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Tana's flowersHello, Terrific Thursday! Thanks for stopping by today…can you click one more link since I’m blogging over at Thoughts on Plot.

But come back on Wednesday when I’ll be talking about my new cold case series set in Memphis.

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Patricia Preston


Patricia Preston is a Southern author who writes historical and contemporary romance as well as humorous Southern fiction. and is a winner of the William Faulkner award for short fiction.

Tell us about yourself


You might not want to know. But here goes. I love chocolate. I get ill if I don’t have chocolate. I never miss The Walking Dead. Best acting and writing on TV. I’ve always been interested in history. I’m an old soul. Love taking pictures and doing anything creative. I used to make macramé pot hangers! I’m a total introvert.


Was your road to publication a delightful stroll in the park or a tiring jog over hot coals?


Let me change the word, tiring, to painful, and I’ll go with that. Or maybe that should be infuriating jog…or even laborious jog…how about nerve-wracking…I could go on all day.


Where is your favorite place to write?


In my writing cave. It is the only place where I am surrounded by all my good stuff. Research books, music, plot boards, corkboard with notes pinned all over it. And a magnolia coaster for my glass of iced tea. J


What music are you listening to lately?


Depends on the story. For historical, I go with epic music. For contemporary, mostly modern instrumentals by Simply Three, Lindsey Sterling, Josh Vietti, plus others.


If you could switch places with one of your characters, would you?


To Save A LadyI’d switch places with the heroine in To Save a Lady. Why? Because Elise is living in the French Quarter and she has a rugged army captain infatuated with her. What’s not to love about that? Of course, living in 1814 would have its drawbacks like no shampoo, no deodorant, no penicillin…


What advice do you have for new writers?


Work hard at your craft. Never stop learning or improving. Write what you love. This is a new era. It is the best time ever to be a writer.



Decoration DayTell us about your latest release. 


The title is “Decoration Day” and it is published under Patricia Ann Preston.


“Decoration Day” is a humorous short story set in the South in 1950. Some of the setting is based on my memories of Decoration Day. As a child I went with my parents to a church in Tennessee, which dates back to the 1800’s where many of my ancestors are buried including my maternal grandparents and great-grandparents. Besides decorating graves, dinner-on-the-ground was a big part of the fellowship on Decoration Day.


However, the story and characters in the story are definitely fictional. I just loved Melanie Sue Haddock, my narrator. It does have a bit of an inspirational twist to it and I felt it was poignant in a couple of places. Otherwise, I think Melanie Sue’s take on Decoration Day and her family is a lot of fun. And I do love the cover as well!


Amazon Link: http://amzn.to/1EEPQZi


Where can readers find you?


I have a webpage that has links to my blog, my newsletter, contact information, and social media accounts. Go to www.patricia-preston.com

Patricia Preston’s publishers include New Love Stories, True Romance, Affaire de Coeur, Cloverdale Press, The Blue and Gray Magazine, Sea Oats Review, and Carina Press. She won the William Faulkner Award for Short Fiction, the Lone Star Writing Competition for Historical Romance, and Harlequin’s World’s Best Romances Short Story Competition. Her short stories have been best sellers on Amazon.

Have you ever been to a Decoration Day? If so what was the best part? If not, would you like to? Leave a comment and be entered for a copy of Patricia Preston’s short-story, Decoration Day.

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It’s a HUGE Heartwarming Valentine’s Day Giveaway

Heartwarming giveaway (1)
Twelve authors at Harlequin Heartwarming got together and decided to celebrate Valentine’s Day! And we are giving away 12 book and a grand prize of a dozen roses. Click here to see the books and register.

First, we have some new titles and some old. This prize contains:

Back to McGuffey’s by Liz Flaherty
Once a Marine by Loree Lough
After the Silence by Rula Sinara
Return to Pelican Inn by Dana Mentink
All four of these are sure to provide you with hours of reading enjoyment!

Next up, we have a foursome that’s sure to melt your heart.

Christmas, Actually by Anna Adams, Anna J. Stewart, and Melinda Curtis
An Act of Love by Marion Ekholm
Mountains Apart by Carol Ross
A League of Her Own by Karen Rock
These four stories have unforgettable love stories we don’t want you to miss!

Another wonderful group with some of the most beautiful covers here at Heartwarming are part of Prize Pack #3. My own book, Matthew’s Choice is in this group!!

If I Loved You by Leigh Riker

In My Dreams by Muriel Jensen

Honeysuckle Bride by Tara Randel

Matthew’s Choice by Patricia Bradley
The words inside are just as pretty as the pictures on the outside!

Here’s a fun group! These spectacular ladies never disappoint.
The Parent Trap by Lee McKenzie
Eva’s Deadline by Linda Hope Lee
An Unlikely Rancher by Rox Denny Fox
And as a special treat to the winner of this prize, Melinda Curtis is offering up any one of her novels in the Harmony Valley series including her upcoming March release, One Perfect Year!


Lastly, we have a special Grand Prize, sure to warm the heart of any lovely lady on Valentine’s Day. The Heartwarming authors want to send you a bouquet of roses along with these pull-at-your-heartstrings reads: In My Dreams by Muriel Jensen, A Child’s Christmas by Kate James, The Better Man by Amy Vastine, and Christmas, Actually by Anna Adams, Anna J. Stewart, and Melinda Curtis.

Click here to enter! Then scroll down because I haven’t learned to embed Rafflecopter in my blog yet! :-)

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childrens museum

The Golisano Children’s Museum of Naples believes it is a privilege to share life with a child, and is committed to nurturing bonds among families and generations. They celebrate the natural curiosity of children by offering an educational dynamic space that encourages exploration and discovery. This safe and wonderful place inspires children and families to have fun while learning together. Not long ago, a friend told me about this children’s museum in Naples, Florida, and I want to share what they are doing with BIG WIGS.

What is a BIG WIGS, you ask?

I’m so glad you did. This is what is on the Golisano Children’s Museum of Naples website:

Let’s party for a purpose by grabbing a wig in any length, color or shape! Join us for a night of hair-raising fun at the Museum.  Guests will enjoy live entertainment, drinks, dancing and C’mon interactive programming to spark imaginations.  It will be a night to remember with a trendy auction featuring opportunities to fund educational dreams through a Fund A Need.  Come out in your casual best with your Big Wig!

Two of the BIG WIGS involved in this venture are Simone and Scott Lutgert who have been involved in the Museum for 10 years.

Simone and Scott Lutgert pic

Five Facts from BIG WIGS Simone and Scott Lutgert


  1.  They went to a presentation about the Museum at Bill Barnett’s house almost  10 years ago and thought it was an amazing project. Because Simone love kids  so much, she wanted to help make it a reality. She brought Scott along on her  crazy adventure, and he’s been an amazing sport.


  1. In the past 20 years since Simone’s been in town, she’s seen Naples grow from a sleepy retirement community to a vibrant multi-generational community. It is a much more desirable area because the Children’s Museum offers so much. It’s not only a place where children can play and learn, but also a place for families to interact; a place where teens can work; a place where all ages can volunteer, etc.


  1. Simone is involved in most of the fundraising events for the Museum because she wants to be sure the Museum is sustainable for the future. She’s involved even more this year because she can’t say NO to Vicki Tracy, and she knew Vicki would make it fun!!


  1. Her most favorite part about last year’s event was playing in the Museum. She loved all the experimental activities that the attendees were exposed to and which some are now a part of the Museum.


  1. She doesn’t have one favorite part of the museum. She loves them all!


~ Bonus Material! ~


White or red wine? — RED

Morning or evening? — 24/7

Paperback books or eReader? — Kindle

Beach or pool? — Beach

Cars or airplanes? — Cars


In her own words: “I’m pretty much an open book. If someone wants to know something about me, all they have to do is ask. Most people know that I’m just a big kid who loves to help others.”


We can’t wait to meet Simone and Scott at the Big Wigs Night at the Museum on February 7th!

Please call 239-260-1714 or visit cmon.org for tickets or sponsorship information for Big Wigs Night at the Museum.

First…even though there weren’t 10 comments from readers on my last blog I drew a name for a copy of Matthew’s Choice. And the winner is….Elaine Stock!

Now for my big news! Drum roll, please…..

A Promise to Protect, the 2nd book in the Logan Point series, released this week!!!

A Promise to ProtectHere’s the back cover copy:
In a steamy small town riddled with broken promises, one woman’s secret could change everything.

Acting Sheriff Ben Logan hasn’t heard from Leigh Somerall in a very long time, but it doesn’t mean he can get her—or their whirlwind romance of ten years ago—out of his head. When she calls out of the blue, it is with a strange request to protect her brother, Tony. But all too soon, Ben is charged with a different task—protecting Leigh from the people after her brother. With Leigh doing everything in her power to avoid Ben, it’s no easy task. And the secret she is keeping just may change their lives forever.

You can purchase A Promise to Protect at 

B&N; CBD; Amazon; Kobo


I’m a little early on my Strictly Southern blog, but I’ve been sick and the idea of doing an update post on the Sole Tree post sounded like a great idea–the first one was for the MBT Ponderers way back in 2011.The Shoe Tree Since that time a LOT of shoes have been added. It still amazes me how the little oak can grow out of that rocky soil!

Sometimes, even I’m surprised at what I find on the roads in the South! This tree is on Highway 72 in Northwest Alabama about a mile from the Natchez Trace Parkway. It’s about 35 miles from me on the side of Highway 72. 

Two Sunday’s ago as I returned from the Writer’s Police Academy in North Carolina–and I’ll do a post on that as soon as I get over whatever bug I picked up there–anyway I passed by the Sole Tree, as I’ve named it and discovered even more shoes than on the photo below taken in 2012.  And can you believe how the little tree has grown! Those shoes must fertilize it.

Oh, wait a minute. You may be wondering what a Shoe Tree is. Click on the link and it will take you to a website that explains how and where they got started. And you may be wonder like me, why in the world would anyone throw a perfectly good pair of shoes up in a tree.

 I don’t know. I do know there are shoe trees all over the world, and at least 75+ here in the United States. There are also rules for throwing the shoes, like they must be tied together–I guess so if someone is brave enough to climb the tree they would get a pair. I’ve also heard that the tree was started as a way to let teenagers know it was a place marijuana could be bought..but I don’t believe that. There is no way anyone would stop on that busy highway for that type of transaction.

I suspect this tree, was started by bored high school students. When I first saw it, there were about 50 pairs of shoes on it. Now there are well over a hundred. If you look closely, you’ll see a pair of purple heels. By the way, they are not mine, but I’ve actually thought about…no. bad idea. I really don’t need a pair of purple heels that badly.

The first time I saw the tree, I had to turn around and go back to make sure I wasn’t seeing things. I’ve since learned that some people actually take vacations  for the sole purpose of throwing a pair of shoes up in one of these trees.

If you’re so inclined, come on down. There’s still plenty of room on the tree. So far I haven’t succumbed to the temptation of joining the shoe throwers. But I might the next time I travel Highway 72 on my way to Chattanooga. You see, I have this pair of pink tennis shoes that I hate to throw away, so…

Would you leave a pair of shoes on a tree? Leave a comment and let me know. If ten people leave a comment, I will gift one of the commentors with an e-copy of Matthew’s Choice from Harlequin Heartwarming. Drawing to be held Tuesday night September 23. Matthew's Choice

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Rel Mollet who lives in Australia and who has a great blog–Relzreviewz.com–tagged anyone reading her blog today to answer these “twenty things you might not know about me.”  And since I read her blog…here goes.

Question 1: How tall are you? I’m 5’8″ and one quarter. That one quarter is important, especially when you get to be my age.

Question 2: Do you have a hidden talent? If so, what? I know my hidden talent isn’t singing. Anyone who’s ever heard me can tell you the same thing. No, most of my talents are obvious.

Question 3: What’s your biggest blog-related pet peeve? I’m with Rel on this one. Rants. I hate it when someone rants about a subject, especially when that subject is probably better left alone.
Question 4: What’s your biggest non-blog related pet peeve? People who text and drive.

Question 5: What’s your favorite song? Shout to the Lord…or Amazing Grace…oh, wait, maybe High on the Mountain…

Question 6: What’s your favorite Etsy shop that isn’t yours? I don’t do Etsy. I sometimes take my pottery to craft fairs, but so far haven’t put any of it online.

Question 7: What’s your favorite way to spend your free time when you’re alone? Sitting on my deck, listening to the birds sing while I’m having my quiet time.

Question 8: What’s your favorite junk food? Fritos.

Question 9: Do you have a pet or pets? If so, what kind and what are their names? I have one cat–Suzy. And sometimes, she keeps me from working.IMG_1242 (480x640)

Question 10: What are your number one favorite nonfiction and fiction books? Nonfiction would have to be the Bible. And NOWAY would I say what my favorite fiction book is. There are too many to choose from!

Question 11: What’s your favorite beauty product? An EYEBROW PENCIL

Question 12: When were you last embarrassed? What happened? That happens so often I’m not sure I can pick just one time. Just this week after I returned from the Writer’s Police Academy in N. Carolina I was looking for an email. When I couldn’t find it, I sent an email to the loop, saying “Did I see where someone was looking for me?” Received an email from a friend. Her exact words: ROFLOL! I thought you were going to say you saw your name on the wall at the Post Office.

Question 13: If you could only drink one beverage (besides water) for the rest of your life, what would it be? I’m sorry…it would have to be water…or maybe sweet tea.

Question 14: What’s your favorite movie? I just saw Thelma and Louise for the first time…but that’s not my favorite. Probably Gone with the Wind.

Question 15: What were you in high school: prom queen, nerd, cheerleader, jock, valedictorian, band geek, loner, artist, prep? You know, I don’t really fit in any of these categories…certainly not prom queen or nerd or cheerleader or…rats. I was just plain average–made good grades, but nothing special.

Question 16: If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live? Believe it or not, right were I am in Mississippi. I have lots of friends I would not want to leave.

Question 17: PC or Mac? I have a PC for now, but I.WILL.NOT.LEARN.WINDOWS.8. If I have to learn a new program, it’ll be on a Mac.

Question 18: Last romantic gesture from a crush, date, boy/girlfriend, spouse? The wonderful guy I’m dating had my ceiling fan put on the deck while I was gone to N. Carolina!

Question 19: Favorite celebrity? Probably Nathan Fillion.

Question 20: What blogger do you secretly want be best friends with? Rel!


I’m going to name Johnnie Alexander and Jennie Atkins to play and would love for anyone else who wants to participate to do so! Here are the rules!

  1. Copy and paste the questions below and then answer and turn them into a blog post. Or, record a video answering these questions and upload it to your blog post.
  2. At the bottom of your post, tag anywhere from 2-10 bloggers you want to see answer these questions. (I also suggest hitting up your tagged people via social media just to let them know you tagged them to do this tag challenge.)
  3. Use the title: 20 Things You Might Not Know About Me Blog Tag. Once you’ve hit publish, leave a comment with the link to your post.
  4. Use the hashtag #20ThingsBlogTag when sharing on social media so we can all find your awesome posts!

**This blog post is a part of the ’20 Things You Might Not Know About Me’ Blog Tag started by April from Blacksburg Belle. She began this blog tag experiment to build community among creatives, help us bloggers to connect more and get to know each other better. This month’s topic is all about sharing just a little too much information about yourself. If you’d like to participate or want more info, check out the beginning post right here.**

Question 1: How tall are you?

Question 2: Do you have a hidden talent? If so, what?
Question 3: What’s your biggest blog-related pet peeve?
Question 4: What’s your biggest non-blog related pet peeve?
Question 5: What’s your favorite song?
Question 6: What’s your favorite Etsy shop that isn’t yours?
Question 7: What’s your favorite way to spend your free time when you’re alone?
Question 8: What’s your favorite junk food?
Question 9: Do you have a pet or pets? If so, what kind and what are their names?
Question 10: What are your number one favorite nonfiction and fiction books?
Question 11: What’s your favorite beauty product?
Question 12: When were you last embarrassed? What happened?
Question 13: If you could only drink one beverage (besides water) for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Question 14: What’s your favorite movie?
Question 15: What were you in high school: prom queen, nerd, cheerleader, jock, valedictorian, band geek, loner, artist, prep?
Question 16: If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?
Question 17: PC or Mac?
Question 18: Last romantic gesture from a crush, date, boy/girlfriend, spouse?
Question 19: Favorite celebrity?
Question 20: What blogger do you secretly want be best friends with?

**This blog post is a part of the ’20 Things You Might Not Know About Me’ Blog Tag started by April from Blacksburg Belle. She began this blog tag experiment to build community among creatives, help us bloggers to connect more and get to know each other better. This month’s topic is all about sharing just a little too much information about yourself. If you’d like to participate or want more info, check out the beginning post right here.**

 And the winner of Matthew’s Choice: Geri Moore and Cindy!

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Matthew's ChoiceMatthew’s Choice released!

I am so excited that my sweet romance, Matthew’s Choice,  is finally available. I never thought I would write a romance, that I was strictly a romantic suspense type of gal, but God laid the idea of this book on my heart, and I knew I had to write it.  Not to give any secrets away, but here’s the back cover blurb:

He left it all behind. Until now. 

It’s New Year’s Eve, and for Matt Jefferies, life is perfect. The penthouse, the career—even the perfect soon-to-be-fiancée. But then Matt’s troubled past knocks on his door. And once Allie Carson says hello, everything changes.

Allie broke up with Matt years ago, when he turned “that kid from Beaker Street” into a cold, corporate city slicker. It went against what she loved about him—and the small-town life she could never leave. Now, with Matt’s estranged family facing desperate times, it’s time for him to come home. And to choose between the man Matt’s become…and the woman who never stopped loving him.

You can purchase Matthew’s Choice at Harlequin in paperback or e-book format. Harlequin is the only one that has the book as a paperback.  I think you can get your local bookstore to order a copy, though. A Kindle version can be purchased at Amazon or a Nook version at Barnes and Noble or in e-format at Kobo.

But to celebrate the release I’m going to give away two copies of Matthew’s Choice.

All you have to do is leave a comment and tell me your favorite romance…or favorite any book.  Must be 18 years or older and have a US post office box. I will randomly draw a name next Tuesday night.  And Cheryl Meints won the gift card last week!


Cheryl Mients is the winner of last week’s drawing!

Muscadine vinesI can’t believe another month has come and gone! I had so many plans for August. *Sigh* Oh well, let’s move on. Today I want to discuss a few Strictly Southern foods. One is the Muscadine–or muskydine as us kids used to say. It looks like a grape, and when I was a kid, you could only find them in the woods. And they grew high in the trees.  Now you can find them in my backyard. A bunch of us kids would traipse out to the nearby woods and the bravest one would climb the tree to the top (cause that’s where the vines were) and then he would shake the vines until muscadines rained down. While we were sent to gather the muscadines for jelly and preserves, quite a few of them never made it home. They were so good, well worth the 4 seeds that are usually in each grape. It’s sort of hard to describe how muscadines taste. They’re sweet with a unique musky taste,  and the hulls are tough, with a tangy flavor that contrasts with the sweetness of the pulp. Some people squeeze the pulp from the hulls to make a clear jelly, but I like the dark jams made with the hulls. And muscadine cobbler is awesome!   muscadines in my backyardphoto (29)   Here is the bowl I picked from the vines in my back yard. If I wasn’t on a diet, I would have baked a cobbler so you could see how delicious it looks. Muscadine cobbler is usually eaten after a meal of cornbread, and I don’t mean that sweet, cake-like version I found in Washington D. C., but the real kind made with buttermilk, fried pork chops or chicken, (take your pick), peas, fried corn (or on the cob), greens, (again take your pick over turnip or mustard. I won’t mention collard greens because that’s something even I don’t eat. :-) And Sweet Tea. Hope you enjoyed my ramblings on Muscadines. Next month I’ll write about Slugburgers. I would have written about them this month, but I didn’t have a photo of one. And it would be too hard to describe, so I’ll just let you wonder for the next 30 days what in the world a Slugburger is. Leave me a comment if there is a Southern food you’ve heard of and wondered what it is, or there is a food you’d like me to discuss.

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OuthouseA while ago, I was asked in an author interview what made me smile and what made me laugh out loud. What made me smile was instant–a baby’s laughter, a kitten, a beautiful sunset…the list could go on. But as I thought, I couldn’t remember anything that made me laugh out loud. I don’t like what passes for comedy on TV, except for some of the Christian comedians, but then I remembered something I had read in our local paper, and thought I’d pass it on.

The Toilet Facilities in the camp ground

A lady who was rather old fashioned, always quite delicate and elegant, especially in her language. She and her husband were planning a vacation Florida, so she wrote to a particular camp ground asking for a reservation.

She wanted to make sure the camp ground was fully equipped, but didn’t quite know how to ask about the toilet facilities. She just couldn’t bring herself to write the word “toilet” in her letter. After much deliberation, she finally came up with the old fashioned term BATHROOM COMMODE, but when she wrote that down, she thought she was being too forward. So she started all over again, rewrote the entire letter and referred to the bathroom commode merely as the “BC”. “Does the campground have its own BC?” is what she actually wrote.

Well, the campground owner wasn’t old-fashioned at all and when he got the letter he just couldn’t figure out what the woman was talking about. That “BC” business really stumped him. After worrying about it for awhile he showed the letter to several campers, but they couldn’t figure out what the lady meant either. So, the campground owner finally coming to the conclusion that the lady must be asking about the local Baptist Church, sat down and wrote the lady.

Upon reading his letter, and with great shock, the lady quickly decided not to got to that campground…. The letter is as follows…

“Dear Madam, I regret very much the delay in answering your letter, but I now take great pleasure in informing you that a BC is located nine miles north of the campground and is capable of seating 250 people at one time. I admit it is quite a distance away, if you are in the habit of going regularly, but no doubt you will be pleased to know that a great number of people take their lunches along and make a day of it. They usually arrive early and stay late.

“It is such a beautiful facility and the acoustics are marvelous, even the normal delivery sounds can be heard. The last time my wife and I went was six years ago, and it was so crowded we had to stand up the whole time we were there. It may interest you to know that right now there is a supper planned to raise money to buy more seats. They are going to hold it in the basement of the BC.

I would like to say it pains me very much not being able to go more regularly, but it is surely no lack of desire on my part. As we grow older it seems to be more of an effort, particularly in cold weather.

If you decide to come down to our campground, perhaps I could go with you the first time you go, sit with you, and introduce you to all the other folks (remember, this is a friendly community).”

And that’s what makes me laugh. Now, to be entered into a random drawing for a $10 iTunes gift card, leave a comment telling me what makes you laugh out loud by Tuesday night. To be entered in the giveaway, you must be 18 years old.


Coming in September:

Matthew's Choice

Coming in October: A Promise to Protect

A Promise to Protect

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