Charm #3: Let’s shake hands on it #amwriting #reading #PNR #CommonElementsRomanceProject #fiction #books #paranormal #jewelry #research #relationships

I’ve just returned from a week spent in Virginia at Massanutten Resort with my loving hubby. While I was away I heard from several readers who had advance copies of Charmed Against All Odds that they loved Roxie and Leo’s story. And several others who also loved The Haunting of Fury Falls Inn. All I can say is, thank you so much! Makes me smile! I need to get back to writing this week, right? I have several other books to revise and even more to write.

In recent weeks I’ve shared the reasons for why I chose the first charm, an open book, and the second one, a Friend charm, that the quest spell in Charmed Against All Odds sends Roxie and Leo out to find. The third charm is a handshake. Why?

It took me a little while to pick a symbol for the third element of a successful relationship. (In my opinion of course. I’m sure others may have different characteristics they associate with having a solid relationship, but I can only choose those elements that have worked for me in my 30+ year marriage.) Several charming (get it?) possibilities are out there but only one seemed just right.

The third characteristic is one that you must have in order for the first two to work, and for the remaining three also. It’s essential for any relationship, personal to business and probably beyond. What is it? Trust.

Charm #3: Handshake

When you meet someone for the first time, you have a polite level of trust but you most likely won’t trust them with too much that’s personal and private. You’ll talk about the weather or the local team’s odds of winning the pennant or even the new restaurant coming to town. Safe topics. Until you get to know them. Until they prove whether they can keep your personal and private thoughts, desires, dreams, etc., private. Or if they’ll keep their word to you, whatever promise they make. If you were to hear of someone else talking about those private dreams or hopes, or if a specific or implicit promise is broken, then your trust would fracture if not shatter. Rebuilding trust takes time—if it’s even possible—after someone has lied or cheated or betrayed your trust in any number of ways.

In Charmed Against All Odds, Leo must rebuild the trust he once shared with Roxie after he not only abused his magick powers, making his actions suspect, but also since he broke her heart by his subsequent decision to leave town permanently. Ending their betrothal and walking away.

Trust is a requirement of a close relationship because without it you cannot be comfortable sharing with anyone who you really are in private. We all put on a persona, a mask if you will, when we go out in public. We are polite and friendly, most of the time, but we don’t reveal much that is painful or worrying. When someone asks, “how are you?” we tend to say, “fine, thanks” and move on. We don’t say the absolute truth—unless we’re talking to someone we know and trust.

When we accept another person’s promise, it is an agreement. A contract of sorts. We expect the other person to do everything in their power to do what they say they will. Now we all know some of those promises are what Mary Poppins calls “pie crust promises” – easily made, easily broken, and therefore of little lasting import. But some promises have lasting impacts and breaking that type of promise can leave emotional scars.

So the handshake charm speaks to me as an agreement, a sense of trusting the other person to some degree. The extent of that degree would most definitely depend on how long you’ve known the other person and your previous interactions. Also of how you’ve been treated in the past in a similar situation. But if you hope to have a long-lasting personal relationship with anyone, then you must build it on a foundation of trust plus a few other key ingredients…which we’ll explore in the coming weeks.

Three charms down, three more to go!

Don’t forget that Charmed Against All Odds is available for preorder before it releases on November 11. And as a bonus gift for everyone who preorders Charmed Against All Odds, I’ll give a free ebook copy of Book 1, Undying Love! Simply share a picture or screenshot of your order with me on my Facebook page ( and I’ll send you a link where you can download your gift as a thank you for ordering Roxie and Leo’s story! (If you’ve already read Undying Love, we’ll pick a different story in the Secrets of Roseville series as a thank you gift!)

One last thing! My next signing is in a couple of weeks, on Saturday, November 2, 11:00-3:00, in Albertville, Alabama. Visit the Shades of Pemberley Event Page for details. You will be able to buy a copy of The Haunting of Fury Falls Inn (Fury Falls Inn Book 1) AND I will have paperback copies of Charmed Against All Odds (Secrets of Roseville Book 5) before you can buy them in the store, too! I hope to see you there to support the Shades of Pemberley independent bookstore as a thank you for hosting my book birthday celebration!

As always, thanks for reading!


P.S. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my newsletter, which I send out most every month, including news like new covers, new releases, and upcoming appearances where I love to meet my readers, along with recipes and writing progress. Thanks and happy reading!

Visit for more on my books and upcoming events.

Charmed Against All Odds releases November 11 and is available for pre-order now!

Loving her brings out the magic in him…

Wedding bells are ringing, but not for Roxie Golden. If she can survive another round of wedding plans, then her life can return to normal. She’s perfectly happy running the bookstore and weaving helpful magical spells. Then one stormy day, her ex-fiancé strolls back into her life with a gift neither of them wants.

Leo King wants to flee the small town for the big city. Forget about the shame he brought upon himself when he abused his magical powers. First, to satisfy his warlock father’s final wish, he must deliver the mysterious box to Roxie’s bookstore.

But when Roxie opens the box, revealing an enchanted bracelet and a quest spell, their plans and their lives are changed forever. Trapped in a reluctant partnership with the woman he once loved, he risks everything—including his heart—for a second chance.

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3 thoughts on “Charm #3: Let’s shake hands on it #amwriting #reading #PNR #CommonElementsRomanceProject #fiction #books #paranormal #jewelry #research #relationships

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