Category Archives: Uncategorized

Something New

Okay, I have to admit, I’m getting tired of snippets, and I’d guess you must be too by now.  It seemed like a great idea when I thought of it, but the truth is, I can only write so fast and I can’t keep up with them.  All the ones I’ve shared are still on my Snippets Pages, but I’m fizzling.  I’m not going to be writing a new Muddy River for quite a while.  Instead, I’m letting myself play around with a new mystery this month, and then I have to get serious and write my 6th Jazzi book.

I didn’t do anything but have fun over the weekend.  My grandson, Tyler, married his Emily, and our family met in Indy to celebrate with him.  His mom, Holly, lives there, too, but Robyn and Scott flew in from Florida and John’s brother came from Oakland.  A lot of the neighborhood kids who spent a lot of time at our house and Tyler’s school friends who visited here drove in, too.  DH and I met Emily’s family for the first time, and they were warm, friendly people.  We had a Wonderful Time!  DH and I love to dance, so we spent most of the night on the dance floor with our daughters and neighborhood kids.  So did Ty and Emily.  Way Too Much Fun!

Anyway, I’m back to work today, and I thought I’d share the start of my new Lux Mystery.  The whole thing might change before I finish the entire manuscript, but this is what I have for now:

A Lux Mystery

What was taking the freaking gate so long to open? I tapped my fingers on the steering wheel of my yellow Bentley Mulsanne—the love of my life—but it didn’t hurry the process one bit. Why I listened to Keon and bought a house in a gated community in Summit City was beyond me, but he’d insisted with my name and money, I’d be safer. Bullocks! I’d been safe enough living in a condo in Chicago.

I’d promised Gabbie that I’d meet her at Chop’s wine bar at six. In the old days, back when she was poor and we went out to eat, I always picked up the tab. She’d fussed about it at first, but I finally told her that if she didn’t let me pay, I’d quit bumming meals with her family, and I’d be the poorer for it.

Her dad had always insisted that their kids be home for supper and that I was welcome at their table. My parents, on the other hand, barely knew what I was about.  They were beneficent assholes–pardon the language–but it’s true. If I ate at home, I sat at the huge dining room table, served exquisite food on fine china, by myself. The servants fussed over me, but it wasn’t the same.

I loved Mom and Dad, but they spent as little time with me as possible. They gave me anything and everything I could possibly want or need except their time. That’s how I got my name—Luxury Milton Millhouse. “A child’s a luxury I can’t afford,” my mother often told her friends. So they traveled and partied and paid others to care for me.

It hurt. It still does sometimes, but I got over it.

Keon, Gabbie’s older brother, used to tease me and call me poor, little rich girl.

“Does that make you a rich, little poor boy?” I’d counter. His parents both worked and struggled to keep a roof over their five kids’ heads, but what they lacked in money, they made up for with love. Gabbie and I would never have met except Gabbie was so damned smart, she earned a scholarship to the ritzy private school my parents sent me to. Once we discovered each other in second grade, we became inseparable.


Hope you like Lux.  Any opinions or feedback is welcome:)


Just wanted to let you know that I made MIXING IT UP WITH MORTALS free from Oct. 28-Nov. 1.  

I’m starting a new type of mystery series, and I’m excited about it, but I still have a few ideas for Raven and Hester that I meant to squash, but they keep bubbling around inside my head, so I’ll probably have to sneak them into my writing off and on.   In the meantime, in this story, Raven and Hester are trying to find a rogue incubus who works as a hitman for mortals.  If you haven’t tried it, it makes for a great Halloween story:)

Muddy River Mysteries--general twitter post


Do you have a 2019 favorite mystery?

Hi, everyone!  My publicist sent me a note to drum up votes for favorite mysteries for 2019.  If you have a book you’d like to recommend, here’s the info.  The votes need to be in by Nov. 1st:

The editors at Suspense Magazine are getting ready for their December “Best of 2019” issue. They ask that you please tell your fans to nominate you for the issue—fans can email them their vote at

Here’s the email that Suspense Magazine uses—


It’s that time again, where we need to begin the process of building our December “Best of” issue. This issue takes more preparation and is all the better due to the assistance of the team and our fan base. While we know that it is difficult to choose the “Best of 2019” books for each category prior to the end of the year, we rely on you to get the right books. Over the next three weeks, we’d like you to send us your list of your favorites in the following categories:

  • Cozy
  • Thriller/Suspense (includes all books not in other categories listed)
  • Debut Author
  • Romantic Suspense
  • Horror
  • Urban Fantasy/Paranormal
  • Historical Fiction
  • Anthology
  • YA
  • True Crime

For those who are new to this process or those who need reminders:

  • Must be a 2019 new release.
  • Please don’t recommend yourself.
  • Your list should include any fabulous and worthy book.
  • If you don’t have a recommendation for a category, please skip or note in your response.
  • Return your votes by November 1st so we can get to work on our end.

Thank you for your participation! Please copy reviews@suspensemagazine.comon your responses for each category.


Tale of a Story: Exposed

The writing process–how Kathy’s story took form.

Finding Faeries

The wonderful Jolene Haley has delighted horror fans with her fall author/illustrator showcase for years. It began six years ago with the dark carnival, then each year she has hosted hosted stories and art for themes of haunted house, harvest festival, haunted hotel, summer of screams (summer camp stories), dark seas, and this year urban legends! I found and started participating in the second year with the haunted house theme and had so much fun that I join in each year.

So today, my story is up on her blog for the…

Go read EXPOSED here!

I’ll wait, then we can talk about the fight that was writing this story.

Okay…so…when you sign up to participate in the #SpookyShowcase, there is no fear of rejection. Everyone gets to have their story posted. All the authors and illustrators are super nice and supportive. It is truly a wonderful time. Which…

View original post 372 more words

Kathy’s Story is Up!

Kathy Palm, from Scribes, read us a short story about urban legends, and it’s up on Jolene Haley’s website today.  Typical Kathy.  Immediate.  Emotional.  And creepy:)  (Not a as a person.  She’s really nice, but she writes creepy stuff).

A New One Hour Read

It’s October, and that got me excited about witches, shifters, demons, and vampires.  As the good guys:)

I love writing novellas.  On Amazon, there’s a special section for One Hour Reads.  That got me excited.  I looked at the top one hundred, and that made me even more interested in trying to write one.  BUT, being the slow learner that I am, the requirements are stories that are 33-43 pages.  So I wrote a manuscript that on my computer came to 46 pages including the title page, blurb, etc.  I was pretty happy with myself.  I even made my own cover on using an image I found on  I didn’t break my arm patting myself on the back, but I was pretty happy with what I’d done.  Until I loaded it.  I’m still happy with the story, BUT for any of you reading this who might want to try the same thing, remember that Kindle pages and manuscript pages are not created equal.  My story came to 62 pages on Kindle.  Lesson learned.  Next time, I’ll write even shorter.

Stephen King once did an interview and said that he liked to write short stories and shorter pieces between books to clear his mind.  I like to do the same thing.  I’d just finished a draft of my fifth Jazzi Zanders mystery, and I had ideas for the sixth one, but I needed a break between them.  And that’s why I started writing Muddy River.

For me, the shorter the story, the harder it is to write.  And when I write things that are really short, I can’t justify (to myself) putting them on Amazon and charging money for them.  So I post them on my blog for fun.  But novellas are long enough that I feel they’re worth selling.  I used to write LOTS of them as Judith Post.  My favorites were the Babet and Prosper series.  Muddy River gives me that same satisfaction.

This is the first time I’ve written about Hester and Raven, had them fight their enemies and win, but left one tiny part of the problem unsolved.  I couldn’t get to it in 46 pages.  I’m going to have to deal with that later, but at the moment, I have no clue what that next story might be.  I already have a longer Muddy River all mapped out, and it’s not part of it.  So I guess someday, sooner rather than later, I’m going to need to tie up that loose end.  That gives the little grey cells plenty of time to come up with something:)

In the meantime, my DH’s brother is coming to stay with us from the 15-22, so I probably won’t find time to post a new blog this coming Thursday.  But I hope that doesn’t mean that when the cat’s away the mice will play.  I’m reminding you to keep writing, and may the words flow for you!  And if not, hey, hope you enjoy yourselves anyway.

Muddy River 3.5 (Under Siege) cover

99 cents @


A Yummy Hero

I read some books and the guy who’s the hero is just plain hot.  And I remember him.  A hot hunk isn’t enough to make me love a book, but let’s face it, it doesn’t hurt.  But M. L. Rigdon has a habit of writing wonderful male characters AND one heck of a good story.  In her newest fantasy, THE GRACARIN, she combines a hero who endeared himself to me the longer I read about him, with a heroine whom I’ve loved since I read about her in the trilogy Seasons of Time.  I love Sorda, and it hurt when she became Lorin’s consort in that series instead of his wife.  But it was so typical of her, content to play second-fiddle in the background.  Until she meets Torak–my heart throb–in The Gracarin.  And oh, how I hope she and Torak end up together.  So, I invited M. L. Rigdon to my blog to tell us more about her new fantasy trilogy.

Q&A with M. L. Rigdon

You wrote a three-book series, SEASONS OF TIME. And now you’re continuing that storyline with plans for another three book series, SEASONS OF WAR. Your first book in that series, THE GRACARIN, released today. Happy Book Birthday! And thanks for visiting my blog.

Thanks Judy/Judi for this invitation!

What draws you to fantasy?

The joy and high of unrestrained imagination. Other genres have parameters, often strict boundaries, such as regency. History cannot be changed, but with fantasy, the mind can go anywhere and do anything. There’s a lot of power in that freedom. The most difficult aspect is containing/directing it.

In The Gracarin, Torak’s civilization is centered around religion and music, a respect for the land. In your first series, Omirr’s religion is faith-based, wary of technology. But each land respects the other. Explain how their two religions differ, and why you chose to write each that way.

So much of what comes out of my head is pants writing, but like all writers, a product of what we’ve learned, read, experienced. I’ve always enjoyed the differences in nations and cultures. There’s so much to learn from each other. Omirr’s religion is fundamental, has strict rules and codes. Gracarin’s culture centers around reverence for the land, music as a way of worship, leaving one’s spirituality and journey a uniquely personal responsibility. Now that you’ve asked, I see similarities to Native American plains tribes.

Both Omirr and the Gracarin respect women, but in different ways. How do they differ?

In both cultures, women are equal in status to men. The Gracarin women have an edge because of the Council of Elders, women who make legal decisions, turning over those edicts to the men to decide the punishment.( It wasn’t until after I wrote this aspect of Gracarin culture that I remembered reading about early Native American tribes in the East having women as leaders and female councils making tribal decisions).

Regarding relationships, in Omirr, marriages are often arranged. In Gracarin, the women chose and propose publicly, a challenge, physical and vocal to all comers, winner gets the guy. The guy has a choice, yes or a polite no. Most don’t decline.

Both series are written with an overall story arc that starts with book one and finishes with book three. What’s the story arc for SEASONS OF WAR?

Each book deals with conflicts and threats created by a sorceress abetted by a Gracarin aristocrat. This culminates with a BBM (big, black moment) and battle for survival for both nations.

You write wonderful male characters. What inspired you to write Torak?

I have no idea. These people (characters) come into my head whole, like a weird adult birth. I used to worry that I “did” male characters wrong. Being female, I worried I’d not be able to relate to masculine mentality. It wasn’t until book events, where men waylaid me to talk with great excitement about the men in my books, that I was surprised to learn I did it right. They loved the male heroes, found them accessible, relatable. Who knew we are so alike? My late husband’s explanation was that we are alike with the exception that men are visually driven and women rely on emotional responses.

Sorda is one of my favorite characters in your first series, but you were downright mean to her in The Gracarin. Why?

Bad things happen to good people. Torak needed to confront some inner conflicts. Plot needed to ante up. Bad people do bad things, which in this case, provided discovery and helped to drive the story forward. I may write by the seat of my pants but some writing ingredients have to be added to the mix.

The fflorin were in your first series and this new one. Care to introduce them to us?

Part dragon, part bird. Capricious, clever, obnoxious, in turn adorable and affectionate versus fight-loving and vicious in battle. Blue-skinned, fluffy white wings, opposable thumbs and three fingers with retractable talons. Doesn’t like the taste of human flesh but not averse to tearing a human enemy into shreds. They chose human associates like we would a puppy and sneer at humans who cannot communicate in their musical language. They align themselves with humans because they provide plenty of opportunity to engage in fighting.

Any more thoughts you’d like to share with us about The Gracarin or Seasons of War?

It’s dedicated to John Robert Malas Jr., aka Badaz, on the anniversary of his father’s death. This may seem odd, but it’s another way to celebrate a man who profoundly influenced others, and to thank John Jr. for his suggestion to continue with the world of Omirr and for his service to our country.

An excerpt?

How about a blurb and an endorsement:

To avenge a vicious assault on his lands, Gracarin overlord Torak-en-Dorath seeks an alliance with Ladnor-Sha, Omirr’s most powerful ruler. Under the guise of attending a conference, he instigates a campaign to take the throne of his enemy but gets caught in unforeseen conflict—one that includes Sorda of Vos, legal consort to the heir of the House of Sha. Called the Beloved by the winged fflorin, Sorda becomes key in the restoration of his blighted lands and an unwilling catalyst of war.

“Strong, compassionate characters from two different cultures where religion, magic, and power prevail and come together to rid Gracarin of an evil, profligate ruler.  Highly recommended.  A great follow-up of the Seasons of Time trilogy.”  Judi Lynn, USA Today bestselling author

Thanks for visiting my blog.

I got to beta read The Gracarin and loved it! Hope you give it a try.  

The Gracarin Cover Stock

Please follow on her blog
or her website