No Saturday Selection today because I’m hanging out over at SExpressions … okay, well not literally. Since I’m down at the lake with some friends, depending on the time of day you caught me, I’m probably swimming or canoeing the lake or watching the fireworks (if the rain in Maine EVER stops)… definitely I’m having a beer and a burger!

Anyway, swing over and check out the excerpt I’ve got posted over there.

Since Easter is only days away. I couldn’t help but share some facts I discovered about candy. And of course I had to include pictures of um … candy. 

1. Americans spend $1.9 billion on Easter candy. (Halloween tops the chart at $2 billion.) (And some candy is free.)

2. Americans consume 16 billion jelly beans. If laid end to end it would circle the globe 3 times. (And sometimes three is enough.)

3. Hot cross buns were among the earliest Easter treats. Monks baked them and gave them to the poor during Lent. (And here are some yummy buns.)

4. In 1953 it took 27 hours to create a marshmellow peep. Today it takes 6 minutes. (6 minutes … oh, a lot of candy can be enjoyed in 6 minutes!)

5. 90 million Easter bunnies are produced each year. (Hmmm, let me sit right and here and think about that.)

6. Pretzels were originally associated with Easter. The twists of a pretzel were thought to resemble arms crossed in prayer. (Now I lay me down to sleep…)

7. Adults prefer milk chocolate (65%) to dark chocolate (27%) (But really … won’t any candy do?)

8. As many as 4.2 million peeps can be made each day. (And if all candy were this delicious I wouldn’t make another peep.)

9. Jellybeans didn’t become an Easter treat until the 1930’s. (Who needs jelly beans when there’s candy this sweet.)

10. As you’ve noticed candy makers offer more and more Easter specific products. M&M first introduced their pastel candies in 1980. (All candy is pretty.)

11. During the Easter season, Americans purchase over 700 million peeps. (But by my count 6 is plenty.)

12. Candy is a relatively recent addition to the Easter tradition. Chocolate eggs were first made in Europe in the early 1800’s. (Well, once more … thank you for candy!)

13. In 2001 Americans consumed 7 billion pounds of Easter candy. (And sometimes we just drooled over it.)

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Today I’m part of the Valentine’s Candy Blog Tour through Liquid Silver Books! I hope you’ve been enjoying your tour through cyber land. And here’s the good news … I’m the last stop! You should have arrived from Jeanne Barrack’s blog. I hope you left a comment at each of the other nine blogs. Leave a comment here as well before midnight February 14 and you’ll be eligible to win an inbox full of ebooks!

I’d also like to help you enjoy Valentine’s Day. Because what’s a Valentine’s without cupid … 

or flowers …


some hearts skattered for your pleasure …


and some kisses …

Oh, and sheesh, I almost forgot the most important thing I’m supposed to offer today … the candy!

Oh, now did that satisfy your craving for candy? 

I’ve been so busy trying to finish up my latest story and skating around the internet trying to get some marketing things done. I haven’t had a spare minute to get anything ready for my man. How about sharing with me some of your favorite Valentine secrets/moments? It could be something you did for someone else or something romantic done for you. Come on … I want to hear it all! I’ll choose one of the stories to win a download of my most romantic book, The Healer’s Garden.

And I’ll announce both the grand prize winner and the winner of my download on Sunday morning!

If you’ve tripped on this and would like to participate on the whole tour. It all begins at the blog of Stephanie Adkins.

Enjoy your day!

This week (while I’m hanging out at my sister-in-laws drinking too much wine and eating waaaay to much) I thought I’d leave you with a list of 13 things that I am truly grateful for. At first I considered making my usual list of funny things, but you know what … this week I’m telling it like it is! Here’s the 13 things that are blessings in my life:

1. My husband. Yes, we drive each other insane, but I wouldn’t want to go through my days without him.


2. The fact that I have three healthy children.

3. I’m happy Pretty Girl’s plans for spending next semester in Italy are finally coming together. (I don’t even want to talk about the fact that it’s November.)

4. Baby Girl has figured out she’d like to study nursing (just like both her grandmothers) and that decision has given her direction and she’s finally kicking butt in college. 😀

5. Little Boy Blue knows exactly where he wants to go to college. It’s in-state and it’s one application and since he’s an honor student I’m thinking he doesn’t need a backup plan.

6. I’m grateful I found writing. It’s a wicked rush every time I sign a new contract and it makes me giggle with joy.

7. I’m so happy for the ladies of the Maine Romance Writers. They were the first ones who listened to my grandiose plans for my writing career.


8. I’m happy we’re finding our way back to church. I didn’t realize how much I missed it.

9. There are so many great people I’ve met through this writing path who have really helped me. I’m not going to name names because the journey already seems long and I know there would be people I’d forget. But you all know who you are and I’m sending a cyber hug to each of you.

10. For my extended family. I’m so lucky. I love my brothers and my sister, but I love my sister- and brothers-in-law just as much. My DH and I are so lucky to be surrounded by so much love.

11. I’m really grateful to my parents who made me believe I could be or do anything I wanted. And that extends to the DH’s parents who have been just as supportive.

12. That I can still walk!

13. I’m really grateful that I can search for sexy man pictures and call it research! (Oh, you didn’t think I’d leave you without any man candy did you?)

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you in the United States! Happy Thursday Thirteen to all the rest of you!

This week I’m organizing what’s left of my summer. I’m so sad the first month is nearly over. So here’s a list of 13 things I need to do this summer.

1. Attend my chapter meeting of RWA. Out of the whole summer I only get to make it to one monthly meeting. 🙁 That makes me so sad. These authors lift me up and recharge me. I’m so happy I can at least stay in touch over the Internet.

2. Go to the fireworks. I wouldn’t miss them. I’m like a little kid. I love the sparklers and I oooh and ahhh at every single one of them. My favorite fireworks by far were the year I got to see them in Washington DC.

3. Finish edits for my novella, Blue Moon Rising, in the Furry, Fluffy and Wild shifter anthology from Liquid Silver Books.

4. Attend the Highland Games in Nova Scotia. Oh, yeah! One of the few weekend trips we’re taking that don’t involve family at the other end. And who wouldn’t want to spend the day watching men in kilts throw, chop, and muscle things?

5. Take an online writing course. I always enjoy learning new things about writing. There are so many good ones out there, sometimes it’s hard for me to choose. But this particular class promises to push my writing to the next level. Well … only if I work really hard.

6. Spend time at Sommes Sound near Acadia National Park. The Maine coast is beautiful and there is nothing more peaceful than Sommes Sound early in the morning when the fog is hanging just over the surface and lobster boats are meandering their way to the ocean. *sigh* Just right for finding my writing muse. I may not be able to hike the mountain trails any longer, but swimming in the ocean and lazy on the rocky shore is just what I need to recharge my batteries.

7. Drop Little Boy Blue off at Engineering Camp. He is so excited to give this a try. It’s for those going into their senior year who are trying to figure out which type of engineering is the right avenue for them.

8. Visit my sister and her family at the beach. (Are you sensing a theme here … my family loooves the ocean.) I am so excited. For a month my older sissie comes up from Maryland to stay in Maine. I heart my sister. She’s one of my very best friends. I can’t wait to see her! And the answer to your unspoken question … no I didn’t always like her. She got me in trouble A LOT!

9. Visit husband’s family at the lake. We have the best time staying up late playing cards and having bon fires. Drinking too many margaritas and just plain hanging around having fun. But this will be a short visit due to number 10.

10. Getting Little Boy Blue off to school. Here in northern Maine the kids start high school when most teenagers are still making the most of their summer. This is due to a three week break they have in September to harvest potatoes. For real.

11. Finish the sequel to Blue Moon Rising.

12. Visit my mommy. She lives really far away from her children. So she spends a month in the summer here in Maine. I love visiting with her. Of course it doesn’t hurt that she lives at the beach when she’s here!

13. Relax and enjoy the season. Riiiiight!

Sometimes I get so wrapped up in my family and my writing and paying bills, that I forget to pay attention to the big picture.

Today is Memorial Day.

And forgive me, but I woke this morning worrying about the band uniform and whether Little Boy Blue had all his music for the parade. Whether we were going to have chicken or pizza for dinner and whether or not the man had to work … and well … you get the idea.

I wasn’t thinking about …

I mean, I’ve been thinking about all the loved ones I’ve lost and how people I love will be laying flowers on their grave this weekend. I don’t live near any of the cementaries so I won’t be going, but until the vets walk in the local parade and the wreath is dropped in the river, I often forget who we’re truly remembering this holiday.

I might not believe in the reasons for the war, but I support the troops who have answered the call for our country. I weep for the families making the sacrifice to have their loved one in such a dangerous situation. And my heart aches for all who have lost someone you love.

A friend found this video on YouTube and I thought I would post it here as well.

Mother’s Day. I love this holiday.

I have a trunk full of all the cards and little goodies my children made for me when they were little. My son’s hand pressed in plaster hangs from a pretty ribbon in my bedroom, right next to the clay mask my daughter made of her face when she was in second grade. My bureau is strewn with the gifts of weaved baskets, clay pots, and a wooden treasure chest … all gifts my children made and gave to me on Mother’s Day. They are more precious to me than all my gold jewelry.

Now that they’re older, my children give me gifts of words. Hallmark cards scrawled with a little note at the end, loving words from the heart that make me cry.

Today, I will call my mothers. Now that I’m married … I have two. One who gave birth to me and another who called me daughter long before the ink was dry on the marriage certificate.

And as I age I appreciate their experience and wisdom more with each passing year. These women make me realize that being a mom doesn’t stop when your child walks out the door and marries another. It just means your joys–and worries–are doubled. I live very far away from both of them, so the flowers and cards have already been sent. The hugs will just have to wait until the next time we are together. Though I’m terrible with the phone calls, I hope they both know how much I miss them, especially on a day like today.

This holiday also marks the anniversary of when my husband, sexy college jock, with nothing but a car to call his own, asked me to be his wife. It wasn’t the proposal of news programs… but it was sweet and romantic and is one of the best days of my life.

We told my mother-in-law she was finally going to be a grandmother on Mother’s Day.

And my first ever agent call came on Mother’s Day. Though it didn’t work out, I will always remember the incredible feeling of talking with an agent for the first time.

I am truly blessed.

This day won’t be about gifts from the store, but the gift of time and love from my family. And I wish for you a wonderful mother’s day … one that will be filled with love and family. I hope you will get to spend it doing something you truly enjoy  … and that this day will be one for the memory books.  

Happy Mother’s Day to all of you!

I love the look of Christmas. The snow weighing heavy on the trees. The lights twinkling. A cozy fire burning in the hearth. Wrapped gifts under the tree. Smiling faces of children staring at Santa in awe. It’s beautiful. 

I want that.

But then reality rears it’s ugly head and shows up at my house! The first week of December I beg my man to drag the boxes and containers of Christmas paraphernalia up from the basement. *click* See garland spilling from boxes stacked in front hallway.

Then we bundle up and head over to the local boyscout troop Christmas tree lot and pick out the perfect tree to adorn our living room. *click* See Charlie Brown tree sitting forlornly in stand sans lights and bulbs, loosing needles faster than Santa can make toys to put under said tree.

By mid December I can proudly say, all boxes are back down stairs, Christmas decorations adorn the house, the tree is no longer naked and *sigh* it looks so purty… for about a day.

Then the Christmas shopping begins. We live essentially in the middle of nowhere, so our shopping consists of one major day at the big “city” and in one fell swoop–it’s done! *click* See bags and bags of unwrapped gifts sitting under Christmas tree. *click* See living room doors shut so teenagers can’t see purchases and mother can’t see beautiful decorations.

Now the rolls of wrapping paper lay about. In the next few days, children will schlep home from college. *click* See downstairs bathroom stacked with all the clothing they own. *click* See dishes piling in the sink as wrapping gifts takes precedence over all other household chores.  

You know, my Christmas may not be the Currier and Ives versions of the holiday, but it’s mine none the less. And in reality, I wouldn’t change it for anything.

So what kind of snapshots describe your holiday?