Category Archives: Forever Yours


I always have a goal in mind when I write. Since I have never been wealthy, there are things that I want (and even need), and writing is an enjoyable means to acquiring those extras.

Writing The Guardian Trilogy was a steep learning curve. My main goal was to publish. At that time, it didn’t occur to me that I could make a profit.

The Yours by Design series paid for new floors in my house, as well as expenses associated with my younger daughter’s wedding and a trip to Japan to see my older daughter and her family.

By that time, I had caught on that having a set goal in mind helped to push me to write. When I started working on Understanding Elizabeth, I knew exactly what I wanted (and badly needed), and Saturday, my husband and I went and bought it. (Happy dance!)

I traded in my 2005 Honda Accord for a 2015 Nissan Sentra (with only 4,000 miles on it)! Coincidentally, my sixty-third birthday is this Sunday, so the car is a two-fer.

Happy birthday!

Thank you, readers and writing friends. Looking at the tangible evidence of my work and knowing you helped me realize my dreams gives me great joy.

Every time I drive my car, I smile and think of you.


Quotable Pride and Prejudice Winners


Answers to Pride and Prejudice quote questions:

    1. Jane Austen (the first line in the book)
    2. Elizabeth
    3. Mr. Bennet
    4. Elizabeth to Mrs. Gardiner – Exact quote: “What are men to rocks and mountains?”
    5. Elizabeth
    6. Elizabeth
    7. Darcy
    8. Darcy; 8. Mrs. Bennet
    9. Darcy
    10. Darcy
    11. Darcy
    12. Darcy
    13. Darcy
    14. Darcy
    15. Darcy

Every entrant missed at least one. Sometimes it was a case of too much information. For example: (4) Elizabeth did ask, “What are men to rocks and mountains,” but it was at the Gardiners’ house in Cheapside, not in Derbyshire. Also, “young men” is not in the original. I think it’s quite easy to mistake dialog in the film version for dialog in the book.

Mr. Bennet asked,”For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbors, and to laugh at them in our turn?


Since no one answered all the quotes correctly, I have decided to give prizes to all three entrants. You may choose ebook copies of the entire Yours by Design series, ebook copies of the entire Guardian Trilogy, or an ebook of Understanding Elizabeth when it is published.

Please contact me with your choices and email addresses. You may message me on Facebook.

Praise for the Yours By Design series

my-top-5-modern-ppKudos to our own Robin Helm. Her Yours By Design series made Of Pens and Pages’ Top 5 List. Hooray!

“I loved reading the entire series,” says Nissa, “and each book was quite the page-turner.”

We agree! Autumn’s crisp evenings and shorter days usher in perfect reading weather. Why not curl up with Robin’s books?

GIVEAWAY ALERT! Nissa is offering the entire series to one lucky winner! Here is your chance to enjoy Robin’s novels as e-books. Visit  Of Pens and Pages  for details.



God has been very good to us.

During the past couple of weeks, I’ve been thinking back over the events of 2015 and marveling at all the big things that happened in my life during one short year.

Forever Yours  cover cropped


I finished writing my Yours by Design series by publishing Forever Yours at the beginning of April.

With a wedding coming at the end of June, I lived my spring and summer in overdrive – trimming shrubbery, replacing old bedding around the plants, painting the front porch and porch furniture, thoroughly cleaning the back porch, repotting old plants and buying new ones, and attending three bridal showers. Mel and I also had to contact each vendor again to finalize the flowers, DJ, reception venue, catering, cake, musicians, technicians, and photography. We also met the photographer for her bridal portraits and sat down with the wedding director. We compiled guest lists and sent out save the dates and invitations which she designed online. There were centerpieces to make, a wedding dress to buy (five shops before we found THE ONE) and have altered, favors to order, a candy bar to stock, a wedding portrait to choose, a church to decorate, and a rehearsal to plan. Mel’s identity was stolen during that time, too, and that certainly spiked the stress level.



My elder daughter, who was expecting our second granddaughter, and our year-old granddaughter returned from Japan two weeks before the wedding, and we planned a short outing to the beach. Said outing was ditched when Mel’s dog, Chloe, ran away. God answered our prayers and we found her twelve hours later, with the help of a network of friends and folks we didn’t know. Mel and I picked up a multitude of chigger bites on our legs and feet while scouring the woods for her dog, but hers went away before the wedding, much thanks to our friend, Dr. Ed Sizemore.

Chloe 189.JPG

The wedding and reception were beautiful, though there was a high probability of heavy rain and thunderstorms. The wedding was held at our church, but the reception was outdoors at The Ivy Place. Again, we prayed. The rains held off until the last guest left the reception, and then the heavens opened. At the last minute, I had ordered a second tent. That was a good thing, because everything had to be cleaned up in that downpour. Had it not been for the help of Gayle and her daughter Bethany’s family, I might have sat in a puddle and cried.

Two weeks later, my pregnant elder daughter and granddaughter returned to Japan. You may remember the computer problems experienced by Wall Street and United Airlines last summer. They were caught in that, and it turned a thirty hour trip into a fifty hour trip. Somehow, she managed, just as she always does. Prayer, prayer, and more prayer.

Mandy & Charlie

Mel returned to live with us during August while her new husband went through football camp with the 49ers in California. She and I raced around to have her name changed everywhere and her car title transferred to her name. Government offices in August! Woohoo! At the end of August, we helped her pack her things, ship her car and clothes, and move to join him. There was much more involved, but it’s too long a story.

In September and October, I designed new covers for the three books in The Guardian Trilogy, and I updated the book files.

In November, our dog Toby ran away.  Again we prayed, and three weeks later, I received a phone call from a lady who had seen the ad in the paper. We were overjoyed to get him back.

Near the end of November, Mel’s husband was moved from the practice squad to the active roster of the 49ers – another answer to prayer.

Mandy, Charlie, Scarlett

We received our best gift and our biggest answer to prayer on December 8 when our elder daughter safely delivered our second beautiful granddaughter.

In the immortal words of Jane Austen’s Mrs. Bennet during the 1995 BBC miniseries of Pride and Prejudice, “God has been very good to us.”

Indeed, He has.

Forever Yours Winners!

Forever Yours, KindleI’m pleased to announce the winners of the Forever Yours giveaway today.

Congratulations to faith hope & cherrytea, winner of the print copy, and Pam Rothrock Hunter, winner of the kindle copy. I hope you enjoy this final book in the Yours by Design series.

Thank you to everyone who entered. I appreciate your help in publicizing my book release.

For those who are interested, the wedding is thirty-nine days away and counting. Excuse me while I hyperventilate and paint the porch again.

No one mold to break

Photo: Heather Katsoulis (Creative Commons Flickr)

Photo: Heather Katsoulis (Creative Commons Flickr)

I myself was always recognized, though quite kindly, as ‘the slow one’ of the family. The reactions of my mother and my sister were unusually quick—I could never keep up. I was, too, very inarticulate. It was always difficult for me to assemble into words what I wanted to say….It is probably one of the causes that have made me a writer.

Agatha Christie

How I smiled when I discovered this quotation. Agatha Christie, shy? Inarticulate, even? But she was one of the best-selling authors of all time. She was anything but ‘slow.’

In this busy social media age, when an author is supposed to tweet and blog and be everywhere and all that (for one must be building a platform), how refreshing it is to remember that there is no one mold to break.

As we’ve been celebrating Robin Helm’s release of Forever Yours, I’ve been thinking about how variety is an excellent thing, both in friendship and in reading.

A blessed companion is a book, a book that, fitly chosen, is a lifelong friend…
a book that, at a touch, pours its heart into our own.

Douglas Jerrold

Every writer has obstacles to overcome. Christie has given me countless hours of reading pleasure, and her books are like friends. How thankful I am that, like so many of us, she had financial needs. And that she was able to get past feeling ‘inarticulate’ and write that first book. And the next, and the next.

Except a living man there is nothing more wonderful than a book!
A message to us from the dead, from human souls whom we never saw,
who lived perhaps thousands of miles away; and yet these,
on those little sheets of paper, speak to us, teach us, comfort us,
open their hearts to us as brothers.

Charles Kingsley

Speaking of books, don’t miss Robin’s book giveaway. To enter, simply post a comment here before May 11, 2015.