Archive for August, 2016

BLOGWORDS SPECIAL EDITION – Wednesday 31 August 2016




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The month of September is a special time for me:

my THIRD novel and sequel to

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the final in the unsavory heritage series,

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slide 4will be available 30 on September Amazon







Dreams really do come true.


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No, really, they do.


You see, once upon a time, I didn’t really believe mine would.

Once upon a time, there was a little girl who was invisible.  Or she thought she was invisible, felt that way at least.  And when she felt people were staring at her, she wished she was invisible.  That little girl was me.  Hello, my name is Robin, and I’m a recovering invisiblet.  I wasn’t shy, I was terrified.  And that made it quite difficult to make friends.  Or to be a friend.” [blog post 02 May 2014


When you’re an invisiblet, not only are you invisible, but so is everything you do.   But  once upon a time I did better than wish upon a star. I asked Father God why my life didn’t line up with His Word.


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It wasn’t an easy answer, but I fought my way through and now one of my dreams is reality: I am a published author. I’ve written three novels now, but I hear tell the feeling never gets old!


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So without further ado, here is the official first look at the cover for Cissy, Book 3 in the unsavory heritage series.


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Utter destruction with a single word. A curse uttered on the breath of a vituperous woman.
Cissy Calhoun is too young to comprehend the malice behind the words she hears. At five, she takes them at face value.
She is evil.
And so the course of her life is set. And generations that issue from her will carry the stain.
Can a life rived by careless words be redeemed? Can the lie be undone? I there a word powerful enough to break the curse and undo the unsavory heritage?


My lovely covers were designed by Victorine Lieske, author and graphic designer.
slide 9Victorine enjoys commercial success through her writing, thanks in part to her ability to analyze and adapt to the constantly changing trends in today’s publishing environment. She self-published her first book, Not What She Seems, in April of 2010. In March of 2011, Not What She Seems began its 6 week run on The New York Times best selling eBook list. By May 2011 she had sold over 100,000 copies. Victorine’s first romantic comedy novel, Accidentally Married, hit the USA Today Best selling books list in January 2015. Victorine is a graphic designer as well, and can be hired for book cover design.




Most heartfelt thanks, Victorine! I love my covers! You done good!



Follow your dreams. Keep after them with diligent pursuit. Your dreams are your own and they’re there for a reason. Make your dreams come true. I did.


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Blogwords, Special Edition, Follow Your Dreams, Yellow Brick Road, Cissy Cover Reveal, #newbooklaunch, #coverreveal, #invisiblet, # overtherainbow, #dreamsreallydocometrue



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Every writer needs another writer in her life. Or a bunch of other writers.


We need those amaaazing fellow writer friends who so totally get us. You know, the ones who know exactly what we mean when we say things like, “I’m trying to figure out my MC’s black moment and my GMC feels all muddled and I’m scared my own personal HEA is out of reach!”


We’ve got our own code, yeah?


But alas, writers must live in the real world—which means we’re going to have to interact with the others. The non-writers. The people who may sometimes look at us like we’ve got silly putty for brains.


I think it’s only the kind thing to do to help ‘em out. So below I offer…


Tips for Being Friends with a Writer


  • Try to avoid using scary words around us. Words like synopsisblank page and sales. They make us twitchy. And by all means, avoid the doozy: deadline.


  • If you see us staring at a wall or out the window, don’t ask when we’re going to get to work. We are


  • When you’re tempted to say, “But your character isn’t a real person. Stop worrying about him and/or swooning over him.”…resist! Or else be prepared for the stink eye. (LOGAN WALKER IS SO REAL IN MY HEAD, PEOPLE!!)


  • Don’t ask us when we’re going to be rich and famous. We’re wondering that ourselves, and we’re pretty sure it’s not going to happen because of writing. That’s why we come up with crazy plans to marry into wealth or go on Wheel of Fortune.


  • Bring us chocolate. Or coffee. Or both! (And actually if you could throw in a Diet Coke with Lime for yours truly, that’d be much appreciated.)


  • Don’t worry about us if it seems like we’re always babbling out loud when no one’s around. Truth is, we’re not just talking to ourselves. We’re talking to our fictional peeps. See, we’re so not crazy.


  • If you find us tied up with rope, stuck in a tiny space or, really, any matter of “Why in the world did you attempt that?” positions, don’t ask questions. Just know we were probably testing out something from a story…and help!


  • Unless you’re our parents, spouses or we owe you big-time, don’t ask for free copies of our books. Shell out the mullah, buy the book (or ask your library to) and we’ll love you forever and probably even forgive you if you’ve disregarded all the above tips!


I’m sure I’m only scratching the surface here.


So if you’re a writer, what other tips would you offer for braving friendship with our kind? And if you’re not a writer, is the list do-able or are you now fearful of us crazy writers?




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Bio: Author Melissa Tagg is a former reporter, current nonprofit grant-writer and total Iowa girl. Her latest novel, Like Never Before, was named by Publisher’s Weekly to their spring 2016 “Religion and Spirituality” Top 10 list. Upcoming books include Keep Holding On (Sept 2016) and One Enchanted Eve (Nov 2016). Melissa has taught at multiple national writing conferences, as well as retreats and workshops. When she’s not writing, she can be found hanging out with the coolest family ever, watching old movies, and daydreaming about her next book.





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Melissa loves connecting with readers at






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Melissa Tagg, New Week New Face, #NWNF, Guest Post, Writer Code, Writer Friends, Like Never Before, Keep Holding On, One Enchanted Eve

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front porch fellowship - banner





I’m hard pressed to choose a favorite book of the Bible. But recently, I was struck with how rich in Truth the book of Romans is. So it’s not surprising that my signature Scripture is found in Romans.

One of the confessions I talked about last week  is based on this verse.



How jam packed is this short bit, forty-eight powerful words of that verse.


I receive. Imagine if you will, a wealthy philanthropist offering you a million dollars, or the key to your dream home—fully furnished. Would you not jump at it!! Or a parent who surprises their child with the desire of their heart. What child would turn their back and walk away?




What can Father God give us or do for us if we refuse to receive it?


Father God appeared to Solomon in a dream, and asked him what he wanted. Solomon asked for wisdom, and God granted him great wisdom.




… that the eyes of my understanding be enlightened.


The eyes of my understanding is an allusion to our spirit man. Our flesh is the container of our soul and our spirit. (another topic for another day) So often, we are so caught up in the natural realm that we neglect the Truth of the spiritual elements we are in the midst of.




And here’s the nugget of today’s post,




We are called, designed, created, to be set apart. Just as Jesus was set apart when He walked the earth, so too does Father expect us to live according to His standards. (As it is in heaven…) We can’t do that if we follow worldly patterns, attitudes, and behaviors.


I won’t lie, it’s not easy. And it’s a constant struggle. Some days I feel like I’m flying high and I could conquer the world! Other days, I can’t even find my sword and I crawl to Father God for a hug and a smile.




But as we seek His face—and we do that by relationship with Him, not follow rules set by Him—we are transformed more and more into His image.


The battlefield is in the mind.




That’s why our mind must be transformed and renewed .




Daily. All day every day. Sometimes multiple times in a given moment. Faced with fear or anger or doubt.  That moment doesn’t just go away on its own. We have to hold onto our Sword, the Word of God, and stand strong.




‘Cause sometimes that’s what it’s all about. Strike that. All the time, that’s what it’s all about. Trusting Father God. Resting in Him. Looking always only to Him. And knowing He is always with us, guiding us, directing us. Protecting us. And equipping us.





What area is hardest for you to conform? What Scripture is your anchor Scripture? What other resources do you rely on to help you in your battle?









Front Porch Fellowship, #FPF, Sunday Devotion, Romans 12:2, Be Transformed, Be Renewed, The Whole Armor of God, Wisdom


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friday feature post - debut banner





In addition to any online fanfare, I host a live event here in my town. When I was a wee (figuratively speaking) novice of an author, I stumbled on what has become my go-to spot for events. Turns out the owner’s son and my granddaughter were in the same class that year. And Lisa and I have been friends ever since!




I like to incorporate the story into my event setup. For instance, Tessa was an artist. Her mother was an artist, and her sister was an artist. All different styles, and all very gifted. So I printed miniatures of some classic pieces of art to display on the table.




Tessa, book 2, is also artistic, her art being in the kitchen. Her specialty is macarons and not that’s not a typo or misspelled. A macaron is a different cookie to coconut macaroons. So I served macarons, which I found at an authentic French bakery here in town. I displayed the mini art pieces from Tessa, and printed some recipes you might find at Clara’s bakery, The Cocoa Crescent.



They are raspberry and lemon, the girls’ favorite flavors. I had stacks of each book, and lemonade and a selection of hot tea.




The actor in me loves to read a good part, so I chose some excerpts from the story, and wrote a couple of bonus bits.




And of course, the signing! It’s not an author event unless you sign your books for your readers!




I like the intimate setting of the coffee house. I’ve held a couple of other events at local bookstores, and have talked to the director of a library in my area. I have a list of other venues to contact about scheduling an event.


Of course, if no one knows about the event, then no one is going to come. I created banners and posted it on Facebook, and I wrote copy for press release for the newspaper in my town. I scheduled a giveaway on Goodreads, and freebie days on Amazon. I told everyone I could about my event and passed out flyers.


Slide8  old cover design


It’s your event, own it. Make it your own. Put your signature on it. These are the things that work for me. Do something no other author does. You wrote your book, it’s your creation. The launch event should be unique, too.




Cissy is Book Three in the unsavory heritage series. The culmination of the stories, and overreaching story arc, the resolution to generations of unsavory conflict. A story that illustrates how powerful our words are, and the devastating effects of believing the worst of yourself.





So if you’re in the Greenville area, you’re invited. I’d love to see you there! Friday 30 September from 5:00 til 10:00. Come on out and show some love for this author, y’all!



rem“I once said I should write down all the story ideas in my head so someone could write them someday. I had no idea at the time that someone was me!


I have been writing since 1995, and began working in earnest on my debut novel, Tessa in 2013.  Meanwhile, I cranked out a few dozen poems, and made countless notes for story ideas.  I lived with depression for many years, and the inherent feelings of worthlessness and invisibility; I didn’t want to be who I was and struggled with my own identity for many years.  My characters face many of these same demons.


I write stories of identity conflict. My characters encounter situations that force the question, “Who am I, really?” For all who have ever wondered who you are or why you’re here, my stories will touch you in a very real—maybe too real—and a very deep way. I know, I write from experience.



Tessa and Clara Bess are available on Amazon, both for Kindle and in print, with the third book in the series, Cissy, coming out in September of this year.   I also have several poems included in an anthology, Where Dreams and Visions Live (Anthologies of the Heart Book 1) by Mary Blowers, http://maryblowers.com, as well as a short story, Sarafina’s Light, also in an anthology, Blood Moon, compiled by Mary Blowers. I will also be working on a personal compilation of poetry to be released in 2016 as well.



Blogwords, Stories by Design, Planning a Release Event, Live or Online, Or Both, Live Events, Author Signing, Q&A, Excerpts and Bonus Bits, #newbookrelease

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PRE-BLOG BLITZ  – Thursday 25 August 2016

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The month of September is going to be a special time for me:

my THIRD novel and sequel to

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the final in the unsavory heritage series,

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will be available 30 on September Amazon







rem: Good afternoon, Ladies. Welcome back.

Marni: Good afternoon.  It’s nice to be back.

Clara Bess: Hi, Robin. Thanks for inviting us again.

rem: Did either of you know about Cissy?

Marni: Not really. I didn’t know much of Mother’s family at all, only my visits to the farm when I was a girl.

Clara Bess: I knew the family tree, and knew her name, but I never gave it much thought.

rem: What did you think when you found out her story?

Marni: Oh, it was horrible.

Clara Bess: I cried. I think we all cried.

Marni: I know I did.

rem: Had you ever thought about the uncanny similarities before?

Clara Bess: Of course. It’s hard to miss. (laughs)

Marni: So true. But after a while, you live with it every day, you don’t see it anymore.

Clara Bess: Well, yeah, there’s that.

rem: Obviously your appearance is noticeable at first glance. If I didn’t already know, I wouldn’t be able to tell who’s older. (winks) You both are artists. Tell my readers about what you do.

Marni: I never thought about it much, I always painted. Mother encouraged me and I assumed be an art teacher. But when Cassie was born I gave it up.

Clara Bess: Why would you think that?

Marni: I had to quit school and get a job. My pop died and I couldn’t live in the house alone.

Clara Bess: Yeah, I get that. But still you shouldn’t have given up your art.

rem: I think she did really well with her art.

Marni: Once Reid got ahold of me. If it hadn’t been for him…

rem: Marni, I’m so sorry. Clara Bess, why don’t you tell us about your art?

Clara Bess: I don’t know if I’d call it art so much.

Marni: Oh, it is. It definitely is art.

rem: I’d have to agree with her.

Clara Bess:  Well, I bake.

Marni: Honey, you don’t just bake. What you do in your kitchen is amazing.

Clara Bess: Thanks, Sis. I just do what I do.

Marni:  Please. Robin, what she does is an art form. When she decorates a cake, oh.my.goodness, it’s like nothing you’ve ever seen.

Clara Bess: Except maybe one of your paintings.

Marni: Now you’re talking.

Clara Bess: My favorite thing, though, is macarons.

rem: And I’ve tasted the divine delicacies. You do have a special touch. You two grew up not knowing each other. Tell us about that.

Marni:  My mother and pop… I guess you could say they had… difficulties. I didn’t know at the time, of course, I was just a little girl. But Pop was… maybe bipolar? I don’t know. Most days he was this quiet timid little man. But sometimes this beast just suddenly raged.

Clara Bess: Honey, I’m so sorry.

Marni: No, it’s okay now. Thanks. I know Mother had a lot of hurt but I never knew her whole story. She loved—

Clara Bess: My father. She was in love with my father.

Marni:  Yes, she was. That much I do know. Pop, he kind of drove her away I think. So anyway, Mother had the baby—

Clara Bess: Me.

Marni: Yeah, you. On the farm. I think she went home to get me and take me back but before she could get there she died.

rem: Marni, that’s so sad. So you grew up without your mother.

Marni: Well I was ten years old, but yes, I grew up without her. She was flamboyant and liked to dance.

Clara Bess: She was a musician. A singer and pianist.

Marni: Oh, my yes. So talented. And she always encouraged me with my art. Pop, he couldn’t care less.

rem: That’s so sad. I’m sorry, my friend.

Marni: Yeah, well. It is what it is, as they say. Anyway, Pop never did know about the baby, Clara Bess, and he never took me to Durbin again after that. He never did go to Durbin anyway.

Clara Bess: And I grew up thinking Lily Mayes was my mother. Connie was my big sister. She has the same features and we looked just alike, so no one thought any different.

rem: What was it like discovering the truth.

Clara Bess: Shocking to say the least. I didn’t know what to do. I thought it couldn’t be true. I guess I lived in denial. I just couldn’t get my head around it.

rem: But you finally found your way to each other.

Marni: Yes and I’m so glad.

Clara Bess: Me too. The truth was bitter and difficult, but I’m so happy I found Marni.

Marni:  Worked out well for me. Turns out I have a sister.

Clara Bess: I grew up with a mess of siblings but it’s good to know who my real sister is.

rem: You both have quite the story. Guess we shouldn’t tell too much.

Marni: Oh yes, leave some for your readers to discover in your books.

Clara Bess: Well, technically, our story unfolds in my book.

Marni: Clara Bess, you are such a ham.

Clara Bess: Yeah, that’s me. Really, though, you’ll meet Marni in the first book, Tessa.

Marni: And you’ll discover why it’s titled Tessa.

rem:  You guys are great! With you on my team I won’t have to do another thing to sell books. Y’all are going to do the job for me.

Marni: We aim to please.

rem: Ladies, it’s been a pleasure having you back on the blog.

Marni: Always good to be here, Robin.

Clara Bess:   Enjoyed chatting with you.

rem: You’ll both always be in my heart—and my head.



If you haven’t already, be sure to stop by and like my Facebook page, my author page on Amazon, follow me on Twitter, on my blog!  Please leave me a comment, feel free to ask Marni or Clara Bess a question, or just say hello!



rem“I once said I should write down all the story ideas in my head so someone could write them someday. I had no idea at the time that someone was me!


I have been writing since 1995, and began working in earnest on my debut novel, Tessa in 2013.  Meanwhile, I cranked out a few dozen poems, and made countless notes for story ideas.  I lived with depression for many years, and the inherent feelings of worthlessness and invisibility; I didn’t want to be who I was and struggled with my own identity for many years.  My characters face many of these same demons.


I write stories of identity conflict. My characters encounter situations that force the question, “Who am I, really?” For all who have ever wondered who you are or why you’re here, my stories will touch you in a very real—maybe too real—and a very deep way. I know, I write from experience.


Tessa and Clara Bess are available on Amazon, both for Kindle and in print, with the third book in the series, Cissy, coming out in September of this year.   I also have several poems included in an anthology, Where Dreams and Visions Live (Anthologies of the Heart Book 1) by Mary Blowers, http://maryblowers.com, as well as a short story, Sarafina’s Light, also in an anthology, Blood Moon, compiled by Mary Blowers. I will also be working on a personal compilation of poetry to be released in 2016 as well.













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CISSY LAUNCH PARTY, unsavory heritage series, Tessa, Clara Bess, Cissy, Marni and Clara Bess Character Interview, One Mother, Two Daughters One Favorite One Not, Where Were the Adoption Papers, #newbooklaunch

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An actor relies on many resources to excel in his craft, to play each role to its fullest. That arsenal does not usually include hiding behind the mask of roles played.

For Bo Corrigan, that is exactly what charges his talent as an actor, delving so deeply that he is lost in each role. And he forgets his miserable life for a few hours.

But in between roles and in between performances, who is he really? And where does he go to hide when not on stage? Which role, which mask that he wears is the true self?


Alexis Murphy, Exi, meets Bo at the cast party for his stellar performance in the smash hit play written by her cousin and his wife. Even though she is engaged, Exi is drawn to Bo—and he doesn’t take no for an answer.

Exi had finally found a good man in Jeffrey, and can’t believe her luck; not only does he want to marry her but he wants a Grace Evangeline wedding. And what bride wouldn’t want that!

But as her affection for Bo grows, and she begins to question her feelings for Jeffrey, she gets caught up in Bo’s dangerous past.

Can Exi leave Bo alone for her own good? Can she break his heart—and the trust he has begun to place in her—and walk away? Can she deny her own heart?



Ms. Heitzmann drew me into this story and held me captive. As an actor, this reviewer stepped into the part of Bo Corrigan, so vividly did Ms. Heitzmann portray him and his struggles, his angst. As Exi’s heart fell for Bo, so did mine. Every nuance of interaction between them, every sizzling touch and tender eye-connect, drew me further into their story.

When tragedy struck, Ms. Heitzmann wrote an uncomfortable vortex that seemed never to end, an all-too-true reaction to real life crises. I not only identified with Exi and with Bo, but I felt I lived the story with them, from each agonizing page to the final, and apt conclusion to the story.



I was given a copy of this book in return for my honest review.




083016 - slide 3Kristen Heitzmann is the bestselling author of contemporary romantic suspense, psychological suspense, and historical novels, including Christy Award finalists Indivisible and The Tender Vine and Christy Award winner Secrets. In 2013, her novel The Breath of Dawn won both a Christy Award and Inspirational Readers Choice Award and was a finalist for a people’s choice award in the Netherlands. She is a fiction track and workshop teacher at American Christian Fiction Writers Conference and keynote speaker for women’s and writers’ conferences.

An artist and mountain hiker, Kristen lives in Colorado with her husband, pets, wildlife, and extended family.







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Told You Twice, Kristen Heitzmann, Book Review, Told You So, Freefall, The Edge of Recall





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A Writer’s Walk

One of the questions I’m often asked as an author is, “What do you do when you get writer’s block?”

It’s true for most writers; sometimes the words come slow or hard or not at all. Those are frustrating days and the advice to put my seat in the chair isn’t always the answer.

In nice weather, I take a Gator ride with our dogs, or I take a walk with my camera. We have several acres of woods and wildflower fields, so I go where the beauty is.


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And along the way, I pray, take pictures, and ask myself the tough question: “Joy, what are you afraid of?”

For me, fear is often at the root of me resisting the words.

On rainy days, I walk in the rain hoping for a puddle or two along the way because puddling jumping is still fun at 50-someething.

On other stuck days, I head for coffee shops, or Silver Lake, or take a long walk around the mall. The jolt from the solitude to society is good for me and the words.

Sometimes, I pace the house, pondering my problems out loud. I don’t walk fast because I want to give my fears time to retreat. The gentle exercise is not the goal, but that extra two or three miles is a bonus.

My husband has a strong belief that to be successful; one must do something. His philosophy usually works for me because as I walk, pace, or change my writing space, fear often turns into courage.

That’s when I know it’s time to put my seat in the chair.

And all along the way, in large mugs, there is dark roast coffee brewed with cinnamon and a little stevia stirred in.

As I walk, I experience something very close to Henry David Thorau, who said, “Me thinks that the moment my legs begin to move, my thoughts begin to flow.”

Lately, as I work on book two in The Northern Lights Series, I see a lot of walking in my future. The raw draft was written while my beloved mother was leaving here for heaven. I wrote “The End” the day before she passed. The words reflect my coming sorrow which might be good, but there is a lot that has to go.

Because keeping the hard stuff scares me.

But there are blossoms to be seen, bugs to be watched, coffee to drink, and steps to be taking. And all the while I’ll be doing something, and it will count as writing.


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How would you like a free copy of Between the Lies? All you have to do is visit my website and sign up to get one.


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Hope to see you there!







Joy started reading when she was four and learned to write soon after. Words on the page fascinated and delighted her. By the time she was five, she was writing stories and dreaming about writing books for other kids.

One day while vacuuming, an idea for a novel came to mind. She resisted diligently, but the characters in Rain Dance wouldn’t leave her alone. Finally, the only way to get past their nagging, she wrote the book.

Joy married the love of her life almost forty years ago. She and Jon love their dog kids, Sophie & Tucker – a brother and sister team who stole their hearts. There’s a story behind their names, but that’s a blog post.

Joy loves Jesus and came to faith in Him when she was fifteen years old. When she’s not working she’s riding her John Deere Gator taking pictures on the 15 or so acres of wildflowers on the land she and Jon live on. Joy relaxes by taking pictures of the beauty that surrounds her. If the Oak Ridge Boys, Chris Tomlin, Johnny Cash, Donny Osmond, Toby Mac, or Nicole C. Mullen sings, she listens to it. Dragonflies, flowers, raccoons, fog, frogs, bugs (outside), and the wind fascinate her.



You can find Joy at:









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Joy DeKok, New Week New Face, #NWNF, Guest Post, A Writer’s Walk, Writer’s Block, Rin Dance, Between the Lies

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