Thursday, May 31, 2007

Red Roses

Red Roses for Authors Interviewed me and posted it today.
You can read it HERE.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Favorite Songs from Movies

It's been a while since we did a list, and I have one I think will be fun. I have been singing that silly "I've been living with a clown above my bed" line to myself for days. I already reviewed Music & Lyrics when I saw it at the theater, so I didn't mention that I rented it and watched it again. I'm going to have to buy it.

What are your favorite unforgettable songs from the movies? Here are ten I came up with, but there are a jilion more I love. Are any of these on your favorites list? Which ones are stuck in your head for life?

* This Old Time Rock & Roll, Bob Seger, Risky Business
* The Time of My Life, Jennifer Warnes & Bill Medley, Dirty Dancing
* Take My Breath Away, Berlin, Top Gun
* Unchained Melody, Righteous Brothers, Ghost
* You've Got A Way, Shania Twain, Notting Hill
* To Make You Feel My Love, Tricia Yearwood, Hope Floats
* Summer Nights, John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John, Grease
* Under the Boardwalk, Bette Midler, Beaches
* My Heart Will Go On, Celine Dion, Titanic
* Pretty Woman, Roy Orbison, Pretty Woman

Summer TelevisionAnyone going to watch The Starter Wife?

Okay, so I said I wouldn't get hooked on anythng for the summer...but I don't want to miss something good, especially if it's a romance! LOL I've been seeing the promo for this on Lifetime and am going to give it a shot. I like Debra Messing. I never watched Will & Grace, but I LOVE The Wedding Date.

This is the TV adaptation of Gigi Levangie Grazer's bestseller THE STARTER WIFE. The six-hour telefilm, which will begin airing on the USA Network on May 31, features Emmy-winning actress Debra Messing (Will & Grace) and Joe Mantegna (Joan of Arcadia).

Messing plays Molly Kagan, a woman who remakes her life after her Hollywood mogul husband dumps her by cell phone. The program is being directed by Jon Avnet, who produced such movie hits as Risky Business and Fried Green Tomatoes.

The following by By MAUREEN RYAN
The Watcher , A Chicago Tribune blog
May 30, 2007

'Starter Wife' kicks of summer-fluff season with style
Now that summer is here, you may be longing for the perfect beach read. But perhaps you don’t have the energy it takes to lift a paperback — and hey, it’s understandable. Some of those bigger tomes on quality paper can be pretty heavy!

Don’t worry, to savor “The Starter Wife” (8 p.m. Thursday, USA Network), an enjoyable chick-lit concoction, you don’t have to lift anything heavier than your TV remote.

This mini-series, which airs for two hours Thursday and has additional episodes on Thursdays in June, is adapted from Gigi Levangie Grazer’s novel of the same name. As adapted by USA, it’s the TV equivalent to a satisfying, entirely inconsequential beach read.

You know the kind of book I mean — the one in which you get to secretly revel in the brand names and luxe lifestyle of the heroine and her friends yet still enjoy the satisfaction of condemning them (just a little) for their frivolous, materialistic lives. The fact that the arrogant, unappreciative men in the book get roughed up (metaphorically speaking) is just an added bonus.

And of course, aside from the Thoughtless Man, there are always one or two Other Guys, who are Not Mean and maybe Better Than That Jerk the heroine made the mistake of committing her life to.

You can stop the song on the slide show underneath this if you want to watch and hear this preview.

Monday, May 28, 2007


Okay, so if you're not hooked yet, now's your chance to watch the reruns. Or go rent season one and get caught up. Wednesday nights 7PM on Fox.

I'm teasing you with my slideshow.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

The Holiday

I'm on a movie renting kick. Movies jump start my creativity and are pure escapism. After working in the yard and garden for six hours after church, then a quick WallyWorld run for more mulch and ice cream, we watched The Holiday. (My husband said not to tell any of his friends that he loved this movie. LOL) Close-minded people would call it a chick flick. I call it great writing and a couple hours of laughs.

Iris (Kate Winslet) is in love with a man who is about to marry another woman. Across the globe, Amanda (Cameron Diaz) realizes the man she lives with has been unfaithful. Two women who have never met and live 6,000 miles apart, find themselves in the exact same place. They meet online at a home exchange website and impulsively switch homes for the Christmas holiday. Iris moves into Amanda's L.A. house in sunny California as Amanda arrives in the snow covered English countryside.

Shortly after arriving at their destinations, both women find the last thing either wants or expects: a new romance. Amanda is charmed by Iris' handsome brother Graham (Jude Law) and Iris, with inspiration provided by legendary screenwriter Arthur (Eli Wallach), mends her heart when she meets film composer Miles (Jack Black). I highly recommend this film. The characters are fun and the plot moves along swiftly. There are a couple of surprises and of course a happy ending. One of my favorite scenes is Kate Winslet "dancing" while lying in bed.

Catch and Release

This movie didn't get good reviews. I usually enjoy movies the critic don't like and can't get through those that get raves reviews and win Oscars. Ge figure. Gray Wheeler’s (Jennifer Garner) wedding day is not going as planned. Instead of walking down the aisle in her wedding gown, she is at the funeral of her fiancé, Grady, following his accidental death on a trip meant to be his bachelor party. To make ends meet, Gray puts her things in storage and moves in with Grady’s roommates, levelheaded and attentive Dennis (Sam Jaeger) and quirky yet lovable Sam (Kevin Smith). With childhood friend Fritz (Timothy Olyphant) in from L.A. and crashing on the couch, it’s a full house. Inhabiting Grady’s old room, Gray soon learns that her fiancé had been keeping some big secrets from her and may not have been the man she thought he was. Perhaps more importantly, she discovers some surprising things about herself, and her ability to heal and love again.

Each of the characters in this film has to find a way to survive the devastating loss of a man who held them all together. Garner effectively conveys Gray’s heartbreak and confusion without going over the top. As Fritz, Olyphant pulls off the role of the mystery man who is always charming but often misunderstood. Jaeger is earnest and heartfelt as Grady’s roommate and business partner. But Smith is the scene-stealer here, with deadpan delivery and great timing as a Celestial Seasonings employee spouting philosophical quotes from the herbal tea company’s packaging. Juliette Lewis appears as a sexy, slightly flaky, Californian massage therapist who is also a skeleton in Grady’s closet.

Jennifer Garner was pregnant while making this movie. I didn't NOT like the flick, but it wasnt all feel good. Obviously, the subject of grief and betrayal are difficult to deal with, but it does have light moments.

FYI: It was 100 times better than the depressing Pursuit of Happyness everyone loved. That movie was just plain awful.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Winner #1 - The Barefoot Princess

This week's winner is Sue. Sue receives an autographed copy of Christina Dodd's RITA nominated book, The Barefoot Princess. This is a terrific book, and I know you'll enjoy it, Sue!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Smooches for WDMCuz!

I lost my ClustrMap when I upgraded the blog and Cuz helped me get it back.
I love my little map. I love my little map with all the pretty red dots that show where you guys are from. It's back. I can stop WHINING.

Smooches, Cuz!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

PTA Life Achievement Award

Adam and Eric announce the recipient: Their Mom

LeighAnn (in blue) recieves the PTA Life Achievement Award

The National PTA Life Achievement Award is the highest honor from the nation’s largest child advocacy organization, awarded to "the person who daily lives out his or her commitment to children." My daughter LeighAnn was awarded this achievement this morning at a special ceremony at their school. She receives a certificate, a letter from the national PTA president and a 24K gold lapel pin. It was a surprise to her.

LeighAnn said she suspected something when she saw the principal call her youngest two into the office, and then when she saw me there, she knew something was up.

Here she is with the principal. The PTA also gave LeighAnn a hanging basket of flowers.

This is a particularly sad-sweet year end because this is her last year of involvement at this elementary school. Next year the two younger boys will be closer to where they moved three years ago. LeighAnn has driven them quite distance every day because of their love for the school and the teachers.

A Rainy Morning and a Rural Road

It was a raining morning as I traveled to see my daughter recieve her award. (That's why the pictures inside the school gym are so dim. It was overcast and they had the shades drawn for slideshows.) I couldn't resist getting out of my car to snap these shots along the highway.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Latest 'Idol' Elimination Bolsters Age-Old Theory

It's Sex, Not Singing, That Sells
By Nekesa Mumbi Moody
AP(May 18)

-- She was an "amazing talent," a young singer with a wonderful voice who wrote beautiful songs. But she was no beauty, plus flat-chested and overweight to boot.

What's Wrong With Being Sexy?
Remembering the aspiring star, music executive Jody Gerson still feels terrible about thinking: "She's never going to get signed, even though she's fabulous." Gerson might feel even worse after Wednesday night's exit of the matronly Melinda Doolittle from "American Idol." In today's music industry, Plain Janes need not apply. Sex appeal was once considered a bonus for a woman; now it's practically a requirement. Doolittle and the heavyset, gap-toothed LaKisha Jones were widely considered this season's most talented "Idol" contestants. Yet both were eliminated from the final four in favor of Blake Lewis, who makes the teen girls swoon, and the long-locked, 17-year-old looker Jordin Sparks.

A quick check of the Billboard Top 40 turns up a list of candidates for "America's Top Model": Avril Lavigne , blonde stunner Carrie Underwood ; tomboyish but sexy Ciara , fashionista Gwen Stefani and hip-swiveling Shakira (on a song featuring bootylicious Beyonce ). The only two in the Top 40 who might not be considered perfect 10s: Pink , who is still svelte and appealing; and multiplatinum Grammy-winner Kelly Clarkson , who got her break only through winning the democratically elected "American Idol." When asked whether a female with so-so looks and sex appeal could get a record deal, Gretchen Wilson quickly replied: "They can't."

Seen and Heard
Jaw-dropping discoveries from the vast blogostubenets
"I believe that very few will get through and they better be amazing," Wilson said in an interview. "The music is not about just music anymore, it's about the look, the 'it' factor if you will ... it's marketing." True, looks have always been a part of the music business: Diana Ross played a model in the movie "Mahogany," Marianne Faithfull was considered a beauty, Tina Turner 's legs were part of her sex appeal, Olivia Newton-John was the lovely girl-next-door and Stevie Nicks rocked teenage boys with more than just her guitar. But there also were stars like wild-haired, pudgy Janis Joplin and Barbra Streisand , who challenged beauty standards with her protruding nose. Even curvy Aretha Franklin was known mainly for her one-of-a-kind voice.

Today, it's hard to find a singer larger than a size 6 and without a sexy look — all of which are played up with sensuous videos, modeling spreads and provocative magazine covers. Lavigne, who once scoffed at singers who stripped for the cameras, fronts the new issue of Blender topless save for a strategically placed banner that reads "Hell Yeah, I'm Hot!" The hit reality show "Pussycat Dolls Present: The Search for the Next Doll" is a striking example. In finding a replacement for current lead doll, stunner Nicole Scherzinger, the judging panel — which included the cosmetically enhanced rapper Lil' Kim — did talk about vocal qualities.

But while a few contestants had strong voices, all were taut, toned and sexy, and the focus was more on their dancing and overall desirability. Which is to be expected from the group responsible for the anthem "Don't Cha" (as in, "don't cha wish your girlfriend was hot like me?"). Even singers who are heralded for their talent are gorgeous, like Alicia Keys , Corinne Bailey Rae or Norah Jones . And while critically acclaimed Amy Winehouse may not win any beauty contests, her songs have a raw sexuality that give her that "it" factor. Dolly Parton , whose buxom figure sometimes overshadowed her talent as a songwriter and singer, said being "a good looking woman certainly can't hurt you any if you're trying to make it." "But I would like to believe that true and great and pure talent will rise above whatever else," the country legend said in an interview. "But certainly in music these days, the better you look, the more apt you're going to get a contract. "It's a damn pity, though, that people have to judge real talent on looks." Gerson says the way female artists look reflects our society, where women are constantly judged on their appearance and oversexualized. But she also says it reflects the way we listen to music these days — or don't listen. "They have to look hot and sexy in these videos," says Gerson, who is credited with helping discover Alicia Keys , among others, and is now executive vice president of the U.S. Creative division of EMI Music Publishing.

"In the days of Aretha Franklin , people saw Aretha maybe a couple of times a year," she said, "but you listened to a record without a visual. You didn't watch it. Everything today, you watch it." Gerson also agrees with Wilson about the marketing factor. With dwindling profits and budgets, record labels try to maximize artist exposure with clothing deals, cosmetic contracts, movie roles and modeling gigs. "How many endorsements does Beyonce have? Do you think it's because she's the most talented person on earth or do you think it's because she's gorgeous? I think she's talented but she's also gorgeous," Gerson says. "I think you need the whole package." And that notion, according to Wilson, "totally sucks." "My favorite singers in the world were Patsy Cline and Loretta Lynn , and Patsy was a large woman, and Loretta — she was never some kind of a supermodel, but they were the greatest female voices in country music, and they changed lives and they made a difference," says Wilson, who, although considered sexy, feels she doesn't fit today's beauty standards. Where are the Patsy Clines of today? More often than not on smaller, underground labels, which put more of a premium on talent. And with the devolution of today's music industry, Gerson says, small labels may be the best path to success for a woman who doesn't look like a mold of a Barbie doll.

So how would Gerson advise the flat-chested, overweight, amazingly talented singer to chase her dream? Put out her own music and promote herself on the Web. "As far as we've come as women," Gerson asked, "where are we really?"
Copyright 2007 The Associated Press.

Surprises for my Blog Buddies

Just for fun, each week through June and probably July, I'm going to draw a name from those who posted during the week and send them a gift. Some of the gifts will be current RITA nominated books. Others will be anything that strikes my fancy at the moment. Why? Because I can and it sounds like fun to me.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

American Idol Finale

Well, Jordin outsang Blake as we figured, in fact Simon said she "wiped the floor" with him. Ouch. As of now Jordin is tops with dialidol and AOL voters, so we'll see.

AOL listed the Top 20 AI performances and #1 is Fantasia's Summertime. I did love it, but think Jordin may have topped even Fantasia with her performance of the new song tonight.

American Idol FInale

After last week, I can't even venture a guess as to who will come out on top. The best singer is gone. The second best singer is still in the competition, but that doesn't mean a thing. I will watch to be entertained and I will vote, then tune in Wednesday night to see where the chips fell.

Cheryl's Rhubarb Crisp

Rhubarb is a perennial vegetable that grows well in most of the United States. Rhubarb is used in pies, tarts and sauces. Wish I had my own.

My friend, Karen, offered to cut rhubarb and bring it to the city if I'd come to her husband's business and pick it up. I was there with taste buds on alert! I had enough for several quarts of sauce (we eat it over chocolate cake) a crisp and two gallon bags diced in the freezer! I didn't know what we were having for supper last night, but dessert was definitely on the menu. This is a recipe I've developed by tweaking over the years.

Cheryl's Rhubarb Crisp

5 cups diced rhubarb
1 cup sugar
3 Tablespoon flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon or allspice

Stir and spread in the bottom of lightly sprayed 9X13 pan.

1 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cup flour
a pinch of salt
1 heaping cup rolled oats
1 cup butter or margarine

Mix dry ingredients, cut in butter with a pastry cutter. Sprinkle over top of rhubarb. You'll need to use your fingers to spread it.

Bake 40 minutes.
Add strawberries to the rhubarb; add cinnamon to the topping.
Serve with cream or ice cream. Serve warm or cold.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Monday Flowers


I did snap my first butterfly of the season this morning, but the shots weren't clear. I caught this bleeding heart with the morning sun behind it and I just love the effect of the light through those delicate flowers.

It's fun to experiement taking shots at different times of day. Morning and late evening are my favorites, because of the light contrast.

This last one is spiderwort. I think it's gorgeous. My heroine in Saint or Sinner had one planted in a sugar bowl on her kitchen table.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Novia por correo

Disparar contra un bandido fue lo primero que hizo la periodista Hallie Wainwright al llegar al salvaje oeste, donde había viajado con un grupo de novias prometidas por correo. Pero fue la bienvenida tan íntima en brazos de Cooper DeWitt la que hizo latir su corazón a toda velocidad, haciendo que le resultara más difícil explicar al rudo hombre del oeste que ella no era la mujer que había ido para ser su esposa...

Who is Amanda Beard?

Amanda Beard was the most popular google search last week. How do I know? I checked it out.
Amanda Ray Beard (Irvine, California, October 29, 1981) is an American Olympic swimmer. Here's what Wikipedia says about her:

Beard made her first Olympic appearance at the 1996 games at the age of 14. She won silver medals in the 100-meter and 200-meter breaststrokes, and a gold in the medley relay. Her young-teen manner captured the attention of the media, and she was often photographed clutching her teddy bear which joined her on the medal stand. She won a bronze medal in the 200-meter breaststroke at the 2000 Games. Amanda attended the University of Arizona where she captured an individual NCAA National Championship in 2001.

In 2003 she became the world champion and world record holder in the 200m breaststroke. She also made a good showing at the 2004 U.S. Olympic Swim Trials, and she competed in the 2004 Olympic Games, where she won a gold medal in the 200-meter breaststroke, her first individual gold medal. She also won a silver medal in the 200-meter individual medley, and she finished fourth in the 100-meter breaststroke.

Amanda has won eight United States titles (3 times both in 200m breaststroke and 100m breaststroke, plus 2 times in 200m individual medley). She was 1st in world ranking of 200m breaststroke since 2003.

Olympic medal record
Women's swimming
Gold 1996 Atlanta 4x100 m medley relay
Silver 1996 Atlanta 100 m breaststroke
Silver 1996 Atlanta 200 m breaststroke
Bronze 2000 Sydney 200 m breaststroke
Gold 2004 Athens 200 m breaststroke
Silver 2004 Athens 200 m individual medley
Silver 2004 Athens 4x100 m medley relay

Her modelling work through photos in swimwear, including bikinis, have been in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition She is a spokesperson for Defenders of Wildlife, and she enjoys interior decorating. Both of her sisters, Leah and Taryn, are swimmers. Amanda placed eighth in the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach Celebrity car race in 2006.

Beard dated South African swimmer Ryk Neethling for nearly six years, but that relationship ended in the Spring of 2005. She is well-known among stockcar racing circles, after dating several of the drivers. Her relationship with Nextel Cup Series driver Carl Edwards ended in April of 2006.

Beard was featured on the cover of the September 2004 issue of FHM magazine that was titled the "Sexy Olympic special". Alongside Beard were pro volleyball player Logan Tom, pro track stars Amy Acuff and Jenny Adams, and fellow pro swimmer Haley Cope. Amanda was featured on the cover and an inside pictorial for the August 2006 issue of FHM, which also named her the world's sexiest athlete on the cover.

Amanda posed for the upcoming July 2007 issue of Playboy. She will be featured on the cover.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Holy cow, Batman! (and Melinda Doolittle)

We set a record yesterday! 209 visits to this blog!! Maybe I need to write more posts with American Idol in the subject line. LOL

Pricey Flip Flops

Anyone get a pair of these for Mother's Day? Moszkito makes flip-flops with arch support that are meant for more than just a trip to the beach. The Snake Charmer flip-flop features 24 round, full-cut, high quality diamonds (6 carats total) on a black leather shoe. The Moszkito Arch Sandals offer more support than a traditional flip-flop and comes in a variety of price ranges, styles and colors. The diamond-decorated version sells for $20,000.

on my wish list now

Miss Cheryl (Ginny) Doll

Gray's Anatomy Season Finale

Well, that was a bit of a shocker at the end there. Christine was the one ready to get married and got jilted!

I was a bit confused over the whole head of surgery thing, though. Didn't they show Callie's name on the board as the person selected? And didn't she tell Izzy that she got the position and decided to have a baby that day? But then at the end, the head of surgery was telling McDreamy that he had the job and McDreamy turned it down and told him to do it better himself this time around.

Anyone else confused? I have it taped. Maybe I'll have to watch it again, though I don't want to.

Izzy = Izn't she irritating? "I love Denny, I'll sacrifice my career for him. I can't live without Dead Denny. I'm so depressed, but I love George Oh, I'm so jealous." Pu-leeze.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Melinda Doolittle Sent Home in 'Idol' Shocker

NEW YORK (May 17) -

Most observers thought she was a lock to go on to the "American Idol " finale, but Melinda Doolittle was eliminated Wednesday night. The result was a real surprise, considering Doolittle - hands down the best singer there - had the blessing of Simon Cowell . Her departure clears the way for a final showdown between Jordin Sparks and Blake Lewis.

"Congratulations to you two. My commiserations, Melinda, 'cause you are one heck of a singer," said a glum Cowell, who covered his face with his hands upon hearing the news.

The acerbic judge had always made clear his affection for the 29-year-old backup singer-turned-diva from Brentwood, Tenn., who delivered knockout performances week after week. Doolittle, who never hit a bad note during her "Idol" run, seemed resigned to her fate. She belted "I'm A Woman" before leaving the stage.

It's tough to predict who'll win next week's finale. Sparks, 17, of Glendale, Ariz., rose from the bottom ranks to gain much momentum in later weeks, and few would deny her broad appeal to viewers of all ages. The bubbly beauty has charisma for miles - a true American idol, her fans argue.

But the 25-year-old Lewis, who hails from Bothell, Wash., has tricks up his sleeve. As this year's hippest contender, the stylish beatboxer has wooed fans by taking risks with song arrangements and infusing even stale pop songs with contemporary flair. He had a big "Idol" moment weeks ago when he mixed up Bon Jovi's "You Give Love a Bad Name" to add fresh beats - a move that secured him a spot in the final four. Even Cowell loved it.

Wednesday's show also featured performances by the band Maroon 5 and former contestant Elliott Yamin, who came in third last year.

Fox is a division of News Corp

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Bones Season Finale

Cold-booded murder...
Red Hot Romance...
and a Wedding Surprise to die for!

I can't wait! How about you?

American Idol Prediction: Down to the wire!

After last night, I stand by my prediction that it's Blake's night to go. He's good, he's fun, he's cute...but he can't hold a candle to vocals that can hold their own in a Tina Turner/Whitney Houston showdown. He's not quite quirky or charismatic enough to merit the Tayor Hicks factor. I've thought all along that this has been a girls' competition and tonight will prove it. So, thanks for the entertainment, Blake Baby. Buh bye.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

My American Idol Prediction

After Jordin and Melinda's extraordinary performances last week, I predict Blake will go home this week. He should have left well-enough alone with the noises the previous week when they worked and used his voice this time. I like him, I do. I've enjoyed his performances a lot. But when push comes to shove at the end here, it's these two vocally strong women who will duel it out at the end. That choice will be tough for me, because I love them both.

So there you have my Idol prediction. Give yourself the gift of a few minutes to hear Jordin Sparks sing one of my favorte songs and do it justice. In case you've never watched and heard Randy say it a hundred times, here's it is: "She's only seventeen!"

Readers favorite stars

The Harlequin Romance Report 2007, The Romance Revolution, includes the highly anticipated ranking of the male and female celebrities that epitomize The Romance Revolution. With an army of women waiting in the wings to be the next Mrs. Clooney, George Clooney took the number one spot for the men, while stunning songstress and recent breast cancer survivor Sheryl Crow topped the women's chart. Honorable mentions on the men's side went to hip-hop mogul Jay-Z, comical genius Vince Vaughn, tennis pro Andy Roddick and the sexiest pirate on earth, Johnny Depp. Lovely and talented Salma Hayek, controversial pop star Pink, acting legend Diane Keaton and actress-turned-author Angela Bassett are making it look easy for the women. Other celebrities making this year's list include Jack Nicholson, Matt Damon, Alex Rodriguez, Matthew Fox, Hugh Laurie, Cameron Diaz, Sandra Oh, Natalie Maines, Melissa Etheridge and Demi Moore.

This is just a taste of the findings in the 2007 Harlequin Romance Report. The full text of The Romance Revolution can be downloaded at

Debbie Macomber

Here's a link to a brief phone interview Debbie Macomber did from Omaha while on tour. A lot of you are fans, so I knew you'd enjoy this.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Season Finales

What will you be sure to watch this week?
Thanks to Margaret Moore, I won a

I am supposed to pass this list of rules to the blogs I am tagging.
The participation rules are simple:

1. If, and only if, you get tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think,
2. Link to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme,
3. Optional: Proudly display the 'Thinking Blogger Award' with a link to the post that you wrote.

Here are the blogs I feel have merits, i.e. relative content, and above all - blogs that really get me thinking.

Super Librarian

Paperback Writer

He Wrote, She Wrote

Teach Me Tonight

Miss Snark

<----- Here I am enjoying Mom's Day.

Mother's Day was good. On Saturday my writers chapter had our annual mother daughter lunch at Upstream this year. LeighAnn and Kristin accompanied me and treated me to lunch, which of course included chocolate. Saw a movie Saturday night.

Sunday after church Jay took me out to eat at the Crowne Plaza. It's a hotel with a lovely Sunday brunch. We ate with friends and enjoyed a leisurely ::two hours:: of quiet conversation and attentive waiters and staff. Afterward we visited with my mom at my brother's home. I got a call from my out of town daughter with good wishes. I'll see her next weekend. Toward evening once we were home, my son and his family came over and brought me presents. Pajamas, shower gel, CHOCOLATE, nail color. My daughter-in-law said Alexis picked out the pajamas. Good job!

I also got a new iced tea maker. My teeth are having boat races right now, because it's so yummy. It was a good weekend.

The Doctor's Wife

If you're a member of and you need one, there's a copy of The Doctor's Wife available.

Also noticed a listing for The Mistaken Widow if anyone is missing that one. Didn't look for more, I just know this because I get google alerts for anything posted with my name and this book was posted.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Pet Name Reminder

Remember I asked for names of your pets last year? Well, The Preacher's Daughter is where you can look to see if I used any of yours. I used a lot of them, so it will be fun to hear from you when you find yours.

Here are Mazie and Riley, btw, my daughter's dogs.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Cheryl's Easy Strawberry Shortcake

Cheryl's Easy Strawberry Shortcake

I buy the angel food cake mix that only takes water. I think it's Pillsbury. Other mixes require egg whites, but that one is so simple, that's why I like it. Bake it according to the directions, but bake it in a 9 x 13 pan that you've sprayed with cooking spray.

While it's baking clean and slice 1 - 1 1/2 pints strawberries. (I've also used frozen with excellent results.) While the cake is cooling, prepare a large package of sugar-free strawberry jell-o. I use crushed ice (cause it's on the door of my fridge and easy) added to the cold water to speed setting up. It will still be liquid. Add the strawberries to it.

Use a large meat fork or a knife and poke holes all over the cake. Use the utensil to pull the sides away from the pan. Stab it up really well. The pour the strawberry and jell-o mixture around the sides first. then over the top. You may have to use a big spoon to distribute the liquid and fruit evenly.

Cover it and immediately refrigerate. It takes only a couple of hours to set up if you need it right away. I've made it at the last minute or the night before with perfect results.

Serve with Cool Whip.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Bleeding Heart

Isn't this amazing? I love the bright pink against the background of the ferns. These grow on the north side of my house.

Do you remember the first romance you ever read?

The Bandit and the Gentleman
Both were wounded in the same train robbery in frontier Colorado and left on Abigail McKenzie's doorstep to nurse back to life.

Gentle, loving David, promising her a happiness she'd lost hope of finding, was all a lady could wish for.
Jesse stood for everything she hated: he was rude, violent, roughly handsome and disturbingly sensual.
But it was Jesse's mocking mouth that troubled her dreams, Jesse who made her feel a hundred things a lady should never know, Jesse who challenged her every waking hour. She fought him with all the stiff propriety her stubborn will commanded...but in her burned the aching embers of love too long denied--love that would force her to a choice no woman should ever have to make...

Do you remember the first romance you ever read?

Through my twenties I was a horror fan. Yep, loved Stephen King. I also read true crime and Ann Rule type non-fiction accounts. My first "romance" experiences were accidentally getting a Nora Lofts Gothic from my bookclub. Pretty good. Catherine Cookson. Wow. I remember The Black Dress. Okay, I was hooked. Well, I don't know what inspired me because I'd mostly ordered through the bookclub until the, but in 1983 I went to a store and browsed the racks for something similar to Catherine Cookson. What I found was HUMMINGBIRD. Oh my goodness. I was hooked for life. I ran right back out and found THE RAINBOW SEASON by Lisa Gregory. (Candace Camp) Can you imagine the good fortune of discovering those two authors in my very first romance shopping trip?

I read every book both of them wrote and I branched out, and by then I was a true romance lover. I guess that's where my love of western and Americana comes from. My favorite LaVyrle book of all time is TWICE LOVED. She is the master of taking the mundane details of life and turning them into the stirring details of a love story. Internal conflict, poignant emotions wrung from the soul, and characters you believe in and root for.

What hooked you on romance?

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Mother's Day

Remember: You can never be too rich, too thin, or have too many purses or bracelets.

This is a Fossil brand necklace that turns into a charm bracelet. How cool is that? $42 to spoil mom the way she deserves.

If you're a mom, what would you like to get this Mother's Day? If you have a mom, what do you think she would like?

first garden pic of the year: columbine

Did I mention it's monsoon season in Nebraska? The grass is ankle deep because there hasn't been a day dry enough to mow. I think this is the day!

The sun crept out a little before seven last evening, so I hurried out with my camera to get a snap of the one bed I had completed near the front steps. The late frost took all my daffodils and hyacinths, so I was concerned for the columbine, one of my faves. But it looks lovely, doesn't it?

Last week one morning I went out and mixed up my special dirt recipe in a wooden frame Jay made for me. I started filling in beds, turning over the old mulch and dirt. I planted various colors of morning glories that will grow up the front corner near the garage. The rain has been good for seeds, but now we need sun!

Here's a robin in my front yard on an overcast afternoon.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Press Release from Fox


Five-Week Campaign Kicks Off Wednesday, April 4, on and MySpace

Viewers Have Chance to Follow Clues to Decipher Who Victim Will Be And Who Committed Fictional Murder

In an unique integration, the FOX series BONES, in conjunction with, has created a comprehensive online world that will parallel the characters and storyline of the upcoming episode “The Glowing Bones in the Old Stone House” airing Wednesday, May 9 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. Eighteen MySpace ( profiles have been created to mirror the characters in the episode, and the MySpace pages will be live and accessible through ( and beginning Wednesday, April 4 at noon PT. Additional promotional content related to the character profiles and episode storyline will be available on

In the episode, written by BONES executive producer Stephen Nathan and directed by Caleb Deschanel, Brennan (Emily Deschanel) and Booth (David Boreanaz) are called in by Homeland Security to investigate potentially radioactive remains, which are emitting a green glow at the crime scene. Brennan’s team at the Jeffersonian joins her and Booth in pursuing the murder mystery, which leads them to a group of friends who are shocked to discover that one of their own is the victim. During the course of the investigation, the characters’ MySpace pages become a virtual tool for the Jeffersonian team’s search for answers.

In-depth MySpace pages on characters will include personal blogs referencing the episode’s storyline, as well as photos and videos that reveal details about the characters’ relationships and insights into their personalities. These profiles will enable viewers to immerse themselves in the characters’ world and gather clues as to the identities of both the fictional victim and the murderer.

Personal blog postings and ancillary pages will be updated in real time, multiple times per week, throughout the campaign leading up to the episode – enabling viewers to gather new information, clues and hints on a regular basis. Each profile cross-references the others, creating a parallel online version of the episode’s storyline, with characters commenting on each other’s pages, blogs, images and videos.

BONES is from Josephson Entertainment and Far Field Productions in association with 20th Century Fox Television. Barry Josephson, Hart Hanson and Stephen Nathan are executive producers.

Mr. Fix-It

David Boreanaz stars alongside Alana De La Garza in this cute flick.

As Lance Valenteen, Mr. Fix It gets all the dumped men back in the groove by getting their gals back.

Newly dumped guys visit Lance at Mr. Fix It HQ where they plead their case, telling him of that one major flaw that saw their former significant other giving them the axe. Lance gathers the girl’s personal information, sets up a time and place to “accidentally” bump into her, worms his way into her heart, and then, just when she’s totally fallen for him, he takes her ex-boyfriend’s one major flaw and magnifies it, so that he becomes the biggest creep on the planet and the ex becomes Mr. Fantastic again and winds up with the girl. It’s easy money for Lance, but it comes at a price: the business has hardened his heart. But then, romantic comedy formula kicks in, and Lance is assigned to the one girl that turns the tables on him.

I think I'll rent it again, it's been a couple months. If you're a David fan, you'll like it. I appreciated his character growth. And I just appreciated....

TV shows:
Buffy The vampire Slayer (never watched it)
Angel (spinoff - never watched it)
Bones (never MISS it!)

The Hard Easy
Mr. Fix-It
The Perfect Lie
Aspen Extreme
Macabre Pair of Shorts
I'm With Lucy
These Girls
The Crow: Wicked Prayer