It’s time to pack my bags…

Now that the Audible version of The Music of Her Life is in production, I can officially take a little time away from my first novel and concentrate on my second.

Even if you’ve read “Music”, you can’t miss the Audible version. It will include actual recordings from Glenn Miller and His Orchestra, Artie Shaw and His Orchestra, and Dick Haymes singing an unforgettable love song my father dedicated to my mother, Virginia. Listening to the actual music will take you back to the Big Band Era and place you in the Terrace Ballroom in the Tutwiler Hotel, the Blue Room in the Roosevelt Hotel in New Orleans, and the old Pickwick Club in Birmingham.

The Audible version of The Music of Her Life will be available in mid-December.

Again, my bags are packed and I’ll be traveling this week to a very small town in Alabama which is the setting for my next book. The locale and setting of a novel play such a pertinent part of the story and must be described in a way that mentally places the reader there.

My next novel, The Image of Rachel Clair, will be set in the aforementioned small Alabama town I’ve wanted to visit many times on my way to my hometown of Birmingham. The research of the area will begin there and where it ends is unclear, but I look forward to a town frozen in time, where the archives are waiting to be dusted off, and its history is yearning to be brought back to life.

This new adventure will delve into the life of one young girl; her parents, two men in her life, strange tragedy, and the paranormal. I’m ready to dig up more information and begin the story of the girl whose life was taken away so young and how the ones so close to her could never let her go.


Which Road to Take?

Now that the holidays are approaching, I wonder which road to take on my journey to the next novel. Should I take the road and bury myself in the new story waiting to emerge, continue my designing career, or stand at the crossroads of my everyday life and not change a thing? If I decide to take one of the paths, will it be considered the “high” road or the “low” road?

My creative mind is constantly trying to sort out the priorities. Which should I choose? Should I stay in place with my daytime job of constant glitter and design or move toward quiet days of listening to beautiful outdoor sounds while thinking back and writing about a simpler place and time (my favorite)?

However, my new novel is constantly calling out to me. “It’s time to get started. Don’t wait,” it says. “Your heroine’s story needs to be told.” And I believe that inner voice is right.

 I also wade in a pool of creativity filled with flowers, glitter, year-round holiday decor, and a laugh a minute with my beloved co-workers. This calls to me as well. “You love being a designer. You love the interaction with your buddies. Why would you ever consider giving this up after a multitude of years and listen to nothing but quiet or the clicking of a keyboard?” This inner voice has a valid point.

Starting out after college as an intern then a permanent member of the staff in “The Birmingham News” advertising art department allowed me to begin my professional creative career which would be filled with numerous choices. From advertising artist to writing my first novel, the years in-between provided my right-brained creativity to open a Pandora’s box full of paths to take. 

In my case, though, my inner voices go hand in hand and will continue to stand with me at the crossroads and I will change nothing.

As I look to the future, I envision myself decorating our showroom at the Merchandise Mart on a 10 ft ladder holding the latest laptop in one hand, flowers in the other, and my walker patiently waiting at the bottom.

Until next time,


“…One can create anything, anytime, anywhere as long as the passion for it is strong.”  JM










A Dream Accomplished…

September 14, 2018

For years, I planned to write a book about a Southern heroine during the Civil War, the Great War, or World War II. This book would be about the era, the setting, the way of life, and then throw in a little romance to make it interesting. 

The novels I love to read are usually about time-travel, historical romance, ghostly beings, biographies from the “Golden Age” of Hollywood, music, and I could go on and on. It has been my quest to find one novel that included all, or most of, my favorite genres. My personal search was fruitless. I know what I like, so I decided to write my own story. 

“The Music of Her Life” is my answer to the novel I so desperately wanted to find. My favorite genres are covered:

Historical Romance

Music- Big Band Era


World War II

Historical events

Southern fiction

The history of the time is my passion and my intense family research has introduced me to the day-to-day lives of my relatives who are considered Alabama Pioneers. After digging deep into the Alabama Archives, I never knew that one of my great-grandfathers was a Confederate prisoner of war in Ohio, and the other was an old country doctor in St. Clair County, Alabama. I was also able to see and copy an old photograph (circa 1880s) of my great grandmother with three of her eight children, a photograph none of our surviving family members had ever seen. How romantic it was to find out how my grandmother and grandfather (the town physician) met while he lived in a boarding house two blocks away from her. These findings are precious to me and our family histories are valuable resources to hand down to our children and grandchildren.

Technology today is a blessing in so many ways, but not having a Polaroid or the old “Brownie” camera handy, is to me, unfortunate for our generations to come.

Until next time,

Judith M.









Follow me on my journeys to the past…


I love history. There, I said it. Most people are bored with it but I, on the other hand, am fascinated.
If I’d paid more attention in high school to the long, boring history lessons and taken the textbooks and assignments seriously, I would’ve majored in the subject.
My late aunt, Mattie Lou Teague Crow, was an accomplished Alabama historian, and our family genealogy and her published historical accounts of the Late Modern Period (1801-1945) ignited the passion I have for that era of history. That remarkable era brought major conflicts and substantial change in the US and the world. There were great attainments accompanied by heartbreaking situations, and all circumstances, good and bad, molded each and every one of our lives. I don’t have to tell you what they are, but my novels will go into detail about some of them.

My first novel, “The Music of Her Life”, delves into the lives of the Johannsen family in the southern industrial city of Birmingham, Alabama. The story begins in 1917 and chronicles the lives of Dr. WB and Lucy Johannsen and their four children, most notably their only daughter, Virginia. She lived a life full of music, dancing, and great love with tragic consequences. Virginia confronted the home front devastation during WWII as a way of life, but the war and its aftermath caused great happiness to turn into overwhelming heartbreak.

~Judith M.