June 2019

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Book Life, Barn Life, My Life!

At long last, Trouble in Action is with my publisher. The BETA readers worked their magic as did Cissy Hartley with this beautiful cover. We’re on target for a July 8 release and I couldn’t be happier! I hope you love this story as much as I do.


Kylah West has faith in her horses and her skill to ride them in a reenactment of the Civil War battle of Albrecht Creek. Still suffering from her husband’s suicide, Kylah’s only focus is work. But her concentration is broken when she meets U.S. Marshal Wolf Stockton and the body of a young reenactor is found, shot through the heart with a vintage rifle.

Is it revenge, an accidental shooting, or a hint that opposing forces in the community are boiling over? Those questions turn personal for Wolf and Kylah when her life is endangered. Into the exciting world of stunt riders, tension between the university sponsoring the reenactment and a Cherokee nation tired of being wrongly blamed for everything, strolls Trouble, black cat detective.

Trouble attaches to Kylah when he realizes her vulnerability. He works with Wolf to determine who is behind the murders—and who is attempting to ambush Kylah and her horses as she gives the key performance of the reenactment. As the feline races the clock to keep Kylah safe, he also realizes the two bipeds have another deep need—for each other. He must help solve the mystery while showing his humans the path to true love.

To reward myself while slaving away over edits for several weeks, I took some time in May for two short but fun trips.

The first was to New Orleans with friends and fellow authors Carolyn Haines and Rebecca Barrett. We spent an interesting day at the first annual Book Lovers Con and enjoyed dinner at Maïs Arepas. Enjoyed, however, seems too mild a word for the tiny restaurant which features Columbian cuisine. Every dish was exquisite. And the blackberry mojito! Yum. The walk back to the Hyatt Regency was fraught with perils which we survived by pretending we knew exactly what we were doing and exactly where we were going. We did not.

On the drive home, we made a quick detour through Slidell because one among us had heard we could find a Drive-thru Daiquiri bar. And, yes, why, yes, we did. That Slidell detour is where and when I bought my first-ever lottery ticket and, no, I was not a winner. We made time for a (very) late lunch at the fabulous Mary Mahoney’s in Biloxi where one of the staff kindly snapped a photo. We look very demure for the trip we had, and that’s all I’ll say about that.

The second was to Jackson, MS for our barrel racing association’s state show. I dearly missed running my little speed demon palomino. But there is always next year and my bay mare worked very well. We made the short go by a hair and captured a couple of small checks but I claim no accolades. Ebay worked far better than I rode. But – win, lose, or draw – I love what we do, even the heat and the dust and the inevitable soaking downpour as we saddled for the short go.

And, of course, there was dinner at our favorite Italian restaurant, Bravo. My daughter and I love trying new restaurants but there are some we return to again and again. Bravo is one of those. Walkers is another.

What have I been reading? A couple of things!
Game of Bones by Carolyn Haines and Privilege by Claire Matturro.

I loved everything about the twentieth book in the Sarah Booth Delaney mystery series. I found Game of Bones particularly challenging – in a good way – as I absolutely did not guess the villain. I do love that Sarah Booth and her hunk of a sheriff are finding their way together (at long last!) but it does make the hazards of their work even more anxious and poignant for me. And Tinkie’s miracle? All I can say is, decide for yourself. As for me, I believe.

Privilege was not my usual fare with its starkness and its grit but it held me captive from the first sentence to the last. After reading Skinny-Dipping, also by Ms. Matturro, I knew I had to read Privilege. It did not disappoint. My review of Privilege is below.

Contest Winners!
Congratulations to Ali Brown of Mid Glamorgan, Wales and Roger Fauble of Michigan, who were selected to receive an autographed copy of Winds Across Texas.

Congratulations, as well, to Lynn Hadlow of British Columbia, Canada, who was selected to receive a digital copy of Diamonds Aren’t Forever by Connie Shelton.

June’s random draw will win a digital copy of Privilege by Claire Matturro.

Just a reminder that all of our ‘giveaway’ winners are randomly selected. I do plan another ‘contest’ in July when Trouble in Action is released.

Book Review
Privilege by Claire Matturro is not a comfortable read. You won’t sink cozily into your favorite chair for a relaxing summer afternoon. Instead, you’ll be sucked into a maelstrom akin to a coastal hurricane.

Ruby Randolph is not the girl next door, not the girl you take home to mama. She is, in fact, every mother’s worst nightmare. But she is also smart and vulnerable and loyal to a degree few people are willing to go as the cost is just too high. Did Ruby murder her husband? A part of you will hope she did, simply because she deserves that satisfaction. Another part of you will hope she didn’t, because the essence of Ruby would never survive prison. And you’ll care about that even as you wonder why you care.

As you wind your way through the myriad of possible murder suspects, you’ll be reminded that very few people are completely good or completely evil. Not the weak boyfriend Ruby never quite left behind her. Not the powerful attorney she married. Not the detective who desires her. And not the several partners who had every motive to murder a man who’d decided he no longer had need of them. Because what Gardner Randolph didn’t need, he discarded.

Privilege is a skillfully woven tale that will remind you some books are not written for pleasant relaxation and will make you hope Ms. Matturro does it again. Soon.

Until July,
Susan Y Tanner