Writer's Retreat December 2017

I spent all last week in Book Jail again. On Monday, I traveled to Aston PA, south of Philly to meet up with Ramona Long and Kim Gray for a weeklong writing retreat. Wendy Tyson joined us for a couple of nights too.

The house is old but feels like home, reminding me a bit of my grandparents' farmhouse.

My writing space there was small but comfy.

Deer came to greet us at dawn and at dusk.

But most importantly, I managed to write "The End" not once, but twice! I finished the first draft of Zoe Chambers Mystery #7. And I started and finished a Zoe Chambers short story, which will be posted on my website on Christmas Eve.

The short story is free but there's a catch. The page it'll be on is password protected and the ONLY way to get the password is to subscribe to my newsletter. You can sign up here.

I promise I won't swamp your inbox with newsletters. But you will get the short story and you'll get a sneak peek of the cover of Uneasy Prey. Then you'll get…

A Step Closer

After roughly a year of looking at the story in the form of a Word document, I now get to see the pages as they'll appear in the final product. For the uninitiated, these are called galley proofs and they're the final step in the editorial process before the next Zoe Chambers Mystery hits the bookstore shelves in March! I get one last chance to pick over the words, searching for typos, spelling, and punctuation errors.

FYI, I hate proofreading!

But it's still a thrill, even six books in, to see another novel become something more than voices in my head.

Release date: March 27!

Henery Press Giveaway

My fabulous publisher, Henery Press is having a giveaway now through November 14. Grand Prize is 32 awesome e-books and a Kindle Fire on which to read them. First Prize is 32 awesome e-books. And there will be FOUR second-place winners of 8 awesome e-books!

One of the 32 books is my Lost Legacy (Zoe Chambers #2) so that you haven't read it yet, you'll have a chance to meet Pete's dad Harry before Uneasy Prey comes out in the spring.

Click HERE to enter!

And good luck!

Lost Legacy and the Walk to End Alzheimer's Update

I want to give a HUGE thank you to everyone who donated to the Alzheimer’s Association, either through my page or individually. My team raised $650 this year for the Walk to End Alzheimer’s, which is a personal high, one I hope to top next year. Part of that donation came from my pledge to give a portion of my royalties from the sale of Lost Legacy to the Alzheimer’s Association.

For those of you who don’t know why this is my pet charity, I lost my dad to Alzheimer’s over ten years ago and lost my mom to a nasty cousin of Alzheimer’s, Vascular Dementia, almost a year ago.

Speaking of Lost Legacy, in it I created the character of Harry Adams, Pete’s father. He was a labor of love since Harry has Alzheimer’s and I infused him with bits of my own dad. Creating a character with a disease that touches so many was a huge risk. I wanted to be true to the illness, but I also wanted a character that readers would want to spend time with. I guess I succeeded because I’ve been getting requests …


Every November, a large population of writers participate in something called NaNoWriMo AKA National Novel Writing Month. The idea is to write a 50,000-word novel in ONE MONTH.

There are forums and support groups, badges to be won... It's all about accountability. Even if you don't make your goal, you'll probably write more than you would have without all the other participants encouraging you to write write write.

I've never done an "official" NaNo. But I always try to ride the wave of creative energy to bolster my considerably smaller word-count numbers.

This year, I'm doing my own thing again, but this year I'm looking at it differently. My next deadline is early February, which is coming sooner than you think. I still have a little over 100 pages to go on my first draft. So instead of NaNoWriMo, I'm declaring a personal FiNoWriMo. Finish the Novel Writing Month.

Yes, I'm sticking close to my writing cave and pounding out pages with a dogge…

Why I Walk

On November 4, I will participate in my third Walk to End Alzheimer's.

It's a small thing. A couple hours out of one morning of my life. But every time I've done it, the tears follow me, just beneath the surface. An ache for what this disease has taken from me, from my family, and my friends. Is there anyone out there who has not been touched in some way by this disease? I don't know of any.

I lost my dad over ten years ago. I lost him much earlier than that to Alzheimer's. He slipped away in dribs and drabs.

The first time I walked, it was in his memory.

Last year, my mom was failing. Technically, not from Alzheimer's, but from a close cousin to the disease, Vascular Dementia. I walked in memory of my dad and to honor my mom.

This year, I walk in memory of both of them. Because I wouldn't wish the disease on my worst enemy. Having it. Being a caregiver to someone who has it. Loving someone who has it. It all is cruel beyond words.

This year, I'm a &quo…

My Fangirl Moment with Craig Johnson

It's no secret that I'm a huge fan of Craig Johnson and his Walt Longmire series. The one the TV show is based on.

Yes, there are books.

That's Craig's new motto for those who are surprised Walt existed before Robert Taylor and Lou Diamond Phillips brought his characters to life.

Hubby and I took a trip to Erie, PA earlier this year to hear Craig give a talk.

Hubby is now a fan too.

I had another encounter with Craig at Writers Police Academy where he was the keynote.

All of this happened BEFORE I learned he was coming to Pittsburgh.

In spite of having attended these two previous events, I couldn't wait for him to return to my city, if for no other reason than I'm a fangirl who couldn't wait to snag his newest book!

As I said, it's no secret what a fan I am, so you can imagine my delight when Natalie of Mystery Lovers Books asked me to introduce Craig!


I could have babbled and gushed for hours, but I knew the capacity crowd wasn't interested…