Newsletter – May 2015


It’s here! Desperate for Death, the sixth Kelly O’Connell Mystery. Many of you seem to feel that Kelly and her family and friends are part of a small and familiar world, so I keep coming up with adventures for her. If you’ve been waiting for another Kelly mystery, this one is wacky and wonderful, if I do say so myself, and Keisha moves to a more permanent role, though Kelly won’t yet let go of the spotlight.

This time, just when Kelly’s life has calmed, she faces yet another life’s puzzles. First the apartment behind her house is torched, then a string of bizarre “accidents” occur to set her off-balance. Who is stalking her? Where does the disapperance of a young girl and her disreputable boyfriend fit in? And why are two men using the same name? Is the surprise inheritance another part of the puzzle? Kelly can’t make the pieces fit, but she knows she must protect her daughters and herself. Before Kelly can get the whole picture, she helps the family of a hostage, rescues a kidnap victim and attends a wild and wonderful weeding.

Available in an e-book at:


Turqoise Morning Press


Barnes & Noble



I have learned something new—or re-learned something I was never very successful at: how to do Skype interviews. Dan Schneider interviewed me along with western author Joyce Gibson Roach and Steve Kelton, son of Elmer Kelton, on the classic body of Elmer’s work. If you’re interested, you can find it at If you haven’t read Kelton because you don’t read westerns, do yourself a favor and plunge into his novels. Start with The Good Old Boys. (Pictured on left is Elmer.)

That interview, plus a couple of practice sessions with family and friends, taught me that I can do Skype, so if any of you have a book club and would like a Skype interview, please let me know. .

What I’ve read recently

Some books you might enjoy. I’m trying to branch out from cozy mysteries, so I read What the Lady Wants, a fictional biography of Marshall Field, the department store magnate. Also read The Erotica Book Club for Nice Ladies by Connie Spittler—sort of a mystery but much more. (See a review at And then there’s The Mockingbird Next Door by Marja Mills, an account of the eighteen months journalist Mills spent living next door to and getting to know Harper Lee, author of To Kill a Mockingbird. As you probably know, a sequel to the classic novel is about to come out, and Harper Lee is much in the news these days.

My latest reading adventure: At the Water’s Edge, by Sarah Gruen (Water for Elephants), a novel centered on an attempt to locate Nessie, the Lochness Monster. I thought it was an excellent book (with a minor disappointment). Read my review on Judy’s Stew.

What’s coming up:

I’ve just finished proofing first galleys of Texas is Chili Country, my lighthearted history of chili (definitely a Texas dish) with lots of recipes. It’s due from Texas Tech Press in November. And I’m ready to start editing the first draft of “Murder at the Mansion,” third in the Blue Plate Café series. Then I’ve got a start on a sequel to The Perfect Coed, and I decided to self-publish my novel set in late nineteenth-century Chicago, tentatively titled “The Glided Cage”. It’s with an editor, and I’ve got an artist started thinking about a cover. I’ve got lots on my desk.

The Perfect Coed.

Susan Hogan is smart, pretty – and prickly. There was no other word for it. She is prickly with Jake Phillips and her Aunt Jenny, the two people who love her most in the world. When a coed’s body is found in her car and she is suspected of murder, Susan gets even more defensive.But when someone begins to stalk and threaten her, prickly mixes with fear. Susan has to find the killer to save her reputation – and her life. What she suspects she’s found on a quiet campus in Texas is so bizarre Jake doesn’t believe her. Until she’s almost killed. The death of one coed unravels a tale of greed, lust, and obsession.


I’m giving away one mug for The Perfect Coed and two print copies of the book to three separate people. Write me why you should be a winner at . I promise, someone else will judge the entries—not me. If you just have a comment or question for me, please write me at the same address. Remember to follow me at:

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