Friday, September 28, 2012


It’s been almost two weeks since I last blogged. For me it’s been a very busy two weeks with a lot of new experiences, but I’m not sure much of it is blog material, so I’ll mostly play catch up. First some good news, my next book will be released in February instead of July as I was first told. For those of you who read The Heirs of Southbridge, this book concerns Clayton’s brother, Travis, who traveled farther west when Clayton returned to the East. I received the edits today, but I’m not sure how quickly I’ll be able to start working on it. I’m still in rehab and all of my notes and research are at home,but I’ll see if I can at least get started on it.

Which brings me to my next item. My surgery went very well, though I’m terribly black and blue. My mobility with that leg is improving each day. The staff is great here and they give me an intense workout each morning and afternoon. I brought my laptop and a big stack of books with me, so I’ve been able to keep up my reviews for Meridian magazine. This week I reviewed Tres Leche Cupcakes by Josi Killpack. This one takes place in New Mexico and I like the main character, Sadie Hoffmiller, much better than I did in the first few books in this culinary mystery series.

One weird thing is I get a shot in my stomach every morning to keep me from getting blood clots, yet I’m having a nuisance problem with nosebleeds. Go figure! It’s a whole new experience to learn to walk again, first with a walker, then with arm crutches, to use an ice machine instead of ice packs, and to try to sleep when someone in the next room, who is hard of hearing, is playing football games at full volume all night on his TV. My family and so many of you have been so supportive and I appreciate all of the prayers offered on my behalf.

I’ll admit I’m anxious to go back home and be surrounded by my own things. I love my little grandchildren’s antics when they come to see me here—everything is new and exciting to them—but they’re sort of like the proverbial bull in a china shop. I’m looking forward to quiet nights, my husband’s cooking (he’s very good, while the food here has that steam wagon taste and texture), and it will just be good to close the book on this chapter of my life.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Knees Have It

I have a new hero.  She smiles, she's cheerful, she gets the job done,  and it's a job I couldn't be paid enough to do.  I have no idea what her job title is, but what she does is make all the arrangements between hospitals, insurance companies, patients, medical suppliers, rehab facilities, etc. for a very busy surgeon.   I've gotten to know her because I'm having knee replacement surgery on Monday.  I've about gone crazy making the arrangements I've needed to make, but she has smoothed the impossible, gotten through a maze of telephone push button answering systems, tracked down records, and steered me through the process.  She's superwoman in my book. Thanks Lisa! 

I seriously dislike phone systems where an automated voice tells me to push buttons and gives me nine options, none of which quite fit what I'm calling about.  After I've been transferred a minimum of four times, I get another machine that tells me to leave my name and number and someone will call me back--but they never do.  Argh! 

It's probably best if I don't even get started on all the new regulations that have just gone into affect for medical providers and insurance companies!  And there's more to come.

Outside of the medical end of my upcoming surgery, it's been comically sad trying to get ready the things I'll need to take with me to the hospital.  My hospital stay will be followed by a week or two at a rehab center. I think I've spent the most time trying to decide what to load on my Kindle, copying material I might need from my desk top to my laptop or onto a USB drive, and trying to get a couple of reviews written ahead for incase I feel too rotten to read or write reviews for awhile.  Funny what us writer-types consider important at such times!  My laptop is old and slow; I'm not looking forward to using it for a few weeks.

If I don't blog or answer emails for awhile, be patient.  I'll be back as soon as possible, hopefully with a new bounce in my step, or at least a step that doesn't hurt. I may be a few days late posting the name of the Wish List winner for September, but if so, be assured I'll do it as soon as possible.
I posted a different kind of review on Meridian today.  Open Fire, J. Golden Kimball Takes on the South by Scott M. Hurst isn't strictly fiction.  It isn't even listed as fiction, but then it's not entirely fact either.  My review can be found here .

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


Whether it's your religion, politics, the environment, classical music, vampire books, a sugar free diet, the right to life, or five inch heels; if you believe in it, stand up for it.  But you don't have to be obnoxious about it. 

I'm a news junkie and I'm getting awfully tired of the comment sections that follow most online news articles posted by newspapers, magazines, television channels, and other news organizations.  Of course, I could stop reading them, but that's easier said than done for me.  Most mainstream news outlets caution against offensive language, but a lot of it seems to get by anyway. I suppose that because rude people are pretty anonymous on most comment boards they feel safe saying any repulsive thing they wish and instead of admitting to being cowards, they applaud themselves for their supposedly clever remarks.  I've noticed too that it doesn't matter what the article is about, a certain number of people are soon off topic and throwing insults at their favorite targets. 

This political season has been much too long and supporters of both national and local candidates have become particularly nasty in their denunciations of opponents.  This isn't necessarily new; as long as political parties have been around they've been trading insults, but because of the enlarged share of time and attention given to electronic gadgets today, it's really in our faces this time around.  It's expected that a candidate's failures and flaws are exposed to public scrutiny, but I'd like to see greater emphasis on the candidate's plans for the future and what he/she would do differently.  I can laugh at the gentle pokes that are humorous jabs at each other during a campaign, but I don't appreciate mean spirited ridicule. 

I find party platforms a silly waste of time.  I want to know what an individual candidate stands for, not the positions hammered out by party committees.  I consider myself a moderate, but by no means a sit-on-the-fence mediocre wait-to-see-which-way-the-wind-blows sort of person.  I have strong opinions about most issues.  I'm adamantly opposed  to abortion except when the pregnancy is the result of rape, incest, or the mother's life is at stake and I see no conditions under which partial birth abortions should be legal. I think it is morally wrong to send young people who were brought to America illegally, but who have stayed here, graduated from our high schools, speak English, and have become culturally American back to some country that is foreign to them. Some people consider me too conservative, some say I'm too liberal, but I believe in choosing for myself where I stand.  I don't back any blanket set of dogma called a platform even when I agree with most of the stated points on a platform. 

Many people call themselves moderates or independents when what they really mean is they don't care enough to get involved or they fear someone might think less of them for having a different viewpoint.  And some are just lazy.  I don't think this life was meant to be lived by merely drifting along.  We're supposed to care, to fight for what we believe is right, to choose sides, have opinions, and support causes and candidates that uphold our values.  We should stand for something, but let's find a way to do that without being so disagreeable, rude, and mean.

Saturday, September 1, 2012


As promised the Wish List Contest resumes today.  Entries will consist of all those who leave comments on any blog or review I post this month here, on my Meridian review column, or any of my blogs posted on the V-Formation blog.  Tasteful comments only will be considered, foul language will be an automatic disqualification, and multiple comments are acceptable.  One prize will be awarded from the books I've received for review consideration and the winner will be asked to send me a list of five or more books he/she would like and I will send one of them to the winner.  (I don't have as many books to give away now as I once did since some authors and publishers currently send me e-books which, of course, I can't send on to winners). Previously I included all of my followers in each drawing, but since many of those winners' prizes went unclaimed, I'm going to limit entries to those who leave comments only.  Feel free to comment on my posts or on anything book related.

I've read some really excellent books lately.  The Rent Collector by Camron Wright and My Loving Vigil Keeping by Carla Kelly are two I reviewed for "Meridian Magazine".  Both touched me deeply in entirely different ways.  The first is of real family living in a garbage dump in Cambodia and is a powerful testament of the power of literacy and the human desire to live and better one's self.  The second is also a powerful story concerning education and the desire to improve one's children's lot in life. It is a fictional story, a historical romance, built around a real mining disaster that occurred in Utah in 1900.

I've also written reviews of two other books I finished reading in the past few days, but these reviews are not yet posted.  If like me, you are a fan of mystery suspense novels, you won't want to miss Deadly Undertakings by Gregg Luke or Code Word by Traci Hunter Abramson.  Luke's novel is a medical (forensic) suspense story that is chillingly realistic and Abramson delivers another Saint Squad that is frightening in its contemporary possibilities.

How about you?  Have you read anything good lately?  I'm nominating my fave's for Whitney Award consideration and hope you do the same.  There's a button on the sidebar of this page that makes nominating easy.  Go for it!