All I Want for Christmas

World peace, or at least a reasonable

Facsimile thereof.

An end to poverty and love enough to

Go around.

Hands extended in kindness, hearts warmed

In gladness.

Food and drink to nourish every single

Child on earth.

A home for every stray, a warm place to

Shelter from the cold.

Comfort and joy.

Comfort and joy.

Peace, people.

The Hunter Becomes the Prey

Cat Gracie discovered a luckless lizard in the house yesterday and quickly let the poor critter know who was boss.

Listen here, lizard…
This house ain’t big enough for the both of us.

My attempts at rescuing the little guy were futile. I’d pick him up and Gracie would snatch the other end. I’d let go to prevent a tug of war, not wanting or needing to witness the decapitation of a reptile in my den.

But the lizard had a game plan:

I’ll show you, cat. Take that!
The lizard was firmly attached to a slender white whisker.

Gracie scraped the lizard off her face and backed away with a look of disbelief, allowing me to scoop the lizard up and take it outside where it played dead for quite some time. Well, to be honest, it might not have been playing, but it’s no longer in the spot where I left it. Whether it left of its own volition and under its own power is a mystery. I’m going to choose to believe it went on to live a productive life.

Peace, people!

Stupidly Fun

Contrary to the advice of other authors, I tend to read my books’ reviews. Yes, even the (blessedly few) negative ones. Often one of my books gets a review that makes me smile. I found this one about Mayhem at the Happy Valley Motor Inn and Resort on Amazon this morning and can’t stop giggling.

If you need something “stupidly fun” to read this weekend, may I suggest one of my novels? (Links at the end.)

http://Wedding at the Happy Valley Motor Inn and Resort (The Happy Valley Series Book 2) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09MDRSDZF/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_glt_E9ZCCED2GNZEKCASQB7Y

http://Mayhem at the Happy Valley Motor Inn and Resort (The Happy Valley Series Book 1) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08PDRH2Q9/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_glt_Q0NN1PMP89J2XZEHNMWA

http://The Cowboy and the Executive: A West Texas Romance https://www.amazon.com/dp/B095BVSF3L/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_glt_9W3777WTBV06S2052NZF

Peace, and laughter, people.

Highs and Lows

I haven’t been faithful in writing posts for the blog lately. My mind is on book three of the Happy Valley series and I just haven’t had the time or the inspiration to focus on Praying for Eyebrowz. So it was a shock one day this week to see that my stats were booming.

On the 13th I hit a new daily high by a wide margin. Prior to that I think my best day was 290-ish. Of course I hit a new low the next day, but still…. I celebrated with an extra bite of hummus. Life is good.

Peace, people!

Festive

Tallahassee, in the Florida panhandle, might not qualify as a winter wonderland, but that’s not to say the city is totally lacking in Christmas charm. Residents here just have to seek out festive places throughout the holidays and perhaps imagine sitting by the fireplace on a cold winter night.

One of the best locations to put one in a Christmas mood is Tallahassee Nurseries on Thomasville Road. A pleasure to visit year ‘round, the place really shines at this time of year.

I spent an hour yesterday wandering around Tallahassee Nurseries and thought I’d share some of my photos with you. Enjoy!

Christmas Koi
Tinseled T-Rex
One of everything, please.
Florida in December
I might need this peacock wind chime.
See the little rubber duckie? I feel sure there’s a story behind that.
Yes, I enjoyed a enjoyed a wine slushie…
One of the smaller angels came home with me.
Love the little birdcage ornaments.

Peace, people!

A Stroll Through Dorothy P. Oven Park

On Saturday morning I rose early and drove across Tallahassee to stroll around a Christmas craft fair at Dorothy P. Oven Park. I didn’t buy anything, but I enjoyed the misty morning while wandering around the expansive grounds of this beautiful park. I’m not the greatest photographer, but maybe you can get an idea of how lovely this place is.

Peace, people.

Speaking of Speaking

A few days ago I shared with you all that I’d agreed to speak at a newcomers’ group luncheon in Tallahassee at a date to be determined later. Well, later has arrived. The date is February 9, so now I can begin working on my speech, and more importantly, over stressing.

If I were to share my speech thoughts and rough drafts here would my readers offer creative and constructive criticism? I really have no one to bounce them off of, except the cat, and she adores me, so objectivity isn’t her strong suit.

“What about Studly Doright?” You might ask. He’d just tell me to show more cleavage or leg or something. Since I’m fairly certain the group is made up almost entirely of women, I highly doubt that showing more skin would help. Besides, I’m 65. Showing even a hint of cleavage or an inch of thigh can go horribly wrong in the blink of an eye.

Peace, people.

Go With the Flo

When I was writing my third novel, Wedding at the Happy Valley Motor Inn and Resort, I pictured a scene in which one of my favorite characters, Martha Murray, would recite, or have another character recite, a poem she’d written for her wedding ceremony. For several weeks I wrangled with writing a poem for Martha but nothing felt right. I was pulling my hair out and getting nowhere.

Then one afternoon my lovely friend and trusted confidant, Flora Diehl, called to visit and during the course of that call I said something like, “Maybe you could write Martha’s poem.”

I’m not sure what prompted me to say that. It wasn’t premeditated, it just popped into my head and immediately came out of my mouth. Regardless, it was one of the best things I’ve ever done.

Flo thought about it and responded several days, maybe weeks, later with the perfect poem for Martha’s wedding. I cried the first time I read her poem, “Now,” and every time I read it I get teary-eyed. Flo perfectly captured what I wanted Martha’s poem to feel and sound and even look like.

I’m not printing it here. Maybe one day I will, but I feel like the poem fits best within the context of the whole story. There are also a few gentle spoilers embedded in Flo’s contribution to my tale, and we’d hate to give anything away.

Readers can find the poem “Now” on page 302 of the paperback and again after “The End,” but before the acknowledgements. In the e-reader version it’s anyone’s guess since font size matters you know, but it’s near the end of the book.

If you haven’t yet read the first book in the series, Mayhem at Happy Valley Motor Inn and Resort, I suggest you do so before reading Wedding, but I think there’s enough backstory in book two that one wouldn’t necessarily have to read book one. (Although that would make me happy…)

Due to COVID, I haven’t seen Flo in person in over two years, but when I do see her again I’m going to ask her to read the poem while we enjoy a glass of wine. I’m stocking up on Kleenex for the occasion.

Peace, people!

http://Wedding at the Happy Valley Motor Inn and Resort (The Happy Valley Series Book 2) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09MDRSDZF/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_glt_HQEY2690EWD7XG9C9Y1K

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