Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Talking dogs and time travelers

I confess.

This is one of my favorites.

It's written in 1st person POV (as is my wont), from Nico's point of view. Yep, he's a guy.

Nico is trapped in time. He's a time traveler who got stuck.

It's also a reincarnation story, and one of the main characters is a dog (Cerberus), who is sent to help Nico. Cerberus and Nico are telepathic, and some of their conversations are truly hilarious if I do say so myself.

I love the heroine, too. Lucinda is more than a match for Nico, but she's not slim, svelte, and sexy like he's tall, dark, and handsome. No, she's down to earth, pragmatic, and not overwhelmed by him.

It's a match made in ...  you know.

Friday, May 4, 2018

A cook with a hook

This is the 2nd book in the Deadly Landscaping series. The genesis for this plot came to me when I was watching one of those cooking shows. I think it was an Iron Chef or something like that.

I thought about a friend of mine who learned chef-ing while he was in the service. When he got out, he had a terrible drug problem because of an injury. A character in the first book ("Lilacs") had an alcohol problem, so I thought I'd pair the chef with her.

I had to put the chef in danger and get my primary heroine involved (Cassie, from the first book). I thought, "What better place to murder someone than a restaurant?"

And I was off and running ...

Here's Book 2 of the Deadly Landscape series, where Cassie *almost* gets her inheritance and the romance between her and Sam hits a bumpy spot in the road.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Pig Latin and romance ... what a combination!

The genesis of this book came about because I was attending a concert at the Minnesota State Fair.

Those who have been there know that the grandstand can be a dark spot at night. We were waiting for the show to start and I was watching the crowd down on the track. I thought, "Man, you could kill somebody there and nobody would be the wiser."


I wanted a quirky heroine, so I came up with Jane, who accepted a dare from a friend to write an erotic novel. Jane is a college professor, and I know a lot of college professors, and one thing led to another, and


I wanted Marcus to be the hero because he was a main character in another book ("Homicide and Hot Rods", previously discussed). He didn't get the girl in that book, but he does in this one.

Oh, and Pig Latin figures very heavily in this book. An-cay o-yay eek-spay IgPay Atin-Lay?

Thursday, April 19, 2018

The deep, dark waters of the lake ...

This is one of my more current books, based on the Arthurian legends. It's one of the Remembered Classics, in which I take some familiar characters and re-imagine them.

I always wondered about Vivian, the Lady of the Lake. The babe who tossed out a sword and decided who would be king. I started thinking about her and wondered, what if a woman had a lake home but she was terrified of deep water?

I started working backwards: why is she terrified of water? Has she always had a lake home? How would she meet the owner of the sword? What kind of business does she have that puts her in the way of a sword?

And then there was him: how did he lose the sword? What's his blind spot? What does he do for a living? How does he find?

Somehow, a book came together, in which Vivian comes into possession of a sword that Able (Arthur Baer LeRoy) is seeking. But is Arthur who he says he is? What does Vivian's ex-husband have to do with it?

Plus, there's that lake and her cabin ... and a cold October day when things get really terrifying.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

A gruesome death scene

This is one of the very first books I ever wrote and it's somewhat based on truth.

I knew a man like Tom, someone haunted by Viet Nam and what happened there, a man recruited by a shadowy agency who used his genius for ... I'm not sure what.

I embellished the story but wasn't sure who the hero would be. Then a news story caught my eye about a local small town sheriff who was retiring after 30 years of police work. What would life be like for him now that he was a civilian?

One thought led to another, and this book was born. It has a chilling death scene that still gives me shivers, if I do say so myself.

I rewrote it about 6 times, I think, before I think I got it right. These characters show up in some other books, and characters from Brilliant Disguise show up in this book as well. See if you can spot them!

Friday, April 6, 2018

The first Deadly Landscaping mystery

This book kicked off a 3-book series and it's a series I wasn't sure would ever get published.

At the time (a few years back), my publisher didn't like to do series with the same characters. I'm not sure why, but to make a long story short, I pitched the entire series AFTER I wrote the books. I submitted all 3 books to my editor, all the synopses, the blubs and tag lines: everything all at once.

She read the books, loved them, and helped convince my publisher to pick them up. We released them back to back, one a month, in April, May, and June.

A hectic burst of activity that year, for sure.

Anyway, here's the kickoff book to the Deadly Landscaping Romances, in which Carrie (who has an interesting history with the Whittington family) stands to inherit a million bucks -- maybe. There's the pesky problem of the body in the greenhouse to deal with, her ex-husband who still loves her, and a new boss who might be a new love interest.

And that's just for starters ....