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Lessons Learned Looking for a New Life


Sorry I haven't posted the last few days. My husband and I have been in Florida. No, not a vacation, unfortunately. This was a serious search for a new place to live near Jacksonville, where our youngest daughter and family are now living. I learned a few things from this trip, and I thought I'd share.

  • It's amazing how many apartment complexes require you to be 62 or older. Not there yet, even if  I feel like it sometimes.
  • Many places only allow one dog and we have two. They're Dachshunds, and together they're the size of a regular dog, but nobody would budge.
  • The only apartments available are on the second floor.

On the other hand:

  • Most complexes have exercise rooms
  • They people are nice
  • They don't close the swimming pools in the winter

As for the area in general:

  • Jacksonville is much easier to navigate than Atlanta
  • Most places are easier to navigate than Atlanta
  • The traffic lights on San Jose are the longest in the country, if not the world
  • There are ponds everywhere, and I always wonder what lurks in the things
  • Out in the country, it's DARK at night
  • Every road in the area has at least 2 names

It's going to be hard leaving the state I grew up in a lived all my life, but I'm rapidly falling in love with Florida. Would you expect any less of a romance writer?

Take care!


Halloween Spooky

I love this time of year. Starting near the end of September every year, something spooky takes over the movies shown on television.Shadows of Evil cover The usual variety of movies changes and the scary, supernatural, and seriously weird take over. From old movies in which you are never quite sure if something unnatural happened or not, to the more recent slasher films where body parts fly, it's a time of sheer joy for those of us who like that sort of thing.

I admit Halloween spooky isn't for everybody. Some folks don't like being scared—and there are movies for them too. Not everything is Halloween oriented. Or scary. Or supernatural. Fine. But for a lot of us, scary is good. Ghosts and monsters excite us.

Not only are TV movies full of scary stuff, the theaters also generally release a crop of the unknown and frightening. Then there are the television shows. Most of the time they may be regular old comedies or dramas, but suddenly there are twists and odd even in them.

For the readers out there, books provide at least some of the spooky and scary. Both fictional and nonfictional accounts of strange happenings, supernatural events, and things that are not easily explained. Even scarier than movies or television, books use our own imagination to created monsters. And they are only as limited as the reader's imagination.

What's your favorite way to experience scary: movies, TV, or books?

Do you like being scared? Learning about things that can't easily be explained?

Do you like this time of year, or do you wish it was Thanksgiving already?

Have a great week!


Writers Energy Refill


Claire Cook speaking at Saturday's GRW meeting

Last Saturday I was able to attend the Georgia Romance Writers monthly meeting for the first time. I’ve been a member of GRW for years, and love their annual Moonlight and Magnolias conference, it just hadn’t worked out for me to make a meeting.

I headed from Chattanooga to Atlanta with three good friends and fellow writers, Laurie White (thanks for driving!), Leigh Riker, and Nita Wick. We had a great time and learned a lot from the speaker, Claire Cook. Ms. Cook told us her amazing story of how she wrote her first novel in a minivan. She says she wrote what was in her heart, the books she wanted to read. She also said social media is the great equalizer—it puts readers and writers in direct contact.

The atmosphere of energy and support from the GRW members and guests filled the room and I left ready to dive back into my manuscript. There was a booksigning afterward, and though I did sell books, I mostly enjoyed meeting people.

I’m hoping to get back to a GRW meeting soon. Meanwhile, I’m honored to be part of such a vibrant, supportive group.

Have a great rest of the week!


The Ugly Truth, available only in ebook from Amazon until August 16 when it will be available in electronic and paperback formats from all major book outlets.

If she can’t believe what she sees, can she believe what she feels? When photojournalist Stephie Stephanova visits Ugly Creek, Tennessee to help her best friend, Madison, she expects a boring visit. Then she snaps a photo of something she shouldn’t have seen–and falls for a man she definitely shouldn’t have.

Home is Where The Story Is

TheUglyTruth_7522_300It’s no secret that I grew up in a tiny little town just south of Dayton, Tennessee. Well,  for a while I did sort of keep that knowledge under my hat. I was a little embarrassed—okay more than a little. I guess I thought small Southern town made me seem a little less…something. Then I wrote a book set in a small town, I called the town Ugly Creek, and I guess I worked out some issues through Stephie. All right, I’ll admit it was more than worked out issues. I realized how much fun it was to set books in little Southern towns. After all, I knew the territory well.
Shadows of Evil coverI actually set my first novel, Shadows of Evil, in an area much like where I grew up. Shadows, though, mostly takes place on themountain above the little town of Mountain Shadows. Not to mention, that town is rather spookier than where I spent my childhood. Still, it was an area I was familiar with. Lone Mountain, where Kia lives, is much like the mountain near my childhood home.  That mountain is spooky, but then Shadows of Evil is a dark paranormal.
My latest novel, The Ugly Truth, is set in Ugly Creek, Tennessee. I took a lot of liberties with my hometown and other nearby towns and made up a fictional place that is the center of some very strange activity. Just how strange? Did you really expect me to reveal everything in a blog post?
The good news is that The Ugly Truth is free for Kindle until Saturday. If you think you might like reading a light paranormal about a quirky small town with quirky characters, now is the time to give it a shot.
Go forth and download. And tell me what you think!

Cats for Friday

For your Friday enjoyment, a cute and funny video.

Have a great weekend!


If she can’t believe what she sees, can she believe what she feels? When photojournalist Stephie Stephanova visits Ugly Creek, Tennessee to help her best friend, Madison, she expects a boring visit. Then she snaps a photo of something she shouldn’t have seen–and falls for a man she definitely shouldn’t have.
The Ugly Truth available only in ebook from Amazon until August 16 when it will be available in electronic and paperback formats from all major book outlets.

Yes, I'm alive!

I know I've been AWOL around here. The truth is that I now have a blog on my website and when I post (which is not frequently enough) I post there. I'll try to remember to crosspost here also, because I started blogging here. You are my friends, and I miss having hours to read all your posts.

Here is the link to my website and a direct link to my blog. Feel free to come over and see me there!


Catch you later!


Real Life Love Story

In honor of Valentine’s Day, I would like to tell a story about a couple who, in my opinion, live a romance novel life. The couple, by the way, happens to be my wonderful husband and me.

To read the whole story, click here.

A Wild Time Was Had By All

Stephanie on the left, I'm on the right. 

Sorry I haven’t been around. I had some health issues toward the end of last month. Just as I was feeling better, it was time for the Moonlight and Magnolias Conference in Decatur, Georgia. I’d been looking forward to this conference for a year. Georgia Romance Writers (a chapter of Romance Writers of America) put on one seriously awesome conference! When I got back I took my exhausted body and hid in my writer’s den. So shoot me (or leave snarky comments).

Since the conference was so wonderful, the next few blog entries will be about the trip. The plan is to put in some tidbits that will be of interest to writers while giving non-writers a glimpse into the crazy world of writers conferences. And trust me, writers conferences are like nothing else.

The first hurdle was driving from Chattanooga to Decatur. My good friend, and fellow writer, Stephanie Lilley drove down. I printed out the directions, so I have nobody to blame but me for landing us at the wrong hotel. I knew it didn’t look right, but we’d followed the directions. Turns out I’d printed directions to the wrong hotel. Hey, I’m talented, OK? The good part is that we were only two miles from the right hotel.

We finally got to the right place. Decatur is a suburb of Atlanta, and a gorgeous little town in its own right. The Decatur Hotel and Convention Center is downtown near the courthouse. There are all kinds of shops and restaurants within walking distance, but I saw very little, since I wasn’t there to sightsee, I was there to network and learn. I love smaller conferences, as this one is, since there is more of an opportunity to connect with new people and reunite with old friends.

Monday, I’ll tell you more about the conference.
Sundown tonight marks the beginning or Yom Kippur, the most solemn and holy day of the Jewish calendar. May your fast be easy.
Happy Thanksgiving weekend to those in Canada.
Have a great weekend everybody!


cross posted to Blogger and WordPress

Places You're Gonna Wanna Visit!

Some great free places I’ve discovered with sage advice to make life easier, and cool stuff to make it more fun.


When housework gets to the CHAOS (Can’t Have Anyone Over Syndrome) stage:

Change your life in 10 minutes a day:

Quizzes to help you understand yourself better:


Puzzles, you pick from pages of beautiful pictures, and the cut of the puzzle. Hours of fun:

Expand your vocabulary and help defeat hunger with just a click:

Furry, funny, two of my favorite sites:


Maybe these don’t appeal to you. Are there other places you like better? Have you ever put random words in Google just to see where the search leads? Do you think people spend too much time on the internet?

I'm moving soon. Get a preview of my brand new Word Press blog:

Painting Sarah: A Portrait of Autism...

Normally, I go for funny on Fridays, but I happened on a video that I just had to share with you.

A couple of days ago, I read Carrie Spencer's blog,  and was blown away by the video she posted. So blown away that I didn't stop with just the one video. I watched several of the amazingly talented Chris Scalf's   videos. And then I happened on the one I'm posting here.

This video is not only one of the most awesome things I’ve ever seen, somehow this father manages to capture the autism of his beautiful little girl. How do I know? My grandson is autistic. And yeah, I see him in Sarah. Autism isn’t pretty, but these kids are magical. And somehow Mr. Scalf has captured that magic in his work. 

lDid you know autism affects 1 in 110 children? Do you know anyone with autism? Are you surprised how much the picture resembles a photograph? Awesome huh?

Next Friday, we'll get back to the funny stuff.

Have a great weekend!

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