Category Archives: Upcoming Work – novels and novellas

Third Book

The third book in my current series is nearing completion. The working title is “7 Rook Lane”. This is exciting as it brings to a close the story arc of Madeline Abbott and Scott Cooper that began with Unkindness of Ravens.

I’ve enjoyed these characters a lot and I suspect they will show up from time to time in further books. They have both had a great deal of hardships, but they have managed to handle them well—at least most of the time!

I am toying with the idea of revisiting the original characters from Unkindness, the employees Madeline first introduced us to: Nadine and Jamal, Charles and Cally and possibly Jamie Bradley, their intern.  I think they may meet with disaster while restoring an old home. I wonder how they’ll do?

In my personal life, my husband and I are concluding the restoration of our 1936 English Tudor/Cottage style home. Continue reading Third Book

Writing at the Speed of Life

It is the end of the first week in May, and I’m a little disappointed.

My next book (at least in my mind) was to be published NLT (that is military/aerospace speak for ‘no later than’) 15 May, 2016. I’m sorry to say that deadline will not be met. Not for a lack of trying. The current expected publication date will be 31 May, 2016.
We are in the midst of a large restoration project in our home. Of course we have been restoring our 1935 English/Tudor Cottage home for just about all of the sixteen and a half years we’ve owned it. This is nothing new, not at all. But this is just a huge undertaking, time consuming and expensive: all our downstairs original wood floors are being refinished. The downstairs space is at least 1700 square feet. I’m sure I don’t need to say what a huge hit to the budget this is. So, we elected to do it in increments.

That sounds good, doesn’t it? Really smart, financially speaking. In truth it has played havoc with our day to day quality of life. None of 5_part done-part to-dothis ‘tough it out for a week and just get it done’. No…Since the beginning of December—after the first segment was finished– our home has been in a constant state of unmitigated chaos. There is so much stuff stacked in the laundry room, you have to squeeze by to open/close the washer or dryer. We had to move out of our bedroom temporarily (into one of the BRs from the first segment) because our room was included in the second segment, just recently completed. Whew!

Of course we have a full bath upstairs as well as down, but while the second segment was being done everything—everything—was out of bounds, if you get my meaning. Trefinishedfloorhe last segment will include the living room and dining room. Two very large rooms which, thankfully will not impede use of the downstairs (or upstairs) bathroom! I keep reminding myself of how beautiful they are, which they are, and that
it’s all worth it.

All of which is to say, that I got a little behind in my work, frustrated and distracted. My latest book, Gate 6—Murder at Black Oaks is finally in its draft mode. What that means is that I’ve finished the story and it is now undergoing editing and final re-write! It is exciting to have this work completed, albeit a couple of weeks behind schedule.

“Gate 6” is another novel featuring my character Madeline Abbott, which takes place a year after the extraordinary events of my previous book, Unkindness Of Ravens. During the last year, Madeline has tried to move on after losing her mother in the horrific conspiracy and murder at Raven’s Nest. She seeks to renew her relationship with the virile and magnetic Detective Scott Cooper, but even that cannot go right. Nothing is as simple as it looks on its face. Scott encounters trouble of another kind and is forced to make hard choices—the question is: will he make the right one?
Unfortunately for Madeline, she once again gets caught up in a twisted series of events including a con man’s hoax, kidnapping, treasure hunting, a vicious attempted murder and a murder, where she herself is a prime suspect.

The new book is suspenseful, fun and even funny from time to time, of course that depends on the character’s point of view!


My WIP (Work In Progress), Working Title: Black Oaks, Gate 6

My current WIP features many of the same characters you met in Unkindness Of Ravens. We will be watching as Madeline Abbott enters into more danger and intrigue with the northern California coast mansion she inherits from her parents. What she doesn’t know is there is a great deal of outside interest in this property. There are tales told of hidden gold, a missing old and valuable document and possibly…pirate booty?

When she gets into a jam, and she surely will, will she call on her friend (possibly more than a friend ) Detective Scott Cooper?  How will Madeline get out of the fix she finds herself in: suspected of murder… Continue reading My WIP (Work In Progress), Working Title: Black Oaks, Gate 6

Recreating An Historic Home

In my book ‘Unkindness of Ravens’, my character Madeline (Dean) Abbott inherited an historic property on the northern California coast called Black Oaks. Her parents bought the property years before, with plans to restore it just as they did their family home, Raven’s Nest.

In my current work in progress (WIP) the characters’ stories have moved forward and Madeline now faces restoring Black Oaks alone. She also faces challenges to her very right to the property itself, murder and mayhem!

In the WIP, we learn the historic mansion Black Oaks was built by Orrick Fitzhugh back in the late 1880s. It was based on a beautiful home he saw in Massachusetts called Kragsyde. At this point fiction melds delightfully with history, because Kragsyde was a home that did actually exist from 1885 until it was razed in 1929. It was built by George Nixon Black Jr., a wealthy heir to a Boston real estate fortune. Continue reading Recreating An Historic Home