Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Photo UnFriday

Winner of Caroline Fyffe's Drawing Announced

The lucky winner of Caroline Fyffe's Where the Wind Blows is Edna!

Congrats, Edna. Please send Caroline your address at: so she can get that in the mail to you. Thanks to all who stopped by and left comments.

The Outlaw's Lady by Laurie Kingery

The Outlaw's Lady
Laurie Kingery
Steeple Hill Love Inspired Historical
August 2009

Rebellious rancher's daughter Tess Hennessy seeks adventure—and that's what she gets when she's abducted to chronicle the Delgado gang's exploits! Yet her kidnapper, gang member Sandoval Parrish, isn't what she expected. There's more to the mysterious outlaw than he shows—signs of gentleness and devotion that soften Tess's heart.

Sandoval has one goal: retribution for the sister Delgado ruined. He hasn't the time to fall for the stubborn, beautiful photographer whose pictures he needs as evidence. But what can Sandoval do when his plan puts Tess in danger? Torn between the drive for revenge and a newfound love, Sandoval will need his renewed faith to resolve the past…and claim his future.

I can't wait for this book! This is my long-time friend who used to write as Laurie Grant for Harlequin Historicals! I still have those on my keeper shelf, and I'm sure this one will go right beside them.


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Available Today: Where The Wind Blows

Where The Wind Blows
Caroline Fyffe
Dorchester Publishing
August 2009

Two hearts meant to be together;
One secret bound to rip them apart.

Chase Logan liked being a loner, a drifter, free and clear as amountain stream. But one look into Jessie Strong's sky blue eyes and in the span of a heartbeat, he found himself agreeing to be her husband-and a father!

Jessie Strong knew it was all pretend. And only temporary. Just until the adoption went through for three-year-old Sarah. But the longer Chase stayed, the less she could imagine a long, lonely Wyoming winter without him.

Through tough times and wilderness dangers, their pioneer spirit glows. Can tow hearts meant to be together survive a secret so big it’s bound to rip them apart? Or will Chase and Jessie be a true family at last, no matter WHERE THE WIND BLOWS.

The silence stretched between them.

Jessie stepped over to the bed and pulled up the covers. She patted and fluffed until Chase cleared his throat.

"I've been circling this thing for hours. All night, in fact," Chase said with a sigh.

"I can't believe this is happening now after you were so good to come back to help me. For nothing. For nothing at all. This is what you get in return for your kindness."

With a glance, Chase interrupted her. "I couldn't help hearing your conversation with Mrs. Hollyhock. You don't really like being forced into this sham, any more than I do. But I don't want to see you lose Sarah, either. And even more, I don't want Sarah to lose you. I've become fond of her, and the thought of her being motherless after just being reunited. It's not something I want haunting me."

"Chase, I can't let you do this," Jessie said. "I'll work it out myself, somehow."

"Let me finish." Again Chase was struck by how young she was, and by all the hardships she'd already faced alone. "I think I have an answer that can work for both of us." He paused to think the idea through his head one more time. "We'll get married today."



Caroline is GENEROUSLY giving away a copy to one person who leaves a comment today, so SPEAK UP!

Friday, July 24, 2009

So They Thought Katie Ho-hum-holmes Could Dance?

For a show that features the very best dance talents and choreographers anywhere, what a disappointment--after all the build-up--that they thought Katie Holmes would be a good dancer to feature. The selection was obviously all about her donation to and participation with the Happyfeet Foundation that landed her this gig, 'cause it sure wasn't her dance skills or her singing.

Many of the group dances are taped, but this was SO taped that it was lifeless. She wasn't there in person--because she's a big star? Or because she couldn't face being on the same stage with the real talent? More likely. I'm not harsh here, I'm just telling it like it is. The girl is pretty. She's got knock out skinny legs for the costume, but she's no Judy Garland in the singing or the dancing arena. She learned a few steps and pranced around, did a kick or two, took her hat on and off--Tyce did the best he could with what he had to deal with. But he's used to working with those amazing dancers, you know? Sorry, you got stuck with the job, Tyce. No black mark on your name. Mary Murphy could have danced circles around her. Heck, Jane Seymore, after her gig on Dancing With the Stars could have danced circles around her. And I mean DANCED, not pranced and posed. Am I getting carried away?

I haven't even gotten around to my sadness over Jeanette being voted off. Ever since there was a top twelve and then a top ten, someone excellent has gone home every week. It's inevitable, because they're all excellent and all qualified to win. It's nearly impossible to vote, but vote I do. Now I'll be torn between Kayla and Jeanine.

Jason was a sweetheart, too.

I'm thinking I might have to pop for the tickets and drag someone with me when they're here on the tour. As long as they don't bring Katie Ho-hum-holmes with them.


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Spring Creek Bride

I just love this cover:
Spring Creek Bride
Janice Thompson
Steeple Hill Love Inspired Historical

Can't Ida Mueller walk to town without being harangued by rowdy railroad men? The formerly lovely town of Spring Creek, Texas, has been overtaken by saloons and disorderly conduct. So when a handsome stranger arrives with plans to open a gambling hall next to her family's mercantile store, Ida makes plans of her own: to foil his! Someone has to save Spring Creek. And since Ida's convinced marriage isn't in her future, the Lord's work will be! But after one look into Mick Bradley's eyes—and heart—the plucky beauty might start hearing wedding bells!


Dear Reader,

In 2004, while eating lunch at Wunsche Brothers Café in Spring, Texas, an idea struck me. Why not write about Texas? Why not share with readers the state I knew and loved? Through the large plate-glass window, I observed a train rumbling by, and another idea took hold. Perhaps I could share what happened to the quaint farming community of Spring in 1902, just after two hundred railroad men moved in and took over.

As you read this 'quintessentially Texas' tale, I pray you catch a glimpse of the spirit of the characters. May you also come to fully understand the words that drove Queen Esther when she said "…who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?" (Esther 4:14b).

I love to hear from my readers. You can contact me at Please visit my Web site at

Janice Thompson

Monday, July 20, 2009

Mary Connealy Interviews Beau L'Amour

Mary Connealy landed an interview with Beau L'Amour, and it's up at P&P today!

Groovin' on a Saturday Afternoon

When I spotted this out the back window, I grabbed my camera and ran for a shot. He finished mowing the lawn and spotted Kristin's PINK lounge chair in the shed when he put away the mower. Apparently, the shade was irresitable. What a crack up!
I don't post many shots of Mr. Wonderful here, but when I do he usually has a hammer or power tool in his hand.

The sad news is that a wind took off the top portion of this tree last weekend ad dthat was for the THIRD time. We had no landscaping when we moved here, no trees, shrubs, flowers, anything, and this maple is one of the trees we planted immediately upon moving in. We are now shopping for a replacement or two, but will let this half a tree remain until a new one is established. (There's a river birch in front that is BEAUTIFUL, however.)

Feeding Finches

We have gone through several bird and finch feeders over the past few years, and the finches seem to prefer these inexpensive plastic ones with the bright yellow openings.

Our weather was gorgeous for several days, so we had the opportunity to sit on our patio and watch them in the evenings. Saturday evening when my mom was over, we counted nine different types of birds. We get four types of finches. Seen in these two photos are a male goldfinch and a purple finch.

Purple finches actually have red heads and sometimes breasts (like this one), but they're classified purple for some reason. It's not unusual for five or six of them to be on this type of feeder at once. We also have the mesh sacks that hand from one of our arbors, but it's too far for me to get photos without them seeing me and flying off.

They can really polish off the thistle seed, I tell ya. And the mourning doves nestle in the grass below the feeders to eat what's fallen from the grass.

The sparrows and other small birds like the suet cakes. Those are hung on the lower branches of the small trees, so they feel safe eating. We have a jelly feeder for orioles and see a male often, but I haven't recognized a female.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Aerial Photo of F-3 Tornado Devastation


Maureen McKade sent me photos of Dickinson, North Dakota, fifteen miles from her home and where her mom and brother live. Her mom's house will likely take a year to make liveable again. Meanwhile she and Maureen's brother are in an apartment. Miraculously, no one in the tornado's path was hurt!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

My August Online Class for Writers


COST: $25.


No matter what writing topic Cheryl addresses, she hangs the most importance on characters. Conflict is drawn from characters. It’s based on their goals, their backstory and their motivation. It is opposing forces that come from within the characters themselves.

Webster’s Dictionary defines conflict as “the opposition of persons or forces that gives rise to the dramatic action in a drama or fiction.” This definition is the essence of fiction, and we need to keep it in mind as we develop characters and plots. If there’s no conflict, there’s no story.

Conflict, of course, can be either light or heavy. In a humorous story, the problem may not be life threatening, but it still must be important to the characters. The characters’ motivations must be equally important to them. In suspense, the conflict is often life-threatening. All well-developed plots stem from creative use of conflict, and conflict is what keeps the reader turning pages.

In order to understand conflict and how to develop it, we must first understand what conflict is, what conflict is not, and what conflict can be. The elements that make up a story are so closely meshed that at times it becomes difficult to dissect and make a firm delineation between them. In a masterfully developed story, characterization, plotting, and conflict are all intricately entwined.

Cheryl will explain opposing goals and how to create conflict that will sustain a story. She’ll give practical advice on:

Motivating characters
Creating characters with built-in conflict
Revealing emotion through conflict
Internal and external conflict
Simple and complex conflict


Among her achievements, which include over thirty published books in both contemporary and historical genres, Cheryl St.John has received multiple Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Awards and three RITA nominations. In describing her stories of second chances and redemption, readers and reviewers use words like, “emotional punch, hometown feel, core values, believable characters and real life situations.” She has taught writing on local and national levels, and is in demand as a motivational speaker.


The class will be conducted via subscription to a private yahoogroup, two lessons per week, followed by questions and answers. Brief exercises pertaining to the participant’s current work in progress may be included. Archived class will be available for one week after the ending date.

72 year old wants a baby

Jenny Brown who lives in London has gone through six IVF treatments, trying to get pregnant. She says that her career in mediucal studies and zoology kept her busy throughout her life and she has never been in a relationship, but now she's decided she wants a baby, and that she'd do a good good of parenting.

Jenny has been using donated sperm for 20 years apparently, and now she's advertising for women 20-30 to provide eggs. She believes it's impoortant that she carry this child herself, however, because genetic materical will be transferred. Well, blood, but what else? What kind of medical studies did she pursue if she thinks this?

She has spent the money saved from her career and from rent on a house she owns in hopes of conceiving a child.

This is just wrong on so many levels, I can't even begin to list them all. IF she carried this baby and it lived without all the medical problems that are likely (and that's a big IF) she would be 77 when this child went to kindergarden. A trip, Jenny, take a TRIP before your money's gone! Volunteer in the ICU ward.

Looking for Parents of 2E Children

Twice Exceptional (2E) children:
Gifted: High Abstract Reasoning
Learning Disability: There's many ways to define a learning disability:IQ/Achievement Discrepency (Autism falls here), Speech & Language, Mental Health Disorders, Behavioral & Developmental Disabilities, Other Health Imapairments (ADD falls here)

Twice Exceptional: Gifted and Learning Disabled Child
In a nutshell, a 2E child is one who is gifted and has a learning disability. If you know any parents who have a child with this diagnosis and who are struggling, please send them to my friend's site at: Robyn is the mom of a 2E child, and she desires to create a community of parents who can help each other.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

His Secondhand Wife August Mills & Boon Release

Mills and Boon Historical
August 2009
Available in Paperback / Adobe Reader


Noah Cutter was a man of his word…

Scarred in body and soul, rancher Noah didn’t consider himself fit company for anyone. But when his brother’s philandering finally caught up with him, honour dictated that Noah claim his brother’s widow as his own…

Noah was about the most intimidating man Katherine had ever seen. Yet though one man’s false promises had already dashed her dreams, she instinctively trusted this stranger. And Kate suspected she’d only be a fool this time if she didn’t take a chance on Noah for the sake of herself…and her unborn child!

Caterpillar or Mutant Lizard?

Just looking at these pictures makes me itch.

Check out this creature Jay found on a climbing vine. It was eating leaves. Is this a caterpillar? It's HUGE! If it is, what kind of butterfly will it turn into? My guess is it's a mutant lizard. Jay thought it was cool, but it creeped me out. Ever seen anything like this?

Stacey Kayne's Mountain Wild - in stores now!

Harlequin Historical
ISBN: 978-0373295524

In the midst of a range war, Garret Daines is dead-set on keeping his ranch from greedy local cattle barons. An attempt on his life during a winter storm lands him in the healing hands of a mountain recluse. He can hardly believe the youthful beauty he discovers hidden beneath her mountain woman attire or the passion unleashed by her tender touch.

When "Mad Mag" pulls the handsome rancher from the snow she has no idea he'll be the man to thaw her wounded heart. But Maggie is hiding a mess of secrets in her mountain sanctuary, none of which she’s willing to share. Murderous cattlemen threaten their fragile bond and Maggie has to face the fears of her past or risk losing her hope for the future. Garret will defend his wild woman at any cost, but can he convince her their love is worth the risk?

Read An Excerpt: CLICK HERE
Visit Stacey's website: CLICK HERE

Couldn't resist posting this title!

The Playboy Sheikh's Virgin Stable-Girl

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Don't go in the water!

Amercian's aren't the only ones who file stoopid lawsuits. A Polish woman is suing an Egyptian hotel for getting her daughter pregnant. Magdalena Kwiatkowska's 13-year-old returned to Poland from their holiday expecting a baby.

Magdalena believes the teenager conceived from stray sperm after taking a dip in the hotel's pool. She is now seeking compensation from the hotel. A travel industry source said: "The mother is adamant that her daughter didn't meet any boys while she was there." Yeah, right. "She is determined to go ahead with the case."

Tourist authorities in Warsaw, Poland, have confirmed they received the bizarre complaint. Maybe if she'd held a cup of hot coffee between her knees, this could have been prevented.

I would love to be in the courtroom the day the judge hears this case.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Free Sandwich from Arbys!

LOOK! A present for you! Click here to print a coupon for a free roastburger at Arbys.

Who doesn't like free stuff?

What's better than cake and cowboys, baby?

Yes, I'm blogging again--that's why you're here, isn't it? (Thank you, thank you.) Today I'm over at my favorite western hang-out, Petticoats and Pistols, and I wouldn't even begin to tell you the topic--believe me, you wouldn't believe me.

But I will tell you there's a really cool drawing today. You won't want to miss it because you might win your very own cowboy. Or two cowboys.

You'd better go check it out.


Tuesday, July 07, 2009

So You Think You Can Dance - Petite Style

Watch the little one on the left - we'll be seeing her in another ten or fifteen years on So You Think You Can Dance.

Scholarly Romances Empower Women

Thirty years ago, "Ivy League romance writer" was like "jumbo shrimp" — an oxymoron.
Back then, nobody could have predicted that in April 2009, Princeton University would host a scholarly conference featuring romance writer Eloisa James, author of Desperate Duchesses and Potent Pleasures.

Or that a Harvard grad named Julia Quinn would drop out of Yale Medical School to scale the best-seller lists with titles like The Viscount Who Loved Me and How to Marry a Marquis.

Any regrets? "None! I'm married to a physician," says Quinn, 39, whose historical romance, What Happens in London, went on sale last week. "I have a way better deal as a romance writer."


Monday, July 06, 2009

Most searched reality shows

Why are reality TV shows so popular? They are cheap to make, because of low production costs. They're not paying actors, and they don't have fancy sets. I think seeing real people in these situations has a universal appeal. I watch the entertainment shows, like American Idol and dancing. America's Got Talent didn't make the most searched shows. This list is from this summer, so AI is pretty low and So You Think You Can Dance is high. (My guess.)

1. Jon and Kate Plus 8 - I don't make it a habit to watch this one on the night it airs new, but I have watched a lot of them. I watched the 2 season openers this time, but I just think it's sad that their private business is out there for all the world to see. I did hear Jon say something that disturbed me. When they announced their separation, he said, "I have to do what's right for me and my kids." To make a marriage work, both partners have to put the other person first, BEFORE themselves. Never easy, always effective. Elijah loves this show.

2. So You Think You Can Dance - You know I love this show - real talent, raw talent, and real dancers who've been honing their craft in hopes of a big break. This is the best season EVER. I can't imagine who's going to win because they're all so GOOD. So much better than the much more sloooow moooving Dancing With the Stars IMHO. I watch in amazement and appreciation as the choreographers and dancers work their magic.

3. The Bachelorette - Kristin watches this one, but you couldn't make me view it with the lure of a Hershey bar and a hot cup of chai. And that's pretty influential. Ick and ick.

4. American Idol - Yes, I've watched every season since season two, and it's a don't miss show for me. Again, the up and coming talent, the participation. I think the draw of some of these shows is that we can vote for our favorites and have a say in the outcome. I always vote. Every year. Sometimes my favorite makes it, sometimes I'm appalled.

5. Dancing With the Stars - I love to watch the dancing and sometimes the stars are fun, but the drudgery of the voting and waiting and drawing out the time is tedious. It doesn't move as quickly as So You Think You Can Dance. Best viewed TiVo's so you can zip through the commercials and judges. I don't get upset if I miss a few.

6. The Hills - Don't know what this is, let me know if you do.

7. The Price of Beauty - I think this will be Jessica Simpson's show. Again, a French Silk pie couldn't lure me to the TV for this show.

8. Big Brother - have never watched it. Don't like controversy and the commercials are about fighting.

9. Survivor - I used to be a die hard fan and never missed this show, but I burned out. It swallows 2 or 3 nights a week if you're really into it, and I got tired of it. It was unique at first, but the challenges just got stupid.

10. Daisy of Love - I think this is a Bachelor reject, but can't swear by it. She may have been on Dancing With the Stars?

The only one of those I've ever watched was when they did My Big Fat Obnoxious Fiance, and a woman had to pretend that this horrible guy (an actor--later the bartender on Gray's Anatomy) was her fiance in front of her parents. It started out hilarious, then went over the top, but by then I was addicted and had to see if she won.

And I don't get cooking shows. I have cooked nearly every day of my life, and it's just something I do. Sometimes I enjoy it, other times it's a task. I know some people love those shows, but I can't figure out why. To me it's like watching someone mow the yard. I might watch if it's my yard, but not if I'm not reaping the benefits (eating the results). I will watch an occasional landscaping or street appeal makeover, but that's really not a reality show - oh, and would you call Trading Spaces a reality show? I used to love that when it was new and fresh and Paige Davis was on it. Not so much anymore. And I've watched What Not to Wear quite a bit and like it, except when the makeover people are mean. (Can't think of their names--liked the ponytail guy better.) I used to like Clean Sweep -- it terrified and inspired me at the same time.

So, which reality shows, if any, do you watch and why?

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Please don't squeeze my wedding dress

Ann made this dress and won first place in a contest sponsored by cheap wedding dress .com. How cheap can it really have been, is my question. Every time I go to the store, I have sticker shock over the price of--toilet paper. Yes, she made this dress using toilet paper, tape and glue, as well as her origami skills. I guess it would come in hand for the mothers whose tears and noses flow freely at the ceremony. "Here, Mom, use my hem." Bad news if it rained that day, however. She did win $1,000 for her efforts. That will probably just about pay for the toilet paper.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Winner of Montana Rose Announced!

I really have to have Mary Connealy here more often! Holy cow - she said she didn't want to send people to my blog because they'd never come back to hers, but she has a treasure trove of followers. I've offered Mary my spare bedroom, thinking that might get me more fans.

The winner of Montana Rose is...STOP HOLDING YOUR BREATH!


Yee haw! Congrats, Phyl!
Please send your address to Mary at so she can get that book right out to you, you lucky dog. The rest of you, don't forget to run out and pick up a copy - or order it here:

Everyone reading this, please send Mary an email at that address and tell her to come back here real soon, will ya? Tell her Cheryl makes great scones and tea, and if she insists, she can bring a baby calf for company. I just painted the room...really, it's nice.

Oh, yeah, and my Mother's Day novella for next April is titled Montana Rose. Maybe they'll make my name really small so a billion readers will think Mary wrote it and buy it. (Actually that title won't make it to the cover, but I can sure make a suggestion to the marketing team.)

Flower Garden Photos

We've had several cool days and before that rain, so the flowers are lovely and lasting a while.

This bottom photo is my oriental daylily. Each bloom only lasts a day, two at the most, but while they're open, they're extraordinary.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009


Love Thine Enemy
LIH July 2009
ISBN 978-0-373-82815-9

The tropics of colonial Florida are far removed from America’s Revolution. Still, Rachel Folger’s loyalties remain with Boston’s patriots. Handsome plantation owner Frederick Moberly’s faithfulness to the Crown is as certain as his admiration for Rachel—but for the sake of harmony, he’ll keep his sympathies hidden. After all, the war is too far distant to truly touch them...isn’t it?

A betrayal of Rachel’s trust divides the pair, leaving Frederick to question the true meaning of faith in God and in country. Inspired by Rachel to see life, liberty, and love through His eyes, Frederick must harness his faith and courage to claim the woman he loves before war tears them apart.

What's not to love?

Tha Making of Roller Babies

Mary Connealy: Montana Rose

Left pregnant and widowed in the unforgiving west, Cassie is forced into an unwanted marriage to rancher Red Dawson.

No decent man could turn away from Cassie and leave her to the rough men in Divide, Montana. Red Dawson does what he must, joining his life to a spoiled, snooty woman. Now he's got to keep her from killing herself with her efforts to be helpful, and prevent her attempts to be a good wife from leaving his ranch in ruins. And while Red struggles with his overly obedient but badly incompetent wife, an obsessed man plots to make Cassie his own, something he can't do as long as Red lives.

Montana Rose was actually inspired by Janette Oke's beautiful classic novel Love Comes Softly. Of course, me being me, my novel has taken an alarming turn to romantic comedy, suspense and mayhem.

I think of it as Love Comes Hardly.

Buy Montana Rose here

Or find it starting TODAY in a bookstore near you. And if it's NOT there, I give you permission to throw a fit, right there in the store. I've found holding my breath until I turn blue to be a remarkably effective tool for getting them to stock my books. I highly recommend it too you.

Mary's going to be sending an autographed copy of Montana Rose to one lucky reader, so leave a comment to be entered in the drawing!