About

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I'm most recently a writer.  In the six plus decades of my life, I've been a wife, mother, grandmother, Jill of all trades though mistress of but a few, and most of the time pretty content with my lot.  As a much younger person, I believed I was called to write, but life and living distracted me for most of those decades.  An unwilling transplant from the South,  twenty years ago I unintentionally landed in the geographical center of the US.  Writing came about in part due to the unwillingness, I expect.  When caring for family, gardening, and renovating a century-old house failed to provide sufficient creative outlets, I turned to the one thing I always intended to do.  Eight titles later, I'm grateful I found myself while Lost in the Plains!

Friday, November 29, 2013

Inch by Inch. . .

We're getting closer!  After more work on the cover, more edits, and the final formatting process, Shannon's Daughter is almost ready for release.  I've wondered if this time would ever come, frankly.  Life, art, and a little of my own lack of confidence have conspired to keep this one spinning on the wheel far longer than it's taken me to shape a story in the past.  In fact, I had written 75% of the Miracle at Valley Rise series in the time it's taken to polish off Shannon's Daughter.  But I refuse to be anything but optimistic about this book.  Yes, it's "different" from the series.  It isn't particularly "inspiring" or "heartwarming," which has frequently been said of the Valley Rise books.  There are no miracles to help along this unlikely romance, nothing to spare the lovers from the harshness of reality.  And the "happy ever after" is not quite what you'd expect. Still, I hope readers will be caught up in the story, ride out it's twists and turns, and come away just as satisfied. 
I'm superstitious about release dates, so let's just say in the next few weeks, you'll be able to see for yourself what all the fuss is about!

Shannon’s Daughter
The last thing he expected to find in Ireland that summer was the inspiration to go on with his life, and certainly not in the form of an adolescent heiress. 
 New York socialite Peg Shannon has everything—wealth, position, beauty and limitless prospects for happiness.  Or so the world believes. 
Aspiring London violinist Kendall Gregg is talented, handsome and charming.  While hardly well-to-do, he has connections and ambition which should take him far.  Or so it appears.
 Thrown together briefly by a twist of fate, Kendall quickly becomes young Peg’s hero, while Peg proves to be Kendall’s unlikely salvation.  Through the decades, their deepening passion and shared secrets forge an enduring bond, destining them for a love affair that comes but once in a lifetime.
 Set in the mid-twentieth century, Shannon’s Daughter chronicles the complex relationship between two people constrained by family responsibility and a tragic secret, while delving into the history of one of the most intriguing characters in the Miracle at Valley Rise series.   

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Lost in the Plains: Christmas at Valley Rise--FREE!

Lost in the Plains: Christmas at Valley Rise--FREE!: A sweet romance set against a country Christmas plus a chance to catch up with the folks at Valley Rise in the 21st century.  What could b...

Christmas at Valley Rise--FREE!

A sweet romance set against a country Christmas plus a chance to catch up with the folks at Valley Rise in the 21st century.  What could be better than that?

It's FREE for Kindle--November 8-12!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

And on to the dreaded blurb. . .

Okay, you've finished approximately 300 pages of a novel.  That's the hard part, the race run, the good fight fought, right?  Congratulate yourself, take yourself out to celebrate someplace where the food doesn't come wrapped in paper on a plastic tray.  Spam all your friends with the good news on Facebook.  There's nothing left but a few edits and the final cover before you hit the magic button and "Publish."

Oh, except for that little thing every writer puts off until the last possible minute.  Just a few sentences telling prospective readers what they have to look forward to.  A paragraph or two revealing just enough of the story to be intriguing without giving anything away.  Writer's put this off for a reason--it's the most difficult piece of writing they'll ever have to do--the Blurb!

I finished Shannon's Daughter last week and handed it off to my editor/husband.  Now, as I wait for him to return it with lots of little red marks and paper-clipped pages, I have plenty of time to work on the other "stuff."  The front matter, the foreword, the blurb.  Well, it turns out I already have the blurb written this time and when I went back to look it over, it actually looked pretty good.  Says what I want to say, doesn't say too much.  So I think I'll save myself a few sleepless nights and just go with it.  For now.  Unless I decide to revise it or throw it out and start over.  Who knows what could happen before publication time?  Anyway, here it is.  Tell me what you think.

The last thing he expected to find in Ireland that summer was the inspiration to go on with his life, and certainly not in the form of an adolescent heiress. 
American socialite Peg Shannon has everything—wealth, power, beauty and limitless prospects for happiness.  Or so the world believes.
Aspiring British violinist Kendall Gregg is talented, handsome and charming.  While hardly well-to-do, he has connections and ambition which should take him far.  Or so it seems on the surface.

Thrown together briefly by a twist of fate, Kendall becomes young Peg’s hero, while Peg proves to be Kendall’s salvation.  Through the years, their deepening passion and the secrets they share forge an enduring bond, destining them for the kind of love affair that comes but once in a lifetime.

Set in the mid-twentieth century, Shannon’s Daughter sheds light on the complex relationship between two people constrained by family responsibility and a tragic secret, as well as delving into the history of one of the most intriguing characters in the Miracle at Valley Rise Series.   

Sunday, November 3, 2013

That Was the Month that Was

October has come and gone--and that's fine with me!  While every month has its ups and downs, the one just past was a real doozy! 

First of all, it was the first anniversary of the publication of my series, and I wanted to do some special things to celebrate that.  I remember so well saying to John at the end of that first month, when we were feeling pretty darn proud of ourselves, "Let's wait and see where we are a year from now before we do too much celebrating."  Well, we may not be rich or famous, but the books are selling and a few very nice people know my name now, so I feel safe in saying we have something to celebrate.  So I did some promoting on FB, had a great free promotion for Heart of My Own Heart and on the very last day of the month, watched Hearts Unfold climb an actual Amazon Paid Bestseller list during a 99-cent special sale.  All that felt really good, I must say.

And considering the way other things were going during October, I needed a little something to feel good about.
 
As it turned out, we spent much of the month watching our 19-year-old dachshund, Rudy, ease out of this life and into the next.  He went so easily, I shouldn't complain.  Always an incredibly healthy little guy, he just ran out of life. There's a lot to be said for dying of old age, if Rudy is any example.  But it was still hard.  I was there the day he was born, and digging his grave next to his mother's in the flower bed was pretty tough.  He left behind a lot of memories for us to enjoy, as soon as we can get past the sorrow of loosing him.
 
Then there was Neewollah.  Again.  Okay, I know it's a great thing--the largest annual festival in Kansas and a homecoming so many people from several generations look forward to.  But it happens just a few blocks from my house and surrounds the hotel where I work, and this year I just wasn't in the mood.  Four nights of music, laughter, lights and chaos in a downtown that's normally quiet as a tomb failed to touch me with the usual magic for some reason.  I was frankly glad when it had magically disappeared by Sunday morning.  I guess grief and carnivals just don't mix well.

The final thing that happened in October, something you'd think would have me jumping for joy, is that I finished Shannon's Daughter.  Oh, John has to do his thing with it now, and I'm sure there will be some minor rewrites. At least I hope they'll be minor!  But for all intents and purposes, the book is written.  Funny thing about that.  You work, worry and wring your hands over the thing, much like you do your children, and then as soon as there's nothing else to be done, you feel perversely let down.  Happens every time for me.  The only cure is to start another book.  Which I will in the next day or so, I think.

November is here, thirty days filled with possibilities. The holidays are upon us, a day to stop and give thanks, then time to prepare to welcome the Christ Child once again.  Years come and go too quickly, made up of twelve short months, some of which are like this October just past.  Something to celebrate, someone to mourn, work to complete and more to begin. It occurs to me I need to take more than a few random moments to appreciate those things for the gifts they are, and slow down long enough to live each blessed day more fully.