Holiday Ready

Today the United States of America celebrates a birthday. Hundreds of thousands of people will wear red, white, and blue clothing, grab a small flag, and watch (or participate in) a parade.

Will there be marching bands? Veterans in straight rows? Candy thrown from a bright float? Clowns? Horses?

Don’t eat too much cotton candy–you want to save room for the hot dogs!

Wear a hat — and sunscreen!

The Mississippi River glides past the arch grounds — the site of St. Louis’ largest July 4th party. Stay until dark. Those barges most likely hold the fireworks!

Comfort Zone, a sweet romance set in St. Louis, features a heroine with her fingers crossed for moderate weather — she wants to enjoy the day with family instead of working to replace A/C units during a holiday.

Check out the book here:


Honor…and Remember

Ready. Aim. Fire.

The retort of the rifles echos back from the hills.

During my childhood, Memorial Day, Decoration Day to some of the elderly, centered around the decoration of veterans’ graves. Our small community cemeteries included veterans of the Civil War, World War I, and World War II. All of the locals who served in Korea returned to continue their lives. And until I was near the end of college, Vietnam did not claim any lives from our community.

Most of the men who organized and marched in those formations are gone now. A smaller number of American Legion post members decorate more graves.

Father and daughter on Memorial Day 1955.

Take a few minutes this weekend to ignore the picnics, swimming, and visiting to remember the men and women who served and defended this nation. Some gave their lives on the battlefield — all were prepared to do so.


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!


Ready to Celebrate!

Are you ready for the holiday? Do you have a new calendar at hand? House cleaned to host a party? Or items either assembled or planned to take to your host/hostess? What about clothing? New dress? Sweater? Boots?

These “Painted Ladies” are dressed in their finest colors and ready to host your party.

Let your imagination wander. Which porch are you stepping on? What sort of smells and sounds greet you when your host opens the door? Are you the first to arrive? Or the last? Did you need an umbrella to keep off snow or rain?

A New Years Eve party in a church basement opens STARR TREE FARM. A person never knows what the new year — or even the next week — will bring to their lives. Check out the sweet romance here:


Let Every Voice…

Winter holidays and music go together like potatoes and gravy or snow and boots.

Do you favor the happy, upbeat rhythm of popular music? Or the ballads from decades ago? Perhaps you prefer familiar, sacred melodies.

Each has a certain charm. Like many people, I can enjoy a variety of holiday tunes with soaring melodies, religious lyrics, and comedy tunes of reindeer.

This puzzles features many voices with many songs. I like to think the tunes are happy. However, I know some spread a word of warning to their loved ones. As we sing our winter holiday songs, let’s look forward to the spring chorus of our feathered friends.

Small town residents need to be flexible. Beth Cosgrove, known in the community as the breeder of German shepherds and accountant, is also called upon to sing a solo for a church service. Nervous – yes. (She prefers to sing in a group.) Astonished when an audience comes to rehearsal — double yes. Check out the sweet romance SEED OF DESIRE for the entire story. Kindle:


Time for Nostalgia?


A month often filled with celebration and parties.

The final month of the calendar year. (In the West.)

An ideal time to assess the past and plan the future.

As I select and assemble jigsaw puzzles, I suspect the artists for these projects dive deep into nostalgia. How else to explain the prevalence of horses and horse-drawn vehicles. Often the emphasis is on rural or small-town life. In a cleaned-up idealized form.

Oh, I appreciate they have an assignment to follow. They need to put a lot of different elements into a small space. Most manage to keep it colorful and hide a few little items a person doesn’t notice when they pull the box off the shelf. Have you assembled a puzzle this year?

In COMFORT ZONE, a sweet romance set in St. Louis, the hero designs puzzles — but not the picture kind.

For more information or to buy for your Kindle, click here:


Feast Day

Our alphabet is nearing an end on November 25. Did you feast yesterday? Did you eat at the home of friend or relative? (A friendly relative is best.)

Were these on the menu?

I’m trying a new recipe with YAMS this year. I hope it turns out delicious and pretty as the picture in the cookbook. (I won’t hold my breath for the second part of that statement.) (Writing this entry before the holiday — so still hopeful.)

In most places, these are available all year long. My favorite way to cook is to bake and eat hot with liberal amounts of butter. I often pair with a piece of chicken or a pork chop. Yum — a feast for anytime of year.

The clean & wholesome romance, HIDING PLACES, features a culinary student as the heroine. How many ways do you suppose she can prepare yams? For a romance with a dash of danger check it out here:


A Thankful Attitude

Thank you. Please. Thanks for the…

Our parents taught us (hopefully), and we taught our children (hopefully) to thank people for gifts and kindness received. It’s good manners. I’ve even heard Thank You and Please called Keys to Success.

In that spirit, I plan to be more public with my “THANKS” this November. I have selected items or people to give a little special recognition during these weeks ending in the United States holiday of Thanksgiving.

Today I give thanks to my automobile. The vehicle, and the license to drive, give me a great degree of independence. In the multiple years this particular car has served me we’ve gone many places: grocery store; restaurants; writing groups; Kansas City; Wisconsin; Delaware and Vermont and the states between home and there; Atlanta, and Kentucky. Yes, and many other places — including the Missouri State Parks I visited while researching for MORNING TRYST.

I’ve brought home plants for gardens and blinds to cover my windows. I drove an elderly woman to her medical appointments. I pulled to the shoulder of the highway when rain (and hail) obstructed my view. I took the scene route (some would claim I got lost and confused) on several occasions.

Yes, independent transportation, an automobile, is an item to be grateful for.

For more information on Morning Tryst, the clean & wholesome romance mentioned above — click here:


Last Call

The party ends at midnight. Set down your adult beverage. Remove your mask. Put the beads away.

Until then…well, it’s PARTY TIME! Also known as Mardis Gras.

New Orleans is in the spotlight in the United States. Other cities along the Gulf Coast hold their own celebrations. And St. Louis celebrates in an old, French portion of the city.

Parades. Color. Noise. Music. Drinks. King Cakes. A little something for everyone. I do advise, if planning to attend the St. Louis parade the Saturday before Ash Wednesday (the largest event), keep an eye on the weather. It varies from snow and freezing, to balmy and clear.

Mardis Gras accessory — didn’t bring any? Attend a parade and snatch a few from the friendly, generous people on the floats.


Need a Gift Idea?

Valentines Day is fast approaching — only three days from date of this post.

Have you picked out a gift for your sweetie?

Candy, especially chocolate, is generally appreciated — and quickly eaten.

Flowers are thoughtful and beautiful — until they wilt several days later.

Jewelry? Maybe — can you afford it?

My suggestion is books — long-lasting and able to be read more than once. How about giving your sweetie a romance? A sweet romance for a sweet lady? A small-town romance to introduce your man to the genre?

Kindle shoppers should try one of these links to find a Crystal Springs Romance. Seed of Desire Hiding Places Starr Tree Farm