Mabel & the Cat’s Meow – a prequel!

Mabel & the Cat’s Meow, the prequel to Mabel Gets the Ax, Book One in my Mysteries of Medicine Spring cozy mystery series is now available! Click the button below to purchase it in paperback format—or receive the e-book FREE by subscribing to my newsletter, the Medicine Spring Bulletin (limited time only!). In Mabel &…

You never know where a writer will crop up!

I grew up in the Appalachian Mountains of western Pennsylvania in a little stone house my father, a carpenter, built. The Shanksville-Stonycreek School District I attended was so tiny it had no kindergarten, and all twelve grades were in the same building. Incredibly, Shanksville became well known after September 11, 2001, when Flight 93 crashed…

Just Killing Time

Steve Martin as Gil, the overwhelmed dad in the movie Parenthood, explodes at his offspring’s whiny “Do you have to?”, snapping, “My whole life is ‘have to.’” Sometimes life sure feels that way. And for most people on the planet, it actually is. Life for millions is a constant struggle for survival. But many North…

Gone to the Dogs (and Cats)

Animals have always been an important part of my life. Some of my earliest memories are about a kitten named Tiger; and Ginger, a fluffy Pomeranian. My favorite childhood cat was named Puss (you can probably tell from these names that I wasn’t straining my imagination), who followed me like a dog whenever I went…

My Life of Mystery

I’ve always loved a good mystery. I started with Boxcar Children, Trixie Belden, and Nancy Drew and then, added every one I could order from the school paperback book club. I was beside myself with excitement on “book day,” when our teacher lined up our purchases along the chalk tray, with our order slips sticking…

So Where Do Novels Come From?

Where do novels come from? Just as “mighty oaks from little acorns grow,” novels also begin at a specific point, which even the novelist may not recognize until looking back much later. Some writers start with a character—someone they saw at a bus stop, or one that simply springs into their minds and won’t go…

Things I’ve Missed

I love bookstores, but was too busy reading (while my husband drove through a pretty little Midwestern town on our road trip) to notice we were passing one. When he pointed it out to me, I jumped out and hustled inside, where I spent a very pleasant hour, browsing the shelves and chatting with the…

The Years the Locust Has Eaten

We just received a rare visit by the 17-year “locusts” or, more properly, cicadas. Many people hate their loud, insistent whirring in the trees—and their thumb-sized winged bodies everywhere. I love them. I think they’re beautiful, and love their summer music. Partly, I know I’m fascinated with them because of their long years underground, and…

Paths

I think mystery readers—and writers—share a fascination with paths. What will happen if I go down this way? What might I find over that way? Maybe  there’s a body in the tangle of bushes, or an abandoned house behind that crumbling wall. Of course, our paths aren’t always physical. We’re constantly choosing: to go to…