Monday, July 21, 2014


When I was cleaning out my parents house to sell it back in 2011, I found these keys in my parents' basement in an old coffee can. Obviously, my father and mother saved every key they ever owned. There were keys from cars that had long since rusted away. There were keys from houses they moved out of. I was amazed at the collection because hubby and I toss keys into the trash whenever they are no longer of any use. But my parents had enough keys to melt down and make a large ingot. Some of the keys are quite lovely. In the not-so-distant past, most tools had some sort of decoration. Today, utilitarian objects are often sleek and boring. Car keys have evolved into amazing electronic gadgets, and there are plastic cards to open hotel rooms.

I like the old keys. I kept them, in the same coffee can, but now they reside in my basement. Sometimes, I take out the can and reminisce about the cars we drove and the suitcases we carried.
Someday there won't be any keys at all.

Maybe then I'll have a treasure in my basement.

Friday, July 18, 2014

I've Been Interviewed by Jackson D'Lynne

That's an empty nest. My nest is not empty. Jackson D'Lynne found that out when she interviewed me.

Head on over to her blog and find out all my secrets. :-)

Ask an Author with Penelope Marzec -- Patriots, Heroes, and Familial Distractions

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Do You Want To Sleep Like A Baby?

That's me, age two, sleeping peacefully. I love to sleep like a rock. Although there have been times when traumatic events and other difficult issues have kept me awake, I learned early how to handle the problem. For me, the best thing to do when sleep eludes me is to pick up a book. In fact, I regularly read in bed before I turn out the light.

I've found there are others who agree with me on this issue. A Huffpost article lists seven reasons you should read books, and one of those seven reasons is that reading may help you sleep better. Check out

How about you? Do you read before bed?

Friday, July 11, 2014

The Popularity of Free Books

After the Storm was written as a round robin by six of the Prism Book Group authors. From the first, it was offered as a free promotion for Prism Book Group. It is the second story in a series of round robin stories. The first book in the series is Lightning Strikes. The last book is A Blizzard Wedding.  All can be found at

Currently After the Storm has 112 reviews on Amazon. (Most of them are favorable.)

It is #1,153 in free Kindle books. It is #2 in Christian Collections & Anthologies. It is #9 in Kindle Short Reads. According to the Kindle Sales Rank Calculator, 55 to 100 copies of the book are downloaded each day.

If I sold that many copies of any of my books, I would be rich. Unfortunately, there are plenty of people who read free books but are loath to pay for books. Publishing is a tough business. Writing books is not a sure fire way to become wealthy.

Nevertheless, I wonder how many of the people who downloaded After the Storm have ever purchased any of the books from Prism Book Group. Those statistics would be interesting to see. :-)

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Off to England--In a Book

That's me. I went to England and Scotland many, many years ago. My friend, Liz, went with me. It was a two week tour--one week in London and one week in Scotland. Obviously, Liz took this photo. It was fuzzy. I tried to fix it. :-(

I enjoyed visiting England and Scotland. Everybody spoke the same language--sort of. I drove a little Hillman Avenger all over Scotland--quickly adapting to being on the left side of the road instead of the right. I wish I could have stayed longer. I came home with a tea set and little English teaspoons (so cute and small!).

I decided to write a book so I could take myself back to England for an extended stay. Yesterday, I signed a contract with Prism Book Group for PATRIOT'S PRIDE. The story is the sequel to PATRIOT'S HEART. While Patriot's Heart was Agnes's story and set in New Jersey during the Revolutionary War, Patriot's Pride is about her sister, Margaret. She sails off to England after her grandfather has passed away. It's an exciting voyage and one you won't want to miss, especially if you read Patriot's Heart. :-)

I hope you'll save room in your Kindle for Patriot's Pride!

Friday, July 04, 2014

Impossible Broccoli Quiche with Curry for a Crowd

This is my take on a classic recipe. A little curry spices up this dish just enough to make it a true crowd pleaser. It's quick, too, which is always a plus for a busy writer. :-)


2 10 oz. packages of frozen chopped broccoli
2 tsp. dried minced onion
2 c. sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
6 eggs
2 tsp. curry (I used Jamaican Curry)
1 tsp. salt
2 c. milk
1 c. Bisquick baking mix

Grease 9 x 13 inch rectangular baking pan. Thaw and drain broccoli and place on bottom of pan. Sprinkle onion and grated cheese over broccoli and then mix everything together lightly in the pan. Next, place milk, Bisquick mix, eggs, salt, and curry in a bowl and mix well with an electric mixer. Pour this mixture over the broccoli, cheese, and onion. Bake in preheated 375 degree oven for 35 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean and top is golden. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Kindle Text-to-Speech on iPad

It can be done, although it took a while before I understood the process. (Triple click, swipe with TWO fingers.) You can have an entire Kindle book read to you by a computerized voice. Personally, I enjoy reading with my own two eyes better. But for long commutes or when I am involved in a monotonous task (like folding laundry) this feature on the iPad is great.