With significant events in both my writing and mum lives, this past week has been a time of joy, reflection and bittersweet change.

Book edits 

As many of you know, Montana Reunion, my Harlequin Heartwarming and western romance debut, releases in January 2022.

It’s a sweet second-chance romance with cowboy hats, boots, horses, ranch life, a creek and many more of my favourite things. There are dogs too, including several who have more than a passing resemblance to Floppy Ears.

This week, I checked what in the publishing world are called “last galleys.”

As the author, it’s my final chance to read the book and make changes before it goes to proofreading and then on to press.

I’ve seen the cover (it’s gorgeous!) and am waiting for the go-ahead from my publisher to be able to share it with you. In the meantime, you can read the book’s blurb via Harlequin, Amazon and most other retailers. If you’re so inclined, you can pre-order it in paperback or e-book too.

A big birthday

English Rose also celebrated a big birthday this week, her eighteenth.

While I rejoice in the wonderful young woman she’s become, in some ways it seems like yesterday that she was the baby Tech Guy and I brought home from an English hospital.

As we buckled our new daughter into her new car seat, I remarked to Tech Guy that I’d been given more instructions when I adopted a rescue cat. Yet, despite facing parenting challenges we never then imagined, somehow, we’ve muddled through.

Tech Guy, though, has never truly lived down the occasion when he and my late dad took an infant English Rose to our village pub having dressed her in her clothes backwards.

An even bigger move

Not least, this week English Rose has moved away from home to start university.

I’m happy and grateful that she’s able to pursue a university education and live somewhat independently (in a hall of residence/dorm). Yet, I’m also not ready for an empty nest, and our home will seem very quiet without her.

Focusing on the moments

On that day eighteen years ago when English Rose was born, I focused on the moments, not the years that lay ahead.

Those years have gone quickly and as English Rose has grown, so have I, not least in becoming the published author I then only dreamed of.

This week, and as I did so long ago, I’m once again focusing on the moments because before I know it, right here, right now will soon be ‘yesterday’ and ‘back then.’

And as I’ve juggled everything happening this week in writing and life, I’m comforted that English Rose has already requested visits from Floppy Ears.

If the dog travels an hour and a half away from home, I will too!

Besides, there are several excellent bookshops, parks and a wonderful bakery in English Rose’s new hometown…and new memories to make.


  1. Pat Lieberman

    Good luck to English Rose at university. Bookshops and a good bakery nearby; what could be better.

    • Jen Gilroy

      Thank you for your good wishes, Pat. I appreciate you reading and leaving a comment on my blog. And yes, bookshops and bakeries are some of my favourite things! 🙂

  2. Heidi Vanstone

    As you move through this new season of life, please know that my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family! Any change (anticipated or not) brings a newness that can create stress and a need for adjustment, so I hope you will have calm waters as you sail on this new horizon.

    • Jen Gilroy

      Thank you, Heidi. Your thoughtful comment (and thoughts and prayers) help me a great deal. This ‘new season’ is hard for my ‘mom heart’ and I will indeed need time to adjust.

  3. Deb

    Love the pub story and can so relate. When my son was in nursery school, I received a call for his teacher (also a friend of mine.) She laughingly asked me who dressed my son for school. The hubby, of course, since the left shoe was on the right foot and vice versa. We had a good laugh. Here’s to English Rose (birthday and starting University.) And here’s to Floppy Ears “allowing” you to ride along on the visits. Can’t wait to read your new book – January will be here before we know it.

    • Jen Gilroy

      Thanks for making me chuckle, Deb. As a small child, English Rose also left home with her shoes on the wrong feet! Thanks for your good wishes and I’m happy you’re looking forward to reading ‘Montana Reunion.’

  4. Kate Field

    I’m thinking of you this weekend, Jen! But speaking from a year down the line, although it might feel like part of you is missing right now, it’s surprising how quickly you will all adjust. Although the worry never stops, there’s great pleasure to be had in seeing your child turn into an independent adult and start making a life of their own. Dare I say it, you will also find some pleasure in rediscovering your own independence and life as a couple (plus Floppy Ears!). Sending love to you all. xx

    • Jen Gilroy

      I appreciate your thoughts and love, Kate, as well as your experience. It’s so helpful to have that ‘year down the line’ wisdom and I’m holding to it while tackling this adjustment and time of change. Thank you. xx

  5. Jennifer Wilck

    Ha! Love the pub story. And don’t worry, they don’t stay away for long, so she’ll be back with so many stories to share and you’ll love some of the changes you see in her.

    • Jen Gilroy

      Thank you, Jennifer. It’s both helpful and encouraging to hear the experience of a mom who has “been there” with a daughter leaving for college…and coming home again. I appreciate your support and wisdom.

  6. Rosey Lee

    What a sweet post! I am ticked at the thought of English Rose at the village pub with her clothes backwards. Congratulations on her milestone birthday! That means you and Tech Guy did a pretty good job with her. 🙂 And how wonderful that you’re preparing for Montana Reunion’s “birth” now. Exciting times!

    • Jen Gilroy

      I’m glad you enjoyed the post, Rosey, and appreciate you leaving a comment. Thanks for your good wishes to English Rose & ‘support’ of Tech Guy and I. “Exciting times” indeed in both my life & writing.

  7. Deb Buxton

    Oh gosh… Life is truly a journey and we have to embrace each moment. You’re reflecting back in time and embracing the now is something I do over and over again, as I am sure most of us do. I hope English Rose has an amazing year at University, that Miss FE gets to visit, that you and Tech Guy adjust to an empty nest, and that your writing career continues to take off. Best Wishes always, Jen.?

    • Jen Gilroy

      Thank you for your kind and caring comment, Deb. We all appreciate your good wishes. You also inspire me as an ’empty nester.’ Thanks for being not only a reader but someone I also count as a virtual friend.


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