Life Is Funny

Life is funny. I’m a plug-and-play kind of gal living in a satellite TV vs. Netflix world. In our house, changing between the two is a complex process requiring multiple remotes and knowing which acronym is which (HDMI1? HDMI3?) before you can even begin to look for what you’d like to watch. Needless to say, I am rarely the one discovering interesting or obscure entertainment options.

Life is funnyBut today we (and by “we,” I mean the hubs) found “B.B. King: The Life of Riley” on Netflix. And what a great find it was! One of the first things my husband and I realized we had in common when we met is our mutual love of American blues music. We are both long-time B.B. King fans.

But I digress. I wanted to talk about how life is funny sometimes. In the course of this two-hour gem of a documentary, I found out a couple of really interesting things I have in common with The King of the Blues himself: (more…)

Book Excerpt: Tea and Whiskey

Book Excerpt: Tea and Whiskey

The strangest coincidences turn up in my Facebook news feed sometimes. Yesterday, a friend shared a post by Bushmills Black Bush whiskey accompanied by the image below. I don’t drink BBB, but my protagonist’s grandmother has a special tea she prepares sometimes when Riley seeks out Gram’s advice. I was particularly intrigued by the “lost tiara” in the photo and thought this unexpected Message from the Universe might be telling me it’s time to publish another little snippet from the book. So here you go. (more…)

Book Excerpt: Tequila Sunrise

Tequila Cat


It’s National Tequila Day! In honor of my (and main character Riley’s) favorite adult beverage (margarita, of course!), here’s a little excerpt from the book:

“The next morning was not kind to me. Razor-sharp slashes of sunlight sliced through the blinds in Kate’s guest room, forcing my eyelids open in a squint. I pulled the sheet up over my head but (more…)

Choosing a Setting for a Novel

Winter Trees

PHOTO CREDIT: Tim Rooney, Bold Coast Photography

As a native New Jerseyan – more importantly, a native Trentonian – my first mystery series (oh, did I  mention it’s a series?) is set in the Trenton area. This comes as a surprise to some people, who (naturally, I suppose) assumed I would set my novel in my adopted state of Maine. After all, everyone knows Maine has pea soup fog, ancient cemeteries, and tons of old falling-down-sideways houses and barns along less-traveled roads (many of them unlit and unpaved). Throw in a landscape that includes a mix of dark, foreboding evergreens and craggy, bare-branched trees with twisted arms just waiting to swoop down and grab you as you traverse said less-traveled roads – well, it’s a setting just custom-made for creepers and murderers and horrors enough to ruin your sleep patterns for years to come. I think a guy named King has pretty well established this fact.

But when choosing a setting for a novel, why go for merely spooky when you can opt for truly bizarre?  (more…)

Book Excerpt: Grounds for Murder

Grounds for Murder

“Forever Marilyn” at Grounds for Sculpture

Marilyn was oblivious to the dead man lying beneath her billowing white dress. Jimmy St. Clair stared, sightless, up the skirt of the twenty-six-foot tall sculpture of the Hollywood icon.

Standing stock-still, I watched as a blur of dark blue uniforms surrounded Marilyn. One of them trained a big flashlight on Jimmy’s lifeless face, and I averted my eyes. The others searched the surrounding grass in ever-widening circles, crazy silver flashes of light crisscrossing in front of them.

Transfixed by the eerie scene, I gasped when a figure stepped out from the shadows on my left. “Riley?”

“Kate! What are you doing here?”

“We took a walk.” She wore Vince’s jacket, which she pulled tighter around her body as she spoke.

Vince materialized out of nowhere and put an arm around her. “We came around the bend and found him there,” he said, waving an arm in the direction of the body. “Gotta give it to ‘em, those cops got here in a heartbeat.”

Sirens still wailed in the distance, singing of reputations to be made and promotions to be earned.

The mist had intensified, laying down a glaze of moisture on my exposed skin. I picked my way over the damp grass and collapsed onto a long wooden bench under the canopy of trees.

“I know him,” I said to no one in particular.

Kate stared down at me, wide-eyed. “You know him? What do you mean, you know him?”

“He’s a client. His name is Jimmy St. Clair.”

I watched as two other uniforms — one a 40ish ex-military type, the other fresh out of the academy — conferred behind Marilyn’s left calf, doing their best to avoid the persistent drizzle that was already starting to wash away clues to Jimmy the Saint’s demise.