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Why Our Sons Should Cook

Posted by on Friday, July 7, 2017 at 11:11 pm in Uncategorized | 0 comments

I’m not sure how hard I tried to teach my kids how to cook. The chaos of those last few teenage years all blurs now that they are in college and beyond (my oldest being 25).

I don’t think I’ve ever looked this put together and relaxed while cooking in my life.

I do remember at least telling my kids, including my son, who is 20, how important it is to cook.

“Why?” my son asks with a wide grin and a glint in his eye. “Isn’t that what a wife is for?”

He does this to torment, of course. Because he knows that he’s surrounded by two sisters and a mother who have spent years making certain he is a sensitive, kind man who respects women. (Plus, we would get physical if he truly gets out of line, Lol.)

It amuses me greatly to tell you that my son is more serious about cooking as an almost-junior in college than his sisters were at that age. He grocery shops every week and even has a grand plan–he makes enough food for four days at a time.

“Does that mean you eat the same meal four days in a row?” I asked. “But don’t you get sick of it?”

This is what my kids made: shrimp, turkey sausage, corn, potatoes, garlic, lemon, parsley–on the grill for 10 minutes and wa-la!

Apparently not. I think he eats a lot of chicken breasts and pasta. He still won’t eat red sauce or anything where the food touches another food  on the plate but hey–not my problem anymore!

This warms my heart, that this son of mine can shop and feed himself. He, who was a sickly child, who was indulged with chicken nuggets and fries because he simply wouldn’t eat anything else. (I know, I know, I should have forced him or something, but what can I say. Thank God he eats more than foods that are beige now that he’s grown, and is big and strong and no longer sickly.)

Recently while I was nearing a deadline, my oldest daughter and my son cooked a fabulous dinner that they sealed in a foil packet and put on the grill. My daughter even made a homemade berry cobbler to go with it! I only had to wait 25 years for this. It was totally worth the wait! I nearly cried, to have someone–your children no less!–make you a fabulous dinner when you’re all stressed out. Nothing could’ve been sweeter.

My kids have always seen my husband in the kitchen too. He cooks pancakes every Sunday and makes amazing omelets. He makes pies and bread when he has time. I think this has had a great impact. Plus, my husband actually enjoys cooking, whereas I…well, let’s just say that if I didn’t have to eat, I wouldn’t be in the kitchen. At all.

I tell my son he’s going to be part of a busy household one day and it’s important to share all the tasks as you can. That it takes all hands on deck to raise a family. And that marriage is a partnership.

Hopefully some of that has sunk in. And in the meantime, he’s off to a great start.  Not only can he cook for himself, he can cook enough at one time to feed a family of four 🙂


Life Post-deadline is Sweet

Posted by on Saturday, June 24, 2017 at 12:56 am in Uncategorized | 0 comments

I love the time just after a deadline. The world seems so lovely, the sky so blue when you aren’t chained to your desk chair drinking coffee and eating Cheetos in your pjs at three in the afternoon, staring longingly out your window at the rest of the (normal) world.

Your family is wonderful, you just want to hug them and rejoin them in the routine activities of daily life that you’ve been missing out on for awhile. Cook dinner? Run a load of laundry? Drive someone someplace? Sure, I’d love to!!

And that manuscript–which you’ve slaved over for months–somehow managed to become a story, with chapters and a title, a beginning and an end. No matter how bad it is, it LOOKS like a book. It has lots of PAGES. And for this, well done! We have to celebrate the little victories in life, right? My friends, whom I miraculously still have after emerging from the writing cave, take me to breakfast to celebrate! Life is good.

It’s so nice to  have an empty brain for just a little while before moving on to the next thing.

As I sit down to start the next story, the current characters are still in my head, talking and telling me everything. “I’m better than she is,” my old heroine says.

“I didn’t think you were catty when I wrote you,” I say back, then I assure her that I don’t love her any less than the new baby, thank you very much.

They’re very emotional, those characters, because the end of a book always is, and everyone (including me) is usually crying and feeling a huge sense of relief that finally, finally, things are going to work out all right! For me it’s equal parts crying for their happily ever after AND part thanking God that finally, I’ve found a way for the book to end that makes sense!

It takes a while for them to settle down, their voices to fade away as they settle into their well-deserved happily ever afters and I go about cleaning up my office.

I was replenishing the pad of sticky notes in my bathroom the other day when I suddenly began laughing out loud. I realized—this is not a normal activity. I have a specific place in my bathroom drawer where the pad of sticky notes gently fits. Right next to the toothpaste and my basket of makeup. There’s even room for a pen. Because…inspiration often strikes at night when I’m getting ready for bed. If my husband’s already in bed, I fear I will wake him if I start rummaging around the house for paper and a pen. And if I don’t write down whatever I was just thinking…it’s lost forever.

Normal people do not keep sticky notes in their bathrooms, do they?

Then there’s the fact that I haven’t been out in public for awhile. I squint from the bright light and stutter as I try to make conversation with people who are not imaginary. Neighbors I haven’t seen in months express relief that I’m still alive. It’s tough, I tell you, to talk with real people!

And then the yoga pants. I’ve spent weeks in man shorts or otherwise stretchy athletic wear and actually getting dressed and grooming myself takes some effort. Matching tops to bottoms, finding the right shoes…yes. Very confusing. Makeup? A whole new level of stress.

The most common question I always get is,where do you get your ideas? And I can honestly say, getting ideas is a complete miracle to me. I’m not one who has ten story ideas in my head at one time. God gives them one at a time, when I can handle them, LOL. Sometimes I wish He would work faster, but I sit here diligently at my computer, my ears tuned like transmitters, waiting for the signals.

I know the heroine for my next story but her hero…hmmm. I keep thinking and thinking. Who is her hero? Where is he? Someone who will drive her crazy like no one else can, and love her like no one else. Maybe if I go take a shower, I’ll find out.

In the meantime, I think I’ll go sit on my porch and watch the flowers grow. Have a lovely summer weekend!


Sign-Up-For-My-Newsletter Summer Giveaway!

Posted by on Friday, June 9, 2017 at 3:56 pm in Uncategorized | 8 comments

Sign up for my Newsletter via the Rafflecopter box below for a chance to win some fun summer stuff, including the first 3 Mirror Lake books! (Giveaway goes until June 30th.)


(Already subscribed to my newsletter? Enter my giveaway this month at Fresh Fiction here.)


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Summer Giveaway!


THIS LOVING FEELING on sale for 99¢ plus Giveaway

Posted by on Saturday, June 3, 2017 at 10:46 am in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Get THIS LOVING FEELING on sale for 99¢ for a limited time here


This Loving Feeling is the third book about the Rushford family siblings (it’s Samantha Rushford’s book) but it’s also a crossover book–it introduces my first Greek brother, Lukas Spikonos.

These (hot) Greek brothers were separated as children and as adults, and come to find their lives and loves in  the small town of Mirror Lake, Connecticut…and each other.

There are two other Greek brother books, the “CAN’T” books (see below), with the last brother coming later this year.

Also, check out my little summer giveaway over at Fresh Fiction. I’m giving away a plush beach towel, cute mesh beach bag, water bottle that says “Say Yes to Adventures,” a Starbucks card, and print copies of the first 3 Mirror Lake books. Check it out here!


Death by Side Effect

Posted by on at 10:44 am in Uncategorized | 2 comments

I’ve talked before about having migraines, that special plague that bestows itself upon the women of my family.

This week I had an entertaining visit with my migraine doctor, a patient, gray-haired neurologist I’ll call Dr. X.

Patient because I’m not the best patient. I was holding out on these migraines, not wanting to start a big-gun medicine, hopeful that they would burn themselves out, as they often do, in middle age. Well, I’m well into middle age and guess what? No such luck.

“I’d like to start you on a new medicine,” Dr. X says, after I describe the special hell deadlines wreak upon my poor head.”The way I see it, you have two choices.”

I look at him suspiciously, as if he’s said, “I want to give you a brand new type of poison.” Which, in effect, is a little true, because every medicine that really works for migraines seems to have a special side effect profile that’s enough to scare you to death if you think about it too much.

“You have two choices. Choice A works great. It shuts the headaches down for good. The only problem is, it makes one out of every ten people stupid.”

“Come again?” I say.

“Not being able to focus, confusion, that kind of thing.”

Oh, well, that sounds like something I can risk when I’m two weeks from turning a book in, yes?

“The good news is you usually know when you’re stupid.”

“That’s reassuring,” I say. Not really. Not at all!

“Patients come in knowing they can’t think or talk or function. It’s not like being drunk when you don’t know how stupid you are.”

“Oh. Any other side effects?”

“Weight loss.”

Weight loss at an age where looking at a pint of ice cream makes me gain a pound? The stupidity might be worth it! “I’ll consider it. What about Choice B?”

“Choice B works great too. But if we don’t titrate it quite right it has the side effect of apathy. Which could help with your deadlines.”

Not caring about whether not the book is going to be a piece of poo when I turn it in? That sounds stress relieving. But also scary in its own way. 

“But the flip side is, you may not care, for example, if the house is burning down, and it can also diminish sex drive.”

Does he know I’m a romance writer, for gosh sakes?

“Just bump up the dose of my normal medicine,” I say, referring to a common, tried and true medicine in the blood pressure medicine family that works…sort of. “And I’ll think about those other ones. See you next year.”

“Three months,” he said, frowning. “Come back in three months.” He looks over his bifocals at me.”You know, none of these medications are really that bad. You might just feel better if you give them a chance.”

I thanked him and told him I’d think about it. After I non-apathetically make my deadline without being too stupid and not gaining too much weight.