Everybody Slept Here?

Hometown Heroes and Visitors

Greetings from the desert on a beautiful winter morning. I have a bit of news, several giveaways for you, and as always, books from author friends. It’s “high season” around here when the valley celebrates a heritage of welcoming visitors. The 7 desert cities that stretch from Palm Springs in the west to Indio [where I am] in the east are brimming over with people.

Mostly happy people, many escaping from cold weather in the north. When I say cold, I mean as in minus zero! Lots of Canadians are among the “snowbirds” who “flock” here during the annual migration to Palm Springs. Tourists, too, make their way to the valley, often coming shorter distances to recover from the holidays by taking another holiday!

One of the telltale signs that the season is in “full swing” around here is errant golf balls. Not just on the golf course where cries of “fore” warn you that a wild one is coming! More than once, we’ve driven down one of the main roads around here and have had a golf ball bounce in front of us.

Why not? Counts vary, but there are more than one hundred golf courses in the area. On occasion, I’ve heard reports of golf cart accidents since they’re out and about on local thoroughfares, but thankfully I’ve never heard of accident or injury from dodging those misdirected golf balls.

It’s not just the weather and golf that draw visitors.The Coachella Valley lays claim to a legacy of the rich and famous, some of whom have become hometown heroes, like Bob Hope, Frank Sinatra, Gerald and Betty Ford. Their names are on lots of streets and buildings around the valley. I draw on this heritage in my Jessica Huntington Desert Cities Mystery series that’s set here.

It’s an odd heritage. In a place that claims to be both “the playground of presidents” and “Hollywood’s playground,” there are lots and lots of stories about politicians, movie stars, moguls, and musicians. You can take tours that drive by homes once owned by Elvis, Marilyn Monroe, Madonna, and members of the “Rat Pack.”

Hotels, spas, & resorts have rooms designated with the names of the famous–and infamous in the case of the Al Capone suite at Two Bunch Palms. Want to stay where legend has it that Irving Berlin wrote White Christmas? No problem. The La Quinta Resort & Spa [where Jessica meets the lovely psychopath, Margarit, in A DEAD HUSBAND] can accommodate you.

As the action has moved “down valley” which means east toward Indio, new stories are being added to the old ones. That includes foibles and follies as well as acts of largesse by contemporary celebs. I’m sure signs that “Beyonce slept here” will pop up soon enough. I’m not sure why it matters, and I often find it hard to believe that all the stories are true–everybody slept here? I don’t think so.

What I find compelling beyond all the hype and hero worship, is the spirit that pervades the Coachella Valley. There’s an appreciation for creativity that’s infectious and at its best even inspiring. I enjoy reflecting on all the performances that have been plotted and planned here over the course of decades.

Not just those that happened. I’m talking about all the yearnings that gave rise to books and scripts, songs, paintings, and buildings [there’s an architectural legacy here, too] even if they were never executed. Like the“Never Built” exhibit featured in A Dead Sister celebrating her dad’s designs that didn’t get off the ground. I “borrowed” that idea from a real exhibit by that name in LA. Whether they’re all realized or not, I hope we all keep dreaming, don’t you?




I’ve got 4 complimentary copies of the new AUDIOBOOK version of A DEAD HUSBAND to give away–AND 10 Kindle eBooks from the Jessica Huntington series [winners choose which book in the series]. Click Here or on the pic to enter! the link to enter! Rafflecopter will pick the 14 winners from this giveaway, so please make sure to enter using the Rafflecopter link.

PLUS EXTRA GIVEAWAY OPTION: Leave a comment on the FACEBOOK post about this giveaway for an extra chance to win one of 2 additional copies of the AUDIOBOOK OR a Paperback copy of any book in the series–winners choose. CLICK HERE and you’ll be magically transported to the post!

Don’t use FACEBOOK? No problem–enter to win this extra giveaway option by emailing me at burke.59@osu.edu.




This giveaway has not started yet, but I wanted to give you a heads up today. It starts on TUESDAY JANUARY 30th–before my newsletter goes out next week. I’ll remind you about it next week. Please don’t miss this chance to win 40+ cozy mystery eBooks! TO ENTER: CLICK HERE WHEN THE EVENT STARTS JAN 30th! ENDS FEB. 5th

IF YOU FOLLOW THE LINK BEFORE JAN 30 it will take you the giveaway that’s running now for adventure books–enjoy, but you must go back on the 30th to enter this giveaway!!

Death at the Midnight Dragonfly 

(A Lily Gayle Lambert Mystery Book 3)

Susan Boles


On the fourth day of Christmas,
In Mercy, Mississippi…

Four suspects lying,
Three sleuths a sleuthing
Two clues a hiding
And a very, very dead body.

It’s the Christmas season in Mercy, Mississippi. But things are far from jolly.

For Vlad Templeton, the sleepy little town where he spent his childhood provides the perfect place to conduct his state-funded sleep study. But when the local bank manager, who was participating in the study, is found dead on his doorstep, is it a setup…or is Vlad somehow involved?

But, when someone makes an attempt on Lily Gayle’s and Dixie’s life, the two realize they better move fast….or they might end up sleeping forever.

To get it on AMAZON: CLICK HERE 

To get it at other eBook Stores: CLICK HERE

The Sally Ride Chronicle

(The Syndicate-Born Trilogy Book 4)

KM Hodge


For Thriller Fans! 

The Syndicate doesn’t believe in divorce, but murder is another story.

Sally wants out—out of her marriage, out of the mob, out of Ocean City. An impossible dream. That is until the MDNA, a secret hacktivist group, invites her to join the ranks of their rebellion. The goal? Take down the criminal empire.

She’s no Jane Bond, but no one in her town suspects the quiet church-going mom is a threat, especially The Syndicate’s criminal defense attorney, Michael David, who’s got a thing for mysterious blondes. His love-’em-and-kill-’em exploits, and his penchant for causing witnesses to disappear make him enemy number one for the hacktivist group. Sally’s mission sounds simple enough—destroy the lawyer’s life and make him pay—but….

Once she starts, there’ll be no turning back.

Follow Sally as she attempts the unthinkable—take down the largest crime ring in US history—in this prequel to The Syndicate-Born Trilogy.

Fans of David Baldacci and the novel Girl on the Train will love this gritty, true-to-life spy thriller featuring a strong female character readers are calling their favorite. USA Today Bestselling Author K.M. Hodge’s The Sally Ride Chronicle is just the beginning; for more on her adventures, check out the complete The Syndicate-Born Trilogy.




Karen Owen has organized another wonderful author event. I know Valentine’s Day seems like a long way off but I wanted to make sure YOU ARE INVITED to a whole week of cozy mystery giveaways celebrating Valentine’s Day. I’ll be there starting at 9 a.m. PST [that’s noon for you early birds in the east!]

Join us! All the usual party plans–fun, games, author chat, book news, and giveaways. Please plan to drop by and check it out. I’d love to hear from you! I’ll remind you, of course, when the event gets closer!

To find the event and/or respond to the invitation: CLICK HERE

This is a perfect day to celebrate my Georgie Shaw Cozy Mystery Series. Georgie and Detective Jack Wheeler meet at a murder scene in Marvelous Marley World’s theme park on Valentine’s Day! Who knew a Murder at Catmmando Mountain could help these two find a second chance at love in midlife! This mystery is only  99c or Free to read with Kindle Unlimited. To find out more: CLICK HERE.

There’s more from Georgie & Jack coming soon! Murder of the Maestro Georgie Shaw Cozy Mystery #6 To buy it for 99c or find out more about the book: CLICK HERE

Enjoy the rest of JANUARY!

Next time you hear from me it’ll be FEBRUARY if you can believe that!

Best wishes to you for a wonderful week from here in the California desert!


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