Life, Make Wednesday

Make Wednesday

For the first part of yesterday I was convinced it was today. Don’t you hate when that happens? You get all excited because you’re closer to Friday, well you think you are and then the rug is pulled out from under you and you’re a day behind, which you’re really not. Confusing, I know. That’s how I felt. Confused. Until my fellow Cozy Mystery Crew member, Tina, reminded me it was Tuesday. Once I got a grip on the day of the week I went on with my day, no harm, no foul, except maybe fellow Cozy Mystery Crew member, Libby’s brief moment of panic when she thought she’d messed up her schedule. Yeah, one of those mornings. Three cups of coffee morning. For sure.

Since the winter I’ve gravitated away from needlework. It happened slowly. My schedule kept getting filled with work and my evenings were spent reading so needlework just slipped away. Last week while on You Tube I came across a knitting vlog and then I decided to check out some FlossTube videos (I know, time suck but the break was needed) and I realized I missed knitting and stitching. I decided I needed to carve out a little time each day to do some needlework. Cross Stitch or knitting. I thought a perfect way to keep me honest and accountable was to post about my projects on a regular basis. Since I don’t work on multiple projects and it takes me forever to finish a project I’m thinking I’ll write Make Wednesday posts a couple times a month. For the first post, I thought I’d share some of my projects with you. And share a little bit about them. Ready?

Let’s start with a success! My first ever baby blanket I knitted in 2016 for our niece’s first born, Jackson. I came across the pattern while I was in a yarn shop in Massachusetts with my friend, fellow author Megan Ryder. She’s an advanced knitter, really advanced. I can hold my own with a knit or purl stitch, that’s about it. There was a baby blanket on display and it was soooo soft and pretty. Megan and the shop owner convinced me that I could knit the blanket, it was easy. I’d knit two yarns together on a circular needle. Easy, peasey, right? Not completely easy despite being a beginner project but I was able to finish it. Then I had to block it. Yeah, that was interesting but the blanket survived. Yay! And I was able to gift it to our niece. Looking back, I’m glad I tackled the project.

Next up is another knitting project – a hat. But this one was a failure. I loved the color of the yarn and the project was labeled at beginner. Unlike the blanket (I was spurred on by the success of the blanket to tackle the hat), it was a kit. All the yarn I needed, the correct sized needles and the pom-pom maker (I never got to make the pom-pom). Sounds like it should have been a homerun. Not even close. I finished the hat, sewed the seam and then tried it on. Ugh. It was too stretchy, unflattering and not cute like the picture on the website. That’s when I stashed my knitting needles away. It’s been months and I’m seriously thinking of pulling my knitting supplies out to try again. Maybe I’ll knit another blanket.

 

Now onto my counted cross stitch projects on linen. I don’t have many of them because it takes soooo long to stitch them and I’m not a binge stitcher. I grab ten minutes here and ten minutes there and at some point the sampler is finished. I haven’t framed these yet and I need to do that. I also need to press them. 🙂

This was the first counted cross stitch sampler I ever did. Up until then I’d stitched on Aida. I’d gone into a needlework shop and the owner talked me into trying linen and I’ve never looked back.  This project was very challenging because of it’s size but I was determined. I have no idea where the pattern is for this sampler so I don’t know the name of it or who designed the chart. I just love it. I stitched the sides of the fabric to help keep it from unraveling.

 

This sampler, also on linen, was was one I purchased online from a small needlework shop in Connecticut. Sadly,the shop has closed. The customer service was wonderful. While I don’t know where the chart for this project is now, I do have the other charts I purchased on my little shopping spree tucked away ready for me to stitch them someday.

This is my current project. I snapped this photo a few months ago. I’ve made some more progress since then. This is a four season row from Bent Creek. I’d like to have it finished by the end of summer.

There’s also a quilt top I made years ago. One day I’ll pull it out and take a photo and maybe one day I’ll finish it. 🙂 I think I like the relaxation and stress relief that comes with doing crafts and needleworks rather than the actual completion of  a project. Curled up on the sofa with some yarn or a piece of linen and stitching focuses my brain to stop thinking, to stop racing with ideas and snippets of dialogue. Hopefully in a couple weeks I’ll have an updated photo of my current cross stitch project.

Do you craft? Do you knit or stitch? What project are you currently working on?

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Coffee & Chat, The Uninvited Corpse, Writing

Coffee & Chat #15 – After the release

Happy Monday! Has spring come to your area? Spring showed up a couple of weekends ago and then quickly disappeared. What the heck is going on? I’ve seen some really crazy snow totals over the past few weeks. Now, understand I’m not a fan of hot weather (when we got a preview of  spring I was getting the A/Cs ready) but I do enjoy warm weather and sunny days. It would be nice to have spring back. I can totally do without summer. 🙂

A lot has been happening here. I released a book. I finished a first draft of a book. I started an Facebook reader group with eleven other authors. Yeah, it’s been busy. But I’m loving every minute of it. Go ahead and grab your cup of coffee (I’ll get mine) and I’ll tell you a little about each one of those things.

My debut novel released on March 27th  and it was an amazing day. It felt like Christmas morning and the first day of school wrapped up into one. There was a flurry of activity online as blogs shared reviews of the book and as well wishes came from friends and family. I visited my local Barnes & Noble and saw my book on the shelf. Wow! Talk about a surreal moment. Then there were flowers from my husband and critique partner. There were text messages from those close to me wishing me a wonderful release day. Yeah, it was pretty cool.

With the release behind me, it’s now time to focus on what’s next and that would be the second draft of book number 3 in the series. The first draft has been sitting aside quietly for about three weeks now and last week I pulled out my index cards and began going through each scene in the manuscript. On each index card I wrote a brief description of every scene. I added a few new scenes that I need to add into the manuscript somewhere. That’s when my handy-dandy big kitchen island comes into play. All the cards are set out and it’s time to arrange the the manuscript.

And just to keep things interesting, I started a Facebook group with eleven other cozy mystery authors for readers. We can’t help ourselves, we’re a group of cozy mystery authors with a flair for murderous mischief and a killer appreciation for our readers so we decided to pool our resources and start the new group. We plan to dish about all things cozy mystery, host giveaways, and celebrate special occasions. So far the response has been amazing. We’re definitely feeling the love from our readers. Who are the other authors? Jenny Kales, Lena Gregory, Shari Randall, Sarah Fox, V.M. Burns, Linda Reilly, Bethany Blake, Jody Holford, Tina Kashian, Libby Klein, JC Eaton. Interested? Want to join? Come on over! Click here and you’ll be directed to the group’s page on Facebook.

 

Yeah, it’s been pretty busy here and there have been moments when it all feels overwhelming but I just remind myself that I’m doing what I always dreamed of doing so a couple of deep breaths, a quick workout and some cuddling with my pups usually sets things right. I’m looking forward to this new week. I’m diving into the second third of book 3 of the Food Blogger series. What are you up to this week?

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Coffee & Chat, Writing

Coffee & Chat #14 – Tomorrow’s the big day

Happy Monday,

Tomorrow is the big day. It’s release day for my debut novel, I’m sure you’ve heard of it by now – THE UNINVITED CORSPE. It’s just something I whipped up one spring afternoon when I got frustrated by the romantic suspense I was in the middle of. If it were that easy, right? Writing is hard. Publishing is hard. But, what can I say? I love it.

I’ve been getting some questions about my release day so I thought now would be a good time to answer them. I have my coffee, so I’m ready to go.

Is your publisher sending you on a book tour?

I wish! Budgets are tight in publishing houses so not every author is sent out on tour. The bright side to that is I don’t have to juggle appearances with writing my next book. Or, deal with TSA.

What are you doing to celebrate the big day?

I’m still not sure yet. I’ve been so focused on writing the next books I’m contracted for and focused on being present with the promotion of THE UNINVITED CORPSE I haven’t given much thought to how I’ll celebrate tomorrow. However, I’m sure I’ll be spending a good part of the day at my computer working.

When’s the movie coming?

I wish! There’s been a lot of buzz lately about novels being turned into TV shows. Hallmark, anybody? Yes, it would be awesome to have my book turned into a Hallmark movie or for any other network or producer, but the truth is I’m not chasing a movie deal. I want to write books. If a movie happens that’s great! If not, that’s okay. I’m doing what I love.

If you’re not going on a book tour, then how are you promoting the book?

I’m currently on a blog tour. Just over 30 stops for THE UNINVITED CORPSE. It’s a mix of reviews, spotlights, guest posts and interviews. It was a lot of work at the beginning to write the posts and interviews while juggling all the other work I have but now I’m seeing it was so worth it. THE UNINVITED CORPSE is receiving some great reveiws and I’m getting good questions at the blogs where I’ve written a post or given an interview.

When’s the next book coming out?

The second Food Blogger Mystery, THE HIDDEN CORPSE, will be released in April 2019. However, I will have a new series debuting in January 2019. MURDER WEARS A LITTLE BLACK DRESS is the first book in the Resale Boutique Mystery series. That book was so much fun to write!

Those have been pretty much the questions I’ve been receiving in the past few weeks as the release date has grown closer. I’m looking forward to tomorrow. It’s not every day a gal gets published!

If you have any questions that weren’t included above, feel free to ask!

 

 

 

Coffee & Chat, Life, Writing Updates

Coffee & Chat #13 – Catching Up

Happy Monday,

Today is number thirteen for our Coffee &  Chats. This seems like a good time to catch up because it’s been awhile. I’ve been busy writing and preparing for the launch of THE UNINVITED CORPSE I just didn’t have any words left to write blog posts. It happens sometimes.

I have my coffee so let’s start catching up. First up, is my debut novel’s release. It’s coming real soon. March 27th!!! I remember when I got the offer and 2018 seemed soooo far away. Lately it’s been feeling like Boom! There it is! Like…tomorrow! I’m doing my best to to hyperventilate every day when I think about the release or how much work needs to be done. I’m trying to remain calm and carry on. So far, it’s working. But it’s really hard not to freak out over something you’ve dreamed about for so long. Seriously, getting published is sooo hard to do. But I did it. And I have to remind myself that if I expend all my energy freaking out about the release and everything that’s involved I’ll miss out on the enjoyment of the event.

A part of the release will be a blog tour. The blog tour involves reviews, interviews and guest posts. So over the next week or so I’ll be completing those interviews and wrapping up writing the guest posts. I’ll be posting on social media where you can find me during the blog tour. I’m looking forward to visiting with as many people as possible on the tour. Advanced Reader Copies of the book have been sent out and reviews are now starting to be posted online. Reading reviews is hard to do and as much as I’m beyond thrilled with the reviews so far, I know that somewhere along the way to release day there will be one or two (I pray no more) negative reviews. Maybe I should start planning how I’ll handle those reviews. Many authors I know rely heavily on chocolate.

Meanwhile, I’ve been writing the first draft of book three in the Food Blogger Mystery series. The draft is complete and I’ve set it aside to work on the outline of another book.

There’s one more thing I’d like to share before I wrap this post up. I’m not sure if you heard that I sold a new series to my publisher. MURDER WEARS A LITTLE BLACK DRESS, book one in the Resale Boutique Mystery Series releases in January 2019. Out-of-work fashionista Kelly Quinn inherits her granny’s old and tired consignment shop. An attempt to turn the shop around is foiled when a dress in the shop on consignment is connected to a murder. I had so much fun writing the book and I can’t wait to begin book two, which is the book I’m currently outlining.

It’s so fun catching up with you. Thanks for dropping by today!