Coming from the giant moth in my dream it sounded strange

moth“How did you get in here?”

Coming from the giant moth in my dream, it sounded strange.

Once I got my eyes open and saw it was coming from a thirty-something woman standing a safe distance away from me, looking very proprietary and possessive, it made more sense.

“The gate.” Yeah, my mouth can even do that with total strangers. I wasn’t awake yet.

“Very funny. Who are you and what are you doing in my yard, on my beach, in my chair?”

This is an excerpt from A Long, Hard Look. To read the whole story, get your copy at Amazon.


Off to See the Editor: A Still, Small Voice (Phil Brennan #2)

AStillSmallVoice-cover20151020e-flat-3DYesterday the final manuscript of the second Phil Brennan mystery, A Still, Small Voice, was trundled off to my marvelous editor Tom Bentley to face the Pain of the Red Pen.

My goal is to have it in your hot little hands by December 1st.


It’s not courage when you’re not afraid

brave-face“It’s not courage when you’re not afraid. Courage is when you’re afraid, and you do it anyway.”

Millie turned enough to touch Darcy’s face with the back of her hand. “I know, dear. I don’t think you’re in any real danger or I wouldn’t ask you to do this.”

Darcy nodded. “I’ll be okay. I just had to wind up for it.” She smiled a big fake smile at me in the mirror, mussed up the back of my hair, and got out.

Millie and I went off to do battle with the rest of the family.

This is an excerpt from A Long, Hard Look. To read the whole story, get your copy at Amazon.


The hammering felt like a hangover

hammering-anvilThe hammering felt like a hangover. Since I hadn’t had a drink in years, it wasn’t a hangover.

It wouldn’t stop, though. There was yelling. And a scraping noise.

When my eyes had the strength to open, some of the noises started to make sense.

“Hang on.” I didn’t know if they could hear me over their own yelling. I got my thick fluffy robe, which is far more luxurious than most single guys would have but since I sleep in the same clothes I shower in I keep something posh handy in case of emergency.

The hammering and shoving at the door sounded like an emergency.

I froze.

This is an excerpt from A Long, Hard Look. To read the whole story, get your copy at Amazon.


Maybe you can help me with a little something

coffee-and-darknessShe scrunched her lips and her eyebrows. I liked the lips better, but the scrunched eyebrows worked, too.

“Well, now. I’m not here about what Gil wanted. You’ve clearly already taken care of that, according to the papers. I’m here on my own. He seemed confident you could help him, so I thought, if Gil trusts you, maybe you can help me with a little something.”

It was thin as the decaf in an office coffee pot, but I figured I might as well let her run with it.

“Well, that’s different. Tell me all about it.”

She sure was good at that smile. I kept almost believing it.

“Since Gil is dead he can’t finish the job.”

That settled that.

“I need you to kill someone for me.”

And that, my dears, unsettled that.

This is an excerpt from A Long, Hard Look. To read the whole story, get your copy at Amazon.



That Buxom Blonde Phil Was Looking For

A Long, Hard LookAn excerpt from A Long, Hard Look. Watch for the second Phil Brennan mystery, A Still, Small Voice, this summer.


My front door does not have an annoying habit of failing to stay latched.

It latches just fine. I make sure of it.

So it concerned me not a little that it was ajar when I rounded the top of the stairs.

I froze, then stepped back a bit. I stopped on the top stair and leaned my forehead against the wall, which put my good ear almost in the hallway where it could listen better.

Nothing.

These old wooden floors creak if you look at them. Nobody was moving in my place.

Which meant one of two things: nobody was in my place, or they just weren’t moving.

Continue reading “That Buxom Blonde Phil Was Looking For”


And the Winner Is . . . (What I’m Writing Next)

ocean-fenceIn my latest newsletter I asked for input about which of these works in progress should get my attention after I finish A Still, Small Voice and Jake Calcutta and the Temporal Lisle. (If you want in on stuff like this, sign up for my newsletter.)

  1. The 3rd Irish adventure — From the Fog (follows Through the Fog and Into the Fog)
  2. A 3rd Phil Brennan mystery — A Short, Sharp Shock (follows A Long, Hard Look and A Still, Small Voice [not yet published])
  3. More scifi/adventure — another Jake Calcutta (follows Jake Calcutta and the Temporal Lisle [not yet published])
  4. More Jesse Donovan (follows That She Is Made of Truth)
  5. The Village Id — a witty cozy mystery set in a small English village filled with quirky characters; very P. G. Wodehouse. Check out the 1st chapter.
  6. Coming of age story — a young teen’s life is disrupted when his family has to move in with relatives; he turns to music for comfort
  7. Anacrusis (a mystery with a female lead) — A woman dumps her unfaithful fiancee and moves to a small town where two men amorously pursue her, while one of them awaits the life insurance payoff from the first wife he murdered.

Continue reading “And the Winner Is . . . (What I’m Writing Next)”


Another Free Book

I’m changing the reward for signing up for my newsletter. Right now, sign up and you’ll get my very first mystery, Through the Fog.

After the 15th, the free book changes to A Long, Hard Look.

To make it more interesting, sign up now to get one, and in the newsletter of the 15th, get the other. Free. Both of ’em. Because everyone on the newsletter on the 15th will get a free book.

At least one free book . . .


72,275 Words: A Still, Small Voice, the Last Chapter Written

AStillSmallVoice-cover20151020e-flat-3DThursday morning I wrote the final chapter of A Still, Small Voice, the second Phil Brennan novel.

In one way, it didn’t end as I expected. The people in the room surprised me.

What Phil does, though: I’d seen that coming for a while.

In a few weeks, you’ll see it, too.