October Redux and the wandering mind…



I meant to give a heads up to y’all regarding last year’s post, 31 Days of Spooky Stuff leading into Halloween. (Recycling is a good thing.) Somehow the idea slipped out of my grasp. I just found it under a pile of bones in the long, dark stairway to the basement.

I have been struggling with the fourth Wisdom Court novel since summer, easily my least productive writing time of the year. Something about the plants growing in the garden, as well as insects exploring tiny jungles among trees and bushes call my attention elsewhere. And then there are birds. I’m distracted by the life happening all around me, from critters to children, and the plot points swimming around in my head spill out of my ears onto the encrusted floor.

Then comes the change. The solstice begins to build shadows in the corners, and the sun sidles south, peeking coyly over the horizon come morning, forgetting its bursting greetings in July. Leaves turn into gold coins.photodune-5768835-horse-park-ranch-in-the-fall-s

The nights turn chilly and darkness competes with light, often winning the contest. Ideas edged in fear and dread scurry for cracks in the wall, hiding themselves during the lengthening nights. The landscape shrinks and shapes become distorted.

Muddy beach and dead forest

Soon will come the mix of costumes and greed, of the somber and of fear. We will acknowledge the thin membrane between the living and the dead and we’ll gobble  candy to seal the deal.

Happy Halloween…












8 FREE Amateur Sleuth Mystery ebooks…

…can be yours at one click. One of those ebooks is my Edge of the Shadow, Book One of the Wisdom Court series. Here comes the link…   http://bit.ly/2jWEIGJ   Click away! Enjoy an abundance of FREE ebooks.  But the deal ends October 2.

Happy reading.

Free books and a cozy corner…

…and maybe a slice of pumpkin pie? All sound good to me. Come be a part of our Amateur sleuths Group Giveaway.  Click the link and find 8 Free Amateur Sleuth Mysteries to read. Download any or all.  The deal ends October 2. Happy Autumn!



When less seems like more…



I didn’t want to drive to Wyoming with 200,000 other hearty souls, so we stayed at home for the eclipse. Here in Denver our image would be about 92.5 percent of a total eclipse and I decided that would be good enough for me.


As the shadow of the moon began to consume the sun, the day dimmed, little by little. We were using a pinhole camera made from a box. Yes, there was the tiny circle with the tiny partial shadow. And then we looked at the sidewalks.


The closely-spaced tree leaves overhead created small holes, and astronomer bugs had gnawed holes in some of those leaves. The sidewalks were teeming, burgeoning, bubbling with images of the sun made smaller by growing shadows of the moon. We were surrounded by an infinite number of eclipses, and the resulting landscape–moonscape–sunscape showed a new universe at out feet.

It was amazing. It was science. It was magic.


The Scent of Lavender…

Life (or is it Death?) continues at Wisdom Court. I hope you enjoy the first short story…

The Scent of Lavender

Eve turned her head from light pooled on the pillow, setting her blonde strands aglow. In her dream a bird on a pine branch called to another.
Chirp-chirp. Chirp-chirp.
A chill touched her face and she frowned.
She moved under the cotton blanket, pulled the blue folds over her shoulder.
A faint scent drifted past her nose and she saw fields of flowers behind her eyes. Her lips parted in a breath.
Would it never stop? Annoyance roused Eve into opening her eyes. As she blinked at the shadowy dark of the room, fragrance filled her nostrils.
She sneezed. Lavender? She brushed at her nose. Where could it be coming from?

Continue reading

I’m materializing again…


No, I haven’t died. I’ve been in a funk–what Holly Golightly called the Mean Reds. It happens sometimes: the fountain of insane notions in my head dries up and I stumble around thinking about such killer ideas as grocery lists and Things I Must Do. Also Things I Haven’t Done. Guilt stew with sad on the side.


This time, however, I’ve sweetened the frustration pot by working on short stories–surely you saw my post about writing some set at Wisdom Court. You know, to flesh out characters, see who’s haunting whom? It’s harder than I thought (apologies to all writers of short stories) and I’ve been tripping over my pouty lower lip in the meantime. I’m almost to the point of posting one, so there’s that to force a shred of cheer into my brain.

Just moments ago I found more reasons to fight off a sense of doom: Wisdom Court Book One, Edge of the Shadow, is on sale at Amazon for 99 cents. Cheap thrills, folks, served up hot and haunting. Here’s your chance to see how the hoopla began; an opportunity to get in on the ground floor for not much money; a way to understand the ongoing cheers and applause…<crickets>   http://amzn.to/2s0hdA5

Nook Books at Barnes & Noble is upping the ante on Amazon, offering Edge of the Shadow for 99 cents, and Book Two, A Signal Shown, is selling for $1.99. http://bit.ly/2t4uXJO 






Book Three, All in Bad Time., is selling for $2.99.   http://bit.ly/2tDEJQy


Here’s your chance to revel in my three spooky novels.



I feel better now. I’m going to go polish that short story. And then I’ll write another.


Walking into another story…


I’m back at my computer, mind reasonably clear, determined to walk through a door of my imagination into another story. Sometimes it’s the hardest thing in the world to let the dust settle from a completed project.

All in Bad Time, Book Three of the Wisdom Court series, came out mid-December. The customary post-partum respiratory bug took hold, and it’s taken a while to run its course.

I had a plan (see previous blog post, Happy New Year, Readers). I’ve begun three different short pieces about further events at Wisdom Court, but haven’t finished any. Yet.

Today is the day I find the words and shape the scenes. Today my characters will take life again and find the next pieces of the story.


E-book of Edge of the Shadow on tiny sale at Amazon


Bargain basement price of $3.82 (as opposed to $3.99) at Amazon. Why? Dunno. Maybe they have an oversupply of electrons and decided to whittle the amount accordingly.


This is your chance to venture into the ghostly world of Wisdom Court, where women go to pursue their dreams.




Horror can lie behind the ordinary…


Horror is all around us, waiting to be seen, waiting to be discovered in the most banal of circumstances. In the walk down the old stairs to the basement where the washing machine and dryer squat side-by-side, mouths closed…for now. That silence into which the drip-drip of fluid sounds…where is it coming from? Is it blood? No, it’s a leak from the water heater, in it the knowledge that the warm ablutions are no more until treasure has been spent, until the moldering body of the old heater has been dragged out into the forest to be buried secretly before dawn.

The odd silence on the third floor grows thicker as the minutes pass. The  heaviness of it weighs down the soul, and soon memories of past transgressions, of deeds left undone, consume the spirit and force a bitter review of the doors closed to redemption. Who knew how many clothes remained unfolded, away from their proper places?

Let me listen to the howl carried on the wind rather than the speeches made by souls sold for power…too soon? Let’s move on.

Not just blood, not just fear lie in wait for the wary. Our lives proceed down neat paths until the way is overcome with putrid vegetation and the unending tasks of the damned. April is coming, and we know why it is the cruelest month.

Stay with February, Women in Horror Month. Come join us to relish in the power of horror, in the particular force of the female perception of what makes us scream. See what we have for you at #wihm8.

Join us.


Happy New Year, Readers !


, ,

So I’m a little late. What are a few days among friends?

I’m trying to get my fingers moving, get my brain tumbling, get some words on the page. It’s snowy today, and very cold, so my primary impulse is to wrap up in a blanket and sip cocoa while I read what someone else has written. But what about my characters? The ones I set up a few weeks ago and left looking around, wondering what was to happen to them next. They sit there still, no voices, no ideas, no nothin’.

What I had in mind is to follow a thread about what occurs at Wisdom Court now. The three books containing the story arc I began with are now sitting on the bookshelf. (And available as e-books and trade paperbacks at Amazon, Kobo, Nook, Google, and God knows where else.)

What happens at a women’s institute when everyone there admits the place is thoroughly haunted? Sure, they found out why so many terrifying events happened, and how it all got started, but now what?

Don’t you think there would be a long line of spirits wanting their stories told? After all, the way ghosts are usually laid to rest is to find out why they’re ghosts–what evil in their lives made them hang around after they died. Who cares if that creates problems for Wisdom Court as a place where women can come spend a year working on whatever they want to do–have always wanted to do–completely supported financially and emotionally? Ghosts have rights! They deserve to have their stories told.

So the plan: provide a forum for the ghosts, pay attention to them, aid them on their way to the Other Side. Surely the women of Wisdom Court wouldn’t mind helping in their spare time. It’s true that being surprised by entities not totally in control of their abilities to communicate might be a little off-putting. Suddenly seeing an image in the mirror not belonging to the person looking at herself would cause some upset. There are worse things.

I would write the details of these encounters and perhaps collect them in an anthology at the end of the year. A noble goal, right? Well, sure, if I can get my brain functioning, my fingers typing, my will cranked up and humming.

Brrr.  It’s cold up here in my garret. I’m assuming that’s because of the snowstorm. I’m alone here except for my noble cat, Oreo. She hasn’t given any indication of other…persons…being present.

I’m going downstairs to put the kettle on for some cocoa.