Books in The


This assortment of blog posts represents a curated compilation of the author’s life, garnered from her archive of blog posts released over a dozen years. The theme: Life as a Miracle.
This is not the usual memoir structure: it’s an orchestration of anecdotes, observations, events, and especially, moments of gratitude that reveal her heart. It’s all about what matters in her life. The stories create a field of vivid points and the truths that tie them together.
The posts are intimate and personal, told simply in an expressive, conversational style. The slice-of-life selections sizzle with spunk and sparkle with joy.
With the themed sections as a framework, the blog posts build up to reveal deep beliefs and values without being judgmental or preachy. Her life has been full of miracles, and readers will find resonance with their own experiences.



Parolee Amy Breeden held herself together during nearly two thousand days of incarceration with a single-minded focus: to destroy the dude who did her in. Within hours of her release, Amy hits the lotto mega-million jackpot.“Living well is the best revenge,” her parole officer advises, but Amy is hellbent on revenge.A former Chicago crime boss, an estranged brother, a substitute mom, a zany house painter, a pre-imprisonment pal—and the handsome parole officer—complicate Amy’s quest for empowerment. When Amy’s longtime nemesis invades her haven, her ire ignites. She becomes more determined than ever to avenge herself.The aging crime boss enjoins her mission. Victory is finalized when she’s able to buy her mortal enemy’s thriving bar in a fire sale… and becomes the Boss. But is that enough? Will revenge result in satisfaction? Will her personal redemption require more than revenge and the monetary reward to live well?


“This was a fun read! P.J. Colando has penned a wonderful story! It's light, it's funny, it's heavy and introspective...and all in the right spots.”

– Dennis Crosby, author of Death’s Fantasy

“PJ Colando writes with uncommon heart, humor and pathos to artfully reveal the foibles and the dignity of the human spirit.”

– Baron R. Birtcher, LA Times best-selling author of Hard Latitudes, South California Purples, and Fistful of Rain,

PJ Colando delivers an imperfect protagonist you can't help but root for. Bad-Ass Amy’s story will have you laughing all the way through, brainstorming revenge strategies to help our Jailbird win out in the end. A delightful addition to her Faith, Family, Frenzy series!

– Kristine Fox, author of the award-winning Murphy’s Law series


Life in rural small town can dull the senses. A trio of gal pals—mired in middle age, Middle America, and other people’s problems—long to escape.

When Bonnie wins the Boffo Lotto, her circle of friends urge her to lawyer up, invest, and sequester herself.

But secrets are inconceivable in small towns, so Bonnie and Carl invite close friends to witness their Vegas wedding and honeymoon in Hawaii with endless vagabond beyond. The sky’s the limit!

The allure of travel is fun for a while—hilarious, in fact.

When the husbands are jailed, wanderlust is no longer a romp and things get complicated when you’re halfway round the world, untethered from all you know and love.

Life has its consequences… and there’s no place like home.


“This witty, rollicking novel enthralled me to the end, but what dazzled me from the start was author PJ Colando's superb writing and gifted use of language. Ms. Colando is adroit with words and her dextrous turns of phrase had me laughing out loud. Her writing reminds me of Larry McMurty.”

– Eric Peterson, award-winning writer of The Dining Car

"A stylish, comic tale about unexpected changes in life.”

-Kirkus Reviews

“Motivated by faith, lust, and money (lotto money), three kick-ass church ladies from the land of Hellman’s and Velveeta head “Down Under’ for a high-octane pursuit of life, liberty, and pursuit of the American dream. In The Winner’s Circle, PJ Colando combines her Midwestern roots with her keen wit for a heady cocktail of hilarity, sin, and redemption.”

–Maddie Margarita, originator of the literary salon, LIT UP OC, and the Character Floss podcast

Nine months after their comically abbreviated RV road trip, detailed in the award-winning book, STASHES, the Breeden family farm routines have stabilized: Jackie returned to her high school cafeteria job and their only son, Brandon, works alongside his father, Steve, in the family micro-dairy. But then an outsider arrives, claiming to be kin, and HASHES & BASHES begin.

Steve was already perturbed with the brother he has when Carl Edwards strides onto the farm. David Breeden, who lives nearby, is not a bastard but always acted like one. Carl, a charismatic Californian, may be a bastard, but doesn’t act like one…Yet Carl rocks the entire small Midwestern farming community, including a lively cast of characters who assault Steve’s calm-against-chaos pattern in this humorous family saga.


“I sense a deep love of the land between each line of the book.”

– Kate Farrell, author of Story Power

“PJ Colando's story-telling is reminiscent of Garrison Keillor's. Her descriptions of rural living are clever and comedic, yet poignant. If you've been missing the gossip from Lake Woebegone, I heartily recommend you give Hashes and Bashes a try”.

– Greta Boris, best-selling author of the Seven Deadly Zins series

Jackie and Steve Breeden, Baby Boomer parents, have built a solid, idyllic life on a small Midwestern farm. Aching body parts remind them that they are not getting any younger, and neither are their dreams. They long to get their lives on the road like their hero, the late Charles Kuralt.

Opportunity arrives when their married son loses his job – and home to foreclosure. They become reverse empty nesters, and buy a Winnebago to cut loose and explore America.

Son Brandon, and his ambitiously conniving wife Amy, embody their generation’s prevailing sense of entitlement. Before the older couple departs, Amy embellishes the micro-dairy business by growing and selling marijuana edibles, dragging Jackie into the scheme. As the local bank vice president, Amy secretly increases the amount of the Home Equity Line of Credit that financed the Winnebago.

Oops – adventures and adversities ensue.


"PJ Colando has a natural gift for characterization and a very good ‘dialogue ear’."

– Mike Foley, Writers Review

Everything PJ Writes is funny!

– Amy Wallen, author of Moonpies and Movie Stars

"PJ Colando’s sprightly novel shines its light on an uncommon slice of contemporary Americana, a Midwest culture most often viewed from flyover range."

– Art Plotnik, author of Spunk & Bite



During crises, all of us find a way to survive. That’s what humans are programmed to do: save the species. Stories help us cope by design. Storytelling is a specific writer tool. I wrote as catharsis during the protracted pandemic, but the war to suppress COVID took longer than anyone expected.

The toughest part, we can all agree, was not knowing the end date. This problem was exacerbated by squabbles within the nation’s people and its leaders as well as medical and scientific experts. Their chaos is what put the panic in pandemic. Everyone who knows me is aware that I am a social butterfly. Prevented from being among people—especially being unable to hug, a skill for which I’m known—my spirit began to wither rather than thrive.

I felt as if I were back in my six months of active treatment for cancer, yet I was determined to survive this eighteen-month of sidelined life, too. I wrote out my feelings, thoughts, opinions, and fears and compiled them into this anthology. It’s likely that you, as a pandemic survivor, too, will relate to one or all of these tales. Enjoy, emote! Pat yourself on the back! We survived! There are some blank pages at the end of this book, so you can record your feelings, fears, opinions, and thoughts.


An award-winning writer created weekly blog posts to ease personal qualms throughout quarantine. Her experiences – both humorous and calamitous – are relatable. You may/may not empathize with her scenarios, no matter where you reside. ‘It” could have happened to you. So, the author has included several dozen blank pages to share your COVID incidents, accidents, and insights. ALL proceeds of this book will be donated to Second Harvest, a long-established food bank in Irvine, California, which is where the author resides. Be and do good – for yourself and others. We are truly all in this together.


"This series of blog posts, written to cope with the protracted homestay mandated to contain the spread of corona virus, plumbs the highs, lows, and mellow stages of quarantine. It is relatable, cathartic, and comforting. That it’s a fundraiser for a food book is bonus."

– Beta One Reviews

I call my short story fiction genre “loose with the truth” because there is always, always, always a kernel of truth in the fiction I flash. My fiction is often more believable than the non-fiction within my tale. As the famed author, Robert Crais, says, “I’m just making sh** up”— and, to some people, it resounds.
I guess that makes me a story-teller, a talent that has evolved. I never fibbed when I was a kid. Did you?
Some stories are powered by a rant or a personal pet peeve or an encounter that perplexed me.
I’ve exorcized demons, retorted in print to people who’ve been unkind, and changed my point of view with writing as an algorithm for life. I’ve gained empathy, deepened my resistance, and resolved problems that will never resolve in real life.
I write to learn what I’m thinking rather than remain locked in my feelings. Sometimes I even write to process feelings. I write to feel less insecure.
I can’t, couldn’t, won’t imagine life without the ability to write. I think I’d go crazy . . . or else suffer emotional death.


"This collection of stories is a mixture of new content and other pieces previously published in magazines or anthologies. As with all story collection, it’s a mixed bag, yet most are superb like ‘Women are from Venus; Men are From Mars’ and ‘Wisdom from an Old Tractor Seat.’ Recommended reading."

– Stuart Hoffman, Amazon Vine reviewer

Her powers of observation are phenomenal and descriptions often hilarious. My favorite stories are: Scruffy Stuffy Quilty Dog, Wisdom From An Old Tractor Seat, and Angel Investor (I learned lots about the pot business--and I love to learn new things. High five, PJ!! Ms. Colando is, indeed, a character.

– Nadia

"Inspirational, funny, intriguing... I really enjoyed reading PJ's collection of stories, with assorted subjects and some misadventures!"

– thrillme101, Amazon Vine reviewer

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