Showing posts from 2012

Review at the Baker Street Blog

I did a guest post at the Baker Street Blog today! I reviewed the book, Sherlock Holmes and the Affair in Transylvania by Gerry O'Hara. Check it out!

Writer's Police Academy 2012 - Police Cruiser

I got to sit in (the front of) a police cruiser at the Writer's Police Academy. (The officers at the Academy were so kind to us writers!) The officer explained how he writes up reports right in the car (on the laptop you can see in the pics). The front of the car is full of electronic equipment and the back is quite small. There's no barrier between the front and the back, either, so anyone arrested literally sits in the back of the car as though it's a regular ride to Grandma's house. There's also a very cool feature of the camera on this car. It's like a DVR. You ever watch a TV show and think, 'hey, I want to see this from the beginning' so you hit record and start it over - even though you only turned on the TV halfway through? Well, this car is equipped with that sort of tech. The officer saw someone run a red light - right in front of him! He hit the record button and it caught the incident - even though it happened before record was hit

We Have A Winner!

We have a winner for the Book Lover's Holiday Giveaway Hop. And the winner is... Drumroll... WWE11 Congratulations, WWE11!!!!! (I've contacted you via your e-mail to select which book you'd like to receive.) Thank you all who visited and entered the giveaway. Happy Holidays to everybody and good luck on any other Blog Hop Contests you've entered.

Book Lover's Holiday Giveaway Hop - Enter to Win!

 Check out the Book Lover's Holiday Giveaway Hop . The winner will receive  ONE of the following e-books (via Smashwords): From the Ella Westin Mysteries : From the Case Files of the Hudson Agency : The first in the Georgia H. Mysteries : The first in the Masked Rider Mystery series : All are short stories except for the Masked Rider: Origins , which is a novel. You can look here for info. all about which book you might like to select! To enter the giveaway just leave a comment with a way for me to contact you via e-mail for notification if you are the winner. (A link to your Blog with e-mail in your profile is fine.) If you do not leave a way for me to contact you, you are disqualified and another winner will be selected. Extra entries : 1.) Become a follower of my Blog 2.) Sign up for The Oberth Books Newsletter (receive 2 extra entries!) (You have to state this in the comments of this blog) 3.) Like my Fa

Princess Kate and Prince William are going to be a Mommy & Daddy!

How sweet! How fun for the happy couple - except the Princess is in the hospital because she has a condition that 1% of moms-to-be get (excessive morning sickness). I know, it sounds a little silly at first glance but the morning sickness is so bad, you can actually dehydrate and lose all sorts of vitamins and minerals that your body - not to mention the tiny fetus - requires. As she's a Royal, I have no doubt she'll be well taken care of. But how exciting is that? I just got a niece three months ago and there is no end of joy. Just like my sister's little one, I wonder if it's a boy or a girl. Can't wait to find out who the next heir to the throne is. I love good news. Good world news that everyone can smile at.

'Debt of Bones' by Terry Goodkind

I found Legend of the Seeker on Hulu Plus and gave it a try. The slightest hints of humor got me to keep watching (the old naked man with the chicken was too weird NOT to keep watching). Then I found out this TV series was based on books. I went to the library and found Debt of Bones (Sword of Truth, #0) by Terry Goodkind, which is a prequel to the Sword of Truth series that the TV show is based on. Unfortunately, Debt of Bones didn't impress me. It actually read a teensy bit...juvenile in one sense, despite the gore that I really didn't appreciate. I'm one of those people that keeps reading even if I don't like something. (Thank God I did because one absolutely despicable part was explained satisfactorily.) This is a small book and a quick read and in this case, that's a wonderful thing. I like the show (which I've heard didn't follow the novels enough for some fans) but I just did not like Debt of Bones ; not the writing or the gore o

What An Animal Reading Challenge VI 2013

I've signed up for the 2013 What An Animal Reading Challenge VI hosted by Yvonne at Socrates' Book Reviews Blog . In this Reading Challenge, you have to read six books with at least one of the following requirements: a. there is an animal in the title of the book
 b. there is an animal on the cover of the book
 c. an animal plays a major role in the book
 d. a main character is (or turns into) an animal (define that however you'd like)     Right now I'm reading Tarzan of the Apes which fits all the above categories, but of course, this challenge is only 2013. (Challenge V has already started, and it ends at the end of February but I don't think I could read another five books along these lines by then!)   This'll be a fun one - there are enough options to fit that I should be able to find six books in the course of a year.

Cruisin' Thru The Cozies 2013 Reading Challenge

I've signed up for the 2013 Cruisin' Thru The Cozies Reading Challenge hosted by Socrates' Book Reviews  - can you believe it's almost 2013?! The 2012 Cruisin' Thru The Cozies Reading Challenge was the only Challenge I beat. This year was rather disorganized and distracting. Things in my life have settled down to a dull roar; my health is under control, the Blueberry (my sister's baby) is born, we've all moved and a routine is starting to descend upon us once again. (Thank goodness!) I'm going for Level 3 Super Slueth again. That's reading 13 mysteries in 2013. I can do that with my eyes closed. Well, not really since this involves reading... I picked the following books for the  You Have The Right To Remain Silent Reading Challenge hosted by Charlotte (Buried in Books) at Goodreads  and both challenges allow crossovers. Cruisin' Thru The Cozies tentative list : 1) Sherlock Holmes & The Veiled Detective by David Stuart Davies

Review of Die Buying by Laura DiSilverio

Die Buying by Laura DiSilverio Die Buying is the first of the ‘Mall Cop Mysteries’ and the cover has a picture of a Segway in a mall. As a lover of ‘cozy’’ mysteries, I thought this set up would make for a fun read and it did. EJ Ferris is the main character, an injured war vet who just wants to be a cop but can only get a job as a mall cop. Various people delight in reminding her of her duties which include giving mall patrons directions and watching the security cameras, not investigating the murder of an unpopular local businessman she found nude in a display window. I liked the book but for me, it went a little slow in the middle. EJ kept thinking about the murder and tried to put the pieces together but with no real movement until we got to the end. I liked the humor, I LOVED the grandpa and other interesting characters EJ is surrounded by. (I adored EJ’s view of her cat!) As an animal lover, I was nervous how the book started with a reptile escape and hoped the author

Kobo - 'Honeymoon Homicide'

Honeymoon Homicide is #210 in the Kobo eBookstore in the 'Mystery & Suspense/Women Sleuths' category. I don't usually look at rankings but I was adding links and double checking that they worked when I happened to see the number at Kobo. It's very exciting! (UPDATE: I just found out it was at #195 last month. How cool is that? In the top 200 list!) 99¢ - 8,383 words Ella is awakened in the middle of the night by her new husband. But it's not what you think – he wants her to solve a murder. At 4 a.m. Can she do it? Or will she add another homicide to her honeymoon? This is the second story in the Ella Westin Mysteries. Kobo I Smashwords I B&N I Amazon  I Apple  I Diesel

Arrow episode 3

I talked about Arrow yesterday on my blog . WARNING: Spoilers for the first three episodes. I missed the first few minutes because I had a phone call (picture but no sound), then the reception went down (no picture or sound) but I got it working and the first line dialogue I hear is: Guy: "You should come with to meet him." Oliver: "I slept with his fiancĂ© ." Guy: "That was before the wedding." Oliver: "It was at the rehearsal dinner." Guy: "Yeah, that's before the wedding." Then they both laugh. What a shame. That's great if it's a sleazy episode of Friends but this is our hero. It annoys me. For the third week in a row, I'm not impressed. I should probably stop watching, instead of watching and complaining on my blog. It's just so difficult to give up Paul Blackthorne again! I actually think it's a good show and done well (even if the writers are going one way when I'd go another - and

Arrow the TV Series

First of all - I have not read or seen any original Arrow material, this new TV show is my first exposure. I watched the first episode of Arrow a couple weeks ago. I love superhero movies, TV shows and books. Could that be why I wasn't all that impressed by Arrow ? There are so many similar storylines, I'm not grabbed by this one. Starting a series with a man cheating on his girlfriend (with her sister) is boring to me. And he's supposed to be our hero? I don't see it. He's cute, he's got that going for him but that's about it for me. And his disguise is a hood? I guess that beats Superman but this show is presented as serious and moody. However, I adore Paul Blackthorne , I loved him from the moment I started watching Dresden Files when it first aired on the SciFi Channel back in 2007. In this, he plays a cop, the father of the sisters the Arrow guy 'dated'. The one daughter is alive and well. The one that was cheating is now dead (sort

Writer's Police Academy - Handcuffs Are Uncomfortable

Writer's Police Academy is a unique convention for writers to experience the things they write about. In any regular writer's convention, a class named 'Handcuffing and Arrest Technique' would likely be chock full of good information for a mystery writer to compose a realistic arrest scene. But in THIS convention, you actually get arrested! You can't really see in the picture but you always want to arrest a person with their palms facing out so that even if they've hidden a key, they can't get at the lock. I've got to tell you, I struggled and moved my hands and wrists and there would be no way to twist my hands anywhere near the lock. I NEVER noticed prisoners (or anyone in cuffs) with their palms facing together or out but that night I was flipping through the channels in the hotel room and they had a documentary on a prison and they happened to show a prisoner in that lovely orange jumpsuit and his hands were cuffed with his p

Writer's Police Academy 2012

Writer's Police Academy 2012 was - wait for it - AWESOME! I don't know how Lee Lofland , the instructors, the volunteers and everyone else involved with putting it together topped last year but they did. Check back for posts about the different classes and demos. All my non-work time has been spent with the new addition to our family - my cute little month-old niece - so blogging has taken a back seat lately! But rest assured, I'm back and can't wait to catch you up on the Writer's Police Academy, as well as other things going on. I'll write soon!

Wordless Wednesday - So That's Why I Find My Magnets On The Floor


Wordless Wednesday - I'm Watchin' The Coats Just Like You Asked!


Wordless Wednesday - Boxed In


Sprinkle With Murder by Jenn McKinlay Review

A great new series! Melanie Cooper and Angie Delaura own a bakery, Fairy Tale Cupcakes, and their first big order is 500 cupcakes for a wedding. A murder takes place, Mel finds the body and becomes the prime suspect. The likely murder weapon? A cupcake, of course! Mel and Angie are so entertaining and have so much fun running their bakery that you can't help but taste the chocolate. I highly recommend reading this fun series.

Wordless Wednesday - Outlaw, Security Guard


Wordless Wednesday - But You're So Warm!


Happy Anniversary to My Darling Sister and Her Husband

Happy Anniversary! {Photo would be inserted here if the happy & adorable couple weren't so shy. Ugh!} I love how happy my sister is, all settled into a wonderful marriage - and FINALLY moved back to Chicago! I love having a brother, too. Our families blend together well. For Mother's Day, our side and his side met at my sister's new house and then we went for Chinese food. It was so much fun - I look forward to many shared holidays and expanding the family. Cheers to many more years - decades - to my sister and new brother!! To coincide with this auspicious occasion, I've published Toxic Train , the 3rd Ella Westin Mystery. When a fellow train passenger is murdered right in front of her eyes, newlywed Ella Westin thinks it's great that all the suspects are trapped with her. But when she can't check out backgrounds or confirm motives - or lack of - she soon finds herself in over her head. Then an unthinking Joe seems more determined to sabota

Wordless Wednesday - Whatch`ya Lookin' At?


Wordless Wednesday - Happy Birthday, Grandpa!


Wordless Wednesday - IRS

I've never seen an IRS truck before. I didn't know they made them. Is it like a paddy wagon for the tax dodgers? What'd I'd really like to know is the command stenciled on the back doors. ( DO NOT FOLLOW ) Really? Seriously? Is this a problem for the government? Do the drivers come back (where do they go, anyway?) wiping a forearm across their forehead at yet another terrible day of strings of cars clogging traffic following them to pay their taxes? I mean, is this such an issue they paid for the lettering to warn us not to follow? 'Cause, speaking for myself (and I work for a tax attorney), I'd never have to resist the urge to spot this van, make a U-turn and chase it. Perhaps it's wishful thinking on the IRS' part. Can you shed light on this ridiculous order?

Wordless Wednesday - Valentine Kitties


Monday Misc. - True Cat Love

Okay so I'm at the grocery store the other day and like a good little vegan, I picked out a salad. But I didn't do it from a healthy standpoint - I did it because Outlaw hovers over me every time I eat hoping for a piece of lettuce and I had run out. I'm literally standing by the leaves-in-a-bag thinking of my cat. I bought it solely to give my little feline a treat that makes him so happy. He goes NUTS for salad! That's true kitty love. HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY EVERYBODY!

Baker Street Saturday - Robert Downey Jr. Has Baby Boy

I love wonderful news so I thought I'd share what I learned this week about Robert Downey Jr. and wife Susan. On Tuesday, February 7th, they had a 7 pound, 5 ounce baby boy, 20 inches long. Susan & Robert Downey Jr. From Google Images They named him Exton Elias. An interesting name. I wonder if this is a 'celebrity' thing or a 'Robert & Susan' thing. As a Jennifer, I know what it's like to think about unusual baby names. Or in my case, character names. As far as celebrity baby namings go, though, Exton is not that bizarre. It doesn't lend itself to a nickname but neither does my sister's name, whereas 'Jennifer' provides enough nicknames that every third person calls me something different! What about you? Did your normal/unusual name make you go opposite in naming your children? Did you consider nicknames before naming your child? Why did your parents name you what they did? Any nickname horror stories or great stories?

Author Interview - Kris Wampler 'Love Train'

Today, I have the pleasure of asking Kris Wampler , author of Love Train , a few questions. 1. What’s your favorite part of Love Train (as a reader, not an author )? The fight scenes.  They're deliberately over the top and filled with ridiculous puns which, together, fulfill the twin duties of parodying the action genre and entertaining the reader.  My goal here was to create characters that are both superhuman in strength and feat, while relatable to all of us with their goofy and awkward habits. 2. What was the hardest part of the book to write? I had to figure out how the train's electrical system was connected to the hospital's system.  This required a little bit of research and creativity.  There's obviously no way the bad guy could have pulled off the stunt he did, but then, most events in action films and books are impossible, too.  And that's the point. 3. What was your road to publication like? What would you do different? What advice would you