You’ve got my Attention

Hello, Human! What have you got in your hand? A book? Is it good?

I like stories — either about humans or bears. My favorite? Outdoor stories, of course. And I like stories set here– in the city where I can imagine this group of humans goes after a busy day at the zoo.

Let me guess what you do for a living, sir. You have good posture, short hair, wear a light jacket on a sunny day. Certainly you’re not a co-worker of that fellow with the tank top and shorts. No, by the way, you’re old enough to be his father. I’m thinking you prefer using brains instead of brawn. If I guess right — will you introduce me to your lady friend? You’re observant, scan the people around you. Yet, you don’t look afraid – or worried like the teachers herding the field trip groups past my living quarters. Police officer? How did I do?

You did just fine, Mr. Grizzly. My name’s Rich, this is my friend, Janet. Afraid you’ll have to read about us in COMFORT ZONE to get the whole story. On a budget — no problem. Kindle edition currently on sale:


Holiday Treat

Have you remembered? What other name does February 14 go by?

Tuesday is both correct and not what I’m looking for.

Do you have a Valentine? A spouse or sweetheart? A special person in your life?

Treat them special on this Valentine’s Day. Let them eat cake!

Black Forest Cake makes a special treat – rich chocolate with a hint of cherry. Check at your local bakery.

Or…if you fancy yourself a chef or baker…find a recipe and bake up a surprise.

The heroine in COMFORT ZONE baked the treat for her mother’s birthday — with a test cake for the hero. (He pronounced it delicious.) To learn how more than a cake was involved in the journey to “happily ever after” for this couple check out the book here: The Kindle edition is currently on sale for .99 — that’s less than a dollar!


Repairing the Extremes

Comfort on Call — the fictional heating and cooling firm where Janet Zwingel works, is used to working the hardest during extreme weather.

January deep freeze temperatures keep Janet and the other technicians busy with furnace repairs.

Heat waves, often in August, present challenges with overworked A/C units.

You need to be a special sort of person to repair machinery in these types of extremes. Janet is unique, talented, and dedicated — exactly the traits every employer wants. These same qualities and habits get her noticed in private life — recorded in the clean & wholesome romance COMFORT ZONE. Sample Ellen Parker’s writing now — this sale for the Kindle edition won’t last.


Cozy with Chemistry

Chemistry — we couldn’t live without it.

Metals that don’t fit a child’s preconceived notion. Bubbling and fizzing. Also cakes and cookies rising.

Beakers and flasks and distilling apparatus. Hot plates and coated magnets stirring liquids.

Wear your safety glasses. Douse the match with water. Assume the other person in the lab is working on explosives.

Ah — memories of chemistry classes and labs and analyzers.

On this National Periodic Table Day — I’m looking for recommendations of Marie Curie biographies to read with snuggled under the Elements. Do you have one?

STARE DOWN hero Dave Holmes, pondered and learned from this graphic during undergrad and medical school. Find out more about Dave as a person, not a surgeon, here: This sweet romance is set in St. Louis.


Winter Doldrums

Have the short days and long nights of winter gotten you down?

Has it been a long time since the first, exciting, magical snowfall? And now you just wish the cold, snow, and ice would stop?

Cheer Up! I’ve been told that yesterday – Groundhog Day — marks the mid-point between the first day of winter and the first day of spring. We’re on the down slope! Sunset comes later — granted, only by a minute or two.

In the interim — I’ve good news to share. The Kindle edition of the sweet romance Comfort Zone, is on sale for .99 — less than a dollar! This is a limited time sale.

So download today. Grab a cup of your favorite beverage, and settle in a comfy chair. Meet Janet and Rich — mature people faced with a decision — or two or three.

Learn more here:


January Promise

The new year, started fresh and clean — a blank tablet to record the next twelve months.

How are you doing at the end of Month #1? Did you write down any goals or resolutions? Making progress?

In 2022 I photographed a local butterfly garden on the first (sometimes later) day of the month. From the looks of it — 2022 should have been a vigorous year.

Shall we try those goals and resolutions again in February? A new beginning is not limited to the first of the year. How about the first of a month? Or a week? Or a day?

I’ve found goals go better in small bites. My big goal may be to write the next book — but I see better progress when I list it as steps — create characters, sketch out a plot, write first ugly draft (you get the idea).

Now to try it with my body weight. Stop gaining before I set a goal of losing.

May I suggest you set a reading goal? Pick your favorite genre and dive in. Don’t have a favorite genre? I’ll suggest a sweet romance to start. If you favor small towns and second chances — check out STARR TREE FARM. You’ll even find a touch of suspense. More information here:


Play? Or Work?

When my sons were small (and not so small) they spent hours and hours building with their interlocking plastic blocks. They explained all sorts of specifications of the robot or spaceship of the day to me.

When they “flew the nest” and set out on their own after graduation, I encouraged them to take “things” with them. However, I laid claim to the plastic blocks. “I may want to use them myself.” I’m not sure what I had in mind when I said that — but I doubt it was this:

Through the years, I discovered I’m a visual, rather than auditory learner. One of the things I’ve done when beginning to write a book, is to draw a map of the fictional town or a floorplan of a key building in the story. Often, the homes and apartments are based on one either I have lived in or visited often.

In early 2021, when planning a historical romance — I decided to try a different approach before I sketched on graph paper. Many adjustments were made. But by the time I got to paper and pencil, the eraser got occasional, not constant, use.

When setting up the living areas in MORNING TRYST, I went to the internet to find an up-to-date floor plan for the motorhome. Check out this sweet romance with an introduction to several Missouri State Parks here:


The Year of the Tree

Okay, this will never make it as a year or designation for sun, moon, Jupiter, or Mars calendar.

Do you remember 2021? The vaccine for Covid-19 was new and finally getting distributed. Therefore, just like the previous months in 2020 — most of us stayed home a lot. A trip to the grocery store would be the highlight for this retirement age author that would last more than a week. The phone and computer became our lifelines for at least limited interaction with other humans.

So at least in my little portion of the world — 2021 started with a large helping of hope — and a little ice.

This tree, an ash for those you want to know, is a few dozen steps from my front door. On New Years 2021, it started the morning with a thin coating of ice. Every branch, limb, and twig was painted by Mother Nature’s brush. Never fear — the sun came out and melted the ice-tinged world back to normal January.

Another year — in the sweet romance Starr Tree Farm — begins on a different note. Consider what might happen if you encounter a person from your childhood at a New Year’s Eve party. He’s all grown up — and so are you. Add an unsolved crime and unpredictable Wisconsin weather and you have a story fit for a warm drink in a cozy place. Check it out here:


Two Sides

You’ve heard the saying “two sides to every story.”

I think the same is true for buildings — especially public buildings which have been around for a while.

Consider this — a nice, traditional entrance to the Missouri History Museum.

However, if you walk – or drive – around to the other side — you see this:

It’s possible to get confused. I know I did one day when I walked in, picked up a brochure, and was pointed the wrong direction.

Direction aside — the displays on the inside give a nice overview of Missouri and St. Louis area history. It’s just the sort of place I could see the hero and heroine from Comfort Zone spending a winter, weekend afternoon.

So you suppose that’s one of the places they went after the book — a sweet romance — reaches “The End”?

Are you curious how a mature couple getting to know each other spends their time? Check out Comfort Zone here:


Dressed by the Weather

Look! The trees are wearing skirts!

Well, this particular tree on this particular morning.

The night of snow came with the exact about of wind to sweep the white into skirts.

People in the American Midwest, pay attention to the weather winter. The farther north you move, the closer they pay attention.

How much to they predict? Roads were slick on the way into town. Cold enough all the cats were in a heap when I opened the barn door. They’re going to have virtual school days — better than extending into June. Are you going ice fishing tomorrow?

Any or all of the above can be overheard in small town taverns and gathering places in January.

January is also the month when the action in STARR TREE FARM takes place. Starting with a new year, our heroine, Laura, does the chores at a relative’s Christmas tree farm. It should be peaceful and give her time to sort through some life events and changes. Well — it is — at first. Check it our here: