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Showing posts from April, 2010

Guest Blogger - Lila Dare

Many thanks to the Mayhem and Magic duo for inviting me over to talk about Tressed to Kill, the first in my Southern Beauty Shop mystery series.


Since I’m at Malice Domestic as you read this, participating in a panel discussion about settings, I thought I’d chat a bit about my book’s setting, a small, fictional town on the Georgia coast called St. Elizabeth.

When you’re an author writing about the Deep South, you have a gaggle of literary heavy weights breathing over your shoulder: William Faulkner, Eudora Welty, Flannery O’Connor, Walker Percy, and Pat Conroy, among others. They’ve defined the South in such iconic ways it seems as if there’s nothing left to add. You also have the stereotypes of Southern life that trickle down through movies like Gone with the Wind, Driving Miss Daisy, and Deliverance. Is that a pair of dueling banjos I hear? And you practically have a duty to mention grits, kudzu, and the Civil War since that’s what a large percentage of the non-South U.S. populati…

Guest Blog - Stalking the English Village by Maria Hudgins

Stalking the little English Village

I’ve been thinking about this for a long time: Why can’t cozy mysteries set in today’s America evoke the same charm we find in those of the Golden Age? I’m talking about the murder in a little English village where everybody knows everybody else. Where the village idiot is as much a part of the community as the doctor but is never referred to as challenged, special, or any other modern euphemism. Where curtains shift when a car drives past. American mysteries seem to be either urban with lots of blood and action, or suburban with everyone on the block the same age, upper-middle class, and flashing impossibly white teeth.

Our failure is certainly not for lack of trying. A quick scan of the mystery section at Barnes and Noble reveals dozens of new cozy titles every month. But (okay, here’s where someone throws a heavy object at me) many of them are silly. Some insult the reader’s intelligence. Some feature towns where the smartest residents are either…

Monthly Movie Review - Duck Soup by Jeff Cohen

DUCK SOUP (1933)
Starring The Four Marx Brothers
Margaret Dumont
Louis Calhern
Edgar Kennedy

Written by Bert Kalmar and Harry Ruby, with additional dialogue by Arthur Sheekman and Nat Perrin Directed by Leo McCarey

Certainly in the running for "Funniest Film Ever Made," this is the purest expression of Groucho, Harpo, Chico and Zeppo. In fact, it's the last time Zeppo appeared with his brothers on film or onstage. After this film, he left the act and opened a talent agency, prompting Groucho to tell their next producer during salary negotiations, "without Zeppo, we're worth twice as much."

The plot, such as it is, gives us the country of Freedonia, being run into financial ruin by the current prime minister. Enter Rufus T. Firefly (Mr. G. Marx), appointed at the inexplicable insistence of Mrs. Gloria Teasdale (Dumont, the best straight man a comedian ever had), and determined to line his own pockets and play around at being the head of a government as long …

An Interview with Cross Sticher Sherry Benic

Sherry at what age did you learn to cross stitch and who taught you to stitch?I began cross stitching at the tender age of 35.  We had just arrived at Scott AFB in IL, and my new neighbor was a stitcher.  Her name was Karen, and she guided my early efforts.


Do you design your own patterns and are you a model stitcher?I am not a model stitcher.  I have designed a very few patterns, and would like to turn some of my drawings into stitch patterns, but never have worked that hard


Have you learned any speciality stitches? Which ones do you like to stitch?

An Interview with Cross Sticher Sherry B

Sherry at what age did you learn to cross stitch and who taught you to stitch?I began cross stitching at the tender age of 35.  We had just arrived at Scott AFB in IL, and my new neighbor was a stitcher.  Her name was Karen, and she guided my early efforts.


Do you design your own patterns and are you a model stitcher?I am not a model stitcher.  I have designed a very few patterns, and would like to turn some of my drawings into stitch patterns, but never have worked that hard


Have you learned any speciality stitches? Which ones do you like to stitch?

Review: Think Twice by Lisa Scottoline

TITLE: THINK TWICEAuthor: LISA SCOTTOLINEGenre Legal Thriller (Series)ISBN: 978-0-312-38075-5Hard Cover pgs:374
Bennie Rosato has an exact double in her twin sister Alice but Alice has a dark soul and other that mirror image look alike twine they are as different as night and day. Still Bennie finds Alice a job and she does all she can to help Alice so when Alice asks her Friday night dinner at her new place Bennie feels like she cannot refuse the invitation. At dinner Bennie becomes sick and dizzy the last thing she remembers before passing out is how easy Alice said it would all be. The next thing Bennie knows is that she is buried beneath the ground and soon she figures out it's a wooden box. An animal keeps digging as Bennie keeps fighting for her life.Meanwhile Alice has become Bennie she has taken her place in all things, her law practice, her friends and the love of Bennie's life. it becomes a matter of money Alice wants Bennie's three million dollars and tries to ge…

Guest Blogger - Kelly Gay

Hi Mayhem and Magic Readers! Thanks to Pamela and Terri for having me over to talk about Chilling Plots. When I wrote THE BETTER PART OF DARKNESS I only had a few characters in my head, the world of Underground Atlanta, and the big decision my main character, Charlie Madigan, must make in the end. How I was going to get from beginning to that particular point, though, was unknown.

I didn’t plot Charlie’s escapades, but as the story progressed, certain scenes took shape or came to mind for later moments in the book. These I wrote down to save for the proper time, but for the most part I ‘pants’ it and let Charlie take me where she felt she needed to go. One step at a time.

One of the things, however, I did plot out was the antagonist’s goal. I needed to be very certain about what he was doing and why he was doing it.

In the beginning of the story, Charlie is a cop. She’s been one for a long time. But when we meet her, things are changing. She’s suddenly thrust into unfamiliar territo…

An Interview with Connie (A Cross Stitcher)

Connie when did you learn to cross stitch?

I learned to cross stitch about 27 years ago, after I got married. My grandmother had taught me how to embroider when I was little
What are some of your favorite types of floss to use and where do you purchase them?


I still like using DMC thread or Anchor thread.  I get the DMC  at JoAnn’s, but I have to order the Anchor from the 123stitch.com site.

Give us an idea on what themes and patterns you like to cross stitch?

I like stitching anything that is something – a landscape, a picture

Do you apply specialty stitches and what specialty stitches do you use?


French knots are about the only specialty stitch I use. 

So far what is your favorite piece you have cross stitched?