Julia is a serious person who writes entertaining fiction. Sometimes an editor agrees with her and includes one of her short stories in an anthology. Somewhere in the world, there is a literary agent who will be amused at Julia’s query letter and offer to represent her manuscript. Every new rejection brings Julia closer to finding that agent.
Julia plants garlic in the fall, wallows in praise for her homemade rum-raisin ice cream and wet-bottom shoo-fly pie (never served at the same time), devours romance novels with snarky protagonists, laughs at her own jokes, knits socks, quilts quilts, and is ever grateful for her home, her husband, her dog, and her friends.
My competed manuscripts, all boll weevils looking for a home.
Worms and Dirt
Twelve-year-old Leslie just wants a normal life like other kids. She wants to watch TV, eat at Mickey D’s, and hang out with her friends. But her parents are vegetarian health nuts so Leslie is stuck working in her Dad’s ginormous vegetable garden and helping string beans and can tomatoes. Her classmates make fun of her lunch, a sandwich of peanut butter and alfalfa sprouts—they call it worms and dirt—and talk about TV shows she never gets to watch.
Then her father has another of his brilliant ideas. Starting now, family council is one person, one vote. Leslie looks at her two siblings and decides to make some changes. What could possibly go wrong?
Middle grade fiction set in a small town on the banks of the Ohio River in the 1980’s.
Thrift Store Daze
Ruth is an indifferent store clerk and dedicated busybody. She muddles through another work day at Beachcombers Thrift Store—until the gut-wrenching discovery of a corpse stuffed behind the dumpster. Jack was a homeless vet who reminded Ruth of her kid brother, MIA in Vietnam. When the police dismiss Jack as just another drug overdose, Ruth vows to expose the killer.
Ruth and her co-workers pluck clues from the whirl of gossip in the store aisles as they face down donated bags and boxes of God-knows-what from God-knows-where. Will Ruth’s clues add up before the owners close the store for good? Will Ruth catch the killer before he kills again?
Cozy mystery with elements of magical realism, set in Virginia Beach, Virginia, during a steamy July.
Lakeside Mystery (working title)
Megan’s life as a wife, mother, and model employee suits her to a tee. But her husband surprises her with a trip around the world—his. Within days, Megan finds herself parked in their rental property in a working class neighborhood where she doesn’t know anyone. She’s lost her job, her daughter moves to the other side of the country, and her friends are finks. Her only company is the dukes and debutantes in the romance novels she reads one after another. Then a derecho rips through the neighborhood.
When Megan joins neighbors out on the street gaping at downed trees, three eccentric old ladies rope her into their search for a lost cat. Megan uncovers a cold corpse instead. A second murder pulls Megan and her new guard puppy Duke deep into gossip and speculation. Her adulterous husband announces he’s flying home with a galloping case of Montezuma’s revenge for Megan’s loving care. And while Megan worries about a little boy who speaks only to her puppy, someone she least suspects notices she can add two plus two.
Is Megan the eternal doormat? or will she grow a backbone in time to stand up for herself, and save the little boy and her new friends from the killer in their midst?
Cozy mystery set in central Virginia.