It’s so revealing!

I’m thrilled to be able to share the cover for my next book – ACES DOWN! Galley has been returned to my editor at The Wild Rose Press (that’s a topic for another post LOL) and ACES is in the queue for a Release Date.

And in case you’re wondering what ACES DOWN is all about:

Solitary witch, Norah Cartwright, settled in Colorado’s silver country, seeking protection from vengeful werewolves and a place to rebuild her life. When former boyfriend, Tristan Byrnes, shows up at her bar, Aces Down, it seems there’s not enough silver in them hills after all. At least, not for a werewolf determined to win back his mate.

Instead of flowers, Tristan brings irrefutable proof the pack has been called off her trail, but he never guessed his proof was more time-bomb than peace-offering. When her past blows up in her face, is Norah strong enough to trust Tristan and defeat an attack from beyond the grave?


Happy Dancin’ – oh yeah!


What line is this?

sixthgraveI recently finished reading Daryna Jones‘ sixth Charley Davidson book, Sixth Grave on the Edge and have to share that, not only is it a great read, but that the chapter headings are like the cherry teetering on the crest of a mound of whipped cream topping a huge fudge brownie sundae. Not only decorative, but delightful. Case in point…


I stood in line this past Saturday before the Big Game, the game which cannot be named without paying a hefty licensing fee, the game that is watched as much for the spaces in between (otherwise known as commercials) as for the game itself, the game whose half-time extravaganza’sskeleton-30160_640 have exploded into eye-popping and ear-busting heights, and the game that I will be hearing recapped all day long today. So, there I was in line in a grocery store filled not only with folks trying to fill their game day menus, but with families trying to fill their fridges for the coming week, and I’ve naturally chosen the wrong line. You know, the one that looked shorter than the rest, the one with the people whose carts are not quite overflowing, and the one which grinds to a complete and total standstill as soon as I’m boxed in by another couple of hopeful shoppers. Yep. that line.

And Chapter 20’s opening salvo exploded into my head precisely as I would expect that half-time opening –

There should be a line at every store for people who have their shit together.

And I laughed. Out loud.

It was great!

My Time at MyTime Womens Show

Today was a dreary, cold day outside, but inside the Hampton Convention Center, things were quite the opposite. The Tea & Strumpets were back at the MyTimes Womens Show and the booth was hopping. So many lovely ladies stopped by to say hello, browse our books, and share their thoughts about reading. I never really left the booth, but from the sounds of it, there were some exciting presentations as well as a widely diverse range of vendors.

My sister Strumpets were in full swing, chatting, laughing, and smiling.


And I got to wear my new hat.MTWS_2015_2

A lovely day and an event I plan to attend again.

Writing Prompt – Remembrance

Yesterday, I received an amazing photo writing prompt from The Writing Practice. Guest Blogger, Birgitte Rasine reminded us about the upcoming anniversary of one of the world’s worst tsunami’s – The Indian Ocean Tsunami of December 2004. Almost a quarter of a million people lost their lives. She shared the image below by a photographer named Dan Root. This untouched photographic image is part of an amazing website –

(C) 2005 Daniel Root/LUCITA Images

(C) 2005 Daniel Root/LUCITA Images

People ask me about the photograph.

Tacked to my bulletin board amid notes, ticket stubs, and other scraps of my life, the photo never fails to catch the eye. And each time they ask, I have to stop. Stop to absorb it all again–the beauty, the simplicity, the pain.

“A friend sent it to me back in 2004,” I’d say, the words so simple, but always so difficult to say. “He was working on assignment in Sri Lanka.”

I wait, and sometimes there is a reaction, a blink, a soft indrawn breath, followed by an equally soft, “I’m sorry.”

However, the reaction comes less and less often as time and events push that nightmare December 2004 farther backward in the collective consciousness of my world, half a planet away from the site of that cataclysmic event. A day when the earth shrugged and over 200,000 souls cried out in terror and were lost. One of them, a quiet brown-eyed poet with a camera; a talented photographer whose amazing skill captured that simple majestic moment. For those losses, for that loss, I keep the photo as a reminder, never farther away than an upward glance.

Every day is precious, everyone is magic, and everything is sacred. Live, love, laugh, and remember, always remember.

In remembrance and in hope.

Trick or Treat!


Wishing you all the very best Tricks and Treats!

It’s a kind of bittersweet holiday for me, because…


Another Success – James River Writers Conference #JRW14

#JRW14 is in the books and an unqualified success based on the comments overheard throughout the weekend. Quality panels, intriguing topics, pleasant venue, and professional management by both conference and hotel staff. I’ve come to expect nothing less from the James River Writers and am delighted to see the event evolve every year.

Full House at First Pages

Full House at First Pages

However, the strongest piece of the conference experience is interacting with other writers. There’s something magical and empowering in the question: What do you write? Being in a place where the response is both tendered and received without hesitation or fear of judgment is liberating. We speak the same language. We share the same experience. Differences in genre are not obstacles, but opportunities. Opportunities to make connections, network.

I won’t attempt a major recap, but I wanted to throw out some fun tidbits I scribbled in my notebook. Here’s a few soundbites from the conference:

Banish the banal from your beginnings.

Net Galley, Scribd, Blockbuster, Better than Free, Terrible Minds

A pitch is like a poem where every word counts

Literary citizen

Decide what are your cheese cubes – what you have to offer to attract attention

Delightfully imperfect – description of Jim Henson by Brian Jay Jones and something worth aspiring to be

Oh, the list goes on and on, but I’m too tired to decipher my scrawl. Every experience absorbed and now time to digest.

Lastly, my deepest thanks and proudest moment was receiving the Emyl Jenkins award. I couldn’t be prouder nor feel more humble.

Write on!

Is it raining where you are?

I love Writing Prompts and Writers Write on facebook puts out some nice ones. This is one of their recent irresistible prompts:

The smell of rain on dry earth always made her think of…


The smell of rain on dry earth always made her think of the family garden. A day of rain was a godsend–both a blessing for the crop and a reprieve from grubbing between the rows. Hours of toil beneath an often pitiless sun to try and eke out a salable crop. Their roadside stand didn’t earn enough to pay all the bills, but the extra cash was the difference between cardboard linings or new shoes for school.

How about you? Where does this take you?

Something Old, Something New

The only constant in life is change.


Don’t you love a play on words?

You know, blogging is a lot like standing in a Super Bowl stadium and trying to get the TV cameras to zoom in on your hand-made sign. A lot of effort into goes into that sign, but the chances of getting that cameraman to swing the lens your way are pretty slim. But you know, you pays your money and you takes your chance.

So I’m gonna be trying out some stuff here on Golinowski’s Gambol and we’ll see what sticks.

Happy Dancing & Tooting My Horn

Happy Dancing

Something Old/Aces Down – just sent my first round edits on Aces Down to my editor at The Wild Rose Press. Yep, I SOLD Aces Down to The Wild Rose Press! Yipee! My third release through The Wild Rose Press. And I get to work with Callie Lynn Wolfe again!

Something New/Editing trick – Every time you edit your writing, you (should) learn a new trick or hone an old one to make the process easier. This time, I did a search on “ly” in an adverb search and destroy mission. In almost every instance, there was a stronger way to phrase it. So I did.

“She moved away slowly” became “She eased away” or

“He turned quickly” became “He spun”

I was happy to discover that I had fewer adverbs than I expected – thanks to the efforts of my wonderful critique groups. And, as some folks would be quick to point out, in some instances I kept the adverb because it worked for me. We’ll see what my editor thinks.

Honored and Proud! They picked ME!

writer, writing, fiction, fantasy, editing, solitary

Photo Courtesy of Pixabay

Writing is a solitary pursuit. The enduring cliche of a writer crouched over their papers or keyboard exists because it is a truth. That’s why it’s so wonderful when a writer, such as yours truly, can find a person or group who not only understands their experience, but shares their obsession. Such a group is the James River Writers.

James River Writers, RVA, writing

James River Writers

This organization, established in 2002, offers writers of all genres and levels of experience a place to gather with like-minded souls to learn, share, and enjoy the craft of writing. The monthly Writing Shows and annual JRW Annual Conference are truly watershed events for the RVA writing community. I count my membership in this organization as one of the keys to my progress as a writer, and cannot say enough in praise of everyone who has worked to make James River Writers a valuable resource for writers. My involvement with the group evolved from member attendee to volunteer to hostess for the monthly soiree known as Capital Ale House Writers Wednesday, where writers gather to imbibe and converse. JRW has been a part of my writing experience for years now.

Emyl Jenkins, author, writer

Emyl Jenkins, Author

And this year, I have the thrill and honor of being named the James River Writers’ 2014 Emyl Jenkins Award recipient.

The Emyl Jenkins Award is to honor “an organization or person who, as Emyl did, inspires a love of writing and writing education in Virginia.” Emyl Jenkins was a lovely woman with a ready smile and a tremendous gift for encouraging others to reach their writing goals. You can learn more about this delightful lady through one remembrance from the Times Dispatch.

To my regret, I only knew Emyl briefly. She passed not long after I joined the James River Writers community, an event that was both sudden and devastating to those who knew and loved her, as well as to the writing community as a whole. She always had a smile and a friendly welcome, even to a newbie like myself.

The Emyl Jenkins Award was begun in 2011 and past recipients are:

Thank you, James River Writers, for this amazing honor! It’s shameful for a writer to admit, but I don’t have enough words to express my deep feelings about this award. Suffice it to say, I am certain I will still be pinching myself on Sunday, October 19th, when I’m called to accept the Award at this year’s Conference. A conference where I will once more be surrounded by the fantastic community of RVA writers.

Write On!

Tip o’ the Hat – Red Cap, Blue Cap

Have you ever been out in your yard, puttering around with this or that and felt that strange itch between your shoulder blades–someone’s watching you. I blame those garden gnomes, especially the Red Caps. And if you’re doing a tour of ruins along the Scottish border when you get that feeling, you’re not crazy. Just get outta there – read my Myth Perceptions post from Tea N Strumpets to find out why.

Tea N Strumpets

Myth Perceptions Myth Perceptions

by Denise Golinowski

Hi! Welcome to Myth Perceptions where I explore and then share aspects of myth and legend that I have encountered in my reading and writing. Currently, I’m exploring the stories, myths and legends pertaining to fairies.

This month, I’m talking about two different types of gnomes or dwarves – Red Caps and Blue Caps. Let’s start with the one I’d heard of first – Red Caps.

Red Cap image courtesy of

Red Caps are spoken of in tales from the Borders – Yorkshire & Northeast (the border between England and Scotland). I first read about them in the Dresden Files, I think. They are also mentioned in Harry Potter. In my opinion, Red Caps are definitely members of the Unseelie Court. They are dwarves usually found in abandoned or ruined castles along the border. They get their name from the red caps they wear…

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