Six more weeks of winter?! Cozy time!

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Make the most of the long winter ahead (according to one certain groundhog with a persistent shadow) and use the cozy time to curl up little mystery. Well, cozy time for everyone but Venetia. She’s too busy figuring out who murdered her cousin.

And why.

 

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A real-life mystery, but not of the Dateline variety

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By A Tower magazine (Scanned cover of pulp magazine) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

I’ve been down the rabbit hole of technical difficulties over the last few days, some mine, some belonging to others. But one had a mystery twist.

My mom, in the last few years, has taken up photography. I’ve always enjoyed it, my dad got into it a long time ago, and then suddenly my mom decided she wanted to be Annie Leibovitz. So she’s jumped into into it with both lenses and as a consequence, has many photos.

But hadn’t exactly devised a system to keep them straight.

So yesterday she was looking for a specific group of photos but couldn’t find them. Anywhere. And my dad, resident IT person, couldn’t figure out where they’d gone either. While we were talking on the phone, my mom said she unearthed one.

“Great,” I said, “right-click it and find the properties.” Find the file path, find the photos. The plan couldn’t fail.

“I’d moved it to another folder, the rest aren’t here.” Plan failed.

“Huh,” I told her. “You handled the evidence with your bare hands and now we can’t collect DNA.”

Alas.

But I was determined, and in exchange for promised lemon-ricotta pancakes, I vowed to find the photos. I’ve written a mystery, how hard could it be to solve one in real life?

Well, yeah.

After collecting on the pancakes (delicious, by the way), and dealing with my own technical issues (far less glamorous), I endeavored to uphold my end of the deal. A deal’s a deal, after all.

I settled in before her computer. I tried organizing by date. Nope.

I tried searching by date. Nope.

“There,” she said “that’s where I copied them.” I narrowed my eyes at the photos in the folder. An idea dawned.

“Are those all from the same batch?” I asked.

“Yes,” she told me.

Using the handy search box that bleached itself white in the last update for reasons unknown to all except those who hate corneas, I looked for an image name one number below one in the file.

Bingo.

That picture came up. A right click on properties told me exactly where it was hiding.

Gotcha, elusive photos.

I turned to my mom, who was now aglow with relief. “You destroyed the DNA evidence, but we still had fingerprints.”

(Dramatic music).

Case closed.

Check out my recaps of the hit new show “All My Traitors.” Recap of episode 2, “Lock Him Up” is available now!

Check out  my full-length novels: 

Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only)   

Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) 

 Her Cousin Much Removed

 The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management.

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

Peruse Montraps Publishing.

TV Talk: Guilt

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If you’ve never heard of “Guilt,” here’s all I need to say: Giles from “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” with an American accent. You in?

I thought so.

A summer offering from Freeform TV — once rather inappropriately known as ABC Family, given other shows like “Pretty Little Liars,” — “Guilt” is loaded with the technicolor soapy unreality that’s all Freeform. Only set in London.

In this kinda Amanda Knoxian drama, British police accuse American Grace of the murder of her Irish flatmate, Molly. As has become standard, the mystery spins its tangled tendrils over the course of the season.

And if you feel like there’s something strangely familiar about the young actress playing Grace, you should: She’s Daisy Head, Anthony Stewart Head’s daughter. I can’t help but imagine them practicing their American accents together, maybe over tea and crumpets. Because that is all that British people are allowed to eat. And tea sandwiches. That’s why they don’t have the same obesity problems. Tea sandwiches are very small.

But I digress.

One of the things I enjoy about true British television is the diversity of appearance. Everyone is not smoothed and sanded down to a uniform look; they don’t seem like they’d lined up at the plastic surgeon to be given the #7.

Apparently Freeform TV felt that needed to change, and “Guilt” has that same air as their other shows, that insistent emphasis on attractiveness, so much so that it can distract from the story line.

But I’ve got to admit, it’s a pretty good story line. I binged it OnDemand and caught up to real time pretty quickly. Given that the season finale airs next week, that’s some binging.

Will “Guilt” change your life? Unless you’re one of the characters in this glossy mystery, I’d say not. But it’s definitely makes the list of a worthwhile summer “Guilt”y (see what I did there?!) pleasures.

Check out  my full-length novels,  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only), and the sequel, Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) which is now available!

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

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Cracking Characters to Push Plot

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By Brocken Inaglory (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

It’s so humid here today, it’s like sitting in a sponge. I have to run the air even though it’s not that warm.

Sorry, planet Earth.

As you know, I’ve been having my writing struggles this week. I’ve gotten some fantastic tricks and hints from everyone, though (thank you!) and amazing support from others who know what it’s like to try to chip your way through a writing wall.

And I think I know where the problem is. It’s my characters.

I’ve written before about how plotting nearly always comes back to character. What do your characters want? What will they do to get it? Who are they? How do they see the world? What are their secrets?

My WIP is wall-to-wall with characters, but I haven’t taken the time to get to know them. Bad writer.

In a cozy mystery, someone has to want something or not want something or want to hide something enough to kill over it. How can I get to the heart of it if I don’t know my characters well enough to see what motivates them?

I repeat my self-scolding: Bad writer.

So I’m going back through my cast of characters to get to know them a little better. And for anyone who finds themselves in a similar situation, with a plot that won’t resolve, it’s never a bad idea to go back to the source of all plot points.

Your characters.

Check out  my full-length novels,  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only), and the sequel, Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) which is now available!

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

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H Time With Her Cousin, Much Removed

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cozy final coverI wasn’t going to do this. I swear, I wasn’t going to, but then somehow fellow A-to-Z Challenge blogger John Davis Frain came across last year’s H post, and it’s Saturday, and I have stuff to do, and the sun is shining for the first time in nearly a week, and I guess what I’m saying here is please enjoy my recycled post. It’s just good for the environment.

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Sorry folks. It had to be done. I know, I know, it’s all kinds of self-promotion-y, but sometimes you just have to do a little horn tooting, break out the old soapbox and wave your carnival cane. A carnival cane is a thing, right?

Anyway, with H we are talking about my cozy mystery, Her Cousin, Much Removedwhich is available for Kindle, and free to read with Kindle Unlimited or Amazon Prime.

What’s that you say, hypothetical reader? I seem to be doing the bulk of the talking? Point taken. Now please let me get on with flogging my wares.

Venetia Shipman only wanted her platter back, the one she lent her sorta cousin, Delenda. But now Delenda’s been murdered, and that’s only the beginning of Venetia’s problems. Yep, Delenda was up to some not-so-great stuff, and Venetia’s the one who’s paying for it.

See? Was that so terrible? What’s that, hypothetical reader? You can’t wait to read Her Cousin, Much Removed? It sounds like a fun, mysterious romp with twists, humor and, of course, platters? Oh, stop, hypothetical reader. You flatter me.

Check out  my full-length novels,  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only), and the sequel, Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) which is now available!

Sign up for my spamless newsletter. And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

H is for Her (Cousin, Much Removed)

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Sorry folks. It had to be done. I know, I know, it’s all kinds of self-promotion-y, but sometimes you just have to do a little horn tooting, break out the old soapbox and wave your carnival cane. A carnival cane is a thing, right?

Anyway, with H we are talking about my cozy mystery, Her Cousin, Much Removedwhich is available for Kindle, and free to read with Kindle Unlimited or Amazon Prime.

What’s that you say, hypothetical reader? I seem to be doing the bulk of the talking? Point taken. Now please let me get on with flogging my wares.

Venetia Shipman only wanted her platter back, the one she lent her sorta cousin, Delenda. But now Delenda’s been murdered, and that’s only the beginning of Venetia’s problems. Yep, Delenda was up to some not-so-great stuff, and Venetia’s the one who’s paying for it.

See? Was that so terrible? What’s that, hypothetical reader? You can’t wait to read Her Cousin, Much Removed? It sounds like a fun, mysterious romp with twists, humor and, of course, platters? Oh, stop, hypothetical reader. You flatter me.

Check out  my full-length novels,  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only), and the sequel, Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) which is now available!

Sign up for my spamless newsletter. And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

 

It’s Read Tuesday!

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Today is Read Tuesday, and that’s a great thing for readers, because you can get a bunch of discounted books. And in honor of Read Tuesday, my cozy mystery, Her Cousin, Much Removed is only 99 cents. That’s 67% off!

But my book isn’t the only book on sale. There are other Kindle books, paperbacks, and books from Smashwords. There are even some free-Kindle-book-with-paperback-purchase Matchbooks.

Pick up something to read, give books to friends, and support indie authors all at the same time. You really can do three things at once.

Check out   The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only).

 Sign up for my spamless newsletter. And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!