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

February Interviews

2/5 Heather Weidner, Glitter, Glam, and Contraband
2/12 Rhys Bowen, Above The Bay of Angels
2/19 Elizabeth Penney, Hems & Homicide
2/26 Annette Dashofy, Under The Radar

Saturday Guest Bloggers:
2/1 Valerie Burns
2/8 Jeannette de Beauvoir
2/15 Kathryn Lane

WWK Bloggers: 2/22 Kait Carson, 1/28 & 1/29 Special Interviews with Agatha Nominees by Paula Gail Benson


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.

Paula Gail Benson's story "Wisest, Swiftest, Kindest" appears in Love in the Lowcountry an anthology by the Lowcountry Romance Writers available 11/5 in e-book and print format on Amazon. The anthology includes fourteen stories all based in Charleston, South Carolina.

Kaye George's "Grist for the Mill" was published in A Murder of Crows anthology, edited by Sandra Murphy on October 9th.

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!

Susan Van Kirk's A Death At Tippett Pond was released on June 15th. Read E. B. Davis's interview with Susan.

Warren Bull's Abraham Lincoln: Seldom Told Stories was released. It is available at: GoRead: https://www.goread.com/book/abraham-lincoln-seldom-told-stories or at Amazon: https://tinyurl.com/ydaklx8p


Thursday, July 30, 2015

Camping With My Sisters

One of the lakes we camped near
Two weeks ago on an early Thursday morning, I headed out for a camping trip in Indiana and Illinois with my sisters Elaine and Suzanne. We went in two cars with each of my sisters driving one. Our ultimate goal was to visit the Lincoln Historical Museum and other sites in Springfield, Ill.
Clifty Falls Inn with the power plant stacks behind it.
Our first two nights were spent at Clifty Falls State Park in Southern Indiana on a high point a little north of the Ohio River. We had a lovely camp spot with two sites next to each other, although we discovered the huge power plant nearby was noisy at night. Only one vehicle per site was permitted. We each had our own tents. We were tired from the long drive, so decided to eat dinner at the Clifty Falls Inn, a wonderful place with lounges, a huge dining room, large windows providing a view, and delicious food reasonably priced. In fact, we enjoyed it so much we decided to skip oatmeal in the camp and eat breakfast at the Inn instead. The servers were young high school seniors, pleasant and not only willing to answer our questions, but seemed to enjoy talking about what their life goals were when they graduated.
There were trees closer to the shore with water all around them.
After breakfast we went to the historical town of Madison on the Ohio River. It was a charming little town and we enjoyed touring the downtown area and all their shops including Village Lights Bookstore. Yes, I bought some books. We ate lunch at the Lighthouse Restaurant anchored in the river with a walkway that didn’t look very safe as it was floating close to the surface of a river high from all the rain they’d had. The fish sandwiches were good, simple and served in plastic baskets.

Air mattress, bedding, clothing, small lamp but no books.

That night we ate dinner at the Inn again. It was hot and humid and no one felt like cooking. As we were leaving, we noticed dark skies. However, several people with access to weather reports said it was the tail end of a storm so we wouldn’t get much if any rain. We settled into our individual tents to read as the wind blew and it started to rain. Then the sirens went off. Suzanne came to our tents and said someone reported it was a flood warning. Since we were too high for that to be a problem, we ignored them. Then the wind picked up considerably, thunder and lightning was getting severe so Elaine and I headed for her car and Suzanne went to the large wash house where many campers had headed just as the deluge was starting.  Wind reached gale strength with trees bending close to the ground. As we watched, Elaine started laughing because she saw my tent fly off the ground and get caught on the picnic table where it rested on its side. My tarp flew past the car. I laughed, too. When the rain let up to a drizzle, Suzanne came back, and we checked things out. I righted my tent, but there was no way I could sleep inside it. Everything was soaked. It was the same with my sisters’ tents. So Elaine and I spent a miserable night trying to sleep in the front seat of her car and Suzanne in hers. We went to Clifty Inn for breakfast. Afterwards we packed up our wet stuff, and on the way to the next campground, we stopped at a laundromat and dried everything.
Abe Martin Lodge
Our next camp was Yellowwood State Park. The camp host brought us a load of free firewood. It was a primitive campsite with no flush toilets unless you drove to the entrance where the wash house was. We had a view of Yellowwood Lake through the trees, and a trail that led down to the shore. Because it was hot and humid, we headed for Abe Martin Lodge in Brown County State Park. Abe Martin is a cartoon character created by a local inhabitant in the 1930s. It was another delightful place to eat, more rustic in appearance, but with flower gardens and a large dining area filled with people enjoying their meals. The food was delicious, ample and again reasonable. Best of all was the folk singer who entertained us. That night my air pump didn’t work quite as well filling my air mattress, but at least it put some air in it so I slept reasonably well, falling asleep to the sound of owls. At least until the baby in the next site woke up screaming and crying for almost an hour with the father grumbling and complaining. In the morning his mother said he was teething.

We went on to Clinton Lake State Recreation area to camp several nights. It was a nice campsite with glimpses of the lake. However, there was lots of poison ivy around the campsite and even worse, my air pump no longer worked. I’d set up my tent on a dry gravel patch in the campsite we shared. It was not a comfortable night.
The  Union Station

Next morning we went to Springfield. The Lincoln Museum was everything I wished it would be and even more so. We stopped at the Union Train Station to get our admission wrist bands. There they showed parts of the movie Lincoln and how the movie was made, videos of the stars talking about it, and the dresses worn by Sally Field and others.

We went through the park beside the station and looked at the statues before going to the museum. I can’t begin to tell everything about that museum, only that it was one of the best, if not the best, museum I’ve ever visited, and I’ve visited many museums in my years of traveling. It was so touching that even if I hadn’t read several biographies of Lincoln, I would still have felt strong emotions.

I'm standing next to Mary Todd Lincoln

After lunch nearby, we went to the Lincoln Tomb State Historic Site in Oak Ridge Cemetery. It was interesting, too, but by then we were a little saturated with all we’d seen and heard so we headed back to our campsite to rest for a few hours before going to dinner at a small restaurant on the lake.

The Lincoln Tomb

I spent another uncomfortable night on the ground since new batteries hadn’t revived my pump. We packed up in the morning and headed for Whitewater Memorial State Park in Indiana not far from the Ohio border. It was a nice clean park with wash houses with showers and flush toilets throughout the campgrounds. We were able to get in a good hike – we’d only had one hike this trip at Clifty Falls. One thing that amused us at the park was a cardinal I dubbed Don Quixote because it did battle with the side mirrors as well as the front windows of both of our cars for the two days we were there stopping only for a few moments to watch us to see if we were still sitting in our lawn chairs or far enough away not to be a problem.

Don Quixote on my sisters side mirr
The next morning we headed home. With only a few stops for gas and food, I got home late Thursday afternoon to a happy dog, cats and ponies. My friend Laura was there to greet me. She’d house sat for me and was an excellent caretaker for all my critters. She left the house clean and in the fridge she had delicious barbecued chicken she’d made for my supper. It was a good trip except for the heat and humidity, the storm and the flattened air mattress, but still there’s nothing like being back in my own home with my critters, electric lights to read by, music on my CD player, and most especially a comfortable mattress.  

Our hike up to the top to see Clifty Falls
Have you ever gone camping?
What vacation do you remember best?


Anonymous said...

It's 1:00 a.m. and I get to be the first commenter. It was wonderful to hear the details of your trip with your sisters. When you arrived home I knew you wanted the peace and quiet of time alone with your beloved animals. I'm glad you enjoyed the chicken! Camping vacations... over the years I learned sadly that my father has a curse. EVERY summer, we travelled, we camped, and it rained. My sister and I played Frisbee in the rain. We hiked in the rain. We fished in the rain. We even played chess in the rain. Had enough. Day trips in good weather, that's how I broke the family curse. Laura Byrnes

Gloria Alden said...

Laura, I can't believe it rained the whole camping trip. I think you're remembering only the rainy days and not the other days when you had fun. It's not unusual to have a rainy day sometimes, but a whole week or trip? I remember one vacation where it rained one day and my dad and uncle cooked our supper over a campfire with one holding an umbrella over the other one's head. That's before we had a camp stove.

Jim Jackson said...

I remember tent camping in the Boy Scouts in Colorado or New Mexico. It was a beautiful starlit night and I fell asleep easily. Around two in the morning I awoke to a loud noise I couldn’t place: a flash flood had changed the nice little nearby stream into a raging torrent. We managed to move the endangered tents without loss of provisions or human damage – but it was a lesson well-learned about the power of flash floods and that the local weather was not the only concern, what also counted was what had happened in the mountains.

~ Jim

Gloria Alden said...

Wow! That had to be scary, Jim. I'm wondering if it was New Mexico where many Boy Scouts go to camp. Can't think of it right now, but my younger brother, who was not a leader, but worked closely with his sons' Scout troop went several years with the troop. They were a very active Scout troop. I read recently it had a flash flood which was quite scary, but I don't think anyone was injured or drowned.

Jim Jackson said...

Gloria -- the scout camp you are thinking of is Philmont. That's where we were headed, but this occurred before we arrived there.

~ Jim

Margaret S. Hamilton said...

Gloria, I'm glad you had a good trip with your sisters. I'll put the Lincoln sites on my "must visit" list.

Judy Hogan said...

Nice description of a vacation you were determined to have despite obstacles! Judy Hogan

Kara Cerise said...

I've been camping several times but never during a deluge like the one you experienced. One time in Arizona I went rafting and hiking during baby rattlesnake season. The constant noise of their rattlers was a little unnerving. What I enjoy most about camping is being away from the city lights and seeing the beautiful stars at night.

KM Rockwood said...

Sounds like you had a great time, storms and defective air pumps and all!

As a child, I went camping with the Scouts, but I never really enjoyed the primitive lifestyle. On a few road trips, I've ended up camping (because those were the available accommodations) but I wouldn't choose it.

My favorite vacations are the ones that are "adventures" in far-flung places, which my daughter & I have done every few years. The closest we've come to camping, though, were staying in stone "bandas" in Tanzania. They explained to us that the elephants roamed the camp at night (they did! so did leopards!) and tens would not be safe.

Kait said...

What a delightful trip. My all time favorite vacation happened when I was five years old. We drove from New Jersey to Miami, Florida. In those days it was all US 1 - no 95 built yet. So we wound through small towns along the way and it took days. When we got to Miami (pronounced Miamah at that time) we met up with cousins who lived in the area year round. It was a delightful, small, mostly rural, southern area. I decided then I was going to the University of Miami (I did) and between 4 and 18 when I came down for school, I probably spent half my off school time in the tropics. The vacation that turned into a lifestyle!

Gloria Alden said...

Jim, a half hour after I posted a response to your comment, I remembered the camp was Philmont.

Margaret, you won't be sorry you did. I hope you'll get there some day.

Thank you, Judy.

KM, most of my childhood was playing outside in the fields and woods of my grandparents farm which was next to where our house was so I'm quite comfortable with primitive, but maybe not as much so now that I'm older. Still, I have no intention of giving it up. However, the trips you take with your daughter sound like fun, too.

Kait once we got to Indiana, the rest of the trip was on country roads which I love much more than super highways. I love traveling through the countryside even when it's miles and miles of corn fields. I love the small towns, too. Of course, the last day we had a lot of miles to travel to get home so it was almost all super highways.

Warren Bull said...

The museum and other sites around Springfield have down a wonderful job representing Abraham Lincoln. I recommend a visit.

Warren Bull said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gloria Alden said...

Warren, I totally agree with you. I wish I lived closer so I could visit it more often.

Patg said...

I've been camping once. Don't like it. Not a nature person, the woods should be human free.
I'm a tourist and cruiser. Love going, best trip actually involved tents in Botswana, but it was pure luxury with toilets and sinks in the tent, and the guides filling the water tubs outside.

Gloria Alden said...

Pat, I know you have no interest in nature. We all have different likes and dislikes. It makes the world a more interesting place. I didn't know about your Botswana trip.