Tricks & Treats

Broom gives it 5 stars!  “WOW for this author and this series.  This series and this book just really entertained me. A fun book, not over long with the many recaps that other writers use. Just lets you be entertained and figure it out on your own if you can.”

On a moonlit October night in the small southern town of Sparrow Falls, North Carolina, friends gather at Ms. Tilda’s cozy Victorian cottage for an evening of thrills, chills and unexpected murder. As the time draws closer to midnight, each guest begins to wonder if the invitation was a treat – or a trick?  This story is also available in the short story collection, A Sparrow Falls Holiday, in both paperback and ebook editions. Find A Sparrow Falls Trick or Treat on Amazon, B&N, and everywhere fine books are sold.  Thank you, and Happy Reading!

a sparrow falls holiday                                                                           trt

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Five Star Review!

I was simply tickled pink when I read the following reader review of Butler Did It: a sparrow falls mystery #2.  Every writer loves to receive this kind of comment, and it inspires me to keep writing my wee books. Many thanks to the genteel reader who posted it, and to all the others as well!  I really do appreciate your feedback.

5 Star Review BDI on amz

Portrait of Jennie. It’s a Wonderful Life. Forever.

I must confess. I am a woman on a mission, and that mission is to convince cozy mystery readers to watch a new murder mystery, Forever, that recently premiered on the ABC network. Dr. Henry Morgan is the Medical Examiner for the NYPD, still grieving the loss of Abigail, his one true love. Jo Martinez is the detective he assists, and often annoys. She is also grieving the more recent loss of her husband. There are wonderful secondary characters such as Lucas, who assists Henry in the morgue, obviously wants to be just like him someday, and is a kind of modern day Watson to Henry’s Holmes. Abe is Henry’s closest living relative, an older gentleman who owns an antique shop filled with fascinating curios. There are dreamy flashbacks to past times that are lovely and romantic. So far, so good, for most cozy readers, so why (you may ask) do I feel that you may not give this fascinating mystery a chance? Because it falls into a category that most of my genteel readers have said they don’t care for – fantasy/supernatural.

My mission is to share one vital fact with you: Forever is not supernatural. At least, not in the monsters/zombies/graphic novel sense of the word. It is certainly not written to appeal only to teens, the targeted demographic for the current craze. Instead, Forever is an intelligent, beautifully filmed, moving and thoughtful show that is very much like the lovely and beloved films Portrait of Jennie and It’s a Wonderful Life. Yes, these films fall into the Fantasy category, but the supernatural element is not the central idea or the defining arc of their stories. Each of these films were about the characters, their journeys of discovery and the wisdom they gained, the people they loved, the obstacles they overcame. These beloved movies explored themes of love, faith, and hope, just as Forever does.

The cinematic beauty of Forever is another reason I’ve fallen for this show. Much of the charm and beauty of Portrait of Jennie was created through beautiful photography and soaring music, as much a part of the story as the moving and memorable performances by Jennifer Jones and Joseph Cotten. In a similar way, Forever’s cinematography is often stunning, scenes are captured in a way that adds to the poignancy or shock of the moment, and this elegantly compliments the story that is being told by actors Ioan Gruffudd (as Henry) and Alana De La Garza (as Jo). There are also opening and closing voiceovers reminiscent of Rod Serling’s Twilight Zone, introducing or wrapping the story in words that are warm or wise, encouraging or cautionary. There are suspenseful moments and surprising twists that must certainly have been inspired by Hitchcock; the pace, the timing, the music or the frightening silence bring to mind the best of the Master of Suspense, and I am happy to say, these qualities have been skillfully applied in every episode to date of this intriguing new series.

And, as if those reasons to watch were not enough, the end of every episode makes me look forward to the next one. I’m not going to reveal any spoilers. Let’s just say that the closing commentary and scenes will always leave you moved, happy, sometimes tearful, and forever fascinated by this exceptional new show.

Ready to give it a chance? Watch online now at the ABC site, or stream episodes on Amazon. Begin with the Pilot episode, give it a few minutes to get past the yukky stuff (Henry is a coroner, after all), and I believe that you, like me, will quickly become a fan, Forever.

Please visit my Forever fan page for more information on this fascinating show.

Quilting Cousins

Such a lovely quilt! I enjoy sewing but quilting is one thing I have yet to attempt. My hobbies run along the lines of making doll clothes from antique patterns to making baby dolls clothes that are strictly for the enjoyment of the tots to which I give them. Oh, and reading and writing cozy mysteries.

Crafting Mysteries & Suspense

Recently, a stunning quilt top was handed off – from cousin Linda (in Prineville, OR) to cousin Gary (who played delivery guy) to cousin (me). Fingers fumbling, I opened the box, ready for a first glimpse. I unfolded it and caught my breath. Gorgeous! And what a treat to partner with Linda Gholson, quilter extraordinaire, in this part of my novel journey with Abingdon Press.

Tail in the Rail Quilt “Tail in the Rail” Quilt

My upcoming “Quilts of Love” mystery, A Stitch in Crime, features Thea James stitching on this very quilt in her spare time. (Not that she has much of it. Too busy trying to figure out whodunit.)

I’ve named the quilt “Tail in the Rail” because the pattern consists of Fence Rail blocks, floral sashing, and Aunt Elena’s Nine Patch variation of a kitty-cat to represent Betty, the feisty calico in the story. It’s my own design, along with…

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Serling on the Shelf: Rescuing Rod

Exciting News for Twilight Zone Fans!

Shadow & Substance

I have on my shelves a dog-eared paperback edition of Rod Serling’s 1967 book “The Season To Be Wary.” It sits near similarly worn copies of several other books that he either wrote or edited. I’m sure that doesn’t surprise you one bit, but WHY I have them might.

Serling Promo2

It’s not because I love old books (though I do). It’s because when I first began acquiring copies of Serling’s volumes, they were out of print.

You don’t have to be an obsessive fan like me to be struck by that fact. One of the most famous writers of the 20th century, and his books were less accessible than James Patterson’s? As Serling might say, file that under “L” for “literary crime.”

Enter Rod Serling Books.

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