The Beginning

Authors do a lot of thinking before they put the first word on the page. A common prompt is “What if?” another is “Where?”

When starting the story that became my first published novel — I spent a lot of time figuring out “Where” and “Who” and “Why”

I wanted a peaceful place, tending on boring at first glance, but where turmoil is just below the surface.

So what’s a place that should be quiet and dull? How about a Christmas tree farm in January, when all the hub-bub of cutting and shipping and sales is done for the year and planting and sheering and summer work is months away. Should be an easy place for a city relative to mind a few animals and take a couple weeks to find mental balance.

However…this is a small town romance with a hint of suspense…so anything can happen.

A reunion and second chances are interrupted by gunshots.

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One Week

Spring! The season of hope for gardeners–and others.

Officially spring began close to a week ago. Depending on your location, the actual weather may vary. But even in the cooler parts of the United States, the date on the calendar turns lots of minds to thoughts of green trees – not pine and spruce – grass, kites, and life without jackets, hats, and boots each time you leave the house.

The colors and features in this puzzle almost shout “spring” to me. A mild spring day is ideal for a walk in the park. Or a carriage ride. Or an hour canoeing.

Spring is a season of new beginnings. Spring cleaning — not my favorite, but good to clean out old broken or unused items. New beginnings — a visit to the garden center is a must — even if the survival rate of any hanging basket I purchase is questionable. There’s a new puppy in our neighborhood. Painters and fencers are collecting clients.

Hope is in the air. Hope for little things — like a plant or a puppy. Hope for large things — like better health or stronger friendships.

What is one thing you hope for this spring?


The “Not so Old” West

Two great-aunts homesteaded. One of the families continued to raise horses for the military until into the 1930’s.

Even modern ranchers realize a pick-up truck doesn’t go everywhere.

Found this sculpture in Castle Rock, CO intriguing. I can imagine the cluster of stray cattle hiding out at the base of the hill. Hope he finds them and gets them back to the corral before nightfall.

Sometimes a person needs to take a break and get rid of that stone in the book — whether riding or walking.


Good Dog!

Most people enjoy a good dog story. You know the type: Dog saves child. Dog chases away thief. Dog alerts owner to danger.

Man’s (or woman’s) Best Friend also makes a fine supporting actor in books and movies. Countless Hollywood stars have worked along a four-footed sidekick. Romance novels feature dogs often — boy meets girl walking dog — for example. Or a mutual affection for animals brings a couple together at a park or animal shelter.

Seed of Desire – A Crystal Springs Romance is available at many fine on-line retailers.



Need a little pep in your step? Looking for your “get up and go?”

Sunshine works wonders for me.

Another energy builder is gazing at, smelling, or walking among green and growing things.

Think on it a moment. How do you feel when you walk in a park? Or sit at an outside table near a patch of grass or flowerbed? Does the day feel brighter? Does a little energy seep into your spirit?

A friend recently asked how I managed to live without pets. I almost replied — I have plants. No, they are far from the same. Plants don’t wag tails or greet me at the door or curl up and purr on my lap. They do, however, have their own charms.

Is that a new leaf? Another bud? Whoops — it’s drooping — time to water.

Ah, green, spring grass. Makes a person want to take a deep breath and spin like the opening scenes of “The Sound of Music” No? Well, okay. I don’t want neighbors reporting me as possible crazy woman either. How about a brisk walk or a few moments of sitting on the grass and absorbing nature’s energy before facing the concerns of the day?


Apartment Neighbors

Do you live in an apartment? Have you lived in one in the past?

Did you know your neighbors? By sight? By name? By car?

Often when I lived in an apartment I got to know only a small portion of my neighbors. Well enough to exchange greetings in the laundry room or at the mailbox. Perhaps exchange a few standard phrases in the parking lot.

What if you got acquainted on a deeper level? Yes, beyond borrowing an egg when you ran out in the middle of a recipe.

In this St. Louis set sweet, romantic suspense — he’s the new neighbor in the apartment directly below Maylee Morgan’s. These two young professionals discover they have more in common than a love of running in the nearby park.

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Rest and Relax

Call. Peaceful. Take a deep breath and close your eyes.

When the world tosses problems and insults and anger in your direction — take a moment to collect your emotions.

You may have heard this in many ways. Think before speaking. Count to ten before you respond. Write a note and tear it up.

Location and color may assist you in this. It’s more difficult to calm yourself if standing on a busy city sidewalk with traffic noise giving a sense of urgency to the world. Circumstances may or may not give you a choice. Can you step away? Sit on a bench for a moment? When you close your eyes — think of something peaceful — something blue. A spring sky. A deep, clear lake.

Ahh! I feel better already. The variegated blues and calm water in this 2018 vacation photo makes it one of my favorites.

Closer to home tip: Pale blue lends a calming touch to a bedroom.


HVAC on your Mind?

Are we out of the deep freeze yet? When will the sun come out? Brrr. I’m NOT opening that window again until it’s above freezing.

In the previous month, I think I’ve said all of the above — some of them multiple times. When winter arrived, she brought luggage and put up her feet to stay.

One way to get your mind off the weather is to settle in to a good book. As an author, I’m also a reader. Click on over to the Book Review tab to find a sampling of my reading. But today I want to recommend some of my writing.

Comfort Zone, a sweet romance, presents the story of Janet and Rich. The HVAC tech and the detective. The divorcee and widower. Mother of the bride and uncle of the groom. I encourage you to try their story — you might even learn a little about St. Louis.

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Also available at other popular on-line retailers.