Showing posts from December, 2008

Saying Goodbye to 2008

Hubby asked if we were going to stay up to see the New Year in--I said I'd try, but would probably be in bed long before midnight.

I thought back about all the New Year's Eves we've celebrated. We've gone to fancy dinners and dances in many different places. One I remember most was on the Hueneme Navy Base in the Bard mansion that was reported to be haunted. Don't remember seeing any ghosts, but do remember having a nice dinner and dancing all evening. (Haven't been able to get my husband on the dance floor for years.)

Another New Year's Even I remember well was when hubby was in Vietnam so I offered to babysit all the neighbor kids for the night so their parents could go out. I don't remember exactly how many, but there was a bunch, and it was like a crowded slumber party.

When my kids were young, the big refreshment for New Years Eve was always root beer floats.

When my husband and I had our residential care home, root beer floats along with lots of snick…

Best Intentions Go Astray

Yep, I had every intention of doing more work on the new Rocky Bluff P.D. book.

First, though, I read my email, took care of stuff that needed to be done. I did a couple of loads of wash, changed the sheets on the bed, cleaned one of the bathrooms. Started to write, but husband sat down and asked me some questions. He went after the mail and came back with some things that needed to be taken care of.

After I did that, decided I'd go ahead and do all the bookkeeping for the end of the month. Once I finished, though I should just go ahead and set up the books for next year and do some stuff to prepare for doing income tax. When I'd finished it was time to cook dinner.

Made the best potato soup for supper--everyone liked it.

By that time, I was through for the day.

Hubby and I watched a DVD, he left to go to church, and I'm headed to bed.

Wanted to write about how easy it is to not do what you intended.

Tomorrow I hope to at least do a couple of pages though I do have a hair appoint…

More About the Two Young MenThat Were Stabbed

My granddaughter reported that the son of her senior pastor was stabbed to death and his best friend, also a son of a preacher was stabbed at the same time but expected to live.

Because these two young men, both 21, were sons of preachers, my first thought unfortunately was that they were someplace they shouldn't have been. There is a general feeling that preacher's kids are wilder than most. And of all people, I shouldn't believe that. After all, two of my granddaughters are preacher's kids or PKs as they are often referred to in the church world.
The oldest is the mother of three great kids, works with the church kids, volunteers for everything at the schools her kids go to, and she and her husband take in strays--and I'm not talking about animals--stray teens who have no where else to go.

The other daughter is also grown, worked all through high school and is still working, helped her husband build their home, and is expecting her first child.

One of our pastors a…

Tough Times, Book Review

Do your know someone who is hurting? Someone who has just received dreadful news? Someone who lost a loved one?

It seems as though bad things happen during the holiday season. About a week before Christmas my daughter told me that her best friend, the friend who had helped her most when my daughter’s husband was killed in a dreadful accident had just learned she had incurable lung cancer and only has a short time to live.

Right after Christmas my granddaughter emailed me asking for prayer for her pastor’s family–their oldest son had been killed horribly by someone he didn’t even know.

We lost our son to cancer several years ago and his birthday was three days after Christmas. Because I do know where he is and that I’ll see him again, I don’t mourn like someone without such an assurance might–however, I do miss him and can’t help feeling sad.

When I read Tough Times it touched my heart. This little book would be the perfect gift for anyone who is having a difficult time. In a simple but co…

Great New Interview.

This one is all about what was behind Kindred Spirits: Marilyn

Coming Soon, No Sanctuary

First on the scene of a traffic accident that turns out to be murder, Officer Stacey Wilbur calls Detective Doug Milligan. Despite her former vow to never date anyone on the Rocky Bluff P.D., she and Milligan are romantically involved. Finding time to be alone together isn’t easy.

The murder victim is the wife of a popular Rocky Bluff minister, and several suspects immediately come to the forefront, the minister himself, his nosy secretary, the choir director, and a nerdy stalker. Stacey helps Doug with the murder investigation, but the Chief asks her to go undercover as a prostitute to expose a pedophile which leads to a surprising job offer.

Stacey must make two major decisions that will change her life forever, and a third that nearly causes her to lose her life.

That is one of the blurbs for my new Rocky Bluff P.D. crime novel, No Sanctuary.

Because I am a regular church goer, I want to clarify that I am not making fun of churches. Churches, temples, synagogues are where sinners go to…

Local Indians Create a New Gathering Place

We live very close to the Tule River Indian Reservation. With the advent of their casino (small by most Indians casino standards) life for these Native Americans has been a change for the better. The reservation is tucked away in a narrow valley between huge mountains. The reservation has more acreage than any other California reservation. However, much of it is inaccessible and includes part of an old growth Sequoia forest.

The Indians now have their own health clinic, a modernized recovery center, day care, their own police force and fire department. Off the reservations they own and operate an air park at the Porterville airport where they do all kinds of air plane repair and other industry. They have plans for a hotel and a new casino in that area.

Something else they have done off the reservation is built a gas station and mini-mart which is state-of-the art–the nicest gas station and mini-mart I’ve ever seen. It’s built off the main highway to Springville, where I live. The gas i…

Best Christmas Eve Ever!

We do our big celebrating of Christmas on Christmas Eve. First we eat--had a great dinner, turkey turned out perfect. Those who celebrated with us were middle daughter and her husband, youngest son, his wife and daughter and a young woman who lives with them, and three grown grandsons.

One of these grandsons has not had a Christmas at home in six years. His mom sent him lots of gifts and everyone else had given him gifts. He was so happy! And it made all the rest of us happy too.

Today, we are having another dinner, but not as many people--the one addition will be granddaughter's boyfriend--and we're having a standing rib roast--and leftovers.

I did everything the easy way this year.

Later in the afternoon we'll head over to another granddaughter's who has three kids and visit for awhile. While there we'll also get to see her sister who is expecting her first child in February which will bring the number of our great-grandkids up to 11!

I am truly blessed this Christmas…

Countdown to Christmas

I have a feeling no one is reading blogs during the holiday season. Since writing a blog is a way of putting off what I really should be doing--working on my next book--here I am.

I've only two gifts left to wrap, one I didn't plan to buy and one for someone I didn't know was coming to our Christmas Eve celebration.

Because I'm the cook, I'm preparing all things easy--a turkey (yes, baking a turkey is easy), Stove top dressing, instant mashed potatoes (the ones that are flavored), granddaughter is making the green bean casserole, gravy from a jar, green jello salad with Kool-Whip and crushed pineapple. Pies from the bakery.

Christmas Day we'll have left-overs and I'm cooking a standing rib roast--also easy.

Oh, I do know how to make all those things from scratch and have many, many years--but this time I want it to be easy for me. The older I get, the less I feel like doing things that are work.

I'm blessed that I'll have lots of family around and that …

Reflections About My Son, Mark

When I was having children, you had no idea what you were going to get until the child was born. After two girls, my husband and I were thrilled when three days after Christmas, our first son, Mark was born.

We'd had to change our Christmas plans because I was overdue. My parents, grandparents, sister and her family all came to our house on Christmas day for the first time ever. I was huge and uncomfortable but still managed to cook the big dinner.

The 28th was night Perry Mason came on TV--my very favorite program. Labor pains started in earnest right during the show. Hubby was timing them and as they neared five minutes apart, he begged me to let him take me to the hospital. Nothing doing--I stayed until the end.

Mark was a fun kid. He was adventuresome and made friends with everyone. We lived near the beach and one summer he was always up and gone before day break. It took me awhile to find out he was going out on a fishing boat and earning money fileting the catch for the fisherm…

Big Sale at Mundania Press

If you've been wanting to buy a Mundania book, (the last three books in my Deputy Tempe Crabtree books are from Mundania: Kindred Spirits, Judgment Fire, and Calling Back the Dead, now is a great time to
do so! Until January 1st, you can get 25% off your purchase of books
through the Mundania store. At checkout, just include the coupon
code SANTA and you get your discount!


Christmas Celebrations

The older I get the harder it is to do all things people do for the Christmas season.

Though I decorated, we didn't put up a tree because last year the cat's completely undecorated it and broke all the glass balls. I gave out Christmas cards to everyone at church rather than mailing them. (Did mail out to those who were missing.) For my other friends, if they sent me a card, they received one in return.

The weather has been very cold, lots of snow on the mountains and that helps with the Christmas spirit.

Hubby and I attended our church's Christmas party last weekend, which was, as usual, lots of fun, good food, and a wild time as we played our usual game where we bring ornaments, open them one at a time, or choose to steal one we like better.

Tonight, we're going out to dinner with my writing critique group, another Christmas tradition.

Tomorrow afternoon, we're going to my good friend and fan, Sheri's home, where I'll get to enjoy her Christmas decorations and…

The Unseen, A Book Review

The Unseen
T. L. Hines

Wow! This is one of the most unusual books I’ve read in years. Once I got started, I couldn’t put it down.

Lucas is an unusual hero. He knows very little about himself, and what he does know is suspect. Uncomfortable around people, he’s created his own world by spying on others who work in offices all around the city. He sleeps in crawl spaces, on the commuter trains, and has secret places all over the city.

When he learns there are others doing much the same as he, though they like to watch people in their own homes, he thinks he’s finally found kindred spirits. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work out like that.

The book takes a whole new twist, when he finds out how easy it is to get into and spy on residents of their homes. He also finds out that things are happening that he just can’t ignore and feels compelled to stop. And guess what? He also learns that he’s being watched too.

The book may make the reader feel a bit paranoid–could someone be doing what Lucas and othe…

Report on My Art Gallery Signing and more

The more I write about these appearances, the more I realize I'm somewhat of a Pollyanna. If you don't know what that means, you are much younger than I am--which most people are.

Pollyanna was a fictional character who always looked on the bright side of everything. If she broke her leg, she'd say gaily, "It's so wonderful that I only broke on leg."

My first stop on Friday was Coffee Etc. where I picked up my first batch of cookies. Luwana, who owns the shop with her husband, is a great cook. The cookies were fantastic! From there hubby drove me down the hill to Porterville and the Art Gallery. My table was set up in the back of the room (took care of it the night before) and I greeted everyone, put the cookies on the refreshment table and settled myself for the long day ahead.

A long day was right--hardly anyone came in despite all sorts of publicity by the Art Club and me. I sold one book and that was to one of the artists. I did meet lots of people--the art…

Moving Right Along

The paper came out today and had a nice paragraph about me being at the Porterville Art Gallery Saturday--but didn't mention that I'd be there tomorrow, Friday, as well. So I quickly sent out some emails to let people know that I'd be there then too.

We have the car loaded with all the junk I must take to do this: a table, chair, tablecloth, and all my books. We're to set up at 3:30 this afternoon. In the a.m. I'll stop at Coffee Etc. and pick up cookies that Lawana is making for me.

This morning, the reporter from the Visalia Times-Delta called and we had a great time talking about my books and writing etc. He was enthusastic and it was a fun conversation.

I also worked on the chapter of my book that my critique group heard and gave me suggestions for last night. They do such a good job finding mistakes and holes that need to be filled. When we were done, it was so foggy outside you couldn't see. Fortunately, one of our members, Brent Gill, drove ahead of me all …

Interesting Developments

Since I did my stint in the back room of Jenuine Junque a couple of interesting things have happened.

First, Sabrina Ziegler, the young reporter I wrote about who came to interview me, did a very nice piece about all the activity in Springville on Saturday, which appeared in the Monday a.m. edition of the Porterville Recorder. It was on the first page, continued on an inside page where she'd written several paragraphs about my appearance. For someone who just graduated from high school, she did a wonderful job of writing.

We took some time off on Monday and went to see the movie, Australia. (Great movie, by the way, but a warning, it's three hours long so don't buy a huge drink.) When I got home, I had a message on my answering machine from a reporter from the Times-Delta, a newspaper in the next largest city after Porterville, Visalia. He wanted to know if I'd be interested in being interviewed for an article they are doing on local authors. (Of course!) I wasn't un…

Success in the Back Room of the Antique Store

I had no idea how it would go for me to have a booksigning in the back room of an antique store. To bolster my chances for success, I gave my book to the local newspaper editor along with information about my event. She praised the book, Kindred Spirits, called it my best ever and there was information about the book signing.

To help more, I sent invitations out to all my friends in Springville (where I live and the antique store is located), plus a lot of Internet advertising.

What really helped, I think, was a lot was going on in Springville yesterday. The Zonta Club was having a big arts and craft sale in the Memorial Building along with a tour of large homes all decorated for the holidays. Others took advantage of extra people in town and also had big sales going on in their stores or out on the sidewalk.

And yes, a lot of people on tour did stop by the antique store and pop into the back room. However, more people came because of my invites and the article in the paper.

The hot cider…

What's the Point of All This Social Networking?

A minute ago I just wrote on someone's Facebook wall--nothing important, but she'd written something on my wall and I was responding. Was it anything important? No. I'd written about Christmas shopping and the other person wanted to know if I'd had fun wrapping the presents. I wrote back to tell her I hadn't done it as yet, because I'd decorated the house instead.

Then I sent another message to someone I knew telling her about a book I'd finished and enjoyed by an author we both know and like.

What does this all have to do with writing or promoting books? Not a whole lot.

In the meanwhile I was thinking about what I needed to cook for dinner. I'd just finished signing a bunch of Christmas cards I intend to hand out at church (saving on postage that way), and instead of going into the kitchen, I decided to peek at my e-mail.

While pondering if I was just wasting time, I decided that talking to people via email or on face book or twitter was one way of feeli…

What's Happening in My Writer's Life

I'm not exactly writing at the moment. One reason is because I've been sick since before Thanksgiving. No, nothing serious, just this icky cold that has been going around and hanging on and on and on.

Instead of creating, which I'm aching to do, I've been continuing to promote Kindred Spirits, the latest in my Deputy Tempe Crabtree series. It's been encouraging because I continue to get excellent reviews for the book. I have to book events coming up, this Saturday I'll be in a back room of a delightful antique store called Jenuine Junque in my little town. It's a big day for Springville with arts and crafts being sold all over town, as well as a home tour. Besides having my books for sale, I'll be serving hot cider and cookies.

The following week, I'll be in the Porterville Art Gallery on Friday and Saturday from 10 to 5 both days along with the artists and craftsmen serving their wards.

I will have a new Rocky Bluff P.D. crime novel, No Sanctuary, com…

Great Idea for a Christmas Present

House of Dark Shadows, by Robert Liparulo

This is the perfect book for a boy who is a reluctant reader. When fifteen-year-old Xander King is forced to move away from his friends and interests into a backwoods town in northern California he isn’t the least bit happy. An up-and-coming film maker, he sees things a bit differently than any of his family. When his parents decide to move into a dilapidated vacant house with too many rooms to count, Xander is the first one to pick-up on the fact that something weird is going on with the house.

Xander and his younger brother, David have an eerie experience when they are transported from a spot in the house right into the school they’ll soon be going to. Things begin to get downright scary, when the boys learn that there are other weird things that go on in the house, including a monster-size man wandering the halls.

Once a reader gets into the story, he’ll have to read all the rest in the series because there are too many unanswered mysteries wh…

Another Terrific Review for Kindred Spirits

Reviewed by Dawn Dowdle"Deputy Tempe Crabtree is working to make sure everyone evacuates due to the huge forest fire.By the time she heads to Vanessa Ainsworth's house, the first is too close for her to go further.So she heads back to town to check on her husband, Hutch Hutchinson who is minister of the local church.He has set up a temporary shelter for fire victims.She searches for Vanessa there."She gets called back to Vanessa's house which has been consumed by the fire.A body and a dog are found in the remains.It appears they died in the fire.Vanessa is identified, but it is soon learned that they both died from being shot before the fire arrived."Tempe often has an uphill battle with her work.First because she's a woman, and second because she's part Native American.She is sent to talk with Vanessa's cousin because she is also Native American.She finds herself deeper and deeper in this investigation.Can she discover the…

Still Hanging On

Yes, my cold is still hanging on, but I managed to get a few things done today and among them, I went over the galley for No Sanctuary, the next in my Rocky Bluff P.D. crime series. Thrilled that I found a new publisher for that series--since my last one decided publishing wasn't the business for her.

I'm thrilled with my new publisher--could partly be because I also count her as a good friend.

I spent part of the day doing a lot of posting on websites both talking about No Sanctuary and the latest PSWA newsletter on their website:

On Saturday, I'll be spending the day at an antique store called Jenuine Junque in Springville. A lot is going on that day, sort of the kick-off for Christmas in our little town. A tour of holiday decorated homes, gifts being sold in the Veteran's Building and in the patio of the coffee shop, the lighting of the Christmas tree in the park--and me. I'll be playing hostess in the back room of the store from 1…