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Looking Back on 2020…

I was not terrific about blogging in 2020. Will I do better in 2021? I don’t know.

Today I sat down and wrote my annual Christmas letter. It’s a tradition in our family, where we each sit down and write about the year just ending. We normally do it on Christmas night, but some years, like in 2020, I waited until today. The letters are then put in a Christmas scrapbook. Now that our kids are adults—one living in Alaska and the other in Portland, they no longer contribute pages to the book. I wish they would.

2020 was a rough year for our country and the world. For me it started off bringing my mother home from the hospital after a stroke. We spent the next two months dealing with her rehabilitation and nurses coming to our home to help her with therapy and showers.

Just weeks after her therapy ended, the country went into a lockdown because of Covid, and since then we have been sheltering in place.

I did venture out to YouTube, and started an Authortube channel. I put out 15 videos, and then stopped when I didn’t have anything new to add. If I think of something, I might add another video, but it was only done as a needed distraction during the early days of lockdown.

I then turned to cooking. I started making my own homemade pasta, and even splurged on an attachment for my Kitchenaid.

After I figured out pasta, I moved to sourdough bread. My sister, who was also faithfully sheltering in place, had been making sourdough bread, so she walked me through the sourdough starter process and shared her recipe.

When it comes to pasta noodles and sourdough bread, I will be sticking to homemade. I love them both.  

I also tried cheese making for the first time, a simple farm cheese. My next adventure in the kitchen is fermenting. I think I will start with fermenting salsa.

When I’m not in the kitchen, I am in front of my computer. In fact, I am doing another sort of fermenting right now, figuring out the plot to my next Haunting Danielle book, The Ghost and the Mountain Man.

Professionally it was a good year for me. I published three Haunting Danielle books, and all were well received. Dreamscape Media released my Coulson Family Saga in audiobook, and I was thrilled with what the narrator did with them. Plus, I had several audiobook releases in my Haunting Danielle series, and I always love what that narrator does.

In November I had to say goodbye to a dear friend–Spooky the Halloween Cat. We estimate he was about eighteen. While he was my cat, the last two years he had moved in with Mom and been wonderful company for her. Mom cried for days after he traveled the rainbow bridge. She misses her buddy, but I know he is now with Lady and free from pain.

Wishing all of us a much better new year. 

Haunting Danielle…still going strong…

It’s a little crazy to think I am working on Book 24 in my Haunting Danielle series. 24! And I already have my story idea for Book 25. 

When I released the first book in my Haunting Danielle series, in the summer of 2014, I had no idea—nor no plan—to run the series this long. I knew it was going to be a series, yet I had no idea how the readers would receive the book and if they would want more.

I’ve said all along that I will continue bringing new Haunting Danielle books if three conditions are met. 

1. My readers still wanted them.

2. I have story ideas.

3. I am still able to write the books.

One thing that often happens with series authors, they grow bored of writing the series, or they have another story they are itching to write.

Boredom has not been an issue for me. I’m inspired by my readers and the positive comments I receive. Each book I want to bring something that they won’t just like, but something new and different from the previous books. The challenge has a way of killing any boredom.

As for having another story or book idea distracting my attention—yes that happens with me. But I’ve decided to incorporate the idea—if possible—into one of my Haunting Danielle books. If I didn’t check myself, I could easily bounce around from one series to another, which could have disastrous effects. 

One example of an idea incorporated in the Haunting Danielle series is the Christmas shoe (for those who read the last Haunting Danielle book.) For a number of years I have been wanting to write a Christmas book around the shoe. And I finally did.

Don’t rule out the possibility of me starting another series in the distant—or not so distant—future. I have had several ideas, yet still thinking them over. If I do start another series, it won’t mean the end of Haunting Danielle. It simply means I will have more books to write.

As for me, time to see about some coffee. It’s almost 7 am, and I will get this posted to my blog in a few minute. Have a great day!

(Photo: Book cover of my next Haunting Danielle book.)

To PreOrder The Ghost and the Silver Scream, click here!

My youngest Haunting Danielle Fan

I have a new fan. And you have no idea how thrilled I am. It’s my nine-year-old granddaughter, Addison.

Addison is a voracious reader. Her favorite books include The Land of StoriesHarry Potter, and Diary of a Wimpy Kid.

She lives in Alaska with her parents and brother, as my son-in-law is in the Coast Guard, and my daughter is a professional graphic artist and cover designer. My daughter is the artist who has designed all my book covers.

Since they live so far away, I don’t get to see them often—although we keep in touch with Facetime. But when they do visit, a tradition we have established when they stay with us is for me to tell Addison and Evan a story every night before bed. (Yes, I named the Evan in Haunting Danielle for my grandson, while I made Evan in my story the age of Addison at the time I wrote the first book he appeared in.)

A Grandma Bobbi story is an impromptu story I make up on the fly, which normally includes mermaids, dragons, flying and sometimes time travel.

Addison has always been a bit fascinated by the fact her grandma writes books—at least since she started reading books. Recently, she told her mother she wanted to read Grandma Bobbi’s Haunting Danielle books. I wasn’t sure the books would keep her interest, but  according to her mom she loved The Ghost of Marlow House and wanted to read the next one. Although, the book did prompt her to ask her mother questions on words or events she did not completely understand. 

I was a little concerned about her reading book two—the subject matter was a tad more adult, yet nothing graphic and not really anything more risqué than a child might see on regular television.

Well, Addison is half-way through the second book, and my daughter tells me she is enjoying it. I never considered Haunting Danielle as book a child might enjoy—but then I remember I was only a few years older than Addison when I read Valley of the Dolls. Thankfully, Haunting Danielle is nothing like Valley of the Dolls.

I love the fact that one of the most important people in my life—my granddaughter—is enjoying my Haunting Danielle series.