Mexican Dahlia from Annie's Annuals
I'm always trying to figure out the best way to convey my books' messages to readers via covers. I have a hard time accepting that the covers I love most (quirky, arty, atypical) don't translate quickly to readers scanning dozens of images looking for their next great read.

So The Dog Thief has a new cover as you can see on my home page. I like it because it reminds me of the time that my beloved Betty decided to dig up all my vintage Mexican dahlias and eat the tubers. I miss her dearly and will think of her when I go to my favorite nursery, Annie's Annuals, and buy new ones.

My current canine resident, Lola, harbors no ill will to plant matter, so I am returning to gardening, which was such a passion that I considered putting more outdoor lights so I could garden into the night. I went through various manias, most notably the antique rose phase. To save special plants, I gave many roses away to friends in the country and to a community garden. I believe they're happier.

Spring, however, makes me yearn for a garden filled with roses. This is the delight: to walk out in the morning and smell those wonderful fragrances. The rose below, Climbing Sombreuil dates from 1880. I purchased mine from the Antique Rose Emporium in Brenham, Texas. Some people dream of going to Paris. Well, I've been to Paris -- it was swell -- and I dream of visiting the Antique Rose Emporium.

Climbing Sombruiel in my garden.