Saturday, 2 July 2022

The Story Behind the Story for The Allspice Bath by Sonia Saikaley


This is a terrific novel. One of the most enjoyable I’ve read over the years and I asked Sonia to tell us the Story Behind the Story.

Sonia has been our guest before. Most recently regarding the release of her children’s book – Samantha’s Sandwich Stand. Read about it HERE.

Her first visit was back in September of 2019 and you can read it HERE.




Sonia Saikaley was born and raised in Ottawa, Canada to a big Lebanese family. The daughter of a shopkeeper, she had access to all the treats she wanted. Her first book, The Lebanese Dishwasher, co-won the 2012 Ken Klonsky Novella Contest. She has two poetry collections Turkish Delight, Montreal Winter and A Samurai’s Pink House. Her novel The Allspice Bath was the 2020 IPPY Gold Medal winner and the 2020 International Book Awards winner for Multicultural Fiction and a finalist in the 2020 Ottawa Book Awards. She is a graduate of the University of Ottawa and the Humber School for Writers. Her first children’s picture book Samantha’s Sandwich Stand was published by Renaissance Press in 2021



Title: The Allspice Bath



It is 1970. The evergreens are thick with snow despite it being the month of April. In an Ottawa hospital, another daughter is born to the Azar family. The parents are from Kfarmichki, a village in Lebanon but their daughters were born in Canada. Four daughters, to be precise. No sons. Youssef is the domineering father. Samira is the quiescent mother. Rima, Katrina and Mona are the traditional daughters. Then there is Adele, the newest member. “You should’ve been born a boy,” Samira whispers to Adele shortly after her entrance into the world. As she grows, Adele learns there are certain rules Lebanese girls must follow in order to be good daughters. First off, they must learn to cook, master housework, learn Arabic and follow the traditions of their culture. Above all, they must save themselves for marriage. But Adele dreams of being an artist. When she is accepted to the University of Toronto, this is her chance to have a life outside the confines of her strict upbringing. But can she defy her father?

When Youssef surprises her with a family trip to her ancestral home, Adele is excited about the journey. In Lebanon, she meets Elias. He is handsome and intelligent and Adele develops feelings for him until Elias confides to her that her unexpected meeting with him was actually a well-devised plan that is both deceitful and shocking. Will this unravel the binding threads of this close-knit Lebanese family? Crisscrossing between Ottawa, Toronto and Lebanon, The Allspice Bath is a bold story about the cultural gap and the immigrant experience.



The Story Behind the Story:

When I was growing up I heard countless people say to my dad, “You poor man! Four daughters and no sons!” My dad, or what I called him ‘Baba’, just laughed it off. He never once spoke of any regret at not having a son nor that he only had daughters unlike the father in my novel The Allspice Bath. Youssef, the dad, wants a son and is disappointed when his last child is also a girl. The first line of the book: “You should’ve been born a boy” sets the tone of this novel about a Lebanese-Canadian family and the main character Adele Azar’s place in it.

         In real life, for my Baba, my sisters and I were his kids and he was our dad, that’s all that mattered to him.  He was a shy man who left his village in Lebanon by ship to come to Canada in the fifties to have a better life. An uncle and aunt in Ottawa sponsored him with the hope of marrying my Baba to their daughter but she didn’t want to marry her cousin so my dad was introduced to my mom when she arrived in Ottawa. It was a whirlwind romance and they were married six months later at St. Elias Antiochian Orthodox Cathedral on Lyon Street in Centretown Ottawa. 

The church would eventually move to another location in the city but my parents remained in centretown. It was in this area, namely the Golden Triangle, where my dad and mom began their lives together and started a family and business. Baba loved his grocery store which he purchased in 1965 with my mom from a lively Italian man named Deprato. Over the years, my parents spoke fondly of this gentleman and how he was kind enough to finance my parents’ purchase of the store until they could get a loan from a bank.  I wasn’t yet born but arrived in the early seventies to my parents, my three older sisters and this charming yellow grocery store called Jimmy’s Grocery. I loved this store as much as I loved my dad and I wanted to write a story that would let my Baba’s beloved business live long after the store closed and long after Baba passed away.

         The Allspice Bath has the yellow grocery store, the shopkeeper, his wife and four daughters. Set mostly in Ottawa, in centretown with the Rideau Canal and old heritage homes of the Golden Triangle, it was easy for me to write about this setting since I grew up there surrounded by a big family and extended family that would visit often. My parents hosted many parties on summer nights with Arabic music playing and my family, guests and I would dance the dabke holding hands and swinging our legs as we went round and round on our small street. My mom barbecued meat in front of the grocery store and our adjacent house (our house didn’t have a backyard so we were like the family in My Big Fat Greek Wedding roasting a lamb out front, well, it was beef from half a cow that my dad would purchase from a farmer on the outskirts of Ottawa). My mom and elderly aunts from the village who came to Canada years earlier would clean the meat and chop it up while I stood in the kitchen fascinated with how fast their hands moved and how they shared their stories of the village with me. They loved their homelands but they also loved their lives in their chosen home: Canada. I sensed their longing too and the hopes they had for their children here. Every generation wants the next generation to do better than the one before and my Lebanese family was no different.

         These seeds of hope and expectations planted their way in my novel. Adele wants a life not defined by her parents’ or culture’s expectations while her older sisters follow the culture’s belief of what it is to be a Lebanese woman. I wanted to create a story where the protagonist, this young feisty girl who later becomes a strong woman, decides to live a life of her own, not defined by cultural obligations or expected roles. Of course, here is the dilemma that Adele must face: can she find a balance between the two worlds she inhibits, namely, her Lebanese and Canadian cultures? Furthermore, can she still have her place within her family if she doesn’t comply with the expectations placed on her? This is a dilemma I wanted to explore in my novel since many first-generation Canadians have faced and are still facing this scenario in our diverse world. Is it possible to live in two worlds and not lose one side of yourself? I have lived this and I like to think I have overcome the dilemma since I embrace both sides of myself and still maintain my closeness with my family and culture. It wasn’t always easy growing up with one foot in my Lebanese culture and another in my Canadian, but luckily I never split my pants! I did sometimes find myself answering in Arabic as a child when speaking with my teachers but then found the English words. I also didn’t want to bring hummus or taboulleh to school for lunch so I wasn’t always comfortable in sharing that part of my life with my Canadian friends. But I’d race home after school to stuffed grape leaves and yoghurt (laban) that my mom would make homemade. My mom is in her late eighties and has dementia and although she can’t cook anymore, she still knows how to make laban.

         Laban is a staple in Middle Eastern food and so is allspice. I remember growing up with this familiar scent wafting throughout our house and how my mom would use it in a lot of dishes like fasulia (red or white kidney beans) with riz (rice) and beef or kibbeh nayeh (raw ground meat with fine bulgar wheat). In The Allspice Bath, the mother Samira cooks feasts of food and this talent is displayed throughout the novel. She even comes up with a term “allspice dreams” which represents her dream of wanting to be married with children. She wants this same dream for all her daughters. Adele, on the other hand, doesn’t want this dream. She has other dreams and goals. Can one achieve their goals if they don’t have the support of family? I felt inspired to write this novel because it is also about a young woman who wants to be an artist and, therefore, not follow the acceptable professions like doctor, lawyer, engineer or accountant or even become a homemaker. My mom was an amazing cook before the onset of dementia and her delicious soul-soothing food also inspired this book.

         Food, family, a yellow grocery store, childhood memories, an old neighbourhood and a desire to find a balance between two worlds provided the inspiration for this novel. The Allspice Bath explores my rich Lebanese culture and what it is to be a woman in this culture while at the same time trying to find a balance between two worlds. Sometimes we have to define our own place in the worlds we inhabit and, in the process, try to keep the ones we love in that dual existence.




A question for you before you go, Sonia:


What is your favorite part of writing and the part you enjoy the least?

My favorite part of writing is the first draft because it is just you and the blank page. I like that freedom of allowing the characters to develop and giving permission for the ideas to flow and take me throughout the work-in-progress. When the first draft is done, this is a big accomplishment that deserves a celebration. Now once the celebrating is over, comes the hard work of rewriting. This is not my favorite part of writing but I know it is essential so I have grown to enjoy it more with every book I complete. Plus it is lovely to work with a good editor who helps you polish the manuscript before it is presented to the world.


Thank you so much, Allan, for your support and for always promoting other writers!



My pleasure Sonia. Thanks for being my guest once more. Wishing you continued success with your stories.


Thanks to all you readers and visitors. If you love stories, good stories, pick up a copy of The Allspice Bath.

Saturday, 25 June 2022

The Story Behind the Story with Bruce W. Bishop of Halifax, NS, Canada.


Atlantic Canadian Authors are the coolest!

Today we have Bruce Bishop of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada as our guest. It is Bruce’s first visit to the Scribbler and we hope it won’t be his last.

Today you can read his Story Behind the Story and I know you will be impressed.

Let’s give a big welcome to Bruce.




Bruce W. Bishop is a globetrotting journalist and guidebook author from Atlantic Canada who decided to explore the world of fiction when travel was halted in 2020.  According to many readers’ reviews on Amazon, Kobo, and Goodreads, his novels to date are in the page-turning, “can’t put them down” category. He wrote Unconventional Daughters and Uncommon Sons back-to-back, and both are interlinked but could be read as standalone family dramas. He’s currently adapting both works of fiction to suit the demand for streaming, serialized television.

Title:  Unconventional Daughters


When a budding journalist marries her stepfather in 1922, she must compete with her unhinged mother for his love and to secure a safe future for herself and their son.

This situation is one of several dilemmas facing the women of a family separated by the Atlantic Ocean and a world of secrets and deception. Can Eva Carroll, a young feminist and budding journalist, have a happy marriage to her mother’s second husband while placating the conventions of the day?

The Great War is over. Everyone is optimistic. Eva is the daughter of one of three sisters who have already been leading unconventional lives. Although born in Boston, she now lives with her mother, Elisabet, stepfather, and Swedish grandparents in the small Canadian coastal town of Yarmouth, Nova Scotia.

Somewhat naive, Eva falls in love with her stepfather, Seamus, only six years her senior. Elisabet surprisingly condones the relationship. But she imposes a condition — her daughter and her second husband must marry after she divorces him.

Eva’s two aunts living in Sweden decide to return to Canada to rejoin their sister. One aunt, obsessed with social status, has bought her title of ‘countess’, while the other has a quiet loving relationship with her female housemate. When the siblings get together, their family background in Sweden is laid bare as they learn the truth about their parents and a brother they had never known.

Eva finds herself caught in the midst of rivalries among the three sisters, and a growing mental health issue concerning one of them. Her marriage and familial relationships are threatened. Now her future faces unexpected personal turmoil.



The Story Behind the Story:

When I was a teenager about to go to university, my mother gave me four letters that were given to her from a neighbor long before I was born. The calligraphy in the letters was attractive, and each one started with, “Dear Mama”. They were written by a young lady from my hometown in Nova Scotia when she was on her honeymoon in Europe in 1927, visiting Vienna, the Swiss Alps, and Edinburgh. Based on the content of the letters, it was clear the bride was from a local wealthy family who had emigrated to Nova Scotia from Denmark in the late 1800s.

The letters could simply be viewed as a charming account of a European honeymoon during the Roaring Twenties and could have remained forgotten in this writer’s desk drawer.

There was an implicit, apologetic tone in the letters from the daughter to her mother, however. I remembered that my own mother had told me that the bride had married her stepfather after he and her mother divorced, and the three of them ending up living together afterwards.

My mind raced while I started imagining a storyline about this unusual family. I did some research in the local archives and found a box of ephemera about the family, collected by one of the daughters of a Danish sea captain and his wife. It was a bizarre mix of newspaper clippings (mostly in Danish) and old photographs, but it allowed me to characterize the leading players in what would become my debut novel, Unconventional Daughters.



Author Website:



A question before you go, Bruce.

What is your favorite part of writing and the part you enjoy the least?


Bruce: My favorite part of writing is when dialogue comes from somewhere in the universe and seemingly not from me. That is always both gratifying and surprising, as if the character did actually live on this earth! My least favorite part is rewriting and revising because it’s like being in a continual game of second-guessing oneself.



Thank you, Bruce, for sharing  your SBTS. Wishing you continued success with your writing.

Thank you to all you special visitors and readers.

Saturday, 11 June 2022

The Story Behind the Story with Author Eden Monroe of Moncton, Canada.


The Scribbler is pleased to bring a new author to our pages.

Eden Monroe is an East Coast Author who has a great list of novels sure to delight the most discerning reader.

I encourage you to visit her website (the URL is below) and see for yourself.

Let’s find out more about Eden and her newest creation.



Eden Monroe loves giving voice to the endless parade of interesting characters that introduce themselves in her imagination. She writes about real life, real issues and struggles, and triumphing against all odds. A proud east coast Canadian, she enjoys a variety of outdoor activities, and a good book.



Working Title: Dangerous Getaway

Synopsis: Birch Shadow is a sumptuous mountain getaway, an idyllic cottage with way too many secrets to keep, like its owner, business tycoon and philanthropist, Shaw Garland. No one knows his dark side like the guests who visit Birch Shadow, including Rhone Alexander who sought the spectacular retreat for some much-needed R&R following the end of a difficult marriage. Worse waited.

Grace Upton is an up and coming interior decorator unwittingly drawn into the treacherous Birch Shadow game.

Will anyone survive Birch Shadow long enough to make their dangerous getaway?


The Story Behind the Story: It’s always about the what if’s … innocent, trusting people drawn in, in this case by a madman masquerading as a benevolent pillar of society. Set the stage, then wait for the fallout. I’m always entertained by what the characters have to tell me. And then I choose another beautiful area of New Brunswick for my setting, this time Elgin in Albert County.




A question for you Eden:


Besides writing novels, what else are you involved in?


Eden: I still do newspaper work. I also write plays, short stories and greeting cards for a US-based company.




Thank you, Eden, for being our guest this week. Wishing you continued success on your writing journey.  

Dangerous Getaway is a novel I definitely want to read.


Thank you to all you special visitors and readers.

We do it all for you! (do you know where that tag line comes from?)

Saturday, 4 June 2022

The Story Behind the Story: Linda Barrett, Save the Sinner


Let’s welcome Linda back to the Scribbler.

She has been a guest previously with an interview and if you missed it, please go HERE.

She has kindly agreed to share the Story Behind the Story.


It’s all yours, Linda……



I've been a closet writer for most of my adult life, but I shared my work with very few people over the years. I’ve always loved to read and am interested in many diverse topics. I am fascinated by different cultures—their unique spiritual perspectives, religious practices, beliefs, customs, and how much they have to teach us.

In 2019, I somehow knew I needed to share what I had written, so I published my first book, Release Me, a book of poetry. Next, I expanded my themes, characters, and ideas into short stories for my second book, Save the Sinner. Now, I am going even further and writing my first novel, Soul Collector, based on my short story of the same title and published in Save the Sinner.

And this year, I was so surprised, humbled, and honored to have won the Bronze Award for the 2022 Feathered Quill Book Awards Program, in the Short Story/Anthology category, for this book.

As an emerging author, trying to reach as many readers as possible is challenging. Having been selected for this award has given me a great deal of encouragement and validates my efforts.

About the Book: Save the Sinner is my unique mix of poetry and short stories. Throughout the book, I delve into the soul’s journey toward peace and examine how we, as humans, react to pain, grief, love, longing, and despair. Even though my characters range from two friends lunching at their favorite café, to a soul-stealing gypsy, passionate vampires, and beings from other worlds and other dimensions, they are all searching for purpose and struggling with their own internal darkness. Some even battle forces beyond the veil.

I also chose to include illustrations in this book, as with my first book, to further bring my visions to life. For this, I commissioned works by a talented young artist, Giana Bisceglia.


The Story Behind the Story: “Save the Sinner,” the poem that gave the book its title, could be seen as controversial, but is from my own perspective and experiences, and I have been passionate about its theme for years. It is not focused on any religious, or non-religious beliefs or customs. This viewpoint is mine and mine alone.

This poem was inspired by my own observations of the casting out of a soul who was desperately searching for peace and love from his religious family. Making personal sacrifices, he lived a life of dedication to his strong beliefs.


Over time, he realized that what he believed in and dedicated his life to was only a façade. Once he saw the face of the true Sinner, within his own internal struggle and despair, he could no longer hold on. His faith and sacrifices were broken and wasted.


To me, the most powerful words in this poem are: “The Sinner held for validation / An example for the righteous / Escape for the pious / Judgement given without consequence.”


This soul was cast out, ostracized, and branded a ‘Sinner’ for learning their truth. Their sacrifice for faith was no longer validated. Promises were shattered. A soul was broken.


I think this speaks to those who search for answers but are held in judgement by others. Throughout my life, I have personally witnessed and experienced the hypocrisy of casting a religious judgment on someone. I have seen and heard spiritual leaders from diverse cultures around the world create and speak a façade of truth, love, and family while living a very different life. I have seen them walk away from a true searcher. Conversely, I have also seen kind and gentle souls of truth wanting to help others find theirs.


This poem was written to give this Sinner’s soul a voice.


The cover image of this book created itself in my mind as I wrote this poem. The meaning and symbology I will leave for you to decide.



I began my journey as an intimidated writer. I felt that writing my first book, Release Me, was dipping my big toe into the vast ocean of writers. Then with my second book, Save the Sinner, was putting my foot in the giant ocean. Now with my first novel I’ve jumped into the ocean completely.

When I write, I don't just tell a story. I have an emotional attachment to most of my stories and poems. They become personal to me. I am there with each character, becoming them, to learn who they really are. 

In the short story, “The Forest,” I became Crow, sitting in his mahogany chair and stroking Shadow’s feathers as she sat upon his shoulder, while he gazed out upon his now dead forest. I felt his never-ending pain of love and loss for his Genevieve.

With “Going Insane,” I felt Victoria’s fear of losing control of her life, of no one able to help her, and her desperation to hang on to her life. How she must have felt at that final moment.

The poem “The Final Battle” allowed me to become the underdog warrior as he fought the more powerful dark force. I felt his heart race in fear then felt the liquid motion of his stallion in battle.

Writing “Dissect the Insanity” helped me through my own heartache of lost dreams. 

At the end of these stories and poems, I still tear up. Every time. I wrote the words but still feel the emotion.


So far, the short story I'm basing my novel on, “Soul Collector,” has been my readers’ favorite, even though it was not my own original favorite. But as I work with the characters, developing their backstories and motivations, I have grown to love them and want to tell their story. I want readers to understand who my protagonist—Breena—is, for instance, and see the pain she has gone through. I've also introduced new characters and added many twists and turns. Readers will learn about Jack and Billy and what makes chocolate-chip cookies so special. I've also enjoyed doing extensive research for this. There are gypsies, witchdoctors, nightmares, magic, a beautifully beaded candy-apple-red skirt, and death.


Projected Release Date: 2023.



Social Media:



A question for you, Linda.


Do you hear from your readers? What do they say? 


Here are a few of the comments I’ve received about Save the Sinner:

“There is so much more to tell. I need to know what happens to Jack. And poor Billy. Maybe his ramblings reach the right person, so many past victims someone else must feel it.” [about “Soul Collector”]

“Your writing is raw and honest.”

“…The poems and stories in this book. Very imaginative.

“I can't do anything but love a book that asks questions like, ‘Is every sin holy? Or medicated quietly?’ The meaning spilling out of lines like those, and they are on every page, is manifold…”

I especially appreciated the following two reviews because they included both poems and short stories.

“. . . .‘Going insane’ was a recollection of the failure of the medical profession to help a struggling soul find peace of mind. ‘Nikolai’ is a dark poem wrapped around a mythical being known as a vampire. Several twists, turns and re-directs. I was impressed with the writer’s ability to approach difficult and sometimes comical subject matter, with calm, entrancing insight. Shape shifting and gender identities were fluid. This book I have left lying on my desk for several weeks so as to pick it up, read and re-read a selection.”

“I don't even know where to begin. Love the poetry and a few of them I felt so deeply it was as if they were written for my soul...With Dissect the Insanity it is as if I hold my breath the entire time and then with the last line such a deep sigh escapes me. Just Wow. Now for the short stories...Soul Collector I can so see made into a movie. There is So much more to tell, I need to know what happens to Jack. And poor Billy, maybe his ramblings reach the right person, so many past victims someone else must feel it...The Forest. The intensity of the power of love and loss. The depth of despair but yet the promise of hope. Crow's pain is so honest that you ache with him. I think it's the first time in a long time that Snow made me smile and feel lighthearted, like there was hope for the future...Your writing is raw and honest, it makes you Feel and not just Read the words. I will wait (im)patiently for more!"

Thank you, Allan, for giving me this opportunity to share my thoughts with you and your readers.

It’s my pleasure to have you as a guest this week, Linda. Wishing you continued success with your writing. Thanks for sharing TSBTS.

And a special thank you to our visitors and readers. Feel free to leave a comment.

Sunday, 29 May 2022

The Story Behind the Story with Connie Cook of Ontario, Canada.


Let’s welcome Connie back to the Scribbler.

On her last visit she shared a delightful short story – Fish Girl – and if you missed it, please go HERE.


I met Connie quite a few years ago when I discovered her clever short stories on She has been a guest several times since then and it is a real treat to have her back for the Story Behind the Story.


Please make note that Connie will be sharing more of her short stories in the very near future in our SHORTS page


Tell us about you novel, Connie.



Connie Cook is a Retired Registered Nurse. As background research for the novel, she completed an online course to become a private investigator. Connie enrolled in writing classes and has been writing ever since. Her short stories have been published by Chicken Soup for the Soul, Pacific Magazine, CommuterLit and Feminine Collective.


Working Title: Follow the Money, a Diana Darling Private Investigator Novel



Synopsis: Look out, there’s a new private investigator on the scene and her name is Diana Darling. In her forties and unsatisfied with her life as a number cruncher, Diana takes the plunge and completes an online course to become a private investigator. The ink is still wet on her certificate and her business, The Diana Darling Private Investigator Agency has just opened, but she has already landed her very first client.

While on her first case investigating an extramarital affair, Diana collides with bona fide Detective James Woods. As it turns out, James and Diana are on the same case-just from different sides. The ongoing investigation intertwines their lives as James and Diana go undercover at a couples retreat, witness a church shooting, visit a strip club frequented by seniors and bikers, and eventually Follow the Money to the Cayman Islands.

But along the way, there’s another conflict brewing: Diana falls for James. They try to remain professional, but the romantic feelings for one another are palpable. Soon Diana discovers that it’s never too late to fall in love and it’s never too late to reinvent yourself.

The Story Behind the Story: I’ve always been a longtime reader. Favorite author is Janet Evanovich and I’m a huge fan of her Stephanie Plum series. I love her style and the voice in her writing. Part way through my career as a Registered Nurse, I felt the need for a break. Found an ad in the local newspaper for an investigator at a place called the Darling Detective Agency. All they required was a background check. That was completed and in fact they did hire me. But when I found out it only paid minimum wage and my first job would finding shop lifters at a mall in a ‘not so great area’, I chose to stick with nursing. Glad I did! But the idea never left me. One day on the way to a writing class, I drove by a store called “The Spy Store.” Stopped on the way home and picked up a spy pen. The rest is kind of history. Started the novel and never quit. I just wanted it to be a romantic comedy and hoped it would give readers a laugh or two. To date I’ve sold approximately 300 copies.






A question for you Connie:

Do you hear from your readers? What do they say? 


I do hear from them. Most common comment is that they were laughing after the first chapter. Another lady said she read it in two days and loaned it to her son. The rest of the comments are similar. Many from fellow writers in my writing group, and trust me they can be a critical group. I take the comments to heart and I’m happy to have made people have a giggle.




Thank you for being our guest this week, Connie. Happy to have you back. Wishing you all the best in your writing journey.



And a special thank you to you, our visitors and readers. You make it all worthwhile.

Please leave a comment if you like.

We’d like to hear from you and please tell us who your favorite  author is or your favourite book.

Saturday, 21 May 2022

The Story Behind the Story with Stefanie Nici of New York, NY.


Hey there Readers & Visitors? Welcome back!

Meet Author Stefanie Nici of New York, NY.

An Author of three novels and a book especially for authors filled with marketing tips. (So if you’re an author – check it out).

We met on Twitter and her tweets are always thought provoking and informative.

She is also a generous sharer and supporter of other authors.

Let’s welcome Stefanie and read about the Story Behind the Story.

Stefanie Nici is an only child who grew up in a remote area. For entertainment, she watched a lot of television and used dolls to act out the stories she created in her own mind. Stefanie feels watching others’ work play out on the screen taught her the importance of dialogue, and pacing, which also sparked her interest in storytelling.

Working Title: The title of my new release is The Wishing Stone.

Synopsis: After a breakup, Tess heads to Montauk N.Y. taking her dog Cooper and precious wishing stone with her instead. Once there, Cooper has an encounter with another dog which leads to a chase down the beach. That’s when Tess meets Kai, the frisky dog’s owner. All is well until Tess learns she may have lost something during the chase and holds Kai responsible. During her stay, he tries to make things right, but Tess has a lot on her mind and isn’t interested. Little does she know the two have more in common than she could ever imagine.

The Story Behind the Story: Like the main character Tess, many people carry an item with them for luck or positive energy. I wanted to tell the story of how that item can hold such significance in one’s life, even possessing the power to change it sometimes. Also, I love the beach and I love romance. I put them all together in hopes the reader will be taken on an emotionally satisfying journey. One that leaves them with a good feeling that they can carry with them for a long time.


A question for you before you go, Stefanie:

What is your favorite part of writing and the part you enjoy the least?

Stefanie: What I love most about writing is the magic of storytelling and character development which eventually take on a life of their own. When we the writer are no longer telling the story, but the characters are.

What do I like the least? Time goes so fast when I write and can leave me feeling like I didn’t write enough.


Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us Stefanie. Wishing you continued success on your writing journey.


And another thank you to YOU - our readers & visitors. Appreciate you taking the time to stop by. Feel free to leave a comment.

Coming soon - June/2022. Shattered Dreams. The third novella in the Shattered Series. Follow this link and read Chapter 0ne.

South Branch Scribbler: Shattered Dreams - A Jo Naylor Adventure - Book 3. (