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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Art Galleries and Murder

In just two more weeks, my 14th book will be released. Secrets of a Dangerous Woman takes place, like all of the Black Swamp Mysteries series, in Lumberton, North Carolina. And like the other books, I use real places.

The climactic scene in Secrets of a Dangerous Woman have Dylan Maguire (now working for the CIA), his boss Sam and Christopher Sandige, a political operative, surrounded by enemies at an old water filtration facility that is under renovation as an art gallery.

The Southeastern Waterworks Regional Art Center is a real project in Lumberton, North Carolina. The Water Street Water Filtration Plant was designed in 1946 and constructed on the Lumber River in the downtown commercial district. An addition was constructed several years later to meet increased demand. The property was abandoned in 1990 when a larger treatment facility was built less than a mile upriver.

It's this abandoned facility where Dylan, Sam and Chris must fight for their lives.

The community’s vision is to transform this abandoned though light-filled industrial building into a central gathering place with open artist studios, event space for up to 1,000 people, galleries, workshops, outdoor amphitheater, gardens and dining on the river.

The advantages of having a gallery space on the river are coveted in small rural communities like Lumberton. It is through the foresight and innovative commitment of the City of Lumberton that Southeastern Waterworks Regional Art Center received the 6,000 square foot building on the Natural and Historic Lumber River, to become a centerpiece of a new Downtown Riverwalk, also in the works.

For this purpose, the generous citizens of Lumberton, North Carolina are marshaling all their resources, including building a solar farm to provide ongoing funding for the center through the sale of sustainable energy.

This groundbreaking collaboration connects municipal government, the private arts sector and renewable energy. The strong commitment of the City of Lumberton is evidence that both her leadership and her public understands the great value of moving energy back into our historic downtown.

In Secrets of a Dangerous Woman, the facility is immortalized in the condition it now stands - under renovation. I hope someday soon you'll be able to visit Lumberton and tour the facility in its incarnation as a Regional Art Center.

To stay abreast of the progress of the Southeastern Waterworks Regional Art Center, visit

Secrets of a Dangerous Woman is currently available for Kindle, Nook, iPad and other eBook formats. The printed edition will be released in September and will be available at all fine stores and online. You can order a copy now through and it will ship on September 1.