Sunday, August 31, 2014


  1. In 1994, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, a non-fiction story about a murder trial in Savannah, Georgia, became a best seller on the New York Times best seller list for 216 weeks following its debut.  It reigns as the longest standing best seller in their history.  What is it about this book that captivates readers? There are so many reasons I like it: first and foremost, is how it describes the physical beauty of Savannah, a town built upon a system of public squares with beautiful gardens, fountains, and statuary.  The homes surrounding each square are wonderful, too.  The last time my husband and I went there, we went on a home and garden tour in the Spring and got to look inside these houses.  Wow! What a world they displayed; if only we lowly ones could live like that, too.  I love the cast of characters in the book, especially Jim Williams and The Lady Chablis. We went to one of Chablis' performances the last time we were there and were treated to a night we'll never forget. Our murder/mystery, Honeymoon in Savannah: A Detective Santy Mystery, is about this beautiful city, where our homicide detective, Clarrisa Santy, and her husband go on a "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" pilgrimage and end up involved in a murder investigation when a famous chef is murdered while they are in Savannah.  Available at your favorite online bookstore for $2.99.  Also available in paper at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Saturday, August 30, 2014


My husband and I have been lucky enough to do a lot of traveling in the United States and Europe through the years, but we both agree that our favorite city in the United States is Savannah, Georgia (with New Orleans coming in as a close second).  What is it about this Southern city that has captivated us so much that we've traveled from our home in California four times to visit it?  What we love is its beauty; its people; and its history.  It is that quintessential southern town that reminds me of where Scarlett O'Hara might have gone to see her elderly aunt. It's the old South, with its beautiful moss-draped trees, sweet smelling tea olive bushes, red azaleas, and creepy yet beautiful cemeteries.  It's so different from Atlanta, which was mostly burned to the ground in the Civil War.  When Sherman marched to the sea to plunder and burn everything in sight at the end of the war, he was met at the gates in Savannah and told that the city would surrender, as long as Sherman's army left it unspoiled.  Thank goodness it was spared.

Here is a list of some of my favorite things to see and do, starting with our favorite hotel there, The Ballastone Inn.  For fans of the wonderful book: "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil," this is the hotel where Kevin Stacy stayed when he was starring in the film version. If you'd like to see "where the scene of the crime" took place, be sure to visit  the Mercer Williams House. There are guided tours of the interior.   For a tour of the places mentioned in the book, try "All About Savannah Tours".

If you'd like to see one of the most beautiful cemeteries in the world (outside of Pere Lachaise in Paris) be sure to visit Bonaventure Cemetery.  It's more like a park than a cemetery.  If you'd like to eat at someplace besides Paula Deen's, try Elizabeth's at 37th.  It's our favorite.  Definitely see a Home and Garden Tour during the Spring when the kind residents of Savannah open their doors and allow us to peek inside their homes and get a taste of what we're missing. I hope you will like it as much as we have.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Do you use real criminals in your fiction?

     Writing teachers always tell their students, "Write what you know.  Everyone has their unique story to share." Taking their advice, I based a suspect in my murder mysteries upon someone I briefly knew when I was 13 and he was 11.  I met him at a miniature golf course and he came over to my house a few times.  I had forgotten all about him until one day I read in the newspaper about a particularly savage murder committed by him when, in his early twenties, he attacked his ex-girlfriend and her husband with two claw hammers, shot them, and left them both for dead.  The husband died and the ex-girlfriend now is brain-damaged.  I remembered him as a nice kid and couldn't imagine him doing something so brutal; but it was true, and he was convicted and sentenced to 30 years in prison.  He became quite notorious when he escaped from the local jail and ended up clear across the country before he was finally caught.  
     I wanted to try to show the humanity in someone who had committed such a barbaric act.  I asked myself, 'What if he had a daughter, who's a homicide detective, and she lets him live with her and tries to help him when he gets out of prison?'  My sister told me, "Aren't you afraid he's going to come looking for you when he gets out?"  I seriously doubt that: it's not like my books are famous or anything and I don't use his real name.  He shows up in three of the murder mysteries my husband and I have written.

All are available as either eBooks or paperbacks at your favorite on-line bookstores.

Friday, August 22, 2014

England in the Footsteps of its Literary Giants

 I have a Master’s Degree in English Literature and after I graduated, I was lucky enough to go on a pilgrimage to England and walk in the footsteps of its famous writers.  One of the places I wanted to visit was the Lake District where my favorite English poet, William Wordsworth, lived.  I had heard that the Lake District is one of the favorite vacation spots of the British and I could see why: it is a magical, bucolic wonderland of peace and tranquility.  “Ramblers” are welcome to walk through the properties of many different farmlands, as long as they remember to shut the gates so the sheep won’t get out.
 We had a lovely view from our hotel room window of Lake Windermere.  The shores of the lake had sheep grazing on rolling green hills that were carpeted with daffodils, and a lone cottage on a hilltop had a welcoming fire coming out of its chimney.  I grabbed our video camera to capture its beauty and asked my husband to read Wordsworth’s poem, “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud” that spoke of the “jocund company” of the “dancing daffodils”.  He’s a good sport and read it with a lot of enthusiasm.

 We have a history of bumping into famous people on our travels and were very pleased to meet Wordsworth’s great-great grandson in the gift shop of Wordsworth’s home.  He signed a book I’d just bought that was written by the famous poet’s sister, Dorothy.  Standing close to a relative of this mighty literary figure was very exciting, to say the least; not to mention, a dream come true for this English Major.

See photos and read more our authors' pilgrimage to England in our eBook.
Available at your favorite online bookstores for $0.99.

Saturday, August 16, 2014


Do you love genealogy? If so, then this story is for you. I am the grand-daughter of a Belgian immigrant who came to America in 1910, and my book describes my efforts to find and reunite with my family in Belgium after a breakdown in communication for twenty-five years. When I made a pilgrimage to meet my relatives in the old world, they pulled out all the stops and treated me like a movie star.  The second part of this book is about my father’s family. His family stories include Quakers, buried treasures of gold coins, fighting Indians, homesteading, and owning slaves.

This eBook is available at all your favorite online bookstores for $0.99

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Thomas Wolfe

Does anyone read Thomas Wolfe anymore?  Apparently, yes.  A short time ago, I put together this essay as an eBook and it's been selling surprising well.  I wonder what is making people buy this little literary essay. Is it the provocative title?  Do people see "sluts" and "deep-breasted" in one title and say, "That's the one for me?" Or, do people still read Thomas Wolfe?  I hope it's the later.  He is one of my all-time favorites.  In 1991, I made a pilgrimage to Ashville, North Carolina to go to a Thomas Wolfe festival and this is what I wrote after my trip.  I had a chance to meet his nephew, who was the only family member still alive at the time who remembered and spoke with the famous writer.  It was quite the thrill for this English major.

This eBook (with pictures) is available at all your favorite online bookstores for $0.99.

If you can't see my incredibly-long, Thomas Wolfe-esque title, it's called "Nags, Sluts, and a Deep-Breasted Soulmate from the Shining City: The Women in Thomas Wolfe's The Web and the Rock"

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Chic Lit

When I was in graduate school as an English Major, I was taught to turn my nose up at romance novels.  If someone told me that they were reading a "Harlequin Romance", I'd tell myself that the series was just escapist fiction and not even worth the time it took to bother reading them.

So, who would have thought twenty-four years later, I'd be writing romance novels.  What would my literature teachers think?  I've come to realize that there's nothing wrong with escapist fiction; especially in the summer time and especially if they have a strong female protagonist.

So, I submit for approval three romance novels that I've written.  Available at most online bookstores for under $3.00.