Monday, June 20, 2011


Being a Brownie and Girl Scout changed my life.

Not only did I learn a number of skills and earn a vestful of colorful badges, I also wrote a play for a Girl Scout production, never knowing it would lead to a career as a writer. I grew up, went to college and studied child development, married my sweetheart and had two kids, and became a Troop Leader for my own children. When the kids went off to school each day, I went to the computer and began to write stories.

Today I’ve had over 50 books published, for children and adults, but I’m most proud of my Troop 13 mysteries. After growing up reading Nancy Drew, I returned to my days as a scout, and created four strong female characters who solve mysteries using their scouting skills.

When my first book, MYSTERY OF THE HAUNTED CAVES, won both and Agatha and an Anthony award-winning for Best Juvenile Mystery, it was a dream come true! I recently complete the second book in the series, MYSTERY OF THE MISSING MUSTANGS, and am currently working on MYSTERY OF THE DISAPPEARING DOLPHINS. What fun it’s been to gather with my fictional friends and have adventures while solving mysteries!

I hope you enjoy reading the Troop 13 series as much as I enjoyed writing them. I’ve made them available online (Amazon and Smashwords) at a special discount price so scouts all over the world can enjoy them. I hope you’re visit my website and email me at I’d love to hear about your adventures and mysteries….maybe for my next Troop 13 book!


Sunday, June 19, 2011

What Dad Might Say on Fathers Day

My dad died a few years ago, but I still have the feeling he’s only gone to the store to get some milk. That’s the kind of dad he was – always doing something for us, whether it was buying milk because we drank it all, teaching us to drive the moment we turned sixteen, lending us money when we bought our first house, or rocking the grandbaby who refused to go the f*** to sleep.

But he left us with plenty of memories and a bunch of catch-phrases we still use to this day. My dad was raised in the south, which means they speak catch-phrases as part of their English curriculum. Here are a few of my dad’s favorites that are now mine:

“Come in out of that rain or you’ll catch the epizootic!” (What’s epizootic? No idea.)
“Watch out or you’ll be up a crick without a paddle!” (What’s a crick?)
“Wish in one hand, poop in the other, and see which one fills up faster….”
I particularly love that last one. And by the way, he didn’t say “poop.”

Dads are always tossing out catch-phrases. It must be in their male DNA. I hear my husband using them from time to time. On day, when some kids at the park were throwing sand at my young son one day, my husband went over to the boys, got down at eye level, and calmly talked to them. They immediately quit throwing sand and ran off. When I asked what he’d said to them, he replied, "I just told him if they threw sand at my kid again, I'd beat the crap out them." He has a way with words. Now we use that catch-phrase all the time.

I thought it would be fun to check out some famous father quotes for Dad’s Day, in case Pop needs some new material this year. Remember these?

“Can I see the wine list please? And I’ll have a beer while we’re waiting.” – Dan Connor from “Roseanne.”

“Well, Wally, as unbelievable as it may seem, they did have cars in my younger days.” – Ward Cleaver from “Leave it to Beaver.”

“Today we need organization and planned activities.” – Charlie Hinton. “No, we need Ritalin and leashes, that’s what we need.” – Best Friend Phil from “Daddy Day Care.”

“Well, great! Let’s see how I can screw the fourth child up! Hey, let’s have five. Or six. Let’s have a dozen and pretend they’re donuts!” – Gil Buckman from “Parenthood.”

“Hey, hey, easy kids. Everybody in the car. Or perhaps you don’t want to see the second largest ball of twine on the face of the earth, which is only four short hours away?” – Clark Griswold from “National Lampoon’s Vacation.”

“There, there, it’s okay. Daddy’s got you. I promise I will never let anything happen to you.”- Marlin from “Finding Nemo.”

“It was times like these when I thought my father, who hated guns and had never been to any wars, was the bravest man who ever lived. – Scout Finch from “To Kill A Mockingbird.”

“I’ll remember this moment for the rest of my life.” - George Banks from “Father of the Bride.”

“Well, I suppose Father knows best.” – Jim Anderson from “Father Knows Best.”

Happy Father’s Day!