Oregon State Trooper Gabriel Hawke’s sister, Marion, is on a corporate retreat in Montana when she becomes a murder suspect. Running for her life from the real killer, she contacts Hawke for help.
Hawke heads to Montana to find his sister and prove she isn’t a murderer. He hasn’t seen Marion in over twenty years but he knows she wouldn’t kill the man she was about to marry.
As they dig into possible embezzlement, two more murders, and find themselves trying to outsmart a wilderness-wise kidnapper, Hawke realizes his sister needs to return home and immerse herself in their heritage. Grief is a journey that must be traveled and knowing her fiancé had wanted Marion to dance again, Hawke believes their culture would help her heal.
This will be out in print in a about two weeks and audio in a couple of months.
My new fun thing! A Book Mobile, of sorts. Author Mary Vine and I have been selling books at the Sumpter Flea Market in Sumpter Oregon every Memorial and Labor Day weekend for the last seven years. We started out with a canopy that we had to lower at night and put tarps around in bad weather. Then we upgraded to a tent that while it kept things dry it was becoming more and more of a chore to set up.
I had been looking for a trailer that was small enough to fit in the space we are allowed at the event and tall enough for people to stand up in and that could be renovated to work as the vision I’ve had for several years. I finally found the perfect trailer.
It is made of wood so we can easily refurbish it to have long windows that open up to let the light in but will also, hopefully, keep any rain out. It is low enough to the ground that a ramp to allow strollers and walkers up won’t stick out into the walkway. And, did I say it is made of wood? 😉 That means we can make it look like an old western building. Here is a photo of it in the state I found it.
I’ll give you an update on the remodel as we go along. Right now, it is at our daughter’s. We didn’t have the pickup to pull it home when we bought it. I’m excited to see how it turns out and how well it will be received at the flea market.
I don’t like to look back. I’m a look forward type of person. But when I come to the end of a year and find myself a book and a half behind schedule, I feel the need to see why.
I started January 2022 with high hopes. I’d purchased a new, larger planner to help me keep things straight for writing, marketing, and promoting. HaHa. That lasted one and a half months. I found it too time consuming to try and write down what I would do each day to keep things up to date and moving along. I do like the larger squares to write what I’m did or am going to do each day on the month calendar but the daily pages, that I had hoped would keep me on track, I gave them up. So I spent a lot of money and only used a quarter of the large planner. Story of my life… This month the author co-op I belong to decided to do an anthology of mystery stories. I volunteered to head it up and edit. So I began working on a short story for that project.
A cornucopia of ten cozy mystery stories that are perpetrated during holidays from New Years to Christmas. This collection explores unexplained disturbances, college pranks gone wrong, and almost always one or more murders around a holiday. Solve these spooky crimes that lurk beneath celebratory parties and help search for the murderers. Kick off your shoes, grab a warm drink and snuggle into a blanket before you get lured onto the sparkling snow for the next crime spree.
A Body on the 13th Floor by Paty Jager Dead Ladies Don’t Dance by Robin Weaver Took Nothing Left Nothing by Pamela Cowan Busted for Bones by Dari LaRoche Yuletide Firebug by Kathy Coatney Starry Night Murder by Mary Vine The Twelfth Night Murder by Ann Chaney Blue Christmas by Melissa Yi Two Turtle Doves by Maggie Lynch Five Golden Rings by Kimila Kay
I took an Amazon Ads class in January to help me better understand how to promote my books there. It worked for a while. ( I am currently taking another class because some things changed since last January) I highly promoted my book that released in February, House Edge, book two in the Spotted Pony Casino Mystery series.
At the start of February, I worked with a person from Facebook ads trying to get a handle on those. I found that harder to do. I had to be at a computer and on my phone. I have limited cell phone service in places in my house. At least in February with my old phone I did. It was a frustrating call. This month was mostly about starting the next book and getting House Edge published.
March I sat in on a couple of webinars about project management and marketing and worked at writing the next book. I also took two granddaughters and a couple friends with me to Rockaway Beach. We had a fun time! Then I had to book signings. One in Enterprise, OR and one in Clarkston, WA.
April I started attending our oldest granddaughter’s track meets and going to Senior meetings since she was living with us and graduating in May. I also had been traveling the 5 hours one way once a month to see my dad in his senior living facility. So between track meets and that, April had me on the road a lot. This month, I traded my Subaru in for a Jeep Cherokee. I saw it when we were driving by a car dealership. It is Spitfire Orange and I loved the way the color made me happy! We had been talking about getting a vehicle that sat higher off the ground that the Subaru for a while.
May started out with the hope of spring and warmer weather. It continued to be cold. My dad turned 90 on May 16th, he fell on the 19th and passed within days. He’d been saying he didn’t understand why he was still here when he couldn’t do anything., His arthritis had gotten so bad he just sat in a chair most of the day. He is missed but in a better place. After that was our granddaughter’s graduation and I was off to Sumpter, OR with author Mary Vine for our annual selling of books at the Sumpter Flea Market Memorial weekend. We had an excellent number of sales.
My favorite month was June! Another granddaughter graduated from high school. Then my sister-in-law and I went on a research trip to Montana. You saw posts on this blog about what we saw and did while on our trip. We had a fun time checking out antique malls and thrift stores along the way.
The following month I attended the Wildhorse Casino Powwow at the Umatilla Reservation. It was for research and because I enjoy attending these events. Then I spent several days with my two besties. We talked, drank wine, and shopped thrift stores. Do you see a pattern here? I like to go to thrift stores to pick up red dresses for cheap. Then I send them to a woman who uses them for an outdoor living art project that depicts the MMIW struggle to be a force in finding missing and murdered Indigenous women, children and men from all across this continent. Because it is a cause that I believe in, I send her red dresses and I give proceeds from my book Stolen Butterfly to the movement. I also attended a one-day event to sell my books in Homedale, ID. To end the month, I attended my hubby’s 45th high school reunion. Teh end of this month, I also brought home my new dog, a chiweenie I named Nia. Earlier in the year while I was on a trip, hubby had to have our elderly chihuahua/miniature pinscher put to sleep. She’d had a bad seizure or heart attack. The vet didn’t know which. She’d given us a wonderful 16 years. I hadn’t planned to get another little dog until we no longer had my dad’s large boxer/border cross. But I saw Nia and fell in love!
August continued to bring us lot of dry hot days and nights. The crops had finally taken off, but the cold weather earlier in the year and made for almost half the usual tonnage of hay. Then we had a family reunion at Wallowa Lake and my dad’s military graveside service in Enterprise followed by a barbecue at the lake. I spent most of August writing and editing. The short stories for the anthology were due to me to edit, though several had already been sent to me and edited.
The month of September started with Mary and I setting up our booth at the Labor Day Sumpter Flea Market. We had another good turnout of people buying our books. Mid-month, I attended my first NIWA (Northwest Independent Writers Association) book selling event. It was at the Mt. Angel Oktoberfest. We were asked to wear Bavarian looking clothing. I purchased a women’s Bavarian dress. It was fun to dress up and hang out with authors from the group and my friend Kimila Kay. From there I went to the coast to vacation with my younger brother, his wife, and their two kids’ families. It was a fun time! Poor hubby was holding down the farm while I was away playing. He’s a good man!
October means the slowing down of farming as the weather cools and we hope for rain and moisture. I stayed home the first part of the month clacking the keyboard trying to catch up on my writing. Then Hubby and I spent a weekend in Virginia City and Lake Tahoe with his sister and her husband and friends. You can also read about that fun on this blog. 😉 Later in the month I had a book signing in Clarkston, WA.
Ahh…November. I had a one-day Facebook party to show off my new covers for the Halsey Brother series. I talked with readers and gave away prizes. It was a lot of fun. Then I wrote. I wanted to have the next Gabriel Hawke book finished before I left for another NIWA event, this time in Portland. I didn’t make that deadline. I attended three days of the Portland Holiday Market event, hanging out with Kimila some more and when I wasn’t at the market, I was writing on my book. I wanted it finished by December so I could concentrate on the holidays and our granddaughter’s wedding coming up on Dec. 27th.
Four days into December, I sent the book off to my critique partner and beta readers. Whew! Now I could concentrate on decorating, getting a Christmas Tree, and setting up my books at the local Christmas Jamboree. I sold more books there than I had thought I would. So it was a great day. And my daughter had a table beside me selling fudge she’d made and boxes of her organic Rural Roots pork.
While this is posting the day after the wedding, I wrote this post earlier. So I’ll have to give you an update on the wedding in my next post.
That is a roundup of my year. It had fun times, some unhappy times, and lots of family time. I hope to continue having more family time in the coming year. But to also keep putting out book. I hope whatever holiday you celebrate that it was wonderful, filled with family and friends and that you have a awesome 2023. See you next year!
The past seven years I’ve been attending the Sumpter Flea Market every Memorial and Labor Day weekend in a small town in NE Oregon with my author friend Mary Vine. She had been attending the event for several years before she invited me to join her. We both have books set in the area and enjoy visiting with one another as well as selling our books.
We started out with just a couple of tables, book stands, and a canopy for our spot. We now have a tent, more tables, and more book stands. We have also established ourselves there and have repeat readers coming back to see what we have new or to add to their book collections from us. It’s fun seeing these people. I remember their faces but have a heck of a time remembering their names.
When I first started attending, Mary and her husband owned a cabin at Bourne, a ghost town 6 miles beyond Sumpter up a bumpy gravel road. It would take me nearly 30 minutes to drive the 6 miles in my car. That and the beautiful scenery and usually pretty weather. At Bourne, I would stay in a one-room cabin with bunk beds, no plumbing or electricity. The best part was sitting on the tiny deck of the cabin watching and listening to Cracker Creek.
I would take my dog, Tink, for company. We’d go for walks or when I wrote she’d sleep on one of the beds. There were sometimes several families staying at their cabins while I was there and sometimes there would only be a couple of families. A couple of times I’d wake up to it snowing or having snowed during the night.
Mary said some people who have stayed up at Bourne have heard saloon music during the night. And others said they heard children playing. I didn’t hear either. I enjoyed my stays in Bourne, but Mary and her husband sold the cabin and now I Airbnb in Baker City.
I make book bags for each weekend. All during the year I either sew on quilts for grandkids or I sew book bags. These are bags that I give away with each book sale. It makes it easier for the buyer to carry their purchases. One time I had a woman show up at our booth saying she saw one of my bags and it reminded her she had to come get the next book in a series from me. So they do work!
Mary and I enjoy visiting, talking about writing, life, and watching the dogs that go by. Yes, nearly everyone who walks by has a dog or 2 or 3. We discuss what breeds we think they are and if the owner comes near our booth we ask to see who was closest to the right breeds.
This weekend, I’m taking my new puppy Nia and a granddaughter to puppy sit. She has to learn to go everywhere with me and be used to people, so we are starting her “training” now. It will be fun to travel with a dog again. The dog I lost in February, Tink, had traveled everywhere with me and I’m looking forward to a traveling companion again.
It looks like it should be in the 90s. Hopefully, we’ll get a bit of a breeze or it can get hot in the tent, even though we put the sides up and are under large pine trees most of the day.
If you’re in the Sumpter, Oregon area come on by and say “Hi!” I also have some freebies I hand out.
This week we are finally getting some weather that feels like spring is here. I love the long days of sunshine and blue skies. Most of this month has been cold, windy, and wet. The wet I’m all for because it brings spring flowers and puts moisture in the ground for the hay crops.
I also like spring because it brings Memorial Weekend. The reason for the weekend is to remember the men and women who gave their lives so we can live free. I always donate money for a small red memorial poppy. There is a woman who brings them around in a basket at the Sumpter Flea Market. I’ve been attending this event with fellow author, Mary Vine for over five years. We set up a tent and sell our books over the three-day weekend. It has become as much a fun weekend with a friend as it has been about selling books. The fun part is having fans come back each year to buy the latest books.
This month I’m also trying to finish the third book in the Spotted Pony Casino mysteries. It has been slow since I’ve been attending track meets to watch the granddaughter that has been living with us the past two years. If I don’t have it finished by the time I go to Sumpter, I’ll be writing in the evenings. It needs to be finished because I’m going on a week-long trip with my sister-in-law to research the next book in June.
With the sunnier weather, I plan to get out and ride my horse more. As I get older, I have become a fair-weather equestrian. LOL I enjoy riding with the grandkids and riding by myself. My horse, Jan, is a mellow fellow and he has a slow easy stride that I like. I hope to go on several long trail rides this summer. If I do, you’ll see a post about it here.
Earlier in the month my hubby traded some hay for a manure spreader. We weren’t sure what he was getting as an older man we knew called him up and asked if he wanted it. When he drove up with the spreader on the trailer behind his pickup I smiled. It is the cutest thing! The size is perfect to pull behind my little purple tractor and to use in the two small fields we use or the horses and steers.
That’s the end of my musings. I hope you enjoyed this brief look into my life, both writing and personal.
And you might ask why am I excited about May. Well… Let me tell you!
it is the anniversary month for my marriage to my always entertaining husband and of my first published book.
This May marks the 15th year I’ve been published and my 50th published book!
That’s right, I have 50 published novel length books. If you added up the novellas and short stories I’ve published it’s more. I’m just talking about 50-90k word books- novel length. To celebrate this achievement, I’m hosting a month-long Facebook event.
You can join the fun here: https://www.facebook.com/events/887343232080078 You can hop over there now and see some of the prizes and click you are “going” to be sure to see all of my posts. At the event we’ll talk about books, my life, and anything writing related you want to know. Everyone who comments will have a chance at the prizes I’m giving away.
Also in May, I’ll be back at the Sumpter Flea Market in beautiful quaint Sumpter, Oregon. I’ll get to hang out with my author friend Mary Vine and sell books.
May will also be the release of my 7th Gabriel Hawke Novel, Stolen Butterfly. The book deals with missing and murdered Indigenous women and proceeds from the sale of the book will be donated to the cause.
Gabriel Hawke Novel #7
When the local authorities tell State Trooper Gabriel Hawke’s mother to wait 72 hours before reporting a missing Umatilla woman, she calls her son and rallies members of the community to search.
Hawke arrives at the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Reservation and learns the single mother of a boy his mom watches would never leave her son. Angered over how the local officials respond to his investigating, Hawke teams up with a security guard at the Indian casino and an FBI agent. Following the leads, they discover the woman was targeted by a human trafficking ring at the Spotted Pony Casino.
Hawke, Dela Alvaro, and FBI Special Agent Quinn Pierce join forces to bring the woman home and close down the trafficking operation before someone else goes missing.
I will be engaging in many book related activities in May. What will you be up to?
I’ve been so busy running around the state judging at county fairs, I forgot to update my own blog.
The county fairs I judged at were a lot of fun. Some I watched 4-H members knit, crochet and sew, others I judged their foods, clothing, knitting, photography, educational displays, and presentations. And there were were a couple where I judged the open class foods and clothing.
I have to say while judging open class is easier because I don’t have to interview or write down what is good and what needs work on an item, I do enjoy the interview process with the 4-H members the most. I love their enthusiasm about the item they made or baked. If the recipe or pattern came from a family member. What I found most about the clothing and knitting projects the patterns for many were found on Pinterest. How times change!
I’m looking forward to this coming weekend. Labor Day, not for the camping and family time but because it is my annual pilgrmage to Sumpter, Oregon to set up a booth with another author at the Flea Market. It has become one of the events during the year I look forward to.
It’s fun talking with Mary Vine, the other author, and watching all the people who wander among the booths. The best part, is when someone hurries over and say, “I was hoping you were going to be here, I need the next book in your series.” That’s why we go back every year. To provide winter reading for the people in NE Oregon. LOL
I’m way behind in my writing, but I do have a new release, the last western romance I’ll write for a while. Freedom: Silver Dollar Saloon.
Their dreams brought them together. But will violence
tear them apart?
Freedom longs to be out of the Silver Dollar Saloon, with a family of her own.
When a white man promises marriage and children, she takes the biggest risk of
her life, and follows him to the wilds of Montana Territory. Where he shows his
Water Runs Fast, a Crow off the reservation, comes upon a white man whipping a
brown-skinned woman. After stabbing the white man and riding off with the woman,
he realizes she is the woman from his visions. The one who pledged to help him
and his people survive in the white man’s world.
On the run from the tragedy, the two grow close. Together, they begin a life as
husband and wife. But will they have their chance at a life together, or will
they hang for murder?
I made my yearly trek to Sumpter, Oregon for their Memorial
Day Flea Market. For the last four years I’ve rented a space with another
writer friend during this weekend and Labor Day weekend.
This year was more fun because I took my eleven-year-old granddaughter. I usually stay in a cabin 6 miles from Sumpter in the small community of Bourne. The cabin doesn’t have any plumbing or electricity, but it’s surrounded by tall pine and lodge pole and has Cracker Creek running right behind it.
My granddaughter made the comment that she liked the cabin,
but would prefer it had plumbing. We had
a good time playing cards until dark, giggling and eating popcorn.
Usually, I stay at the cabin by myself or take my small dog Tink, but I will have to say this weekend has been my favorite even though the rainy weather kept the usual number of people away.
I enjoyed talking with readers who come back each weekend we are here to purchase our newest books. And we talked to a couple of people who are writing books. I also met a Nez Perce woman who gave me her phone number and her father’s number to contact them with questions, since my fictional characters are from that tribe.
This yearly pilgrimage for me has become one of the weekends I look forward to, just to visit with my author friend, Mary Vine, and enjoy the tranquility of the cabin. I usually write when I’m at the cabin but because my granddaughter was so much fun to entertain, I ignored the computer I’d brought with me.
We had some great talks about her four brothers, which was one of the reasons she was happy to come with me. She said she needed a break from them. LOL She also has dreams of being a writer and having published books. She told me a couple of her ideas she’s been thinking about for books, and we did some brainstorming. It’s fun to have someone in the family who understands about stories and characters in my head.
We’re already discussing her coming with me in September for
the Labor Day Flea Market.