Road Trip!

No sooner did I return from Malice Domestic in Bethesda than I hit the road heading east again. This time it was a multi-stop trip. Four nights in four different beds. Sounds kinky, but trust me. It wasn't. I have a new appreciation for the term "living out of a suitcase."

I left on Thursday and headed to my friend Hilary Hauck's home in Ebensburg PA where I had time to catch my breath before she drove me to Duncansville where I presented a writing workshop to a love crowd at the Inkwell Writers Group.

It's always lovely to see earnest writers scribbling away during one of my writing exercises!

I spent the night in Hilary's guest room and we had a lovely visit Friday morning. This is Shadow and Hobbs. Shadow (the cat) is the boss. Hobbs is big enough that I was tempted to throw a saddle on him!

 Hobbs liked to nap under my feet.

Shadow took over my spot on the bed once I was done with it.

And Hilary is an incredible cook! Lunch was amazing! Risotto from scrat…

Malice Domestic 2017

Malice is history for another year. I love getting to see all my mystery community family. It was a whirlwind weekend, and I really shirked my photography duties, so I'm relying a lot on pictures stolen from my friends. My apologies. But I will give credit.

My travel buddy, Mary Sutton AKA Liz Milliron had suffered a fall right after Easter and was still on crutches. So after we checked in, she retreated to her room and took a long nap. Meanwhile, my roommate, Joyce Tremel and I headed to the Bethesda Barnes and Noble where the Wicked Cozy bloggers had a panel.

They're a great group of ladies! And I recommend any and all of their books.

Afterward, we hiked another couple of blocks for a late dinner (and margaritas!) at Uncle Julio's before returning to the hotel to rest up for the official start of Malice on Friday.

I partnered with Joyce for Malice Go Round Friday morning.
(Thanks, Alice Loweecey for the photo!)

It's speed dating for authors. Twenty-one tables. Eight …

Ready for Malice!

Last week I did something that happens about once a year and which provides a ridiculous amount of joy in my (and any writer's) life. I typed THE END.

Of course, the next book isn't "done" by any stretch of the imagination. But the first draft is. There are still rewriting and revisions galore ahead of me, but the bones of the story are there.

The other good part is the timing. Now I can take this week off to prepare for and attend Malice Domestic. Malice is one of the big mystery conventions out there. Taking place annually in Bethesda, Maryland, it's the home to the Agatha Awards. I'm not in the running this year, but I have good friends who are. I get to relax and cheer them on.

Here are a few photos from recent past Malices.

My New Kids on the Block panel from 2015 for Best First Novel nominees:

My nomination certificate. Still love that handbag with my book cover on it:

Before the banquet with my editors, Rachel and Erin:

Biggest Awesomest Moment of My L…

More Cat Problems

Remember this photo from my previous post?

Well, it now gives me chills.

I'm not going to go into the long version of the story here because I'm guest blogging at Jungle Red Writers in a couple of weeks and will share the whole ordeal there. Suffice it to say, cat slaves, do NOT, under any circumstances, bring lilies into your house.

While I only let Kensi near the bouquet briefly for that photo and then placed it in a spot where I knew she couldn't get to it, once the flowers wilted, a few petals made their way onto the floor. And into Miss Nosy's mouth.

She was hospitalized for two day complete with IVs and meds to save her kidneys from failing. It was horrible for her and for me.

The story has a happy ending though. She's home and over the trauma.

You think she was spoiled before? HA!

USA Today Bestseller

Circle of Influence has once again hit the USA Today Bestseller list, this time cracking the Top 100. This is something you always hope for and never expect. Thanks to everyone who have supported this book and this series over the last few years.

I also want to thank my publisher, Henery Press, not only for backing me (and Zoe and Pete), but also for the beautiful bouquet that arrived today. 

Kensi (who is feeling MUCH better, by the way) is convinced they're for her!

The Next Cat Thing

I'm convinced that the Universe sends me special-needs kitties because the Greater Power knows I will take care of them. I've had cats with kidney failure, cats with thyroid issues, one blind kitty... Sammie had cancer. Skye had Bartonella's disease.

Kensi? Well, up until now I thought Kensi was my gift for having cared for the others. Finally, a healthy, low-maintenance feline.

This winter has been a rough one for everyone in my family. First Mom's failing health and her death in early January. Since then, I've been sick with one thing or another. Stress related. Diminished immune system stuff. If' I've not been ill, Hubby's had this bug or that.

And Kensi has been sneezing and wheezing through it all. I wasn't panicked because she hasn't acted sick otherwise. She's eating. She's ripping and racing through the house. But she's had this upper respiratory thing that just would not clear up.

Monday, I took her to the vet. Diagnosis?


New Mexico, June 2016

My most recent trip to New Mexico happened last summer. I had already turned No Way Home in to my editor, but it was still a research trip in the sense that I was confirming what I'd already written in case I needed to fix anything during the revision phase.

I grabbed a photo of the airport as soon as I arrived. This is where Zoe and the gang fly in and out of.

There is talk about fishing tournaments. This is the San Juan River just below Navajo Dam, a prime fly fishing area.

Zoe and Rose enlist the San Juan County Sheriff's Office in their search. This is the entrance they used.

Allison teaches Zoe about communication on the Navajo Rez. Because cell service is often non-existent and most families can't afford a landline, this radio station is one of the main sources of information.

There are many places out there where you can see forever with nothing blocking the view. No place to hide.

But there are also awesome rock formations, bluffs, and canyons.

I hope you've e…