According to most
literary criticism I have read, an author usually has one underlying theme that
she or he grapples with in fiction, returning to it time after time. In the
first book or two, the theme may not be obvious. In fact, the author herself
may not be conscious of it. Over the course of more books, however, an
underlying thread can often be found. What makes this concept
intriguing to me is simple. I only recently discovered my own underlying theme.
Moreover, it is not what I had thought it might be. Here it is—put most simply.
The importance of friendship with—and support from—other women is key to a
woman’s happiness. Or, to paraphrase the words the inimitable Ringo Starr sang
way back in 1967, “She gets by with a little help from her friends.” I am a relatively new
author. My first mystery came out in 2013 and my second two years later. Now my
third is nearing completion. I had thought I knew the themes in my murder
mysteries, but I realize I was wrong. After three outing…
It’s not a cozy!
My recent book The Most Dangerous Species is set in
a 12-acre cat rescue sanctuary in a village much like the one where I live in
the mountains in Central California.
Cozies are a genre of mystery fiction that often include
cats, domestic murders, amateur sleuths, and sometimes recipes. The tone is often light and airy and the sex
and violence happen off screen. I like them just fine when I’m in that mood,
but those are not the books I write.
Police procedurals are more in my line. The Most Dangerous Species features
a hotshot sheriff’s homicide detective from Bakersfield and a prickly village
patrol officer. The backstory of cat rescue is one that I know well, having
been a co-founder of the local SPCA.
Over the space of years I helped set up spay/neuter clinics, trapped and
fostered litters of feral cats, wrote grants and set up a thrift store to help
fund our work.
Animal rescue work makes you hate people for the terrible
things they do to animals. All of tha…
The Storm is a bit different than other books I've read by John M. Wills. It's a story of betrayal and the difficulty of forgiveness.
The heroine, Anna, is out for a run in a secluded area and is struck by lightning during a sudden storm. She isn't discovered right away, and when she awakens in a hospital, she has no idea who she is.
Her husband, Mark, who has been unfaithful, regrets his actions. The woman he's been seeing isn't ready to let him go and causes major problems as he tries to help Anna recover from her injuries and to regain her memory.
As with all of John's books, there is a spiritual element.
When it doesn't seem like things will be resolved in a happy ending. there is a shocking twist.
I did enjoy The Storm, and recommend it to others.