Monthly Archives: March 2014



Books - it is our memory concept




The annual Author’s in Bloom Blog Hop is coming soon (April 7-16).



With 80 authors and bloggers participating, you will have the opportunity to visit each site and collect a gardening tip or recipe. As well, by leaving a comment, you are eligible for a site draw at the end of the Blog Hop (I’m not telling what my site prize will be… but you will want to enter the draw; I know you will!). Those that visit each and every stop will be registered for the GRAND PRIZE: an eReader (a Kindle Fire or a Nook – winner’s choice and $25. gift card). A 2nd PRIZE of a $25 gift card will also be awarded.

Flowers 1photo

It’s a fun way to get introduced to new authors and bloggers, while collecting great recipes and gardening tips. As well, the chance to win a GRAND PRIZE and SITE GIVE-AWAYS is an added bonus. Go to on April 7th to begin your 10 day blog hop adventure.


I can’t wait to read your comments, after visiting my blog during the AUTHOR’S in BLOOM BLOG HOP. And if you feel like leaving a comment today, after reading my post, I’d love to hear what you think about the upcoming BLOG HOP!





child bookcaseThe benefits of getting the appropriate number of hours of zzz’s is getting ample air time these days.  If it’s not news reports, it’s articles written in newspapers or magazines.  Most of these studies are related to the needs of children and the career crowd below “FREEDOME 55”.  What is NEVER mentioned or commented upon is the menopausal woman’s angst over sleep deprivation.

That’s right people, we women who have raised families, worked incessantly throughout our careers, and are just settling into our blissful stage of relaxing retirement, are probably the most sleep deprived age group of all. It’s true! Regardless of our ability to call our own shots regarding our waking hours versus snoozing hours, we can’t get enough sound sleep! BUT (and that’s a BIG BUT!), no one ever mentioned that retirees don’t actually sleep the sleep of the dead.  Oh no, the reality is that they must grab snatches of it whenever they can.

 clock sleeplessness 2                                                                                                     tired woman

Unfortunately, the road of life keeps moving along and suddenly you realize that you haven’t had a solid, uninterrupted sleep in over a week. So what’s causing the problem?  The list of causes can vary with each of us. Here’s mine:

·      having a husband snoring loudly towards my side of the bed, blowing air at me, and rocking the bed with the force of his snorts (Did I write that?  I better not let husband Ryan read this post!)

·      constantly needing to run to the washroom (But we’re supposed to drain 8 glasses a day, aren’t we?)

·      watching Netflix or reading eBooks on my iPad in bed tends to re-energize me, rather than make me drowsy. (It’s so hard to be disciplined and turn them off!)

·      carefully monitoring caloric intake throughout the day with small portions,  resulting in the “GROWLIES” setting in around midnight. (I really need to eat that banana!)

·      knowing I shouldn’t get up and wander the house while my fatigued partner is blissfully snoring (I mean sleeping …) beside me, holds one prisoner, counting backwards and breathing deeply from 300 (And still no zzz’s!)

·      re-arranging all my pillows to get the exact perfect indentation to ensure more wrinkles don’t sprout overnight and finally settling in, just to have “snortface” roll over and face me… OMG!

·      and if you read my MICE CSI post, you’d know that although the mouse problem has been resolved, there is just a tad of paranoia hanging on that keeps me feeling held captive in my dark, dark bedroom, on the bed, with my husband, just in case …

Middle Age Woman with InsomniaI’ve only scratched the surface of the challenges the menopausal woman experiences in her attempt to get a good night’s sleep.  How about you share some of yours with me?  I’d love to hear what’s keeping you up at night.  Just add your comment at the end of the post.  I know you’ll have lots to share …

The less people know about how sausages and

laws are made, the better they’ll sleep at night.

 Otto Von Bismarck quotes 


I shall need to sleep three weeks on end to get

rested from the rest I’ve had.

 Thomas Mann quotes 

“Dear Lucky Agent” Contest


Attention Contemporary Middle Grade Fiction Writers:

Enter the 14th (free!) “Dear Lucky Agent” Contest. This is a recurring online contest with agent judges and super-cool prizes. If you’re writing contemporary middle grade fiction, this contest is for you! (The contest is live through EOD, March 18, 2014.)

This is a chance for agent judges to  discover your talent as a writer and even get signed with an agent. And the best part is that your submission is free! (You KNOW that doesn’t often happen.)

The submission guidelines and contest details are  available  on Chuck Sambuchino’s Guide to Literary Agents Blog.   His Twitter handle is @chucksambuchino.

Remember, the agent judges will only look at COMTEMPORARY, MIDDLE GRADE FICTION! This means any middle grade  set in our present world and time- mainstream, thriller, romance, mystery, adventure, humor, etc.  (NOT: sci-fi, fantasy, historical, steampunk)

Come on Middle Grade Authors- show your stuff and submit your first 200 words of your novel to:

Email entries to:

Winners will be notified within 3 weeks. Top 3 winners all receive:

                 1. a critique of the first 10 double -spaced pages of your work, by your agent judge,

                 2. A free subscription to ($50. value)




After returning from a relaxing Caribbean Cruise to their pristine NW Pacific home following a cold snap; there was an unwelcome surprise awaiting Mary, and it wasn’t a belated birthday gift, either!

In the flurry of getting home after five weeks away, there was the unpacking, laundry, calls, food shopping, and all, to address. The fact that husband Ryan noticed some evidence of mice activity in the garage, didn’t phase her one bit.  That’s the GARAGE, right? WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!

By the third day of their return, husband Ryan headed back to Vancouver for a work day on an insanely early ferry.  Retired Mary snuggled deeper under the covers and emerged from the bedroom – somewhat later.

Turning the corner into the Great Room, checking emails on her iPhone, she caught something tiny, black, and furry scurrying past her towards the pantry.  (Yes, the same pantry that she had laboriously cleaned and left spotless the week before vacationing.)  Let’s just say, Mr. Ryan was in deep, deep DOO-DOO when he didn’t answer SOS texts and arrived home extremely late that night. (Sensitive husband Ryan decided to have a leisurely dinner with a friend on the mainland, catching the last ferry home… BAD, BAD DECISION!)

In the meantime, Miss Scaredy Cat had spent the entire day scouring the house for evidence of mice, constantly scanning for the little black monster (the source of her angst), watching You Tube videos on how to set traps, and running into town to buy all the paraphernalia needed.  By the time husband Ryan walked in, his creeped-out wife was found barricaded in their lit up bedroom, sitting on the bed with a big glass of red wine de-stressor (it was necessary) and whacking tools beside her in case BLACKIE showed up.

Of course this event set off a week’s worth of MOUSE CSI – trapping, poisoning, and searching out evidence for days.  Two were caught in the laundry room (thankfully, one was BLACKIE) and two more in the garage.  New weather stripping has been installed everywhere (including the garage doors) and tubes of silicone and boxes of steel wool have filled anything resembling a crack.  Of course, the entire house is spotless after gallons of bleach.

mouse trap 3 Mouse Trap 1

Miss Mary is finally settling down, since nothing more has shown up in the dozens of traps and no poison has disappeared for days now.  She thinks they caught it all in time, before they reproduced. Chances are that the mice came in through the laundry room door when the suitcases were unloaded through the garage entrance. (That’s her theory, anyways, and she’s sticking to it!)

Finally, she’s had a full night’s sleep after a week of creepiness. But truthfully; Miss Mary isn’t taking any of her usual middle of the night wanders. Is that an indication that she remains completely FREAKED OUT?


I’m sure all of us have had a mouse incident (or something worse) at some point or other.  Although it is highly stressful, there is something humorous in the telling.  Please share your stories with me by clicking on the Leave a Comment button below.  I enjoy sharing life’s trials and tribulations with all of you, please take a couple of minutes and share your tales.  I love to hear from you!!

The Dreaded 60th Birthday


The Dreaded 60th Birthday

“You’re WHAT?  You’re going to be 60?  No kidding, well, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!”  NO ONE (and I mean NO ONE) reacts to another’s birthday, unless they’re the one who’s actually aging (and suffering) … I’m convinced.  That is except for those who have experienced the dreaded birthday somewhat recently.  They ask, “So how are you feeling about your BIG 60th fast approaching?  I’m so excited that you’re joining the 60’s club with me!”  (You get the idea …)  It’s like it gives them a jolly knowing that you’re sliding down that slippery slope towards senility at an accelerated rate with them.

Now, how to CELEBRATE  (or IGNORE) one’s dreaded 60th is the real question?  Some will embrace it and throw a huge, splashy party for all their friends and relatives. (Mostly MEN, I’d say!)  Others continue to deny  … denydeny – right up to the eve of the big day. They’re also more apt to escape the home front before their milestone day.  (If no one is around, the birthday may actually be forgotten or at least not acknowledged.)


What can throw a curve ball into the whole event is having a birthday on a memorable day.  That’s right; when your birthday falls on Valentines Day, I don’t care how thick relatives and friends are, they aren’t going to forget that it’s also your birthday and may even have a clue as to your actual ageSHE’S 6O !!!  They aren’t going to let you sneak away and forget about it. Oh no, they hunt you down in the middle of the Caribbean, sending texts, emails, calls, and even bubbly (to help you forget; they say). You can RUN but you can’t HIDE


By the eve of one’s birthday, it isn’t uncommon to exhibit symptoms of anxiety and stress.  Insomnia and heart palpitations are actually quite normal. ( Oh yes, I almost woke my husband up in the middle of the night on the cruise ship to let him know I was having a heart attack!)  But no, I silently toughed it out and faced the inevitable pain and misery alone.

 In defense of my darling husband, he actually anticipated my anguish and attempted to alleviate some of it by booking an onboard spa massage and exfoliation treatment early on the morning of that inevitable day. (Bound to make one feel more relaxed and youthful, right?)


A Valentines’ Day dinner was booked in the ship’s specialty restaurant and no one was any the wiser around us.  We knew it was my BIG 60th that we were ducking, but the waiters and patrons were oblivious. They thought we were simply enjoying a romantic dinner for OLDIES aboard the ship. (However, even the cruise line had earlier delivered a platter of handmade chocolates and truffles with a card to our stateroom.) Exactly what they assumed an overweight, aging 60 year old would want to gobble, right?

Image(Can you believe this was the apple pie dessert in the Michelin rated restaurant?  It was called, “DE-CONSTRUCTED APPLE PIE”! )NO – Birthday Cake was NOT ordered- that would have given the secret away…

Time heals.  It’s been 16 days since the catastrophic event and I’m holding my own.  In fact, once the day was over, I can honestly say that I never thought about it again.  Maybe when people say, “Ah, don’t worry, it’s just a number;” they’re actually right.  That’s my take on it and I’m sticking with it.  Of course I am!

How do you celebrate MILESTONE birthdays? Could you relate to this post?  I’d love to read your comments on celebrating the DREADED Birthdays.  Please do leave me comments!

Read an Ebook Week – March 2-8


Read an Ebook Week banner

Welcome to Smashwords’ READ an E-BOOK WEEK (  For an entire week, you can access excellent e-books at a reduced amount or free.

The first 2 Middle Grade novels of the Frenchie Series are available this week for free.  Just click on the following links and include the coupon code:

Book #1   Frenchie’s Best Friend-Follow the Blog

Use the code RW100 at checkout to get this book for free during our site-wide promotion!

Frenchie's Best Friend- Follow the Blog

Frenchie’s Best Friend- Follow the Blog

Book #2   Frenchie X2-Follow the Blog

Use the code RW100 at checkout to get this book for free during our site-wide promotion!

Frenchie X2- Follow the Blog

Frenchie X2- Follow the Blog

Frenchie Diva – Follow the Blog (Bk. #3 of the Frenchie Series is not available at Smashwords.  If you would like to purchase it, you must go to :  or

Happy E-Book Reading everyone!