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Coffee & Chat

Saturday coffee & chat

Happy Saturday!

Another week behind us and we’re into a new month and we celebrated a national holiday! Wow! I also finished the 4th draft of Food Blogger #4. Many chapters are still with my critique partner and then the beast is headed to a freelance editor for an edit. I’ll be dealing with that later so I’m focusing on finishing draft 4. I do have the beast printed out and I’m going to read through it. I think a few of my chapters are way too long, so some reorganization needs to happen this coming week. Let’s see if I can keep the red pen away from those pages. LOL.

This week I mailed out the Advance Reader Copies for THREE WIDOWS AND A CORPSE (available for preorder now). I was blown away by the requests I received for ARCs when I shared on social media I had the books. If you’re a reviewer and didn’t get a print copy, digital ARCs will be available on NetGalley in late August/early September. I have to admit, I’m a little nervous in sending these babies out into the world. I felt the same way with my other books so I guess that feeling never goes away.

Three Widows and A Corpse book one in the Food Blogger Mystery Series

This week we started a new month and I have goals for July. But first, let’s take a moment and let the quote for this month sink in – nothing worth having was ever achieved without effort.

Never truer words ever spoken.

Everything I’ve achieved to date with my writing has been because of hard work, effort and commitment. Showing up everyday isn’t easy but if you have a dream you need to commit to it, work at it and celebrate it when you’ve achieved it. Then going forward you’ll practice – Rinse. Repeat. Because you can’t rely on your laurels.

So what are goals for the July? I’m so glad you asked. 🙂

First let me say, I’ve been looking forward to July for the past few weeks because I’ll be diving into my secret project (soon to be announced as the contract has just been received) and I’ll be starting Resale Boutique Mystery #3! The outline for the book was accepted by my editor. In book 3 we find Kelly’s former boss, the dragonista of Seventh Avenue, standing over the dead body of her ex-Husband’s new wife (wearing a fabulous faux leopard fur coat of course). There are so many things about this story I love and I can’t wait to start writing the manuscript. Darn secret project. Just kidding. I love my secret project. There you have pretty much what I have planned for the month – a lot of writing. So I’ll be cocooned in my air condition office with Billy until further notice.

There are times when a gal needs a chocolate cupcake. I needed one Tuesday. Just so you know, not everyday is perfect here in Deb’s writing world all the time. There are sucky days and luckily when I had one this week I also had a fresh batch of chocolate cupcakes to help ease the pain. 🙂 And also luckily for me, I didn’t go into a cupcake coma, I managed to stop myself from eating every single cupcake.

For the rest of the week, I stepped away from social media and I am taking long weekend off from writing. It was a quiet, long-stretch of time that was needed. I worked outside a bit, ate a really good burger and took numerous walks with Billy, well he actually was in the stroller for most of the time outside.

I’d love to hear what your highlight of the week was or what you have planned for this weekend? Did you watch any fireworks?


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Coffee & Chat

May Coffee & Chat

Happy New Week!

I know, I’ve been MIA here for what seems like forever. Oh, what Drew would say, forEVAH, girl. But believe me when I tell you that not a day hasn’t gone by that I haven’t thought about writing an update here. Well, today I’m sitting down and actually doing it. What a concept, right?

Since it’s been awhile, I thought today I’d do a little catch-up on the past few weeks. Book signing, magazine ad, best-seller list, a couple of Shih-Tzus. Hmm…where to begin?

Let’s start with a book discussion and book signing. Not going to lie. I loved seeing my book in the shop’s window.

For the release of THE HIDDEN CORPSE, I had the opportunity to visit Byrd’s Books in Bethel, CT for a discussion and signing. It was the perfect night to talk murder! We had a thunderstorm complete with streaks of lightning. Talk about a perfect backdrop. It reminded me of a scene in a Murder, She Wrote episode where a visiting author to Cabot Cove was reading from her novel and it was stormy outside and someone burst into the room. Very dramatic! No one burst into the middle of my book discussion. Yeah, not so dramatic. 🙂

It was a lovely evening despite the bad weather. I love talking about Hope and her sleuthing adventures and I felt very honored to sign copies of my books for those who came out and also some stock copies for the bookstore. That was awesome. Byrd’s Books did a wonderful job in pulling the event together and I’m looking forward to doing some more work with them.

Next up is this gorgeous back cover ad my publisher did for their recently released cozies that featured recipes. THE HIDDEN CORPSE was included!

One recipe from each of the books was highlighted. For THE HIDDEN CORPSE Hope’s Cinnamon Apple Bread was selected. I love this recipe. There is nothing more heavenly than apple and cinnamon baking. The house smells so good. And I’m thrilled that fellow Cozy Mystery Crew authors Libby Klein and Tina Kashian were included in the ad. Go team CMC!

I’m so grateful my publisher included THE HIDDEN CORPSE in the ad because I think it had a lot to do with the book making the Barnes and Noble Mass Market Paperback Bestseller list for THREE weeks! WooHoo!!! I have to admit, I love being on a best seller list.

The magazine is still available and you should be able to find it at your local grocery store and if not click here and you’ll be directed to Amazon we can purchase a copy. There are a lot of great recipes in this book in this magazine I flagged a few that I’m looking forward to trying over the next couple months.

Last month I shared the cover of the next Food Blogger book, THREE WIDOWS AND A CORPSE.

I absolutely love the cover. I’m often asked if I have any input to the cover design and the answer is “yes”. I”m fortunate that my editor asks me for ideas and I provide him with a bunch of inspirational photos and a detailed summary of the crime scene. And then Kensington works its magic to create beautiful covers like the one above. Now I’m waiting to see the cover for SILENCED IN SEQUINS.

Since we’re on the topic of writing, I’m currently working on the second draft of Food Blogger book #4. It has a working title but I’m not sure it will carry over to publication. I’m also editing the outline for Resale Boutique book #3 to send to my editor in June. And even though there’s a lot going on, I have an idea for another book that won’t go away! We’ll see what happens with that project. You know what? We’ll see just how badly this idea wants to be turned into a book. How hard will it fight for some attention from me? I’ll keep you posted. 🙂

Billy has been keeping me busy. This is a quick picture I snapped while on a walk. I put him  in the stroller and Susie walks. Depending upon how sleepy he is he might be curled up in the stroller (like the photo above) and doesn’t have a clue that we’re outside in the fresh air or  he could be sitting up and and enjoying the ride. He’s recovering from an infection and has a follow-up appointment this week.

And here is the picture of the little diva. Or as I call her frequently lady of leisure. Actually I snapped this photo of her when I was on FaceTime with fellow cozy mystery author Jenny Kales. Susie had come out to spend part of chat with us and then she wandered away and took a nap. She’s doing well considering her diagnosis of kidney disease. Twice a week I administer subcutaneous fluids and they’ve definitely helped her with her problem so fingers crossed that it’ll keep working.

Well that’s all my updates for now. I hope you’ll say “hi” in the comments.  And if you haven’t, consider signing up for my monthly newsletter. The form is below.


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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. 🙂

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.  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. 🙂

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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