In The Delta

In The Delta
In The Delta

Friday, November 13, 2015

This post's picture was taken at Point Fermin in San Pedro, the setting for The San Pedro Blues - the latest installment in the Rick Sandler/Katie O'Hara L.A. Mysteries.  The title of this series is about to change to simply The L.A. Mysteries as in this, the fifth book in the series, Katie and Rick are about to go their separate ways.

Some people have expressed dismay at this turn of events, but one of my friends and riding partners, Lisa Lessa, agreed with me totally.  That relationship has run its course.  She likes Rick and Katie individually but not as a couple.

I realized it was time for a major shift in the story line when I discovered I could not write anything remotely exciting about the two of them.  Perhaps they settled too easily into domesticity - which is comfortable for the people in the relationship but not particularly interesting for the reader.  It occurred to me that Katie is too young to be this settled down.  What to do?

The answer, of course, is a new man - one with dark tousled hair and a cheeky, killer grin.

Don't worry about Rick, however.  He is about to enter a relationship with a woman far better suited to him, one who has appeared in the earlier books and is interesting enough in her own right to merit more attention.

The real reason for this blog however, is to give a little background into the title.

The San Pedro Blues is the name of a group of police officers whose beat, and in most cases, whose home, is the working class beach town San Pedro, home to Port of Los Angeles.  They are, in the words of one character, a tribe of sorts - close to each other and ready to close ranks against outsiders.

But the title reaches further than that.  The Blues is a music genre - one that reflects hard times, hard choices and a certain amount of despair, and yet, one that rises above that, to celebrate life no matter how hopeless it seems at times.

It's why we refer to people singing the blues - Idiomatically, when someone experiences intense emotions, feelings of hopelessness and uncertainty, we say that person has 'The Blues'.

In this story almost all of the major characters have 'The Blues' hence the title.

Synopsis - Thirteen young women from Ukraine are smuggled into Port of Los Angeles inside a cargo container, victims of human trafficking, destined for a life of sexual slavery. Twelve of them will die at the hands of a machete wielding murderer.  Only one will survive.  Anichka Markovich who burns with a fierce hatred and desire for revenge.

Rick Sandler and John Cameron, detectives in LAPD's elite Robbery-Homicide division are assigned to the case.  Working with U.S. Attorney Ray Manzarek and Vice Officers Angel Estrada and Roy Cooper, they search the streets of San Pedro and North Hollywood determined to find the people behind the trafficking operation, in hopes it will lead them to the killer.

On the personal side, Katie O'Hara is now a graduate of the police academy, working as a patrol officer under the tutelage of her training officer.  When she discovers that Rick has used his influence to gain her a relatively safe assignment, she puts in for a transfer and finds herself in San Pedro, a move that will irrevocably change her life.

Katie soon falls in love with San Pedro and, after an act of heroism, she is accepted into The San Pedro Blues - a unique group of police officers - who take pride in their town and their way of policing it.

Hoping to publish before the end of 2015.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Good Intentions Undone or Why I have not done my promised weekly posts.

I love San Pedro.  It's not a typical southern California beach town and maybe that's part of its charm. 

It's a working class town, home to Port of Los Angeles, and you can't get any closer to Catalina Island without getting your feet wet.  

It's a place to eat fish on the wharf with the tourists at Ports O Call Village, a place for pizza (it has the largest Italian population in L.A. County), home to wind surfers and hang gliders, bikers and beach goers.  It is the setting for my newest book - The San Pedro Blues.

The book is finished but the thankless task of editing is still ahead.  Here's a taste:

There are no good places to die a violent death, but in the scheme of things, a cargo container is probably one of the worst.

Within a day of being crowded into the airless metal box, Anichka has to force herself not to gag at the stench of unwashed bodies including her own, the reeking chemical toilet, the puddles of vomit from girls unable to withstand the pitch and roll of the freighter. Anichka knows that, unlike cruise ships, there are no stabilizers on freighters.

There is bottled water but no refrigerator, so the water is warm and tastes of plastic.
The man who lured them onto this voyage through hell with stories of the paradise awaiting them provides food twice a day. It is mostly edible. Anichka doubts that this is due to the goodness of his heart. He simply does not want them to arrive too emaciated to appeal to the men who are waiting for new young bodies to ravish.

‘Imagine if you can’ she wants to tell this man who pretends to be their savior ‘how truly terrible my life is if I am willing to leave it to be a whore.’

Unlike her fellow travelers, Anichka never for a minute believes that they are intended to be anything but whores once they reach paradise. There have been promises of freedom once they work off the cost of their passage but it is more likely that, by the time that happens, they will be too used up for anything but the streets. Once they realize what they’ve signed up for, some of them will choose
suicide. The ones that survive will turn to drugs to soften the sharp edges of their reality.

But she is smarter than the others. She will not be a whore for very long. She has a plan. And if she finds a way to cut the throat of this man before she gets away, well, that will make her escape all the sweeter.

It is sometime in the early hours before dawn when their voyage ends. The man unlocks their prison and steps inside. He explains that they will be there for some time because certain paperwork must be completed. Anichka figures that what he really means is that bribes must be paid. In the meantime, he warns them that they must be very, very quiet. If they attract attention, officials may open the container for inspection and they will be arrested and sent back to Odessa.

Once everything is in order, the container will be lifted onto the back of a truck. The truck will drive out of the port to a place nearby. When they get to this place, he will be waiting and will take them to the lovely apartments where they will be living.

Anichka finds it difficult not to laugh out loud at the hopeful expressions on the faces of her fellow passengers. So naïve, so foolish.

After he leaves, they whisper to each other about how good it will be to walk on land again, to bathe, to sleep in a bed. There will be beds alright but Anichka knows none of them will be doing too much sleeping in those beds.

Only muffled sounds penetrate the container’s walls. Time passes, impossible to know how much time, but at last there are a series of loud noises and then the container is moving, swaying.

A few of the girls giggle nervously, others look frightened. Anichka comes from a seaport so she has seen cargo containers lifted by monster cranes from the decks of freighters and set down on flatbed trucks.

The truck begins to move, but soon stops. Anichka knows they are passing through a security checkpoint. There is a remote possibility that the container will be opened for inspection before it is allowed to leave the port. If that happens, she counts on the panic reaction of the other girls to provide enough of a distraction to allow her to make a run for it. Her chances of actually getting away are slim to none, but she’d be a fool not to try.

But there is no inspection. The truck begins to move. Anichka is nothing if not flexible. If one plan does not work, another will. The important thing is to have a backup strategy.

When the truck stops again, she knows they have reached the place where they will be transferred to vehicles that will take them to their final destination. It is another chance, most likely her last, to get away.

The container is lifted into the air once again. It swings wildly and hits the ground with enough force to cause the girls who are standing to fall. They rise quickly and gather near the door.

Anichka keeps to the shadowy back wall of the container. She sits on the floor pressing her back against the cold metal while the rest of them crowd forward, anxious to breathe fresh air, as though it will be only minutes before they are released.

But it is not minutes. It seems that hours pass. It is hot, hellishly hot. Anichka can sense panic setting in as the girls begin to believe that they have been forgotten, left to suffocate or starve.

When panic reaches its peak, they will begin to scream. Anichka wonders if anyone will hear them.
Then there is a sound, the sound of the container door being unlocked. The idiots, of course, crowd around the opening, ready to welcome their redeemer.

A man is silhouetted in the opening. All she knows of him is that he is not the man who brought them here. This man is much bigger. He is carrying something. He raises his arm and the first girl crumples.

The rest of them fall back, but they are all tangled together, trying to scramble out of his reach, tumbling over each other like rag dolls. The only light is provided by a pair of battery operated
lanterns that fail to illuminate the far corners of the interior. It may be one of the reasons why Anichka is the only survivor of the slaughter.

But she knows that the real reason is not the poor light. Rather, it is how quickly she is able to burrow under the bodies of the girls who have fallen near her. Their blood runs over her, warm and viscous. Some of it enters her mouth. She swallows it to avoid choking. She holds her breath and pretends to be as dead as the rest of them.

She remains there for hours, waiting, sure that the man will return for her.

At last, the door opens and a voice says, “Holy Mother of God.”

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Music and Fiction Writing

              Main Street in Locke California with a nice view of the exterior of Al the Wop's

What does Al the Wop's have to do with how music influences a writer?  Absolutely nothing.

However, every time I think of Al the Wop's, I hear George Michael singing Father Figure.  If you read In The Delta, you'll know why.

Because I see a movie playing in my head, scene by scene, as I write, there is usually a soundtrack playing.

Sometimes, a particular song will inspire a scene. Other times, I will write a scene and reference an actual song as I did with Father Figure.

When Nick is walking along Lost Slough after fishing, I hear Born on the Bayou by Creedence Clearwater.

When Nick and Jessie marry in On Sutter Island, Los Lobos' Kiko and the Lavender Moon is the song they dance to at their reception.

In the Meadows, there are references to Dylan and to The Grateful Dead - a nod to Nick's parents who were college student protesters.  And so, Jessie sings Althea to her babies as a lullaby and Grace tries to teach Jessie the words to Subterranean Homesick Blues.

Moving along to the L.A. Mysteries - there are plenty of references to Katie's love for 80's dance music particularly Fine Young Cannibals Good Thing,  Dead or Alive's You Spin Me Right Round, Wang Chung's Lullaby and the music of one of my favorite bands - Depeche Mode.

The music of Leonard Cohen makes several appearances.  His song Darkness inspired the title and There For You caused me to completely rewrite the portion of Darkness dealing with the characters Bobby Lento and Jordan Lilly.

 Tom Waits Virginia Avenue was the inspiration for what I hope is a memorable strip tease featuring Katie in A Blood Red Sky.

Since Maggie Ryan spans decades - the music changes with the times - early on, it's all fifties greats like Till I Kissed You by The Everly Brothers and Don't by Elvis.
When Maggie returns to school, there is Hendrix, The Grateful Dead, Crosby Stills and Nash and one of my all time guilty favorites In A Gadda Da Vida.

When Maggie visits Jamaica, I place her dancing in the crew bar of a cruise ship to Johnny B Goode - but not the Chuck Berry version - although she references it - but the version by the incomparable Peter Tosh.

Neil Diamond's classic songs are the background for Maggie and Joseph's love for each other - Holly Holy for the scene in which Joseph teaches Maggie to canter her horse, Play Me for the night that Maggie first comes to Joseph's bed, Stones for the years that Maggie is separated from him.

I can't forget Gordon Lightfoot - I see The Wreck of the Edmond Fitzgerald as the title music.  But to this day, I cannot listen to The Last Time I Saw Her - it's beautiful but reminds me that there was a time when I intended to write a death scene for Joseph.  (Couldn't do it)

There's not a lot of music in 17 Days but Cherish by The Association figures in one scene along the river and a whole medley of Elvis by an Elvis impersonator at the Avi Casino. I Saw the Light plays through the final night and morning between Kimmy and Matthew.

The first book in a new series - The Two Way Shake - has, as far as I can recall, only one musical interlude - a dance in a seedy bar - set to the tune of Tom Waits' Walkin' Spanish but the entire story was inspired by music from Mark Knopfler's new CD Tracker in particular Long Cool Girl, Lights o f Taormina and Mighty Man.

Finally - we come to the book I am currently writing - The San Pedro Blues - not much musical inspiration so far - although Allison Krause's I Believe in You is behind the relationship of Katie and Nicco - don't ask, read the book.

If you are a writer, and music inspires you, I'd love to hear your thoughts on the topic.  Write me at  Till next time, thank you for reading.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The New Golden Age of Television

Before I begin - just a word about this week's cover picture - it has nothing to do with movies or TV but it is one of my favorite places in The Delta - Al the Wop's.  Picture yourself on a barstool, enjoying a cold one before walking back to your boat for the night.

In the fifties, there was concern that movies would die out thanks to the widespread influence of television.  To keep people coming to theatres, movie makers introduced 3D (not even close to what you see today), Cinemascope, even Smell-O-Vision.  That last one was a short lived idiotic idea, if ever there was one.

Today, movies are bigger, but not better than ever.

3D is back and yes, it is incredible.  Even the glasses are new and improved - not those little cardboard multi colored ones that kept slipping off your nose.

IMAX is phenomenal for some films - Nature movies (not really my thing - the first time an animal dies,  I am out of there) and concert films like The Stones Shine A Light (I know, it was a long time ago but it still stands out for me).

This week we saw Everest in IMAX 3D.  This kind of film plays well on the giant IMAX screen.  But the preview for The Jungle Book makes far better use of 3D.

But, for me, Everest is the exception.  We are inundated with a plethora (I knew I'd find a use for that word) of films that attempt to astound us with visuals while giving storylines and characters short shrift.  They look so interchangeable that it is difficult to tell them apart.  But apparently, someone is going to see them, because they keep making them.

There are still small, independent films rich in character and story telling.  But they play well on a small screen.  I'm guessing a lot of people just decide to stay home and watch those on TV.  After all, we now have giant flat screens, surround sound, even 3D TV.  And it is awesome.

In bygone days, television was the place where actors went when they couldn't get decent parts in movies.  It was a kind of kiss of death to appear on television.  Not so, nowadays.

A listers are working in television - something that seems to have always been the case in England, if all of those great British series in my Netflix queue are any indication.

Speaking of Netflix, this is the go to place for a wide variety of movies, including independent and foreign films, as well as series that other networks have given up on - such as Longmire and The Killing.

We are Showtime subscribers and love it.  (Less so, HBO, which is why we are willing to wait until HBO series go to Netflix although Banshee on Cinemax could almost convince me to subscribe).

As far as Showtime is concerned, the best of the best - Ray Donovan - outstanding writing, acting (Jon Voigt - why no Emmy or Golden Globe?), outstanding everything - but not one mention at The Emmys?

Less enthralling - particularly in a weak second season is Masters of Sex.

But then there is Homeland - still taut powered by the performances of Claire Danes, Rupert Friend and Mandy Patinkin.

The Affair returns soon - can't wait to find out what happens next.

Starz Magic City, if you can find it, had two  of the best seasons on TV and then disappeared.

Let's hope the same thing doesn't happen to Black Sails - I know Pirates - who would have thought?

Netflix' own series such as House of Cards and Orange is the New Black have been a refreshing addition to the world of home entertainment as has Bloodline - looking forward to the second season but SPOILER ALERT hoping Ben Mendelsohn will at least be back in flashbacks.

We still can't get with the networks - they don't seem to trust their viewers enough to give us a continuing storyline.  Fox' short lived Gang Related is one reason we gave up.  Give us a show we love and cancel it - leaving dozens of plot points dangling.  Maybe Netflix will pick it up.

Even Basic Cable is at the top of its game - FX gave us Sons of Anarachy, The Americans,  Justified, Fargo and The Bridge.

AMC gave us Hell on Wheels, Breaking Bad, Fargo and Better Call Saul which started slow but we shall see.

Is it any wonder I can't get my housework done?

Friday, September 11, 2015

A New Month - A New Image and Some Thoughts Unrelated to Writing

The beautiful image that tops the blog this week is a photograph taken by Michael Pieretti.  Michael gave me permission to use this image as a book cover but I never got around to it.  Perhaps for the next Delta Mystery.

Michael was a true artist.  He lived on Sutter Island and loved The Delta.  His photographs are among the most beautiful I've ever seen and truly bring the area to life.  I was fortunate to meet him on my last trip there.

I am sad to say that Michael Pieretti passed away on March 13, 2013.  However it is still possible to view his work online and I recommend that you search for it if you would like to see the places that are the setting for The Delta Mysteries.

As noted above, this week's post is not related to writing.  Or perhaps, in some way, it is.  Because I have a few thoughts on the current state of movies and that certainly involves writing.

In the past three weeks, my husband and I have seen three movies - all at Laemmle Theatres - the home of independent and foreign films in an age devoted almost exclusively to less than thrilling action thrillers, 3D and tired remakes of movies that weren't that good the first time around.

The first was Phoenix - a German film directed by Christian Petzold starring the incomparable Nina Hoss (if you don't see foreign films, you may have seen her in Homeland) as a concentration camp survivor searching for her husband, who may have betrayed her to the Nazis,  in post war Berlin.

The second was Meru - a documentary about three men who attempt to climb Meru - a mountain less high than Everest but one that has never been successfully scaled.  When one sets out to climb Meru, one does it without Sherpas - dragging one's own gear and pitting oneself against nature at its most dangerous.  I have never understood climbers but then I am a confirmed coward - especially where heights are concerned.  This movie came as close as anything could to making me understand why they do it.

The third was a film we almost passed on based on the description - a middle aged woman (the always wonderful Patricia Clarkson) whose husband has left her, takes driving lessons and learns to control her own life while teaching her driving instructor, a Sikh, played by Ben Kingsley,  how to adjust to an arranged marriage.  I know - sounds boring, right?  Thank goodness, Laemmle will show you the trailer on line.  Once we saw it, we wanted to see the movie.  And we were not disappointed.  It is a film filled with rich performances and genuine emotions.

It is no accident that these are the only three movies we've seen at the theatre all summer.  Well, that's not entirely true - we did see Woody Allen's newest An Irrational Man - good cast - Joaquin Phoenix, Emma Stone and Parkey Posey.  Not only did it lack suspense and humor, I found the dialogue forced and artificial and the acting amateurish - embarrassingly so - given the caliber of the acting talent.
It was like watching a movie made by someone trying to imitate Woody Allen at the top of his game.  Based on this, I'd say it's time he retired.  But then I remember Match Point, one of his best.  And Midnight In Paris - which suffered somewhat from that artificial dialogue but was saved by its sheer inventiveness.

The problem with movies these days is not that some of our best directors seem mired in the past, but that audiences apparently crave:

 A bottomless pit of bad remakes of movies that were bad to begin with

Movies in which Tom Cruise dangles from a helicopter

Movies in which cars hurtle through mid air and buildings explode

Or the world is facing an apocalypse due to an invasion of zombies (Hasn't anyone figured out that you don't even have to be able to run to escape from them?  You just have to walk fast.)

And for this, they expect us to pay $10 for a bargain matinee and $11.50 for popcorn and a drink. When I see a family lined up at the concession stand, I have to believe our economy must be a lot stronger than I've been led to believe.

My last thought on this subject is this - someone is remaking Point Break.  Now a lot of people think that was a bad movie.  On this one, I disagree.  This is one of Kathryn Bigelow's best.  It meets the Joan Klengler test for an entertaining movie - if you're channel surfing and you come across a movie, and you start watching, even if it's been cut for TV and is interrupted by commercials and you own it, but you still watch it - it's a good movie.  It's a classic, albeit a cult classic.  Don't remake it.  Watch the original.

Next time - the rich golden age of Television.  Thank you Netflix.

Monday, August 31, 2015

For awhile now, my Google Blog has been neglected and underused for which I apologize.  I got so wrapped up in writing books that I forgot about it.

Then I decided to create a website. The idea was to do more than feature my books.  I wanted it to be interactive.  I wanted to invite people to participate.  I did some research and turned to which appeared to offer a very reasonable charge for hosting.

I spent 3 difficult weeks building my site.  It was beautiful.  Then I discovered that the reasonable hosting cost was a "promotional offer".  The actual cost would be over 10 times as much.  When I expressed dismay, offered me a better deal.  I told them I could not do business with a company that engaged in misleading business practices.  They were not  happy.

At this point, I realized that my way to communicate with my readers and other writers, and anyone else interested in participating in a kind of round table discussion had been there all along.  My Google Blog.  It was already up and running.  It had a presence on the Internet.  And it was FREE.

But it was time for a facelift.  

This very lengthy post is the result of all of the above.  So - to clarify: The idea is to do more than share my work with readers.  I want to create a forum for other writers, for readers, for anyone interested in sharing ideas, talking about books, writing and more - movies, music, whatever inspires us.  But Please - NO POLITICS OR RELIGION - WAY TOO DIVISIVE.

SO - PLEASE PARTICIPATE BY E MAILING ME AT  I will happily repost anything you want to share, with your permission, of course.

From this day forward - I promise to:

Update Weekly.

Respond to all comments and e mails.

Feature the thoughts, essays, etc of anyone who wants to participate.

Until I hear from you, a few thoughts of my own:


A fiction writer's job is to entertain, to keep the pages turning, to keep it fresh, not formula. The dream of this writer is to do all that and more, to create characters that are real and to transport you to a different world - the California Delta, Echo Park & Griffith Park and very soon to the Port of Los Angeles and the City of San Pedro, a very different beach town than Marina del Rey.


The pen name Delta Mystery Writer comes from The California Delta - a magical world of islands, waterways and levees - a perfect backdrop for romance and mystery. My great affection for The Delta and its places - Locke and Walnut Grove, Al the Wop's and Wimpys led me to use it as a setting for The Delta Mystery Series.

But - It's not all about The Delta

The L.A. Mysteries are set in The Rancho neighborhood & Griffith Park  - home to Rick Sandler - a horse loving Homicide Detective and Katie O'Hara - who begins a new career as a Crime Scene Photographer.

The Two Way Shake is the first book in a new series - The Charlie Parker Mysteries featuring DEA Agent Charlie Parker.

The Stand Alone Books include:

Susan and Tecate - In one respect, I could say this book is the precursor to The Delta Mysteries because it introduces the character of Jessie - who will go on to be the central character in those books.  If you do decide to read it, be kind.  It was my first book and suffers from the flaws that many first books suffer from.  I thought it was so good - at the time - but rereading today I have seriously considered de-publishing.

Maggie Ryan - Volumes One and Two - a saga of two families brought together by one woman - Maggie, beloved daughter of an Irish bar owner, who comes of age on the shores of Green Bay, an inlet of Lake Michigan, in a neighborhood called Menekaunee, considered by some to be the wrong side of town.  Maggie's life changes forever when her life becomes entwined with the wealthy Ryan family, but the real change comes years later when she meets Joseph Dodge, the man for whom she will sacrifice everything.

17 Days - The story of Kimmy and Matthew, two people profoundly damaged by their pasts, thrown together on a canoe trip down the Colorado River.  From their rescue of the brave little dog Tachi which leads to a deadly confrontation, to their meetings with myriad people, each with his or her own story it's a sort of road movie with equal parts tears and laughter.

The Non Fiction Books include:

Luv'n Horses - Losing Fear - In my first non-fiction book, I discuss the topic most often avoided, dismissed or denied by riders - fear.

Fear is, in my opinion, like Dexter's Dark Passenger.  If we cannot learn to control it, it will control us, damaging and even destroying our relationship with the horses we love.
The good news - you can overcome your fear and begin to ride free and unburdened.  I will tell you straight out that I am not a horse expert or a trainer.  I am a fear expert and if I can beat it, so can you. 

Horses and Their People - Love Stories - Upon completing Luv'n Horses, it occurred to me that most people love to talk about their horses.  Perhaps, they would like to tell their stories and show off their horses.  This book is a collection of love stories celebrating the special bond between people and horses.  Each story is told in a person's own words and is accompanied by pictures.

I have previously shared information about The Delta Mysteries on this blog so I am not going to repeat myself.  If you're interested, just check out past posts.

In future postings, while I hopefully wait to hear from others out there, I will cover the books in The L.A. Mysteries series and the Charlie Parker Series (which so far, consists of only one book).

If you are interested, all of my books are available on Amazon in both soft cover and Kindle editions and in the Kindle Owners Lending Library.


Thank you.

Monday, June 29, 2015

New Hope Landing

It begins with a dream of a horse - the Gypsy Vanner - and a routine complaint call to a Gypsy encampment in The Meadows where Jessie and Bodie first encounter Alida Coine - a woman who has the gift of seeing the secret that Jessie and Bodie share.

So begins a tale of love, deception and murder with deep roots in other kinds of secrets - family secrets - kept hidden by some, all of the signs ignored by those who see the hint of what lies beneath the surface.

Deputy Jessie Red Cloud and her partner Bodie McDonald find themselves drawn into the mystery that has its beginnings in The Meadows and reaches its conclusion in a place called New Hope Landing.

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A Place Called Locke

The quiet nicker of a horse, the song of nightbirds, a chorus of frogs - the background to sleep on tranquil Sutter Island - are replaced by the ringing of a phone. From Mexico comes a desperate plea disguised as a casual request.

A young doctor has fallen in love with the wrong woman. His love will lead him into a web of deceit and danger as he is forced to become part of a plan to smuggle drugs up the California coast.

In The Delta, Jessie Red Cloud is returning to her work as a Sacramento County Sheriff's Deputy, unaware that she and her friend and former partner Bodie McDonald are about to be drawn into a secretive task force, led by a man who trusts no one.

Two groups of people are on a collision course, one that will lead them to a deadly confrontation in the quiet backwater behind a place called Locke.

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A Beautiful Place To Die

In the fourth installment of The Delta Mysteries, Jessie encounters a new and deadly enemy.

Olivia Winslow is new to The Delta, her past a mystery, her obsession Nick Red Cloud.

Despite the misgivings of Nick and Susan, Jessie Red Cloud is engaged in a search for her childhood friend Angel, mysteriously missing once again. As Jessie searches for Angel, Olivia Winslow sets in motion a twisted plan to destroy Jessie and have Nick for herself.

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The Meadows

In the third installment of The Delta Mysteries, Jessie Red Cloud undertakes an investigation into the tragic death of a 6 year old child model.

Wealthy Sacramento businessman and politician Colin Talbot intended his private island in The Meadows to be a place of refuge for his family. Instead it becomes the setting for tragedy.

When the case goes cold, and suspicion falls on his family, Colin retains Private Investigator Jessie Red Cloud to do what the Sheriff's Department could not do, discover who is responsible for his daughter's death.

What Jessie finds is a web of family secrets, to be untangled strand by strand, until she uncovers the truth hidden behind a facade of wealth and status.

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On Sutter Island

On Sutter Island is the second installment in the Delta Mystery Series.

On Sutter Island continues the story of Nick and Jessie, the lovers from In The Delta. Jessie, now a Sacramento County Sheriff's Deputy and her partner, Bodie MacDonald, answer a late night call to a local bar, The Landing, and discover the victim of a vicious attack.

Jessie sets out to find the man responsible, but her search puts at risk the life she has built with Nick on Sutter Island as she becomes the obsession of the man she is tracking.
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In The Delta - Redux

As promised - I am posting a list of old titles including a brief description and link to the E Store for anyone interested in catching up on books they might have missed.  

A girl named Angel and the boy she loves vanish from a dark and lonely place called Lost Slough. Their disappearance attracts little attention when it’s assumed they’ve simply moved on.

But for Angel’s friend, LAPD Officer Jessie, a 4-month old Missing Persons Poster turns a houseboat vacation in the California Delta into a desperate search for the couple or their killer - a search that leads Jessie to the Chinese community of Locke and a bar called Al’s Place where she meets the Lakota, Nick Red Cloud. Their erotic attraction for each other catches fire in a heartbeat and grows in intensity as they explore the Delta together by boat and on horseback.

While Nick and Jessie’s love for each other grows stronger, Angel’s story plays out in flashbacks… Until, at last, Jessie discovers the terrible truth of what really happened on the banks of Lost Slough.

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Sunday, June 28, 2015

A Long Overdue Update

I have been so busy writing my newest book - The Two Way Shake - that I have neglected posting anything new here for awhile.

Currently, I am putting together a collection of stories of horses and their people written by some wonderful horse owners/lovers.  The book is coming together beautifully.  The stories are varied but all are written from the heart, filled with emotion, humor, life lessons.  Some are happy, some sad but all have touched me deeply.

The book is filled with wonderful pictures as well.

I am waiting for a few last minute submissions and then comes the real work - formatting, editing and proof reading.

Hopefully, the book will be completed and available by early Fall.

In the meantime, I plan to do a series of posts on my currently available books - including a brief description of the plots and links to the E store for anyone who may have missed the books the first time around.  I plan to include photos of the covers as well so watch for updates.

A great big thank you to my readers.  I would be very happy to hear from anyone out there who wants to discuss the books or make comments - good or bad.  Don't be shy.

The latest Rick and Katie L.A. mystery is also in the planning stages.  The title is The San Pedro Blues.

Friday, April 10, 2015

The Meadows 3rd book in The Delta Mystery Series FREE Kindle download

Today through Tuesday - Free Kindle download of The Meadows - the 3rd book in The Delta Mystery series:

In the third installment of The Delta Mysteries, Jessie Red Cloud undertakes an investigation into the tragic death of a 6 year old child model.

Wealthy Sacramento businessman and politician Colin Talbot intended his private island in The Meadows to be a place of refuge for his family. Instead it becomes the setting for tragedy.

When the case goes cold, and suspicion falls on his family, Colin retains Private Investigator Jessie Red Cloud to do what the Sheriff's Department could not do, discover who is responsible for his daughter's death.

What Jessie finds is a web of family secrets, to be untangled strand by strand, until she uncovers the truth hidden behind a facade of wealth and status.

Friday, March 27, 2015


On Sutter Island - second book in The Delta Mysteries series - is available for FREE Kindle download today through Tuesday.

On Sutter Island continues the story of Nick and Jessie, the lovers from In The Delta. Jessie, now a Sacramento County Sheriff's Deputy and her partner, Bodie MacDonald, answer a late night call to a local bar, The Landing, and discover the victim of a vicious attack.

Jessie sets out to find the man responsible, but her search puts at risk the life she has built with Nick on Sutter Island as she becomes the obsession of the man she is tracking.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Request To My Readers

Dear Readers - the greatest joy for a writer is to know that there are people out there who are reading your work and hopefully, enjoying it.

I have been told that I am a very poor self-promoter and I know that is true.  I hate so much to try to sell my work to people.  It would be wonderful to just be discovered.

But there are literally millions of books being published and it is so easy to get lost in the shuffle.

So I am asking my readers for a big favor.  If you have read and enjoyed any of The Delta Mysteries or the adventures of Rick and Katie in the L.A. Mysteries, and if you have time, please be so kind as to go to my pages on Amazon and write a brief review of the book(s).

And watch for my free giveaways.  Ending tonight is the giveaway of In The Delta.  In the following weeks, I will be doing a promotion by offering the Kindle edition of the remaining Delta mysteries in response to a request by a reader who enjoyed the latest book New Hope Landing but had not read the earlier books.

Whether or not you write a review, my thanks to you for reading my work.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

New Hope Landing Published and available

New Hope Landing - the 6th book in The Delta Mystery series is now available as a Kindle download - If you don't have a Kindle reader, just dowload the free Kindle Reader app and read on your computer - the layout is great.
It is also available in paperback now in the Create Space E Store which you can reach through this link -
It begins with a dream of a horse - the Gypsy Vanner - and a routine complaint call to a Gypsy encampment in The Meadows where Jessie and Bodie first encounter Alida Coine - a woman who has the gift of seeing the secret that Jessie and Bodie share.
So begins a tale of love, deception and murder with deep roots in other kinds of secrets - family secrets - kept hidden by some, all of the signs ignored by those who see the hint of what lies beneath the surface.
Deputy Jessie Red Cloud and her partner Bodie McDonald find themselves drawn into the mystery that has its beginnings in The Meadows and reaches its conclusion in a place called New Hope Landing.

Thursday, February 19, 2015


This is my husband high above the clouds in Barcelona in black and white and color.
I'm sure many people out there have their own pictures and stories to share so I am once again extending an invitation to horse lovers to send me their horse story in their own words along with a picture to be included in a new horse anthology titled Horses and Their People - A Love Story.  There is no restriction on subject or length.  You do not need to be a professional writer.  It seems that every story I have received thus far has been a delight in its own way.  Send your word. doc and PDF of you and your horse to me at and if you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact me.  
Thank you.

New Delta Mystery - New Hope Landing - preview anyone?

Hi Readers - I am looking for 3 people who would be interested in previewing New Hope Landing prior to publication.  This is the sixth in the Delta Mystery Series featuring Jessie Red Cloud and Bodie McDonald.

If you are interested - contact me on Facebook or by message to my email

I will send the PDF to the first 3 people to respond.  My only request is that you agree not to share the PDF with anyone and that you be willing to send me your unbiased comments when you finish the book.

A word of warning - the subject matter of the story is sexual abuse and incest so, if you find these themes disturbing, this may not be a book for you.

Thank you.