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Charles’s Final Letter to Miriam

Posted by on Jan 27, 2016 | 4 comments

Click play to view Charles’s letter to Miriam. It’s best viewed in “full screen” mode. Did you enjoy Don’s narration as Charles Blacksworth? Then we think you’d enjoy the audiobooks he’s recorded for Mary…   Buy the Betrayed Trilogy Audiobook:         Buy A Family Affair:...

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The truth is what we say it is. Or is it?

Posted by on Jan 21, 2016 | 0 comments

I write fiction, also known in our household as making up stories. I put thoughts in a character’s head and let him or her spit out words that might or might not be true. Readers could latch onto the first part of “The truth is what we say it is. Or is it?” title and believe a passage is true. But is it? How is a reader to know the difference? And why on earth would a writer cast such doubt? It’s all about perception and interpretation, just like real life. We all process things differently, depending on our past experiences, our hopes, our tolerance levels. A woman who has dreamed of a life with a husband and children, maybe a dog or two, might refuse to accept her husband’s infidelity…and when she’s thinking about the hotel receipt she doesn’t recognize, she can’t process the truth, at least not yet…so she believes what he tells her because she can’t not believe it…not yet. This happens in several of my books, but especially in Pulling Home, Book One of That Second Chance series, and the prequel to A Family Affair: The Promise. There’s what characters believe and let readers believe, and then there’s the truth. I won’t write more because you just might want to find out the real truth yourself. Happy Reading!...

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Charles’s Final Letter to Harry

Posted by on Jan 19, 2016 | 13 comments

Charles’s Final Letter to Harry

Press play to hear the letter to Harry. You can scroll down to read along, if you like. It will not stop the...

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Writing on the Fly

Posted by on Jan 15, 2016 | 0 comments

Writing on the Fly

My husband and I flew to California this past summer for my niece’s wedding. The first part of the trip took us from Ohio to Denver, and I told my husband I was not getting off the plane until I had one or two blog posts written and maybe even a character sketch for the next A Family Affair book. (This would have been A Family Affair: The Secret.) The Notebook All I needed was my 19 cent spiral notebook, a pen, and a plane that didn’t encounter too much turbulence. I had no idea what I wanted to write about until I started writing. What emerged were a few tidbits about my writing process. I plot out the basics of a story in my head, turn it around for days, maybe even weeks. When I think I’ve got it figured out, I grab a spiral notebook and start writing character sketches, then plot, and subplot. I have over a dozen half-filled notebooks containing stories. There’s the story I’ve planned to write and the one I actually write. They’re never the same. Readers might be surprised to hear this, but it’s true. Often, I have no idea how a particular situation is going to work out, until I’m in the story, traveling down that path…Then, I know. I like to write with quiet surrounding me, but that’s more a wish than reality, especially with a dog in the house who insists on barking a play-by-play of what’s happening outside; squirrels in tree, joggers running by, the UPS man shifting gears… When I’m creating plots, character sketches, blog posts, Gloria’s notebook entries, Charles’s letters, or other indirect story content, I handwrite them in a spiral notebook. The creativity flows, but I always struggle to read my penmanship. I encountered this same issue when we were on the plane and ran into turbulence. I closed my eyes and continued writing. I would like to say the almost illegible penmanship had to do with a bumpy plane ride, but it didn’t look much different than what I create at my kitchen table… Still, I was able to decipher it and while my eighty-seven-year-old mother would say good penmanship is essential, I will settle for good...

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Charles’s Final Letter to Lily

Posted by on Jan 13, 2016 | 10 comments

Press play to hear the letter to Lily. You can scroll down to read along, if you like. It will not stop the...

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Charles’s Final Letter to Christine

Posted by on Jan 5, 2016 | 23 comments

Press play to hear the letter to Christine. You can scroll down to read along, if you like. It will not stop the...

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The Letters of Charles Blacksworth

Posted by on Dec 29, 2015 | 28 comments

(Scroll down to see  newer letters) If you’re following the lives of our friends in Magdalena, then you know they’ve had their share of trials and heartache. You also knew that Gloria Blacksworth has been behind a good chunk of that heartache. We all hope her mischievous orchestrations from the grave are over, but what is it they say about a woman scorned? We’ll have to wait and see if more pain and suffering pop up again. I wouldn’t trust that woman. Not. One. Bit. But this post isn’t about Gloria and her numerous plots and plans to destroy the residents of Magdalena. This is about Charles aka Charlie Blacksworth and the choices he might or might not have made, had he lived. Haven’t we all wondered what was really going on in his head? As a prominent member of Chicago’s wealthy and privileged, he was the CEO of Blacksworth & Company in Chicago, wore tailored suits and wingtip oxfords, and always did what was expected of him. But in Magdalena, he was simply Charlie Blacksworth, the rich yet quiet man who descended upon their town four days a month like clockwork, donned flannel and corduroy and immersed himself in the lives of his “other family”. Would he ever have made a choice between the two lives? Or would he have continued on, torn between duty and the desire to follow his heart to a simpler life and a family that did not carry his name? We’re about to find out. Spring has settled in the Catskills, melting mountains of snow and frigid temperatures. Tulips, daffodils, and allium are emerging in bursts of color. It is a time of hope and renewal. It is also time to close up Charles Blacksworth’s “getaway” cabin before it’s sold. On this bright, crisp day, Nate and Christine Desantro drop the children off at Miriam’s and begin the one-hundred mile trip to the cabin. Christine is filled with uncertainty, dread, and sorrow, but fortunately, she has her husband with her, a constant source of strength and support. Good thing, too, because Christine is going to need Nate’s strength for what she’s about to discover—five envelopes, tucked under the mattress with the following names scrawled on the front: Gloria, Christine, Lily, Harry, Miriam. Inside each envelope is a letter. For the first time since we learned of his death we’ll all know what Charles was thinking, and maybe even what he planned to do about it as he wrote these letters mere days before he died. Rest in peace, Charles. You are missed.       Click on the letters below to read and listen to Charles Blacksworth’s final letters:          ...

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Charles’s Final Letter to Gloria

Posted by on Dec 29, 2015 | 59 comments

Press play to hear the letter to Gloria. You can scroll down to read along, if you like. It will not stop the...

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Happy Holidays – And a Sneak Peek

Posted by on Dec 19, 2015 | 0 comments

Dear Reader Friends:   I know you are all busy “wrapping up” last minute details before the holiday week begins, so I’ll brief. (That alone will be a challenge!) From my house to yours, I’d like to wish you a happy holiday and the very best for 2016. Thanks to all of you for your continued interest in my work. I’m heading into the kitchen this weekend to make pizzelles. This year I’m trying a few variations from the usual vanilla; cinnamon, almond, and a red and green tint. Many thanks to the reader who suggested this! I’ll post the outcome on my website and Facebook page. It will be either genius or a disaster, and I’m sure my family will let me know. Enjoy time with your family, make new memories, relive the old ones, and I will be in touch in 2016.   Best Always,   Mary Pre-order, and get a sneak peek at Charles Blacksworth’s First Two Letters! As a gift to those of you who have pre-ordered “A Family Affair: The Secret, I am making a sneak peek available to you several weeks early. If you’ve pre-ordered, all you have to do is click here (or on the image), and tell us where you pre-ordered your book, and enter your order number. Once you’ve done that, you will be redirected to the letters that Charles wrote to Gloria and Christine, before his untimely passing. If you haven’t pre-ordered, now is a great time to do so.   Click here to pre-order A Family Affair: The...

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Thank you, Walmart

Posted by on Sep 28, 2015 | 20 comments

Opportunity. It’s such a huge word, stuffed with hopes and dreams, all lined up and waiting for that one perfect moment to burst into the open and brighten our world with possibilities. Unfortunately, we never quite know when opportunity will hit, so we’ve got to stay prepared, no matter how long it takes. In my case—seventeen years! I’d like to announce that Walmart will bring my bestselling family saga, A Family Affair, Book One of the Truth in Lies series, to their stores! I am honored and humbled that this book has been chosen to appear in select stores. (Perhaps it is fitting that a book about hope and second chances was chosen!) Thank you, Walmart, for your faith in A Family Affair. I have no idea which Walmart stores will stock A Family Affair. So, if you find it in your local Walmart store, take a picture and tag me on my Facebook page. You’ll be entered to win a $25.00 Walmart gift card. (I’ll give away 4 of these until November 15, 2015.) Once again, thank you, Walmart, for this great opportunity! Best Always,...

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