If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com.

April Interviews

4/1 Jennifer Chow, Mimi Lee Gets A Clue
4/8 John Gaspard
4/15 Art Taylor, The Boy Detective & The Summer of '74
4/22 Maggie Toussaint, Seas the Day
4/29 Grace Topping, Staging Wars

Saturday Guest Bloggers
4/4 Sasscer Hill
4/18 Jackie Green

WWK Bloggers:
4/11 Paula Gail Benson
4/25 Kait Carson


WWK is proud of our four Agatha nominees. Kaye George for Best Short Story--not her first time to be nominated, Connie Berry and Grace Topping for Best First Mystery Novel (wish they weren't having to compete against each other), and Annette Dashofy for Best Contemporary Novel--her fifth nomination!

Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Look for Kaye George and Margaret S. Hamilton's short stories in the new Mid-Century Murder by Darkhouse Books. Kaye's story is "Life and Death on the Road" and Margaret's story is titled "4BR/3.5BA Contemporary."

Kaye George's first novel in the Vintage Sweets mystery series, Revenge is Sweet, will be released on March 10th. Look for the interview here on March 11.

Grace Topping's second novel in Laura Bishop staging series, Staging Wars, will be released by Henery Press on April 28th. Look for the interview here on April 29th.

Don't miss Shari Randall's "The Queen of Christmas" available on at Amazon. Shari's holiday story for WWK was too long so she published it for our enjoyment. It's available for 99 cents or on Kindle Unlimited for free!

KM Rockwood's "The Society" and "To Die A Free Man; the Story of Joseph Bowers" are included in the BOULD Awards Anthology, which was released on November 19. KM won second place with a cash prize for "The Society." Congratulations, KM! Kaye George's "Meeting on the Funicular" is also in this anthology, which can be bought for 99 cents on Kindle until November 30.

Shari Randall will be writing again for St. Martin's, perhaps under a pseudonym. We look forward to reading Shari's Ice Cream Shop Mystery series debuting next year. Congratulations, Shari!


Thursday, April 24, 2014


On a morning walk in my woods in the summertime.
Tomorrow is Arbor Day. The Arbor Day Holiday was founded in 1872 by J. Sterling Morton, and The Arbor Day Foundation was founded one hundred years later in 1972 by John Rosenow with a mission “to inspire people to plant, nurture and celebrate trees.” The foundation is supported by donations, selling trees and merchandise, and by corporate sponsors. In Nebraska City the Foundation manages Arbor Day Farm It’s a National Historic Landmark; the estate J. Sterling Morton, and is an educational visitor attraction. One of the programs the Foundation supports is The Tree City USA program which is co-sponsored by the National Association of State Foresters and the USDA Forest Service. It has grown to include 3080 towns, cities and military bases in all 50 states. I think we all know, or should know, how important trees are to our ecosystem. They help clean up the carbon and pollution in the air and furnish us with oxygen. Trees furnish us with fruits and nuts to eat and for wild animals, too. Unfortunately, not only our reliance on fossil fuels, but with the cutting down of many of our forests to make room for malls, buildings, homes and highways we have a serious problem with global warming.

I planted the dogwood blooming and the Japanese Maple.
I love trees. I’ve always loved trees; oaks, maples, pines, beech, apple, dogwoods and too many others to name here. When I was a little girl, I was a champion tree climber. I could climb faster and higher than my brother and my cousins. Once I climbed a maple tree at least thirty feet up until I got to the thinner branches. One of them couldn’t support me and I fell hitting each branch until I reached the ground. Although I probably sustained a few bruises in the fall, I wasn’t seriously hurt. As a teenager, I’d climb a hollow willow tree near my grandparents’ house and settle comfortably in a crotch to read on lazy summer days.

My backyard seen from my backsteps. 
One of the things that attracted me to the old house I bought twenty-five years ago was the trees around it, including an old weeping willow tree. Unfortunately, the willow tree is no more, but I did plant another weeping willow not quite as close to the house, and in the slightly more than twenty years since it was planted, it’s grown quite large. Yes, they can be a messy tree, but so graceful and beautiful. The trees around my house, mostly pine and spruce, keep my house cool in the summer and protect it a little from winter winds. They’re also home for the birds. My house came with old apple trees that still produce apples for my ponies, chickens and me, and over the years other apple trees have appeared and are now producing apples, too. I’ve planted magnolias, dogwoods, Japanese Maples, pears, sweet gum, crabapples and other trees, also.

One of my two sisters on a camping trip we took last year.

All my camping trips with siblings and my youngest daughter are in forests. I like bodies of water, too; oceans, lakes, rivers and ponds. They’re interesting for a short while, but give me a babbling brook running through a forest anytime. There is always something new and interesting to discover in forests, even in my small woods where I walk almost every day. Once I heard Carolyn Hart in an interview at Malice say she was uncomfortable in forests. She much preferred the open spaces of her home state of Oklahoma. Just as she can’t imagine being without wide open spaces, I can’t imagine not having trees around me.

Most years I contribute to the Arbor Day Foundation and get some small seedlings sent to plant. In spite of already having many trees, every year I add new ones; a crabapple here, a magnolia there or maybe a Japanese Maple, an evergreen of some sort or some other tree. They don’t all make it, but those that do, delight my heart. Recently I bought a Manchurian cherry tree. Will it make it? I don’t know, but I don’t have one so I’m hoping it will. Did I mention that I love trees?

Hiking in the Allegheny Mountains of NW Pennsylvania.

How do you feel about trees and/or forests?


E. B. Davis said...

I love the brick pavers going through your garden in the backyard! I love trees and forests (not as much as the beach and ocean but little else can compete with those).

After college, friends and I would hike the Blue Ridge and Shenandoah Mountains. Few people like camping in the rain, but for me, sitting in a tent and listening to rain fall on the leaves was better than meditation. The wetness of the rain enhanced the green leaf color. Of course, during these trips we may have enhanced our own perception with a bit of DUBious agricultural products, too! The seventies, what can I say. But, I love trees, Gloria.

Gloria Alden said...

Thank you, E.B. Those bricks were ones I picked up from an old pile of bricks or dug up in other places around the backyard of my old farm. My sister and I started laying the sidewalk and eventually my youngest daughter took over.

I've done a lot of hiking along the Blue Ridge in Shenandoah National Park on the Appalachian Trail and even before that with my family. Yes, there is something nice about sleeping in a tent in the rain, but not so nice when daylight comes and one has to break down camp in the rain. :-)

Jim Jackson said...

I don’t believe I would be happy without trees around, preferably in walkable-forest form. In the summer, simply walking from open field to forest can drop the temperature from too hot to just right.

Up north large portions of our land are primarily red and sugar maples. The little treelets wait years, decades even for a larger tree to fall and open space for new growth. Then it is a race to the sky. As a result, forest trees usually have few limbs and aren’t good climbing trees like the ones in a back yard that grew without competition.

~ Jim

Gloria Alden said...

Jim, you're right about the trees in the woods not being good climbing trees. The one I fell from was at the edge of the woods. Also, when hiking or walking across large open spaces even though it's there where my sisters and I see wildflowers, it's always a relief to get under the sheltering trees out of the hot sun.

Linda Rodriguez said...

Great blog, Gloria! I'm a tree and forest person with a river or creek running through(prefer them over beaches, EB *sticks tongue out*). Trees are some of the oldest, wisest beings on Earth. To many Native American tribes, they are the elder, wiser cousins of human beings. And if you don't think of them as alive and conscious, spend some time up close and personal with a big, old tree. Watch your heartbeat slow down. Feel your blood pressure drop. As peace slowly expands out from the tree to envelop you, you'll come into a kind of communion with the tree.

KM Rockwood said...

We live on seven wooded acres which backs up to a Girl Scout Camp, so we have lots of trees. The land is a bit rough for regular farming, and our county is a top apple producing area. There's a lot of logging in the area, too.

My favorite tree is a black oak on the border of our property with the camp. It must have started growing soon after the land was clear-cut for charcoal decades ago. It's got multiple leads, and covers a huge area.

Right now, the redbuds are out. The dogwoods are just beginning--but most of them have unfortunately succumbed to a disease. A few appear to be resistant, however. I know some resistant ones were found in Camp David, and we are not far from there, so I'm hopeful that the remaining ones will continue to thrive.

Invasive vines will take over and strangle the trees if I don't cut them every few years. And this was a hard winter--only the little saplings that were completely under the snow survived the deer. Most of my shrubs are eaten to deer level, and they even got on the deck to get at the tops of some surrounding it.

Off to walk the dogs.

Gloria Alden said...

Linda, a certain times of the year when there's a wind, it's as if the trees in the woods are talking - or complaining. It sounds a little eerie, but I enjoy hearing them. My youngest daughter had a large tree that was her friend in the back yard where we lived at the time. She'd lie under it and talk to it.

KM, it sounds like you live in a lovely place. I recently discovered several dogwood trees in my woods. They were so tall I didn't see the flowers at the top, and only discovered them when the ground on my path had the blossoms. I think maybe they don't bloom often, of I'm too busy in my gardens to walk when they start losing the blossoms.

Warren Bull said...

When I lived in North Carolina I had dogwood trees with double flowers in the yard, but my favorite was a pecan tree with nuts that had thin shells. Yum.

Patg said...

I am SOOOO not a nature person. I agree with Carolyn, forest brings out the truly ancient in me. Beware.
I was born too soon, I belong on a space station in the vacuum of space, but not in the hydroponic lab. :)

Shari Randall said...

Right now I am looking out at a pink dogwood that brightens my spirits every time I catch sight of it outside the kitchen window.
Oak trees in fall are a particular favorite, with their scatterings of copper and crimson....I am with Linda - I feel the special presence of trees, watching us like bemused great grandparents. Grand old trees, redwoods, for example, adjust my perception of my place in the world.

Gloria Alden said...

Warren, my brother gave me two small pecan saplings years ago, but the squirrels always get to the pecans before I do.

Pat, everyone has different likes and likes.

Shari, I planted a pink dogwood beside my back door, but after a few years, it reverted to white, but it's still beautiful I saw my first redwoods almost ten years ago on a camping trip along the Pacific Coast from Washington to Northern California. I still remember the awe I felt when I saw my first ones. Since then I see them every year on the trips I make to California to see my daughter, who lives near San Francisco. She makes sure we always visit a redwood forest.

Nancy Adams said...

I'm a tree lover, too. My only complaint with our house is that the yard is too small to add more trees, except maybe for something tiny like a miniature Japanese maple.

And I completely agree with Linda and the Indian elders. I think of trees as wonderful wise elders, too. Every time I see one being cut down, I feel so sad. It's such a terrible loss. The neighborhood had a hard winter and a lot of trees and tree limbs were lost. I think some people are afraid that the limbs will fall on their roof because we've had so many storms recently, but I think it's terrible to cut them down just so that won't happen. Trees are living creatures, too, and add so much beauty--and as you've said help so much to keep things cool in hot weather.

Kara Cerise said...

I love the giant redwoods in Northern California. These magnificent trees truly are a natural treasure.

Patg said...

I forgot to tell you, Gloria, I have two Japanese maples on my back deck in pots. They have survived for years despite me. A handyman helped me repot one of them last year and it looks like it may even more beautiful then ever.

Barbara Monajem said...

Lovely blog. I love trees, too -- with a preference for firs and cedars, I guess because I grew up with them.

Gloria Alden said...

Nancy, I feel the same way. The electric company sends a tree service every few years to top my old maples. Somebody bought the home of a friend of mine when she moved, and the new people not only cut down every tree, but also the beautiful shrubs, etc. around the house. Now its a stark brick ranch in the middle of a large yard.

Gloria Alden said...

Kara, they are. I read an article about them that the old ones have an ecosystem all there own high up with plants, berry bushes and other things growing up there - quite a large area, actually.

Pat, you're redeemed yourself with me. :-)

Barbara, you must have grown up in the Pacific Northwest - a lovely, lovely area I've visited more than a half dozen times.

Unknown said...

I love trees too, not only for their majestic beauty but also because they provide homes for lots of critters. They can at times be dirty little (large) rascals, like a gigantic Sweetgum which drops little balls all over our driveway and street and the Sycamore in our back yard that sheds its bark.

On a sad note, we planted a yoshino cherry last year and the deer used I as a scratching post. We put plastic deterrent around the trunk, but it doesn't look like we found it in time...although there is a small growth at the very bottom near the ground, all the other branches have no buds. We will try to dig it up, plant the rootball in a container, and save the poor thing...then plant another cherry tree in its place.

Happy Arbor Day!