Magpie Moments: That Warning Light Isn’t Important…

It’s time for another installment in my recurring series of Magpie Moments. These are bits I snatched from real life and incorporated, magpie-like, into my fiction. Literary Easter eggs, if you will. How many of us—show of hands—have never ignored a car dashboard warning light? Uh-huh. That’s what I thought. A lot of sitting on hands. There is admittedly a hierarchy among the insistent little buggers. I have a TPMS light that’s been glaring at me for about a year now. I refuse to pay that much money to replace a sensor whose sole purpose is to tell me, you Read more…


Magpie Moments: A Beer by Any Other Name

I’ve written here before about the challenges of series continuity, by which I mean maintaining consistent details from scene to scene and book to book. In my Sydney Brennan PI Mysteries, remembering Syd is a redhead and drives a VW Cabrio named Cecil is pretty easy. Beyond that, it can get tricky. Does she wear a watch? Like chunky or creamy peanut butter? Shower daily, and morning or night? Even the “gimmes” I noted can cause me headaches, say when she’s wearing a baseball cap or driving a rental car. One way to try to get around this: use my Read more…


Friday Five: Finding Reasons to Smile

I had something in the back of my mind to share this week, and then—surprise, surprise!—I got sucked down the rabbit hole of my own web site. It’s amazing how many things I’ve blocked out of my conscious memory that are recorded here for posterity and my therapist. 😂 That rabbit hole has inspired the return of a regular oldie but a goodie—The Friday Five Post. I was appalled to see I haven’t written one of these in over eighteen months. Gee, I wonder why that could be? [sarcasm] Since I am still rebuilding my blogging muscles and the world Read more…


Message from Bizarro World: You’re Not Crazy

I know—I’ve been mostly absent after a break from the blog earlier this year, which is why one does not break habits! (Year-plus DuoLingo Russian streak, I’m looking at you.) So I thought I’d pop back in for a relaxed check-in and gradually build those blogging muscles back rather than pulling something the first time out. I’m coming to you from Bizarro World, which isn’t solely a reference to the continuing “Panda Bear” drama, or the “Corbin Bernsen Times,” if you prefer. (In today’s episode of Random Tangent, did you know the actor is married to the lovely Amanda Pays, Read more…


Prodigal is just 99¢ this Week!

The week is slipping away and I feel like there’s something I should have mentioned. 🤔 Oh yeah. If you’re a Sydney Brennan fan, but never quite got around to reading that other series she writes, this is your opportunity… Prodigal, Book One in the Dead Hollow Trilogy, is just 99¢ this week! The series name—Dead Hollow—should be a dead giveaway, but these books aren’t Private Investigator Mysteries like Sydney Brennan. I like to call them crime thrillers with a dash of woo-woo, woo-woo meaning a psychic and some other weirdness here and there to give you shivers. I noted Read more…