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My father, now 80 and fighting cancer, has always seemed fearless to me.  Always in control, always sure of his decisions.  He was, after all, a USAF fighter pilot.  A TEST fighter pilot.  Those are the guys who raise their hands when the CO says, “Don’t know if this newest fighter will hold together at mach 1500.  Who wants to give it a whirl?”  (I know jets don’t fly that fast.  Just making a point.)

Anyway, this fearless, “stare ’em down until they blink first” man apparently met his match with his four-year-old daughter — me.  Let me take you back.

I am the oldest, and the only girl.  In my memory of that late summer afternoon, Mom is not home, so Dad is in charge of said girl.  I am playing in the backyard, running from bush to tree, apparently trying to elude an imaginary villain (or some such).

Dad has been left with instructions to make sure I have a bath before supper.  So, being a dutiful husband, he calls from the backdoor for me to come in.

I can’t.  Not yet.  I’m still hiding, still running. My imaginary life is much more real than the one which involves a father getting more frustrated by the minute as he watches me zigzag across the backyard.

“It’s time to come in!”  he calls again and this time, steps out into the yard.  “Now!”

I’m not listening.  I’m much too busy.

Before I know it, he’s grabbed me by the arm and marched me into the house.

Okay.  Now he has my attention.

We walk into the bathroom, his jaws flexing in his irritation at my lack of obedience, his face that flushed red I later become all too familiar with.  With a quick twist of the wrist, he has water filling the tub.  Before it gets too deep, he picks me up and sets me in it, play clothes, sneakers and all.

I remember watching the water turn my sneakers a darker shade, and staring at my now soggy jeans.  Mommy never did it this way.  Turning my head, I stare at him, my question of his sanity shooting from my button brown eyes.

“Uh, Daddy…?”

I don’t remember what happened next, but I have a feeling Mom never found out.

Book Review: ‘Lady Gwendolyn’

J.M. Aucoin

Lady Gwendolyn by Magnolia BelleWhile on my way to Salem for a little sailing adventure, I finally wrapped up reading Lady Gwendolyn by Magnolia Belle.

As one might expect, Lady Gwendolyn takes place during the Middle Ages, specifically in Northern England and Scotland. The book starts with Lady Gwendolyn off to Scotland to wed the son of Lord Dewar. But on their way, the caravan is attacked. Gwendolyn’s maid, Madeleine, switches cloaks with her. Gwendolyn escapes, though seriously injured by an arrow, and the bandits take Madeleine as their prisoner, thinking she’s Lady Gwendolyn. From there, the novel soldiers on with plenty of plot twists, suspense, and adventure.

Really, Lady Gwendolyn is a novel written in that classic historical fiction manner. It has action, adventure, romance, suspense, murder, betrayal… and none of it feels forced. It’s all tied together nicely. The cast of characters range from poor kitchen maids, heroic knights, old women, powerful…

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Techie I’m NOT!

I’ve just spent this entire evening trying to figure out why the URL to this blog kept directing me to my website.  I’m NOT a techie by any means, and this type of problem brings instant headaches with it.  However, I persevered and kept digging through all the “help” topics.

Finally, my patience was rewarded.  I had a domain name issue, using a domain name I’d purchased as the primary for this site.  I should have used the one WebPress provided.  My purchased domain was directed to my website, not here.  Doh!

Anyway, problem solved.  Now clicks on  links take me where I want to go.  All is right with my world (for the next five minutes).  I just need something for the headache.  ~o.0~

Welcome, welcome!

I’ve just invited several folks to follow my blog.  As promised, the virtual snack table is set up:  coffee, tea, brownies and lemon bars.

I’m not sure what all I’ll blog about, but we’re going to find out.  Right now I’m investigating the best way to start accepting credit cards to sell my books.  I am signing up for a few fairs (Oktoberfest in Sept. and Scotland Highland Festival in May so far).  One of the venues doesn’t take checks, and I don’t want to lose sales because of that.  My learning curve continues on (straight up).

If you’ve just started following this, thank you SO much!


Visualizing Characters

When I develop characters for a novel, it’s helpful if I can visualize them. Their habits and foibles become clearer, and mannerisms suggest themselves. To help with that, I go to sites such as iStock or Photo Xpress to find photos of my heroes and villains.  With my latest book, “Lady Gwendolyn”, I posted those pictures on my Pinterest page.  If you’d like to take a look at how I envision my medieval folks, here’s the link.

I’ve done this for most of my books.  It’s a lot of fun!