Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Habits, Old and New

12/7 Habits, Old and New


It’s nearly the end of the year. Good riddance again, right? I hope we don’t say that again next year at this time, but you never know. In fact, we’ve found out so much that we didn’t know—that no one knew—about the new virus, and what to do about it. Maybe we’ll be better prepared should another one come along in the lifetime of anyone living today.


Anyway, what I wanted to write about is the subject of taking stock. We add up what we got accomplished this year, and set down, at least in our minds, what we want to make happen next year. I know, the million dollar lottery, NY Times bestseller list, true love, those are on some lists, I’m sure.


I want to talk about habits, though. Many of my habits, lifelong habits, did not serve me well for the pandemic. One thing I’ve always liked to do when I standing in a line, like at the grocery store, is to try to chat with those around me. The way to initiate that is with a friendly smile and an observation of something happening, or a compliment on the person’s clothing, hair, nails. This last one fulfills part of my mission to try to make a person’s day better. Also, if they tell me something interesting…well…everything’s material. So that’s my selfish mission.


BUT, this is really hard to do when you’re not going to the grocery store. Then when you do go, you’re standing at least six feet from everyone (ideally) and wearing a mask. I know, you can smile with your eyes, but it’s hard to see. And you’re six or eight feet away.


It was time last year to form new habits. Buying lots of toilet paper. (I heard, knock on wood, that it’s scarce AGAIN.) Using hand sanitizer, opening doors with your shirt tail or your elbow, pressing elevator buttons with your knuckle. Washing your hand a lot. Making sure you have a mask in the car before you set out. Coming back to get one because you forgot to do that.

 I wonder which of these are habits I’ll keep up. If any. I’ll admit, I’ve gotten a little obsessed with buying TP. I find it hard to not get is every time I shop. That should be self-limiting when my closet runs completely out of space, one would think. I hope, though, that someday I’ll quit buying it and won’t need to stockpile any more. 2022? 2023? Who knows? No one.


 2021, 2022 images from

Photos are mine

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

My Flash Fiction ONE WOMAN’S TRASH

10 13 2021 

In my newsletter on Tuesday, I talked about the little flash fiction story that won a contest in a local newsletter. I also am offering the book I won (on how to write flash fiction) in a drawing. You can still enter the drawing, which I’ll do on Sunday if you want to sign up for my newsletter!


Making good on the offer to share my winning story, I’m putting it here on the blog today. Hope you enjoy it! It’s very gentle—no one even dies.  





Kaye George

word count: 997


Nancy Beth stumbled as she hauled the roller trash bin down the driveway to the curb. It was cold and dark. She silently cursed the absence of her husband. This had always been his job. She stopped herself before she became angry at him for dying, remembering how he had always done chores with no complaining. Why had she forgotten the trash until so late? She couldn’t see very well at night, the way her eyes were these days, with that cataract her doctor wanted to wait to remove. Also, this time of year, skunks came out at night. She could always smell them the next morning in the yard. Sometimes she even smelled them inside the house if they sprayed too near. Nancy had never met up with a skunk face to face in the wild and she never wanted to.

When she got back inside without any wildlife encounters, she washed her hands and dropped onto the couch to catch her breath. Everything seemed to be such an effort lately. She sorely missed Harvey. He had not only taken out the trash, he’d taken over doing the dishes and laundry for the last few years, telling her that she had done it long enough.

There were so many reasons she missed him. Being alone during the time of COVID had been hard. She hadn’t had anyone to talk to in the evenings, no one to warm the bed, no one to hug. And she loved him. Things were better now, but she didn’t have the energy to do much.

The discards in the trash bin weighed on her mind that night. She had finally, after three years, gone through Harvey’s last few things. Months ago, her son had helped her take the wearable clothing to the charity store and the other kids had picked out what they wanted as keepsakes of their father. What was left, besides what she held onto, was worthless. Some worn out shoes, old clothing with holes and torn places, a down vest that had leaked most of the stuffing years ago. Still, she thought about those things sitting out by the curb. And missed him even more.


John shook the leash and Candy came running, ready for her early morning walk.

“Who’s a good girl?” he crooned, squatting down and putting his face near hers while he fastened the leash. Candy’s tail whipped harder than ever. She knew she was a good girl.

They set out on the usual route, three blocks up the street, then turn around and come back three blocks home. The sun was warm on his head and shoulders and birdsong serenaded them. John felt good. Finally. He would always miss Carol, his deceased wife, but getting Candy, a beagle mix, from the shelter six months ago had been the best idea he’d had in ages. Before Candy, he’d been challenged by learning to cook and clean, all the things Carol had done for him. But he felt years younger and stronger since he’d started walking Candy every day. She was someone to talk to, and to cuddle with on the couch watching TV in the evening. Or during the day, for that matter. His days and nights sometimes ran together since Covid.

When they reached their turning-around point, Candy reversed, but John wanted to stay outdoors and pulled her forward.

“Let’s go another block today, girl. Expand our horizons.”

She eagerly agreed and surged ahead. Halfway up the block, a trash bin teetered precariously over the curb. Candy lunged at it and knocked it over with a clatter.

“That’s not good, Candy.” John watched the contents strew into the street. Before he could rein her in, Candy tore into one of the plastic bags. “No!” he shouted, and pulled her back, but she had a blue vest in her mouth, a down vest, mostly flat and devoid of the filling. Men’s clothing scattered from the bag, some items clinging to the vest. He wondered if there had been a divorce at this house.

“What am I going to do with you?” He pried the garment from her teeth and looped her leash around the mailbox on the other side of the driveway, then knelt and started to gather the clothing to stuff it back into the bag. No good. The bag had a huge hole now.

A shadow fell over him and he looked up to see a woman standing over him, shaking her head and smiling.

John jumped up. “I’m so sorry. My dog knocked over your trash bin and pulled these things out.”

“I know. I saw it from the house.” Her smile was radiant. She held a new plastic bag, which he took and filled with the clothing, and a couple of pair of shoes.

When he was finished, he made sure the bin was secure, not threatening to fall off the edge of the curb.   

“I put it out too far,” she said. “It was partly my fault. It’s hard to see in the dark.”

Unable to contain his nosiness, John asked, “Did your husband get a lot of new clothes?”

She shook her head and her lovely face crumpled slightly. “No, I just got around to getting rid of the last of his things. He passed away a few years ago.”

“I lost my wife a few years ago, too. It’s been hard, hasn’t it? I’m John.”

She nodded.

He liked how easy it was to talk to her. “Can I take you out for coffee? To make up for tipping your trash over?”

She liked that he was kind, and that he had a dog. You could trust dog lovers. But she would go slowly. “Yes, coffee would be nice. Thank you. I’m Nancy Beth.”

When she leaned down to pat Candy’s head, the dog licked her hand.

One woman’s trash was another man’s treasure, John thought.

Copyright 2021 Kaye George


Wednesday, September 29, 2021

On Writing


9 29 2021 On Writing


I just want to touch briefly on something I’ve had on my mind before it vanishes, as those things tend to do sometimes.


I’ve been reading, in a couple of places, about contrasts in writing styles. The gist of these essays were that there are two styles, likened to nails and headlights. You either nail down you plot ahead of time, or see only as far as a headlight as you go along. These styles are also called “pantsing” and “plotting.” It’s been my feeling, and I thing I’ve written it here before, that every writer is actually a combination of these two. No one plots every single detail before they start writing and never changes a thing. Also, no one starts writing having no idea at all what they’re going to write about. Like, what shall I touch upon today? Ice cream, romance, murders, windows, game shows? No, the story and the characters unfold for both kinds of writers, for every writer. That’s why this is called a creative process. The story is being created.


One of my sources is this article from the Suite T blog, an offshoot of Southern Writers Magazine:


But I have to add one more thing that helps me to say what I want to say in my fiction, as I headlight and nail along. That’s a quote by Georgia O’Keeffe that hangs on my office wall. I bought it in the O’Keeffe museum in New Mexico (which you should visit if you get a change). My photo doesn’t capture the fine print, which is: “Details are confusing. It is only by selection, by elimination, by emphasis, that we get at the real meaning of things.”

Image is mine

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

The Winner!

 Aaaand, drum roll...we have a winner for Lorie Lewis Ham's brand new book!

Congrats to Grandmas Cootie! Whom, I am positive, does NOT have cooties. I've seen her name around enough to know she's an avid reader and supporter of mystery fiction. 

For everyone else, you can nip over to 


B&N Nook:

or Kobo:


Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Lorie Lewis Ham is here today!

 I'm so delighted to welcome Lorie Lewis Ham to my blog today, and so excited about her new book. Lorie, in her role as editor of Kings River Life Magazine and the new Mystery Rat's Maze Podcast had been a valueable friend to many writers over the last several years, and one of them is me. Here's my chance to pay her back. Here's her essay on her new novel--be sure to check this out!

GIVEAWAY! LORIE WILL GIVE AN E-BOOK AWAY TO ONE PERSON WHO COMMENTS, LEAVING AN EMAIL ADDRESS (which can be disguised, kayegeorge at gmail dot com, or somesuch.). She will pick the winner before next Wednesday. Good luck!

“One of Us” is available on Amazon, on the Nook at Barnes and Noble, and Kobo.

 Book Settings-Why I Set My Book in the Tower District of Fresno, CA

By Lorie Lewis Ham


My first mystery came out in the early 2000s and featured a gospel singing sleuth. I set that series in a fictional version of my hometown of Reedley, California, largely because it was what I knew. The last book in that series came out 11 years ago.


As I started working on a new book I knew that I wanted to do something different so I decided to set my new book, which is the first in a new series, in a place that is very dear to me, the Tower District in Fresno, California.


The historic Tower District is Fresno's dining, arts, and entertainment hub. People might be surprised to know this, but a great deal of community and regional theatre happens in the San Joaquin Valley and much of it happens in the Tower. My main character, Roxi Carlucci, actually helps out with a theatre production in this book and that is where the murder takes place. The Tower is also the home of the Rogue Festival, a fringe festival where performers from all over the world come to perform (this festival will be featured in a future book). You will also find unique shops, restaurants, clubs, coffee shops, tea shops, and much more.


Here is a bit of description of the area from my new book “One of Us”


“As we walked to the heart of the Tower and its many shops and restaurants, I felt like I'd gone back in time. I had read in an article that most of the houses had been built between the 1920s and the 1950s. There wasn't a new house in sight—each home had the kind of character only houses built before the 1960s seemed to have. The streets were lined with various kinds of tall trees. Even the sidewalks had a bit of character with its cracks and unevenness here and there.”


I love the Tower District, it is my favorite place in the area to hang out, so I hope you will all take a journey with me to the Tower District in my new mystery novel, and I hope some of you will come check it out in person as well. Keep in mind that my version is somewhat fictionalized—adding businesses that were needed for the sake of the story and changing some of the names—but it is still just as wonderful!


One of the locations mentioned in “One of Us” (it is also on the cover of the book), is the Tower Theatre. Its very existence and the Tower District way of life is currently at risk. If you would like to know more you can find information on the Facebook page for “Save the Tower Theatre.”


“One of Us” is available on Amazon, on the Nook at Barnes and Noble, and Kobo.


“One of Us”  A Tower District Mystery by Lorie Lewis Ham-

A woman starting over. A gossip website. A handsome playwright with a dark side. A director with an explosive temper. And a murder without a motive. It’s a mystery set in the historic Tower District—Fresno's dining, arts, and entertainment hub.


Bio- Lorie Lewis Ham lives in Reedley, California and has been writing ever since she was a child. Her first song and poem were published when she was 13, and she has gone on to publish many articles, short stories, and poems throughout the years, as well as write for a local newspaper, and publish 6 mystery novels. For the past 11 years, Lorie has been the editor-in-chief and publisher of Kings River Life Magazine, and she produces Mysteryrat’s Maze Podcast where you can now hear an excerpt of her new book One of Us. You can learn more about Lorie and the new book on her website and find her on Twitter @mysteryrat and Facebook. Another way to keep up with Lorie’s writing is to subscribe to her newsletter, which you can do on her website. 


Lorie has been married to Larry for 30 years and they have 2 grown children—Jayce and Joseph Ham. She currently has 5 cats (Merlin, Sam, Dean, Sidney, and Willow), 4 dogs (Lestat, Huey, Xander, and Phoebe), and a pet dwarf rabbit (Sherlock). For many years, she worked in pet rat rescue, and has had many pet rats of her own over the years.

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

What Is Broken and What Is Not?

I asked myself that question after I reviving a mental health help that I last used just about exactly a year ago. My crutch is a Worry List. I started it when my husband was ill and dying and I was worrying all day every day. When I put my concerns and issues on a list—actually wrote it out, I found I could read my Worry List once a day, give myself some fretting time, then spend the rest of the day less concerned. It worked, well enough anyway.


Last year at this time it held things like Covid, our political problems, the condition of my yard, my failing car, and some red spots that were on my carpet.


This year it’s more like, Covid, the impending destruction of the planet, the looming demise of democracy worldwide. You know, actual apocalyptic stuff.


Which led me to these two questions: What is actually broken? But, more importantly, what is not broken? Maybe the concentration should be on the latter. There’s plenty there. What would my Non Worry List look like? The things I don’t have to worry about. Thing that don’t weigh me down.


I always start with this one. I am above ground, one more day.


I have three health children and their spouses, plus seven healthy grandkids, all of whom get together and love each other, and love me. And I love them.


I am able to do something I wanted to do all of my life, without impediments—write novels and short stories and actually get them published and read.


The community I belong to, mystery writers, are the best people, as a group, on the planet. I firmly believe that. They are wonderful, supportive, kind, helpful—just everything you need from a support group and a bunch of colleagues.


These are way down on this list, but they are not unimportant. I had a house with heat and AC. I have enough food. I have medicine when I need it. I have all the clothing I need and the ability to buy more when I feel like it. The basics, right? Food, clothing, shelter.


What’s on your Worry List? But, better yet, what’s on your Non-Worry List? One might even call it a List of Things to Be Thankful For.


Image of weight by Castlelass at Morguefile

Image of balloons by davide25 from Pixabay

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Thoughts on This Week

I guess my thoughts are on Russia today. You might not understand this without a few words about my background. I majored in Russian Studies at Northwestern University for a reason. One reason was that I couldn’t really major in Russian, per se. I knew I would never be proficient in the language in the three years I had left in college when I changed my major.


My interest in the country, which was then USSR, was in the culture. As a classical violinist, I had fallen in love with Russian classical music, and loved the more contemporary composers, too. Tchaikovsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, Mussorgsky, and also Rachmaninoff, Stravinsky, Prokofiev. Even if I do still have to look up the spellings.


Also, as a reader, I was just as deeply in love with Russian classical literature, Dostoevsky, Pushkin. Tolstoy, Chekhov—and many, many more.


An anecdote from my college years. I was reading Crime and Punishment in paperback on the El, on my way to a horrible telephone soliciting job (I attended school on a partial scholarship and worked whatever jobs I could find). Coming back to my dorm from the job, I had to take a bus, and two trains, one underground and one elevated. When I changed trains, I had to cross the street and go up the wooden stairs to the El platform. I did this, got on my train, and buried myself in my book. Eventually, something made me look up. The conductor was calling out street numbers, not street names. I was one of two white people in the car. I asked the woman next to me if this train goes to Evanston.


“Oh, honey,” I can still hear her alarmed voice. “You’re on a southbound. You need to get off and change trains.”


I went to the door and got off at the next stop. I needed to cross the street to get to the northbound elevated platform. Two large Black men were concerned about my safety and they accompanied me to the steps, for which I was grateful.


Back on the train, going the right direction, I buried myself in Dostoyevsky again.


Maybe that’s why the plight of the Russian athletes at the Olympics affected me so profoundly when the “ROC” team wins and the Piano Concerto #1 is played. Honestly, it moves me to tears. I never equate the politics of a country with the people. They have endured so much, those people.




Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Interviews All Over the Place


For some reason, I’m doing a lot of interviews in the last few weeks. If you have a burning desire to read my thoughts, mostly on writing, here are some places to quench that conflagration.



(I should also mention that my blog posts lately have been about writing only in the most tangential sense. The pandemic has figured prominently. I guess that’s understandable.


Quenching. Whew!

So, the interviews. One just appearing yesterday from a place I hadn’t heard about before, NFReads. The contact, Tony Eames, is very good to work with. He had some terrific questions for me to pick from. He said I could add my own, but his were good!



The one before that one was with Lois Winston’s Anastasia Pollack—a cute concept. Her character runs the blog behind her back. My character, Tally Holt, did the exchange with her, natch.


At the end of March, Leah Bailey at Cozy Ink did this podcast, which turned out to be run, even though I was nervous.


Just before that, Tiffany, the Beach Bum Book Worm, aka beachbumbookworm had a long video chat with me. I was nervous for that, too, but quickly relaxed since she is such a warm, bubbly person.


All of my recent publicity can be found on my Press Kit page, Press Kit, doesn’t that sound impressive? I thought so.



Thanks for coming by!


Images from, as usual






Wednesday, June 9, 2021


 6 9 2021 


Normal? What’s that? I posed this on Facebook, saying:

I see people wondering if life will ever get back to normal. Was it EVER normal?


Of course not. Normal doesn’t even exist. I’m glad a discussion ensued. A couple of people said it’s a setting on a washing machine or a dryer. Others said it was more normal before 2016. 


But was it? I’m one of the people who has become aware of how others live in the last year or so. I mean, I always knew that racism (and all the other “ism”s) exist in our country, on our globe, everywhere. But I really had never stopped to think what it’s like to BE Black in this country, or to raise Black children and to have fears that no parent should ever have.


There are, of course, many other issues that deserve discourse, but I’m tackling this one today.


Maybe, before the overt racism emerged with the twice-impeached president, things were “normal” for some people, people who were comfortable, complacent, and unaware, much as I have been for most of my life. Now that I know, and that everyone else who was unaware should know, too, I see through a different lens. There’s no rose tint. There’s not even a clear view of many things I used to think I saw.


I always knew that there are no people who are normal—those don’t exist. Everyone is their own person and none of us are the same. But I see that my grocery store, my town, my neighborhood are not even the same for everyone.


I have yet to see how this will affect my writing. First I have to see how it will affect my life.


Images from



Wednesday, June 2, 2021

What Month IS This?

 6 2 2021 

 I have collected a concoction of things to inspire me when/if I get stuck. One thing I like to do is to look at my list of special days and month. For instance, June is the month of all these things!


Pride Month (This is a good one, of course.)

Aquarium Month (I can see that someone might want to rejoice in their fish collection)

 Candy Month (Here’s one I can get behind one hundred percent. I even wrote a series on the subject!)

 Dairy Month (OK, I can have some. Probably not every day, but some.)

 Fight the Filthy Fly Month (Um, it’s couched in a pretty belligerent way, isn’t it?) (Maybe this year, we should celebrate Brood X cicadas.)


National Accordion Awareness Month (Are people really not aware of accordions?)

National Adopt a Cat Month (Another good one.)

National Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Month (I suppose this is necessary, but aren’t we supposed to eat them every month?)

Rose Month (Mine are looking good now, so this is timely.)

Turkey Lovers Month (I’m not sure how this is meant, if you know what I mean.)


I can get with some of those, some of them I’ll just let pass by me.


Do any of you celebrate any of these? If so, how do you do it?


Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Social Life and Other Elusive Things


I’ve been battling a condition caused by a combination of my scoliosis (which never gave me a moment’s trouble before August of 2019) and the aftermath of my hip replacement surgery (coincidentally, in August of 2019). I won’t bore you with the many details, but this happened yesterday.


I started back with the Physical Therapist I was with in March of 2020, the one I had to quit for the pandemic. They start everything over after a 6 month hiatus, so I filled out the form again. There was a section asking what things are affected, and how much they’re affected, by my pain. The part that made me laugh was “social activities.” They wanted to know how my social activities are impacted, things like dancing and sports.


Hilarious! Dancing? Sports? They’re dealing with a woman who is happy she can walk. In discussion with another writer about my age, we both laughed about the social life thing. She thinks it made the pandemic easier on her to not have one in the first place. Nothing to miss. I might agree with her on that.


The only part I lament is my inability to handle my flowerbeds over the past couple of years. I can hire people to weed (after trying to find them for a long, long time), but they don’t weed like I would. They don’t do it right! I just discovered there’s a big pokeweed and several baby maple trees growing in my beautiful rhododendron right now. I broke off the pokeweed, but also need to cut off the trees. It would be best to dig them out, but I’m not up to that!


I count myself lucky that I haven’t had trouble concentrating on my writing during the plague. I know lots of writers have had that problem. Maybe I had good practice using my writing as escape in other situations in past years. Whatever, I’m so happy to be able to work on my projects and to even get some of them published.


Do you have leftover trauma from the pandemic? Or are you able to do things better now than you could during the shutdown? Or was your life mainly unaffected? We’re all different!


Rhododendron and bookshelf photos by me

Other images from

Thursday, May 20, 2021


5 20 2021


I decided to interrupt my normal schedule of posting her on Wednesdays. What, you say, you have a regular schedule? Well, I don’t post every Wednesday, that’s for sure, but my posts are always (mostly) ON Wednesdays.



We’ve all had an interruption, that’s for sure. Most of us have lived through it, some of us have gotten sick. Some are having still trouble recovering.


 Here’s something I just learned about. It’s kind of the opposite of PTSD. It’s called Post Traumatic Growth, PTG. It’s not new, by any means. The first article I found about it is from 2016 and it may have been a term before then. But it’s new to me. And it’s something that gives me hope. This article in Scientific American has some details.

But, mostly, it’s about getting through adversity and coming out on the other side. Maybe not stronger, maybe not better, but at least okay.



Further, on the theme of interruptions, I found that the way people sign up to follow this blog isn’t going to work someday down the line. I poked around and found a good solution, I’m happy to say! I’ve replaced Feedburner, the program that’s going away, with “” I HOPE it’s set up so that my followers all came over to the new thingie. I had some help from their helpful people. You can reach them at IF YOU WANT TO FOLLOW THIS BLOG, SEE THE BOX TO THE RIGHT. OKAY?



Another few things about getting through the pandemic interruption—I’m seeing the term “re-entry anxiety.” I don’t think I have that. I went out to lunch today in a restaurant with my cousin and his wife, who were driving through, on their way to see a very young grandson they haven’t seen in over a year. His picture shows those irresistible fat baby cheeks. They’ll have such fun! And I had fun being in a restaurant, ordering food, eating it, even having some wine. Almost like old times. They do have fewer tables and there’s distance between them, but it was almost back to normal. Here’s where we went.


 If you do have this kind of anxiety, I hope you don’t have it long. Or that you find some help with it.


One more thing about coming out of COVID (which I sure hope we are doing!),  I’m reading about little kids, for whom this loooong year has been a large proportion of their lives, who have gotten so used to wearing the mask, they don’t want to take it off. My youngest granddaughter wears it all the time, even at home. My youngest grandson does, too. He wears it for his virtual Sunday School class! They just don’t want to abandon it. That makes sense, doesn’t it? They’ve been told that wearing it is the right thing to do. So they’re doing it. It will be awhile before they can go back to a time they may not even remember all that clearly.



What’s wonderful, is that the world is emerging. What’s not all that wonderful is that the 17-year cicadas are doing that, too.



Carry on. As Lester Holt has been saying for his news signoff, take care of yourself, and each other. 

All images from

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Guest L. A. Sartor asks: What do you do when a 20-Year-Old manuscript won’t leave you alone?

I'm delighted to be hosting best-selling author L. A. today! Also delighted to be able to offer a giveaway to a commenter below. I'll pick a winner for the ebook next Tuesday night.  

What do you do when a 20-Year-Old manuscript won’t leave you alone?


I have a vanity wall in my office. You know, that wall where you hang your awards? And I swear the award for a book I wrote in the late 1990s kept nagging me. “Fix me, publish me, don’t let me sit in the drawer.” I could literally hear it.


Finally, I caved. I pulled out the iterations of the novel called Betrayal of the Trust and dug in. And dug myself into a hole, actually a crater. I realized that I couldn’t simply just fix the book. It needed a deeper plot, characters with stronger motivations and a tad bit more conflict. It needed a couple of new characters. It needed to be brought into the 21st Century.


It needed a lot of time, tears and wanting to call it quits too many times to count. But I’m stubborn and I kept on.



Finally, Brushed By Betrayal was born. My 9th book. I had help with the title, which at first was like pulling teeth to think of changing, but is now the perfect title. The story morphed from a Romantic Suspense to a Suspense with romantic elements, and I discovered a whole new me as a writer. Not bad for one story, eh?


Now I’m afraid some of my screenplay awards will nag me about making them into books. I did one, Stone of Heaven, and even created The Carswell Series from it with Viking Gold as book two and the 3rd to come. I swear I hear the whispers of jealousy from the other screenplays rustling those frames.


Are you wondering what the catalyst was for a multi-published writer to feel like I’d found myself finally as a writer?


 Well, did you know there are plot-driven and character-driven writers? I didn’t, and I’ve been writing for decade(s). But I was told by someone I highly respect that I was definitely a plot-driven writer. At first, I bristled at that “label”, very insulted. But by the end of the day, researching the two differing concepts, I realized that indeed that’s what I am.


And because I embrace the label now, I’m very comfortable with my new direction in writing (those screenplays will just have to wait their turn.) DRUM ROLL … I’m starting writing in an entire new genre and creating a cozy mystery series set in the mythical Colorado ski town of Angelcroft. The Jenna Hart Jewelry Mysteries will debut before Christmas as Tick Tock Dead is set during Christmas. Another first for me is that I’ll be writing this series in first person. And I’m completely surprised that I love writing in first person. It’s different and challenging.


Apparently, I don’t shy away from challenges.


I’d love to hear in the comments what you think about the differences in the two terms. I’m happy to give away an ebook copy of Brushed By Betrayal to someone who comments. Kaye will randomly pick the winner.


And please sign up for my newsletter if you want the latest updates on books and my new series. I won’t slam you with mailings, usually one a month.



“You’re next and the circle will be complete.”

Jade Laurent, art expert and owner of the prestigious Laurent Art Brokers in Boulder, Colorado, is mourning the one-year anniversary of her father’s death when a close associate is killed and that chilling message for Jade is found by his body.

Private Investigator Malcolm Talbot is coming off his latest grueling case when he receives a request that he cannot refuse. To discover who’s put Jade’s life in jeopardy. The problem is that Jade refuses to stand by idly and let him do his job.


The last thing Malcolm needs is an amateur getting in the way and maybe getting dead. The last thing Jade needs is a professional who can’t find an ounce of compassion for her need to be involved.


While matching wits with a killer who is always one step ahead, dark secrets are revealed, putting everything Jade has believed in at risk.


If you like nail biting suspense, complicated mysteries, and characters who find their soul mates, then you’ll love L.A. Sartor’s newest story Brushed By Betrayal.


Buy it today to find new characters to love and revisit old friends from Dare to Believe.


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I started writing as a child, really. A few things happened on the way to becoming a published author … specifically, a junior high school teacher who told me I couldn’t write because I didn’t want to study grammar.


That English teacher stopped my writing for years.  But the muse couldn’t be denied, and eventually I wrote, a lot, some of it award winning. However, I wasn’t really making a career from any of this.


My husband told me repeatedly that independent publishing was becoming a valid way to publish a novel. I didn’t believe him, I thought indie meant vanity press.


I couldn’t have been more wrong.

I started pursuing this direction seriously, hit the keyboard, learned a litany of new things and published my first novel. My second book became a bestseller, and I’m absolutely on the right course in my life.


Please come visit me here, see my books, find my social media links, and sign up for my mailing list. I have a gift I’ve specifically created for my new email subscribers. And remember, you can email me at 


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