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:  http://www.tv.com/shows/i-love-lucy/tennessee-ernie-visits-17131/
          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.  

Friday, April 5, 2013

Beach Chat with Lois Lamanna

Got your attention with that photo, right? 
It’s in honor of today’s guest, but you’ll have to
read the post to find out the connection. 
           Anyone published by the now defunct Avalon Books is an automatic member of an elite community of writers.  We call ourselves AVALONERS, and even though the publisher has since been gobbled up by the mighty Amazon machine, we still remain active in our exclusive online community.  This is how I met today’s guest, not just a fellow Avaloner, but a mystery-writing Avaloner (a rare breed, indeed, as Avalon published mostly romance.)  So, since I love a good cozy mystery, I downloaded her first book,
Matrimony and Murder.  I found it very similar to The Blond Leading the Blond, in that two middle-aged women stumble across a dead body while in OHIO!  And the coincidences continue, but I don’t want to ruin the story for you.  I know you’re going to want to read her books, but first, let’s get to know a little more about today’s guest.

Today we’re chatting with:  Lois Lamanna

Most cherished beach memory:  After eleven and a half months, an eight hour drive, and a traffic jam on the causeway while the drawbridge raises and lowers, I love to open the car windows. In that moment when the summer heat blasts me in the face the sun burns my skin, and I smell the ocean, I can feel my spirit renew.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Beach Tale: Carriage House Reveal!

A dear friend who currently lives in America’s heartland (waving atcha Linda H!) gently reminded me that I had NEVER posted the finished pictures of our carriage house construction project! 

For those of you new to this blog, last summer my husband and I donned our General Contractor hats and oversaw the completion of a 484-square-foot carriage house over our 2-car detached garage.  It was a learning lesson on ooohhhhh, so many levels, but we completed it in time for the Holiday Season.  So far we have been honored to have guests stay there and enjoy the beach lifestyle.  Upon our son's return home from his southeast Asia walkabout, he'll hunker down for a bit.  Then the big plan is to turn it over to renters to generate a little income to pad our retirement pay.  

But the important thing is, it is DONE and turned out very nice, if I do say so myself.  So upon the urging of my aforementioned friend I snapped a few pictures while it is still in its relative newness (bound to change after son takes up residence...) and am posting them for those of you curious as to how the project turned out.

So, this is where we started, with steps....

leading up to this....

And now, after a huge investment of time, energy, sweat, and money, (<<Drumroll please.....>>we have this: