Posts Tagged ‘Love From The Ashes by Denise A. Agnew’

Announcing Happy Catastrophe Productions!

Tuesday, January 10th, 2017

Hey all! Sometimes creative life takes new directions. This quick note is to announce the formation of Happy Catastrophe Productions with writing and producing partners Marie D. Jones and Brian Keith Ellis. Yay! Putting Producer on my resume isn’t something I imagined in my life, but there it is. We don’t have all of our official stuff up yet such as website, business cards and all of that jazz, but that will be in the works. We’ll develop projects for film and television. Right now we’re working on our own projects.

Early last year my creativity took a different direction. Marie optioned Blackout and Love From The Ashes for television and film and that started a new creative movement in my life. I started working on horror and less romance (although I’m not dropping romance all together). Over the years I’ve discovered a few creativity truths for me. Whenever I concentrate on what “feels” right for me to pursue in a writing direction, the more opportunities come my way. So I’m sticking with that formula!

As soon as I have more to announce on Happy Catastrophe Productions, I’ll be sure to let you all know.

Laters taters!


Movies, TV & Bright Frontier Films News!

Monday, August 22nd, 2016

Hey there everyone. I’ve got a great poster for a pitch to share with you. Okay, two posters. In amazing news, it was officially announced recently that in connection with Where’s Lucy? Productions I’m now a part of Bright Frontier Films in their pitch efforts to make Blackout and Love From The Ashes into film/TV. These are two of the cool graphics that are a part of that effort. Thank you Bright Frontier Films! If you want to get a closer look at the two graphics below just click on them. Until next time!



Love From The Ashes: Strong Women

Tuesday, June 14th, 2016


I love strong women in novels. This doesn’t mean, of course, that we don’t all have faults and vulnerabilities. I love this scene from Love From the Ashes when the heroine shows us that she has strength.


From the Ashes of Hell itself…

During the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire privileged Grace Wyne and Irish immigrant Nathaniel Dempsey desperately try to rescue LOVE FROM THE ASHES.

Grace and Nate seek freedom and a new life in San Francisco but society, her family and forces of Nature, wage war against them.

Nate is torn by the death of his family in Ireland. Yet he finds Grace’s spirit and strength a balm for his soul. She joins a suffragette organization, but when she encounters scorn and violence, Nate vows to protect her.

She is determined to marry for love, and now is stunned by her feelings for a man far beneath her social status. There is more than one danger to face–for the earth is unstable and their forbidden love is a sure formula for disaster.

When the earth trembles and breaks apart, only Nature knows who will live to love again… and who will die.

* *

 Thursday, February 22

Wyne Mansion

Grace stepped out the back door of the kitchen and headed toward the gazebo, drawing in a deep breath of cool sea-scented air. A soothing few minutes in the mild sunshine might revive her. Last night she’d had a horrendous dream where the walls of the mansion tumbled all around her, and the earth bolted and shook.

“Too many tall tales from Mary,” she said out loud.

Mary had explained that California tossed and turned with earthquakes on a regular basis. Although intrigued by quakes, Grace’s dream disturbed her deeply.

Absorbed by her thoughts, she stepped from behind a hedge and onto a dirt path. She almost didn’t hear the honking of the automobile horn until too late.

Startled, she saw the Studebaker kicking up dirt as it roared down the narrow path like a silver bullet bent on destruction. She didn’t have time to think.

With a cry Grace thrust herself backward, tripped over her hem and landed on her back with a thump and a grunt.

At the last moment the driver swerved around her, twisting the steering wheel in a desperate attempt to avoid running over her.

Dozens of tiny rocks dug into her palms, and she took in a gasping breath. She muttered a word no well brought up young lady was supposed to know.

As the driver brought the automobile to an abrupt halt, only inches from her, a fresh onslaught of rocks flew up from the tires and pelted her.

“You little fool,” the man muttered loud enough for her to hear. Standing up in his seat and tearing off his cap and goggles, Nathaniel Dempsey opened the driver’s side door and jumped out.

She pushed herself to her feet, brushing at the back of her dress with angry strokes. As he strode toward her, eating up the ground with his long strides, he looked incensed enough to chew her into tiny pieces and swallow her. Indignation rose in her throat and stiffened her back. Grace placed her hands on her hips and stared at the oncoming man with disdain.

“Fool?” she asked. “I assume you’re talking about yourself, Mr. Dempsey?”

His expression didn’t change, and when he grabbed her by the shoulders and gave her a tiny shake, she gasped. His eyes sparked with anger, his fingers pressing into her arms and the line of his mouth grim.

“Are you daft? I could’ve killed you. Didn’t your father and mother ever tell you to look both ways before you cross the road?” he asked, his tone low with anger.

Trying to keep her voice steady, Grace stared into his eyes. “Of course. But I’d hardly call this a road, Mr. Dempsey. My father asked you to practice in the circular drive, if I am not mistaken. What are you doing driving the Studebaker back here?”

Nate’s fingers tightened on her arms and his lips curled. “Returning the automobile to the carriage house, Miss Wyne.”

Silence expanded between them, and the moment stretched before she regained her equilibrium. She took a deep breath. As she surveyed him in his chauffeur togs, she noted his black hair stuck up in small tufts. She had the urge to arrange each strand back into proper position.

Instead she said, “I suggest you take your hands off me before someone sees us.”

He released her, clenching his hands at his sides.

“Are you hurt?” he asked, his voice a harsh rasp.

Grace touched the hair escaping her pompadour and looked down at the hem of her white lingerie dress. When the automobile had come to a halt it had thrown dirt onto the material. A small strip of delicate lace had torn from the skirt. She thought she could feel a split in her cotton stockings. Substantial damage for such a small fall.

“This is going to take considerable work to launder,” she said matter-of-factly.

His nose twitched. “I wasn’t asking about your dress.”

The sarcasm in his voice told her she’d hit a nerve. She’d never wanted to see a man out of control before, but she liked the tension that rolled off him in waves. To her surprise, seeing him agitated intrigued her. Somewhere between animosity and attraction, she felt his vigor like a flame, ready to explode at any moment.

Before she could answer, he reached out and touched her shoulder. The soft, gentle heat tingled straight through her arm and into the rest of her body.

How extraordinary.

“Are you hurt?” he asked again.

“I am perfectly fine. Though I may have torn my inexpressibles.”

His expression relaxed, and he let out a bark of laughter and dropped his hand away from her shoulder. “Sure, and has anyone ever told you you’re a corker?”

Raising one eyebrow, she asked, “A what?”

“A corker.”

“Is than an insult, Mr. Dempsey?”

“No. It means you’re one of a kind. A humdinger.”

“Oh.” She still didn’t know whether to be offended or not. “Well, I suggest you keep your insults and your praise to yourself.”

Nate’s lips twitched, as if he held back a strong retort. He didn’t hold back long. “I’d take your own advice.”

She knew she was being horrid, but something about this man made her speak without thinking of consequences.. “I could tell my father what happened and have the expense of cleaning the dress taken out of your pay.”

His eyes narrowed and he took a step closer. Much closer. “You wouldn’t.”

“I would.” She smiled. “If I were a nasty bitch.”

His mouth dropped open. “Bitch, Miss Wyne? Did you learn such language at finishing school, then?”

“Of course. Young ladies are rarely as proper as everyone imagines.”

“Most of the ladies I know are very proper.”

“Irish women?”


“Well, this is America. American ladies are different.”

“Humph. So I’ve seen.” Nate punctuated his statement with a sweeping look over her entire body. He stepped closer again, until only a couple of inches separated them. “You really shouldn’t talk like this with a man, Miss Wyne. They might think you were offering something.”

The husky inflection in his voice and the light in his eyes told Grace she’d hit danger hard and fast. His proximity sent a hot, unexpected, and unfamiliar shock through her body. Heat knotted deep in her belly, and a flush filled her cheeks. Heaven help her. The way he looked at her … she couldn’t describe it. No words for the way he made her feel would come to mind.

What was happening to her?

When they’d first met Grace thought he might be indifferent to her, but his intent perusal shook that theory to the ground. She’d seen similar, less powerful looks in other men’s eyes before. A deep and ignited lust that filled their expressions when they thought no one would notice. Nate’s attention was more powerful. Incandescence simmered like a blue flame in his eyes, expressing something stronger and more promising than anything she’d known. Mesmerized by his interest and the new sensations snaking through her, she didn’t move, didn’t speak.

“Have you ever been kissed, Miss Wyne?” he asked, his voice thick with a throaty nuance she’d never heard a man use.

* *

That’s all for this week! I’ll be on some R&R next week, so I’ll see ya on the flip side!


Disaster Junkie: What Does The Earthquake Feel Like To The Heroine?

Monday, May 23rd, 2016

When I wrote Love From The Ashes about seventeen years ago, I’d never experienced an earthquake. So how was I going to understand what the heroine in the book felt in 1906 San Francisco? I’ve got an enormous imagination so that obviously helps. Second, I researched and studied about earthquakes for quite some time before writing the book. Here’s a snippet of what the heroine, Grace Wyne, experiences when of the biggest earthquakes in U.S. history happens in 1906.

* *

As Grace stepped out of the boarding house and walked the few steps to the Studebaker, she took in the sounds of early morning. Few people were up at this hour. She saw the lone figure of a man walking down Valencia Street away from her and toward Market.

The air was still, but cool.

Grace paused, listening.

She heard dogs barking, and the whinny of an agitated horse. Brushing away an odd, inexplicable uneasiness, she turned the ignition on the auto, then moved to the front and cranked the Studebaker to a start. As Grace climbed into the auto she thought about everything that had happened in the last few hours. Another strange apprehension came over her.

Would she ever see Nate again?

She couldn’t regret making love with him. Taking his body into her had brought her a joy she never could have imagined. But Grace couldn’t force Nate to love her, any more than she could force herself to love Chauncey.

More than once she had almost said the words to Nate as his body had come into her again and again.

I love you.

How long had she denied intellectually what her heart had known? Perhaps she was a coward for running away while he lay sleeping.

As she pulled away from the Bijou Boarding house, the auto jumped ahead, coming up behind a team of four horses pulling a wagon. Yet her impatience had nothing to do with wanting to get home. No, Grace planned on driving about the quiet city until the bustle of the new day propelled her back to Nob Hill. She needed time to think.

She glanced toward the Berkeley hills to the east and saw the sky lighten to a clear blue. It looked like it would be a beautiful day.

Suddenly the streetlights dimmed and went out.

Grace slowed the auto in reaction, though the morning light was enough to see by without the streetlights and the headlamps of the Studebaker.

The wagon in front of her slowed and the horses whinnied, shying to the side.

Curious, Grace glanced at the clock on the side of a barbershop as she passed. Five twelve precisely.

A second later she heard the rumble, like distant thunder growling and growing under her feet, menacing above the noise of the automobile engine. She looked up Valencia Street toward Market Street, confused. Were there train tracks close to the area?

No. None.

At first Grace thought she’d become dizzy, for the auto swayed under her grip, the steering wheel wrenched from her hands for a horrifying second.

As the terrible thunder roared in her ears, she saw the street ahead undulate like a snake, rolling up with great violence like waves off the ocean. The shuddering earth danced, wrenching sidewise, then back with a demented motion that increased with every second. Then the insane earth changed direction, swaying the automobile on its tires. Over the noise of rending and tearing and tormented ground, she heard a church bell pealing. Grace thought she might be caught in an endless nightmare where the earth bucked and shook like a wild horse.

The horses screamed as the wagon driver tried to control the frenzied animals. The automobile’s forward momentum had slowed considerably, but had not stopped.

She was going to hit the wagon.

As Grace slammed on the brakes, the violent tremor came to a sudden halt.

The Studebaker slammed into the back of the wagon, flinging Grace headfirst into the windshield. Incredible pain flashed through her head. As dawn threatened to fade into night, she felt the earth revive its demonic quiver, a violent pulse that sent entire walls into the street, crashing all around her. The creaking and roaring of buildings being ripped apart united with rocking earth to form a horrifying symphony.

Tall buildings swayed like insane dancers in a macabre play. Through the terrible cacophony and destruction, she heard screaming, pleas of the dying mixing with the terror of those believing it might be Judgment Day. She had a second to glance at the man in the wagon and saw the panic in his face.

Grace looked up and saw a cornice begin to crack on the five-story building next to her. Part of the building gave way, and she screamed as it fell on the man and his horses, crushing them beneath rubble.

With her last ounce of strength Grace threw herself from the auto as part of the wall descended and hit the Studebaker. Her world went silent and black.

* *

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San Francisco 1906: A Disaster Junkie Talks About Perspective & Gratefulness

Tuesday, May 10th, 2016

Perspective. It’s something we all lose at one time or another. Depending on what our hot buttons are, we can also completely lose sight of the facts. In today’s world we jump quickly to what went wrong with a horrible situation and aren’t too grateful sometimes about what went right. Especially when that situation is a disaster.

Social media is guilty of giving everyone the opportunity to express an opinion (which is a good thing sometimes and sometimes not). We latch onto any situation and turn it into a political playground or a conspiracy. We often play a game called, “In the good ole days things were better.” If you look at the facts, there might be some things that were, but there are usually an equal amount of things that were absolutely not.

Last week an enormous wildfire scorched parts of Alberta Canada and caused damage to Fort McMurray. Today, I’m putting some of that in perspective. So far we know that:

Two people perished in car accidents during the evacuation of Fort McMurray. On the first day of the evacuation (probably more like two days) around 88,000 people escaped a fire that was so quick, so hot and so dangerous there was every reason to think some people wouldn’t have escaped it. I think the fact they did escape it is a miracle worth celebrating. As of this blog date I’ve heard that somewhere between 85 to 90 percent of the town escaped destruction. Around 2,600 buildings were destroyed. The fact that the downtown area and the hospital were saved is also incredible. Despite the horrendous situation, that’s a real sign of hope for the people who want to return to the area. It’s also a true testament to how modern conveniences saved so many lives and so many buildings.

People were warned by way of emergency systems, cell phones and landline.  Aerial firefighting equipment such as planes and helicopters helped save the town.

These are modern things that made it possible for thousands upon thousands of people to escape. In the past, in the good ole days, can you imagine how much different this disaster would have unfolded? (Look up the Peshtigo Fire of 1871 as an example).

In some ways it is difficult to compare the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and Fire to what happened at Fort McMurray. The 3,000 to 5,000 deaths that occurred in San Francisco are a mixed bag from combining the earthquake and fire. What I do know is that in the good ole days you were more at the mercy of whatever Mother Nature decided to throw at you. Well, okay, sometimes there isn’t anything you can do today if Mother Nature decides it is time to kick ass and take names.

Back in 1906 there were no cell phones, few landlines, not enough firefighting equipment (and not the type of equipment we have now). On that day and for as long as the fires lasted in San Francisco, about 28,000 buildings were destroyed. The limitations of 1906 were tremendous.

Disasters are always hard to compare. But I think one thing we can do is remember that in the good ole days there was a lot we didn’t have that we have now. So for every bad thing that happens today, I think a bit of perspective is a very good thing, don’t you? I am very grateful for so much.



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What’s On A Disaster Junkie’s Bookshelf?

Friday, April 29th, 2016

Hey all,

The other day I did a video blog on the disaster books that are on my bookshelf. Well, part of the disaster books I have. Check out my video and get the scoop on some of the intriguing books on disasters that are on my shelf!

I would’ve imbedded the video here but for some reason it wouldn’t work! Have no idea why. Click here to get to the video and thanks so much!







Strange Earthquake Lights: A Disaster Junkie Looks At The Facts

Tuesday, April 26th, 2016

Mother Earth is a huge mystery, and earthquakes are one of her monstrous, most terrifying personality traits. As a writer I’ve gained a tremendous respect for what she can do.

I’ve never been in an earthquake. Not even a mild one. In fact, when a 5.2 magnitude earthquake happened in New Mexico in June 2014, many people in my part of Arizona felt the shake. In our house we didn’t feel a thing. I’ll admit there was a twisted part of me that wishes I had felt it.

When I decided to write Love From The Ashes way back in the day, I wanted to make sure I could still convey what it felt like to be there that day in April 1906. If I’d been there I might have seen some bizarre lights.

This phenomena has been reported in many earthquakes, sometimes before, during and after the event. Sometimes the lights form shapes like auroras with a white to bluish hue but they’ve also been reported in other colors. They can last seconds or minutes.

Way back in the day these types of reports were often looked at as fiction. People just didn’t have the proof to show others. During the 2007 Peru earthquake these lights were seen above the sea and actually filmed. During the 2009 L’Aquila, Italy quake people saw four inch flames of light flickering above a stone street just before an earthquake.

Do people see these lights during every quake? No. The lights seem to happen most often when a quake is at least 5 on the Richter scale or higher. In the 1906 San Francisco quake a man was running along a shoreline when the earthquake hit and realized a luminous glow encircled his footsteps in the sand. Other people also reported seeing a faint rainbow of light.

Research is ongoing and quite a few theories are running around out there. Quartz rocks may give off what is called piezoelectricity when they are rubbed together. Another theory is that a magnetic field is created by tectonic stress. (Hey it gets a lot more complicated…I’m just giving you the quick and dirty.)

If you’re interested in reading more about these weird lights, there is plenty of information on the Internet you can read from legitimate sources. Earth Science is an amazing field with only a part of it devoted to earthquakes. There is so much to learn!

Stop by the Love From The Ashes book page for a blurb, excerpt and links to purchase. This book is only 99 cents right now. Grab it while you can. And thank you!

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Earthquakes: Before and After

Monday, April 18th, 2016

Because today is the 110th. anniversary of the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and Fire, I decided I’d blog today about the event rather than tomorrow as I’d normally planned.

Unfortunately, last week Japan, Equador and Tonga all suffered earthquakes. Each of these countries will take time to recover. In my novel, Love From The Ashes, I touch on the rebuilding of San Francisco after the 1906 earthquake, which destroyed a large part of that city and other surrounding communities.

Last week’s earthquakes reminded me of the scenes of San Francisco that were immortalized on film only a short time before the disaster. This You Tube video, however, shows only a portion of the now famous Market Street footage take days before the disaster. It also shows some film of the fire, buildings falling and other scenes from after the earthquake.

If you want the full version of the Market Street video pre disaster, get a drink and settle in for the whole thing. What this fun film shows is that life was in many ways as hustle and bustle as it is now.

This YouTube video gives you a look at some of the damage afterwards.

Sending good thoughts, love and healing to all those in Japan, Equador and Tonga who’ve suffered through these latest quakes.

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Did You Know? 1906 San Francisco Earthquake Disaster Relief

Friday, April 15th, 2016

When I did research for my book Love From The Ashes in 1998, it took me longer to research facts than it would today. The Internet was around but I was also researching while I lived in England. I had to pay so much per minute to use the phone line to connect to the Internet. So you can guess how little I used the Internet for my research.

I can’t believe it’s been that many years since I started writing the book. Writing these blogs has given me an education because there are so many things I’ve already forgotten about the history of that disaster.

One tidbit that would surprise most people is who sent the United States aid when the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and Fire devastated the city. Of course many places and organizations across the U.S. sent aid. President Theodore Roosevelt said the government wouldn’t transmit money to San Francisco from foreign nations. The following countries, though, sent money anyway:

Japan $244,060.10 (Japanese Red Cross & Government)

Canada $145,412.65

China $40,000.00

France $21,235.08

Mexico $14,480.31

England $6,570.88

Cuba $734.30

Australia $385.96

Russia $199.02

Scotland $50.40

Austria $50.00

Belgium $50.00

Germany $50.00

Ceylon $32.33

Amazing information, isn’t it? Come back next week to find out a new tidbit on my research.

If you’d like to grab a copy of Love From The Ashes while it’s on sale, you can grab copies at:


Barnes and Noble



You can also find an excerpt at Love From The Ashes.


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Earthquake. Fire. Saving Their Love From The Ashes.

Thursday, April 7th, 2016

Welcome to a new series of blogs filled with tidbits about my historical romance Love From The Ashes and interesting observations both sci-fi, science fact and paranormal about my post apoc romance Blackout. Each week I’ll blog on Tuesday and Friday about these books.

I’m celebrating not only the fact that Where’s Lucy? Productions recently optioned these books for film/TV, but also that they’re now on sale for only 99 cents each! How cool is that?

Today I’m chatting a little bit about Love From The Ashes.

Down in my bones historical romance has always been a favorite reading experience for me. I also love writing it! But you all know that I love to create historicals set in unique time periods you don’t often see. I’m a disaster junkie, so I’ve written (and will continue to write) stories set during disasters that have happened in the past. The 1906 San Francisco Earthquake has fascinated me since I was a child. In 2001 Love From The Ashes came out, and it’s been one of those book-of-my-heart experiences.

Before I started work on this book I soaked my head in that time period and also in every non-fiction book on the subject I could find. As I did my research I discovered many interesting historical situations that made it into my book. One fact that influenced my fiction was when I discovered that dozens of marriage licenses were taken out after the earthquake and fire happened.

That’s all for now, but be sure to come back next week (Tuesday) to hear about Blackout.

If you’d like to pick up Love From The Ashes for a super awesome price of 99 cents you can get it at several retailers including:


Barnes and Noble



You can also find an excerpt at Love From The Ashes.

Thank you and see you next week!

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