Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays

2019 is rapidly coming to an end. It’s Christmas Eve. Can you believe it?

I shake my head and take an appreciating glimpse back at the whirlwind days as the year mushroomed. There were good times and sad times. More good than sad, thank goodness.

The older you get, the faster the years pass. If you’re like me, there may be things you should’ve done, but didn’t. Maybe things done, that well…we won’t talk about! Don’t ask, and I won’t tell. Lol Okay, I’ll get over it and press onward to improve the next year.

Still, I’m reminded of another year I was blessed in which to participate. There were many who weren’t so blessed. May we remember to be kinder and more gentle to those less fortunate.

I’m grateful for time with family and friends. Grateful for sweet memories, celebrations and looking forward to new friends and what the future holds.

I’m also grateful for my reader friends who fill every day with joy. I appreciate each one of you so much, and thankful to have you in my life.

And…speaking of reading…

If you haven’t gotten your copy of Authors of Main Street’snewest book

Christmas Cookies on Main Street,

consider grabbing a copy. I have a feeling you’ll enjoy the stories. All authors share a favorite recipe for your enjoyment!


My story – Christmas BlessingsApple Lake series – Book 4 – is included in Christmas Cookies on Main Street. Christmas Blessings will be out shortly as a stand alone book.

Christmas Blessings (small)


Welcome to upcoming 2020!

May your Christmas be filled with warmth, good health and lots of love.

Until next time…I wish you Music, Butterflies and most of all…I  wish you Love.

Thanksgiving – A Time for Giving

What are you thankful for?

I count my blessings every day. There have been too many to count or list. Whether large or small, they’re all important.

Thanksgiving is a special day to listen to my heart and be thankful for what God has given me. I’m thankful for everything, but most of all, for His love.

My family means the world to me. We’re a large family and sometimes there may be squabbles, misunderstandings and rifts. But in the long-run, those issues are worked out.

We’re family after all.

What family doesn’t have their problems? I don’t know of any that hasn’t had difficulties at one time or another. My family is no different.

When there are struggles to deal with and I have no answer, that’s when I have to let go of what I can’t control, because we can’t control other people. We can only be true to ourselves, forgive and forget.

Then we can move forward.

It’s a special time to remember loved ones who are no longer with us, and be thankful we were blessed to have them for the time we did. Those memories will last a lifetime.

Here are a few things I’m also thankful for.

Tough upbringing, because it made me strong
Hugs when my heart was weary
Angels to watch over me
Nonstop faith
Kindhearted, because kindness builds up others
Freedom of worship
Unbelievable blessings
Loving family

I wish you and your family the best. That you have wonderful and safe Thanksgiving. Enjoy time with your loved ones on this  special day. 


My latest book, LOVING LEXI, which will be out soon,  sat on a back burner for more than a couple of years. Originally it was part of a five book anthology author arrangement. Eventually we decided to publish on our own. I’ve spent many hours changing character’s names, the town, etc., and rewriting the book.

I hope you enjoy the first two chapters.


Chapter 1
“South Carolina?” Lexi Warner spun on one heel to face Ralph, her short-term boss. Her reflection darted back to the last time she’d been in South Carolina. “You expect me to travel to South Carolina in this heat?”
“Well, Sugah…”
Lexi bit down on her lower lip and fired a hazel-eyed glare Ralph’s way. “Lexi. My name is Lexi. Remember? Please. Don’t call me Sugah—okay?”
“I’m aware of your name.” Ralph blew out a long breath, then saluted. “Fine. Lexi it is.”
Why she’d agreed to work for Ralph at The Whisper Rag escaped her for some oddball reason. He’d always gotten under her skin, and at five in the morning, the loss of sleep didn’t help matters. At all.
Oh yeah. She remembered why she’d taken the job with Ralph.
Her checking account had sadly dwindled after her mom had called and pleaded for a loan to make her mortgage payment. Again. Repeatedly, as she had now, her mom traveled out of town without her checkbook and often failed to pay her mortgage.
Who did her mom call? Right. Me.
Lexi missed not having siblings more than ever, especially in times like these. Even if she’d had siblings, the outcome probably wouldn’t have made any difference since her mom had always relied on and trusted her. Lexi had many regrets, but taking care of her mom wasn’t one of them. She loved her mom and protected her, so she made sure there was always enough left in her own account to cover her mom’s mortgage. Just in case. And there was always a just in case…and always a loan.
A loan? Yeah right. More like a gift, as usual.
Today, her checking account balance was close to bordering on bone-dry. She had reason for concern. She’d left her checkbook back home, and adding nine-hundred to her credit card balance was out of the question if she were to purchase the bedroom set she’d had her eye on. Her stomach tightened as much as her bank account had when she’d eye-balled her balance. Still, she’d transferred funds from her savings and sent an online check to her mother’s mortgage company, whose account was now listed as a permanent bill pay from Lexi’s account.
Hoping to keep her mother at home more often and with a bit of luck, occupied, she’d presented her mom with a laptop computer. Despite patience and persistence, Lexi had zero positive results teaching her mother simple tasks on the computer. The tech personnel visited her mom more than she did. She simply didn’t get it. Lexi had eventually given up until she could convince her mom to enroll in a beginner’s computer class. Not that she thought she’d take the suggestion in a positive manner. But if it were her mom’s idea, that would be a bird of another species.
Since Lexi was in Miami on assignment from the Corner Post News, in Owen Pines, Georgia, she’d taken the assignment at The Whisper Rag, to make ends meet. Lord knows the ends needed a boost. Then again, if she had requested, her editor would have wired the money to get home, or insist she use her expense account, but she was in no mood to discuss why she had so little money. Frankly, some things weren’t meant to be shared.
Her finances were her business. Well…more like hers and her moms.
Expense account? Lexi was tight with her own money and just as frugal with the mag’s money. The expenses would be legit, but she wouldn’t take advantage, especially since her tightened budget was her responsibility, not her employers’.
Lexi breathed in the scent of the print shop. Printing and that scent were in her blood.
“Lexi. Hello there!” Ralph waved a hand in front of Lexi’s eyes to get her attention. “What’s the difference whether you’re in Florida or South Carolina? It’s hotter than a grill chock-full of red-hot charcoal here in Miami.”
Louisiana, Florida and South Carolina’s weather were one and the same to her. She rolled her eyes and cast a dubious glance at Ralph. “Haven’t you been to South Carolina in the heat of summer? The humidity is more than mind-boggling. If you want an extra shower, you have only to step outside.”
“No, I haven’t, but I know the heat can be extreme. The season has nothing to do with the sensational story you’re going to cover. The trip will be worth your time, not to mention your bank account. Hideaway Harbor won’t be as harsh as you think, especially with the bay breeze. I might suggest you book a flight into Savannah, pack and be on your way today. That is if you can get a flight out.” Ralph pulled a card from his wallet. “Once your flight is confirmed, call Art, at Best-Rent-a-Car. He owns the franchise and always gives my reporters a discount.”
There was no reason to keep debating the weather and pretending she wasn’t going to take the assignment. “Check.” Lexi tossed the card in her purse and flipped her shoulder length chestnut hair into a ponytail, then slid a rubber band from Ralph’s messy desk around the thick mass.
Ralph studied Lexi, then crossed his arms.
“Shouldn’t you tell me who to contact once I get there? Who and what is the story about? What makes it so sensational?”
“Of course, I’m getting to the details.” Ralph reached across the desk and picked up a long yellow envelope, then handed it to her. “You’ll want to read over this information before you get there. You may be there longer than expected, which should be a week, two at the most, so pack accordingly.”
“Why so long?” In her mind, Lexi was already throwing clothes in her bag. Most everything she’d brought to Miami was still in her suitcase, with the exception of hang-up clothes. Used to traveling on a shoestring, within an hour, she could shower, dress, pack, and be on her way to the airport and out of town, depending on when she could grab a flight.
“Do you remember the story in connection with Tate Hunter’s wife about a year and a half ago here in Miami? She met with a boating accident during an outing with Tate.”
Lexi closed her eyes and brought up headlines in her mind. “Yes. I do recall the story. Sad he lost his wife. I didn’t know him, but was relieved when suspicions of murder died down.”
“We were danged lucky to have someone give us a call who thinks he spotted Tate in Hideaway Harbor, South Carolina.” Ralph looked at her over black-rimmed glasses that sat at the end of his nose. “If indeed he is there, he won’t be pleased to see you. Especially, when he finds out why you’re there. So, prepare yourself accordingly.”
“Thanks for the heads-up,” she said, while twisting her chestnut ponytail tighter into the band. “Would you care to tell me why aren’t you covering the story yourself?”
“I may be wrong, but considering the circumstances, I think he’ll be more approachable if a female reporter is on the job. Besides, I don’t have the time to cover stories any longer.”
Lexi, frowned. “Why now? What’s the interest in Tate after so long? Shouldn’t you leave the poor man alone? He has lost his wife. Are you heartless or just snooping for that, ‘give the mag a push’, story?”
Ralph blew out a noisy breath as he eased a hip on top of the desk’s edge.
“Mr. Hunter left town and hasn’t been heard from since a few months after the drowning. His wife’s sister has still been on the guilty kick toward Tate even though no further evidence at the inquest was necessary to bring charges against him. Never-the-less, his sister-in-law’s on a rampage again. Tate worshipped his wife. Anyone who knew them would bear witness to their affection for one another.”
“Everyone except his sister-in-law.” Lexi rolled her eyes. “So why not look for him here first?”
“I’ve had someone on it already. While it’s unlikely Tate’s still in this area, rumor has it that he’s been seen in Hideaway Harbor. Maybe he’s settled down there, maybe not, but if he is, I want to be the first to break the story. I want to know what Tate’s been up to, or if he’s seeing anyone. You know, get the low-down on him. He was the best announcer WCJD ever hired. There must be some exciting news on him by now. Drop by the Hideaway Harbor times and speak with the owner, Garrett Webb. He may be able to give you a lead on Tate’s whereabouts.”
“Ralph. I don’t like being a part of creating distressing news and dragging someone through the mud, especially someone I don’t know.”
“Come on, Lexi. You’re a reporter. Get over it. Just bring me the story. We aren’t dragging Tate through the mud, as you put it, simply bringing him to the forefront. By the way, a company credit card is in the envelope. Use it for expenses.”
You can bet I will.
Though she wouldn’t abuse it, Lexi would have no problem applying Ralph’s card for her expense account.
None at all.
Ralph waved a hand toward the side of the room. “If you’d like to make some calls, you can use the corner office.”
As luck would have it, Lexi was fortunate enough to grab a flight at two in the morning. The flight should take about two hours and forty minutes. The drive from Savannah up the coast to Hideaway Harbor was about an hour and half, so allowing time to pick up a rental car, and what other incidental popped up, she should arrive between five-forty-five and six, give or take, in the morning.
Good. She wanted to get this trip and the story over with, and the sooner the better. She had a house to furnish, a mother to care for and deliver herself from her overbearing temporary boss. She and Ralph occasionally worked together and understood each other though, so she wasn’t burning any bridges. That was her expectation anyway.
Though leery about tearing into someone’s private life for no good reason, Lexi was ready to meet the extraordinary Tate Hunter, interview him and get back to her life.

Chapter 2
At five-thirty in the morning, Tate rubbed a hand down his scruffy beard, and then brought the plastic-covered, cardboard coffee cup to his lips. He’d been up since four-forty-five, gotten in his run, showered, and prepared for the day.
He threw away the wrapper from his blueberry muffin and drained the coffee cup. As he pulled away from one of Sally Cakes’s parking slots on Main Street, he watched Travis Turner kiss his girlfriend, Emma. Willie hugged her, then turned and jogged down the sidewalk toward the Bay, and down toward the Myra, a shrimp boat owned by his father, Leo.
Kind of early for a date, Willie.
Tate had an uncomfortable feeling about Willie. If his dad didn’t discipline him properly, he’d have his hands full…full of big time young man trouble. Tate had a soft spot in his heart for Willie and guided him in the right direction every chance he got.
Tate knew all about trouble. Since the age of six, he’d been tossed from one foster home to the other. Like any other child, each time a new family would visit the home to adopt; his hopes resonated high along with the other children’s anticipation, at St. Patrick’s Home for Children.
By the time he’d celebrated his ninth birthday, reality had set in. His dad was never coming back. Of course he’d resigned himself to that truth long ago, but in anticipation of his young state of mind, he’d still thought about and hoped his dad would show up one day. The second worst part was being shoved from one family to another. For one reason or another, about the time he got used to a family and their ways, he’d be jerked from that home and placed into another.
After a while, he’d soon become the kid no one would foster for a long period because of his unruly attitude. He’d hated being yanked around. Convinced he was doomed to live out his days at the home until high school graduation, he’d made sure he wasn’t chosen for another foster family. He knew all the tricks to avoid selection…and he was too old to be adopted. He’d learned the behaviors on how to deter a family from choosing him…and they’d worked. He totally knew how to deal with the bad stuff, people in charge, dished out. Tate fled the home on his eighteenth birthday and hadn’t looked back.
Tate dropped his hat in his lap, ran a hand through his sandy blond hair, and shook off childhood memories. Those days, and hopes of having his dad back in his life, were long gone. He’d made himself a promise. If he was ever blessed with a child, he or she would know love and the security of a home. No matter what.
Maggie nuzzled his shoulder and looked expectantly at him. He massaged her neck, then offered a snack. “Here you go, girl.”
Someone had abandoned the half-starved Maggie on the side of the road. Tate hadn’t hesitated to take her into his home. He’d seen the beauty that lay beneath the pitiful Chocolate Lab’s skin and bones. And he’d been right. A beautiful dog, Maggie had turned out to be a loving companion.
After he’d had Maggie, as he’d named her, checked over and cared for at Danielle’s  Veterinary Clinic, two weeks had passed since he and the Vet had attempted to locate the owner without success. Maggie was now his. She’d taken to him right away and was a sweet comfort to him at night. They’d both needed someone, and now neither of them were alone.
As Tate pulled up in front of Danielle’s Veterinary Clinic, Maggie began to whine when she saw where she and her master were. “Don’t worry, little girl, I’m not going to leave you forever. Everything’s going to be all right. You like Dr. Danielle. Remember?”
Maggie dropped her head, lay down across the passenger seat, stretched her paws over Tate’s leg, and whined again. He scratched behind her ear, gave her a pat, and then encouraged her to climb out of the SUV. “Let’s go get you a bath and your nails done, girl.”
Maggie hesitated, then whined again as she slid inside the front door. Dr. Danielle grasped the leash Tate offered, and gave Maggie a treat while leading her to and around the exam room door.
Dr. Danielle turned to face Tate with a smile. “You’ve done an excellent job. Maggie’s full of energy and looking much healthier than when you first brought her in. She’ll be ready when you finish your work day. Remember we close at six, so don’t be late. Otherwise I’ll have to keep her overnight.” Dr. Danielle grinned at Tate. “And…that’ll cost you.”
“Of course.” Tate scrunched his nose and smiled back at her. “I’ll be here. I know you’ll give her the once over, but please check out that spot on her ear. I think it’s healing nicely, still you’re the doc.”
“I will. You’re such a worry wart when it comes to Maggie. Though I think it’s quite thoughtful, she’ll be fine once you leave.” Dr. Danielle grinned at Tate while running a hand up and down Maggie’s back. “Trust me. Maggie’s in good hands. Now get out of here or I’ll have you running to Sally Cakes.”
Tate snapped his fingers and turned on one heel while looking back over a shoulder. “I completely forgot. Be back in a sec.”
He was back in a flash with a box and a chuckle. “I wasn’t sure what you liked so I bought a mixed dozen of muffins and scones. Whatever you don’t like, offer them to your customers. The orange scones and blueberry muffins are scrumptious. They’re my favorites.”
“Thanks so much, Tate. You may have saved my life. I’m famished.” She pulled a blueberry scone from the box and savored the first bite. “Umm…just what I needed.” She turned back to Maggie, then tilted her head toward Tate. “Don’t forget six is closing time. On your way out, grab yourself a cup of coffee.”
“Now that I will do. I won’t forget. See you at six.”
Tate relaxed for a few minutes while he took in the morning, then checked his watch. It was a little after six. He downed the remainder of his coffee Dr. Danielle had so graciously offered, dropped the cup in a holder, cranked the SUV, then headed downhill to the bay.
The sun had begun to rise over the bay, its rays peeking through a mist that added shimmers across the water’s ripples like thousands of diamonds. He listened to the hypnotizing, soft laps against the shoreline and welcomed the breeze that floated up from the bay. Tate’s opinion was that morning remained the best part of the day, for him anyway. He drew in the scent of salty sea air and knew today would be a good one.
Tate maneuvered around town for a few minutes toward the marina, and since he had a few extra minutes, stopped for gas and checked his oil. He grabbed a bag of chips, a candy bar, and a couple of sodas for lunch on the boat, then paid his bill. As he whistled a happy tune while he headed out of the station’s shop, a car pulled up to the pump behind his vehicle.
He jerked his head toward his SUV when a loud thump stopped him in his tracks. The car hadn’t rested until his SUV brought it to a standstill.
The bump wasn’t hard enough to hurt the driver, but these days you never knew what claims drivers could, or would create.
Just what I needed so early in the morning. He stepped toward the car and peeked inside the car. “Are you okay, lady?”
A swirl of chestnut curled around a lovely face that peered out from the window. She raised her eyes, which were glazed over, and nodded. “I’m fine.”
Tate stalled momentarily while he drew in a lungful of air as he stared into wide hazel eyes. “Uh…I’m glad you aren’t hurt. What are you doing pulling so close to my car?” Tate threw the bag full of snacks in the car, then slammed the door. “Didn’t you see my vehicle?”
The lady backed up the car, then jumped out with a hand placed over her heart. “I’m so sorry.” She bent over to get a look at the damages, then straightened up and placed hands on her hips. She leaned against her car door and raised her eyes to meet his. “Yes, I saw you. My sandal snagged on the gas pedal.”
He drew in a ragged breath and gazed at her. “Lady. Who taught you to drive?”
“You needn’t be so nasty. It was, after all, an accident. I’ve already explained the gas pedal caught my shoe.”
Tate shoved his hat tight against his ears, while he looked down at thin strips of leather wrapped around her feet. “You might consider losing the shoes, at least while you drive.”
Lexi glanced down at her sandals. “I think not. The problem is they’re my favorites.” She delivered him a wilted nod, all the while digging through her purse, when she came up with her phone. “I’ll call the police so they can write up a report.”
“Hold on. Don’t be so hasty. Let’s check the damage first. If your car isn’t damaged, I’m willing to overlook whatever damages you did to my SUV and let it go.”
“Really?” Lexi bit down on her lower lip. “Let it go?” A frown crossed her face, once what he’d said seemed to sink in. “Why would you do that?”
Tate checked his watch. “I really don’t have the time to deal with an accident. A charter of six are most likely waiting for me right now. I have fifteen minutes to get there and take them out.”
Lexi gasped. “Take them out? Out where? Oh Lord, are you a killer?”
Tate laughed at the confusion that crossed her face. “Take them out fishing. On my boat, Hap’s Catch.”
“Oh. So you live here then.” She breathed a sigh of relief and offered a handshake. “Lexi Warner.” She dug around her purse again. “Here’s my card.”
Lexi met Tate’s eyes. He could barely drag his eyes away from her wide hazel eyes. His fingers fumbled with his wallet as he withdrew a card, then bent down to examine damages to both vehicles.
“You can see for yourself there’s no more than a small scratch on my bumper. Yours is barely there. I think it can be buffed out, or repaired easily enough. If you have time, I’ll call Ed at the auto shop to see if he can get to it this morning. I’ll also have him pick up the car for you…if that’s agreeable.”
When Lexi smiled at him, the dimple on the side of her upper lip was hard to miss. Tate had a thing for chestnut and dimples. This gorgeous chestnut haired woman, with dimples.
“That’s a generous offer. I’d appreciate it. This is a rental car and I’d rather not turn it back in damaged. I can imagine how much my insurance would sky-rocket and that’s one thing I don’t need right now.”
Tate shrugged. When he did, the muscles on his chest left an impression on a thin T-shirt that read, Hap’s Catch. He’d caught her staring.
“And…I’d rather not deal with my insurance company. It’s such a minor incident. I’m more than happy to be of assistance,” he said.
Lexi averted her eyes from his chest. “You’re kind to offer and I’m relieved not to have to deal with the rental company and their insurance company either.”
Tate had a hard time keeping his eyes off Lexi. Something about her drew him to her and brought old memories to the surface. He checked the name again on her card, then slid it inside his wallet “Like I said, I’m happy to do what I can. May I call you Lexi?”
“Sure. No problem. You’d probably like to be on your way. If you can direct me to a motel, I’ll get settled.”
Tate thumbed his hat up an inch or so. “Unfortunately the motel is small, besides it’s probably filled. Fishermen, flood the town this time of year. The Willows is a bed and breakfast, about three blocks from here. I highly recommend it, and I’ve no doubt you’ll be happy staying there. Mrs. Romy Stone owns the place and will treat you right. Romy is dedicated to the business she fought to buy. A neighboring land-grabber had the chance to purchase the property, tear down the Victorian home and build a motel. But, Romy wasn’t having any of that.” Tate grinned. “Do you mind if I call ahead and reserve a room, if she has one available?”
“Thank you. I’d like that. I must say, dealing with someone who just damaged your vehicle, you’re being terribly considerate about the whole ordeal.”
Tate no longer listened to Lexi, but raised a hand and covered the phone with the other. “Not a problem. Hang on.”
Tate spoke kindly over the phone, thanked the person on the other end, then slipped his phone in a pocket. “You’re all set. Romy at The Willows has a room and is waiting for you.”
“Thanks. Give me directions and I’ll be on my way. My cell phone number is on my card. By the way, should I call you when I’m settled?”
“Absolutely. Call my cell. The number is listed on my card. If I don’t answer right away, I’ll return your call. I may be busy on the boat, and it’s hard to hear over the chatter and waves sometimes.” Tate turned to leave. “Ed will call you this morning. Keep your phone handy. I hope you don’t mind that I give Ed your number?”
“Not at all. How else is he to contact me? Thanks for your help and understanding.”
Tate tipped his hat, slid onto the seat of his SUV, then drove into the misty morning, toward the marina with a captivating woman and a dimple running through his mind.
Tate’s thoughts rested on Lexi as he pulled into a parking space at the docks, the softness of her voice, the natural smile, and that dimple.
Lexi was a gorgeous young woman…Too gorgeous. He wondered what she was doing in Hideaway Harbor. With his luck, she was only passing through.
No stranger to a woman’s charm, he found himself in hopes that her passing through wasn’t the case. He didn’t care for the feeling he got when he looked at her, but admitted she definitely had the attributes to draw him back into a woman’s clutches.
His dead wife’s beautiful face materialized in his mind. He brandished Lexi’s smile and the scent of her from his head.
Am I ready to plunge into something my heart has for so long resisted and couldn’t accept?
Foolish thought. He wasn’t so sure about this woman. This charming woman who’d sent his head and heart into a tailspin.
I should’ve known I’d meet a woman like Lexi at some point in my life. It was bound to happen.
She was the first woman who had come close to shattering the grip he’d maintained on his emotions. Only…he wasn’t ready for her and the changes that were sure to come his way, should he lose all resistance, and wander down that path again. He doubted if he would ever be fully prepared.
We’ll see, old man. We’ll see.
Tate gritted his teeth. He thought himself as a tough guy, but losing in love hurt. And then there were the scars he carried around as proof. Lexi Warner was a one-chance meeting for which he wasn’t equipped to deal. He’d also had no plans of putting his heart out there again. Now, depending on Lexi’s plans to remain in Hideaway Harbor, his plans could well receive a sharp turn-around.
There was something about her he couldn’t quite shake. But…she probably wouldn’t be here long enough to get to know her anyway.
Lexi Warner just might be the one to upend his plans if she stuck around long enough.
Lord help me.

I Love Fall. How about you?

Fall is finally here!

Except our days are still in the 90’s, but the evenings are cool and so refreshing. It is relaxing to sit on the deck and watch the squirrels scamper around and hide their food for upcoming winter.

The other day our community cat gave the squirrels a run for their money! Such is nature. Just so you know, all the squirrels were safe.

After a time, the cat stretched across the shaded grass and licked his paws. He was done. At least for the moment.



Fall has an energizing influence on me. I always wonder what’s around the next bend, so I’m anxious to get started. Place your coffee cup on one of the posts beside mine, button up your sweater, and jog down the lane with me. Breathe in crisp, cool air and enjoy a peaceful jog or a walk in the woods.

Perhaps we’ll run across a rock-laden stream to dip our toes into. I’m definitely reminded of The Smoky Mountains. One of my favorite places to unwind. One of my books is A Smoky Mountain Christmas, of course set in the Smokies.



Isn’t this Cornucopia beautiful? They make such delightful decorations. Which reminds me, it’s time for a pumpkin pie or pumpkin bread. Warm and spicy from the oven, and the entire house has an incredible aroma. Maybe I’ll bake one or the other today. Who knows?

Our Authors of Main Street latest anthology, tentatively entitled Christmas Cookies, is scheduled for release some time in October, 2019. We’ll post when the book releases.

My contribution for the set is CHRISTMAS BLESSINGS. – which is the fourth and last book in the APPLE LAKE series. 

I hope you enjoy Luke and Ellie’s journey!

Christmas Blessings (small)



On another note, Stone of Truth is FREE at Amazon, until
Friday, September 27th, 2019 at 11:59 PM PDT.

1561056117 DIY for FB & Twitter

Stone of Truth will be FREE (at Amazon) for five (5) days. (NOTE: ONLY THREE MORE DAYS LEFT IN THE PROMOTION) Please grab a copy!
See promotion dates below.
Free Book Promotion
My gift to you for my birthday. Enjoy!
Monday, September 23, 2019, 12:00 AM PDT
Friday, September 27, 2019, 11:59 PM PDT


What are your favorite things to do through Fall?

I wish you Music, Butterflies and most of all Love. 

Angel in Flight

On the way to Athens, Ga., that Sunday afternoon, I couldn’t help question why Tabitha had to die so young. Death was no stranger to me. I’d seen it too many times before. I knew questioning God was wrong, but I was desperate for an answer. This was a passing of another loved one.

I’d spent the night before her services tossing and turning. I prayed for God to comfort Tabitha’s family, to make it through the funeral services with their sanity still intact.

Then, for some unknown reason I remembered the rainbow I’d seen two days before. I’d forgotten the rainbow. Nor did I make a connection between the two incidents until I remembered the experience the week before and my prayers.

My unanswered prayers. God had not kept all my loved ones safe.

I’d worked practically around the clock the previous eight weeks and missed being with my family. I needed a rest, but was reluctant to leave them for an entire week to attend a conference I’d planned months in advance. My husband instinctively picked up on my indecision. He insisted I go and forget everything, except to relax and enjoy the time away.

After arriving at St. Simons, and sharing the workshop experience with a treasured friend, I was glad I’d gone and delighted in new writer friendships developed throughout the week.

A fleeting late afternoon shower, sent my friend and I running for cover and certainly didn’t do anything to lift my dampened mood. After the rain, we joined the group heading for the auditorium anxious to listen to the speakers on our last afternoon at the conference.

After, my friend and I walked and talked sharing memories of the day, when suddenly I glanced upward and noticed a glorious rainbow brushed across the horizon.

IMG_3698a double rainbow

“Look at that beautiful rainbow.” I said. “Wait, there’s another one forming on the left. Have you ever seen anything like it? I wonder if a double rainbow has a special meaning?”

My friend lifted her hand to shade the sun from her eyes. “Oh It’s magnificent,” she said, then turned toward me. “You know what? I think that’s a sign something wonderful is about to happen.” She grinned as we walked toward the conference room.

I glanced down at my watch. The time was a little after five o’clock.

“I think tonight’s going to be special for us,” she said.

Indeed it was special, when that night we both won awards in the writing contests we’d entered.

We headed to grab a cup of coffee before returning to our room. “Still, as happy as I am, I can’t shake the feeling, even as supreme as rainbows are, there is something meaningful and sad about this one,” I said. “What are your thoughts?”

“You may be right,” she commented. “We can’t know the future.”

An old familiar feeling set in, and it knew it wasn’t going away anytime soon.

Since my early adult years, I dreamed dreams that sometimes came true. Later in life as I grew as a Christian, the visions and discernment began. Not understanding they were from God, I frequently became upset when they infiltrated my sleep and filled my heart.

“They’re gifts and blessings from God, honey, that’s why you see them,” my mom explained. “God doesn’t allow everyone to have dreams and visions as you do. He shows you these things so you will pray about them.”

It took many years for the impact of her words to fully register with me, to pray for guidance in the situation, when I felt the pull in my heart.

An urgency swept through me when I recalled the rainbow, and again, I felt honored and a responsibility to intercede in prayer. “Father God, I don’t know what this means or what is about to happen. Please send your Angels to watch over and keep my loved ones safe. I pray, Lord, you will prepare the heart of whomever is facing a trial and wrap them in your loving arms. Amen.”

When I returned home the next day, the answering machine bleeped repeatedly. One message was from my daughter-in-law. I called her at once. The tremor in her voice alerted me that something was terribly wrong. My heart hammered and my blood ran as ice while she spoke.

“I have some bad news. I’m sorry to be the one to tell you. Tabitha’s been in an accident…a horrible car accident. She was killed instantly yesterday afternoon, sometime between five and five-thirty.”

Within minutes of the time the rainbow appeared to me that previous Friday afternoon, my twenty-year-old niece’s fate was sealed.

I was in shock, heartbroken and angry that God had taken her. She’d been way too young. Unbelief pushed me to ask her to repeat what she’d just told me.

“Why, Tabitha? Oh, God why?” I questioned. I buried my face in the towel I was holding, and wept for Tabitha and the anguish I knew my younger sister was experiencing.

Tabitha had been an angel here on earth. Always a kind, considerate niece, and a sweet loving daughter to my now distraught sister and her family. I’d attended too many funerals in the past three years, and that she’d been taken so young, didn’t make any sense at all.

I left the funeral home and began the two-hour trip home. My heart was empty and I felt as though I were suffocating. I could only imagine the pain Tabitha’s parents endured. They had been so brave. Even though their hearts were crushed, they had smiled through the ordeal of thanking everyone who had attended her service.

I turned the radio up loud and tried to drown my thoughts. Deep down I knew nothing would ever be the same. I wanted to run, but there was no place to run, no place to hide. There was nothing I could do, except pray for them.

I scrambled to find the small notebook I always kept on the seat beside me and a pen. I scribbled words that flooded inside my head, which I had no control. God was giving me a poem for Tabitha. One of the lines in the poem gave me a peace that our Tabitha truly was with God.

A new Angel laughed, and beheld the King.

A still voice whispers reminding me of these words when I pray. “Not my will, Lord, but thine.” God had answered my prayers. Tabitha was safe. Safe in the arms of God. He had wrapped me in His loving arms and given me a measure of peace.

Tabitha’s early death reaffirmed we don’t have the promise of tomorrow. But God promises not to put anymore on us than we can endure, and that our children are gifts from Him entrusted to us for but a little while.

I believe God gave me the moment with the rainbow to wonder in and remember that it is only one of His promises.

What is Your Fear?

My dad was a farmer. He also worked alongside his dad and brother in their logging camp. They had Bee Hives, raised cattle and a few horses, among all else that entails farming.

I don’t recall ever seeing any of those men afraid of anything. They did what was necessary and never let anything get in their way. That I know of.

Who knows what fear lies in the hearts of men? Or women? Or children?

As a child, I was terrified of horses. Later, I overcame that fear and learned to love the beautiful animals.

I thought about how a young boy would fare if he were scared of horses too. That fear isn’t something easy to overcome.

This story came about thinking of how a young boy would deal with his fear of horses, and inspire other children. Or even a grown man.

I hope you enjoy this short excerpt.




Why was he so scared of horses? But then he knew why. Horses were huge and from the ground up, in his eyes, they were as big as mountains. Whatever else the problem was, he couldn’t seem to get past the fear.

“Everyone’s here and waiting, Owen.”

Owen sneaked a fleeting peek out of the window at the crowd that had gathered outside the barn.

His heart lurched. Why today? Why, when the boys from school were here? Why did he want to throw up at the thought of riding? None of them knew how his stomach hurled thinking of getting up on that skyscraper of a horse. He bit back thoughts of telling his mom to go without him, but he couldn’t refuse to join everyone on his eleventh birthday.

Especially not in front of the other boys. His classmates. Boys he had to face every school day. He’d never live down the embarrassment.

“Okay, Mom. Be there in a sec.” He rubbed the sweat from his hands on his jeans and walked to the door.

Owen manned-up and walked out to the barn, then waited for his mom while she double checked Frost’s saddle. His Nana and Papa had named her Frost because she’d been born on the first frost a year ago. Today they’d given Frost to him as a birthday gift. Little did they know the dread in his heart as Papa had handed him Frost’s reins.

Wishing the world would stop its spin, Owen waited as his turn came to mount. What would he do? The bile rolled in his stomach and slowly rose up his throat. He took a deep breath and scanned his school mates. All but one was mounted and ready for the morning ride and a picnic.

The one unmounted rider was Owen.

In a panic he approached Frost, a gentle Tennessee Walker. She flicked her head and snorted, as if to say, ‘It’s okay, Owen. Come on. Give it a try. Come on. You can do it.’

Owen put one foot in front of the other. He stopped two feet by her side. While flies crawled over Frost, she reacted by twitching, and swishing her tail much the way his heart was beating at the moment.

Oh, I can’t do it. But he had to. Had to. His classmates were waiting. Watching. Expectant.

With a trembling hand, Owen reached out and first touched Frost, then the saddle. He took a deep breath and eased his booted foot inside a stirrup.



Maddy’s heart broke for her son. The struggle he lived was real. Wasn’t eleven a mixed up age for a boy? Especially one as bright as Owen.

A memory of Scott, her ex-husband, flashed inside her head. Darn him anyway.

Owen had several issues he struggled with, but none as much as horse-back riding, which was somewhat due to Scott’s inadequacies as a father. Never had she known him to consider how his actions and words would affect his son.

If she ever saw Scott again, it would be too soon.


Until next time, I wish you Butterflies and Music. Most of all…I wish you love…

Summer is Upon Us

Here in Georgia, we’ve had drought, lots of rain, and now it’s humid. Melting in the heat as a snowman in the sun. I hope you are faring better!

We’re taking it a day at a time.

Here’s a peek at Choosing Ally.

Let me know what you think.


Love is more powerful than reason.
Tate Stone grew up chasing a dream. He was determined to rise above his family’s modest status in Marshville, Georgia.
Ally Matthews, who grew up privileged, chose to chase Tate Stone.
Since middle school, wealthy Lucas Marsh chose to befriend Tate Stone.
Both men disregarded a warning that one day their friendship would come home to bite them. Both were determined to guard their friendship, their bond against Lucas’s father, Judd Marsh, against all odds.
Ally and Tate disregarded speculation of a difficult involvement, and vowed to marry one day.
Lucas’s father, Judd Marsh, was a man who attained whatever he went after. And…he would do whatever it took to join Ally and Lucas, to bind their family’s bloodline.
Lucas hadn’t counted on falling for Ally, his best friend’s girl.
Tate hadn’t counted on Lucas as a bitter opponent for the love of his life.
Until Tate realized he and Lucas were in love with the same woman.
Tate would do anything to save his relationship with Ally. His dream. His future.
Until Judd Marsh dropped a secret in Tate’s lap.
Until Tate’s mother didn’t deny the secret.
Tate swore he’d get even with Judd Marsh if it was the last thing he did. Judd, with his high and mighty attitude, had glowered down that aristocratic nose at him for the last time.
A promise Tate made to himself. He always kept his promises.
Ally’s family was the second most wealthy family in Marsh County. Ally wanted Tate and a family, never mind how much her father protested.
Lucas wanted her because his father wanted the two together. He thought.
When Tate Stone’s mother lay dying of cancer, old man Marsh sent flowers, had even visited on one occasion. Oblivious to anyone else being in the house, twenty-two year old Tate overheard a discussion that changed his life forever.
Old man Marsh was his father. He was a slime-ball. Not once had he said anything to Tate about it. Heck, he barely knew Tate was alive.
Tate Stone grew up chasing his dreams on the wrong side of the tracks, while privileged Ally Matthews grew up chasing Tate Stone. They had each other in times of trouble and didn’t need, nor want, Lucas Marsh poking his nose in their business.
“Thinks he’s so high and mighty. Just because his old man, Judd Marsh, owns half the town doesn’t give him anymore rights than anyone else, to go around thumbing his nose at us,” Tate said. “We grew up being best friends. I guess that’s over now.”
“I don’t think he still feels that way, Tate. He’s changed, yes. You can’t hold a grudge against him forever, because of what his father is.”
“Yeah? Judd Marsh never once called me son or told me he loved me. He treated me as if I were dirt beneath his feet. The only time I remember him speaking to me, was the night I graduated Marsh High. Came over to shake my hand. Didn’t even put his hand on my shoulder. Some father. I want what’s rightfully mine, and I’ll see to it Lucas Marsh and everyone else in this town, knows I’m a Marsh. Not that being part of his family matters, or that I want to be his son, but Judd’s rubbed my nose in dirt long enough. He had to know I was his son years ago. It’s time he paid homage to the rest of his family.”



Tate stepped onto Marshville’s cracked sidewalk. He felt home again. A home that he’d left to forget.
He wondered where Ally was these days. He hadn’t heard from her since he’d packed a duffle bag in the middle of the night, five months ago, and took off for Montana. Montana, where the skies were bigger than anything he’d ever seen before. Bluer than the open skies of his beloved Georgia.
Tate pushed open the door to the restaurant. Herrin’s. He closed his eyes and inhaled the scent. Fresh potato yeast rolls, creamy/cheesy seafood dish surrounded by mashed potatoes and baked on a wooden slab. He’d never forgotten that food. Too good.


Ally sat inside the cafe and stared out the window across the street. She couldn’t believe what she saw. Tate was back in town. Oh, Lord. Now what? As much as she’d cried and tried to reach him, he’d proven he could get lost and he’d done just that.
Okay, she could do this. If her legs would hold her up that is. What would she say to him? Would he even want to see or talk to her? She hadn’t been the one to leave, to break a heart. Tate had refused to believe she’d rather be with him more than Lucas.
Not in a million years would Lucas stand up to or would mean more to her than Tate. She hadn’t been able to convince Tate though. The Marsh’s had finally gotten to him. He’d given up. Given up on her and the life they’d planned.
She watched as Tate climbed back into his truck, then pull away.
Ally had a million questions for him and hoped he’d come into the café. When he didn’t, she paid her bill and slipped out the door, then headed back to her dress shop two doors down.
She called the one reliable person that kept up with everything and everyone in town. Flora, a cashier at Winston’s grocery store.

“Tate is staying in his family home. Won’t be here long though. He has to get back to Montana,” Flora revealed.


Tate had found work on a sprawling Montana ranch rounding up cattle. Not that he’d had to work, he’d saved more than enough to last until he could find something worthwhile. But it wasn’t in him to do nothing, to sit and simply fade away. For the first week, he’d done just that though. He’d fought off the bottle. Drinking his troubles away would do no good. Starting a bad habit wouldn’t change a thing.
He’d been determined to get his head on straight and keep it straight. Had to wrap his head around the fact that Ally and Lucas might eventually get together. He wasn’t going to stick around to watch that. Heck no. Not when she’d been the love of his life for better than seven years. Why would he go back? He had no reason to be back in Marsh, except to visit his mother’s gravesite, contract a renovation on the home he’d bought before leaving, then he’d head back to Montana. He’d made a new life. A life without Ally.
It hadn’t taken long for him to realize it would take a long time for this new place to feel like home. He had no friends and that, he supposed, would remain the same until he decided he could handle opening up to another set of friends. The other ranch hands had tried their best to befriend him. They’d shared their lives and asked questions of him. Questions for which he had no answer for them. He was a loner, and that’s the way he wanted to remain. He wasn’t ready. He worked long hard hours everyday. The ranch hands finally let him be.
He pushed aside the curtain and stared out the wide window of the motel at the vast land surrounding the small town of Deer Creek. He’d need to look for a more permanent place. One that would at least be better than the four walls he stared at everyday. The walls had begun to close in, even after a week. He was used to wide open spaces, thank goodness the motel was temporary.
It wasn’t home. The Georgia farm had been his life, though aspirations of a better life persisted.



Of all the people to run into, Tate hadn’t dreamed the man would be Lucas. He wasn’t about to back down. They both stood in Ally’s dress shop glaring at each other, while Ally grasped an armload of dresses, a frown on her face.
Ally had contacted him for help and he wouldn’t refuse his assistance. Whatever he could do to help her, he would. No matter what resentful memories the past held.
Tate’s temper reared, while battle-scars hammered in his taut stomach. “I don’t think you’re needed or wanted here, Lucas.”
“Stop, Tate.” Lucas said, with a sneer. “Nobody’s interested in your opinion. And as far as I’m concerned Ally’s fair game. Always has been.”
“Fine. Allow her to make the decision,” Tate said.
Lucas’ family had paid Tate good money while he worked for them over the years. He’d saved almost all, and that meant he could buy that little ranch, East of Marshville, he’d had his eye on.
Before Tate had taken off for Montana, the more Lucas had known about him, the worse he’d treated him. Tate hadn’t wanted Lucas to know his wants and desires. He’d kept them to himself.
Now, standing face with his old friend, and now the rival, Tate’s smoldering fuse was ready to ignite. He’d taken the brunt of Lucas’ verbal abuse more than once, and wished he’d never sacrificed his personal values for a fist full of Marsh dollars.
“Better get your priorities in order Lucas Marsh, and lock that temper of yours down. Not that it’s any of your business, but I’m here because Ally called me for help, and I won’t stand by and watch you use her again. By the way, she isn’t a game. Not someone to be won in a lottery. Better get used to it.”
“You left her, remember?” Lucas drawled.
“I’ll take care of Ally.” Tate studied Lucas with mild curiosity. Yes, he’d have to keep a close eye on Lucas. He’d seen the jealously brewing in Lucas over the years. He was an old friend, but the last two weeks before he’d left for Montana, their bickering over Ally had proven a flaming battle ground between the two of them.
“Keep in mind, Tate Stone, you were my employee. We’ll let Ally decide, when and what she wants to do.” Lucas threw Tate a sarcastic glance. “Who she wants to be with. I hardly think she’ll choose the wrong side of the tracks again.”
Tate felt the old chill spread across his chest. He wanted to kill Lucas. He clenched his teeth, and tightened his fists as he moved toward him.
Ally’s nerves bundled up around her shoulders, all the pent up anger exploded. The stack of dresses she’d thrown across the sofa, caught a cup handle, sending amber tea running onto the Persian rug—the one precious item she’d salvaged from the house. Another stain in her life.
“Stop it. What’s wrong with you two? My God, haven’t I enough to deal with without you acting like two juveniles in heat?”
Tate and Lucas exchanged murderous glances, each blaming the other for upsetting Ally.
Ally would rather have bitten off her tongue than ask. “Tate, mother’s plot is on the grounds, two-hundred yards east of the barn. I wonder if….”
“Use it, of course. I have no objections. Whatever you need,” Tate said.
Tate mentally kicked himself for not remembering before she was forced to ask. The graveyard was on the property, her family’s property, he’d purchased weeks before leaving for Montana. The oldest private graveyard in the county, of course she wanted to bury her Mom there. God, she was a proud one. He wanted to take her in his arms and kiss away the hurt. but he no longer had the right to do so.
“I’d like to buy back the house and land, Tate. Will you consider it?”
It probably wasn’t the house she wanted back but the memories. “Wha…what?” Tate’s heart jumped to his throat. No way was he selling. “Ally, you know I’ve already started renovation.” The plans, he’d waited for all these years. “Now Ally, honey. You know I said I’d help you out, but this is taking it too far. Besides, what would you buy it back with?”
“I’m not your honey any more. And who gave you privy to my financial status?” Ally seethed at his indiscretion. “Tate, please go, before we both say something we may regret. Is there nothing sacred in this town?” She turned to let both of them know their meeting was over, “Oh, Tate. I forgot. My lawyer called to say the papers I had him draw up on the house are ready to be signed. A little something we haven’t done yet and need to go over. When can you meet with me?”
Tate ran a hand down his face. “Ally. You had no right. You should’ve discussed your wishes to buy the house earlier. Before you went to the expense of hiring a lawyer.”
“Lucas tried to tell me how you were in the beginning. I should have listened, but I trusted you. I loved you. Now you’ve thrown my feelings back in my face. Because you lied, we fought. There’s no truth in you, you’ve always lied to me about him. I’m just sorry it took me this long to find out.”
“You’re wrong, Ally. I’ve never lied to you,” Tate said.
“You wouldn’t recognize the truth if it slapped you in the face, Tate. Why did you come back? You haven’t changed. You’re still the same rotten person you were when you left here five months ago. I’m warning you, don’t mess with me. You’ll be sorry you ever came back.”
Tate smiled, leaned over and nuzzled her ear. “I don’t think you’re in any position to be giving orders. Smile, Ally. Your peers are watching.”
In that moment Ally sent Tate an icy glare. “Play it for all it’s worth, Tate, because it’s the last time you’ll have the upper hand. I will get my family’s property back if it’s the last thing I do.”
Customers had gathered around the bottom of the stairs. All eyes focused on Tate holding Ally firmly by the elbow as he led her down the stairs.
Ally shook off Tate’s hold on her. “Everything’s fine folks. Let’s call it a night. Thank you all for coming. We’ll open again in the morning.”
Lucas glanced toward Tate’s thunderous glance in approval, taking the stairs two at a time chuckling to himself.
Tate smiled to himself. One down. Poor Lucas, he didn’t know he’d been suckered. Tate almost felt sorry for him. He must be getting soft in the head. But making the Marsh family suffer was part of why he came back wasn’t it? To suffer as he had? Each tick of the clock brought him closer to his revenge.



The emptiness mushroomed with each movement of the swing. She wished Tate had never come back. He’d only complicated matters, and she cursed him for arousing old feelings she’d rather have kept deep down inside. It was hard to hide her inner desire any more than she could forget the schoolgirl crush she’d had on him since the age of fifteen. Those burning kisses haunted her, so easily remembered, only heightened when she closed her eyes. The past wouldn’t let her go. Tate was trouble with a big T. Yet she couldn’t avoid drowning in those big blue eyes and wondering what it would be to feel those lips on hers again.
A week later Ally visited Tate. “We need to talk.”
Mistaking Ally’s mood, Tate decided to take matters in his own hands. He raked a big hand through his thick black hair shaking his head, in wonderment. He hadn’t come back to fall in love all over again. She sure was messing up his plans, still…She needed someone…and God help him he wanted to be that someone.
“I have an idea, Ally.” He flashed a smile and pushed a copper curl off her forehead. “I know a little place in San Francisco, where you can sink your teeth into the best Seafood ever. What do you say, ready to set the folks of Marshville on its heels?”
Ally cut her eyes up at him, holding back a smile. “It’s impossible, Tate. No. It’s too soon after mother. Besides, I have the shop to run, and you have a job on your hands, and…well, Tate…We aren’t on the best of terms.”
“Your assistant will take care of everything at the shop. You’ve already said Rona runs the shop as well as you. We’ll only be away for a couple of days, so what’s your next excuse?”


This would definitely stand the folks of Marshville on its ears. True, Ally had complete trust that her assistant at the dress shop could handle anything that came her way. Rona was her right arm at Matthews Real Estate. Extremely meticulous, on even terms with the clients–but the deal with Brian Associates…well, she was sure it would be cut and dried, but in the Real Estate business, it was a dog eat dog world, and she wasn’t about to throw away such a big deal. Her profit alone would amount to more than a years regular commission. Still, when she weighed her options, being with Tate won hands down.
It didn’t matter. The townspeople were going to gossip regardless, and since she had no one to answer to, she couldn’t think of any reason not to go. San Francisco, was a long way from here, but it might be what she needed to prove to herself there was nothing between them, and it would be good to get away.
“When do we leave?”
“I’ll make reservations out of Atlanta.” Tate’s cocky grin spread across his face. “Be ready in an hour.”


Lucas pushed the old red truck as fast as he dared, hoping to reach Ally before someone else blurted out the news. First her mother, now Tate. He disapproved of their relationship, but she had to make her own mistakes. And as her friend, he’d be there when she needed him. Even if it included information about Tate.
The doorbell rang as Ally closed the last suitcase. “The door is open, Tate. You’re late.”
Lucas stepped over the suitcases, put two and two together and cursed. Tate’s suitcases were strewn over the road where he’d slammed into the tree.
“Lucas. Well…hi. What’re you doing here?
Lucas took both her hands in his. “Can we sit? I have some news,” he said, then pulled her toward the sofa.
One look at Lucas’s face, painted a picture that made her want to run. As blood drained from her face, her legs went weak. “What is it?”
“Ally, honey…there’s been an accident. It’s Tate. He’s been shot.”


I hope you have a wonderful July Fourth and Summer and hope the beach is calling you!

Sink your toes in the sand and rushing waves…

I wish you Butterflies and music. But most of all…Love.