My Not-So-Secret M.O. by Hend Hegazi – Guest Blog and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Hend Hegazi will be awarding one copy of Normal Calm and a copy of Behind Picket Fences (U.S. and International) to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

My Not-So-Secret M.O.
By Hend Hegazi

Many writers have a unique modus operandi. Some must be seated in their favorite spot, others need music playing in the background, some need to smell the scent of their favorite tea wafting up to them from their favorite mug. For me, I can’t concentrate if music is playing in the background; I would end up singing along. And although I do tend to sit in the same spot to write, it is not my favorite spot; the dining table is simply the most practical spot. I often enjoy a snack or warm drink during my writing sessions, but these tend to be break times. Here is my real M.O.

When I’m sitting down to write a non-fiction piece, I usually just sit at my laptop and type my ideas. But when it’s fiction, I have a need to hold the pen, feel it scratch against the page. And it has to be black pen, blue ink is simply unacceptable. I have yelled at my kids before for taking my black pens (yes, I totally know that makes me at least a bit crazy.). I write about 10 to 20 pages, then transcribe them to my laptop. This extra step, although decidedly more time consuming, gives me an additional chance at creativity and improvement. Often as I’m transferring my ideas from paper to laptop, I find ways to improve the scene or the language. With my asterisks and labels all over the place (i.e. * on page 116: insert on page 94, * on page 94: insert from page 116, etc.), my notes guide me to tell the story I’m meant to. Many of my writer friends have recommended Scrivener, and although it sounds great, I’m reluctant to try it; having everything on paper, where I can flip back and forth instantly, gives me a sense of security. I’ve also been a loyal user of Word for about 20 years, so I’m not sure I can trust a different program. I do think I will have to try it one day…just not yet.

The worst part about my M.O. is that it awakens my worst personal habit. So there I am, my ideas manifesting into words on the page or on the screen, and, like I do often as I write, I stop to re-read what I’ve written. I consider how it sounds, what to write next, how to word it, the order of the words and of the scenes, and so on. Somewhere along the process, I begin to bite my fingernails. I’m not usually aware of it until I look down and see the skin to the sides of my nails bleeding or my nail bed peeking out. It drives me insane. And while chewing gum helps remedy this bad habit, my kids always manage to steal my gum supply, no matter how well I hide it! If you have any good hiding places, please let me know! (I’ll stash my pens there, too!)

For those of you who have followed me on this book tour, I want to sincerely thank you all. To celebrate the blog tour, and as a small token of appreciation to my audience, the ebook of Behind Picket Fences is available for just $0.99 TODAY ONLY. Enjoy!

Behind Picket Fences exposes four families from behind their comfortable lifestyles and smiling faces. Sharing the same neighborhood, even spending time together, no family knows the truth about the difficulties the others face.

On the outside, Sidra and Farris have the biggest house and the most expensive cars. What no one sees is their struggle to accept an unfulfilled dream. If they do not adapt to the blows of fate, their malcontent may give birth to deception.

Mariam and Morgan’s modest home exudes the rich scent of family. With children playing in the yard, they seem picture perfect. But financial struggle is their continuous battle, and their only solution may produce an envy which is more destructive than hunger.

Summer and Porter enjoy youth and the freedom of self-employment. But discontentment and mental instability linger between them. If they are not able to bridge the gap, their search for happiness may have a fatal end.

May and Hasan enjoy peace and true happiness. Illness cares not, however, of letting them relish in their blessings. Only patience and time will prove if this unwelcome visitor is simply passing by, or if it will tear their world apart.

An honest portrayal of love and family, Behind Picket Fences opens our eyes to the difficult truths hidden behind each happy facade.

Read an excerpt:

“Actually,” Farris interrupted, “I’m just going to call it a night.” Farris began to walk away without saying goodbye or even recognizing the women. Faruq stood there for a second, jaw open, utterly embarrassed by his brother’s anti-social behavior. “I’ll be right back, ladies. Don’t go anywhere.”

He ran after his brother and quickly caught up with him. “Man, what are you doing?! This is the best thing for you right now.”

“I don’t want this. This has never been my scene, Faruq, and you know that. I’m just going to…”

But the sight of something beyond Farris made his brother interrupt, grabbing him by the shoulder. “That’s him! Farris, man, that’s him!” Faruq shouted, pointing in the direction he was looking.

Turning around so he could see what Faruq was pointing to, Farris narrowed his eyes. “What are you talking about, Faruq? That’s who?”

“That’s him!” Faruq repeated, excitedly grabbing Farris’ shirt at the shoulder. “That’s the man I saw with Sidra!”

The words forced Farris’ eyes into focus. He saw the tall, brown haired white man so vividly, as if he were the only one in the parking lot. He didn’t hesitate for even a split second; Faruq barely blinked, and suddenly Farris was sprinting toward James. He lunged at him, punching him square in the face. The man fell to the ground as the woman who was with him let out a gasp and crouched to the floor beside him.

Looking up at the attacker she screamed, “What the hell is wrong with you?! Why did you punch my husband?!”

Farris hovered over the couple, breathing heavily, rubbing his throbbing knuckles. Faruq, now standing beside his brother, held Farris’ arm back and spoke out, “Your husband is having an affair with his wife. Isn’t that right, James?”

“James?!” the woman yelled. “He’s not James!”

About the Author: Hend Hegazi was born and raised in Southeastern Massachusetts. Despite her desire to pursue writing as a profession, she graduated from Smith College with a degree in biology and a minor in religion. Shortly thereafter, the winds of life and love blew her to Egypt where she has been living for the past 14 years. She is a full time mother of four as well as a freelance writer and editor. Some of her work has been featured in SISTERS Magazine. Her fiction and poetry focus on the human condition, often shedding light on the Muslim American experience. Hend strives to be God-conscious and aims to raise that awareness in her readers. As a common theme in her pieces, the intimate relationship between God-consciousness and love is often explored. Hend’s debut novel, Normal Calm, was published in January 2014.

You can read her poetry and blog posts on her website,, and follow her on Facebook at For updates on giveaways and special offers, kindly opt-in to her free newsletter at this link

Both of her novels are available through most major book distributors, or click here to purchase through Amazon:
Normal Calm
Behind Picket Fences

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Thanks for hosting!

  2. Thank you for letting me share my work with your audience!

  3. kim hansen says:

    Sounds like a good read.

  4. Rita Wray says:

    I liked the excerpt.

  5. Thanks for hosting.

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