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I’ve been getting to know all kinds of colorful characters from Loch Awe, Scotland, as I put the finishing touches on my upcoming release, Wild Rose, and my eShort prequel, Thistle Down. In my spare time, I’ve been painting the parsonage where my husband and I live.

When we first moved in, everything was painted white.


I chose the colors for the first floor before we moved in, and the folks at church were kind enough to paint the walls in my somewhat funky color choices.


They offered to paint the second floor, too, but at the time, I didn’t have a clue what was going were and certainly not what colors would match what.


After living in the house for a year, the rooms have taken shape and acquired personalities of their own.

Guest room before

So a few weeks ago, I decided it was time to add some color. I painted a bathroom and one wall in my writing room “Berries and Cream”. I painted another bedroom “Wood Lily”. And just yesterday, I painted a guest room “French Violet”.

Guest Room

And what a difference it made! Plain, innocuous walls became warm, soothing, romantic, and inspiring. It’s amazing what a little dash of color can add to our experience.


When a writer – or a reader – begins a new story, it’s the interesting characters that draw us in, the colorful backdrops that make the story come alive. Characters and settings that are infused with color are infinitely more enticing.

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000035_00023]

So next time you open the door to a new book, let yourself dream in color. And if you like Scotland, watch for Thistle Down, Wild Rose, Blue Belle, and Shy Violet. Coming soon!

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000035_00023]

I’m posting my favorite recipe for Beef Burgundy, and a fun way to use leftovers — Beef Burgundy Cobbler with Bacon Chive Biscuits

Do you have a recipe that has burgundy wine for an ingredient? In my opinion, a delicious recipe is a very creative endeavor and also a thing of beauty!





Beef Burgundy
Three 8 oz. top sirloin steaks
2 slices bacon, cut in pieces & browned
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 pkg. dry onion soup mix (may use 1 pkg.)
1 c. burgundy wine
½ cup fresh mushrooms, sliced
1/2 tsp. herbs de provence
½ c. water + ½ c. beef broth with 1 TBS cornstarch
Brown steaks in oil. Pepper steaks and move to a dark enamel roaster, saving drippings in frying pan.  Mix other ingredients together, add to the frying pan and bring to a boil. Pour over the steaks and roast. Cover & bake for 2 hrs. at 325° or until steaks are tender and gravy is a rich brown. Serves 3.  Serve with red potatoes.

*This recipes makes a lot of gravy, so we make a big batch and use the leftovers to make Beef Burgundy Cobbler with Bacon Chive Biscuits. One leftover steak along with the mushrooms and gravy, is enough to fill 3 – 4 individual, ovenproof crocks or a medium sized casserole to about an inch from the top. Then, make your favorite baking powder biscuits (my recipe is below) and stir in some precooked bacon pieces and some freshly snipped or dried chives. Drop the biscuits on top of the hot gravy (if the gravy isn’t hot, the biscuits won’t get done on the bottom). Bake the casserole(s) at 400 degrees until the biscuits just start to brown.    

Baking Powder Biscuits 

2 cups flour

1 tsp. salt

4 teaspoons baking powder

2 tablespoons crumbled, cooked bacon, if desired

2 tablespoons freshly snipped chives (or 2 tsp. dried), if desired

4 heaping tablespoons (I use a soup spoon) shortening

1 cup milk

Mix the flour, salt, B.P., and bacon and chives if desired. Add shortening and cut in until the consistency of fine crumbs with a pastry cutter. Stir in the milk until fully moistened. Drop on bubbling meat pie mix or on a baking tray and bake about 15 – 20 minutes until just starting to brown.

My perfect day would include my family and friends. I have often thought that for me, heaven would be having all the people I love, who are scattered around the world, in the same place at the same time… a meeting of different worlds.

It would be filled with my favorite music and I would get to play the piano with my musician friends.  Vince Gill and James Taylor and a few others might also be there to sing with us, and Cole and Kayla, who are my rock star family members.

There would have to be flowers… pink roses and bluebells and violets and bleeding hearts from the garden.

I would like to have Grandma Hansen’s Chicken Pie with Grandma Victoria’s fluffy, baking powder biscuits on top. I would also have to have a taste of my homemade jaeger schnitzel on spaetzle noodles. I learned to make it when I lived in Augsburg, Germany and it’s delicious. I won’t even get started on desserts. My favorite day would include stops at a wonderful bakery, or two, to three.

My favorite day might be in Rothenburg or Dinklesbuhl or Provence or Scotland or Denmark. It might involve my favorite places, or someplace new that I’ve always wanted to see. It would be magnificent if I could share all the places I’ve seen with the people I love.

The sky would be blue, the air sweet, the water calm and filled with water lilies. The day would end with my husband – a bit of snuggling, some loving, talking about our day… this would be my perfect day…

What about you?

Stormy Weather…

I might as well be a lightening rod, the way it follows me around.

Tornadoes on my tail,

Thunderheads billowing overhead,

Raindrops splattering here, there, and everywhere

Torrential downpours –

dampening my spirits, and my sock, and my shoes,

Hailstones conking me on the head.

The only good thing that comes of all this stormy weather is…

The rainbows.



Everywhere I look.

I have a rainbow connection.

I am caught up in rainbows.

They call out to me.

Beckon to me.

They are me.

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Seaside Daisy


Daybreak (Sequel to Night & Day)

Night and Day

Golden Rod

Sweet William

Shy Violet

Blue Belle

Wild Rose

Thistle Down

Love Notes

Stormy Weather

Water Lily

Merry Go Round

What You’ve Missed

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