Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Classic Mystery Movie Challenge

I’m reading a book called, Dial P for Poison by Zara Keane, which was inspired by Alfred Hitchcock's Dial M For Murder. Ms. Keane’s mystery series is called the Movie Club Mysteries. All the books are based on movies. It is an interesting and fun idea for a cozy.

I’ve never seen Dial M For Murder. I know I’ve seen parts of it-classic scenes that show up on award shows or retrospectives, but I’ve never sat down and watched the whole thing.

This time of year everyone is making (or by now breaking) New Year’s resolutions. The resolutions or challenges I’ve been seeing online are book related. Goodreads, LibraryThing, and similar sites all have challenges planned. I don’t do book challenges. I read a lot, but it isn’t consistent as it’s hard to plan how long it might take to read a book. Some I can breeze right through; others I have to spend more time on. To me, that’s what makes reading so much fun. Each book is different-even the amount of time it takes to read one.

So instead of a book challenge, I’ve decided to set myself a classic movie challenge. It’s going to be small-only one a month. I’m going to start with Dial M For Murder since that is what began this whole thing. I looked up classic mystery movies and got a lot of ideas. I’m going to begin with the list below.

January 2018 – Dial M For Murder
February 2018 – Murder on the Orient Express
March 2018 – The Thin Man
April 2018 – Rear Window

Any suggestions for other movies? Anyone want to join me?

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Dress Up Your Pet Day

So I just discovered that today, January 14, 2018, is National Dress Up Your Pet Day. There’s a website and everything. The day was founded by an animal advocate, Colleen Paige, as a day to give more attention to pets and to help promote pet adoption.

I must admit I was a little surprised. I’ve seen a lot of pictures of pets dressed, but I had no idea there was a day to celebrate it. I’m still not sure how I feel about that. I have never dressed up a pet. I might have put a ribbon or bow on my dog when I was a small child, but I’ve never tried to put them in a costume.

Ms. Paige states on the website that she knows it may seem silly to some, but that the goal is to help save lives and give exposure to homeless animals. Anything that brings attention to pet adoption is a good thing. In my book series, Lost and Found Pets Mysteries, I mention pet adoption and the heartbreak of homeless pets. I don’t put a lot about it in my stories as that is not the theme of the books, but I’m a believer in rescuing animals and hope that this day helps.

Check out the various sites. I must admit some of the pictures are adorable.


What about you? Do you dress up your pet? Can you share a picture? I would enjoy seeing them.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Dead in a Pickup

I've started work on the next Leah Norwood Mystery. It is called Dead in a Pickup. This time Leah will be trying to prove the innocence of her friend, Marcus Cantono. My goal is to have it completed by the end of April so that I can edit, proofread, and get it ready for release in July. Fingers crossed. Here is a snippet.

“Nice tie,” I said to the customer standing in front of me. It was a lovely shade of steel blue with gray stripes and went beautifully with the dark gray suit.
Of course, there isn’t much that wouldn’t look good on the man. Marcus Cantono is simply gorgeous. He is tall with jet-black hair and startling blue eyes. His face is classically handsome and his body – well – he’s got a great body. In spite of the nice clothes, Marcus looks dangerous. It’s just who he is. He is a big man, not fat but muscular, and he radiates danger. Being part of a formally drug-dealing clan adds to the image. He’s trying to steer the family to the legitimate side of the law. So far, he has only been marginally successful.
“Thanks, Leah,” he said giving me a grin. My heart beat sped up, and a slight flush filled my face. It was a natural reaction. One I couldn’t control even if I tried. Marcus’s smile is something to behold. The problem is he knows it. His eyes roamed my face, and his grin widened.
“Stop it,” I said sharply glaring at him. He simply laughed.
An odd chain of events had made us friends. Marcus’s family had been involved in a drug dealing operation when he returned to town to care for his ailing mother. I had accidentally intercepted a shipment of heroin and had come to the attention of his family. They had tried to intimidate me so that I would stop asking questions. The encounter had frighten me, but I wasn’t about back down, and that had impressed Marcus. He had put the word out on the street that I was under his protection. A couple of weeks later, the whole drug operation had been taken down by the police, and many members of his family were arrested. Marcus swooped in to rescue the rest.
The younger members of the family were now working at the restaurant he had opened and trying to learn how to fit into mainstream society. Marcus’s older brother, Damian, had been running the whole drug-dealing operation. He was out on bail and also trying to go straight. I had my doubts, but Marcus was determined to save his family, and I admired him for that.
Marcus and I had gone on one date on New Year’s Eve. He had kissed me at the stroke of midnight, and that was all it had taken for us to realize that we were destined to be just friends. We didn’t have that special chemistry, but the man’s smile still made my toes curl.
“Tell your mother Happy Birthday,” I said handing him the bag with a packaged set of Rose in Bloom.
My store, Scents and Sensibility, sold lotions, soaps and perfume in various fragrances. Rose in Bloom is one of our most popular. The packaged set comes with body cream, hand lotion, soap, and perfume. Marcus had purchased the exact same set for his mother at Christmas.
“You can tell her yourself,” he said to me. “Sunday night we are having a private party at the restaurant. You’re invited.”
I smiled. The restaurant in question was one that he had opened in late February. It was one of the nicest in town, and the food was superb.
“Great. What time?”
“We’re eating at six. Mama doesn’t like to stay out late. Come by around five-thirty.”
I had met Marcus’s mother, Annabella, on a couple of occasions. She didn’t like me much the first time, but as soon as she realized I wasn’t after her son, she warmed up. She liked me just fine as a friend of the family. She just didn’t want me marrying her youngest son. Annabella had said numerous times that Marcus needed a real Italian wife. In her mind, that meant someone who didn’t work outside the home, was a great cook, and would worship the ground her son walked on. I didn’t fit any of those categories.
I also didn’t think that was what Marcus needed. He was already too used to getting his way. One flash of his devastating smile and he usually got what he wanted. Marcus needed a woman who would stand up to him-someone who wasn’t intimated by his good looks. Mama Annabella and I would have to disagree.
“I’ll be there,” I told him. “Now you need to leave. It’s six, we’re closing, and I’ve got a date.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Happenings in 2018

I mentioned in an earlier post that I was hoping to change things a little this year. I will hit my five year author anniversary in February, and I’ve got a lot planned for 2018.

Author Anniversary Month – I have lots of giveaways and stories planned for February 2018. I encourage you to continue to follow or check this blog regularly as I hope to be offering lots of “party” favors.

Author Appearances – I hope to make a couple of appearances this year. This will be something new for me. I’m looking at a few book festivals here in Texas. One is in McKinney, TX where I live. It will be in September. I will also be a guest on the DEAR Texas Radio show in August.

Book Releases – My goal this year is ambitious. I’m planning to release three books. The first will be the third Lead Norwood mystery, Dead in a Pickup. The tentative release date is July 12th. I also plan to release the next two Lost and Found Pets novellas. One in September/October and the other in November/December. As I said ambitious. I don’t know that I will be able to complete them all, but I feel it is important to set the goal.


2018 will be a busy year. I hope you join me for the fun!