Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Guest Article on German Pulse for my Book

I had the privilege of writing a guest article on German Pulse today for my book, "Nick, The Journey of a Lifetime." German Pulse creates an interactive platform for all German/Americans with news, reviews, and the latest happening in Germany. Check it out and my article if you get a moment. . .

Friday, June 15, 2012

Exciting New Article and Review

"By the way, nice article on your book," were the words I heard yesterday referring to an article written by Darlene Fuchs, editor of the German-American Journal. Music to my ears. No doubt! The newspaper is affiliated with DANK (the Deutsch American National Congress) an organization that began in the 50s and has grown to a constant growing network of chapters across the country with a goal to preserve the German heritage and culture. The Journal is published six times a year and the blog, German Pulse, is the newest kid on the block offering current news and events in Germany. To gain the endorsement of this organization for my book, is quite the honor. I've included the link to the newspaper where you will find my article on page 16. I hope you enjoy as much as I did. . .

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Book Promotion Ends in Success

Thanks to Everyone who helped to spread the word about the promotion I ran on my novel, "Nick, The Journey of a Lifetime." It was a wonderful effort with great results. More than 400 people downloaded my book! If you haven't had the chance to read it yet, please do. I think you'll find the story enlightening! Then share your opinion with me on Goodreads, the book's page on Amazon, Twitter or this blog. Click here to be whisked away to Amazon:

Pictured here: Nick's family in Calma.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Revisiting the RMS Titanic

Have you noticed the extra attention the media is providing as we approach the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the RMS Titanic? Since my research is surrounding this glorious ship for my novelette, “A Titanic Tale,” I can’t help but feel an acquired sense of fascination and wonder.

As I read the details of the ship and watch the documentaries, my respect and admiration grows. My imagination is ignited. I can now see myself walking past the second- and third-class gangways to reach first-class entry to board the vessel.
I am greeted by a gentleman who wears a crisp white uniform. He welcomes me aboard and directs me to the lift that we carry me to B deck, where my stateroom is located. As I open the doors to my suite, my eyes are drawn to the large bouquet of flowers and small basket of fruit sitting on a round table. A stunning bathroom to my right, awaits, it includes a deep tub and a wash sink with hot and cold water.
I remove my shoes and bury my toes into the carpeted walk, never experiencing carpet before. A ceiling fan whispers to me quietly from above while an electric fireplace waits patiently for use. A writing desk, how appropriate, is tucked in the corner beside a blue sofa and matching armchairs.
For a moment, I’m startled, the warning whistle blows steady, alerting all visitors to leave the ship for departure is soon upon us. I quickly return my shoes to my feet and take the lift up to A deck and walk the teak floors on this promenade deck, intended only for first-class. I pass the Verandah CafĂ© and Palm Court filled with white wicker and ferns. I hear the engines churn and see the white foamy water bubbling below. The tugs are taking us out into the open water. We are at sea this Wednesday, April 10, 1912. 

Inspired by No Moon by Irene N. Watts, Photograph: Google

Monday, February 20, 2012

New Beginnings

Have you ever written a story about someone else’s life? Or, while attending a funeral, you felt a bit frightened to suddenly realize how fast life moves? We are here one moment and gone the next.
Recently, I completed my first novel, “Nick, The Journey of a Lifetime,” where I introduced my husband’s grandfather as a young man about to start the journey of his lifetime. He meets a girl, falls in love, embraces an occupation, encounters obstacles, considers the unexpected and does his best with the cards of life that he was dealt. And then there’s the end - life over.
Personally, I never have been good with endings of any kind: the end of good book; a television miniseries; a friendship due to a move or death. Maybe that’s why I struggled initially with the start of my new short story after publishing my first novel. I had a hard time letting go.
My fellow writers would often joke with me that I carried the characters around with me in my pocket. “You probably go to bed with them!” they would say, with a snicker. And, I had to agree with them. I would constantly brainstorm of what was coming next, or dialogue in the following scene, or what conflict they would have to endure in the next chapter.
And, allow me to share with you - inspiration follows no rules and certainly no etiquette. I would be struck at the oddest of times with the perfect ending to a scene or a must have sentence in another. I may have been enjoying my nightly walk with my golden retriever, Rudy; following a recipe while cooking supper; or, the oddest of all, driving my car.
Oh yes, finishing a novel is an enormous accomplishment but letting go of your characters and allowing them to rest, is just as difficult. Each writer has to develop their own path of release. For me, I have to acknowledge the feelings of loss and allow them to pass over me, almost like clouds in the sky. I know eventually the clouds will clear and fade away revealing a fresh start with clear skies. It, too, is a process.  Only then, can I embrace a new story with new characters to hold in my pocket. 

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Birthday Bone

How do you celebrate your pet’s birthday? Do you bake a cake and enjoy it? Get them a new tug toy? Or, perhaps you create an event just as if they were human - nice dinner, balloons, gifts? This year, after baking a ham and making chowder, I wrapped the bone up and set it aside for our golden retriever, Rudy. Today is his birthday. He turns 5 years old! Being the alpha male of his liter, Rudy takes his job as yard patroller very seriously. We refer to him as being “on duty” when he bolts at rapid speeds across the yard to howl at the neighbors who dare to take a stroll passed our home, or the wayward deer nibbling on a treasure found, or the fox creeping out from under the pool deck. And you can forget about the wild cat – who we’ve heard cry out for almost getting caught by his mighty jaws - more than once! Heaven help the birds in the sky, who have been known to deliberately dart toward him then away just to tantalize his imagination of a ‘live catch.’ Oh, yes, our Rudy is not the docile, silly, overly-friendly golden you may have met in other yards. He has a job he has been hard-wired for, a purpose that overrides everything else. And he’s ready to perform for us at a moment’s notice. If anyone deserves that ham bone, it’s him. In the meantime, I’ll share with you the secret to my ham chowder, and how we honored our ‘little guy’s’ special day. Let me know how you celebrate the milestones of your favorite pet and if you liked the chowder.

Rudy’s Ham Chowder
Sauté 1 small onion with 1 cup diced celery and 1 clove garlic
Add the ham bone and leftover diced ham
Add 1 quart low-sodium chicken broth and 1 tablespoon parsley
Add 1 cup+ diagonally sliced carrots

1 cup prepared navy beans
Pass over twice with Mrs. Dash Onion and Herb (salt-free) seasoning
A shake of pepper and Penzey’s Dried Shallots
One hour before serving, add 2 diced potatoes and a handful of instant potato flakes (to thicken)
About a half hour before serving, add a heaping ½- cup barley and a sprinkle of chicken bouillon to taste
Serve with thick slices of Tuscan bread or garlic toast with homemade applesauce on the side.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Garden Dreams   

It’s hard not to think about my garden when we have temperatures in the 40s in January. Typically, my garden dreams don’t enter my mind until March or April, but this year is much different. This year, I get to relish in the idea of planting early. For whatever reason, the delay of a real winter certainly guarantees the onset of an early spring, right?
In between my asparagus bed and raspberry patch, I will plant my early crops. Typically, it’s a careful, almost painful selection of only the right seedlings — several varieties of lettuce, stout radishes, garlic, green onions, German parsley, snow white cauliflower and broccoli heads. The early crops don’t mind Wisconsin’s April coquettish winds, and I can count on them to stand proud to welcome the late arrivals of potatoes, cabbage for sauerkraut, tomatoes, peppers, pickles, pole beans and my new addition for 2012, a strawberry bed.My hope this year is that my tomatoes duck the blight that has been plaguing them the last couple of years (I’m told it travels in the air), that the Japanese beetles will choose another row of beans and raspberries to devour, and the potato beetle is less interested in the thick, green leaves that may tantalize them to stop in and stay awhile. All these hopes I hold for my garden along with a plentiful harvest and a connection with Mother Nature that cannot be found anywhere else but my own backyard.Who among you are like me, waiting in anticipation to get your hands dirty in your garden? 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Now available on Amazon

Birthday Eve, January 17, 2012

On this day, the day before my birthday, I find myself at a very good place in my world. I have recently finished a 2-year writing project dedicated to the production of my first novel, Nick, The Journey of a Lifetime available at Amazon in Kindle format. For me, the next couple of weeks are reserved for formatting and editing the story to create a paperback version.

The reviews from those who have read the novel share with me that it is difficult to put down. At once, you are in the shoes of the main character, Nick, and what he is about to face as a young man in the 1920s in Europe.

It is a story of a true love affair between two people who refuse to give up even though they will face incredible odds. It's a fight of the human spirit. How strong is it? Will they survive?

The story reminds us of a time when nothing was a given. When you had to fight for what you wanted and desired more than what you were facing.

I hope you give it a read and be sure to let me know your thoughts.

Until next time when I will be a year older (and wiser, I hope :-)

Contract Signed for new book: "A Perfect Fit"

It was a great day today because I signed and mailed the contract back to the publisher for my fourth book, "A Perfect Fit "...