Wednesday, February 29, 2012


Well, it's kind of like poker night, only you're with a few more friends who are colleagues. Our Writers Guild meets monthly to share our writing journeys. We instruct, inform and inspire each other lending a helping hand with what we've learned along the way. It's an honor to be part of such a fine group. This evening, I did a Q and A on the publishing journey. I'm sure we had as much fun as those attending a poker night. Maybe even more! What a lovely way to spend an evening. God bless you today on whatever journey you're on.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


If you've never been to The Melting Pot for dinner, I suggest you go. Sure, you cook your own food and it takes a long time to eat one bite at a time, but by the time you've finished, you're relaxed, happy and sleepy and plus, you don't have to do the dishes. A lovely treat! I think my favorite part was the chocolate fondue for dessert. I scraped the pot and spooned the last of the pure milk chocolate onto my plate and scarfed it! Rewarding indeed!

Monday, February 27, 2012


After being gone for eight days, I feel like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz when she finally returns home. Being away with my  family is wonderful, but after I get home, I realize what a wonderful life God has given me here in Austin. Great husband, lovely home and great Mexican food! Of course, today begins a new work week for most of us. I hope you'll join me in appreciating the good things about our life today. After all, there's no place like home! God bless you today.

Sunday, February 26, 2012


After three cups of coffee, I was wound up way too tight for anything rational to happen. Didn't matter what it was--a conversation with my mom with my granddaughter listening to the Disney channel at full volume, or trying to understand a credit card entry jostled between two different accounts (while listening to the Disney channel at full volume). My attitude was just plain CRANKY! You might ask, "Why not just turn down the volume?" But I wanted my granddaughter to enjoy her show. Now, being cranky is not my idea of how I want to live my life. No. People should want to be composed, but how do you do achieve that with too much on your plate combined with too many outside aggravations? Well, you don't. You drink the coffee, you lose control, you apologize after it happens and figure out that every challenge only needs a little time and patience to come to a solution. If I would have just said to myself, take the phone into a different room and stop inventing scenarios that aren't true when I talk to my mom, wait until I can handle the credit card entry issue until I return home from my trip, and just quit getting so upset over little things, I would have been composed instead of cranky. So glad we get second chances, aren't you?

Saturday, February 25, 2012


After a lovely time visiting with my daughter yesterday morning, we went to lunch in the charming town of Danville, California. Afterwards, we came home and I made a batch of homemade scones. You see, my granddaughter requested a tea party after she got home from school, so of course I had to bake the scones. They were lovely and delicious, served with whipped butter, strawberry jam and mock devonshire cream. I added fresh strawberries to the fare, along with red velvet cupcakes. A few minutes later, Mia, a friend of my granddaughter's, came over and I served her a scone and a cup of tea. After that, my grandson came in on his way to a basketball game, and grabbed two scones to eat on the way. Finally, my other granddaughter's friend Liv pops in and I served her a scone and a cup of tea as well. I thought there would be three leftovers for breakfast in morning, but alas, they were our dessert. All in all, the scones were a hit, I'm happy to say. Yes, it was a lovely scone afternoon. Wish you had been here!

Friday, February 24, 2012


I liked this post explaining server psychology. After reading it, I now know how to act in order to get the best service. You can read it yourself to get all the tips, but a thought occurred to me; it is good etiquette to be considerate of your server. By treating them with respect and attention when they are trying to serve you, they will usually give outstanding service. I like to pretend that I'm the server and treat them like I would like to be treated. After all, dining out should be a lovely experience for everyone. Bon appetit! Here's the link:

Thursday, February 23, 2012


Where ever you are, what ever you're doing today, how ever you're feeling, I pray you have a lovely day. God bless you!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


I found this to be a helpful link for those of us seeking the most bang for our buck! Hope it helps a few of you to save a little money when it comes to finding the best gas prices. Good luck! Here's the link:

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


I was so inspired by this article, inspired and saddened at the same time. I've always liked Dame Judi Dench and loved every movie she's made--so far. She's battling losing her eyesight at the moment and my heart goes out to her. At the moment, I'm spending time with my mom, who's 87, and talking at length about the issues she's facing as well. What I've discovered is if you spend your time productively, doing what you love, aging is not an issue. Aging is just another day in the adventure of life. May your day today be a lovely adventure! Here's the link I think you'll find inspirational.

Monday, February 20, 2012


Please click on Queen of Tea Celebrity Author Interviews and join us for tea and a chat with Queen of the Week, Fiona McDroll. Have a lovely Monday, friends!

Saturday, February 18, 2012


Are you like me? I get up in the mornings raring to go (after my coffee of course)! I can't wait to check my e-mails, Facebook posts, and spend a few moments with God, asking Him to direct my path for the day. Well, you may or may not do the last thing I do, but I highly recommend it to keep sane. I read a quote by Talli Roland that said, "Authors work every day." It's true! We can't seem to turn our minds off with all we have to do, writing, publishing and marketing our books. But here's the deal (and I've seen this happen to people), if you don't take a break at least one day a week to kick back and rest, the rest of the week is nothing but stressful work and you will burnout. So today, worship the Lord if you're a believer like I am, or at least take a break and do something to relax. If the words in the photo I've shown above is true, then take a break today (Sunday) and enjoy the rest; you'll feel renewed and ready to face a new week of opportunities. Have a lovely (and restful) day today!


"Now, go brush your teeth and get ready for ..." Whoa, parents! If your children are using spinbrushes (or any other electric toothbrushes), you may want to read this. For 39 million toothbrushes to receive an FDA warning, you may want to pay attention. Picture a little child (dressed in snugly pajamas) stepping up to the sink, squeezing toothpaste on their toothbrush, turning it on and inserting it into their tiny little mouth. Lovely scene. But wait! After loosing control for just a few seconds, the brush attacks (through no fault of it's own) and damages your child. Please be responsible and oversee these precious little ones. Thanks for listening!

Friday, February 17, 2012


  Okay, here's the big news--soon we'll be saving 30 (count them, 30) calories with the new Snickers, M&M's etc. coming out. I just don't know what to say! The only time I may eat such a thing would be Halloween, and that's if there's leftovers from the Trick or Treat bowl. But at least they're trying to help us slim down, right? And really, I think that's lovely! 30 calories, 30...! Here's the news link.

Thursday, February 16, 2012


 Okay, these is not pictures of me on the beach! I read an article this morning that finally agreed with my way of thinking about exercise. Small bursts of activity throughout the day seems to be just as effective as prolonged sessions. Every half hour (I set the timer on my microwave) I get up from my computer and do a chore (put in a load of laundry, unload the dishwasher or make a bed). I reset the timer for another 30 minutes, sit back down at my computer (writing my mystery novels) and go at it until the timer goes off. At least I know my blood is circulating this way and it's a lovely thing to get my chores finished without really thinking of them as chores. They're more like exercise sessions. Very efficient! This way, I get to write (which I love) and the work gets done. Another side benefit is I don't have time for snacking, so doing the brief spurts on a timer helps me keep my weight down as well. Life is good! Do you have tips on exercise? I'd love to hear them. Oh, here's the link if you want to read the article. Have a lovely day!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


How are you feeling today? Got a cold? Flu? Doesn't matter! Everyone gets sick occasionally and it's never fun. But it ends. And when it does, the only thing holding you back from reaching your dreams and goals is you! Yes, you! I love the idea that most of our negative reasoning comes from thoughts that we've invented and are simply not true! Just for today, rid yourself of every excuse to be negative and focus instead of everything that you can do to make this a productive day. (Unless, of course, you have a cold or the flu!) Come on everyone! Be grateful for all the things going right for you and ignore the things that aren't; you've probably invented them anyway. Join me for a lovely, productive day and together, lets' see what happens!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


We're you someone who didn't get a valentine today? If you were, I just wanted to tell you that I want you to be my valentine. For whatever reason, having someone think you're special means everything. I believe every person has value in life, but sometimes it takes another person to make them aware that they are valued. I value you as a friend, and hope that you'll feel the love I'm sending you this Valentine's Day, 2012.

Monday, February 13, 2012


I knew there would come a time where I would have to confess that my all time favorite food is, yes, Spaghetti and Meatballs. But it's not just that it tastes so wonderfully satisfying, it's because it's as simple for me to prepare as one, two, three. Walmart makes the best Italian meatballs of any store I know, and when coupled with a can of spaghetti  sauce (any flavor is wonderful I think) and cooked spaghetti noodles, the result is dinner divine. And the beauty of this meal is that it will last for days! And yes, I eat it for days because it's simply the best! How lovely is that? I can't wait to put this meal into one of my Jillian Bradley Mysteries. Look for it!

Sunday, February 12, 2012


Sunday, (my day of rest) will give way to Monday in the morning. I can't wait! I feel like each new morning is the beginning of a new adventure in Author Land, thanks to the wealth of new friends I'm making on Facebook and Twitter. Beginning tomorrow afternoon, I will be hosting celebrity author interviews with some very special people on this same adventure. Please stop by and join us for a cup of tea, a treat, and some very interesting conversations with some lovely authors! Just click on the link above and to the left "Queen of Afternoon Tea-- Celebrity Author Interviews." See you then!

Saturday, February 11, 2012


In many parts of the world and in the northern parts of here in America, snow covers the ground and the air is chilly. I, for one, love the Winter season more than any other. When I see Spring approach, I sigh inside, knowing the days will be longer and more and more people will be outside, scurrying about. But for now, I will enjoy the quietness and peace of these lovely winter days, and not think about the warmer days to come. You'll find me near the fire reading a cozy mystery and drinking a cup of afternoon tea.

Friday, February 10, 2012


Having family over for dinner this evening will be lovely. I'll make chicken fried steak with cream gravy, mashed potatoes, green beans, salad, and a hot fudge pudding for dessert, one of my son's favorites. Afterward, we'll play Mexican Train. Have a lovely evening!

Thursday, February 9, 2012


A little inspiration for the upcoming:
Beginning Monday, February 13, 2012.
Please join us every Monday for a cup of tea and a chat with new friends right here on "That's Lovely!"

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


Teddy is the dog character I use in The Jillian Bradley Mystery Series as Jillian's faithful companion. She trains Teddy to perform wonderful tricks (which comes in handy when Jillian needs help catching the bad guys) and he accompanies her wherever she goes. If you stop and think about it, dogs are some of the best friends mankind will ever have. If there's any doubt, talk to someone who has lost a dog in death and you'll see the depth of emotion I'm talking about. Here's to Raider, who was put to sleep today after 16 1/2 years of faithful friendship to the family who loved him.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


There was something missing in my afternoon that I couldn't put my finger on. My feet were cold. I had no energy. I didn't feel like writing my novel, and then it hit me. I needed chocolate! I lay on the sofa, book in hand, and ate a small (medium) quantity of the delicious brown confection and was soon back to my old self. Lovely. What about you?

Monday, February 6, 2012


One of the people I admire most is Oprah Winfrey. She is one person who understands that giving back is the way to feel good about who you are. And she gives back a lot. February is Black History Month, and there are many wonderful people who should be recognized for their contributions to our country. But when it's all said and done, I bet Oprah would get the most votes for all the people she's helped along the way. God bless you, Oprah. What you do is lovely, indeed.

Saturday, February 4, 2012


I can't believe I stayed in my pajamas for the whole day! Of course, a friend from church stopped by to say hello, and there I was in all my glory, but, oh well, sometimes it's good to kick back, like our friend Ferris Bueller (love that movie!) and just have some fun. And, I can't wait for tomorrow, because Sunday is my day of rest! Yes, weekends are lovely, aren't they? I hope yours is lovely, too.

Friday, February 3, 2012


It is an honor to have friends from all over the world stopping by and viewing my posts. I count it an honor to be able to share pleasant thoughts and ideas that make life pleasant and rewarding with everyone of you. What ever country we live in, we can smile and be gracious to our fellow citizens, speaking honorably about those who provide us with goods and services,  giving us necessary food, clothing and shelter. Each one of us can contribute to our society if we but only choose to do so. And that, my friends is a lovely choice indeed!

Thursday, February 2, 2012


Bad news for many people, wonderful news for me! So the poor groundhog has to go back inside his hole for the next six weeks and we see another six weeks of winter. For authors, this should be wonderful news! Six more weeks of staying indoors writing, marketing our work and hooking up with other writers all over the social networks. All this with no distractions of long walks, trips to the beach or playing golf. Sounds lovely. I think.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


Ladies and gentlemen. This is called a record. People used to record music this way, until someone came up with a little thing called a "tape." After the tape replaced the record, someone else came up with a little disc called a "DVD" and this replaced the tape. Friends, if we look down the road, I think print books are going to be replaced with digital downloads. It's already happening. As in the words of my daughter, "I'm never buying a paperback book again. I'll be downloading books from now on on my Kindle." A huge paradigm shift is coming for we e-book authors. No one knows what the future holds for the way we will earn royalties. Battles are ensuing between Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Unprecedented technology will change the way we buy books (or simply download them for free). I stop and take a deep breath at the thought of giving all my hard work away for pennies. And then I realize that change is inevitable, and "blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape." We authors must simply do our lovely best to write good stories that enrich others.