Thursday, April 28, 2016

Now $0.99 ~ KEY TO LOVE

                                                             KEY TO LOVE

A romantic suspense with lots of comedy!

When architect Elise Springer's father is injured, she immediately leaves San Francisco to care for him. The last person she expects to encounter in her Pennsylvania hometown is her childhood friend Lucas Fisher. Lucas is investigating his brother's mysterious death, and Elise can't resist lending a hand.

Lucas longs for the close family ties he never had. He's back in Scranton to set up a classic car restoration business and build a future. The torch he carries for Elise burns brighter than ever, but before he can declare his love, he must obtain the legal rights to adopt his nephew--and prove his brother's death was no accident.

As they unearth clues to find the murderer and a missing stash of money, Elise faces a dilemma. Is her career on the West Coast the key to her happiness, or is it an animal-cracker-eating four-year-old and his handsome uncle?


Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Spring is a Benchmark

Spring is a benchmark. It's a new beginning when the earth is fresh and clean and new. Outside, windflowers are in bloom and the grass is a blinding green for a warm Pennsylvania April. The trees are bursting with red buds. Tulips, daffodils, crocus, and grape hyacinths are profusely blooming in a palette of colors in the flowerbeds which have shed the last of their mushy snow.
Onion sets have been tucked into the soil in the garden.

Each morning, fussy wrens sit in the front maple chattering as they fight for the two birdhouses we hung in the front of our house while robins bob, bob, bob on the lawn below digging for insects and worms. Even the doves have returned and coo up on the rooftop.

Under our carport, a couple of chickadee squatters work diligently to build a nest in a birdhouse placed there. They scold anyone who tries to get close to their home, then arrogantly sit in a nearby buckthorn and reprimand us again when the nearby bird feeder is depleted of sunflower seeds.  

Inside, seed catalogs are piled high on the table. All the windows in the house have been thrown open, allowing the scent of loamy soil and new mowed grass to perfume the air. After weeks of winter chill, it’s not hard to welcome spring.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Productivity Is Not a Synonym for Happiness

Everyone has stress. Stress is a response to challenges in life. And let's face it, a life without challenges would be dreary and boring.

If you’re a writer, stress manifests itself when you write and when you don’t. If the writing flows, we say we’re in the zone. When it stops, we agonize over how to kick-start ourselves. When we end a piece, we fuss over the editing process. And when we’re finally finished with it, we ponder whether our creation is worthy enough, then lapse into the insecurity of “what will we write next”?

I’ve decided, after a half-dozen books, there is no happy medium to getting the right balance in life that will relieve a writer’s stress level. But there are small things to ease our anxieties.

We all know we have to eat healthy and exercise, but there are other things to consider. One is to stay as organized as possible, and simplify routines, commitments, and clutter. A messy desk doesn’t cause us stress. Not finding the papers we need which are buried in a chaotic heap on our desks causes us to stress.

We also need to let go of multi-tasking and slow down. We’re in a society that says we can do it all. We want to write, but not upset our family’s routine or our commitments to others, so we rush, rush, rush. Maybe it’s time to go back to the single task philosophy our parents used. Maybe it’s time to streamline our time and eliminate unnecessary commitments. Instead of the mental “to do” list which stretches for miles in our mind, it’s time to write down a realistic “to do” list and only put down five essential tasks we want to complete in a given time.

And lastly, here is my favorite de-stressor idea. I’m giving myself permission to have free time for myself—whether it’s to do a hobby, read, travel, or just take time off from writing without guilt. Life doesn’t have to be about always accomplishing things—always placing the next word on the page. After all, productivity has never been a synonym for happiness.  

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

FOUR WHITE ROSES - Needs Help with Kindle Scout Program

My new book, FOUR  WHITE ROSES, which is a romance and mystery, was recently selected by Amazon Kindle Scout to be featured for thirty days on their site where readers can nominate it to be chosen to be digitally published and marketed by Amazon. I need your help with the voting process. By the way, the cover was designed by local graphic artist, Kerry Hynds of Hynds Studio - Book Cover Designs!
If you have an amazon account, could you please go to this link and hit the blue nominate button? (Lower right hand corner)  And if you have a moment, please send the link out to any friend you have who may be a reader or who may help me. Many thanks!

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Why I Like Golf

There's a lot to be said for golf. It's a mental game as well as a physical one. Many people consider it a difficult game to play since it requires focus and form. I have to admit that there are many times when I feel like listing my clubs on eBay and walking away. So why do I continue to play?

Golf is one of the few games that you can play throughout your entire lifetime—from an early age through retirement years. It is a place where you can go to get exercise and appreciate the outdoors, where you can meet new people, and where you can play a quick nine-hole round by yourself or with your spouse, significant other or friend.
Most golfers will unanimously agree that golf courses are some of the most charming and appealing places on this earth. They are environmentally friendly, well-groomed, and landscaped. They encourage many species of birds such as ducks, herons, and cranes with their bodies of water; and many position birdhouses among the flora to entice bluebirds, catbirds, and wrens, to name a few, to nest.

You will find the most beautiful flowers, plants, and trees as well as other wildlife on golf courses. Even though I’m convinced trees have been planted to tease the golfer who slams a drive and bounces their errant ball off a pine or palm, I’m aware they are an integral part of beautifying the course and offering much-needed shade. I have seen raccoons, bald eagles, snakes, squirrels, and turtles on the courses I’ve played.

Golf courses are all over our fifty states, all over the world. I’ve only been playing for about ten years, but each time I play, I find it exciting to stand on the tee, feel the sunshine on my face, listen to the lyrics of the birds, and breathe in the clean air.

And, I also know if I don’t keep score, I can have two fun-filled hours in our great outdoors.   

Friday, February 12, 2016

Happy Valentines Day - An Excerpt from SWEET KISS

In honor of Valentine's Day, I'm posting an excerpt from SWEET KISS, where Kate Clark, owner of the coffee shop, tells quirky Eva May Poole, about the legend of Valentine's Day.

          “Hey, Eva May, did you know there’s a legend of how Valentine’s Day came about? It’s credited to St. Valentine of Rome during the reign of Emperor Claudius II. Claudius was unable to get soldiers to join his army and thought the reason was because men did not want to leave their wives and families so he cancelled all marriages and engagements in Rome. A romantic at heart, a priest of Rome, Saint Valentine, defied Claudius's unjustified order. Along with Saint Marius, St. Valentine secretly married the couples.”
          “Is he still doing it?” Eva May asked.
          Kate closed her eyes and took a deep breath. She heard Melanie mutter, “Tell her, yes. What the heck? 270 AD until now? What’s a couple of years?”
          Kate choked back a laugh.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Wild Rose Press Author: Peggy Jaeger and 3 WISHES

 3 Wishes by Peggy Jaeger
I have the privilege of welcoming New Hampshire author, Peggy Jaeger, whose novella, "3 Wishes," is part of the 40-author, Candy Hearts Romance series released for Valentine's Day. Peggy admits that she was born and breed in Brooklyn, NY, and has the dropped "r's" to prove it. Every sentence sounds like she's asking a question.

When asked how she relaxes, Peggy says that reading and cooking are her main wind-downs at the end of the day. She has over one hundred cookbooks that are dog-eared and well-loved. "Whenever I’m feeling especially stressed, I pull one out and make a new dish. Diving head first into a new recipe takes my mind away from worry, frees me to use the creative part of my brain, and allows me to just let all the stressors float away. Love that." she says.

What is she reading? "I just finished BROTHERHOOD IN DEATH by J.D. Robb, aka Nora Roberts, and I started an oldies by Jennifer Probst titled, ALL THE WAY. Love her."

Valentine's Day is chocolatier Chloe San Valentino's favorite day of the year. Not only is it the busiest day in her candy shop, Caramelle de Chloe, but it's also her birthday. Chloe's got a birthday wish list for the perfect man she pulls out every year: he'd fall in love with her in a heartbeat, he'd be someone who cares about people, and he 'd have one blue eye and one green eye, just like her. So far, Chloe's fantasy man hasn't materialized, despite the matchmaking efforts of her big, close-knit Italian family. But this year for her big 3-0 birthday, she just might get her three wishes.                                                                                                         

            At about five minutes of ten I was almost ready to turn the Closed sign on the door when it opened. I heard Janie’s breath hitch and turned from where I was sweeping up. Staying open late is always a risk, with the thought thieves will invade at the end of the day.
            If the guy standing at the door glancing around the shop was a thief, then Dio mio, I wanted to be robbed.
            About six foot, his hair was the color of a deer’s pelt, with autumnal golds and browns shot together in a glorious patchwork that grazed the collar of his jacket and curled a little at the ends. He wore a faded brown bomber jacket over a shirt I couldn’t see, but he had shoulders almost as wide as my doorway. A pair of well-worn jeans covered his mile long legs, and the fabric on the stress points at his knees was practically white.
            “We’re about to close,” I heard myself say. “Can I help you?”                
            It was at that moment he looked over at me.
            His face could have been sculpted by Da Vinci or Michelangelo. A broad, smooth, forehead housed naturally arched eyebrows I knew some of my gay guy friends would have paid a fortune to have on their own faces. His cheeks were carved from marble, high, smooth and deep. And his mouth, mother-of-God, his mouth. Full, thick beautiful lips sat perfectly over a chin with a dent you could shove a button into and have it stay put.
            “Sorry,” he said, those fabulous lips pulling up a little shyly at the corners. “I got stuck at work and couldn’t get here until now. I’ll be quick. Promise.”
            So here’s the thing: the guy was gorgeous. But even if he’d looked like a frog with raw antipasto smothering his face, I would have dropped to my knees when he opened his mouth. Warm honey, a shot of raw whiskey, and a little hot puff of smoke wafted from his mouth like a fine and rare brandy being decanted.

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