What's Next

 Now available from Amazon here Available for Nook here Audio coming soon!    With today’s launch of UNSTOPPABLE: A BUCK LAWSON MYSTERY   (Book #2), I have just published my 22 nd mystery.   For those who are counting (and I’m not; I had to look it up) this is my 115 th   (or possibly 120 th ; sources vary) published novel. To coin a phrase: Boy, am I tired. I am now actively writing three mystery series: The Raine Stockton Dog Mystery Series, The Dogleg Island Mystery Series, and the Blood River Mystery Series.   I also have two women’s fiction series still in print and actively attracting readers: The Ladybug Farm series, and The Hummingbird House Series.   Whenever I announce the publication of a novel from one of the series, I get a slew of e-mails asking when the next book in another series is coming out. When’s the next Flash book?   Will there be any more Ladybug Farm books?   What happened to The Hummingbird House? Don’t get me wrong: I love it! How many authors wou

Can Artificial Intelligence Write a Better Novel Than I Can?

 Can AI write a better novel than a human?  There's only one way to find out: ask it!  So I did, and this is what my Chat GTP app replied: In recent years, artificial intelligence (AI) has made tremendous strides in the fields of robotics, healthcare, finance, and more. But could AI ever outdo humans when it comes to creative endeavors like writing a novel? It’s a question that has been debated for years, and one that has no clear answer. On the one hand, AI algorithms can be incredibly powerful and efficient when it comes to processing data and creating models. AI can easily crunch through large amounts of data to recognize patterns, generate predictions, and make decisions. This means that AI could potentially be used to generate stories, characters, and plotlines that are more complex and interesting than those created by humans. On the other hand, AI still lacks the creative spark that humans possess. AI algorithms can generate stories and dialogue, but they cannot create t

By Any Other Name

This post is part of a series on AI vs. Human content.  Can you tell which parts were written by me, and which were written by Chat CPT, an artificial intelligence writing app?  Let me know your thoughts in the comments.  Little known fact: SMOKY MOUNTAIN TRACKS , Book #1 of the Raine Stockton Dog Mystery Series, was originally titled THE JUDGE'S DAUGHTER. This was back in the days when publishers believed having a unique title was far more important than having a relevant one, and authors (at least at my level) had little or no sway over what the marketing department decided their books should be called. "Smoky Mountain Tracks" was the least onerous of all the titles they came up with (one of which was--I kid you not-- COLD NOSE, WARM HEART.)  I  have been waiting 15 books to use the title, "The Judge's Daughter."    If you’re a writer, you know how important it is to choose the right title for your novel. A good title can make all the difference in whether

Move Over, Hemmingway

By now you've probably heard about Chat GPT, the artificial intelligence app that is so smart it passed the entrance exam to at least one elite university and is being banned by schools because it makes cheating almost impossible to detect. It can write essays, news articles, commercials, speeches, advertising copy and, as it turns out, novels!  Or at least the synopsis for one.  I asked, Genie, a Chat GPT app, to brainstorm an idea for a mystery novel titled "Flash of Fire" which is set in Dogleg Island, Florida and features police chief Aggie Malone, her husband Ryan Grady, and their border collie Flash.  In about three seconds, the app created this:  The residents of Dog Leg Island, Florida live in a state of unease. For years, the island has been plagued by a series of unsolved murders, and the local law enforcement has been unable to find the culprit. Chief of Police Aggie Malone and her husband Deputy Sheriff Grady have been tasked with solving the mysterious murder

Raine Stockton's Wedding Cake

  In THE JUDGE'S DAUGHTER , Book # 15 of the Raine Stockton Dog Mystery series, Raine is pressured into finally make some wedding plans. She randomly decides on an "orange spice cake with walnut filling and lemon icing" which she claims she saw on the internet.  I'll bet she got it from my friend Eileen Goudge's website !   Here's the recipe for the cake that inspired Raine's choice, generously provided by Eileen. The recipe calls for a 7-minute caramel frosting, and it's delicious, but if you try a lemon buttercream (as in Raine's version) let me know how it turns out.   SPICE CAKE WITH DATE-NUT FILLING AND CARAMEL FROSTING This recipe was handed down to me by my mom. Its fragrance derives from its aromatic blend of cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and cardamom. Light in texture, rich in taste, it’s the perfect cake for any occasion. For teatime or Sunday brunch, you can serve it unfrosted, dusted with confectioner’s sugar. For a fancier dessert, make
  In case you missed it, here is a holiday greeting from Raine Stockton and Cisco:😊 Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Dog Daze Boarding and Training!   Thanks to everyone who made this year such an enormous success here at Dog Daze.  In particular, I’d like to thank my fiancé, Miles Young,  and my adorable stepdaughter-to-be, Melanie, both of whom helped me put together the graphics for this newsletter.    She can punch me later for calling her adorable. What a year, right? Dog Daze graduated 187 puppies  from our Puppy Kindergarten, 63 from our Canine Good Citizen course, and 13 newly-certified Therapy Dogs.  52 dogs went on to join one of our agility or competitive obedience courses, and 32 rotated through Tricks and Treats.  We have the best-trained dogs in Western North Carolina, right here in Hanover County!   Cisco (pictured here —isn’t he gorgeous??) and I were called in for several major wilderness searches this year.  Most of them turned out well; some did not.  Once ag

Moonshine, Murder and Mayhem

  My ancestors came to the hills of north Georgia in 1782 and built a log cabin on a flat piece of ground in a cedar grove which, by the time I was growing up, had long since been replaced by a chicken coop.   They were a rough lot, having migrated from Scotland to the mountains of Virginia/North Carolina almost a century earlier as outlaws fleeing some kind of political persecution—or at least that’s the story the family tells.   I’m not at all sure about the political part, but outlaws—yeah, I can see that. The bedtime stories of my childhood were not necessarily fairy tales. Southerners have a notoriously celebratory relationship with the macabre, and one of my earliest memories is the tale of a Creek ancestor of mine who had the temerity to marry into our family. Apparently, he was not widely embraced as an in-law.    He was found one morning floating face-down in a creek that bounded our property, “his long white hair streaming out behind him”.   The law ruled it suicide, but wa