1 March

Grousable Books Newletter banner

Seeing Stars

In this issue: Poor Tommy Jones, production design awards, early spring in the garden, seeing stars.

Poor Tommy Jones

It’s not enough that he’s a nice kid on mean streets, but he’s being ignored by his author (that’s me). And here he is supposed to be the star!

Tommy was a curious kid in Murder at Old St. Thomas’s, a source in Murder at an Exhibition, and the main detective in Murder on the Pneumatic Railway. But Murder at the Gasworks will be a prequel, showing how he became the ward of Inspector Slaughter and his wife, Ellie. There’s a murder (possibly two) and two Sergeants and a feud between the City of London Police and the Met. 

Drawing the Retorts at the Great Gas Establishment, Brick Lane (1821)

W. Reed, Drawing the Retorts at the Great Gas Establishment, Brick Lane (1821)

These characters have been set aside for months as I prepare for the release of Bummer at Luna Beach, a contemporary SoCal cozy that has nothing to do with Tommy or Victorian England. The prequel was half-drafted when I got into this cozy craziness. 

Then there’s always the question: are the Tommy Jones Mysteries cozies? or are they more Traditional mysteries? I don’t think Tommy will care. He sits on the hard stone floor at the gasworks waiting for his story to be told. 

Production design awards

As you know, I love movies, and in particular I’m a fan of good production design. That’s where the look and mood of the movie comes through, in the set decoration (what objects are in the shot and how they’re arranged), scenic design, costuming — pretty much anything visual that isn’t cinematography. I’m afraid I don’t care as much about the movie stars.

Set of Maestro

Set of Maestro

I follow the Set Decorators Society of America, which gives awards. See the full list of nominees and winners for 2023.

Early spring in the garden

You have no doubt heard about the storms that have flooded parts of SoCal over the last couple of months. It wasn’t that much water, just a lot for here, and in some ways we just aren’t prepared for it. I don’t even have a rain barrel to collect it. I used a trash can. And a trug. And a bucket. 

Animals arrived waterlogged at the food bowl I set up under an umbrella near the back door. They came spiky, especially the punk possums, and were grateful for dry food. This is my star possum at the moment, Shy Petunia (it turns out there were two Petunias, one bold and one shy).


Possum in the rain

As the days lengthen, those previously waterlogged bulbs and trees have also recovered. Once again, I’m working on creating some English Country Garden in my chapparal scrub suburb. Wish me luck!

Seeing stars

Quite a few people have read my novels, and hundreds have downloaded my short stories, “The Dancing Colonel”and “Murder Steampunk Style”. That’s great!

5 stars

Indie authors love reviews, but I’m also delighted with stars. Please consider giving my work some love on GoodReads, Amazon, or wherever you shop? It helps other readers, and me too!

Love e-books?

All my e-books are half off at Smashwords March 3-9. Enjoy!

And more!

  • Want to read previous newsletters? They’re located here at my website, where you can also find information and buy links to all my books. You can post comments there too.
  • Want to read blog posts on history and writing, or even teaching onlien? See my Lisahistory blog.

Until next time, keep grousing!

Subscribe here to receive newsletters by email