Broke, friendless, and career in freefall – can a murder get her life back on track? Things appear to be looking up for Charlotte when she is offered a new editing job. Finding her new boss battered and left for dead on her first day, however, was most definitely not in the job description. She turns amateur sleuth in an attempt to continue with her editing assignment but complications set in from the start. The notebooks that she needs are well hidden and the only clues to their whereabouts are extremely cryptic. To add to Charlotte’s problems, she is not the only one with an interest in the notebooks. The town’s criminal element will stop at nothing, up to and including murder, to get their hands on the prize.
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In common with many authors, my career path did not form a straight line. I spent a rather lot of time reading as a child on the family farm. I favored mysteries early on, supplemented by regular doses of televised Sherlock Holmes, Charlie Chan, and The Thin Man movies. Later I wanted to be a secret agent, ideally Emma Peel, but was under no illusion that would ever happen. So I went to college to study English and Art, successfully avoiding my parents’ recommendation to major in something practical, like Accounting.
Teacher, landscape designer, cook, art gallery owner and visual artist are all on my resume, some of which bear no relationship to my Master of Arts degree from Valparaiso University. I kept writing during all this time, and also started blogging in the 1990’s, mostly about art and gardening. Then around 2010, I started a blog about downsizing and minimalist living, which led to self-publishing a small book about how to live with less, The Minimalist Woman’s Guide to Having It All, and a couple of minimalist/simplicity cookbooks.
The freedom of self-publishing gave me the confidence to write and publish a small collection of flash fiction, Spirits of Place, in 2012. In so doing, I faced the realization that that’s what I really wanted to do, to write fiction, especially novels. It was my calling. And I wasn’t getting any younger.
Within weeks, I began to work on the first Charlotte Anthony mystery, and have been writing them ever since. The other aspects of my life were all satisfying in their own respective ways but nothing matches the deep fulfillment that I experience from creating a believable cast of characters and a world for them to inhabit.
My work and life as a writer would not have been possible without the support of my entire family. In particular, my husband–artist, photographer, and writer Steve Johnson–has been there every step of the way, from sounding board to copy editor, from coffee provider to reality checker, stepping up wherever and whenever needed.
For the past twelve years we have been living in a small Indiana town, not far from Lake Michigan, and now in a part of town with millions of trees and zillions of birds, squirrels, bunnies, deer, and other wildlife.