Not Another Newsletter!

It Was a Very Flu-y Christmas, Charlie Brown

Sick Charlie Brown

My husband and daughter came down with the flu on my birthday. I had it first, which was a drag. But harder was barely being over it, then running up and down the stairs in my parents’ big, old house to take care of the patients—while wildly spraying Lysol and holding back sneezes and scrubbing my hands till the skin wept to try and keep the other members of my family from catching it.

My son got sick on Christmas Eve. Three days of the highest fever he’s ever had.

But my parents, brother and family, sister and fiancé, all stayed healthy. #flushot

My daughter kept saying how my birthday must’ve sucked. But here’s the thing, and I don’t think it was just the Christmas spirit talking. Sure, it did suck to miss the awesome Chinese restaurant my husband had found for dinner and not have enough appetite to eat my sister’s tahini-frosted birthday cake. But any birthday spent taking care of the people you love…can’t be all bad.

Because kids grow up, don’t they? One day they don’t ask you to put your hand on their forehead because it’s cooler than their feverish skin, or hold back their hair as they throw up. One day even husbands get older—and we do too—if we’re lucky. So we may as well savor the runs up and down the stairs, and the uneaten birthday cakes as long as we can.

ANYWAY. Happy New Year! How were all of your holidays?

Now It’s Sitting on a Wal-Mart Shelf


The dark and amazingly talented writer who’s creating the script for the film version of As Night Falls shared some great news. The movie he wrapped just before turning his attention to mine got an awesome distribution deal. It’s in Wal-Marts nationwide, headed for more big box stores, will soon be available for streaming, and will open in some theaters overseas.

Just before we snapped this pic, one of my belated holiday gifts took me to a lovely B&B called Caldwell House, so it was a pretty fun day overall! Sorry I still look a little flu-y. And thank you, Thomas Rhett, for the lyric. Ain’t It Funny How Life Changes.

Theme o’ this letter.

Are You a Mystery Fan Who Lives Near NC?

Crime Scene

I’ll share more about this next month—with pics!—but for now check out the web page. You can meet amazing authors—swoon, Gregg Hurwitz; I’m a huge fan of his—agents, and publishers at one of the most happening bookstores in the country. There’s a Meet & Greet Friday evening with cocktails in a beautiful, reconstructed barn, and all-day panels on Saturday. There’s even a Noir at the Bar if you arrive by Thursday!

5 Things To Do Before Your Book Comes Out


Here’s what I’m up to T minus 6 months to The Second Mother. (I know T minus 6 months isn’t right. I just like to sound like an astronaut).

As some of you know, it took me thirteen years to get published, and I am grateful every day to get to be doing the above. To have a publisher that believes in my book. To meet avid readers who want to read it. To travel and engage face-to-face in a virtual world.


But There’s a Dark Side, Too

Hat in Hand

It’s always been hard for me to ask for things. I’m the type who swallows my needs—till sometimes they all come burbling out in an ugly gusher of temper or tears—and figures out what everybody else wants first. Not because I’m good.

Because I’m scared probably.

But this pre-pub period is all about asking. Favors from authors I admire—who are superstars to me. Reads from industry pros whose lives are filled with competing obligations—and homes are filled with books, many of them surely more worthy than mine. I feel as if I constantly have my hat in my hands.

We all have to take our hats off sometime, and turn to others for help. Maybe it’s because something good is happening in our lives, but we can’t go it alone, it takes a village, etc..

Or maybe it’s because we’re sick and a cool hand would feel nice on our forehead.

I want to say go ahead and ask. I’m going to. Maybe I’ll even ask you.

And if you ask me, I will do everything in my power to say yes—and truly mean it.

Love from the Hills of Wedeskyull,


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