Every now and then, I find a few minutes to create a graphic or two. After I finished with my Christmas sale images, I figured why not do a generic review reminder? One that hopefully won’t be a problem with Amazon, since it doesn’t mention anyone’s books specifically and doesn’t suggest giving a book in exchange for a review. I think this one should be fine. If you have a use for it, please feel to save it. I plan to use it on Twitter, etc, since I want to encourage readers to leave more reviews, period, for any author they like. Maybe this will help. Enjoy!

Visiting #HarmonyKentOnline Today

This morning, I have the pleasure of visiting with Harmony Kent, and sharing another excerpt from The Emissary 2: To Love Somebody. This is the next to last stop on my mini-tour, and I hope you ‘ll swing by to say hello, and pass the link along on your favorite social media hangouts. Thanks so much!


#Sharing – Just For You Guys!

So happy to be nearly finished with TE2, and close to release time. Mostly, it’s about formatting now, and double checking to be sure everything looks as good as I can make it. And as a thank you for being such a great, supportive group of writers and readers, I’m sharing a wallpaper I recently (this morning) made to inspire me on days when I’m feeling a bit ho-hum about it all. Hope some of you can use it. Enjoy! 🙂

(NOTE: Right click and save. It should save as a full-sized 1920 x 1080 desktop wallpaper. If not, email me and I’ll send you the .jpg. )

A Miracle Named Reya Happened Last Night!

Our beautiful granddaughter arrived last night, just about dinnertime. (I think she planned it that way. Erin said she came into the world hungry!) Both mother and daughter are doing great. I’m almost as besotted by this baby as her 5-year-old brother Kaelen is, and I haven’t even met her yet.

Reya (a shortened version of Mireya, which means Miracle, among other definitions) weighed in at nearly 9 pounds. (Still smaller than her 10-pound-mother was, but don’t tell Erin I mentioned that part.) Her arrival was truly a longed-for miracle! Mark and I will be driving to Charleston soon to meet Reya Love (a family name that seemed perfect for Reya’s middle name) and to spend some time with her big brother, so he knows how important he is, too. I can’t wait!

#ThisJustIn – Tea Drinkers, Rejoice!


Got a newsletter from my doctor’s office yesterday, and the word is–tada!–tea drinkers are in luck! Here’s why:

  1. Drinking tea regularly can lower your blood pressure by 2 points, reducing your risk of stroke by 8%.
  2. Drinking just 3 cups of tea a day (easily done by me each morning) can slash the risk of hip fracture by THIRTY percent, and it gets even better!
  3. Black tea contains chemicals called flavonoids which help prevent brittle bones.
  4. Flavonoids are linked with lower cancer and heart disease risks.
  5. Every cup of black tea lowers the risk of hip fracture by 9%, thus three cups a day can cut that risk by a third!

Now if that doesn’t send you running for the Earl Grey (or Ceylon, or Assam, or any other of many, many perfectly delicious black teas), I don’t know why not. Frankly, since both my mother and my grandmother fell and broke their hips in their later years, the reduced risk of osteoporosis is enough to make me glad I’ve been a confirmed tea drinker all my adult life.

Okay, you guys have been alerted to this wonderful news. Now I’m going to go make my second cup of tea for the morning, perhaps a cup of Summer Rose. A perfect black tea with just a hint of rose petals. Sublime.

(Of course, for those of you who prefer a bit of company whilst testing out this whole “drinking tea is good for your health” thing, I happen to know where a really swell tea party is going to be happening this coming Saturday. Just sayin’ . . . )

(Oh, yeah. The newsletter also mentioned something about beet juice. I’ll let you know if I ever work my way up to that one!)


Finally! #NotesFromTheRiver is Resuming!

This Guy Would Love to See You There!
(Note: This is an alligator, honest. No crocs up here.  😀 )

I’ve been unable to keep up with all my blogging due to everything that’s been going on since Irma came a-calling, but I am starting back up with one of my favorite things: my nature blog for St. Johns River Eco Tours. Today’s post on #NotesFromThe River is about an upcoming event a week from Saturday. (January 13) Hope you’ll check it out and share far and wide, and if any of you are in the central Florida area, hope you’ll consider coming to see Doug and I at DeBary Hall Historic Site for this fun program.  Thanks for helping spread the word.

#NotesFromTheRiver – Presentations, Photography, and Information, Oh, My!

Seeing #Snow for the First Time! #wwwBlogs

Couldn’t resist sharing these. My four-year-old grandson, seeing snow for the first time, in Charleston, SC! Not a LOT of snow, but to him, it’s magical.  I can tell from the expression on his face, he’s about to throw that first snowball at his mommy. (Or possibly, his daddy.) Here’s one kid who’s thoroughly enjoying the cold.

Can you remember your first snowball?

Sharing D. G. Kaye’s Great Interview With Sarah Brentyn

For whatever reason, I can never reblog anything from Deb’s blog, but by golly, I’m a determined kinda gal, and I want to share her interview with Sarah Brentyn. So, doing this the old-fashioned way, via copy and paste. 🙂

Sarah is a quaintly quirky and positively pithy sort of writer, and this is a great interview. Check it out, and then check out Sarah’s books! (Also, sharing is good, via whatever method will work for you.) Enjoy!



What I Did Way Back BW (Before Writing) Part 2


If you read Part 1 of this post, you know that I used to paint for a living. WET paint, that is. Then I discovered the joy of digital painting, using a Wacom tablet and an electronic pen. (You draw on the tablet, and it appears on your computer screen.) It was the most fun I ever had painting. You can work in layers, so it’s easy to take out things that you don’t like, or add new ones, without messing anything up. And you can use all sorts of digital “brushes” for blending effects, oil and watercolor effects, and much, much more. The above is a portrait I did of my daughter’s Dalmation, Dexter.

My cousin’s dachshund, Greta, was one of my first efforts. I’ve broken it down so you can see that you work it just like a real (wet) painting. First there’s a sketch.


Because the background is on one layer, and the sketch on another, you can change the background to any color you want at any point. So versatile! Next, the color is blocked in.


Then, it is blended for the first time, softening the areas together, and adding a few details.


Then, more and more details are added, until you’ve got the look you want. The finished painting can be printed on watercolor paper, or on notecards, and other items. Paint once, use again and again. (Or sell again and again–kind of like writing a book.)


Here are a few other examples of my work, which I generally did as custom orders for people who wanted their pets captured in a painting.

This is a friend’s little dachsie, Riley, and one of the cutest little guys you’ve ever seen.


These were done at very high resolutions (too large to fit on my monitor all at once) so that they would print nicely. Here is a closer look at Riley’s face, though this is still not as big as I was working.


This is Ginger, commissioned by a friend for her mother, after the dog had passed away.

gingerforbrochureAnd a close up of Ginger’s eye, so you can see how much detail I used. (I really enjoyed being able to capture every little bit I could.)


While I did more dogs than anything else, sometimes I’d paint other things, just for fun. Florals and scenery, and the occasional horse.


So, that, my good friends, is what I did in my Former Life, before repetitive stress syndrome became too painful to allow me to continue. I was sad at first, but then I started writing, at long last, and now I couldn’t be happier. Never look back, except with fond memories. That’s my motto.

And now it’s your turn. What did YOU do before you started writing? I’d love to know!



What I Did Way Back BW (Before Writing) Part 1


Thought maybe it would be fun to learn more about each other, and to make it easier for you to confess to your past lives, I’ll start. For many years, I was a painter. I tried my hand at lots of styles, but I enjoyed tole and decorative painting the most. My rule of thumb was, if it sat still long enough, I’d paint something on it. I sold my items at various craft fairs, on my website, and on eBay. I also taught decorative painting and acrylics on canvas for beginners.

Things painted on rustic wood were always big sellers for me, especially during the holidays. (These pictures were taken long before iPhones and digital cameras existed, so excuse the poor quality.)


Facial detail.


I painted seasonal things, like these:





And things on slate, wood, tinware, jars, and even rocks. And oh, yeah. Even canvas!






You get the idea, I’m sure. And truly, I loved to paint, whether it was decorative painting, like above, or landscapes and seascapes. But then, I discovered digital painting, and my whole focus changed. (See Part 2).