Tuesday, July 25, 2023

BURIED THREAT by Susan Gee Heino

Uncovering the past can be deadly...

When ex-con Will Viveners finds a decades-old corpse in his newly-inherited garden, he is forced to let Police Chief Caralee Patterson dig into his dark past. She’s smart, and a hard worker, but can he trust her? He’s desperate to finish remodeling the house; he needs a quick sale. With a body in the backyard, though, Caralee puts his progress on hold. Will’s only option is to work with her to help solve this mystery quickly or risk losing everything. But when the truth starts to hit too close to home, Will has to decide between turning a profit or turning back to the faith he once knew. Is he ready to let his new feelings for Caralee set him free, or will he remain a prisoner of his past?

I had so much fun writing this! I wrote most of this book last year during the summer months, so I incorporated one of my greatest loves: gardening. What could be more fun than a spooky old secret garden, with gnarled trees and clutching weeds choking out the few scattered remains of once lovely roses and brilliant daylilies? And of course--the scattered remains of some unlucky person!

Will and Caralee are an unlikely couple--he's an ex-con, and she's a cop. Not just a cop, but she's the Chief of Police! I thought it might be hard to actually bring these two together, but as I got to know them I discovered they aren't as different as I first thought. They want the same things in life, and they both care deeply about family and faith. As they worked together to solve the mystery, their lives and their emotions become entwined in the most heartwarming way. And did I mention there's a puppy? Yeah, a puppy invaded the story and I fell in love with him, too.

I love a story with twisting plotlines and inter-connected characters, so that's what this is. Most of all, though, I love a story with a happy ending. Will and Caralee do finally get there, but the journey is full of bumps in the road. We wouldn't want it any other way, right?

You can find BURIED THREAT on bookshelves at major retailers as well as online. Check out my website for links to buy your own copy in print or digital. Then dig in!   www.SusanGH.com

Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Love Him or Lock Him Up? The March Murderer, Part 2


When we last left our fearless sleuth, Det. Lauren Order was on the scene of a brutal murder and had just fingered the culprit. But was it Joe or was it Byron? How did Lauren know? To find out who she will love and who she'll lock up, here is Part 2 of "The March Murderer." (To read Part 1, just scroll down to my previous blog entry.)

The March Murderer, Part Two

Byron Corpus gasped when Lauren singled him out. “How can you accuse me of such a thing, Lauren? I thought we were friends!”

Mrs. Biddy clearly took his side. “It can’t be him! No, look at his boots, they’re clean as a whistle. Mr. Maraschino’s though, they prove his guilt. Look at all that mud, just like the prints he left on the back porch.”

“I got this mud on my boots when I worked here two days ago!” Joe insisted. “I haven’t set foot in this house since then, not until just this morning.”

“I believe you, Joe,” Lauren said. “It was too cold last night for anyone to get mud on their boots—the ground was frozen solid. Obviously, those tracks outside were made long before Carrie was murdered. Besides, the way that dry mud is flaking off your boots, Joe, you would have left a trail of it all through the house if you’d been here. Carrie cleaned up after you left two days ago, and her kitchen floor is still spotless… well, most of it is. Besides, it’s obvious Byron had the better motive and opportunity to murder his sister.”

“Why would I kill her?” Byron cried. “Our parents are gone; she was all I have left!”

“Exactly, and now that she’s gone, this house is all yours.”

“But I didn’t want the house! I can show you the agreement we drew up. Lauren was keeping the house and she was paying me for half of it. That’s the arrangement I wanted.”

“It might be what you wanted at first, then you realized your share would be a lot less than what your sister would get. She was doing all the renovations so she could sell the house for much more than the agreed-upon appraisal, wasn’t she?” Lauren questioned. “You would get half the old amount, but she’d get everything else. Isn’t that true?”

Byron’s gaze darted about anxiously. Officer Bell moved into the doorway, blocking any route of escape.

“What do I care about that? I didn’t kill her; she was my sister!”

“And she was cheating you. She didn’t even hire you do the remodeling, did she?”

He gave an angry snort. “She hired this ex-con to do the work that I could have done. Can you believe it? Her own brother, and she made me grovel and beg for crumbs that should have already been mine.”

“That’s why you killed her, isn’t it? She’d gone to the bank to get money for Joe. You thought that money should have been yours.”

“It was my money. And she owed me a lot more than just $2,000.”

“But she wouldn’t give it to you,” Lauren said. “So you took it, didn’t you? She tried to stop you, so you killed her with that wrench.”

“I’m not the ex-con here,” Byron snapped. “Why don’t you accuse him? He threatened my sister! I saw that horrible note he wrote her.”

Joe quickly defended himself. “It’s true I warned Carrie that she needed to pay. But it wasn’t a threat. I’ve got to have the money for my nephew’s medical bills—it’s a matter of life and death!”

Byron tried to argue, but Lauren shushed him. “It’s too late, you already admitted your guilt when you mentioned the money. There’s no way you could have known the amount or seen that invoice before yesterday—the invoice was only mailed the day before, and Carrie went to the bank yesterday at noon. It’s obvious that you were here yesterday, Byron. You saw Joe’s invoice and you took the money.”

“No! I told you, I couldn’t go anywhere—my car was out of gas.”

“Then how did you show up here in your car this morning?” Lauren asked. “You filled it up because you took that money last night. That’s why Mrs. Biddy saw you walking away, clomping along in your two-sizes-too-big workboots with no mud on them. You walked here, and then you walked home… after you murdered your sister.”

Byron lunged at Lauren, but Officer Bell and Joe jumped in to stop him. They barely held him back as he seethed.

“All right, fine. I did it!” he snarled at her. “But you’re no goody-two-shoes, Lauren Order. You made a date with an ex-con!”

“Worse, I almost stepped out with a murderer,” Lauren said, giving Joe a quick grin. “But I won’t give that ex-con the boot. Think we could give the movies another try, Joe?”

Joe smiled back at her and gave a wink as he said, “Yeah, I think we can do a reboot.”

So how did you do? Did you figure out who gets the love and who gets locked up? 
If you don't want to miss out on any up-coming installments in this FREE Read series, go to my website and sign up for my Reader List. You can continue to play along, and you might just get a chance to win something fun!  www.SusanGH.com 


Sunday, March 6, 2022

Love Him or Lock Him Up? "The March Murderer, Part 1"


 Meet Detective Lauren Order. She's a small-town cop from a small town called Coppers Park. It's an ordinary small town, and Lauren is an ordinary cop. On her way to finding true love, she has to solve a few ordinary small-town mysteries such as lost cats, teenage pranks, parking infractions, and... murder.

“The Case of the March Murderer”

Local real estate agent Carrie Corpus has been murdered! Can you help Lauren sort through the clues to determine who gets her Love, and who gets Locked Up?  Enjoy this short story and through the month of March you can let me know who YOU think the murderer is. If you are correct, you'll be entered into a drawing to win a copy of my newest release, a Love Inspired Cold Case, GRAVE SECRETS.


Or you can read it here!
The truth will be revealed in April 2022.

Part One

It was an icy March morning when Lauren got her first call of the day. She shivered as she drove across town, her car sliding on the frozen roadways. Nothing short of murder would have dragged her out on such a cold day, but that’s just what this was. A body had been discovered! Local real estate agent, Carrie Corpus, was murdered in her own home, bludgeoned by some heavy metal object.

Lauren arrived on site. Officer Bell had already secured the scene and informed Lauren that there were three persons of interest waiting in the other room: Mrs. Biddy, the victim’s next-door neighbor, and two men, Byron Corpus, the victim’s brother; and Joe Maraschino, her contractor. Lauren must have shown her surprise when Officer Bell mentioned their names.

“You know these people?” he asked.

Lauren nodded. “Two of them, Byron and Joe.”

“Close friends of yours?”

“Not yet,” Lauren said.

She’d been hoping to change that, though. She met Byron when he was hired to do a construction project at the police station. They hit it off and finally scheduled a date for last night. It was just after noon when he called to cancel, so she’d asked someone else to go out with her.

Joe was a friend from the dog park. His Labradoodle liked play-dates with Lauren’s Weimaraner. When Byron cancelled, Lauren invited Joe to join her instead. He’d told her he would, but in the end he never showed. She spent her evening alone, sitting at the movies with one extra ticket. To make it even worse, she hadn’t realized this cold front was moving in, so she’d only brought a light jacket.

This was not going to be a pleasant investigation.

“Let’s look at the body first,” she suggested.

Officer Bell ushered her to the kitchen.

Carrie Corpus was lying there, her head crushed by one powerful blow. A dark pool of blood surrounded her, stark and ominous against the brand-new tile. A mop and broom leaned in the corner, their recent work negated by the grisly aftermath of violence.

Lauren could easily see that the house was being extensively remodeled. Appliances had been moved, walls were unpainted, and tools were scattered about. A large pipe wrench was in plain view.


“Is that the murder weapon?” she asked Officer Bell.

“It’s got blood on it,” he confirmed. “But no fingerprints.”

“Figures,” she sighed.

Wondering how the murderer had gained entry, Lauren inspected the back door. It was locked securely. Turning the latch, she let herself out into the back yard. A new deck was being built. A set of muddy footprints tracked over it, all the way to the back door. Work boots with a distinctive star-shaped logo in the tread. Lauren pulled out her notebook and jotted this down.

Heading back inside, she noted that a laptop computer sat open on the kitchen counter. The victim’s wallet was next to it with several envelopes. Lauren checked the wallet and found ID, credit cards, and a twenty-dollar bill. Next, she checked out the envelopes.

There was an invoice mailed two days ago from Joe Maraschino for his remodeling work. It seemed Ms. Corpus was past-due in her payments—the contractor was seriously out of pocket and none too happy about it. There was a furious note in large, bold handwriting: “You’ve kept me waiting too long! I warned you what would happen—it’s life or death now, Carrie. You will pay.” Lauren made a quick note of that in her book.

The next envelope contained legal documents regarding Carrie’s inheritance. Apparently, this house was part of her parents’ estate. After a quick read, Lauren learned that the house had gone to both Carrie and her brother. The brother wanted money instead, so Carrie agreed to pay him half of the home’s appraised value. Someone had taken red pen and made a brutal circle around the amount that was listed there. From the looks of the remodeling projects, that appraisal figure seemed rather low. Lauren also jotted that into her notebook.

The third envelope had no writing on it. Inside, Lauren found the bank receipt for a $2,000 cash withdrawal, dated yesterday at noon. But there was no cash. If Carrie had gotten $2,000 from the bank, it wasn’t there now. Lauren wasn’t sure what to write in her notebook for that.

She needed some answers. Hopefully, she’d find those waiting in the next room. Signaling Officer Bell, she headed for the formal living room where everyone was gathered.

“I’m the one who found her,” the older woman on the sofa began. “Eleanor Biddy. I live next door. Every morning at 7:15 I take little Buttons out for his morning walk.”

“Buttons?” Lauren asked.

“My dog,” Mrs. Biddy explained. “He’s the cutest thing! Each day, I put on my walking shoes, dress Buttons in his sweater, and we go on our walk. Carrie waves to us from her window. On our way back, she comes out to give Buttons a cookie. It’s like a ritual for us! But when she wasn’t there waving at us, and then when she didn’t come out with a cookie… I just knew something was wrong. I was afraid something like this might happen… the sort of people she’s been working with lately.”

“What do you mean?” Lauren asked.

“That contractor!” Mrs. Biddy said, glaring daggers at Joe. “Oh yes, I’ve heard him arguing with her about money. Well, when I didn’t see her today I went around to peek in the back window. His footprints are all over out there! Then I saw her. Just terrible! I called the police right away.”

“Thank you for calling it in, ma’am,” Officer Bell said. “We appreciate your vigilance.”

Mrs. Biddy beamed. “I don’t usually go around snooping that way, but after last night, I guess I was worried.”

“What happened last night?” Lauren asked.

Mrs. Biddy shook her head sadly. “I took Buttons out for his nighttime potty. It was right at 10:30—the same time, every night. That’s when I saw him.”

“Saw who?” Lauren questioned.

“A man. A man was walking up the sidewalk, away from Carrie’s house.”

“You saw a man leaving her house?”

“Well, I couldn’t be sure he was leaving her house. He was already on the main sidewalk when I saw him, walking away. But where else could he have come from? I would have seen him if he walked past my house, and there weren’t any cars on the street.”

“So you think he came from her house,” Lauren said, noting that in her book. “And can you describe him?”

“He was walking away, so I didn’t see his face. Plus, he had his coat pulled up tight around him. It got so cold last night, really freezing! With that heavy coat, I couldn’t even tell if he was a hefty man or thin. But I do remember his footsteps.”

“His footsteps?”

“Yes, he was clomping quite loudly. The man wore heavy boots—workman’s boots. He must have been the murderer! Don’t you think?”

Officer Bell shot a quick glance at Lauren. She nodded but didn’t comment. It was too soon to draw any conclusions.

“I guess we’ll find out, Mrs. Biddy,” Lauren said.

The older woman smiled, then reached over to pat Byron’s shoulder. “I hope so, Miss Order, for poor Byron’s sake. I’m sure this has been quite an awful shock for him.”

“I’m sure it has,” Lauren agreed, finally facing her former date. “I’m very sorry for your loss, Byron. Can you tell me what brought you out here this morning?”

“Carrie asked me to come.” His voice cracked with emotion. “I mean… yesterday she did. She told me to come pick up my money.”

“Your money?”

“She’s buying my share of the house. Yesterday she called to say she had the first installment for me. So, I came over this morning. The police were already here… it’s just awful.”

“Yes, it is. Please bear with me, I have to ask a few questions to get the timeline figured out. When did you talk to her yesterday?”

“Just after lunch. I should have come over last night, but I had other plans. I mean… something else came up.”

“So you weren’t here yesterday? At all?”

“No! As I said, I had other plans.”

“And what were those other plans, Byron? I know the plans you did have, but you cancelled those. Why?”

He hung his head sheepishly. “I’m sorry, Lauren. I’m ashamed to admit it, but I’m broke. My car ran out of gas so I couldn’t take you to the movies. That’s why I had to cancel.”

Lauren eyed him. His faded shirt and frayed jeans supported his claim of poverty. His footwear, however, told a different story.

“It looks like you were able to afford new boots recently,” she commented. “That’s a good brand, and there’s not even a smudge on them.”

There was a familiar logo, though—a five-pointed star.

“These? I found them at the thrift store just a few days ago,” Byron claimed. “They’re two sizes too big, but I’m happy to have them. My only other pair of shoes fell apart last week!”

“I see. But that doesn’t explain where you were last night,” she insisted.

Byron shrugged. “I was alone at my home, as I told you. No gas in my car.”

“No one to provide an alibi, either.” Lauren sighed, then turned to Joe. “And what about you? Where were you last night, Joe?”

He shifted nervously in his chair, crossing and uncrossing his legs. Lauren couldn’t help but recognize the same star-shaped logo on his heavy work boots. His, however, were not clean and new like Byron’s. Joe’s boots were caked with dried mud. Clumps and dust littered the area where Joe had been sitting.

“I’m really sorry, Lauren,” he said. “I was happy you called me. I’m not used to having a day off so it was a nice distraction. But not even a half hour after I talked to you, my brother called with a family emergency.”

Mrs. Biddy clicked her tongue. “We’ve all heard about your family, Mr. Maraschino. What was the emergency? Did someone need you to help rob the bank? Make someone an offer they can’t refuse?”

“I’m not involved in that stuff!” Joe grumbled. “Not anymore. Two years in prison straightened me out.”

“What was this family emergency, Joe?” Lauren asked, ignoring Mrs. Biddy’s sneer.

“My brother and I run an honest business,” Joe defended. “Despite all the rumors, we gave up the old Maraschino ways. This emergency was my ten-year-old nephew being rushed to the hospital! He’s been sick and we’ve struggled to pay for his treatments.”

“That’s why you missed our date?” Lauren asked.

Joe nodded. “I was so worried that I jumped in the car and rushed to the hospital, leaving my phone at home. By the time I even remembered our date, Lauren, it was too late. I didn’t have your phone number with me to call you. I’m sorry, but my family needed me. I stayed at the hospital all night.”

“Your family can vouch for your whereabouts? You were with them all night?”

“Well, not really. My brother and his wife were in the room with my nephew. I slept in a chair out in the lobby. Alone.”

“I see,” Lauren said, watching him closely. “So you could have left the hospital at any time. And I assume as Carrie’s contractor, you have a key to her house?”

“So what? Her brother probably has one, too.”

Lauren glanced over at Byron. He gave her a reticent nod. Obviously locked doors would not be a deterrent for either of these two suspects.

“All right, Joe,” she sighed. “Why are you here this morning?”

“I came to get my money,” he replied. “My nephew is doing better today, so I left the hospital and went home bright and early. I checked my phone and found a message from Carrie yesterday saying she had a payment for me and wanted me to come finish the job. I refused to work yesterday because she hadn’t paid me, so this was good news. I put on my work clothes and came right away. I got here at the same time Byron drove up. I almost took off when I saw the police here, but they told us what happened. It’s really tragic.”

“It is, but I’m glad your nephew is doing better,” Lauren said. “And I’m sorry you both missed the movie yesterday.”

“I hope you’ll give me a raincheck,” Byron said. “I’d love to reschedule our date… once all this has settled down, of course.”

“And I hope you’ll be willing to give me another chance, too,” Joe said quickly. “I was really looking forward to getting to know you better, Lauren.”

Mrs. Biddy interrupted the men with loud throat-clearing. “I say! Miss Order, how can you even think about dating at a time like this? Poor Ms. Corpus has been killed!”

“She’s right,” Officer Bell inserted. “Ms. Corpus is dead and there’s a high probability that one of these three people is a murderer!”

“I am not a murderer,” Mrs. Biddy declared firmly.

“Of course you’re not, Mrs. Biddy,” Lauren assured her. “The murderer is one of my two friends here, I’m sad to say.”

Officer Bell seemed perplexed. “If you’re so sure it’s one of them, why are you planning to date them?”

“Oh, I’m only going to date one of these guys,” Lauren said with a smile. “The other one has a date with a jail cell. Officer Bell, arrest him!”

With a confident flourish, Lauren pointed directly at the murderer.

Who do YOU think Lauren will Love, and who will she Lock Up?

 Send your list of suspects to susan.heino@gmail.com . If you are correct, you will be entered in a drawing to receive a signed copy of Grave Secrets by Susan Gee Heino. Be sure to include your name and contact info along with who gets the Love and who gets Locked up!

Stay tuned for the exciting conclusion:

The Case of the March Murderer: Part 2

(If you don't want to miss Part 2, visit my website and join my Reader List if you don't already receive my infrequent emails!)




Sunday, February 27, 2022

A Birthday Brag...


It’s my birthday! So I’m going to brag about my up-coming New Release. Isn’t this cover just wonderful?


Available March 29, 2022

from Harlequin Love Inspired, Cold Case Series

The key to an unsolved mystery…
Lies buried in the past.

When the body of a missing teenager is found buried near a small Kentucky church, Detective TJ Douglas must track down the killer. Lawyer Carlie Fenton’s late father is the prime suspect and, determined to clear his name, she offers to join the investigation. Can TJ trust Carlie to help find the truth—even if digging into the past uncovers secrets powerful enough to shatter her world?

My readers know that I generally write books set in the English Regency time period, the early part of the 1800s. But surprise! I’m changing my game just a bit.

In 2022 I will have two books out with Harlequin Love Inspired. These inspirational stories will focus on contemporary life in America. My characters wrestle with the same things many of us do: juggling family commitments and careers, overcoming past hurts, growing in faith, and falling in love. On top of this, my characters have something else to worry about: murder!

Grave Secrets introduces us to Carlie Fenton and TJ Douglas. Carlie is a preacher’s daughter who went off to the big city and became a lawyer. Disillusioned and questioning her faith, she returns to her small town in hopes of re-grounding herself. When she literally stumbles onto the scene of a decade-old murder, she finds herself sparring with the new head detective in town. Detective Douglas is no slouch—he sets to work and right away his investigation leads him straight to Carlie’s father.  But Carlie knows her father is innocent—how can she prove the detective wrong? Despite her growing feelings for TJ, she’s got to save a good man’s legacy.

GRAVE SECRETS is available for pre-order from your favorite booksellers. For more info about this and all my other books, head to my website:  www.SusanHeino.com .


And be on the lookout for fun stuff coming up in March 2022! I’ve got a new Free Read to offer and an exciting new Give Away contest!

Thursday, July 1, 2021

Best Worst Vacation Ever!


Vacation season is upon us. Some vacations go exactly as planned, and some do not. Here is the exciting tale of one that did NOT.

It all began on a peaceful day in July of 2018...

Ah, Michigan! I was born there and have wonderful memories of summer vacations there with all my family. There are some truly beautiful places in Michigan! I thought it was high time my kids got to experience them, so I crafted a route and booked our hotels. It was going to be awesome!

Then I realized transportation would be an issue. My car at the time was teeny tiny and my husband’s car had been acting squirrely; neither of these would work as a Family Vacation Vehicle. So we opted to drive our daughter Joy’s precious car. Her dad bought it for her three years ago when she was sixteen. It was super cool—a zoomy Dodge Charger that used to be a sheriff’s chase car! Just what every teenager needs, right? But there was a huge trunk and enough leg room for all four of us, so we christened it our road-trip wagon. Joy called it Penelope.

We headed North. Michigan is just as beautiful as I remember! We went up to the Traverse City area and I showed the kids some of the old farms and cherry orchards that used to belong to my family. My kids got to swim in lakes that I used to swim in as a kid. We bought fruit at a roadside stand from people who recognized my maiden name and claimed to be distant relatives, and we had dinner with cousin of mine whom I haven’t seen since middle school. 

We climbed giant sand dunes (my kids declared them “sand mountains”) and played in the water of two different Great Lakes. We hopped on the ferry and went to Mackinac Island to be fascinated by the horse carriages, the beautiful homes, the historic fort, the made-right-in-front-of-you fudge, and the exorbitant prices for everything.

The first days of our vacation were wonderful. I started not feeling well out on the Island and was glad that we were on the way to our last stop—a short stay at Frankenmuth with history, shopping, putt-putt golf, and the most kitschy surroundings imaginable. It was just a few hours drive there, a straight shot south on I-75. We had stuck to the schedule and would settle into our touristy Bavarian-themed hotel there right on time. I was planning to let Jack and the kids go explore on their own while I went to bed early—I assumed my headache, stomachache, and overall yuckiness was just the result of too much fudge.

It wasn’t. And we never made it to Frankenmuth. We made it to the freeway interchange at Gaylord.

While stopping for gas, we had a freak accident. An ill-placed embankment was cleverly hidden in shadows. We didn’t see it. The car hit the curb/wall/murderous-ledge at around 10-15 miles per hour, but it was just enough to destroy it. The car, not the ledge. The impact crushed the oil pan, punctured the radiator, and sheered off the very important bars that are supposed to hold the engine in place. We still have no idea how so much damage could be inflicted by such a minor bump, but it did. My daughter’s precious car—her darling Penelope—was dead.

My husband was devastated. He’d been driving and felt as if he’d killed our daughter’s best friend. I felt sick and miserable—after all, I’d been the one navigating as we pulled out of the service station and I should have seen the evil concrete barrier. My daughter, bless her, did her best to hide her sorrow, and my son, God love him, pretended that he never had wanted to stay at that hotel in Frankemuth with its gaming arcade and indoor water park.

And so began the epic struggle to locate a tow truck, find a mechanic—after hours on a weekend, of course—and decide what could be done. The tow driver told us he thought things looked bad, the guy who owned the garage confirmed the worst. The cost of fixing the car would be well over the value of it, and it would likely take weeks to even locate the parts that we’d need. My husband crawled under the car and did hours of his own online research into parts and repair and decided that the mechanic was honest—the car was a loss. The best we could do was sell it to the garage and let it become their problem. Our problem would be to find another way home.

I’ve been told that was an epic story of its own, but I truly don’t recall. The last thing I remember is the very pretty 18-year-old daughter of the garage owner piling us and all our worldly possessions into her daddy’s giant Ram truck and driving us around Gaylord to find the one and only hotel room that was available that night. I remember the kids ooing and ahhing over the giant hotel suite we finally found, dragging all our stuff into it, and from then on things get a bit murky. 

I spent the next hours/days sicker than a dog, hugging the porcelain font, shaking with fever, and sucking ice chips to stay hydrated. We were in that hotel for more than two days and I don’t remember any of them.

When the fever finally broke and I "came to," my son hugged me furiously and said he’d been pretty sure I was going to die. I discovered another man in our hotel suite, too. My husband’s best buddy had come up from Ohio to drive us all home--he's the nicest guy and truly a lifesaver. No matter where my husband looked, he had failed to find a single rental car, van, truck, or horse carriage anywhere in Michigan. It was the height of vacation season and they were all rented. Of course.

Long story short (too late!) we made it home, with all of our things. Somehow our friend managed to cram us all into his SUV and he drove us back to the Buckeye state. I have vague memories of sleeping in a strange vehicle, propped up with a pillow. Or maybe they put the pillow over my head to keep me from breathing on them for the long drive. Luckily, I was well beyond the puking stage; there was nothing for me to puke that hadn’t already been puked. It took several days before I could eat or drink anything after all that. Somehow, nobody else got the least bit sick, so I still don’t know what on earth kind of illness I had. Some freakish Michigan bacteria, maybe? On the plus side, I lost nearly ten pounds and we have a Vacation-From-Hell story to talk about for years to come.

After a couple weeks we found a new car for Joy and helped her purchase it. She opted for something cute but practical and named this one Oswald. It will never pass for a police chase car, but it’s economical on gas and she won’t have any trouble parking in the crowded lots on campus this year. I slowly recovered and got all the laundry caught up, and life got back to normal. I have a feeling that Michigan mechanic was eventually able to fix up Penelope and maybe his pretty young daughter had as much fun with her as Joy did. I’m okay with that.

This will always be a vacation that we remember, and I’m okay with that, too. The whole point of family vacations is to be with each other and make memories. We certainly accomplished that goal with this trip!


Thursday, April 12, 2018

Happenings for May 2018

Cover Reveal!
Sorry, you'll have to wait until September for the book, but you can join me in oooing and ahhing over the cover right now. Isn't it pretty?  Rogue of the Greenwood is a sort-of Regency version of Robin Hood. Let me tell you, I've been having some fun writing this one!  No spoilers, but I can't wait for you all to meet Sir Robert Locksley and his neighboring nemesis, Miss Marianne Maidland.  Sparks--and arrows!--will definitely fly.

Making a Public Spectacle of Myself
On May 12, 2018, I'll be speaking at the Richwood-North Union Public Library in Richwood, Ohio.  This is my home turf, so I look forward to lots of laughter and some rousing Q & A.  If you are in the Central Ohio area, please come out and join us at 11:30 am! 

A Funny Freebie for You!
Here's an exclusive gift just for my subscribers!  Follow this link to read a short-but-sweet story written just for you!

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Fall Back in Time

Last night we turned the clocks back an hour here in the USA. We gained an hour of sleep, but we lose an hour of daylight every day until daylight savings kicks in again next year. For now, though, what do we do with all these shorter days and chilly weather? I have just the thing! How about curling up with a soft blanket, a mug of something warm, and a fabulous book? My preference is Historical Romance.

Why Historical Romance, you ask? Oh, only about a million reasons! I love being transported back to days-gone-by. I love the beautiful clothes and the elegant architecture. I love horses and carriages and flickering lamplight. I love that there were no cell phones or televisions—information had to be carried person to person. I love that social rules were different and more complicated to navigate. And I love all the intricate storylines that can be woven into these historical settings.

Are you curious about Historical Romance? Here are a couple great links to check out: Great Escapes Books  and  Historical Romance Network .

Have you read any Historical Romance lately? Leave a comment and tell me what you love about historical romance and your name will be entered in a drawing!
On November 8th I'll select a random winner who will receive a print copy of Yuletide Lies, a Regency Christmas novel full of mystery, a motley menagerie, and the gift of true love.