Thursday, November 19, 2020


Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year. It's a special day when we don't have to go into a meltdown mode chasing down the perfect gifts for everyone on our Christmas list. The real gift, in other years but our current one, is simply being able to gather family and friends together to eat, talk, share stories, and enjoy all those tempting dishes—like to-die-for corn bread stuffing, Aunt Jane’s pecan and pumpkin pies with mounds of whipped cream, and the ever-famous turkey, baked to a golden brown in the oven or a deep fryer. Even though we can't gather in large numbers because of safety reasons, Thanksgiving is still the time to reflect about things we are thankful for.

1. I'm thankful for warm, toasty home and a cupboard full of food. In this ongoing pandemic, it's nice to know I have a safe place to live with a peaceful place to lay my head each night.

2. I thankful for my family, friends, fellow writers, and many others who are part of my life. Luckily, during these devastating times, we have the ability to communicate using the telephone, Skype, Zoom, and other on-line media venues. Can you imagine what it was like to quarantine during the Spanish Flu in 1918 to the spring of 1920?

3. I'm thankful for the beautiful earth that we have, and especially, our rural community with its lush, scenic mountains, clean streams and lakes, and our exquisite sunsets and striking sunrises. The four seasons of Pennsylvania gives us a variety of flora and fauna to enjoy year 'round. 

4. Lastly, I'm thankful for far too many people to list: our medical professionals, our first responders, our police, our military, and all those who help keep us well and safe. 

Of course, there are other people and things I haven't mentioned, but now it's your turn. What are you most thankful for this year?

NOTE: If you leave a comment, I'll gift the winner, through Amazon, a digital copy of his/her choice of one of the three books below. Please leave an email so I can contact you.   

      I'm happy to announce that ADELENE ~ THE VIOLINIST, which is Book 2 of my Musical Christmas series, has won first place in the Contemporary Short Category of the International Digital Awards, sponsored by the Oklahoma Romance Writers of America. For some fun holiday reading, check out all three romantic mysteries below!

                                                             Happy Thanksgiving!

          BUY LINKS for JUNE ~ The Pianist                  Amazon       Barnes and Noble

          BUY LINKS for ADELENE ~ The Violinist        Amazon       Barnes and Noble

          BUY LINKS for LUCY ~ The Clarinetist            Amazon       Barnes and Noble

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

SNUGGLE UP WITH BOOKS ~and~ A Chance to Win $50, $25, $15, and $10 Gift Cards

Give thanks for books and authors all month long at N. N. Light’s Book Heaven Snuggle Up With These Books. 43 books, 31 bestselling and award-winning authors, 5 Amazon/Barnes and Noble gift cards plus authors share what they’re thankful for this year. I even share my grateful thoughts on November 6th and showcase "Willie, My Love".  Join in the fun! 

Rafflecopter Link for a Chance to Win 

Saturday, October 31, 2020

NOVEMBER - The dark, dreary, sometimes rainy month!

I have to admit that November is not my favorite month with its dark dreary, sometimes rainy, and many times chilly days. Thanksgiving allows us to look forward to good food and time with families. This year, because of the pandemic, my husband and I are staying home, cooking a turkey dinner together, complete with stuffing, pumpkin pie, sweet potatoes, and cranberries. We’ll Skype with the children and grandsons via electronic devices. And, we’ll manage. We know  “this too shall pass.”

On a brighter side, November is the time of the year to enjoy decorating for autumn with its brilliant reds, sunny yellows, and warm orange shades. It’s pumpkins, leaves, and colorful mums of all shades.  It’s time to enjoy finding a favorite spot, soft cozy afghan, and a good book. And there’s always apple cider, flavored teas in spice, berry, and lemon or maybe a cup of hot chocolate, topped with marshmallows.

Since I’m a fan of Robert Frost. Here is one of his poems to enjoy.

My November Guest - by Robert Frost

My sorrow, when she’s here with me,
     Thinks these dark days of autumn rain
Are beautiful as days can be;
She loves the bare, the withered tree;
     She walks the sodden pasture lane.

Her pleasure will not let me stay.
     She talks and I am fain to list:
She’s glad the birds are gone away,
She’s glad her simple worsted grey
     Is silver now with clinging mist.

The desolate, deserted trees,
     The faded earth, the heavy sky,
The beauties she so truly sees,
She thinks I have no eye for these,
     And vexes me for reason why.

Not yesterday I learned to know
     The love of bare November days
Before the coming of the snow,
But it were vain to tell her so,
     And they are better for her praise.

Be sure to check out my Musical Christmas Series.

Three romantic mystery novellas for the holidays.

     JUNE ~ The Pianist

     ADELENE ~ The Violinist

     LUCY ~ The Clarinetist

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

LUCY ~ THE CLARINETIST - Coming October 26th

October reminds us of cool, crisp days, a rainbow of colored leaves, and Halloween. October is also National Dessert Month. With seasonal ingredients like spicy cinnamon, rich caramel, and decadent pecans, autumn is one of the best seasons for baking. Who doesn’t enjoy pumpkin pie heaped with Kool Whip? Or apple pie or crisp? How about pecan pie and the many cobblers?

This month, on October 26th, I’m releasing my last novella in the Musical Christmas Series. It’s Lucy –The Clarinetist, and like the preceding novellas, it includes a recipe that one of the main characters enjoys. This time it’s Andre Almanza who likes apple pie with a cinnamon crumb crust.



¾ cup sugar

¼ cup all-purpose flour

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. nutmeg (optional)

Dash of salt

6 cups thinly sliced pared apples (McIntosh work well)

2 TBSP. butter or margarine

Deep Dish Pastry for a 9-inch pie  (You need only the bottom crust)

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Prepare pastry or use one purchased from the store. (Frozen deep dish varieties work best.)

Stir together sugar, flour, nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt and mix with apples. Turn into pastry-lined pan and dot with butter.


Mix 1 cup flour, ½ cup cold butter, 2 tsp. cinnamon, and ½ cup (packed) brown sugar. Cut dry ingredients into butter with pastry cutter until crumbly. Carefully spread the mixture on the top of the apples, packing it down around the edges.

Bake 40 to 50 minutes.

NOTE: You many need to cover topping with aluminum foil for the last ten minutes to prevent excess browning.  Serve warm with ice cream or whipped cream.


A merry novella for the holiday season!

Lucy Ciaffonni wants nothing more than to start her own public relations firm, but she’s stuck at the local bank performing boring communications and advertising duties. When her best friend and computer guru, Andre Almanza, buys an area farm to create a barn theater, Lucy is pulled into the mystery of discovering where a rare, German, H.F. Kayser clarinet was hidden on the property during Prohibition.

Andre Almanza has always adored Lucy from afar. He hopes she’ll take the position of barn theater manager. When she agrees to help him renovate the barn and update and furnish his huge Victorian house, he is delighted—that is, until the entire town becomes involved in locating the missing antique instrument. To complicate matters, there are ruthless people who want to recover the expensive clarinet and cash in on its legend and value.

Will Lucy and Andre locate the clarinet and finally acknowledge the sparks of romance that have been smoldering between them for the longest time? Will it be the perfect Christmas?



Wednesday, September 2, 2020


September is here and so are the pumpkins. Leaves are beginning to dry or take on color, sumac is turning red--and all the smells of autumn waft in the air. Everyone knows I’m a fan of the taste of pumpkin whether it's pumpkin cookies or pumpkin pie (with lots of Kool Whip or ice cream to accompany it). Here is a little recipe for pumpkin cake.


Pumpkin Cake with Apple Cider Glaze

For the Cake:
1 Yellow Cake Mix
1 15 ounce can of pumpkin puree           

For the Glaze:
1-1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 Tablespoons apple cider
3/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

Empty the contents of the boxed cake mix and pumpkin puree into a large bowl. Using a hand-mixer or stand mixer beat until well incorporated. The batter will be very thick, but will come together nicely.

Pour batter into a greased 7 x 11 X 2 pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 28 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Do not over bake.

Let cool for 5-10 minutes in the pan, then flip onto a platter.

Make the glaze while you're waiting.

Combine powdered sugar, apple cider and pumpkin pie spice. Glaze should be thick but pourable. Add more sugar or cider if needed. Pour over the cake while still warm. Reserve some to pour over each slice when served.
Finalist in the American Fiction Awards 
for Historical Romantic Mystery

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Welcome August!

Welome August! Along the roadways of Pennsylvania, goldenrod and salvia have begun to bloom in yellows and purples.

For many people, the month of August signals the arrival of the end of summer in the Northern Hemisphere that includes the Dog Days of Summer. The eighth month of the modern calendar, August has thirty-one days.

In the original ten-month Roman calendar, August was the sixth month (with 30 days) and was originally named Sextilis. In 8 BC, the Roman Senate rewarded Octavian Augustus a month in his honor. The founder and first emperor of the Roman Empire, Octavian Augustus, selected Sextilis, which under the Julian calendar was the eighth month with the addition of January and February. An additional day was tacked on to August to balance the total days in the year.

Best known for its hot and humid days, August lures people to pools and beaches to cool off before schools begins at the end of the month—or the beginning of September.


August’s birthstones are the peridot and spinel. Peridot is a semi-precious olive or lime-green stone found in lava flows and veins from the United States to Finland and Pakistan, among others. In shades of pink, red, blue, violet and lavender, spinel is a more recent addition to the August birthstones.


Flowers for August are the gladiolus and poppy. The gladiolus is sometimes referred to as the sword lily because of its long, skinny shape. Both flowers are said to reflect strength of character and imagination. 


And during these trying times, as we enter the sixth month of the Coronavirus pandemic, strength of character and imagination may be what we need the most.

Check Out a Fun Summer Read!                                                      

Thursday, July 2, 2020

HUCKLEBERRIES - A 13,000-year-old, Pennsylvania Native Bush

My latest novella, Huckleberry Happiness, was recently released. It’s the historical story of a young woman, Emelia Stone, who runs a bakery and her best friend from childhood, Joe Sawicki, who owns an ice company with his brother. Amelia bakes pies from native Pennsylvania huckleberries and buys ice from Sawicki Ice Company. She wants to make a special huckleberry ice cream to enter in the Pennsylvania Railroad’s dessert contest.
Huckleberries are edible, small, round berries resembling blueberries. In fact, in some parts of the United States, huckleberries might be called blueberries and blueberries might be called huckleberries, although they’re not the same fruit.

The various species of huckleberries range in color from bright red to dark purple to blue. The purple and blue huckleberries taste sweeter. In addition to humans, many animals enjoy huckleberries, including bears, red foxes, opossum, skunks, squirrels, chipmunks and white-footed mice.

Huckleberry bushes are native to Pennsylvania and stay green all year. A patch, discovered near Losh Run, north of Harrisburg, has two plants that botanists determine are 13,000 years old, older than the Sequoia trees of the West. The gigantic patch sprang from the same plant thousands of years ago as the ice cover was melting. 

Huckleberries also grow wild in many different parts of the U.S. Perhaps this is why the huckleberry inspired many different phrases dating back to the 1800s.

Because huckleberries are small, the word “huckleberry" was often used as a nickname for something small, unimportant, or insignificant. Scholars believe this was the meaning Mark Twain had in mind when he named his Huckleberry Finn character. People at that time would have understood that “Huck" Finn's name was a clue that he was a small boy who was of a lower class than his companion, Tom Sawyer.


  Emelia jabbed furiously at the mixture inside the bowl with her pastry cutter. How could her very own sister abandon her without an ounce of misgiving? Couldn’t she have waited until the end of the month and, at the very least, earned her pay before leaving the bakery?
       Joe watched her work, his hands shoved in his pockets. “Are you trying to kill the lard…or is it the flour that has you so riled?” He peered over the rim of the bowl.
       “Be careful,” she shot back and gave him a lethal glare that would stop a rattlesnake from making a fuss. “This place is armed with sharp knives.”