What happens in life, transfers into stories

There is a saying for authors that goes, “Write what you know.” I have done that many times over the years.

It started when I was a cop. I wrote a lot of romantic suspense, and many were with lead characters that were female officers. Then I moved on to dealing with life issues. I wrote about domestic violence, something I am not a stranger to, both in personal and professional life.

I have suffered several bad concussions, and those have made their way into books, too. I’m a former military wife, and my son is currently active in the Navy, so I have close ties to the military. I fight with depression and have PTSD issues, and surprise, all of that shows up in my Rise Again Warrior Series.

When my father passed away, one of the next books I wrote had a father passing. Actually, two books since he passed, deal with losing loved ones (Unexpected Desires & Unexpected Ties). Those aren’t direct storylines, but they are subplots in the books.

I learned many years ago that the best therapy for me, is writing about the stress of my life, and by doing that, I not only feel better, but I touch readers who might be dealing with the same things, or perhaps know someone who is. I help educate them in

Right now I am dealing with a major issue with my home. Structural damage to our foundation and mold behind the finished basement walls. I have a character that I am going to write in the coming months that is an engineer (It’s Candy in the new Loving a Winston Series). I wasn’t quite sure what kind of engineer she would be, but I have a feeling, she might just be a structural one.

I don’t always write what I know. In Cara, she is a helicopter pilot and a paramedic. I didn’t have experience in either of those positions, so I reached out to someone who was a flight medic and got what I needed, and man do I love the way that book turned out!

So as long as life keeps throwing me curveballs and non-stop thrills, I’ll keep on writing what I know!

Cara releases on March 11st!

What happens when the man you fall for is all wrong for you?

Cara Winston has always been a bit of a rebel and an adrenaline junkie. As a helicopter pilot and paramedic, she relies on that to do her job. When Cara and her team respond to a multi-vehicle accident involving motorcycles, she’s expecting the worst. What she’s not expecting is to find herself intrigued by the blue eyes of a man wearing motorcycle gang colors.

Ryan Vigilante rides the road, mostly on two wheels, not four. When several of his club end up in an accident on the highway, Ryan never expects to see a future in the eyes of the intense female paramedic. The only problem is, she’s way out of his league, and he knows that getting involved with her could only put her in jeopardy.

With Cara’s family trying to keep them apart and Ryan’s club breaking the law, Cara finds herself more of a rebel than usual. Will things work out for Cara and Ryan, or will Cara’s law enforcement brother, Ethan, find a way to put a stop to it for good?

The Loving a WinstonSeries is a five-book steamy romance series that spins off of the Loving a Young Series. Characters from both series will appear from book to book. Each book is a standalone romance with suspense and spicy romance scenes.

Travel with Mona, in Train through Switzerland

We flew to Geneva in August, supposedly the warmest month in Europe and landed through dark clouds and pouring rain. My first impression wasn’t the best.

My first sight of the Lake
with the Geneva Water Fountain
Geneva is well-known as the headquarters
of Europe’s United Nations and Red Cross

From Geneva we boarded the train to Zermatt, in southern Switzerland, a mountain resort renowned for skiing, climbing and hiking.

Zermatt’s main street, Bahnhofstrasse is lined with boutique shops, hotels and restaurants, and also has a lively after-ski scene. 
No combustion engine vehicles are allowed in Zermatt. In fact, this Swiss municipality has been free of cars for most of its history. In 1961, the citizens voted to uphold the ban.
After two delightful days in Zermatt, we boarded the Glacier Express Bahnhofstrasse. 
The town, at an elevation of around 1,600m, lies below the iconic, pyramid-shaped Matterhorn peak.
The slopes of Matterhorn present the magnificent beauty of the landscape and nature. You can enjoy skiing, snowboarding during the winter or hiking during the summer.
The Glacier Express train has panoramic sealed windows all the way to the roof. 

A journey with the Glacier Express: The Glacier Express is a direct train from Zermatt to St. Moritz. The train is also referred to as the ‘slowest express train in the world’: the journey takes about 8 hours. There is a good reason for this slow pace: the train squeezes its way through the Alps, through narrow valleys, tight curves, 91 tunnels, and across 291 bridges, allowing us to admire breathtaking views.

In Summer
In Winter

St. Moritz: A tiny Swiss mountain town with a big, glitz-infused name, StMoritz is the winter getaway that made the ski holiday a high-life ideal.

In Summer
In Winter
In winter the lake is frozen and becomes a skating rink

From St. Moritz that was outrageously expensive, we traveled by train to Zurich.

The city of Zurich, a global center for banking and finance, lies at the north end of Lake Zurich in northern Switzerland. The picturesque lanes of the central Altstadt (Old Town), on either side of the Limmat River, reflect its pre-medieval history. Waterfront promenades like the Limmatquai follow the river toward the 17th-century Rathaus (town hall).

A view of the Old Town

A delightful place for children as they enjoy a train ride.

A waterfront promenade

In Zermatt and Zurich, we ate some of the best pastries I’ve ever tasted. Their bread pudding and apple strudel were out of this world.

After a week touring Switzerland, we boarded the train one more time from Zurich to Strasbourg and Paris. But that’s a story for another time.


Reading for February:

NOT READY YET – The Senator’s Family, book 4

NOT READY YET – The Senator’s Family, book 4

They were high school sweethearts in their senior year. The top of the class nerd and the dashing athlete. She helped him with math problems and he helped her shed her bashfulness. In between homework and torrid sex, they shared their goals for a successful future: no marriage, no children, no family, until they realize their dreams.
They meet eighteen years later at a hospital fundraising event. When Ethan Dutton, now a millionaire contractor recognizes the gorgeous Dr. Elyana Matteo, a brilliant pediatric cardio-surgeon, he bets $50,000 at an auction to open the dance with her.
He wants to date her. Elyana has no time for fun. She’s a widow with a teenage daughter and triplet toddlers, and a very busy career. Ethan who’s never taken no for an answer, asks to visit the boys’ daycare center and soon offers to remodel her old mansion. The boys adore him and Elyana falls again under his charm.
But their past threatens to destroy their present…
Can they forgive the selfishness of their youth?
Can they make room for unconditional love?

Sentimental Journeys

My beloved Aunt Joan passed away today and since she was the subject of a post I wrote years ago entitled WOMB MATES, I hope you’ll forgive this repeat as I honor her. Please read through until the end – where you’ll find FREE goodies, new releases, and collections ready to read right now and a pre-order you’ll salivate over. Mentions of my dear husband are there too. Thanks, you are always so kind.

“Joe and I recently traveled to Virginia for a family reunion because my aunt was about to turn 83 years young, and we were also going to celebrate my cousin’s milestone birthday, too.  I was excited to be going because I hadn’t seen my aunt since 2009, shortly after my mother passed.  

Over the course of the weekend, my aunt and I shared some spirited conversations about life in general and what we’d been doing since last we’d met.  However, the statements she made that were most mesmerizing was sharing how it feels to be the surviving twin once a an adored sibling is gone.

Aunt Joan has always referred to Mom as her Womb Mate.  Mom was a dependent kind of woman, while Aunt was independent and a doer.  She stood close by my mom, her sister, and took care of her, emotionally and financially, especially after my parents divorced. Whenever Aunt visited us, she used her gift of comedic wit to make us all laugh.  I can’t remember a time that Aunt didn’t have Mom peeing her pants with her outrageous sense of humor and satires. They were two of a kind in that department, and although Mom was needy at times, she never lost her own good humor, or the ability to love and be loved. Mom was also a talented artist, and her paintings grace the walls of every single family member’s homes. That she relied on others bothered no one, because she was a shing star in her own right.

So, when we arrived at my aunt’s house, I was totally taken aback with her resemblance to Mom, perhaps for the first time ever.  Mom and Aunt are fraternal twins, but as they grew older, their mannerisms and speech patterns became nearly identical.  

The visit we had shared proved to be a powerful reminder of how much we both loved and missed Mom.  I think my Aunt Joan may miss her more than I do, if such a thing is possible because they shared their mother’s body.

They were Womb Mates, after all. And that’s kind of cool when you think about it…

Anyhow, I’m honored to share my new release CASEY’S CHARADE is a Bestselling New Release in two categories!

Here’s the blurb: “Two years after being abandoned by her lover, Casey Wagner hides behind a profession shrouded with secrecy. Her anonymity and that of her clients are key and keep everyone content until her dog escapes her care and is returned by an attractive, young neighbor.”

You can buy it for 99 cents or read it for FREE on Kindle Unlimited. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B09PGXYSYW

One of my favorite stories Evasion: Do No Harm, will be free beginning Feb 1-5. You won’t want to miss this one: “As the daughter of a Native American chief, Remi soon has to rely on ancestral instinct to save herself.
In the public eye, her marriage to Dr. Marshall Wagner is one to be envied, but their intimate life is a farce –
her husband is enjoying forbidden sexual adventures elsewhere.
Turnabout is foul play. With Marshall’s dark secret about to be exposed, Remi’s life is endangered.
When she’s abducted by one of his enemies, watch out for Remi as she digs deep to assure her survival – she’s about to become a real badass.” https://www.amazon.com/Evasion-Harm-Susan-Jean-Ricci-ebook/dp/B07JN3RQLR

I LOVE to receive email from my readers and this one touched my heart. I received it after Don’t Bruise the Bananas was released, which is based on my true-to-life experiences on how I became a widow.

Here’s what she wrote:

“Dear Susan

I have just finished reading Don’t Bruise the Bananas and was taken anew on the very similar journey I experienced with my late husband four years ago. In the story of Jay and Cindy, you captured the essence of the relationship between my husband of 40 years and I with the tumor, sarcasm,  road trips. Your depiction of Jay’s final journey totally took me down a very sad memory lane with your realistic description of the stages of that dreadful illness.  Even though it was upsetting to relive, I had to read to the end.

The only difference in your story was that I spoke to God and not my spiritual ancestors but my husband often had dreams of his deceased brother, father, and grandfather who were calling him to join them.  This upset him as he wanted to stay with me and our three adult children.  When he first started to have these dreams, it was before he was diagnosed, and I told him to tell his family it wasn’t his time. Six months later we had to give him permission to leave us to rejoin his spiritual family.

Your poignant story was very realistically written, and I could hear the echo of my husband’s wit and quiet suffering and endurance throughout. Although very upsetting, it was a good reminder of my husband, Antonio’s character, and his final journey after many long, enjoyable road trips together. Thank you.”

Here’s the book link if you’d like to peek:  https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B092S65SK2

How about our latest Romantic Comedy? QUIRKY CAREERS? You bet! Follow the Fun with NEW Romantic Comedies!
There’s humor in everything, even that economic obligation called a career!
What’s the weirdest job you’ve ever heard of? An ostrich groomer? A Lego inspector? A toothpick tester? How about a barroom Santa, exotic dancer, or a woman who repairs chain saws and lawnmowers?

Here’s mine: Just Horsing Around: NEW! Horse ranchers turned sleuths, Joshua and Bella endeavor to purge an unsavory character who’s destroying their precious neighboring wetlands – and confront falling love in the process. Grab it here for just 99 cents or FREE on Kindle Unlimited: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B09GYKGCGM

So, ya’ll ready for THIS? A Preorder that’ll blow your socks off: IRRESISTIBLE BAD BOYS

 You know you should stay away.
Everything about him spells trouble.
But that’s what makes him irresistible…

Find your happy-ever-after with not just one, but SEVEN IRRESISTIBLE BAD BOYS in these NEVER BEFORE PUBLISHED STEAMY STORIES From New York Times & USA Today Bestselling, Award-Winning Authors.

Get it for just 99 cents or FREE on Kindle Unlimited: https://www.amazon.com/IRRESISTIBLE-BAD-BOYS-Tamara-Ferguson-ebook/dp/B09P8MFQJ7

Hey, thanks for sticking around – because there’s so much joy in sharing fine romances and good news. Hugs!


Today’s Reading

by Stephanie Queen

Don’t ask me. So you binge read romance books. So what? I’m right there with you. You say you’ve been accused of being addicted to romance books? Don’t worry–it’s them, not you.

I looked into it (not that I’m worried) and here’s what I found out.

For All the Romance Binge Readers

According to an article on Women.com, though the addiction label is being tossed around carelessly by some advice gurus, experts Dr. Amy Muise and Dr. Bjarne Holmes state that “just because something is pleasurable (and releases pleasure chemicals in the brain) does not necessarily mean it is addictive – despite what any “Guru” might claim.”

I think Dr. Amy is right. We deserve to indulge and enjoy our books. Although it’s possible, in a very few cases, just maybe, some readers go too far.

What’s too far you ask?
The Top 5 Hints You May Be Addicted to Reading Romance:


  1. You call your husband/significant other Rafe in bed. His name is Ralph.
  2. You waited for two hours before Barnes & Noble opened to be the first in line to get the new release from E.L. James. There was no line.
  3. You got a second job so you could afford to buy every one of the top 100 romances on Amazon’s list. Your second job is at a book store.
  4. You argued for five hours driving in a car with your sister over whether enemies-to-lovers is a better trope than friends-to-lovers. You were on your way to a Nora Roberts book signing.
  5. You pull your back out carrying your stack of books from the car to your house after your visit to the library. It was your third visit this week.

Never mind the list, you’re fine. But in case you need something to read, something that will last a while–like maybe a whole day–there’s this new box set…

Available on Amazon. Read for FREE on Kindle Unlimited. Thank me later.

BMOC Box Set

P.S. The winner of the argument is Enemies-to-Lovers of course!

What do you think? Enemies 2 Lovers or Friends 2 Lovers?