Sunday, September 28, 2008

Little Tattle Tail

Well, to piggy back on Sarita's post I got to spend some time with my daughter and her family this week! That's always my special time. I actually went over so the big kids could spend a night out together without the baby. I got to stay with the baby:)

Every time I see Alivia I can't believe how smart she is and how fast she's growing. Michelle took her to the doctor for her checkup and the doctor said she's the perfect size for a three year old. She just turned two! She's very tall for her age, thanks to mommy and daddy. She towers over the other two year olds in her school.

After Alivia's mommy and daddy took off Alivia and I had lots of fun. We took a nap together, read books, played on the air bed that I sleep on in her room when I stay over. Alivia always sleeps with me when I spend the night. She was so proud of herself for helping mommy blow it up.

Then I noticed there was no fish aquarium in the living room. Michelle had fixed a small one for Alivia a couple days before and told me they bought five little gold fish. Where was it? So I looked at Alivia and said, "Baby, where's your fishy?" Being the smart child that she is I could see her mind working as she looked back and forth from where it had been, to me. "Where's your fishy?" I ask her again.

Then she motions for me to follow her. We walk down the hallway toward her parent's room and I think, oh, they must have put it in there. I stop in the doorway and glance around, but little Alivia continues into the bathroom. I watch her walk directly to the toilet, where she points down into the water.

I laughed so hard! She didn't say a word but I knew immediately what Michelle had done. Later when they came home I told them Alivia had tattle tailed on them. Michelle couldn't believe it but explained that all the fish had died and Alivia had helped flush them down the toilet.

It doesn't matter what's going wrong in the world. Spending time with my little granddaughter makes everything all right. She's such a joy!

By the way, Michelle took the picture of me and Alivia napping. I didn't even know she took it until she sent it to me in email.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Cave dwelling

Whew, the week's really flown by! I feel like I've been dwelling in a cave--in the deep, dark, solitary corner--and am just peeking my head out for a well-needed, albeit short, visit with friends. I'm sure you've had weeks like that, when you've been engrossed and working hard on something? Honestly, I've come out a few times to make it to appointments but otherwise, I've been in the cave.

You know, the's pretty cozy. Writers all go to the cave from time to time so I think we're comfortable there. We create the world inside the space, make the characters think, feel, speak. Yes, the cave is a friendly place indeed.

Between writing bursts I've had time to begin buttoning up around here. We're readying for winter, getting wood stacked and tanks topped. Putting away yard tools and testing snowblowers and generators. Life's been busy. And good.

How about you? What have you been up to this past week? I'm curious!

Hope you have a lovely weekend. As for me, I am headed back to the writing cave... ;-)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Substitute Bride

I have a new historical romance out next week - Whiskey Creek Press - or rather is it? I was caught napping when my Publisher e mailed me and asked, is it just a romance, Margaret, or is it something more? With all that goes on with specific genre it had me thinking, well was it? Fortunately Debbie gave me a clue, isn't it also mystery or suspense? Well yes, when I came to think about it it was quite suspenseful. How come I the writer missed that? Well you do so easily miss things. You start out writing a romance set in the middle ages and then pow, it takes off down dark and dangerous passageways and you aren't noticing it. I owe a huge thank you to Debbie and Steve Womack for pointing that out - so thank you folks!

As to the The Substitute Bride, more next week - but I will tell you it is a Medieval romance-suspense and the tale of two sisters who exchange places. The younger is sent in the older sister's place to marry the mysterious Lord Hinchcliffe; neither girls have met the man, it was all arranged by their father. Bess expects an old dodderer whom she can manipulate and oh boy is she is for a shock!

Ta ta for now...


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Falling for Fall

Though I'm knee-deep in galleys and neck-deep in medical appointments, I'm still enjoying Fall. Things are getting cooler here in Florida. Two days ago some refreshing breezes arrived, and we are loving be able to enjoy the outdoors again.

How do you enjoy autumn? I love fragrant pumpkin candles and the smell of apple pie. Today I bought some Rome apples -- probably grown in Sarita's area. It'd a bit harder to celebrate the changing seasons in Florida. Nothing like the flaming trees we enjoyed in Connecticut. But there are subtle changes and every season has its own beauty.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Grannnie's Home Remedies

A friend sent this to me and I thought it was worth sharing. Who knows when one might come in handy?

1. If You're Choking On An Ice Cube, Simply Pour A Cup Of Boiling Water Down Your Throat. Presto! The Blockage Will Instantly Remove Itself.

2. Avoid Cutting Yourself When Slicing Vegetables By Getting Someone Else To Hold The Vegetables While You Chop.

3. Avoid Arguments With The Females About Lifting The Toilet Seat By Using The Sink.

4. For High Blood Pressure Sufferers ~ Simply Cut Yourself And Bleed For A Few Minutes, Thus Reducing The Pressure On Your Veins. Remember To Use A Timer.

5. A Mouse Trap Placed On Top Of Your Alarm Clock Will Prevent You From Rolling Over And Going Back To Sleep After You Hit The Snooze Button.

6. If You Have A Bad Cough, Take A Large Dose Of Laxatives. Then You'll Be Afraid To Cough.

7. You Only Need Two Tools In Life - Wd-40 And Duct Tape. If It Doesn't Move And Should, Use The Wd-40. If It Shouldn't Move And Does, Use The Duct Tape.

8. Remember - Everyone Seems Normal Until You Get To Know Them.

9. If You Can't Fix It With A Hammer, You've Got An Electrical Problem. Daily Thought: Some People Are Like Slinkies - Not Really Good For Anything But They Bring A Smile To Your Face When Pushed Down The Stairs.

Friday, September 19, 2008

From the farm

Hard to believe it's Friday already. Since we've been eyeball deep in pulling out the gardens, I thought I'd share some "around the farm" photos with you. I hope they brighten your day and give a glimpse of this Green Acres existence I live. *G*

Hope you have a great weekend. I'm off to can tomatoes...make relish...and pickles...oh, and let's not forget the ketchup. We've got so many tomatoes this year that I'm actually making ketchup.

Insane...I must be insane...

Happy Friday!

I wonder how many bears are getting set to settle in for their long winter's naps?

Chamomile. The tea will be sweet come winter.

I love morning glories.
Not just for the flowers but for the romantic leaves, too.

Summer's end.
Baskets of tomatoes rescued from the frost.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Loren and I

I am enclosing a picture this week of Loren Teague and I in Scotland. You will remember how I told you of our wonderful trip there. It was marvellous to get together with Loren, who lives in New Zealand. She has always been an inspiration to me, and indeed was the one person who encouraged me to start writing again when I had given up.

Anyone who would like to visit her website will find it an interesting and moving experience. Loren has had breast cancer and yet, in spite of all the trauma, managed to make it back to her homeland of Scotland. The pictures on her website prove how successful that trip was for will get you to her web site, do visit. Have a look too at her latest novel "True Deception" it is a humdinger of a novel, really exciting. Travel to New Zealand with her and have excitement with her motorbike driving heroine. You will not be disappointed.

Cheers, Margaret.


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

All Will Be Well. Won't It?

This week could make you jittery. Galveston, Texas, the city Glen Cambell sang about, is all but destroyed by a hurricane. Some of our giant financial institutions are tottering and our political campaign is not the lofty exchange of ideas that we hoped for.

What do we Americans do? I was at the library yesterday and noticed that a lot of us turn to reading mysteries when our external world makes no sense. There we can see order restored and the guilty brought to justice. The world makes sense again.

But that's not all we do. A lot of us belong to organizations that try to make our communities better. Yesterday at a Kiwanis luncheon, I saw the group's president give a very nice check to the migrant mission. Sad truth is that the people who harvest our food barely make enough to feed themselves. So local organizations have raised money for food, books, medical care and summer camp for the children. One of the women's groups I belong to raises money for scholarships for mature women; another brings classes and reading materials for women in prison.

At these service groups we come together for food and fellowship but mostly we come together so our world makes sense again. As long as we all keep chugging along trying to make our communities better for everyone, I can't help but think it's going to be okay.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Been sick the last couple of days so I haven't been on the computer. Will try to play catch up soon. Sorry I missed my Monday post.

Be back soon:)

Friday, September 12, 2008


No, not scrambling eggs. Just scrambling. You know...scrambling.

Surely you've scrambled? A time or two? Or three? Please, tell me you've scrambled. I need to hear it!

Okay, good. Thank you for that. Now I can breathe easier knowing I'm not the only scrambler in the group.

Today's the day I scramble to get everything on this week's To Do list crossed off. Why? So I can begin a new list for next week. No, really, that's not true. I just need to finish what's on the list. I've got most of it but...


There's lots of list left. Yeah, it's going to be a scramble to get it all done.

Hope you have a lovely weekend!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

A Poisoned Legacy

I too received my new cover for my next romantic suspense, out on the 30th October 2008.

I worked with the artist but I let him decide which of three schemes to go for so it was a suprise to me when I got the picture. I just love it!

This will be my first novel set in Florida - it will also be my thirteenth novel for Robert Hale...unlucky for some? We will just have to wait and see.

Cheers, Margaret.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

My Cover Came!

Yesterday I got my cover for Men of Paradise. It was created by the talented Nicola Martinez and I love it.

Am sharing an excerpt where my heroine, Lauren, learns that her neighbor's will indicates she must share custody of Dudley, the deceased woman's dog, with a man named Yuma Hawk.

“What was Ina thinking?” Lauren said to the equally outraged dog. “This isn’t good for you; it’s terrible for David, and uncomfortable for me.” She eased into a plastic lawn chair and had just stretched out when a grey Chevy Blazer breezed into the driveway.

“You can bite him,” she whispered to Dud as an athletic looking man in jeans, faded blue shirt, and black sport coat approached the porch. His skin was bronze and his hair long and silky. Lauren was sure she had seen someone this good looking before == maybe on the big screen in a chilly movie theater. In her experience guys with GQ looks like his were always morons.

He opened the screen door and crooned, “Hey, baby! How are you doing?”

“Doing all right,” Lauren answered before realizing he was talking to the dog. She blushed and folded her hands behind her back.

Dudley, the traitor, inched forward to sniff the stranger’s cowboy boots. Yuma Hawk whipped out a bone as big as a bow tie. The dog snared it, then gulped it down.

Already he is outspending me on dog treats. Lauren stood frozen while Hawk switched the high-beam smile from the dog to her, and advanced with an extended hand. “Good to finally meet you, Lauren. You’re a bit younger than I expected.”

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Here fishy fishy...

I knew there was a reason I don't like going into the ocean past my ankles! Do you suppose this was his last wave? The water's pretty though, huh? A nice clear blue. How would you like to be the photographer? What do you think was going through his mind at the time? What a great shot! National Geographic is going to pay me big bucks for this fantastic picture. I'll be famous.

Hopefully the great white had a big snack before coming upon these two unsuspecting divers.

Friday, September 5, 2008


Here on the farm there are a lot of things to remind me that when I write I should include details. Yes, details. A simple thing, right? But is it, really?

How many times have you read "the sky was blue"?

Is a sky ever really just blue?

What about those lovely slashes of white?

Is a leaf ever only green?

Oh, sure, sometimes...

but doesn't a splotch bring the leaf to life?


not just a sunflower, here.

The purple coneflower is pretty on its own.
But with a little butterfly perched atop?

And this...
now, is it a Swallowtail on a mallow?
Or a mallow embellished by a Swallowtail?
A hard call, no?
Hope you have a lovely weekend!

Thursday, September 4, 2008


I have the decorator in today. I don't want him here, not today, not this week when life is frenetic, but you know these guys, when they say they will come and do the painting you have to agree, otherwise it could be twelve months before they can "fit you in" I used to do my own, I can't do it anymore, too old and painting that ceiling gives me more than a crick in the neck.

But it isn't the Painter that gets me down, it's the stuff you have to move, when you discover all the junk you have accumulated. Do I really need two tea sets...well no, but that white china with the slender gold rim was given to me by a good friend. It was her mother's and I know precious. Okay, that can stay - what about those tiny coffee cups with the thistles on them - we NEVER have small cups of coffee, well my friend Annette bought them for us. She died age 46 and sort of broke our hearts as we saw her as a daughter. Nope, can't get rid of that. I wish I could edit this stuff as I do my books, throwing out those sentences I so loved.

Vases - why do I want loads of vases? It's not as if I get flowers every week - hey come on, it's not as if I get them, once a year! But you see that was given to me when...

So picture me Saturday. I am longing for clean, flowing lines, nothing breaking the symmetry but that is not going to happen. I will be carefully washing all this stuff and putting it back. Some of these things I won't see till the Painter comes again. Ah, day perhaps... but not yet.


Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Coming Soon

I finished the final revision to Men of Paradise yesterday and have a working blurb.

Things should be peaceful in Paradise, Florida. Right? But not for Yuma Hawk, the new director of security at the gated community of Royal Breezes. He's fast falling in love with a woman who has enough secrets to sink a barge, and one of those secrets just may cost him his job. Now Roy, his worst enemy, has just blown into town and fallen -- literally and figuratively-- for Yuma's administrative assistant. That same assistant has just hired Eric, a guard with no skills because he slightly resembles George Clooney. The newbie guard is a menace to the community and himself. Could things get any worse? Come to Paradise and find out.

So today I'm taking off and celebrating. And I guess I'll get my house hurricane ready -- just in case.

Monday, September 1, 2008

A warning for you pet lovers

Even if you don't have a pet, please pass this to those that do. Yesterday one of our dog agility friends experienced a tragedy and wanted me to pass a special message along to all of my dog loving friends and family. Over the weekend the doting owner of two young lab mixes purchased Cocoa Mulch from Target to use in their garden. They loved the way it smelled and it was advertised to keep cats away from their garden. Their dog Calypso decided that the mulch smelled good enough to eat and devoured a large helping. She vomited a few times which was typical when she eats something new but wasn't acting lethargic in anyway.

The next day, Mom woke up and took Calypso out for her morning walk. Half way through the walk, she had a seizure and died instantly. Although the mulch had NO warnings printed on the label, upon further investigation on the company's website, this product is HIGHLY toxic to dogs and cats. Cocoa Mulch is manufactured by Hershey's, and they claim that 'It is true that studies have shown that 50% of the dogs that eat Cocoa Mulch can suffer physical harm to a variety of degrees (depending on each individual dog). However, 98% of all dogs won't eat it. This Snopes site gives the following information: Cocoa Mulch, which is sold by Home Depot, Foreman's Garden Supply and other Garden supply stores, contains a lethal ingredient called 'Theobromine'.

It is lethal to dogs and cats. It smells like chocolate and it really attracts dogs. They will ingest this stuff and die. Several deaths already occurred in the last 2-3 weeks. Just a word of caution, check what you are using in your gardens and be aware of what your gardeners are using in your gardens. Theobromine is in all chocolate, especially dark or baker's chocolate which is toxic to dogs. Cocoa bean shells contain potentially toxic quantities of theobromine, a xanthine compound similar in effects to caffeine and theophylline.

A dog that ingested a lethal quantity of garden mulch made from cocoa bean shells developed severe convulsions and died 17 hours later. Analysis of the stomach contents and the ingested cocoa bean shells revealed the presence of lethal amounts of theobromine.