On Writing, Books, Authors, & Animals
Winding Down a Long Road
Dec 05, 2023 by Gayle M Irwin
This year seems like a long and winding road., as goes the title of a Beatles song. My family and I have traveled a path filled with stress and heartbreak, including the passing of four pets: 3 of mine and 1 belonging to my parents. Health issues, a major move, and the death of two human family members contributed to other bends in this year's journey. Yet, as our beloved springer spaniel, Sadie, taught us, there is joy in the journey and always reasons to smile. Come along with us!
Celebration Amid the Storms – Thanksgiving 2023
Nov 20, 2023 by Gayle M Irwin
Thanksgiving -- a time of joy and a time of challenge. A season for gratitude and a season of survival. People experience storms, difficulties, and challenges, including during the holiday season, yet if we look close enough and long enough, we can also find blessings, big and small. In this blog post, you'll find some of the blessings and joys I've experienced in spite of the numerous storms this year has brought.
It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like …. Books and Book Events!
Nov 06, 2023 by Gayle M Irwin
We've turned the calendar to another month, and now that the holidays are approaching, authors are busy with new releases and book events. I'm among those authors! One event done and a new children's book released, and more stories and events on the way, including sharing booksignings with other authors and collaborating on an anthology with a group. See what's happening in my life and the lives of other authors I know. You may even find some holiday gift ideas ... for yourself and the people you love!
Author Collaboration is Cool! (and Encouraging)
Oct 24, 2023 by Gayle M Irwin
I became an author more than 15 years ago, I've met and interacted with many different writers, from children's book authors to romance writers. Collaborations and encouragement are vital in the author world. Such endeavors increase confidence, provide inspiration, and are just plain fun! Ways to collaborate include creating an anthology, sharing a booksigning or other author event, and gathering in groups. I enjoy collaborating and encouraging with other writers and spending time uplifting one another.
Celebrating An Adoption, A Move, A Birthday, A Book Sale, and More!
Oct 12, 2023 by Gayle M Irwin
Amid the chaos around the world and within our lives, we can find things to celebrate. Whether family, friends, pets, career, or the change of seasons, we can experience joys and blessings, large and small. For me, the past few months have brought special celebrations regarding my dog, my parents, and my writing career.
Persevering to Birth a New Book
Sep 16, 2023 by Gayle M Irwin
Christian and sweet romance author Eliza Boyd weaves faith, courage, perseverance, and strength into her small-town and billionaire love stories. She has created several series, including those set in True Love, Arizona, a fictional town in her state of residence. A new book releases this month, and Eliza shares more about the story in this guest blog post.
Service Dogs Step Up in Loyalty and Love: Hallmark Highlights the Important Work of These Canines
Sep 05, 2023 by Gayle M Irwin
September is National Service Dog Month, a time to recognize the various skills many canines possess to help humans. From guide dogs for blind people to task-taught canines helping people using wheelchairs or crutches, these animals service an important purpose: helping disabled humans enjoy a more independent life. Hallmark Movies and Mysteries brings a special movie, Guiding Emily, highlighting service dogs, on Friday night, September 8, 2023, adding to their wonderful collection of romance stories featuring pets.
Inspiration from People and from Nature
Aug 22, 2023 by Gayle M Irwin
People and nature can inspire writing, whether that's poetry, short stories, articles, novels, song lyrics, or non-fiction books. Nature has inspired me for decades, especially travels to national parks. I recently attended an author event, reconnecting with others I'd met before and creating new acquaintances. Afterward, I drove into Yellowstone National Park, soaking in the fresh mountain air, gazing upon the vast Yellowstone Lake, awed by wildflowers and wildlife encountered. Travel with me as I talk about the journey I experienced earlier this month.
Little Dog Lost Reminder of Similar Experience That Launched My Author Career
Aug 06, 2023 by Gayle M Irwin
If you've ever experienced a pet go missing, you know the stress, worry, and panic that consumes your being. Recently, a lost dog in the woods near our mountain property took me and my husband back 20 years when our blind springer spaniel went missing in the same area. Thankfully, our dog and the lost Shar-pie were found safe. That personal experience led me to become an author. Learn more about both of these brave dogs who endured their adventures and how my lost pup inspired my authorship.
Why I Write Pet Rescue Romance Stories
Jul 10, 2023 by Gayle M Irwin
Writer with a purpose. Many book authors write for a reason, in addition for the love of storytelling. I am one of those authors. I create sweet, contemporary romance books that weave pet rescue and adoption into the story. Why? Because animals need homes. I write not only to entertain, but also to educate and inspire. Read about some of the dogs and cats that inspire me to create the Pet Rescue Romance series, and find out more about the new boxed set now available and your opportunity to help animal rescue organizations!
Friends, Family, and Forgiveness – The Makings of a Great Story
Jun 23, 2023 by Gayle M Irwin
We all climb mountains in life, from family to finances, health issues to job problems. When so much comes at once, as I recently experienced, a person can feel overwhelmed. Forgiveness plays a vital role in how we handle stress and deal with drama. Relationships can be tricky, and oftentimes, for authors, real-life and fiction can go hand-in-hand, for elements of actual relationships are often woven into works of fiction. Learn how this author sometimes weaves elements of real life into her stories, including recent works and upcoming books ... and perhaps learn a critical life lesson or two. Plus, receive a FREE short story!
National Parks Make Inspiring Settings for Romance Stories
Jun 07, 2023 by Gayle M Irwin
America’s national parks speak to the hearts and spirits of visitors from around the world. Amid the 60+ areas designated by Congress as national parks, one experiences wonder and awe, from scenery to wildlife. Such places can, and do, serve as settings in romance books and movies, including my own writings. Learn about two historical romance authors who set their love stories in places such as Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon, Mount Rainier, Yosemite, and other wondrous sites known as America's national parks.
Family, Friends, and Furry Ones – Finding Light While Facing Sorrow
May 23, 2023 by Gayle M Irwin
Despite the struggles in life, from health issues to relationships falling apart, there are things for which to be grateful. Family, friends, furry ones, nature -- all can help soothe the weary soul. So can a good book or two. I've learned these lessons well, and one thing for which I'm thankful is the opportunity to get outdoors, especially in spring and summer. Life takes it's toll, but staying in the pit of pity and sorrow is not the path to take.
Stop Being a Jerk at Work: Business Book for Working People
May 09, 2023 by Gayle M Irwin
No matter where you are in your career, just starting out, a mid-level manager, desiring to move up, or looking to make a change, workplace attitude and behavior can propel or stagnate you. Professional leadership coach Dr. Guyla Greenly draws on her own experience and education to provide helpful insights for employees in her new book Knock it Off! How to Quit Being a Jerk @ Work. Learn more about the book, written with touches of humor as well as wisdom, and the author on my blog this week! By the way, this book makes a great graduation gift!
Spring Birds and Books
Apr 28, 2023 by Gayle M Irwin
Many different bird species arrive during spring. Large and small, songbirds and water birds, each species takes its place in the web of life during the warmer seasons. Insect eaters, pollinators, and rodent controllers, the numerous types of birds help humans and the environment in a variety of ways. An upcoming romance anthology in which a new story of mine is found, also benefits people -- it's a charity anthology, which means sales from the collection of six sweet romance stories will go to a special non-profit organization. The book is available for pre-order and will release in time for Mother's Day 2023.
Finding and Giving Encouragement: A Writer’s Reflection
Apr 05, 2023 by Gayle M Irwin
Everyone needs encouragement, including writers. I've been fortunate to have supporting friends and family members during my career, and whether its kudos for an article or a book, a short story or a novel, I'm grateful to the people who reach out and tell me something I've written has been helpful or inspiring. As a writer, I want to inspire, encourage, educate, and inform; I want to be a source of positivity, even in the midst of difficult circumstances. In this post, I reflect upon being an encourager and receiving encouragement from others.
Changes in Seasons, Changes in Life
Mar 21, 2023 by Gayle M Irwin
Each new season in nature brings change. New seasons in our lives also bring change, some welcome, some not. As birthday #62 approaches, I anticipate many changes, physically, emotionally, and mentally. Some already are taking place. Some changes are easier to embrace than others. I look forward to what spring brings, including flowers and songbirds. I may not like drenching spring rains or heavy spring snows. Yet water makes everything grow. We can all grow through the changes and seasons that life brings as well.
The Sorrows and Joys of Pet Rescue
Mar 07, 2023 by Gayle M Irwin
Pet rescue and adoption brings great joy but can also cause deep sorrow. As a pet caregiver and guardian, many animals have impacted my life. So have the animals I've helped rescue and deliver to their adoptive families. I recently transported a Boston Terrier named Dolly who had been used as a breeding dog then tossed away when she was no longer "of use." Heartbreaking stories like Dolly's, who was only two years old, and my own Jeremiah, also a puppy mill breeding survivor, often turn into stories of joy when people commit to their care. Although we need to say goodbye at some point in time, whether to our own pets or to those in need whom we help, finding the joy in rescue and adoption eases the sorrow. In this blog post, you'll meet some of the dogs and cats who have impacted my life over the years.
Paranormal Romance Becoming the 'Norm
Feb 21, 2023 by Gayle M Irwin
Many romance readers enjoy the paranormal sub-genre, and books are being released to meet the need for those readers. I belong to a romance writers group and we often give space to each other on our blogs. This post is a cover reveal with information about an upcoming release from one of those authors as part of her series titled "Orlosian Warriors."
Author Collaboration: Comfort, Courage, and Community
Jan 24, 2023 by Gayle M Irwin
Authors may write alone but we are part of a beautiful, large community. We collaborate in many ways, from creation to promotion, and we have others who come alongside us to support and encourage. I'm blessed to be part of the wonderful organization and employment sector called "Author/Writer."