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April 14, 2015 | 0 comments

A few readers wrote with some concern that this book was more “explicit” than my others and they wondered why I had Abra in relationships with three men.  I knew that question would come up, what surprised me is the discomfort seemed to be focused on the love scene between Abra and Joshua as a married couple rather than her experiences with Dylan and Franklin Moss. 

First of all, I was careful to craft the scenes in a way to evocative, and not explicit.  There is definitely a difference between the two.  The first takes more work and is aimed at drawing the reader into the emotion of the scene.  The second describes everything.  It’s harder to write an evocative scene than an explicit one. 

Now for the reasons Abra was with three men: 

Over the past few years, I have done a lot of reading on sex trafficking, how predators attract victims and how it impacts the lives of the women they enslave.   During the 50s,...

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March 24, 2015 | 0 comments

It’s been a while since I’ve been to a writers’ conference, and this is one of the best in the country. I’m going as a student with a missionary friend from Chile.  We can’t wait to dump our stuff in a room and head for class.  The instructors are all terrific, several friends I’ve known over the years, and most have written more books than I have ever dreamed of writing in my lifetime.  I plan to have notebook and pen poised to glean the jewels they will be giving to us. Frankly, I can be by myself in my office for so long, there’s a risk of becoming myopic.  I can become so focused on what I want to do with a story that I might be putting God in the back seat when He belongs in the driver’s seat. 

At Mount Hermon there will be lots of soul searching.  There will be evening sessions taught by someone I highly respect (Robin Jones Gunn) who will undoubtedly challenge me to go deeper and trust in the Lord more, with tips on how.   ...

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March 16, 2015 | 0 comments

The pestilence has spread.  I’m not sure if it’s the cold I caught in Branson or the beaded strings of pollen dripping from our oak tree, but I’m still sniffling and hacking.  I’m sorry to say Rick caught it a few days after I did.  At least we’re no longer contagious (so we’ve been told), but must weather this annoying cough for however long it wants to hang around. This was not in my plan. 

I used to be able to shake these bugs in a few days.  I’d lather myself with Vick’s Vapor Rub, put on thick socks and pajamas and sweat the germ/virus to death.   That method worked until I hit my sixties.  

Maybe I need to be more mobile.  Not that I’ve been spending all day every day in bed or on the couch.  We’re still up early.  We still have our routines.  I’m still writing.  I do get off my chair and move around occasionally.  I’ve been up and down the stairs five times this morning.  I go up...

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March 9, 2015 | 0 comments

We had airline tickets that had to be used before March 13, and it had to be a quick trip that would fit into our already busy schedule.  What was in-country and on our bucket list?  Branson, Missouri!!  We set the dates with the airline and got our hotel reservations.  We figured the end of February into the first week of March would be nice weather.  Rick mentioned our plans to his sister and brother-in-law and found out they planned on going to Branson, too.  Why not all go at the same time and make it a family reunion?  Since they live due west of Chicago, they were eager to get out of the snow and freezing rain. 

As the trip approached, the weather looked dismal.  The east coast was getting hammered.  Chicago was hitting sub-zeros.  Snow and ice storms swept down lower and lower, right into the south.  Did it make us change our plans?  Nope.  We’re Californians, born and raised in the Bay Area and now...

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February 27, 2015 | 0 comments

Every year, around this time, I work on taxes.  Or I should say I work on organizing and adding up all the data to hand over to our trustworthy CPA who makes sense of numbers. I still have trouble balancing our checkbook.   One of my roommates in college was an accounting major (who eventually went to work for the IRS).  She practiced on my checkbook .  She would shake her head and ask how it was possible to make some of the errors I did.  What else could I say but that I majored in English for a reason?

When Rick and I started into our individual businesses (he with Rivers Aviation Services and me with writing), we had a few surprises in regard to Uncle Sam.  If we had a good year (more often his than mine) Uncle wanted a bigger share than what we’d already paid.  As a California corporation, Rick paid LOTS of taxes.  (There’s a reason business is fleeing the state.)  One year he counted seventy different tax installments....

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February 21, 2015 | 0 comments

When you don’t use it, you lose it, they say.  Sitting in a chair at a computer for hours at a time doesn’t help arthritic joints.  So I’m back in the gym and signed up for six sessions.   My trainer was a pretty young whipper-snapper in awesome shape (think college soccer player and marathon runner) who tried valiantly to teach this old granny new things to strengthen my core.  You want me to do what?!  I have crushed discs in my lower spine from falling off a horse at the age of fifteen.  (The horse wasn’t actually moving, but that’s another story.) When my trainer held out a big rubber ball, I crossed my arms. “Nope.  Not going to lie backwards on that thing.  Not unless you have an ambulance waiting at the curb to cart me way.” 

Crunches, no problem.  Step up, step down, no big deal.  Leg lifts, fine and dandy.  Yes, I can put my hands flat on the floor, just not in public.  Push-ups?  I...

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February 13, 2015 | 0 comments

My heart is heavy.  I don’t even know where to start.  An interview with Dr. Juli Slattery’s “Java With Juli” radio program a few days ago opened doors of thought I would have preferred left closed.  Conviction is never pleasant, but always life-changing.  We talked women’s issues and the sharp rise of women reading erotica.  I spoke from my own experience as a woman who attended college in the sixties when the “free love” movement started.

Without going into details, I will say I bought the lies and followed the crowd.  Loose morals bring brokenness and devastation.  I felt ashamed, used and guilty for giving myself away and putting myself into dangerous situations, one of which ended in a date rape.  I’ve shared my story before about reconnecting with a long-time friend from my home town and how we married.  We recently celebrated our 45th wedding anniversary.   We were in love then and are still in love....

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February 7, 2015 | 0 comments

This year in Bible Study Fellowship, we’re studying the life of Moses.  There was a day when I would have groaned at the mere suggestion of reading Exodus, Leviticus and Numbers.  Leviticus?  Really?  It now strikes me as one of the most interesting books in the Bible.  I’ve read it three times this year, only once because it was assigned.  Leviticus shows how well God knows us, how we think, and how we try to get around God.  It’s about about holiness, holy living, and how we fall short.  One of the messages I learned from this book is that ignorance is no excuse.  I’m accountable for every sin I commit, even the ones I don’t know I committed.  The old “I didn’t know” doesn’t wash with God.  That conscience built into our DNA is there for a reason, no matter how hard we try to deny the truth.  Whether you believe or not, God will have the final word.

Hence, our need for a Savior.  Thank You, Jesus, for taking...

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January 30, 2015 | 0 comments

I have no intention of taking him to the grocery store or to a restaurant.  I certainly do not want him in my lap with his head out the window, enjoying the wind in his face while I attempt to drive my car. I do not want my dog with me at the mall or movie theater or doctor’s office, or while I shop, watch a movie or have my annual physical.  I love my dog, but I don’t want him “talking” to the neighbors or thinking he has a right to do his own thing whenever he wants, whatever his thing happens to be. 

I love my dog, but I don’t want him wandering free or getting to know anyone he wants to get to know, and I think you know how dogs love to do that!  I love my dog, but I don’t want him leaving a calling card on anyone’s lawn.  And at home, no matter how much I love my dog, it’s all right with me if I treat him like a second class citizen and make him go to his “place” when we invite people into the house.  I like to be polite and introduce him...

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January 23, 2015 | 0 comments

America is called a “melting pot”, and it surely is.  There isn’t a nation on the planet that doesn’t have representation, and most have brought family traditions with them.  I know our family did.  Rick and I are not that far removed from being from across the water.  We’re both Heinz 57 variety Americans with a little more of this than that.  Rick’s maternal grandparents came from Sweden.  You’d have to go back two hundred years to Britain for his paternal ancestors.  My (maternal) grandfather came from Germany, my grandmother Switzerland, and both came to the USA via Canada, legally (barely).  My paternal ancestors are a mixed bag of English and Scotch (not the drinking kind – then again, how would I know) and American Indian.  We thought our great-grandmother was a Blackfoot, but as it turned out, she came from an eastern tribe and had to live on a Blackfoot reservation when she came west.  So did her white husband.  My...

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