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So, yesterday one of the three Janies in my life sent me an email with a picture of a fabulous new jacket that she noted , “Had to have been made for you!” She was right. It is the perfect jacket for me and I stand before you in wonderment as I say that it was surely kizmit that allowed my Bill to find the email from the unidentified Janie in our spam filter and me to track the jacket down online from the unknown seller and place my order today.

The good news is that the jacket is available. The bad news is that it’s on backorder and won’t be here for my three book signings in mid-September, but the sales representative is now a fan of the “feather series” and says she will spread the word to all her friends, so I guess that was sort of like having a private book signing—or something like that—sort of like wearing the jacket in a virtual reality kind of way.

Anyway, here is the jacket. Let me know what you think and I will let you know when it gets here and if it is as tres fabulous in person as I am hoping it will be.

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I’m sitting in our RV on a very rainy day in Anchorage, Alaska after a fun and enjoyable book signing at Mosquito Books at our own international airport on Friday. After passing through security, including bomb-sniffing dogs, I found my way to my table, where I spent the afternoon in the cozy warmth of one of the nicest bookstores in Alaska. There I met travelers from around the world, as well as a pretty good smattering of Alaskans–many of whom were biologists returning from summer assignments.

Now, back at the campground, I sit here with the rain pounding the roof of our RV in a way that makes me wish we had one of those high end models that come with a fireplace. But that’s okay, because we have propane heat and that is just about as comforting. Too bad we have appointments all day, because it’s the perfect day to read a good book–like my latest, Lavender White Arctic Blue–or to just do nothing, something I seldom have time to do. Meanwhile, just about everyone in here is from somewhere else and that makes  our stay interesting in many ways.

Yesterday Chauncey met a pitbull named Athena and another unknown  breed who wanted to share her ball. There are lots of Quebecians here snd many Europeans, as well as a smattering of Asians. Tomorrow we head home. Uh oh, internet speed has screeched to a crawl. another ddos attack on our server like Saturday’s? These are interesting and perilous times. Maybe that is another reason to read some of my books. Lose yourself in fiction, I say, because it’s just a more entertaining version of reality.

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It’s cold outside. Last week it was summer. This week requires a jacket. Yes, I know it is Alaska, but still . . .

I’m waiting for some review on Lavender White Arctic Blue.Of course, I think it’s good and early feedback confirms that, but no one has written anything on Amazon yet. Perhaps soon?

Still waiting for the audio on FFAS, so meanwhile, I weeded the garden and plucked a ginormous rhubarb leaf just for fun. It was big. Big enough to curl up in and read my books. Now isn’t that just how a fiction writer thinks? Try it and get back to me . . .

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I have exciting news for those of you who have read the “Feather Series” and loved following Mara, Doug, Joe and Sal through all five adventure/mystery/Alaska-themed books. The first book in the series, Feather from a Stranger, will soon be released in audio format. Although details of the release date are still pending, please let me introduce you professional narrator, Annie Alder, whose bio reads:

Annie Alder came from a small town on the East Coast of the USA. After scampering around Pennsylvania and New York City, she transferred to a university in North Wales, realizing that it would be a good idea to have a little more direction and adventure in her life. Annie is a lover of reading and being read to, and of all the adventures words can create.

If you loved Feather from a Stranger, or if you are new to the “Feather Series,” you will love Annie Alder’s ability to bring a new and captivating perspective to the most popular book in this series.

To Annie Alder I say, “Thanks for making my writing sound so good!”

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We have almost reached Summer Solstice and we still have one apple tree with no leaves. The Verbena bush beside it has a few leaves, but is mostly bare. Our neighbors were digging the other day and found ice at about one foot depth. The summer has been cold and wet. Could that be the problem with our tree?It is showing new growth, buds and green inside, but no leaves! So very weird!

Meanwhile, we traveled north for two days to reach Talkeetna, Alaska, where I was hosted by the beautiful Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge for the signing of my newest book, Lavender White Arctic Blue. It was beautiful weather with the tiny little town filled with tourists as I made my way to the lodge. How nice to be among long time friends who stopped by to say hi and to talk to so many people about my books. My deep appreciation to the Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge and especially to gift store manager, Jaelene.

In other news, one of my readers from Florida happened to be visiting Alaska and just happened to be in Anchorage staying only a half mile or so from us, so we got together and met, which was so exciting for us both. Alaska truly is a very small place.

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The last few days have been perfect Alaska summer days, with blue skies, sun, and a wonderful afternoon seabreeze coming off of Kachemak Bay.Things are still greening up around here and one apple tree doesn’t yet have leaves, but it does have buds, so I fertilized and watered it and asked it to live. I would say it is a cool summer, more like the ones we used to enjoy maybe close to 40 years ago when we first moved to Alaska. Does this mean an early fall and a hard winter? It’s too soon for me to make my annual prediction, but suffice it to say that the weather is perfect for picking up a good book and sitting somewhere outdoors to read. I recommend Lavender White Arctic Blue for starters and then branch out from there. Happy reading!

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Today as we honor those who have fallen in the service of our country, it is good to remember that their fight was to protect the free world. Today we honor them for the sacrifice they made, and we stand with their families, who will never know normal again because of the price paid by their loved ones in the service of our country.

As the wife of a combat veteran, I also see the pain of those who survived, whose wounds may not be visible except to those who really know them. They, too, have given their all for their country, and we salute them.

Readers of my fictional stories will learn that I try to honor veterans every day, not just on the few designated for them. In my books you will always see veterans represented as the heroes that they are—bearers of rightness and justice and compassion as those now gone served to do all they could to protect our country and others, while those still carrying the banner of freedom  stand valiantly between us and those who seek oppression. There are few legacies more noble than that of being a veteran and need we be reminded that Memorial Day is a day reserved for those who died in the line of service to our country.

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I’m a little late with my weekly blog, but I’ve been busy. I’m working on the edits for the first audiotape of one of my books and it is going well. I also launched my new novel, Lavender White Arctic Blue, and now am trying to link my peeps to sources where they can buy it.

Supposedly it is spring, and that means de-winterizing the yard. As much as it is an exercise in futility to be proactive against the weeds, I persevere. Spring, though, is lagging far behind this year and it still feels really cold and dreary in Alaska.

Spring also means getting the RV out of storage and cleaned and stocked for the season. That is mostly done now and we have our first trip under our belt—that being to Anchorage for a signing at Writer’s Block last Saturday. It went better than I had hoped and for that I am grateful. Now to play catch up and prepare for the next signing in Talkeetna, only a bit less than a month away. Stay tuned. . .

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This year, this month, and this Nurse’s Day marks fifty years since I became a nurse, and although I am retired now, I worked the better part of that fifty years full time as a registered nurse, mostly in the field of critical care.

Although I’m an author now, it always amazes me how often people express to me how wonderful they think it is that I’m an author. I laugh. I laugh, because for the nearly half century that I balanced people’s lives in my hands, seldom did anyone take notice.

Today, however, something changed. As I watched the Today Show, I saw a segment coming up about honoring nurses. I scoffed at the thought, sure it would be some other unrealistic or made up portrayal of what nurses do. I sipped my coffee as the segment began, and then suddenly, without warning, tears fell from my eyes. The story hit home. It talked about a nurse who comforted a dying patient with song.

“Oh, sure,” I told my husband, “Like we had all the time on earth to sing.”

But then it happened, the nurse talked about how the singing was the one way her dying patient felt comfort. She talked about how she sang that patient’s favorite song, and then she talked about how the woman died soon thereafter, but she had to bury her own sorrow in order to move on to the next patient, who also relied on her for comfort.

In this one sentence this morning, this nurse said everything there was to say about nursing. I don’t know her name, but I thank her. I thank her and I thank the Today Show for this story. I didn’t know my tears would come out of nowhere like this, but when they did, I knew they had gotten the story right.

Yes, I am an author now. I started writing to relieve the intense stress of caring for sick and dying people. Of course, I do enjoy the accolades about my books, but today I say to you, my books are only a tiny part of me, but my nursing signifies who I am and it signifies the immense part of my heart and soul that allowed me the honor of finding whatever strength I could inside myself to do all I could to do the really important work of trying to alleviate suffering and pain and to be the strength for the sick that they could not be for themselves at those moments when we met.

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