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Today’s post is a reblog from Sue Vincent, who posts gorgeous photos of her corner of the world and accompanies them with vivid descriptions and beautiful sentiments. Enjoy!

Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

We woke, the dog and I, to a white and wintry world. A hard frost stuck the soles of my slippers to the path as I went out to retrieve the first ball of the day. I have attempted to explain, over the years, that, given both her species and her parentage… she is supposed to do the retrieving, but if the grass is cold, wet or muddy, she disagrees. She gets it half right…the setter half of her will ‘set’, freezing into the classic stance and indicating the ball’s position with every tense line of her body. It is the retrieving half she refuses to acknowledge, except for the Toller’s ‘song’ with which she is apt to communicate if I am not taking enough notice. Especially when a ball is in play.

So, in naught but dressing gown and slippers, I went out into the frozen morning to retrieve…

View original post 300 more words

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A Quadruple Treat!

Today I’m thrilled to welcome four authors to Reade and Write! One of them, Heather Weidner, you may recognize from earlier visits to the blog. The others are Teresa Inge, Jayne Ormerod, and Rosemary Shomaker. They’re here to discuss their new compilation of stories, To Fetch a Thief.

Here’s the blurb from To Fetch a Thief:

To Fetch a Thief, the first Mutt Mysteries collection, features four novellas that have gone to the dogs. In this howlingly good read, canine companions help their owners solve crimes and right wrongs. These sleuths may be furry and low to the ground, but their keen senses are on high alert when it comes to sniffing out clues and digging up the truth. Make no bones about it, these pup heroes will steal your heart as they conquer ruff villains.

Welcome, ladies! First of all, you should know that To Catch a Thief is one of my favorite movies of all time, so you had me at the title. Tell us about your book.

All four of the stories in To Fetch a Thief are cozy, dog-themed mysteries. We all have dogs, and it seemed like a good fit for the four of us.

* * *

“Hounding the Pavement”

by Teresa Inge

Catt Ramsey has three things on her mind: grow her dog walking service in Virginia Beach, solve the theft of a client’s vintage necklace, and hire her sister Emma as a dog walker.  But when Catt finds her model client dead after walking her precious dogs Bella and Beau, she and her own dogs Cagney and Lacey are hot on the trail to clear her name after being accused of murder.

* * *

“Diggin’ up Dirt”

By Heather Weidner

Amy Reynolds and her Jack Russell Terrier Darby find some strange things in her new house. Normally, she would have trashed the forgotten junk, but Amy’s imagination kicks into high gear when her nosy neighbors dish the dirt about the previous owners who disappeared, letting the house fall into foreclosure. Convinced that something nefarious happened, Amy and her canine sidekick uncover more abandoned clues in their search for the previous owners.

* * *

“Dog Gone it All”

by Jayne Ormerod

Meg Gordon and her tawny terrier Cannoli are hot on the trail of a thief, a heartless one who steals rocks commemorating neighborhood dogs who have crossed the Rainbow Bridge. But sniffing out clues leads them to something even more merciless…a dead body! There’s danger afoot as the two become entangled in the criminality infesting their small bayside community. And, dog gone it all, Meg is determined to get to the bottom of things.

* * *

“This is Not a Dog Park”

by Rosemary Shomaker

“Coyotes and burglaries? That’s an odd pairing of troubles.” Such are Adam Moreland’s reactions to a subdivision’s meeting announcement. He has no idea. Trouble comes his way in spades, featuring a coyote . . . burglaries . . . and a dead body! A dog, death investigation, and new female acquaintance kick start Adam’s listless life which had been frozen by a failed relationship, an unfulfilling job, and a judgmental mother. Events shift Adam’s perspective and push him to act.

Since the compilation is being released so close to Christmas, is there a holiday theme in addition to animals? Is there a classic movie theme, perhaps?

This is the first in the Mutt Mysteries series, and we were talking last weekend at a book festival about using a holiday theme for a future installment. All of the stories in this one have some kind of theft involved.

How long did it take you to write the book?

The four of us met about a year ago at the Williamsburg Winery. (Williamsburg, Virginia is about the midpoint between Richmond and Tidewater for the four of us. We decided to work on this cozy compilation, so the stories started to take shape last year. We kicked into high gear this summer with peer and formal edits (and all the tasks that go into getting a manuscript ready for publication).

Are these full-length novels, novellas, or short stories?

The four are novellas.

What types of books do you love to read?

Heather: I love all kinds of mysteries, thrillers, history, and biography.

Teresa: Cozy mysteries. I read them to help develop my craft and see what the latest trends are with mysteries. Although I do not follow trends I still like to know what readers like.

Jayne: I love to read light books, be they mystery or light-hearted woman’s fiction. I will do an occasional historical novel. And once a year (usually January) I push myself to read one challenging book (some sort of classic or literary fiction book). Last year I got through The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins.

Rosie: I devour mysteries, adventure stories, and stories of the classic “hero’s journey.” I find that a tale of a hero on an adventure who is challenged and fails—but then is victorious—is a rich story arc applicable to many genres. That the hero comes home changed or transformed is the outcome, and I like to see main characters mature. I studied English in college and was captivated by beautiful and/or beautifully crafted language, but now I cannot read books that “meander.” I like a book with a destination. Mysteries are great for that.

What is your favorite movie, classic or otherwise?

Heather: I love the classic film noirs like The Maltese Falcon, Double Indemnity, and The Postman Always Rings Twice. I also love action movies with characters like Jack Reacher and Jason Bourne. And being an 80s Girl, the classics like St. Elmo’s Fire, Sixteen Candles, Footloose, and The Breakfast Club will always be favorites.

Teresa: Bringing up Baby. It’s a classic screwball comedy with Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant. The film features a series of misadventures and chaos to find a missing dinosaur bone and pet leopard. It captures the audience’s attention to love both characters.

Jayne: Classic. Hands down. Thanks to Amazon Prime we have plenty to choose from on Sunday night!

Rosie: I can still remember when I first saw Raiders of the Lost Ark. Talk about an adventure! That had it all for me—travel, intellect, history, villains, surprises, suspense, and a fast pace. I was a very impressionable young person when the movie came out, and I will always like that film.

What is the hardest thing about writing, in your opinion?

Heather: It’s often difficult to stay focused with all the distractions and life events. Writing is often the easy part. The rounds and rounds of editing, critique group reviews, and editorial reviews are where the work really starts.

Teresa: Writing is a solitary form, but the editing process is the most challenging. I want my stories to draw reader’s attention with the opening paragraph, but sometimes it’s hard to find the right words. That’s where multiple edits come into play.

Jayne: Editing.  I don’t like to reread things. So rereading it a dozen times is painful, albeit necessary.

Rosie: I’m such an editor, that the hardest part of writing for me is to stop editing as I write. I have to cast my grammar and usage inhibitions to the wind and just get on with writing and access the creative flow. I find that hard and can only get to that point by forgiving myself for errors and allowing the non-judgmental creative process. I find that I benefit from writing longhand when channeling the gift. The editing begins with transcribing the longhand.

Heather, you’ve been a guest on Reade and Write in the past, when you visited to talk about your debut novel, Secret Lives and Private Eyes. Can you tell us a little bit about your second novel, The Tulip Shirt Murders?

Heather: The Tulip Shirt Murders is the second in my Delanie Fitzgerald series. She is a sassy Private Investigator in Central Virginia who gets herself in and out of humorous situations like larping (live-action role playing) and trading elbow jabs with roller derby queens. When a music producer hires Delanie and her computer hacker partner, Duncan Reynolds, to find out who is bootlegging his artists’ CDs, Delanie uncovers more than just copyright thieves. And if chasing bootleggers isn’t bad enough, local strip club owner and resident sleaze, Chaz Smith, pops back into Delanie’s life with more requests. The police have their man in a gruesome murder, but the loud-mouthed strip club owner thinks there is more to the open and shut case. Delanie and Duncan link a series of killings with no common threads. And they must put the rest of the missing pieces together before someone else is murdered.

All of you are also accomplished short story writers, with stories in several anthologies, including Virginia is for Mysteries, Vol. 1 and Vol. 2, and 50 Shades of Cabernet, which I loved (I haven’t read the others yet). Do you prefer writing short stories or novels, or is that like comparing apples to oranges?

Heather: Thanks, so much!

I like writing both novels and short stories. The novels give me a chance to explore longer story lines with more characters. The short stories challenge me to tell a mystery in a shorter timespan and space. In the short story, every word counts. I think it’s harder to write short stories, but they give me the opportunity to try new techniques that I often don’t get when writing a novel.

What’s next for all of you?

Heather: I am working on the third novel in the Delanie Fitzgerald series. It’s called Glitter, Glam, and Contraband. I am also working on a new cozy mystery set in Charlottesville, Virginia. I had a non-fiction piece accepted in the Sisters in Crime book marketing anthology, Promophobia, and that will be out next year, along with a short story, “Art Attack” in the Deadly Southern Charm: A Lethal Ladies Mystery Anthology.

Teresa: Book two of the Mutt Mysteries series, and I am writing a wine mystery located in the Outer Banks.

Jayne: Goin’ Coastal, a compilation of short and novella-lengthy cozy mysteries set along the shore. Should be out before the New Year.

Rosie: I’ve mainly written short stories. Writing a novella was a huge step for me—and a hard step for me. I’m mustering my courage to attack the next big challenge—the novel. Stay tuned! Thank you for supporting authors and promoting mysteries.

So, where can we find To Fetch a Thief?

Amazon 

Nook

Kobo

Apple

24 Symbols

And where can we learn more about To Fetch a Thief?

Website

Facebook

Twitter

 

Thank you all so much for visiting us today. I hope all of you will come back to talk about your new endeavors!

Keep reading, readers, because there’s a special recipe at the bottom…

About the Authors

Teresa Inge

Teresa Inge grew up reading Nancy Drew mysteries. Today, she doesn’t carry a rod like her idol, but she hotrods. She is president of Sister’s in Crime Mystery by the Sea Chapter and author of short mysteries in Virginia is for Mysteries and 50 Shades of Cabernet.

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

 

Heather Weidner

Heather Weidner, a member of SinC – Central Virginia and Guppies, is the author of the Delanie Fitzgerald Mysteries, Secret Lives and Private Eyes and The Tulip Shirt Murders. Her short stories appear in the Virginia is for Mysteries series and 50 Shades of Cabernet. Heather lives in Virginia with her husband and a pair of Jack Russell terriers, Disney and Riley. She’s been a mystery fan since Scooby Doo and Nancy Drew. Some of her life experience comes from being a technical writer, editor, college professor, software tester, IT manager, and cop’s kid. She blogs at Pens, Paws, and Claws.

Website and Blog

Pens, Paws and Claws Blog

Twitter

Facebook

Instagram

Goodreads

Pinterest

LinkedIn

BookBub

AllAuthor

YouTube

Jayne Omerod

Jayne Ormerod grew up in a small Ohio town then went on to a small-town Ohio college. Upon earning her degree in accountancy, she became a CIA (that’s not a sexy spy thing, but a Certified Internal Auditor.) She married a naval officer and off they sailed to see the world. After nineteen moves, they, along with their two rescue dogs Tiller and Scout, have settled into a cozy cottage by the sea. Jayne is the author of the Blonds at the Beach Mysteries, The Blond Leading the Blond, and Blond Luck. She has contributed seven short mysteries to various anthologies to include joining with the other To Fetch a Thief authors in Virginia is for Mysteries, Volumes I and II, and 50 Shades of Cabernet.

Website

Blog

Facebook

Twitter

Amazon Author

Rosemary Shomaker

Rosemary Shomaker writes about the unexpected in everyday life. She’s the woman you don’t notice in the grocery store or at church but whom you do notice at estate sales and wandering vacant lots. In all these places she’s collecting story ideas. Rosemary writes women’s fiction, paranormal, and mystery short stories, and she’s taking her first steps toward longer fiction, so stay tuned. She’s an urban planner by education, a government policy analyst by trade, and a fiction writer at heart. Rosemary credits Sisters in Crime with developing her craft and applauds the organization’s mission of promoting the ongoing advancement, recognition, and professional development of women crime writers.

Instagram

Twitter

I promised you a special recipe!

 

Jocelyn’s Peanut Butter Dog Treats

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup of peanut butter (smooth)
  • 2/3 cup of pumpkin puree (fresh or canned)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 cups of flour

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350o
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Beat the pumpkin puree, peanut butter, and eggs on medium to medium-high. Make sure everything is mixed well.
  4. Add flower and mix.
  5. Flour a surface and knead your dough. Roll out your dough to about a ½ or ¼ inch thickness. Choose fun cookie cutter shapes and cut out your cookies.
  6. Bake for about 20 minutes (until brown).

Enjoy!

Until next time,

Amy

 

It’s a Book Birthday!

Today’s the day! The Worst Noel is out for the whole world to read (and hopefully they will)!

If you subscribe to my (mostly) monthly newsletter, you may remember that I promised a behind-the-scenes look at the book, and I’ve chosen to share a couple things about the book that most people won’t know.

First, the book is dedicated to Nana. I don’t usually explain my dedications unless someone asks, but for this one I’ve decided to tell you a little bit about Nana.

My maternal grandmother, Nana passed away in 2008. She was married for almost 65 years to my grandfather (whom I posted about in 2016–you can read that post here). Christmas was her favorite holiday and so it seemed natural to dedicate this book to her. The angel who sits atop our Christmas tree every year was a gift from Nana, so it’s nice to have a special way to remember her each year during the holiday season.

Some of the recipes I share on my blog and in my newsletter each month have come from Nana, too: I’m thinking specifically of the Lemon Jell-O Cake, but I know there have been more.

Here’s the other thing you need to know about Nana: she’s the one I keep in the front of my mind when I write. I’ve always said that my goal when I write is to publish something that my grandmother and my kids would be proud to read, and I think I’ve done just that. So The Worst Noel is for her.

Another interesting tidbit about The Worst Noel is the character, Noley. I didn’t make up that name–it belongs to someone special.

Often people ask me to donate books for fundraisers and charity events, and I’m always pleased to do so. Every summer my church hosts a big musical event coupled with a silent auction. I’ve donated several books to the silent auction, and for the past few summers I’ve also donated the opportunity to name a character in an upcoming book.

The winner of the book-naming two summers ago was a young lady named Noley, whose last name I will not post here because I forgot to ask her parents for permission (!). Anyway, can you guess the name she chose for the book?

I hope you’ll find an opportunity to read the book, review it, tell your friends about it, tell random strangers about it, take out ads in your local papers singing its praises, etc… You get the idea. 🙂

Here’s the Amazon blurb about The Worst Noel:

Christmas is supposed to be a time of peace, love, and joy, but for Lilly Carlsen, this Christmas is murder.

As a single mom, small business owner, and president of the local Chamber of Commerce, the last thing she needs is to find a dead body on the floor of her jewelry shop on the busiest shopping day of the year. And as if that isn’t enough, Lilly has to deal with a deadbeat ex-husband, a mother with declining mental health, and two teenagers.

But when a second body turns up, Lilly finds herself squarely in the crosshairs of suspicion. Can she figure out who killed the victims before she becomes one herself? And will her family’s Christmas be merry…or scary?

If you haven’t had a chance to pick up a copy, here are the links you’ll need:

Kindlehttps://amzn.to/2ynjiHQ

Nook, Kobo, iBooks: https://www.books2read.com/u/m2vBEO

Thanks in advance to anyone who has bought the book, reviewed it, or passed along the info about it! You don’t know how much I appreciate it.

Until next time,

Amy

 

First Tuesday Recipes for November

It’s November already! You know what that means…comfort food, whether it’s a casserole or a meal in frequent rotation, or a dish your family has always enjoyed for Thanksgiving.

This month I’ve got three great recipes for you–one is a casserole my family loves. It’s easy to throw together and has a great mix of flavors and textures. One is a breakfast treat that we make about once a year (and yes, we made it this past weekend). It makes a lot, so it’s great to have when you’re entertaining holiday guests. The third is a recipe for potatoes that are to die for. A friend gave me the recipe years ago.

One of these days I’ll do some light recipes, but like I said, these are comfort foods. Comfort food is usually a little heavier and more calorie-laden than light dishes.

Curry Chicken Casserole

2 cans green beans, drained

2 cans cream of chicken soup, undiluted

1 8-oz. can water chestnuts, chopped

3/4 c. mayonnaise

1/2 t. curry powder

4 chicken breast, cooked and diced

1 t. lemon juice

2 c. grated cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place beans on bottom of 13×9″ baking dish. Mix remaining ingredients, except cheese. Spread mixture over beans. Top with cheese.

Bake for 45 minutes.

 

Monkey Bread

Two 1-pound loaves frozen white bread dough

1 1/4 c. sugar, divided

1/4 c. packed brown sugar

1/4 c. milk (not skim)

1 T. butter

1 3/4 t. cinnamon, divided

cooking spray

Thaw bread dough in fridge for 12 hours or follow quick-thaw instructions on back of package.

Combine 1 c. sugar, brown sugar, milk, butter, and 1 1/4 t. cinnamon in a saucepan. Bring to boil and cook for 1 minute, allowing mixture to boil the entire time. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes.

In a shallow bowl, combine 1/4 c. sugar and 1/2 t. cinnamon; stir well.

Coat Bundt pan with cooking spray.

Cut each loaf of bread into 24 equal portions. Roll each piece between palms to form a ball and roll ball in sugar mixture. Layer the dough balls in the Bundt pan.

Pour warm sugar syrup over the dough. Cover pan and let rise in a warm place, free from drafts, for 35 minutes or until doubled in bulk. I preheat the oven on to 200 degrees while I prepare the dough, then I turn the oven off and place the pan in the oven for the rising time. Works very well.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Uncover and bake for 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Immediately loosen edges of bread with a knife or thin spatula. Place a plate upside-down on top of the Bundt pan and invert the bread onto the plate. Drizzle remaining syrup over the bread.

 

Parmesan Smashed Potatoes

3 lbs. red potatoes, unpeeled

1 T. plus 2 t. salt

1 1/2 c. half-and-half

1 stick butter

1/2 c. sour cream

1/2 c. freshly-grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 t. pepper

Place potatoes and 1 T. salt in a large saucepan with water to cover. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer, covered, for 25-35 minutes, until potatoes are completely tender. Drain.

In a small saucepan, heat the butter and half-and-half.

Put the potatoes in a large bowl and use a hand mixer on low speed for a few seconds to break them up.

Slowly add the butter-cream mixture to the potatoes, mixing on the lowest speed. The last quarter of the butter mixture should be folded in by hand.

Fold in the sour cream, Parmesan cheese, remaining salt, and pepper. Taste for seasoning and serve immediately.

If the potatoes are too thick, add more hot cream and butter.

To reheat, place smashed potatoes in a baking dish and sprinkle with extra Parmesan cheese. Bake at 400 degrees for 20-30 minutes or until top is lightly browned and potatoes are heated through.

Enjoy! And as always, if you’ve got a great recipe to share, please email me at amymreadeauthor@gmail.com and I’d love to include your contribution!

Until next time,

Amy

The Last Tuesday Book Round-Up

If you’re anything like me, you can’t believe it’s already the end of October. How did that happen?

I’ve been doing a lot of reading this month in a variety of genres, and I’ve enjoyed everything. As I was reminded over the weekend, sometimes getting out of our comfort zone is a good thing because it forces us to read something we might not otherwise have chosen.

If I could remember the order in which I read these books, I would present them that way. Since I don’t remember, I’ll present them in alphabetical order by author name.

The Secrets at Morocco House by Beverley Carter

I’m reading this one right now. I chose it because I was challenged on social media to pick a book on my Kindle written by an author I’ve never read. Do you have books like that on your ereader or in your To-Be-Read pile? If so, I issue that same challenge to you: pick a book you already have by an author you’ve never read. Come back next month and tell us what you read and what you thought of it!

If you don’t have any such books on your ereader or in your TBR pile, no problem. Just head to your closest library and do the same thing.

Devonshire Scream by Laura Childs

This was a cozy-ish mystery set in Charleston, South Carolina. The main character is the owner of a tea shop that I wish existed in real life where I live. A jewel heist, a tragic death, and a frenzied search for the killer(s) made it an exciting read.

Herbs and Herb Lore of Colonial America by the Colonial Dames of America

The title of this book tells you more or less everything you need to know about it. It was short and fascinating and I used it for research for an upcoming book.

The Chocolate Labradoodle Caper by Phyllis Entis

This is the second book in the Damien Dickens Mystery Series, and I enjoyed it every bit as much as the first book. Damien “Dick” and Millie Dickens, a husband-and-wife team of private investigators, are pulled into a devious plot that reaches across international borders and threatens their lives.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

In the category of Classics-and-With-Good-Reason, we have this masterpiece by one of the greatest authors of the twentieth century. The Jazz-Age story of how the lives of Nick Carraway, Jay Gatsby, and Tom and Daisy Buchanan intersect reminds readers that you can’t leave the past behind, but you can’t relive it, either.

Teach Yourself Google Analytics by Michael Miller

For reasons that should be obvious, I wouldn’t recommend reading this unless you absolutely have to. That said, if you have to learn Google Analytics, this is a great place to start.

Next up for me is Bear Witness to Murder by Meg Mims. I’ll tell you more about it next month!

What are you reading? I hope you’ll share your current reads with the rest of us.

Until next time,

Amy

 

We Are the World Blogfest #WATWB

It’s the last Friday of the month–time again for some good news to take you into November with a smile.

The story I’ve chosen for this month is about the invention of a new technology that uses clean energy to provide drinking water in water-scarce regions of the world.

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: Eric Lahti, Inderpreet Uppal, Shilpa Garg, Mary Gieseand Roshan Radhakrishnan.

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

Author Interview: Jane Kelly

Today I welcome Jane Kelly, author of several books set in and around Philadelphia, PA, and south Jersey. She’s also very active in Mystery Writers of America. I first heard Jane speak on a panel at Malice Domestic, an annual conference for readers and writers of mysteries. She and I have kept in touch since then, and I’m honored that she’s here for an interview today.

Let’s start by talking about your new book. What’s the title and what’s it all about?

My amateur sleuth, Meg Daniels, visits another shore town in Greetings from Ventnor City.  After her successful mission in Missing You in Atlantic City, she finds herself viewed as somewhat of a missing persons specialist—as well as an expert in the 1960s. Reluctantly, she reaches back to 1968, a very different 1960s from the 1964 of the Atlantic City book, to locate a Ventnor college student who has not been seen since a day of protests at the Miss America pageant. She takes along a new, temporary, investigating partner, a rock star who aspires to see how the other 99% lives.

Tell us a little about your other books.

Killing Time in Ocean City, Cape Mayhem and Wrong Beach Island are light mysteries. I always call them polite and warn people, if they like blood and guts, my books are not for them. My amateur sleuth solves crimes in New Jersey beach towns where visitors do not expect trouble. Missing You in Atlantic City is the first book that adds a historical element when Meg takes on a cold case.

(Click on the covers below to be redirected to Amazon if you want to learn more…Amy)

  

 

   

I also have written books featuring different sleuths set in Philadelphia that I published as e-books for Kindle only. The Writing in Time series deals with cold cases set against the backdrop of significant moments in Philadelphia social history e.g. the September Swoon of the 1964 Phillies. I have only written the first of the Widow Lady series that starts out in 1960 in a neighborhood much like the one where I grew up.

Tell me about your inspiration for Meg Daniels, the main character in your New Jersey beach towns series.

I started reading female sleuths in the 1980s: Sue Grafton, Sara Paretsky, Marcia Muller. I especially loved Carole Berry’s books. Her amateur detective was an office temp, whose lack of investigative credentials made me wonder if I could overcome my own lack of technical knowledge and create an amateur detective.

Do you spend time at the Jersey shore? What are some of your favorite places to visit?

When I was a baby, my family always spent the summer in Wildwood Crest, but my mother protested that everyone else got a vacation and she just moved her job. So after the age of three, I never again spent the entire summer at the shore. For several years, my parents would take me to a very elegant guest house in Ventnor where my mother could relax. In the winter, my father, a fair-skinned redhead, would take us to Atlantic City for winter weekends.

As I got older, my Philadelphia classmates often got to bring ‘a friend’ with them on vacation. So I became a ‘friend’ and spent time in many different locales: Ocean City, Cape May, Long Beach Island, Stone Harbor, Strathmere, Sea Isle City. Even different areas within each locale. So, I love revisiting all these locales—at any time of year.

My favorite spot? I love the Oyster Creek Inn in Leed’s Point. No matter how often we go, my friends and I always take pictures. We age, but the scenery stays gorgeous.

What does a typical work day look like for you?

I wish I had a typical day. I once set up a daily regimen that started with a brisk walk. On the first day, I took the walk, came home and slept for three hours. I abandoned that routine, but no matter what I have to do on any day, I make sure I write first.

Can you tell us something about Meg Daniels that the rest of the world doesn’t know?

She shares everything with her readers. They have full access to her internal dialog, but there may be some aspects of her past that she hasn’t revealed yet. Not even to me.

What is the hardest thing about writing, in your opinion?

I love writing. I adore editing. But putting the story together in a clear and well-paced order is the  most challenging aspect for me.

Who are your favorite authors to read?

I read a lot of non-fiction, mostly Cold War history and memoir.  Right now I have two fiction projects: 1) to reread classic mysteries, and 2) to read the books of the writers I meet. I am horribly behind on both.

What is your favorite movie and why?

The summer Jurassic Park opened I didn’t see it for weeks because Kenneth Branagh’s Much Ado About Nothing was playing in the same theater and I would walk up to the box office and say “One for Jur . . . Much Ado About Nothing.”

I also love older romantic comedies from the era when I was the same age as the characters. I would love to hang out with the crowd in Notting Hill.

What advice would you give your twenty-year-old self?

“When you are forty, you are going to discover that you like writing novels. You might want to get started now.”

Describe yourself in three words.

I can only say what I aspire to be. Open-minded. Humorous. Kind.

Are you in a writing group or a critique group?

No. I am afraid of them. Always have been. I think I would be too easily discouraged. On the flip side, I don’t feel qualified to give advice. I know what I like but I don’t believe that makes it right.

Is there anything I didn’t ask that you wanted me to?

Want to meet for lunch sometime?

Definitely! You name the time and place. Thanks so much for being here today, Jane.

Until next time,

Amy