Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Beach Music

Casa de Ormerod got a new toy last week...the new SONOS wireless sound system.  This in turn exposed us to PANDORA!  I imagine all of you are way ahead of me on this music phenomenon but as usual when it comes to new technology we are the last ones on the bus. But I just gotta say the expansive playlist offered by Pandora is a pleasant relief from the 65 (give or take) tunes that hubby's i-pod played on a never-ending loop. Now I type in a song I like and a whole line-up of similar songs fills the airwaves.  Yesterday an old Beatles tune came on that I have a particular fondness for (I used to play it to summon forth the writing muses...now I just eat chocolate...) and an idea hit me, so I re-worked it just a bit.  So with apologies to the Fab Four, here's my spin on an old classic.  Sung to the tune of "Paperback Writer"

Title: “I’m a Beach Writer”

Dear cozy reader, will you read my book? 
It took me years to write, will you take a look?
It's based on a murder along the shore 
And I need a sale so that I can say, “I’m a beach writer.” 
“I’m a beach writer.”

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Beach Writers: June Starter Sentence

<<Once again, over at East Beach Writer's Guild we were challenged to write a few paragraphs based on a starter sentence.  The May one was right up my alley!  Here is mine.>>

I was lying in a pool of blood...or some sort of red liquid substance.  Hard to tell by the meager light of the moon filtering through the thick canopy of pine trees.  All I know is that my backside was soaking wet and when I lifted my fingers to see what’s what, blood-red fluid dripped from my pinky. 

Monday, June 16, 2014

Beach News!!!! Cover Reveal....

Been working with San Coils over at Cover Kicks and she took my sister's concept for the cover and turned it into this fabulous creation!  The book is in the final edits (one final reader noticed a very tiny story quirk so I will work that out today...).  But if you're ready, we'll get a drum roll going....and...TA DA....

Here's the book blurb:  

Ellery and Sam are back on the beat!

With 31,536,000 seconds in a year, what are the odds that the one minute Ellery Tinsdale and Samantha “Sam” Greene choose to break into the confidential files at the Braddocks Beach Church of Divine Spiritual Enlightenment would be the same minute Reverend John Thomas Hammersmith is brutally murdered while eating lunch at his desk?  But that’s the kind of bad luck Ellery experiences since moving to the small lakeside resort founded by her distant relatives.  Her and Sam’s close proximity to the tragic event makes them not only witnesses but suspects, too.  And when not one, but two, more residents are found dead, Ellery and Sam are the unlucky ones to discover those bodies as well. 

Police Chief Lewis thinks it is more than a coincidence, and it’s up to Ellery and Sam to clear their names by finding the killer—or killers—roaming the streets of this small Ohio town.  

Saturday, May 17, 2014


Stumbled across this review on the Virginia is for Mysteries on the Barnes and Noble page:

"The next time you explore Virginia’s landmarks, you’ll be looking for dead bodies under bushes, on gravestones (not under them), at the beach, even in the trunk of your own car—if you dare to read these mysteries. These stories by fourteen members of Virginia’s chapters of Sisters in Crime speak in a variety of engaging voices. I have to admit to playing favorites—my top three (in the order they appear in the book) are: “Justice Delayed,” by Maria Hudgins, “Death Comes to Hollywood Cemetery,” by Vivian Lawry, and “Best Friends Help You Move the Body,” by Jayne Ormerod. Even if you read only these outstanding stories, you will have gotten more than your money’s worth." ~Anonymous

Monday, May 12, 2014

Beach Life: Something Fun for a Rainy Day

Trivia question:  What TV show premiered December 16, 1972 and featured a not-so-young mystery-writing sleuth?  If you said Murder, She Wrote, you would be off by almost a dozen years. (Jessica Fletcher made her screen debut September 30, 1984.)    
Guess again…
The Nancy Drew Mysteries?  Right decade (1977) but Nancy was a teenager--and not a writer.
Give up?

Thursday, May 1, 2014


It's the annual Malice Domestic conference in Bethesda Maryland this weekend, and I'm heading that way.  First time for me, but I've been envious of friends and fellow writers who have been heading that way for years.  It's a conference dedicated to the COZY Mystery, which you know is exactly my cup of tea.  I am SOOOO excited!

AND....(drum roll please...) I'm moderating a workshop:  "Tales with Tails--Mysteries Involving Animals"  The famous authors are Sparkle Abbey (a writing team of Anita Carter and Mary Lee Woods), Jessie Chandler, Waverly Curtis and Laura Morrigan.  So if you are at the conference please join us at 11:45 a.m!

But this trip has also had me thinking of my writing career, where it's been (languishing), where it is (improving) and where I want it to go (can you say "NYTBS List, baby"? ha ha ha)  And part of those thoughts had me thinking about this blog.  It started out with some really great posts about beach life.  Not sure when I got away from that, but my plan is to get back to it, talking about all things beachy, to include books that are great to read while relaxing on the sand.  

An example of my blog's "roots" is "Beach Bling--Beach Wagons" and can be found here

So with beach season just around the corner, get ready for more Life's a Beach blog posts!

Friday, February 28, 2014

Beach Writers: February Starter Sentence

My local beach writers group inspires us to write every month by proposing a starter sentence and we finish the thought. It's interesting to see how many different directions one idea can take us.  If you'd like to read my fellow writer's musings, click here

”Flight 142 for Cleveland is now boarding…” 

Holy hell. When the stewardess said those words, the Pizza Hut Personal Pan Pizza I’d nibbled at 30 minutes earlier turned into a ball of cement in my stomach.  What in the world was I thinking going back to Cleveland?

To a homecoming event, no less? 

Friday, February 21, 2014

Beach Story: Wine Down...

She came through my line with a glass of wine in her hand and looked at me through booze-bleary eyes.  She grunted, then tossed back the dregs of her pinot noir.  “Celebrating tonight,” she said as in way of an excuse of her poor wine-drinking etiquette.  “My husband died today.”  She looked forlornly at her empty glass.  “Truth be told, I killed him.” 
She plucked a crab cake off my proffered tray and stuffed it in her mouth while turning and heading for the bar.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Beach Read: Happy Valentine's day

Ahhh, 'tis the day of l'amour.  And in honor of that I'm re-posting a short story, which was actually my first paid writing gig back in, oh, maybe 10 years ago. That was back when I aspired to be a romance writer, not a mystery writer, so don't expect any dead bodies in this one!  But I still like the story, a lot.  And hope you do to!  


Carole wasted no time in placing her order.  “I’d like a piece of Triple-Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake, please,” she said.  “Wait…on second thought…make that a double.”
          After the waiter bowed and left, Carole glanced at the handsome man seated across the table from her.  “What?” she asked.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Beach Chat with Maggie King

“Birds of a feather, flock together,” they say, and I’m finding that especially true for the Virginia is for Mysteries anthology.  The more I get to know the authors, the more alike I find we are, even though our mysteries are very, very different. Today’s beach chat guest wrote a story that is set in the Kent-Valentine home in Richmond, which also happens to be the headquarters of the Garden Club of Virginia. So old historical home and garden club…what’s not to like? Be sure and check out “A Not So Genteel Murder” in the anthology, but wait, first lets get to know the author.

Today we’re chatting with:  Maggie King

       Recommend a Beach Read:  Any title in MC Beaton’s Agatha Raisin series. She’s fun! And I remember a long-ago afternoon lazing on the beach in Santa Barbara with a Margaret Truman page-turner in hand. I also suggest anything by Jo Dereske, Michael Connelly, and Robert Crais.

       Most cherished beach memory: Trinity Beach in Northern California, January, 1995. It was just after a storm. The sun broke through dark, dramatic clouds that swept across the sky (think 50 shades of gray but in a much different context). Driftwood littered the beach. The incredible beauty and drama took my breath away.  

Friday, January 31, 2014

Beach Chat with Heather Baker Weidner

The cool thing about being associated with an anthology, is that you work with the
other authors to make the project work.  I love meeting new authors, and today’s chatty girl is no exception.  Her story in Virginia is for Mysteries is “Washed Up” which is set along the shores of the Chesapeake Bay in an area called Chic’s Beach.  So pull up your beach chair as we dip our toes in the sand and chat. 

Today we’re chatting with: Heather Baker Weidner

Most cherished beach memory: I that I grew up in Virginia Beach. The beach was just part of life. I went to Kempsville High School, hung out at Milton's Pizza and Chic's Beach, and went to Virginia Wesleyan College. I had a great childhood. My dad was a police officer for over forty-two years, and I grew up with all of the stories from VBPD's finest.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Beach Writers: January Starter Sentence

If it weren't for Starter Sentences, I'd have no sentences at all!  So at least I'm writing a little something every month.  This was written while I sat without Internet access at a car repair place...they didn't have the part on hand so had to send out for  it and so 2-1/2 hours later I had a working vehicle AND a short story, of sorts.  Enjoy!

          “The forecast calls for snow…”
I hit the power button on the remote control, effectively muting meteorologist Don Slater before he could give me any more bad news.  It seemed Mother Nature wasn’t on my side for the biggest day of my little life.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Beach Chat with Linda Thornburg

Have you heard that Virginia is for Mysteries is a collection of 17 short stories set
throughout Virginia?  Of course you have.  I’ve been talking about it for over a year.  It’s a collaborative effort of 14 authors.  Today I have the pleasure of introducing you to Linda Thornburg, who penned the story “Obsession” for the anthology.  It’s set in Nelson County, at Elk Hill, an historic tobacco farm on Route 151.  You’ll want to read the story, but first, let’s learn more about the author. 

Today we’re chatting with:  Linda Thornburg

 Most cherished beach memory: Walking on Virginia’s Sandbridge Beach with my friend Rowena, who was kind enough to invite me to her trailer with the million-dollar view of Back Bay many years running.