Friday, April 27, 2012

Beach Chat with Georgie Lee

Once again I'm please to welcome another Avalon Author to Beach Chat Friday.

Name: Georgie Lee

  Best beach memory: There are so many! My best friend grew up one block from the beach, so we spent many afternoons at her house in high school. Her parents still live in the same house, so whenever she’s in town, we always go to the beach.

One guilty pleasure: Buying jewelry. I love sparkly things!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Beach Tale: "The Butler Did It" a mini-mystery

          “It’s a classic case of the butler did it,” Jeffery said with conviction.
I suppressed a smile.  This was his first big case.  He had a stack of notes as tall as the Washington Monument that he kept thumbing through, checking facts, reports, statements, etc.  He was tackling this like it was a exercise developed for a first-level evidence class.  I hated to burst his bubble, but real life murder cases rarely come tied up in neat little packages. 
          I, on the other hand, was going on thirty years of street smarts.  I’d spent yesterday pouring over the evidence, trying to make some sort of crazy sense out of it all.  For lack of a better suspect, it did look like the butler had killed his employer, because he was the only other person on the grounds of the estate that evening.  But deep down something just didn’t feel right.  A puzzle piece was missing. 

Friday, April 20, 2012

Beach Chat with Sandra Carey Cody

Name: Sandy Cody (when I write I use the full moniker - Sandra Carey Cody)

   Best beach memory:  Believe it or not, I didn't even see a beach until I was 27 years old, unless you count a gravel bar on the Mississippi River a beach. I grew up in the middle of the country (St. Louis). We took our first beach vacation when our kids were 2 and 4. What a thrill! I'll never forget the sound of the ocean, the swooping gulls, running in and out of the surf with two little boys, laughing like crazy. Going out on the beach at night with a flashlight, seeing the sand crabs skitter along sideways. Thinking about it brings a smile every time. Thanks for reminding me.

One guilty pleasure:  Eavesdropping. I know it's rude but, hey, I'm a writer. Riding the train is like a graduate course in dialogue.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


This week I channeled my inner child and reached for a youthful adventure on the high seas.  (Okay, it’s on a lake, but there’s a big storm…) 

Book Title:  The Bobbsey Twins on a Houseboat
Author:  Laura Lee Hope
Genre:  Children’s Fiction
Setting:  Fictional city of “Lakeport” somewhere in the northeast section of the United States. 
Format:  Hardcover
Pages:  184
Publication date:  Revised 1950 version based on original 1915 story
Publisher:  Grosset & Dunlap, Inc
Opening Line:  “OH, LOOK!” cried Freddie Bobbsey.  “Somebody built a home right on the water!”

Monday, April 16, 2012

Beach Tale: SPAT! A Tale of Life on the Chesapeake Bay

From the files of “Where Do Writers Get Their Ideas”

Sunrise on Hoffler Creek
Many years ago, we moved to a home on Hoffler Creek in Suffolk, Virginia.  That creek is a tributary to The Chesapeake Bay.  The prime attraction of the home was the marsh view to include an eagle preserve across the creek.  (We never spotted even one eagle the entire time we lived there, though.  Hence this tale is not titled EAGLETS!)  Our backyard teamed with wildlife, from blue herons and egrets (called long-legged fishy-things by Native Americans) to Merganser ducks that paddled their way up and down the creek daily. Along the banks there were crabs and frogs and snakes, oh my!.  And even deer (one spotted on Christmas Eve picking its way across the marsh at low tide—the kids thought it was one of Santa’s who didn’t make it into the sleigh-pulling line up that night).  But what captured our attention and tugged on our environmentally conscious heartstrings were the oysters.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Beach Chat with Fran Fisher

Name: Fran Fisher

Best beach memory:    My husband and I owned an older wooden boat that
     we'd take to the islands and spend entire weekends. We’d fish all day, play in the water, then be back on the boat by sunset. With Willie Nelson music playing in the background, he’d grill me a steak and we’d watch the sunset on the front of the boat.  What memories! I loved that boat, and after Hurricane Katrina, it gave us a place to live for six weeks.

One guilty pleasure:  Sweets. I have a weakness for gooey desserts.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Beach Tale: Ta Dah!

New cover annoucement:

Did you see any authors you know listed there?  Yup, the last one listed. That's me.

My entry, titled "When We Were Middle Aged and Foolish," begins thusly:

Friday, April 6, 2012

Beach Chat with Elisabeth Rose

15 Quick Questions Answered by an Avalon Author

Narooma Beach, the setting for
Elisabeth's latest Avalon release,
The Wedding Party
 Name: Elisabeth Rose

Best beach memory:  I'm not a big fan of the beach but when I was a student a housemate's parents owned an old beach house in an area that is now very busy. Back then we'd go for weekends occasionally and I remember a few of us lying on the empty beach at night talking and looking up at the stars with the waves crashing on the shore, all silvery in the moonlight.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Beach Read: NO WIND OF BLAME by Georgette Heyer

Georgette Heyer wrote over fifty books, including romances, mysteries, and historical fiction.  Her barrister husband, Ronald Rougier, provided many of the plots for her detective novels, which are classic English country house mysteries reminiscent of Agatha Christie.  Heyer was legendary for her research, historical accuracy, and her inventive plots and sparkling characterization. 

Book Title: No Wind of Blame (Inspector Hemingway Mysteries #1)
Author:  Georgette Heyer
Genre:  Mystery
Setting:  1930s English Country House
Format:  Trade paperback       
Pages:  364
Publication date:  original 1939, reissued 2009
Publisher:  Sourcebooks Landmark
Opening Line: “The Prince is coming by the one-forty-five.  That means he’ll be here in time for tea.  Well, I do call that nice!”

Monday, April 2, 2012

Beach Tale: Origins of the Phrase "Fair Winds and Following Seas"

At a recent Hail and Farewell (a party wherein new reports to the command are welcomed and those departing are bid a fond adieu), the Lieutenant heading off to Norfolk was offered the traditional wishes of “Fair winds and following seas.”  Since I’ve been around the Navy world for almost 30 years, I’ve heard this phrase uttered hundreds, if not thousands, of times.  But (and this may be a sign of maturity on my part) this time it got me to wondering what exactly it meant.  So I let my fingers do the surfing through the cyber world, and I thought I’d save y’all from duplicating my efforts and today seems a good opportunity to share my newly acquired knowledge.

Wishing someone Fair Winds and Following Seas is a nautical phrase of good luck, a blessing as it were, as a person, group or thing (ie a commissioning ship) departs on a new voyage in life. 
But what exactly does it mean?