The New Writing Machine…

…so I honestly have been putting off getting a new laptop, for several reasons.

My laptop of almost 7 years was my best friend. It helped me create 3 blogs, edit thousands of photos, and never shut down because it was tired.

It did NOT have Windows 10, which I loathe, and everything was right at my fingertips.

But it did indeed get tired. And would not turn on if it wasn’t plugged in; and would never charge.

So for the past two hours, I have been “setting up” my new laptop. I have logged in codes and passwords 37 times (I wish I was lying, but I’m not), and am still fighting to get Office downloaded so I can get my books saved on here.

I had to force it to download Chrome so I can function like I am used to, and does anyone really use Bing?

No; seriously…does anyone use Bing?

All of this so I can focus on getting my stories cleaned up, and start submitting to agents.

I know it will all be worth it in the end, because I truly feel my stories will bring joy to others.

Microsoft 10: you bring no joy to me 😦

Brownies and Broomsticks – Bailey Cates

Another weekly trip to my library to trade in books for new ones, and I found 4 cozy mysteries from the Magical Bakery Mystery by Bailey Cates. I finished this first installment in less than a day, and have already started book 3. They did not have book 2, so I figured I would just wing it anyhow and grab all of them that they had.

Brownies and Broomsticks cover image

I was not sure how I felt about a cozy mystery that included Witches, but I was quickly sucked in by the great characters and descriptive writing.

Katie Lightfoot moves from Ohio to Savannah, Georgia to open a bakery with her Aunt Lucy and Uncle Ben. Little does she know that her Aunt Lucy has much to share with her about the fact that she is a Witch, as well as her parents, who chose to not let her know about that side of her life.

Her first week in Savannah has her reeling from that revelation, confused about the intense anger between two handsome men who are both showing an interest in her, and the woman murdered in her car outside of Honeybee’s Bakery.

Unwilling to let her Uncle Ben take the wrap when he is pegged as a suspect, Katie is quickly on the trail of the murderer, much to the chagrin of Detective Quinn. It’s Katie’s persistence, and Quinn’s finally acceptance of what she is learning before he does, that gets Uncle Ben off the hook.

There were two recipes at the end of the story, one for Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies, and one for Cheddar-Sage Scones. A quick scan let me know I had all the ingredients for the Scones, so I whipped up a quick batch. I only had a couple bites of one as I am sure it’s not approved Weight Watchers food 😊 It was savory, and would definitely be a great addition to any meal or for an afternoon snack. The only thing I substituted was instead of dried sage, I only had ground sage. I should have doubled the ground sage, as it didn’t have quite enough sage flavor for my liking!

Cheddar-Sage Scones

Cheddar-Sage Scones

2 ¼ C all purpose flour

1 Tbs baking powder

½ tsp salt

1 tsp dried sage

6 Tbs butter, cut into 1-inch pieces and chilled in the freezer for 15 minutes

2/3 C grated sharp cheddar cheese

1 egg

½ C milk

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Set aside ¼ C of flour in a small bowl. In a medium bowl, combine 2 C flour, baking powder, salt, and sage. Add chilled butter and cut into flour by rubbing with your fingers or using a pastry blender until the consistency of rough cornmeal.

Add the grated cheddar to the ¼ C flour and toss to coat. Shake to remove extra flour and add to pastry mixture, tossing with your hands to evenly distribute the cheese.

Whisk together the egg and milk. Add to flour mixture, stirring lightly with a fork until ingredients are moistened and just hold together.

Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead 20 times. Add more flour to the surface if needed. Pat into an 8 inch circle, slightly higher in the center than on the edges. Using a very sharp knife, cut 8 equal wedges. Place scones on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, slightly apart from one another. Bake for 12-14 minutes, until golden brown.

Button Holed – Kylie Logan

Another great first installment in the cozy mystery genre by Kylie Logan! Josie Giancola has just opened her button shop, being a leading expert in the country on buttons. Finding the hottest actress in the industry dead in her shop, along with a couple odd break-ins, and Josie is working the case.

Button Holed cover image

There are any number of suspects, and Detective Nevin Riley needs the help only Josie can provide; tracking down the origin of a rare button found under the body of the deceased. Dodging her ex-husband, as well as the thugs who seem to be following her, has Josie racing against the clock to find the murderer, before they finish her off for good.

Coming up tomorrow, another first installment by a new author, along with the recipe I tested out from the story!

Coming Out of The Writing Closet

It is scary; painful, and putting yourself out there for everyone to judge.

I have been writing stories for 30 years, and have 4 different stories completely written.

Am I ready to share them? Hell NO!

But no one ever wrote the next great book by saving them in their Word file.

I wrote a letter to an author who captured me in 1987; and he encouraged me and helped me.

Yet I keep these stories hidden.

I have over 3000 followers on my blog where I review books. Am I strong enough to let someone review MY book?

How do you authors do it? I have to learn to do this. I have something to share, in many ways. Cozy mysteries, dramas, and fantasy.

I have gotten to a point in my life that I truly believe; it is now or never.

Fingers crossed; I am scouting an agent, and hoping for the best!

 

My Personal Library!

Always a work in process, I have a few more wooden crates in my garage being spray painted; yes, this was my best option when buying a new house and building a library before worrying about any other room.

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I have books stacked on crates, items that need to be hung on the walls, and still have to put in my tin ceiling that Menard’s denied me over a year ago.

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Still unpacking books, and trying to make room.

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I love too many stories to make a theme in this library, other than reading books!

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French Fried – Kylie Logan

I finished the second book in the Ethnic Eats Mystery series rather quickly, and am hoping that the 3rd book is available at my library.

French Fried cover image

This time around the theme for the Terminal restaurant is French food, and along with that is the murder of a very close friend of Laurel and her Aunt Sophie. There are too many suspects, and not enough clues, but with Laurel’s determination, the help of her boyfriend Declan, and asking the right questions, Laurel again helps solve the case.

I liked this book better than the first, Irish Stewed, but that may be because I am now familiar with the characters, and the writing style of the author.

I know I have a cozy mystery series in my library that I had started quite some time ago, with a couple books I have not finished, so I think instead of getting too many books from the library today (yeah, right!), I will go to my own library and see what is there to read!

 

What I’m Watching!

Watching? Not reading? Yes; watching. I hate to admit it, but lately I have been spending more time watching tv than reading books. But in my defense; I have read 4 books this past weekend, so I think I’m winning!

It is too hot in Michigan right now to even think about leaving the house. Unless if the power goes out and your house warms up to those 110 degree heat indexes. Then just leave…

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Watching: Shameless. Two of my daughters have been raving about this show, and as I woke up before 4 am this morning and started coffee (yes, that is 23 hours awake right now), I caught about the first 5 episodes before I had to get in the car and drive all over West Michigan.

Side note: it was an awesome day with family and friends, so feeling good!

Also watched the movie Game night, with Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams. Loved it. The second rental from Family Video was Paul, Apostle of Christ. Watched it twice, and will be adding it to my collection.

Game Night Image redbox

Paul, Apostle of Christ Movie Image

Rewatching: Sons of Anarchy. Missed the gang, so I am back into the middle of season 2 and with this hot weather, I have plenty of inside time to make a dent in it.

Also rewatching Ozark (NetFlix), for the 3rd time. Anxiously waiting for season two on August 31st!

Always Watching: I have to sleep with the tv on; so I am always watching documentaries on Christianity, History, and various historical figures from Presidents, to artists, to anything I want to learn about. I also binge watch British game shows (they call them panel shows), and 8 out of 10 Cats Does Countdown, Q1, and Would I Lie to You are my favorites. I cannot get enough of Jimmy Carr, Jon Richardson, Sean Lock, and David Mitchell.

When all of this stuff is not occupying me, along with chasing daughters around with everything they have going on, my two boys are always good for entertainment. In case if you have not met Benjamin (Bare Bottom Benjamin Blue), and Franklin (Furless Franklin), before; these are my two hairless cats that pretty much run the house, and my life.

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Do you have television favorites you cannot get enough of?