Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Tuesday Tidbits: COUSIN CONUNDRUM


1st cousin? 2nd cousin? 3rd cousin? Once, twice, thrice removed? Isn’t a cousin a cousin?

A lot of people find the whole 1st, 2nd, 3rd, once, twice, thrice, etc. confusing. My grandma explained it to me once and it made sense. So, now I hope to shed a little light on the cousin conundrum for all of you, the way I understand it. Pay attention, because there will be a quiz at the end of the post.

So who are 1st, 2nd, and 3rd cousins? And why are some removed? Were they ousted from the family? No. It’s a way of tracking how closely family members are related.

For ease of reading and creating the diagrams, I have given each person two children, and beyond the initial couple, I haven’t listed anyone else’s spouse, though you can assume they all married. I have color coded it to hopefully make it easier as well.


In this diagram, Malcolm and Mildred are a married couple (all other pairs are siblings) who have two children, Valerie and Brandon. Valerie has two children, Phillip and Florence. Brandon has two children, Keith and Cinthia. Because they share grandparents but not parents, Phillip and Florence are 1st cousins to Keith and Cinthia. Pretty straightforward so far.

Lets drill down another level.

Phillip has two children, Ashley and Abraham.Florence has Janice and Gilbert. Keith has Sally and Henry. Cinthia has Patty and Rubin.

Because Phillip and Florence are siblings, their children are 1st cousins, and Keith’s and Cinthia’s children are 1st cousins.

BUT . . . Phillip’s and Florence’s 
children are 2nd cousins to Keith’s and Cinthia’s because their parents are already 1st cousins.

Now it’s starting to get confusing, but bare with me.

So if Florence and Keith are 1st cousins and their children are 2nd cousins, What is Florence to Keith’s children? Hint: She’s not an aunt. So to Florence, Keith’s children, Sally and Henry, are 1st cousins (because of their parents) once removed because one is a 1st cousin and the other is a child of a 1st cousin.

Let’s go down one more level.

Will and Opal are 1st cousins to Joe and Beth.
Rob and May are 1st cousins to Sam and Cara.
Even and Fran are 1st cousins to Tim and Lynn.
Ray and Helen are 1st cousins to Toby and Tina.

Will, Opal, Joe, and Beth are 2nd cousins to Rob, May, Sam, and Cara because their parents are 1st cousins.

Likewise, Even, Fran, Tim, and Lynn (though 1st cousins to each other) are 2nd cousins to Ray, Helen, Toby, and Tina (who are 1st cousins to each other).

Phillip and Keith are 1st cousins. Their children are 2nd cousins to each other. And their children’s children are 3rd cousins.

If Florence and Cinthia are 1st cousins, then Gilbert and Rubin are 2nd cousins, and Gilbert and Toby are 2nd cousins once removed, because Toby is the child of one of the 2nd cousin's.

So the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc is how many levels you need to go up to find a common relative. The removed portion is how many children you go down.

Quiz Time!

1. Are Cara and Even 2nd or 3rd cousins?

2. Though Florence and Lynn are 1st cousins, how many times removed are they?

3. In the comic at the beginning of this post, if the first person is Abraham , list three potential relatives the second one could be?

4. Who are Ashley and Sam to each other?

5. If May and Ray each had a child (Stephanie and Logan), who would Stephanie and Logan be to each other?

Bonus: If Logan had a child (Mindy) who would Mindy be to Stephanie?

***Answers are at the bottom of the post after my bio.

RECENT RELEASES!
THIMBLES AND THREADS: 4 Love Stories Are Quilted Into Broken Lives

Love Stitched into Four Women’s Lives
Enjoy four historical romances that celebrate the arts of sewing and quilting. When four women put needle and thread to fabric, will their talents lead to love? #thimblesandthreadscollection
Click HERE to order yours today.
FREE Preview
#thimblesandthreadscollection
“Bygones” by Mary Davis
Texas, 1884
Drawn to the new orphan boy in town, Tilly Rockford soon became the unfortunate victim of a lot of Orion Dunbar’s mischievous deeds in school. Can Tilly figure out how to truly forgive the one who made her childhood unbearable? Now she doesn’t even know she holds his heart. Can this deviant orphan-train boy turned man make up for the misdeeds of his youth and win Tilly’s heart before another man steals her away?

Other stories in this collection:
“The Bridal Shop” by Grace Hitchcock, “Mending Sarah’s Heart” by Suzanne Norquist, and “Binding Up Wounds” by Liz Tolsma


THE DAUGHTER'S PREDICAMENT (Book 2 in the Quilting Circle series)
FREE Preview
Can a patient love win her heart?


As Isabelle Atwood’s romance prospects are turning in her favor, a family scandal derails her dreams. While making a quilt for her own hope chest, Isabelle’s half-sister becomes pregnant out of wedlock and Isabelle--always the unfavored daughter--becomes the family sacrifice to save face. Despite gaining the attention of a handsome rancher, her parents are pressuring her to marry a man of their choosing to rescue her sister’s reputation. A third suitor waits silently in the wings, hoping for his own chance at love. Isabelle ends up with three marriage proposals, but this only further confuses her decision.


A handsome rancher, a stranger, and an unseen suitor are all waiting for an answer.  Isabelle loves her sister, but will she really allow herself to be manipulated into a marriage without love? Will Isabelle capitulate and marry the man her parents wish her to, or will she rebel and marry the man they don’t approve of? Or will the man leaving her secret love poems sweep her off her feet?




Love Is One of Life’s Greatest Adventures 
Seven daring damsels don’t let the norms of their eras hold them back. Along the way these women attract the attention of men who admire their bravery and determination, but will they let love grow out of the adventures?

Zola’s Cross-Country Adventure, a 1904 road-trip
Zola Calkin sets out on an adventure to be the first woman to drive across the country. Will the journalist tasked to report her presumed failure sabotage her efforts? Or will he steal her heart?

#ChristianRomance #HistoricalRomance #Romance

MARY DAVIS s a bestselling, award-winning novelist of over two dozen titles in both historical and contemporary themes. Her 2018 titles include; "Holly and Ivy" in A Bouquet of Brides Collection (January), Courting Her Amish Heart (March), The Widow’s Plight (July), Courting Her Secret Heart (September), “Zola’s Cross-Country Adventure” in The MISSAdventure Brides Collection (December), and Courting Her Prodigal Heart (January 2019). Coming in 2019, The Daughter's Predicament (May) and "Bygones" in Thimbles and Threads (July). She is a member of ACFW and active in critique groups.
Mary lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband of over thirty-four years and two cats. She has three adult children and two incredibly adorable grandchildren. Find her online at:

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ANSWER KEY:

1. 3rd cousins

2. Twice removed

3. EvenFranTimLynnRayHelenToby, and Tina would all fit the bill.

4. 1st cousin once removed

5. 4th cousins

Bonus: 4th cousins once removed

~How many did you get right?

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Tuesday Tidbits: 10 FUNNY-SOUNDING WORDS


Words can be very interesting, especially the ones that sound funny to our ears. I love words like these because they make me smile and make my insides happy. Here is a list of words that sound funny to this author's ears.

10. Diphthong = two vowel sounds joined in one syllable to form one speech sound, e.g. the sounds of "ou" in out and of "oy" in boy

9. Gubbins = dialect Britain : fish parings or refuse; broadly : any bits and pieces

8. Collywobbles = pain in the abdomen and especially in the stomach; a bellyache

7. Widdershins = in a left-handed or contrary direction; counterclockwise

6. Snickersnee = 1 archaic : to engage in cut-and-thrust fighting with knives 2 : a large knife

5. Billingsgate = coarsely abusive language

4. Taradiddle = 1 : a fib 2 : pretentious nonsense

3. Gardyloo = used in Edinburgh as a warning cry when it was customary to throw slops from the windows into the streets

2. Cattywampus = askew, awry, kitty-corner

1. Bumfuzzle = confuse; perplex; fluster


But why does one word sound funny to us and another one doesn't? I think part of the reason is if they are uncommon or out of use words.

Studies have been done that show words which diverge greatly in appearance and sound from real words are funnier. This was tested with made-up words. Words that resembled and sounded like real words weren't funny. Though my list above is full of words, though real, don't sound or look real. Ah, so that's why they are funny. =0D

What words sound funny to you?

RECENT RELEASES!
THIMBLES AND THREADS: 4 Love Stories Are Quilted Into Broken Lives

Love Stitched into Four Women’s Lives
Enjoy four historical romances that celebrate the arts of sewing and quilting. When four women put needle and thread to fabric, will their talents lead to love? #thimblesandthreadscollection
Click HERE to order yours today.
FREE Preview
#thimblesandthreadscollection
“Bygones” by Mary Davis
Texas, 1884
Drawn to the new orphan boy in town, Tilly Rockford soon became the unfortunate victim of a lot of Orion Dunbar’s mischievous deeds in school. Can Tilly figure out how to truly forgive the one who made her childhood unbearable? Now she doesn’t even know she holds his heart. Can this deviant orphan-train boy turned man make up for the misdeeds of his youth and win Tilly’s heart before another man steals her away?

Other stories in this collection:
“The Bridal Shop” by Grace Hitchcock, “Mending Sarah’s Heart” by Suzanne Norquist, and “Binding Up Wounds” by Liz Tolsma


THE DAUGHTER'S PREDICAMENT (Book 2 in the Quilting Circle series)
FREE Preview
Can a patient love win her heart?

As Isabelle Atwood’s romance prospects are turning in her favor, a family scandal derails her dreams. While making a quilt for her own hope chest, Isabelle’s half-sister becomes pregnant out of wedlock and Isabelle--always the unfavored daughter--becomes the family sacrifice to save face. Despite gaining the attention of a handsome rancher, her parents are pressuring her to marry a man of their choosing to rescue her sister’s reputation. A third suitor waits silently in the wings, hoping for his own chance at love. Isabelle ends up with three marriage proposals, but this only further confuses her decision.

A handsome rancher, a stranger, and an unseen suitor are all waiting for an answer.  Isabelle loves her sister, but will she really allow herself to be manipulated into a marriage without love? Will Isabelle capitulate and marry the man her parents wish her to, or will she rebel and marry the man they don’t approve of? Or will the man leaving her secret love poems sweep her off her feet?




Love Is One of Life’s Greatest Adventures 
Seven daring damsels don’t let the norms of their eras hold them back. Along the way these women attract the attention of men who admire their bravery and determination, but will they let love grow out of the adventures?

Zola’s Cross-Country Adventure, a 1904 road-trip
Zola Calkin sets out on an adventure to be the first woman to drive across the country. Will the journalist tasked to report her presumed failure sabotage her efforts? Or will he steal her heart?

#ChristianRomance #HistoricalRomance #Romance

MARY DAVIS s a bestselling, award-winning novelist of over two dozen titles in both historical and contemporary themes. Her 2018 titles include; "Holly and Ivy" in A Bouquet of Brides Collection (January), Courting Her Amish Heart (March), The Widow’s Plight (July), Courting Her Secret Heart (September), “Zola’s Cross-Country Adventure” in The MISSAdventure Brides Collection (December), and Courting Her Prodigal Heart (January 2019). Coming in 2019, The Daughter's Predicament (May) and "Bygones" in Thimbles and Threads (July). She is a member of ACFW and active in critique groups.
Mary lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband of over thirty-four years and two cats. She has three adult children and two incredibly adorable grandchildren. Find her online at:

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Tuesday Tidbits: PROLOGUES, FLASHBACKS, DREAMS, & EPILOGUES, OH MY!

As authors, we are cautioned against using these devices.


On one hand, I agree.


On the other hand, I have used each of these at different times. The problem with each and why they are generally frowned upon is their misuse or poor use. When used well, they are great plot devices and can enhance a story. When used poorly, they can be detrimental.


Prologues
are those introductory scenes the author wants the reader to know before the main part of the story starts. Some readers always read the prologues and some readers never read the prologues. Those who don’t have probably read too many unnecessary ones. Those who do, like me, want to make sure we don’t miss anything.

~Some times the prologue is something that happened months or years before the start of the story. I always have to wonder if this information would do better in a flashback.

~Some times in a thriller, suspense, or mystery, the prologue will be from a victim’s or bad guy’s point of view, and that point of view won’t be used again in the story.

~Some times in mystery/thriller/suspense, the author will take an exciting scene from the middle of the book and put it in a prologue to add tension and suspense before much of interest happens to engage the reader. I tend not to like these as they feel like cheating to me. I feel as though the author couldn’t figure out how to make the first chapter interesting enough, so they pad the beginning. I know this is an often used device in these types of stories, but I still don’t care for them. I’m not one who reads the end of a book first. This kind of prologue is the author forcing me to read a part of the story that hasn’t happened yet. I don’t even really care for this type of thing in my favorite TV shows, but those work a bit better for me because I already care about the characters.

~Some times prologues are just back-story dumps. This is a no-no. Sprinkle back story in throughout the story.

As authors, we must ask ourself if the reader must have this information to enjoy the story or does the author just want to tell it. If it is necessary information, can the author sprinkle it in later in the story when it really matters? If the author gives vital information in the prologue, by the time that information is needed, can the reader remember it after 200 pages? Or is the author going to repeat the information.

In my first published novel, Newlywed Games, the editor asked for a prologue, so I wrote one. She felt that readers needed to see my hero and heroine together before the inciting incident in chapter one.


The keys to a good prologue are to make them relevant, engaging, and short. The reader wants to get into the main story you promised them from the description.

Because I know that some people never read prologues, I try not to use them. I’ve heard some authors say that it’s fine if some of the readers don’t read the prologue. My questions is: If it’s fine not to read the prologue, why put it in?


Flashbacks
are when the point of view character remembers, in a showing scene, something that happened before the point in the story where the character is currently. Flashbacks are tricky business. Done well, they can help. Done poorly, and they only serve to confuse the reader.

I read a book that was a series of out of sequence flashbacks. There were flashbacks within flashbacks, within flashbacks. After a couple of chapters, I gave up on trying to figure out any kind of sequence of events. If I wasn’t reading it for book club group, I would have set it down and never picked it up again. I saw absolutely no need to tell the story in such a disorganized out-of-sequence order. The writing itself was good and engaging, but I was too distracted by trying figure out when in time I was to enjoy it. No, this wasn’t The Time Traveler’s Wife. I could actually follow that one, more or less, and enjoyed it.

I read another book which had a lot of short flashbacks I felt worked well. I knew when I was heading into a flashback, when I was coming back out, and the flashback related to what was going on in the main storyline. The information in the flashback was needed at that point in time to help understand the current story.


Dreams
are the showing and experiencing what the point of view character is asleep dreaming. Some authors like to use these to up the tension by having the character experience something exciting that doesn’t really have anything to do the actual story.

I try to be careful how I use dreams. I’ve used them to put pieces of a mystery together that the character’s conscious mind couldn’t while they were awake. I used them to highlight a fear. I’ve used them to help a character make an important decision or discovery about themself.

Like prologues and flashbacks, dream sequences should be kept short. If the author wants the reader to believe the events in a dream are really happening, they shouldn’t do it for very long.

Epilogues are those scenes that happen after the main story has ended. These often occur months or years later to show where the characters are now. I think of the four, epilogues are the least troublesome. If a reader is stratified with how the main storyline ended, they can quit without feeling as though they are missing something. Like prologues, I don’t use these often. I try to have a satisfying ending without them. I have included epilogues in a number of my books. Sometimes of my own accord and sometimes because the publisher has requested them.

So what about you? Do you read prologues and epilogues? Why or why not? Do you like flashbacks and/or dream sequences?


NEW!
THIMBLES AND THREADS: 4 Love Stories Are Quilted Into Broken Lives

Love Stitched into Four Women’s Lives
Enjoy four historical romances that celebrate the arts of sewing and quilting. When four women put needle and thread to fabric, will their talents lead to love? #thimblesandthreadscollection
Click HERE to order yours today.
FREE Preview
#thimblesandthreadscollection
“Bygones” by Mary Davis
Texas, 1884
Drawn to the new orphan boy in town, Tilly Rockford soon became the unfortunate victim of a lot of Orion Dunbar’s mischievous deeds in school. Can Tilly figure out how to truly forgive the one who made her childhood unbearable? Now she doesn’t even know she holds his heart. Can this deviant orphan-train boy turned man make up for the misdeeds of his youth and win Tilly’s heart before another man steals her away?

Other stories in this collection:
“The Bridal Shop” by Grace Hitchcock, “Mending Sarah’s Heart” by Suzanne Norquist, and “Binding Up Wounds” by Liz Tolsma


THE DAUGHTER'S PREDICAMENT (Book 2 in the Quilting Circle series)
FREE Preview
Can a patient love win her heart?

As Isabelle Atwood’s romance prospects are turning in her favor, a family scandal derails her dreams. While making a quilt for her own hope chest, Isabelle’s half-sister becomes pregnant out of wedlock and Isabelle--always the unfavored daughter--becomes the family sacrifice to save face. Despite gaining the attention of a handsome rancher, her parents are pressuring her to marry a man of their choosing to rescue her sister’s reputation. A third suitor waits silently in the wings, hoping for his own chance at love. Isabelle ends up with three marriage proposals, but this only further confuses her decision.


A handsome rancher, a stranger, and an unseen suitor are all waiting for an answer.  Isabelle loves her sister, but will she really allow herself to be manipulated into a marriage without love? Will Isabelle capitulate and marry the man her parents wish her to, or will she rebel and marry the man they don’t approve of? Or will the man leaving her secret love poems sweep her off her feet?


This collection is going away at the end of October.

Get it while you still can.

HEARTBEATS IN TIME – 5 books of Old
West Christian Romance (4 novels and 4 novellas) by 7 bestselling, award-winning authors, including my book, The Widow’s Plight. You'll love these 8 unique stories of love!
Get it here: https://amzn.to/2VzRBoI
#HeartbeatsInTimeSet
FREE Preview
The Widow’s Plight (Book 1 in the Quilting Circle series) by Mary Davis
A single mother steps out of the shadows of abuse and into the sunshine. But will a secret clouding her past cost her the man she loves?
Finding Love In Last Chance, California by Miralee Ferrell
Dreams of My Heart by Barbara Scott
Hills of Nevermore by Janalyn Voigt
Heart of a Cowboy Novella Collection--four Old West romances by Susan Page Davis, Miralee Ferrell, Yvonne Lehman, and Vickie McDonough

#ChristianRomance #HistoricalRomance #Romance

MARY DAVIS s a bestselling, award-winning novelist of over two dozen titles in both historical and contemporary themes. Her 2018 titles include; "Holly and Ivy" in A Bouquet of Brides Collection (January), Courting Her Amish Heart (March), The Widow’s Plight (July), Courting Her Secret Heart (September), “Zola’s Cross-Country Adventure” in The MISSAdventure Brides Collection (December), and Courting Her Prodigal Heart (January 2019). Coming in 2019, The Daughter's Predicament (May) and "Bygones" in Thimbles and Threads (July). She is a member of ACFW and active in critique groups.
Mary lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband of over thirty-four years and two cats. She has three adult children and two incredibly adorable grandchildren. Find her online at:

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Tuesday Tidbits: TUMBLEWEEDS: A Wild West Icon



Picture this, the wide, empty street down the middle of a 19th century wild west town. A lonely tumbleweed rolls into the dusty street, turns, and heads off into the distance.

Could you picture any western American town without a tumbleweed or two rolling around it?





Tumble Weed (Salsola Tragus) a.k.a. “Russian thistle” or “wind witch”.

As the name implies, tumbleweeds aren’t native to North America. So just how long ago did these Russian invaders arrive to have been so strongly associated with all things American western?

Up until 1873, North America didn’t have tumbleweeds. Seriously? I would have thought they would have been here long before that to be such a Wild West icon. It is believed that they snuck into the country with some Ukrainian farmers’ flax seed. Another theory is they hitch a ride in wool. The first report of the tumbling pests in the United States was in Bon Homme County, South Dakota. Within two decades, these nuisances were in a dozen of states and by 1900 had reached the Pacific Coast.

In an 1894 report by government botanist Lyster Hoxie Dewey, he wrote this about the effected areas in South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, and Nebraska, “…this makes one almost continuous area of about 35,000 square miles which has become more or less covered with the Russian thistle in the comparatively brief period of twenty years.” Nearly every state is now home to the Russian thistle. They are an agricultural nuisance and fire hazard.

There is something mystical about this ball of dried up plant that comes from somewhere yonder and heads to places unknown. So much so, that tumbleweeds have become sort of a legend in themselves. They have been immortalized in movies, TV, books, poems, and songs. Here’s one song by Roy Rogers and the Sons of the Pioneers.




They survive and thrive at almost any elevation from below sea level to over 8500 feet and in most inhospitable environments. They are drought resistant and spread like wild fire. They grow from a few inches to three feet, even some the size a VW Bug. Each winter when they dry out, the whole plant above ground dries out, breaks off, and goes wherever the wind takes it. Literally. Each tumbling ball has around 250,000 seeds. No wonder they are so invasive and took over so quickly.




But things are not all bad concerning this invasive plant. Navaho found some medicinal uses for the plant for treating influenza and small pox. Frontiers-people burned them to make soap. Recipes using tumbleweed were created in areas where little else was available. Several animals, including mule deer, pronghorn, prairie dogs and birds, feed on the succulent, tender young shoots of the plant. During the severe drought of the 1930s, some farmers saved their livestock from starvation by feeding their livestock tumbleweeds when other food wasn’t available.

Even tumbleweeds as play things!




Tumbleweed have been both a blessing and a curse.

Did you know you can buy tumbleweeds from many places online? It goes to prove that some people will buy just about anything.

I may just have to git me one. =0)

NEW!
THIMBLES AND THREADS: 4 Love Stories Are Quilted Into Broken Lives

Love Stitched into Four Women’s Lives
Enjoy four historical romances that celebrate the arts of sewing and quilting. When four women put needle and thread to fabric, will their talents lead to love? #thimblesandthreadscollection
Click HERE to order yours today.
FREE Preview
#thimblesandthreadscollection
“Bygones” by Mary Davis
Texas, 1884
Drawn to the new orphan boy in town, Tilly Rockford soon became the unfortunate victim of a lot of Orion Dunbar’s mischievous deeds in school. Can Tilly figure out how to truly forgive the one who made her childhood unbearable? Now she doesn’t even know she holds his heart. Can this deviant orphan-train boy turned man make up for the misdeeds of his youth and win Tilly’s heart before another man steals her away?

Other stories in this collection:
“The Bridal Shop” by Grace Hitchcock, “Mending Sarah’s Heart” by Suzanne Norquist, and “Binding Up Wounds” by Liz Tolsma


THE DAUGHTER'S PREDICAMENT (Book 2 in the Quilting Circle series)
FREE Preview
Can a patient love win her heart?

As Isabelle Atwood’s romance prospects are turning in her favor, a family scandal derails her dreams. While making a quilt for her own hope chest, Isabelle’s half-sister becomes pregnant out of wedlock and Isabelle--always the unfavored daughter--becomes the family sacrifice to save face. Despite gaining the attention of a handsome rancher, her parents are pressuring her to marry a man of their choosing to rescue her sister’s reputation. A third suitor waits silently in the wings, hoping for his own chance at love. Isabelle ends up with three marriage proposals, but this only further confuses her decision.

A handsome rancher, a stranger, and an unseen suitor are all waiting for an answer.  Isabelle loves her sister, but will she really allow herself to be manipulated into a marriage without love? Will Isabelle capitulate and marry the man her parents wish her to, or will she rebel and marry the man they don’t approve of? Or will the man leaving her secret love poems sweep her off her feet?

HEARTBEATS IN TIME – 5 books of Old West 
Christian Romance (4 novels and 4
novellas) by 7 bestselling, award-winning authors, including my book, The Widow’s Plight. You'll love these 8 unique stories of love! Get it here: https://amzn.to/2VzRBoI
#HeartbeatsInTimeSet
FREE Preview
The Widow’s Plight (Book 1 in the Quilting Circle series) by Mary Davis
A single mother steps out of the shadows of abuse and into the sunshine. But will a secret clouding her past cost her the man she loves?
Finding Love In Last Chance, California by Miralee Ferrell
Dreams of My Heart by Barbara Scott
Hills of Nevermore by Janalyn Voigt
Heart of a Cowboy Novella Collection--four Old West romances by Susan Page Davis, Miralee Ferrell, Yvonne Lehman, and Vickie McDonough

#ChristianRomance #HistoricalRomance #Romance

MARY DAVIS s a bestselling, award-winning novelist of over two dozen titles in both historical and contemporary themes. Her 2018 titles include; "Holly and Ivy" in A Bouquet of Brides Collection (January), Courting Her Amish Heart (March), The Widow’s Plight (July), Courting Her Secret Heart (September), “Zola’s Cross-Country Adventure” in The MISSAdventure Brides Collection (December), and Courting Her Prodigal Heart (January 2019). Coming in 2019, The Daughter's Predicament (May) and "Bygones" in Thimbles and Threads (July). She is a member of ACFW and active in critique groups.
Mary lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband of over thirty-four years and two cats. She has three adult children and two incredibly adorable grandchildren. Find her online at:

Tuesday Tidbits: COUSIN CONUNDRUM

1st cousin? 2nd cousin? 3rd cousin? Once, twice, thrice removed? Isn’t a cousin a cousin? A lot of people find the whole 1st, 2nd,...