Kira collection updates, recommendations from lockdown, plus a crazy cat story

I’m not going to lie. 2021 started off rough for me. (Like it did for so many people.) Insomnia, mental health issues, jackhammers… It was not a good time.

But now it’s June somehow, and things have turned around. The jackhammers have left the building, and I’m finally sleeping again. (Yay!) More importantly, I’m finally getting some work done.

It’s a little early to talk about, but I do have a new mystery project in the works… And I’ve been hard at work designing and formatting the paperback versions of the latest Kira Brightwell collections that came out late 2020/early 2021. The sticking point has been the cover design, which I’ve had to completely re-think on the collection front, but it’s finally coming together:

First Blood Kira Brightwell cover Second Warning Kira Brightwell cover Third Round Kira Brightwell cover Fourth Strike Kira Brightwell cover Down in the Fifth Kira Brightwell cover Six Stitches Kira Brightwell cover

I’ve also been enjoying some mystery-based lockdown entertainment, which I can happily recommend.

…The first being the Miss Fortune Mystery Series [affiliate link] by Jana DeLeon, which features a badass CIA assassin who’s forced to go into hiding as a retired pageant queen out in the bayou, where she’s joined by an unlikely pair of sidekicks. (I saw a review somewhere dubbing the series as ‘Miss Congeniality meets The Golden Girls,’ which is pretty much spot on.) Not sure what’s available at your local library, but I found the first several titles on Overdrive, if you want to try checking them out there. (And of course you can find all of them on the major ebook retailers.) I feel like Fortune and Kira would really get along.

I’ve also been getting into the TV series The Brokenwood Mysteries. I saw a promo calling it something along the lines of ‘Midsomer Murders in New Zealand,’ and had to check it out. It’s a well-written cozy mystery series, and I’m really enjoying it so far. (It did take a bit to get used to the Kiwi accent at first.) I’ve been streaming this one through our local library on hoopla, but I think the first few seasons are available at no cost on the Roku channel as well. (I believe Acorn channel has rights to the entire series.)

Um, hello there. This isn’t awkward (or terrifying) at all…

And of course, there have been other little things to help brighten my days, such as my cat Xena facing down A FALCON. (She’s definitely a warrior princess.)

I walked into our living room a few weeks ago, and came to an immediate stop as I saw the falcon perched on our balcony. Its head swiveled toward me to give me the stink eye. Meanwhile, Xena was passed out on the couch only a few feet away, totally oblivious.

Once I got over my initial freak out (since the patio doors were firmly closed [thank God…]), I picked Xena up to show her our visitor. They locked eyes and started a stare-down.

After a few minutes of this, the falcon began to make this monkey-like shriek. Xena didn’t even flinch! There were a few more minutes of weird screeching, until the falcon flew away. It hasn’t been back since. I’m thinking either Xena won the stare-down, or the falcon was sent as some kind of inter-species ambassador to bring her a message. (OK, probably the first one.)

Hope things are going well, and moving back to normal on your end!

Posted by Jacquelyn

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