August 24, 2019

BETWEEN THE PAGES: Burned Bridges & Lost Lambs

Hey, there!

I’m kicking off a new series of weekly blog posts under the heading Between the Pages. We’ll be taking a look at precious gems of Truth found in fiction and film. Each week, we’ll talk about some of the novels, characters, films, and other forms of story that have left an impression on our hearts, or have impacted our lives in some way.

Bridge-to-Haven_3001I recently read Bridge to Haven by Francine Rivers. It’s a beautiful allegory, and it doesn’t take long to see how Ezekiel and his son Joshua—a carpenter—symbolize God and Jesus. How a fast-talking charmer deceives and lures the main character, Abra, away from those who love her and into a path of ruination. How quickly she becomes enslaved, and how, with every bridge she burns, she feels more and more separated from her father. How unforgivable and unlovable she believes herself to be.

It’s a powerful and painfully raw story. But life is often painful and raw. Gritty. Enslaving. And the consequences of our choices often hurt more than we ever anticipate. But to me, the most heartbreaking consequence isn’t Abra’s lost innocence or the degrading enslavement she finds herself in. It’s the assumption she is too far gone, and her bitter resolve to keep running away from God and never look back.
sad girl bridge

Have you ever believed a lie like this? Felt you'd burned too many bridges? Believed that God is fed up with your repeated failures and you might as well just give up? 

We see God through human eyes, and assign him human qualities, such as impatience, resentment, frustration, etc. Even the enemy of our souls, the father of lies, knows that God will not write you off, let you wander off, lost and alone.
Then Jesus told them this parable: “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.  Luke 15:3-7
Jesus leaves the 99 and goes out in search of the one, his precious lost lamb, his beloved. He won’t force us to come home, but he will climb every hill and ford every stream and beckon to us, show us there is no place we can go that he has not already gone, no place we can hide that he is not already there.

The idea of leaving loved ones behind and believing oneself beyond redemption runs through my next book, Wings Like a Dove (Dec 2019). We’ll talk more about Anna’s story soon.

But in the meantime, let's talk about burned bridges.
  • Have you ever burned a bridge with someone in your life? Left a trail of burned bridges? 
  • Have you ever felt you'd reached a point of no return with God or people in your life? 
  • Have you ever wanted to make amends, but didn't know where to begin? How did you deal with it? If you haven't, what are you waiting for?
  • What advice would you give someone who feels they are truly unforgivable?
  • What stories or characters have left a lasting impression on you about the relentless love of God?

July 15, 2019

Longing to Belong

As a Jew growing up in Poland in the 1920s, Anna, the main character in my upcoming novel, lived through many upheavals and displacements and has never truly felt at home. This feeling intensifies when she lands, yet again, in a place where Jews are despised, but this time, she has been cast from her family and is far away from any reinforcements. She is wired to flourish in a community setting, so now, with no people of her own in this hostile environment, she is forced to face not only the danger she is in, but the loneliness of her heart.

Have you ever felt as if you didn't belong anywhere?
If you've moved a lot growing up or in life, what anchors you?

July 5, 2019

Cover Reveal for WINGS Like a DOVE

Cover art: Roseanna White Designs
The Cover has been revealed!!
I can't stop staring at this stunning new cover for my upcoming book, Wings Like a Dove, coming Dec 1, 2019 from WhiteFire Publishing. I'm really excited about this book!

It's the story of Anna Leibowicz, a lovely young Jewish woman whose life has taken a sudden, devastating turn...

In 1933, Anna Leibowicz is convinced that the American dream that brought her Jewish family here from Poland is nothing but an illusion. Her father has vanished. Her dreams of college can’t make it past the sweat-shop door. And when she discovers to her shame and horror that she’s with child, her mother gives her no choice but to leave home. Deciding her best course of action is to try to find her father, she strikes out…hoping against hope to somehow redeem them both.

When Anna stumbles upon a house full of orphan boys in rural Indiana who are in desperate need of a tutor, she agrees to postpone her journey. But she knows from the moment she meets their thoughtful, deep-hearted mentor, Thomas Chandler, that she doesn’t dare risk staying too long. She can’t afford to open her heart to them, to him. She can’t risk letting her secrets out.

All too soon, the townspeople realize she’s not like them and treat her with the same disdain they give the Sisters of Mercy—the nuns who help Thomas and the boys—and Samuel, the quiet colored boy Thomas has taken in. With the Klan presence in the town growing ever stronger, and the danger to this family increasing the longer she stays, Anna is torn between fleeing to keep them safe…and staying to fight beside them.

Oh, that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest...

Quote: “She had never known that love could be so consuming, so tenacious. That it could take root and burrow down so deeply, even in ground that rejected it, even when there was no hope of it ever being cultivated.”

  • You can now pre-order the book HERE.
  • Book Reviewers: drop me an email if you're interested in reviewing or being part of the WINGS Launch Team!
Happy Summer!!

May 29, 2019

And HOPE Does Not Disappoint...

When the recent college scandal brought Hallmark Channel's TV series When Calls the Heart Season 6 to a screeching halt, the network set out to remove all traces of one of the most prominent characters in the show. Plans to rewrite and reshoot the remaining episodes went into instant hyperdrive in an effort to get Season 6 back on the air asap.

I didn’t know what to expect when WCTH S6 resumed, other than to see a really good, solid effort to salvage a wounded show.

What I didn’t expect was to find myself back in Hope Valley watching one of the best seasons yet.

Something happened in that scramble to rewrite the episodes. I don’t know how writers, directors, cast, and crew were able to come back from other projects and commitments, and I don’t know how crazy the writers’ room was while it was decided how to remove whole scenes and scenes that referred to those scenes, and remove or alter storylines to replace one character with another.

I certainly don’t believe it’s the absence of certain characters, but the increased depth of those remaining that has made this season so engaging.

I’m not sure if they took scenes that had been shortened because minutes had to be edited out and then stretched to fill the hour by adding more lines for other characters, but somehow, the scenes feel longer and fuller, the characters seem to be displaying more depth, secondary characters are SHINING. The Kids' storylines are truly engaging and delightfully reminiscent of Little House on the Prairie (Come on, Allie/Nellie!). Lee and Rosemary have gone from charming comic relief to a couple with poignant, relatable struggles. And the increased tension & action is reminiscent of Season 1.

Bravo to those who dropped what they were doing and came back to the drawing board & set and ended up pulling off some of THE finest TV I've ever seen.

The When Calls the Heart Season 6 Finale airs Sunday, June 2 at 9/8c (6 pacific) on the Hallmark Channel. Tune in live, tweet if you can, and watch this stunning gem of a TV series that has (once again, long story) emerged from the ashes. Join the Facebook “Hearties” fan group (over 70,000 strong) to chatter about the show.

Then prepare to return to Hope Valley for the return of WCTH, Season 7!

April 23, 2019

Free eBook: The Healer, a Love Story

(cover art: Roseanna White Designs)
It's 1913, and the story is still boy meets girl, but the question is: will boy lose girl before he even gets a chance to win her?
His name on her lips twisted something in his chest. He swallowed hard, then watched as she took a strip of cloth from her basket and wrapped it around the wound. He continued to watch her, mesmerized by her hands, her quick movements, her gentle touch …
Join my mailing list at to get special offers and book release news. And when you subscribe, you’ll receive an instant link to download my FREE eBOOK: The Healer, a Love Story. This tender little romance is my exclusive gift to you for joining my reading tribe.

I never share email addresses and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Also, find my novels and read 2 sample chapters of each at WhiteFire Publishing's READ site.

March 30, 2019

Guernsey Literary, Letters, and Love

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society was a delightful book, and the Netflix film adaptation is now one of my top favorite films. I have to admit I liked the film even more than the book, which I loved.

I adore stories with sweet romance, relational drama, and a mystery or question to solve—it’s what I love to read, watch, and write. (I write both contemporary and historical fiction, so I hope those who also adore these qualities will find something to your taste in my work, and I hope you will recommend your favorite books and films to me!)

So about Juliette’s letters…

I adore letters in novels — there’s something intimate about the way people share their deepest heart in a letter than doesn’t come across in dialogue or even in the character’s internal thoughts. Heart-to-heart, written communication in a story tends to make us, the reader/viewer, feel as if we are being let in on a deeply personal, meaningful secret.

Like There’s No Tomorrow, my first contemporary novel, was inspired by the cross-continental romance between my brother and his now wife. In the novel, Ian and Emily are caregivers to two quirky old Scottish sisters, and for two years, they have been writing letters on behalf of the old women, since Maggie is nearly blind, and Grace is addle-brained.

Ian, in Scotland, has a gentle sarcasm that comes through in his writing, which delights Emily, and he also takes advantage of the fact that he can “report” on Maggie’s mischievous activities to Grace, but with restraint, as he doesn’t want to worry the old woman too much. In America, Emily is well-acquainted with Ian’s character, and though she pictures him all wrong, she has gotten to know, respect, and admire the man. The same goes for Ian. Emily’s letters give him, in addition to wrong notion that she’s a sweet, white-haired old spinster, the impression that she is a very kind, devoted, selfless lady. So when they finally meet and discover one another to be young and easy on the eye, the attraction is quick and fully-encompassing.

When I re-watched the Guernsey film this week (such agony we writers have to endure…), I was reminded of the importance of the familiarity between Juliet and her pen-pal, Dawsey. I love that the written word can give people a unique window into the soul of others. (Much like the Word of God gives us a window into God’s nature, character, and His unyielding desire for relationship with us.)

So, about the written word…

In The Memoir of Johnny Devine, it’s not letters exchanged, but a memoir that Johnny writes (with Eliza’s help) that gives a clear window into his soul, a stark, transparent view that would make most people feel too exposed and vulnerable. But his honesty, despite the critical scrutiny his memoir invites, is more important than protecting his image, because he has a purpose. He wants the hopeless to know that there is no one too far beyond the reach of God’s grace.

And on the topic of really knowing a person…

I’m working on a short historical love story now that will be available as a gift for joining my mailing list. Like the Guernsey story, both main characters have the opportunity to value something within the other, something deeper than outer beauty or visible qualities, and it’s this recognition and appreciation that draws them together, when obstacles would keep them apart.

I love this so much. (I need to go now so I can finish it…😊)

Who doesn’t want to hope in a Love that never fails, that overcomes every obstacle? I believe that God wired us all with this hope, and for a specific and glorious final outcome that He has in mind.

Question: Do you write letters? Have you ever exchanged letters with someone you love, or someone you have grown to love/admire/respect as a result? Is writing letters a lost art you would like to revisit?

August 8, 2018

New Cover, New Price

has been given a new face. What do you think of the new cover?

AND the kindle version of my 3 novels are now 3.99. Such a deal!


July 22, 2018

$5 Dollar Books (While They Last)

Friends, Readers, Librarians, Book Clubs, Bibliophiles, Bargain hunters, etc...
I’ve acquired a small overstock of my books and they'd love real homes, so I’m shipping them out at my cost. Paperbacks are $5, plus $3 s/h (multi book rate varies). 
I also have one Hardcover Large Print of The Memoir of Johnny Devine for a little more.
So, just comment below if you’d like books shipped. There’s a limited amount, so 1st come, 1st served, etc. I hear it’s never too early to start Christmas shopping.

If you’re not familiar with my work, it’s been compared to Melissa Tagg, Becky Wade, Dale Cramer. I write love stories some call “more than a romance,” deep, poignant tales laced with grace, humor, and redemption.

Like There’s No Tomorrow (2014): An amusing, tender love story about two kind, single caretakers, two quirky, old Scottish sisters bent on reuniting, and too many agendas. It’s a tale of family, falling in love, faith, and the gift of each new day.
Excerpt –
There were a number of things Ian had grown to appreciate about his co-correspondent over the last two years. A very natural bond had developed between them. A bond that, until now, he thought he shared with a stout, tenderhearted spinster on the downhill side of middle-age . . . His mind worked frantically to reconcile the Emily he knew from the letters with this one, and to accept the fact that this woman, this very lovely young woman, had been his pen pal for the past two years…

Like a Love Song (2014, Genesis Winner & Romantic Times 4.5 Star Top Pick): A romantic, heart-tugging drama about a social worker turned surrogate mom to a bunch of cast-off teens, desperate to save the group home she’s worked hard to build in Oregon’s outback. She faces foreclosure and heartaches that won't stay buried. Her only hope lies with the last person she’d ever turn to—a brawny handyman with a guitar, a questionable past, and a God he keeps calling Father.
Excerpt –
“An oil rigger?” Sue hacked out a laugh. “A roughneck? With my kids? Great. Who are you going to send next, a lumberjack and a couple of bikers? Maybe they can pull night watch in the girls’ dorm.” Sue yanked open the driver’s door of her Suburban, climbed in, and cranked the key. A few feeble chugs, then nothing. Big surprise.
“I’m serious, Sue. Joe is an all-around handyman and knows how to manage a crew.”
“I’m sure he’s charming, Layne. On an oil rig. But I need someone with experience handling kids. Special needs kids. You know that.”
“Yes, in the long run, in optimal circumstances, absolutely. But you’re going to give old Roberta a stroke if you don’t get some help. You have to hire someone.”

Sue rested her aching head on the steering wheel. Pain and fatigue rolled over her in a cold fog…

The Memoir of Johnny Devine (2015, Romantic Times 4½ GOLD Star Top Pick, Seal of Excellence, & Best Inspirational Romance; OCW Cascade Award Best Historical): In 1953, a young war widow hired to write an exclusive memoir lands on McCarthy’s hit list and must clear her name while trying not to fall in love with the born-again, ex-Hollywood heartthrob whose scandalous past keeps him too busy to notice her. Or does it? It’s a love story set at a time when post-war America seeks security in prosperity, Hollywood’s Golden Age is coming to an end, the Red Scare reaches new heights of paranoia, and unrest over civil rights continues to grow. It’s a story for those who enjoy a character-driven, inspirational drama, a strong-yet-tender romance, and a touch of intrigue.
“I was topping all the charts, but even with so much fame, all I had to show for my life was a stack of films and a long line of women who wished I’d never been born. Even if I’d wanted honor, you couldn’t find a trace of it in me. If there was ever a time in my life I’d longed for true significance, it was long past.”
Eliza’s pencil froze. True significance? The words echoed, taunting her. She had believed everything John said so far, but his last statement struck her as ludicrous. Could a Hollywood star with scores of fans truly have any concept of the quest for significance? Could a man whose name had emblazoned every marquee in the country understand the void that she—a penniless nobody—had so long struggled to fill?
Don’t think, just write…

May 2, 2018

Passing the Baton & VOTE for a NEW Look for Johnny Devine!

And no sooner did I announce that Ashberry Lane is closing its doors than another publisher has stepped in to keep the AL line alive! WhiteFire Publishing has acquired Ashberry Lane and will resume publishing AL titles under the same name, as an imprint. 

This means my full length AL novels will continue to be available! I'm not sure if they will be sold beyond Amazon, or if so, when, but I'll share more info when it comes.

One of the first things WFP wants to do is give Johnny Devine a new face, and they want your help!  Whether or not you've read the book, you can help WhiteFire decide which cover to use for my novel. 

Voting is super easy! Go to:




I've published three novels and a novella (more about those on my website.) I've been writing all my life, but decided in 2007 to get serious about being published.

I love action movies and Jane Austen. (she’s dead, I know. I found that out when I tried to get her to endorse my novel)

They let me play Bass guitar and sing in a worship band.

I can produce 4 dozen homemade cinnamon rolls in a flash for a crowd of drooling young adults. Or publishing house editors.

I used to have a Harley. Now we have twenty-something kids. Decent trade, really. The window-rattling grumble isn't quite the same, but we are still enjoying the ride.

I am a proud Grammy. Don't even think about taking candy from my babies.

I hate shopping (Yes, I'm aware that I'm a girl)

I've lived in Oregon all my life, spent time in Eugene (Go DUCKS!), Springfield, Reedsport, and Smith River. Which is not really a town, but a river, about 70 miles long, a tributary of the Umpqua River in southwest Oregon.

Although it's not a town, it is a community with a strong sense of pioneer history. It's cool to say you've lived there, especially if you lived there during the days when you had to take a boat to school. No joke! The old farmhouse my grandfather and my mother grew up in still stands, nestled into a narrow, pasture carpeted valley, complete with a swimmin' hole and its own 'crick'. It may turn up in one of my novels.

There's a rumor that my ancestors had a connection with the Mafia back in Sicily. I used to fantasize as a kid about a big black limo with tinted windows pulling up and whisking me away from school. Ahhh. So THAT'S why I'm having so much trouble conjugating my dangling participles now.

NOT RANDOM: I am challenged by the truth and amazed by the grace of God. And it's either in spite of or because of that grace that I hold a PhD in Learning Stuff the Hard Way.