Writer's Block: Investigations of a Female Nature

Who is your favorite lady detective from movies, books, or TV?
Amelia Peabody from Elizabeth Peters' books. Though it's hard to keep in mind the difference between favourite series and favourite 'lady detective'. For instance, I like Donna Andrews' Meg Langslow series as a whole, but Meg's only a part of that, where Amelia Peabody is a much more important part of why I like that series of books.


It is a fact of life! If you don't exercise, unfortunately the sands shift south, and as the years keep clicking by I'd like to keep my "sands" as much in tact as possible, thank you very much. So, I commit myself to exercising at least three times a week.

However, being a writer, my time is my own to schedule, so sometimes that self-imposed exercise date at 9:00am turns into noon or even later. I mean, first I have to scan all of my e-mails, don't I? What if the publisher wants something? Gotta be right on top of that. And, I'm writing a new Silver Sisters mystery with my sister Phyllice. What if she desperately needs feedback or comment on the last chapter I sent her of VANISHING ACT IN VEGAS? Oh, yeah, the final edits for the print edition of SEVEN DEADLY SAMOVARS are almost finished, too. What if the editor needs another change?

Of course, after checking all of my messages, I have to answer all of my friends out there, don't I? And it wouldn't hurt to read through those chapters or edits I worked on until three in the morning.

Nest, a headline on AOL or Yahoo catches my eye. Gotta read that one and find out what's going on in the world, be it world-class earth-shattering news or juicy gossip. Whoops, before I know it, it might be almost time for lunch. Fuel for the furnace, you know.

Okay, I've run through all the excuses. Here's the reality. Actually it's only 9:40am here in L.A. Not bad. Almost the time I would have finished exercising if I'd been true to myself.

The edits on SEVEN DEADLY SAMOVARS await,but they're not going to change at all in the next half hour. I have chapters to go through for my novel THE DEVIL'S DUE, currently being finalized. They beckon to me, too, but...I know...I know...they'll still be there to be worked on after I wipe the sweat from my brow! Getting a little desperate now. My friend's manuscript--I promised to read it, got to work on the Sisters in Crime newsletter, and how about all of the other projects just waiting to be noticed?

Rats! I've run out of excuses. Time to turn on the DVD and do those exercises. Then, with my mind as sharp as a keenly-honed blade, my writing life resumes.


Available in every format you can think of
SEVEN DEADLY SAMOVARS - Now in Audio-Coming soon in paperback,
Kindle and e-book
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  • Current Mood
Burbank Library, Morgan St. James, A Corpse in the Soup, reading


Today was totally dedicated to writing. This morning I had breakfast with two of my friends from the world of writing, and we discussed various presentations we are going to polish for talks to several types of groups including libraries, seniors groups, organizations and writers' conferences. We've appeared on panels together during the past few years, and really have a good time bantering back and forth for the benefit of the audience.

Fortified with a nice blueberry scone and (gulp) too much coffee, this now wired writer was ready to attack our editor's marked up galley for the paperback of the latest Silver Sisters comical crime caper, SEVEN DEADLY SAMOVARS. Whooee. The audio book was released in March, and now the time is drawing near for it to be in print. Several hours later, now crosseyed, my whites a blazing shade of red, I wrapped up the last of the requested changes for the first fourteen chapters. That gives me time to work on other projects before the next batch of chapters arrive, including the newest Silver Sisters adventure, VANISHING ACT IN VEGAS.

I worked on another of my manuscripts last night until around 2:30 am. But you know what? I love it. My books and stories are either in print or close to going into print and that's what I care about. As an "accidental writer"--you see, I never started out to be one--I love sharing how that came about with people who ask, "When did you know you wanted to be a writer?" Well, for starters, I was an interior designer at the time. When I saw my first magazine article in print in a prestigious magazine, the bug grabbed me.

A CORPSE IN THE SOUP-Best Mystery Audio Book 2007-USA Book News
Paperback, Kindle, e-book, CD, MP3
SEVEN DEADLY SAMOVARS - Now in audio book, coming soon in
paperback, Kindle and e-book

Here are a few pictures from last month's trip to Holland:

  • Current Music
    Lite Piano

Julie Hyzy

Julie Hyzy
starts out her White House Chef mystery series with a bang and a complete Presidential menu of recipes in the back of the book. I can't wait for the next one!

White House Chef
1. State of the Onion

She also has two books about Chicago news researcher Alex St. James that I haven't read yet.

1. Deadly Blessings
2. Deadly Interest

Dolores Johnson

Dolores Johnson also finishes off her series this year. Mandy Dyer owns a dry cleaning service in Denver, Colorado. They're a light cozy mystery with lots of humor.

1. Taken To The Cleaners
2. Hung Up To Die
3. A Dress To Die For
4. Wash, Fold, & Die
5. Homicide & Old Lace
6. Buttons & Foes
7. Taking the Wrap
8. Pressed to Kill

Gillian Roberts

I'm don't know how I missed the hardcover release of what is the last book in Gillian Robert's Amanda Pepper series but the paperback release is scheduled for the end of March 2008. Amanda is a high school teacher in Philadelphia.

Amanda Pepper
1. Caught Dead In Philadelphia
2. Philly Stakes
3. I'd Rather Be In Philadelphia
4. With Friends Like These
5. How I Spent MY Summer Vacation
6. In The Dead Of Summer
7. The Mummers' Curse
8. The Bluest Blood
9. Adam and Evil
10. Helen Hath No Fury
11. Claire and Present Danger
12. Till the End of Tom
13. A Hole in Juan
14. All's Well that Ends
  • bama78

Rock & Roll Murder Mysteries


Here's a fun new twist of a book: Patricia Morrison, a long time success sci fi fantasy author, and the woman who married Jim Morrison in a pagan ceremony, has gone into a different genre--mysteries. Specifically, rock n' roll murder mysteries, set in the 1960's. She has a livejournal: pkmorrison. Here is the information on her book and how to order it...


The Rock & Roll Murders: The Rennie Stride Patricia Morrison

Sex, drugs, rock&roll—and murder. A slightly different side of the Sixties.

She's a newspaper reporter whose beat is rock, not a detective, and her best-friend sidekick is a blond bisexual superstar chick singer, not a cop, but murder rocks their world, following them through the heart of the Sixties, from Haight-Ashbury to the Hollywood Hills, from the East Village to Abbey Road....

Seamlessly blending the fictional with the real: the stars, the bands, the music, all the excitement of the most incredible decade of the last century...

Full of rockworld dish and attitude, created by someone who was not only there for it but who made some of it happen herself, and who actually remembers it...

And with murder to sit in and jam.

It is a time when things are happening that have never happened before...when artists like Jerry Garcia and Janis Joplin and Mick Jagger are doing stuff onstage that people never dreamed of when listening to Perry Como...when rock is the hottest thing on the planet and the people who make it their life and love and work are the coolest people you could ever hope to meet.

The time when it was all NEW: the music, the hair, the clothes, the drugs, the sex, the politics, the revolution in society that stopped a war and changed the world.
A time often imitated, always envied by those not lucky enough to have been there for it, certainly never surpassed...and now with a body count!

Over the course of the series, which will run from 1964 to around 1972, smart, tough, pretty rock writer/social commentator/amateur crime-solver RENNIE STRIDE will move back and forth between
San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York and London.

Everywhere she goes, it's the heart of rock and roll: classic scenes like Woodstock, Monterey Pop, the Fillmores East and West, the San Francisco ballrooms, the Greenwich Village rock and folk clubs, LA's Whisky A Go-Go and Troubadour, England's tiny blues dens and huge pop festivals.

As notorious for her affinity for and proximity to foul play—the "rock albatross", as she only half-jokingly calls herself, a murder magnet always around for, or connected to, a string of music-biz murders and counterculture crimes—as she is famous for her journalistic talent and style and personal dash, Rennie is not only a hip rockworld Miss Marple but the friend of dozens of other Sixties movers and shakers, real and fictional: musicians, painters, photographers, clothes designers, record company execs, other writers.
(And the lover of some of the rock deities who are making musical history.)

First up:

Ungrateful Dead: Murder at the Fillmore...

It's March 1966 in
San Francisco. Not quite yet the Summer of Love.
Instead, it's the Springtime of Murder. When up-and-coming rock singer Prax McKenna is busted for being at two murder scenes, one of which takes place at that temple of rock, the newly opened Fillmore Auditorium, her best friend, newspaper reporter Rennie Stride, resolves to find the real killer and spring Prax from the slammer. What nobody expects, least of all Rennie, is what happens next...

Patricia Morrison is a retired rock critic and editor, the author of The Keltiad science-fantasy series and "Strange Days: My Life With and Without Jim Morrison", and was married to rock star Jim Morrison.




Livia J. Washburn

Livia J. Washburn
is the author of The Fresh-Baked mystery series featuring a widowed, retired schoolteacher. I thought this was an enjoyable and humorous cozy mystery.

1. A Peach of a Murder
2. Murder by the Slice (Oct 2007)

Her first mystery series featured a 1920's stuntman, Lucas Hallam.
Lucas Hallam
1. Wild Night
2. Dead Stick
3. Dog Heavies