A SLEUTH IN SAUSALITO ready to spread her wings!

Local mermaid, hidden behind a Shell sign.

Local mermaid, hidden behind a Shell sign.

Just last night I pushed my fledgling bird out of the nest. She was sent to a few beta readers to make comments, find my missing words, etc. This is such an exciting process. I can’t wait to see what kind of feedback I get back. A SLEUTH IN SAUSALITO is on the way!

There are still a couple of old-timers I’d like to meet with to make sure the historical part of the 60s in Sausalito is accurate. I did meet with two, but then I broke my foot, and one lady I want to meet lives way up in the hills, with many, many steps to climb. My foot’s much better, so soon I hope to meet her.

In the meantime, maybe I’ll have a chance to read some mysteries by other authors. I’m on my second book by James Patterson—good writer. I’ve learned so much by reading other authors.

Blessings to all writers and readers.


Posted in California, Historical Fiction, Sausalito, writing | Leave a comment


Marin County in Bloom

Marin County in Bloom

Hi all,

I’m very excited because my new novel A SLEUTH IN SAUSALITO is almost ready to be pushed out of the nest, and given to some beta readers to proofread, critique and say wonderful things about it.

Although there were certainly elements of mystery in my previous historical novels (still available), this one is a real mystery. It takes place in the 60s, so I guess I didn’t expect to do so much research. But, you know what? Many people who lived here then are still around, so I have to be more careful than ever! Actually, it’s been a joy—whether field research, Google research, meeting old timers or reading both historical and hysterical books about the area, I’ve loved it all.



Posted in California, mystery, writing | 2 Comments


A model of 'Big Annie' in Calumet, MI last summer. Very instrumental in urging miners to strike.

A model of ‘Big Annie’ in Calumet, MI last summer. Very instrumental in urging miners to strike.

This is the first time I’ve embedded a video in my blog! It’s a reading I did at Book Passage in San Francisco. Although I’m now busy working on my Sausalito mystery, I haven’t forgotten Driven to Rage, and hope you haven’t either. I’m leaving the first chapter of the book up on this site for awhile longer, so dig in if you haven’t already.

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The Lady’s in the Closet!

2013-12-14 10.26.54 SAUSALITO has a lovely bronze statue of a mermaid.She is hiding behind a Shell Station sign in mid-town. The sign says she is waiting to go downtown. My understanding is that she had built it with full expectation that she be placed on the ‘point’ in Gabrielle park, where many locals and tourists gather to listen to band concerts, enjoy picnics and the view of the Bay and SF. It would be a lovely home for her near the water, where she no doubt hopes to return home. But the powers that be don’t thinks she looks the way a mermaid should—breasts covered in scales, resembling a bra. “Mermaids have to be naked,” they insist. Well, what happened to individual artistic style, artistic licence, expressionism, etc. I for one would love to see her come out from behind the Shell sign and show her stuff in Gabrielson Park. That’s where she belongs, where she can be seen and appreciated by many. As of now she is one of the hidden treasures of Sausalito.

Tell me what you think.

‘Till next time,


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Hello everyone,

Isn’t  this a wonderful picture? I love it. As paint is to the visual artist, words are to the writer. Everything from a child’s first written words of “I love you, Mom” to Tolstoy’s epic tombs, words inform us, express our thoughts and feelings, make us laugh and cry.

Stories we make up we call fiction. But interwoven in our fiction are traces of our own experiences, hidden in beliefs, descriptions and actions of our characters. Am I giving away something?

So if you want to crawl inside a dictionary, curl up with a good book and a cup of tea– embrace the story and it will embrace you. Or just put your own words into something meaningful, you have my blessing, and all the writers before us.



Posted in Historical Fiction, writing | 1 Comment


One of the many almost hiddden stairways in Sausalito



It’s been a while, I know. I’ve been so busy and so excited writing my new novel MURDER IN SAUSALITO, that I’ve been negligent with this blog. Sorry.

The photo you see is of one of the many stairways, many of them hidden, (of which I write in my new book). The town is at the bottom of this hill. Beyond that, can you see the Bay at the bottom?
I can’t tell you how motivating researching and writing about my own community is. I take rides to places I’m writing about like the headlands, the town, the boat community, the hill community, and mountain out to Stinson Beach. Of course I take pictures of these things too. You’ll see many of them in the near future. The header page will change soon too. You Michigan fans, I hope you’ll stay with me! I know you’ll be green with envy while you mid-westerners are suffering below (way below, I hear) temperatures, we’re enjoying 60-70 degrees here. Unusually warm for us in northern California. Therefore, we can have lunch outdoors, go for walks, etc. Hey, I put in my time in cold weather, most of my life–Michigan. So there.

If you don’t know, Sausalito is in Marin Country, just north of the Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco.



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A book reading at Stuart's brother's restaurant, Aug. 2013.

A book reading at Stuart’s brother’s restaurant, Aug. 2013.

My dear friend, Stuart Chappell, whom I’ve mentioned on this blog several times passed away recently. It has been a difficult time for me, and of course for his family. Today I wrote this poem for him.

For Stuart Chappell
July 9th, 1940—Nov. 30, 2013

He did not go easily to his end.
Flouting Death at every marker he seemed to say
I will not let you catch me.
Making death-defying choices at every turn’
He loved the mountains, moved to Colorado,
Made many trips to haul it all out there—his stuff
Even the rocks he’d collected over the years
Took them all back to the mountain.
The mountain—the one he could talk to, cry out to
who knew it all—his dreams, his fears, his secrets.

He’d barely arrived when the whisper of Death whistled through his walls.
I’m not ready!
He planted a garden in the spring, anyway.
Joined the Lions Club.
Started a poetry group.

Nobody with this cancer lives more than a year, they say.
His numbers shrink.
Doctor calls him his poster-boy.
He builds a pen for new goats.
But cougar jumps the fence and
Kills the goats.
Death’s howl, he’s getting closer?
The blood numbers, that tell everything–
So life-promising in the beginning
Start to climb.

You can’t catch me!
Plans a trip. Buys new luggage.
That means he’s going to live, doesn’t it?
Look ahead, never behind. Death might catch up.

Sick on our trip. So sick.
Back home, tries new chemo cocktail.
Surely that will set Death back on his heels.
Blood numbers climb.
I’m not ready!

Even at the end, bed-ridden,
Reduced to bone and skin
He wrestles with this enemy.
Moaning and groaning–
Was he bargaining for a reprieve?

Nobody lives with this more than a year;
He lived two.

He did not go easily to his death—
This man, my friend.


Posted in Historical Fiction | Tagged | 4 Comments