Thursday, December 31, 2015

Boy, Am I Glad This Year is Over!

2015 wasn’t the best year I’ve ever lived through. For one thing, I was sick during most of it. For another, I lost a beloved dachshund, Bella, who was murdered by Jazzy and Cookie, two of my other hounds—or part-hounds, anyway. And lots of expensive house problems erupted during the year. Gah.

The wieners of UNSETTLED SPIRITS (paper copy) are Holly Huff, Flo Kojima, and Peggy Baker! I’ll send your copies as soon as the snow melts. Right now I’m snowed in. Besides, if I could drive anywhere, I might possibly be able to get to the post office, but none of the grocery stores have food in them. Roswell is 200 miles away from another, larger city. We haven’t had newspaper or mail deliveries since Saturday, December 26. It’s now the 31st, and the FedEx guy (who did manage to get through this morning) says even he’s going to pack it in because the streets are so treacherous. Roswell doesn’t have snowplows. Sigh.

Anyway, all is not horribly bad. In fact, I’m really happy that my daughter and son-in-law, Anni and Razmik Avanesian, are here, and they’re fixing up my house! Well, they will continue to do so if the snow melts enough for them to get to Home Depot. And if Home Depot has anything in it. They went to a grocery store yesterday, and there were no potatoes of any kind, no meat, and no green onions, which I wanted for a chicken dish I’m making today.

Piddle on the snow. My dogs have been piddling on the snow, for sure. At the moment, it’s kind of a block of ice out there. It’ll probably melt a bit and then freeze again. According to the weather gurus, the air is too cold for the snow to melt, and the air is cold because there’s so much snow on the ground. And there you have it!

Interesting story about Razmik (I don’t think he’ll mind my telling it). He’s an Armenian from Iran. Armenians are culturally Christian, and when Iran because a Muslim theocracy, it ceased being a good place for Christians to live. Therefore, Raz and his family had to learn how to do everything, from building buildings and repairing stuff to cooking over open flames. Eventually they all got out except for one of his sisters, who still lives there.

Personally, I don’t want to live in a Christian theocracy any more than I want to live in a Muslim theocracy. Our Founding Fathers knew what they were doing when they chose to separate the church from the state.

For the month of January, 2016, I’ll be giving away audio copies of THANKSGIVING ANGELS! Whee! If you’d like to win an audio copy of THANKSGIVING ANGELS, please send me an email at

And here, for your visual pleasure, are pictures of our snow! This is more snow than Roswell’s ever had in its life. Go figure.

This was taken from my front door. You can't see the walkway, the porch steps, the street, or the cross street. Still looks like that today.

And this was taken from my back porch. The doggies have trampled a piddle patch for themselves.

Please visit my web page at, and if you’d like to be Facebook friends, here’s my Facebook page info:



Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Mayhem and Magic, For Real

November was not a month of unmixed blessings. In fact, something truly horrible happened during November, so I’ll get to that first.

 No secret I rescue dachshunds. About four years ago I received a bonded pair from a puppy mill in Big Spring, Texas. Bella and Bam-Bam had spent their first couple of years in concrete crates and never learned how to interact with people or, really, be dogs. To this day Bam-Bam is terrified of men, and Bella was uber-shy around strangers. I realized after I’d fostered them for a while that they weren’t suitable candidates for adoption, so I kept them, and we loved each other. They both were fine with me, even though they were still unable to relate to strangers.

Well, on Friday the 13th, Jazzy and Cookie, who grew up on the streets and have absolutely no self-esteem issues, ganged up on Bella. I rushed her to the vet, where she was stitched up. When I picked her up on Saturday, she seemed to be doing well, but on Sunday evening Bella had a stroke or a seizure, and she died early Monday morning. My heart is still broken. My neighbor and fellow writer, Ann Wilmer-Lasky, wrote a Haiku for Bella, and here’s a picture of Bella taken by her husband Barry:


Treasured Friend: A Haiku
Innocence, truly,
Has no protection against
Pack mentality.

Okay, that’s the ugly stuff. My heart will probably never get over aching for Bella. I feel kind of like a murderer, in fact. Gah.

On to nicer things. Several people won copies of the audio edition of HUNGRY SPIRITS, narrated by Denice Stradling (who is now working away on GENTEEL SPIRITS, bless her). I’ll be getting in touch with each of the winners individually.

I also got the cover art for Daisy Gumm Majesty’s next adventure, BRUISED SPIRITS. I love it:

Also, Darlene Allen has finished narrating THANKSGIVING ANGELS for audio, so it will be available in December (I think). I’ll be giving away audio copies at the end of the month in my contest. If it’s somehow or other not available in December, I’ll give away copies in January.

And December is the month UNSETTLED SPIRITS, Daisy Gumm Majesty’s latest adventure, will be released! I’ll be giving away either e-copies or paper copies of UNSETTLED SPIRITS in my December contest.

Therefore, if you’d like to enter my December contest, for which Bam-Bam (who is coping much better with the loss of Bella than I am) will choose wieners at the end of the month, please send me your name and home address (if you want a paper copy of UNSETTLED SPIRITS) to


If you’d like to visit my woefully out-of-date web site, the URL is and if you’re interested in being Facebook friends, please visit



Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Good Grief!

Another year’s almost over! How’d that happen? I don’t approve. Which makes as much difference as it ever has. Oh, well.

At the end of November, I’ll be giving away audio copies of HUNGRY SPIRITS, read by the lovely and talented Denice Stradling. Bam-Bam, my winner-picking wiener dog, will select winners at the end of the month. The wieners of October’s contest for audio copies of A PERFECT ROMANCE and SWEET CHARITY are too numerous to list here, so I’ll get in touch with each winner individually.

The narrator of THANKSGIVING ANGELS (Darlene Allen, who's also lovely and talented) says she’ll have the book ready by Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, Melissa Alvarez ( ) couldn’t do this cover for me. After I panicked and asked for suggestions for alternate cover artists, Bonnie Vanak, a dear friend and fellow author, suggested Kim Killion ( So I got in touch with Kim, and she created this smashing audiobook cover for THANKSGIVING ANGELS. What’s even better is that this cover goes really well with the other audiobook covers for the Mercy Allcutt series:


And, of course, last month was Halloween, and my adorable great-grandchildren got all dressed up for the occasion. Here they are. Andrew is a Special Operations soldier (his daddy’s been an Army Medic for yonks), and Kasumi is a witch-fairy. Are these children darling, or what? And I’m not the least little bit biased, either:

Um… That’s about it. I’m madly writing another Daisy book, BRUISED SPIRITS, but I’m nowhere near finished with it. With luck and continued health, I might even be able to write another Mercy Allcutt book this year! Not promising anything because you never know what mayhem life will throw at you, but I hope I can.

If you’d like to enter my November contest, please send me an email. I don’t need your home address for this one, ‘cause I’ll use your email address in order to send audio copies.

If you’d like to visit my woefully out-of-date web site, the URL is and if you’re interested in being Facebook friends, please visit



Wednesday, September 30, 2015


I don’t know how many of you have seen the TV series “Deadwood,” but in it a guy gets sick, and the baddies who run the town of Deadwood carry him out of town to prevent the panic of an epidemic. When Calamity Jane finds him out in the woods, he’s delirious and keeps saying, “I apologize. I apologize. I apologize,” over and over. That’s how I feel about this entire year. I’ve been sick with one thing or another all year long. In September I finally got bronchitis, gave up, spent about four days in bed, took antibiotics, Prednisone and cough suppressants, and now I feel better than I have in months! So I apologize about flaking off with my blogs several times this year. Guess I should have come down with bronchitis earlier.

However, now that I’m almost human again, I actually have something to write about! The nicest thing that happened in September was that my older daughter, Anni, and her long-time Significant Other, Razmik Avanesian, got married! Here’s a picture of the wedding party. I was unable to attend the wedding (because of the aforementioned various illnesses), but I did get to see the pictures. Here’s one with both of my daughters, both of my sons-in-law, and my younger grandson, Riki, who’s grinning up a storm in the back row toward the right.


And then I began a new Daisy book, which is (so far) called BRUISED SPIRITS. Don’t know when I’ll finish it, but I don’t think it’ll take me a whole year to write this one as it did for me to write UNSETTLED SPIRITS. That’s a Very Good Thing, except that the premise is based on reality, which isn’t good at all (it features an extremely battered woman).

Also, the narrators of two of my early historical romances (A PERFECT ROMANCE and SWEET CHARITY) finished reading the books in September, and they’re now available on Here are the covers and the links:

Audible claims A PERFECT ROMANCE was written by Anne Robins, but that’s only because it was. Anne Robins (a combination of my daughters’ names) was one of my several thousand pseudonyms.

Because I didn’t tell anyone who won copies of SPIRITS ONSTAGE at the end of August, I shall do so now: Kathleen Lauri-Lewis, Wendy Lee, and Susan Moody. I’ll send the books ASAP. Promise.

 At the end of October, I’ll be giving away copies of my two newest audiobooks. They’re both historical romances, so don’t enter if you don’t want to listen to an historical romance. I must say, however, that they’re kind of more funny than they are romantic. If you DO want to enter the contest, just send me your name and email address at:

If you’d like to visit my web site, the URL is and if you’re interested in being Facebook friends, please visit



Tuesday, September 1, 2015


About covers August from my perspective and September started with bronchitis; however, all is not totally awful. I actually finished UNSETTLED SPIRITS! I’ve only been working on it for … well, the entire year, I guess.
Here’s the cover! I think, although I’m not certain, that it will be available in December (it’s so late, I don’t honestly know. Sigh).

Winners of August’s contest (SPIRITS ONSTAGE) are: Kathleen Lauri-Lewis, Wendy Lee, and Susan Moody. I’ll send your books ASAP, ladies. I have no idea what book/s I’ll give away at the end of September, but I’ll figure it out before then. If you’d like to enter this month’s contest, send me an email at . Be sure to include your home address, so I’ll know where to send the book.
I’ll do a better blog for October. Promise. Unless my body decides to do something else ghastly to me. I’m beginning to wonder what it has against me, dang it.
If you’d like to visit my web site, the URL is and if you’re interested in being Facebook friends, please visit

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Cautiously Optimistic

Very cautiously. Seems as though I’ve been sick with one thing or another all year long, and the various things have taken a toll on this elderly body. Probably the gastric bleeds did it. I expect there’s not much blood left in me so I’m anemic and, therefore, tired all the time. Whine.

And that’s enough of that disgusting subject. Blech. July was nominally better than June, although it wasn’t great. But the narrators of two audio renditions of my books finished their jobs, and the following two books will be available soon (I hope):


Not sure when they’ll be ready to purchase at, but I’ll let everyone know.

Also in July, a box set of the first three Daisy Gumm Majesty books (STRONG SPIRITS, FINE SPIRITS, and HIGH SPIRITS) was produced. For a while it was only $0.99, but it’s up to $2.99 now–but for three Kindle or Nook books, that’s still a darned good price!

The winners of June/July’s ARC contest are Peggy Matsuya, Prentiss Garner, Tim Younger, and B.J. Simon. I also owe two winners of May’s contest copies of THANKSGIVING ANGELS, which I promise I’ll mail soon. I’m not kidding when I say I’ve been under the weather (is anyone ever over the weather?) Well, never mind.

If you’re interested in entering August’s contest, during which I’ll be giving away three copies of SPIRITS ONSTAGE, send me your name and home address to, and I’ll toss your name into Bam-Bam’s special contest doggie dish.

If you’d like to visit my web site, the URL is and if you’re interested in being Facebook friends, please visit



Wednesday, July 1, 2015

I’m Sorry!

This is going to be a very short blog. Not only was I sick during the entire month of June (the specifics are disgusting, so I won’t go in to them here), but my computer got sick, too, and in order to get better had to have its operating system re-installed. Therefore, while I got all my documents backed up, I lost all my emails. All of them. Including the names of those who entered June’s contest.

Therefore, since I don’t know who you are, Bam-Bam, my winner-picking wiener dog, can’t pick a wiener for June. So I’m holding the same contest for July, only you’ll have to re-enter because . . . well, see above. If you’re interested in entering July’s contest, during which I’ll be giving away copies of old advanced reading copies of my various novels, send me your name and home address to, and I’ll toss your name into Bam-Bam’s special contest doggie dish.

If you’d like to visit my web site, the URL is and if you’re interested in being Facebook friends, please visit


Sunday, May 31, 2015

Time Flies Too Blasted Fast!

I can’t believe it’s already June. I swear, my dogs and I were lounging in bed and watching the 2015 Tournament of Roses Parade the day before yesterday. Oh, well.

The only mayhem going on in my life at present is the replacement of the other half of my fence. Nobody ran into this part of the old fence in order to force me to replace it, but Jessie, the guy up the street who put up the west side of my fence after a drunk in a blue Hyundai crashed into it, is replacing the east side now, so they’ll match.

In truth, that’s not the only reason. The real reason for the new fence is that Cookie, Jazzy’s companion animal (how many dogs do you know who have their own companion animals? Well, Jazzy does) can get out of the yard on the side with the old fence. With the new fence, she won’t be able to escape, so she can exist without her Kong! I think that will make her happy. Me, too. Here’s Cookie in her Kong, lounging with Jazzy at the neighbors’ house. They go there occasionally for play dates. On this particular day, the weather was warm, so they just sat around drinking Mai Tais:


The only other thing that happened in May, and this was a good thing, was that Stephen Campbell interviewed me for Crime Fiction FM. During the interview, we chatted about THANKSGIVING ANGELS and a few other things. It was fun, and the interview wasn’t too frightening. Here’s the link if you want to listen:

My daughter and her hubby will be visiting soon, and I’m looking forward to that. Robin and Gilbert have two pound-puppies and Gilbert’s blind, longhaired, double-dappled wiener dog, Melody. Melody is a beautiful dog, but Gilbert saved her and her sister, Harmony (now, alas, deceased), from certain death as puppies by adopting them. Double-dappling (mating a dappled dachshund with another dappled dachshund) is a recipe for genetic catastrophe. Harmony was born w/o eyes and deaf. Melody is blind, but she can hear. Actually, my own darling Jazzy, who was found running along the highway to Ruidoso, is a blue-and-tan dachshund, and her coloring also carries with it genetic problems. For instance, she’s losing fur due to alopecia that came to her through injudicious breeding. She’s sure a beauty, though! She and Cookie, and Robin’s George and Gracie, will have a jolly time visiting with each other during Robin and Gilbert’s visit. Actually, Gracie will probably lie in wait in her mommy’s arms and only race out to bite Jazzy or Cookie on the butt as they tear past her. She’s not the most friendly pup in the universe. George, however, loves to play. Should be interesting.

If you’re interested in entering this month’s contest, during which I’ll be giving away copies of old advanced reading copies of my various novels, send me your name and home address to, and I’ll toss your name into Bam-Bam (my winner-picking wiener dog’s) special contest doggie dish.

If you’d like to visit my web site, the URL is and if you’re interested in being Facebook friends, please visit


Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Too Many Books (and a new fence)

Okay, I have too many books. I know, I know. People say you can’t ever have too many books. I’m here to tell you that’s not true. I have too many books. Mind you, I’m talking about books I’ve written. I’ve been in the writing biz for more than twenty years now, have had more than fifty books published, and I have multiple copies of most of them (except my Emma Craig books). I also have a small house and no more space.
So I’m asking people to give me the names and addresses of charitable organizations that might be interested in old but unread, yellowing, historical romances. Most of these books contain sex scenes, although not awfully hot ones, so keep that in mind. Just email me at or message me through Facebook ( Thanks!

As for the fence, here it is in all its shining glory. Mind you, in case you don’t recall, a probable drunk driving a blue Hyundai (2005 or 2006, according to the policeman working—oh, very well, he’s probably not working—the case) took out the fence on the west side of my property in the middle of the night. No one heard a thing, although from the mess made, and the car parts and fence fragments left behind, there must have been a dreadful crash. I mean, why do I pay all these stupid dachshunds if they aren’t going to bark when someone drives into my fence, you know???? However, from the following, you can see the transformation:

Nice, huh? And it only cost me several thousand dollars. Sigh.

Anyway, the month of April was filled to the brim with medical appointments, procedures, eye appointments, laser treatments, etc., and my vision is once more as good as it ever was, which is pretty bad, but at least I can see through my glasses again. And I also know that my feeling lousy all the time and other problems (which I won’t go in to because they’re kinda gross) were caused by diverticulosis and esophagitis, and I’m being treated for both conditions and feel marginally better. Mind you, because of these two new things wrong with me, I can’t take Ibuprofen for back pain, so my back hurts like the devil all day, every day, but one can’t have everything, I guess. As soon as my guts are under control, I’ll begin physical therapy in the hope I’ll be given an exercise program that will, with luck (which I don’t have much of) reduce my back pain.

April also saw the publication of a Daisy Gumm Majesty mystery (SPIRITS ONSTAGE), in which Daisy gets to play the role of the mean and nasty Katisha in Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Mikado, and solve a murder or three. THANKSGIVING ANGELS, in which Mercedes Louise "Mercy" Allcutt is forced by her parents to spend Thanksgiving week with them in their new mansion in Pasadena, was also published in April. Poor Mercy. Not only is she subject to her overbearing mother’s snide comments, but she also witnesses a pretty gruesome murder (which she then manages to solve in spite of herself).

Here are the book covers and links to Amazon’s buying pages, but they’re also available on Barnes & Noble:

If you’d like to be entered into this month’s contest, during which I’ll be giving away a couple of copies each of THANKSGIVING ANGELS and SPIRITS ONSTAGE, just send me your name and home address at

If you’d like to visit my woefully out-of-date web site, the URL is and if you’re interested in being Facebook friends, please visit


Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Two Books, a Book Cover, and a Crash

April will be a banner month for two of my heroines. Daisy Gumm Majesty will make her eighth (it’s actually her ninth, but who’s counting?) appearance in SPIRITS ONSTAGE, which will be available for all e-book formats and in trade paperback on April 4. In this outing, Daisy is more or less forced to take a part in Gilbert and Sullivan’s operetta, The Mikado. She’s not happy, and she’s even more unhappy when folks begin to drop dead. SPIRITS ONSTAGE is already available for Kindle, so I’ll give that link:

Then Mercy Allcutt spends a challenging almost-week with her parents in their new mansion in Pasadena. Mercy is horrified that her ghastly Boston parents have actually bought a home in Pasadena, but she’s even more horrified when her mother commands her attendance at the family Thanksgiving dinner. THANKSGIVING ANGELS will be released on or about April 20. Daisy Gumm Majesty puts in an appearance in THANKSGIVING ANGELS. Even before Thanksgiving arrives, someone falls from the Allcutts’ fancy wrought-iron balcony railing and lands, splat, on the parquet flooring below. Mrs. Allcutt demands that Mercy call Ernie Templeton to solve the crime.

I also received the charming cover art for Daisy's next adventure, UNSETTLED SPIRITS, which will be available in December (providing I can finish it. Naw. I can finish it):

And then, as sort of a last gasp to the month of March, 2015, since there hadn’t already been enough excitement in my life, someone driving a blue Hyundai drove (probably drunk) into my fence. Just try getting people to give you estimates for fixing fences if you live in Roswell, New Mexico. Go ahead. I dare you. Sigh. Oh, and we know it was a blue Hyundai because great big parts of it were left behind in the rubble.

April will be awash in medical stuff for me, which I’m kind of looking forward to because I want to know what’s wrong with me and how to fix it.

Winners of last month’s contest for SPIRITS REVIVED are Ella N. Strattis and Shirley Orio. Congrats, ladies. I’ll send your books ASAP.

If you’d like to be entered into this month’s contest, during which I’ll be giving away Kindle or Nook copies of SPIRITS ONSTAGE and hard copies (two of them) of THANKSGIVING ANGELS, just send me your name and home address at

If you’d like to visit my woefully out-of-date web site (gotta get on that!), the URL is and if you’re interested in being Facebook friends, please visit


Sunday, March 1, 2015


February turned out to be a month filled with loss, and crammed with infinitely more mayhem than magic. Three people of whom I was fond died in February (well, four, if you count Leonard, Nimoy, and I certainly do). My cousin died. Pat Browning, a dear cyber-friend and longtime journalist died. But the one that got to me the most was when I learned of Wallace J. Swenson’s death.

Most of you have probably never heard of Wally Swenson, but if I have my way, the entire world will know about him and his wonderful books soon. I had the honor of editing three of his books for Five Star’s Frontier Fiction line: BUELL, PINE MARTEN, and CARLISLE. Wally had more books in the works (I believe they were all written, actually) and Five Star aims to publish them. I will be proud to edit as many books as Wally had lying around at the time of his death.

Wally’s dream was to be a published writer of western fiction. He didn’t rely on the Old West shoot-‘em-up myth, but told stories about people who felt like friends, and he put them into situations that might actually have occurred. Don’t know how many of you have seen "Deadwood" on TV, but that will give you an idea of how Wally’s books worked.

Well, Wally died before he could even hold his first published book, BUELL, in his hands. Broke my heart, as well as the hearts of his many friends and family members. Perhaps you have to have had a dream like Wally’s in order to truly appreciate what a cruel loss his death was. I still feel like crying.

Here’s the cover for BUELL, which will be published in August of this year:


Wally chose this photograph for the cover of his book, because he says this guy looks just like Buell, and I agree with him. Please buy this book when it comes out. You won’t be sorry. And it’ll be available electronically, too, so you don’t have to spend a bunch of money. The book itself is worth a bundle, but e-books are nice like that.

As for me, eh; life goes on. I’ll be in touch with the winners of February’s contest, so they can tell me which of my books they want me to send them.

And for this month’s contest… um… well, I dunno. How about I give away a couple of copies of SPIRITS REVIVED, Daisy Gumm Majesty’s six-and-a-halfth adventure? If you’d like to enter my contest, please send me your name and home address in an e-mail to

If you’d like to learn more about my books, please visit and if you’re really a sucker for punishment, check out my Facebook page:


Saturday, January 31, 2015


Yes, I know it’s already February, but January got clean away from me, so here’s my first blog of the new year.

Lucky me, I got to spend Christmas in Southern California with my family and a ton of friends. It was fun. After Christmas, I dog-sat for my younger daughter and son-in-law’s dogs while they went traveling up to the wine country and San Francisco.

What’s more, visiting my old stamping grounds seems to have dissolved the writer’s block I’ve been suffering from for a couple of years. Yay! I finished SPIRITS ONSTAGE, Daisy Gumm Majesty’s ninth adventure, which will be published soon. Then I’ll need to write another one. The only problem now is time. But I’ll find it somewhere.

But the best part of my trip was eating. I love food. And Southern California has restaurants of all shapes and sizes. I got to eat Middle Eastern food, East Indian food, Japanese food and good Italian food! And Gilbert, Robin’s hubby, fixed a magnificent prime rib for Christmas dinner. But I’m home again, and cooking for myself. Feel free to send condolences. Not that I don’t like to cook, but I can’t do tempura or falafel and stuff like that. Well, I have done both, but they seem to taste better when someone else fixes them.

Here’s a photo of my younger grandson, Riki; my good pal, Barbara Masters; my late friend Sara’s daughter, Cathy; my daughter, Anni; and me at Pinocchio’s Restaurant in Pasadena. Yum!

And here’s Stephanie Cowans and her son, Colin, at another meal (have I mentioned I love to eat?) Steph and I used to dance and sing together back in the Good Old Days:
But all good things have to come to an end, I reckon, so on January 3, I boarded a plane (at 7:30 a.m.) at LAX and flew to Dallas. You see, in order to get anywhere from Roswell, you have to fly to Dallas first. Same thing on the way home again. So when I left Roswell, I flew to Dallas and then to Los Angeles. Going back, I flew from LAX to Dallas, and waited. And waited. And waited. Weather delays from all across the country had trapped people in the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport, some of the poor things for days. But I eventually managed to get home at about 8:30 p.m., where I discovered my hounds, who had been well cared for by Ann and Barry Lasky, delighted to see me. I was delighted to see them, too, but boy, was I tired.

However, things are zooming along this year. Already I have a new audiobook out. I know it’s after Christmas, but if you should find yourself in dire need of a heartwarming Christmas story, check out CHRISTMAS PIE:

I’ll be holding a contest again this month, and I’ll be giving away copies of . . . oh, heck, I don’t know. I think I’ll let the winners select any old book they want, providing I have a copy on hand. If you’d like to enter, please send me an e-mail including your name and home address to At the end of the month, Bam-Bam, my winner-picking wiener dog, will select as many winners as he feels like picking.

Also, please visit my web page at and my Facebook page at