Thursday, November 30, 2023

Cover Reveal for LOVE'S GIFT

I don't have a release date yet, but I LOVE the cover. 
I especially love the house. I would like to live there.  
I'll let everyone know when it's available. 


Friday, November 24, 2023

No Leftovers

Daughter #3 and her hunny hosted Thanksgiving dinner, which I appreciate. It saved me from doing a lot of work. I contributed a delicious Broccoli/Cauliflower Parmesan Slow Cooker Recipe, which I found at Pinterest. Our house smelled wonderful while it was cooking. 

Daughter #3's house smelled fantastic. We were treated to several courses: appetizers, soup, salad, the main course, and several desserts. There was to be one more course but we were stuffed! 

Daughter #2 was with us and there was plenty of conversation and some laughter as we reminisced about old times. 

This morning I woke up and realized we had no leftovers. One of my favorite things to do after Thanksgiving is wake up the next day and eat pumpkin pie for breakfast or Aunt Georgette's Ambrosia salad. But Aunt Georgette was not able to join us this year. 

I ate a protein bar. 😟

Then, I remembered I had some coconut in the refrigerator. I went to Pinterest and found a recipe for easy coconut muffins:  I changed the recipe slightly by using 1 cup of whole wheat flour and 1 cup of regular flour. 

My house smelled great as they baked. Daughter #2 thinks I should add some spice to them next time. I might. Despite the amount of sugar in the recipe, they really don't taste overly sweet. They will make a delightful breakfast for tomorrow! 

Wednesday, November 08, 2023

A Story My Mother Told Me

My mother with her friends from art school. Mom is the second from the left in the photo.
Tomorrow would have been my mother's 102nd birthday. She was the best mom ever--and everyone in the family still misses her. She was quite a storyteller--just like the rest of her siblings. They didn't make up stories so much as they embellished them.

There were some stories about her young life my mother repeated over and over--many of them because they contained object lessons for me and my sisters. Eventually, my sisters and I called them "The Little Irene Stories." At one point, I made up a website and posted some of those tales, but I later took it down at Mom's request--though I printed out all the stories. :-)

So, in honor of my beautiful mother, I will share one of those stories, told just as Mom told it to me.

My First Job

In high school, I followed my sister, who probably was the smartest kid in school which meant that I was supposed to be a genius, too.

However, my brain was better at other things. Still, people expected too much from me. I was shocked when a teacher suggested that I run for class president.

I liked high school, particularly getting to act in plays. That was fun! But I was upset when they wouldn't let me play on the basketball team. Being chosen as the artist for the newspaper and as a teacher's aide helped ease the hurt, as did playing the violin in the orchestra.

The school was in a neighboring town and I had to walk three or four miles each way in all kinds of weather. My father didn't have a horse or buggy then or even a tractor.

The day after I graduated, I went to the coal mine company's general store in town, seeking a job. For the interview, I wore a little light blue plaid dress. Since I couldn't find a belt, I had to make-do with a piece of store string. I wore shoes without stockings.

The manager, who knew me and the rest of my family, hired me on the spot. I worked very hard in the store and was constantly busy. I knew everyone in town and their comings and goings.

My mother always wanted to know the latest gossip. In a little town, everyone knew instantly if someone stepped out of line. No secrets there.

Men swooned over me, probably because of my red hair, but there were bigger fish in the pond. I had places to go and things to see and do.

When I thought I had enough money, I  enrolled in art school in Pittsburgh. My sister Grace had gotten a job as a copy writer in the city, so we rented a room with kitchen privileges. We soon discovered that carfare and food plus rent was too much to handle on just one salary.

I found a job as an usher in a movie theater, even though I was underage. All went well until the day the manager told me I had lost a customer's umbrella in the hat check and had to pay for it. He said it cost $5, a huge amount at that time. I denied losing the umbrella and refused to pay for it.

He started to chase me around the room like a crazy man. His face seemed like it was on fire. I managed to get to the door and ran out of the theater.

My next job was babysitting two little boys in exchange for room and board. Unfortunately, the lady of the house thought her husband liked me too much. Somehow he learned that it was my birthday and presented me with beautiful black lacy sexy lingerie, which I refused.

I was surprised, but his wife was much more surprised. When she came  home, she wanted to know why I had not bathed one of the sons. I told her the boy was coughing and didn't feel well so I kept him warm and put him to bed.

She kept complaining, so I finally told her, "I'm leaving in the morning."

I didn't have any money for carfare home, but as I was leaving, the well-to-do husband gave me FIFTY CENTS for carfare. When I got to the art school, the other students heard of my plight and managed to collect enogh change so I could take the train home.

After that experience, I decided to live at home, commuting the 20 or so miles to Pittsburgh by bus, train, and shoe leather.

Happy Birthday in heaven, Mom.

Wednesday, November 01, 2023

Guest Blog: THE HOPE OF CHRISTMAS by Carol James

     Carol James has been a guest on my blog several times and I've read many of her books. (I'd like to read more.) I'm a fan! 😀 Growing up as an Air Force brat, the longest Carol ever lived in one place was a year and a half. Maybe that’s why, when she and her husband bought their first home forty-two years ago, they stayed put. She lives in Lilburn, GA with her husband, Jim, and a perky Jack Russell Terrier, Zoe.

     Loving intriguing stories with happy endings, she writes Redemptive Romance. She has had five full length novels and six Christmas novellas published. Her debut novel, Rescuing Faith, was an Amazon number one best-seller. Visit her website to sign up for her newsletter and get a free short story:

THE HOPE OF CHRISTMAS is her latest release. Here's the blurb:

 Cameron Blake has everything a man could want. Or so it appears. But in the dark of night, the contents of a twenty-two year old manila envelope remind him that the one thing he truly wants is beyond his reach.


Kristin Hansen has recently moved home after a messy break-up. While her parents think she’s come back to recuperate after surgery on a broken arm, she’s actually escaping from a relationship that’s turned abusive.


When the pastor of a local church recruits the two to supervise the building of the church’s nativity float for the upcoming Christmas parade, their hidden secrets are exposed. And Cam sees in her the one thing he truly desires…but knows he can never have. 




Now for a small taste with an excerpt.

            Kristin pressed the doorbell, and a muted chiming sounded from inside the apartment. At least one thing in this complex was working right. So she waited. And shivered. And prayed. 

            Just as she reached to press the bell again, the porch light flashed on, and the door swung inward. An unfamiliar man whose eyes were heavy with sleep and whose blond hair had marched right past messy and straight to explosive leaned against the doorframe. Yeah?” He yawned. 

            Is Steve here?” Struggling to control her shaking, she looked beyond him into the hallway for the maintenance man. 

            Nope.” He yawned again. Im covering for him. Can I help you?” He opened his eyes wide and seemed to really see her for the first time. Youre shivering.” He stepped away from the door. Come in out of the cold.”

            She shook her head. Thats OK. I just…” 

            He held up a hand and then disappeared down the hall. When he returned, he offered her a blanket. Here.” 

            Th-thank you.” She wrapped it around her shoulders. 

            Sure you dont want to step in for a minute? After all, you have your vicious guard dog with you.” He winked. 

            As if she understood his words, Lucy bounced toward him. He knelt and scratched behind her ears. Arent you a good dog.” He looked up and grinned. 

            Sh-she usually is but not tonight. Its her f-fault Im l-locked out of my ap-partment.”                               He stood. Sorry. Whats your number?”

            She pulled the blanket tighter. One o t-two.” 

            Next building. Let me grab that master. And put some shoes on.” 

            Th-thank you.” As he disappeared down the hall, she eased into the entryway and waited. He seemed like a nice enough guy. Although according to the instructor in the self-defense class she took while she was dating Dylan, those were the ones to watch. 

            But hed bent down and ruffled Lucys ears. What criminal would have done that? Yet, as the instructor had said, people should always be wary around strangers. 

            She reviewed some of the moves shed learned. Hammer strike, heel-palm strike, elbow strike, eye strike, and groin kick. She dropped the blanket, fisted her hands, and kicked forward and upward. 

            Everything OK?” 

            She jumped. She hadnt heard him return. Me? Some sort of twitch. Nothing to worry about. Im just freezing.” 

            He shrugged. I dont know. Might want to get that checked out.”



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