Autumn thoughts / September equinox

See  updated BOOKS IN PROGRESS page.
Two new stories in the works!

When I learned that I had to re-edit each of my published novels for new publisher, I expected to go into a panic attack, like my character Jessica Tyson does in the series I’ve created. But Hurray!!! I am reveling in the re-writes almost as much as I enjoyed their creation. So much fun to again walk along the paths of the exotic locations and spend time with the friends (characters) that I created so many years ago.

Sometimes I get so caught up in escaping into my writer mind. . . almost forget that people are interested in who I am as a real live person.  Last week at a local presentation people started asking about my past ‘lifetimes’ (That’s what I call the stages my life has carried me through.). It was more difficult for me to reach back and try to remember details of college days and years of working in animal vaccine industry than to relay information about Jessica Tyson’s friends and relatives.

SCARY, isn’t it? How much our mind becomes entangled with created characters as we travel into different worlds with our writing.

As a much younger person, I enjoyed learning different languages (Spanish, German, French) and dreamed of being an interpreter at the UN. My daughters told me, “Mom, when you become old and start with dementia, you will be blithering things in all different languages and no one will understand you.” Okay, having been through early onset Alzheimers with my dear mother and younger sister, I do not want to think about the dementia, but the blithering in different languages sounds kinda like fun, doesn’t it?

Click on CONTACT and share your thoughts on expanding our mind through imagination.

Click on REGISTER and leave your e-mail address to enter the contest for a copy of the new The Queen Anne Fox – to be released by October 1.


News August 30 / Books Coming Soon & Writers’ Police Academy

Coming Soon:

I’m currently re-editing The Jessica Tyson Mystery Series for new publisher. Covers will be new and stories updated.


The Queen Anne Fox reprint will have this                   cover. I’ll announce the release here and on           FB.

Gone Missing in the Underground is with the publisher and I’m in the process of re-editing Emma’s Garden.



When I first wrote these three books, it was so much fun for me to re-visit the location of each setting. Surprisingly, I found it just as much fun visiting again while editing during these past few months.

The 4th in the series A Cozumel Caper is in creation. Jessica travels to the island of Cozumel in search of a missing Seattle pilot whose plane went down in the Gulf of Mexico.

Sisters in Crime Police Academy 2017

We attended the Sisters in Crime Police Academy in Green Bay Wisconsin. Four days of seminars and inter-active classes for writers to learn the real life actions and terminology of police officers. As we took part in classes on ammunition, blood spatter, shoot/don’t shoot, drunk driving arrest, and more, we gained an even greater amount of respect for the terrific job our officers in blue do each day.

So much emphasis is put on verbal communication, respect, and extra precaution. Not that we needed a reminder in these tumultuous times, but the one repeated line during each class — “We want each of our officers to return home at the end of his/her shift.”

The four days of long hours were educational and fun. We met many writers including my current most favorite:




Craig Johnson with Doug and me.




I also learned that I need more comedy in my writing. Isn’t it really what keeps our life in balance? While the subject matter and demonstrations were serious stuff, the entertaining personalities of Tami Hoag, Lee Loffland and other presenters added comic relief during the evening programs.

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Summer update – Flowers Everywhere!

Flowers / Summer 2017

Due to heavy spring and summer rains in Wisconsin,
flowers have been flourishing in the gardens. Can you see the frog on the last picture?


























Coming Soon:
I’m currently re-editing The Jessica Tyson Mystery Series for new publisher. Covers will be new and stories updated.


NEW BOOK for 2017 ! !


I started the research and rough draft of this book 13 years ago.  We were looking for a home to buy and toured a house on Lake Koshkonong.

  • built on Indian Land
  • ghosts artifacts and all

The book came to life and then…

I went on a medical sabbatical for several years.

Now…….I’M BA–ACK!!!

You’ll delight in this page-turner as much as each person in the critique group!!

It’s chock-full of :

American Indian Stories
Romance  – – of course
And the return of respect and kindness to a community divided by fear and distrust.

Tell me your thoughts on the book and what’s new in your writing/reading world.
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Please click replies below and write of books or memories or flowers.


For all reading – – click on Books above.





Every day is a new adventure

When we wake up and look into the mirror we need to say to our reflection, “I’ll make it a good day. I’ll look for and make things to smile about.”


Each morning I take my ‘walk around’ in the yard, wearing funky little garden shoes and carrying my colorful coffee cup (my companions who make me smile). I always say a little prayer, “Thank you, God, for another day in this beautiful world.” (Even when it’s raining and snowing and cold, it’s still beautiful.)


And as I talk to the flowers (even the dormant one’s in winter) I remind myself: Sometimes life challenges are tough but don’t give up. Failure just means we persevere and change our path. Reaching for personal goals and dreams is what fills our soul and makes us smile. It’s what we are.

Share dreams and goals and daily affirmations if you’d like. Just click reply below.

CONTEST:   Win Gone Missing In The Underground, A Jessica Tyson Mystery.         Subscribe to my blog in the top right corner to be eligible for the drawing!

Congratulations to Betsy Badcoe who won last month’s drawing — a copy of The Queen Anne Fox, A Jessica Tyson Mystery.

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Games we play to get through it all!

Thank you to the many readers who have commented here, on Twitter and on Face Book about this blog.

If I write another blog within the next two months, it will be with one finger typing.

Hmmm. Not sure I can do that…

I’m taking a health break. Getting a new shoulder. Oh, I’ll be on social media, reading and commenting, but probably not writing much.

What do you do during these ‘forced breaks’ in life?  (No pun intended for those of you who have gone through recovery of a broken bone.)

I’m going to work on the final draft of my most recent manuscript, A Lake Koshkonong Tale. I’ve printed all 340 pages (Have to edit and cut that a bit.) and, as a one-armed-bandit, will read and edit. With the printed copy, I can curl up in my chair and pretend I’m reading a best selling novel, allowing my mind to critique more objectively.

There’s a foot of snow and sub-zero temperatures here in WI.

Might as well hibernate in a book like the two children shown here.

carli and matt

Oh the games we play!

As a writer, do you need to have the completed, printed copy of a manuscript in your hand and pretend it’s created by another writer to give it a true edit?

Another game:  While recuperating, I can put on my pirate hat, my eye patch, and wear my Cockatiel on my shoulder and pretend to be a one-armed pirate. What do you think?


Let’s hear stories about your medical adventure and how you coped.

CONTEST:   Win a copy of The Queen Anne Fox, A Jessica Tyson Mystery.         Subscribe to my blog in the top right corner to be eligible for the drawing!

Congratulations to Cliff Pillinger who won last month’s drawing — a copy of Gone Missing in the Underground, A Jessica Tyson Mystery.

Visit me on Twitter and Face Book.


Grasp a story from the air

A Lake Koshkonong Tale                                                                                                      

                                 a novel I am embellishing – soon to be released out into the world.

What sparked the idea?

We were looking to buy a new home ten years ago and discovered a brick ranch on Lake Koshkonong in Fort Atkinson, WI. We were told it was built on land once known as Indian Land.

Two sentences jerked me to attention:

Should you find bones, arrowheads, or relics in the yard, you have to report it to the DNR (Department of Natural Resources and the yard will be cordoned off by yellow KEEP OUT tape, and a crew will come in to do a ‘dig’ for more relics.

When I asked if there were any ghosts present in the house, the answer:

Why, yes, and we love every one of them. Because of them and the history in this house, we pay no property tax.

I stared out the window at the green of the grass, the steep wooden stairway down to the lake, and the horizon where the water met the sky. The house didn’t intrigue me –


Occasionally, I still drive by that house on the lake – it always makes me smile. But there is no need to go inside. Every inch of the inside of that house belongs to me and my story. I can create little nooks and crannies that never actually existed there.

In my visualization, I have spent so much time studying the floor plan and layout of the house, yard, and neighborhood that I feel like I’ve lived there with
Eric Redfeather –the handsome Native American man or
Jenna Taylor — the lovely Minister of the Lake Koshkonong Methodist Church.
(Hero and heroine of my story.)


If while reading this you smile, remembering a time when you saw a story come to life, click on reply and tell about it.

Subscribe to my blog in the upper right hand corner to enter a drawing to win a copy of my suspense novel, Is It Safe? The story of a woman in the Witness Protection Program.

Congratulations to Jamie Smith who won last month’s drawing — a copy of Gone Missing in the Underground, A Jessica Tyson Mystery.

Visit me on Twitter and Face Book.

What kind of memories do you make on a vacation?

What kind of memories do you make on a vacation?

Oh, yes, there are the beaches and the boats and the villages and the restaurants. But what do you really remember and what really touches your soul?

My husband is a history buff so this last trip we took was to San Antonio and he booked us into an historical hotel. My eyes were filled with greenery, water gardens¸ and the Alamo, but the fondest of my memories is the expansive atrium garden within the hotel where southern style, white painted rockers lined one wall. We enjoyed coffee in the morning and a cigar in the evening (Yes, I do indulge, but that’s a different story.) The peacefulness of the array of plants from palm trees to petunias combined with the hushed conversations of birds and people still bring a smile to my face.


Do you have a fond memory of a place that stole your heart away?

Orange colored blossoms of a blooming bush sparked one corner of the garden. I’d seen the same bush blooming across the street at the Alamo. I asked the lone gardener who was so diligently planting edging flowers the name of the bush. I hardly understood his broken English reply when he shook his head and said, “That one… birds… no me.” Maybe that’s why the garden seemed so fanciful. The man who created it was thoughtful enough to leave nature alone when the birds left behind a plant so lovely.


If this writing brings a smile to your face as your mind fills with a memory, please click on Blog and tell me about it.

Subscribe to my blog in the upper right hand corner and win a copy of my novel, Gone Missing in the Underground, A Jessica Tyson Mystery.

Congratulations to Judy Woodland who won last month’s drawing — a copy of Emma’s Garden, A Jessica Tyson Mystery.

Emma’s Garden

Emma’s Garden

Now that I’ve taken you on a mini tour of my flowers, I would like to share how I created a novel around a garden, Emma’s Garden, A Jessica Tyson Mystery (3rd in the series).

I brought to life a secondary character who is possessed by her flowers.

“You cannot raise flowers and children at the same time.”


When my two daughters were toddlers, I found it difficult to maintain even a few houseplants, let alone any type of landscape outside. I watered too much, I watered too little, the girls and their friends were picking off blossoms or tearing at leaves. Any and all of the above could make me sad. So to maintain a positive attitude my slogan became,

“You cannot raise flowers and children at the same time.”

I also have a loving relative who wants no flowers in her house, donated all the vases she owned to me, and has no interest in any type of garden tour. In fact at one time I stood on my deck and pointed out to her the colorful array of blossoms around us. Her comment,

“Oh, look at that darling little bird there on the birdbath.” (It’s a cement molded bird.) Her reason for flower disdain – her mother, who raised five children as a single mom, doted on her flower beds.

Hence: Emma’s Garden

So… I created Emma — a mother who cared more about her flowers than her children and raised a serial killer who pleased Momma by dumping fertilizer in her garden.

Click HERE and read more about Emma and friends.

Please leave a comment on how your mind goes on these twists and turns, creating creepy characters. (I prefer ‘twists and turns’ to ‘twisted mind.’)


The July winner of a free copy of Emma’s Garden is Justine67.

Subscribe to my blog in the upper right hand corner and win your own copy.

We gardeners are like farmers. Every morning it’s the same question

We gardeners are like farmers. Every morning it’s the same question,

“What’s the weather?”

Every year is a different growing season.

2012 too dry — my most important job — keep the watering system working.

2013 it’s too wet — just TRY to keep the weeds down.


I have a hill 100 ft long by 20ft high filled with perennials – and weeds. Now, on July 1, I’m about halfway across the hill with weeding, Preening, and chipping. And I’m ahead of most years.

I try to hire someone from the nearby high school to help, but there is no teen in the 2013 generation who wants this job. Besides, I truly enjoy the feeling of accomplishment when I do it myself.

Oh, I don’t do it totally alone. Do you?

My husband, the critique king of my writing, is the shovel man and the muscle for pulling out the little Poplar and Sumac trees that take root and show up between the Hydrangea and the Hibiscus. And he’s actually become quite the horticulturist when it comes to remembering the names of plants.


Are you a Master Gardener who knows all the names?

Send me a reply and let me know you gardeners out there can relate to this one — the delight I find in the hours of communing with nature. I sit on my garden stool, breathe the soft summer breeze and listen to bird calls as I pull creeping Charlie from between the Sedum in my little rock garden at the foot of the hill.

Gloves, long pants, and long sleeved shirt are needed on other parts of the hill due to the poison ivy. Do you have this problem, too? My whole body responds in a big way if I touch the beast. And since my hill is actually in the middle of a wooded area there is no getting rid of it. Just have to pull out the stems at the beginning of gardening season.

Right now, on July 1,  I wish that gardening season was all year ‘round. But then by the end of September (about the time Mr. Trumpet Flowers and Ms. Naked Lady Lilies start blooming) I’m ready for a rest. Here in Wisconsin our rest is a little too long (end of October until first week in May). By May my heart is giggling at new green beginnings, the wall of daffodils, and tulips by the front door and mail box. And my fingers itch to be in the dirt. How about you?

Come visit again in a couple of weeks when we can discuss wood nymphs we hear in the garden, little Shrews who burrow there, baby birds coaxed from the nest and my Cat Bird who comes to visit.


Leave a reply about how you enjoy your flower garden and your name will be entered in the drawing for a copy of Emma’s Garden, A Jessica Tyson Mystery to be announced in August.

Emma is living proof of my belief, “You can’t raise flowers and children at the same time.”

Fiona McGier is the winner of The Queen Anne Fox from my June blog drawing.