Monday, December 30, 2013

Beach Read: "Best Friends Help you Move the Body"

Well, patient readers, it's finally here!  Virginia is for Mysteries" has finally been printed!  I know, because I have 84 copies sitting here in my office.  But the public release date is January 2, 2014, in both trade paperback and e-versions.

This volume of 17 short mysteries sent throughout the state of Virginia is a great collection of stories.  Here's what advanced readers are saying:  "Virginia is for lovers...except when it's for killers crooks, and criminals."  ~ Mary Miley, author of The Impersonator

This anthology includes a short story penned by moi, titled, "Best Friends Help you Move the Body."  So here is the opening chapter, to get you intersted.  Then use the links posted on the side bar to purchase a copy of your very own to read what happens!   

“The Cape Henry Lighthouse silently guards the entryway into the Chesapeake Bay. Standing near the ‘First Landing’ site of the Jamestown settlers where in 1607 Captain Newport raised a cross to offer thanks for their safe crossing of the Atlantic, the Lighthouse has stood sentinel since it was completed in 1792.”
~ Preservation Virginia

“I could kill Stella Edwards by pushing her down these stairs.” Courtney Danvers’ voice echoed down to me from her position above. She was about a dozen feet higher on the iron steps circling around the inside of the Old Cape Henry Lighthouse in Virginia Beach.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Beach Fun: December Starter Sentence

<<'Tis the season!  And to get us in the mood my Writer's Guild started us off with "The tree we bought smelled great..." Oh what fun I had with this one!  Feel free to take pen in hand or fingers to keyboard and try it yourself!>>

The tree we bought smelled great.  Too bad I couldn’t say the same for whatever Mom was cooking in the oven.  She was practicing her “something red” dish for our upcoming holiday meal.  Unfortunately for us over the past year she’d discovered PINTEREST and thus had been, quote, “inspired” to try lots of new foods.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Beach Holidays: Thanksgiving!

<<In the spirit of the Thanksgiving holiday, I thought it appropriate to pluck from the annals of my military spouse newsletters a column I’d written about the finer points of table etiquette. It jsut goes to prove that I learn something new every day!>>

“Passing Directions…

Which Are in No Way Connected to Driving a Motor Vehicle.”

‘Tis the season…for holiday gatherings which involve too much food and not enough etiquette, much like the one I recently experienced during a large gathering of our navy family.  There were twenty people seated around one long table, which had been festooned with Lenox China, Waterford crystal and more forks, knives and spoons than I knew what to do with.  But despite the formal setting, there were no butlers dancing attendance, so the meal was served “Family Style.”  This requires the passing of the food around the table for each diner to pile mountains of gastronomic pleasures onto their own plate.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Beach Writers: November Starter Sentence

<<For those of you new to my blog, every month my Writer's Guild gives a starter sentence and off we go writing a very short story. The part that got us started is in bold italics...feel free to use it to jump start your muses this holiday season!>>

     The turkey was delicious, but something tasted funny about the gravy.  Then all of a sudden Aunt Mable clutched at her throat then fell face down in her mashed potatoes.  We all stopped eating and stared at the dear old woman, watching as golden gravy oozed through her blue-tint hair.   Nobody rushed to her rescue, nobody reached over to pick her head out of her plate, nobody called 9-1-1.  In fact, nobody seemed dismayed in the least at this turn of events, just waited quietly for something else to happen.

     This was my first holiday with the Callahan clan. Was it part of their Thanksgiving tradition to have someone take a nose-dive into the feast? I looked across the table at my fianc√© Mark.  Our eyes met.  Did I detect a twinkle in those baby blues? With great exaggeration he mouthed, “Wait for it.” Thirty seconds later, Aunt Mable popped her head up and yelled “April Fools!”  Everyone laughed and clapped and agreed that it’s cute when a one-hundred-and-three year old woman confuses her holidays.

You can read other guild members' musings here:

The December starter sentence is: "The tree we bought smelled great..." Go ahead and give it a try yourself!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Beach Writers: October Starter Sentence

East Beach Writer's Guild got us started writing this month with " 'Twas the night before Halloween..."  As always, it was a fun challenge, and got me in the mood for the upcoming holiday! 

‘Twas the night before Halloween and a thick fog rolled in.  So thick, I couldn’t see my hand in front of my face, let alone the lamppost whose black paint had faded to a mottled grey, thanks to the constant sandblasting by the wind off the Chesapeake Bay.  So that’s how I ended up in the ER, with a goose egg on my forehead, on account of I’d been running, and smacked right into the damned thing.  “Why were you running in the fog?” one might ask. A valid question.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Beach Writers: September Starter Sentence

For the record, I NEVER hated writing.  But since Bill Watterson, the creator of Calvin and Hobbes, went to High School with me, I thought the cartoon appropriate to depict me doing my writing homework.  You see, as if I didn't have enough to do in my "real" life, I helped found a neighborhood writer's guild.  One of the challenges at each meeting is to write 2 paragraphs that follow a starter sentence.  The September prompt was "Last night while walking through East Beach..."  This is what my muses came up with.  

     Last night while walking through East Beach, a glint of white caught my eye.  There, peeking out through the mulch piled around Mrs. Dietrich’s Klems Hardy Gardenias.  I stopped and picked up a tile, about the size of a domino only twice as thick.  I turned the cool and smooth item in my hand as I walked.  Within a few steps I was near enough a streetlight to stop and inspect the tile closer.  Hmmm.  One side had markings.  Chinese characters, to be specific, in blood-red ink.  But having never taken a single lesson in Chinese, the symbols meant nothing to me. 

Monday, September 2, 2013


<<Cross-posted on Virginia Is for Mysteries blog August 10, 2013>>

The “educational” tag is SO over rated.  Especially when it comes to summer vacations.  My parents (a self-employed business man and an elementary school teacher) made it their mission to make sure we learned something over the summer break.  So while my friends were water skiing on Lake Michigan or riding donkeys down to bottom of the Grand Canyon or hanging out with Mickey & Minnie, my family was marching through the Smithsonian in DC or traipsing along the Freedom Trail in Boston or sitting/snoozing through historical lectures in the City of Brotherly Love. 

Did I have VA-CAY Envy?  You bet I did!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Beach Tale: "When We Were Middle Aged and Foolish", Final Installment

        This is the eighth—and final—installment of my serialized short mystery, “When We Were Middle Aged and Foolish.”   If you missed the first installments, click here to be taken to the page of what’s been posted so far.
          For those of you returning, a quick reminder when last we left our middle-aged amateur sleuths, they’d found their killer.  Or more accurately, the killer had found them…

          When We Were Middle Aged and Foolish
Installment Eight of Eight

          Nothing would please me more than to report justice has been served and that Scott Hunter has been sent up the river for life without possibility of parole; that his twin-brother J.J. sailed with him for his knowledge of the murder; that Monica Lyn cleaned up in the divorce; and that I, as the hero of the day, returned to my quiet life as a cotton merchant in Memphis, Tennessee. But things didn’t turn out quite that way.
          Scott escaped and was tracked as far as Nova Scotia, where he just plain disappeared. He could be dead. Should be dead. Probably was dead. But there is the slim chance he is still alive and will some day track me down and finish the job of slicing me to pieces.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Beach Tale: "When We Were Middle Aged and Foolish", Seventh Installment

          This is the seventh  installment of my serialized short mystery, “When We Were Middle Aged and Foolish.”  The last installment will be posted next Monday.  If you missed the first installments, click here to be taken to the page of what’s been posted so far.
          For those of you returning, a quick reminder when last we left our middle-aged amateur sleuths they were going to search Monica Lyn's soo-to-be ex-husband’s house for the murder weapon.  You won’t believe what they find…

When We Were Middle Aged and Foolish
Installment Seven of Eight

            We returned to Monica Lyn’s old house, the one J.J. currently had custody of. J.J. was up in Boston for the day, having “unexpectedly received tickets to the Red Sox/Yankees game. Those tickets are hard to come by. Make that impossible. And I can’t imagine what strings Monica Lyn had to pull to get a pair. But I didn’t ask, and she didn’t tell.
           With the place to ourselves, we set out on a mission to find the murder weapon and/or the dismemberment tool. It’s not like the police hadn’t already searched the premises after our anonymous tip about the buried hacksaw, but we had the advantage in that Monica Lyn not only knew all the secret hidey-holes in the centuries-old mini-mansion, but also J.J.’s sneaky ways.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Beach Tale: "When We Were Middle Aged and Foolish", Sixth Installment

        This is the sixth installment of my serialized short mystery, “When We Were Middle Aged and Foolish.”  A new chapter will be posted every Monday for the next two weeks.  If you missed the first installments, click here to be taken to the page of what’s been posted so far.
          For those of you returning, a quick reminder when last we left our middle-aged amateur sleuths, their plan to frame Monica Lyn’s soon-to-be ex-husband for murder was playing out as expected.  Or was it?

When We Were Middle Aged and Foolish
Installment Six of Eight

          “Damn Luminal,” Monica Lyn said as she slammed her cell phone on the kitchen counter the next afternoon.
          “What’s that?” I asked while spreading strawberry preserves on my wheat toast. We’d been up for hours, but I was just getting around to breakfasting.
          “It’s a chemical agent that detects the presence of human blood. Even if the item has been washed, traces of iron remain and cast off a blue light when Luminal is sprayed on it.”
          “So?” I slipped along the bench seat the table, my mouth watering at the idea of tasting the homemade strawberry preserves. Monica Lyn’s mother’s preserves were the best on the planet, and I hadn’t had any in years.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Virginia is for Mysteries Blog

Hey...I don't think I mentioned that the 14 Virginia Authors included in the Virginia is for Mysteries anthology have started a blog about all things Virginia and/or writing.  Today was my day to post something inspirational.  It took a lot of thinking...and waiting for inspiration to hit.  Finally, after three chocolate kisses, the muses were summoned and I came up with a little thing I like to (appropriately) call,  "What I Did on Summer Vacation...1971."  If you want to see a picture of 10-year-old me, then click here.    

Monday, August 5, 2013

Beach Tale: "When We Were Middle Aged and Foolish", Fifth Installment

          This is the fifth installment of my serialized short mystery, “When We Were Middle Aged and Foolish.”  A new chapter will be posted every Monday for the next three weeks.  If you missed the first installments, click here to be taken to the page of what’s been posted so far.
          For those of you returning, a quick reminder when last we left our middle-aged amateur sleuths, Monica Lyn had a plan to exact revenge on her soon-to-be ex-husband. 

When We Were Middle Aged and Foolish
Installment Five of Eight

          “Calling Doctor Morgan. Doctor Morgan. You’re needed, stat.” J.J. waved his empty tumbler in the air in a sloppy drunk way.  
          As bartender for the evening’s festivities, I concocted another pitcher of Dr. Pepper and Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum (aka a Dr. Morgan), heavy on the rum, and poured another round. So far the plan seemed to be working well.
          We’d spent the last few hours sitting poolside, sipping the rum beverage and reliving the good old days of The Four Musketeers, which had consisted of me, Monica Lyn, J.J., and his younger-by-three-minutes twin brother, Scott. Last I heard Scott was serving a twenty-year sentence for running a methamphetamine lab in Cincinnati. And I’d come this close to marrying him.
          “This is better than my fourteenth birthday party,” Monica Lyn said, wiping tears of laughter from her eyes. We’d sure had some great times as kids.
          I poured another round. “Just promise me you won’t make me get another tattoo to commemorate the event.”
          Monica Lyn laughed so hard she fell out of her chair. J.J., ever the gentleman, helped her back up. I poured us all another round of Dr. Morgans.
          “You have a tattoo?” J.J. asked. “Do tell.”

Monday, July 29, 2013

Beach Tale: "When We Were Middle Aged and Foolish", Fourth Installment

          This is the fourth installment of my serialized short mystery, “When We Were Middle Aged and Foolish.”  A new chapter will be posted every Monday for the next four weeks.  If you missed the first installments, click here to be taken to the page of what’s been posted so far.
          For those of you returning, a quick reminder when last we left our middle-aged amateur sleuths, they were at the Sagucci Bay police station trying to explain how’d they’d come to find a dead body in a trash can... 

When We Were Middle Aged and Foolish
Installment Four of Eight
        Since it was determined that Kitty Kline had been dead for a couple of days and I had an airtight alibi working at my job at a cotton merchant more than 1,000 miles away in Memphis, Tennessee, I was off the hook for murder. Charges for Accessory After the Fact, Breaking and Entering, and Urinating in Public were still pending, but the attorney I found in the Yellow Pages had me sprung on my own recognizance by suppertime. And just like in a bad movie, I’d been warned not to leave town.
          Monica Lyn wasn’t so lucky. With means, motive, opportunity, and the trail of blood down Fisher Street, she was a slam dunk for the prosecution. But the judge took into account her twelve-year stint as a city council person, nine years as Girl Scout Troop 83 leader, six years as PTA President, and current fundraising chair for the local no-kill animal shelter, and deemed her a low-flight risk. Bail was set at an amount easily covered via a cash advance on her VISA.
          A smart woman would let the police take it from here. A really smart woman would hire a private investigator to help things along. And then there’s Monica Lyn. She decided to take things into her own hands.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Beach Tale: "When We Were Middle Aged and Foolish", Third Installment

     This is the third installment of my serialized short mystery, "When We Were Middle Aged and Foolish."  A new chapter will be posted every Monday for the next five weeks. If you missed the first installment, click here to read what's been posted thus far. 
     A reminder to those of you who read last Monday's installment:  When last we left our middle-aged sleuths they had just delivered a dead body to the front lawn of their childhood nemesis, Kitty Kline. Mission accomplished.  But not the end of things.  Not by a long shot!  Let's join our friends back in the bucolic town of Sagucci Bay...

  When We Were Middle Aged and Foolish
Installment Three of Eight
       There are hangovers, and then there are HANGOVERS. I currently suffered from the latter, and right now wished I was in a simple pine box buried six-feet under the ground.
          Instead, I sat in an echo chamber labeled Police Interrogation Room Number Three, baking under lights that had to be 2,000 megawatts brighter than the sun.
          “I’ll repeat my question,” Detective Dirk Rasmussen said. “How did you and Ms. Hunter come to be in Ms. Kline’s house?”

Monday, July 15, 2013

Beach Tale: "When We Were Middle Aged and Foolish", Second Installment

          This is the second installment of my serialized short mystery, “When We Were Middle Aged and Foolish.”  A new chapter will be posted every Monday for the next six weeks.  If you missed the first installment, click here to be taken to the page of what’s been posted so far.
          For those of you returning, a quick reminder when last we left our middle-aged amateur sleuths:  They were in the bucolic town of Sagucci Bay, and had a plan to dispose of the dead body they had just discovered in a stolen trash can…

 When We Were Middle Aged and Foolish
Installment Two of Eight

        Monica Lyn and I had shared our first bottles of Boone’s Farm Strawberry Hill on the night of her 14th birthday. That had been twenty-eight years, three months and six days ago. I still had a Jimmy Buffett lyric tattooed on my backside as a souvenir.
          In honor of my first visit to my hometown after a twenty-five-year absence, Monica Lyn had purchased a case of the beverage that more closely resembled cough syrup than cabernet. We each grabbed a bottle and, armed with a bucket of ice, headed for the back patio to figure out a plan. With her parents decamped to their mountain cabin for the summer (it was cooler there, and wasn’t plagued by tourists), we had the house to ourselves. In hindsight, it would have saved us a lot of grief if Mr. and Mrs. O’Neill had been around to talk us out of our simple (yet stupid) plan.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Beach Tale: "When We Were Middle Aged and Foolish" First Installment

    This is the first installment of my short mystery, "When We Were Middle Aged and Foolish."  
     A new chapter will be posted every Monday for the next seven weeks.  So take a little vacation--if only in your mind--to the shore, where murder and revenge are afoot in the bucolic town of Sagucci Bay.   
     And don't forget the sunscreen!

When We Were Middle Aged and Foolish
Installment ONE of Eight

          I’ve never seen a dead body up close and personal, let alone one chopped up like a fryer chicken and stuffed into two Hefty Cinch Saks. It’s not a pretty sight, and is accompanied by an even more ghastly smell. I fought down the vomit burning my tonsils and stumbled out of the garage as fast as my linguine legs could carry me.
          “Well?” Monica Lyn, my best friend since preschool, asked.
          “That’s a real dead body all right.” I gave into gravity and melted down onto the driveway. The heat from the blacktop warmed by a late August sun seeped through my cotton capris but did little to soothe the post-horrific shock rattling my extremities.
          “Not a mannequin leftover from Halloween or something?” The tone in Monica Lyn’s voice bordered on a whiney panic.
          “Mannequin’s don’t smell. Nor ooze blood. Go call the police.”
          “No police.” Monica Lyn twisted her long dark hair into a bun on the back of her head, then released it, allowing it to cascade down over her shoulders. She did it again. And again. And again.
          A nervous sort of chuckle gurgled from my solar plexus. “Yes, police. Now.”
          Silence. “We can’t.”
          “Why not?”

Monday, June 24, 2013


It's official!  The cover for the Virginia is for Mysteries anthology has been revealed.  

Dontcha just love it?

Here's the 4-1-1 on the book, which will be published by Koehler Books in early 2014:

     Yes, Virginia may be for Lovers.  But according to 14 mystery authors from the Old Dominion, Virginia is for Mysteries, too.
     Virginia is for Mysteries is a collection of sixteen short stories set in and around the state of Virginia. A ll stories are written by Virginia residents with "murder" in mind.  Each author is a member of Sisters in Crime writers group.  Each story features a Virginia landmark, from the steps of the Cape Henry Lighthouse to Richmond's Old Hollywood Cemetery to Jefferson's Monticello and transports readers across Virginia's rich, unique, and very deadly, landscape.

     And I wouldn't be shouting this from the sandy beaches if I didn't have a story included.    "Best Friends Help You Move the Body" was inspired by a visit to the Old Cape Henry Lighthouse back in 2012.  Here are the opening paragraphs of the story (which you can pre-order your copy at ANY bookstore now!)

"Best Friends Help You Move the Body"
by Jayne Ormerod

“The Cape Henry Lighthouse silently guards the entryway into the Chesapeake Bay. Standing near the ‘First Landing’ site of the Jamestown settlers where in 1607 Captain Newport raised a cross to offer thanks for their safe crossing of the Atlantic, the Lighthouse has stood sentinel since it was completed in 1792.” ~ Preservation Virginia

            “I could kill Stella Edwards by pushing her down these stairs.” Courtney Danvers’ voice echoed down to me from her position above.  She was about a dozen feet higher on the iron steps circling around the inside of the Old Cape Henry Lighthouse in Virginia BeachVirginia.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Beach Chat with Jenna Jaxon

        As of yesterday, when the skies were sunny and the bay waters were smooth and the temperatures rose to a balmy 78, it became official--Beach Season has arrived!  Yeah!  So it's a a perfect time to pull up a beach chair and chat with a local author who has found great success with her historical and contemporary erotic romances. I always love getting to know a new author.  I think you'll enjoy meeting this one, too!

Today we're chatting with:  Jenna Jaxon. 

Most cherished beach memory:  Out on the sand with my daughter when she was about
          6 months old, lying on a towel, with her fast asleep beside me.

Recommend a Beach Read:  Well, if not one of my books…anything by Stephen King.  He writes such riveting stories!  If you prefer romance to horror, Joanna Lindsays’s No Choice But Seduction is set at sea for the most part and fun to read with the salt wind in your face and the sound of the waves crashing.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Beach Craft: Life's a Beach

This is the view when you come in the back door of our little beach cottage.  So while life is not always a "vacation," at least every time it feels like one!

But this is what it looked like before I got crafty:

Friday, May 3, 2013

Beach Chat with Sharon Love Cook

You know me and my love for a good cozy…add a dash of humor and a few helpful household hints (√° la Heloise) and it’s a recipe for a good read! My pre-search (that’s my made-up word of the day, to indicate research done in advance of contacting the author) had me laughing out loud at here cartoons portraying a grown up Nancy Drew and other mystery-related single-panel comics.  She also writes greeting cards (you may have purchased or received one and didn't realize it) and in her free time is a stand-up comedienne   Are you ready to laugh?  Of course!  So let’s head on down to the beach and get talking with this jack-of-all-comic-trades…

Today we’re chatting with: Sharon Love Cook

Recommend a Beach Read: I recently attended the Love is Murder writers conference in Chicago and met Elizabeth Duncan, whose The Cold Light of Mourning won the Malice Domestic Best First Traditional Mystery Novel Competition. After talking with her, I went out and grabbed the book (first paying for it) and liked that a lot. The setting is Wales, where the author visits annually.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Beach Tale: The Hilarious Adventures of Dillon in Deagu

          Those of you of a certain vintage may remember the “I Love Lucy” episodes where Cousin Ernest (played by Tennessee Ernie Ford) comes for a visit.  So Country Bumpkin in the Big City makes for big laughs.  You can watch the entire episode here:
          It’s just as funny (in hindsight anyway) when a rather-sheltered young man heads off to see the world.  My son, like Lucy, is a red-head, which sometimes seems to equate for a magnet for troublesome situations.  You can’t help but laugh.  So I'm thinking I'll put my writing skills to work and develop a sitcom of my own.  I'll call it "The Hilarious Adventures of Dillon in Deagu".  All based on actual escapades of my son.  Like I say, I can laugh…now…
  Series Premier Episode:
          A two-suitcase limit is difficult for the most frugal of international travelers.  But packing for an entire year (possibly more) is not for the feint of heart.  My son Dillon (name changed to protect the innocent) faced that challenge in 2012. 
          Enter our main character, a young lad who thinks it necessary to include a year’s supply of soaps, shampoos, toothpastes and other essentials for his journey. That doesn't leave much room room left for clothes (starting with 45 of his favorite t-shirts) and posters and electronic devices, etc.   He shoves everything into two of the biggest rolling duffle bags (one bright red, one sedate blue) that Lands End sells. I mean seriously, they are big enough to hide a dead body! (In fact, that gives me an idea!  Look for a body in a duffle in one of my upcoming mysteries!) 

Friday, April 26, 2013

Beach Chat: with Judith Ivie

Okay, so what can be  better than being a mystery writer?  I mean you get to kill off your enemies, (in the literary sense, that is), stay in your pajamas until 4 p.m., eat as much chocolate as you want (all in the name of keeping the muse happy) and visit the OBX (Outer Banks of NC) for inspiration (hmmm, does that qualify it for a tax write off?) But, there is one thing better, though, and that is being both a mystery writer and a mystery  publisher!  Today’s guest is living that life. I know you are as excited to get to know a real writer/publisher as I am, so let’s get on with the chat…

Today we’re chatting with:  Judith Ivie

Most cherished beach memory:  The first time my husband and I took the 20-second walk over a beachfront sand dune on Okracoke, a North Carolina island reachable only by ferry, and were confronted by miles of gorgeous Atlantic Ocean and empty beach as far as we could see.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Beach Tale: Home Sweet Home

 In the spirit of Earth Day 2013, it seems a fitting time to "recycle" one of my stories.  And in light of the fact I'm now a card-carrying member of the real estate-agent brigade, this story spoke to me on a different level.  It was originally posted on July 11, 2011 when this blog was in its infancy, so should be a "fresh" read for many of you.  Enjoy!    

         I’d read Jameson Lee Clemmons’ purchaser profile with interest and painted a mental image of a gracefully aging southern gentleman who resembled Colonel Sanders. No marital status was required when purchasing a house with cash, but if he showed up for our two o’clock appointment with no spouse in tow, I’d fix him up with my Aunt Meg up for dinner tomorrow night.  Maybe someday she’d return the favor.
          I hit the PRINT button on my computer and the laser jet wheezed to life at the same time the bell over the front door jangled. “Just a minute,” I called. Grabbing the stack of printouts of suitable properties, I headed for the reception area. “Can I help...” My words were replaced by the sound of a girlish giggle that bubbled forth. From me! But what red-blooded woman of child-bearing years wouldn’t have a similar reaction upon coming face to face with this sun-bronzed surfer type? Aged mid- to late-thirties, if I were to hazard a guess.  The perfect age for me!
          “I have an appointment with Tara Quinlan.”
          Even his voice had a sun-drenched tinge. “Jameson Lee Clemmons?” I squeaked.
          “Just J.C. please.”

Friday, April 19, 2013

Beach Chat with David Edgar Cournoyer

This is the actual dining room
where I met David and Gloria
at breakfast one cold November morn.
Date: November, 2010.  Time: around 8 a.m. Place: A.Y.C.E. Breakfast Buffet at the Hilton Hilton Hotel in Deadham, Massachusetts.  Event:  New England Crime Bake, a conference for readers and writers of mysteries.  Sitting at a table near me as I gobbled up my scrambled eggs I spotted a couple who seemed to be discussing, of all things, murder!  I introduced myself and a friendship was formed.  We've stayed in touch over the years and finally, at long last, David has realized his dream of being a published mystery author.  My time has allowed me to read only a few pages, but what I read grabbed me and I hope to curl up with the rest of it soon.  BTW, his wife, Gloria is a mystery writer, too, and I hope soon she’ll be joining me for a beach chat.  But for now, without further ado, let’s get to know today’s guest, the author of On the Level.

Beach chat with:  David Edgar Cournoyer

Most cherished beach memory: Sitting on Avery Point in Groton, CT next to a classic Victorian home, sketching the light house in New London Harbor, and thinking what a great setting that would be for a novel.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Beach Tale: Mystery by the Sea

Are you an aspiring Nancy Drew?  Have you always wanted  to assemble clues and figure out whodunit?  Here is your chance.  This short story has all of the clues, you just need to puzzle them together to find out who the guilty party is.  The solution is at the end.  Happy Sleuthing!

“Mystery By the Sea"
A Sleuth-It Yourself Mystery”

          Thank goodness for the ocean breeze, I thought as I finished my walk and crossed the sand towards home.  The thermometer had topped out at 102 degrees a few hours ago.  The trek along the shore with waves bubbling at my ankles and bay breezes blowing over my skin had cooled me off and re-energized my mind and body. I felt ready to get back to work.  As I headed for the stairs that led up to my carriage house apartment, the elderly woman who lived in the main house came running to meet me.
          “Cassie, I need your help,” Mrs. Williamson said, wringing her hands in that nervous way she had.
          “What’s wrong?”
          “My ruby and sapphire necklace, the one given to my great-great-grandmother by a crowned prince in Europe, has been stolen.  And the thief is in my house right now!”

Friday, April 12, 2013

Beach Chat with JL Greger

It’s always a good marketing tool to open a blog post with a picture of a cute dog.  So today’s beach chat guest supplied a picture of her too-cute-for-words canine companion,  Bug.  As many of us dog-loving writers do, we feature our beloved pets in our stories.  Today’s mystery writer does, too.  So read more about Bug and his human…

Today we’re chatting with: JL Greger

Most cherished beach memory:  Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands, where the US tested the hydrogen bomb, is one of the most beautiful beaches I’ve ever seen. The sand has a pinkish glow, not because of radiation, and the beach has an amazing collection of shells probably because few people go there.  How did I get there? In 1992, I was part of a team of scientists sent by the National Academy of Sciences to assess radiological safety of resettling certain parts of the Marshall Islands. The research was exciting; it didn’t hurt that the committee consisted of eleven male scientists and me.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Beach News: BEHIND THE BLUE DOOR: 230 Periwinkle Place is available for purchase!

     My faithful facebook followers were with me when I pulled out my Baby Names book to name the characters in a new mystery novella (look for Skye, Libby and Blake as you read).  My faithful blog readers were here as I shared the excitement of finding a name generator on the Internet that helped meld first and last names (look for Nate Coffey in the story.) My faithful fans helped me celebrate as I revealed the cover (thanks again, San!)  My faithful critique partners have pushed me to get this done and published through the Kindle Direct Program so, at long last (well, maybe six months) my first venture into indie publishing is at hand.  So thank you one an all.  And now, for the big reveal....

BEHIND THE BLUE DOOR: 230 Periwinkle Place  
          Can you have a future if you can’t remember the past?
          When Skye Crenshaw Whitmore is shown a picture of a house with a blue door, she recalls living there as a young girl.  At first the memories are of the warm and fuzzy variety; little moments spent gardening or reading with her mother.  Upon learning that the house on Periwinkle Lane is where her mother died, darker memories bubble to the surface but fail to assemble into a complete picture.  With more questions than answers, she sets off to find out what exactly happened in that house thirty years ago. 
          Skye soon learns that old memories never die, they just wait…Behind the Blue Door. 
          This story is a novella, which translates to a book about 1/3 the length of a traditional novel.  By definition, the action is focused on one primary event with no exploration of secondary stories or characters.  This makes for a tight, quick read.  

     The book is now available for purchase on your Kindle device or downloadable to iPhone or iPad (I'm told as much, I've never personally tried it.)  For those of you without reading devices, Amazon offers a FREE program for your PC that will enable you to read the book.  

Click here to be taken to the Amazon site.

Click the Read More button below to read the first chapter of BEHIND THE BLUE DOOR: 230 Periwinkle Place.