Tuesday, October 21, 2008

"ANNE MARIE'S NEW MELODY," my latest novel has been released. It is the last in the series of three northwest women and the retirement choices they make that change their lives. Anne Marie is the musician, gourmet cook and a woman of the senses. Nothing in her life has prepared her to assume the role of mother for two neglected children but neither can she just walk away. Her emotions are battered as she struggles with her decision but the ending to her story works out exactly the way she want it to.

"ANNE MARIE'S NEW MELODY" is available through some independent bookstores, through www.bbotw.com or other on line sources.

Saturday, October 11, 2008


It was only a little past noon on Thursday when Kathleen's phone rang. "Hello?"

"Hello, Kathleen, this is Riley again. I'm just ready to head home so I thought I'd call before I get engrossed with child activities."

"You're finished teaching for the day?"

"I am." He paused, "So-how about that coffee date? I think we have enough in common to build friendship."

"We don't even know each other. How could you know what we have in common?"

She could hear his smile as he answered, "We both like dogs-that's a start. And we both like being outdoors, even in the rain."

He went on, "Let's see then, we both have careers and we're close to the same age-adult."

She said, "I'm listening but I'm not convinced."

He went on, "We both like children. You admitted you did. And you're attractive when you aren't crying over you know who. Your smile is great, I'd like to see it a lot more often."

She smiled then, she couldn't help it. "Are you through?"

"Not yet. We both like coffee but not sweet."

"That's it?"

"This is my clincher. I have children and you want some, but you have to learn to like me first. Oh yes, the other part of that, I have the superior genes common in redheads to pass on to future children. Now are you clenched?"

Stunned, Kathleen was almost angry but he'd sounded very insecure in spite of the bravado of the words. A laugh escaped, she couldn't help it. "I'm not clenched. Not even close, but I'm listening. I'd say your case is pretty flimsy so far. Any how, the point about the children is a tough one for me. I admit I like children, even that I'd like some but I don't want to learn to love a child again and then have them shut out of my life. It hurts too bad. I also wouldn't want to get interested in a man who just wanted child care."

She drew in a deep breath, "Besides that, I don't get involved easily, or often, so I'm not ready to think about a relationship right now." She paused, "I could use an occasional friendly cup of coffee and some conversation, if that's an option."

"It is an option. I can tell you aren't ready for anything else now so I think that's a pretty good deal. Say coffee tomorrow, at Starbucks on 18Th."

"I could do that. What time?"

"I have an early class and no office hours, about ten thirty. I don't pick up the kids from pre-school until noon."

"All right. I'll combine it with a trip for office supplies and see you then. Goodbye now."

"Goodbye. See you tomorrow. Oh, and Kathleen, I did hear what you said about the children. I'll be very careful to see neither of those things happen."

Kathleen put the phone down and stood staring out her back window. No rain today, no rainbows either but still an improvement. This was the perfect time to clean up the garden. Get it ready for a new planting in the spring. She located a jacket and gloves and then headed outside to begin pulling the withered plants, determined that next year's garden would be even better. The end.

Sunday, October 05, 2008


She'd completed two stops and was just going for groceries when it suddenly occurred to her, she hadn't thought about Steve once since she left the park. She'd been too busy fuming about that jerk. Where did he get his crazy ideas? What nerve.

By the next Saturday she'd passed the sidewalk chalk on and hadn't cried all week. She still ached whenever something reminded her of Steve or Ashley but every day she had more time when she didn't think about them. She did think about Charley's owner a time or two. He was amusing even if he did irritate her. He was kind of good looking too. Well, she'd put him and his kids out of her mind for good. She didn't have extra energy to waste thinking about him. She avoided the dog park entirely and took Emma to Joyce's rural home north of town. They both enjoyed the time with Joyce. While she was driving home, Kathleen wondered casually if Charley had been at the dog park.

On Monday, the phone rang mid morning. "Hello?"

"Kathleen, please don't hang up. Let me talk a minute. This is Riley Barrows, Jamey and Kelly's father and foster parent to Chrley."

"How did you find me? I can't believe this. You didnt even know my name."

"Before I tell you, I need to tell you that I can give you reference. I'm not a stalker, not dangerous. I'm just an ordinary guy, a teacher from the Community College. A little nicer than some but just ordinary."

"So! How did you find me?"

"This morning, when I wanted to find you and couldn't think how, I remembered the article in the paper about the Department of Motor Vehicles on the Internet. I thought about it awhile and finally connected on your licesnse plate number. Does that upset you?"

"Yes it does. It make me feel spied on. I don't like it at all."

"Kathleen, I'm sorry I looked for you. I was worried that you stayed away from the dog park because of me. I didn't want to lose contact with you. "I'll hang up now if you don't want to talk to me."

"Riley, you said your name was. It fits you somehow. Part of the reason I skipped the dog park was because of you. You seem to rub me the wrong way. "

"Ha! What I really do is distract you from moping about what's his name. Admit it, I do distract you, don't I?"

Kathleen thought about his question before she answered, "Yes, you do. I admit it. But I'm not sure the anger you cause is any better for me."

"Seriously Kathleen, I don't want you to disappear. I hope we can get together for a cup of coffee sometime, get a little better acquainted. At least share the dog park."

"I'm on a deadline right now and don't have time to think about this. You might call later in the week and I'll consider the dog park."

"I will. There might not even be rain."

Kathleen said goodbye and ended the call. She probably wouldn't go. She might have something better to do.