Dragons of Wendal Series:


Moon Shadow Series:

Ghost Shadow

Now Available:

Soul of the Desert

New Kobo Contest

There’s a new Kobo contest–earn coupons and enter for the grand prize. Here’s a 25 off code. One time use, on one book. Not all books will take coupon codes: 878YFT

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Posted: July 29, 2015

Sweet Potato Leaves and Writerly Concerns

My sweet potato plants are the only thing growing gangbusters in this heat. I don’t even know if there are any potatoes under the ground! But then I found out I can eat the leaves and flowers! Excellent! I’ll leave the flowers for the bees, but I’ve already added the leaves to my clam linguini recipe (in place of spinach. I can’t grow spinach here because it’s too hot.) Excellent and it beat kale hands down, no contest! The leaves are tender and a little sweet with no overwhelming flavor. Could be my best harvest!

In book release news, I am often asked if releasing a new book after having published so many is still a thrill. Yes, yes it is. It’s a lot like a first date with someone you really like, but don’t yet know well. You’re nervous, excited and very hopeful. While waiting for your date to show up, you decide to eat a tiny bit of fortifying chocolate and accidentally smear a huge smudge on the front of your new shirt. This would be the equivalent of the little things that go wrong during the launch of said book.

You change shirts, but now the shirt doesn’t match your skirt. It sticks out funny, and you feel totally awkward and ugly, but the doorbell rings! You don’t want to look like a high maintenance freak, so you can’t ask him to wait while you change. This is the equivalent of jitters over that one scene…and the word choice on page 57 and did you remember everyone in the acknowledgements???

When you open the door, he is totally apologetic because his hands are greasy. He had a flat tire and had to change it on the way. You’re relieved because now he won’t think you’re a colorblind ninny because your shirt doesn’t match your skirt! He washes up and off you go to dinner, which is completely filled with “what to say” and “what not to say.” This is sort of like pre-release/pre-orders where you don’t know whether to say MORE about the book or less. Who do you tell and is it polite to speak up on such and such forum??? Do you release an excerpt, do four thousand giveaways or just keep quiet and hope for the best???

If the dinner date goes well, you spend the half-hour ride home wondering if he will kiss you good night. And you don’t want to be too enthusiastic but you want to be enthusiastic. And what if HE DOESN’T even try for a kiss good night? Does he hate you? Is he just classy? How classy is classy versus not interested anyway??? Yup, this would be the sales numbers and reviews. You get some reviews where you wonder, “What does that mean?” You get some reviews that are thrilling. You get some reviews that aren’t so great and that’s the equivalent of a date gone very, very bad, maybe one where you had the waiter call for a taxi. If sales are bad, it’s not only a horrific date, it’s one where you tried to sneak out the restaurant bathroom window and tore your skirt on the stupid ledge getting down the other side. Then your awful date finds you in the alley and you end up having to shoot the guy.

Well, as I always say, all’s well that ends well! But yes, every book IS a thrill.

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Posted: July 29, 2015
Filed in On Writing

Executive Dirt Release Date: Aug 3

exec_dirt_sedonat25Mark your calendars! Add the book to your Goodreads, Leafmarks, Facebook…wherever you roam!

Executive Dirt will be officially available on Aug 3rd, but can be pre-ordered now at both Amazon and Kobobooks. If you want it today, and if you know how to sideload or mail files to your reader, the blog store has copies of Executive Dirt for immediate download!

As usual, the book is $2.99 temporarily. It will be $4.99 starting on or about Aug 5 so get your copy early!

Here are the free short story reads for the series:

Executive Affairs Executive Affairs, A Sedona O’Hala short mystery, can be read here as a Send to Kindle or it is also available at Kobobooks. For the free “Send to Kindle” version, click here.
Executive Gardening Executive Gardening— Another Sedona O’Hala short mystery can be read here as a Send to Kindle or it is also available at Kobobooks (The kobobooks version contains Executive Affairs AND Executive Gardening in one volume). For the free “Send to Kindle” version, click here.

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Posted: July 26, 2015

Some Book Reviews

First, a note from Leo. Leo did NOT get the frog he found. I rescued it. Leo was not pleased and is still hunting frogs, but I have told him: NO FROG EATING.

Second, a note from an unknown cat. We had to dig a hole in the front yard due to a suspected sprinkler leak. We found the pipes–three right next to each other. Couldn’t tell if one was leaking or more than one or what. So we turned off outside water valves to just about everything to see if the damp earth dried out. Next morning, I went to check the hole. There were a lot of leaves in there. I looked up at the trees. Hmm. Not the time of year for leaves to fall. “I’m not sticking my hand in there,” I told husband.

He peered into the hole. “Why not?”

“Look at those leaves. I think a cat buried something in there.”

Husband laughed.

I came back with a shovel. I removed the cat ‘gift’ and yes, there was a smelly gift! I still did not test for dampness. Because, yanno. There might be some that had nothing to do with the sprinkler. That test can wait another day. Or three.

On to the book reviews!

I’ve read three really good books this month. This first is a paranormal mystery–ghosts! Ghosts are some of my favorite mystery stories. This one isn’t entirely cozy, but it’s not thriller either so I rate it safe for cozy readers. Your mileage may vary. I enjoyed it a lot:

Ellie Jordan: Ghost Trapper by JL Bryan It’s a fairly linear story with a good ending that fits nicely. I personally think it could have been enhanced with a side of romance, but that is still possible since it’s a series.

This next one is definitely a cozy. It’s short, sweet and cute. There’s just enough here to make for good easy reading and enough character development to keep you interested.

Good to Go by Marg McAlister The author did a great job of not padding the story. She just told a good story and kept all the boring details off the page.

The Darker Carnival by Frank Tuttle This if the latest in the Markhat series. Great stuff, as always. This is a character tale where we get a good dose of all our favorites. There’s a good mystery without it being a “save the world” mystery and some good subplots. I thought the ending could have been fleshed out more with two or three more details especially in the last battle, but this is classic fun Tuttle. Easily worth the price because all the Markhat books are under five dollars. Great way to spend the afternoon.

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Posted: July 26, 2015
Filed in Under $5

Two Frogs and Some Books

In the last week, I’ve seen a couple of frogs/toads living in my garden. Shhh. Do not tell Leo! He is very fond of capturing lizards, snakes and anything else that moves. I’m so pleased when I find frogs and turtles. It’s a sign of a healthy, organic garden. Truthfully, I’m not quite as ecstatic about tarantulas, but they are welcome too.

I am picking quite a bit of arugula. Wonderful stuff. I love it on sandwiches. I wish cilantro were still growing here.

Okay, onto the book bargains for this week!

Cozies/mysteries this week!

The Greeks of Beaubien Street by Suzanne Jenkins

Nestled below the skyline of Detroit you’ll find Greektown, a few short blocks of colorful bliss, warm people and Greek food. In spite of growing up immersed in the safety of her family and their rich culture, Jill Zannos doesn’t fit in. A Detroit homicide detective, she manages to keep one foot planted firmly in the traditions started by her grandparents, while the other navigates
the most devastated neighborhoods in the city she can’t help but love. She is a no nonsense workaholic with no girlfriends, an odd boyfriend who refuses to grow up, and an uncanny intuition, inherited from her mystic grandmother that acts as her secret weapon to crime solving success. Her story winds around tales of her family and their secret laden history, while she investigates the most despicable murder of her career.

Seaside Secrets – by Cindy Bell

Suzie Allen gets a call to inform her that her estranged Uncle Harry has passed away and has unexpectedly left her Dune House, a beautiful house on the beach that was once a Bed and Breakfast. With her best friend, Mary, going through a messy divorce, the two decide to get away and go to the small town of Garber to see the house.

Despite the stunning setting, the house has been neglected for years and is in a terrible state of disrepair. Suzie and Mary make the decision to refurbish the house together.

But then, Suzie and Mary start finding evidence that maybe Uncle Harry didn’t die of natural causes. Suzie’s investigative background as a journalist takes over and the ladies go on a search to discover what secrets the house holds. Will these secrets reveal a dark side to Suzie’s strange cousin, Jason?

Was the decision to refurbish Dune House the worst mistake of their lives? Or is this the beginning of an exciting new chapter?

Imagine the trouble I’d get in if someone left me a seaside beach house. It would be okay with me if it was on a deserted island.

Killer Genes by Dreme Reed

Seattle senior citizen, DJ Kelly, and her three best friends and co-owners of the Waterfront Art Gallery, are detecting again. Despite an insistent internal voice that chides her for her risky adventures, DJ is not on the trail—this time to help Darlene, a nurse, who is trying to find a young man who was brought into the emergency room yelling a lot of strange, seemingly meaningless terms, including “CCR5,” and then who disappeared—possibly to the Psych Ward. Darlene has received a cryptic phone call from the young man and doesn’t know where to turn. The four women fling themselves into the search, assisted by their old nemesis, Police Inspector Keohan, and the gallery’s handyman and king of malapropisms—Jerry. But their investigation suddenly takes a dangerous turn and the four ladies find themselves in serious jeopardy. Will they find the young man and unravel the mystery of his apparent mental breakdown before it’s too late?

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Posted: July 22, 2015

Wag Your Tail at the Cat

IMG_1796 As you can see, it’s the dog days of summer here. Really hot. It’s all you can do to make it to the porch for a nap!

In other cat news:

If one cat twitches its tail at another cat, a chase is likely to ensue. If you wiggle your butt at the cat, the cat does not think you are wagging a tail. They will look at you funny and quite possibly run, but unlike the game of chase, they will run in the OTHER direction.

If you call your cat the wrong name, it doesn’t matter. He had no intention of listening to you anyway.

In gardening news:
I canned four jars of tomato sauce this week. I know that doesn’t sound like a lot, but making tomato sauce takes a LOT of tomatoes. I grow Juliets which are large grape tomatoes. They make an excellent sauce all cooked up with carrots, onions and celery. I add herbs in there too. I have never made enough sauce to make it through the off season, but this is a good start!

I wish I could get more cucumbers this year. Last year I only harvested two. This year has been significantly better, but now that we are in the 90s all day, every day (except when we are in the 100s), there is nary a cucumber growing. In this hot weather, I’d eat more if I had them.

Book News:
Edits for Executive Dirt are moving right along. I expect to meet the target publishing date and pre-release purchasing should be available in early August! The book is listed on Goodreads and I’ll be adding it here and there this next week.

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Posted: July 19, 2015

New Schedule, Kobo Deals, Walmart Deals

Executive Dirt is moving right along and it looks like I can set a release date of August 12. If you haven’t already, please add Executive Dirt to your Goodreads “to read” shelf! This helps with visibility — people will know a new book is coming out! It will be available to purchasers as a pre-release at a reduced price ($2.99) and will then go to $4.99 shortly after the release date. I’ll let you know when the pre-release is available at various retailers.

For the next couple of months I will be posting on Wed and Sundays. At this time, I expect Wed to be book bargains and Sundays to be my usual blathering about Leo, Junior, Scamper, Gardening and strange events that may occur.


Kobo is having a weekend sale: The sale starts today and the dates are July 17-20th.

Promo Code: JULY30

Sale Page

The following deals have expired:
If you haven’t heard, Amazon and Walmart are trying to recreate Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales today! Amazon has a 40 inch LED TV for 119 dollars–for Prime members. If you plan to do any shopping on Amazon, click on through and find the bargains.

Wal-Mart is also hosting deals. They have free shipping on anything over 35 dollars. I plan on checking to see if cat food is in this deal so that I can have it delivered to my door without going in. :) Walmart has a shipping deal much like prime only you pay 50 dollars and get free shipping on items for a year.

Target is supposedly in on the fun as well, offering special deals.

As for me, it’s been all work and very little play around here so I’m settling in to read The Darker Carnival — Frank Tuttle’s latest book. I’ve been hoarding it long enough. It’s nice to have a known good read to turn to when there is finally time to read!

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Posted: July 15, 2015

Leo, My Hero

We have pretty exciting Friday nights around here. We’re in bed by 9:30. Sometimes Husband stays up until 10 if there’s a good game on. This Friday was typical, in bed by 9:15 or so. We were asleep too, when Leo decided it would be great fun to go under the bed and start batting at the headboard and generally causing a ruckus. When that wasn’t enough to get our attention, he popped out like a genie from the bottle and jumped up on the bed. Then up on the headboard. Then he batted around the wall some and knocked the clock on the floor.

“LEO!” I yelled. “Go play somewhere else!”

He obediently hopped down and went under the bed. More scurrying about right under my head, under the headboard and then a mad dash back up on the bed and on top of the headboard. Back and forth he prowled like a possessed lion.

“Maybe he found a bug or something,” Husband muttered sleepily.

I sat up. “What? What kind of bug? What if he found a bug and it gets on me???” You all know I’m a tough gal. I can manage spiders, twelve inch worms, tarantulas, bees, wasps, praying mantis, and all kinds of garden bugs. But the key there is GARDEN. Outside. NOT NEAR MY BED.

Husband mumbled.

“I think you should…do something,” I said, still sitting up, peering into the dark and seeing nothing but dark. Leo was still up on the headboard.

Husband gave a long suffering sigh and got out of bed, turned on the light and retrieved the clock. He looked behind the headboard. “There’s nothing there.” He grabbed Leo and deposited him on the floor. “Go play in the living room.”

Leo obediently trotted off.

Lights off. I lay there listening. Was that a scurrying sound from under the bed? No, it was just Husband turning over. Probably. Wait! What was that noise? Oh. It was Leo playing in the living room. No, he was back in the bedroom. Was that him under the bed again? No, because he hopped up on the bed and onto the headboard. “Leo.”

Then, like a mad hatter, he tore off the bed and ran into the living room at the speed of a NASCAR cat fully intending to win the big checkered flag.

Husband sighed. “It’s hot. I’m going to turn the AC down.” He went out to the living room. Leo was still dashing about so Husband turned on the lights.

“Oh,” he said.

“Oh, what?” I asked.

“He is chasing one of those tree roaches.”

“GAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!” What could be worse than a giant, twelve-foot long tree roach landing on your face in the middle of the night? And you know that is what would have happened had Leo not chased it out of the bedroom and corralled the thing in the corner of the living room!!! Husband got the bug cup and deposited the giant thing in the toilet. He flushed twice to make sure it didn’t swim back out. Because tree roaches are of the monster world.

I gave Leo extra pats on the head and told him he was a good cat (he doesn’t hear that terribly often.) “You saved me, Leo! You’re my hero.” He purred. But he always does that, even when he is in deep trouble.

I didn’t sleep well, though. For some reason I had nightmares about something chasing me. Gah.

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Posted: July 12, 2015

Get Well Soon, Margaret!

This post goes out to my friend, Margaret, who is laid up. She is a hard worker and overworked herself. Get yourself all better and get home soon! You have books to write, books to read and some pampering required in your future.

I know Margaret likes flowers and icons and cute things. I am not all that good with cute things, and there isn’t much blooming here, but here are some flowers for you:

Get well SOON!?

Get Well SOON!

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Posted: July 10, 2015

London Bargain Mystery

bookThis book looked rather interesting to me and it’s normally a ten dollar book. Bryant and May and the Bleeding Heart It’s not the first in a series, but I think it’s the latest in the Peculiar Crimes Unit Mysteries. Full Dark House is book one.

ALSO: The Amazon fire phone is on sale for $159 and comes with a free YEAR of prime. That means that you’re paying about 59 dollars for the phone.

Also there is a 30 percent off sale at Kobo books on this list. Use code: JULYW30. Good until July 16.

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Posted: July 7, 2015
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