We’ve just returned from a month in Europe and as I am looking through the pictures to add to this newsletter, I realize again how much ground and sightseeing can be done over a month’s time.

Wales was our first stop where John and Carol Powell, friends and historians, gave us the grand tour of Mumbles and Swansea. I am so blessed and grateful to know them. They shared great insight into life there during the post-war years. They also fed us laver bread and sausages and wonderful cups of tea and coffee with more new friends. Being on the beautiful waterfront promenade looking out at the Mumbles lighthouse was this writer’s dream.

All they shared and all we discussed will help my Drew Davies Railway Mysteries be more authentically historical.

Adventures in Reading and Writing

One of the highlights of being in Mumbles was visiting the village’s wonderful Cover to Cover bookstore. How exciting that this wonderful independent bookstore will now carry The Books of Rules.

The next book is in “completed” draft format and now that we have returned from our adventure, I will begin going through each page making additions, revisions, and edits. I told Editor Sally I would like to deliver the new book into her capable hands just after the new year.

Upcoming Events

On Saturday, November 4 from 10am-12pm, I’ll again be teaching the marketing class for self-published authors. The class, entitled, “Marketings for Authors That Just Want to Write” will be held at Village Books in Fairhaven, WA. You can register for the class at villagebooks.com. After you are linked on, go to Fairhaven, then Writer’s Corner to Writers Workshops. The classes are small, only about 25 people and everyone will leave with their own marketing plan.

Who doesn’t love a great Holiday Open House! On Thursday, November 9 from 4pm-7pm, I’ll be at Re-Feather Your Nest, the beautiful home décor and clothing boutique in Mount Vernon. I’ll be signing books and wrapping them up for under the tree. I hear drinks and appetizers will be served as well!!

Gardening and a Recipe

Before we left for Europe, I harvested everything from the garden, including tomatoes and corn.  There are six quarts of marinara and six freezer bags of fresh corn in the freezer. A fall tradition that makes me feel winter prepared.

When we got home, we tucked away gardens for the winter – all things floral and veggie both. We pruned, trimmed, sawed, pulled, raked, and hauled wheelbarrows full of it all and carted it out to the field. It is always a wonderful feeling to have the yards tidy and neat before winter truly arrives.

It is certainly chilly here now and has me thinking about stews, chowders, and soups. So, using one of the bags of corn from the freezer, I made this recipe for a really delicious corn and ham chowder. It will be gracing our dinner table throughout the winter. Really yummy!

Corn and Ham Chowder


  • 1 ½ cups ham – I cut it in thin rectangles.
  • ½ tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1-2 garlic cloves
  • 2 large potatoes
  • 1 ½ cups fresh or frozen corn
  • 5 tbls flour
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 ½ cups chicken stock
  • 1 ½-2 cups water (depending on how thick you like it)
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • Tsp of thyme


  • Melt the butter in a heavy cookpot.
  • Add onion and garlic and sauté on low till translucent.
  • Whisk in the flour to make the rue.
  • Pour in the milk and whisk till thickened.
  • Add chicken stock and water and continue to whisk.
  • Increase the heat to medium and add potatoes, ham, corn, celery, salt and pepper.
  • Bring to rapid simmer and stir.
  • Reduce heat to low simmer, add thyme and cook till potatoes soft.

Bon Appetit!!

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