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January 2024, Newsletter

Updated: Jan 21

Dear Friends,

The end of last year was an upheaval with the sudden loss of my father-in-law just before Christmas. We took an emergency trip interstate, throwing Christmas presents into a suitcase with no real idea when we were coming back, just that it would be after Christmas.

We were able to spend 2 and a half weeks with my mother-in-law, and my husband stayed for longer to be with his mum for her first wedding anniversary without her spouse. My in-laws were so close to 48 years together.

How are we? Most of the time it's hard to believe John is gone.

Just the other day, I saw comments my father-in-law made on a Facebook post about my husband's artwork. John was so proud of his son's talent, and it drew tears to my eyes. I could hear the comments in his teasing oh-so-proud-of-us voice and wished he was here to say all those things again.

I'm grateful for good memories, and God' promise that we'll see John again one day.

Catching the Past

This is a new segment. I learn some fun things when researching history, and this year, I hope to share some of those things with you.

If you've read Freeing Defeat, you might have wondered why the heroine's mother refers to her own husband as Mr. Townsend. I wrote about this on Live by the Word's blog.

You can read my guest blog about terms of address between a husband and wife in Georgian England with Donna Schlachter here!

The Agent

Sadly, the agent decided I just don't have enough subscribers, but she did love my book. It's pleasing to hear your writing is considered good by a respected professional in the industry. To build up my author 'platform' as they call it, I've joined Story Origin to do group promos and newsletter swaps.

So, how does this cross-promotion work? I mention other authors' books to you, and they mention my book to their subscribers. This is a mention only. I am not necessarily endorsing these books, but I do try to check them out as much as I can to see if they fall under the category of clean, Chirstian fiction. This time around we've got a Western theme. :)

These mentions will be added liked a P.S. at the end of my newsletters.

And the winner is...

Have I kept you waiting long enough to learn if the beagle or the puppy will be in my next book? ;)

What does that mean?

Both the beagle and the puppy will be in my next book.

Now, subscribers have been privy to this information since last week. Plus, they were offered the chance to make suggestions for the names of the dogs!

There were some fantastic names offered. It was very hard to decided. The good part about the puppy being rescued from the streets is that my heroine will need a large pool of names to choose from when selecting just the right name. So, you may very well see your suggestion in the book after all!

The beagle will be a girl called Lucy. It means light, and that will play well with her role in the story.

The puppy's name...

...well, in the words of the griffin from Quest for Camelot, "Here is where we enter a grey area." The name is just not jumping out at me like Lucy did. I have too many favourites and not enough information about the dog. So, my deepest apologies, but I'm going to have to write about the dog, Let the puppy show me its tricks and quirks before I can announce its name. I will keep you posted.

Thank you so much to everyone who voted, and those who made suggestions on the names. You made this process so much fun. I'm happily plotting how the dogs will be woven into the fabric of our story.


Before I leave, have you read Freeing Defeat yet? I'd love to hear any feedback you'd like to share. Was there something you liked? Something you wish I had included? You are why I write, and your feedback is always appreciated.

Until next month, God bless and keep you. Thank you for your support.

With love,

Dienece Darling


Some books that may interest you, and for some reason it's a Western theme!

"Accused of a crime she didn't commit, Daliah leaves town with a wagon train headed for Texas. Will she find peace, love, and joy at the end of the trail or will vicious lies follow her forever?"

If you love gentle Westerns with kids and a lady who uses herbs and old-time remedies to help the injured or ill, why not give Daliah a try? I've read about 30% of this book so far.

Check Daliah out here.

"A promise made to her dying father; a struggle that tests her faith; a journey that pushes her resilience and resourcefulness to their limits."

The author describes this book as, "Readers of Laura Ingalls Wilder and Louisa May Alcott will delight in this fast-paced adventure." I thought of the Mandie Series by G.L. Leppard when I read the first chapter. Sounded interesting, and one I've put on the TBR list with my oldest kid.

Check out A Journey here.

"Javan firmly believes that you only get one opportunity at love in life. While Lydia's never even glimpsed what that might feel like."

Javan is a widower who knew love, and Lydia hopes to find love. But there are surprises for both Lydia and Javan when she arrives, and there will surprise for you too. I've read this one all the way through and found it a refreshing, unique Western. I kept thinking the author would do what everyone else does, but she didn't. That was a nice change.

Why not check out this unique novella here.

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