Tuesday, December 22, 2015

The Christmas House

No, that's not the name of an upcoming book, although it would make for a great idea!

Much thanks to Dennis & his beautiful wife, Louise, for an awesome tour!

Recently, a dear friend of ours, Dennis, and his wife, Louise, invited us to their home here in the Carolinas, having told us they have 54 Christmas trees in their home. Fifty-four Christmas trees! Of course, Bill and I had to see that for ourselves...and we weren't disappointed.

What a whimsical and fun tree, the "Bathtub Tree!"
As it turned out, that was no exaggeration. Dennis and Louise are, in fact, the owners of over 50 trees, each of which has its own theme and color scheme--like the M&M (one of my favorite candies!) above. Lots of magic and imagination go into the decoration of these trees, which are actually the brainchild of Louise. This wonderful lady has collected the trees over the years, and who begins decorating them as early as August of each year.

But it's not just trees: Check out the beautiful decorative items, all with the theme of Christmas, below.

What an inviting dining room! Santa and Mrs. Clause never had a more beautiful table!

Louise is an award-winning bowler, and  Dennis also shares a love of bowling, so it's not surprising to find this one!

Dennis & Louise's beautiful nativity scene, plus scenes with Jesus during His ministry, which takes up their entire coffee table!

Closing with an idyllic winter scene, complete with skaters on a frozen pond.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Free Book for a Few More Hours

Did you get a jump start on the Christmas season when it comes to your shopping? The hubby and I did today! We started off with breakfast at Cracker Barrell, then headed to the stores. Bill and I even squeezed in time to pick out, buy AND decorate our Christmas tree. By no means are we done, but we're ahead of schedule!

If you've been doing the same today, just note that you also have time to pick up one more little gift--this one from me to you--and that's a FREE copy of my newest book, GOODNIGHT, MY LOVE! But hurry, because this offer is almost over.

However, I've decided to give ONCE UPON A PAINTED HORSE, my Christian romance (featuring an abandoned amusement park, said to be haunted!) for FREE until Monday.

Happy Reading & Merry Christmas (Shopping)!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015


Taking a moment tonight to post this excerpt from my latest book, GOODNIGHT, MY LOVE, which is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, iTunes, Kobo & more. Enjoy!


“Hey, Gina. You got your head in the clouds?”
She had been staring glumly at the phone. That was a possibility, wasn’t it? Tony could always call the phone at the bakery. He could hang up if Donnie or anybody but she picked up.
“Hi, Kelly. Whaddya need?”
Kelly Whelan arched an eyebrow at her. “How ’bout, ‘Hello, Kelly? Haven’t seen you in while.’ Not just ‘Whaddya need?’”
Gina glared sullenly at him and folded her arms across her chest. If he was teasing, she wasn’t in the mood for that; if he was seriously scolding her, then she wasn’t in the mood for that, either.
“Hello, Kelly. Haven’t seen you in a while. Catch any fish out there?”
He rested one arm on the counter, leaning over the glass. “Yeah, we did. Lots of ’em. Made some money.”
“Well...good.” Easing up on the attitude, she grabbed a slice of parchment paper to take a cookie from the tray beneath the glass counter. “That’s cause for celebration. Congratulations.”
It wasn’t Kelly’s fault she was upset over Tony seemingly having disappeared. To make up for it, she offered him a cookie, one of the ones she knew the fisherman liked, with the raspberry jam in the center.
His expression softened. “For me?”
“Yes! Enjoy it. Congratulations.” She wasn’t apologizing. Maybe she’d been rude—a little—but he’d been rude, too, and he wasn’t apologizing to her, either. “Anyway, I’m glad you’re home safe.”
Finally, he broke into a grin. He also looked better than usual. Not as straggly, like the other rough-and-tough fishermen. He was wearing a nice shirt and pants, and he’d gotten his hair trimmed. She had to say, Kelly looked decent, even sort of cute, when he was clean-shaven and dressed well.
“See any mermaids out there?” Now she was the one teasing.
“Yeah. One that looked like a crazy, little Italian bakery girl I know.”
Gina didn’t know quite what to say to that. She tried to mask the fact that she was mildly flustered with a laugh.
“Really, did you ever see anything out there? Anything...like a mermaid?”
Donnie stepped out of the kitchen with a fresh tray of pastries. He and Kelly exchanged nods in greeting.
“Kelly, how’s it goin’?” Her brother smiled.
“Good. Taking a little break.”
“Yeah? Must be nice to be rich, man.”
They both laughed. Donnie didn’t seem at all troubled that Kelly was sharing a conversation with her. He liked the fisherman. Kelly was his neighbor and he’d known him for years. They’d hung around together, though Donnie was a couple years older. There was mutual respect between them.
Why couldn’t Donnie have liked Tony as much as he liked Kelly?
Because he’s not even trying. Maybe he’s jealous because a lot of guys are jealous of Tony. He’s handsome and he’s had a lot of girlfriends, so naturally the other guys are all jealous of him.
“I haven’t been lucky enough to see one myself. But I’ve heard stories from fishermen who swear they’ve seen them out there.”
It was slow that morning. Gina welcomed the downtime, since many days she was busy and barely had time to catch her breath.
To Kelly’s credit, too, he wasn’t treating her like a silly kid. He even came across as if he were enjoying their little talk.
Gina felt comfortable to be herself at that point. “I believe them. I believe they’ve seen them.”
“Hey, so do I. Just because I haven’t seen one myself, doesn’t mean something’s not out there.” He grinned. “I’ll keep in mind you like mermaids. If it’s possible, if I ever see one, I’ll get my picture taken with one for you.”
That made her giggle. “Get her autograph on the picture, too, if you can. Not—not getting anything today?”
“Cup of coffee. That’s it for me today.”
“Okay. The usual? Two sugars and light with cream?”
“You got it.”
Was he impressed that she knew that? Gina remembered how all the regular customers took their coffee. It was nothing special, yet she did pride herself in that.
“Uh...I heard my sister saw you this weekend. Getting ice cream at the beach?”
Gina had just finished pouring his coffee and placing the carafe back onto its burner when she heard those words. Instinctively, she glanced at the door, almost expecting Donnie to emerge at that very moment.
“Yes, it was nice to see her,” she said, quickly changing the subject. “How is your mom? I don’t see her much. Or your other sister and brother. I always seem to be here, you know?”

Please, God, don’t let him say anything.