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Happy holidays!



A Holiday Message

We receive dozens of letters in December asking for charitable donations. A week ago, we did our annual showing of “Love Actually” with its theme, “Love is all around.”


Hundreds, maybe thousands of organizations are doing good in the world, each one having hundreds, thousands, millions of supporters. Love actually is all around.

A generous spirit is the key to happiness, and it’s Christmas. That’s why I’m telling you about our friend Lucy Steinitz  who returned from volunteering for several weeks at the USAP Community School in Zimbabwe. She is enthusiastic about the school and its students. We went to a fundraiser at her house on Saturday and met one of the school’s graduates, Matthew Maramasaka, who now studies at Wilmington College in Ohio.  The USAP Community School offers an amazing residential 11th and 12th grade experience to educate high-achieving, low-income Zimbabwean students – preparing them to excel at the world’s top universities and then return home to build their own society. Graduating students receive full scholarships to college.

Matthew is an articulate and motivated young man. His family has a small plot of land to grow produce. At 16, he built a brick house for them. All students at the school must take on a project in their home communities. His was to develop a community garden. When he watched how the community garden improved the lives of the people, providing them with food and money, he decided to major in agriculture in college.  

The school relies almost exclusively on outside donations.  They are planning to build a permanent campus (now underway)and need extra funds -- especially now.  

Donations are fully tax deductible and ALL the money via both sources goes directly to the USAP Community School.
Global Giving  ( identifies the USAP Community School as a top-ranked, effective organization that is a staff favorite for 2022.  
US residents can also donate via its American support organization, Education Matters Africa Foundation. ( ).  


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April 28-30, 2023: Malice Domestic Conference, Bethesda, MD.

Listen to my podcast interview by the Dark and Stormy Book Club -



Facing Rejection With a Smile.

See BLOG Page for complete column.


Q:  What’s random, disgusting, odd, or criminal and will put you on an FBI watch list?


A: A writer’s browser history. Mine will, anyway.


I love reading and writing mysteries. Here are two of my latest.

The Two-Sided Set-up


From Kirkus reviews -

“... fast-paced and multilayered thriller with well-developed characters and colorful settings.... An engaging tale for aficionados of psychological suspense.”

The House on

Hatemonger Hill


"“An engrossing tale of suspense, treachery, and bad choices made for good reasons…. Historical novel readers with special interest in a suspense story that embraces civil rights activism and gang activity will find The House on Hatemonger Hill hard to point down.”  – Midwest Book Review

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