Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Isn't Technology Grand?

Not always, but think of the super ways technology has improved your life. There was a time when if you had car trouble, especially at night, you had some risky obstacles to overcome just to get help. Now, if you're like most, you have a cell phone and you aren't cut off from the rest of the world. (Well, some people venture into very remote areas where there is no cell phone service, but I'm not talking about that.) We've been presented with ways to organize our time, arrange our lives around immoveable schedules, and entertain ourselves. One of those technological advances is the e-book. I know, I know, some of you are opposed to surrendering the physical paper-and-ink printed word. Guess what? I was one of those people too, and it wasn't all that long ago. Now I love my e-reader.

Of course, everyone who ever said to me, "I've always wanted to write a book," can do that now. Some new authors who couldn't get a traditional publisher to even spit on them if they were on fire are now revealing talent and wonderful stories that might not otherwise have been seen by anyone but themselves, or maybe a family member. And there are those out there who should remain in their computer caves, period. One way to find out which author is which is to download a sample from the online retailers carrying e-books.

Still hoping for a better bet? Then try this:

Backlist Ebooks is a site that promotes established authors, and e-books that were once physical books and are now out of print. They're enjoying a new life in this age of wonder. Maybe you missed the books the first time around. Maybe (ahem) you weren't even old enough to find them interesting in their first incarnation. I've heard from new readers who have vague memories of their older relatives reading my work, and they're now enjoying it too.

We have something for everyone at low, low, low prices and on most platforms. Come by and take a look. Get acquainted. We're always open.

Monday, May 23, 2011

A Visit to A Lost Friend

Most of my friends know that I mourn the loss of one of Oregon's oldest shopping heavens, Meier & Frank. It had something for everyone in all price ranges. It was sold in the 1960s to the May Company, but that organization made the smart decision to keep the name everyone knew. Then the end came. The store closed a few years ago when a competing retail giant bought them out, along with some other beloved department stores around the country including Foleys, Filene's (not Filene's Basement) and a few more. Because M&F's flagship store, built in 1908, is on the National Historic Registry, someone decided it was worth "saving." The first five floors are occupied by the retailer. The upper floors were gutted, an atrium was installed, and it was turned into a luxury boutique hotel, The Nines. The exterior might look the same--the inside, well, no attempt was made to preserve the history of the building. This photo is very old, taken before the top floor was expanded to cover the whole building.

A friend of mine had ankle surgery nearly six weeks ago and hasn't been able to sleep in her own bed (on the second floor of her home) or take a shower (also upstairs) in all that time. She's been sleeping on a fold-out and taking sponge baths in a kiddie pool in her kitchen. So I had a brainstorm. Let's go see about The Nines.

The staff was great, as was the service. But the interior seemed minimalist. The only thing I recognized in my room were the windows, painted shut and still bearing the same hardware on the window frames. The rest of the decor was eclectic. In my head, when I hear words like eclectic, or whimsical in reference to food or decor, I tend to wince. Okay, so I'm a hopeless romantic and traditionalist--I love beautiful china, glassware, silver, linens, etc. One of the vacations on my bucket list is a trip to the Biltmore Estate in North Carolina. And one of my favorite local spots is the Pittock Mansion, which has been meticulously restored to its glory days of the early 1900s. What can I say? I write historical fiction for a good reason.

Meier & Frank belongs to the ages now. To paraphrase Rose in Titanic, it was the department store of dreams.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Don't Miss This!

This week only, catch all my e-books at for 99 cents! Just use the coupon code listed with each title. Find more great titles at

Desperate Hearts - $.99 - SM46Y
Home By Morning - $.99 - GM59Y
A Taste of Heaven - $.99 - JY76R
A Light For My Love - $.99 - XQ37X
The Irish Bride - $.99 - EV42L
The Bridal Veil - $.99 - VR95T
Montana Born and Bred - $.99 - DD72U
Allie's Moon - $.99 - JY76R
Homeward Hearts - $.99 - FQ47S
Harper's Bride - $.99 - PX56G

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

Every year in the US, partly in thanks to retailers and the greeting card industry, on the second Sunday in May we stop to observe Mother’s Day. The restaurants fill, florists do landslide business and phone calls fly across town and around the country. And this is great. It’s an honorable and well-intentioned observance.

But some women don’t have children, the standard requirement for inclusion in hoopla, and never did.

About twenty years ago I realized that all women are mothers in one way or another.

With children or without, we nurture friends, we mourn with them at moments of grief and celebrate their triumphs. We care for them during illness, help see them through difficult passages of life, and are strong for them when they need a shoulder to lean on.

So whether or not you have children, Happy Mother’s Day.