Monday, October 10, 2016


There's a dent in the side of the house
 where the tree originally struck.
 Recently, I was in northern Utah when a tornado struck. I was in Layton, and although the tornado didn't touch down there, sustained winds were 50-100 mph. It blew in, swirling like a giant leafy stew, bringing rain along with it.

Garbage cans sailed up the streets, the
neighbor's trampoline blew up over the fence, along the side of my sister's house ending in a mangled mess in the tree in her front yard. Trees uprooted, or split, shingles blew, power lines were down, traffic was a nightmare.

truck hauling away debris
But here's what blew me away--pardon the pun--the storm had no sooner hit than my nephews grabbed their gear and headed into the pouring rain to start the cleanup. FIVE HOURS later they returned. They are amazing. For the next three days, they and the people in the community joined the
another lost tree

downed fence
cleanup effort with trucks, chainsaws, man power, donuts, pizza, water bottles, traffic directors, cheerleaders, little kids, big kids, grandparents. It still overwhelms my senses and makes me
rainbow after the storm
emotional. This is a tribute to the workers big and small, to the example this community is to the world. Get out and get it done. Don't wait for someone else to solve the problem (and government can never solve a problem as efficiently as YOU can). Way to go Team Layton!

Monday, October 3, 2016


Fred Devito said, "If it doesn't challenge you it doesn't change you."   

Kelly Clarkson sings it this way, "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger/a fighter."

Or for you Barbie fans, "If I wasn't meant to fly, I wouldn't have these wings."

We are meant to fly, to learn, to grow. We cannot know the joy if we never experience the sorrow. We cannot know our inner strength until it is tested.

What are some of your challenges from yesteryears? How did they help shape you? What challenges are you facing right now?

A couple of years ago, an author that I was following like a good fangirl does, posted that she was taking down her work and would henceforth write under another name because of all the criticism to the writing she had posted.

I was devastated. I thought her writing, though rough--as she stated prior to each posting, was brilliant. I particularly loved her extensive vocabulary, her strong female characters, and the witty dialogue. I still go back occasionally to her stories I have on my Kindle, and, yes, every blue moon I do a search to see if I can find her. Fractional success there.

We don't know another's path or challenges. Our criticism of the small part could be a tipping point.

My challenge to all of us is to encourage rather than criticize, to listen instead of ignore, to offer kindness and a smile rather than an obscenity.

I also know YOU have amazing gifts and talents to share. Sure, you may just be starting out, but don't give up.
Be a fighter. Learn what you need to learn and SHARE your gifts.

I'll end with a beautiful quote from Helen Walton, "It's not what you gather but what you scatter..."

Scatter sunshine.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Kisses Between the Lines plus Giveaway!

Kisses Between the Lines (by some of my fave authors) just came out and looks like so much fun. Here's a little preview:

Welcome to Echo Ridge, New York where romance finds its way into the hearts and lives of the people who walk the streets of the close-knit community. 

In these five novellas, readers will experience the power a book has to change a life, make dreams come true, and bring two hearts together as the characters work to fill the classic section of the library. Filled with charm, wit, secrets, and hope, each story is a sweet romance with a promise to keep you turning pages into the night. We hope you enjoy this book and the kisses between the lines. 

The Kiss Thief by Rachelle J. Christensen 
As the head librarian of the Echo Ridge Library, Britta Klein thrives on order and categorization. Unfortunately, the old church-turned-library is in desperate need of a renovation. The Harvest Hurrah fundraiser seems to be the answer, but plans keep going awry. With help from Milo Geissler, accomplished musician, piano tuner, and kiss thief, each catastrophe is narrowly avoided. When Milo goes to great lengths to help Britta find a key classic book, she begins to wonder if there is more to life than books and order. Can she allow this man who speaks the language of music to tune her heart to a new song? 

The Lion, The Witch, & The Library by Lucy McConnell 
Jennifer Solomon's birthday wish is for the one thing she's been too shy to go after: Kirke Staples, Echo Ridge’s resident playwright, an avid mountain biker, and her best friend. Friend, as in don’t kiss, don’t covet, and don’t under any circumstances fall in love with the man. But it’s too late—she’s already fallen in love. Hoping for a birthday kiss that will change everything, she arranges an "accidental" meeting with the handsomest man on the library board. Her carefully laid plans are thrown off track when the beautiful Bay Barington sweeps into town and casts a spell over Kirke. In her efforts to win Kirke’s heart, Jennifer is forced to take a look at her inner self and decide what type of woman she wants to be, a lion or witch. 

The Last of the Gentlemen by Cami Checketts 
Despite the hardships she’s faced, Emma Turner, is determined to make a good life for her three children. Working nights and struggling through life doesn’t leave much time for romance, which is just fine as far as Emma is concerned. But when her son's good-looking lacrosse coach takes an interest in her children, Emma has to fight off the smolder in her stomach and banish her daydreams. This school-girl crush needs to end before she embarrasses her son and herself. If only she could tell that to her heart.  

Much Ado About a Kiss by Heather Tullis 
Fay’s life is just fine, thank you. Running the cafĂ© she’d practically been raised in: Check. Her artwork in a gallery: Check. Volunteering on the library board: Check. The one thing she doesn’t need right now is a guy in her life—especially her brother’s irritating best friend from high school, so when the two men announce that they are moving home to start a ski and mountain bike shop in town, she isn’t pleased. If only she could completely forget that one kiss she and Austin shared in high school. Why does he have to upset her just-fine world? Not this time. Not if she can help it. But can she? 

Pride & Persuasion by Connie E. Sokol 
Lindy Marchant has left heartbreak and downtown L.A. to help her cousin kickstart an antique shop in sleepy Echo Ridge. That is, until she's roped into the library fundraiser to become an assistant for Armand D. Beaumont, the French bestselling detective writer. The two have met before, and Lindy hasn't forgotten the disastrous outcome. Now Armand's celebrity quirks threaten to upset her life yet again. Or, is there a deeper reason for his unpredictable choices? While Armand inadvertently assists Lindy with the shop, she uncovers his painful truth and an inconvenient growing attraction. Can Armand let go of his pride and face his fears? And can Lindy be persuaded to take the untried road, even together? 

Now for the GIVEAWAY details: You can enter here. Good luck and happy reading!

Monday, August 8, 2016


So many of the worthwhile things in our lives require risk. The new experiences we enjoy (or endure) involve risk. Relationships, home ownership, education, and I could go on, but you know how the list reads, and somewhere on that list is writing.

Writing the story in your heart involves a lot of risk. It's part of you, laid bare, for the world to read. Your impressions, experiences, heartbreaks, all right there. Your voice is unique, yours only. The story may have been told a hundred times, but your perspective, your voice lends a newness to an age-old tale.

The world needs your goodness, your perspective, your wisdom. There are many who would drag down, but the world needs a hand up. Through writing your story, you can lift, encourage, inspire. Even a cheesy romance can brighten someone's day. We are tale spinners, passing on the stories of the past to future generations.

Someone out there needs your story, so Write, my friends, Write.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Success Jack Canfield Style

Summertime has wrecked my blogging schedule, but I have been thinking about a few things and wanted to share them with you.

There are few Cinderella stories, but we seem to be enamored by most of them. What escapes most of us is what happens behind the scenes. Hard work. Long hours. Sacrifice.

Most of us want the drive-thru version. Pull up, order, drive to the window, get our goods, done.

So I'm going to share a couple of things that inspire me through that other side:

A quote I saw recently, reminding me to not give up:

Jack Canfield: always comes across upbeat and positive, loves to share what he's learned about success, wisdom in relying on a higher power.

Here's a little excerpt about achieving your goals and dreams.

What are YOUR tricks and tips? Please share in the comments!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Loving Roxie by G.G. Vandagriff

Roxie Castro comes to Florence, Italy to help her friend Georgia heal after the death of her husband. While there she decides to chase her dream of being an author, collaborating with the gorgeous Professor Stefano Nae in researching the murder of Princess Isabela di Medici. However, when they begin to delve into her history, strange things start happening to Roxie: panic attacks, the resurfacing of buried memories, and a fear that something from her past has come forward to haunt her future. 

The professor's help triggers her powerful attraction to him, and this in turn worsens the attacks.The closer they get to solving the mystery surrounding her past, the more tangled her emotions become. Will discovering Roxie’s secret finally free them to explore their newfound feelings or will it snatch away the one chance they have for a lasting love?

My take: I loved reading this book. It kept me engaged and wanting to know more. I liked the natural development of Stefano and Roxie's relationship and I love Italy, including Lucca, so to read a story in that setting was a bonus for me. I wasn't keen on the PTSD part of the story and it's likely because I don't know enough about it. I like previous things I have read by this author, and this one didn't disappoint. I'm looking forward to more.

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
G.G. Vandagriff is the author of twenty-four books and is an Amazon #1 Bestselling Author. The Last Waltz, the first novel in her 20th Century Historical Romance Series won the Whitney Award for Best Historical Novel in 2009. There are now two more books in that series—Exile and Defiance. 

Nine of her novels are Regency romances, compared by critics to the witty novels of Georgette Heyer. She has also written a lively genealogical mystery series featuring Briggie and Alex, two whacky widows, as sleuths. Other genres she writes in include Contemporary Romance, Women’s Fiction, and Suspense. 

GG graduated from Stanford and received her master’s degree from George Washington University. She worked as an associate editor at Stanford’s Hoover Institution, an assistant treasurer in the Harvard Treasurer’s office, a bond analyst at Fidelity Investments, and an international banker for Continental Illinois National Bank (later acquired by Bank of America).

She and her husband David are the parents of three children and six grandchildren, her greatest joys in life. Her favorite novel? Jane Eyre. She also loves Florence, Sundance Resort, The Voice, hot chocolate, lilacs, and dachshunds.

Find out more about her books, download a free novella, and sign up for her newsletter at Also, be the first to know when Vandagriff’s next book is available by following her at to receive new releases and discount alerts.

Keep up with GG here:

Monday, May 23, 2016

$2000 Giveaway!

~~~~~~ HUGE $2000 Giveaway! ~~~~~~~

Welcome, fans of the Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy genres! This one is just for you! 

And really, it is! 21 best selling authors have come together to provide this EPIC giveaway, and they have devised the perfect plan for vetting winners and making sure these awesome prizes go to true fans of the genre–so if that’s you, don’t worry, we won’t let giveaway bots or cheaters steal your prize!

Our only rules for winning: 1 Entry Per Person (plus the additional entries you get for referring friends) and You Must LOVE Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy!
By entering this giveaway, you will be subscribed to the newsletters of sponsoring authors for opportunities to snag more great deals, giveaways, and freebies, though you can unsubscribe at any time. Find the link to the giveaway at the bottom of the page.

Join the Facebook event here:

Not only will one grand prize winner snag a $2000 Gift Card, there are also a TON of fabulous runner up prizes (6 print books and 9 ebooks)!!
  • The Beast by J.R. Ward (any format)
  • Feverborn by Karen Marie Moning (any format)
  • Moon Called by Patricia Briggs (ebook or paperback)
  • Charlaine Harris, Dead until Dark (ebook or paperback)
  • Angels’ Blood by Nalini Singh (ebook)
  • Cold Burn of Magic by Jennifer Estep (ebook or paperback)
  • Signed Copy of The Blackburne Legacy by Apryl Baker
  • Magick After Midnight Boxed Set (ebook)
  • Wolf Rampant Boxed Set (ebook)
  • Mythean Arcana Boxed Set (ebook)
  • Cursed by Lucy Leroux (ebook)
  • Flower of Hell by Noree Cosper (ebook)
  • Darkness Rising by Lisa Carlisle (ebook)
  • Blood Warrior by H.D. Gordon (ebook)
  • Winner’s Choice on any top 10 PR/UF book on Amazon at the time of the drawing
Good luck, and don’t forget to share this giveaway with your Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy loving friends for extra entries to win!

If you missed it above, click here for the Official Facebook Event page or the epic Rafflecopter Giveaway. Good luck!