My “have to” share story this month centers on my granddaughter and my son. I suspect they’ll show up in my blog fairly often.

My son calls himself “a son of the Living God,” who devotes himself to studying the Torah to deepen his relationship with the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, his Savior Jesus Christ, and to apply God’s revealed rules for daily living. Among other things, that means he observes the Sabbath from sunset Friday to sunset Saturday. Another family joins his on Friday evenings for dinner and Torah study.

This month I was able to join them for the first time. What a blessing! My son read three chapters from Deuteronomy with all the enthusiasm and talent that his drama training had ingrained in him. Every word rang with meaning. I love to see my son so in love with God and His Word, even if we don’t always agree on in its interpretation.


Jordan, my six-year-old granddaughter, decided to grill Grandma on her faith. “Grandma, do you know what a Shabbat service is?”

I’ve been asking God for an opportunity to share my faith with her, so I was delighted. Boy, was she surprised when I said yes and explained it to her.

Her mother piped in. “She asks total strangers, ‘Do you eat pork?’”

(I think it’s extremely unfortunate that so many focus on the issue of pork instead of all the positive aspects of following the law. A rabbit trail.)

I went in a different direction. “Jordan, if God was right here with us right now, do you know what question He would ask you? Your Mom and Dad will agree with me.”

Silence. Was I going to say something they disagreed with? “God would ask you, ‘What have you done with my son Jesus? Have you asked Him to save you from your sins?’”

That stumped Jordan for a minute. Then she asked, “Is Jesus dead?”

Okay. “He died, but He’s not dead. He came back to life, and everyone who believes in Him will go to heaven to be with Him.”

“So He’s with Mimi and Omi and Papi and Bella.” She listed the long list of family members and pets she’s lost in her short life.

Beautiful—perfect—she understands!

Then she circled back to her original question. “Did Jesus eat pork?”

“No, He didn’t.” End of discussion.

I thank God for opening the door to share the plan of salvation with my precious girl.

I could care less if she ever eats a bite of pork or not


WRITING NEWS & TIPS 9/21/15-10/12/15

Mark as many of these events as interest you on your calendar!



My hope is to give you bite-sized writing tips. I’m starting about with the most basic advice a writer must know:

Rule #1: Read, read, read. Especially the genre you want to write, but read a variety of books.

Rule #2: Write, write, write. Write every day, even if only for five minutes.

Follow those two rules, and you’re on your way to being a writer.

September’s Books

Each month I will feature of my new releases, as well as one of my older books. Two lucky winners will one of the books. You increase your chances by commenting on the weekly blog, liking my page on Facebook, following me on Twitter and signing up for my newsletter.

The winners will be announced the following month. The winners for September will be announced on October 2.


(Historical Romance)

This month’s new book, A Texas Christmas, promises romances about “six unconventional women.” My heroine, Mary “Polly” Jessup is the oldest of motherless five-six children. Their father’s income as a bank teller only stretches so far; and when his failing memory causes him to use the bank’s money, Polly is left with an impossible choice.

If her father’s health wasn’t worry enough, she’s dealing with heartbreak. The man she thought promised to marry her before he left for college came home—with a fiancé.

Will The Face of Mary solve Polly’s problems in time?

A Texas Christmas includes by stories by myself, Ramona K. Cecil, Lena Nelson Dooley, Pamela Griffin, Cathy Marie Hake, and Kathleen Y’Barbo.

Purchase on Amazon

The Face of Mary is also included in A Woodland Christmas: Four Couples Find Love in the Piney Woods in East Texas.

Purchase on Amazon



(Contemporary Romance)

Back to the book that started it all. I wrote two books before I wrote Romanian Rhapsody, but I consider those a learning experience. Tracy Peterson recommended the Heartsong Presents purchase the story. Years later, I got the contract; and Romanian Rhapsody came out in 2005—ten years ago.

Romanian Rhapsody is the most autobiographical of my books. Writers are told to “write what you know about.” Well, I knew about music, and touring groups. That’s how my hero and heroine meet. Experts also advise us to “write what you’re passionate about.” I’m passionate about missions, and love the never-ending stream of different nationalities joining our country. At the time when I planned the book, Romanian orphans were frequently in the news—so I sent Steve and Carrie to Romania. They clash when they both want to adopt the same orphan.

Romanian Rhapsody should come with a warning label: be prepared for tears. Guess which cardinal rule of writing romance that I broke?!

It’s the first book in the Colorado Melodies series, which are listed below.

Romanian Rhapsody is available at Purchase on Amazon

Book 2, Plainsong, Purchase on Amazon

Book 3, Knight Music, Purchase on Amazon

Colorado Melodies, Purchase on Amazon