About Dani Haviland

Dani Haviland, formerly of Connecticut, Arizona, and Alaska, recently semi-retired from selling tractor parts, tools, and roses. She moved to a more temperate climate in western Oregon to pursue her passions: writing, gardening, and photography.  View website

Apocalypse not welcome here

Apocalypse: an epic, life-altering disaster. Yup. That’s the last five days.
Friday, February 12: The weather forecast for my small, end-of-the-road town was for snow. Instead, we got freezing rain. Life went on, but the county shut down. That meant our little church didn’t get the food we normally redistribute later that day. We did get a paltry (but welcomed) 223 pounds of bread from the next town (thank you, Dallas Food Pantry!). We had potatoes, onions, apples, tortillas, and a few winter squash on hand, so residents went left thoroughly chilled but not empty-handed.
Late that night, it got worse. The wind blew extra portions of frozen rain. Trees creaked and moaned with the extra weight of their icy coats. Creak, snap, pop, crash! Limbs and branches dropped, sometimes taking transmission lines with them. The whole town lost power. Roads were shut or narrowed to one lane because of downed timber.
The next day, we found out firsthand how extensive the damages were. My husband and I traveled to four towns before we found a place to buy gas. By the fifth one, we were able to get propane. If you could find a place open, the lines at gas stations and fast food restaurants were unbelievably long. I thought I was back in the seventies during the gas shortage. Cell phones didn’t work, either. For the first time in at least a decade, I heard ‘All circuits are busy. Please try again later.’
It’s been five days now. We made do. My husband reconnected our old gas heater and propane tank. We have two generators alternately running the laptop, house refrigerator, sump pump, and battery packs and last night, the big screen TV and blue-ray player.
What I miss the most? Hot showers! By the second day, I couldn’t stand it and took a ‘saucepan’ shower. I heated water on top of the gas heater. You’ll have to believe me that the rest was accomplished by determination, not convenience.
We still don’t have internet. Email service is sporadic if I stand at the end of the porch or in the yard. We still have intermittent rain, so I’m porching it. I can’t search the internet, though, and I can post but not look at Facebook.
I started to get fed up with it yesterday. Now we didn’t have cell service! ‘Can’t connect to a Network’ showed on my phone. We drove to Dallas and picked up a signal. I called my daughter, told her the latest updates, then after grabbing some Mexican food takeout, came back home.
Still waiting for power. Will the world stop if I don’t have internet? No. Am I frustrated? Yes. What have I learned? I’m more prepared than I thought (lots of matches, food, and candles), but next time, I’ll have more movies downloaded on my Kindle and more battery packs for my flashlights.
Be prepared. Download a few good books in case you lose power, too.

Check out THAT MAGIC TOUCH, a sweet love story about a young woman brought up without electricity and other conveniences by her doctor dad as he serves the poor in the Appalachian backwoods, also part of Doctors in Love 2: Sexy and Determined box set.


Can you read this?

The ability to read is too often taken for granted

If you can read this, be grateful for a multitude of blessings. First and foremost is you have the gift of sight. Even if you wear glasses, contacts, or had corrective surgery, you can distinguish dark and light on a very detailed level.

Second, give thanks for electronics. You could break that down to the device (smartphone or computer), information sharing system (wi-fi, cable, or telephone wire), and good ol’ electricity to power that digital screen that flashes the words in front of your eyes. Yup, more than one gift in that one.

Third, thank your teacher. Whether you attended public or private school or learned from a parent, sibling, or friend, be grateful they spent time encouraging you. You were – and are – worth it.

Right now, I want to share my experience with the gift of sight. When my grandmother saw me as a newborn, she said, “What big, beautiful eyes. She’s going to be nearsighted.” She was right. Lasik  – my first two surgeries – corrected it, though. I was very happy for years not having to buy glasses or contacts.

Surgeries three and four were for cataracts. Those surgeries were not nearly as successful. I guess the ophthalmologist didn’t calculate (guess) the right strength of the implanted lenses, I was back to glasses.

Vision degradation was ongoing and for no reason other than old age. I had a macular pucker that was tugging and distorting my retina, the ‘projector screen’ at the back of my eye. I was getting a new prescription twice a year. Images seen with my right eye were ten to fifteen percent bigger than my left. That translated to double vision to my brain.

After five years of regular check-ups on its progress, the doctor decided it was time for surgery.

My fifth eye surgery was last week: vitrectomy and membranectomy. I’ll look like a pirate for at least a few more days. Here’s hoping my ‘double-vision’ will go away and I can write more!

UNFORGETTABLE REVENGE: When once is not enough.

In the meantime, check out the newest release from The Authors’ Billboard. If you love Romantic Suspense, here’s a great one: UNFORGETTABLE REVENGE. Loads of new stories, too.

Is your life a Tragedy or a Rom-Com?

Sometimes life seems a Greek tragedy, not worth pursuing. And then your child gives you a big hug or you get a whiff of fresh coffee and cinnamon roll and can’t wait to live another minute.

Is she laughing or crying?

Authors try to short cut life experiences for everyone, including themselves. Finding words to make your tummy rumble or thighs tingle works for us, too. The passion of storytelling keeps us going.

I think I’ve heard it from at least a dozen other authors: I write what I want to read. Sometimes we write for a contract or obligation, too, but we always put a bit of us in a story. That heroine who moves from the desert because of her hay fever is at least a part of me. That she’s plump, achy, and in her sixties, wishing she was young and trim again is not just me but I’m pretty sure at least a dozen others out there. (Naked in the Winter Wind). Okay, hundreds of others, but you know what I mean. We want to live vicariously through people strong and more vibrant than ourselves.

THE SET UP – Free December 18 through 20th.

No need to raises hands, but how many of us have made mistakes? I’ve never been strung out on drugs and shot anyone, but if I had, I’d want a way out (That Twin Thing series). By creating scenarios, giving my characters the chance to right a wrong, I’m purging and/or offering them a chance at redemption.

Read on, World! #FREE today: The Set Up. Passion, danger, and life on the lam. Was life worth living? And why was this doctor so intent on helping her? (Adult content)

Winter Holiday Romances all year ’round

The Authors’ Billboard ladies have over a hundred HOLIDAY-themed books to read for Free with #KindleUnlimited. Have you read them all? The Holiday Series, The Shorts Series, The Unforgettables, Irresistible Series, and the Sweet and Sassy Holiday: All chock full of romance, perfect for any season.

Where – and when – do you want to be this Christmas?

Pandemic got you trapped? How about a very economical (99 cents!) tour around the world with a few side trips back in time?
Dear Santa: A Christmas Wish is filled with NEW (and unique) stories from eighteen of The Authors’ Billboard ladies. None are the same. They don’t even take place in the same towns or eras.

How did we come up with our stories? I don’t know about the other authors, but my story, A PLATE OF CHRISTMAS COOKIES, was inspired by a real couple.

Many years ago, I witnessed two former high school sweethearts meet again for the first time in over thirty years. The magic – electricity, pheromones, or whatever it was – between the former teenage couple was both tangible and unforgettable. Two other items in the story: Mary’s obsession with the curlers in her hair and Jake’s discourse on what he was doing when they raised the flag for the second time on Iwo Jima, are real. Oh, and they really did get a happy ever after. Pre-order Dear Santa: A Christmas Wish and read all about it. It’s only available in digital format in this set.

Grab A PLATE OF CHRISTMAS COOKIES, only in Dear Santa: A Christmas Wish

Dear Santa,

For Christmas, we wish for our latest box set to be a bestseller.

Thank you,

Dani Haviland and the other authors of Dear Santa: A Christmas Wish.

18 Diverse wishes for the Jolly Old Man. Can he fulfill them?