Getting By

It’s been a while, huh? I’ve needed to sit down and do this for a long time, but I just haven’t had it in me. This most likely won’t be read by anyone, and that’s fine. Honestly, I think it’s for me more than anything. Yes, I did the big vanishing act. It started with missing a deadline, then another. I’ve never been one to make up excuses. Everything just got away from me and I couldn’t keep up. Working 2 jobs, family, and writing, it all became too much. I wanted to be everywhere at once, but I was stretched too thin. I felt like I was going downhill. My health was declining, I couldn’t think straight, and I was neglecting everyone. Then, I got hit with some great news. I was going to be a Grandmother. You can’t imagine how excited I was. My daughter-in-law, Sarah, worked with me. We were together almost every day. To say we were close was an understatement. Sure, like any daughter-in-law, we would sometimes butt heads, but it was a great relationship. We were friends. We were family. I suppose you’re noticing how I’m using the phrase “were”. I’m still trying to cope with what happened. I was there through the entire pregnancy. I witnessed Sarah blossoming into an amazing mom-to-be. I helped get her to Dr. appointments, took care of her at work, and tried to be there for both her and my son, Cody. It was a great time. Then the baby came on July 20, 2022. Our beautiful, Camilla Sage. She was born with a head full of dark hair like her momma and looked like my Cody when he was a baby. Sarah went through delivery like it was nothing. Sure, she was scared, but she was always a tough cookie when it came to things like that. Cody was a nervous wreck. He hadn’t been around a baby since his sister was born. Amber was 16 at the time Camilla entered the world so it had been a bit. Things were great, wonderful, and beautiful for 9 days. Then I got a call that I’ll never forget. Sarah’s mom was screaming into the phone, “she’s not breathing.” Instantly my heart dropped and we rushed to get there. With a 9-day-old baby, that’s your first thought. It wasn’t Camilla, thank the Lord above. It was our Sarah. She was sitting in a chair, talking with Cody and suddenly her heart just stopped. The Drs tried. They truly did. They and the machines did everything they could for 2 days, but…she was gone. I was there, with Cody and her mom every second. I prayed. I begged. Then, I told our sweet girl goodbye. It was devastating.

Sarah was only 24. My son, Cody, is only 26. The idea of being on his own with a newborn was scary. He needed help. He needed us all. Work, writing, and life, in general, went on the back burner. I had to take care of my family. Cody was lost. Amber was devastated. And we had a baby who needed us all. The 31st of this month will be 6 months since we lost her. Cody has learned how to be a wonderful dad. Camilla loves him so much. You know how it is. When he leaves for work or just leaves the room, she is looking for him. It’s precious to see. My Amber has stepped into the role of Auntie Amber. She has learned how to make bottles, change diapers, play with a baby, and make Camilla laugh. I backed off a bit from one of my jobs so I could help with babysitting so Cody wouldn’t be worrying so much. I love the time I get to spend with our little angel. It’s still hard though. As a mom, I sit and think about everything Sarah is missing. Then there’s how much I miss her. She was always with me. Me, her, and Amber would go out for tea or coffee on our days off. We’d go shopping. We barely did anything without her being with us. The absence is crushing. My babies are in therapy to help them cope with it. I’m doing my best to be there for everyone and get used to a life where our Sarah is gone. 10 years as part of our family just wasn’t enough.

When it comes to the world of Rena Marin, though, I’m still lost. I sat down and tried to write but the words wouldn’t come. Maybe it’s too soon? I don’t know. The thoughts are there. The ideas still churn. It’s the actual doing it that holds me up. I lost a lot of connections as well. I know people were disappointed in me for not making deadlines and letting them down. That lingers in the back of my mind too. I lost friendships. I know I did. That hurts, but it was my fault. I own that. This isn’t me trying to fix all that. No, this is simply me offering an update, sharing what happened, and letting anyone who is still interested in what’s happening with me know that I’m here. I’m getting by as best I can but it’s taking time to get back to normal. My family needs me. What more can I say.

If you read this, thank you. I hope it makes sense and people can understand why I took a step back. Hopefully, a little creativity, if I ever had any, starts flowing again. If it does, I hope to see you all in that wickedly twisted world.

Lots of Love,


Possessed by Passion is LIVE!!

Yes, it’s true, Possessed by Passion went live at midnight. I’m massively excited, scared, hopeful, thankful, and all kinds of other things this morning. Like I’ve said before, this is it, this is my shot at those USA Today Bestseller letters. I want them. Damn, do I want them. The thing is, I’m not one of those people who refuses to see the truth of a given situation. This one is plain and simple. No matter how hard we’ve worked or how much time and effort we’ve put in this boxset, those letters may not come. That’s the reality of making a run like this.

Another part of making a list run like this is the amazing authors you get to work with. I’m in awe of the talent I’m surrounded by. Each one of them is amazing. The stories they have crafted for this set are suspenseful, dark, romantic, and breathtaking. I am so blessed to be associated with all of them.

The support group for this box set has been amazing as well. Two people in particular have kept me sane, focused, and laughing throughout. Our set leader and friend, Erin Lee has been crucial to this whole process. She has been there to answer each of the goofy questions I ask. She has kicked me in the ass when I’ve needed it. She’s even shared laughs with me when it felt like I was losing my mind. She has been one hell of a ringleader. To Erin, thank you for always being there and taking the time to guide me through this crazy thing called book world.

My PA and friend, Diana Richie has also been a rock through all this. When work kept me from being around, Diana stepped in and did extra to help me stay afloat. She’s complained with me, worried with me, and stalked rankings with me. To Diana, you’re amazing and thank you for all you do to keep me going.

Now, on to the words. My story in the Possessed by Passion boxset is called The Arisen. Anala, my Phoenix, was born in the pits of hell. When those in the pit couldn’t control her, Anala was banished to earth. In a way, I saw Anala as an angsty, rebellious teen while in hell. She didn’t like being told what to do. She didn’t like being used as a weapon. Like a human teenager, she didn’t care too much for her parents and their ideas for her life. On earth though, Anala found her place. She felt at home. With two demons who escaped the pit with her, Arwyn and Darwyn, she leads what feels like a normal life. The twist though, Anala lives, then dies, and is reborn just like a Phoenix.

Anala’s story truly begins when Heaven realizes Hell is ready to make their move in the battle between good and evil. Sebastian, the angel, makes his way to Earth in hopes of learning Anala’s true allegiance and remove her from the battle if necessary. Once Sebastian makes his presence known, the true battle begins to unfold.

Now, what’s a paranormal romance without a love interest? Enter, Beau. He’s hot, set in his ways, and a man with morals. In his eyes, Anala is too young for him, but there’s no denying the connection between them. Will Beau let his feelings be known? Will he accept what Anala is? All those questions will be answered when you read The Arisen!

So, now the ball is in your court. If you’ve read this far and are willing to help a group of authors achieve their dreams, then I’ll leave the links below. Any sell helps, but we could really use Nook, Kobo, and Apple sales right now. Guess what, Nook and Kobo don’t require a download to order. Apple, all you need is an iPhone. If you’re willing to toss in a few bucks, read some amazing stories, and help us chase those letters, we would be forever grateful. We are pushing hard, keeping our fingers crossed, and hoping each of you join us on the ride. Thanks for everything.





Lots of Love,


My nerves are shot!!

Have you ever wanted something so bad you can’t stop thinking about it? That’s where I am right now. Anyone who follows my writing has seen that I’m in a USA Today Bestseller’s List aiming set. The set, Possessed by Passion, features amazing authors who honestly, I don’t hold a candle to. The stories featured in the set are an amazing blend of paranormal elements, romance, and the supernatural. To say I feel blessed to be part of this amazing opportunity is an understatement. But…I’m scared to death.

Here’s the thing, what if the set doesn’t make it? Will I ever have this shot again? That answer is most likely, no. I’m a normal person who doesn’t have tons of spare cash laying around to join big sets and make a run for letters. Honestly, I was lucky to be invited to this set. Besides the money, I may never be invited to another set again. This is the opportunity of a lifetime for a Tennessee girl who grew up in a hollar writing in a notebook every day.

We are only 6 days away from release. Throughout the list run, I’ve had issues with work where I wasn’t online promoting like I should. Covid has made life hard for everyone. When people at work have gotten sick, the rest of us have had to step in and take up the slack. Things like that put me dealing with the realities of this new world we’re living in while still trying to juggle this dream I have. It’s been hard. There’s one thing about it though, I’m not giving up.

Yes, we only have a handful of days left to see if our dreams come true. Will it happen? Lord, I hope so. Will I give up on the dream if it doesn’t? No. That’s not the kind of person I am. I’ll freak out. I’ll cry, a lot. Then, I’ll keep on keeping on and cross my fingers that the chance to try again pops back up. The idea of calling myself a USA Today Bestselling Author is not something I’m going to shake. I love writing and sharing my words with the world too much.

Now, comes the big part of this blog post. This is where I ask anyone who follows me, this website, or anything about the writing world in general to help us out. We need more sales. We’re so close on several of the platforms. Nook and Apple are two we need badly. The set features 20+ novellas for only .99 cents. I’m going to post the links below. If any of you are willing to step up and help a girl out, I’ll forever be in your debt. I even have a few giveaways going on over on Facebook you can check out for your troubles. I’ll post the links for the set below just in case anyone wants to pre-order a copy. Wish us luck guys, and no matter what happens, thanks for being along for the ride.

Possessed by Passion Links:

𝟐𝟏 𝐁𝐨𝐨𝐤𝐬 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐎𝐍𝐋𝐘 𝟗𝟗¢𝗔𝘃𝗮𝗶𝗹𝗮𝗯𝗹𝗲 𝗼𝗻 𝗮𝗹𝗹 𝗺𝗮𝗷𝗼𝗿 𝗽𝗹𝗮𝘁𝗳𝗼𝗿𝗺𝘀

Possessed by Passion: A Dark Romance Paranormal Collection





Passions pulsate. Destinies collide. Humans, angels, and demons alike are possessed with a common bind—desire. Will they find what they are searching for? Will you?

Lots of Love,


Dollhouse Diaries (Petunia’s Blog)

Photo by Gabby K on

It’s Valentine’s Day, my favorite holiday. This is the day Guy is supposed to show me just how much he loves me, right? I’m a bit confused this morning. I woke up expecting flowers, gifts, and chocolates. You know what I had? A new skimpy piece of lingerie a lady like me shouldn’t be wearing. It didn’t even cover my nipples. Yes, I know, it should make me feel good that Guy thinks I’m so sexy, which, if we’re being honest, I am. That’s besides the point. Is it just me, or is this gift more for him than it is me? Yes, I like sex. Well, love it, actually but I don’t need a piece of barely there scratchy ass material to make me feel sexy. Doesn’t he realize who he’s messing with here? I’m Petunia, y’all. I own my sex appeal.

I believe in giving my man gifts on special days too. I sat and thought hard about the new laptop I ordered him for Valentine’s. No, it’s not romantic but this is Guy, y’all. The last time he said he bought me something romantic it was a new sex swing. I thought going practical would be my best bet with him. I mean, how do we make our living? My sexy ass plastered online, that’s how. So, he needs good equipment. I used some of my bake off earnings to make sure he got the real expensive laptop he’s been eyeing for the past two months. That’s the kind of silicone bride I am. Now, I’m rethinking this whole gift giving shit.

I talked with Busty first thing this morning. That heifer got flowers, chocolates, cute lingerie, and even some jewelry. That woman of hers knows how it’s done. I told her what Guy did. She thought it was hilarious, of course. She says I should’ve expected it. I immediately started to pass off his gesture as a guy thing. I was wrong, it’s a GUY thing. Sylvia’s delivery man showed up at the door on one knee singing her a love song he wrote. He had all the right stuff too. Sage even told me Big Richie got her chocolates. Yes, they were shaped like penises but come on, if Big Richie can be romantic, Guy can too, right?

Busty and I came up with a plan. She said I needed to show Guy what it’s like. We searched around online while he was out shoveling the damn driveway again. I don’t know why he’s obsessed with that thing considering we aren’t leaving the house. I’m making us a romantic dinner for two. My whorish cousins can fend for themselves. Anyway, while he was out there, Busty and I found just the thing for him. If all Guy can think about on Valentine’s Day is getting a free glimpse of my nipples, I felt an expedited order of stuff to spruce up his balls was in order. It has scrub, deodorizer, and even comes in a heart-shaped box with a pair of boxers. Two can play this game y’all and Petunia is gonna come out on top. I’ll let you know how it goes after the rest of the night progresses. Surely, he’ll see the error of his way and rush out to get me all the romantic things I deserve, right?

Until next time, loves Happy Valentine’s Day!!



Dollhouse Diaries (Petunia’s 1st Blog)

February 9, 2021

Winter Sucks!

I don’t know why I didn’t think of this sooner. My fans, bless their hearts, need as much Petunia as they can get. Guy is torturing them, I just know it. Since this nasty shit they call snow started, he’s barely putting out any content on the channel. I hate it. I can’t connect with those who adore me. I can’t even connect with my husband. He’s constantly outside shoveling snow, checking stuff on the car, and bitching about our walkways. Seriously? This isn’t a good setting for a country girl, y’all. Especially, me. I need attention. I’m high maintenance, ya know.

When I was at the warehouse, Rena would show up for work griping about snow every now and then. Up here, it’s constant. It doesn’t seem to go away. Just when I think it’s going to thaw out enough for me to step outside, BAM! Another ton of that white shit falls to the ground and I’m trapped. I feel like a caged animal or something. I want sunshine and sweet tea on my gazebo not sweaters and so much hot chocolate my eyes are floating. According to Sage, it’s cold back home in Tennessee but they’re getting random days of nice weather. She said that white shit’s been falling there about once a week but it melts fast. Up here, that shit has moved in to stay. We should be charging it rent!

So, I thought I would give everyone an update on our lives since I can’t get out of the house to live it. Let’s start with my gorgeous little namesake, Petunia the Cow. She’s so precious. Guy built her a nice barn. You know Guy, he bitches about everything, but he was really proud of it when it was finished. With all this cold, it’s hard for me to go out and feed her. I can’t stay out there in that long. Me sneaking her in the backdoor hasn’t helped Guy’s shitty attitude this winter has created. When he finds her eating carrots out of the fridge he yells a bit. I don’t really care though. I pull out the waterworks and cry about how I never get to see her and he calms down a bit. After a little time, he takes her back out to the barn and we do the same shit the next day. It’s part of our routine.

Freaky Fred is still banging Marcy. Apparently, she has one hell of an appetite. The poor dude comes home sometimes just to get away from her. Guy says it’s from all those years she’s been without a man. He calls it, “knocking the dust off it.” I didn’t know a hoohah got dusty, but I guess it can if you don’t tend to it.

The other cousins are still wild and tacky as ever. Renee and Shelia are constantly calling that little Amish fella. I don’t think he’s supposed to have a phone up there, but it’s not like I’m gonna tell on him. I think it’s all cute. What I don’t like is all the nasty pictures they keep sending him. Guy says that shit is lost out there in the cloud somewhere and eventually gonna end up online. I always wondered how the online world worked but I had no idea it ran up there in the clouds. Fascinating!!

Sylvia and Brenda are doing great in their relationships. I never imagined Brenda would settle down. I mean, she’s still crazy as a bed bug and likes to get wild on the channel from time to time, but I think she’s in love. With Sylvia, there’s no doubt. That delivery guy knocked her off her feet in a big way. Their new thing is using boxes in their foreplay. Him screaming, “special delivery,” all night gets annoying but whatever keeps things exciting for them, I guess. I’m thankful Brenda moved in with her woman. The stories she tells us, let’s just say there’s certain things the ears of a lady shouldn’t hear.

I’ve been keeping in touch with the girls at the warehouse. From what I understand, Sage is considering starting a blog too. She said it would be a great way for those girls to get culture and stay connected to the world. I doubt Bob will let it happen, but I guess we’ll see. Sage has a way of getting what she wants.

Anyway, I guess that’ll do it for my first blog/diary entry. This is so much fun. I think I’ll definitely do it more often. I may even let the cousins hop on here. Then again, I may not. You know how I like being the center of attention. Love to you all and I hope everyone survives all this white shit out there. It may take me out in the end. Dying from boredom is a real thing y’all.


Love y’all!!

My Favorite Horror Icons

Photo by Skitterphoto on

Hey y’all. Rena here with another chat about creepy things to celebrate our favorite time of year. I talked a bit the other day about ghost television, which I love, so today I thought we could discuss those famous, murderous, and overly creepy horror icons. Yep, I’m talking about the oldies. LOL!

When you talk about horror icons everyone seems to have a favorite. Whether you run into fans of Michael Myers, Jason Voorhees, or Freddy Krueger you instantly know you’ve met a fellow horror lover. We aren’t going to discuss my age or anything, but I can tell you, I grew up watching these now classic horror stars and love catching up with them from time to time.

First up, let’s discuss Michael Myers. Yes, in my opinion he is the original boogeyman and honestly, he’s my favorite. Carpenter’s original movie featuring Mikey wasn’t a gore-fest. They didn’t rely on using blood. Instead, they focused on the overall anxiety the movie made you feel, the sounds, the score, and of course, the tall creepy guy in a mask. The first time I watched the movie, it left me terrified. I was just a kid at the time, but the idea of a random man, with no supernatural characteristics to make him less believable, wondering around and killing people at random truly struck a chord in me. He stuck with me as a kid. He was my quintessential boogeyman and I have watched every movie about him since.

With Mike Myers you do have the issues with the storyline. After Carpenter stepped away from the movies, the decision to make Michael and the girl who lived, Lori Strode, brother and sister came into play. Did I like the stories that followed that storyline? Yes, I did. H20 is one of my all time faves and I can watch it over and over. The movies featuring young Jamie were great. Still, even I have to admit, it made Mike lose his edge which made them need to bring in the supernatural aspect in Curse of Michael Myers which I wasn’t a fan of. Having Michael stalking anyone in Haddonfield seemed scarier to me. That was why I was so pleased with the latest version of Halloween following the events in the original movie so closely. Sure, it jumped like 40 years, but the family aspect was gone, and we could enjoy Michael as the human monster he truly was. I can’t wait for the next one to hit theaters. Until then, my horror-loving daughter and I enjoy my collection of Halloween movies. We don’t watch Season of the Witch. I mean, what the hell even was that? But all the others with Mikey are favorites around here.

Now, if you like more of a supernatural element to your horror then Freddy Krueger is probably your guy. The idea of a child murderer being stalked and burned by the parents of the kids he hurt wasn’t the surprising part of those movies. That part made complete sense to me. As a parent, I could totally get on board. But when he came back, everything changed. That’s where you find yourself in the first movie. Which was completely terrifying to kids at the time it came out. Think about it, what kid wants to go to sleep at night and risk the chance of running into a child murderer with razor blades for fingers. Freddy had the ability to make them think their dreams were reality. Nancy, his main nemesis for three movies, terrified young kids. The fear she showed, the struggles to stay awake, then the struggles to have a life after Freddy left people thinking he was truly in her dreams every night.

When it came to sequels, Freddy and the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise may have had the most fun. Freddy had great one-liners and killed in very unique ways. Sure, like with most horror franchises, you kind of lost the storyline and the point, but the kills, the fun, and the scares were always there making Freddy a favorite among horror lovers. I truly love the first movie, it hooked me, but my favorite would have to be Dream Warriors, which was part three in the franchise. See? You don’t always have to love the original movie.

Okay, when it comes to Jason Voorhees, I will own the fact that the Friday the 13th movies were not my go-to set. I loved the original, which brings us Jason in the end. I was completely into the whole Tommy aspect and even the girl with telekinesis. They sort of lost me when Jason left Crystal Lake. Why? That was his story. For those who haven’t watched the movies, Jason was a poor kid who the camp counselors completely ignored, and he drowned in the lake. His mom got a bit of revenge for her baby boy but once she was gone, Jason himself decided it was time to kick some ass and take a few names.

I think the scariest aspect of Jason is the fact you can’t kill him. I mean think about, we’ve watched them do everything to this dude. They even chained him to the bottom of the lake, and he lived. He is unstoppable, which is why he also came with a ton of sequels, even those that didn’t make sense. That didn’t stop him from becoming and icon, though. No, we all know Jason. We all know the cha-cha-cha-kill-kill-kill. He’s a beast. He’s a machine. He’s horror and overdone or not, ya gotta love him.

Let’s do a bit of an honorable mention. I was a bit older when the Scream movies came out. This kind of makes them near and dear to my heart. Yes, I know Ghostface isn’t Mikey, Jason, or Freddy but I do believe the series itself is very iconic. Why is Ghostface not on the same level with these guys? He changed every movie. Our original trio stuck with us, killed to keep us entertained. The original guys in Scream, Billy and Stu, they didn’t make it very long, but they left a legacy behind. That legacy brought us several sequels, like with any franchise, but they obviously didn’t live up to the fun of the original Scream.

The fun of Scream came about from the realism of it. The kids knew about horror icons like Jason and Mike Myers. They knew the so-called rules to survive a horror movie. Still, no matter how smart they were, Ghostface found ways around that. Why? They knew the rules too. Not to mention there were two of them to help throw people off their trail. The original kill in Scream featuring Drew Barrymore as Casey Becker, in my opinion, is one of the most iconic in horror history. Sure, her football playing boyfriend was the first to go, but his death is not the one you really focus on. No, it’s Casey’s. The killers play with her. They force her to answer questions, which ultimately makes her watch her man get gutted, but all this happens after they con her into casual conversation about what better than horror movies. Casey’s death sets the entire tone of the movie. It shows us these killers aren’t playing around and that they are determined to use horror movies as part of their niche. It doesn’t take long before Casey is gone and Sidney Prescott, the heroine of the franchise, is introduced. In my opinion, it was a great lead-in to a movie that I loved. The franchise may not fit into the same mold as Jason, Michael, and Freddy but the films were great nonetheless and they kept to the same, basic storyline throughout.

Okay horror lovers, I think that’s enough for now. I didn’t touch on that little shit Chucky or Pennywise and Pinhead, so that may be in another blog before Halloween. Maybe. Who knows? But until we meet again, stay safe out there, and keep your eyes open. You never know what’s lurking in the dark.

Lots of Love,


A Creepy Night at the Inn

Anyone who follows me or my writing knows I once worked at a haunted motel. Some people may not believe in ghosts but after all the things I witnessed and experienced there, I have no doubts, they are truly here with us. Here’s a little story I wrote for a FB group a few nights ago sharing about one of my nights at the motel. I hope you enjoy it…

Photo by Elina Krima on

Winter in the Smoky Mountains is traditionally a hit or miss situation. Some years you have snow which leaves you to deal with iced over winding roads, power outages, and 4×4 trucks helping stranded motorists in the coldness of the early morning hours or inky blackness that surrounds night in the mountains. Other years, things move along with a few cold snaps, a little frost, and nothing bigger than a dusting. The year I want to talk about was one of those snowy, cold winters. It was back when I was working at Reagan Resort Inn. The motel is no longer there, but in its day, it stood directly in the middle of Gatlinburg and was a hot spot for tourists and local functions.

The local weather had called for a significant snow. The road leading from my place to Gatlinburg is notorious for accidents and other issues when mother nature dumps the putrid white stuff on the ground. To avoid issues, our boss would allow us to bring the kids and stay in a room so we could be around to take care of the guests. This happened to be one of those times. We had a party going on at the convention hall and needed a few hands-on deck in case things got a bit sticky. My husband, my son, and my daughter who was just a little thing at the time were asked to go. We talked about it and decided the overtime was too much to pass up, so we packed up and made our way to find a room.

Our motel was notorious for ghost stories. Most everyone who worked there had experiences to share. I certainly did. Uhm, Piano Man anyone? Lol. Still, nothing ever made me feel threatened or truly scared while at the Inn. That is, until that night.

By the time we drove up, most everyone who was staying was already there and in their rooms. The 4th floor had issues with a few leaks so when we weren’t massively in need of it, we didn’t rent rooms up there. Maybe this is why it was considered one of the most haunted parts of the motel? I don’t know for sure, but I do know it was creepy up there, even on a good day so imagine it at night, in the snow and cold.

Things went on like normal. The kids were fed, Cody played his game, Amber played with her toys, then everyone found their way to bed. I still remember the exact time I woke up that night. The clock read 2:57 a.m. I have no idea what woke me. All I remember was the strange feeling of something not being right. I sat up, noticed the room was chillier than I liked for the kids, and climbed out of bed to adjust the heater. That’s when I saw the flickering. It immediately caught my attention when I was close enough to see the main door.

I’m sure you know how motels are set up. There are always hallways lights. They don’t dim at night or turn off. They stay on to provide safety and security. They also lightly show under the door, especially in old places like the Inn. I knew what I was seeing was the hall lights. Common sense told me one of them had a bad bulb and was about to go out. The strange feeling I had told me that wasn’t actually the case. The more I stared at the door, I realized the flickering was movement. Someone was standing outside our door and blocking the light as they moved around.

Assuming it was another employee, I went to the door and used the peephole. I was hesitant at first, but like I said, I never felt threatened at this haunted little place. I peered out into the hallway to find nothing. No one. And the lights were perfectly normal. No flickering. No bad bulbs.

A little shaken, I stepped back to see nothing had changed with the door. It still appeared as if someone was standing there. Years of working and staying at the place, I knew that wasn’t how things were supposed to look from inside the rooms. Instead of venturing out into the hallway alone, I woke Daniel. Of course, he thought I was crazy until he stepped toward the door and saw it for himself.

Being the so-called brave guy, he yanked the door open like it wasn’t a big deal at all. No one was there. He stepped into the hallway, noting all the lights were good, no issues. He looked both ways, saw no movement, no one rushing to shut their doors, nothing. Then a noise erupted in the hallway making us both jump, and me shriek slightly. I knew the sound but wasn’t expecting it. The ice machine at the end of the hall was on. We could clearly see it and the ice dumping out of it into the little crevice beneath then onto the floor. Daniel gave me a look, then started down the hall to try and figure out what was happening.

I stood in the doorway, watching my husband as he turned his head from side to side checking every nook and cranny as he went. No one was in the hallway. By the time he made it to the machine, it had dumped enough ice in the floor to fill an entire bucket if not more. He wiggled with the handle and tried to figure out why it was doing it. It finally stopped. He still had his back to me when I saw a woman, come from the darker part of the hallway near the stairs, and walk straight into room 456.

I knew instantly something wasn’t right. No guests were on that floor. No workers were on the end of the hallway. I rushed back into our room and grabbed my room key. It was a master, which let you into any room, even if deadbolts were on. I met Daniel in the hall and told him what I saw. He agreed, saying he thought he saw someone but thought maybe it was a worker. We went to the room, knocked, then used the key. Oddly enough, the deadbolt was engaged, we heard it open. I immediately thought somehow a guest had been moved up there but when we made it inside, we realized that wasn’t the case. There was no one inside. The room itself was frigid cold. We searched high and low, even the room next to it, and no one was there.

Giving up our search, the two of us made our way back to our room. Once we were there, Daniel stepped out on the balcony to have a cigarette and check out what the snow was doing. I sat down on the edge of the dresser, still a bit shaken. When I glanced at the door again, the lights flooding under were normal. Then, suddenly, they weren’t. Whatever had been standing in front of our door was back. I hurried over, still thinking it could be a joke. I reached for the handle and before I could touch it, the thing started rattling like someone was trying to get in. I froze and watched as what seemed like forever passed in mere seconds. When the rattling stopped, I saw the shadow of whoever was at the door move, like it realized we weren’t letting it in.

I didn’t sleep the rest of the night. Nothing else happened, but the whole situation had me off kilter. The next morning, when the kids woke up, Cody went to take a shower while I got Amber some cereal. She looked up at me, innocent as could be, and asked, “Did you let the lady in last night?” I shook my head no and didn’t say anything. How did she even know about it? She smiled up at me then said, “Good. She scared me.”

Hope y’all enjoyed! Keep an eye open for the things that go bump in the night!!

Lots of Love,


Spooky Season is Upon Us…

Photo by Longxiang Qian on

Hello, my Twisted ones! With spooky season upon us, I thought it would be fun to talk scary movies, books, and of course television shows. With the way I work, and write, I don’t get to watch as much as I used to. My reading seems to be slipping a bit as well, but there’s just something about October and the looming creepiness of Halloween that makes you push beyond the daily grind and enjoy some cool, scares this time of year.

First up, let’s talk television. I don’t know how many of you are fans of the shows popping up on Travel Channel, but I’ve always loved ghost hunting shows. Back in the day, I didn’t miss an episode of the original Ghost Hunter. I thought the TAPS team was amazing and every location they went to left me wondering more and more about the afterlife. I think part of that stemmed from my own encounters with the ghost world, but either way, it was great TV. A few of the OG’s from the original show are now together on one called Ghost Nation? Have you checked it out? Since it started, I haven’t missed an episode. There’s just something about this group together that makes me feel like I’m seeing professionals on the job. One thing I really enjoy is their dedication. They don’t only come to experience activity; they try to get to the root of it.

I heard rumors about filming of the show being halted due to Coronavirus. I wasn’t sure they would be back on the air before Halloween but had planned on watching the reruns if they weren’t. To my surprise, they hit the network last week with their season premiere. It was a great start to the season, and I was thrilled to see they were back in time.

Now, on to my new fave. Have you guys watched Destination Fear? I absolutely love this show!! It reminds me of shows I watched back when I was younger. Does anyone remember the one on MTV called Fear or the one that popped up every Halloween called Scariest Places on Earth? Yep, this show is like the perfect mix of those two. These kids go to supposedly haunted places. Yes, they do a bit of investigation, but their main focus is to face their fears and try to spend the night in the location. Seeing their reactions and the true terror on their faces makes you feel like you’re right there with them. This is another show I haven’t missed an episode of. The season premiere was last night, and I was on the edge of my seat. I can’t wait to see the other locations they decide to tackle and just how far they get pushed.

As someone who loves the paranormal, the great things popping up on TV this time of year keeps me glued to the set. Add in the fact some of my favorite old movies are also playing and I’m completely geared up to get my creep on. Let me know if you’ve checked out these shows and what you think. I have a whole list of others I watch and may be talking about those a bit before my favorite holiday. Also, keep your eyes peeled for a few spooky story drops just to whet our whistles for Halloween. As always, stay safe out there. Keep your eyes open. You never know what’s lurking in the darkness.

Lots of Love,


Cursed Candy? Why, yes!

Day two of the back to back releases brings another visit to Dead Oaks, North Carolina as The Curse of the Candy Corn Queen enters the world of The Candy Shop Series! This novella visits some of our favorite Dead Oaks residents as they prepare for the re-imagining of the annual Candy Corn Festival. In this story co-written with Author Skylar McKinzie you will get your normal dose of Dead Oaks death with a little sprinkling of candy on top. Grab your copy here…

Curse of the Candy Corn Queen
A Candy Shop Series Novella
Rena Marin
Skylar McKinzie
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Twenty years ago Mary Donovan was crowned the Candy Corn Queen of the Dead Oaks Harvest Festival. Twenty-four hours later, she was found dead and hanged on the very stage where she was crowned. Over the years, attempts have been made to crown a new queen, but each has been met with tragedy. Now, the little town of Dead Oaks needs something uplifting to bring everyone together. Can the Harvest Festival help put the past behind them or will the curse of the Candy Corn Queen be reborn? Will love be what it takes to finally break the curse?

Yummy Candies!!

Today is day one of back to back releases for me in the sweetly delicious Candy Shop Series. Now available is Country Bumpkin’s Butter Cups. This little tale is mine and Author Skylar McKinzie’s first co-write in the cozy mystery genre. I must admit it was so much fun to do. I hope all of you love Cinnamon and her band of misfits as much as we do!! Make sure to grab your copy below…

Grab the ebook. Only .99!

Country Bumpkin’s Butter Cups
A Candy Shop Novella
Rena Marin and Skylar McKinzie



Country Bumpkin’s Butter Cups has been the bread and butter of the Dillard family for as long as people can remember. The sweet treats made by Grammy Dillard left mouths watering and money flowing. Now, a year after Grammy’s death, the shop is struggling.
Her only granddaughter Cinnamon is running the show but good intentions and dreams of success can only take a sweets shop so far. It’s worse when you can’t bake and are being haunted by a know-it-all ghost.
Will Cinnamon learn the ropes or will the handsome stranger with a sweet tooth be too distracting?