Two Thumbs Up! A terrific review of Wind and Shadow

When you have a moment, click the link to visit J. Annas Walker’s blog, Romance and More, and read her review of my novel! I’m very very pleased!


Book Release Party Mystery Prize REVEALED


One lucky commenter at today’s event to celebrate Wind and Shadow: Book One of the Talbot Trilogy will receive:

-a pair of mini beeswax taper candles, handmade by me, with lead-free paper wicks
-Crooked Creek Foot Sooth’n’Salve (all natural)
-$25 donation in your name to Doctors Without Borders / Médecins sans frontières
-Tribal Fang necklace, authenticated, from

Come to the party: — you could be the winner!


And the winner on Sunday, July 7 was . . . Steph, of Nuevo Leon, Mexico!

A huge thank you to everyone who joined in on the fun!


Book Review: As the Witch Turns


Oh, how I enjoyed this short story! I love the snark, I love the sly digs at pop culture, I love the voice that Anne Carpenter gives to a certain witch we all know and (most of us) love… I’ve read another book about the witches of Oz, and this tale is a similarly refreshing take on the original. And I have to say, without revealing spoilers, that I completely agree with the protagonist. I’m on her side.

Kept me guessing, with each turn of the witch! Read this, I promise you’ll enjoy it!

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Semi-Annual Paper Freakout

Every six months or so — well, actually, every break from work or when valuable papers are needed — I determine that I will get organized, use my filing cabinets, recycle what is useless and properly label everything that needs it.

It never actually happens, of course. Or, if it does, the effort lasts approximately 48 hours, and then random “filing” (read: stacks and piles shoved here there and everywhere) resumes.

This means I lose things. Not all things. Sometimes I find things long after I actually needed or wanted them. But it’s annoying and frustrating and unnecessary.

But rather than make some kind of resolution to once again get my papers in order, because it will just suck when I can’t stick to it, I am going to breathe in and out. Pick a day (maybe tomorrow) to at least go through the random piles and stacks of envelopes, old bills, new bills, correspondence, fliers, etc. Watch a few episodes of organizer shows to bolster myself. And maybe move a filing cabinet closer to the door, alongside a recycling bin.


Gardening Update…

A few weeks ago, I got all enthusiastic about my garden again and planted lots of flowers and things. I planted seeds and already-growing blossoms, got my veggie patch ready, weeded and hoed, and was READY!

It’s a good thing I chose hardy species.

And I think I need to stick with perennials that require little interference from human beings. Yeah, it’s that bad.

My garden patch is being overtaken by weeds. I’m hoping to remedy that tomorrow, but I said it yesterday and the day before. The raspberries, blueberries, lettuce, and chives don’t seem to be complaining, although the strawberries are being bullied a bit. Some poplars have taken root and are doing well right around my rose bush, bleeding hearts, and the other two things that I can’t remember the names of right now — not sure if the flowers like being shaded or if the baby trees are crowding them. Also not sure whether the bulbs are producing or whether it’s just really long weeds in there.

I am a terrible, terrible plant grower. I don’t mind weeding, but I have a hard time discerning which are weeds and which are buds that need to be left to grow. Of the herbs I selected to cultivate indoors, two have died and one is on the verge. I guess I neglected to check which ones needed full sun…

But the perennials I put in last year — the berries, and a variety of things I planted in my front yard — they’re doing fine. So that’s something.

I still have a grand vision of moving our old car shelter into the back so I can have a nice shady area in which to compose my words, while gazing at my growing flora and inhaling their sweet scents on the breeze… (For some reason, I keep seeing images from Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, the Importance of Being Earnest — the lady in the meadow tent, her writing desk at hand, a romantic ideal that I know I likely won’t achieve, but still want to try.)

I have to keep reminding myself: It’s only the beginning of July. I’m painfully aware that the time is going to move quickly, and for some reason I’m pressuring myself to accomplish far too much in the brief summer we’re given. I don’t want to miss any of it, but there’s far too much to do. I have a tendency to overwhelm myself. As much as I want to have a beautiful, functional garden for making teas, canning (that’s hubby’s job), and pressing flowers, to try making essential oils and soaps, to have fresh salads and teach the children about the importance of the environment, I may have to accept some of my own limitations.

I have a hard time doing that.

Book Review: The Aristotelian


Fans of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle will find The Aristotelian a worthy successor / prequel to the Sherlock Holmes Mysteries. I was immediately charmed by the language, the vocabulary, the patterns of both narrative and dialogue, and the portrayals of the young detective and his elder brother. The mystery, too, is inspired and fully matches the style of such classics as The Red Headed League or The Adventure of the Speckled Band (two of my favourites). I fully intend to gift this story to my dad, who has long been a fan of Sherlock Holmes, and enjoy it again in future, as well as further works by the inestimable Steve Poling.

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Book Review for A Human Element


I couldn’t put this book down.

It’s a fantastic story, with thoroughly human characters (even if their DNA is not, entirely). I don’t want to say too much, at the risk of spoiling it for others, but it’s an incredible tale. The settings zero in on gorgeous locations across the United States, in the kind of detail that makes you feel that you are there. The development of the characters, Laura and Ben, is beautiful. This is a story of hope and redemption when facing the darkest of possible futures.

If you’re a fan of the “Roswell” tv series, or “Race for Witch Mountain”, like I am, this book is for you. And even if you’re not, A Human Element will take you away from the mundane for the space of time in which you lose yourself in its pages.

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