2020: Fewer Possessions, More Experiences – Glome’s Valley

    It’s Sunday and that means blog day!!!

I hope you don’t get sick of what I have to say on Sunday, but it is important to me. Fewer possessions, more experiences is the theme this year. I’ve been cleaning jewelry. I discovered that my silver was tarnishing and that is when I realized it sat to close to the humidifier. Problem solved, jewelry in the process of cleaning. I am in possession of tarnished silver soon to be untarnished silver. I guess that’s my cleaning out this week.

I thought we’d discuss an Oklahoma fairytale I wrote, titled Glome’s Valley. It is a young adult novel for kids 12-15 years old, but you can read it too. I won’t tell.

Years ago, I discovered the Heavener Runestone in southeastern Oklahoma, and I fell in love with the place. The tall pines on Poteau Mountain are magical and I’m sure there is magic all around them. Standing on the hillside breathing the scent of pine and listening to the birds – you know you are in the middle of some kind of magic.

The first time I was there, a man with a preschooler came into the gift shop where my books now sit and asked about the book, In Plain Sight by Gloria Farley. He was working on his PhD in archeology and had his son with him. I later bought that book and it was the basis of the fairytale I titled Glome’s Valley. I thought what a charmed life that boy lived following his dad on archeological digs whether or not he knew it and that was when the story was born.

There are many, Gloria Farley for one, who believe that the sandstone monolith named the Heavener Runestone was carved by Vikings who visited Oklahoma long before Christopher Columbus discovered the new world. And that person claimed the valley as his own by carving “Glome’s Valley” into the stone. I was hooked.

Glome’s Valley is the story of Ethan, a young boy who is stuck in the forest with his dad during the summer while he studies the runestone. He’s bored without his friends to play with and begins hiking the area only to bump into another boy about his age – dressed as an ancient Viking. It is soon apparent that Glome isn’t a normal boy with a normal life. He’s a ghost who has inhabited the valley for centuries and his companions are fairies and wood nymphs in an eternal battle with the trolls who live nearby. He’s thrilled to have another boy to play with and Ethan begins to live the life of a Viking in the forest with his new friends. He’s thrown into an ancient battle while his father looks for him. Viking lore always included Thor and Loki and they make an appearance in Glome’s Valley, too.

Check out a copy of Glome’s Valley, https://tinyurl.com/ycxychjm set in Oklahoma. It is just about hiking time!

What are you reading this week?

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2020: More Experiences, Fewer Possessions: Show Australia Some Love

     My publisher, The Wild Rose Press, came to their authors in mid-January with an idea presented by one of their Australian authors. He suggested an anthology of short stories of every type and genre with proceeds going to the Australian Red Cross for wildfire relief. It didn’t take long for writers to send in short stories.

I am honored to be a member of this fine group. When all was said and done, there were so many donations, it created three volumes. My short story, Deadly Homecoming, can be found in Volume 2. The marketing and art department quickly put together covers and the formatting began. The entire project took less than a month and is now ready for purchase on The Wild Rose Press website or Amazon in paperback and electronic publication.

Proceeds from the sale of this book will be donated to the Australian Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery Fund.

Australian Red Cross does not endorse individual views expressed in this publication, and acts in accordance with it’s Fundamental Principles of humanity, impartiality, neutrality and independence.

Pick up a copy of the books and prepare for some great literature. And your donation will go to a very worthy cause. https://www.redcross.org.au/bushfirefunds

You can find the books here:

WILD ROSE PRESS STORE (print only):

http://bit.ly/AUSBURNS1

http://bit.ly/AUSBURNS2

http://bit.ly/AUSBURNS3

AMAZON (ebooks – individual):

http://bit.ly/ausburns1e

http://bit.ly/ausburns2e

http://bit.ly/ausburns3e

AMAZON (print books – individual):

http://bit.ly/ausburns1p

http://bit.ly/ausburns2p

http://bit.ly/ausburns3p

AMAZON (all books in series on one page):

http://bit.ly/ausburns123p

http://bit.ly/ausburns123e

Show Australia some love and enjoy some great stories.

What are you reading this week?

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2020: More Experiences Fewer Possessions – Blooming Justice

 If you’ve cleaned out your closet this week and need a good read, check out Blooming Justice. It is a great experience. Curl up with a blanket and read.  Spring is coming.

Erin grew up in a loving home – just she and her mom after the death of her father. They had little money, but they were happy. She had friends, family and a plan to go to college to become a lawyer. Todd grew up with a bully for a father, a scared mouse for a mother, and a brother who left home as quickly as possible. The two things they had that Erin didn’t was money and power. They could not be more opposite.

Erin quickly realized she was out of her league when she accepted the date from Todd and showed up at the senior prom in a borrowed dress. She was bullied and sexually harassed at the prom in front of the entire senior class.

Once at college, Todd escalated from bullying to rape and Erin began to hear about it on campus. She wasn’t certain at first who they were talking about and then it became obvious. Todd was on the University of Tulsa campus too and he was the main topic of conversation some nights in the girls’ bathroom at the library.

After the incident at the prom, Erin grew up quickly the first year of college with a new job in her aunt’s law firm, leaving home, and learning about the law. She still maintained her friends, but she had changed.

Stuck on the same campus as Todd, Erin decides it is time to turn persecution into prosecution with the help of her aunt, an attorney in a prestigious Tulsa law firm after her best friend, Bernadette, goes missing.

Blooming Justice is the first in the Keystone Lake series set in beautiful, green, eastern Oklahoma. It is a new twist on an old story. Money and power do not keep you from justice and Erin will prove it.

 

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2020: More Experiences, Fewer Possessions – Stones of Sandhill Island

    Sandhill Island is a place I’d love to visit. It is off the coast of Corpus Christi and big enough for trouble, fun, relaxation, and intrigue. And it is an island only in my mind. No, you won’t find it on a map. It’s like all the barrier islands in the Gulf of Mexico separated from the mainland by a small strip of water like Padre or Mustang islands. And a lot happens on this tiny island.

Billie Stone was born to sing the blues and then her family was killed in an auto accident and she has reason to. Always a musician, she sang in the Corpus jazz district and her voice pulled in the crowds. But going home to Sandhill Island to heal after the accident, she finds she is not the only one with problems. Her mom, a former ballet dancer, has MS and her beautiful ballerina legs have ceased to work. But they will take care of each other no matter what.

There’s a new jazz singer on Sandhill Island. Billie Stone, named for the jazz singer Billie Holiday, has her own set of pipes. She grew up on Sandhill Island and has come back home to heal her psyche after a tragic accident took her family. Billie’s mother falls ill and now she has a new role as caregiver. Once again, her mental health takes a back seat.

Joe Franks, drunk and on the wrong side of the road late one night, crashes into the minivan that came out of nowhere. But after a year in jail and penniless, he thinks he deserves another chance. No one will hire a jail bird, and he’s not cut out for pizza delivery.

Just when Billie comes to the cusp of healing – and finding a new love – Frank’s rage spirals out of control. Have Billie’s losses made her strong enough to overcome once more, or will this final disaster be her undoing?

She would get her life back again if it killed her.

Check out a copy of Stones of Sandhill Island, the second in the Sandhill Island series and leave me a review.

If you could travel anywhere, would you go to Sandhill Island?

Tell me what you’re reading this week.

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2020: Experience a Beach Read and Stay Warm

    It’s cold outside! In case you haven’t noticed, it’s cold and windy – at least in Oklahoma. I long to take the dog for a walk. I have neighbors who dress up like Nanuk of the North and walk every evening, rain or shine. And they walk fast! They have to, it is cold. They are hardy and determined. Personally, I go to a gym. I attend my Water Aerobics class twice a week and Yoga once (three times a week, not every day like the neighbors) and call it good.

But I long for warm weather, toes in the sand and sunshine on my face. It is January in Oklahoma and that means anything goes. As far as weather, that is true here on the Great Plains year-round.

Since I can’t experience a beach, I’m going to recommend a good beach read. Secrets of Sandhill Island is a beach read with suspense, romance, and hurricanes! Meg doesn’t have to worry about cold weather. Her little garden on the beach will stay warm unless it is blown away by the hurricane churning in the Gulf of Mexico.

Meg’s biggest problem is who is blackmailing her and what secrets do they know about her past? Here is an excerpt from the prologue.

All Evan wanted was to be with Meg. He would provide for her and the child, or children as the years went by. He was still unsure why she chose him – a fisherman – over anyone else in the world, but she did. Her family didn’t like him but, they were just going to have to get used to him.

He struggled pulling the nets in alone. The pulley did most of the work, but it still would have been nice to have some help. The hair on the back of his neck stood up and he sensed the presence behind him. He turned around. The man stood almost close enough to touch. The dark ski mask pulled over his face sent a shiver up Evan’s spine. Where did he come from? But most of all, why did he hide his face out here on the open ocean? And then he saw the giant meat hook in his hand.

“Who are you and how did you get on my boat?” Evan stepped toward the intruder despite the danger. He never expected what came next.

“This is from Graham.” The man plunged the hook deep into Evan’s chest. Blood spurted every direction as Evan’s eyes bulged and he gasped only once. The man in the ski mask quickly pushed him over the side into the dark, churning water.

Secrets of Sandhill Island is beach read with a twist. It is suspenseful, romantic and has a hint of mystery. What are the secrets held on Sandhill Island?

What are you reading this week? I hope you stay warm.

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2020: Travels and Novellas

  We talked last week about more experiences. I’ve been thinking of things I want to do and decided with my husband that once a month we’ll take a road trip around Oklahoma. I know that next month on my birthday we’re planning a trip to Waynoka to eat at Café Bahnhof restaurant https://www.facebook.com/Cafe-Bahnhof-113758358667846/ . We’ve talked about this forever and the time has come. After all it is only about an hour’s drive from Enid. I can’t sit in the house much longer. It might be winter’s cabin fever working on me, but I have wanderlust (and a new pair of hiking boots).

Where do you suggest we travel? Medicine Park? Black Mesa? Tulsa’s jazz district? I’m open to suggestions. Is this a great state or what?

In the meantime, snowmagedin didn’t happen. We had a dusting of snow and this week will once again be unseasonably warm. Ahhhhh. But if you’re cold and snowed in, or just comfy on your couch, I have a story for you. A quick novella, Witches’ Cliff e published by The Wild Rose Press and only $1.99. It was a finalist in the 2019 International Digital Awards contest by ORWA. Check it out on Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/Witches-Cliff-Deerbourne-Peggy-Chambers-ebook/dp/B07PNK8QMT/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=witches%27+cliff+peggy+chambers&qid=1578842308&sr=8-1

Penny Winters flees to her birthplace in Vermont to consider the marriage proposal she left behind in Salem. Complicating her already difficult decision, she is smitten when she encounters handyman Liam on the porch of the quaint Deerbourne Inn.
A modern-day wiccan, Penny intends to contact her distant great-grandmother, who died on the cliffs when Willow Springs held witch trials. Penny needs advice, and the best time to connect to her ancestors is on Halloween. But she is not the only witch in Willow Springs, and they both have their eye on the same man. And who is the old woman who keeps appearing, telling her to go home?
Penny comes to the cliff to seek Grandma’s advice. But Halloween is an important holiday for a witch, and she is not alone on the cliffs that night. Penny will have to battle not only for Liam’s attention, but for her life.

Check out Witches’ Cliff and leave me a review. I hope you like it. And let me know about an Oklahoma destination you think I need to experience.

What have you been reading?

 

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2020: More Experiences, Fewer Possessions

    This year on my weekly blog I’m planning to write about experiences, new and old. My plan is to incorporate what I’ve talked about for the last few years, doing more and possessing less.

I hope to have a new book out soon and another surprise. I’ll let you know when that happens.

Today, in the new experience category, I’m babysitting for my son’s new dog. (or maybe it belongs to my grandson, who knows).

The picture is my 40 lb. beagle mix, Athena, and the wire-haired terrier mix Pablo (or maybe it is Pawblo). Athena is almost 10 years old and Pawblo is 4 months. She thinks he’s fun! Until she’s had enough. She’s used to being the queen of the house and she’s been invaded. He’s so fast! And has razor teeth. But he knows his name, kinda knows the word no, and is generally a good pup for 4 months. Cute as a bug which gets him forgiven for a lot of things.

So, Pawblo and Athena are siblings for a day. It could be interesting. But at the moment they’re both resting (well, he’s chewing on a toy and the old lady is resting).

I brought her bedroom bedding in the living room so there are two. One for each. Ha! Athena laid across both of them. But it doesn’t matter because Pawblo shows no signs of tiring or needing a nap.  

Wish me luck on this adventure. Later today when it warms, I’ll join them outside picking up “land mines” in my back yard. I’ll only have the puppy for a day. His mom and dad will be back this evening. Here’s to new adventures!

What have you done this week? On to new experiences!

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2019 Life-long Learning: New Roads

    I’ve come to some conclusions about life. No one gets out alive. I have a friend who hates it when I say that. But what I mean is death is inevitable. It is what you do in life that counts and it seems I’ve watched too many people run out of time this year.

Each year I decide what I want to write about. I was going to name this blog The Roaring 20s, but I think that’s been done. No, I think 2020 (the roaring 20s) will be about living my life to the fullest. Who knows if I’ll live to be 110 or 67. It is what I do with that time that is important.

I’ve spent a good part of 2019 cleaning out. I have WAY too many possessions and not enough experiences. I plan to change that this year. I want to travel, listen to concerts, read great books, watch great movies, meet great people, and yes, even learn a thing or too. I said last year’s blogs were about life-long learning. I did some internal searching and learned I wasn’t ready to sit in the rocking chair and do nothing. No, I didn’t take that Spanish class I talked about, but I did learn some things about myself.

This year I want to hike (if the poor old body will allow) and enjoy art. Maybe I’ll create some myself. I want experiences instead of possessions.

Help me in this journey this year by telling me what you want from life. Do you want to travel? Collect dishes? Play with the kids or grandkids, start a non-profit, make a million dollars? If you could just do what you wanted to do, what would that be? I’m after experiences. I’ll let you know how that goes and I’d love to hear from you.

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2019 Life-long Learning: Learning to Change Christmas Traditions

    Merry Christmas! It’s here whether you’re ready or not. Wednesday hungry mouths will descend on my dining room and I hope they all go away satisfied. I’m not going to a lot of trouble this time. I’ll cook a ham, potatoes, and dessert and then the family will bring dishes. There is no reason for one person to kill themselves trying to make the world jolly!

The family opted for fewer presents this year. I balked at first, but found it freeing in the end. With car repairs, etc. I already had enough stress and after all the reason for the season is presence, not presents. We will get together and break bread. We’ll spend time together instead of money. The kids are grown, and the magic of Christmas has changed.

I exchanged my worn-out Christmas tablecloths for new ones, put up the tree and did a little decorating. I got rid of a lot of old decorations last year so my husband and I wouldn’t have to make the trek to the attic for everything. It is all in the hall closet now and you know what? I still didn’t put them all out! Obviously I horde Christmas decorations.

I wish you and yours food to eat, a warm home to eat it in, and companionship. Who needs anything else? Christmas is a time for families and friends. Enjoy yours and Merry Christmas!

Tell me what your Christmas will be like this year.

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2019 Life-long Learning: Booksigining at Putnam Six Bookstore

    Yesterday I spent a few hours at Putnam Six Bookstore having a book signing. Chloe Fuxa has a lovely shop and it had a lot of foot traffic. It was Saturday and it was Christmas and people strolled in and out of Enid’s only bookstore. And since it was Christmas, I made cookies. As usual, I made too many and shared the leftovers with a couple of friends.

I put the cookies on a plate and shoved them to the front of the table next to my books. I shared a few. When you walk into a shop to look for something specific and there is a woman set up selling her own books and giving away cookies, it might be suspicious. But there were a few brave souls who not only took a cookie, they took a chance on a book or two. After all it is the gifting season and what better gift can you give than a book – an adventure enjoyed right in your own home.

Putnam Six has my books on the shelf and available for sale all the time, but it was nice to offer them for Christmas presents and meet a few people. I sold a few and enjoyed the afternoon with friends and got acquainted with a few more.

I had some people ask me for my Snickerdoodle recipe, so I’m sharing it here. The recipe came from my grandmother who raised 8 children on a farm in the middle of the Great Depression. She was barely 5 ft tall and fed all those mouths on her garden, fruit trees, chickens, milk cows and what her husband brought in from the woods and streams. I loved visiting her when I was a child. She made the best biscuits (and other things). No one ever went hungry in her house.

I’d like to think she’d enjoy my books, not that she read a lot. She was too busy! But, I’m sharing her recipe today in her honor and because of Christmas.

Snickerdoodles

From Ethel Downing Coats (a/k/a “BaBaa”) 1902 – 1975 my maternal grandmother

Mix Together:

1 Cup soft shortening

1 ½ Cups Sugar

2 Eggs

Sift Together and Stir in:

2 ¾ Cups Sifted Flour

2 tsp. Cream of Tartar

1 tsp. baking soda

½ tsp salt

Mix together and chill at least one hour. Roll into balls the size of small walnuts. Roll each ball in a mixture of 2 tsp. sugar and 2 tsp. cinnamon. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake until lightly brown but still soft approximately 8 – 10 minutes at 400 °.

I hope you enjoy the Christmas season. Make a cookie and read a book!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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