Monday, May 25, 2015

Sandwiches!


You might not know this about me but I love sandwiches. Years ago in another city, in a little dump of a cafe, I found what remains my favorite one. I don't remember the cutesy name but it was essentially a chicken, almond, grape sandwich. OMGosh, so good! But I love all kinds of sandwiches. My daughter's favorite is a grilled cheese. My husband likes subs.

(This is where I desperately wanted to insert the photo of a sandwich I made last week but can't figure out to download off of the Cloud. So you'll have to use your imagination. Because it was amazing! Stupid cloud.)

My mom used to make her version of the dagwood sandwich. Remember that cartoon! Yummy. But my infatuation really kicked into overdrive once I read Lawrence Sanders and his mysteries back in the day. Put your hand up if you've read them. If you have, you know what I'm talking about when it comes to sandwiches. I loved his character Police Chief Edward X. Delaney and his Deadly Sin Series. I couldn't tell you specfics on plot or storylines anymore, it's been a long time since I've read any of his books, but I remember Delaney's sandwiches. They were either wet or dry. Wet ones were eaten right over the sink. Dry were taken to his study to be eaten while solving his cases. The different mustards, the variety of meats, the various onions and pickles made my mouth water.

I love when an author mixes food with a story. I haven't done this but I have it in the back of my mind as something to add to the next series I'm plotting out.

Sandwiches performed by Fred Penner, Canadian performer.




Sandwiches are beautiful,
Sandwiches are fine.
I like sandwiches, I eat them all the time;
I eat them for my supper and I eat them for my lunch;
If I had a hundred sandwiches, I'd eat them all at once

Do you have a favorite sandwich? Remember Lawrence Sanders and PC Edward X. Delaney? How about Timothy Cone (he was my favorite of LS's characters. He was such a mess.) Do you like when authors add food into their themes?

Friday, May 22, 2015

Teaser Time!

Hey Everybody!

It's release week for me.  My second book came out Monday and I wanted to share a bit with you - maybe whet your appetite.  Cuz, hey, this is the Killer Chicks and who likes murder better than the Killer Friends?

Here we are not long after Detective Dennis Haggarty discovers a body outside the small town mortuary where his brother-in-law's funeral is being held.



Outside the gazebo, a million pinprick stars pierced the shroud of night. Inside, a few men stood like statues over the body of a woman who’d been full of piss and vinegar only a short time before.
“Sure looks like she slipped and fell,” one of them said as he pulled at the collar of his uniform. In the time it took Dennis to call 911 on his cell, and for the authorities to arrive, the wind had picked up. He gazed longingly down the street toward his SUV, where his gloves lay on the front seat, and jammed his hands deeper into his pockets.
Another officer shook his head. “It’s too damn bad. Must’ve hit her head on the way down. Snapped her neck like a twig, I bet.”
“Nah. She cracked her head on the cement,” the first officer said. “Seen it before. Remember Dave Johnson a couple years back? He bled like a bitch, but his head musta been too hard—”
“More like his brain was too small.” Several of the men chuckled before they fell back to silent staring.
When the stillness became too much, speculation began again. “Been out here a while from the looks of it. Blood’s already froze. Course, it’s mighty cold tonight.”
“Maybe so.”
Dennis watched them all shuffling around and chatting for several more minutes, unable to believe none of them were doing anything to actually investigate the incident. From where he stood, it looked like the only thing they’d done according to procedure was string yellow tape around the area. They hadn’t bagged a damn thing from the detritus in and around the gazebo. Already, any trace evidence had been trampled into the snow along with any usable footprints, so making molds of those would be moot. The sons of bitches weren’t even wearing latex gloves to protect the scene from contamination. Unless they lifted latent prints off the corpse or found an inch of the structure one of their own hadn’t already touched, the officers would have one hell of a time tracking down the truth.
It took every ounce of willpower for Dennis not to start barking commands at them like they were rookies under his supervision. He had to keep reminding himself this wasn’t his pond to piss in.


If you want to read more, Omnimystery News posted the first chapter on Wednesday, and the book is available for sale right now at Amazon or Createspace.  I hope you enjoy it!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Do you play?

A few months ago I sat in a workshop about creativity where one of the participants, a woman in her fifties, said to the leader, "But I don't know how to play."

I admit that at this point in the workshop, I'd gotten a little tired and was doodling, but when the woman said she didn't know how to play, I put down my pen and paid close attention, because that was literally a concept that had never occurred to me.

A person who doesn't know how to play.

The woman then followed up her assertion with a question, "How do you learn how to play?"

Are you as dumbfounded as I was?

Wait! It gets weirder.

Two more people in the workshop said that they didn't know how to play either.

At that point I could have sworn I heard the Twilight Zone theme music.

Then there was an entire back-and-forth about "How to Play".

And yes, I WAS the first person out of the room the moment the workshop was over -- I was afraid the boringness might rub off on me.


Tell me Killer Friends: Do you play? What are your favorite forms of play?

Monday, May 18, 2015

Little Pieces of History

So, I found some forgotten treasures in amongst the clutter I've been trying to deal with. While being on this crazy organizing carousel I've come across a couple of things. Special reminders of two of my very favorite people - my grandmothers. Both passed away in their 90s. Both were strong talented women who couldn't have been more different if they tried.

When I was a young girl we had this little books we collected sayings written by others, nuggets of wisdom, and signatures in. This is the only one I kept. It was written by my Grandma, who I loved dearly. She was an incredibly talented musician, choir director, and artist. There was a sense of calm about her that always appealed to me. I'll be framing this and placing it in a special spot.


I've searched these pages o'er and o'er
To see what others wrote before
And in this lonely little spot
I'll write the words
Forget me not.
The other was  a piece my oldest cousin wrote for the column LIVES LIVED in The Globe and Mail (I believe that was the newspaper) about my other Grandma, who I also loved dearly. She was an German orphan who grew up in Poland. Not allowed to go to school because she was a girl, she taught herself to read German. Later in Canada, she taught herself how to read English. She was a passionate gardener and talented cook, nothing made her happier than feeding people.

This was her favorite saying:

Versuche mit Jedem in Frieden die Fuesse treten. (Seek to live at peace with everyone, but let no one trample you underfoot.)


I came across little gem of advice -  Keep it if...It's sentimental gold. "The more memorabilia you have, the less emotionally valuable each individual item becomes," says Emily Wilska, an organization consultant in San Francisco. Instead of saving every card your beloved uncle ever sent, pick the one that captures his spirit best.

I love words. Their words have meaning for me. They say a lot about the women they were and how they lived their lives.

What treasures have you come across? What words of wisdom have people left you with?


Friday, May 15, 2015

Where's My Head?

I've been running around this week like a chicken with its head cut off.  Like the hapless chicken, I have no idea where my head is at.  It certainly doesn't feel like it's attached.

You see, it's launch week.  Sort of.  My next book - Accidental Death - doesn't actually arrive until Monday.  But I did get it set for pre-order.  Click the link and see for yourself.  Pre-order that puppy and it'll be on your Kindle first thing Monday morning. 

One of my beta readers said it reminds her of the old hard-boiled mysteries.  Another said the end gave her the sniffles.  It's mystery with a tinge of romance.  And it's my first attempt at writing a male protagonist.  I hope I did Detective Dennis Haggarty justice.  Time and reviews and sales will tell.

And, as if that wasn't enough, I sent my next book - Wish in One Hand - to the editor this morning.  Plus, I have it on the calendar to start the process of making Dying Embers available on other retail outlets.  (It's 99 cents right now, so if you're so inclined, snag yourself a copy.)

So, yeah, headless chicken right now.  I'd cluck at you, but headless chickens can't cluck for obvious reasons.  ;o)

Anything got you running in circles right now?  Dish about it, gripe about it, share your pain.

Oh, and here's the print cover for Accidental Death.  (Paperback should be available by the end of the month.)


Wednesday, May 13, 2015

One of the things I'm working on now

Here's a quick look at one of the projects I'm working on:

“Call the cops!”
Detective Brian Griswald stopped cold in his tracks, listening intently to the conversation taking place on the other side of the brick wall.
“Call the cops,” the unseen male voice said again nervously.
“We’re not calling the cops,” a woman answered, clearly annoyed by the situation. “I’ll handle it.”
“She could die,” the man argued.
Grabbing his badge in one hand and resting his other palm on the butt of his gun, Brian ran around the wall. “Police!”
A man and a woman, their backs to him, were staring up into a tree.
The man spun around, hands in the air, signaling his surrender. The quick action sent the strange hat he was wearing tumbling to the ground.
“Shhh!” the woman ordered, without moving.
“Don’t shoot,” the man begged.
“Shut up, Stanley. You’re scaring her,” the woman warned.
Brian put his badge away. “What’s going on here?”
The woman waved him away dismissively. “We don’t need the cops or the fire department. I’ve got this.”
Brian frowned at the man, hoping to intimidate him into giving an answer.
Stanley retrieved his fallen hat, and stuck what looked like a mortar board, minus a tassel, back on his head. He pointed at the tree. “She’s stuck up there.”
Brian squinted at the tree, but didn’t see anything out of place. “Who?”
“Grace.”
“A kid?” Brian moved closer.
“A dog,” Stanley said.
“You mean a cat?” Brian scanned the branches.
“No,” the woman huffed. “He means a dog.”
Brian closed his eyes for a moment and took a deep breath. It was bad enough that he was here because he was investigating the disappearance of a woman who claimed to be a psychic matchmaker.  Now he had to contend with a dog stuck in a tree. He was pretty sure his job description didn’t include animal rescue.
“C’mon, Gracie,” the woman called in a much sweeter voice than she used on humans. 
As she moved past Brian he thought he smelled honeysuckle.
 Leaning against the tree, she cajoled, “Come down, sweetheart.”
Following her line of site, Brian finally spotted the gray and black ball of fluff perched between two tree branches fifteen feet off the ground.
“How the hell did she get up there?” Brian asked, stepping beside the woman to get a better look at the wayward dog. He definitely smelled honeysuckle, but there were no vines in the vicinity.
Twitching her pointy ears, Grace looked back at him with dark, inquisitive eyes.
The woman sighed. “She’s a climber. Stanley, go find me a ladder and some food to entice her down with.”
“Of course.” Stanley hurried away.
“He’ll probably bring back a macaron,” she muttered.
“A what?”
“Macarons. Meringue-based French pastries.”
From the note of longing in her voice, Brian guessed that she was quite fond of these pastry things.

Monday, May 11, 2015

It's a Stretch But Give It a Try!

It's Mother's Day and it's late (and I wasn't organized enough to get this post scheduled earlier) and I'm feeling very full and very spoiled. So this is going to be short. But hopefully helpful!

I've been feeling a bit tight lately - okay, years really - so I decided to go for a massage last week. It was marvelous, don't know why I waited so long. The massage therapist gave me a sheet of stretches to do since I spend a lot of time at a desk. Stretches are one of those things I know I should do but don't.

http://www.shelterpub.com/_fitness/_desk_stretches/desk_stretches.pdf

The above link is a pdf copy of some stretches that are basically the ones the therapist gave me. Simple and easy to do to. You can print off the page and put it by your desk or work area to remind you to get up and stretch. Give your muscles a break and help your body feel better.

Remember to go slow. You should feel a slight easy stretch. Hold for 5 to 20 seconds. Breathe slow. Don't worry about how far you can stretch. Limberness will come with continued stretching.


Also, I was on a roll last week and I signed up for a Restorative Yoga class, went, and survived. In fact, it too was wonderful. This class is not so much about a lot of different poses but a few poses held for longer periods of time while you concentrate on your breathing and meditiating.

So, I'm all totally zen now.

Not really. It might take more than one class. Or one massage. But I'm working on it. Have a good week and remember to stretch and take the time to enjoy the moment. When was the last time you treated yourself to a massage? How about a yoga class? Pilates? Paintball? What helps you relax?