After twenty-five years of being the perfect wife and mother, Martha LeBeau finds herself unexpectedly widowed and shocked to discover her husband had been living a double life, leaving her penniless and in debt. Determined to regain her lost confidence and independence, she sells her suburban Chicago home and moves to the Wisconsin countryside to forge a new life away from cheating men and smothering children. There she meets the Wool Gatherers, a group of fiber artists who teach her the art of spinning wool and raising sheep. A Border Collie puppy worms her way into her heart, and she meets sheepshearer and single dad, Riley O’Connor, whose son struggles with Asperger Syndrome. Martha is at a crossroads. She wants her independence, her passion, and Riley and Jake. Can she have it all without losing herself?
Cara Olson is a struggling artist, determined to learn all she can from her artist mentor/boyfriend and maintain her grandmother’s faith in her creative talent. Too proud to accept financial assistance from family or boyfriend, she supports herself by working as a barista at a Chicago Starbucks. She and her grandmother have always been the glue holding the family together and Cara’s love and respect for her Gram are driving factors in her wish to succeed. She wants to be the artist her Gram never had the chance to become and is convinced staying with her mentor in the city is the way to achieve that dream, even if she is unknowingly neglecting her grandmother.
A call from her mother forces Cara to put aside her career in Chicago and return to her home in Wisconsin to care for her ailing grandmother. While journeying with her beloved Gram through the diagnosis of possible Alzheimer’s disease, she loses and then rediscovers her passion for art and experiences the resurrection of her past love for Dr. Peter Andresen. . Art is her passion, but can it ever replace her need for love and family?
Divorced mom and cancer survivor Carol Schneider is desperate to save her rebellious son, Nate, from his recent bad choices and with the help of her Shoreview Wool Gatherer friends, signs up for a weaving class on a small island in the West of Ireland, where excursions for family members are included, hoping the change will give her son a more expansive view of life’s possibilities. There she meets the O’Connor family, including the charming widower, Quinn O’Connor and his beautiful, willful niece and fey grandmother. The over-protective Uncle and determined mother are thrown together when the teens get involved in an island legend involving a displaced leprechaun, angry fairies and a family curse related to stolen treasure.
Graceland Braun is a self-reliant, dedicated high school counselor. She spent her youth moving around as her mother, Maybelle, a Dolly Parton wannabe and Elvis groupie, worked her way through several marriages while desperately searching for her “one true love.” Their relationship was more like sisters than mother/daughter with Grace becoming the practical one who worried about paying for food and rent. When her mother abandoned Grace at the age of fourteen in Pine Falls, Wisconsin with a grandmother she barely knew, Grace had to fight off feelings of loneliness and depression. The acceptance and love she received, particularly from the friendly Delaney family and their eldest son Jack, was her saving grace. Jack became her first and only love. She felt abandoned once again when he left her and Pine Falls after graduation. Along with the students she’s helping at school, she’s taken in a stray cat she refuses to name, in case the cat also abandons her. She is determined to marry for practical reasons and raise a “normal” family in Pine Falls. When both Jack and Maybelle unexpectedly return to Pine Falls, Grace’s peaceful existence is thrown into chaos.
Winner of the Silver Quill Award and Ist. Place in Fab Five long contemp/ Single title
Pediatric nurse Rebecca Plum, daughter of a wealthy over-protective family, is determined to establish a life away from her family’s quirky lifestyle. She wants to find an average guy who works 9-5 and lives to spend time with his wife and kids—not his career and social life. The problem is her growing attraction to Mike Malloy. Pediatrician Dr. Mike Malloy wants to continue the legacy his mentor started, which demands long hours and dedication. For that reason women never stay long in his life, accusing him of always putting work first. He wants love but a childhood spent in and out of foster homes make him afraid to trust. When Rebecca’s sister involves her in a plot to keep the parentage of her twin sons a secret from Mike and his friend, disaster can’t be far behind. She finds herself stranded at her grandmother’s farm with the toddlers, Mike, and Gram’s motley crew of farm animals. It proves too much for even the capable Rebecca to keep things under control.
Golden Heart Finalist—Traditional category.
When a compassionate relief worker, Lily Delebroux, daughter of a social activist single mom and raised in a diverse Chicago neighborhood, inherits controlling shares in a Wisconsin manufacturing company upon the unexpected death of her beloved grandfather, she struggles with her desire to remain what she considers a useful member of society. Now she’s forced to deal on a daily basis with David McCormick, the efficient company auditor, a man she considers too ambitious, a numbers cruncher determined to do everything by the book, keeping the company and himself on solid financial footing. When Lily discovers her grandfather long ago swindled a former partner out of his share of the company profits, she is determined to turn the controlling company stock, along with her personal inheritance, over to that person when she finds him. Lily is forced to decide if assuaging her own conscience is worth jeopardizing the future of David and all the other loyal company workers and David has to overcome his fear of financial insecurity to help Lily find the person swindled. Will their newfound love survive?
A light, Contemporary romance—Set in Chicago. Lani O’Donnell, a fiercely independent engineer, wants to prove to her four over-protective brothers that she is capable of running both her personal and business life. She refuses to work for the family business and instead takes a job with the fledgling Flaherty Construction Company as a contract negotiator. Peter Flaherty, the single-minded owner of Flaherty Construction, raised as the only child of a single mother has decided that emotions are dangerous and logic is the answer to any problem. A family dinner throws them together on a social level and their attraction to each other becomes obvious. Because of Lani’s past record of dating only losers, the brothers then decide to secretly put Peter through a series of tests. Add to that Lani’s Irish Wolfhound, rescued from the humane society because he suffers from separation anxiety, and you have a recipe for disaster in this matchmaking story.
1st. place traditional category-Where the Magic Begins contest
I’m a longtime member of RWA and WisRWA and have held several offices in my local area; President, Secretary, and area contact. I’ve learned so much through that organization, not only about writing, but about sharing information and helping each other in our writing journey.
Some of my writing accomplishments include the following:
Finalist: RWA Golden Heart Contest, Traditional Category.
1st. place the Silver Quill Award, long contemporary/single title.
1st.place, WisRWA Fab Five, Traditional Category.
1st. place, Where The Magic Begins Contest, Romance Writers Ink