Booking the Crook by Laurie Cass, mass market paperback/July 2, 2019.

In a perfect world, I’d start a book and continue writing on a near-daily basis until the end. Sadly, this has never happened to me. Not for any of the other books I’ve written, and certainly not for this book, which probably set my personal record for Most Extended Interruptions.

Some interruptions are pretty much assumed. At some point during the first draft, I’ll do rewrites on the book previously submitted, which will be followed by copyedits, which will be followed by a final proofreading of the typeset copy. There will also be interruptions due to things like the holidays, flu and flu-like illnesses, wedding, funerals, etc.

This book, however, had two additional interruptions. The first one went like this. It was the first Saturday in March 2018. I’d started writing the first draft of Booking the Crook a couple of weeks earlier. Deadline for delivering the manuscript to my editor was July 10. Plenty of time!

No, wait. My husband and I and another couple were headed to Ireland at the end of May. My sweetie and I had never gone anywhere that required passports, and we were geeked beyond belief. So wouldn’t it be cool to have the first draft done before leaving for Ireland? Why yes it would. Less than four months away, but if I kept at it, I could do it.

Back to that fateful Saturday morning. I’d kissed my husband good-bye, he’d gone off to ski, and I’d settled down with my computer with the goal of writing three thousand words. 869 words in (and I’m not making that number up; I track my word counts), the phone rang.

As per usual, my husband had been skiing a black diamond—for you non-skiers out there, read “freakishly steep hill”—only this time he’d fallen hard and slid into a signpost, shoulder blade first. This spun him around and sent him into the woods, where he lay until the intrepid Ski Patrol came to cart him down the hill.

The phone call was my husband asking for a ride to the hospital, where we learned he’d broken his shoulder blade. And that started my month long writing break. Happily, no surgery was required, but he couldn’t drive for a number of weeks, couldn’t put on his own shirt, couldn’t…well, let’s just say life wasn’t easy for him.

He healed well, and I was back at writing by the second week of April. But by now I’d long given up the idea of finishing the first draft pre-Ireland. So what did I do? What most writers would—I hauled my laptop to Ireland so I could keep working.

But then a truly weird thing happened. About three days into the trip, when I was writing, I could hear one of my characters talking with an Irish accent. This, from a book set in Michigan and populated entirely by Americans. And it was only one of the characters. None of the others sounded any different.

I have no idea what that means, or if it means anything. But it does make me wonder if it could happen again. And if it could happen in another country. England? Italy? Peru? Nepal? Perhaps I should try all of them!


It’s all paws on deck as a librarian and her rescue cat track down a killer in the newest book in the national bestselling Bookmobile Cat mystery series.

Minnie Hamilton and her rescue cat, Eddie, cruise around lovely Chilson, Michigan delivering happiness and good reads in their bookmobile. But the feisty librarian is worried that the bookmobile’s future could be uncertain when a new library board chair arrives and doesn’t seem too friendly to her pet project.

Still, she has to put her personal worries aside when she and Eddie are out on their regular route and one of their favorite customers doesn’t turn up to collect her books. Minnie, at Eddie’s prodding, checks on the woman and finds her lying dead in her snow-covered driveway. Now it’s up to Minnie and her friends–feline and otherwise–to find the perpetrator and give them their due.