About Dorothy Hayes

Broken Window, the second book in the Carol Rossi Mystery Series, was published on March 1st by Mainly Murder Press, Murder at the P&Z, the first mystery in the series was published April 2013. Animal Instinct, 2006, was my first book, writing, and singing in my church choir are a couple of deep passions along with espousing veganism on behalf of the animals, health, and the environment. Love spending time with my incredible husband and family.

It’s a Thrill to Hear the Trill

Spizella_passerina_186_edit_web-248x300It’s summer, well almost, in the Northeast and it’s a thrill to just listen to the birds. Outside the sliding glass doors of our condo is a courtyard filled with trees, bushes and a huge evergreen that I call the mother tree for all the birds that live there and stay protected during the cold winters. We are on the second story of the building and the mother tree rises way above us past the third story and the roof.

Now the fountain is running and the local birds, wrens, robins, cardinals, mockingbirds, and doves, to name a few and of course the migratory birds, stop by for a drink, bathe, and sing and by all means bring spring and summer inside our homes with their music.

With quavering or vibratory sounds they sing notes as clear as any flute. Reflections of our own joy is in the music; the flowers are in bloom, the grass is green, and the birds are singing.

Trills, so soothing to the mind, so peaceful for the heart and soul.

Learn the Craft from Other Writers

I’ve been reading, surprise!

We writers always have our noses in a book we’re either reading or writing. Many times we’re reading books by sister and brother writers for reviews, books to study from master writers, books that inspire us to reach deeper.

I’ve also gone back in time to read classic mystery stories to see why such and such a writer won popularity, not to copy but for information. Although, at one author talk a writer declared that he could never get his copy the way he wanted it and did I have a suggestion.

It’s a matter of learning the craft, I advised. That there was no shame in reading a writer you admired, one who inspires you and then start writing thinking about how he or she would put it, I told him. This is a form of learning the craft, and after a while you’ll see yourself and your own style and words emerge.

This is not my brilliant idea, I read it in a book about writing a long time ago, my memory fails me about the writer’s name.

All the authors of many genres, and countries, I read in my twenties were my teachers. And writers I’ve read since, also influence me. Yet I think I definitely possess my own style. I often see traces of them in my writing, however, and I heave a sigh of relief grateful to the masters for what I’ve learned.

Each author has his or her own gift to offer.

We writers have something to say, and the way we say is it is our own individual and magical choice.



Local Libraries Support Writers

A great big thanks to local libraries for their support of writers and readers. They bring us together in a must sensitive and dedicated way.

I will be participating in a panel of mystery writers at The Norwalk Public Library, in Norwalk, CT, in August. Cynde Lahey is the special events coordinator there. The library has good participation for author talks, no doubt, due to Cynde.

Twenty-five people were present at my March talk there about Broken Window published March 1st. Broken Low res on line 45_med

At 6:00, June 8th I will be at the Wilton Library, Wilton, CT doing a talk organized by Karen Danvers. The library is at 137 Old Ridgefield Road, 203-762-3950. For Murder at the P&Z, the first book in the Carol Rossi Mystery Series there were a good number of people with many probing questions so I’m looking forward to it. 2940016205199_p0_v1_s300x

Thanks again to the dedicated libraries, their incredible coordinators, and their participants.


Sally Nacker’s Poetry

Unknown-2Poet Sally Nacker, a former actress, is as soft-spoken and gentle as her poetry as revealed in her debut book, Vireo published by White Violet Press. Vireo is dedicated to her mother who died a couple of years ago. In her forty-six poems, her mother plays a prominent role as do life’s events sad and joyful.

My husband and I were fortunate enough to hear Sally read some of her poems at The Norwalk Public Library recently. We related to the embracing poems that talked to us about life.

Below is an excerpt from the poem that holds the title of the book:

Poet Sally Nacker, author of Vireo


(For my mother, 1933-2012)

Those two playful birds we watched that spring, tiny, olive-green gliding through air,

open bills quivering, throats loosing a lively, repetitive song, unrelenting,

melodious-“with great volubility”-perhaps were not vireos. The vireo

weaves its cupped, hanging nest snugly onto a fork in a slender branch and does not

nest in a birdhouse, does not feed on seed, but seeks fruit and insects. At the time we looked no further than a photograph in a field guide. The bird we found was green…

Award winning poet, Kim Bridgford commented on Sally’s poems. “Vireo by Sally Nacker is a quiet, beautiful book. With nature as its subject, this collection gives voice to the backdrop of our lives. ‘Where late the sweet birds sang,’ Shakespeare writes, and this might be Nacker’s credo. A semi formalist, Nacker uses rhyme with a master’s grace, and with the music of both joy and sorrow. Dickinson is her clear foremother—in both subject matter and form—but these poems are at the same time Nacker’s own. A lovely and resonant debut collection.”

A great thanks to Sally for embracing us with her tender poetry.

Writers Inspire Other Writers

It never fails, each time I go to a Sisters-in-Crime meeting I’m inspired.

Jenny Milchman, our guest this month, couldn’t have been more inspirational for it took years and many books before Jenny’s first novel, Cover of Snow,  A Novel, finally got published and reached great success.


But with any meeting I’m inspired. Most of us are in the process of writing, there are veteran writers, new writers, and aspiring writers.

The energy in the room is enough to charge your batteries.

I’ve come home inspired to finish the book I had doubts about.

Jenny introduced her new novel, As Night Falls to be published June 30th, her novel, Ruin Falls, is also captivating. Jenny’s books are filled with interesting and unlikely characters, and a poet at heart, her writing is lyrical. It was such a pleasure to read Cover of Snow, that after finishing it I turned right around and reread it.Unknown

But writing groups are wonderful assets to writers because we practice this solitary life, and with a giant leap of faith we write books that can take years, and may never get into print; maybe nobody will ever read them.

When we get together it is the gathering of courageous and passionate souls. Jenny Milchman is a fine example.

Church Book Signing

St. John’s Episcopal Church in downtown, Stamford, CT will host a book signing for Broken Window at 11:30 AM, so please drop-by to say hello.Broken Low res on line 45_med

This occurs after service at coffee hour. I sing in the choir, so it’s a quick change out of the choir robes to head to the signing table. It’s a great deal of fun and support from my church and choir members. Our rector Jim Wheeler will say a few words of praise for my book.

This is a special moment or me for many reasons.

All proceeds go to St. John’s.


Precious Messages from the Ones You Love

Some dislike greeting cards for their canned messages. But mothers such as myself are thrilled to receive them. They distill sentiments and offer a bit of homespun poetry.

Mom, you showed me more than how to be a good parent, you showed me how to be a good person.”

Then your loved ones add their own poetry:

“You are a beautiful, inspirational mother, a mother of the year! Always doing what’s best and pleasing to us.”

Now what mom wouldn’t want these messages canned or freestyle?

They were for my last birthday, April 10th, from two of my three lovely daughters. The messages, you can tell, say much about my daughters for like most of us I was far from perfect.

One card was a Hallmark with a hummingbird and a rose. UnknownLegends say that hummingbirds float free of time, carrying our hopes for love, joy and celebration. 



Papyrus cards with its hummingbird icon are often poetry without the use of words. Most cards have a quality of arts and crafts to them using materials that are soft to create the petals of daffodils, for instance, and also vivid plastic gem-like pieces of beautiful colors. I received such a card from my son and daughter-in-law. 

Also, three eCards came from my other daughter, who also sent one on behalf of my two grand-dogs. Short videos with moving parts and spectacular scenes; greeting cards are keeping up with our technology .


The easily saved eCards solve the problem of what to do with these precious mementoes of a special day.

Difficult to part with, I keep the paper cards for a number of years in my closet than painfully recycle them, with a large and caring family, I’d be accused of hoarding if I kept each one.

Any suggestions as to what to do with the messages of love?

Finding a Publisher

I’m writing a short story regarding a miracle that occurred in my own kitchen back in the cataclysmic year of 1968, called The Miracle.

It was the bloodiest year in the Vietnam War thus far, and Robert Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. were assassinated, and Apollo 8 orbited the moon for the first time that Christmas Eve, exactly the time of my divine event.

It’s a six thousand word short story and I’ve done some searching for publishing opportunities. I’ve come up with only one thus far.

It’s fictional story but based on the truth. So if anyone has any suggestions for such a piece, please let me know.


How Do You Do It?

Okay, I’m in the middle of writing a short story, and a new novel, while setting up dates for talks for Broken Window, released March 1.

The novel will be the third in the Carol Rossi Mystery Series and the short story I’ve wanted to write for years, it’s about a religious experience, a miracle; I find myself writing in the middle of the night.

With a large family, events often take place all at the one time, we just had a baby shower and house guests for five days, which I loved, more family coming next month, can’t wait. I also sing in a serious church choir where composers Handel, Haydn, Bach, and Mozart often supply the music– and demand a great deal of practice.

Singing, like writing, is a must.

At the moment, I’m setting dates to travel to other states, during the summer to visit family while I do library talks. Then there’s working out, cooking and the usual domestic stuff that takes time, and energy.

Yesterday, I suffered some mind-boggling fatigue and didn’t want to talk to anyone–including myself; writing in the middle of the night will do that to you; it’s the agony and the ecstasy.

Today, having caught up on sleep, I’m happy to say, it’s bright in my little brain even though it’s chilly and rainy outside. I’m feeling more myself.

How do you do it?