|Still not allowed to wear makeup,|
but I can SEE!
If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at email@example.com.
January Interview Schedule:
Debra H. Goldstein 1/2, One Taste Too Many,
JC Kenney 1/9, A Literal Mess,
Barbara Ross 1/16, Steamed Open,
Joana Garcia 1/23, Voice Over Actor,
Sherry Harris 1/30, The Gun Also Rises.
Saturday Guest Bloggers: 1/5 Jane Isenberg, 1/12 Bob Germaux
WWK Satuday Bloggers: 1/19 Margaret S. Hamilton, 1/26 Kait Carson
Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:
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: http://a.co/d/jdSBKdM
Grace Topping signed a three-book contract with Henery Press for her Laura Bishop Home Staging series. Congratulations, Grace!
KM Rockwood's new short story, "Map to Oblivion," has been included the anthology Shhhh...Murder! edited by Andrew MacRae and published by Darkhouse Books. It was released on Sept. 12.
Warren Bull also has a story in Shhh...Murder! Look for "Elsinore Noir," Warren's short story, in this anthology.
Annette Dashofy's Cry Wolf, was be released on September 18th.
Shari Randall's third Lobster Shack Mystery, Drawn and Buttered, will be published February 26, 2019 and is available for preorder now.
Sunday, January 20, 2019
Saturday, January 19, 2019
Some of the information is easy to obtain: “What is your grade point average, what Advanced Placement classes have you taken, and where have you applied to college?”
Friday, January 18, 2019
Thursday, January 17, 2019
FINDING A BODY
I'm a mystery writer. I murder people albeit only on the written page. I'm somewhere around forty victims now including both books and short stories. The protagonist in my Catherine Jewell mystery series so far has found at least six bodies. Actually maybe more. She's beginning to feel like she's a jinx to her town.
Although at my age I've confronted death, I had never discovered a body. That is until four years ago.
It began as a normal morning. I went out to feed and water my two ponies, and six hens and put the ponies out to pasture. As always, my collie Maggie was with me most of the time. However this morning she went out beyond the barn and kept barking towards the woods. I checked and couldn't see anything and wondered if a hunter was out there. I headed for my morning walk in the woods where I go past my son and daughter-in-law's house and continue my trail making a sizeable loops giving me a good half hour's exercise. When we'd been walking a while and started heading towards the back of my woods, Maggie started barking again. I thought maybe it was a squirrel except she didn't take off like she does when she spies one. When we'd been walking awhile we stopped at a log where Maggie always jumps up for a treat. We always linger awhile at that spot. When I started on, Maggie headed north with her nose to the ground which wasn't unusual for her, and I walked on until I saw him. It was a man crouched in a strange posture on his toes with his knees bent and his arms slightly out to his sides.
I thought maybe it was the man I saw several years ago dressed in camouflage with a rifle across his lap. I had challenged him and told him to get out of my woods because my dog and I walk there every morning. He said he knew that, but I had a different dog now. He was gone when I went back that way.
Now I wondered if he was the same man. So I yelled at him and told him to get out of my woods. Then I noticed a thin wire around his neck going up to a branch above him. I thought maybe someone was playing a trick on me. Then I thought someone had hung a dummy there. But on closer look I could see he looked too real to be a dummy. My final parting shout was that I was going to call the police. He never moved his eyes.
I knocked on my daughter-in-law's back door and when she answered I told her what I'd seen. She dialed 911 and gave me her phone. I told the responder what I'd seen and then babbled on that I thought it might be a prank to spook me because I was a mystery writer. He got the address of where I was and told us to wait outside for the police to come.
After a while a sheriff's deputy arrived and I told him what I'd seen. Then a fire truck with two women arrived followed by an all-terrain vehicle with two young men. I told them the paths were too narrow for it to go in. While my daughter-in-law looked for boots for the deputy because he didn't want to get his shoes dirty, I took Maggie home before I returned to lead everyone into the woods on the shortest path leading to the body while the deputy and fire men and women fanned out checking for clues, I guess. I figured out the man had rigor mortise set in.
So I got to watch a real crime scene investigation. Sort of. There was only one police officer there and when he got on the phone with another one, he had me go out and meet him to give him a statement while the others got ready to cut the body down because the other officer didn't want to come in the woods and get his shoes dirty either.
I gave my statement to the other officer. He seemed rather amused when I told him I thought it was a prank at first because I was a mystery writer. Anyway, he wanted my name, address and identification. Identification? A rather small woman like me murdering and hanging a man in the woods?
Later that afternoon I walked over to see if my daughter-in-law had learned anything new and found out he lived on a side street with back yards that butted up against my woods. While we were talking a car drove in and two women got out. One was the wife of the man who committed suicide although she thought maybe he'd been murdered because his yellow car was missing. The other woman was her mother. I found out he was only 37 years old and they'd been together for six years. She wanted us to take her to where he'd been found and we refused. She told us they'd been together for six years and married for three years and that he had two children and her three young daughters called him daddy. Then she asked me if I'd like to have her four month old German Shepherd. I said no.
Was I traumatized by this? Not seriously for several reasons. One I've dealt with the death of loved ones. I held my son when he died at only seventeen years old. I was with my brother when he died, and was also present when my daughter gave permission for her six-year old brain-dead daughter's life support to be removed. I've been to many funerals in my life time. Another reason is that I talked to so many people that afternoon and evening on the phone, and weird as it seems, we were laughing. Not at the poor man's death, of course, but of my yelling at him before I fully realized he was dead, and over the irony that a mystery writer would actually find a body hanging in the woods.
Several evenings later his two sons showed up at my door and wanted to talk to me. They told me they hated the woman he was with because she'd started their father on heroin. I could tell they were really grieving for him
Did I stop walking in my woods? No! The next day I walked again, but that time I took six daffodil bulbs I dug up that morning, a garden trowel and gardening gloves. When I got to that spot, I planted the daffodils, said a prayer for him, and picked up the half full bottle of water he'd left behind and took it home to recycle and a piece of cellophane. Strange that the deputy never picked it up as possible evidence, isn't it?
The death of any loved one is a tragedy, and I think suicide must be the worse way for loved ones to deal with. We who write or only read mysteries don't always think about the suffering the families of real victims go through.
Have you ever discovered a body? How do you think it would affect you if you did?
Wednesday, January 16, 2019
Tuesday, January 15, 2019
|Jinny Nantz, Asa Arnold, Jim Jarvis, Mark Wade, John Arnold, Olin Jenkins, Janie Fulmer, and the director silhouetted!|
Photo by Colleen Fannin Arnold.
|A view with our backdrop. Photo by Fran Bush.|
|Our Cast with Crew Billy Itter and Dean Long and Music Director Margaret Davis.|
Photo by Heather Coats.
Monday, January 14, 2019
a fantasy because Barb would never eat outdoors--flying insects within a 100-mile
radius always know when she tries to eat outside, and then they come to bother her.
But we digress. ...)
Chips and salsa are on the table. A margarita (for Shari) and a Coke (for Barb) are at
A handsome waiter approaches.
WAITER: What can I get you ladies?
SHARI: She will have the steak fajitas. (Shari nods at Barb.)
BARB: And she will have the fish tacos. (Barb nods back.)
WAITER: I gather you've eaten here before.
SHARI: No. We just know what we like. (She winks at the waiter.)
BARB: What happens at a Mexican restaurant stays at a Mexican restaurant!
They clink glasses as the waiter leaves.
SHARI: So nice to see you, Barb!
BARB: You, too. We've all missed you down here in Virginia since you moved to
Connecticut. Our loss is New England's gain.
SHARI: I miss you all, too. But living in Connecticut has made it so much easier for me
to write my series.
BARB: I bet. Who better to write a cozy mystery series involving a lobster shack than a
woman who lives right near the beach? Your first two books in the series came out in
2018, right? CURSES, BOILED AGAIN!, which was your debut mystery, came out in
February, and AGAINST THE CLAW came out in the summer.
SHARI: A reviewer told me that they’re like Murder She Wrote – with lobster rolls.
BARB: What made you make your main character an injured ballerina? Allie Larkin's
such an unusual cozy protagonist.
SHARI: Three reasons. First, I love a fish out of water story (no pun intended). Second, a
dancer looks at people differently, especially their body language – that helps Allie in
her investigations. Finally, I wanted a character who could believably do her own stunts
to get herself out of all the dangerous situations I get her into.
BARB: It works! Your books also involve a lot of food, especially lobster rolls. How do
they fit into the plots?
SHARI: You wouldn’t believe what some people will do for a lobster roll – or a secret
The entrees arrive and the ladies dig in.
SHARI: Speaking of fictional food, you had two short stories published in 2018 involving
which was the 2018 Bouchercon anthology. It involves, as you can imagine, pot roast.
The main character is Bev, who retired with her husband down near the Everglades.
The story opens with her thinking: "Looking back, I should have known something was
wrong when the pot roast disappeared." But Bev has bigger problems that distract her
... to her detriment.
SHARI: I'd say so. Did I hear correctly that the story was originally supposed to involve
a missing cat?
BARB: Yeah, but it would have been too dark a story. I wanted to make it funnier and
cozier. So instead of a missing cat, we have a missing pot roast. (Anyone interested in
reading "The Case of the Missing Pot Roast" can read it by clicking here.)
SHARI: You had another funny story involving food last year. Right?
QUEEN'S MYSTERY MAGAZINE. This story is set at Thanksgiving. A con man has
finagled himself an invitation to a rich girl's home. He hopes to steal her jewelry after he
fills his stomach, but he's so focused on his goals that he misses some important
culinary details that may derail his plans. (Anyone interested can read "Bug Appetit" on
my website by clicking here. )
SHARI: Given the title, I doubt I'll spoil the story for most people if I say it involves bugs.
Though I might spoil some appetites.
me. Speaking of funny, your third book, coming out next month, involves a funny
subplot about a missing gigantic lobster.
SHARI: DRAWN AND BUTTERED drew on a lot of things that fascinate me – old
cemeteries, the secrets of college fraternities, Halloween - I’ve been dying to set a story at Halloween – and I just had to throw in a giant lobster.
BARB: How big was it?
SHARI: The largest lobster ever caught was 44 pounds and about three feet long. The one in my story is just shy of that. It’s a monster – perfect for Halloween.
BARB: In addition to your Lobster Shack mysteries, you had a short story published last spring. "Pet" appeared in CHESAPEAKE CRIMES: FUR, FEATHERS, AND FELONIES.Your main
character is a young Russian immigrant who becomes the caretaker for an uber rich
woman's dog and gets mixed up in murder. The story has a noir feel--different from your
cozy novels. What made you write it?
SHARI: I was inspired to write “Pet” after a visit to the fabulous Hillwood Museum in Washington, D.C. Hillwood was the home of the Post family (of cereal fame). I started wondering what would happen to a naïve young woman who forged a friendship with someone that wealthy. It was lots of fun to write something so dark! I have to say, your animal choice for your story in FUR was surprising.
BARB: I like writing stories that surprise people, and few people see exploding cows coming. But while I hope "Till Murder Do Us Part” makes people smile, readers should know that the cow explosions aren't gratuitous. They play a role in the police-procedural murder mystery involving a man who rents out his barn for weddings.
SHARI: What's next on your plate?
BARB: I have a flash short story, "Punching Bag," scheduled to be published sometime
this month at the ezine FLASH BANG MYSTERIES. And in the spring I'll have a story
about a woman on trial for killing her husband in DEADLY SOUTHERN CHARM: A
LETHAL LADIES MYSTERY ANTHOLOGY. It's called "The Power Behind the Throne."
What's next for you?
SHARI: I’m working on a Christmas novella about the Lobster Shack characters. And a
launch party is in the works for DRAWN AND BUTTERED. Stay tuned!
BARB: Well, I will definitely have to make it out for one of your book events. And then
afterward, we can go out for more Mexican food.
SHARI: Margaritas for everyone!