Monthly Archives: October 2015

City Landmarks

Fifty years ago this month a new feature on the St. Louis skyline keystoned together. Yes, the twin legs of the Gateway Arch were joined by the final piece of specially prepared stainless steel coated structure.

She looks good in sunshine. This past year she’s been standing tall and welcoming visitors while the grounds which form her “skirt” undergo renovation.

I like her from the “land” side in this photo as she frames the Old Courthouse.

Did you know that the Dred Scott case was heard in this building twice before it moved to the Supreme Court of the United States? It’s a museum now, maintained by the National Park Service. Be sure to drop in and enjoy the view from the rotunda floor.

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A portion of the Midwest city where STARE DOWN is set.

Amazon: amzn.to/1LXiTwP

Barnes & Noble: bit.ly/1OcFozC

More than Green

A plant which wears more colors than green.

Now your first thought may be boxwood. Yes, it wears green, red, and gold. But today I’m thinking shorter and capable of being a houseplant.

Think “little clover”. Think March. Think Irish.

Then blink and enjoy the view taken last week of this lovely red shamrock.

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Time for an autumn stroll in the garden. It’s a surprise around every corner to find some of the plants which spent the summer in the background showing their best in a burst of glory.

Open the Door

Open the door and let the book out!

Door #3. Please.

Stare Down, a sweet romantic suspense set in St. Louis is trotting down an open path into the wide world of readers. Step, step, step. May it be as welcome as the black Labrador which makes a brief appearance. (I could say cameo — he doesn’t speak.)

A city park. Small apartment building. Police headquarters. A teaching hospital. These all furnish backdrop for two young professionals running toward the horizon. It’s the little things they find on the journey, and the influence of past trauma, which puts the twists on the path.

So click on the link below. Load up your Kindle. (Nook users too.) Or order the print edition. Then settle in for a jog in a Midwest spring.

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For Amazon Kindle: amzn.to/1LXiTwP

For Nook readers: bit.ly/1OcFozC

Description back cover blurb may be viewed on Stare Down page of this website.

The Beginning

Every story needs a starting point.

top level, against resevoir wall

Stare Down opens with our hero going for a job after work. While the details are changed, this St. Louis park – see The Arch in the distant center? – supplied a location for a meeting with great potential.

Who is that woman? The one with the perfect legs. Runs like a gazelle. Wears a long, green and silver safety vest.

You are invited to read the answers to these and many other questions in this sweet, romantic suspense. Available for pre-order today. Available on demand from The Wild Rose Press and Amazon on Oct 23. Barnes & Noble promises to release it on Oct 24.

Click on the following for the Kindle edition: amzn.to/1LXiTwP

 

Harvest Time!

Orchards are in their busy season. Some of them in Northern areas are harvesting their final fruits, closing the roadside stands, and bringing down the signs.

A little further South and you’ll still find a wide variety of apples, pears, and a scattering of late peaches.

What happens in an orchard the rest of the year? What keeps the owners busy the nine or ten months before the fruit ripens? And what about the early years? You don’t plant an apple tree one year and harvest a bushel of fruit the next.

Patience. Off orchard jobs. Patience. Planting and spraying and mowing. Patience. Repairs and painting. Patience.

For a fictional peek at a new orchard in June try Hiding Places. He’s running out of time. She’s running to safety.

Anything can happen in a Big Red Barn.

Anything can happen in a Big Red Barn.

To purchase Kindle edition click here:  amzn.to/1LXiTwP

Autumn Abundance

More than enough. Amply sufficient. Plentiful.

Any or all of the above could be used to caption this photo.

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Piles of pumpkins. Stacks of squash. Cribs full of bright yellow corn are a few of the sights in a typical October. This is the final harvest from the garden. Onions are braided and hung by their long, flexible tops. The canning jars are full and stored on deep shelves in the basement. Potatoes are dug and stored in cloth sacks or wooden bins in a cool place. A trip to the apple orchard results in boxes or baskets of red and green treats to store beside the potatoes.

And a tramp in the woods. My dad would get permission and we’d take an afternoon (before hunting season), grab burlap bags, and got nutting. He knew several groves of butternut trees. At other times and in other places I’ve collected black walnuts or hickory nuts. They’re not easy to crack. But the treat inside adds flavor and texture to baked goods all year long.

Yes, these days I do my harvesting at the supermarket. But the sights of autumn bring joyful, and joy-filled, memories.

Below the Surface

Every business has a slack season. For example: Who buys a Christmas tree in January?

I’ve met procrastinators. But none that severe.

So when Laura Starr Tanner’s relatives ask her to take care of their Christmas tree farm for the first two weeks in January she accepts. She can do a few farm chores and have plenty of time to inspect locations for her new business.

She arrives with no expectation that her arrival will set off a chain of events related to professional criminals.

Interested? Check out the entire story in Starr Tree Farm.

 

 To purchase on Amazon =   amzn.to/1rjzBsk  

To purchase at Barnes & Noble =  bit.ly/1uxax18  

An Exception

Every rule has them. Spelling rules have more than most. The only exception to a rule having an exception which comes to mind is the Ten Commandments.

So here’s the rule. Pride is easily overdone. It sets uneasy with me. Makes me suspicious.

Consider a few of the companions of proud in the thesaurus.  Self-respecting — okay, I can accept that. Ambitious — a good trait within limits. Spirited — this one surprised me.

Impressive. Imposing.   Yes, these fit the image below. And I’m not going to even thing about a face-to-face dispute the photo’s subject.

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New resident at the St. Louis Zoo is ready for his close-up. Long range lens suggested.

Take one and pass them down

Keeping a promise. Reporting on breakfast in the library.

Take a pen, and a business card, pass the extras down the side of the table. A brief introduction. An attempt to get a laugh. Displaying my published book while talking about the wide genre of commercial fiction librarians would shelve it among.

The attendees are polite as they nibble pastries and fruit and sip a morning beverage. The smallest group is three ladies, clustered at one end of the table. Other tables are full, nine readers and one nervous author. Questions are welcomed. Some are asked. I even manage to answer a few.

The librarian makes an announcement from the auditorium stage. Our fifteen minutes is up. It’s time to move to the next table and start over by passing out business cards and pens. A volunteer keeps me supplied with coffee and water.

My voice and the event reach the end together. We chat. Encourage people to purchase our books. Or at least to look us up on the internet. People scatter out into a beautiful early fall day.

Speed dating as an author experience complete. Next year I think I’ll attend as a reader.