Janine–For Inquiring Minds


dreamstime_s_41684412Ball gowns did it; I tell you.

They enchanted Janine early on. She got hooked in ‘76 when she saw a Hallmark Hall of Fame special called Beauty and the Beast. (See original movie below–17:25 begins the scene Janine never forgot.)


Now, resistance is futile, especially where Regency or Victorian dresses are concerned.

And it’s . . . Well, I can’t say exactly what it is.Ball gowns Williamsburg style

But a few months back, she stayed up all night sewing an 18th century costume just so she could be Jack Sparrow’s sidekick, Elizabeth Swann, for Disney Day at school.

Poor dear: does she know how bizarre that is?



Anyway, her interest in historical fashion grew as she did. It turned into a magnificent obsession with happily everafter. Thanks to weekly library visits and a steady supply of Doris Day movies, her compulsion for beauty and a happy ending became addiction.

It was so bad one Halloween that she sacrificed her chance to be a princess bride so she could watch The Two Worlds of Jennie Logan, another Hallmark special, of course.

That fateful evening, she discovered time travel and a new kind of love story.

Now Janine finds (or loses) herself somewhere in time using: Downton Abbey, Pride and Prejudice or a number of other classics like Jane Eyre and Redeeming Love.

She also traces her habit of crying over anything Nicholas Sparks back to that night. It might stem from being lost in Austen one too many times though.

Amazing Grace, both the movie and the hymn, will forever bring her to tears as well. But that’s understandable; they’re tears of joy over God’s blessings.

Living in North Carolina is another gift from Him.

Having spent her first thirty-eight years in the concrete jungle of Los Angeles, she’s amazed by four distinct seasons and trees.

Trees . . . Really! Well, God created them; and they point us up to Him so we can learn about His plan. It sounds reasonable enough.sunraypath

Speaking of plan, Janine always wanted to be a teacher. So she teaches high school English by day. What else, right? (She’s a school counselor too, but that’s another story.) But by night, when normal people are sleeping, Janine writes. Or she watches historical romance movies and claims she’s doing “research.”

And Social media? It’s still a mystery to her. I mean, who reads a book to learn how to use Facebook?

She’s not as grim about overcoming her introvert tendency now, but once upon a time . . . Let’s just say: her family and their friends are compelling encouraging her to do better.

When her knight in shining armor, Tom, and their five children are not trying to get her connected with the 21st Century, they enjoy solving equations; playing classical music on the piano (or any stringed instrument around); writing computer programs, and winning in girls’ volleyball.

And because “it is a truth universally acknowledged that” dogs have masters and cats have servants, some Mendenhalls work to gratify the needs of two lap cats.IMG_2512

Baxter(front) and Peaches, the family’s two seven-year-old golden retriever “puppies,” are less demanding.

But Janine doesn’t mind, as long as she can write.


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