Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Targeting the T's

Wednesday is my library day and I generally go pick out five or six books. Last week I decided to head to the T shelf and pick out some new authors.

Boy did I get lucky: I found two new authors: Nancy Thayer and Jodi Thomas. I liked them both so today I went back for more of their books. Then I wandered to the B's and picked up Rhys Bowen and Elizabeth Berg, two old friends.

It's cooler here in Florida so I'm off to the lanai for some light reading with old and new friends.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Sorry Larkers...

I didn't get around to posting last Monday. Didn't even realize I missed it until the end of the week. Just too much going on at work and home. I'm trying to find balance. And every time I think I should put myself on some kind of plan it works for a short time and then I fall right back into the old ways.

Someone was asking me the other day about my writing and when I had time to do it. The trouble is I don't make time. I'm so busy promoting all over the Internet that by the time I've hit all the networking sites, yahoo groups, blogs facebook and myspace sites to keep visible it's time to go to bed.

Last weekend I was determined to get some writing done and I accomplished what I set out to do. I finished adding content to a pre-released book in the hopes of it going to print with a new publisher. I should hear back from her in a couple weeks. I also did some work on a new project and I started a short romance. I was only able to get all this done by taking a three-day weekend.

This past weekend I spent a day with my girls. I won't give up the chance to spend time with them to write. So that left me with Saturday. I sat all day on the computer making the rounds and I did get a couple paragraphs done. But it wasn't enough. I don't know how anyone who has a career, young children at home, finds the time it takes to be a successful writer and I take my hat off to them.

It's a good thing writing is just a hobby for me:)

Hey, for us cat lovers. Can you relate to this picture?

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Popping In

Good morning, friends.

No, don't check your calendar. It's Saturday, not Friday.

I know, I know...I'm supposed to visit on Friday but, in all honesty, Friday began and ended almost before I could shake the sleep from my eyes. You must have had a few of those days, haven't you? You know the kind, where your feet hit the floor in the morning at a fast jog and don't stop until you lift them late at night to tuck them beneath the covers, don't you?

Anyhow, I apologize for missing Friday. I'll try to be more punctual next week, I promise!

Today is one of those perfectly gorgeous fall days where the sky is blue, the breeze cool but not chilly and there are still flowers around to add spashes of color to the yard. I love days like this, and I plan to take full advantage of the fine weather. I'm going to mulch the flower beds and till the vegetable gardens under. Then, I'll bake a fast batch of my husband's favorite fig cookies before we settle in for a just-for-two Saturday night pizza and movie party.

That's the plan, for now at least. What do you have planned for today? Anything you'd care to share?

Whatever you've got up your sleeve, I hope your day is lovely. Happy Saturday!

Thursday, September 24, 2009


I thought I would share this beautiful picture taken at Mount Stuart House on the Isle of Bute, Scotland. This is a wonderful house full of gorgeous marble pillars and stained glass.

It was a lovely day when we visited and there was time to look at the garden. I love gardens and this is particularly attractive. Lots of gardens today are "show" gardens and some of them far too trendy for my taste. I confess to loving "old fashioned" gardens. I am not keen on lots of brick and wood and gee gaws in the garden. I like plants. And you know I hate gardens that are too hoovered - know what I mean, a leaf drifts down and someone rushes out to pick it up. I like daisy covered lawns too, I always mow around my lawn daisies, they are small and perfect and beautiful.

You know what I really hate - "gardening" which is why my garden never looks "hoovered" I have gangling plants and shrubs and a honeysuckle going riot over my fence. I put plants in, feed and water them, but I am not a fuss pot over it. I know certain people who should put a glass dome over their garden, it is always immaculate, like their home. Well if they like that ok but for me a garden and a home is a place to relax and have fun in.Snuggle down or sit out with a soda and a book on a fine summer day...ah, roll on next summer.

Now like the beautiful garden in the picture, Autumn is upon us, everything is turning colour. Not spectacularly like in New England, but gently. Of course the grass isn't growing too quickly either...did I mention I hated mowing!


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A Gift

Authors have a few advantages. We always have a gift on hand. Last night I went to a farewell party for a local couple. I don't know them well and wasn't sure it was appropriate to buy them something. So I inscribed and wrapped up a copy of Men of Paradise.

Turns out it wasn't a gift-giving occasion but I slipped her the book anyway. I have found that when you are giving away your art it's never too much or not enough. No, it's always just right.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Last Chance

LAST CHANCE by Sarita Leone - Click Image to Close

Last Chance is available!

Young widow Laura Perkins learned the hard way that life in the rugged frontier isn’t all sunshine and roses. She never planned to find herself alone in a land where gunshots and hangings are commonplace. But planned or not, that’s exactly what happens to her and, short of turning tail and fleeing, she’ll have to learn to live with her circumstances—one way or another.

When a handsome stranger saunters into Granite Creek, life takes a drastic turn. Laura and Chance are as different as night from day, but she still finds herself intrigued by the man.

And Chance? He’s as drawn to Laura as a moth to a flame. Too bad that moth has a trail of mystery—and murder—hot on his trail.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Perfect Weather

You have perhaps heard that we have had a lousy summer - summer? What's summer? I have been hanging on just longing for October to arrive so I can go to Florida and enjoy some sun. We had four days booked in Scotland - Scotland? Well a beautiful country but not renowned for sunshine. Rubbish! Most time I've been to Scotland I've had good weather - apart from five days in Edinburgh when it rained every day - but enough of the past.

Well Scotland came up trumps, the sun burned down, every single day! The lochs and glens had never looked so lovely. Standing on a terrace overlooking Loch Awe I could even imagine I was at Lake Como in Italy. Warm and beautiful. So we had our sunshine but on top of that, glorious scenery to enjoy. I am posting a couple of pictures - just to prove what I am saying. Enjoy.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A Ramble

I love reading about Margaret Blake's adventures. She boards a motor coach and takes off on magical outings with great scenery, quaint stops and the occasional Mr. Darcy sighting. I was so inspired I signed up for my own outing and can't wait. See Decription below. I'm hoping to run into the Duke of Bewcastle.

THURS - SEPT 17 - EMMA’S ROSE TEA ROOM and GIFT SHOPPE - St Petersburg - It’s an indulgence, a time out, but one that is supremely civilized, conjuring Trollope novels, paper-thin bone china and pinkies extended. Emma’s is a wonderful new place for just such an indulgence. It’s an experience and a destination for excellent food and atmosphere. We will indulge in The Royal High Tea, consisting of an Endless pot of loose tea, Freshly baked scones with sweet cream and preserves, Assorted finger sandwiches, Delectable sweets and tea bread along with a Variety of savories and seasonal fresh fruits. After Tea you will have ample time to browse the gift shoppe, before heading home.

Monday, September 14, 2009


I'm beginning to think my daughter and I have a strong, if not strange, connection. As my only child we've always been close, nothing strange about that. Aren't most mothers and daughters? But our bond seems to go beyond wanting to spend time together, talking on the phone a few times a week, and thinking a like.

Sometimes we have similar dreams, about family members. But the strangest? We often times have the same symptoms. And by that I mean we'll have headaches at the same time, flu like symptoms, things like that. I didn't even think about it until a co-worker commented that she noticed it.

One morning last week I woke up head achy, a little sick to my stomach. Just plain didn't feel good. But I forced myself to go to work because I'm rarely sick and when I do get something it doesn't last. I figured as the day went on I'd feel better.

Later that same morning my daughter called. As we were talking she asked me what was wrong and I told her I didn't feel all that great. She said, yeah, I've been kind of nauseous and have a head ache, too. Alivia has the flu. And I thought, okay, that explains it. I'm getting the flu because I'd spent a couple days with them and on one of those days Alivia had the runs.

As the day went on I felt worse so my co-workers made me go home. On the way I stopped at my doctors and they took a test, which came back negative. I didn't have the flu. So I went home, took a couple Tylenol and fell into bed. A few hours later I woke, feeling good. Not great, just good.

The next day I went into work everyone was surprised to see me, considering how I looked the day before. One said, I was as white as a sheet. I can't believe you're here. That same co-worker said later, out of the blue, "Do you remember when Michelle was pregnant and you had morning sickness symptoms the same times she did?"I said yeah. How could I forget? Didn't realize it at the time but later when Michelle and I would talk we'd discover we'd both felt sick around the same times.

My co-worker then said, "wasn't she feeling sick yesterday, too?"I just looked at Mel, and then it hit me, what she was leading up to. She was right! I never thought much about it before. Sometimes I can be dense. But realizing that somehow made me feel good. What a cool bond we have! If...that's what it is.

Or is it just a strange coincidence?

Friday, September 11, 2009

In the Air

This morning it is decidely chilly here at the farm. I mean really cool. I slid my feet into slippers the moment I rose, and wrapped a thick blanket around my shoulders as I headed for my desk. While there's no frost on the lawn or snow in the air, there is a feel of summer coming to a close and fall knocking on the door--hard!

But yesterday was glorious...warm and sunny, the perfect day for a slow stroll. I took a few photos to share with you. I hope you enjoy them!

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Stand-Out Books

It's been a hot summer in Florida. During the steamy afternoons I've read lots of good books. The one that remains with me is The Help by Kathryn Stockett. It made me laugh, cry and want to know these people better.

The story takes place in 1960's Mississippi when it's perfectly okay for Black domestic help to raise your children and care for your elderly but they can't use your bathroom or drink from your water glasses. What made this story so special is Stockett didn't demonize anyone. She just showed us a slice of history and created the most delightful characters that I've met in a long time.

I also enjoyed reading Loving Frank by Nancy Horan. It's an historical novel about a woman who loved and gave up everything to follow Frank Lloyd Wright. Her research made that time period (early 1900's) come alive for me.

The other book that stood out is P.D. Jame's The Private Patient. It isn't my favorite of her mysteries but the language is gorgeous and I read with the dictionary beside me.

I do want to add a male to the list so I'll include Michael Connelly's The Brass Verdict. I thought it was his best mystery and especially interesting since Harry Bosch is a character but not the narrator.

I'd love to hear about the books that made your summer special.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Labor Day

Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.

If there's one holiday we should have off...with's Labor Day. Don't you agree? I'm old enough to remember the days when most businesses were closed on the weekends. And they ran from 8:00-5:00 closing for an hour lunch. I remember business closing on major holidays...all day.

Weekends were for families. A time when the worker could unwind, chill, rest up for the week. I remember eagerly looking forward to every holiday because I knew I'd be out of school or off from work. Nowadays you get to leave early on a holiday. Not too many businesses close down completely. And I think that's sad. Less time at home, less family life. Maybe if we went back to the good ole days there'd be less crime in the world today. More good people.

I asked to have today off, as did a few others in my area. The office isn't closed. And I feel for my one co-worker who will hold down the fort. I think we should take a page from the banks and post offices. When they're closed, everyone should be closed.

There are some holidays that should be observed the way they were meant to be.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

A Bit of a Mystery

On Tuesday I booked to go on a mystery tour. It was being run by my church. I love a good mystery.

The coach set off and we stopped at this lovely quaint village called Scorton. Here there is an old barn that has been turned into a gift shop and a cafe. We were served hot buttered tea cakes and either tea or coffee. The coffee was freshly made and delicious. The tea cakes had that slight flavour of cinnamon that I love. It was a somewhat stormy day so the food and drink was welcome.

Off we went again, I guessed we were heading for the beautiful and wild Trough of Bowland by the route being taken. This is a land of fells and rivers and woods. It is a favourite haunt of the Queen, believe it or not, and much of it is owned by the Duke of Westminster. Situated in North East Lancashire it falls away eventually into Yorkshire, but we don't have to talk about that! Lancashire and Yorkshire folk have a friendly rivalry.

It was a hairy journey, tiny roads, hump backed bridges, frightening bends. The weather did not help, pouring with rain, a wind blowing in from the west (straight from the USA I suspect!). However the heather was in full bloom, and spread in vivid purple clumps over the dark green hills.

Eventually after negotiating milk tankers and other motorists, we arrived at this beautiful house. Built in l721, it was a perfect example of Georgian architecture. There were lovely gardens - we managed to enjoy the brief spaces between rain when even the sun popped out - and the house allowed us to mix and mingle as resting in a pub or restaurant would not have allowed.

Our wonderful organisers had booked the house for the day and we were free to wander at will. They provided us with a hot and cold buffet and sold any drinks at cost price. Remember, this is a church trip...but we know how to enjoy ourselves. The house buzzed with chatter and friendliness. It was wonderful.

It was said the house had a "presence" i.e. ghost, but I did not see one...however I think I did see Mr Darcy in the garden...yes I am sure it was he!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


Had a bit of surgery last week and am now working hard at healing. Lots of things help of course: flowers, books, candy and did I mention a new book contract from Whiskey Creek Press.