A New Cycle Begins

on March 30, 2021


Jitty's Jilted Hearts
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Dear Reader,

I’m not a fan of the whole cycle of life thing. I don’t like change. Even so, I find myself turning another calendar page and looking at the rash, irrational beauty of a Southern spring. Nature blooms her heart out, putting on a show that is completely insane. It’s almost as if Spring intends to stay forever, which would suit me just fine.


Morning view through my Chinese fringe tree.

It’s been cooler than normal, but that hasn’t stopped the azaleas, fringe trees, daffodils, tulip trees, and the budding out of the oaks. It’s high allergy time, and I’m grateful I don’t suffer from these things. I can just enjoy the bounty of spring.

It’s been over a year since we went into Covid lockdown. A hard year for me, personally, and for so many of my friends who have lost loved ones. Worst of all was not being able to have family and friends surround them as they prepared to depart this life. Difficult times that leave deep wounds and so many of us are going through it.

On a happier note, I’ve had my two Covid shots and I’m hoping everyone else gets theirs so we can try to get life back on a path I recognize. I’m still following the Covid program from the CDC, wearing my mask and not gathering in crowds, but soon I hope to have a few friends over for a glass of wine. We can sit on the porch and just enjoy each other’s company. Not a big ask, but one thing about Covid, it has shown us what’s important in life and that is social connection.

ARC Giveaway
I’ll be mailing these out to 5 of you!

Only 48 days until INDEPENDENT BONES will be released. I have 5 autographed ARCs (paperback editions of advance review copies) that I’m going to give away.
Here’s the contest question—What’s the thing you’ve missed most during this past year? E-mail your response and your shipping address to sarahbooth@carolynhaines.com and I’ll pick the 5 winners on April 5—so answer promptly so I can run to the post office on the same day. *contest open to U.S. residents only

March Madness Sale

I have other good publishing news. GAME OF BONES (digital) will be on sale for $2.99 the entire month of April. I’ll mention it again in next month’s letter so you can grab a copy if you haven’t read it already. And today and tomorrow are the final days to get ROCK-A-BYE BONES (digital) for the special sale price of $2.99. It’s a bargain! Just remember, each book is a complete mystery. You don’t HAVE to read them in order.

I’ve been trying to tame several feral cats. I’ve done this a number of times in the past with great success, but these guys are testing me. They are older cats, and they are very skittish. I’m determined, though, to get them comfortable enough so that they can have the run of the house and a good life. One is an orange tabby Manx, and he is a challenge for sure. When I took him to the vet they had to sedate him to give him his shots! He still hisses at me when I talk to him, but I am hoping he will come around.

I’m working on the Sarah Booth book for 2022, tentatively titled LADY OF BONES. It’s set in New Orleans but that’s all I can say right now. I always love starting a new book.

Be on the lookout for TROUBLE RESTORED. The book should release in the later part of June. We’re behind on publishing the tales of the black cat—Covid did interfere with a lot of things, including our publishing schedule. But I had fun writing this mystery featuring the sassy, savvy black cat detective.

Time to get to work. I always love “visiting” with you guys, but the dogs are cracking the whip to get me back in the traces. They have expensive tastes and I must oblige them.

Until April, adieu from Carolyn and the Critters


P.S.—I thought a bit of The Animals would be good for a March morning: House of the Rising Sun. What a song! And the keyboard! Ah, 1964, I miss you.

Giving away this e-book to one reader. Click the cover to enter the contest!

Jitty's Jilted Hearts

Dear Jitty,

Family Reunion is scheduled in the autumn this year. It will be the first get-together ever since we discovered my husband’s sister, Donna, embezzled more than $100,000 from our business. Donna was the bookkeeper for several years while she was masterminding the stealing and phony company write-offs. Donna is slowly paying us back. However, it will be eons before we’re fully repaid. Donna had asked us not to tell anyone, and we haven’t. We are slowly recovering, business-wise, but I am still angry and hurt and miffed by her deception. Jitty, how should I act at the family reunion? I want people to know WHY I want to avoid that snake, but should I look the other way and be the bigger person? Should I ask my husband? I want to warn Donna that I plan on informing everyone of why I have bitter feelings about her? Or am I being petty? I’m just pissed I may die before I get to see my hard-earned money. God, I want to take legal action, but I love my husband and don’t want to hurt him. Jitty, whatever you say, I will do.

Bitter Sister-in-law

Dear Bitter,

My gut reaction is to give the thievin’ hussy a good thrashin’ in front of the whole family, but that’s not the smart thing to do. Revenge is truly a dish best served cold, and this would be the perfect opportunity to eat a mess of it, but don’t. You, your husband, and the sticky-fingered Donna came to terms. You agreed to allow her to pay you back, though it is going to be a slow process. You made the agreement with her and your husband. And it is your husband you need to keep in the front of your mind. Thief or not, she is his sister. Shamin’ her will also shame him.

If it were me, I’d come up with a reason not to attend the holiday gathering. Yeah, hiding resolves nothing, but it does kick the can down the road for another year. In this case, the pandemic might be a blessing. I think a sore throat and headache sound like good reasons to avoid a situation that can only bring more pain to your family.

I think it’s askin’ too much of yourself to expect to be all warm and fuzzy to Donna. If you attend the gathering and show your true feelings, the person who will get hurt the most is your husband, not Donna. This is not a fix for your problem, because it’s goin’ to come up every holiday. You and your husband need to hash this out and he should know your true feelings. This is gonna be a hard secret to keep. If you decide to tell the family, do it individually, not at a family holiday gatherin’.

Good luck, and I hope the thief does pay the money back.

Jitty, who hates a thief!

P.S. For everyone reading this, let me guide you honey chile. Get some advice by writing me at Jitty@carolynhaines.com