Valentine’s Day Giveaway

I’m giving away two more paperback copies of The Princess and the Poison! Check out Goodreads beginning on Tuesday, February 7. The giveaway, for US residents only, runs through the 21st. Good luck! Happy Valentine’s Day!




Free for a Limited Time!

“Probable Claus:  A Storybook Park Short Mystery” is free for a limited time!

This holiday short story takes place after the events of The Princess and the Poison.

Probable Claus at Amazon


Cocktails in Camelot

Probable Claus

I’ve just released a Storybook Park Short Mystery on Amazon. It’s currently selling for 99 cents, but look out for a free promotion!

When the statue of Santa Claus from StoryWorld’s ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas set goes missing, owner Ashling Cleary has to figure out whodunit and why. The answers will surprise her.

This story takes place following the events of The Princess and the Poison.

When Life Interferes with Writing

Life has been pretty crazy lately. I’m going to be moving for the third time in a year and a half, and my daily routines have been radically disrupted as I deal with house showings, inspections, and looking for new homes. Things will only get worse as I pack up and actually move.

So, how do I get my writing in? It’s been tough, to say the least. But I try to put in a couple of hundred words every day. I’m determined to get the sequel to “The Princess and the Poison” completed, even if it’s little by little.

I also read every night, which I figure is just as important as writing. Not only is reading vital to my well-being, I love that it counts as work!


I tend to not give a lot of physical description of my characters. When I read a book, I like to have a general idea of what a character looks like so I can picture him/her in my head, and then I want to move on to the story and see how the character fits in. So I follow this philosophy in my own work.

After all, you probably care what your love interest looks like (although this may become less important as the relationship progresses), but otherwise you most likely care more about how your friends and acquaintances (and maybe your Presidential candidate!) behave, and why.

In life and in books, I’m fascinated by the psychology behind a person’s actions. Why do people behave the way they do?

Even if it’s not explicitly stated, I want to know what motivates a character–what gets him/her out of bed in the morning. What would he fight for? What issue would she join a protest for? If a homeless person asks him for money, what does he do or say? What charities does she give to regularly, and why? What are his demons? What faults does she hope to overcome?

You get the idea. You may have read about the technique of interviewing your characters to get a sense of who they are. Even if you don’t use the information, you’re aware of it as you’re writing. It helps make each and every character multi-dimensional.

It’s something I want to really concentrate on as I move through the Storybook Park Mysteries. I’m looking forward to learning more about my characters. : )

Feline Personalities

Have you noticed how cats have their own personalities?

My cat, Sammie, is very different from my mom’s cat, Maggie. Maggie is a total sweetheart. She loves to sit on our laps. She purrs and purrs, and snuggles into our chests. Sammie sits on me on my lap desk, but she isn’t quite as loving. If I’m lucky, she’ll give me a nose kiss. But it really has to be her idea. She won’t kiss me if I ask.

Maggie is extremely careful about hurting her humans. She doesn’t ever scratch or bite, and when she’s had enough of us rubbing her tummy (something Sammie would never allow!), she gently pushes us away with her paw.

Sammie will sometimes get feisty (it’s her tortitude), and has been known to bite me (not too hard) and swat at me with a claw.

Both Maggie and Sammie like to hunt (sigh). Sammie once brought me her equivalent of a “turducken”–a lizard with a small snake in its mouth. It was a snake inside a lizard inside a cat. I have yet to recover.