Thursday, September 18, 2014

Thinking About Christmas Already

Yeah, you read that right. I've been thinking about Christmas. I love the fact that we're now closer to our daughters and their families here in South Carolina, so celebrating the holidays will be much more fun and less stressful!

Another thing that makes me happy is a good Christmas story. I've written books and novellas set during the holidays, and now I'm happy to announce that I got the rights back to one of those novellas. So I had a professional cover made, added an epilogue to the story, and made it available on Amazon.

So here it is, y'all! Silver Bells is a story about a "mature" woman who falls in love with her late husband's best friend. She doesn't have the cooperation from all of her adult children. Will these two people be able to find happiness during the holidays?

Here's the cover and a link to it on Amazon:

Click to order: Silver Bells

Thursday, September 11, 2014

My Current Addiction

I'm finally admitting my addiction. For the past several years, I've been watching various shows on HGTV. At first, I had the excuse that it provided great entertainment and gave me some ideas for how to improve our living space. Then once I started watching "Property Brothers," things got intense. I couldn't get enough of them or other shows that showed how to take a hideous living room and turn it into an oasis that would make any homeowner proud.

My addiction really came to light over the past week when I got sick. As I lay in bed coughing and sneezing, I found myself reaching for the remote so I could watch the latest "Property Brothers" … or "House Hunters" … or "Fixer Upper" (such a cute couple, Jo-Jo and Chip) … or "Flip or Flop" with Tarek and Christina who buy distressed houses and turn them into palaces … or whatever else happened to be on. I even watched reruns that I'd already seen once or twice or more.

I like "Love It or List It," but I admit I enjoy "Love It or List It Too" even more because I remember and admire Jillian from "The Bachelorette." I haven't seen "Buying and Selling," but with identical twins Drew and Jonathan Scott starring in it, how can I not love it?

Friday, September 5, 2014

Healthful Eating and Fun Reading

I'm a foodie. I love almost all foods, especially if it's heavily seasoned and fresh. Most of my favorite foods are ethnic, with Indian, Japanese, Thai, Mexican, and Cajun being at the top of the list.

Something else that's important to me is to consume as many fruits and vegetables as I possibly can each day, which is one of the reasons I love to make smoothies. When I make them for myself, I don't worry about the color of the finished product. I just toss a bunch of fresh and frozen fruits and veggies into my blender or NutriBullet, add a little liquid (almond milk, coconut water, or fruit juice), and pulverize it so I can drink it on the run.

Here's an example of a smoothie recipe that's packed with nutrients:
  • 1 cup raw organic kale
  • 1/2 cup raw organic baby carrots
  • 1/2 cup raw organic cauliflower
  • 4 large frozen organic mixed berries
  • 1/2 cup pineapple chunks
  • 1 cup coconut water

Blend on high until the consistency is smooth. Pour into a glass and enjoy.
Delicious red smoothie
Photo courtesy of Alvimann/

When I make smoothies for my husband, I try to stay with a color group - green, orange, red, or purple - to make it more appetizing. When I use kale, I'll add kiwi and pineapple for a rich green color. For orange, I'll add carrots, peach slices, and apple juice. Red usually consists of strawberries, carrots, beets, and coconut water. For purple, I use blueberries, a small amount of kale, cauliflower, and grape juice.

Here are links to some other delicious recipes you might want to try:

While you're enjoying your smoothie, check out some of my books on Amazon or Barnes and Noble. You can order them in paperback, or if you're eager to start reading, download them to your Kindle or Nook.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

School's Back in Session

Now that Labor Day is over, most kids are back in school. This can bring tons of joy to many parents and trepidation to others since not everyone knows what to expect. I have two granddaughters - one who entered kindergarten and the other who just started a 2-morning a week preschool. Both of them are sweet, friendly, smart girls, so they should be fine.

I'll never forget my very first day of school several decades ago. There was no such thing as kindergarten where I went, so I walked right into first grade. One of my grandmothers had already taught me some basic reading and math skills, and the other grandmother introduced me to a bunch of kids I'd be in school with. It turned out to be a good experience for me ... at least most of the time.

If your child is still nervous about school, it might have something to do with not knowing what is expected or how to act in the new environment. Here are some articles I'd like to recommend:

Social Skills for Children
Children's Table Manners
Making Friends Through Sports
School Phobia

If you don't find exactly what you're looking for in those articles, go to, click around a bit, and you'll probably get some answers.

Now that the children are in school, try to schedule some time for yourself. After all, you've given your family the best summer ever. One suggestion I'd like to make is to check out my Class Reunion series. If you want to read a quick introduction to the characters before diving into the longer books, I've uploaded a prequel on Amazon. Here's a link to order it from Amazon: Before the Class Reunion.

Piney Point High School's 5-year reunion invitations have just gone out. Learn about Priscilla who was voted "Most Likely to Succeed" in high school but dropped out of college to become a hairdresser. Tim has just graduated from college and has been given the opportunity to work for his uncle as a beauty salon supply salesman. Trudy's crown for being "Miss Everything" in Piney Point doesn't seem to do anything for her marriage. Celeste has always been a wallflower, and now she has to make her way on her own. Laura has never touched a drop of alcohol, but her husband certainly knows his way around a beer bottle. Will anyone want to go back and face their former classmates?

Here are the books in the series. If you'd like to order them, please click on the links below the cover images.

10-year reunion
Order from Amazon
15-year reunion
Order from Amazon
20-year reunion
Order from Amazon