Vain Pursuits included in summer Italian-themed Kindle Bundle

Beginning this weekend, an amazing bundle of five full-length novels is being offered on Amazon for only 99 cents.UTISbannerHOR



Along with my Bunny Elder novel, four Italian-themed works by successful authors Candida Martinelli, Maria Grazia Swan, Beate Boeker, and Julie Sarff are included for your summer reading enjoyment.

If you love romantic Italy or if a visit is still on your bucket list, reading through these delightful romantic mysteries will let you take a virtual Italian vacation without the hassle of airplane travel.

This bundle is only available this summer.


Vain Pursuits reviewed on Italophile Book Reviews

ItalyIt was such an encouraging surprise when my book, Vain Pursuits (Bunny Elder Adventures Book 2) was reviewed by C. Martinelli on her wonderful Italophile website,

The book came to her attention because it takes place in Italy and, after reading it, she was kind enough to post a very flattering review on

In Vain Pursuits Bunny and her sister, Linda, travel to Italy to purchase an authentic Neapolitan presepio, or Christmas creche, for Linda’s collection of nativity sets.

The two sisters travel from Venice down through Italy to Naples, inadvertently attracting the sinister attentions of the Italian Mafia on their way.

My oldest son married an Italian girl and has lived in the Veneto region of northern Italy for more than twenty years. I visit them whenever I can. Writing this book was an opportunity for me to relive and share many of my impressions of this beautiful and gracious country and its people.

Of course, my own experiences were nothing like those of Bunny and her sister. I’ve never knowingly encountered any mafiosi, for one thing. However, their flight to Italy which opens the story was inspired by one memorably unpleasant real-life thirteen-hour ordeal over the Atlantic.

While one reader felt the book put too much emphasis on the Italian countryside and its attractions, many readers seemed to appreciate the local color.

It is always a balancing act when trying to give the reader a feel for a particular place. Too much detail bogs the story down while too little leaves your characters floundering in a featureless space.

I tried in this book to share the atmospheric items that struck me the most powerfully on my first visit to Italy, without turning the book into a tourist brochure. I hope, for the most part, I succeeded.

Vain Pursuits, Book Two in the Bunny Elder Adventure Series

When we last saw Bunny at the end of Book 1, she was picking up the pieces of her life.  In Book 2 we discover what happens when she accepts her sister’s invitation to come and stay on her Idaho potato ranch.

I served with my pastor husband in a small church in south-central Idaho, not too far from Bunny’s sister’s place. As I wrote about the women’s time on the ranch I was able to look out across the arid fields in my imagination and picture antelope skidding under the fences .

Vain Pursuits opens with the sisters flying across the Atlantic headed for Italy.

Much of this scene came from my own first trip overseas to visit my oldest son in Italy. Many of my impressions of the various locations in the book are reflected in Bunny’s and her sister’s reactions.

Although I never got involved with smugglers or mafiosi in my visits to Italy, I believe my time there added a bit of color to Bunny’s adventures.

Many of my reviewers appreciated seeing a bit of the real Italy through Bunny’s eyes.

When I decided to make a series from the original book which takes place around Halloween, I thought I might highlight a different holiday in each book.

In Vain Pursuits the holiday was Christmas, as the sisters were shopping for an authentic Italian nativity set.