Saturday, April 30, 2011

A Candle In The Wind

The month of April has ended on a sad note with many lives, suddenly and unexpectedly, lost. My thoughts and prayers go out to all of those who lost loved ones in the tornadoes this past week. I consider myself fortunate to be sitting here, alive with electricity and house in tact. In this area, we had multiple tornado warnings and several funnel clouds passed over us on their way to touch down in Alabama and Tennessee.

That was simply how the cards were dealt on Tuesday and Wednesday. We got the lucky hand. But, often enough, luck runs out when you least expect it. A week ago today, a close friend of mine was buried after a sudden death. Like the tornado victims, she had no idea death was only hours away. It is a frightening thought that life can be snatched away so quickly. But, it is worth remembering every day you get up.  My friend always said to find something in every day to enjoy.  A good cup of coffee was what she enjoyed.  Find what makes you smile and spend more time smiling, less time worrying over the stuff that will mean nothing once you leave this life.

We are all candles in the wind waiting to be extinguished.  It is what we do with our time before our flame goes out that matters most.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A Great Quote

"Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway."  John Wayne

Sunday, April 24, 2011

In Remembrance of Beverly: Pretty Woman

Our friendship had spanned decades and many milestones from the death of parents to the birth of grandchildren. I have so many little unforgettable memories. Like her love of flowing scarves. She loved all things girly and blingy.  She had a "strawberry" kitchen, especially in her old house. Strawberry decor throughout. I remember one of her first attempts at writing was a romance she called Strawberry Kisses. Her favorite fairytale was Beauty and the Beast. She collected "Belle" figurines. Beverly was a card-sender. She never forgot my birthday and, during the past year when I was going through some difficult times, she sent me numerous "cheer up" cards. And, she never missed Christmas or Valentine's Day either. Thursday I received the last card I will ever get from her. It was a Easter card, delivered on the day she suddenly left this life.

A couple of years ago, she and I attended a funeral together and on our way home, we were talking about funeral songs, she told me she wanted to them to play Pretty Woman for her.  So, the Roy Orbison video is for you, Beverly. No one deserves it more. 

I am going to conclude this post with Beverly's new release.  The book is to be released Tuesday and she was to be my guest blogger tomorrow.  She had written the short post about the book a week ago and sent it to me.

Dead by Morning” is Book 2 in my “Dead by” trilogy and continues the on-going saga of the Powell Private Security and Investigation Agency.  The first book in the trilogy “Dead by Midnight” picked up where the previous Powell Agency book, “Silent Killer” ended.  Although these books are connected via the agency in one way or another, each story stands alone, and it’s not necessary to read the one before or the one after or to read them in order.  But if you want to get to know the characters who populate these books, especially Griffin Powell, you should start with “Killing Her Softly” because that’s the book where you first see Griff as a major secondary character.  Be sure to check my website at for a complete list of my books.  All the Powell Agency books are clearly marked, so you’ll be able to see which books are and which ones are not connected.
            Derek Lawrence, a former FBI profiler, kept on retainer by the Powell Agency, is the hero of “Dead by” Book 2.  Maleah Perdue, a Powell agent, is the heroine.  Maleah was first introduced in “The Dying Game” and has shown up over and over again in my books.  She and Derek locked horns in “Dead by Midnight” when they were assigned to work together on the Midnight Killer case.  I knew then that they were meant to be together.  As they gradually became better acquainted, they saw beyond the protective fa├žade each presented to the world and discovered that they actually liked and respected each other.
            While one mystery is solved in this book, I must admit that I do leave another hanging.  My December ’11 novel “Dead by Nightfall” will not only solve that mystery, it will answer all the questions readers have been asking about Griffin Powell and those mysterious missing years of his life.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Friday, April 15, 2011

April 15th Remembrance

One of my favorite movies, Titanic, is based on the sinking of the "unsinkable" ship. If the movie characters were real, today would mark the last day that Rose and Jack would be together. Ninety-eight years ago on the night of April 15th, the grand Titanic sank to the ocean floor, taking with it over 1500 souls.  I am hoping if there was a young couple on board, like the fictional Rose and Jack, they did enjoy that beautiful last day of the voyage.  The Titanic is a reminder of how things can change so quickly and unexpected in life. Enjoy life while it is yours. To this end, I am going to post a photo of a decorative china knicknack I bought a couple of years ago.  Keep the saying in mind.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Daring to be a Watermelon Head by Lee Ann Story

My guest blogger for the next few Wednesdays is my dear friend, Lee Ann, who is a special columnist for the local paper as well as an editor at Sam's Dot Publishing.  Below is one of her columns.

Daring To Be A Watermelon Head

  I always talk about how much I admire my kids, but I also admire my nieces and nephews. They are all unique and each individual is so special with qualities that make him or her one-of-a-kind.
            However, this week I was particularly struck with awe over my youngest niece, Abby. Abby, when asked, will immediately inform everyone she is seven-and-a-half-years-old. And, Abby has always done her own thing pretty much right from birth. She is very much my sister Cressy’s daughter.
            Abby is sweet and affectionate, but also stubbornly individualistic – always has been. At times, this has been difficult. For instance, when Cressy, and her kids, came down to visit from Kentucky recently, Abby wanted to bring her two giant stuffed bunnies with her. Cressy advised her against it. Cressy has four kids. She drives a car, not a bus. Things were going to be crowded as it was without Abby bringing her two “friends” with her.
            Abby won. She got to bring her two bunny friends, crowding the back seat, much to her brother, Ben’s, irritation. Ben has never been an icon of patience. Abby knew her trip would be made better by having her bunnies. I have to admit … they’re cute bunnies. I can’t blame her. I’d have brought them, too.
            Abby says funny things, too. She states precisely what is on her mind. She’s extremely intelligent, like all of Cressy’s kids, and she is not afraid to express herself. I approached Cressy and Abby as Cressy was swinging Abby in a tire swing in my parent’s backyard. We all stood around and had a nice discussion about stuff like clothes, tire swings, dogs and all sorts of important stuff. My cell phone began to ring at that moment and it has an interesting musical ring tone. Abby heard it and wistfully said, “That music matches this moment.”
            My mother is a nurse and makes the cutest surgical caps, which she sometimes sells as a little side business. She makes the kind of skull-hugging caps like surgeons wear (for people with short hair) and she makes the bigger caps that resemble a shower cap or a chef’s hat that will completely cover longer hair. She uses fun patterns of material to make them. She allowed the kids to go through the caps and choose something they like. Ben chose a skull-hugging cap that had tiny frogs all over it. Abby chose a chef’s hat that had watermelons all over it.
            Later that same day, we all decided to go to a matinee at the movies. I met my sisters and their children over there. I was surprised to see that Abby was still wearing her watermelon surgical cap. “We tried to talk her out of it,” Cressy said, with a sigh, “but she won’t take it off. She looks like a chef.”
            “I like it,” Abby said.
            “Please, Mom. Make her take it off. This is so embarrassing,” said Cressy’s 14-year-old daughter, Lauren. I might want to mention at this moment that Lauren prefers a distinctive gothic look, replete with black nail polish, and everyone respects her preference.
            Abby’s brother, Matthew, had his own things to worry about and didn’t much care what Abby wore, but Ben was outraged. “I can’t believe she is going to wear that in to the movies,” Ben said … loudly … more than once.
            I will add, at this point in time, that Ben was still wearing his skull-hugging froggie cap, turned sideways. The strings that tie in the back were slapping his cheek with every turn of his head. I wondered if he had taken a peek in the mirror.
            “I like it,” Abby insisted.
            I had to admit, she wore it well. It looked cute on her.
            “Okay, watermelon head, let’s go in,” said Cressy, as she resigned to let Abby be herself. Abby was called “watermelon head” for the duration of the afternoon and it did not bother her or alter her decision one bit. She wore the cap to bed as she crowded out her mother with the two giant bunnies.
            I have to admire someone with so much spirit. She’s sensible, at that. She liked the hat. Few people are as brave or as completely confident enough in themselves to withstand the criticism of others. I have to admire Abby for daring to be a watermelon head. We should all have so much faith in following our own hearts. Go, Abby! Watermelon heads of the world, unite!

Monday, April 11, 2011

My "Best" List for Writers

I'm guest blogging today at Chatting with Anna Kathyrn regarding my list of Bests for writers. Click here:  Leave a comment to be entered in Anna's April book giveaway.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Time for a Spring Break

It's Saturday night and I've finally sitting down for a few minutes.  I'll miss Six Sentence Sunday tomorrow and for the next Sunday or two as well.  But, spring is here and it is time for road trips, company and spring cleaning.  I actually tackled the latter today because we finally had a sunny, warm Saturday. It was more like early summer as the temp got up to 89.  Feeling energized, I worked on my house most of the day.  There is nothing like a clean, clutter-free house.  My trash bin is over-flowing.  What I really loved was having the windows open all day.  The fresh breeze was great.
I'm planning a trip to Nashville and I'm hoping the dogwoods will still be in bloom.  Both dogwoods and azaleas are in bloom now. I took the photo of the butterfly enjoying an azalea yesterday.    

Then, I have a friend coming for a visit. We're planning our own writers' retreat in my den. 

Before I close, I have a product recommendation.  Krud Kutter.  I bought it at Lowe's and it works!  This stuff is great on grime. You just spray it on and let it set a few seconds and wipe off. The crud is gone!                                                               

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Super Easy Cheesy Ham Rolls

1 can (8 oz) Pillsbury® refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
8 thin slices cooked ham (8 oz)
4 thin slices Cheddar cheese (4 oz), each cut into 4 strips
Heat oven to 350°F. Separate dough into 8 triangles. Place 1 piece of ham on each triangle; place 2 strips of cheese down center of ham. Fold in edges of ham to match shape of dough triangle.
  • Roll up each crescent, ending at tip of triangle. Place with tips down on ungreased cookie sheet.

  • Bake 15 to 19 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheet. Serve warm.

    Quick and easy from

    Saturday, April 2, 2011

    Six Sentence Sunday

    It's time for Six Sentence Sunday and some more fun with Richie and Tommy Ray.   Plus Darlene, of course.   It is humorous fiction set in Mississippi in 195o's about two good ol' boys who end up trying to make the mayor's death look accidental for a profit of course.  The mayor died while having sex with Darlene, the local bimbo.  If you want to read earlier posts, I have created a page with their links.

    “Sir, we'll put the mayor behind the wheel and let the Caddy roll into the creek,” I explained. Albert Stroud adjusted his silk tie. “When the cops find him, they'll think he had a heart attack while he was driving. Shoot, that happens to old fat men all the time.  Nobody won't suspect a thing and folks will always think highly of Mayor Stroud.”
    “How much?” Albert asked.
    Darlene and Tommy Ray both looked at me like two puppies waiting for a  treat.

    Stop by and visit other Six Sentence Sunday authors!
    Also check out the book trailer for Beverly Barton's new book below. Thanks for stopping by and I hope everyone has a great week!! 

    DEAD BY MORNING by Beverly Barton

    This is a awesome new trailer for Beverly's new release.

    Dead By Morning will be released on April 26th.  It is available for pre-order now.

    Stop by on April 25th to find out more about the book from Beverly.  See you then!