Book Order, Word Counts, Trivia Night!


Best intentions and all that, you know. Yesterday I was busy doing all the things and dropped into bed last night feeling like I’d conquered my mountain for the day. This morning I woke up and said ‘Doh! You forgot to write your blog post.’ Sometimes I laugh at myself. I often laugh at myself – I’m kind of a nut and it’s more fun to laugh than be frustrated with my nuttiness.


I’ve answered several questions lately about book order. I love to connect with you and am glad to answer any and all of those questions, so don’t think I’m trying to pass you off by sending you to the book list on my website. But on that page, I’m able to give you information, along with links to the books.

One thing folks have told me is that they are reading the full-length novels and plan to go back and pick up the short stories later. I guess I do things differently than other authors. The Bellingwood short stories are meant to be read as part of the canon – not over and above. Confusion occurs because Amazon won’t let me list a book in the series order as #12.5 or #16.5. When you wind up on my Amazon author page or use their automatic purchase option for the next book in the series – well, you don’t get those intermediate stories.

The best place to find the official list of books in order is on my website (click here). You can also get there from the Facebook Bellingwood page by clicking the ‘Shop Now’ button.


Illustration by Bec Schreiber

When I first began writing, I researched word counts for various types of stories.Here’s what you’ll find coming from me in the Bellingwood series.

Novel – I write 85,000 – 100,000 words for the full-size novels. Usually they hit right at 90,000 words. That’s my goal. I’m very goal-oriented. Four Bellingwood novels come out of my fingers each year. They are published on March 25, June 25, September 25, December 25.

Novella – I’ve written one of these – the Prequel to the Bellingwood story. It comes in around 40,000 words.

Short story – Between 17,000 – 25,000 words. They (so far) do not include a murder or large mystery, and are generally either a Christmas story or something special (Polly and Henry’s honeymoon or Alistair Greyson’s back story). But they are part of the canon and should be read in order. I often introduce characters or story lines in my Christmas stories that will be picked up throughout the next year.

Vignettes – 1,700 – 2,000 words. Found in the monthly newsletters and as blog posts when the urge hits me. Four or five are written and associated with the book in process, then gathered into a collection and published on Amazon. If you’ve signed up for the newsletter, you can read them in past issues and the rest can be found by searching for ‘vignette’ on

The vignettes won’t reveal spoilers so can be read at any time, but sometimes they might refer to an event in the accompanying book. I do that on purpose – just for the fun of it. It’s just an opportunity for me to give you a teaser hint about the upcoming book. The vignettes are intended as a fun break for me and a bit of additional insight into characters other than Polly. They are written to help make Bellingwood and its residents more accessible to you.


Bellingwood Trivia Night
Friday, March 16 – 6-11 pm Central Time

If you’re new to Bellingwood – you don’t want to miss this crazy weird evening. It is one of my favorite times of the year.

On Friday, March 16th, things get crazy-fun on the Bellingwood Facebook page. Make sure you’ve liked the page and be sure to check in that evening.

Starting at 6 pm Central Time (I’m in Iowa), I post a trivia question from the book, along with a prize to be given away.

You’ll respond with an answer – hopefully the correct answer.

The thing is – you can cheat. Penance for cheating should be paid in the form of chocolate. You cheat? You eat chocolate (or something that is fun for you if chocolate is not). Steal the answer, look it up, whatever. The point isn’t about being first or absolutely right. I’m selfishly taking this opportunity to get to know you all better. The more people who show up, the crazier it gets – especially if I have any wine in my body.

Every half hour, I’ll post a question. Plan to answer all of them and blather at me throughout the evening.

Then I crash. You wore me out.

Late afternoon on Saturday, I will use my handy-dandy-randomizer tool and choose winners. If you’re one of them, respond through a private message with your address or email address (depending on the prize) and we’ll go from there!

Prizes include mugs, charms, signed paperbacks, ebooks, Amazon gift cards, and my infamous beanbag frogs.

Mark your calendars and plan to join us. It’s a fun evening, for sure!

6 thoughts on “Book Order, Word Counts, Trivia Night!

  1. Lori Walker

    I just finished a complete re-read of the books, so I have them all fresh on my kindle…yay for cheating!

  2. Suzanne Kelsey

    Haven’t quite finished re-reading 1-19, But I will try to answer a few if I can look them up! Love your books. Wish I had you talent and fortitude.
    Suzanne Kelsey

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