Tuesday, January 31, 2017

In Remembrance

A friend of mine recently passed.  She was diagnosed with cancer one week and gone the next.
At one point in time, the staff and faculty where I worked were considered family.  Donna added to that by always having the coffee pot on, cookies available and a kind word for anyone that needed it.
She was sixty-six when she got her PhD.  Her standing joke was she bet it really confused the mailman to deliver mail, with doctor in the title, to the trailer park.
She made a home for, and took care of her mother, until her mom passed.
She came from Virginia coal country and never forgot her roots.
She was a friend to many and held out a hand to anyone that needed it.


On Your Journey

May the bagpipes play
May the sun’s rays warm you
May the birds fly with you...
As the breeze catches your wings
And carries you home.

Your Friend


Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Tsunami Crimes

With us today is our writer pal Chrys Fey to talk about her latest release.  Welcome, Chrys.  I asked our friend to tell us how she develops her characters and this was her response:
I typically do three things. The first is finding someone I can model my characters after, which tends to be actors/actresses. This doesn’t mean my characters are these people, but rather that I use their images when I first create my characters. This gives me a solid foundation to build upon. With actors in mind, it’s easy to visualize my characters doing and saying things. They seem alive, and from that point on I can mold my characters into who they truly are.
To do that, I give them parts of myself. I pretend my characters, with the faces of actors, are me. This helps me to give them emotions and depth. What would I do? How would I feel? Everything they do, I put myself in their shoes. I am looking out at the world through their eyes. Sometimes, my characters come from my dreams, which makes it that much easier for me to believe we are linked.
Finally, I treat them as if they are real people. I do everything I can to make them three-dimensional. I don’t create a spreadsheet of facts for them, although that is a great idea. Instead, I just peel back their layers in my mind and uncover who they are. What makes them unique? How can I make readers identify with them? With these answers, I can develop well-rounded characters.

Beth and Donovan have come a long way from Hurricane Sabrina and the San Francisco earthquake. Now they are approaching their wedding day and anxiously waiting to promise each other a lifetime of love. The journey down the aisle isn’t smooth, though, as they receive threats from the followers of the notorious criminal, Jackson Storm. They think they’ll be safe in Hawaii, but distance can’t stop these killers. Not even a tsunami can.
This monstrous wave is the most devastating disaster Beth has ever faced. It leaves her beaten, frightened. Is she a widow on her honeymoon? As she struggles to hold herself together and find Donovan, she’s kidnapped by Jackson's men.
Fearing her dead, Donovan searches the rubble and shelters with no luck. The thought of her being swept out to sea is almost too much for him to bear, but the reality is much worse. She’s being used as bait to get him to fall into a deadly trap.
If they live through this disaster, they may never be the same again.

On SALE for $2.99!


P.S. Hurricane Crimes and Seismic Crimes are on sale for 99 Cents!

Chrys Fey is the author of the Disaster Crimes Series. She is a blogger, reader, auntie, vegetarian, and cat Lover. Get Lightning Crimes (Disaster Crimes 2.5) for FREE!


Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Happy Birthday

Belle and I are celebrating our birthdays today. Belle turned twelve and I turned....well that's not important:)
Since Belle and  I don't have party favors to give out, here's a freebie. If you want a copy help yourself.

And on sale this week for .99¢

Monday, January 16, 2017

Focaccia with Blackberries, Thyme, and Goat Cheese

Just let me say I stopped cooking and baking, with the exception of holidays, years ago.  And I avoid yeast products like the plague, but this recipe intrigued me so I gave it a whirl.  The only differential, I substituted feta for the goat cheese. 
Riddle me this:  Why does it take four hours of rising to end up with a product that has the consistency and texture of  pizza dough?

I'm visiting with Mae Clair today.  If you're in the vicinity please stop by and say hey.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The Cruise

I'd hoped to have a lot of pictures to share, but unfortunately--true story--the HH fell in the river while hiking in the Dominican Republic.  Luckily, the camera was the only casualty:)
I LOVED the Dominican Republic.  As you can see it's quite beautiful.  If you have never been, think Jurassic Park.  It's actually where JP was filmed.  The people there are very self-sufficient.  Much of the healing is holistic.  They have plants for just about everything, including cancer prevention. The average age is ninety to a hundred.  They build homes from trees that fall.  Using the tree itself for the house and the fronds/leaves for the roof.  If you are after particular leaves for healing and the plant doesn't grow in your backyard you just walk into the forest and pluck it.
We did a hike--where the HH fell--to a natural water fall in the rain forest and, for me, it was the high light of the trip.  We crossed several streams and low rivers, and on the hike our guide pointed out the different plants, which ones were medicinal and which ones could blind you.  It was fascinating.
On the tour, I got to chatting with another woman and found out she lives in Lake Norman which is about fifteen miles from us. Small world.  Trite but true:)
When we returned to the bus we were treated to rum punch and snacks.
Dominican Republic
We also went to Grand Turk.  I was really excited about this port of call because Love, Lattes and Angel takes place in a small island in the Caicos. It was more desolate than I had anticipated.  A lot of folks opted for the beaches and I imagine if we'd done that instead of the tour we would have had a different perspective. As you can see the beach is quite beautiful.
Grand Turk
 The cruise itself was great.  We had a lovely suite and were wined and dined. They'd been told it was our 40th and almost every night something different was waiting when we got back to the cabin: champagne, gourmet fruit basket, chocolate covered strawberries, desserts, etc.

  And the food--OMG. There were a variety of places you could eat.  For the most part we hit the buffet. They always had delicious vegetarian fare so I was happy. There were windows all around the dining room so you could watch the sea while you ate. Ice cream, tea, coffee and pizza were available twenty-four/seven.
They had different shows you could attend in the evenings and a 'dive-in' movie that showed nightly on the upper deck, with free popcorn.
Also on one of the upper decks you could walk laps which we did most days. One day it was so windy the HH was afraid his hearing aids would get blown away, so that day we gave it up. But for the most part the weather was wondrous.

If I got up in the middle of the night, the first couple of nights at home,  I'd think  I was still in the boat and would be swaying from side to side when I walked.  Guess I still had my sea legs:)

Monday, January 9, 2017

Christmas on Christmas Eve

Since we planned to take a cruise to celebrate our 40th, Christmas Day was held Christmas Eve at the Cox Household. The baby girl and her husband fixed a wonderful meal that included: Beef brisket (for the carnivores) Shepherd's Pie (for the vegetarians) mashed potatoes, grilled carrots, stuffing, pecan pie and a pumpkin tart.
After the meal the evening evolved into unbridled carnage under the tree.
 Below are pics of some of the fam.
This bucket was for the kiddos' packages. I glued on the snowmen, strung lights then taped on individually wrapped candy canes. The tape doesn't doesn't add to the aesthetics but it makes it easy for little ones to remove(i.e. rip:) from the tub.

What about you?  Did you have a wondrous Christmas?

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Dangerous Sanctuary

With us today is good bud J.Q. Rose.  And she’s got a fun  new release.  Welcome,  J.Q.

Hi Sandra. Thank you so much for inviting me to your blog. Because your stories have so much imagination, I thought I would share a phone conversation I overheard when visiting with my main character, Pastor Christine Hobbs this week.
You know how nearly everyone has a nosey neighbor in the neighborhood. Well, the pastor’s neighbor called her to find out about the murder at Pastor Christine’s church. Realizing the neighbor’s right to be concerned since she lives near the church and parsonage, Christine took time to answer her questions. Perhaps they’re some of the same questions your readers may have about this romantic suspense, Dangerous Sanctuary.
To win a PDF copy of Dangerous Sanctuary, please leave a comment below. A lucky commenter will be drawn on Sunday, January 8, at 10 pm EST. Good luck!
Phone Conversation between Pastor Christine and her Nosey Neighbor
Nosey Neighbor: Oh, Pastor, what in the world happened over at Dayspring Church? Ambulance, fire engines, police were over there on Thursday morning.
Pastor Christine: Oh dear. I bet you were scared when you saw all the emergency units here at the church. I’m sorry I didn’t call you. It’s been pretty crazy around here.
Unfortunately our talented Director of Music, William White, was found dead in our church basement.  We’re trying to deal with it as best we can. We’re having a difficult time imagining anyone would murder this kind young man.
Detective Cole Stephens considers our custodian, Dutch, and myself to be “persons of interest.”  Perhaps you saw something from your window that morning that could help the police with the investigation?
NN: Oh, no Pastor. I didn’t see anything till the emergency vehicles arrived.  I must admit I did see the story on the news and in the newspapers. It’s so ridiculous how the stations play the story over and over 24 hours a day. But what is crazier is to accuse you and that gentle custodian of murder. I’m so sorry this has happened at your church.
PC: Thank you.
NN: Can you tell me how you came to minister to the people at Dayspring Church? I mean they’ve NEVER had a female pastor in all the years I’ve lived next door.
PC:  I love being the spiritual leader of the folks at Dayspring. I’ve been there about a year now, but I’ve been in the pulpit for five years at another church. I was happy to move away from that area, not because I had problems at the other church, but because I could put distance between my ex-husband, Brad, and me.
I’m having a terrific experience getting to know so many wonderful people at Dayspring. We’re becoming a family. Of course, there are always conflicts that arise when dealing with so many personalities. The president of the women’s group, Mrs. Jewell is not exactly happy that I’m caring for a pig and kangaroo in the back yard of the church parsonage and that I’ve taken in Mrs. Whitcomb’s cat after she passed. I’m looking for a family who wants the darling tabby cat. Bitsy is litter trained and I have re-assured the parsonage committee that Bitsy has not had any accidents on the church-owned parsonage floors. Say, you wouldn’t consider taking in this adorable cat, would you?
NN:  Oh no, Pastor. I’m very allergic to cats. I was wondering about the animals in your back yard though.
PC: Well, yes. Now the backyard is another story…you know pigs like to root up the ground and eat everything in sight. I keep telling President Jewell that it’s just temporary, and I’ll replace all the bushes, trees, flowers, and grass when their owner re-claims the animals.
NN: How much longer will they be there for heaven’s sake? Of course, they aren’t bothering me, but Wilda just a few doors down from the parsonage is worried that pig is going to get loose and root up her yard! And, uh, I’m sure she’s also concerned the pig might get in the road and get run over.
PC: Of course, she’s concerned about the pig getting hurt…Please assure her the animals will be gone as soon as their owner is healthy again. She’s in the hospital. And, well it’s a long story how I ended up with Abraham the pig and Katy the kangaroo in the back yard.
NN: I often see the flower shop’s delivery truck at the church and in your driveway. You know, I just notice when I’m outside walking. I’m not watching out the window at your comings and goings, of course.
PC: That would be my friend Lacey, the gal who owns the flower shop.  She’s the petite strawberry blonde. We tease each other about our difference in height because I’m six feet tall.  With the weddings and funerals, she’s always delivering flowers to the church, so we have time to talk and get to know each other.
 NN: You know, I have a very tall nephew who’s divorced. He’s a sweet guy and after awhile, you don’t notice his big ears or his lisp. Can you date being a minister?
PC: Well, yes I can. I’m not a monk. I’m a real person who likes to enjoy a movie, and a beer and pizza with my friends. Thank you so much for wanting to introduce me to your nephew, but I’m just not ready to date anyone yet.
NN: Not even thinking about that cute Detective Stephens? I’ve seen him going into the church and parsonage—a lot!
PC: Strictly for the murder investigation. Why would I be interested in a man who wants to put me in jail for murder?
NN: Why, of course not. I’m sorry I asked, but he IS around a lot and I just thought…
PC: Hey, look at the time. I’m almost late for a meeting at the church. Good talking to you. I’ve got to run. Good-bye.
NN: Okay. Well, I’ll bring my nephew over when he stops in again. Uh, hello….hello. Are you there???
# # # #
TAGLINE: Pastor Christine Hobbs never imagined she would be caring for a flock that includes a pig, a kangaroo, and a murderer.

BLURB:  Dangerous Sanctuary by J.Q. Rose
Pastor Christine Hobbs has been in the pulpit business for over five years. She never imagined herself caring for a flock that includes a pig, a kangaroo, and a murderer. 

Detective Cole Stephens doesn't want the pretty pastor to get away with murdering the church music director. His investigative methods infuriate Christine as much as his deep brown eyes attract her.

Can they find the real killer and build a loving relationship based on trust?

Available at amazon
About J.Q.
After writing feature articles in magazines, newspapers, and online magazines for over fifteen years,
J.Q. Rose entered the world of fiction. Her published mysteries are Deadly Undertaking  and Dangerous Sanctuary released by Books We Love Publishing. With her non-fiction book for girls, Girls Succeed!, she returns to her first love, writing about real people.  Blogging, photography, Pegs and Jokers board games, and travel are the things that keep her out of trouble. She spends winters in Florida and summers up north camping and hunting toads, frogs, and salamanders with her four grandsons and granddaughter.
Connect with J.Q. Rose online at