My Cozy Mystery Plans for 2023 by @_NancyRadke

I started writing the first chapter of my cozy mystery story, number 3 in the series, about the sheriff and Jenna and her dog named Lucky. Here’s an excerpt from the first page, when Sheriff Craig is on patrol. Lucky has come along for the ride. It is snowing heavily and getting dark out.

Jenna’s dog, Lucky, had appropriated the passenger seat of his Range Rover, the vehicle he used most often for his patrol duties. The black Lab was staring through the windshield as if considering the fact that the white sedan in front of them had both brake lights out. A dangerous problem that increased with the snow and the darkness.

Any Lucky Dog Cozy Mystery Series

Cozy Mystery

This series is set in eastern Washington in the Palouse Hills, which are an extension of the low mountains called the Blue Mountains. The first two books had the dead bodies found in the mountains:  Any Lucky Dog Can Follow a Trail of Blood and Any Lucky Dog Can Find a Missing Child.

I used to write more than one book at a time. Although, I don’t know if I’ll get back to that or not as I had congestive heart failure in 2020 and it really slowed me down, both mentally and physically. I wrote three books last year, but it was a struggle, so I plan to only write two this year. If I can do more than that, I will. This will be the last of my Lucky Dog series.

There are a couple of other series that I’d like to add to. I’d like to do at least one more of the Golden Legacy series (since they almost write themselves) and a couple more of the Brothers’ series that I write with my son. The Brothers of Spirit includes Keeping Tatum Safe, which is on pre-order now (ending on Feb.10th). This is about Evan, another of Hugo’s brothers, who has joined the Secret Service.

Keeping Tatum Safe

Be Prepared

It pays to be prepared. Little things can make a big difference in how you handle an emergency.

I remember when Seattle had some pretty deep snowfalls. The weight of the snow and ice brought down tree limbs, resulting in power outages for two weeks or longer. The snow took our electricity, but because it wasn’t a city-wide outage, we got our power restored in six hours. As I lit my candles and made sure my natural gas stove was burning, I wondered how people with only electric appliances were doing.

Be Prepared

The first step to being prepared is to check the weather history of your area and see what weather emergencies are the most common. In Seattle, we don’t worry about hurricanes, but we do have high winds in the spring and fall that topples trees, sometimes an entire forest area at a time. In my area, the trees fall to the north, so I took down large Douglas Fir trees on my south side and planted some “people friendly” trees that won’t destroy my home or cars when they fall.

Prepare alternate sources of heat, light, water, and money.
  • Heat: have a pellet stove, wood burning, or natural gas stove that will keep your house warm. Avoid what happened a few years ago in Texas where the windmills froze, killing some people without electricity.
  • Light: flashlights are nice, but batteries don’t last forever, so keep some candles in a box, along with some matches or a lighter.
  • Water: in case of flooding, clean drinking water is a must.
  • Money: when the cash registers won’t take your credit cards for lack of electricity, cash is always accepted. Keep a reasonable amount on hand, to buy food or medicines.

Forest fires are on the rampage because the federal forests are not being managed like they used to. If the underbrush is not cut (making tinder) and mature trees not harvested like we used to do, then it sets up a situation where the forests burn so hot it is almost impossible to put them out. If you live in an area where this might happen, make sure you have fireproof shingles and siding and cut away trees from the house. Hot fires send sparks airborne, so that a strong wind carries the fire miles ahead of the actual burn. Also fix a “bug-out bag” so that you can leave instantly if you have to. Know your escape routes before you have to drive.

Think ahead.

Don’t be like the man who prepared for a hurricane by buying a large amount of steaks to put in his freezer so that he’d have enough to eat. After he got them home, he realized he wouldn’t have any electricity to keep the freezer going. So, he set up his barbecue and invited all his neighbors over for a steak dinner.

One of my books, Stolen Secrets, is set during an unexpected pre-Thanksgiving snowstorm that we had some years ago in Seattle. Another book, Turnagain Love, is set on a small island, where the heroine discovers she doesn’t have any water or electricity or a way to get off the island. Another survival book, The Toughest Man in the Territory, is set in Wyoming near Yellowstone Park.

Nancy Radke Christmas

A FREE gift for you!

Avalanche Puppy is FREE in the Kindle Store Dec 9, 10, and 11.

Avalanche Puppy



Being a survivor often depends upon your mental state. You can die if you decide that that’s what you’re going to do, but some people survive impossible odds.


When my husband was a Boy Scout back in the early 1950s, he and another Boy Scout accompanied their scout leader carrying trout fingerlings into the Cascade Mountains to “seed” the lakes. This involved backpacking gallons of water filled with the baby trout along miles of forest trails. If the lake wasn’t named, they got to name it as well as seed it.

He mentioned that on one trip they came across a man who had broken his leg into multiple fractures. The man was pulling himself along the trail and asked them how far it was to the trailhead where he had left his car. He was miles away but was cheerful and determined to make it. When they returned, he was much further along the trail and they helped him the rest of the way.

A Different Experience…

On the very same trip they were hiking in to another lake and came across a man who was lying beside the trail with a broken leg. It was not nearly as serious as the first man’s injuries, but this man had given up and was waiting to die. He was only a quarter of a mile from the trailhead, but refused to take a stout stick for a cane and try to make it on his own. They went on to the lake, then returned. The man was still in the same spot, so the scout leader told him he would send help—and left him there.

It was a lesson my husband never forgot. This was before his family moved to Alaska when he was twelve years old.

Many people who survived the Holocaust lived long afterwards, to see their children and grandchildren. Today, we have people in China who are being persecuted to the point of death in the labor camps there. The survivors tell stories of horror and torture, yet we have people in the U.S. living in freedom who think they can’t make it if things get tough.

Many of my books are about survival. In Courage Dares, the hero convinces the heroine that she is a survivor. The Toughest Man in the Territory and The Luckiest Man in the West, feature heroes and heroines work together to cross the wilderness. In Dangerous Heritage, the danger is from modern-day kidnappers.Courage Dares

Courage Dares is on sale this coming Friday.




How Authors Use Historical Events by @_NancyRadke

Many of my books have some historical events included, or referred to. This is because history repeats itself, if unlearned by following generations. My historical Trahern series is placed just after the end of the Civil War and mentions events during those times. The Sisters, Brothers, and modern Trahern stories often have some contemporary issues mentioned.

Historical Events

The Traherns Western Pioneer series (13 book series)

My early books were written in the 1980’s, just as computers were becoming available to the general public.  Appaloosa Blues was my first book and it was written longhand and on a typewriter, then switched to an early personal computer which was opened with DOS. My seventh book, Turnagain Love, was the first one published, in 1994.

Revisions and the author

When I got ready to put my books up on Amazon, I went through and did revisions, trying to bring them up to date, since by then it was 2000 and both computers and cellphones were in general use. One of my readers commented that a few of my books didn’t seem to emphasize modern communication (such as cell phones), and I agreed, since I still am not attached to my phone. It gets left in whatever room I left last, so when it rings, I have to run through the house doing a phone search to find it.

My books often allude to what is going on in the world at the time when the book takes place. Height of Danger was written right after the destruction of Venezuela. The events there turned the country from an oil-rich country to one filled with abject poverty, caused by the new government. When a government takes total control, the people flee if they can. Many still die trying to get to freedom.

Height of Danger

History will repeat itself. Each generation knows only 20 years of history. If earlier events have been destroyed or are not learned and remembered, world governments are destined to repeat their mistakes.