Third time’s…the charm?

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There seems to be cosmic power in the number three.

Triple crown.


The three Rs.

And let’s not forget the three pigs, the Three Musketeers (the men AND the candy,) and those bastions of slapstick, the Three Stooges.


However, the triple-powered axiom that’s been on my mind the most is “third time’s the charm.”

Why? My third book came out this month.

asdirected cover front rev

As Directed, a.k.a. book three in the Maggie O’Malley mystery series, was my problem child with a host of gestational challenges and a difficult birth. Maybe that’s why I love it so very much and hope against hope that it will lead a charmed life.

As Directed follows Maggie in the aftermath of the events in the series’ first two books. She’s recovering from a head injury. Cracks have formed around the edges of her personal life. And although just in her mid-twenties, Maggie’s starting over, rebuilding her world and her career as she embarks on a new job at Petrosian’s Pillbox, the town pharmacy.

The job at Petrosian’s presents a host of new beginnings, both literal and figurative, and things seem to be going her way. At first. She emerges from the shadow of the past. Her confidence blooms. New possibilities with Constantine develop. Yet as she spreads her wings, things begin to go terribly wrong. A customer falls ill in the store, followed by another, and then more.

All under her watch as a pharmacy tech.

On its face, As Directed, is a classic tale of poisoning. But beneath the tinctures of toxins lie a tale of poisonous relationships: old grudges, past sins, and buried secrets unearthed by circumstance and chemistry. It’s also a story of vulnerability, resiliency and, despite what life dishes out, discovering our inner baddie.

As Directed is a different book for me. Although it possesses the series’ signature humor and suspense, it’s deeper, maybe a little darker, and a good bit more emotional. Maybe that’s why it was so hard to write. Maybe that’s why I love it so much.

So three cheers for working through the hard stuff to get to (what’s hopefully) the good stuff. Now I’m off to my three-martini lunch. Or, for me, my three cups-of-coffee break.


What you difficulties have you worked through, professionally or personally? Please share!


14 thoughts on “Third time’s…the charm?

  1. Congratulations on your third book! I’m plodding through mine at the moment. Well, not really, I’m reading blogs. But I will be in a moment. Proofing is hell for me. So I’ve started listening to the book in the “Read Aloud” mode on my word program. I’m catching so much stuff. Crutch words. Misplaced modifiers. Awkward sentences. I’m certain that I’ve cut six months off the polishing process doing this but it is tedious. Good news is that I still like the book. Ta!

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Kathy, yay –congrats on Book number three! The number three has been pretty lucky for me. It was the third manuscript I wrote and my third foray in the query trenches that got me the agent and the deal. And I was born on the third (of May)! Loved your first two books and can’t wait to read this one!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Yay for the power of three, Vickie!! Very lucky, indeed! I took a folklore class in college where we talked about magical numbers in various cultures. Three proved to be very popular! Thanks for your kind words, Vickie. They mean the world. ❤


    1. Oooo! A third time thing!! Sending power-of-three luck your way.

      And ha ha about not ending with three. I’m with you! My son keeps calling it a trilogy and I’m like, “I’m not done yet!”

      Here’s to three PLUS for us all!


  4. Congratulations, Kathy!! Can’t wait to read it. As to personal challenges, I’d say hearing a pilot I wrote was a go one day, then dead the next because the network president was fired… that was a biggie.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Ellen! I so appreciate the kind words and read-age. ❤

      And ugh on the pilot being killed. Double ugh, in fact!! Definitely a biggie. People say stuff like that builds resiliency. I say I'd rather not be resilient!


  5. Fighting my way through the draft of Sally Solari number five is a personal test for me right about now. Number three was easy in comparison–ha!

    So excited for your new book, Kathy–it sounds terrific! (Gotta love a classic tale of poisoning!)

    Liked by 1 person

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