Clearing Chaos from the Mind

by Joan Ramirez

When I was a returning grad school student quite a few years ago, I spoke to my counselor about my ability to keep up with my classmates. I hadn’t been in a classroom setting for some time. She told me, “Security is in the mind.”

It altered, in a positive way, my ability to focus on content instead of constant worry over grades. I maintained my A average. While novel writing, all genres, isn’t as straightforward as listening to a professor or studying for an exam, focus and structure are involved. In this time of health uncertainty, the best thing each of us can do for our writing careers is FOCUS on our characters as we breathe life and meaning into them and create a world for our readers to step into. One where we engage the readers’ emotions.

Published in April 2020 issue of Long Island Romance Writers’ Shorelines Newsletter


by Joan Ramirez, author/elementary teacher

With the pandemic still raging and so many parents losing their jobs, many children’s only chance for adventure is reading Picture Books.

WELCOME TO: The first in what I hope will be a series introducing young readers and parents/teachers to Adventurous Picture Books.

YOU MUST READ THESE: Follow Me Into the Woods by Amy Laundrie


Marielle in Paris by Maxine Rose Schur. Both are available on You’ll be so glad you did. There is room for so many more picture book adventures. Please email me with yours.

Remember: I’m looking for adventures—for now.


Happy Valentines Day to you all!


To all my readers, and followers, for ONE DAY ONLY (2/14/2021) you will be able to download for free an eBook copy of my contemporary romance Secret Desires. In case you have forgotten these are some of the reviews from Goodreads:

 InD’tale Magazine  rating-3-starsteam-4   Jul 15, 2018 

“Secret Desires” is a sexy May-December romance! Read full review in the

  2018 July Aug issue of InD’tale Magazine.  

 Alisha rated it 4 stars  May 20, 2018

 Josie rated it 3 Stars Jun 11, 2018

 Nyrma Enid rated it 4 stars Aug 20, 2018

 Elba rated it 5 stars May 11, 2018

Just follow this link to download:

Teachers as Readers

I  happily participated in the January 11, 2021 meeting of New York State Reading Association’s webinar, Teachers as Readers. The theme of Ellis Island is dear to me because my grandfather emigrated from England. As an elementary school teacher and author, I feel strongly that it is important for students to know about this island, which is rich in history.

I also enjoyed listening to other members’ contributions, which will enrich my bookshelf.

Always remember: Build your tomorrow by learning today.

Interview by Madison Michael of JL Regen

Q&A with J.L. Regen, Author of Secret Desires:

What inspires you as an author?
What inspires me to write? The joy of seeing my words come together as a novel that people can read and will transport them to another world.

How do you spend your free time?
I spend my free time taking photographs, although with COVID, my ability to travel has been handicapped since my favorite places are overseas. In fact, my WWII Historical novels will be set in Paris, Istanbul, and other exotic places.

Do you listen to music when you write?
When I write I usually like to have my quiet space so my characters aren’t distracted.

How do you, your friends and your fans encourage you when you need a pick-me-up?
When I need a pick me up, my fans and friends remind me that they want another story to read so I set my fingers to the keyboard.

What are you working on next and when can we expect to see it?
My next book, which I hope to have completed by the end of the year, will be a Middle Grade story that deal with bullying the class reader.

Secret Desires Buy links: 

Excerpt from Secret Desires:

MARGO SIMMONS GRIPPED THE EDGES of the leather chair, waiting for details from the family lawyer about her
Uncle Harry’s death. She hoped it would be shorter and less painful than the reading of her father’s will.

An older gentleman extended his hand. “I’m sorry your mother couldn’t be here.”

Margo looked up from her reflections to acknowledge him. “Thanks, Mr. Steinberg.”

“You’ve grown into a lovely young woman.”

Margo blinked back tears at memories of good times shared with Uncle Harry. “Not so young. I’m twenty-three.”

The portly man squeezed himself into a swivel chair and peered at her over wire-rimmed bifocals. “I’m ancient compared to that number.”

Margo gripped her knees to steady her nerves. “My mother wanted to come with me, but they’re downsizing at her dress shop. She was afraid to leave early. My stepfather is furious because Uncle Harry didn’t leave him any money.”

Mr. Steinberg saddened at the sorrowful expression on the young woman’s face. “It pains me to hear Jerry hasn’t changed his ways. However, since you’re the only one present to hear your uncle’s will, I’ll get to the point. Harry has left you his Riverside Drive condominium apartment and the sum of two hundred and fifty thousand dollars.”

Margo jumped up from the chair and hugged the man. “This is a miracle. I can’t wait to tell my Mom. She’s wanted me to get out on my own. Now I can. Though I wish it hadn’t come with the loss of my uncle. I adored him.”

About the Author:

J.L. Regen’s book was inspired by a real life story of lovers who join hearts against many odds. She lives in the New York metropolitan area, is a published photojournalist, has short suspense stories online, and has taught English as a Second Language to students around the globe. This is her first contemporary romance. She has also published three nonfiction books and is crafting a historical suspense set in World War II and a MG novel. Her book for younger readers, Jamie is Autistic: Learning in a Special Way, has been used widely in elementary school classrooms here and overseas and is now in Spanish and Chinese and live as a YouTube video.

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