Monday, June 20, 2022


 I am tickled to announce that I have a new mystery series with Berkley Books coming out called the Monster Hunter Mysteries featuring a bookstore owner and cryptozoologist named Morgan Carter and her rescue dog, Newt. Their first adventure takes place in the treacherous waters known as Death's Door off the northern coast of the beautiful Door County peninsula, where bodies have been showing up with mysterious giant bite marks, as if a homicidal Loch Ness-type monster is on the loose. 

This is proving to be a fun series to write and research, and this first story melds cryptids, sunken ships, and lost treasure into an exciting, death-defying adventure! Come along for the ride. If you have half as much fun reading A Death in Door County as I had writing it, you're in for a real treat. The book comes out on 9/13/22. Click on the cover image above to preorder.

Above is a picture of me and Winston conducting research in Death's Door. 

Tuesday, December 28, 2021


I can't believe it's been three years since my last post here. Clearly, I'm terrible at
blogging. A lot has happened in those three years, including some family issues that ate up a lot of my time and the obligation to write two books a year. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

I'm no longer under those two-book-a-year contracts, which is both good news and bad news. It means the Mattie Winston series has come to an end for now with book number twelve, Dead Even, which came out earlier this year. There have been two other books in the series that have come out since my last post: Dead of Winter and Dead Ringer. I have to confess, the pressure of not having to balance the need to produce two books a year with the rest of my life feels kind of nice.

And there is some exciting news to share. I'm still under contract, just with a new publisher and for a new series (though still writing as Annelise Ryan), the first of which, A Death In Door County: A Monster Hunter Mystery, will be released this coming September. I'm super excited about this series, which will feature cryptozoologist, Morgan Carter, who in addition to hunting cryptids owns an oddities and mystery book store. I don't have cover art for the first book yet, but hope to have it soon. For now there is a placeholder cover being used so you can bookmark the link and/or preorder the book. And since I'm so good at this blogging stuff, if you want to keep up to date on the latest news, sign up for my newsletter here.

In the meantime, if you haven't read the latest Mattie Winston books, do so now. And while you're at it, check out the two-book, spin-off series featuring social worker, Hildy Schneider: Needled to Death and Night Shift. Stay tuned....


Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Things are really hopping (and the bodies are steadily dropping!) in Sorenson, Wisconsin! Book #9 in the Mattie Winston series, DEAD CALM is now out in hardcover and Audible, with a paperback version scheduled for release on January  29, 2019, just before the release of DEAD OF WINTER, the tenth book in the series. And I'm getting ready to start writing the eleventh book. 

What's more, there is a new main character in town, social worker Hildy Schneider, whose Helping Hands mysteries will feature some of the characters from the Mattie Winston that we all know and love. Look for the first book in this series, NEEDLED TO DEATH, to come out in the summer of 2019!

Finally, the sixth and last book in the Mack's Bar series will be out on July 31, 2018. LAST CALL will feature the final chapter in the life of bar owner and synesthete, Mack Dalton. You won't want to miss this one!

Thank you to all the faithful readers out there who keep me writing. I love what I do and hope you do, too.

Friday, May 20, 2016


 Fortunately the above post title refers to the next book in the Mattie Winston series and not my writing career. I'm super excited about the cover, and happy to announce that it will be coming out in hardcover. Mattie's life is rapidly changing with her new role as mom to both her son, Matthew, and her stepdaughter, Emily. And things at the ME's office get shaken up in some frightening and exciting ways. Mark your calendars because you won't want to miss this exciting new chapter in Mattie's life. Look for it on the bookshelves come January 2017. And there will be at least two more books to follow. 

Wednesday, December 30, 2015


I'm counting my blessings after signing contracts in 2015 for three more books in both of the  mystery series I am writing: Mattie Winston (as Annelise Ryan) and Mack's Bar (as Allyson K. Abbott). These are for books 4, 5, & 6 in the Mack's Bar series, and books 8, 9, & 10 in the Mattie Winston series. It amazes me how these two series have managed to continue on, growing in terms of the characters, the plots, and the number of readers and fans. I sometimes carp about having to produce two books a year, but I know how quickly a writing career can disappear--mine did for a number of years thanks to some quirks of publishing fate--so I try to keep myself looking at the positive, relishing every fun, enjoyable, (and occasionally agonizing) moment of it all.

Some personal life issues caused me to fall behind on my writing schedule three years ago and I went from someone who turned her manuscripts in a month or two ahead of time to someone who was months late. I've been slowly gaining ground in an effort to catch up and I'm happy to say that I turned in my latest (#8 in the Mattie Winston series) on time, though it was literally down to the last minute of the last day. And then I treated myself to something I haven't had in three years: two weeks of no writing. It seems like forever that I've felt guilty about letting even a day go by without writing something, so this two-week indulging of movie and TV marathons, reading marathons, and sit-around-and-do-nothing-for-a-few-hours marathons was a deliciously wicked guilty pleasure. I caught up on The Knick, The Affair, Major Crimes, and several network TV shows. I watched movies that have been on my list for a while, including The Age of Adaline, Before We Go, Terminator Genisys, The Gift, Trainwreck, and World War Z. And I read some great books including The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty, Want You Dead by Peter James, and Finders Keepers by Stephen King.

But now it's over. It's time to get back to the keyboard, to touch base with my characters and see where they are. And I'm looking forward to it. I love the fictional worlds and characters I create, and I look forward to each and every visit with them. Like family members and good friends, they aren't always easy to deal with and there are times when I have to put up with them and would rather not, but all in all my life is richer because of them. And I have to confess, getting paid to spend time with them is the best guilty pleasure of all. For however long it lasts, I'm enjoying the ride.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Here is the cover art for the next book in the Mattie Winston series, STIFF COMPETITION. Mattie finds herself in double trouble when she not only has to investigate the murder of a local real estate developer who is found with an arrow through his neck, Hurley's daughter, Emily, goes missing. As a new mom, Mattie is pulled in many directions at once as she tries to balance her work and home life, not to mention her love life.

This is book #7 in the Mattie Winston series and fingers crossed ... there will be more to come with some big changes in store for Mattie!

Coming in July is IN THE DRINK, the third entry in the Mack's Bar series featuring Mackenzie Dalton, a bar owner with a neurological disorder called synesthesia that cross-wires her senses. As a result, she experiences all of her sensory input in multiple ways, giving her an edge when it comes to solving crimes. This time out she is involved in solving the twelve-year-old cold case involving the murder of the sister of one of the members of the crime-solving Capone Club that meets in her bar. Yummy drink recipes are included.

And good news: there will be more Mack's Bar books to come! I'm hard at work on #4 now: SHOTS IN THE DARK.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The first book in my new Mack's Bar series, MURDER ON THE ROCKS, written under the pseudonym Allyson K. Abbott, was released last week and it debuted this week at #32 on the Barnes & Noble Bestseller list for mass market paperbacks! Thank you readers!

MURDER ON THE ROCKS is a mystery featuring Milwaukee bar owner, Mackenzie "Mack" Dalton, a feisty redhead who has a neurological disorder known as synesthesia. Her disorder causes her senses to become cross-wired, something she considers a pain. But Detective Duncan Albright considers it his secret weapon when it comes to solving the murder of the woman whose body Mack finds in the alley behind the bar, a woman who just happens to have been the girlfriend of Mack's murdered father at the time of his death eight months earlier.

Not only will MURDER ON THE ROCKS give you an entertaining and unique mystery read, there are some fun drink recipes included, both in alcoholic and non-alcoholic forms. Help spread the word, and thanks again to all you readers out there.