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Book Giveaway: Enter to Win 45+ Romantic Comedy & Chick Lit Novels!


In other news, I had a bit of a set back on the Searching for Dime Box rewrites.

On the plus side, I got some good doggie bonding time, especially with Georgia who also had surgery.

Eric has been able to work form home and take good care of me, and I should be right as rain by mid-March. Hopefully the Dime Box deadline won’t slide too much!

Take care, all.

Here’s this month’s poll. There are two questions; you must answer both to be eligible to enter he drawing for SWAG. Email bobbye at skipjackpublishing dot com to enter! We announce winners in my newsletter, so be sure you subscribe (https://www.subscribepage.com/PFHSuperstars).

Results will be announced at the end of February.

Come see me in Houston March 9 (and meet Robert Dugoni, too!) when I present for the Houston Writers House:

Knockout is with my content consultant. I’m toiling away at Searching for Dime Box revisions. We are on target for the most fabulous 2018 of releases! But in the meantime, I work, work, work, so I won’t blog much 🙂

May Stunner

June Knockout

July Ava Box Set

August Searching for Dime Box

October Michele Box Set

November Katie & Ava Box Set

December Femme Fatale (Ava Short Story)

See you guys in March!

The Kitty Katniss gives me a reason to get outside and give my creativity and spirit time to rebound.

So January is my month—my ONE month—to take the lump of coal draft of Knockout and try to polish it into the diamond I want so badly for it to become. My timeline is super tight, so the pressure is on. I took off January 1 to celebrate our anniversary with Eric. That reduced my timeline from 31 days to 30. Then on January 2nd I decided to work everything else off my to do list. To clear the decks, so to speak, so that nothing can mess with my concentration. Then on January 3rd I succumbed to the lure of a snowmobile ride up to our summertime favorite campsite, Woodchuck Pass, in the Bighorn Mountains. Lord help me, I’d just lost 10% of my revision time!!!

Then I have to turn around and do the same thing with the hot frickin mess that is the first draft of Searching for Dime Box, in February and March.

Trust me when I say I need all the time I can get to polish Knockout and Searching for Dime Box

My nerves are jangly, my gut is taut (and not from ab work), and I could really use some positive mojo. For that reason, I’ll be scarce on the blog until I finish Knockout and Searching for Dime Box and can hand them over to my content editor and beta readers.

Parting is such sweet sorrow…I’ll pop up from time to time (like with a February poll)…until I have to repeat this process for the Maggie novels…I’m longing for summer like you cannot believe, when some of this pressure lets up.

But before we part, here’s the January survey results (thank you!!):

Where did you find my books?

  1. BookBub
  2. Booksweeps
  3. Retailer recommendations
  4. Facebook
  5. Goodreads
  6. Blogs and reviews
  7. PFH networking
  8. Personal recommendations

Where do you get my books?

  1. Amazon
  2. Freebie (multiple sources)
  3. Apple
  4. Audio
  5. BarnesandNoble.com (Nook); Kobo
  6. Google Play, gift, chain, indie store, direct buy from me, secondhand

Be well, my friends.

325,000 children are at risk of sexual exploitation in the US today.

12 is the average age of entry into the sex trade.

My Story

In 2014, I started researching human trafficking and the sexual exploitation of children in the US for my mystery Heaven to Betsy. Once I lifted the lid on this issue, I couldn’t get it back on. It has truly haunted me. I took the Hands that Heal Certification Course and experienced equine therapy with Hope Rising, a faith-based provider of specialized care in foster family homes and outpatient experiential therapy located in Washington County, TX, half an hour from our Nowheresville home and just outside Houston, which is one of the largest centers of sexual exploitation of children in the US. Now my husband and I donate weeks at our homes each year to raise money for Hope Rising, and we volunteer and work to raise awareness.

If you’d like to read more about the human trafficking and sexual exploitation storylines in my novels, click HERE.

What is Human Trafficking?

Human Trafficking involves an act of recruiting, transporting, transferring, harboring or receiving a person through a use of force, coercion or other means, for the purpose of exploiting them.

Prostitution versus Slavery

The distinctions existing between sex slavery and prostitution are false. The idea that women are prostituted by choice ignores that it is nearly impossible to tell the difference between a victim of slavery and a victim of prostitution, and at what age the woman was exploited and forced into a life she can’t escape from.

The Cause of Sex Slavery

In societies where women and girls are undervalued or not valued, women are at greater risk for being abused, trafficked, and coerced into sex slavery.

How Are Women Lured Into Trafficking?

Some are lured with offers of legitimate and legal work, marriage, educational opportunities, a modeling career or a better life, while others are kidnapped and sold.

Get Involved With Groups That Help

Hope Rising is committed to the long term care and recovery for minor girls who have been rescued from human sex trafficking and exploitation. Their mission, to put it simply, is to give hope and a future to these girls and to foster wholeness and healing to at-risk families and children.

Hope Rising provides specialized care in foster family homes and outpatient experiential therapy through equine assisted psychotherapy and learning and trauma-informed art therapy.

You can help by becoming a partner: fostering girls, sponsoring a horse, donating items or money, volunteering, and raising awareness. Follow Hope Rising on Facebook.

It takes all of us.

Snowheresville. Our house and barn roofs are just visible below/behind us.

It’s time for your monthly poll! This one may not seem exciting to you, but it’s super important information for me, and I can’t thank you enough for participating. In the upcoming months, I’ll start asking you for ideas for characters and plots and all kinds of fun stuff, if you’ll just hang with me for this one first. There are two questions this time. Use the arrow in the upper right hand side to go to the second. It may tell you it is question #3. That’s okay, there are only two, no matter what the poll-plugin calls them. Email bobbye at skipjackpublishing dot com after you answer them both and let her know, and she’ll enter you into our monthly drawing for Swag. Email subscribers, you may need to visit this post online to see the photos, videos, and survey, depending on your email service.

I’m in my post-Christmas fluffy stage, needing to rewrite the hell out of Knockout, and having a hard time staying awake to do it. But I shall persevere! How were your holidays? Here’s a glimpse at ours:

Looking for Legendary Events? We’ve got them at Wild Deadwood Reads 2018!

Deadwood Vacation

You are officially invited and welcomed to attend Wild Deadwood Reads Book Signing and Legendary Events in Deadwood, South Dakota. You’ll find so many things to do, including fun and adventurous outings planned just for us that weekend. Register right away so you won’t miss out on any of the excitement! Everything starts Thursday evening, June 7, with a Meet-and-Greet Cocktail Hour on the patio overlooking Deadwood. Check out the view!

View from the Patio

View of Deadwood from the Deadwood Mountain Grand.

Wild Deadwood Reads has grown since year one. In June, we had just under 50 authors, and since we’ve already registered more than 80 authors for 2018, we’re projecting we’ll double our author roster to around 100 for next June! To accommodate this bigger and more Legendary event, we’re taking over the entire, amenity-packed Deadwood Mountain Grand Hotel, and we’ve negotiated a fabulous rate for guest rooms for you from Wednesday through Sunday night, so you can come in early, stay an extra day, or do both!

Deadwood Mountain Grand

Our Hotel – the new and upscale Deadwood Mountain Grand

Get ready to jump onto a luxury motorcoach with 54 of your new friends-to-be on Friday morning for an all-inclusive sightseeing tour including three amazing destinations around the Black Hills.

Big Thunder Gold Mine

Big Thunder Gold Mine

Crazy Horse Monument

Crazy Horse Monument

Prairie Berry Winery

Prairie Berry Winery

Saturday morning you’ll enjoy a hot, delicious Breakfast With the Authors right in our hotel, in the Deadwood Mountain Grand’s Event Center on the second floor above the Non-Smoking casino. At one end of the Event Center we’ll relax over a scrumptious hot buffet breakfast, and at the other end are the ready-to-rock tables for the Author Book Signing!

Deadwood Mountain Grand Wild Deadwood Reads Book Signing

The book signing begins Saturday morning at 10:00 am in the Event Center which is accessible by escalator, elevator, and stairs, and there’s lots of room for us at this lovely venue! We’ll even have vendor tables where local small businesses will tempt you with everything from hair pretties to chocolate!

Book Signing

Aaron Bunce and his #1 Helper

During the Book Signing, you’ll have the chance to win something fabulous at the Basket Raffle, which will support a local non-profit organization. Authors, cover models, sponsors, and vendors are all very busy dreaming up the perfect goodies to place into a basket to catch your attention! Check out the basket examples on our website!

Saturday afternoon, we have The Rodeo! Right in town, it’s a gasp-provoking Professional Bull Riders Rodeo with the rankest bulls in the territory. We’re lucky to have an exclusive VIP Package, Behind the Chutes, where we’ll watch PBR Bullriders and stock contractors show us how they load the bulls into the chutes, and how the cowboys get themselves settled onto the bulls – for at least 8 seconds! We’ll enjoy VIP reserved seating for the rodeo, bus transportation both to and from the rodeo grounds, a special dinner after the rodeo at the No. 10 Saloon’s upstairs restaurant (in close walking distance of our hotel) featuring an entertaining show created just for us by our Rodeo hosts! Afterward, head downstairs for a live band at the official after-hours hangout for the Bullriders and all the rodeo staff. Get your cameras ready – they love to show off their belt buckles!

PBR Rodeo

2017 PBR Deadwood Rodeo

If you’re not in a Rodeo mood, we have the perfect event for you! Hosted at a downtown hot spot, Wild Bill Bar in walking distance of our hotel, join authors and readers for Wild Book Readings at Wild Bill Bar – with DESSERT! This sweet event takes us on a trip back in time as we head to their private, upstairs room which has been lovingly refurbished to look like a Victorian theater with bistro seating. A cash bar, an author-sponsored dessert bar of delicacies, and authors reading you their favorite scenes from their own books. Mix, mingle, and indulge! This event will be Legendary.

There’s so much to do and see in Deadwood and all around the area, you’ll have a must-see list that’ll keep you busy all weekend. And we give you plenty of time to explore on your own! Walking the streets of historic downtown Deadwood, you can easily imagine Wild Bill Hickok tipping his hat as he passes you on the sidewalk. Or Calamity Jane causing a ruckus at a noisy saloon. Or Seth Bullock facing down a gunslinger and sending him on his way to Mount Moriah Cemetery, just up the hill from town. And, well, you don’t have to imagine any of this. Deadwood stages free shootouts right on Main Street!

Wild Deadwood Reads Reader Registration is only $10 which includes a handy neck wallet and two more wonderful gifts which are listed for you on the website. Besides being the perfect spot for your phone and other essentials, the neck wallet holds your name tag which allows you to sign up for all the great weekend events listed above, some of which are FREE! Check out our website http://wilddeadwoodreads.com/ and our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/wilddeadwoodreads/ to see everything that you can experience! I am thrilled to be going to Deadwood next June, and I want to make sure you don’t let this awesome opportunity slip your mind or slide off your calendar. Register today and you’ll be all set to have one of the best, Wildest, and most Legendary times you’ll ever experience!

Wow, is it Christmas already? Another year has flown by. We’ve had our ups and downs at S/Nowheresville and in our family, but Eric and I are in it to win it, mud-huts-on-the-beach if necessary, baby, and so life is good. First, our most important family members: the animals. (ha!) Petey the one-eyed Boston terrier may have to have surgery on his good eye in January. His vision is faltering, and he is only five. Keep him in your prayers. #TeamPetey

Louise the dumpster-diving obsessive-compulsive hound-Dobie has graduated to sleeping indoors and is my official in-room guard dog when Eric is away. Congratulations, Louise! 😉

Georgia the gun-shy, soft-mouthed, emotionally-fragile Belgian Malinois has started tolerating my gun. Barely. She is so complex it is hard to know from one minute to the next!

KATNISS, my plus sized princess, needs to lose 100 pounds, but she is fantastic, and she only threw me once this year. I did break my ass-bone, but, hey, it healed, and it only hurts when I breathe. We started her on Mare Magic supplement after she bucked, rolled, and leaped her way through a couple more heat cycles. I’ve become a much better rider. And I get her, I really do get her.

FEATHERS, the surprise relationship that Eric never dreamed he would have, is a big beautiful brat who anyone can ride. He’s a crowd pleaser for sure, and dang can he climb mountains! He taught Eric that “throwing a shoe” is really a thing last summer in the mountains, and by the time we had him down, his hoof was a crumbled mess. Luckily, it didn’t hurt him, and he is close to healed now, five months later.

The donkeys: Fitz, Annabelle, and Kathryn enjoyed a summer of spoiling while our cousins Jeff and Rockey housesat. They are pretty dang cute.

The goats: We’re down to a very pregnant Blossom, very pregnant Katie, and proud papa Badger. No goats lost to mountain lions this year!

On to the offspring (who actually ARE more important than the animals, but don’t tell them I told you that)!

Thomas: is engaged to the woman of his (and our) dreams, and is juggling job offers in Houston. Kitty shares the roost with him and Brenda.

Marie: working on her Computer Science Ph.D. at Vanderbilt, kicking ass and taking names. Her longtime dog Brando is her partner in crime, along now with a little bit of fluff called Bubbles.

Liz: is working a new job in St. Louis and planning her June wedding to her longtime amor and super awesome fiance Jerry. Daisy and Albert are hers and Jerry’s rabbits/children.

Clark Kent: U of Houston pursuing a degree in History, where he is on the debate team. He hangs with his longtime love Allie (who we’ve decided is our favorite child, no offense to our actual offspring intended) and their dog Pippin and cat Costello.

Susanne: Finishing up at Blinn and hoping to transfer back to A&M soon, and enjoying life in college a little too much with her cat Loki. She’s considering an Ag Leadership degree.

And then there are the houses!

Nowheresville: We had a setback here with a stalker/home invader last spring. He is leaving me alone now, and besides I pack a lot of canine muscle and I’m never without my gun. Our sunflowers here were off the hook in the spring. We lost a good number of big old trees in Hurricane Harvey, but no complaints because so many had it far, far worse. We enjoy our friends and family the half of the year we are here. We’ve started sharing Nowheresville through AirBnB, and that is going really well.

Snowheresville: Well…our little Snowheresville cabin is now rented out (sadly, we now just call it “Banner” but we still love it, and it will probably go on the market next spring), and we bought a replacement Snoweresville, which is a big former B&B on the eastern face of the Bighorn Mountains close to Big Horn, WY. It’s a magical place, and we’re sharing it through AirBnB too since we can only be there half the year. We’re also doing writers retreats there. We have a lot of work to do on it, but it’s truly spectacular and came with 40-acres bordered on 2-sides by BLM (federal) land. And with five-bedrooms, we can have lots of family there!

 And also there are jobs!

Eric is still with Solomon Associates. He’s traveling too much and working too hard right now, but it tends to be cyclical, so it’s my hope he gets some recovering time as his health has really suffered from it. He enjoys it though. He’s a big data geek at heart <3 I am writing my little fingers to the bone. It is not as lucrative as it used to be, but I can still keep the lights on and employees paid, and I’m hoping now that my focus is back on the business side of it, I can see a return on my efforts. Luckily, my company EPS is thriving, and I am still Chair of the Board so I remain as involved as I want to be.

And there was the downtime. Ah, precious downtime.

The highlight of our year was a month camping and trail riding in the Bighorn Mountains, by far. We enjoyed visits from our kids in TX and WY and went to see those that didn’t come to us. My big moment was winning the Silver Falchion for Best Adult Fiction, and having Eric there with me when it was announced. Eric’s validation has been that he’s been pursued for job after job after job this year. We were blessed to have Eric’s mother with us for six weeks this year, and we spent a lot of time with my parents in WY and over Thanksgiving. We had great visits from friends in WY and TX.

Has it really been twelve Christmases together? Time flies when you’re with the one you love. I wish you health, joy, and security, my friends. Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year.

(Subscribers, if you don’t see video and images in this email, click the blog title to go out to the post on my website)

I bake. And I be bossy. (Damn, my husband is KEWT)

I wrangle donkeys. Unsuccessfully.

I go to cool concerts.

I hug mini-cows.

But I am thinking about Michele and friends and Searching for Dime Box, all the time. Or at least some of the time.


Hey, here are the results of the survey last month. Hundreds of you responded; cool, I didn’t even know there were hundreds of you out there (j.k.). Thank you!

Here’s the percentage of all the books of mine you have read held by each individual book:

Saving Grace: 12.8%

Heaven to Betsy: 12.4%

Leaving Annalise: 9.5%

Finding Harmony: 9.5%

Earth to Emily: 8.7%

Going for Kona: 8.3%

Hell to Pay: 7.4%

Fighting for Anna: 7.0%

Bombshell: 6.2%

Act One: 5.8%

Nonfiction comprise the remainder. New poll coming soon!

Oh, man, I have a lot of good stuff for you guys this week!

  • Here’s a lot of bang for your gift-buying buck:

The Emily Trilogy Box Set—all 3 full-length Emily romantic mystery novels from the What Doesn’t Kill You world—will be on sale for $0.99 for the entire month of December. Yes, 3 e-books for less than a dollar. Bestselling, awardwinning ebooks. And it’s as easy as buying an e-book for yourself to buy an e-book gift card for someone else, on any of your favorite retailers. So share what you love about the What Doesn’t Kill You world, without breaking your piggy bank. Paperback, hardback, and audio of the individual novels in the set (Heaven to Betsy, Earth to Emily, and Hell to Pay) are available at regular prices. Click HERE to see your retailer options for the Emily Trilogy Box Set.

  • How about a sneak peek at chapter one of the 2nd Ava mystery, Stunner??? Click HERE.


  • Want to see the cover of the 3rd Ava mystery, Knockout? Click HERE.


  • Pre-order the 3rd Michele mystery, Searching for Dime Box by clicking HERE.


Meanwhile, back at the Nowheresville “ranch,” I am hard at work on the first draft of Searching for Dime Box. Wish me luck! My motivation is mushy after writing the first draft of Knockout last month. Brain deflated 🙂

p.s. It hasn’t been all work . . .

Taking my NM Lobo husband to the Texas A&M stadium for a mismatch. I think he loves me for my piggy snort.

Eric’s Christmas present: Cardinals v Texans, in Houston, where he found several other wacko Cardinals fans.

Tailgating with old friends before the game in his Cardinals serape, priceless!

Our youngest and her best friend making it to the game before the 4th quarter . .

Thanksgiving in North Texas with my super adorable parents (and all of our dogs and ponies).

Eric’s company Christmas party, where we got to hang out with friends we don’t see nearly often enough.

Hey, y’all!

I’m going to be asking you a series of questions over the next few weeks that will help me get to know you better as readers. By knowing you better, I can post what you are most interested in, so I really appreciate your responses. I won’t know who has replied unless you tell me, so be sure to shoot me an email or comment below if you’d like me to know you are participating.

Hint: I have some ideas about cool things to do for those of you that are most enthusiastic about my books and want to be involved in early reads, exclusive discounts, and spreading the word about the What Doesn’t Kill You world.

Your first question is below my signature, and it’s a poll (easy!). If you’re reading this in your email, you may have to pop out to the website to participate by clicking on the title of this post, above. I’m not sure 🙂 because I’ve never included a poll before, but we’ll know after this first time, won’t we?

This week, please consider the Katie & Emily Box Set ebook gift certificates from Apple or Kobo as holiday gifts. Apps to read from either store are free (and people who have Apple products automatically have the apps for Apple iBooks). This mega box set of all six full-length romantic mysteries is also the easiest and most piggy-bank friendly way for you to binge read the novels and catch up.

And in the meantime, won’t you please join the Thunderclap joint social media promotion for the box set? Since 50% of readers choose books based on recommendations, and 30% find their recommendations on social media, you’ll be helping other people find my books. You can join it by clicking below.

Thanks for being awesome and subscribing, you guys!

We’re doing a flash release of a Katie & Emily Box Set. With one download, readers get all six-full-length novels:

Saving Grace

Leaving Annalise

Finding Harmony

Heaven to Betsy

Earth to Emily

Hell to Pay

It’s a great way for binge readers to get their fix all at once, and for you guys to introduce new people to books you enjoy, at the best possible price.

I need your help! Over 80% of people find their books through word-of-mouth, virtual or in real life. Won’t you help me get the word out online by joining my Thunderclap (coordinated social media announcement), here, puh-leeze?

Thank you for considering it, thank you even more if you do it!

If you’re wanting to snag the set for yourself or another book lover, you can get it exclusively on Kobo and Apple iTunes, and the links are HERE.

If you join the Thunderclap, let me know via email or in the comments so I can enter you in the drawing for the signed novel of your choice by moi.

Thank you tons, y’all!

p.s. I’m halfway through November, and halfway through with the first draft of Knockout!

And I mean explosive in the best possible way: Ava and Bombshell are “on the virtual road.”

Check out all the fun stops on the tour at the links below, and enter at each link for a chance to win signed copies of Bombshell. Be sure to leave some comment love for the bloggers, and share on Facebook if you get the chance. Let’s give Ava some visibility. We know the girl loves it 😉

Day one — Ava interview!

Day two — The Story Behind the Story: What gives me the right to write Ava?

Day three — Review: “Completely captivating!

Day four — #Metoo?: sexuality and violence, and the Ava novels

Day five — Review: “Complex, layered, and damaged, and I loved her.

Day six — Review: “Strong and intriguing plot points.

Day seven — Bringing sexy back.

Day eight — Sneak peak.

Day nine —

Review: Pure delight. Ava is a sensation!

Why I was scared to write Ava. 

Day ten —

ReviewAll the feels & Kudos to Hutchins for believability and clarity.

Review: Chapter Break book blog.

Bonus! — Video: I like this one except for the glaring verbal error I make at the end.

Comment with the error below to be entered to win a bonus signed copy of your pick of my novels, or the new Katie & Emily Box Set ebook, set to release in ten days (surprise!).

Now, hurry out to these posts and enter for your chance to win a signed copy of Bombshell, while I get back to writing Knockout.

Hello all!

A lot has happened since I checked in with you guys. First and foremost, we moved into our new Snowheresville, WY cabin as I mentioned a few weeks ago. Secondly, my mind was blown at my first Novelists, Inc. conference. Third, we moved back to Nowheresville, TX. And finally, we had a flurry of rental requests, so I put our two unrented houses up on Air BnB, and BAM Snowheresville rented out for October, November, December, and into January! It is that super cool, and we’re getting a ton of early requests for summer dates, which we’ll be very, very selective on, as most of the summer we’ll live there. In that spirit, though, I’m sharing it with you here:




And because Nowheresville rented out for Thanksgiving and all last summer, we decided, WHAT THE HECK, let’s offer it “officially,” too. Again, dates are selective, but it is available for the Round Top fall antique show, and has four bedrooms and an office that converts to a fifth. What a fantastic girls trip. Antiques, Junk Gypsy Prom, Truth BBQ. Our donkeys and goats 🙂 Great for a writers retreat too.

BIG NEWS! Our first Snowheresville, WY facilitated writers retreat will be August 5-11, 2018. It will include “free” writing/inspiration time, structured coaching/critique/instructional time, and lots of support and community with the other attendees. Click HERE to claim your spot and for more information. (Readers or Artists, if you’d like to see us book a retreat for YOU, email me. I could maybe talked into August 19-25.)

On the writing front, I’m sending Stunner (Ava #2) off for copyedit this week, and Eric and I brainstormed Knockout (Ava #3), which I’ll start on Wednesday. I have an ambitious writing schedule, as I plan to digitally record and transcribe the first draft of Knockout in November, and do the same for Searching for Dime Box (Michele #3) in December. Cross your fingers as Saving Grace is being shopped to Hallmark as part of a package of movies by a producer under contract with them. We should know in the next few months. <3


I am so excited for adventures in store in 2018, not just with my renewed career plan for my writing after Novelists, Inc., but with two of our five kids getting married, time with the horses and other animals, and just the joy of being married to the world’s greatest guy.

Do you like your mysteries with humor, suspense, or romance? Well, no matter your preference, today is your lucky day. I’ve teamed up with nearly 100 authors in Booksweeps giveaways, where YOU can enter for a chance to win e-readers, mysteries with humor, and romantic suspense novels.

To enter the mysteries with humor giveaway, click this image (see one you recognize, front and center?):


To enter the romantic suspense giveaway, click this image (see one you recognize?):

Good luck in the contests!

Eric, the dogs, the horses, and I are back in Nowheresville. I’m almost done unpacking so I can start writing Knockout.

Gotta admit . . . I miss our new Snowheresville and Wyoming, but I do love our Nowheresville place!

Boy, you can’t open your computer, read the news, or go out in public without being inundated with bad news. Seriously bad news. Hurricanes, mass murder, earthquakes. Personally, I find it all a little hard to process. The stress of taking on the entirety of the world’s bad news is more than we’re made to handle. How about you?

So in that spirit, I’m sharing good news today, while my heart worries about bad news.

  1. My author beta readers finished Stunner and it is off to my content editor! Pre-order available very soon! Release date January 1, 2018!
  2. Cover artist Heidi Dorey completed the Stunner cover, along with a funny #TeamPetey version.

3. We closed on the purchase of our new Snowheresville and rented out our other cabin pending putting it on the market next summer. (Email recipients will have to go out onto the website to view the video tour. Book your next author/artist/family retreat here!)


I’m at the Novelists, Inc. annual conference as I publish this, soaking in career/business information like a sponge.

Friends, Mother Nature has flexed her muscles this summer. South east Texas under water, huge earthquake in Mexico City, Florida bombarded by wind and water. But the disaster that has held me tight in its grip is the double whammy of hurricanes on my beloved Virgin Islands. Even as I sit safely in Wyoming writing Stunner, half the locations in the novel have been destroyed by Irma and Maria. What Doesn’t Kill You . . . the series name . . . in real life.

You won’t see much about St. Croix in the media. The population isn’t big enough. It isn’t a well-funded tourist mecca. But the damage is extreme, and the path forward to recovery for our loved ones is long and hard. We don’t even yet know how Estate Annaly (the real-life Annalise) fared.

When you’re counting your blessings and saying your prayers, could you spare one for our Crucian friends and family? For all those affected everywhere, yes, of course, but if you could add in the under-represented citizens of this beautiful island, it would mean the world to me. If you’re looking for more concrete ways to help, St. Croix son Tim Duncan (of San Antonio Spurs basketball fame) has set up a fundraising campaign which he matched with a million dollars, and you can donate to it HERE.

One love.

I’m back to work on Stunner, y’all, and the first big day on it was H-A-R-D, but I am finding my groove. I jammed to the Ava playlist with my headphones while grinding away on the second draft at the GORGEOUS Johnson County Library. If I can get some help on dialogue with characters from the UK, I’ll finish and turn this in on-time. At least the “extended version” of on-time, since I asked for an extra month.

I got a hug from awesome librarian Cynthia Twing while I was there and was pleased to see several of my novels checked out 🙂

I enjoyed two days of talking to the seniors of Buffalo High School about following their dreams this week. They seemed to like my story about the woman at Killer Nashville who said, “Well, you aren’t afraid to take a fashion risk, are you?” especially because I wore the same wildly colorful outfit. They were a great group!

News: we put Snowheresville on the market because we are in the process of buying Snowheresville the Second with my parents! So if you know someone who’d like to own the sweetest little cabin on the eastern slope of the Bighorns in Wyoming, with 360 degree views, great neighbors, and amazing peace and tranquility, send them HERE. In the meantime, the new Snowheresville is a B&B, so watch for date announcements soon for writer, reader/book club, and artist retreats <3 <3 <3 (And we’ll have room for all our family to visit now. Yay!!)

Doesn’t it look like a great place to write mysteries????

The all-important first new-house selfie!

TRULY a SNOWheresville!

We’re also selling our darling and beloved Bookmobile, since it makes no sense to deprive it of new adventures when we have living quarters in our horse trailer and now own a big B&B. Want it? Check it out, HERE.

p.s. We beat the snow to have one last good time at Hunter Corrals in the Bighorn Mountains!

Louise survived getting stepped on by Katniss, but she’s on the IR list.

Molly and Reno survived Katniss’ insistence on space for her awesomeness. #LeadMareDisease

Buffalo Park. Note George the Belgian Malinois on Reno’s right side. Guess she didn’t want to get stepped on by Katniss, too!

Like mother, like daughter (flanneling).

Leaves changing!


DOWNHILL. #bighornmountains #huntercorrals #snowheresville #wyoming #draftcross #katniss

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#TeamPetey helping make the hot dogs.

Big Feath threw a show and his hoof DISINTEGRATED. We walked him down, then made an emergency farrier visit, and he is now fine.

The Ant Hill in the distance. That Reno is a keeper (Dad’s new horse).

Well, I can’t remember the last time I asked for an extension on any project, but I asked for a month on Stunner. I was cruising along pretty good until Killer Nashville (positive reason) and Hurricane Harvey (negative reason). Once I got off track, I was susceptible to the temptation of not picking it up through the visit of our middle child and her fiancee, and now through spending time with my parents. That will leave me two weeks to get it done before I jet off to the Novelists, Inc. conference in Florida.

Pray for me 🙂 and for Stunner.

Meanwhile, I’ve made lots of good notes, and I’ll get back to it full-time around September 15…maybe in fits and starts before then.

So all I really have to report this week is that we’re having fun, that the smoke from the Montana fires is horrible, and that we have the coolest adult children in the world. Pictures below.

Pics and video from our daughter’s visit with her fiance:

Who wouldn’t want a son-in-law who looks at your daughter like this?

Whoops. Someone forgot to tell me this wasn’t the silly pic.

Gorgeous couple in the gorgeous Crazy Woman Canyon.

A river (Big Goose Creek) runs though it.

Duncan Lake determination.

Miner’s cabin near Coffeen Park.

Ah, the Wilderness!

Small but a beauty.

Like father like daughter.

Feathers was a big hit! (video above–notice how much dust Feathers kicks up!)

Both of them had a lesson Feathers.

Molly also took our “dudes” out, and she did great (so did they!). Honestly, though, isn’t Katniss beautiful in this picture?????

May be my favorite picture of the weekend.

Through the smoky haze you can see our breakfast visitors.

Tiny woman, big horse <3

Sending prayers and love to my family, friends, and neighbors affected by Harvey. He’s a big jerk, and I am so proud of my former home, Houston, and its amazing residents for the courage and spirit of selflessness in helping their fellow humans and animals. My family and our Nowheresville home made it through the storm without suffering traumatic impact. Many others were not so fortunate, and my heart goes out to them. Our company donated to Houston Food Bank, but you can find many worthy causes HERE if you’re looking for a way to help.

Remember how I was a finalist for the Silver Falchion Award for Best Mystery?

I won! Fighting for Anna won! 🙂

The easiest way to share is to copy and paste.

I didn’t prepare remarks, so I bumbled like an idiot when I won. I barely remember it. If you get this via email, you might have to go to the original online post to see the video below.

Here were the amazing finalists in Mystery, all of them good reads, so check them out (and if you saw the list of great books who didn’t make the finals, you’d be stunned, like I was):


And it wasn’t over. The next morning, I delivered the conference closing keynote, which was an amazing, wonderful experience. I based the keynote on a comment made to me in the elevator on the first day, when I had on my normal garb of colorful headband and wild prints. A dour woman in all black said to me, apropos of nothing, “Well, you sure aren’t afraid to take a fashion risk, are you?”

I was gobsmacked, but inspired. And her words went on to symbolize getting over the fear of taking a risk, and showing all our colors in our writing and in pursuit of our dreams, and it seemed to resonate with the other writers.

This is the biggest recognition for any of my novels, to date, so between this and worrying about everyone in harm’s way with Hurricane Harvey, including Nowheresville, our donkeys and goats, family in Brenham, College Station, and Houston, I’ve been worthless this week.

Back to reality. Soon.


Enjoy some photos from the experience, below.

Wyoming writers and their awesome men. Just after the keynote.


Happy me in bookstore with Killer Nashville volunteer Kay Tyler.


<3 Loser!


Branding panel.


Feeling punchy in the bookstore.


Book signing


Wyoming writer Kierstin Marquet won the crime scene investigation competition!


Keynote! It went great, I think.


In happy silly shock.


In red, with white hair, in the background: that’s the delightful J.A. Jance, who won for Thriller.


Floating on air after they called MY NAME 😀


Finalists did readings on Friday night. There’s my critique partner Gay and her husband Don. Her novel finaled for Suspense.


We knew something was up when they ordered way too many books for the bookstore. Could I have won? 😉 And of course later we learned…yes!


Author who informed me he keeps a copy of Loser on his bedside table. <3


Critique partners Gay Yellen and I at awards dinner for Silver Falchion finalist. <3


With awesome volunteer Kay Tyler.

So if you haven’t read Fighting for Anna, the top reviewers in the nation for mysteries are humbly suggesting it’s worth your time. Why not give it a try?


Bad hair, good company, at the end of PK Lane where the Soldier Creek Trail up to Walker Prairie in the Bighorns starts. We found it by getting lost. Now that we know where it is, we’ll hike or ride it horseback.

It’s crunch time.

  1. Prepping the cabin for its first paid visitors, who are coming to view the 96.4% eclipse from our deck.
  2. Finishing Stunner.
  3. Getting my keynote ready for Killer Nashville.

And…helping Eric up after a pretty good tumble from his 17-hand Feathers. Luckily, Eric chose the dismount himself, so he landed on his side instead of his tush or head. Unluckily, it was in our rock driveway, so he has some serious road rash and bruising. I think he learned a lot, though, and within five minutes was back on bareback and understanding that Feathers did exactly what Eric asked him to do (accidentally), which was take off at a canter. So we practiced not squeezing with our feet or kicking, and the rest of the ride went smooth as silk, even if the two-mile walk home from the ranch where we board them was less fun with his boo-boos.

US readers, please vote for my WDKY mystery Fighting for Anna in the Silver Falchion Readers Choice Award, HERE. You can also vote for my former critique partner Gay Yellen and her wonderful suspense novel, The Body Next Door. Easy, no registration required, you can vote once every 24 hours.

Both of our novels were selected by the judges as finalists, but only you can select the Readers Choice. 

We found a small ranch we desperately wanted to buy on the face of the mountains, but it sold out from under us. Then we realized we have no business buying a small ranch in Wyoming, when we spend half our year in Texas, no matter how much I want to start a draft horse rescue/rehab, and no matter that we saw three porcupines on the way to go see it (that’s some kind of good omen, I think, like seeing dolphins). Someday. Phew. Dodged that bullet.

Have a great week, all’a’y’all,

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