Paper Wishes

Looking for a little romance this holiday season?  Author Jennifer M. Eaton has the stories just for you.

Paper Wishes follows Jack and Jill on their journey from friendship to love over Christmas and New Years in two heartwarming stories.

Connect the Dots: Jill writes her most intimate Christmas wish to God—and throws it away for its ridiculousness—but Christmas wishes have a way of coming true, even when you don’t know what you’ve wished for.

A Test of Faith: One day after her Christmas wish comes true, Jill faces a wrenching choice that tests her deepest beliefs. Will love prevail over conviction, or is happiness nothing more than a fairytale?


Jill has no idea what she wants for Christmas, but when it looks like her best friend Jack is going to get exactly what he asks for, Jill makes a Christmas wish that will change both of their lives forever.


I scrolled the words Dear Santa across the page. For crying out loud, how stupid is this?

“Come on, Mom,” Nicole said, placing a long fold in her letter. “It’s not that hard.”

I dropped my pen on the table. “It’s hard if you’re a grown-up.”

“Just write down what you want.” She bent and tucked the folds together, molding her letter into a perfect origami star.

“But I don’t want anything.”

Nicole held up her creation, scratching a freckled cheek. “Everyone wants something.” She fastened a paperclip to her star and hung it on the Christmas tree. The matte paper stood out from the bright glass ornaments.

I ran my fingers across my bare neckline. I’d love to have back the ornate silver and gold necklace that Nicole broke a few months ago, but I couldn’t write that. It would hurt her feelings.

“I’m too old to be writing to Santa,” I announced.

“Then write to God. He listens too.”

I narrowed my eyes. Stinker. “Okay…” I placed my pen on the sheet and crossed out Dear Santa. “Okay. Dear God.” I sighed. “It’s not helping. I still don’t know what to ask for.”

I threw my long, dark ponytail over my shoulder and tapped my pen across the sheet, leaving a wavy line of dots marring the clean, white-lined paper.

Nicole shook her head, jostling her auburn locks. “Come on, Mom. Just write something. It’s God. He already knows what you want.”

“Then can He tell me?” The rumble of the school bus granted me a temporary respite. “Grab your lunch.”

“Got it.” She tossed the brown bag into her backpack and grabbed her jacket off the back of the chair. “See you later, Mom.” The screen door slammed behind her, rattling the knickknacks on the shelf beside the door. The frigid December air swirled through the kitchen, pushing the paper across the table.

I tossed my pen to the side and poured myself another cup of coffee. Liquid heaven rolled down my throat. Well, day-old reheated liquid heaven. I tossed the rest down the sink. Coffee Stop drive-through here I come. I popped the last bit of toast into my mouth and grabbed my car keys.

The nearly empty sheet of paper shifted across the tabletop as I passed by. The words Dear God taunted me.

Writing the letter didn’t seem like a game anymore.

Dear God… it doesn’t get more serious than that.

What do I want? I hadn’t thought of it much since Bill took off on us. The pressure of being both Mommy and Daddy left little time for thinking aboutme. What I wanted was for Nicky to be happy. Nothing else seemed to matter.

I eased back down into my chair, picked up the pen, and began tapping it on the paper again. Another line of scrolling black dots appeared across the sheet.What do I want… really? My wrist flicked, and I wrote the word please.

I stared at the letters, and before I knew it a sentence had formed. Fifteen little words stared up at me, the blue ink solid and demanding on the white ruled page.

Permanent, but ridiculous.

It’s not even what I want. I crumpled the letter into a ball and tossed it over the counter. It scooted across the beige surface before slipping off and falling into the trashcan.


I’m too old for Christmas wishes anyway.


Paper Wishes is on sale now for just $.99!  Snuggle up with a great Christmas Romance today!

Click here to buy it now!

About Jennifer Eaton:

Jennifer M. Eaton is a contemporary blender of Science Fiction, Dystopian, and Romance.  Her work ranges from the sweet contemporary romances of Paper Wishes, to the dystopian society of Last Winter Red and Optimal Red, with a dusting of young adult paranormal just for fun in The First Day of the New Tomorrow.

While not off visiting other worlds, Jennifer calls the East Coast of the USA home, where she lives with her wonderfully supportive husband, three energetic boys, and a pepped up poodle.

Full time team leader, full time mom, and full time novelist… what more can you ask for?  Writing help did you say?  Well, sure!  Jennifer hosts an informational blog aimed at helping all writers be the best they can be. Stop on by and chat. She loves to hear from fans!

Email | Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook Manic Readers | Goodreads | Amazon

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A sneak peek at The Amulet of Ormisez

Several months ago I shared the great news that J. Taylor Publishing accepted my short story, THE AMULET OF ORMISEZ, for their MAKE BELIEVE anthology coming out December 3, 2o12.  I was thrilled beyond words and all of you were so sweet and wonderful, sharing all your congratulations and good wishes.  I am truly blessed to have so many wonderful followers who support each other in their endeavors.

Today I hit another milestone in this whirlwind publishing process.  So many of you have asked when they will get a sneak peek at the stories in the anthology and I’m happy to say today is the day!  Below you will find the first 250 words (or thereabout) of THE AMULET OF ORMISEZ.  The editing process has been fantastic and there were very, very few changes to the opening page.  What you see here is pretty much the way it looked upon submission, which makes me really, really happy.  I guess all that studying and taking  notes and practicing and reading about opening hooks and the importance of 1st pages paid off in this case.  I want to give a HUGE shout out to my beta readers and critique partners.  Without you, AMULET, may not be where it is today.  You guys rock my world and I can’t thank you enough for all your help and late nights, phone calls and multiple reads.

My story is just one of six fantastic short stories and I am thrilled to appear beside an amazing group of authors.  Please take the time to visit all of their websites over the next several months and get to know them as I have.  As today is the official release date of our sneak peeks, they may have their excerpts up today, too, so make sure you make the rounds, introduce yourself and tell them I sent ya!  Also, if you don’t mind, please click here to add it to your To-Read list.

And now, for your reading pleasure, may I present the first page of The Amulet of Ormisez:

Elton Fletcher urged his horse through the wind and sleet toward the enormous shadow rising from the moors against the darkness.  Sagewick Castle.  Home. Faster and faster he rode, speeding past the hedges and trees hiding the royal palace of Trumwald, his cloak snapping behind him. The horse galloped through the archway of the gatehouse, its nostrils flaring, hooves clopping against cobblestones.

A stout man rushed from the stable house, wool cloak over his head, oil lantern in hand.

“Welcome home, Master Fletcher.”

“Thank you.” Elton dismounted and handed over his horse to the welcoming marshal. “It’s good to be back. Tell me, has Master Cayden retired for the evening?”

“He has not, Lord Elton,” replied a familiar voice, “but might I suggest you tidy up a bit before socializing.”

“Ah, Ferris!” Elton grinned at the man on the steps. “What a pleasant sight! I assume my room has been prepared.”

“Of course, my lord. We’ve been expecting you.”

“Splendid. I’m cold as a corpse. Perhaps you’d like to join me for some apricot brandy and something to eat? I’m famished.” Elton embraced Ferris.

“The brandy is already in your room. I’ll have the servants fetch whatever you wish once you are settled.”

Inside, a slew of servants, waiting by the doorway, greeted Elton with exuberant smiles on their faces.

“Welcome back, Master Elton.”

“It is good to see you again, my lord.”

“May I take your coat, Sir?”

A young boy of no more than ten years stood before Elton, his arms outstretched. Elton smiled and draped his sodden, fur-lined coat and leather gloves across them. Reaching inside his coin pouch, Elton withdrew a gold therap and tucked it in the boy’s trouser pocket. “For your troubles,” he said, tousling the boy’s hair.

The young face beamed with delight as he ran down a marble corridor shouting for his mother, the coat dragging the ground behind him.

“You’d best be careful of your treatment of the hired help, Sir,” said Ferris. “Your brother would not approve.”

“Why?” Elton walked with Ferris down the entrance hall, flanked by roaring fireplaces set between massive columns. His boots echoed with each click upon the black marble floor.

“Things are not as they were when you left two years ago.” They climbed the wide, stone stairway and followed a maze of corridors. Vibrant, handmade tapestries popped against the limestone walls while slender red carpets lay underfoot. Oil lamps flickered against the stone.

It seemed all had remained as Elton recalled.

“Lord Cayden has … changed,” Ferris continued, his face drawn. “He is not what you remember. Watch your step and your generosity.”

Now for a bit about the anthology:

Make Believe

by J.A. BelfieldJennifer M. EatonJ. Keller FordTerri RochenskiKelly SaidLynda R. Young

Release Date: December 3, 2012

Target Reader: Adult

Keywords: FantasyParanormal RomanceRomance


Sacrificial Oath by Terri Rochenski
An impetuous act unwittingly makes Alesuela the fulfillment of the Sovereign’s Blood Oath to their Goddess. In five days, she’ll be forced to make the greatest choice of her life: become the virginal sacrifice already promised, or force the man she loves most to die in her place.

With an impossible choice in front of her, she searches for ways to undo the oath, and in her quest, finds not everything in her life is as she expects.

The Amulet of Ormisez by J. Keller Ford
There is only one way to save Elton Fletcher’s brother from an insanity-ridden death.

After years away from home, fighting for his people, Elton returns to discover his only sibling, Cayden, possessed by greed and malice, and responsible for malicious, unthinkable deeds. Cayden, though, isn’t the only one afflicted by the Amulet of Ormisez, and Elton finds himself in yet another battle, where the price of failure could be his own life.

Birthright by Lynda R. Young
Christa can mask the pain and hide the scars, but running from a birthright is impossible.

She’s tried to escape her grief by fleeing to a small town in Florida. Much to her frustration, the locals think they recognize her even though she’s never been there before. To make things worse, a man named Jack spouts outrageous theories about her.

Both spur Christa to bolt, to start fresh yet again, but there’s something about Jack that intrigues her enough to stay. The only problem? Someone else wants her to leave, and they won’t stop until she’s dead.

Petrified by Kelly Said
A mysterious storm has replaced summer with winter, devastating crops and smothering Castle lands in snow. Prince Sterling August stands alone as a leader, lost in personal grief as well as a desire to help his people but with an inability to do either.

The answers he needs await him, but without Lochlyn, a woman who’s just as isolated as Sterling, he’ll never see what stands before him, cloaked in illusion.

Last Winter Red by Jennifer M. Eaton
Emily is a Red, a woman whose sole purpose in life is to produce offspring. When her husband dies and leaves her childless, she risks her life and forsakes the safety of Terra—a disease-free city born after the nuclear holocaust. Beyond its boundaries, she knows, survives a man with whom she can be properly paired.

The Outside, though, holds secrets the government struggles to keep, and what Emily discovers on her quest for a mate will change her life forever.

Escort to Insanity by J.A. Belfield
From a charity auction, to a stroll in the park, to the craziest night of her life. Nicole Harrington can’t help but wonder how a simple event went so drastically wrong.

Of course, the male escort she booked is wholly to blame. Not only charming but shrewdly intelligent, Benjamin Gold drags Nicole into a platoon of unimaginable problems—ones from which she’ll have to find the courage just to survive.

Websites of MAKE BELIEVE authors:

J.A. Belfield

Jennifer M. Eaton

Kelly Said

Lynda R. Young

Terri Rochenski

‘Thanks for Writing’ Award

I love blog awards.  It’s not so much the award itself but why they even exist.

Think about it.  The person handing out the award recognizes the blogger who gave it to them, usually with a link back to the blogger. The receiver of the award recognizes and passes on the award to one or more bloggers with links to their blogs.  What a great way to spread the word about other bloggers!  Word of mouth.  The oldest and most successful marketing tool.  I can’t tell you how many fantastic people I’ve met because I hopped around to other bloggers’ sites who won these awards.  What an awesome way to drive traffic to other blogs and to get other people to connect from all over the world.

When I get an award, I don’t post it to say “Hey, look at me and how great I am.”  It’s actually to say, “Hey, check out the blog of the person who gave this to me AND check out the blog(s) of those I’m giving it to.  Sit back with them and strike up a conversation. They’d love to hear from you.”

I feel bad about singling out bloggers because all of the ones I follow are fantastic.  I decided for most awards when I get them, I’ll forward them all onto those who stop by my blog and want them.  Hopefully they’ll comment and say thanks and build more connections that way.

Today’s blog award is a little different because it is specific:  it’s the ‘Thanks for Writing’ award.

The lovely Charissa Stastny, author of Eyes of Light, gave me this very tasty delight on July 9 and I have been very lazy in thanking her publicly for the award.  Charissa…thank you so much.  It means a lot to me that you thought of me for this award.  I am humbled and grateful.  It was also one of the most original and yummy blog award giveaway posts I’ve ever read.

I’m going to pass this award to two ladies who have impacted not only my writing but my life so much that I can’t thank them enough:  Jennifer M. Eaton and Julie Reece.  I met both of them online through writer’s forums, Jennifer through Nathan Bransford’s website and Julie through  These two women, every day, keep me grounded, keep me laughing, keep me motivated, keep me reaching for the stars and have become my writing soul mates.  They are both amazing authors with hearts the size of the universe.  They are not just fellow bloggers, writers, beta readers and critiquers.  They are my friends and I would be lost without them in my life.

Jennifer, Julie…thank you for everything you bring to my life every day.  Because of you (and my family), I push on to complete my novel and get it published.  Because of you, I am reminded every day that there is nothing I can’t accomplish.  Because of you, I don’t feel so alone in this writing and publishing world.  Thank you for standing behind me to push, beside me to hold my hand, and before me so I may follow your lead.  You are both amazing women and I’m honored to know you and have you in my life.

There is nothing you need to do to accept this award.  Take it and know that what you do and who you are does affect someone in a positive way. Thank you for being you.  Thanks for Writing.

7 X 7 Link Blog Award

First, I want to thank Jennifer Eaton for this award.  She is an amazing author and I’m so glad she thought of me when handing out this award.  I have to say, I like my little collection accruing on my blog.  They’re so pretty.

As a recipient of the 7 x 7 blog award, I have to follow some rules, which are:

1.     Thank the person who gave the award (Thank you, Jennifer. *smile*)
2.     Write a post about it (I’m pretty sure that is what this is)
3.     Answer 7 questions about myself (boring, but ok)
4.     Link to 7 of your own post:  Most Surprisingly Successful, Most Underrated, Most Popular, Most Beautiful, Most Helpful, Most Controversial and Most Pride-Worthy
5.     Pass the award on to 7 bloggers who you think deserve it

Okay…so here are seven facts about me:

1.  I am hopelessly addicted to Wizard 101. I have level 60 or above Life, Ice and Fire Wizards and I also play my son’s Death, Myth, and Storm characters.

2.  I never met a lobster I didn’t like.

3.  I love to travel and want to see the Grand Canyon, Alaska, Vermont in the fall, Hawaii, Scotland, Ireland and Italy before I die.

4.  I love dogs and cats and would take every stray that I could if I had the space and money.

5.  My favorite color is yellow.

6. My favorite flower is a yellow rose.

7. I cry at movies, even happy ones.

Now, for the most difficult of all of the rules to follow: Number 4.  I seem to write a lot, but not many people comment or follow back, so it’s sort of difficult to tell which of my previous blogs fit into the categories.  So, I guessed at some, and then looked at WordPress stats for the rest.  The following is what I came up with:

Most surprisingly successful:

Can You Guess My Character’s  Age:

 Most under-rated:

Past vs. Passed

Most popular:

Brenda Drakes’ Can You Leave Me Breathless Contest

Most Beautiful:

I Love Living in Florida!

Most Helpful:

Passive Writing and How it Can Kill a Story

Most Controversial:

When listening to others opinions are bad for your health

Most Pride-Worthy:

Midlife Collage: Two-time Winner! Whoo Hoo!

Now the best part: bestowing the award on seven other bloggers.  Here goes, in no particular order:

Julie Catherine:  for her amazing art and gentle spirit

Katy Upperman:  because she’s amazing

Talin: for her amazing recipes

Emi Gayle:  ‘cause she’s all YA!

Julie Reece:  because she’s got an awesome YA novel, Crux, coming out soon and needs all the traffic she can get!

Amy Marie:  she’s a gentle spirit who I want to see succeed in all she does

Jenny N:  awesome review site for YA novels

Events that changed your life…and a new blog award

First, I want to say, “Thank you so much, Jennifer Eaton, for passing on the 7×7 Link Blog Award.”  I didn’t even realize I had the award until yesterday and I have to say, I’m very happy.  It pleases me to know others think of me and my blog when handing out these awards, especially when one considers just how big the blogosphere is.

I was going to answer the  award today (you have to do stuff for this award), but another post by Jennifer (click here to read her post on Ed Griffin, author of Once a Priest) made me decide to postpone this until tomorrow, and write about another topic…what event(s) changed your life, for good or bad?

When I think back on my life, there are many things that occurred to shape who I am.  We all have our bumps and bruises, our horrible or wonderful dates, opportunities we should or should not have taken, but what event(s) really changed the course of your life?

For me, I think I have to say there were 4 life changing events for me:  my birth/adoption, the death of my father, the births of my children, and the death of a soul mate.

I was born in Germany in 1960 to an unwed 24-year old German woman.  I have no clue who my father was.  The story had it that my mom had 4 other children and when she became pregnant with me, my dad said he’d agreed to take on the other 4 and marry my mom, but couldn’t afford one more mouth to feed.  So, my mom put me up for adoption.

I have to hand it to her.  Having kids of my own, I could never, ever give one of them away.  EVER.  I would rather die.  I’m very selfish that way.  And as far as choosing between a man and  my child…I’d take my child any day.  I know that sounds harsh, and maybe bitter and cruel, but I could never let a man, the father of my child, put those type of stipulations on me.  If abortions had been legal then, I probably would not be here talking to you today.  That’s a very sobering thought.

For many years, I was pretty messed up over this.  Not the adoption.  That didn’t bother me.  I loved my mom and dad.  They raised me, nurtured me and loved me.  They provided me a wonderful life, probably a better one than my real parents would have done.  But let me tell you, the rejection thing as a baby stuck with me, even to this day.  My self-esteem went down the drain years ago and it’s been a fight ever since to escape from the gutter.  I think it was my first deciding factor at how I looked at men.  My own father didn’t want me…a baby…a child he created.  That’s a difficult pill to swallow.  And then to be able to sway my mom to give me a way like I was a litter mate?  (yes, that’s how it felt for a very, very long time).  That hurt to know my mom wasn’t strong enough to fight for me.  Maybe she didn’t want me, either.

My experiences with the male sex continued on a downward spiral.  My adoptive brother (he and I don’t speak since my mom died in 2008) always made fun of me, called me names, never defended me.  In fact, he walked right by me when I was jumped by 4 girls in 5th grade while walking home.  They beat the crap out of me and he just kept going.  Sounds like the sort of relationship I had with men the rest of my life, except the beatings weren’t physical, they were verbal and emotional.  But that’s a whole other post, someday, maybe.

The feeling of abandonment kicked in high gear on July 10, 1972, when I got the news my dad died in a car accident in Buford, Georgia.  The one steady, rock solid man in my life was gone 2 weeks to the day before my 12th birthday, never to come back.  Life would never be the same.  My mom never re-married (it must have been so hard on her to raise 2 kids alone.  Certainly not what she bargained for).  My high school years sucked and the only 3 dates I had in school were disasters on so many levels.  And then Elvis died in August 1977, which just about killed me.  I’d been a fan since I was 8 years old and his music was always there for me to cheer me up when I was down.  When he died, it tore me apart, knowing I’d never hear a new song by him.  It was like another part of my ‘solid’ world was gone.  I began to believe I could count on nothing.

Then I got married (didn’t work out) and had two wonderful daughters.  Two of the best choices I ever made in my life.  I also decided to do natural childbirth outside of a hospital setting with a midwife.  My oldest was born in a birth center in Allandale, Florida, my second was born beside my bed, at home, in Tucker, Georgia.  I would never, ever change those two events, even if I had a choice.  My daughters breathed life into me.  I discovered motherhood was what living was about.  This was my purpose in life (my passion for writing had taken a backseat long before then).

After my 1st husband and I broke up, I fell madly in love with a  man and he fell madly in love with me.  I thanked God every day for giving me someone so special.  I had my soul mate in every since of the word.  The other half of me.  The one who made my spirit soar.  He loved my kids.  He adored me, and I him.  He completely turned my life around and gave me a whole new, wonderful impression of men. They weren’t all bad, and I had the jewel of all of them in my life.

And then he died.  Car accident.  Hit by a drunk driver.  My world shattered yet again.  Another man in my life, gone.

I eventually remarried, and was blessed with two beautiful boys.  My oldest son was born on my couch, my youngest in a birth center in Dunedin, Florida.  While my current marriage has certainly traveled a rocky road, my boys are my salvation.  I adore them.   My youngest turns 17 on Sunday.  17.  Where did the time go?  My oldest child is now 26 and has a 3-year old daughter of her own.

I smile.  There are five pieces of me in the world, and they are beautiful, strong and independent.  I know they will have their share of heartaches, but they’ll never know what it feels like to be abandoned, tossed aside, left behind or unloved, and if I do nothing else in my life, giving them that sense of security and unconditional love will be enough.

So, thank you, real parents, for being the first ones to change my life.  I am so much a better person because of it.

Row80 – 12-4-2011 – I really need to get my act together

Wow.  I haven’t given a Row80 update in forever.  I’m such a bad, bad girl.  My intentions were there but I just can’t seem to focus my mind on doing it.  There is so much going on outside of computer world that it has been difficult for me to focus.

This past week I was in Gainesville, FL taking care of my grand-daughter as she and my daughter prepared for their trip to their new home in Seattle, WA.  My cell phone was caput.  I don’t have a laptop.  My daughter didn’t have a computer at the house.  I had no cable.  I was completely isolated from the world for 6 days and it was awful.  I couldn’t write or revise which drove me mad.  On the positive side, I did manage to complete The Fiend and the Forge, the 3rd installment in Henry H. Neff’s Tapestry series.  (look for a review of this soon).

I am so far behind on the final revisions of my novel.  I was hoping to get out to betas before Thanksgiving but it didn’t work that way.  I keep finding things that I need to fix, mainly character development issues.  (I had to add a bunch of stuff about one character and I can’t seem to get her right, if that makes sense).

I won a gift card from the fabulous Jocelyn Adams.  She’s a fellow writing buddy of mine and she has written one of my favorite books, The Glass Man.  I highly recommend it.  You won’t be able to put it down.

I did 2 critiques over the past 2 days.  I hope they don’t mind my blatant honesty and straight-forwardness.  I’ve also commented on a couple of blogs I visit all the time.  By the way, congratulations to my writer friend, Jennifer Eaton, for winning a virtual blogger award.  So cool and I can’t think of anyone else who deserves it more.

I’m gearing up for two events:  one is the Brenda Drake – Can we guess your character’s age blogfest contest.  I’m really uber excited about this contest.  I love all of her contests and it’s not about winning.  Personally, I love reading what other people submit.

The next ‘event’ if you can call it that is finishing my short story to submit to a publisher for hopeful inclusion in an anthology.  Deadline is in 26 days.  Keep fingers crossed I can finish.  I’ve been doubting myself because I didn’t finish NaNo and because I haven’t finished the re-writes on my novel, but I have to stay positive and believe in myself.  I CAN do this.

Last but not least, there are a few of us who pour our hearts out on Row80 who need prayers, either for them or someone they love.  You all know who you are.  May this holiday season be kind to you and your families and may you find peace and solace during these rough and sad times.

With that said, what have all of you been up to?