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Wow! What great news! Thank you for doing this for your Australian readers, Cheryl (especially me). I was just re-reading all my favourite Mary Louise and Lise parts in The Bartered Bride this morning, so I'm really looking forward to having another of your books to read and re-read. Thanks again, Jackie.

Hi again, Jackie. I've heard from Harlequin, and yes, THE BRIDE FAIR will be available to Australian readers this coming fall. I'm really happy about this. It's so rare that I ask for something and actually get it. :) I hope you'll enjoy Max and Maria's story.

Hi Jackie. Thank you for your interest. It makes me happy to know you enjoy my work. I've asked Harlequin about whether or not THE BRIDE FAIR will ever be available to Australian readers. I'll post the answer here as soon as I know. Best always, Cheryl

Hi Cheryl, I'm a big fan of your writing and have read many of your books. My favourites would have to be "Promise Me A Rainbow" and "The Bartered Bride". I'd love to read "The Bride Fair' but it doesn't appear to be available in Australia. Are there any plans to make the ebook available for purchase by Australian readers? Thank you, Jackie

Cheryl, the rock is very mysterious; more interesting is that a mother was able to unearth an object found years ago my a long grown-up son. You deserve some kind of award!
Also, I've been meaning to comment on your deleted prologue to Unexpected Wife. What were the publisher/editor people thinking? I don't know how you authors are able to endure their incredibly inane decisions. That prologue gave insight to the enduring heartbreak of the character's whole life. Oh well......
Have a great Thanksgiving with your loved ones.
Mary Jane Dazer

Hi, Mary Jane. LOL about finding the mystery rock. I guess we know where it is because it is a "mystery." I'm glad you found the prologue helpful. It certainly helped me to focus on what Kate Woodard was like. As always, thank you for your interest in my work. I hope you have a great Thanksgiving, too.


I just finished An Unexpected wife and I was wondering if the Kinnard name had a special meaning for you or for the book. I am related to Kinnards and was wondering if it was relative. Thanks, Deb Gibson

-Hi, Deb. Occasionally the names I give my characters (surnames and given names) do have some special meaning to me, i.e., they may be the first OR last name (never both) of someone I liked a lot but who is no longer here with us, and I want to remember them in a way that is meaningful only to me. Most of the time, though, it's a matter of finding the right "fit." I keep a composition book of names that appeal to me, and I go through them until I find the ones that "feel right." Any old name won't do, not if I want the character to seem real to me. "Mrs. Kinnard" was such a character. I liked the name and it seemed just right for her, bless her irrepressible heart.

I have just started reading your books. "The Unexpected Wife" was the first one I read. And immediately, I started searching for all the ones you have written in the past. The post Civil War books are interesting and well written. Thank you for such enjoyable reads! (I just got "The Prisoner" today and read it in one sitting ;-)

~Thank YOU! I am so glad to hear that.
Hi Cheryl. I have read your Family Blessing series. I love the characters. Especially Lucas Singer and Sloan Baron. In Tenderly, Sloan mentioned that she wished, she had given Lucas a child. It was never explained as to why they didn't have a child together

~As I recall, it just didn't happen. I should have been more specific, shouldn't I? As a reader myself, I don't like to be left with questions--but this one apparently got by me.
Hi Cheryl! Your books are wonderful. Love the Ft Bragg books and the Navajo books! Did you write a story about Santos from the Ft Bragg series? I thought I had read it some years ago but maybe just imagined it! All the best to you. Abi

Hi Abi. Thank you! I'm so glad you've enjoyed reading them. I haven't written a story about Santos--but I've always thought she was an interesting character, even if she didn't have a lot to do.

Belated Happy New Year!


Well, I got it (pre-ordered on Kindle), read it, and I'm immensely satisfied! So Sayer was the "broken china dishes" lady. My mother was originally from Kentucky, but lived her whole married (and widowed) life in Detroit. But somehow the voices of the wonderful Blue Ridge characters in this story really spoke to me. Their strength and endurance are just wonderful.
Thanks again, Cheryl, for brightening our lives,
Mary Jane Dazer

That's exactly right, Mary Jane. She's the "broken china dishes" lady. And thank YOU, for your very kind remarks.


Hi cheryl,
im a great fan of your books.i have read three books n im looking forward to read more books by you.i really liked the forbidden bride beacuse of its historical background.


Thanks, Anne! That is very nice to know!


I have read "One of Our Own", "Mother to Be", "Meggie's Baby" and "Tenderly" several times. Imagine my surprise when I was looking at the Kindle books that Will has a story too! I downloaded it right away. I haven't started it yet, but I am sure it is going to be good. I see there have been several people asking for Patrick's story. Please add me to that list!

North Carolina

-Thank you for your support, Ronda. I really appreciate it. And thanks for your interest in the irrepressible "Patrick." It's looks like I'll be doing historicals for now, so he isn't at the top of the list.

just read the good news about "The Soldiers Wife" - congratulations and I can't wait. Can you give some details?

-Hi, and thanks for asking.

A one-sentence summary of THE SOLDIER'S WIFE would be: At the end of the Civil War, an ex-Union soldier on the run finds himself embroiled in the troubles of a young Confederate widow.

Most of the book takes place in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina.

The hero is "Jeremiah (Jack) Murphy," who made a promise to a dying Confederate soldier on the battlefield, one he had no intention of ever keeping--until he needed a place to hide.

The heroine is "Sayer Garth," who is waiting and longing for her husband to come home from the war, not knowing he was killed in an unexpected skirmish that occurred after Lee's surrender.


-Not so much "triste," Mary Jane, as recovering from dental surgery. (ow, Ow, OW) Less pain today, though, but I'm not out of the "possibility of a dry socket" woods yet. I'm beginning to feel like "Pricilla's Pop" (the father in an old, now defunct comic strip who always had mashed potato sandwiches for lunch.

Thank you for your very kind remarks. It means a lot to me. People don't understand when I tell them that being a romance writer is a lot like being a nurse--only now I push words instead of pills in a concerted effort to make someone feel better--or at least provide some respite from a difficult situation. I'm often amazed by some of the letters I've gotten. It's a true honor to be a part of someone's life in that way.

You take care and have a wonderful holiday season, too, Mary Jane.


Just wondering two things: 1. Such Rough Splendor showed up in the kindle format at amazon, but not This Side of Paradise. Any idea of when it will arrive? 2. Are the white raisins in your cake recipe golden raisins?

-I know THIS SIDE OF PARADISE is on the way, but I don't have a definite date as to when. Both books were okayed about 10 days ago, so I'm hoping it will follow very soon.

-Yes, the raisins in the recipe are golden raisins. I hope you enjoy the cake.


I am curious about the NEXT books-THE FIRST BOY I LOVED/THE MARINE. I am a big fan and would love to purchase them.

I look forward to your next book-

~I'm still working on finding the "orphans" a home, Debbie. Thanks for asking. (This has been a LONG road.)

My next book will be a reissue of PROMISE ME A RAINBOW for BelleBooks or possibly a new historical for LOVE INSPIRED titled THE SOLDIER'S WIFE. I'm not sure about the scheduling as yet. I've just finished the manuscript for THE SOLDIER'S WIFE, and now I have to wait to see if there will be rewrites--while I'm writing another historical.

Take care and...

Best always,


Great news about the as yet unborn historicals. I hope THIS contract includes publishing and printing and actually releasing said books to us readers!
so excited about your blog post - I can't ever seem t comment there. But anyway - great news and good luck!
Hey Cheryl,
I took "One of our own" back to Germany after an exchange year about 15 years ago and have reread it many times; a couple of years ago I got the follow ups through Amazon, and I love them all! I so wish you could write Patrick's story! Anything we could do to make it happen? Maybe sending letters to Harlequin or something?

Love, and thanks for this wonderful family,

~Thank YOU, Susanne. It means a lot to know that you've enjoyed my work.

Best always,

Cheryl, I'm glad to read that you're feeling better, but maybe you shouldn't tell everybody. Then they won't expect you to finish all the Christmas stuff. I don't have the malady excuse, but I'm always in a "come to a standstill" panic this close to Christmas.

I'm continuing to be very angry at the wicked publisher for not giving us your new book. Unless you wrote it in sanskrit, I can't imagine their logic. Take care of yourself, and enjoy your bluebird Christmastime!

Mary Jane Dazer

Thanks, Mary Jane. You always make me feel better.


thanks for your response. I hope anyone who hasn't read the books leading up to "The Music Box" will have the opportunity to read them. You're one of my must-buys!


~THE MUSIC BOX is part of HQN's new venture into heartwarming, wholesome family-oriented stories, apparently in response to readers who want that in lieu of either "spicy" or "inspirational."

I just finished doing the galleys, and I don't think not standing alone will be a problem for readers. It's rather in that maze of "things you know," "things you don't know" and "things you don't know you don't know." In any event, I'm trusting readers not to be confused and hoping they'll want to read more about the Baron-Singer family.

Have you written a book about Kate Markham, who is a character in The Prisoner and The Bride Fair?

-Not yet, I'm afraid. I think I've missed the window of opportunity to do it.


Hi Kerry. Thank you for your kind remarks re: my SSEs. You made me smile.

The email address is: cherylreavis@members.authorsguild.net

Hi Cheryl. Could you please include your email address on your website as I can't connect up to it here in Melbourne Australia in the format on the left hand side of this page.Have read all the Baron/Singer/Meehan books as well as The Long Way Home. They were all very moving and inspirational. I too would love you to write Patrick's story as others have requested here.

Good for Uncle Joe! The thing about the Autry is there is only 1 room of his memorabilia and the rest is Western history.My favorite is the art gallery as there are many original works you cann't see anywhere else.Peaceful and air conditioned. I have a shelf of Emile Lorings too They are a real hoot! Pam in hot CA


Trigger went to RFDTV and they hope to build a museum around him. I'm glad it took my family to RR's before they moved it.The Autry Museum in LA is still going strong.It has less personal memorabilia and more Western history. Worth the visit. Pam Chavez

-First, please forgive the mistake -- which has since been corrected -- in your name, Pam. I'm reading an old Emilie Loring when I walk on the treadmill and the heroine's name is "Pat." It is apparently stuck in my brain.

Re: The Autry Museum -- here's the thing about that (I'm about to reveal a deep dark family secret here). I'm not sure I could go to the Autry place without causing serious underground rumbling. My late Uncle Joe was in the mirror business in LA in the 1950s, and he once had a job installing numerous mirrors in Mr. Autry's house. Mr. Autry apparently like to "supervise" and in a way my Uncle Joe eventually found intolerable. One thing led to another, words were exchanged, and Uncle Joe knocked Mr. Autry down. I'm not sure why Uncle Joe wasn't severely punished for this sacrilege, but apparently he wasn't. Even so, I think he'd probably roll over in his grave if his brother Henry's little girl went to the Gene Autry Museum. As for myself, when I was little, my only exposure to the then President of the United States (Truman) was at the movies during the newsreels. (No TV in those days.) I would see the newsreels and then the cowboy movie, either Roy or Gene, usually. And I absolutely thought that Harry Truman and Gene Autry were the same person. They looked alike to me. Harry wore a suit in the news thing, then he changed into his cowboy duds and became Gene Autry. Maybe Uncle Joe was confused about that, too -- of course punching out a president wouldn't be such a good idea, either.

I tried to leave a comment on your blog but no go.They moved the Roy Rodgers Museum from Victorville,CA to Branson due to low attendance.There is a Roy Rodgers Blvd and a Dale Evans Ln in Victorville ,CA where they were long time residents.They are buried there. Sence Harlequin doesn't seem to want to publish your new books have you looked for a different publisher ? Sourcebooks maybe ? Pam Chavez

-Working on it, Pam. (Thanks for the RR info. I see in the newspaper here "Trigger" went for quite a tidy sum.)

Please, Please, Please!!!! give us Patick's story! I've followed the Baron clan from "One Of Their One", and have a 'soft spot' for Patrick. Really want to see him get his happy ending! I LOVE all your books!

-I have a soft spot for "Patrick," too. I do have a "beginning" of his story, but it's not going anyplace. (sigh)
Cheryl: I love "promise me a rainbow" - it's one of my comfort reads. I often think about those characters and wonder what they are doing now.

-Thank you. I'm waiting to hear something. And waiting...
Cheryl, just did a quick scan of the cadet diary; fyi, when he says "roll me an own" I think he means roll himself a cigarette. They used to say "roll your own" for hand rolled cigarettes. My gosh, this guy is even older than me!
Mary Jane Dazer

- I think you're right about the cigarette, Mary Jane. That definitely makes sense.

-I've managed (I think) to discover more about him, including a cadet yearbook photograph. (It was quite the "That's him!" moment.) He looks so very young despite the poor quality of the picture. I'll post it and the details with the last entry.

-And what a journey his diary must have had -- to end up where it did.




I'll try that recipe, I love cherries.
Thanks again.


Thank you so much for your time and help finding the
cookbook. I have ordered copies of the new version
of the book. It has the original recipes with new ones
added. I'm so excited to find them! You've been a blessing!


-Gosh! I don't know that I've ever been a blessing before -- but I think I like it.

-Thanks for letting me know you found The Grange Range. Maybe you and I can steer some more business St. John's way.

Happy Cooking!


P.S. One of my favorite Christmas and Thanksgiving recipes is Mrs. Troy Miller's "Cherry Salad," p. 267 in the old book.



I found a blog that you posted with a cookbook on it called
"The Grange Range." My mother has had this cookbook since
I was a little girl. She always said, "I got this out of the Red Book." I would love to be able to give my eleven
year old daughter one of these cookbooks, cooking is one of
her favorite things to do. She also wants to become a writer of Christian children's books. Do you know where I
may be able to find one of these books? Would you be willing to sell your book? It would mean so much to us if
we were able to find one. Thank you for your time.

-Hi. It's a wonderful cookbook, isn't it?

-I'm afraid I couldn't sell my copy -- it was a gift from a patient's family many years ago (1975) when I was their home health nurse, and as such, it has a lot of sentimental value. It's also the one I use more than any other on the shelf.

-I was able to locate what I think is the address for the group that sold the cookbook:

-St. John's Grange # 729
100 St. John's Church Road
Concord NC 28025

-The information re: the church itself:

-St. John's Lutheran Church

-100 St. John's Church Road

-Concord, NC 28025

-Office: 704-436-6081

-Fax: 704-436-6206

-It's possible that someone at the church may be able to help you.

-Good luck with your quest. I hope you can find a copy of The Grange Range. And good luck to your daughter as well, both with her cooking and her writing.


Hi, Cheryl
Like many others I have been waiting to hear about when your latest book will be out in stores. Also, I would love to see another historical of the Civil War in Salisbury. My all time favorite books are Bride Fair and The Prisoner. I'd love to see another one telling the story of Max's sister Kate. Rexanna Swanson

-Hi, Rexanna.

-Thanks for stopping by, and thanks for waiting. No news as yet, I'm afraid. "Kate" is always wandering around in the back of my mind, so maybe one day...


Birthday greetings from one of your largest and most reliable readers! Of course the only way I CAN read anything new from you these days is on your blog!

I loved your pictures of the dream cottage. When I was young, I kept for years an article with pictures of a caboose car converted into a cottage. I yearned for that little place. Somewhere in the ensuing years known as real life that picture disappeared. But I still love cabooses.

Have a great birthday, Cheryl, stay healthy, and avoid modern electronics as much as possible. By the way, I thought one of your pictures looked like an extreme closeup of a Rose Bowl float!

Mary Jane Dazer

-Thanks for the birthday greetings, Mary Jane. I'll try to stay away from the electronics. It shouldn't be too hard. Most of my time seems to be taken up with trying not to creak.

-Here's hoping one day you get your caboose cottage -- which sounds very appealing, BTW. I so miss seeing them on the freight trains. I think they should still have them -- for the nostalgia and aesthetics if nothing else. A train without a caboose is just -- wrong.

Take care and best always,


P. S. Thanks, too, for being "reliable." I appreciate it.


Hi Cheryl,

Love your books and am wondering about the ones that were supposed to be published this year?

Thx, Robin

Hi, Robin,

They're still in scheduling limbo. I know THE FIRST BOY I LOVED and THE MARINE are back up on amazon.com, but that's all I know.

Whenever I hear anything, I'll post it on this website and on the blog. Thank you for interest. It's very much appreciated.




Cheryl, It is Pam Thompson form the Health Department. When does you next new book come out I did not see a date on this link. Hope you are doing well and hope to hear form you soon. Pam

-Pammie! I'm so glad to hear from you, little sunshine. (I miss working with you.) Re: the books, Harlequin has re-shuffled the schedule. They were already on amazon and assorted other online bookstores for pre-ordering, but that's changed, and I don't know yet when the re-re-revised release date is. As soon as I know, I'll post it here on the website.

You take care -- and try to behave.




Cheryl, I loved your snow pictures, very arty.Glad you got to share in what was an over-abundance up here in Michigan. I liked your snow cream recipe. There was a similar goodie in the beloved "Little House in the Big Woods". I think their's was made at maple sugaring time. Still waiting for the book release here. By the way, I've tried to write at the blog site, but can't get logged in there. Don;t know whether it's my ineptitude or theirs.

-Re: the snow pictures, I'm still trying to navigate the digital camera thing -- I can't seem hold the camera still, and if I use the "anti-shake" setting, the photo is full of dust motes. So I was pleasantly surprised that these few came out well. I'll have to blog some of the other photos, the ones that look more like someone's acid trip. It used to snow several times a winter here -- according to the diary I kept from ages 11 through 16. Now it snows several times a half-decade -- hence my determination to get pictures.

Re: not being to post on the blog, several people seem to be having that problem. Blogspot isn't all that helpful re: the difficulties other than to say it might be the person's internet browser. Some browsers don't cooperate when it comes to blog posting, apparently. Feel free to comment here, though, and I'll try to respond quickly.


I love The Bride Fair, and have read and reread it several time. Did you every write a story about Kate Woodard? I'm sure all of your readers would love to have a happy ending for her in another story. I enjoyed the follow up story of Nell Hansen.

Hi, and thank you for reading and especially for re-reading.

Re: "Kate Woodard," I haven't planned to do her story, but if I did, I think I'd bring back one of "Maria's" thought-to-be-dead brothers and let him help her resolver her relationship with her son while she helps him deal with his PTSD.


I am waiting for your Aug 09 release but wonder if you have anything else coming out this year?Does Patrick get a book?any Historicals on tap? Pam in CA

-Hi, Pam. The 2-in-1 book is the only thing I have coming out this year. There are no plans for another historical at this time or for a "Patrick Baron" book. Actually, I have done several chapters on his story (with a heroine who is a wounded, PTSD soldier). I haven't yet submitted a formal proposal regarding the project, and I haven't continued with writing more chapters because doing so makes the characters too real (if that makes sense). There's nothing worse than having "real" but unsold characters in one's head. In any event, I hope you'll like THE FIRST BOY I LOVED and THE MARINE, and I thank you for your interest. It's very much appreciated.

------------- SPECIAL NOTE FOR SUE H.
I just wanted to thank you for your email re: my historicals. I lost your (and everybody else's) email address in a hard drive crash and couldn't reply directly. ~ Cheryl


Cheryl, thank you forever for recommending "The Guernsey Literary and Potato.....". I could not put it down! It's been a long time since a book grabbed me like that. What a wonderful world I lived in for just two days. Now, I'll wait and wait for them (your selfish publishers) to dole out another of your books. Faithful reader, Mary Jane Dazer

To Mary Jane: I'm so glad you enjoyed the "The Guernsey Literary and...." I don't often recommend books, but I definitely found this one special. Take care and thanks for all your years of "faithful reader"-ing. I really appreciate it. ~ Cheryl


Cheryl reavis my name is cheryal reavis where did you get my name? from a marriage or given name. I found a book in senior,s sale with my name about lost my teeth. I am a twin to carol reavis which we are married now both us.

ANSWER: I got my name the usual way -- Mama and marriage. My mother named me "Cheryl" after a 1940s movie star named Cheryl Walker. "Reavis" is my married name. It came with the groom. There are a number of us around. I've been asked on occasion if I'm the one who sings in a quartet. (No.) Another one apparently plays a musical instrument in a symphony orchestra. (I'm not that one, either.) ~Cheryl


Dear Cheryl: I found your romance novel ("Mother to Be") in our local Goodwill Store and immediately bought it. Being of Dineh heritage, it was rewarding to read about our people in their traditional home settings and the love/hate humor that you so realisticly conveyed in capturing the characters portrayed in your novels. I intend to purchase the "Family Blessing" series and hope you have found balance in your life too. Go In Beauty...... S.Morgan

Dear S. Morgan: Thank you. I learned a lot in doing the "Family Blessings" series, and I think I'm the better for it. Thank you, too, for your blessing. Walking in Beauty isn't always easy, but I've learned the rewards are many. ~Cheryl



ANSWER FOR EILEEN: First, thank you for visiting my website and for your very kind remarks re: A CRIME OF THE HEART. In answer to your question, I did make a follow-up attempt once, but I just couldn't seem to connect with a viable story for the characters. That happens sometimes. A story line just won't "continue," regardless of a writer's best intentions. It may have been too soon to try, I don't know. In any event, your interest is very much appreciated. I hope you'll visit the website and/or the blog again and often. ~Cheryl


Cheryl, I just received a phone call from my 90 year old mother whose maiden name is Margaret Reavis. Her father's name was Ellis Houston Reavis and he was from North Carolina. She was curious as to whether you migt be related. As far as I know Ellis came to Illinois in the late teens or early 20's. Thank you for any onformation you may have. Don Holt

I, too, am hoping to hear about Patrick, but will wait eagerly for your "Next" book, too. Have followed the Barons since "One of our Own" and enjoyed them all. Keep u the good work. Edna D


Chricket: I'm so sorry to hear that your husband is ill. I know this is a very difficult time for you. Take care. --CR


Thank you for taking the time to reply, I really appreciate it. I love to read books that allow me to get to know the characters and permit me to follow them through several books. I always feel that I get to know them and watch them flesh out, to grow and mature, to follow there dreams and realize their greatest potential. I guess it sounds foolish, but if an author gets the opportunity to carry some characters thru several books I always feel more involved and look forward to reading the next book in hopes that I will get to know them better. I truly enjoy your books as you have an amazing talent for breathing life into your characters; they are never flat or one-dimensional. My sweet hubby’s health has been failing for a while so I spend many hours reading quietly close to him. Thank you for sharing your talent with all of us and for gifting me with countless hours of pleasure. Chricket


I just picked up Medicine Man and after reading your letter to Reader, I found that I would really like to read the earlier books with Will Baron in them first. Could you post the titles so that I might try to find them? Thanks so very much, Chricket

Hi, Chricket: In answer to your question, the Silhouette Special Edition Baron family titles are: ONE OF OUR OWN, MEGGIE'S BABY, MOTHER TO BE, and TENDERLY. "Arley Meehan," who is in MEDICINE MAN, first appeared in THE OLDER WOMAN. THE OLDER WOMAN, LITTLE DARLIN', THE LONG WAY HOME and MEDICINE MAN are all set in the Fort Bragg area. --CR


Comment: I picked up MEDICINE MAN and realized it was part of a series. I found all of the past books online. Question: Will Patrick be getting a book of his own? As I read through the books I am intrigued about whether or not he will get his "happy ending"

Answer For Tracy: Tracy, thank you for your inquiry about "Patrick." Since MEDICINE MAN has been released, I've had a number of emails from readers who want to know if he will have his own book -- as well as some suggestions as to where his "happy ending" might lie. At the moment I'm working on my third manuscript for Harlequin's NEXT line, so I don't have any immediate plans to write his story. I'm committed to NEXT until July, and then we'll see. A lot will depend on reader interest, not to mention publisher interest. --CR


I currently am reading Medicine Man, and I have to say there aren't that many books that mention the military let alone with a hero who is on Active Duty. It's funny to be reading the book and see terms that I know, having grown up in the military, and then finally joining Active Duty myself out of Ft. Hood. I'm now in the Indiana Army National Guard with my husband facing a possible deployment where we'll be leaving our two young children behind. Thank you for the entertaining read and for a soldier's story however fictional he may be, it's greatly appreciated. Sincerely, SPC Angela Wasson angela.kloss@us.army.mil

Assorted Setting Photos:

T h e   MARINE This is a photo of a beach house I took years ago which, for whatever reason, suddenly inspired this story of a young marine who must choose between his duty to his country and his duty to his baby girl.

In reality, this is the Murphy House, a B&B. In fiction, it is a setting I used in THE BRIDE FAIR, the place where "Max Woodard" was billeted. The B&B is for sale at the moment. I'm hoping whoever buys it will treat it well.

This is a "ghostly" looking photo of the Hall House. I used it as a setting in THE PRISONER. I took the photograph myself, but I don't know why it came out looking so ethereal.

I took this photograph of the Hall House as well and only a few minutes later. This is the actual house where General George Stoneman billeted when he and his cavalry raided the town in April 1865.
The "outside office," available briefly in the spring before the warmer weather brings out the mosquitoes.

The "outside office" two weeks later and post "blackberry winter." That's an AlphaSmart 3000, by the way. I prefer it to a laptop in the "field." It is a wonderful writer's gadget.

The "inside office." Bulletin board, actually. On it you will see my "star" lights, one set is white and one set is multicolor. And various grandbaby creations, most particularly my paper plate, glitter and tinsel guardian angel known as "Angelina Jolie." (Love her lipstick.) I doubt the real "Angelina" would ever watch over beat up old nurse-writers, but this one does. I like having her at my back. Very empowering. There is a "Wonder Woman" comic book below and a little to the left of "Angelina," a gift from my son -- also empowering. I loved Wonder Woman when I was a little girl -- she was the ONLY heroine on the scene who had dark hair like me. My grandfather used to give me a quarter to go to the drugstore where I was supposed to buy myself a treat -- ice cream, or candy and a fountain soft drink. I did buy the soft drink (a 5-cent Cherry Smash or a Coke) because it was a long walk and I always arrived thirsty. But the rest I spent on Wonder Woman. Decades later, not long before he died, he told me that he'd never understood how a child would rather have something to read instead of ice cream or candy, and it used to worry him. I guess it's a "writer thing." I never once felt as if I was making a sacrifice. Reading about Wonder Woman was much more important than food. The thing with the black border around it is a poem a fellow writer sent me after she'd read one of my Civil War books. It's titled "Gettysburg: July 1, 1863" by Jane Kenyon. It is so powerful, and it breaks my heart every time I read it. -------------------

This portrait was done by the senior member of my very talented art department. I like for him to draw me because he always makes me thin. I'm not sure what's going on with the hair, and I have "fat fingers" as if I'd been on a ten mile hike with a fifty pound rucksack. I'm smiling, though. And I have purple socks. Wonderful things, purple socks. _____________ _____________ _______

Another portrait, this one from the newest member of my art department. Once again, I am smiling. Really.