About Renea


Renea Westlyn is also Tonya VanWinkle, a fact she does not hide and apologizes for any confusion on that. Her middle name is actually Renea. Her maiden name was West. The “Lyn” was added in memory of her mother-in-law Marilyn.


Renea has always wanted to be an author but has allowed fear to stand in the way of her dreams for far too long. She has been writing for as long as she can remember and has a collection of work in her office that would make a writing mentor cringe. For years, it has been suggested that she write books. This year, she’s going for it and her Grandfather’s words continue to push her forward.

You should have mailed that letter. It would have brought her great comfort, quit hiding the gift the Lord blessed you with.

Renea spent many years being transplanted from one state to another, and even another country, while her husband served in the Air Force. After twenty-four years, he retired, and they planted their roots in the beautiful state of Virginia, with their two nearly-grown children, dog, and cat.

Renea can usually be found near her computer with scattered notes, a pen collection out of this world and a steaming cup of coffee as she chases down the muses rattling around in her head. When not trying to pen them to paper, she can be found enjoying time with her family,  and almost always napping.


January 29, 2017: Twenty-Nine Years and Counting


A million pages written. A thousand chances lost. Stories yearning to breathe.

“The unread story is not a story; it is little black marks on wood pulp. The reader, reading it, makes it live; a live thing, a story.” – Ursula K Le Guin

If the unread story could speak – then those I’ve written are crying; for they are all unread.

I reached for my journals and blew the dust off, watching it swirl and fall upon my trembling hands. “Just Breathe, Renea” – I reminded myself as I attempted to draw a full breath – just breathe. The ever-present rattle of my lungs hissed as the air escaped from within. I could do this. I could not worry. I could not panic. I could not…fear. I could just…

Just Breathe… Just Breathe… Just Breathe…

Perhaps, I should try again tomorrow. Slumping against the shelf I place my heart back inside the wooden box with the faux book front; where it is safe once again.

Tomorrow, I’ll be brave. Tomorrow, I’ll lay my heart before you.

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear;

but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

~ 2 Timothy 1:7 ~