The Latest from Phoebe

June News!

We live in a Los Angles suburb that’s often described as quiet and serene. However, there is always someone in our neighborhood who is remodeling which entails the use of jackhammers, cement mixers, and near endless nail pounding. Last year, the neighbor behind us put in a swimming pool. The construction went on for months with a variety of loud machines beginning work early each morning. We can peek over the backyard wall and see a splendid pool and deck, but was it really worth all the noise? I hope so.

Another nearby house is being completely remodeled which requires a large crew and half a dozen pickup trucks that take up so much of the street only one car can creep by at a time. I can easily avoid the street, but the noise carries down the block and around the corner.

Today, workers are removing concrete on the front circular drive at the private school across the street. My fillings have begun to ache. It’s also inspired me to consider how I use background sounds in my stories. The rush of an urban setting is exciting, but near deafening in person. In writing, the challenge is to isolate a sound or two, a distant siren, shouts between friends, a street musician’s tunes, and the hurried steps of people passing by. Lively city sounds give the reader a real sense of place. Rural locations can be almost too quiet, but squirrels still chatter as they chase each other through the treetops, birds sing, or an airplane flies by overhead. The hum of a car coming up the country road can take on an ominous ring. I love the beach, and often set stories near the ocean where the constant wash of incoming waves sets its own haunting rhythm. 

I recently volunteered to help with the Foley work, or sound effects, for a radio play performed at my church. Two of us had to provide the correct sound, a telephone ringing, an alarm clock going off, or a door slamming, and take care to produce it at precisely the instant the script required. It was fun, but gave us great respect for the Foley artists who work in films.

The workers have taken a break across the street. While it’s quiet, I’ll work on my latest Joe Ezell mystery, MURDER IN STILETTOS. Can you imagine the sound of someone fleeing a murder scene in stiletto heels wicked enough to kill? I sure hope so. MURDER ME TWICE, STAIRWAY TO MURDER, and coming soon, MURDER ON ICE, make up the series thus far. If you love mysteries, give these books a try.



May News!

CAPTIVE HEART was a New York Times bestseller when it was released and won a Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award. It was the favorite among my Retro Releases with Samhain Publishing. Now that Samhain has closed its doors, I plan to Indie publish the book to make it available as an ebook for new, as well as long time fans.

I’m revising the book to polish the writing, but changing only one element of the plot to make the story more appealing for today’s fans. It is a joy be revisit Mylan and Celiese and relive their passionate adventures. A Viking lord and a French noblewoman, they are a volatile match, but love is never swayed by such unimportant details, and they were born to be together.

The book should be available before the end of the summer.

HELEN, The Wine Dark Sea is one of the best books I will ever write, and it needs more reviews to secure the advertising required to gain wide notice. If you read the book and loved it, please review it on Amazon or Goodreads. If you haven’t read HELEN, please do!

If you have any questions about any of my books, please send them and I’ll do my best to answer promptly.

January News

Saturday, January 21, 2017 2:00p.m.

Performance of Dr. Gary Stickel’s Award Winning Odyssey Play.

Copies of HELEN The Wine Dark Sea will be available for sale and autographing.

Pasadena Central Library

285 E. Walnut Street

Pasadena, CA 91101

HELEN: The Wine Dark Sea is OUT!


Paris and Helen of Troy are remembered for the passion of their forbidden love. HELEN, The Wine Dark Sea brings the mythic lovers to life, crowned with the breathless splendor of the magnificent Bronze Age.

Helen is the remarkably beautiful daughter of the god Zeus and the Spartan Queen Leda. Never a well-behaved princess, she prefers a rambunctious life riding horses with her brothers. When she’s kidnapped by the King of Athens, she rebuffs him with a stunning strength of character. Freed by her brothers, she’s a woman now, but not the gentle lady her mother had hoped she’d be. She marries Menelaus, a man she’s known from childhood, but does not love.

When Paris is born a prince, his sister, Cassandra, foretells a dark future that will bring the destruction of Troy. Greatly alarmed, King Priam, hands the infant to a herdsman to kill. Charmed by the baby boy, Agelaus cannot bear to harm him and raises Paris as his own.

Once grown, Paris becomes the prince of Troy he was born to be. Aphrodite has promised him the most beautiful woman in the world, and he comes to Sparta to find her. The gods have entwined his destiny with Helen’s, and they soon become lovers. Paris refuses to see the danger Helen knows will come, but their love is far stronger than any threat of war.

See book page here and buy links!

News on next book HELEN!

In 2013, I met Gary Stickel, Ph.D., an archaeologist with a passion for all things Greek. He excavated at Achilleion, the legendary birthplace of Achilles, the great hero of the Trojan war. He also discovered the oldest site in the greater Los Angeles area, Farpoint, which dates from some 13,000 years ago. He’s worked at Michu Picchu in Peru, and served as a consultant for the Indian Jones films, prompting the London Times to call him the “Real-life Indiana Jones.” He’s now searching for the lost Palace of Odysseus, described in Homer’s epic-poem, The Odyssey.

Because I love writing historical novels, he suggested we collaborate on a book featuring Helen of Troy. Helen has only a brief mention in Homer’s The Iliad, and a chance to bring her to life as a real woman separate from the legend was an inspiring challenge. HELEN, the Wine Dark Sea, begins when Zeus seduces Leda, and Helen is born of their brief passionate union. She is a remarkably beautiful child, but headstrong and prefers horses to boys. Kidnapped by Theseus, the king of Athens, for her irresistible beauty, she proves to be a willful woman-child and regards him as beneath contempt. She is rescued by her brothers, but soon forced to wed a man she’s known from childhood, but doesn’t love. Menelaus has the wife he’s always desired, but being taken with Helen as a pretty child and loving her as a grown woman gives him a fierce challenge.

You may know Helen leaves her husband for Paris, a charming Trojan prince. Once you read his amazing story, he’ll be a sympathetic character rather than a scoundrel. The Greek gods Zeus, Hera, Athena, Aphrodite, Apollo, Ares, and Poseidon play with mortals lives for their own amusement, and take sides in the tragic Trojan War. The gods survive, of course, along with many of the intriguing characters from HELEN and they inspire a sequel I’ll finish this year. HELEN will be released early in 2016. I hope you love the book. Please send me your thoughts and write reviews if you have the time.

New Website Launches

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