Blooming Like Crazy!

Spring began in my neighborhood in February, starting with the flowering quince. When we moved in this house over twenty years ago, I had no idea the large bush in the front bed was a flowering quince. Then Winter came and the shrub turned to sticks. But when Spring came, gorgeous salmon-colored flowers appeared along with the tiniest bees.

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Sure, we can get a cold snap and the blossoms turn an ugly brown. However, most of the time, they last. It is truly a pleasure to sit at my desk which overlooks the front yard and see the signs of Spring appear.

Then more exciting things happen. Like the grass slowly but surely sprouts green. The red oak leaves press forward and in a gentle Spring breeze, wave gently.

Behind my garage is a small bed which leads to the backyard. After we renovated, I planted antique roses. The middle one had devil thorns and never thrived. The other two flanking it produce tiny flowers–one white and one is yellow. Several of the flowers  Rose yellow

Years ago, Handsome and I cruised the Rhine River. I was taken with the different flowers I saw there. When I returned home and showed off my pictures, I realized most were of flowers.

Flowers give me pleasure. They are soft, beautiful colors, sometimes scented. A bit of beauty, like the one I found in a sidewalk crack, in unexpected places.

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Maybe the stories in Just Desserts and other stories are beautiful or beautifully written; however, I like to think they’re fun, too. And life needs fun.

Love blossoms in the small town of Sommerville in these heartwarming, “cute meet” tales, filled with fun and forever possibilities.

Find yours at: Vendor

Easter – so much more than a word

Easter.

Six letters.

Two syllables.

A simple sounding word with a nice visual balance.

A word tasked with conveying entire stories, and where a picture is often worth a thousand words, some words are worth a thousand pictures.

In our complex world filled with assorted and often dissimilar beliefs, Easter conjures up an amazing collection of emotions along with those pictures. 

Joy, love, excitement, anticipation and sorrow, are among the many, and just as dissimilar as a crucifix, white gloves, and a bible, are to chocolate bunnies, colored eggs, and vacations at fancy theme parks.

In celebration of Diversity,  the Sisters of Suspense Authors are sharing little bits of their Easters with all of us.


From Joanne Guidoccio:


From Kathryn Jane:

Easter means Spring to me. A time when the trees sprout new leaves, and daffodils push up through the ground to share their smiling faces with the world. Everything outdoors is new, and fresh, and holds the promise of warmer weather to come.DSCN7733 (2)


From Vicki Batman:

The world coming alive in the Spring.


From Sharon Wray:

“I hope you all have a Happy Easter.”


From Marsha R. West:

Eggs! A highlight of my memories of celebrating Easter when I was a child. My dad was an expert egg decorator. They were beautiful. Afterwards my mother turned the eggs into awesome egg salad. When we had daughters, I tried to do the same thing. Not sure I was successful, but it was fun. Now we have two granddaughters (and one grandson), and the Easter egg hunting tradition continues, but with plastic eggs. This year they will b filled with pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters. Better for you than all that sugar.


From Jeannie Hall:

Pastel eggs and yellow ribbons

Pigtails, smiles, hidden treasure

Laughter on cherubic faces,

While sunshine, warm and gentle

Lights the way.


From Marian Lanlouette:

These girls and I have been friends since birth. I call them my cradle to the grave friends.




 

Spring Time

Well, maybe not where you live, but spring has arrived in North Central Texas. Even before the green stuff sprang from the ground and tree branches, the birds declared it spring. In the morning walking Charley, it’s like hearing a symphony orchestra with all the different birds singing a separate part. And the birds have been carrying on this way for weeks now.

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Our temps still drop occasionally at night into the 40s, but days are routinely hitting the 70s and yes even the low 80s. I almost hesitate to share this with those of you packed under multiple feet of snow from multiple nor-easters. I hope your power is back on. However, you will be the ones smiling this summer when you’re enjoying mid 70s and 80s while we will be sweltering in 105 plus and for as many as 40 days or more in a row at that!

29196692_10210728339155537_7864813871846916096_nD'Ann Burrow Snow Pic from D’Ann Burrow from the 3rd Nor’easter.

It recently came to my attention when I was looking through my books for the word “spring” for one of our Sisterhood of Suspense Sunday Hot Lines that I don’t set novels in the spring time. The stories in my books take place in the fall mostly or the winter or summer. Well, my second published book, TRUTH BE TOLD ends during the spring, but only because I couldn’t tie up the story. Spring wasn’t a main part of the book. Winter was. The majority of the story takes place during the two weeks of the Christmas/New Year’s holiday.

Truth Be Told 300dpi

Then I began to wonder, why don’t I set a story in the spring. I really hate summer, and yet I’ve had several books set in the summer. What is it about a Texas spring that makes me steer away?

I don’t know the answer to that exactly. I suspect it has something to do with tornadoes and severe weather that attacks our part of the country during the spring. It seems to me I need to take that fear, because it really is a fear, of those storms and put it into the next book I write. Well, the next one after Book 4 of The Second Chances Series, which I’m working on now and should come out late fall. That’s a plan. 🙂

I’m curious, is the time of year an important piece of your books? Is there one season you favor over others? Many, many years ago, I read a romantic suspense book (Sadly, I don’t remember title or author.), and the winter weather was an actual character in this book. The author did a superb job making the reader experience the cold temperatures, and the biting wind. I’ve always remembered that book. And yes, I should turn our spring storms into a character in a book.  Love to hear from you.

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The Scent of Change #Globalwarming #Inspiration @jacqbiggar

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It’s raining!

I don’t know about you, but those of us in the northwestern part of Canada are celebrating. Every year it gets hotter and drier and the earth is aging seemingly before our eyes.

It was always a dream for DH and I to move to Vancouver Island. We came here on our honeymoon and every year after that we could afford the trip. I craved the beautiful cedars, rhododendrons, ivy, and ferns. The lush greenness of the rainforest, the scent of the ocean on the air, the slap of the waves upon the shore… I could go on and on, lol.

Thirty years later we made the move and it was just as amazing as we remembered!

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Photo curtesy of Tofino Photography

I’ve made new friends, explored this magical place I’m blessed to call home, and learned to feel the pulse of the land.

And it worries me.

The birds and wildlife that count on the weather to keep the forest green and the food plentiful, are suffering.

Global warming is not simply a term-it is a view of our future. Unless we do something to change it. Not soon.

Now.

We’ve just come through the worst fire season in our province’s history. I shudder to think how many animals perished along with our forests, crops, homes–lives.

The hurricanes in the southern United States destroyed countless businesses, displaced thousands of people, cost billions of dollars.

And that’s only the tip of a quickly thawing iceberg.

I know this seems all doom and gloom, but it doesn’t have to be. I think we’re being warned, shape up, or face the consequences.

The tide is turning. Many areas now are banning plastic bags, urging economical use of gas and electricity, and promoting more green spaces in cities. This is all good, but we need to do more.

Being part of the baby boomer generation, I think much of the blame lies with us. We grew up in a time of exploration (the first trip to the moon), innovation (personal computers and cell phones), and excess. Lots of excess! Plastic water bottles, disposable baby diapers, takeout foods. You name it, we’ve done it.

I’m amazed by our growth and embarrassed with our neglect.

And I thank God every day that the new generation has learned from our mistakes. My grandson knows all about recycling, composting, energy efficient bulbs, healthy eating, exercise, growing your own sustainable produce.

And he’s ten.

This tells me that we still have a chance.

I’m writing this, drinking herbal tea and listening to the rain as it dances on my roof, and I’m grateful because Mother Nature is forgiving if we just make an effort.

 

Don’t forget to enter our monthly giveaway!

 

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More Than I Wished For by Marian Lanouette

Unexpected Holiday Bonus by Marian Lanouette

Spirits of the Heart by Claire Gem

Partners: Odyssey of the Phoenix by McKenna Sinclair

Second Act by Marsha R. West

A Midnight Clear by Jeannie Hall

Touch Me by Kathryn Jane

Bug Stuff and Other Stories by Vicki Batman

Too Many Women in the Room by Joanne Guidoccio

Snowed by Veronica Forand

Hold ‘Em in audiobook format by Jacquie Biggar

$10 G/C by S.A. Taylor

Photographic Notecards by Sharon Wray

Valentine’s Day!

If I’d been paying attention when I picked the second Tuesday of the month to write the post for SOS, I wouldn’t have. Because I’d have noticed right away that in February the second Tuesday is Valentine’s Day.  Not my favorite holiday. hearts-and-butterflies

You might ask, “How is that possible?” Everyone here writes romantic suspense in one form or another. Don’t you have to love Valentine’s Day? Well, no you don’t. I love romance and ODed on Hallmark Christmas movies to the point I considered writing a story for one of those movies, but I do hate the pressure of Valentine’s Day. I hate that we divide people into two groups.

  • Those kids in school who receive lots of Valentines and those who don’t.
  • Women who have a guy and those who don’t.
  • Those who receive the best Valentine’s gift (a ring) and those who receive nothing.

I was one of those kids who moved a lot, so I was always the new kid on the block and frequently didn’t get many if any Valentines. (Thankfully, teachers have become more sensitive about this and now generally insist that if a student brings cards, they must bring one for every child.) Obviously, this happened many years ago, but the hurt remains.

It’s the kind of thing that can give a character in a book a tragic flaw. The thing that motivates them maybe not in a good way. Maybe she’s the girl who sets out to hurt the girl who is with the boy she likes. Maybe she does more than key her car or send ugly notes. Maybe she kills the other girl so she can have the guy.

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OOPS!

Okay, sorry. Apologies. This is a Valentine’s post after all. My brain just took off like it does sometime.

I have good memories as a young married of fixing a great meal, setting the table with the china, and lighting the candles. My sweet husband always brought flowers. In fact, for many years, he brought flowers for absolutely no reason. That was the best.photo56 fullsizerender-4

Most days he works late. He’s a very busy lawyer. And Valentines is on a Tuesday after all. Not like a Friday or Saturday night. A few restaurants still had openings as of our Saturday paper. And we usually, eat out on the weekends anyway, so we get lots of nice restaurant meals.

hearts-and-butterfliesValentine’s needs to be about friends and telling them “I love you.”  Helping others to show how much you love them. And yes, of course, it needs to be about chocolate.

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But then any day can be about chocolate.

How do you celebrate Valentine’s Day? Do you have reservations at a fancy restaurant? Are you cooking a special meal at home? Or are you a bit like me and just want to enjoy your chocolate and wine and move on? I hope your Valentine’s Day is whatever you need it to be. Love to hear from you.

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