November 27, 2013

Special thanks and a snippet from the book

I would like to take a minute to say thank you to all of you who have been so encouraging to me this year. Your kind words, from my nearest and dearest to complete strangers, have meant so much.

And I'd like to say a special thank you to my sister, Chris, and my sister-in-law, Lynda, who have been my sounding boards, task masters, and truly good friends.

Roses and Daisies and Death, Oh My will be officially released on Monday! I'm looking forward to seeing many of you at the launch on December 7th. If you're in the neighborhood, please drop by.
(Dec. 7th, 2 to 4, Old Bowie Town Grille)

Here's a little snippet from the book. The ladies and their guests have just finished a Thanksgiving feast and romance is in the air, as well as something a little more sinister.

     Rose lit a fire and they sat sipping B&B and enjoying family chitchat.
     “Mother, you’re going to stay over, aren’t you?” asked Rose.
     “Oh yes. It’s been a long day.”
     Around ten o’clock Marc said, “Well, this has been a real pleasure. I can't remember the last time I had a family Thanksgiving. Thank you for including me. But I've got to go. We all need to rest up for the Christmas onslaught.”
     Daisy and Malcolm walked Marc down to his car. Marc thanked her again. Then he bent down and gently kissed her lips. “Don't forget to lock up. There's a killer out there and you're pretty isolated at this end of the street.”
     “Not to worry. We're fine. Malcolm's here and we have the alarm. I’m glad you came today. I liked spending Thanksgiving with you.”
     “Me, too. Much as I enjoy your family, I was thinking that it would be great if we had a night to ourselves. You know, a regular date. Dinner and a movie?”
     “I'd like that. Wednesday next week?”
     “Wednesday, it is.” He turned to go, then turned back and took her in his arms and kissed her again. “Good night, Daisy,” he whispered. “Don't forget to lock up!”
     “I won't. Drive carefully,” she called to him as he got into his car. She smiled as she watched him drive away.
     She was almost at the door when Malcolm started growling. Then he trotted back to the sidewalk and let a sharp little bark. Daisy picked him up. “What is it, boy?”
     She looked around at the quiet street. Then she thought she saw a shadow move in the trees in back of the Tavern. “Come on Malcolm. Let’s get inside!”

Happy Thanksgiving to you all.


November 18, 2013

A big month ahead - fully clothed!

Oh my, these next few weeks will be busy ones. Thanksgiving dinner for eighteen. My book launch on December 7th. A Christmas Bazaar on December 8th. And then of course Christmas!

I've got lists and notes everywhere. I've got little notes reminding me to make lists. I've got these lists and notes because I simply cannot remember anything anymore. I cannot remember a six letter word for 'remembrance'. I pace the aisles in Target trying to recall the name of the shampoo I've used for the last ten years. I hurriedly rush to the phone, pick it up ready to dial only to go completely blank as to whom I had to call so urgently.

Like most of the people I know who are my age I live in fear that one day in the not too distant future I will drop in on a neighbor for tea wearing only a sunhat and Reeboks, having forgotten the rest of my clothes. I understand this can be a common side effect once you've entered your 'second childhood'.

And here I wonder as a passing thought if people who prefer nakedness in their dotage are the same people who preferred it in their toddlerhood. Is there a correlation? Because if there is I may be in big trouble. I was one of those toddlers.

My very first memory was of running out the front door of our house on 20th Street, NW just off Dupont Circle, going down the steps, running to the end of the block and boarding a bus completely sans clothing. Kind of cute in a two year old. Not so much now!

At any rate, though things are a bit hectic, I'm looking forward to a great month - fully dressed, thank you very much.

Don't forget the Christmas Bazaar, 12/8/2013 from 10 to 2 at the Columbian Center, Severna Park, MD. I'd love to have you stop by and bring the flyer.

Also, for my Facebook friends, please LIKE my author page which is up and running thanks to my wonderful daughter, Rachel Anne.

November 11, 2013

To Kill a Mockingbird and other old friends

I consider myself so lucky that I have found not one, but three, authors whose words I find so compelling that I read them almost yearly. Books that I can pick up anytime, turn to any page, and, like a dear old friend who visits every few years, continue the conversation as though it were yesterday. These books are the stories of P. G. Wodehouse, Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, and Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird.

In the fall, I turn to Harper Lee. As soon as 'sweater weather' begins and the leaves start to turn, I find myself walking home in the dark with Scout in her ham costume, Jem's hand carefully guiding her, or smiling at Scout's complete bemusement of Aunt Alexandra and her campaign to make a lady of her.

Each beautiful scene, so clear, so elegantly written - Calpurnia and the children, washed and starched to a shocking degree, at her church waving fans and passing the plate, Jem reading to Mrs. DuBose in that dark, sad room, the hermaphrodite snowman, or Miss Maudie's house going up in flames - that I feel as if I am remembering things from my own youth, not Scout's. I would give much to be able to write so well.

Springtime brings me back to hobbits, elves and wizards. And P. G. Wodehouse seems to fit the summer so well. What a gift these writers have given me. Do you have a favorite book? A book that you read again and again, whose words draw you into another world that you've become so familiar with it's like home? I'd love to hear which books have become your old friends.

Don't forget my book launch, December 7th from 2 to 4. (Check for info). If you're planning on coming, be sure to let me know. I'd hate to run short on snacks and such.

November 3, 2013

Roses and Daisies and Death, Oh My is ready to launch!

The excitement is on! My novel, Roses and Daisies and Death, Oh My, is being released December 1st  and I'm getting ready for an actual launch party.

Quite honestly, having a book in print is something I never even thought about. I never imagined being a writer. I wrote a little here and there - a short story or a poem - but I was pretty content being domestic. I actually liked cooking. I enjoyed sewing. I liked being the team mom and the room mother. For a child of the 60's this was hard to swallow sometimes, but true feminism means I get to choose what makes me happy, and that was what made me happy.

And then my husband and I retired. I needed something to fill the time. Cooking, except on holidays, had lost its appeal. Forty plus years of dinner takes some of the glamour out of the task. Sewing, too, lost its charm. Small print, bi-focals, and an achy back took their toll. And being a team mom/room mother pretty much requires a kid on the team or in the room.

So I tried my hand at writing a mystery. It was just supposed to be a hobby. But surprise! Here I am, an author, getting ready to enter the world of promotion and sales. Wish me luck and come by the party and say hi. I'd love to see you. 

Launch of  Roses and Daisies and Death, Oh My
Saturday, December 7th
2 to 4 in the afternoon
Old Bowie Town Grille
Bowie, Maryland
If you're interested in coming, just let me know at