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.


Sales Link:





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 


Find L.A.:

Facebook Author Page




YouTube Channel

Amazon Author Page




Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Brave Deeds of Derring Do**

How very strange that taking a plane trip should count as an act of courage! But these are strange times. I got back on Friday from a plane trip! I considered it a brave and daring act.



I flew to DCA to visit my daughter's family. There were so many firsts on that trips. Well, the firsts since last March anyway. On the way there, I had a three hour layover in Detroit. I ate at the Longhorn Steakhouse in the airport --another feat of bravery, and something I hadn’t done since March of 2020. It was odd seeing all the bare naked unmasked faces. It felt like we were all looking around at each other. That peach tea, loaded potato soup, and chicken Caesar salad tasted a lot better that I ever thought they could.




When I got there, my daughter met me and we had a big hug. Another first-for-the-year. Then the grandkids! I hadn't seen those two grandsons in over a year. I got lots of snuggles and hugs and they fed me TONS of food. I think I gained 10 pounds. I insisted they give me hugs, and snuggled were all them. We have a couple of traditions which they had not forgotten one little bit. They crawl into bed with me in the morning and the little one chatters on and on while we huddle beneath the covers.




The other tradition is something we call Birdies. I don’t remember exactly how it started. I think I was trying to teach the older boy about birds, and what they eat. Maybe we were on the blowup bed when we had the conversation. At any rate, the “game” is that I’m the mama birdie and they are the babies. They hatch out of their eggs and I forage in the blankets for worms for them, if we’re robins. If we’re cardinals, I have to get bugs and seeds.



I flew home on Friday, having a stressful time of almost-missed flights, but I mad it. The next day Delta started filling the empty rows and middle seats that were left vacant on my flights. It'll be a while before I attempt that again, because of that. There are no requirements to be vaccinated or even test negative to fly domestically. I’m very glad I squeaked that trip in.


I feel like we’re traveling out of COVID, bit by bit!



Oh yes, I did one hour of editing on the trip one afternoon.


** late 16th century: from late Middle English dorryng do ‘daring to do’, used by Chaucer, and, in a passage by Lydgate based on Chaucer's work, misprinted in 16th-century editions as derrynge do ; this was misinterpreted by Spenser to mean ‘manhood, chivalry’, and subsequently taken up and popularized by Sir Walter Scott.




All images from

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

I’m Exhausted!

 3 31 20201 


I had a new book launch on March 9th and, of course, I’m doing what I can to promote it. I never feel like I do enough, but…when I put it all together for my newsletter yesterday, I realized how much I’d done!



I won’t repeat all of that here, but I do want to give credit to two women who are going above and beyond to help authors. Tiffany, the host of Cozy Mystery Author Chat, and Leah Bailey, host of Cozy Ink podcast.


I was nervous about both of these because I haven’t done anything quite like this before. Hopeton Hay had me on his radio show live, in Texas, twice, and that was nerve-making, too. But, like both of these talented women, he set me at ease immediately.


Tiffany and I went on for a while. It was like we’d known each other for ages. I didn’t have a script, but she must have. We never ran out of things to say. I don’t know if this is as interesting to watch as it was to do, but it was so much fun! This one was video and audio, recorded and shown later, so there would be a chance to edit if we fluffed.


 My only problem was my lighting. I can NOT seem to find a place to do online stuff where something doesn’t reflect in my glasses. If you watch this and see me moving my head all the time, I’m trying to get rid of the reflection. The image I see on my screen is backwards from a mirror, so I kept getting it wrong!



The other was recorded with video, but only the sound has been broadcast. It was also pre-recorded. That makes it so much more relaxing! Leah, too, ran a great interview. It’s much shorter, but never dragged, and I think we got everything in that we wanted to.


 (If you really want a list of all my other “appearances” in March, sign up for the newsletter and I’ll shoot it out to you.


 I’ll close with saying I have such admiration for these women and am so glad they choose to spend their time doing this! I won’t be very nervous if/when I do this again.




 Stay safe. Take care of yourself and each other.

photos from


Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Cruising with Vicki and Handsome Today

I'm thrilled to welcome Vicki Batman to my travels today! Also thrilled to be able to take a vicarious cruise with her, since I haven't travelled for a good, long time now. The Rhine River tour has been on my wish list forever. Thanks for taking us there, Vicki!

When our boys hit teenage years, Handsome and I decided to try cruising. We fell in love. Great food, unpack once, travel to awesome places, and told us interesting things about what we were seeing.

A river cruise brochure crossing my threshold entranced me. Small ships docking in towns as we cruised the Rhine River. Gourmet meals. For a monumental anniversary, Handsome treated me.  Our pre-cruise began in Lucerne, Switzerland, three days later, we boarded our ship, and eight days later, ended in Amsterdam for a few days of post-cruise.


From the moment we arrived at our hotel on the shore of Lake Lucerne, the trip felt magical. The perfect weather. Tasting outstanding food-watermelon gazpacho, anyone? Say yes!

The people everywhere rode bicycles. Getting a hug and sharing treats with a family from India on a mountain lift. Cows standing in the river. Amazing flowers abounded, even in the sidewalk cracks.

Cookies in Strasbourg. Hiking the Black Forest and eating cake-yum. Drinking hot chocolate and sailing the castle district.

Touring the windmills. Navigating the tram system in Amsterdam. Crashing in a park. Visiting amazing art museums.

All of the fun stuff was accomplished in not quite two weeks. My heart overflowed so much. When we stood in our stateroom, waiting for our call to depart, I asked Handsome if we could go again.


What is your favorite mode of travel? Are you a cruiser?


Great job. What man? And murder. Newly employed at Wedding Wonderland, Hattie Cooks is learning the industry from a woman she greatly admires. When her former brother-in-law is found dead in his luxury SUV, all fingers point to Hattie’s sister, who is planning her own I dos.

Detective Allan Wellborn is caught between a rock and a hard place—Hattie’s family and investigating the murder of a well-connected Sommerville resident, the same loser who was once married to Hattie’s sister. Determining who’s the bad guy—or gal—isn’t going to be easy and sure to piss off someone.

Can Hattie beat the clock to find out who murdered Tracey’s ex before she is charged with the crime and her wedding is ruined?


Find your print or ebook at Amazon:

Author bio: Funny, sweet, and quirky, Vicki Batman’s stories are full of her hallmark humor and romance and will delight all readers. She has sold many award-winning and bestselling romantic comedy works to magazines and most recently, three humorous romantic mysteries. An avid Jazzerciser. Handbag lover. Mahjong player. Yoga practitioner. Movie fan. Book devourer. Cat fancier. Best Mom ever. And adores Handsome Hubby.


Find Vicki Batman at:






Author Central:  





Wednesday, March 3, 2021

An Embarrassment of...

The phrase is, an embarrassment of riches, right? 


But this is an embarrassment of blogs! But I’m not a bit embarrassed.



Okay, pay no attention to that title. But you should look in on these places.

I have a new book coming out in mere days, about a week. So, with a little help from my friends and their blogs, I’m trying to give away copies of the new book! I’d love for some of you to enter the two contests going on. They end tonight!


The first blog is MYSTERY LOVER KITCHEN. This is where I make the recipe from my upcoming cozy mystery, INTO THE SWEET HEREAFTER, take pictures while I do, then post them, then eat what I made. I admit, I gave some of the Clark Bars to my son’s family. I thought they were terrific, and pretty easy to make. Here’s how to get there, to comment to win a copy:



PS. Even when I’m not there, you should visit this place. It’s always a lot of fun.


The second place featuring me is Kings River Life. This e-zine has published my short fiction and reviewed my long stuff. The staff there are good people and great friends. If you read to the end of this one, you’ll see me give a shout out to my writing partners in the small group we call Plothatchers. I don’t know what I’d do without them. There's a giveaway here, too!


Batman and Robin from

Last, but not least, Debra Goldstein, former judge and current mystery writer, has given me space to talk about cooking versus baking. I have a definite preference! Her Sarah Blair character does too—neither.


author picture from Debra's site


It makes me so happy to give away my e-books, that I’d like to do some here, too! Make a comment on this blog and I’ll pick someone for a book on Friday night.


Meanwhile, stay safe. Take care of yourself and each other.