Winter on the Gulf Coast, 2022

It’s January on the Gulf Coast and that means it’s time for these twice-blooming Fashion azaleas to stun with its coral colored blossoms. hey will be amazing again in spring, but right now their bright presence on the front lawn is a startling contrast to the leafless trees around them.

We don’t normally get hard freezes here, so we aren’t really prepared for them–neither our plants nor our population. Last February we had days of below-freezing temperatures and the gorgeous palms that decorate every commercial space and backyard pool were suddenly stripped of their finery. Our sago palm was just a bare, yellow stump. It looked a little like an oblong pineapple with a hairy toupee. But then some pups magically appeared at the base, and then a frond showed up on top. And now…

Even prettier than before ! The same can’t be said for our five citrus trees. So sad, but we lost them all. We’re certainly hoping this February doesn’t bring a repeat of the Big Freeze.

We’ve broken daily high records (and even super high daily low records) many times this year. Yesterday it was 74o and tomorrow night a cold front will arrive and we’ll be below freezing for a few hours. It plays havoc with allergies and barometric pressure sensitivities. But it’s a perfect excuse to curl up inside with a good book and read. Or… WRITE. Which is what I should be doing right now.

‘Bye for now, then.


At last I can announce…

My Regency Era novella, The Captain’s Last Quest, will be published next August by Dragonblade Publishing in an anthology called Tales of Timeless Romance. The story was inspired by the forbidden romance between Princess Charlotte (the popular daughter of the Prince Regent of England and the first “People’s Princess”) and the handsome hero, Prince Leopold.

He can scale his captive lady’s tower to rescue her–but can he convince her to love him?

P.S., I have another major announcement to make but the details aren’t final. WATCH THIS SPOT!

Presentation at Bay Area Writers League

I was so happy to be invited back for the third time to B.A.W.L. (don’t you just love that acronym?), the Bay Area Writers League. Note: this isn’t the San Francisco Bay Area but the Galveston Bay Area, a lot further south and much hotter!)

B.A.W.L. speaking 7-16

It’s a great group of diverse writers — scifi, horror, history, memoir, romance and thriller, published and just beginning.

On July 28, I talked to them about The Short of It–Synopsis, Query, Blurb and Pitch.

I think I’m back…

In mid-March, I had major surgery on my ankle. They replaced a dead bone (!) and then fused the joint with a rod (about 8-inches long!) that goes from the bottom of my foot up into the hollow center of the tibia. There are two stabilizing pins, too. Yes, it’s as bad as it sounds.


Surgical anaesthesia makes me stupid. When that and the pain medication began to wear off, I realized my cast was so tight my toes turned dark whenever they weren’t level with my heart. By late in every day, the cast was really pinching hard. It was so uncomfortable, I was only getting between two and five hours of sleep a night. (Did I mention I refuse to take pain meds unless absolutely necessary.) This lasted for a month until the cast came off. Needless to say, lack of sleep makes me stupid, too.

I’m happy to say the cast came off on Monday, I’m actually walking gingerly with crutches and a big Star-Wars-style boot, I’m getting 7 hours or more of sleep, and I’m not feeling as cloudy and confused. Yay!

However, readers of my blog,, may have noticed something odd about my first post-surgery post. It was another in my Monday Tips from Agents and Editors series — but I posted it on Wednesday. Ah well, you’ll forgive me, won’t you?