Special Mystery and Thriller Sale Underway This Weekend.

This is your chance to stock up on free books during a special promotion.  From thrillers, to suspense, to cozies, there’s something for every taste. The giveaway runs through Sunday, June 12. Check out the selection here.


My Hetty Fox Cozy Mystery, High Stakes Is Free Today

High Stakes (3)This is your chance to read my cozy mystery short, High Stakes, for free. In this short novella, Hetty sets out to find her grandson’s escaped gerbil but turns up a corpse instead. It takes resident ghost Andrew to convince Hetty to go after the killer. It’s the very least her grandson would expect of her. The book is available at Amazon.

In other news, I’m still hard at work for you on Old Bones, which is the third book in this series. I hope to have it out in late June or early July. Also next week, I’ll be running the short story, A Long Way Home. as a freebie. It features Angela Clark, who after enduring her husband’s murder, now faces an attempt on her own life. Living in small towns can at times, she learns, be murder.

Thanks for reading!

Creating Characters Is Fun for Me; Naming Them Is the Pits

I must admit I love creating fictional characters. They start out as certain types. I mean you can’t have a hero who doesn’t have at least the potential to become brave. So there you have the hunk of raw clay which will let you build your ultimate man or woman. The same is true for other characters. You don’t want a love interest who is frigid or a lover who is a beast…. Well, that is, unless you’re writing something that’s like Fifty Shades of Grey.  Could you imagine that dude being a wimp? I don’t think so.

So I must confess I like types. But to those types I add all kinds of quirks as I write. Are they funny? Kind? Evil? Rude? Take your pick. And gradually those people pop out from the page and turn into their interesting selves.

But names are my undoing. I obsess with nearly every one I create. Plus, I write mysteries, which don’t require much in the way of creativity. I don’t know what I’d do if I were writing fantasy or space operas. But even though I have the easiest of all tasks, I often start off with one name, which I’m not truly in love with, and soon find myself doing a global search and replace to rename person. Sometimes I change my name and find myself doing it all over again. I’ve even been known to change the name of a cat — not once but three times.  This business of naming characters is truly pure agony for me. It seems my brain is incapable of the task. It absolutely refuses to stockpile worthy names for me to dredge up and use on demand.

So imagine my delight when I discovered there are name generators available online. Oh, what joy, what bliss.

And the little tools cover a wide variety of names, ranging from plain Anglo-American monikers to elves or even names to suit characters from around the world. If you are writing, there are most likely names available to answer whatever need you have.

Not only that, but many even offer ideas for space ship names or pirate ships or…. Well to be fair, I don’t remember  all of the options. So here, without further fanfare, is a list of name generators to help you come up with names that will please you.





Well, those are a few. There are others and even some for purposes such as domain names and business names and what have you. Just type ‘online name generators’ into a search engine and enjoy the results. It seems there are a lot of people who find coming up with names a bit of a challenge.


The Case of the Missing Elf is today’s Free Read

ElfCome one. Come all. The Case of the Missing Elf is free today at Amazon. Follow the exploits of Melanie Hart and her sidekick, Ginger Black, as they get to the bottom of what has happened to to this missing, elderly man. I mean, it’s the Christmas season. Ginger needs that blasted elf to keep Santa’s Cabin running smoothly. And, as is generally known, people who hack Ginger off often live to regret it. To download your free copy of this cozy mystery today, Click here.

My Third Giveaway Weekend

RosesDeath among the Roses is the first book in my new Melanie Hart Cozy Mystery Series. Melanie is on her way to a wedding when she discovers a corpse a few feet shy of the church. The incident tosses the small-town reporter into the thick of a murder investigation. That’s exactly where friend and beautician, Ginger Black, thinks Melanie should be. Read it for free this weekend at Amazon.

Another Giveaway Weekend!

mdnewlLast week it was a short story. This week my gift to you is a full-fledged novel. Our heroine, Victoria Cross, is a little challenged. Work, home, husband, child, it”s a lot to handle. But then a stranger calls, and Victoria’s life careens into a direction she never imagined possible. What, she wonders, is she to do? Handle the details? Mind her own business? Ignore this handsome stranger?

The trick, Victoria soon learns, is deciding what she wants.  But obviously choosing is one thing. Ending up where she wants to be is something else. Especially when a killer cares not at all what Victoria prefers. Never has our heroine felt so all alone. Even she isn’t certain just how all this will work out. This weekend only, download the novel for free at Amazon.

On a side note, I’m enjoying these Weekend Giveaways. I’ve a notion to keep them going. Last week’s short story featuring Sheriff Delton Ross did very well in terms of downloads. Plus, if you’re enrolled in Kindle Unlimited, The Capture is still available for free! Such a deal! Who could resist? The Capture may be downloaded at Amazon also.

For those of you who might have wanted further information on the eight-hour fiction-writing challenge, it is coming. I caught a nasty computer virus this week, but I’m back up to speed now. Fingers crossed.