Hitting the road with The Abandoned Heart!

October 2016 News

"At last, the background of Bliss House is revealed."
— Booklist

Happy October!

It's one of my very favorite months, and not just because of Halloween. I also love the cooler weather that means I can open windows and enjoy the perfect drama of changing leaves. I've been waiting all year to shout from the rooftops that The Abandoned Heart is here. But our roof isn't all that tall, so here I am.

Books will officially be available in stores on Tuesday, the 11th, just a few days from now. Certain online retailers have been known to ship early—so you may even already have your copy in your hands.

On Monday, I'll officially be launching The Abandoned Heart at Left Bank Books in St. Louis. I would love to see you there.

Have You Read Them All?

Remember: the Bliss House books can be read in any order!

[cover:BLISS HOUSE] [cover:COLD ALONE]

Around My House

I've been so busy traveling and working that I was a little late getting my porch ready for the season. Here's a wildflower, too, from our ravine. Things are really blossoming, despite the late season.

Out and About:
Where Am I Going and Where Have I Been?

For a few weeks each year, I leave my hiding writing place and come out and say howdy, before scurrying back inside to write.

Chat and Podcast Alert!

Podcast interviews are so much fun. My Thursday, October 6th interview on Thorne & Cross: Haunted Nights LIVE! is available to listen to here. You'll hear all about the Bliss House books, the writing of The Abandoned Heart, and I'll even read a brief excerpt.

On October 16, Sunday, I'll be chatting for an hour at Writerspace.com at 8 pm Central/9 pm Eastern.

Bookstore and Library Visits

October 10, Monday — Left Bank Books, St. Louis, MO 7-9 pm

October 22, Saturday — Barnes & Noble, Carbondale, IL 1-4 pm (with John F.D. Taff and Hugh Richard Williams)

November 3, Thursday — Vinton Branch, Roanoke County Library, Roanoke, VA 7 pm

Book Festivals

October 15, Saturday — Books by the Banks Book Festival, Cincinnati, OH 10 am-4 pm

November 5, Saturday — Kentucky Book Fair, Frankfort, KY 9 am-4:30 pm

Bouchercon in New Orleans!

For years I've felt like I was the only grownup I knew who had never been to New Orleans. So when I learned that Bouchercon, the World Mystery Convention, would be there this year, I registered right away. It was a madhouse, with over two thousand mystery fans, including almost nine hundred authors. I confess I saw way more of the inside of the Marriott and many, many restaurants during the week than I did of the New Orleans outdoors. But I did get to stroll around the French Quarter (where I did find the world's most perfect pralines), and take a haunted tour of the Garden District, including Lafayette Cemetery #1. If you want to see more pictures, pop over to my blog post about the conference.

With my bestie, J.T. Ellison at Mulate's Restaurant

From the balcony of the Maison Bourbon Jazz Club on Bourbon St.

One of my favorite indoor highlights was moderating a panel of writers (3 men, 2 women) who were all long-time soap opera fans. We talked about how much we all learned about storytelling, and creating characters and suspense from soap operas. But we also got to laugh over some of our favorite outrageous plots, and bemoaned the passing of beloved characters.


This month I'm giving away a signed copy of Erica Wright's killer P.I. novel, The Granite Moth, and a $10 Barnes & Noble gift card. Enter here.

Thanks to everyone who took advantage of the Charlotte's Story giveaway last month. I've loved reading your reviews, and I'm thrilled so many of you enjoyed it.

Can't wait to visit you this month! If I'm not in your area, follow along on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or at my blog.


"You can't stay in your corner of the forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes." —A. A. Milne, Essayist and author of Winnie the Pooh

Research Corner:

Hawn State Park in Missouri sits about an hour out of St. Louis in Ste. Genevieve County, and is named after a schoolteacher, Helen Coffer Hawn, who willed the state 1,459 acres in 1952. It became a state park in 1955 and now covers 4,953 acres. Along with sandstone bluffs and canyons, it contains two prominent creeks: Pickle Creek and River Aux Vases. Pickle Creek exposes layers of both sandstone and igneous rock, making the park a big attraction for geologists and geology buffs. The cool, shut-in creek areas sustain plants like rattlesnake orchid and partridge berry that are usually found in more northern climates. The historic town of Ste. Genevieve, which began as the first European settlement (est. around 1735) in what is now Missouri, is nearby.