Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Turning Seventy

 I used to think seventy was old, but not anymore.  I have friends who are in their eighties and they are not old by any means.  They are vibrant and active and are wonderful role models.  Marion, Ruby, Birdie, Gail, Sandy, Lauraine go before me and show me that age doesn't need to slow us down.  Indeed, age simply gives us more space to soar, to express ideas to live a more fulfilling life.

No matter how high the age, it's the attitude that counts.  In my sixties, I felt old. I slacked off on my writing, but now I am back.  I endured a lot of heart and health problems and now I feel healthier and more energetic.  That, thanks to eating real food and to cardiologists who can fix ailing hearts.

The hard things about growing older are the losses.  I wrote a book a few years ago called Caring for Your Elderly Parents.  In it I asked adult children to consider the grief their parents encounter as they age.  Loss of friends, of family members, of certain abilities.  Over the past few years my family has endured many losses.  My mother was from a family of 13 children and when you add their spouses  there were 26.  There are only three aunties left now. 

In 2011 we  lost my mother.  My dear Mom was old at seventy--I think she was old even at sixty.  Yet she endured. Life was very different for her than it is for me.  She had numerous health problems. Still, she lived to be eighty-eight.  She was a fighter. She kept on keeping on regardless of her situation.

I have no idea how long I will live--of course none of us do.  And the length of time left doesn't really matter.  It is the quality of life that matters. Sure there are days what I'll look in the mirror and wonder where the older woman looking back at me came from.  Undoubtedly, there will be hard days when sadness and depression threaten to tear me down.  It happens and everyone deserves a pity party from time to time.  But every day, even when I feel down,  I will thank God for my life and my many many blessings.

I will rejoice in my children and my grandchildren and in my adorable great grandchildren.  I am seventy, but I am young enough to enjoy them.  I still have a healthy mind.  Okay, so I forget things--like what I was going to say or what I went into the other room for.  But I remember a lot of things too. 

I remember how to love and to hope and to give.  I remember that like a fine wine we get better with age.  I remember how to write a good mystery and I am doing just that.

I am not thrilled about turning seventy, but when I consider the alternative, it's not so bad. So here I go.

Soaring into the seventies, Pat

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Mysterious Musings, Patricia Rushford's October 2013 Newsletter


Can you believe it's almost November? Leaves are falling and Mother Nature is showing her most glorious colors. For us in the northwest all of these colors are a prelude to rain, rain and more rain. But it's green.
The above photo I've used in this newsletter is one I took at the Japanese Gardens in Portland. And no, I'm not imagining what it would be like to find a body in the pond. Oh, wait a minute. Since I mentioned it, I guess I must be.
But alas, I'm not going to write that particular mystery--at least not at the moment. My current book is in the works and I hope to finish it before the end of the year. More on the mysteries later. Right now, I'd like to tell you about my latest publishing endeavor.

A Change of Pace

You all know that I write mysteries--love reading them and writing them. But in my former life, Back when I first started writing and publishing, I wrote how to books like What Kids Need Most in a Mom and Caring for Your Elderly Parents. A few years ago, while I was in graduate school at Western Evangelical Seminary, I wrote a book called The Humpty Syndrome: Putting Yourself Back Together Again. I'll never forget the fear and trepidation I felt getting up to deliver a sermon and beginning with "Humpty Dumpty Sat on a wall."

Humpty of course is a metaphor or analogy reflecting the brokenness we all suffer as human beings. I wrote the book using my own experience with brokenness as well as the experiences of others. As a counselor, my goal was to help people into and through the healing process.

I recently began publishing some of my books as e-books and decided Humpty would be a good candidate. As I revised and edited, I was surprised at how relevant the book continues to be. You can pick up a copy of Humpty at for your e-reader. I hope you'll let others know that it's once more available.

Happy to Report

In my last newsletter, I told you about The Helen Bradley Mysteries being brought back to life as e-books. The good news is that I've actually sold a few. Still waiting to sell a million so I can retire at the coast, but in the meantime I'm happy with the progress these books are making. I'm working on another Helen Bradley Mystery and hope to get it out early next year.

Just In Time for Christmas

The marketing people at Fleming Revell have informed me that Deadly Aim, the first book in the Angel Delaney Mysteries will be offered for free from November 1 through December 31. Just in time for Christmas. I'm getting great reviews on Angel and a lot of readers would love to see another book in the series. I am working on that possibility. But in the meantime, I'd love to get more readers. And I would love it if you could help spread the word. You can get your free copy of Deadly Aim here.

Another Plus for Readers

There's good news and bad news on the publishing front. The publisher who put out my latest mystery, Strangers in the Night, died a rather slow death. They have been absorbed by Guideposts and my book is sitting in limbo online. The good news for readers is that the book was being promoted at $.99 when all of this took place. It's still available for that price. So if you haven't read it and want to or can recommend it to others, please do.

On a Personal Note

 I recently returned from a wonderful retreat with fellow writers and dear friends in the Lincoln, CA area. We spent the week on a 200 plus acre ranch with a spectacular view of the Sacramento valley. What a treat and a blessing.

That's about all the news I have at the moment. As always, thanks for reading my newsletter and if you are so inclined please share my news with others.

Mysteriously Yours,

Patricia Rushford

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

My Newsletter Blog Style

Blogging my way back.

 It’s been too long since I sent out a blog.  While I would love to keep it up and write at least weekly, but find myself doing other things. I have, for example, edited and reformatted my Helen Bradley Mysteries and gotten them back into circulation through e-books.  Now that I can breathe again, I thought I’d blog a bit.  In this entry, I’m including my newsletter.  Soon I’ll be writing about my adventures in publishing electronically.  I have learned so much about formatting and cover art, etc, I figured it might be fun  to share. 

Helen Bradley comes back to life in my new ventures.

I sent out my newsletter, Mysterious Musings, a few days ago and thought I’d include it in my blog in case any of you missed it. If you did get it, please forgive the duplication.

Great News!

After months of being prodded and encouraged, I've finally gotten my Helen Bradley Mysteries converted into e-format. They are now available on Amazon. I should qualify that. All but the first one, Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep, are available as e-books. I'm working on getting the first of the series back from the publisher, but until then it is still available in print. I'll share details about each book later, but first, I'd like to tell you about my main character, Helen Bradley.

Helen Bradley

I'm excited to share the history behind these mysteries. As some of you may know, Helen came to life in my 15 book series for kids, The Jennie McGrady Mysteries. Helen is Jennie's grandmother, a mysterious and larger than life Gram who helps Jennie solve mysteries when she isn't traipsing around the country or the world solving her own. The Jennie Mysteries have been a huge success and my publisher felt that perhaps Helen, would do well in a series of her own. Thus, The Helen Bradley Mysteries were born.

While Helen is a grandmother, and her first name is my middle name, she is not based on me. Well, not exactly. If I had another life, I might fancy myself a solver of crimes. But wait, that is exactly what I am when I get to write the stories my detectives live out for me.

According to the Library Journal, "Helen is a charming character, reminiscent of Dorothy Gilman's Mrs. Pollifax."

"A gripping work that will appeal to all fans of the mystery genre." __________Midwest Book Review

In case you'd like to read them, I've written a little something about each one below and inserted a link to each book on Amazon.

Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep

In this first book of the series, Helen Bradley, ex-cop, grandmother and travel writer, learns that a prominent gerontologist has been murdered. When the doctor's widow also dies, Helen checks herself into a convalescent home to discover the truth surrounding the mysterious deaths. Edgewood Manor is the perfect place for Helen to recover from a gunshot wound and do a little detective work. A good plan as long as she doesn't die in her sleep.

Red Sky in Mourning

Helen receives an assignment to write a guide book about the Long Beach Peninsula on the Washington coast. What begins as research, ends up being a criminal investigation as she teams up with Coast Guard, investigator, Adam Jorgenson, to discover a fisherman's dark secret and his murderer.

Helen is summoned to her Uncle Paddy's estate and renowned spa for a family meeting. When her dear eccentric uncle dies, Helen is determined to find out who killed him and why. Was the killer a ghost as everyone suspects or is the ghost being set up to take the fall?

When Shadows Fall

A walk on the beach turns tragic when Helen discovers a body pinned beneath a tree-sized driftwood. The body is identified as the Mayor, but his death is no accident. He was murdered and the evidence points straight to Helen's best friend.

On Another Note

In April, I had the privilege of visiting the Sons of Norway Lodge in Longview, Washington as their keynote speaker. I had so much fun chatting with those Scandinavians, partly because they are fun to be around and because I am one. Half Norwegian and half Swede. It was delightful too because my sister, Peggy, came as well as my aunties, Bernice and Annie, along with a number of fans.

It was one of the last times I was to see my Aunt Annie. She passed away this past May while I was in MN visiting my family. I'm dedicating this newsletter to her. She would have been delighted to see my good news as she was one of my biggest fans.

So that is a wee bit of my news this summer. Thanks for tagging along.


Patricia H. Rushford

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Playing with Cookie Dough

Pat's Coconut Walnut Chocolate Chip Cookies 

(Paleo compliant)
These gluten (grain) free cookies have a great taste and hold together quite well. They're very moist and do best if refrigerated.  Please be advised that this recipe is in its experimental phase and you'll be trying it at your own risk.  Next  time I make them, I think I will add just a little more almond flour so they are not quite so soft.  However, not being a mad scientist chef like Alton Brown, I'm not exactly sure which ingredient will work best to firm them up. If you want to give the recipe  a try I'd love to hear the results. I was hankering for some of my Norwegian Grandmother's Oatmeal cookies, but needed to eliminate the flour and the oatmeal to make them gluten free.  I would make these again. 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Dry Ingredients:
2 Cups almond flour
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt

Note:  I like to mix up my dry and wet ingredients  separately, then mix them together. 

Wet Ingredients:
I cup coconut milk (organic--I use 365 from whole foods) soured with 2 tsp vinegar
1/2 cup applesauce
1/4 cup raw honey (may add more to taste) 
1/2 cup virgin organic coconut oil (melt with honey)
3 eggs beaten
2 tsp vanilla

Once the ingredients are mixed together add 1/2 to 1 cup gluten free chocolate chips.  (Should be 85% or more chocolate.  I use a gluten free, soy free chip); and 1 cup chopped walnuts or other nut of choice.  Of course you can do raisins or cranberries as well.  Line your cookie sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat sheet. Scoop up some dough, make a ball and flatten it.   

Bake for 15-20 minutes until nicely browned.

The Healthy Norwegian

I am seriously working on a new blog called The Healthy Norwegian in which I'll be sharing recipes, food tips, important facts and other miscellaneous foodie things.  

Monday, March 18, 2013

Ideas Worth Keeping and Pursuing

A Murderous Moment

"You're not going to hit me with that thing, are you?" Phillip backed up, but didn't look the least bit frightened.

"Give me one good reason why I shouldn't." Tess held the heavy ornate vase above her head. She hadn't meant to pick it up and it wouldn't have been her first choice as a weapon. The fireplace poker or the pistol in their mother's bedside stand would have suited her better.

But, no. Her cousin's greed and his haughty attitude had enticed her to grab for the first thing that resembled a weapon. The vase. Now she held it high in both hands, ready to bring it down on Phillip's pompous head. There was just one problem. He was standing on the second step of the grand stairway while she stood at the bottom.

"Don't come any closer."  She lifted the vase a bit higher.

He laughed. "Come on, Tess. Give it up. You're not a killer. And even if you were, you couldn't do much damage with that thing."

She wasn't. Normally. But at this moment, or maybe it was the moment before, she'd been angry enough to kill the man. Angry enough to bash his head in.

Most of the anger had seeped out now and her weapon was growing heavier by the second. She sighed and lowered it to the floor. "You're right. I guess killing you isn't the answer."

"No it isn't." His cockiness almost made her want to reconsider.

"We'll have to figure out another way to work things out." She only hoped they could.

He smiled. "I have the perfect solution."  Phillip drew a pistol from his pocket and shot her. 

Strangers In the Night on Sale

Such a Deal

I'm pleased to announce that my new mystery/romantic suspense, Strangers In the Night is now available on Amazon for only $0.99.

All Abbie wants is to protect her daughter and avoid authorities. But the handsome stranger with Frank Sinatra eyes threatens to change everything.  

The sale will continue for one month after which it will go back to the retail price of $7.99.  Just click on the title and you will be magically transported to

Will it be a series?

A number of people have asked if Strangers in the Night will be the first in a series.  I have to answer that question two different ways.  I would love to write a mystery, romantic suspense series about artists like Abbie, but probably more contemporary.  Though I did enjoy writing retro. And I have worked up a synopsis with that in mind. Now to find a publisher. :-)

However, Strangers in the Night is part of a series called When I Fall in Love where a number of authors wrote stories set in the 50's and early 60's. In this series, you'll find books such as Baby, It’s Cold Outside by Susan May Warren, Love Letters in the Sand by Diann Hunt, Unforgettable by Trish Perry, Love Me Tender by Janice Hanna, and I’ll Be Home for Christmas by Julie L. Cannon.  All fine authors and though I haven't read any of these yet, I'm looking forward to doing so.

Strangers In the Night is available in several e-book formats.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Contest Winners!

Hi everyone,

I'm pleased to announce the twenty winners of the free book contest featuring my new book, Strangers in the Night.  I am still waiting for a few e-mail addresses and as soon as I get them, I'll be able to sent the list to my publisher and they will in turn sent the e-books out to you.

Congratulations to the winners:
Peggy Anderson
Marilyn Rhoads
Dinah Olsen Mcleod
Janet Lynn Rubert
LeElla Sorensen
Joyce Scott
Ashley Wintters
Dana Wilkerson Spille
Carol Wright
Jennie Stannard Weber
Lelia Rose Foreman
Monica Allen
Merilee Ferrell
Deborah Tilden
Diana Cruz
Pauline Jim Creeden
Jan Bono
Mary Muckel Stone
Pati Pate
Mary Hake

Thanks so much for sharing my post and entering the contest. And thank you also for your encouragement.  I'm still quite excited about having a new release.  Plus, my publisher tells me they'll be featuring an ad soon and will be offering the book at a great sale price.  More details to come.

Friday, February 22, 2013

I need to do this more often

Have you ever set up something online and then not play with it for a while.  I do this more than I care to admit.  My blog account, my website and any number of accounts.  What was my password again?  It always takes me awhile to get back into the game. 

Just a few days ago, I joined Goodreads.  I like this place--lots of books and readers.  And I still remember my password, BUT, I am still figuring out how to work things. 

And then there is Pinterest.  I tried to join today, but apparently there is a learning curve for that.  I'll get there. 

I decided to join these places and write a new blog because I have news and if you are on facebook, you probably have already heard. I have a new mystery coming out!  Strangers in the Night will make its debut on Feb 26.  I really enjoyed writing this book.  Possibly because it took me back in time when I was just graduating from R A Long High School in 1961.  And I love it because it has mystery, romance and suspense.  My favorite books to read and write. 

All she wants is to protect her daughter and avoid notice. But the handsome stranger with Frank Sinatra eyes threatens to change everything.

For two long years, Abbie Campbell has been on the run with her four-year-old daughter, Emma. Then she receives a visit from Jake Connors, a friend of her parents, who convinces her to join them in the beautiful town of Cold Creek, Oregon. Jake is determined to help Abbie clear her name of the accusations that sent her into hiding. Being in with her family again—and with Jake—fills Abbie with a peace she hasn’t felt in years, and the prospect of turning an old lumber town into an artists’ retreat gives her new purpose. But then comes an unknown threat worse than all that Abbie has already faced, worse even than the fear of discovery. For lurking in the beautiful hills of Cold Creek is a killer determined to stop her at all costs.
So, look for it in all e-book formats and celebrate with me!
Blessings, Pat