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Coffee & Chat

Coffee & Chat

Happy New Year!!!

It appears Billy partied a bit too much ringing in the new year. Not! He was sound asleep long before the ball dropped.

He has no idea the holidays are behind us and a whole new year is ahead of us. While he may not know, I do and I’m uber-excited about 2019. I’m sure you’ve already heard – I’ll have three books published this year, one of them is the debut in a new series. I’ve mentioned it before, MURDER WEARS A LITTLE BLACK DRESS. And I’m looking forward to writing more books this year and I’m seriously thinking about writing a book that isn’t a part of the two series I’m currently writing. I haven’t made a decision yet.

While I’ve been quiet here, I’ve been busy behind the scenes writing, preparing for a blog tour and getting my planner ready for 2019. Does anyone else heart their planner? Though, I’m not completely happy with the cover I chose. I’m thinking about purchasing a new one. Not sure what I’m going to do. Decisions. Decisions.

My 4,000 word days (yeah, they happened) –

Last Saturday I set a goal to hit 15,000 words in my new WIP by the end of the day and in order to do that I needed to write 4,000 words. One thousand more than my orginially scheduled 3,000 words. Could I do it? Ah, yeah. Nailed it! No way would that have been possible without my trusty detailed outline. I love that thing. My plan was to continue with 3,000 words per day following that first 4,000 word day. Well, you know what they say about making plans. Yeah, life happened and on Monday and Tuesday things got turned upside. I had a feeling Monday was going to be like that so I only set a goal for 2,000 words and I met it. I figured Tuesday would be okay so I planned for 3,000 words but I was short a 1,000 words by the end of the day. (Deep sigh) I decided as I closed down my computer Tuesday night I’d write 4,000 words on Wednesday.

Thanks to eight 500-word writing sprints I met my goal and now my word count is just over 31,000 words. That’s a nice little chunk of manuscript. Definitely not too shabby for thirteen writing days since Christmas Eve. And now I’m starting to get into the story and this is when I start to really enjoy writing the story.

Upcoming promotion (yeah, it’s happening) –

I’m not gonna be shy, I’m letting you all know I’m in serious promotion mode for MURDER WEARS A LITTLE BLACK DRESS. I spent December answering interview questions for blog posts. I’ll be starting a blog tour later this month for the book’s release. Because I knew I’d be writing a new first draft this month, I made sure to wrap up all the pre-work for the blog tour and once MURDER WEARS A LITTLE BLACK DRESS is released, I’ll start preparing for the release of THE HIDDEN CORPSE and be turning in Resale Boutique #2 to my editor. Yeah, lots to juggle. ๐Ÿ™‚

When the schedule is live on the tour operator’s website I’ll share it.

I’m going to wrap up this chat with a link to the kitchen of our future. Hmm…I wonder what Hope would think of this forecast of how we’ll be using our kitchens. I’m on the fence. There are some things I like about it, other things seem a little too George Jetson for me. LOL Though, I admit, I might want one of those voice activated faucets, especially after I’ve worked my Irish Soda bread dough. Check out the article here.

Okay, before I sign off and since we’re on the subject of kitchens, I have to share with you that my most favorite purchase to date has been my air fryer. Love. That. Thing. It makes the best fries and breaded chicken cutlet – out of this world. Crispy and tender. Perfection.

Thanks so much for stopping by today! If you feel inclined, please leave a comment. Maybe tell me what you think of the kitchens of our future. Or, what your favorite kitchen appliance is.




Coffee & Chat, Pets

Coffee & Chat #21

Happy Wednesday! It’s not going to come as a surprise that our weather here in Connecticut has been hot, humid and rainy. The Holy Grail for feeling miserable. I’m counting down to September 22nd, the first day of fall! Considering how the summer has been it’ll probably be 90 degrees with 70 percent humidity. But it’ll be fall.

I missed last week’s Coffee & Chat because I was taking care of my patient, Billy. We ended up at the vet’s office yet again. But he’s on the mend and going for a follow-up on Friday. I’d really love to stay away from the vet’s office for one month. I’m trying to get Billy to go with me on that idea. Just 30 days without visiting the vet. I don’t think that’s too much to ask.

By Saturday he was much better, though he’s still wearing the cone to keep from scratching behind his ear, and I was able to go out to attend our niece’s baby shower. We left for New Jersey and arrived with a few minutes to spare. The weather was horrible on the drive down. But since we were inside and with family celebrating the upcoming arrival of our new nephew, the afternoon was lovely.ย  Along with the baby gifts for my niece, I baked her a batch of her favorite Double Chocolate Crescent cookies. I also love these cookies and usually only bake them at Christmas but I wanted to spoil our niece a little. If you’d like to bake these cookies you’ll find the recipe here.

Our neice wasn’t the only one to leave with new clothes for her baby. My sister-in-law, Alice, gave me the cutest little outfit for Susie (she also gave me one for Billy and I’ll be sharing that pic soon). The shirt pretty much sums up my little diva. She’s little and totally fabuous. I can’t wait to put the bows in her hair. Though, since her head is so tiny probably only one will fit. ๐Ÿ™‚

I’ll wrap up this post with a puppy photo. Last week I visited my friend, Carolyn, to play with puppies. Her dog, Penny, had a litter of puppies six weeks ago and they are so precious. And full of energy! I was there for an hour playing with them and I was exhausted. I hope to go back next week for another puppy fix. Can you blame me? Look at the face of the pup dubbed Pippa.

Thanks so much for visiting with me today. I’m currently at work polishing Food Blogger book #3. Copyedits for book #2, THE HIDDEN CORPSE, have arrived and I’ll tackle them next week. Have a great day!


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Coffee & Chat, Fit Writer, New Book Releases, Writing

Coffee & Chat #20

Happy Wednesday! We’ve had nice weather for the past few days and now it’s all downhill – back to high levels of humidity. Not gonna lie, I’m counting down the days until fall. Beautiful, cool, crisp fall. The photo below makes me very happy.

While we wait for fall to arrive, there are some brand-spanking new cozy mystery releases from my friends and fellow Cozy Mystery Crew authors. Shari Randall’s AGAINST THE CLAW is the second book in her Lobster Shack Mystery series. MIDNIGHT SNACKS ARE MURDER is the second book in the Poppy McAllister Mystery series. If you’re looking for some end of summer reading here are two really good options.


I’m finishing up THE SUBWAY GIRLS. I shared that read with you a couple of weeks ago in this post. I’ve been trying to carve out reading time in the evening but I’m not always successful. Another thing I’m trying is using my Fitbit Alta HR again. I’ve been remiss about wearing it primarily because it’s been so hot and I don’t like wearing any jewelry or a watch. Yuck. I feel like I’m melting and then to have jewelry on just makes it feel worse. My gold stud earrings have become my go-to everyday. But, I do feel I need the reminder of the Fitbit to make sure I get up and move. I didn’t realize how difficult it would be to do that. I never had a problem in my old day job. But now? I get really into what I’m writing and I don’t want to leave, to miss what happens next or forget how I want to rearrange the sentence if I happen to be editing.

Anyway, I started wearing my Fitbit again on Saturday and on Sunday I selected a solo challenge, Vernal Falls Trail. It’s 15,000 steps and I completed it early Tuesday morning. Along the way, I was sent notifications of photos of th trail to mark the landmarks I would be passing if I actually was walking the trail. When I finished the trail I got a badge from Fitbit. Cool, right? It was fun and different. I’ll definitely do another challenge.

From My Desk:

I’m moving forward on book 3 in the Food Blogger series. It’s due to my editor November 1st. This part of the process is slow and at times seems neverending but I know there’s a light at the end of the tunnel and it includes two little words – the end. Yeah, this writer’s favorite phrase. I should be done with the manuscript at the end of this month.

One question authors get frequently is whether or not we work on multiple projects at the same time. I do. But I’m not writing two or more books at the same time. Each project is in a different phase. Along with doing this final pass through on book 3, I’m brainstorming a new book idea. Next week I’ll share the two new books on plotting I’m using.

Thanks so much for visiting with me today. It’s kind of dreary here right now with rain and of course, humidity. A good day to stay inside and write. What are you up today? Let me know in the comment section.

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Coffee & Chat, Pets, Writing Updates

Coffee & Chat #19

Happy Wednesday! We just got through a few days of horrible high humidity. Not pleasant at all but we woke up this morning to much lower humidity and it’s absolutely beautiful. So sipping my cup of hot coffee while chatting with you right now is very pleasurable.

Thanks to my writing partner, Susie, I kept on track with the writing of the first draft of SILENCED IN SEQUINS. I began writing the manuscript on June 11th and finished on July 15th. During that period I had 27 writing days and finished with a draft of 61,090 words. WooHoo!!! That’s something I can definitely work with when I dive in for the second draft.

As I was coming the end of the manuscript I decided to take a week off from writing. During this week I’m not working to meet a daily word count goal or working on an editing deadline. Gotta admit, it’s nice not having a looming deadline. It’s time to tackle some projects around the house, enjoy some long walks early in the morning (see above, I love that path) and brainstorm a new project. Next week I’ll be back to work on the third draft of book 3 in the Food Blogger series. I’ve gotten the manuscript back from my critique partner and it’s time to start preparing the manuscript for submission this fall.

Getting out has been so much enjoyable since getting Billy his stroller. He does so well in it and seems to really like it. It gets all the benefits of being outside without any of the work. LOL. That’s okay. In the photo he looks so shaggy, it was just a week before his grooming appointment. I sense Susie is enjoying the walks more too because she can keep her regular pace of speedwalking and not be slowed down because of Billy. It looks like a win-win for all of us.

Last week I managed to squeeze in a visit to my friend Carolyn’s house to visit her dog’s puppies! Here’s Penny with her three week old puppies. They are so freakin’ cute. Holding them was so sweet. They were just starting to teeth so my hand was their chew toy. I didn’t care. They wiggled and squeaked. I just wanted to play with the puppies all day. All day!

I found some time to test a scone recipe. It’s my basic recipe with a little change. Very yummy. I have to bake them them one more time and then I’ll share the recipe. I promise.

If you havenโ€™t had the chance to read THE UNINVITED CORPSE itโ€™s available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble in print, e-book and audio book format. Because of my amazing readers I was able to hit 50 reviews on Amazon. Thank you!

I’m in need of a refill so I’m going to sign-off and get more coffee. Thanks for visiting with me today. I’ve shared my plans for the week with you and I’d love to know what you’re up. Drop a comment and let me know.

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Coffee & Chat, Life, Pets, The Uninvited Corpse

Coffee & Chat #18

The heat is on here in Connecticut. Though, it’s significantly more comfortable than last week. That heat wave was brutal. But when temps hover in the upper 80s with humidity, I’m definitely not a happy camper. Luckily I’m hunkered down at my computer working with coffee and water – need to stay balanced. ๐Ÿ™‚

I have ventured out for walks with the pups, usually early in the morning or evening because of the heat. A few times I’ve taken Susie out to the pen we have set up for the pups because the pavement was just too hot. Though, Susie prefers to walk. Walking these days have been challenging because of Billy’s blindness. He’s become more skiddish, more uncertain and seemed stressed when I took him out. While he may be content staying inside, where he feels safer, I think it’s important he gets out for some fresh air, feel the sun and summer breezes on his little body. And I found a solution. A stroller.

He absolutely loves it. He settles right into the stroller and off the three of us go. Susie has had a chance to ride it in but since she’s capable of walking, walk she does. Though, I saw how easily she could get used to riding in the stroller. I think it’s their breed that has resulted in both of them pretty much being easy going about things.

The stroller even has cup holders (yay!) and a little cargo basket beneath the seat. It’s perfect. And I’m so happy we all can walk together again.

Staying on the topic of animals, our turkeys are back! I’ve been seeing three turkeys by our bird feeder over the past few weeks. I think they’re cool and it’s really funny seeing them next to the itty-bitty birds that also visit the feeder. I wonder what those little birds think when they see the BIG turkeys. Also at the feeder I’ve spied mama raccoon with her five babies. Yeah, they’ve been at the feeder and the trash container. Busy, busy. I’ve also seen our wild rabbit make an appearance a few times, more than usual. She was across the stream the other morning, hopping about then I lost sight of her. Depending on the day and the activity outside, having this view from my study can be distraction. ๐Ÿ™‚

Luckily, I haven’t had too many distractions. I’m coming close to the end of the first draft of book 2 in the Resale Boutique mystery series. WooHoo!!! I expect to be finished by Friday and then I’ll indulge in a week of no writing. One whole week and I’m looking forward to it. I have a book I want to finish reading and a new one to start. When my little vacay is over, I’ll begin working on the third draft of book 3 in the Food Blogger mystery series. Speaking of which, book 1, THE UNINVITED CORPSE, is available in audio format if that’s how you prefer to read your books. I absolutely love the cover of the CD set the publisher created.

Wednesday’s question: Do you listen to audio books? If so, when do you listen to them? Commuting, exercising, cleaning, etc?

Iโ€™m going to wrap up this post. Itโ€™s been great catching up with you!

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