Rest In Peace, Eileen Ruth Fellows

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After a long battle with COPD, Bryon’s mother passed away a few days after Christmas. It was and was not a surprise. Since we’d just visited her in Tennessee for Thanksgiving, she’d actually been doing a bit better, although still mostly homebound and tethered to a perpetual oxygen machine.

COPD is a horrible illness, but Bryon’s mother was tough and a real fighter from way back.

She’d had to be.

We made the long journey back to Tennessee a couple of days after her passing to be with family, have her cremated and hold a small memorial service. Then it was home for one night (New Year’s Eve) and off to Nebraska for another small service and to bury her remains.

While it was a sad time, seeing all of Bryon’s family on both sides was good. Eileen would have enjoyed that, and I’m sure she was there in spirit. Her name was invoked in many happy remembrances throughout the trip.

Here’s how it all went down.

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Bryon’s sister, Precious arranged for a truly beautiful little service.

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We worked in a bit of sightseeing along the Ocoee River.

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We had a pizza dinner with most of the family one evening.

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We went over to visit with Precious and her family the last night.

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Somehow we ended up with lots of pics of Jackson (the dog) and none of Precious and the kids. Doh!

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The next day we were on the road again and but spent one night at home, carrying out our New Year’s Eve tradition of crab legs.

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Then it was on the road again. To Nebraska.

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We did have a few pit stops along the way. And way, way more than Bryon wanted. I had to explain to him he was travelling cross country with two women. Things were never going to get better on that front.

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We arrived at long last, exhausted but happy to be fulfilling Eileen’s final wishes.

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We spent some quality time with Bryon’s sister and her family.

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The next day we had a lovely graveside service with Eileen’s remaining sister and extended family.

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Gary, Bryon’s dad, officiated.

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Bryon’s Aunt Jan and Uncle Kelly opened their home after the service for food and a reception.

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On the way back, we got to meet the newest addition to the family, baby Saleen, for the first time.

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Seven days and 2,600 miles later, we were home at last and making chicken noodle soup.

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Rest in Peace in your home, Eileen.

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Posted by on January 5, 2015 in family


Christmas Day Carnage


Another Christmas has come and gone. We were sad to miss visiting with my dad this year, but he had a hip replacement and was recuperating. Luckily, all went very well for him, and he’ll be back running strong in no time.

Meanwhile, someone else was excited to have the largest package under the tree.

20141225_000752319_iOS (800x600)Others were more chillaxed.

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Some may have been too chillaxed. Yeah, that’s my novel that put her to sleep.

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As usual Grace got waaaaay too much stuff. That’s the hazard of having an only child, I think. Trust me, this was only the tip of the iceburg.

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She also got One Direction concert tickets for the summer for her and two friends. That’s the gift that will keep on giving all year.

Bryon made a FANTASTIC dinner for us. His Christmas dinners have become something of a legendary tradition.

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We also had a few hors d’oeuvres like this…

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And one thing about our family, we all love shrimp. Without consulting, everyone brought a platter of cocktail shrimp to share. That didn’t even include the shrimp in the main dish!

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Another ‘given’ is Grace’s love for sparkling grape juice. I bought two of these bottles. The family brought the rest.

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Bryon finally got to open his giant gifts.

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An archery target and a new hunting blind. Grace shopped online and for them both, all by herself. I just paid with the credit card and picked them up.

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I had a few awesome surprises of my own under the tree.

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The next morning, Santa had left a few more surprises for Grace (paint and miscellaneous decor to redo her playroom upstairs)…but no elves to do the work.

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A new papasan chair


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New bookcases with storage

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The paint had to wait for another day because there were games to play!

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Let’s do it all again next year! #scaryselfie






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Posted by on December 27, 2014 in Christmas, family, holidays




Merry Christmas from the Big Cedars

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Posted by on December 25, 2014 in holidays


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Live Nativity 2014

IMG_8173 (1024x768)Once a year, anyone can be an angel…or a shepherd…or a wiseman.

This year at our church’s live nativity display, Bryon and I were Joseph and Mary and despite our procrastination in signing up we scored the coveted manger scene. The best things about the manger scene?

#1 the barn is a windbreak

#2 the animals are entertaining

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#3 the ding dang baby sheep this year stole the entire show.

Grace was an angel. Again.

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This live nativity is a huge production and was the brainchild of Jan Robertson. It takes many, many volunteers to man each of the scenes. The church members also feed all of the volunteers over the three nights the nativity is held. The event is open to the public for two hours for three nights in December.

I think this is the fifth year we’ve participated.

You missed out this year. Like us on Facebook and join us next year at Marshfield United Methodist Church.


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Posted by on December 17, 2014 in family


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Writing Update: A year of publishing

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Authors at Art Walk in Downtown Springfield with Rosalie Stanton


So much happened this year in my writing career I can’t even begin to put it all here. That’s why I have an entire website devoted to it. You can see all the gory details of my journey over here at

Here’s the Reader’s Digest version:

March 2014Reap & Repent published in a box set

May 2014 – Attended Romantic Times Booklovers Convention in New Orleans

June 2014Reap & Repent published as a single-title

July 2014Reap & Redeem published in a box set

September 2014 – Attended Ozarks Romance Authors Conference

October 2014 Reap & Redeem published as a single-title

November 2014 –Ā Attended Authors at Artwalk

August 2014 – Finished Haunt My Heart Manuscript and sent it off to the editor

January 2015Haunt My Heart publishes on Amazon in e-book and print.

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My table at the Ozarks Romance Authors convention.


There’s so much more on the horizon and some really big news regarding the Reaping Series I’ll share just as soon as things are finally firmed up. I’ve been sitting on that news since Sept. 29.

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My first PRINT copies!



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I was pretty excited šŸ˜€


Yeah, I’m not really that patient but I can’t share it yet.

Trust me though. It will be good news.

If you’d like to keep up with my writing you can visit and/or subscribe to my writing blog posts over here on my site. Just look at the top right corner there.

Or if you’re only interested in new releases, you can sign up for my New Release Newsletter. You won’t get more than 5-7 emails a year from that one. I’ll only send when there’s actual new release news šŸ˜€



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Posted by on December 14, 2014 in writing


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Miss Merry Christmas 3rd Grade Rides in the Niangua Christmas Parade

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Last year was Niangua’s first-ever Miss Merry Christmas pageant. Grace won for her thirdĀ grade class with her brownie-making demonstration. She even got a nice appreciation package from Betty Crocker after I posted her picture to their Facebook page. You can read about it here.

She was over the moon and coveted that tiara like a princess. She was supposed to get to wear her crown and ride in the Niangua Christmas parade but it got cancelled due to ice and snow.

This year she got her wish.

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The motorcycle group Bikers Against Child Abuse, B.A.C.A,. sponsored a Breakfast with Santa prior to the parade.

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IMG_8112 (1024x768)I’ve gotta say I was digging the biker Santa.

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In a cool turn of fate, Bryon got to drive her car. He’d driven our high school homecoming queen one year. I can’t find a picture of that day, but as fun as that was for him, this was much better.

They were both excited to get to drive/ride in a cool new car from Marshfield Chevrolet. When he arrived, they gave him a brand new, red Chevy pickup. Erm, cool but he drives a brand new red, GMC pickup. Nothing too special about that. Still, he drove it back to Niangua and planned to make the best of things.

When he got back to the parking lot to line up though, one driver had three high school girls to drive and a two-door Ford Mustang from Don Vance Ford to escort them in. Bryon and the other drive made the switch and he ended up in this cool ride instead.


The real irony and the completion of the circle of awesome is his first (and favorite) car was a 1972 Mustang Mach I. It looked VERY much like this one. All this car needed was some black racing stripes.

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Some things are just worth the wait.

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Niangua has a population of 405 people.

Want to see the entire parade? Here it is…all ten minutes of it.


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Posted by on December 6, 2014 in family, holidays


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Over the river and down the highway to Granny Leen’s we went


Bryon’s mother, Eileen, has been very ill with COPD for some time now. Since she lives eleven hours away in Tennessee, we don’t get to visit her very often. We took off a few days over Thanksgiving to make the trek.

IMG_8029 (1024x768)We travelled on Thanksgiving Day and tried to eat at Cracker Barrel in Paducah, KY. Apparently that was EVERYONE’s idea. Deciding we didn’t want to extend our trip by the two-hour wait for Cracker Barrel, we hopped across the street to Ryan’s and had a Thanksgiving lunch with all the trimmings.

After that long ride, we were all ready to crash at the hotel.

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IMG_8035 (1024x768)We visited, shopped for Granny and ate pie.

The last night we took everyone bowling.






Cashing in arcade tickets.

It was good to see Grace’s cousins.

IMG_8059I missed winning the first game by ONE POINT.

Even with a bad back, Bryon won the secondĀ game.



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Posted by on November 29, 2014 in family


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