Tag Archives: Books

Winter Weather Woes

I know it’s been a while since I posted anything. Like since the middle of November when I was heavily occupied with NaNoWriMo, which I crushed. Then the holidays came along and time skittered away from me like a leaf blowing in these high velocity winds that course through this wind tunnel of a valley between two mountain ranges.

Normally, I roll with whatever the weather might be. Rain, sunshine, snow, wind. It’s a constantly changing thing in this environment. In Reno, Nevada, that would be the Sierra Nevada Mountains, a spectacular spot with gorgeous Lake Tahoe nestled in the middle of them.

Lake Tahoe from the shoreline on the Nevada side.

After several years of drought, the lake’s level had dropped quite a bit and water conservation became the big issue in both California and Nevada.

Well, January 2017 set out to change all that. In the first one-third of the month, more rain and snow fell on the Sierras, and in both states, than we had seen in many years. In fact, January 2017 is on record for the most moisture in the past 108 years. The area has seen more rainy days than sunny ones since the end of December.  This much wet often gives me reason to rejoice because I like rain.

However, when it begins to flood and I need to get my Himalayan-mix cat to the veterinarian for a tooth cleaning and to check for something hurting him, it turns into a problem. Twice this month, I’ve scheduled Milo’s appointment, only to cancel it because I couldn’t get out to get him to the vet that’s only a few miles up the road.

Sounds crazy, doesn’t it? Here’s the problem. Where I live is off a low-lying road near the base of the Virginia City (Yes, the Bonanza one) foothills where water runs downhill and into shallow ditches. With the heavy flow of water coming down the canyons and running through the inadequate channels, the road flooded. Then when it got colder and snowed, an ice layer formed under the snow and it became difficult to drive.

1st snow at the beginning of January, 2017. Doesn’t look that bad, does it? Until you try to drive.

Now, add to the problem a small pickup truck with only rear-wheel drive and nothing of significance to weigh it down in the bed. Honey, all it takes a thin bar of ice and the truck is stuck. A sheet of ice means I am not going anywhere. Again, not that much of an issue since I don’t often have to venture out. Except I have this darn appointment that requires the cat deposited at the office between seven-thirty and eight in the morning.

Now, I have a third appointment for Monday morning.

dragon 2017
My frozen dragon sentinel in the front yard.

Sure enough, the forecast is for at least six inches of snow on the valley floor. Sigh. Gut feeling is I may have to cancel another one. Maybe next month…

Still in all, I prefer this weather to the ice storms and deep snow that so many of you are dealing with this January of 2017. Wouldn’t even want to be in the towns surrounding Tahoe these past few weeks. Too much snow for this desert-raised girl.

In other news, I am currently working on the edits for a YA urban fantasy trilogy and it is coming along.  I have two other novels to edit and have started work on the next Funeral Singer novel. One of the edits is in the O’Ceagan Saga universe, so hope to have that one this year also.

Download at Instafreebie

If you haven’t checked it out, I have a free short story at Instafreebie.com called The Wizard’s Gift.  All you have to do to download it is add your email to my mailing list at Instafreebie. I don’t send out spam or frequent emails, so it’s relatively painless. And you might win a free $25 Amazon gift card in my quarterly drawing.

In good-reading terms, my fellow Reno writer, Heather Petty, has a new Lock and Mori book out, Mind Games.  It’s an alt-universe young Sherlock Holmes and Moriarty adventure with a twist. The first book was a fun read, so I’m looking forward to this new one.

The fabulous YA urban fantasy author Annette Marie also has a new book out in her Red Winter Trilogy.  If you haven’t read her books, why not? She is a wonderful storyteller. One of my favorite writers. If you have Kindle Unlimited,, you can read her books for free.  And start with Chase the Dark in her Steel & Stone series. That was the one that hooked me.

You might notice that the link’s at Amazon take you to Amazon Smile, which is currently set up to donate to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. Amazon Smile gives a portion of the money you spend at Amazon to the charity you chose. St. Jude’s happens to be mine, but you can select your own.

Happy 2017

New “Funeral Singer” book releasing on Sunday!


A Song for Menafee

Releases on August 28th in both Kindle and paperback on Amazon.com.  You can still pre-order to be among the first to get the book for your Kindle.

About the Heroine:

As a musician, Gillian Foster hopes to make a career of it, but so far, she’s settling for local gigs with her three-piece band, Spicy Jam, in her hometown of Reno, Nevada.  By the way, she tells you to pronounce her name with a “g” sound like gill, rather than the British way with a “j” sound like Jill. Most people get it wrong.

Following a gig at a wedding, an accident occurred, she hit her head, and after she healed, she discovered she had a new “gift”.  On being asked to sing at a funeral, she  found herself in an ethereal graveyard, face to face with the newly departed soul and singing praises of the deceased’s life as she escorted the spirit to the exit gate and into the tunnel of light that led to the next plane. She assumed the whole incident must have been a hallucination. Only it didn’t stop happening and she found herself in demand to sing at funerals.

In A Song for Marielle

In Funeral Singer: A Song for Marielle, one of Gillian’s “clients”, a preteen girl, enlists her aid in finding the man who brutally murdered her. As Marielle’s spirit guides her through the events via visions seen through the child’s eyes, Gillian questions her health and her sanity while pursuing a serial killer. She’s in the wrong place more than once and draws the attention of Sheriff’s Office detectives, Egan Moss and Dave Hernandez.

Book Two is A Song for Menafee

Returning in the second book of the series, A Song for Menafee, Gillian is now more used to the “spirit escort” task, as she’s come to think of it, but her gift also appears to be expanding in its scope. While leading an accident victim’s soul to the gate, she detects another spirit nearby watching them, but he disappears before she can approach.  She’s made a promise to the soul she just escorted to help his son, who is a student at the University of Nevada in Reno and underfunded for his education.

This connection carries her to an encounter with the spirit from the cemetery, a lingering soul with a Civil War history, a possible treasure, and a mystery in his past. The ghost is the triple great grandfather of Thomas Willits, the young man she agreed to aid, and he needs her to assist him to put his spirit at ease. Seeing a way to help both Thomas and the unsettled ghost, she agrees to a quest that will lead her and her best friend, Janna, across the country to Tennessee.

One of the mass burial sites at Shiloh Battlefield.

Moss and Hernandez keep in touch as she’s a witness slated for the trial of the serial killer from the first book, but Moss, the skeptic, seems to be coming around as he seeks her assistance with another case.  Her band mates are unaware of her new gift and almost everything that’s happened to her in the past few months, but there is tension growing there as they plan to record an album.

If you enjoyed Funeral Singer, I think you’re going to love A Song for Menafee.  If you haven’t read Funeral Singer: A Song for Marielle yet, I definitely suggest that you read it first as the second book builds on it.

A Song for Menafee releases on August 28, 2016 on Amazon.com.  It is now available for pre-order for the Kindle.  The paperback will release on the same date. If you are on Kindle Unlimited, the book will be free to subscribers. Visit my book launch page for more information and a short book trailer.

Please feel free to share this with anyone you think might enjoy my books.  I rely on my readers to help me get the word out, so I appreciate anything you do to help me.  Thanks.

If you haven’t signed up for my mailing list and would like to get notified by email when I have a newsletter or book release, please sign up via the box at the top of the right hand column.