Tuesday, December 13, 2011


     I've always wanted to travel.  I've been across the United States from coast to coast, but never in another country.  My books now have readers in over 54 countries as does this website.  I wish there was a way to slip in between the pages and pop out to go sightseeing while my readers are engrossed with the plots. 
     I owe a great deal of my foreign success to my good friend Alex Kava.  We joined our two sleuths together to solve a crime in the short story, A BREATH OF HOT AIR.  This story appeared in her foreign books as a supplemental story at the end.  It was fun when she handed me a Polish copy of the book, DAMAGED, and told me to read aloud our story at the end.  The only thing I recognized was my sleuth's name, Detective Glen Karst.  
     This Christmas we'll be celebrating with Alex Kava.  How can I repay her for making my books so successful?  E-book sales have skyrocketed this holiday season.  
     Did I ever tell the story of exchanging gifts with Alex?  Let's go back in time two years ago this week.  We received a package from her and the deal was no gift exchange.  I scolded her before I opened the package.  Inside, remember we're mystery and suspense writers, there was a carefully wrapped butcher knife with blood stains and an evidence tag hanging from the handle.  This now has a prominent spot, mounted on the wall in my kitchen.  My walls are red so it matches the decor'.  
     Next some hot and spicy salsa for my husband.  That seemed normal.  Then a nice warm scarf to keep the chill from Nebraska winters away.  But this was not just any scarf, it is bright yellow with black letters that says, "crime scene, do not cross".  I wear it every time I go out in the winter and believe me it causes giggles and comments.  
    But wait it gets better.  I raise westies and she has westies including one that I raised.  He loves to tear apart his doggie toys and for some twisted writer's reasons she gives him toys shaped like humans---the mailman, a coach, a veterinarian....you get the picture.  So at the bottom of the box of wonderful and unusual Christmas gifts we found body parts.  Yep, from one twisted writer to another---body parts from those toys.  A rather large assortment of arms, legs, heads and torsos.  
     What Alex didn't know about me she later found out when we returned a box to them.  We filled tins with freshly made caramel corn.  My husband the whiz he is with Photo-shop managed to locate photos of all of her dogs from our Thanksgiving get-to-together in her Florida home.  He created a wanted poster with her dogs photos and descriptions and alias' names.  After-all they did mercilessly rip those human toys to shreds. But wait it still gets better, the best part is yet to come.
     As they reached the bottom of the box, where we found body parts they found the same toys, with bullet holes, worms crawling out of their bodies, zombie eyes and green hues to their skin.  Yep, the return of the living dead dog toys.  
     Alex had no idea I could sew and I repaired, almost to perfection, the toys.  My husband, the artist, magically turned them into zombies and we shipped them back. 
     When she opened the box immediately she wondered where we found the same toys, but they were zombies and upon closer examination  exclaimed, "I've met my match."