Wednesday, July 6, 2022

We've Moved!

 Hello & Goodbye from the Stiletto Gang!

We've been on the blogger platform for MANY years, but as the platform slowly gets abandoned by the developers it's become more and more unfriendly to readers and writer's alike.  So...

We've moved!

You can now find us at:

We're taking our old posts with us and we've added functionality, like getting the posts delivered to your inbox, and easier access to our bios and our books.  We hope you'll join us on our writing journey there.

Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Evacuating from a Wildfire

By Kathryn Lane

I love the mountains in northern New Mexico. Nature in this area constantly surprises me with beautiful vistas, wildflowers, and above all, the wild animals. We have elk, deer, coyotes, wild turkeys, several varieties of birds, Cooper hawks, and bears. Occasional wild cats and mountain lions also roam the area. I’m mesmerized by the herds of elk and their calves. 

For some writers, the beach inspires them. For me, the mountains clear my brain and let my creativity flow. This year our normally peaceful mountain hideaway proved that nature can also be terrifying. A horrific wildfire started when controlled burns in the Gallinas Canyon in the Santa Fe National Forest near Las Vegas, NM, got out of hand and turned into the most destructive wildfire in the state’s recorded history.

In May, evacuations began very close to where we live. We could see the flames beyond the mountains in front of our cabin and the smoke was so thick, we decided to pack up and leave. What to take with us became an issue. Essential articles that we need for any trip is a given. Emergency items came next. After that, it’s a conflict between sentimental items, such as paintings, and what we could fit into our vehicle.

Two years ago, I’d given my husband, Bob, a bathrobe for the cabin. He lost it after forgetting it on a trip last year. He’d spent at least two months searching online for a replacement. For two months he grumbled about the bad selection, grim colors, wrong fabric, incorrect length, and lack of styling.  He finally ordered one and it arrived two days before we evacuated. A thick, heavy terrycloth robe, I put it in the car.

He immediately asked why we needed to take it.

“We’ll survive the evacuation,” I said, “but I can’t get through two more months of you hunting for another bathrobe.”

Thankfully, we are back in our beloved mountains and our cabin survived just fine.

I’d decided, before the wildfire started, to place my next Nikki Garcia mystery in New Mexico.

Now I’m wondering if I should include a wildfire in the mix to complicate the plot. One thing is for sure, Bob’s bathrobe will not be a part of the story! Or maybe a bear will eat the robe!


Postscript: The fire is no longer a threat, but for many families who lost their homes, their struggle is far from over.


Kathryn's Nikki Garcia Mystery Series - on Amazon

Amazon Paperback -

Amazon eBook -


Kathryn Lane started out as a painter in oils and quickly became a starving artist. To earn a living, she became a certified public accountant and embarked on a career in international finance with a major multinational corporation. After two decades, she left the corporate world to plunge into writing mystery and suspense thrillers. In her stories, Kathryn draws deeply from her Mexican background as well as her travels in over ninety countries.

Visit my website at

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Photo credits:

All photographs are used in an editorial and/or educational manner

Elk and their Calves by Kathryn Lane

Firefighter – Taos News

Brown Bear by Kathryn Lane

Covers for the Nikki Garcia Mystery Series – Heidi Dorey designs for Tortuga Publishing, LLC

Photo of Kathryn Lane by Bob Hurt

Monday, July 4, 2022

Off to camp...


Debra Sennefelder

I'm all packed for camp...but there's one thing missing from this photo and that's my laptop because the camp I'm participating in July is Camp Nanowrimo. ๐Ÿ˜† Seriously...I don't camp. Never had. Not even when I was a girl scout. 

So, what the heck am I doing?

Camp Nano (National Novel Writing Month) happens twice a year. It has a more chilled vibe than National Novel Writing Month, which is November (I never understood how that month was chosen). In November the goal is to write a 50,000 word manuscript. The Camp sessions, while they are still a month long, have more flexible goals. And this year my goal is to write two outlines and the first 50 pages of each new book. Yeah, a pretty lofty goal since my outlines tend to run 20-25 pages (single spaced). But I'm up for the challenge! If I keep repeating it, I'm sure I'll believe it. 

So far, I am doing pretty good with the goals I've set. I've been working since last Monday (I arrived at camp early...that's me!) and I've done pretty good with plotting this book. I'm on track to wrap up the outline by mid-week and then I can start writing the first 50 pages. I already wrote the opening paragraphs and I love this story!

Before I go (words need to be written), I wanted to share that Connie celebrated her third birthday on June 30th. I baked her a cake and then she went to her favorite shop to pick out a birthday toy. It was a fun day.

Have you participated in Camp Nano? Or, have you actually went camping? Please leave a comment down below. 

Have a wonderful July 4th.

Debra Sennefelder is the author of the Food Blogger Mystery series and the Resale Boutique Mystery series. She lives and writes in Connecticut. When she’s not writing, she enjoys baking, exercising and taking long walks with her Shih-Tzu, Connie. You can keep in touch with Debra through her website, on Facebook and Instagram.