Three years ago, it was a beautiful March Saturday in New Glarus, Wisconsin. The sun was out. The day, a crisp cool prelude to spring. Divorced mom Marley Lennox wanted nothing more than to spend time with her two kids at the family farm, a peaceful setting outside of town. They’d all been looking forward to helping tend to the newborn calf and spending a quiet weekend in the countryside.
But then the shooter showed up, armed to the teeth and ready to kill. The massacre lasted less than ten minutes, but the damage had been done. Marley’s entire family had been wiped out, gone forever.
Shaken, and suffering from survivor’s guilt, Marley’s life is spiraling downward. After three years of trying to leave the past behind, she realizes she needs to get out of Wisconsin and start over, otherwise she’ll go mad. But where does she go? She decides she needs an adventure, a road trip to get her head on straight and give her time to think about her next step.
When a car accident lands her in Pelican Pointe, she’s forced to stay until she’s healed. But after meeting her doctor, Gideon Nighthawk, things start happening fast, feelings surface that she never expected to feel again, feelings she thought were gone for good. But is she really ready to start her life over? Or will she forever live in the shadow of guilt? Will Gideon be enough to help her turn her life around? Or will she always feel trapped in a never-ending circle filled with grief and anger?
While it always seems to be busy at my house, lately it’s gone past that and veered into crazy busy. Insane busy. My goal was to release four books this year and I’m already beginning to feel the burn and it isn’t even May yet. I’m putting the finishing touches on Keeping Cape Summer before sending it off to the editor which is always a stressful time. After I push that send button, I’m jumping right into Sea of Bones, which I already have outlined. I couldn’t do any of this without my partner in crime, my husband, Gene, my soul mate. While I crank out 3,000 words a day, this man does the shopping, the cooking, the cleaning, the laundry, he’s a workhorse and I appreciate him every single day. Each morning when I settle into my office to begin whatever project I’m working on at the time, I know he has things covered elsewhere. And there’s always a lot to cover. I’m deep into plot lines and he’s handling a dozen extra things that need to be taken care of before 5 p.m. On top of all the household stuff and cooking, there are business issues to deal with, always things to get done, like marketing, schedules to create, books to sign and get out the door, book covers to plan, banners to create, the to-do list is never-ending. Throw in social media posts, like keeping a blog going, websites to update, Twitter feeds to check, Instagram to add, Pinterest, and you see where this is going. Without him, there would be no books because he keeps EVERYTHING running smoothly and keeps me clicking along toward another novel.
Me? I just write. Gene does everything else. To me, if they gave out an award for best hubbies, he’d win Husband of the Year or maybe World’s Best Husband hands down because he goes above and beyond, each and every day. We’re a team. Soul mates. And I know darn well, it isn’t easy living with a moody, things-aren’t-going-well writer. On those days when that happens, he’s my cheerleader. I can’t ask for more than that.
The mystery of the past, the present, the future …
the answers can be found in the dunes.
Archaeologist River Amandez comes to Pelican Pointe to excavate and catalogue a long-buried Chumash settlement. She brings with her a not-so-pretty past and only one man in town can help her figure out how to make things right.
Brent Cody is back in town to recover from a near-fatal attempt on his life. Together the two will lean on each other through tough times, finding strength and courage to correct their mistakes. They’ll soon make plans for a reunion of a lifetime and discover the dunes holds the answers to a lot more than the past.
“I have found that among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver.” Maya Angelou
If you’re like me, Christmas has become about a huge pile of gifts that no one really needs or wants. Sure, those soft, furry slippers will come in handy on cold, winter nights, same for the new pair of gloves. And I promise to find somewhere to show off that new sweater. But let’s get real. If you want to do something special this year, maybe try giving to people who really need it. I’m not talking about re-gifting the can opener Aunt Mary sent after the fact. Nope.
There are lots of ways to give—bake something for a sick neighbor, make a donation to a food bank, hand over your saved pennies to the Salvation Army kettle, make a donation to UNICEF. With all the disasters we’ve had this year, it’s a perfect time to write out a check to the Red Cross. Or try my favorite, a donation to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. If you’re stretched too thin to make a financial contribution, volunteer to read to a group of kids at your local hospital. Their little faces will light up in delight as soon as you open up that book and begin to read to them. You might have to wear a mask, depending on the ward, but if you speak up and speak clearly, trust me, they won’t mind at all.
“The Arboretum now nurtures people in the same way it once nurtured trees. It feeds their spirits and souls, their minds and bodies. It provides somewhere to put down roots, to be part of and give strength one to another through its collective efforts, its coming together whether to fight that which threatens it or to nurture its young and old, each “tree” supporting and being supported by its neighbours.”
~ The Arboretum Story, 1991
prairies, woodlands, wetlands, and gardens–find it all at the arboretum.
do you know the land where the lemon trees blossom; where the golden oranges glow in the dark foliage.
~ Maeve Binchy
I use lemons so often in cooking that I’ve decided to try my hand at growing my own lemon tree. Will my venture be successful? We’ll see. I may have to wait two years for it to fruit. Ugh! But I’m willing to give it a shot.