Sunday, January 7, 2018

A look from. . . UP ON THE ROOF

Updated and released in digital and print, Up on the Roof and Other Stories is a unique collection of nineteen humorous and serious stories exploring the lives and relationships of the young and old. A bonus mystery story has been added.

Here are some synopses of stories 
included in the book:

A first grade teacher believes her husband of twenty years is leaving her and their two teenage sons when he purchases ten pairs of new dress socks and starts reviewing their insurance policies. Despite her mother’s assurances, Maureen is further convinced he’s cheating when he starts singing Beach Boy songs and tries to persuade her to buy a sporty red convertible. 

 When Rita and Jane decide to start a small woodworking business, they never expect their husbands to get involved. But get involved they do. Mitch and Bill decide their wives need their expert computer advice and their meddling could spell disaster even before the business gets off the ground.

Two young professional couples decide to go to the lake to fish. Jerome believes that women are not necessarily equal in all masculine tasks, but Angela, his girlfriend, is about to prove him wrong.

Brita Larson saved the life of an Arapaho brave, Nitis, who now believes he's indebted to her and routinely brings gifts to her ranch.When she then helps rescue his sister, Onawa, from some evil white men selling guns to the renegades, Britta is certain she will never get rid of this gift-bearing Indian. More importantly, how will she explain him to Deputy Sheriff Wyatt McGee? 

An old World War II flyboy relives memories from the past when he waits with his grandson to return to his unit after leave. The old man’s superstitions and love become evident when he gives the young man a lucky charm, an ancient coin minted in 1652 and given to him by a barmaid in England. 
Only $0.99 in digital now at:
(In paperback: $9.75)
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Thursday, December 28, 2017

HAPPY NEW YEAR! - Welcome 2018

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines.  Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." –Mark Twain

As we approach the 2018, many people believe it’s time to look back at the past year, make corrections, and formulate resolutions for the New Year. We humans seem to need a beginning when we want to start something new—be it a skill, task, hobby, or exercise program. Dieting, for instance. How many people have you heard say, “I’m going on a diet next week…or on Monday”? After all, who starts dieting on Saturday night while sitting in a restaurant with a glass of wine and a menu that screams calories for the weak without willpower?

A beginning in our mind is always a mental picture of a first—the first day of the week or of the month, when the kids leave and you have free time, when winter ends and spring begins. The new year provides people with a clean slate and a place to start something new or to try to cast off an old vice. That’s where resolutions come into play.

Are you a resolution maker? I’m not.

I’m thinking the 2018 is a time to set some relaxed, even movable goals and explore some activities I’ve always wanted to do, but have put on the back burner. This year I’m focusing on what Mark Twain so elegantly said. I’m taking 2018 to explore, dream, discover and do new things I’ve sworn I was going to do “someday.” You know which someday I’m talking about, don’t you? The one that is really an enigmatic place in the future, without a day, month, or even year specified.  
My someday activities may include writing some short stories, returning to my wood shop, trying my hand at raising some herbs, reading more nonfiction, visiting some new places, watching more sunsets and enjoying nature.

What are your resolutions—or goals and activities—for the coming year? And let me know what “someday” interests you have on the back burner.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Our Thoughts Turn to Childhood Memories at Christmas

“Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, 
and we are better throughout the year for having,
 in spirit, become a child again at Christmastime.”
Laura Ingalls Wilder

One of my most favorite memories of Christmas is going out into the woods with my family and canvasing the hillsides to find the perfect tree which we'd load on our Farm-all tractor and bring home. To be honest, it wasn't always the most perfect tree. Many times it was a bit misshapen and often boasted a few holes, but it was "our Christmas tree." By the time the lights were strung and the ornaments were placed on its branches, it was considered the best tree ever.
My mother had the most beautiful reflectors that surrounded the bulbs on the light strings. They were stars with mirrors on the points to reflect the light from the colored bulbs.  An angel was always place on top, and down below the tree on the front skirt, the manger scene held an important place.

Tinsel? We put lots of tinsel on our tree. Talk about helping the aluminum foil industry! We'd start placing it strand by strand until one of us tired and started putting clumps over the branches--and in the end some tinsel was actually tossed near the top.

Someone asked me once what was my favorite gift? I think my Betsy Wetsey doll was a highlight of my presents, but I always loved books. To this day, I remember "Black Beauty," "The Bobbsie Twins," "Heidi," and the "Trixie Belden" series.

What were your favorite childhood memories? 
Please share them below in the comments. 

Wishing everyone a Holly Jolly Christmas and Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 2, 2017

CHRISTMAS - Make It Stress-free

Christmas is an overwhelming time  during the holidays when we get caught up in the glitz and hustle and bustle of finding presents, writing cards, hosting parties, listening to radio and television advertising, making food and baking--and so many other activities that we become over-stimulated, cranky, and sometimes downright depressed. We think we have to get everything just right. Just perfect.

My mother used to remind me when I slipped into my crazy Christmas mode, that Christmas is only one day. It will come and it will go--in just twenty-four hours, she would admonish. 

Here are some quick tips to reduce the Christmas stress:

PLAN AHEAD – Plan ahead, whether it’s starting the Christmas cards early in November or making a list of things that are priorities such as travel plans, possible presents, or your food lists for menus for the season. It always helps to start early and avoid rushing later.

BUY ONLINE – There’s no need to elbow you way through crowded stores when many of the online specials already beat the Christmas prices advertised in the flyers and on the radio and television. Shop online and have everything delivered to your door.

TAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF – Take time to breathe, take time to exercise, take time to do something you like. Grab a cup of hot chocolate or decaffeinated coffee and your favorite book and cozy chair for a few minutes. Psychologists say we need 20 minutes of “me time” or “personal down-time” each day. Take it and don’t feel guilty.

ENJOY THE SEASON – If Christmas music makes you feel joyful, turn up the knob on your radio or CD player. Take a quiet, solitary walk and get away from it all, if you must. Watch the snow fall silently and peacefully, covering the world in white. Smell the homey scents of the season: pine, citrus, cinnamon and vanilla. Listen to the sounds of bells or children laughing. Enjoy the very sights that remind us of Christmas such as a wreath on someone’s door or a lighted Christmas tree.

And in the end, remember—“It’s really only one day. It will come and it will go--in just twenty-four hours!”  
Merry Christmas to all!

Sunday, November 5, 2017


by Judy Ann Davis

In light of all the terrible hurricanes, fires, and earthquakes that have plagued the United States and Mexico recently, I’m focusing my thoughts this Thanksgiving on being grateful for all things, large and small, we take for granted in our everyday lives. 

Every morning I wake up to use electricity that runs my heat and air conditioning, lights, electronic devices like my computer, radio, and television, as well as other appliances. I can have a warm or cold shower, breakfast, or morning drink—and I have a choice. The clothes and shoes I plan to wear are dry and clean. I have access to my medical supplies and prescriptions, pictures of my children, my reading materials, and a vast group of simple everyday things that make my day comfortable, but which others have now lost. 

Yes, material goods can be replaced, but life is not simple without them. I recently skinned my leg leaving an airport, and realized how important one simple Band-Aid is when a wound won’t stop bleeding. It struck me how many more of the little things we use without thought to their importance—paper towels, Kleenex, pencils and paper, hygiene products, lotions, soap, and the list goes on and on.

If you are able to give—if even a few dollars—please find a charity or organization that is working closely with the victims of these horrific disasters. Make it your Thanksgiving gift to those less fortunate. One charity that I like above many others is called UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief) UMCOR spends 100 percent of designated donations on the project donors specify.   

This Thanksgiving, as we sit around our food-laden table and have a marvelous hot meal with all the trimmings, remember we have people who have lost everything and who are grateful they have been given canned food and bottled water to eat and drink.  When we put that in perspective, it makes our Thanksgiving even more precious and meaningful—don’t you think?
I'm showcasing my newest release this year, called “Four White Roses.” I'm happy to announce  it was a finalist in the Book Excellence Awards. The Book Excellence Awards were founded by Literary Excellence Incorporated. Books that have received a Book Excellence Award have been recognized for their high quality design, writing and overall market appeal. It is a cross genre novel that includes mystery, romance, and a paranormal element.

When widower Rich Redman returns to Pennsylvania with his young daughter to sell his deceased grandmother’s house, he discovers Grandmother Gertie’s final request was for him to find a missing relative and a stash of WWI jewels. 

Torrie Larson, single mom, is trying to make her landscape center and flower arranging business succeed while attempting to save the lineage of a rare white rose brought from Austria in the 1900s. 

Together, the rich Texas lawyer and poor landscape owner team up to rescue the last rose and fulfill a dead woman’s wishes. But in their search to discover answers to the mysteries plaguing them, will Rich and Torrie also discover love in each other’s arms? Or will a meddling ghost, a pompous banker, and an elusive stray cat get in their way?

Visit Judy on:
Twitter: JudyAnnDavis4
Author Page:

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Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Along the Susquehanna River

There is something enticing about water. People flock to it, whether it's a river, a lake or the ocean. In Central Pennsylvania, the small town of Clearfield lies along the west banks of the Susquehanna River. Flowing 228 miles from Cherry Tree to Sunbury, the West Branch forms the lifeblood linking what is now known as the Lumber Heritage region.

It is also the setting for the book I’m currently writing. My heroine and her father own a large logging operation in the area in the 1800s. And the hero? Well, of course, he’s a ship captain who owns the clipper ships in the Chesapeake Bay and who sells the Pennsylvania lumber.

Throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries, virgin timber—among it the celebrated great white pine—was harvested to supply to supply lumber for shipbuilding, construction and coal mine props. Much of this lumber was rafted down the West Branch to markets on or near the Chesapeake Bay. Today, the West Branch flows through a northern hardwood forest of oak, cherry, maple and remnants of white pine and hemlock forests of early settlers' times.

The West Branch of the Susquehanna is actually part of the main “North Branch” of Susquehanna River which is the longest river on the East Coast of the United States. At 444 miles long, it drains into the Atlantic Ocean via the Chesapeake Bay and is the 16th largest river as well. The headwaters start in Cooperstown, New York, and join the “West Branch” near Northumberland in Central Pennsylvania.

Before European conquest, the Susquehannock, an Iroquoian tribe lived along the river and gave the Susquehanna its name. In the 17th century, it was inhabited largely by the Lenape. In the 18th century, William Penn, the founder of the Pennsylvania Colony, negotiated with the Lenape to allow white settlements in the colony between the Delaware River and the Susquehanna.

Local legend claims that the name of the river comes from an Indian phrase meaning "mile wide, foot deep," referring to the Susquehanna's unusual dimensions, but while the word is Algonquian, it simply means "muddy current" or "winding current". Additionally, hanna is an Algonquin word that means stream or river, and that Susquehanna is up for interpretation as meaning long reach river to long crooked river. It has also been said that the Susquehanna River was also called “Oyster River” by the Lenape because of the numerous oyster beds at the mouth of the river where historians found mounds of oyster shells.

Although there are mysteries surrounding the river and how its name originated, there is one constant. The Susquehanna is the main life-sustaining river of the state of Pennsylvania. Its waters allowed settlements to spring up along its banks and businesses and farms to survive and thrive—and Pennsylvania to become the 9th most densely populated of our fifty states.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017


Someone said not to sweat the small stuff. But as a writer, I think we have an obligation to sweat the small stuff. I believe all the little things we do—from editing a chapter for the fifteenth time to standing at the kitchen sink and thinking to ourselves that a conversation we’ve already created won’t work for a particular character—is part of our desire to strive for excellence and perfection in our work. We owe it to our audience.
Hello October!

Everyone is aware the ease of self-publishing has caused an explosion of poorly written fiction being dumped into the marketplace. We’ve all downloaded a digital book to our Kindle, Nook, phone, or tablet that was filled with bad grammar, misspellings, incorrect punctuation, and was horrendously embarrassing and painful to read.  And we’ve all hit the “remove from device” link and sent these books to a junkyard in cyberspace far, far away.

But recently, I’ve been amazed with the amount of poorly written copy coming from not only fiction writers, but also writers in newspapers and magazines and (oh, my) writers on the internet. Put aside the fact that they are not checking facts, more and more people are just content to spit out their opinion or construct lazy gibberish on websites and in comment boxes with little regard to how they are shredding the English language.

“So what?” you ask. “Everyone makes mistakes, right?”
Do you want your accountant to make a mistake by a few decimal points or a few hundred dollars? How about if your doctor wrote (heaven forbid) a prescription for the wrong drug—or maybe the right drug, but the wrong dosage? Or what if your lawyer sent out a letter on your behalf filled with spelling errors? Even better yet, your plumber decided the joint he connected and sealed in one of your drain pipes is just good enough. Would you be pleased with any of these behaviors?

I believe writers have the same obligation as any other worker in any other occupation. It’s time we take the time to strive for excellence as we string words together for our readers. It’s time we take the time to find the correct word, use a thesaurus and dictionary, double check punctuation, remove wordy dialogue, rewrite poorly constructed descriptions, remove anything that doesn’t propel the plot forward, and enlist the help of beta readers and good editors. My list could go on and on, but you get the idea.

James Michener said, “I’m not a very good writer, but I’m an excellent rewriter.” And that’s the secret of good writing. So, I am going to sweat the small stuff. I’m going to take the time to do the best job I can even if it I have to write and rewrite, and rewrite again and again—even if it takes longer than I planned or hoped. 

Now tell me, what bugs you as a writer reading the written word in print or digital? 
 A new month- a new contest- and another chance to win a kindle fire