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Wednesday, June 3, 2015

I've Been a Bad Girl

Hello!  Is there anybody out there?  You still there?

As I sit down to write this post, the old Hall & Oates song keeps playing in my head:

You're out of touch
I'm out of time!

I can't believe it's been a year since I've posted here. I've been out of touch with you because I was out of time--the time to blog.  Professionally and personally a lot went on during the past year, some of which was bad and required my time.  We'll leave that in the past where it belongs and focus on the good things that have happened since I was last in touch and the good things on the horizon (hint, hint -- a NEW BOOK!!!).

I continue to write for the website PopularPittsburgh.com, creating a lot of interesting content.  One of the things I love about writing for the site is that I'm always learning something new.  I recently did a piece on Andrew Carnegie--what a fascinating, complex man.  Like most people he was a mixture of good and bad.  I think the important thing when looking at anybody's character is what is the ratio of good to bad.  I hope when my character is weighed, the good tips the scale like an elephant on one side of a seesaw and my bad like a kitten on the other.  

Also, I've done some more articles for St. Anthony Messenger; one that was particularly timely focused on the Franciscans in the Holy Land who are charged with tending the holy sites there and with helping the remnant of Christians still living in Jerusalem. 

I've been to several book clubs and appeared at speaking engagements as well, and I was also a guest on the Cookspeak podcast hosted by Tom Totin.  This was my first live broadcast, and I was worried when he asked me to be on, wondering how we would fill the air time.  If you listen to the podcast, you will know that we could have gone on for hours, and that is to Tom's credit.  He's a professional, gifted host and could give Jimmy Fallon and the like a run for their money.

But the best news of all is that I've finished my fourth novel!  It is called Most Highly Favored Daughter and is another "woman in jeopardy" type of romantic suspense. Instead of publishing it immediately, I have entered it for the Tuscany Prize, a competition for Catholic literature.  To whet your appetite, I'm posting the first chapter here and on my website

Writing is a bit like giving birth.  When I'm finished writing a novel, I'm all tapped out and don't think I could go through that again.  But already, the pain is fading and the urge to create is growing.  I'm getting the itch to write a short story about Janetta, Anne's friend and roommate from my first novel St. Anne's Day.  Many of you have told me that you wanted to read more about her.  Right now I see her in the opening scene and I see her at the conclusion, which will be very dramatic and beautiful.  Now the task is to just get her from the beginning to that end.  

Anyway, like bad breath in the morning, I'm back and click here to read the first chapter of Most Highly Favored Daughter.  I hope you enjoy it! 

Monday, June 9, 2014

Let's Kick off Summer!

Welcome to Summer!

CAPE CURSED FREE JUNE 9, 10 & 11

I don't know about you, but this is my favorite time of the year.  I love waking up to birds singing and it remaining light outside until nearly bedtime.  Another thing I love about summer is reading.  I've found some great books over the years during this time of year.  Outlander, one the books I read during the summer years ago, will soon be a mini-series.

There's nothing better than sitting under a shady tree or sitting in a beach chair with the rhythm of the surf to keep you company while you enjoy a great book.  


In celebration of summer, my novel Cape Cursed is FREE from June 9-11 in the Kindle store.  It is set at the beach and is filled with hot romance and chilling suspense.

Download it now before it is no longer free, then sit back, relax, and be transported to the beach as you read Cape Cursed.  Click here to begin your download.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Just Bloom!

You’ve probably seen the quote “Bloom where you are planted.” It’s graced inspirational posters, Post-it notes, and the like for years, but some observations have gotten me to thinking about that quote. And I think it may need some tweaking.
Courtesy of Binks & Babe.com

This week I was fortunate to interview one of Pittsburgh’s finest chefs, Bill Fuller, of the Big Burrito Group. The surprising thing about Bill is that he has a degree in chemistry. Through the years, I’ve come to know lots of people who started out in one place and ended up in another—myself included.

 I’ve worked with businessmen and women who began as teachers, architects, and soldiers and wound up working in corporations. I have a friend whose brother was a psychiatrist in the military, but who is now a Catholic priest. Another friend worked in the corporate world for decades and is now a professional clown. I went to secretarial school and worked as a secretary for seven years but eventually found my way to my passion, writing.

Two years ago, we had to pour a new concrete walk to our front door. After it was installed, I planted 100 crocus bulbs along it, envisioning a carpet of purple, white, and yellow harbingers of spring that would make a path fit for the slippered feet of a Disney Princess.

Last year, a disappointing 20 bulbs bloomed along the entire walk, which dashed my Disney illusion and made me rue at all the hours I spent planting to get this measly amount of flowers.

Today, I took my dog, Mickey, out to go to the bathroom, and as I stood on the walk, I noticed the first crocuses blooming along it. So far in total, a clump of five delicate purple flowers has pushed its way up through the soil. Ever the optimist, I hoped that this was just the start of the “riot of spring color” that the package of bulbs promised and that these babies have just needed a little more time in my soil and will eventually erupt into a beautiful array of flowers.

Puppy Porn for Dog Lovers--Mickey in the car.


As I was musing about that, I noticed something else. About three feet away in my lawn and about two feet apart were two solitary crocus blossoms. They literally were off the beaten path. How the bulbs migrated under the ground from where they were planted is a mystery.

Clump of crocuses near the walk with one near the lamp post and another to the left of it.

Nevertheless, their emergence has made me happy, made me marvel at the bulbs’ persistence, and made me rethink that old adage of blooming where planted.

Sometimes I think we get too caught up in the planting part, sticking with something because we were trained in that area or were conditioned to think our lives have to head in a certain direction.

Did those blooms in the middle of my grass bring me less joy? No, in fact I was in awe at their presence at all. Like the bulbs migration under my lawn, there is a bit of a mystery to where we wind up where we do. How and why we get from one place to another in the end doesn’t really matter.

I think the real lesson is in blooming wherever you end up. Whether it’s in the tilled flower bed or two feet away in the middle of the lawn—the key is to JUST BLOOM!