New Beginnings

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May 032017

Recently, I received an email from a reader who loved the positive quotes that started off each chapter to TRUTH ABOUT LOVE & MURDER. She suggested that I add quotes on my blog, and I think it’s an awesome idea. But (there is always a but), I was finishing my last book, DO-OVER LOVE & MURDER, plus I was plotting my next book, and my husband and I were smack in the middle of selling our southeastern Wisconsin home and building a new home in Arizona. So my life was – and is – on the crazy now.

But I still love the idea, and will put the quotes up a couple of times a week. There will be times when I can’t do it. For instance, I probably won’t be posting in early June when we’ll be driving across the country and moving into our new house. In fact, all of June might be crazy.

What I can share now is my new book, which will be up very soon! After that, I have a new series planned. I’ve already loosely plotted my first book, and I’m excited about it. I actually feel tingles, which is a great feeling.

So here’s my quote for the day:


Overheard in a bar

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Jun 072016

My son was in an Irish pub, and he said that three young women were sitting on stools at the bar, complaining about their boyfriends. The bartender finally went over to them and said that what men want are from their women are the 3 Fs:

Feed them. Fuck them. And never Fight with them.

My son thought that was funny, but I wasn’t laughing. Basically, the bartender thinks that men Stepford wives.

If women have a similar version of what we want in from men, I would go with 3 Ls:

Love us. Like us. Laugh with us.

Not sure about Laugh, but I do love to laugh, and laughter is supposed to be the best medicine.

Can you think of anything better?

Good Tears

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Jun 042016

This is going to make you cry in all the best ways:

If a book or a movie makes me feel emotion like this, it’s a winner to me. And when it happens in real life, I always tear up.

I also saw that there’s going to be a Barbie Star Trek 50th Anniversary Uhura doll. That made me happy in a no-tear way to see Uhura recognized.

My husband and I have plans for the day that we hope will make us happy, too.

A friend adopted two kittens and a dog. She’s very happy.

What is making you happy right now?


Jun 022016

Though this blog is about happiness and not promo, some of the things I’m happy about are connected to my writing. I’m especially happy right now with my new Love & Murder covers. The first book in the series was about a woman whose friend was drying of cancer. There was romance, a small boy, a dog, a cat – and murdered veterans. This book had such a mix of elements, I thought that a cover with graphic lettering and scenery was the right way to go.

I was completely wrong. Everything I write comes down to emotions, and the covers didn’t show that. My first inkling of wrongness came from Bloduedd, aka as Book Girl at Mur-y Castell at Books for Life. She reviewed A LOVE & MURDER CHRISTMAS  last Dec. Though she liked the book, she gave the cover a FAIL. Her book blog is popular, and quite a few commenters agreed with her about the cover.

I had a lot going on in my life then (and who doesn’t?). It took me until recently to change the first three Love & Murder covers. I talked to author Elle J Rossi, who is also an amazing cover artist at EJR Digital Art. For my upcoming fourth cover, she has a woman and a dog in it. We ended up with new covers for the first three books, all of them with a woman and either a cat or dog, and a background that fits the book. (I love what Elle did with the print covers, too. The spines and the back covers are black, which adds to the suspense elements in my books.)

The cover for book 5 is ready, too, but I’ll reveal that later. I’m just so happy with all of them. Here are the three cover do-overs!










What makes you happy today?

Memorial Day

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May 302016

Happy Memorial Day! It’s especially happy for those of you who have a vacation day. My husband, my father, my two brothers, and a niece were in the service. My younger brother was the only one who remained in the service for twenty years. He met his wife in Thailand, so being in the Army was a good thing for him. 🙂

Yesterday, my husband and I were at a flea market. Since we plan on moving to a smaller home within the year, all we bought was kettle corn. (And it was delicious!) My husband was wearing his dog tags, which he does every Memorial Day. Someone noticed and thanked him for his service. My husband looked uncomfortable. I think that was the first time he was thanked. More important to him than gratitude would be that the government takes care of the veterans – mentally and emotionally as well as physically. And do it in a timely manner. This is a blog about searching for happiness, and that would bring happiness to a lot of veterans and their families.

Like Forest Gump says, “That’s all I have to say about that.”

artRight now, my husband and I live in southeastern Wisconsin. The Milwaukee Art Museum is beautiful, with wings that open on top of an extension, designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava. Every June, the Museum hosts a three-day art festival, and they let veterans come in free. Gotta say, we like that, too.

Today is my blog day at Magical Musings. I’m talking about Love For All Ages. It’s not a promo blog, though I do mention that a book which will be out later this summer has an older hero and heroine than the usual. Hop over and read it, and let me know what you think.

I hope you’re having a great weekend. The weather is perfect by us today, though we have no plans. What have you done this weekend that made you happy?

May 272016

Everyone has a story. Everyone has something good happen … and everyone has something bad happen. But I’ve known people who have everything – and they’re always complaining. I had a friend who was dying, and she never complained. Not once. Instead, she seemed to cherish every moment she had left.

Rose the Beagle

Rose the beagle

I’m not a saint. I complain. I judge. And then I catch myself and try not to complain or judge. It seems to me our reactions – what we dwell on – makes us either sad and angry or happy and looking forward to the next step in our lives. Through the years, my husband and I have had four dogs and one cat. Our dogs especially were spoiled. They loved eating, they loved us, they loved chasing balls, they loved naps. (Apologies to any men reading this, but doesn’t that sound like someone’s husband?)

If someone passed our yard, the dogs barked. Very territorial. (Like some men again, though all our dogs were females, and so is our cat.)

Sky, our English setter, field type

Sky, our English setter, field type

All our dogs were hunting dogs: two English springer spaniels, one English setter, and one beagle. They shared a lot of qualities: energetic, affectionate, loud, hating baths – every single one – and were often a source of laughter and joy.

Cats are different creatures. Our last two dogs passed a year and a half ago, a few months apart. At first, we were too sad to adopt another dog. We were grieving. Since we might move to another state next spring, we decided to wait until after we move before adopting again. We already had our cat, so we weren’t without a fur baby.

Belle is our first cat, and she has a lot of typical cat behaviors. She sometimes will come when we call her but only when she wants to come. I think she’s showing us that she’s the boss, not us. And she gets bored easily. Almost up to the end of their lives, our dogs were eager to chase a ball. That never got old. Not so for our cat. Cat toys lose their entertainment value quickly for her.

Belle is older now, but she's not much bigger.

Belle is older now, but she’s not much bigger.

Still, she can be very loving (when she wants). She does that kneading/massaging thing on my thigh. And she purrs. Her purrs make me happy. Other times, she pushes the top of her head into my palm, letting me know that she wants me to pet her. Because she’s so picky, if she shows the smallest sign that she wants some loving from me, I feel privileged and I love her more for it.

People are more like cats that way, though if my quest is for happiness, I should want to be a dog. Wanting to play. Wanting to run and cuddle and lick and sniff. Wanting total happiness, no matter how dopey I look. Yet a part of me still wants to be a cool and sometimes standoffish (but perfectly groomed) cat. On the other hand, I know the dogs are happier.

I guess this indecision shows my humanity. I want it all, and we humans complicate everything.

What about you? What animal would you prefer to be?