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

Monday, February 28, 2022

Monday Morning Musing: War, Sister Boniface, and Winter Doldrums

 Sorry this is late. No internet service.

The Ukraine is on the minds of many people this week. Is this a prelude to more invasions? Who will stop Putin from doing this again with another country?

It seems like all my life there’s been a war somewhere. I was born during World War II. During my childhood, the Korean War raged as did the Cold War. Then Vietnam, the Gulf Wars, and Afghanistan. I probably left out some. Somebody is always fighting someone somewhere. Some bully wants more than he’s entitled to. Laws and boundaries are for other people, not the bullies.

Why can’t we all just get along? I guess I’m naïve to think so.

Last week, I wrote about my husband’s birthday. Thank you all for your good wishes, here and on Facebook. A modest man, he was surprised and overwhelmed by the many birthday wishes.

Have you watched Sister Boniface? It’s a spinoff of Father Brown, the 1950s priest who solves murder mysteries in a small English town. Sister Boniface, a moped-riding, forensic specialist nun, does the same in the 1960s. I’ve been trying to figure out why it isn’t as entertaining as Father Brown. I think it’s the lack of humor. It tries, but Sister Boniface doesn’t have a Mrs. McCarthy or a Lady Felicia for comic relief. Still, I’ll keep watching to see if it improves.

Winter doldrums. We had a lovely break in the weather a week ago. Here in west Michigan, we actually got up into the 50s, a heatwave. 😊 The usual February thaw. We’re back in the deep freeze again with winds strong enough to send the windchill below zero. Another month or less (I can hope) and spring will be here. I can’t wait until I can open the windows and let in the fresh air.

Tomorrow, I’ll be over at Paranormal Romantics for my monthly post. Dr. Seuss’s Birthday.

Saturday, February 26, 2022

#WeWriWa ~ The Case of the Wedding Wrecker: Crushed Fingers


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 sharing snippets from the 4th Alex O'Hara cozy mystery, The Case of the Wedding Wrecker. This follows immediately after last week's snippet. Police deputy Dawson (aka Deputy Dawg, Alex's nemesis since 2nd grade) interrupted the wedding ceremony by arresting Nick for the murder Mike Amerson, Todd's stepfather.

BTW, since this is a work in progress, suggestions are always welcome.


The limo driver dithered, looking from us to Pop.

“Get back in the car,” I yelled, “and drive to the police station.”

“The what?”

Pop opened the door behind the driver’s seat.

“Po-op, get in front.”

“Oh, just scoot over.” He jumped in next to me.

The two guys squished me. My veil poofed up, fell over my head, and nearly smothered me. 

And a little more:

I shoved back the veil as the driver ran around the vehicle. Once inside, he looked over his shoulder. “Did you say the police station?”

“Yes,” I shouted, nearly buried in satin and tulle.

“Go, go, go,” Pop yelled.

“Are you folks buckled up back there?”

Buckled up? My husband had just been arrested, and this jerk of a driver was worried about us buckling our seatbelts?

“I can’t find mine,” I said. “I think I’m sitting on it. Just go.”

“I am, too,” Todd said.

“Hell’s bells,” Pop shouted. “I can’t find that damn thing. Take off, will ya?”

“I can’t leave unless everyone is buckled up. It’s the law.”

Damn driver. We had to get one who had to obey the traffic laws.

“Pop, get up in front.”

With a huge sigh of reluctance, he did. Todd and I scooted around until we found the seatbelts and buckled up.

“Okay back here,” I said with more than a hint of exasperation. “Now, would you please go.”

After glancing at Pop to make sure he was buckled up, the driver floored the accelerator. “What’s going on? I saw that cop race into the church. And then three guys came out, one in cuffs.”

“Never mind,” I cried. “Just get us to the station.”

Todd clutched my hand so hard, I feared for my fingers. “I don’t know what’s going on.” I tried to be calm for his sake. “I’m sure we’ll find out when we get to the station.”

“My mom.” He twisted in the seat, his back against the door, and gave me an anxious look. “Is she—”

I had no idea and little thought for the woman who abandoned Todd to the fists of a bully. I swallowed my disregard. She just lost her husband. I should have compassion for her. Todd had tried to get her to leave Amerson. She wouldn’t, couldn’t—too afraid of the consequences, maybe.

“I’m sure she’s okay.” I squeezed his hand.

Pop leaned over the front seat, reached for my other hand, and squeezed. “No speculation.”

Geez, I was going to lose both hands with the two of them cutting off circulation.


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

Friday, February 25, 2022

My Favorite: Books on Writing

 Since I've been writing fiction for almost thirty years, I've read a lot of how-to books. Some were drier than dust, some I couldn't get into. But some had such an effect on me that I reread them. As with all my favorites, I can't choose just one favorite book on writing. Each book I've read offers something different. It's wonderful to have so many options. What one person gets (or remembers) from each book depends on their needs. Here are three that I found most helpful.

Bird by Bird
by Anne Lamott is the first book I read that made an impression. The title came from advice her father gave to her brother who had procrastinated writing a school assignment on birds, and it was the night before the assignment was due. Her dad said to take it bird by bird. Sounds simple, right?

When you have a big project, like writing an 80,000 word novel, it can be overwhelming. Taking it apart, breaking the project into smaller units can feel doable. I think about this advice whenever I have a task that's overwhelming, and it helps.

I learned about GMC: Goal, Motivation, & Conflict by Debra Dixon when she gave a program at my local RWA chapter's annual retreat. Goal, Motivation, and Conflict are the backbone of a novel. Once you understand the GMC of your main character(s), the story will become easier to write. I've seen this same formula written different ways. Ms. Dixon's take and subsequent examples using popular movies made this concept understandable for me. For each story, I make up a GMC chart for all the main characters, including the villain.

The Writer's Journey: Mythic Structure For Writers
by Christopher Vogler uses Joseph Campbell's work on ancient myths. Vogler gives writers instructions using (again) popular movies as examples. Since I'm such a fan of Star Wars, I was thrilled that the first movie he uses is Star Wars IV: A New Hope. Everything clicked into place for me. Now, I make up the step-by-step journey for each of my books.

Since I've told you I make up these charts, you might think I do them before I start writing. I don't. I'm sort of a pantzer. An idea for a story, first scene mainly, pops in my head and I start writing. No idea who these characters are or what they want or what they're going to do. But eventually (here's where I stop being a pantzer) I hit a wall. I have to stop writing and figure things out. Where is my story going? Who are these people? That's when I have to find out more about the character (his/her GMC) and the essence of the story (their journey). This structure makes so much sense to me that I "see" it in movies.

There are many more books for writers that I haven't read. If you have a favorite, please share in the comments.

Monday, February 21, 2022

Monday Morning Musing: My Husband


Today is my husband's birthday. A milestone year. We’ve been together for almost 50 years. He’s been my rock throughout all this time. Supportive of anything I’ve wanted to try, especially my writing. He’s cheered me on and commiserated with me over rejections. And he’s celebrated my successes.

As many of you know, we met on a blind date, arranged by two women friends—they both knew me and one’s husband worked with my guy. They thought we would be great together. We were…and still are. We are a generation similar to our parents, yet different in our attitudes, especially toward women’s roles. Before we married, we talked about my role when/if children came along. He said he was okay whatever I chose—to work outside the home or stay home and raise the children. I didn’t realize for a long time what a gift he gave me. The freedom of choice.

He looked on himself as the provider for the family. But his job entailed working much more than a 40-hour week, more like 60 to 80 hour-weeks. When he realized how much he was missing from the kids’ lives, he took a huge risk to change from an assured job to something unknown. It also meant moving several states away from our families. But the new job gave him more time with the children. Time to participate in their activities from Scouts to Odyssey of the Mind.

A quiet man, his love has always been expressed through his actions. He’s a listener, not a judge. Coming from a home where my father’s word was law, I couldn’t believe his understanding and his willingness to listen to other sides, not just with me but with the kids, too. His father was a gentle man, too. They say the apple doesn’t fall from the tree. Very true in this case.

Together, we raised two children who’ve taken the best qualities from each of us and expressed them in their own marriages. They chose spouses who complemented them. Just as he complemented me. We have different talents and skills. He’s math and science; I’m arts and literature. His spatial reasoning puts me to shame. When he says something won’t fit, it usually doesn’t. Woodworking is a talent he put to good use. We have furniture he built, so do our kids. Our grandchildren have Adirondack chairs (their names engraved down one slat) that Papa made. Unfortunately, we have different political views. 😊  In fact, we often cancel each other’s votes.

I’ve often said what a blessing our five grandchildren are. Crawling up on Papa’s lap never gets old. The little ones learn about gentle teasing (never cruel) and tickling. They giggle, race away, then return for more. Pulling on his beard, gently, makes them giggle more.

For almost two years, he wasn’t himself. Strokes, confusion, and what was misdiagnosed as early dementia made him seem distant and vague, as if he couldn’t focus on anything or anyone. It was a scary time for us adults, confusing for the young ones. Worse was the distance because of covid. Thank God, the doctors finally diagnosed him correctly with a proper cure. Our husband, father, grandfather returned.

I’ve been very fortunate to know this man for so long, to work with him as a partner through the good times and difficult ones. My wish for him on this special birthday is that we have many more years together.


Happy Birthday, sweetheart.


Saturday, February 19, 2022

#WeWriWa ~ The Case of the Wedding Wrecker: Wait For Me

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 sharing snippets from the 4th Alex O'Hara cozy mystery, The Case of the Wedding Wrecker. This follows immediately after last week's snippet. Police deputy Dawson (aka Deputy Dawg, Alex's nemesis since 2nd grade) interrupted the wedding ceremony by arresting Nick for the murder Mike Amerson, Todd's stepfather.


Chief Hoesen grabbed the deputy’s arm. “You idiot. You should’ve made sure the boy heard first.”


“We will sort this out at the station.” The chief looked at all of us crowded in front of the altar and gave us an apologetic shrug.

As Deputy Dawson led my bridegroom away, in cuffs, Tony and Maria hustled right behind them.

Dottie’s little girl tore away from her grandmother. Sobbing, Emmy dodged legs, shoving me aside, as she tried to get to her mother. The boys, apparently thinking their sister had the right idea, charged the altar.


And a little more:  

When the best man moved to take care of his family, Todd stood frozen, his face pale. Poor kid. I grabbed his hand.

“Let’s go," I said. “Pop, take care of things here.”

Clinging to Todd, our sort-of adopted teen, I hitched up my gown and dashed after Nick and the others.

“M-Mike is dead?” The kid appeared stunned. I couldn’t blame him. “Mr. Nick killed him?”

“He couldn’t have. I’m sure there’s some mistake.”

As we bolted down the aisle, I heard Pop talking. “Listen, folks, there has to be an explanation. Why don’t you all head on over to the Grand Hotel for the reception? No need to waste all that food. Jim, Dottie, take over.”

Outside, I spied the limo in the parking lot off to the side of the church. “C’mon, Todd.”

With my skirt hiked up to my knees, I clutched Todd’s hand and raced down the steps. Sure enough, I tripped on the last step. Todd saved me from a face plant. We were halfway to the limo when Pop came running out of the church, heavily panting.

The driver hopped out of the car. “That was fast. This is your groom? Kinda young, isn’t he?”

Todd jerked open the back door of the limo before the driver could come around.

I gathered my skirt and tried to enter the car. I hollered at Todd to help me. After shoving yards of satin—damn train—off the seat, he clambered in beside me.

“Wait for me,” Pop yelled.


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

Thursday, February 17, 2022

Guest: Nancy Gideon ~ You've Got a Friend in Me! 99₵ Sale @NancyGideon

I had to laugh when I saw the title of Nancy's post. Last Saturday, the boys (4 yo twins) and I watched the original Toy Story. I'd forgotten how much I enjoyed that movie, especially Randy Newman's song, "You've Got a Friend in Me." Nancy Gideon & I are long-time friends. We met when I joined Mid-Michigan RWA back in the early 1990s. We both lived in the Kalamazoo area at the time and often rode together to meetings. Since then, we each moved away, but our friendship has endured, cheering each other's successes, commiserating together, and kicking each other's butt (mainly her kicking me) to keep writing. (BTW, I wrote the above before reading Nancy's post. I'm thrilled at her words.)

You’ve Got A Friend in Me! And I’ve Got a Sale for You!

Thanks, Di, for letting me invade your blog again to shout to all within print reach that I have a book on sale!

For those who don’t know, Diane and I have known each other for decades (we started writing when we were children!). She often credits me with giving her the push to publish. I say she was well on her way but needed a well-meaning shove (her books are TOO good not to get into reader hands!). She’s been with me through the majority of my career, listening to my woes, sharing my highs, and digging me out of my lows. She’s a Writer Friend. Everyone should be so lucky. Writing is hard. Writing is solitary work. Writing makes you doubt yourself, your goals, your talent, and sometimes your sanity. Every writer needs that someone standing outside their circle of Woe Is Me to slap some sense back into them. I’m not saying Di actually smacked me, but she did, I probably deserved it!

When we writers put someone in our Writer Friend Zone, we expect a lot from them. They’re always eager to read our rough drafts (even when they don’t have time and never read in your genre) and will kindly tell you if it stinks. They encourage you when you get rejections. They cheerlead you through that sprint to finish your W-I-P when you think it all looks like dreck and want to quit. They’re hungry to get their hands on your next chapter. They aren’t afraid to tell you when you can do better, reach higher, to stop whining and just write it down. And they say it with a smile.

I remember when she cornered me out in the hallway during a break at one of our Mid-Michigan Romance Writers of America meetings to give me the best compliment ever by telling me she’d bought one of my vampire romances even though she’d never read paranormal and really never wanted to. But she bought it because I wrote it and she wanted me to sign it . . . and then she read it, and loved it! No author ever gets tired of hearing that, but the biggest compliment was opening up a whole new realm of reading matter to an avid writer . . . who now writes fantastic Sci-Fi romance!

Words matter. Her compliment made me walk on air. Her assurances fueled my confidence. And when she struggled, I couldn’t wait to reciprocate. Because that’s what Writer Friends do. Others can pat you on the back and pretend to commiserate, but only someone who has crawled through the mucky trenches of self-doubt that they’ll ever finish a book or publish a book or have someone other than family buy their book can really understand this quirky profession we chose. And their faith is manna from Heaven, each and every time.

Writers share openly and eagerly -  of their time, their talent, their contacts, and their heartaches. And that’s what keeps us going, whether we be working on that first attempt or our fiftieth. Someone is counting on us, someone who has walked the walk, someone who believes that the reason we write is because we can’t NOT write. Thank goodness for those someones!!

So when Diane invited me to visit to hype my book being on sale, I was thrilled to grab the chance to say “Hey, buy my book!” And also thrilled to say, “Buy my friend’s books, too!!”

Amazon link: https://amzn.to/36nELUV

Nancy Gideon
is the award-winning bestseller of over 70 romances ranging from historical, Regency, and series contemporary suspense to dark paranormal and horror, with a couple of produced screenplays and non-fiction writing books tossed into the mix. 

Newly retired from 20 years as a legal assistant, she feeds a Netflix addiction along with all things fur, fin, and fowl, and dotes on her grandguy. She’s also written under the pseudonyms Dana Ransom, Rosalyn West, and Lauren Giddings.

Nancy Gideon on the Web:

Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads | Amazon

Goodreads “Nancy Gideon by Moonlight” group

Monday, February 14, 2022

Monday Morning Musing: The Super Bowl


Football is not my game. When Hubs watches--college football, usually--I read or play computer games. Except when it comes to the Super Bowl. Do I watch the game? Sort of. I watch the commercials. 😊

Am I alone?

Last night, we went to our son's. While he and Hubs watched the game, our daughter-in-law and I critiqued the commercials. Most were meh, some stood out.

The Budweiser commercials usually rate pretty high with us. But we agreed that the wounded Clydesdale, while heartwarming and memorable, was too short. 

Doritos commercials are always worth a good laugh. No exception last night.

So did the Toyota truck commercial with the Joneses. Of course, it helps if you recognize all the drivers. You know you're getting old when you have to ask your son who people are. 

Still, my all-time favorite car commercial is the boy dressed as Darth Vader who tries to use "The Force" to start his dad's car, while Dad, in the kitchen, uses his remote. 

Sometimes, the thought-provoking commercials are the ones to remember. Ty Burrell buying everything he sees until he's broke was the point of the Greenlight commercial.

I googled the commercials to see if I missed any memorable ones, which is kind of contradictory, isn't it? I couldn't believe how many commercials I didn't remember seeing. I mean, we were with family. We talked. I played with the kiddos. But, sheesh, I missed a lot. Obviously, not memorable.

How about you? Game or Commercials? Your favorite/memorable?

Saturday, February 12, 2022



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 sharing snippets from the 4th Alex O'Hara cozy mystery, The Case of the Wedding Wrecker. This follows immediately after last week's snippet. Police deputy Dawson (aka Deputy Dawg, Alex's nemesis since 2nd grade) interrupted the wedding ceremony by arresting Nick for murder.



I couldn’t speak. Pop and Nick’s dad made up for it.

“What’s the meaning of this?” Tony Palzetti demanded as he leaped over Maria’s feet to get out of the pew. In four strides, he stood next to Nick. Maria stumbled then followed him to the altar.

“You’ve got to be out of your mind.” Pop, a tad slower than Nick’s parents, jumped up and raced to flank Nick on his other side.

And a little more: 

Dan Hoesen, chief of Far Haven PD, strode up the aisle to us. He pushed his way between the Pops. “Deputy?”

The congregation shuffled and murmured at this development.

“Th-There’s some mistake,” I managed to squeak out.

“No mistake.” Deputy Dawg twisted Nick around and handcuffed him. Right there on the altar.

“Mommy, why’s that man putting handcuffs Uncle Nick?” Dottie’s oldest son called out. With both his parents at the altar, Trey and his siblings sat in the first pew with their grandmother.

"Yeah, why?" hollered his brother. Their grandmother tried to hush the boys.  Then, toddler Emmy started to wail.

“Explain yourself,” the chief ordered.

“You couldn’t have waited until after their vows, you idiot?” Maria smacked the deputy on the arm with her purse.

Dawg whirled around and glared at her. “I can arrest you, too, for assaulting an officer.”

Father Jack made futile gestures. “Folks, please settle—”

“Deputy, what is going on?” Chief Hoesen grew red in the face. Nobody was listening to him. He raised his voice. “What do you mean murder?”

The congregation stilled.

“He killed Mike Amerson,” the deputy declared.

I heard a gasp behind Nick. Todd’s face had paled. Mike Amerson was his stepfather.


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

Monday, February 7, 2022

Monday Morning Musing: Winter Olympics, Athletes, Galaxy Quest

Are you watching the Olympics? As I wrote on Friday, I like the Winter Olympics better than the Summer ones. I grew up in Michigan, a cold weather state. Not as cold as North Dakota or Minnesota. Still, we get our share of below zero temps, as well as snow. Lots of snow.

Last night, we watched the women's moguls. Holy cow! The bouncing and jolts to the knees and hips made me wonder how soon the women would need knee and/or hip replacements. Am I the only one who thinks those thoughts?

I remember hearing that Mary Lou Retton, the Olympic gymnast from the 1980s, had a hip replacement at 35. What pain she must have been in to undergo surgery like that. In researching for this post, I discovered she was born with hip dysplasia, a condition that was aggravated by gymnastics. 

My thoughts went to other athletes who've had to undergo surgeries to repair the results of accidents or wear-and-tear on joints, tendons, etc. Then, they return to the sport. Why would they put themselves through that?

On Mary Lou's website, the first thing you read is a quote: "Each of us has a fire in our hearts for something. It's our goal in life to find it and keep it."

It makes a lot of sense then that once someone has found their goal they keep driving themselves to attain it. 

Last Wednesday, I shared a book I'd read by C. Lee McKenzie, Shattered. It's about a skier who'd qualified for the Olympics, only to have her spine crushed in a freak accident on the slopes. She was never able to walk again. Not only did she lose her spot on the Olympic team,  she lost her purpose in life. Amazingly, she found a different way to ski. She had to get back on the slopes.

I've never discovered a goal I wanted so badly I would do anything to achieve it. Getting a book published is pretty close. I've been at this for almost 30 years. I've been discouraged, supported, and elated many times over. And I keep at it. So, maybe I have found a goal worth working hard for. But, once I sold my first book to a publisher, even though I'd achieved my goal, I kept doing it again. A new story, more disappointment (my publisher suggested that my heroine should be pushed out an airlock--guess she didn't like her), more efforts, more stories.

Remember the movie Galaxy Quest? "Never give up, never surrender." That's what athletes do all the time. That's what we all do for something we really want.

Sunday, February 6, 2022

#WeWriWa ~ The Case of the Wedding Wrecker: Stop!


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


I was so lucky. This day couldn’t be more perfect. When Father Jack told us to rise and the congregation to sit, Nick squeezed my fingers. Time for our vows.

Jim and Todd removed the kneelers then stood to the side.

Putting his hands on my bare shoulders, Nick turned me to face him, our profiles to the congregation.

“I, Nicholas Anthony Palzetti take you—”

And a little more: 


The outer church door slammed open and heavy footsteps drew everyone’s attention. Oh my God. Deputy Ron Dawson. What in God’s name was he doing here? I sure didn't invite him. Neither did Nick. More thoughts raced through my mind. It had to be a major emergency, or he would’ve contacted Chief Hoesen, who was sitting in the middle of the church, on the aisle. He'd reached out and squeezed my hand as I walked past. What could possibly—

“Hold it,” Deputy Dawg called out. “Stop.”

Murmured exclamations and rustling sounded throughout the church. As he marched up the aisle, his booted heels rang out as did the jangle of handcuffs on his utility belt.

“Excuse me, Father.” Deputy Dawg, my nemesis since second grade, nodded then announced in ringing tones, “Nicholas Palzetti, you are under arrest. For murder.”


All along you knew something was going to happen. Now, you know. BTW, that is the end of Chapter 1.

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


Friday, February 4, 2022

My Favorite: Winter Sport

As I write this post, I'm watching the Opening Ceremonies of the Winter Olympics. I love the winter games, much more than the ones in summer. The athletes bring so much excitement, talent, and enthusiasm to the audience.

I enjoy watching most of the events. My favorite is figure skating. When I was a kid, my mom would flood a low spot in our backyard (sometimes in the front) so my sister and I could ice skate. We lived on acreage so we had a big yard. It didn't take long for the ice to form since the low spot wasn't very deep. 

My sister was always better at it than I was. Like my heroine in the Alex O'Hara mysteries, I'm a klutz. When God was handing out coordination, He skipped me. 😀 Definitely a lack of balance. Still, I had fun skating around our makeshift rink. My sister would skate on one foot and do spins. While I spent a lot of time on my rear.

As I watch figure skating on television, I admire their poise as the athletes fly into the air and land so easily on one foot. The dancers bring an extra dimension to the ice. A fluidity. The pairs skating shows the tremendous strength of the men as they throw their partner in the air, and the trust the women have that he will catch her.

I'll watch the games over the next couple of weeks and remember the fun my sister and I had.

Wednesday, February 2, 2022

#IWSG & C. Lee McKenzie's Shattered and Review


Here we are in February already. 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 February 2 posting of the IWSG are Joylene Nowell Butler, Jacqui Murray, Sandra Cox, and Lee Lowery!

Last month, I wrote that one of my goals for this year is to ramp up my blog. I've done that! I resumed Monday Morning Musing; welcomed guests on Thursdays (with today's exception); and began Friday Favorites, where I share my favorite movie scene, recipes, books, etc. I'm having a lot of fun doing so.

While I'm doing well with the blog, I haven't been as faithful to my WIP. I am sharing snippets from The Case of the Wedding Wrecker, every weekend with the Weekend Writing Warriors (#WeWriWa). I'm just not progressing the way I want to on the story itself. 

I did have a breakthrough on Monday. The story is written in the 1st Person, from Alex O'Hara's point of view. In order to get the details straight, I wrote a side piece in the villain's POV. I'll probably use some of it when that person tells what happened to the police, and Alex, of course. So, I feel like I got something done.

With cases of covid omicron increasing in our area, I'm not comfortable being around a lot of non-family people. So, I've temporarily stopped going to our local writers' group. I miss our leader (our own Jean Davis), the other writers, and their encouragement, but I have to protect myself and my husband. I know I'm not alone, but I'm upset that we're going on 2 years of our lives being disrupted by the virus. All of our family are vaccinated except for the 4-year-old twins, who just got their MMR shots. They were so excited because they thought they were getting covid shots. 😊

For a special treat, I'm hosting our own C. Lee McKenzie with info about her book, Shattered. My review is at the end.

C. Lee McKenzie has a background in Linguistics and Inter-Cultural Communication, but these days her greatest passion is writing for young readers. She has published five young adult novels: Sliding on the Edge, The Princess of Las Pulgas, Double Negative, and Sudden Secrets. Not Guilty is her most recent one.

          Sometimes she likes to jump into the world of the fantastic and when she does, she writes for the middle-grade reader. Some Very Messy Medieval Magick is the third book in the time-travel adventures of Pete and Weasel, with Alligators Overhead and The Great Time Lock Disaster being the first two. Sign of the Green Dragon, a stand-alone, takes the reader into ancient Chinese dragon myths and a quest for treasure.

          When she’s not writing she’s hiking or traveling or practicing yoga or asking a lot of questions about things she still doesn’t understand.

For more information on Lee and her writing, connect with her on FacebookTwitterInstagram and at her Website


Courage put Libby Brown into the final selection for the Olympics, but betrayal crushed her spine and her chance at the Gold. Now she has two choices, use her courage to put her life back together, or remain shattered forever.


Buy Links:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Shattered-Betrayal-C-Lee-McKenzie-ebook/dp/B09JYYJG7V/ref=sr_1_1


Smashwords: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/shattered-c-lee-mckenzie/1140389252?ean=2940165059940


Evernight Teen: https://www.evernightteen.com/shattered-by-c-lee-mckenzie/



      I knew hearts didn’t stop beating until you died, yet I was certain mine had just stuttered to a halt. I couldn’t breathe. My lungs refused to expand. My throat went dry. I’d planned most of my life for this one year. I’d worked out, built my strength, gone to ski camps, kept at it until I’d made it through the selection process—until I’d almost made the US Olympic slalom team. I had my passport. I’d packed my bags weeks ago. Now, my mother was telling me I couldn’t do what I’d lived for all these years?

     My heart kicked in and air filled my chest. “Shut up! Shut up!” In my mind, I screamed, but that’s not the way I heard my voice. Shut up sounded like a whimper.

      “Libby, stop.” Dad was back, his hand on my shoulder, his face filled with pain. “Please, stop.”

     His calm presence and the terrible sound of his plea brought me up short.

     I gulped back the ragged clutch that filled my throat. “Why? Why can’t I ski with my team?”

     Then I glanced down. Mom was lying across the foot of the bed. She was lying across my legs, and I didn’t feel the weight of my mother’s body.


My Review:

At first, I was hesitant to read this story. I thought it would be a real downer. Turns out I was wrong. Yes, Libby is injured. Very badly injured. An accident (or was it?) shatters her spine and her hopes of making it to the Olympics. She goes through the stages of grief, as she mourns the loss of her career. Yet, there is hope for her. The title should've clued me in. Courage. Libby's courage drags her from the darkness of despair to the light of hope. She doesn't do it alone. Doctors, therapists, and new friends help her on the road to recovery. Harley, a new girlfriend with a wicked sense of humor, plays a big role in helping Libby figure out her new life. (BTW, I loved Harley.) I'm so glad I read Shattered. Ms. McKenzie makes Libby come alive. I hurt for her and cheered for her as she worked her way through disappointment to triumph.


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