Wednesday, November 29, 2006


A funny thing happened to me yesterday in the grocery store. I won't bore you with the whole "slice of life" but just the final few moments of the incident.

My husband and I were in line behind an elderly shopper. When she was done paying she pushed her cart away, her purchases stowed neatly in one small pink canvas bag. We put most of our things on the counter and I headed toward the end of the area to begin bagging. I noticed that the woman had left her purse behind - a small black velvet bag. I picked it up and went after her, catching up to her just as she was leaving the store. I held up her bag and she realized why I'd stopped her.

So you're asking yourself What's so funny about that? Stuff like that happens all the time. You see an old lady drop something and you return it. There's nothing funny about that.

I agree. That's not the unusual thing. The unusual thing was the look on the old woman's face when she saw the bag.

In that instant she was transformed. I saw standing before me not an elderly woman with white hair and papery-thin skin whose hands shook as she reached for the bag but a young woman whose smile touched her sparkling aquarmarine blue eyes. I saw her not as she was, but as she had been. And she was beautiful. Truly breathtaking.

Sometimes people ask where I "find" my characters. First of all, my characters are never lost, therefore there's no need to find them. They're all just waiting for the chance to come out and join the fun. They're bits and pieces of people I've met or imagined, bits and pieces that get pushed and pulled into position to create whatever I need at any given time.

I can promise you that the woman I met briefly yesterday will come to life again in my writing. The question, still unanswered even in my mind, is will she be an elderly woman or will she be the younger version of herself? I guess we'll just have to wait and see...and wonder.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006


Sometimes I think writing is more about juggling and less about putting actual words to paper. Oh sure, you've still got to be willing and able to do that, the whole building-one-sentence-after-another thing, but there are other, less widely-publicized, aspects of the whole writing gig that are just as important. The other balls, if you will. And you know how it is with juggling. All the balls have to stay in the air at one time. At. One. Time.

What balls, you ask? Loads--just loads. Deadlines. Galleys. Synopsises. Rewrites. Promotion. Marketing. Websites. Edits. Erratas. More edits. Cover art. Had enough? Arms tangled up yet? Ah, I thought so. And remember, those are just some of the balls a writer juggles.

This morning I'm just going to mention one
ball. The teal ball. No, I promise you, that ball is not blue. Not. Is not. Hell, it's my blog and I say it's teal so it's teal, okay? Good.

Well, the ball I've been working on in the wee hours of this morning, the
teal ball, is edits.

Last week I submitted a story to one of my editors at The Wild Rose Press for consideration. The story is called Promises. It's a short story about love set after one of the bloody battles of the Civil War. Despite the sadness, it's a sweet story and I was tickled to receive a contract for it. And the edits. I could moan and groan about the whole editing ball this morning but I'm not going to. Edits on this piece were a walk in the park. The juggling was fun and easy and the manuscript is already zooming through cyberspace, on its way back to my editor. The whole process took less than an hour to complete and I'm sitting here smiling, glad to put aside one ball and ready to pick up another.

Hmm? What was that? Oh, what is the next ball going to be that I'll have to get in the air? Hmm? And blogging? A ball? Of course blogging's a ball! What color, you ask? Hmm...that'll have to be a topic for another time.

Until next time, have a great day. And do try to keep all your balls in the air, won't you?

Thursday, November 23, 2006


I am about to begin the task of "preparing" for the festivities...shower, dressing, tossing extra clothing into the truck in case we get caught in a snowstorm before we get back home...but first I had to take a moment and think about the day. Not the day ahead, which will be wonderful, filled with love and laughter and enough food to feed a small nation, but the whole idea of giving thanks.Oh, and not in any huge, philosophical way, either -- goodness, I don't have time for that. (I'm seriously cutting into my prep time just by sitting here for a few minutes.) No, I'm just giving it a fast, giving-thanks-in-general thought. More of a lick and a promise, as my Mom says.

So, giving thanks...We're all thankful for things in our lives. Some of us find that the things we're most thankful for overlap, which is good, I think. Others have a hard time finding one thing to be thankful for, which is sad. It makes me want to give them a couple of my "thankful things" since really, I've got so many. But who knows? Maybe those people will find a few of their own thankful bits and won't need any of mine, anyhow. We can hope, right?

But me? What am I thankful for? I'd have to say the usual suspects, the ones most easily predicted and, hopefully, the ones on most everyone's lists.

Faith. Family. Friends.

The three F's.

Because really, the other stuff is all nice, but is it necessary? And if we've found contentment with the three f's, won't the other "things" follow? I think they will. So here, as I rush to dress, I pray that I'll find socks that match so that we can spend the day with family near while we smile about family far and hope that our friends are doing the same, wherever they are.

So from our house to yours, Happy Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Snow flurries

I should be writing so fast and furiously that I shouldn't even notice the snow flurries falling outside the window beside my desk. HA! Obviously I'm not paying as much attention to the new novel as I should be, am I?

Hmm...what's it about, you ask? Tentatively titled Legal Tender, it's a romance, with mystery and a wise-cracking ghost thrown in for good measure. I'm nearly halfway done with it--I know the final push will get me past the mid-point hump and coasting to writing "The end" but still...I'm procrastinating. Really, sometimes it's much more fun to merely sit and watch the snow fall than it is to work--even if I like my work. :-)

Well, I've got a ghost waiting for me so I'd best move along...

Friday, November 17, 2006


One of the best things about a blog, I think, is the versatility. Really, the author of the blog can say almost anything. Comment on whatever's on her/his mind, pass on tidbits of information or just fill readers in on day-to-day living. The purpose of this blog is, essentially, to convey information about what's going on with upcoming releases and all the other writing-related information that readers feel the need to know. And that my publishers think I should convey. But, as anyone who knows me knows, I'd probably keep to myself. :-)

But today I don't feel like talking about books or writing, releases, contracts, edits, galleys, cover art or any of the other wonderfully exciting bits of being a writer that fill my heart and mind. No, today I want to talk about cookies.

Specifically, Pignoli Cookies. I've been making these cookies since I was first married and I've got to say, they're still one of my favorites. So, from my kitchen to yours, the recipe for Pignoli Cookies. Enjoy!

1 stick unsalted butter
1/2 cup plus 3tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup pine nuts

Beat the butter, sugar, vanilla and salt in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Add the egg. Add the flour and mix just until blended.

Transfer the dough to a sheet of plastic wrap. Shape the dough into an 8-inch-long log. Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Cut the dough log crosswise into 1/4-inch thick slices. Transfer the cookies to the baking sheets. Press the pine nuts into the tops of the cookies. Bake about 15 minutes, until lightly golden.

Friday, November 10, 2006


Proclamations and For the Love of Grace have both been released by Wild Rose Press today! It's so exciting! :-)

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Here bloggy, bloggy...

Does anyone ever wonder where a blog log goes when you press "publish" and send it off into cyberspace? I made an entry yesterday and although I keep coming back to see if it's shown up on this blog ... so far it's still AWOL. So where has it gone? Any ideas? Blog hell? Blog purgatory, maybe? In any event, I'm still waiting...

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


Proclamations is a short story that will be available from The Wild Rose Press on Friday, November 10th. It is a Civil War romance which was lots of fun to research and write.
A blurb? Sure, I've got a blurb. I suppose I was hoping that someone would ask me what the story's about. The War Between the States has been raging for two long years. In Virginia in 1863 Jolene Crane misses her fiancĂ©e, Nate, more than words can say. Every moment that she’s not busy taking care of household chores or working at the hospital, she’s consumed by her longing for the man who holds her heart.
When Abraham Lincoln signs a proclamation declaring the fourth Thursday in November a day to be celebrated joyfully and thankfully, Jolene is determined not to celebrate the day. After all, what has she got to be thankful for? And the only proclamations that come to mind have all to do with the losses they’ve suffered and little to do with celebrating.
But when a new wave of soldiers arrives at the hospital on the day before the holiday, Jolene just may find that she does, in fact, have something to celebrate.
Proclamations is available starting on the 10th at

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

First Blog

The first post is, I think, always the hardest. You sit and stare at the screen, wondering if you've got anything to say that's worth saying. Anything that might just interest someone, somewhere . . . even the tiniest little bit. Hmm . . . your mind works double-time, your heart races and your blood pressure builds as surely as the pressure inside your car's radiator when you're sitting in traffic on a hot summer day, willing the car ahead of you to move--just move already!--then suddenly . . . nothing. No movement. No big, billowing clouds of steam. No huge, earth-shattering thoughts. You're just sitting there. Still. Sitting. There. The best thing to do, I think, is to merely sit. That's it. Just sit the first one out. After all, the second time around is always easier than the first, don't you think? So the only thing I'm going to do is say, "Hello. Welcome to my blog." I'll see you again. Real soon, I hope. :-)