The Beauty of Spring

on March 26, 2024

Dear Friends and Readers,

April is almost here—along with Easter and the fun of hiding eggs and eating chocolate candy! Spring is my favorite time of year, followed by fall. I’m not a big fan of the Alabama heat and humidity. But with the warming weather, life is getting busy! This past month has been wild and wooly with a lot going on.

The Mobile Literary Festival, organized by author Jodie Cain Smith, was a full day of fun with panels and helpful writing and selling information. It is always a good time to hang out with readers and writers, and this year’s conference was fabulous.

I was on a panel for plotting—a skill I’ve really worked hard at. I’m not a natural plotter. I’m a pantser, meaning I prefer just to sit down and start writing and let the story unfold. But when you’re writing mysteries, the pantser method isn’t always practical. I believe it is my job to manipulate the reader—to deliver red herrings and clues in a way that keeps the reader guessing. And to do that, I really have to plot out the book from the beginning. Yikes! But plotting is a skill that can be learned and improved.

I saw some old friends and made some new ones at the festival. My “older brother” Dean James came for a visit and to attend the festival. My friend Mandy has taken to calling Dean Uncle Brother. I will leave it to you to figure that one out! But we had a great time.


The pub date for LIGHTS, CAMERA, BONES draws closer and closer! Here’s a buy link so you can preorder if you’re so inclined. The preorders do help authors. As do reviews. It’s a tough business out there so I really appreciate the folks who read my books!

Click me to read this review

I’m not really active on TikTok and I wonder how all of this turmoil over the site will impact the authors who have learned to use it effectively. One of the hardest things about publishing now is how fast everything changes. I think I know something—and then I wake up one morning and it has all changed! I guess, though, I should just be happy that I wake up! Ha ha ha.

We’re in the part of March/April where we are likely to get tornadoes. I’m keeping a weather eye out. And this year’s hurricane season is supposed to be busy. The Atlantic waters are so hot. I keep watching weather reports around the world, but the shifting weather patterns are impacting every location. No place is really safe.

On the new book front, I’m working on the 2025 Sarah Booth book, DOG-GONE BONES. Mandy and I are also writing SQUATTERS. We are having a good time, and I’m eager to get finished to see what happens next. In the meantime I’m working on edits for BLUE CHRISTMAS BONES (you can preorder HERE). So I’m always busy. Always.

Staying busy is a good thing—at least for me. It’s funny but most of my friends, even though they are technically retired, are also still working. We grew up at a time when we fought to have jobs and careers, and I haven’t figured out how NOT to work. I always had a fantasy that I’d retire from the day job and then play games, ride bikes, etc., etc. with my friends. But no—we are all still working. Ha ha ha.

The critters are holding their own this month. Castor was diagnosed with diabetes. So now I have a diabetic dog and cat. It’s a tough disease to monitor in my furry family. I learned that Dachshunds are predisposed to diabetes and Cushings. Izzy, who belonged to my good friend Cissy Hartley, has both.

Castor and Izzy

When Cissy could no longer care for Izzy, she asked me to take her and love her—which I have done. It’s hard not to love little Izzy, even though she does her best to provoke Lily! But Izzy is so good for her shots, and she has a great appetite for the special diabetic food, so that is good. She is a chiweenie. And Castor is part Siamese. He is a little spooky—always has been and he is 15—so he is not as easy to medicate, but we are working out a system. He doesn’t mind the insulin shot but he HATES to be captured.

Looking out the window at all the plants popping up, I am eager for Spring. Summer, not so much. Ha ha ha.

photo: flowers

photo: flowers

Read more books, guys! That’s what Izzy wants me to tell you! And have some fun. Here’s a tune for you to enjoy. Click on: Summer Wine. Nothing like warm weather and a glass of wine!

Happy spring from Carolyn and the critters.