Sweet Tea!

I hope I’ll have the chance to meet some of you family historians and/or mystery fans at this library event next month.  I think it will be a bit like speed-dating for writers as we visit each table in succession.  Should be a fun event.  

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Happy Book-Birthday to DEAD IN A FLASH, the 4th in my FAMILY HISTORY MYSTERY series. Today’s the official pub date!small cover DIAF

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Two books contest

To celebrate the publication of the fourth book in my Family Mystery History series, DEAD IN A FLASH, due out on August 30, I’m giving away the the first two books in the series, PAGING THE DEAD and DEATH IN REEL TIME, along with one of my favorite genealogy tools, a 30X magnifier loupe.  This one is a bit fancy.  It’s a folding pendant on a handmade Kumihimo beaded cord attached to a long silver-toned chain.  This way you can be fashionable as you work on identifying those old family photos.  If you’d like to receive this package just leave a comment below.

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Special Delivery

small cover DIAFIt’s a great feeling when you can finally hold a book you’ve labored over for long weeks, months (or years) in your hands.  My author’s copies of DEAD IN A FLASH, the fourth in my Family History Mystery Series, came in the mail yesterday.

I set out writing this series because I hoped it might lead some people, who happen to love to read mysteries, to become interested in researching their own family histories.  And judging by the feedback on the series I think that’s come to pass for a good number of readers.  That makes me happy.

DEAD IN A FLASH will be officially released on August 30, 2016.

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The Queen of Mystery

Hope to meet some of you at this event at the NC State Theater on Saturday evening before the tribute to Agatha Christie.



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Who Doesn’t Love a Sale?

small front cover DIAF


The fourth installment in my Family History Mystery series, called DEAD IN A FLASH is discounted for preorder right now over at Amazon.

This one was fun to write.  I got to “meet” a politician, in the form of one of my main characters, who was a good guy and a courtly, dignified man.  Great that fiction allows you things you can only wish for in real life.

Finishing this book has given me some time to work on my own family history for a bit.  It’s been a productive few weeks.

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Family History Mystery Series

Galley proofs reviewed and back to my editor for DEATH IN A FLASH, the 4th in my Family History Mystery series.  Fini.small front cover DIAF

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Family History Buff Giveaway

giveawayAny family history buffs on your Christmas list? I’m giving away a book from my Family History Mystery series along with one of the most useful tools I’ve found in working with old photos and other artifacts, a 30x loupe magnifier. And since we need not give up style as we sort through dusty boxes, it is suspended on a handmade kumihimo beaded braid and chain from Nine Stories HIgh etsy.com/shop/ninestorieshigh To enter like this post (1 entry), comment on the post (2 entries) or best of all share (3 entries) by midnight Tuesday, December 15.

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Sounds Bite in DEAD IN A FLASH-Family History Mystery #4

small front cover DIAFIn the latest book in my Family History Mystery Series (DEAD IN A FLASH, pub 2016) a sound is a clue which helps unravel a decades old mystery.

I purposefully set out to use this sound because of something I experienced. One day as I was waiting for someone on a sidewalk bench (lost in my phone as some of us frequently are these days), I heard this particular sound and it instantly summoned up a whole bundle of memories and feelings.

It was the sound of a Zippo lighter opening, striking and closing. It made me think of my father, but not just in a “brain” way but in a more immediate detailed and emotional remembrance. My Dad was (unfortunately) a smoker when I was a child and the sound of that lighter was something that assured me he was nearby. And it usually meant he was relaxed, as he didn’t generally smoke while he was working. So it’s a comforting sound to me.

This got me thinking about how important familiar sounds are in our daily lives and how infrequently we think to preserve those in our family history narratives. Like smell, hearing is a strong trigger for memories.

Come on over to Five Minute Family History to read the full post and share a sound that triggers a memory for you




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THE END is near

Holed up in my office on a bright sunny autumn afternoon with a (now) half empty bag of Halloween candy finishing up the fourth installment in my Family History Mystery Series, DEAD IN A FLASH, so I can get it to my editor before the bell tolls midnight tomorrow (and yes, I’ll be using every minute of that extra hour).  This week I got a sneak peak at the cover.  Tell me what you think.

Dead in a Flash Cover 50%

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