I am out of sorts. So out of sorts that I’m thinking of immigrating. Again.

What? You didn’t know I was an immigrant?

When I was eight my mom and brothers and I moved to Canada. I lived there seven years. Our neighbors didn’t like Americans and threw firecrackers at me. When I was fifteen I moved back to California where I thought I belonged. Now I live in Vermont. Which goes to show what I know. Pretty much nothing.

I hate to admit it, but now I’m embarrassed to be American. To live in a country that allows a special interest lobby to keep us from affecting change that could save lives. Hell, to live in a country where a special interest lobby thinks it’s okay to sacrifice lives for its own monetary interests. They should be ashamed.

I am. I am ashamed of us as a country.

So much of what I believed about us has turned out to be lies. We allowed the wealth and power in this country to settle with the very few. And those few don’t seem to be at all interested in making our country great. No. They want to play with their toys and to hell with the rest of us.

Okay, I’m off topic.

The shootings in Oregon set me off. I despair of there ever being any commonsense legislation regarding firearms and that feeling morphs into despair over the state of government in this country.  I am stunned at the lack of response to massacre after massacre. How we can’t even rally and bring about change when children are killed.

How wrong we are. How selfish. Shortsighted. Immature.

I look at our federal government’s inability to work as a team. To find a common goal. We can’t even agree that killing children is unacceptable and do something about it. Who is standing up to say this is enough, no more killing? And why isn’t the entire federal government standing with them?

I am embarrassed. For myself and for us.

We are so wrong. And in the wrong. I’m sure my mother is tossing in her grave. And I’m wondering if things are any better in Wales. Or maybe Scandinavia.


So here’s the deal. I’m going on a research trip for a book I have in my head. It’s about a murder on a tour of Scotland. For that, I need to go on a tour of Scotland.

I could just book myself on a standard tour and off we go. But wouldn’t it be more fun to do a custom tour with people who like my work, or like me, or people who just want to stay in a castle in Scotland?

I’m looking for between 15 and 30 people who want to hang with me for ten days, have our own private tour bus and our own private tour guide and have a ton of fun. We fly out March 17, 2016 and return March 26.  If you want to go leave me a message in the comments and I’ll send you the cost etc OR Just look at the flyer at the end of this post…   It’s bound to be a ton of fun.

And I’ll be hosting a welcome party and a last night party. AND for you Outlander fans there will be a couple of opportunities to see where it’s filmed. And yesterday I discovered the Scottish Owl Centre and I think I’m going to try to jam that in the itinerary too.


Here are details:
Mystery and ScotlandMystery and Scotland pg 2


Okay, folks the time to start signing up is NOW! We are going to have a blast.

Mystery and Scotland










Mystery and Scotland pg 2



I have a nasty stomach bug. Luckily for you, it’s not transmittable through the internet. I estimate I have about five minutes before I have to go lie down again and I thought I’d show you what I did this weekend before I got said stomach bug.

You may remember that I took my nice cupboards down when I took out the kitchen ceiling. And No, that work has not been finished. My husband is deciding what kind of insulation to put up. Never mind about that.

So I had a really ugly wall with no cupboards that I can’t find a picture of. Oh wait, here it is:








Here’s my temporary fix until we can put them back up again:








And here are the gifts my youngest brought back after five weeks in Nova Scotia:





The Rooster is for my husband and the mug behind it is for me. The little brown Asian tea-cup is what my older daughter brought me from Singapore. And now I must go lie down again.


I feel a rant coming on.

I recently read a snippet of a blog or facebook post that said something about the writer coming to terms with being a cozy mystery writer. Or maybe just a cozy mystery writer. I didn’t even read the whole blog, it might have been just the title of the piece. I don’t know. But those words stuck in my head.

Coming to terms with being a cozy writer.

I’m getting just a bit tired of the snobbery that inspires that kind of comment. Writing is damn hard work. I don’t care if you write thrillers, hard-boiled detective, romantic suspense or cozies. It takes time and effort, as well as a good deal of hair pulling. Hard work, dedication and willingness to put up with lousy reviews written by ungrateful slobs that couldn’t push out a synopsis to save their life. A novel? Fuggedaboutit.

Okay, that last thought was rude. I know it and I’m leaving it anyway. I’m damn tired of always being nice.

My point is this: book snobbery is only good for making one human being feel superior to another. Readers and writers. What does it matter if you only read “literary fiction?” Do you think that makes you better than someone who only reads romance or mystery. How about fantasy or science fiction? I’m telling you, saying that one genre is better than another is a bunch of bullcrap.

Sure, you may like fantasy better than any other genre. I certainly have my favorite genres. The stuff I like to read usually makes me laugh. That’s my criteria. But do I try to make my choice superior to those who like to read things that make them cry? No. Why in the world would I want to impose my taste in reading on someone else? To what purpose would I say comedic mystery/sci-fi/fantasy is better than tragedy? It is to me, sure. And here’s the rub – just because I like it better doesn’t make it intrinsically better. Saying the fiction I like is better than the fiction you like is tantamount to saying I am better than you. Which again, is a bunch of bull pucky.

Life is tough enough without creating false divides.

If you enjoy writing cozies, then go for it. Own it. Revel in it. Be fucking proud. (Sorry, potty mouth me.) If you read fantasy, mystery, thriller, sci-fi, romance, erotica, fan fiction, you name it, don’t let anyone tell you that those forms of fiction are any less than any other form. For gods sake, you can find poorly written drivel in ANY genre. You can find fantastic books in ANY genre.

Readers have different tastes, thank god. That gives us writers something to shoot for.

But for a cozy writer to have to “come to terms” with what she or he writes? That’s just a load of crap. Not that person’s feelings, you understand. But the fact that our current state of literary snobbery makes that person feel less than for what they write. That bloody steams me.