Monday, November 7, 2016

Next Year is Here

Yes, it happened.

The Chicago Cubs won the World Series.

I have been a life long fan. As a very...very...young girl I remember watching Ernie Banks, Ron Santo, Billy Williams. Those were good days. Daytime baseball at Wrigley. Jack Brickhouse.
"Hey Hey!" flashing on the television screen every time there was a home run.

Now I know "Go Cubs Go" is the song of the day, but I'll always be a "Hey, Hey, Holy Mackerel" girl. No doubt about it.

Then there were some lean years until the mid 80s. Harry Caray. Holy Cow. Dustin to Sandberg to Grace.
I went to Mesa for spring training- have a baseball signed by Rick Sutcliffe, Keith Moreland, Leon Durham, Jody Davis, Scott Sanderson. They came close. The NLCS against the Padres. Dang that Steve Garvey. Then Leon Durham...Well. It wasn't meant to be.

1988. 8/8/88 to be precise. The first night game at Wrigley. Gone were the days of playing every day under a sweltering humid afternoon in Chicago. Well, it was supposed to be 8/8/88. In typical Cubs fashion, the game was rained out in the fourth inning by a powerful thunderstorm. So 8/9/88 was the first official night game. Not as catchy, but what can you do.

They flirted with greatness over the ensuing years- came close but never quite pulled it off.

Then along came the Ricketts. Die hard Cubs fans themselves, they were dedicated to turning the Lovable Losers into contenders.

And they did it. Brought on Theo Epstein. Then Joe Maddon.

They did it.

The Chicago Cubs won the World Series. They were down but never out. There were so many times I thought it was over. Again in typical Cubs fashion, I nearly gave up. Shut off the television.

So happy I didn't. Every time it looked like it was over, they rallied. These were a Chicago Cubs unlike any other. A Chicago Cubs team who didn't give up. They played their game. Opposite field hits. Stolen bases. Suicide squeezes.

Yes they did it. They won it all. Celebrated the win in Cleveland. Came home for a parade and rally that attracted the largest non-religious, non-funereal gathering in human history.

Well deserved I'd say. A once in a lifetime opportunity. I know- sports geeks say the Cubs could have many World Series victories in their immediate future.

We'll see. I'm a Cubs fan after all.

Monday, October 17, 2016

If Not Now When?

I am a Cubs fan. The Chicago Cubs.

Other than a couple brushes with greatness in the late 60s and mid 80s, the Cubs have been perennial losers in my lifetime.

But still...I love the Cubs. I've watched them through the lean years--such is the burden of the Cubs fan.

So the past couple years have been a delight. It's a revelation--having hope for a comeback when the Northsiders are down by 2 in the 8th. Not too long ago I would have switched the channel. Down by 2 in the 8th? It's over.

No longer. Now I'm in disbelief if they don't come back and win. It's almost not fair. After so many years of low expectations, I now have hope.

But dang, along with the hope, now comes anxiety. The Cubbies are in the NLCS. Against the Dodgers. They've split the first two games at home. I know it's a seven game series. It's so far from over.

But I'm a Cubs fan. The Chicago Cubs. Who haven't won a World Series in 108 years.

I know they have the best record in the MLB this year. There's no reason to think they won't continue to play well. Win the NLCS. Dare I say it--win the World Series?

But I'm a Cubs fan. It's in our genes to think: "Well, it's not meant to be."

But no. I'm going to stay positive. I'm going to expect that they'll play well and win the NLCS. The World Series.

If Not Now, When?

Friday, September 30, 2016

Blog tour

Last stop on the tour today! Check it out!

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Blog Tour

Blog tour stop at Romance Novel Giveaways today! Stop by and check it out!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Blog tour

Two stops today for Bygones!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Blog tour

Today the tour stops at Fabulous and Brunette! Check it out!

Monday, September 26, 2016

Two stops on the blog tour today for Bygones! Check them out below.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Blog Tour

At Long and Short Reviews today! Stop by and check it out!

Monday, September 19, 2016

Bygones Blog Tour!

Yes, it starts today!

My blog tour begins for Bygones! Check it out here:

Enter for a chance to win a gift card!

Pick up the book and read it! I loved writing this story and I hope you love reading it!

Friday, August 19, 2016

Rio Olympics

So the Rio Summer Olympics are soon coming to a close. After so much controversy and dread over whether they'd be ready- somehow they seemed to pull it off. Sure, there was some trouble in the village in Australians' quarters early on but it was apparently rectified.

Zika? Seems to be more of a problem in Florida right now.

I thought it was a good Olympics. Let me preface my comments by saying a certain American swimmer is a goofball and I hope the rest of the world doesn't judge us by his actions.

My favorite Rio Olympics moments?

 Of course the Final Five. Such domination. These young ladies are so accomplished, so dedicated,   so determined. They compete with the poise of someone far beyond their years. Then they dissolve into hysterical giggles when they meet Zac Efron and you're reminded of how young they really are.

 Kerri Walsh Jennings. Already three golds in beach volleyball. She cruised through these Olympic games with absolute positivity, high fiving her partner, the referees, even her opponents when they'd change ends. She had to be crushed when she didn't make it to her fourth gold medal game, but she fought hard for the bronze and was thrilled to win it.

 Usain Bolt. Incredible how he can run a sprint and not have anyone even close to him when he crosses the line.

 Katie Ledecky. The Usain Bolt of distance swimming. Creating new world records just because she feels like it.

 Michael Phelps. The greatest that ever was. He overcame some struggles and ended his swimming career the way he wanted to. Maybe he could give some advice to one of his teammates.

 There were the "professionals"- golf, tennis, basketball. They looked happy to win, but they are "professional".

 My favorite moment, what I'll remember most from the Rio Olympics, is the medal ceremony for the men's 4 X 100 meter freestyle. It was Michael Phelps' first gold medal in Rio and Ryan Held's first gold medal ever. His first international race ever. And he won the gold. When Held stood with his 3 fellow swimmers to receive his gold medal and the American flag rose as the National Anthem played, he was overcome. Everything he'd worked his whole life for had come to fruition and he'd won a gold medal along with the greatest swimmer of all time. I was caught up in his emotion and nearly cried along with him.

The Olympic spirit personified in Ryan Held. The moment I will always remember.

Friday, June 24, 2016


Got a great review for Bygones! Check out the review and then check out the book!!

When the death of her father brings Alexandra Hadley home to settle his affairs, returning to Glenmore permanently is not part of the agenda. Meaning to stay only as long as it takes to find a replacement at her father's medical practice, she's anxious to leave and get back to her life. Lexi calls on her high-school crush Joe Manning to remodel her father's study so that she can sell her childhood home. As Lexi and Joe’s friendship blossoms into love, she begins to see Glenmore in a different light. But when her home suffers multiple break-ins, Lexi soon discovers a web of deception that stretches further than she knows. Can Lexi hold on to the tenuous romance she has with Joe while she untangles secrets from the past?
Compelling and engaging, “Bygones” is an emotionally rewarding read. Ms. Nielsen has penned a gripping tale with a dramatic storyline and vivid characters. Passion and suspense combine for a classic romance coupled with the drama of family secrets. Lexi’s struggle to find her place in the small town she believed she outgrew is certainly relatable. However, Joe’s initial pre-emptive confidence quickly erodes, causing one to become exasperated with his constant self doubt. Lexi and Joe have tremendous depth and deep affections for one another. One can’t help but cheer for this couple, losing themselves in the fantasy of their two worlds colliding. With red hot romance and suspense that never wavers, “Bygones” is an exciting story that will leave one breathless until the very end! 
Chantel Hardge— for InD’Tale Magazine

Saturday, June 18, 2016

O.J. Documentary

Twenty years ago our lives were consumed by the trial of the century: O.J. Simpson. Like most of you I was transfixed. When I heard on the morning news that Nicole Brown, O.J.'s wife, had been found murdered overnight, I had the same thought that many people had. He did it.

I'd remembered hearing about some domestic abuse case in the past, didn't know all the details, but I didn't need to know. When a woman is murdered, the culprit is almost always the husband/boyfriend/significant other. Add a little history of violence and there you have it. No brainer.

Not fair, granted, but that's the way it is. And so a few days later, O.J. made a promise to turn himself in. Instead he chose to go on the now infamous "slow speed chase". I watched. For hours. Until he finally went home and there was a peaceful arrest.

The first time we saw him in court, he was broken. He behaved in the exact way you would expect a man who had just thrown away his life, as well as two innocent lives, to behave. If only he had stayed that O.J.

Enter the Dream Team, a soulless group of money grubbing lawyers, and the whole thing changed. Over the next several months we were treated to a circus in a courtroom.

Now it's twenty years later. I should no longer be giving a second thought to O.J. Simpson. But first there was the FX mini-series. I watched and was entertained. I figured most of it was relatively truthful, but that there was likely a lot of "creative influence" on the narrative.


But wait. Along comes ESPN and O.J.: Made in America. I wasn't going to watch it, but I'd heard so many people that I respect talk about how compelling it was. So I watched. And it was compelling. And I found that so much of what I'd thought was "creative" in the mini-series, was actual fact. And I know it because there is a lot of footage of the real actors involved.

Now, I was plenty old to remember the Rodney King beating. I saw the video. I was appalled like most of the rest of the public. When those four police officers were found not guilty, I was stunned, too. I'm a white person, so I know I'm not entitled to the same indignation, but I was shocked.

Yes, I am a white person. But I'm a woman. So I do know a little about discrimination. We have now had an African American president, but not a woman. Not yet, at least.

Anyway, I know my opinion doesn't count for much. But when those two jurors in the documentary essentially admitted that their verdict was pay back for Rodney King, my blood boiled.

Don't get me wrong. I am aware that justice is not on the side of the African American community. As a race, African Americans have been dealt brutal cards. I understand the need to make a statement.

But freeing O. J. Simpson? As the documentary made painfully clear, O.J., in his pre-murdering life, made every effort to distance himself from the African American community. He didn't see himself as black. He saw himself as a famous football star, a mediocre actor, but above all else, a celebrity. He lived in Brentwood.

I don't know for sure, but I'd wager a good amount of money on the fact that all twelve of those jurors believed he did it. It was the crime of the century and thus they decided a good time to make a point.

But let me ask you: What's O.J. done for you lately?

Thursday, June 16, 2016


Read Bygones.

Dr. Alexandra Hadley would prefer to leave small town life behind forever, but her father’s death forces her hand. In his will, he has left her his medical practice and Georgian-style mansion, and it is up to her to hire a new doctor and settle his estate. Fresh out of medical school, Lexi is happily settled in Chicago, doing research in tandem with her boyfriend. Brian, fifteen years older with impressive credentials and sophisticated tastes, has no interest in visiting her birthplace of Glenmore, Illinois. Lexi soon discovers that home has its attractions, the first being the handsome contractor Joe Manning, her secret crush in high school. Seeing patients is also surprisingly satisfying. When Joe offers to remodel her father’s den, Lexi jumps at the chance to erase sad memories and become better acquainted with her gorgeous handyman. Even as the charms of Glenmore draw her in, a series of break-ins at her father’s house make her fear for her safety. Is the intruder searching for something other than valuables? And how determined is the culprit? Lexi finds her fragile happiness at risk, including her newfound love for Joe Manning. 

Monday, June 6, 2016

Is Novak Djokovic the GOAT?

Novak Djokovic just won his first French Open, completing his career slam as well as holding all 4 major titles consecutively.

As Andy Murray mentioned in his runner up acceptance speech- that is a rare thing in tennis.

I probably won't live to see another man hold all 4 major titles.

Now, I'm a Rafael Nadal fan. The King of Clay. An amazing player with a career slam, 9 French Open titles. He is the ultimate sportsman, humble, respectful of other players. He fights hard on every point whether he is down two sets or up two sets.

Then of course there is Roger Federer-the epitome of grace and beauty on a tennis court. By pure natural athleticism, he makes the incredibly difficult look easy.

As avid tennis fans, we've had the incredible good fortune to see these three men battle each other over the years. Each match becoming a match for the ages.

I had the amazing luck to be in the stands of Arthur Ashe Stadium for the men's final in 2011. It was Djokovic vs. Nadal. Exactly what I'd hoped for. At least until Djokovic took the trophy.

It was a good match, but Djokovic was too much for my Rafa. Still, it'a an experience I will always remember and cherish.

But the thing I'll remember most about the 2011 U.S. Open is not the final. It's the semi-final between Djokovic and Federer. It was match point for Federer. Even though it had gone to a fifth set, Roger was up 5 games to 3, 40-15. All it would take was one big bomb of a serve- something Federer has done thousands of times. And he did it- a huge serve out wide. Unfortunately for Roger, he was facing probably the best returner in the game.

Djokovic swung away and hit a huge return for a winner. That's the way Djokovic plays. Federer was miffed that he would try such a play, called it a "lucky shot".


But that's the way Djokovic plays. He has mad skills and nerves of steel. Perhaps he chose to just go for it on match point. Or perhaps he went with what his natural talent allowed him to.

Risky shot? Maybe. Unless you're Novak Djokovic. Some people, like Roger Federer, thought it was a crazy shot- irresponsible on match point.

I thought it was amazing. It was the first time I thought that Djokovic was the real deal. If he was willing to go for such an incredible return on match point, then he had me. I was a little bit won over. He lived by the sword and was willing to die by the sword.

No matter what you think about it, it was something to be respected. Is Novak the GOAT?

Maybe he is. And he has many years ahead of him...

Wednesday, May 18, 2016


Bygones available for Kindle, Nook, at Kobo and iBooks!!!!!!

“By the time I left for college, they were divorcing. I guess we all ran away—I went to school, my mother left home and my father got lost in a bottle of whiskey.”

Tuesday, May 17, 2016


Available for Kindle, Nook, at Kobo and iBooks...........

She’d been tense all day and it seemed she’d finally gotten through to him, her angst now so acute it had poked a hole in his force field of calm.

Monday, May 16, 2016


                   My new book Bygones is available for Nook, Kindle, at Kobo and iBooks!

 Every scary movie she’d ever seen told her she should go exploring and find the source of the      badness. Well, that was why the stupid heroine always ended up with a hatchet in her forehead.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

My book came out today! You can get it for Nook or Kindle

Check it out!

Friday, April 8, 2016

Next year is finally here?

Next year is finally here?

Just two days ago that statement would have been followed by a righteous exclamation point. Now it's a question mark.

A lifelong Chicago Cubs fan, I've been positively giddy at the prospects for our season. And I'm not the only one. This year, everyone's talking about the Cubs. The loaded roster, the perfect manager at the right time, the President of Baseball Operations who's made good on his promise to turn around the ball club.

Then of course there's the fans. It's been over a hundred years since the Cubs have won the World Series and the fans keep coming. Whether it's the love of the game or the prospect of a sunny afternoon at the ball park, the fans keep coming. It's a testament to their loyalty, to the belief that hope truly does spring eternal. 

It has to happen some day. Why not now?

Indeed. Why not now?

Here's the thing. The Cubs were off to a 3-0 start, their first in over 20 years. Then there was the injury. Kyle Schwarber and Dexter Fowler in a scary outfield collision. ACL injury for Schwarber and the end of a season before it had scarcely begun.

This Schwarber kid seems like a good guy. Big and burly, he has such power as to make his name a verb. As in, if you achieve something with a definitive power then you really "Schwarbered" it.

Poor guy. A season of expectations and now he has to sit on the sidelines. In the dugout. Whatever.

It would be easy to say "here we go again". I mean, it's always something. A black cat, the curse of the billy goat, the foul ball interference from the poor man who shall not be named.

But no. No.

Despite the fact that I should know better, I refuse to give in. 

I still believe. 

Schwarber's out for the season? Okay. Next man up. Move on. I mean, I feel bad for the guy but this is our destiny.

The time is now. The place is Wrigley Field. In the words of Theo Epstein: "24 hours ago, I thought we were really well positioned to win in large part because of Kyle's presence on the team, and now we're really well positioned to win for Kyle".

Okay. I'm in.

Next year is finally here!!!!!

#Letsgo     #WeAreGood

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Spring is Here

Spring is here. Woo hoo.

Not so much.

I am unlike just about every other person who lives in a land of the four seasons. I don't like spring. In fact the only season I like less than spring is summer.

Sacrilege you say? Perhaps. But I've never been one to go with the flow.

It's spring. The time of blooming tulips, the start of new life, the resurrection of life stagnant through the winter. Sure.

It's also the time of muddy ground and constant rain, though I do love me a good thunderstorm.

So here we are. Warmer weather is moving in. And for some reason, this year, I haven't had nearly enough frigid weather. I haven't had nearly enough snow. That's right. I said. Snow.

I realize snow can be a pain when you have to drive in it, but come on. What's prettier than a field of virgin snow sparkling in the bright sun? The air is brisk and clean. More refreshing than any April shower.

I like the cold. It invigorates me. Makes me feel alive.

The heat and the humidity sap my energy, muddle my brain, make me cranky.

So you'll forgive me if I'm not nearly as excited as you are about the spring. Me, I'm waiting for October.