Thursday, July 20, 2006

Why 'Real Life Petticoat Ranch'?

Whenever I pitched my novel Petticoat Ranch to editors I'd start with: Petticoat Ranch is my husband's story. Ivan, my husband, grew up in a family of seven sons, no daughter. (His sweet mother is a saint). Then Ivan and I had four daughter, no sons. The poor man's life has just been one shock after another.
I remember one conversation where the girls were discussing the ins and outs of control-top panty hose. Ivan said, "You know, this is something that we just NEVER TALKED ABOUT when I was growing up."
Out of moments like that, I created Petticoat Ranch. I thought, "What if, instead of getting to start a family of all girls slowly, one wife, one baby girl, break it to him gently, Ivan had been dropped into the middle of it.
What if, instead of a normal life with plenty of exposure to woman, his mother of course, but classmates, sisters of friends, etc., he'd come from a truly all-male world, like, oh, if he grew up the son of a mountain man in the old west and, without ever really speaking to a woman, he suddenly found himself married to a woman with four daughters.
I just had such a good time writing this. There's so much more the Petticoat Ranch than just my very confused hero trying to figure out how to handle all these women. But that's the heart of it. That's where almost all the comedy comes from.
So, because my family, we live on a farm and we're knee deep in girls here, fits the description of a Petticoat Ranch, I decided that might work for a blog name.
Below, down a few posts, my four daughters are pictured at the first family wedding. Left to right, Wendy, Joslyn, Shelly and Katy. And now, as the proud owner of one son-in-law, we've finally got a BOY! Aaron's picture made the blog, too. No sign of Ivan yet, but I'll get him.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Article on Conflict

Amazing that someone might think I could give them advice on writing, but I got an article published on Spirit Led Writer, an online Christian writer's magazine at

Of Mice...and Murder

'Of Mice...and Murder'

Being named in Great-grandma’s will was like hitting bankrupt on Wheel of Fortune. The whole family held their breath while the wheel ticked around and around, or rather while the lawyer opened the envelope. Then they all heaved a sigh of relief when the wheel stopped on Carrie’s name. Carrie the heiress. Great. Clean up the house. Clean up the yard. Clean up Great-grandma’s rap sheet. Carrie hates mice and loves the big city. So why is she living in a huge mouse infested house in her dinky hometown? The dead guy in her pantry closet is the most interesting thing that's happened since she came home. Of course the carpenter whose helping her trap her mice and solve the crime is pretty interesting, too. A cozy mystery coming December 2007 from Spyglass Lane Mysteries, a division of Barbour Publishing.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Time to post

I'm trying to figure out how to blog and so if you're reading this, you're a guinea pig.

Cozy Mystery Book Club
An Imprint of Barbour Publishing
1810 Barbour Drive
P.O. Box 719
Uhrichsville, OH 44683
P: 740.822.6045

These are the kind folks who are publishing my cozy mystery

I had a terrific writing day yesterday, really fun. I just feel like I've finally gotten the hero just right. I love the guy already, he's outwardly gorgeous but he's inwardly a nerd. A genius who relates to people badly because his head is full of math and logic. Now he sees a pretty girl who is everything he wants, but he can't string a sentence together to save his life.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006