Hello World!

I periodically go MIA from my blog when I get involved in projects and life in general.  But now that I’ve wrapped up the 31st book in my Haunting Danielle series I can take a breath and catch you up on what’s been going on.

We enjoyed our first summer in Oregon. Taking care of my 94-year-old mother, who has vascular dementia, has kept me somewhat homebound. So we didn’t do much exploring. But there was much to keep us busy on the Holmestead, such as tending to the vegetable garden, watching our son and daughter-in-law’s house go up next door, and do projects around here to make this our home.

My next book, The Ghost and the New Neighbor, the 31st book in the Haunting Danielle series, comes out on November 22, 2022 in eBook format. November 22 also happens to be my birthday! I am turning 68! (Egads!!!)

The paperbacks—regular print and large print—are already available on Amazon, and the eBook, published by Tantor Media, is slated to come out in January 2023.

Before anyone asks—this upcoming book won’t be the last Haunting Danielle book. I’ve already put Book 32—The Ghost and the Wedding Crasher—on pre-order. It’s slated to come out March 29, 2023.

I have been having fun over at TikTok, posting book related content—and sometimes videos reflecting my personal views and giving a glimpse of my life. Watching the videos over there has been interesting—an insight to the younger generation and other cultures. 

In other, more personal news, I’ve scheduled my knee replacement surgery for January 25, 2023. I’ve been trying to figure out what to do with mom while I deal with my knee. My sister has offered to come out for about ten days to take care of her, but I’m not sure what I will do after that. But now that I have The Ghost and the New Neighbor wrapped up, I can focus on arranging help for mom.

Hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving and holiday season.  Be kind to each other. 

Women and girls are now disposable…

I’ve been thinking of a conversation I had with my mother when I was just a young girl. We were discussing her two pregnancies. I remember her telling me how her and Dad avoided going to a Catholic Hospital to have either baby. She told me that at a Catholic hospital, if she was delivering a baby and something went wrong during labor, and the doctor had to choose between the life of the mother or baby, the doctor at the Catholic hospital would choose to save the baby.

I was utterly horrified. Not that they would let the baby die in a non-Catholic hospital (and I could have been the baby in that scenario) I was horrified that a doctor would ever consider letting the mother die in the favor of the baby.

From my child’s perspective (even knowing allowing her baby to die in order to save my mother’s life meant my sister or I would not be born) I felt from the depths of my soul the mother’s life should take precedent. I’ve held to that conviction since first learning women birth babies. 

As a teenager the idea of pregnancy was frightening, yet not terrifying. When I was older and decided to start a family with my husband, I was no longer frightened.  Yet, if I was a young woman facing pregnancy and living in a Red State after the reversal of Roe V Wade, I would be terrified.

Already the horrors of the irresponsible abortion laws snapping into place after the SCOTUS reversed Roe have surfaced, from a ten-year-old rape victim being denied an abortion, and forced to suffer additional trauma to seek a legal abortion in another state, to the woman suffering from a life threatening ectopic pregnancy, also forced to go to another state (reported by the Washington Post) and a Wisconsin woman who bled for ten days from an incomplete miscarriage because the emergency room wouldn’t remove the fetal tissue.

And it’s not just pregnant women who have to fear—it is all women who need a medication, such as for cancer or lupus, who are already being denied the medication because it could cause miscarriage. These women are not even pregnant.

Think about that for a moment. A non-existent fetus takes precedent over an actual, living woman’s health and life.

Members of the GOP are voting against bills guaranteeing the right for birth control and abortion to save the life of the mother.

This is insanity. I am pissed. And I am terrified for my granddaughter and all the young women in our country—even those in Blue States, because the GOP is working to make their draconian abortion laws nationwide.

Photo: My mother with my sister and cousin.

A Busy July

Wow, it’s been almost a month since I last posted. But the weather has been incredible at our new Oregon home, so I’m spending more time outside these days. But the weather isn’t the only thing that has captured my attention.

Before I give you an update, I’ll share with you the release date for The Ghost and the Medium’s audiobook release date. According to the Tantor Media website, it will be on the market September 27, 2022. Once again it will be narrated by the talented Romy Nordlinger.

Earlier this month I did something crazy, I jumped into TikTok.  I have to admit, I have been having a lot of fun with it. If you want to check out my videos go here.

This month was our Talbot Family reunion. (My Mother-in-law’s maiden name was Talbot.) We started this tradition back in 1983, and since then there has been a Talbot reunion every three years. Typically, around 50 people attend. My husband, our daughter and I have attended every reunion. Our son has missed three (I think) but fortunately he and his wife were able to attend this year. As always, it was a blast.

This year the reunion was held in Montana. And while there, I looked around and thought, “This is what an American Family looks like.”

The Talbots came to America before we were a country, back in the 1600s. If we are talking DNA, my mother-in-law (according to Ancestry DNA) was about 42% Sweden & Denmark, 25% Scotland, 14% England & Northwestern Europe, 12% Norway, and the rest Ireland, Wales, Finland.

So, am I suggesting a typical American family is white, considering my mother-in-law’s DNA?  

Nope. Because a few generations later our family is a colorful multi-race collection of people I adore. Some family members married into the family (like myself), others were adopted, and others are the children of mix race marriages.

Those early Talbots were Quakers, but now the great-great-grandchildren of my mother-in-law’s parents might have parents who are Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Muslim, Agnostic, Pagan, or something else. And we aren’t all straight. But that’s okay too.

An American family is not defined by the color of their skin, their faith, their sexual orientation, or even their DNA. 

In my opinion a family is a group of people who take time for each other, who cares for each other, and who will travel across the country to spend time together and ensures the younger generation can form invaluable bonds with cousins they rarely see in person. I’m eternally grateful for our Talbot family and the love and support it has given me all these years.

(Photo: the family photo of our son, our daughter-in-law, my husband, myself, our grandchildren, and daughter and son-in-law, at the Talbot Family Reunion. Montana July 2022.)