Dear Friends,

Spring has taken its time coming to Three Graces Farm, but it’s finally here-- and so is my newest work, a novella entitled All the Pieces, which is now available on Amazon Kindle. Please go to my website to read more about it. You'll also find there a link to Amazon for a quick download.

Needless to say, there's been a lot going on. On the farm, we spent the winter sprucing up inside the house and recently put up new fencing for the back yard and the garden. We've built several planting boxes for the flowers and vegetables, and are expecting the arrival of a half dozen baby chicks next week. Soon to follow are the five honeybee hives that we’ll set up in the front paddock. In a few months time, we’re hoping for a bountiful supply of produce, eggs and honey. Life is good!

All of this has been happening around getting All the Pieces ready for publication and continued writing on works-in-progress, as well as travel to a variety of book clubs, signings and meet-the-author gatherings. Most recently I was invited to address a group at the Women’s Center at Sewanee, the University of the South, in Tennessee. It was such a privilege to speak to a diverse group of young people ready to make their mark on the world, and to bring ANGEL into the discussion. You can see the complete notes from this talk on my blog.

Speaking of my blog, you don’t have to rely on word-of-mouth or a Facebook post to know when there’s a new one! Did you know you can sign up to receive it directly to your inbox as soon as it’s published? Just go to my homepage and type your email address into the blog sign-up box at the upper right hand side of the page, and that’s all there is to it! If you haven’t signed up already, I invite you to join the growing number of readers who tell me they really enjoy it, and I hope you will, too.

I always look forward to interacting with my readers, be it in person or otherwise, so please feel free to write up a review on Amazon or Goodreads, comment on the blog posts, share or chat on Facebook, and don’t forget to “LIKE” my Facebook page, to receive updates on what’s up and coming in this writer’s world.

Happy Spring, everyone!

 Buy the book!

About All the Pieces

Sometimes there are stories floating around about things that happened a long time ago, which nobody can explain. When eight-year-old Anna Lee takes off running one day, fleeing a painful scene and seeking refuge from her family's lingering grief, she unknowingly brings to the surface some questions that this small, southern Appalachian community had long ago buried.

Basic Strawberry Jam (from The Backyard Homestead; Edited by Carleen Madigan/Storey Publishing, 2009)

Ingredients: 2 quarts of washed, stemmed, crushed strawberries and 6 cups of sugar

The Recipe:

1) Preheat a boiling-water-bath canner, sterilize eight half-pint jars, and prepare the lids.
2) Combine the berries and sugar in a tall, heavy, non-reactive saucepan.
3) Bring slowly to a boil, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves. Boil rapidly until thick, about 40 minutes. As the mixture begins to thicken, stir frequently to prevent scorching.
4)Test for doneness-220 degrees F on a thermometer, or when jam sheets off a cool saucer or spoon.
5) Remove from heat and skim off any foam that has formed during boiling.
6) Pour into sterilized jars, leaving 1/4 inch of headroom. Run a rubber spatula around the inside of the jars to release air bubbles. Wipe the rims of the jars with a clean, damp cloth. Place lids in position and tighten screw bands.
7) Process in the canner for 5 minutes once the water has returned to a boil. Adjust for altitude, if necessary.
8) Use a jar lifter to carefully remove the jars.
9) Cool sealed jars. Check seals; remove screw bands. Label and store.
10) Eat on anything you want...or straight out of the jar. YUMMY!