Saturday, September 30, 2006


I don't know how the end of the month snuck up on us, but here it is. The good part is that it's time to draw names for the prizes!

So, my daughter is fishing around in the fish bowl--the new and larger fishbowl as you recall--and she's coming out with the first winner....


Kathleen wins the cup & saucer, the scone mix and the three SSEs.
Congrats, Kathleen. Please send me your address at:

And now Kristin is fishing for the second name--and the winner of the autographed UK copy of NICK ALL NIGHT is.....

Congrats, Mel. I'll mail Nick out to you asap.

More good news: All the slips are going back into the fishbowl for next month. Now I'm off to think up a new gift to draw for.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Classes for Men

Monday, October 18, 2006


Class 1 How To Fill Up The Ice Cube Trays --- Step by Step, with Slide Presentation.
Meets 4 weeks, Monday and Wednesday for 2 hours beginning at 7:00 PM .

Class 2 The Toilet Paper Roll --- Does It Change Itself?
Round Table Discussion. Meets 2 weeks, Saturday 12:00 for 2 hours.

Class 3 Is It Possible To Urinate Using The Technique Of Lifting The Seat and Avoiding The Floor, Walls and Nearby Bathtub? --- Group Practice.
Meets 4 weeks, Saturday 10:00 PM for 2 h ours.

Class 4 Fundamental Differences Between The Laundry Hamper and The Floor ---
Pictures and Explanatory Graphics. Meets Saturdays at 2:00 PM for 3 weeks.

Class 5 After Dinner Dishes --- Can They Levitate and Fly Into The Kitchen Sink?
Examples on Video. Meets 4 weeks, Tuesday and Thursday for 2 hours beginning at 7:00 PM

Class 6 Loss Of Identity --- Losing The Remote To Your Significant Other.
Help Line Support and Support Groups. Meets 4 Weeks, Friday and Sunday 7:00 PM

Class 7 Learning How To Find Things ---
Starting With Looking In The Right Places And Not Turning The House Upside Down While Screaming. Open Forum . Monday at 8:00 PM, 2 hours.

Class 8 Health Watch --- Bringing Her Flowers Is Not Harmful To Your Health.
Graphics and Audio Tapes. Three nights; Monday, Wednesday, Friday at 7:00 PM for 2 hours.

Class 9 Real Men Ask For Directions When Lost --- Real Life Testimonials.
Tuesdays at 6:00 PM Location to be determined.

Class 10 Is It Genetically Impossible To Sit Quietly While She Parallel Parks?
Driving Simulations. 4 weeks, Saturday's noon, 2 hours.

Class 11 Learning to Live --- Basic Differences Between Mother and Wife.
Online Classes and role-playing . Tuesdays at 7:00 PM, location to be determined

Class 12 How to be the Ideal Shopping Companion Relaxation Exercises, Meditation and Breathing Techniques.
Meets 4 weeks, Tuesday and Thursday for 2 hours ! beginning at 7:00 PM .

Class 13 How to Fight Cerebral Atrophy ---
Remembering Birthdays, Anniversaries and Other Important Dates and Calling When You're Going To Be Late.
Cerebral Shock Therapy Sessions and Full Lobotomies Offered. Three nights; Monday, Wednesday, Friday at 7:00 PM for 2 hours.

Class 14 The Stove/Oven --- What It Is and How It Is Used. Live Demonstration.
Tuesdays at 6:00 PM, location to be determined.

Upon completion of any of the above courses, diplomas will be issued to the survivors.

cowboys, birdies and cake

Yesterday I ripped apart the beginning of my story and rearranged. Then I printed out, read through, edited once more, and today I should be moving forward again. Benjamin and Lorabeth are testing my patience.

It's time for River City Round-Up, a city-wide celebration celebrating our city's roots. Businesses and schools and stores participate. Here's one of Nebraska's tough cowboys.

There was a bird squatting in front of the garage, and this tough guy wouldn't budge past it until I shooed it off into the grass. I came home and it was gone, so it must have found its wings.

This would be a good day for a chocolate cake. Or a bag of M&Ms. Or a box of chocolate frosted doughnuts. Instead I'm going to enjoy my hard-boiled egg and can of V-8 and picture myself slim. But visions of chocolate cake will be swimming in my head...hmmm...maybe Lorabeth could bake one. I'll live vicariously through her.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006


I just want you to know that the total of visits to this blog since July 6th, 2006 is

Holy cow! I love my readers!
I volunteered to die-tie T-shirts for first graders. Apparently while I was gone, my daughter and husband were having a conversation, and my husband mentioned, "What does mom know about dying shirts?" Of course he doesn't share the same mentality as I, that all knowledge and skills are at my fingertips via The Internet! LOL Anyway, ever my champion, Elijah comes back in my defense with, "She's good at dying hair." So there you have it.

So we tie-dyed 25 T-shirts last night. Of course thay have to be prepared and soaked and all that, and we were only allowed one color -- orange. Each grade is a different color. It would be fun to experiment with more colors. The shirts are in plastic bags right now while the color sets. I'll set them in front of a window in the sun today. This evening we rinse and wash. I'm already planning a trip to school on spirit day to get a pic of the class.

Live and learn. Next time this will be an outdoor project. Next time I will not end up with orange feet. (I think 2nd grade is green anyway.) LOL

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Fall Splendor

See the bee at lower right?

Isn't fall breathtaking? On our trip home from Olahoma, we were in awe of the vibrant colors blanketing the hills. The trees are in their autumn glory, and red sumac lines the highways. My fall flowers are bursting into bloom just now, berries on bushes and bright spiky mums in a variety of colors. This will have to be my weekend to make the scarecrows I've been planning. I already have buckets and baskets of pumpkins. I may have to take my camera for a ride, too.....

Monday, September 25, 2006

I'm back!

Can you say "Hot!?" Oklahoma was hot and sultry, especially Friday. Friday night there were tornados and electricity was out in much of Broken Arrow. Our hotel was in Tulsa, and my roomie and I heard nothing. We slept right through the storm. Saturday was a dream, perfect skies and comfortable breeze. The weather was perfect for driving home yesterday, as well.

Of course I loved seeing all the trees and flowers in bloom, and the vining plants were beautiful everywhere. I purposely didn't take my camera, because I didn't want to be obsessed. I was able to simply enjoy the ride, the weather, the other women I met and the speakers. The Kindle the Flame conference is held at the RHEMA Bible Training Center in Broken Arrow. There were 1900 women in attendance this year, and I'm already looking forward to next.

I ate to my heart's content -- chocolate cake, etc.. I figure when I'm careful the rest of the time, special occasions are supposed to be special. Today I'm back to the program.

An Author Alteration copy of THE LAWMAN'S WIFE came in the mail while I was gone, so I'm working on that for a few days. It's the final proof read of the manuscript before it goes to print. I've asked for a cover, but haven't seen it yet. Off to check on that.

Nice to know I was missed!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

on the road again

I'm heading off on my road trip with five other crazy women early in the AM, but promise to post as soon as I get home -- late Sunday.

Have a great weekend, Blog Buddies!
I'll bring you a postcard LOL
In an article in PREVENTION magazine, Maria Rodale gave 20 ways to enjoy all the benefits that pleasure can bring to your life. Number three on her list is to: Savor a romance novel."

Why, thank you, Ms. Rodale, I believe I will.

She writes "...reading books with happy endings is one of life's greatest pleasures." Among Maria's other tips -- play with animals, take a snooze, and watch a funny movie. Great advice, eh?

We haven't made lists for a while! Next to my readers, I love lists!
Let's list the things that give us the greatest pleasure. (Let's just consider sex a given. LOL) Can you come up with 20?

Here are mine in no particular order:
reading a wonderful book
writing a great book
holding a baby
spending a day with my husband
a leisurely vacation
taking pictures
painting a room
shopping for treasures
decorating my home
growing flowers
cooking for my grandkids
seeing my children happy
a clean house
laughing with friends
a task well done
road trips
chocolate cake
the color teal
a balmy summer day

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

we've come a long way, baby!

Click to enlarge so you can read:

Premiere: SMITH

I always like Ray Liotta -- good guy, bad guy, doesn't matter. But what does matter is -- there SHOULD be a good guy! Are we supposed to root for this gang who uses automatic weapons to kill anyone that gets in the way of their robbery? I can't like these characters, can I? Is Bobby sympathetic just because he loves his children? Of course there's a leggy blonde, but hello, she tazed an old high school pal who recognized her during the heist! It's not that I wasn't caught up in the show, it's that I'm disturbed that the bad guys are the "protagonists."
Anyone else care to weigh in on this one?

What have you seen & what are you waiting for on the fall TV line-up?

Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip is a character-driven portayal of a fictitious National Broadcasting System, a network that airs a controversial late-night sketch comedy series. It's said to do for Hollywood what The West Wing did for Washington. I never cared for TWW, and I'm already concerned for this debut show because...well, because I liked it. It seems any time I like a new fall program it tanks in or after the first season. This cast seems no-fail; it's fast-paced (Sorry LOST fans, but I fell asleep during the first season) and the story people are believable--not all gorgeous size 2 women or hunks with rippling muscles. Okay, they did cast two gorgeous women, but they almost have to, don't they?

I've always like Steven Weber. He's doing another Stephen King movie that we'll see next. I never "got" Friends, but Matthew Perry brings the humor to this show. Big name guest stars, too.

Two more days until Gray's Anatomy, and my hubby is going to have to be trusted to tape it for me, 'cause I'll be GONE! OH NO! That's what I'm waiting for.

Monday, September 18, 2006

This was my best picture of the weekend. I love the shadowed pumpkin in the foreground and the lighter foilage in the background.

I am loving the weather this week, and wondering what I will take pictures of when Nebraska winter is full upon us. That will my challenge, eh?

I'm leaving for Tulsa in a few days. The forecast there is mild 70s, maybe cloudy for a day or two. It's a road trip to a conference with five other women, and I can't wait to have the breather. Tomorrow I dig out my luggage and start packing.

Today I worked on art fact sheets for my May '07 book--I'm still writing it, but they wanted to get it into production and the cover comes first. I sent the picture of our favorite cowboy! Fingers crossed that the hero on the cover looks that good. I did mention that he has lips that arrest a woman's thoughts. LOL

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Nick Again

Here's the calendar page I sent the art department. The NICK ALL NIGHT cover is the most commented upon cover I've ever had.

Nick looks good in any language! Here he is in Italy, Germany and America!

A big howdy hi to
and John!

Saturday, September 16, 2006

stormy weather

It was nearly dark when I took this pic, the sun had almost set behind me, and this cloud formation to the east was lit by the last rays. Notice the dark clouds at the upper left, that's what the rest of the sky looked like. I knelt down in front of the canna lilies to get this great shot.

The game was interrupted by tornadoes, which was irritating as all get out, because they split the screen and the weathermen talked over it. I realize they have to protect people, so I'm not really griping. My family is the very laid back variety who go out to look at neat cloud formations and only send the kids to the basement when the sirens are going off and it looks really bad. We had two spending the night, and they just went down, got in bed and watched Jungle Book and ate popcorn without blinking an eye.

Later on we realized it was a blessing that we couldn't give our full attention to the game. We were run over, and it wasn't pretty.

The chili was good, though.

Husker fever

Sixteen new members to my newsletter, and welcome Karen, Maryann and Sybil!

It's Go Big Red game day in Nebraska. On game day everyone you encounter is wearing red. The grocery stores are packed with people buying chips and beer right up to the last minute. All activities stop promptly in time for the pre-game. But if you're unfortunate enough to work a retail job during the game, you hear it broadcast over the house speakers. Gallons of chili are consumed. Mine is summering now, even though the day is a scorcher out there.

You can't drive down a residential street without seeing a flurry of 'Lil Reds (the Husker mascot) in people's yards, red, white and black flags waving, big "N"s on every mailbox. The interstate is a nightmare between Omaha and Lincoln, and there's been a sellout crowd at the stadium every home game for 27 years. They just added I-don't-know-how-many new seats to accommodate more. (Maybe someone with a head for facts can supply how many the stadium seats.) It's a bunch, though, and visiting teams are wowed by the roar and learn they can't hear verbal signals. (Kind of a tactic, too.)

Yes, I'm a fan. I make big N-shaped soft pretzels and cook chili and root for my favorite quarterback and shout with the best of the fans. I prefer to watch on TV where I have the best seat in the house, a potty close by and cheap snacks! LOL

Friday, September 15, 2006


You guys blew me away this week! You know how to get into a drawing big time! Some of you have invited several friends, thank you! And my newsletter list has grown by leaps & bounds in the past several days.

Welcome to:

I hope you'll all check in often. I usually hold at least one drawing every month.
And here's some cool news for all you NICK LOVERS!
I happen to have a UK copy of NICK ALL NIGHT sitting here on the shelf by my desk, so I am going to give a second place prize with this September drawing. I will make sure I send you an original cover along with the signed book, too.

So many of you expressed an interest in Nick that I thought I should spread him around as much as I can. LOL

Thursday, September 14, 2006

more backyard beauty

welcome new blog friends!

I finally have morning glories in the midst of my garden! I've attempted to plant these several times, and this is th first time they actually did something spectacular. Not a lot of blooms yet, but next year should be awesome! As I was snapping pics, a hummingbird flew around me, so close I could hear its tiny wings and see it perfectly as it hovered above a canna bloom. Trying to turn the camera and adjust focus scared the little guy away. But it was so cute.

Later, I took Elijah out and we stood still in the gsrden waiting. Two hummingbords flitted together and flew just inches from our faces. Elijah was delighted. We have squash now and several ripe pumpkins.

Good job on the contest, guys! So far there are ten new subscribers for my newsletter and several new faces here! I'll keep you updated.

REMEMBER: If you sent a friend and they signed up or posted, send me an email. That's what I use for your entry.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

More Firsts

This is Alexis on her first day of third grade.
She's an animal lover, especially cats and bunnies. She's a bit of a fashion diva and loves new clothes and sparkly shoes and hair things.
She loves to come to my house and bake cakes with me.

This is Jared's first day of first grade. He's a combination of outdoor bike rider/ramp jumper and inside game cube junkie. He's deep-voiced and soft-hearted. When he was in Kindergarden I told him the Bible story of David killing the bear and the foxes before he killed Goliath, and Jared cried for the animals.

Both of these kids love to eat salad!

I love sharing great sites!

Time-sucking, though they may be. In the past I've shown you pics of my workspace in the midts of chaos, mid-book. Today I'm showing you the tidied-up-because-I'm-in avoidance-mode version.

I even discovered a stack of unanswered fan mail which is now lying by my PC. My bad.

And now I'm sending you to check out the workspaces of other authors. I have to tell you, Jennie Cruisie's is my favorite! LOL

Go here:

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

September Drawing!

I told you I was cooking up something good--and I did! Normally the drawings I hold don't require anything of you except a comment to my blog. Some authors ask you to answer questions about their books, etc.. But this time there is a requirement for entry.

In order to qualify for the September drawing you must invite a friend to either:
a. sign up for my online newsletter or
b. visit my blog and post a comment

As soon as your friend does one of those two things, email me at and let me know it was you who sent them, and I will place your name in the newly-emptied-and-ready-for more-fun fish bowl! At the end of September, I will draw one name and that person will receive:

~ a vintage gold-trimmed Enesco cup & saucer with a violet motif from my personal collection
~ a package of Gormly's Traditional English Raspberry Almond Scone Mix and
~ 3 signed Special Editions

When my mom told me she'd discovered doubles among her CSJ collection and asked me if I wanted to give them to someone, I replied, "I sure do!"

Q. Can you invite more than one friend and have your name entered more than once!
A. Of course!

Q. Can your friend invite a friend and enter her name, too?
A. Of course!

Q. If you've already won a previous drawing, are you eligible?
A. Yes!

Q. Can you drink tea from this cup?
A. I promise to dust before mailing.

Q. Do I love my readers?
A. Duh.

So, make a list of your reader friends and let them know about the good times rolling here.
Readers can sign up for my newsletter two ways: right here at the bottom of this page...
or from my website:

Blogging at the HH Blog

Visit the Harlequin Historicals authors blog to read my blog about the Harvey Girls who play an important part in my next book.

Monday, September 11, 2006

I read a book............

I've loved Jill Marie Landis since SUNFLOWER, her Golden Heart winner, and have read all but a few of the new contemporary releases. She's every bit as good at writing engaging characters in present day settings as she is at historicals. Set in California and Hawaii, Jill's own stomping grounds, this story of a female PI hooked me from the get-go and didn't let me go. It's a one sitting--maybe get some sleep and start again--read.

Highly recommended.

I read a book............

I read every Ann Frasier book that comes out and look forward to the next. Her characters are often disturbing, and she always comes up with something unique. This story is gripping, as are all of hers, though this time I felt as though I was reading a Stephen King book. It hooked me from the start and I stayed awake way too late in order to finish, so that says a lot. It wasn't a feel-good read, but it was a good read.

Monday Drawings

Alrighty then, getting right to the fish bowl this morning for some giveaway fun.

Mel is keeping me on track with these prizes; Mel I think you should come over and make sure I mail them too! LOL Just kidding. I'm not doing badly.

Okay, first I'll draw a name for a backlist book, which I didn't do last week. Woops. And the winner for their choice of book from my backlist (excluding a couple I don't have, like Christmas Gold and Joe's Wife) is........


Whoo hoo! Please send your address and selected book title to me at:

Okay, and next is Katrina's copy of Joe's Wife. Hard to get that one is, so the lucky gal will be.......


Whoo, hoo, Mel! Send me your addy and I'll send it on to Katrina.
Thanks for doing this, Katrina!

Okay, and the final winner for today receives an autographed copy of PRAIRIE WIFE, and that goes to................


Yeah! bookworm, send me your address at:, and I'll get your book out to you this week.

Congrats to all, and thanks for being my blog buddies. I love ya!

Now I'm off to cook up a new drawing -- oh, yeah, and write a book. LOL

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Happy Birthday Guys

Here's Adam and Eric again. They celebrate birthdays within a week of each other, and their party was today. They're the kids directly in front of their cakes.

We have rain and more rain in Nebraska! Cucumber production had already slowed down due to lack of warm enough weather and now the tomatoes have slowed down.

say cheese

Here's Erin. Remember that grouchy-looking picture from the first day of school? I caught her smile this time. (Must have been inspired by the cake and ice cream.)

Saturday, September 09, 2006

some guys just know how to have fun

This just makes me laugh every time I watch it!


Okay, woops, the book Katrina has is JOE'S WIFE -- a book I DON'T HAVE!! LOL So we'll take names here for Katrina to send one person a JOE'S WIFE and I will keep taking names on the last post and send someone a PRAIRIE WIFE.

Giveaway from Katrina!

Katrina has an extra like-new copy of PRAIRIE WIFE she'd like to gift to someone who doesn't have one. If you need a copy, please post a comment today. If there's more than one of you who wants it, I'll draw a name.

Thank you, Katrina!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Thursday Musings

It's feeling more and more like fall weather here, and I'm loving it! We have orange pumpkins and the mums are starting to bloom. I have plans to make a couple of scarecrows--have all their clothes hanging in the garage, just need the hubby to help with frames.

I'm a big BONES fan. Did anyone watch it last night? Kind of yicky, but the story was ripped from the headlines with a twist. Sorry, Minna, I know you don't get this season there yet. It was a murdered woman who was pregnant and the husband was the suspect. The woman was discovered washed up in a bay.

I've been taping Justice, which comes on right after, for both new weeks, but haven't watched it yet.

Still haven't bothered to watch Katie Couric on the news yet, though I've read about her in the paper. I never understood her appeal; she's just o.k. Much ado about little, I'm thinking. Now bring on Dr. Phil and let him comment on the news and I'd be all over that. LOL!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

not a daytime tv person

Okay, okay, Okay, I turned on The View just to see what all the hype was about and whether or not it was worthy of headlines and gossip columns....


Back to my manuscript/

trash to treasure

This lovely teacart is another of my favorite things. My husband salvaged it from a trash pile, sanded off rust, refinished and bought frosted glass for the top. It's currently serving as a table between two chairs in front of my living room windows.

Had a great holiday weekend. Friends asked us out to their place yesterday, where we grilled and played horsehoes. It had been planned as the last swim day before they close their pool, but Nebraska weather didn't allow. We did enjoy the delightful change of mild weather. I didn't have my camera, but my friend did, so I'll ask him to send me a couple shots. I was in camera envy, actually.