Best-Selling Author!

Dear Readers,

I needed some good news, and I got it on February 25.

I’m now officially a BEST-SELLING AUTHOR!

I hit two best-selling categories on Amazon for my Nutmeg Street: Egyptian Secrets paperback! Best selling means an author’s book is in the top 100 books sold in a particular category. I made #42 and #28.

The evidence is in the two photos.

Whoo-hoo! Thanks for you support.

So get a clue, Readers. Head on over to Amazon for more copies of my book in Nutmeg Paperback or in Nutmeg eBook.

RIP, Mr. Bean

Dear Readers, 

Today, I am veering off my usual literary topic to sadly report the passing of my granddog, Mr. Bean. He was eleven.

Bean lived a great life in Virginia with my daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughter. He quickly intertwined himself around their hearts, souls, and daily routines. Bean enjoyed a good walk around the lake, showing off for my granddaughter, splashing in the ocean during the annual family trip to the Jersey Shores, and holding sway at the head of the table during his yearly dog birthday party right after Thanksgiving. He was King of Dog Fashions, always sporting a sweater or t-shirt to match a season or holiday. He even dressed up in theme with the rest of the family’s Halloween costumes.

Bean was a little Lakeland terrier, but his heart, presence, and unconditional love equaled those of ten mastiffs. His sudden passing has left a huge, gaping hole in the Virginia household and in all our hearts.

Bean was my little snuggle buddy whenever I would visit, keeping me company when no one was around, and springing up onto my bed in the guest room to nap or cuddle. How do you let go of all of that and move forward? We must, of course–when the ache and tears can eventually be replaced by smiles and fond memories of a Great Dog.

Mr. Bean, your family, neighbors, and dog friends miss you terribly and will love you forever.

RIP, sweet Bean. November 28, 2008 – February 21, 2020. Thanks for gracing our lives and teaching us about love and patience.  We thought we would have you longer to keep showing us the way.

Now, it’s your turn to romp and play, young and healthy again, with Rosie, Snickers, and all your doggie best buds over the Rainbow Bridge. Until we meet again to hold you in our arms, we will continue to hold you in our hearts.


“Riddle Me This!”

Dear Readers,

Now that Nutmeg Street: Egyptian Secrets, Book 1 in my Botanic Hill Detectives Mysteries series is launched, some of you have asked when Book 2 will come out. Books 2 and 3 are finished and awaiting publication.

The short answer about Book 2’s arrival is . . . hopefully, by the end of this year or early 2021. I won’t bore you with the long answer.

The title? Eucalyptus Street: Green Curse. If you’ve read Book 1, you might have noticed the reference to the next book at the end of the last chapter: “[The four detectives] would have been heartened to know their next daring mystery was already simmering not too far away on Eucalyptus Street.”

If you read to the end of the Acknowledgments (no one ever does), there is a teaser scene for the book: “You will be challenged by a mysterious old mansion, a seventy-year-old puzzle poem, dusty secret passages, a hidden gemstone, and a flickering light in the nearby cemetery.”

To whet your appetite, below is the entire puzzle poem.

So, get a clue–or two or three– dear Readers. Let’s see what you can figure out about Book 2’s mystery from this riddle. Use the contact form on my website, Website Contact Form, and let me know your guesses! Here is the puzzle poem (riddle). Good luck!


‘Wishful dreams of bold emerald trappings

From radiant treetop and archaic wrappings;

To find what you seek, you must dash and dart

Only to discover the ending was at the start.


Deep down below a chamber to nourish

The players’ voices, where still flourish

Wooden words helped create the magic:

Sometimes comic and sometimes tragic.


Lions’ threatening stares from their moonlit perches

Warn of danger for would-be explorers’ searches;

But once their eyes are turned down to the floor,

The way becomes clear, it reveals much more.


An artisan’s tilework leads to loftier places

Where there are myriad quarters with timeworn traces.

When the sunlight’s ray strikes the portrait at three,

Look to the jeweled hand that recommends your knee.


Treehouse gardens seen from highest window stained,

Its panes have witnessed material treasures that remain

Dazzling and fine, but now hidden, soon forgotten with time,

Perhaps to be rescued because of this rhyme.


At the end of it all, blackened roses, wicked thorns, and delusions,

So from Gray’s elegy, I ask if beauty isn’t wasted in seclusion?

Searching must continue now but at a funeral’s pace, awaiting the light

That appears however improbably, yet shining green and eternally bright.’”


Whoa! Right? Think you know what the riddle is about? Please let me know.





Heartfelt Thanks!

Dear Readers of Nutmeg Street: Egyptian Secrets,

Thank you so much for taking your time, effort, and money to get your hands on a copy of my debut Middle Grade book! Some of you have also been so kind as to review it on Amazon and/or GoodReads. (It’s not too late–hint, hint!  and

A special thanks to all who helped make my book possible: Acorn Publishing, friend and author R.D. Kardon, cover designers, editors, a map maker, a formatter, marketers, publicists, literary assistants, friends, and family.

Buying and reviewing an author’s works are so complimentary and important for a writer. For me, knowing that my first mystery story is out in the world and doing well is especially heartwarming!

So get a clue, Readers. Stay tuned for Book 2, Eucalyptus Street: Green Curse, coming soon! You can rejoin our four detectives as they take on a spooky ancestral estate, secret corridors, hidden rooms, and a decades-old puzzle poem to find a gigantic hidden emerald. Suddenly, time is of the essence when they learn of a sinister competitor. And remember. Duck your head in those dusty passages. In the meantime, Happy Valentine’s Day!

An Origins Tale

Dear Readers,

Today, I want to share with you how I came up with the primary settings in Nutmeg Street: Egyptian Secrets.

My story takes place in the Pacific coastal resort town of Las Palmitas (“the little palm trees”). It is a quainter, much less populated version of palm-filled San Diego, California, USA, where I grew up and still reside.

I came up with the idea of “Botanic Hill,” a neighborhood in Las Palmitas, one day while walking my dog, Jimmy Lambchop. He and I live in a historic neighborhood in San Diego with charming botanical street names like Jacaranda Street, Nutmeg Street, and Quince Street. There is even a neighborhood nearby called Bankers Hill; hence, “Hill.” As a child, I always wanted to live on Nutmeg Street because I thought something magical would happen to me there. Well, I never did end up living on Nutmeg Street (at least, not yet), but on that walk that day, it and the other streets seemed to be screaming at me, “Make us famous!” I hope to do just that.

And just a reminder: In case you haven’t gotten your hands on your copy(ies) of my book yet, it is now available in paperback and ebook. An audiobook version arrives in April. You can get your paperback or eBook now by accessing the links below, or by clicking on my websites’ Buy Links.

Amazon Paperback:

Kindle (eBook):

Other Fine Online Retailers (eBook):

So get a clue, Readers. Join the Botanic Hill detectives in sun-drenched Las Palmitas as they take on ancient Egypt, venomous snakes, wily criminals, and earthquakes. It promises to “shake you up,” too. (Sorry. Couldn’t resist!)

Why I Created “Super Sleuths”

Dear Readers and Loyal Newsletter Subscribers,

Drum roll, please! . . . We are on the brink of the release on FEBRUARY 1 of Nutmeg Street: Egyptian Secrets, Book 1 in my Botanic Hill Detectives Mysteries series!

At this time, I would like to share with you what motivated me way back in 2013–and still motivates me–to write my mystery series. My interesting muses:

If my four teen detectives seem unusually mature, polite, and helpful, they are–by my design! My goal was–and still is–to create positive role models, someone for kids ages nine to twelve to look up to in this scary world and, perhaps, to emulate. Better yet, I hope my four “power sleuths” become kids’ new heroes. 
The detectives’ real-life prototypes were my then thirteen-year-old twin cousins and my eleven-year-old fifth grade students.  That’s right. Eleven. They were some of the smartest, most poised, and respectful kids I ever had the pleasure to teach and learn from. They energized me and made me feel daily that our planet will be in good hands when they take the helm.
Then it hit me. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if more kids could develop the same abilities to let their best selves shine forth? If they could learn by example to boost their confidence in order to showcase their intelligence and skills, not be ashamed of them? If their concerns for others could translate into being more helpful at home and in their communities? So, I launched my uber-efficient Botanic Hill detectives as guides for kids to courageously “up their game.” Nancy Drew was my childhood courage coach! Why not see if this concept will work for kids today? I hope to hear feedback from them when I visit schools.

So get a clue, Readers.If you’ve been reading my blogs/news items this month, you’ve gotten a little taste of Nutmeg Street: Egyptian Secrets. It awaits the pleasure of your company. And don’t forget to mark your calendars and purchase my book at in paperback and/or eBook on FEBRUARY 1. Thank you for all your support!