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Y'all come on in!

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Saturday Snippet...

It's only two weeks and three days until The Wedding Pearls will be released. If you sign up for my newsletter you'll get a short prequel to the story that won't be available anywhere but in the newsletter I will send out on publication day. There's also a short prequel for Wild Cowboy Ways which will be sent on publication day, also. So move your little mouse over to my website photo to the right, click and enter your name and email address on the website. Easy, peasy and then you get an exclusive prequel to the stories.

Today I thought you might like a little snippet from The Wedding Pearls. This is Tessa and Branch's first meeting.

She’d only read a few words when the door pushed open, bringing in a blast of hot muggy air and a tall, good looking cowboy. Tessa was glad she was sitting down or she would have tripped over her own thoughts and fallen right into his arms. He looked like one of those old Marlboro ads and a CD cover of Blake Shelton all tossed in together. Her pulse kicked in a little extra giddy-up and her heart did one of those thumps that only came along these days on special occasions.

“Hello, is Tessa Wilson here?” he drawled.

She closed her book without using the book mark. “I’m Tessa. What can I do for you?”

He nodded toward a chair and asked, “Mind if I sit?”

“Honeymoon?” she asked.

“No, ma’am.” He removed his hat, laid it on her desk and raked his fingers through thick dark hair that feathered back perfectly. She could read people and this man was damn sure nervous. Maybe he was married and planning a trip with his mistress. It didn’t matter; her job was to put him at ease and work a little magic to get him a good deal. Who or where he went wasn’t a bit of her business.

He inhaled and let it out slowly. “I guess I am planning a trip but not one that you can help me with. I’m here on official business.” He slid a business card across the meticulously clean desk toward her.

She picked it up, glanced at the name and looked up into the sexiest green eyes she’d ever seen. He looked far more like a rancher than a lawyer. Dark hair, green eyes, square face with the perfect amount of chiseling and a perfect sized cleft in his chin. She held her hands in her lap with her fingers laced tightly together so she wouldn’t reach out and touch that little chin dent.

Holy crap! She didn’t let clients affect her like this. It had to be that the steamy sex scene in the romance book she’d been reading that set her mind and hormones into overdrive. She glanced down at the cover of a cowboy with a bare chest, hip slung jeans and a cowboy hat in his hands. It was exactly like the black felt hat setting there between her and the new client. She undressed him with her eyes and decided that he wouldn’t look so very different than the model on the novel. She quickly closed her eyes and willed the wicked thoughts away and then opened them again and glanced down at the card one more time.

“Branch Thomas, what can I do for you?” Her throat was dry but she was afraid to uncap the water bottle on her desk for fear she’d drop the thing and make another mess.

His eyebrows knit together into a frown. “I’m not sure how to put this in words and it might come as a shock. I guess the only way to say it is to blurt it out. You’d think this would be easier since I’m a lawyer.”

“Spit it out,” she said.

“Okay then.” He nodded seriously. “I’m here on behalf of your biological mother and grandmother. They would like to meet you. And that trip I was talking about, they’re leaving on Tuesday for a month long road trip around the perimeter of Texas and they would like for you to go with them so y’all can get to know each other.” His words tumbled out so fast and she was so intrigued with his eyes that they didn’t sink in for several seconds.

“I’m sorry we don’t usually plan trips like that but if you’d tell me how far they want to travel each day I could maybe work up some tourist sites and hotels.” And that’s when she clamped a hand over her mouth. “What did you say?”

He picked up his hat and laid it in his lap. “You did know you were adopted?”

She nodded.

Any minute he was going to bolt and run. She could see it in his eyes. “And you did know that you had a biological mother somewhere?”

Another slight tip of the head without losing eye contact with him. “I’ve always known I was adopted. It didn’t matter and I’m comfortable with it.”

“The rest is pretty self explanatory. Your birth mother and grandmother would like to meet you this weekend. They live in Boomtown, Texas, a few miles east of Beaumont.” He looked at a travel poster on the wall behind her left shoulder as he talked. “It’s about a three hour drive from here. They are willing to come over here or if you wouldn’t mind the drive, they would like for you to come to Sunday dinner to discuss this trip.”

“Is this a joke?” she asked bluntly.


Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving...

Happy Thanksgiving to all y'all! I'm thankful today for family, friends and health and for all you folks who read my books, my blog and visit my website.

I'm one of those cooks who couldn't possibly tell anyone how to make my famous baked beans or many other recipes because I cook by taste and by smell just like my grandmother did. And one thanksgiving back in 1967 that got me into big trouble.

In 1966 I married Mr. B and the first year of our marriage we lived in south central Pennsylvania. In those days a Tex/Okie did not need a passport to travel to that foreign land but when Thanksgiving rolled around that year, I questioned the fact. I was in a foreign land where they did not make cornbread dressing. They'd never heard of sage and didn't even put it in their sausage when they butchered hogs after the first freeze.

When in Rome! I ate their stuffing and it wasn't bad but it was not cornbread dressing.

The next year, 1967, we'd moved to Oklahoma for Mr. B to go to college and Thanksgiving came around. I was as happy as a new born piglet in a hog wallow. And then Mama said she was making a sugar cured ham and there would be no dressing.

My world crashed! No dressing. Could a southern girl survive two years in a row without the proper Thanksgiving dinner?

Only one thing to do! I would make chicken and dressing. I'd watched Mama for years and it didn't look so difficult. So I made the cornbread and the biscuits, sautéed the celery and onions, and everything was looking real good.

Back up here. When I went to the grocery store to buy sage those big bottles that hold about a cup was on sale so I bought one of those rather than a little two ounce bottle.

Now move forward. Dressing has everything but the chicken broth and the sage. I added the broth and it looked a little too moist. Mama's dressing wasn't runny; it was just the right texture. So I crumbled two more biscuits and another two cups of cornbread. Then it was time for the sage. Mama always measured out a little in her hand so I did that and smelled it. No way was I tasting it with raw eggs in it. I didn't want to go talk to the feller on the other side of the Pearly Gates the day after Thanksgiving and admit I'd poisoned myself with raw eggs.

It didn't smell like Mama's dressing so I added a little more sage. Still not quite right so I poured quite a bit into the palm of my hand and threw it into the mix. Stuck my nose down close to it and it still didn't smell like Mama's. So I dumped all of what was left in the bottle into the bowl. Now it smelled like Mama's.

We could have shingled the house with what came out of the oven but the bio-hazard folks would have probably put the whole family in prison for having it on the property. It smelled wonderful and taste...

Well, Poppa took it out to the hog lot and they hugged the fence on the far side of the pen until he took it away. It wouldn't burn so he buried it in the back yard. Grass never grew again in that spot.

Several years ago I found a wonderful crock pot dressing recipe and that's what I make now. And I measure every single ingredient down to the grains of salt!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015


I am in the writing cave all day today but wanted to pass along this little kernel of wisdom to all y'all today. Life truly is a circle!
How true this one is.

At age 4 success is . . . ... Not piddling in your pants.
At age 12 success is ... . . Having friends. 
At age 17 success is .... . Having a driver's license.
At age 35 success is . ... . Having money.
At age 50 success is . .. .. Having money.
At age 70 success is . ... . Having a drivers license. 
At age 75 success is ... ... Having friends. 
At age 80 success is . .. .. Not piddling in your pants.

Sunday, November 22, 2015


I am too old to have a cold.

I am too old to have the flu.

I am too old to be allergic.

This is not Dr. Seuss. It is the gospel truth according to Carolyn Brown. Sometimes I think my body has an agreement with the universe. When it gets tired and worn down, then the universe zaps it with something that puts a complete and sudden stop to everything.

I did not even see the stop sign coming.

I did not even hear the train whistle blowing.

I did not even feel a little sneeze.

Until it hit me like a ton of bricks a week ago today. Sore throat. Muscle aches. Head ache. And yet there was a deadline looming ahead and characters yelling at me in my head to tell their story. My body was saying to take a pill (I am very drug sensitive and an aspirin knocks me on my fanny for hours) and I knew if I did, the characters would waltz through my dreams in the most bizarre ways (I do not write science fiction but romance so that would not work at all, no sir!) Then the sneezes started and the tissues started building up in the trash can.

When I was a child, this thing was called a cold. Then as I got older it was called the flu or sometimes it was just the allergies acting up. But whatever it is, I have sent it on the way to the nearest hypochondriac. I hope that person loves it and treats it well and keeps it the rest of the winter.

I do not want the dang thing back.

I do not want to sneeze again.

I do not want to take more pills.

I am however thinking serious of putting some money into stock in the toilet paper company. I ran out of tissues the first day and developed an close and there are many of those little inner rollers testifying in my trash can about how much of a cold/flu/allergies I have had. This week I am feeling almost human again. The bathroom scales say that I have fed this cold very well and that I gave it the strength to go on to that afore mentioned hypochondriac.

Every single pound was worth it!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

The Wedding Pearls Giveaway...

Want a copy of The Wedding Pearls?
20 copies are up for grabs at Goodreads.
Tessa Wilson’s life is all over the map. She may be clumsy, but this time she’s stumbled into a pickle by choice, not by accident. She’s agreed to take a month-long trip around Texas jammed into a ’59 Cadillac with a drama-loving teenager, two elderly spitfires, and—oh, yes—her biological mama who gave her away at birth. And the ride gets even crazier when hot-as-sin cowboy Branch Thomas crosses into her lane. They don’t call him the sexiest man in the Lone Star State for nothin’.
As the miles pass and sparks fly between Tessa and Branch, her grandmother starts dropping hints about family wedding traditions. And as Tessa discovers the power of her budding friendships and the unbreakable strength of her newfound family of strong Texas women, she wonders if she’s also on the road to the biggest adventure of all: true love.

Monday, November 16, 2015


Want to get your name in the drawing to win this lovely white gold and diamond necklace? Check out this site:

Sunday, November 15, 2015


After only spending two nights in my bed in the past two weeks, I'm more than ready to hang my hat on a nail inside the back door. I'm always ready to go on an adventure but there is nothing like coming home, even when it takes a whole day to catch up on the laundry.

What about all y'all? Do you like to get back to your own warm, comfortable little rut or would you rather just travel forever?

Wednesday, November 11, 2015


My sister has been gone for two years now and sometimes I still go to the phone to call her. Or when I'm out shopping and find something that I think she'd like, I grab my cell phone to call her. She loved Christmas so I really do miss her at this time of year and I hate to even shop without her.

Yesterday, the universe cooperated and things fell into place for me to do some shopping with my youngest daughter who wallowed around more in my sister's DNA than she did mine. She had an appointment with her allergy doctor so we decided to make a day of it and find shoes for her to wear to my grandson's wedding on Saturday.

Nothing to that little job...right?


The first store that we went into didn't have shoes but it did have the cutest little dress with retro bell shaped sleeves. Black crocheted lace over silky cream colored lining and it fit her like it'd been tailor made for her. Perfect! Right? Nope, wrong again! Not just any old shoe would go with the dress so the shopping trip became a mission.

Second store. OMGoodness! The sign in the window advertised a big clearance sale. Forty nine thousand styles and only fourteen matched her dress. Thirteen pinched her toes and the last one flopped on her heel. But I did find a pair that I liked so it wasn't a total bust!

Third store. Nada. Nothing. Nil. Forget it. Everything had a six inch heel and a duck with ingrown toe nails would look better walking in those things that we would.

Fourth store. Not a thing but by this time we'd decided to look for a black bra since the lace on the top of her dress wasn't covered by that silky lining. And that's where all my sister's DNA rose to the top. We chose about a dozen black bras and toted them into the biggest dressing room in the whole store. Come on now! You know which one I'm talking about. That one that families take their little kids to so they can corral them so they can't get away while they're trying clothing on them. Where mamas go because there is a nice bench to sit on while their daughters try on a gazillion bras to find the right one for that cute little dress.

The dressing room was a time machine, transporting me back to those times when Sister and I tried on ridiculous "brand new" styles that would never look right on our bodies. Sister, Daughter and I are all vertically challenged but we make up for it in width so leggings are not our friends anymore than Spandex or short tailed skirts. And bras? Oh, sweet lord! They were definitely designed and created by men because no woman would make something as uncomfortable as those torturous things. I don't care if that little plastic thing that holds the strap in the back is shaped like a cute little heart...it still bites our fat cells. And that one that said ultimate comfort? Yeah, right! Maybe if the lady putting it on wore one of those things with a 32A on the tag and who didn't have a single extra little fat cell in her body. The only ultimate comfort in that expensive chunk of molded stuff was the moment it came off in the evening.

There was my daughter, trying to find the perfect bra for that dress and we were laughing so hard that I could feel Sister's spirit right there with us. I swear I even heard the mirror laughing and it didn't even shut up when we glared at it.

That got me to thinking about mirrors! Had Sister and I been in this same dressing room a couple of years ago? Did it remember us and had it missed her? Was it happy to see Daughter so it could have a few giggles to ease the pain of showing women who fussed and fumed when something didn't fit?

I hated to leave the dressing room but not one of those crazy bras fit and the store manager wasn't about to let us borrow a couple of pillows and a blanket and have a slumber party in there. So we blew kisses at the mirror and went on our way.

At the very last store we did find the perfect pair of shoes. And I swear I felt Sister smile!!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Wedding Dresses...

Cleaning closets and dresser drawers gives me hives so I don't do either nearly often enough. Clothing that hangs in a closet for more than one year is guaranteed to shrink at least two sizes, shoes get all that fuzzy stuff (I think it's called podiatrist dust bunnies...PDB for short) in them and don't even get me started on the spiders in the boots. Dresser drawers hold intimate things and believe me the closets have no monopoly on the ability to shrink clothing, be it skirts, shirts or under britches.

So I was cleaning with my bottle of Calamine lotion right handy to use at the first hint of an itchy place. And I ran across a little linen dress with lace sleeves, a fitted waist line and evidence that it had been too long because it had been hand hemmed.

My wedding dress!! I hadn't taken it out of that drawer since the last time I cleaned which was that day I had lunch with Columbus when he took a wrong turn and found himself steering his boat up the Washita River south of Davis, OK.

Mr. B's father took a few photos of us on the day I wore the dress but alas, the place where he took them to be developed sent back a whole packet of folks in a bowling tournament so there are no wedding day pictures of me in that dress. However, one year later on our anniversary, we did have one taken and I do have proof that I could zip the dress and the belt fastened around my waist even if it wasn't in the same little place as it was the day we said "I do." In the photo, Mr. B's suit still fit him, also. Picture a toe sack hanging on a broom handle!

On our second anniversary, child number one was four weeks away from making his entrance into the world so there was no need at all to try to fit that cute little linen dress around my "watermelon" shaped body. The next anniversary got away from us without evening remembering what day it was. We had a son who could scale a glass wall on a rainy day and tear up an army tank with a feather and a rubber band. I certainly did not have the time to drag out the dress and try it on.

Another year went by and it was "watermelon" time again. This time we had a beautiful blue eyed daughter who was going to grow up and wear my dress, maybe not to her wedding but to one of the affairs surrounding it.

A few months later, I did run across the dress in the drawer and tried it on. It almost zipped all the way which meant if I lost only ten pounds it would still fit like a charm.

Oh, BTW, Mr. B's suit still fit very well.

We spent our seventh anniversary in the hospital with our third child, the second daughter, who I was sure would want to wear my dress to something in the future.

There was no time to even think of the dress after we brought her home. Three kids in less than five years kept us both really busy. Our son was still plunking feathers from big-eyed vultures that were terrified of him so he could tear up army tanks. The middle child was embracing the terrible twos with an attitude of getting an A in the class. The new baby was a night owl who wanted to play all night and sleep all day.

Besides the mirror said that there was no way in the great green earth I could put my body into that dress again. The mirror did not say rude things to Mr. B so I threw it out in the yard.

We moved twenty one times in the first thirteen years of our marriage and that dress and suit moved every time with us. The last time we packed them both away and forgot about them. Then as I was cleaning, I found the dress! 

I grabbed up my dress like a long, lost friend and wondered if I could get into it. Mr. B fetched his suit from the old army truck and slipped on the pants and coat right over his jeans and T-shirt. Yep, still fit about the same. Pleading modesty, I took my dress into the bathroom.

Linen does not stretch. It does however shrink two sizes for each year that it lies in a dresser drawer. The mirror chuckled when I unzipped the dress and pulled it up over my knees. It laughed until dew drops formed at the top and streamed down to the vanity when the zipper broke. It got choked and shut up when I shook the hair brush at it and reminded it of what happened to the last mirror that had the audacity to cross me.

"Let me see," Mr. B said from the other side of the locked door.

I didn't say a word. I just folded it so the broken zipper didn't show, marched out of the room and put it in the trunk with his suit. Old army trunks do not shrink clothing. Old army trunks might even let them grow a size or two with each passing year.

On our 75th wedding anniversary I think it might have enough time to age into a lovely dress to wear to our party!

Friday, November 6, 2015

Free book plus $1.99 Sale!

I'm cruising this week, signing books aboard the Princess Regal and meeting lots of wonderful folks. While I'm out to sea, I thought y'all might like to have a free book to read. So for today, Friday, Nov. 6, only I'm giving you Honky Tonk Angel! Right HERE will take you to the Amazon site where you can download it for free!!

And...(don't you just love that word? It means there's even more on the way) The Yellow Rose Beauty Shop is a Kindle Daily Deal which means that for today only, Friday, Nov. 6, you can buy it for only $1.99. If you already have it, it would make a lovely gift for a friend! And if you are on the Princess Regal, I do believe there is a copy of the book in the ship's library for you to borrow! If you were one of those sweet fans who stood in line yesterday to get a copy of the book, I'd love to know what you thought of it when you finish visiting Cadillac, Texas.

And...(there's that word again that we love) Cowboy Boots for Christmas and The Cowboy's Christmas Baby are on sale for the next few days for only $1.99 each!! They might get you in the mood to do some Christmas shopping!

So that gives all my awesome readers some reading material while I'm away. When I get home I'll post pictures of this totally fantastic cruise!

Sunday, November 1, 2015


Now that it is November I can say that I have not one but TWO books coming out next month! On December 15, The Wedding Pearls will be published and one week later on Dec. 22, Wild Cowboy Ways will hit the shelves.
And they are both priced at only $4.99!!

And I'm going to run a couple of contests that will have these two items as prizes...

For The Wedding Pearls, a pearl and diamond necklace since a strand of pearls has a big part in the story. And since Wild Cowboy Ways will be the 75th book and that's the diamond anniversary, I'm giving away a double heart diamond necklace.

The details are still in the works but it does have a lot to do with preorders so save your proof of purchase from wherever you buy either book. I've got a goal of 4000 preorders from Amazon on Wild Cowboy Ways and right now I'm not even half way there. And the goal is the same for The Wedding Pearls.

There will also be a little contest going that concerns those who sign up for my newsletter and doing that might get you an extra ticket in the pearl and diamond contest. But it will definitely get you something extra on the day the books are published in the form of my newsletter. So that's what I know right now. If you want to get your name in the famous red boot, preorder The Wedding Pearls right HERE  and Wild Cowboy Ways right HERE and save your proof and sign up for my newsletter on my website...which you can get to right HERE.