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Showing posts from 2016

2016: Looking Back

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Before I get started, let me say the last couple of months have been horrible. And not just because I'm terrified for the future of our nation. I'm not going there. Not now. This is more personal than that.

For the last couple of months, I've been watching my mother's health decline. As I'm writing this, she's in a coma. All of her meds have been discontinued. We're in limbo, waiting for the inevitable. Therefore, my view of the world right now is colored with sorrow.

[Taking a deep breath and plunging ahead]

However, the entire year was NOT bad. In fact, looking back, I had some of the best moments of my career and my life in 2016.


Henery Press released my fourth Zoe Chambers mystery, With a Vengeance! That's Trevor and Natalie of Mystery Lovers Bookshop hamming it up with an advanced copy of it. AND Bridges Burned was an Agatha Award nominee for Best Contemporary Novel!!! That photo was taken at the celebratory lunch my critique group threw for me.

Th…

Happy Holidays

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Wishing all my family, friends, and readers the happiest of holiday seasons.

#TBT Disney World 1984

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I was still a newlywed and deathly sick from sun poisoning. I'm surprised the my shoulders didn't glow red through the shirt from the burn.

My other thought as I look at this: Here I am in my Miami Vice phase.

The Day After

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Yesterday was my FINAL deadline for No Way Home. I have this production schedule spreadsheet tacked up next to my desk that lists due dates and tasks. It begins with turning in the manuscript and ends with "Official Release Day." Some of the tasks are things I owe my publisher. Others are things they're doing or owe me.

We're getting near the bottom of the sheet. There are still a few items left, but those items are things THEY have to do.

The last few items with MY name on them were "typos from the final print PDF proof pages" and "Acknowledgements/Dedication," all due yesterday.

And I met the deadline. Yay!

So No Way Home is out of my hands. Done.

Which makes this THE DAY AFTER.

So what do I do with myself on the day after a big deadline?

Well, of course I keep writing. There's always a next book. But I did my pages early this morning and now I'm looking at my to-do list. It's long, as always, but not urgent. I could update my websit…

To-do List

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My to-do list for the next week:

Finish proofing the galleys of No Way Home.
Update my website to show the new book cover.
Update this blog to show the new book cover.
Write the acknowledgements for the new book
Write the dedication for the new book.
Continue drafting the NEW new book.

No problem. I got this.

R.I.P. Officer Scott Bashioum

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Yesterday I stood at the edge of the street in Houston, PA and paid my respects to a fallen hero. And to all the living ones who came from near and far to honor him.

I never met Scott Bashioum, although considering we lived in the same community, I feel certain we must have crossed paths at some point. Shopped in the same stores. Attended the same functions. I know we shared many of the same friends.
On November 10, he made the ultimate sacrifice. Yesterday, thousands of the people he worked to protect sacrificed a little of their day to stand in silence as Officer Bashioum was escorted through the county and towns we shared to his final resting place.





A few of observations that can’t be captured in photos:
When I first arrived, parking in the same lot I used to use when I taught yoga in this town, families and kids played in the patch of grass between the lot and the street. They laughed and tossed Nerf footballs. It was almost a carnival atmosphere. The joy of having a weekday …

Cover Reveal: No Way Home

The fabulous Dru Ann Love reveals the cover of my next Zoe Chambers Mystery, NO WAY HOME today at Dru's Book Musings! Click HERE to check it out!

A Rough Week

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I confess. This has been a rough week on many levels.
First, the election. I know. We’re all sick of hearing about it, so I’ll be brief. It didn’t go the way I’d hoped. Losing an election is nothing new to me. Not my first rodeo. But this is the first time the loss has left me sick and terrified. Beyond that, all I’m going to say right now is I’m working on some ways to do what I can to make this angry world safer for those who now find they have targets on their backs simply because they’re different. Or because we’re women.
More on that another time.
Secondly, I’ve had my mom admitted to hospice care. While that term sounds scary, I think it’s going to be one of the best moves I’ve ever made. The team is fabulous. I’ve met or spoken with all of them. They’re as determined as I am to keep Mom comfortable and to give her as much quality of life as possible under the circumstances. Still, it’s one of those steps that make me get in my car, sit behind the wheel, and cry.
Thirdly, on…

Mom Update

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It’s been a while since I wrote anything about my mom. If you follow me on Facebook, you’ve probably noticed a number of posts recently about long nights in the ER with her. I appreciate the kind concerns and prayers from friends and family. But while I know they’re well intended, the “hope she gets well soon” sentiments cut like a finely honed blade.
Mom isn’t going to get well. She has good days and bad. More and more of the latter. Today’s “good days” are about the same as the bad ones a couple months ago. She has vascular dementia.
In addition to her mental slippage, her legs have grown weak and uncooperative, adding to her pre-existing balance issues. We plead with her to call for assistance to get out of bed. Unfortunately, she can’t remember that she’s had numerable falls lately, so she continues to try to get up and around on her own, resulting in more falls.
And in more trips to the ER.
She has dislocated her right hip twice now. She’s hit her head more times than I can …

Autumn in the Country

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We finally have some fall color (and fog) around here, even as temperatures climbed into the 80s yesterday.



I have no doubt that one good rain and wind storm will strip the trees bare, so we need to enjoy the fleeting moment while it lasts.

Bouchercon 2016--Part 3

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Saturday morning, I attended another fun panel. This one was on spying and included my pal John Lawton.

I was so excited for my Pittsburgh Sisters in Crime Mary "Liz Milliron" Sutton and Paula Smith for making it into Blood on the Bayou, the Bouchercon anthology, I couldn't wait for the signing. I know how hard they've worked and it's great to see that hard work rewarded.








I had to rush from the anthology signing to my own panel.

The Henery Press gang met for drinks in the very crowded and very loud bar.

Then I headed down the street to my friend Ellen Byron's new book launch party. That's me and Eleanor Jones helping with promotion.

And for me, that wrapped up my New Orleans experience. I retreated to my room to pack for my early flight home.

Thanks to everyone who worked so tirelessly to put this convention together. It was a blast!

Bouchercon 2016--Part 2

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Friday at Bouchercon started with more beignets and another fun panel.

My pals, the Wicked Cozies held a get-together. Always great to hang out with this gang.

Then Martha, Susan, and I took off into the sweltering French Quarter for a long walk. I do mean sweltering. I think New Orleans may have been the place to inspire tattooed makeup, because the normal stuff melts off in minutes. We won't talk about my hair. Anyway, we had a great walk in spite of the muggies.


Loved this vintage clothing store!

I've seen this place on NCIS: New Orleans!


Susan Thibadeau snapping photos of the riverboat.


This street performer was fabulous, but he would have gotten a better donation had he not yelled at me for not putting my money in the can quickly enough.

Martha along the Mississippi River.


Heading back to the hotel, of course a trio of crime writers would spot a police vehicle!

To be continued...