Y'all come on in!

Y'all come on in!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015


It had been a long, tiring day and I was tired enough to fall into bed and snore like a hibernating bear. I'm not adverse to hearing a little nighttime music in the form of nature's critters. A simple "ribbit" from a frog or a little midnight tune from a bird that forgot he was supposed to go to roost. But a cricket's voice is not easy-listening music with his high pitched, off key chirping.

Just as my head hit the pillow and my eye lids thumped shut, guess who decided to sing? Yep! The crickets were attempting to harmonize and they were somewhere inside the house. They sounded like they'd set up their rock band on the window sill right above my head but when I checked, they weren't there. I turned on the light and pushed around a dozen boxes of secret things I keep under the bed...no crickets. I rearranged the whole closet floor but they weren't in my boots, shoes or behind my first old Underwood typewriter.

As I started down the hallway toward the living room, the noise got louder in the bathroom. So I tiptoed in and flipped on the light. The show was going on in the bathtub. A trio was hopping around trying to act all innocent but the look in their eyes said they'd been doing some karaoke thirty seconds before. And if I'd had a Breathalyzer with me, I could have proven that they'd been drinking, too.

I've heard that bad luck will fall upon a person if they kill a cricket. Not wanting to tempt fate, I decided to give them a fighting chance. I would not smash them with the heel of my cowboy boot and face the wrath of some great unknown being. If they could survive a little cold water spray and a simple flush down the bathtub drain, it was their prerogative. If they died, well, it just meant they hadn't taken advantage of their fighting chance.

So I sprayed and down the train they went to serenade all the other critters who live in the sewer line. The next morning they were right back in the bathtub. I decided to starve them. If they could live with no food all day (that's pure old starvation to me) then when the sun went down I would give them another fighting chance. I was willing to bet they wouldn't be singing so loud on an empty stomach.

They are tough critters. They survived the day! That night I sprayed them down the drain, put the plug in the tub and ran a full tub of hot water, complete with bath oil and bubble bath combined. I soaked a while, pulled the plug and didn't feel a bit guilty. They could live through the soap bubbles or watch their lives flash before those beady little eyes. After all, I was still giving them a fighting chance.

The next morning they were back in the tub and they'd brought a friend with them. Evidently, they needed a guitar player because that night they were really fired up. I sentenced them to another day of starvation and gave them the same treatment the second night. I increased the dose of oil and felt like a slippery eel when I crawled out of the tub. I pulled the plug and wished them well, knowing that those bugs would be sitting on a great cricket cloud in the sky visiting with their relatives by morning. But, hey, they'd had a fighting chance.

The next morning the bionic bugs were back in the tub and there were six more. They were indestructible! Whoever said killing them brought bad luck didn't know they were put upon the earth to last six days past eternity. They could survive a "fighting chance" through a nuclear bomb. If two of them got loose on Mars they would repopulate the whole planet.

But just in case, I shooed them into a paper bag, folded the top six times and stapled it, then put that bag in a plastic one from the grocery store and super glued it shut. After that I put it in the dumpster. If they survive that and show up in my bathtub tomorrow morning, I'm finished with fighting chances. The fly swat is hanging on the robe hook on the back of the door.

Monday, September 28, 2015

ONLINE BookClub...

Several of us authors from Western Romance Café will be online this evening with our fans, friends, neighbors and family discussing our books. I get to hold the microphone from 6:00 to 6:30 CST and I'll be giving away three signed books  Click right
HERE for the link.
I'm kicking it off at 6:00 CST and I'll be giving away these two books plus one more...
He wasn't looking for trouble...But when the cops are knocking on your door, trouble's definitely found you. And this is where Wil Marshall finds himself after checking in to the Longhorn Inn. It could all be a big mistake, but Wil's not getting much sleep. Then the motel owner―who is drop dead gorgeous and feisty to boot―saves him from an even worse night behind bars. Now he owes her one, big time.
...But Trouble comes in all shapes and sizesPearl never wanted that run-down motel, but her aunt didn't leave her much choice. And then this steaming hot cowboy shows up looking for a place to rest. Next thing she knows, she wants to offer him more than just room service.
But if he calls her Red one more time, he won't be the only one accused of murder.
Sparks are definitely flying and before long, the Do Not Disturb sign might be swinging from the door.

She's Got Her Eyes on the Prize...He'll Do Whatever It Takes To Win
Gemma O'Donnell wasn't the first woman to win the ProRodeo buckle for bronc riding, but she was darn well going to be the second. What she didn't count on was her main competition sweeping her off her feet.
Trace Coleman isn't really after a title—he needs the cash prize to buy his dream ranch. But one sexy, determined cowgirl keeps getting in his way. In his effort to take her out of the running, he risks losing both the title—and his heart.
They're Both in For a Little Surprise...
Everybody's world is turned upside down when a pint-sized bundle of joy gets dropped right into Trace's lap...and suddenly all the stakes are higher.
He's Tough as Nails and Ready to Ride...She's Way Out of Her Element
Rancher Dewar O'Donnell is just an old-fashioned cowboy at heart, and he can't wait to reenact the historic Chisholm Trail ride with his buddies. The trial-run cattle drive for a reality TV show sounds like a great time-until H.B. McKay pulls up in her slick red sports car.
Haley McKay is a feisty, high-powered businesswoman with the power suit and stiletto heels to prove it. She's keen to research her company's hot new idea for a reality TV show-but mount up with a bunch of modern-day cowboys? Are they kidding?
It's too late to back out now, so Haley sets out to prove that it will take more than snakes, storms, and stampedes to make her back down.
Besides, sleeping under the stars with Dewar O'Donnell could prove mighty interesting.

 Author's schedule and Time:
 Carolyn Brown: 4:00 Pacific, 5:00 Mountain, 6:00 Central, 7:00 Eastern
Cynthia D'Alba: 4:30 Pacific, 5:30 Mountain, 6:30 Central, 7:30 Eastern
Lori Wilde: 5:00 Pacific, 6:00 Mountain, 7:00 Central, 8:00 Eastern
Linda Warren: 5:30 Pacific, 6:30 Mountain, 7:30 Central, 8:30 Eastern
Melissa Cutler: 6:00 Pacific, 7:00 Mountain, 8:00 Central, 9:00 Eastern
Laura Drake:6:30 Pacific, 7:30 Mountain, 8:30 Central, 9:30 Eastern
Each of us will drop in with a giveaway or two off and on during that time too so be sure to join in the fun!!

Friday, September 25, 2015


 Just a little gauge to show y'all that I'm on up in there
here in Denver. This is beside the elevators!
 Getting ready for a panel! Got your questions ready?
 Pictionary with the readers. I'm sure glad I didn't have to draw. My job was to pass out the clues and then sign a few books along with giving out goody bags!
 The B-I-N-G-O Authors who are having a big Sweet and Sassy Bingo game in Ballroom D for our readers.
 Things are getting serious! We're playing bingo using candy to mark the spot...
A Bingo game is only as good as the caller and Allie did a fabulous job. Who would have ever thought there was an app on a phone for Bingo callers. She did a fabulous job!!!

Thursday, September 24, 2015


RomCon, here in Denver kicks off officially tomorrow but tonight a group of us authors were busy stuffing goody bags for the Pictionary game we'll be hosting tomorrow morning. We had bulls, candy, notebooks, magnets, bottle openers, book marks, more candy, ink pens and lots more goodies to go into our bags!
Things were getting serious between me and Tiffany Snow . I'm envious of her hair, her shoes and her lovely smile. But we were talking about books...that's the general topic of a lot of conversations here.

Five of us authors who were enjoying talking plots, characters, publishers at a lovely informal author's social and yes, there was a great spread of food behind us...that's why we're all smiling!
And here's the bags that everyone gets when they register for RomCon this year! Aren't they gorgeous!

Monday, September 21, 2015


Shhhh…they don’t know they are cats!

When either Mr. B or I step out on the back porch and call the boys to come in for breakfast in the morning, we don’t yell, “Kitty, kitty, kitty.”

No sir, they’d starve before they would run from the back of the lot to the porch at that summons. We have to call, “Bootsie, Bootsie, Bootsie.”

It all started seven years ago at Thanksgiving. My sister and her husband came over to visit with our hoard of kids in the afternoon. In the midst of the noise, feasting and confusion she and I snuck off to the back yard to catch up. That’s when she told me about this half-grown black and white cat that had showed up at her house a couple of days before. She’d been feeding him chicken skin and bones (from the hen she’d boiled for the Thanksgiving dressing) because she couldn’t bear to see him go hungry, especially at Thanksgiving.

We’d put in a new six foot wood fence around our back yard that summer so I offered to let the black and white cat live in my back yard. She’d named him Boots and brought him over that evening after the kids had all gone home. He was right gentle and as karma would have it, fell in love with Mr. B. When Mr. B worked in the shop, there was Boots sitting in the door watching him. When he did yard work, Boots earned his keep by keeping crickets and spiders ran away.

But he never did know he was a cat so the “kitty, kitty, kitty” business did not apply to him. We had to call him by name to get his attention.

I gave him the middle name and he became Boots Randolph after the saxophone genius. Then the neighbor thought he was a stray started calling him Outlaw so he became Boots Randolph Outlaw. After that I saw him chase down a vicious varmint (called a field mouse) and devour the thing so he got a fourth name. He is now Boots Randolph Terminator Outlaw.

He was an only child for two years and Mr. B said that he would remain that way. But one day someone, who I would still like to strangle, threw out a kitten on our lawn. Literally threw him out, hit the bit elm tree with him, broke his shoulder and quite possibly blinded him in one eye. I won’t lay the last charge to the heartless fool who threw him because the kitten could have been born blind but the rest was the result of the tree.

So Boots got a brother whether he wanted him or not. And since new little gray kitten limped, I called him Chester. However it wasn’t long until Chester out grew the “little kitten” tag and grew to be as big as Boots. He does love to eat so pretty soon he was bigger than Boots and we considered getting a lift chair to get him out the back door at night so Mr. B called him Chester Fat Boy.

Boots belongs to Mr. B but Chester Fat Boy is my baby. He’s my muse and sleeps right beside me on the copy machine while I write. If the clatter of my nails on the keys stop, it’s time for me to hold him so I know I’d best get to the end of the chapter before I quit.

And since Boots comes running in the morning to “Bootsie, Bootsie, Bootsie,” so does Chester Fat Boy. I’ve thought about cat therapy but other than that he seems to be a well adjusted cat!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

The Red Hot Chili Cook Off Prize Winning Chili!

Last week over at the Western Romance Café talk went to chili recipes. I promised that I would post the prize winning chili recipe from The Red Hot Chili Cook Off! When I first came up with the recipe for the book I had to make it before the book went to print to make sure it was worth eating. My kids and grandkids liked it so well, that it's the only recipe I make now! (And any of y'all who haven't checked out our Western Romance Café, the link is RIGHT HERE. Some of us western authors got together and set up a place for western readers to hang out and visit. We'd love to have you join us!)

Red-Hot Chili Cook-Off Chili

Gigi has poured a gallon sized can of all ready prepared chili (That's right from the store but you never tell that you start with store bought chili) into a large pan. Now it's time for each of the other five team members to add their own special touch.
“Okay, time to add our own stuff one last time.” Carlene pulled the tab on a can of beer and slowly poured it into the chili, stirring the whole time.

Gigi put in a half a cup of Worcestershire sauce and four tablespoons of liquid smoke.

Tansy added two cans of chili beans and Emma Ray donated eight ounces of chopped jalapeno peppers. Alma Grace spooned six teaspoons each of chili powder and Cajun seasoning. Josie opened up a gallon bag of cooked hamburger meat and dumped it in the pot.

Sugar removed the wrapper from a Hershey bar, broke it into sections and tossed it into the pot. “Mama wouldn’t have left that candy paper in the Bible if she hadn’t meant for us to put it in the chili. It’s our biggest secret ingredient.”


Saturday, September 19, 2015

Sweet Tilly...

It's Saturday Snippet Day!
Lots of folks who have read Sweet Tilly have asked me if I ever made moonshine...that's a story for another day! But today I thought I'd give you a little snippet of that story. The time is during prohibition days. The setting is out around Healdton, Oklahoma! Matilda called her 'shine running car Sweet Tilly and the sheriff? Well, he coveted that car, and he sure wanted to put Matilda in jail! 

Tilly Anderson wrapped her arms around her knees and drew them up to her chin, staring out between the bars of the jail cell at the new sheriff. Rayford Sloan. Irish by name but those were Indian cheekbones. Having grown up with her grandmother, Katy Anderson, she knew Indian when she saw it. The high chiseled cheek bones, black ebony eyes under dark lashes. Black Irish? Maybe a little with a name like Sloan. Indian? Definitely. The lips were a combination, though. Full. Sensuous. Soft. Tempting. She focused on a soft looking mouth, one that she’d like to get to know much better. She blushed at that idea and wondered where in the hell it had come from. Ever kissing Sheriff Sloan was completely out of the question. She’d do better to be attracted to Lucifer, himself, than the sheriff of Healdton, Oklahoma.

However, watching him kept her mind off the mattress beneath her, the lingering combination of too many Saturday night drunks, rat urine, and stale sweat. If she kept herself drawn up into a tiny ball, perhaps there would be no evidence that she’d ever been in this place when Tucker came to rescue her. She focused on the sheriff again. His trousers fit snug around his narrow hips, his shirt tight on his broad shoulders. If she narrowed her eyes she could imagine muscles rippling beneath the soft chambray shirt. He had to be somewhere around her age … early thirties. Yet, his face said he’d lived longer. Seen more. Been more places. Etched into those high cheekbones were stories she’d love to hear. Personal ones. And Tilly didn’t figure they were all sugar and spice tales either.

“What are you staring at?” His tone matched his dark hair, worn a little too long, his near black eyes. Dark, with no warmth. Somber, with no humor. His color was jet black.

She’d always matched a person with a color. That made them easier to understand. Clara, her cousin, was light blue, soft and sweet. Bessie, down at the Morning Glory Inn, an elderly woman she’d adopted as another grandmother years ago, was pink. Beulah, the other new owner of the Inn was lilac. Libby, Clara’s new daughter, was bright yellow, like a ray of sunshine. Tilly figured she was red. Bright red. Bold. Sassy. Didn’t give a damn what people thought. Red, that was Matilda Jane Anderson.

“Sheriff, the first lesson you’d best learn if you want to keep that bright new shiny badge is not to corner something meaner than you are,” Tilly said in a silky smooth, southern voice.

“And you think you are meaner than I am?” The sheriff raised a heavy, jet black eyebrow at the snippet of a woman behind the bars. Dark hair, eyes the color of a blue summer sky; looks that would have gotten her burned at the stake three centuries before because no decent woman could be that pretty naturally. She’d have had to have used spells and sorcery. Chills tickled up and down his spine, but he held her stare, not backing down for an instant.
“Oh, honey, it’s not even a contest,” she whispered.
 “Yep, it’s a fact that you are definitely cornered. But, I don’t think I’ve got anything to be afraid of in the likes of a common moon shiner,” he propped his legs up on the desk and combed his thick black hair with his finger tips. “This time tomorrow that fancy car you got out there with Sweet Tilly on the big heavy plate coverin’ the radiator will be mine. And if I can uncover a still on your property, it’ll be mine, too. The whole farm, not just the still.”  Lord Almighty, he’d locked up seasoned hookers that were terrified of him out in east Texas. Tilly Anderson acted like she was on a Sunday afternoon picnic, not a drop of fear in those icy cold, blue eyes. She might be half witch after all.
 “Sheriff Sloan?” the door swung open and another woman filled the space, the sunrise silhouetting her, but leaving no doubt that Clara Anderson Nelson had come to town to rescue her cousin. She was taller than Tilly but the two of them stood the same. Ramrod straight. Confidence oozing out their pores like sweat on a hot July day. Clara left no doubt she’d attempt to put out a forest fire with a bucket of water. She was only a little less daunting than her shorter cousin, who the sheriff figured would expect a forest fire to die if she spit on it.
“Mrs. Nelson?” Rayford Sloan slowly slid his feet from the desk and stood up.
The tap of her boots made a rat-a-tat across the wooden floor. Despite the early morning hour, her dark hair was piled up on top of her head and she was dressed like she’d just come from a Sunday afternoon social. “I’ve come to see exactly why Tilly is behind bars,” she pulled off snow white gloves and propped one hand on her hip, the other on his desk as she leaned toward him.
“Matilda Anderson was caught in a moonshine car with a whole load of empty fruit jars. She’s a moon shiner,” he said.
“Darlin’ did you open those jars smell them. Did you run your tongue all around the inside to make sure there was moonshine in them?” Tilly asked.
“Of course not,” the sheriff barked. Damn, she looked like a queen. Even wearing men’s overalls, rolled up at the hem and a size too large, and a flannel shirt. Sitting on a tick mattress, behind bars. She could have used a broom handle as a scepter and men would have fallen all over themselves to be the one she selected to break her out of jail. Whoever the unlucky fool was, he’d go to the gallows with a smile on his face and an ethereal look in his eyes.
“Then how do you know they held moonshine?” Clara asked. “Sounds to me like you made a big mistake, Sheriff Sloan. Tilly was bringing those jars to me to can soup in this week.”


Friday, September 18, 2015


 The following books (ebooks) are still only $1.99
but the sale ends Sunday, June 20!
Willow, Velvet, Augusta & Garnet
Four of the five Promised Land Series. Gypsy is priced at only 3.99
so you can have the whole five book set for less than $12.
Five sisters who meet for the first time in Missouri only to find their father has already died. They are penniless and their only option is to join the wagon train of mail order brides headed for the California gold mines.

From Thin Air
(Part of the Black Swan Trilogy)
Three sisters are trying to run a hotel in Huttig, Louisiana at the end of 
World War I. 

All the Way from Texas
(Stand alone contemporary)
A road trip for two college students turns out to be more than either of them bargained for! 


Thursday, September 17, 2015


Winter is on the way!

I saw a flock of geese headed south and not one of them was flying off to the side like they'd changed their mind about leaving the nice weather in the north. No, sir! They were in perfect formation and knew exactly where they were headed.

That alone was not enough to convince me. After all, it was still 90 degrees out there in the back yard BUT that very day the catalog came with all those delicious chocolates, fruit cakes, cheeses and sausages that we order every year. No savvy business would spend that much on those lovely color pages if winter was not on the way.

So I rushed to the closet where my winter clothes are kept, dusted off the doors and threw them open. It's been so long since I wore them visions of obese moths with acute indigestion filled my head. But there they were--sweaters, long sleeved shirts, and even coats--right where I put them a hundred years ago. Okay! Okay! So I'm exaggerating a bit but it does seem like summer has lasted that long.

The rule is that I should take out each outfit, sweater, shirt, skirt or  jacket and think about when I wore it last. If it's been more than a year then I should seriously consider giving it away. But the practical side of my brain reminded me that if I tossed everything into a garbage sack and sent it off to my friend's church clothes closet for the needy, then I would have to shop. And today's market is geared toward tall, skinny women--both of which I am not!

There were a couple of items that were questionable. The last time I wore that cute little black and white checkered suit was when my oldest son was in high school and he just turned 47 last week. But history does repeat itself as we all know so well and if I kept it, then it might be worth thousands of dollars as a vintage suit someday. It didn't hurt anything just hanging there in the closet and the fabric was poison to moths. Besides it fit me so well.

Just to be sure, I jerked it off the hanger and slipped it on. OMGoodness! It had shrunk!

The summer heat had penetrated into the darkest corners of my closet and shrunk it...right along with all the rest of my winter things. Waistbands, too tight. Sleeves bound my upper arms. Everything was at least two sizes too small. Blasted hot summer had killed off half my fat cells by sweating them out of my body and now this?

I was almost afraid to look at the shoes lined up neatly on the closet floor. I expected them to be shrunk down to fit Barbie but they appeared to be the right size--at least on the outside. Summer heat has a way of fooling a person so the inside could still be too small. I crammed my sweaty little foot down into one and almost wept tears of sheer relief. It fit me. I would not have to shop for shoes and I didn't care if my favorite pair wasn't in style. They were comfortable and the fit me. Barbie could go barefoot all winter. At that moment, I didn't care if she got frost bite on her toes!

Maybe by the time the geese get to the their southern paradise and I get serious about buying fruit cakes and chocolates, winter will truly push summer out of the picture. The cold wind will penetrate to the darkest corners of my closet and make my clothes the right size again. I shut the closet door and decided I would not give them all away for one more year. Winter could work miracles.

I can only hope!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

New's Flash...

Kindle Daily Deal
One Day Only
$1.99 for your Kindle
Happy reading!!!!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Toilet Paper...

Folks collect stamps, pop bottle lids, coins, dolls, cards and about anything else that takes their fancy or what might be valuable someday. It all takes a good deal of patience to be a real-honest-to-goodness-cross-my-heart collector. One has to plow through millions of coins or go to all kinds of doll shows or flea markets.

There have been times in my life when I thought about collecting something but since I'm not known for patience above and beyond the call of absolute duty, collecting did not last long at my house. What does one do with pop bottle caps? Put them in a shoe box and set them on the closet shelf, right? Then the day comes when they fall and scatter over the whole floor and that one falls into a high heeled shoe...end of toe nail a week later, end of bottle cap collecting, end of story.

So it was on to coins. Even if one fell into my shoe, it wouldn't take off a toe nail But the day before pay day a couple of months later we were out of milk and bread...there went the coin collection.

And stamps? The ones coming out that week would be worth millions in fifty years, so it went into a special little plastic sleeve to draw interest for the next half a century. Then the electric bill had to be paid and once the check was written there was only twenty one cents left in the checking account...not enough to buy a stamp so the millions for tomorrow became today's air conditioning savior.

And now I hear that there's a new collection sweeping the earth. In order to be a charter member of the new club, a person must vow to have a tremendous sense of humor and never--ever--not in the most dire circumstance, break down and use the collection for a common need.

It has been labeled the new collection for only the noveau riche--it is the collection of toilet paper!

When I stopped giggling, I started to wonder about all the rules they will have to corporate into that charter for their new fancy-smancy collector's charter.

Is it necessary to have one square or must one have two squares so the perforation holes can be counted for authenticity? Does that stuff in the Walmart bathroom fall into the category of collectible since it has no perforation at all?

What about the wrapper? For true collectors and not just amateurs, the whole roll might need to be saved, complete with the wrapper (somewhat like saving a book with the jacket cover intact). It should show the brand name, the date of "best if used by" and the code stating the price of the item if it expects to ever make it to the Sotheby's Auction.

Do they consider the foreign stuff worth more because it came from so far away or less because it is brown and rough instead of soft and soaked in some kind of lotion?

Are we allowed to look through the attic and put the old Sears and Roebuck catalog into the collection? That would be a vintage specimen that most people would keep in the bank safe deposit box for sure. It might even be worthy of a glassed case at the Smithsonian.

Oh, my! What would a never-used corn cob be worth? Hopefully, you did save a few when you tore down Great-Grandpa Oscar's old barn. If you did, you should call an antique auctioneer and only invite the most serious of the collectors to your sale. Serve shots of corn liquor and tiny little bites of buttered corn bread at your private sale so that the folks who didn't win the bid can go home and talk about what a fantastic day it was.

How does one display their new collection? I haven't seen a book which olds one or two or six squares or a special cabinet that holds whole rolls. There's a job for an entrepreneur--build a cabinet from oak that holds rolls of toilet paper so the collector can throw open the doors, stand to one side and proudly show off his/her gorgeous rolls of toilet paper. That corn cob on the top row with the brass plate explaining all about it really should be under lock and key, though.

Insurance! Homeowners policies must be rewritten to accommodate fading wrappers and leaks that could soak the paper. Would it require special flood insurance if my granddaughter tossed a roll into the potty, not realizing that roll was a prized German specimen with every square intact?

Maybe the charter making folks should take all these things into consideration.

Me? If I decided to join the noveau riche and collect toilet paper, you can bet your sweet butt that one of the grandchildren would yell that the TP roller was empty and they needed paper...and there would go my first roll of collector's toilet paper!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Oh, the possibilities...

Miz Hepburn hit the nail on the head when she made this statement!
A closed mind says "I can't do that, it's impossible."
An open mind says, "I'll give it my best shot."
This is my sermon to me for today. I'm possible. If I don't try then I might miss something wonderful.
What about you? Is something holding you back? Fear of failure? Fear of rejection? Just plain fear?
Think of Audrey's quote today and take that first step toward being possible.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Snippet Saturday--Bringing you an excerpt from The Red Hot Chili Cook Off

Today is Snippet Saturday and today Carlene is bringing you the beginning paragraphs of The Red Hot Chili Cook Off which is on sale at Amazon at $5.25 for you Kindle. Click HERE if you'd like to look inside the book for a little more!


Some men are just born stupid.

Carlene could testify with her right hand raised to God and the left on the good book that her husband, Lenny, had been born with the disease and it had worsened with the years. Proof was held between her thumb and forefinger like a dead rat in the form of a pair of bikini underwear. They damn sure didn’t belong to her. Hells bells she couldn’t get one leg in those tiny little things. And they did not belong to Lenny, either. Even if he had become an overnight cross dresser, his ass wouldn’t fit into that skimpy pair of under britches, not even if he greased himself down with bacon drippings.

They were bright red with a sparkling sequin heart sewn on the triangular front. They’d come with a matching corset with garter straps and fish net hose. Carlene recognized them because she’d designed the outfit at her lingerie shop, Bless My Bloomers. They belonged to a petite, size-four brunette with big brown eyes that giggled like a little girl when she saw herself in the mirror wearing the get-up.

Carlene dropped them back into Lenny’s brief case when her cell phone rang. The ring tone said it was Lenny but she was still speechless and staring at the scrap of satin in her hand.

The brunette who’d bought the red-satin outfit had told her that she and her sugar daddy were going to Vegas and she wanted something that would make him so hot he’d be ready to buy her an engagement ring the next week. What was her name? Bailey? Brenda? No something French because Carlene remembered asking her about it. Bridget…that was it! Bridget had been to Vegas with Lenny. How many other trips had he taken a bimbo with him and how many had been ten or fifteen years younger and a size four—for God’s sake?

Friday, September 11, 2015

Love and Travel Mingle on a Cruise Line...

Last spring three authors, Barbara Longley, Heather Burch and I went on an inspirational Caribbean Cruise. The whole idea was to inspire us to write a short romantic story that happened on a Princess Cruise Ship. We had so much fun and believe me everywhere we looked there was romance...at least in our minds all those couples holding hands were in love!

So we wrote the stories and now we're joining Linda Lael Miller for another cruise to tell everyone  all about our stories. I am so excited about this whole wonderful experience!

Princess Cruises® presents Kindle Love Stories

5-Day Eastern Caribbean cruise on Regal Princess® November 3, 2015
This fall, join some of the best names in romance on a Caribbean cruise as Princess teams up with Amazon's Kindle Love Stories to bring you a series of stories specifically written onboard our beautiful ships. Soon you'll be able to download the stories for free and join Carolyn Brown, Barbara Longley, Heather Burch and Linda Lael Miller onboard Regal Princess where they'll host a series of book club events including author meet & greets, book club discussions, book signings and more!

Anyone want to book a cruise and join us!! Click HERE if you are interested!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Installing Software...

I got a lesson in in installing software on the computer last week and guess who isn't nearly as full of cyber-wisdom as she thought? After a few hours of creative cussing, I finally figured out that it was not simple nor was it a three step plan...find it, pay for it, install it.

No, sir! It was a 12 step plan and it went like this:

One: There will be a little box with print so tiny inside that a gnat probably wrote it. It will give you the System Requirements and will read something like this: 2386 processor or higher, 1500 megahertz modem, 8MB free disk space, antilock braking system, six rams and two turtle doves.

Two: Open the packaging and remove the manual which is written in three languages. One is English, or so they say, but you can't understand the words anyway, so throw the whole manual I the trash with yesterday's potato peelings, the coffee grounds from that morning and three slightly licked lollipops.

Three: Find the actual software which will be in the form of a code which you plug into the computer and the first thing you will see is a Licensing Agreement: By breaking this seal you are hereinafter agreeing to abide by all the terms and conditions which no one ever reads, as well as the Geneva Convention, the UN Charter and the Secret Membership Oath of the Benevolent Protective Order of the Elks and the local Boy scout Rules and Creed and the rules and such other terms and conditions, real and imaginary, as the Software Company shall deem necessary and appropriate including the right to come into the user's house to examine the user's hard drive, the refrigerator and pantry, as well as the user's underwear drawer and under the beds, take it or leave it, til death do us part, one nation indivisible, thanks you've been a great crowd, say your prayers and don't forget to tip your waiter.

Four: Hand the software to a child--relative, neighbor or one you have dragged in from the sidewalk: age three to twelve, and with the promise of a ten dollar bill say: "You sweet little darlin', see that stuff on the screen? Install it into my computer."

Five: If you can't find a child or if the only one in your family can not leave the game he/she is playing on their smart phone, then type "SETUP" and hit the enter key.

Six: Ooops! Before doing step five, turn on the computer.

Seven: When it flashes a message saying that you've done something wrong, offer the child twenty dollars to leave his phone game.

Eight: After you pay the kid and he has started the installation this will pop up on your computer: The Installation Program will now examine your system to see what would be the best way to render it completely inoperable. There's something about how the motor will blow up if there's not enough rams or turtle doves and that if you have not read the manual, you should do so before hitting the proceed button. Since the manual is now under coffee grounds and lollipops with cat hair and dust bunnies stuck to them, the only thing to do is hit the OK button, cross your fingers and say a silent prayer.

Nine: Grinding, whirring and other such noises will start. You will wonder if this installation process is actually altering molecular structures and that when it's all said and done, your computer will suddenly turn into a food processor which will have buttons that say, "Puree.wha.com" or "fectuous.exe" or "doo.ira.com."

Ten: When this is finished a new screen will flash: Congratulations you have successfully installed the software. If you experience any problems such as electrical shocks when you type, hair loss, blindness, weight gain, insomnia or intestinal parasites, you should type in the following code: 457*&^(235)%$#+ and run for cover.

Eleven: At this point your computer is slower than ever and it refuses to recognize the Control Alternate Delete function. It no longer understands creative cussing. It hates the kid that now has all your money and won't do anything for him/her and the new software program puts up a smiley face with devil's horns when you try to access it.

Twelve: Immediately call the Technical Support Hotline number listed on the last page of the manual which you will drag out from the trash. Thank goodness, the number is on the backside and only a couple of potato peelings touched it. Put phone on speaker because you are caller number 1,367 but don't hang up. Your representative will be with you within the week. Fourteen hours later when you finally get someone on the phone, she will tell you barely have enough rams and turtle doves, to buy a new computer with more gigabites (that has nothing to do with chocolate) and to reinstall the software after you've read the manual for the new computer and the software!

Monday, September 7, 2015

Hot Cowboy Nights

Here's hoping y'all have had a wonderful holiday weekend!

I thought today would be a great time to unveil a brand new cowboy romance cover and tell you a little about Hot Cowboy Nights! Doesn't that title just make you want to grab up one of those fans that you used to see on the back of church pews along side of the hymnals. Remember how they had the 23rd Psalm on one side and an advertisement for a funeral home on the other?

I'm getting off track...here it is, in all its glory for y'all to see for the very first time. And today it went up for presale in paperback. Digital copies will be coming along soon, I'm sure! Click right HERE to get your copy ordered! It'll be on the shelves May 31, 2016.

And here's a little teaser...

If gossip is the lifeblood of a small town, then Lizzy Logan has been its beating heart. After being dumped by her fiancé for another woman, she could have decided to crawl under a rock. But no, she’d rather really set tongues wagging by “moving on” with one of the hottest cowboys in Texas, who happens to live next door at the Lucky Penny Ranch. Those busybodies don’t have to know it’s actually all pretend. And just because Lizzy has no aim to tame her wild, blue-eyed neighbor doesn’t mean she can’t enjoy the ride of her life.
Toby Dawson never was and never will be the settling-down type. But what harm could there be in agreeing to be Lizzy’s pretend boyfriend? They’ll put on a show for a few weeks and be done. Yet the more he gets to know Lizzy—really know her—the harder it is for him to keep his hands off of her in private. Soon this rough-and-ready cowboy is hoping to heal Lizzy’s bruised heart and turn their fake affair into a true romance . . .

Sunday, September 6, 2015


My Sunday morning sermon to me this week is to think about all the people, past and present, who have inspired me! Maybe it was with a pat on the back (I miss you Sister), a smile (Love you Lilybet and all the rest of my grandchildren), encouragement (the list is so long), a little constructive criticism (Thinking of Kelli and Leah), a wink when I was down (Hello, Grandma Hoover), or a simple hug (Mr. B gives the best), a giggle (Ginny, come out of that corner and take a bow) and that's only to name a few.

The list of those who have inspired me would fill a book, maybe even a series! So this Sunday morning I'm taking the time to think of everyone who has inspired me to be who I am today, no matter what hat I'm wearing--Sister, Wife, Mother, Grandmother, Writer, Christian, Chief Dishwasher, Cook, Friend or any of the other hats in my closet. Without all  y'all I wouldn't be where I am today.


Saturday, September 5, 2015


Secrets will float to the top when the time and circumstances are right. It doesn't matter if they've been put away for nearly sixty years or if they were just hidden a couple of months ago. They will come out.

Four generations of women have made a drastic move for the summer but at the end of those few months, when the secrets are all out in the open, they aren't so sure they want to leave the little  Oklahoma farm where they've become a family instead of four people connected loosely by DNA.

I promised you folks an Saturday excerpt and I've chosen Hidden Secrets for today's little teaser. With 281 Five Star Book Reviews, it is part of a Kindle sale at Amazon and is on sale for only $2. Click HERE to go right to the site. And to anyone who might be considering Hidden Secrets for a Book Club Discussion, I do have book club questions I'll be glad to send to you.

Kim's tall, elegant great-grandmother on a farm in Oklahoma was a vision that Kim couldn’t even drag up from the bottom of her imagination. Hannah Brewer, the queen of the Brewer Hotel, out in the middle of a garden? Hannah had never even been to the vineyards of the winery because she might break a perfectly manicured fingernail or a West Virginia breeze might ruffle her gray hair.

Hannah went on. “My mind is made up. Has been since John called this morning and told me Norma was dead. Didn’t expect her to leave me the farm but I’m not surprised. Anyway, I’m going and you are coming with me. Computers scare the dickens out of me and John says everything she did was kept on one. He can’t operate the stupid thing. You are good with them so that is your new summer job.”

“Nanna, who is John?”

“John Rayford, and he’s Norma’s neighbor on the north. Luke O’Neal is her neighbor on the south. They are both cattle ranchers and her place is a little hundred and twenty acre stretch right between them. They were her friends and John called me this morning to tell me that she died about daybreak. She left him a letter telling him what to do. First thing was tell me I inherited the farm. Next was to cremate her. The third was not to have a funeral,” Hannah said.

“And why haven’t you mentioned this woman? Does Momma or Grandmother know about her?” Kim asked.

“No, they don’t. I’ll explain it on the trip. You go on and call the rental place for a car or a van and pack. Casual things with maybe two outfits for church. We’ll be attending the church in Milburn where she went.”

Kim took a deep breath. “Nanna, you can’t work in a garden or gather fruit.”

“I can do anything I please and don’t you be telling me I can’t.” Hannah waved her away as she poked in her daughter’s phone number with the other.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Senior Moments...

I'm real sure some of y'all have had a senior moment or two in your life time. If you are too young to have ever had one then believe me, you have something in store for you later on down the line. Mr. B sent this little ditty to me today and I thought I'd share it this Thursday morning.

Sometimes that day between hump day and Friday gets long so maybe this will give you a little giggle to keep your spirits up until the weekend gets here!


Just click on it and enjoy!!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015


This past week I got a FB message from a bunch of my middle child's friends who were planning their twenty fifth class reunion. Holy smoke!!! My child has been out of high school a quarter of a century. How could that be true?

It caused me to think about a bunch of seniors at my old alma mater, of which I was one of the class of 1966. We were the class that would go forward and set the world on fire with ambition and determination.

We went to our five year class reunion. We had the matches lit and a little bit of determination left. The most intelligent kids in the classroom still got stars in their eyes when the word President was mentioned as they got visions of the White House in their smart little minds. Some of us had gotten married right after high school and we could attest that Happy Ever After only happened with a heck of a lot of work and more determination that we could muster up with a hyperactive three year old child under our feet.

Then there was the ten year class reunion. The match was burning a lot slower and we did think about determination every so often. Some of those with high IQ's were still thinking about saving the world. The rest of us were paying the orthodontist to straighten the oldest child's teeth. The middle child was in first grade and we were happy that the youngest was potty trained. Most of us showed up with ten extra pounds and more folks than me (who had grayed prematurely) had a gray hair or two.

When the letter came about the fifteenth reunion, I thought they were crazy! It hadn't been that long since we'd all brought chips and dip and chocolate chip cookies to the tenth reunion. I couldn't find the match that we were going to set the world on fire with? We had teenagers in the house, a mortgage payment and no one could remember if the valedictorian of our senior class raised Duroc hogs or if he was creating a rocket to fly to Mars.

The next five years were a blur and time to go to another reunion. Wasn't there something back when we started these things about setting the world on fire? Or was it something that long-winded speaker said while we suffocated under those caps and gowns. Oh, well, who could remember that far back anyway and who cared? We had kids about to go away to college and if the world needed saving, they could find the box of misplaced matches and take care of it. We were just barely coping with teenagers, puberty, menopause and middle aged crazies all under one roof. The women in the class had stopped trying to loose that ten pounds we'd each gained and the guys had given up trying to suck in that spare tire around their middle.

Then it was our twenty fifth and we had grandchildren. We thought about how energetic we'd been back then--with a smile! We weren't brain surgeons, corporate lawyers or rocket scientists. Most of us were groaning because we hadn't bought stock in Lady Clairol and the Geritol companies.

My daughter's class is planning their twenty fifth this years. I could tell them what to expect next but what's the fun in that? I'll let them figure out if they even want to find the matches anymore. The class of 1966 will have a reunion next year. I imagine that we'll just be glad to walk up to the doors without walkers or wheelchairs!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Brand New Website...

I'm so excited that I could climb up on the roof and shout to the whole world, "I HAVE A BRAND NEW WEBSITE!!!!"

And there is a place for all my wonderful friends, family and fans to sign up for my very first ever newsletter which I will send out in a few weeks, so please, while you are browsing through my site, don't forget to sign up for the newsletter!

I'd love to hear what you think of the site...click HERE to go right there and start browsing. Stay as long as you like, browse a while, leave comments. Drop me notes on the contact page. I LOVE hearing from my awesome readers and try to answer every single bit of email personally. Sometimes it might take a day or two if I'm in the middle of a deadline but I will get around to it!

Thank you to Dawn at Austin Designs for working so hard on this and for being so patient with me through the process! You are amazing, ma'am!!

See you at the website. I keep going back to it to make sure it's still there!