Wayward, the second in the trilogy of mystery thrillers written about the spooky, unsettling little Stepford Wives town of Wayward Pines, is a spoiler in and of itself if you haven’t read the first book.

That said, you can enjoy this one just fine without Pines, but I wonder if you’d want to read Pines afterwards. I re-read books all the time, so, maybe. Here’s the best solution, though: buy both and set aside Wayward until you’ve digested Pines.

A whole lot of Twilight Zone added to a dash of M. Night Shyamalan with an old-fashioned mystery at its core, Wayward continues the adventures of the residents of Pines right up to an unexpected nasty cliffhanger leading into the final book.

I know what I want to happen, but it’s not necessarily where author Blake Crouch is going to take me. In fact, knowing Blake Crouch novels, I bet the third and final Wayward Pines book sets the whole thing on its head. That wouldn’t surprise me a bit.

Highly recommended.

You can buy Pines at http://amzn.com/B007FG9LIE 

You can buy Wayward at http://amzn.com/B00C1IPQZ8.


WHAT I READ THIS WEEK–Wayward by Blake Crouch.  Forged In Blood (2) by Lindsay Buroker.

My books are available at





COMING SOON--THE COWBOY’S BABY GOES TO HEAVEN. And then a little bit later (like three to four months), TEA WITH A DEAD GAL.

Both these projects are either close to completely finished or well on their way (as in one-third written). Plans for afterwards include one to two collections of short stories (one will feature the main characters from The Cowboy’s Baby romantic comedy series and the Boo Radley mystery series interacting; and the other will be random and quirky short stories not tied into any novels).

I plan a romance novella (or novelette) or maybe even two in 2014, and then will probably start the third installment of my mystery series.

I had big plans for 2013, too, but it didn’t work out. Probably the best of 2013 (besides publishing THE COWBOY’S BABY GOES TO HEAVEN)  will be returning to regular meetings of the Austin Romance Writers of America and my inclusion in the new Lockhart Writers Group hosted by fellow writer Janet Christian of  THE CASE OF A COLD TRAIL AND A HOT MUSKET.

The other writers in this group are Tammy Francis (THE GIRL IN THE JITTERBUG DRESS), Philip McBride (WHITTLED AWAY), and Wayne Walther (VOLUNTEERS IN THE AFRICAN BUSH by David Read Barker).

TAMMY has got a kick-ass website. Give it a look.


And keep your eyes peeled for the launch of THE COWBOY’S BABY GOES TO HEAVEN sometime in November. Until then, here’s the link to the first book in the series, THE COWBOY’S BABY 


If you like Weird Westerns—ARROYO continued

If you like weird westerns, here’s an excerpt from ARROYO continued…  Copyright by Gretchen Rix.


It took time, but Ramona gathered her courage and faced the woman. “If I can grant your favor, lady,” she said, “then I will.” Ramona trembled as she talked. “Sinjin thinks the world of you, so of course I will help as I can.

“What do you want?”

The knife flashed in Rose-Sandra’s delicate hands and she laughed as both Daniel and Ramona drew back from her in consternation. “I only want your hair, girl,” she said. “It will grow back,” she promised her, getting closer and closer. “Give me your hair and I’ll satisfy your friend.” She drew out the name so slowly it was almost unrecognizable. “Sinjin. McIntosh. Narendra.

“Right? The one who’s crossed this barbaric continent after me? Well, give me your hair and I’ll give him what he needs.”

When Rose-Sandra finished her promises she was holding the blade to Ramona’s throat. Daniel stepped between the two women and bodily threw Ramona sideways into the wall. Then with a brief glance to see that she was uninjured, he then pulled Rose-Sandra from where she’d fallen and held her in the air with her feet dangling. “What he needs or what he wants?” he asked, shaking her a little, making her look like a rag doll as Ramona watched in awe.

When he dropped her they heard her teeth snap together.

Rose-Sandra’s malevolent face stared at them from her black raiment as she talked back to them. “No woman on earth could give that man what he wants,” she said, grinning at Ramona as she said it. “I said I’d give him what he needs. And I will.

“For your hair, my dear,” she cooed, reaching for the young dark woman in the corner.

“But why?”


END OF EXCERPT. You can find ARROYO at


Photos by Roxanne Rix

WHAT I READ THIS WEEK:  The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman.  Forged In Blood (I) by Lindsay Buroker.