Scotland folks don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, but we will be having a quiet one of our own. There is so much for which to be thankful!

Every breath we take, every step we take, everything we see, hear, touch, feel, or taste is reason enough for an attitude of gratitude. Add to this family, friends, pets, shelter, food and other provisions – and we are blessed beyond measure.

This Thanksgiving we will thank God for health and provision. We will pray for others less fortunate, and do what we can to help them. We will pray for the world’s return to the love, peace, and joy that comes as a gift through a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus is the “Reason for the Season,” and Christ is in CHRISTmas, but the gift of Jesus’ love, joy, power, and salvation is not reserved for one day a year. Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life every day.

Another thing on my list of Thanksgiving praise is the publication of my fourth Texas Miz Mike mystery-romance-suspense, “Bridge to Brigadoon,” set in Scotland. I’m excited!

To thank readers, I am offering a choice of gifts to the first five folks who review “Bridge to Brigadoon” on Amazon: either signed copies of “Bridge to Nowhere” or “Bridge Beyond Betrayal,” or a Scottish mug. When the review is posted and the reader has sent me his or her physical address and indicated which gift he or she would like to receive – I will send it immediately…with a grateful and thankful heart!


In one of the wackiest Miz Mike adventures ever, successful writer Michal Allison Rice is packed off to Scotland by her son and daughter-in-law for a vacation. They believe the trip will heal her broken heart—and hope that it will teach her to mind her own business. Mike does not want to go to Scotland. It is COLD there. And once in Scotland, she doesn’t want to stay. Hotdogs come in cans, dill pickles are non-existent and driving on the wrong side of the road terrifies her. However, when elderly Ross Granger is killed, Mike feels responsible and sets out in search for the killer. Nearly killed herself, Mike is faced with a dilemma: no one believes her. She is viewed as “an American stushie-maker.” But the gravest danger of all proves to be Rev. Alan Evan Kirkland, a Scottish widower who befriends her, then demands the one thing in repayment that she is unwilling to give—her heart.

Peanut Butter & Jelly Thanksgiving

BridgeBeyoneBetrayal_650As a single parent who had saved up all my vacation time to write the best-selling American novel and live in the country with my seven-year-old son, I was virtually starving. All I could afford to serve for Thanksgiving Dinner was peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

I sat on the kitchen floor of the rented mobile home in the Great Basin Desert of northern Nevada and cried because people all over the U.S. would celebrate Thanksgiving with their families, digging into turkey and trimmings, followed by gloriously unhealthy desserts while all I could give my child – who happened to love turkey – was peanut butter and jelly.

A knock on the door brought me to my feet. I hastily dried my tears and answered the door. Our lone in-the-middle-of-nowhere neighbor stood on the porch. She invited us to Thanksgiving Dinner at her house. Since she was elderly, we went early to help.

Enter her family. Her son staggered through the door with six-packs of beer under both arms and an open one sloshing all over the floor. Without greeting his mom, he plopped down in her comfy chair and turned on the TV to a football game. His wife spewed profanity – mainly aimed at her husband – as she plopped down in the next most comfy chair in front of the TV. Enter the two teens. The boy had safety pins hanging off both ears, both eyebrows, both nostrils and tattoos and studs in other improbable locations on his body. He openly smoked a joint as he shouted profanity at his parents. The girl had multi-colored hair, earrings and nose hoops and wore a mini-skirt and a low-cut bodice in spite of the snow. Like her other family members, she failed to greet Mrs. Merika, but at least she didn’t enter the curse-them-dead feast. Poor Luke had never heard such foul language before and was shocked.

Luke set the table while Mrs. Merika and I put out the food. The visiting family fell on it like a pack of coyotes – not even thanking the Lord or their mom/grandmother. Luke, Mrs. Merika, and I clasped hands and prayed together. After the meal was devoured, Mrs. Merika and I put up the leftovers, did the dishes, cleaned up the kitchen. Then Luke and I walked home through the snow.

“Mom,” he said after a moment. “I would rather eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for the rest of my life than to go to a feast with people like them.”

A Thanksgiving lesson never forgotten. It grieves my heart that he is celebrating Thanksgiving in Heaven this year instead of with us, but he lives on in the prophetic poem he wrote a year before his airplane crash. It’s in the opening pages of Bridge Beyond Betrayal.

Happy Thanksgiving, Luke. I love you, Son!