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.
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
I am convinced everyone has their 'Go-To' movies for evry ocassion. So when I am feeling the family dynamics and even my family doesn't know this one I go to this movie. The Divine Secrets Of The Ya Ya Sisterhood..............
I play it this morning before I blogged as I wanted to be sure to get the facts right....
This story has everything...sisterhood bonding, children angst, friendship, marriage, past depression, when nothing but a drink will get you through the next moment...followed by prayer, kidnapping, the parent you THOUGHT you knew, success and of course failure. This movie reminds me what is important, what to laugh off and who to shoot!
So I ask you this holiday season what is your "Go-To Movie?"
See I break it down like this.....
If I want laughter : Funny Farm
If I want a great mystery plot: Murder On The Orient Express
If I want to cry: My Girl
If I want simplier life: Arsenic and Old Lace (LOL I know right)!
If I want to be Thankful It's A Wonderful Life
If I want Christmas Memories: A Christmas Story
BUT if I want to just be a little crazy and a little laughter then it's Devine Secrets Of The Ya Ya Sisterhood.
So what's your crazy collection?
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
For our Christmas Celebration we will have it on January 1st as we are waiting for Erin & Jay to return for Lake Charles, La that week.
This year we seem to be circling all the holidays.
Our weather is supposed to turn a lot colder day after tomorrow. Then by the weekend we are back to the 50's...........
Anyway HAPPY THANKSGIVING and don't forget to claim the wishbone so you can make a wish..........
I'll have an early start to A Christmas Story, Uncle Buck, Scrooged and Planes Trains and Automobiles.
Friday, November 19, 2010
Last night I posted book covers on my facebook page and decided to make a wishlist for my Christmas Mysteeries. Here are the main ones I came up with and of course I am going to ask what is on your book wishlist this year?
SECOND HAND SPIRITS by Julie Blackwell
DEAD and KICKING by Wendy Roberts
THE LIES THAT BIND by Kate Carlisle
ON WHAT GROUNDS by Cleo Coyle
The fun thing about this list is that all but Cleo's books are new to me authors so I will have fun discovering new talent and that always adds to my reading pleasure.
My next question is have you discovered any new authors lately?
Currently I have a ton of books from the library to read and return. This would not be sooo daunting if it were not for th fact we are doing our family Thanksgiving tomorrow which means no reading for me until Sunday or Monday and if I didn't have so many books to read and return this wouldn't be so bad.
As you can read books have been on my mind a lot lately and so far I haven't a found a good Christmas Mystery to read this year. I still have time to find one.
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
New to you," authors lately? I've been spending my time cleaning for our November 20th Thanksgiving with Melissa, Chase, Aiden, Jay and Erin, Mishell, Shaun, Cassie, Hailey and Shaun Jr., Frank Jr. Heather, Caleb, Bree and Ty so we will have a house full on Saturday afternoon. Melissa and Jay's family will be spending the weekend.
Okay now on to books I have been reading some very good ones. ASKING FOR MURDER by Roberta Isleib is excellent, then I am reading MURDERERS PREFER BLONDES by Amanda Matetsky, and Aunt Dimity Down Under by Nancy Atherton.
I completed a Lizzie Kate Flip Itz called Christmas Cookies and it was easy and pretty quick to stitch last week.
I am very happy to see that Pysch and Burn Notice is back on the air gives me a nice lift during the week.
So what is on your Christmas Wish List this year?
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
I really wish things would slow down a little there is a ton of honey-do chores that we have to have done in ten days. I'm going crazy. Jay is bringing his girlfriend for Thanksgiving and so she can't see the house like it is (don't ask and I won't have to tell) let's just say I asked Frank to open a window yesterday and he said he couldn't it might break or fall apart. If that's the case then maybe snow wouldn't be bad on Thanksgiving for us this year. LOL
Anyway I am trying to get rid of the smell of cigarette smoke out of everything. I think I might be a little over the top about this but who knows when you can get half your windows open to air the place out........ARRRGGHHHHH.
Reading I have several that I need to read and in fact just made a library run yesterday and here is what i came home with for this week.
A CAROL FOR A CORPSE by Claudia Bishop
HIGH HEELS and HOLIDAYS by Kasey Michaels
AUNT DIMITY DOWN UNDER by Nancy Atherton
POISONED TARTS by G.A. McKevett
Now if only I can settle down long enough to read them before they are due.
I can sit down if I cross stitch (at least for a little while) but this week even this is a struggle. I can talk on the phone if I pace but not sitting down.
I keep thinking I need to be living in a big city where I can sit at an outdoor cafe and people watch, or go to a mall and walk and walk and until I am tired enough to people watch, or I can go see a museum especailly an art museum.
I am just not made to live here where the wind blows and the time change only means that my insomina lasts longer. UGH!!!
I go to bed toss and turn all night long. Get up and am up an hour or two then I must take an hour nap., Arrgghhhhhh
Frank has been great through all of this and I am not giving him enough kuddos for I am VERY hard to live with right now.Mood swings do not begin to cover it and I know this but it doesn't help.......he's been tired lately but see he can't be tired because we HAVE THINGS TO DO so he can rest between Thanksgiving and Christmas.................
I just don't know what to do with a man who tells me he can't open a window......I guess the same thing I do with a man who can't pick up his dirty socks..................
Friday, November 5, 2010
If you’re not published you want to get published. If you’re already published, you want to keep getting published. That’s what being a writer is all about.
It’s especially difficult these days with disappearing bookstores, shrinking marketing budgets, and downsizing publishing houses. Writers feel the pressure to work harder than ever, produced more than ever. It’s enough to drive a writer absolutely crazy.
Here are five things you can do to hold on to your sanity.
Keep it moving
Don’t dwell on one manuscript to the exclusion of all else. If you’ve received a number of rejections, maybe it’s time to stop revising and move on to another project.
Keep at it
If you really want to be a published writer, it means you have to write. There’s no substitute for hard work. You’re going to have to set priorities – and stick with them.
Finish what you started
It’s easy to lose yourself in your first three chapters. You want them to be perfect, leaving you with the tendency to go over them time and time again until they shine. But the truth is you’re not going to reach “the end” like that. Keep moving forward. Finish the book. By the time you reach the end, you’ll be better prepared to have another go at the first few chapters.
Don’t ignore feedback
If you’re getting rejection letters that all say the same thing, you should take them seriously. Agents and editors really know what they’re talking about. They know good writing and, more importantly, they know what’s selling today. Listen to what’s being said. Consider making the suggested changes. In the end you might decide they’re not for you, but don’t simply dismiss them.
Get out more often
Even the most highly successful writer needs a change of scenery from time to time. When you’re on deadline, or simply obsessed with the manuscript you’re working on, it’s easy to become a captive in your own home. Getting out, seeing something new, or visiting with friends can stimulate your imagination and creativity.
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Thursday, November 4, 2010
One vice at a time but it is hard to walk away from a donut and not look back longingly and it's even harder not to have a second bowl of ice cream!
I haven't stayed on top of my friendships much this week. I'm too busy deciding whether I want to nap, eat or take a walk, maybe nap through a movie. Reading makes me want to smoke so I haven't read much this week.
I can cross stitch if I can stay on the couch long enough to cross stitch without a cookie in my hand.
Going for a drive seems to help much in the way of taking a crying baby on a drive. In other words when I get home I want to nap.LOL
I am sure it will become easier and actually for a day or two I had no smoking cravings whatsoever but lately and sadly the past twenty four hours that has not been the case. I am fine and have not smoked but boy am I catching up on my sleep. Except at night of course at night I toss and turn, kick my husband, play cover tag but I don't get out of that bed except to make sure I don't need a DEPENDS but is a whole other blog for another day.
Anyway Thank God for Halloween and Halloween Candy it helped soooo much with the first round of cravings I had so much so in fact there is hardly any candy left in the house.
Monday, November 1, 2010
First off, a magical happenstance: After nearly being permanently crippled by lower back pain, my doctor finally gave me a prescription for physical therapy. I didn’t know doctors could just write prescriptions for PT, but evidently they do it all the time. Wish mine had done so earlier, because not only has it worked a miracle on my back, but my physical therapist looks like Prince William! You don’t find too many gorgeous guys in Roswell, and this one moved here on purpose, which is hard to imagine but there you go. Weird things happen all the time, I reckon.
Naturally, since I can never experience a magical event without some kind of mayhem interfering, while exercising (I was hoping for a magic wand, but turns out I actually have to do exercises in order to pull apart the facets in the discs squishing the nerves in my spine) I managed to strain an adductor muscle in my right thigh. So now my back’s at least 80 percent better, but my thigh muscle hurts like mad. My handsome prince has a cure for that, too, though, and we’re working through getting the muscle unknotted now. This involves rolling the back of my thigh against a hard rubber ball and then putting ice on the muscle. It’s very strange (if you don’t believe me, try it yourself), but I think the muscle doesn’t hurt quite as much as it used to. Not quite sure yet, but I’ll keep working on it. Oddly enough, although I used to belong to the “no pain, no gain” circle of exercise fanatics (which is how I got to be in the shape I’m in now), all of the back exercises are very gentle and stretchy. Also, and even better, they seem to be working.
On the writing front, it’s been a mixed bag featuring both mayhem and magic. First came the mayhem. Kirkus, which is quite the prestigious periodical even though nobody subscribes to it, totally trashed my upcoming January 2011 release, PECOS VALLEY REVIVAL. Generally, even if a reviewer disses your book, you can pull out a sentence or two to use for publicity’s sake. Not this one. Here it is in all its glory:
“Rosedale, N.M., 1923: The excitement of the annual rodeo is surpassed only by the preaching of a visiting evangelist, and of course by homicide. About the only people in town who have no interest in the gospel as spewed out by the Rev. Strickland, an itinerant preacher, are Annabelle Blue and her bratty younger brother Jack. Annabelle is consumed with hopes of at least one great adventure before settling down with Phil Gunderson. Jack just wants to swing a bat like his hero Babe Ruth. Unfortunately for Annabelle, her beau not only comes in second to cowboy Kenny Sawyer at the rodeo challenges, he seems bedazzled by the preacher’s angelically perfect sister Esther. Despite being engaged, Kenny has never met a married woman he didn’t want to canoodle with, so when he’s poisoned, no one is much surprised. It’s more of a sensation when town gossip Hazel Fish, who’s been spreading rumors about Annabelle’s brother-in-law and another man’s wife, is found dead outside the revivalist tent. Unfortunately for Jack, her face has been bashed in with his baseball bat. Imagine that! Two murders in tiny Rosedale! Will there be more? Will the townsfolk share barbecue and s’mores? Will Annabelle get her man back? After much dithering, all will be resolved. Repetitious and inanely plotted. Unless you’ve a hankering to join Annabelle in dusting the shelves of Blue’s Dry Goods, give this debut a miss.”
Rather off-putting, eh? And debut? I don’t think so. Heck, I’ve had nearly 50 books published, not that you’d know it since nobody reads them after they’re published (except the occasional reviewer). Strangely, while bad reviews used to send me screaming to a corner where I’d fold up and cry for several days, this one was so universally snotty that it didn’t bother me. In fact, I posted about it on my Facebook page, thereby producing a whole flood of chatter. Then, two or three days after the Kirkus review, my Five Star editor sent me a notice from Booklist, in which PECOS VALLEY DIAMOND received a starred review:
“Didn’t Esther Strickland know it was rodeo week in Rosedale, not shameless-hussy week? It would seem that the revivalist preacher’s beautiful sister is not clear on this, since she outrageously flirts with every available cowboy in town, including Annabelle Blue’s friend and almost-certain-to-be-future-husband Phil Gunderson. Esther isn’t happy with just ruining Annabelle’s life, though, since she also has her romantic hooks into Kenny Sawyer. But no one else in town, including Annabelle’s best friend, Myrtle Howell, seems to recognize sweet, charming Esther for the Jezebel she really is. However, when Kenny is poisoned during the rodeo celebrations, Annabelle has more worries than just keeping track of her man, Phil; she now has to find a killer! When it comes to writing laughter-laced love stories, Duncan truly is the queen of the literary rodeo, and she infuses Pecos Valley Revival with an irresistibly sharp wit. A cleverly plotted mystery, a sweetly charming romance, and an intriguing 1920s New Mexico setting all come together splendidly in this genre-crossing treat.”
When a reviewer stars a review, it means he thinks the book is super-special. By the way, I know the Booklist reviewer is a “he”, because he signed the review, unlike the reviewer in Kirkus. The ways of writing, publishing, and reviewing are mysterious to me even after all these years, but I appreciate the Booklist review a lot more than I did the Kirkus one. Not that I’m whining or anything. I’m just saying, is all. Oh, and I posted news about the Booklist review on my Facebook page, too, and it didn’t generate a quarter of the chatter that the bad review did. Go figure.
Also, speaking of magic, this last week I finished writing the third of the “Pecos Valley” books, PECOS VALLEY RAINBOW, and sent it off to my editor. There’s something really satisfying about weaving a story out of nothing and ending up with a book at the end. Take that, Kirkus!
On the dachshund front, I have two new foster children, Poki and Giblett (the spelling of his name isn’t my fault. His initial owners named him Giblett, and Giblett he remains). Poki is a ten-year-old female, and Giblett is a five-year-old male. They came to me after a murder/suicide in Albuquerque. Talk about your basic mayhem. You can tell (well, I can tell because, as a friend once said, I have a Ph.D. in Dachsology) that these guys didn’t live a settled life with their former owners, which makes sense when you think about it. I mean, people don’t generally kill their spouses and then themselves if everything in the household is ginger-peachy, y’know? I hope to heck we can find these guys homes, because they deserve them. They also have certain behavioral problems, but Giblett’s getting much better. Poki remains iffy, but one can but do one’s best and hope a lot.
So now I have eight (count ‘em) dogs in the house, and am not having a whole bunch of fun because of it. On the other hand, at least I don’t have to deal with eight carpet sharks whilst in agony from a bad back. On the other other hand, the back of my right thigh gives me fits and tantrums every time I take the packlet for a walk. In truth, I have to split them up and take two walks daily. That’s probably good for me. All except Poki, who bit the halibut out of me when I tried to put a leash on her. See what I mean about the two orphans being a little on the strange side?
But what the heck, October was Halloween month! I guess we should all expect a little more mayhem than usual in October. Especially when it’s mixed with magic, which is what I consider the lessening of my back pain. Now if we can only get rid of the adductor-muscle pain, I’ll be almost happy, by gum! At the moment, in honor of Halloween, I’m listening to Dracula, by Bram Stoker. Great book. Better than the millions of movies based on it. Honest. Trust me
NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEED by EJ COOPERMAN: At (This is an exceptional first mystery and it is a perfect Halloween and Fall mystery to read)..
MURDER MOST MAINE by Karen MacInerney: A (What a great mystery especially if you are dying to lose weight).
DELICIOUS and SUSPICIOUS by RILEY ADAMS :At (You can sink your teeth into this culinary cozy and the recipes are to die for) who doesn't love good barbeque and quirky fun characters.
BRYANT & MAY OFF the RAILS by CHIRSTOPHER FOWLER: At (This one is not exactly cozy but it is british and oh do I love this series) the Peculiar Crimes Unit is better and better with each new book.
SINK TRAP by CHRISTY EVANS : A (Another exceptional mystery and who knew plumbing could be so fun) the mystery is not only a fun read but it has plumbing tricks.
That's it for this month!
What is your favorite way to celebrate Halloween? Do you love to pass out the treats? Watch spooky movies or go to a Halloween Party? Do you dress up or sit at home and read a Halloween Mystery?
I know some of us bake for Halloween and others munch their favorite candy....
What is your favorite Halloween Mystery? This year I have a new it's EJ Cooperman's NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEED....buy it read it and don't forget to review this charming mystery.
I'll be home with my cape and treats tray passing out wonderful candy and then it's stitching while I watch the movie Arsnic & Old Lace, followed by Clue then on to Hocus Pocus.....
When I was young my favorite treat was popcorn balls and caramel apples but these days I am more inclined to rice krispy treats! Followed by Reeses or Hershey bars...LOL
No matter how you celebrate fall I hope you have a HAPPY HALLOWEEN---tick tock tick tock it's almost the bewitching weekend remember don't cast any spells or hexs that will get you into trouble!