Autumn Leaves

Whether I’m in a big city, a smaller town, or tucked away in a secluded cabin for a quiet weekend, autumn is my favorite time of year. The beauty of the turning leaves, the crispness of the air, the coziness of the dropping temperatures…they all tease my senses with the wistfulness of ending another year and the wonder of starting the next.310923a12f18d69d9bd5e9e90013410e

There’s something about autumn that’s simply romantic. Every year when the first hints of fall waft on the breeze and begin to tinge the leaf tips, I yearn for the fairy tale decorations that grace the buildings of New York City, or the covered bridges and fiery landscape of New England, or the winter wonderland that blankets the Rocky Mountains.

What’s your idea of a romantic autumn getaway?

Bells Will Be Ringing

With the holiday season approaching, I find myself writing, writing, writing…Christmas lists. Worrying over how to get my shopping done. Concerned about WHAT to give. A little frantic about getting the decorations and lights up and the baking done. And then I realized how absurd it is to allow the ‘demands’ of the holidays to out weight the joy of the season. So I stopped and considered how I can recapture the true meaning of the holiday spirit, and one word kept popping into my mind: T-I-M-E

  • I cleared everything off my calendar and desk that isn’t absolutely necessary. When I really considered what is necessary and what really isn’t, I found myself surprised at the answer.
  • I shortened my shopping list. My Aunt Wilma doesn’t need another pair of slippers. If she did, I’d gladly send them. But she more than likely has several never-before-worn pairs tucked in a closet out of sight so none of us well-meaning relatives get offended. I can use the time I would’ve spent shopping for those slipper to sit down and call her. Or better yet, write her a letter.
  • I prioritized my commitments. Instead of trying to make everyone happy, I’ll send a handwritten note declining the commitments that I can’t get to. It’s a good way to personally touch base with people and organizations but offer my regrets at the same time instead of spreading myself (and my family) too thin.
  • I scheduled quiet time with just my immediate family. Granted, we had to plan a trip out of town to ensure this one happens, but I’ll have a few days alone with my spouse and my kids in a winter wonderland. A rare occurrence, indeed.
  • I made a list of people that are dear to me. No gifts in the column next to their names. Instead, I wrote the reason they are special to me and jotted down a short story or memory about how they’ve touched my life. Many were funny or kind or sweet and brought a smile to my lips and warmth to my heart. The extra time I’ve created will be used to send a personal note – not just a generic Christmas card with my name printed inside – wishing them health and happiness and telling them how blessed I am to have them in my life.
Romantic spot for the holidays?
Romantic spot for the holidays?

What ideas do you have to make this holiday season special? If you could get away and spend quality time with your significant other during the holidays, where would it be?


Off To Work We Go

Mondays…ugh! Try as we might to avoid them,  they still come around every seven days or so. Here’s a few ideas that can make your Monday morning a little more enjoyable.

Share a HOT cup of coffee:








Coordinate your wardrobes:
















See? Mondays aren’t so bad. You’re welcome, folks.


Romance Writers Are Simply Breathtaking

Romance writers from all over the U.S. took the challenge and participated in the Greatest International Scavenger Hunt The World Has Ever Seen (GISHWHES). The GISHWHES goal is to improve communities around the world each year.

Shelly Alexander, Darynda Jones, Tamara Baumann
Shelly Alexander, Darynda Jones, Tamara Baumann

Tamara Baumann, a debut author with Montlake Romance, led the charge to make New Mexico a little brighter and a little safer by encouraging local romance writers to learn CPR. Her reason for picking this task: Romance writers who deal with broken hearts every day should know how to fix them!

We celebrated our certification in CPR at Tim’s Place, the world’s friendliest restaurant – open for breakfast, lunch and hugs. Tim brightens our community with his smile and his charm, so it was the perfect place to finish the scavenger hunt and discuss the heart of our profession – our breathtaking characters.


What’s The Story?

This is what I learned to type on. Or one like it, anyway.

My mother borrowed it from a friend when I was in high school, and I studied a typing textbook until I could bang away on the keys at eighty words per minute. When I took an actual typing class in eleventh grade and was assigned an electric typewriter, I scoffed at the archaic thing on my dining room table at home.

Typical teenager reaction when a new piece of technology is put in front of them.

Thirty years later, this beauty sits in a place of honor in my living room filled with other antiques. My buddy, Kim, gave it to me, and it belonged to her grandmother. (BTW, Kim is the inspiration behind the utterly hilarious Kimberly in the second installment of my Red River series.) This gorgeous piece and the others I’ve collected are a slice of history, and each has a story to tell.

If you could tell this particular antiques story, what would it be?