All I Want For Christmas

Get your sparkle on — it's Christmas!

Some families are not getting together for the holidays because of Covid and that's really sad. Don't get me wrong, I am not putting down anyone for playing it safe. For many, it will be the first Christmas ever without family around to help celebrate. The whole situation affirms the Covid pandemic is without a doubt, a war with physical and emotional casualties.Thinking about it as a war, I remember my mother talking about World War II and all the things they couldn't have or do during that time. She spoke about receiving rations for many products like gasoline, nylons, shoes and anything constructed out of rubber. Foods like sugar, dried fruit — and heaven forbid — coffee or any form of chocolate. I'm sure there were more but those are the ones that stuck in my head. It sounded like tough times, especially with the Great Depression having ended just six years prior. In the end, lots of sacrifices were made and for many, they learned to be more resourceful and grateful. Maybe it opened their eyes to see what was really important in their lives?

All I want for Christmas this year is for everyone to be more loving and understanding of each other and keep the faith that the Covid war is close to the end.

No doubt, it will be difficult to be joyous without our loved ones near us. Perhaps, it will make us more appreciative of our families and close friends. Or even better — maybe the real reason for the season will shine a little brighter this year.

Merry Christmas!

If you're going to be alone this year and need something to keep you company, check out my books — Ryley (A Christmas Romance) at:

Heartbeat of Desire (A Modern History Romance) at:

Tally Your Blessings

I know some people say count your blessings, but I say tally them. You ask what's the difference? Tally means to keep a continuous account of something. Most of us can compose a list of people and things in our lives that mean a great deal to us but do we actually tally them as often as we should? We tend to think about them more when events in our lives tip the scales to the good or bad side. We seldom the take time to think about what we are grateful for when things are running at an even clip.

No one needs to be reminded about the challenges created by the Covid pandemic. We've all been affected by it in several ways. And perhaps the recent election didn't go in the direction many had hoped for. Then after all that, we get hit with another blow — we are told we shouldn't get together with our families on Thanksgiving.

It's hard to remain upbeat about our situation, but there are reasons to be grateful. The first time I actually used a computer was in 2010. During the same time I got a new phone and for a few weeks, it was information overload for this gal. I cursed technology. But without it, where would we be now? I don't know what kind of education the children are actually getting, but at least it's something. Could you imagine how things would have been if the pandemic would've occurred in the 70's, 80's, or even 90's? No child would be able to see a teacher for at least a year or two. I'm also thankful for smart phones that make it possible to see our loved ones. I know it's far cry from giving them a hug or a kiss, but at least we can see their faces when we tell them what a blessing they are.

No doubt for me, this year has been one to tally my blessings. I remind myself what my father-in-law had always said, "It's not all bad." Think about it, the Israelites were stuck out in the desert for forty years — this is only a bump in the road. We got this!

If your needing a fun little uplift, check out my books:

Ryley (A Christmas Romance) at:

Heartbeat of Desire (A Modern History Romance)

Why I Wrote Heartbeat of Desire

It all started when I went to my parents' house one afternoon for coffee. Somehow we got on the subject of dad's farming days when he was a child. His father and mother had a thrashing machine, six sons and four daughters who helped them run a farm in the 1920's—1950s. They thrashed their own farm fields and also some neighboring farms in the area. As my father talked, I gathered it was a lot of hard work, but some fun, too. He had twin cousins around his age who were practical jokers. When they were quite young, they somehow unhitched the work horses from the wagon without anyone noticing. When my grandfather got onto the wagon he shook the reins and shouted, "Giddy up," and then watched the horses run off toward home. One of the pranks they pulled off you will find in my book — HEARTBEAT OF DESIRE. I don't want to spoil it for anyone so you'll have to read the book to find out!

I went home with my Dad's stories still dancing in my head and dreamt later that night. I had always thought about writing a romance novel and I wanted it to be something that would keep my interest. A book with a Dallas/Dynasty feel crossed with the realities of hard working Minnesota farmers. Something believable that wouldn't be boring or make me want to throw the book across the room and say, "There's no way would that happen in a million years."

Days later, I returned to my parents house and told them I planned to write a romance novel. My mother wanted to know if I was serious, while my dad only smiled. He usually wasn't too encouraging about such things and I expected him to ask me if I were crazy. Instead, he in went into the bathroom and brought out a copy of the Reader's Digest. Inside was a story about Frank McCourt. Frank, who had endured a very hard life in Ireland, came to this country and became a teacher and a renowned author. I had previously read two of Frank's books —Angela's Ashes and 'Tis: A Memoir by Frank McCourt years earlier. While I read them, I discovered just how Irish my own father was. Frank referred to a mirror as a looking glass like Dad had always done, and as a joke they both recited the Irish phrase: "They must have dropped you when you were a kid."

I chose to write about the Watson/Montevideo area because in my dreams I saw a river and flat fields. It was a coincidence that around this time I learned some about the sugar beet farmers from a good friend who is an agronomist. I set the book in the seventies era because I believe it was more of a stress free time and most importantly— I grew up during that time. I went to Montevideo and interviewed as many older farmers as I could to get an idea of what the time period was like. I can't explain it but looking back now, it seems the characters wrote the story not me.

I've come a long way since I decided to write a book and I've still have a long way to go. There is more to writing a book than most people realize. I hope you will read HEARTBEAT OF DESIRE and enjoy it as much as I did writing it.

If you would like to be notified in an email about the release dates of my books go to: to:

God Is Great, Wine Is good, People Have Always Been Crazy

We all know that we are going through some uncertain times. Between the upcoming election and Covid-19 things couldn't be more crazy. There are too many sources with huge amounts data on all accounts. The media on both sides of the political scale has painted a dreadful picture of what will happen if the candidate on the opposite side gets in or stays in office. And before all that started, Covid created a wave of panic that has taken a huge toll on everyone's mental health for most of the year. What's a person to do?

Shortly after the whole Covid epidemic started, I heard the song by Billy Currington "People are Crazy" and it stuck in my head for months. Of course in my mind, the words changed to wine instead of beer and I reminded myself that some people have always been crazy. But the thing that will never change is the first line in the refrain  "God is great."  Knowing that piece of information, it gives me the strength to move forward. I'm not in denial of what's going on around me on this earth, I've just chosen to live on in spite of it.

I've also learned that staying busy helps, too. Next month I'm releasing the first book in my HEARTBEAT SERIES — HEARTBEAT OF DESIRE. It's a spicy romance about a fiery widow and neighboring brothers who compete for her heart and her land. Caught up in their endeavor, the brothers forget that using too much fertilizer — isn't always a good thing. The story is filled with cutthroat sibling rivalry, blatant flirting and laced with delicious amounts of small town gossip.

If you would like to be notified in an email about the release dates of this book and ones to follow, go to: to:

For those who have already signed up, I will be sending an email to you soon.

Here is the link for Billy Currington's song "People are Crazy"

To Each Their Own

I have a friend who often says: "It's exactly the same thing only different." I guess that statement is true in many things, including people. I think all of us have the same basic needs: sleep, fresh air, food, water, shelter, and of course someone to love. Most of us also want to be safe, happy and somewhat successful in what we do. But the thing we should thank God for— is our differences.

My husband loves to fish and talks fishing with everyone he knows. I understand because I love to write and sometimes I can get carried away, too. But my hubby often brings up an important point by saying, "If everyone loved to fish, I wouldn't be able to get my boat in the water because there wouldn't be any room left in the lake with all the other boats."

Think about it — if everyone was doing the same thing, life would get way too competitive and boring.

Like everyone else, I can relate to certain people more so than others. But I always try and see another's point of view, even if I don't agree with them. Just like the characters in my books, I put myself in their shoes and sometimes I see things in a total different way. The facts are that us humans will always have our differences and we can try and accept them and maybe even be thankful we're not all the same.

That said, it brings me to an important part of this blog: I believe that no one should be shamed or bullied, in the name of political correctness to conform to what someone else thinks or believes.

There are and will always be differences in people because that's how God created us. Maybe instead of intently focusing on the dissimilarities between us or pretending they don't exist, why not learn to treat everyone how you would want to be treated.

About the picture in this month's blog post: My husband and I saw the colorful decoys in a pond alongside the road on the eastern border of Minnesota. From a distance, we thought it was garbage in the ditch.The picture shows only a small portion of the pond.There were about a hundred decoys. Each were beautifully painted a different color and pattern!

Here's the link to sign up for email updates on the first book of the Heartbeat Series —HEART BEAT OF DESIRE:  

Between The Things You Want To Do

It's been said that anything worth while in life takes time and effort to achieve. I guess that's true in just about everything: relationships, projects, careers, or hobbies. You basically get back what you put into it. I try to visualize what the end result will be and use it as a push to achieve my goals. But I used to focus too much on the less desirable things I needed to do to get there. I'd start out super charged only to get over whelmed and fizzle out. I'd let the obstacles have too much power and then watch my goals fade from sight and drift away.

Now, I realize facing those challenges are like crossing a river. The river can be  narrow or wide but it can be less intimidating if I take the time to learn about it. Knowing how deep the water is or how cold the temperature makes it easier to jump in and get my feet wet. And who knows? If it's too far and deep maybe I'll decide to hire a boat to get across? I believe — if there's a will, there's a way!

I never thought I would, but a few months ago I learned how to design book covers. I was so afraid I couldn't do it in the beginning and now I've found — I love it. So far, I've designed the first two covers for my HEARTBEAT SERIES. Book#1—HEARTBEAT OF DESIREBook#2—REVENGE IN A HEARTBEAT.

I'm very happy how the covers turned out and I can't wait to show them to everyone. But in the writing world the single most important thing you must do is get an email list. Without it, there is no way to let your entire audience know when you're ready to release a book. A friend of mine asked why I couldn't just put an announcement on Facebook. I will do that, but FB is a hit and miss. Some people check FB everyday and others only once a week or a few times a month. So I've decided to start a campaign to get people to sign up for updates on my books. If you are kind enough to sign up, you have my word I will never share your email address with anyone else. I will never email you to death and you'll be able to opt out at anytime. I am so excited about my up coming books and want everyone to enjoy reading them as much as I did writing them. Thank you for being on this writing journey with me.

Here's the link to sign up for updates on my books:  

A Little Help From Your Friends

Summer greetings to you. My daughter calls this Covid-Summer 2020. I don't know if she's correct with the term, but I do know this season is very different when you compare it to past years. I think the biggest change is the reopening of businesses and restaurants. Talking with folks, I've learned that some people have decided to stay home while others can't wait to get inside their favorite establishments. And almost everyone is sad there aren't going to be any town festivals or a state or county fair. So what's a person to do?

Why not take this opportunity to reconnect with family and old friends? Maybe it will be a way for us to develop more of an appreciation for others and the simple things in life. Start by looking up an old friend or family member you haven't heard from in a long while and take a moment to really listen to how they're doing. I love to have a meaningful conversation with someone while we're hiking through the woods or trails. Another of my favorite things is to sit out by the camp fire and talk while the flames relax and entertain us. A fun picnic with your children or grandchildren maybe a perfect opportunity to start a chat about what's going on in their world. Or perhaps throw a bottle of wine with some glasses in your picnic basket and enjoy some time with that special someone. And while you're out there in your perfect romantic spot, stop and smell the roses or the fresh air around you.

Other years there was almost too many things to do and it seemed summer slipped through our fingers before we knew it. I know that times have changed, but I going to look at this summer as a slower yet wonderful time to be alive. I hope you will too!

Please sign up for updates on my books.  I will only email you when something is about to happen and I will never share your email with anyone else. 

Life’s Simple Pleasures

It seems I've been hiding in a fox hole for the last few months waiting for the bombs and explosions to go off, but I've only heard a few gunshots off in the distance. Not saying a stray bullet can't ricochet and hit me but I'm willing to put on my bullet proof vest and keep my head low in order to venture out. I can't stand being in this dark hole any longer. I want to have a real life and I want a life for my family and friends as well. My plan is to use God as my shield and pray he keeps my safe as I go out and reclaim my life.

I am very thankful that my family and friends are alive and doing okay. We've all had plenty of time to reflect on what we've missed the last few months, so I've decided to focus on things I'm looking forward to in the months ahead. None of which I have to wear a mask to enjoy. I've made a list of some of the fun things I want to experience this summer.

1. Sunshine and hearing the sound of song birds

2. Leisurely walks

3. Campfires / Smores / Stories told there

4. Rhubarb pie

5. Homemade ice cream

6. Mushroom and Blueberry picking

7. The smell of the rain

8. The smell of balsam from the pine trees

9. Long drives

10. A cold beer

11.The smell of fresh cut grass

12. The squeal from the neighbor children as they go out to play

13. Fresh strawberries and garden vegetables. Yum!

14. Visiting relatives and friends again. Knowing I only can see 10 people at a time, I've decided to make more visits.

I hope you get out and enjoy some of the things you've been dreaming about the last few months. When you're out there take the time to really appreciate even the smallest of pleasures. It goes without saying: You need to be careful, but more than anything you need to have a life. I hope you have a great summer!


Please sign up on the Contact page of this website for updates on my books. I will only email you when something is about to happen and I will never share your email with anyone else.


The World As We Know It

I hope everyone who reads this blog is doing their best to stay healthy and happy. I can't think of anyone who isn't impacted by the corona virus in some way. For many people it seems the whole world has been tipped upside down. And to top things off, it appears the politicians are divided and aren't working together to get things up and running. Some are trying make it sound like it's the end of the world. It makes me think of the song by R.E.M.—'It's The End Of The World As We Know It.'

Long before the corona virus, my husband and I talked about that song title and we believe it to be true. Each night we go to bed and end our day only to wake up to a new day with endless uncertainties and possibilities. So of course, it's the end of the world as we know it — because it's a new day and we don't know what it will bring. The only thing we can be certain of is change itself. Change is part of life and the best thing we can do is to try and make it into something positive. Hopefully with God's help we will experience some brighter days ahead and get through the unknowns of this pandemic. Maybe afterwards we'll find those positive things that often come out of the worst situations.

I had planned to release my trilogy 'Heartbeat Series' in May but like many of us during the epidemic; my plans have been changed. I had a marketing strategy that involved being in busy public places. That isn't going to happen — so now on to a new plan. The first book of the Heartbeat series — Heartbeat of Desire will come out later this year and the other two will follow. I'm very excited about releasing the entire trilogy and hopefully things will work out for me and I'll have them out sooner. Until then be safe and keep your chin up. Remember that we're all in this together!

Please sign up on the Contact page of this website for updates on my books. I will only email you when something is about to happen and I will never share your email with anyone else.


Find Your Silver Lining

After a week of being quarantine for the coronavirus, I find myself getting a little stir crazy and wondering why. You would think the answer would be obvious, but it's confusing for me because basically I'm a homebody at heart. I know the 'stir crazy' part is purely psychological because normally it wouldn't faze me at all to sit home for over a week. This tells me that if I decide to stay home it's no problem, but if someone else tells me I have to, it's torture. In any case, it looks like I may be confined to my home or close to it for a while because we all need to take the virus very seriously. That being said, I've decided not to let this virus or my anxiety control my life. In a world where some have gone crazy with all the 'what ifs', I resolve to keep things on a positive level. My plan is: Stay home, keep my hands washed, find something that will keep me busy and contented.

Like many other people I know, I have lived through some good times and some very challenging, but through it all, I've learned that doing positive things for yourself and others can divert you from the negative. It's also essential to free your mind of troubling issues if only for a few minutes everyday. Don't dwell on all the bad information—try and watch the news in the morning and view only a brief update in the evening to stay informed. Or vice versa.

It may be difficult to figure out what you can do for someone else now that we're social distancing. Many people are doing things like helping their elderly neighbors get their groceries and that is great but I believe there are things we can do for everyone to get through this situation — Let others know what you're doing to preserve your sanity and what improvisations are working for you during this crisis.

Here's my list:

    1. Call someone instead of texting. Many people would appreciate hearing a human voice at this time.
    2. Clean out closets. Who knows what buried treasures you'll find?
    3. Take long walks and think about what you want to change when things get back to your normal.
    4. Dust off old exercise equipment and utilize them—wouldn't it be nice to emerge from the crisis looking better than ever.
    5. Dust off your bible—use this time to get closer to God.
    6. Teach your children a new card game: maybe cribbage.
    7.  Roll up the living room rug and dance to your favorite music. You'll feel better and it's a fun way to stay in shape.
    8. Go on social media and share your experiences—what improvisations are you using when everyday things aren't available.
    9. If you're a person who likes to go out to the bars or restaurants and are missing it terribly—try watching old reruns of Cheers on Netflix. There are lots of funny things in those old shows and best of all, you get the feeling you're in a place where everyone knows your name.
    10. Have a glass of wine once in a while but don't let alcohol be your only outlet.

Here's a list of things that can be a silver lining in the long run:

    1. Perhaps families will become closer and value each other more.
    2.  Maybe being stranded at home will teach you how to cook with the supplies you have and you'll become a better, resourceful cook.
    3.  Maybe your whole family will learn to be more conservative and you will save money after the crisis on the products that you use.

Share what you're doing to improvise and what you're doing to keep your sanity during this crisis. Post them in a comment on this website or on my FaceBook page: Remember we're all in it together. Cheers to you!

Please sign up on the Contact page of this website for updates on my books. I will only email you when something is about to happen and I will never share your email with anyone else.