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Why romance should be required reading 1

As 2014 draws to a close and we’re two days away from Christmas, I like anyone else have been caught up in the issues that have befallen our world, our country, and the meaningless loss of life. I usually can escape and concentrate on matters close to me. But I’ll admit this time, the events have dragged me under.

So for the next few days I’ll stop watching the news, stop listening to the bickering that never seems to get resolved and reconnect with my friends and family. Further, in my spare time I plan to pick up a book. What’s more it’ll belong to an all important genre — ROMANCE.

For the next few days I’ll be an island, which brings me to why I’m so grateful for this blog.

If anyone wants to know why I love and write romance, just look out the window or turn on the news. In a romance novel, issues are mostly resolved and there’s the perpetual happily ever after. Maybe this season, everyone should pick up a romance novel (required reading).

The ladies in this group had it right when we named our blog Everybody Needs a Little Romance. I think we should do one better… In this day and age, we should call it Everybody Needs a Whole Lot of Romance.

To Love . . .
“Paradise is always where love dwells.” – Jean Paul F. Richter

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Loose Ends… 3

I have to write this quick. Just got off work and am heading out with the family, including all three granddaughters, to our local saddle club Christmas party.  Santa will be there in his big cowboy hat to hand out the gifts the parents bring (without their kids’ knowledge) and place under the big tree on the stage in the back of the room. Dinner will be served, drinks will be savored, toasts will be made, and dancing will ensue before the evening is over.

The reason I am dashing this off so quickly (and so late) is because I worked all day and last night I was just too tired to try to put words together with some coherency. I am on vacation this next week, which means I will be trying to tie up some loose ends before the year is over.

Every December I find that there are things that I need to wrap up before the year is over that I have been putting off doing for whatever reason. Procrastination and I are well-acquainted to say the least! This year is no different as I try to figure out how to spend $800 on my flexible spending account before the end of the month,  get in some last-minute dental appointments to take advantage of our dental insurance, and just general business that needs to be wrapped up.

One of the things I really would like resolved is the foster dogs we are caring for.  They really need forever homes but so far no one has been overly interested in either dog. They are wonderful little animals and deserve to be loved by a family. I just haven’t found that family yet for them.

Christmas is just around the corner and I still have some shopping to do. I got my husband’s gift–a complete change-up from what I had planned on–but I’m pretty excited about it and hope I was right in getting it!  He’s hard to shop for but this past week he started making noises about getting a tablet. You have to realize that my husband is probably one of the least techy-type guys you will ever meet. He went to buy a new phone awhile back and they tried to sell him an iPhone. After watching him stab at it and practically put a hole in the screen, the sales girl took it from him slowly and handed him a flip phone that advertises itself as “army strong”, able to withstand drops and falls that are worthy of a parachuting commando! He loves it and up till now has eschewed anything more complicated.

Then he went and stayed at a friend’s house for a couple of weeks while she was away and he had the opportunity to play with her iPad and her large tablet. he loved the fact that he could magnify the words by touching the screen and with a few taps he could search anything he was interested in.

So I decided to take the plunge and bought him a tablet, case, and an extended warranty in case he manages to break it. Which I am sure he will do. But I can’t wait to see his face because I think he will be surprised!!

Anyway. Everyone is waiting on me so I have to get going. Hope you all have a wonderful holiday. What are you doing to tie up your loose ends? How do you spend these last few days of the year? Do you reminisce over what happened in the past and look forward to the future? Do you run around frantically getting those last-minute gifts for Christmas purchased or did you finish early so you could enjoy the season? Hope you find much love and laughter in your home with family and friends and enjoy the season…



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I AM Christmas Carol! 4

by Laura Drake



photo credit: deltaMike via photopin cc

photo credit: deltaMike via photopin cc


I’ll admit it; I LOVE Christmas music. It may be nostalgia dating back to when I was in the church choir, and we went caroling in the snow every year. Maybe it just brings back good memories of when my whole family sat around the tree and sang them. But to me, there’s magic in those old songs. The same magic I see in a lit Christmas tree at night. I never get tired of them. In fact, I’m listening to them right now.

I own tons of Christmas CDs. I have a playlist on my ipod. I’ve been known to listen to Trans Siberian’s, The Wisdom of Snow, 20 times in a row.  In July.


I love it all. From Nat King Cole to Andy Williams to Bing. I can get behind Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree, The Chipmunks (although I don’t like the new version anywhere near as much as the old one), and Elvis makes me cry with his I’ll Be Home for Christmas, every time!  I even like the weird stuff – Hippopotamus for Christmas, Grandma getting run over by reindeer, and Sandler’s Chanukah song.

In the beginning, Alpha Dog is with me. He’ll turn the TV to Christmas Classic radio while I trim the tree. He’ll agree to it while I bake Christmas cookies. But after a couple of weeks (I start listening before Thanksgiving) he cries Uncle. Eventually at the top of his lungs.

Oh come on. Even Grinches have to enjoy a carol or two.

I’m sharing my top three faves from my childhood. Share yours in the comments!


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Shopping On Benadryl 10

Right after I wrote my last blog post I got sick as a dog, as they like to say here in the south. Fortunately, it wasn’t the flu but a really bad sinus infection that’s still lingering despite all my best attempts to send it its way.


Like everyone else, I hate being sick. You can’t sleep, you don’t have energy to focus on anything for very long, and if you’re like me decongestants make you paranoid. It’s hard to function day-to-day like that.


Because I hate shopping so much I usually wait until December to do my Christmas shopping. Every year I promise myself I’ll do it all online several months before but it never happens. I always think I’ll have time and then the next thing I know it’s too late to order anything and I’m forced to go find gifts in person. This year was no different and with my being sick I was pushed even further behind than usual.


Well, yesterday was the Christmas shopping trip from hades.


I still have a good bit of congestion and I haven’t been sleeping well at all so I decided to take just one Benadryl. That’s enough to make me sleep through the night but not enough to put me in a fog until noon or later –or so I thought.


My husband had to work yesterday morning so my plans were to get up and have all the barn chores, including the stalls cleaned, by the time he came home so we could go do our Christmas shopping. I was in such a haze it was a miracle I got dressed, let alone got eight horses fed and turned out in the correct pastures without any disasters happening.


After chores were finished, I sat down and drank some very strong coffee and waited for my husband to come home. I watched TV but I don’t think any of it registered. When my husband walked in I stared at him for a couple of minutes and then announced that I was sorely hung over from the Benadryl.


I had assumed that we would be driving my little Ford Ranger. It’s good on gas, and easy to park. The only draw-back is that there’s not a lot of room in the cab. My assumption was wrong as my husband insisted that we take our one ton crew cab dually with mufflers so loud you can hear them coming a mile away.


The area that we decided to go to is a subdivision of quaint little strip malls that are all sectioned off in their own little pods. Each pod has its own compact little parking lot that barely fits a bicycle, let alone a full-sized vehicle.


The first thing we both realized was that apparently everyone had the same plans as we did. It was extremely crowded and living in small town, we both hate big crowds.


The second thing my husband realized was when you’re driving a tank that barely fits it’s not easy negotiating turn after tight turn trying to find a parking spot. It’s especially difficult when swarms of pedestrians pop out of nowhere right in front of you. Being the trusty sidekick, I was supposed to be watching but that didn’t work out so well. Something about being in a Benadryl stupor has a direct effect on your reaction time.


We opted to park in the back forty behind a row of stores. It required at least a ten minute walk but it was the only spot available and neither of us felt like making endless laps around the maze.


Once we finally made it to the store we quickly realized maneuvering through the aisles wasn’t going to be much different from maneuvering through the parking lot. It was packed and just like in the parking lot people would suddenly jump right out in front of you. That can be pretty traumatic to someone suffering from brain fog.


Just being in a crowded place is pretty overwhelming for me. Being in a crowded place and having to make a decision with too many choices on a limited budget can cause a complete meltdown. All I wanted to do was sit and stare at things but as I was often in the way I don’t think anyone else fully appreciated what was going on, or rather not going on, in my brain at the moment.


Finally after a few mindless laps around the same aisles, I managed to pick out a few presents without breaking anything or making anyone too angry. I remembered everyone I needed to buy for – I think. I won’t be sure until the brain fog completely leaves. If I missed anyone, they’ll just have to get a present from the local co-op because I don’t think my fragile mind could handle another trip to civilization.


I’m hoping that maybe this experience will spur me on to actually do all my shopping online next year, or at least get it done months in advance. Chances are however I’ll probably do the same thing again next year, hopefully minus the Benadryl!









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REVIEW: Laces and Lace by Toni Aleo 0

Laces and Lace (Assassins #6) by Toni Aleo

Published:  November 7, 2014

Nine years ago, things were perfect. Lacey and Karson had found their happily ever after in each other…or so they thought. How do two people who were meant to be move on from that once-in-a-lifetime love?

Lacey has a strength inside her that comes alive with the things she’s most passionate about. She’s a fighter, a survivor, and has everything she’s ever wanted but the one thing that matters most—love.

Karson is doing the one thing he loves most—playing hockey for the Assassins, yet he knows regret. He knows his life has been missing the one thing he walked away from so many years ago—Lacey.

Nine years later, and neither has been able to succeed in moving on from what was, what could have been, and who each of their hearts still beats for. When a chance encounter during a fateful night has their paths crossing again, will the tether still attaching their souls allow them to face the past, present, and a possible future?

Can two people with fate on their side find a way back to each other? Overcome all the obstacles in their way to finally live life together to the fullest?

Or will they let those around them and the circumstances they face, along with questions and doubt, ruin a second chance at the life they both deserve?

Laces and Lace includes the prequel Tangled in the Laces, a dollar of your purchase will be donated to the Nashville Predators Foundation.

**Hotness Rating 3 out of 5**

Tangled in the Laces was included in this book. It’s the prequel to Laces and Lace and provided important background.

For a short story this prequel had it all. A well-written story that gives answers to all of your questions? Definitely yes. Well developed, well-written characters that make you feel everything from hope to hopelessness? Absolutely! A palpable attraction that makes the pages smoke? For sure.

Lacey battled cancer and won. It left her with emotional scars, as well as physical ones. So, when her brother’s teammate the talented and cocky Karson turns his attention to her she fights the attraction with everything she has. When she loses that fight her life changes forever. Karson is everything that her tender ego needed. He loved her no matter the scars she carried. In fact, her strength made him love her that much more.

It all falls apart in the blink of an eye. Karson shreds her heart and we’re left with a heartbroken and confused Lacey. Even more heart wrenching is the pain and helplessness that Karson is left to deal with.

Laces and Lace is the sixth book of the Assassins series by Toni Aleo. I am a huge fan of this series and was a bit worried about this book after reading some of the other reviews. There were a few comments that the characters in this book were too sticky sweet with each other and the female lead was too wishy-washy.

As to the first point, I couldn’t disagree more. These characters were head over heals in love 9 years before. Due to the cruel hand of fate (aka meddling father) they were torn away from one another. And they never stopped loving each other. Finally, they are back together and who can blame them for the mushy words, the constant need for reassurances and the need to be in the other’s company.

As to the latter issue of Lacey needing a backbone. On this I am torn. For most of the book I got her reluctance to completely give up her family even though they were jerks in every sense of the word. She lost her mom and has been brainwashed and manipulated her entire life by her father. Being reunited with the love of your life doesn’t just undo all of that overnight. I do admit when she started to question that her father was capable of some of the terrible things that Karson told her he was doing I wanted to shake her a bit. She already knew some of the awful things that he had done, so I felt it very unkind to question Karson’s instincts when he had been nothing but a stand-up guy.

Ms. Aleo sure knows how to write butthole family members. I didn’t think I could ever dislike a parent more than I did Elli’s mom from Taking Shots (The Assassins #1). I was wrong! Lacey’s dad was a terrible, terrible man. He was so superior and selfish that he didn’t even try to hide it most of the time. And that girlfriend of his was perfect for him. It’s not often that I want to slap a bitch, but I had twitchy palms every time she opened her mouth. Don’t get me started on Lacey’s sister-in-law/supposed best friend. I don’t care if she had daddy issues or not there was no excuse for any of her actions. NONE! There is nothing that could ever make me forgive her. If nothing else in this world you should be able to count on your best friend to have your back even when she doesn’t agree with your choice. Lacey’s only saving grace was her brother. He wasn’t perfect and had his flaws, but redeemed himself 100%.

As much as Lacey’s family were horrible people Karson’s were awesome! They were good, loving, hard-working people. And when they got together they were all sorts of dysfunctional fabulous. The way they communicated and fussed at each other made me laugh out loud on more than one occasion. Karson’s sister Kacey is a character that I would love to read more about. If the more I read about her included Karson’s friend and teammate Jordie Thomas that would be all the better. Jordie was scandalous and refused to apologize for it. I loved him in all of his self-centered glory.

To sum up this book I would say it’s a must-read! Definitely one of my favorites of this series!

I give Laces and Lace 4 Flaming Hearts
4 Hearts

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Rescue Me… 2

It’s Saturday so that means I have to get dressed soon and head off to work. The weather here in Northern California is gray–foggy, overcast, and cold–but its the most beautiful sight  in the world to this drought-ridden state and I’m quite happy to be enjoying a normal California winter for a change.

This last storm that is still rolling through the state was a doozy and though here in my part of the state we only have experienced some wind and a lot of rain it was still enough to make people stay indoors and sandbag doors and low-spots to try to keep all that water out. One of the big concerns for those of us involved in animal rescue was all the dogs running loose in this terrible weather.  The Facebook page where we communicate about dogs in need just blew up as we reached out to each other and tried to make sure all these unfortunate creatures were tucked away safe and warm when the storm hit.

My daughter in law was one of those people. Seems my son was outside playing with their 2-year-old son when three dogs came running up to them. One of them was just a pup and he climbed  onto a couch that sits outside the four-plex where they live, curled up, and went to sleep. He was still there several hours later so my daughter in law took pity on him and gave him a blanket and a can of tuna and posted his picture on her Facebook page, asking if anyone could take him. He was filthy, covered in fleas, and obviously sick and their landlord doesn’t allow dogs.

My oldest daughter saw the post and hurried over there and picked the puppy up. She brought him home to me and when I first saw him I knew he was seriously ill. His coat was rough, he had flea dermatitis all over his body, his ribs and hip bones were sticking out, he had a belly full of worms, and he was lethargic and listless.  I was furious when I saw what poor shape he was in. How can anyone allow a puppy to get this way?  My heart broke a little because I could see in his eyes he had pretty much just given up. I sent my daughter to go get puppy wormer and I set to work.

First he got a bath in Dawn dish soap–the blue one. If you ever have a young animal that is too young for flea shampoo Dawn works very well because it is gentle on the skin , has nothing to harm them in it, and kills fleas. (Same reason that wild life rescuers use it to clean all the birds that get caught in oil slicks.)  I dried him off and by then my daughter was home with the wormer. I syringed the recommended amount into his mouth and fixed him some food. When he pooped about a half hour later it was sooo nasty–full of worms and pure water.  I wrapped him in a blanket and snugged him up on the bed with me while my daughter sent messages to all the rescues we know to see if anyone had room for this poor baby.

We finally connected with a woman who lives in Stockton. I had never heard of her and I don’t remember seeing her on our page but she said she could take him.  She usually takes in only adult dogs but would make an exception for him. So the next day after work I came home, changed, and my daughter and grand-daughter  and I took the puppy to a town that was a good hour away. The lady seemed hesitant when we gave him to her. I  had told her he had a severe flea infestation and was very sick when we spoke to her on the phone but I guess she wasn’t prepared  for the actual physical sight of him. She asked me several times if he had parvo and I said no, just a seriously bad case of worms and neglect.  She finally took the puppy and we left.

Halfway home I got a frantic message from her on Messenger and then a phone call. She was convinced the puppy had parvo and needed me to come pick him up. Apparently he had pooped and she sent a picture of it to a couple of friends who are vet techs and they said he had parvo. By now I was just disgusted with her and turned around and drove back in rush-hour traffic and picked the little boy back up. She kept insisting that he had parvo and that I needed to take him to the vet asap. I thanked her for her time and headed home.

Here’s the thing. I didn’t just fall off that turnip truck yesterday. I have been doing my own doctoring of all my critters for years now. Horses, rabbits, dogs, cats, birds–you name it, I have probably treated it. My family calls me before they call the vet to make sure it’s something vet-worthy or if they can just treat them at home. I have had dogs with parvo before and even though this puppy had really nasty diarrhea he didn’t have any of the other markers for the disease. He wasn’t vomiting, he was eating and drinking, and he didn’t have a fever. He did, however, hit ALL the markers for a severe worm infestation. Pot-bellied appearance, skin-and-bones frame, failure to thrive, rough coat, lethargic, severe diarrhea. I had my daughter look up which kind of worms caused the most damage and how to kill  them, stopped at Tractor Supply and picked up the stronger wormer, and took the little guy home.

He is now happily ensconced in my bathroom with a warm bed, lots of fresh water, and I was feeding him baby food and cereal with potato water for the first three days. Now he is doing so well he is getting regular wet puppy food warmed up mixed with the baby cereal and Pedialyte. He wags and wiggles whenever I come in to see him and just wants to be snugged up and loved on. Today his poop was much firmer and almost normal  so I know he is well on his way to a full recovery. This week I will take him to the clinic at our local shelter and get his first shots and when he is completely recovered and fully vaccinated I will find him a home or I will find another rescue that can take him and find him his forever home.

We have named him Twister because one of his ears seems to be deformed and flaps in on itself. It bothered me at first but now I just think it adds character. He’s just a mutt–I call him a South Modesto dog–so have no idea how big he will get or what he will look like grown up. He is going to be a wonderful dog for someone and I’m just happy we saved him before the elements or the worms or some disease put out that final spark of hope he had in his eyes…

Did I need to add another dog to the pack? Oh my God no! I already have a foster that my daughter rescued a month ago that we are trying to rehome. I have my own pack of dogs  to take care of. But that lady just really pissed me off and I’m glad I went and picked my little Twister back up. They would have treated him for something he doesn’t have and probably made him worse. I really don’t like it when I have  someone trying to tell me what to do or acting like they know more than I do when I have done my research and know what I am dealing with. I would have never passed that pup off to someone else if I thought he had a communicable disease. I’m not that stupid or irresponsible. I realize that not everyone has my ethics or knowledge but don’t question my honesty or my experience. I may not have a degree behind my name but I do know what I am talking about and if I don’t know I will do my research and find out! Ok, rant is over!

Anyway. So do you ever rescue anything? People, animals, situations? My Cherry name has been Rescue Cherry ever since I went out to help in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. I have a tendency to rescue things so the name stuck. Apparently I still do or I would have a lot less critters and people in my life!

I hope you are enjoying this holiday season. I know the weather across the states has been frightful, but I am hoping your home is cozy and warm and delightful! I am on my way to work now. My husband said it the best when he was walking out the door of the break room– “I am off to drive around in circles and pick people up that I don’t know for money”!!   I almost died laughing and told him that made us sound like  hookers!! So there’s your laugh for the day–enjoy! Maybe I will change my name to Hooker Cherry…  :)Twister 1 Twister 2

Here is my little Twister on the first day we had him. I will have to get more pictures as he gets better. Look at that sweet face–you can see why I had to rescue him!




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Waiting for the characters to speak 24

Writing is easy. You just sit down at a keyboard, open a vein, and bleed. The earliest credit given to this quote is to Red Smith, although there have been several adaptations.

I love it when someone tells me they plan to write a book one day. If that’s you, God bless you and good luck. Because this quote, in my opinion nails it, especially if we’re referring to writing fiction. Writing fiction is taking an idea or ideas, meshing them together, world building or creating a setting, then populating it with interesting characters we want to follow from beginning to end. Sort of like a recipe, huh? Combine ingredients, turn on the oven to 350 degrees and bake. Not quite. If you don’t get the story just right, much like a cake, your story can flop.

I’m amazed at authors who can write three or four books a year. Outside of not having a life, they have to have overstimulated muses pounding on their gray matter all the day through.

I write one to two books a year, and am firmly in Mr. Smith’s camp with the “open a vein” scenario. The plot may gel, but if I don’t know the characters, all I have is a garbled mess and an idea in my head pounding to get out. Write me, write me, the story insists.

I will, I holler back. Just let me do a bit more research, when what I’m really saying is I don’t know my characters. They must, MUST start talking. If they don’t, the story will not get written.

I’ve been meshing my ingredients for a few months now. I’ve been reading, plying and annoying experts for at least that time. People say interview your characters. I brainstorm with fellow authors. That is helpful to a point, but even though it helped, it was a bit like starting a car with a faulty alternator. A fellow author can’t tell me my character’s background.  He has to.

And in the past few weeks that’s been happening.  The characters have been opening up–telling me what they’re all about. Believe me, I’m listening. This is the fun part of writing for me. I may be the author, but the characters are the lifeline to the story.

To me, storytelling is ALL about the character. What makes him tick? What is his goal? Then, what evil being can I create with an opposite goal that will prevent my hero from reaching it? We haven’t even talked about a love interest yet. How many stories have we read where the conflict seems forced.

In the book I’m writing now my hero wants the heroine to work with him to solve a cold case. She’s always wanted to know who murdered her childhood friend. Sounds like an ideal match, right? Not quite, because as much as she wants to know, she blames herself for her friend’s death. She’s removed herself from the scenario entirely, relocated and works to help others, in similar, yet a different locale. The hero is asking her to return to her worst nightmare. To put herself in that world she’s worked so hard to escape. She told me that recently. What’s more, the hero whispered an important fact about himself too.

Thank heavens the characters are speaking. I was running out of Bandaids. For my writing friends, is this part of your process, or is this the easy part? What stumps you in writing a book?  For non-writers, who are contemplating writing a book, what keeps you from starting? Happy Friday!

Donnell Ann Bell’s romantic suspense Buried Agendas out now!

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The Long Ride Home 10

YES! I finally have cover art and a blurb to share of my debut novelwhich will be released by Samhain Publishing on Feb. 3. 2015. One more step toward making it real.



The Long Ride Home

David Parsons is on the verge of making his pro rodeo dreams come true when his one-in-a-million rope horse, Muddy, goes missing. In the aftermath, David loses everything. His career, his fiancée´, his pride. 

Four years later, David is clawing his way out of the ruins and back up the rankings when he gets the miracle he’s prayed for. Muddy has been found on Montana’s Blackfeet Indian Reservation. 

But repossessing Muddy is unexpectedly complicated. Kylan, the teenager on Muddy’s back, has had a lifetime of hard knocks. His custodial aunt, Mary Steele, will fight like a mama bear to make sure losing this horse isn’t the blow that levels the boy. Even if it’s at David’s expense. 

David is faced with a soul-wrenching dilemma. Taking back his own future could destroy Kylan’s. And ruin any chance he might have with the fierce, fascinating Mary. 

It’s a long, hard ride to the top of the rodeo world. And for David, an even longer ride home. Unless he can find a trail that leads to both.

I don’t have pre-order links yet, but you can bet your boots I’ll be back to share as soon as I do. Or if you’d like the news to land in your inbox along with the occasional tales of humor and woe from here on the ranch, sign up for my newsletter at Tales of the Frozen North.

Kari Lynn Dell  –  Montana for Real


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Celebrating My Wedding Anniversary 5

Twenty-six years ago today, I married my elementary school sweetheart. Yes, you read that correctly. Elementary school, as in I was smitten at the age of ten. Who wouldn’t be? Dark, thick hair, intense golden-brown eyes that can see through to my heart, super shy, best dodge ball player on the playground…

Before you get alarmed, I didn’t marry him in fifth grade. No, I waited until he grew into a finely chiseled specimen of a man. Hehehe. And the fun part? Well, it’s all been fun parts, except for a few itsy-bitsy hiccups along the way.

He is my best friend, the father of my amazing boys, my rock, my wide shoulders, my love. Basically, he is my true-to-life hero. And yes, I do know I am blessed. I thank God everyday for my hubby and kids.

Do I use some of my husband’s fine qualities in my fictional heroes? His strength, intensity, sensitivity, stubbornness, the passion? Um, I plead the fifth. :-)

Is he perfect? Heck, no.

Do we argue over stupid things? Who doesn’t? Oh my gosh, when is he going to stop leaving the wet towels on the bed?

Would I marry him again? Every year for the next million. I love my dodge ball boy. With all of my heart.


Before I go, I want to tell you guys about a great giveaway going on right now from the Seals of Winter authors. You will receive nine free books just for entering and you could win a Kindle Fire!


Link To Website To Enter


Happy holidays!

Kimberley Troutte


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A few years back, Gretchen Wilson proclaimed her pride in her redneck heritage by singing about it, and the song instantly became a country music and karaoke hit.  The song had  a “The Lady Is A Tramp”  sort  of  theme, and the lyrics shouted to the world that it was okay to be a member of the Good Ol’ Southern Tomboy Girls’ Club.

For years, I’ve spent what little spare time I have, delving into family history, learning about our genealogy and trying to trace my many lineages.  I’ve  even gone so far as to get a sample of  my dad’s DNA and send it  in for testing with one of the Family Tree services.  Sometimes, I go for months without the tiniest movement forward in my study (um, actually, I guess that would be movement backward).  And then sometimes, a previously-blocked road gets dynamited wide open.

That happened recently when I talked my husband into taking a side trip to Camden, Tennessee.  I knew I had ancestors buried in the small town, and tromping around in cemeteries where my people are gives me a feeling of satisfaction.  Seeing an old grave helps me realize these people were truly real.  What I didn’t expect to find was a brass plate affixed to one of the two grave stones with a family history that took one of my lines all the way back to The Reverend Alexander McWhorter, a Presbyterian minister, who was killed in the Insurrection of 1641 in Ireland.

I’m not going to bore you with all the in-between, except to say that his son (also Alexander) had been born in Edinborough, Scotland, and the following generation (Hugh McWhorter) was born in Ireland, but died in Delaware.  Seeking religious freedom, the families had come to the colonies.  By the early 1700s, they had migrated south to the Carolinas.

Now, I don’t know how familiar you are with the term “redneck,” but it was used back in the 1640’s in Scotland to refer to those who opposed the rule of the Catholic church.  These dissenters often signed their documents in blood, and they wore red cloths around their necks, hence the Redneck moniker.  Eventually, the term came to refer to Presbyterians in general and appeared to have followed the Scottish immigrants to the colonies during the years prior to the Revolutionary War.

So my Presbyterian roots–the church I’m still a member of today–go all the way back to the original use of the term.

You can refer to me as Redneck anytime, and I’ll thank you for it!

Your turn!  Share an interesting tidbit  about your own roots with us!


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