I like to write. Do you like to read? Me too.
Reading has been my solace and my joy since childhood.
I never really got around to creative-writing until late in life — I’m now past seventy.
As I look back, I realize I maybe should have heeded the advice of folks who encouraged me to be a writer, from Mrs. Eckert and Miss Bailey in high school, through college mentors like Harriet Shetler, up to recent gurus. Oh well, we often take divergent paths, and it’s never too late to get back on the right one.
I always liked writing. In particular, I’ve always been a dedicated letter-writer, getting great pleasure from just putting words down on paper. And I’ve done a lot of professional writing — training materials, articles, papers, reports.
But I didn’t try my hand at writing novels until I found myself a so-called “dependent spouse,” following my husband, Russell Sunshine, to a two-year post in Laos during the early 1990s. There, I experienced first-hand what it feels like to be “the wife of” instead of someone with a professional identity of my own. And I saw what that lack of status did to other women who were talented and bright but relegated to “making do.”
ANJALI RAO is a chocoholic Hindu grandmother who likes a gin-and-tonic now and then. The wife of a U.N. diplomat, she’s been trying to keep a low profile in Vientiane, Laos, because of something that happened at her husband’s previous post. And that’s boring. All this changes when the body of a controversial foreign hostess is found floating in the Mekong. The dead woman’s embassy and the Lao Government seem to rush to declare her death an accident, but the expatriate community doesn’t believe it. Unforeseen events pull Anjali into investigating, and soon she’s rushing around in her beloved Deux Chevaux, finding more malice than she thought possible. As Anjali sorts through the facts and lies, she discovered the expatriate community is hiding more than one secret. And one of them is downright dangerous.
Malice on the Mekong: Questions for Discussion, click here.
MALICE ON THE MEKONG is available on Amazon. CLICK HERE to purchase
Everything thirteen-year-old EDEN JONES knows, she learned from watching television. BETHANNE SWANSON learned all her lessons from fifty years in the school of hard knocks. Both feel like losers. Yet a tragedy in small-town West Virginia brings them together and forces them to tap resources they never knew they had. Eden’s best friend and Bethanne’s sister are found dead in a yellow Mercedes at the bottom of Lake Charles. Why would the poverty-stricken teen, Ray-Jean, have been riding with Mary Margaret, the town’s wealthiest woman? Did someone tamper with the car, causing it to plunge into the lake? Eden and Bethanne pool their talents and follow clues that no one seems to want discovered. What secrets are Mary Margaret’s family hiding? Did Ray-Jean’s snooping go too far? What role do the town’s most prominent citizens play? As these two unlikely partners unearth the sordid facts, their bond grows beyond a bumbling collaboration between amateur sleuths. Despite their differences in age and experience, they end up not just friends but true soulmates.
CHILD’S PLAY is available on Amazon.
Previews of Coming Attractions
The three books in the West Virginia trilogy have interlocking characters, so that folks you meet in one book will reappear in others, though they might be supporting cast.
By the time you read the whole series, you’ll have a full view of all kinds of people who live in Lewiston.
Fans of ANJALI RAO shouldn’t despair. I’ve got more stories for her too.
What if she were present on the southern shore of Sri Lanka, as Russell and I were, when the devastating tsunami of 2004 hit?
What sort of mystery might grow out of that harrowing experience?
I have an idea…