Welcome to my website. If you’re looking for lighthearted, contemporary romances featuring compelling personal issues, you’ve found the right place. This is also now the spot for cozy mysteries. Craks in a Marriage, first in the Mah Jongg Mystery series, came out February 6, 2018 followed later that year by Bamboozled and now Connect the Dots and Beware the East Wind in 2019. I decided to keep Barbara Barrett as the pen name for my mysteries, thinking this would be less confusing to readers. This website features both.
For more information about my books, including buy links, check out the individual pages for each book on this website.
A Little About Me
I changed my college major from Anthropology to American History when I discovered that field work didn’t include air-conditioned hotel rooms with Diet Coke in the fridge. But American History didn’t offer many career paths; you either made it or taught it, and since the latter required I also coach athletics, which wasn’t in my skill bank, I was out of luck there too. So I hitched my wagon to the wheels of government, and, like “the man who came to dinner,” stayed on for over three decades.
Cutting-edge legislation, essential public services, policy development. Those weren’t me. No, I wound up in human resources analyzing jobs. And I loved it. Behind the usual complaints about their bosses, most people take pride in how they earn a living. Ask them a few basic questions about what they do, and you find yourself taking pages and pages of notes. More times than not, somewhere in that exchange, they tell you how unique their job is from all the others.
At the time, my job was to see the similarities in jobs so I could match individual positions with other jobs that were essentially the same. But in my writing, it’s the distinctions in what people do for a living that fascinate me and infiltrate my plots to the point of my main characters’ occupations almost becoming secondary characters.
I’m also an analyst at heart and by trade. That tendency is the backbone of the cozy mysteries I have now added to my repertoire.
On the personal front, I have a BA in American History from the University of Iowa and an MA in the same area from Drake University. I am married to the man I met in sensitivity training when we were both dormitory floor advisers at the University of Iowa. We have two grown children and eight grandchildren. I am now a resident of Florida, where I live in the shadow of the Mouse. Part of the year, I also live in my home state of Iowa.
I am pleased to say I am a fifteen-year breast cancer survivor. Two years ago, I underwent surgery to replace my left knee. My right knee was replaced seven years ago. Besides the support of family and friends, the one thing that has kept me going throughout these experiences has been my writing.
I am a member of Romance Writers of America and three of its chapters as well as Sisters in Crime and Sisters in Crime Iowa.
Go to my Facebook author page http://bit.ly/2aXZvG9 for updates on this writing life.