Welcome to my blog!

Here you’ll find progress on current books, behind-the-scenes insight and story inspiration, as well peeks at my life on rural, rainy East Hawaii Island.

I usually post something new every other Friday, but I’m doing something different lately.

I’m getting ready to release the 8th book in my Sydney Brennan PI Mysteries, Memory Lane—yay!! Happy Writer Dance!!

Did I hear an about time in the back? The snarkmeister (or mistress) is right—it has been far too long since you’ve had a new Sydney adventure. That’s why, in the weeks until Memory Lane is released, I’m going to reacquaint us all with the series you (I hope) love so well.

Each week, I’m focusing on another story, starting with the first book, Back to Lazarus, and working my way forward to Grave Truth. I’ll be doing fun things with my Newsletter folks (hint, hint, check out the sidebar if that doesn’t include you), but I’ll also be highlighting some posts about the books here on the blog.

So, let’s hop in our time machine. Destination: Tallahassee, Florida, 2004+.

(By the way, even when I’m not highlighting posts for an upcoming release, you can find many of these kind of posts by selecting the Blog menu dropdown, Magpie Moments.)

From Dog Pee to Avocado Blossoms: Odiferous Tales of Rainy East Hawaii

Happy New Year, everyone! I can still say that in the first week of January, right? It is so fricking beautiful now, sunny and breezy and the perfect temperature. Check out the anole sunning himself among the avocado tree blossoms. And boy, do they smell good. All in all, it’s the kind of day that would make you step off the plane from Iowa and exclaim, Wow, this really IS Hawaii! At this precise moment, anyway, so hurry and step off that plane because there’s a cloud bank on the horizon. 😉 Don’t get me wrong, I’m incredibly grateful. We’ve Read more…


Friday Five: Things I Learned Writing Syd No. 8 (and her shorts)

Good news—I have finally finished a rough draft of the eighth Sydney Brennan book… Memory Road! It has been a hard slog during the Panda Bear Times, but I am cautiously optimistic that things have taken a turn for my writing brain. I’ve also been working on some Sydney Brennan short stories of late, enough for a mini anthology. (“Shorts” in the post title = short stories, not garments; if it were down to my seamstress skills, Syd’s bum would go naked.) Both of these projects will need editing, covers, sacrifices to the retailer gods, etc., before I can put Read more…


Have You Met Amazing Audiobook Service Chirp? I Have a Deal for You…

Happy Saturday! I’m just popping in to share something with my audiobook peeps and anyone else who needs something engrossing to listen to while pretending to listen to something or someone else. Remember those holidays coming up… 🥂 🎧 Prodigal is a featured deal in Chirp’s newsletter this month—woo hoo! 🎧 🥂 Okay, now that I’ve stopped happy-dancing, let’s take a step back and unpack that announcement. First, what is Prodigal? Most of you are fans of my Sydney Brennan PI Mysteries, but I’ve also written an Appalachian crime thriller series, the Dead Hollow trilogy. Mwah-ha-hah! The obligatory mwah-ha is Read more…


This is Paradise: Tropical Turmeric Tales

Hey, um… is it Friday again? [scrambles to blog] I’m in the midst of some good stuff here, including trying to wrap up the rough draft of Sydney Brennan Adventure #8—has anyone seen a title lying around?—so I’ll keep this brief-ish, but I did want to share a little something cool that might make you smile. Here in the tropics, you probably think we’re wading through fields of… well, just fill your favorite fruit or vegetable that comes in fields. But, as I noted last blog post (Changing Seasons, Hawaii Style) common expectations and on-the-ground reality don’t always align in Read more…


Marking the Changing Seasons, Hawaii Style

I had a video call with someone this week who, wearing a cozy sweater, told me she’d gotten out her desk foot warmer (a gift created by her engineer husband to warm her feet, not the desk’s.) I think the shirt I was wearing had sleeves. Thanks to climate change, seasonal transitions are getting to be slippery buggers, with seasons slowly creeping into USSC Justice Potter Stewart’s hard-core pornography territory: “I know it when I see it.” (Jacobellis vs. Ohio) But seasons have always been tricky here in East Hawaii, at least for someone used to a temperate climate framework. Read more…