I Can Deny Ellie Nothing

I don’t say this entirely because I am a pathetic pet-owner who is owned by her cat. A large part is because I am pandemically housebound, haven’t started my blog tour yet for Casting Call, nor started writing my new Percy Cole book. And God forbid I should do some housework. Well, that’s not quite true. I did a load of laundry the other day. It sits in a basket in the living room waiting to be put away. But back to I can deny Ellie nothing. The other day I ordered her a pet stepladder to get on and off our California King bed. The bed has one of those Princess and the Pea mattresses. You know the kind, cloud-soft foam, several yards thick. The kind of bed where once you lay down not only don’t you want to get up, sometimes you can’t. You have to roll over to the side and drop off. Word to the wise: do this feet first. Headfirst, not so good. Adding to the bed’s height are the six-inch lifts. This is so hubby can store his musical equipment underneath. In short, this is not just a bed. It’s a way of life. And Ellie has taken to this life like the queen she is. It is her majesty’s kingdom. However, when she dienes to leave for food, drink, treats or… ahem… potty time, she has to return to her kingdom in the sky. Lately, this has involved a certain amount of posturing. Being a smart cat, despite what others might say, she lets me know when she wants a handheld elevator ride back to the stratosphere. She marches to the side of the bed, lifts herself up on her back legs, stretches front paws to the very top of the mattress, and…

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Casting Call for a Corpse

The 7th book of the Alvarez Family Murder Mysteries, Casting Call for a Corpse is now on preorder at Amazon.com for only $2.99 until midnight, July 31srt. Just click here for your copy. This book was a lot of fun to write. I enjoyed every minute of it. The plot certainly took me away to somewhere other than the pandemic. I got to visit the theater, one of San Francisco’s Painted Ladies, Half Moon Bay, a Christmas tree farm, and even got to mess around with a helicopter (naturally, only in my mind). Below is the blurb: A DETECTIVE AGENCY WITH HEART PLUS A WEDDING ANNIVERSARY! Super sleuth, Lee Alvarez, finds a dead man wearing a tuxedo in a friend’s bathtub during a soiree for San Francisco’s VIPs. And not just any friend, but an internationally acclaimed actress who recently came to live in San Francisco. And not just any bathtub, but a bathtub residing inside one of Alamo Square’s famed Painted Ladies, recently bought by said actress. The police believe it’s the actress friend who done the man in. After all, it’s her house and her tub. And another man died under suspicious circumstances around her recently. Both romantic encounters, doncha know. The actress must be guilty. Or is she? For ace detective Lee Alvarez, the timing couldn’t be worse. She is supposed to go off in celebration of her 6-month wedding anniversary with her hunky hubby. Paris is calling! Or is it? Her long-time friend, plus her mother – She Who Must Be Obeyed – thinks she should stick around and find out who the real killer is. So Lee, family, handsome hubby, and Tugger, the cat, are on the job. But Lee’s nose is itching. Which means not one of the suspects is telling the truth. Or not…

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Sheltering in Place – Day I Have No Idea

They say A Day Without Writing is Like a Day Without Sunshine. Actually, maybe ‘they’ don’t. Maybe nobody else says that but me. I know I’ve been paraphrasing something or other for so long, I can’t even remember what the original phrase is. A Day Without Wine is a Day Too Sober? Hmmmm. Maybe not. In any event, today I did no writing. That’s because yesterday I finished the rewrites given me by the content editor, Baird Nuckolls, for Casting Call for a Corpse. The wonderful image at right is not going to be the book cover. But it was done by friend and artist, Tricia Greenwood, and as the book cover for Casting Call… et al isn’t finished yet, I wanted to include this one in the meantime.   But back to the rewrites. There weren’t that many to do, hallelujah, and I was able to finish them off in two days. I sent the now more polished work off to my line editor, Paula Grundy, who has her work to do. So basically, I wait until the manuscript of Casting Call Blah Blah is returned to me. Maybe two weeks. Maybe even three!! Meanwhile, I could/want to start my new book, but I am at a loss as to what that book should be. I was thinking to start Spring Thaw, Book 2 of the Snow Lake Romantic Suspense Novels. But then, Percy Cole is calling me to write The Mother’s Day Murders, Book 4 of the Persephone Cole Vintage Mysteries.  Then, of course, I could write Book 3, Divorce Can Be Murder of the Love Can Be Murder Mystery Novellas. And let’s not forget….wait. I just forgot. Oh, yes! I could start Book 8 of the Alvarez Family Murder Mysteries, titleless at the moment. But let’s face it,…

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Sheltering in Place – Day Something or Other

When it comes to my writing, I have a fire in the belly. Or maybe it’s acid reflux. It’s hard to tell sometimes. All I know is I finished writing Casting Call for a Corpse, Book 7 of the Alvarez Family Murder Mysteries, on Sunday night and now I’m itching to start the next novel.  Of course, Casting Call is not really done yet. A million unfinished bits of business needs to go into making it a “done” work. I can’t help but look forward to a new book, a new set of laughs and problems to give to my readers. Let’s face it. An author is a masochist with delusions of readership. Because isn’t that the end result, readers? Isn’t that what writing a novel is all about? Otherwise, wouldn’t it be a diary or journal? I’m asking a lot of questions for someone who creates questions and then pretends to have the answers. I stack the deck, too. If it’s a question I don’t know the answer to, I veer off to the left. Or right. Sometimes I Google it and try to find whatever the answer is I want to give. That’s the kind of fiction writer I am. Some authors present a reader with a problem and leave them pondering. Aha, they effectively say! There you are! Now deal with it. That’s called shining a light on the truth. I don’t do that. I blast a bulb on the wannabe, wanna do, wanna live. Of course, I try to throw a life lesson in now and again, but happiness is my raison d’etre. So whatever the next book is, it will have a happy ending with the bad guys being punished and the good guys becoming B&BPs (bigger and better people). Because I am a firm…

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