Wednesday, February 28, 2018


By gum, January was an okay month! Well, until the end, when I got sick and received edits for SPIRITS UNEARTHED at the same time and suffered a minor meltdown. Having people tell you your book sucks hurts even when you’re healthy, y’know? And actually, nobody said that. That’s just how I took the comments. Not that I lack self-esteem or anything.

Anyway, probably the best thing that happened in January was that Peter Brandvold, western writer extraordinaire, came to see me! He lives in Minnesota, where there’s snow and ice everywhere. Therefore, he rented a cabin in Arizona (he went to college and taught in Arizona) for January and most of February. He and his dog, Bad Buddy, drove there and, on the way, stopped to see me! I edit Mean Pete’s books (he calls himself Mean Pete, and I’d never do anything to jeopardize his reputation as a bad guy, even though he isn’t one), and they’re so much fun to edit! I never knew there were so many ways for the good guys to kill the bad guys in the wild and woolly Old West until I began editing Mean Pete’s books for Five Star’s Frontier Fiction line. Anyway, it was great to meet him. Bad Buddy didn’t like me, but I guess he’s skittish around most people, so I wasn’t offended. I’m skittish around most people, too. Here’s a picture of Mean Pete and me:

Then my very first friend in the whole world (because until I was four, we lived on a farm in Maine without anyone else around), Dena Mossar, whom I met when my family moved to El Monte, California, sent me some absolutely adorable pictures of when Dena and I were young, which was an incredibly long time ago. Thank you, Dena!


I also found out my next Daisy book, SPIRITS UNEARTHED (the one I got the edits for) will be published in April of this year! I wish I had the cover art to show you, but I don’t yet. Will post on my Facebook page as soon as I get it. This book starts in December of 1924, when Daisy and Sam are at the Mountain View Cemetery in Altadena to visit their respective spouses’ graves, and Spike finds a shoe and brings it to them. Unfortunately for all concerned, the shoe has a foot in it. Thus begins a new bout of sleuthing. In this book, Sam doesn’t actually mind Daisy being involved, since she … well, is. From the beginning, you know? Anyway, he’s becoming reconciled to the fact that people are more inclined to bare their souls to Daisy than they are to the Pasadena Police Department. He doesn’t like it, but he’s becoming reconciled. Sort of. In a way. Anyway, here’s the Amazon link, in case you have a mad urge to pre-order it: KINDLE LINK

Anyhow… The winners of January’s contest are:

THANKSGIVING ANGELS: Aloha Burnard and Polly O’Brien
GENTEEL SPIRITS: Margaret Cronk and Michelle Santana

 I’ll mail your books as soon as I can, ladies. I need your address, Aloha! Thanks.

As for February’s contest… I dunno. I’ll think of something. I’m pretty sure I won’t have copies of SPIRITS UNEARTHED yet, so I’ll have to give away something else. What the heck. I’ll let the winners (up to four of you) choose whichever book you want. If I have a hard copy, I’ll send that. If I don’t, I can send an e-copy.

A word about my monthly contests. I love giving my work to people; however, I found out quite by accident a few months ago that sending books to Great Britain, Australia, and other countries outside the United States is beyond my monetary capability. If a resident of a nation other than the United States has an e-reader, I’ll happily supply that person with an e-book. If a person doesn’t have an e-reader and still likes to read book-books, he or she is on his or her own. I’m sorry, but what I laughingly call my writing career hasn’t made me wealthy yet. And it probably won’t, but let’s not get in to that because it always depresses me. So. That’s that.

If you’d like to enter the contest, just send me an email ( and give me your name and home address. If you’d like to be added to my mailing list, you may do so on my web site ( or email me (you won’t be smothered in e-mails, because I only write one blog a month, and that’s an effort). If you’d like to be friends on Facebook, visit my page at

Thank you!