Sunday, June 28, 2009


Our granddaughter, Alexis Joy, "Lexi", is almost one-year-old already, but it seems like only a couple of months ago we welcomed her into the world! Wow, time is a real stinker, isn't it -- especially when you get old like me -- and every second counts. ~grins~

Anyway, her party was last night, so I think I'll share a few pics with you. (Feel free to click on the image to enlarge it.)

Okay, here goes...

These first couple shots show a very solemn "princess". She wasn't having anything to do with all that attention - until later when the cake and presents arrived. You'll see her pretty amazing "castle" cake, and, oh, the INCREDIBLE dollhouse Cecil built for her (which she won't even play with for a few years!!!). It came with well over a 1000 pieces and took him several weeks to build.


Wednesday, June 24, 2009


You find out some interesting things when you have sons/grandsons. Here are just a few items of interest:

1.) A king-size waterbed holds enough water to fill a 2000 sq. ft. house 4 inches deep.

2! .) If you spray hairspray on dust bunnies and run over them with roller blades, they can ignite.

3.) A 3-year-old boy's voice is louder than 200 adults in a crowded restaurant.

4.) If you hook a dog leash to a ceiling fan, the motor is not strong enough to rotate a 42 pound boy wearing Batman underwear and a Superman cape.. It is strong enough, however, if tied to a paint can, to spread paint on all four walls of a 20x20 ft. room.

5.) You should not throw baseballs up when the ceiling fan is on. When using a ceiling fan as a bat, you have to throw the ball up a few times before you get a hit. A ceiling fan can hit a base ball a long way.

6.) The glass in windows (even double-pane) doesn't stop a baseball hit by a ceiling fan.

7.) When you hear the toilet flush and the words, "Uh-oh", it's already too late.

8.) Brake fluid mixed with Clorox makes smoke, and lots of it.

9.) A six-year old boy can start a fire with a flint rock even though a 36-year old man says they can only do it in the movies.

10.) Certain Lego's will pass through the digestive tract of a 4-year-old boy.

11.) Play dough and microwave should not be used in the same sentence.

12.) Super glue is FOREVER.

13.) No matter how much Jell-O you put in a swimming pool, you still can't walk on water.

14.) Pool filters do not like Jell-O.

15.) VCR's do not eject 'PB & J' sandwiches even though TV commercials show they do.

16.) Garbage bags do not make good parachutes.

17.) Marbles in gas tanks make lots of noise when driving.

18.) You probably DO NOT want to know what that odor is.

19.) Always look in the oven before you turn it on; plastic toys do not like ovens.

20.) The fire department in my town has a 5-minute response time.

21.) The spin cycle on the washing machine does not make earthworms dizzy.

22.) It will, however, make cats dizzy.

23.) Cats throw up twice their body weight when dizzy.

24.) 80% of women will pass this on to almost all their friends, whether they have boys or not.

25.) 80% of men who read this will try mixing the Clorox and the brake fluid.

Monday, June 22, 2009

R O C K!!!
(No pun intended.)

We had an absolutely FABULOUS vacay drifting across the beautiful Dale Hollow Lake in Northern Tennessee and parts of Southern Kentucky with dear friends.

As we sailed along at about 5-10 MPH we every so often saw a sign that said "You are now entering Tennessee." Up around a bend, we'd see another one reading, "You are now entering Kentucky."

What does a person do on a houseboat, you ask? PLENTY! Well, here's a list of some of the many things we partook in:

*Lounging on the upper deck
*Tying up to a tree along the bank and swimming or floating under a hot sun and cloudless sky (Water temps remained in the 80s.)
*Fishing - if that's your thing
*Riding the water slide into the clean, refreshing lake
*Playing card/board games
*Watching videos on the big screen TV
*Eating in the big kitchen/dining room or enjoying meals at one of the many restaurants around the lake
*Enjoying the beauty of untouched, unpolluted nature (no residents on the 700+ miles of beautiful shoreline)
*LAUGHING and RELAXING. We did plenty of both!

Above are some pics of the three other couples who went with Cecil and me, all precious friends who we know a little bit better now after having lived together in such close quarters for the past week.

I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS SORT OF VACATION...especially if you want to get away for a good time of refreshment and renewal.

Despite having a wonderful vacation, it's always great to come home, too! I love you all!

Sending warm, squishy hugs...

Saturday, June 13, 2009


Well, okay, it's not exactly mine, but Cecil and I and three other couples are renting it all next week, leaving for Tennessee at 5 a.m. Monday so we can be ON THE BOAT by 2 p.m., soaking up rays, reading, relaxing, laughing, playing silly games, watching DVD's and, of course, EATING!!!!!

Now, here's the baaaaad news - I won't have ANY internet connection! The first few days of the trip will be dealing with my withdrawal. I'm sure it will be painful. teehee But then by the second or third day I'll be going - "What internet? Honey, will you please get me another bowl of ice cream, as I can't get out of this lounge chair?"

At any rate, DON'T FORGET TO GO TO MY PREVIOUS BLOG AND THROW YOUR NAME IN THE HAT FOR A CHANCE TO WIN MY LATEST RELEASE, MAGGIE ROSE. The drawing will take place when I return from my vacay! Feel free to leave comments here, and I'll see them through Sunday night and then after I return.

Take care, God bless, and I love you all!!!!!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


What I mean to say is, he just plopped a carton containing hot-off-the-press copies of Maggie Rose on my front porch! Want to try to win a copy? I'll tell you how in a second...but first...

Here's the back cover blurb:

1904...New York City

Maggie Rose, the spunky, friendly, twenty-year-old middle daughter of Michigan resident Jacob Kane, feels compelled to leave her beloved hometown of Sandy Shores to pursue what she believes in her heart are God's plans for her life -- in New York City.

Maggie Rose adjusts to her new life at Sheltering Arms Refuge, an orphanage that also transports homeless children to towns across the United States to match them with compatible families. Most of the children have painful pasts that make Maggie aghast, but she marvels at their resiliency. As she gets to know each child, her heart blossoms with new depths of love and compassion.

When a newspaper reporter comes to stay at the orphanage in order to gather research for an article, Maggie is struck by his handsome face--and concerned by his lack of faith. She can't deny their mutual affections, though. Will she win the struggle to maintain her focus on God and remain attuned to His guidance?

Simply make a comment below telling me why you enjoy reading historical fiction, and I'll enter your name in my proverbial "hat". Enter twice if you like!

This drawing will continue through June 20, as I will be away from my computer the entire week of June 14-19. Going on vacay!

JUNE 20!!!!!

NOW, for another peek at MAGGIE ROSE, my EIGHTH BABY!

Sunday, June 07, 2009

A TORNADO HAS HIT! (sort of...)

Okay, my darling friends, take a look at this picture:

This is my kitchen island, and this morning it did not look like this. Tonight, however, is another story. And here is the story's title:


Okay, so today after dinner, Kendra and Krista were sitting at my table making plans for their upcoming sale. I am not in on the planning, nor did I ever ask to be. I do NOT have time for a garage sale. I was standing at the sink, one ear to their chit-chat, when Kendy said, "Mom, what do you have to contribute to the sale?"

"Uh, nothing," I said. "I don't have time."

"I'll help you," she so generously offered. But see, that means I have to get involved. Ugh.

"Well...I guess I have some stuff." Why did I have to go and say that? I have stuff all right. Too much!

That's when the idea hit. "Tell you what, if you guys want to go through my closets and cupboards and organize and do all the pricing, etc., etc., you can have the proceeds."

Whoa! You never saw anything like it. Quick as lightning, cupboard doors started flying open. They see dollar signs. "What is this?" Krissi asked, bringing out the ugliest, oblong, glass serving dish you have ever seen in your life.

"That? Well, that's a wedding gift." (Um, I got married in December 1975.)

"I've never seen it before," she said.

"That's because I've never used it." Garage sale.

(Giggles and laughs proceed.) "Mom, why do you still have an olive green crockpot?" Kendy asked. (See it in the picture?)

"Because--because, you never know when I might need it, and because, well, it was a wedding gift." I actually received 5 of them, as that was the year they invented crockpots. Garage sale. (Think anyone will buy it?)

"Mom, why do you have 8 bazillion glass platters?"

"Well, for all my entertaining!" I said. You have to know my small-group dinners never require fancy glass platters. Half a dozen of them are going to the sale.

More giggles and laughs. (I think my daughters are making fun of me.) "Mom, do you really need all these coffee pots?" "Why do you have 257 bottles of vitamins, all expired?" (trash basket) "What an ugly vase. Look at all these vases. Why do you need all these vases?"

"Well, for all the flowers your dad keeps bringing me." That really got a laugh. I should have said, "For those bunches of flowers I buy at the grocery store." About 10 vases went to the sale.

And so it went -- mirrors, clocks, radios, bedside stands, mismatched dishware, lamps, shelves, coffee pots, tablecloths--and on and on. I really didn't have to lift a finger, either, just hold my grandbaby while they made fun of my stuff. haha.

Here's the sad part. All that stuff you see has to sit in my kitchen till Friday when they haul it all away to their block sale. Ugh.

Why did I hoard it all these years? It's just STUFF. I must remind myself after they take it away NOT to replace it with MORE stuff! Otherwise, in five years we'll be going down this road again.

At least I have clean cupboards and closets now. And I didn't have to do a thing but take a little verbal abuse. Haha. Good thing I can take it.

I love you all! Have a happy week!

Saturday, June 06, 2009


I have only had a minute here, a minute there to check in with my online friends that I wonder if any of you remembers me! Well, I'm here to tell you I truly am alive; I just have been busier than a bee in basket! I have writing deadlines I'm determined to meet, which means daily word-count goals to fulfill. I also just returned from a 5-day trip to Pittsburgh in which I visited my publishing house and had several appointments. In fact, here's a couple of pics to prove I was there. Ha-ha. Don't go away. There's more under the pictures!

Here I am just getting ready to walk through the door!

This poster greeted us when we walked into Whitaker House's main lobby! We felt very welcomed!

These are a few of the people who work in the graphics department. They design my lovely book covers! It was so fun meeting them.

Okay, that was our trip to Pittsburgh. I have many more pics of the beautiful city, but at the risk of boring you to death, I will not post them.

What else have I been doing? Well, baby-sitting my one-year-old grandson for one thing. I have him once a week, and let me tell you watching him is like watching a wildfire spread across a forest. During every waking minute he NEVER stops or even slows down. He is CONSTANTLY investigating, looking for something to get into, and always a step ahead of me! Here're a couple pics of him just being, well, him. I don't want to be one of those grandmas who never shuts up about the cute things her grandkids say and do, but I just have to say this one thing, he's FUNNY and ADORABLE! (Okay, so that was two.)

Seems like Gavin always has a skinned-up nose. Here he is with "Papa"!

Yes, I let him splash in the dirty bird bath. Bad grandma!

What can I say? He's a boy. He loves the sprinkler!

Oh, the joys of living in one-year-old skin!

So, there you have it. On top of these things I am writing like a fiend, trying to meet my daily writing goals so I can finish by my December deadline. December sounds like a long way off -- unless you're writing a novel! Then it's like TOMORROW!

I'm looking forward to my 8th release, which should be arriving on my doorstep most any day. Maggie Rose is the second in my Daughters of Jacob Kane series. If you haven't read number one, Hannah Grace, run out and get a copy so you can finish it before Maggie Rose hits shelves. Abbie Ann, third and final in the series, comes out in spring of '10! And then it's onto my next series!!!! Whew!

Next month, we're off to the International Christian Retail Show (ICRS) in Denver where I'll be signing hot-off-the-press copies of "Maggie"!

Sooo, that's my life in a nutshell, and let me just say God is GOOD and FAITHFUL to His own. Stay the course, my precious friends.

And let me also say this--if you read this clear to the end, BRAVO! You are to be GREATLY commended.

I love you tons!!!!