Monday, July 3, 2017

CampNaNoWriMo - July 2017

Cracking the first lines of book #3 in the Tea Cozy Mysteries series as part of July's #CampNaNoWriMo :) Always entertaining to see where things go:

She’d never looked more beautiful.
She’d never felt more scared.
It wasn’t as though she thought she was making the wrong decision—more like she feared she’d make a hash of it.
When the first chord of the wedding march pealed through the organ’s pipes, instinct kicked in.

from the work-in-progress Objets d'Artifice

Friday, April 28, 2017

It's Beta reading time

It's that time again ...
part 2 in the 1920s Tea Cozy Mystery series.
Any takers? :)

Monday, January 9, 2017

Comfort Food - soothing body and soul

January 2017 represents an interesting dilemma for those seeking to increase their level of self-care. 

Many choose to limit or eliminate certain foods for a variety of health-seeking reasons.

Others feel an acute need for comfort and turn to specific foods to feed that craving.

What are your comfort foods — the ones you look back on nostalgically with the assurance that after their ingestion, all will be well again? 

Often, it's not one's favorite dish that stirs such longings. Rather, it's the memory of the time, place, or people that the victuals conjure. 

So, what are the treats that make you smile ... and why? Do please share so we may all savor your contentment.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Reading Between the Leaves: Chapter One – In a Pinch

All right, tea cozy mystery peeps. Chapter One of READING BETWEEN THE LEAVES is up and ready for your perusal.

Penelope knew she should have dispensed with her corset, but she couldn’t resist wearing it, given the auspiciousness of the occasion. Of all the moments in her newly eventful life, this was the one to which she’d looked forward most.

In the few months since arriving in Pacific Grove she’d gone from having never dared dream of running her own business to spearheading two or three, depending on how one looked at them; and all were about to celebrate their opening day. Not bad for a gal who just a few weeks prior was living in a jail cell—a fabulously decorated jail cell, mind you—on suspicion of murder.
. . .
Click link to read the full (short) chapter :) 

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Your 2017 To Be list

Pondering your new year regimen? Or perhaps plotting your lengthy To Do list?

I've decided to start 2017 off by creating a new list each day — 
a To Be list. 

For the last couple of years I've ended each day by going over the day's productivity in terms of how much did I love ... how grateful was I and so on.

But this year I'm turning things around and beginning the day in similar fashion. On my list today are entries such as:

  • Be more understanding when it comes to So-and-So who is ranting (yet again)
  • Be easy-going with yourself for oversleeping by two hours this morning (woops)
  • Be good-humored with that person who thrives on seeing the bad in every situation and sharing it ad infinitum

As with any To Do list, there may be things I fail to check off each day, but if I can even conquer one item on my list per day, I will feel like I am not only being productive, but being of benefit to those around me, and through the ripple effect, those around them.

I'm truly looking forward to 2017 and especially to my new To Be list.

What will you put on your list? 
And what sorts of results do you expect?

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

How very quaint

Excerpt from READING BETWEEN THE LEAVES, the 2nd in the Tea Cozy Mysteries series

"... Arthur, Bess, so good to see you. Glad you could make it,” Zara said, bending over to exchange pecks on the cheek with Mayor Collins and his wife.

While the scene appeared friendly and pleasant enough, Penelope sensed something insincere about Zara’s regard for the mayor and his misses. It was a something Penelope mentally noted and intended to inquire about later.

“Wouldn’t miss it for all the tea in China,” Mayor Arthur Collins said. His tablemates all laughed obsequiously at the tea joke made in a tearoom. Zara subtly ground her heel into Penelope’s foot in order to get her to laugh along. “It’s the least a mayor can do to support local business. Wishing you great prosperity with your tea shop, Miss Price.”

“Yes, such a quaint little enterprise. My friends are sure to get a terrific kick out of it,” Bess Collins said.

Penelope took an immediate and unfortunate dislike to the mayor and his wife, no two ways about it.

“We’ve also opened the doors to our detective agency … at the urging of Florence Morgan,” Penelope added, counting on Florence’s stamp of approval to increase her own clout with the Collinses.

“Oh that’s right. I hear about that. Florence sure does loves her pet projects and charity work, doesn’t she?” Bess Collins said, wrinkling up her nose and smiling as she spoke, as if placating a small child or someone with diminished mental capacities.

“I think it’s a fine idea. Everyone should have a hobby, eh?” Mayor Collins said, using his forearm to wipe the entire contents of the platter Stella presented to him onto his own plate, the finger foods coming apart mid-air as they made the drop from platter to plate.

Stella growled low and concocted ways to terrorize the mayor as she walked back to the kitchen to replenish the platter so that the other hundred diners would get something to eat.
“It’s hardly a hobby, sir,” Penelope said, her face flushing with offence. “And once we get the vote—”

Zara put a tempering hand on Penelope’s arm. “We’re just happy to be able to do our part to serve this idyllic community. After all, there can only be one mayor.”

“You sure know how to pick ’em,” Mayor Collins said, addressing his comment to Walter Harrison across the table.

“She’s a gem, all right,” Walter said.

“I’ll say one thing for your little detective agency—you did a fine job exposing that felonious Paulie something or other character. Good work, Miss Zara,” Mayor Collins said.
“Who’s that we’re talking about?” Bess Collins asked.

“Paolo Rossi, or rather Paul Ross—the man who killed Dan Cooper,” Penelope said.

“Oh yes, the Latin lover,” Bess Collins said. “Quite the Greek god.”

“Actually, he’s neither Latin nor Greek. He’s Italian,” Penelope corrected.

“Yes, he does have a Mediterranean quality about him,” Zara said, attempting to quell the conversation’s simmering tension.

“Weren’t you having relations with him, Miss Zara?” Bess Collins asked indelicately, narrowing her eyes as she smiled malevolently at Zara.

Penelope clenched her fist in ire. Zara shrugged off the slight. She’d been around plenty of catty women and could tell that Bess was lashing out due to jealousy over Zara’s looks and poise. Zara decided to view the slight as an unintentional compliment.

“I was indeed!” Zara said unabashedly. “Until I wised up and got lucky enough to be courted by the most wonderful man I’ve ever known,” she said, looking warmly into Walter’s eyes from across the table.

“But then she settled for me,” Walter said, eliciting a spate of chuckles from those at the table. “Miss Price, don’t let us hog all your time. You have other tables waiting to meet you. Go on.”

Zara nodded, and Penelope exhaled in appreciation of the reprieve.

“Boy am I glad to get out of there,” Penelope said. “How do you deal with those people?”

“I’m used to those sorts. I mentally dress them in clown costumes and picture them wearing red noses and rainbow wigs as they speak. For the ones who are especially odious, I picture how ridiculous they must look mid-coitus … suddenly nothing they say seems to faze me.”