Now For A Little Fun

The Company She Keeps: Pomegranate Campari Cocktail (Sneak preview: To appear on Mystery Playground’s Drinks with Authors 3/20/15) Iran. About as far as you can get from Alert, North Carolina, but life takes you places. First stop Georgetown, DC, where Evelyn Walker learns from CIA officer Nick Daley that her smart techie boyfriend is a Soviet mole. … Read more

A Valentine’s Rose

The second half of January passed in a fog, the dreaded head cold, the struggle to make it through the day. But no one wants to hear that stuff, so I’ll spare you. Except to say that somehow my befuddled brain could wrap itself around the words and images. Relieved to escape the world, I … Read more

Artist Ai Weiwei: @Large in Alcatraz

Have you ever spent time in a prison cell narrower than the span of your arms? Yesterday we visited Alcatraz Island for the @Large exhibit of world-renowned artist and Beijing Olympics designer, Ai Weiwei, now detained at home, his passport confiscated.  Imprisoned Tibetan musician Lolo represented here A big man, not one to bow to … Read more

Searching the Streets of Time

Funicular, Pest side of Danube, Budapest Last summer, my brother’s big birthday bash launched our travels through Europe By Train. Cara Black was struck by my post from Budapest and asked me to recount it at her blog, Murder Is Everywhere. We were traveling when I wrote it and Cara’s invitation gave me the chance … Read more

Fall into Winter

Following our Europe by Train travels, the jet lag really hit.  I was fuzzy for quite a while, but finally found my way back to my computer. By the first days of winter came the Bouchercon Mystery conference, a kind of place where writers gulp down companionship after all the solitary hours writing. It was … Read more

Meet My Character — A Blog Tour

When my friend Heidi Noroozy invited me join her Meet My Character blog tour, I had returned from our Europe By Train travels and was ready for another adventure. I debated between three characters very close to my heart, two of them complex women with amazing stories whom I’d like to introduce later. For now, though, please meet a … Read more

Revisiting Europe By Train

We say we’ll never forget, but we do. When I look back at my 2012-13 Letters from Asia (written for Sisters in Crime, I’m grateful for the memories. So I wrote Europe By Train, a dozen posts in all, one per city. Please hop aboard for the entire journey or join me for a … Read more

Europe By Train #12: Monumental Rome

Do I really have to go to Rome? Already planning how to return to Tuscany, I watch the Mediterranean fall away. Too soon, we reach Orbetello for our final European train journey.  Wound down almost to a stop, I don’t quite feel ready for the “big city.” And Rome’s Termini is big…mid-twentieth-century modern set against ancient … Read more

Europe By Train #11: Tuscany: Paradise

We had come to Europe for my youngest brother’s big birthday bash in Maremma, a remote coastal area of Tuscany. After three weeks of train travel, we are ready to unwind – little knowing how dynamic the week will be!  Following my online booking with Italia Rail, I receive only an unfamiliar PNR code, to … Read more

Europe By Train #10: Florence: City of Seduction

Masculine. Stark. This is my first impression as we arrive at Firenze’s Santa Maria Novello railway station. One thing I’ve noticed as we travel Europe by train is I always prefer the place we’ve just left. It takes about a day to get into real time. Venice is so ethereal, so pastel, that I am especially … Read more