We Are the World Blogfest #WATWB

It’s the last Friday of the month–time again for some good news to take you into April (how is it already April??) with a smile.

The story I’ve chosen for this month is about a man from New England who came up with a brilliant way to recycle plastic and polystyrene cups. Many thanks to my friend Carol Thompson for making me aware of this story. As a resident of a beach community, I find it especially useful and interesting.

Click here to read the story.

Here’s how #WATWB works: On the last Friday of each month a number of bloggers participate in a blog hop in which each blogger highlights a story that spreads good news, happiness, and hope.

These are the cohosts for this month: Shilpa Garg, Sylvia McGrath, Belinda Witzenhausen, Dan Antionand Damyanti Biswas.


Want to join? Click this link to sign up and help spread some happiness!



Podcasts for Readers

photo courtesy of stokpic, pixabay

Have you ever tried reading and exercising at the same time?

It’s not easy.

I’ve tried reading books on the treadmill and the spin bike, and I usually end up putting on music or turning on the television because either the book or the Kindle falls on the floor or the sweat in my eyes prevents me from seeing anything. I have to do something or I’ll get bored.

Recently I’ve turned to podcasts. If you’ve heard any good podcasts recently, you know they’re great for those times when you want to be engaged, entertained, and hands-free.

I thought I’d compile a short list of some of the podcasts I’ve enjoyed. Give them a try next time you’re using your headphones or driving (not all cars will have that capability, though) and by all means, share your favorites in the comments below!

1.  Mystery Rat’s Maze Podcast by Kings River Life Magazine (KRL). This podcast comes out about twice a month and features a mystery short story or the first chapter of a mystery novel. It’s a great way to sample a book before deciding to buy it or borrow it from a library. Each podcast is narrated by an actor or actress from California’s San Joaquin Valley. Click here to be redirected to the homepage of KRL’s podcast.

2.  Death in Ice Valley by the BBC World Service. Back in 2018, a BBC documentary maker teamed up with an investigative reporter from Norway to try to figure out the identity of a woman who died in the Isdalen Valley (also called Ice Valley) of Norway in 1970. Through a series of ten podcasts, the two investigators travel throughout parts of Europe, following clues wherever they lead to discover where the woman may have come from, for whom she might have been working, and why she may have been in Norway at the time of her death. Click here to be redirected to the podcast.

3.  BBC World Book Club by the BBC World Service. In this monthly podcast, some of the best-known authors in the world discuss their best-known books. The show doesn’t focus on any particular genre–they’ve had fantasy, thriller, memoir, you name it. Click here to be redirected to the home page.

4. Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine has a podcast archive of over a hundred shows featuring readings and dramatizations from some of the best suspense writers in the world. Check out their offerings here

The next one is a website compilation of great podcasts for readers of mysteries, thrillers, and suspense novels.

5. Bustle.com 

6. Fiction by The New Yorker. In each podcast of The New Yorker: Fiction, a different author is chosen to pick a story from the magazine’s archives to read and discuss. Click here to check out what this podcast has to offer from the eclectic collections of The New Yorker.

photo courtesy of milyoung23, pixabay

Until next time,


Barbara Vey Reader Appreciation Weekend Schedule

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For anyone in the upper Midwest or anyone planning to travel to the Barbara Vey Reader Appreciation Weekend in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on April 26-18, 2019, I thought I’d use today’s post to share the schedule of events with you.

This promises to be a great weekend with LOTS of readers, LOTS of books, LOTS of authors, LOTS of prizes, LOTS of giveaways, and LOTS of fun.

Friday morning/afternoon (4/26):

10:00 a.m.-2:50 p.m.: Author/Reader BINGO (3 sessions)

Cost: FREE (there will be an opportunity to purchase boxed lunches)

Friday night:

6:30-9:00: Author Q&A (I hear this can get a little rowdy), followed by Author Meet & Greet

Cost: FREE

9:00: Romance Jeopardy!

Cost: FREE

Saturday morning/afternoon (4/27):

10:30 a.m.: Author/Reader luncheon (goody bags and door prizes!!)

The keynote speaker is actress and author Meg Tilly (squeeeee!)

Cost: $75.00 (click here) for tickets

3:30-4:30: Book signings

Cost: FREE

Saturday night:

5:30 p.m.: Pizza party

Cost: $15.00

7:00 p.m.: Author party (readers and authors join forces to win prizes for the readers)

Cost: FREE

Sunday morning (4/28):

8:30 a.m.: Author/Reader breakfast (maybe….more goody bags and more door prizes!)

The lawyer part of me feels compelled to say that this schedule is subject to change, but I doubt it.

If you want to read more about the event, I invite you to visit the Barbara Vey Reader Appreciation Weekend website. Click here to be redirected.

I know there’s some room at my table for Saturday luncheon and Sunday breakfast, so please come! I’d love to meet you or see you there.

Until next week.






Introducing Trudy’s Diary!

Here it is! My street team, newsletter subscribers, and social media followers saw this last week, so now it’s time for the cover to go on the blog!

Introducing, Trudy’s Diary, Book One in the Libraries of the World Mystery Series!

Here’s the blurb:

Daisy Carruthers moved to Washington, DC, from New York City following an emotionally draining murder investigation, little knowing she would soon be involved in two more. But when her boss and her best friend come under suspicion for killing two adulterous lovers, Daisy has no choice but to help when they ask. 

And when she comes across a diary and an old dime novel with suspiciously similar stories and unknown origins, she knows all the mysteries are somehow connected.

Can she figure out the identity of the killer–or killers–before it’s too late?

* * *

Trudy’s Diary is the first book in my new series featuring special collections from libraries all over the world. In this book, I’ve focused on the Library of Congress in Washington, DC, which seemed a fitting place to start. Book Two, which is in the works and currently does not have a working title, features the map collection at the main branch of the New York City Public Library. Book Three takes my readers over to England, but I’m not going to say any more about that just yet.

I’ll let you know when it’s ready for pre-order!

Until next time,



Winter photos

This week I thought I’d share some photos with you. We don’t get snow all that often in southern New Jersey, so when we do I like to take the dog outside and get lots of pictures. There are also a few from a recent visit to New York City.

First, the snow.



The woods near my house

No picture of snow is complete without Orly, who loves it!

Second, New York City.

 Central Park


Empire State Building, where I got engaged waaaay back in 1995



 And finally, because WordPress won’t show the caption for the last three photos, I give you Radio City Music Hall, Midtown Manhattan, and the tree at Rockefeller Center.

This week I’m a little overwhelmed with writing projects, but I hope to be able to share the cover of Trudy’s Diary with you soon. In the meantime, I’ve got to entirely restructure the novel, but I hope to be done with that in less than a week.

Until next time,


Something to think about – So how are those New Year #Resolutions going for you?

Some thoughts on those New Year’s resolutions from Sally Cronin, who has a great one! Me? I’ve got a few, and so far they’re going well! We’re only five days into 2019, though…

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

I sat down at the tail end of December to have a look at areas of my life that could be improved by making some clear cut and effective resolutions.

Then I thought to myself, why?

The presumption is, that there are things wrong with the various elements of our lives that need to be fixed in order to satisfy either ourselves, or the perception of others, about who we are, what we look like, and how we behave.

Here is a list of the some of the usual resolutions that most of us make at New Year…. with a appalling failure rate (around 80%) about 4 to 6 weeks into this annual exercise.

These are not my resolutions (I erased all of mine) but I have taken the liberty of adding some of the reasons why these resolutions might not always be adhered to beyond…

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O, Christmas Tree

Porthos (L) and Athos. They look almost harmless in this photo.

This week I thought I’d try my hand at rewriting the lyrics to the centuries-old tune, “O, Christmas Tree.” Sing along if you’d like!


O Christmas tree,

O Christmas tree,

How my two cats

Adore you


O, Christmas tree,

O, Christmas tree,

How my two cats

Adore you


You’re hung with ornaments so bright

The cats both bat them through the night

O, Christmas tree, O Christmas tree

How my two cats adore you


O Christmas tree,

O Christmas tree,

Your needles

They are lovely


O Christmas tree,

O Christmas tree,

Your needles

They are lovely


Though they are fake the cats still chew

And then they vomit close to you

O, Christmas tree, O Christmas tree,

Your needles, they are lovely


O, Christmas tree,

O, Christmas tree,

The cats would love

To climb you


O, Christmas tree,

O, Christmas tree,

The cats would love

To climb you


But you are fake because of them

Your trunk is smooth, so less mayhem

O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree,

The cats would love to climb you.


Image courtesy of Myshun, pixabay


I almost forgot! Last week I had my first (but hopefully not my last) YouTube interview! It was a lot of fun. If you want to learn a little more about The Worst Noel and see what a life-sized Bobble Head looks like, please tune in. I had no idea I nodded so much when I listen and talk. Click here for the link. Many thanks to Michelle at Writing Fun for the interview!

I will not be posting next Tuesday (Christmas Day), so I’d like to wish you a very merry Christmas if you celebrate and a happy holiday season if you don’t.

Until next time,