Coffee & Chat

Coffee & Chat #27

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas here in Connecticut. Or least it is today when I’m starting this post. We got a little more than a dusting of snow on Sunday night but on Monday we got some big, bright sunshine to start melting all the white stuff. I’m coming off a very busy week. Last Tuesday, SLEUTHING IN STILETTOS, released and it’s been so wonderful hearing so much positive feedback on the book. So far, it’s one of my favorite stories I’ve written.

This week seems to be just as busy as last week. I’m taking a course to help with goal planning and time management, HB90, and this week there are daily videos and assignments. It feels a little overwhelming right now because there’s so much going on between family medical issues and a new writing project (more to come soon). The blog tour for SLEUTHING IN STILETTOS is still going on until the 18th and on Tuesday I did a takeover on the Cozy Mystery Party Facebook group. I was there for two hours and I had so much fun. There were recipes, games including one that gave you your Elf name! BTW, mine is Frosty Twinkletoes. Isn’t that too funny? Yes, it’s silly but it did perk me up as I wrote out Christmas cards. I should have signed them from Frosty. Connie napped while I wrote the cards but I suspect that when I start wrapping, she’ll be more involved. She also has been busy with play dates and grooming. In fact, her 2023 grooming schedule is all set. Apparently, those appointments are difficult to get.

Speaking of 2023, I’ve signed up for a 31 day free yoga program from Boho Beautiful. It looks amazing and I’d like to challenge myself to do yoga daily. And as a bonus, there are four free Cosmic Winter yoga videos available to start using now. I’ve already done one and loved it. I’m really looking forward to January. But I’m not rushing this month.

For what’s left of this week, I need to hit my word count goal (a whopping 10,000 words) and then over the weekend I’ll be baking cookies. ‘Tis the season!

Thanks so much for stopping by today! It’s been great catching up with you. Leave a comment below and let me know what you’re doing and what your plans are for the weekend!


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Baking, Recipes, Writer In The Kitchen

Writer In The Kitchen : Gingerbread Cake

Gingerbread cookie with lights surrounding it.

‘Tis the season for gingerbread cake. It’s so easy to whip up this festive dessert because it’s all done in one bowl! Easy prep, easy clean-up. That in itself is a wonderful present. While the cake is baking, your home will smell amazing. Just for fun, go outside and then come back inside to inhale the fragrance and warmth of Christmas. I do it all the time, which earns me strange looks from Connie. You think she’d be use to me by now. Back to the recipe. When the cake is cooled, you can either sprinkle it with powdered sugar or dollop it with some freshly made whipped cream. Or, both! After all, it’s the holidays.




Summerween TBR

Who says you have to wait until October to read spooky books? Well, that’s where Summerween comes in. Have you heard of it? Have you participated in this annual readathon? Well, if you haven’t heard of it, I’m happy to share the details about it with you.

In a nutshell, Summerween was created by two Youtubers. OliviaReadsALatte and GabbyReads came up with this fabulous idea and I stumbled upon it last year through booktuber, AlexandraRoselyn. Now, it’s my understanding that Summerween happens during one week in July. I missed it last year and this year I just couldn’t participate for a few reasons. First, it’s rare that I can read one book in a week, much less two or more. Second, I had deadlines in July. I had revisions for HOW THE MURDER CRUMBLES and then I got proof pages for SLEUTHING IN STILETTOS. Honestly, after reading those two manuscripts, I had no energy or interest in reading a book. And, lastly, I just don’t feel the fall/Halloween vibe in July. Nope. But August? I’m all about pre-fall.

It’s in August that my thoughts start drifting towards the autumn season (it’s only about six weeks away!) and I start pulling out the fall decor. It’s when I’m itching to bake pumpkin bread and slip into a cozy sweater. It’s also when I’m over the heatwaves and humidity, so I need something to look forward to. So, I’ve decided it when I celebrate Summerween. Not just for one week. But for the whole, freakin’ month!

So, I decided that I would celebrate Summerween in August. The whole, freakin’ month! I selected one novella and two novels. Given that I got revisions back for HOW THE MURDER CRUMBLES and proof pages for SLEUTHING IN STILETTOS, I may not finish my short TBR list this month, so I plan to carry over the books into September.

Here are the three books I plan on reading for Summerween. In the Haunted House anthology, I’m reading Death by Haunted House.



Psychic Cass Donovan must uncover the truth about long-buried secrets and recent murders to bring peace to a troubled spirit and bring justice to a flesh-and-blood killer . . .

When the spirit of Ophelia Wilson turned to clairvoyant Cass Donovan for help, Cass was able to prove Ophelia’s innocence in the century-old murders of her family members—and solve a contemporary murder in the process. But Ophelia’s spirit has returned, this time angrily demanding that Cass expose the identity of whoever did kill her family. And then eerily, two descendants from the Wilson family tree are murdered, suggesting that Ophelia has the power to meddle in modern-day events to satisfy her rage.

As Cass struggles to solve the two recent murders and unravel the sparse clues about murders from a hundred years ago, she and those around her begin to suffer Ophelia’s wrath—including an attempt on the life of one of Cass’s closest friends. Relying on all of her own psychic powers, Cass has to confront the spirit’s hunger for vengeance and track down a merciless killer before she becomes the next victim of both . . .



Tricks and treats keep the Halloween spirit alive in coastal Maine. But this year the haunted house theme is getting carried a little too far . . .
Newcomers to Tinker’s Cove, Ty and Heather Moon have moved into a dilapidated house reputed to be a haven for ghosts. Now strange noises and flickering lights erupt from the house at all hours and neighborly relations are on edge. And when a local boy goes missing near the house, it’s up to Lucy Stone to unravel the mystery of the eccentric couple and their increasingly frightful behavior.

For the past two years, the house next door to Hayley Powell has sat abandoned after the owner died under mysterious circumstances. The Salinger family has recently taken possession of the property, but the realtor behind the deal has vanished—after a very public and angry argument with Damien Salinger. If Bar Harbor’s newest neighbors are murderers, Hayley will haunt them until they confess.

With its history of hauntings and ghost sightings, Busman’s Harbor is the perfect setting for Halloween festivities. But when a reenactment of a Prohibition-era gangster’s murder ends with a literal bang and a dead actor from New Jersey, Julia Snowden must identify a killer before she ends up sleeping with the fishes.



The chilling prequel to GHOSTLAND.

Garrote House has seen its share of blood. Since Christopher’s ancestor Oliver Hedgewood built the house in the 1800s, many spirits have taken up residence in “the Moving House,” including horror author Rex Garrote, who’d burned to death in his private library. Christopher Hedgewood and Sara Jane Amblin, inventor of the Recurrence Field, return to Garrote House one final time before it’s relocated to Ghostland.

They’ve both witnessed its ghosts many times. But neither of them have come at night, when the Moving House’s most dangerous hauntings come alive.

If you’re looking for a Halloween-themed novella to read, I highly recommend my WHAT NOT TO WEAR TO A GRAVEYARD. Even if you haven’t read the Resale Boutique Mystery series, you can read this story as a standalone.




After trading her Manhattan digs for her upstate hometown, fashionista Kelly Quinn has big plans for her grandmother’s consignment shop. But this All Hallow’s Eve someone is already dressed to kill . . .

A socialite’s missing dog has made front page news in Lucky Cove—complete with a hefty reward. But between renovating the consignment shop, planning her costume for a 1970s themed Halloween party, and scouting a location for a fashion shoot, Kelly doesn’t have time to search. Yet a visit to the local colonial-era cemetery—ideal for the moody atmosphere she’s after—soon turns up the precious pooch. Kelly’s looking forward to collecting the check—until she makes a gruesome discovery in an abandoned farmhouse: The dog’s owner, stabbed through the heart.

Kelly can’t help wondering why Constance Lane was traipsing around the farmhouse in stilettos. But as Kelly gets decked out in a vintage disco caftan, that isn’t the only fashion misstatement spooking her. Hidden in the dead woman’s past is a secret that could be the motive for the murder. And as the Halloween party gets started, even a menacing clown and a threatening bearded lady can’t keep Kelly from trick or treating for the truth—even if it means her last dance . . .

What are you reading this month? Did you participate in Summerween last month? If so, what did you read? I’d love to know.

Baking, Recipes, Writer In The Kitchen

Writer In The Kitchen: Blueberry Muffins

We’re a few weeks into summer and let’s just say I’m looking forward to fall. It’s my favorite season because it’s filled with all the things I love – pumpkins, sweaters, mums and cozy nights. While summer is filled with things I really could do without – humidity, humidity hair, poison ivy and sunburn. I know complaining won’t get me anywhere because it is what it is and that’s summer. So rather than complain, I’m creating special moments to get me through the hot, humid months. This past weekend, I baked. There’s something so special about starting a Sunday with a basket of freshly baked blueberry muffins out on the patio. These muffins burst have a buttery flavor that mingles with the tartness of the blueberries and were the perfect way to start my day. I hope they do the same for you!




Notes from Deb

Notes from Deb 6/9/22

Female in beautiful dress holding picnic basket with food and bouquet of lilacs outdoors.

Happy Friday! It’s been a busy couple of weeks. I turned in HOW THE MURDER CRUMBLES to my editor. It felt so good to send out that manuscript. Yes, I did a happy dance. And then, boom! Proof pages for my December release, SLEUTHING IN STILETTOS, landed in my inbox. Out of all the parts of the book writing process, proof pages are my least favorite to do. But, I’m halfway done so the pain won’t be lasting for long. Yay!

Last week, I was down in New York City visiting with my parents for four days and I got home Sunday night, very late, which meant I had a slow start Monday morning.

But I did make a dent in my long to-do list. I even got outside to do some weeding. At least one garden bed looks decent now. Actually, I enjoyed tidying up the bed. I gave our dwarf Japanese Maple a trim, added a base from a water fountain that’s seen better days to the bed tucked behind the Japanese Maple and the Holly bush. There’s a small stone bowl that I purchased during a garden tour in Newport RI years ago that needed a home so I set it on top of that base for a little visual interest.

There were also errands done and a quick trip to TJ Maxx. I always love squeezing in a trip there. You never know what you’ll find! I had a return and of course, I browsed and picked up a new vanity mirror. Today I’m going to have a Zoom call with my critique partner and I’m so looking forward to catching up with her. I’m even more excited to hear about her progress on her current WIP. So far, the pages I’ve read are awesome! I definitely want more.

In the middle of the week, I listened to a podcast and I loved it. I found a new Instagram account to follow. I love when that happens. The episode was How The Farmhouse Style Is Changing and featured blogger Liz Quick. She and host, Lisa, discuss how the very white farmhouse style is changing and becoming more old world. I loved it.

Since it’s the end of the week, I’m starting to think about planning out next week. On the list of things to do, will be creating content for an upcoming Facebook event I’m participating in. I’m so excited about this book hop. The Spring Into Summer multi-author book hop is happening on June 21st. Visit the event page, let us know you’re going to attend and then on June 21st, visit each participating author’s Facebook page for lots of fun and prizes. There’s a grand prize for one lucky person and it’s the ‘first in series’ book from each author! That’s a lot of books. The book I’m including in the grand prize is a copy of The UNINVITED CORPSE.


Thanks for stopping by to visit. My weekend will consist of some house chores and weeding. Yeah, it’s going to be a wild weekend here. I’m going to try and pace myself. Leave a comment below and let me know what you’re up to this weekend.


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