Enjoy some Mayhem & Magic!

Our blog is meant to evoke fun with the magic of myths, folklore, movies and the mayhem of murder and madness. We have to keep it interesting so if you like different genres of movies and books then you're at the right blog. Our authors are a wide range of experts and our readers know what is top of the line in their favorite genres. Sometimes we post recipes that might be fun to try if a culinary author has one in her book that we think is especially yummy or one that Terri and I have created and want to share with you. Enjoy Guest Blogger Alice Duncan's monthly muse on her books and writing mysteries.

Plus you won't want to miss our book reviews, author interviews or our guest bloggers. So grab your favorite beverage then join us for some magic and mayhem! The good news is that you don't have to leave the house or your comfy chair. We have something for everyone's taste and every month we have a different topic for our bloggers: ones we feel that might be useful in your own writing and reader points of view. Not to mention, life in general. So join us and be sure to have a notebook handy as your to-be-read pile will grow as you add books, recipes, movies and t.v. series you won't want to miss. Not to mention folktales, myths or ideas you may wish to explore. Be careful what you wish for because on mayhemandmagic2 you just might find it.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

My birthday Box

My birthday box from Terri arrived today. Well she knows me very well as she sent me a Red Apron with a Skull on it in black . Pictures will be taken later. She also sent me a watch to die for and books.
Maggie King, Duffy Brown and Charles Todd so those should keep me out of trouble.
It is pretty warm today. Our temp is only 82 but it is humid.

How is your Saturday? I have sent interviews to authors, made author inquiries.

Tonight we are having tacos. What's for supper?

As you can see I am thrilled I can post and send to the blog all by myself.
You might as well know I am computer challenged.
Oh I can hardly wait for our readers see some of the interviews we have lined up.
Although all of the interviews we have posted really wonderful.
Okay off here for now.

Sisters in Crime Meeting with Allison Leotta on Prosecuting Federal Sex Crimes

Had a great time.  Allison was interesting and fun and I can see why her books are so popular.

She uses her experience as a prosecutor to make the stories as real and accurate as possible.  And of course, they are set in DC which is an extra for me!

 They are referring to her as the female John Grisham.  Legal thrillers at their best!


Aunt Dimity Review

Title: Aunt Dimity &
the Wishing Well
Author: Nancy Atherton

This is now my favorite book in the series.
 Hector Huggins the recluse has died. He made it clear he didn't like visitors. Anyway his nephew Jack McBride from Australia arrives late to the funeral. He is in time to raise eyebrows and gossip.
Lori befriends Jack, soon she learns he  is tasked with his Uncle's last wishes. He has to fix the yard and house and in doing so Jack and Lori, find a wishing well.
Off handedly Lori makes a wish that the rain needs to stop. It does stop and in a matter of hours the all of Finch knows it.
A lot of Finch residents make their own wishes. Secretly and a few out in the open. When they come true for a brief while it's like winning the lottery.
The down side is be careful what you wish for...soon odd things happen, odd people show up and life in Finch is more than Lori can take.

AUNT DIMITY & the WISHING WELL by Nancy  Atherton, is the best one yet. I give it ten out of ten stars.


Trying out new blogger.

Friday, June 26, 2015

An Interview with Janet Cantrell/Kaye George

Interview With  Janet Cantrell/aka Kaye George by Pamela James

> MM2: Good Morning Janet, tell us about your cat series and do you own cats?

Quincy is the Fat Cat featured in this series. His vet has put him on a diet, but he detests dry diet cat food! Being a clever feline, he knows how to escape from almost anywhere and go looking for better things to eat. He finds them, and clues--and dead bodies. I've owned many, many cats. One recent one, now buried under a lantana plant because he was a tough little guy, was Agamemnon, a rescued feral who was the smartest one we ever had. Quincy learned some of his antics from Agamemnon!

> MM2: Do you belong to writing groups?

I'm a long time member of Sisters in Crime. When I've lived near a local chapter, I've belonged, twice--in Dallas and in Austin. I was president of the Guppies online chapter for 2 years and can't say enough good things about them. I've been in several face to face writing critique groups, as well as some through the Guppies. Great experiences!

> MM2: What are some of the challenges of writing  mystery series?

Just in writing a mystery, there are a few. Creating interesting plots, likable characters, planting clues so that you play fair with the reader (while hiding them well enough so the killer isn't obvious). In writing a series, of course, keeping the characters and plots fresh is a challenge.

> MM2: In total how many series and books have you written?

I'm doing 4 series. (I know, I'm nuts.) I self-published three Imogene Duckworthy humorous Texas mysteries, CHOKE, SMOKE, and BROKE. 

With Barking Rain Press, one Cressa Carraway Musical mystery is out, EINE KLEINE MURDER, and the second is coming in April, REQUIEM IN RED.

With Untreed Reads, the first People of the Wind Neanderthal mystery is DEATH IN THE TIME OF ICE. The second, DEATH ON THE TREK, will be out next June.

All of the above are written as Kaye George.

For Berkley Prime Crime, writing as Janet Cantrell, there are two of the Fat Cat mysteries out, FAT CAT AT LARGE and FAT CAT SPREADS OUT. The third, FAT CAT TAKES THE CAKE, will be published in March.

> MM2: What comes first setting, the plot or the character?

I guess that varies! Usually the character(s), though. They tend to come to me WITH their settings. The plots sometimes develop easily, sometimes I have to really squeeze them out.

> MM2: Do you have some favorite minor characters?

I do! Hortense Duckworthy, Imogene's mother, is one of my favorites. I also like Ralph in that same series. However, at the end of the first book he became somewhat more than an minor character, much to my surprise.

Neek, the unseen phone seer and friend to Cressa Carraway is a favorite, too.

 In my Neanderthal series (talk about a challenging series to write!), a young lad named Jeek (funny how that's so close to Neek) took over part of the narrative, becoming an ally of Enga Dancing Flower, the adult female main character.

> MM2: Take us through a typical writing day for you?

I'm not a morning person, so I do internet things, promotion and interfacing, earlier in the day. If there are errands or shopping, those are for the early afternoon. Late afternoon is when I get serious about cranking out the words. If I haven't had time during the day, I write late a night. I wish my typical day involved more regular exercise. I'm working on it.

> MM2: Okay fun questions. Where would you like to visit for vacation that you
> haven't already seen? Do you have a favorite movie, song, day of the week?

Australia! And I'd like to tack on New Zealand. I would also love to spend New Year's Eve in Iceland.

Lots and lots of favorite songs. Too many to list! 

My favorite day is always Friday the 13th. We were engaged and married on the 13th, so I consider that my lucky number.

  > MM2: Do you reread some of your favorite books by other authors etc...?

I haven't time to reread lately, but I do like to reread things that make me laugh. James Thurber, Ogden Nash, Douglas Adams. I'm constantly reading for Suspense Magazine reviews and new mysteries. I like to throw in biography and true crime for variety.

> MM2: What would your characters tell us about you?

I suppose they get a little upset at what I put them through. They might utter some strong opinions about that. But if they lived boring, easy lives, they wouldn't be very interesting. I think all of them would like me to write their stories more quickly. I DO have too many series going.

> MM2: What would be your dream car? Do you own it or have you owned it in the
> past?

I love my PT Cruiser. They don't make them any more, so I'll have to pick something else when Petey goes to the Great Junkyard in the Sky. I'm not sure yet. I like Smart Cars, but am not quite convinced. I also like that little Chevy truck thing. The SSR.

> MM2: Tell us what you like about where you live?

After living in Texas with heat, drought, and fires for many years, it's good to be where it rains, Knoxville, TN. We have 3 small grandchildren here and are closer to the other two young ones, which is a delight. We moved away from one son and his family and do miss seeing them so often.

> MM2: Leave us with some writing words of wisdom. Direct us to your website
> or blogs?

The best advice I ever got when trying to get published was to not give up. It took me about 10 years of serious writing (and learning how to do it) before I got a novel published (CHOKE). It won an Agatha nomination, so it was worth it to take all that time to learn to do it well. Read widely, take courses, get feedback whenever and wherever you can--but don't take all of it seriously. If two or more people have trouble with a passage I wrote, I know it needs fixing. I hardly ever do what was suggested, because we're all different writers, but I do know that a change has to be made.

My website: http://janetcantrell.com/ 

Thursday, June 25, 2015

An Interview with Donna Ball

An Interview with Donna Ball 
by Pamela James

MM2: Donna how many books have you written?

DB:  I have written close to 100 books (or perhaps slightly more than that by now!) The first 50 or so were contemporary romance for Harlequin/Silhouette, which I’ve been told by more than one agent don’t count.  But I love those books, and I learned more about writing from them than I’ve done from all the rest of my books put together.

MM2: What comes first, the characters, setting or plot?

DB: The characters always come first.  They’re the ones who tell the story!  I’ve always said that unless you have a set of characters about whom the reader cares and in whom the reader is passionately invested, your story doesn’t matter, because no one is going to read it!

MM2: What would you like to say to your readers?

DB:The first thing I always want to say is that I have the classiest readers in the world.  They are amazing, and they are the only reason I do what I do.  The second thing I’d like to say is that your opinion matters!  If you like a book, write a review, e-mail me, let me know.  You’d be surprised at how often something that simple can make the difference between a series that goes on to be a success, and a series that is canceled after three books.
MM2: What has been the best writing advice you received?

DB: I know I am a product of all the advice I’ve ever received from everyone who’s ever given it, but the best advice probably came from the friend who shoved a paperback novel into my hand thirty years ago and said, “You can do better than this.”  Turns out I could.
MM2: Do you ever reread any of your favorite author's books?

DB: One day, I hope to have time to sit down and do just that. 

MM2: After a hard day at the computer. How do you de-stress?

DB:  My daily ritual is to watch the sunset from my porch or deck with a glass of wine.  This is sacred quiet time for me, and I am so obsessive about it that I’ve been known to wrap up in multiple layers with gloves and a knit hat to go out to watch the sun set when it’s 10 degrees outside.

MM2: Tell us about where you live? Your favorite vacation, your favorite meal and movie?

DB: I am so fortunate to be able to live in two of the most beautiful places in the world: the Blue Ridge mountains of northeastern Georgia, and the Atlantic beaches of Florida. As for my favorite vacation, well I’ve been a lot of places and had some amazing times, but my favorite?  Disney World! My favorite meal is Sunday brunch, the kind with mimosas and eggs benedict.  My favorite movie?  I can’t pick just one!  Love Actually is my favorite Christmas-time movie.  I have a July Fourth tradition that includes Independence Day, Apollo Thirteen and The American President.  Love those stirring speeches!  My favorite musical is probably Mama Mia, mostly because of the amazing shots of Greece.  And I can’t wait to see Jurassic World because Jurassic Park is one of my all-time favorites, a true classic.

MM2: What would your characters tell us about you?

DB:My characters would probably say I’m pretty easy to work with.  I let them tell their stories and hardly ever censor their thoughts.  I can get a little stern with those who ramble on and on, and I’m sure a few of them would have something to say about how free I am with the “delete” button, but for the most part, I think they’d give me a pretty good report.

MM2: Leave us with some writing words of wisdom.

DB: Okay.  Here’s something you don’t hear very often: If there are 105 things you need in order to become a writer, talent is number 103. I can’t tell you how many talented writers I’ve met who have nothing but that, and who will never, ever succeed.  Do the work. Do the work. Do the work. Those are my words of wisdom.

MM2: Be sure to lead us to your website and any blogs you might like us to know about.

DB: Learn more about me at http:\\www.donnaball.net.  

Check out the Raine Stockton Dog Mystery series at www.rainestocktondogmysteries.blogspot.com 

and don’t forget my latest release, FLASH at http:\\www.doglegislanddogmysteries.blogspot.com.  

If you are a fan of women’s fiction, check out the Ladybug Farm series and THE HUMMINGBIRD HOUSE  at www.ladybugfarmcharms.blogspot.com.

Here’s an amazon.com link to Flash, the first book in my newest mystery series: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00V3KTHT6

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Pam's Library Trip

My library trip:

Last night I went to the library. Here is the library stash:
The DOUBLE CROSS By CLARE O'DONOHUE (A Someday Quilt Mystery Series)

TAKEN IN By ELIZABETH LYNN CASEY (Southern Sewing Circle Mystery Series)

SPADE & ARCHER By JOE GORES (The Prequel to Dashiell Hammett's -The Maltese Falcon)


This will be helpful. I am also reading a great book on my kindle set in the 1940's shade of Sam Spade. It's in the bedroom so I will have tell you the title when I add it to my book journal list.

Current Read AUNT DIMITY and the WISHING WELL it should be finished tonight.

What are you reading? What did you finish reading?


Review: Clam Wake by Mary Daheim


It's January and the fish are biting but they are biting for Bill and Joe in another country. New Zealand and off Bill and Joe go on an adventure.

Little do Cousin Renie and Judith realize that they are about to embark on an adventure of their own.
Auntie Vance and Uncle Vince are called away to help an ailing relative and they need someone to house sit on Obsession Shores. Judith could use the down time and Renie could complete her work assignment there as anywhere. So off they go and Auntie Vance has left them stocked with homemade clam chowder, beef noodle bake, homemade desserts and life will be wonderful.

However, the waters become choppy when they discover a dead man on the beach. There is talk of gold coins, water rights, land rights, more than a few odd neighbors. Plus everyone's winter hobby is drinking and lots of it.

Auntie Vance did not warn them of the danger that Obsession Shores hold. As the fog thickens so does the plot and this time the secrets and lies hit a little too close to home for Judith and Renie.

I give this witty, wise and mouth watering mystery an nine out of ten stars.


Sunday, June 21, 2015

Birthday continued

​So today we found out that on Terri's Birthday it is not only the day Terri turns 50, but on this day Lizzie Borden, was acquitted of murdering her parents. 
If you don't read many nonfiction books. Try reading one of the many re-accounts of Lizzie Borden. Now do you know of anything or anyone that happened on the day you were born?


Saturday, June 20, 2015

Happy Birthday Terri


I hope your day is as fantastic as you are. Have fun and here's hoping you never ever run out of interesting books to read.

Okay everyone let's think of a mystery title that includes something about Terri:

Mine is: Terri's traveling Halloween Topics that will thrill you!