Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Cover Reveal!


The third in my Community of Faith mysteries now has a cover! And a description! And is live on Amazon!


For the third time in less than six months, Faith Andersen, self-professed computer nerd and skeptical Christian, must solve a murder.

Mira Levinson dared to challenge the local gamer club’s male brotherhood of geekdom. She wrote a game about feelings. A good game. For that she had to die.

The police are focused on the wrong suspect. The police are focused on one of Faith’s friends.

The future of more than one of her friends is in jeopardy. Driven by her desire for justice, Faith must find out who killed Mira. Without dying in the process.

Or losing the love of her life.

If you like traditional mysteries with a touch of romance, you are sure to love A Game of Murder.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

The Excitement is Building!

Very soon now, “A Game of Murder,” the third in my Community of Faith mystery series, will be available for sale. I should get edits back from my editor any day now, my cover designer is working on another fantastic cover, and I’ve started setting the book up on Amazon.

You wouldn’t want to miss the publication announcement, would you?

To make sure you know when you can buy “A Game of Murder,” all you have to do is sign up for my newsletter. It’s not hard to do. Just look at the sidebar to the right of this post. Fill in your name and email address, and you’re in!

Just for signing up, you’ll receive a collection of stories that will tell you how it all began. How my four core characters came together to form the Community of Faith.

But wait. There’s more! (Yes, I am channeling late night infomercials.) Everyone who is on my mailing list by August 31, 2015 will be eligible to win a gift box of Arizona treasures. (Sorry, U.S. Residents only. Because of the weight of the items, foreign shipping would be prohibitive.)


As you can see, this includes my first two novels, a box of Cheri’s Mesquite Apple Muffin Mix, Cheri’s Prickly Pear Jelly, a mug portraying the iconic saguaro cactus (from Mostly Books), and a cactus pin.

Don’t miss out! Sign up today!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Oh Dear!


I think I should have been more consistent about posting about my project plants. For the past month, I have been buried in my soon-to-be-released third book in the Community of Faith mystery series. (More on that in my next post.) My existing African violets are all in Oyama pots or double pots made of clay and are well-established, so they can tolerate a few days of neglect.

Not the project plants. Since it takes time for new plants to adapt to a new environment, I left the project plants in their original plastic pots. I added a plastic “saucer” underneath and started out by using the bottom watering technique. Sometimes, when I stuck my finger in the soil, it felt dry, despite water remaining in the saucer. Then I added water from the top.

One plant seemed to do okay. The second one, not so much. I put it under a plastic baggie, trying to create a mini-greenhouse where it might be happier. I kept thinking I should have done that earlier.

The plants continued to deteriorate. I couldn’t decide whether they had too little water or too much, so one day I’d give them water when they probably didn’t need it, another I’d let them go longer and possibly dried them out.

Panic set in.

Before I knew anything about letting plants adapt or tenting them in plastic, I’d take newly arrived plants and repot them immediately. They all did fine. So I decided I should try repotting the project plants, my last ditch effort to have them survive.

I did that this past weekend, putting them into small Oyama pots. I discovered that the soil, although dry around the edges, was wet around the roots. So I was probably over-watering them, not under-watering. The soil was much denser than I use. Another problem. African violets need air around the roots to breathe. I doubt my project plants were getting any air.

I am hoping for a miracle. While one plant has at least one semi-healthy leaf left, you have to look very carefully to see the two tiny leaves remaining on the other. I think I waited too long for my intervention.

At least I know it’s not totally my fault. At the last meeting of the Tucson chapter of the African Violet Society, I was talking to an experienced grower, a woman who has grown hundreds of plants. She told me she didn’t even take the project plants this year because minis and semi-minis are so hard to grow.

Just because I don’t want you to think I’m totally inept, I’m including a picture of my trailer. If nothing else, seeing all the flowers cheers me up.


Saturday, August 01, 2015

The Silly Season

According to Merriam-Webster, the silly season is:

1:  a period (as late summer) when the mass media often focus on trivial or frivolous matters for lack of major news stories
2:  a period marked by frivolous, outlandish, or illogical activity or behavior

It also refers to the period leading up to an election. Alas, here we are almost a year and a half before the next presidential election, and the Silly Season is in full swing. As of today, there are 16 Republican candidates who have thrown their hats into the ring. On the Democrat side, in addition to Hillary and Bernie Sanders, three others have announced their intention to run for the office. (Source: NY Times.) You can't turn on the news without hearing a story about what one or the other of these candidates has said or done today. Usually that's followed by a group of talking heads--all with a political agenda of their own--discussing the item ad naseum. They don't add any new facts. They merely reinforce their own political bias.