Friday, December 18, 2009


Everyone who knows me well is aware that I'm an animal person.. I love cats and dogs. They warm my life in so many ways. Since I feel the way I do, it would be unnatural for me to leave them out of my writing.

I don't deliberately plan to include them. I'm just writing along and here comes a dog or cat. In some cases, even a goat or—well, I don't want to give away the story of Secrets of Old Santa Fe or that of Christmas Stranger. Anyway, animals seem to insinuate themselves into my books. And I, being the warm-hearted person I am, allow them to take up residence between the pages.

One such character is Ceesco, a tiny Mexican Chihuahua, an humble resident of Santa Fe. He worms his way into the hearts of most of the human characters. I didn't make him up. There really is a Ceesco, who belongs to a friend.

Another is Brownie, Melinda's big chocolate Lab that plays a part in Christmas Stranger. She belongs to my daughter. While she's very real, her actual name is Hershey. My daughter wanted to know why I didn't keep her actual name. It's simple. The story takes place in 1882. While there were big brown Labs in existence, I don't think there were hersheys.

Reviewers who liked my books have given them high ratings. Matilda of Coffee Time Review awarded Secrets of Old Santa Fe a 4 cup review. I like to think little Ceesco had something to do with that.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Jaymi of Fallen Angel Reviews gave Christmas Stranger a 5 Angel Review.

Here's an excerpt. Melinda and her friends are at the church Christmas party. Her friends are playing cupid.

Susanna frowned at her. "You ought to set your cap for some available farmer.
Melinda laughed. "Some available farmer?" What downright foolishness. "Available — my foot. All the single men are taken. Except for Abe and Howard, whom I don't want, and Zeke, whom I might as well not want."
"Abe's not so bad." Susanna whispered it, glancing again at her husband, who was now deep in conversation with some of the other men.
Melinda glared at her. "Oh, you know better than that."
Chloe and Susanna shared a look. "Howard, then. Maybe you should want Howard. We think you should go after him," Chloe said. "You seemed to get along so well together."
"That's not love, girls." Melinda rolled her eyes. 'That's friendship."
"It's a start. There's no such thing as love at first sight." Chloe's mouth was set in a so-there expression. "And anyway, you should have seen his eyes light up when he looked at you."

"You'd make a really nice couple." Susanna patted Melinda's arm.

"A nice trio, you mean." Melinda smiled at them.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

In spite of the fact that our house is falling apart at the seams…

I'm grateful...

Our heating and A/C unit had threatened for several years to expire. In July, when it was extremely hot, the unit went out and we were forced to have another one installed. In August (right after that) a heat wave swept across west Texas and we realized how fortunate we were to have a good-working unit.

I'm grateful…

The master bathroom flooded. I noticed it in the night when I waded in there barefoot. The hot water line to the lavatory couldn't be repaired until the next day. We didn't suffer any ill effects. Not even the cat, who can't swim. She simply avoided the area after her feet got wet.

I'm grateful…

The bathroom heater took a hike. I've been known to complain that these new electric heaters just don't heat up a bathroom like the old gas ones did. But try taking a shower with no heater at all. It wasn't pleasant, but it was quick. When the new heater comes, I'll remember not to complain. I'll appreciate whatever heat it offers.

I'm grateful…

Our refrigerator, several years old, heaves a heartfelt groan occasionally, like some huge animal giving birth. But it continues to do what we bought it for; keeps our food at 40*. We'll wait a little longer.

I'm grateful…

The microwave heats food—usually. Sometimes it needs to be given a second chance. No problem. No reason for me to go out and buy another one until this one conks out.

I'm grateful…

Sunday afternoon, we heard a loud pop and then gushing water. What we thought was thick smoke poured from the hallway along with tons of water. On investigation, we discovered that the "smoke" was steam. The water heater wouldn't stop boiling the water. The pop-off valve did what it was designed to do. It relieved the pressure. We gave thanks that our house didn't catch fire!

It is now Thursday, and a plumber is installing a new water heater. No more sponge baths in the lavatory. No more heating water in the teakettle to wash dishes. By sometime this afternoon, we hope to have HOT WATER! I'm grateful!

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Tuesday, December 01, 2009


By Marion Kelley Bullock

Desert Breeze Publishing ISBN #:978-1-936000 Available now.
Received a 5 Angel Review from Fallen Angel Review.

Melinda Jane Frazier, postmistress, has been alone, except for her faithful canine companion Brownie, since her father passed. One blizzardy night she hears knocking at her door. After a brief internal debate, she opens the door and finds Zeke, a wandering man, and his son Timothy nearly frozen to death. She quickly offers them appropriate accommodation for the night. One night turns into many and before long Melinda feels they've become the family she's always wanted, if only she can convince nomadic Zeke to stay... Christmas Stranger by Marion Kelley Bullock is a wonderful, gentle western historical, written in a style which reminds me of Catherine Anderson. The reader is quickly transported back in time and quickly achieves a real sense of the community, time and place. I really liked Melinda; she's independent and holds down a vital job. Melinda rapidly treats Timothy as her son, even knowing that he's there temporarily and that she's opening herself up to heartbreak. Timothy's a charmer and I found myself laughing out loud when the donkey appeared (I won't spoil the surprise). Zeke is a strong, yet flawed hero. He's trying to overcome his past and work out what it is he wants from life (at times I wanted to shake some sense into him). When you need a break from the upcoming busy holiday season, set aside a couple of hours and settle in to enjoy the heart-warming Christmas Stranger. Buy the book

Reviewed by: Kara of Fallen Angel Review.