Wednesday, May 31, 2006

get your autographed copies now!

Here is your chance to order autographed copies of WED UNDER WESTERN SKIES and MILLION-DOLLAR MAKEOVER! Connie and Tina at Dog-Eared Books are back from the Romantic Times Convention and have a virtual signing ready to go. Many of you wanted to know when my signed books were available, and now's the time.

Complete directions are on the page. If you have questions or a problem, there's an email address and phone number for Tina who will be glad to help you.

Click here: Dog Eared Books Virtual Signing

Books are available on a first come-first serve basis.

what do cookies, rhododendrons, the UPS man and Harvey Girls have in common?

Nothing, except that I'm writing about all of them today. But it was a catchy caption, no?

Yikes, I deleted cookies and history last night, so I had so sign in here in order to post. Good thing I keep a journal with all my usernames, screennames, logins and passwords. Learned that the hard way long ago.

Anyhoo, it was a full and busy weekend, and we got much accomplished in our landscaping and gardens. The porch is constructed -- all except for the stairs. LOL That first step is a doozy. The UPS man rang the bell and left a package last night and I don't know how he did it. Well, he climbed, obviously. Must have taken a similar pledge as the pony express: through sleet and snow and bounding up to the doors of homes where the owners seem to have forgotten stairs, and all that.

We had purchased dwarf evergreens, rhododendron bushes and hydrangeas and had been watering them in the pots (not a good thing in the heat), so we got all those planted once I could see where the porch was. Then, like the overachiever that I am, I bought more. More hydrangeas and butterfly bushes. Waited until after 8pm last night for cooler weather and got most of those in. My gardens are like the inside of my home: More is better. If one is good, then three are excellent. Ten are awesome.

We also made another run to the salvage yard for more paving bricks. Good exercise, let me tell you. Most of the vegetables are finally in, except the pumpkins. Last year they were so early that we had too many way before fall, so we're holding off.

I am working on putting a proposal together. I just wrote a Harvey Girl story set in Newton Kansas and I brought in Caleb and Ellie from The Doctor's Wife as secondary characters. This new story is Benjamin's. If you read The Doctor's Wife, you will remember that he is Ellie's younger brother. They shared the same horrible mother and backstory, and I've wanted to explore what effects the past had on him as a young man, and how it will effect his relationships. In deciding who was the perfect woman to match him with (perfect for plotting purposes anyway - heh heh) I made a list of three different possibilities and then listed all the reasons that they would make for great internal conflict. The preacher's daughter won by a landslide. On the outside, she's the perfect woman for him. But digging deeper, she's everything he's not and all he holds in high esteem. Just the woman he'd put on a pedestal and...well, I'm not going to tell you the whole story here, now am I?

Summer is truly here and school is out. This is my first official morning to sit in my jammies and not make the zip-to-school drop off. I'm liking it.

It was a quiet weekend; I'm thinking maybe I need to liven things up with a contest!

Saturday, May 27, 2006

It's raining in the Midwest today, and we had a day of lawnscaping planned. I cooked breakfast for the family first thing. My hubby and son are building us a front porch this morning. They don't make houses like they used to, do they? A little concrete stoop just doesn't cut it for those of us who love the vintage look. One person said, "Oh, you're buiding a deck." No, excuse me, this is going to be a porch! Painted and everything. With room for wicker chairs.

Yesterday we selected and loaded old paving bricks from a salvage yard and those are going to make the walkways. So many plans, so few hands....

What's everyone doing on this holiday weekend?

Carol, profuse apologies. I found the book I hadn't mailed to you when I cleaned my office! It's on the way!

Friday, May 26, 2006

travel weekend

This weekend many people will be on the roads. What do you find the most irritating thing that other drivers do? Talk on phones? Follow too closely? For me it's a toss up between leaving on their turn signal for miles or not knowing it's their turn at a 4-way stop. Hell-o? Pass the driver's test, did you? GO ALREADY!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006


Drew from the fishbowl this AM and the winner of Michelle Hauf's ONCE A THIEF is Lucky Lou! Lou, please send me your address and I'll get this book right out to you! Congratulations!


This is a portion of my teacup collection. I've added different ones since I took this photo.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

the real thing

I decided that before I straighten up my office today, I'd share what it looks like while I have a book in progress. The pictures above my PC are my characters, of which I've shown you a couple, and to the left is a street map of Newton, Kansas. I have notes to myself thumbtacked everywhere on the bulletin boards behind my monitor -- as well as pictures the boy makes for me :-) -- my work-in-progress notebook is lying open and probably my datebook, too.

The rest of the pics are of what's to my left side (the other computer) and behind me a rocking chair and my curio. I wasn't brave enough to show you the double closet with floor-to-ceiling shelves stacked with books, binders, envelopes, tote bags and disk storage.

Today is cleaning day. LOL

Sunday, May 21, 2006

a weak moment and a new definition

I had my mind all set that I wouldn't be doing any clothing shopping because once I drop another size I'll have to buy all new clothes, anyway (awww, what a shame!) but then I saw these denim stretch capris with a wide cuff and bead and applique embellishments on one hip & the opposite thigh, so I had to have them. Hey, they're stretchy, so even after I shrink more they'll still fit. And I was able to buy a junior size, which I normally can't. Well, then I had read that no wardrobe is complete this season without a sparkly pair of flippies, so I bought a pair to go with the capris.

And on that note: remember when we called flippies "thongs" and they were gross and ugly and cost about 99 cents? Fifteen and TWENTY DOLLARS for those babies now! I'm going to tell all my girls that I've worn "thongs" since I was a kid. LOL

Friday, May 19, 2006

spa day

I just came from treating myself to a couple hours of pampering -- foot spa, that is. I went for a pedicure and to have my nails done. The color is Berry Much Love; it's adorable. I do short nails and my usual color is Crawford's Wine, an awesome red. Took it with me, but a graduate and her mom were getting pedicures beside me, and that's the color the grad picked. I loved it and had to try it for myself. It's a delightful spring shade of bright reddish pink. All my sandals will look terrif. And I got a new silver beaded bracelet yesterday with touches of pink crystal beads. I'm good to go this week. Even typing is more fun now. Oh-- and 10 pounds lighter coming up on 2 weeks here. Monday I can have a piece of fruit! Whoo hoo!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Taylor's in the top 2!

New Contest: Once A Thief - autographed!

I'm giving away an autographed copy of Michelle Hauf's Bombshell ONCE A THIEF.
As usual I'll draw a name from the fishbowl. Each time you post a comment here you're entered.

Rachel Blu had left her life as thief behind her. But when a priceless jewel is stolen, and Rachel is partially to blame, she must race to regain the precious item before she loses her newfound career and the love she's just rediscovered.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

It's shocking, but I haven't been shopping (except groceries and that doesn't count) in a couple of weeks and I didn't go to a single garage sale last week. I was getting the book ready to mail. Mailed it this morning. Whew! I'm really pleased with how the story turned out. Maybe I'll share an exclusive excerpt here....

I've done great with Southbeach -- made it over a week now and have lost 8 pounds. Can't wait to get past phase one and have an apple and a slice of bread and some popcorn! It's going to be worth it. That's what I tell myself every afternoon when I want a Milky Way or Hershey Nuggets.

Had a nice Mother's Day. My hubby grilled for our lunch. We met my oldest daughter and son-in-law in another little town where my dad is in a nursing home so we could combine visits -- as well as exchange truckloads of things we had for each other. I got the old iron bedframe I bought when we were in my daughter's town, and I'm going use the top and bottom as trellises.

Once my garden areas take off and are blooming well, I will take pictures for you! We've been working in the yard nearly every evening and on Saturdays.

Monday, May 15, 2006

WINNER of Hell on Heels!

Okay, I drew from the fishbowl this morning, and the winner of Carla Cassidy's book Hell on Heels is CAROL!

Carol, please send your address to me at:
and I'll mail your autographed book out today!


TP dilemma

Don't you often think about goofy things throughout a day? This is my forum for presenting these odd little thoughts and learning what others think about the day to day puzzles. Take toilet paper for example. Can you even IMAGINE the amount of toilet paper our country flushes in a day? I can't. Does every home go through as much as mine does? I used to think it was because I had a big family. I figured it made a difference that I had three daughters. A few years ago I thought it was because we had four bathrooms. But right now my household consists of four people, two adult females, one adult male and a six-year-old boy and three bathrooms. I still can't keep enough toilet paper on hand.

I've been on a toilet paper mission for months. Which brand lasts longer? Have I tried this one? I've gone through the cheap brands which are certainly most appealing. Soft'n Gentle: A bazillion rolls for half the price. Problem? That brand is so linty. Sounds totally silly, I know, but it creates white dust around the area. Am I the only one who notices these things? I'm really not that neurotic. Northern, Charmin -- this week I bought a package of six Northern Mega Rolls claining eqilvalence to 24 rolls. I figured they cost $1.25 per roll, and that's from Wal-mart. Outrageous! But they're gonna last as long as 24 rolls? They're so big they barely turn on the holder. You could use these things for your workout weights. Do they last longer? No. I put one in the downstairs bath off the family room and just inside the back patio doors, and it was empty the following day. One day! That means a roll a day in three bathrooms and I only got six rolls. Woops.

I haven't actually figured out if there's an average amount we go through. I'm not into numbers. I'm really not into toilet paper either, I'd just like to have an unending supply that appeared in the cupboard so I didn't have to constantly buy more. Is there a guy like the Swan man or pizza delivery who'd buzz a case over whenever I called? Hmm. A case. Maybe I need to send hubby to Sam's with his truck.

So, what I really want to know is what brand of toilet tissue do you buy and why? And have you found any that go further? And am I the only person who gets frustrated when they open the cupboard and the TP is gone? AGAIN.

Friday, May 12, 2006

thank goodness a picture is not worth a thousand fat grams


I just wrote the ending of The Lawman's Bride! Whew! What a fun couple Clay and Sophie are. They had me puzzled over how I was going to resolve everything though. They had some big problems. It's frustrating when I get stuck for a resolution, but when it does, I figure if I didn't know the ending, then the reader won't guess either. LOL

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Tips to Prevent Summer Pests

To prevent flies, keep kitchen garbage tightly closed.

Sprinkle dry soap powder or flakes into garbage cans after they have been washed and allowed to dry.

In a small glass or jar, pour about one inch of real cider or red wine. Make a cover with saran wrap and a rubber band. Punch about six holes with a bamboo skewer or other sharp object. Flies will crawl in but cannot crawl out.

Scratch the skin of an orange or grapefruit and leave it out; the citrus acts as a repellent.

Hang muslin bags of cloves to repel flies.

Mint planted around the home or grown in pots indoors repels flies.

Basil plants help to repel flies.

Water potted plants from the bottom to produce a stronger scent.

Dried ground leaves of basil left in small bowls or hung in muslin bags are also effective.

For prevention, encourage natural predators such as dragonflies or praying mantises.

Eliminate pools of stagnant water.

Avoid wearing perfume, bright colors, flowery prints, and bright jewelry as these items attract mosquitoes.

Burn citronella candles to repel insects.

Plant tansy or basil around the patio and house to repel mosquitoes.

All well and good, now can anyone tell me how to discourage RABBITS from eating my garden and flowers??

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Determined in Nebraska

I was so inspired by seeing my :::skinny::: friend Carla Cassidy that I've vowed to drop a few pounds. She said she modified the Southbeach Diet and after the first two weeks, the weight dropped off. I already had the book. Never had the motivation before.

I've gone two days without chocolate. Now, some may think that's no big deal, but for me it's like a junkie saying they went two days without their drug of choice. Afternoons are the worst. I always have a pick-me-up while I'm working - M&Ms, Hershey Nuggets, a Russell Stover egg/heart/whatever.

Phase one is rough-no juice or fruit. Oranges and apples have never looked so good. But after two weeks you body has changed and you start adding back things. This is, however, a smart eating style.

Anyone ever tried Southbeach?

What's the strangest diet you ever tried? I did the cabbage soup diet once. How ridiculous was that?

I'm giving away an autographed book!

I'm going to give away a signed copy of Carla Cassidy's Bombshell HELL ON HEELS.

All you have to do to enter is comment on any subject here. Each post is an entry.

I'll get a couple new subjects started.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Kansas City, there I went!

The signing in Independence was the bomb! If you're near or passing through Kansas City, Dog-eared Books is a fabulous store. It's on South Noland Drive. They display laminated autographed bookcovers. Tina owns the store and Connie works there and runs Once Upon A Romance website and coordinates reviews.

These ladies did the prep work and the place was full of people for four hours! It's a lovely big store with plants galore and even two friendly resident cats. I sold tons of books, new and backlist, and fans came with their past books to be signed. Naturally I love the ones who say, "I've read ALL your books."

Long time friend Carla Cassidy was there, and she did very well, too -- oh, that Woman of Wonder. She has published 75 books to date! Holy cow. She's a fun and funny lady. I'm giving away signed Carla Cassidy books this month, get ready!

They took pictures, so as soon as they send me a couple I'll share them here.

Second cousins I hadn't seen since I was a kid stopped by. And -- get this -- Connie and Tina bought extra CASES of WED UNDER WESTERN SKIES for me to sign while I was there, and they're going to experiment with an internet booksigning and sell them from their website. Gotta love these gals. If you're going to RT in Daytona, look for them!

Saturday, May 06, 2006

I'm here!

I'm here! I had a kindergartener home yesterday and a signing in Kansas City (Independence MO) today, but will post all about it tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Tuesday, May 02, 2006


Ever find yourself saying something to your kids or your husband or someone else and you can hear your mother in your words? I've done it. Here are some of mine:

* If wishes were horses, all men would go riding
* Not everything in life is fun, you might as well get used to working at it

And here are my life philosophies that I expect my kids to be saying to their children:

* What's the worst thing that could happen?
* If it's worth doing, it's worth doing right
* What goes around, comes around
* If he doesn't treat his mother or waitresses well, he won't treat you well

What mom-isms do you find yourself using?