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Hello! You’ll find posts here for readers, writers, and anyone interested in life. Check out the categories to the right for your favorite topics, or just start browsing. Sometimes I throw in a recipe or a poem, share my writer’s life, or tell you how I came up with one of your favorite characters.  I’ll announce contests and share pics from events. Sometimes I delve into how to handle tough political, social or religious topics in your own books if you’re a writer, or share what I learn about the ever-evolving world of publishing. Whatever the topic, I promise to do my best not to waste your time. There’s enough clutter online without my adding to it.

I love to hear from readers, so feel free to comment on any post or write to me directly through the Contact page.

Fun with Finn

ALL WORK AND NO PLAY makes Jill a dull girl, so I look forward to playing with my new best bud, Finn, our 7-month-old English Cream Golden Retriever. He is such a delight. It took me forever to name him, but when our grandson Sawyer was born on the same day, Finn for...

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The Inside Scoop

EVER WONDER HOW YOUR WRITING COMPARES to famous authors? Whether you are a working author, or someone who would like to be, who wouldn't want to know how they measured up to Stephen King, Maya Angelou, Barbara Kingsolver, Arthur Conan Doyle, Norman Mailer, or W....

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Stepping Up Your Game

HOW DO YOU WRITE A BOOK? In one form or another, this is the question I often get asked. How do you think up characters? How do you keep all the story lines straight? But the main question people ask is how do you find the time? How do you fit writing into your life?...

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Stop by this Sunday and say hello! I'll be at the Newport Public Library at 35 NW Nye Street, Newport, OR from 1-3 PM. I'll be there with other local authors for a meet and greet. Thank You to Carrol Caldwell designs and Nicole at Hauser Publishing for the awesome...

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IF YOU'RE GOING TO BE IN NEWPORT, OR this Sunday, come on by and say hello. I'll have all three of the Logan McKenna Mystery/Thriller series titles available, as well as my non-fiction title, SATURDAY SALON: Bringing Conversation and Community Back Into Our Lives. And...

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Sneak Peek!

    CHECK OUT THE COVER for the new book, the third in my Logan McKenna Mystery/Thriller series. I had so much fun writing this one. It brings Logan back to Jasper, her Southern California coastal home town. Here's a peek... It’s summer, and with a new job,...

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The Love Scene

WRITING A LOVE SCENE IS TOUGH! In this book, the third in my Logan McKenna series, I'm trying to hit the right balance: sensual, but not graphic, and definitely not bodice-ripping romance novel stuff. I'm aiming for enough passion to make you want to go hunt down your...

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BIG TOPIC TO COVER in 1000 words or less. We’ve heard all the songs, seen all the bumper stickers, and put up all the posters in our dorm rooms. All we need is love. Love conquers all. But what is love, and, how, as authors, do we deal with it in our writing? Maybe...

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I’ll never forget my first athletic success. It’s easy. I only have one. It happened one hot afternoon in July. We’d just moved to Newport News, VA from Yokohama, Japan. Like every move in our family, this represented a fresh start. In an effort to revive their...

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About Valerie

A self-admitted book addict, Valerie was the kid with the flashlight under her pillow. A life of travel with exposure to many different cultures led to a pervasive interest in people, with degrees & teaching credentials in Cultural Anthropology & English.

Logan McKenna Series

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