Category Archives: Fiction Readers


Barbara_IndenturedHeart72dpi750x1200I am proud to announce the reissue of INDENTURED HEART, my American Colonial Romance. Now available in Kindle and Nook download formats.

She was a woman in a man’s business, shipbuilding, and someone didn’t want her to succeed.

Crippled in the carriage crash that killed her husband and betrayed by her solicitor and doctor, Megan McCall will trust no man to help her right the wrongs done to her.

But, the one person who can help her walk again is her newly acquired indentured servant…a convicted pirate…a man. Worse, Royce Devlin’s every touch reminds Megan of the passion she believes she will never know.



I decided it was time to give my St. John Sibling Series a cohesive cover look. No Place Like Home even got a new title, FINDING HOME, to give continuity to all the titles. Admittedly it was hard giving up the title No Place Like Home and the adorable cover that came with it. But I am so loving the new look for the St. John Sibling Series, thanks to Covers by Rogenna.


Barbara Raffin and Jane Toombs at the world’s largest eBook book signing at Barnes & Noble in Tampa, FL 2003


I lost one of my heroes earlier this month. Jane Toombs was far more than the one hundred plus books she published. She was more than one of the few established print authors to champion digital publishing at its inception. What she was above all was a mentor, encouraging and supporting new authors and readily sharing her vast knowledge of the business and craft of writing with all.

I had the privilege to have been invited into her home, a house she had built on a specially chosen plot of land overlooking Lake Superior. I am imagining Jane now walking the windy shores of that lake she loved so much, its waves crashing at her feet inspiring another paranormal, moody romance, or horror story from her.


I had my first book talk/signing of the year at the Florence Public Library in Florence, Wisconsin. My audience was small but attentive. I’m just greatful anyone braved the below zero weather to come out and see me. I think my smile says it all.


Since the question most often asked of writers by readers is “where do you get your ideas,” that’s what I focused my talk on. The simple answer is we get our ideas everywhere: newspaper articles, movies, overheard conversations, places, people we meet. The list is endless. Personally, I’m often inspired by places I’ve been.

For instance, The Farmhouse Restaurant in NO PLACE LIKE HOME existed under a slightly different name on a highway I often traveled. Like the farmhouse in NO PLACE LIKE HOME, the old farmhouse along the well-traveled highway had been converted into a restaurant. I stopped there often for their great homemade foods, especially their tuna salad. It was an amazing mixture of tuna, crushed pineapple, and chopped pecans served along with a croissant. Yum.

But, good as the food was, it was the charm of the place that really grabbed me. The slanted, squeaky floors. The lumpy, original plaster walls lovingly bordered with hand applied stencils. The miss-matched, country kitchen tables and chairs. Almost from my first visit I knew this “place” had to be in one of my stories. I just had to wait until the right characters came along to “inhabit” this home.

Years later, during the planning stages of my first series, the ST. JOHN SIBLING SERIES, I realized my farmhouse was the perfect setting for the lone sister in this family of five siblings. Having grown up in embassies around the world, The St. John siblings have lived a pretty nomadic life-style. Though their mother made any temporary digs feel like home, the one constant in their lives is their grandparents’ Wisconsin farm.

So, when Dixie’s husband dies and she loses her Chicago restaurant, this girl take the lemons life has handed her and makes lemonade by moving herself and her son in with her now widowed grandmother, and turning the farmhouse’s first floor into a restaurant. And to think this story began because of a personal fondness for an old farmhouse.

Okay, it wasn’t all about the farmhouse. But, when I found the “right” character, the farmhouse setting was waiting for her.