About Me

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I received teaching and engineering degrees and have traveled extensively, living ten years outside the US. I moved from the big city of Houston to a small sleepy community in North Carolina, which has been a tremendous change and a great inspiration for my novels, full of the local color. My time has been filled with writing and helping to physically construct three additions to our former farmhouse. I have a great view of the mountains ten miles away across the broad valley and the sunsets are breathtaking. I am an avid reader of all kinds of mystery and contemporary fiction.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

A Rare Find, Indeed!


A Rare Find, Indeed!

It is not often that I review a book on my blog. I'd say I never have, but I read a book this past week which I had to blog about. If any of you have read my Rachel Christie private detective mystery novels, you know that the main character loves old movies. My novels are modern day, but I love to read unusual and imaginative books. This book, "Hell's First Whisper," the first of the Percy Nickels private detective series set in the 1940s, is one such unusual and imaginative read.

After reading several books set in the 1930s and 1940s, I was expecting the same old, same old. The tired clich├ęs. The same detective talk. However, the author Knuckles Rothchild did not do this and you could still tell it was set in the 1940s. It's the story of a police officer turned detective. I know, it sounds like the same routine, but that's where it ends. Percy Nickels has been led on a wild goose chase while someone deposits a naked dead body in his apartment. He falls for a lady evangelist, whose sermon is on the radio when he finds the dead girl. The wit and easy flow of the story line had me mesmerized from the moment I opened the book.

I am not plugging a friend of mine because I have never met or communicated with this person. However, if you enjoy the 1940s private detective, you will doubly enjoy this book. I highly recommend it.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Review of Bucherondin Goat Cheese







Review of Bucherondin Goat Cheese

This past week I made a trip to the local Whole Foods about an hour from my small town. I like to treat myself every once in a while and, of the cheeses I like, goat cheese is my favorite. However, I couldn't afford much of Bucherondin. I bought about an inch and a half from the small log, but I am so glad I did. It is so good.

Bucherondin is a French pasteurized goat milk that is shaped into a log (buche means log) and has a white bark-like crinkled coating on the outside. The outer most part of the inside has a creamy texture and is quite mild and the center of the log has a rougher texture that gives this cheese the distinctive goat cheese tanginess. Bucherondin does not have as strong a taste as most goat cheeses, but it is stronger than a goat gouda. It has no sharp aroma and is not very salty. A pleasant goat cheese, even for those who prefer cow's milk cheeses.

This goat cheese went well with a 20-year old mellow port, but at $18.99 per pound, I can't afford much, not even for a splurge. Therefore, I will eat it sparingly and savor every bite.

Friday, April 12, 2013

First Editorial Review of New Book

First Editorial Review of New Book

Today, I received the first editorial comments for the seventh book in the Rachel Christie Murder Mystery series. Now comes the hard part of re-writing to give the work a more polished presentation. However, this is only the initial phase and it will be the first re-write. I will have more editorial comments and re-writes after this, I'm sure. Writing the book is a hard feat in itself, with the days and nights (yes, sleepless nights) thinking about the plot and letting all the nuances solidify into a believable story with several subplots that work well together. However, I feel that having to do the re-writes is even more difficult.

In writing the book, I only had to worry about getting the ideas on the page. With re-writing, I have to make sure each sentence has all the words it needs and only the words it needs. Each paragraph has to have all the sentences it needs and only the sentences it needs. Pages and chapters are the same. Anything not necessary to the plot or description is weeded out. Descriptions are difficult for me because I want to include enough to give the reader the feeling of being there, but not enough to get boring. Too many books spend too much time describing what we already know. As they say, ''A rose is a rose is a rose." No need to go into great detail or describe the scent. Everyone knows those things.

I have always hated re-work, even as a project engineer. To do the job first, with no revisions, is only a dream I can wish. With writing, I want my characters to be distinct and to be worth reading about. Above all, they have to say and do things that are consistent with the personna that has been created for them. Having a series with the same characters means going back and re-reading the previous novels to be sure that the present novel and characters follow along the lines that the readers expect. It is also important to  give the characters growth. They should all change because of their experiences. My characters see a lot of action and they should change accordingly.



Friday, April 5, 2013

The Next Book


The Next Book

The first draft of the seventh book in the Rachel Christie Murder Mystery series has been completed, finally. It was difficult for me to write because it dealt with a group of characters I felt emotionally attached to, from the suave and sophisticated playboy to the normally cold and hard sheriff. They all showed their soft insides and I had to feel sorry for them all. Normally, rational Rachel lost her cool more than once and faced more dangers than she had before.

Now, the book is with the editor, but thankfully it is being reviewed as I write this blog. Also, the book cover is in the initial stages of being designed. Hopefully, the novel will be released sometime next month. Of course, that depends on how many rewrites I will have to do.