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When I write a full-length novel, each character has a history and traits that may or may not appear on the page. In order to make a character come to life, I have to know about his life outside my book. Would you like to know more about the characters who live between the pages of my stories? Read on...

THE ART OF LOVE AND MURDER (book one in the series)

Heroine: Lacy Dahl
Age: 43
Description: Lacy's eyes are a remarkable light green shade. Her hair is ebony and falls below her shoulder blades. She's 5'7" and weighs 135 pounds. She is half Hopi Indian and half Austrian.

Characteristics and Personality Traits: She has a habit of lifting a tendril of hair and brushing it along her chin when she's deep in thought. Her preference is for "real" things such as ceramic over paper cup, real stones and metals in her jewelry, and leather over plastic. She is happy, self-assured, independent ,and responsible.

Background (not all of this is in the book): She was born in Flagstaff, Arizona. An airplane crash killed both her parents when she was a few months old. Her foster parents eventually adopted her and she was raised in Phoenix. Her childhood was normal. In high school, she excelled academically and was Homecoming Queen two years in a row. She earned her college degree from the University of California in San Francisco where she met her husband. She married and had two children. At the time of her husband's death, three years before the story opens, she was a pharmacist, and he was a surgeon. She left her profession after he died and bought a coffee cafe, naming it the Lacy Latte. Her love life has been non-existent, too busy taking care of her sick mother and the cafe.

Additional Information: She drives a crimson red BMW Z4, convertible. She runs every morning then changes into jeans and filmy blouses and expensive shoes before going to the cafe. She practices yoga twice a week and has recently talked her friend Phoebe into going to the classes with her. Her son is at a chef school in Paris, and her daughter owns an art gallery in Tucson, Arizona. Lacy worries about her because she's going through a divorce.

What Isn’t In The Book: She has a special closet just for shoes. She practices yoga twice a week and has recently talked her friend Phoebe into going to the classes with her.

Hero: Sheriff Chance Meadowlark
Age: 41
Description: Chance is 5’11” and weighs 205 pounds. He is ¼ Hopi and ¾ mixed Caucasian heritage. His hair is dark brown with very subtle streaks of gold, and long enough to do a ponytail with Indian type binding. His eyes are copper colored.

Characteristics and Personality Traits: He’s soft spoken with a serious demeanor. There's a scar on his chin. He sees himself as a protector, but always uses words first. Has the ability to calm people with his voice.

Background (not all of this is in the book): His family owns a ranch in Chino Valley, but he didn’t want to ranch, much to the chagrin of his father. His twin brother Mason runs the ranch with their father. When he attended Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, he decided to major in law enforcement and became a policeman. He married a woman from Flagstaff when he was only twenty-one and had one daughter. 
Additional Information: When he’s not in uniform, he favors Tee shirts and jeans with cowboy boots or sandals. He owns a black and silver Harley Davidson motorcycle. He has one daughter in college.

What Isn’t In The Book: He’s concerned about the next election and the man who will run against him. (Note: I figured he had enough problems without bringing this into the story.)

SOUTHWEST OF LOVE AND MURDER (book two in the series)
Heroine: Phoebe Anderson
Age: 39
Description: Phoebe has cobalt blue eyes, very long blonde hair that is laced with gray. She normally wears her hair in a braid. She’s not slim at 145 pounds and 5’5”. Her Norwegian heritage makes her very fair.

Characteristics and Personality: Her favorite exclamation is Judas Priest. She’s constantly on the move to the point of being fidgety. She’s extremely artistic, outgoing, and funny. A tattoo of a hummingbird adorns the area above her right breast.

Background (not all of this is in the book): Born in Rochester, MN, she decided to get out of the cold her second year at the University of Minnesota and transferred to Arizona State University. She married one of her professors, but divorced him after one year because he was a chronic cheater. She has no children. Her breakout novel was a book that killed off her husband. Her parents were hippies that met at Woodstock.

Additional Information: Phoebe favors long flowing skirts, gauzy tops, and lots of jewelry.

What Isn’t In The Book: The hummingbird was tattooed by a man she dated. The name of the pure essential oil she wears is Holland and Barrett Lavender. She practiced yoga with her best friend Lacy until Lacy moved away. It was the only exercise she did. She loves sweets and dates artsy types.

Hero: Mason Meadowlark
Age: 42
Description: His eyes are coppery brown, his hair short and blond. He’s 5’11”, weighs 205. He’s big, but not real defined muscles yet solid.

Characteristics and Personality: Mason has a good sense of humor and is usually smiling. He appears much easier going than his twin brother, Chance. He walks with a swagger. Ranching is everything to him.

Background: He attended college for three years in Prescott, AZ, but was more interested in getting back to hands-on ranching, especially since his brother Chance (from book one-see his profile) didn’t come back to ranching. He married his high school sweetheart.

Additional Information: He’s a modern cowboy who relies more on his truck and ATV than his horse. He has a playboy reputation to cover his hurt from his failed marriage. His mother died of cancer. He’d be happy if his father and Margie married.

What Isn’t In The Book: He always placed first or second in his competition at the local rodeos, but lost interest when his marriage collapsed. He then spent more time in bars and partying. He’s dated every crowned Rodeo Queen since. He’s an avid reader.

Heroine: Sandra Holiday
Age: 50
Description: Sandra is a green eyed, blonde. More than likely there's gray under that blonde, but we'll never know. Her hair still touches her shoulders in soft waves. At 5'3", she is petite and just slim enough. She prefers jeans, but wears form-fitting skirts to work.

Characteristics and Personality: Sandra hates to clean. She has a positive attitude in spite of feeling like she’s accomplished little in life. A die-hard romantic, she’s in love with love.

Background (not all of this is in the book): Sandra was born in Phoenix, Arizona. She excelled in English class, but didn't have much time for her other studies. Community College held her interest for as long as it took to get her Associates of Arts degree. She married young, and it didn't last two years. One night, in Las Vegas Nevada, she met Carson Holiday who was performing on the casino stage at Sam's Town Casino. He spotted her at the bar, playing video poker with a girlfriend on each side of her. She was twenty-seven. They were married three months later. The marriage lasted five years. Why not longer? See Carson's background below. For the last eighteen years, Sandra has had some colorful relationships from a radio DJ that was too young for her to the Iranian who disappeared and was found dead in the Salt River. Her love of travel keeps pointing her toward careers in the field, but it seems every time she gets close, some man distracts her from her goal. As Sandra says, "Always a sucker for romance, but romance never lasts, and I'm left without a career."

Additional Information: Sandra hates to clean. She still has clothes from high school. Beaujolais is her favorite wine and Starbuck's is her favorite coffee. She has a sister named Abby who is taller, married, and her best friend.

Hero: Carson Holiday
Age: 50
Description: Dark hair, blue eyes with a 5’7” muscular frame.

Background (not all of this is in the book): He was born and raised in Texas. Carson attended college in Las Vegas, majoring in accounting. He was always a singer/songwriter/musician, but made sure he got an education for a backup. He chose Las Vegas for school because of the possibility of performing live in casinos. His father died when he was four. His mother raised him and his two brothers.

Characteristics and Personality: He has a voracious sexual appetite, but would never cheat on a wife or a girlfriend. When he feels he’s growing tired of a woman, he divorces her and marries another…at least that’s the old Carson!

Additional Information: He wears western shirts and a black cowboy hat. His favorite boots are gray animal skin. He’s been married six times. 

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