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and Fearless Friday as told by my guests and me.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

What is it About Maine and Mysteries? by Lea Wait

Wicked Wednesday

I love Wicked Wednesday, don't you? Enjoy my guest today, Lea Wait!

Recently I was at Crime Bake, a mystery conference in Massachusetts, and someone asked me, “What’s with all the murders in Maine? Dark winters?”

I assured her we didn’t have a lot of murders. In fact, last year only five states had fewer murders than the twenty in Maine. Most of those deaths were domestic homicides. Sad, of course. But usually involving drugs, alcohol and tempers, not the result of complicated plotting.   

“Then,” asked the woman, “Why are so many mystery writers from Maine?”

She certainly had a point. The number of horror, crime, mystery, thriller, suspense, spy,  police procedural and true crime writers in the state known as “Vacationland” is rather amazing. I’m a member of a loosely organized group who blog at and our membership varies from year to year, but never disappears. In fact, at that mystery conference I met half a dozen aspiring  unpublished mystery authors who, yes, lived in Maine.

So maybe it’s Stephen King’s presence. Or the dark woods and winters. Maybe it’s the mix of people who call Maine home, and the wide variations in economic status throughout the state. Maybe it’s the choice of backgrounds – we have beaches and mountains. Wilderness and cities. Farms and fishermen. People whose families have been here for generations, and people who arrived yesterday.

But, for sure, they don’t kill each other, except in our books. Don’t want to brag, but I alone have killed off more than twenty people in my twenty-one books. And I’m sure that right now, in some study or kitchen or coffee shop in Maine, some writer is killing off another character.

Most of us mystery writers know the others, and some of us are close friends. We have a supportive community. We’re members (with writers in other fields) of the Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance, which sponsors a one-day Maine Crime Wave conference every spring. Many of us are members of the New England chapters of Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America. Maine is lucky to still support about 45 independent bookstores. Almost every town has a library, and many of them host author talks.  

And, perhaps most important, we writers support each other. In addition to that blog I mentioned earlier, we’ve been known to critique each other’s work, celebrate each other’s successes on social media, form panels to speak at libraries, schools and other events, attend each other’s book launches and author talks, and sometimes even share rooms at conferences.

Which is good. Because otherwise it would get pretty lonely, just sitting in front of a computer, thinking of creative ways to kill people.

Not that we don’t do that, too, of course! You’ll excuse me, while I decide which poison will work best in my next book …

Lea Wait Bio:

Mainer and USA Today best-selling author Lea Wait adopted four daughters when she was single. Now she’s married to a Maine artist, and writes mysteries and historical novels about people searching for love, acceptance, and a place to call home. Her most recent mystery is THREAD THE HALLS, a holiday mystery set in Haven Harbor, Maine. For more information about Lea and her books, see her website, She also invites you to friend her author page (Lea Wait/Cornelia Kidd) on Facebook. 

Thursday, November 16, 2017



A few years back, we retired from the day jobs. You followed our farm experiment on Tortuga Thursdays for three years, but we sold the farm. We traded in the little RV for a bigger one, but we aren’t ready to hit the road fulltime. What comes next? We’re not sure. It's all about transition these days. These are...

The In-Between Years

Tonto Creek

The last few weeks have zipped by. Cooler days and chilly nights have come to Tonto Basin. It's all about being outside now. Nearly every morning, on average five days a week, I get in a three mile walk with either a couple of neighbor women or FDW. We've taken some side trails and had some adventures finding our way out. That's what I'm leaving you with today...get out and explore your neighborhood. 
Beaver was here

Atop the hill

So perfect for Tonto Basin


Strange Cloud

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Wickedly Twisted Fun by Marni Graff


Please welcome Marni Graff as guest blogger today!

I’d never written a psychopath before, so found it was great fun to create the character of Viktor Garanin for my new book. Here’s a scene where readers can see how his wickedly twisted mind works: 

It had been a frustrating morning for Viktor Garanin. He arrived promptly as the museum opened, only to be told that the man he needed to speak with, Mr. James Fisher, would be out of the building all morning for a talk at an historical society. He wasn’t expected in his office until 2:30 that afternoon.

            Viktor did a good job of hiding his contempt for the secretary who imparted this information. With her public school accent and haughty manner, all that creamy pale skin and soft blonde hair, she was so condescendingly polite she reminded him of his mother. So terribly British. She represented everything he loathed about the English.

            He’d left the museum in a tense state, fists clenched, wanting to strike out at something or someone. If he knew the town better, he would have looked for a boxing gym to get a bloody nose, or to give a few.

            Instead, he attached himself to a tour headed behind Bath Abbey to the Roman baths, where the green, glowing water, laden with over 40 minerals you could taste—bah!—steamed up into the colonnaded terrace. This was topped with a collection of statues the Victorians had erected of Roman emperors mixed with British governors. Who else would they put up there but themselves? More than just hating British architecture, he hated the people, their looks, their customs and their bloody-minded assurance that they were superior beings. He hated his mother.
He’d followed the tour to Pulteney Bridge, the Palladian edifice executed in pale Bath stone often compared to Florence’s Ponte Vecchio as two of the world’s prettiest bridges. This one had a road running through its center. Along either side, shops sold tat of all kinds, strung out across its span. Hideous.

            His contempt for the whole British nation surged, cementing his resolve to see his plan for their ruination through to its culmination, whatever the cost. What was one pitiful life of a dead art restorer compared to the greatness he would achieve with a national outbreak of smallpox that destroyed the entire British population? Then there would be no more weaklings, like his mother, who couldn’t take what his father had dished out.

            At the back of his mind, a small voice whispered that if his succeeded in what he’d hoped, there was no guarantee the epidemic wouldn’t spread to his beloved Russia. Being an island had its advantages for quarantine and control. Viktor thought the world would rise up and make certain that no one from anywhere in the British Isles would be able to leave or travel anywhere. The thought of the resulting international upheaval satisfied him almost as much as the ensuing deaths. If he were extremely lucky, Ireland might be included in the ban, but he wouldn’t dwell on that. Only Vanya would have notice and time to get himself to Russia and join Viktor, back to his homeland.

            Viktor lingered by the weir. The guide informed them that this had been built as part of a flood prevention scheme in the late 1960s. Viktor recognized the site from the most recent film version of Les Miserables, where Russell Crowe as Javert committed suicide. Viktor stared at the thundering water, and pictured himself holding James Fisher of the fancy Holburne Museum over the weir by his ankles, as the man screamed and bucked and pleaded for mercy. The daydream blossomed, and he felt satisfaction flood him when he let go and watched the idiot’s body falling, falling, falling into the rushing water. 

You can find more of Viktor Garanin in Marni Graff’s newest Nora Tierney English Mystery, THE GOLDEN HOUR, set in England. The award-winning series features American writer Nora, living in England, with a nose for murder. Available in paperback, Kindle and Audible ( and at Bridle Path Press: http://

Monday, November 6, 2017

#sale Love and Murder Must Reads #MFRWauthor


My books don't go on sale often, so an announcement is in order. Book two, Southwest of Love and Murder and book four, The Power of Love and Murder in the popular Love and Murder Series have been reduced from $4.99 to $1.99 on most all sites where eBooks can be found. Click on either of these :

The Wild Rose Press - Brenda Whiteside
Amazon - Brenda Whiteside

This sale will end November 16th. Happy reading!


Mystery writer, Phoebe Anderson, owes her success to killing her first husband on paper seventeen years earlier. Now, someone has actually done it. When she decides to take a few days away on the ranch of her best friend’s brother-in-law, she doesn’t expect romance to find her...or murder to follow her.

Mason Meadowlark is happy with his wild cowboy ways, avoiding love since the death of his baby and the end of his marriage twenty years ago. When Phoebe shows up, he fights to control his emotions, but soon wonders if she just might be worth the risk of opening his heart again. 

With an obsessed fan close on her heels, Phoebe is thrown into her own murder mystery…and the next target on his list is Mason.

Undercover Book Reviews
WOW!!!...a ride you sure as heck don’t see coming!

Long and Short Reviews
Southwest of Love and Murder is a very enjoyable book. Although it is book two in a series, it can definitely stand on its own. I recommend it to anyone looking for a romantic suspense with a sexy hero and a sassy heroine.

For thirteen years, Penny Sparks has managed to hide from the political powers who murdered her family. When she unwittingly exposes her true identity, not only is she marked for death, but the people closest to her risk meeting the same fate. 
Jake Winters is out of rehab and coming to grips with his demons. When he meets his sister’s roommate, Jake believes Penny might be that someone who can help him find life after rock star status…until her secrets blow up his world. 
With a government agent turned hit man closing in on her, Penny and Jake race to expose the presidential contender behind the murders of her family. Even if they win the race with death, the murder that stands between them could end their hope for a new life.

If you’re a fan of romantic suspense, this is a must read. If you’re a fan of suspense and/or political thrillers, you’ll love it!

Like the other "Love and Murder" books in the series, Brenda crafted a story full of mystery, corruption, bit of romance, and ended it all with a happily ever after.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

An Interview With a Psychic by Karen Michelle Nutt @KMNbooks #endoftheroad #ghosts

An exciting guest post for Wicked Wednesday. Welcome Karen Michelle Nutt. She's brought us a Q&A with Kaleb Houston, a character from End of the Road. 

The wind blows gently and the morning sun shines bright overhead, keeping away the morning chill as Karen Michelle Nutt makes her way down the Malibu Pier. Since Kaleb Houston doesn't live far from the pier, they decided to conduct the interview here. The sound of the waves crashing against the pillars below is like a siren's call for surfers. Karen peeks over the edge of the railing and in the distance, she indeed spots surfers in the water at Malibu Surfrider Beach as they wait patiently to catch the next ride. When she finally turns away, she spots Kaleb striding toward her. He has dark hair and a scruffy beard he wears more like a badge of honor than a fashion statement. He smiles as he reaches her. Karen hands Kaleb a large cup of black coffee, just like he ordered. She takes a sip of her cinnamon almond latte as he indulges in his drink of choice. Then they're ready to conduct the interview.
KAREN: Let me start by introducing Kaleb Houston, one of the stars in the novel End of the Road. He's here to tell us a little bit about his experiences with ghosts.
KALEB HOUSTON: Yes, I can see dead people. (He teases but then becomes serious.) Since I was young, I could see and talk to ghosts. At least the ones who wanted to communicate with the living. There are different kinds of ghosts and not all ghosts are considered intelligent.
KAREN: Tell us a little about the different types of ghosts you've encountered?
KALEB HOUSTON: Ghosts are usually people or animals that for some reason or another cannot cross over. Sometimes a person will remain earthbound out of fear or they might have a message they want to tell someone before they move on. On some occasions, a love one could be the one holding the ghost earthbound and they won't leave until that love one says goodbye to them.
KAREN: You also mentioned there are intelligent ghosts. What did you mean by that statement?
KALEB HOUSTON: When I say they're intelligent, I mean they are able to communicate or interact with the living. If I rearrange the furniture in my house, they're aware that I did and will walk around it as if they were still alive. However, a residual ghost is like a recording. The ghost may play out certain aspects of a traumatic event. Maybe one that led up to their death or they might play out a time in their life that they enjoyed. Then there is the poltergeist. This usually involves sporadic activity. Noises and maybe objects are moved. Then there is what I like to call a spirit.
KAREN: Aren't ghosts and spirits the same thing?"
KALEB HOUSTON: Some may argue they are but to me there is a difference. What I call spirits are those that have crossed over but come back occasionally to visit loved ones. They don't always appear as they did in life but rather you know their presence when you catch a whiff of the perfume they once wore or there may be a light touch on your arm, a breeze where there shouldn't be one, or perhaps a tug of your hair will alert you that you're not alone.
KAREN: So Lars Gunner, Cecilia's father, is an intelligent ghost then.
KALEB HOUSTON: Yes. He is the most opinionated ghost I've ever met. Stubborn and bossy too. Frankly, I'm not sure why millions fell in love with the rock star. Heck, who am I kidding, the fans are still in love with him even though he died 23 years ago.
KAREN: I have a good idea why. Not only was he a looker, the guy could sing and he wrote his own heartfelt lyrics.
KALEB HOUSTON: Oh no, not you too. (He smacks his forehead with a sigh.) You've fallen for the Nordic god of Rock and Roll just like all his other minions.
Karen chuckles.
KAREN: Maybe just a little.
KALEB HOUSTON: Okay, I must admit he has some good qualities. He cares deeply for his daughter, annoyingly so. He's popped in unannounced at the most inconvenient times. Anyway, Cecilia and I are working together to help him move on to the afterlife. He can't stay on this plane forever.
KAREN: Why not?
KALEB HOUSTON: Ghosts need energy to stay on this plane and more so if they want to be seen. They can draw energy from electricity and batteries, but they can also draw energy from the living too.
KAREN: Obviously, it wouldn't be healthy for a person to have a ghost leach off them for long periods of time.
KALEB HOUSTON: No, it wouldn't. Lars Gunner died when Cecilia was only three years old and as much as I'd like her to spend time with her father and get to know him, he must move on.
KAREN: I suppose he does. I do hope he goes willingly. I like to ask some more questions, but I believe our time is up for today. I want to thank you for meeting me here and sharing your knowledge about the afterlife.
KALEB HOUSTON: My pleasure. If you don't mind, I'd like to let the readers know END OF THE ROAD is available in both print and eBook formats. And for a limited time, the eBook is only 99¢.
Question for the Readers: If you could talk to ghosts, who would you like to have a conversation with and what would you say? Could be someone famous, a rock star, an actor, a writer...
About the Book:
Lars Gunner, the frontman for Silent Plaids, died 23 years ago and his death was ruled an unfortunate accident. Despite the fact he can't recall what happened to him in his last moments of life, he is convinced he was murdered. He has been trapped in limbo until his daughter, Cecilia, unearths his journal and is able to see him. She seeks help from Kaleb, a psychic, but as they resurrect the past, the secrets and lies surrounding Lars' rock and roll life just may be the death of them too. 

Amazon US:
Amazon UK:

Barnes and Noble:
Karen Michelle Nutt resides in California with her husband. Though her three children are grown and starting their own adventures, she still has a houseful of demanding pets. Jack, her Chorkie, is her writing buddy and sits long hours with her at the computer.
When she's not time traveling, fighting outlaws, or otherworldly creatures, she creates pre-made book covers to order at Gillian's Book Covers, "Judge Your Book By Its Cover".
Whether your reading fancy is paranormal, historical or time travel, all her stories capture the rich array of emotions that accompany the most fabulous human phenomena—falling in love.
Visit the author at her website:
Gillian’s Book Covers, “Judge Your Book By Its Cover”

Monday, October 30, 2017

My Muse and the Holiday Spirit by Barbara White Daille


Please welcome Barbara White Daille to Muse Monday!

As we’re right around the corner from Halloween, Thanksgiving, and the rest of the holidays, this is just the beginning of my favorite time of the year. Parties, presents, big dinners. desserts and chocolate. (Lots of chocolate.)  Peace on earth and goodwill to men.

What’s not to like about all that? 

Even my muse got into the holiday spirit when I began writing my upcoming release. The story is a stand-alone romance, book two in the Snowflake Valley series. When my muse caught on to the fact we were revisiting the town that celebrates Christmas 365 days of the year, she was happier than a… 

Well, than a kid in a Christmas toy shop.

And to tell you the truth, so was I.

Writing is not the easiest gig in the world. Sometimes it can be downright exhausting both mentally and physically. My writing routine for this series has so far eliminated all that.

It’s hard not to be cheerful and energized when you’re running back and forth from the office to the kitchen to make hot chocolate!  Listening to Christmas carols played softly in the background helps to calm you but stimulate your muse. Sometimes, if you’re lucky, the muse makes friends with your subconscious, and because they’re already having fun, they get together and plan ways to help you write the book!

And I’m here today to share some of what the three of us came up with.

From the back cover of One Week to Win Her Boss:

Single mom Amber Barnett loves family, kids, Christmas…and unfortunately, her boss, confirmed bachelor Michael DeFranco. It's a crush she really needs to get over. Except, when she’s temporarily forced from her apartment, her only option is to stay at Michael’s private ski lodge, where she's the housekeeper. No problem. Her handsome boss rarely visits Snowflake Valley unexpectedly, plus he’s spending the holidays with his family. Or so she thinks…

A stormy Christmas Eve reunion leaves Michael seeking the solitude of his lodge, where he finds Amber in residence—and in trouble. Attempting to save her from her matchmaking family, he announces they’re a couple. His good deed backfires when they’re instantly included in each and every holiday event in town. So much for solitude. 

Only the more time he spends with the beautiful, cheery brunette, the more he yearns to make things real between them. But he and Amber want different things, and Michael could never be the family man she's looking for. 


On his way downstairs Michael gave himself a familiar reminder: Amber is off-limits. Outside the kitchen door he hesitated, taking a deep breath. Mama DeFranco would have scolded him in three different languages for the way he had sworn at Amber when he’d come into the house. But guilt instilled by his grandmother wasn’t what kept him hanging outside in the hallway. No, it was his eagerness to join Amber that rooted his feet to the floor. Better for him to stand out here than to be alone with her. 

A wail went up inside the kitchen. 

With her and her baby, he amended. 

Find the book: 

About the Author: 

Barbara White Daille lives with her husband in the sunny Southwest. Though they love the warm winters and the lizards in their front yard, they haven’t gotten used to the scorpions in the bathroom. Barbara also loves writing, reading, and chocolate. Come to think of it, she enjoys writing about those subjects, too! 

Barbara wrote her first short story at the age of nine, then typed "The End" to her first novel many years the eighth grade. Now she's writing contemporary romance on a daily basis. Sign up for her newsletter to keep up with the latest in her writing life: 

Social Media Links:

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Embrace Your Wickedness by Madison Michael


Let's get WICKED. Welcome my guest, Madison Michael!

Brenda, thanks so much for the opportunity to be a little wicked this Wednesday. I think being wicked is a lot of fun. As Halloween approaches, I notice more and more people embracing their inner wickedness too. Costumes, candy and wicked in a single holiday – it might just be my favorite day of the year. 

But I don’t wait until Halloween to get in touch with my wicked side. I live a little wicked and infuse my characters with a little wicked, a touch of wild, a lot of sassy, and an abundance of sexy. Wicked characters that grow and reform are some of my favorite characters to read. You know the ones, the rakish Duke in the historical romance, the demanding billionaire used to getting his way, the biker bad boy. It is so satisfying when their lady-loves help them reveal their softer, kinder side. 

But what happens when the character that needs reforming is the heroine of the story? Remember Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew? I wanted to create my own version of Kate, but how could I allow my hero to tame her…. 

In my novel, Beholden, I reintroduced Sloane - snobbish, more than a little bitchy, and pretty damn wicked. I loved creating Sloane and I have really enjoyed the myriad of reactions her bitchy behavior has elicited from my readers. 

Sloane Huyler is a spoiled woman who has scored the trifecta - birth, beauty and brains – and boy, does she know it. Sloane’s initial role is as the evil fiancĂ© of my hero in Bedazzled, the first of my Beguiling Bachelor novels. She is not the heroine of that novel, quite the contrary. She stirs up tons of trouble and gets her just rewards. She ends up a jilted lover. 

The second novel in the series, Beholden, begins with a confident Sloane about to marry the most eligible bachelor in Chicago. The story changes quickly. Fast forward 18 months and Sloane has lost her fiancĂ©, most of her friends and all of her fortune. These circumstances, might humble another woman, but not Sloane. Although she may be crushed on the inside, she just grows haughtier on the outside. 

Enter Randall Parker III, wicked in his own ways – a heavy drinker and brilliant banker wrapped in a, hard-bodied, sexy as hell package. Randall has known Sloane since her student days and he’s well aware of her wicked ways. Rather than being put off by them, Randall is drawn to Sloane, determined to win her heart – if she has one. 

Sparks fly between Sloane and Randal as he seeks to reverse her dire circumstances, and claim her for his own. It seems they are either fighting mad or flaming hot. Who exactly is taming whom? 

Here is one of my favorite interactions between them…. 

Luckily, they found a parking space near her building without having to circle the block. They walked toward her building arm in arm, him stroking her bare shoulders and back, her with her hand up the back of his un-tucked shirt. They stopped every few steps to kiss, each kiss thick with promise, lasting longer and demanding more. They were too hungry for each other to wait.

Randall ran his hands over the wide expanse of skin left bare by her halter and she thought she would melt from the feel of his hands on her. He played with the tie holding the dress up.

“You wouldn’t dare,” she hissed at him.

“Don’t test me,” he responded, tugging playfully but leaving everything intact. “I would take you against the side of this building right now if I wasn’t afraid of getting arrested.”

“What’s a little jail time between friends? After all it runs in the family,” she quipped, astonishing them both when she joked about her father’s incarceration.

“I mean it, Sloane,” he growled. “Do not tempt me further.”

“I mean it too, Randall.”

    He spun her around and sandwiched her between his body and the rough brick wall of the nearest building, rocking his body hard against hers, his erection large and insistent against her belly. Sloane wrapped one leg around his lower legs, trying to pull him even tighter to her, crushing her breasts into his massive chest. She pushed at him, dropped her leg and throwing all caution to the wind she groped for the zipper on his pants. He looked astonished, but he didn’t stop her, even helping a bit when she fumbled with his belt buckle.

While unfastening Randall’s pants, Sloane felt a cool breeze on her legs and realized that the hem of her dress had been lifted high on her hip. He had one hand cupping the spot where the back of her thigh curved into her ass pulling her to him. While he was kissing her until she thought she would gasp for breath, Randall was reaching to divest her of her panties.

Sloane heard footsteps and froze in place.

What the hell were they doing? They were just yards from her condo. In less than five minutes they would be safely inside.

She pushed him away, pulled her dress down and made sure she had not progressed too far with his trousers. She placed a shaking hand in his and began leading an unresisting Randall toward the lobby of her building. “Two minutes,” she whispered to him.

“Not one second more,” he retorted, giving her a threatening look that she knew brooked no argument. Reassured that they were decent enough, they left the darkness of the street and stepped into the pool of bright lights under the portico of Sloane’s building.


Will Randall win the wild Sloane or will she lure him then leave him? Watch the twists and turns of this wicked couple. See what you make of my modern day Taming. 

Check out Bedazzled and Beholden on Amazon and pick up the sequel, Bedeviled, in Sultry Nights, a limited-time collection of steamy romances from 22 great authors for a mere 99 cents!  Sultry Nights is available on Amazon or on Kobo, iBooks and more at 

I told you I loved writing these characters. I meant it. After writing Beholden, I went back and created a Prequel to The Beguiling Bachelor series. Bewildered introduces Sloane and Randall when they first meet, and sets up the subsequent novels. Nab your free copy of Bewildered at 

About Madison Michael

Madison Michael traded 28 years in Fortune 500 tech and management positions for a chance to spend her days with sassy heroines, sexy, rich heroes and nothing but happy endings. Growing up the daughter of a librarian, she learned to love books, especially classics and romances, and spent winters cuddled under blankets losing herself in books. 

Madison is the author of three novels in the Beguiling Bachelor series, as well as several short stories. She is a member of Romance Writers of America. 

After living in the northeast, southeast and the west, Maddy returned to her Midwest roots. She lives in Evanston, IL with two feline editorial assistants and great views of Chicago’s famous skyline. 


Thursday, October 12, 2017

Mature, Wrinkle, Spots WTH?


A few years back, we retired from the day jobs. You followed our farm experiment on Tortuga Thursdays for three years, but we sold the farm. We traded in the little RV for a bigger one, but we aren’t ready to hit the road fulltime. What comes next? We’re not sure. It's all about transition these days. These are...

The In-Between Years

There’s more to the In-Between Years than figuring out if we’re going to stay parked, get a land-locked base, or hit the road. I know that’s what I meant by the term when I geared the blog in that direction, but the term in-between years conjures other images for me. There comes a time in a woman’s life when she feels mature, but not yet old. Let’s go with that today.

Back when I probably didn’t need makeup, I wouldn’t leave the house without putting on my full face. Nowadays, I’m bare faced more often than not, not because these years look so good on me, but the process eats up precious time when I could be doing something else. Plus, the attitude—this is me so deal with it—kind of rules my days.

I’m not implying that I’m “letting myself go.” No way. I’ve tried some new techniques for mature upkeep, had some disasters, and learned a few things. I kind of feel like I’m talking to the ladies here, but my guess is guys think about these things too.

Take a walk
Walk every day. I normally get in 6,000 steps—short of the recommended 10,000. If you can reach that, go for it. I also do a squat routine when I remember. Squats will keep your butt from trying to migrate onto the backs of your thighs.

Thinning hair? Peppermint oil is supposed to stimulate hair growth. I read that somewhere, didn’t quite remember the formula, but hey, how hard is it to rub oil into your scalp? I now think the directions said a drop, maybe two. I put quite a bit in my palm and applied to my scalp. First my skin tingled, then my eyes burned, and the fumes were so strong I ran for the shower. I dove under the water which washed the oil out of my hair and down my face and neck. Face was on fire! It took a lot of soap and water to stop the burning. Maybe I’m not losing all that much hair.

Go easy on the makeup
Mature skin tends toward dry, lined, and what the hell are all these brown spots and red marks? If you can’t afford the high cost of laser or any number of other cosmetic treatments, retinol is a great fixer. You can find quite a few over the counter products that contain retinol, but to get it strong enough you’ll need a doctor’s prescription. Yep, $$$ again. Mexico was my answer. There is a woman here on the Ranch who makes frequent trips down there, and she brought me back a big tube of .05% retinol cream for under $20. Here’s the point…it works! My skin is more evenly colored. Not really sure if it helps wrinkles but it doesn’t hurt. So, if you don’t have a Mexico connection, you might want to spend the money for some. Just make sure it’s that percentage. And invest in a good moisturizer at the very least.

Eat right
If you are going to wear makeup, invest in hypoallergenic. Go easy on powders on the face. They only make wrinkles show worse. You aren’t covering anything. Liquid is best, and massage it in.

Last piece of advice—eat well. You are what you eat so skip the fast food, prepared foods, and go really light on sugar.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

In Between Here and Insane


A few years back, we retired from the day jobs. You followed our farm experiment on Tortuga Thursdays for three years, but we sold the farm. We traded in the little RV for a bigger one, but we aren’t ready to hit the road fulltime. What comes next? We’re not sure. It's all about transition these days. These are...

The In-Between Years

In-Between Years has meant in-between cities and decisions over the last few weeks…

Son explaining national anthem to his daughter
We were in Phoenix for a couple of reasons. Christmas is coming up so we took care of a surprise for several people in the family. I can’t say what just in case they read this post. It’s really cool, and I’ll share in January. We spent a couple of days with our son and family, and we all took in
Me with DIL and GD
a Diamondback’s game. Great game. Go DBacks!

Prescott…well, you know I go there all the time to see Mom.

Jerome…what a fantastic time I had. My sister took me there for my birthday, which was a few months back. On the right of this blog, under Index, click on the word Jerome to see more pictures of our trip.

Standin' on the corner...
FDW and I went to Winslow for the day to visit friends who leave the Ranch for half the year. We had lunch and of course had to stand on the corner with Glenn Frey.

Decisions…some made, some still in limbo. When we sold the farm, our household stuff went into storage. Then it went to our son’s home because he’d rented a portable storage unit that had space. Some of it went in there, and some into his house. Now, he’s moving his family to Tucson. I said, “let’s sell all of it.” FDW said, “hold on.” We reached an impasse. I handle the budget and have refused to rent another storage facility. He managed to sell our antique clock, antique camera, but the coffee and end tables are still on the market. And what to do with the rest? I was still pushing to sell when our son proclaimed they’ve rented a house big enough (3 car garage) to handle our “stuff.”

I guess our stuff is going to live in Tucson. That’s all I’m saying, but can I whisper crazy?

Monday, October 2, 2017

IT'S COMING! #InDScribe2017


Only a week and a half until I pick up an author friend, JL Wilson, at the airport in Phoenix, and we drive to Burbank, California for the InD'Scribe Conference. If you're a reader and anywhere near Burbank, this is a conference you want to attend. Not only is it free, you'll get to mingle up
close and personal with a great many authors. And there are lots of fun events planned.

I'm excited to go for several reasons, and a big one is The Power of Love and Murder is a RONE Award Finalist. The winner will be announced at the evening gala. Even if I don't win, to have been a finalist is great. Okay, I really do want to win.

Here's the link if you'd like to learn more about this great event:

Meet your there!