Writer's Notes


cover for sadieBy Barbara Wallace

Raise your hand if you’re having a challenging year.

I don’t know about you, but it seems like everyone I know is having a rough 2018.  Job issues, health challenges, family problems. The other night a friend commented that we’ve seen each other almost as much as often wakes this year than at girl’s nights out.  Even if you aren’t having personal crises, there’s all the bad news going on in the world itself.  Seems like everyone is angry, bitter and yelling at one another.

As one of my friends said, it’s hard to stay positive.

And yet, despite the bad energy and personal crises, I find myself feeling incredibly thankful this November. For starters, I’m here to be thankful. I made it through eleven months of stress without needing a straitjacket. 

I have a roof over my head, a cup of Dunkin Donuts coffee on my table and a husband who voluntarily folded the laundry yesterday.

But there’s more.  The sun rose. The changing foliage in my neighbor’s yard is a sight to behold. I have a pair of cats to snuggle while reading.

I watched my son marry the love of his life. I have a husband who puts up with writing deadlines and is strong enough to ask for help when he needs it. I have friends who listen to me when I whine about the stress in my life, and I was lucky enough to be holding my mother’s hand when she passed away.

There are so many little things in this world that we take for granted that, when added up, remind us that there are a lot of good things to appreciate in our lives. Even during the bad times.  For example, as tragic and stressful as it was to watch my mother die of dementia, I thankful I was able to be there for her.  Just as I’m also thankful for the friends and family who were there for me.

By now you’ve figured out, I’m one of those schmaltzy people who believes in looking on the bright side. For those of you who prefer bitterness, I’m sorry. For the rest of you, I hope you have many little things in your life for which you can be thankful and that 2019 brings many more.

PS: While I’m being thankful – thanks to Thonie for hosting me today and letting me be schmaltzy. 



BWallaceBarbara Wallace is an award-winning romance author who has recently branched into cozy mysteries.  Her debut mystery, THE SUBURBS HAVE SECRETS, was published in 2017.  Look for the sequel BACKYARDS HAVE BODIES in early 2019. 

You can read more about Barbara at



cover for sadie


Blackmail and Murder and Lies – Oh My!

When Sadie McIntyre gives a drunken Marylou Paretsky a ride home on a rainy night, little does she realize it’s the last time anyone will see Marylou alive. The following morning, Marylou is found dead at the bottom of her staircase, the victim of foul play.

Who killed Marylou? Was it her philandering husband? His lover? Or one of the residents Marylou was blackmailing? In a town where everyone has a secret, the list of suspects is endless.

To make matters worse, Sadie is hiding her own secret. One that, if discovered, could shoot her to the top of the list!

Can Sadie find Marylou’s killer before her secret becomes public? Or will the killer find her first?

Where to buy The Suburbs Have Secrets: 


 Barnes & Noble:



Writer's Notes

Thankful: In So Many Ways

Thankful and dressageBy Thonie Hevron

This image doesn’t do justice to the volume of thankfulness I carry in my heart. Hubby and I found it at a local store and I “felt” it so deeply, we mounted it on the front of our house, next to the entry door.

I cannot lie: I’ve had some challenges this year. Last year ended with the mister feeling so poorly that he couldn’t do anything but sleep eighteen hours a day. At the Thanksgiving celebration, I saw the concern on everyone’s faces at the sad shape my once vigorous husband was in. By April of this year, he was in ICU. For thirteen days, my kids rallied around their dad—and me. My daughter, Melisa, said, “Dad’s in the best hands possible. We can’t help him, but we can help you.” It still makes me puddle up when I think of it. On his birthday, April 20th, the docs said he must go home. He wasn’t improving in the hospital and they could do no more for him. By then, the kids and I were collecting ideas for hubby’s funeral.

The mister came home, remained in bed for a week or so. Then, something happened. We choose to believe it was God’s intervention; you can believe it or not. His meds were the same, his diet was better than in the hospital, but he was still emaciated (he lost 30 lbs. in the first 2 weeks of his illness). It’s like a light switch was flipped. He began to improve. Slowly, slowly, all the miserable symptoms disappeared, weight re-gained. Finally, after four months, he was healthy enough to endure a surgery for tumors. The story improves—as does his health. He won’t be running any marathons soon (he never did before…) but he’s much better. In fact, the cardiac procedure he was scheduled for yesterday was canceled because the EKG showed no need for surgical intervention! A miracle.

We both feel like we’ve been given a chance to reclaim our lives. I didn’t know how my world could be rocked until I faced a future without my best friend. It’s been humbling and inspiring. I’ll go over my word allotment if I count all my blessings but I’m going to do a few:

  • Last month, I picked up my new story, Felon with a Firearm, and have been working on it. I’m about 2/3rds done with the first draft.
  • Hubby suggested a housekeeper twice a month to free me up for writing. That’s working nicely, I must say.
  • I have a new publisher (for whom I am thankful), Aakenbaaken & Kent (A & K), a small press out of Georgia. He’s contracted to re-publish all three of my titles as well as the new book. Look for this in 2019. Yay!
  • We have health insurance and have paid a pittance to what hubby’s medical bills were.
  • We have the best kids, and friends, sisters (and brother-in-law) ever for holding my hand in hospitals in four counties.
  • We live in a lovely home in the town we feel most connected with—love the weather, accessibility to so many travel amenities, medical, entertainment, proximity to friends and family.
  • In short, we have everything we need and much more. This is why I’m thankful.


November is always busy as I do craft fairs and book events. This November will not be any different, but I know Thanksgiving at my sister’s house will be a joyous occasion.

Enough about my thankfulness. Let’s hear from other authors about their thankfulness. Marilyn Meredith is featured twice this month, the 7th is related to her Tangled Webs book release —also from A & K. Marilyn’s Thankful theme on November 12th. Barbara Wallace will post on November 9th, Madeline McEwen on the 16th, Jackie Zortman (another A & K author) on November 23 and the last (but not least) installment on Thankfulness is Stephen Brayton on November 30th.

Don’t forget to look in on Sundays for Just the Facts, Ma’am, stories from the street. As an author, they will stimulate your imagination but give you the real feel for what police officers feel.


Thonie’s November Appearances:

S Rafael Holiday-Craft-Fair.pngNovember 3rd, Saturday: See Thonie at the San Rafael Goldenaires Annual Holiday Craft Fair. Historical novelist Jeane Slone will also be there. The Fair features handcrafted items from over 60 vendors. Hours are 10 A.M. to 5 P.M. at 618 B Street, San Rafael.

Fall Craft RP p1November 17th and 18th, 2018: Thonie will be at the 3rd Annual Fall Crafts and Vendors Fair at the DoubleTree Hotel, 1 DoubleTree Lane, Rohnert Park. The event is free and will be open from 10 A.M. until 4 P.M. both Saturday and Sunday. Books will be for sale.

39th RP CraftFaireLogo.jpgThe Rohnert Park Holiday Faire at the Rohnert Park Community Center, 5401 Snyder Lane, has become an annual tradition for Thonie and historical fiction author Jeane Slone. This year’s event will be on November 23 and 24th (the weekend after Thanksgiving). Be sure to check out their book table and do your other holiday shopping, too! This event is free and starts at 10 A.M. until 4 P.M.


%d bloggers like this: