Thursday, March 28, 2013

Second Chances

Congratulations to "Sandra G", "Kellie H" and "Regan B", the winners in Debra's giveaway. Thank you to all who participated!

We’ve all heard the term. Plenty of us have wished for a second chance or a do over with one thing or another. Sometimes the opportunity presents itself, sometimes not. Recently my husband and I experienced what we felt like was a huge opportunity for a second chance.

I should preface this story with an event that occurred last year around this time. My husband and I are getting older, that’s true. But we hadn’t really noticed until that event last year. One of my oldest and dearest friends made the call no wife ever wants to make. Her husband was in the ER. He’d had a heart attack. My husband and I rushed to the hospital to be at her side. She and I held each other and cried for long minutes. In those seemingly endless minutes I remembered the little girls we used to be. How we played in the leaves on the playground at school. Graduated high school together. Got married the same summer. Built homes the same year. Had our second daughters within months of each other. All those memories flashed through my mind. It was heart wrenching. During those long hours before we got an update on her husband, we talked about her younger daughter’s upcoming wedding. We recalled my younger daughter’s beautiful wedding just the summer before. Finally, after hours of anguish and tears, the cardiac surgeon brought us the good news that her husband was going to be all right. Then we cried again, this time for joy and for the blessed second chance my friends had gotten. I remember thinking that one day we’d share pictures of our grandchildren.

Just this month I had a similar scare with my husband. But thankfully, after all the tests were done, we got the good news that his heart is in good shape. There are changes that have to be made but we were also blessed with a second chance. Our future will include more relaxation and healthier choices.

The main characters in my Faces of Evil series got that wondrous second chance as well.Jess Harris spent her formative years in foster homes.  After high school, she couldn’t wait to put her hometown of Birmingham, Alabama, in her rearview mirror. She and her high school sweetheart, Dan Burnett, left for college full of passion and with big dreams. But sometimes passion fizzles and dreams don’t always come true. Four years later Dan returned to Birmingham and Jess went on to become a celebrated profiler for the FBI.

Fast-forward twenty years and things have changed again. Jess’s professional life is crashing down around her after a bumbled investigation that resulted in a suspected serial killer going free. She welcomes an unexpected invitation to escape from her current reality. Her expertise is needed on a case involving four missing young women. The problem is, the case is in Birmingham and the top cop is Chief of Police Dan Burnett.

Special Agent Jess Harris finds herself spiraling into the past that she’d thought she left behind. And if having sparks fly between her and Dan isn’t frustrating and distracting enough, the serial killer who got away has followed her to Birmingham!

As you can see, Jess and Dan have a golden opportunity for a do over, a second chance—if the serial killer obsessed with Jess doesn’t get in the way!

OBSESSION, IMPULSE and POWER are the first three books in the Faces of Evil series. They are now available in paperback for the incredible price of only $3.99 each! Check your bookstores or order them online. When was the last time you bought a new paperback novel for only $3.99?Or three for less than twelve dollar? Don’t miss the opportunity to start at the beginning with Jess and Dan! Go get your copies today! If ebooks are your preference, OBSESSION just went on sale for $.99!

Since we’re celebrating the release of those first three books and second chances, how about sharing your favorite heart healthy recipe with me and three lucky commenters will win autographed copies of the first three Faces of Evil books!

Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST March 29th. Please supply your email in the post. You may use spaces or full text for security. (ex. jsmith at gmail dot com) If you do not wish to supply your email, or have trouble posting, please email with a subject title of JRS GIVEAWAY to be entered in the current giveaway. US and CANADA only. Outside those locations will be eligible for digital copies.


  1. Hi Deb,
    Beautiful post! My favorite heart-healthy recipe is a breakfast smoothie: low-fat yogurt, fresh peaches or berries (frozen works great too), banana, a splash of apple juice, ice. Blend & enjoy!

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. I don't know why I couldn't get logged in properly so my image shows up. Maybe it was too early in the morning for Wordpress to 'face' me! LOL! Need more coffee!

  2. Hi Debra! It's me, Sharon Horton. I don't know how to sign in, so I'm being "Anonymous" today.

    Great read. You and I think alike, I think. My book, Jinxed, is about second chances for a police officer and Shakespeare teacher, who both lost their spouses. I wrote that story for my best friend after she lost her husband. I wanted to give her a gift of hope that, although her husband was gone, her life would still have a chance to be positive.

    I'm sorry to hear of your friend's and your own health scare with your husbands, but glad all worked out well. :)

    1. Hey Sharon! Thank you for stopping by!

  3. Hi Deb! Great post and you are so right about appreciating the second chances we are given.

    My recipe suggestion is Pesto Tilapia. It's a favorite around our house:
    Just spread a thin layer of prepared pesto over the fish fillets, sprinkle with shredded parmesan cheese and bake. Pair it with a tossed salad and/or fresh-steamed green beans and you're good to go.

    1. Regan, I will definitely try that recipe! I don't like fish but I need to learn to savor it because I need to eat more healthy and it just can't be beef all the time!

    2. I understand exactly what you mean, Deb. I'm eating less meat these days, but mainly because I get so tired of chicken. LOL

      and I just realized I forgot to leave my email black dot regan at gmail dot com. :)

    3. LOL Regan, yes, too much chicken!

  4. All your boooks Rocks!! Cant wait to read this series

    1. Thanks, Tami! I really love this series!

  5. Im sorry about the scare. I went thru the scare and the illness

    1. Thank you, Tami. I hope you're okay now!

  6. Hi Deb,

    I have read all three books on my Kindle but there is nothing like the feel of a paperbook.

    As you know, I love this series. If someone has not read these Faces of Evil books, you do not know what you are missing. Jess and Dan are in all of the books. And, thank goodness, they will be in the number of books to follow. The were lovers as kids and twenty years later have a second chance at love. Dan is the Chief of Police and Jess has recently joined the force as Head of one of the Divisions following an abrupt exit from the FBI. If this were just a romance, it would be a very good read. But, add in the suspense and it is phenomenal.

    The fourth book in the series, Rage, which will be released April 30, 2012 received 4 1/2 stars from RT Magazine!

    Now the tough part, I don't really cook. However, Daddy had a heart attack and Angia, among other things, and Mummy had a stroke when she was 47. So, I know some practical things that we did. Skim Milk, non-fat options whenever possible, otherwise reduced fat, no salt (Mummy used to use the Dash Garlic spice, the one with no salt), virgin olive oil(it's great not just for salads but on plain pasta), treats, such as , popcorn without salt or butter(Daddy swore by it), non-fat puggings,jellos,etc.

    I think that I have rambled on long enough....

    Oh, the books would be good!

    Marijane Diodati

    1. Thank you so much for sharing, Marijane! My goodness you and your family went through the wringer! And thank you also for the kind words about the books!

  7. Debra,
    So glad that it was juat a wake up scare for you and your husband. Second chances are so great but not everyone gets them.

    Heart healthy recipes are something that I have started doing more of for myself and forcing the family memembers to go along with them.
    The one that even my aunt likes is:
    Chicken breast (boneless skinless)
    1/4 cup olive oil
    2 Tbsp Worchestershire sauce

    Combine the olive oil and worchestshire sauce, then marinate the chicken for at least 30 minutes.
    Place chicken breasts in a non stick baking dish, chop the tomatoes ( I use the grape or cherry tomatoes and just cut them in 1/2) and the leeks cut in half over the chicken, bake 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until the chicken is done.
    This can be served with brown or wild rice.

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  9. Taco Stuffed Shells
    1 lb. ground turkey
    1/4 cup taco seasoning, 1 envelope
    4 oz. low fat cream cheese, cubed
    12 Jumbo Pasta shells, cooked according to package instructions
    1 cup salsa
    1 cup taco sauce
    1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
    1 cup shredded Jack cheese
    Optional Toppings:
    1 1/2 cup crushed tortilla chips
    1 cup sour cream
    3 green onions, chopped
    sliced olives
    sliced avocados

    In a skillet brown meat over medium heat. Add taco seasoning and mix to combine. Add cubed cream cheese, cover and simmer so cream cheese can melt. Remove from heat and cool.

    Fill cooked shells with about 1-2 T. of meat mixture. In a 9x13 glass baking dish pour salsa to coat the bottom of dish. Place filled taco shells on top then add taco sauce. Cover and bake @ 350 for 30 minutes. Remove from oven, uncover, and sprinkle cheese on top, return to oven for another 15 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly. Serve with sour cream, and toppings of your choice.

    My kids love this recipe and never notice that I use turkey instead of beef.

    Love the Faces of Evil books!
    Tasha Clanton

    1. Thanks, Tasha, I will definitely be trying that!

  10. steamed fish with steamed vegetables

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

    1. I love steamed veggies, bn100! Gotta learn to love fish!

  11. Debra, I'm so glad you and your husband got your second chance! I don't have any specific recipes - we just eat a lot of chicken, fish and salads. My family isn't real adventurous food wise, so we don't do anything fancy.
    I have Obsession on my Nook, but may just get that, Impulse and Power in paperback - do like holding the paper. Still have a lot of your older print books on my shelves, too.
    Enjoy the relaxation and healthier choices!!

    1. Thanks, Karen! I love fruits and veggies, but I gotta get right with fish!

  12. Black Bean Burgers

    Makes 2 servings

    · 1 15-ounce cans black beans, rinsed
    · 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
    · 1/2 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
    · 1/8 cup
    · 1 cups finely chopped tomatoes
    · 1 scallions, sliced
    · 1/8 cup chopped fresh cilantro
    · 1/2 teaspoon chili powder, hot if desired, divided

    Preheat oven to 425°F. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.
    Mash black beans and cumin with a fork in a large bowl until no whole beans remain. Stir in corn and breadcrumbs. Combine tomatoes, scallions, cilantro, chili powder and salt in a medium bowl. Stir tomato mixture into the black bean mixture.
    Divide the bean mixture into 4 scant 1/2-cup balls. Place on the prepared baking sheet.
    Bake the burgers until heated through, about 20 minutes.

    I have digital copies of the books, but still prefer print.

    jtcgc at yahoo dot com

  13. I love this series and everyone needs to read it. It rocks!
    I'm not much of a cook but I do like steamed asparagus, sweet potato and baked fish when I'm trying to eat healthy. And if someone cooks it for me - even better!
    Can't wait for book 4.

    1. Thanks, Judi! I LOVE ASPARAGUS! I roasted it one Sunday and added scrambled seasoned eggs for a lovely breakfast! Be sure to tell all your friends about the books!

  14. Hmmm, there is this dish I love that my father makes... it has grilled chicken sliced up in garlic and olive oil over wheat pasta and broccoli... yum!

  15. It would be awesome to win Im excited for you Debra you have a lot going on thats a good thing I hope your sales are phenomenal.

  16. Oh yes Debra, we all deserve a second chance.
    My heart health recipe is "keep moving". Some of the other recipes sound great!


  17. I have been using spices in place of salt. I use lemon juice, onions, parleys and so many others since as long as one of my family members has renol issues, she can't eat food that has alot of salt or fried.

    Thanks for the giveaway.