featuring guest authors; crafting tips and projects; recipes from food editor and sleuthing sidekick Cloris McWerther; and decorating, travel, fashion, health, beauty, and finance tips from the rest of the American Woman editors.

Monday, April 24, 2017


Window treatments have come a long way from grandma’s heavy velvet drapes. Today many people opt out of any form of window covering if they don’t need them for privacy. However, sometimes a little something is just what a window needs.

This whimsical window treatment is made from jute twine and a few yards of 1” wide cotton print ribbon. It requires absolutely no crafting skills other than being able to use a pair of scissors and tie a knot.

First, head over to your local craft or fabric store to buy the ribbon in colors that go with the color scheme in your room. Mix and match patterns. A yard of ribbon will make three streamers. You’ll want to space them about 2” apart. So you’ll need to measure your window(s) ahead of time to figure out how many yards of ribbon you’ll need. For example: a window that is 24” wide will have twelve streamers, which equals four yards of ribbon. If you want your streamers longer or spaced closer together, adjust the amount of ribbon you purchase accordingly.

While you’re at the store, grab a ball of 2mm or 3mm jute twine. If you don’t have any thumbtacks, grab a pack of them, too.

Once home, measure the window width to determine how much twine you’ll need to cut. Add a few inches for knotting the ends of the twine and for a slight dip. You don’t want the twine taut against the window. Determining the length of the twine works best if you have an extra pair of hands or two to hold the twine while you step back and decide how much of a dip you’d like. Keep in mind the ribbons will hand down about 6”.

Cut the twine and knot each end. Place the cut twine on a flat surface.

Cut 12” lengths of ribbon. Decide on color/pattern placement, then knot each ribbon to the twine using a larks head knot (see diagram at left).

Using thumbtacks, attach the end of each piece of twine to the inside edge of the window.

Tip: You can also use this technique to decorate a covered patio by tying the twine between the pillars of the patio roof.

Friday, April 21, 2017


Award-winning author Kelli A. Wilkins writes romance in a variety of genres, including historical, contemporary, paranormal and more. She’s published more than 100 short stories, nineteen romance novels, and five nonfiction books. Today she sits down for an interview with us. Learn more about her and her books at her website and blog. 

When did you realize you wanted to write novels?
I’ve always known I was a writer, and began writing short stories in high school and college. After college, I took a commercial writing class for “fun” and I learned a lot about the art of creating interesting characters and telling a great story. After being encouraged to submit my work, I decided to pursue writing seriously. Currently, I divide my time between writing novels, novellas, and short stories.

How long did it take you to realize your dream of publication?
My first romance short story was accepted a week after I submitted it. That was pretty quick! After writing short romances for a while, I branched out into novels. My romance novel career started in 2005 when three of my books won the Amber Quill Press “Amber Heat” writing contest.

Are you traditionally published, indie published, or a hybrid author?
I’m a hybrid. I started out with Amber Quill Press, and from there I’ve had three novels published with Medallion Press. When Amber Quill folded, I began re-releasing my romances on my own on Amazon, B&N, and other platforms.

Where do you write?
I write anywhere I can. When the weather is nice, I like to write outside in my back yard. In the winter, I generally write in a comfy chair in the living room.

Is silence golden, or do you need music to write by? What kind?
When I’m writing and proofreading I play quiet New Age or instrumental music in the background. (I find silence is too oppressive.) When I’m typing up a manuscript and/or making edits, I listen to all kinds of music: rock, pop, or whatever I’m in the mood for. My musical tastes are very diverse.

How much of your plots and characters are drawn from real life? From your life in particular?
Bits and pieces of my characters come from people I know or people I observe. However, no one character is 100% anyone from real life. I was asked about this a lot when I wrote my wrestling romance, A Deceptive Match. Everyone wanted to know which wrestler the hero Vinnie was based on. He’s a composite of a lot of different wrestlers (and other people) all rolled into one.

As far as plots go, 99% of them are just things I make up. I have a vivid imagination and my day-to-day life is not as exciting as the worlds I create for my characters.

Describe your process for naming your characters.
Sometimes this is a hard process for me. When characters “introduce” themselves to me (aka “show up” in my head), I usually learn about them and their problem/situation before I’ll get a name. Usually, I’ll get a first initial or a first name only, and then have to discover more about the character before I get his or her whole name and back-story. Lies, Love & Redemption is one example. Before I wrote a word, I had the whole opening sequence in my head. I knew Sam and Cassie’s first names, and a bit about their backgrounds, but that was it. Sometimes my characters are a mystery to me until I get to know them better—even though I’m the one creating them!

Real settings or fictional towns?
I set my stories in fictional towns that are loosely based on real places. When I’m writing, I change up the details to make them my own. I can add buildings or rearrange the layout of a town to suit the story. The town of Holloway in Lies, Love & Redemption was my invention, but it was typical of a small prairie town of that time period.

What’s the quirkiest quirk one of your characters has?
Hmm… many of my characters have quirks, but I can’t decide which one is the quirkiest. Some of my characters talk to themselves, only eat (or don’t eat) certain foods, or have little personal rituals they perform.

What’s your quirkiest quirk?
Writing-wise, it’s probably the fact that I write all of my books in longhand, using paper and pen. After the rough draft is done, I type up the manuscript and edit/revise it as I go. On a personal level, I tend to talk to myself and my cats!

What’s your biggest pet peeve?
People who are nasty and/or obnoxious to other people for no reason.

You’re stranded on a deserted island. What are your three must-haves?
Books to read, music to listen to, and my husband.

What was the worst job you’ve ever held?
I’ve had a lot of jobs over the years… dishwasher, gas station attendant, I worked in several bakeries and offices…. but the shortest time I ever stayed at a place was a vet’s office. I didn’t mind the work and I liked helping the animals, but the people who ran the place were nasty. I stayed for two days. Sometimes the job isn’t the issue, the people are!

What’s the best book you’ve ever read?
I read a lot of books in all genres (mystery, suspense, horror, romance, detective, New Age, nonfiction…) so it’s hard to pick just one. Like my musical tastes, my reading list is very diverse and covers everything from A to Z. Currently I’m reading a lot of John Sandford and Preston & Child books. I buy books at garage sales, flea markets, and library book sales—so I never know what I’ll be reading next.

Ocean or mountains?
Mountains. Definitely. Which is funny because my husband loves the ocean.

City girl/guy or country girl/guy?
I’m more of a country girl. I was raised in a small town and I understand small-town life, but sometimes that can be too small. I like being near cities and other places with lots of fun things to do, but I wouldn’t want to live in a big city. I can deal with the hustle and bustle of city life, but it’s nice to retreat to a quiet place.

What’s on the horizon for you?
Currently, I’m revising a new historical romance novel (as yet untitled) and I’m re-editing three more of my romances previously published with Amber Quill. After that, I have ideas in the works for a few other romances (another historical, a paranormal, and a gay contemporary).

Anything else you’d like to tell us about yourself and/or your books?
I welcome questions and feedback from readers. I enjoy learning which characters and books they love the best. Readers can find my social media links at my website and blog (see links above.)

Lies, Love & Redemption
Shot and left for dead, Sam Hixton stumbles into a general store on the Nebraska prairie and collapses into the arms of Cassie Wilcox.

Cassie’s world is turned upside down when the handsome stranger drops into her life. Sam is another complication she doesn’t need: her business is dying and her trouble with the townspeople is escalating. Yet she’s determined to keep the store open — no matter what the cost.

As Sam recovers from his injuries, he hides the truth about his identity and convinces Cassie to let him work in the store. He’s attracted to her and admires her independent nature but quickly realizes Cassie’s in way over her head. They fight their growing attraction, and Cassie questions whether she can trust her fragile heart to a mysterious stranger. Will he accept her once he knows about her troubled past?

Cassie resists Sam’s advances and represses her feelings until one fateful night when they give in to their fiery passion. Together, they work out a plan to save the store but find their efforts are thwarted—and their lives endangered—by the locals.

Sam’s secret returns to haunt him and pulls him away just when Cassie needs him the most. Will he regain her trust when she learns the truth?

Cassie has everything invested in the store—can she save it and find true love with Sam before it’s too late?

Thursday, April 20, 2017


Morro Rock
Cherie O’Boyle, Professor Emerita of Psychology at California State University, San Marcos, is an avid Border collie enthusiast who lives in Northern California. Learn more about her and her books at her website.

Places, Real and Imagined

The Estela Nogales Mystery series is set in one of the most beautiful parts of California, the central coast near Morro Rock. Deadly Disguise, the fourth book in the series, is now released, so I thought it would be fun to take a short road trip through the settings, both real and imagined, that provide the background for this award-winning series.

We’ll begin our journey at the intersection of Arroyo Loco Rd and Highway 41, connecting the charming and real towns of Morro Bay and Atascadero. This intersection and the village of Arroyo Loco are purely imaginary, but it is easy to picture the old roadhouse there by the corner, and remember the rusty ice chest where we found the body in Iced Tee. The lot where Will’s house burned down in Fire at Will’s is just out of sight up the hill.

Heading east, we wind through the Coast Range and into Atascadero, site of the all-too-real maximum-security prison for the criminally insane. Arroyo Loco’s residents often wonder if their village has been visited by a former inmate. The twisting oak-shaded residential streets where I always get lost, and where Estela once found a bloody knife embedded in a front door, are east of the downtown area.  

 A ten-minute drive north brings us into the quaint town of Paso Robles. Here, we wander alongside the dry riverbed where Estela and her friends searched for Nina in Missing Mom. The riverbed is real; its homeless denizens must either be hiding, or are imaginary. Nearby, we can stop for a juicy cheeseburger at the real Cowgirl Cafe. If we’ve timed our visit right, we might even be able to watch the classic cars cruising Paso Robles’ central plaza, and catch a glimpse of Detective Muñoz’s meticulously restored Camaro.  

Highway 46, crossing the countryside from Paso Robles west to Highway 1, is one of most scenic drives in the state. On a clear spring day, you can see across miles of rolling green hills frosted with lupine and mustard flowers to the deep blue of the Pacific Ocean. Breath-taking.

South of the tiny town of Cayucos, you’ll find the scruffy and unofficial dog beach where Estela loves to walk and think through the mysteries that confront her. Keep your eyes open, and you may see Shiner, the real Border collie, romping with his friends and running through the surf.

The town of Morro Bay is already popular with tourists, and needs no introduction.   We can walk around the base of Morro Rock, the remnant of an ancient volcano, and look upward for real nesting peregrine falcons. The nearby embarcadero, and especially the Bayside Cafe are worth a stop, if only to imagine Estela and her detective friend Muñoz enjoying the view and working out the most recent puzzle.

Inez’s combination sheep ranch and dog day-care business is imaginary, although you can picture the green hills south of Morro Bay dotted with white Merino sheep. Continuing south, you’ll pass the real state Men’s Colony prison, and if you know just where to look, you might see Helen’s car parked in the lot.

I’m going to leave you at the entrance to the California state university campus where Estela is employed in the counseling center, and where rumors of an active shooter in the library are about to send the campus into chaos in Deadly Disguise.

I hope you enjoyed this imaginary road trip, and that someday you get to experience the real adventure. If you already love the central coast, please share your memories and favorites places in the comments below.

Deadly Disguise
...bodies falling...Estela Nogales is caught in the middle when the perfect murder sets off chaos during final exams week. Together with Detective Muñoz, Estela must use her acute powers of observation to help identify the killer. One calamity after another disrupts the investigation, and Estela is pursued at every turn by the mysterious figure in the hat, even home to Arroyo Loco where a fresh set of crises are unleashed.

Buy Links

(For a brief introduction to Arroyo Loco, Estela Nogales, and her neighbors, please download the free short story, Back for Seconds? available on most ebook outlets.)

Wednesday, April 19, 2017


A southern girl, Trixie Stilletto traveled north when she found the love of her life, and they enjoyed more than 20 years together working as journalists. Now she's back home in Tennessee writing stories that range from short, hot romances with a kiss of humor to southern-flavored mysteries. Today Trixie lives seven miles from the neighborhood where she grew up with three adored pets and a host of characters waiting for her to tell their stories. Learn more about Trixie and her books at her website. 

An Interview with Ally Calhoun from Trixie Stilletto’s Tempest

When I first got the idea for Ally and Tempest. I did a short interview with her to learn what motivated her to pack up and leave her Boston home for a place in Tennessee she’d never seen or visited. This is the result.

You left a thriving business and life in Boston to come to Piney Bluffs, Tenn. Why?
“Weather is a big draw. Can anyone say nor’easters? My husband always talked about his childhood here, and he said he wanted to have a place in the mountains. After he passed, I found he still owned the family land and property. It seemed only fitting when I needed a change after his death, to come and take a look. I’d never been here – we were so busy getting and keeping the Agency going ….”

Sorry for your loss. He was very young …
“Yes. It wasn’t a good thing. I wish we’d never taken on that job, but there are no do-overs.”

That last job. Can you talk about it?
“I don’t want to. That wasn’t what I agreed to when you said we have to do this.”

But you uprooted your life, sold the PI business you loved and created with him. All to move down to Tennessee, a place you’d never visited, never wanted to, because of how that last job ended. Don’t you think you need to talk about it?
“Now isn’t a good time.”

Ok. I’ll let it go. But you know you’re going to have to address it at some point. What are you going to do now that you’re here? This place is a mess.
 “Only one thing came to my mind the day I first saw it. Wow. Not in a good way. I honestly didn’t know how I was going to be able to stay here.”

I can imagine. This property has belonged to the Calhoun family for two hundred years. The first settlers to come across the mountain settled here.
“Yes. I discovered that. Along with several unopened letters from the Tennessee historical society requesting that Mike either restore it or sign it over to them.”

Is that your current plan? To restore it and open it as an historical site?
“Uh, no. I just want to make it safe enough I don’t think the fire department and building inspector are going to come in and make me move.”

Who’s doing the work?
“Right now, me. I spend a lot of time Googling things. I’m a pretty quick study. That’s a good thing.”

That’s a surprise. I figured someone with your background, would hire everything done.  Contractors, subs and designers. Have you done renovations before? I believe you had a maintenance-free condo in Boston.
“Never. Being a private investigator is mostly about research. I also think it will be helpful in my new career.”

That’s right.  Your plan is to be a writer. What are you writing? Is anything published?
“Nothing published. Just polishing my first story. It’s a thriller. I’ve always been good with my hands, too. Lots of time when I was deployed, things would break or just not work like they were supposed to. I learned to adapt and overcome.”

Isn’t it one thing to jury-rig a piece of equipment for a relatively short op in the desert where you have a team to help you vs. trying to rehab a house that’s falling down around your ears?
“Maybe. But it doesn’t feel right hiring out this stuff. Mike would have fixed it himself.”

You’re not Mike. Besides, isn’t this more a money thing?
“Have you been talking to my accountant?”

More he’s been talking to me. How can you be broke? I thought your PI business was doing well?
“I did, too. Mike handled all that ….”

Widowed ex-private eye Allison Calhoun has left behind the career of heart and her native Boston for the sleepy Tennessee town of Piney Bluffs. All she wants to do is heal and write the great American novel. Only Piney Bluffs is a hotbed of decades-long secrets and lies, all seething just under the surface of the humid summer.

Enter C.J. Lanahan. Once the best friend of Ally's husband and always a thorn in her side, journalist C.J. pushes all of Ally's buttons and not all in a good way. On top of that, his newspaper and editorials seem to be stirring up a hornets nest folks 'round here want left alone. When C.J. is a murder suspect and then almost kills, himself, things go from hot to deadly quicker than a heat-driven storm in this Tennessee valley.

Can Ally and C.J. live long enough to expose the truth, or will the long-held secrets stay buried forever?

Buy Link 

Tuesday, April 18, 2017


Bethany Blake lives in a small, quaint town in Pennsylvania with her husband and three daughters. When she's not writing or riding horses, she's wrangling a menagerie of furry family members that includes a nervous pit bull, a fearsome feline, a blind goldfish, and an attack cardinal named Robert. Like Daphne Templeton, the heroine of her Lucky Paws Mysteries, Bethany holds a Ph.D. and operates a pet sitting business called Barkley's Premium Pet Care. Learn more about Bethany and her books at her website. 

Daphne Templeton, the amateur sleuth in my Lucky Paws Pet Sitting Mystery series, has a soft spot for misfits and mongrels. In the first book, Death by Chocolate Lab, Daphne’s fostering a one-ear Chihuahua with a severe overbite and a dubious pedigree, and she’s totally smitten.

Today, in that same spirit, I present you with “mupcakes.”

“What’s that?” you ask – perhaps also thinking, “That does NOT sound tasty!”

But trust me, once you’ve had a mupcake – a hybrid cupcake/muffin – you will rush to adopt this recipe as your own.

I found the base recipe, for blueberry muffins, ages ago on the Internet. The origins are long lost, although I often make the blueberry version. However, a few months ago I had a craving for chocolate and strawberries. Since strawberries aren’t exactly in season in Pennsylvania, I dug into my freezer and tried to come up with a creative way to use last year’s leftovers. My solution: add chocolate and strawberries to the muffin recipe. The result was something sweeter than a regular muffin, but not exactly a cupcake. A new name was needed. Not that there was much time for naming. My kids ate the whole batch in about an hour!

Chocolate-Dipped Strawberry “Mupcakes”

1/2 cup butter at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
2 cups AP flour
1/2 cup milk
2 cups strawberries
1 (heaping) cup chocolate chips.

Heat your oven to 375 degrees and grease 18 regular-sized muffin cups - or 36 mini-muffin cups. (These make super cute minis!) You can also use cupcake liners.
Using a hand mixer, mix the butter until it's creamy. Add the sugar and beat until the mixture is well combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing after each addition. Beat in the vanilla, baking powder and salt. Then get a spoon and fold in half the milk and half the flour. Repeat.

Chop the berries and drain if they're soggy. Add about a tablespoon of flour and toss to coat. This will keep them from sinking when they bake.

Carefully fold in the berries and chocolate chips, being as gentle as possible.

Spoon the batter into the muffin tins and bake for about 20 minutes, until they're golden, then try to resist the temptation to eat them before they cool. The strawberry flavor intensifies when they reach room temperature. The perfect moment is when the chips are still gooey, but the berries aren't hot.

Death by Chocolate Lab
Pet sitter Daphne Templeton has a soft spot for every stray and misfit who wanders into the quaint, lakeside village of Sylvan Creek. But even Daphne doesn’t like arrogant, womanizing Steve Beamus, the controversial owner of Blue Ribbon K-9 Academy. When Steve turns up dead during a dog agility trial, Daphne can think of a long list of people with motives for homicide, and so can the police. Unfortunately, at the top of the list is Daphne’s sister, Piper—Steve’s latest wronged girlfriend.
Certain that Piper is innocent, in spite of mounting evidence to the contrary, Daphne sets out to clear her sister’s name—and find Axis, Steve’s prize-winning chocolate Labrador, who went missing the night of Steve’s death.

Aided by Socrates, her taciturn basset hound, and a hyperactive one-eared Chihuahua named Artie, Daphne quickly runs afoul of Detective Jonathan Black, a handsome and enigmatic newcomer to town, who has no appreciation for Daphne’s unorthodox sleuthing.
Can a free-spirited pet sitter, armed only with a Ph.D. in Philosophy and her two incompatible dogs, find the real killer before she becomes the next victim?

Buy Links

Monday, April 17, 2017


Summer is around the corner. Many of you will be heading down the shore (as we say in New Jersey) in a few months and will be capturing your time in the sun and on the sand in photos. Today Isabella Foreman returns with some tips for taking beach pictures. Although she writes from the perspective of a professional photographer at a commercial shoot, many of her tips can be applied to any amateur photographer wishing for the best possible results during a day down the shore with family or friends.

Beach Photography
As a photographer, no matter whether you have a ton of experience, or you just started exploring the world of professional photography, you should be aware of the fact that each setting is different and that it requires special preparations if you want your photo shoot session to be successful.

When it comes to shooting outdoors, I’m sure you’re familiar with the fact that it can be quite unpredictable. Although spontaneity can have a very positive effect on a photographer’s work, it’s not what you’d call a reliable partner. Sure, you should always leave some room for improvisation, but it’s necessary to prepare yourself properly and avoid possible delays.

Therefore, if you’re planning on doing a beach photo shoot session in the future, there’s a list of things you should have in mind. Having all of this covered will enable you to take quality photos and not waste any time whatsoever.

Find the Right Locations
When scheduling this kind of shooting, it’s quite important that you plan in advance and give yourself enough time to get every detail done before you begin the actual photo session. One of the items that should be on top of your priority list is scouting.

For your shooting to go well, it’s important to have an experienced model with you, but that’s not all – you should take a nice long walk on that particular location you’ve chosen and do some sightseeing. If you do determine the precise locations on which you want to take your photos and do a test shooting by yourself, it will be a lot easier for you to be efficient during the actual shot.

Create a Checklist
If you have never done an outdoor shoot, you should know that the biggest problem you could possibly have during one is forgetting a piece of your equipment, and especially so if you’re traveling a long way in order to reach your destination because there’s no turning back.

So – thorough packing is in order. My sincere suggestion is to create a list of items you’ll need and also those that might be handy at some points and start packing. Naturally, you should start with your camera and make sure to bring all the lenses (100mm to 150mm) you plan on using during the shooting. Also, the obvious thing that is often forgotten – extra batteries; so, make sure they are fully charged and ready for your session.

When shooting outdoors, having a tripod or monopod with you can be quite useful – considering the constant changes that you can’t really control, some stability will definitely come in handy.
Mind the Lighting
Speaking of unpredictable conditions – in order to be satisfied with your session, it’s quite necessary that the weather conditions work to your favor. Therefore, make sure to check the forecast and even consult your local weather station directly so that there are no surprises.

As a photographer, you’re probably already aware of this fact, but I’d like to mention it either way. There’s this period of time during sunrises and sunsets when the lighting is magical and when you should invest your effort into taking quality shots.

Create a Comfort Zone
Other than your professional equipment, you should also make sure that you pack your beach items. Every photographer who ever worked with a model in a bikini knows that it’s quite necessary for her to feel maximally comfortable, so having a couple of towels with you is a must.

Other than that, make sure that you and the whole team working on your session are properly hydrated at all times, so make sure to bring enough water and refreshing snacks. Naturally, applying a proper SPF goes without saying – you wouldn’t want to deal with unpleasant sunburns while you’re working.

Include Accessories
Each look you have planned out for your model needs to be put together to the very last detail before you start shooting. It’s always smart to bring additional pieces with you and do some improvising, but the main part needs to be planned out properly.

Other than changing bikinis, it’s quite important for your model to accessorize properly, which is something that usually requires some time, so don’t leave it for the last moment. Another thing to have in mind is shoes – whether your model will wear them or not depends on your location and the whole theme of your setting actually, but you should definitely consider this idea.

Wrap It Up with Editing
Your job isn’t finished when the photo session is over – there’s still a lot of sorting out that needs to be done and you already know that it takes time to clean out your shots and get rid of misfires. Other than that, quality photo editing is a completely separate project – fashion photography is a very demanding branch and it’s quite important that you develop a keen eye for detail so that you can emphasize the right accents on your images.

This is a solid base you can work with. As you might have noticed, it’s all a matter of good preparation – if you surround yourself with everything you could possibly need, you can deal with any kind of problem that comes your way.

Friday, April 14, 2017


Today historical romance author Brenda B. Taylor sits down with us for an interview. Learn more about Brenda and her books at her website.

When did you realize you wanted to write novels?
Having a great imagination and enjoying reading, I began to write my own stories in the third grade. I wrote a story about a horse similar to Black Beauty.

How long did it take you to realize your dream of publication?
I worked in the Texas Public Schools as a teacher and school administrator for many years. I harbored a desire to write fiction, but had little time to pursue a writing career. After retiring, I studied the craft of writing fiction and began filling books with stories.

Are you traditionally published, indie published, or a hybrid author?
Because of getting a late start in writing, I didn’t have enough time left to go the traditional publishing route. I took several online courses in self-publishing and went the indie route.

Where do you write?
I write in a special place overlooking bird feeders, blooming flowers, and trees of several varieties.

Is silence golden, or do you need music to write by? What kind?
Silence is golden for my writing time. Sometimes I may listen to soft music, but most often I write in a quiet environment.

How much of your plots and characters are drawn from real life? From your life in particular?
I became interested in genealogical research after retirement and began researching my family ancestry. The lives of my ancestors grabbed my interest and curiosity. I researched and traveled to their homes and wrote about those in post-Civil War Missouri and Scotland. Historical romance is my favorite genre to read, so I crafted romances into the plots of the stories.

Describe your process for naming your character?
I chose names that best fit the character’s personal traits and time. The names in the post-Civil War series were not difficult, I chose those I felt best fit the character, but the Scots’ names required research.

Real settings or fictional towns?
Both series are set in the actual locations where my ancestors lived.

Ocean or mountains?
I love both ocean and mountains, but the mountains hold me captive. I enjoy their majesty and beauty. My husband and I spent summers in the Rockies and Grand Tetons—climbing, hiking and camping. We can always find a new adventure on mountain slopes.

City girl/guy or country girl/guy?
After being born, raised, and now living in the country, I am definitely a country girl. City traffic gives me the hives.

What’s on the horizon for you?
Continue writing books in the two series—Wades of Crawford County and Highland Treasures. I have a lot of time and research invested in both series, so I’ll continue with writing in them.

Anything else you’d like to tell us about yourself and/or your books?
I have one regret in my second career as a writer and publisher—wish I had started sooner.

A Highland Ruby
She must choose between a life of adventure with the man she loves or a settled, secure life with her betrothed. Flora Vass forced Gavin Munro out of her heart and mind until he returned to Scotland after an adventurous five years in the New World. Gavin leaves no doubt he returned to make the bonnie Flora his own and intends to fight for her. Flora's betrothed, Iain MacKay, and Gavin's brother, Chief Andrew Munro, have other plans. Andrew needs her to marry the MacKay and bring peace between the two clans. Iain MacKay desires an heir. War with England looms on the horizon, forcing Flora to make crucial decisions.