Hello, Readers,

I’ve been very busy since summer began hiring book promoters, making final revisions to Nutmeg Street: Egyptian Secrets so the manuscript can go to the formatter, and having an official author photo taken. (I’m not really complaining. I’m lucky!)

Sometimes, when I get too caught up in the have-to-do’s, or if I’ve hit a brick wall, I glance at these three quotes near my writer’s desk. Today, I’m sharing them with you:

  1.  “The pessimist complains about the wind. The optimist expects it to change. The realist adjusts the sails.”  –William Arthur Ward
  2.  “The miracle isn’t that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start.”  –John Bingham, aka “The Penguin”
  3.  “The people I love the best/ Jump into work head first/ Without dallying in the shadows/ And swim off with sure strokes almost out of sight./ They seem to become natives of the elements,/ The black sleek heads of seals/ Bouncing like half-submerged balls/ . . . .”  –Marge Piercy, the first of four stanzas from her poem, “To Be of Use”

So get a clue, Readers: Do you have an inspirational quote or activity that propels you when you need a push in the right direction? If you’d like to share some of them with me, please contact me through this newsletter, or via my website at I look forward to hearing from you. Thanks!

“Red, White, and a Blue Sedan”

Dear Kids and Other Readers,

Given that I’m posting this blog on my website on the Fourth of July, it seems timely that I finally share some excerpts from Nutmeg Street: Egyptian Secrets. In Chapter 14, entitled, “Red, White, and a Blue Sedan,” the USA’s Independence Day is discussed. Well, mentioned. Okay, I’m stretching it, but any excuse to give you a peek at the mystery!

Here’s the backstory: The Botanic Hill detectives–Lanny, Lexi, Moki, and Rani–were ready for a break. After being hired by Mrs. Thornsley to find the ancient urn her late Egyptologist husband had been accused of stealing, the four detectives had been involved in a few close calls. Then, the night before, they’d had a sleepless yet boring stakeout at the Egyptian pond in Mrs. Thornsley’s backyard. The squad now decides to head to the beach, catching a lift from their tutor, Bruce Wilding, in his cool blue ’67 Mustang convertible:

Excerpt 1: “Hey, guys,” said Lanny, “it’s so muggy, and rain isn’t due for hours. Let’s postpone our visit to Mr. Bailey and head to Mango Beach instead.”

“Yeah, and it’d be fun to see how Boardwalk Boulevard’s been decorated for next week’s Fourth of July celebration,” said Rani. She popped a grape into her mouth from the fruit bowl.

They knew Bruce would be willing to go. The tutor came home just as Uncle Rocky finished packing the lunch basket. The four kids had already put on their swim gear and gotten their surfboards. After a long, hot morning in class at the local university, Bruce was very ready for a dip in the ocean himself.

The five soon arrived at Mango Beach. The boulevard shops were elaborately festooned with patriotic bunting and signs for the Fourth. Red, white, and blue flags and lights were strung from one palm tree to the next lining the beach. The group captured the last parking place close by and loaded themselves down with their beach gear and lunch basket. Soon, they found a sandy spot with a patch of blessed shade, courtesy of some sizable palm fronds that dipped toward the sand . . . .

[Time out: The four enjoy some surfing, then return to stretch out on their beach towels. While devouring their picnic lunch, Lanny leads a discussion about their prime suspects in the mystery. Soon their fun is interrupted. Next excerpt.]

Excerpt 2:  . . . . the rainstorm abruptly threatened to arrive ahead of schedule. The clouds had scared away the sun, wind noisily swooshed the palm fronds, and a few raindrops splashed the beachgoers. Bruce suggested they pack up fast and head to the car for home. But not before stopping at Moo Cow’s Dairy Town shop a few blocks away for their traditional, after-beach ice cream cones, Moki reminded him.  

As Bruce collected a few stray towels from their beach spot, the four detectives, with arms loaded, made it to the parking lot. They stopped to admire more palm tree holiday decorations when Lexi suddenly screamed. She swung her board at the others, knocking Rani and Lanny down and causing Moki to jump backward, away from her and the road. A speeding sedan roared by, missing them by inches, then zoomed out of the lot. Their beach gear was scattered everywhere. And so were they.

“That same blue car again!” Moki yelled . . . .

Was everyone all right? Who drove the blue car and why? What happened next? Watch for Nutmeg Street: Egyptian Secrets to release on February 1, 2020, and you can find out!


Spotlight on Brightly

Dear Kids, Family Members, and Teachers,

Please check out this terrific website for kids’ books called Read Brightly. Log on at

So get a clue, Readers, and investigate these tabs on the site: The first is “Ages and Stages” where you can peruse reading lists for ages 0-13+. The second is “Popular Topics,” such as Animals, Beloved Characters and Classics, Books Boys Like, Books Girls Like, Educator Resources, Family and Friendship, Kid-approved Books, Parenting Advice, and more. Plus, there are interesting feature articles. Kids, get lost in books this summer. Happy, happy reading all summer!



Suspenseful Cover-up

Dear Readers of All Ages,

Drum roll, please–Nutmeg Street: Egyptian Secrets now officially has a front cover! It’s stunning…but I can’t release it yet. Awww, shucks!

So get a clue, Readers, and watch on November 1st for the great Cover Reveal. Then, please weigh in with your comments.

Summer is Simmering–Finally!

Dear Readers,

San Diego gets socked in each spring with a thick Pacific marine layer, a.k.a., “May Gray” and “June Gloom.” But, yay! It’s finally burning off. Off came the patio furniture covers and winter blankets; away went the black walking coat; out came sundresses and sandals.

So get a clue, adults. Join your kids and me in saying, “Welcome, Summer!” I love that its bright sunlight and birdsong enter my windows before 6 a.m. That it warms my early-morning walks with my dog, Jimmy Lambchop. The way it coaxes a profusion of flowers from every crevice. And its sweet scents, like a freshly laundered linen dress, that drift through my windows at dusk. Get ready. Things are heating up. Summer’s simmer is coming to a rolling boil!

Get Your Lion On

Dear Readers,

Is it time in your personal or professional life to let risk-taking become part of your “living on the growing edge”? Want to stop limiting yourself? Stop comparing yourself to others? Flee your fences? Own your expertise? Roar like a lion? These were the questions posed by Marni Freedman as she discussed her book, Permission to Roar, last Saturday in San Diego.

Her favorite three strategies: Risk 10% or more. Be willing to make a mess. Celebrate every single risk you take.

So get a clue, Readers: Read the book. Then, get your Lion on! Wear your invisible superhero cape. Practice roaring until it’s a habit. Clucking is for Chickens.