Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Follow me on Instagram

And so ... I got yet another new phone. I was thinking a BIGGER phone would have a bigger keyboard, right?

Wrong. Bigger screen, same tiny keyboard.  : (

But, I was determined to learn how to use this phone.  The first step: getting my number transferred from my old phone to my new phone. Usually my brother does this kind of stuff for me because I'm intimidated by some kinds of technology, but he was busy and I didn't want to wait a week, so I called the company and ... twenty minutes later, success!  Okay, now to learn how to use a smart phone.

Read the directions? That doesn't work for me. I have to SEE how its done. Thank goodness there are smart people out there willing to share what they know and make YouTube videos. And they come from all countries in the world.  Somebody with an Indian accent taught me the ins and outs of my android phone, while some guy in South Africa and a woman in Australia taught me how to use Instagram.

Yep! I've had an Instagram account for some time now, but my phone camera was so crappy, I was ashamed of the photos. The new phone takes NICE photos ... although still having a bit of trouble uploading. But this new phone anticipates what I'm trying to type and suggests words, so it's a lot easier to write a message than it was with the other phone.

Not only do I have an Instagram account,so do two of my other names. So come on over and follow us. Just click the links below:

Lorraine | LL Bartlett | Lorna Barrett

So, are you intimidated by some technology, too?

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

A Just Clause is available for pre-order!

Well, hey--look what I found on Amazon this morning!

Here's the blurb: 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.

But what about bestselling thriller author Steven Richardson? Is it a coincidence that he arrived for a book signing just before the crime or that the victim was found with a signed copy of his latest bestseller?
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.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

They're in the oven now!

10-18 Natl Chocolate Cupcake Day

Why is it my characters can bake and eat anything they please and never gain an ounce? I sniff a cookie and gain three pounds.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Cakes, Cookies, Pies? It's your choice today!

10-14 Natl Dessert Day
Can you imagine a world without calories? Nah, neither can I.

BUT ... can you also imagine how sad it would be to live in a world without dessert?

Just think, no cakes, no pies, no cookies, no pastries, no ice cream, no cheesecake, no fruit. It's enough to make you cry! Luckily, that's not the world we live in.

You can go to the grocery store or bakery and indulge yourself and/or your family, or you can take the satisfaction of making dessert yourself.

Cropped_cookiesRecipes To Die For: A Victoria Square Cookbook can help.  Katie Bonner, of the Victoria Square Mysteries, has put together a collection of recipes for breakfast, lunch, happy hour (in the form of signature drinks), and dinner -- but most enjoyably, for teatime and dessert.

Pies, cookies, cakes -- you name it, she's made them and collected recipes from friends and fellow merchants on Victoria Square to share with readers and friends.

So maybe just for this one day -- indulge yourself. Make something wonderful for your family. Katie is glad to lend a hand!

So, what's YOUR favorite dessert?

Thursday, October 13, 2016

I love this holiday!

10-12 Natl Yorkshire Pudding Day
Now here's a holiday I can get behind. I could eat Yorkshire Pudding every day of the week and NEVER get tired of it. (Had some last week as a matter of fact.) Love it, love it, love it!!!

Click this link for an English #recipe -- so you know it's good. (I use drippings when I can -- otherwise olive oil.)

Meet me at the craft show!

CRAFT SHOW SEASON!!! What does that mean to you?

Since my very first book came out in paperback, I've been a vendor at craft shows. Until last year, no one questioned that writing books was a "craft." After nine years of showing at one church craft show, I was told writing was NOT a craft and that I could no longer be a part.


Of course, I disagreed. As an indie author, not only do I write my books, I format them (with a LOT of help from Mr. L). I art direct. I write the back cover copy, I format them for ebooks, and I do most of the promotion. Nobody can tell me that putting all that work into my end product (I do everything but print the books in my basement) isn't a handmade craft.

They allowed me back into the show.

My first "show" of the season is next week and I'm nervous. I'm going in through the back door. My friend, Eleanor (whom I met when I was a vendor at the local antiques arcade), "bought" one of the school rooms (she has a LOT of crafts (doll dresses, tree ornaments, table decorations) and it was cheaper for her to do that then just buy a lot of spaces.  She's "subletting" the rest of the room to other vendors. Will the committee come and tell me I have to leave?  We'll see.

Here's my schedule for this "craft show season."  If you're in the Rochester, NY area, I'd love to meet you.

OCTOBER 15, 9 am - 3 pm
St. Rita School Craft Sale, 1008 Maple Dr., Webster, NY 14580

NOVEMBER 19, 9 am - 3:30 pm
The Churchmouse Bazaar, Gates Presbyterian Church, 1049 Wegman Road, Rochester, NY 14624

DECEMBER 10, 10am - 4 pm
Greece Olympia School, 1139 Maiden Lane, Greece, NY 14615

I've already started packing up my books. Next up, making goody bags for everyone who makes a purchase (filled with my own and the Cozy Chicks bookmarks, postcards, and buttons).  Then next Saturday, I'll pack up the boxes, tables, folding bookshelf, and be on my way.  Wish me luck!

What do you like best about craft shows?

Monday, October 3, 2016

My veggie garden gives up its peppers

As a follow-up to Saturday's post, I thought I'd talk about my veggie garden.
Every year I plant a veggie garden. Some years we have good luck, some years ... not so much.  This year Mr. L dislocated his shoulder, and so the veggie garden went in late (in mid-June). I bought plants at the garden center, stuck them in the dirt, and hoped for the best.

The tomatoes have gone absolutely bananas ... but they're only just starting to ripen. If we have a frost, they'll be toast.  I bought two spindly pepper plants that did nothing until about a month ago--then they went bananas. Yesterday I picked 5 of them and there are still 5 or 6 small ones that may or may not get much bigger. I'll keep watching the weather and if it looks like a frost, I'll pick everything.

Meanwhile, it was time for Mr. L's recipe for ...


4 medium peppers, with tops cut off and seeded
1 pound seasoned sausage, like Bob Evans hot, bulk, 1 pound roll
1 medium onion, chopped
½ tsp. oregano
1 cup mozzarella
2 cups (1 small jar) Traditional Italian Sauce

Blanch the pepper bottoms in boiling water for 4 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400ºF (200ºC, Gas Mark 6).   Heat some olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat, and then add the sausage and cook until well browned, stirring often to separate meat.

Stir the onion and oregano into the skillet and cook until the onion is tender. Now, stir in the cheese.

Arrange the pepper halves, cut-side up, in your baking tray. Spoon the sausage mixture into the pepper halves. Pour the sauce over the filled pepper halves. Halfway through baking, poke the peppers so any extra juice can leak out (makes for less soggy peppers).

Bake 40-45 minutes until the peppers are tender.

While this recipe is NOT in The Cozy Chicks Kitchen (after all, Mr. L isn't a Chick), there are lots of great recipes you can try.  If you haven't given it a shot, maybe now is the time to do so!
Trade Paperback

Kindle US | Kindle Worldwide | iBooks | Kobo | Nook| Smashwords

So, what are you cooking from your garden?

Saturday, October 1, 2016

I like to write cookbooks

10-1 Natl homemade cookie day
And so it's National Homemade Cookie Day!  Naturally, I WANT to participate, but then I looked in the mirror and saw the size of my butt and decided I would enjoy the day "virtually" instead of actually eating any cookies. That doesn't mean I can't enjoy it vicariously.

Like working on my Lotus Bay Cookbook. (No title for it yet.)

The real question is -- why work on a project that isn't likely to bring me any money and certainly not many people will buy or read it.

There, I said it.

I love cookbooks, and if it was feasible, I'd do a real one -- like Susan Branch's Heart of the Home, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary. I can't draw/paint like she can, and adding color photos to an ebook is prohibitively expensive. (Did you know authors get charged per download of our books?)  Anyway, it's a fun project and so I putter at it.

CowI puttered at Recipes To Die For: A Victoria Square Cookbook several years ago and, quite frankly, the sales suck. I'm lucky to sell 5 or 6 a month. But I'm really proud of that little cookbook. The trade paperback edition has little black-and-white clip-art illustrations, some of which were drawn by Mr. L, like the cow to the right. (In the book, the dialog balloon over Bossy's head says "Moo!")

In Recipes To Die For, I included an anecdote to go along with each of the recipes. Surprisingly enough, it was hard. I know the characters pretty well, but I wasn't as familiar with the lesser characters, and having to come up with ideas about their personalities was more difficult than I thought it would be.

Recipes-smMy friend Ellery Adams suggested that I start the book with Signature Drinks.  Now that was fun. I had to read the entire Mr. Boston Official Bartending Guide (Mr. L collects them and we have at least 4 different editions, some of them pretty old) to find the exact drinks that would go well with the characters' personalities.  Conrad Stratton's favorite drink is the Corpse Reviver. (Yes, there really is such a drink!) And Mr. Collier, from Collier's Funeral Home, drinks Zombies (maybe in hopes of keeping those not-quite-dead away from his funeral parlor). See, there's lots of fun stuff stuffed into that little book, which is why it was fun to write.

Check it out on my website.

Anyway, over the summer, I've been puttering on two cookbooks; one for Lotus Bay (and features food that you'd find in a B&B, because that's what Kathy intends to open), and the other for the Jeff Resnick series. That would be mostly Brenda's recipes. It wasn't something I planned, but I noticed that in my books, she make a LOT of soup, so it will feature more soup and dinner recipes.

Okay, so if you've read either of those series, what other recipes to do think Kathy and Brenda should include in their cookbooks?

P.S. I've made all the Booktown Recipes available to readers on my website.  Go to the site, look under the Angelica's Recipes drop-down menu, and you can find them from every book in the series.  Just click this link.