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From a Crab's Perspective

by Ann Ulrich Miller

Posted on March 14, 2011 by Web Dreams


I finally got over my writer's block concerning Annette Vetter #4. Recently, a fan wrote to me, asking when I'd have the next book out... that was enough of a push to get me going. And it's amazing how the story has suddenly gushed forth. I was stuck at a point where I just could not figure out what was going to happen next.

The solution to my problem was to back up and go in a different direction. It worked. And I had to keep going because I kept putting my characters into crisis situations that they needed to get out of. Now I am down to the last two chapters of the book and... as in most of my works... the story is writing itself. I never really know what the final outcome is going to be, and in this case whether the "bad guys" are that bad. Hmmm.

Working on this teen novel has reminded me how fortunate we are in this decade to have the technology they did not have in the Sixties. Annette and Tim might not have suffered from hypothermia had they been equipped with cell phones in 1968. On the other hand, it's refreshing to step back into that "era" and relive a time in which life was at a little slower pace.

"The Legend of the Lantern" takes place during Thanksgiving weekend. Annette is enjoying her turkey dinner over at the Duncans' farm when the call comes from her boyfriend, Pete, telling her his mom just left for the hospital to have her ninth child. Annette and Penny had offered to babysit the Randt children, so Tim drives them over to Gaston Road, where they put dinner on the table for the eight Randt children and the hired hand, Reid Anderson, who has caught Penny's eye.

What is supposed to be a few hours of babysitting turns into a four-night babysitting adventure for Annette and Penny. Mrs. Randt has complications from the birth and needs surgery. Mr. Randt stays with her at the hospital the first night. And to complicate things further, a huge snowstorm blankets the area. Grandma Dawson, who is supposed to come and stay with the kids, is snowbound.

Reid, the hired hand, entertains the kids with his guitar and his ghost story about "The Man with the Lantern." Then Annette and Penny learn that the attic guest bedroom, where they are going to sleep, is haunted! And then Annette sees a spooky figure out the window, walking with a lantern through the woods.

Hunting season has just begun in west-central Wisconsin, and poachers have strung up a doe on the Randts' property, which Annette and a couple of the Randt children discover the next day on a snow walk through the woods. But that is only the beginning. The mystery continues at home when Annette discovers her mother has a secret admirer as evidenced by a dozen red roses on the dining room table and a card from "E."

Time travel with me back to the Sixties in the Annette Vetter adventure series.

"The Mystery at Hickory Hill" is the first teen novel, set in western Colorado during a trip to the Mitchell ranch in the Cochetopa Hills. "The Secret of the Green Paint" takes place in early September as Annette and Penny begin their sophomore year at Ravensville High School in Jackson County, Wisconsin. In "The Pouting Pumpkin Mystery" it is Homecoming season and Pete Randt's cousin Luke is visiting and intrigues the girls with his ham radio hobby. Every novel involves a mystery to be solved by these two farm girls.

"The Legend of the Lantern" will be out sometime before Summer 2011.


My new light worker novel is out! ORDER your copy of RAINBOW MAJESTY through Create Space's estore or through


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Ann Ulrich Miller

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