Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Most Highly Favored Daughter Launches!

Happy Launch Day!

Thanks for stopping by my blog and celebrating the release of my newest book, Most Highly Favored Daughter. The book is getting great reviews, which makes me very happy!

While you are here, be sure to check out the raffle to the right where you can register to win some prizes. Tonight, I'm also kicking off the festivities on my Facebook page where you can also win some fun prizes. All you need to do is comment on my posts, and you will be entered in the drawings. The more you post, the greater your chance to win. I will be randomly awarding prizes at the end of the Facebook party.

Below is a sample of the prizes I'm awarding at the Facebook party., where I'm employed as a writer, was founded by Tom Pollard. In addition to the website, he also owns Tom Pollard Designs, a premiere ornament design company, and he graciously donated some of his beautiful ornaments as prizes. Thanks, Tom!

Tomorrow evening (Nov. 3), I'm also participating in a book event, 2Friends Book-a-thon on Facebook. The hostesses of the site live in the U.K. so I will be featured at 5 p.m. EST. There are numerous authors participating too. Join in the fun tomorrow night and meet some new authors. The event runs through November 6.

Now, back to the novel. Most Highly Favored Daughter is available in paperback through Amazon and Barnes& Noble. If you prefer eBooks, you can purchase it from the Kindle or Nook stores and from Smashwords.

Since Most Highly Favored Daughter concerns a pair of sisters--Cara and Sophia Hawthorne--and their sibling rivalry, I'm soliciting your sibling rivalry stories. Now is the time to reveal those tales of how you read your sister's diary, or how she gave you a disastrous home permanent, or how you tagged along after her everywhere she went. Post those stories here, and the one I find the funniest, I'll be sending a prize. This won't be selected randomly, but on the basis of what I find funny or outrageous. Remember, keep it clean.

Courtesy of

Also, if you're a Goodreads member, I'm hosting a Giveaway of Most Highly Favored Daughter on that site too. So there are many ways to win. Have fun and thanks for supporting my stories.

For those who live in the area, I will be appearing again at St. Teresa of Avila's craft show on November 5, and I've added a few new venues too. I will be at St. Louise de Marillac in Upper St. Clair on November 19, 9-3:30, signing and selling books at their craft show. I will also be at LaRoche College's Annual Light Up Night Friday, December 2, from 3-9 p.m., and at St. Margaret of Scotland on December 3 from 9-2 p.m.

Also, if you'd like a signed copy, I usually have a supply at my house. Remember they make great Christmas gifts. Just email me.

Finally, if you like Most Highly Favored Daughter (or any of my other books), please spread the word and review it on the site where you purchased it.

Please post your sister story in the comment section below.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Keeping Up Appearances

The promo for my newest novel Most Highly Favored Daughter says "Appearances can be deceiving . . . and deadly." 

The protagonist, Cara Cavanaugh Hawthorne Wells, appears to have it all--a sterling reputation; the love and respect of her family, friends, and the public; beauty; and wealth, but as you learn from reading the novel, appearances are often not what they seem.

While Cara learns that appearances can be deceiving and often deadly, I recently learned that maintaining appearances can also be disastrous.

Does She or Doesn't She? Maybe She Shouldn't!

I'm pretty fortunate that I don't have many gray hairs, especially when considering that many of my Irish relatives on my dad's side had white "Phil Donahue" hair by the time they were thirty. Nevertheless, as I'm always plotting ahead, I thought I'd be smart and find a hair dye that matched my naturally dark brown hair before I would actually need to start coloring it for real. 

Early this spring, I dyed my entire mane to cover the few grays, and when no one asked me if I was going Goth or joining a Heavy Metal band, I considered my plan a success. Some even told me that I had the shiniest hair they'd ever seen. The only drawback was that I found dying my hair to be a messy affair. There were splashes on the bathroom wall that could only be touched up with paint. So I resolved that if and when I dyed the hair again, I'd do it in my basement.

Don't Try This at Home

Well, we have a wedding coming up this fall and a few of the grays have started to announce their silvery presence, so I thought I'd give the dye a whirl again. So last Saturday, I donned my special hair-dying robe--a bulky, teal blue terry affair with big white polka dots and a few holes--and headed to the laundry area of the basement. Feeling like a very smart do-it-yourselfer, I put Vaseline around my eyebrows (my brows are going gray faster than my hair--what's that all about?) around my hairline just as I'd seen hair stylists do to clients in the hair salon. I pulled on the plastic gloves, mixed the brown hair dye concoction, and put it all over my head. Then I swiped some dye across my brows before checking the clock in the game room and taking a seat on the basement steps where I was to wait 20 minutes while the dye worked its magic.

I'm a Marxed Woman!

After a few minutes of marinating in dye, I noticed a spot on my wrist where it had splashed, and when I rubbed it with my special hair dyeing towel (a spotted, ratty old towel), it wouldn't come off. My wrist was stained a bluish black. I rubbed at it like Lady Macbeth and her damned spot. Still no luck.
Courtesy of Pinterest Robert Cuccioli

Then a thought hit me: If my wrist could be blue-black, what if my Vaseline hadn't covered all of my skin? I needed a mirror. I don't have one in the basement, so I dashed up the steps and opened the door where my 24-year-old son stood in the kitchen. By his expression, I knew something was wrong. When I looked in the powder room mirror, I had eyebrows like Grouch Marx and a hairline like Eddie Munster.


After only giving the hair dye 10 minutes to work, I dashed back down to the laundry room and stuck my head under the laundry tub faucet and began to frantically rinse my hair and rub my eyebrows. When the water ran clear, I sprinted upstairs to my bathroom, glanced in the mirror, and discovered that I still had a shadowy hairline and overly large black eyebrows. I quickly jumped into the shower and used every face product I owned from the Apricot scrub to the citrus facial cleaner to finally the pineapple enzyme peel-off-mask. I smelled like a fruit salad.

It Wasn't So Nice and Easy

We were headed for Saturday night Mass, and as I blew my hair dry, I could still see the faintest staining along my hair line. As I curled my hair, I admired my work. My hair did look really lustrous and dark so it wasn't a total disaster. But I learned there's a fine line between looking good and looking like Groucho!

The extent my characters go to in Most Highly Favored Daughter to maintain appearances and conceal their secrets goes much deeper and darker than Nice & Easy Natural Darkest Brown.

Pick up your copy now at Amazon, Barnes & Nobel or Smashwords

Feel free to tell your friends and family about this sweet deal because when we enjoy reading, we're all friends.

Finally, if you liked the novel, please review it on the site where you purchased it.

Thanks a bunch and if you see me anywhere don't look too deeply at my hairline!