My Bio

I grew up in a small town in Missouri. At the advanced age of nineteen my pastor, a kind and compassionate young man, took pity on my single state and asked me to marry him. No one told me not to, so I did. When our first two children, a son and daughter, were two and four years old, I went back to college. I graduated two years later, and then had another son. That was all a L-O-O-O-N-G time ago. 

I’ve always been active in the churches my husband pastored, my biggest passion and involvement being with music–whether singing, directing, or accompanying. I am also an amateur ventriloquist and performed for local churches and civic groups.   

I began writing when the kids were in elementary school and I was working full-time. After completing several  manuscripts, entering and judging contests, attending a national conference, and garnering a lot of near misses  and rejections, I put my pen on the shelf and focused on raising my three children and being the  pastor’s wife.   

Then I retired from teaching high school business and resumed my writing. Now I have the world by the tail. I can spend all the time I want spinning stories, going to visit the kids, or whatever I please. My goal is not, and  never has been, to be rich or famous. I just want to write stories that give readers a sense of empathy and meet with God’s approval. What more could I ask?   

I don’t have a regular critique group, but I have some friends who read my books  and offer ideas. I also have a daughter who helps me plot and scheme, and two sons who answer questions. I am a member of ACFW and love to attend the conferences.

Tutored in Murder

There’s a fire at the motel. A dead body is found inside the room. High school science teacher Toni Donovan is asked to help a friend prove here innocence–and is once again drawn into a murder case. A second body only deepens the mystery.
She’s already tired and burned out, but the wrong persons must not be convicted of murder. Troubled by your young son’s puzzling dreams, and driven by her desire for truth, she must detect a killer before there are more victims–including her.

Workplace Danger

After spending years caring for her ailing parents and teaching art in a Springfield, Missouri high school, Jasmine (Jazzy) Dwyer no longer has any expectation of a committed relationship. Yet, beneath her self-sufficient exterior, a lonely heart longs for such a bond.
Steve Prescott made a mistake that cost him his family and years of his life. Now he’s a free man, working hard, and doing everything he can to make amends, but is unable to forgive himself. When a man with whom he once worked is murdered, and he is questioned, he sets out to prove who really killed the man.
Can man with a jaded past find peace with God and start life anew with the school teacher who represents trouble at every turn, yet somehow ends up as his sidekick sleuth?

Small Town Injustice

Police Officer Carly Prescott has endured loss, but now throws herself into enforcing the law, volunteering at women’s shelters and seeing to the needs of others. When a friend goes missing, the case extends into another jurisdiction, and she meets successful poultry farmer, Brody Macklin, who stirs dreams and feelings she tries to ignore as he becomes in the search for their mutual friend, and then for her killer.
Brody has known love, and the loss of that love through death. He can’t risk another such loss. He doesn’t count on the lovely cop who sends his heart into a tailspin.
Can these two find justice for their murdered friend, conquer their fear of loving again and have a happily ever after together?

A Time to Love

Returning to his Missouri home is bittersweet for Kirk Darnell. Over twenty years ago his life plans changed when the girl he planned to marry broke their engagement. Now he has returned to sell the property left to him and his siblings by their deceased parents–and runs into trouble.

Successful attorney Shannon Howell is blindsided when Kirk Darnell–the man she sent away per her father’s wishes–returns and makes her realize what has been missing from her life is standing before her. But he says he’s here for legal help, nothing more.

Can the present overcome the past–and become their time to love?

Keyed in Murder

While working in the body farm of her high school forensics class, Toni Donovan and her students hear sirens–and soon learn that Jake Crawford, owner of the local supermarket, has been killed. When a distraught school employee’s husband is arrested as a murder suspect and the friend asks for help in clearing him, Toni is drawn into the case.
Soon after visiting the crime scene, a series of personal attacks against Toni seem to indicate that the killer believes she knows his/her identity and means to stop her from revealing what she knows. Wading through a maze of suspects becomes a matter of survival for Toni.

Bandit Bride

She’s Robin Hood of the Prairie. He’s a Texas Ranger. Is this duo too much for Dodge City?

Having lost her parents, and in danger of losing her ranch to an unscrupulous opportunist, Jackie (Jacinda) Laughton is surviving in Dodge City’s heyday, but not without a load of guilt and estrangement from God and the church. In desperation she and her best friend have resorted to banditry. Donning disguises, they are the popular “Whip and Blade” who hold up the lender’s stagecoach runs, keeping the money they need and distributing the rest to more of the man’s victims. No one suspects they are young women.

When Hoyt Travers, a Texas Ranger, arrives in Dodge and shows an interest in her, Jackie finds herself drawn to him, but wary of the danger he represents. He learns the truth and offers to marry her to protect her, but can she accept such a sacrifice and hide her love that might never be returned? She must learn to accept God’s forgiveness and trust God for her needs.

Schoolhouse Justice

The teacher had apparently walked in on a robbery and been killed in his classroom. Resource Officer Lanell Rhodes is determined to see justice for the young man.
Pilot Connor Prescott is shocked to learn of the death of the young teacher his sister has been dating. But when he arrives at the school and seeks information, he is warned by the attractive Resource Officer that he is not to meddle in police business.
Lanell and Connor share a common goal of finding justice for the victim, but can they overcome their differences and share a future together as well?

Rivaled in Murder

High school science teacher Toni Donovan cares about her students, so she sympathizes when two girls in her sixth hour class are devastated over the shooting of their close friend at the neighboring school they used to attend.

Once again drawn into solving a murder case, this time in a rival school where two teens
have been murdered, Toni must learn about rivalries and happenings behind the scenes. Can she help the police uncover the truth and bring a killer to justice?

Gift Bride

Jewel Carter is stunned to learn that she is a mail order bride, having believed she and her ailing father left Chicago to relocate his medical practice in Dodge City. But she loves her father enough that she complies with his wishes to give him peace of mind.
Travis Shelton can’t risk losing another wife to childbirth. So what is he to do with this bride who has been gifted to him for Christmas by his sister-in-law and brother? On the other hand, a marriage of convenience partner to run his home while he works the ranch might work. But he doesn’t count on having that pretty partner send his heart into a tailspin.

NOTE: This novella is a sequel to the Dodge City Duos series.