About Me

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Welcome to Heartstrings.Thanks for stopping by. I am a mother, a grandmother, and an author of historical western romance and contemporary romantic fiction. Ethan's Heart, book one of The Blackwood Brothers' series won the 2017 Maggie Award for Excellence. Book two, Escorting Darby Bloom, features Blackwood brother Isaac and will be released in December 2017. Stay tuned for more books in this series. If contemporaries are more your thing, check out Carly's Rule and Dusty's Fate. They are both Amazon Best-Sellers.

My Stuff

A tribute to Emily

Actual Butterfly under canopy
Emily Rose King

Several years ago, I wrote this little story for Emily, my first born granddaughter. She was 9 days old when my husband passed away.  In all the years we were married, I only saw him cry a few times.  He cried the day she was born. She's eleven years old now.  I believe that when God took my husband, he knew those left behind would need some place to put our love.  I was convinced of this the first time I held her in my arms.  Her room was decorated in butterflies, so my youngest daughter referred to her as Princess Butterfly.  It is true that on her birthday, a single butterfly flew around the inside of the canopy where Emily sat. Butterflies are special to me, as they always remind me of my husband. God has since blessed me with four more grandchildren, whom I love dearly. I am so blessed.

I always meant to make a little book for her or do something special with it. This is the first time she will have seen it.  Here is my tribute to Emily Rose King.  I love you.

The Butterfly Princess

            High on a lush green hill, a thousand butterflies spread their gossamer wings and circled the turrets of the castle, for this was a special day.  The baby, Princess Emily, was born to King Lewis and Queen Crystal.  The downy headed baby was given the most treasured room in the castle—the butterfly room, for it had been prepared months in advance, as the Queen fancied butterflies.
            The news of the baby’s arrival spread far and wide.  Family and friends came to behold the precious sight, and those in the south, who could not make the journey, rejoiced from afar, for they too, treasured and loved the little princess.
            So delighted by their princess, the butterflies chose a guardian to watch over her.  The butterfly guardian loved the princess, for when he had heard of her birth, he had wept with joy, his tears turning into a shimmering protection over the child.
            The princess thrived on the love of her family and friends.  The ones in the south came to visit and were in awe of the tiny bundle they already loved and needed.
The princess loved songs, for her father, the King, adored her and sang to her often.  It pleased the little princess and made her smile.  There was a sparkle in the Queen’s eye, for she cherished her tiny daughter.
As the days passed, Princess Emily began to grow and learn.  She played and sang and had a fondness for books.  At her achievements, the guardian butterfly flew around the castle, stopping outside her room to flutter his gossamer wings in honor, and when she slept, his wings grew and shielded the castle.
On her first birthday, family and friends bearing gifts, journeyed from far and wide for the celebration.  There was laughter and joy and love.  The guardian butterfly, who had never shown himself, flew around the birthday tent and then fluttered inside to wish the princess a happy birthday.  Those who saw the butterfly would remember that day always, and one day when the princess was old enough, the King and Queen would tell her stories about the guardian butterfly, for even when he was gone, he would live in their hearts forever.

Technical Writing Books

I have some favorite technical writing books.  At the top of the list is Deb Dixon's Goal, Motivation, and Conflict (GMC).  If you're story isn't working, chances are, you might need to go back and look for the GMC for each character.

A close second or maybe on the same level is The Complete Writer's Guide to Heroes & Heroines Sixteen Master Archetypes by Tami  D. Cowden, Caro LaFever, and Sue Viders.  This is a great reference book to help you develop your characters.

Next, every writer has to write a synopsis at one time or another, and The Dreaded Synopsis, A Writing & Plotting Guide, by Elizabeth Sinclair is a must.  Writers have to write a synopsis, so we might as well learn how to do it correctly.

I have a lot of technical writing books on my book shelf, but these are the ones I can't live without.


The "Off The Wall" section of this blog is devoted to "my stuff," whether it's a problem with my work-in-progress, a writing tip I might want to share, a new book I just read, or maybe I might find a great way to identify and fix a plotting problem. Even I don't know what I might write about . . . yikes . . . that's kind of scary.

My Writing Space

My writing space is a corner of my bedroom.  I have all that I need--desk, laptop, printer, and reference books.  We used to have a designated "computer room," but with the additions of my great niece and my twin grandchildren in our lives, we have turned that into a playroom/bedroom.  Our family computer sits in a corner of that room on a desk that was downsized from massive to small. It fits our lifestyle, and my corner of my bedroom is perfect for me. 

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