This writer’s life has certainly had its ups and downs lately. One high point was getting to visit with a unique book club. Most clubs I’ve spoken to had only female members, but this group was made up of a dozen couples. What’s more, the meeting I attended was their 20th anniversary! I was flattered that they chose my novel Russian Roulette for discussion and was honored to attend and answer their questions.

Then I had a nice book signing at Borders Express in Columbia Mall. It was the first day of daylight savings time and everyone’s schedule was off, so I had a rush of readers right at noon when the event started.

The following weekend I attended the annual meeting of the Virginia Writers Club at which I was twice honored. First, I got to introduce the keynote speaker, my pal and New York Times bestselling author John Gilstrap. Then I was elected first vice president of the statewide writers’ organization. It’s hard to say which was the greater thrill.

I was scheduled to leave on a week-long mystery writer’s cruise to the Mexican Riviera the next day, aboard the ill-fated Carnival Splendor. Of course the event was aborted when the ship caught fire and stranded the previous week’s vacationers off the coast of Mexico. That was disappointing, but I’m very glad the ship’s engine room didn’t wait to catch fire a week later and stick ME at sea with no food, running water or working toilets!

Meanwhile, I got a nice shout-out on a blog called "Good Books Balance Your Life!" Nancy Naigle, the blogger, writes love stories from the crossroad of small town and suspense, and helps groups plan fun book club events. She read my nonfiction book, "Successfully Marketing Your Novel in the 21st Century" and offered her comments. I was flattered, but I also found myself drawn into her reviews of other great reads. Check out Nancy's blog.

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