Thursday, July 30, 2015

Dedication to a True Lion King

If you’re like me, you’re absolutely sick over the death of Cecil the Lion. It’s a sad thing to see such a beloved animal killed for sport. You can’t avoid hearing or reading about it because it’s all over the news. Social media is currently bombarded with the story and pictures of the beautiful cat. A lot of people are posting about him on Facebook and many are saying that the animal’s cruel killing is bothering them so much they can’t stop thinking about it. Me, too. Why? Because he trusted humans (to a certain extent) and one broke that trust. Now we must all live with the sorrow of that tragedy.
So, why do we love animals so much? Why is Facebook and other social
From Hollywood Reporter Article
media bombarded with pictures of our beloved pets? I can’t answer that question for others, but I can tell you why I’m so attached to mine. I love my pets because they love me—unconditionally. I love having them with me all the time and I love taking care of them.
Pooh Bear before she lost her ears
Even though most of my pets have passed away, their love is still in my heart. I once had a white kitty that had to have both ears removed due to skin cancer and I suffered just as much over it as she did. To this day, I still get emotional when I think of her. (Timeout for a Kleenex here…)

Sadie is in my next story
Have you hugged your pet today? If not, go and do it right now. And when you come back, post a picture of your current pet or one in memory of a beloved pet that has passed on.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Traveling Tips - Packing Smart by Denise Devine

A few years ago, I visited a friend who was packing to go to Hawaii. Like most women, she couldn’t decide what to take so she packed two large suitcases full of clothes and shoes. When I arrived, she was trying to close the second one. It was so full she had to stand on it to get it zipped.

Sounds like a cute scene in a movie, but in reality, it’s a prescription for disaster. I worked for the TSA for 9 years in the Training Department. I also worked PT as a baggage screener (for the first 2 ½ years). I saw a lot of strange things go through x-ray (like the trunk filled with S&M items—never mind—that’s an article for another time!). I had some scary experiences as well, but I learned some useful packing tips.

Back to the full suitcases. Let’s say one alarmed going through the x-ray machine at the airport. That bag would get pulled off the line and searched. Most experienced screeners can tell exactly where an object (that sets off the alarm) is located so they don’t have to tear the bag apart to get to it. However, if the bag is over-filled, some of the contents might spill out.

Do you want your undies landing on the floor of the TSA’s bag-check room?

No. I didn’t think so. (I’ve seen this many times!) So, here are a few simple things you can do to avoid getting your bag searched.


Don’t bring food in your suitcase. Buy it once you get to your destination. Crackers and bread will probably make it through, but boxes of chocolate bars, peanut butter, syrup, dressing, jam, catsup and mustard, steak sauce, etc. are thick and will alarm. The same thing goes for bottles of conditioner, body lotion, etc. Buy them at the drugstore when you get to your destination and throw them away before you leave. Or use travel sizes.

Bulk Mass

Anything larger than a 12 ounce Coke can might alarm. Avoid bringing large bottles of cosmetics, cans or bottles of pop, wine or liquor. Two smaller containers side-by-side that amount to 12 ounces or so can create the same effect, so avoid storing smaller jars together. Again, travel sizes are best.


Anything the x-ray can’t penetrate is a shield and will have to be examined. Magazines, brochures or
conference schedules with shiny paper can alarm so put them in the large outside pocket of your suitcase. That way, if they do alarm, the screener doesn’t have to go into the suitcase to check them. Better yet, put them in your carry-on bag. Also, don’t stack books in your suitcase. I always place my books end-to-end around the inside wall of my suitcase or line the bottom in a single layer. I’ve never had them alarm. Never put a laptop in your suitcase. It will alarm and could get dropped during the testing process.

Common Sense Advice

Don’t overfill your suitcase. If the zipper breaks during a bag search, the TSA will secure the bag with shrink-wrap, but you could lose items. Make sure everything is zipped shut and secured with twist-ties. Don’t use zip-ties. Once they’re cut, they’re gone. Don’t pack your stuff in an expensive designer bag like Louis Vuitton, even if it’s a knock-off. People steal fancy bags right off the carrousel at the airport.

Always put a personal luggage tag on every piece you take (even your carry-on). I’ve seen instances where the airline’s destination tag got ripped off a bag as it passed through the slats of the rubber curtain on its way down to the baggage area. Any bag without a destination tag goes straight to the “Lost Baggage” area and it will sit there until you claim it.

Put all your liquid cosmetics in Ziplock bags as the caps can unscrew and empty out in the suitcase. Same for all your unmentionables. Ziplock bags will separate, seal and keep them from being handled if your suitcase is searched.

Don’t put ANYTHING of value (or of value to you) in your suitcase. Put it in your carry-on baggage and drag it on the plane with you. TSA screeners work under multiple security cameras, but often baggage handlers do not and they steal things.

Going through the checkpoint, stay aware of your belongings. People leave many items behind (phones, cameras, laptops, ID, envelopes of money) that are never recovered because another passenger coming through behind the owner steals them right off the belt. Yes, it happens and it’s all caught on tape on the security cameras, but by the time the tape is reviewed, the thief is long gone.

I hope these tips are helpful to you. Have fun in your travels this summer!

If you’re a romance writer, see you in New York City at the end of July!

~     ~     ~

Coming in August!
Denise Devine is a USA TODAY bestselling author of romantic comedy and she also loves to write inspirational fiction. She wrote her first book, a mystery, at thirteen and has been writing ever since. She’s a member of Romance Writers of America and American Christian Fiction Writers. She writes about true love, happy endings and stories that touch your heart.
For more information on new releases and book signing dates, visit Denise's website at

Friday, May 1, 2015

Denise's Next Signing!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

My Next Book Signing

A Family Affair Crafts 3rd Annual

New Richland Spring

 Craft & Vendor Show



Saturday April 25th

9:00 am to 2:00 pm

at the

New Richland High School

South Gym


Breakfast & Lunch Available 10:00 am to 1:30 pm

Godfathers Pizza Fireman’s Fundraiser

**Same Day as the City Wide Garage Sales **


A wide variety of Crafters and Vendors attending!

Quilts, Wood & Metal work, jewelry, repurposed & many unique products & vendors to see!

For more information Contact Sara Jo Vulcan 507-327-5837

Friday, March 27, 2015

Bloomington Writer's Festival and Book Fair

Come visit me at my next signing event--

Saturday, March 29th
Bloomington Writers Festival and Book Fair
9:30 am to 3 pm
Bloomington Center for the Arts
1800 Old Shakopee Road
Bloomington, MN 55431

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Denise's Next Signing Event

Jimmy's Ballroom
3565 Labore Road
Vadnais Heights, MN 55119

Recipes of Love

My newest collaboration with Sweet Romance Reads. Now available for 99 cents on Amazon .

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Denise's Next Signing Event: Route 65 Pub and Grub

See you there--I'd love to visit with you!
Choose a free handmade book bag with the purchase of three or more books!

For more information on signing events, visit

Friday, January 30, 2015

Valentine's Day Author Signing

Denise will be signing books from noon to 1 PM

Thrift Store Shopping

I’ve always loved craft sales, city-wide garage sales, antique hunting in small towns and thrift store bargain hunting. However, back in the day when I worked full-time, I just never had much time to spend shopping. Actually, I still don’t! I’m retired now and I spend much of my time writing, but
Merino Wool Sweater and
August Silk Turtleneck
every other Tuesday I clean my daughter’s house (yes—because I’m a nice mom) and when I’m done, I take a run over to the “Savers” thrift store in her neighborhood. It just so happens that Tuesday is Senior Day—which means I get a forty percent discount. I bought this sweater and turtleneck combo for about $10, both very high quality.

Even so, I don’t buy a lot of stuff just because it’s on discount. I’m of the opinion that if you don’t need it, you don’t buy it, no matter how cheap it is. It’s not a bargain if you can’t use it. That said, I furnished my dad’s cabin (I inherited it a couple years ago) completely by bargain hunting at Savers. Some of the items I bought were Pfaltzgraff dinnerware, Corningware and a complete set of Visions Cookware (one piece at a time) at unbelievable prices.

I rarely ever buy clothes because I already have more than I need (don’t we all), but my weakness is
I'm a shoe girl!
shoes, especially good quality ones. Here is a picture of three pairs I recently bought, Easy Spirit, Skechers and Dansko, all between $5-$10 each.

All-in-all, I’ve learned to be selective and extremely disciplined. I only buy high-quality items at rock-bottom prices. It’s a great way to save tons of money and, hey, it’s fun!
Do you like bargain shopping or antique hunting? What type of items do you look for?

Denise Devine writes romantic comedy and inspirational romance. She is currently working on two series, Counting Your Blessings (holiday romantic comedy) and Forever Yours (inspirational romance). In her spare time, she loves to sew book bags and give them away to her readers. You can find all her books and more information about her at