Thursday, November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving

Often we overlook the good things in our lives, paying too much attention to our problems. Thanksgiving is the time to focus on our blessings, rejoice in them, and share them. It's a day to enjoy the family and friends that make our lives worthwhile.

I'm thankful for your support in making my dreams come true and want to wish a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 18, 2017

The Magic of Christmas Makes It Happen



“No. I’m from the South, remember? We get snow when we’ve done something to upset God—which we don’t do very often,” Darcy replied.





That is just one of the many lines in Perfect that readers have loved. Do you want more? Well, PERFECT is on sale at Amazon, B&N, I-books and Kobo until November 30th. Grab your copy today and enjoy the perfect holiday read.


Making Christmas perfect isn’t Dylan Kincaid’s forte, but he needs to make it happen, for his nieces. Darcy Witherspoon arrives in Black Moose, Vt., needing an escape and a holiday dreams are made of. They team up for the short run, but Christmas magic has something everlasting in store for them.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

An Honored Memory

I remember lying in the hospital, looking around at the ward full of beds, occupied by only a few and wondering if the Army really thought there were so many pregnant women. I was young and naïve. Two years prior we'd seen the end of the Vietnam War.
My husband was on assignment. I was a thousand miles away from home and family. Not a long distance now days, but in the seventies I might’ve well been across the globe. There was no instant communications. No pictures sent across cyber-space or I-phones. No I love you, miss you, take care messages coming back at me. I had just had my first child, a boy, and I felt so alone.

The walls were not decorated with funny characters, but were clean, stark. There were no televisions in the ward. No radios. My meals were not served to me in bed, but rather placed on a long table in the center of the room where my trio of fellow new-mothers gathered to eat whatever everyone else was served in the mess hall that day. Strangely, I felt comfortable. I was an ARMY BRAT. My son was now an ARMY BRAT—born into the 101st Airborne.

With nothing but time to heal, I scanned at the empty beds and wondered how many men had been treated here? My pain was nothing compared to what they must felt. Some had died in this very room. In that defining moment, I grew. A sense of pride like I’d never felt before welled through me as the sorrowful notes of taps floated across the base. I still get choke-up every time I hear the woeful tune.

The nurse handed me my baby. I stared at his innocence while his tiny fingers curled around mine and I thanked all the souls that had given so much so that my son would know freedom like none other in the world.

Please take a few moments this holiday weekend and remember the women and men who gave so much of themselves for your way of life, for your children and for you.

Ps: I’d be proud to have you list the branch and division of any family heroes who’ve

served or are serving listed in your comment.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Thanksgiving or Bust!


This year, Thanksgiving is at your house and you’re beginning to wonder why you agreed to host the family event. Relax. I’ve got tips for you.

Why should you take my advice? Well, I’ve hosted Thanksgiving, among other events, for more than twenty years for small, large and huge groups. And, I’m not only an award-winning author, but also— a long time ago— an award-winning restaurant manager. So, I have some experience at preparing feasts for many. Organization is one of my talents.

It’s always good to have a plan, so let’s start.

First, you need to do is decide three things. What style of dining you want your party to be—buffet or sit down. The style will play a part in your menu. You certainly don’t want to serve soup at a buffet, at least not at your home. Too many opportunities for spills.

Second, how many will be attending your celebration? If you really envision a sit down dinner, you’ll have to limit the guests, or have a second sitting, even a third sitting. Extra sittings is not my idea of a fun-filled day.

Third, menus for Thanksgiving can range from the traditional Norman Rockwell’s portrayal of roast turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sauce to Wild Salmon and rice. Make the holiday your own by combining traditions of guests. If invited family or friends offer to make dishes, let them, but ask if they intend to cook or bake their dish before arriving. Seriously, I’ve had someone bring their unbaked dish to dinner, expecting room in my oven and time to bake it.

My last tip has nothing to do with the meal. Activities. You’ll have a household full and while dinner is part of the agenda, it’s not the whole day.

While I love watching football not everyone does, so have other activities planned. My children and grandchildren love playing bingo. A game set can be purchased at a dollar store along with prizes. And while very few think of November as a time to fly a kite, it is great fun and a way to burn off the 5 thousand it is said Americans consume on Thanksgiving .
Now with your style, guests and menu decided, make a game plan.

Two weeks out from the holiday:
1) Confirm guests and time.
2) Review recipes and make shopping list for all dishes.
3) Anytime this week, check china, silverware, glassware and all serving dishes and platters, including salt and pepper shakers (wash & fill), butter dishes, gravy bowls, bread baskets, etc. Wash them and store them until ready to set your table.

If you’re planning to use paper or plastic-ware, buy it this week, especially if you’re thinking of holiday theme. You don’t have time to run from store to store searching for the last few packs on the shelves.
4) Check tablecloths, napkins, and any other decorative items, such as candles and candleholders. I’ve come for my candles only to remember they were used during the last storm. Purchase wanted items now.
5) During this week, you could actually arrange your furniture and set your table to ensure enough elbow room. It’s better to have the space all planned now then to try to arrange it during the days you’ll be baking and cooking. Arrange for extra necessary table space or seating.

One week out from the holiday:

1) Double check your grocery list and head to the store. (It’s a good idea to buy extra plastic containers and Ziploc bags for guests to take leftovers home.)
2) Think about your cooking timeline. I have one oven and a lot to bake, so I start my timeline at 1 pm, since my family usually sits down then and I work backward. The star of my dinner is the turkey, which I know must come out of the oven by 11:45. It has to sit and can be kept warm. So, depending on the size of the bird is when the turkey must go in my oven. 11:45 works, because my stuffing and corn pudding needs to bake for an hour so it can go in the oven then, along with mash potatoes and yams or any other dishes that need to be warmed. (It’s a good idea, especially if you have limited space, to put all baking dishes in the oven beforehand to ensure they fit) At 12:45, those food items come out and rolls go in for the last fifteen minutes while all other food is put into dishes and placed on the table. During the last hour, veggies can be steamed or warmed.
3) Cleaning. Honestly, I do a light house cleaning before the holiday, because the house is going to need a deep clean after the crowd leaves.

Two days before the holiday:

1) Some dishes can be made now. I find stuffing and candied yams taste much better when made ahead.
2) If you possibly can, set your table.
3) Make ice if you don’t have an ice maker.

Day before holiday:

1) Other dishes can be made early. Ie: mashed potatoes, pies, desserts, veggie trays.
2) I put my applesauce and cranberry sauces into bowls and refrigerate.
3) I’m live in northeast PA and have already used my outside gas grill as an extra cold storage unit for items prepared ahead. Think out of the box when space is limited.

The holiday:
You’re organized and ready. Stay with your timeline and if something hiccups, don’t sweat it. Your friends and family only will know what you’ve done not what wasn’t done.

Enjoy the day!



Need to get inspired for the holidays. Download Perfect today. On sale for a limited time for $.99. AMAZON
Dylan Kincaid totally screwed up Thanksgiving and now he’s faced with Christmas. Thrown into the frightening role of both mother and father while his brother and sister-in-law are off serving their country, all Dylan wants is to make Christmas perfect for his two nieces. But time is running out.

Down on her luck Charleston, S.C. restaurateur, Darcy Witherspoon is licking a wounded ego when she arrives in Black Moose, VT and meets the handsome Maple tree farmer. Wanting a happy holiday herself, she teams up with Dylan to make a perfect Christmas.

Neither is interested in a holiday affair, but the magic of Christmas has something more everlasting in store for the couple. An absolutely perfect love!

Monday, November 6, 2017

Decorating For Thanksgiving

The ghosts, skeletons, bats and witches are coming down and going back into storage for another year and it’s time to decorate for Thanksgiving. But what can you do?
There are a lot of inexpensive ways to decorate for Thanksgiving.

First, make a thankful tree. All you need is a planter pot, a few branches and some colored paper to cut out colored leaves. You can stick the branches into an existing pot but be careful not to disturb the root system of the plant. Over the next few weeks, have everyone write down everything they’re thankful for and hang it on the tree. Read them on thanksgiving.



Second, if you live near a field, gather some wild grass (Or buy at craft store) and fill some empty jars. The jars don’t need to be all the same size or shape. Mix them up and make the design your own. Tape a holiday greeting to the jars.




Do you have clear candle holders, or wine glasses, or truffle dishes? Fill them with dry beans, peas and corn. Later you can make soup.








I have a lot of baskets. When I saw this next idea, I was like slapping my head. I can do this no problem. I have pine cones and branches and I’m sure I can use leftover pumpkins and gourds. I bet they’re really cheap now that Halloween is history. CAUTION: DO NOT leave a lighted candle unattended!




The next idea is CHEAP. I’m sure you have pictures hanging on your walls. Print off a few pages with holiday greetings and tape them to the frame. I did this at Easter and then I forgot to take one down. I left it there in the frame and waited to see of anyone would say something. In August, my mother asked me why I had an Easter bunny up. We had a good laugh.





My grandkids love to do crafts when they visit and I love sending them home with reminders of our fun day together. Here a few ideas to keep them busy and add to the day. This next idea is similar to the last. A little finger print and colored paper and viola! Tape them to the frames.












Pine cones and paper cups can easily be made into turkeys with colored paper, feathers and sticky eyes. Last Thanksgiving my gang made turkeys out of paper cups. The wrote their names on them. On Thanksgiving, at their place setting, the cups contained applesauce. They loved it. You could put a dessert in them. Jello anyone?






It is easier than ever before to find ideas to decorate your home for the holidays. Just google.


In a few days, I will share my expertise on getting ready for the feast. I always had twenty or more people to fed. I just love this holiday. Until then, have fun!

AJ

Need to get inspired for the holidays. Download Perfect today. On sale for a limited time for $.99. AMAZON

Dylan Kincaid totally screwed up Thanksgiving and now he’s faced with Christmas. Thrown into the frightening role of both mother and father while his brother and sister-in-law are off serving their country, all Dylan wants is to make Christmas perfect for his two nieces. But time is running out.

Down on her luck Charleston, S.C. restaurateur, Darcy Witherspoon is licking a wounded ego when she arrives in Black Moose, VT and meets the handsome Maple tree farmer. Wanting a happy holiday herself, she teams up with Dylan to make a perfect Christmas.

Neither is interested in a holiday affair, but the magic of Christmas has something more everlasting in store for the couple. An absolutely perfect love!

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Bartender In The Sky

Late last evening, feeling angst and sporting a headache that throbbed against my skull, I took a walk in the dark. My only companion, the moon. With his hair over one eye, he watched over me—saved me from the dark shadows. I gazed up into his face and wondered about the billions of people who’ve gone on to the next world before me, the ones who had dumped their troubles on him. The ones who had shared with him their dreams. The ones who had laughed and loved under his twilight.

I wondered about their stories. Some are known by all of us. Some by a few.
As I walked, I gaze over the valley that was my great grandparent’s farm, now divided among their children’s children. I know my great grandparent’s names. I can tell you they lay in the cemetery on the rise to the east. I can tell you their birth and death dates. However, I don’t know what they were like as people. Did they enjoy music or reading? Were reserve or outgoing? What was their favorite time of the year? Or their favorite foods? Did they believe and trust in the Almighty? What were their dreams?

We have pictures of course with names scribbled on the back, but by who? We have ledgers and invoices of transactions stored in the old farm house attic, but no personal memoirs. Knowing this, sadness crept in my heart as I crossed an open field. I wished someone had left behind their words for me. Told me who they were. Left a clue as to who I called my pass.

At that moment, the moon winked at me and from within I heard, “You were given the gift of the written word. Why haven’t you left behind words for your children or grandchildren or great grandchildren? Not all will seek them, but there will be one who will. Like you, they will cherish the memories you share and pass them on to another who well cherish their heritage. And so on.”

Stunned, I gaped into his one eye. The ancient man was right. He winked again and turned into a cloud, probably to advise someone else. I finished one swallow of crisp night and with a light step headed for home. I pulled from a drawer a diary given to me one Christmas years ago and wrote; November 4, 2017. Within these pages you will come to know who I was, what I felt passionate about, and what were my dreams. My hope is I will teach something of the past, something that will make you a stronger person and that I’ll touch you in some way. With love, your heritage.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

I'm A Torn Woman

I’m a torn woman. I’m torn between two men at the moment, fictional of course. One being Ross Poldark (PBS series Poldark). I fell for Ross over a year ago. After watching season one of Poldark, it took me all of two seconds to buy season two so that I could binge watch it. I nearly died waiting for the next episodes to air. Now, I’m into season three, watching an episode a week, and waiting for the next show is killing me.

Of course, Britain’s Captain Ross is tall, dark and handsome, but he is also strong, brave and has a compassionate heart. He is the man who will give his last loaf of bread to your family so that they will survive and will wait to hunt food for himself. He is a hero. His roots are set and he loves his family and friends he will die to protect them. I sigh thinking of him.



The second man is one I recently found after a dear friend and fellow author, Rita Henuber, insisted that I watch Outlander (STARZ series). His name is James Faser. The Scotsman’s quick wit, adorable smile, hard-muscled built, fearlessness, and sensitive heart won me over way before season one episode seven, ‘The Wedding.’ (CAUTION that episode is smokin’)

Both story lines are wonderful, filled with a cast of life-like secondary characters whose human weaknesses and strengths cause layers and layers of conflicts. There is also rivalry between nations in each. And then there is love. Love of country, friends, family, and if your romantic they’re plenty of those scenes too.
I love watching sagas like these. I can’t imagine writing them, but I love them never the less. I’ve even started to watch the first seasons over again, so that I can learn more about character development. I haven’t read any of the books for either series, but I plan to study them also.

If you’re looking for a good series to watch, I would recommend either of these.

Let me know what you think.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

GOODREADS GIVEAWAY PERFECT FALL ENTER TODAY!

Do you love Goodreads Giveaways? If your answer is yes, enter to win a signed copy of Perfect Fall today. Details are at Goodreads.

Good luck!


Excerpt from Perfect Fall. Please respect the authors copyrights.

Hudson stomped into Sileen’s office and threw a pair of golf gloves on top of the remodeling bid from Starmucker’s Construction she reviewed.

Why had she left her door standing open? Because she needed to listen for customers coming into the store until Rylan came in after school. Grandpap went off to do some repair work with her father on the twelfth hole again because Moxie the Moose slut had led the boys back to her favorite spot.

“Good afternoon.” A lock of Hudson’s hair fell to the middle of his forehead and she wished it was her hand that swept it back, not his.

Stop! She chided the video playing in her mind’s eye where Hudson pulled her into a heated embrace and told her he couldn’t live without her. Holding on to the desk’s edge, she took two seconds to compose herself before she picked up the gloves and stared at him. “What’s this?”

“A challenge.”

Her brow wrinkled with confusion. “What?”

He reached out, picked up one glove and smoothed it over her cheek. “You told me I had no chance at beating you at golf.”

“I did not say that.”

“Not word for word, but you implied it. I’m challenging you to a round. Right here. Right now.”

She was beginning to dislike his coy smile. “I can’t. I’m watching the store.”

“Rylan can watch it.”

“He’s not here,” she told him.

“I’m here, sis,” Rylan called from the other room.

Her wide gaze darted toward the shop. “How—?”

“He came in with me.”

She straightened the pages of the bid, tapping them on her desk. “Good. Now I can really concentrate on my work.”

Hudson crossed his arms over his chest. “You were pulling my leg, weren’t you?” He chuckled. “And here I thought you were serious the other day.”

“I was not lying. I don’t lie.” She really didn’t care for his smug expression.

“Again, prove it!”

Sileen bit down on her jaw. The man knew how to get under her skin. She searched her desk for something of importance to be done before she left for the day, but it was clean, except for the bid on the cabins. She needed to wait until the other two bids came in before her and Grandpap could make a decision. There wasn’t anything that couldn’t wait until tomorrow.

He had no idea what he was in for. She would kick his professional athlete’s ass.


*****************************************************

PERFECT FALL IS AVAILABLE AT

Amazon
B&N
I Books
Kobo




ENTER BOOKSWEEPS


Saturday, July 1, 2017

I Turned And He Was There

Many years ago, I was like a shaky legged fawn stepping into the world of writing. I had written before, for myself and for my school newspapers, but this new world was totally different and scary as hell. I knew if I was going to survive I would need a strong man by my side so I began my search for the man I knew whose name was Hudson Alan Mitchel.

I searched every store, every street corner, and every office I entered, but I was always disappointed. Yes, there were plenty of men in all those places but none were Hudson.

This went on for months, during which time I began to write his story. It came to me like I was listening to his dreamy baritone voice over the radio. (Yes, at that time there was no podcasts or You Tube channels). Taking long walks and listening to him like we were connected by our cell phones, I learned what he liked and didn’t like. I discovered all of his dreams from childhood and on. I felt his angst over the burdens and problems he carried as a major league ball player. I became aware of whom he trusted and who would but a knife in his back because of his fame. And he revealed to me his most personal desires. He wanted a woman just like me. (Yes, when he told me that, it was a sigh worthy moment.) But sadly, I was blissfully married to my own hero and being the decent guy he was Hudson said he would always be my friend.

But I didn’t have an idea of what he looked like. I knew his heart but not his face.

He assured me that we would meet and soon.

I wanted to meet Hudson so much, face to face, and touch his cheek and let him know that I would do anything to find the woman of his dreams for him. I wanted him as happy as I was. Then, I thought why not start the search for Hudson’s dream woman right away. It would be so great to be the one to orchestrate their cute-meet.

One sunny afternoon, I sat on my patio, flipping through a catalog when Sileen Wright caught my eye. She had long, nutmeg brown hair and dark eyes like I did, but she had a cute button nose like Sandy Bullock and a body I’d need to exercise like ten hours a day for a year to achieve. But physical beauty wasn’t all Sileen had going on for her. Her smile reflected her warm heart and her witty sense of humor. She had a look that told you exactly how she was feeling.

I felt privileged when she told me about her family and her dreams to work for NASBO (National Association of Small Business Owners). However, I picked up on the sadness when she spoke about those dreams. She hid the sadness quickly and I didn’t pry. I knew who could help her figure out her problems¬~the man who I trusted. They were perfect for each other.

Maybe a month after, Sileen and I met, I attended my first big writer’s conference at Penn State’s main campus. For three days, I learned more about the craft from great writers such as Merline Lovelace. ~I love Merline’s work and not because she gave me such great advice. Her writing is wonderful.~ Anyway, my critique partners and I stopped at a local café and while we enjoyed Ben and Jerry’s ice cream (I know, I know about the Creamery now!) Hudson appeared. It was love at first sight. Yes, I mean me. But at last, remember I was married. So, it was love at first sight for Sileen and Hudson and their story took off in my imagination.

After years, their story is now going out into the world and you all are among the first to know how it started. Perfect Fall is up on all venues for a preorder price of $.99 now. It will release in four short weeks on July 18, 2017 at $4.99. So, grab your copy today and if you feel like sharing the information with your friends, please do!



AMAZON
B&N
I Books
Kobo

Sunday, June 18, 2017

BYE BYE BABY

While the dads are out playing ball, golfing, or fishing, or whatever they do, let's talk about your baby.

You never thought you’d wish for the days of diapers, but as THE DAY draws closer, you do. In just a few weeks your baby will be off to college and thinking about it, you hold your hand over your love-filled heart and sigh.

A whole new world will open for your child, one which will cause them both joy and anxiety, and in a blink of an eye a whole new set of parental problems will sneak up on you, if you’re not prepared. Then you’ll really wish for those toddler days.

Have you taught them everything they need to know about taking care of themselves? Will they be observant and protect themselves from the devious part of the world? The answer is probably no.

Every child is going to make mistakes, but the fewer they make the better they will feel about themselves. They are adults now. Yes, still wet behind the ears, but respect them as such. If you follow any of my advice, first, let them know you’re teaching them the very basics of survival, so they can concentrate on their passion.

So, let’s start with the basics to help them and you and save your mind.

Put any school emergency contact numbers and service numbers into both your cell phones. You don’t want to be searching for the paper the college gave you during ordination.

Does your child know the fundamentals of finance? Do they understand that if there is $10.00 in their account they can’t spend $10.01 and the penny will magically appear? Teach them how to be responsible and keep track of every charge to their debit or credit card and school account. Teach them to balance their accounts at least once a month.

Also make them award of smart buying choices. If they decided to treat the whole dorm to a pizza party, then they need to realize for the rest of the month they have no funds. Despite what they’ve heard money doesn’t grow on trees.

Take them grocery shopping and show them how to bargain shop and still have nutritious snacks on hand.
Teach them how to cook a few things without burning down the college. (This will provide family meals for you while they’re still home) Most dorms allow microwaves. They can cook more than Ramen noodles in them. Save your Freezerware. Teach them how to hit the defrost settling first for frozen meals you’ve sent, instead of going for the high power. Also, the popcorn button is there for a reason.
Does your son or daughter know how to do their own laundry? You’d be surprised how many do not. If not, teach them. Take them to a laundromat at least once and have them insert the coins and run a load through the cycles. Remember all those times you picked up clean clothes off the floor. I bet it will stop when they need to do the laundry.

Transportation. If they have a car available to them, it’s important they know the safety of maintaining the vehicle. They should never go under a half-tank of gas. You never know when an emergency will happen which they would be responding to and run out of gas. They should be aware of tire pressure and all dashboard lights indicting there is a problem. Where would they go, if there was an issue? As a parent, you also should know where they need to go for repairs. Do they know what steps to do if there is a fender-bender?

If they don’t have a car, do they know about public transportation? Check out what transportation is available in the area and take a ride with them. Doing so will relieve some of their worry during the stressful first days in a new world.
Encourage your children to talk to people and get involved with activities that interest them. But also reinforce that they need to be conscious that there are some who walk among the crowd whose goal is to take advantage of them.

Enjoy your summer and happy reading!

An elite U.S. Marshal team goes uncover on a college campus to locate a drug operation and unearths a psychopath’s murderous plot. On sale today and tomorrow. First time ever!

AMAZON
B&N
IBOOKS
KOBO


Feeling career pressure, a baseball star escapes from the world in a mountain village and falls for a woman bent on saving everything but herself.

AMAZON
B&N
IBOOKS
KOBO


Autumn Jordon is an awarding-winning author who writes both romantic suspense and contemporary romance. She has been recognized by the Romance Writers of America as a Golden Heart Finalist, a Golden Leaf Winner and by Kindle Book Reviewers as a Best Indie Romance Author Finalist. She loves to hear from readers, so connect with her through www.autumnjordon.com.


Monday, June 12, 2017

ARC Readers Apply Here

Have you ever wanted to read an advance copy of one of my books? Well, I select readers through an application process.

As of today my newest novel, PERFECT FALL, is up for preorder at a very special price at Amazon and many other venues and I’m looking for readers to read and review advance reader copies. If you’re interested, read on because here is what I’m looking for in a PERFECT FALL ARC reader.

(1) Have you read and reviewed PERFECT or PERFECT HEARTS and enjoy them?

(2) Do you have a good review status at Amazon? I want reviewers who are honest and fair and not someone who gives 5 stars to everything they read.

(3) Are you willing to read and leave a review on Amazon within three days of the release dated of July 18, 2017?

(4) Are you willing to fill out an application? (Incomplete applications are automatically deleted.)

With that said, I’m only accepting ten new readers. Once you’re on my ARC list, you stay on the list unless you stop asking for ARCs or miss your review deadline. You do not need to apply each time a call goes out.

For more information click HERE and apply. Hurry spots will go fast!


Always thankful for your help.

Autumn Jordon






Sunday, May 28, 2017

Each Memorial Day I stand by the graves of my loved ones, many who have served in the armed services, and listen to the poem In Flanders Field being read, and I weep. I grew up believing that I live in the greatest country in the world. I still believe that. Nowhere on earth can the voices of so many different opinions be heard without the threat of imprisonment.

Today, I honor through prayer the men and women who gave their lives defending the rights I enjoy. I also pray and give thanks to those who still stand guard against tyranny. God bless.


In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

John McCrae 1915

AMAZON

Thursday, May 25, 2017

What The Heck Is A Rug Beater

It’s spring. Signs of its arrival have been popping up and out for the past month here in NE PA. And you all know I write a small town series called the Perfect Love Series; Perfect, Perfect Moments, Perfect Hearts and coming soon Perfect Fall. Many of the characters and their traditions are based on my own memories.

Spring brings many memories to my mind. One of my grandmother in particular. As soon as the weather broke and the coal stove was dampened down and the windows open to let fresh air breeze through the house, it was time for spring cleaning. The furniture was moved back and the carpets rolled up and taken outside and hung over the wash line. It was the younger children’s job to bat the heck around of them. The carpets wouldn’t be brought back into the house until the last a speckle of dust fell from its fibers.

While the carpets were handled, drapes, furniture cushions, and pillows found their way to the wash line too. The venetian blinds were stripped from the windows and put into huge tubs of sudsy water. Grandpa was called if any repairs had to be made. This was the time, before the real work began.

Once he was done, and his tools put away, the furniture was brushed and wiped down. (They didn’t have vacuum extensions during this time period. Grandme’s vacuum was huge and roared like a T-Rex.)
Dust Bunnies were rounded up. The furniture was move to the center of the room. The walls were stripped of all adornments and then, came the hot soapy water. The walls wiped sown. Hot soapy pine water was used on all the wood work. And, hot vinegar water was use to scrub the windows. Newspaper was used to dry them and make them shine. Finally the floor was scrubbed.

Only after the room passed Grandme’s inspection was everything put back into place. Then, it was onto the next room.
While the women worked inside the men were busy outside. The house was taken care of before the spring planting could begin.
Spring cleaning usually took a good four days, but by Sunday all the chores were done and we could relax and enjoy a Sunday dinner in a sparkling home.

So this week, like my grandmother and my mother, I’ll begin my spring cleaning. My job will be made easier by modern conveniences. I can’t wait to smell inside the freshness of SPRING.
Disclaimer: I’m not as old as this blog might make me seem, but this is my grandmother I’m blogging about. She had her ways and her tools and we helped doing the job her way.

Tell me about a memory that spring brings to you.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Would You Kill To Save Your Child?


SEIZED BY DARKNESS is one of my favorite suspense stories that I've written to date. It's filled with passion for life and for love, mystery and thrills, and whole thing; plot, characters, setting came to me while I stood in my local post office. A picture of a missing
teenaged girl hanging on the bulletin board sparked the idea. I knew immediately that I didn't want to just write a kidnapping story. I wanted to write a story about a girl, now a woman, who not only survived her captor's reign over her, but triumphed over him. I wanted this story to be a lesson on how strength and character is built while enduring the most horrid situations. My readers seem to agree that I accomplished what I set out to do. It is a passionate love story. One you will remember for a long time.

SEIZED BY DARKNESS is sale Tuesday May 23 and Wednesday 24, 2017 for the ridiculous price of $.99. Two days only! So grab your copy. Tell your friends. Share my Facebook and tweeter posts and if you feel so incline, please leave a review. AMAZON BUY LINK

I hope you enjoy! Autumn


EXCERPT From SEIZED BY DARKNESS (Copyrighted material) Please respect my ownership.

“I told Gorgon a thousand times that woman would be the death of him. I could see it in her eyes. She is the devil’s bitch.” The heels of Yegor Novokoff’s Italian loafers slapped the vinyl flooring like rapid gunfire as he stalked through the halls of the local hospital with his bodyguard close behind him. “Would he listen to me? Nah. Gorgon always thought he was a smart boy. He’s an idiot who thinks with his dick. Tonight he’s proven me right.”

His own use of the past tense and the very thought of his son dead, strangled his rant. He fought to keep the pain attacking his heart at bay. He was the head of the Novokoff family, and needed to be strong and think clearly about the revenge the family would take against the attacker of his eldest child.

Rounding the corner, he entered the puke green cubical known as the emergency waiting room and pulled up short. The optimistic view he clung to fell into the burning acid churning in his gut. Sofia, his wife, sat hunched over, leaning against her sister. Tears streamed down Sofia’s thin cheeks and her complexion was washed of the ivory tone he loved. The smiling green eyes he looked into every night over the past forty years, before he closed his own, were dull and erased of any Sofia’s witty humor.
His Sofia, she seemed to have aged twenty years since this morning when he’d kissed her goodbye and left to take care of a business matter gone awry in Atlantic City.

Yegor drew a quick breath, trying to calm the tremor that quaked the morrow in his bones. He had to be strong for the dozen or so family members that had gathered, and for his Sofia.

He stepped forward and Sofia’s red-rimmed eyes lifted from their study of the space beyond the commercial carpet.

“Yegor, our boy.” She pushed from the chair and teetered toward him.

Yegor rushed to her and gathered Sofia into his embrace just as her knees gave out. He held her up. Her breath warmed the hollow of his neck and he found comfort resting his cheek against her silky, brown hair. He rubbed her back. She felt thinner than he remembered. He loosened his hold, thinking he might break her brittle bones if he cradled her too tightly against him.

Sofia’s tears moistened the breast of his golf shirt. “Shhh, my love. You gave me a strong son.” He planted a reassuring kiss on her temple and continued to rock her for a moment longer before he peered up at the stone-like expression of his man, who’d stood guard over his son tonight.

Marco blinked.

What had gone wrong? He would question the man soon, but not now. Not in front of Sofia. Not until he knew his son would live. And God help Marco if he’d screwed up. “What say the doctors? Are they the best?”

“Ya. I made sure they understood. Only the best.” Marco glanced at his wrist. “They’ve been in surgery for almost two hours already. We should know soon whether—”

Yegor cut him off with a glare. “Go find a nurse, someone who can give us news.” He waved Marco off and then turned to his wife.

Her soft hands cupped his face as she stared up at him. “This is not supposed to happen, Yegor. A mother is not supposed to bury her children. They are to bury her.”

Not only a mother, he thought. Yegor bit back his own fears, grasped her by the forearms and said, “Don’t talk as if Gorgon is already with his maker. Sit. We will know soon when we can see our son.” He helped his love to the same chair she arose from a moment earlier.

Yegor thanked his sister-in-law when she vacated her chair, allowing him to sit next to his wife. He nodded his appreciation of support to the family members who filled the room and who witnessed his and Sofia’s pain. Did he look as frightened as they?
Sofia sought his hand and gripped it so hard he felt the circulation to his fingers dwindle. “You must have faith in our Lord,” he whispered.

“The doctor said Gorgon’s chances were very small. The stabbing had done much damage and Gorgon—” she sobbed. “He had lost too much blood.”

“The doctor doesn’t know what a fighter our son is. Gorgon will live to seek his revenge. Mark my words.”

“And if he doesn’t?” Sofia’s fingers tightened around his and she stared deeply into his eyes. “What will you promise me?”

“His murderer will know our revenge.”


*******
Ps. Remember to sign up for my newsletter and receive a free copy of my very first book, Obsessed By Wildfire.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

THE CREATIVE EYE

A few years ago, I stopped in at my son’s house. He and his wife had just bought the 1940 bungalow style situated on a picturesque acre. He proudly showed me around the property and while doing so pointed out several trees which he intended to take down. Unless trees are dead or diseased I hate to see them removed, especially trees that are home to a spirit. And one of the trees was exactly that. He had a tree with a face.

When I told him what I saw, he told me I was nuts. He couldn’t see the face. His wife couldn’t see the face. My own dear husband couldn’t see the face. None of them could see the spirit until I pointed it out in detail. It was a tree similar to the one in this picture.

I see objects in many things; a paneled wall, a cloud, a mountain, a leaf, etc. etc. My grandson throws a string of beads up in the air and then he sees objects in the outline, but many people don’t. Do you?

Now for fun and to test you, can you find twelve faces in this tree?



Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Stephanie's Story

HIS WITNESS TO EVIL **********************************************************************************Last week, I shared John's backstory. Now, I'll share Stephanie's.



Startled by a crash, Stephanie woke and fell from the couch to the floor. The boom reminded her of the episode last winter when a car skidded into their front porch taking out a corner post. Gripping the leather cushion, she sat up, swept her hair from her face and stared into the darkness that was her living room. The red display of a digital clock on the entertainment center read three forty-two.

Another thump vibrated the floor seconds before the door which lead to the garage burst open. Light spilled across the carpet. Gene was home, finally.

“Damn kids.” His words were slurred and the alcohol he’d consumed over the last six hours while at his weekly poker game preceded him by about twenty feet.

More rattling.

“Stephanie, I’m caught. Get this damn thing off of me or I’ll—“

“Will you keep it down?” She scurried to her feet and hit the switch to the high-hat lights above the fireplace. “The kids are sleeping. They have to get up for school in two hours.”

“This is my house and I’ll yell at them for leaving their freakin’ bikes lying in front of the door anytime I want.”

Em’s bike had been parked against the wall where. Gene probably knocked it over making his not-to-steady way inside. Arguing with him while he was in this state of mind would do her no good. He’d only get more boisterous and eventually wake the kids just to scold them for something that was his own fault. God, she was tired of Gene’s partying. He was married and a father. Would he ever grow up?

The sadness which filled her cemented the truth in place. He never would.

Gene fell forward and she grabbed him under his arms before he hit the floor. As he struggled to free his foot from between the railings of Em’s bike, he leaned on her. “My, God. How much did you have tonight? You didn’t drive home, did you?”

Em’s bike clattered against the garage’s concrete floor. “Damn straight I did. “

“You’re drunk.”

“So. “

Over his shoulder, she caught a glimpse of their wedding portrait and wondered where that happy, young couple went wrong.

Disgusted, she pushed Gene away. “So you’re a cop.”

“Yeah." He shrugged and then scratched his stomach, pulling his tee shirt up over the flat abs he worked hard to maintain. "Don't worry. The guys won't ticket me.”

She folded her arms across her chest in order to keep from reaching out and strangling some sense into him. “What about hurting yourself, or God forbid, someone else?”

“I didn’t, okay.” With dithering steps, he made his way into the kitchen and flipped on the lights. “What’s to eat?” He barked over his shoulder. “I’m starved. Rosie got pissed with Tony and threw the pizza we ordered at him. ”

Steph raced after him hoping he wouldn’t reach the pots and pans before she could block him. His buddies probably ordered the pizza after midnight and the delivery guy woke Rosie’s seven-year-old twins. Poor Rosie.

She stepped between Gene and the stove. “Why don’t you go get a shower and I’ll—”

His frown turned wolfish as he grabbed and pulled her close, grinding his hips into hers. “You’re hoping I’ll fall asleep aren’t you?” He nuzzled her neck. The strong smell of beer turned her stomach. “After I grab a couple eggs, I’ll be ready to take care of you, babe. Why don’t you whip them up for me?”

Not in the mood to be manhandled, she pulled away from his clutch. “Stop it, Gene. I’m not in the mood for your games.” Stephanie turned only to be stopped by the bite of his fingernails on her arm.

His eyes narrowed. “I said I’m hungry.”

“And I want a divorce.” She yanked her arm free. “See who gets what they want first.” ******************************************************************************************* Will Stephanie find love again?

FLASH SALE AT AMAZON MAY 15 THROUGH MAY 17, 2017. GRAB YOUR COPY NOW!

Sunday, May 14, 2017

ALex's Killer Pasta Sauce & Flash Sale

I love pasta and this is one of my favorites recipes. So much, I used it in His Witness To Evil. I hope you enjoy.

Alex’s Killer Pasta Sauce






Sauce:
2 cans (2lbs 3oz ea.) of Italian Tomatoes
2 cans (6oz) of Tomato paste
1 pound of ground beef
½ cup of chopped onion, green pepper, & celery
2 garlic cloves minced or 2 tsp. garlic powder
½ cup sugar
1 ½ teas. of ground pepper, salt, parsley fennel seed, oregano and basil (I prefer using fresh oregano & basil but dried is okay.)
½ cup of combined Parmesan &Romano cheese
4 Tbl of butter

Melt the butter in a large sauce pan. Add the onion, green pepper, celery, garlic and tomatoes. Simmer until liquid evaporates. (You can chop or puree the tomatoes before adding, if you purchased or prefer whole or fresh tomatoes.) (picture shown w/ hot sausage)

Meanwhile mix ground beef with salt, pepper and cheese, and then brown. Do not drain. Add meat to the tomato mixture. Add the remaining spices and tomato paste. Simmer for one hour. Enjoy over your choice of cooked pasta!


**********

“That’s not fair to Em. She’ll sit and watch us all enjoying pasta while she eats what? Lettuce? She can have my homemade sauce, right?” Alex pointed to the pot simmering on the stove.

“Yes. She’s fine with all the ingredients.” Maybe she’d misread Alex, thinking the woman was a cold agent. Mosely actually seemed concerned about Em. Alex had a heart after all.

“Isn’t there a type of pasta she can have?” Alex rooted in the kitchen’s small desk tucked in its corner.

“Yes. But it has to be wheat free and milk free.” From the corner of her eye, Stephanie saw John cross the lawn. Relief washed over her. A second later her breath caught. He carried another priority mail package—a larger one this time.
Bobby ran up to him, probably asking his hundredth question of the day. The attachment forming between the two worried Stephanie. If Victor’s picture was in that box, they could be leaving here as early as tomorrow.

Pangs of loneliness gripped her heart. She shouldn’t be feeling heartache over a man she’d only known for a few days, but she did. Something had happened between them last night. They had grown closer and not because they’d shared their bodies.
Something more.



FLASH SALE $.99 Monday May 15 through Wednesday 17, 2017 Grab your copy today!

Happy Mother's Day

Our first steps were probably hard to take. Remember that moment. We clung to a stable element. We looked out into a world where thousands of new adventures waited for us. Our hearts fluttered with exhilaration like a Hummingbird’s wings. Our knees trembled. We hesitated. Our feet felt like they weighed more than our entire bodies.

A quest as old as mankind called again.

We drew a breath and let go of the safe haven. The first shaky step made us hesitate, but we didn’t stop. We sat our jaws, focused and took another—more stable this time. With each step our confidence grew and showed in our smiles. We started our journey. We made one of our dreams come true and we’ve been working at others ever since.

Whatever your dream has been, remember one of the people who played a huge part in encouraging you to step onto the path.

Happy Mother’s Day.
AJ

Thursday, May 11, 2017

John's Story

A look into John's past.

John Dolton crashed to his knees in front of the inferno that consumed his life.

His heart pumped against his sterum with strong, wild vibes, but his brain felt starved for oxygen. How could that be?

Heat like tiny flesh straved piranhas gnawed at his skin. He gulped against the pain. Roasting air seared his lungs, expanding them until his chest felt as if were about to explode.

He didn’t care.

“Damn, John, snap out of it.”

He blinked and focued on the face in front of him.

“Come on, man. You’ve got to get back.” He heard his partner’s cry but Luke’s voice was diffused, coming at him from several directions.

Something looped under his arms and yanked him upward, lifting his dead weight off his knees—the ones that had given way when he’d seen his life gone. The heels of his boots marked the tarmac with duel tracks as he was drugged away from the wreckage. He didn’t fight. He couldn't. Every muscle in his body had died. His gaze remained on the windows of what once was his SUV.

Staring beyond the flaming bizarre tongues licking at the vehicle’s roof, he saw his wife and little girl as he had left them only ten minutes ago. Happy. Laughing. Anticipating a long overdue family vacation.

“Why?” A screamed like that of a savage, wounded animal rivaled sirens.
He searched the faces staring at him. Wide-eyed, brow ceased, sad faces stared back.
Had the horrendous cry come from him?

Julie.

Katie.

He had to save them.

Adreline surged through his veins and John pulled from the force that pulled him back.

Luke’s grip tightened.

“Let me go. I've got to try.” John twisted and swung a fist at his partner’s jaw, but Luke ducted in time.

Pain ripped through John's shoulder as Luke grabbed his arm and twisted it behind his back.

“They’re gone, John. You can’t save them.”

The agency’s emergency response team raced around the inferno, but John knew in his heart they were too late. He was too late. He had failed to keep Julie and Katie safe.

John caught a glimpse of the smothering arm lying on the sidewalk against the store front a moment before a fireman covered it with a white plastic sheet. A silver band encircled the tiny wrist.

Julie.

John swore a fiery rod stabbed his gut. He clutched his ribs and a second later, he hurdled the egg-muffin he'd consumed an hour ago.

“We’ll get them. I promise you.” Luke’s voice shook as he held John. “I swear. I will die before they get away with this.”

They?

John fell to the sidewalk. Cold laughter mingled with the taste of vomit in his mouth. Luke nor he knew who they were.

They had taken his reason to live. When he found them, they would wish this day had never happened.


FLASH SALE at AMAZON ON MAY 15 through MAY 17, 2017.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

10 Unusual Ways To Beat January Morning Blues

Happy New Year everyone!


Even though the day light hours are increasing, the bright lights of the holidays have disappeared and that leaves many feeling depressed. To help I came up with ten unusual/ hipped up ways that I feign off the January blues. I hope they help someone.


1) Put your lights on a timer to go on ten minutes before your alarm goes off. January is dark and we all know light is a mood lifter, so lift that mood before you even open your eyes.

2) Is there anything worse than getting out of bed and freeze your buns off. Set your heat to turn up before that alarm goes off. Five degrees mean a lot. So in invest in a digital thermostat or use a timer for a little space heater and get that warm feeling.

3) Wake up to music, harmonies that will make you want to dance. Change the channel every few days so that you don’t get bored. Dancing is great exercise.

4) Don’t have time to exercise in the morning, take five minutes to stretch like a lazy cat and then dance. Have stairs? Go down and then back up again and down again before moving on. Great exercise!

5) Make your bed. It is a proven fact that if you do the simple act you will feel accomplished, shaking off the blues. You will get the same feeling each time you pass by your haven. And a made bed is much more inviting when it’s time to retire. Add a pile of decorative pillows or a throw for that resort feel. (Sales are happening all over or make your own. See #10)

6) Set and write down a goal for the next day before five p.m.. A written goal helps motivate you and gives a sense of accomplishment. Why before 5 p.m.? Because the evening is your (me) time. Time to relax and enjoy family and or work on something of passion. Setting the goal before 5 p.m. gives you sense of purpose and takes the job off your mind, until it’s time to work on it.

7) Do something for someone. It can be as easy as sending a text to someone you know is going through a stressful time. Check on an elderly neighbor. Write a letter to a friend or a child. Kids love getting letters and it will get them to read. Buy someone a cup of cocoa. Hugs are great. A smile costs nothing. The holiday season isn’t the only time of the year for acts of kindness.

8) Five minutes of fresh air will lift the spirits if you let it. Enjoy the season for what it is. Throw a snowball. Let a snowflake melt on your tongue. Study the stars from a different angle. And if you hate winter, know its days are numbered. It’s all about attitude.

9) Get out of the house and the work place. I’m assuming if you’re reading this you’re a reader, so go to the library or book store. Smell the stacks. Talk to others about what they are reading. Just stay out of the cabin for a little while.

10) Do what you love. I love doing many things; reading, hiking, gardening, ceramics, crafts with the kids, skating, sledding, puzzles, etc. etc. etc. Winter isn’t the best time for gardening, but I can tend to my houseplants. Winter is my time to do ceramics and puzzles, because when spring hits, I’m out and about. So fill your time with activities that you love to do.



Do you belong to KindleUnlimited? Enjoy many of my books through the program. Thank you!