Thursday, June 08, 2023

Going, Going...Gone

My mother was always passionate about art. She painted or sketched every day. However, after my brother died her will to paint vanished for a time. It eventually returned but in the meantime she began to collect things. 

I remember well the first garage sale I went to with Mom. We stood in a crowd of people gathered outside a one car garage early one morning. When the garage door opened, everyone rushed in to see what was for sale. Mom headed for the Depression Glass. She loved the beautiful colors and patterns--remembering it from her youth when the pieces were handed out at movie theaters. 

She became very knowledgeable about the glass and gathered quite an enviable collection of it. She also decided to buy some other antiques. She loved beautiful, old things. 

Soon, Mom and another woman decided to go into business with an antique shop. They did well for a time and Mom enjoyed interacting with customers, but eventually there was a disagreement between Mom and the other woman and so the store closed.

Then Mom displayed her wares at a booth in an antique center, but as she aged that got to be too much for her and she put her lovely things on display in a small case in another antique store closer to home. However, even that became too much of a chore as she became frail. An auctioneer sold off most of her collection of Depression glass. But several large pieces of furniture she did not need and a lot of boxes cluttered up the basement.

We contacted the same auctioneer who liquidated her Depression Glass and he set up a date for an auction of my mother's stuff. He took the Victorian rocker, the old-fashioned washstand, the oak server and china cabinet along with a number of ceramic pieces. My mother was extremely apprehensive about the sale.

The evening before the auction, she had trouble breathing and went to the hospital. She had water in her lungs. Nevertheless, she wanted hubby and I to go to the auction. We did. It was a bittersweet experience to see my mother's treasures on display and it was at times disturbing to discover that some of the things I always considered most valuable went for so little. On the other hand, some items fetched a surprising amount.

In general, the antique furniture did not sell for much. Nevertheless, Mom did have some Hess toy trucks, some Roseville china, a bit of sterling, and one very old souvenir from the 1851 World's Fair which attracted some interesting bidding.

Mom got out of the hospital just as the auction was ending. She was pleased with the total amount of the sale, though disappointed that some of her things did not make more money.

Still, she told me, "See, you should save everything." 

After she died, the process of cleaning out the house was overwhelming and we needed help. For a long time after she died, I couldn't deal with walking into an antique store because I would invariably see some of the things Mom loved so much. 

Of course, when it comes to collecting I have way too many books. I make small attempts to cull the collection at times, but it's difficult. For the most part, the books aren't antiques or even collectibles but I just happen to love them. Sigh. 

Thursday, June 01, 2023

The Village Hardware Store

     A long time ago, our town was considered a village. There was a bank, a small post office, bookstore, a small library, a hardware store, a luncheonette, a church, a grocery store, a historic inn, and a beauty parlor.
     The area of the town remains the same, but since we moved here several housing developments went up. The road going through town is always busy. The historic inn was demolished and a large restaurant replaced it. Many other businesses were added. Some concerned citizens managed to save one small plot of land from development and that became our village green--but otherwise this isn't a village anymore. 
     Of all the things I miss about our little village, I miss the hardware store most of all. The owner of the hardware store always had whatever we needed--even in small quantities, and since all the houses back then had been built by the same developer, he had plenty of advice on how to fix a problem. 
     The hardware store was less than a mile from our house. When one of our daughters accidentally broke a pane of glass on the door, I went to the hardware store and got a piece of glass in exactly the right size. I put it in place before hubby came home from work. 
     When a friend's child accidentally put a hole in the sheetrock, I got what I needed from the hardware store and had the hole patched before hubby walked in the door. I did such a great job, he didn't even notice the repair. 
     I never could manage using hubby's old, worn-out Phillips screwdriver, so I bought one at the hardware store with nice, raised rubber grips on the handle. Hubby has since confiscated it. 😂
     Progress is good and we can still drive to a huge place like Lowe's or Home Depot, but it was nice to get individual attention and help from someone who knew exactly what was needed for the job. 

Thursday, May 18, 2023

Bargains On Books In June!

Starting on June 1st, Amazon has chosen over 100 Pelican Book Group titles to be included in a combination of June Kindle Daily Deals or Kindle Monthly Deals.The discount on monthly deals will be set at ALL retailers. Three of my books have been chosen for the Monthly Kindle Deals. ANGEL OF THE L TRAIN, DADDY WANTED, AND PATRIOT'S PRIDE will be on sale for the month for $1.99. 

In addition,  many of the other Pelican Book Group titles will be on sale. So you'll be able to save money and stock up a bunch of books to read this summer. 😁 What fun! 

Thursday, May 11, 2023

I Grow Stories, Not Plants

If I were a farmer, I would starve. So far this year, my chives, oregano, peppermint, and lavender are doing well. They must be hardy plants. I gave up growing tomato plants years ago because I would need an eight foot high fence to protect them from the deer. This year, deer ate the shoots of the allium bulbs I planted in the fall.

However, deer are not my only problem. I have a brown thumb. Either there's too much shade or not enough. Either there's too much water or not enough. Maybe the soil is anemic and needs fertilizer or maybe I need to mulch.

I work well with words, but plants are impossible. If I type a story and save it, the document stays in the same place, ready to greet me the next time I open it. If I dig a hole, drop in a plant, and water it, it dies or gets eaten.

My sister, the horticulturist, gave me a flowering plant, Bouncing Bet. She thinks I may not be able to kill it. The flowers resemble phlox, but Bouncing Bet is an invasive weed. This is great. Invasive weeds survive on whatever rain falls on them. They don't need fertilizer and flourish in nutritionally deficient soil.

I found some interesting information about bouncing bet online. (Check it out here.) The plant is toxic. The deer should get a tummy ache. Perhaps they'll avoid my yard. Then I can spend less time outside trying to make things grow and more time writing.

Growing stories is fun.

Wednesday, May 03, 2023


One hundred copies of the ebook edition of ANGEL OF THE L TRAIN will be given away on Goodreads. There are 9 more days before the giveaway ends. Sign up now and take a chance on winning a terrific story!

Here's the link for the giveaway:

Thursday, April 27, 2023

True Love

Above are my maternal grandparents in 1975. They are sitting on a seat from an old automobile on their backporch. Married in 1919 (you can see their wedding photo HERE), they spent fifty-nine years together and had seven children. My grandfather was a coal miner, but he did some farming, too. My grandfather died in 1978 at the age of 86, despite black lung and a few heart attacks. My grandmother died in 1990.

They argued all the time. 😊 My grandmother was the most lovable woman I ever met, but she could be feisty, too. When my grandfather kept insisting they did not need a new stove, she decided to go on strike and refused to cook. Eventually, my grandfather gave in and Grandma got a new stove.

They had plenty of trouble in their fifty-nine years of marriage, but they stuck together and worked things out. That's true love.

Thursday, April 20, 2023

2.2 Million Words!


     The New Jersey Romance Writers  met last weekend in person for the first time in three years. It was a big celebration marking the 2.2 million words written by the members of the group in February of this year. Every February NJRW provides the JeRoWriMo challenge for each individual author to write 30,000 words in that month. It's like NaNoWriMo but less stressful since it is 20,000 words less than NaNoWriMo AND it occurs in a month without Thanksgiving or holiday preparations. In fact, February's best holiday is Valentine's Day! What could be a better incentive than to write about love in the month of love. 


     Those who finished the challenge received a pin to commemorate their success. Everyone who took on the challenge got chocolate, whether or not they reached the goal. Some of us also received pins to mark how many times we've joined in and triumphed. I received a pin for doing this five times. 

     Nancy Herkness started this event many years ago. However, she does have help because it is a big job. There are cheerleaders who urge us on every day. There are those who add up the numbers. Plus we have someone who likes to make chocolates! 

     Every author needs a nudge to get writing now and then. JeRoWriMo is a sweet way to do just that. 


Thursday, April 13, 2023

Spring Cleaning

Every year in April, our parish's youth group hosts a rummage sale in the gym. April is the perfect time to hold a rummage sale when spring cleaning is in full swing. 

We donate to the sale, but try not to buy anything. In the past, we've donated some large items. So, it's always nice to walk into the sale and see that the things we donated aren't there anymore. 😊

This year, the majority of our donations came from Daughter #2 who is still eliminating things from her former room in our house. But hubby also parted with his old jigsaw, which he hasn't used in approximately ten years. We also got rid of two bikes: one very old English racer and one nice ten-speed which is missing the seat. We decided we ought to pump up the tires before we donated the bikes. However, we discovered our very old bike pump didn't work anymore. We went to Walmart and bought another for only $9.96. The original pump cost $6.98. Of course, we didn't get a fancy pump. We got an old style one quite similar to the one we had. 

Hubby asked me this morning if we can donate anything else. We should. But I find I have emotional attachments to some items and it's difficult to let them go. I'll give it a try though. Less is more after all. 


Wednesday, April 05, 2023

Idioms...To Use or Not to Use...That is the Question

I love idioms. Our language is peppered with these colorful and pithy phrases.

One of my mother favorite phrases was, "Why buy the cow when the milk is so cheap." She often repeated it undoubtedly because she had three daughters. Mom's generation used idioms liberally to express themselves. However, people today are using those same idioms and newer ones are being added to the English language all the time.

Other languages have their own idioms. One of our neighbors was a small Mexican grandmother. What a sweetheart! She was much smaller than I, but she called me mamacita. :^)

She had a favorite phrase, "A woman's work, the donkey eats it." It made perfect sense to me.

You can find a terrific list of idioms at There's even more at Using English.

I use idioms all the time when I talk. Who doesn't? The phrases are repeated over and over. For instance:

Did you get up on the wrong side of the bed?

He's sick as a dog.

I'm going to make a long story short.

Should a writer be liberal in her use of idioms when writing a story? Idioms are cliches--old, hackneyed phrases and many have been around for centuries.

I think it all depends on your characters. Having a character speak a few choice idioms can help round them out--for instance an older woman with three daughters to marry off might use Mom's favorite saying.

Having a character make up their own unique--and funny--idioms would add freshness to a story.

But I don't think all the characters in any one story should be spouting off idiom after idiom. I especially believe avoiding tired old phrases in the narrative of the story is best.

What do you think?

Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Guest Post: A HEART RESTRAINED by Jennifer Wilck

     My guest today is Jennifer Wilck. She is an award-winning contemporary romance author for readers who are passionate about love, laughter, and happily ever after. Known for writing both Jewish and non-Jewish romances, her books feature damaged heroes, sassy and independent heroines, witty banter and hot chemistry. Jennifer’s ability to transport the reader into the scene, create characters the reader will fall in love with, and evoke a roller coaster of emotions, will hook you from the first page. You can find her books at all major online retailers in a variety of formats. 
     Jennifer started telling herself stories as a little girl when she couldn’t fall asleep at night. Pretty soon, her head was filled with these stories and the characters that populated them. Even as an adult, she thinks about the characters and stories at night before she falls asleep or walking the dog. Eventually, she started writing them down. Her favorite stories to write are those with smart, sassy, independent heroines; handsome, strong and slightly vulnerable heroes; and her stories always end with happily ever after.
     In the real world, she’s the mother of two amazing daughters and wife of one of the smartest men she knows. She believes humor is the only way to get through the day and does not believe in sharing her chocolate. 
     Where can you find Jennifer? Check out these links: 

Jennifer's lastest release is A HEART RESTRAINED. 

This is the story of Caleb Zeno, a wealthy and successful media mogul. He refuses to allow emotions into any aspect of his life, especially his entertainment corporation. When his company’s lifestyle website runs into competition from a small boutique company, the most logical solution is to buy out his rival.     

Fiona Hamilton’s lifestyle website succeeds due to her loving and caring treatment of her clients, who have become like family to her. She has no desire to sell to anyone, much less a tattooed, muscled, automaton. At odds professionally, Caleb and Fiona come together as a favor for Caleb’s sister. Sparks fly and sexual chemistry abounds. But Caleb can't let go of his abusive past and be the man Fiona needs, and she is unwilling to risk independence and financial security for anything less than a perfect happily ever after. Can they put their differences aside to find a viral kind of love?

Here's an excerpt!

      “Wouldn’t you enjoy this more if it were in English?” 
      She paused and shifted so she faced him, one leg bent under her, the other dangling off the edge. “Absolutely not! Telenovelas are so much more emotional than American TV.” 
     “Why don’t you at least research online to find a plot summary?” 
     “I’m happy with the way things are,” she said. “I don’t need to hear the words to feel the story.” 
     “’re crying.” 
     She smiled through her tears and wiped her cheeks. “I know.” 
     Staring at her, his heart rate increased, and he tamped the panic her tears caused. At first, he thought pain caused her tears, but her rapt attention to the screen made him realize otherwise. 
Why would she want to do this to herself? And how could she enjoy a show she couldn’t understand? 
      He should leave, before she recognized his complete lack of comprehension. But her rapt attention to the screen fascinated him. She was smart—his business dealings with her had proven it. Yet she focused as if she understood her show. 
     She stared at the TV screen, but he couldn’t take his gaze off her. Her skin, despite its bruising, was luminous. Her lips were parted, and she gripped the edges of the sofa cushions until her knuckles turned white. This close to her, heat radiated from her body. He could hear a faint sigh. 
     If she were this passionate about a television show, how passionate would she be if he kissed her? 

Thursday, March 23, 2023

I Need a Good Title


      I finished a book in February, but I need a good title for it. Sometimes I don't have a problem with the title and sometimes I do. I knew from the moment I started writing Heaven's Blue that would be the title of the book. The same thing happened with Sea of Hope. But for other books, I wound up writing lists of ideas as to what I would name them. The publisher at Pelican Book Group came up with the title for Angel of the L Train. I originally named it Home Somewhere, which is a very boring title.
     This latest book is set in 1903 in a Jersey shore town. I have a Pinterest board with a gazillion photos of the Jersey shore in the early 1900s. It was a popular place. (And still is. New Jersey has very nice beaches.) The protagonist's name Amaranth Beach since she was found at a beach wrapped in a tattered shawl with a sprig of seabeach amaranth on it. Raised in a Catholic orphanage, she was taught to be a secretary. She is given a job with with a woman who is very involved with the suffragist cause. 
     Chinese people in the United States at that time were not citizens. The first significant law restricting immigration into the United States was the Chinese Exclusion Act, passed by Congress in 1882. It banned Chinese laborers. In 1902, the Chinese were required to obtain a certificate of residence, without it they faced deportation. 
     So, the protagonist of this story fears being sent back to a place she doesn't know and where she cannot speak the language. 
     Of course, there is a love interest. The woman who hired the young protagonist has a son. 
     I've looked online and there are many books with the word orphan in the title. Secretary is a popular in titles as well. Beach Orphan? Hide Tide Orphan? Or maybe simply Miss Beach? 
     I'll be searching for more ideas. But in the meantime, you can check out my board on Pinterest with all the photos I've been saving to help me with this book:

Thursday, March 16, 2023

Sidhe in the Catskills

There are two more days to enter the Pot o' Gold Bookish Event at You could win a $15 Amazon giftcard. 

You could also buy PRINCE OF THE MIST for only #99cents.  I saved a bunch of reviews Prince of the Mist received when it was released the first time. For the second edition, it is the same great book. The only difference is the cover. 😁

Now is the time for you to download Prince of the Mist because it's almost St. Patrick's Day and this is a story about one of the large, human-sized Irish fairies known as the Sidhe--except the hero of this book lives in the Catskill Mountains of New York. Sidhe in the Catskills you might ask? Of course! While the legends about the Sidhe come from Ireland, there are fairies in other countries. You can find a wealth of information about mythical creatures at

This book was fun to write and many reviewers enjoyed it as well. Read below to see what some reviewers said about the first edition.

Candy, reviewing for Coffee Time Romance, gave PRINCE OF THE MIST 5 Coffee Cups and said, “The conflicts between Tia and Wildon are full of humor and pathos. Their lovemaking is explosive. There is action and suspense as Tia fights her mother’s enemies. I enjoyed this book and I hope this is the beginning of a new series by Penelope Marzec. I look forward to reading more of her books.”

Julie Bonello at ECataRomance Reviews gave PRINCE OF THE MIST 4 Stars and said, “Penelope Marzec’s novella Prince of the Mist is an enchanting paranormal romance which will keep you enthralled from the first page to the last sentence!.....Prince of the Mist is a page-turning story which you will find very hard to put down. Penelope Marzec is a very talented author who keeps her readers hooked with this fabulous story which is full of fun, passion and intrigue.”

For PRINCE OF THE MIST, Valerie at Love Romances said, “Penelope Marzec has written a good book with a good plot. This reviewer was drawn in with the first page. There is lots of action and the opening is quite exciting. When Tia is running away from the car jacker, the reader feels her panic and fear. Tia is a heroine who the reader can relate to.”

The book received Four Angels from Brandy at Fallen Angel Reviews who said, “Ms. Marzec has created a sweet story that covers the full range of emotions. The plot is simple, but effective; the characters are likable and easy to relate to….. All in all, this is an excellent story and well worth reading.”

Brenda Thatcher, Reviewer at Mystique Books gave it Four and One Half Moons. She said, “PRINCE OF THE MIST is a wonderful book, a tender tale of love set against a politically hot topic….PRINCE OF THE MIST is highly recommended. It is a beautiful story of love that shows how two people from vastly different cultures can find unity.”

Wendi at Road to Romance said, “PRINCE OF THE MIST is so well written and spellbinding, my attention was grabbed from the beginning. I read the story all at once.”

Romance Junkies Reviewer Billie Jo awarded PRINCE OF THE MIST a Blue Ribbon Rating of 4.5 and said, “PRINCE OF THE MIST is a charming, sexy, and fun read. Penelope Marzec outdoes herself again with another magical love story that kept me enthralled from the beginning to the end. …I chuckled throughout this delightful tale. I look forward to reading more of Ms. Marzec’s books."

Susan from Enchanted In Romance gave PRINCE OF THE MIST 4 Unicorns and said, “Prince of The Mist is a 64-page story that will transport the reader to a magical realm. The author has written a fast paced and highly sensual story that will capture the readers’ imagination. The lead couple’s story and their struggles will draw you in and not let go until the very end.”

So there you have it. Lots of happy reviewers enjoyed Prince of the Mist. Give it a try. You don't have much to lose. It's less than the price of a cup of coffee. :^)

You can download it at

Tuesday, March 07, 2023

Pot 'O Gold Bookish Event!

 Are you feeling lucky? You could win a $15 Amazon gift card @NNP_W_Light’s Pot ‘O Gold Bookish Event. Check out all the featured books and enter the giveaway to win a $15 Amazon gift card: 

Open Internationally. You must have a valid Amazon US or Amazon Canada account to win.

Runs March 9 – March 19, 2023.

Winner will be drawn on March 20, 2023.

Two of my books will be featured for this event, Prince of the Mist and Kiss of Blarney. Both are only $0.99! A real bargain! 

You can find the link with all the information about PRINCE OF THE MIST at

One fan of the book said, "Ms Marzec does a wonderful job giving us a very grown up fairy tale. The descriptive writing and modern day issues make this story real. I highly recommended it."

Thursday, March 02, 2023

I Am A Winner!

 I revised and added words to my current WIP. I actually finished the book and wrote The End. It really helped to have cheerleaders urging me on to victory.  😊  I LOVE this February challenge. 

Of course, I'm not really done with the book because I have to go through the manuscript again to double check everything as well as do a thorough spelling and grammar check. I also have to write a blurb AND a synopsis. I am not fond of those tasks, but I will muddle through them. 

Then I have to hope someone will thinks it's good enough. Writing is a gamble. But I do enjoy the drama with my characters. They always entertain me. 💖 

Wednesday, February 22, 2023


     My guest today is Fay Lamb. She is the only daughter of a rebel genius father and a hard-working, tow-the-line mom. She is not only a fifth-generation Floridian, she has lived her life in Titusville, where her grandmother was born in 1899.
     Since an early age, storytelling has been Fay’s greatest desire. She seeks to create memorable characters that touch her readers’ hearts. She says of her writing, “If I can’t laugh or cry at the words written on the pages of my manuscript, the story is not ready for the reader.” Fay writes in various genres, including romance, romantic suspense, and contemporary fiction.
     If you’d like to catch up with Fay, visit her at her website, on AmazonGoodreadsFacebook, and Twitter. Also, Fay has become a “novel” gardener, and she shares her adventure in her newsletter, Tales from the Azalea Garden. You can sign up for her newsletter, Tales from the Azalea Garden, here.

Fay's newest release is THE VISITOR MEETS OLD HAIRY. 
Here's the blurb:

     The Visitor goes camping? Pollyanna Reagan can't wait to take her always-put-together, ultra-professional sister out into the boonies. But when they encounter what they thought was a mythical creature, they might both become sticks in the mud.
     Of course, when they find a body, a stiff in the mud, Connie shifts into deduction mode. Was the deceased somehow scared to death or possibly attacked by what should be imaginary, or are there other, more human and certainly more vicious, intentions at play?
     Match wits with The Visitor as she unravels this twisted puzzle and the family drama that surrounds it.

The Visitor Meets Old Hairy

Preview by Fay Lamb


Polly turned to her sister, her finger to her lips.

“I’m not talking.” Connie’s attempt to whisper had the decibels of a seven-forty-seven. Wind whipped hair into her face. “And who can hear anything with this wind. Give us a little rain, and we’ll have a hurricane.”

“Try not to step on the twigs.” Polly ignored her sister’s complaints. 

“We’re not on a path, Polly. The ground is littered with them.”

Ethan’s snicker took the air of frustration from Polly’s wings. She leaned against a tree and covered her face with her hands, trying to keep from bursting into laughter.

Connie leaned against her, her body shaking. “If Old Hairy was out here, we most definitely would see him.”

“No.” Ethan came near. “Aunt Connie, they’re stealthy and hard to spot even in the daytime. They hide themselves against trees and don’t make a sound unless they want to be heard or seen—all eight feet—no grunting from exertion, no stomping when they walk.” He glanced at his mom with a sly smile. “Some people believe they have a cloaking ability like a chameleon.”

Marc drew near. “And they read minds.” He wiggled his brows and glanced at his wife. “When they’re near you, their sub-sonic hum can make you deathly ill.”

They were making fun of her, but Polly didn’t care. Standing alone with her family in the middle of expedition and gabbing with the people she loved, that was all she wanted. “They hide in caves. That’s why they aren’t seen,” she countered with her own knowledge of Bigfoot lore. “And they’ve had years to adapt to the land; they know the layout.”

They remained silent for a moment as the limbs above them rustled.

“Did you hear that?” Connie spun around.

“With the wind?” Polly threw her sister’s words back at her. 

Connie waved her hands back and forth in front of her face. “And smell that?”

Polly took a deep breath and coughed. “That’s not a Bigfoot.” 

“It’s a skunk.” Ethan took off running through the dark in the direction of the camp.

Connie put her hands out to stop Marc and Polly. “Let’s see if he runs into it first.”

Marc laughed aloud. “Good idea.”

Polly spied something illuminated by the rays of the moon filtering through the trees: the white of a skunk’s coat.

Perhaps Ethan had been the clever one.

Polly held to her sister’s and her husband’s arms. “There.” She nodded.

The skunk stood up on two feet and looked around.

Polly held her breath, and not from the stench. Did skunks attack?

The skunk stayed still for a moment, looked behind it, and then turned to look in their direction.

Polly planted her feet so as to run if it moved toward her.

Despite the wind, tromping could be heard and then a heavy grunt.

The skunk took off.

Connie—and Marc—jumped behind Polly’s back.

More stomping sounded, coming closer.

An overly large figure silhouetted in the moon’s shine moved into the center of the trees. His attention was in the direction the skunk had fled.

Connie gasped.

The creature stilled completely. Then it turned.

“Stay still.” Marc whispered. “Polly, is it a man?”

“I-I don’t think so.” She trembled. “He’s huge.”

The huge apelike man stared. When it blinked, the action was slow.

It swayed back and forth like an ape.

Polly took a step back, forcing Marc and Connie with her.

The creature raised its shoulders, bent low at the knees, and inhaled. As it straightened, a tremendous howl built from its innards and reverberated against Polly. She’d never heard anything the likes of it.

The howl ended, and the creature stood stock-still, his attention never leaving them.

“Shoo. Shoo.” Connie moved her free hand.

The lumbering beast stared at Connie, blinked again, and turned. Then it thundered off into the woods.

Polly released her breath. “Was it really…?”


You can find Fay Lamb and her Social Media Links:


The Visitor Meets Old Hairy:

Join the Expedition: Enter the contest by guessing at the clues given to you as to the location of each book in The Visitor series:




Amazon Central:

Newsletter, Tales from the Azalea Garden




Thursday, February 16, 2023

Did I Write Myself into a Corner?

I joined the #JeRoWriMo challenge again this year. Every year the New Jersey Romance Writers challenges their member to write 30,000 words during the month of February. So far, this year I've accumulated 20,000 words! 

This year I did not write myself into a corner as I have done in the past. However, I left out a very important fact about a secondary character's motivation, which explains everything about her behavior. 

Is there an easy way out?

There's plenty of advice online, but I found Ken Levine's suggestions useful for me--and perhaps it would be helpful for anyone.

The most important thing to remember is that the story can be fixed. It will be much better, too.

Have fun writing!

Thursday, February 02, 2023

JeRoWriMo--The New Jersey Romance Writers' 30,000 Word Challenge

 I signed up for JeRoWriMo again. This time I'm doing revisions on a book I started in the 2021 JeRoWriMo Challenge. Last year was difficult for me, so not much writing was accomplished, but I am going to finish the book this time. It's a historical romance set in 1903, which is considerably more contemporary than some of my other historicals, but still an interesting time in the history of the world. 

I haven't decided on a name yet though I have a few ideas for the title. But right now, I want to get everything nice and tidy. 

The JeRoWriMo cheerleaders are in high spirits and encouraging everyone to keep typing! Good times!

Thursday, January 26, 2023

No Snow—Yet

The Promenade in Keyport, New Jersey

      So far this winter there has been no significant snow in this part of New Jersey. We had a few flurries, but we’ve had a lot of rain. It hasn’t been very cold either, which is nice for those of us who like to get some fresh air and go for a walk. I realize at some point snow will fall and everyone will complain about it, but there has always been something magical—at least to me—when the first snow covers the ground and everything is clean and white—and quiet, since there are fewer cars driving in the icy conditions. 

     On the other hand, the drenching rains we’ve endured lately make for dreary days. I wear an all-weather coat with a hood. I hate rain running down on my head. Taking care of errands in the rain seems more exhausting than taking care of errands on a sunny day. 

     However, we are fortunate to have Bell Works nearby. Sometimes on rainy days we go there to get our exercise. There’s a lovely grand piano near the main entrance. Sometimes, hubby plays a few songs on it. Sometimes, someone else is there tickling the keys. A few days ago, we stopped in and listened to a young man who was playing old classics that we are especially fond of—like “Sway.” We were singing along. 

     The young man said he comes there frequently, but he’s not seventeen yet so he can’t drive and must rely on someone else to give him a ride. He uses his phone to look up the chords for the songs and he figures out the melody. I asked him if he could play “There Is Love” but he didn’t know that one at all. Oh well.

     Still, it is always a treat to see young people involved in making music. So, maybe rainy days can be magical, too. It was a joy to sing along to old songs on a rainy day. 

 Entrance to Bell Works


Thursday, January 19, 2023

Start Pinning!

This is a partial screen shot of my Pinterest board. I am attempting to organize it. I receive more attention from other Pinterest devotees everyday than I do on any other social media site. Not all of my pins are about my books, of course. My lighthouse and teapot board seem to get the most attention. For those interested in crochet projects, Pinterest is the place to be! 

The biggest problem with Pinterest is that it will take more of your precious writing time and it's easy to get lost in forever. I've found I have to time myself and often only work on my boards once a week.

Sign up. Follow me at Check out my teapots. 😊

Thursday, January 12, 2023


will be released in a large print edition with a library binding by Thorndike Press on January 25, 2023. It can be pre-ordered now at .  Ask your library to order the book! 

It's received many wonderful reviews. One reviewer said, "It’s a beautiful story of forgiveness. Two wounded people must learn to forgive others…and themselves." 

Another reviewer said, "The twists and turns in this book along with the romance and inspiration kept me turning pages, and I enjoyed the characters who came to life."

On Goodreads, one reviewer wrote, "...Marzec doesn’t neglect the most important healing of all. The spiritual message is strong, with Thea’s faith being tested but surviving and John inching his way back to belief."

You won't want to miss this one!  

Thursday, January 05, 2023

Stand Out in the Crowd

The water lay calm as the sun dropped lower in the sky. Even in winter, there are footprints on the beach. It draws many who seek a moment of peace, calm, and reflection. For me, it is the perfect spot to consider the end of one year and the beginning of another. The vast empty future waits for memories to be left behind, like those footprints in the sand.

I don't make resolutions anymore, but I do have plans for 2023.  First, I intend to do all I can to stay well. Then, I hope to finish another book and get it published. I also have to decide what to do with the books whose rights have recently been returned to me. I will continue to advertise, send out newsletters, beg for reviews, give talks, and work toward selling more books, which is the most difficult of all my plans for the future. 

Sometimes when people discover I am an author, they proceed to give me all kinds of advice on how I should ramp up my writing career. The most interesting piece of advice they offer is for me to get on the New York Times bestseller list. Sigh. 

That would indeed be very helpful.

Daughter #2 and I have chatted about the "herd" instinct of most people. Everyone wants to do exactly what everyone else is doing. Everyone wants to read the books on the bestseller list, but few are willing to sample a relatively unknown author. Everyone wants to see the hottest Broadway show, but there are many local shows offered for much smaller fees with unknown actors. 

Many people spend their vacations at the hottest resorts, too. 

It seems few are willing to be daring. Few are willing trust their own tastes when it comes to entertainment. 

For those of you who haven't made any plans for 2023, I say be bold. Read books your friends haven't read. See shows your friends haven't seen. Visit places your friends haven't visited. 

Then tell your friends about your new experience. Stand out in the crowd. Life is an adventure. Make it your own.