Monday, June 29, 2009

Petticoats and Pistols Drawing

Starting today and lasting throughout the week, the Fillies are posting excerpts on Petticoats and Pistols. Readers can guess which excerpt belongs to which author. The one who gets the most correct will receive a shower of books. How much fun is that?

Check it out every day and guess to win!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Bluetooth Anniversary

Next Wednesday is our anniversary, and I already got my gift. It's a cool one! Kristin is always Jay's cohort in gift selection and shopping. I got a Motorola Bluetooth to go with my still new Motorola Razorphone--it's tiny! It weighs 14 grams - how cool is that?

I tried it out last night and it's great. You can't feel it. When it beeps, you flip down the teensy microphone to answer. When the mic is folded up, it's conserving the battery. Also got a car charger.

Jay's getting several shummer shirts. Do you think I need to go shopping again? Wait, I'll make him strawberry shortcake.

Robots in Disguise

We went to see Transformers, Revenge of the Fallen tonight. With this type of movie I always have to work overtime at suspending disbelief, but I got into it. The names of the Transformers were familiar because we've read the books so many times. The action never stopped. There's humor and excellent cinemetography; the special effects are awesome, and the sound--wowza.

Elijah was in seventh heaven, of course. He's been looking forward to this release. He just got the poster today, and tomorrow it's getting framed and going up over his headboard in his freshly painted room.

Great action flick, but I was a little disappointed in blatant sexual references and the over-the-top sexy way the young women are portrayed. There is some offensive language, as well. The movie would have been as good or better without those factors. There were, of course, a lot of children in the theater.

I have a feeling it's a major movie weekend, so hang on for more.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

And so it begins

I'm currently working on chapters to sell Elisabeth's story - the oldest daughter from The Preacher's Wife. It's so much fun! She wants a man just like dear old dad and Gabe Taggart is NOTHING like Sam.

heh heh heh

I've had SO much good mail from The Preacher's Wife--thank you, thank you! (I'm kind of surprised that there are only a couple of reviews or comments on the amazon page.) So it's exciting to be writing a sequel. So many readers want the story to continue--and it will. At left is Sam and Josie's house in COlorado--the house where Elisabeth still lives with her family when this story starts.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


DATE: July 1 - 31
COST: $25.

Cheryl St.John has been writing for as long as she can remember. Her first form rejection came at the age of fourteen when she sent a short story to Redbook Magazine. After several years and many more submissions, she graduated to rejections actually signed by editors and agents. She can, in fact, brag that the best agents and editors in the business have rejected her, though she’s always hoped they wouldn’t remember her name if she met them face to face today. Those first submissions are embarrassing to look back on, but all part of the learning process.

After finding a local RWA chapter and honing her craft for a number of years, she finally got the call in 1993. RAIN SHADOW was a 1995 RITA finalist, and won an RT Achievement Award. A writer of both historical and contemporary romances, Cheryl has written for Harlequin Historicals, Intimate Moments, Duets, Special Edition, as a regular contributor to the popular Montana Mavericks series, and is most recently writing for the Steeple Hill Love Inspired Historical line.

Many wrongly assume that an author with over thirty books under her belt no longer deals with rejection. Wrong. Her record, only a couple of years ago, was eight rejections in one twelve month period. Cheryl believes her sales are a percentage of the number of submissions. Rejections are frustrating, sometimes hurtful, occasionally learning tools, but always an accomplishment in themselves. How many aspiring writers do you know who have never submitted anything? Or have submitted the same manuscript so many times, there’s nowhere left to send it? Or who gave up after one or two rejections? If Cheryl had given up any one of the times she thought about it, she’d never have published that first book or all that followed. What she said to herself each time, was, “What if it’s the next one, but I give up?”

She understands your yearning to have someone tell you if you can do this—tell you so you can stop beating your head against a wall if it’s hopeless. There’s no prophetic genie that can do that, however. There’s only that drive on the inside of you, that hopeful spirit of tenacity that pushes you through the tough times. It has to come from inside, and you have to know that you know that if you quit today, you’ll never be the person you know you can be.

The class will be conducted via subscription to a private yahoogroup. Two lessons per week, followed by questions and answers. Entire archived class will be available for one week after the ending date.

We’re always advised not to take rejection personally, but how do we do that when writing is so intensely personal? Cheryl will be sharing tips on how to react and what to do about those rejections. She’s looking forward to answering your questions about staying motivated.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Drawing Winners

I promised more drawings and said I'd keep drawing names from all your comments, so here goes.

This evening I drew two names - the readers I drew will each get one of the cups and saucers pictured here and an autographed copy of The Preacher's Wife. If you already have The Preacher's Wife, I have copies of Her Montana Man or other books from my backlist, and I'll try to find one you need.

And the winners are....

LINDA - desertrose5173


ELLEN - LdyLopes2002

email me at to claim your prize and let me know which book you want.
If your prize is unclaimed, I'll draw again.

I'll be holding another drawing from my Petticoats and Pistols blog on July 9th, and it will be for a book, a DVD set and a cowboy boots charm.

Keep leaving comments - each one goes in the fishbowl.

Garden Photos

I went out to take pics of my gardens this morning, and it's so incredibly hot and humid that my glasses and my camera lens fogged up!


My trumpet vine took four attempts at a start and then three years to get it this size. Last year was the first year it bloomed and this year it's gearing up to be beautiful. I think it might need pruned, because it's growing straight up off the top of the gate arbor, but I didn't have the heart. It grows on the arbor that Jay built as a gateway into our sideyard.

So far the daisies are just beginning to open. They didn't come back as full and wild as previous years. The winter must have tsken a toll on them. I'll split them in the fall and spread them out, though, and they'll come back fine.

This clematis grows on the arbor that Jay made in the back yard. It has taken a good four years to get tall and full. I see people who have them blooming over their mailboxes in early spring, but ours doesn't bloom until June. The white one is already finished, but this one is in its heyday. The morning glories should take over when this one begins to wane. They're still climbing the other trellis on the opposite side.

In this pic you can see my thistle feeder bag. The finches love it. In the early morning and in the evening, our backyard is filled with robins, goldfinches and purple finches, mourning doves, sparrows and starlings. Last night there were narrow-bodied black birds with smallish red heads - I haven't identified those yet. We live between a lake and forested area and a creek, so that helps us attract birds.

Above spiderwort and buttercups - the color combination takes my breath away.

These tiger lilies are in the side yard, which often resembles a wild jungle. But we like it that way. In the spring, when we walk through the gate and down the side, the scent of lilacs is heavenly.

It's not butterfly season yet, but soon I'll be posting butterflies. I grow a garden beneath my front windows to attract them.

If you want ideas to reuse things and spice up your yard, check out Fast and Fabulous Ways to Decorate Your Garden over at Better Homes and Gardens website.

Want to live longer?

After all those conflicting nutritional studies, here is the truth at last!

1. The Japanese eat very little fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.
2. The Mexicans eat a lot of fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.
3. The Chinese drink very little red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.
4. The Italians drink a lot of red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.
5. The Germans drink a lot of beers and eat lots of sausages and fats and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

Eat and drink what you like.
Speaking English is apparently what kills you.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Toll House Recall Product List

Recalled Products: The products involved in the voluntary recall include all varieties of Nestle TOLL HOUSE refrigerated Cookie Bar Dough, Cookie Dough Tub; Cookie Dough Tube; Limited Edition Cookie Dough items; Seasonal Cookie Dough and Ultimates Cookie Bar Dough. Variety information is included in the list below.

Description Unit Code (UPC)
Chocolate Chip bar 16.5oz 50000 62231 3
Chocolate Chip bar 16.5oz 0 50000 11308 8
Chocolate Chunk bar 16.5oz 0 50000 62235 1
Walnut Chocolate Chip bar 16.5oz 0 50000 62233 7
Jumbo Chocolate Chip bar 16.5oz 0 50000 62237 5
Oatmeal Raisin bar 16.5oz 0 50000 06219 5
Sugar Cookies bar 16.5oz 0 50000 62244 3
Sugar Cookies bar 16.5oz 0 50000 12178 6
Mini Chocolate Chip bar 16.5oz 0 50000 62242 9
Mini Chocolate Chip bar 16.5oz 0 50000 12188 5
Mini Brownie Bites bar 16oz 0 50000 62227 6
Fudgy Brownie With Peanut Butter Filling 19oz 0 50000 00820 9
Chocolate Chip tub 40oz 0 50000 62246 7
Chocolate Chip tub 80oz (5 lb) 0 50000 00934 3
Sugar tub 40oz. 0 50000 62253 5
Gingerbread tub 40oz 0 50000 44060 3
Peanut Butter tub 40oz 0 50000 44062 7

Chocolate Chip tube 16.5oz 0 50000 62239 9
Chocolate Chip tube 32oz 0 50000 00400 3

Ultimates Peanut Butter Cups, Chips & Chocolate
Chunks bar 16oz 0 50000 00922 0
Ultimates White Chip Macadamia Nut bar 16oz 0 50000 00923 7
Ultimates Chocolate Chip & Chunks with Pecans bar 16oz 0 50000 00925 1
Ultimates Chocolate Chip Lovers 16oz 0 50000 00926 8
Ultimates Turtles bar 16oz 0 50000 00928 2
Ultimates Peanut Butter Lovers bar 16oz 0 50000 00507 9
Ultimates Chocolate Chip with Caramel Filling bar 16oz 0 50000 44066 5
Ultimates Chocolate Chip with Chocolate Filling bar 16oz 0 50000 44069 6

Sunday, June 21, 2009

the reader mail is coming in!

I am thrilled with the amount of reader mail I've been getting for The Preacher's Wife. Probably half of the letters mention that the reader would love to see a sequel. Well, I'm tickled to say I've already proposed Elisabeth's story and am waiting for a contract offer.

Chapter one was the most writing fun I've had in a while. Elisabeth is a little on the organized and, well, Type A side, and the man I found her her...isn't. LOL

Friday, June 19, 2009

Free GeoTraxDVD for Kids

You can get a free 46 minute, 4 episode GeoTrax DVD by clicking:
Click your country in the upper right corner and click continue. Fill out address and ship it to yourself at no cost to you.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

BOOKSIGNING: more pics from the road trip

Here we go - I snagged these from Robyn's blog - thank you, Robyn!

On the left at the table left to right are Trudy, Connie and Robyn
Jullie Miller is in the middle
On the right, left to right are Bobbi Smith, Mary Conneealy, me and Tina

You're Invited to Petticoats and Pistols

I'm dishing about booksignings at Petticoats and Pistols today! I'll be adding all of your comments there to the drawing, too.

Can you name two authors in the picture below?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Do you want my styrofoam peanuts?

Weird Al's homage to The Doors, featuring Ray Manzarek himself on keyboards. Video directed by Liam Lynch.

Video removed by ME because it was messing with the page in Internet Explorer.


It's important to select the perfect time of day for light when you take outdoor photos. Morning or late afternoon are best for vivid color. Overhead sun will wash out and make objects glare.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Author Booksigning at Dog-eared Books

Finally I have a chance to show you a pic from the KC signing.
Left to right front: Julie Miller, Mary Connealy, me and Bobbi Smith
Behind us left to right: Connie and Tina, booksellers extraordinaire

Connie makes yummy cookies for her author guests and Tina rolls out the red carpet.

I'd better show you one of Tina's nine cats!

Afterward we all shared a yummy meal at the Olive Garden, and a good time was had by all.

Oh, and we did sell some books. LOL

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Tiger Lilies - New Drawing

I've had such a hectic guest blog schedule that I've missed blogging here and posting photos, etc. so I'm making up for it this week - every comment this week will be added to the FISHBOWL for a new drawing - I have another pretty cup & saucer to give away. So come back often, and let's chat!

These are the tiger lilies and Asian lilies in my side yard.

Janet Dean on Setting

Using setting to heighten emotion: I talked about using setting to increase emotion in a previous Seekerville post and wanted to expand today on other ways we can use setting. One tiny emotional detail of the setting can provide more impact to the reader than pages and pages of description. If the character hones in on a single detail, he creates a far more powerful impact for the reader than if he focused on the large picture. Just as photos taken from the air after a tornado may give an idea of the extent of the damage, but a close-up shot of a battered teddy bear on a pile of debris can be heart wrenching.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Anita Mae Draper on iDB Datamaster

Meet my Canadian friend, Anita Mae. She calls herself a wreader, because she's a reader and a writer. She actively writes for three blogs and visits many more on a regular basis. She came up with great advice for password storage that some of you will find helpful.

I’ve found the ultimate password keeper. It’s small, efficient, and secure. I’m talking about an application for my iPod Touch (iPhone). And if you don’t have a Touch, maybe this post will get you researching similar ways you can keep your multitude of passwords at your fingertips.

This post is the result of something Cheryl wrote months ago where she blogged about having a book with pages of passwords. I had a similar book. And it was becoming increasingly difficult to find certain passwords quickly. My research lead me to several applications for the Touch, both free and otherwise. The main problem I found was that most of them stored my passwords in a virtual vault requiring internet access. This wasn’t acceptable to me since I don’t always have internet access.

I believe iDB Datamaster is the perfect application for this purpose. You need a password to access the database, but once in, everything is there at the touch of your finger. Quick. Easy. Efficient. You can encrypt your password and credit card info and mark those databases as admin-only. The application uses a web-server for backup and recovery which is done via WiFi with your desktop. Just remember to shut down the server when you’re done and your info is secure. It’s stored there on your computer instead of in some virtual vault where you can’t always access it.

I started with the free version of iDB. I liked it but it’s limited to one database. I needed more (to carry booklists, etc). There are US 7.99 and 12.99 versions. Because I didn’t want limitations, I sprang for the full price and haven’t been disappointed. Not only do I use it for passwords, etc, but also for a vehicle log, journal, to do list, notebook, and lots more. So yes, there might be better applications out there, but iDB is the most comfortable for me.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Any So You Think You Can Dance Fans?

I just love this show better than Dancing With the Stars because these dancers are real and hungry. Watching shows like last night's is such a delight - two hours of spectacular performance without all the interviewing and judging in between. It moves faster, and the dancing is incredible because of the styles you get to see.

They were all fabulous! I can't imagine who will go home. The ones who are not always my faves (like the short couple) the judges rave about, so... I was totally enthralled. I loved the Bollywood. (Remember Katie from last year?) Caitlin is one of my faves - - was it you *lizzie Starr who didn't care for her? Isn't it funny how our tastes differ? The ballerina is beautiful, and though I'm not a ballet fan, their pairing and choreography was amazing. All the choreography was great.

I don't want anyone to go home.
Did you hear that Twitch is in the new Step Up movie? I swear I've see him in Hairspray.

Lucy in the Sky

Lucy is a real person.

Julian Lennon, the son of late Beatle John Lennon, is throwing his support behind childhood friend Lucy O'Donnell, the girl behind the Beatles tune Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds, who is suffering from the auto-immune disease lupus.

"I've been able to help out a bit," Lennon said of O'Donnell, now Lucy Vodden, 46, from Surrey, England. "I was so upset to hear what happened."

Julien Lennon met Lucy in nursery school, drew a picture of her with diamond-shaped eyes and showed his father, thus inspiring the song, which appeared on 1967's Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. The song has long been the subject of speculation, with many maintaining that it's a reference to LSD. The Beatles have admitted to using the drug around that time.

Meanwhile, Lucy is happy to have reconnected with Julian. "It was lovely of Julian [to get in touch]."
Day two of my interview at Favorite PASTimes - CLICK HERE

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Sunday, June 07, 2009


I've redrawn because the person whose name I drew last week never responded to claim her prize. Lucky thing for:


SuzyQ, please send your address to to claim your copy of The Preacher's Wife and the cup & saucer.

Fun fact:
This weekend Mary Connealy, Julie Miller, Bobbi Smith and I signed our new books at Dog-eared Books in Independence, Missouri - it's a Kansas City suburb. Tina, the owner of the store, told me the cup & saucer pictured here are like her grandmother's set. She only completed her china set after a great deal of searching - and she told me she finally spent something like $139 on the salt and pepper shakers to finish out her set. I thought that was a fun bit of trivia for you.

Okay, moving right along to the spanking new copy of Christmas Gold and the other teacup (like Tina's grandmother's)....

The names are all in the fishbowl - and the winner is....

Eva Minaskanian

At least I only had to type Eva's name and not pronounce it - LOL

Whoo hoo, Suzy and Eva!

Now, for an additional surprise and more fun - I have two gently used copies of Christmas Gold, because I've been buying them online when I can find them, and I'd like to give those away, too. So I'm drawing two more names from the fishbowl.

The winners are....

Connie Lorenz and Kimmy Lane

Each of you will receive an autographed [used] copy of Christmas Gold and a shiny silver Harlequin pen.

Now -- ALL the names are going back into the fishbowl for another drawing. This is a special month, celebrating The Preacher's Wife, so I'm going to announce a new drawing very soon--any minute actually. Remember to check back here often, especially on Mondays, to claim your prizes.

I'll post pics of the signing soon - they're on my camera.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Photo Friday - Spiderwort Blooming


I thought it would be cool to show you how the siderwort closes in the evening.

And in the morning, the little purple blooms are open.

This is in my front yard. I had one in the back, too, but the rabbits ate it. :-(

I just love the delicate little flowers.

AND -- Diana hasn't claimed her prize, so I'm going to draw another name if I don't hear from her by this afternoon.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Spartacus and The Preacher's Wife - oo-la la

What do Spartacus and The Preacher's Wife have in common?

The good news is it has absolutely NOTHING to do with Kate Gosselin.

CLICK HERE for my Petticoats and Pistols blog to find out!

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Monday, June 01, 2009



Thanks to all who visited my new website and entered the drawing.

Now for the next drawing:
It's not exactly Christmas in June, but any time is a good time to give away prizes, right? I just got my hands on a brand spankin' new copy of CHRISTMAS GOLD, my Chrismas novella, which is SO hard to find. A lot of you have mentioned that this is one from my backlist that you're missing, so if you want in the drawing to win a cup just like the one in this picture - and an autographed copy of Christmas Gold - send an email with your address to me at :, and your name will go in the fishbowl. Next Monday I will draw a winner.

THEN, all the names frome the previous drawing will go back into the fishbowl for the next drawing. Bet you can't wait to see what that one will be. Keep checking back. Who loves ya, baby?

Another Stop on the Blog Tour

Louise Gouge has featured my book on her site - and I'm amazed to see she's getting a fabulous response -- and is holding a drawing to boot. This site isn't on the official blog tour schedule because I didn't know about it in time - I've had other offers, too - since this is my first LIH I'm still learning about these great oppotunities to talk about books.