Monday, April 4, 2016

Hanford Library Authors Lecture Series

I'll be one of the local authors to speak at the Hanford Library on April 16th. Really looking forward to it. I'll be speaking about the genius of the first two books in my Deena Powers series.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

A K-9 team Solves This Murder Mystery

Killing Trail - Margaret Mizushima

I received this book at the December meeting of Mystery Readers with the assignment to report on it during the February meeting. It’s the first book I’ve read that featured a police service dog, and I have to say I enjoyed learning about how the dog was handled, and how he did his job.

Killing Trail features Mattie Cob, a deputy sheriff in Timber Creek, Colorado. Having a K-9 unit is a first for Timber Creek, and so she and the German Sheppard, Robo, are the source of a good deal of speculation by the towns people and envy by a few of her colleagues. Fresh from a twelve week training course at the K-9 Academy, they are called out to where the body of a girl has been discovered along with her injured dog. What follows is a police procedural with a lot of interviewing people who knew the victim and others who might have something to hide. Throw in a handsome veterinarian, and you have a little romance too. I’d say it’s a better than average first book, and I expect other books in the series will be even better.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Aunt Madge's Recipe from Birds of a Feather


Zucchini Stuffing Casserole

4 medium zucchini sliced 1/2 inch thick
1 cup shredded carrot
1/2 to 1 cup chopped onion   
6 tbsp. margarine
2 1/4 cups (1 package) Stovetop Stuffing or other herbed stuffing cubes
1 can Cream of Mushroom or Cream of Chicken soup
1/2 cup Sour Cream
1 cup  (or more) cooked chicken, cubed. (Optional)

Lightly cook zucchini in a little boiling water till tender, drain. Set aside.
In a large skillet, melt 4 tbsp. margarine and lightly sauté carrot and onion. Remove from heat.
Stir in 1 3/4 cup stuffing, the soup, sour cream and chicken. Gently fold in zucchini.
Turn into a 1 1/2 qt. baking casserole. Melt remaining margarine, add remaining stuffing - toss and sprinkle over casserole. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 - 40 minutes until lightly browned.
Maybe made a day before and refrigerated until baked.

This is a great side dish to serve in place of poultry stuffing. By eliminating the chicken you have  a vegetarian dish.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Birds of a Feather


Petite fours, lemon drops and a deadly stabbing normally don't go together, especially at a colonial high tea.
Private investigator, Deena Powers, is back in Four Creeks to attend the Annual Colonial Tea put on by her aunt’s chapter of Women of Colonial Heritage. When Aunt Madge’s closest friend is discovered with a knife in her back, Deena finds herself drawn into a tangled web of misappropriated chapter  funds, adultery and long-held secrets. An unlikely cast of characters become ensnarled in the investigation, leading Deena to discover that the sins of the past are never left behind, no matter how carefully the trail is covered up  Helping Lieutenant Avis “Buzz” Walker acquire vital evidence leads to rekindled feelings, but when a killer steps in, it might just be too late.
Available at Amazon.com and as an e-book on Kindle

Friday, August 21, 2015

My Mystery Reader Selection

North Sea Cottage by Dorte Hummelshoj Jakobsen, Candied Crime (2014) was my selection for this month’s Mystery Readers. Because the book was translated into English, some of it comes across as awkward, but the plot and its pace kept pulling me along.

The story takes place in Stenbjerb, Denmark located in Jutland in the northern part of the country. Tora Skammelsen, a writer, has retreated to her aunt’s north sea cottage to recover from some unspecified tragedy revealed later in the book. Her aunt, Bergtora, the owner of the cottage is temporarily in a nursing home to a fall.

 Tora is barely settled when there’s a storm, and a lightning strike sets the stable on fire. Fireman put the fire out, but in the aftermath, she discovers a trap door in the stable floor. In the space underneath she sees a skeleton, animal bones she thinks, until she sees a skull. The police are notified and an investigation ensues. The bones turn out to be very old.

 A flashback takes us back to 1943 during WWII and is told through the eyes of Bergtora, our heroine’s aunt, a 12 yr. old child when the German army occupied Denmark. Times are hard, food is in short supply. Bergtora’s father is part of the resistance movement, a very risky business made worst by neighbor informing on neighbor. Late one night her father leaves, never to be seen again, apparently fleeing to Sweden.

 As the story moves back and forth between the years 2012 and 1943, Tora and the police officer in charge of the investigation become friends, collaborating to untangle family secrets in order to find out who was buried under the stable.
 
Though the ending was not very satisfying because it leaves the reader to wonder what happened after the identity of killer is learned, this twisted tale is enjoyable due to its fast moving

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Is Social Media Important Once You Are Published?

Tulare Kings Writers will meet in the Blue Room of the Tulare Public Library in Visalia from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, August 15.

Featured speaker will be Lorie Lewis Ham. She will speak on the topic of social media and its importance once your book has been published.
Lorie has been publishing her writing since the age of 13 & singing since the age of 5. In 2010 she became the editor-in-chief and publisher of Kings River Life Magazine www.KingsRiverLife.com. She has also found time to write and publish 5 mystery novels. You can learn more about her mystery writing on her blog http://mysteryratscloset.blogspot.com/