Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Take Five and Meet Patricia Hale and her book The Church of the Holy Child

Okay, the title surprised me and then I read Patricia's post. WOW.

Welcome to An Indie Adventure, Patricia.  Tell us, what inspired you to write your book, The Church of the Holy Child?

Hi, L.A. Thanks for having me as your guest today. I was watching a movie about a serial killer who found his victims through his job as a volunteer for a suicide hot line. I thought that was really horrible and then began thinking of comparable atrocities. I came up with a killer who targets women escaping domestic violence. It’s a terrible irony to be escaping familial violence only to be killed by an outsider. I’m really not as deranged as this makes me sound, but I thought it was an interesting twist. I’ve left out the graphics so readers won’t be turned away. The story takes the reader on a twisted hunt for the killer.

When you’re brainstorming for a new story, what usually comes first for you, the plot or the characters?

Definitely the plot. And then, depending on what the plot entails I imagine who is right for the job. What kind of character traits would the person need to have? What strengths and weaknesses would allow them to confront the issue, but at the same time, I want their own shortcomings to create obstacles and internal struggles as they pursue their goal.

 What is most difficult for you to write?  Characters, conflict or emotions?  Why?

I enjoy writing a character and getting to know them as the story moves along. Conflict can be very absorbing and intense in a good way. Writing emotions can be challenging because you don’t want to spoon feed the reader what they should feel in any given scene. The characters should bring out emotions in the reader through their behavior, their conflicts, their decisions as well as with their internal and external dialogue. The reader should not be told how to feel. Emotions should be triggered by the behavior of the characters. Making that happen can be challenging.

What is the first thing you do when you begin a new book?

I eat. I keep getting up from the computer and going to the kitchen for a snack because I’m nervous and I eat when I’m nervous. It’s those first few lines… I write them and re-write them until I begin to relax and then I get hooked. Once I have the first paragraph on the page, I’m good and I keep writing until I run out of thoughts. Then I leave it and the next morning re-read it and rewrite it again and keep moving forward in that fashion. I’m a pantser.

If you were a TV, film or book character, apart from one you've created, who would you be?  And why?

I’ve always wished I’d gone into law enforcement so I would be Jennifer Lopez’s character, Harlee Santos, on Shades of Blue. She’s a mom, a detective, she keeps secrets and she’ll go to any extreme to keep her family safe. In another life, I’d leave my computer behind and live the lives of my characters.

Give us a brief summary of The Church of the Holy Child:
When a missing woman is found dead, her husband is charged, but when a second body appears showing the same wounds questions arise and what looked like a slam-dunk becomes anyone’s guess. The bodies are piling up, and one person knows where the killer is. Father Francis, a priest at The Church of the Holy Child, listens to the killer’s disturbed account of each murder and wrestles with the vows that bind him to secrecy.


Patricia Hale received her MFA degree from Goddard College. Her essays have appeared in literary magazines and the anthology, My Heart’s First Steps. Her debut novel, In the Shadow of Revenge, was published in 2013. The Church of the Holy Child is the first book in her PI series featuring the team of Griff Cole and Britt Callahan. The second book, Durable Goods, will be released in March 2018. Patricia is a member of Sister’s in Crime, Mystery Writer’s of America, NH Writer’s Project and Maine Writer’s and Publisher’s Alliance. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband and two dogs.

Find Patricia:

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Author Spotlight Featuring Nancy Haddock's A Crime of Poison

Nancy Haddock is one of my favorite authors, 
and her Silver Six Crafting Mystery series is funny, warm and clever. 
Thanks, L.A. for hosting me on your blog. It's always a joy to be here.

Do you all like art and craft festivals? I love them, and I’m eagerly awaiting the big November event in St. Augustine!
Whether they are small, intimate fairs with twenty or thirty booths, or large, juried festivals with a hundred vendors, I adore browsing and admiring the creativity and variety of goodies being offered. And, okay, I do more than browse. If the price is right, I buy fun things for family and friends. Everything from jewelry to art prints, to garden stones so ornate I hang them in my house!

My love of arts and crafts came from my mother who was a self-taught artist and craftswoman. I didn’t get all her talent, but if I can spend time at a festival – or an antique show or flea market – I’m there.

Watching my mother and her friends age was one of the inspirations for my Silver Six Crafting mysteries. My mother isn’t one of the Silver Six, per se, but her varied talents and general “get-‘er-done” attitude is reflected in both my group of senior characters and in the 30-year-old character, Nixy.  Another driving inspiration was my love of art and craft forms, so the Silver Six had to be crafty.

In the first book, Basket Case, my characters host an arts and crafts fest on their farmhouse grounds. In A Crime of Poison, they’ve moved the festival to the town square.

So, I wondered ….

What if a despised former resident showed up at the festival? What if he were working for an equally hated town bully? And what if someone wanted those men permanently gone from picturesque Lilyvale?

When Nixy stumbles on a crime scene with Amber the dog and T.C. the cat, she and the Silver Six are sure to be on the case!

Excerpt From A Crime of Poison:
The critters and I were fed and out the door by six forty- five for our morning jaunt. We walked up Fairview, one of our customary routes, but instead of crossing at Troost to loop back, we went another three blocks to cross at Moccasin, and then turned left on McKinley headed for home. Amber sniffed everything in sight. The grass, the sidewalk, the gutter, the dirt, every tree, even the air. Nothing escaped her notice. T.C. batted at and pounced on bugs, a fallen leaf, a rock. Entertaining as they were to watch, the start-stop pace sure wasn’t giving me aerobic exercise.

On McKinley I noticed an older- model sedan parked whopperjawed midblock under one of two oak trees. The front angled into the curb while the back stuck out into the street. Not enough to impede traffic, but nowhere near parallel to the curb. The paint might’ve been a cream color at one time, but now the car had more rust spots than not.

Amber and T.C. lifted their heads and sniffed as we approached. The closer we got, the more my critters fidgeted, whining and meowing, all the while testing the air for scents. When we pulled even with the passenger door, they sat at the edge of the sidewalk. Amber bayed her odd barkaroo, and T.C. screeched a reeoow. All the windows were open a few inches, the back windows more so. They weren’t tinted, and I noticed a man in the passenger seat. He looked to be asleep, his head tilted back, resting partly on the window, partly on the headrest.

I tugged gently on the leashes, planning to walk away, but my pets refused to budge. They gave me the big eyes and pitiful whimpers as if to say, Aren’t you going to do something?
I sighed and carefully stepped nearer to the car window for a closer look inside. I didn’t want to touch anything, but now I saw the man clearly.

A white floppy hat sat off- center over thin graying hair. Bruises colored his face. A split lip. White shirt smudged with dirt and blood droplets, and something else.

In spite of the cool morning, I suddenly felt clammy, and my knees shook. I swallowed and bent lower to see his eyes, then clamped my free hand over my nose and mouth as a foul, sour smell seeped from the window. The man wasn’t sleeping; not unless he slept with his eyes open and fixed on something he could no longer see.

Sure enough, Cornell Lewis was dead.


The Silver Six are known for their arts and crafts—but they’re about to be tested in the art of catching a crafty killer.

It's early October, time for the Fall Folk Art Festival and Bake Sale in Lilyvale, Arkansas. Leslee Stanton Nix, known as "Nixy," is in charge of making the event run smoothly. The festival will benefit the Handcraft Emporium, the store Nixy manages with her aunt and her five sassy housemates, collectively known as the Silver Six. Delicious baked goods, beautiful crafts, and time with friends—Nixy is confident that the festival will be a success.

But things become knotty when local troublemaker Cornell Lewis is found dead with a plate of Snickerdoodles from the bake sale. Two members of the Silver Six are accused of cooking up a murder plot, but Nixy knows that the cookies weren’t literally to die for. With time running out, Nixy and company must catch the actual killer... before the Silver Six find their number permanently reduced to four.

Nancy Haddock is the award-winning and national bestselling author of the Silver Six Crafting Mysteries. Basket Case and Paint the Town Dead are her current books in the series, and A Crime of Poison will be released in December 2017.

Nancy draws on historic wealth, southern culture, and the plain old quirkiness of places and people for her books. She lives with her husband and rescue dog Baron. You can reach her via

Find Nancy:

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Friday, November 17, 2017

Last Friday of the Month Recipe ~ Billie's Gingerbread Cake and Kathleen Kaska's Latest Book

It's not quite the last Friday, but we thought you'd might not want to think about this the day after Thanksgiving.  And this is worth thinking about.

The recipe and why you love making it:
Hi, L.A., thanks for having me as a return guest. I have a collection of foodie books, including books by Julia Child, MFK Fisher, Anthony Bourdain, and Ruth Reichl. Last year when I discovered that Ruth Reichl had written her first novel, Delicious!, I ordered it immediately. Not only was this heartwarming story about love and loss and food history, it featured a Bundt cake recipe called “Billie’s (her main character) Gingerbread Cake.”

I’d never made a Bundt cake in my life. I didn’t even own a Bundt pan. But I was up for a challenge. I bought a pan, all the ingredients, and plowed ahead. After reading the ingredient list and preparing instructions, I was tempted to take short cuts, especially in preparation of all the spices. But I followed Billie’s advice and ground the peppercorns, cloves, and cardamom, and grated the fresh ginger root, a lot of ginger root. I also grated zest from three oranges. Imagine the aroma in my kitchen that afternoon! 

The recipe called for ½ cup of bourbon, which I don’t drink. Again, I was tempted to buy bourbon flavoring, but I sprung for the real stuff. It took me a couple of hours to put the cake together (and I still have lots of bourbon left), but it was well worth the trouble. This is not the type of cake you throw together for a bake sale. It’s labor intensive and best saved for a holiday or special occasion.

Billie’s Gingerbread Cake
    • Butter (for the pan)
    • Flour (for the pan)
    • 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
    • 1 tablespoon whole cloves
    • 1 tablespoon whole cardamom seeds
    • 1 stick cinnamon
    • 2 cups flour
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 3 eggs plus 1 extra yolk
    • 1 cup sour cream
    • ¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
    • 1 cup granulated sugar
    • 3 inches (2 large pieces) fresh ginger, grated
    • Grated rind of 2 to 3 oranges (enough to make 1½ teaspoons



1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 6-cup Bundt pan.

2. Separately grind the peppercorns, cloves, and cardamom. Measure ¼ teaspoon of each. Grind the cinnamon stick and measure 1 teaspoon.

3. In a small bowl, whisk the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, pepper, cloves, cardamom, and cinnamon.

4. In another bowl whisk the eggs, extra yolk, and sour cream.

5. In an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar for 3 minutes or until light, fluffy, and almost white. Beat in the ginger and orange rind.

6. Beat the flour mixture into the batter alternately with the sour cream mixture.

7. Spoon the batter into the pan. Bake for 40 minutes, or until the cake is golden and a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.

8. Set the cake on a rack to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. SOAK ½ cup bourbon 1½ tablespoons granulated sugar

9. In a small saucepan, combine the bourbon and sugar. Simmer for 4 minutes. It should reduce to about cup.

10. While the cake is still in the pan, brush half of the bourbon mixture onto the bottom. Let the syrup soak in for a few minutes.

11. Turn the cake out onto a rack. Gently brush the remaining mixture all over the cake. GLAZE 5 teaspoons orange juice ¾ cup confectioners' sugar, sifted into a bowl 12. Stir the orange juice into the sugar until sugar until smooth.
Drizzle the glaze all over the cake. 

Here is the link to the book Delicious!: A Novel.

Short Book Blurb:
When I’m not reading foodie book and trying new recipes, I write mysteries and blog posts for Cave Art Press. Do You Have a Catharsis Handy? Five Minute Writing Tips is my latest release.

These five-minute writing tips had their origins as Cave Art Press blog posts. The tips include writing styles, grammar and punctuation rules, and tips on the down and dirty of publishing and marketing. 

To keep these tips short and humorous, references and stories about egg-laying chickens and how dogs think, The Three Bears and The Seven Dwarfs, Contrary Mary and Goldilocks, my high-school English teachers and the United States Post Office, 77 Sunset Strip and Breaking Bad, Pope Francis and Michelle Obama, and a prairie dog who walked into a bar were used.

To Buy:

Kathleen Kaska writes the award-winning Sydney Lockhart mysteries set in the 1950s and the award-winning Classic Triviography Mystery Series, which includes The Sherlock Holmes Triviography and Quiz Book. Her nonfiction book, The Man Who Saved the Whooping Crane: The Robert Porter Allen Story (University Press of Florida) was published in 2012. 

When she is not writing, Kathleen, a native Texan, spends much of her time traveling the backroads and byways with her husband, looking for new venues for her mysteries and bird watching along the Texas coast and beyond. It was her passion for birds that led to the publication The Man Who Saved the Whooping Crane. Kathleen is also the marketing director for Cave Art Press. Her collections of Cave Art Press blog posts, Do You Have a Catharsis Handy? Five-Minute Writing Tips, was just released.

Find Kathleen:
Website | Twitter  Facebook

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Take Five and Meet Author Leeann Betts and Her Novel ~ Hidden Assets

Welcome to An Indie Adventure, Leeann Betts.  Tell us, what inspired you to write your book Hidden Assets?

I’d recently been to eastern Wyoming, and love the area, and thought what a great place to build a town and have a murder. And I had a friend who recently traveled from Denver to San Francisco on the train, so I just knew I had to involve a train in the story.

Have you been a lifelong reader of cozy mysteries?  What are some the first books you remember reading?

I have loved mysteries ever since I was a kid. And as I got a little older, I devoured Agatha Christie and Conan Doyle mysteries. I went through a phase of Dorothy Sayers and Dick Francis, then started in on American Authors such as Lillian Jackson Braun, Mary Daheim, and Diane Mott Anderson, among others. I love series, and I MUST read them in order.

What do you do to rev your creative juices?

I read lots, I watch lots of mystery movies, and I often go on an Agatha binge, or a Donald Bain (Murder She Wrote) binge.

To you what makes a great romance hero or heroine?

I think the answer is the same for both – they must be strong and capable, smarter than the bad guy, and willing to accept help from someone else – even if they don’t know it yet.

You’re having a dinner party.  What character from your novel do you hope doesn’t show up?     Why?

I hope the object of the Romers’ search doesn’t show up. That would be too creepy :) (You’ll have to read the book to find out why)

Give us a brief summary of Hidden Assets:
Carly Turnquist, forensic accountant, responds to a call from her friend, Anne, who is in the middle of a nasty divorce, and travels to Wyoming to help find assets Anne thinks her husband has stolen. But the mystery begins before Carly even arrives when she sees a man thrown off a train. Except there’s no body. 

Husband Mike uncovers an illegal scam in a computer program he has been asked to upgrade, and then Anne is arrested for her ex’s murder. 

Can Carly figure out what’s going on, and why a strange couple is digging in Anne’s basement? Or will she disappear along with the artwork, coins, and money?
To Buy: 

Leeann Betts writes contemporary suspense, while her real-life persona, Donna Schlachter, pens historical suspense. She has released six titles in her cozy mystery series, By the Numbers, with Hidden Assets released in June. In addition, Leeann has written a devotional for accountants, bookkeepers, and financial folk, Counting the Days, and with her real-life persona, Donna Schlachter, has published a book on writing, Nuggets of Writing Gold, a compilation of essays, articles, and exercises on the craft. 

She publishes a free quarterly newsletter that includes a book review and articles on writing and books of interest to readers and writers. You can subscribe at or follow Leeann at 

All books are available on in digital and print, and at in digital format.

Find Leeann:
Facebook | Twitter  

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Five Secrets from Caroline Warfield and Her New Historical Anthology ~ Never Too Late

A little bit about Caroline before she shares her secrets: Hi, L.A. so nice to be here again. I'm passionate about family, travel, and history. It should be no surprise that all three find their way into every story I write. The characters—friends and relatives—in my Dangerous Series also appear in my Children of Empire series. Though my characters turn up everywhere from Upper Canada to Rome to Calcutta to Macau, they are all English and usually find their way home. I sit at a desk in the urban wilds of eastern Pennsylvania and nudge them toward the riskiest territory of all, the human heart. I am proud to be a Bluestocking Belle.

Caroline, please tell us Five Secrets we may not know about NEVER TOO LATE or you, but will after today!

1) The stories in this anthology were written by the Bluestocking Belles. We hadn't met in person when we got together online, but now we work as a team to support each other. We've run an online magazine (the Teatime Tattler) for two and a half years. We plan games, events, and contests. This is our third box set; they just keep getting better and better.

2) At our Valentine holiday event last year we had our most brilliant idea for a giveaway prize ever. Four people won the right to specify elements for a made-to-order story or more accurately in this case, for EIGHT made-to-order stories. As a result, the eight of us wrote eight different takes on four dramatic elements selected by those readers—an older heroine, a wise man, a Bible, and a compromising situation that isn’t.

3) We use a secret cave (ok a private Facebook group) to try out story ideas, but our imaginations run in many different directions, and characters come to us from surprising places. In the end, we had stories using those same four elements but set over eight centuries, from 1181 to 1916.

4) My own story, Roses in Picardy, had its roots in a visit to Amiens, France, a few years ago. I was profoundly moved by the variety of plaques hung in the ancient cathedral less than one hundred years ago, tributes to soldiers of many countries who fought nearby in global wars. The urge to place a story in the aftermath of the Battle of the Somme won out.

5) The Belles believe the best marketing philosophy is to have as much fun as we can, make friends, and build long-term relationships. What is next on our agenda? Watch for our December Time Travel Blog Hop. Readers will follow our time machine backward and forward in time at will to peek at our characters’ lives, loves, and challenges.

Set in a variety of locations around the world over eight centuries, welcome to the romance of the Bluestocking Belles’ 2017 Holiday Anthology. It’s Never Too Late to find love!

1181 The Piper's Lady by Sherry Ewing
True love binds them. Deceit divides them. Will they choose love?

1354 Her Wounded Heart by Nicole Zoltack
A solitary widow, a landless knight, and a crumbling castle.

1645 A Year Without Christmas by Jessica Cale
An Earl and his housekeeper face their feelings for one another in the midst of the English Civil War.

1795 The Night of the Feast by Elizabeth Ellen Carter
One night to risk it all in the midst of the French Revolution.

1814 The Umbrella Chronicles: George & Dorothea's Story by Amy Quinton
The Umbrella Strikes Again: St. Vincent’s downfall (aka betrothal) is assured.

1814 A Malicious Rumor by Susana Ellis
A harmonious duo is better than two lonely solos for a violinist and a lady gardener at Vauxhall.

1886 Forged in Fire by Jude Knight
Forged in volcanic fire, their love will create them anew. Set in New Zealand.

1916 Roses in Picardy by Caroline Warfield
In the darkness of war, hope flickers. In the gardens of Picardy, love catches fire.

Buy Links:
Find the Bluestocking Belles:
Find Caroline:

Monday, November 13, 2017

Five Secrets From Jo Grafford and Her Latest Release ~ Into The Mainland

A little bit about Jo before she shares her secrets:
I love to write at night! Add in the growl of distant thunder and a few slices of lightning and I’m like a surfer riding the perfect wave. :)

Hi, Jo, please tell us Five Secrets we may not know about Into The Mainland or you, but will after today!

1) Into The Mainland is based on the story of a real group of colonists who’ve been missing for over 400 years. They’re often referred to as the Lost Colonists of Roanoke Island.

2) Although I invented their personalities, conversations, and (in some cases) love interests, the colonists I write about really sailed to the New World in 1587. I even used their real names!

3) The hottie Agnes eventually falls in love with is so, well…hot…you might fantasize yourself into a few scenes with him before you finish the story! Just saying…

4) Not — in your wildest imagination — will you guess what actually happened to the Lost Colonists. Like real life so often is, the truth is messy, complicated, and full of twists and turns, which is why it’s taken me three full-length novels so far to unravel it.

5) I know, I know. The Lost Colony Series was supposed to be a trilogy, but... **drum roll** …I’ve had readers asking for more about this lord or that renegade, so there may be a fourth book coming in 2018. Shh…it’s a secret. I haven’t told my own husband yet.

One accidental crime changed my life forever. Horribly and tragically. But that was just the beginning of my bad fortune. Every time I swore things couldn’t possibly get worse, they did.

Here I was, preparing to face one of the region’s most terrifying enemies with a single tribeswoman as my witness if I failed.

A woman who’d hated me from the moment I’d joined the Croatoans because of the English blood running through my veins.

The only common ground we shared was our plan to sacrifice ourselves so everyone we loved could finally be free.


An unusually lovely apothecary apprentice, Agnes Wood is forced from her country parish to the social whirl of London when her aunt and uncle negotiate her betrothal to an older nobleman to satisfy her uncle's gaming debts. While attempting to make the most of a bad situation, she accidentally commits a crime that will lead her to the other side of the world and into the crosshairs of a far more dangerous game. The layers of a terrifying conspiracy unfold, and two powerful men fight over her heart in the winner-take-all rugged wilderness of the New World.

Buy Links:

An award-winning author from St. Louis, Missouri, Jo has worked a lot of exciting jobs — from corporate trainer to junior college instructor to high school business teacher. Along the way, she discovered the only thing she enjoys as much as teaching is writing. Especially writing romance!

In her stories, the stakes are always high and there's nothing her heroes won't risk for the brilliant, sassy women they love.

Find Jo: 

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Author Georgia Ruth's Guest Post ~ Lost Legend of Vahilele

Georgia usually dreams about sharks, this time was different.

Thank you, Leslie Ann, for an opportunity to tell my story. I spent a recent October weekend at Lake Lure, a storybook location nestled at the foot of Chimney Rock, a filming location known for the movies “Last of the Mohicans” and “Dirty Dancing.” When the leaves of western North Carolina turn colors, thousands of visitors come to admire the natural beauty of this area, and hundreds of residents leave for their second homes in warmer climates. The season calls for a party, or a craft fair, where locals like me sell our wares before hunkering down for the winter.

A visitor to my booth picked up my recent release, Lost Legend of Vahilele, and inquired if I had traveled to Fiji. My response was, “only in my head.” Her question reminded me of a message from a Tennessee reader who said she felt as though she had walked the island with the main character. Imaginative readers are blessed to inhabit many faraway worlds. For some unknown reason, the world of Vahilele has been clear to me for a long time.

Four years ago, I was awakened from a sound sleep by the image of a woman with her back toward me. I only noticed her long black hair and red feather headdress. I reached out to her, and she turned. The flames shooting from her eyes awakened me. Rarely do I have dreams like that. I had not seen a movie or read a book with a similar character. I did not know if she was from heaven or hell.  Who was she and what did she want? Usually my nightmares involve sharks!

At the time, I was writing mystery short stories, and a historical blog about my fascinating neighbors with roots that go back to Wales in 1100 AD. From archaeology magazine articles, I was aware of the conflicting theories on the Lapita people. Where did they come from and when did they become the Polynesian settlers of the South Pacific? I named my night visitor, Lapita, and devoted hours researching islands to find an appropriate setting for her. I discovered Vatulele, a tiny island in Fiji, with petroglyphs of mysterious origin. I also found the perfect mate, a shipwrecked sailor. And I included the protection of the Phoenix, a mythical firebird.

My 10,000 word short story titled “The Rampart of the Phoenix” was rejected by a publisher who said the story was not complete. My 35,000 word novella titled “The Rampart of the Phoenix” was rejected after long consideration by a publisher with comments forwarded from five editors who said the story was not complete. On Friday the thirteenth, November of 2015, I finished the 95,000 word novel. That same day I received an email message from a stranger, the owner of the only resort on Vatulele. He had found my blog where I mentioned my mysterious interest in Vatulele. He had purchased the resort because he fell in love with the island, yanuyanu in Fijian language.

Among the many photos Mr. Bertini sent me, there was a sketchy one of a lady’s profile with long dark hair and a red headdress, a petroglyph painted on a cliff thousands of years ago, my Lapita. He told me of a significant sign he experienced before he bought the resort. As he stood at the lagoon, a shark came steadily toward him, paused, and turned to swim out to sea. All of this was in my novel before he contacted me.

A breathtaking sunset of the island with an odd formation over the lagoon. I liked this one especially, since the main character is seeking the strength of the island's guardian, the Phoenix spirit. ~used with permission
I do not possess the theology or the philosophy to explain this mysterious connection. Until I visit today’s Vatulele, the old world of Vahilele in 650 AD is clear to me and easy to describe from scenes in my head. This new friend who has invited my family to his resort thinks I have travelled to the island before as a “dreamwalker.” I will let others form their own opinions.

I rarely share the origins of this tale because some people don’t appreciate what they cannot explain. Last week at a booth in another small town, I felt compelled to tell a customer about my dream. She nodded with understanding. She had been in Arizona at an archaeological dig and felt as though she had been there before. When the park ranger told her tour group a site was a native ceremonial spot, she knew immediately it was a place for burning flesh and blood sacrifices. She remembered it. When she told the ranger what she suspected, he confirmed her truth but cautioned her that information was not for public knowledge. She could not explain to him how she knew what she knew. Perhaps there is a supernatural truth. I offer Lost Legend of Vahilele as an oral history of a people who do not have a written history. I respect the Fijian legends and talented crafters and never want to detract from their culture. On the contrary, it seems I am under their spell.

While I hunker down in my log cabin this winter, I will consider writing a sequel to this novel because I am curious about the journey of a golden race who eventually sailed their outriggers thousands of miles east to Hawaii. Last year in Vanuatu, west of Fiji, archaeological proof was found that the Lapita people had lived there for generations. Ancient pottery sherds have also been found east of Fiji in Samoa, Tonga and other islands. For me, it is a great indie adventure to track the roots of my dream lady. I invite my readers to come along for the discovery. And if you have been to Fiji, I invite you to share your travel photos on my website Lost Legend page here.

Princess Lapita risks her life to preserve a golden race whose last child comes of age in 650 AD. When the shipwrecked crew from a Persian trading ship tries to take control of the island of Vahilele, they underestimate the powers of the local Priestess who seeks wisdom from her guardian, the mythical Phoenix.


Georgia Ruth lives in the storied gold-mining foothills of North Carolina where she records and shares the folklore of neighbors. Her former careers in family restaurant management and retail sales inspire countless characters and conflicts. 

Because perspective influences behavior, her stories offer a psychological window to examine the motivation for crimes amid tangled relationships. Her latest short story “Strong Enough” was published in April 2017 in the Malice Domestic 12 anthology Mystery Most Historical. Her short story “The Mountaintop” was selected by bestselling author Elizabeth George for Best American Mystery Stories 2016.

Find Georgia Ruth: