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Chives and other herbs from the garden

Chives play a fun role in my Swift River Valley series. They’re the logo for Olivia and Dylan’s inn on Carriage Hill Road. We love to chop fresh chives into scrambled eggs and salads. We have clumps of them wherever they decide to grow on our hilltop. I planted basil, mint, parsley and rosemary in pots on the deck. Ah, summer in New England…
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Half-marathon on Sunday!

Taking a breather on a quiet, sunny afternoon here on our hilltop in Vermont. I ran three miles this morning, mercifully down from ten on Sunday. This coming Sunday, June 3rd, is the Covered Bridges Half Marathon. My daughter and I are running it together. Well. We’re starting together. She’ll wait for me at the finish line.

Assuming I finish, of course. I never take finishing for granted. It’ll be my third CBHM, but I wouldn’t call myself ready after the bout with bronchitis. Still, there’s always something. Last year it was hot (but I ran). In September, I ran a … Read More

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Walking the cliffs of Ardmore, Ireland

The historic village of Ardmore on the south Irish coast plays an important role in my Sharpe & Donovan series. Fictional Declan’s Cross, where a mysterious art thief got his start, is a stone’s throw. Ardmore–Ard Mohr in Irish, or “great hill”–is an intriguing, picturesque mix of old and new.

Joe and I had the opportunity to visit the area again a few weeks ago. We did the cliff walk along the headland, winding our way to the ruins of Saint Declan’s medieval monastic settlement, and his empty crypt. An impressive twelfth-century round towe… Read More

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Into eBooks at last and THE WIDOW on sale

It’s finally greening up here in Vermont! I got out today for a slog of a run, but I’m still coughing. It’s touch-and-go for my half-marathon. We’ll see what happens. Right now, though, The Widow going on sale for ninety-nine cents through the 20th — a seriously good deal! — got me thinking about my change of heart when it comes to e-books.


I love print books. I love wandering in bookstores and libraries. I love my crooked TBR pile and my shelves of books on everything from forensics, the geography of Ireland, American history, art history, Vermont … Read More

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An old Vermont barn

I got out before the rain and wind arriving later today, but I didn’t get in much of a run. I often pass this late eighteenth-century barn. It’s said to be one of the oldest in Vermont. I love the old boards, stonework, stone walls and maple trees. I’m writing about a stone mason, Adam Sloan in my Swift River Valley series. Inspiration! 

Bronchitis is not helpful with writing or running! I’m on the mend but taking the rest of the day off and curling up in front of the TV, rewatching the third season of Shetland. I have books to read. I got an early copy of Karna Small BodmanR… Read More

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Just a few weeks until race day!

My next half-marathon is June 3rd and I am not ready! I get this feeling with writing sometimes, too. Weeks out from a deadline, I look at my work-in-progress and don’t see how I will be ready to turn it in. For most of us, running a half-marathon and writing a novel don’t happen in a matter of a week or two. We need time.

This is when I remind myself of the line from the Tao: “Let life ripen and fall, force is not the way at all.” Just show up every day and keep making progress. It’ll all work out.

But…there’s always my other motto: “Anxiety focuses the m… Read More

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Happy Star Wars Day!

Today is Star Wars Day. The magic of the original trilogy, especially the first two movies, stays with me. What are your favorite(s)? I have one friend who’s never seen any of the movies!

We took this photo on a hike from Waterville to Caherdaniel. That’s Skellig Michael in the distance. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage site but also where scenes of the most recent Star Wars installments were filmed…and it plays a role in my upcoming Sharpe & Donovan novel, Impostor’s Lure.

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Tea by the fire

Tea by the fire in a cozy Irish inn on a blustery, rainy start to May. Ah. Love it! Tomorrow we head home to spring in New England. It was snowing when we left. I meant for this Irish break to be a  vacation but it turned out to be a working break, if also a great change of scenery. Last week I did my proofread of Impostor’s Lure, and yesterday I had a planning call with my agent, editor and marketing and PR team. Instead of my office, I was looking out at the Irish hills. No complaints!

I’ve been running, sort of. I’m a bit behind on my half-marathon training. Gulp. Actually got caught in … Read More