2021: Expect the Unexpected – Herb Gardens

I don’t know if I’m the only one noticing, but it is hot!  Oklahoma has had lower temperatures this summer and more rain than normal, but that is beginning to change.  I know west of here in Arizona and other places, it has been a hotter than normal summer, so I guess it is our turn.  But it is awful outside.

My herb garden is thriving in the heat and humidity and things are blooming.  I don’t know if oregano is supposed to bloom, but it is and there are little bees and butterflies on the lavender blossoms.  The dill and parsley have “bolted” (a strange term that gardeners use) into blossoms too and last month so did the chives.  The garlic died down and I need to dig it, I guess.  I don’t know what to do with garlic other than dig some up and use it now and then.

And then there is the basil.  If you love pesto, have I got basil for you!  My garden is small on the north side of the house and every year most of these herbs come back.  There is limited space, and the basil takes up more than its share.  I keep digging out the irises that originally inhabited that area and moving them to make more room for the herbs, but irises multiply with abandon too.  

It seems the biggest reason I have an herb garden is to water it.  I don’t use a lot of it, and it takes over spreading like wildfires. But it does smell nice.

If you need some fresh herbs, come on over.  I’ve got them for some reason.  My sister-in-law took some dill to make pickles and she may take more.  I can make and freeze pesto, but I only use so much of it. 

Help, I’m being overrun with basil and oregano!  Did someone say spaghetti sauce?

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2021: Expect the Unexpected – Blooming Justice

Erin grew up in a loving home – just her 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 in her 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. 

According to Webster’s dictionary a bully is someone who seeks to harm, intimidate, or coerce someone perceived as vulnerable. To persecute.

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. Pick up a copy of Blooming Justice in paperback or electronically https://books2read.com/u/mggv9D and catch up.  Blooming Greed is right around the corner and Erin will be solving more mysteries at beautiful Keystone Lake.

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2021: Expect the Unexpected – Putnam Six Bookstore

I had a great book signing at Putnam Six Bookstore in Enid yesterday.  Friends from all around came in to see me and I sold several books.  In fact, I had to come home and order more books for the upcoming ComiCon in Enid.  Putnam Six is a great bookstore, and Chloe is always welcoming. People come and go, often picking up what they ordered or just browsing.  The music is soft, and the atmosphere is quiet but yet there is a bustle in the background. 

I’ve been working on the third novel in the Sandhill Island series and my second novel in the Keystone Lake series is on the editor’s desk.  We’ve been through several rounds of edits, and I am waiting on a cover and release date.  I’ll let you know as things progress. 

My final book signing and sale of the summer is coming up at Enid’s ComiCon.  I’ve never set up at this event though I’ve been there, and the place is busy.  After the pandemic last year, I hope people will come out and enjoy the energy of the event. I’ll be the one dressed like a writer. Come by and see me and all the characters who will be there.

August 7 & 8, 2021 – Enid’s ComiCon at the Stride Center, 301 South Independence, Enid, OK 73701.  I will have all my books on sale. Come see me along with crazy characters from the known universe and beyond!

What are you reading this week?

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2021 – Expect the Unexpected – Oklahoma Author Panel

Yesterday was the Oklahoma Author Panel presented by the Enid Public Library and I was proud to be a part of it.  Seven authors from around Enid presented their works to a small audience at the Public Library of Enid and Garfield County.  We even made the front page of the Enid paper this morning!  It was great to get together with people of like minds and promote our craft.  I met people from around the town with aspirations for writing and talked to authors I’ve known for a while as I listened to them describe their work.  We all have different reasons for writing, but all had the fire within them that prevents them from not writing.  If you write—or if  you are an artist of any sort—you will understand.  It’s a passion that cannot be ignored.

After a year of pandemic news and new ways of living, we all found that our writing had changed.  Some found the time to write more while others found their muse had left for greener pastures.  Some took the opportunity to use the internet for more sales to people who were also stuck at home, while others retreated into themselves.  Creativity comes and goes, and the artist has to roll with the flow. 

I finished a novel in the last year that is on the editor’s desk and I’m on to another. Now that I’ve been vaccinated, and hope that it protects me, I am venturing out into the public eye once more.  I have a few things set up to promote my books and if you’re in the area, come by.

July 17, 2021 – Putnam Six Bookstore, 610 S Cleveland St Ste 212, Enid, OK 73703, 1-3 pm. Come out for a copy of Ian’s Magic and I’ll have all my books available.  Chloe’s shop is full of the latest books and many from the past.

August 7 & 8, 2021 – Enid’s ComiCon at the Stride Center, 301 South Independence, Enid, OK 73701.  I will have all my books on sale along with crazy characters from the known universe and beyond!

What are you reading this week?

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2021 – Expect the Unexpected – Independence Day and Upcoming Events

It’s the Fourth of July, Independence Day.  A day we set aside to celebrate America’s independence from England.  Many people celebrate it with fireworks and hotdogs, I am just enjoying the beautiful morning weather.  We’ve had cooler temperatures this summer—so far—and my morning coffee on the patio was fabulous! 

One of the biggest reasons to celebrate lately is the slow down of the Covid-19 pandemic.  Though not over, we can once again get out and mingle to some extent.  I keep my mask in my purse along with hand sanitizer.  I may always now.  But I have scheduled some book signings and workshops.  Check them out.

July 10, 2021 – Enid Public Library, 120 West Maine Street, Enid, OK 2-4 pm. Oklahoma Authors panel discussion and book signing.  Come out and meet local authors, listen to what they are working on, and purchase a book if you find one you like.  There will be discussions on writing, and upcoming works from many of Enid’s published authors.

July 17, 2021 – Putnam Six Bookstore, 610 S Cleveland St Ste 212, Enid, OK 73703, 1-3 pm. Come out for a copy of Ian’s Magic and I’ll have all my books available.  Chloe’s shop is full of the latest books and many from the past.

August 7 & 8, 2021 – Enid’s ComiCon at the Stride Center, 301 South Independence, Enid, OK 73701.  I will have all my books on sale along with crazy characters from the known universe and beyond!

August 14, 2021 – Bernhardt at the Manz – 10-4 at the Champlin Mansion, 612 South Tyler, Enid, OK 73703.  The Enid Writers Club, Enid Arts Council, and Park Avenue Thrift will present Seven Steps to Superior Writing

Meet some authors and find a good read.  What are you reading this week?

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2021: Expect the Unexpected – Ian’s Magic

It seems like a magical week.  Even though part of the country is burning up with record heat, here in Oklahoma we’re having a reprieve from the high temperatures.  The cooler temps and rain could not have been more welcome. 

This Tuesday I will speak to the children in the Summer Reading Program at the Enid Public Library.  I will read the first chapter of my latest book, Ian’s Magic to them and then we will create a story of our own.  Kids love magic and so do I.  So, since school is out and children need to read, we’ll read and create our own story.

Not everyone liked math, but to Ian it was magical.

Ian Conner learned in the first grade he could perform magic using math. And this year, the prize for the annual math contest is $500! Ian really wants to win, but he knows classmate Thomas Martin will be stiff competition.  Thomas wins every year.  And this year he has a college tutor helping him prep for the contest! 

Ian decides to study accelerated math, hoping it will help him win. But when the day of the competition arrives Ian must make a difficult choice – hope his studying helps him win fair and square – or cheat using his “math magic” to win the contest.

If you’re in the Enid area, come by Tuesday the 29th from 3-5 pm and join us as we read Ian’s Magic and create a story of our own.  I’ll have books available if you’d like to purchase one. 

Ian’s Magic is available at Putnam Six bookstore in Enid and online at https://books2read.com/u/bMRv1a.

What are you reading this week?

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2021: Expect the Unexpected – Father’s Day

It’s Father’s Day!  A day set aside to remember and honor fathers.  Mine is gone but the father of my children is by my side. 

My father was an aircraft mechanic on Guadalcanal with the Army Air Corp and later he continued in that profession as a civilian. He always wrote on every picture he ever had.  Sometimes with arrows so you know who he was talking about.  Not an artist, he would often grab a napkin to illustrate what he was talking about.  Conversations around the table often revolved around his second love – next to his family – aircraft maintenance.  He’d draw a fuselage to show what he was talking about. And as a mechanic, he was certain he could fix anything.  He once built a pontoon boat that he found in a magazine and ordered the plans.  We used it for many years. 

My husband and father of my children was also a very present father in the lives of his kids.  He worked an early morning shift for years and then he was home when the kids came in from school.  He was a scout master and baseball coach to the neighborhood kids who often hung out at our house. With his early morning shift that allowed me to work afternoons, someone was home for the kids when they weren’t in school.

These days my husband is a grandfather to five grandchildren, all grown.  They are scattered around living in different places and won’t make dinner for him today, but we are having a Father’s Day celebration this evening.  We wouldn’t have it any other way.  It is a day of celebration for the hard work and dedication he showed as he helped raise them and the continuing relationship they have today.

Happy Father’s Day!

What are you doing this week?

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2021: Expect the Unexpected – Railroad Museum Of Oklahoma

I had a great time at my first book signing in a year yesterday!  The Railroad Museum in Enid had an open house and invited me to come and join the festivities.  There were hot dogs and doughnuts, tee shirts were tie dyed, board games were set up in the dining car, and I had the children’s caboose all to myself for the book signing.  Outside it was hot so a water balloon fight ensued.  Drippy feet came and went through the caboose as I sat under the air conditioner and read parts of Ian’s Magic to all who would listen. 

The Railroad Museum of Oklahoma Railroad Museum of Oklahoma is set in Enid and was the brainchild of Frank “Watermelon” Campbell a long-time railroad conductor.  Watermelon passed away this year just short of his 100th birthday, but the museum lives on due to his widow, Edna, and others who love to see it continue. 

The museum is set in grander days of the railroad with a restored station and cars outside the building.  There is even a dining car that is partially restored which will once again serve the public soon.  Yesterday it was set aside for tours and board games to all who were interested. 

The children’s caboose has been restored and set up with a place for books, games and videos.  Kids can play on the toys in the caboose and yesterday I read to them in that caboose.   It was a trip down memory lane even if you never worked on the railroad.  The romance of the time and place showed in pictures, clothing, and dinnerware that had once been used in the cars. 

The museum is open to the public and available for parties and reunions. They are kept in business through grants and donations.  Check them out and bring the kids.  It is a trip down memory lane.

What did you do this week?

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2021 – Expect the Unexpected – Book Signings!

The Pandemic is slacking off and I got my vaccinations. The world seems to be getting back to normal–whatever that is. But it is summer (almost) and time for book signings. I have a few lined up in my hometown.

June 12, 2021– Book signing at Railroad Museum’s open house, 702 North Washington, Enid, OK 73701 1-3 pm.  Come out, I will read from Ian’s Magic in the Children’s Caboose

June 29, 2021 – Enid Public Library, 120 West Maine, Enid, OK 73701, 3-4 pm.  I will discuss Ian’s Magic on the Summer Reading Program.

July 17, 2021 – Putnam Six Bookstore, 610 S Cleveland St Ste 212, Enid, OK 73703, 1-3 pm. Come out for a copy of Ian’s Magic and I’ll have all my books available.  Chloe’s shop is full of the latest books and many from the past.

August 7 & 8, 2021 – Enid’s ComiCon at the Stride Center, 301 South Independence, Enid, OK 73701.  I will have all my books on sale along with crazy characters from the known universe and beyond!

August 14, 2021 – Bernhardt at the Manz – 10-4 at the Champlin Mansion, 612 South Tyler, Enid, OK 73703.  The Enid Writers Club, Enid Arts Council, and Park Avenue Thrift will present Seven Steps to Superior Writing.  Free to the public with pre-registration.  Registration form at Registration for Bernhardt at the Manz | Enid Writers Club (wordpress.com).

I know every author (and business owner) feels the same as me. It is time to get back to normal. But I will have hand sanitizer on the table and try to social distance when possible. The Pandemic has taught me something about being careful in a crowd. I hope to see you there.

Come out and see me. What are you reading this week?

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2021: Expect the Unexpected – Tulsa!

The cousins came up from Texas for a visit this weekend and we showed them Tulsa.  We got an Airbnb in downtown Tulsa within walking distance of lots of shopping and restaurants.  This would be perfect.  We could park and walk anywhere we wanted to go. We soon realized many of the shops and places to eat were closed,  probably due to Covid. We did some sight-seeing and walked around the block to a Hurts Doughnut shop, but many places weren’t open. 

Downtown Tulsa might not have had as much to do, but the suburbs were still open with things to see.  We drove to Jenks and toured the Oklahoma Aquarium then the River Walk next to it on the Arkansas River.  The aquarium is always wonderful and with a holiday weekend was full of families and at least one group of kids all wearing the same t-shirt. Some of the shops on the River Walk were closed but the restaurants weren’t.  We walked the length of the River Walk to see what was available and decided on Mexican.  Lunch at Los Cabos was to die for! 

Back at the loft after lunch we decided to look for more Route 66 memorabilia.  My cousin has always  been interested in Route 66 and so we drove to Catoosa and saw the Blue Whale and the Driller statue and found a garden center with lots of yard art open.  Shopping!

Coming home to Enid we took the scenic route and drove around Keystone Lake where we used to own property and checked out our old stomping grounds.  Then on to Stillwater and Eskimo Joes for lunch. The cousin found an Eskimo Joes t-shirt with Route 66 on it that was perfect for her.  They were impressed with the restaurant, and you could shop right next door. We also found the huge Transformer statues at both ends of town. They are always impressive.

They left this morning, and we plan to try to get together again this summer.  We always enjoy their company and sometimes we drive south, or they drive north.    

It’s good to see the world is getting back to normal.  In Kansas last weekend we found more people getting out and Oklahoma is doing the same.  I washed my hands more than I could count and I thought more about what I touched and where I was.  Covid has taught us a few things about cleaning and watching where you go.  Restaurants have plexiglass dividers between the tables and more cleaning is taking place everywhere.  We will survive – and learn from the experience.

What have you done this week?

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