Reading Is One of Life’s Greatest Pleasures

Hello Readers,

I hope you all have your Christmas preparations under control so you can enjoy stress-free holidays.

Now that the weather is chilly, yes even in Arizona, we look to indoor activities. One of the best is of course, reading.

The message on the kitty photo says it beautifully. The print’s a bit small. It reads:

“No entertainment is so cheap as reading, nor any pleasure so lasting.”

Mary Wortley Montagu


Wishing You All Happy Holidays!

One of my precious daughters sent me this Christmas tree. So much easier than decorating a real tree. And isn’t it beautiful?

I keep Christmas simple at my house. It’s easier on the blood pressure that way, not to mention the pocket book. I do send cards, but this year I’m not doing any baking. And since I won’t be entertaining much, I plan to go minimalistic on the decorations.

My hope is that you will all have a joyous holiday season, as well as a happy and healthy 2018!

Who Are Your Favorite Writers?

I’m sure you’re all busy grappling with your list of things-to-do for the upcoming holidays. But if you need a rest from all that entails, please tell me who your favorite writers are, and why. I say writers in the plural because it’s usually hard to choose just one. But if that’s you, please give us your pick.

A few who come to my mind now are:

Jan Burke and Janey Mack          They write spell binding mysteries. Besides fashioning terrific plot lines, they incorporate humor. Sometimes, reading about murders, even if they’re fictional, can be a bit of a downer. Their humor takes the edge off.

Kent Haruf                                   Mr. Haruf’s novel, Plainsong, is one of my all time favorite novels. His special gift lies in the most realistic dialogue I’ve ever read.

James Baldwin                             One of our most cherished literary geniuses! He was a gay, black, unattractive man, who refused to let his creative talents be squelched by the judgmental culture of the 1950’s. He transformed the hate he experienced during that time into love. No one ever wrote with more raw emotion.

Sue Monk Kidd                            Ms. Kidd writes powerhouse novels. As far as I know, she’s published only three stories. They are stupendous! Unlike many writers who turn out numerous cookie cutter books using the same tired formulas, she carefully researches and crafts her novels. The result is something so original it boggles the mind.

Pete Dexter                                  Like Ms. Kidd, Pete Dexter is another original author, who chooses different topics each time. And each book is a blockbuster! I recently watched a Netflix movie, The Paperboy, adapted from his book by the same name. I noticed it featured an all-star cast, including Nicole Kidman and Matthew McConaughey, among others. They recognized a riveting screenplay when they read it.

Interview on the Writing Life with Edgar Rider

Hello Readers and Writers,

Those of you interested in writing may want to check out the interview I did with Edgar Rider. I learned so much in the process of getting my first two young adult books in the Kendra Morgan series published. Now that I’m into the third story, things are going much more smoothly.

Some of the things Edgar and I talked about were:

  1. The struggles inherent in writing.
  2. What were the roadblocks in getting that first book out.
  3. What I have learned on my writing journey.

For instance, under the category of challenges to writing, I talked about how difficult it was when working full time to devote time to my novel. And what I did in the meantime. I told Edgar that I wrote short stories and articles, and even poems. Most of the poems were probably pretty terrible. Some of these I submitted and when a few were published, it gave me the confidence to keep going. Those successes helped to cement the belief that I really was a writer. At some point in time, I switched from saying I wanted to be a writer, to telling people I was a writer. A huge difference in my mindset.

You can access the entire interview at:

As always, I welcome any questions or comments you have.

Review of The Invention of Wings Novel by Sue Monk Kidd

A Marvelous Historical Novel

I mostly read and write mysteries, and while this book isn’t a mystery in the truest sense of the word, it did keep me wondering how the two marvelous main characters in the book would prevail through times harrowing beyond belief.

The Invention of Wings, Sue Monk Kidd’s third novel, is the story of Sarah Grimke and her slave, Hetty Handful Grimke, set in the South in the early nineteenth century. Sarah Grimke was an actual person, who not only made great strides in abolishing slavery, but also in the advancement of women’s rights. Of course, since she lived so many years ago, Ms. Kidd had to fill in the character of her novel the best she could, but she did include as many true facts as she could. The character of the slave girl, Hetty, is strictly fictional and absolutely fascinating.

The story begins with Hetty being gifted to Sarah on Sarah’s 11th birthday and details how mortified she is. She begs her cold-hearted mother not to do it, but is instantly rebuffed. And so, that very night, Hetty begins sleeping on the floor outside of Sarah’s bedroom. One of the many degrading things forced on slaves during that time in history. The narrative follows their lives over the next 35 years where their relationship becomes hopelessly intertwined. The powerful emotions of guilt, defiance, estrangement and yes, love, sweep the two women along, and cause the reader to hope for the very best outcome for them both. A fantastic read!! Visit for more information about this gifted writer.

Book Stores Unite

This article from the Arizona Republic last Sunday is a prime example of how we as a people can work together to overcome the atmosphere of hate and intolerance rampant in our nation now. I believe there are many more good, loving, tolerant people in the U.S. than the opposite. Unfortunately, I think the bad apples are the ones with more time on their hands to put forth their prejudicial statements. So, I was so happy to read about these two book stores thousands of miles apart in two different countries seeking to unify us!

Curves Open House Book Signing

The Curves 25th Birthday Celebration was a real blast! Great workouts, delectable food, cool door prizes, and awesome company. Many members received signed copies of my new book in the Kendra Morgan mystery series, Cornered! and it was a pleasure, as always, to talk with them. I wish this fitness franchise another successful 25 years; they do so much to advance women’s fitness in a fun and effective way. The photo features, Lila, one of the faithful members. She stays healthy by working out there at least 3 – 4 times a week.

Contest Winners

I’m pleased to announce the two winners of a signed copy of Clipped! They are Mary and Paul…first names only to protect their privacy. Thanks to all who entered the drawing, and good luck next time!

Enter to Win a Free Copy of Clipped!

In anticipation of the arrival of my new book in the Kendra Morgan mystery series, entitled, Cornered!, I’m inviting readers to enter to win a free copy of the first book in the series, Clipped! Simply fill out the Comment form below. The deadline for the drawing is Friday, September 8th. Good luck!

Life Is What Happens To You When You’re Making Other Plans

This saying, “Life is what happens to you when you’re making other plans,” is a quote from Betty Talmadge. She was born in 1924, so I guess even in her time, people had trouble getting things accomplished. I’ve been remiss in posting here for the very same reason. Life just keeps happening to me, too. At least one of those things is that I’ve been working on the final edits to my second murder mystery, Cornered!, which should be available in print by this summer. I’ll keep you posted on the progress. In the meantime, I’d love to hear about any comments or questions you have about writing.