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Is It Written in the Stars?

Last night Jupiter and Saturn were closer together than they have been in the past four hundred years. I’d been looking forward to this event since I first heard about it a month ago. We drove to the VRE (Virginia Rail Express) parking lot and stood on the top deck to get our first glimpse. We weren’t the only ones there. You can see it with the naked eye, but binoculars helped. When we got home we realized that despite the trees we could see it here too. If you missed it yesterday, you can try again for the next couple of days.

My fascination with the stars started as a child. I remember laying out on our driveway on warm summer nights, staring up at the stars with my best friend. In my sixth grade science class we did a section on astronomy. One night we gathered on the playground of our elementary school and our science teacher pointed out constellations. Orion the Hunter has always been a favorite, but maybe it’s because he’s easy to spot.

I still love to go out and watch meteor showers. One of the best was when we were in Idaho visiting my husband’s family on their small farm. There is very little light pollution. We took blankets and pillows out onto the lawn and we saw so many falling stars.

If you do an internet search on star myths you’ll find almost every culture had their own myths. How many times have you wished upon a star? Star light, star bright, first star I’ve seen tonight. I wish I may, I wish I might, have this wish I wish tonight.

There’s something so comforting about myths and storytelling. Like many authors, I’ve been writing stories since I was a little girl. One was inspired by a chair in my sixth grade science class. The screws looked like eyes and a scratch like lips. The chair in the story came to life and I had to battle it.

I still love telling stories and am thrilled the ninth Sarah Winston Garage Sale mystery will come out right after Christmas on December 29th. As I was thinking about writing Absence of Alice, I wondered what would happen to Sarah if the people she usually depends on—the police, Seth, and Mike the “Big Cheese” Titone–weren’t available to her. I also wondered what would happen to her relationships with them in the aftermath. That is what the story is centered around.

I don’t really believe our destiny is in the stars, but I won’t stop looking up at them as people have done for thousands of years.

Readers:  Do you love star gazing?

Here’s the back cover copy: For bargain hunter extraordinaire Sarah Winston, starting life over in Ellington, Massachusetts, has been a true trash-to-treasure success story, except when there’s a run on dead bodies…

Sarah’s latest client, Alice Krandle, is sure she has a fortune in antiques on her hands. She’s already gotten a generous offer for the whole lot before her garage sale has even begun, but she thinks she can earn more with Sarah’s expert help. The problem is that while Sarah’s sorting through items from decades past, her landlady, Stella, faces a clear and present danger.

Stella’s kidnapper has contacted Sarah with a set of instructions, and “Don’t call the police” is at the top of the list. But they didn’t say anything about Sarah’s friend Harriet–who happens to be a former F.B.I. hostage negotiator…

Signed copies of my books are available from One More Page.

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