Saturday, September 5, 2020

Goodbye, Good Friend


Congratulations to "Lynn", the winner in Leslie's giveaway. Please contact JUST CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE to claim your prize!

I have a confession very few Texans make, even the transplanted ones like me: I’m not big on Willie Nelson. But I got some news late yesterday that led me to think about one of his more iconic hits, “Funny How Time Slips Away.”
            Time does slip away—usually. This year, time seems to have forgotten how to fly.  COVID-19, masks and elbow bumps, birthday parades, social upheaval, natural disasters—never would we welcome time leaving us in its dust more than this year.
            2020 has become the year everyone loves to hate, the most of evil of times. Unlike when old Charlie (Dickens, not Daniels) wrote, there is “no best of times” side to the coin.
            That was driven home to me when I made an excited visit to Maureen A. Miller at Just Contemporary Romance, intent on securing space for a blog. I’m nearly through with a Christmas story about fostering, about love—about giving freely.
            The large number of authors who graced the pages at JCR, and its sister sites, Just Romantic Suspense and Just Paranormal Suspense, were among some of the best in the business—side by side with those still striving to make a name, or just to have a an affordable, efficient way to introduce themselves and their work to readers around the world.
            Given the year and the times, I was saddened—but not shocked—to learn that the “Just” sites are closing down on October 1st of—yes, 2020. Maureen dedicated so much time and effort to making her sites valuable for authors.       
     The blogs were my favorite feature—I could write, I could drop the titles and gist of my works in front of a huge audience without twisting arms, which I’ve never been good at—and most importantly, Maureen was a friend.
            She overlooked my mistakes, she included me in that world of fabulous writers I wanted to belong in—and she became a friend. In any year, friendship is crucial to wellness.
            I understand Maureen’s decision to let go of the “Just” sites and give herself time and space to breathe and pursue her goals. I applaud it, in fact—I always felt, visiting her sites, that it must take an incredible effort to keep all those pieces functioning..
            But it also breaks my heart, as a writer and reader, that those top-of-the stack havens for writers are fading away.
            The Christmas romance I’m working on touches on fostering—in many of its forms. Whether it’s reaching out to nurture a child or taking home that dog nobody wants and cherishing it through its last days—the human spirit is enriched by reaching out in love, inclusion, and understanding.
            I found that at Just Contemporary Romance and its sister sites. Many authors and readers did—and we found it with Maureen.
            Thank you, Maureen. Stay safe, well, and an integral part of authors lives, in whatever form is right for you now.
            Willie got it right—time does slip away. I’m grateful for the time you were part of this writer’s life.

Giveaway:
Leslie will be giving away a $10 Amazon egift card to one lucky reader leaving a comment or email entry.

Mention writing to most first grade students--or teachers--and everyone runs from the room, screaming or crying, respectively. I, however, love the challenge of convincing the technology kids of today that words create everything they use, everything they enjoy. Yes, even those horrible cartoons and video games that are so foreign to me now. And the songs.
I, myself, was a published writer in first grade, first by the school principal, then by a novel but short-lived magazine written entirely by kids. I still remember the title: Kids. Paid me $1.50 for the last rhyming poem I ever wrote. "Dolphins are nice though they don't like ice" something something.
Luckily, my poetry no longer rhymes, and my stories strive to portray the mishmash of cultures, events, characters, and times that are our lives--all our lives, even if not everyone had a lion or a roadside amusement park or hid in an arroyo on their wedding day.
There's a circuitous route through most of our lives, and the publishing company that helped me learn to submit work for publication through their magazines and annual Writers Market, F&W Media, is now publishing my debut novel with Crimson Romance.
A lifetime of words away from first grade, but hopefully, you'll enjoy my words. I love hearing from readers, and hope you'll visit me one of these days.
Because words still have power, and always will.

Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST September 6th. Due to GDPR regulations you no longer need to submit your email address in the comments. If you have been selected as a winner your name will be posted at the top of the post. You may then contact maureen@JustContemporaryRomance.com to claim your prize. Your email address will be shared with the author/publicist providing the giveaway.         
           

23 comments:

  1. Sad to hear the sites are closing - they have introduced me to many new to me authors.

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    1. Hi, taurus. Thanks for coming by. I actually posted earlier, but my comment didn't "stick" because I hadn't signed in with Google! lol Good luck in the rafffle, and stay well.

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  2. I feel exactly like taurus does. So many authors, so little time.... I recently cut way back on my blogs and author newsletters, but I kept this one active because I have enjoyed it tremendously through the years.

    I DO appreciate all the efforts Maureen has made all this time, and I DO understand that even good things come to an end. I hope, Maureen, that your future is filled with even MORE good things in your journey of life. THANK YOU!

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    1. Thanks, Laney4. You are so right, and I wish you luck in the drawing as well.

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  3. So sad to find out the "Just" sites are closing. As a former blogger, I totally understand the decision Maureen has had to make. I've been introduced to authors and books that I wouldn't have normally crossed paths with. Thank you Leslie for sharing your books and thank you Maureen for all your wonderful years! Wishing you well as you move forward!

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  4. Awe, sad news. What a weird year this has been.

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    1. Weird in so many ways, D'Ann. Nice of you to drop by. Good luck in the giveaway.

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  5. sad news
    Thanks Maureen!

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    1. Thank you, bn100. I actually thought of you as I reflected on Maureen's impact on me. You have been such a staunch reporter of authors on this site, and I have seen you other places as well. So thanks for coming by, and encouraging writers to keep going. Good luck in the drawing.

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  6. So sad to hear... I love visiting to see what is shared

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    1. Thanks for your visit today, Colleen C. It is appreciated. Good luck in the drawing.

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  7. Oh, such sad news! Thank you for hosting my books and I on your sietes. Wishing you all the best!

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  8. Great post, Leslie! I like the sound of your book!

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    1. Thank you, Lynn, for the kind words. I appreciate you taking the time.

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  9. I'm so sad to hear about the closing of the "Just" sites. I found a lot of great book recommendations from them.

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    1. Thanks for taking time to come by, Natalija. I'm glad you found books you enjoyed here, and am sure that means a lot to Maureen as well. Good luck in the drawing!

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  10. I apologize for replying rather late--for some reason, I had to use my Google sign in for the replies to show up. Good luck. There's another day if you would like to share the link and encourage friends to join us in saying "so long."

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  11. You all are so sweet, and Leslie, thank you so much for your kind words. It is hard to leave such talented authors and such awesome readers. You all are family. But our writing world is a small loyal place. We will all see each other again!

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  12. Sad to hear Maureen is shutting down the sites. Like you, she often gave me a platform to reach my readers. Best of luck to her and whatever she chooses to pursue.

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    1. Thank you for coming by, Susanne. I always loved seeing CR Sisters here! Continued success with your writing, and good luck in the drawing.

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  13. Thanks to everyone who came by! Maureen, best of luck going forward. As you said, we will bump into each other down the road. Meanwhile--take care!

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  14. Sad to hear the sites are closing. I enjoy updates of titles from each one of them and the interactions with authors participating. Best of luck to Maureen and everyone involved going forward. It’s a tough time and I hope you guys keep healthy and safe over there.

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  15. Thank you, again everyone. And thank you, Leslie, for sharing your awesome work with us!

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