Fresh Starts

What constitutes a fresh start?

Many of us automatically think of it as a positive thing, a wiping away of all the negative things that came before, but I’d bet there are as many definitions of fresh start as there are people to define it.

If you’d like thirty different interpretations of Fresh Start, then this new anthology is a good place to… start. Ha! See what I did there?

After the fires are out, the smoke has cleared, the divorce is over, the widow has stopped wearing black, the sun has risen, the monsters are dead, the world is saved (or destroyed!), the storm has calmed, and the trouble is over…

…what do you do next?

Find out in the first anthology of work by the Pikes Peak Writers. From mystery to romance and science fiction—from heartfelt essays to poetry that moves the soul.
We can’t promise only happy endings. Just that moment when you pick yourself up out of the wreckage and find the strength to begin anew.

Available from: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and on Apple Books.

Underwood and 2020

When my first two books were published nearly simultaneously, my husband presented me with a circa 1915 Underwood typewriter which he rescued from his mother’s storage shed. He lovingly cleaned and oiled it and stashed it in a dark corner of our own storage shed until the time was right.

The typewriter bears a sticker that reads San Gabriel Typewriter Co. with a phone number that consists of only four digits. The address is now a strip mall populated with a convenience store, a host of small eateries, and an internet provider. The San Gabriel Typewriter Company is no more.

But the little typewriter that had its beginnings there is still here, solid and steadfast. And beautiful. Each round key is a work of art with the upper case letters displayed in a flowing script. Its ribbon is brittle with age, but it is otherwise perfectly functional.

Typing on it would require commitment to every letter and space. Mistakes are nearly permanent and the keys take a degree of effort to push hard enough to impress ink upon paper. There could be no wishy-washy tap of a letter. One had to be certain and act accordingly. And create something unique. Something that can’t be printed off a dozen times, or a hundred.

Our modern computers are much more forgiving, whether that’s to our benefit or not is debatable.

Not that I’m complaining.

I personally wouldn’t want to write a book using the Underwood, but I can see how it might curb things like internet trolls.

Or not. Who knows? People are people…

As I look at the typewriter, I’m inclined to wonder about the things it has seen and the fingers that have touched the keys.

Who else typed their special thoughts on this workmanlike machine? Were they letters to a soldier in WWI expressing emotions that no mere words can capture? Was there correspondence to families of men who would never come home?

A few years later, the typewriter would have witnessed the Spanish Flu epidemic. Were newspaper articles pecked out on its keys? Measures to take to avoid the disease?  Notes informing of lost loved ones?

 I am not a nostalgic person. I don’t believe there is any such thing as the “good old days.”  Nothing exists that humankind has not already endured. As I look through the historical timelines from the early years of the Underwood’s existence, I see pandemics of Spanish flu and typhoid. I see the use of chemical weapons and bombings of cities. I see anti-Semitism and racism. I see political upheaval and division.

I see volcanic eruptions and heat waves. Fires and floods. Hurricanes and earthquakes.

But I also see something else. I see human innovation and resilience. I see films, books, and art.  I see a human spirit unbroken by adversity and hardship. I see truly heroic acts of selfless compassion.

I see love.

My little Underwood has been present as the events of the world unfold in cycles. Cycles that repeat again and again and probably will long after both the typewriter and myself are gone.

And on a deep level, that brings me comfort. What we are experiencing now is not different from what has been experienced in the past. It might be new to us, this generation, but it is not new to humanity. And humanity continues, following a rhythmic drumbeat forward.

Or is that typewriter keys I hear?

Fresh Tracks

Pristine snow covers the field in front of our house, unmarred and perfect. Sunrise highlights the wind sculpted surface into pale blue shadows and brilliant flecks of diamond.

The hill behind our house is a different work of art. Tracks crisscross it in ornate patterns, chaotic and beautiful.

The field ahead a tabula rasa; the hill behind a complex story.

I hesitate to walk across the fresh powder, not wanting to disturb something so new and clean. Then I notice I’m not the first at all. The trail of a kangaroo rat weaves across the smooth snow.  Two hind feet jumping, a long tail dragging between. His path isn’t straight, it flows and curves and alters direction. Like our own.  The little rodent harbored no qualms about forging boldly ahead. Writing his own story on the blank slate.

I glance at the tracks behind and appreciate their wild, winding course. They brought me here, not to a new beginning, but to a continuation of the journey. The tracks let me know that I haven’t lost my way, but rather blazed my own crooked trail.

My hope for all of you is that you’ll glance back sometimes. Not to dwell there, but to appreciate where you’ve been and how far you’ve come.  Renew your strength and continue forward into the unmarred beauty of your future.

You’re not the first to go this way, even when it feels like it.

Of Elk, Silence, and Sacred Spaces

They lined the ridge, bodies silhouetted against the fading daylight, looking more like mythical creatures than elk. For a long time, they waited there on the precipice, staring down into the valley, deciding, debating. Then they flowed over the edge, first a trickle, then a dark wave, breaking around rocks and weaving among trees. They graze as they go, except when crossing the revealing patches of crusty snow. There they trot, avoiding those moments of exposure where their bodies don’t blend.

I become a statue on my porch as the massive herd surrounds me. Knee high yellow grass whisks around their legs and snow crunches under their hooves. They graze around me, the sound of tearing grass drifting up to my perch. Darkness advances, turning them into shadows and chirps. They drift away after a few hours, an ebbing black tide of elk.

With the light of day, I hike to the ridge top, wanting to see what they saw, feel what they felt. The ground reveals little of their passage, a turned stone here, a single hoof print there. Wind is the only sound as it sings through the pines. From the crest, the world runs away in three directions. Splashes of snow on northern slopes, golden cascades of grass on the southern. Peaks rising like dragon spines into the sharp blue sky. To the south, the mountain towers above me. A road of snow rushes out of the woods, its surface churned and mangled from hundreds of hooves. It calls me, enticing me to retrace their footsteps, to follow that white path under the pines.

My feet are rooted to the earth. The incredible silence soaks through to my soul and the sound of my footsteps would be a blasphemy in this sacred space. I inhale the perfect air and check the position of the sun. It sits close to the horizon, cloaking pines in diamonds that put Christmas lights to shame.

Again the elk road beckons. I turn away. But only for today.

Get your copy here! Buy a paperback, and get the Kindle edition for free.

My first novel with co-author, DJ Davis, is now available on Amazon. A fast-paced suspense novel with a hearty handful of romance thrown in. We had a great time writing it, and we hope you have as much fun reading it.

In Crimson Falls freedom isn’t guaranteed, people aren’t what they seem, and the pizza is killer.

Troyan Pryce had it all—a forensic pathology career, loving family, baby on the way—until a Mob kingpin bought her. Forced to use her special training and exceptional looks to rob men of their millions, she’s given up hope of ever having a life again, let alone finding romance. Until she meets her next mark, Assistant District Attorney Zachariah Taylor.

Detective Grace Griffin dedicated years to breaking a human trafficking ring. When her best friend, Zachariah, falls for a victim and is taken by the Mob, she must risk her life, badge, and heart to rescue him and the woman he loves. Can she save them, or will they all end up dead?


Into the Fray

Hello everyone!

I’ve been keeping secrets. The last few weeks have been a whirlwind of techie stuff that makes a person crazy, at least a non-techie person. But the results are starting to show and I’m ready to share them with you. While you were sleeping, I quietly started an author page on FB, built a website, and published one of my books. Woohoo! Let me tell you, the excitement over that last bit has been difficult to keep under wraps. The Kindle version is ready now. Print should be up very soon. The cover looks beautiful if I do say so myself, but I could be prejudiced.

This story has been with me a very long time in many forms and through many revisions. I hope you enjoy it. If you do, please consider leaving a review and sharing it with your friends. I appreciate it.

I couldn’t have done it without the loving support of my husband and the keen eye of my editor, friend, and co-conspirator, DJ Davis. Thanks to both of you. I love you.

Get your copy here!

Beyond Darkness_Ebook



Telling Tales

Stories are ingrained in humanity. From the earliest oral traditions, to paintings and songs, to books and film, people love a good story. We don’t only love to hear them, we love to tell them, around dinner tables and campfires, to a single loved one or an auditorium full of strangers. They entertain, educate, and evoke emotion.

It is an honor and a privilege to share stories with you. Thank your for joining me on this journey of tales. I hope you’ll find something you love, something that moves you, or at least something that entertains you.

Welcome! And happy adventuring!