The Crazy Idea of Non-Attachment

by Jeanine Englert

As someone with rather strong codependent tendencies, the idea of detachment, let alone non-attachment seemed ridiculous to me when I first heard it. But, over time, and with some repeated false starts and uncertainty about it, I began to see how practicing (because it truly does take practice) non-attachment even if only for five and ten minutes at a time might help me, especially in the mayhem of what has become and continues to be 2020.

The idea of non-attachment as I understand it, is that you acknowledge your attachment to specific feelings, things, and ideas, but you let them float by you as if you were on a river and  let them go. I know, it sounds, literally impossible, but it isn’t, as long as you give yourself some grace during the process. Even if I just have moments of non-attachment, I cheer myself on as it does help me become calmer, more present, and more . . . dare I say it . . . happy.

This is what non-attachment feels like for me. . .

Not sure how to go about non-attachment? I would recommend some exploration into apps or websites for guided meditation. Even a handful of minutes a day can help ease some of the strain and reactivity you may feel by being bombarded with the chaos surrounding you, whether it is work, family, or world related. I use my non-attachment time as a way to cleanse myself of whatever has snagged me emotionally and/or mentally throughout the day. It helps me to slow down, acknowledge what has upset me or hijacked my thoughts, and then let them go, even if only temporarily.

Have you ever practiced non-attachment or something similar to it? If so, please drop me a comment. I’d love to know how you have worked to gain more clarity and calm during this bizarre time. And, as always, I wish you happy writing, happy reading, and moments of calm and clarity amongst the chaos.

Jeanine Englert is a Golden Heart ® Finalist, Silver Falchion Award Winner, and Daphne du Maurier Award Winner in historical romantic suspense. After years of writing in secret, she joined Romance Writers of America and Georgia Romance Writers in 2013 and has been an active member ever since. She writes Scottish Highland historicals and historical romantic suspense novels.

When she isn’t wrangling with her characters on the page, she can be found trying to convince her husband to watch her latest Masterpiece or BBC show obsession. She loves to talk about books, writing, her beloved pups, and of course mysteries with other readers on Twitter @JeanineWrites, Facebook, or at her website

Her debut novel, Lovely Digits, released in June of 2019 by Soul Mate Publishing, is a Victorian romantic suspense that won the 2020 Silver Falchion Award for Best Mystery. It also won the 2017 Daphne du Maurier Award and was named a 2018 Golden Heart ® Finalist for best unpublished romantic suspense.

Where you can find me:






Posted in Soul Mate Publishing | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Drug of Choice

We are plagued with many things in 2020: massive fires, multiple hurricanes, politicians—and, oh yes, COVID-19. On any given day we might also read about locusts, killer hornets, asteroids, sun storms, the most recent update to Windows 10, and the snow in Antarctica turning green. There have been scattered reports of bubonic plague. I have not yet heard about boils, flies, frogs, or cattle keeling over, thank goodness, but 2020 isn’t over.


In the midst of it all, most of us have strategies for keeping our serenity, many of which have been written about here. I want to share a technique I’ve discovered. On days on which I use it generously, my muscles relax, my appetite improves, my mood lifts, and my body goes into a relaxed state I’ve never gotten from drugs or aerobic exercise (not that I’ve actually worked hard at aerobic exercise, but that’s a topic for another day).

Frieseke_Blue_girl_readingThis technique is easy to do and it utilizes a simple tool: the book. That’s it, folks. The thing that works best in these troubled times, for keeping me calm, cheerful, and in a hopeful frame of mind, is reading a good book, preferably one with a happily-ever-after. It needs to be a good one, one of those that grabs you by the throat and keeps you up finishing it.

On days when I have a good romance to read while pedaling (ok, I do exercise. A little) the combination of the two things, pedals and romance, leave me in a relaxed state like little else. On days when I foolishly grab my phone and check the news and social media while pedaling? Not so much. I finish as tense as I started.

The best days are ones in which I just give in mid-afternoon, sink into a book, and don’t come out until the lights go out and I’m the last one to sleep. The next day, every muscle in my body is relaxed, and I am happy. Until Beloved puts on the news. Or I check my smartphone.

I recommend it. Grab a book. (Hint: there are many of them here) Your body will thank you. Now, where did I leave my e-reader…


Posted in Contemporary Romance, Readers, Romance, Soul Mate Publishing | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

Storming Time/Universe Chronicles blog tour starts 8/29!

Hi, all!

This Saturday, August 29th, I am kicking off a month-long blog tour through Silver Dagger Tours to support the release of the third Universe Chronicles book Storming Time. I hope you will have the time to stop by and say hi on at least one of the days through the tour. There will be fun, a $50 Amazon gift card drawing, ebook giveaways and more! Come join me and spread the word!

Here’s the blurb again to get you as excited as I am!

Rescuing compromised Universe agents is nothing new for Zared Hersh. A fast car, a little rain-and-fog manipulation to cover his tracks, and his job is done. But when Hannah Nickels dives into his front seat, something about her aquamarine eyes strikes him like lightning.

Thank God she’s not psychic, or she’d be reading his hormones like a book.

Hannah’s been groomed to join Universe practically from the moment her time-freezing talent emerged. But recently, her power’s been glitchy. She knows she’s in trouble, and the last thing she needs is her instant attraction to Zared’s solid body and dark good looks.

When their escape is almost derailed by someone with a strange new light-manipulating gift, only Hannah’s chrono talent gets them safely back to Universe HQ. In the relative safety of Richmond, their relationship grows. But Hannah has a second, more dangerous power that few know about. And as her control slips, someone with a hidden agenda sets her up to fall—straight into Whisper’s trap.

The Universe Chronicles Schedule

Aug 29

kickoff at Silver Dagger Book Tours

A Pinch of Bookdust

Aug 30

Bedazzled By Books

Aug 31

Airin’ My Dirty Laundry

Craving Lovely Books

Sep 1

LC Owen Books

Scrupulous Dreams

Sep 2

All Things Dark & Dirty

Insane Books

Sep 3

Book lovers 4Ever

IndiePowerd by No Sweat Graphics

Sep 4


Books a Plenty Book Reviews

Sep 5

The Bookshelf Fairy

Sep 6

Twisted Book Ramblings

Sep 7


Books, Authors, Blogs

Sep 8

Bayou Queen Book Fanatics

Inside the Insanity

Sep 9

Midnight Book Reader

Musings From An Addicted Reader

Sep 10

Dragon’s Den

Renee Wildes Weblog

Sep 11

Indie Author Book Reviews

Interesting Authors | Eclectic Readers!

Sep 14

Stormy Nights Reviewing & Bloggin’

Sep 15

T’s Stuff

The Book Dragon

Sep 16

The Faerie Review

The Scratching Post

Sep 17

Celticlady’s Reviews

Girl with Pen

Sep 18

The Avid Reader – REVIEW ALL

Books all things paranormal and romance

Sep 21

Book Corner News and Reviews

Westveil Publishing

Sep 22

The Sexy Nerd ‘Revue’

#BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee 

Sep 23

Pen Possessed

Sapphyria’s Book Reviews

Sep 24

Teatime and Books

Why I Can’t Stop Reading

Sep 25

eBook Addicts

Word Processor, Romance, Cats, Kids and Creed

Sep 26

Chapters through life

4covert2overt ☼ A Place In The Spotlight ☼

Sep 27

Jazzy Book Reviews

Sep 28

United Indie Book Blog

❧Defining Ways❧

Sep 29

Valerie Ullmer | Romance Author


Posted in Soul Mate Publishing | 4 Comments


No you’re not seeing things. This is not a large white Yorkie but our rescue dog, a Siberian Husky, Maybelline. About three years ago we stepped in and stopped her from being very abused. She happily joined our Yorkie family. Our Yorkie, Eli, and her have a love-hate relationship. Our baby-girl (she’s 12 years old)Yorkie, Stormy, loves her. And our baby puppy Yorkie, Peyton, (he just had his first birthday) and her are best buddies. She lets him eat out of her dog dish, curl up beside her, and genuinely pester her with his antics. We named her Maybelline because she has dark eyeliner under her eyes. The Vet told us that was good because with her bluish-white eyes the dark liner helps to reflect the sun.

We have had a wonderful summer, the Yorkies, Maybelline, and I. This is a picture of May resting on the riverbank after spending hours wading the Colorado River, hunting lizards, and running up and down hills. May loves the river. I bring her home exhausted. Still not so exhausted she doesn’t lord it over the Yorkies she got to go and they had to stay home.

May is gentle and easy to love. She is so grateful for her home. She loves it when I sing her special song: Maybelline, Jellybean, prettiest girl I’ve ever seen. How can people abuse these gentle creatures? If you’re looking for a dog or cat, I urge you to go to your animal shelter. There’s love abundance just waiting for you. Our granddaughter is the director of Rifle Animal Shelter, a no-kill shelter, and she and her team work hard to place the animals under their care in forever homes. My hat is off to anyone who works or volunteers in a shelter. I can’t do it. It breaks my heart.

Maybelline, Eli, Stormy, and Peyton and I are back to writing. I went through a month of pandemic worry and couldn’t think past that. The four of them lay on their beds in my office and give me encouragement, love, and ideas for my books. Aren’t I lucky? I hope to have this book: One Brother Returns published in May 2021. It’s a great story…one the Yorkies and Maybelline highly recommend. But I’ve promised May we’d get in a couple more trips to the river. And I’ve promised the Yorkies hugs and treats.

Posted in Soul Mate Publishing | 2 Comments

Pumpkin fruitcake

Outside of the USA, the pumpkin appears to be a fairly mundane, if useful vegetable. It grows well and prolifically, stores for months, is available all year round and can be used in recipes ranging from sweet to savory. It pairs with flavours as different as cinnamon and sugar to curry and coconut. While Australians don’t have the obsession with Fall and Halloween, we still enjoy eating this versatile vegetable.

SMP Pumpkin fc

This recipe is a family favourite. It can be modified quite extensively without hurting the result. It doesn’t keep as long as regular fruitcake, so eat within a week or so.

Pumpkin Fruit Cake


250gms butter

250gms brown sugar

2 cups self-raising flour

pinch salt

1 cup mashed pumpkin

3 eggs

500gms mixed dried fruit

½  teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon ginger

1 teaspoon cinnamon

About ¼ cup rum, or orange juice if preferred


-mix the fruit with the rum/orange juice, and leave overnight

– preheat oven to 180C/350F

– cream butter and sugar

– add eggs one at a time and beat well

– add mashed pumpkin, then fruit and spices

– add sifted flour and salt

– pour into a well greased and greaseproof paper lined cake tin. A round, high tin is best.

– bake for 1 hour, then test to see if cooked. This can be done by inserting a cake skewer – no raw mix will stick to it; or pressing lightly on the cake, it will spring back if cooked.


The pumpkin can be exchanged for an equal volume of mashed banana or sweet potato. Almonds can be used as decoration on the top before baking. Half the butter can be replaced by plain apple puree. Different spices can be used, such as vanilla and mixed spice and powdered cloves. Some of the dried fruit can be replaced by chopped glace cherries or ginger.

Note: Self raising flour is not the same as all purpose flour or plain flour. You need flour with a rising agent (should be on the bag ingredients). You can add 2 teaspoons of baking powder to every 1 cup of plain flour.

About Cindy

Cindy Tomamichel is a multi genre author, with her SMP series Druid’s Portal a time travel action adventure romance set in Roman Britain. Short stories of fantasy, scifi and romance can be found on her website, where she blogs on aspects of world building. Her latest release -The Organized Author – provides much needed help for authors trying to navigate social media and build an author platform.

Contact Cindy on






Posted in Soul Mate Publishing, Word-Crafting With Cindy | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

Writing in Another Time Period

I write in two historical time periods: California, just before and after 1850, and Regency England, 1811-1820. The first requires the use of a few Spanish language terms to give the Californios authenticity. The second can be quite problematic.

“Are you daft? Why would I choose a cove who is usually foxed and dispenses Spanish coin over a mushroom? ‘Tis a Banbury tale and pure faradiddle.”

Translation: Are you crazy? Why would I choose a man who is a drunk and a flatterer over someone who recently came into money? It’s a lie and it’s silly.

Regency cant is available in books and on-line and I try not to overuse it. The worst part when writing period historicals is keeping modern words and euphemisms out of the manuscript. It’s harder than you think.

Take the word “check.” I recently had to do a word search to rid my manuscript of this word which is used in many ways. I used it as another way to say “look into” or “look in on.” A lengthy discussion ensued recently among members of the Beau Monde Chapter of RWA about why this term was not yet in usage during the Regency.

Words aren’t the only problem. Society was weighed down by rules and in most books the characters break them, sometimes willingly because the character is rebellious or doesn’t care. Or, in my case, it’s because the author doesn’t know any better.

In my first book, Scandal’s Child, chapter one opens with the heroine attending the funeral of her husband. Women did not attend funerals in the Regency. Who knew? I didn’t. In my second book, Scandal’s Bride, the heroine wants to devise a reason to give her father about how she and her intended fell in love. (It’s a marriage of convenience story and they just met). She suggests correspondence (he was away at war). I had to change this when I discovered an unmarried girl did not write to or receive letters from an unmarried gentleman. My heroine’s father would have screened her letters.

By my third book, Scandal’s Promise, released Wednesday, I have learned a great deal. But in this book my heroine chooses to break rules. She ignores the rule that unmarried ladies do not call on unmarried gentlemen in their homes alone. She’s known him forever. They were once betrothed. She doesn’t care what society thinks. She does it anyway.

Those of us who write Regencies have a great deal of research to do to give the reader the flavor of the period. Some are purists with characters following rules, speaking without contractions, and using terms popular at the time. Others, like me, have characters who break rules because humans are emotional creatures and hearts have been over-ruling heads for centuries.

I hope you enjoy my books. I love writing them.

You can find me in these places:

Posted in Soul Mate Publishing | 2 Comments

Characters Gone Wild


I guess it’s both the actress and the psychotherapist in me, but my ears always perk up when I hear someone say, “but that was so out of character for him (or her).” Yet now that I think about it, the moment one of my characters or a character in a book or play I’m reading goes off the deep end, then that moment for me is when the story really gets cooking. I know how important it is to set down strong and well-established character traits, not only for the hero and heroine of the story, but for the supernumerary characters as well. But characters, like people, change and often act outside their usual MOs, and when they do, stuff happens.

A classic example is in Charles Dickens’ The Christmas Carol. Ebenezer Scrooge is a man of habit. He works day and night for his economic solvency. As a result, he has shut out members of his family, old friends, and the people of his community. He may not be particularly happy, but he’s content as long as he’s making, saving, or hoarding money. He even gave up on his chance for love by placing work above his lady. Then one night after perhaps too much food and drink, he finds himself at a crossroads in his life. By morning he’s a changed man, who now astonishes everyone in his path by acting completely out of character.

So how does this happen?

For this to occur something usually has to happen to the character psychologically, which up to that point hasn’t happened before or at least not for a very long time. Due to his third nightly visitor Scrooge is confronted by a vision of how his family, friends, and community will remember him after death, as well as the death of his clerk’s little boy, Tiny Tim. Suddenly he wakes up to the realization that life is so much more than work, money, and routine. More importantly, he remembers who he was before he became the renown miser of his town—a man who wanted to love and be loved, to change the world for the better, and to be a generous human being in both kindness and philanthropy.

I love it most when these character upheavals happen despite the good intentions of my plot and character outlines. Most recently I had this occur in my latest novel, Waiting for You, A Salmon Run Novel (to be published by Soulmate Publishing with a June 2021 release date). Charles Anderssohn is the town’s bank president and confirmed bachelor. He lives a life of responsibility and routine. Then one day he decides he’d like to take ballroom dancing lessons and something powerful awakens in his psyche. He not only needs a date for the spring dance, but he wants to hold a woman in his arms and dance his way into their bright new future together. Unfortunately, the woman of his choice is not as keen about the idea. And thus the story begins.

So, all this to say that perhaps when developing characters we can ask a few simple questions to make our stories come that much more alive. What’s the one thing my character does that is completely out of character? What brings my character to this point of departure? Who does it effect and why? And how does it strength his or her humanity as well as realness? How does this change the plot? And how does this bolster the thematic drive of the book?


Born and raised near the Puget Sound in Washington State, Gwen Overland and her family now live in Ashland, Oregon, home of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Prior to that Gwen lived in Los Angeles and had careers in directing, acting, and singing while performing at the piano. After years in academia, writing one research article followed by another, Gwen turned her talents toward writing fiction and found she happily could not stop. Love’s Harvest and Free My Heart, two novels from her Salmon Run Series, have been published by Soul Mate, and she has just signed a contract for her third book of that series, Waiting for You, to be released June of 2021. Her self-published, romantic comedy/mystery series, The Millicent Winthrop Novels, is available in both English and German.  In addition, Gwen also has two published non-fiction books on the work she does in conjunction with her business, Expressive Voice Dynamics: Soul of Voice and Soul of My Voice.  When she’s not reading, writing, or playing with her two black pugs, Buster Keaton and Emmett Kelly, Gwen works in the theatre, or assists psychotherapy clients in discovering more joy and meaning in their lives.

Keep up with Gwen by following her on Twitter @gwenoverland; Gwen Overland Author on Facebook; @GwenOverland on Instagram, or at and


Posted in Author, Contemporary Romance, Gallivanting With Gwen!, Soul Mate Publishing, Writing, Writing career | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

A Summer to Remember (Or Forget) by Rebecca Heflin

So Long, SummerWe’re finally coming to the end of a summer unlike any other. The summer of 2020 has passed in a blur of lockdowns and statistics, Zoom meetings and conference calls, cancellations and social distancing, protests and social awakenings, and mask-wearing, sanitizing, and handwashing. Unlike summers past, there were no graduations, no June brides, no dream vacations, and no pool parties.

I don’t know about you, but I’m more than ready to see Summer 2020 in my rear-view mirror. In fact, I’d be happy to see all of 2020 in my rear-view mirror. But before I throw away an entire year of my life—and as I get older, each year is more precious—I thought I’d take a moment to be grateful for what 2020 (so far) has given me (or at least not taken away from me).

  • I’m grateful for my health and the health of my family.
  • I’m grateful for a day-job that allowed me to work from home.
  • I’m grateful to have a roof over my head and food on the table.
  • I’m grateful to have a supportive husband with whom I am going through these unprecedented times.
  • I’m grateful to have had a break in my usually frenetic schedule to enjoy time with my husband, reconnecting and strengthening our relationship.
  • I’m grateful to have my writing to keep me sane in the midst of insanity.
  • I’m grateful that I can look forward to a time in the future when life may return to some semblance of normalcy.
  • But most of all, I’m grateful to be alive.

Despite all the chaos of 2020 and its lost cause of a summer, what are you grateful for?

Posted in According to Rebecca, Soul Mate Publishing | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments



Want to escape from bad romance?

Perhaps I can help. I’m not referring to books! I’m talking about actual romance. We began this discussion in Part 1 (April 29, 2020), Part 2 (June 24, 2020), and Part 3 (July 22, 2020). In these and the next few blog posts, I’m going to share an amazing discovery I made through writing. (I’m Raz Steel—my degree is in Philosophy, I’ve been writing most of my life, and teaching writing for more than ten years.)

Storytelling is a tool. As a professional writer, it’s a tool of habit for me. Applied one way, it entertains an audience. But what if I could show you how storytelling applied another way could break you out of a pattern of failing real-world romance?

You don’t have to be a writer to use this tool. You don’t have to write at all. My process could be just as effective for a non-writer. In Part 1, I suggested that what allowed me to create the perfect story-romance in my recently published romantic comedy PASS THE KRYPTONITE was my understanding of not one character but both romantic characters.

This suggested that the success of real-world romance depends on my understanding of myself and my partner.

Changing your thoughts isn’t enough to change your romantic reality. Understand yourself, change your thoughts, and empathize with your partner who is doing the same thing.

Most romance writers and readers are women. You already know about change your thoughts, change your reality.

Your question is, “How the hell do I empathize with a guy?”

Well, I am a guy—and I’m gonna try and explain it. It seemed so straightforward yet incredibly difficult for me to empathize with a woman. But so rewarding!

My marriage failed. For one of the characters in PTK, romance failed. That character wallowed in self-pity and the pain of having someone reach down their throat, rip out their heart, throw it on the ground, and then stomp on it.

Mirrored my feelings precisely.

My character escaped. Why couldn’t I? How did my character manage it?

By understanding the only way to achieve the intimate relationship they wanted was to open themselves up again to that same kind of vulnerability. A huge risk.

Another PTK character’s engagement failed. They had reached down someone’s throat. Not deliberately trying to hurt anyone. Sometimes, relationships just don’t work out. That character empathized with their ex-partner though.

My characters in PASS THE KRYPTONITE (as well as my other novels) are emotional risk takers! What an incredible revelation.

Why did the characters find these actions necessary? One character, because they realized they needed to be an emotional risk taker, and the other character, because they realized their partner wasn’t an emotional risk taker.

Flipped a switch for me.

I had to suck it up to do the same. Not only did I need to become and remain an emotional risk taker, but now I understood a fundamental aspect of a potential romantic partner.

Guys worthy of your romantic attention want the same thing you want. So, you have to understand—what do you want?

My idea of romance doesn’t need to match your idea of romance. My idea of romance needs to match my partner’s. Understand what romance means to you, accept that you need to be an emotional risk taker, then look for an emotional risk-taking partner whose ideas about romance align with yours.

Just like you can’t achieve that level of intimacy without the risk, neither can he.

And if he’s not willing/able to take that risk, he ain’t your guy.

How did my characters recognize the emotional risk-taker aspect of each other?

They used empathy.

They were mutually challenged by the other—their patience, their willingness to listen, their willingness to share themselves, specifically their thoughts and emotions—and so they had to recognize they were being challenged in this way, and they had to pick up the gauntlet, and present themselves on a level playing field.

That’s what I began doing in the real world when I met a woman with whom I thought there might be mutual attraction.

I’m an emotional risk taker, and that’s what I want in a partner. I didn’t want to just take her word for it that she was an emotional risk taker, nor did I expect her to take my word for it that I was.

Show, don’t tell!

I would watch for her willingness to listen and to share her thoughts and feelings, and her willingness to explore my thoughts and feelings.

With patience.

We may’ve been told not to think of it this way, but when we meet someone for a first date, that person is auditioning for the greatest role in my life! And likewise, I hope I’m auditioning for the greatest role in their life.

So, while I don’t want to be off-putting or make our conversation sound like an interview, I want to expose layers of myself I don’t normally share day-to-day, and I want my potential partner to acknowledge that and be interested, and I want them to expose layers of themselves in the same way.

I don’t expose everything on a first date, but more than I would if I were meeting a casual acquaintance.

When I ran into someone who wouldn’t share herself, or clearly wasn’t interested in my thoughts, I didn’t waste my time. I moved on.


If you want an emotional risk taker and you’re sitting across the table in a restaurant or in Starbucks from someone who clearly isn’t an emotional risk taker, and yet you persist, what can you expect other than the same results you’ve already had?

(Part 5 of ESCAPE FROM BAD ROMANCE will appear on September 16, 2020)

Find me at:

Follow me at:

Posted in Soul Mate Publishing | 7 Comments

Uncaged Awards are Tuesday Night. Join the virtual fun!

The Hitman’s Mistake, the first book I wrote became contracted by Soulmate. It made the finals in the Mystery/Suspense category! I’m thrilled to be in the running with other well-known authors and look forward to hearing the winners announced. The party begins at 6 PM Central Time on Tuesday, and I hope all of you will join Uncaged for prizes and fun. Many Soulmate authors are finalists in other categories and my sincere congratulations to each and every one.

As temperatures rise, I wish you all a cool off session like Maggie, our seven-month-old German Shepherd pup. She learned to swim in our lake with the help of Tink and Tesla, our neighbor’s patient Bernese Mountain dogs. I miss Tallulah, but Maggie bounded into our lives and created joy in our hearts. Rescue an animal, the gifts they give are unending. Stay safe and keep reading!

Posted in Soul Mate Publishing | 2 Comments