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

Our September Author Interviews--9/6 Kathleen Valenti, 9/13 David Burnsworth, 9/20 Jeri Westerson, 9/27 Frances Brody. Please join us in welcoming these authors to WWK.

September Saturday Guest Bloggers: 9/2--Anne Bannon, 9/9 WWK Bloggers, 9/16 Margaret S. Hamilton, 9/23 Kait Carson, and on 9/30 Trixie Stiletto.

“May 16, 2017 – The Women’s Fiction Writers Association (WFWA) today announced the finalists of the second annual Star Award, given to authors of published women’s fiction. Six finalists were chosen in two categories, General and Outstanding Debut. The winners of the Star Award will be announced at the WFWA Retreat in Albuquerque, New Mexico on September 23, 2017.” In the general category, WWK’s Carla Damron was one of three finalist for her novel, The Stone Necklace. Go to Carladamron.com for more information. Congratulations, Carla!

Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Warren Bull's new Lincoln mystery, Abraham Lincoln In Court & Campaign has been released. Look for the Kindle version on February 3.

Shari Randall's "Pets" will be included in Chesapeake Crimes: Fur, Feathers, and Felonies anthology, which will be published in 2018. In the same anthology "Rasputin," KM Rockwood's short story, will also be published. Her short story "Goldie" will be published in the Busted anthology, which will be released by Level Best Books on April 25th.

In addition, our prolific KM will have the following shorts published as well: "Sight Unseen" in Fish Out of Water, Guppie (SinC) anthology, just released, and "Making Tracks" in Passport to Murder, Bouchercon anthology, October 2017.

Margaret S. Hamilton's short story, "Once a Kappa" was published as a finalist in the Southern Writer's Magazine annual short story contest issue. Mysterical-E published her "Double Crust Corpse" in the Fall 2016 issue. "Baby Killer" will appear in the 2017 solar eclipse anthology Day of the Dark to be published this summer prior to the eclipse in August.

James M. Jackson's 4th book in the Seamus McCree series, Doubtful Relations, is now available. His novella "Low Tide at Tybee" appears February 7 as part of Lowcountry Crimes: Four Novellas, which is available for order.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Beach or Mountains?

In her fabulous interviews, our colleague E.B. Davis usually asks if an author prefers beach or mountains. E.B., an acknowledged beach bum, has a running debate with fellow blogger Sam Morton, a born and bred mountain man, over which is the more amenable spot.

Recently, I had the opportunity to do a side-by-side comparison when I spent an extended vacation with cousins first at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and second, at our family home in southern West Virginia. Each place has special memories for us.
Springmaid Pier at sunrise

At the beach, we wanted to walk beside the ocean and marvel at its immensity and mysteriousness. We wanted to sink our feet in the sand, knowing they would never feel cleaner and forgetting that the itchy particles would cling to our ankles and between our toes, accompanying us back to the hotel room no matter how diligently we tried to shake them off, even tapping them steadily to beach music.
Fish Tales Pier Store

From the pier, we admired the sea's bounty, watching the fishermen take in silvery ribbon fish and large flounder from poles mounted on the guard rails.
Brian Okes, Jim Okes, PGB, Gini and Chester Abee

We ate our fill of fabulous shrimp and grits (prepared by dear friends, Gini and Chester Abee) and fresh sweet potato chips and fried green tomatoes at the wonderful Rivertown Bistro in Conway, South Carolina. Greeted by Mayor Alys C. Lawson, whose sister and brother-in-law own the restaurant, we learned that Darius Rucker recently filmed a video there for his new single "Homegrown Honey."
Cousins at Mac's Pride Roadside Market

We laughed at recollections of times past spent with our family members on vacations. And, as we left, we stopped at Mac's Pride Roadside Market in McBee, South Carolina, to have a peach enchilada (like a fruit turnover) with peach ice cream.

Driving to the mountains, we raised our eyes to the hills, thrilled to see the blue ridge appear in the distance. Entering Virginia, we began to ascend with rocky ledges on the driver's side and a stunning passenger view over the wide valley with the distinctive top of Pilot Mountain just visible and not obscured by mists. When we arrived in West Virginia, I couldn't help but remember the state song, "Oh, the West Virginia hills! How majestic and how grand, With their summits bathed in glory like our Prince Immanuel's Land!" And, I also might have hummed "Take Me Home, Country Roads."
Amtrack to Charlottesville

For an excursion,we took a train trip through the narrow passes to Charlottesville, Virginia, watching the rolling countryside with a car full of Mountaineer enthusiasts heading toward the game to be played in Maryland. Lots of blue and gold. We ate excellent beer battered cod and drank mango/strawberry/mint sweet tea at Charlottesville's Downtown Mall.

Back at our family home, my cousin grilled fall off the bone ribs and fried green tomatoes (following his father's recipe). On my birthday, we sat around an outside fireplace enjoying the beautiful chilly evening, the snap of burning wood, and some excellent wine. Before leaving, I felt compelled to stop for a milkshake at the Dairy Queen, remembering how I used to get one there with my aunts and mother.
Charlottesville's Downtown Mall

Where I live in Columbia, South Carolina, employers tell prospective hires that an advantage of the location is it's two hours from the beach and two hours from the mountains (which makes some folks ask what's in Columbia, but that's the subject of another blog message). I feel privileged to be in such close proximity to places where some of my happiest moments have been and are being made. So, if I had to answer E. B.'s question, I'd call it a toss up.

How about you? Do you prefer beach or mountains, or do you enjoy both equally?


Jacqueline Seewald said...


I love both the beach and the mountains. I've vacationed at both at one time or other. So I appreciate the beauty of each.

Anonymous said...

Indeed, fortunate to be ableto have both terrains so close by with all the history in the state lets keep Columbia and all of South Carolina a well kept secret, shhhhhhhh

Shari Randall said...

Have to admit I am partial to the beach. Sounds like you definitely enjoyed the best of both worlds, Paula. And the food sounded fantastic! Trying the local specialties is always high on my vacation to-do list.

Warren Bull said...

I enjoy both but perhaps because my skin sunburns so easily I prefer the mountains.

Gloria Alden said...

Paula, I enjoy both, but if I'm going to be along the ocean, I prefer the rocky coasts of Maine and the tidewater pools. However, my favorite vacations are in the mountains. There's nothing so exciting as looking out over vistas and seeing the mountains and valleys. Also, I enjoy hiking in forests and mountains crossing babbling brooks, etc. more than wandering along a beach, and I'm not a sun worshiper. Sure like having sunny days, but not lying in it.

Gloria Alden said...

Paula, I enjoy both, but if I'm going to be along the ocean, I prefer the rocky coasts of Maine and the tidewater pools. However, my favorite vacations are in the mountains. There's nothing so exciting as looking out over vistas and seeing the mountains and valleys. Also, I enjoy hiking in forests and mountains crossing babbling brooks, etc. more than wandering along a beach, and I'm not a sun worshiper. Sure like having sunny days, but not lying in it.

E. B. Davis said...

I was raised by two beach bums. We always vacationed at the beach. There are two reasons that I disfavor the mountains (although I can see the allure in winter). Being a water person, mountain water is usually cold, which is unpleasant for swimming. The few times I have been at the mountains, the "lakes" were man-made, a flooded valley (complete with town underneath, which is creepy--see In A Dry Season by Peter Robinson) Although I love trees and the forest, it can make me feel claustrophobic.

At the beach in summer, the water is warm, the sand is warm, the sound of the ocean lulls me to sleep, and there is swimming, fishing, boogie boarding, etc. Winter is the best time to shell. On Hatteras, although it does get cold, the surrounding water protects it from vast temperature differences. Often in winter, there will be a few 70 degree days. To me it's a happy place.

Then there is the expansive view that is devoid of people (except for a few in boats). I'm not a real city gal since I was raised in the country. Too many people in one place I find overwhelming. The vastness of the sea I find reassuring. I think the egotism required to commit crimes would decrease significantly if criminals would ponder the vastness and power of the ocean. It's humbling.

Paula Gail Benson said...

What wonderful diverse opinions! Thank you all for your comments. BTW, McBee is pronounced MAC-bee, just so you'll be able to sound like a local. As Shari said in yesterday's message, it's good to know the language and the way people talk. E.B., I think you have a good point about criminal activity.

Kara Cerise said...

Your vacation sounds wonderful, Paula!

I enjoy both for different reasons but if I could only choose one, it would be the beach. I lived a number of years in Southern California and the sound of crashing waves along with the smell of the salt air feels like home.

Kara Cerise said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
KM Rockwood said...

I grew up close to the beach--my mother would often take us for a few hours in the morning, before the crowds got there.

Now I live in the "foothills," and enjoy that, too.

I think it's a matter of making the best of where you end up!

Gini Abee said...

I've got the "sand in my shoes", and the shrimp on my grits!