Tag Archives: Lavada Dee

Super Excited!!

I booked my plane tickets to head to the west coast to visit our very own Laurie and Lavada in September. I’ve had the pleasure of hanging out with Laurie at RWA in NYC a few years ago and am looking forward to getting to meet Lavada in person. I just know I’m going to adore her as much as I do Laurie. It’s always cool to meet people in person that you know online. It’s even better when you find they are as real and personable in the flesh as they are online and that you “get” each other. Having romance writing, reading and love of family and friends in common is already a great way to start a relationship, right?

The only downside to the trip? The flight times were awful. I could either get up before dawn or fly all night. UGH.  I picked the up at dawn since I will have to travel for work on the Monday after I get back and knew I would need to sleep in a bed. Why, oh why, does the travel industry want to punish people?

Jillian and Laurie at RWA

Jillian and Laurie at RWA

I’m adding a link to a video to See You in September even though most of the lyrics don’t match since they are about lovers,  but I adore the lyrics about counting the hours and the minutes. 🙂

Have you ever met someone you’ve bonded with online? How did it go? Were they what you expected?



IquanaI know these guys are popular as pets. For some people that is. I don’t know anyone that has them so my first encounter with one was recently in Cancun. They would come out on the walks and for me it was like seeing a snake. Something that makes the feet move while standing in place.

There were quite a few hanging out on the grounds of the resort we were in. When we got home I looked up some information on these critters and found out that Iguanas have excellent vision. They can see shapes, colors and movement from a long distance. Now that was something I think was better found out after I got safely home. Especially wearing flip flops. It makes my toes tingle just thinking about it.

We thought they were protected but I didn’t find anyplace that stated that they were. For me I’d rather not find them in my garden. Guess it’s one plus for living in a northern climate.

Moving from Rue’s view

P1030037Moving, cats don’t do moving. At least they don’t if they aren’t forced to. My humans were sneaky. First they moved what they call the spare room and I called ‘my room’.

Now mind you I’d just customized the new box springs they bought. I had a big hole, well maybe like a quarter of the underside open on the old one. On this new one I just put in a hole big enough for me to get in. Anyway, one day they came in and whoosh it was gone. All the other furniture in my room was too though I didn’t really care about it.

Then a few weeks later came the morning of the BIG move. My humans marched into the master, they call it master but …. Anyway the first thing they take out is, you guessed it, the bed. Now where is this cat supposed to hide? I crunched down behind the toilet hoping they wouldn’t snatch it out. Then Katie, I like her, came in and made me a hiding place in the closet. Through the day I could hear things moving but I didn’t come out of my snug hidie hole to look. Oh woe is me, my whole world was being whisked away. Then Kristie, I thought she was my friend, took me out of the closet and shoved me into a carrier. On the way I could see what was left of home. No couch, no chairs, no table and horror’s no bed.

I hate that carrier, usually when they put me in it I end up on a metal table but this time they put me in a little room with whew, my potty. They didn’t make me get out they just opened the door. Well that wasn’t too bad.

Fast forward — my human opened the door and I snuck out and hey I liked what I saw. The master bed, my bed, my cat tree, my couch and chair.

Humans note:
Rue took to the new house like she’d personally selected it. I am so glad she’s with me or as she would say, I’m with her. The picture is a recent one, taken in front of the fireplace where she particularly likes.

Valentines Day

ValentineTomorrow is Valentine’s Day and with it one of my favorite memories.

When the kids were little I’d get a sack or box of Valentine cards and they would sit with a list of their classmates and carefully pick the right card for each one. I can still see them sitting at the kitchen table.

Then the day would come and they’d bring back the ones they’d received. It was always a big thing for them to come home from school and share them one by one.

The year Rick, our youngest was in the first grade Valentines Day was an unseasonably warm afternoon. I came home to find him sitting on the neighbor’s front steps. Caroline was close to eighty, a tiny little lady that almost always wore a dress. Their heads were close together and you could see Ricky telling Caroline about each card as he handed them to her. So much patience and love was in that picture. It will forever live in my heart and mind.

We all have memories we cherish, that leave indelible images in our minds. What about you, I’ll bet there are millions of Valentine memories out there. Some romantic, some nostalgic, some just special.

Book Review(s) – Over The Backyard Fence Authors

posted by Laurie Ryan

Happy Day after Christmas, everyone! I hope you’ve hugged too much, unwrapped too much, and eaten just the right amount to feel content. 🙂 This was an interesting season this year, what with promoting a holiday anthology at the same time as trying to get ready for Christmas with an ever-growing family. And now, the day after Christmas, I’m already thinking I need to start preparing for next year. Yikes!

To round out this year, since today is book review day, I thought I’d showcase some of the reviews our blog authors’ books have been getting:


 Steph Burkhart says:

“The novel is sophisticated for romance readers with love scenes that are sensual and tasteful. ‘Redemption for the Devil’ will allow the reader to experience a gambit of emotions, and will resonate with them long after the last page.”


What it’s about:

December, 1920: Mary Margaret Kincade, known as Peg, a devout Catholic, is the only child of an Irish adventurer presumed dead in an Arctic expedition gone awry. When her odious cousin comes to take over the family business and presumes to force Peg into marriage, she decides to make a new life in Americaby working her way across the ocean on a cruise liner.

Liam Cormac, a Protestant member of the Irish Republican Army, fighting for freedom from English rule, signs on to the same ship with the intention of blowing it up in the middle of the ocean.

Liam and Peg encounter each other in the first class passenger lounge and the attraction is mutual. When Peg is taken hostage by Liam’s partner, Liam has to make a decision about where his loyalties lie- with his country and his mission or with an Irish Catholic lass.

Where to read more about it:


 Tricia Jones BULL AT THE GATE

Camelia at Long and Short Romance Reviews says:

“Tricia Jones weaves a plot fraught with emotions, clandestine dealings, and incredible back stories that make the characters seem so true to life. The hero and heroine’s journey to a happy-ever-after is full of conflicts and seemingly insurmountable differences making the coming together so satisfying.”


What it’s about:

“Alexander “Bull” McKinley’s reputation as a hard-nosed businessman is tested when an old Fairy Gate and local superstition stand in the way of a lucrative development contract. Alex has his hands full trying to convince the villagers to play ball, without the unexpected—and definitely unwanted—attraction to the feisty redhead leading the revolt. Dee Ashman detests those who put profit before people, and she’s damned if an arrogant, insensitive and, okay, wildly attractive capitalist is going to destroy the symbolic heart of the village and break her beloved grandmother’s heart. But they cannot deny the desire that burns between them nor the unleashed passion neither can resist.”

Where to read more about it:



Edelweiss at Long and Short Romance Reviews says:

The Return is a complex tale that brims with high plot tension and suspense. Plus it ultimately becomes a beautiful love story, one the reader will not soon forget.”


What it’s about:

Whilst on assignment in Iraq, English TV presenter and journalist Robert Tremayne is captured by Islamic Jihadists and held hostage. His soul mate, Marielle, can barely come to terms with her loss but tries to move on with her life.

Two years later Robert is discovered alive. Marielle is overjoyed, but her life has changed beyond all recognition, and the man she loved is now very different. His time inIraqhas left him cold, emotionless and detached. There’s much to tell, and each wants desperately to return to the way things once were.

With the past always there to come between them, will they be able to recapture their lost love? Will they ever be happy again?

Where to read more about it:


Lavada Dee & Laurie Ryan’s HOLIDAY MAGIC – THE GIFT OF LOVE

Nikki at Books4U says:

<Healing Love>”is is a really beautiful, moving and inspiring read by Laurie Ryan. I wish there was more people in the world as dedicated and caring as Nicole Milbourne.”

<Priceless Love> “An excellent read all about love, this is a truly wonderful story by Lavada Dee. I really enjoyed this book. It makes a nice change to have two completely different stories in the one book. This book is the perfect feel good read for the festive season.”


What it’s about:

Priceless Love by Lavada Dee  “For Richer, For Poorer.”

Taylor Hamilton, dissatisfied with a life designed by her parents, attends a friend’s fall wedding and finds small town life agrees with her. The problem is, her wealth doesn’t agree with the man she falls for. Is their love strong enough to find a bridge of trust where money isn’t an issue?  

 Healing Love by Laurie Ryan  “In Sickness and in Health.”

Nicole Milbourne’s single-minded focus on a medical research career is thrown for a loop when charismatic Dr. Damien Reed shows her there’s more to life than studying diseases. Will an unexpected Christmas fill Nicole’s lonely heart and show her the healing power of love?

Where to read more about it:




posted by Laurie Ryan

This past week, Lavada and I had new stories released as a two-story holiday anthology. Normally, I don’t talk about the business of writing here, because Over The Backyard Fence is meant to be about life, and family. However, writing is my job and right now, it’s stressing me out.  I don’t think it matters if it’s your first or your fiftieth book, anticipation is exhilarating. It can also send you on an emotional roller coaster.

  • Will folks like the book?
  • Will folks buy the book?
  • What else can I do to get the word out there?

Yep, the blood pressure is climbing. There are dozens of questions that run through my mind pre and post release and I’m trying to tame the whirlwind of thought so I can get some work done. I got to thinking about expectations and what mine are for this book and my career. This isn’t the same as goals. Goals are what you plan to accomplish. Expectations, to me, are what you expect the results of accomplishing those goals to be.

So what do I expect?

  • I expect that we’ll sell some books. Whether it’s a lot or a little, only time will tell.
  • I expect that I’ll find some people who love our stories.
  • And one or two who find flaws in them. (I don’t think a book has been written that doesn’t have at least one mistake in it.)

Those are pretty standard and I’m still breathing into a paper bag. So what if I amp those up?

  • I expect that we’ll sell a lot of books.
  • I expect that everyone will love our stories.
  • And if anyone finds a flaw, they won’t tell me.

Hmmm. Maybe not realistic, but I found my blood pressure returning to somewhere closer to normal as I typed these. So is this kind of expectation, or positive reinforcement, good or bad? I don’t know. As you can tell, I’m in the “lots of questions, very few answers” stage of a new book release.

I love the stories we wrote. And I love that we tied them together without effort—family is an underlying theme in both stories. I don’t know which side of my expectations I’ll land on. But one thing’s for sure. It’s a wild ride and worth it , I think, to tell all the stories running around in my head.

Food Fun Monday – Cranberry Salad – Posted by Lavada Dee

I posted this recipe last year around this time but didn’t have the apples in it. You can leave them out but we like them in if they are the sweet variety.

For years we would open a can of cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving dinner and my mother would be the only one to really enjoy it. A week later we would throw out three quarters of it.

Then we found this yummy recipe and it’s become one of our families traditional Thanksgiving dishes. It’s especially good for the younger set as they tend to love it.

Cranberry Jello Salad

1 lg box of Strawberry – Banana jello.
1 can jellied cranberry sauce.
ripe banana’s – as many as you want
1 mid sized peeled apple (we like Delicious apples because we like the sweeter ones in this recipe)
Cool Whip

Make the jello using only the hot water ingredient; this decreases the liquid by half.
Mix the jello, cranberry sauce and bananas in the blender and blend well.

Pour into a 9×13 pan.
Grate the apple and gently mix in.
set over night.

Top with cool whip. For a festive looking dish you can garnish it with mint leaves. Or mint leaf & red candy for a holly look.

With the holiday’s coming up we’d love to have some guest bloggers post their favorite recipes. You can email us by clicking on Contact Us above and we’ll set it up with you.