Sunday, December 22, 2013

I have written and rewritten this blog post over and over, never quite satisfied with my feeble and insufficient attempts at expressing the emotions filling my heart. I have recently been the recipient of an act of generous kindness for which I feel entirely incapable of communicating my gratitude.
As anyone familiar with this blog knows, this has been a very rough year, filled with some ups and quite a few downs. Life changed very suddenly and, in many respects, I have spent the past twelve months never quite stepping out of survival mode.
When a person is neck-deep in illness, trying to get through life one day at a time, sometimes one hour at a time, they never get to come up for air.
You run out of energy, so you simply find a way to keep going. You juggle time and resources to get to appointments, to do blood work, to fill your endless list of prescriptions. You struggle to be a good parent when you don’t even feel entirely human. And you do it day after day. It becomes, to a large extent, the whole of your reality because it is so all-consuming.
You run short on money, so you find a way to make ends meet. You cut back on other expenses, all the while praying no new expenses pop up or that you aren’t going to desperately need the money you just spent on something else. You’re holding your breath, just waiting for it all to fall to pieces. And if it doesn't, if you manage to make it work, the relief is almost palpable. Even one household expense away from disaster, you're grateful because you're better off than you could be, better off than you were, and because you know that there are many people who aren't so lucky.
You’re doing all right, but maybe not great. Still, that’s better than where you’ve been. You're moving along, feeling pretty okay with where you're at because you remember all too vividly where you've been.
Then someone reaches out and shows you compassion and kindness in a way that leaves you speechless. You have spent so much time constantly fighting for every little victory. Looking back on your progress, you feel like at least part of the crisis has passed, even though you know it hasn’t entirely. For a time, you don’t even know what to say or do when shown such compassion. There don’t seem to be words adequate to describe your gratitude and that makes you feel so terribly ungrateful.
I recently found myself the recipient of tremendous and overwhelming kindness from the writing community. I don’t know who, exactly, and thus can’t offer the personal thank yous I wish I could. I wish I could tell each of you who were part of this tremendous act of service how much I appreciate the kindness you have shown, how grateful I am for the burden you have lifted, and how utterly humbled I am.
I find myself reflecting on a sentiment I read annually at Christmastime that has added meaning for me this year. From Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol:
I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round—apart from the veneration due to its sacred name and origin, if anything belonging to it can be apart from that—as a good time: a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time: the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys. And therefore... I say, God bless it!”
God bless it, indeed. And God bless those who have eyes that see hidden burdens, ears that hear the silent cries of the downtrodden, and hearts filled with love and generosity.
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Friday, November 8, 2013

Earlier this year, I published a book in which, without giving too much away, one of the significant characters is very ill. The ailment is one that, at that time, could not be adequately treated, let alone cured, a condition that inevitably resulted in a shortened lifespan. Despite this heavy and very real struggle, the tale is a hopeful one, a celebration of love that endures in the face of trials and heartache and uncertainty, love that brings joy in the midst of sorrows.

I wrote the book a few years ago, when I was healthy and fully anticipating being so for decades to come. As you can imagine, the struggles and difficulties these characters faced struck me with added force as I went through edits and revisions in the midst of my own recently-arrived chronic illness. So much of this story reflects what is now my reality.

The response was generally quite good, but an email I received shortly after this book was published caught me by surprise. “No one,” the email informed me, “wants to read about someone who is sick.”

Authors understand and accept that everyone’s taste in books is different, that each individual reader comes to a story yearning for something specific, and it isn’t possible that any one tale will fulfill that expectation in every person who reads it. Some people will like what we write. Some won’t. That’s okay. We are okay with that.

But I have found myself unable to entirely shake that one sentence, those ten words. They hover in my mind, pricking at the tender places in my soul. It took a while for me to realize that the staying power of that declaration had absolutely nothing to do with criticism of a book I had written. Absolutely nothing. I wasn’t even bothered by the fact that this reader didn’t care for this particular book. It has happened before and will happen again. Rather, the ache I felt came from being that person “who is sick” and has felt the impact of that sentiment in my own life.

When an illness is new, there is an outpouring of concern and condolences and empathy. It is a gift, a rare bit of sunshine in a suddenly cloudy life. It is hope in a very palpable form. But something changes as time passes. Some amongst that person’s circle of acquaintances—thankfully not all, in my experience not even most—grow impatient with the whole thing.

“Well, if you’re not feeling better, you must be doing something wrong.”

“I know, I know. You ‘don’t feel good.’ You never do.” 

“This disease isn’t new anymore, so you really ought to be okay with it by now. Maybe you need to work on your attitude.”

“I have done a lot of things for you lately, why can’t you just do this one thing?”

Sometimes the response is more subtle. A roll of the eyes. A quick change of subject if the topic of health happens to come up. People who simply won’t talk to you anymore. Often it’s an almost imperceptible aura of annoyance. After a while, what is really being said becomes clear. “I don't want to hear about or deal with or be bothered with someone who is sick.”

When you are the person who is sick, it breaks your heart. You don’t want to be a downer. Indeed, you honestly wish none of this were going on, that it would magically all go away or would suddenly be really easy to deal with. You try hard to keep to yourself just how much you’re struggling. You purposely stick to other topics because, as tired as some people get of hearing about your illness, you are far more tired of being ill.

You learn to not talk about it. You learn to pretend everything is fine. You learn to close off your heart when someone makes it clear that the empathy ship has sailed though you are still on Illness Island looking out over a vast ocean you know you’ll never cross. There are moments when you feel utterly alone.

Then someone comes along and puts an arm around your shoulders, or listens as you pour your broken heart out, or simply chooses to stick around even when you’re struggling or frustrated or not getting any better. The dismissals and unkindness still sting, they still wound an already fragile soul, but you learn to find strength in those who do not desert you. You cling to those moments of support and understanding. You remember that, while there are certainly people who don’t want to be bothered with someone who is sick, there are many others who can see the person and not just the illness.

So if there is someone in your life who is struggling, whatever their struggle, be that kind of friend who sees them through and loves them even when things look bleak. They need it likely more than you know.
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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Every year in late October I sit down with my writing calendar for the upcoming year and map out my schedule: due dates, book releases, conferences, classes, etc. This becomes the backbone of my plan for the year. From that, I decide when to work on a new project, when to polish existing stories. I’ve begun working on that for 2014 and had a moment of reflection remembering the same undertaking this time last year.

I had big plans for my writing in 2013. Jotting down deadlines, release dates, conferences, all the things on my radar for this year, I was both excited and a little overwhelmed. But mostly excited. It would be a lot of work, I realized that, but boy was it going to pay off. I had done my homework, I knew what to expect, what to anticipate, and I was ready. This was going to be my year!

Looking back, I can’t help a sigh and a very real drop of my heart. This has been a hard year in so many ways. I’ve struggled with a new and debilitating chronic illness, one that will be with me the rest of my life. Conferences that I had attended and loved in the past were extremely hard for me this year; I even had to miss some of them. The deadlines seemed to pile up, all coming at once in one crushing wave after another. Many of the amazing things I anticipated happening in my career this year didn’t happen--some of those things couldn't happen, some simply didn't.

I had planned to reach the end of this year high five-ing myself for a job well done and looking forward to another shiny and dreamy year. But here I am. Tired. A little discouraged. Trying to face another year with the weight of uncertainty and setbacks heavy on my shoulders. The sudden arrival of RA changed a lot of things. Circumstances outside of my control changed still more things I'd been looking forward to. It's hard to push on, to pick up the pieces of shattered hopes and find a way to make new dreams out of them.

So I had a little talk with myself the other day. I gave myself a figurative hug, acknowledging that the path I’ve walked these past months has been a difficult one and that discouragement and worry and disappointment are to be expected. I promised not to beat myself up over it but also to not dwell on it.

I’ve begun making a list, not of the disappointments (I’m acutely aware of those—no list needed), but of those things that worked out better than I’d hoped, of the things I’d anticipated that did come about, of the tiny victories in the midst of an overwhelming battle. I’m taking time each day to remind myself that, though so many things went wrong, quite a few things went right.

I’ve started the task of filling out next year’s schedule with those deadlines and commitments that are firmly set. I have set myself to the modest task of completing one new novel. But outside of that I have only given myself one expectation, one goal: to keep going.

One of my favorite quotes comes from Samuel Beckett. “Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”

Knowing how many things fell apart this past year, I am struggling to get myself going for next year. What if it falls apart again? Falls apart worse? What if nothing goes the way I hope it will? It’s a very real worry, one that can be paralyzing at times, one I think we all deal with from time to time. So I repeat this mantra. “Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”

Maybe it’ll be another disappointing year. Maybe it’ll be even harder than this one. But maybe it will be better. No matter what comes, I plan to tackle it. It’ll try, and maybe I’ll fail. But if I do, I’m going to fail even better than before. And then I'll try again. Because as long as I keep going no failure is ever final.
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Friday, October 18, 2013


Longing for Home, Book 2: Hope Springs

All is not well in Wyoming. Katie Macauley gave up her life-long dream of returning to Ireland in order to make a home for herself in Hope Springs, but her future has never been so uncertain. The town is more divided than ever, with both the Irish and the Reds stealing property, burning buildings, and endangering lives.

Katie’s heart remains sharply divided between her love for playful Tavish and steady Joseph, a decision she feels ill-prepared to make. In the midst of the growing unrest, temperatures drop quickly, too quickly, and Irish nightmares of famine and cold resurface as the little Wyoming town struggles to beat the harsh winter.

Katie makes one sacrifice after another to keep the peace and help see her loved ones through the difficult days ahead, but will it be enough? Can the town make amends before their hatred consumes them all? And will Katie find the love she has been searching for as well as a home to call her own?


Coming March 4, 2014
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Thursday, October 17, 2013

Heroes & Heartbreakers is hosting the official, exclusive cover reveal of the sequel to Longing for Home...Hope Springs. Head on over and check it out!

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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

As You Are

A horse breeder by trade, Corbin Jonquil is more at home in the stables than in the ballroom of his sprawling estate. Corbin is the quietest of the Jonquil brothers and has always faded into the background, contentedly unnoticed. When a mysterious young widow, Mrs. Clara Bentford, moves into the neighborhood, however, Corbin quickly comes to realize that being noticed has its advantages. But how to catch the eye of the lady? According to his brothers, Corbin need only make a few simple changes to transform himself into the object of any woman’s desire—dubious advice, indeed. Following a series of misadventures, Corbin and Clara slowly lower the facades behind which they’ve been hiding, leaving Corbin shocked by the horrors that haunt the woman he’s coming to care for so ardently. When the menace of Clara’s past threatens to tear them apart and tensions mount, will the couple have the courage to fight for the promise of forever?
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Monday, October 14, 2013

What a great response to this giveaway (and I walked away with a TON of Halloween costume ideas!). Using random.org, I have randomly selected a winner from amongst all the entries, and the copy of An Unlikely Match goes to...

Heather Lynn (who commented over on my Facebook page)

This was tons of fun! I have at least one more giveaway in the works. And, if you haven't yet heard about "The Proper Romance Tour," (the lovely Julianne Donaldson, author of Edenbrooke and Blackmoore, and I are doing a signing tour together) coming up in November and December of this year, there is more info HERE.

Thanks everyone!
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Friday, October 11, 2013

Y'all ready for another giveaway? I thought so. This time, we're keeping it super-duper simple.

I'm giving away a signed copy of my book, An Unlikely Match. This "ghost story" romance is set in Wales in the early 1800s on the grounds of a haunted estate against the backdrop of the ancient Welsh holiday of Nos Galan Gaeaf (October 31st--see the Halloween connection??) a night of ghosts, graveyards, and phantom sows that eat children.

So, here's the easy-peasy way to enter:
  • Leave a comment here on this blog post, and/or on the facebook post linked HERE telling me your favorite halloween costume from your own halloween past, your children's halloween past, your imaginary halloweens past, etc.
  • Each comment is an entry.
  • Enter as many times as you'd like.
  • Contest closes Sunday night at 11:59pm.
  • Contest open to US & Canada.
  • On Monday morning (10/14/2013), I'll randomly select a winner from amongst all the entries.

It's really that simple!
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Wednesday, October 2, 2013

One of my favorite things about writing Longing for Home was the chance to celebrate my love of traditional Irish music. I was able to include, by name, many of my favorite traditional tunes. Every one that is mentioned in the book is a real tune that was in existence in 1870.

I thought, perhaps, you would enjoy a chance to hear a few of them.

Mentioned during Katie's first trip out to the river to play in the evening...

"Reel du Goglu"



"After the Sun Goes Down"

 

"Paddy McFadden" (a tune originating in Scotland, where it was called "Hills of Glen Orchy," upon crossing the Irish Sea into the Ulster Region of Ireland took on the name "Paddy McFadden")




 When Katie first plays her fiddle at the céilí...

"The Donegal Reel" (her first song, the one that stops the party in its tracks)


video



"The Dear Irish Boy" (the song she ends with, which Tavish says broke everyone's heart)





The tune Katie plays in memory of her father, "Ar Eirinn"
(the Irish verse is the original lyrics, though the English translation that follows isn't exact... still, a lovely, lovely rendition)





There are a ton more mentioned in Longing for Home, all of them real and authentic. Perhaps I'll do another installment down the road. And there are quite a few in the sequel, Hope Springs. We could be at this for a long time.
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Tuesday, October 1, 2013

I am so overwhelmed and humbled and touched by the response to the "Tell a Friend" giveaway. When I first came up with the idea, I told my husband I thought I might--might--get 50 entries, and that would be pretty cool. By the time the contest closed, there were over 100.

I'm not sure how to explain just how much it means to an author to have readers enjoy her work enough to recommend it personally to others. I know that, in doing that, you are trusting me to keep putting out books that you can feel good about having steered your friends and family toward. I don't take that lightly.

I wish I could somehow personally thank each and every one of you who has recommended my books, whether in person or via a review or in your social media. Please know that I am deeply, deeply grateful for it.

Now, using the wonderful tool that is random.org, I have selected from amongst all the comments a winner for the fabulous giveaway prize: a cute bag, a "Live in Hope" journal, and a signed copy of the winner's choice of any one of my books. And the winner is...

ashley. (who was introduced to my books by Karen Hodges) 
If you will shoot me off an email via the contact link at the top of the page, I'll get that prize off to you as soon as possible!


Thank you again to everyone who entered, to everyone who has supported my books, and for the many, many words of encouragement I have received.

There will be another giveaway on the blog in the next few days!!

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Monday, September 23, 2013

The release of Longing for Home has been an absolute bright spot in a very difficult year. It's a story that is close to my heart, a book I poured myself into, and a wonderful opportunity to expand my tales into a new era, a new continent, and a new group of characters. I love this book. I honestly, truly do. And I am in the mood to celebrate.


So, I am going to do some giveaways here on this blog--my little way of thanking you for your support of me and my stories, a way for me to have a virtual "party."

The "Tell A Friend" Giveaway

I love, love, love hearing people say they recommended my books to a friend. That is the ultimate endorsement! So thank you a hundred times over--I know your willingness to tell a friend has been a huge part of getting my books into the hands of new readers. In honor of that much appreciated word-of-mouth, I'm giving away a lovely prize...

  • Prize: a "Live in Hope" journal, super cute bag, and a signed copy of one of my books of your choice

  • How to enter: Leave a comment on this post letting me know who you have told about my books, "Friend," "Mom," "Sister," "All of Facebook," etc. Every comment is an entry, and you can absolutely leave more than one comment. One winner will be chosen at random from all the comments.
    • If you tell someone between now and when the contest ends... awesome! Just leave another comment.

  • Contest ends: 11:59:59pm September 30th. 

  • Open to US & Canadian residents.

Thank you, everyone, for all the support you've shown me. I hope this contest is fun.

**I'll have another giveaway in October!**

(PS, I've added info to my link bar for book clubs--if your book club is planning to read one of my books and would like to invite me to join in, let me know!)
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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

So, what are you doing on Saturday, Sept 21st Saturday, Oct 5th???
I know what I'm doing.

LDS-apalooza book signing
September 21st 6-8pm
Barnes & Noble - University Crossings
330 E 1300 S, Orem, UT



Deseret Book's "Ladies Night" book signing
October 5th, 6-8pm
Deseret Book - University Village
1076 S 750 E, Orem, UT



Stop by & say hi!
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Wednesday, August 7, 2013

To celebrate the release of LONGING FOR HOME, we're throwing a party--Irish Style. Authentic food. A wonderful book. And perhaps a touch of blarney. Come celebrate with us!

When: Tuesday, August 20th 7pm

Where: The King's English Bookshop,  1511 South 1500 East Salt Lake City, Utah

Why: Food. Fun. Friendly people. A fantastic bookshop. (Do you really have to ask "why"??)

See you there!






Places in the signing line are reserved for those who purchase a copy of Longing For Home from The King's English.

GET YOUR COPY NOW! Pre-order your signed copy of Longing For Home today, by either calling the store at 801-484-9100 or ordering online. Please specify if you will be attending the event and if you want your book personalized.
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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Glimmer of Hope

Stunning Miranda Harford once had the world at her feet. She was young, carefree, and desperately in love. But when her new husband left for London without her, her world fell apart. Devastated by his abandonment, Miranda fled their home, taking residence at her husband’s rarely visited countryside estate. For three years, she lived alone. But now, as the holidays draw near, an unexpected visitor arrives . . .
Carter Alexander Harford, Seventh Viscount Devereaux, is a man driven to succeed. His work is his life, and the position of Prime Minister of England is within reach. But in truth, Carter is a man haunted by lost love. Estranged from his beautiful wife, Carter is shocked to find Miranda—the woman he’d loved and who he believes has left him—in residence at his country home.
As plans for a holiday party move forward, the uneasy couple realizes that to avoid further scandal, they must keep up appearances in a charade of marital happiness. Thrust together by fate, it quickly becomes clear that they have both been living beneath a conspired cloud of misunderstanding. As family, career, and social pressures threaten to keep them apart, can love have even a glimmer of hope? 
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Friday, May 10, 2013

Coming August 2013

“An engaging and heart-warming story.” —Julianne Donaldson, bestselling author of Edenbrooke


    Though she was only a child during the darkest days of Ireland’s Great Famine, Katie Macauley blames herself for the loss of her family’s land and the death of her sister. Now a woman grown, Katie has left Ireland for America and the promise of earning money enough to return home again and plead for her family’s forgiveness.
     She arrives in Hope Springs, Wyoming Territory, a town sharply divided between the Americans who have settled there, with their deep hatred of the Irish, and the Irish immigrants who have come searching for a place to call home. Her arrival tips the precarious balance, and the feud erupts anew.
     Even in the midst of hatred and violence, however, Katie finds reason to hope. Two men, as different as they are intriguing, vie for her heart, turning her thoughts for the first time toward a future away from Ireland.
     Katie must now make the hardest decision of her life: stay and give her heart a chance at love, or return home and give her soul the possibility of peace.


Purchase Links:
Deseret Book
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Thursday, April 4, 2013


I haven't done any signings since Drops of Gold came out, mostly because RA arrived at my doorstep at about the same time and I haven't had the stamina or endurance to do anything but survive from day to day. However, I am super, super excited to be signing at Deseret Book's "Ladies Night" with the 2007 & 2013 (!!) winner of Utah's "Best of State" medal for fiction, Annette Lyon, at the...
Deseret Bookstore at University Mall in Orem Utah
This Saturday, April 6
6-8pm

If my hands give out before the evening is over, maybe I'll recruit someone to sign for me. Y'all know how to spell "Sarah," right?

Stop by if you can. There'll be prizes and food and lots of fun!
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Sunday, March 17, 2013

☘ ☘ ☘ ☘ Happy St. Patrick's Day! ☘ ☘ ☘ 



For those of you who are new around here, St. Patrick's Day is kind of a big deal. Kind of a really big deal. On this blog, it is The Holiday of Coolness. At the Eden home, it is my birthday! It is also the day we ramp up our ordinarily enormous Irish pride to levels approaching lunacy. Everything we eat is green. Everything we wear is green. The house is filled with green, green, green. And this blog gets the same Irish makeover.

This year, St. Patrick's Day is even more fun. We had the amazing opportunity to spend Christmas in Ireland and came home even more in love with the culture, the history, the people. We're dying to go back.

So, in Holiday of Coolness tradition, here are some fantastic Irish Things I Love...

Music
Traditional Music:
This video is of "The Irish Houseparty" a group I got to see perform in Dublin when I was there in December. Fantastic. Amazing. So, so, so much fun. I could spend an entire blogpost just on the joys of listening to live Irish music played by talented Irish musicians in a traditional Irish pub. This particular tune, "The Rocky Road to Dublin" features prominently in my next book, due out in August, set amongst a large group of Irish immigrants settled in the mid-19th Century American West. It's a fave!


Songs sung in the beautiful ancient Irish language:
This is the fantastic Mary Black, singing "Mo Ghile Mear" (My Gallant Darling). This song dates to the 18th century and is a lament for Bonnie Prince Charlie. For many centuries the Irish were forbidden to speak Gaelic, though strongholds remained in the more rural parts of the country. The language very nearly reached a point of extinction. After Ireland was granted its independence in 1922, Gaelic (which was always called simply "Irish" by those we spoke to in Ireland) became part of all children's education in Ireland and official place names, by law, included both the English and Irish names. This beautiful, rich language has been preserved for future generations and I, for one, am very pleased it has been.

Modern music:

Every year I post a song by The Script, one of my favorite groups of all time. These Dublin boys are pretty fantastic. This song, "Hall of Fame" from their most recent album, #3, is one of my go-to songs when I need something to pump me up and get me going. Fantastic, yeah?

Looking for more great Irish music? Do a Youtube, Spotify, Grooveshark, etc. search for any of the following: The High Kings, Cara Dillon, John Doherty, Michael McGoldrick, The Clancy Brothers, The Wolfe Tones, The Dubliners, Liam Clancy, Tommy Makem, The Irish Rovers.

Still not enough? Tune in to the live internet radio feed at liveireland.com and thank me later!

The People
Even as we wandered around Ireland completely lost and kind of nerdily in awe of the entire country, we were greeted on every side by the kindest, most friendly people you'd ever meet. Even complete strangers laugh and talk with you as though you were their best friend.

We spent an evening with the Ryan family in Tramore, enjoying "biscuits and games." (Biscuits means cookies, by the way.) Willie Ryan is, quite possibly, the funniest person I have ever, ever known. He told the most ridiculously hilarious, far-fetched stories but with a completely serious expression and tone. After three or four, he told our kids, by way of explanation, "I kissed the Blarney Stone in '74." And that, apparently, was all we really needed to know.

Want to hear just exactly what The Gift of the Gab means. Take a listen to this fine, fine example:

The History
Want to feel grateful for freedom and liberty? Spend a little time studying the last 400 years of Irish history. It is heartbreaking and inspiring at the same time. My kids hear a lot of Irish music and poetry, and they quickly discovered a pattern. When we hear a song or poem about an Irish battle or uprising, their comments are generally something like, "The Irish lost that battle, huh?" And the answer is almost always, "Yes." And yet, the Irish didn't give up. That they maintained their culture and identity and determination to fight on is pretty amazing.

The Irish are often noted for being stubborn. I don't know if that stubbornness came about because of the centuries of oppression they endured or if their stubbornness came first, the reason they survived it all. Either way, I'm grateful to have inherited a good amount of that determination not to curl up and die in the face of adversity--it has served me well.

One of my favorite Irish poems, written by Seamus Heaney, recounts the Irish's tragic, brave stand against the British Army during the Battle of Vinegar Hill, part of the 1798 Rebellion.
Requiem for the Croppies
The pockets of our greatcoats full of barley...
No kitchens on the run, no striking camp...
We moved quick and sudden in our own country.
The priest lay behind ditches with the tramp.
A people hardly marching... on the hike...
We found new tactics happening each day:
We'd cut through reins and rider with the pike
And stampede cattle into infantry,
Then retreat through hedges where cavalry must be thrown.
Until... on Vinegar Hill... the final conclave.
Terraced thousands died, shaking scythes at cannon.
The hillside blushed, soaked in our broken wave.
They buried us without shroud or coffin
And in August... the barley grew up out of our grave.

-Seamus Heaney

The Food
Every year I post a recipe for a traditional Irish dish. This year it's Lamb Stew. We don't eat corned beef and cabbage for our St. Patrick's Day celebration. Our Irish ancestors were too poor to have ever afforded something as fine as beef. They would have lived on soda bread, colcannon, potatoes, and mutton and, on special occasions  lamb. So that's what we have to honor them. They were simple, humble, hardworking people, and I'm proud of that. That's what we celebrate and honor on St. Patrick's Day.

Irish Lamb Stew
1.5 lb lamb, cut to stew-sized pieces
2 large onions, peeled and sliced
1 lb potatoes, peeled, sliced
2 tbsp fresh chopped parsley and 1 tsp fresh chopped thyme (mixed together)
salt and black pepper

Preheat oven to 325*. Fill a casserole dish with lamb, onions, and potatoes. Sprinkle with herbs and salt and pepper to taste. Pour in 2 cups of water. Put on casserole lid. Cook for 2-2.5 hours. Serves 4.

Irish Blessings
The Irish have the most fantastic mixture of wisdom and wit. While I would struggle to pick a favorite, I do always close out my annual Holiday of Coolness post with this gem...


May those who love us, love us.
And for those who don't love us,
May God turn their hearts.
And if He can not turn their hearts,
May He turn their ankles,
So we may know them by their limping.



Happy Holiday of Coolness, everyone!
(And, in case you're curious, here are links to the HofC posts from 2012, 2011 & 2010)
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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Just dropping in to let you know that "Courting Miss Lancaster" is currently $3.99 for Kindle!! I know!!!

So, if you've ever wanted the eBook but have put it off, or if you want an extra copy just in case, or if you want to get a copy for someone for... I don't know... like Valentine's Day or something--*ahem*--You can't beat this price!

And, here's the link for you convenience:
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Thursday, January 31, 2013

Click here for more graphics and gifs!Click here for more graphics and gifs!


It has been an amazing few months for me. Not only have I had two books come out, which is always a fantastic feeling, but my wonderful, talented, hard-working, genius agent Pam has been hard at work shopping a manuscript. This past Saturday the deal she brokered was officially announced on Publisher's Marketplace, which means I can now tell the world all about it!

Here's the announcement itself. (For those of you who aren't writers, seeing this in black and white, all official and fancy, is HUGE!! An absolutely dream come true and, most of the time, the result of years and years of work.)







So, this August I will have a brand new novel on shelves. I love, love, love this story and the characters who are part of it, and I know you will as well. The next few months will be absolutely crazy as we edit, re-edit and re-re-edit. There will be cover and title decisions to be made, marketing plans to plan, and all around fun and exciting and work-intensive things to accomplish. I cannot wait!
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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

I know I've been quiet and AWOL and neglectful and (consults thesaurus) derelict. Let me explain...

No. There's too much.

Let me sum up.

I have thought of some great blog posts, some fun things to share and chat about and generally use to fill up space on this website. I have. Really.

But we have had the most ridiculously cold weather here at the base of my lovely mountain and, as a result, I have spent the last week and more dealing with frozen pipes, flooded basements, no running water... You get the idea.

Life's crazy at the moment. Every free moment goes to crisis prevention and damage control. I'll be back when the water is on again. Promise!
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Thursday, January 3, 2013

I have been invited by KUED to be all "intellectual." This is a new PBS documentary about the Romance Novel industry, those who read romances (and why they do), those who write them, the stigmas attached, the ups and downs, etc. Those of you who know me, know I am passionate about this genre, about what it could be, what it ought to be. I'm excited to be able to discuss it and be part of the ongoing conversation surrounding the Romance industry.
(And here is my advisory: I haven't seen the documentary, so I cannot vouch for content. There is the possibility that, as it discusses the wide variety of books in this genre, it might touch upon aspects that are further down the content spectrum than you might be comfortable with. It might be squeaky clean. It might not. So... there you go.)

Come if you can!


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