Shana Galen
Shana Galen


giveaway, Harry Potter, Margo Maguire

Wow. It’s the end of an era. The end of the Jaunty Quills!


I was one of the founding members back in 2005 – November, I think it was. There were seven of us, all new writers for Avon Books, though several of us had been published by other houses before. Each one of us took a day of the week, and blogged on that same day every week. It was a lot of writing to do, given our other deadlines and commitments, but we loved it – we enjoyed connecting with other lovers of romance fiction, loved dishing about the things that mattered to us: our families, our books, our favorite movies and TV. Some of us were watching Lost. Others were into Grey’s Anatomy or 30 Rock. The movie Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire had just come out, and so had Little Miss Sunshine and Brokeback Mountain. Those take you back, don’t they?


There were so many things to love about being one of the Quills. We developed new friendships among ourselves, and even now, we still consult with each other when we have trouble with plots or characters. We occasionally got to meet in person – sometimes at the RWA convention, or at RT or another conference, and it was always a good time – just like old friends getting together after a long absence.

We were a dynamic group, reinventing ourselves as some members moved on to other things, and new authors joined us. Our main goal was to be fresh, informative, and entertaining to our readers. Our blog became a mellow place for us to discuss books and life events. We shared a lot of details about writing, and gave you excerpts – not only of our newest books, but also deleted scenes that nobody else got to see. And that’s because our readers were always special to us. You were like our second family.


I’m not the fist to say that change is a fact of life. No matter how we start out, our lives take lots twists and turns – some good, some not so great. And hopefully, we can learn from those changes and move forward. Which brings me to my farewell. Nothing lasts forever (except Grey’s Anatomy, I guess). I was a critical care nurse before I became a professional writer. And now I’m a grandmother, taking care of my two new grandsons while their parents work (two of my kids had baby boys the first week of June!) I’m quite happy to be out of contract so that I can make my own deadlines. I can spend lots of time with the babies and write when I have time. So I still release books and novellas, but I’m not writing two books a year any more.

What changes have you had to deal with in your life? I’m going to pick two responders Sunday and send them any book they choose from my backlist. (You can find them at Adios, my friends!


36 thoughts on “Former Jaunty Quill Margo Maguire

  1. Dawn A says:

    In the last few years I have become disabled. I hope it’s not a permanent thing, but I’m prepared for the fact that I may not get better.

    1. Oh, I am so sorry! Nothing is worse than losing your good health. I hope things do improve for you!

  2. Amy says:

    We have had some health changes in my family that have changed our usual way of doing things. They have actually been good changes. I am embracing the idea that attitude is the difference between turning an ordeal into an adventure.

    1. You are so right – a lot of negatives can be turned into positives, and it sounds like that’s what you’ve done. Congratulations!

  3. Margo, thanks for coming back to visit. And congratulations on the grandbabies!

    1. Thank you, Theresa – it’s great to be back!

  4. Shana Galen Shana Galen says:

    Glad you stopped in, Margo!

    1. Just like home, Shana. 🙂

  5. says:

    I’ve started a part-time job after many years of not being out in the work force. I don’t get to read as much but I think I appreciate the time I have with a good book even more! Best wishes for all of you – this blog will be missed.

    1. I know the feeling of not having enough time to read! With the babies here, and my eye problems (I have many boring eye issues . . .) there is never enough time to read! All the best to you, catslady5. I enjoy seeing you on FB from time to time. 🙂

  6. Gillian H says:

    I’m currently making lots of health changes. Some days are an adjustment, but it feels good and I can tell a healthy, positive change.

    1. That is great! What a good feeling. 🙂

  7. Geraldine Pierson says:

    Going on disability and then early retirement from my job because of my disability. It was a big adjustment mostly the money but staying at home.
    It has been awhile and things are better now. Reading has helped me cope so much. Thank you for a chance to win.

    1. I am glad you’re adjusting. Big changes like yours can be tough!

  8. Annette Naish says:

    Seems like an ongoing theme here. I too have become disabled. I had to deal with my anger at being let down by my body. Most of my life I have been active. Walking was something I took for granted and I did a great deal of it. I used to hike because it was such a wonderful activity. Now, walking and standing are very difficult. Reading has become a way for me to escape the reality. I have always been a reader, but now it is even more important to me. To be honest, I am grateful and owe a debt to every author who writes books which give me such a wonderful life.

    1. I am sorry about your health issues – I know how it is . . . I had to have one knee replaced (2014) and the other one is ready, too, but I’m putting it off because I can walk now. (Yes!!) Every author I know would be thrilled to know that we’ve offered some comfort and entertainment for you! Good luck, Annette.

  9. Kate Sparks says:

    I’ve retired since 2005 and so has my husband…

    1. That’s a huge adjustment. Everyone thinks it’ll be SO EASY! But it takes an effort to stay occupied and not just drift into boredom.

  10. Kathy N says:

    I am adjusting to retiring from teaching–trying to feel/useful. Still exploring.

    1. You will come up with something, Kathy. My mom was a teacher, and I don’t think she sat still for one day after retiring! It’s in a teacher’s blood to keep up with something. 🙂

  11. LSUReader says:

    Recently, Hubby and I had to reacquaint ourselves with running a full house. After a brief period (about a year) of there being just two of us in the house, we now have our son and his family living with us. That includes two children and a small dog, so we’re a very full house! It’s a learning challenge for each of us. But it is so nice to have those sweet grandkids around more often. Thanks for visiting, Margo.

    1. Wow – that is a lot! I’m glad I can see my new little grandsons almost every day, but they do go home at the end of the day. I remember having an empty nest for about 2 weeks, then one of mine moved back, and it became a revolving door after that – but only for a few years. They’re all on their own now! Good luck with your crowd!

  12. girlfromwva says:

    the biggest change in my life was a life altering surgery and becoming totally disabled and unable to work. it took awhile to adjust. just try to take each day as it comes along and make it the best it can be.

  13. Oh, I am so sorry. That had to be a devastating change! I hope your recovery is complete and you are able to make the most of things. Good luck!

  14. Julie-ann Ford says:

    I am a retired police officer which is extremely hard to adjust to. When you retire you go from have a set schedule and plan to having so much time that things don’t get done. I am also a 12 year colon cancer survivor which definitely changes your outlook on life. You learn to live every day to it’s fullest and not to stress over the small stuff.

    I will definitely miss this blog, it gave me a lot of laughs.

    1. I know! Retirement isn’t easy, especially when you’ve had a demanding job. I have to say that when I quit my nursing job, I still missed going into the ICU every day – I guess I was an adrenaline junkie! But even then, I was writing every day, so I had another career going. And now I’m doing a slow transition to retirement. Congratulations on being cancer-free! That must be a GREAT feeling!

    1. Oh yikes. I do not look forward to the day we decide to move, and I absolutely dread the day we actually DO move! We’ve been in our house 32 years, and raised three kids here . . . I’ve actually made a 10-year plan on getting us and the house ready to move, so we’re slowly purging things from closets, basement, attic, etc. I swear it will take 10 years!

  15. Glenda says:

    Lots of changed over the last few years: My kids went to college and now my son has graduated and moved out of state to work on degrees #2 & 3. This is the first Thanksgiving in 22 years whem we will not all be together. We can’t go see him because of the cost, his sister has a very short time off for her break, and my mother in law is finally finished with her radiation treatments and we don’t want to leave her alone…. Also, I’m in the process of opening a new location for the pets store I work for, so I can’t take the time off.

    1. Hugs, Glenda! Change is hard, but its’ the worst when you’ve got kids far away. I hope you’re all able to get together soon!

  16. Sandi in OH says:

    We retired and spend a great deal of time traveling with our 5th wheel. I read whenever I can. We joined two clubs and are now officers in both.

    1. That sounds pretty good! My hubby and I were just talking about taking a trip – if we can figure a way to extricate ourselves from our current situation!

  17. Eileen A-W says:

    Retirement was a big change. Now I can read all I want and do some other stuff that needs to get done. I love having lunch with friends throughout the month.

    1. Sounds like retirement agrees with you, Eileen! I’m happy for you. 🙂

  18. It was great to have you back, Margo! So glad to see your smiling face.

    1. Thanks, Kristan – it was good to be back!

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