Saturday, December 31, 2011


To all those sitting at home tonight, here’s a way to stay happy.

As writers you must be familiar with the comic poet Ogden Nash. If not, look him up, you’ll be delighted. Nash was famous for rhyming his poems, but not necessarily using meter. For instance, here’s a short one:

Adam had’em.

Here’s a longer one:

Call me an unAmerican hellion. This year I’m going to disconnect everything electric and spend Christmas like Tiny Tim and Mr. Pickwick.
You make me sickwick.

And here’s one that has both rhyme and meter, as well as being apropos:

Come, children, gather round my knee,
Something is about to be.
Tonight’s December thirty-first.
Something is about to burst.
The clock is crouching dark and small,
Like a time bomb in the hall.
Hark, it’s midnight, children dear,
Duck! Here comes another year.

My Christmas present from hubby was a Kindle. Yes, he bought a B&N Nook for my birthday in July, but he’s buying lots of books and reading them. The three I wanted aren’t available on the Nook yet. One was DEATH COMES TO PEMBERLEY by P.D. James (I am a fan of Phyllis Dorothy’s mysteries) in the style of and with characters from Jane Austen’s PRIDE AND PREJUDICE, etc. The C.S. Monitor ran a glowing review of it, including their last line, “I couldn’t have liked it more unless I was drenched in chocolate and Colin Firth read it to me.”

Surprisingly, of 81 reviews noted by Amazon, the book got no 5-star reviews, one 4-star and the rest 3.5 or below. My book COLD APRIL got three 5-star reviews and a 4-star. Since when am I a better writer than P. D. James? Perhaps some readers expected something else, maybe more violence, especially if they were younger readers. But I haven’t read it yet myself.

The book was published in the UK and now by Alfred Knopf (Random House) and they want $15.99 for the e-book. For $3 more I can get the hardcover, so I will. While waiting I’ll get Anne R. Allen’s THE GATSBY GAME which is on Kindle.

Anne R. Allen
P.D. James
Death Comes
Ogden Nash
Colin Firth

Sunday, December 11, 2011


I’m taking a couple of weeks off from my Blog for the holidays, but hope to be back on January 8th. Meanwhile, to keep busy, I suggest you try my recipe for PECAN PUMPKIN PIE. Everyone who comments on this site will get a recipe via e-mail so there’s time to make the pies and serve them at your Christmas dinner. In addition, I’m giving away seven copies of an anthology of romance short stores (one of which is mine, of course) and one each of my three most popular books.

Is this Pecan Pumpkin Pie really good? Well, I take them to our family dinner every year; and when I walk in the door, the first question I’m asked is, “Did you bring the pies?”

Furthermore, when my son was getting married and I asked what he wanted for a wedding present, he said, “Your pumpkin pie.”

I’d love to say it’s easy to make. And it is--sort of. But there is one thing to watch out for, and I’ll illustrate that by telling you what happened the first two times I tried it.

As you’ll see when you read the recipe, the pumpkin filling goes in the pie plate first and the “crust” goes on top before baking. The recipe called for lining the pie plate with waxed paper, so that, when you turned the pie upside down, it would slide out of the plate and you’d just peel off the paper for cutting and serving. Well, not quite. The problem was I had used a glass pie plate and no way would that pie come out! We ended up cutting portions anyway, and guests had to peel off bits of wax paper from their slice.

But I learned. I told myself that the reason the pie didn’t come out was because the glass pie plate was inflexible. The next year, I bought two of those foil pie plates from the supermarket and put the filling in those. But, when the pies were ready to go into the oven, I discovered the foil pans were too flexible and they collapsed. Yes, I had pie filling all over the oven, plus the oven door as well as the kitchen floor!

The trick (after two more pies had to be made): put the foil pans into glass pans first, then line the foil with wax paper, fill with batter, add the magic crust ingredients, and bake. Not only does that keep the pies intact for baking, but also for carrying them easily to grandmother’s house.

So that’s a Christmas present from me to you, and I hope your holidays are Merry. Come see me in the New Year and learn what Nora Roberts and I have in common. (Hint: it’s not money.)

Thursday, December 1, 2011


This is a special blog to celebrate KISS OF DEATH DAY. KOD, as we lovingly refer to it, is the Mystery/Suspense Chapter of RWA (Romance Writers of America) and is a fantastic place.  Although I haven't sold a specific "romantic suspense" novel yet, I often put elements of suspense or intrigue in my books and Lethal Ladies have helped tremendously. They are the best. And now--drum roll please--my very first straight mystery, EYE WITNESS, will be published next July by Mainly Murder Press.  Thanks again, KOD.