Five-Star Review!

First Review In!
I have had a week of elation, filled with surreal moments and lots of “am I dreaming?” conversations in my head.
But this morning the level of elation amped up just a bit more!
I received my FIRST review on – and it came in with flying colors!!! Well, it came in in yellow, in the form of yellow stars.
I was dreading this review thing. But now that I’ve gotten this one, I can focus on sending Ten Bucks and a Wish out to review sites to see what they come up with.
It’s my first book. And I hear so many authors say, “The first book always sucks.” I would like to think mine doesn’t, but I’m sure all first-time published authors think that! At first.
So, anyway. As part of my intent to share this amazing journey with you, here is my five-star review!

Featured in April 29, 2019 Utica Observer Dispatch

Wow! The Local Daily Newspaper Utica OD featured me in an article written by Samantha Madison. It was in the prime spot as far as placing articles goes. I opened up the paper and Bam! there I was, top right article, right side of the paper!
Thank you Courtney O’Connor and Samantha Madison for your coverage and support!

Here’s the link to the online article:

Release Day RECAP

Started my day bright and sunny,
with a reminder to never stop dreaming!

I did it! I lived long enough to accomplish one of my Life Goals!
Wednesday was my release day for Ten Bucks and a Wish on Amazon.


The day started out busy and just took off from there. In fact, this whole week has been jam-packed, between work stuff, pre-release stuff, and release day stuff.
Anyway. Wednesday, I went to work for the morning. My awesome co-workers recognized my special day with a card and flowers and sign.
I cried.
Hectic morning but I made it through! As I go to leave I realized my battery is dead – totally my fault. I left the headlights on. So Geico did its Road Side Assistance Dance and had someone there in 20 minutes! That was so awesomely great.
So, I was home by 2 p.m. Luckily I had spent a good part of the night setting up scheduled postings of contests and promos. I came home, responded to a few posts, started to write this blog, then decided that I did not want to rush it.
I left at 5 p.m. to go to a drumming circle out in Rome with a great group of women who insisted they are not musical. We had a great time AND they realized they absolutely ARE MUSICAL. Can’t wait to go back next month!
By 7:30 p.m. I was walking into Ocean Blue, in Utica, to meet my amazing research assistant and husband, Dave, for a celebratory dinner. It was AWESOME!
I had the fish and chips, and he had a chicken dish. We had fish tacos for an appetizer, and I had a glass of wine. Our server – Ashley B.- was so friendly, but not too in-your-face pushy. She was attentive and very excited for me when I asked to share my business cards as I explained why we were there. She distributed my cards to co-workers, and then surprised us with the most DELISH butter cake. The whole evening was wonderful. Thank you, Dave, for bringing me there to celebrate. Thank you, Ashley and OB crew for making the night perfect!
Throughout the week I’ve been participating in the CNYRW BIAW (Book in a Week challenge) where I pledged to type 250 words per day. I’ve exceeded my goal and it feels wonderful. I’ve got two-plus chapters written for my next romance, Love in the Forest.
I want to thank everyone who has supported me in my journey. It’s been a lot of fun, yet humbling and overwhelming at the same time.
So many new friends have been made — I cannot wait to meet you all in person!
Have a great weekend everyone!

Celebrating Life and Honoring Death

Initial Squirrel damage covered up temporarily.

This month is very bittersweet for me in so many ways. It is filled with the balance of life and death in so many ways. Yesterday was the anniversary of my sister’s Death Day. Jane was 47 when she passed in 2007.
My godson passed away two years ago in April. And my mom’s birthday is in April. She would have been 77.
Another death recognized this time of year is the death of Jesus Christ. And while I do not practice that religion anymore, and that in itself is a death I recognize this time of year. Many of my friends and family are Christian, so we end up celebrating Easter each year by going to someone’s house, having dinner, and sharing good times.
Each Sunday from now until May 19, we will be gathering with a few friends and family to watch Game of Thrones together. That is a series that has totally captivated me – which surprises so many people. I am not a blood and gore entertainment type of person. It took me a while and a few attempts to get me hooked, but here I am, cheering on dragons and dwarfs, overlooking incest, and wondering who the Night King really is.
So enough about death. We’ve acknowledged it and now we are going to focus on life.
For the last few years we’ve had birds nesting under the eave of our mudroom roof. Two years ago, they built a nest inside the eave. Last summer we swore we would get them out and fix the eave and close up the hole so they’d have to find another place to live come springtime.
Well that was the plan until a squirrel moved in before we had a chance to fix the hole. So, all winter we dealt with a squirrel scratching and chewing and running up and down the mudroom wall, trying to get into the house. Creepy, I know, but we didn’t want to uproot him and toss him into the snow. And we didn’t want someone coming in and trapping him. We dealt with it patiently and waited.
The other day as soon as the squirrel left his home we quickly ran out and David covered it with a piece of wood. He came home last night frantic because he had been evicted. He ran up and down the ladder, and across the roof. A few times we had to scare he off as he was clawing the wood trying to get into his home.
WE FELT HORRIBLE!!! Especially since this sweet thing looks very round bellied! We may have evicted a MAMA SQUIRREL!!
All night we tossed and turned, feeling awful.
This morning we decided to take action when we heard the squirrel come back at the crack of dawn trying to get into her home again.
David made her a home! It’s beautiful! And we’ve stocked it full of nuts and bird seed. It needs to be painted, but we are hoping she will move into that, and have her babies, so we can all live happily ever after.
With this small act, the gift of life has been honored at a time when the sorrow and grief of death surrounds us.
And that is what life is all about. Honoring the living, remembering those who have passed, and just being the best we can be.
So, in honor of Passover, Easter, and this being the First Sunday after the First Full Moon after the Vernal Equinox, may life bless you with abundance, people who care for you, a whole hoard of nuts and bird seed, and a roof over your head.

We still have to paint it, but we are hoping Mama Squirrel likes her new home.