Tuesday, January 15, 2019

On sale now!

Woo-hoo!  If you've fallen behind on reading my Booktown Mystery series, for a limited time, my publisher has decided to lower the ebook price of A JUST CLAUSE, the 11th book in the series, to $1.99 in the US.


Here's a brief description:

Tricia Miles, mystery bookstore owner and amateur sleuth, is in for a surprise when her ne’er-do-well father, John, comes to town—and promptly becomes a prime suspect in the murder of a woman with her own scandalous past. Even Tricia’s faith in the old man is shaken when the Stoneham police break the news that her father is a known con man who has done jail time. From merlot to murder, Tricia is determined to clear the family name before another body shows up and ruins Stoneham’s first—and highly anticipated—wine and jazz festival.



Read more about it on my website. Just click this link.

Monday, January 14, 2019

A way to go green


More than a decade ago, I was reading a copy of Martha Stewart magazine and took note of an article on ways to go green. In it, one of the suggestions was to use "kitchen rags" instead of paper towel. Not long afterward, I went to K-Mart and sure enough, there were kitchen rags. Basically, they were washcloths. I bought a set of eight for a few bucks and used them a few times. Then they got relegated to the rag bag and I didn't think of them much until I needed to dust furniture or clean up a spill.

Recently, I decided to revisit Martha's advice.

As it happens, we had maybe fifty or sixty washcloths stuffed into a drawer of our cottage. They've been there for ... a long, long, time. Now why does anyone need that many washcloths? They probably came from yard sales. They were in there so long, they were musty. I took them home and washed them in a little bleach and then rolled them up and put them under the sink.

Now when reach for a paper towel I stop and think ... would a dishcloth work in this situation?  About half the time, it will. So while I'm still using paper towels, I'm going through a roll every other week instead of every week. That's less paper going to the landfill.  Although ... if the paper towels aren't soiled (like if I use them to dry off a washed apple), I'll let it dry and put it in with the recycling.

Does it take time to roll them up? Yes. Why do I do it? Because I can fit iin a lot more rolled up than I can folded. And I'm usually listening to an audiobook when I do it. I love audiobooks. I listen to them when I drive (usually it's a story I've heard before because ... I don't go very far in the winter) or any time I have a task to do that's going to take a awhile.

P.S. If you want to know about audio editions of my books, check out the follow links for Lorraine Bartlett, LLBartlett, and Lorna Barrett.





Saturday, January 12, 2019

Monday, January 7, 2019

I've lost my glasses ... again

When I was younger, I was near-sighted. I wore glasses to drive, when I went to the movies, yada-yada-yada. Then...my eyes did a switcheroo. Now, I no longer need glasses to drive, go to the movies, yada-yada-yada. Now, I need them to read.

When I wore glasses to drive, etc. I had ONE pair and somehow, I never lost them. I could never eat with them on, but I wore them quite a bit of the time, and somehow when I'd put them down, I would always find them.

Those days are gone.

Now, I have at least ten pairs of "cheaters" and they're scattered all around the house. The funny thing is ... I often have to  hunt for a pair. I have scattered little relish dishes around the house so that I can keep a pair of glasses in them and they are supposed to live in that room. (Kitchen, dining room, living room, etc.) Unfortunately, I have a habit of putting them on and wearing them to my next destination. Therefore, I often have six or seven pairs sitting on my desk when I'm in the living room trying to read the daily paper (or a book or magazine). Get up, hunt, find, sit down. I do a lot of that.

Mr. L suggested I get chain to attach to a pair of glasses.

Ha! No way. Only OLD LADIES and librarians wear glasses on chains around their necks.

Not so, Mr. L reminded me. Magnum P.I. (the ORIGINAL Magnum that is) often wore his sunglasses on a cord.

Hmmm.

Nope. Wasn't gonna do it.

After my mother passed away, I came across a chain and a cord for hanging glasses amongst her things. I took them home and let them sit...for three years.

One day this past fall, I was so frustrated from my glasses hunt that I searched out those hangers.

*Sigh* I guess I'm now old, because I end up wearing one or the other of those glasses most days. That doesn't mean I don't take them off and misplace them, because I do--and a couple of times a day.  (I guess I really just don't like wearing glasses.)

Does this happen to you? Do you have a solution? If so, please share!


Friday, January 4, 2019

What's for supper? How about spaghetti?


Hey, it's National Spaghetti Day -- and there's nothing like a nice plate of spaghetti and sauce on a cold winter evening. (Don't forget the meatballs and garlic bread!) And--hey! Angelica has the perfect recipe for sauce. It's from MURDER IS BINDING--the very first Booktown mystery. It's work, but you won't regret it! Check it out on my website. Just click this link!

How do you like your spaghetti served?

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

New For You Today!


Now available: Life On Victoria Square #
THE RELUCTANT BRIDE

Don Parsons and Nick Ferrell bought a ramshackle Victorian spinster and plan to transform her into a Painted Lady. Weddings and other parties are a part of their business plan. They’ll be hosting a small ceremony and reception for bride-to-be Lauren Washborne … except she doesn’t seem all that enthusiastic about her upcoming nuptials. Don wants to know why—but Nick is against the idea. Will Lauren have a chance to live happily ever after, or will her suitor be left at the altar?


Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Happy New Year!


Happy New Year from everyone in Booktown. Oh, and me, too!

How about starting the year with a fun jigsaw puzzle?  Just click the link and you can do a puzzle of the graphic above.  Leave a comment to let us know how long it took you.

https://www.jigsawplanet.com/?rc=play&pid=32becfaf1a66

Monday, December 31, 2018

Santa was very good to me

Over the years, my brother has bought most of my small kitchen appliances as Christmas gifts. The very first, was a toaster oven which lasted me over 30 years. YES, you read that right: THIRTY YEARS. It was only when I frapped the cord that I tearfully pitched it in the trash tote. (I bought a replacement at a yard sale for $2. And then I bought another for $4 -- just in case the current one, which was about the same age as the original, dies.)

Over the years my brother bought me an electric fry pan, a crock pot, a waffle maker, a panini maker, an electric hand mixer, a food processor, and I'm sure more. This year, it was an air fryer.
It was back in October, and I freezing my feet off at our summer cottage, struggling to finish the edit on the next Booktown Mystery in order to hand it in on time (and I was a week late) when he called and said, "Would you like an air fryer for Christmas?"

Huh? I had never heard of an air fryer before and had no idea what he was talking about. (I live a very sheltered life.) He said he had bought one and his wife LOVED chicken wings cooked in it and would I like one? (P.S. As far as I know, he has been on a diet since he bought the thing and has never tasted anything cooked in his--but he regularly cooks stuff in it for the rest of his family.) Needing to get off the phone to attend to Tricia and Angelica, I said, "Sure."

So, my Christmas present was locked in more than two months before Santa's late-night journey.

I got my present on Tuesday. Wednesday, my brother dropped in with a package of raw chicken wings, eager for me to try out the air fryer. Unbeknownst to him, I'd already made a turkey pot pie for that evening's repast. But I promised him we would have chicken wings on Thursday.

So last night we wrestled open the box and found the instructions to be sadly lacking. I texted my brother and we went back and forth and I just decided to "wing" my "wings." His instructions didn't match the manual, but I figured as he'd been making chicken wings for at least two months, I'd just take his advice. Earlier in the day, we'd stopped at the grocery store to buy a jar of Boss Sauce (OMG--is it good). And I warmed up some butternut squash (Christmas leftovers) to have with the wings.

Half-way through the cooking time, we turned the wings over and gave them a smart squirt of cooking spray. Already they smelled wonderful. Ten minutes later, we were ready to eat.

OMG -- can you say tasty? And clean up was incredibly easy, too.

So...now I'm ready to scour the Internet to find air fryer recipes because not only it is fast, but boy was what I tried last night TASTY.

Santa was extremely good to me this year, not only with the air fryer, but with books, Orange Pekoe tea (hard to find around here), DVDs, and more.  Yes, Santa was very good to me ... and I'm not sure I can pick a favorite present. Maybe you can ...

So what did you get for Christmas (Hannukah, or Kwanzaa) that you are forever grateful for?

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Something to think about!


Did you get a gift card from Christmas?  If you haven't caught up on the 12 Booktown Mysteries, now's your chance!  Check out all the titles on my website.

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Coming in only two weeks!

You know about Victoria Square thanks to the Victoria Square Mysteries. Artisans Alley takes center stage in those books, but the merchants--and their businesses--are just as intriguing. They all have stories to tell ... and that's what the Life on Victoria Square companion series is all about.

The next installment in this series is THE RELUCTANT BRIDE, coming on January 2nd and ready for pre-order.

Don Parsons and Nick Ferrell bought a ramshackle Victorian spinster and plan to transform her into a Painted Lady. Weddings and other parties are a part of their business plan. They’ll be hosting a small ceremony and reception for bride-to-be Lauren Washborne … except she doesn’t seem all that enthusiastic about her upcoming nuptials. Don wants to know why—but Nick is against the idea. Will Lauren have a chance to live happily ever after, or will her suitor be left at the altar?

Kindle USKindle Worldwide  |  Nook  |  Kobo  |  Apple Books

Want to read some reviews?  Check them out on Goodreads.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

It's Teacup Tuesday Once Again!


Happy Teacup Tuesday. You don't have to only drink tea out of a teacup -- how about a nice eggnog during this holiday season?


Monday, December 17, 2018

For your cookie pleasure

Sometimes we forget that not everyone celebrates the holidays, be it because they belong to other religious persuasions or have no religion at all. But there's one thing we should all be able to agree on ...

COOKIES!

The holiday season is about spoiling those you love and...why not yourself, too?  And one way to do that is with food.

Here's a recipe for a favorite of mine.

SNOWBALLS
Ingredients
1 cup butter softened
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups finely chopped pecans or walnuts
Confectioners' sugar

Preheat the oven to 325ºF (170ºC, Gas Mark 3) Cream the butter and sugar in medium-sized bowl until creamy. Add the vanilla; beat until well mixed. Add the flour and nuts; beat at low speed, scraping bowl occasionally, until well mixed. Shape the dough into 1-inch balls. Place 1 inch apart onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake for 16 to 18 minutes or until very lightly browned. Cool for 5 minutes; roll in powdered sugar while still warm and again when cool.

Yield:  4 dozen cookies

Every day can be a holiday. What's your favorite holiday cookie recipe?.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Gateway to the weekend


I don't know about you, but it's been COLD and SNOWY here for a few weeks and I'm feeling very nostolgic for the extremely hot weather we had over the summer.

There are no sandy beaches in my future, but there is a book and a chilled glass of my favorite adult beverage in the near future.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, November 29, 2018

The story behind the story - YULE BE DEAD


When my co-writer, Gayle Leeson, and I were deciding what we'd write about for Victoria Square #5, we made a conscious decision to set the book during the holidays.

I've written several short stories that take place during Christmastime, but never a whole novel. (You can check out all my holiday stories on my website. Just click this link.)

When I signed the contract, my publisher decided they didn't want to buy the rights to certain countries, which means that I could publish it in those countries on my own. (So I own the rights to the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and a few other countries.) That's why there are two different covers. (P.S. I like my cover better. How about you?)

Gayle and I make a great team and we're already in the home-stretch of writing Victoria Square #6 (Murder Ink).

Yule Be Dead is now available! Here's the description:

It's the holiday season, but not everyone is jolly--especially not Vonne Barnett. Her dead body has been found near Victoria Square. Katie Bonner, the manager of Artisan’s Alley, happens to be at the tea shop Vonne's mother, Francine, owns when the news is delivered.

Vonne left a trail of men behind her so the suspects are many--but the clues are few. A broken teacup* leads Katie to one of the suspects, but before she can investigate, she’s attacked. Katie may be closing in on a killer, but time is ticking because the killer is definitely closing in on her.



 GET IT NOW!

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books A Million | Chapters/Indigo | Book Depository

Kindle US | Kindle UK | Kindle AU  | Kindle Worldwide | Nook | Kobo | Apple Books


* The Broken Teacup is a short story in my companion series, Life on Victoria Square.

P.S.  I'm having a launch party today on my Facebook Group Page from 7 to 9 pm EST. Be there for the fun and the giveaways! Click this link to get there!



Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Help me decide how to decorate


-Aren't these candle climbers adorable? They're part of my (ahem, um...over 200) vintage Made In Japan Christmas figurines. CONFESSION: These guys live in my dining room all year.

I've been looking at my cabinet and trying to decide which of my figurines should come out to play in the living room for the holiday season.

Elves? Santa? Musicians (I have a whole heavenly band of angels). Christmas tree people (they are a bit...odd)? Girls dressed in long gowns?

What do you think?

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Get your copy right now: YULE BE DEAD

Yule Be Dead is now available! Here's the description:

It's the holiday season, but not everyone is jolly--especially not Vonne Barnett. Her dead body has been found near Victoria Square. Katie Bonner, the manager of Artisan’s Alley, happens to be at the tea shop Vonne's mother, Francine, owns when the news is delivered.

Vonne left a trail of men behind her so the suspects are many--but the clues are few. A broken teacup* leads Katie to one of the suspects, but before she can investigate, she’s attacked. Katie may be closing in on a killer, but time is ticking because the killer is definitely closing in on her.



 GET IT NOW!

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books A Million | Chapters/Indigo | Book Depository

Kindle US | Kindle UK | Kindle AU  | Kindle Worldwide | Nook | Kobo | Apple Books


* The Broken Teacup is a short story in my companion series, Life on Victoria Square.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

P.S.  I'm having a launch party today on my Facebook Group Page from 7 to 9 pm EST. Be there for the fun and the giveaways! Click this link to get there!

Monday, November 26, 2018

Happy National Cake Day!


What a great idea. National Cake Day! A day dedicated to eating nothing but cake. 

Okay, most people won't be eating nothing but cake, but imagine if you did? On the top of my list is wedding cake. Not because it tastes the best, but it's a celebration cake. And then birthday cake...and then maybe a spice cake.

What's your choice on National Cake Day?

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Pumpkin Spice Pancakes & Pet Peeves



It's still October! And Pumpkin Spice Month -- so why not Pumpkin Spice Pancakes?

So -- it's time for my October Pet Peeve: Christmas magazines have been arriving. So far, I've got FOUR of them and I am not going to look at them until at LEAST the day after Thanksgiving. Of course, by then, the Valentine's Day theme will be hot and heavy. Grrrrr.

Do you have an October Pet Peeve?

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

October on Lotus bay

October-the geece are restless

The leaves are starting to turn on the trees around Lotus Bay. Without boats, the geese, swans, ducks, and gulls have the bay to themselves. I love to hear the geese flying overhead. They get restless paddling around, take off, land somewhere else, and the cycle repeats. I'm pretty sure they stay in the area year round, thanks to all the farmland full of leftovers (corn and soybeans) and the retention ponds. 

What's the wildlife doing in your neck of the woods?