Monday, November 27, 2023

Release of A Place to Land (Second Edition)

 I'd like to announce the release of the second edition of A Place to Land. It's in ebook, print, and audio formats. How about that cover?

Link to Amazon

She isn't afraid of the big, bad wolf.
But he's a little concerned about her.

When Uli's impoverished family left Russia for America, she was only 10 years old. From that point on, she's been determined to make the American dream hers. When 
Headline Magazine offers the perfect story with which to launch her new writing career, Uli travels across Oregon to find out exactly how wolf and cowboy mix. As she finds her spirit guide in the wolf and her soul mate in the cattle rancher, a mysterious danger seems bent on finding her.
Movie-star handsome, Jackson Holt owns one of the largest ranches in eastern Oregon and, like most ranchers, is none too happy with wolves crossing over the Idaho border near his livestock. The last thing he needs is a semi-environmentalist, journalist wannabe dogging his footsteps. Sure, Uli may be bright and sexy, but her need to prove herself and help her family threaten to lead her into the kind of harm he can't protect her from−when all he wants to give her is...a place to land.

Sunday, October 15, 2023

A Humorous Slant at Growing Older


 My goal this fall is not to fall. I did fall recentlyover my dog. Why is it when you fall when you are older, your brain tells you you’re falling but it doesn't do anything about it? When I was younger, I’d at least stick a hand out to help brace myself against a fall.

Thankfully, my dog didn’t get hurt and I didn’t break anything. I suffered a black eye. Yet, I didn’t have to wear makeup as the “eye” was all anyone looked at. My husband thought he’d be blamed for it, poor guy. And a friend asked if my dog was a boxer.

At my last wellness doctor appointment (before my fall), my doctor said my weight was okay, but I need to start exercising. I must have joked about it, or said no or something, because she raised her voice at me. First time ever.

I exercised when I was younger, using various machines I could fit into my home. I wasn’t always good about getting it done, but at least I didn’t forget I’d planned to exercise on a specific day without needing a reminder. Now, I must write it down, but often at bedtime, I recall that I’d forgot to exercise. Yes, I wrote it in my calendar, but I forgot to look at my calendar. I suppose I could move my fitness machine where I could see it, but then I might fall over it.

Now that I’m older I realized I’d had it wrong about exercising. I exercised to improve my waistline, which back then was just fine. Young people are so critical of their bodies, but that is another blogpost. Anyway, now I need to exercise for a stronger body, especially stronger legs.

Yet, this morning I read a Facebook post that seemed serious at the beginning but turned out to be humorous. It stated that if you exercise you will live longer. At age 85 you will have five more months to live in a nursing home. And then, he said his father walked five miles a day and now at age 92 he can’t find him.

As I write I am stationary, which doesn’t help accrue daily steps. But then on second thought,  if I wasn’t a writer, I’d probably be stationary as well. I have deserted an office and a writing desk to sit in my very comfortable recliner as I write on my laptop. Why not be comfortable as I write?

No one is going to get me to write anywhere else, I tell you. I even have a recliner in my summer cabin. So, this fall’s strengthening program is going to be a goal I will have to work hard at. At least I can read while I sit on my incumbent exercise bike.

Hats off to all you writers who do get exercise, I admire you. I plan to be one of you soon. Uh…next week.


Link to Secrets of Trillium Falls by Mary Vine

A courageous but naïve woman and a benevolent but cynical man reconcile to evict ghosts and restore a mansion.


Wednesday, October 11, 2023



I am proud to announce the release of the Windtree Press anthology. Ten authors contributed a variety of stories (and one poem!) with "Whispers" as the theme. I contributed "Whispers Upon a Star."

Here is the link: 2023 Whispers Anthology

Cover Blurb: A whisper is a soft barely audible sound or resemblance of a sound. Perhaps a thought in one’s head, a flutter of leaves, a feather floating to the ground, or a wish. In this collection of ten stories and a poem the theme of "Whispers" is used in different ways.

From the poem Soul Whispers, from Dari LaRoche, you can conjure up the variety of whispers in the coming stories. This is followed by the Children’s story, Whispers in a Dream, by Susie Slanina, where Metro the dog visits outer space through a dream.

The tale of 
Friends and Neighbors by Pamela Cowan murmurs of unlikely alliances. In Whispers of the Halycon, author Dari LaRoche’s submission is a twist on a fairytale. Author Mary Vine’s characters, in Whisper Upon a Star, hide their feelings as they try to find a killer.

Her Zayka is a tale of a close bond between a young woman and the nanny she grew up with. Author R. Hockamin has a unique twist at the end. Of Wings and Whispers is a fantasy where author Diana McCollum takes the reader on an emotional ride as a fairy with a broken wing finds love.

Suspense and romance will keep you turning the pages of author Kimila Kay’s 
Whispering Willows. Author Melissa Yuan-Innes story, Bread and Ashtrays, is an intriguing tale of an empath who sees whispers of a man’s life.

The characters in 
Whispers of the Past, by Paty Jager, are seeking a person whom they may or may not wish they’d never heard of. Ending this collection of titillating and thought-provoking stories is author Maggie Lynch’s Pax Reborn. This science fiction novella asks the question would the world be better with everyone content and equal?

Enjoy and savor each story. Every one of the stories will leave whispers of questions and coax a smile.

Monday, February 27, 2023


Tips on Relationships by Mary Vine


Writers consider many types of human relationships as they start to write a novel. The ins and outs of daily life and how these events affect their character’s life is a major part of what an author states and expands upon.

I have begun my seventh decade in life, so I have seen and learned different sorts of relationship traits, and outcomes, that are especially of interest to me, because I include romance in my fiction writing.

As I’ve watched teen couples over the years, I have seen girls seek to warn or attempt to remove the other girl/woman they found out about, when in fact it is your boyfriend that you need to talk to. What does he want? What if he shows that he doesn’t want to change? Don’t ignore it, thinking you will change him. That is an unhealthy mindset. You won’t. No matter the sadness, move on. The feelings or excitement the two of you have while in the dating period is the best you will probably ever have, so don’t be hanging on the fact that things will get better later.

And guess what? No one is perfect and we all have some kind of baggage, we are still experiencing the residual emotional effects from past situations in our lives that can even go back to our childhood.

One of the hardest things I’ve learned through the years was that once you fail to respect your partner, respect is nigh impossible to get back. A relationship hinges on mutual respect.

A sense of humor is good at every age. There is a quote I like by Dennis Haysbert that says, ‘Sometimes you have to laugh to keep from crying or getting overly angry or to maintain control.’ You indeed have a gift, if you and your spouse can see the humor in a situation and can laugh together (not necessarily in the moment, but soon after), relieving stress.

When I married my husband, I noticed that when we had a disagreement, he would leave the house in a huff. That continued for a while, but then eventually he didn’t leave the house but only went to the garage. Then after more years, he left the conversation by going into another room in the house. Now, after more time, he usually doesn’t leave the discussion (even if I may want him to). Obviously, over the years he learned to trust that I loved him and wanted to work things out. In preparation for this post, I asked him what relationship advice he had, he said, “To be straight up, tell the truth, and it helps everything work out after that.”

Can you have a relationship if you don’t share the same faith? Yes, I think so. We both believe in God but have different ways of showing it. I am totally fine with that, but I would be crushed if my husband didn’t believe in God.

As you grow older you most likely will find that some of the things that bothered you when you were younger don’t upset you anymore. Things you no longer feel are important, which helps not just your life, but your spouse’s life as well. Don’t waste stress on something that is no longer a priority or because someone else thinks you should.

My parents, and my husband’s, are now gone, but alive in our memories. We wished we would have asked them more questions about the past. Also, some of those of our age are ill, and friends and family are starting to pass as well.

I remember an older woman I’d talked to many years ago said, “Now that my husband has passed away, I miss hugs so much.” I thought I knew what that meant back then, but now, over time, I really know what she means. A hug, a touch of a hand, a kiss are appreciated because we know that we will not have that for many more years. Now, kindness and loyalty are the priority. In my long-held opinion, kindness and loyalty are the love story for every age.

Love and gold. Mystery and passion.

All famous mystery author Stanton Black wanted was to leave the flashbulbs of Hollywood behind. Hiding out in the wilds of northeast Oregon seemed like the perfect way to get over an attempt on his life while researching his work. His latest novel would draw on the history of his ancestors and the lore of gold country. Now, all he needed was a suitable tour guide.

Special education teacher Maya Valentine was no tour guide. After the death of her parents, Maya has come home to Salisbury Junction for the summer only to have an ailing friend talk her into escorting Stanton around the area. As a pattern of crime around her and the newfound gold on her property leads to mystery, her relationship with Stanton turns to thoughts of romance. A romance too impossible to consider.

Buy link:

A courageous but naïve woman and a benevolent but cynical man
reconcile to evict ghosts and restore a mansion.

Taylor Glenn makes a deal on a haunted mansion in the town where she accepts her first teaching job. Her naïve optimism assures her that her depressed grandfather will come to life and help her rebuild it with the passion he once possessed for restoring old homes. Three deaths are connected to the tower room and no local workman will set foot inside except for the former owner, successful real estate developer, Dillon Nash. She wonders if this captivating man is the salvation she needs or an even greater threat to her survival when mysterious events happen in the house.

“Mary Vine has a knack for combining suspense with romance…”
-Night Owl Romance

About Mary Vine

Writing Romance with Humor, Suspense and Inspiration…
Writing Language-based Children’s Books that Educate, Inspire and Give Hope.

Mary describes herself as a late bloomer. She started writing at age 36. With practice and encouragement, she started writing romantic fiction and became a member and officer of a writer’s group.

Her story writing really took off when she discovered the pines, firs and rocky knolls of Northeast Oregon. Mary’s husband enjoyed panning for gold in the creeks, but she fell in love with the mining ghost towns and the history surrounding those areas. Three of her magazine articles based on ghost towns in Northeast Oregon, and the history of the Chinese miners who followed the white man to the mines, were published nationally. Mary has written books with gold mining or boom town settings, including a time travel series back to 1870 in Cracker Creek, which is now called Bourne, Oregon.

Mary is also a leader and speaker for the Idaho Creative Authors Network. She graduated from college and taught speech and language classes to K-12 students. She loved teaching idioms, sayings, expressions and proverbs that are important for language deficient students to learn. Her first children’s book deals with the phrase, THE BIG GUY UPSTAIRS.

Mary’s husband has Multiple Sclerosis and, over the last decade, she has seen firsthand that when unwelcome change comes along there is always something to be thankful for. She wanted people to know this, that there is hope in silver linings. Her latest children’s book displays this hope in BIJU SILVER LINING.

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Being Thankful Through Many Years

 The secret of happiness is to live moment by moment and to thank God for all that He, in His goodness, sends to us day after day. ~ St. Gianna

I’ve been on this earth for quite a while. I’ve lived through a lot of ups and downs and have grown to be thankful for many things.

My husband and I grew up in middle class families in Washington, we didn’t have a lot, but we had enough. Our two mothers grew up with even less, and from their childhood I’m sure they were starkly aware of what was enough to maintain a family since they both had lived through the Great Depression.

cotton plant

My mother was one of eleven children and had to help the family. I know she had picked cotton and had helped raise a brother. She’d say, God will provide, and in retrospect, I believe she probably had seen it in action a few times.

My mother-in-law was a great example of showing gratitude for what she had. When she expressed thankfulness, you could see genuineness in her face and tone of voice. She had seven siblings and four of them died young. Her own mother became a widow at fifty and had to take over the farm and family.

My husband and I were both raised in church, values that were inbred in our parents and they did their best to point us in the right direction. They knew that the ultimate thing to be thankful for was the sacrifice of Christ. No matter how hard I try, I can never be thankful enough for what He has done.

At our childhood homes, we had enough to eat, but not many leftovers. Our mothers split one chicken between a whole family of five or six people, so we rarely got the drumstick. Of course, there were side dishes included. Neither of us regularly ate candy, chips or drank soda. They were for special treats or occasions only (or if we got ahold of some change). People of the United States were generally thinner back in the sixties and didn’t frequent fast food establishments like many do now.

In my twenties I was a stay-at-home mom with two babies. I remember being on a budget and having fifty-five dollars in savings. I kept it there for months. To do this I washed the kids’ diapers instead of buying disposables. Chose fun but inexpensive presents for birthdays and Christmas. I made a menu and bought groceries for two weeks at a time, because I didn’t have a standalone freezer or the money to fill it. That’s how strict I had to be, but I’m extremely grateful I was able to be home with the kids.

My father told us that the only way he really prospered was when he bought real estate. I had not forgotten that bit of advice and in our forties my husband and I bought property; and it indeed has helped us prosper over the years.

Fried chicken

Today, I get the drumstick and sometimes the thigh piece, too. When I cook, there are lots of days I have leftovers. I can find just about anything I want at the store and can even order it online and pick it up. Correction, the store clerk loads the groceries in my car. After my chicken dinner, I have a Lindor chocolate and a couple of miniature candy bars. I have a Lindor every day as a matter of fact. I am royalty compared to what I knew when I was a child. I am thankful for those early years because I (we) learned that our fathers always provided and how our mothers used the money to successfully feed and care for us. Most important, I’m thankful we learned what enough is.

Now, we have savings that we couldn’t imagine having earlier in life. When you’ve lived a long time, you have time to build up a little money and pay off your house (if you are consistent with payments). We presently have a full standalone freezer, so we eventually got off that budget – but it took years.

I am thankful for those early years because I learned it’s rewarding to learn to be able to make ends meet, especially as a young person. I’m thankful that if I lose it all tomorrow, I can draw from my early life to help make ends meet again.

Being thankful is crucial to our happiness, no matter the measure.

Saturday, November 19, 2022

Celebrating Veterans in Family, TV, and Books by Mary Vine

Back in 1997, my husband and I found that northeast Oregon was a good place to purchase inexpensive waterfront property. In the early 1860s, after gold was found southwest of Baker City, towns grew to support the miners and then folded when the miners moved on.

We spent summer vacations looking for mining ghost towns and those escapades became some of our best memories. On one of those expeditions, we located the town of Bourne, Oregon. It has a Main Street with cabins along it, nothing dating back to the 1860s but some older ones, nonetheless. We bought two small lots on Main Street along the roaring Cracker Creek. Later we added a cabin.

Set up during the filming of Gold Rush with veterans at the cabin and camping nearby, along with film crew, satellite dish and other production folks

After fifteen years of enjoyment, we put the property up for sale and got a call from a cast member of Discovery Channel’s Gold Rush. The former United States Army Green Beret contacted us about renting our cabin, for three to four months, to four disabled veterans and gold miners in the show. Later, he told me that several veterans have trouble transitioning from the military back to civilian life. Many times they are alone in the process of trying to find themselves, learning where they want to work or how to start a new business venture. They also must learn to bond with others in their new life. Many have to face all these things while dealing with their disabilities as well.

What is interesting for me is that, before I met the Green Beret recipient and some of the veterans, I had already planned to write a contemporary story about a disabled veteran. So, I listened carefully as I heard about the wooden flagpole they built and put up on the property with the US flag waving. (pictures to the right) Or, how they sat around a campfire and shared their day and lives together. The men also expressed joy at being out in the wilderness with their buddies. I wish they would have found more gold for all their efforts.

My husband is also a veteran. My father never talked about his tour of duty in the South Pacific during WWII, nor did my father-in-law who served in the Battle of the Bulge in France. They both managed to move on and live fulfilling lives, but my father-in-law must have carried some disturbing residue from such an awful experience, especially in that he pushed a machine gun around in a baby carriage.

In my story, my hero has already taken the journey to find himself after serving in the military. He knows what his new career will be. However, he struggles with his injured body and self-worth and that makes bonding with others a challenge. When he meets a woman he gets to know and cares about, his insecurities about his injuries get in the way. He believes she can choose better. Save Yourself  will be the title.

I know that by the time I finish researching and writing this story, I will have followed my character’s mental and physical journey. Even though I will never fully know what being a wounded veteran goes through before, during, and after war, I hope to present a reasonable idea of what it entails.

Bourne cabin in winter, covered with snow
Our cabin in winter