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My apologies for such a long absence. I suffered a great deal of pain in my right arm for some time and, when my teaching sessions were over, underwent rotator cuff surgery in April. The first month my dominant arm was in a sling strapped to my body, so was useless. The second month was slightly better with even more challenging physical therapy! The third month I could drive longer distances, although strength training led to back issues. And here I am, finally getting around to updating my blog.

Somehow I finished a new novel, Sleuthing with Mortals. It’s an urban fantasy. Why? Because after a few personal losses, I was in a slump. I realized the only way to get back to writing was to do something completely different. My protagonist Lin is a Norse goddess and her husband, who managed to escape the final battle. When the novel opens, they are living in a Northern Virginia suburb – one rather like mine, in fact the same setting as Not One of Us. Bored, Lin becomes a private detective and sets off to rescue Syrian girls from a refugee camp in Turkey who are being smuggled into the U.S.A. as sex slaves. She often reminisces about her past lives in different countries and eras, so my love of historical fiction was still satisfied. Well, it’s certainly different!

The Blitz Businesscontinues to sell well. Not One of Us andLily Takes the Fieldstill await the last book in the trilogy. I’ll get there – promise! I started, but put it aside for new ventures. Blitz Businesswill get a sequel, too, again set to one side for my jump-starter project.

In June I attended the Tinker Mountain Writer’s Workshop at Hollins University, which I do every year. It was great to see old friends, several of the faculty among them. I enjoyed my workshop and meeting new friends. My grad school reunion, for which I leave the day after returning from France in September, is billed as a “professional development weekend.” Which means workshops. We work. Okay, we party in the evenings, but for the more, ahem, mature students, late nights don’t cut the mustard. I love it, though, and would miss it for the world.

I started a watercolor landscape class a couple of weeks ago. It’s great to get back to art, and I needed the freshener as I’m going to France on an art trip (pastels) at the end of August. The subject so far has been trees. Deciduous trees the first week and then palm trees, which made me nostalgic for my annual trip to Bahrain to see my son, which I had to forgo this year because of surgery.

I spent a couple of days at our house on the Chesapeake Bay last weekend as I had weeding and planting to do. Rather late, but I couldn’t get to it sooner. Anyway, at this point plants are on sale, so I could get what I needed – portulaca, which is poisonous to small animals, so the rabbits leave it alone (I hope the deer got the memo!). Its flowers only come out once the sun hits, and they are like jewels. If only I hadn’t chosen the hottest weekend of the year. My face looked like an overcooked salmon by the time I’d finished!

My husband works overseas a great deal and my daughter and grandies live in Toronto. They will all arrive the first week in August and leave just before I fly to France. The grandies love the house on the Bay, so I think we will spend a lot of time there. My grandson turns 8 around that time and we’ve promised to celebrate with a fishing trip. I love to fish, too, as does my son. Last year we planned a trip, but a massive storm put pay to that.

Goodbye for now. I’ll do better with regular posts in future,


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