Thursday, April 18, 2013

6th Excerpt in Boomerang

This “blog hopping” excerpt has lots of imagery and is the 6th one from Boomerang, the first novella in the GIRLFRIENDS trilogy.  Mary Jo and Melanie are planning the various themed suites in the mansion of “The Better Way.” 

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They met with the contractor who was going to change the interior into their fantasy.  He had come highly recommended, and they were very happy with him, but they also recognized that the task was a daunting one.  The contractor said that some of the things they wanted were only possible in their dreams.  It was always a halleluiah moment when they found a way to bring to reality the fantasy of their dreams, such as the space-age suite where everything was computer generated.
For the Victorian-era room, they scoured vintage stores across the country to find authentic fabrics and furniture to give the ambience of an old English manor with butler, valet and lady- in-waiting dressed in period costume.  The marble bathroom had intricately carved molding, ornate faucets with a bear-claw tub and heavy, tied-back brocade drapes at the window.  The bedroom area included a coffered ceiling and dark walnut hardwood floors covered mostly by a 3-inch thick, tightly woven area rug.  The doors were replaced with taller, heavier ones sporting brass knockers and door knobs.  A large wood-burning fireplace was topped with a wall-size tapestry of Queen Victoria on a fox hunt with the hounds and a bugler in tow.   Gas sconces and a large bed raised on a platform with a step ladder to facilitate the climb completed the ensemble.

A favorite of Mary Jo’s was the garden room.  Not only did it have custom wallpaper featuring all of the flowers that were in the garden, it also had a trellis-enclosed bed with fresh roses sprinkled on it daily.  The large, soaker tub was elevated in a gazebo-style enclosure with hand-made soaps, plush towels and a wine bar within easy reach.  It overlooked a private garden that had urns, gnomes, fountains, birds and flowering plants and shrubs which the bride could access from the stairs off the private balcony.   There was a hammock for a relaxing nap with a bell to call for refreshments at any time.
All of the suites were works of art and Melanie and Mary Jo oversaw every aspect to make them into what they envisioned.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Boomerang Excerpt

Continuing my “blog hopping" with Goodread's Baby Boomer Lit group, here is the 5th excerpt from Boomerang, the first novella in the GIRLFRIENDS  trilogy.  After Mary Jo began receiving funds monthly from an anonymous benefactor, she invests in her best friend's wedding- planning business, “The Better Way.”  She and Melanie find a wonderful property in  the Temecula wine country and expand Melanie's already-successful business.

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 Melanie and Mary Jo chose to specialize in reverse destination weddings with brides coming from all over the world.  It was to be a full-service business that catered to the bride’s every whim.  They would be picked up at the airport in a limousine and brought to the mansion where private suites awaited them.  Everything was under one roof:  fittings, rehearsals, rehearsal dinners, transportation, outings (such as wine tasting, golfing and trips to the casino), wine cellar, hair salon, spa, fitness center, jewelry, shoes, and accessories.  Additionally, there would be a Bridal shop, bakery, florist, and photographer on the grounds run by experts who would fit into their enterprise.  Hiking trails and tennis courts would be available for their guest’s enjoyment.  They even planned to build individual cottages scattered throughout the grounds for guests of the bride and groom.

After escrow closed, they spent $1,000,000 renovating the mansion.  It was mostly cosmetic indoors, but they left no stone unturned for the grounds.  30 acres were planted in grapes and the house set on 20 acres.  While about five acres were nicely landscaped, “The Better Way” wanted it to be more than nice; they wanted it to be spectacular!  There were beautiful, mature trees throughout the grounds with manicured shrubberies in maze-like formations.  They developed the rest of the 20 acres into different divisions.  One section had monolithic shrubs, which gardeners pruned into figures of every geometric shape.  One section was devoted to a simulated rainforest while another was a beach where a large pond was re-purposed into a tropical paradise with white sand and palm trees.

Other parts of the grounds were devoted to unusual weddings as well:  There were gothic settings, gazebos and scenic areas among the vineyards for the ceremonies. In addition there were fountains and cascading waterfalls in various locations.  Garden paths were laid out among a profusion of flowers of every genus and a prolific assortment of fruit trees.  Swings were hung in oak trees and picnic areas dotted the property with streams meandering throughout.  It was a majestic estate that was popular from the first website they set up and the first ad that appeared in “Brides Today.”  But when it was mentioned on “Oprah,” the business almost spiraled out of control.  They had weddings scheduled every weekend for the following year.  Fortunately, Melanie’s staff was very well trained, so they were promoted to management positions while they added more assistants to handle the daily grinding labor.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Baby Boomer Novel's Blog Hop

Continuing my “blog hopping,” here is the 4th excerpt from Boomerang, the first novella in the GIRLFRIENDS  trilogy.  Bill is regretting his breakup with Mary Jo after his affair with Constance cools.

After she left, Bill was even more convinced that he had made a mistake.  As he looked around the palatial home, he realized that he actually missed Mary Jo.  Her touches were everywhere. He smiled as he picked up a vase they had purchased in France.  The vendor had spoken in French to his associate saying he was going to “get over” on this American tourist, but Mary Jo spoke French fluently, and when she responded in his native tongue, he was so embarrassed that he practically gave it to her.  She’s really quite the little spitfire,” Bill thought, grinning.

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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Boomerang - 3rd Excerpt

Continuing my “blog hopping” delight, here is the 3rd excerpt from Boomerang.  This one is from Chapter 8 when Bill’s mother admonishes him for making a fool of himself. 

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Bill’s parents had always liked Mary Jo.  His father had died 10 years before and left his widow very well off financially.  She was 85 now and told her son what a jackass she thought he was being.  Muriel and Tom Danson had owned apartment buildings all over Los Angeles, and after Tom’s death, Muriel liquidated and invested the proceeds wisely.  Her investments grew into quite a nest egg.  She was a millionaire many times over.

 “For God’s sake, Bill, you’re 62 years old, and you’re being seen around town with a child!,” Muriel screamed into the phone.  “There’s no fool like an old fool.”

 “Okay, Mother.  I’m sorry you don’t approve, but as you point out so genteelly,” he said sarcastically, “I’m not a child and am certainly capable of making my own decisions.  I know how much you love Mary Jo, but people change, Mother.  Mary Jo and I grew apart.”


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Boomer Blog Hopping 2

     I’m continuing my participation in the Goodreads blog hopping experience.  With that in mind, this is a continuation of my book, "Girlfriends."  This excerpt comes from Chapter 7.   See excerpts from other authors at
     Constance was the new civil litigator at Burns and Burns, specializing in personal injury and medical malpractice.  She was 32 and a slender 5’8” with silky black hair and alabaster skin.  Her cavernous black eyes and innocent face belied the pit bull that she was.  Everything about her was appealing.  From her long, soft eyelashes that swept her skin below the bottom lid to her slender fingers that sported a delicate gold ring on her pinky, Bill was smitten the first time he met her.  He invited her to lunch and offered himself as her personal go-to-person.  She found occasions to “go-to” him often.
     Bill was flattered.  He began to work out even more vigorously and when they went out together, people would smile and look on with envy.  He liked the idea of having this young thing on his arm and was possessive of her attentions.  She liked the idea of having a relationship with a partner in the firm.
     They spent romantic evenings at fashionable restaurants, not caring who saw them together, or drinking fine wine by the fire at Bill’s.   His “latter life” crisis was unlike the Bill everyone knew.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Boomer Lit Blog Hopping

     As a part of the ongoing Goodreads Boomer Lit group, I am joining the Friday Blog Hopping band of independent writers who will visit other’s blogs and post excerpts from their own works every Friday.  You can find the group  at  
     Following is an excerpt from my last book,  GIRLFRIENDS,  which is a compilation of three novellas: Boomerang, Change of Life and Silver Lining.  The premise of the trilogy is the unconditional love and support among three women and the twists and turns they encounter as they grow into the third phase of their lives.  Here is an extract from the first novella in the trilogy, “Boomerang.”


Today Mary Jo believes in miracles.  Sitting in her posh office, surrounded by beautiful artwork and lush plants, she quietly reflects on what a difference three years can make.  Cloaked in peaceful tranquility, Mary Jo has a whole new perspective that comes from an awareness of the weaknesses and frailties that kept her lacking in confidence for most of her life.

 In 2007, all within the span of 30 days, Mary Jo lost her husband, her mother and her job.  It was the rainy season in Southern California, and, after seven straight days of rain, it had dampened her already soggy spirit.  From her apartment window Mary Jo could see the verdant hills covered in misty clouds that hung so low you could almost reach out and touch them.  Her mood mirrored the scene before her.  

Monday, March 4, 2013

Taking Care of Aging Parents

     As baby boomers age, we are often responsible for taking care of parents who may need assistance in areas, such as bathing, nutrition, medication, finances, living conditions, transportation, etc.  Adult children provide the majority of long term care for elderly parents.  Fortunately, new in-home services and programs allow today’s seniors to be more independent and stay in their own homes longer. 
      Modern technologies make it possible for adult children to have peace of mind by providing needed care through use of sensors, alerts, live images streaming, and GPS type tracking devices, which may be in the form of a pendant or wristband.
       Adult day care centers provide an avenue for seniors to interact with others, giving relief to the caregiver and providing a social outlet with peers.   Parents don’t want to feel as if they are a burden to their children and may not reveal their loneliness or their need for  help, so we need to be vigilant in our observations of elderly parents.   Another source of assistance is respite care, where a short-term, assisted- living facility is utilized, or a paid caregiver comes in while the family member takes a break.
      As informal caregivers, boomers need to have outlets for themselves and find outside help to prevent stress and burnout.  Seniors have access to more creative ways of taking care of themselves than ever before.  In addition to nursing homes, there are assisted living homes in retirement communities, shared living, neighborhood-based programs, professional geriatric care organizations and living with children.
      Our parents loved and cherished us in our formative years; we should do no less for them in their declining years.