Tuesday, January 31, 2012


I've only jumped off a high dive twice. I didn't like it either time. In fact, swimming is just not my thing. I dislike getting my hair wet, and I've had the same black bathing suit for the past ten years. I wear it to the pool, and then back to my hotel room never having entered the pool. A reviewer who works for a major rag has offered to review my books, and I feel just like the little boy in the picture. And yet, I need to find out where I'm doing a good job, and where my writing needs work. I feel vulnerable and yet, I have to spring up, point my arms in the air and dive into the water. Good or bad, this is a dive I have to make.

Monday, January 30, 2012


I was just reminded of what a true genius William Shakespeare was after watching the movie, Shakespeare in Love. When he was writing his heart out, fighting for recognition, he had no idea just how much the world would applaud his works. We authors write our hearts out in the hopes that we, too, will receive recognition by our readers. We must write our best and give our craft our all if we are to receive even a drop of praise. Writing is a lovely and noble art, of which I have only begun the journey. And it is a lovely journey, indeed.

Sunday, January 29, 2012


Ah, Sunday. Day of rest and worship for we Christians. Even so, I believe it's good to rest one day out of seven. My friends and family in California are going to Monterrey for the weekend. It's so much fun to visit the wharf, grabbing a bread bowl filled with steaming clam chowder, looking through unique shops, and then stopping to enjoy a monstrous hot fudge sundae at the Ghirardelli Chocolate Factory. The day here in Austin was beautiful outside, many chose to leave the house and enjoy the lovely weather. I'm happy for them. I would have loved to pour myself a nice hot cup of tea and sit in my Adirondack chair on the front porch and drink in the early Spring. To feel the warm sunshine on my face for a 15 minute dose of Vitamin D would have been lovely indeed. But alas, allergies keep me indoors. I'll be patient until they pass and when they do, you'll find me on my front porch, having a cup of tea, or taking a short walk to see how the neighborhood is faring. Enjoy these beautiful days for me, dear friends.

Saturday, January 28, 2012


It used to be a bad thing to be over 40. You were over the hill. Finished. You might as well sit down and watch the deadline decline happen in your life. I never found that to be true. In fact, quite the opposite has happened in my life. By staying busy, involved with either my family, my church or my neighbors, I've never felt getting older was a bad thing. One adapts. One identifies with certain groups and finds acceptance and friendship when they do. With Facebook, Twitter, and blogs like mine, we can connect in ways never before imagined even 10 years ago. Staying in touch has never been easier or more rewarding. I'm happy to say I'm meeting more and more Baby Boomers online through my Jillian Bradley Mystery Series, people who are living to the fullest, because they choose to, and that's lovely!

Friday, January 27, 2012


Few books I've read have given me as much pleasure as Busman's Honeymoon, by Dorothy L. Sayers. The book, about Lord Peter Whimsy finally marrying the love of his life, Harriet Vane and finding a dead body when they go on their honeymoon with Whimsy's man, Bunter,  is written with such sophisticated humor and elegance that I'm reading it for the second time this year. Some authors are so gifted in there abilities that I can't help but be a little jealous. Or maybe I should say I stand in admiration of their writing style. Sayers was really a pioneer in the detective mystery and had Agatha Christie in her cadre of friends. I love to read both authors, Sayers for her beautiful literary prose and dry English wit, and Christie for her superb plots. Thank you, ladies, posthumously, for giving me such reading pleasure to enrich my life. May we authors of today return the favor. Lovely.

Thursday, January 26, 2012


I did a tweet today that was re-tweeted to 75,000 followers. After I thanked the gentleman and added a note of appreciation, he re-tweeted my note to his 75,000 followers once again. I went to another site and voted in a poll, stating my opinion and mentioning that I wrote murder mysteries. The host of the site posted my book link to all of her fans and I gained even more exposure which resulted in a lovely spike in sales which enabled me to reach my monthly sales goal early on. Finding readers who enjoy my books is so rewarding. Knowing so many people bought my books today made me very happy, and all the work I put into my craft so worthwhile. A lovely feeling, indeed. So when you have an opportunity to pass something beneficial along, don't hesitate. You just might make someone's day very special, like someone did for me today. I'm so grateful to both of them.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


I don't know know about you, but I get so caught up  trying to keep up with social media (looking for ways to market my books) that I lose control of my attitude and bite the hand that feeds me. I must pause, rewind, apologize, and learn to breathe again. When I do, my blood pressure returns to normal and our household's atmosphere returns to a lovely state. This evening I hope you can sit and relax with your dog or cat, husband or significant other, and enjoy just being alive.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


It took over a year for me to join a writer's group. What a waste of valuable time! Tonight we meet (even though I have to wear a face mask because of my allergies) to talk about genres, do a writing exercise, and have fellowship with others who share common ground. An author's work is mostly mental, or used to be. Today, however, we indie authors have to do it all! What a blessing to join with others who share our passion to write. The support is invaluable and I urge you newbies out there to find one in your area and join! When you find a group where you fit in, it's a lovely thing, indeed!

Monday, January 23, 2012


We all know the nursery rhyme of "The Old Woman and the Shoe." After a long day supervising the antics of her plethora of children, "she gave them some broth, without any bread, and whipped them all soundly and put them to bed." And then I bet she read a book! No matter where we are in life, we can honestly say that it's enjoyable to be around your family, but the quiet is lovely, too!

Sunday, January 22, 2012


Right before Christmas dinner I get a call from my son. "I'm calling about the pie situation," he says. He was making sure that there would be plenty of leftovers. I had to make three. No one cares about the rest of the dinner--just the pie. The legacy I will leave to my children and grandchildren may be The Jillian Bradley Mystery Series, or it might even be my teaching them how to serve afternoon tea. And yet, deep in my heart I know the answer. The loveliest act I do for my family is making a chocolate pie.

Saturday, January 21, 2012


After an extremely long and lonely day being cooped up due to my allergies, my son and his fiance picked up dinner for us at Flores and brought it over. We ate chicken enchiladas and then watched Cowboys and Aliens together by the fire and a six flame candle. It's simply lovely to enjoy a Friday evening with some of your adult children. And to know they're safe and sound is the best. 

Friday, January 20, 2012


This was the inspiration photo for the following scene.  Our family was vacationing at The Moana Surf Rider Hotel on Waikiki. We had a lovely time.

 The Mark of Eden
Chapter 3

High Tea on The Banyan Grove Veranda of their hotel met all of Cecilia’s expectations.
“Jillian would love this, wouldn’t she?” Walter said, as the hostess explained the multiple varieties of tea choices.
Cecilia smiled knowingly. “She’s the one who insisted we do it. This is one of the reasons she sent us here, I think. It is fabulous. I hope we have room for the dinner show tonight. It’s going to be an early seating, unfortunately.”
Walter took a sip of his tea.
“I think I can find room,” he said, lovingly.
“I’m sorry we have to crowd everything in today. It would have been perfect to stay here one more day, but….”
Walter reached across the table and covered her hand with his.
“Sweetheart,” he whispered. “Nothing is more important than getting home and locating your dad. I’m with you one hundred percent on this.”
“I love you, Walter. You’ve been nothing but supportive. Thank you, sweetheart.”
“No problem, my love. Besides, this is right up my line of work. I’m kind of anxious, really, to find out where he is.”
“Listen,” she said, “why don’t you give the chief a call so he’ll have a heads up by the time we get back?”
“I’m one step ahead of you, my love. I left him a message right after we talked to Jillian. I haven’t heard back yet, but I’m sure he’ll get back in touch with me. He must be busy with that new case I saw.”
Cecilia put her finger sandwich down. She looked worried.
“That was the case of the older man they found dead?”
“It could be. Now stop worrying! We can’t do anything until we get home. Let’s just enjoy this tea, rest up a little, and finish up our honeymoon the best we can.”

Thursday, January 19, 2012


I really believe one can find a life enriching experience no matter where you are--even at 30,000 feet in the air. Now, I'm not saying that all flights have such colorful travelers as in the photo, but there are so many lovely people to talk to when you fly! Today I talked with a hydrologist, whose wife was an environmental scientist, and who lives in homes in Colorado and Key West. By asking him to tell me about who he was, I got to enjoy three other people's lives by listening to what they did, their educational backgrounds, what they believed and what they liked to read. And in the process, my new acquaintance told me of his ski rental home and I told him about the books I write. We exchanged cards and e-mails and before we knew it, our plane had landed. It was lovely! And so was being served tomato juice by a handsome flight attendant. Have a lovely evening, friends.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012



When I lived in Valdosta, Georgia, I was in the second grade, and I can still remember dressing up for Halloween. I was a princess, but the thing that made me feel superior in my costume was the pale blue half slip my mother let me wear over the dress. No one would be lovelier than me, I thought. What I didn't realize was that people were probably wondering why I was wearing my mother's underwear, because that's what it was. In fact, I think I even remember one of my friends making a comment to that effect. From then on, I really didn't care what people thought of me. I knew I was going to do what I thought was best for me, and I have. I'm thinking of all you reading this and I wanted to tell you that now, today, if you want to write a book, the last wall has been torn down. You can become a writer and publish a book simply by going to CreateSpace.com and follow the yellow brick road. They used to charge a fee for you to get the most royalties from your work, but as of today, the playing field has been leveled. This means that if you really want to write a book, there's absolutely nothing stopping you. Of course, you may want invest in a good editor, and that will cost you something, but the rewards are so worth it! You don't have to play dress up any longer. You can become the lovely author or anything else you've dreamed about. http://www.createspace.com

Monday, January 16, 2012


They have proven that when a woman wakes up in the morning to fresh flowers by her bed, she has a much more positive day. So ladies, for the sake of our own happiness, and the sake of those we are around everyday, I say buy some fresh flowers and make it a lovely day!