A Special Thanksgiving

The calendar tells me more than a few weeks have passed since I last blogged.  I have a good excuse.  As many of you know, MOTHER OF PEARL debuted in September and I’ve been on book tour.

After our big launch party and events in Idaho, weeks of promotion followed with book signings, a book festival, an art show, guest appearances on over one hundred blogs, magazine features, newspaper articles . . . and the list goes on.

I’m pooped.

And happy.

And thankful.

This is where a brand new novelist gets a little teary-eyed.  I simply have no way to express how grateful I feel for all of you who supported this effort by purchasing MOTHER OF PEARL, and for the many readers who wrote and told me they fell in love with Barrie Graeber and cheered her on as she made her way to justice against incredible odds.  A few of you cried (as I did) when life-changing circumstances altered her world forever and left her heart broken.

I think Barrie said it best:  Mothering is not for cowards.

I’m happy to report we went to second printing in the first month. My publisher tells me they are happy. If you haven’t already done so, please sign up for KELLIE’S READERS CLUB so you’ll get all my future book news, and notices of upcoming releases.

Before closing, let me wish all of you a HAPPY THANKSGIVING.  I am thankful for many things . . . my readers are very high on the list!

Let’s Pretend

Don’t you love this photo?  Who doesn’t want to be a fairy princess?

I grew up on a sheep ranch in southern Idaho. Often, my busy mother would shoo my sister and me outside to play. A heavy list of chores needed done without us around her feet complaining, “I’m bored.”

Didn’t take us long to come up with ways to entertain ourselves, especially through the summer months.

We pretended.

Some days, we imagined ourselves doctors in a busy hospital filled with patients (i.e. the lambing sheds and chicken coop).  Or, we played farmer and used our dad’s garden hose to irrigate our tiny dirt fields lined with rocks.

Occasionally, we donned our suits and sunglasses and swam in the cattle trough letting visions of palm trees dance in our minds. (PS – don’t use Jergen’s hand creme for tanning lotion unless you want a sunburn you’ll not soon forget!)

My favorite game was Academy Awards. Glammed up in our mother’s nightgowns and high heels, we’d march forward and accept Prell Shampoo bottles (our version of the coveted Oscar statue) and blow kisses to our adoring fans (the fence posts).

I’m often asked how I come up with stories for my novels. The easy answer is this:  I go inside my head and pretend. I imagine being someone else and what I’d do, and how I’d feel if this or that happened.

I think most novelists would say the same.  We’re inspired by our imagination.



As a debut novelist, I admit to closing my eyes and pretending I’m a New York Times bestselling author. What would THAT be like?


Want to help me find out? Pre-order your copy of MOTHER OF PEARL today!

Trial Junky

As a former legal professional who spent a lot of time in courtrooms, I am drawn to trials. Especially in high profile cases.

Like many, my eyes were glued to the television during the O.J. murder case. I even traveled to Beverly Hills and made my poor husband take me to the Rockingham and Bundy addresses made famous during that case. I climbed on top of our rental car to take photos. My husband begged me to get back in the car, and the boys joined telling me I was embarrassing them. I complied, but not until I got great shots of the guest house where Kato Kaelin stayed. Made for an interesting vacation!

Okay, I digressed . . .

As I was saying, people who know me well understand I am a trial junky. Pure and simple. Some love the legal wranglings, but I’m drawn to the people involved and their stories.

This week, nearly every television channel is broadcasting commentary on the Sandusky trial proceedings (former Penn State football coach accused of molesting young men).  As I watch the pundits expound on the developing testimony, my heart breaks as the legal drama unfolds. Not only for the alleged victims who must testify about things they’d rather forget, but for family members in the courtroom who must endure what must be overwhelming emotions.

And I wonder, in that circumstance, what would a mother feel?



MOTHER OF PEARL is the story of a high school counselor who discovers an inappropriate relationship between her daughter and the football coach, and how she risks everything to bring him to justice.

Available in bookstores on September 1.

Pre-order your copy today.




Kids Say the Darnest Things


My boys are raised now. One has his own son. Like many empty nesters, I hold memories of my children growing up deep within my heart.

This morning, as I sat by the pool drinking coffee and listening to the birds sing, I pulled a few of those memories out . . . funny things I remember my little guys saying:

1.     “Momma, are you gonna boss me today?”

2.     “Can we have basketti (spaghetti) for dinner?”

3.     “Here, let me break this into three halves.”

4.     “Mommy, can I marry you when I get big?”

5.     “Is it tomorrow today?”

6.     “Nah, I don’t wanna pray about it. I’m gonna bite him back.”

7.     “Are we Republicans, or Democraps?”

8.     “Mommy, will you tickle my back?”

9.     “I’m not gonna eat that, it tastes like eyeballs.”


10.     “If you push real hard, poop comes out faster.”

What are some of the funny things your children said?


MOTHER OF PEARL (releases September 1, 2012) explores one mother’s vulnerability and her need to trust in something much bigger.

Mothering Can be a Dirty Job

Our family recently celebrated a milestone, our baby grandson’s first birthday. Watching my son and his sweet wife parent that tiny boy over these past months has brought such joy, and rekindled so many memories of my own early days as a mother. One in particular.

One afternoon, my boys took an extended nap which allowed me wonderful time to read (a rarity at the time). Finally, I went in to check on them because they’d slept so long.

My hands quietly pushed the nursery door open, taking care not to wake my little guys. But when I slipped my head inside, what I found nearly had me running for the mother resignation line.


My three-year-old had climbed into my one-year-old’s crib. Together they’d hand-painted the wall a really nice shade of diaper brown (if you get my drift).

Rarely are young mothers warned about the surprises parenting can bring!

What is your favorite parenting memory?



My debut novel, MOTHER OF PEARL, tells the story of a mother who maneuvers some surprises of her own. The book is now available for pre-order on Amazon. Jump on over to my website and get your copy!