brief, awkward struggle ensued, accompanied by a creative selection of muttered curses. In the end, a heavy bundle was hauled out, dropped unceremoniously to the asphalt, then dragged the few steps to the wall. One last heave, then the bundle was over the barrier, crashing through the underbrush as it bounced down the steep mountainside.

“Happy landings, you stupid bitch. Maybe you’ll be smarter in your next life.”

Thirty seconds later, the car peeled out of the parking area and headed back the direction it had come.

Another icy gust of wind moaned through the trees. This time, nothing at all replied.


Download on Kindle for Just $3.99
Available in Print for $13.99

Author Marcia Meara

Marcia Meara lives in central Florida, just north of Orlando, with her husband of over thirty years and four big cats.

When not writing or blogging, she spends her time gardening, and enjoying the surprising amount of wildlife that manages to make a home in her suburban yard. She enjoys nature. Really, really enjoys it. All of it! Well, almost all of it, anyway. From birds, to furry critters, to her very favorites, snakes. The exception would be spiders, which she truly loathes, convinced that anything with eight hairy legs is surely up to no good. She does not, however, kill spiders anymore, since she knows they have their place in the world. Besides, her husband now handles her Arachnid Catch and Release Program, and she’s good with that.

Spiders aside, the one thing Marcia would like to tell each of her readers is that it’s never too late to make your dreams come true. If, at the age of 69, she could write and publish a book (and thus fulfill 64 years of longing to do that very thing), you can make your own dreams a reality, too. Go for it! What have you got to lose?

Buy Marcia’s Books Here

Wake-Robin Ridge: Book 1
A Boy Named Rabbit: Wake-Robin Ridge Book 2
Harbinger: Wake-Robin Ridge Book 3
The Light: Wake-Robin Ridge Book 4

Swamp Ghosts: Riverbend Book 1
Finding Hunter: Riverbend Book 2
That Darkest Place: Riverbend Book 3

Riverbend Spinoff Novellas
The Emissary 1
The Emissary 2 – To Love Somebody
The Emissary 3 – Love Hurts

Summer Magic: Poems of Life and Love

Reach Marcia on Social Media Here:

Blog: The Write Stuff
Email: marciameara16@gmail.com

#HappySt.Patrick’sDay – #MIAToday – #GettingOlder&Older


Just a quick note to wish you all a happy St. Paddy’s Day, and let you know that I won’t be around much, if at all. It just so happens that I was born 79 years ago today, and I’ve decided that’s reason enough to take a day off from the computer, writing, blogging, and the whole shebang. Might even get outside somewhere GREEN, like … Green Springs, a spot I’ve been wanting to visit for some time, and so VERY appropriate for today. (Weather depending.) I’ll be around a bit over the weekend and back to my usual tricks on Monday. For now, a couple more memes to amuse you, as you enjoy this day.

(You’ve Been Warned!)

And I think that’s about all the GREEN jokes we need for now!
Have a wonderful day, Everybody, whether you like green beer or Irish coffee, or just enjoy dancing a jig now and then,
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

#ThorsDaySmile – #AmLaughing – #Humor

Well, last time, Thor was in a catty mood, but today, it seems he’s decided it’s a dog eat dog world out there. Me, I think he’s doggone crazy. But regardless, when someone says “dog” to me, I immediately think “dachshunds,” because … CUTE!!! So, here’s a bit of dachsie humor for you, compliments of the God of Thunder, himself. Enjoy!

Hope these little stubby-legged sausages gave you a smile or two.
(I miss ours more than I can say!)


#GuestDayTuesday – #JoanHall – #Menagerie

Time for another #GuestDayTuesday, and it’s my great pleasure to have author Joan Hall visiting with us today. I know you’ll enjoy her thoughts on Music and Writing, so let’s get right to it. Take it away, Joan! 😀

Music and Writing

Hi Marcia. It’s a pleasure to be here today. I want to thank you for sharing your blog space and allowing me to connect with your readers. Although I’ve been a guest before, I’ll start by telling people a little about me.

From the age of ten, I knew I wanted to be a writer. I would scribble stories on pieces of paper. I’ve always loved wildlife and nature, so writing little vignettes about animals. Around the time I entered high school, I dabbled in poetry, then wrote my first “novel” on notebook paper when I was seventeen.

After graduation, I got busy with life and set aside writing, but the desire never left me. It wasn’t until late 2007 that I decided to do something about it and began taking online writing classes. Another few years passed before I published my first book, a novella titled The Stranger. To date, I’ve published seven books and have stories included in four anthologies. My most recent release is Menagerie. It’s a collection of thirteen mystery, suspense, and contemporary short stories.

Other than writing, music has always been a big part of my life. My mother played a radio in my nursery when I was a baby, so maybe that played a big part shaping my love for music, particularly classic rock from the sixties and seventies.

My brother is twelve years older than me, and he had a collection of ‘45s and albums. While he was at school, I played his records all day long. Before I learned to read the labels, Mom would tell me what each record was, and I would set aside the ones I wanted to hear. I used this real-life event in “Hot August Night,” one of the stories in Menagerie.

In early 1964, I fell in love with four young men from Liverpool, England. For my sixth birthday, my brother gave me a ’45 of “I Want to Hold Your Hand.” Almost sixty years later, I’m still a Beatles fan.

I create playlists for all my books and often mention songs in my work. A song by the Eagles served as the inspiration for the opening chapter of Unclear Purposes, the third book of my Driscoll Lake series. I’d written the opening chapter and wasn’t happy with it. One day while listening to the radio, “Lyin’ Eyes” began to play. Immediately, I knew how I’d write the opening.

John Denver’s music is also inspiring. Years ago, I used to write a First Friday Fiction post on my blog. One year I wrote a series with a twenty-seven-year-old main character old who returned to his hometown and discovered a few things about himself. You guessed it. “Rocky Mountain High” was the inspiration.

Elements of another John Denver song can be found in “Lone Wolf,” another story in Menagerie. Those familiar with his music would recognize elements of “I Think I’d Rather Be a Cowboy.”

The first Legends of Madeira book is a dual-timeline story and was inspired by a song. “Long Black Veil” is a country ballad first recorded in 1959 by Lefty Frizzell. The version I like and am most familiar with is by The Band and was on their Music From Big Pink album. The idea that a person who was hanged for a crime he didn’t commit could sing about his lover visiting his grave always intrigued me. I changed things around a bit, but that’s how Cold Dark Night began.

Music is still inspiring me. The morning I wrote this post, a song by the Traveling Wilburys came to mind. I have a feeling “Heading For The Light” will find its way into a story or a playlist.

This is just a few of the songs that have inspired me. I hope to continue listening to music, being inspired, and writing stories for a long time.

You Can Buy Menagerie HERE


King’s. The Tower of London. Glass. What do these have in common?

Each is a famous menagerie.

While this Menagerie doesn’t focus on exotic animals, it does contain a collection of stories that explore various trials people face and how their reactions shape their worlds.

Survivors of a haunted bridge. Women who wait while their husbands fight a war. Former partners reuniting to solve a cold-case murder.

These are just three of the thirteen stories in this compendium, encompassing past and present, natural and supernatural, legend and reality. The genres and timelines are varied, but there’s a little something for everyone who enjoys reading about simpler times and small-town life.


Terrific Selection of Stories!

I don’t often read short story collections, but I’m very glad I decided to give this one a go. Each story was the perfect length to read in one sitting, and each captured (and held) my interest from start to finish.

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