Thyme, Place & Story is a community of people who are interested in sharing what we know about living in place, growing and using plants, growing older, crafting, reading, writing, and publishing. It is published in 4-5 free/paid editions each month.

Who I am

I’m an 80-something writer who migrated from a 15-year university career to a 40-year career in fiction—over six million books sold in four mystery series, biographical novels, YA novels, and memoir and nonfiction. My husband Bill and I live on a 30-acre scrap of Texas Hill Country, with dogs, cats, and an ever-changing community of farm and wild creatures.

What you can expect

Here at Substack, you’ll find me offering short fiction (in serial formats), some of it based on the mystery series you may have read. You can expect other kinds of writing in newsletter format as well as an invitation to participate in our Place & Thyme community. Delighted to have you join me for the journey.

Thyme, Place & Story is likely to evolve, but currently, I’m publishing four issues a month, on Mondays. The short fiction usually appears on Wednesday.

First Monday. All About Thyme (free for all subscribers). A plant-themed calendar, a feature on herbs, and a curated list of plant-related things to do and think about. This is a popular tie-in to the China Bayles mysteries.
Second Monday. Senior Chronicle (personal posts, for paid subscribers). Posts focused on eldering in place; growing older and wiser (imagine that!); adapting to our changing bodies, minds, circumstances; and envisioning a 100-year life. 
Third Monday. BookScapes (free). Bookish things, group reading projects (bring your reading lists!), book reviews, and thoughts about writing practice and publishing. 
Fourth Monday. LifeScapes (personal posts, for paid subscribers) about the places where we live and the ways that place compels and shapes us.

Wednesday. Short Reads. Serial short fiction: “Fannie and the Back Fence Gang,” October-November 2023). In 2024, more short fiction in the Pecan Springs and the Darling Dahlias series.

Scholarships are available for readers on a fixed income. Ask me about this: susanalbert01 at

Your subscription options

  • First and Third Monday posts. Free, no charge, no strings.

  • All posts, ($7/mo), plus membership in the community. Part of your subscription goes to support the Story Circle Network, the nonprofit community of women writers I founded in 1997.

  • All posts, annually ($60, a 30% discount), plus membership in the community. Part of your subscription goes to SCN.

About Women’s Stories and the Story Circle Network

You’ll find SCN here. You might want to check out the current sample of our Journal, on the Publications tab. It’ll give you a good idea of what we do and how we might help you find ways to tell your story.

Where else you’ll find me

If you’re looking for my books, please visit my website. I’m also on Facebook here and sometimes here, also Instagram, Goodreads, BookBub and (less often) X (Twitter).

Subscribe to Thyme, Place & Story

Sharing what we've learned about living in place, growing plants, growing older, crafting, reading, and writing.


80-something writer, reader, citizen, news junkie with a long view of the world . . .