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Thank You!

At times the words thank you seem inadequate for what is in your heart to say to others. The last several months have been filled with many ups and downs for us. But so many of you have supported us with your good thoughts, prayers, and acts kindness that it made a difficult time more tolerable. Thank you.

In a time when it seems like everything is bent on dividing us, it is amazing to watch someone doing all they can to save another’s life. The past several months I have watched my husband go through a lot to continue to live. Those who worked to save his life are true heroes to me. The experience put life into perspective. While the urgent may push the important aside daily, I was once again reminded of the fragility of this life and treasuring those I love.

I’ve often said life is a rollercoaster ride filled with highs and lows sometimes both in the same day. The events of the past few weeks are a perfect example.

After a routine echocardiogram, my husband ended up back in the ICU when one of his stents failed after only a few months and a main artery was 98% closed. (This happens to only about 3% of the recipients of their newest and best stent. (Lucky Rob.)

His cardiologist told him that he needed a double bypass, and the surgeon scheduled it for the next Thursday. But while he waited, he remained in Cardiac Intensive Care as all the blood thinners he was on left his system.

To make a long story short. On the Sunday evening before the scheduled surgery Rob crashed and the dreaded code blue came over the hospital intercom with his room number just as I had arrived back at the hospital. A truly intense moment for me as I waited. Thankfully, the skills of an amazing nursing team were able to restore a pulse within 30 seconds with CPR.

Then he was off to the OR to open blood flow through the heart. Bypass is on hold for now, he has few stories to tell from his wild ride, and I aged a few years, I think. But mostly, I am grateful to still be sharing life with him one day at a time.

When I needed others’ to be there you were and I plan on doing the same. What unites us as people is stronger than what divides us. I hope someday we will understand how closely all of us in the human race are related to one another and we will not believe the lies that would try to divide us.

Keep Dreaming

Research has shown that daydreaming can help creativity. (I smile) I knew it! All the daydreaming I did over the years was really good for me. My mother used to get exasperated with me, my teachers tried their best to call me be back to earth, and in general people didn’t get it, but I did. I never tired of getting lost in the thoughts and pictures in my mind.

As far back as I can remember, I’ve made up stories in my head. I’ve re-imaged the ending to books I was reading, and in general lived with my head in the cloud, or at least my mom told me I did. I seemed to find a voice for all of this when I made my first attempt at writing those stories down.

My daydreaming has taken the form of writing novels. Fifteen over the past ten years, to be exact. There are stories all around us, stories of love, greed, and many that inspire us. Some reveal how ruthless a human can be, while others show someone’s goodness that can bring us to tears. When penned to paper and read, stories can make us desire to be a better human, fill us with courage and resolve, educate and inspire us and often make us laugh. Thank you to all the authors who wrote the books I’ve lived through, and to the readers who gave this budding author a chance. I have to say I love writing and letting my imagination loose to play. For those of you who’ve read any of my books you know, my mind walks down some odd and strange pathways.

Some days my mind is filled with inspired thoughts but on other days it’s ridiculous questions that take center stage like: How many roads does a man need to drive down before he realizes he’s lost and asks for directions? Can tomfoolery be done only by Tom? Or as a friend says you know you’ve drank too much coffee when you can thread a running sewing machine. I’m procrastinating! But I love those days that work in harmony. A day when daydreams and the incubation of ideas came together and make for a great day of writing.

I especially enjoy when a reader tells me how they feel about one of my books. I’m happy to share them when they do. It keeps me motivated and encouraged to keep writing as long as I can.

5 Stars “A Common Thread” is a thrilling mystery that draws readers into a web of crimes and personal entanglements. Jessie Reynolds, the determined protagonist, is a compelling character who guides us through a complex investigation that links a missing girl, a murder, and a potential serial killer.

The collaboration between Jessie and Matt Parker adds depth to the story, and their dynamic is both engaging and relatable. The incorporation of elements like ghosts, an improbable journey, and old enemies from the past adds a touch of intrigue and mystique to the narrative…In summary, “A Common Thread” is a captivating mystery that keeps readers engaged with its intriguing characters and complex storyline.

A Special Story to Tell

“Life is motion, change, stagnation, bloom: nothing ever seems to happen, or awful stuff happens, or beautiful stuff happens, and we say “Amen.” Anne Lamont

With all its challenges life still manages to fill me with wonder. People get broken in real life, bad things happen to good people, and some days make no sense at all, but often in those low moments help rides in with love like the superglue of life to repair the cracks and fissures using others. The past several days I’ve seen the broken and those who held the superglue. Love in action is beautiful to watch but to be a recipient of it is overwhelming.

In a time when it seems like everything is bent on dividing us, it is amazing to watch someone doing all they can to save another’s life. Life gently or at times not so gently reminds us we are all flawed and need help to repair the cracks and fissures in our lives.

The past month I have watched my husband go through a lot to continue to live. Those who worked to save his life are true heroes to me. The experience put life into perspective. While the urgent may push the important aside daily, I was once again reminded of the fragility of this life and treasuring those I love.

In Japan, broken objects are often repaired with gold. The flaw is seen as a unique piece of the object’s history and its beauty. Every day that my husband’s heart beats stronger I will remember those who used the superglue and gold to repair what was broken into a unique piece with a special story to tell.

Good To Be Found

In an often mean world I find it hard to believe that there are any nice people left out there. The news on most days is distressing and often shows the worst sides of humanity. Revenge seems to be the optimum word of the day. But call me naive, I still think there is good to be found in humanity and some folks are a pleasant revelation. No, they aren’t the ones screaming at us from our TV’s, or those demonizing someone different from them, but they are the ones who work quietly behind the scenes to make our world a better place.

Their stories inspire us, bring us hope, and make us want to be better ourselves. Their actions are like candles lit n the cosmic way. They seem to understand the value of every person, no matter their faith, political beliefs, or the state of their birth. These folks are able to see beyond the facade erected, to the good seed planted deep in another’s life. Their stories of courage, sacrifice, and love break through where nothing else can.

Love and kindness are never wasted…

They always make a difference

They bless the one who receives them,

and they bless you,

the giver.

~*~ Barbara De Angelis ~*~

Life is Not a Sprint but a Journey!

The last few months have been full of activities for us. I found it hard to keep up with all my marketing and my blog. From middle school and high school graduations to a few medical emergencies for someone I love, I had to take a little time off because my mind wouldn’t let me go there. I plugged along at a few hundred words here and there, but not my usual fast pace. It’s been a while, but finally I can feel the desire to get back to writing and blogging. The past few months were both good and rough mingled together with moments of great joy and of reflection. I found I couldn’t rush through all the emotions I was feeling but had to move forward at my own pace.

On the plus side, my granddaughter graduated from high school with nine chords of honor. I didn’t even know that was possible. She lettered in academics all four years and was accepted into the Neurology and Pre-Med program with the University’s Presidential Scholarship. She learned Chinese for heaven’s sake. Wow! Can I brag for a moment about what an amazing and sweet girl that she is. Of course, all my grandkids are. Enjoying their accomplishments is a big deal. I have another granddaughter who just sent me a text today that she passed her driver’s knowledge test and can get her permit on the seventeenth. It seems like yesterday both of these young ladies were little girls. I can’t neglect to mention I have three wonderful grandsons too. The one thing I’m sure of is that life is constantly changing and I’m afraid to blink for fear I’ll miss something special or important.

Maya Angelous said, “Each one of us has lived through some devastation, some loneliness, some weather super-storm, or a spiritual super-storm. When we look at each other we must say, “I understand”. I understand how you feel because I have been there myself.” Wise words as far as I’m concerned. We all have highs and lows. Compassion and understanding would go a long way in our overly mean world right now.

I’ve learned that at some point in life if we allow it, something in our life switches on and we become aware of it all; the good, the bad, the happy and the sad. It’s like tasting a really good chocolate or sipping a wonderful wine for the very first time; we begin to appreciate and to savor our life with all its ups and downs. Our memories become our special friends that can bring a random smile to our faces or maybe tears; A certain song can remind us of a moment sealed in our hearts, and family and friends become more cherished than ever. Life is interesting, filled with hope, and sometimes broken promises but it is what it is. Sip from today with joy life is not a sprint but a journey.

Interview From the Colorado Sun

Iona Morrison finds the seed for her next book in the previous story

The author was on vacation in Tombstone, Arizona, when she started to flesh out “Searching for Closure” with a time-travel scene

The Colorado Sun2:10 AM MDT on Apr 2, 2023

Iona Morrison is an award-winning, Amazon best-selling author who writes romantic suspense with a touch of the paranormal, including the Blue Cove Mysteries series. She is a member of the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers Published Authors League and lives in Colorado with her husband and family. 

SunLit: Tell us this book’s backstory. What inspired you to write it? Where did the story/theme originate? 

Iona Morrison: This book is a part of a series.

The Blue Cove Series began for me on my first day of a new job when the custodian told me, “You know we have a church ghost here.” She went on to tell me a true story about how their associate pastor’s husband murdered her, and then killed himself outside the church. The secretary was the one that found their bodies by a tree. 

With that piece of information, I was off and writing, with a cast of characters in an imaginary New England town. And the book I always wanted to write started to grow in me until “The Harvest Club” was born with 11 books to follow. I like to think of myself as proof that it’s never too late to change course and find a new avenue for your ambitions.

“Searching For Closure” is book 9 in the series. The main character, Peyton, is a cousin to Jessie Reynolds in my other books. She is on vacation in Arizona and staying at a beautiful resort when the body of a young man is discovered in the swimming pool. While Detective Kincaid is interviewing her, Peyton sees the young man’s ghost watching her. She soon finds herself involved in the murder investigation and is ushered into a strange new world in the process.


Each week, The Colorado Sun and Colorado Humanities & Center For The Book feature an excerpt from a Colorado book and an interview with the author. Explore the SunLit archives at

Like most authors, I never know where or when inspiration will strike. I’ve learned to take the notions when they come and be prepared to write them down. I’m always on the lookout for another idea.

 One of those special moments of insight for this book came as I walked through the small tourist town of Tombstone on vacation, I could see my character doing the same. A scene began to take shape as I strolled the wooden boardwalk. Her footsteps sounded on the wood planks of the walkway along with mine as she is carried back in time to see the town as I saw it in my mind: a happening place of long ago filled with music and raucous laughter flowing from the saloon. 

Suddenly, a stagecoach comes racing into town followed by several rowdy cowboys on horseback welcoming the woman passenger on the stage. Hooting and hollering, they discharge their guns indiscriminately into the air until a real shot brings Peyton back to reality. That scene worked its way into this book with a few changes.

SunLit: Place this excerpt in context. How does it fit into the book as a whole? Why did you select it?

Morrison: The excerpt places Peyton in Tombstone where for a moment in time she is caught up in a vision that takes place long ago but before she has time to adjust to what she is seeing she finds herself back in modern times and dealing with what she saw. This story is all about Peyton coming to terms with seeing the invisible world and, like her cousin, having the gift of sight. 

“Searching for Closure”


Where To Find It:

SunLit present new excerpts from some of the best Colorado authors that not only spin engaging narratives but also illuminate who we are as a community. Read more.

Peyton is thrust into her new world when she sees her first ghost and murder victim. She will see many more new and strange things to help solve that murder. A jaunt back in time, visions, and premonitions are part of the process.

I chose this excerpt because it plays a key role in the story. Peyton visits Tombstone as a tourist and will also find herself a target for murder while there. Personally, I liked the scene. It is one of my favorites. I feel like I lived it with her.

SunLit: Tell us about creating this book. What influences and/or experiences informed the project before you actually sat down to write?

Morrison: This book was formed in the one before it. Each book gives me a key word or a way forward to the next one. For example, with this story Peyton told her cousin in the previous book of a crazy trip her friend had arranged for them to Arizona — in the summer no less. 

Arizona became the setting for the story, but I had no idea when I wrote that scene how the story would develop into Peyton’s Arizona adventure when her friend was a no-show. A hot Arizona summer was the perfect backdrop for a heinous corporate crime, murder, and a budding new romance.

SunLit: Once you began writing, did the story take you in any unexpected directions? If so, how would you describe dealing with a narrative that seems to have a mind of its own? 

Morrison: My writing is often filled with surprises. I’ve had a bad character who turned out to do something good while one of my main characters got shot. I didn’t see either of those coming. I try to let my characters lead me and they take me on quite a ride every time.

I’m not a plotter and therefore I’m often astonished by where my imagination takes me. I like to believe my characters let me know what is and isn’t working for them. And they’re usually right. I’ve stayed awake many nights listening to them tell me about a better way forward. Once I get the scene the way that suits their personalities the narrative moves forward.

SunLit: What were the biggest challenges you faced, or surprises you encountered in completing this book? 

Morrison: It’s always a challenge to keep writing and rewriting lines until the story is finished. One day I feel like I can write anything and the next I’m frustrated with everything that I write. By the time a book is finally published I’ve read it so many times I can’t read it again for a while.

However, there is a reason I author the stories that I do. In my own strange way, I answer the question through my characters what would happen if we were aware of what really transpired in the world we rarely see and could hear the unheard cries for help around us. In the process I touch upon subjects that are important to me in a hopefully entertaining way. Topics like organ trafficking, human trafficking, and domestic violence to name a few.

In the excerpt, Peyton asks the question: Is death the end or can those unjustly treated in this life find justice? For her, justice for those who have no voice is important. I’m always surprised how all the pieces in a story tie together in the end even with all the twists and turns. Each time I read a final galley, I’m amazed that I authored the book and even more in awe that people will read it.

SunLit: Has the book raised questions or provoked strong opinions among your readers? How did you address them? 

Morrison: People talk to me about what they liked in the story. 

One of the best parts of being an author is meeting the readers and talking with them. I’m a talker and love spending time with people. I enjoy answering questions or simply spend time thanking someone for their support. 

Throwing in the Towel

I’ve been thinking about the phrase ‘throwing in the towel’. Is there a particular towel I need to throw, and if I decide to throw it where should I send it. Does it mean I’m frustrated, giving up, or that the towel is too old? Has the towel done something wrong? Should I give it up on it and simply buy a new one? Is there a line I need to stand in, or can I do this alone? All important questions when thinking of the towel.

Possibly, I could throw it out the window with my computer if frustration is the marker. These questions are right up there for me with does a penguin have knees. Yes, they do thank you very much. Now all I need to do is to figure out which towel I need to throw, if and when I decide to throw it.

Days like this have me wondering where some of our phrases, sayings, and idioms come from. In this case the idiom throwing in the towel comes from boxing. The trainer or manager literally throws in a towel as a signal that their fighter has given up. It means to stop doing something because you cannot succeed or your too continue. Now I’ve learned something new.

I like learning new things. I’ve discovered today the only way I will throw in the towel is if it’s too worn out and not useable anymore. Otherwise, I’ll keep trying like the little engine who could.

#hanginthere #keeptrying #don’tgiveup

All the Difference

The sum of what is important to me always centers around those I love. Family and friends are at the heart of what I value most. My dreams, my job, or even my writing take a back burner to those I care about. Although, writing often becomes a form of therapy for me.

My husband Rob has had my heart since the first day I met him. His smile is what attracted me to him. Doing life with him has been fun and quite a ride. Our story is unique to us like yours is to you with all the highs and lows that life dishes out. Somehow, we’ve managed to stay afloat and love being together. He’s always encouraged me to excel and is my greatest fan. Being able to laugh together has helped more times than I can count. And the fact that he’s a genuinely nice guy hasn’t hurt either. I feel blessed to have such a good man in my life.

The past few years have held a few health challenges for him, and I’ve found myself holding my breath whenever he has his check-ups and then breathing a sigh of relief when we hear good news. A sweet reminder that life is a precious gift not to be taken for granite.

Thankfully in the midst of the choppy seas of life’s events, we are often handed a life raft of sorts, to cling to. Some little encouraging word, or act of kindness that makes a day seem less dark and hard in the storm. I’m grateful for each one I’ve received that brightened an otherwise tough time. Believe me when I say there have been many of those sweet acts over the years. I have done my best to pay them forward whenever I can. I have a firm belief that kindness given comes home again when needed most. And love isn’t really love until you give it away.

Life is fragile and should be treated with care. Each day is a brand-new opportunity to send a kind word to someone else who needs it. A quick note or call to let them know they aren’t forgotten or alone can make all the difference.

It’s Never Too Late

This is an article I wrote for Women Writers, Women’s Books. Right now, you can pick up my e-books for 99 cents on Amazon for a limited time. Remember books make great gifts and wonderful stocking stuffers.

By way of a brief introduction, I am a multi-published, award-winning author who writes romantic suspense with a touch of paranormal. I enjoy writing fiction. The character development, their stories, and the twists and turns in the plot intrigue me. Once I let the characters loose, I can’t wait to see where they take me. I’m hooked from the first words on the paper, and I have to keep writing to see how the story ends.

I like to think of myself as proof that it’s never too late to change course and find a new avenue for your ambitions. I came to writing later in my life after working beside my husband for many years and raising our three sons. Our lives had settled into a nice, comfortable routine, until a recession, personal growth, and circumstances, brought several major changes. At that time, I scrambled to reinvent myself and an old desire to author a book began to surface once again. I can reassure you it’s never too late to reach for your dream and an ‘old dog’ can really learn new tricks. 

Searching the web, I stumbled upon an ad for a writing class and soon began a class offered through Longridge Writing Institute called Breaking into Print. The course took me through the elements of fiction and non-fiction. I thought for sure I would write a non-fiction self-help book. What I found was that I loved writing fiction. This gal who never watched or read a mystery found herself in a genre where she had never dared to go before. It fit with my personality. The course teacher told me that my stories had legs and he recommended that I try the Novel writing class. I followed his advice.

My initial book, ‘The Harvest Club,’ took shape during the second class. The story idea was handed to me, my first day on a new job by the custodian when she told me. “You know we have a church ghost here.” My imagination went to work and the element of the paranormal seeped into my mystery and would continue through each of my books. 

With that piece of information, I was off and writing, with a cast of characters in a New England town. Of course, my series had to have romance which brought in a hero as a love interest. My heroine was hired as a new secretary at a church where the young pastor was murdered, and her body was found outside of the church. She sees the ghost on her first day in town and she gets drawn into the mystery. Filled with twists and turns the story hooked me from the first line. I finished the book just to see how it would end but with no further expectations.

Mary, my teacher, in the second class had a way of encouraging me while slapping me upside my head. She could criticize my writing and have me laughing at the same time. Now that’s a real gift. I’m glad I listened to her when she encouraged me to query on the finished manuscript. She gave me the name of three publishers and had two that were interested. I chose the one that I’m still with today. I will forever be grateful to her for believing in me and prodding me along the way.

I like my publisher and have had a wonderful experience collaborating with them. My first book was published in 2014 and I’ve had twelve published since with number thirteen going is through the process now. Three of them are award finalists or winners which encouraged me to keep writing once I got brave enough to enter them into writing contests. It’s both exciting and nerve-racking when a new book releases. The same is true with allowing others to read and judge my work.

Even though my books are fantasy fiction I have a real method for why I author the stories I do. In my own strange way, I answer the question through my heroes what would happen if we were aware of what really transpired in the world we rarely see. In the process I touch upon subjects that are important to me in a hopefully entertaining way. Topics like organ trafficking, human trafficking, and domestic violence to name a few.

I’m no diva when it comes to my work, I’m grateful for any recognition I get, but most of all I’m thankful for the readers who read my books and tell me what they think. I have enjoyed meeting people and talking to them in person and through social media. I love to discuss with readers the why’s of my stories at local book clubs or book shows.

I have more to learn about my craft and about marketing, but when all is said and done, writing has allowed me to find another way to be who I am. I lose myself in the story and I find myself there too. Small pieces of myself and who I’m still becoming spill out through the words on the page, or as I like to think of it as my happy place. I’m not sure what that says about me. I invite you to read one of my Blue Cove Mysteries and see for yourself why Blue Cove is a special and unusual place. Iona Morrison: Books, Biography, Blog, Audiobooks, Kindle

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Meet Author Mike Torreano

Mike Torreano

Facts you need to know about Mike Torreano.

1. Mike has a military background and is a student of American history and the Old West.

2, His debut western mystery, The Reckoning, set in South Park, Colorado in 1868, was released in 2016 by The Wild Rose Press. The sequel,

3.The Renewal, also in South Park, 1872, was released in 2018. His third western,

4. A Score To Settle, was released October 2020, also from The Wild Rose Press.

5. White Sands Gold is his latest western mystery and was just released by Wild Rose.

6. He has a coming-of-age novel, Fireflies At Dusk, set during the Civil War, and his short story, The Trade, a tale of the Yukon Gold Rush, was his first published work in 2014.

7.Mike’s written for magazines and newspapers for many years. An experienced editor, he’s taught University-level English and Journalism.

If you like to read Westerns, check out Mike’s latest book, ‘White Sands Gold’.

In a hidden cavern, a fortune in gold bars sits alongside an ancient relic.

To find her treasure-hunting brother, Lottie Durham enlists the help of an easygoing lawman who she can’t stand-at first. When a mysterious  woman known only as Ma asks her to join the relic’s guardians, Lottie’s world spins. Why her, and should she take on this solemn obligation?

Twill, leader of the secretive guardians, has sworn a vow to protect the centuries-old religious relic. Regrets bedevil him and his dedication to his oath is repeatedly tested. If he breaks his promise, he’ll fail Ma, the one person he’s never wanted to let down.

Will a looming raid by a band of determined killers be the end of the guardians, the gold, and the relic?

Here’s a sample of what you’ll read in ‘White Sands Gold’.

‘Lottie lowered to the damp ground, which brought the deputy down as well. She fought the urge to look his way. She was alone in the desert wrapped in a semi-bear hug with a man she met yesterday. She eased a hand to her holster and picked the leather loop off her hammer. Probably didn’t need a gun to protect against someone who’d already saved her life, but…in case he tried something.

The deputy snugged his hat lower and shut his eyes.

“Hold on, cowboy. We can’t be sittin’ here just sleepin’. I mean…you oughta be talkin’ to me, reassurin’ me. How about it?”

He two-fingered his hat up a touch. “You seem to be able to take care of yourself fair, you should probably be reassurin’ me.” He glanced sideways at her, his face not more than a few inches away.

That same half-smile that had been so irritating somehow didn’t look so annoying anymore.”

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