Month: June 2019

Sandy Barker…One Summer In Santorini

Meeting Author Sandy Barker has been one of my greatest joys of the past year. She’s a truly talented writer and a truly lovely person. I thoroughly enjoyed the original version of One Summer in Santorini, You Might Meet Someone, and I’m so thrilled for the opportunity she’s been given with Avon Books. I know you will love Sandy, and you’ll love One Summer in Santorini. It’s the story of how she and Ben met, and knowing that makes it all the more special.

  1. Your debut novel, One Summer in Santorini, is a re-imagining of your first self-published book, You Might Meet Someone. What are the major differences between the two?
    I was really grateful for the opportunity to work with the editing team at Avon Books, especially as it had been more than eighteen months since I had worked on the book. The process made me scrutinise my own writing and correct instances where the manuscript was over-written, or where I had relied too heavily on repeated phrases or words. There were also some structural edits, particularly in chapter one, and I am (finally) happy with how the book starts. The characters and their journeys remain intact, but it is a better, pacier telling of their stories now. It was a true partnership with the editors, and an incredible process — it made me a better writer
  2. When did you start writing seriously?
    I have always enjoyed writing and telling stories — even as a child — but when I was moving from Seattle back to Australia in 2013, I challenged myself to write a book. I got about 2/3 the way through and got some early feedback from a literary agent. He said, “It’s not your first book. There’s too much going on, too many characters, too many narratives. You’re not Liane Moriarty.” It stung, but I needed to hear it. He challenged me to go away and write a single, linear narrative. I did, and that book is One Summer in Santorini.
  3. What did you learn from being an independent author?
    So much! The best thing about that time was becoming part of an online community of supportive and knowledgeable authors, who generously share their expertise and their time, and who lift each other up. From my fellow authors, I’ve learned writing craft, the business of publishing, and the avenues and importance of marketing. I use and develop this knowledge daily, and I share what I’ve learned. It’s an incredible community.
  4. What do you love most about being an author?
    I tend to start with well-defined characters and a loose plot outline. What I love is the freedom this affords me —and my characters — to deviate from the plan. I am often surprised by where the story takes me. When I started One Summer in Santorini, I had no idea it would become a love triangle, but as soon as that plot point arose, I knew it was going to be a fun ride — both to write and to read.
  5. In One Summger in Santorini, one of the themes is how traveling can be transformative. Is this something you’ve found in real life?
    Yes, absolutely. Whether it’s a lengthy trip where you’re always on the move, or a quiet long weekend away, traveling can give you a fresh perspective. Your senses become heightened, and you become more attuned to the little things that can bring great joy — the sun setting in a new city, the first bite of something tasty, waking up to the sound of unfamiliar birds chirping. It’s these details that act as reminders to be more appreciative when you get back home.
  6. In 2018, you and your partner, Ben, went on sabbatical. Tell me about that time.
    It was a leap of faith, but once we made the decision in 2017 and started planning it, I knew it would be an incredible year. We left full-time work, put our household stuff in storage and started a year of living abroad. We lived in Bali, the US, England, and Portugal, with side trips to Ireland, Scotland, Wales and the Netherlands. We made lifelong friends and I wrote my second and third books, including the sequel to One Summer in Santorini. It was an incredible year and it highlighted what is important in life — spoiler: it’s not ‘stuff’.
  7. What are you working on now?
    I am actually writing the fourth book in my travel romance series, which is set in Bali and Scotland — two very different locations, but both made such an impact on me, I wanted to write about them. This story is about taking a sabbatical in order to mend a broken heart, and I think readers will love feisty Jaelee from Miami and her deep-thinking love interest, Alistair from Edinburgh.
  8. What do you hope readers will take away from One Summer in Santorini?
    I hope they will connect with Sarah as a woman who wants to be whole again. She’s endured a bad breakup and she wants to reconnect with the fabulous Sarah she once was – gregarious, funny, adventurous. I think we all go through periods where we forget how to laugh, how to be true to ourselves. And it is a fun and funny story set in a beautiful part of the world, so I hope readers will laugh and enjoy a vicarious visit to the Greek Islands.
Sandy, writing in Bali

If you haven’t stopped to order this book, you need to! You won’t regret it.

Until we read again…📚


Dana L.❤️


Fifty years ago five hundred plus young women and men walked away from their childhood and into their future. They were smart, strong, and many were scared to death, and I was one of them. This past weekend we came together to celebrate the joys and heartaches of the past half century, and how exciting it was to see that Muncie Central produced more than just amazing basketball teams. (The Bearcats had won 5 state championships by 1969, a state record, and went on to win 3 more by 1988)

From surgeons to judges, teachers and nurses, writers and a couple of published authors, the class of 1969 has definitely made it’s mark in history. We’ve also lost many classmates, some way too young, and hearing their names read, and remembering them as young and carefree kids, was very emotional.

For me the best part of the weekend was reminiscing with people I had forgotten I cared about! I know that almost seems like an oxymoron, but it’s true! Over the course of a lifetime we meet so many people that our brain has to compartmentalize them, but once you see that person’s face, or hear their voice, the memories all come rushing back. Many of my fellow graduates were with me from elementary school on, and those were the people I enjoyed talking with the most.

I realized as I started to write this that there isn’t a relationship that I’ve ever had that isn’t etched on my soul. Some are memories that I savor like a fine wine, and some I keep locked away, but each and every one has been special and had meaning, and I’m thankful for all of them. Our Fifty-fifth reunion is already scheduled for June 14, 2024! Can you believe it? It’s hard to think that once again there will be names read of people who are no longer with us, but for now I’m grateful for the wonderful time I had with old friends, and for all the blessings the last fifty years have brought to my life. And who knows. Maybe by the time the next reunion rolls around I’ll be a best selling author.

In 1969 we stepped into the world wearing Rose Colored glasses. In 2019 we walked out of our reunion aware of the realities of life, but holding tightly to wonderful memories…

Muncie Central, oh Muncie Central, Muncie Central, we’re all for you.

We will fight for the cream and purple, and to no one will we give in.

Never daunted, we shall not falter, in the battle we’re tried and true.

Muncie Central, oh Muncie Central, Muncie Central we’re all for you!

My two best friends from high school are still dear friends today.
Beth Brown Corey and Bonnie Turner Cooper
Alyson Jack Madsen and I have been friends since our days at West View Elementary School.
Linda and Pete came from California

Mike says we danced to In My Room by The Beach Boys at a party in 8th grade and I was the first girl he held in his arms. I do not remember that!

A photographer’s nightmare! This is only half the group
Bearcat paw chocolates! Is that class or what?

“In the end you always go back to the people that were there in the beginning”. My Dear Valentine 💜

Next weeks Blogpost is an interview with Sandy Barker, a self published author who now has an agent and a book deal! She’s a joy…don’t miss it.

Until we read again… 📚


Dana L.❤️

50 Great Authors Award

I am so excited to share that I have been named as a winner in the "50 Great Writers You Should Be Reading" book awards! See below for the Press Release:

Dana L. Brown, National Award-Winning Author Of 'Lottie Loser', Named As Winner In 50 Great Writers You Should Be Reading Book Awards

Brown was chosen from a field of hundreds of authors through a public voting process.

[Wilmington, NC December 10, 2018]  Dana L. Brown, award winning author of 'Lottie Loser', has been named as a winner in the 50 Great Writers You Should Be Reading Book Awards. Brown was chosen from a field of hundreds of authors through a public voting process.

Dana L. Brown's Anna Maria Island Series has taken a number of high level industry awards. 'Lottie Loser', the first book in the series, was awarded a Silver Medal at the 2017 Florida Authors and Publishers Presidential Awards. 'Call Me Charlotte', the second book in the series, took 3 medals in the Florida Authors and Publishers 2018 Presidential Awards, including Gold in the Romantic Fiction category.

"I call my writing adventure 'My Fairytale', because it really has been a dream come true," Brown stated. "What other profession allows you to take thoughts from your imagination, give life to make believe characters and mix them together into something called a novel? I write because it brings pleasure to others, and that ultimately brings pleasure to me."

Reviews for 'Lottie Loser' have been overwhelmingly positive. K. I. Knight, author of the national award-winning series 'Fate and Freedom' said, "I have special praise for the author’s ability to weave the past and present in such a way that keeps you wanting more. In this national award-winning contemporary romance, you will be hooked on Lottie. Can’t wait for the second book in this captivating series!" Colleen Connally, Amazon Best Selling Author of the Secret Lives Series stated, "A thoroughly engaging romance where the characters jump off the pages and capture your heart. Read Dana L. Brown!"

Dana L. Brown is available for media interviews and can be reached using the information below, or by email at All of her books are available at online retail book outlets. More information is available at



Dana L. Brown is a long-time banker and graduate of the American Bankers Association School of Bank Marketing and Management, where she earned the distinction of Certified Financial Marketing Professional. She attended Ball State University, and majored in business.

The mother of three daughters, she lives with her husband in Indiana, but loves traveling to the laid-back lifestyles on the beaches of Florida.

Until we read again...📚


Dana L.❤️


Dana L. Brown

Cooking with Charlotte🥫

I have said many times that Charlotte Luce is me with upgrades! Just like I wrote Nick to be my fantasy man, I also gave Charlotte all the attributes that I’m lacking. But there’s one place where I’m stronger, and that’s as a cook. If you’ve read The Greysons you know that Charlotte takes cooking lessons, so today I’m going to share the first dish that she makes…my famous lasagna.

When my girls were younger they used to help me in the kitchen and we even made up a song to sing while making this family favorite. Now they make it with their kids and the tradition continues!

*This recipe calls for pork sausage and that’s how it’s best, but if religious reasons call for you to abstain from pork, by all means use ground beef.


1 lbs good pork sausage

4-6 cloves of garlic peeled and sliced

Brown meat and garlic in a large skillet until brown, breaking the meat up as it cooks. Drain well.

Add 1-16 oz can whole or diced tomatoes, 12 oz. tomato paste, 1-T Italian seasoning, 1-T Basil and 1 t garlic powder. Simmer for 20 minutes

Combine 3 C Ricotta or cottage cheese, 8 oz softened cream cheese, 1 C good plain Greek yogurt, like FAGE, 1 C freshly grated Parmesan cheese and 2 beaten eggs. When mixed well add 2- T dried parsley. Set aside.

Spray the bottom of a 9×13, or lasagna pan with cooking spray. Line the bottom with precooked lasagna noodles, taking care to completely cover the bottom. Sometimes I have to break noodles to cover the ends.

Spread 1/2 of the cheese mixture over the noodles and cover it with 8oz of Mozzarella cheese, or 1/2 of a 16 oz package of shredded mozzarella. Top with 1/2 of the meat mixture, laying it on by spoonfuls, but not spreading it out.

Repeat layers so you end up with meat on top. (The cheese will melt through and make a beautiful presentation.) Bake at 375 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes until brown and bubbly. Let sit for 5 minutes before serving.

This recipe can be made ahead of time and frozen, or refrigerated if cooked with 24 hours. Be sure to thaw before cooking and to adjust cooking time if you’re not baking right away.

I know this recipe sounds complicated, but it truly isn’t. The first time it seems a little scary, but once you’ve made it you’ll realize how easy it really is.

The picture above are pieces of lasagna that I had leftover and cut to fit in a baking dish. But it shows you what yours will look like. Cheesy, meaty and delicious!

Until we read…or cook…again!📚


Dana L.❤️