My First Camping Trip

Though I don't remember exactly, I was probably six when we made a wonderful camping trip to Yosemite National Park.We camped in a spot like this right next to the river. 
My father had constructed a trailer of wood and canvas that folded flat, but when we reached the campground it opened up to be a tent-like, with a bed on either side, and a pullout kitchen. He was way before his time. As far as I can remember, that's the only time we used it.
My sister was small enough, around one-year-old, that she spent a lot of time in a play pen.
My folk's best friends, the Timmons, camped nearby in a regular tent. They had a daughter my age and a son a bit older than my sister. 
Yosemite was much different way back then. Deer roamed around everywhere. Every night they had a fire fall--yes, fire was thrown off one of the higher cliffs. In the evening you could visit the dump and watch bears eating the garbage.
Every evening you could join one of the rangers telling great stories about Yos…


By Robert D. Calkins, If you think you got away with your crime, you should be very, very nervous. Oh, what’s that? “They never found the body,” you say?  Well stand by. Even the coldest of cold cases are getting warmer these days thanks to a partnership between dogs and technology.I recently attended a week-long class to help my otherwise proficient cadaver dog tune his nose into the extraordinarily small amount of scent that percolates up from very old clandestine graves. As part of the class we also learned to partner with ground penetrating radar (GPR) to narrow down what the dogs find.Over the years I’ve found that cadaver dogs don’t sniff the ground and say “dig here.” That’s not the dogs’ fault. Scent from decomposing remains will percolate up where the soil composition allows, and that might not be directly over the body. I’ve seen dogs alert yards away from a known burial- too far to just start digging.Even more challenging is that the amount of scent which comes up is of a m…

Yes, it is our 69th Anniversary!

Here we are on October 24, 1951. We had no idea what was ahead of u.
The place was the Methodist preacher's home in Cambridge, MD. My mother and I came by train all the way from Los Angeles CA for this big event. My mom and Hap's dad were our witnesses. We went back to Hap's grandmother's and aunt's home for a small reception--and I mean small. I don't think my new husband's relatives were particularly happy about the event. 
We went in three states for our one night honeymoon: Maryland, Delaware and Virginia, at the place where they all meet.
The beginnings were not easy--I won't go into it all--but we started off living in Norfolk VA in a basement apartment where we shared a bathroom with another Navy couple. After the first month I was pregnant and we barely had enough money to eat and after a struggle, I went back to Cambridge to live with the grandmother and aunts. Not easy--but the food was great.
Our first baby, a girl, was born in the Cambridge hosp…

Report on My Free Book Promo

My free book offering of Deadly Trail is now over. 
Did it achieve the results I wanted? I won't know completely for a few days or weeks. The whole idea is that people will like the first book and want to continue reading the series. So far other books in the series have been purchased.
Deadly Trailwas offered free for five days, Monday through Friday. Following are how many books were offered each day:
Monday  143 Tuesday  223 Wednesday  148 Thursday   53 Friday   38
I used several free and cheap sites to advertise--and there's really no way to tell what worked best.
I also advertised a lot on Facebook, my page and in groups, as well as something every day on Twitter. I could have done more but I do have other things to do. 
This is a good way to keep your books fresh in people's minds.
And I must add, I think it's fun too. 
Now, besides hoping people will move on to other books in the series, I hope that some who actually read the book will leave positive reviews on Amazon.

This is the Last Day, Don't Miss Out!

Yes, today is the last day to download a free copy of Deadly Trail on to your Kindle.
Why, you might ask, am I offering it for free? This is the first in the series, and of course my hope is that you'll enjoy it and want to see what happens to Deputy Tempe Crabtree next and start following the series.
I've done this with other books in this series and my other series and it's always fun to see how many copies get downloaded.
I'm fond of Tempe and her crew--and though she's always been a strong woman, she has changed in many ways over the years. I've had fun with her relationship and marriage to a pastor and the conflict that her Native American heritage causes with her husband's beliefs.
I've enjoyed finding out about the local Indians and the legends along with some of the mysticism. And as the series grew I learned about other Indians too. 
One more little tidbit--Tempe's name came from my great grandmother--also Tempe Crabtree. I thought if fit the pi…

Small Town Mysteries

I grew up in Los Angeles, also lived in Norfolk VA and Oxnard CA. Moving to the small foothill community of Springville was a new experience in many ways.
Though my great-great and great grandparents were pioneers to the area, having land grants of 6400 acres, it had been far too long ago for anyone to count us as old-timers. I knew the history of the family coming to Springville well and even wrote an historical family saga about them, Two Ways West.
Though the area is beautiful there are some inconveniences. To do any big shopping and to find many things we need, we must drive 17 miles to the next city (also small compared to what I was used to.) 
In Springville right now we have a K through 8th grade school, post office,fire station, the Springville Inn (which has new owners and a new name), a grocery store/gas station, two Mexican restaurants, a cafe, coffee shop, hamburger stand, fabric store, and other businesses, a huge place that was once a TB hospital but is now low-income housi…

The Bear Creek Inn and Fire

The Bear Creek Inn in Deadly Trail is very much like the Springville Inn in the town I live in--and in some ways very different.
The history of the fictional inn is the same as the history of the real inn. 
Bear Creek Inn doesn't look like the real Inn except that it is large with a big parking lot, has a dining room and rooms people can rent. 
In this first story, there is a large garden with medicinal plants and flowers. There is a trail with other Native American artifacts. Behind the inn, in the more mountainous areas, there are cabins where some of the staff of the inn live.
California has been plagued with even more fires than ever this year, including one in the mountains above us. 
Fire plays a big part in the mystery in Deadly Trail.
Now is the time to check it out while its free-- a good way to start the series with the first one.