The Story Behind the Story: Guest Blogger Sandra McGregor

I'm so excited to introduce you to Sandra Elzie who writes fiction under the pen name Sandra McGregor.

Author Bio:
Sandra Elzie was challenged by her husband in 2001 to not wait until retirement in 2005 to start writing the book he had been hearing about almost since they had been married. Picking up the gantlet he had thrown down, she spent the next 8 years honing her craft and finishing 21 manuscripts—two of which have been published by Avalon Books under that name.

Writing under the name of Sandra McGregor, she has published several e-pub books and more will be added to Kindle & Nook in the very near future.

She now lives in South Georgia with her husband and cat and enjoys reading, traveling and spending time with her children and grandchildren.

Sandra is going to tell us a little about the story behind her books in the Duty Free series. So good to have you Sandra! Take it away!


By: Sandra Elzie
(e-books published under Sandra McGregor)

Good morning and a big “Hey Y’all!” from down here in the beautiful state of Georgia. Thank you so much for inviting me to join you today and I hope to “meet” some of you and get acquainted.

My writing journey started at an early age when I wrote five-page stories and thought how cool it would be to sell my stories for five dollars. Boy did I have delusions of grandeur!

But, life happened and I got married, became a mother, had a career and eventually, started looking forward to retirement. For the last seven years or so of our careers, hubby and I dreamed about retiring in 2005 and spending six months touring the U.S. before we moved from the West Coast to the East Coast. Big plans. (BTW, we did the six-month tour AND the move)

In 2001, on the way to work, once again I started talking about the book I would write once I’d retired, but on this particular day, he threw down a gauntlet and challenged me to take half the time I spent reading and watching television, and start writing. He said I didn’t have to be retired. Thus began my journey to publication. To date, I’ve sold two books to Avalon, The Diplomatic Tutor and In Daddy’s Shoes and I recently self-published four (soon to be six) books, under the pen name of Sandra McGregor, through Smashwords and they are now for sale on Barnes and Noble and Amazon. Pennies On The Dollar, Wrangler For Hire, Into My Dreams and The Duty Series, Book One: Duty Calls and Book Two: Duty Bound. The third book in the series, Duty Free, will be available by the end of September.

I’ve been asked if there’s any part of me in my stories. The answer is always, “yes.” I write what I know…romance…but I’m a very strong personality, so my heroines are also strong. Since my husband is a loving, considerate and dependable man, so are my heroes. But, hold on, because that’s just part of the story.

There is almost always a story behind my stories--tiny bits of my personality, experiences, observations, etc show up in my books. My daughter-in-law is adopted, so you’ll find adoption in a couple of my books. In Daddy’s Shoes, it’s loosely based on my daughter’s best friend who had a small son and her husband committed suicide. The book covers some of the issues the young boy faced when he felt he needed to be the man of the house at ten-years old and take care of his mother and then her challenges in allowing another man into her life and around her son.

Also, my son-in-law is an accomplished Ironman tri-athlete—as is my daughter—so you’ll see some of my heroes and heroines being athletic and participating in marathons or triathlons.

I just self-published the first in a three-part e-book series about three Air Force men (Duty Calls, Duty Bound and Duty Free) and the hero in the first book is loosely based on my son-in-law, who is an Air Force pilot, and it includes his participation in marathons and his goal to do an Ironman race. (He has since done several Ironman races since I originally wrote that book in 2002, including one this past month that he and my daughter participated in)

I don’t think it’s unusual for authors to put a bit of themselves in their novels, and I’d venture to say that some authors, (myself included), put a LOT of themselves in their books. But, you know what? The closer the subject is to the heart of the author, the more interesting it is to write that book, and, hopefully, that makes it more interesting to read.

Thanks again for letting me visit with you today and I’d love for all of you to join me for a cup of coffee at the local Starbucks, but since that’s not possible, I guess I’ll have to settle for sending one of you a $5.00 Starbucks gift card. All you have to do is leave a comment to be eligible. ALSO: If you have an e-reader (or have downloaded the Kindle program to your computer) I’d love to send you a copy of one of my e-books…your choice.

You can learn more about Sandra Elzie at her website:

Or on her Amazon Author Page:


Thank you so much Sandra. Oh, man, I'll join you in a Starbucks coffee! I'm always up for that. Please leave a comment so can get a chance to win a Starbucks gift certificate!



Update: The Winner from yesterday's drawing is Carol Burnside AKA Annie Rayburn. Congratulations!!!
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