on March 24, 2022

September rolled into October and it was time to prepare for the Retired Racehorse Project’s, Thoroughbred Makeover at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington. After getting the okay from my cardiologist, I rented a large cargo van and loaded up the CANTER booth and all of our merchandise including Teddy’s gear (it’s amazing how much equipment a five pound dog needs for a week). On October 11th Teddy and I headed south for the five and a half hour trip.

As the Executive Director for both CANTER Ohio and CANTER Kentucky (Communication Alliance to Network Thoroughbred Ex-Racehorses), I’ve been attending the makeover, and manning the booth, every year since 2015 (except for 2020 when it was cancelled due to COVID). It was after 6:00pm by the time the booth was set up and ready for opening day and I was hungry and tired. Since I stay at the same Fairfield Inn every year, I know all the local eateries and had decided to swing by KFC for takeout. To my surprise, the tall sign was there and the building but the parking lot was empty and so was the restaurant. I found that to be the case with several places that were no longer in business and finally settled for McDonalds. Teddy and I checked into the hotel, getting the same room we’d had in 2019 because it was close to the back door where I park the van. Teddy crashed while I scarfed down a burger and fries then unloaded what seemed like a mountain of our stuff (mostly his).


By the third day most of the other vendors knew Teddy by name and always gave him a warm greeting, apparently I was invisible. He spent the days in his stroller or on my lap and I have to say he brought a lot of customers to our booth. The weather turned cold and we sold out of jackets, sweatshirts and hoodies . . . Teddy wore his Polo jacket. The drop in temperature didn’t help my arthritic knee and by the time Sunday rolled around I could barely climb into the van. My marathon patio-building project, lasting two months during the summer, had me lifting heavy pavers and bags of sand and now my knee was protesting. After dismantling the booth and loading the van I feared I couldn’t struggle with my knee, even one more time, so with a full tank of gas I drove straight through without stopping for potty breaks. Teddy was sound asleep in his car seat before we got off the grounds of the Kentucky Horse Park. We arrived home at midnight, I slid down from my seat and only took out of the van what Teddy and I needed for the night. Next year, I’m nixing the van unless I get a new knee!



on March 23, 2022

What happened to my summer? Oh, yeah . . . it was derailed by Lyme disease and by all accounts it wasn’t giving up yet. Two months after the deer tick did its damage, my energy level was continuing to rise but my short-term memory and recall were still not showing improvement. Fortunately, my brain didn’t need to be fully functional for me to enjoy my new writing garden––even if I wasn’t writing. A Paper Key is a story that takes place during the Christmas holiday season and needed to be edited and ready to publish by the beginning of November. It would take my Fairy Godmother to make that happen, so I accepted the realization that the book would have to wait a year. The Humming birds had left to begin their long trek down to Mexico or South America and my favorite butterfly had disappeared. I enjoyed hours spent drinking in those special scents of fall as the leaves turned their vibrant colors and slowly began to fall around me.




on March 20, 2022

If I could put a name to the month of August 2021 it would be frustrating. My strength was coming back enough that I could make my way up to my new patio and flop down into the old Adirondack chair. My masterpiece wasn’t done but at least I could enjoy being outside in what would eventually be my writing garden. The pills for the Lyme disease treatment caused sensitivity to the sun, and I now needed to wear protection against any deer ticks lurking in the bushes. So there I sat on a beautiful afternoon wearing long pants tucked into calf-high rubber garden boots, a long sleeved shirt, a wide-brimmed hat, large sunglasses and a face slathered in sunscreen. The only part of my body not covered was my mouth! I took pleasure in the Humming bird that swooped by and a couple inquisitive butterflies. With the pavers down my thoughts went to finding a bistro table and two chairs. Months earlier I’d found ten cute, black solar lights on sale that had a rather industrial look, then I couldn’t resist three torches with the same look as the solar lights. A decorative theme began growing as I sat there. Black wrought iron against the terra cotta floor and bright turquoise accent cushions––chic industrial. Since my brain still wasn’t capable of stringing more than a couple sentences together, I could shop instead! End-of-the-season sales were everywhere. I found the perfect furniture, painted the Adirondack chair barn-red to match the pavers, and planted pink and purple Astilbe for the butterflies. Deer don’t particularly like the feather-like plumes of the flowers. I hung a red feeder for the Hummers in the tree and wind chimes for me. A Paper Key wasn’t going to make it to the editor by September 1st––not even by the 31st. However, the place to finish the book was taking shape nicely.



on March 20, 2022



The week following the July 4th holiday, I was still in bed with the flu or possibly a GI infection. It was time to see my doctor, but she was on medical leave until September. So I willed myself to leave the house and went to my local Urgent Care Center. I was told that several people had come in lately with similar symptoms to mine and I probably had a nasty GI bug. Just to make sure, I was sent off to a lab for blood work. The next day I received a call from the Urgent Care doctor asking me to come in right away. The good news was that I didn’t have the flu or GI issues––the bad news was she didn’t know what I had, but I was at least feeling better. She took my blood pressure and checked my pulse while we talked. That’s when she said, “Oh, my,” and checked my arms, legs and back. Turns out my heart was skipping beats and I was covered in rashes. She suspected Lyme disease and called the local Cleveland Clinic hospital and let them know I was on my way.


My emergency room stint lasted six hours during which blood was drawn and I was hooked up to various machines and everyone in the department wanted to see my mysterious rashes. The outcome was admitting me to the hospital until my ailment could be identified and treated. Day two confirmed that I had recently been attacked by a nasty deer tick––probably during my marathon paver laying days. Treatment was started and on day four my internal medicine doctor, my infectious disease doctor, and my cardiologist all agreed I could go home––with 21 days worth of pills.


Home sounded good except that I had the energy of a garden slug, I had to wear a heart-monitor, my brain seemed to be in a permanent fog, and oh yeah, I’d left my short-term memory somewhere! After the 21 days of treatment, my infectious disease doctor said I was doing well and he wouldn’t be seeing me again––unless another tick decided to latch on to me. And my short-term memory should return to normal in two or three months, worse case scenario – six months. I’m a writer; I need to keep track of my thoughts! Finishing A Paper Key by the September 1st deadline looked doubtful.


on March 19, 2022



My patio got off to a slow start the beginning of June when serious work began to slow down. Mother Nature wasn’t giving up her tiny spot of land without a fight. She sent torrential rains spaced between days of heat that could melt concrete. And if the weather didn’t keep me housebound, it was fundraising events and a slew of family outings that kept me from spreading sand and leveling paving stones. However, I did manage to spend bad-weather days researching and writing A Paper Key which was due to my editor on September 1st. Not a problem since I had July to catch-up, which is usually dry weather in northeastern Ohio and perfect for creating a patio fit for a fairy tale. I looked forward to finishing the book while sitting with my laptop at the bistro table.


Midway into June, I pushed the new deadline for the patio completion to July 4th. That holiday weekend (starting on Friday) I spent every possible hour spreading and grading sand and leveling the pavers. Shear determination kept me working each day from morning to dusk until my body refused to take another step and I hobbled back to the house exhausted. I celebrated with the knowledge that I would make my goal of laying the last paver as the fireworks went off in the neighborhood.


On Monday, the 4th I quit early, before the last row was finished. I didn’t feel well. It started with chills, sweats and a headache that wouldn’t quit. My whole body ached and I blamed it on my nonstop determination to finish the project. It was a job for a young, strong person––and I ain’t young––or strong! I needed to give myself time off to heal. Probably just a flu bug I picked up along the way. I gave myself a new deadline of July 15th. But Mother Nature had other ideas.


on March 19, 2022

On May 21, 2021

As a writer, my “job” is taking the story in my head and putting it to paper, or in my case to my laptop. Throughout time writers have struggled with determining just where that “place” to write is. Centuries ago it was writing on sheets of parchment spread out on a flat surface with a quill and a pot of ink. Later, proper desks were used, still with a writing device and a pretty jar of ink. We moved on to paper secured in notebooks, pads and binders with any number of writing devices depending on what was at hand from crayons to pencils and fashionable pens. The place to write could be anywhere from a field to a coffee shop.

For me it began on a manual typewriter, progressed to a word processor––for those too young to remember or never worked in an office during the 1980s they were glorified electric typewriters with memory––then I moved on to computers and now a laptop. Sounds like I’m old, but not old enough to start out with a fountain pen, although I do love the elegance of them, and have a few.

Several years ago after setting up my “office” in different rooms of the house from a corner of the living room (that didn’t work for long) to the dining room, to the den, and finally taking an upstairs guest bedroom and turning it into my dream office. I love my art deco/Hollywood glam space complete with crystal chandelier. Chrome and glass cohabits nicely with metal file cabinets, walnut bookcases and printers.

But, what about summertime and the outdoors? Northeast Ohio only has about four months that can actually be called summer or at least a combination of warm and hot. This year I want to spend inspirational time outdoors writing with the lilting sounds of birds, the rustle of leaves on huge old trees and the occasional lawn mower. So I’m reclaiming from Mother Nature an old patio, up on a hill behind the house, which was never finished. The plans have been sketched out and materials ordered¬¬––a pallet of 144 pavers were delivered today.

My Memorial Day weekend begins!


on April 29, 2021

The Kentucky Derby is always held the first Saturday in May at Churchill Downs in Louisville, except for last year. Due to COVID the Derby had to wait until September 5th..This year, I’ll be taking the CANTER Ohio booth to Thistledown Racino for the Derby festivities this Saturday. It will be CANTER Ohio’s first fundraiser of the year.

What do you do with all those discarded aluminum horseshoes after the races? You make lucky wall hangings! But first, you take what could be called “scratch & dents”, clean off the mud (and stuff), pull the nails and wash them until they are ready for painting. Then the fun begins . . . that’s what I’ve been doing this week . . . decorating.

This year we’re also bringing a few fascinator hats to sell for those ladies who forgot to pack their fancy headwear.  Wish I could actually be in Kentucky for Derby week. Oh well, maybe next year.



on April 15, 2021

It’s that time again.

Join your favorite authors at the Writerspace Spring Fling April 22nd from 11a-8p ET. We’ll be chatting live on Facebook and giving away Kindles, autographed books, gift cards and more. You don’t have to be present to win, but you must be registered. To register, visit

This will be my first year participating. I’m both excited about the chance to talk to my followers for the first time and terrified about keeping up with the seasoned authors, especially my favorites. I don’t know what to expect but I’m ready to have fun.

See you there!!


on April 5, 2021

One of the things I love most about writing is the research that goes along with it. Characters come alive and become real when you give them a past. In The Shadow Of The Lighthouse revealed twenty years of Olivia Bentley’s tragic life. How she goes from being a spoiled, headstrong teenager to living under the stern hand of her grandmother. Olivia learns to deal with each horrendous event in her life and becomes stronger until she finally finds true love and her future appears to be the happily ever after ending. The story is set in Marblehead, Ohio and the Lake Erie islands. I spent wonderful trips exploring the area and studying its history.

The operative word here is appears. Now that her life is perfect with Travis Tanner and wedding bells on the horizon, I have to mess up her life once again. In A Beacon In The Dark, I send Olivia to Virginia along the James River where she must step into the life her mother escaped from. My research took me to the Waldorf Astoria in New York and then to Norfolk, Virginia and then Charles City and the plantations along the James River. Those were wonderful weeks and I tried to put my feelings and knowledge onto the pages. At a car show I found the very car, a Packard that I had given to Olivia’s mother, Maureen in the story.

Now, I’m deep in research for A Paper Key, which needs to be ready for editing by August 1st. The first step is giving my character, Tatyana Dupree, a past. Of course she’s overcome a desperately unhappy childhood and through her own ambition and drive has created a fabulous life as a world famous interior designer. Then, I send her headlong into a mystery that entails reliving a piece of the past she’s tried to forget. I’ve given Tatyana an apartment in the Dakota in Manhattan, but she also needed a place where her hectic life could slow down and kick off her shoes, so to speak. What better place for a jetsetter than the Hamptons. I found the very place today and didn’t have to leave my office.

I love jumping into research and can imagine the sand between my toes and the waves washing over my feet.

Besse is Live!!!

on March 8, 2021

My latest book, It Started With Besse, is now available in both print and eBook at Amazon!

I really let my imagination run wild with this one. On the trail of a big story, TV reporter, Morgan Tanner, engages the help of two homeless men in the tunnels under Cleveland while her brother, Michael, fears for his life as terrorists begin shooting at anything that moves in Fairport Harbor and their mother takes her daughter-in-law and grandsons on a dangerous adventure of their own.

Oh yeah, it all begins with explosions at the Davis-Besse nuclear power plant.

Kindle IconAmazon IconiBooks IconKobo IconNook Icon