Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Coming Attractions

I am so excited about the re-release of Windborne with a new cover by Alexander von Ness. Reedited, reformatted and better than ever!  The title refers to dreams being borne or carried away on the wind and I think he captured it perfectly. 

The Flint Hills of Kansas promised bountiful wildlife and fertile valleys, but for Virginia, Helen and Leah it was an empty promise.  Dreams here often withered and died from starvation or the harshness and unpredictability of the climate.
Set against a historical backdrop of major economic and cultural changes of the past century, Windborne is an elegantly timeless tale about the nature of love, loss and awakening.

The Stone House Legacy is the first book in the Legacy Trilogy which follows the family of Simon and Tessa Kingsley through three decades.  The series focuses on the legacies they leave behind as footprints to guide their children through life.
For nearly a century the old stone house has kept its secrets hidden deep in the limestone hills of Indiana.  But when an idealistic young minister decides to develop the site as a religious retreat for ecumenical thought, the secrets of its past cast a dark shadow over his plans.

Set in the Birthplace of the John Birch Society during the turbulent years of the early 1960s, The Stone House Legacy reveals mankind's stubborn inclination to repeat the mistakes of past generations.

Both books are available in paperback and ebook on  I will be signing books and speaking to middle grade students from 1:30-3:00 on May 12 at the Americus Library in Americus, Kansas.  Stop by and say hello!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Dancing with Dad

In continuing my look at the legacies we leave behind, I have been looking at back at some of the things that are now a part of who I am, thanks to the gifts of others.  Sometimes we don't realize the gifts we are given until much later in life. Oftentimes, it only takes a small memory to remind us of that gift.

My dad was a dancer.  He was light on his feet and seemed to glide across the dance floor. He made every move look easy.  As a girl, I used to stand on his feet while he waltzed me around the room.  I learned the box step, the fox trot, and the two-step this way. When I got older, he used to put some old Glen Miller tunes on the phonograph and teach me to follow his lead through the jitterbug and something called the shag-a-lag.

But as I became a teenager, I thought his dances were funny and old-fashioned.  This was the rock-and-roll era. I was learning to do the Twist and the Boogaloo.  The idea of dancing without touching your partner was totally foreign to Dad. Dancing was a form of intimacy and communication with a partner. The kids on American Bandstand seemed lost in their own world, jumping up and down in random, and not communicating with each other at all. Even the slow dances were nothing more than a public embrace in his eyes. I scoffed at his old-fashioned views. "You just don't understand!" I wailed, but there was no mistaking the hurt when I no longer wanted to dance with him.  

As I grew older, I came to appreciate the practiced steps and fluid movement of the steps he had taught me. (I'm sure that is why I'm such a fan of "Dancing With The Stars.") Unfortunately, there were no more partners to share them with.  Dad passed away shortly before my 17th birthday. Men my age also grew up with rock-and-roll and no longer had the energy for those dances.  The music I had loved as a teenager was now too loud and many of the lyrics I had sung to on the radio, now sounded silly and strange.  Instead, I found myself singing along to the old standards Dad had taught me to dance to.

I don't think I can still remember all the moves, but whenever I listen to the swing music of the big band era I can close my eyes and dance with my dad just like we used to.  We move in harmony as people do who have danced together for a long time. I'm sure the judges would give us a perfect 10.