Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Baking Has Begun

Queen Elizabeth Cake.... my mother's recipe.... loaded with dates and nuts.

Blessings to all for a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.


A Deer Came into our Back Yard

Wild turkeys, a coyote, a red fox, and now a deer... close enough to touch.

Then he turned...

And walked away...

He barely heard me adjust the zoom.


New Hampshire Romance Writers Conference

I had a blast speaking on the Joy of Writing at the New Hampshire Romance Writers conference in September. I met so many friendly people and enjoyed workshops on creating characters and adding emotional impact. Here I am at the book signing.

I finished A WOMAN'S TALE IN A MAN'S WORLD and look forward to its release in April, 2012.


Saturday, November 12, 2011


Expecting company next week... and I have finished cleaning! Yay!

Now I get to sit and read on my sunporch all afternoon. And what am I reading, you ask? My own work... my next book to be released April 2012... A WOMAN'S TALE IN A MAN'S WORLD. Wish I'd discovered this author sooner.

After five books, I've finally found my brand... social issues through fiction.

I also like to include literary themes, lyrical language, and sexy main characters.

Hope everyone reading this has a great weekend.


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Heart of Excellence Readers Choice Award

I have been overwhelmed by the support TALES FROM HOME has received.
This time, second place, Heart of Excellence Readers Choice Award.
They sent me this beautiful banner trophy for my website.

This recognition of my work is gratifying.
Thank you to everyone who continues to encourage me.
Much love,

Friday, September 23, 2011

New Hampshire Fall Fling

Are you doing anything Saturday, Sept 24? I'll be speaking on The Joy of Writing at the New Hampshire Romance Writers Fall Fling conference. Portsmouth Sheraton Harborside Hotel, Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Book Fair at 4 pm open to the Public.

I'm so looking forward to seeing the wonderful folks from New Hampshire. We always have such a great time talking writing, networking, learning craft, and selling a few books.

Hope to see some of my Massachusetts writer friends there too... only one hour from Boston.

Happy Fall !!


Monday, August 15, 2011

A real-life Romance

Today, my sweet sweet husband and I celebrate our fortieth anniversary. It so doesn't seem possible. The time has flown like the jet plane we used to sing about leaving on. 

We've had a wonderful life, blessed with two wonderful sons and a lovely granddaughter.

Are there some things we're sad about? Of course, but I have faith the Lord will take our lives and lead us beside pure, still waters.

Blessings to all as we have been so richly blessed.

Peace and love,

Shirley & Leland

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Mixed News

I'm saddened to let you know that my mother took a turn for the worse this summer and passed away last week. She was ninety. My family was touched by the many cousins, nieces, nephews, and friends who came to say goodbye. It was truly a lovely outpouring of support. Thank you, all.

Last night I couldn't sleep, and since thunderstorms were predicted, I got up to unplug my laptop. But first I thought I'd check my email. And there was the notice from From The Heart Romance Writers that TALES FROM HOME had won third place in their Lories Best Published Contest.

Then, in the darkness of my solitude and mixed emotions, my tears flowed freely.

RIP, Mom. You did it all.

Monday, June 13, 2011


It looks great... thanks to Peter Joseph Swanson's marvelous cover.
It reads great... thanks to Tracy Fabre's insightful editing.
It feels great... thanks to Kris Stamp's commitment to excellence and Lightning Source.

My excitement is all due to the release of my fourth book, TALES OUT OF THE PSYCH OFFICE.

It's my first Young Adult novel and I think everyone from pre-teens to adults will like it as much as I do.

The main charater, Melissa King, has more than her share of troubles at home, in school, and on the bus. Follow her as she struggles to find herself, inner peace, and a true friend.

Enjoy! And as always, let me know what you think.


Sunday, May 15, 2011

Northampton, Massachusetts

My son, Scott, and I have had a long-standing tradition of celebrating his birthday and Mother's Day together since he was born on Mother's Day. As the years have passed we can't always schedule our special day on "the day," but we always work it out. So yesterday we spent the day together. Northampton, always lively and festive with street fairs, protests, musicians, and "consciousness raising groups" was especially busy as it was graduation weekend at Smith College.

First, we watched his call-in radio show featuring two psychics. Then we walked around town and he bought a pair of Merrill shoes, which he thought were quite excellent. (An extra birthday gift, of course.) Then we walked around town some more, where I fell behind sniffing herbs at the Farmer's Market. Finally we settled down to lunch at Paul & Elizabeth's. I had a crab salad swiss melt and hibiscus peppermint iced tea. He and his dad had the special Fish & Chips, because the captain had made it in.

Then we went back to his apartment where he and his dad worked on fixing his bikes (yes, that's plural). I sat down for a much needed breather, and didn't even do too much snooping around. By dinnertime, my other son, Kevin, arrived from Vermont. We walked to Packard's and ate again... drank a little too, but not much. The Nachos moved pretty fast and the ribs and homemade chips were a "10."

We left "the boys" on their own and made it back to Duxbury by 11... a long and tiring, but wonderful day.

See below... Shirley and Lee at Psychic Show at WHMP, Northampton.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Let Your Imagination Take Flight Conference

Salem, Massachusetts: a fabulous historical city
200 smart, supportive writers
Unlimited food, snacks, desserts... and all the tea, coffee, and water you could consume
Workshops, editors, agents, and big-name speakers from the literary world
Sunny New England weather in the 50s and 60s
A retro hotel dating back to 1925
A parking spot
An adorable young bartender who rubbed a lemon twist all around the rim of my martini glass
An ice-breaker scavenger hunt
A prize featuring uniquely-Maine trinkets: spa socks, coffee, candy, maple syrup, and a pine pillow
A book signing: photo features Michelle Picard and me.

Add up all the above for a fantastic weekend.

Hope yours was great too, despite the Celtics' loss. We'll get those jokers from Miami next time.


Thursday, April 28, 2011

Speaking and Signing

I'm very excited about my next speaking engagement for the New England Chapter of Romance Writers of America on Saturday, April 30 at 2 p.m.

Then, we're having a book signing at 4. Open to the public.

Really looking forward to seeing lots of people and talking about writing... my favorite topic.


Friday, April 22, 2011

Happy Birthday Katie

Happy Third Birthday to my sweet, sweet granddaughter.
Grandpa and I love you and hope you have a wonderful day.

Much love and many hugs.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

TALES FROM HOME wins second award

Here's the link

I'm listed under "Mainstream with Romantic Elements."

I am really excited about this and extremely appreciative to everyone who helped make this possible.

Here's a picture of the pin they sent me.

Love and Peace,

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Colorado Romance Writers - Award of Excellence

I'm almost afraid to post this, thinking I might be dreaming, but I'm not usually in that state at 10:30 on Saturday morning.

Help me out here..... Go to the link below and read the list of Finalists for the Award of Excellence in Published Fiction. Is that my name and novel under Mainstream with Romantic Elements?

I was called and emailed, but so much of my world is filled with fictional twists and turns, my perception of reality and illusion is cloudy indeed.

Much love and many thanks to everyone everywhere who helped provide this recognition of my work.


Thursday, April 7, 2011

I've always loved books

Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers-Charles W. Eliot (1834 - 1926)


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A Windy Walk

Scott (in foreground), Shirley and Lee getting a little exercise crossing the Powder Point Bridge.

Occasionally there are signs of spring around these parts. I even did a little raking last week. I think it would be possible today, but I already went out to do errands. Wednesday and Thursday it'll be me, the rake, and no mercy on those old leaves.

Happy Spring,

Monday, March 28, 2011

Red Sox Open Season April 1, 2011

There's nothing like the hope of spring and a new baseball season... Especially if the Red Sox pitching rotation achieves up to the standard set by Jon Lester.

The sun is shining on New England today, our radiation readings are only slightly elevated, and my new book is scheduled for release in May, 2011.



Saturday, March 19, 2011

At the Mall

I was at the local Mall today. It was like a ghost town. I sold some old gold. (Was that the name of a cigarette?)
I saw a little girl (about 6) with her mother and grandmother. The little girl asked about Easter. There were signs and displays about. Said the grandmother, "That's when the Easter bunny comes and fills your basket with candy."
I almost choked.... It made me quite despondent about the state of our world.
Take care World. I have faith that you can make it.


Tuesday, March 15, 2011 characters love food and cooking.

I made the best corned beef, cabbage, carrots, and potatoes ever..... I make this every year.... but this year I got extra lucky, I guess. Maybe it was the quality of the ingredients. Maybe I wasn't rushed, but it was g-o-o-d. Overate, unfortunately.

And... I made enough to last from the Ides of March to St. Patrick's day.... so no cooking for four days. How cool is that?


Friday, February 25, 2011

GoDaddy Overview

I created my own website in 2006 using GoDaddy for my Domain, Hosting, and Traffic Blazer. Over time I have developed a love-hate relationship with them. 

I'm going to start with the positives. They have excellent technical support. The phone call is not free, but I have unlimited nationwide calling, so that is not an issue for me. Since they're located in Arizona, and I certainly hope they stay there, their tech support people speak English. They are knowledgeable, courteous, and helpful. One of them even helped me with a computer problem that was not website-related.

As for the negative, their own website is primarily geared toward selling more products. I find the screens to be overly-busy and rather difficult to navigate. I actually had to write down how to upload my updates, because each time I went to do it, I had to search all over my account.

I'd be interested in hearing other folks' opinions and experiences with them or other registrars. No horror story rants, please.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

My Grandddaughter

I'm busy.
Here's why.

She is such a good girl. And.... she has good taste. She said my macaroni and cheese was the best ever. It was Martha Stewart's recipe.


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

My Granddaughter Is Coming to Visit

I may not be around much in the next few days as I will be entertaining a very important guest.... My granddaughter, Katie, who's nearly three. We converted her crib into a toddler bed... it looks so adorable. I cleaned the house (Ugh!) and made a grocery list of all her favorite things. We plan to have such larks!!!! And the weather looks promising for walking. In the fifties. Wow!
Happy Days!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Simple Things Are Best

My husband and I enjoyed a wonderful Valentine's Day together. We shared free cards: he printed one from the Internet and I sent him an ecard. I prepared a lovely dinner, which we enjoyed together... but I do that every evening. I had left over chocolate from my book signing on Saturday. I tried to give it to him; he tried to give it back. We both ate a few pieces. (That was the only bad part... eating the candy.) I almost always have flowers in the house. We'd gone out to dinner last Saturday after my signing, so there was no need to go out again so soon. I know we'll hit one of our favorite restaurants when we feel like it. The simplicity of the enjoyable day we shared was comfortable, warm, serene. These are the best days of my life.
My love to all,

Monday, February 14, 2011

Blogspot Wins !!!

Sooooo.... this is the third blog I've tried.
First I did my own.... good, but not authentic and did not have comment capacity.
Then I tried the Quick Blogcast which comes with my domain on GoDaddy.
I tried and tried to customize that thing, but could not do it. Finally, I checked the "help." Turns out a GoDaddy custom blog is an upgrade. Pooh! I'm already paying them enough.
So BlogSpot it is. I can customize, post without having to go through 14 GoDaddy logins, and accept comments.


Sunday, February 13, 2011

Tatnuck Signing

We had a great time signing at Tatnuck Booksellers yesterday. What a fabulous store... books, gifts, jewelry, CDs, coffee. I almost bought a purse protector... had never seen one before. Basically, it's a hook with a pretty decoration on top. You put the decoration on your restaurant table and then hang your purse on it right in front of you. Voila! No danger of theft by hanging your purse on the back of your chair.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Tatnuck Flyer

Tatnuck Book Signing

I'm all excited about the Romance Author Booksigning at Tatnuck Booksellers in Westborough, Massachusetts.

TODAY, FEB 12, 1-3 P.M.

In addition to books, Tatnuck has all kinds of cool gift ideas: CDs, mugs, special coffee.


Looking forward to seeing a few friendly faces.


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Finished With Fourth Novel

Today I sent my fourth novel, Tales Out Of The Psych Office, to my editor.
I'm happy with it. I think it's very powerful and emotional. More info when the time is right.
I've also worked with my cover artist, Mr. Peter Joseph Swanson, who was amazingly helpful and accommodating. Again, I'm very happy with it. Being the sensitive genius that he is, he captured the emotion of my main character.
Release is scheduled for May, 2011.

Sunday, February 6, 2011


Hooray and Good Morning. With temps in the mid-thirties, we got rain last night.
Translation: no shoveling today.
And with the shoveled roof, no ice dams.
Go Packers.

Saturday, February 5, 2011


This Saturday.... Mark your calendars....

I'll be at TATNUCK BOOKSELLERS in Westborough, Massachusetts.

February 12, 2011     1-3 p.m.

Directions Here.

Tatnuck is a great place... in addition to books they have CDs, special coffees, mugs.

There'll be three other New England authors, and we're offering a free basket and wrapping for all your selections.

Pray for good weather.... looking forward to seeing you.


New Blog Look

I finally got around to creating a better blog.... finally not behind. I pretty much finished my last project...  now working with the cover artist.... who is just too fabulous for words. I'll archive my previous blogs.