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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!

 

Life, Writing

Welcome 2018!

Happy New Year! 2018 is finally here! Can you tell I’m excited?

Too be honest, I didn’t ring in the new year instead I woke to it bright and early this morning. Considering what 2018 is bringing me, getting a good night’s sleep seemed to be the responsible and smart thing to do. It’s been a busy time here coming off of the holidays and preparing for 2018. I’ve had to take a good, hard look at my organization process I’ve been using because 2018 is going to be a year full of new demands on my time and energy. What has worked well for me in the past isn’t going to cut it this year because I’m no longer just writing.

No, it seems once you’re published writing competes with dozens of other tasks and it’s so easy to not write. While everything else that needs to be done is important, writing is the most important thing because writing is the reason why I have to do all these other things. I think the word of the year will be FOCUS.

I will be promoting the release of The Uninvited Corpse with a blog tour and some in-person events while writing the third book in the Food Blogger Mystery series. Come the middle of the year I’ll be promoting the release of Murder Wears a Little Black Dress, A Resale Boutique mystery, and writing the second book in that series. In addition to the writing and promoting for both releases this year I’ll be joining the group blog, Writers Who Kill where I’ll be writing a post a month. Early in 2017 I joined with a fabulous group of 2018 debut authors and together we work to support each other through social media. I’ve also just joined the International Thriller Writers Debut Author Program and I’m looking forward to all the program has to offer this author.

There’s a lot on my plate this years and it can feel overwhelming (I just need to remember to breathe) but the truth is I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else. Besides, what’s a little hyperventilation? 🙂

I’m confident (or blissfully ignorant) that I can tackle whatever 2018 throws at mebecause of my revamped organization/time-management processes. I’ve taken what has worked for me in the past and added a few new tools that I think should meet the new demands on my time. I’ll be sharing all the details on those upgrades to my organization process with you in my next post and maybe there’s something that can help you and maybe you have a tip or two you could share with me.

I hope you have a great New Year’s day!

Life

Catching Up

June has flown by! Wasn’t it just Memorial Day? I’ve been busy and I have some photos. There’s been landscaping, baking, reading, writing and editing.

Lets start with landscaping. As soon as I could, I got outside and began the transformation from a very uninspired garden bed in front of our house to something that looks prettier and more deliberate. I’m not a gardener and that’s why the garden bed looked so uninspired for so many years. But since I had time this spring I decided to tackle the project. It’s not completed yet. I still have to work on the bed that runs along the side of the house and connects with the garden beds that run along the back of the house. I’m focusing on putting in what I like to call the “bones” of the garden. There’s a lot of green right now. Next year I’ll tackle adding perennials that have pops of color.

This is where I started. I dug up and transplanted  what used to be right in front of the house. The soil was in terrible condition. That one last plant got moved after I took the photo. Nothing was safe. 🙂

Right in the center of the above garden bed I planted a dwarf Hydrangea. I love it. And on either side are Boxwoods. Then I dropped inches of mulch to help reduce the amount of weeds.

Still a work in progress. This is the garden bed on the other side of the front step. All the plants are in so I just have to finish weeding and dropping more mulch. That’s the plan for this week.

 

Now lets move into the kitchen. When rhubarb was in season I make a batch of rhubard-ginger muffins. There’s no recipe to share because they really weren’t that great. Maybe I’ll try again next year and tweak a few things.

 

I made a batch of Triple Chocolate Flourless cookies. Delicious! The recipe will be coming soon. I brought a container full of these cookies to the police department when I went on a second ride along and they were a hit. Cop approved. 🙂 I’ll share the recipe soon. But until then, here’s a photo.

 

We did have some unseasonably cool evenings (which I loved) so I did some roasting. For one meal I roasted new potatoes and a tray of string beans. Everything tastes so much better roasted.

 

I managed to get some work done. I’ve finished outlining a new book I’m starting and I also got the edits back for The Uninvited Corpse. This is getting real, people!

 

There you have it. What I’ve been up to these past few weeks. As June eases into July I can’t help but think about a summer vacation. I have a few ideas. What’s on tap for your summer? A vacation or staycation?

Kitchen Snapshots, Life

Kitchen Snapshots

Today I’m sharing a peek into my kitchen of the goings on this past week. The temps here in Connecticut hit the mid-90s for three days. A heat wave. I’m so not ready for summer. Actually, I’m never ready for summer. I’m much more of a cool-weather type of gal. Give my sweaters and boots any day over flip-flops and humidity. Since today is simply beautiful I’m not going to dwell on the two icky days. Instead, I’m going to focus on the kitchen successes I had this week. Come on, take a look.

This week I worked on a recipe for soft & chewy chocolate chip cookies that will appear in the Uninvited Corpse. I do love this perk of writing.

A pile of shredded sharp cheddar cheese left over from making mac’n cheese.

I know what you’re thinking. What the heck? This is a new purchase and I’m now wondering where this bad boy has been all my life. This power spinner is life changing. Seriously. I’ve only used it a few times but now I can’t imagine not having it in my cleaning arsenal. This handy little gadget paid for itself when it kicked butt on my slider door’s track. Oven door? Awesome. And the list goes on and on. I got it from QVC and if you click here you can read more about it. I’m going to be ordering some new cleaning heads. I want a set for outside and for the bathroom.

Rhubard season! There’s a batch of rhubard-ginger muffins waiting to be baked.

What went on in your kitchen this week?

Life

Snowy Sunday

Sunday is winding down and it’s been a cold, wintry day. We had snow yesterday and the temperature plunged. I snapped a few pictures today before we got to work clearing the snow.

I love this birdbath. The frog always makes me smile.

Our wintry backyard.

A new delivery of cozies perfect for curling up on a cold, winter’s night.

I hope you had a great weekend. Stay warm!