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...