Tuesday, December 22, 2015

The Christmas House

No, that's not the name of an upcoming book, although it would make for a great idea!

Much thanks to Dennis & his beautiful wife, Louise, for an awesome tour!

Recently, a dear friend of ours, Dennis, and his wife, Louise, invited us to their home here in the Carolinas, having told us they have 54 Christmas trees in their home. Fifty-four Christmas trees! Of course, Bill and I had to see that for ourselves...and we weren't disappointed.

What a whimsical and fun tree, the "Bathtub Tree!"
As it turned out, that was no exaggeration. Dennis and Louise are, in fact, the owners of over 50 trees, each of which has its own theme and color scheme--like the M&M (one of my favorite candies!) above. Lots of magic and imagination go into the decoration of these trees, which are actually the brainchild of Louise. This wonderful lady has collected the trees over the years, and who begins decorating them as early as August of each year.

But it's not just trees: Check out the beautiful decorative items, all with the theme of Christmas, below.

What an inviting dining room! Santa and Mrs. Clause never had a more beautiful table!

Louise is an award-winning bowler, and  Dennis also shares a love of bowling, so it's not surprising to find this one!

Dennis & Louise's beautiful nativity scene, plus scenes with Jesus during His ministry, which takes up their entire coffee table!

Closing with an idyllic winter scene, complete with skaters on a frozen pond.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Free Book for a Few More Hours

Did you get a jump start on the Christmas season when it comes to your shopping? The hubby and I did today! We started off with breakfast at Cracker Barrell, then headed to the stores. Bill and I even squeezed in time to pick out, buy AND decorate our Christmas tree. By no means are we done, but we're ahead of schedule!

If you've been doing the same today, just note that you also have time to pick up one more little gift--this one from me to you--and that's a FREE copy of my newest book, GOODNIGHT, MY LOVE! But hurry, because this offer is almost over.

However, I've decided to give ONCE UPON A PAINTED HORSE, my Christian romance (featuring an abandoned amusement park, said to be haunted!) for FREE until Monday.

Happy Reading & Merry Christmas (Shopping)!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015


Taking a moment tonight to post this excerpt from my latest book, GOODNIGHT, MY LOVE, which is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, iTunes, Kobo & more. Enjoy!


“Hey, Gina. You got your head in the clouds?”
She had been staring glumly at the phone. That was a possibility, wasn’t it? Tony could always call the phone at the bakery. He could hang up if Donnie or anybody but she picked up.
“Hi, Kelly. Whaddya need?”
Kelly Whelan arched an eyebrow at her. “How ’bout, ‘Hello, Kelly? Haven’t seen you in while.’ Not just ‘Whaddya need?’”
Gina glared sullenly at him and folded her arms across her chest. If he was teasing, she wasn’t in the mood for that; if he was seriously scolding her, then she wasn’t in the mood for that, either.
“Hello, Kelly. Haven’t seen you in a while. Catch any fish out there?”
He rested one arm on the counter, leaning over the glass. “Yeah, we did. Lots of ’em. Made some money.”
“Well...good.” Easing up on the attitude, she grabbed a slice of parchment paper to take a cookie from the tray beneath the glass counter. “That’s cause for celebration. Congratulations.”
It wasn’t Kelly’s fault she was upset over Tony seemingly having disappeared. To make up for it, she offered him a cookie, one of the ones she knew the fisherman liked, with the raspberry jam in the center.
His expression softened. “For me?”
“Yes! Enjoy it. Congratulations.” She wasn’t apologizing. Maybe she’d been rude—a little—but he’d been rude, too, and he wasn’t apologizing to her, either. “Anyway, I’m glad you’re home safe.”
Finally, he broke into a grin. He also looked better than usual. Not as straggly, like the other rough-and-tough fishermen. He was wearing a nice shirt and pants, and he’d gotten his hair trimmed. She had to say, Kelly looked decent, even sort of cute, when he was clean-shaven and dressed well.
“See any mermaids out there?” Now she was the one teasing.
“Yeah. One that looked like a crazy, little Italian bakery girl I know.”
Gina didn’t know quite what to say to that. She tried to mask the fact that she was mildly flustered with a laugh.
“Really, did you ever see anything out there? Anything...like a mermaid?”
Donnie stepped out of the kitchen with a fresh tray of pastries. He and Kelly exchanged nods in greeting.
“Kelly, how’s it goin’?” Her brother smiled.
“Good. Taking a little break.”
“Yeah? Must be nice to be rich, man.”
They both laughed. Donnie didn’t seem at all troubled that Kelly was sharing a conversation with her. He liked the fisherman. Kelly was his neighbor and he’d known him for years. They’d hung around together, though Donnie was a couple years older. There was mutual respect between them.
Why couldn’t Donnie have liked Tony as much as he liked Kelly?
Because he’s not even trying. Maybe he’s jealous because a lot of guys are jealous of Tony. He’s handsome and he’s had a lot of girlfriends, so naturally the other guys are all jealous of him.
“I haven’t been lucky enough to see one myself. But I’ve heard stories from fishermen who swear they’ve seen them out there.”
It was slow that morning. Gina welcomed the downtime, since many days she was busy and barely had time to catch her breath.
To Kelly’s credit, too, he wasn’t treating her like a silly kid. He even came across as if he were enjoying their little talk.
Gina felt comfortable to be herself at that point. “I believe them. I believe they’ve seen them.”
“Hey, so do I. Just because I haven’t seen one myself, doesn’t mean something’s not out there.” He grinned. “I’ll keep in mind you like mermaids. If it’s possible, if I ever see one, I’ll get my picture taken with one for you.”
That made her giggle. “Get her autograph on the picture, too, if you can. Not—not getting anything today?”
“Cup of coffee. That’s it for me today.”
“Okay. The usual? Two sugars and light with cream?”
“You got it.”
Was he impressed that she knew that? Gina remembered how all the regular customers took their coffee. It was nothing special, yet she did pride herself in that.
“Uh...I heard my sister saw you this weekend. Getting ice cream at the beach?”
Gina had just finished pouring his coffee and placing the carafe back onto its burner when she heard those words. Instinctively, she glanced at the door, almost expecting Donnie to emerge at that very moment.
“Yes, it was nice to see her,” she said, quickly changing the subject. “How is your mom? I don’t see her much. Or your other sister and brother. I always seem to be here, you know?”

Please, God, don’t let him say anything.

Sunday, November 29, 2015


In spite of this busy month, my new book, GOODNIGHT, MY LOVE, is now available on Amazon! Coming soon, also, to all your favorite stores. Below is more info (really, its blurb) about this romantic, old-fashioned love story, which you'll find more info on here.

It's exciting for me to be publishing this book, which as I said earlier had been bought years ago by a now-defunct small press which never put it out. NEVER. It was listed as BABY, IT'S YOU, but it was never available.

But that's okay. That's all yesterday's news, because without the original, this book has been rewritten entirely (and woot!! for the first time, baby, it's got a COVER!). And now, I'm excited to say, it is now published and available for readers FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER.

You can get this book for the low price of 99 cents, a full-length 20th Century historical, because I really would love to get it in your hands, and who doesn't look for a great deal at this time of year?

As promised, here is the blurb...and soon to follow, an excerpt (or two!):

While still in high school, Gina Bertoletti finds her free time taken up with working in her family’s bakery. Life suddenly takes an exciting turn the first time she lays eyes on handsome and charming Tony La Rosa. Gina is convinced that Tony, a local young man with dreams of leaving that seaside town for Hollywood, is destined to become her own personal leading man.
Enter Kelly Whelan, a rugged fisherman with responsibilities beyond his years, who is almost the polar opposite of Tony. Both men will have an impact on Gina, whose heart will learn the difference between that thrilling first love and the much more rare and lasting true love.

Pick up your copy today!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

November Catch-up

It's been a while since I last posted, so I definitely owe some updates! This is typical of me because I go through times when I don't blog; instead, I concentrate on the writing part of this business. Which, after all, is what writers do--but I still miss blogging and filling in readers.

So, as you can tell by my little WIP meter on my sidebar to the right, GOODNIGHT, MY LOVE is actually turning out to be a bit longer than anticipated. The first draft will be done this week, without delay, and I'm shooting for a release date of November 28 or 29 (right after Thanksgiving). Really happy to be bringing this book to readers, considering its journey as the never-before-available BABY, IT'S YOU.

Also: This book, a rewrite with no original on hand, is totally new and bears very little resemblance to the original. LOL! The characters are there, but it's gone from a category romance to more of a mainstream romance (shorter in length, however).

Hoping you enjoy it, that it brings you much reading pleasure, and that you can relax with an apple cider or mocha frappuccino with it in between your Christmas shopping, decorating and party-going.

More updates to follow!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Mid-October Post


Checking in because it's been a while since my last post (and I was doing so well there for a while, too!). I've been writing but have put the new romance, GOODNIGHT, MY LOVE on hold for a few weeks. About to kick it back into gear to finish it and polish it so that I can get that published sometime around Thanksgiving (hopefully!). In the meantime, since fall is such a beautiful season, the hubby and I headed out to the mountains for the day to hike and take some pictures, capturing the amazing colors of the season. Enjoy!

Friday, September 25, 2015

New Book on its Way: GOODNIGHT, MY LOVE

(formerly BABY, IT'S YOU)
My upcoming book, GOODNIGHT, MY LOVE, which has been moving really well (it's in the writing stage as we speak) and is slated for publication in probably late October or early November, is a special book for me.

This romance--well, perhaps it's more in the love story genre-began life as a romantic novella of about 10,000 words that was published sometime in 1996 or '97. Then I decided to rework it, fitting it more comfortably into the romance genre, and it sold as BABY, IT'S YOU to a small press.

This book was contracted...but then it was never released. It was listed on many outlets, including Amazon,but it was never available to my readers.

The publisher has long since gone out of business. I moved on to other projects, many recent Christian/inspirational works. This year, I decided that I would finally rewrite BABY, IT'S YOU (from scratch, because I no longer have the manuscript) and put it where it has always belonged: in the hands of my readers!

But, naturally, when an author rewrites, it's usually not the exact same book. I'm excited because the new version is closer to the original, the short story, and yet it's an entirely new work. This is a 20th Century historical (which I seem to do a lot of, LOL!). 

Now that it's got a new lease on life, it's got a new title, GOODNIGHT, MY LOVE. For the first time ever, it's even got a cover, as you'll see above!

And this time, you WILL be able to get a copy. It's my hope that this book, which is dear to my heart, will bring you much reading pleasure.

GOODNIGHT, MY LOVE...Coming soon!

Monday, September 21, 2015

Movie Review: WAR ROOM

Rating: 5 Doves!

(Full disclosure here: This movie, a Christian film that is a recent hit in movie theaters, bares the distinction of having a personal friend of mine in its cast! I'm proud to say that the talented Kimberly Hester Huffstetler, an actress who has appeared in over 30 films, has a brief cameo in this movie.)

Now onto WAR ROOM, brought to us by the same people who gave us FIREPROOF, COURAGEOUS, and FACING THE GIANTS.

Tony and Elizabeth Jordan are an attractive and upwardly mobile couple who, on the exterior, seem to have everything: successful careers, a luxurious home, and a beautiful daughter, Danielle (played by a terrific young actress, Alena Pitts. Behind closed doors, it's sadly not as perfect a picture. Elizabeth (Priscilla C. Shirer) and Tony (T.C. Stallings) are so busy chasing the American Dream that they have left behind Danielle, each other, and God Himself.

Enter the charming and feisty Miss Clara (played by the absolutely delightful Karen Abercrombie). Miss Clara enlists Elizabeth in selling her house, a quaint home built in the early 1900s with one very unique feature: Miss Clara's "prayer closet," spoken of by Jesus in Matthew 6:6: "But when you pray, go into your room, close the door, and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you." (New International Version)

This is the war room--the room, as Miss Clara instructs Elizabeth, where the battle is fought for our loved ones, for our families, for our friends, against the Enemy. At first, Elizabeth feels Miss Clara is prying, and yet she knows her marriage is in trouble and throws her whole heart into fighting for her family. Miss Clara takes Elizabeth under her wing and leads her on a journey that not only involves fighting for her family but which naturally also leads to a deeper, closer walk with He who fights for us. (Deuteronomy 3:22)

Make no mistake: This is completely and unapologetically a Christian film. I don't want to give away too much, but I will say that the cast put in some impressive performances. Christian movies have come a long way, as demonstrated by this moving film, which as one friend put it, "really makes you want to clean out your closet and make room for a war room of your own." And as another friend of mine said, "It is a call to prayer to every Christian in America."

As a believer, you will be challenged to take a good look at your prayer life, and you will see it in a new light. This is a film with a lot of heart, that will stay with you after you leave the theater; it is my hope that it sends you into your own WAR ROOM, as it did to me. Go see this one!

"If My people, which are called by My name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land." - 2 Chronicles 7:14 King James Version

Saturday, September 19, 2015


Finally--it feels like forever before this day arrived!

ONCE UPON A PAINTED HORSE is now available, in all its formatted glory. Get it from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Itunes, Kobo--whoever may be your favorite online store.


And return here for my upcoming review of the soon-to-be-a-classic Christian film, WAR ROOM.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015


With only 3 days to go before the release of ONCE UPON A PAINTED HORSE, I'm posting the playlist of songs that were mentioned in the book. If you'd like to listen to the song, just click on the title to be brought to a YouTube video for each individual one. (And hopefully I got them all!) Music figured quite a bit in this one, especially with a hero who is the church pianist.


The Blood Will Never Lose Its Power (Andrae Crouch)
Amazing Grace (sung by the church, but here's a great version by Alan Jackson)
Thrive (Casting Crowns)
Pretty Woman
Midnight Cry
I Am (Crowder)
Shoulders (For King and Country)
The One I'm Running To (Seventh Time Down)
Slow Fade (Casting Crowns)
More Than Wonderful (Sandi Patti & Larnelle Harris)

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Upcoming Release & More Updates

Here's a little mish-mash of updates, etc. Seems like between this month and last month, I've been doing more writing than posting, and that's always all right!

First, just a reminder that September 19 is right around the corner. Reserve your copy of ONCE UPON A PAINTED HORSE at 99 cents before the price goes up to $2.99!

Also, as you can tell by the work-in-progress bar on my blog's sidebar (to the right), GOODNIGHT MY LOVE is coming right along. I'm really looking forward to sharing the story-behind-the-story on that one, as well as revealing the cover for this upcoming book, which is looking at a tentative release date of sometime early November.

More coming, but I'm on my way in a few minutes to attend a MICHAEL W. SMITH concert tonight with my hubby! Check back this week for more posts/updates.

Happy Reading!

Monday, September 7, 2015

Quickie September Note

First...Happy September!

And ONCE UPON A PAINTED HORSE is now available for preorder on Amazon!

Please note, too, that this book is on sale for 99 cents until after its release, when the price will change to $2.99. So reserve your copy today!

Sunday, August 30, 2015


That's me, to the right, with a friend! Is that not cool? While on vacation with my husband, Bill, I couldn't resist getting a shot with a REAL painted horse!

And with the release of ONCE UPON A PAINTED HORSE only weeks away, I thought I'd give readers a little taste of what's on the way.

So here goes, an excerpt from my new, soon-to-be-published Christian romance novel (which as I said before, has paranormal elements).


“Welcome to Meridian Amusement Park,” Tom said softly. “Opened in 1908. For many years it was a dream come true. That is, for the first owner.”
“Was that your great-great-great grandfather?” she joked.
He led the way in, shaking his head. “No, it was another man. He sold it to my great-grandfather in 1958. That was the real heyday of this park, 1958 to about 1968. He sold it to my grandfather because he was afraid. He was the first one to say it was haunted.”
“By the farmer who killed his family and then killed himself?”
Turning to her, Tom didn’t seem either annoyed or surprised.
“That, and the little girl who fell out of the roller coaster,” he said. “She wasn’t restrained properly. She was also too young and probably shouldn’t have been on the ride anyway. That was in 1924.”
“How old was she?”
“Five, almost six. Her name was Bridget.”
They were walking past a couple of old-fashioned ticket booths. Seeing the park from behind the gates was different from being inside it. Tom flashed her a kind smile.
“I don’t want you to think it’s always been tragic here,” he explained. “Yeah, there was also a man who was said to be disturbed who pushed another man off the Ferris wheel—and he fell about fifty feet to his death. But all that’s happened here hasn’t always been bad.”
“So there were happy times here, too?”
“A lot of happy times. Like—well, this way…”
Deeper into the park with him. With Tom, a guy she barely knew. Her parents knew him from church. Interestingly, Heather didn’t feel threatened by that at all. She felt safe with him.
And where were the ghosts? The spirits hidden in every shadow in that place?
The park wasn’t as scary as it was sad. Sad, lonely—and yes, a tragic place.
She thought back to all the scary movies she had seen. Now that Heather thought about it, she had seen more than she could name, including “classics”—or at least, a friend of hers at Barton Lamplight had called them classics. Movies like Night of the Living Dead, The Omen, The Exorcist. Lots of those slasher-style films, too, like Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th.
The amusement park wasn’t like that. Just an old place, frozen in time. They walked past an old, rusted Himalaya ride. A shop that might have sold baseball caps, T-shirts and plastic cups, other souvenirs, with the park’s logo. An area with games, like the one with the sign that read WIN A TEDDY BEAR, 25¢.
There had been fun there. Once, a long time ago. Heather found herself wishing it was still like that. Wishing the park was still alive.
“From what my grandfather told me,” Tom recounted, tossing out an arm showily at the entrance to the Tunnel of Love, “there were more than a few wedding proposals in this place.”
Heather smiled. “Wish it was still working.”
“Me, too. The water either was drained or they let it all evaporate over the years. Even if it wasn’t,” he told her, “there’s no electricity running through the place.”
“Nowhere in the park?”
“Not even the lights?”
“Nope. I use a flashlight. I try not to come here at night, though.” Tom paused. “Since I was jumped.”
“You were jumped?”
“Yes. That happened in broad daylight, actually. They beat me and they left me there. Made off with my wallet and about thirty dollars. I guess they thought there was more money or something to find here.”
Heather sighed. No wonder he was that way around her the day he’d found her snooping around at the gate.
“Did you ever think about opening it again?” she asked.
“My dad did. He went broke. Not because of the park. He closed it a long time ago, back in ’74. Want to see something amazing?”
“I think the whole place is amazing.” She was being truthful with him. “Sad and old—but amazing.”
Grinning appreciatively, Tom took her gently by the arm and led the way.
“Well, then, you’ll really love this, Heather,” he promised.
He’s like the park.
Where had that thought come from? But it was true. Tom Clayton, though not old, was sad and rather haunted. Heather clasped her hand over the one he had on her forearm.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Now Available for PRE-ORDER

So excited to report that ONCE UPON A PAINTED HORSE is now available for pre-order from Smashwords! Check out the little widget on my sidebar.

Of course, if you prefer to pre-order from Barnes & Noble, Apple, Kobo or the others, that should be coming very shortly.

Also, please note that this book will actually be released on September 19, 2015. But if you wish, go ahead and reserve your copy!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

August 2015 Updates

A couple of updates for readers today, to keep you abreast of what's happening on my end:

* ONCE UPON A PAINTED HORSE -- First draft will be finished TODAY. Although, for editing purposes, as well as preparing this baby's paperback version, I'll be pushing back the "official" release date to September 2015, the book will be ready for pre-order as early as THIS WEEK. I'll keep you updated so that you can reserve your copy!

* GOODNIGHT MY LOVE -- This one's in the works, and like many of my books has a little backstory that I'll be sharing shortly. This is a never-before-published sweet romance novel, historical (1960s), an old-fashioned, touch-your-heart tale! Again, like with CRYSTAL WAVES, I don't have the original and it almost made it to publication, so I will be rewriting it from scratch. For old-fashioned romance story lovers, I really think you'll like this one. Anyhoo, more on that later. Tentatively scheduled for an October/November release, with more info to follow.

That's it so far, but more news to come. Check back!

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Movie Review: DO YOU BELIEVE?

Rating: Five doves!

Last night was movie night for my husband and me. Bill reserved a film from Redbox and told me, "We have to go pick it up at the kiosk." He didn't tell me the title of the movie nor what it was about, preferring it be a surprise.

So at the kiosk, I watched the title show up on the machine for the film he'd reserved and the pictures on the cover that formed a cross. I was elated that movie night would be spent on a Christian movie--but I was also leery. Christian movies are sometimes a hit or miss proposition.

Do You Believe, from the same people who brought us God's Not Dead, earned every one of its five doves from this reviewer. This one is a definite hit.

First off, this has quite a cast, including familiar faces that we haven't seen on screen in many years: Lee Majors, Brian Bosworth, Ted McGinley, Cybill Shepherd and Mira Sorvino. Delroy Lindo also has a brief but powerful role as a street preacher. In fact, it is his scene that lights the fire for the story.

Or should I say stories? Other reviewers have commented that Do You Believe? is like a Christian Crash, and to a point, that's true. Like Crash, there are several characters, along with their individual storylines--but that's pretty much where the similarity ends.

Make no mistake: This is definitely a Christian film. The gospel is not at all watered down but rather both presented and demonstrated through the story, which well written and well acted, to the credit of its fine screenwriters and actors. I found myself caring about every one of the characters.

Do You Believe? is about broken people: a runaway pregnant teen with nowhere to go...a soldier who's returned from war and is suffering PTSD...a young woman who has attempted suicide...an older couple who are still grieving the loss of their only child...two brothers involved in crime and headed for an early grave...a dying ex-con...a homeless widow and her daughter...an EMT whose marriage and career are at serious risk, all because he's about to stand up for his faith...a pastor and his wife, who have been unable to have children. Each of these characters will have an encounter with the Lord Jesus Christ and His cross, and as is the case with every person who has ever lived, each will have to answer the question for themselves: "Do I believe?"

No spoilers ahead--but I will say this movie is an emotional and powerful ride. It's a storyline that moves swiftly; you can't look away for a moment, because each scene is used to develop the characters or move the story along, and that's what's called "good storytelling."

Unlike Crash, Do You Believe? is guaranteed not to win an Academy Award. Do You Believe?, as a reviewer noted on IMDB, is not a movie striving for an earthly award that sits on a mantle and gathers dust. Instead, it seeks to plant a seed of faith in believer and nonbeliever alike, to offer hope to a hopeless and dark world. Its simple and timeless message is that, no matter what trials you face in this world, there is victory and peace to be found at the foot of the Cross on Calvary.

That is worth more than any award on this planet.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Blog Title Change

Quick Note to Readers:

I realize "Connie Keenan, Romance Author" has been the name of this blog for, well, probably since I first started writing a blog in the first place!

For some time, though, I've been giving it thought, and ever since the publication of my Christian mainstream work, THE LARKSPUR VALLEY SERIES, I've actually been branching out and writing mainstream, short stories, a little bit of chick lit (blended with romance--that was CHAMPAGNE TASTE). In light of other works, my books really encompass other genres, not just romance anymore. Even my upcoming book is more of a blend of romance and mainstream.

For that reason, "Connie Keenan, Romance Author" is now "Author Connie Keenan." That doesn't mean I won't be writing romance anymore, because I will, most certainly, still write and publish romance novels! But I feel the new blog title is more true to form now I've branched out into other areas.

All in all, hope you enjoy what's coming, and that you be blessed!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Character Interview with Tom Clayton

Though I had originally planned to give readers some background on my upcoming book, sometimes it's a lot more fun--and makes even more sense--coming from the mouth of one of the characters themselves! That hasn't happened since Violet Dunne from FOREVER IN MY HEART came for an interview.

Now we've got Tom Clayton, the hero of ONCE UPON A PAINTED HORSE, who has graciously agreed to stop by and talk about this upcoming Christian novel which, as it turns out, is about romance...and more. So grab a cup of coffee, sit back, relax & enjoy the interview!

ME: Welcome, Tom, to my humble, little blog!

TOM (smiling shyly): Thank you, writer! (Whispering) Um...do I pretend we haven't seen each other every single day since the book began? I'm not sure how to do this.

ME (whispering): Oh, you're doing find, sweetheart. The readers know we've been working together. You just be your wonderful self, answer my questions--but don't give too much away. Okay?

TOM: Got it!

ME: Good. So tell us about ONCE UPON A PAINTED HORSE. In a nutshell, what is it about?

TOM: Well, the story starts out with Heather Blackburn--that's my Heather, though we don't know each other at the very beginning. She's just been laid off from a very prestigious job in New York City.

ME: She was an editor, right? At a publishing house?

TOM: Yes, that's right. Her dream job. Anyway, she's let go and she doesn't know what direction her life is supposed to take. Her parents have been living in Western North Carolina, and their pastor and his family are planning to take an 11-week sabbatical. They offer Heather, who is coming down to North Carolina because she has lost her apartment up North, as a house-sitter. She's just gotten to the house and is driving around, checking out her surroundings, when she sees signs for an amusement park. That's when she meets me. I own the amusement park.

ME: How cool! But there's something...let's just say, unusual about this amusement park, isn't there?

TOM: Y-yes, absolutely. The amusement park hasn't been used in decades. In fact...it's said to be haunted.

ME: Ahhh, exactly. Okay, well, let's go back to that, but first...tell us about Heather. It's love at first sight between you two, right?

TOM (laughing): No, I wouldn't say that. We don't get off on the right foot at all. But she ends up going to church with her parents, and guess who's also there? Because I'm the piano player for the church. I accompany the worship team.

ME: Very nice! You're also a high school teacher and a coach, but it's the summer, so you're currently not working, right?

TOM: Right. I had decided to spend the summer trying to get the park--or rather, the land it's on, sold.

ME: But nobody wants to buy land that is "haunted," right?

TOM: Unfortunately, that's true. But it's not haunted by ghosts. As a Christian, I have to deal with what is on that land. And I can't do it alone. That's something I have to learn in the story.

ME: Yes, and that's what makes this book a lot different from other Christian romances I have worked on. You're a very brave hero, by the way, and Heather is a very brave heroine.

TOM: I appreciate that, but it's not always easy. There are elements of spiritual warfare. This used to be a beautiful park, a playground for families, but there were tragedies there, and there are things there that don't want to leave. They would also like to come between Heather and me.

ME: That's right. It's important to warn readers that there are elements of horror within the story, too, but at heart, what is really going on there is what you mentioned--spiritual warfare. This isn't easy for either of you, either.

TOM: No, because I've been a Christian since I was younger, in my 20s. I'm 30 now. But I'm at a hard place in my walk, where I'm wavering in the faith. And Heather is just coming to the Lord. This story is also about re-dedication to the Lord and trusting Him no matter what you face, and trusting Him to be Lord over the most important relationship of your life--aside from the one with Him, of course.

ME: Of course! I think we're going to leave it there, Tom. You've given the readers a good idea of what to expect.

TOM (smiling): A good story and, I hope, a blessing!

ME: I agree. Thank you for coming, Tom.

TOM: Thank you, writer! See ya this afternoon! Meet you at the laptop!

ME (giggling): Meet you there!

And remember...ONCE UPON A PAINTED HORSE will be released sometime in August 2015!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Morning Walk and Devotion

Say "Good Morning, Lord" with a walk!
There's a saying (and I don't know who came up with it, but whoever it was, you are truly cool!) that if you do something for 30 days, it becomes a habit. This applies to any GOOD habit you would like to make a part of your life.

I'm happy to say that this has been true for me. Earlier this year, I blogged about starting a yoga practice, which has now become a part of my regular routine. Since I also love walking, I began alternating yoga with walking: One morning, I get up early, get my running shoes on, and hit the pavement; the next morning, I get up, put on stretchy pants and head into my office/yoga studio for a half hour or so of my practice. A friend of mine who is a nutritionist loved it when I told her that, and it sounds like she wants to incorporate that idea, of alternating!

For me, music usually plays a role in either activity. Either I take my Ipad Mini along and play yoga/spa music on Pandora or on YouTube, or I tuck my MP3 player into my pocket and listen to music through headphones as I walk.

Except for the past few weeks, I've left the music home and instead have begun to pray throughout my morning walks. Silently--because no one needs to hear me but the Lord. During the walk, I praise Him, pray for family members, for special needs, for my husband's ministry and mine, for the Lord to bless the day with opportunities to share Him with others.

I'm not sure if I've been doing it for 30 days or more yet, but I look forward to those alternate mornings when I invite Jesus to join me. Sometimes I do bring my headphones, and my devotion takes the form of inwardly singing songs of praise to Him, simply being with Him. His holy and sweet presence has elevated walking for me; it is more than an exercise. Rather than face the end of the day, thinking I "couldn't find time" to pray, I instead had the opportunity to spend time with my precious Heavenly Father as the sun was coming up over the horizon.

That's more than bodily exercise. It sort of brings new meaning to the term "walk with the Lord."

I know the Lord looks forward to our walks, too. It sets the pace for the rest of the day. The physical activity strengthens the heart; the spiritual activity prepares it for the day ahead.

A morning walk & devotion. Try it for 30 days...or more!

Friday, July 17, 2015

FREE Short Romance Story

Recently, in searching through my email archives for something, I happened to find the submission of a short story I'd made to a woman's magazine a few years ago. The editor had written back once to say they'd received the submission, then I never heard another word regarding the story. Ah, there was something that didn't happen often, LOL!

Anyway, it's very short, just a little over 1,000 words, a pleasant and light read you can enjoy while waiting to go into the doctor's office or with your morning coffee. It's called "Autumn Fireworks," and we're in July, but that's okay. Bringing a little autumn cool to this hot summer. Rated "G" for General Audiences, just FYI. The magazine was rather old-fashioned in nature, and so I tailored this read for them. Enjoy!

By Connie Keenan

            Laura Rosen had no time that morning for daydreaming, yet she couldn’t help herself. Through the shop’s window she could see the most gorgeous day, with playful autumn breezes sweeping leaves from the streets into mystical circles of red, brown, gold and burnt orange.
            You’re a little too old for daydreaming, she scolded herself, and a lot too busy.
            Talk about an understatement. A new shipment of greeting cards had come in and the stationery aisles needed tidying up. She loved the kids coming into the shop but dreaded the tornado-style mess they left in their wake following the mad search for school supplies. There were other chores on her To-Do list and no guarantee she’d get everything done before closing up her shop at the end of the day.
            Sunday—that would be her day. After church, it would be her time to reacquaint herself with that sweetly familiar old town. She’d grown up there, living on her parents’ dairy farm. That is, until she’d headed off for college and to see the world.
Well, she’d seen it. Then it had only been a matter of time before her heart had led the way back home, where she felt the strong sense of belonging.
            “Mary?” she called out, hearing the bell tinkle over the door, announcing someone had entered.
            Mary Simmons was a spry, little sparrow of a grandmother, a retiree who’d answered Laura’s ad for a part-timer to help her out in the shop. She couldn’t have asked for a better employee or friend, for that matter. But the visitor that morning definitely wasn’t Mary, being that he was definitely a guy. A tall, lanky guy. It took Laura a moment, but she finally recognized the blue-eyed police officer standing right in front of her.
            “Cal Becker?” she asked.
            “Yeah. Hey, Laura.” Her former classmate suddenly remembered his manners and removed his police hat. “Never thought I’d see you again. Where’ve you been?”
            “Trying to escape the big city. And I finally succeed,” she quipped, laughing with him.
            “Well, good. Glad to hear that.”
            Laura tilted her head, studying him. Since Cal was about three years older, he had to be about thirty-five now. There were lines on his plain but pleasant face that hadn’t been there before, as there were now on hers, as well. Still, he’d lost none of that boyish shyness of his that she recalled.
            “Married now? Have a family?” she asked.
            “Me? Oh, no. But as a matter of fact, I’m—I’ll be attending a wedding next week,” he explained. “Guy on the force is getting married. I’m here to pick up a card.” Turning to the display of greeting cards, Cal scanned them quickly before selecting one and dropping it. “That’s good enough—oops.”
            She bit her lower lip to keep from chuckling. “That is a nice card.”
            “Uh-huh. You know, they, uh, told me you bought this place.”
            “I did. Funny thing, huh?”
            “Yep. I remember we spent a lot of time here as kids. You worked here, and . . . ” Cal licked his lips as he pulled out some money to pay for his purchase. “ . . . I usually came in for stuff.”
            “Mmm-hmmm. Funny, too, that I worked here and now I own it.”
            “More than funny. It’s nice. Real nice.” He hesitated after she gave him his change. His badge, with BECKER in huge letters, caught the light. “You married some city guy, Laura?”
            “Almost. But it wasn’t meant to be, I guess. I’m still single, too.”
            “Oh, good! I mean—” Cal shook his head and frowned. “It’s good to see you again. I’m still here all the time. Some things never change.”
            The bell over the door tinkled again. This time it was Mary, wearing a delightful sweater the colors of autumn. She exchanged a greeting with the policeman. Laura caught her mischievous smirk when Cal wasn’t looking.
            “Some things shouldn’t change,” Laura told him. “It’ll be wonderful seeing you in here again.”
            “Thanks. ’Bye.” Those long legs carried him to the door. He paused and turned to say softly over his shoulder, “Laura, you were sorely missed.”
            Mary didn’t wait long after the door closed behind him. “Boy, a girl could get hurt with all that TNT flying between you two!” she exclaimed.
            Laura was confused. “TNT?”
            “Yes. As in, what puts the boom! in fireworks.”
            She laughed. “Very funny, Mary. Cal is just an old friend from school.”
            But now, all these years later, it dawned on her: As a teenager she had worked in the shop and Cal—gangly, shy Cal—had always found some excuse to come in. He’d buy pens or a fishing magazine, or a book from the rack. She remembered he liked mysteries.
            The fascinating thing was that he had never once made her heart skip an excited beat the way he had now. How different it was, now that he’d grown into a man and she’d become a woman. Laura knew she hadn’t imagined it: relief had sparked in his eyes when she’d told him she hadn’t married in all those years.
            She also knew she hadn’t imagined the tingle that had gone through her. Now, remembering back, it wasn’t for the first time since she’d known him, either. It had happened in their youth, too, sometimes when those eyes of electric blue had met hers.
            Again the bell sounded. Whirling around, she saw Cal in the doorway again. He stood, squaring his shoulders as he removed his hat again. Out of the corner of her eye she watched Mary discreetly step away.
            “Forgot something?” she asked him.
            “Well, Laura, about the wedding next week . . .” Cal took a deep breath. “Besides the card . . . I could also use a date. If you’re not doing anything, I’d really enjoy having you on my arm.”
            Laura’s smile grew wider, winning one from him. “Well, Officer Becker, I thought you’d never ask. . . . ”


Copyright 2015 by Connie Keenan

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

July 2015 in Pictures

Yes, I know it's early to post pictures for the month! But the birth of grandchild # 4, Billy Keenan, has made this July awesome. The little guy is the first child of our elder son Joey and his wife, Iris, and we're all thrilled to welcome him to the family! Our trip up North included a visit with my cousin Pep and his family and my bestie forever, Linda Sherman, plus we stole away for a few hours to the one & only Jersey Shore. Earlier in the month, we enjoyed the 4th of July with our grandkids here in NC, Aubrey, Matthew & Shannon.

So how's your July going?

Sunday, July 12, 2015


With August right around the corner, time to unveil my upcoming book's cover!

As I said in my earlier post this month, I've been busy with family goings-on that have been highlighted by the birth of our grandson, William Joseph Keenan (yes, he's named after his Grandpa, my husband). But I'm now back at work on the book, which is still on the way. That means this may be a late August release, but that's okay! This "baby" is on its way to your reading device shortly.

More news, plus a little background on the book (or "the story behind the story") to come.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Welcome Baby Billy!

As you can tell, my new book has been slightly delayed--and that's because we've been in New Jersey for the birth of our fourth grandchild, William Joseph Keenan. Of course, we just call him Billy!

This is the first child of our elder son, Joey, and his wife, Iris. So this month has started off with quite a blessing! Hopefully, he'll be meeting his excited cousins, Aubrey, Matthew & Brody, within a few months. Thank the Lord for grandkids!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

COMING SOON: Once Upon a Painted Horse

My upcoming book now has a title, plus more news on the way!

ONCE UPON A PAINTED HORSE will be released August 2015. Not sure yet on the date, but most likely I will be taking preorders on this new title, a Christian romance.

Also, as I said before, this is a different sort of book than I've written and published before. Coming soon is the cover, a character interview, an excerpt and possibly a paperback version that will also be available.

Coming as soon as this week is some background on the book, as I gave before with CRYSTAL WAVES--so bookmark my blog if you haven't already and pop by again!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Something Different, Check-In, Etc.

Back to work on something new! If you visit this blog, you already knew that from the progress of SWEET ROMANCE on my sidebar. It was a good rest, during which I refilled my "writing well," and now I'm even more excited to get back to writing.

Precisely why I'm checking in to give an update on that upcoming book, which will be a nice, juicy length rather than the novella I was planning on doing. Know how some books have a way of taking a life of their own once they're started? Well, this one's doing just that. First of all, it's a little more than a sweet romance. It's now a Christian sweet romance...with some other elements in it. Quite different from anything I've published in the past, either with a publisher or now that I'm an indie.

There's a back story to this, as there usually is with stories, and the ones from my pen aren't any different in that area! I'll be filling readers in on it later on this month, hopefully. Right now, we're probably looking at an August release.

More news as it comes...

Sunday, June 7, 2015

May 2015 in Pics

Dance recitals with the granddaughter, T-ball games with the grandson, a day trip to Greenville, South Carolina that included relaxing at a sidewalk cafe and car show. Generally, enjoying the great spring weather ushered in by May! Ready for summer?

Friday, May 1, 2015

April 2015 in Pictures

 Our older son, Joey, marries his long-time sweetheart, Iris! That called for a trip to New Jersey for us (the Original Keenans) and the Young Keenans, as we call them, at right. While in Jersey, we visited with old friends and family, plus new family! Hope your April was wonderful & blessed, too.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

My Yoga Practice

Happy to say that, as I mentioned in an earlier post, I began practicing yoga--seriously this time--since right before my 55th birthday last month. Even happier to report that, here we are a month later, and I'm sticking with it.

I should probably preface this by saying that I'm one of those people who "flirted" with yoga in the beginning. My first foray with it was when we lived in Jersey, back when the hubby and I had memberships to Bally Total Fitness. Time-wise, the class wasn't convenient for me, but I did get to attend a couple of classes--and loved it.

Sadly, it didn't last. My kids were younger, and I was writing for magazines and a few book publishers, so my schedule was pretty filled. Yoga, which isn't always as high impact as, well, beating up on a treadmill (though some forms are), ended up something I would someday like to take up, when I had time.

Fast-forward to last year, the last few months. A friend of mine at work, great lady named Wanda, began holding Yogafit classes for employees. I went to one class, during which something clicked as it had before.

Don't know if it makes sense, but my body, itself, likes yoga. It was almost as if I understood that this was for me.

And Wanda said something during that class that resonated with me: "Make whatever adjustments you have to make. Listen to your body. It's YOUR practice."

I realized that I had made a lot of excuses as to why I would "do" yoga someday. Everything from "I don't have time" to "I'm not that flexible" and my old standby, "But I burn more calories going to the gym!"

That last one really felt short, especially in light of the past couple of years. Let's face it: At one point you pass this threshold where you no longer believe exercise (or any physical activity) is only in your life for the purpose of losing or maintaining weight. Eventually you realize that physical activity has too many other benefits to relegate it to the "only when I'm trying to lose weight" corner.

And yoga is so much more than just a physical activity.

So now I try to make it to Wanda's Wednesday night class when I can, plus I practice along with videos. I'm pleased to be able to say that I've been waking up early each morning, giving myself enough time for my practice (anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes on weekdays before work). After several weeks, I'm also familiar with enough poses that I'll put on meditative soft music and work on both the poses and my breathing.

No more excuses. And guess what? I can still make time for the treadmill or a 5K walk around the lake or a mountain hike without giving up my yoga time. My only rest day is Sunday--and even then, it feels like something is missing because I haven't rolled out my mat!

There's always time for taking care of yourself. Yoga is something I do just for me.

For me...and the body I bring to my mat each day.

It's never too late to pursue something that has always called to your heart, as yoga has done to mine. 


Monday, April 13, 2015

Release Date & Back on Track

That mini-vacation I took seems to have done me good, because in addition to today being the release date for my Christian short story, IF I MAY BUT TOUCH, I've already jumped into the Christian romance novella, too.

Did I say RELEASE DATE? Let's stick with that right now!

To buy IF I MAY BUT TOUCH on Amazon

To buy IF I MAY BUT TOUCH on Smashwords

To buy IF I MAY BUT TOUCH on Nook

And more coming. Check back soon!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Coming This Week

Lots going on this week, so not sure when I'll be checking back in. One thing's for certain, and that is the release of my Christian short story, "If I May But Touch."

Yep--just as you might have guessed, this is a fictionalized account of the true story of the woman with "the issue of blood," a condition that lasted twelve years. The idea for this story actually came to me the week of Easter when I was in prayer.

Please note: This story is the SHORTEST fiction that I have published to date, weighing in at under 6,000 words. It is my hope and prayer that it may bring a blessing to those who read it.

That said, look for a release date as early as Monday or Tuesday of this week! Stay well & God bless you!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

He is Risen

Yes, I know it's still a few days away--we still have Good Friday, too--but I wanted to make sure to wish you a Happy Easter. And to add with joy, HE IS RISEN!

In the past few days I've been going through a trial. The interesting thing about going through the fire is that there's a certain "clutter removal" that gets done as you're going through that hard patch. You begin to realize what is important and what isn't. Even more, your eyes are opened and you come to see who the Lord really is in your life.

So don't mind me if I'm celebrating Easter early. Hope you'll join in that celebration with me! No coloring of eggs is necessary, no chocolate bunnies or candy. Only reverence and peace as we acknowledge with our hearts that the Lord Jesus Christ died for us, and that the grave couldn't contain Him.

He is risen!

No matter what we go through here on earth, here in this life, nothing can ever change the fact that we serve a resurrected Christ, and nothing in this life can separate us from the Great I AM's amazing love.

May you have a very blessed & Happy Easter!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015


Or is it a slowdown?

Maybe because I started working on two projects at the same time, something I've never done before, but I'm experiencing a bit of a slowdown these past couple of weeks. In all likelihood, that's going to push back the release date for my Consuelo Vazquez women's fiction, which in turn may also slow down my WIP under another name.

One good thing to come from that is that I'll soon be working on a Connie Keenan sweet novella, which may or may not come out before the women's fiction. Another good thing, and this is on a personal rather than a professional level, I've begun practicing yoga. More on that later, but I'll be updating news on both my women's fiction and romantic novella in the coming weeks.

In the meantime, CRYSTAL WAVES, my newest Christian novel, is now available on Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, KoboBooks, Apple & more.

Happy Reading!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Over 50 & Loving It

"Gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained in the way of righteousness." - Proverbs 16:31, New International Version

You can't tell by the recent picture on the left, but I have a LOT of gray in my hair. I'm one of those chickies who's been a blonde, a redhead, a brunette, and a brownette (is there such a word? My hubby and I have debated it, but I KNOW, for a fact, that I heard it in a shampoo commercial some years ago). Even in my 20s, I changed my hair color from time to time, sometimes getting a frosting.

The last color I put in my hair was an ash blond (you can see it in my promo pic on my blog, which is due to be changed soon). That was over a year ago. Since then, I've had my hairstylist slowly cut out the blond until it's returned to its original brown.

With...many strands of silver, more of which are popping up every day, with my 55th birthday right around the corner.

Recently I mentioned that to a nurse during my last doctor's visit. She had even more silver in her hair than I do, with a long bob that showed it off something adorable. When I complimented her, she proudly told me she'd stopped coloring her hair two years ago, and that she loved her gray. She added with a smile, "I deserve it. I've earned it. I love it!"

The writer of Proverbs would paraphrase her words to say, "I've earned my crown of splendor." That's such a lovely way of looking at it.

Not everyone reaches this age. In a culture that celebrates youth and treats aging like something to be ashamed of, something that's quite not that attractive, it's sorta rebellious and sassy to say, "No, I'm not going to tint or bleach my hair just because society says I'm supposed to look like I'm 20 or 30 forever." Tragically, there are people who, either through hard living or illness or some other heartbreaking circumstance, are taken from this earth much too soon.

Then there are some of us who have lived long enough to get gray in our hair. Not because we're better than anyone else. By the grace of God, we're here to tell our stories. We get to grow old while still being young at heart. We don't know how many years we have left in this life, but we're determined to enjoy them and live them to the fullest--again, by God's grace.

I could change the color of my hair, becoming a blonde or a redhead or a brunette, but that won't make me 25 again. Wearing a size 2 bikini won't make me 25 again, either. I don't want to be 25 again. Age really is just a number. In this life, regardless of what society dictates as beauty, we're meant to go forward, to mature, to grow.

I'm looking forward to the day when someone compliments my silver hair. My answer will be, "Thank you very much. I've earned it. I love my crown of splendor!"

Wednesday, March 4, 2015


Since I've been an indie author, I've only changed a cover once before (and that was for GLIMMERS OF HEAVEN).

Thought I'd give my readers a sneak preview of the new cover (with Carissa Brilhart's character, the reporter, depicted here, looking out and photographing the ocean). This will be the new cover as of next Monday.

And still at work on the new Consuelo Vazquez, but thought I'd check in to fill you in on this news.

Ciao & see ya later!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Updates for March--So Far

Happy March!

Never thought I'd do this, but I'm actually working on TWO books at the same time, one under Consuelo Vazquez and the other under another pen name. That's why I've been rather lax in updating this blog, but checking in to give some news.

First, if you haven't heard, ONE SWEET DAY has been on a free promotion on Smashwords, Kobo, Apple, and other channels. The promotion was supposed to end yesterday. I've decided to give it another couple of days, so the promotion will end on Wednesday, March 4. If you haven't read this Christian mainstream novel, then make sure to get your copy.

Onto Consuelo Vazquez: The new book is humming right along, though as I said, it's been interrupted here and there by another project. We're still look at an April release, but it could be going into May at some point. Bookmark this blog for an excerpt, the cover reveal, and more news.

Last but not least, somewhere along the way I'll be putting out a romantic novella under Connie Keenan. This *may* be out in April or May. Check back for that cover and more news, too.

And again--don't miss ONE SWEET DAY. Own it today!