The great fun of writing a second book about a woman I know well (actually, I created Connie Holt), is giving her new challenges. Never a dull life for her. The new things are rife: new danger; a couple of new puzzles to solve, one about villains, one about a man she knew previously; a new task involving art, and a new change in her personal life. And all in a new novel, as of now called Painted Stallion. It has been accepted by Bedside Books for publication. (I’m just starting the editing phase and have no date yet when the novel will be out.)
This time, Connie’s main preoccupation is about the drugging of steeplechase horses–an ongoing problem in all of horse racing. Connie has her hands full when she and her boss, Cary McCutcheon, stumble on a plot to drug Cary’s magnificent Thoroughbred entry in the International Gold Cup. The horse’s name is Darkling Lord. Trouble is, the two have little information to help them catch the perpetrators. The investigation is grueling and frustrating. But there is more. On the private side, Connie’s friend Earlene Collins, breeder of Arabians, has found what looks like an original Henry Stull equine painting in the attic of her early 1800’s house. Busy with her new mares, Earlene asks Connie to find an art expert to validate the painting. Connie’s trip to Colorado to meet the expert has results no one could have been predicted; as a result, her personal life, in tatters at the beginning of the book, changes radically.