Thursday, July 20, 2017

My Son Gets Married Tomorrow!

Today has been such a special, but a little stressful sort of day. My son is getting married tomorrow, so we spent some time with his bride and her family, just being together for a meal and a tour of the Church History Museum. It was fun to laugh with them and get to know them better.

After that, however, it was crunch time and we've been setting up the reception and luncheon areas. I was getting stressed, and my knee was hurting, and as we were working, this little bit of rain started spattering down on us. I lifted my face and thought, "Really?" It just seemed like one more thing!

But right after that, there was a beautiful rainbow that reminded me of hope and love and that a new family is starting tomorrow. It will be a happy day! My son is marrying his sweetheart and I really could not be more excited for him. Life is good. We are blessed. Wish us luck tomorrow!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

What I'm Reading Wednesday

This week, in order to calm my stress, I've been reading H. B. Moore's The Killing Curse. It is SO GOOD! I love all the Omar Zagouri thrillers and this might very well be the best one.

But the absolute most amazing part is that I was put in the dedication!

Isn't that the sweetest! I am so honored. And believe me, you have to go out and get this book!

Here's the back copy:

Omar Zagouri should have known that the hunt for an ordinary art thief in London would end up being far from ordinary. Abducted and carted across several countries until he’s locked up in the middle of Jordan’s desert, Omar becomes the target of an underground crime organization that dates back to the Crusaders era. As Omar works to uncover the deadly secrets that connect centuries of deceit, he finds himself trying to prevent an honor killing from turning into another tragedy, while exposing the ancient crime organization for generations of lethal corruption.

You can buy your copy here for only $2.99! (You have to get it. It's seriously one of her best books.)

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

The Saga of My Busted Kneecaps

So, as most of you know, my son is getting married on Friday. I've been doing a lot of organizing, so I'm a little stressed. I'm a person who likes lists, and just when I've checked off quite a few things on the list, it never fails that I have to add another five . . . or ten.

And then I hurt my knee.

Like, not a little hurt that ice and elevation can fix, but more like I think I tore something that made it swell up like a grapefruit and hurt like nails were being jabbed into my knee if I tried to put any weight on it.

I got an appointment with a fabulous orthopedic surgeon, but the lady who took the images seemed like she enjoyed twisting my SORE knee into impossible positions. Terrible positions. And she would wave her hands in front of me like it was nothing and say things like, "Just do a thirty second squat with one foot facing south and the other facing north while you sing Row, Row, Row Your Boat, mmkay?" (All right, not that bad, but it FELT like it was. She was an imaging Nazi!) Then she would end saying "the doctor needs this view," and "it will just take a minute," but I think she just said that so I wouldn't start ugly crying and begging for mercy.

Once the torture of imaging was over, the doctor came in and told me I should probably get a three inch cortisone needle poked into my kneecap to "help." He said he would numb it first, and his nurse assured me he's the best in the business for getting it where it needs to be, so I trusted them and let him STICK A NEEDLE IN MY KNEECAP.

Never fear, however, I have survived, but my knee is sore tonight. And my son is getting married in three days.

Please send good thoughts. And join with me in thanks for good doctors and a sweet husband.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Book Review and Giveaway!

First, just a reminder that today is the LAST DAY to win a print copy of my new novel, The Capture. You can enter here!

Second, I'm so excited to tell you about a fantastic new mystery that just came out called Searching for Irene by Marlene Bateman.

Anna Coughlin is called to a mansion in the hills of Virginia to help an older gentleman put his affairs in order and help him figure out his taxes. While there she finds out that the previous financial advisor, Irene, disappeared. Everyone seems to believe she ran off with a man, but Anna comes to the conclusion that her disappearance is more sinister. Every person in the household---from the servants to the owner's son---is a suspect in Irene's disappearance, but the more Anna investigates, the more danger she finds herself in. Will she uncover Irene's secret before anyone at the house discovers hers?

I really enjoyed this mystery. Anna is a well-written character who has just enough backbone to undertake an investigation like this and make it believable. The reader is able to search for clues right along with Anna and really experience how confused she feels as she tries to solve the mystery. We know early on that Anna has a secret and it's a race to see who will figure it out first, the characters or the reader! I thought the author did an amazing job with so many twists and turns that made it hard to guess who the villain really was. It was such a page-turner as the pieces of the puzzle started to fall into place! A truly fun mystery that will keep you up far past bedtime.

Be sure to scroll all the way down and enter the giveaway!

Here's the back copy:

Anna Coughlin is a modern 1920s woman armed with a college education and a partiality for numbers. Now, within the walls of a fantastic castle-like mansion in the hills of Virginia, her skill will be tested as never before. Hired to serve as financial advisor to wealthy Lawrence Richardson, Anna finds the welcome she receives anything but warm. Lawrence’s handsome but antagonistic son Tyler wants nothing more than to send her packing. The household staff isn’t much better, but who can blame them, considering the way Lawrence’s last advisor, Irene, disappeared . . . Convinced that one of the enigmatic members of the household had something to do with Irene’s disappearance, Anna doesn’t dare trust anyone—not even temperamental Tyler Richardson, who, despite her best intentions, is beginning to steal her heart. A series of frightening incidents ensnare Anna in a maze of intrigue, putting her life in peril. But even as Anna begins uncovering the secrets hidden within the mansion’s stone walls, she harbors a secret of her own. Now, the only question that remains is whether she will disappear as mysteriously as Irene. . . .

Book Tour Schedule:

*July 18th:,,

*July 19th:,,

*July 20th:,

*July 21st:,,,,

Friday, July 14, 2017

TWO Freebies today!

I'm super excited to have two free books to tell you about today!

The first one is an historical romance, Lord John's Dilemma, by G.G. Vandagriff. Perfect for a cozy weekend afternoon!

You can download your free Kindle copy here

Here's the back copy:

When Lord John returns from the Battle of Waterloo nursing a serious wound and a case of melancholia, he is hopeful of beginning a happier phase in his life. Living with a wife and family,in his native Lincolnshire would soothe his soul. His sights are set on the lovely Miss Lindsay, his country neighbor’s daughter. But to his mystification, he keeps getting distracted by her family’s governess—a little dab of a thing who is not at all what she seems. What is her secret?
His determination to solve the mystery of Miss Haverley begins to seriously undermine his interest in Miss Lindsay, who is confident he is about to offer for her. In the face of this, how can he pursue his interest in the family governess? Not only must he solve this dilemma, but he must discover what the petite woman is hiding.

When Miss Haverley begs him to resist satisfying his curiosity because such a course could bring her harm, his dilemma doubles. His enchantment turns to worry. He is more determined than ever to rescue her from whatever demons she is trying to escape, for Miss Haverley alone seems to have the power to stir him to passion and hope for a new life.

The second one is a romantic suspense called Safe in His Arms by Melanie Snitker. She is a new author to me, but comes recommended, so I'm excited to try out her book!

You can download your free Kindle copy here

Here's the back copy:

When a beautiful woman walks into his diner asking for a job, Joel Ash can't bring himself to say no. The more he gets to know Anna, the more he's convinced she's hiding something. Intrigued and drawn to protect her, he prays he can ensure her safety and guard her heart. Even if it means risking his own in the process.

Anna Henderson is on the run. In a new town, she wants nothing more than to trust Joel and the family offering her a fresh beginning. She's secured vital evidence that could put her obsessive ex behind bars and out of her life. But without the ability to access it, she'll always be looking over her shoulder.

Worried her past will catch up with her, can Anna ever feel safe in Joel's arms?

Thursday, July 13, 2017

The Secret Writer

photo credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service - Midwest Region Monarch Butterfly in California via photopin (license)

I was sitting at the hospital today waiting for a family member to be done with an outpatient procedure, when a lady who is a fan of my books walked by. (We'd met several times.) We chatted for a minute and then she told the nurse I was an author. As soon as he heard that, he got a light in his eye. "I'm a writer, too!"

As we talked, I found out that he has a lot of stories in his head, and he's written the beginnings of some, but he has trouble writing the middle and end.  He was so interested in the process, and talked a lot about how he came up with characters and his world-building. I recommended some local conferences he could attend and some writers groups he could join to help him finish that first project.

I've been thinking a lot about that nurse today. I can't tell you how many people I've met that have a story in them, or secretly write, or start a story but never finish. I remember the first novel I ever wrote and how I stewed over every word and character. It felt like such an accomplishment when I finally wrote the words, "The End." I want everyone to have that feeling!

Because the thing of it is, we all have a story inside us. Whether it's a cathartic book about personal experiences,

a fiction story,

a poem

or a short story,

everyone has one.

Writing it down is like leaving a little piece of us behind,

to live beyond us,

and to share with the world.

It's nerve-wracking and scary, but at the same time it's exhilarating and thrilling.

The hard part is finishing it. The frightening part is putting it out there.

No matter what anyone thinks, though, finishing a book is an accomplishment that not many people can claim. I hope if you have a story just begging to come out of you, that you'll work on it. Page by page, paragraph by paragraph, until your story is written.



So, to the nurse at the hospital and everyone who is a secret writer, let your story out. Give it wings.



You won't be sorry and those whose lives you touch will be grateful.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

The Book I Can't Finish . . . Yet

So, I was about to start Michele Holmes' new book, Yesterday's Promise, but then I read the reviews. Now, I don't usually put a whole lot of stock in reviews, but I do usually skim them. I was glad I did in this case.

Several reviewers were upset that Yesterday's Promise has a cliffhanger ending---and it ends very abruptly. The next book will be out in a few months' time, which will give some resolution to the story threads, but for me, I hate cliffhanger endings where you have to wait for another book to find out what happens. It makes me feel like I've wasted my time.

When I read that, I knew I couldn't start the book and not feel cheated at the end, so I'm going to wait until the next book is out before I start it. I'm really excited to read the story, though, because Ms. Holmes' is a talented author that I've enjoyed in the past.

What about you? Do you hate cliffhanger endings? Would you wait for the next book to come out before you started?

Here's the back copy of Yesterday's Promise, so you can see why I was anxious to start! It sounds so good!

In the year 1761--Scottish Highlands:

Nineteen-year-old artist Katherine Mercer dreams of selling her paintings to help support her struggling family. Before she has the opportunity, Katherine learns she is to be sold—or practically so—given in marriage to a lord she has never met or even heard of. In return, a much-needed settlement will be made upon her mother.

Katherine’s situation goes from frightening to surreal when her husband-to-be Laird Collin MacDonald arrives with an entourage of men, each heavily armed and speaking with a thick brogue. As if leaving all she knows behind and traveling to another country with strangers isn’t bad enough, Katherine soon discovers a Scottish heritage she knew nothing of, a brother-in-law who wants her dead, and far more at stake with her paintings than she had ever imagined. Forced to turn to her reclusive husband for answers, comfort, and even her very survival, Katherine begins to unravel the mysteries of her past and what it is to love and be loved.

If cliffhanger endings don't bother you, you can get your copy here