Archive for July, 2013


31 Days Down

Posted under That's Life Wednesdays 2 Comments

I’m feeling rather accomplished today on account of meeting a goal I set for myself back on July 1st. I told myself I would work out every day this month–all 31 of them, no excuses.

Of course, when I made that goal, I neglected to take into account the traveling I’d be doing to visit friends,¬†the doctor visit/tests I’d be doing, and the family vacation that was planned for a full week in the latter part of the month. But I’d made the goal and I was determined to stick with it.

And I did. I walked the treadmill in hotels, I walked the treadmill at our vacation resort (doing some of my work out on the stationary bike when the treadmill was taken), I walked the treadmill after playing with friends, and I walked the treadmill before spending a few hours in an MRI tube.

Every day. Without fail.

20 minutes at a 3.8 pace and what is now a 4.5 elevation (with a 5.0 the last quarter mile). Most days I did small weights and hula hooping, too. When the weights and hula hoop weren’t available, I did sit-ups (abs killing me at the moment).

But I did it.

Funny thing is, I dreaded it that first week.

By the beginning of the third week, I craved it.

Now, I’m onto August… ūüôā



On My E-Reader

Posted under Reading Tuesdays 3 Comments

I’ve said it here before, and I’ll say it here again…I love Linda Castillo’s Amish thrillers. They are fast paced, extremely well-written, and leave you wanting more.

That’s why, since being turned onto this series by a dear friend, June has become a month I look forward to since about June.¬†Why? Well, June is Linda’s release month. I often devour her books in less than 24 hours and then have to wait a year until the next installment. Not fun, I tell you.

This year, because of a crazy busy June on the home¬†front, I didn’t download Linda’s latest book–HER LAST BREATH–until a few weeks ago.¬† And this time,¬†I’ve making myself read it slowly…just so it will last.

Trust me, it’s been mighty difficult not to plow¬†through it all at one time. But I know what the wait is like if I do.

Looking for something that will keep you on the edge of your seat? Don’t mind a darker mystery? Seriously, give this series a try.

As for HER LAST BREATH (the 4th in the series), here’s the teaser that sucked me in (though, really, I needed no sucking):

A rainy night, an Amish father returning home with his three children, a speeding car hurtling toward them out of nowhere.

¬†What at first appears to be a tragic, but routine accident becomes personal for Chief of Police Kate Burkholder when she discovers that the victims are the husband and children of her childhood friend, Mattie. The Amish woman’s youngest son clings to life in the intensive care wing of a hospital, unable to communicate, and he may be the only one who knows what happened. As Kate delves into the case, she comes face to face with her Amish past and memories of growing up with Mattie, an extraordinary beauty whom trouble has always followed. The investigation takes on a more sinister cast as evidence emerges that nothing about the crash was accidental.¬†

¬†Desperate for answers, Kate begins to suspect she’s not looking for a reckless drunk who fled the scene of a brutal hit and run, but instead she finds herself on the trail of a stone cold killer living amid the residents of Painters Mill. It is a search that takes her on a chilling journey into the darkest reaches of the human heart and makes her question everything she has ever believed about the Amish culture into which she was born.

So what are you reading right now?



It All Started With Six Chapters…

Posted under Dreamer Mondays 2 Comments

Vacation is certainly one of those things that goes much too fast, isn’t it?

That said, it was fun while it lasted and now it’s time to get back to reality (which includes a whole lot of writing, more summer busy-ness, and next week’s launch of REMNANTS OF MURDER ūüôā ).

It’s hard to believe the 8th book in the series is getting ready to release when I can still remember the moment I was offered the original contract for the Southern Sewing Circle Mysteries. Back then, I was living in Missouri with my girls and had raced to write six chapters of the first book in the hopes I would intrigue the publisher. I wrote those six chapters over one weekend. On Monday morning it was in my agent’s hand. On Monday afternoon it was on the way to the publisher. By Tuesday, we had a 3 book deal.

Two weeks after book #1 (SEW DEADLY) released, we had a 3-book extension. A year later, after posting a playful holiday update about the Sweet Briar ladies on my Elizabeth Lynn Casey Facebook page, I was offered (completely unexpected) a Christmas book deal…while standing in K-mart of all places. Then came another three book extension…

The ladies of Sweet Briar have certainly captured hearts these last few years and I couldn’t be more pleased. Tori, Leona, Margaret Louise, Rose, and the rest of the gang have become friends to me and so many wonderful readers.

Thanks for falling in love with them just like I have.¬†I can’t wait for you all to read REMNANTS OF MURDER when it releases a week from tomorrow.




On Vacation

Posted under odds and ends, Uncategorized No Comments

On Vacation!!! Yay!

Be back Monday.



Bits, Bits, and More Bits

Posted under Bits & Pieces Fridays 5 Comments

Bits & Pieces for those who want to play along…

1) What’s your favorite movie?

2) Your favorite song?

3) Your favorite vacation spot?

4) Your favorite form of exercise?



Match Lit

Posted under Writing Thursdays 4 Comments

So I’ve been having a bit of an issue lately with motivation in regards to my writing. I’d been on deadline (one after the other) for the better part of¬†five years and¬†suddenly I had a little window. I still have contracts to fulfill, but with production dates spacing a bit more now, I had a two-month long gap where I didn’t have a deadline to meet.

Of course, in that gap came Dear Daughter # 1’s¬†last few weeks of high school, award ceremonies, prom, graduation, graduation party, etc. The gap I’d hoped to¬†use for non-contracted ideas slowly dissipated to where it is now–about¬†three-and-a-half¬†weeks to go…four tops.

Yet now (or, at least before yesterday) I’m¬†just tired.

I’d been trying to find something to light the spark but was being¬†rather unsuccessful. Until my trip into the city to see my editor yesterday…

There’s something about standing inside your editor’s office (at a major publishing house) and looking around at her wall-to-wall shelves filled with books (and seeing so many of your own staring back) that just makes you think…wow, I actually made it in.

And I want to stay there. ūüėČ

So now I need to find the time in the next four weeks to write more. Not an easy task during the summer months when kids are everywhere, but one I need to figure out–STAT.

What motivates you?



Off To See The Wizard, I mean Editor

Posted under That's Life Wednesdays No Comments

I’m off to the city today to have lunch with my Penguin editor. With any luck, I’ll have the very first copy of REMNANTS OF MURDER clutched in my hand when I leave to come back home. ūüôā

Now, to find something cool to wear in this heat…




An Age Old Debate

Posted under Reading Tuesdays 4 Comments

Since you read my blog, I think it’s safe to assume most of you are cozy mystery readers on some level. So, it seems as if you’re the best audience to answer a curiosity of mine…

How important is it to you, as a reader, for the dead body to appear in the first chapter?



Decisions, decisions

Posted under Dreamer Mondays 5 Comments

One of the things I love most about my closest friends is their ability to have real conversations–you know, the ones that go far beyond “yes” and “no” answers to a place that really makes you think. Love, love, love that.

Last week, while spending four wonderful days in St. Louis, I had the opportunity to have dinner with my friend, Wendy. We talked about all sorts of things including our kids and what we want most for them, ourselves and what we’d do different, places we’d like to go, etc.

Toward the end of our visit together, she threw out the idea of picking a “do” and an “experience” for ourselves for the coming year. While that might sound easy to come up with, let me be the first to tell you it’s not. I’m so used to the kids being my first consideration at all times that I’m not always sure what I want/need/like etc.

Last night was the deadline for swapping our “do” and “experience” goal for the coming year. The deadline came and went and I was still thinking…right up until this morning when Wendy’s email and simple “do you have your two things yet?” forced my hand.

So here’s what I came up with:

For Do:¬†¬†Take another visit back to St. Louis in the next 12 months.¬† I picked this because it’s good for me and it’s something I truly enjoy.

For Experience:¬† I’m going to take a¬†“how to” class in something.¬† I did that once with cake¬†decorating¬†when my oldest child was a baby and I’ve gotten so much joy from that.¬†¬†This next class may be a physical thing (like archery or rock climbing) or a hobby (like an advanced cake thing) or a skill (like a home project), but it will teach me something.

So there. I picked.

Anyone else out there interested in picking a “to do” and an “experience”¬†for yourself in the coming¬†twelve months?



Bits, Pieces & a Yum

Posted under Bits & Pieces Fridays 9 Comments

It’s been far too long since we did a round of Bits & Pieces and I’m hoping it entices a few of my quieter readers to comment.


1) What’s your all-time favorite milkshake flavor?

2) What’s one thing you’d like to do completely for yourself in the next twelve months?

3) Favorite form of exercise?

4) Do you have a “bucket list” place you’d like to visit in your lifetime?