Guilty as charged

I have been guilty of blog abandonment. I’ll admit it.

My friend Sharahn has been riding me this blog: “You need to work on your blog! You need to let people you’re out there! You need to build your brand!”

Yes, I do all those things, but I have to say, 2014 was an ugly year with a few bright lights interspersed along the way.

When I last published this blog, I had just lost my father-in-law, Richard ‘Shorty’ Gaskill tp kidney disease. My last entry was just days before his burial in Arlington Cemetery.

Over these past 12 months, I lost my stepfather, a WWII veteran, just before his 92nd birthday.

I have watched a long-term friendship founder and die—and because she was a newspaper editor I freelanced for, took a hit on my income stream as well. (I’m a loyal to the end, but freelance doesn’t mean free, even if I’m your best friend.)

My friends have struggled as well with serious illness (theirs and their spouses), injuries and surgery.

What are you gonna do? Some years just suck.

But there were some bright spots.

After struggling long and hard through the recession, my daughter moved to Washington DC, where she found a job with benefits and is thriving in an apartment of her own.

My son and his wife welcomed a second child in July. Miss Lena is a bright spot in all our lives. he also began his dream job, teaching audio engineering.

I have also reconnected with other family members in what can only be called wondrous and mysterious ways.

You never know when truth and blessing comes into your life. Maybe one day I can write about it.

My writing did not suffer, despite the long list of events in the year.

MURDER ON THE LUNATIC FRINGE was published in April, following extensive editing, and while it was being edited, I began writing the next book, DEATH OF A HIGH MAINTENANCE BLONDE, which came out in November.

The theme of HMB was how two people come back from professional and personal disasters to find love again.

Addison McIntyre is, as always, a character in the book, but the story centers on her new reporter Charisma Lemarnier, a reporter with a mysterious past, who is looking into two cold-case murders.

Everybody has known one of ‘those’ blondes, right?

There are blondes — and then there are high maintenance blondes. And Eve Dahlgren was a high maintenance blonde, even forty years ago in high school.

When Eve ends up dead, and Journal-Gazette publisher Earlene Whitelaw is arrested for her murder, it looks like an open and shut case. It’s up to editor Addison McIntyre to prove her boss didn’t kill her.

When those two story lines come together, the secrets of a small town get blown wide open.

I’m back to work on another novel. This one is a different direction. I’m writing about a private investigator named Niccolo Fitzhugh in a small Ohio steel town who’s investigating the murder of a hooker. I haven’t even come up with a title yet.

I felt like I needed to take things in a new direction, give my dear Addison a break and stretch my artistic/author wings a bit. It was just time.

The plan is to have the novel done by May—God knows I hope to have title by that time!

I’ve also taken on the leadership of a writer’s group in Chillicothe Ohio. Our project for the year is going to be an anthology of short stories written by the members, which will be published as an eBook near the end of the year.

Will I ever revisit Addison? I don’t know. Maybe that series, after five books, is done. I know I have several others plotted out and can return to it at any time. We’ll see. The newspaper business has changed so much that it has to be a part of the story as well.

But thank you for sticking with me and thank you for your interest in my little stories.

Lets make 2015 a fabulous year!

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