My Name is Lottie Stark

My name is Lottie Stark – Carlotta May Stark to be exact. The Carlotta was after my granny, my mama’s mama and the May was after my daddy’s mama. Kids made a lot of jokes about my name and I got in a lot of tussles because of it. But eventually we all settled on Lottie and that’s who I am.

My daddy, Ben Stark, is a lawman. Well, a former lawman. Thirty-five years in the Texas Rangers and he is one fearsome son-of-a-bitch when it comes to taking down bad guys. I wanted to be him when I was a kid and when I grew up, I did my best to emulate him—I think I’ve done him proud.

My mama, Mary Stark, was a redheaded spitfire with lots of spunk. But she also had the biggest heart of anybody I ever knew. She could make you feel better no matter how down you were and she made the best biscuits in the State of Texas. She was killed when I was twelve and has left its mark on my soul. Ben did the best he could at raising me and my brother Adam, but it was never the same without her.

After Mama died, we moved to Dallas where nothing reminded us of her. Daddy was still a Ranger and I became his junior ranger. We clung to each other in our grief and loss. And I became a pint-sized version of him. Leaving my brother, Adam, kind of out in the cold. It wasn’t intentional but Adam wanted nothing to do with law enforcement and even refused to go to Daddy’s retirement party.

Though now, Ben lives with Adam in Florida with his wife and kids. They get on better. But they never talk about Mama or law enforcement and probably not about me too much either.

After what happened to mama, I took to calling Daddy, Ben. Don’t know why or why he was okay with it but it somehow made things easier. Made me feel stronger and more able to cope with being a motherless child. Ben and I were partners. Equals. He taught me to shoot, hunt, and to read people. All the tools I’d need when I became a cop and eventually an FBI agent.

Adam became a straight A student and won a scholarship to Columbia and ironically, became a lawyer. But one of those corporate kind that doesn’t deal with criminals. I followed Ben into law enforcement, first the Dallas PD and then the FBI and now Chief of Police in a bodunk town in Central California, called Regal Reef.

Being a woman in law enforcement ain’t all that easy – even in this day and age. The men you work with either think you’re a ball buster or a door mat. And the perps figure you for an easy mark. Suffice to say you put up with a lot just to wear a uniform so you can catch some bad guys. Still, it’s worth it and I’m proud, for the most part, of what I’ve done and accomplished.

But as the past is wont to do, it decided to rear up its ugly head and knock me for a loop. Everything I thought I knew about my past is about to shift under my feet. And to be honest with you, I really didn’t see any of it coming…


  Get your copy now of this gripping crime thriller now at Amazon

Dead Dog Trilogy Boxed Set

Let Dead Dogs Lie, Book 1

Every Dog Has His Day, Book 2

Dog in the Hunt, Book 3






DOG IN THE HUNT,  book 3


Author Spotlight on Fantasy Author Kate Murdoch

Is the ability to read minds a blessing or a curse? 

When Antonius’s father dies, he must work to support his family. He finds employment as a servant in the Palazzo Ducal, home of Conte Valperga. Sixteenth-century Pesaro is a society governed by status, and Antonius has limited opportunities.When a competition is announced, Antonius seizes his chance. The winner will be apprenticed to the town seer. Antonius shares first place with his employer’s son.The two men compete for their mentor’s approval. As their knowledge of magic and alchemy grows, so does the rivalry and animosity between them. When the love of a beautiful woman is at stake, Antonius must find a way to follow his heart and navigate his future. The Stone Circle is available at Amazon


10 Things You Didn’t Know About Becoming a Published Author

  1. Your life changes in a multitude of ways. First of all, you have a ‘voice’, on social media, in interviews and posts. This is important, because whatever you say remains in the ether forever and tells the world about the kind of person you are.
  2. Unlimited hours just to write seem like a distant dream. From the aforementioned social media and other promotion, to trying to line up author events, your time is corralled, parcelled and divided.
  3. You make lots of new friends, both online and in real life. All of a sudden your world becomes full of unlimited possibility. It’s exciting and rewarding. To connect with other authors at a similar stage and further ahead is both enjoyable and necessary.
  4. You’re forced to abandon parts of your life that are superfluous or draining—there’s just not time and you’re stretched mentally and emotionally.
  5. Life feels full to the brim, which takes some adjustment, but is ultimately positive.
  6. You feel strangely exposed after having put so much on the line, professionally and personally. I recently had a dream that I did an acrobatic show on a suspended swing, naked in a body stocking. I think this says it all.
  7. You’re excited about the next phase—next book, current project, whatever life is going to throw at you. You feel at once vulnerable and strong.
  8. Post launch, your family may resent all the attention the book has taken from them and may not want to hear anything about your writing for a while.
  9. At some stage, someone will approach you in person and tell you how much they loved your book. Their face will glow with enthusiasm. In this moment, all the years of struggle and hard work will feel worth it. You’ll feel (almost) ready to go through it again with the next book.
  10. You’ll realise that achieving a long-held dream, whilst satisfying, isn’t something that makes your life perfect. The heavens don’t open, ethereal harp music doesn’t start playing, and you still have to make the school lunches and put on endless loads of washing. You need to attend to things that were neglected whilst you were trying to birth a novel and come back to reality. At the same time, there’s much to be relished in the new identity.

Kate Murdoch is the author of Stone Circle. She exhibited widely as a painter both in Australia and internationally before turning her hand to writing. In between writing historical fiction, she enjoys writing short stories and flash fiction.

Her short-form fiction has been published in various literary journals in Australia, UK, US and Canada.

Stone Circle is a historical fantasy novel set in Renaissance Italy. It was released by Fireship Press December 1st 2017.

Her novel, The Orange Grove, about the passions and intrigues of court mistresses in 18th century France, will be published by Regal House Publishing in 2019.

To learn more about Kate you can visit her website and follow her on Facebook and Twitter.



Live From Kindle…

cover coffee and crime thumbnail  mre thumbnail 3  cover death of the family recipe thumbnail

For those three or four readers who’ve been anxiously awaiting my mystery series, I’m happy to tell you the books are officially published and up on Amazon. (click on pictures to view Amazon page.) I hope some of you will give them a try and that they provide a happy reading experience for you. If you have a Kindle Unlimited subscription, you can read the book for free. If you’re curious but not sure, you can download a free excerpt (the first 7 chapters) to you Kindle device or Kindle app.

Next up

I’m revising and editing my first novel, False Witness and will be publishing it under my own moniker. I believe it will be a much better read and I’ve got a better cover too.

After that, I’m digging into a new series – which I hope to have ready for release within the next year.

Thanks so much for reading and commenting on this blog. It means the world to me that people want to read the words I write.

God Bless,