Isn’t it wonderful that spring has finally decided to come stay? My arthritis is loving it, because I can get out in the hot tub to do my exercises every morning! I make a big mug of coffee, fill the bird feeder with seeds and watch the sun rise (and the birds fight to get to the feeder!) while I exercise. It makes the dratted things almost a pleasure. (Yes, I do hate to exercise!)
There are two wonderful books coming out this month in my re-release blitz. #12 is THE HOLLOW HOUSE by Janis Patterson, coming out on 7 June, a multi-layered mystery set in 1919 Denver which won more awards than any other book I have ever done.
After the end of WWI Geraldine Brunton has worked hard to erase all traces of the woman she used t0 be. Her quest to disappear seems almost complete when she is hired as the companion to the elderly, bed-ridden Mrs. Stubbs, a very wealthy woman who in spite of her disabilities rules the roost with an iron hand which the younger members of the Stubbs family do not like in the least.
Despite every effort to remain an outsider, when a murder rocks the household Geraldine Brunton is propelled into the center of the crisis in spite of the fact it threatens to expose the woman she used to be. Caught in the dark and dangerous web that extends far beyond the Stubbs family, she must identify the killer living in the Stubbs house or the living hell she has been running from for months will finally become her reality.
On 21 June SARACEN’S GIFT a Regency Romance by Janis Susan May is #13. I think we’re just about half-way through this re-release blitz. I’ll admit, half of me will be very glad when all this work is done, but the other half will be sort of sad. I’ve enjoyed working with these stories a second time. Sometimes I downright surprise myself!
When American heiress Clarissa Wentworth journeys to England to meet her unknown relatives she expects to find the beautiful, gracious estate her late father had described. Instead she is catapulted into a decaying mansion populated with an unpleasant assortment of relatives, each with their own agenda for her and her fortune. Worst of all is her grandfather, who demands she turn complete control of the fortune left to her by her father and then marry her dissolute cousin Basil in order to preserve the title, the estate and the family name.
As her liberties are restricted and her grandfather becomes more and more importunate there are two bright spots in Clarissa’s growing despair – a great champion of a horse called Saracen and a handsome, enigmatic neighbor named Robert Stanhope. The more Clarissa is drawn into her relatives’ scheming the more both man and horse come to mean to her until at last she is forced into a choice destined to alter her life forever.
Last month’s releases are doing quite well – THE LETTER by Janis Susan May is being very much enjoyed by the Regency Romance crowd, and EXERCISE IS MURDER by Janis Patterson (and the very first appearance of my ‘mature’ amateur sleuth Flora Melkiot, though oddly enough she isn’t the detective in this one… long story) has done marvelously!
Personally this month has been very happy. First of all I finished my novella Sister to Scandal for the Summer Dreamstone Anthology (I do two of these a year, one in the summer and one at Christmas) and got it off to the publisher. Then the Husband went on two fishing trips and between the two of them we vacuum-sealed and froze close to 20 pounds of fish filets! (The guide cleans and filets the fish; otherwise I wouldn’t let them near the house! I’m definitely not overly fond of fish in any form…) We went out to lunch or dinner with relatives and friends several times and enjoyed all of them.
We were invited to a lovely show at the Samuel Lynne Galleries. Lea Fisher was the featured artist – in fact, she was so busy I didn’t get a picture of her (pretty lady, though!) but here is one of her paintings –
What really blew my mind, though, were some artworks by Kelsey Anne Heberman. She uses oil paints and some other ingredients (she told me what, but I don’t remember) to make a thick, puffy medium and then she ‘paints’ beautiful pictures using cake decorating tools, including a variety of icing tips! Fantastic! Maybe I should ask you to buy lots and lots of books now so I can afford one of her works?
On the bad side, our power went out for a few hours and when it came on again our internet wouldn’t work. Lots of time and telephone calls later we were told that our router had gone to electronic Heaven and we would have to get another one. I miss the days when you would just call and someone who knew what they were doing would come and do whatever needed to be done. Instead we had to disconnect the old router, find a store for our provider (which was rather close, but set deep in the heart of one of the most horrible, confusing, dreadful shopping centers in the Western World. Then we were told with awe that our router (only nine years old) would have to be replaced – and that the average life of that model was only around two to three years! There was no charge, but we had to fight our way out of that dratted maze of a center, then come home, hook it up and get on the telephone with someone who did something on her computer and finally things got up and running. It had only taken about five hours out of the day, hours I really should have been writing! I really do miss servicemen who came to the house and took care of things…
We went to the Plano Gem and Mineral show… and of course we bought things. The Husband loves beautiful mineral specimens, lovingly cleaned and mounted on informative lucite stands. I love beautiful mineral specimens, artfully faceted and mounted in precious metals. We got some of both. I also found a beautiful carved lion’s face, roughly the size of a salad plate, in orange jade, sometimes mistakenly called sunstone. It’s name is Leopold and is now sitting on a stand in the bookcase behind my desk. I must be developing a thing for jade lions, because at this same show two years ago I bought (from a different dealer) a beautiful sculpture of a lion in white jade with green inclusions. Named Leonides, it sits on top of my printer. If I can ever get my camera fixed, I’ll post pictures sometime.
The final thing is last week I went to a meeting of one of my ladies’ clubs – meeting, program and lunch. This time the program was a harp concert. I love harp music, but have never ‘met’ a real concert-sized harp in person. Those things are an awesome seven feet tall, and there were five of them! Five! Have seldom enjoyed a concert more, and one of the main reasons was that the first song they played was the Star-Spangled Banner… but that wasn’t the best thing. That was when the song started, every single person in the room immediately stood up out of respect to our national anthem. It was a wonderful moment!
That’s about it for this month. Next month is going to be busy – hopefully I’ll finish the latest Flora Melkiot mystery (a lovely little tale of revenge and murder set in Las Vegas called MURDER AT FIVE TO ONE), then I’m going to speak to a writers’ group in Arkansas, after which The Husband and I are going to dig for diamonds in the Crater of Diamonds. I told him that almost every jewelry store has a nest of the them, but he would rather stalk them in the wild, so we will see! More information next time!