Wednesday, June 14, 2017

One of (I hope) many

?

The roses are just starting to bloom in my garden. This was supposed to be a climbing rose, but after a decade, I've given up hope. Three of my knockout roses are in bloom, with another two waiting in the wings, and the huge "old rose" bush I cut down to nothing in April has totally grown back and will be festooned with blooms in another week or two. Yee-ha!

 How does your garden grow?

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Come and get it!


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.

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Books A million
Book Depository
Chapters
Kindle US
Kindle Worldwide
iBooks
Nook
Kobo
 
Get your copy NOW!

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

YAY -- It's here!


Haven't ordered it yet? What are you waiting for?

Tricia and Angelica leave Booktown behind for some much needed R&R. Naturally they choose a Mystery Lovers cruise, where they can ponder whodunnit in deck chairs while sipping colorful drinks and soaking up some rays. But the fun is cut short when a fellow passenger is murdered for real. Is the killer a famous mystery author, one of her fans, or a member of the ship’s crew? As Tricia tries to find the killer before they reach port, she may be cruising for a bruising...

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Books A Million
Book Depository
Chapters Indigo

Check the website for more information



Monday, June 5, 2017

TOMORROW!


If you haven't already ordered, you can do it now!

Tricia and Angelica leave Booktown behind for some much needed R&R. Naturally they choose a Mystery Lovers cruise, where they can ponder whodunnit in deck chairs while sipping colorful drinks and soaking up some rays. But the fun is cut short when a fellow passenger is murdered for real. Is the killer a famous mystery author, one of her fans, or a member of the ship’s crew? As Tricia tries to find the killer before they reach port, she may be cruising for a bruising...

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Books A Million
Book Depository
Chapters Indigo

Check the website for more information

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Only two more days until ...


Ah, Bermuda. Breathtaking views, beautiful beaches .... there's just one tiny problem. It's January and it's not even 60 degrees out.

TITLE WAVE ARRIVES IN PAPERBACK ON JUNE 6th  

Tricia and Angelica leave Booktown behind for some much needed R&R. Naturally they choose a Mystery Lovers cruise, where they can ponder whodunnit in deck chairs while sipping colorful drinks and soaking up some rays. But the fun is cut short when a fellow passenger is murdered for real. Is the killer a famous mystery author, one of her fans, or a member of the ship’s crew? As Tricia tries to find the killer before they reach port, she may be cruising for a bruising...

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Books A Million
Book Depository
Chapters Indigo

Check the website for more information


Saturday, June 3, 2017

She could have danced all night!


The big dance competition was all set to happen, and Stoneham's Mary Fairchild has a hot lead over the other contestants.

Tricia and Angelica leave Booktown behind for some much needed R&R. Naturally they choose a Mystery Lovers cruise, where they can ponder whodunnit in deck chairs while sipping colorful drinks and soaking up some rays. But the fun is cut short when a fellow passenger is murdered for real. Is the killer a famous mystery author, one of her fans, or a member of the ship’s crew? As Tricia tries to find the killer before they reach port, she may be cruising for a bruising....

TITLE WAVE - COMING TO PAPERBACK JUNE 6th

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Books A Million
Book Depository
Chapters Indigo

Check the website for more information

P.S. Return here for a new quote from TITLE WAVE everyday until June 6th!

Friday, June 2, 2017

Is this a no brainer or what?


When on an Irish ship, should one indulge by having the full Irish breakfast?  Mmm ... eggs, rashers, fried tomatoes and mushrooms, and beans. Yum-yum.

Tricia and Angelica leave Booktown behind for some much needed R&R. Naturally they choose a Mystery Lovers cruise, where they can ponder whodunnit in deck chairs while sipping colorful drinks and soaking up some rays. But the fun is cut short when a fellow passenger is murdered for real. Is the killer a famous mystery author, one of her fans, or a member of the ship’s crew? As Tricia tries to find the killer before they reach port, she may be cruising for a bruising...

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Books A Million
Book Depository
Chapters Indigo

Check the website for more information

P.S. Return here for a new quote from TITLE WAVE everyday until June 6th!

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Who doesn't love chocolate?


Tricia received a box of chocolate. Not only was she tempted ... she actually ate some of it!

Tricia and Angelica leave Booktown behind for some much needed R&R. Naturally they choose a Mystery Lovers cruise, where they can ponder whodunnit in deck chairs while sipping colorful drinks and soaking up some rays. But the fun is cut short when a fellow passenger is murdered for real. Is the killer a famous mystery author, one of her fans, or a member of the ship’s crew? As Tricia tries to find the killer before they reach port, she may be cruising for a bruising...

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Books A Million
Book Depository
Chapters Indigo

Check the website for more information

P.S. Return here for a new quote from TITLE WAVE everyday until June 6th!

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

A Stalker on board the Celtic Lady?


Stalkers, it seems, come in all shapes, sizes, and ages. Could this man have stalked thriller author EM Barstow?

Tricia and Angelica leave Booktown behind for some much needed R&R. Naturally they choose a Mystery Lovers cruise, where they can ponder whodunnit in deck chairs while sipping colorful drinks and soaking up some rays. But the fun is cut short when a fellow passenger is murdered for real. Is the killer a famous mystery author, one of her fans, or a member of the ship’s crew? As Tricia tries to find the killer before they reach port, she may be cruising for a bruising...

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Books A Million
Book Depository
Chapters Indigo

Check the website for more information

P.S. Return here for a new quote from TITLE WAVE everyday until June 6th!

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

I'll drink to that!


Love boat? Maybe the Celtic Lady was just an alcoholic's cruise for it seemed like everybody had a drink in their hand--especially the writers on board this mystery readers cruise.

Tricia and Angelica leave Booktown behind for some much needed R&R. Naturally they choose a Mystery Lovers cruise, where they can ponder whodunnit in deck chairs while sipping colorful drinks and soaking up some rays. But the fun is cut short when a fellow passenger is murdered for real. Is the killer a famous mystery author, one of her fans, or a member of the ship’s crew? As Tricia tries to find the killer before they reach port, she may be cruising for a bruising...

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Books A Million
Book Depository
Chapters Indigo

Check the website for more information

P.S. Return here for a new quote from TITLE WAVE everyday until June 6th!

Monday, May 29, 2017

Memorial Day Greetings

Seems odd to say "happy" Memorial Day as we honor our fallen soldiers, but ... happy Memorial Day. I got my poppies from vets from the VFW and American Legion. I have quite a collection of them. Since I always get them at the local grocery store, I hang them from the visor of my or Mr. L's car. This year, both.

Are you going to fire of the grill today? We're having Zweigler's (not-so) Texas hots, potato salad, and deviled eggs. What are you having?

Memorial day postcard

Isn't the bond between a mother and her child supposed to be the strongest? Not in Tricia's case.

Tricia and Angelica leave Booktown behind for some much needed R&R. Naturally they choose a Mystery Lovers cruise, where they can ponder whodunnit in deck chairs while sipping colorful drinks and soaking up some rays. But the fun is cut short when a fellow passenger is murdered for real. Is the killer a famous mystery author, one of her fans, or a member of the ship’s crew? As Tricia tries to find the killer before they reach port, she may be cruising for a bruising...

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Books A Million
Book Depository
Chapters Indigo

Check the website for more information

P.S. Return here for a new quote from TITLE WAVE everyday until June 6th!

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Tell your friends!



If you've already read MURDER ON THE MIND (my, you have good taste!) maybe you'll tell your friends about it. #FREE for all ebook formats.

Kindle US
Kindle Worldwide
Nook
iBook
Kobo
Smashwords
Trade Paperback
Website


HAPPY READING!

This diamond ring doesn't shine anymore


Christopher wasn't a part of her life anymore. Was it time to break all the ties?
Tricia and Angelica leave Booktown behind for some much needed R&R. Naturally they choose a Mystery Lovers cruise, where they can ponder whodunnit in deck chairs while sipping colorful drinks and soaking up some rays. But the fun is cut short when a fellow passenger is murdered for real. Is the killer a famous mystery author, one of her fans, or a member of the ship’s crew? As Tricia tries to find the killer before they reach port, she may be cruising for a bruising...

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Books A Million
Book Depository
Chapters Indigo

Check the website for more information

P.S. Return here for a new quote from TITLE WAVE everyday until June 6th!

Saturday, May 27, 2017

My favorite Saturday thing


Heading out on my weekly treasure hunt. What's on your agenda today?

Angelica is up to something ... again!


What's Angelica got up her sleeve this time?

Tricia and Angelica leave Booktown behind for some much needed R&R. Naturally they choose a Mystery Lovers cruise, where they can ponder whodunnit in deck chairs while sipping colorful drinks and soaking up some rays. But the fun is cut short when a fellow passenger is murdered for real. Is the killer a famous mystery author, one of her fans, or a member of the ship’s crew? As Tricia tries to find the killer before they reach port, she may be cruising for a bruising...

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Books A Million
Book Depository
Chapters Indigo

Check the website for more information

P.S. Return here for a new quote from TITLE WAVE everyday until June 6th!

Friday, May 26, 2017

Can you have your cake and eat it, too?

Can Tricia have her cake and eat it, too?  Not on board the Celtic Lady cruise ship to Bermuda.

Tricia and Angelica leave Booktown behind for some much needed R&R. Naturally they choose a Mystery Lovers cruise, where they can ponder whodunnit in deck chairs while sipping colorful drinks and soaking up some rays. But the fun is cut short when a fellow passenger is murdered for real. Is the killer a famous mystery author, one of her fans, or a member of the ship’s crew? As Tricia tries to find the killer before they reach port, she may be cruising for a bruising...

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Books A Million
Book Depository
Chapters Indigo

Check the website for more information

P.S. Return here for a new quote from TITLE WAVE everyday until June 6th!

Thursday, May 25, 2017

A shipboard romance?


Angelica seems to think the Celtic Lady cruise ship is a Love Boat. But is Tricia ready to trust her heart to someone else?

Tricia and Angelica leave Booktown behind for some much needed R&R. Naturally they choose a Mystery Lovers cruise, where they can ponder whodunnit in deck chairs while sipping colorful drinks and soaking up some rays. But the fun is cut short when a fellow passenger is murdered for real. Is the killer a famous mystery author, one of her fans, or a member of the ship’s crew? As Tricia tries to find the killer before they reach port, she may be cruising for a bruising...

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Books A Million
Book Depository
Chapters Indigo

Check the website for more information

P.S. Return here for a new quote from TITLE WAVE everyday until June 6th!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

They engaged in a little girl talk



Isn't girl talk supposed to be fun? Not when the subject turns serious as it did while Angelica was putting her make-up. Tricia's jaw dropped!

Tricia and Angelica leave Booktown behind for some much needed R&R. Naturally they choose a Mystery Lovers cruise, where they can ponder whodunnit in deck chairs while sipping colorful drinks and soaking up some rays. But the fun is cut short when a fellow passenger is murdered for real. Is the killer a famous mystery author, one of her fans, or a member of the ship’s crew? As Tricia tries to find the killer before they reach port, she may be cruising for a bruising...

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Books A Million
Book Depository
Chapters Indigo

Check the website for more information

P.S. Return here for a new quote from TITLE WAVE everyday until June 6th!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

A brisk walk first thing is just what she needs

You know Tricia is a slave to her exercise regime. Right? Well ... maybe, maybe not. Read the paperback edition of TITLE WAVE to find out!

Tricia and Angelica leave Booktown behind for some much needed R&R. Naturally they choose a Mystery Lovers cruise, where they can ponder whodunnit in deck chairs while sipping colorful drinks and soaking up some rays. But the fun is cut short when a fellow passenger is murdered for real. Is the killer a famous mystery author, one of her fans, or a member of the ship’s crew? As Tricia tries to find the killer before they reach port, she may be cruising for a bruising...

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Books A Million
Book Depository
Chapters Indigo

Check the website for more information

P.S. Return here for a new quote from TITLE WAVE everyday until June 6th!

Monday, May 22, 2017

Party, party, party!


I'm holding a contest over on Facebook. All you have to do is comment on the contest post and you'll be in line to win not only a previous Booktown hardcover, but will be entered for the grand prize, which will be announced next week.  This is a series of 4 contests, so there's lots of chances to win.

Just visit my Facebook page. Click this link.

Good Luck!

Counting the days!


Counting the days (14) until TITLE WAVE comes out in paperback. Have you ordered your copy?

Tricia and Angelica leave Booktown behind for some much needed R&R. Naturally they choose a Mystery Lovers cruise, where they can ponder whodunnit in deck chairs while sipping colorful drinks and soaking up some rays. But the fun is cut short when a fellow passenger is murdered for real. Is the killer a famous mystery author, one of her fans, or a member of the ship’s crew? As Tricia tries to find the killer before they reach port, she may be cruising for a bruising...

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Books A Million
Book Depository
Chapters Indigo

Check the website for more information

P.S. Return here for a new quote from TITLE WAVE everyday until June 6th!

Friday, May 19, 2017

Audiobooks ... It's complicated


Just like health care turned out to be complicated, selling audiobooks turns out to be complicated, too.

I admit it; I'm cheap and audiobooks aren't. That's why I ask for audiobooks as holiday presents. This week, I finally got around to listening to a couple I got for Christmas. One was okay, and the other was absurdly ridiculous. Laugh aloud ridiculous.  It's Guy Noir and the Straight Skinny by Garrison Keillor. I was never a huge fan of his Lake Wobegon, although I've read a few of them and did enjoy them, but it was A Christmas Blizzard (and the story bears almost no resemblance to the Amazon audio description--who was smoking what when that got uploaded?) that made me seek out another of Keillor's audiobooks.  Mr. Keillor read them himself, and in the case of Guy Noir, has a couple of other people help with the narration. It's marvelous!

But, as usual, I digress.

A lot of people LOVE audiobooks, but (as mentioned above) they aren't cheap. That's why when I went go hog into the audiobook business, I figured I could cut my price and sell more--making up the loss of income in bulk sales. No such luck. Turns out the author--no matter who s/he sells the audio rights to, has no say in pricing. One of my readers in England was lamenting the fact that he can't even GET my cozies in the UK. Guess what? We have no say on where the audiobooks are distributed, either.

That's why I'm sort of the perfect candidate for audiobooks. When I like something, I read or listen to it over and over again. (It's like visiting an old friend. And did I mention I've listened to A Christmas Blizzard so many times I've partially worn out disk 2?) So when I (or someone I love) do pony up the dough to buy an audiobook, I know I'm going to get my money's worth out of it.

Anyway, it turns out that last year I paid 20% more to have 3 audiobooks recorded than I made selling all 14 of my titles. One of my titles has only sold 3 copies.  (The other 5 that "account for sales" are actually ones I gave away for reviews. Not everyone who gets a free audiobook to review ever actually does that, either. Rather disheartening, really.)

If you love but can't afford audiobooks, ask your library to order them. I've also heard readers say they listen to them via  Hoopla.

So ... those are the audiobook facts as I know them.

Are you an audiobook listener? If so, maybe you'll check out mine.  You can find pages dedicatd to them on my websites.  Just click the links below.Booktown Audiobooks -- The Jeff Resnick Audiobooks -- Lorraine's Audiobooks

P.S.  There are two great Facebook pages to learn about (mostly) mystery audiobooks.  They are:

Incredible Indie Authors Audio Page           Mystery Audiobooks Lovers

I hope you'll sign up to follow both of these pages. Thanks!


Wednesday, May 17, 2017

All I need is a little cabinet!

Sometimes you wonder what people are thinking when they do the layout on a house. For some strange reason, my laundry room is long and narrow and pretty much dysfunctional. The former owner was a quilter, and I guess she had her sewing machine set up there, but it had been put away when we looked at the house.

So, the washer and dryer are crowded in one corner and there's a narrow space left that's pretty much useless. And though there are cabinets above the washer and dryer, they're stuffed and overflowing. (I need to actually open the doors and find out what's inside. I'm betting I could chuck half of it.) Basically the room has become a drop zone for anything that comes into the house.

THAT HAS GOT TO STOP.

So, I thought I'd buy a cabinet to put at the far end of the room. Something that could take the laundry detergent, etc. It would be even better if the bottom half could store a dirty laundry basket. Currently, we have a space for that at the bottom of our ONE AND ONLY linen closet, that could be better used for ... I dunno ... linens???

So I went hunting for a cabinet and found that whatever I like is either too expensive, or no longer available.  Like that pink cabinet to the left. (It came in other colors, too.) That's exactly what I'm looking for. This was actually listed as baby furniture and, because I like it, it's no longer in stock--anywhere. : (
Then there's this beautiful cabinet from Paula Deen's furniture line. Isn't it lovely? And only $1,465 (but free shipping!  Whoopie!). Nearly $1500 to store dirty laundry? I don't think so.
Home Depot has some storage stuff in the $200 range (looked them up online) but they don't stock them at the store--they're only available online, and I'm afraid they'll look too cheezy and may not be sturdy. I buy my laundry detergent in bulk. Will a big jug like that make the shelves buckle?

I looked on Craigslist, but everything there was made of particle board. (I stopped buying particle board furniture a l-o-n-g time ago.) So I don't know what I'm going to do.

When my parents bought their last house, a metal utility cabinet came with it. My mother stored odds and ends in it but would not part with it. It wasn't until she passed away that I got hold of it. I scrubbed away years of dirt and spilled ickiness, and repainted it inside and out. It's now in my enclosed porch and stores my gardening tools. If I could find something like that for the laundry room, it sure would make life easier. Until I can find something, I guess the laundry room will remain a drop zone. : (

Any ideas on how to solve this dilemma?

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Pansies for your Teacup Tuesday

PansiesI'm a sucker for pansies. They are the first flower I remember. My mother used to plant them along our front walk when I was just a little kid. We have movies of me at about age two toddling along in my rompers in front of all those beautiful purple and yellow pansies.

Pansies always mean springtime to me, too, even though they bloom all summer. (And in the fall, we plant ice pansies, that last right up until November if we're lucky.)

Wouldn't you like to have your morning cuppa from this pretty cup?

Monday, May 15, 2017

Junking with my pal

Last Wednesday my friend, Amy, and I went to the Ronald McDonald House sale here in my town. Holy smoke! Can you say CHAOS!!! It was 120,000 square feet of STUFF. If I had a bigger house, I would have spent a FORTUNE. As it is, I spent less than $10--but I was there for the thrill of the hunt.  Amy's a mom with two young boys, so it was inevitable that she wanted to spend a LOT of time in the toy section, while I was more interested in home furnishings. (Like I have any more room in my house to put them.) We wandered away from one another, but since we both had phones, knew we would eventually find each other again.

We walked into the HUGE room and were impressed with how all the (vastly overpriced--since 90% of what was there was donated by average people like you and me) merchandise was arranged.  We walked in to a pretty big Christmas section. Wow!  There were things I would have bought had I not already had similar items (like a dozen or so Made-In-Japan Christmas figurines of which I already have at least 200). So it was this little Christmas book that caught my attention and I scooped it up. It's two years older than me (and I'm not admitting how old THAT is).

This little Christmas book is chock full of wonderful little hints on how to have a great holiday. I saw it and fell in love with it. I'm going to save and savor it after Thanksgiving. Don't worry. I won't lose it. I keep all my holiday books in one spot and reread them (or at least look at the pictures) every holiday season.

I hoped to find that cabinet for my laundry room, but the only thing that came close to what I wanted already had a sold tag on it.  So I wandered into the first china section. I could have stood there for an hour or more just admiring the china and glassware. I saw this little beauty and snatched it up. I don' t know if it is a "real" Chintz cup, but it was pretty enough for me. It has a hairline crack on the inside, so they gave it to me for half off. Since I'll probably only display it, the crack doesn't bother me a bit.

Next up was the stationery department. Wow.  I bought one thing, and it's the only thing I didn't take a photo of: a very LARGE roll of brown paper for wrapping parcels. In the future, I will use it when I send out prizes to members of Lorraine's Perpetual Tea Party Page on Facebook!  (Want to join? Click this link.)

Across from the stationery was the main (with the more common) china section. HOLY COW -- did they have teacups. Probably 30 or 40 beautiful bone china teacups. I already have 40 or 50 teacups, and since they weren't chintz or even pseudo-chintz, I had to pass them by. But the regular plates were reasonably priced (what I'd pay at a yard sale).

My first purchase was a square plate. I collect square plates. I have about 50-60 of them on the wall going down to my finished basement. They're from all over the place/world. I don't know why I started collecting them, I just did. (Do you have a collection like that?)

Of course, I was drawn to the very small selection of Syracuse China. I'm a sucker for Syracuse China (which is no longer in business, along with Buffalo China). I have quite a few pieces. This is a sandwich or cake plate. I have two bigger plates in this pattern (in blue) so it immediately caught my eye. There were other pieces I could have bought, but quite frankly I'm running out of room. But there's always room for just one more dish, isn't there?

That was it for the Ronald McDonald House sale, but that's not all I bought this week.

On Tuesday, I took Mr. L to the Holloway House in Bloomfield, NY to celebrate his birthday (which was actually last month, but they weren't open for the season at that time). We had a wonderful meal (actually it was their turkey dinner -- which they serve for Thanksgiving. Whoa! Delish!) I love the charm of his historical restaurant, which was built in the early 1800s.  What I also love is their Syracuse china (pattern = Colonial). Isn't it adorable? I looked up the pattern on Replacements Ltd. and I might just have to buy a small plate just so I can enjoy looking at it at home.

Nearby is an antiques co-op. Of course, not everything in such a co-op is an antique, so it was also full of wonderful collectibles. And I had talked myself out of more than a dozen items until I was about to walk out the door, and that's when I saw this (see below).

One of my favorite cookbook authors, Susan Branch, collects what she calls Beatrix Potter "people." The characters from the Beatrix Potter books. (I believe her first piece was Jamima Puddle-Duck.) When I saw "Lady Mouse Made a Curtsy" was (dated 1980 and) marked for less than $5, I snatched it right up. (In real life, I DESPISE mice. Anyone who has had them poop on their silverware would feel the same way.) I looked online and saw the same figurine going for $10+. so I think I got a great deal. Despite the fact she's a mouse, she's very cute. She will live in one of my china cabinets.

So that's my "junking" for the week.  Well, maybe not.  There's still Saturday to go!

What treasures have you found while junking?

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Despite the caterpillars ....

Monarch-18140_1920First of all, I don't like bugs. But even I can't dislike Monarch butterflies. They're just so pretty. Nice Halloween colors, and look pretty so pretty when they visit my garden.

But the Monarchs are endangered, so I'm going to do my part to try to keep the species alive. How will I do that? By adding milkweed plants to my yard.

I can remember seeing milkweed plants as a kid, and people didn't like them seeding up their yards and yanked them out, maybe not knowing how important they were to the Monarchs. I also remember seeing the (icky) Monarch caterpillars as a kid, but I haven't seen one in probably thirty years.

But where do you get milkweed?  Finding seeds was just a google search away. So I ordered some--150 seeds for $1.95 and no shipping. That's way too many seeds for just me, so I'm going to share them with my neighbor's children. They raise preying mantis, so I figured if they like bugs, they probably would like to help out the Monarchs.

I probably will be grossed out by the caterpillars, but ... I want to see more monarchs. So -- milkweed is in my future.

Are you interested in helping the Monarchs?

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

There's some of me in everything I write


One of the fun things about writing is you can incorporate tiny pieces of your life into your stories.

There was a time when I hated to shop. (Yeah, sounds weird now.) Of course, I still hate to shop for certain things. (Like clothes. No matter what I buy, I always look like a barrel. Yeah, hate clothes shopping.) One of the reason I became a vendor at an antiques and crafts arcade was because I loved to shop there. I was furnishing our home and they had the best stuff! That's about the time I also started to go junking (which sounds a lot cooler than saying I went to yard sales).

You can get all kinds of GOOD stuff at yard sales.  I was recently in Florida, and they have yard sales ALL YEAR LONG! (Imagine that!!!!!) Mr. L collects cocktail shakers. I found these three shakers for $2 -- TWO BUCKS!!! (Love that the left and middle one are etched. I figure the one on the left is from the 1950s; the other two are much newer, but were unique enough that he wanted to add them to his collection.)

But (as usual) I digress.

I'm working on my second Life on Victoria Square story (A companion series to go with The Victoria Square Mysteries) featuring a minor character who has shown up in a couple of the Victoria Square Mysteries. We're talking a walk-on character who never even had a line of dialogue. But she stuck in my mind and I knew she had a story to tell ... I just didn't know what it was until this week, that is. She didn't even have a name. They just referred to her as "the woman who never pays more than a buck for anything." And what's her claim to fame?  A rose made of crepe paper. I'm having fun describing all the treasures she's picked up while shopping at Artisans Alley and I hope my readers will enjoy getting to know her, too.

The first Life on Victoria Square story goes on sale on today. It's called CARVING OUT A PATH, and features Ray Davenport, the cranky police detective who clashed with Katie in the first three novels.

A young shoplifter not only swipes a couple of hand-carved figurines from Ray Davenport, owner of Victoria Square’s Wood U gift shop, but barrels into and injures Katie Bonner, manager of Artisans Alley. Upon his escape, the police are called, but before the ink is dry on the report, the boy’s grandmother drags the would-be thief back to return the purloined items. She’s got an agenda and great expectations. Can Ray come through in a pinch?


Kindle US | Kindle Worldwide | iBooks | Nook | Kobo

I have plans to write about all the merchants on Victoria Square.

(P.S. So happy my cover designer could add three of my Dad's carvings to the cover.  Aren't the Santas adorable?  At the end of the story, I added the Story BEHIND the Story to tell readers about those carvings.)

I hope you'll give Ray (and later Iris) a chance!


Sunday, April 9, 2017

Coming Attractions: Gladiolas



Yesterday, Mr. L and I got our taxes done. Not fun. (Especially since we owe.) So, to cheer ourselves up, we went to the garden store.

Oh, it was WONDERFUL! The big greenhouse doors were open and you walked in and all the spring flowers were in bloom. It smelled heavenly.

On my list to get was gladiola bulbs. My mother always grew gladiolas and I came to love them as much as her. The lady at the store said, "We don't have many. Nobody wants them anymore." I felt so sad for the gladiolas that I bought three bags. She said to wait until Memorial Day to plant them, but with global warming, I don't think I need to wait that long. I can't wait to get really going in the garden.

I know a lot of you in warmer climates have your gardens up and going. Tell us what's blooming!

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Coming soon!

Theres’s good (and some bad) news for my Victoria Square readers. First, due to personal considerations, Laurie Cass will not be working with me on the next two books. (Yes, at least two more!) which makes me sad. But I'll be teaming up with another well-known cozy mystery author to write the next two books (and--cross your fingers--possibly beyond). I need to wait for her to ink the contract before I can announce her name, but I'm looking forward to working with her.

And now for the BIG ANNOUNCEMENT!





I've started a companion series called Life on Victoria Square. Every couple of months, I'll be putting out a new Victoria Square story featuring the merchants on Victoria Square, as well as some of the events they celebrate. The first story, available April 11th, features Ray Davenport, the former homicide detective turned shopkeeper.


A young shoplifter not only swipes a couple of hand-carved figurines from Ray Davenport, owner of Victoria Square's Wood U gift shop, but barrels into and injures Katie Bonner, manager of Artisans Alley. Upon his escape, the police are called, but before the ink is dry on the report, the boy's grandmother drags the would-be thief back to return the purloined items. She's got an agenda and great expectations. Can Ray come through in a pinch?

PREORDER NOW!

Kindle US | Kindle Worldwide | Nook | Smashwords

Coming soon to iBooks and Kobo!

Read more about the series by clicking this link. Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Thursday, March 2, 2017

A few of my treasures

One of the things I enjoy most about the summer and early fall is going junking on a Saturday morning with Mr. L. Since he's a mapmaker, he knows where he's going, and I just look at the scenery between our jaunts to yard sales and thrift stores.

Now that it's winter, it's the thrift stores that have me coming back. The truth is, I don't enjoy going to thrift stores as much as yard sales because their prices are a lot higher (which is understandable; they've got overhead). But this time of year, it's either thrift stores or NOTHING.
I have a few favorites, and even though times are lean (because A) I'm cheap, and B) do I really need more stuff?), I only buy stuff I think I will actually use or can find a good home for. Take this pretty cup. That was a find. It'snot bone china (which is what I collect), but I'm pretty sure I can find a home for this Made In Japan cup, which I estimate to be 50+ years old and with no chips. The doily was a dime--A DIME!  The store must have really wanted to get rid of them. There was a whole basket of them for a dime each.

Of course, I have a doily problem. I look at all the work that went into them, and can't bear to leave them behind, especially if I think nobody will love them. This creates a problem when you have tubs and tubs of doilies. It's come to the point where I'm going to have to do something about them. Maybe open an Etsy store? But that takes a lot of time. Time I could be writing (or otherwise known as gainfully employed). I'm going to pull a Scarlett O'Hara and "think about it another day."

What I got on another foray was a tiny jewelry box for a buck that's covered with sweet angels. Isn't it adorable?

The top opens, and it's got a little drawer.  The truth is, I really don't need a new-to-me jewelry box ... at least at home, but I thought it might look cute at our family's summer cottage. I have a jewelry box there (a yard sale find), but it's not nearly as cute and ... who says they have to live in the same room?
Here's another shot of it open with a few of my favorite pieces of jewelry.

When entering a shop, I'm often asked ... what are you looking for?  I'm first drawn to dishes, not that I buy many. But I recently acquired a brown transferware bowl (which I was too lazy to photograph). I love brown transferware, and it's not as common (or at least that's my experience) as one might think. I'm also drawn to jewelry ... bracelets in particular. I must have acquired 20 bracelets in the past few years. They don't take up a lot of room, and that's one reason why I like them.

So, what is it you're looking for when the "thrill of the hunt" overtakes you?

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Another Teacup Tuesday Treasure


Don't you just love this beautiful teacup from my Pinterest collection? What I like about it is the squareness of both the cup and saucer. Couldn't you just imagine drinking a nice cup of tea out of this, and washing down a freshly baked scone or tart?  (Say yes!!!)

Monday, February 27, 2017