Some might call it procrastination; others think it’s neglect; perhaps it might be avoidance. I’ve been guilty of all three at times.
Today, I’m choosing to call my seven-month absence from posting on my blog as taciturn. Bartlett’s Roget’s Thesaurus covers my silence quite thoroughly. I refuse to comment on the weather, politics, or religion. My husband would dispute that assertion, but that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. Actually, I’ve been busy doing what writers do. Writing!
I decided to brush the dust off my very first (still unpublished) romantic suspense novel, Burning Embers. It was written during NaNoWriMo. If you aren’t familiar with this supportive writing organization, I encourage you to check it out. https://nanowrimo.org. I’m probably on my tenth round of edits, but I keep plugging away it and hope to see it published by fall of 2022.
Besides weaving stories, I weave baskets. Here are a few I’m getting ready to sell along with my books at a pop-up market at Third Wheel Brewery https://www.thirdwheelbrewing.com/ on May 7. A dozen vendors will display their handmade crafts just in time for Mother’s day. Come check it out and grab a bite to eat while sampling a cold brew. Win, win!
Last but not least, in honor of Mother’s Day, I’m sharing a picture of my Mom and sisters.
I miss her every day and I thank her for teaching me to be responsibe, generous, and unselfish. I will never be as good at it as she was, but I try.
I’m giving away a basket and book package. (sorry, USA only). All you need to do is comment on this post with a note about your mother or a mother figure who influenced your life. I’ll draw a name on May 8th and contact the winner for details.
The Dahlonega Sisters, Golden Adventures has arrived just in time for your fall reading pleasure!
Not all dreams are meant to come true. Sometimes fate has better plans. Journey with these spunky women as they laugh, cry, and find new adventures in their golden years. This entertaining women’s fiction series takes place in the quaint historic town of Dahlonega, Georgia. The women are as wholesome as apple pie, feisty as young pups, and resilient as a strong rubber bands.
As a special offer to my followers, for a limited time, I have signed copies of the books available for $12 each. Any two books for $22. Add $3 for shipping one or two books, $5 for three. (Sorry, US only)
It’s never too early to shop for the holidays. Is there an avid reader on your Christmas list? Buy all three for a limited time $30. Add $5 for shipping.
Send me an email at email@example.com
Offers expire October 26, 2021.
One last thing. These lovely ladies aren’t ready to rest, quite yet. Be on the watch for their future endeavors. Perhaps they’ll be Skipping Stones at their brother’s B&B. Stay tuned!
Thanks to my many followers, all the wonderful folks who have bought my books, and to anyone who supports Indie authors! Without you, there would be no need for me to write novels, short stories, or poetry.
What an exhilarating month and it’s only half over. Time to share some good news.
Writing a blog post fell off my to-do list many months ago. While it is important for me to stay connected with my followers, I hope you will understand after you read further.
In the midst of the pandemic, life threw us another curve ball when my husband was diagnosed with prostate cancer. HIs oncologist said that normally, they wouldn’t bother treating an eighty-two year old man. Fortunately, they felt he had the health of a fifty-year old and proceeded with treatments. We learned last week the treatments succeeded and it appears he is cancer-free.
Unseen in this picture is our brand new air conditioning unit two men are installing. We’ve been without air for seven days, so are cheering the hope for a cool night’s sleep.
My final book of The Dahlonega Sisters series, Golden Adventures, hit the market today. With strong determination and a lot of help from my family, critique partners, and supportive editor, I’ve managed to achieve my goal of completing three novels in three years before my seventieth birthday next week.
I hope you will celebrate with me and perhaps enjoy a light-hearted, romantic and humorous read as The Dahlonega Sisters work their way through new challenges and changes.
My husband and I just returned from five remarkable, refreshing days at the Lake of The Ozarks. The drive was spectacular. Brilliant, creamy white dogwoods scattered across the forested Missouri hills, challenging the scarlet-purple redbuds for attention. Fortunately, my husband was driving and I could focus on the brilliant display without running off the road.
Spending time with my family after a year of confinement helped refuel my soul and inspired me to write. While I’ve been working steadily on the third novel of The Dahlonega Sisters series, Golden Adventure, I have devoted little time to blog writing or much of anything else.
My daughter and her fiancé had spent their vacation week working on extending their upper deck. My husband supervised, and I pecked away on my laptop. Okay, that’s not true, but it sounded better when I first wrote it. They didn’t need supervision. In fact, both of them are far more experienced in building things than we ever have been or ever will be. And, in full disclosure, I only wrote when it rained one day, but I was able to critique five chapters of a friend’s manuscript. That should count for something, right?
Hubby and I took turns walking Hammie. He’s got us trained quite well and loves when all four of us are in one place. It makes his job of protecting us much easier. Posing for pictures is not one of his favorite things. My daughter calls him greybeard now. He’s aging, but still has some spunk in him, as long as it involves a treat.
After one of our many walks, I sat outside on the already refinished lower deck that overlooks a nearly dry cove. Staring up at the azure blue sky, my heart was at peace. Scattered clouds slid past towering oaks, taking with them any hint of stress I’d tucked away over winter. Slender branches dappled with lacey green sprouts danced in the gentle breeze and provided resting places for tiny finches as they darted from limb to limb.
I would be content staying right there, suspended in time, sucking in the sweet scents of unidentified flowering bushes, and listening to songbirds sing their praises in thanks of spring’s arrival. No phone, no cable TV, no distractions from God’s creations.
Of course, all good things come to an end. On Tuesday, we returned to our humble home and within an hour, the washing machine was humming, all the mail had been sorted through, and the lawn mower was cranked up. I plugged in the laptop and noticed a message that brought a smile to my face. It was a different type of praise and reminded me of the benefits of today’s advances in technology. I enjoy the solitude of the lake house, but I’ve grown to appreciate the many social media connections to friends, family, and writing enthusiasts.
Here’s a five star review of Veins of Gold by K.C. Finn for Readers’ Favorite
The Dahlonega Sisters: Veins of Gold is a work in the women’s fiction, interpersonal drama, and family saga sub-genres, and was penned by author Diane M. How. The work is intended for the general adult reading audience and tells the tale of the titular sisters: Marge, Rose Ellen, and Mutzi. Following on from The Gold Miner Ring, we find the sisters poised at the start of what may be a terrifying or affirming discovery, as Marge prepares to take a DNA test. Mutzi is fearful that the rumors may be true, and that the sisters are not true sisters after all, whilst Rose Ellen encourages her younger sister to take the plunge.
Author Diane M. How has crafted an utterly charming work of fiction with a fascinating journey into family ties, loyalty, and love to offer its readers. One of the things which I loved the most about this novel was the way that the town itself has a unique personality, and how the history of the Gold Rush is woven into the contemporary storyline. It was also highly refreshing to read a women’s fiction novel which isn’t all about mushy romance, but instead explores the multi-faceted world of family emotions in a realistic way that brings joy, but also plucks at the heartstrings. The dialogue was also very effective, serving to display the unique traits of life in Georgia, whilst moving the plot forward in a natural and entertaining way. Overall, I would highly recommend The Dahlonega Sisters: Veins of Gold to fans of endearing family dramas, well-penned female characters, and Southern fiction enthusiasts everywhere.
Perhaps you need a refreshing getaway to a quaint, friendly place. The Dahlonega Sisters invite you to come join their journey at https://books2read.com/u/mvnnLJ
Till next time, search for the silver lining. It’s there, right behind the cloud.
It’s been a long and challenging few months since I’ve posted. Thank you for spending a few minutes with me today to reflect and project.
Spring is close and I feel a renewed energy in the air. I hope I can share some positivity if you are struggling to find the beauty of the season. Let’s start with some visuals.
Bright cheerful flowers, brilliantly budding trees, azure blue skies. True masterpieces lifting my soul to a brighter place. Although I know rainy days, heavy grey clouds, and frightening storms are scattered throughout the season, I have a renewed determination to endure those days with faith, hope, and love.
I’m finally scheduled for my first COVID-19 vaccine this week and my husband has received both of his. Soon I will be able to visit friends and family with less fear of being infected by the virus.
My husband of 49 years, Wart-nicknamed by his grandfather for being a worry wart- made it through three months of cancer treatments and is doing better than expected thanks to his strong stamina, attentive doctors, and some TLC from me. While the emotional toll has been hard, his physical pain has been minimal. With a positive prognosis, a little more energy, and some warmer weather, he’ll be outside cutting grass and growing his tomato plants soon.
We’ve seen Hammie, our grand dog more than our daughter, Laura. Hope she’s ready for all the hugs she’s missed. I’ve got a year’s worth coming her way.
Hammie’s had to tolerate a bunch of them, but he doesn’t mind as long as he got a treat.
Spring brings a freshness that exceeds the cold, dark, winter days. Sometimes I have to remind myself that life is good. But, I know it is and I am blessed.
The new season brings thoughts of visiting family and friends, participating in outdoor adventures, and maybe even scheduling a face-to-face book signing.
The Dahlonega Sisters received 28 out of 30 points and some pleasant comments from Writer’s Digest. What a nice early Christmas gift!
“Judge, 28th Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards.”
Despite the very serious and even heartbreaking problems that each of the characters face, The Dahlonega Sisters has a delightful charm to it that draws the reader almost effortlessly into the lives of the McGilvray sisters and the town of Dahlonega. Mutzi is every bit as quirky as her name, and not only is she a character that readers want to root for, her energy and spirit move the story forward.
The curse of the ring is such an intriguing plot point that was well executed. Whether or not the ring is actually cursed doesn’t even matter, as the struggles that the sisters and Amy face while holding onto the ring advance the plot, and sometimes even in directions that readers don’t anticipate, such as when the prim and proper Marge’s car breaks down, and she secretly relishes the tow truck operator’s appreciation of her rear end. This moment reveals a side of Marge that readers haven’t yet seen, yet appreciate.
Both Mutzi and Marge have layers and dimensionality to their characters and personalities that are slowly and delightfully revealed as the story progresses. That said, I felt that Rose Ellen’s character wasn’t as clearly defined as her younger sisters. We know by the end of the novel that, despite her financial success, Rose Ellen is lonely and longs for a relationship, but simultaneously distrusts men, I feel that this is more told to the reader, rather than shown. Whereas readers get to see Mutzi’s pain and superstition in the way in which she behaves, such as her refusal to go to church because she believes that God is angry with her.
The Dahlonega Sisters, The Gold Miner Ring is an inspiring tale of loss, love, and forgiveness that readers will enjoy falling in love with.
In case it make you want to curl up under a blanket and get reading, here’s a link
I seldom share pictures of family because I respect their privacy and I know not everyone likes to have their photo blasted on social media. Drastic times call for drastic measures, so I decided to share a special memory with my newsletter friends.
These are my amazing sisters, Michelle and Carol, and my beautiful Mother. It’s one of the only pictures we have of the four of us together. I also have three brothers. Perhaps I’ll introduce them in another newsletter someday.
My Mom always hosted Thanksgiving with all the trimmings. When she no longer could handle the challenge, my husband and I offered our house as the gathering place for holidays. Mom passed in 2010 and not a day goes by that I don’t miss her.
This year the walls won’t rattle as much with loud laughter, outrageous story telling, and the ever competing football games blaring on the TV. But we have lots to be thankful for and will look forward to reuniting when this pandemic is behind us.
I hope all of you focus on the joyful memories you’ve shared with family and friends, knowing that this too will pass. Stay home. Stay safe.
Now for some special news!
There are Black Friday and Cyber Monday promotions right now with Story Origin
The Dahlonega Sisters, The Gold Miner Ring and Veins of Gold are available (e-book) for $.99!
Will digging up family secrets uncover bones best left buried? Marge Ledbetter fears once she spits into the small vial and sends it off, nothing will be the same. But she must disprove the outrageous secret she’s been told by a dying woman before it becomes the latest gossip to spread throughout her quaint gold rush town, Dahlonega, Georgia. Her older sister, Rose Ellen, who is a tad haughty, enthusiastically approves of the ancestry search in hopes of finding a famous relative to add to her bragging list. Marge’s eccentric twin, Mutzi, vehemently disagrees, fearing the rumor she’s heard most of her life about her and Marge not being sisters is true. Will the results disprove Marge’s tightly held secret or will The Dahlonega Sisters be faced with news that changes their family dynamics forever?
Time to snuggle up with a cup of hot cocoa, a warm blanket, and a heart-warming book!
The Dahlonega Sisters are back and ready to entertain!
Will digging up family secrets uncover bones best left buried?
Marge Ledbetter fears once she spits into the small vial and sends it off, nothing will be the same. But she must disprove the outrageous secret she’s been told by a dying woman before it becomes the latest gossip to spread throughout her quaint gold rush town, Dahlonega, Georgia.
Her older sister, Rose Ellen, who is a tad haughty, enthusiastically approves of the ancestry search in hopes of finding a famous relative to add to her bragging list.
Marge’s eccentric twin, Mutzi, vehemently disagrees, fearing the rumor she’s heard most of her life about her and Marge not being sisters is true.
Will the results disprove Marge’s tightly held secret or will The Dahlonega Sisters be faced with news that changes their family dynamics forever?
I have to admit, there have been times when I struggled to find it. The challenges presented this year have made it difficult, but I’m going to focus on peaceful and pleasant thoughts and some exciting news!
Where to start?
You’re alive and so am I. How amazing is that?
Sometimes we need a reminder that things could be much worse. I begin and end each day reviewing a mental gratitude list. I start with all my senses: sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch and really think about the pleasure each of those brings me. I can walk, talk, think for myself, make decisions, learn, read, write, etc… By the time I finish, I’m feeling pretty fortunate. Then I offer prayers for those in need (and there are plenty). I end with being grateful for the ability to feel compassion, empathy, hope, and the greatest of all, love.
Doing this reminds me to focus on the positive and to appreciate all the blessings I have.
If you’re struggling to find a light at the end of a difficult day, give it a try. You might be surprised how it puts things in perspective and lifts your spirit.
I’m cooking at home much more. On these chilly days, a warm pot of soup is perfect food for your soul.
It’s one of my favorites. I hope you’ll enjoy.
1 lb. ground beef 1 cup diced carrots 1 cup diced onions 1 cup diced celery 1 tsp onion salt ½ tsp pepper ¼ tsp garlic salt 2 ½ cups canned tomatoes 1 6 oz can tomato sauce 1 ½ tsp sugar 1 tsp celery salt 5 cups water 3 beef bouillon cubes ½ cup elbow macaroni
Brown meat, onions, and celery. Add remaining ingredients (except macaroni). Simmer 45 minutes. Add macaroni. Simmer 15 minutes
DRUM ROLL PLEASE! And now for the big reveal!
What’s New with The Dahlonega Sisters?
The Dahlonega Sisters are excited to announce the second book in their series, Veins of Gold, is with an editor and should be published very soon.
The girls have had an amazing journey this year too. In appreciation to you for following them, they wanted you to see their cover. Hope you like it. Can’t wait for you to read it.
Marge received an unexpected phone call that could change the dynamics of their family. Of course, she wouldn’t think of passing on gossip, but the only way for her to confirm or dispel the outrageous story is to have a DNA test done. Spitting in a vial? How totally unacceptable!
Rose Ellen thinks it’s a swell idea. Maybe they’ll find a celebrity among their ancestors. Wouldn’t that be fun!
On the other hand, Mutzi is furious. She says some bones should be left buried. Wonder why she’s so upset? Is she hiding something?
You’ll want to find out when Veins of Gold hits the press.
Hope by now you’ve chilled out, so Get Your Blanket and Curl Up
I wanted to share a couple other books you’ll enjoy. I recently finished a historical fiction by Pat Whaler, I Am Mrs. Jessie James. It was interesting to consider Jessie’s journey from his wife’s perspective. Well written and researched .
It never ceases to amaze me how often a friend says “How do you know Jane?” Insert any name you like. The response for me usually is through thirty-three years working at the same place, a lifetime of volunteering with Girl Scouts and a hospice group, or along my writing journey.
It’s fun to make the reconnection and it reminds me of how small our world really is. No matter where I’ve met them, they have a common link, they are good-hearted, respectful, caring friends who have made a difference in my life.
A few days ago, that very thing happened to me. It sparked one thought and then another. Before I knew it, the following poem came to life. I hope you enjoy it. Feel free to share it with those people that have woven love into your life