National Coloring Book Day

I loved to color when I was a kid. Especially in my Barbie coloring books.

I loved to color as a young adult as a way to relax. In fact , I still have a box of crayons from 1974.

And last year, when the adult coloring book craze took off, I bought two new coloring books plus unearthed one I’d purchased when my children were young.

And I colored every night for several weeks, mostly using colored pencils–which I did not like as a child–as a form of meditation.

Have you revisited your inner child and colored lately?02

August Is Romance Awareness Month

I am a romance author. I believe in the power of love. I’m glad I write in a genre that generates hope.

I went on Pinterest to look for ideas about how to be romantic so I could include them in this blog. Oh boy.

OK. Pinterest is a female thing. I’m going to just keep reminding myself of that. Because otherwise my head would probably explode. “Why,” you ask?  Because everything I found was what a woman can do for her husband. How she can support him. How she can take care of him and show him her appreciation.


The few pins I tracked down focusing on women were about sex.

Maybe romance, like Pinterest, is a female thing. That’s too bad.

But my findings got me to thinking:

  • my husband always used to open the car door for me (remote locks and lugging babies into car seats put an end to that)
  • he would peel an orange and offer me pieces (I can’t peel oranges. I have never been able to peel an orange. )
  • He has never expected me to have dinner on the table every night. (He does expect there to be food in the house and that I will ensure that happens now that we are empty nesters.)
  • When the children were very young, he installed a remote operated light in our back entry so I could use the garage door opener to turn it on when I got home with the children every night.

You might not consider those things to be romantic, but they are all his way of taking care of me. And that’s romantic.



Happy Aunt & Uncle Day

I was blessed with legions of aunts and uncles. But over the past couple of years, the numbers have dwindled, and that makes me sad. I have wonderful childhood memories because of my extended family–grandparents, cousins, aunts, and uncles. Now I’m down to four aunts (one of whom I haven’t seen in nearly 50 years) and a single uncle.

So happy day to Roy, Leona, Janet, Geraldine, and Marian.

Book Reading Bingo: Time Travel Romance

Last month I wrote about how my local RWA chapter is running a year-long book reading bingo challenge.

I focused on the book LEGEND by Jude Deveraux. One of the many categories into which this book could be used is Time Travel.

I’m going to let you in on a little secret: I love a good Time Travel romance. I recently read a newer one to mark the square off on my bingo card, but I was sorely disappointed in the book.  It’s not that the book was poorly written: it wasn’t. The mechanics were fine. But this award-winning novel didn’t have a plot twist I hadn’t met before.  And I tend to believe the conflict between the hero and heroine needs to be more than “I/You don’t belong in your/my time.”

One other thing: I listen to old RWA national conference workshops all the time. I have a dedicated mp3 play that holds nothing but. I consider my money well-spent when I purchase these workshops (even though I resent having to pay more for them because I can’t afford to attend the conference and conference attendees get a price break).

But I digress. One year an editor lamented that she’s never seen a Time Travel romance in which the time traveler chose to make the trip. The trigger is always an accident.  At the time the workshop was recorded, I was a aware of at least two published Time Travel romance out there in which the heroine made more than a conscious effort to go back in time. And since then, I’ve read at least one other.

So without further adieu, here is my list of favorite Time Travel Romances:

  • WINGS OF THE STORM by Susan Sizemore (1992) (accidental time travel)***
  • AFTER THE STORM by Susan Sizemore (1996) (intentional time travel)
  • LEGEND by Jude Deveraux (1996) (accidental time travel)
  • TWICE A HERO by Susan Krinard (1997) (accidental time travel)
  • SON OF THE MORNING by Linda Howard (1997) (intentional time travel)
  • KILLING TIME by Linda Howard (2006) (intentional time travel)

***This book was a Golden Heart winner…and the reason RWA now requires proof of a completed manuscript for all Golden Heart entries.

Hot Diggety!

It’s National Hot Dog Day.

I love hot dogs. Good hot dogs. Good hot dogs cooked right.

My favorite hot dogs are Hofmann. Yes, they are local, but the company is working to go national. (I do try to support local businesses, too. See my previous post about ice cream.)

But even Hofmann hot dogs need to be cooked correctly. The ball park mostly steams the ones they sell. That. Is. Disgusting. My mom used to boil hot dogs. Ugh! (Although sometimes she boiled them in tomato sauce, and that was good!) A perfectly cooked hot dog will have crisp, somewhat blackened skin. Grilling is the best way to achieve that. I use a grill pan on the stove when I have to.

Some people (TV Stevie) gunk up their dogs with sauerkraut and mustard. Or onions. Now, I’m not opposed to a Texas Hot once in a while, or a chili dog, but for everyday eating a great hot dog needs nothing but the roll.