Category Archives: Writing life

A New Season

The long, bitter cold winter is finally coming to an end. For many people, this winter has been much harsher than any they have experienced before, yet they have persevered and the beauty of spring is in sight!

Sometimes life throws us what feels like almost too much to bear: enormous hardships, devastating losses, the heavy weight of grief. And yet time and again we gather those we love close and force ourselves to move forward, knowing deep within that we must trust in the power of love.

My Crystal Springs/Coming Home series is set in a small Tennessee town where community and family are important, where hope and comfort are abundant, and, most of all, where people reach out to one another, offering support and love when it is needed the most.

Interview with Vision and Verse BlogSpot…

Good morning, Mary Jane and welcome to Vision and Verse, the Place for Art and Authors.  We are thrilled to have you with us this morning.  Can you tell us what you’ve written?

I have three books on Kindle. DANGEROUS MOVES, SHELBY’S GIFT and LONG ROAD HOME. LONG ROAD HOME is the first book in my Crystal Springs/Coming Home series. The second book, COMING HOME, is expected out soon.

What is your favorite genre to write?

I love writing contemporary romance that centers around strong women with real-life problems. SHELBY’S GIFT has a special place in my heart. It is such an emotional book that looks not only at the very complicated romance between Shelby and Ben but the complex issues from Shelby’s family of origin and how those issues shaped her life and choices.

Sounds wonderful.  Favorite food?

My favorite food is chocolate!

Coffee or tea.

I drink a lot of green tea but I love my Starbuck’s vanilla lattes. Yum!

Pizza or ice cream.

I definitely prefer ice cream to pizza. I really have to curb my sugar cravings!

Where would you like to visit?

I would love to visit Ireland. I am three-fourths Irish, and hope to someday see the Irish countryside and visit with the people who I feel a strong connection with. I definitely inherited the Irish story-telling gene.

Favorite music and musician.

I love good music. In fact, I started out as a vocal music major in college. It is difficult to choose my favorite musical artist; there are so many wonderful musicians out there. Going back to my Irish roots, the Celtic Woman does a beautiful job singing the Irish Blessing. John Lennon is another favorite. I love his beautiful and thought-provoking lyrics. I can’t leave out Barbara Streisand, a strong woman with unbelievable talent. And then there is Brandi Carlile with her smooth, soothing voice. I obviously can’t choose just one!

Fair enough.  What makes Mary jane Morgan laugh?

It doesn’t take much to make me laugh. A good dry wit is always appreciated. My father was a master at it, and while he’s been gone almost six years, I still miss his wit (among other things). I use humor as a coping mechanism, and it usually works quite well.

Favorite sculpture.

My favorite sculpture is James Earl Fraser’s The End of the Trail of Tears. It’s a beautiful, emotional piece that depicts the pain and enduring strength of the gentle and sweet-spirited Cherokee people.

I was in high school when I began writing nonfiction articles on my school newspaper. Also, my mother was an English teacher and a wonderful writer, who encouraged me to follow my writing dreams every step of the way. I wrote greeting cards and nonfiction articles before moving to fiction and have never looked back.

Describe your perfect evening.

My perfect evening would change depending on my mood. I do love romance though! However, I just spent a perfect evening holding my new grandson for two hours. We bonded! I am a people person, so while I do need some alone time, I love an evening with good friends, laughing and sharing our ideas and experiences.

Where do you get your inspiration?

I get my inspiration from people – from their real-life stories of courage and love, hardships and triumphs, challenges and victories and, most of all, loss and love.

What do you do when you get writer’s block?

I rarely get a writer’s block and thankfully, when I do, it doesn’t last long. I have a tremendous group of women critique partners who are always willing to help each other any way they can. Having said that, when I do feel stuck, being in nature usually helps. I love the Rocky Mountain National Park, and have several favorite places where I can sit and soak up wonderful energy to get my writing juices flowing again. I feel the pull as I type this! A trip is on the horizon…

Favorite author.

I have many favorite authors! If I had to choose just one, I would choose Kristin Hannah. She is a marvelous storyteller, who wraps you in a world of strong, three-dimensional women, makes you care, and (if you allow), gives you some insight into yourself and your own life lessons.

I love her, too.  Best book you ever read.

I believe the best book I ever read was Barbara Samuel’s, MIDNIGHT RAIN. Wow! Just Wow!

The last book I read was Toni Anderson’s romantic suspense, EDGE OF SURVIVAL. I enjoyed it. She wove their emotional conflicts together well and had a good ending. It took her a while to conquer wrapping up a good ending, and I was glad to see that she has grown in this area. This was an emotionally satisfying book.

If you weren’t a writer, what would you be?

If I were not a writer, I think I would enjoy working in the medical world – maybe a doctor. I am a massage therapist and enjoy helping people get out of pain, but if I could do things over, I would get some type of real medical training.

Who is the one person who has influenced your personal life the most and why.

The person who has influenced my personal life the most would have to be my mother. She had a very difficult childhood and had many problems. Our relationship was not easy, but she did love me, and because of the hardships in our relationship, I have learned a great deal about not only myself but people in general.

Name one person, living or dead, real of fictional, that you would like to sit down and have a conversation with and why.

If I could have a conversation with one person, living or dead, I believe I would choose Anne Frank, the young girl who taught the world so much. Two of my favorite quotes from her diary are:

“It’s difficult in times like these: ideals, dreams and cherished hopes rise within us, only to be crushed by grim reality. It’s a wonder I haven’t abandoned all my ideals, they seem so absurd and impractical. Yet I cling to them because I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart.”

Also: “I don’t think of all the misery but all the beauty that still remains.”

Anne Frank, truly only a girl, taught the world so much, and I would love to visit with her and soak up some of her positive energy and belief in the goodness of people!

Do you have any advice for someone just entering our world of writing?

Writing is a gift and if you aspire to be a writer, then write, write and write some more. Only by actually writing, can you hone your talent. Studying the art is helpful, but nothing takes the place of sitting down and writing!

Do you have any links for us to follow you?

Crystal  Springs/Coming Home Series:

Long Road Home, book 1, Diva

Shelby’s Gift, Indie

Dangerous Moves, Kensington (reprint)

Mary Jane Morgan

Excerpt: Shelby’s Gift

Shelby’s Gift will be featured Friday, March 6 on I’d love for you to come visit. I did an personal interview with them a few weeks ago. It was fun and made me think, so I hope you enjoy learning a bit more about me.

Here is an excerpt from this book, a contemporary romance:

Ben led the way to her room, wondering what in the hell had ever possessed him to do this. Desperation. Nothing but sure, deep-rooted desperation and fear.

No, he’d done it for Kyle. And to help Shelby. She needed him now and he needed her.

He set her luggage down and glanced at her. She looked as scared and vulnerable as he felt, and his heart went out to her. He might be desperate and scared, but no one had forced him to bring her here. It was his choice, and it was the only good choice he could have made. “Everything will be fine, Shelby,” he said reassuringly. “Take a nap. You look about ready to fall over.” He smiled. “Call me if you need anything. I’m here for you.”

She gave him a soul-searching, lost look. He crossed the room and pulled her against him. Sighing, he laid his cheek on her thick, soft hair. He stroked her back and felt some of her tension ease. Slowly she wrapped her arms around him, then laid her head on his chest.

As they stood in silence, both there for the other one, a feeling of contentment settled over Ben. “I’m glad you’re here,” he whispered, and much to his surprise, a part of him really meant it.







How thrilling to have Carol Kauffman, editor of Vision and Verse, choose to interview me. I had a great time answering her questions. She made it fun but also made me think about some things. I can’t thank her enough for the invitation and the work she did to make this happen.

If you’ve never visited this blog, I highly recommend it. It’s for both writers and artists, and they have some fabulously talented people on there. Go take a look! You just might find your next favorite author or artist!


Mary Jane

First Professional Review of LONG ROAD HOME

LONG ROAD HOME is the first book of my Crystal Springs/Coming Home Series. I was so pleased to get my first professional review today. Thank you Julie’s Book Reviews for this wonderful review!

Brett and Megan are complex characters, facing real world problems, and their love connection with each other is believable, gripping, and complicated. The emotional conflict is well developed and believable-it pulled me in and held me as I rooted for them to succeed by overcoming obstacles. The characters, setting, and dialogue are rich and believable.
The author either did her research or knows her stuff which adds authenticity to her story and makes it very engaging. I enjoyed this book a great deal and was satisfied with the ending. I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes a story full of twists and turns, sex, mystery, and true love. This book has it all and more! It is like a modern day Romeo and Juliet set on a horse farm.

Fact is Always Stranger Than Fiction…

…and that can really be to a writer’s advantage!

Take the lady who tried to slide down her ex-boyfriend’s chimney naked and got stuck! Yes, you read that right! Twenty three firemen rushed to rescue her. I feel quite confident they jumped on that fire truck and blazed through town — siren wailing, hearts pumping — ready and eager to save the naked damsel in distress!

Once there, they were forced to chisel away the fireplace mantel piece by piece to find the body. The naked body.  Slowly she began to emerge — soot-covered feet first, soot-covered calves next, soot-covered….Well, you get the picture!

What would POSSESS a woman to try and slide down a chimney under ANY circumstances, let alone the chimney of her ex-boyfriend, in the dead of winter, and in the raw?

I’m tucking this away in the corner of my mind for possible use. After all, this was an ex-girlfriend, and ex-girlfriends have a way of showing up in the wrong places and at the worst times and making total fools of themselves, especially if they are naked and a camera crew is waiting to snap their picture!