Wednesday, July 26, 2017

You Can Never Have Too Much Romance!

Indulge in some summer love. Click on the book covers or descriptions from these popular authors!

Monday, July 24, 2017

Can you even SEE the doggies?!

Oh, my - my computer issues! I KNOW I can learn how to do electronic things that need doing, such as cropping this photo so the subjects show up better, but I have to balance the amount of life I have left against how long it would take me to learn, as well as consider all the other things I'd dearly love to do with the remaining mortal time left to me. 
It's a matter of priorities, so get out your Sherlock Holmes magnifying glass to see the majestic white dog on the back of the truck (right), tooling down Main Street, looking doggy cool. Once it passed a car (left), an unexpected doggy head popped out the window as if to say, "Wha's up?" to numero coolo canine.
At least, that's what it looks like to me.
Do you think dogs communicate with one another?
Do you think they communicate with humans?
Do you think they celebrate EVERY DAY?
Today is not only Pioneer Day in Utah, but it's also my granddaughter, Anneke's BIRTHDAY!
(Have some cake for me, dear, since I don't eat that kind anymore.) 
I am grateful for the freedom I have to stick my head out the car window if I want to.
(But I'm not allowed to ride in the back of a truck down Main Street anymore... that only worked during my hay-hauling days on the farm!)
Did you ever ride in the back of a truck?
Did you like it?

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

TWO NEW Rocky Mountain Romance titles!

Wow! Get lost in love with these two new Rocky Mountain Romance titles!
Click on covers to get yours.

Monday, July 17, 2017

A Man's House is His...

There I was, driving down the road during a visit to Logan, Utah, minding my own business, when what to my wondering eyes should appear?

After assuring myself that I hadn't been transported back in time or across the ocean (more's the pity) I got out of my carriage, er, car, and took a picture.
Because that's what I do.
I would have liked to have a tour of the house, but I imagined how I would feel if someone came knocking at my door and asked to see my bathroom.
Yet, someone actually did that when I had a "house for sale" sign up in my yard. For the first breathless second, they pretended like they wanted to see the house.
Then, in the second sentence, they admitted that they couldn't hold it anymore, and asked, "Which way is the bathroom?!"
I pointed.
I'd already cleaned the floor and didn't want to have to do it again.
Have you ever sold a house?
How much fun was THAT?

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Rocky Mountain Romance Series Launches Today!

If you enjoy captivating, heartwarming stories by talented authors, then transport yourself today with the first book in the Rocky Mountain Romance series
right here on AMAZON!
Then you can enjoy all the other books to follow for a huge dose of July love!
(And you can eat sweet ice cream or juicy melon while reading... just keep the drips off the Kindle.)
Here's the FACEBOOK PAGE for more info!
Happily falling in love again.

Michael State Champ.... Again

Hey, it's my son Michael's birthday! (He's the blond guy closest to the camera on the front corner of the pictured fire engine, where Manti High School State Champs ride after a win, be it any sport or THEATER! Manti High School won state in Theater on Michael's senior year, after winning it his Junior and Sophomore years, too.)
Now I can stop telling him what to do.
Do you remember turning 18?
What did you do to celebrate?

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Marlene Bateman Sullivan Writes Again!

What happened to Irene?

When Anna Coughlin, a modern 1920’s woman, travels to the secluded hills of Virginia to work for wealthy Lawrence Richardson, she discovers that the previous secretary, Irene, mysteriously disappeared a few weeks before.  Upon arriving at the castle-like mansion to begin working, Anna finds that Lawrence’s handsome, but antagonistic son, Tyler, wants nothing more than to have her gone. And he isn’t the only one—

After Anna sets out to find the truth behind Irene’s disappearance, a series of frightening incidents ensnare her in a maze of intrigue. Anna is helped—and often hindered—by the temperamental Tyler Richardson, who—despite her best intentions—begins to steal her heart.

But even as Anna begins to uncover dark secrets in a troubled household, she must continue to hide a significant one of her own. When her life is threatened, Anna is left to wonder if she’ll be able to unravel the mystery before she disappears as mysteriously as the unfortunate Irene—

EXCERPT FROM "Searching for Irene"

The tallest parts of the mansion—fanciful turrets and a circular tower—were visible only in glimpses Anna caught between lofty oaks and towering pines as her cab wound through the knolls and hills of eastern Virginia.

When the cab turned up the long driveway lined with dogwood trees in full bloom, Anna Coughlin reached for her handbag, gripping it with a tension that had knotted her muscles ever since getting on the train.
The vast estate stood on a hilltop, like a castle—and she craned her neck to better view the starkly impressive gray-stone mansion of Ashton Hall—where she hoped to be hired. With its arched, leaded windows and slate roof with numerous chimneys, the house rivaled pictures she’d seen of castles in Europe.
Instructing the driver to wait, she climbed out, patted her hat in case it was askew, then smoothed her gray suit with gloved hands in hopes of presenting a professional appearance. Anna had no confidence she was clever enough or bold enough to pull this off, but she had to try.
Her eye was drawn by a tall man—more than six feet—who came from the side of the house. Since the man was striding toward her so purposefully, Anna stopped and waited. As he drew near, Anna noted his deep-set eyes were as black as his hair. His skin was tanned, his thin, long-fingered hands brown and strong.
“Miss Coughlin?” He stretched out a hand and shook hers, but there was no warmth for her in his eyes. “I’m Tyler Richardson. Unfortunately, your services are not needed after all.” A touch of arrogance marked his manner, as though he was long accustomed to command those around him.
“Your father called only last week to have someone come out,” Anna blurted in dismay. “May I ask what caused him to change his mind?”
A fleeting glimpse of discomfiture crossed Mr. Richardson’s face. “I wasn’t consulted about his hiring another secretary to replace the one who left so suddenly. My father isn’t in good health, and the last thing we need is someone coming in and upsetting him by making a muddle of things.”
His words kindled a fire that glinted in Anna’s eyes. How dare he make such an assumption? It was difficult to hang on to her temper, but there was too much at stake to let his boorishness sidetrack her. “Since I’m here, I’m sure you won’t mind if I keep my appointment. After all, your father is the one who requested my services. I’m sure he’s expecting me.”

Her words hit home.It took a few bitter seconds, but he finally acquiesced. “Come in, then,” he muttered ungraciously before leading the way up the steps and opening the door.
Following his rigid back down the narrow hall, Anna’s brows furrowed as doubts crept in. How wise had she been to come to this remote place? Especially when the previous secretary had disappeared so mysteriously? Even her employer thought it odd that no one in this mansion seemed to know where Irene had gone or where she was now. It was as if Irene had vanished into thin air.


Marlene’s website:

Stressed by a difficult year, McKenzie Forsberg quits her high-powered job to move back to her hometown. Desperate and determined to rebuild her life, Kenzie seeks to buy the home she grew up in. The only problem is that a handsome widower, Jared Rawlins, also wants the house. As a battle of wits ensue, sparks of attraction grow into something more. Then, Kenzie makes a stunning discovery about her past that changes everything. Will the power of love be enough to allow Jared and Kenzie to find their happily ever after?

Marlene Bateman Sullivan grew up in Utah, and graduated from the University of Utah with a Bachelor's degree in English. She is married to Kelly R. Sullivan and they live in North Salt Lake, Utah with their two dogs and four cats. Marlene has been published extensively in magazines and newspapers and wrote the best-selling romance/suspense novel, Light on Fire Island. She has written three other cozy mysteries; Motive for Murder, A Death in the Family, and Crooked House, as well as the romance, For Sale by Owner.

Marlene has also written a number of non-fiction, LDS books:  Latter-day Saint Heroes and Heroines, And There Were Angels Among Them, Visit’s from Beyond the Veil, By the Ministering of Angels, Brigham’s Boys, Heroes of Faith, Gaze into Heaven; Near-death Experiences in Early Church History, and The Magnificent World of Spirits; Eyewitness Accounts of Where We Go When We Die.

Marlene’s website:

Monday, July 10, 2017

What's UP?

Some people upon seeing a festive display of balloons may imagine tying one around their wrist by a colorful ribbon and running through a carnival, grassy fields, or weaving with running feet among people at a birthday party, secure in the knowledge that the balloon won't launch into the air when they aren't looking.
What do you think of when you see balloons tied to chairs?
That they're in place to attract attention to the chairs for sale?
That the stretch dinner table will be along shortly?
That someone is plotting to transfer all the balloons to one chair to see how high it will fly  off into the air with a single passenger hanging on for dear life?
That it's ready, set, go! for a spontaneous game of Musical Chairs?
Do you like to play Musical Chairs?
(Were you ever the last one sitting?) 

Monday, July 3, 2017

Shiny Thrift Store Lady

Tripped by technology.
Even though I got this illustration turned right-side-up in "Photo Viewer," it didn't translate to downloading on the page. That being the case, go ahead, stretch out with your head comfortably propped on your hand, and imagine this as a realistic photo (which I forgot to ask the subject if I could take) rather than a creative (if I do say so myself) animated rendition.

 It was while browsing at a local thrift store that I was captivated by a mature lady dressed in classy clothing complete with sparkles, especially concentrated on her hat, collar, and bodice.
The sparkles came mainly from crystally jewelry, which she said she'd affixed to the fabric herself. Rather than looking overwhelming, the shine actually complimented the woman's life journey lines (translate: wrinkles.)
Yet the smile on her face and her accessory glow really did appear to make the skin lines irrelevant. Instead, her appearance created a feeling of joy and infinite possibilities, perhaps in part because she admitted to creating her outfit from the very thrift store in which we stood.
So how about you? Do you like sparkles? How about for wearing?
Or are you more of a keep-the-sparkles-to-the 4th of July type of person?

Monday, June 26, 2017

Running Cloud

When I saw this cloud, I knew immediately what it looked like, but my teenager, Michael, said it wasn't what I said it was. 
I see a frog running across the sky, taking long strides.
Is that what you got?
Do you like finding shapes in clouds?
When my boys were younger, we used to make a bowl of popcorn, then pick up one kernel at a time and say what it looked like before eating it. (Why should the clouds have all the fun?)

Monday, June 19, 2017

Shirley on a Rolly Thing

When I saw my niece (check out her handstand on the right side of the photo! We're both amazing) zipping around on this little white two-feeter unit, I asked for a turn.
Wow. Watch out! Windmill arms coming through!
My niece didn't have that windmilling feature on her speedy quick ride through the house. She just zippity-do-dahed right along, arms wherever she wanted them to go, not focusing on keeping her balance.
She was just... balanced!
Well, adventurous Anderson girls abound, so of course my little sister had to take a turn. She got to where she could steer herself pretty well, and she didn't even run over my toes!

My son Scott got the hang of it so quickly that he rolled down the hallway with perfect balance in a kind of creepy-blue-lights-robot/alien-coming-to-get-you (Look, Ma, no hands!) 

If you had to the chance to ride this space age- looking thing (which I was told is called a "hoverboard" EVEN THOUGH IT ROLLS, PEOPLE!) would you ride it?

Monday, June 12, 2017

Photo Op Cop

As a passenger in my car while my son drove, I took the opportunity to take a picture of an interesting patch of trees on an otherwise bare hillside. I wondered, "Why is there a thick patch of trees there? Did a fire burn all around it and skip over that part? That would have been cool to see. Is the rest of the hill diseased? What kind of disease? Is that the only place where there's enough ground water to grow trees? Or is that where an alien spacecraft landed and unloaded their potties, making the soil particularly rich?"
As I took the fascinating picture, the car window rolled up into view. (See the window line in the photo above, cutting through the grove?)
Since that startling event strengthened the alien theory, which could result in my car being controlled by forces outside myself, I looked around for a reason.
That's when I saw that my teenage son had a smirk on his face and his finger on the buttons that control all the windows.

Well, I'm a speedy camera girl, so I took another picture, but I STILL got a window in the frame from the guy trying to police my photo opportunity. (The window is a little lower, underlining the trees as if separating them from the green field, but it's still there!)

So as the window spazzed up and down with my teen's twitchy fingers, I clicked and clicked until I GOT ONE! Above is a nice, clear picture of the strange grove along the west side of I-15, north of Beaver, (yes, there really is a town by that name) Utah.
I think my teenager is pretty funny in his own, strange teenage way. He's kind of quirky, like this unusual patch of trees.
So, do you "get" teenage humor? Or would you rather wait until a teenager is no longer a teenager before you talk to one? 

Monday, June 5, 2017

My Family When I Was Seven Years Old

While going through some boxes of my old papers, I found this picture I drew of my family when I was seven years old. 

How do I know I was seven? Because Carolyn isn't in the picture, and she came along when I was 8 years old.
My just older brother, DellRay, is on the far left holding a bucket on his head with an impossibly long arm. (He needed the arm to hold the bucket, don't you see? He was really good with his chemistry set, so maybe he turned himself into elastic man for a day.)
His other (impossibly short) arm is extended to hold my hand. (Maybe he had the secret ability to pull his arms through his body, like a pipe cleaner through a hole.)
Awww, look at that. We're ALL holding hands! My awfully curvy seven-year-old self is holding onto bikini Bev, who was five going on six. (She still loves to tan.) Then there's four-year-old Greg, who usually matched DellRay when we were kids, but he's got a red suit that summer for some reason. Loraine, the only one with stylish stripes, was turning three that summer.
Behind us is 11-year-old Rebecca, also in a red suit, holding onto 15-year-old Melinda's hand.
Now I've got to wonder why I drew Melinda in a dress and socks and shoes instead of a swimming suit? I don't know. Maybe she swam in a dress. Maybe it's because her legs were broken. (I mean, LOOK at them! She should be walking with  crutches at least!)
It also appears that she's saying, "Down!" (Written in blue above her head, with little blue talk lines radiating from her mouth.)
What does that mean?
I forgot to write an explanation.
Then it looks like my parents are dancing in the middle of us all. (My father loved to dance.)
   So now you'll be able to recognize all of us on the street.
You're welcome.
What's your favorite summer activity?

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Lots of Shirley's!

Today is my birthday! Happy to me!
Here I am through the ages, starting with first grade in the upper left hand corner. (Awwww!)
Then view the model quality images left to right until you reach my 5th grade picture on the far left of the middle row. I distinctly remember being proud of my beautiful hair that day because I styled it myself. When I tied that bow around my head, I just knew I was worthy of inclusion in a Disney princess lineup.
On to the 8th grade picture on the far right, middle row.
After that, MY 9th GRADE PICTURE WITH THE BLUE EYESHADOW IS MISSING! (Did I sluff that year? Probably.)
The next item to note is that the short hair picture in the red shirt (Junior year), and the long hair picture in the white vest and blue collar (
Sophomore year), are reversed. 
I really don't know how to pull hair out of my head to make it grow that fast in one year. 
You might also note that with short hair cut so closely to my round face, I resemble a bowling ball with a neck.
Then we have the GRAND FINALE Senior picture in blue feathers. BLUE FEATHERS, PEOPLE!
I had arrived at adulthood and they put me in blue feathers.
Yeah, employers are going to take THAT seriously on a resume.
"I know how to smile in a blue feather shawl without sneezing."
Do you remember your Senior pictures?
Was it a good day?

Monday, May 29, 2017

Birthday Surprise!

I don't know if I posted this last year...but it's worth a re-post even if I did!
When I came home from work on my birthday last year (2016) I found HAPPY NOTES and FLOWERS by my bedroom door! It lifted my spirits and made me smile! Thanks for the love, people!
How do you like to show love?
How do you like to receive it?

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Carve Me A Melody by Rachelle Christensen!

My friend, RACHELLE CHRISTENSEN, is taking over writing my blog today!
Here is her exciting message:

Today is my book birthday and this is a very special day indeed! I am thrilled to introduce you to my 19th book baby, Carve Me a Melody.

I absolutely adore this cover capturing the essence of this novel. This book continues Leland's story from The Soldier's Bride. I had so many readers say that they wanted to know more about Leland and I'm so pleased to deliver this story!
Carve Me a Melody is available on all digital platforms, here's a universal link:
It's also available in a special edition hardcover here.
I have a special launch giveaway too! You can enter to win one of three ebook copies of the first book in the series, The Soldier's Bride. Check out the rafflecopter giveaway below, but first, here's more about Carve Me a Melody.

From the award-winning author of the bestselling novel The Soldier’s Bride read the story of a carpenter who gave a music box to a young polio victim, but held the magic of the melody inside his heart.

He hesitated only half a second before lowering his head. There was something there, behind his eyes, in his soul. Something that seemed familiar to Sophie. She didn’t know Leland, but she recognized that haunted look in his eyes. He had lost someone. He had weathered the storm and still manned his ship, sailing forward through life.
Book blurb:
World War II has ended but the scars of the war have carved deep grooves in Sophie Wright’s heart. Now a widow with two young children, she returns home to Aspen Falls and meets Leland Halverson, a handsome carpenter who appears interested in her, but afraid of a relationship. 
Leland wishes he was worthy of the beautiful Sophie, and he adores her two children, but his past still haunts him. Sophie knows that Leland fell apart after his little girl died and his wife left him, but she doesn’t know the real reason why.
Meanwhile, David Alexander, a decorated bomber pilot has returned to Aspen Falls, and Sophie catches his eye. Confused by the two vastly different choices of men, Sophie searches for answers from a heart that has betrayed her before.
When Sophie discovers a message inside a music box that Leland once owned, the pieces start to fit together. The enchanting melody urges her to share the secrets of her heart so that she can understand his. Leland knows the tune from the music box well and if he can find the courage, he’ll carve a melody for Sophie from the solid wood surrounding his heart.

About the Author
Rachelle is a mother of five who writes mystery/suspense, nonfiction, and women’s fiction. She solves the case of the missing shoe on a daily basis. She enjoys raising chickens and laughing with her husband. She graduated cum laude from Utah State University with a degree in psychology and a minor in music.
Rachelle is the award-winning author of over a dozen books, including The Soldier’s Bride (a Kindle Scout Selection & Whitney Award Finalist), Diamond Rings Are Deadly Things, Veils and Vengeance, Proposals and Poison, Hawaiian Masquerade, What Every 6th Grader Needs to Know, and Christmas Kisses: An Echo Ridge Anthology. Her novella, “Silver Cascade Secrets,” was included in the Rone Award–winning Timeless Romance Anthology, Fall Collection.
Join Rachelle’s VIP mailing list to learn more about upcoming books & get your free book at
Goodreads Author Page:
Bookbub Page:

Google Plus:

Direct links to all of your favorite ebook stores that carry Carve Me a Melody

Enter to win one of three copies of the ebook, The Soldier's Bride, book #1 in the Music Box Romance series, Kindle Scout Winner & Whitney Award Finalist.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

You Can Never Have Too Much Romance!

NEW ROCKY MOUNTAIN ROMANCES FOR YOU! Indulge in some summer love. Click on the book covers or descriptions from these popular authors! ...