The Elusive Finian Bracken

Irish priest and whiskey man Finian Bracken has become a reader favorite. A man with a tragic past, serving a parish in a struggling Maine fishing village, he appears as a key secondary character in every Sharpe & Donovan tale.

And he started and has remained one of my most elusive characters.

The clock was ticking on my deadline for Saint’s Gate, the first book in the series and I took a three-week writing retreat in a little hideaway cottage on the southwest Irish coast, an experience it itself. I didn’t know at the time if Saint’s Gate would be a standalone novel or the fir… Read More

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SAINT’S GATE on sale in August

Saint’s Gate is on sale in eBook through August for just $1.99. It’s the first book in my Sharpe and Donovan series. Set on the southern Maine coast with a touch of Boston and Ireland, it was a fun, challenging book to write.

I wrote a chunk of Saint’s Gate in a hideaway cottage on the southwest Irish coast. Finian Bracken, a recurring character in the series, came to life on one of my long walks during that memorable three-week writing retreat.

You can read about creating the elusive Father Bracken here.

Saint’s Gate centers on Emma Sharpe and Colin Donovan, two people is… Read More

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Hanging out with Maine crime writers

I’m back on my Vermont hilltop after a weekend at the Maine Crime Wave conference in Southern Maine. What a fantastic group! So much fun.

The weekend kicked off on Friday evening with my Q&A with author Julia Spencer-Fleming after I was named this year’s Maine CrimeMaster. I’m honored, humbled and grateful. I enjoyed the Q&A. Julia was insightful, entertaining and well prepared. She surprised me with a few of her questions! It was a great crowd, a welcoming mix of readers and writers (of course, writers are readers, too!).

Saturday was a nonstop day of panels and more fun. It was a pleasu… Read More

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Goodbye to maple sugaring season

When I was growing up in rural New England, I always looked forward to maple-sugaring season. We’d tap trees and boil up the sap on an open-air fire, finishing it off inside on the stove. We were lucky to get a couple of mason jars of syrup and savored every drop. With the warm temperatures, the maple-sugaring season is done for this year. I hope it was a good one.

It was natural for maple-sugaring to feature in my first book with MIRA back in 1998. Kiss the Moon has been reissued with various great covers and continues to be popular with readers. I love this one.

 

MIRA and I have parted ways a… Read More

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On to spring!

March arrived here on our Vermont hilltop with a lot of snow. Thirteen inches on Saturday! It’s a great time of year to enjoy winter sports. Snowshoeing and cross-country skiing are our favorites. Joe and I don’t downhill ski or snowboard.

My Black River series is set during a cold New England winter. I wrote most of Cold Pursuit, the first book, during a particularly snow winter. Just looked out the window for inspiration.

When I was writing The Cabin, also set during winter, I realized as I was writing a chase scene the villain would leave footprints if there was snow. And there was s… Read More

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CLAIM THE CROWN on sale

Claim the Crown is on sale in eBook for just $2.99! It’s the story of a woman whose life is changed when she and her twin brother inherit a mysterious fortune. There’s romance, intrigue, suspense and, if I recall correctly, pumpkins.

I mention the pumpkins because they evoke one of the key settings in the book, the quiet spot in New England where Ashley Wakefield and her brother were raised, unaware of their dramatic origins.

And because it’s November and I love seeing all the pumpkins on doorsteps and thinking about pie at Thanksgiving (if not sooner).

If you haven’t r… Read More

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Ireland’s Black Valley

Ireland’s Black Valley is one of our favorite spots to hike on our many visits to this beautiful part of the world. When I came up with the idea for my next Sharpe and Donovan installment, I knew part of it would be set in the Black Valley. Tentatively titled Return to Declan’s Cross, it doesn’t have a pub date yet but I’m working on it. I’ll be offering a “sneak peek” in the coming weeks.

Here’s a photo I took on our first hike in the Black Valley. The cottage ruin is a well-known site on the Kerry Way, a marked hiking trail we crossed on our own route. … Read More

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The Killibrew Sisters are back

Life has changed a lot since I wrote Trade Secrets and Family Matters early in my career as a published author, but Juniper and Sage Killibrew and their adventures are as much fun as ever. I’m delighted these two short, classic romances are now available as eBooks.

As Harlequin put it when Trade Secrets was first published, “Carla Neggers is one of seven children, so she knows all about the ties that bind. Which could be why she handles the family shenanigans in Trade Secrets with such aplomb.”

I wrote Family Matters amid two moves and the birth of my son, now a web developer in Boston. Time d… Read More

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Late summer reading, writing and hiking

Summer is holding on here on our hilltop. We went hiking with the grandkids recently. We took the popular Bridle Path trail up Rattlesnake Mountain overlooking beautiful Squam Lake. Afterward, Joe and I hung out with my brother and his wife in Meredith on Lake Winnipesaukee. A memorable late-summer day.  

Like so many places, we need rain here in northern New England, but my pot of basil is hanging on. I made pesto and froze it in a heart-shaped ice-cube tray. Not sure if the gang will go for heart-shaped pesto instead of sherbet! A nice late-summer drink is to freeze sherbet in a cute tray and drop a c… Read More

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Christmas in…August!

≠Summer is flying by here. The holidays will be upon us before we know it.

Well, before I know it. This year I mean to break my habit of waiting until the last minute to shop for Christmas presents. I won’t buy everything because I love to shop when everything’s decorated and feeling festive, especially on Wassail Weekend here in Woodstock, Vermont.

For shoppers early and late, a fun gift for audio lovers (yourself included!) would be Christmas at Carriage Hill, a Swift River Valley romance novella. I’m delighted that it’s now available in audio. Reader-favorite Sus… Read More

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