Saturday, December 08, 2007


Hi all,
I can't believe we're at the end of another year. Where did the time go? We're all facing the busiest time of the year.

As I think about the holidays, I think about family and traditions. In my family we always gather on Christmas Eve with my brothers and their families. This is probably the only time of the year we’re all together. The family is getting larger and we still continue the tradition. I look forward to it every year and just watching the excitement of the little ones. As I’ve gotten older I tend to lose that excitement in all the hustle and bustle of getting everything done.

This year my goal is enjoy the moment and feel the excitement, like a little kid. (May be totally impossible.)

Do you have traditions in your family? Or goals for the season.

This is my last post for 2007, so I wish you all a happy and joyous holiday season. And I wish you love.
Happy New Year.


I received press this weekend. I'm one of the authors featured in a Columbia Missourian article.

Here's the link:

Thursday, December 06, 2007

You never know

I'm sure many of you have heard about our current weather catastrophe. In the Pacific Northwest we're used to rain, wind, and yucky winter weather, but this time we were really slammed. I-5, the backbone of commerce for the west coast, has been closed for almost a week and they're saying it might not open for quite a while. The big trucks are having to take a huge detour through the mountains. And guess what? They're having avalanches in the pass. Pretty nasty, huh?

I suppose the moral to this story is that you never know what's going to happen. Lots of folks went to bed fat and happy and the next thing they knew they were being picked up by a helicopter. Believe me, that's not my idea of reliable transportation. In the past week we've had flooding, downed trees, mudslides, avalanches, sinkholes, a snowstorm and collapsed roads. About the only thing we were spared was a plague of locust.

By luck of topography (something about being near Mt. Rainier) we missed the brunt of the storm. We had lots of rain and wind, but no real damage. So I have my fingers crossed for the remainder of the winter. Last Christmas we were without power for a full week. That's when my hubby went out and bought a generator. We are now prepared for almost any occasion - maybe not Big Foot and/or the four horsemen of the Apocalypse, but just about everything else.

So, enjoy every day. You just never know.


Goin' Down to Georgia - Harlequin American Romance, March 2008

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Airports, airports

I just got back from visiting my parents in Indianapolis. Wouldn't you know, part of the time we had Seattle weather--rain. Must've brought it with me. :-) I had a wonderful time, and always hate to leave. There are no direct flights from Seattle to Indianapolis (except in the summer, when Northwest offers one each day. But only in the summer--go figure!). That's why I spent a few hours in airports coming and going, waiting for my connecting flight.

Much as I dislike the waiting, airports are terrific places to hatch story ideas. Observing how people behave can help us writers enrich the behavior of our fictional characters. Here are some of the people I observed (I sound like a bird-watcher, lol) this trip. A harassed young mother coping with a baby and a very active toddler. A couple arguing about how she always picks on him and he's sick and tired of it. (Little did they know that I was eavesdropping!) College-age boys watching college-age girls, and vice versa. Service men and women, so young and brave, coming home from Iraq for a two-week leave. When I see soldiers, I always tear up. Without getting into politics, just let me say that I hate that they're exposed to such dangers, and hate that some won't come back. I always send them good wishes and hope they stay safe.

Each of the above people/scenarios stirred my creative juices, but what snagged my attention and my imagination most was the thirty-something father and his teenage son (who looked about 14). The man was occupied with his email. His son looked bored and slightly hostile, but also somewhat lost. My mind positively spun with questions. What's going on between them? Does the father always work, even with his son in the same room? Does he intentionally use work to distance himself from his son, and why? Is the son resentful? Does he feel loved? And where is his mom?

You guessed it, my head is full of possibilities for a story with this scenario in some form or other. At the moment, I have lots on my writing plate, but I have no doubt that at some point in time, I will develop a story about a father and son... and the missing mother.

What are some of the most interesting events and/or people you've seen at airports? I'd love to know.

Until later,

All I Want for Christmas, November 2007

Monday, December 03, 2007

I Want A Weiner Dog For Christmas

Oh, Christmas! I love this time of year. I like being busy, so the extra baking, card delivering, gift wrapping and shopping don’t really get me down. Maybe because I really like to bake and shop~now I can do both without feeling guilty.

This time of year is crazy for our family because it’s a busy time for our kids. Our son is a wrestler so each day begins with a weight report. Each days brings three hour practices and a late-night load of laundry. Weekends involve watching meets and hoping he doesn’t bleed, get hurt or get ringworm. Our daughter is a very peppy basketball cheerleader, so of course, we’re at all those games, too. It’s hectic and fun. Since they’re both in high school my husband and I can see that these years are numbered.

Which brings me to Christmas lists. Years ago my kids used to put things on their lists that they know they wouldn’t get. Like a princess bed for my daughter. Or a hamster. My son’s wish for a pet snake. There was something about dreaming for the impossible that made Christmas seem even more magical.

I’m continuing the tradition this year. See, I want another weiner dog for Christmas. (doesn’t that have a nice ring to it?) I love puppies. And, well, I really love Suzy our red miniature dachshund. We have Phoebe, too…the beagle who ate our ham, our neighbor’s Christmas cookies, and my mother’s stash of Reeces peanut butter cups. But Phoebe isn’t eating us out of house and home, she sleeps. She’s a great dog.

Suzy, on the other hand, is my buddy. She stays by my side when I write. She does all kinds of cute things. And, well, wouldn’t just one more dog be fun? And, well, another dog would sure keep me company when my busy days with the kids are just a memory….right?

My husband says no. I don’t blame him. Dogs are expensive. They’re a mess. Weiner dogs bark a lot. But…don’t you think a new little black and tan one would be so cute?

I’ve been combing the Dachshund rescue sights. My friend Heather forwarded me a blog Jenny Crusie just wrote showing photos of her three new weiner dogs. I guess I'm not the only one who dreams big.

So, even though I know I won’t get a new dog, and I know I don’t need a new dog…I’m putting one on my Christmas list. Just because the idea of a new pup makes me smile. A lot.
Anyone want to share a secret Santa wish that they have? In the meantime, hope everyone enjoys this busy month as much as they can.


Sunday, December 02, 2007

Christmas Fun Facts

Before we get into a few fun facts about Christmas I located on the internet, I want to announce November's Harlequin American Blog winner. Congratulations to Nathalie! To claim your prizes, please contact the following authors through their websites with your name and snail-mail address. (Roz Denny Fox, Ann Defee, Barbara White Daille, Ann Roth and Lee McKenzie) Keep those comments coming...we'll draw another winner for December and post the winner's name Jan 2nd.

Christmas Fun Facts

In 1836, Alabama is the first state in the USA to declare Christmas a legal holiday.

In 1907, Oklahoma became the last USA state to declare Christmas a legal holiday

The first American Christmas carol was written in 1649 by a minister named John de Brebeur and is called "Jesus is Born".

Mexicans call the poinsettia "Flower of the Holy Night" - the Holy Night is the Mexican way of saying "Christmas Eve".

Births on 25 December:
W C Field (1946)Alice Cooper (1945)Princess Alexandra (1936) Paul Borget (1935)Charles Spencer Chaplin (1889)

Deaths on 25 December:
Conrad Hilton (1979)Humphrey Bogart (1957)Dorothy Wordsworth (1855)Sir Isaac Newton (1727)

The biggest selling Christmas single of all time is Bing Crosby's White Christmas.

Santa's Reindeers are Rudolph, Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Donder, Blitzen, Cupid and Comet.

A Christmas Story (My all-time favorite holiday movie!)
1983, 98 minutes, Peter Billingsley, Darren McGavin, Melinda Dillon, Ian Petrella, Scott Schwartz, Tedde Moore.Movie about growing up the 1940s. Billingsley plays the young boy and we discover the simple yearnings, like wanting to own a Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas.

Strange but TRUE:
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer was created for Montgomery Ward department stores. (Rudolph began in 1939 when the Chicago-based Montgomery Ward company (a chain of department stores) asked one of their writers, 34-year-old Robert L. May, to come up with a Christmas story which could be given away to shoppers as a promotional gimmick. The chain had been buying and giving away coloring books for Christmas every year. To save money, they wanted to create their own booklet. It was loosely based on the Ugly Duckling.)

Anyone else want to share a Christmas Fun Fact?

Happy Holiday Shopping--and don't forget to add a Harlequin American Romance to a friend's stocking!

*Hearts of Appalachia*
For the Children (Oct 07)
In a Soldier's Arms (Feb 08)
A Coal Miner's Wife (Aug 08)