Thursday, March 24, 2022



Ran into these kitchen towels while shopping at The Attic at East Beach today and they got me to thinking. I didn’t know I there were opportunities available to actually be a mermaid, but I do live in The Mermaid City (Norfolk, VA—more on that in a bit) and it seems only fitting that should be one. So yeah, I am kinda pissed that I'm not.

As always, everything one needs to know can be found on the Internet, so I did a little research on the topic. 

The term “mermaid” literally translates to Sea-lady (Old-English “mere” meaning sea, and maid—as you may remember from The Twelve Days of Christmas—is a young lady). These mystical half-women/half-fish creatures were often spotted when “Sailing, sailing, o’er the bounding main.” Going back thousands of years, they’ve been incorporated into folklore throughout the world. Christopher Columbus himself reported seeing them when he explored the Caribbean late in the 1400s. (It’s possible he confused a manatee with a mermaid…lord only knows what those sailors drank in those days.) Reports of mermaid sightings continue into the 21st century. (Again, what are those sailors drinking? They need to share!)

Friday, March 11, 2022


<<Mother Nature is currently teasing us with beautiful weather (for another 24 hours then it's back to winter). Spring Fever grabbed me by the neck and pulled me out into the yard. Three hours of raking and four bags of leaves later, my gardens were ready for their seasonal makeover. As I sat and sipped a glass of (medicinal) wine, I remembered about an article I had published almost a decade ago now. A cautionary tale, about what happens when a girl's dreams of lavish landscaping slam head-on into the reality of making them come true. I figured in the spirit of the changing seasons, I'd share it with you here.>>

My first gardening catalog came addressed to “Robert S. Jones or Current Resident.” That was me--Current Resident. We’d just made our fourth move in two years in conjunction with my husband’s Naval career.  His orders were for twenty-four months. Long enough to plant perennials. Oh, be still my heart!

Thursday, February 24, 2022


The launching of a new book never gets old. Recently, the 11th anthology in which I’ve been involved was released, Virginia is for Mysteries, Volume III. My first collaboration was Virginia is for Mysteries, the original. That came out eight years ago (where does the time go!) But our core group of authors had been working together for almost two years prior to that. That adds up to an entire decade. Longer than some marriages I know of. That’s something worth celebrating!

Many of the original authors are included in Volume III but we’ve also added some great new talent. It’s no exaggeration when I say it offers something for everyone. I’m humbled to be in such great company.

My contribution is titled “Sorry, Wrong Number” wherein a peaceful paddle between Chincoteague and Assateague Islands turns into a disturbing adventure when Margaret Gunderson and Carolyn Prewitt discover a dead man floating in the channel.

There is a story behind this story...

Thursday, February 10, 2022

WARM HANDS, COLD HEART, a Short Romance by Jayne

<<In the beginning of my writing career, I put all my creative energy into writing romance. I soon realized keeping two desperately in love people at odds for 300-plus pages lacked the conflict of, say, stumbling over a dead body. Hence, I turned my talents to penning cozies. But I did enjoy a modicum of success with short romances. So in anticipation of Valentine's Day on Monday, here is one of my favorites. I hope it warms your heart!>>

Caitlyn wrapped her hands around a mug of steamy coffee, inhaling the fragrant aroma of roasted Arabica beans. She absolutely loved the smell of fresh brewed coffee, but detested the taste. The only reason she’d brewed a cup was to have something on which to warm her hands. She had never been so cold in her entire life.

Having been born and raised in sunny southern California, she was suffering her first winter on the desolate prairies of Nebraska. The job offer had been too good to pass up, and being two-thousand miles away from Derek, that cheating skunk of an ex-fiancé, was an added bonus. But she hadn’t realized how brutal winter could be until the first blizzard of the season hit and the furnace conked out.

Thursday, January 13, 2022

BOOK THE BAND...You'll Want to Celebrate This National Day of Observance!

In my continuing quest to help you, my faithful readers, keep abreast of the important National Days of Observances (let’s be honest, there are a LOT of them) I hereby notify you there is a really BIG one coming up on Sunday. Mark your calendars. You want to celebrate. Trust me.

“What is it,” you ask? Why, January 16th is the day the world stops, and we celebrate National Fig Newton Day! Whether you like them or not I’m sure you are all familiar with the “Oooey gooey rich and chewy inside/Golden flakey tender cakey outside” treat. Better stock up now before the word gets out.

But it got me to thinking…do you know the cookie’s history? Yeah, me neither until I took a deep dive into the tasty subject.

Thursday, December 30, 2021

SAUERKRAT FOR BREAKFAST? An Unusual New Year's Day Tradition

Oh, the trials and tribulations of being raised under the heavy mantle of family traditions. My mother, of German heritage, insisted that the first thing to pass our lips in the new year was a bite of sauerkraut. Easy for her, as she partied while the clock struck midnight and washed down her nibble of GOOD LUCK with (many) sips of the bubbly. Those of us early-to-bedders (at the insistence of a mean babysitter!) had the misfortune of being served sauerkraut for breakfast. Trust me when I say it does not pair well with Cap’n Crunch. Hence, my lifelong avoidance of sauerkraut (unless it tops a thick Ruben sandwich, and then only sparingly!)

Friday, December 17, 2021

'TIS THE SEASON, a Holiday Poem by Jayne

 <<I wrote this many years ago when my husband was deployed over the holidays. I read it every year to remind myself that military folks remain on station while we here stateside celebrate the season.>>

...of warm sugar cookies and jingle bells ringing;
of sleighs full of toys and carolers singing;
of Santas and Scrooges and tinsel and lights;
of long snowy walks with a loved one at night.