peace, solitude, the arboretum

“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.


Morris Arboretum Philadelphia, PA



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Lemon tree… very pretty

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.


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Spring, my hands in the dirt

The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just on the body, but the soul.

~ Alfred Austin

Garden Solace

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Pelican Pointe’s characters, an interesting lot

Pelican Pointe

Cast of Characters

Promise Cove – Book One

Jordan Phillips—The widow of Scott Phillips living on the outskirts of Pelican Pointe in a huge Victorian with her baby duaghter. She’s trying to fix the house up to open as a bed and breakfast.

Nick Harris—A former member of the California Guard who served with Scott in Iraq. Nick suffers from PTSD. He tries to adjust back to civilian life after Iraq but finds that he can’t ignore a promise he made during the heat of battle.

Scott Phillips—Died in Iraq while serving with the California Guard. In life, Scott was best friends with Nick Harris. Scott doesn’t let death stop him from returning to his wife and child and the town he loves. He appears throughout the series as a benevolent ghost helping new arrivals settle in and overcome their problems.

Patrick Murphy—The mayor who owns the only market in town.

Lilly Seybold—Another newcomer with two children living alone on the other side of town, isolated and struggling to get by. Lilly is recently out of an abusive marriage. Lilly and Jordan form a bond.

Wally Pierce—Owner of the gas station and the best mechanic around. He’s instantly attracted to Lilly. Their relationship blossoms throughout the series.

Carla Vargas—County social worker and Murphy’s longtime girlfriend.

Flynn McCready—Owner of McCready’s, a mix between an Irish Pub and a pool hall.

Sissy Carr—Spoiled daughter of the town’s banker. Sissy is having an ongoing affair with local developer and shady con man Kent Springer. Sissy went to school with Scott and gives Jordan a hard time at every chance she gets.

Kent Springer—Local developer and sleaze, always working on his next scam. He wants the property owned by Jordan Phillips and will do whatever it takes to get it.

Joe Ferguson—Owner of Ferguson Hardware. Grouch. Complainer.

Jack “Doc” Prescott—Former ER surgeon from San Francisco. Retired. But actively providing medical care for residents.

Belle Prescott—Doc’s wife who wants him to retire.

Hidden Moon Bay – Book Two

Emile Reed/Hayden Ryan—Arrives in Pelican Pointe during a storm, stranded at the side of the road. She’s on the run from a mobster who has defrauded people out of millions of dollars.

Ethan Cody—Native American. Works as a deputy sheriff but longs to be a writer.

Brent Cody—Sheriff of Santa Cruz County and Ethan’s older brother.

Marcus Cody—Father of Ethan and Brent. Marcus possesses psychic ability.

Lindeen Cody—Mother to Ethan and Brent.

Margie Rosterman—Owner of the Hilltop Diner, a 1950s throwback to a malt shop.

Max Bingham—Cook at the Hilltop Diner and Margie’s boyfriend.

Julianne Dickinson—First-grade teacher who lives in Santa Cruz in the same neighborhood as Marcus and Lindeen Cody. Lindeen often invites Julianne to supper, hoping Brent will take an interest in her.

Janie Pointer—Owner and stylist at the Snip N Curl and best friend to Sissy Carr.

Abby Pointer—Janie’s younger sister. Her boyfriend Paul Bonner is serving in Afghanistan

Dancing Tides – Book Three

Keegan Fanning—Marine biologist running the Fanning Marine Rescue Center her grandparents founded.

Cord Bennett—Former army soldier and California guardsman who served with Nick and Scott in Iraq. Because Cord feels guilty about his fiancée dying in a spree shooting, he wants to end his own life.

Pete Alden—Keegan’s right hand man at the Rescue Center.

Drea Jennings—Owner of the flower shop. Her family owns the Plant Habitat, a landscape nursery in town.

Ricky Oden—Founder and lead singer of the local band, Blue Skies. Married to Donna Oden.

Lighthouse Reef – Book Four

Kinsey Wyatt—An up-and-coming lawyer who comes to Pelican Pointe to prove she’s the real deal.

Logan Donnelly—Sculptor and artist who relocates to Pelican Pointe with an agenda.

Perry Altman—A five-star chef from L.A. who opened The Pointe, the fanciest place in town to eat.

Troy Dayton—A young carpenter who works hard at surviving everything life’s thrown at him.

Mona Bingham—Max’s daughter from Texas.

Carl Knudsen—Owns the pharmacy in town he inherited from his family. Married, but not happy. In his younger days ran with Kent Springer.

Jolene Sanders—Hostess at The Pointe. Works part-time as a clerk at Knudsen’s Pharmacy.

Starlight Dunes – Book Five

River Amandez—Thirty-three year old archaeologist who arrives in Pelican Pointe harboring a secret. She’s in town to excavate the Chumash encampment uncovered during a mudslide.

Brent Cody—Forty-year old sheriff of Santa Cruz County with a bad marriage under his belt and a not-so-stellar record of dating. Brent has someone in his past who wants him dead.

Zach Dennison—Picks up odd jobs around town, trying to make ends meet. Zach lives with his sister, Bree Dennison.

Bree Dennison—Goes to community college in San Sebastian and works as a waitress at McCready’s.

Ryder MacLachlan—Cord’s buddy from the army. New in Pelican Pointe from Philadelphia and looking to make a fresh start.

Ross Campbell—Pharmacist from Portland, relocates and buys the local pharmacy. Renames it Coastal Pharmacy.

Jill Campbell—Ross’s wife.

Last Chance Harbor – Book Six

Julianne Dickinson—First-grade teacher, slated to be the principal of the newly, renovated Pelican Pointe Elementary.

Ryder MacLachlan—Cord’s buddy from the army. New in Pelican Pointe from Philadelphia and looking to make a fresh start.

Bree Dennison—Goes to community college in San Sebastian and works as a waitress at McCready’s.

Malachi Rafferty—Owner of the T-Shirt Shop and single father with two teen girls, Sonnet and Sonoma.

Cleef Atkins—Lives south of town in an old farmhouse. His barn is stuffed with things he’s collected over the years.

Eleanor Jennings Richmond—Mother of Cooper, Caleb, and Drea.

Sea Glass Cottage – Book Seven

Isabella Rialto—Logan’s mysterious renter who shows up in town and starts people talking about her past.

Thane Delacourt—Ex NFL linebacker who comes back to Pelican Pointe to raise his son.

Jonah Delacourt—Thane’s six-year-old son.

Fischer Robbins—Thane’s best friend from New York and a chef who helps Thane open Longboard Pizza.

Sydney Reed—An ER nurse in St. Louis and Hayden Cody’s sister. Sydney relocates to become Doc’s nurse.

Lavender Beach – Book Eight

Eastlyn Parker—Ex-army helicopter pilot, crashed her chopper in Iraq and lost the bottom part of her leg. She hasn’t adjusted to civilian life very well.

Cooper Jennings Richmond—Son of Layne Richmond and Eleanor Jennings. Brother to Caleb and Drea. Photographer who traveled the world but now owns Layne’s Trains.

Landon Jennings—Cooper’s adopted father.

Shelby Jennings—Cooper’s adopted mother

Tucker Ferguson—Took over running Ferguson’s hardware from his father, an unpopular man who left his son a business in dire financial straits.

Sandcastles Under the Christmas Moon – Book Nine

Quentin Blackwood—Doctor replacing Jack Prescott.

Sydney Reed—Sister of Hayden and Jack Prescott’s nurse.

Beckham Dowling—Teenage boy, resourceful, savvy, and smart, worried about his grandmother’s health.

Charlotte Dowling—Beckham’s grandmother, who’s lived in town for years.

Faye DeMarco—Beckham’s girlfriend.

Andy DeMarco—Faye’s older brother, who takes care of her after their parents died in a car crash.

Douglas Bradford—Quentin’s Uncle, a former professor, who retired from teaching, moved to Pelican Pointe  and eventually became its mayor before Murphy. Owner of Bradford House.

Beneath Winter Sand – Book Ten

Caleb Jennings—Brother of Cooper and Drea. Works at The Plant Habitat with his parents, Landon and Shelby.

Hannah Summers—Starts her own cleaning service. Picks up extra money on the weekends working as a waitress at The Shipwreck.

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An up-close look at Pelican Pointe

The second most asked question I get–behind when is the next book due out–is could you please make the Pelican Pointe map of the town larger in the ebook versions because Kindle won’t let readers enlarge it?

The thing is, the formatting restricts how large a jpeg image is when it’s put into ebook format. To make things simple I’m posting the latest version of the updated map from Sandcastles Under the Christmas Moon released this past November.  As you know, the map has gone through changes with each book because each new character brings his or her ideas to town along with a backstory and the map reflects each new  thing.

The map used to appear on my website before the redesign of the site. I’m told it took a great deal of time to load with each hit the site took, that’s one of the reasons the map had to go. I might still bring it back sometime in the future if my web designer can find a way to keep it from taking so long to load.

So for now, I’m uploading it to my blog in hopes that here it will exist on a much larger scale–although I do think it depends a lot on the device on which you’re viewing it. Anyway, I hope this solves the issue for those of you interested enough to write me about it. It’s pure pleasure on my part that you want to see Pelican Pointe up-close and personal. 🙂




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Sandcastles Under the Christmas Moon

On Sale Now

The 9th book in the series

Spend Christmas in Pelican Pointe

Quentin Blackwood arrives in Pelican Pointe to replace Jack Prescott as the town’s one and only doctor. But he’s in for a rough time, especially since nurse Sydney Reed doesn’t quite trust him. But that’s just one of the many problems Quentin faces when he tries to help a teenage boy and his grandmother going through hard times. It’s all happening with Christmas approaching–a holiday that should mean hearth, home, and plenty of family. But with Quentin it only brings up haunting memories of a troubled past. Will Pelican Pointe be able to work its magic on the new doctor in time for him to find a new meaning to the holiday? Or will heartbreak win out one more time?


Sandcastles Under the Christmas Moon

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Kindle Book Review names Sea Glass Cottage Finalist

Romance is a tough category to write. I’m thrilled that Sea Glass Cottage has been recognized by the Kindle Book Review as a winning story. Thank you to everyone who made this possible. It’s such an honor!!

You can only run so far before you have to stand and fight. 

Mysterious Isabella Rialto comes to Pelican Pointe to find solace, shelter, and quiet. What she gets instead is Thane Delacourt, an ex NFL jock who’s come back home to raise his little boy. Sparks fly between them from the onset. Thane’s wary of making another relationship mistake. And he has Jonah to think about. But that’s nothing compared to Isabella’s past. Will their love be enough to ensure a future together? Or will everything crumble around them in a  deadly game of obsession?

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