Monday, November 30, 2009

Our Thanksgiving

I had four wonderful days off and was able to spend three of them with my daughter and her family. We had a great Thanksgiving holiday! Michelle and I cooked and it was a very nice bonding time for us. Of course, little Alivia had to help so we let her make the fruit salad. My niece was in charge of the pies and she surprised us with home made pumpkin cookies. If you knew my niece, you'd realize that's quite a feat for her. Her cooking, much less baking talents are very limited. I made home made fudge.

The picture of us was taken just as we sat down and prepared to pig out. There's my daughter, her hubby, Alivia, my niece and her boyfriend. I'm the pretty one behind the camera:) We tried to get my dad to fly in for the weekend but he decided to stay in North Carolina with my sister and her hubby.

Like every year someone commented on how long it takes to prepare the meal and then after a half hour of eating and cleaning up it's over. Course, there's the leftovers! Those I left behind because I knew I'd be making a small turkey meal for the hubby and me once he returned home from visiting his family in Boca.

This is the time of year to reflect. And it's Thanksgiving that I miss the family members who've passed, more than ever. When mom was alive the family gathered there for a feast of her famous cornbread stuffing, home made bread, and fried apricot pies. She cooked all our special dishes and there was enough for an army. But it was just being together as a family that I miss the most. Sitting around the tree, because yes it was already up, and talking. The good ole days.

The years go by and change happens but we continue making new memories and new traditions.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Abundant Thankfulness

All Thanksgiving days are special. It has always been a big holiday in our house, a time to celebrate family and friends and to remember the blessings that shower us. All of our Thanksgivings have been memorable, for one reason or another. And, they have all been, thankfully, joyful.

This Thanksgiving season, when I count my blessings I count the three “larks” who share this page with me. They are amazing women, each one talented, kind and fabulous. They have shown time and again the depth of their characters, and it is an honor to be here with them.

This has been a tough year for me, and I’ve been less present here than I would have chosen to be. There have been weeks when I have missed posting. I’ve been so tied up with just getting through what’s been put before me that I’ve also gone weeks without commenting on the funny, insightful, well-thought-out posts Debbie, Margaret and Kathy share. In short, I’ve had to focus on one set of issues, and have had to—regretfully—allow others to slide.

But do you know what? Despite my preoccupation in another direction, none of these incredible women has given me one second of feeling bad for my inattention. Quite the opposite! They have accepted as much as I could offer at any time. They have sent supportive notes and offered prayers. They have held me up at times I thought I might stumble, just by the magic of their patience, caring and kind words. They have been friends, and I will be forever grateful to each of them.

So you can see why I am thankful for Kathy, Margaret and Debbie, can’t you? I am blessed, and know it.

I hope you are enjoying a wonderful holiday weekend. I hope, too, that you are fortunate enough to know the joy that comes from having special people in your life. Happy Thanksgiving Weekend!

Thursday, November 26, 2009


Bless you all, have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

There are only a few things I envy folks for but your having Thanksgiving Day is one of them. It is a wonderful celebration where you give thanks and turn your thoughts to those pioneers who helped make your wonderful country what it is. And they were escaping mine, so that is somewhat ironic don't you think?

What I like about Thanksgiving, as well as a reason to get together and share good food and company, but it is the way it has not been commercialised. It's not like Christmas with the BUY BUY BUY urges weeks and weeks before the day arrives. All the broohaha which takes you away from the significance of Christmas. Thanksgiving is thanksgiving and nothing more. That is what is so wonderful.

I would like to be sitting down with you, eating turkey and squash and later pumpkin pie, I'd like to have a glass of Californian Cabernet and toast you all. I can't do that, but with the wonder that is the internet I can say it now - "Here's to you all, enjoy this most wonderful of days."

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

There is a calmness to a life lived in Gratitude, a quiet joy.

--- Ralph H. Blum

Monday, November 23, 2009

My Favorite Holiday

If you celebrate Thanksgiving I hope you have a wonderful time. I'm so looking forward to spending the day at my daughter's with the rest of the family. We're all bringing a dish this year and I'm making the fruit salad and home made stuffing to stuff the turkey with. We'll have a great time just sitting around and chatting. Taking pictures. Having a couple extra days off from work is always nice, too. Happy Thanksgiving my friends!

After Apple-Picking
By Robert Frost

My long two-pointed ladder's sticking through a tree
Toward heaven still,
And there's a barrel that I didn't fill
Beside it, and there may be two or three
Apples I didn't pick upon some bough.
But I am done with apple-picking now.
Essence of winter sleep is on the night,
The scent of apples: I am drowsing off.
I cannot rub the strangeness from my sight
I got from looking through a pane of glass
I skimmed this morning from the drinking trough
And held against the world of hoary grass.
It melted, and I let it fall and break.
But I was well
Upon my way to sleep before it fell,
And I could tell
What form my dreaming was about to take.
Magnified apples appear and disappear,
Stem end and blossom end,
And every fleck of russet showing dear.
My instep arch not only keeps the ache,
It keeps the pressure of a ladder-round.
I feel the ladder sway as the boughs bend.
And I keep hearing from the cellar bin
The rumbling sound
Of load on load of apples coming in.
For I have had too much
Of apple-picking: I am overtired
Of the great harvest I myself desired.
There were ten thousand thousand fruit to touch,
Cherish in hand, lift down, and not let fall.
For all
That struck the earth,
No matter if not bruised or spiked with stubble,
Went surely to the cider-apple heap
As of no worth.
One can see what will trouble
This sleep of mine, whatever sleep it is.
Were he not gone,
The woodchuck could say whether it's like his
Long sleep, as I describe its coming on,
Or just some human sleep.


Friday, November 20, 2009


It’s almost impossible to believe it’s nearly December, but there’s no disputing the calendar, is there? November is close to shot, and the new month is nearly upon us.

I don’t know about you, but I’m not sure I’m ready for December!

One thing I am ready for is the release of Timeless from Whiskey Creek Press. It will be out in a few weeks, and I have to admit I’m pretty excited about it. I had fun writing this book, with its ancient curse, unlikely lovers and “who-knows-how-it-will-end?” final pages. I felt like I was on the lovers’ journey, and enjoyed every moment of the trip—even the dicey ones!

Thought I would share the cover and blurb this afternoon. I hope you enjoy them. And I hope you have a fabulous weekend! Happy Friday!

To break an ancient curse, Maya and Joaquin must find love one last time. But can this hunky cowboy give his heart to a city-slicker who rolls into his small town with tires squealing and a ghost on her tail? Only time will tell…

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Epic Finalist

I was so excited to hear that my historical, romantic suspense "The Substitute Bride" has finalled in the 2010 Eppies.

The Substitute Bride is a novel that has been good to me, it was the No.1 best seller at Whiskey Creek Press, and sold very well. It is good to be able to revisit this book and of course, it has a stunning cover by the artist Jinger Heaston.


Elizabeth Mary imagines, when she takes her sister's place as proxy bride to the Lord Hinchcliffe, that it will be easy. However Lord Hinchcliffe is not the man she pictured him to be. Fierce and stern and younger than she thought, he is not a man to be manipulated by a girl like her. Worse still everyone informs Bess that the lord abhors liars above all other miscreants, and she is a liar and a cheat.

Set in the l480's this is a world of lords and masters of chilly castles, and harsh landscapes, yet Bess cannot quite lose her spirit even as danger haunts her dreams.

Happy reading!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Come Say Hi

I'm over at Sharon Donovan's blog today ( Hope you come over to to say hi and meet her yummy butler Oliver and oh there will be prizes.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Oh! Oh!

I totally forgot to post...sorry. I've actually been writing lately and have just submitted two stories to publishers. Now I need to buckle down and finish some of the other stuff I've started.

Can you believe Thanksgiving is next week? I'm so looking forward to going to my daughter's for a few days. Haven't seen them for a long time it seems. Too long! I'm putting hubby on a train for Boca Raton to spend some time with his son and family. He says he's just going for the fishing...yeah right! Who is he trying to kid?

I hope y'all are having a great week! I'll do better next week:)

Thursday, November 12, 2009


I love Florida, what's not to love. That laid back lifestyle, the sun and the glorious vegetation, and my family is there. Today I am posting a photograph of the view from the back of my son's home, lovely, so typically Floridian. I was inspired to write A Poisoned Legacy because of my frequent trips. While there I discovered a wonderful review of the novel from, and a snippet will appear at the end of this blog, so do visit for the whole picture!


Monday, November 9, 2009

With Veterans Day approaching I just had to post this touching story that a friend sent me.

John Gebhardt's wife, Mindy, said that this little girl's entire family was executed.. The insurgents intended to execute the little girl also, and shot her in the head...but they failed to kill her. She was cared for in John's hospital and is healing up, but continues to cry and moan. The nurses said John is the only one who seems to calm her down, so John has spent the last four nights holding her while they both slept in that chair. The girl is coming along with her healing.

He is a real Star of the war, and represents what America is trying to do.

This, my friends, is worth sharing. Go for it!! You'll never see things like this in the news. Please keep this going. Nothing will happen if you don't, but the American public needs to see pictures like this and needs to realize that what we're doing over there is making a difference. Even if it is just one little girl at a time.

James Gates U. S. Navy

Friday, November 6, 2009

Young Artists

I’m sitting here in the center court of a medical center waiting for my husband to emerge from the Eye Center. He’s in for his yearly exam and while it bothers me to know he’ll come out from the appointment with a headache, dilated pupils and a prescription for new reading glasses, I’ve got to admit that I’m happy I’m sitting out here and he’s in there. I tolerate a lot of different medical procedure--don’t we all?--but I absolutely cannot stand anyone messing around with my eyes. The whole idea gives me the heebie jeebies!

So, here I sit, waiting and hoping it’s going well for him. This could be one of those wasted hours, the ones we all endure because there’s no way around them. But thanks to some very talented local students, my wait is not at all unpleasant. I’m surrounded by walls of art, courtesy of the City School District Art Show.

I’ve strolled the displays, enjoyed piece after piece and marveled over the insightful use of various media. It’s given me a chance to view the world through eyes much younger than mine, to get a perspective on family life and current events that I might not have had I not been the “designated waiter” on today’s appointment.

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away (not really; it just seems that way!) I had a painting in a district art show. It was a perspective piece, done with pastels. I remember feeling so pleased with myself that my piece had been chosen for the show. I imagine that’s how these kids feel now, too.

It’s been a long time since I’ve opened my art box, put watercolor to paper or pencil to sketch pad. I love drawing and painting, but life is often so hectic that I put aside strictly pleasurable activities for those must-dos on my list. But sitting here has lit a fire, one that begs to be fanned with an eraser and charcoal. Before this week is out I’m going to open that art box, rummage around for something to help me express myself with color.

Tell me, do you dabble in any artistic way? Is the pastime one you cultivate regularly, or is it like my artistic interest, dusty from neglect?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Going Home

I have missed two posts as I am here in Florida with my family. I did intend to post while I was here but just forgot. You will appreciate when you only get to be with your family once a year, you just want to be with them and everything else goes out of the window.

Well today I set sail for that Atlantic crossing. Forgive me, that is the romantic novelist speaking and wishing for more leisurely days of travel. really I will be hopping on the big bird, first to Atlanta and thence to the UK. It will be cold, I shall miss my family but also the sensual heat and slowness of pace that is life in Florida - oops being romantic again. I have been - as my daughter in law says - dragged all around Tampa Bay watching the kids play their various sports, so what. I loved every single moment.

Next week watch out for some great pics. One thing I will be glad to see at home (apart from my husband of course) is my mouse. No not a real mouse, hate the things, but the one attached to my computer. Using my daughter in law's lap top with just that squidgy thing you have to jiggle with has driven me mad. I know people like them but give me a mouse anytime - just so long as it isn't running around, of course.

Bye for now.

Monday, November 2, 2009

A New Contract!

This is going to be a short post and yes, I'm bragging!

The Wild Rose Press has offered me a contract for a previously released book, All the Right Moves! In order to meet their print guidelines I added 20,000 words including a new last chapter.

I've heard nothing but great things about TWRP and I'm thrilled to be joining their family of authors.

All the Right Moves came out a few years ago, but it never went into print.