Archive for May, 2013


Take a Deep Breath and Hold

Posted under odds and ends No Comments

I’m in the home stretch of yet another mystery novel (sewing circle #9) and I have a feeling I’ll be a little scarce around here this week.

I’ll try to pop in when I can, but, worse case, I’ll be back next Monday.



Summer Fun

Posted under Bits & Pieces Fridays 4 Comments

I figured I’d kick off Memorial Day Weekend with a few fun bits & pieces…

1) Best part of summer?

2) Worst part of summer?

3) Favorite food on the barbecue?

4) Chips or fries?

5) Dry rub or barbecue sauce?




And the Winner is…

Posted under Writing Thursdays No Comments

While there weren’t many entries in yesterday’s Sweet Potato Pie send-off, the folks that did enter did a great job with their answers.

I was channeling Margaret Louise Davis.

Moonshine was the secret ingredient in her Sweet Potato Pie (perhaps this is where Miz Jelena’s recipe failed 🙂 ).

And it was from book # 2 in the series–DEATH THREADS.

I put the names of the entrants who answered all three questions correctly into a hat and out came, Connie Speters!

Congratulations, Connie!  Email me at: with your address and when REMNANTS OF MURDER is released in August, I’ll send you an autographed copy!



Which Character/Which Book…

Posted under That's Life Wednesdays 4 Comments

I was at Ben & Jerry’s Flavor Graveyard (where all the not-so-popular flavors are laid to rest) when I came across a sight that made me smile…er, I mean, pay my last respects.

Can anyone guess which sewing circle character I’m channeling here with my not-so-sincere sadness over the “passing” of “Miz Jelena’s” special concoction?

And two bonus questions: 1) what special ingredient made my character’s version of this treat extra special?  2) In which book was this recipe perfected?

All those who answer ALL THREE correctly (HERE IN THE COMMENT SECTION OF THE BLOG–NOT FACEBOOK) will be entered into a drawing (with the winner announced here tomorrow) to win an autographed copy of book # 8–REMNANTS OF MURDER–when it is released!!

Good luck!



If You Had To Pick

Posted under Reading Tuesdays 3 Comments

Sorry I was AWOL yesterday. I kind of unplugged over the weekend and forgot to get back into the groove when the weekend was over. 🙂

I really loved the answers to last week’s book questions so I want to pose another for today.

Buying books for another person is tough because it’s hard to really know another person’s taste.  Yet, when someone is sick and in a hospital (or laid up at home), they can only get so many flowers, you know?

Books are the ultimate escape when you are stuck in bed, but how to choose for someone else can be tough.

So tell me what book you’d pick  (as your safe bet) to give someone in the following categories:

1) A high school kid:

2) A little kid (4-8):

3) A 30 something guy and 30 something woman:

4) A retired person (guy/girl):

Ready? Go!



Field Trip!

Posted under Bits & Pieces Fridays 6 Comments

Dear Daughter # 2 is on her way to an amusement park today with her school orchestra. They will compete in a string competition than get to enjoy the rest of their day riding rides with their friends. To say she was excited about the trip would be an understatement of epic proportions. 🙂

The second we pulled into the parking lot for the 6:30 a.m. departure, we saw the buses that have been  hired for the trip. Instantly, I was transported back to the countless field trips I took as a kid over the years.

Field trips were always great because it was a variation from the normal school day and you got to go somewhere with your friends and laugh the entire day.

So here’s our Bits & Pieces for the day:

1) What was one of your favorite field trips as a kid? Where did you go/what did you do?

2) Best part of a school field trip when you were a kid?

3) Least favorite part?



Short of a Cattle Prod

Posted under Writing Thursdays 2 Comments

I’m in the final two-and-a-half week stretch of my latest deadline and I’m starting to feel a wee bit (okay, more like a HUGE bit)  stressed.

The words are coming along, but my brain seems to think I’m still in pace-myself mode…which I’m not.

So, I’m looking for some motivation techniques that might help. Anyone?



Hooked Anyway

Posted under That's Life Wednesdays 2 Comments

I think I’ve mentioned before that I’m not much of a TV watcher. In fact, other than Survivor (which is now over until September), an occasional Ellen (depending on whether I’m folding laundry at 4 p.m.), and a rare movie (which I almost always fall asleep while watching), I don’t even turn on the TV.

I think it’s because of the whole passive entertainment thing. After 30 minutes of sitting still, I’d rather be doing something else (even if that “something else” is sleeping).

So when I attend a conference and share my hotel with a roommate, it’s always a little unusual for me to have the TV on. And it’s even more unusual when it’s turned to something other than Survivor, Ellen or a sleep-inducing movie.

Insert my friend Maggie, here.

Maggie loves to watch home and garden TV. LOVES it.

Last year, when we roomed together at the Malice Domestic Mystery conference, I think I kind of stared blankly at the TV whenever it was on and I was in the room.

This year, Rehab Addict came on and I was hooked. Watching this female host buy homes that were literally falling apart (for sometimes as little as $1) and fix them up was fascinating to me. And, since the particular day these were on happened to coincide with a break in our conference schedule, I watched two or three half-hour episodes back to back…

It made me want to redo EVERYTHING.

Which is why, I guess, I was actually intrigued by a show that wasn’t Survivor, Ellen, or an invitation to fall asleep. It was passive entertainment that made me want to redo something, anything.

Like the family room (which is, actually, in the process of a redo)…

Like my office space…

Or the bedroom…

I’ve been home from Malice for two weeks now and the itch is still there. So, too, is the desire to watch this particular show (though, the past two nights I’ve looked for it, I’ve come up empty).

So I see a project or two in my near future (what, exactly, that will be, I’m not sure yet…but it will be something).

After I finish the current book, of course. 🙂



Underneath It All

Posted under Reading Tuesdays 5 Comments

A few book questions for you today.

1) What’s the most disturbing (depressing, upsetting, unnerving–your pick) book you’ve ever read? Would you still recommend it to others?

2) What’s the most uplifting book you’ve ever read?




Six Months Out

Posted under Dreamer Mondays 3 Comments

Back in November, I shared (click here to read that old post), my sadness about the destruction Superstorm Sandy left across my beloved Jersey Shore.

Yesterday, for Mother’s Day, I asked to go to the beach for the first time since last September. I knew the visit would be hard, but I’m also determined to never give up on a place that has meant so much to me.

So we went.

And was it ever different…

Everywhere we looked there was still so much damage. DD # 1 kept saying she didn’t understand why people weren’t all over the place helping. DD # 2 stayed mostly quiet (the hurt on her face saying it all). We walked out on the beach and saw the storm’s wrath first hand, picking out things we all remembered.

Like this picture on the right. While DD # 1 doesn’t remember, she stayed in this hotel as a baby one time. But for all of us, the memory is that roof you see sitting on the subfloor. That belonged to a snack shop that used to be out on the beach.

Then there’s this building, which we passed on an occasional walk south. I’m standing on the beach and this building is right there, looking like it just imploded on itself.  What’s wild, though, are the jars on the shelf (top left of the picture) that are still there, untouched.

We walked a wee bit further down the beach and saw this (I believe this is the Chadwick area my friend Maggie’s parents had a house in)…




We kept walking, eventually getting fairly close to the Seaside Heights Pier that we’ve spent a lot of time on–playing carnival games, riding rides (like this coaster that still sits in the ocean six months later), and just enjoying family time.


DD # 2 branched off during this final part of the walk to express her feelings in the sand. When she showed me, I just gave her a hug and told her it would be back one day. It’ll be different, sure…but still good. Still special.

When our walk was done, we found a spot on the beach and had a picnic lunch, did a little sunbathing, and had a little photo shoot–capping the day on a happy note.

By the time we left, I think we all felt the hope for a better tomorrow.

And we will be back. Sooner rather than later.