Power of Three

Ready. Set. Go!

Begin on the count of three.

Listen to the trio.

Draw the triangle.

Dozens of good things come in threes. Snacks — three cookies — or scoops of ice cream. Artful arrangements of flowers, candles, or pictures often feature a trio. Three beats per measure when playing a waltz.

Authors — and readers — often favor trilogies.

Pick one, two, or three of the Crystal Springs Romances. Starr Tree Farm takes place in winter. Hiding Places showcases the month of June. Seed of Desire begins in late summer. Location and consistent appearances by secondary characters tie them together in a small-town, sweet romance bouquet.

Links to Kindle editions: Starr Tree Farm

Hiding Places

Seed of Desire


Crops in Rows

Corn. Soybeans. Wheat- yes, it’s planted in rows very close together. Cotton. Potatoes. Tomatoes and lettuce. Rows and rows of crops fill large portions of our land.

But today I’d like to talk about another crop in rows — one which takes more than a season to mature and prepare for market.

Northern Christmas Trees – field of Fraizer Fir

Hundreds, thousands, of future Christmas trees grow in rows stretching into the distance. Planted as seedlings, the trees pictured here have been growing a few seasons. And they have a few more to go. The men guiding the author and her friends around the fields spoke of a “ten year crop”. Yes, you read that correctly — ten years from planting to harvest.

A lot can happen in ten years. One year might be wet and soggy and cool. Another might be hot and dry. Flood? Tornado? Hail? Disease? Wildlife damage? You need to be a bit of a gambler to be a farmer. You also need to look long-term when growing a crop spanning multiple years.

Fields which mature in different years. A sorter-term supplemental crop. A side-job for one family member. Different strategies work for different situations.

For a sweet romance set on a Christmas tree farm during January, try STARR TREE FARM. Available at your favorite on-line store. Kindle:


Classic Location

A Midwest story which opens in a church basement.

Oh — the tales the walls could tell — but gossiping is wrong — so they will stay silent.

Let’s take a tour. Kitchen with commercial stove and two refrigerators. A nice island counter with storage for all the cooks and helpers to gather around. A deep sink – double or triple. Don’t forget the serving counter. A piano in the main area — you’ll hear it during Sunday school opening and at other events. Restrooms — a necessity and so welcome. And the ever-popular smooth, round support posts. (Great fun for children of all ages to swing around until dizzy.)

Upstairs you’ll find the cloakroom — no cloaks but plenty of jackets, coats, and boots in the winter — an entry and the worship area.

Let’s return to the basement — and the party. Yes, in the fictional village of Crystal Springs — the church hosts a New Year’s Eve party — with music, food, and games. Don’t forget the midnight toast!

The model for Springs Community Church

The first of the three Crystal Spring Romances is currently available for 0.99 — this is the perfect time to sample some sweet romance with a touch of suspense.

Available at all major on-line retailers.


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.

For Kindle readers:

For Nook readers:


Small Town, Big Celebration

The size of the village, town, or city is not an indication of the amount of Christmas spirit within the citizens.

When I was a child, our village of less than 400 residents celebrated large. Green garlands were strung across Main Street from one light pole to another. An evergreen tree was decorated with lights. Children were treated to a Christmas party (Saturday before the Big Day) at the local theater. Santa made an appearance and handed out brown paper bags of treats. The school held a holiday concert. Churches opened their doors for special programs.

Like many puzzle artists, this one takes us back a number of decades to show an idealized scene. (Do puzzle buyers like horses? Are they nostalgic?)

I see a Community Center, City Hall, and the largest house in town all decked out for party time. How would you caption this one?


Small Town, Big Heart

Height and weight proportional.  This was a phrase used when women gained access to occupations previously denied to them. The height and weight requirements for a physically fit male did not suit women.

The same standard can be applied to all sorts of things. For example: a new church with the maximum capacity of 100 would be completely out of place in a growing suburb. A grand hotel with 500 guest rooms and banquet facilities would overshadow a rural community of 300 residents.

After use as a store and physician offices, this building is the current library. Just the right size for the community. With inter-library access to the collections of dozens of others in the region.


Forbidden Attraction

A heroine with a love of dogs. Seed of Desire is a sweet romantic suspense with an opening scene at the annual 4-H obedience trials.

Beth flicked her gaze to the judge on the set up on the racetrack. Easy on the eyes.

The quick observation had her estimating the man near her age of twenty-eight, six foot, and lean. His wheaten hair could use a trim, but she’d forgive him for neglecting the barber shop. It should be illegal for a man to look that good in a white dress shirt open at the neck, the sleeves rolled up to the elbow under his green official 4-H judge’s vest. Stop it. Men are off-limits.

For the complete blurb and order information — click on the “Seed of Desire” tab on this website.



When we meet Linc Dray in Hiding Places, he’s in a desperate situation.

Wanted: single female, age 21-30. He reviewed the first line of the ad overdue to be posted on the regional Craigslist. Desire quick marriage? Seeking long-term relationship? No, he discarded the second line as tacky. The truth in the mental discard files mattered less as the days counted down. Today left thirteen. Less than two weeks to find a woman, convince her he wasn’t a pervert or serial killer, and legally marry.

Check out the complete blurb for this marriage of convenience sweet romance under the “Hiding Places” tab on this web site.

Available as ebook or paperback from popular on-line retailers.


Acquaintance Renewed

A snippet from Starr Tree Farm.

She (Laura) studied his face a moment longer. Unwelcome heat climbed up the back of her neck. Big Ears Brad all group up? Memories of an awkward boy willing to do anything for attention rushed in.

This sweet romantic suspense is available for ebook or in paperback format. Check out the entire blurb and order information under the “Starr Tree Farm” tab on this web site.