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Journey To Find My Blue Cove

Image may contain: Iona M Morrison, eyeglasses and closeup This will be home for me for the next several weeks as we take a bit of time to travel. I’m in search of the town that I dreamed up in my head. Now, I understand that Blue Cove is a figment of my imagination, but I hope to find a few places that will inspire me to keep writing, and thinking about my characters. They need to see new things right along side of me.

We wanted to travel to Northern California up to Oregon, but there are a few too many fires in that area right now. We thought about the East Coast, but there is a hurricane on the way to the Carolinas. I wonder what that says about our trip at this point. My husband has drawn up several plans only to have to remake them. I think in the end it will be a surprise for both of us. I haven’t been out of Colorado in quite a while so I’d be happy to go and see almost anything except for fires, hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, and most natural disasters in general.

I hope you’ll settle in with me, as I blog in words and pictures over the next several weeks what it’s like to live in a house on wheels. I am excited to have the freedom to travel, and see a few sights from this great country. I’m sure there will be a learning curve, but I hope to meet some new folks along the way. Let’s put it this way, if I don’t my husband will shut off his hearing aids, and our trip might be cut short. I’m social, a bit of a chatty Kathy, and him, well, not so much.

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The Final Flashpoint

I have a new book that will be released October 17. The Final Flashpoint is book six in the Blue Cove Mystery Series. I never intended to write a series when I wrote The Harvest Club, but I enjoyed my characters, and they seemed to hang around waiting for me to write another story. Their story. They’ve become a part of me, occupying a bit of the real estate in mind, and I am still here six books later.

Those who read my books like the characters too. As a matter of fact, I’ve had people come up to me at various events and tell me not kill off the heroine or hero, Jessie and Matt or they will be mad. I have no intention of killing them. I would rather let them ride off into the sunset. I am that attached to them.

I hope you’ll pick up a copy of The Final Flashpoint it should be on Amazon for pre-orders soon. I’m excited about this book and loved it from the first scene to the last. I may say this a lot, but this one is my favorites. At least  right now it is.


Revenge-The Final Flashpoint

Jessie rolled onto her side and drifted off to sleep. A swirling mist drew her to the edge of the woods. She couldn’t see anything through the dense fog, only a narrow pathway twisting around the trees. Enticing, the foggy haze seduced her to move one step closer. Jessie paused. She didn’t want to go in alone. Panicking, she started to turn back before it was too late.

“Jess,” Matt’s faint voice called out to her. He sounded wheezy and breathless, and she could hear the pain in his voice. Where was he? She glanced around, hoping to see his familiar face.

“Jess…” The call came again. She shivered. Matt was in the darkness, and death had come to play. The faces of those tortured young men danced in the mist before her. Her feet refused to move. She was paralyzed with fear. The silence around her was deafening. “

Jess,” he screamed out her name once more, trusting her to aid him. Tears filled her eyes, spilling down her cheeks. This time there was no way she could help…

Do The Unexpected

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Err on the Side of Compassion

Iona Morrison I have been pushed through a rough patch in life lately. It seems when things happen they come in a clumps; never in ones or twos, but in several, leaving me feeling numb and slightly overwhelmed. I am not complaining because I know I am not the only one in the world to face a time of sorrow and loss. It has however given me a fresh perspective as I face things happening around me. I try hard to stay out of politics. To be sure, I know what I think, but how I do. may not be how you do, and I don’t want to risk friendships over politics by any means. So this note comes with a warning if you feel differently about what I  am about to write I am only stating something from the sadness I feel inside of me and it’s not meant to tell you what to think, but what I’m thinking.

I almost cried when I heard that our country is thinking of  separating children from their parents at the border as a deterrent. Life separates us too soon as it is. I yearn for more time with those who I have recently lost. One last look at their face, a few more kind words spoken in loving ways. And listening to them, really listening to what they are saying. The trauma of separation is a lot to handle as a reasoning adult, but is so much harder for a child. Ask my husband who lost his father at an early age.

I can still remember the photos of children that I saw walking through the Holocaust Memorial who had been separated from their parents one or both, facing certain death. I cried photo after photo. Children should be protected, but never taken from parents who care for them and love them. A foster home is for a child in need of loving attention not for children who have parents who would risk all in their love for them.

Life is tough enough without adding more to the load humanity is carrying. I guess I believe in my heart like he said that if I show mercy, mercy will be shown to me. I remember when I held my first child in my arms and the overwhelming love and sense of fear I felt at the same time. I would have done anything for him and my others as they came along. Much like my Irish and Scottish ancestors I would have left my own country to give them a better life if necessary. (No, they didn’t all come here legally.)

I read this from a letter / Life Lesson by David Weismann: “I don’t try to distinguish the authentic needy person from the phony. I don’t worry about enabling alcoholics and drug addicts or about being scammed or hoodwinked. Of everyone with a hard luck story or an outstretched arm, I assume the best, not the worst.

Are there times when the people I give money to are phonies? I’m sure there are. But who am I to second-guess the truth of another human being’s circumstances? What if I’m wrong in my assessment and the person really is hungry or really has no place to live or really can’t find a job and is unable to pay the rent or doesn’t have the money to pay the fare to visit a sick parent?

I consider myself very fortunate. I live quite well. I’ve been blessed. I’ve really never known what it is to not have enough food to eat or not to have a roof over my head or not to enjoy many physical comforts of life. God has been good to me. But I also recognize that there but for the grace of God go I. And I don’t know how I would manage if I went to bed hungry every night or had no place to live,”

Thankfully, I have never known true hunger or want nor have my children. I want to keep my arms open wide to bless others in the manner I have been blessed. I will err on the side of compassion and want to believe that others would do the same for me.

Saying Goodbye

Iona MorrisonLife is filled with beginnings and endings; ebbs and flows, and ups and downs. It sounds so philosophical and wise. Unless, of course, I’m the one in an ending and don’t see a beginning close at hand, or I’m in a down that sees no up in sight. I’ve told myself many times this to shall pass and it usually does. But, sometimes it means saying goodbye to what I’ve known, and heading down a path that is new and foreign to me. Goodbyes are never easy. I find them hard to do even in the best of circumstances.

Over the years I’ve had to face my comfortable beliefs being challenged by new ideas, and change. Thankfully, I didn’t freeze in time. I’ve seen my faith reduced to its simplest form, to Love, which is one of the hardest things to do, and yet the greatest. I have had to say goodbye to friends, to a way of life that was familiar, and to start over again.

And so it begins again, another goodbye. A little over a week ago my big brother passed away. Anyone who has ever lost someone they love, knows how hard it is to say goodbye to them. A big brother is someone special to have on your side. Eight years older than this pesky sister I followed him around whenever he was home. On more than one occasion I would sneak downstairs to watch him and his friends dance. He loved to dance and was often found among the dancers on Denver Bandstand back in the day. I was his greatest fan. He was my handsome big brother and I loved to be around him. He played the guitar, sang, and was in a band when he was young.

My brother was an Eagle Scout, had a photographic memory, and was a coach. He was a husband, father, and grandfather. He was witty and fun to be around. Somehow I must find the way to say goodbye and I’m not ready to. I want to have one more conversation, and see him one more time. I want to hear another one of his witty comebacks. I have a hope of seeing him again, but it’s the here and now that hurts like crazy. I have to figure out how to do life without a big brother and I’m not sure I like the idea. Rest in peace big brother you will be missed.

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Magic

An image posted by the author.Writing is more than simply putting words on a page. It has been an adventure in finding my voice and putting it down on paper. It’s about letting my characters become a part of me while still remaining myself.

I have been on a writing marathon the last few weeks. The story is building to the point I have to finish it to see how it all turns out. Putting words on paper and watching the story come to life is therapy for me. I get lost in what I am writing and yet at the same time I find myself coming through the words on every page. It’s a strange world of wonder and pure magic to me.

When I write in my own strange way I am trying to make sense of a world that often makes no sense at all. It’s not tidy, wrapped up in a bow, but often unpredictable and crazy. Life, like my books, has lots of plot twists and turns. I can’t say I understand them, I don’t, many leave me shaking my head. But writing allows me to quiet my mind so that I’m free to hear the whispers of my heart.

Getting the beginning just right takes work, winding my way through the middle of the book often times seems messy, but the end results can leave me feeling satisfied and almost euphoric. The perfect title is the icing on the cake. After i write the words The End, I walk away for a day or two until the urge to create begins in me once again. I’ll go down another road, around the curve, and weave my way through another adventure.

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Celebrate Reading

An image posted by the author. “The statistics of illiteracy in our country haven’t changed much in the past ten years. According to a study by the U.S. Department of Education, 32 million adults or approximately 14 % of the population can’t read. Another 30 million adults read at or below a fifth grade level. While approximately 63 million read at levels between sixth to eighth grade. On a global scale, illiteracy affects 774 million adults aged 15 or older. Among developed nations, the U.S. ranks 16th for adult reading skills. Between 40 and 44 million adults, or roughly 20 to 23% of adults in the U.S., are limited to reading at the basic or below basic proficiency levels. ” Credit Donkey

I am grateful for a mother who read to me and encouraged me to read. I can still remember the many times I went to the bookmobile parked in the school parking lot and checked out books. I would carry several books home every two weeks, which gave me hours of entertainment. I still read at least one to two books a week. That is why I am happy to be one of the many authors who will be a part of the Colorado Book Festival at the Denver Public Library on March 3. We will be there to celebrate reading, writing, and literacy in America one book at a time.

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Hand in Hand

An image posted by the author.I’ve only been writing for about six years professionally, although I’ve dabbled in it most of my life. I enjoy writing fiction, the most. I love how the right words placed in the right order can bring a scene to life on a page. I enjoy watching my characters develop, they are like familiar friends to me. I find the twists and turns in the plot intriguing. Once I let the characters loose I can’t wait to see where they take me. I’m hooked from the first words on the page and I have to keep writing to see how the story ends. Layer by layer I build it until I come to the happy conclusion. 

Recently I got to hear the audible of “Dance with a Devil”. What an experience for me. Hearing it read in character was both unique and awesome. Some of the scenes were scary. Strange, I never thought of them that way when I was writing the story. I must detach myself as I write. The audible will be available sometime this year. Book six is with my editor now and seven is in process.

2017 was a good year. I had two books published, Dance With A Devil and Only A Shadow. I attended the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers Conference and had several book signings. I also enjoyed attending a book club who has read all of my books. I love to hear folks talking about the story as they see it.

2018 is off and I’m running. I have a big event in March which I’m excited to be a part of. It is the Colorado Book Festival. I am one of many authors involved. Writing and reading go hand in hand. I feel strongly about literacy programs. Teaching people to read is the first step in opening a whole new world to them. Statistics tell us we must work harder. Books are inexpensive, great entertainment, and a vast treasure of knowledge. “The Second Annual Colorado Book Festival showcases the writing and books by Colorado authors, with programs about reading, literacy and, not least, the nitty-gritty process of writing something good. It’s your chance to talk with authors, attend reading and writing workshops, enjoy panels with experts in the field, tour the iconic architecture of Denver’s main library including its massive art collection, and purchase books autographed by the authors.
The day-long program is free to the public.”

Finally, can I say in my daydreams, spring is coming to Blue Cove. there’s a case to be solved, and love is in the air. I wonder who will be the next to catch the bug. It’s a mystery… 

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From My House to Yours

Iona Morrison I confess I love the holidays. It’s not because of the presents, although they are nice. I find the season is filled with joyous reflections of my past and present. Roots from my past that have made me who I am. Every time I pull out my holiday decorations it is like taking a trip down memory lane, reminding me of the special people and moments I have known in life; moments that years and age have caused me to cherish.

From the little bird  nestled in the tree branches, which belonged to my grandmother, to the ornaments which hung on my mother’s tree, a few now hanging on mine, I’m reminded of my past.  My grandmother was a fiery Irish woman named Norma Patterson. She ran a boarding house with many interesting guests. One of which was a war hero from WWII. A visit to her house, where my grandpa was the amazing cook, was always an adventure. He made the best Peanut Butter Cake with Peanut Butter frosting ever. Their big three story house sat on a corner lot in Denver. Its large wood curving staircase that we slide down on more than one occasion, was the perfect place to explore and of course tell ghost stories. There was an awesome player piano in the entrance, and a formal parlor across the hall where a large Christmas tree waited each Christmas Eve with lots of presents under it. With there open house policy we never knew who the new people would be that joined in our celebration. Image may contain: 2 people, people standing and indoorNo automatic alt text available.

My mother Ethel Campbell was Scottish. Her father and his twin brother were born in Scotland and came to America as small boys. Her father died in an accident at a young age. My grandma Ada had to work hard to keep her children together. They were poor, but they were happy. My mother was the sweetest person I have ever known and all of my favorite childhood memories center around her. She was the mother who stayed up all night to make a special outfit to wear for that all important occasion or cookies for the class party. My father, a bit of a stinker, if I do say so myself, was not easy to live with. Yet he was generous to those who were in need. Something he learned from his parents. They were married over fifty years. Dad told me she managed somehow to raise good kids and to make him look good. Christmas and everything else special we enjoyed as kids was because of her. I always knew she loved me and I could go to her for anything.

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Memories of raising my kids and seeing their kids are all reflected in my holiday decorations too. My kids were the best thing I’ve ever did in my life and my grandkids, are well, if you have them you know just how I feel. Everywhere I look it makes me smile. All the special memories I have are wrapped around people, the love I’ve known and the love I’ve shown. Whatever you celebrate may it be a happy and joyous time for you and those you love. From my house to yours, Happy Holiday, Happy Hanukkah, and Merry Christmas!

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Lights, Camera, Latkes!

Iona Morrison Today I welcome author Sharon Buchbinder to my blog. She will be sharing some of her Hanukkah traditions and recipes with us. May I start by saying her Potato Latkes look yummy! Happy Holiday to each of you enjoy the season.

Lights, Camera, Latkes!

Two years ago, we celebrated Hanukkah with brisket, latkes, cookies, candy, candles and—wait for it—three, 3-year olds. The blue and silver wrapping paper carnage was EPIC.

The hardest part of the evening was getting my husband into the family room with his super-duper digital camera to take pictures. The kids were very patient, waiting for permission to tear into their packages full of the latest Batman toys, a baby doll, the new Hess firetruck, and stacks of ready-to-assemble crafts projects in anticipation of the coming months. The mothers frantically picked up wrapping paper and tiny parts to keep them away from our two dogs. The kids compared toys and used the firetruck to keep the Scooby-Do Haunted House to keep from burning down. Did I mention it was a bit of mayhem?

Too soon, the fun came to an end. Gifts and leftovers were packed up. The little ones were dressed in their pajamas and jackets, ready to fall asleep in their car seats on the way home. As she hugged me, my daughter-in-law said, “Don’t forget, I need that latke recipe!”

Latkes, in case you don’t know, are potato pancakes, fried in oil. The holiday celebrates the Maccabees (the Hebrew word for “hammer”) victory over the Greeks who wanted the Jews to reject their one G-d and worship pagan gods. When the Jews reclaimed the Temple, they found only enough uncontaminated oil to light the menorah for one night. Instead, the oil lasted for eight nights, a miracle. On each of the eight nights of Hanukkah, we light candles to commemorate this miracle. We also cook in oil to remember the special oil in the lamp. Some families make donuts. We make latkes.

Everyone’s family has a different recipe. Now I’m seeing recipes for latkes with jalapeno peppers! My mother-in-law, may she rest in peace, would not approve. Herewith, I share with you two of my mother-in-law’s recipes for Hanukkah, brisket and latkes.

Brisket Slow Cooker Style

(Serves 4-6 hungry people)

3-4 pounds brisket

Large container Paprika

One large onion

One 1 pound bag carrots

6 Beef bouillon cubes

6 Cups water (depends on size of cooker)

Horseradish

 Place peeled carrots on bottom of slow cooker.

Place chopped onions in slow cooker on top of carrots.

Coat brisket in Paprika and place on top of onions.

Put in 6 beef bouillon cube and pour 6 cups of water around everything. Cover and simmer on medium/high for 8-10 hours–depending on your slow cooker.

Serve on a large platter with side of horseradish.

I hope you enjoy the recipes. More importantly, I hope you enjoy your time with your families and the wonderful memories you make with them during whatever holiday you celebrate.

5 pound bag of white potatoes

2 large sweet onions

1 large container of egg substitute

Black pepper

Olive oil for cooking (lots—don’t skimp or the latkes will stick!)

Sour cream

Applesauce

Using food processor or hand grater, grate onions and set aside in large bowl. (You will cry.) Drain onions and pat with paper towels. They make a lot of water!

Peel potatoes and place in large bowl or pot of salted water to prevent them from turning colors.

Cut potatoes into chunks and grate in food processor or by hand. (Oy! That’s a lot of work. Sure you can’t borrow a food processor from someone?)

Mix onions, potatoes, and egg substitute until all potatoes and onions are covered well with egg. You probably won’t need the entire container. Throw in black pepper to your taste.

Heat olive oil in frying pan. You want it hot, not smoking, but hot.

Place large spoons full of latke mix in pan and turn when golden brown (you will see it on turn color on the edges).

Serve latkes hot with a generous dollop of sour cream and/or applesauce.

 I hope you enjoy the recipes. More importantly, I hope you enjoy your time with your families and the wonderful memories you make with them during whatever holiday you celebrate.

Happy healthy holidays to all!

When a wild mustang is shot in Montana, renowned horse whisperer and telepath, Emma Horserider, is called in to calm the herd and find out what happened. Once on scene she is almost killed by a bullet-spewing drone, and calls her black ops brother for back-up.

Emma’s help roars into her life covered in tattoos and riding a Harley. Remote viewer Bronco Winchester takes the assignment because he is ordered to, but he wonders what type of assistance, his boss’s sister needs. That is until he sees Emma, a valiant Warrior Woman proud of her Crow heritage.

Posing as a married couple, Emma and Bronco go undercover to infiltrate and stop a hate group.

Both are anxious enough without the now growing attachment they feel for one another. When

the lives of many are on the line, they are not sure if they will live or die—let alone have a chance at love.

Excerpt

Bronco now stood squinting in the late afternoon sun, knocking at a door with no bell, and waiting for a response. Dogs barked and a window curtain twitched. Good. Someone was home. He adjusted his pack, leaned his head back, closed his eyes, and said, “Any time now.” As the words slid out of his mouth, he heard the unmistakable sound of a shotgun being pumped.

Uh. Oh.

He raised his hands. “Don’t shoot. I’m unarmed.”

Turning slowly to face his fate, his jaw fell open, and his heart rate kicked up a notch from being on the wrong end of a shotgun or from the weapon holder’s looks, he wasn’t sure. A raven haired Amazon in a tank top, jeans, and metal tipped cowboy boots held the Mossberg 500 in a perfect military stance. Long strands of hair blew across her face in the hot breeze. A large purple bruise bloomed on her left cheek. She squinted her dark brown eyes and gave him a laser-beam once over from his dusty black boots to his sweat soaked do-rag.

“Who are you, and what do you want?”

If he hadn’t been so intent on not getting killed, he would have spent more time staring at those full, luscious, kissable lips and thinking about how she would taste. As it was, he guessed he had less than a minute to respond before getting blasted into the next county,

Book Trailer: https://youtu.be/qBbgsW_GiMI

BUYLINKS:

The Wild Rose Press https://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/all-titles/5290-legacy-of-evil.html

Amazon https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0755RFJFG

Barnes & Noble https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/legacy-of-evil-sharon-buchbinder/1127092897

Bookstrand http://www.bookstrand.com/legacy-of-evil

KOBO https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/legacy-of-evil-2

Google https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=lA04DwAAQBAJ

iTunes https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/legacy-of-evil/id1275663996?mt=11

 

Sharon Buchbinder has been writing fiction since middle school and has the rejection slips to prove it. An RN, she provided health care delivery, became a researcher, association executive,

and obtained a PhD in Public Health. When not teaching or writing, she can be found fishing, walking her dogs, or breaking bread and laughing with family and friends in Baltimore, MD and Punta Gorda, FL.

Author Links:

Author Links

Facebook: Sharon Buchbinder Romance Author https://www.facebook.com/sharon.buchbinder.romanceauthor

Twitter ID @sbuchbinder https://twitter.com/sbuchbinder

Instagram: https://instagram.com/sharon_buchbinder/

Blog http://sharonbuchbinder.blogspot.com/

Website http://www.sharonbuchbinder.com/index.html