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Back to the Writing Business

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Because I'm expecting my new Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery to go live soon, and still have my latest Rocky Bluff P.D. mystery to promote, I've got several upcoming in-person events coming.
I do hope to get to as many of the San Joaquin chapter of Sisters in Crime as I can this year.

March 16th from 8-3, I'll be at the Writers of Kern's annual conference being held at Hodel's, 5917 Knudsen Dr., Bakersfield.  I'll be listening and learning, and I'll have a table with my books. 
On April 6th, I'll be in San Luis Obispo from 9-4 at the Central Coast Sisters in Crime Writers in Action conference. I'm giving a presentation on Getting it Right--and yes, I'll have books.
On April 13th, I'll be at the Visalia Book Festival from 9-4 in front of the big Visalia Library on Oak St,
In July, from the 18th to the 21, I'll be a the big PSWA conference at the Orleans in Las Vegas. (This is my favorite writing conference.)
October 12th, it's the Grea…

My Great Grands--What a Fun Group!

Every time I do something like this I'm afraid I'm going to forget someone, but I'm proud of punch of these kids, so I'll do it by family's and maybe I won't miss anyone that way.

Daughter Dana's grandkids:

Patrick and Lucy's kids:
Emily is following her dream. After attending beauty school, she stepped out on her own and is now doing hair and make-up for wedding, fashion shows (even one in New York), TV movies, and the latest, worked backstage at one of the awards shows.
Olivia is going to college to be a teacher for kids with special needs!
Ethan is a super star baseball player in high school--a pitcher.
Genie and Mark's kids:
Peyton: Planning toward college, but was a wonderful Irish dancer for many years, winning awards, started mountain biking recently.
Garrett: Already planning ahead. Is in the Young Marines, but has his goal set on flying.


Daughter Lisa's grandkids:
Brandon is a husband, father, pastor, an MMA fighter, trains others for M…

My Amazing Grandkids

Feel like I may have done this before, but what the heck, they are my grandkids and I'm proud of the whole bunch.

Doing in by family so I don't leave anyone out:

Dana and Mike's kids:

Patrick is a great husband and dad. He's also is a master at mixing colored inks--and has been doing that for years. (He also has a great sense of humor and is fun to be around.)

Genie besides being a great wife and mother is a speech pathologist for grammar school kids. She has a great time with her own two children.

Lisa and Henry's kids:

Melissa is an amazing women, wife, mom and grandmother. She does so many things for out church and people I can't name them all. Suffice it to say she truly loves and serves the lord. (She also helps me a lot!)

Merenda is also a great wife and mom. She homeschools her kids and makes beautiful jewelry. She's a most loving young woman.

Mark's one and only child:

Jeffrey, who I finally got to see after many years apart, still looks like th…

Writers in Action...Perfecting Your Craft

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STRONG YOUNG WOMEN IN DIFFERENT HISTORICAL ERAS by Kay Kendall

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My new mystery, After You’ve Gone,is set during Prohibition, and even in Gunmetal, Texas, times are changing. For example, my heroine, twenty-three-year-old Wallie MacGregor, reads the thrilling tales of Sherlock Holmes while she dreams of becoming a writer and living an exciting life. Then her long-lost uncle turns up at the home she shares with her father, a judge. Uncle Rory is on the lam from his angry bosses in sinful Galveston, where they run a thriving bootlegging operation and other illegal businesses. Soon Wallie is tangling with flappers and floozies and dangerous criminals as she tries to solve a murder that the local sheriff swears is just an accident. Her shenanigans scandalize her prim aunt who wants Wallie to concentrate on choosing a suitable suitor. Besides discovering who is running around killing people, the other big question is whether Wallie can stay alive long enough to figure out which one is her true love.
Writing about the 1920s is a significant departure for …

How Can it be February Already?

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I thought last year zoomed by, but this one is moving along even faster.

And because this is a short month, it will be gone before you know it.

January was filled with family occasions and I'm blessed to have a very big family.

I did have time to do a lot of writing on my next Rocky Bluff P.D. mystery, and I spent time promoting the latest one in the series, Tangled Webs, including four days of it being only .99cents for Kindle. I know that people bought it because the numbers on Amazon dipped very low. Because it's not self-published, I won't know exactly how the sale went until I hear from my publisher.

As yet, I haven't heard when the next Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery will be available, though it has been edited and I've gone over and approved most of the edits. These things take time, and what I sent back was lost for a little bit. Don't you love modern technology when it doesn't work quite like it should?

Of course I'm anxious to set up promotion …

CHRISTMAS CUSTOMS--1790s to Now

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The holidays are over for another year. Since our modern Christmas traditions are an amalgam of customs from all over the world and many are recent additions, I wondered how Will Rees (main character in The Shaker Murders) and his family, as well as the Shakers, would have celebrated this holiday. Yes, the Shakers were Christians – a fact in dispute at this time – and would have observed this holiday. The giving of presents, the decoration of the houses with evergreens, the suspension of enmity and the proclamation of peace were all features of the festival right from the beginning. (That is, with some interruptions. The Puritans thought the celebrations took away from the worship of God and banned all jollity.) Caroling, for example, has been a feature of the season since the middle ages. The evergreen wreaths also have had a long history. The Etruscans used wreaths, a tradition that continued into Ancient Greece and Rome. The different plants symbolized different virtues. Oak leaves …