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Showing posts from September, 2010

Guest Blogger - Supriya Savkoor

So When’s Your Book Coming Out?

I hear this question all the time. At least a few times a week actually.

About nine or ten months ago, I let the cat out of the bag to friends, family, and the world at large that I’d been working an international suspense novel and eventually hoped to get it published. A lot of folks presumed that meant I was right on the verge of fame and fortune. As it turns out, I’m not that much farther along my journey than I was in January.

I did finally complete revisions on my book, Breathing in Bombay, with a lot of help and encouragement from fellow writer friends (who also helped pick apart every loose plot end and misplaced comma to whip my work into its final shape). I’ve submitted queries to a dozen or more agents, received a few rejections, piqued the interest of a couple others, and have yet to hear back from a handful. I’m told this is an above average “strike rate” for most authors. (Not sure what that means but it’s supposed to be good.)

Fact is, t…

Weekend Fun

Weekend Fun:

I had a cross stitch weekend and I could and did stitch all weekend. Fall does this to me I can stitch a lot in the fall especially on the weekends.

What can you do all weekend during the fall season?

I have to admit that I will probably go on a baking binge before fall is over and done because I love the way the house smells when I bake things like pumpkin bread and cinnamon rolls.

What is your favorite fall scent?

I seem to have a little more energy in the fall and is probably because I take more walks. I keep wanting Frank to put up a basketball hoop for me so I can shoot hoops. I can't use the parks because this time of year it's always got the college kids there who beat me to it. Fat jiggles so that wouldn't be any fun for the whole town of Parsons to see.....

Okay I am off to stitch a pumpkin do you see a theme here?



Review: A Killer Plot



Publisher: Penguin

Paperback Orginal

Page count 311

ISBN: 978-0-425-23522-5

New Cozy Mystery Series

Olivia Limoges has returned to Oyster Bay, North Carolina and to her family home her dog Captain Haviland is her best friend. Olivia doesn't have to work as she is a very wealthy woman but that doesn't mean she that she doesn't fill her time with worthy causes. She owns a lot of Oyster Bay and she is also writing a novel. Lately Olivia has suffered writer's block and so when she is asked to join the Bayside Book Writers she does exactly that and in the process makes many new friends. One friend in particular is Camden Ford and from the beginning of their friendship Olivia begins redoing her lighthouse cottage because the writers need a less public place to meet.

All is going beautiful for Olivia until Camden is murdered and the killer leave a haiku poem as his calling card. Then another murder happens and soon Olivia and the other…

Review - The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

Paperback: 600 pages

Publisher: Vintage Crime / Black Lizard (June 23, 2009)

ISBN-10: 0307454541

This book is the first in a series and I picked it up because everyone has been raving about it for quite some time.

Mihkel Blomkvist is an investigative journalist who has just been found guilty of libel.  When an opportunity to take time off away from Millenium (the magazine he works for) and work for Vanger Corporation scion, Henrik Vanger he is intrigued.  He learns the assignment is a 40 year murder mystery.  He, along with his research assisstant, Lisbeth Salander find some very dark secrets and twists.

So, I had a terrible time getting into this book.  Seemed so slow and plodding.  Not to mention mroe details than I thought necessary.  Many times I almost put it down but I kept going thinking all these people I know who love it cant be wrong.  Then a co-worker told me that yes he thought the exposition too much as well, but the las…

Guest Blogger - Gwen Mayo

Being an Author                                                                   

by Gwen Mayo

Since CIRCLE OF DISHONOR was published I have discovered that nearly everyone I meet has a book idea. Their “book” is only in their mind, or their fantasies, but they are going to write it someday—when they have time. Sane people make it sound so easy when they talk about writing a book ‘one day’.

Authors are not sane people. They may have been sane people before they started writing a book while still working jobs and juggling all their other responsibilities. Somewhere between writing, editing, submitting, learning to deal with rejection, and finally getting the book into print, sanity disappears.

I am just another crazy writer: sitting at my computer long after I should have gone to bed, squeezing pages of my current work in progress between loads of laundry or dishes. There are days when the word count has to take a back seat to the rest of my life. On a bad day, just ask me about my …

Inspector Lewis Mysteries

Inspector Lewis Mysteries:

I became hooked on Inspector Lewis Mysteries before they were a thought way back when Lewis was a sidekick to Inspector Morse. I have watched this actor grow and I admire the easy way he makes acting a crime solving so interesting. Now he has a sidekick named Hathaway and the more I watch the two of them the better I like the pair.

I thought last night's episode with the quizz contest was especially interesting not to mention the fact that for a long while Inspector Lewis did not date. His wife Valarie had been murdered and until the murderer was caught it was like he couldn't move on but indeed thanks to Hathaway the murderer was finally caught and now Inspector Lewis is starting to date.

If you have not watched these PBS Mysteries you are really missing out because these are quality mysteries that any mystery lover will love. You can also get them from Netflix and while you're at it you might as well make a list for there is Frost, Midsomer Myste…

A Cross Stitcher's Delight

A Cross Stitchers Delight:

How long does it take you to finish a small project, a medium project and a large project? For me it depends on wehter or not I stop off to do a small project inbetween larger projects. Ususally I can stitch a small project in an afternoon to three weeks. I don't stitch everyday but I am getting better at picking up the needle.

What was your last finished project? With the holidays coming soon are you spending more time stitching or about the same?

I actually am trying to spend more time stitching but that is because I want to try and increase my focus and to stay with something until it is completed.

What is the one cross stitch project that still speaks to you after all of these years ?

You know cross stitch is a form of self expression and it is also a form of art so what does your cross stitch say about you?

I do a lot of fun projects which tells me that I have very little fun (this may change soon) but for now I am sure that my stitching is a reflection…

A Past Life

A Past Life:

Do you think that you have lived a past life? Who do you think you were and how does it reflect on who you are today?

For me I think I must have been a stitcher of some sort as I love hand work and most especially cross stitch. However I am not all that good at it in this life so I probably did not stitch for Kings and Queens of royality. More like I stitched in a shop of sorts.....

Writing the same way as I am not Mark Twain or Edgar Allen Poe. The topic is something to reflect on because I find that I have a lot o feelings of having lived another life before now and that I especially feel connected to the Victorian age and the 1940's decade. Maybe I've lived more than one past life......

Even if you do not believe in such things it is fun to ponder who you might have been in a past life.

I can't explain why but I keep reflecting on shops and clothing plus handiwork. I've dreamed dreams that make no sense to me especially set in another era.

So today let'…

Cozy Thrills

Cozy Thrills:

Would you read a cozy featuring an insurance investigator as your protag? How about a Taxi Driver as a protag? A Photographer who is a sleuth? For as many cozies as we have out there on the market there still seems to be only a few niches taken up with this genre. Today let's see if we can come up with some skills, job or area that might work for a protag or cozy mystery.

What are some of the tried and true occupations that you like in a cozy? I like bed-n-breakfast cozies and cruise cozies.



Culinary Mysteries

Culinary Mysteries:

Have you ever thought about taking a recipe and building a mystery around it? I can see where bread pudding would have it's merits for a murder mystery. I don't like the taste of liver so I think any poison or wrong mushroom in something like a liver dish or casserole would be covered with the awful taste.

What meal, dish or casserole maybe dessert or salad do you think would make a great deadly meal to dine on? I ask this because I like culinary mysteries and I'm waiting for someone to come up with Dishes To Die For.....literally!

I'm also a cross stitcher and so I can picture a woman with anger issues stitching away as she plots her husband's favorite meal and of course the key to what she has done is in the sampler she stitches. Of course she wouldn't be the one to make the meal, serve the meal and may not even be there when he eats it as she must have an alibi.

I think someone who knows something about herbs I would want to keep on my good …

Words Word Work


What words would you like to drop from your vocabulary? If words are our canvas then I am in trouble. I have to say it all started with the word so because we I talk I use so or soooo (to drag out my meaning) and have been known when reflecting on a person of whose real name I don't want to use as so and so.....

What are some of your catch words that you would like to quit using or maybe you realized later that you didn't use that word in the proper context?

Another one for me is (But) "But I said, but I meant, but but but) and I might add I probably need to learn some new words and their meaning as I seem to use the same words over and over which of course if I notice this problem then I am sure other people notice it even more.

I'm afraid that my canvas might be a picture of a cloudy day. I say this because sometimes my words get in the way of th real meaning of my conversation.

Then of course we have the pesky words (the ones that end in ING), for the …

Guest Blogger - Alice Duncan

Although I hate to admit it, August was another crummy month. Not only did I lose a dog I was supposed to be fostering and who dug out from under the fence and hasn’t been seen or heard from since in spite of a million flyers and an ad in the newspaper, but Daisy Gumm Majesty (STRONG SPIRITS, FINE SPIRITS, HIGH SPIRITS, HUNGRY SPIRITS and next year’s GENTEEL SPIRITS) lost her publisher. Again! Yuppers. Five Star, who had kindly taken Daisy under its wing after she was bumped out of Kensington’s lineup (through no fault of her own, as Kensington itself, in the person of Kate Duffy, admitted), is no longer going to be publishing their Expressions line as of December 2011. Sob!

Five Star’s Expressions line was truly a godsend for a lot of us whose books don’t fit neatly into specific genres. For instance, Daisy’s books can’t truly be considered romances, because she’s already married. They aren’t true mysteries, since the Powers That Be at Kensington asked me to take out the dead bodies …

Guest Blogger - Dorothy Howell

SCENE BY SCENE by Dorothy Howell

In your novel, each scene should be important. It should matter. It should move your story along, give important information to the reader, and reveal your characters for their true selves. In most cases, it should be a balance of dialogue, setting, and action. The greatest plot, the most colorful character, and wittiest dialogue won’t matter if scenes are cliché or boring.

Here are some things to think about as your write.


In life, you can get an idea of what someone is like by looking at them. But you won’t really know them until they speak. It’s the same with writing.

Dialogue brings your characters to life. Words, speech patterns and dialect reveal a great deal about them. Keep it crisp. Don’t bog your scene down with unnecessary phrases.

It’s a good idea to intersperse gestures, characters’ thoughts and actions with your dialogue. Use dialogue tags to make it easier for the reader to keep up with who’s saying what.


Most writ…

Christmas Shopping

Christmas Shopping:

How many of you have already started your cross stitch Christmas project and your Christmas Shopping? Are you making a quilt for Christmas or any other Christmas Prezzies? If so we want to hear about it today and have you found some really great Christmas bargins?

I know it is only September 2nd but the holidays are right around the corner and if you're book buying for Christmas you might be able to find some really sweet deals right now and the same goes for cross stitch patterns.

I usually pick up things all year round but this year I have been so busy it hasn't happened and I was just thinking today that I need to start thinking about what I want to do this year. I do know I am doing a stitched Christmas Sampler for my house.

However today I am starting my fall and Halloween stitching then will return to the sampler. I stayed up until 1:45 this morning to finish the snowman I was stitching and now will put the sampler aside until my fall projects are stitc…

Review - Death of a Prankster

Title:  Death of a Prankster

Author M.C. Beaton

Mass Market Paperback: 176 pages

Publisher: Fawcett

ISBN-10: 0804111022

A Snowstorm. An old secluded mansion. An annoying old man who plays mean pranks on everyone around him. Throw in lots of money, and you know someone is gloing to kill him. And this house is full of suspects. Hamish has to sort through it all to solve the case. A really enjoyable mystery and I really didnt see where it was going to one clue was dropped and then it all started coming together in a very satisfying way.

Hamish Macbeth is one of my favorite characters.  He is just such a regular guy kind of character who does have a sense for getting to the root of crimes (despite his superiors interference).  And Lochludb (I may have spelle dthat wrong) is such an interesting little Scottish town. 


Pamela's August reads

August Reads: I have just been giving letter grades for monthly reads.

1. Missing Mabel by Nancy Mehl At

2. Three At My Door by Rex Stout At

3. Nine Lives Last Forever by Rebbeca M. Hale A

4. Dying For A Clue by Judy Fitzwater At

5. Manna From Hades By Carola Dunn Bt

6. Death Of A Trophy Wife by Laura Levine Bt

7. Murder On Elderberry Road by Sally Goldenbaum Bt

8. This Old Murder by Valerie Wolzien Bt

9. Ringing In Murder by Kate Kingsbury At

10. A Glimpse Of Evil by Victoria Laurie At

11. Mrs. Pollifax On Safari by Dorothy Gilman Bt

12. Death by Cashmere by Sally Goldenbaum A

13. The Hanging Tree by Bryan Gruley At

14. Bitter Sweets by G.A. McKevett Bt

Okay there was also Carolyn Hart's latest Death On Demand Mystery but I cannot remember the exact title. There was also another Selma Eichler and I do remember it being really good both books were probably A material. I have returned them to the library so that would be a totla of sixteen books for the month. Which is really good for me this mon…



Author: Sally Goldenbaum

Genre: Classic Mystery Series


ISBN: 978-1-60285-762-9

Hard Cover (LP)

Portia "Po" Paltrow is a quilter, a writer, and heads the Queen Bee Quilters Group in Crestwood, Kansas. Po loves to start her day jogging and takes the route by all the quaint shops on Elderberry Road but to her surprise she find Owsen Wilson dead and soon Jo and the other queen bee quilters discover that Owen was murdered.

The list of suspects grows and the eight members of the queen bee quilters begin to piece together more than a quilt although they are doing that too as in making their friend Selma an anniversary quilt using the Crystal Star Pattern that came out in the Kansas City Star piece by piece fifity years ago.

Owen was chairman of the Art History Department of Canterbury College and for the most part he well a well loved professor and while he had his opinions as of late the topic was changing the Elderberry Road qua…