I'm glad you stopped by. I hope you'll stop by again.

Monday, January 31, 2022

Monday Morning Musing: Stroke Symptoms

 Instead of my usual “musing” I’m offering some important information. Last week, my friend author Elizabeth Meyette posted life-saving advice on her blog, Are You Prepared For A Medical Emergency?

Her post reminded me of what happened to my husband and what I learned from it. Elizabeth’s husband survived a heart attack thanks to her quick thinking. Mine had a stroke, twice. I wrote about the first time on the Paranormal Romantics blog. At that time, I used the acronym FAST to recognize the symptoms. Before I commented on Elizabeth’s post, I googled FAST to make sure I had the explanation correct. To my surprise, I found Beaumont Hospital’s From FAST to FASTER. That new acronym is so much better and would’ve helped me recognize the symptom for Hubs' second stroke.


F – Face

A – Arms

S – Stability

T – Talking

E – Eyes

R – React

With Hubs’ first stroke, he began speaking strangely. His words were clear, not slurred, but they made no sense. After asking what he meant, his response again made no sense. I remembered FAST (then the "S" meant Speech) and drove him to the ER.

Mistake #1. In an emergency, and that was one, I should have called 911. A lot could’ve happened in the 15 minute drive to the hospital. The EMTs are better equipped to handle any emergency en route.

A stroke happens when a blot clot blocks oxygen to the brain. I was able to get Hubs' to the ER in time for medicine that dissolves the blot clot in the brain to prevent worse damage.

The second stroke didn’t present the symptoms listed in FAST but did in FASTER. His left leg gave out. He couldn’t put any weight on it. He’d been weak and had fallen before. STABILITY. Had I known FASTER, I would’ve called 911 immediately. I didn’t even take him to Emergency until the next day. Big mistake.

Hubs was fortunate not to experience long-lasting effects from either stroke. Now, I know what to look for. Here’s a further explanation of FASTER.

FACE: drooping or numbness on one side. Ask the person to smile. That will make the droop more evident.


ARMS: one arm is weaker. Ask the person to raise their arms and hold for the count of ten. If one falls or begins to drop, that could be the sign of a stroke.


STABILITY: lack of balance, falling, inability to walk without help, lack of coordination.


TALKING: garbled or slurred speech, nonsensical words, inability to understand or respond properly. Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence, like “The sky is blue.”


EYES: visual changes, loss of vision in one eye, double vision, partial or complete loss of vision in one or both eyes.


REACT: This is the reminder to call 911. IMMEDIATELY. Time is of the essence. Call even if the symptoms go away. Remember (write down) the time the symptoms started.


Don’t be afraid to call 911. Call even if the person tells you not to. Or they don’t want to bother the emergency people. Call. Don’t worry that you’ll forget your address. Your smart cell phone identifies your location.


I hope this post will help anyone in similar situations.


Saturday, January 29, 2022

#WeWriWa ~ The Case of the Wedding Wrecker: Let Us Begin


Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors, where writers share snippets from their work-in-progress or new release. Thanks to everyone who stopped by last week. I really appreciate your support. I'm sorry I didn't get around to everyone. I'll do double duty this week and catch up.

I'm sharing snippets from the 4th Alex O'Hara cozy mystery, The Case of the Wedding Wrecker. This follows immediately after last week's snippet.


Jim Matthews, Dottie’s husband, stood next to Nick, his best man. Todd Garven, the teen we’d rescued from an abusive stepfather, stood next to Jim. I’d never seen Todd so thrilled and proud. I’d been surprised that Nick hadn’t chosen one of his agency friends to be in the wedding party. He’d assured me that he’d chosen the right men for the job.

Before Pop handed me over, he kissed me on the cheek and whispered, “Your mother would’ve loved to see you like this.”

My heart clutched wishing cancer hadn’t taken her from us. “She’s watching, Daddy. I know she is.”

And a little more: 

Then Nick raised my veil, a quaint custom, one that was so touching. He clasped my hand, his warm and steady, just like him. How did I get so lucky? The love shining out of the brown depths of his eyes filled me with love, joy, happiness.

“Are you okay?” he whispered.

As I blinked back tears, I grinned. “I’m ready.”

Father Jack, whom I’d known since high school, said, “Good. Let us begin . . .” He began the traditional mass.

Nick and I stood and knelt along with the congregation at the appropriate times. Instead of the usual sermon, Father Jack talked about us, how he remembered us from religion classes and youth group in high school. Nick squeezed my hand when Jack charged us to love each other—no problem there—to take care of each other—again, no problem—through good times and bad. We’d had a few of those, already. But I was in for this for the long haul. No bailing when things got rough. I knew Nick was, too. He’d said it enough and showed by his actions how much he loved me.

Be sure to check out the other WeWriWa authors. Stay safe and have a great week.

Friday, January 28, 2022

My Favorites: Coffee Cake


My mother didn't learn to cook until after she was married. Her mother didn't teach her more than stir the pot or heat up whatever. Better Homes & Gardens Cookbook became her bible. She followed recipes to the letter, never deviating, never experimenting. She made sure her daughters learn to cook, when we were young. I sat on the red stepstool next to the stove and stirred pudding--no instant pudding back then. Or I learned to make a white sauce (aka béchamel, according to my chef son), again stirring so as not to have lumps.

Mom was always cutting recipes out of the newspaper, a habit I followed for years. She found one for coffee cake that has become a staple in our home, as well as our daughter's and daughter-in-law's, on Christmas Day.

"Secret" recipes is not in my vocabulary. Others have shared their recipes with me and I do the same. So, here's a favorite recipe from my home to yours.

Streusel Coffee Cake

1 package yellow cake mix

1/4 cup firm butter

1 cup brown sugar (packed)

3/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

3 eggs

1  1/2 cups (12 oz) sour cream

Heat oven to 350°. Spray a 13x9x2 baking pan with non-stick cooking spray (or grease and flour the pan). Measure 2/3 cup dry cake mix into small bowl. Cut in butter until crumbly. Mix in brown sugar and walnuts. This will be the topping. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat eggs lightly with fork; stir in sour cream. Blend in remaining dry cake mix, scraping bowl often. (Batter will be thick and slightly lumpy.) Pour half of the batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle half the topping over the batter. Spoon and gently spread remaining batter in pan, top with remaining topping mix. Bake 40-45 minutes at 350°.


One time, My daughter-in-law added blueberries. Let me know if you make a variation. I'd love to try it.



Thursday, January 27, 2022

Guest: Shannon Lawrence and The Business of Short Stories

Welcome to Shannon Lawrence. I met Shannon through that fabulous group The Insecure Writers Support Group. Her new book comes at a good time for me as I prepare some short stories for publication.

Shannon's book, The Business of Short Stories: Writing, Submitting, Publishing, and Marketing releases February 1 in digital and paperback! 

Whether you're looking to add short stories to your repertoire as a solo pursuit or in addition to novel writing, The Business of Short Stories covers every aspect from writing to marketing. Learn the dynamics of short story writing, where to focus your editing efforts, how and where to submit, how to handle acceptances and rejections, what to do with reprints, and how to market yourself and your stories online and in person. The information in The Business of Short Stories has been distilled from over a decade of short story publishing experience so you don't have to learn the hard way. You'll find information on submission formatting, cover letters, querying a collection, sending proposals to writing events, how to create a website, SEO, social media, and so much more. This is an invaluable resource for short story writers.

There's never been a better time to get into short stories!

Shannon Lawrence has made a career of short stories, with over a decade of experience and more than fifty short stories published in magazines and anthologies. In addition, she's released three horror short story collections with a mix of new and previously published stories. Her true crime podcast Mysteries, Monsters, & Mayhem is going into its third season. 

Monday, January 24, 2022

Monday Morning Musing: Snow, Cabin Fever, and Snowpiercer


When we moved to the west side of Michigan, I expected snow. Our first winter (2012-14) we got over 350 inches. Yep, you read that right. It reached the top of our mailbox and you couldn't see around corners. You had to creep out and hope nobody was coming. I hope we don't see that much snow this winter, but the winds are blowing across Lake Michigan and bringing all the white stuff with it. We have a lovely neighbor who uses his snowblower on our driveway and shovels our sidewalk. What a guy! If we have to go anywhere, we can do so safely.

Cabin Fever is a common ailment in the Midwest in the winter. First, the lack of sunshine is a biggie. Something about all that water around us sends up enchanted clouds to block our sun. (That's the technical explanation. LOL) Then, there's lake effect snow. I heard about that the first time we moved to this side of the state. The wind blows cold, arctic air across the open water Lake Michigan creating snow. It's not a big band of snow, either. The farther you are from the lake, the less snow you get. It's common to see school closings scrolling across the bottom of the TV screen. Snow day, yay! Poor moms (and dads) who have to put up with kids who can't go outside and/or need sitters so parents can go to work. For us retirees, we enjoy staying home. But only for so long then, like kids, we get antsy. One good thing about west Michigan: we get so much snow, the county is prepared with heavy duty snow plows that keep our roads clear.

Speaking of snow. Have you seen the TNT presentation of "Snowpiercer"? The premise is that seven years ago, the world froze up, and the remnants of humanity are on a perpetual motion train traveling around the world. The very rich (those who could afford tickets) are in the front of the 1,001-car train. Class divisions all the way to the tail. Like any good post-apocalyptic story, politics, class warfare, and efforts to survive abound. I watched the first season, got sidetracked during the second, and today the third season starts. Guess I'd better catch up before watching the new season. With all the cold outside, I'm not so sure a frozen wasteland will be fun entertainment.

Keep warm and stay safe. 




Saturday, January 22, 2022

#WeWriWa ~ The Case of the Wedding Wrecker: Alex is Ready


Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors, where writers share snippets from their work-in-progress or new release. Thanks to everyone who stopped by last week. I really appreciate your support.

I hope you're doing well and staying healthy. I'm sharing snippets from the 4th Alex O'Hara cozy mystery, The Case of the Wedding Wrecker. This follows immediately after last week's snippet.


The church was packed. So many people there to watch us tie the knot and to wish us well. Our parents had lived in Far Haven for over forty years. Nick and I had grown up here. I’d never left. Long-time friends, recent ones, and shirttail relatives stood and turned to watch me.

Oh, God, I hoped I wouldn’t trip like I’d done in rehearsal. I clasped my father’s arm.

“Are ye sure you’re wantin’ to do this, darlin’? You can always back out, ye know.” Pop’s exaggerated Irish brogue made me smile. The man was born right here in Michigan, yet he could turn on the Irish in the blink of an eye.

And a little more: 

I gulped. I could do this. Mom had said she’d be watching me from heaven. And I believed her. That was why I wanted to do the big, white wedding thing. Not for me or Maria—dear sweet Maria—but for my mom who couldn’t be here in person. Tears gathered in my eyes. I swallowed hard and blinked several times.

I drew in a breath. “I’m ready.”

To the strains of Pachelbel’s Canon in D, I walked down the aisle, knees shaking, clutching my father’s arm like a lifeline. Until I glanced at my man at the altar. Dear God, what had I done to deserve that ruggedly handsome guy who looked fantastic in a black tux? He’d gotten his hair cut sometime that morning. Last night, the near-black hair had curled over his collar. I loved running my fingers through his dark locks.

Through the white netting of my veil, I could see his grin, as broad as mine. His rich brown eyes shone with love for me. I was truly blessed. Tears shimmered in my vision, and I had to look away before I started bawling.


 Be sure to check out the other WeWriWa authors. Stay safe and have a great week.

Friday, January 21, 2022

My Favorites: Scene From a Favorite Movie

 credit: IMDB

I could never name my favorite movie. Too many are favorites. The closest I can come to that is a favorite scene from a favorite movie.

The other day my husband was watching a World War II flick with James Cagney. He played Admiral Halsey. I’m not into war movies, but that got me thinking about my favorite Cagney movie. Yankee Doodle Dandy, the story of George M. Cohan. Released in 1942, it was a patriotic movie. 

My favorite scene comes near the end of the movie. Cohan is getting on in years, gray-haired and slower in his walk. He’s been invited to the Oval Office, where he’s given the Congressional Medal of Honor by President Franklin Roosevelt. The President expounds on all Cohan has done for the country, the inspiring songs—"Over There” and “Yankee Doodle Dandy” to name just two. Although Cohan has done his duty for his country, Roosevelt asks for his help again. That so inspires Cohan, and invigorates him, as he leaves he dances down the curving staircase to the tune of “Yankee Doodle Dandy.”

Side note: After writing this post, I checked IMDB to make sure I had facts right. The top review lists this same scene as her/his favorite, even goes on about Cagney’s dancing talent. Glad I read that after writing this or you’d think I copied. 😊

James Cagney as George M. Cohan  (credit: IMDB)

James Cagney was known for gangster movies. Most people didn’t realize that he grew up in vaudeville, like George M. Cohan. And like Cohan, he was a song-and-dance man. Could that man dance! He won his only Oscar for Yankee Doodle Dandy, the first actor to win the Best Actor Award in a musical.

I’m going to start searching all the channels to find Yankee Doodle Dandy. Can’t wait to watch it again.



Monday, January 17, 2022

Monday Morning Musing: Grandchildren, Covid, UFOs, & Boba Fett

How was your week? I don't know how the days fly by so quickly. We're past the middle of January already. I wish I could say they've been productive days for me. Alas, my writing tanked momentarily.

Our four-year-old grandsons came over and helped with the Christmas decorations. They took down the small nutcrackers, Santas, and stackers that were in the bookcases. Standing on stools worked for two shelves, but the top shelf became a problem--unless we let them stand on a rolling walker. That's a big no-no. Daredevils that they are, they try to get away with that. They are pretty good thinkers and it's fun to watch them figure out how to do something. They  ended up taking Hubs' extension grabber and wielded it well enough to bring down the nutcrackers. 

There's a saying that goes if I'd known grandchildren were so much fun I would've had them first. A lot of truth to that. Or maybe they are our reward for surviving our children. 

Moving on: the covid virus is rampant here in Michigan. From what I've heard, the omicron variant is highly contagious, but the symptoms aren't as severe. Nevertheless, our hospitals are full of people who have been hit hard. Hubs and I mask up when we have to go anywhere. Most of the time, we stay home, even though we've been vaccinated and gotten our boosters as has the rest of the family except for the twins. Still, it's better for us not to take chances. Cabin fever time again. Thank goodness, there are new shows on TV, not just reruns.

Speaking of new shows, have you seen The Book of Boba Fett on Disney+? Fascinating. I'd forgotten that at the end of Star Wars VI: Return of the Jedi, Han Holo knocked Boba Fett into the pit where a fearsome beast (sarlacc) would slowly consume him. But then he showed up in The Mandolorian last year. Apparently, all that happened to him had to be explained to us Star Wars fans (short for fanatics 😊).

Did you know the Pentagon has launched a new UFO office? Their job will be to investigate sightings of unidentified flying objects. Aren't they a little late? The first UFO sighting (we know about) was in 1947.

Are you watching Around the World in 80 Days with David Tenant (my favorite Doctor in the Doctor Who series)? It's on PBS Masterpiece. Another fascinating show.

Time to get back to The Case of the Wedding Wrecker, my work-in-progress, which I'm sharing on weekends with the Weekend Writing Warriors. See you next week. Stay safe!


Saturday, January 15, 2022

#WeWriWa ~ The Case of the Wedding Wrecker: A Perfect Day

Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors, where writers share snippets from their work-in-progress or new release. Thanks to everyone who stopped by last week. I really appreciate your support.

I hope you're doing well and staying healthy. As if we don't have enough on our plates at this time of year with flu, we have a resurgence of covid cases filling up our hospitals. If you haven't gotten vaccinated and boosted, please do so right away. Don't become a statistic.

That was my public safety announcement for the week. 😊

 I'm sharing snippets from the 4th Alex O'Hara cozy mystery, The Case of the Wedding Wrecker. This follows immediately after last week's snippet.


We trooped downstairs where a limo awaited us, a black vehicle with room for two in back. Dottie and Ellen drove off together while Maria and I rode to the church in the limo. “General” Maria had thought of everything. Thank God, she was so organized.

Several people waited outside St. Mark’s. They clapped and cheered as I exited the limo—gracefully, I might add, though I had to hike up the slim skirt. My two besties, who’d managed to beat us to the church, ran over to help me out. Considering the enthusiastic well-wishers waiting for me, I couldn’t help grinning. I even waved, no stilted “Queen” turning of the hand, but a genuine, enthusiastic wave. God, I felt great. What a perfect day.

A little more:  

Abby—self-appointed wedding planner—directed the bridesmaids into place. Dottie’s boys, ages five and a half and three, my ring bearers, wore tiny tuxes. Correction. They were ring masters, according to the five-year-old. Dottie’s toddler, my goddaughter, was the flower girl. Dottie and Ellie looked lovely in their sky-blue halter dresses. Even the color of baby Emmy’s dress matched her mother’s.

Everything was perfect.

Ellie led the procession with the boys behind her, holding their baby sister’s hands between them. At the halfway mark, Emmy dashed back to her mother who carried her the rest of the way. Then the music changed, and the fanfare announced . . . me.

Holy shit. It was my turn.


Be sure to check out the other WeWriWa authors. Stay safe and have a great week.

Friday, January 14, 2022

Guest Blogging & a 99 cent #sale

 I'm delighted to participate in N.N. Light's Book Starter Series, featuring the first book in my Alex O'Hara PI mystery series, The Case of the Bygone Brother.

Hop on over to see why I enjoyed writing Alex's character.


The Case of the Bygone Brother is on for 99 cents until Sunday.

Monday, January 10, 2022

Monday Morning Musing: 2022 the First 10 Days


Good morning! Last Monday, I wrote about my plan to be more active on my blog. I'm doing pretty good with a post here on six out of seven days. 

I also planned to write more on my work-in-progress, The Case of the Wedding Wrecker (An Alex O'Hara PI mystery). I only missed one day so far this year. Since I started at the beginning of the story so I could ground myself, I haven't written that many words. I've tweaked, added descriptions, and deleted the first two chapters. That hurt. I didn't just delete, though. I saved the chapters in my "leftovers" file. It was good stuff, but it felt like it was dragging down the story. I needed to get to the wrecking part sooner.

Like revisions and edits, this is taking a lot longer than writing new. Oh, well. It needs to be done to get me back in the story. What's also helping is that I'm using it for my snippets each weekend with the Weekend Writing Warriors. 

On Fridays, I'll be writing about my favorite things. (Did the Sound of Music just zing through your mind, too?) Last Friday, I wrote about my favorite quote, one from Stephen King. If you know me, you know that scary things and horror are not my thing, so you're probably surprised I'd chose a Stephen King quote. Check it out.

I'm looking at my nutcrackers and Santa figures on top of the bookcases across from where I'm sitting. I hate taking down Christmas decorations. They are such a reminder of the holidays. Our tree is still up, too. I didn't do much decorating this year. My grandkids helped bring up the nutcrackers and Santas from the basement storeroom. I was hoping they would be back to help take them downstairs. 
😊  Unfortunately, the boys were sick and the others went back to school and all their after school activities. I can wait a while longer.

Procrastination is my middle name.

Hope you have a great week.

Saturday, January 8, 2022

#WeWriWa ~ Wedding Wrecker: Making It Official


Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors, where writers share snippets from their work-in-progress or new release. Thanks to everyone who stopped by last week. I really appreciate your support.

I'm snippets from the 4th Alex O'Hara cozy mystery, The Case of the Wedding Wrecker. This follows immediately after last week's snippet (from the beginning of Chapter 1.)


“Ladies, we need to leave.” Maria pointed to her wristwatch, as she’d done for the past three minutes when she wasn’t tweaking my veil, gown, or train.

Yes, my dress had a train. Since Ellen owned one of the finest dress shops in Grand Rapids, she had found the perfect gown. Never mind I told her no train. I would step on it and ruin everything. But when I saw the strapless heart-shaped bodice and sleek form-fitting satin gown, I knew she was right. Of course, that was before I saw the train.

“No need to worry,” she’d said then showed me how to loop the train, so it stayed out of the way. 

And a little more

Especially while dancing. I so looked forward to dancing with Nick. After all, I couldn’t waste those dance lessons. At my bachelorette party last night, the girls took me to a dance studio. The instructor—holy moley, what a hunk—taught me how to salsa and tango. I couldn’t wait to show off to my husband.

To everyone else, he was my soon-to-be new husband. Unbeknownst to everyone except Dottie and Maria, Nick and I had “married in a fever” on Christmas Eve. We were crazy. Crazy in love. We hadn’t waited for the folks to return from their once-in-lifetime Australian cruise. Something I deeply regretted. Afterward.

Now, we were making it official, with all our friends and family to witness.

“You are perfect.” Ellen gave me a hug that didn’t disturb my hair or veil.

“Ditto,” Dottie added as she pressed her cheek to mine.

“You guys are the best.” My eyes burned, and I wanted to bawl.

“Don’t you dare cry,” Dottie ordered while pressing my grandmother’s lacy handkerchief into my hand.

Be sure to check out the other WeWriWa authors. Stay safe and have a great week.

Friday, January 7, 2022

My Favorites: Quote


credit: Goodreads

If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. There's no way around these two things that I'm aware of, no shortcut.” ~ Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

On Monday, I wrote that I was resurrecting my blog. If you’re a follower, you’ve already seen that. I’m going to dedicate Fridays to my favorites—books, movies, quotes, food, whatever.

Today, I’m sharing a favorite quote. My son and son-in-law are huge fans of Stephen King. I don’t do horror or anything scary, but I admire Mr. King’s career. His book On Writing is excellent. Of all the advice he shares, the above quote is right on target.

I’ve heard people say “I don’t have time to read.” When those people are writers, I wonder how can you not read? Reading is filling the creative well. When we read in the genre we write, we learn the expectations readers have. We learn the language.

Just as writers say they can’t not write, I say I can’t not read. Every year, Goodreads offers a reading challenge. You indicate how many books you’ll read for the year and GR keeps track. I first signed up for the challenge because I wondered how many books I read each year. In the past two years, I’ve read over 100 books each year. To Goodreads it doesn’t matter if the book is 400 pages or 28. Either way it counts as 1 book.

I can’t say I’m surprised that I read so many. The past two years have been difficult, and reading helped me escape. I immerse myself in a story and forget (for a little while) the challenge Life throws my way. I read mostly fiction. My local book group makes sure I stretch my reading interest, so I’ve read poetry, historical true stories, biographies, as well as literature. Lately, I’ve been reading thrillers. You know, those edge-of-your-seat, stay-up-all-night-reading stories. I love a good cozy mystery and give me a science fiction romance to carry me out to the stars.

One of the reasons I read so many books over the past two years is that I haven’t been writing. My creative energies pretty much disappeared. I’m back now, trying to write each day. You could say I follow half of Stephen King’s advice. Now, I need to follow the rest.

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

#IWSG: Regrets

Happy Insecure Writer's Support Group Day. IWSG is the brainchild of Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh.

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds! Thanks, Alex, for starting this group and keeping it going. We are rockin' the neurotic writing world!

The awesome co-hosts for the January 5 posting of the IWSG are Erika Beebe, Olga Godim, Sandra Cox, Sarah Foster, and Chemist Ken!

Happy New Year!

How is your new year starting? Hubs & I stayed up to watch the ball drop in NYC then promptly went to bed. We're not as young as we used to be when we went out with friends or had friends come to our house. This year, we even stayed up later than my younger sisters. 😀

My first goal for 2022 is a larger presence online, especially with my woefully neglected blog. Sure, every month I posted with this wonderful group, and I fulfilled my commitment to post monthly on the Paranormal Romantics blog. But, here on my own blog, I haven't done much.

That's changing. I rejoined the Weekend Writing Warriors on January 1st. Two days ago, I resurrected my "Monday Morning Musing." Plus, I'm going to be more active recruiting guests--as evidenced yesterday by my friend (and fellow IWSG'er) J.Q. Rose as she celebrates a book birthday. So, here's an open invitation to you all. I love guests. Normally, Thursdays will be my guest day. Contact me if you'd like to visit by emailing me at dmburton72@gmail.com. Remind me that you're an IWSG'er.

Now for this month's optional question. BTW, I love these questions.

What's the one thing about your writing career you regret the most? Were you able to overcome it?

I regret not starting sooner. I've been seriously writing for publication since 1993. My kids were about to head off for college. Time for me, instead of my life revolving around their activities and my volunteering, especially with Girl Scouts. I don't regret that time, but I wish I'd started writing sooner. Unless I turn back time, LOL, I can't overcome that. 

Also, I regret not finding this group sooner. When I joined in September, 2013, I was number 300-something. My point being 300+ people knew about this group before I did. Many have dropped out since then (I'm number 30 now), but I'm glad I stuck around. You all have encouraged me, sympathized and supported me through life's challenges.

Good luck as we all work our way through another year. This one has to be better than 2020 or 2021. And if it isn't, we carry on.

Click here to find others on the Insecure Writers Support Group Blog Hop. Or go to IWSG on Facebook to see who’s blogging today.

Happy Writing!

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Birthday Celebration with J.Q. Rose #99centSale #review


Join me in celebrating the 1st birthday of my friend J.Q. Rose's memoir. Arranging A Dream. Hard to believe it's been a year since I read the book. At the time, I was very interested in Janet's life before she became a published author. Here's my review from Amazon:

Such an enjoyable read.

The story read so easily. It was like Janet and I were sitting at the kitchen table over cups of tea as she told the story of leaving everything behind for a dream. Her story-telling skills came through as I read spellbound by Janet and Ted's adventure. Their move to the small town in northern Michigan could have been a disaster. How fortunate that they were warmly greeted by fellow business people, neighbors, and church members. But it wasn't all rosy. They had difficulties that threatened their dream. The reader gets a good glimpse into motherhood, too, as Janet balanced working in the floral shop and being a "good" mother. She's honest about her feelings of accomplishments and guilt. If you enjoy reading an entertaining story of pursuing one's dream, you can't go wrong with Arranging A Dream.

BACK OF THE BOOK Arranging a Dream: A Memoir

In 1975, budding entrepreneurs Ted and Janet purchase a floral shop and greenhouses where they plan to grow their dream. Leaving friends and family behind in Illinois and losing the security of two paychecks, they transplant themselves, their one-year-old daughter, and all their belongings to Fremont, Michigan, where they know no one. 

Will the retiring business owners nurture Ted and Janet as they struggle to develop a blooming business, or will they desert the inexperienced young couple to wither and die in their new environment?

Most of all, can Ted and Janet grow together as they cultivate a loving marriage, juggle parenting with work, and root a thriving business?

Follow this couple’s inspiring story, filled with the joy and triumphs and the obstacles and failures experienced as they travel along the turbulent path of turning dreams into reality.

Amazon Buy Link: 99 cents    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08NDZNYQJ

About J.Q. Rose

 Whether the story is fiction or non-fiction, J.Q. Rose is “focused on story.”  She offers readers chills, giggles and quirky characters woven within the pages of her mystery novels. Her published mysteries are Deadly Undertaking, Terror on Sunshine Boulevard and Dangerous Sanctuary released by Books We Love Publishing. Using her experience as a journalist, she provides entertainment and information with articles featured in books, magazines, newspapers, and online magazines. 

J.Q. combined her work in freelancing articles and her storytelling skills to pen her memoir, Arranging a Dream: A Memoir, the story of the ups and downs she and her husband experienced in their first year of establishing a floral business.

 Blogging, photography, Pegs and Jokers board games and travel are the things that keep her out of trouble. She and her husband spend winters in Florida and summers up north with their two daughters, two sons-in-law,  four grandsons, one granddaughter, two grand dogs, four grand cats, and one great-grand bearded dragon.


J.Q. Rose blog http://www.jqrose.com/

Facebook http://facebook.com/jqroseauthor

Goodreads- http://www.goodreads.com/jqrose

Monday, January 3, 2022

A New Year and a New Start

image credit: poetryclubs.com

 image credit: poetryclubs.com

Monday Morning Musing

I love this graphic. Leaving 2021 behind and leaping into 2022. That appeals to me as I leave all the worries of the past year and look forward to a better one.

For the past two years, I've neglected my blog. I showed up once a month for Insecure Writers Support Group day (1st Wednesday of the month) and hosted authors with new books. Anything else was too much effort as we dealt with the covid pandemic and my husband's illness. As a full-time caregiver, my energies were challenged. I'm sure anyone who has been a caregiver knows what I'm talking about. But now that Hubs is better, I can focus on my writing.

I started the new year by rejoining Weekend Writing Warrior blog hop, where writers post snippets of their work. I shared the beginning of my latest Alex O'Hara PI mystery, The Case of the Wedding Wrecker. It begins with Alex and Nick's wedding. Such a happy and exciting time. From the title, you know something awful is going to happen. If you're interested, go to the previous post and read the snippet.

On New Year's Day, or thereabouts, it's tradition to set goals, make resolutions, or plan what to do for the year. Since I have two works-in-progress (full length novels) and a couple of novellas in the works, I plan to finish at least two this year. That means buckling down, BIC-HOK (butt in chair, hands on keyboard).

It also means being more active here. Today, I resurrected Monday Morning Musing. Tomorrow, I'm celebrating a friend's book birthday. I hope you'll come back and see what it is.

Starting out with plans is great. Following through is tough. I'll let you know how I'm doing next Monday. See you then.


Saturday, January 1, 2022

#WeWriWa: The Wedding Wrecker


Happy New Year!

As you can see, I'm back. Returning to this blog hop is the first of my goals for 2022. I'm happy to put 2021 in the past and move forward. After many hospital and rehab visits, my husband is physically and mentally much improved. What the docs originally diagnosed as dementia turned out to be too much calcium, which causes confusion and weakness (repeated falling). Thanks to good meds, he's back to his old self. So happy to have my husband back. 

I'm starting the new year with a new (for you) book. It's the 4th Alex O'Hara cozy mystery, The Case of the Wedding Wrecker. I'm determined to finish and release this book in the spring. Hold me to that, okay? 😀 


“There.” Nick’s mom, Maria, gave my veil one more twitch. “You look lovely.”

I looked in the full-length mirror attached to the back of my bedroom door. Who was that woman? No, not just a woman, a princess. I blinked and, sure enough, the image blinked, too. Now, I’m never one to brag, but damn I did look lovely.

“No more messing with the veil, please.” Dottie clutched her hands into fists. For a moment, I thought she was going to slap Maria’s hands. 

For a little more:

Between Dottie and Ellen, my two besties, my hair looked like a picture in a hair style magazine, brushed until it shined then caught up in cascading auburn curls. Yes, auburn. Anything that looked as good as this couldn’t be called plain, old red. Dottie had done wonders with a curling iron. Ellen had used a light hand with cosmetics. Somehow, she made my eyes bluer, my lashes longer and fuller, and my fair skin glow. She even toned down my sunburn from yesterday out on the lake in Nick's sailboat. Those two worked some kind of magic on me.

Dottie stood back. “You are beautiful.” Were those tears in her eyes?

Ellen grinned. “Nick won’t know what hit him when you walk down the aisle.” 

Be sure to check out the other WeWriWa authors. Stay safe and have a great week and a great beginning to 2022!