Five things I thought about during my morning run:

  1. The scent of honeysuckle thick in the air.
  2. Pine cones hanging heavy on the limbs.
  3. The field of wildflowers that I pass by every day is getting smaller. But it’s hanging on. Yes, indeed.
  4. I’ll be heading to Frankfurt a week from today–weeee!!!
  5. Such a gorgeous day. Warm, with a nice little breeze. Perfect  morning for a run.

Castles and Dreams that Come True

When I was in the eighth grade, I studied German. The language was difficult, but I adored the “culture days” the teacher gave us eveDSCF4415ry Friday, where we learned about the history and culture of Germany. At one point the class went to Germany on a field trip. I sold the gummy bears to help raise funds for the group to go—but I didn’t join them. My family could never have afforded it.

Fast forward way too many years, and I’m planning a trip to Germany, with a little side trip to Paris. (Because Paris is just 3 hours away and is always a good idea. )  Since I was a girl, I dreamed of those castles that King Ludwig built—and they are first on my list of stops.

I’m flying to Frankfurt, taking a train to Munich and staying in Munich for three days—one of those days I’ll make a day trip to see my beloved castles. Then I’m off to Baden-Baden, for the real reason for my trip. I’m going to be interviewed by a German TV station. They are actually paying for my airline tickets and for two nights in a hotel, which is, quite honestly, the only reason I could afford this journey.

After the interview, I’ll be off to Paris for three days and back to Germany—Bingen, for my last full day in Europe.

This is really the craziest thing that has happened in my life.

I can’t  tell you the exact reason for this trip. I will, after it’s all over. I promise. But suffice it to say it has nothing to do with my books and everything to do with a relative of  mine, of my grandfather. If this is all not strange enough for you, I have and extra little nugget to this story.

I never use family names in any of my books. But I mentioned my grandfather’s name to my daughters one  day and they though it was so cool—Paul Eugene. So I used it for a very special character in an upcoming book (No Charm Intended, out next spring). So I had been thinking a lot about him—a man who was very influential in my life.

At the same period, I was being more reflective than usual and regretting I’ve never really had the time or money to travel like I wanted to. I was beginning to let go of some of those far-reaching travel dreams.

Then I heard from this TV show, and the next thing you know, I’m making plans to see those castles. I know it might seem strange to some of you, but I believe my grandfather had a hand in all of this. It’s just too far-fetched and specific and the timing just so for me to believe otherwise.

So starting June 2, follow along on my journey on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Here’s hoping all the technology will be in working order. I have a feeling it will be—if Paul Eugene has anything to do with it. Wink.

Five things I thought about during my morning run:

  1. The smell of freshly mown grass. One of my favorite smells ever.
  2. One step after the other. That’s all I need to think about.
  3. Except there is my trip to Germany and Paris coming up– a lot of details to plan!
  4. The day is sunny and warm and a slight breeze blows across my skin. Life is good.
  5. My new book! Memory of Light–$2.99 for an e-book!  Wow, there has been such a leaning curve on this. I think I’ve grown as a writer, as well. This book was a challenge–getting the history right and combining it with a good story.  Check it out. memory-of-light-ebook-fixed

Magpie Monday

Welcome to Magpie Monday, where I share some of my favorite blogs posts from the pervious week. a little of this, a little of that, dontchyaknow. Enjoy!

To be or not to be…a gaggle of Brits weigh in.

In the market for productivity apps?

Upstate New York, who knew?

The real Wolf Hall. 

The Claddagh community and ring.

Miniacs living in a small world.

I’m having a giveaway on Goodreads on my soon-to-be-published, MEMORY OF LIGHT: AN AFTERMATH OF GETTYSBURG. Click here.


Five things I thought about during my morning run

  1. DSCF4415Sundays will never be the same without my weekly conversation with my Mom. We lived far away from each other most of my adult life. But every Sunday  we touched base, even when I was traveling. I catch myself reminding myself to remember to tell my mom such and such. Then I remember she’s gone. Just gone.
  2. The day is glorious, beautiful. If I could order a perfect day for a walk or a run, it would be this.
  3. Trying to focus on things to look forward to: Barbara Vey Reader Appreciation Weekend is coming right up. I’m so thrilled to be attending!
  4. Planning my trip to Germany and Paris is taking a lot of time. And I’ll only have a short time there so I’m trying not to overload my schedule.
  5. I’ll be filling you in a lot more about this trip, which I’m calling “My midlife adventure.”

Memory of Light—Now Available for Pre-order!

You can now order my historical novel on all the major e-retailers. There will be a print copy available at some point. Here’s a little about the book:

Jefferson Coates signed on for the War Between the States, ready to give his life for his country. He wasn’t prepared for blindness.

He lost his eyes. He lost his livelihood. But he never lost the stubborn grit that kept him upright. From the Battle of South Mountain to the bloody fields of Gettysburg, through the daily struggle to live as a blind man on the unforgiving American frontier, this Medal of Honor winner never flinched.

Rachel Drew was no ordinary woman. In a world when girls grew up quickly, she left home to forge her own dreams. She never expected to marry or raise a family . . . not until she met a broom maker named Jefferson Coates.

Based on a true story, “Memory of Light” is about two independent souls forging their life and love on the Nebraska frontier.

Click on the cover if you’re interested in pre-ordering from Amazon, though it’s being carried everywhere. And if there are any reviewers and bloggers out there who’d like a review copy, shoot me an email at



Magpie Monday

Welcome to my new column, Magpie Monday, which is usually published on Mondays. But I ran away with my daughter yesterday to tour a college.  You understand, don’t you?  I’m sharing a little of this and that from my wanderings on the web last week.  Enjoy.

The most haunted places in the U.S. , or so they say.

What’s not on display at the museums.

A fabulous digital model of ancient Rome.

Victorian doctors thought reading novels could make women insane.

While researching my historical novel (Memory of Light, coming soon!), I became enamored with milk punch. When Jefferson Coates was recovering in the hospital, this is what they gave him–along with beef “essence.”

A writer who paints gorgeous eggs.

See you next time!

Magpie Monday

Welcome to my new column, Magpie Monday.  I’m sharing a little of this and that from my wanderings on the web. Enjoy.

An abandoned  mansion in France that has caves underneath it. A-mazing. I have a similar situation in a WIP. It always freaks me out a bit when I find a real life thing that reminds me of something I thought I imagined and wrote into a story. hehehe.

Fabulous post by Hank Phillipi Ryan on Femme Fatale blog about reader’s buying habits.

Love this post on writing cozy historical mysteries–not quite as “cozy” as you think, then.

The literary murdereress.

How crochet changed one writer’s life.

Think scrapbooking is not popular? think again. Check out this fabulous article about scrapbooking.