Novel in Progress


Deborah Epperson

Becky has returned to her childhood home in Sugardale Georgia. She is alone in her greenhouse when an uninvited stranger who has been following her appears.

Rebecca’s Return  (working title)                   (sequel to Breaking TWIG)                                               

Breaking TWIG

Breaking TWIG

      (scene edited for length)

I recognized the stranger standing in the green house doorway from Kyle’s description. About five-ten, 170 pounds, and wearing a cream-colored straw cowboy hat. 

He tipped his hat. “Good afternoon.” 

I said nothing, just stared at him and waited for my racing pulse to slow.  

“Sorry if I startled you, ma’am.”

“And I’m sorry for you too.” I didn’t know where those words came from, but they tumbled out of me as if I planned them.  

He hiked a brow. “You’re sorry for me?”

“I’m sorry you can’t read. The community college in Kirbyville offers free English classes to adults who want to learn. You should sign up for them.”

A smile tugged at the corners of his mouth. “I reckon that new No Trespassing sign in your yard was intended for me.”

“Do you drive a jade-green sedan with a white vinyl roof?”

“I do sometimes.”

“Then yes, the sign was meant for you.” My hands fisted at my side.

He pulled a business card out of the pocket of his brown western style sport coat. “Let me introduce myself and tell you why I’m here.” He held out his card.

I crossed my arms. “Don’t care what your name is, and I know why you’re here. You can tell Marsha Ackerman, Daddy Ackerman, and  . . . and . . . .”

“Ackerman and Wilcox?” he asked.

“Tell all those vultures in Atlanta that Starview Mountain will never be sold to developers. I don’t want or need their money.” I sucked in a deep breath, blew it out. “I gave my word to someone that Starview Mountain would always remain as pristine as it is now. I keep my word.”

He slid the card back into his pocket, took two steps toward me. “Ackerman and Wilcox are known to be formidable enemies. They usually get whatever they’re after.”

“Not this time.” I relaxed my arms, widened my stance.  

The intruder stood between me and the doorway, so flight wasn’t a possibility. I slid my left hand over the garden shears lying on the countertop. I would not let this stranger intimidate me on my own property. “Give Marsha and her father my message and don’t come back.”

“I just need a few minutes of your time, ma’am.”

“You need to  fast-walk yourself off my property before I call Sheriff Hays and have you arrested for trespassing.”

“I know Nathan Hays very well,” he said.

“So, you’ve been arrested for trespassing before?”

The stranger grinned. “Actually, I’m looking for a woman.”

“You’ve come to the wrong place. Try the Come to Momma bar in Kirbyville. You might get lucky.”

He laughed, pushed his hat back on his head, revealing more of his comely face. “Did anyone ever tell you that you have a keen sense of humor?”

“Nope . . . never.” I pointed at the door behind him. “I’m not kidding, fellow. You’d better get off my property now or else—”

“Or else what, Mrs. Dumont?”

He knew my name. My grip on the shears tightened.

Thanks for stopping by and stay safe,

Deborah E.

A Journey through Chaos

my kingdom

By Janice McCaffrey

Where do creative ideas come from? I didn’t know so, of course, executed a Google search. One of the sites I found suggested that a person write down a word and follow that word with another that begins with the last letter of the previous word. And so on, and so on. The idea being that while your left-brain is busy thinking up words your right-brain will be inspired. H-m-m-m. I gave it a try.

Since I needed ideas for a Montana Women Writers blog entry, I started with the word “writers,” And this is how it went:

words for blog

How many creative ideas did I have at the end of this exercise? NONE!

Weeks later while working on another project I found an interesting article on creativity (of course, through a Google search). Nancy C. Andreason, M.D., Ph.D. directs research at the University of Iowa using brain scans and wrote a paper entitled: A Journey into Chaos: Creativity and the Unconscious.

The paper first describes four steps that her team established after interviews with creative people. 1). Preparation-when basic information and/or skills are gathered. 2). Incubation-a relaxed time during which the person does not work consciously to solve the problem. 3). Inspiration-what she calls the “eureka experience” when suddenly ideas come to mind and 4). Production-when the ideas are put into action.

Her group then ran brain scans on people while they were in a relaxed state. Their minds wandered freely without censorship. She reported that while the participants experienced a relaxed state, their neural level association cortices were working actively. She explains that while we’re relaxed our brains throw out feelers for concrete associations of colors, images, and concepts. These ideas collide until pairs interlock and make stable combinations. Then the brain’s self-organizing system spontaneously and frequently changes the pairs to produce something new. Her Take home message: The creative process is characterized by flashes of insight that arise from unconscious reservoirs of the mind and brain.

Oh, that’s why the good ideas come when in the shower, in bed but awake, or taking a walk alone.

So, need to enhance your creativity? Think about what you need…ideas for a blog, description of a setting, a character’s name, plot points, best color to paint your living room? Whatever. Find a quiet spot and relax, meditate or just sit in quiet (without falling asleep) and without thinking about what you need. Just float for 20-30 minutes. Inspiration will come to your mind either right then or some time later.

The journey takes our thoughts from chaos to creativity. Enjoy the ride!

January Book News




Blame the Car Ride will be released in the first part of January. Exact date will be announced soon on my website.

A simple game of chance results in Corinne Cooper’s best friend’s death and set her on a collision course with a detective still nursing hate from the past.

Three years of lonesome widowhood leads Corinne Cooper to a simple need. She wants a man. She cons her friend Edgy Brewster into helping her find just the right guy. They visit a honkytonk, the biggest church in town, and a bingo parlor looking for an eligible bachelor. Nothing goes as planned. Now Corinne is the prime suspect in a murder and must prove her innocence. Any of the four men she has met could have committed the heinous act. But which one?


Marie F Martin

Hope & Joy in a Classic Tale

By Janice McCaffrey

While pondering the upcoming holidays my stream of consciousness meandered over past memories and future dreams. A few quiet moments of reflection led of course to Dickens’ ghosts.  My favorite version is The Muppet Christmas Carol with Michael Caine.

I love the little mice bookkeepers working dutifully and diligently in the cold office under the supervision of the kind-hearted Bob Cratchit performed by Kermit. Best of all though is the interplay between Rizzo the Rat acting as sidekick to Gonzo while he narrates the story as Charles Dickens himself.

My thoughts bumped over the moral of the story and what it means in today’s world. I got stuck on ‘don’t be stingy’ but wanted more. So what else is Dickens telling us?

On’s website where they proclaim “We’re the Literature Experts” I found an article by Christian Themes (literary essentials: Christian fiction and nonfiction) titled     A Christmas Carol Themes. Let me paraphrase:

Scrooge’s initial penny-pinching reflects the values taking hold during the Industrial Revolution. Dickens illustrates what happens when individuals view relationships and other people through their financial worth. The author exposes the tremendous gap between the rich and the poor.

Then he illustrates a solution, individual redemption. The world becomes a better place almost immediately after Scrooge changes his outlook. The story implies that a renewed connection to humanity is, in fact, the very essence of redemption. His change is not introspective and personal; it is outward-looking and social.

While the results of Scrooge’s change didn’t alter the social structure itself, the compassion he showed to individual people did change the social relationships they shared. Despair turned to hope. isolation to belonging, and unhappiness to joy.

Wow! And I thought it was just fun to watch.

Yes, it’s a Christian based tale, but certainly can be applied to all of us no matter our beliefs. Let’s follow Scrooge’s example, enhance our relationships, and join Tiny Tim in his prayer.



“God bless us, every one!”


December Book News




Flathead Valley Go Find Book Tour Fall 2018

Book cover banner


In case you want to catch a lecture from Susan or attend a book signing, here is her December schedule:

Whitefish Library, Montana. Dec 3rd. Avalanche awareness discussion and book signing. 7 pm.

Kalispell Rotary, December 6th at noon. Discussion and book signing. Hilton Garden Inn. 

Imagine Library, Kalispell, Montana December 18, 2018, 6 pm. Avalanche awareness discussion and book signing. 

Questions? Call Susan Purvis 970-596-2999 or email at


Cookie CrumblesLESLIE BUDEWITZ:  ‘Tis the season for a good book! Join me during the Kalispell Holiday Art Stroll on Friday, December 7, from 5-8 pm. I’ll be signing books at Montana Marie on Main Street, formerly Think Local, a terrific emporium of Montana-made art, cards, candles, lotions, books and much more. Shops and galleries throughout downtown Kalispell will be open late with food, drink, music, and more.

And if you can’t make it that evening, you can find signed copies of my books on the shelves of these Flathead Valley shops: in Whitefish, BookWorks. In Kalispell, Montana Marie and the BookShelf on Main Street, and Montana Art & Gift in the airport. And in Bigfork, Roma’s Kitchen Shop, Nancy O’s Interiors, and the Bigfork Art and Cultural Center. (E-books and audio books available in the usual online sources.)

Wishing you and yours a joy-filled season of love and friendship, regardless of what and how you celebrate.