Blessings and Books

Reads that Dolly Cat and I Recommend

Reads that Dolly Cat and I Recommend.

Dear Readers:

Happy holidays! I wish you precious time to savor with family and friends and good novels to read. This festive season of laughter is also a time of reflection. It is a great time to count your blessings – and mine start with you, my readers. I am so grateful for your interest and your support. Many voices compete for your attention in the din of popular culture and every time you scroll down the screen, turn the page, or write a review of one of my books, I feel very fortunate.

In 2015, I was pleased to bring my stories to new audiences. Spider Road Press published my collection, Trail Ways Pilgrims: Stories, as an eBook. This collection contains my prize-winning story about baby brokers in Asia, “Bargaining.” Short stories don’t sell as well as novels, but I am honestly proud of the effort I put into every piece in this collection. The talented group of Houston area mystery writers known as The Women of Mystery – particularly Pamela Fagan Hutchins and Gay Yellen- played a crucial role in encouraging me to write and revise these literary and suspense pieces. I send my heartfelt thanks to everyone who has read and reviewed this special eBook! It means more to me than you know.

I was also happy to have my work published in several anthologies. My crime story “Blood-red Geraniums” was just published in the tense, fun anthology, Waves of Suspense, from HWG Press. This book is a great vacation read. My first fantasy story, “Puca Dawns,” was included in the diverse collection, Tides of Impossibility, from Skipjack Press. Finally, I took on the challenge of writing and editing poetry for the Spider Road Press fundraiser book In the Questions: Poetry by and about Strong Women. I learned a lot from the more-experienced poets involved in this project. (It is available from Spider Road Press and on Amazon.) Loyal readers, fellow writers and helpful critique partners, you supported me every step of the way, and I could not have published these stories without you!

Writers are first and foremost readers, so I wanted to share with you a list of some books that I enjoyed reading or rereading this year. If you have any favorite reads from 2015, please share them in the comments. It seemed like everyone stole a few hours to enjoy The Girl on the Train, but here are a few books that I recommend that you may have missed.

Good Reads
Family Furnishings: Selected Stories, 1995-2014 by Alice Munro (rich and precise)
Bootlegger’s Daughter by Margaret Maron (a classic American mystery)
Little Pretty Things by Lori Rader-Day (a smart mystery)
Erebus by Jane Summer (a unique poetry/memoir hybrid)
Writes of Passage: Adventures on the Writer’s Journey written by Sisters In Crime, Edited by Hank Phillipi Ryan (writing craft and inspiration)
Red Thread: Poems by Teresa Mei Chuc (poetry)
Cover of Snow and As Night Falls by Jenny Milchman (excellent thrillers)
Heaven to Betsy by Pamela Fagan Hutchins (great mystery featuring a sexy cowboy)
The Closing by Ken Oder (legal thriller)
Spook Lights: Southern Gothic Horror by Eden Royce (horror)

Thank you again, generous readers and reviewers! Happy holidays and happy reading. Peace to you and our world in 2016.

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