Final Farewell

Saying the Final Goodbye

It has been a while since I posted anything here. The last two months have been busy, busy. We got my elderly cousin all settled in her new home (see last post before this one for details) and everything was rocking along just fine. She joined the family for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners, always having a great time and still driving herself.

The lady on the right is my cousin, Allee.

Then she began falling quite a bit at the retirement center. They finally checked her into the hospital close to two weeks ago. Her medical issues started compounding and Sunday, with her niece and my sister by her side, she went home to be with her Lord. Before she died, they talked about some of the old times ~ the good times. It was a peaceful transition.

It is so hard to believe she’s gone. As I said before, she was an inspiration to every woman out there as she always stood on her own two feet and lived life on her terms. She died that way, too.

Someone posted on Facebook that she lived ‘till she died. So true.

Now comes the task of moving her things once again, this time for the last time. Last time it was a transition. What she couldn’t take with her physically, she took with her mentally.

Now the majority of her memories are forever lost to us. Some of them she shared, but of course, not all. She still has them tucked around her, I’m sure. And I’m also sure she’s looking down thinking, “Don’t make such a big deal out of it. It was a great ride, but my life’s over so go on and live yours.”

The women in my family have always been pragmatic about things. Allee Riddle was no different. Still, I’ll miss her.

May God embrace you with His loving arms, Allee. Love you and one day we’ll meet again.

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A Lifetime of Memories

We spend our entire lives creating memories; going places, doing things, meeting people, striving to achieve our goals.

I know I’ve collected different things over the years and cherish those items. I have some things that belonged to my Mom as well as my Grandmother’s. They hold prominent places in my home and my heart.

So what do you do with those things, those cherished mementoes, when you can no longer live alone and have to move into assisted living? A lot of places only have a one room efficiency apartment. If you’re lucky, you get 2 rooms. How do you decide what’s important to make room for?

I have a 2nd cousin on my mom’s side of the family who is the last of that generation. She’s 91 and doesn’t have any other family besides a step-niece and us cousins. I admire this woman! She has always been independent, traveled extensively not only in the US but abroad, supported herself as well as her mother and took care of her mom until she died.

Now THAT’S a woman of independent means!

But her health has dictated that she no longer live alone. She was lucky in that she obtained a 2 room apartment in the assisted living center. Still, the dilemma remains in what to take to the center and what to sell. I can tell you, it isn’t easy.

(None of these ladies are my cousin, btw.)

The step-niece, my female cousins and I have been helping her get settled; unpacking boxes, rearranging furniture, hanging pictures, etc. In other words, making those 2 rooms into her new home. I know she’s sad about leaving the house she has lived in for years, but like the other women in the family, is pragmatic about life.

Could you do it? Condense a lifetime of living into such a small space? I’m thinking I need to start wading through my stuff now. I’m such a pack-rat that it’ll probably take me 20 or 30 years to get to that point. 🙂 Or are you going to hang on to everything, then let your descendents worry about it?

What are your thoughts on what sentimental items to keep vs the bare necessities? How could YOU condense a lifetime of memories?

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Spotlight of Last Hope Alaska

Fellow Wild Rose Press author, Tricia Schneider, is taking a ‘short’ break from her NaNoWriMo pursuit to spotlight me and LAST HOPE ALASKA on her site. Tricia writes paranormal romance with a hint of gothic flair. How cool is that? 🙂 A previous assistant manager at Waldenbooks, she’s now a full time mom who, when she isn’t busy with the three kids, writes about vampires and witches.

Pop over and leave a note to let her know I don’t live in a bubble without any friends besides the ones I make up in my head. 😉

Oh, yeah. Here’s the link. Shadows of Romance

Thanks, y’all!!



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The Strong and Silent Type

Today I’m interviewing Sam Tarkington, the big, hunky mountain of a man who takes center stage in LAST HOPE ALASKA. Come along and see what he has to say.

LT: “Sam, what compelled you to rescue Emily when she first showed up in town?”
Sam: Grunts. “Did you see the way that woman swings her purse? I’m not sure I did much rescuing. Um, not then, anyway.”
LT: “Oh? Sounds intriguing. Want to elaborate?” He stood silent, staring me down and I swallowed hard under his intense perusal. “Okay. We’ll move on. Uh, what drew you to Ms. Redfern initially?”
Sam: A smile played at the corner of his lip. “The fact that she looked lost and alone sucked me in from the get-go. Then when I got a good look at her eyes… Well, let’s just say I couldn’t quite get them, or her, out of my mind.”
LT: I glanced at my notes before I continued. “I see you used to own the Dogsled Saloon. From all accounts you were successful and happy. Why did you sell?”
Sam: The cold stare was back. “That’s enough of an interview. I think it’s time you left.”
LT: Ouch! Touchy subject. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to pry. Is there anything you’d like to tell the readers today? If not about yourself, then something about the area?”
Sam: His entire demeanor changed and he smiled openly. “Alaska isn’t called the Last Frontier for nothing. The state is massive and you could spend a week in Juneau alone and not see everything. There’s Douglas Island, Mount Roberts, and Mendenhall Glacier in addition to the wilderness itself. I could talk for hours about the wonders of this state. In fact, Emily even called the forest Mother Nature’s Library. I think she might be right.”
LT: Wow. First he didn’t want to talk at all, and now he can’t say enough. “It’s obvious you love the state and I’ll definitely check things out while I’m here. Thank you.”
Sam: Nods. “Is that enough? I’m late for work.”
LT: “Of course. Thank you so much for your time.” He turned and quickly walked away, leaving me to admire the view from behind. Yum.

I’m sorry he didn’t stick around long enough so you could get to know him better…especially if you happen to run into one of these furry critters.


Maybe I can give you an excerpt from the story that might tease you a bit more. 😀


“Hey, this looks great.” The screen door slammed behind Sam. “Molly’s sure getting her money’s worth.”
Emily turned toward him and burst out laughing. “What in the world happened to you?” He was covered in so much dirt he looked as if he’d been rolling downhill all morning.
“Being used as slave labor. Remind me to never agree to help that woman again.” He slapped at his pants legs, sending dust flying everywhere.
“Hey! Stop that! I just swept the floor.”
“You don’t look so clean yourself, sugar.” He closed the space between them and began flipping
cobwebs out of her hair.
“Sam…” His intimate touch turned her legs to jelly. Then he reached up to wipe dirt from her nose, right before he gripped her chin and raised her face to his. He lowered his gaze to her lips. Cotton balls formed in her mouth. She licked her lips. Her eyelids drifted closed.
“What’s keeping you?” Molly called from outside the back door. “I’m ready for lunch so get a move on!”
He hissed out a curse and stepped back, releasing her. His gaze continued to hold hers a moment longer, almost as a promise. “Oh, yeah, I forgot to tell you, chow’s on.” His voice was a husky caress.
Emily couldn’t seem to make her legs move.
“Come on, Cinderella.” Grinning, Sam took her arm and tugged her in the direction of the door.

Hmm. I think I could stand to have that man around a while. How about you? 😉

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I’m thrilled to have Alicia Dean drop by for a visit today. Since this is her first time on my site, I have a few questions so my followers can get to know her. Plus she has a brand new book that has just come out that I’d love to hear about.

Welcome, Alicia!

Thank you so much for having me, Linda. I’m excited to share my latest release, Without Mercy, on your blog. It’s a book I’ve worked on off and on for more than five years, and I’m just happy to finally have it done.

For a limited time, the ebook is on sale for only 99¢ on the Kindle
or Nook.

That’s a great price! Will add your book to my TBR pile.

I know you’re an avid reader, so is there any particular book you’ve read that you wish you would have written?

Gone with the Wind. – Yesterday, I saw the movie at the theater and it was just as amazing as always. And, of course seeing it on the big screen was phenomenal. While the actors and the screenplay obviously were fantastic, the story itself, Margaret Mitchell’s novel, is unbelievable. I am so impressed at how she was able to create a protagonist in Scarlett O’Hara whose actions are somewhat despicable, yet we can’t help but love and admire her.

Do you have another occupation, other than writer? If so, what is it and how do you like it?

I do. I’m also an editor. And, I have a full-time job as a legal assistant for a family law firm. I love it. It’s extremely interesting (can we say all kinds of story material?), and my bosses and co-workers are awesome. I’m very blessed.

Wow. You’re really lucky to have a job you truly enjoy. A lot of people can’t say the same.

Next question: What do you love that most people don’t like and wouldn’t understand why you do?

Bad weather; cold, snow, rain, blizzards, everything except wind. I hate it when it’s warm and sunny. Give me gloomy, dark and cold any day.

You’re right. Most people wouldn’t understand that. Have you ever considered moving to Alaska? They have a lot of dark and cold days up there. LOL

What do you dislike that most people wouldn’t understand?

Muppets. They really, really annoy me. That fact was reinforced recently when Jimmy Fallon, for some crazy reason, had them on his show to help with his Hashtag segment. While I usually love that bit, I very much disliked it this time. I found it irritating. Not only are they not funny, they can make something that is funny unfunny.

Okay. I’m not going to touch that one considering we have the Muppet Christmas Carole in our stack of CD’s. 🙂 Interesting to know that about you, though.

Let’s change the subject a bit. What actors would you like in the main roles if your book were made into a movie?

Colin Farrell and Rachel McAdams. I patterned my characters after them, and I think they would be perfect for the roles. So…if either of you are reading this, my contact info can be found below.

{Waving hand enthusiastically} Yo! Colin…Rachel! We’ve got the perfect parts for you. Come on down. 😀

I’d love to find out a bit more about your book. A thriller I believe you said. Right? Oh, and I love, love, love your cover! Seriously.

Without Mercy  Large

How far will a mother go to protect her child?
When an apparently random bank robbery turns out to be a sinister plan, single mother China Beckett is thrust into a nightmare.

A group of mercenaries take over her life, threatening her young daughter and everyone they love. Each time China makes a mistake, someone dies. She’ll fight to the last breath to protect her child, but with no idea what move will be the wrong one, that might not be enough.

As the lives of China’s loved ones are jeopardized, she must take action, although she has no idea where to turn—and time is running out. But then, a startling truth is revealed and China discovers that the only person who can save them might be a ghost from the past.

That sends chills down my spine. What else can you give us?


“Macklin Boyle.” He extended his hand to Emma. It was the first time China had heard his first name. Almost made him seem human—harmless. But she knew better.
Emma shook his hand, then trudged upstairs. China made a cup of instant coffee, not wanting Detective Boyle to stay long enough for a pot to brew.
“How do you take your coffee?” she called from the kitchen. “Is instant okay?”
“Beggars can’t be choosers.” His voice came from directly behind her.
She whirled, her hand flying to her heart. “You scared me.”
“I take it black. I guess it would make a person jumpy. All you’ve been through.”
“Yes.” She gritted her teeth. The way he hopped from topic to topic rattled her, which was probably why he did it. She handed him a mug, and he took it and sat at the breakfast table.
“Nice house.”
“Thanks,” she replied cautiously, but she didn’t think it was meant to flatter. This man did nothing without purpose.
She crossed her arms and leaned against the counter, waiting. For a split second, she was tempted to try to get some kind of message to him, letting him know of the trouble she was in. But the idea left as soon as it took hold. She had no idea how many people were involved, but she was chillingly certain they could get to the people she loved before the police could get to all of them.
He took a sip of coffee and looked around, slowly nodding. “Bank must pay you well.”
Ah. There it was. “No. This was my husband’s house.”
She’d bet he knew all about her, but answered anyway. “No. Divorced. Gary left the house to me.”
“Free and clear?”
“Yes.” She rubbed her hands up and down her arms. “Detective Boyle, is there something I can help you with?”
“Just following up.” Another drink of the coffee. “You think of anything new to tell us?”
“No. No, I didn’t and no matter how many times you ask, I won’t.”
“I can’t. I’ve told you all I know.”
“Crazy stuff. The Norman branch getting robbed, too.”
Her eyes slid to the floor as she nodded. Damn. That was a tell. She looked back up at him. “It’s awful. I hope you catch these guys.”
“It’s the same guys?”
“What? I suppose. Why are you asking me?”
He shrugged. “You just seem so sure. I thought you might…know something.”
“I just assumed…I mean…so soon after, and the same way.” China threw her hands up in the air. “I don’t know. None of the robbers have been apprehended, so who knows, right?”
He finished his coffee and stood. “Yeah,” he nodded as he looked around some more, then his eyes narrowed on her. “Who knows?”

Yep. I’m definitely hooked! I hope all of friends out there are, too.

Alicia Dean lives in Edmond, Oklahoma. She has three grown children and a huge network of supportive friends and family. She writes mostly contemporary suspense and paranormal, but has also written in other genres, including a few vintage historicals.

Other than reading and writing, her passions are Elvis Presley, MLB, NFL (she usually works in a mention of one or all three into her stories) and watching her favorite televisions shows like Vampire Diaries, Justified, Sons of Anarchy, Haven, The Mindy Project, and Dexter (even though it has sadly ended, she will forever be a fan). Some of her favorite authors are Michael Connelly, Dennis Lehane, Lee Child, Lisa Gardner, Sharon Sala, Jordan Dane, Ridley Pearson, Joseph Finder, and Jonathan Kellerman…to name a few.

Here are all the places you can find Alicia on social media:

Thank you so much for dropping by my blog, Alicia. Here’s wishing you major success with your latest endeavor!

[Now, go buy her book people! Thanks my friends. 😀 ]

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MIA or Just Goofing Off?

Hey gang,
I really haven’t disappeared. Well, not for long, anyway. I’ve been on the road for some personal business and neglected my website. So sorry! I did get some plotting issues worked out on my current WIP as well as a book (or two) that will follow it. Yes, I’m ‘finally’ writing a series. Sadly, it isn’t related to either of my first two books. More on this later.

If you entered the Rafflecopter drawing in the release day Blitz or Blog Tour for LAST HOPE ALASKA and are wondering if you won a prize or not, all the winners have been notified.

If you won, CONGRATULATIONS!!! I’m super happy for you and I sincerely appreciate you participating in my party.

Once Authors HQ has received the mailing info from everyone it will be forwarded to me. At that point I’ll be sending all the prizes out.

On another note: In a few days I’ll have an interview with Sam, the hero of LAST HOPE ALASKA, although he doesn’t consider himself one. Those are the best kind, don’t you think? Humble. Yeah, I really like that man. {deep sigh} I sure hope you like him, too. 😀

If you’ve read LAST HOPE ALASKA, I’d appreciate it if you would leave an honest review on Amazon, Barnes & Nobel or Goodreads. You have no idea how much that simple gesture means to an author. Thank you, my friends!


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What’s She Hiding

Today I’m talking to Emily Redfern, the heroine in my Alaskan adventure, LAST HOPE ALASKA. Let’s see what she has to reveal. The woman seems awfully secretive to me.

LT: “Hello, Ms. Redfern. What brought you to Juneau?”
Emily: Looks around nervously. Tucking a strand of hair behind her ear, she looks back at me. “Um, I just thought it would be a neat place to see.”
LT: “Alaska is an expensive state to visit. How long will you be staying?”
Emily: “I haven’t decided. I really like it here, though. The forest is so peaceful and the people are really nice. Kind of like back home.” She tugs her purse closer, as if guarding it.
LT: “And where is that? I don’t recall you saying.”
Emily: Backs up a step. “I need to be going. I promised Molly I’d help with the girls.”
LT: “Just a couple more questions, if you don’t mind. You look like you’re Native American. Do you think that helps you blend in here?”
Emily: “What makes you think I’m trying to blend in?”
LT: “Just a hunch. So you’ve made a few friends in town. Care to elaborate?”
Emily: Relaxes and smiles. “As I said before, the people are great. There’s Molly and her girls, and of course Sam—”
LT: “Ah. So there’s a man involved?”
Emily: Straightens her spine. “There’s always a man. Some who think they own you, some who think they can control you, and some who…” She looks off into the distance, a dreamy expression on her face. Then she blinks and shakes her head. “I’m sorry. I really must be going.”
LT: “Thank you for your time. I’m sure we’ll be hearing more from you later on.”
Emily: “I’m sure you will, whether I like it or not.” She scans the crowds, ducks her head and eases into the sea of people mingling on the streets of downtown Juneau.

Well that was interesting. And a bit confusing. I wonder what her real story is? Guess I’ll have to hang around to find out. Besides, I want to know more about this man she talked about. If he has her looking that love struck, he must be a hunk. I wonder what’s going on with them?

Here’s a blurb about the story. Maybe that’ll give us a few more clues.


Emily Redfern’s ex-fiancé learned to kill on the back streets of New York. Now, she is his target. Broke, exhausted, and a step ahead of the man she once loved, she clings to one last hope: the wilds of Alaska. The quiet safety of her hide-a-way becomes addictive as she grows to care for the man who offers her refuge.

Released from prison after a wrongful conviction, native Alaskan Sam Tarkington is determined to regain his business, repair his reputation, and rebuild his life. But when he meets a desperate and vulnerable woman, guarding secrets of her own, she tugs at his heart. She’s a distraction he can’t afford. Sam must choose Emily or achieving his dreams.

Like Emily’s life, the peacefulness of the wilderness is an illusion as danger lurks in the distance. Does Sam hold the key to her survival or will her past cost them everything?

Ah. I think I figured it out. What she’s hiding is herself!
Here’s where you can find the book:


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All Good Things Must Come to an End

Last day of my blog tour for LAST HOPE ALASKA. Gee, I hate to see it end, but it has to at some point. I suppose. 😦 

However, we still have today. Right? 🙂 And it’s a fun day! Check out Queen Of All She Reads and see what I have to say about writing and where you should start. Yes, I tell you where to start and it isn’t ‘at the beginning’ like you might think. Well, yeah, there, too I suppose. Oh, just pop over and I won’t have to keep stuttering around here. Har

Later in the day you should be able to find me at Dalene’s Book Reviews.

Don’t forget to enter the drawing if you haven’t done so already. I love giving away prizes!

blog tour prize

Since this is the last day, I’d like to thank Authors HQ for setting up the great blog tour for me, as well as the release day blitz and Facebook party. You’ve done a GREAT job!! Thank you, thank you, thank you! If you’re looking for a virtual assistant, I highly recommend this place! You won’t be disappointed, plus they’re really nice. (Always a good thing. 😀 )

Thanks everyone for following along on my tour. If you’ve read my book, I would greatly appreciate it if you’d leave an honest review on Amazon, Barnes & Noble or Goodreads. You have no idea how much those reviews mean to an author. {{Hugs}}


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Blog Tour Day 4

I’m marching on with my blog tour for LAST HOPE ALASKA and today I’m being interviewed over at Bookkins. Come see what I have to say about my first trip to Alaska. Come on. Admit it. You want to know how my love of Alaska began, don’t you? Yep. Thought so. 😀 Don’t forget, prizes will be given away at the end of this tour. BUT, you have to visit the sites and enter via the rafflecopter. Tomorrow will be your last chance as it’s the last day on this tour with a couple more stops. In the meantime, go visit Bookkins!  If you leave a comment, I’ll send you a cyber hug. ♥ ♥

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Blog Tour Homework. Seriously?

Wasn’t yesterday fun? Did you learn what PMA stood for? If not, go back and look at one of the first 3 blogs listed. Hopefully you’ll be inspired. It’s a motto that has kept me going from time to time.

We’re continuing the tour today for LAST HOPE ALASKA by visiting a couple more sites.

Our One Click Addition
Indy Book Fairy Blog

Check them out and see what they have. Who knows? You might find out a little more about my hero or heroine. Or me. (Good juicy stuff, too. hehe)

Or not. 🙂

You’ll have to visit the sites to find out for sure. Plus, there’ll be a test tomorrow to see if you know. Har

Thanks for following along on my journey, everyone. Invite your friends to join us. I love having all the company! Besides, who doesn’t love getting free books? And autographed ones at that. As I said before, “someone” has to win. Might as well be you. 😀


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