Friday, June 24, 2011

Guest Blogger - Barbara Colley

Thanks so much to Terri and Pamela for thinking of me, and a belated HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Terri.

Birthdays in our family are special and a big deal.  I have really fond memories of my childhood birthday celebrations--balloons, cake, ice cream, and lots of kids to play with.  Then, there was my sweet-sixteen birthday party.  My parents rented Hunter’s Playhouse, a building used for parties and such, and gave me a dance.  No, we didn’t have a live band back then, but we had a juke box with all of the latest hits.  Oh, and my present?  My parents gave me a beautiful charm bracelet filled with charms of all of my favorite things.  Ah, the memories . . .

When Pamela emailed me about being a guest on their blog, she asked me to give an update on what all has been going on with me.  Of course everyone in the small town where I live were collectively holding their breaths over the past month.  You see, I live about a mile, as the crow flies, from the banks (and levees) of the great Mississippi River.  But other than the threat of flooding and hurricanes, I actually lead a rather boring but fulfilling life.  For example, lately, my life has been filled with softball and baseball games.  One of our granddaughters, Amanda, plays softball, and one of our grandsons, Christopher, plays baseball.  I love both sports, so we try our best to make all of their games.  No small feat, I’m here to tell you.  This time of year in south Louisiana, between the high nineties temperatures and the heavy humidity, sitting out in the heat for even an hour is torture, but worth every minute just to see Amanda or Christopher get a good hit or make a great play.  Then, there’s our sweet Bella, our newest grandchild.  At least once a week I get the pleasure of babysitting her.  Nine months old is such a precious age, and I could babble on and on about all of the cute things she does, but I guess I should talk a bit about what’s up with my writing career.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with my writing, I’m the author of the Charlotte LaRue mysteries, a cozy series about a maid who works exclusively in the New Orleans Garden District and just happens to have a knack for solving murders as well.  The eighth book in the series, Dusted to Death, is now available in paperback, on Kindle, and on the Nook, as well. 

After turning in the manuscript for Dusted to Death to my publisher, I was offered a contract for two more Charlotte LaRue mysteries.  Unfortunately, due to a disagreement over the terms of the offer, I made one of the hardest decisions of my career, a decision that wasn’t made lightly and a decision that included a lot of anxious moments.  I turned down the offer.  I know that many of Charlotte’s fans were disappointed, and I’m truly sorry about that.  Please know that my decision wasn’t made lightly and there were other, personal reasons, as well, that determined my decision.

It’s been almost two years since I turned in that last manuscript and I’ve toyed with the idea of  “retiring” completely.  Funny thing about that, though.  There’s this character who has been nagging me lately.  Her name is Annie Wilson.  At first, I tried to ignore Annie, thinking she’d just go away.  But, darn her hide, she’s proving to be a really stubborn woman.  About two months ago, I finally gave in and wrote a short story about her.  I thought by doing that, I could finally get rid of her.  Only problem, all that the short story seemed to do was make her even more determined to have her own full-length book.  Of course, I can be a bit stubborn too and have come up with all kinds of reasons why I can’t write right now.  Hey, they are good reasons--remodeling my kitchen and cleaning out twenty years worth of paper and books from my office, which is no small feat, I’m here to tell you.  Even worse, when I mentioned Annie to my agent, he actually liked her.  Well, the kitchen is now remodeled (I love it), and I’ve almost got my office to the point where I can get to the computer once again, so I guess I’m running out of excuses.  Of course you and I both know that just because I write a book about Annie, that doesn’t mean that a publisher will want it.  Guess maybe a few rejections would be one way to shut Annie up, huh?  Then again, what if a publisher actually wants to buy it?  Then what?  Then, I guess I’d be thrilled.  You do know I’m kidding, don’t you?  Of course I’d be thrilled.  Even after sixteen published books, it still thrills me every time a publisher is interested in something I’ve written, and I would consider myself very blessed indeed to get an offer.

Let’s see now, I’ve covered personal and professional, so guess I’ve rattled on and on enough for one day.  I’ll conclude by simply saying thanks for taking the time to read this, and just so you know, at this point in my life and my career, only time will tell.

Bio of Barbara Colley (June 2011)

Barbara Colley, a native of Louisiana, is an award-winning, best-selling author of sixteen novels. Her books have been published in over 17 foreign languages. In addition to her romantic suspense novels, she is also the author of the widely acclaimed Charlotte LaRue mystery series that's set in the New Orleans Garden District and features a maid who not only cleans Garden District mansions, but solves murders as well.

Barbara has won many awards as a published writer including: a nomination by Romantic Times BookClub for the 2003 Reviewer's Choice Award for Maid for Murder, her first Charlotte LaRue mystery, and the 1996 Distinguished Artist Award (for her outstanding contributions to the literary arts in Louisiana ). In March 2005, Barbara was named "Leading Business Woman of the Week" in the metro New Orleans area by Magic 101.9 radio station.  Writing under her pseudonym Anne Logan, her romantic suspense novel, Gulf Breezes, won the 1992 Oklahoma RWA National Reader's Choice Award. Gulf Breezes also garnered the 1992 Romance Writers of America Published Author Network ARTemis Award for it’s outstanding cover art.

Barbara’s eighth Charlotte LaRue mystery, Dusted to Death, is available now in paperback at most bookstores, on Kindle, and on the Nook.  To find out more about Barbara and her books, please visit her website: or follow her on Twitter:

Monday, June 20, 2011

Monday June 20, 2011

Monday June 20th,2011

We have a birthday girl in the house today. Terri Parsons has a birthday today and so I am going to ask Terri what her birthday wish is for today?

"Terri what is your birthday wish"? LOLOL

What kind of birthday cake or dessert would you love to be eating right now?

Do you have a speical birthday book you would like to buy?

Who would you love to see us interview or see blog on here this week for your birthday?

Do you have a favorite birthday memory?

Last but never least did you have a favorite toy when you were young?



Thursday, June 16, 2011



If colors are supposed to improve our mood or reflect our mood then I think flavors define who we are and what we like. Lately I like Key Lime Pie and really love watermelon even the watermelon flavored slushies they have at Sonic or a nearby local stand.

Now lets take some of our favorite mystery characters and whether they are historical, vintage or modern characters tell us what type of flavor you think they are?

Paige Turner in the Amanda Matetsky 1950's series reminds me of Rocky Road Ice Cream because nothing comes easy for this girl. Nero Wolfe reminds me of Lemon anything just so he can pucker up his lips. LOL

You get my drift so let's have some fun with this one.



Review: A Killer Crop

Title:  A Killer Crop
Author:  Sheila Connolly
ISBN: 0425238261
Publisher:  Berkely

Meg in the midst of her first apple harvest season when she comes home to find her mother unexpectedly sitting on her doorstep.  Then the greater surprise is that her mother was visiting an old friend who has since turned up murdered in an usual location. 
What I liked most about this book in the series was Meg's interactions with her mother.  Their relationship evolves as a result of what is happening.  And they have some really interesting conversations and moments.
I also enjoyed Meg's adaptation to physical work and her changing perspectives on her life.
My only frustration with the book was that I felt the mystery portion didnt do enough for me.  There really weren't enough viable suspects or red herrings as I normally enjoy.  But a strong story nonetheless and worth the read.


Review - Dial M for Murder




Paperback mystery series

ISBN: 978-0-425-22050-4

Paige Turner is no sloucher in the crime department. She working for DARING DETECTIVE MAGAZINE,  she solves crimes risking her own life and limb but the current case is a case where even she is hard pressed to figure out where to start and what to do to solve the crime.

Sabrina Stanhope is a very wealthy Madam and her employees are top of the line ladies. They could be models and many other things. However when her best employee Virginia Pratt is found murdered in a most gruesome way. Sabrina places a call to Paige Turner and tell her an interesting tidbit that three clients. All wealthy men in the limelight and one of course has mob connections (what else in the 1950's) and one is the District Attorney of New York City, last but never least one is her very own top of the food chain boss at Daring Detective.

It's actually no surprise that Paige gets fired (it is for her own good) and it's no surprise her boyfriend Detective Dan Street doesn't want her near the case. It should be a surprise to anyone that she is not only investigating the case but her best friend Abby has a fool proof plan to help solve the case.

With new shoes and old feelings of guilt Paige is going to solve this crime one way or another. Even if she has to become a detective to do it and even if she never gets to write this story.

DIAL ME FOR MURDER is a lot of fun to read. The series is great this book is the best and if you just want to revisit the 50's from fashion, to magazines to crime and the way men were back then you cannot go wrong with this series. This book is top notch and it is the most daring plot line yet....

Pamela James ***********

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Casey Anthony trial

I have followed this case all along, and read the book Mommy's Little Girl by Diane Fanning as well.  it is so sad.  But I will say this trial is unbelieavble. Now mind you, she is entitled to the best defense by Jose Biaz (and I do beleive this) but the defense streches incredulity way past the breaking point for me.  I do beleive she killed Caylee.  I will say that upfront.  But I would hate to be on the jury and listen for days on end to the lies she tells.

Even though we knew it was coming, the claims that her Caylee died accidently by drowning would have not been as bad as that she added the molestation charges against her dad and brother as well.  AND that she says he dad made her lie to cover it all up.  Which doesnt even make sense.  Why would he and Cindy have reported the car and that Caylee was missing then.

And how does a grieving mother whose baby has died go partying and living it up without a care in the world?

We are to believe that her father's power over her was that all-emcompassing?  PLEASE.....

Then they throw in the conspiracy with the meter reader who found the body?  WHAT?  How in the world does he jump into the conspiracy and why?

Then of course, the lies.  The fake job, Zanny the non-existent nanny.  That she was conducting her own investigation?  Like anyone could believe that?  And you investigate by parties and sex?  Again - PLEASE...

And then yesterday, they refute the expert Body Farm testimony regarding decomp fluids in the trunk.  Saying it was from raw hamburger or raw chicken?  WHAT?  Originally she said it was rotten pizza.  Her story changes by the minute to suit her needs only by now how can anyone believe a word she says?

So it comes down to reasonable doubt.  The defense seems to be throwing out as many possiblities as possibel hoping that one will stick enough to create the reasonable doubt.  Of course, nothign I have heard so far has even come close to "reasonable" doubt.  Just ludicrousness.  The sad thing is that FL taxpayers have to finance all this. 

So one wonders, what is next in Baez's magic hat of BS?


Monday, June 6, 2011



Okay today I am wearing an ankle length sundress and I can't tell you the last time I wore a dress. So let's talk about fashion and clothes today. Do you like to wear dresses? How often do you wear them? What clothes are your favorite ones? For me this sundress is one of my favorite dresses. I have several long flowing jackets that I like to wear. Now in the fall and winter I am a sweater girl. I love to wear a variety of sweaters and turtlenecks etc...I wear these mostly with jeans.

For me I really don't care much for slacks unless they flow too I don't really like the feel of slacks. When I have to wear slacks they are almost always black. I do wear a lot of capri pants as for some reason I feel a little more comfortable and I wear pedal pusher shorts from time to time.

Do you like for the author to describe what her character is wearing when you're reading about your main character? Where do you get your fashion tips from? Project Runway or Desperate Houswives, maybe The Talk or Oprah's show?

I really hate a lot of floral on blouses but I love and think everyone woman should have a little black dress or red dress. What retro look do you like and what retro clothes (if any) do you wear? I admit I love the tyedyed you wear hats?

Shawls or capes?

Anyway tell us about clothes and what you do and don't like.



Review - A Crafty Killing



A Victoria Square Mystery (First in a new series)

Berkley Prime Crime (paperback)


Katie Bonner can't seem to catch a break. Her boss at the insurance company can't seem to grasp the idea that Katie is not his personal emotional punching bag. However he ends up the least of her problems when Ezra Hilton is found murdered. Ezra was Katie's late husband (Chad) business partner. Chad unexpectedly dies in a car accident six months prior to Ezra being found at the bottom of the stairs with the back of his head bashed in. All in all not the way Katie expected her life to go let alone the fact Erza is a murder victim.

As Katie learns of her dire straights and the reality soon hits her that she must make a go of Artisans Alley because her own livlihood depends on her being not only manager but anything else needed to make the business a success. Ezra has also left a will that says Katie is to inherit half of everything and his nephew is none to happy to share half of anything with Katie. If this isn't bad enough all the crafters want things their way and the artist want things their way and all Katie wants is to be anywhere but there.

Katie must learn all she can about the crafters and the business owners on Victoria Square because her life might very well depend on it. As she tries to uncover a crafty killer, she also must work through her feelings about Chad and when she finds his journal his last words enlighten her to more than just his feelings but he helps her sort through the personalites behind the names of the booth owners at Artisans Alley. Between the heating system, the meetings, and trying to figure out Ezra's money problems, Katie becomes hungry for a slice of pizza, girl talk, warmth and understanding.

The crafters are unique, helpful and the artists have a lot at stake for their future but no one will be as happy as Katie if Artisans Alley can become a success.

None of this will be possible if she doesn't catch the person who wants Artisans Alley closed up and the key thrown away forever.

A CRAFTY KILLING by Lorraine Bartlett is the best mystery I have read all year. The plot is cleverly penned and the characters are friends I will want to visit over and over. Katie Bonner is my cup of tea and I only wish there was a real Artisans Alley and Victoria Square. Lorraine Bartlett knows what mystery readers want and she delivers with deep characters and a deft pen. I promise that if you delve into this book you won't want to put it down. Page after page is filled with the unexpected which makes this a really wonderful whodunnit.

I might add that I really care about Katie Bonner and her friend Rose.......

I give this review a ten.

Pamela James/reviewer

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Let's Go to the Movies


Okay maybe not go to the movies. I watched movies at home this weekend. Here is what I watched and all were oldies but goodies.

1. Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull rated this one a (9)

2. Agatha Christie's The Man In The Brown Suit rated this one a (10) the highest I will give a movie.

3. Murder On The Orient Express rated this one (10) I don't give tens lightly

4. Working Girl rated (8) for just plain fun

5. A DVD of Pie In The Sky ( I rated the episodes all a (9) such a good series

6. Murder She Wrote South By Southwest Movie (rated this one a 7) not as good as some of her others but I do lik Mel Harris.

7. Sherlock Holmes Smarter Brother (rated this one a 8) what a fun movie to watch.

8. Uncle Buck (10) what can I say I loved the late great John Candy

9. Charlie Chan In Panama (10) loved it as I do all of his movies.

Okay how did you spend your weekend? What movies did you see? I didn't feel good on Saturday so I watched several movies Saturday along with the In Plain Sight Marathon and then Sunday watched a few then on Monday inbetween working outside I watched more movies. I didn't cross stitch as much as I wanted I think I never quite settled down enough to have smokin needles. I did cross stitch but like I said not every day.



Review: Blotto, Twinks and the Intimate Review by Simon Brett

Blotto and his friend go see  Light and Frothy;   a new popular show and his friend falls for the star of the show.  After his friend is k...