Smith Mountain Lake Mystery Writer

Contemplations from a quiet cove on Smith Mountain Lake.

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Location: United States

I'm a Southern gal who loves life, my husband and our family (which, to date, includes 13 grandchildren). I enjoy being with friends and family. But I also like being alone and thinking up plots for future books. I've published two novels, both mysteries, and I'm working on my third. For more about my books, visit me at If you ever hear me say, "I'm bored," please get me to the ER immediately! Paddling my kayak and snapping pictures of the critters I see relaxes me. Beach music has the opposite effect--when I hear those old "doo-wops" I want to dance.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014


I nearly choked, hollered "Aaarrrggghhh!" when I saw this ad in a newspaper last week. I blacked out the name of the advertiser, and cropped the picture so the business website would not be seen. Now, the question I ask is:

Hint: I'm not talking about the feet.

If you answered "no," then you need to buy a good English grammar book, then study the section on contractions.

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Monday, February 24, 2014


I lost a really good friend and neighbor last Thursday. Holly Bell, a black Lab, was one of the first to greet us when we moved to this neighborhood. She and my black Lab Kushi quickly became best buddies, enjoyed romping together when Holly's person Carol and I took our morning and afternoon walks.

I kept a box of healthy doggie snacks in my pantry. Holly knew they were there, and when she came to visit she'd look at me, smile (yes, smile), and sit at the pantry door. And yes, I'd give both Holly and Kushi a tasty treat. When Kushi died, Holly mourned with me.

Holly was smart, too. I remember the day about 12 years ago when my three grandchildren Matthew, Nicole and Emily asked to accompany Kushi and me on one of our walks. We stopped at Holly's house where Carol was tending one of her many gorgeous flower beds. Holly galloped to each child for a greeting, then dashed back to her yard. When she returned she carried a tennis ball.

I watched as she gave the ball to Matthew, and wiggling in anticipation she waited for him to throw it, then hurried to retrieve it. I expected her to take the ball back to Matthew. Instead, she stood a few feet in front of the children, looked each child in the eyes, and graciously passed the ball to the next one in line, then repeated this with the third child. Each of my grandchildren received an equal turn with this smart and loving dog. And each child felt special.

Thank you for your love and friendship for the past 14 years, Holly. I will never forget you.

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Friday, February 14, 2014


Valentine's Day. Roses. Romance. And creamed chip beef on toast. Yes, you heard me. I said creamed chip beef on toast.

What in heaven's name would creamed chip beef on toast have to do with Valentine's Day? you may ask. My husband, a former Navy radarman, really, really likes it. I cooked it fairly often when we were a  young married couple and he was a student at NC State University. Why not? It was cheap, good, and his very favorite dish except for maybe a Porterhouse steak, which we definitely could not afford. It helped that I liked it, too. But, as you know, things change.

When I got pregnant with our second child, I discovered that eating creamed chip beef made me nauseous. Cooking it made me nauseous. Even thinking about it made me nauseous. Needless to say, hubby received no creamed chip beef on toast for many years.

Because of my deep love for him (picture me with hand across my brow in a movie star "Woe is me" pose), I started cooking it again for his birthday.  Our two sons loved it almost as much as Ron. Ugh. I ate a hot dog while they feasted on creamed chip beef. Ugh. Our daughter ate a hot dog, too. Over the years, though, I developed a tolerance for creamed chip beef because I loved my husband. Am I not a great wife?! And some of my taste buds probably died, too.

We'd planned to go out to dinner with friends tonight to celebrate Valentine's Day, but because of the snowy/icy roads, we postponed it until tomorrow night. And because I love my husband, guess what I cooked for dinner? You guessed it--creamed chip beef on toast. And I ate two helpings!

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