Chapter 1 Bluebells and Shotgun Shells

Chapter 1
They were late.


Kathryn Snow placed a potted plant on the table as a centerpiece and checked her watch again. She held it to her ear. Maybe the crazy thing had fast-forwarded and she was early. She set a tray of new flowers on one end of the long table and another tray of potted plants beside them but her heart wasn’t in the preparations. It wasn’t like the unofficial garden club, the Tuesday Bunch, or her employee, Allen Cross, to be late.

A smile touched her lips as she headed to the back of the florist shop. The Tuesday Bunch met every Tuesday morning to discuss their flowerbeds, vegetable gardens, or the goings on in the community. She picked up the coffee pot and placed it on a rolling cart, added Styrofoam cups, plastic spoons, creamer, and sugar then rolled it up front beside the table.

Heading back to her office, she entered a short hallway and checked the clock on the wall. Allen was half an hour late. Kathryn stopped. He’s never late. She nibbled the inside of her jaw and said a silent prayer for his safety then she muttered to herself. “Maybe I should call him.”

The words had barely left her lips when the bell above the door jingled. Kathryn turned toward the sound.  Thinking it might be Allen she headed back to the front of the store.

“Good Morning, Kathryn. Sorry we’re late.” Betty Wright announced as the small group of ladies entered the store and then clustered about the coffee pot. Betty’s brown eyes were bright and her round cheeks held a hint of pink. Excitement radiated about her. If her brown hair hadn’t been pulled back in a ponytail, Kathryn felt sure it would be sticking out in all directions.

Kathryn studied the excited faces.  Nora Larson stood a head taller than the others. Her black hair touched the bottom of her ear lobes, revealing a throbbing vein in her neck. If her breathing hadn’t been normal no one would guess at the exhilaration that coursed through her. Charlotte Rattle’s big blue eyes sparkled. She nervously pushed her shoulder length blonde hair back. The only one in the group who didn’t exhibit any form of excitement was Molly Ward. She seems as uninterested as they came.

“I brought a new batch of muffins for us to try.” Molly sat the wicker basket on the serving cart beside the coffee pot.

“What caused you to be late?” Kathryn joined them. She picked up a cup and waited for the sugar.

“A murder!” Betty squealed unable to contain her excitement one moment longer.

Disbelief washed over Kathryn. “A murder? Here in Lacey?” She watched her friends nod.

One of the reasons Kathryn loved Lacey, Oklahoma was because of the low crime rate. It was like living in Mayberry USA. Nothing ever happened… but during the last few years it had started to grow. Sadly, with growth comes crime.

Nora bobbed her head up and down. “Yep, right here. I still can’t believe it.” Now she shook her head and looked down. Spotting one of Molly’s muffins she picked it up and nibbled on the edge. “These are good, Molly.”

“Thanks.” Molly stirred sugar into her cup and sat down. “It’s sad but I’m not surprised. Lacey has been growing. All kinds of people have moved into our valley.” She lowered herself slowly into a chair.

“What happened, Molly?” Kathryn picked up a muffin and then joined the others at the table. She sat down beside her old friend. Molly was a couple of years older than Kathryn with premature grey sprinkled within her black hair, clear blue eyes, and a no nonsense attitude.

Molly waited until everyone had their drink and muffin and were seated at the table before answering. “Do you know the Chef at Rio’s Italian Restaurant, Cody Monroe?”

Kathryn hadn’t actually met the young man but she knew his name. Everyone who lived in Lacey had either eaten the young chef’s cuisine or heard the wonderful raves about it. She hadn’t gotten over to the restaurant yet, but had planned to someday.

At Kathryn’s nod she continued. “Well, he was shot and killed on Sherry Hamilton’s doorstep last night.”

“She’s a teacher. I think she teaches first grade. Doesn’t she Nora?” Betty asked.

Nora nodded.

“Who shot him?” Kathryn looked about at the others.

“That’s just it, the police don’t have a clue.” Charlotte answered before anyone else could.

Not to be outdone, Betty spoke up. “Yes they do. He was holding a bouquet of flowers, bluebells and baby’s breath.”

“I wouldn’t call that a clue.”  Molly said dryly.

“Well, it could be. Couldn’t it, Kathryn?” Betty leaned forward.

Kathryn didn’t know why Betty asked her but answered. “I have no idea.”

Molly sipped at the hot coffee. Her gaze seemed to be focused far away. “They may not have a clue but they do have a suspect.”

“Really? Who?” Kathryn pushed away from the table. She moved to the tray of flowers she’d brought in earlier and began setting them in front of the ladies. This was their normal way of doing things but none of the women seemed interested in the blossoms.

“Sherry Hamilton’s boyfriend,” Molly answered. She set her cup down and reached out to touch one of the red-violet petals before her.

Kathryn admired the Firewheel flower, too. “Why would they think he did it? Did he have the gun on him?” She asked setting another annual in front of Nora.

Betty answered. “They think he did it in a jealous rage.” She’d lowered her voice to a whisper and everyone leaned toward her except Molly who made a huffing noise.

Charlotte whispered dramatically. “I hear he gave them quite a fight.”

“Did they arrest him?” Nora whispered back.

Molly’s voice sounded really loud as she answered in a normal voice. “Of course not. They’re questioning him. They don’t have any real proof.”

“Oh Molly, you broke the mood.” Betty fussed. She sat back in her chair. “No, but they will. There isn’t anyone else that didn’t like him.”

Kathryn could tell Molly didn’t take well to the tone in Betty’s voice and hurried to ask. “Who says there isn’t?”

They all stared at her for several moments.

“See? I told you she could do it.” Molly took another drink of her coffee and looked pleased with herself.

“You’re right. Kathryn could do it.” Charlotte smiled and nodded at the other members of the Tuesday Bunch. They returned her nods and smile with their own.

Kathryn gave up on trying to interest them in the plants. “What could I do?” She demanded sliding back into her chair. 

“Why, solve the case of course.” Nora answered as if that were the most likely answer.

Kathryn spilled the coffee she’d been raising to her lips on the front of her green blouse. “What? Have you lost your minds? I can’t solve it.”

“Sure you can.” Betty pressed. “You know all about how to solve mysteries.”

“I do not.” Kathryn mopped at the wet mess with a paper napkin that Molly handed her.

The room remained silent. Kathryn raised her gaze to find them all staring at her. After several long moments of silence, she asked. “What makes you think I can do that?”

They all moved in closer. Nora whispered. “Because, you read those novels. We all know how you love them. Allen says you know who did it before you’re half way through the book.”

Kathryn laughed. “That’s fiction. It’s not real.” They continued looking at her expectantly. Uneasy, she pushed away from the table again and began to pace. “Look, I don’t know the first thing about how to solve a real crime.” More silence filled the air. “Besides the authors give me the clues. No one is going to lay the clues out in this case.”

“Where is Allen?” Molly asked.

Happy that the subject had been changed Kathryn answered. “I don’t know. He hasn’t come in yet.”

“It’s not like we’re asking you to solve the mystery all by yourself, Kathryn.” Betty commented.

Maybe if she just ignored them, they’d drop the subject.

Charlotte picked up where Betty left off. “Yeah, don’t you have a police lady friend? What is her name?” She looked to Nora for the answer.

“Robin Gray. Remember she went to school with my Jonathan.” Nora answered. She spun the plant in front of her around. “What kind of plant is this?” She asked.

“That’s a Devil’s Ivy.” Kathryn answered.

Charlotte shook her head. “You can’t buy that plant Nora.”

“Why not, I like its dark green leaves?” Nora protested rubbing the shiny foliage between her fingers.

Kathryn wanted to smile. These women often reminded her of children with their playful bickering. “Because if Rusty gets a hold of it, it could kill him. Devil’s Ivy is poisonous to dogs.”

“Do you think I could make it a hanging plant? Rusty is a Cocker Spaniel, he wouldn’t climb up and get it.”

Kathryn smiled. “That’s up to you. If you do get it, make sure it hangs very high and that none of its leaves fall to the floor.”

“OK.” Nora stood and moved to one of the flowering plants. “Maybe, I’ll get something else. I’d hate for Rusty to sick or worse, die.”

“Speaking of death and dying, will you snoop around and tell us what happens with the murder?” Betty picked up a pot of pansies.

Kathryn took a deep breath, “No, I won’t.”

“Come on. What will it hurt?” Nora asked. She picked up a fern with little purple flowers. “Do you think this would look good hanging from my porch?”

“I do.” Charlotte answered.

“Because, I don’t want to get in the way of the police. I don’t have a clue how to find out who shot the poor man, and I have my hands full with the flower shop and green house without adding something else. And yes, I agree with Charlotte that fern would look beautiful on your porch.”

Betty opened her mouth to protest Kathryn’s denial of investigating.

Kathryn held her hand up. “No, end of discussion. I am not going to snoop around. This is serious business, not a novel.”

The rest of the meeting went pretty quick. Charlotte bought the fern. Betty the Devil’s Ivy, Molly went to the greenhouse and selected a Tommy Toe tomato plant, and Nora ended up with a beautiful new pot painted with chickens for her kitchen windowsill. 

Molly was the last to leave. She turned to Kathryn. “Are you sure you won’t investigate just a little into the Monroe case? I’m sure Robin will help you.”

“No, I won’t. Robin could get into trouble giving out information. I won’t ask her to do that.”

Molly picked up her tomato plant. “Maybe you could just look into it, not involve Robin or get in the police’s way.”

“Really, I can’t. I wouldn’t know where to begin.” Kathryn walked her to the door.

Molly’s face registered disappointment but she nodded her head in understanding. “Okay, well I’m off to work. See you later.” Kathryn closed the door behind her. She leaned against it for a moment.

Would it really hurt if she did a little snooping?

Prologue to Bluebells and Shotgun Shells

I hope you enjoy the sneak peak into Bluebells and Shotgun Shells.


A Kathryn Snow Cozy Mystery: Kathryn Snow has her hands full with running her flower shop The Petal Pusher and keeping up with the Tuesday Morning Bunch. When her co-worker, Allen Cross's nephew is accused of murder and the Tuesday Morning Bunch expect her to solve who killed local chef, Cole Monroe, will Kathryn find more than Cole's killer?


     “Steady. Get a good shot. Focus on the head. This is no different than target shooting. Well, it is but I can do it. People are no different than animals. I’ve been practicing for days to do this. All I have to do is pull the trigger. 

It was definitely Monday. Cody Monroe pulled the bluebells and baby’s breath bouquet off the seat. He dropped the card that went with them and bent over in the seat to pick it up. His fingers fumbled around in the semi-darkness in search of the little envelope. Why hadn’t he done this earlier? “Got it.”  He hurried up the walkway to Sherry’s front door.

Pull the trigger now!

The sound of the shot filled the dusky night air.

Hurry! Your prey is down. Run, see if he’s dead.

Cody groaned.

Oh no! Don’t think, just aim for the heart this time. Pull the trigger! Hurry, the police will be here soon and you still have to kill her, too.

More shots filled the night air and then all fell silent.


These are the first round teams of Killer Voices. Love Inspired held a contest to decide who had writing voices for the Love Inspired Suspense line. Today these teams were announced. Congratulations everyone!!

Mary L. Ball –Voices of Suspicion
Kathryn Barker—Catch a Falling Angel
Lynn Huggins Blackburn—Need To Know
Lillian Duncan—Game On
Leigh Herren—If Walls Could Talk
Rhoda C. Hill—Glorified Manor
Megan Kellett—Strangled Love
Dena Marie Lopez—Deadly Homecoming
Dana R. Lynn—Oblivion
Jenna Night—A Sentry by Her Side
Mary Ellen Porter—The Last Find
Shirley Riggins—Trade Winds of Love
Patricia H. Rushford—Deadly Deception
Lucy Sawyer—Deadly Secrets
Karen Sims—Terror in the Ozarks


Liza Brandt—In the Line of Duty
Annie Wright Burnett—Deadly Assignment
Karen Cogan—An Unlikely Duo
Karen Collier—An Eye for an Eye
Jim Cook—Z-a-z-z-y Spells Murder
Nancy J. Farrier—Hide and Seek
Denise Frazier—Mountaintop Danger
Jessica Hayes—Tempestuous Love
Delia Latham—The Cottage Caper
Barbara Lukow—Sinister Legacy
Janelle Mowery—Found Hidden
Connie Queen—Killer at Kiddie Kampus
Marilynn Rockelman—Nine-One
Marina Teller—The Inheritance
Anna Zogg—Flying Blind


Angela Arndt—One for Sorrow
Rebecca Ashby—Hijacked
Lorelei Bedford—Desperate Measures
Laurel Blount—Reckless Endangerment
Amara Brooks—Capsized
Allyson Carter—Against All Odds
Meghan Carver—The Lawyer’s Last Hope
Mary Curry—Christmas in Hiding
Lauryn Eason—Betrayal
Joanne Graves—Blue Creek Protector
Caitlin Hemphill—Flirting with Danger
Michelle Karl—Iced
Jennifer Laird—Lavender Skies
Shawna Mumert—The Ties that Bind
Jenna Victoria—Heirloom Secret

Team Shana
Shanda Arnett—A Night to Remember
Lisa Christenson—Hawk of Wa Pu Ta Creek
Deb Harkness—What Lurks Beneath
Tammy Johnson—In the Wind
Janice K. Olson—Run…But You Can’t Hide
John R. Pickens—Desert Rain
Kavanagh Rees—Death by Number
Muna Sheik—Shotgun Dead
Dianna Shuford—Hidden Motives
Anne Marie Sinclair—Unbroken
Tanya Stowe—Danger in Dhofar
Angela Ruth Strong—Presumed Dead
Therese Travis—Guardian of Angels
Alexa Verde—Lost Solitude
Terri Weldon—Dead on Monday

The Writing Desk Welcomes Louise Gouge

Today we are talking with Louise Gouge about her writing and workspace. Louise is an Award-winning Florida author who  writes historical fiction for Harlequin's Love Inspired imprint. In addition to numerous other awards, Louise is the recipient of the prestigious Inspirational Readers’ Choice Award for her 2005 historical novel, Hannah Rose (first place) and her 2011 Regency novella, The Gentleman Takes a Bride, (second place).
Welcome Louise!! Let's get started....
If  you were blind, how would you describe your writing space?
My desk sits in the corner of my bedroom and has all the comforts and utilities of an office: comfy chair with back support, keyboard drawer, laptop computer connected to a large monitor, land line phone, file drawers, and bookshelves beside and above me. A sliding glass door beside me provides a view of our grassy back lawn.
Is there anything unique about your space?
It’s a cozy place where external sights and sounds don’t intrude unless I let them.
How long have you used this space?
I’ve had this spot for over two years.
Any organizational or writing space tip, tool, method, hint or amazing revelation you’d like to share.
Because my bedroom has plush carpet, I have a mat under my chair that permits me to roll around to easily reach anything I may need.
If you were going on a trip, what two writing tools would you take from your desk besides your computer?
Good old-fashioned pen and paper. And postit notes.
What are your favorite writing books?
Brandilyn Collins’ Getting into Character is my favorite. As a former amateur actress, I really related to her method of discovering my characters by getting into their skins.
What do you love most about your space?
I just love the cozy, comfy feel of it.
What do you hate or dislike about your space?
I can’t really think of anything I don’t like about it. I feel very blessed to have such a great spot to write.
What do you surround yourself with that isn’t writing related but that helps you to enjoy your writing space?
I have a television in the room. When I need a break from writing, I can catch up on my favorite shows or just watch the news without having to move an inch.
What are you currently working on?
I’m very excited to announce that I’m writing my first western series for Love Inspired Historical. The series is entitled Four Stones Ranch, and the first book, Cowboy to the Rescue, will be released in September 2014. I’m working on the second book now. I also have several books on sale in e-book format. Please take a look at Escape from Kikwit!, the fictionalized story of my daughter's missionary adventures in the Heart of Darkness.
Do you have a new release you’d like to tell us about? 
My most recent release is my final Regency romance entitled A Lady of Quality (July 2013). I loved writing stories set in England, but I’ve always wanted to write westerns, so it’s fun to challenge myself to learn a whole new genre. My newest release is an new ebook titled, Escape From Kikwit.
Oh this looks interesting, Louise. Would you please share a little about this book?

Sure... Abandoned in the Heart of Darkness during a deadly rebellion in the western African nation of Zaire, missionary school teacher Jenna Grant misses the only plane to safety and finds herself left behind in the company of a French Foreign Legionnaire. The only thing more dangerous to Jenna than the rampaging rebels out to take her life is the handsome young soldier who attempts to steal her heart.

At last Legionnaire Jean-Richard Chanson has found the fulfillment of his quest for happiness: a beautiful missionary teacher he must rescue from violent rebels. But how can he win her heart when she has already given it to an invisible rival, a God whom Jean-Richard has long ago rejected?
Where can we learn more about you?
Please visit my Web site at

Thank you so much for being a part of THE WRITER’S DESK blog series J
Thanks for having me!

The Writer's Desk Welcomes Linda Ford

Good morning, Linda Ford here:

My writing space is a small room with desks on three sides, a closet and bookcase on the fourth and a big window looking out on the yard.
I had the window specially installed. It comes down to desk level and uses up most of the wall, which, remember, isn't that big. I've been in this space since we moved here 19 years ago. It was the first room I set up.

I have one desk for the computer, one for note-taking and the third for farm/business stuff. I try to keep everything sorted out. My writing desks are a mess when I'm writing but I know where things are (mostly) and I keep the bills, etc. on the farm desk. Other than putting things on the appropriate desk, I have no wonderful ideas on how to be organized.
I love that I have a door and that I can shut it and hope for some peace and quiet though my family comes and goes at will. I wouldn't have it any other way most days. I'd love more space, room enough for a comfie chair and a treadmill. Right now I need a new keyboard, a new keyboard tray, a new chair and a new floor mat. And I'll soon be needing a new computer. But I haven't found the time for an all-day shopping trip.
Speaking of trips, when I am going to be away from my office for a while I take pens in a variety of colors and a notebook with an elastic to keep it closed. I love using pen and paper.

Rhonda just leaned over and asked what I'm working on now and told me to mention my new release. She really likes the cover of my new release... I wonder why? 

At the moment I am working on a wagon trail story that is the first in a 3-book continuity. As well I am finishing up 3 stories about 3 girls who live in Montana and working on another 6 books I want to do in the Eden Valley Series.

Winning Over the Wrangler is a March release in the Cowboys of Eden Valley series. Three young women have traveled from England to the ranch. Jayne, in Claiming the Cowboy's Heart (Jan. 2104) is sister to Eddie Gardiner who owns the ranch. Sybil is her friend and this is her story. She meets a cowboy with a secret that could destroy them both. I got the idea for this story when I saw a picture of a cowboy on horseback carrying a dog. I wanted to get to know that cowboy.

  Linda, thank you so much for being a part of THE WRITER’S DESK

The Writer's Desk Welcomes Deborah Raney

I can honestly say that today I am a little star struck. Deborah Raney is an author that I have always enjoyed being around. She is open, honest, friendly and the love of our Lord radiates with her smile and good heart. Today I wanted to present her office in an interview style. Thank you all for joining me as we talk to Deborah about her office.

Welcome, Deborah. I'm excited to have you here and I'm going to jump right into the questions so as not to embarrass you with my gushing. So, is there anything unique about your space?
Probably the most unique thing about my office is the antique post office box that serves as a display case for my mug collection (60+ and counting!) It sits atop a slanted reference desk my dad made, and along with my Keurig coffeemaker creates a great little coffee bar I use every day.

How long have you used this space?
Ken and I just moved to a new home a year ago in March, so this space is new, but a lot of my same furniture came along with me from our last house in the small town we lived in. This is the old office setup:

If you were going on a trip, what two writing tools would you take from your desk besides your computer?
My Keurig coffeemaker and my big desk copy of the Chicago Manual of Style. I know it's available online, but I really like using the hardcopies of reference books. 

What are your favorite writing books?
Anything by James Scott Bell, Stein on Writing by Sol Stein, Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maass, Self-editing for the Fiction Writer by Browne and King...there are many. I have a whole list of my favorites on the sidebar of my website under FOR WRITERS.  

What do you love most about your space?
I love the sunshine and the windowsill where my orchids bloom. I've always loved orchids, but this house is the first place, the light has been just right for getting them to RE-bloom.

What do you hate or dislike about your space?
Honestly, nothing! I just love everything about it! Well, I guess I wouldn't mind if our neighbor didn't park their trashcan RIGHT in my line of view. But other than that, this is really a perfect office for me!

What do you surround yourself with that isn't writing related but that helps you to enjoy your writing space?
My husband's and friends' art, lots of plants and blooming orchids, music to write by (movie soundtracks are the best!), and of course coffee!

What are you currently working on?
A new 5-books series for Abingdon Press. Home to Chicory Lane is the first book in the Chicory Inn series. It is finished except for the edit, and I'm working furiously toward my deadline with Book 2. I'm having a blast with these books that follow the children of an empty next couple who spent their retirement savings turning the family home into a bed and breakfast only to have their five kids return home in one way or another.
Thank you so much, Deborah for being a part of THE WRITER'S DESK blog series J
Thanks, Rhonda! It's a great idea and I'm delighted to have gotten to "play!"

Writing with Emotion, Tension, & Conflict

Today I am posting about a book that I believe will change the way I write. Cheryl St. John is the author of this book, WRITING WITH EMOTION, TENSION & CONFLICT.
It doesn't matter how many books I write and sell. I always look for 'how to write' books. I want to learn how to write better. This is one of the best I've found in a long time. If you want to learn more about conflict, this is the book for you. After all, don't we all want to add conflict to our stories? Emotion and tension are important when writing conflict. This is a win/win book!
Please, if you are a serious writer, click on the cover of this book and get your copy today. You won't be sorry.

The Writer's Desk Welcomes Cheryl Bolen

Welcome back everyone!!
Please join me in welcoming Cheryl Bolen. We decided to show you her office as if I were interviewing her. Hers is the first that will look like this, trust me, there will be others :) My questions are in bold and her answers are lighter. I hope you enjoy this interview as much as we enjoyed doing it.
How would you describe your writing space?

Light filled


Is there anything unique about your space?

I have a view of some woods that surround my house.

How long have you used this space?

The sun room has been my office since I bought this house in 2001.

Any organizational or writing space tip, tool, method, hint or amazing revelation you’d like to share.

Those who are savvy with computers will find me a dinosaur. I still have an assortment of three-ring notebooks. Some are for books in progress. Some are for various kinds of research.

One thing I find invaluable, since I write English historicals, is a map of England on my desk because I have to consult it a lot.

My office also houses many of my research books. And I have a lot.


What are your favorite writing books?

There are so many! But one that is most helpful to an author is my The Word Finder. It's not like a synonym finder or thesaurus. It helps you find something elusive like a word to describe a verb. For instance, I could look up a verb like descend and it gives me 13 adverbs to go with it, including pompously, hastily, noiselessly, and quickly. You can also look up adjectives to describe the noun you're using. It's lots of fun to play with.

For plotting a new book, I like Save the Cat, Hero's Journey, and Goal, Motivation, and Conflilct by Deb Dixon.

 What do you love most about your space?

I love all the light. And my Herman Miller Aeron chair – which was a necessity for one (with back trouble) who sits in front of a computer so many hours a day.

 What do you hate or dislike about your space?

Because my room is all windows with cold, tile floors, it can get nippy in the winter.

What do you surround yourself with that isn’t writing related but that helps you to enjoy your writing space?

Pandora Radio. I love every song they play on my "customized" channel. It's pretty much old standards of the American Song Book. I like music that's even older than me.

What are you currently working on?

I'm working on a proposal for my second Stately Homes Murders to follow my 2013 Montlake book, Falling for Frederick.

Do you have a new release you’d like to tell us about?

I have a Jan. 27 release of my fifth book in my Brides of Bath series of historical novels set in Regency England. It's titled Love in the Library. That's today!!!
Thank you Cheryl for such a fun interview. I look forward to reading your future books :) 


A New Favorite Author

This is Christina Rich and I just finished her book,
The Guardian's Promise
This is a wonderful book!
If you like Biblical fiction, you are going to love this story. If you don't like biblical fiction, please give it a try. I know you are going to love this book as much as I do.
Sadly, it doesn't release until March 1st.
But, you can click on the cover and pre-order it from Amazon now and read it as soon as it comes in.

The Writer's Desk Welcomes Patricia Johns

Welcome to the blog, Patricia. Please grab a cup of tea or coffee and relax for a few minutes and tell us about your writing space.

This is my gorgeous desk. My parents bought it for me at an estate auction when I was about 24, and they dropped it off at my teenie, tiny rented bedroom during my starving artist years. It used up a good amount of my free space, but I didn't care. I loved it! Starving artist years are a whole lot less heroic when you have parents who shop for you at estate auctions. Just saying.
Every published novel I've written (about 13 now) has been written at this desk.

My desk and I have a deep and devoted relationship. As a mother, I don't have a lot that belongs to me and just me. Except for this desk. This is "Mommy's Desk." Truthfully, I don't do all of my writing at the desk. I have a laptop, and it travels with me around the house. I type at the kitchen table while I cook so that I don't burn the house down. (We've had a kitchen fire, but in my defence, I had the flu, so it wasn't a writing-related accident.) I type propped up in bed in the evening. I type on the couch while my husband watches a movie.

I'm curious Patricia, what do you surround yourself with that isn’t writing related but that helps you to enjoy your writing space?
I'm a mom. Really, all I need some quiet. And a big sign that says, "Go ask your father."

I'm curious, what are you working on right now?

Right now, I'm working on a novel I'd like to pitch to the American line. It's a nanny romance.


Thank you for stopping by today. Before I let you go, do you have a new release you’d like to tell us about?  

It isn't a new release, but it's my first Love Inspired. (There are move Love Inspired to come!) Oh good! I can't wait!!

His Unexpected Family

When a baby is dropped into her life without warning, Emily Shaw is overjoyed. It's a bit odd that her distant cousin named single Emily as guardian, but she's thrilled all the same. She never thought she'd get to be a mom. Another unexpected blessing is that baby Cora arrives in the arms of police chief Greg Taylor. Despite all three of them instantly bonding, Greg has promised himself he'll never be a father. And now Emily's smooth-talking relative is challenging her right to raise Cora. Will Emily have to make an impossible decision between the child she already loves and the man who loves her?
If my readers want to learn more about you, where can they find you?


How to Write a Book

I'm asked all the time how to write a book. So today I thought I might break it down into 4 simple steps that work for me.

1. Come up with an Idea.
        Now I know that seems simple enough but that's not always the case. Here's how I look for ideas: I listen to people talk sometimes something that is said will spark an idea. I enjoy writing historical novels so I go online and look up town histories or think of a famous real life character such as Billy the Kid and read up on him. Some authors get ideas from TV. Those are just three general ways but I think you get the "idea." Pun intended.

2. Create well-developed Characters.
      Ask yourself what makes this character unique? What does he/she want? And what will stop him/her from getting what she wants? Give your characters flaws.  It's important to make your characters as interesting as possible. There are whole books written on how to develop characters, I'm simply giving you basics to get you started.

3. Create a Deadline.
      There are lots of people out there who dream of writing a book. Serious writers give themselves a deadline and stick to it. Even before I became published, I gave myself deadlines. Why? An idea is exciting when you start, writing a book around that idea is work. By setting a deadline you don't give up. You press on. And, if you are a serious writer, you finish the book. Now, let me make myself clear, I am not saying if you don't meet your deadline you are not a serious writer. Life happens and sometimes you just can't meet that deadline, that's ok. Set a new deadline and press on until you finish your book.

4. Sit down and write
     I hear you screaming but I'm not ready yet! I haven't read all the books on writing. I'm not sure my characters are completely developed. I still have research to do. And the excuses go on and on...
I understand... but you will never write a book if you don't sit down and write. Yes, keep studying books on writing (I'm reading two right now) But at some point you have to write to finish a book. Write while waiting on appointments, while at your kids sports practices and any other free moment you might have. Set a word or page count that you will write daily to meet that deadline.

Those are the four basic things you can do to write a book. Happy Writing and let me know how it goes!