I'm excited to promote my novel Silent Knife, part of a 3 novel package deal from Annie's Publishing. Mistletoe Mysteries
"Add a little Holiday intrigue to your reading list with these three new Annie’s Mistletoe Mysteries books. They’re easy reads that also make great gifts!
The cozy stories in this book bundle will have you on the edge of your seat as you untangle truth from lies and catch three crafty culprits. Delve into halls decked with clues, suspense, and murder in Silent Knife, Frankincense and Murder, and O Come All Ye Fatal. All available for one great price! Now that’s no humbug."
$24.99 for hardcovers, $19.99 for electronic
A great gift for cozy mystery readers!
I woke up Saturday morning thinking about my asparagus bed. It has not been producing well. My plan was to weed the plot and remove an unnecessary hail cover. Next, I would dig up the crowns, add soil, rototill, and replant the crowns.
My husband wanted to help, not realizing what he was getting himself into. We decided to move the hail cover next to my pathetic herb garden. Both areas needed to be reworked to make them more productive.
As we removed gravel type rock from soil next to the herbs. I hit metal. A plate with two screws. My husband was curious. Half an hour later, we uncovered an old deck pylon. Two hours later, and we still hadn't unearthed the thing.
This is the way of life in 2020. You start out on one project, and get sucked into another, immeasurably more difficult, sidetrack.
We - well, mostly my husband - finally wrenched the pylon out of the earth. Leonard had a new stress. How to get rid of it.
I decided to repurpose it into a bird bath.
It ended up being a long day, and we were both tired and sore by the time we were done. Now I only have five months to wait to see whether all our work results in a more productive garden.
The first October snow brought bitter cold temperatures. Those of us concerned about Colorado wildfires are grateful for the moisture, and hopeful the snow will assist firefighters in controlling the burn.
Let's reminisce about warmer days for a moment. The summer of 2020, we spent a lot of time in the mountains. As a result, we saw lots of wildlife. Some were repeaters.
A bunny decided to take advantage of all the convenient hiding places we created on our ranch. I saw it nearly every weekend. The bachelor deer herd enjoyed grazing our field.
Others were new to me, or had been elusive for many years. A fishing trip to Wyoming brought us up close and personal with mountain goats and beaver.
I didn't realize how large pelicans are until I saw them standing next to Canada geese.
The first day of our fishing trip, I broke my phone, which is also my camera. I didn't get any photos after that, but my husband did. Below are a few.
I had a dream I could not go inside my favorite natural foods grocery store because I didn't have a face mask. Then I remembered my husband had stocked all our vehicles with masks. I opened my glove box. Every mask in my car was soiled with motor oil.
Part of this anxiety dream may have been inspired by my forgetting to take pretty home-sewn masks with me, and being stuck wearing the blue paper masks we keep in our vehicles.
Since having that dream, I have stocked my purse and vehicle with masks sewn by our elder daughter and myself.
I used material I purchased over the years with the intention to sew a quilt. That project never left the ground. Instead, the small pieces of material are being put to an unexpected use.
We can argue whether masks are effective or not, but the fact is they are required in my workplace, and at many of the places I shop. Maybe it's a little bit of rebellion to make the depersonalizing face mask a statement of individuality.
How about you? If required to wear a mask, do you go with the institutional look, or do you choose a fun look? Or scary, like my co-worker with the monster-face masks.
In late August, I removed the Facebook icon from my cell phone. It was too easy to constantly check on social media. So I detached.
A couple weeks later, we went on a Wyoming fishing trip. There was no cell service. We were off the grid. To add to the isolation, I dropped my phone on gravel the first day, shattering the screen.
I did not panic. I felt deliciously self-sufficient. Lately, I have been concerned at how comfortable I'd gotten with receiving news in bite-sized pieces. No one writes letters. Facebook posts are typically a picture and the briefest of explanations. More like captions.
I'm tired of a captioned life. If all people have time for is sound bites, glimpses of others' realities, I'll take a pass.
Instead of Face-booking, I've done a little sewing, more blogging, and more reading. When we drive anywhere that takes an hour or more, I read Grant, by Ron Chernow, to my husband. At over 900 pages, this biography is taking us months to read. And it is making us both think and learn about American history.
Being off the grid made me feel like I didn't exist anymore. Not in the bustling, frenetic world of electronic connections. I enjoyed being disconnected.
This little beaver slapped its tail on the water to warn me to keep my distance. I told it my kind used to make hats out of its kind. Fortunately for the beaver, fashions changed.
Maybe trends will change for people, too. Instead of superficial exchanges with faceless strangers via electronic devices, maybe we can get back to more meaningful communication.
The short stories in the September/October 2020 issue of Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine kept me guessing.
Was it murder or suicide, in Mrs. White Hart by Elliot F. Sweeney. London PI Kasper was recommended, in a manner of speaking, for the investigation by a dead, dotty homeless woman. The PI goes deep undercover, disguising himself as a homeless alcoholic. This is not too much of a stretch for the deeply troubled man. Kasper endangers himself in the pursuit of the facts. This is a moody, bleak, vividly related tale.
Storage, by Dan Crawford, is by contrast light and humorous. The brief, amusing tale is set in a museum storage vault. There is a pleasant twist at the end.
When I began reading Fruiting Bodies, by Jane Pendjiky, mushrooms and a disgruntled wife figured prominently. I knew exactly where this was going. I was wrong. The story is beautifully written. And the unexpected ending was set up perfectly.
The cover story for this issue is Call It Sad, Call It Funny, by Christopher Latragna. When Henry’s lady friend and fellow gambler asks him to help her out of a tricky situation, he travels around Saint Louis in 1955 in a cab, seeking clues to a murder. I particularly enjoyed the cab driver character, Vincent, who becomes essential to unraveling the mystery.
Sharon Jarvis created a likeable female curmudgeon in Who Killed What’s Her Name? The retired lawyer with a bad memory for names is pulled in for questioning concerning a murder. Fortunately, Ms. Korbin stored all her old files. Will that be enough to save her from being accused of killing a former client’s wife?
I’m only a third of the way through this entertaining issue. I look forward to reading more stories guaranteed to take my mind off real world issues.
Today is International Talk Like a Pirate Day. You're welcome, matey.
Our world has been on fire. For those of us living in the American West, this is literally true.
I watched a documentary on the history of forest fires I highly recommend. The Big Burn demonstrates the complexity of this issue.
The fires in Colorado have calmed some, while the West Coast rages on. Not until you have stood on a mountaintop and seen the vast expanse of national forest can you comprehend the daunting task "managing" these areas present.
Working on our "ranch" brings us a lot of satisfaction, and sore muscles. My husband and I both work desk jobs. We enjoy getting our hands dirty, making our little place in the mountains more comfortable. Plus, we get to see the beauty of nature, up close and personal.
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