April 4, 2014 | 0 comments

This blog is going to be a confusing mess, reflective of my feelings on whether good girls should have anything to do with bad boys – or good boys enter relationships with bad girls.  The whole idea is fraught with risk and catastrophic personal repercussions.  The mother/grandmother part of me says no-way, no how, run!  Add Christian to mom/granny and I want to say always offer grace while keeping your eyes fixed on Jesus and following in His footsteps. God designed us to have a conscience.  We know what’s right and wrong. Don’t compromise.  Sometimes that bad boy has no intention of being good and wants nothing more than to add one to his trophy list.   

So what is the draw about a bad boy?  Is it the pride of challenge at being the one to turn a bad boy into a good man?  Is it the excitement or danger?  

Bad boys can make themselves look good to vulnerable young girls.  Such is the case with Dylan when he...

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March 28, 2014 | 0 comments

Abra learns to play piano as a child.  She loves music, and is gifted with talent and nice long fingers.  Her teacher, Mitzi, recognizes a kindred spirit and relishes training her.  Mitzi finds a way to use music as a healing device and a means of planting seeds that will begin to grow when Abra goes through her time in the wilderness. 

I love music.  I took piano lessons as a child.  I had Abra’s hands, but not her gifts and certainly not her discipline.  That’s what’s nice about writing.  I can live vicariously through my characters and let her blessings play out and develop in surprising ways. 

One of the things Mitzi does is make Abra learn every song in the church hymnal.  Abra is less than excited about this prospect.  She’d rather be practicing one of the popular songs on the radio.  Nevertheless, Mitzi pushes her and keeps pushing her. 

Far too many churches have left those old hymnals behind...

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March 21, 2014 | 0 comments

In Bridge to Haven, Joshua and Abra carry on a Korean war-time correspondence.  We cut some of the letters from the manuscript, but they may be posted on the Facebook page after the book is released.  Letters were a way to keep the story moving forward and having time pass more quickly.  Letters also showed the change occurring in two primary characters, one by the devastating effects of war on men in battle and the other, the turbulent emotional highs and lows of the teen years.  Joshua already knows who he is and what he wants, but Abra has a lot of growing up to do.  The letters also keep them connected and help them pick up where they left off when Joshua comes home, even though the emotional terrain has changed more than either realizes. 

My mother and father had a war-time correspondence.  They were married before Dad went into the Army.  He trained as a medic (as Joshua does) and was sent to Europe. He was part of the...

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March 14, 2014 | 0 comments

Sometimes we don’t recognize the mentors we’ve had until we grow up and look back over our lives.  At the time, they may have been someone we saw on a regular basis because of school or church schedules, odd jobs around the neighborhood, going to piano lessons.  The main character of Bridge to Haven, Abra, has several mentors, but one in particular has a warm spot in my heart. She’s a non-conformist, embarrasses her family on a regular basis, speaks truth even when it’s uncomfortable and doesn’t give a hoot what other people think about her.  She’s old, has a lot of life behind her, and knows the opinion of One is all that really matters.  She’s ditzy, too, with an interesting past.  So I gave her a name to fit, and you’ll know her when (if) you meet her. 

My mother was my mentor.  She was a constant in my life, always ready to listen and only dispensed advice in short doses.  Dad tended to lecture.  I loved him, but he...

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March 7, 2014 | 0 comments

One of the scenes in the new novel is in a photo studio when agent, Franklin Moss, arranges for publicity shots for “Lena Scott” (Abra). She feels shy in the beginning, but after a few glasses of champagne quickly gets into the swing of being a model and playing to the camera.  She will find out that stills are different than acting in front of a camera crew, director, make-up artists, and a cast of other workers necessary in making a motion picture.  She remains camera-shy, but learns to play her role well in a fantasy world that chews people up and spits them out.

I have never been comfortable in front of a camera.  As a child, I would stick out my tongue every time my mom or dad tried to get a picture.  My mother would become downright annoyed with me.  “Wait until you grow up and all we have are pictures of you making faces.”   I tried to behave.  Even when I did smile, I couldn’t be anyone else but who I was: a plain girl with a...

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March 2, 2014 | 0 comments

It seems most high school students have a favorite place to hang out. In Bridge to Haven, Abra and her friends cross the street to Eddie’s, a hamburger joint run by a proprietor who has a soft spot for troubled teens, hiring and rehabilitating them before they end up in the pen.  We had a couple of hangouts in my home town.  I worked in one called “The Ivory” during the summer and after school.  I could make a “mean” banana split and even slung some hamburgers. Friends would come in and order fries.  Rick left me a 25 cent tip, which was generous in the sixties when fries were about 25 cents.  So was a gallon of gas!   I had one admirer who came by frequently.  He was older.  I was sixteen, he was twenty or so.  And he drove a Corvette.  What a car!  He asked me out, but I felt a little leery of him and said I’d need to talk to my parents.  He had lots of plans and didn’t mind sharing them.  After he...

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February 20, 2014 | 0 comments

Over the past months, I have posted several times on sex trafficking.  Rick and I support Crossing the Jordan, a local ministry that is on the front lines.  Recently, my daughter, grand-daughter and I attended a rally put on by the Sonoma County Task Force Against Sex Trafficking.  Our city and county have become increasingly aware of the problem and are joining the fight to end human trafficking.  Public meetings last year brought together representatives from our local police department, homeland security, FBI, non-government agencies and several ministries and encouraged citizens to become involved.  We now have billboards up and down the 101 freeway announcing our county is actively fighting sex trafficking, with a list of those groups involved. 

Thankfully, there is a growing understanding of the connections between oppression, childhood sexual abuse, poverty and violence and the commercial sex trade which are helping to debunk the myth that...

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February 14, 2014 | 0 comments

The tabloids are always full of Hollywood love stories, often involving adultery, broken hearts, aberrant practices that the rest of the population is told not only to “tolerate”, but embrace.  The Hollywood power couples usually fall apart in a life of constant perusal, flash bulbs popping and what-happened-to-the-happily-ever-after predictions.  I don’t read the tabloids, but I confess I go to my dentist’s office early to catch up on People Magazine.  All that glitz and glamor seldom brings anything but a crash and burn and a new partner in the dance.  Some make me grieve.  Others make me wonder why anyone is surprised enough to make it a headline.

I’m delighted there are exceptions to the tabloid rule.  Charlton and Lydia Heston had been married 64 years when Charlton died.  They beat out Rick’s grandparents and parents; both couples made it past their 61th wedding anniversaries before one or the other went home to be with the...

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February 7, 2014 | 0 comments

When I was a girl growing up in the fifties and early sixties in a small farm town in Northern California, Hollywood seemed like the most glamorous place in the world.  Once in a while, I’d buy a movie magazine, especially if I spotted a favorite television or movie star.  I had a crush on Little Joe Cartwright (Michael Landon) when I was twelve.  Remember Tab Hunter? Blonde, tan and gorgeous.  One of the first records I bought was “Young Love, True Love”, his one and only hit song. And, of course, there were stars like Marlon Brando, Elizabeth Taylor, James Dean, Natalie Wood, Bobby Darin, Sandra Dee, and the still idolized Marilyn Monroe. I’d sit with friends on the lawn and we’d dream of what it’d be like to be discovered on Hollywood and Vine and become famous.

I think my mother secretly wished I’d be the next Shirley Temple.  When I was in kindergarten, she had my hair in curls.  Sadly, mine were thin and tight against my head rather than...

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January 31, 2014 | 0 comments

Every story I’ve written has begun with a question or issue with which I’m wrestling.  I have particular struggles in my faith walk that seem to come up over and over again.  It is easier for me to trust the Lord with my life than it is to trust Him with the lives of those I love.  Why is that?  I know in my head He has a plan for each life, but when I witness slips, fear nibbles its way through my defenses.  I need a strong reminder that God loves the individual even more than I do, and no matter how life may look, God is at work.  I have no control over anything anyway; it is highly practical to let go and let God do what He wills. 

Such is the battle going on in the story of Abra, Zeke, Joshua and other characters in Bridge to Haven.  We often see those we love approaching dangerous waters and we cry out in warning, but that doesn’t mean they’ll listen.  Sometimes they’ll even look over their shoulder and spit words of...

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