Monday, September 28, 2015


Please welcome Isla to another Muse Monday!
Writer’s write.  Well, at least that’s my motto.  With an overloaded schedule that includes family, work, a seven-year-old’s social calendar and trying to get dinner on the table, some days it’s a struggle to get more than a few words written on a page.  Since I’m “old school” at writing, I tend to have some sort of pen, pencil, paper, post-it note or, if desperate, the back of a store receipt, handy at all times in the event a couple of free moments open up.  These are some of my favorite (and quirky) places to “steal time”.
Car Pool Lane – I have to admit, this is my favorite place to put pen to paper.  Whatever story I’m working on tags along with me.  I head out about an hour beforehand to write…er, I mean…to pick up my daughter from school.  It’s quiet and it’s actually the place where I wrote most of my book, “Asylum Harbor”.
Doctor’s Office –Well, I figure if I’m going to have to wait, I might as well be doing something productive.
Parking Lot –This is for the occasion when someone says “it’ll only take minute” and they actually mean thirty.  Either way, I’m covered.
Restaurant—No, not when I’m out with my family for dinner.  But sometimes I just want to stop at that nice coffee shop or deli for a few minutes and while I’m sitting at the little corner table, I like to jot some ideas down.  If you’re stopping at Panera Bread around 9:30 in the morning, keep an eye out for me.
Bed—I’m one of those who’ll cut on a night light in the middle of the night to write down something.  It’s not always a good idea—or coherent—but on occasion it’ll help me to remember a new story idea or how to work out a scene I’m working on.
So, where are some of the places you like to “steal” writing time at?

Trouble is the last thing Devon Brown needs when she leaves the painful memories of her past behind and heads to Shell Island.  As the Salty Dog’s new bartender, she finds herself drawn to Kerr, the Shell Island harbormaster.  But finding her happily-ever-after is difficult when dealing with an obnoxious bootlegger who supplies the bar with illegal liquor and a jealous coworker.
A standoffish loner with damaged emotions, Kerr avoids relationships like the plague.  Things change when Devon catches his eye.  When a simple flirtation grows serious, the coworker and bootlegger quickly become obstacles to any future Kerr and Devon may have together.  As the situation worsens, Devon realizes that even the still waters of Asylum Harbor are no refuge during a storm.
“You already got dibs on this one Kerr?”
Porter shot an evil glare at the opposite end of the bar and looked back toward her.  “I’ll see you tonight.”  He flicked his tongue.  “After work.”  He raised his glass in a mock toast and chugged it in one gulp.
          The lights dimmed for Victoria’s dance of the night.  Devon watched Kerr, who was usually headed for the exit by now, and breathed a sigh of relief when he remained glued to his seat with his back to the stage.  He wasn’t staying for Victoria’s peep show.  There must have been something about this Porter character that got under his skin in a bad way.
          Devon was eager for the quick break.  She hustled to the back as the chords to “Simply Irresistible” began to pelt over the speakers and ran some cold water over her forearm.  A red welt was beginning to show where Porter had held onto it.  She hoped he would be gone by the time she got back.
          Making it out before mid-song, Devon rounded the bar when someone snagged her wrist and thrust her hard against the bar, knocking the wind out of her.  She could smell Porter’s alcohol-laced breath as his weight pinned her under him.  One of his grubby hands shot under her shirt while the other wrestled with the button on her pants.  “Let’s give them a real show.”
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Monday, September 21, 2015



At last a release date for Post-War Dreams! Not that it took all that long to get the date, but once a book is finished, in my mind, it's forever before the release. October 14, 2015 is the date. This novel is a little different for me in that it's straight out romance - no murder or intrigue. It has all the tug at your heart and warmth of a true romance. AND it's set in a most romantic time period of post-war WWII.

Here's an excerpt:

“But…but you can’t love Susan.” My voice, soft as a whisper, didn’t betray the rising fear boiling up from the pit of my stomach. 
He gripped my arms with emphasis. “No, I don’t.” 
My stomach calmed a bit, the fear at a simmer. “Does she love you?” I had to convince him his thinking had clearly gotten off course.
“No. I mean I don’t think so.”
“Is she demanding you love her?” Love was everything. Without love, this wasn’t our problem.
His hesitation cheered me on. My panic churned barely below the surface as I led him down the path of reason. “Well, then, Benjamin, why—”
“Claire, she’s pregnant. I’ll have to marry her.”
“Marry?” I choked on the word. Fear and panic erupted. “Oh, God, no. Benjamin!” The tears toppled and flooded my cheeks. “This is her problem.”
“You know it isn’t, Claire.” His words were thick and strained. “I have to take responsibility.”
“No, Benjamin, no!” I slapped my palms to his chest as if I could stop this madness with a physical barrier. “No, you don’t.”
He encircled my waist, gently caressed, but held me firm until my tantrum played out.
I folded into his chest, but my anger still had some steam. I balled one hand into a fist and hit his chest. “Why? Why do you always have to do the right thing? Why?” I swiped away tears so I could see his reaction when I glared into his face.
His chest heaved as he stared into my hostility with calmness. “You wouldn’t love me if I didn’t.”


World War II has ended and the soldiers are coming home. After years of following her crop worker father, motherless Claire Flanagan is also coming home. If she can keep her father in one place long enough, she plans to follow her dreams to Hollywood. Until she meets Benjamin.
Benjamin Russell has been working since he was fifteen to support his mother and siblings. What he most wants in life is to own a construction business and take care of the family his father abandoned. The last thing he expects is to fall for his younger sister’s best friend.
Life, however, throws cruel twists and turns into the path of romance. And when an unrequited love seeks revenge against Claire, and Benjamin learns his ex-girlfriend is pregnant, will lost dreams of a future together be the only thing they have left?

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Recipes for the End of Summer

Sunset over the orchard
Summer is grasping, not wanting to let go. Yet, in spite of her desperation, there's a cool breeze in the morning and brilliant sunsets that signal fall is on its way.

We had such a small personal garden this year, that it hasn't been hard
A pretty plant: purple okra
keeping up with the yield. Although, I don't want to can tomatoes and may still be forced into it. Christie has been gone all month which leaves me with the decision to can or not to can. She's back this weekend so maybe I can hold out!

Okra in egg
My two favorite vegetables in the garden this year are yellow crookneck squash and purple okra. Purple Okra is not a heavy producer so I'm not challenged with trying to freeze or can. I just cook
I can eat nearly all of it!
and eat as it comes. The only way I really enjoy okra is fried:

Cut into inch to half inch pieces
Dip in egg
Roll in seasoned (your choice) flour or cornmeal
Fry in oil until crispy

Yellow crookneck cooking with onions.
I like yellow squash steamed and drizzled with butter, but there's too much to keep up with so I made soup:

I sauteed sliced squash and onions (also from the garden) in olive oil
My squash soup
until done. I seasoned with turmeric, Mrs. Dash original salt free seasoning, and a couple of tablespoons of lemon juice. All of that went in a blender with enough chicken broth to the consistency I wanted.

As most of the veggies are winding down output, we still have potatoes, sweet potatoes, and butternut squash to look forward to. Yep, fall is on the way. 

Monday, September 7, 2015

A Wicked Celebration for Joyce Proell

Today is a very special day! My good friend and long time critique partner, Joyce Proell, is celebrating the release of the third book in her Truth trilogy, A Wicked Truth. Joyce is a master at weaving mystery and romance into one book. Her Truth series is pure excitement and mystery with just the right amount of romance. I'm celebrating right along with her because I LOVE these novels!

A Wicked Truth

The wedding date is set, and life is magical for Doyle Flanagan and Cady Delafield. Yet trouble has a way of finding these two. Honor bound to repay an old debt, Doyle agrees to help a friend find her sister. As he searches for the girl, painful memories surface, stunning Cady when she discovers facts about Doyle’s hidden past.
In spite of incredible odds, Cady and Doyle’s love has flourished. Now mired in tragedy and secrets, their happiness is in jeopardy. Their wits are put to the test when catastrophe strikes close to home threatening those Cady loves the most. Can they overcome the turmoil with a fateful decision that will change their future forever?

“Someone’s been in my room and taken things.”
His brow tightened. “How do you know?”
“I haven’t been able to find the lovely scarf you gave me. I assumed I’d lost it or left it behind when I met Grace for tea last week. Then today, I noticed one of your notes missing.”
“When you send a gift, you always include a card or note.”
“You kept my notes?”  Doyle beamed.
“I’m a romantic, all right?” Hot with embarrassment, Cady lifted her chin and stared him dead on. “They’re precious. I’ll cherish them forever.”
His face softened. He skimmed a finger along her jaw and let it linger over her lips. At his touch, her body quickened.
“What did the note say?” When he removed his hand, the spell broke.
“Oh, it was the one about our first kiss, where I trembled beneath your fingers.”
“Ah, I recall.” His voice dropped a level.
The same finger he’d placed over her lips now traced the opening of her dress causing an immediate shiver of excitement. It slipped past the fastened buttons and stopped just over her heart. “Is anything else missing?” As easy as a breeze, he undid the button between her breasts.
“I don’t think so.” Even to her own ears, she sounded shaky.
“Are you afraid?” His finger darted inside and wiggled below the silky fabric of her corset and chemise.
“No,” she breathed.
He dipped his head, his mouth mere inches from hers and worked a few more buttons.
“Are you worried one of your roommates may harm you?” When his hand disappeared inside her dress and caressed her nipple, she gasped.
“Angry,” she mumbled, aware more of the physical sensations than logic and words.
“What?” It was as if he called to her in a fog.
“You’re trembling beneath my fingers, like the first time.” His words were a feather brush erasing all reason.
“Are you surprised?” she managed to ask.
 “The way you tremble, the change in your breathing…” With a sweep of an arm, he slipped her on his lap.
Relieved and thrilled that the moment she’d waited for all night had arrived, she threw her arms about his shoulders. Her mouth fell hard on his, and she lost herself to a kiss that seemed wonderfully unending.
To find out more about Cady and Doyle or to sign up for Joyce's newsletter, connect with her at: