Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Malice Domestic, 2012

Malice Domestic, 2012

Just back from the Malice Domestic conference in Bethesda, Maryland, and thought I'd share some of the highlights.  Great conference, and if you're a mystery lover, you might want to consider attending.  Lots of fun, and a great chance to interact with authors.  I'm always grateful to see so many old friends and to make new friends, too.  After we left Maryland, we drove to the fabulous, fabulous Festival of Mystery in Oakmont, PA.  Too wonderful for words!

Because "Wild, Wild Death," my latest Pepper Martin mystery, includes a trip to New Mexico, I was invited to be on a Western mystery panel with Greg Lilly, Rob Kresge, Anne Hillerman (Tony's daughter) and our moderator, Linda Rodriguez.  Great panel, great audience.

An of the highlights of the Malice Domestic conference, mystery great, Elizabeth Peters.  She's as charming, as funny and as intelligent as her books, both as EP and as Barbara Michaels.

The wonderful Festival of Mystery sponsored by Mystery Lovers bookstore in Oakmont, PA.  How often do you arrive at a signing to find a line?  And better still, when the readers in line saw us park the car, they yelled "Authors!" and cheered.  Oh, how I love readers!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Got Witches?

I do!

In fact, I’ve got four witches in my newest ebook release, "Touched by Magic." The paperback was published . . . oh, about a million years ago by the fine folks at Kensington and the ebook is now available exclusively for Kindle.

It’s another historical romance, this one set in the wild mountains of Wales where Gowan, the earl of Welshpool, travels to claim his inheritence and escape his creditors. He doesn’t figure on running into three inept witches, or their niece, Nicolette Rhys, who has real magical powers.

Sparks fly, suspicions flare and a pair of mismatched lovers must discover whether their feelings are the result of sorcery–or the magic of true love.

You can purchase you copy of "Touched By Magic" right by copying and pasting this link:

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


You’d think after 40+ published books, I’d have this whole outlining and writing thing down pat by now.

Not so!

I’m just starting out on a new writing adventure–the first book of one of two new mystery series I’ll be writing for Berkley Prime Crime–and lo and behold . . . I think I’ve come up with a new way to keep myself from getting crazy.

You see, I’ve written series books before. The first were young adult horror books. Two series, three books each. Then I did a series for Harlequin American about a funky B&B. Three books there. Then, of course, I started writing mysteries. To date, I’ve done the Cooking Class series (5 books), the Pepper Martin mysteries (8 so far) and the Button Box mysteries (3 as of now).

And each time I write a new book in a series, I find myself asking the same questions:

Now, how tall was she again?
And what street did I say she lived on?
Are his eyes really blue? I could have sworn they were brown.

Lucky me, I’ve got a faithful friend and reader who a couple years ago, made a list of these sorts of facts for me for the Pepper Martin books. But let’s face it, I can’t always count on that kind of generosity.

So Monday, I decided to do something I’ve never done before. As I plot this first book in the League of Literary Ladies series, I’m making up a binder. So far, I’ve collected pictures of houses where I’ll have my characters live, and long lists of who’s who, what they look like and their personality traits. This way, I’ll always have an easy reference at hand.

It makes so much sense, it was one of those slap my forehead moments.
The good news? I’ll have everything in one place, so when I begin book 2 and 3 and beyond, there will be no more questions and no more floundering.

The better news? It seems like this ol’ writing dog can learn new tricks!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

What's a Book Launch Without a Party?

Even though the new Pepper Martin mystery, "Wild, Wild Death," has been out for about a month, I've been biding my time with a book launch. With Valentine's Day right around the corner and poor Pepper's love life in its usual state of chaos, I figure this is the perfect time.
Join me! This Saturday, February 11, from 12-5 at:
Something Different Gallery
1899 West 25th Street
You'll get a chance to meet the nicest people in Cleveland and take a look around their stunning art gallery. Of course, I'll be there signing copies of "Wild, Wild Death" along with the other seven books in the Pepper Martin series and "Button Holed," the first of my Button Box mysteries. Have a glass of wine, pull up a chair, and we'll talk books.
If you can't make it to the event and you'd like a signed copy of any of the books, call:
The gallery will not only ship, but gift wrap.
See you there!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

It Was Twenty Years Ago Today . . .

OK, so not exactly 20 years. Not today, anyway.
Actually, it was 20 years in January since I published my first book.
Just writing that makes me sit back and think, "Wow." Like all anniversaries, for me, this is a time of reflection. What have I done in 20 years? Well, it goes something like this:
I’ve written and published
10 historical romances
4 contemporary single-title romances
4 category romances
7 YA novels
1 children’s book
5 Cooking Class mysteries
8 Pepper Martin mysteries
1 Button Box mystery
Whew! No wonder I’m so tired most of the time!
Which doesn’t mean I’m ready to slow down. The next Button Box mystery ("Hot Button") will be out in June and Pepper Martin #9 ("Supernatural Born Killers") will be a September release. I’m currently working on "Panic Button" and as I mentioned a while back, I’ve got a new series starting soon. I also have news about another sale that I’ll talk about once all the details are hammered out.
Publishing today looks nothing like publishing 20 years ago. Then, we never dreamed of e-rights or e-books or the kind of self-publishing that’s so common now. But one thing remains the same: telling stories. And hey, getting paid for it!
All in all, it’s a pretty darned good way to make a living.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

New and Improved . . . Finally!

Who said it would be easy to get a new website up and running?

Well, actually, that’s exactly what a lot of people told me when I announced that my old website (as much fun as it was) was getting stale and needed updating.

"No problem," so many of my friends said. "Piece of cake. Web designers are everywhere."

Oh yeah?

Nearly a year into the search for someone who could re-design the site at a price that didn’t make me scream, I am happy to say I finally have a new, updated website.


Stop by:

There’s a button there for sending an email to me, and if you do that before next Saturday, January 21, you’ll be entered in a contest to win one of my Pepper Martin mysteries. In your email, just let me know which of the books you’d like. You can check them all out.

On my new website.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

New Year, New Book!

Happy New Year!

I can’t think of a better way to kick off a new year than with a new book. That’s why I’m thrilled to announce the publication of "Wild, Wild Death," book #8 in the Pepper Martin mystery series.
I’m always excited about sharing one of Pepper’s adventures with readers. After all, she’s the world’s only private investigator for the dead. That means there’s always something interesting (and possibly dangerous) happening in Pepper’s life, and always a ghost tagging along for the fun.

This time, it’s a trip to the great Southwest with long-dead Wild West star Chester Goodshot Gomez along for the ride. You see, Pepper’s been downsized from her job as a tour guide in a historic Cleveland cemetery, and she’s got some time on her hands and is looking for a little excitement. It’s a perfect example of Be Careful What You Wish For, when an odd package arrives along with a ransom note. Cute and scruffy paranormal investigator, Dan Callaghan, has been kidnapped and if Pepper doesn’t bring Goodshot’s bones to New Mexico–and fast–the kidnappers say he’ll be killed.

Of course, in Pepper’s world, kidnappers are the least of her problems. Figuring out what to wear to a body-snatching is the first. After all, she’s convinced she’s going to end up getting caught, and she wants to look good for her mugshots.

"Wild, Wild Death" takes Pepper to New Mexico and southern Colorado, a part of the country where I’ve spent some time. Like me, she’s bowled over by the beauty of the area, and intimidated by its wildness. If that was all she had to think about, it wouldn’t be a bad little get-away, but once she arrives, the bones gets stolen, and bodies start dropping like the desert temperature once the sun goes down.

Pepper has to deal with kidnappers disguised as aliens, a too-hot-to-handle Pueblo police chief and one clever murderer–one whose idea of boot hill has nothing to do with Jimmy Choo.