Friday, October 24, 2014

Perfect Thanksgiving Diet Discovered! 
by Debra H. Goldstein

A perfect Thanksgiving Diet has been discovered! No starvation! Not impossible to follow! The Killer Wore Cranberry:  A Fourth Meal of Mayhem guarantees not a pound will be gained this holiday season.

The Killer Wore Cranberry: A Fourth Meal of Mayhem contains recipes from Lisa Wagner and short stories by Big Jim Williams, Lesley A. Diehl, Sandra Murphy, Earl Staggs, Barbara Metzger, Steve Shrott, Rob Chirico, Laird Long, Barb Goffman, and Debra H. Goldstein. I’m thrilled to be in the company of these writers.  Many of them had stories in each of the first three successful The Killer Wore Cranberry books, but three of us are newbies to the series.

Writing my story, Thanksgiving in Moderation, was pure joy with a touch of madness.  The call for submissions required a story that had a Thanksgiving theme and incorporated a Thanksgiving food. Thanksgiving wasn’t an issue, but as you know from my prior blogs, I love to eat and be a dinner guest but I don’t know my way around the kitchen.  Consequently, the first thing I researched was what different dishes are served at Thanksgiving besides turkey.  I was amazed at the possible menu variations.

Living in the South, I gravitated toward greens-especially when I realized “greens” could be any leafy vegetable including spinach, kale, collards, cabbage, broccoli, brussel sprouts, and parsley. Once I had my food, my mind focused on family dynamics. I long ago concluded that no matter how serious a situation is, family dynamics bring humor to it. From that point, the story flowed.  My critique group pointed out a few rough spots and then the story was ready for submission.  I crossed my fingers and looked around for a wishbone. Happily, Jay Hartman’s e-mail accepting Thanksgiving in Moderation granted me two wishes:  inclusion in The Killer Wore Cranberry: a Fourth Meal of Mayhem and a celebratory reason to avoid my kitchen.  

The stories in The Killer Wore Cranberry: a Fourth Meal of Mayhem prove laughter is the best medicine by including, as its blurb explains, “what happens when sisters are pushed over the edge, dentists dine with crime bosses, 1950s private detectives deal with dames and sweet potatoes and a family has a bit of a problem with their future son-in-law.”

The anthology is available from The Untreed Reads Store: (best discount), from any store or library ordering from Ingram using ISBN 9781611877403, or from Overdrive as a November promotion.  TKWC truly offers a way to enjoy Thanksgiving food without gaining a pound.  Now, put your fork down and read every word of this Thanksgiving short story and recipe anthology.

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Debra H. Goldstein’s debut novel, Maze in Blue, received a 2012 IPPY Award. In addition toThanksgiving in Moderation in The Killer Wore Cranberry: a Fourth Meal of Mayhem, her short stories and essays have appeared in Mardi Gras Murder, It Was a Dark and Stormy Night, The Birmingham Arts Journal, Mysterical-E, Kings River Life (November 1, 2014), Bethlehem Writers Roundtable, MORE Magazine online and

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Quantum Relativity Theory of Book Time

by Bethany Maines

Yesterday, Marilyn Meredith discussed why she keeps writing and how her characters keep moving forward which keeps her writing.  As a Great-Grandma and writer she as a unique perspective on the longevity of characters. But I'm only a first time mom and I'm only on my third sequel.  I'm at the start of that journey.  But her post did get me to wondering: how do my characters age?

I solved this problem in with Ariana Grace, my heroine in paranormal noir series, Tales from the City of Destiny, by the simple fact of not having her age.  Welcome to the glory of magic! Solving aging problems since Shakespeare!  And so far my Carrie Mae Mystery heroine, Nikki Lanier, has aged fairly realistically, but sometimes books cannot be written fast enough for a character to keep up with real life. What should I do with her in the future?

Since part of my premise for the book is that her character must evolve and grow, I think it's a given that she will age.  But should she age at an absolute year for year rate with real life?  I don't think I can do that.  She'll be too old for my plots by the time I get around to writing all of them!  Should I work out some sort of complicated formula for aging?  Maybe she ages in reverse dog years?  Or maybe I should just wing it?  Who knew when I had a simple little plot idea about an undercover make up lady that I'd be involved in higher math...

Bethany Maines is the author of the Carrie Mae Mystery series and Tales from the City of Destiny. You can also view the Carrie Mae youtube video or catch up with her on Twitter and Facebook.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

When Will I Stop Writing? by Marilyn Meredith

This question has been discussed recently on the DorothyL list. And to be perfectly honest, I've had people ask me that question too. Probably because I am old.

Yes, I'm the ancient one of this group. I've been around since the beginning of this blog. I've been writing nearly all my life, but didn't get published until 1982 and yes, I was already a grandmother then.

So, now, onto the answer of my question. I can't imagine not writing. As long as I'm able to sit in front of my computer and new ideas pop into my head I'll be writing.

One of the reasons I keep on is because the only way for me to find out what is happening to the characters I've created is to write the next book.

In the case of Deputy Tempe Crabtree, who is also getting older--though certainly at a slower rate than I am--I want to know when she might consider retiring from the sheriff's department. And when she does, what will she do next? Will she remain in the small mountain community of Bear Creek or move somewhere else? If she moves, will that mean the end of her interacting with the Indians on the Bear Creek Reservation?

I'd also like to know more about her son, Blair, now that he's working for the Morro Bay Fire Department. And of course there's her husband, Pastor Hutch. Moving would mean Hutch giving up his church. Would there be another in his future.

And I've got a whole other series about the Rocky Bluff P.D. Those characters are aging much slower than I am, though there have been major changes in nearly everyone's lives. Am I ready to quit writing about them? Not in the near future, in fact I'm nearing the end of the next book.

I also enjoy the other things that go along with writing. I like interacting with my readers. I enjoy some of the promoting that's expected. I have cut down a bit on some of the in-person events that I do. I only participate in book and craft fairs where I don't have to put up a tent and haul a table and chairs. I've cut down on the mystery and writers cons if they are too difficult for me to get to--and frankly, I miss seeing the people who attend.

For me writing is a part of who I am, so while I'm still of sound mind I'll continue.

My latest, of course is in the Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery series: River Spirits.

It's available in all formats from the publisher at  and all the usual places.


Thursday, October 16, 2014


By Laura Bradford

As the holiday months draw closer, I can't help but find myself thinking about all of my "can't-waits." You know, the decorating, the baking, the wrapping, the music, and on and on.

It all makes me happy. Really, truly happy.

But as much as I adore the holidays and everything they mean, there are lots of things--simple things--that make me happy...

I love the sound of a baby laughing.

I love the sound of a cat's purr.

I love that very first taste of frozen yogurt.

I love the feel of the sun on my face with the ocean as a backdrop.

I love hearing my children say, "I love you."

I love photographs.

I love neatness.

I love applesauce muffins fresh from the oven.

I love long walks.

I love the way the song, "And We Danced" by the Hooters makes me smile--instantly.

I love time with my friends.

I love unexpected phone calls from special people.

I love Disney World.

I love that moment when an idea strikes...and you know it can work.

There are so many simple things that make me happy.

What are some of yours?