Romancing the Heart

Hello happy readers! I am so excited to be here on Coffee Time Romance today! I am still quite new to the forum but I am having lots of fun getting to know you all. Many of you have already been so generous and sweet, and I thank you for your warm hospitality.

 So let’s get blogging shall we?

 Well, it seems we are nearing the end of February (hard to believe, isn’t it?) the month of “love and romance”. And most often—being the huge romantics that we are—we can’t help but try to think of new and interesting ways of expressing our affection to that special someone. Perhaps it’s a surprise dinner date to an exotic restaurant, a soothing spa experience complete with lighted candles and strewn rose petals, or even just a quiet evening snuggled in bed together with the kids staying at the grandparents house.

reneevincentphoto No matter what we come up with, it’s our way of showing just how much we care when words, alone, are not enough. It fills our souls with satisfaction and warms our hearts to go above and beyond the normal expectation of a Valentine’s Day celebration.

 But with all these thoughts of warming hearts, love and sacrifice, I’m also reminded of the ultimate sacrifice for love—giving your life to save another.

 No, I am not telling anyone to do anything rash, nor am I endorsing martyrdom. What I am encouraging is organ donation.

 I was at a benefit this Saturday for a friend of mine who in on the list for a heart transplant. However, due to the high demand for such an organ, her wait has been long, arduous, and quite frightening, so much in fact, that she has had a heart attack during the “wait”. To Get her through until a heart becomes “available”, the doctors implanted her with a temporary mechanical heart.

 Now mind you, she is only in her late thirties, so to have a heart attack at her age, plus knowing full well that her heart is already critically weak, is a very scary moment, for both the family who loves her, and the woman who’s going through this torment. I cannot begin to imagine the stress level she is enduring on top of a weak heart.

 Right now, she is regaining her strength and hoping to be put back on the list for the transplant soon. And like I said, I was present at her benefit organized to help with her outrageous medical bill—that is climbing to enormous heights with each passing day.

 Amazingly, with the generosity of friends and family, the benefit brought in over $50,000 in donations! While that is absolutely tremendous, it’s still just a drop in the bucket in the grand scheme of things. The ultimate donation would be for her to gain the new heart on which her life depends.

 It has not yet happened for her, nor has it happened for many others waiting on livers, kidneys, or any other organ needed to sustain their lives. And it won’t unless you make the decision to be an organ donator.

But remember, it’s not enough to just declare it. You must tell your family and friends of your wishes, so that if that day ever suddenly comes—because accidents happen and death is not something anyone can plan ahead for—your family can express your wishes to the hospital before it is too late to extract the necessary organs from your body.

 After death, we do not need our organs where we are going, so please let someone else use them who DOES. You will not be less of a person for it; you will be more to someone than anyone could ever thank you for. And wouldn’t it feel grand to leave this world with one last gesture of love?

 Lindsey3So I’m sure you are asking by now, “Why is Renee blogging about this on a romance blog?” It’s very simple really. I would not have become a published  romance author and written my first book without the help of my little sister, Lindsey.  When she was alive, she was only person to have read the first chapter and she told me, then, to “finish it”.  A few months later, she died in a car accident.

 After her tragic death in 2005, I finally heard her words of encouragement echoing in my ears, and Ræliksen no longer was just a dream, but a reality. I owe everything to her—this amazing journey I am on, the wonderful people I am meeting all across the world, and the doors that are opening for me.

 Despite her tender age of twenty when she died, Lindsey was smart enough to tell her loved ones that she wanted to be an organ donor. On the day of her death, a near-blind woman’s eyesight was restored because of my sister’s generosity and humility. Even though she is my little sister, I look up to her. And I want to give back to her what she had done for me.

 So, since February is a month for sharing love and giving of yourself, I am encouraging every one of my readers to do just that! Have a heart—do your part—be an organ donor. So many children, mothers, and fathers alike are waiting.

 Raeliksen CoverAnd that is not all….if you leave a comment on this blog I will be drawing one lucky person to win an autographed copy of my historical romance, Ræliksen. It doesn’t have to necessarily be about organ donation…I just wanted to get the word out and make my sister as proud of me as I am of her.

 Also, stick around….I will have more to blog about today. I look forward to meeting you all today. 

My Website

My Blog: Past The Print


I am an author with a passionate interest in Irish and Norse history. I live in the rolling hills of Kentucky with my husband and two children on a beautiful secluded farm of horses and hay fields. When I am not writing, I love to spend my time on the back of a horse, whether with my family or with my friends. There is nothing like feeling the sunlight on your face, the wind in your hair, and the power of the animal beneath you as you enjoy the beautiful scenery. Seeing the world from a saddle is, by far, the best view and the best therapy for a heavy heart or a troubled mind. My therapist's name, or my horse's, rather, is "Statues Suddenly Lucky", a full-blooded Tennessee Walker, and of course, he goes by the name of Lucky for short. I am a sucker for a good cup of coffee (lots of cream and sugar...and whipped cream if I can get my hands on it), great conversation, and a lilting Irish accent. I love to read and I can't resist watching great epic historical movies.

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26 Responses to “Romancing the Heart”

  1. Giada Mariani says:

    Thank you for your beautiful post Renee! To have such a wonderful sister to look up to is something that cannot be described! Congratulations for your book and good luck with everything!
    Giada M

  2. Virginia C says:

    Hi, Renee! Thank you for sharing the lovely photo of your sister and reminding us of a way that we can help others. I know that you must miss your sister terribly, but she would be very proud of what you have accomplished! Women need to support and encourage each other in all ways : )

  3. No matter how great February is, I’m always glad to see it end. I am not a winter person AT ALL, and it can’t get to spring fast enough for me!

  4. Laura "Louise" says:

    Even at 84 my aunt who hopes to live to 100 also hopes that one day they can use something of her’s to give to someone. She is a card carrying organ donor, one courageous person and I love her. Here’s to you Aunt Mary Clare Duhme!!!

  5. mícheál ó caoinleain says:

    Here in The Netherlands there was a proposal to make the donation of organs automatic unless the donor had registered his or her wish to be excluded, which to me makes more sense.
    Of course not everybody agrees with me even here in Holland…

  6. ReneeVincent says:

    Thanks Mícheál for taking the time out of your busy schedule to visit me and to put in your two cents worth.

    Lindsey would have wanted to donate more than just her eyes, but with the impact, most of her vital organs were damaged. I am just glad that a woman was able to see again becuase of her. I know it would have made her smile.

    Thanks again for stopping by. By the way, Mícheál, that cover you are doing for me is looking great!

  7. ReneeVincent says:

    I’m with you, Becke! I am not a winter person at all…my skin gets dry and cracks, and half the time, I’m absolutely freezing. I hate to be cold.

    But with February almost over, spring is just around the corner and you know what that means for me? I get to be back on my horse. haha

  8. ReneeVincent says:

    Hey Laura! Great to see one of my fellow Buffalo Girls here! And yes, here’s to your Aunt Mary Clare Duhme! What a great woman she is, I bet.

    Thanks so much for dropping in. You have no idea how much that means to me.

  9. Hi Renee,
    Lovely story about your sister’s legacy after her death. I am a strong supporter of organ donation but I chose brain donation. Why? Because I donated my mom’s brain for schizophrenia research and they need mine to understand why some people get it and some people don’t.

    During organ donation, they can hook up our bodies for preservation to a ventilator but that will deteriorate the brain. So you have to be really aware of the limitations between organ and brain donations.

    Angie Breidenbach

  10. ReneeVincent says:

    Thank you Giada. I love my sister very much and miss her greatly, but I do my best to make her proud.

    I have dedicated my first historical romance, Ræliksen, to her, and it was such a great feeling to hold my book in my hands for the first time and see her name in it.

    Glad to meet you Giada!

  11. ReneeVincent says:

    Hello Virginia! Nice to see you here on CTR.

    Thank you for the sweet comment about the post…I wasn’t sure how it would go over, honestly. But it was something that was on my mind.

    Thanks for coming by and seeing me.

  12. Erin Hooper says:

    Every time I hear the story of the way your sister inspired you to finish Ræliksen, it chokes me up/warms my heart! Thank you for sharing such a personal part of your “story” with us and for creating such an amazing tale for us to enjoy!

    Hope we can catch up soon!

  13. Hey Renee,
    Thank you for sharing your story with us. You’ve brought up a very important topic that a lot of people are sometimes squeamish or uncomfortable about…I chose to become an organ donor as soon as I was old enough to make that decision. The decision didn’t initially sit well with my Mum but through our discussions, she’s slowly come to terms with the fact when the time comes…I want my organs to be donated. I’ve actually been looking into stem cell donation…that’s something once I’m in a little better shape I would definitely consider doing as well.

  14. maddie james says:

    Renee, you are such an inspiration. I’ve enjoyed getting to know you. Thanks for sharing the story about your sister. I know you are going to have great success, in her honor.


  15. Sarah says:

    Great post. I’m sorry for the loss of your sister but I bet she would have been proud to have been able to help someone re-gain their sight. I’m registered as an organ donor – when I’m gone they are welcome to take anything that can be of use to someone else. I think this is an important issue to raise so thanks for sharing your story :)

  16. ReneeVincent says:

    Thank you Angela for sharing your story of organ donation. Sometimes we often forget about the importance of medical science and the tedious studies that go along with it that got us where are today.

    Thank you also for your kind comment. It was a pleasure to meet you.

  17. ReneeVincent says:

    Well hello, Erin! What a fancy it is to see you here! I truly feel like it has been forever. We really need to do lunch/dinner again – whatever you can swing. And you MUST bring those two little ones!

    Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to stop by. I am so happy you did.

  18. ReneeVincent says:

    Hello Anna! Nice to meet you.

    And, yes, it seems that some of the older generations have a bit of reservation with it, which is completely understandable as they did not grow up with the medical advancements we have now.

    I was a bit hesitant to bring it up this issue, as I truly did not want to offend anyone, but I thought it was topic worth mentioning. And now, I’m glad I did.

    Thanks for your input and for stopping by the blog. Hope to chat more with you on CTR. You can find me all throughout the CTR forums, FB, Twitter, myspace.
    Have a great week, Anna!

  19. ReneeVincent says:

    Oh My Goodness, Maddie! I did not expect you here! Wow, thank you so much for dropping by and for commenting. I am humbled by your praise. Thank you.

  20. ReneeVincent says:

    Sarah, thank you for your support on this issue and for your sweet comments about my sister. The pain and huge void are still there, but it’s nice to be at a point in my life where I can talk about her and not break down. I love to talk about her and as long as I am promoting my book, I feel I must bring her along with me.

    I smile to think that she and I are doing this together.

  21. Cynthia N says:


    I think it’s fantastic to blog about something different every now and again. Especially something so near and dear to your heart. If it encourages just one person to be an organ donor, that’s another ripple on the pond. I became an organ donor when I first became a licensed driver (way back when), when it wasn’t “cool”.


  22. Hi, Renee *waving*

    What a great blog! Organ donation is something those of us, happily alive and healthy, don’t consider much or hope we never have to face. Thinking of your friend, I can only imagine what she’s facing.

    The story of your beautiful sister choked me up a bit, but your strength in the face of her loss is so encouraging. And I’m proud to say I’ve been an organ donor for a very long time.


  23. Liza Quisisem says:

    Thanks so much for focusing most of your blog on organ donation! I am sorry your younger sister did not live long enough to fulfill all her dreams, but I am glad that she was able to lend more life to another person.

    Good luck regarding your book!

    Liza Quisisem

  24. Cynthia,
    Bravo right back to you for being an organ donor! And thanks for supporting me on this blog post and helping me to create that little ripple in the pond.

    Great to see you here!

  25. Gabriella! *waving exuberantly* OMGoodness, what a pleasant surprise to see you here! Just the thought of you, makes me smile. I was so lucky to have been able to sit by you a few weeks ago at dinner. It was a joy to get to know you and listen to you talk about your books. Thank you for that.

    And thank you for the sweet, wonderful things you said above. I’ve come to find out that the support of our fellow writers is amazing.

    Good luck to you on your book ventures! Hope to see you soon.

  26. Liza,
    Thank you for coming here. It is so nice to meet new people.

    My sister was going to be a doctor – even had her MCAT’s scheduled the following spring – but yes, she did get to help others in another way and I am so proud of her. She is truly an inspiration.

    Thank you again for coming.

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