About Me

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I'm a librarian by day, a writer by night, and a reader and amateur photographer in between. I love to share books and other things that interest me. My own book - The Marshal Meets His Match - released January 2013. You can also find me at www.facebook.com/ClariDees

Friday, December 28, 2012

A Lasting Impression

Do you ever find a book that's been buried in your to-be-read-pile? One that should have been on the very top? One you're kicking yourself for not reading sooner? A whole lot sooner?

Me either.


Seriously. I did have one in the aforementioned pile that has been like finding buried treasure this week. Or as Claire would say..."Hidden treasure."

Meet Claire Laurent from A Lasting Impression by Tamera Alexander. She desperately wants to paint something of her own, but her father insists that she continue to copy great painters. Because that's what brings in the money. Especially when the buyers don't know that the paintings are copies. Forgeries.

That's right. Claire is a forger. And a good one. One who wants out. 
And because of a tragedy, she gets her wish. 
The chance to start over.
The chance to start over as the personal assistant to the richest woman in Nashville. Adelicia Acklen. A well-known lover and promoter of the arts. 
Is Claire just that lucky? Or is Someone else at work on her behalf?

Sutton Monroe is Mrs. Acklen's financial adviser and personal lawyer. He's intrigued, but not entirely comfortable, with his employer's newest hire. He has a feeling she's hiding something. And as her talent for painting comes to light, he begins to wonder if she is only using Mrs. Acklen to further her own ends. Keeping an eye on Miss Laurent while juggling several important cases isn't a hardship, but will their growing attraction survive when the truth about her past comes to light? 

I devoured this book. The twists and turns in the story line kept me turning the pages in spite of the clock on the wall telling me to go to bed or go to work. The rich detail and descriptions of the characters and setting made the book come alive. I felt like I was watching a movie. (And I might be half in love with Sutton. :-)

If you've never read any of Tamera's books, I highly recommend her writing. Her stories are so rich they're like fine chocolates. You can't eat just one.

And while you're waiting for your copy of A Lasting Impression to arrive, check out the pictures of Belmont Mansion, the setting for this story. Belmont Mansion

Happy Reading!

Friday, November 30, 2012


November is National Novel Writing Month



The goal:
50,000 words in thirty days.

It's supposed to be fast.
It's supposed to be messy.
It's supposed to leave you with a rough draft to finish up and polish later.

Because of my work schedule, I couldn't write everyday,
which left the bulk of the writing on the weekends.
My family kindly let me sequester myself at my desk and write,
and on the last day of the month, I not only hit my goal of
50,000 words, I actually exceeded it with a total of...

Drum roll, please!


And believe it or not,
although it's rough to look at right now,
I think it's going to be a lot of fun to polish.

And now, back to your regularly scheduled programming.

Monday, October 22, 2012

More fall photos

Yesterday was absolutely gorgeous with the temperatures warming to about 80°F. (My favorite temperature!) And we took a stroll through a local park. The colors were gorgeous and of course, I took a ton of pics. I won't inflict all of them on you, but I wanted to share the beauty we enjoyed yesterday.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Just another day in the country

Fall is not my favorite time of year because winter is on its heels, and since a storm is blowing in this evening, the wind has a cold bite to it. However, a nearby neighbor needed his cows and some electric fencing checked on, so my sis and I wrapped up and spent the morning doing that for him and got in a little hiking and exploring. While the sun still shone, today became a very bright (and funny) spot in this season of changing weather.

Come along and take a virtual walk through a colorful corner of our part of the world. You won't need a hat or jacket, but watch out for the cow paddies! :-)

And here we go...

Local rumor says this house dates back to the Civil War and that the basement was used to hide runaway slaves, becoming part of the underground railroad. Wind blowing the lace curtains through the broken windows lent it a spooky feel. 

This little barn is still in pretty good shape.

Fifty degrees Fahrenheit is too cold to kick off the hiking boots and go wading, but it's nice to see water in the creeks again after a dry summer.

The wind pushes the first few clouds into the area.

We found a few cows. Or maybe they found us. :-)

Underneath the cedar tree, we found an old well that had been partially filled in. You can see the edge of it, if you look close. But more about that later, because we still have more fence to check.

The woods beckoned to be explored, and who were we to say no? 

Such a lovely gold world...

Don't forget to look up at God's lace.

This rock reminded us of a whale. Swimming in a sea of leaves.

The leaves on the water looked like puzzle pieces or patterned fabric.

The sunlight through the leaves produced a marvelous peachy colored light. It was gorgeous.

I was starting to get hungry as we left the woods and the color of these oak leaves reminded me of gummy worms. My sis just laughed and shook her head when I pointed that out however.

The clouds were getting thicker and the wind colder as the edge of the cold front reached us. Time to check the rest of the fence.

We found more cows. :-) 
The one on the left liked the left-over horse cookies in my sis's pocket.

And we decided to investigate the old well a little closer...

Let me pause to say that almost every member of my family suffers varying degrees of dyslexia, and sometimes it picks the funniest times to kick in. 

And now back to my story...

While I was looking at the well, I saw a black snake's shed skin hanging off the old cedar posts. (You can see it in the above pic. It's the thing hanging down into the black part of the well.)

About this time, my sis (who's standing on the other side of the well) starts hollering. 


I jump because I think maybe the snake is still around (wrong time of year, however), but then she starts using actual words.

"Possum! There's a possum in there!" 

I can't figure out why that's such a big deal because we deal with possums all the time around our place.

 I hurry around the ends of the old cedar posts and look where she's pointing while still hollering, "Possum!"

But I don't see a possum. All I see are rotting posts on top of an old well.

And then she grabs my arm and makes me lean over and look straight down the well. 

This is when I realize that the dyslexia has kicked in.


at the bottom of the partially filled in well, 
maybe ten feet below our feet, 
there was no possum. 

This is what I saw...


"That's not a possum," I said. "That's a SKUNK!"
To which my sis replied, "That's what I said!"

Umm...no. I'm pretty sure you said, possum.

I assume the only reason we didn't get sprayed is because Mr. Skunk was below us and couldn't see us, but, belatedly, we lowered our voices and spoke in whispers as I grabbed a couple of quick pics. 

Then we moved along, thankful we weren't wearing Eau de Toilette of Pepe le Pew!

We were still laughing about our "possum" adventure when we found this old shag bark Hickory tree.

This country girl loves to ramble the hills and pastures. It's the best way to de-stress!
(As long as there are no Skunks named possum around.)


When we finished checking all the fences, we crawled in the old silo and took a look straight up.

Pretty cool.

(Especially since there were no snakes, possums, OR skunks!)

Thank you for rambling over the hills with us. We hope you enjoyed it.

What's your favorite way to unwind?

(Hopefully it doesn't involved black and white possums.)