January 18th, 2021
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To Joshua, Cadence is a mystery to unravel.

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In war-torn Berlin, two lovers risk all to save endangered Jews.

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The holidays are served up with some spice in this small-town romance featuring a woman who must maintain a secret identity and the man who begins falling for her.

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Catching a kidnapper takes teamwork...and a St. Bernard.

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PI Emma Djan investigates the death of Lady Araba, a Ghanaian fashion icon and social media celebrity

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Stephanie Rowe | Taking a long road


My January release, KISS AT YOUR OWN RISK, is my first paranormal romance release in three years, and it is a very special book to me. It's my triumph, my golden award, the moment of raising that trophy over my head and feeling the true joy of accomplishment fill me. Why? Because KISS AT YOUR OWN RISK is the most beautiful, magical book I've ever written, a book that would never have been born had I not been forced by life to dig deep and find beauty within me that I'd never before access. This book is my phoenix, my rise from the ashes, and it is my salute to the power of each of us to triumph, to prevail, to become who we are meant to be.

Sometimes life derails us. Sometimes life comes crashing down on us so mercilessly that we feel like we'll never get out from under it. Sometimes, all we can do is get down on her knees and cry, shouting to the world that it's TOO DAMN HARD.

I've been there. Two and a half years ago, my world was rocked. Every foundation of my life was ripped out from under me in one breath. In that moment, I remember so clearly, standing in front of my bathroom mirror, my hands shaking uncontrollably (I had no idea that actually happened in real life). Staring at my stricken face in the mirror, I said to myself: "You have two choices. You can let this break you, or you can take this as the greatest gift ever, to start life over and do it differently. I choose the latter."

The words seemed powerful. It seemed an easy choice to make. And I thought I was all set.  

Turned out, the road back was a lot longer, tougher and harder than I ever imagined it was. And the further I got along the road to rebuilding my life, the tougher things become. The more lost I felt. The harder it was to have hope. To believe things would ever be good again. To believe that I would ever, EVER wake up in the morning and not feel a weight in my chest so heavy that I thought my soul was broken forever. Writing became a torture for me; this thing that used to be such joy had become an ordeal to suffer through. It wasn't the writing. It was the scars on my soul. Writing became symbolic of how I was treating myself in all areas of my life.

I eventually realized that the problem was that I was focusing on the external. I was trying to get all the external building blocks of my life in order to make myself feel better, to feel safe, to feel hope, to feel love. I finally understood that nothing could change until I worked on myself first.

And so began my journey to heal my life from the inside out.  I realized that, somehow, in order to alleviate the weight in my heart, I had to get happy on my own from within, and not wait until the other stuff was fixed.

Turns out, it's not that easy to get happy when you're still standing in the middle of burned out carnage of your life. But as it also turns out, it IS possible, and it's the greatest gift ever to realize you have that power, that your emotional well-being isn't dependent on anything, or anyone, ever. That you can wake up with joy in your heart, loving yourself completely, loving every word you type, loving every choice you make, no matter what is going on around you.

And you know? I did it. I found peace in my heart, I learned to allow myself to be happy, and that's when life became good. That's when I started to write with beauty. That's when the things that had been broken for so long, the really big things, began to heal.

Now, I wake up in the morning with peace in my heart. I sit down at the computer and feel beauty filling my soul and spilling out into the keyboard. And when I look outside, I notice the sunshine and the blue sky, instead of the traffic or the dirt.  And I treasure all the changes in my life that have happened, and those that are still happening.

Sometimes, life can be tough. Sometimes, you don't want to fight the fight. But when you get through it, and you find your joy and your peace and your sunshine, it's sheer beauty that fills your heart in the most amazing way. And then, once you're happy, there's room for the good stuff to start coming, and when it does…ahh… it's exhilaration like you didn't even know existed.  It's when you can hold your new book in your hands, and smile deep in your heart, because you know that book, that amazing book, is your salute to the power of the human soul.

Who else has tales of triumph?  I would love to hear them.





46 comments posted.

Re: Stephanie Rowe | Taking a long road

I was married to a man that beat me, degraded me, raped me, punished me, emotional ripped me to shreds. I was in fear of him, I hated him, I believed the lies that he told me of my worthlessness (amongst others). I found my strength when I was pregnant, by him - he wanted me to "get rid of it" - but I was finding a reason to go, a reason to strong, an identity. As each week, each month grew with my baby.. I had a plan, because I saw him withdrawing. My triumph came the moment I had my EX-husband sign papers for divorce, for rights to my son, and delievering/raising on my own.
(Carla Carlson 1:36am January 12, 2011)

More power to you for finding the strength to continue. Glad that you found the power within you to overcome your obstacles and carry on with hope.
(Joanne Reynolds 6:33am January 12, 2011)

love your books!
(Julie Parrish 9:13am January 12, 2011)

It's so beautiful to hear that you have healed your soul.
It's so true that it's what's deep inside of us that have to heal first. a long journey maybe but worth it to be alive in the now. And to Carla, good for you..
Carol L
(Carol Luciano 9:19am January 12, 2011)

Wow what an amazing story :) I am proud of you for
overcoming a very hard time in your life. I have been
fortunate enough to not have something that life altering
happen to me (knock on wood) but it did happen to my mom.
When I was only 2 months old my father, at the age of 19,
died unexpectedly. My mom had just recently married him and
I was just born. From the stories I have heard that tragedy literally ripped my mom in two :( I commend her to this day
for her will to go on and fight to get her and my life back
together. She raised me by herself and I think she did an
amazing job even though she was so young. I love her more
each day for it :)
(Leagh Christensen 10:25am January 12, 2011)

Good morning from snowy Boston! Thank you all for your lovely comments.

Carla, what a powerful story. You are such a strong and courageous woman. Thank you for sharing your story. Your son is luck to have such a wonderful woman as his role model.

Julie, thanks for your kind words about my books. I'm so glad you enjoy them!

Joanne, thank you. I am glad as well! ļ

Carol, I so agree! It is so worth it to take the time to hear your soul!

Leigh, what a compelling story about your mother! It is amazing what we can overcome when we draw upon your inner strength. Hug your mom for me! She sounds like an amazing woma
(Stephanie Rowe 10:39am January 12, 2011)

My daughter is going through a divorce after 12.5yrs of marriage and 2 children. Her hubby is going through a midlife crisis and wants out. He's the one who has broken their marriage vows. My daughter is determined to protect and make a new life for her 8yr son & 19month old daughter.

Eleanor Roosevelt said it best:"A woman is like a teabag. You never know how strong she is until she's in hot water."
(Joanne Hicks 12:13pm January 12, 2011)

That is something to refelect upon and review many times throughout your life. Do not rush into marriage because it might be one from hell. Plus any man who beats his wife is a man that does not deserve you and should be put in jail. It shows how weak the man really is because he needs to beat on someone to make him feel like a man or stronger. Which i think is absolute bullshit. A real man does not hit women or animals, and real man knows how to love a women .
(Anthonia Sharp 12:16pm January 12, 2011)

My soul shaking moment when my daughter was 7 and diagnosed with an incurable disease. I don't know how I got through it but I remember when I decided to just focused on living in the moment that is when things started to get better for me.
(Gigi Hicks 12:22pm January 12, 2011)

I haven't had anything bad happen to me as an adult, but as a child, my life was H***. I had a very abusive father who would slap me clear across the floor. I spent my entire life trying to please him and gain his love. He passed away 1-1/2 yrs ago, and with my loving and wonderful husband of 38 years help, I am finally beginning to learn who I am and to love myself. I still have a long ways to go, but little by little, I am getting there.

God bless!
(Cathy Phillips 12:49pm January 12, 2011)

Keep your books coming. They are such Great Reads. Thank you and Hugs.
(Shirley Sego 12:52pm January 12, 2011)

Oh, I love when I read in the blurb that "love is the deadliest game", makes it more exciting to read.
(Maria Antunes 1:21pm January 12, 2011)

Now this book I'd love.......never read your books and look forward to reading them, if I dont' win, I will buy.
(Joanne Bozik 1:30pm January 12, 2011)

The ability to face the obstacles and move past them shows alot of strength... hears to peace of heart and happiness!
(Colleen Conklin 1:33pm January 12, 2011)

Look like a book that will warm me up on this cold winter.. love it
(Danielle Pontow 1:36pm January 12, 2011)

I was able to raise two daughters on my own and they are both my triumphs.
(Tammy VanScoy 2:38pm January 12, 2011)

My life has had it's up and down from an abusive husband whom was a killer, to a boyfriend of 14 years who was bipolar and molester I did not know this of either of them. I was single for 5 years I put myself through school raising 2 kids virtually on my own. Graduated and now am an RN. Then I married a wonderfull man and now things are looking up. I am setting goals and watching them come true. You just got to keep on going and learn three words "DEAL WITH IT" and Make the best of it. You can do it I did
(Cj Swier 2:44pm January 12, 2011)

My story is a little different. My brother tried to get my Dad to disinherit me. Dad turned the table on him and made me his executor. It was a very difficult time
(Marjorie Carmony 3:11pm January 12, 2011)

Stephanie I'm so glad you found the desire to try and be happy again. I agree with you that it is very hard to do, to even want to do, when the rest of your life sucks. Good for you and all the women who commented above, you all should be proud of changing your lives.

Your new book sounds wonderful and I cant wait to read it.
(Devon Gainer 3:14pm January 12, 2011)

This would be the perfect book to curl up with on this COLD, SNOWY day.
(Mildred Mayo 3:22pm January 12, 2011)

Here in Australia we are experiencing weather & floods & disaster that would break most. Australians are tough & resilient. When we get knocked down, we come back up fighting. I live in the town of Toowoomba, QLD that first experienced the disastrous, deadly flash floods that then swept on to other communities. We have picked ourselves up & asked what can we do to help? We grieve, we hurt, we mourn & we look to the future.
(Mary Preston 3:38pm January 12, 2011)

I have too many stories like that to tell. The one I will
share, though, is my most recent triumph and that is seeing
my young daughter through back surgery. She had a very
severe case of scoliosis and had to have rods put in her
back to straighten her spine. The operation took 8 hours and
I spent that whole time alone in the waiting room - no one
in my family could be with me that day. But I'm happy to say
that she made it through the operation with flying colors
and is doing great. It will be four months ago, on the 14th,
that the surgery took place, but you'd never know it by
looking at her!
(Margay Roberge 3:42pm January 12, 2011)

No life is without problems. When I am about ready to throw in the towel I take
a deep breath and remember "my mother didn't raise quitters". I've tried to
instill this in my children as well--that their mother didn't raise quitters either.
Somehow it gets us through.
(Sandra Spilecki 3:46pm January 12, 2011)

I have to say that I read your blog with tears in my eyes the whole time, Stephanie!! How I felt what you wrote, and then some. There's not enough space to write everything, so I'll tell you the latest part. My Husband lost his job, and we ended up losing our house that we had for 13 years. We fought tooth and nail to save it. We had a few things in storage, but the day the court said we were to leave, we packed what we could into our truck and pop-up camper, and headed to the nearest campground, which was to be our new home. To top things off, I have major health problems, had just been helping my Father by running back and forth to take care of my Mother with Alzheimer's, against doctor's orders, and she passed away a few months prior. My Father, in turn, turned his back on us in thanks for what I did and my Husband to help him. It was a slap in the face to me. Anyway, we moved around to different campgrounds, since they have a time limit. The mortgage company took my furniture, appliances, and other belongings that I couldn't store, and threw it all out to the curb. A former neighbor told me that the neighbors had a field day taking everything. At first I cried at the thought of losing everything, but I got over it, and my life has changed, perhaps for the better. I moved quite a distance from my family. I still call my Father, although it's a strained relationship. I now have a roof over my head, although I don't live in my own house. My dog had a good life and a lot of land to run around on until she passed away last year. Every day I search my soul for strength, and I help others, and plan on keeping my Mother's name alive through my knitting and crocheting skills. I will be making things and donating them in her name. I would never have treated my family the way I was treated, and know I'm the better person and will continue to be a better person through the way that I'm living now. I was always there for everyone, and continue to b
(Peggy Roberson 4:39pm January 12, 2011)

I'd so glad you were strong enough to come through this. I love your books!
(Mary Smith 5:09pm January 12, 2011)

your writing is so good; another book on my list:)
(Barbara Studer 5:16pm January 12, 2011)

I loved your "Immortally Sexy" series(they were sexy and
made me laugh out loud) and am glad to hear that you have
another series to take us on a new mind trip. I'm sorry to
hear that the last couple of years have been hard. Just know
that while your writing helps you heal, you are helping
others escape and heal with your stories.
(Lisa Richards 5:21pm January 12, 2011)

Mary Preston, in Australia, has the strength to overcome what is an ongoing horrible experience. Good Luck Mary!
(Linda Pillow 6:08pm January 12, 2011)

Until the last couple years, I assumed everyone had inner
strength. I mean, the sort of fortitude you're talking
about. However, I've only recently learned that's not so.
Some women can't cope without having someone to take care of
them, even when they choose to divorce their spouses so they
can live out their own brand of Gray's Anatomy fantasy. I
find that incredibly sad.

I once left a bad marriage when I was 6 months pregnant,
moving far away from everyone and everything I knew, on my
own to Alaska. Yeah, Alaska. She's a beautiful but harsh
mistress. I found my own inner strength there, as well as
self-actualization. It's made me who I am today.
(Amy Rogers 6:21pm January 12, 2011)

Hi Joanne, I'm so sorry to hear about your daughter. Hopefully, she will emerge from it better off than she was before.

Anthonia, all good points!

Oh, Gigi, I am so sorry for your story. I wish you peace and strength.

Cathy, what a wonderful place you have come to in your life. I'm so glad that you have are making progress. Step by step is the only way to do it!

Thank you, Shirley! I'm so glad you enjoy my books.

Hi Maria, I'm so glad you like the blurb. Sourcebooks did a great job with it!

Hi Joanne & Danielle, thanks for your nice words!

Hi Colleen, your words are so true.

Tammy, that is so wonderful to hear. Our children can be such sources of strength for us. I am sure your daughters are so lucky to have you as their mom.

CJ, what an inspiring story. I'm so glad that you have found your path.

Marjorie, your dad sounds wonderful. Thank you for sharing.

HI Devon, thanks for your kind words. And yes, I agree, thank you to all who have shared their stories today. You all are so inspiring!

Mildred, yes, cold snowy days are made for snuggling up with a book!

Mary, I'm so sorry for your struggles. It is so hard when we get hit with the unexpedted. Kudos to you for your resilience. And yes, it is important to allow ourselves to grieve and morn, to free us to looking toward the future.

Margay, what a joyous story about yoru daughter! What strength it takes both to be the mother and the daughter in your situation. Hugs to both of you for your courage.

Sandra, you are so right, that no life is without problems. It's how you handle them, and sometimes it is as simple as you said, the refusal to quit. It can get you through the toughest of spots.

Peggy, thank you so much for sharing your story. Your strength and courage is so clear in your post, and it is so wonderful the tribute you are creating for your mother.

Thank you, Mary!

Barbara, thank you!

HI Lisa, thank you so much for the nice words about my
(Stephanie Rowe 7:42pm January 12, 2011)

Ooops! I got cut off! Here is the rest of my post!

HI Lisa, thank you so much for the nice words about my writing and my prior series. I do like to offer humor to others, because sometimes the best medicine is finding a way to bring a little bit of laughter into our lives.

Linda, I agree!

Oregon Sunshine, you sound like such a wonderful role model for other women. Alaska sounds like an amazing place, and a gift to the soul.

Overall, I have to say that I am overwhelmed by the posts today on this blog. All of you have inspired me so much with your stories of courage and strength. I want to hug you all, raise my arms and triumph and salute the amazing spirit you all have created and nurtured within yourselves. You all are the winners, truly.
(Stephanie Rowe 7:43pm January 12, 2011)

Wow. There are a lot of inspirational stories here. I applaud you all.
(Pam Howell 7:54pm January 12, 2011)

You've succeeded when you though you were down and that is something to be so proud of. Congratulations on making it one step at a time and making it!
(Diane Sadler 8:38pm January 12, 2011)

I went thru a divorce after 27 years of marriage so I feel I know what you are talking about. I am so much happier being single. It has been hard though, with trying to live on less than $10,000 a year. Love to be able to escape into my books. Reading is my passion! Thanks for the contest!
(Teresa Ward 10:04pm January 12, 2011)

I respect those wemon who pull thenselves out of bad places in their lives and i want to cheer them on and let them know thay are an insperation to all. Thank you to all of you for shareing your stories! You are all beautiful and strong.
(Vickie Hightower 10:09pm January 12, 2011)

some of these comments are both heart breaking & inspiring. Sometimes getting thru the days & weeks is an accomplishment. I'm pretty good right now compared to most people & try to count my blessings.
(Diane Sallans 10:10pm January 12, 2011)

Sounds like an amazing experience!
(Robin Daily 10:23pm January 12, 2011)

I have not read one of your books,but I would like to have a chance to.Your book sounds good.
(Linda Hall 11:39pm January 12, 2011)

Sometimes bad things happen to good people. I'm glad that you found the strength to overcome them and find joy again.
(Ginger Hinson 11:49pm January 12, 2011)

You all have inspired me so much with all your stories, and with all the support pouring out for each other. It's funny how, when you're going through tough stuff, sometimes you feel so alone, but reading all these comments makes me remember how many wonderful, amazing women there are out there, ready to support and encourage each other.

Pam, I agree!

Diana, thanks! Everyone deserves the same kudos.

Teresa, good for you!

Vickie, I agree! It's amazing the number of powerful and strong women out there, ready to share their stories as inspiration and hope to others.

Diane, I'm so happy that things are in a good place for you right now. May it stay that way!

Ginger, thank you.
(Stephanie Rowe 8:53am January 13, 2011)

I grew up in a home with alcholic father and a mother who is a psychopath. She literally tried to kill me, and when I was 14 tried to make me marry a convicted child molester. It took a long time for me to realize what she was.I have raised a son with life threatening health issues on top of special needs. I have realized that no matter who they are, family, friends or boyfriends, get them out of your life if they are toxic people. You can do okay without them.
(Debbie Penny 8:56am January 13, 2011)

It's been three years since my son almost died. It has taken great effort by the whole family to help him become healthy again. Just the other day I sat in amazement to hear him make a full body laugh at a funny situation. It felt so good after all those years of turmoil.

I am mid way through Kiss at your own Risk and must tell you that I am loving it. Humour and passion, a winning combination.
(Heather Pearson 12:18pm January 13, 2011)

I'm so sorry you had to go through some hard times and am glad you came through the other side okay. I would love to read this book.
(Renee Pajda 2:00pm January 13, 2011)

We never know how strong we are untill we are tested by the fire. Then we find we are stronger then we think. Only we know how strong we are and how much we can take till we come through or are broken.
(Diane Castiglione 7:17pm January 13, 2011)

I've never had the horrible experiences that some of you have had. I can only imagine what such a life is like. I've had to endure verbal abuse and that was bad enough, but physical abuse...? I hope all of you have truly found solace and friends, as well as happier lives.
(Sigrun Schulz 11:10pm January 13, 2011)

I agree about taking the long road, since the short road is too fast, unless you have to get to a destination right away or to meet somebody. On the long way around, there's more to see and experience and savor.
(Alyson Widen 1:46pm January 18, 2011)

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