Thursday, February 6, 2020

Coming May 8th -- New Victoria Square Mystery

COMING MAY 8th



Ya-hoo! Victoria Square #7, A Murderous Misconception is now available for pre-order.

Katie Bonner loses her lunch—literally—when her social media account serves up a shocking announcement. Her boyfriend Andy’s assistant manager, Erikka, is pregnant, and apparently with his child. And when Erikka turns up dead, the Sheriff turns up the heat on Katie and Andy, certain that one of them is to blame. But Erikka wasn't pregnant after all. Was Erikka's misconception the only way she could conceive of stealing Andy from Katie?

When Katie finds planted evidence, it’s her friend and former detective, Ray, who insists on concealing it. Is it his growing affection for her that causes him to act against his training and code of ethics, or could he be responsible for Erikka’s death? Katie is afraid to find out.

Thursday, January 30, 2020

A great start for the day!


Croissants for breakfast? Heavenly!  But I prefer to have chicken salad on a croissant.

How do you like your croissants?

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Love me a good SPUD



A few weeks ago, Mr. L and I tried a new-to-us restaurant for lunch. I ordered a Cuban sandwich on our first visit. It wasn't the best I'd tasted. Needless to say, I wasn't impressed. Mr. L chose a brisket sandwich and he raved about it. He wanted to go back. Me? Not so much. But before we went last week, I went through the menu at least three times and could not find anything I wanted. The only thing that vaguely interested me was a loaded potato. I love baked potatoes and when I'm at home, I usually only have butter and a lot of fresh-ground black pepper. Because I'm trying to lose weight, I ordered it with the grilled chicken, but without the sour cream and cheese ... but that's mainly because I don't care for sour cream or cheese. (Okay, I'm a bit of a picky eater.)

It was GOOD. So good, that days later, I was still thinking about it. And last week, we went back for our third try. (Mr. L and I go out to lunch twice a week. Yeah, not really a good thing if you're trying to lose weight, but I'm down seven pounds with intermittent fasting, so...it could be worse.)

The bartender messed up my martini (ick--he made it dirty, dumping in olive juice), not a good omen but they replaced it right away. And when it was time to order, I had made up my mind that I would try the potato topped with pulled pork instead of grilled chicken. (Just to try it out, you understand.) But when it came my turn to order I found myself blurting "with prime rib."

Where did that come from?

It's been more than a year since I had prime rib. Besides ground beef in a burger, taco, or a burrito, I'm just not a fan of beef and if I eat it once a month, that's a lot. EXCEPT for prime rib. I really LOVE it, but it's so expensive, we only have it once a year, usually on my Mum's birthday--even though she's been gone for nearly five years. We used to invite her (and Dad) over for supper on her birthday and always served prime rib. (We always had lobster on Dad's birthday.)

OMG -- that loaded potato was even better then the one the week before. The beef was cooked to perfection, and though there wasn't a lot of it, it was the perfect amount and beautifully seasoned.

We're planning on going back this week and guess what I intend to order?

P.S. These pictures don't do it justice. I will have to take a photo the next time we go.

What do you like on your loaded spud?

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

No one's talking

Mr. L and I go out on a date for lunch at least once a week and the one thing we notice EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. is that most who go out to eat are seated and immediately whip out their phones. Sometimes they only put the phone down between bites. Last week, we went out to eat and the man and woman (who were older than me) sat down and the man immediately whipped out his phone. I could see them through their entire meal. He was on his phone for nearly the whole time they were there. The only conversation during that 45-minute span was when they were ordering. Otherwise, the woman sat there looking around and not speaking...BECAUSE HER HUSBAND WAS ON THE PHONE.

I expect that kind of behavior from younger people, so it was surprising to see it from an older gentleman.

More than 20 years ago, one of my friends confided to us that she told her husband, "I'm not going out if there will be no conversation between us." He didn't have a phone to whip out, but he was reluctant to speak to her when out. So, they stayed home.

I don't get it.  Mr. L and I have been together for (mumble, mumble) years. In all those years, we have NEVER run out of conversation. We both work from home. We talk all day long (albeit sometimes shouting between our offices--which are connected), but we have never run out of things to say to each other.

I feel sorry for these people. If you have nothing to say to each other--why are you still together?  Go find someone (friend, family member--whatever) to talk to.

What's your opinion on this?

Monday, January 20, 2020

I'm Rocking the Cat

My cat, Poppy, is a rambunctious little girl. Her favorite thing to do is to "flip and flop." She loves to roll around on the rug looking as cute as a button.



Unfortunately, she likes to flip and flop on my lap, too, and it never ends well. But I've finally found a trick to keep that wiggle-worm still. I rock her--like a baby. When I'm at the computer and she jumps onto my lap, I scoop her into my arms and we sit and have a cuddle.  This has turned our mom-and-girl time into a much more pleasant experience for both of us. (When I'm sitting on the couch, Poppy likes me to have an afghan on my lap. She'll liable to sit with me more often when I've got an afghan.)

As it turns out, Poppy likes to watch YouTube videos almost as much as I do. Just this week we've watched episodes of Restaurant Impossible and What's for Tea? (Love What's for Tea? It's about Scottish woman, named Sheryl, who cooks dinner (sharing the recipes) often in a crock pot, or a grocery store haul, and she ends her videos with beautiful shots of Scotland. (I love her!) This is the kind of food I grew up with. (My mother wasn't Scottish, but my Dad was half Scot.) This is the kind of food I want to make.  (Poppy is content with 9 Lives.)

But Poppy isn't just a mama's girl. Lately, she's developed an independent streak. Instead of spending all her time with us in our offices, she's been snoozing on the couch or behind the living room drape. Go figure. But our times together are much more calm (with a lot less biting) than they used to be just because I finally figured out what she needed as opposed to what she wants.

Does your pet require you to adapt to its needs?


Saturday, January 11, 2020

Drink milk on National Milk Day


I like milk. I like whole milk (which tastes like melted ice cream to me--and I rarely have it), 2% milk, and even skim (now called fat-free) milk. Not such a fan of chocolate milk, but I like hot chocolate (made with milk).

I don't like pseudo milk. (Think almond, oatmeal, etc.)
Are you a milk fan?

Friday, December 27, 2019

Download to your heart's content!

What do these books have in common?


Well, besides the fact they were all written by me (blush), they're on sale for 50% off from Smashwords! No coupon codes, no nothing. All you have to do is put the book(s) you want into your cart, and they are automatically discounted 50% off.

Just click on these links and you'll get a list of my books that are available on the Smashwords site.

https://www.smashwords.com/books/search?query=l.l.+bartlett

and

https://www.smashwords.com/books/search?query=lorraine+bartlett

This sale goes through until January 1st, so hurry to take advantage of this great savings!





P.S. My novella, Off Script, is 75% off!  (Such a deal)

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

It's Christmas Eve


Happy Christmas Eve!

The Brookview Inn is beautifully decorated for the season and will be booked solid tonight--and tomorrow, the dining room will host a lovely holiday brunch.

Have you ever spent Christmas away from home?

Friday, December 20, 2019

Would you wear this sweater?


Today is National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day.

Do you have a holiday sweater? I have one--but I didn't buy it. After my mother passed, I acquired hers. It's H-E-A-V-Y and so far I haven't worn it, but I'm planning on wearing it tomorrow when Mr. L takes me out to lunch to celebrate the season.

Can you imagine my character, Tricia, wearing one?  I honestly can't. I can, however, see Angelica wearing one. I think her granddaughter, Sofia, would love it. And I can see her buying them the same sweater.

Do you have an ugly Christmas sweater?

Thursday, December 19, 2019

National Hard Candy Day


Are you a hard candy fan? I like hard candy. Sometimes I'm in the mood for peppermints and sometimes for butterscotch.

What hard candy do you prefer?

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Not what I needed to find


Yup, it's flat as a pancake.

Yesterday, I went out to the garage to get the car and run an errand and noticed that my bumper was a lot lower than Mr. L's car. (We we have the same cars.) Uh-oh! A flat. In all the years I've been driving, this is only my second flat tire.

Unfortunately, after Mr. L called AAA, the towing company got an emergency call from the cops, so we had to wait over two and a half hours. By the time the car got to Goodyear, they had finished work for the day (they're short-staffed) so Angelica (that's my car's name) had to stay overnight. Hopefully it was just a nail. That's covered by AAA. If the tire needs to be replaced (It's in good shape, so I hope not), then it's on me. So, I need to wait until later this morning to run my errands (hopefully, the last of my holiday shopping).

Has anything kept you from getting stuff done during this chaotic month?

Monday, December 16, 2019

On my Christmas Tree

Because this is our girls' first Christmas (with us), we decided to go light on the Christmas tree decorations, although they've been up more than a week now and the girls have paid very little attention to the tree. That said, we only have about half the ornaments on the tree, but of course, I had to have most of my favorites.


After my mother passed, I got first pick of her ornaments. She found this little cutie at a garage sale. She felt sorry for it because it was naked--so what did she do?  She found a piece of net and made this angel a skirt. Every time I think about this  angel, I smile because Mum gave her something to wear.  She seems much happier that way. It's a must that she goes on the tree every year.


I always loved this little angel. Maybe it's the patches on her little outfit.  For many years she was on my mother's tree, but about ten years ago I begged, sat up pretty, and my mother gave her to me.


My mother had a thing for dolls and had many of them on her tree. I only kept the ones I like, and I liked her.


Another of my mother's tree dolls.  This one is is dressed all in paper, which makes her very fragile. I wrap her well when it's time to take down the tree.


You're probably asking, "Don't you have any ornaments of your own?" I sure do. (Oh, boy do I!) This little kitty angel was a gift from my boyfriend, who a year later became my husband. She's been on our tree since the beginning.


Every year, my mother would go to a quilting conference near Syracuse. Every year she would bring me back something. (One year she brought me a mug of a kitty in a shopping bag because my cat, Kate, loved to play in shopping bags. (Still have the mug, although it's pretty faded by now.) One year, she brought me this pretty paper bow. It sits near the top of my tree and gets packed away in the original pretty paper bag it came home in, plus it's own gold-tone (Forman's) box. (Did I mention that I often buy old boxes of now-defunct department stores at yard sales?)


The first Christmas I had my own tree, I bought this little pink paper angel at Penney's. Along with her were (and I still have them) a paper lumberjack (yes, really--with a little paper ax--you can see him in the left-hand corner of the first photo above--he looks like Santa) and a paper clown. I don't like clowns, but this one wears a red-and-white striped clown suit that reminds me of salt water taffy, so he can be on my tree every year, too.


I got this little Made In Japan angel (along with 5 of her sisters--there were originally 8 in the box) at a yard sale last year. I have a thing for Made In Japan figurines and I was happy to welcome her and t the others to the tree.


For a while, kitty angels were a big thing. My mother bought me this one before they became ubiquitous and for the whopping price of $25. (It's even signed by the maker.)  It's porcelain (not plastic) and it always has a place of honor on my tree. And now I have my own silver tabby angel (my Emma--but I hope it'll be decades before she's an angel),


I have a lot of "animal" ornaments on my tree (even an elephant and a couple of fish--one smoking a cigar!). But I probably have more cats than anything else. This little cutie is asleep in a Santa hat.


I bought this Westie ornament in honor of my parents' first Westie, Buddy. What a good dog. He went to obedience school twice and was a joy to walk. He always sat at the curb, and he never did his business during a walk, so you never had to carry a bag. (He waited until he got home.) His first winter, my Dad trained him to wait to have his feet wiped of snow (or mud). He'd patiently stand there and offer you each paw so you could wipe them. And he stood quietly while you picked the snow from between the pads on his feet. That dog was just a joy.


This is Elga. She's kind of shabby and faded now, but she used to hang from the rear-view mirror of my first car. When I got a new car, I retired her, but I never got rid of her. Now she graces my tree every Christmas. And, as it turns out, she now has sisters. When I married Mr. L, he had several of these little crocheted cuties (all different) and they go up on the tree every year, too!

These are just a few of the hundreds (and I mean that literally) of ornaments that go up on our 7.5' tree every year.  Do your ornaments all have a story?


P.S. My Dad carved Santas as a hobby.  This is just one of them. (They're all different!) I have about 30 of them on my tree. (You can see another one in the top photo at the upper left.)




Friday, December 13, 2019

A nice warm mug of cocoa


So do you like marshmallows, whipped cream, a cinnamon stick, or something else in your cocoa?

Monday, December 9, 2019

Coming on December 31st!



COMING DECEMBER 31st

A tattoo parlor on Victoria Square? Some of the merchants get steamed at the prospect, but could they be driven to kill to stop it? That's what the sheriff's office and Katie Bonner want to know when the building's owner is electrocuted with his own saw.

Meanwhile, tensions rise when a hot chef takes over the square's tea shop. Will Katie have three men vying for her affections, or will her rival take the tea cake?


Chapters/Indigo | Book Depository (Free Shipping Worldwide)




Friday, December 6, 2019

Walking in a Winter Wonderland


Can you imagine how pretty Stoneham, NH looks at Christmastime? What store would you visit first?

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Shop at Booktown!


Stoneham, NH (otherwise known as BOOKTOWN) is a great fictional place to shop. Just think of all the places you could go!

Haven't Got a Clue Mystery Book Store
The Cookery (Cookbooks & Gadgets)
The Happy Domestic
Sweet As Can Be Chocolates
Booked For Beauty Day Spa
All Heroes Comic Book Store
The Inner Light Book Store
By Hook Or By Book (craft store)
The Armchair Tourist
Have A Heart Romance Book Store


Or catch a bite to eat at ...
Booked for Lunch
The Brookview Inn
The Dog-Eared Page
The Coffee Bean
The Patisserie
The Bookshelf Diner



So, where would you like to go?

P.S.  Visit Booktown any time at my website. Just click this link!

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Define Good


Oops! Sometimes cats and dogs and Christmas trees just don't mix all that well.  This is our girls' first Christmas with us. So far they haven't bothered the tree.  There's still a month to go for them to get into mischief.

Do your pets bother your tree?