It's hot and dry in central Midwest. I'm watering my garden daily and trying to remember the winter months when we talked about how great it would be when summer arrived. Jane is making use of her splash pad.
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The Senior Sleuths don’t mind a little peace now and then, but after a long bout of nothing out of the ordinary, they’re eager for some excitement.
No one could’ve imagined it would arrive with such a bang.
A mysterious explosion has rocked the assisted living community, disrupting life for everyone.
Despite the stern warnings from authorities, one of the Senior Sleuths can’t help but get involved. This is their home, after all.
Herman, always eager to root out the truth, ignores the warnings and hunts for answers. He’s convinced the explosion was a rouse to cover up something far more sinister. But the other seniors aren’t as eager to get involved. They’re focused on Marcy and Lance’s upcoming wedding.
Without his usual sidekicks, can Herman track down the bomber and a missing veteran who no one else remembers?
“Keep going.” A sizable woman employee, garbed in a cartoon smock that hinted at a playful personality on better days, shouted as she pointed at a thin line of ornamental trees that served as a barrier between the center and the nearby neighborhood. “Head toward the Bradford Pear trees!”
The majority of residents complied without a peep, moving as fast as they could go. As children, they must have listened to their teachers and made their parents proud. Not all of the residents qualified as rule followers, however.
One slender woman with a still firm chin turned to address the shouting aide.
“Is this a drill?” Eunice’s shrill voice carried over the hubbub. “I hate these stupid fire drills.”
A continual beep, beep, beep of an alarm carried across the parking lot as doors opened on different wings emitting a steady parade of confused residents and agitated employees. A ladder fire truck’s brakes squealed as it made a hard right into the parking lot attracting attention. The exasperated aide in the cartoon smock, probably never guessing she’d be shepherding reluctant residents to safety when she woke this morning, pointed to the fire truck. Her harsh tone conveyed her tension. “Does this look like a drill?”
Eunice swung her attention from the woman to the fire track and back to the woman again. “It could be a trick question. A while back firefighters showed up for a grease fire. Another time, when a dryer caught on fire because the lint collector was full, they came, too.”
“Go on!” the woman shouted. “My job is to make sure you don’t burn up. It’s not going to happen if you keep asking questions.”
“Geesh!” Eunice huffed, then moved to where many other residents waited. The assisted living center’s residents, some in wheelchairs and a few taking a break on their walker seats waited along the edge of the property along with the uniformed staff. A few even broke into applause as the firefighters arrived, confident that whatever happened would be put right due to the efforts of the courageous first responders.
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March 28: All the Ups and Downs
March 29: Literary Gold
March 29: Westveil Publishing
March 30: Fabulous and Brunette
March 30: Rogue's Angels
March 31: Hope. Dreams. Life... Love
March 31: Stormy Nights Reviewing & Bloggin'
April 1: Momma Says: To Read or Not to Read
April 1: Wendi Zwaduk - Romance to Make Your Heart Race
April 4: Joanne Guidoccio
April 4: So Many Books
April 5: The Mystery Section
April 5: Aubrey Wynne: Timeless Romance
April 6: Andi's Book Reviews review
April 6: Viviana MacKade
April 7: Lisa's Reading
April 7: Long and Short Reviews
April 8: Iron Canuck Reviews & More
April 8: Gina Rae Mitchellreview
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Make sure to enter the birthday celebration contest,
I'm having a birthday. Can't tell you how many candles will be on my cake, but if we used actual candles, many will have burned down before all of them can be lit. So, let's skip the candles. As for gifts, I have a few for you. Make sure to enter the giveaway. My last very memorable birthday occurred in 2020 when we were rushing off for the Star Trek cruise. I kind of considered the cruise my present. LOL
Besides the birthday giveaway, the audiobook Death of a Honeymoon is out today, too. Late for the Wedding releases March 12th.
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Over a decade ago, I became a part of Secret Cravings Publishing. Excitement reigned in our household due to someone believing a story I wrote was good enough to be published. The first step to the publishing route included assigning me an editor, Larriane Wills. And what an editor she was. What initially impressed me about her editing style was her vast storehouse of knowledge. What she didn’t know, she could look up either on the Internet or by consulting an expert on the subject. More than a few times her expertise saved me from embarrassing myself in print.
In historical fiction, I wanted my character to use matches, which existed at that time. Larriane pointed out that even though they existed, they weren’t in common use in the United States. I wanted my mail-order bride to board a train to meet her soon-to-be husband, but Larriane pointed out that trains didn’t go that far at the time. A stagecoach ended up substituting for the train.
Besides her willingness to go the extra mile, I remember Larriane’s sweetness and fearlessness—an unusual combination. I considered her fearless because she didn’t let things like deafness slow her down. Often, at writing conferences, she used an FM receiver unit to hear the speaker. The speaker might turn away or rattle papers, making it difficult to hear anything, but still, she persevered.
I can’t imagine how hard it was for her to travel places—which she did. Travel became more difficult when an oxygen tank became part of her luggage. When security stopped her for not having a doctor’s note to travel, she dealt with it, got on the plane, and made it to conference.
Coyotes roamed the edges of her back yard, which forced her to keep a sharp eye on her beloved dogs. When one grabbed her tiny dog, she chased the predator and beat it with her cane until it dropped her pet. Someone needs to make an action hero movie with the lead character named Larriane, and wielding a wicked cane.
Her sweetness showed up in many ways. She loved, loved her family and Christmas because of the joy of the season and family get-togethers. Homemade crafts came from endless hours of stitching. She created crocheted, knitted, or cross-stitched gifts for one and all. Right before she went into the hospital, she either mailed my cross-stitched cup filled with tea or had someone mail it for her.
Despite how diva-like writers could react to her edits, she never responded in turn. Maybe she understood because she, too, wrote. In my opinion, she must have been an old soul, who held a deeper understanding of the human heart than most. She once told me that her goal was to make the authors better writers. Sure, it would be easy to buzz through a story and make corrections—basically rewriting it—but she didn’t do that.
Instead, she wrote on my manuscript about trying a different word, or to elaborate on the scene due to its importance in the timeline. She kept track of time and days in the story and warned me when I made my heroine do more than humanly possible in a day.
Larriane also witnessed the absurdity of life and stored it away for another time when she need to smile. She shared tales of her own life in our email exchanges. Life dealt her some severe blows, which never brought her to her knees. The woman I knew could have inspired the warrior princess trope. Deafness, age, coyotes, and diva writers couldn’t take the wind out of her sails.
Besides being my editor, I thought of Larriane as my friend, and encourager. She used her social media presence to promote other writers all the time. In a way, I never wanted to think of being without Larriane—so I didn’t. Unfortunately, COVID had other plans, and her indomitable will finally folded. This isn’t goodbye because she lives on in her books with the pen names Larriane Wills , Larion Wills, and L.L. Brooks. She endures in all the authors she guided. There is, in the end, her family, her dearest treasure.
Chicken Corn Chowder is courtesy of Good Housekeeping magazine.
PREP TIME:0 hours 15 mins
TOTAL TIME:1 hour 5 mins
4 large ears corn, shucked
2 1/2 lb. bone-in chicken breasts, skin removed
4 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. olive oil
5 stalks celery, chopped
4 large carrots, chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1/3 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 c. half-and-half
3 tbsp. chopped fresh tarragon leaves
This ingredient shopping module is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content on their web site.
Avgolemono: An Easy Greek Twist on Chicken and Rice
Make sure to tell me what your favorite gift was in the comments. Husband was a 101 Electronic Experiments. Mine was a puppy I named Toni.
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November 15: Westveil Publishing
November 16: Literary Gold
November 17: Fabulous and Brunette
November 17: Long and Short Reviews
November 18: Locks, Hooks and Books
November 19: All the Ups and Downs
November 22: Aubrey Wynne: Timeless Love
November 23: FUONLYKNEW
November 24: Gina Rae Mitchell
November 24: Iron Canuck Reviews & More review
November 26: Hope. Dreams. Life... Love
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A week without a murder or the mention of any crime made Donna Tollhouse Taber grin. She adjusted the car window clamps on the British flags, then stepped back, resting her hands on her lower back. “I think it’s a nice touch.”
Her detective husband, Mark, ran a hand through his salt and pepper hair. “I don’t know.”
His face scrunched up. “It might be over the top. Howard doesn’t strike me as the showy type. He keeps things low-key, a proper Brit.”
Typical. Her husband thought he knew all about the neighbors over the pond due to an online relationship he’d struck with Scotland Yard detective Howard Dudley, when he previously researched diamonds and jewel heists. Never mind her husband hadn’t put in the hours she had watching BBC mysteries and The Great British Baking Show. If Howard didn’t appreciate her effort to welcome them, his wife, Elizabeth, certainly would. “A proper Brit might mention they don’t go in for pomp and ceremony, but just look at the royal weddings. They go crazy about those.”
“Well, you’d know more about that than me. All I can hope for is a nice quiet time with no murders. I told the station not to call me unless it’s an emergency. A vacation is still a vacation even if I don’t leave the state.”
“The best thing to do is not answer your phone.” Donna had doubts about her husband not getting pulled into a case.
kickoff at Silver Dagger Book Tours
A Pinch of Bookdust
Bedazzled By Books
Craving Lovely Books
Midnight Book Reader
FUONLYKNEW – GUEST POST
A Wonderful World of Words – GUEST POST
Lisa Everyday Reads – GUEST POST
#BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog
Westveil Publishing – GUEST POST
The Sexy Nerd 'Revue'
Twisted Book Ramblings
Girl with Pen
Books a Plenty Book Reviews
Character Madness and Musings
A Writer's Life
Cover Love Book Blog
The Mystery Section
Momma Says: To Read or Not to Read
Tina Donahue - Heat with Heart
Jazzy Book Reviews
Books all things paranormal and romance
Inside the Insanity
4covert2overt ☼ A Place In The Spotlight ☼
Stormy Nights Reviewing & Bloggin'
The Faerie Review
The Bookshelf Fairy
Teatime and Books
I'm Into Books
Anna del C. Dye official page
The Book Dragon
The Scratching Post
Buried Under Books – REVIEW
Nellie's Book Nook – REVIEW, GUEST POST
Valerie Ullmer | Romance Author
On March 13, 2020 or close to Friday the 13th, my state was officially shut down. We weren’t sure what it meant, but my sisters and I were afraid even to travel to my mother’s house that we were cleaning out and getting ready to sell. After six months of going nowhere and selling my mother’s home, we hit the road via car and headed north.
Our not-so friendly flight stewards huddled near the front of the plane while warning us not wearing a mask was a felony and bringing on our own alcohol was forbidden. Various incidents of out-of-control fliers explained their hesitancy to interact. I imagine the disgruntled customers that had to be rerouted didn’t inspire interaction, either. That particular flight experience would earn a C mainly because we were never informed about the cancellation by email, text, app, or call. We had no way of knowing we needed not to rush to the airport. We could have spent our extra five hours at home.
Once in El Paso, Texas, we met up with our son and his girlfriend and had a super time. A big shout out to the people of Las Cruces, New Mexico, Terlingua, Texas and Marfa. You guys rock. A special shout out to Enterprise who exchanged our wonky rental for a four-wheel drive without a hassle. Make sure to use Far Flung Adventures, too. Texas road trip was A+.
Detroit is a huge airport that goes on forever or so it seems. It gave me a chance to get my steps in. I also treated myself to a reasonably priced steak dinner at Lone Star. Then I discovered they had a gentleman playing show tunes on a baby grand in the food court. I located a cup of Earl Grey and a cookie to accompany the music. One downloaded podcast later, I was ready to board the plane where I was once again surrounded by empty seats because I used my airline app to check out and modify the seating if needed. B+ on the experience because the airline made the big layover by moving my first flight to three hours earlier.
In conclusion, if you can drive; do so. There is still the allure of the open road and plenty of country to explore. As for my traveling adventures, one or two might show up in the next book.
Bitten By Romance
Celebrate Freedom Blog Hop
Emergency Call Series
Emergency Calls Series
Free Book Sites
Fun Summer Reads
Historical Romance Blog Hop
Marcus Aronson Interview
Michael A. Rothman
The Fault Is In Our Stars
The Hunger Games