The golden age is before us, not behind us.
William Shakespeare
'Tis the good reader that makes the good book.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
that’s not policing, Andy. That’s humanity. And we’ve got to bring humanity back into what we do or there’s no hope. This is not about politics or power or merely rounding up offenders. Policing always has been and always must be about all of us getting along and helping each other. We’re one body.
Hornet’s Nest by Patricia Cornwell


Last night, my unconscious brain struggled to tell me that I the item I had ordered online on Monday was the wrong size. I woke from this dream and realized my unconscious brain was right! Of course, I couldn’t get back to sleep worrying about having to exchange the item. So as I sat in bed unable to sleep, my brain wandered to my novel-in-progress, NEXT OF KIN.

A few things have bothered me about the novel and I couldn’t fall in love with it yet. About to end my second round of re-writes, I knew I had to do something before sending it off to the editor. As I thought about the characters, I wondered what kept them up at night. When I got into Detective Will Stellar’s head as he tossed and turned at night, the answers came to me. I knew what I needed to do to fix my story, to clean up chapters that didn’t hold enough strength, and to solidify the theme.  

I’m hoping to have my re-writes done by the end of July, and off to my editor it goes. I’ll keep you all updated on the progress.




As Homicide Detective Will Stellar comes to grips with his brother’s recent incarceration, he’s called out to the murder of a childhood friend. His investigation leads him to uncover secrets that could take down the Lake City Police Department and forces him to walk a tightrope of politics and family responsibility.

Troubled by the stall tactics that has allowed criminals to live in the quiet desert city, a vigilante, dubbed the Coyote decides to take matters into his own hands. He leaves the mutilated bodies of two residents known for their violent behaviors towards women as a present to the city. As the city cheers on their new hero, the Coyote focuses on Detective Stellar’s inability to arrest his latest murder suspect.

Pushed against two opposing forces, Detective Stellar finds an unlikely ally in motel owner and convicted murderer, Alex Delgado. Stellar is determined to stop the Coyote by dangling an irresistible target…but there is more at stake than just Stellar’s badge.

Could Mother Have Known About Toddler’s Death

Cooper Harris, the twenty-two month old toddler killed last month after being left to bake in a hot car was buried on Saturday. But questions remain as Cooper’s father, Justin Ross Harris has been charged in the boy’s death after investigators found someone in the home had searched the internet for information on dying in hot cars. His behavior during the day has also made the father’s claim that he was absent-minded, seem unrealistic.

The morning of the boy’s death, Justin Ross Harris bought his son breakfast and should have then dropped him off at daycare, but instead drove to work. Around noon, he returned to his car to put light bulbs he had purchased in his car. He also received an e-mail from the daycare. And police have found that while at work, Justin Harris often communicated with numerous women, including sexting on the day of the incident. But nothing reminded him that he had left his son in the back of his car until he drove off after work and discovered him dead in the back.

Toxicology reports have come back with no drugs or medication in the boy’s system and investigators are running experiments to determine how hot the car would have gotten that day (could have been as high as 140 degrees!)

It all adds up to some very serious questions about this boy’s death. Police are sure the father is guilty of murder and the grand jury agreed there is enough evidence to try the father. The next question is whether the mother, Leanna Harris is involved as well.

Reports have stated that Leanna acted strangely before and even on the day her son died.  When she arrived at the day care to pick her son up and learned that he wasn’t there, she allegedly stated, “Ross must have left him in the car.” Even though workers told her there could be other reasons her husband failed to drop the boy off, she repeated it. Also when police were investigating the internet searches on car deaths, Leanna claims they made the search together as they were curious on ‘how it occurs.”

More information will come out in the coming weeks as police continue to investigate and as we move closer to Justin Ross Harris’ trial. Leanna Harris has now obtained  a criminal attorney.

Image Credit: The Marietta Daily Journal

Born in La Mirada, California, Melissa M. Garcia has lived most of her life in the sometimes gritty, but always entertaining landscape that is Southern California. She graduated from California State University in Long Beach with a degree in English/Literature. Garcia is the author of the Luc Actar crime series (including Falling Angels and Chasing Demons) and the Death Valley Mystery series (Stranger: A Death Valley Mystery). She has also published an e-book collection, Faith Departed: Short Stories of Mystery, Crime, and Despair.

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