Out On A Limb!

Keeper’s Reach and the Cotswolds

Posted by on Jul 27, 2015 in Books, England, Holidays, Travels, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Boston-based FBI agents Emma Sharpe and Colin Donovan’s latest adventure, KEEPER’S REACH (August 25), starts when another FBI agent visits a quaint village in the English countryside west of London, in the beautiful region known as the Cotswolds. Special Agent Ted Kavanagh isn’t supposed to be there, and his presence raises questions and causes problems for Emma and Colin, especially when Kavanagh turns out to be a former colleague of Colin’s ex-Special Forces brother, Mike Donovan.
Cotswolds fields.

Cotswolds fields.

Joe and I have visited the Cotswolds several times in the past two years, for research, writing and wandering through the rolling hills and fields and honey-stoned villages with names like Lower Slaughter, Stow-on-the-Wold and Chipping Norton. It’s easy to be inspired. Of course, the quaint Cotswolds village in KEEPER’S REACH is home to an elusive international art thief, but that’s the fun of fiction!
Cotswolds village

Cotswolds village

You can read more about KEEPER’S REACH here and register your pre-ordered copy to receive a booklet of recipes and be entered to win Irish-made products I selected myself while in Ireland in June.




Springtime in Holland

Posted by on May 19, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Springtime in Holland

In April, Joe and I were able to get away for a quick trip to Holland, where my father was born and raised. We visited one of my cousins in a small village in Noord-Brabant, and we wandered through Keukenhof, famous for its spring flowers. So beautiful! We’ll see what stories this trip inspired.

Spring flowers in Holland DSC00687 KeukenhofDutch flowersDutch flowersDutch flowers

ECHO LAKE is out today!

Posted by on Jan 27, 2015 in Uncategorized | 1 comment

New England is in the throes of a major nor’easter and ECHO LAKE, the fourth book in my Swift River Valley series, is out today. I’ll celebrate with a mug of hot cocoa by the fire! Thought I’d share a couple favorite Vermont winter photos. ECHO LAKE takes place in winter in the small fictional Massachusetts town of Knights Bridge.

Enjoy winter wherever you are!

CarlaTree-lined lane i

Winter in Vermont

Happy 2015!

Posted by on Jan 12, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Happy 2015!

We’re twelve days into January already. Happy New Year! I’ve signed up to run the Covered Bridge Half-Marathon here in Vermont on June 7. I’m so proud to be running in support of David’s House, a wonderful charity that “provides a home-away-from-home and support for families with children receiving treatment through the Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center.”

I started my training last Monday with the first week of an 8-week beginner’s running course. I can walk forever but I haven’t done any serious running in a while. I love to run outside but it’s been too cold and icy. I like the temperature at least in double digits.

But wouldn’t it be fun to run on an Irish lane like this one on the Iveragh Peninsula?

Iveragh Peninsula, Ireland

Take care, and, again, Happy New Year!



Posted by on Dec 15, 2014 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Snow!

Winter wonderland this weekend in our corner of Vermont. Hoping for a White Christmas!



A writing life can get out of whack

Posted by on Nov 24, 2014 in Ireland, Travels, Writing Tips | 3 comments

This is my short essay on enjoying my writing life, included in WRITES OF PASSAGE, an outstanding collection of essays on the writer’s journey put together by Sisters in Crime and published by Henery Press.

“I’m one of those writers who loves to write. It was the joy of writing that prompted me to climb a tree with a pad and pen as a kid and sit up on my favorite branch to spin stories. Sixty-plus books later, I love to write as much as ever. That doesn’t mean it’s always easy. A writing life can get out of whack for any number of reasons. No writer I know is immune, including me. So, I asked myself what do I do that allows me to enjoy writing as much now as when I was a kid? Is there any one thing? Any one practice? The answer is yes: I make time for “discovery.”

WRITES OF PASSAGE A few years ago, I took off to Ireland for my own personal writing retreat. It was a spur-of-the-moment trip. Next thing I knew, there I was, alone in a tiny cottage on the southwest Irish coast with my pads and pens, figuring out how to light a turf fire on a rainy, chilly autumn night. My Irish sojourn wasn’t a getaway to meet a tight deadline, and it wasn’t a vacation. It was three weeks I set aside for creative discovery—for consciously and intentionally standing back from producing, doing, inventing, measuring, making things happen. It was time away from the usual walls: page counts, word counts, hours-at-writing counts. It was time away from the external lures and pressures of publishing, platforms, website updates, reviews, Facebook, Twitter, wandering on the internet.Irish ruin

My cottage made setting these boundaries for myself easier: it had no wifi and only limited (and expensive!) “data roaming” access. I had to walk into the village to get on the internet. The five-hour time difference between Ireland and the East Coast also worked in my favor. There’s magic in being fully present in the moment, whether it’s on the page at hand, or whether it’s walking in the Irish hills, listening to sheep baaing in a green field or watching a rainbow arc over the bay.


Those three weeks in Ireland crystalized for me just how important discovery is in my creative life. I have always given myself time away from “producing” and “doing,” whether it’s an afternoon walk, an internet blackout, not counting words and pages—or another getaway to an Irish cottage. Discovery is what sharpens, greases and fires up our creative gears, our senses, our powers of observation, our openness, even our trust in whatever drove us to write in the first place. For me, it’s the foundation of creativity, and it’s essential to the joy of writing.”

Enjoy your day!


Wandering in Ireland…on my desktop

Posted by on Nov 15, 2014 in Ireland, Travels | Comments Off on Wandering in Ireland…on my desktop

I’m cleaning my office (Saturday!) and decided to change my desktop photo. Sometimes I keep my desktop blank to eliminate any distractions, but most of the time I enjoy a reminder of places I love. I tend to type in ‘full screen’ mode with a black background, so the photo only shows up when I’m doing other things.

Think I’ll go with the one of the lake we hiked along in Killarney, a popular route for good reason! Our daughter, son-in-law and their two little ones joined us. It’s a great memory as we dive into the New England winter.


But I love the spring flowers, too. :-)

Have a great weekend, everyone!



Misty Maine

Posted by on Nov 6, 2014 in Uncategorized | 3 comments

We love our foggy, misty Maine days and got to experience a couple on our recent trip to Acadia National Park. We hiked along the coast past famous Thunder Hole. So beautiful! I never know what ideas might start percolating on such walks.

Acadia National Park

Acadia National Park

Autumn in Maine

Posted by on Oct 28, 2014 in Travels, Uncategorized, USA | 1 comment

Joe and I recently visited Acadia National Park in Maine. We’ve hiked there many times but never in autumn. So beautiful! More inspiration for my Sharpe & Donovan series.


Autumn in Acadia National Park, Maine

Autumn in Acadia National Park, Maine

Jordan Pond trail, Acadia National Park, Maine

Jordan Pond trail, Acadia National Park, Maine



Posted by on Aug 28, 2014 in Books, Ireland, Travels | Comments Off on HARBOR ISLAND is out!

We’re celebrating here on our hilltop in Vermont. It’s always so exciting to have a new book hit the shelves, so to speak. In HARBOR ISLAND, FBI agents Emma Sharpe and Colin Donovan are back in Boston after several weeks in Ireland that started out with a romantic getaway and ended with…well, trouble. That trouble follows them home when Emma discovers the body of a woman on a small island in Boston Harbor. In the woman’s hand is a Celtic stone cross, the signature of an elusive thief the FBI and the Sharpes have been chasing for a decade.

While Emma and Colin search for answers in Boston and Maine, their boss, Matt Yankowski, is in Dublin looking for information on the thief and dealing with his missing, and estranged, wife, Lucy. My husband and I are just back from an extended trip to England and Ireland for research, writing, hiking and the occasional ‘taoscan’ of whiskey. We spent most of our time on the southwest Irish coast (where Emma and Colin sneaked away to a cottage owned by Irish priest Finian Bracken!), but we spent a few days in lively Dublin. I’ve mentioned the “doors of Dublin.”

Here are a few photos we took.

The best part of our trip, though, was introducing little Leo and Oona to Ireland. Here’s a picture of Oona with me at low tide. Life doesn’t get any better!


I hope you enjoy HARBOR ISLAND and these last days of summer. Hard to believe we’re starting to see red leaves on some of the trees…

Happy reading,