Appreciate the Butter

Have you ever churned butter?

How long did it take?

In New Dreams, a sweet historical romance, one of the farm wives pays a portion of a delivery fee in butter. She may have used a barrel churn similar to this one.

Turn, turn turn. Churn, churn, churn. Sing a song to add a bit of pleasure to the task.

Read a tale of immigrants in 1851 Illinois in New Dreams. Available at major on-line retailers such as:



Horse Powered Delivery

Step back to 1851 with me.

The Perch, the daily packet has arrived at the Elm Ridge, Illinois levee. Among the passengers, are Hans Hoffmann and Louisa Mueller.

Hans brings few material goods. However, Louisa brings two trunks of household items and bakery tools.

I can picture Louisa climbing up to sit beside the freight wagon driver in the journey from the levee to her cousin’s farm three miles out of town.

You will find Louisa & Hans’s journey and adventures in New Dreams. Details & purchase links —



Also available in print!


A New Title is on the Horizon

Tomorrow, March 22, is the official arrival date of New Dreams.

This sweet historical romance is set among the Deutsch immigrants to Illinois in the 1850’s.

Are you one of the millions of Americans with a Deutsch ancestor? Did they come in the wave of immigration in the mid-19th century?

Is your answer to the above negative? No problem, the trials and reception offered were common to many of the immigrant groups over multiple decades. With some attitudes lingering to this day.

Within these pages, I hope you enjoy spending time with Louisa, a baker’s daughter, and Hans, a young man with a past.

Links to pre-order: (or order after midnight) (also available as a trade paperback)




A Humble Constant

Many homeowners keep one stashed in their shed or garage. Your ancestors likely either owned or used one at their work — especially if work was on a farm or construction site.

This particular humble wheelbarrow was US Army property at one time. I can imagine an assigned soldier or two loading it with bags of supplies and transporting the goods to the proper storage place in the fort.

When I was a girl, the wheelbarrow served many purposes. (Ours was a different model with a metal bucket.) It was vital when cleaning the barn. After a good hosing, it also was used to mix small batches of concrete. And of course, young children were also transported. Usually with laughs and giggles — until the pusher found a few too many gopher mounds.

The residents of fictional Elm Ridge, IL also used wheelbarrows. Within the pages of New Dreams, a sweet historical romance, keep an eye out for the wheelbarrow appearance.

Available for pre-order now:




Listen…Can you hear it?

Creak. Groan. Snap.

Close your eyes and listen. Do you hear the sails, lines, and fittings singing in the wind? Can you imagine this as the background to your two month (or more) journey across the Atlantic Ocean?

While this mast and sail is safe and quiet in a museum — the fictional Flying Gull was battered and tossed by storms — and then left to drift in the calm.

I can imagine the immigrants huddled in their quarters below, or enjoying some fresh air on deck, praying for a fair wind and relief from illness.

Eight days – one week and a day – to the official release of NEW DREAMS, a clean & wholesome romance highlighting immigrants in 1851. Pre-order from your favorite retailer now:



Can a woman on her own trust the man with interesting stories?


Pick a Park

Do you like to hike? Fish? Birdwatch? Or learn a little history?

Missouri has the state park for you.

Or perhaps you’re eager to watch a sunrise, or sunset, in a new place.

Elephant Rocks State Park offers one of many grand vistas. This particular walk is easy and the rocks are just a few short steps from the path. A good place to sit and dream of giants, and past, and future.

Serena Carter, photographer, takes the reader on a tour of several parks while she discovers more than Missouri’s beauty. Check it out in the sweet romance, MORNING TRYST.

Kindle edition on sale for limited time. Less than a dollar!


Visiting the Bakery

When I was a child in the 1950’s, our small town did not have a bakery. Therefore, one of the highlights of a shopping trip to a larger place — we often drove about 25 miles to a sizable town just across the Mississippi River — was a visit to the bakery.

My father liked the French bread in the long, narrow loaf with lots of crust. Depending on the day of the week, we often purchased a stick. (Yes, today I know them as baguettes — but we were neither French nor sophisticated.)

A loaf of Swedish limpa, rich, dark, and round, sometimes came home with us. Potato bread, looking very much like mother’s home-made bread was also an occasional purchase.

Decorated cakes and cookies in the glass case with Danish pastries always deserved a long look. “May we get Long Johns?”

Scents of frosting, fruit, and yeast filled the air and competed with the verbal exchanges of customers and clerks. And a little magic the first time I watched an entire loaf of bread go through the slicer — WOW! That’s how they get the slices even.

When writing about a baker living a century prior to my bakery visits — I skipped the decorated cakes and cookies and concentrated on wheat bread, rye bread, fruit Kuechen, and cinnamon rolls/buns. This apricot Kuechen, baked in a modern oven may have been a special treat on the table in fictional Elm Ridge, Illinois.

New Dreams, a sweet romance set in 1851, introduces the reader to Louisa and Hans. She’s a baker. And he’s…well, it’s complicated. Check out the book at your favorite on-line retailer. Official release date is March 22! Available for pre-order now.




1850’s Immigration Steps

First you board the sailing ship and survive sixty or more days in crowded, unpleasant conditions.

Then you board a steamboat and hope the captain does not engage in a reckless race with another boat — or you hit snags, or collide with another boat, or…

Then you set out on a smaller steamboat to arrive at any of the dozens of small towns on the Upper Mississippi River or its tributaries.

And then…the immigrant of the 1850’s arrives at their destination. Perhaps it is a town mentioned in letters back to their home in Europe. Or to join relatives already carving out a new life. Or maybe this particular town is appealing because your money has run out.

Sailing ship, steamboat, and author representing the multiple steps of mid-19th century immigration.

NEW DREAMS, a story of two of these immigrants, will be released March 22. Pre-order now:




Ready for Dessert?

Do you end your meals with a sweet? Or are you more inclined to take an additional serving of rice or potatoes?

If you like a hint of sweetness without overwhelming your taste buds — I have just the treat for you.

The baker heroine in the upcoming NEW DREAMS enjoys making Kuchen. The bakery customers look forward to apple, cherry, plum, and the pictured apricot.

While I’m sure her creations looked a little different — please allow for changes in oven and dishes 170 years later — I expect they tasted wonderful. A portion of Kuchen would be a great finish for a hearty meal of stew and rye bread.

Save the date — March 22 — Louisa and Hans are on a journey to fictional Elm Ridge, Illinois to make dreams come true.

America beckons with opportunity during the 1850’s.

Louisa Mueller, a baker’s daughter, arrives in Elm Ridge, Illinois with determination to learn English and work as a baker. Since the death of her sweetheart a year ago, she pushes aside thoughts of marriage. However, she’s intrigued by a fellow passenger who tells the most interesting stories.

Desperate for a fresh start, a young thief takes the name Hans Hoffmann when a look-alike passenger dies during the trans-Atlantic passage. Vowing to be an honest man in America, Hans discovers temptation wears many disguises. Will the pair be rewarded as they attempt their new dreams in a strange land?

Kindle edition:


The Boat’s Coming

Do you hear the steam whistle? Can you feel the energy?

Four weeks from tomorrow — March 22 — the steamboat The Perch will land at fictional Elm Ridge, Illinois.

Well, that’s the first day you can buy the story which includes the landing. However, the story begins months before and thousands of miles away. Oh — and in the past — 1851 to be precise.

So mark your calendars — or pre-order for your Kindle here:

Hans and Louisa will meet you on the page!