Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Who Do You Think You Are?

Is it just me or is anyone else out there obsessed with the TV show "Who Do You Think You Are?"
I mean, don't ask me why I care about a celebrity's ancestors. Other than the fact that some of them have some sad sacks in their family tree. It allows all the rest of us commoners to revel in a bit of schadenfreude. It's kind of fun to think that some famous star might have a Nazi sympathizer or a Revolutionary War traitor in their background.

Anyway, after watching the show a couple years ago, I was inspired to join and do a little family tree building of my own. I knew just a little bit about my immediate ancestors. My father's parents immigrated to the U.S. from Denmark, so all of my ancestors on his side were Danes- "Great Danes"- as my dad would call them. I love that I have a long Danish ancestry, but I've always been more interested in American history.
Hence, my mother's side of the family. With research on and a bit of independent confirmation, I found some interesting information about the Smith side of my family. Turns out, that some of my direct descendants were the unfortunate victims of a Shawnee Native American attack- the Muddy Creek Massacre in West Virginia. Apparently my friendly and accommodating family members shared dinner with the Shawnee, and then the tribe paid them back for their kindness by scalping my 7th great grandfather and taking the rest of his family hostage for a year.
Now, the ancestry hints took me on a long journey through history back to English and French royalty- ultimately even to William the Conqueror! Needless to say, I have a bit of skepticism about this trail. Still, it was lots of fun.

Anybody out there have any interesting ancestry stories to share?

Monday, July 21, 2014


Hey everybody!

I've been working with Dawn Dowdle on my latest manuscript for Bygones. It tells the story of Alexandra Hadley, a young woman who returns to her hometown after her father's death. Her life unravels when long buried secrets are revealed.

Dawn has done an amazing job, submitted it to some publishers last week. To date, we've received four requests to see the entire manuscript!

Thanks Dawn!

In the meantime, check out my first novel, At Second Sight. It's available for Kindle and Nook.

Jennifer Riordan was born to wealthy parents and a life of privilege in the sheltered haven of Chicago’s North Shore. A student of art, she wants for nothing but the proverbial home in the suburbs with a husband to love and care for her and a houseful of children. Always a good girl, Jennifer was inclined to see the same in others. Her twin sister, Melissa, was Jennifer’s exact opposite—a sexy rebel, confident and fearless.

With a burgeoning career at the Art Institute and a handsome fiancĂ©, Jennifer’s life seems to be moving directly on course. But her safe, idyllic existence is shattered when Melissa is brutally murdered. The police are unable to find the killer and Jennifer struggles to move on. Unfortunately, it is only the first in a line of tragic events that cause her to question her judgment and fear for her own safety. Jennifer finds herself thrust into the media glare and, as a result, becomes the unwitting object of obsession for the same man who murdered her twin sister. Along the way, Jennifer discovers that some of the people she trusted and thought she knew well have betrayed her.

Sunday, July 13, 2014


It's Sunday night and I'm watching The Next Food Network Star with the family. When I'm not working, I've been known to do a little writing. But also I like to cook.

It's always nice to get some good ideas from the Food Network, but I'm not one to be super creative when it comes to food. I've tried some things and they're nearly always edible but I do better when I follow a recipe.

Case in point: I made a chocolate peanut butter cheesecake courtesy of Martha Stewart and it was quite a success according to the family.

Anyway. Now we're watching The Leftovers. It's not about food. I have no idea what it's about but it has my attention.

Monday, July 7, 2014


Just finished up a final edit (fingers crossed) on my manuscript: Bygones. It tells the story of Alexandra Hadley, a young woman who returns to her hometown after her father's death. She thought she had the perfect life until long buried secrets are revealed.

I've been working with Dawn Dowdle at Blue Ridge Literary Agency and hopefully soon we'll be submitting it to publishers.

In the meantime, feel free to check out At Second Sight- for sale on Kindle and Nook.

I'll keep you posted on any progress with Bygones.

Happy reading!