How many days until Christmas?

A Family Affair: Christmas, a novella

Book 5 in my popular Truth in Lies Series will be released on November 18th.

Here’s the opening…

For weeks, people talked about the storm that would hit Magdalena right before Christmas. They said it was going to be the worst in history, even worse than the one in ’75 when the roof on St. Gertrude’s church collapsed and Father Reisanski had to hold Mass at the high school until the snow stopped and the roof could be repaired.

Pop had lived through the storm of ’75 and he’d live through this storm, too. Mother Nature had a way of making a person sit up and rethink his position on just what he could and could not change, like a person’s attitude or destiny. There was another storm rolling in and it would be here a heck of a lot sooner. Pop squinted at his watch. Yup, the storm should be here in less than two hours, filled with gusts of hot air and enough highfalutin attitude to fill a compost bin.

That storm was Pop’s son, Tony.


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That’s it for now…see you in Magdalena very soon, and don’t forget your winter coat!

My Mother’s $125 Apple Pie

Yes, you read that right. I wrote an article about my mother’s $125 apple pie. And because I’m a middle child, would it not be fitting to tell you she made it for my oldest brother? The pecking order at work! In order to give this story the most impact, I have to also admit that when my brother requested the pie, Mom had just returned from an extended visit to California, where my two brothers live. She had plenty of time and loads of kitchen space to make ten apple pies. Big brother had only to ask, but he didn’t because he’d sworn off sweets, flour, and all things white. Fine by me. My husband hadn’t made this same pledge and a few days after Mom arrived in Ohio, he asked for his semi-annual apple pie. Mom was more than happy to get back into baking mode and when the pie came out of the oven, I could hardly wait to dig in.

“Send your brother a picture of this lovely pie. Look at the golden crust. Isn’t it beautiful?”

“It’s perfect, Mom. Great job.” I snapped a picture and sent it to my oldest brother. Seconds later my phone rang. It was brother #1 with a request: he wanted Mom to make him a pie.

“You realize she was just at your house…?”

“I know.” Laugh. “See if she’ll do it.”

“Of course she will.”

“Ask her if she’ll put a few blueberries in it, too, like she did before.”

“You mean when you were eating pie? Sure. Anything else?” Sometimes I just don’t know about my brother…

Pause. “Oatmeal raisin cookies, too.”

Was he kidding? I sigh. “Can she use white flour and sugar?”

“Yes.” Not a second of hesitation. “Tell her to make it just like she does and can she send it so it gets here Saturday?”

Now I have to say something. “You know, you could go to a bakery…”

“It wouldn’t be the same. I want Mom’s apple pie and her cookies.” Pause. “So, can you get them here by Saturday?”

“Yeah, well, you mean because today is Wednesday? How am I going to do that?”

“Next day delivery.”

“Now I know you’re crazy.”

“Come on. Can you just make it happen?”

Sigh. Big sigh. Of course, I can’t say no. He’s my brother. “Okay. Let me see what I can do.”

At eighty-something, Mom might be the brains and the know-how of this operation, but I’m the legs. Off to the grocery store to get more apples, then home to set out the ingredients, print off the oatmeal raisin cookie recipe, and prepare for tomorrow morning’s baking session. As my husband enjoyed warm apple pie and ice cream, I told him he was in charge of packaging the to-be-made pie and cookies. With his engineer-minded brain, he was the most qualified to get the job done.

Mom and I spent Thursday baking and I swear, my brother called fifteen times to see how we were progressing. Mom’s crust was even better than the one the other day and the cookies were golden and chewy. (Of course, I had to taste a few!) My husband wrapped the pie in rolls of bubble wrap, taped it closed, placed it in a Styrofoam container and then wedged it in a cardboard box. The cookies were easy. Oatmeal containers stacked to the top. We headed to the UPS store on Friday afternoon and Mom insisted on paying, saying this would be his early birthday gift.

“Mom, it’s going to be expensive.”

“I know, but I want to do this for him.”

“You gave him the gift by baking the pie and cookies. He doesn’t want you to pay.”

“I want to.”

Hmm. “How much do you think it will cost?”

“I don’t know. It doesn’t matter.”

“Take a guess.”

“Thirty or forty dollars.”

“Probably a little more.”

A little more turned out to be a lot more, like $125 more! Mom still wanted to pay, but I knew my brother would have a fit, and she must have known it too because she didn’t argue. The pie and cookies traveled over 2,000 miles and arrived the next morning intact, with only one small piece of crust broken off. When my brother called to tell us they’d arrived, he’d already eaten two cookies and dug a fork into the pie.

He said it was one of the best birthday presents ever. Well done, Mom!

Release date for A Family Affair: Summer

Hello Everyone:

Finally, finally, FINALLY, I have a release date for A Family Affair: Summer! But that’s not all – I’ve got a cover and a description, too! I am beyond excited and can’t wait for you to get back to Magdalena and see what your favorite and maybe not-so-favorite characters are up to… April 1st is the date and there will be a pre-order on i-books. (Wish it were available as a pre-order on Amazon, B&N, and Kobo, but sadly, it is not.) Still, this will not slow down your ability to get the book – and for those who have not yet read A Family Affair: Spring, you might want to do so posthaste as the price will soon increase.

Now for the good stuff:

A Family Affair: Summer

Heartache. Betrayal. Forgiveness. Redemption. It’s time to head back to Magdalena, New York and spend a little time with the people we love to love and even a few we love to hate.

Eight years ago, tragedy struck the town’s perfect couple, Daniel “Cash” Casherdon and Tess Carrick, days before their wedding. That tragedy shred their dreams of a life together and sent them fleeing Magdalena. Now, destiny has brought them back and the town is determined to see this couple mend their differences.

Angelo “Pop” Benito will lead the crusade to march Cash and Tess down the aisle with the help of The Bleeding Hearts Society, a garden group more interested in healing people’s hearts than helping a sick basil plant. But they’re not the only ones cheering for this couple’s second chance.
Who would have thought Nate Desantro would be giving advice on relationships, love, and marriage? But when a man finds the right woman, anything is possible. Add a baby to the mix; well that’s pure “hero” material. Christine will offer her share of support and wisdom to Tess and stand up to an old troublemaker in the name of family and friendship.

From the fifty-something widow who is afraid to open her heart again to the pregnant friend who believes everyone has a soul mate, to Lily Desantro, the shining light who makes others believe anything is possible, Magdalena’s finest will rally to give Tess and Cash that second chance. But all the prayers and contrivances in the world won’t help until Tess reveals the secret she’s carried for too many years, a secret that could destroy her chance with Cash forever…

And if you’re wondering about Harry Blacksworth and his brood, you’ll glimpse a snippet of what he’s up to, but he’ll be back in full force in A Family Affair: Fall. Not only that—he’s moving to Magdalena with Greta and the kids! Can you imagine Harry maneuvering a lawnmower or carrying out the trash? Oh, but his past is going to catch up with him and then…Sorry, Harry has to wait for A Family Affair: Fall to share his misery and his story.

For now, enjoy the journey as you catch up on the lives of the residents of Magdalena. They’re waiting for you!

Truth In Lies Series
A Family Affair, Book One
A Family Affair: Spring, Book Two
A Family Affair: Summer, Book Three
A Family Affair: Fall, Book Four (Fall 2014)
A Family Affair: Winter, Book Five (TBA)

Did you notice I snuck a ‘Winter’ Book in there??? The series will continue past winter, but what on earth am I going to call it?

If you have any questions, write away and ask! Now I’m back to deep edits…my editor is waiting…

Take care!


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