Buckle Up!

Lots of stuff happening in the next few weeks.

I already voted, so now it’s just a matter of nail biting. So sick of political ads, especially the negative ones. Wouldn’t it be nice if the ads stopped once you’d cast your votes? That being said, please vote.

On the 12th of November, I’m heading to Las Vegas for a huge writing conference at Bally’s (or the Horseshoe, Bally’s is getting a name change). I’m hoping to learn how to up my marketing game, which right now consists of me saying, “I’ve written books. Several books. You should buy them,” to everyone I meet. My friends are ready to throw me off a cliff, and I wouldn’t blame them.

I’m so excited to meet other indie authors and engage in geeky author stuff. I’m old, so I won’t overindulge. Maybe…

Then there’s Thanksgiving—my favorite holiday. Just good food, football, and fellowship. There’s no rush to buy gifts or push to over decorate. And the mimosas I make to aid in the cooking process are the best. Okay, they’re just orange juice and champagne, but they do the trick.

Our daughter and her kiddos are flying into Orlando in early December. Studly Doright and I are going to meet them at the airport and spend time with them before they leave on a cruise. I still hope one of the grandkids will let me hide in their suitcase. It could happen.

The build up to Christmas is in full swing, of course. Our son and his family are coming to celebrate with us at Doright Manor. So excited! I’m already buying gifts, and that’s something I normally put off until almost the last minute.

Oh, and somewhere in the mix, my newest book, Christmas at the Happy Valley Motor Inn and Resort will publish. Hopefully around Thanksgiving. 😳 Have I mentioned yet that I’m a writer? That I’ve published several books? Wait, that’s a cliff, please, I’m begging you. I won’t mention it again….

Whew! That was close. I think I’ll have another glass of wine.

Peace, people!

Sunday Afternoon Drives

A recent column by Sean Dietrich inspired this post. In it he talked about the drives he and his family took on the backroads way back when.

My family also enjoyed meandering drives on Sunday afternoons. We’d go to church, then to King’s Restaurant in Floydada, Texas. Afterwards Daddy would aim whichever secondhand car we owned at the time down one back road or another.

Sometimes we’d head in the direction of Turkey, Texas, the home of the grand master of Texas Swing, Bob Wills. Sometimes we’d head to Plainview, where singer and sausage king, Jimmy Dean hailed from. Lubbock, home of Buddy Holly, Mac Davis, and the Maines Brothers, was often our destination.

Other times we’d drive through South Plains, where my great grandparents staked their claim, and Lockney, our main rival in football. Good grief, we couldn’t stand Lockney.

I loved these drives—listening to my parents talk about the places we visited, the people who put these little towns on the map. It used to be a fantasy of mine that one day someone would drive through Floydada and say, “You know, that author, Leslie Noyes, grew up here. Her maiden name was Hall. She was Gerald and Freida’s daughter. Kind of odd as a kid, but maybe most authors are.”

Wouldn’t that be something?

Peace, people.

Star Struck

I met one of my heroes last night. And I don’t use the term hero lightly. Sean Dietrich is an author, a humorist, a musician, a treasure.

For quite a while now I’ve read Sean’s blog posts on Facebook. He writes about life, about the goodness in this old world. He writes about the helpers. The everyday angels. And last night I was fortunate enough to hear him speak (and sing) in person at an event sponsored by the Bookshelf bookstore in Thomasville, Georgia. What a wonderful evening it was.

Studly Doright came along for the ride, peppering me with questions on the fifty minute drive from Havana to Thomasville.

“So, he isn’t some political nut is he?” Studly asked.

“Nope. The only thing I can think of that Sean pontificates on is the dearth of good modern country music.”

“Is he going to try to sell us a time share?”

“No, but I’ll probably buy one of his books.”

“Well, what’s he going to talk about anyway?”

“Life, probably. Growing up in a southern Baptist church. Fried chicken. Things we are familiar with.

Honestly, in retrospect, I should’ve just invited Studly along for a talk about good southern fried Baptist chicken. He didn’t ask another question after that—just stepped on the gas and got us to Thomasville in record time.

Sean was gracious enough to sign books and pass out hugs at the conclusion of his performance. And I was up for that. Such a huggable guy. I’m sure he thought I was a dotty old lady.

“We’re friends on Facebook,” I said, and he gave me a curious look. I might’ve mistaken me gushing over one of his posts for being friends on social media, because when I checked later, I discovered we weren’t friends there. My mind is quite adept at creating fictional circumstances.

Studly kind of sulked in a corner wondering where the fried chicken was, but grudgingly admitted he’d had a good time.

You can find Sean Dietrich’s books on Amazon. And I highly recommend them.

Peace, people

True Confession

True Confession: I am an idiot.

Once upon a time I created a Facebook ad for my first novel (Mayhem at the Happy Valley Motor Inn and Resort) with the assistance of the lovely and talented Lori Roberts Herbst (author of the Callie Cassidy Mysteries). You’ve likely seen my ad and maybe been annoyed by it because, well, it hasn’t been updated in FOREVER.

That’s because I can’t remember how to generate a new ad. Yes, I’m an idiot. The current (OLDER THAN DIRT) ad shows Mayhem with 239 reviews, when in fact, it now has 849 reviews. Mostly four and five star, I might add.

One of these days I’m going to tackle this issue. Just not this day. So, thanks for your patience and your love and support. I have THE BEST readers.

(By the way, there are currently two additional books in the series, and another sequel to be published in the near future—I’m just not savvy enough to create ads for them.)

Mayhem at the Happy Valley Motor Inn and Resort, along with all my other books, is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats. Also available through Kindle Unlimited.

The Great Wine Disaster of 2022

A healthy pour

Red, a Merlot,

Full-bodied.

I knew the first taste

Before lifting the glass

To waiting lips,

And then

One awkward,

Thoughtless move

Sent the crystal

Lurching,

Slow-motion, yet

Too fast for old

Fingers to find

Purchase,

And wine went

EVERYWHERE:

The floor

Countertop

Inside cupboards

And drawers.

All over my khakis,

The ones with elastic

At the ankles

Harem girl style,

My favorites.

And saddest of all?

There was no wine

Left in the

Bottle.

Fact Meets Fiction

I write books with a splash of action to them. In my current work in progress, there’s a scene in which police officers converge on a location while my main character, Paula, is on a ride along with a sheriff’s deputy. She witnesses a crime in progress and gleans a key piece of information that could help law enforcement find the perpetrator.

Needless to say, it’s a harrowing experience for Paula, but until this morning I had little idea of just how much such an incident might result in a spike of adrenaline.

I’d been on the phone with my friend, Flo, most of the morning, discussing the above mentioned work in progress. When our call ended, I slapped on some makeup and headed into Tallahassee for lunch at my favorite place. I was running a bit later than usual today, and hoping my lunch destination wasn’t too busy.

Turning into the parking lot, I was startled by the sight of a plain white sedan headed straight for me. Half a second later, I realized the car was an unmarked police cruiser as its discreetly placed lights were activated.

I thought the car needed to get past me to head onto the street I’d just turned off of, but as I moved out of the way, the place was swarmed by additional cars from various law enforcement agencies. I navigated out of their way and back onto the street as smoothly as possible as officers emerged from their vehicles with guns drawn.

Y’all I was shaking.

My first thought was about the employees there who make me feel more like family than a customer. Was the cafe being robbed? Were they hostages?

My second thought was, well, essentially the same as the first.

I drove around the block and kept an eye on the situation from a nearby corner. When the police began dispersing, I got up the nerve to return, and was relieved to find all my “kids” safe and sound.

The details of the reasons behind the incident are still sketchy. I may never know why the officers converged on my favorite eatery, but now, I think I might need to rewrite Paula’s reaction to witnessing the robbery in my book. Her adrenaline levels need to go way, way up.

Peace, people.

Extraordinary

Studly Doright was out of town most of this past week and I needed a good program to watch to make the evenings pass more quickly. A friend from my water aerobics class suggested a South Korean film on Netflix—“Extraordinary Attorney Woo.”

Now I’m hooked. The series, about a rookie attorney named Woo Young Woo, is refreshing and clever. There’s no nudity. No blood and guts. Just a young autistic woman with a penchant for whales, struggling to fight for truth, justice, and the South Korean way one case at a time.

So, if you need something completely different to watch, give Woo a chance.

Peace, people!

Mind. Blown.

Dear Readers,

Did you know that Alexa will read a book from your kindle library? Holy cow! Just a few minutes ago I said, “Alexa, read Mayhem at the Happy Valley Motor Inn and Resort from my kindle library.” And now she’s doing it! 😳

While Alexa doesn’t have a lot of inflection to her voice, it’s not bad! Not bad at all.

I’m blown away–technology just continues to amaze me.

Now pardon me, I need to find out what happens to Paula and Cassie next. Ah, the benefits of a short memory.

Peace, people!

Mayhem at the Happy Valley Motor Inn and Resort (The Happy Valley Series Book 1), available on Amazon, along with books 2 and 3 in the series. Oh, there’s also a stand alone romance of the sweet, yet spicy variety//The Cowboy and the Executive. Might need to listen to that one tonight. Wink, wink.

Wayward Memory

It’s 6:54 a.m. and 52° here in Tallahassee, FL.

I’m sitting in my car in the parking lot of Trousdale aquatics center waiting for my water aerobics class to begin and giving myself a pep talk that goes something like “You’re going to freeze to death. Enjoy!”

Oh, and today’s my birthday.

A steady stream of young women, high school age by the look of them, leave the pool area, heading to their cars so they can make it to first period classes on time.

I count a shiny new Jeep and a Lexus among their rides. A far cry from the ‘57 army green Ford Galaxie I drove in high school.

That Galaxie was built like a tank. Ugly as sin, it could withstand just about anything man or beast could throw at it. And one morning, when I was a high schooler myself, racing from band practice at the junior high to the high school for my next class, my friend, Ray’s car didn’t stop quickly enough on the newly graveled street and, bam! He plowed into my Galaxie and a geyser of steam erupted from beneath his hood.

That Galaxie, though, didn’t even flinch.

I hope those high school girls make it safely to their destinations. There wasn’t a single ‘57 Ford Galaxie in the mix. Tsk. Tsk.

Peace, people!

In Favor of Charlie Hunnam

Knowing that Studly Doright and I are motorcyclists, well-meaning friends have often recommended the series, Sons of Anarchy. Until recently we’ve always laughed and said, “We aren’t that kind of bikers.”

Nevertheless, we finally broke down and began watching the show. Now, two seasons in, we’ve got a few observations:

1) Trade the bikes for horses and you’ve basically got Yellowstone.

2) Katie Sagal is awesome as Gemma.

3) Charlie Hunnam is hot. Okay, that’s my observation. Studly wants you to know that he’s not on board with that.

4) It’s a violent show and we’re trying to decide if we’ll continue watching.

5) Charlie Hunnam is still hot, so we (I) probably will watch ‘til the end.

Peace, people.

%d bloggers like this: