Behind the Book: 39 WINKS

Welcome to “Behind the Book,” our fun new Chicks on the Case feature! Join us as we Chicks share the real stories behind our stories. Inspiration, motivation, frustration, jubilation–you’ll find them all right here…  Well, hello! It’s Kathy, and I’m here to regale you with the origin story of 39 WINKS. The second book in my medical mystery series finds our pharmaceutical protagonist, Maggie, losing sleep … Continue reading Behind the Book: 39 WINKS

Tough Stuff

A few weeks ago, I ran my second half-marathon. The first was about twenty years—and two kids—ago, back when I didn’t make a noise every time I got out of a chair and my concept of gravity involved apples—and not other things—falling. My goals were simple: avoid getting med evac’d out or experiencing any major (and majorly embarrassing) gastroenterological events. Things started out tough even … Continue reading Tough Stuff

Stress Out

You GUYS. I am so stressed. It’s National Stress Awareness Month, and I’m already behind. I mean, I’ve already started celebrating by overthinking, making endless to-do lists, worrying about things I can’t control, and running through scenarios that will never happen. But it’s too little too late. Or maybe it’s too much too soon? Either way, I’m stressed that I’m not giving National Stress Awareness … Continue reading Stress Out

Gone to Left Coast Crime!

The Chicks have flown the coop! Some of us are winging our way through Left Coast Crime in Tucson, where our very own Ellen Byron is Toastmaster! (!!!) If you’re attending, please come say hello. We’ll be at a variety of panels, including Lefty Humorous Novel Nominees (with Chick nominees Ellen and Jennifer); Mysteries Featuring Food & Drink moderated by Leslie; You’re Killing Me: Fun … Continue reading Gone to Left Coast Crime!

Guest Chick: Kate Lansing

The Chicks are delighted to welcome back the talented and wonderful Kate Lansing. The award-winning novelist and author of the Colorado Wine Mystery series uncorks one of our favorite topics: titles. Pour it on, Kate! The Im-port-ance of Titles You know the feeling, you’re in the middle of a book when suddenly, the clouds clear and the meaning behind the title is revealed. There’s that … Continue reading Guest Chick: Kate Lansing


I have a love/hate relationship with surprises. I love to hate them. Yes, yes. I know that surprises are part and parcel to the mystery writing/reading world. I mean, what’s a mystery without, well, some mystery? Even if it’s not a whodunnit, it should at least be a whydunnit or howdunnit. But, overall, I’m just not a fan of the unexpected. If I’m going to … Continue reading Surprise!

Hidden Dangers

As mystery readers and writers, danger is never far from our minds. Turns out, it’s never far from our homes, either. Our collective abodes are rife with hidden risks, like slippery bathtubs, defective wiring, or—if things get interesting—ice cream sprinkled with rat poison. But lesser-known dangers lurk in our lives, as well. Here’s a quick overview featuring my recent brushes with peril. Errant EmojisMaybe it’s … Continue reading Hidden Dangers

Thanks a Little

I’m going to be 10,000% honest—and please feel free to check that math: I’m a wee bit nervous about Thanksgiving. This is the first year in three decades that I’ll be spending it with different people in a different state doing different things. But with all of that differentness comes new experiences, a wealth of opportunities, and heaps of things for which to be grateful. … Continue reading Thanks a Little

Old Haunts

This time of year, there’s a lot of talk about hauntings. Frankly, I’m jealous. Having cut my reading teeth on The Shining, I’ve always been fascinated by a possible rending of the veil between the material and spirit worlds, whether that rift is fueled by a burial ground disturbance, traumatic worldly departure, or a particularly salty bartender. So far… no dice. And no hauntings.   … Continue reading Old Haunts


I’m not exactly a globetrotter, but I have been doing a decent amount of traveling these days for business and pleasure. My takeaway: there are almost as many #traveltips as bags that won’t fit in the overhead bin. So I thought I’d share my carefully curated list of tips and tricks for successful travails—er—travels. Clean before you leave: Yes, yes you’ll arrive home to a … Continue reading Trippin’

Time for a Chick Pic!

Chicks on the Case readers are some of the most creative folks on the planet so we’re asking you to play Chick Pic with us! Give us a couple of sentences … What’s the back story? Victim, criminal, detective, murderer, spy? The more ridiculous the better! Each comment can build on the previous until we have a fully fleshed out character, or even the beginnings … Continue reading Time for a Chick Pic!

Who knew?

There’s a slew of movies and TV shows in which dead people are dead wrong thinking that they’re alive. I recently discovered that just as the deceased don’t always know they’ve passed on, some of us don’t realize that the things we thought were typical…well… aren’t. Case in point: my garage door opener. Until just (mumbles date), I thought that I needed to preserve the … Continue reading Who knew?