Suitable for Framing

I have to brag on a friend of mine. Lori Roberts Herbst and I became friends on a Facebook group a while back, and when I announced that I was about to self-publish Mayhem at the Happy Valley Motor Inn and Resort, Lori shared that she was on the verge of self-publishing her own book, a cozy mystery titled, Suitable for Framing.

As soon as the book was available on Amazon I downloaded it onto my kindle and then hurriedly finished the book I was reading at the time so I could give all my attention to Lori’s book.

Folks, this is a terrific book. Lori has brought to life a cast of characters one won’t soon forget. Her protagonist, Callie Cassidy, is smart and believable. She’s the kind of person I’d like as a best friend. I laughed out loud at her sardonic wit throughout the whole tale, often quoting lines to Studly Doright who laughed, as well.

The supporting cast is outstanding, as well, from Callie’s parents and best friend to her possible love interest(s), a quirky stranger, and her pets. Even the mean girl is terrific. And the plot will keep you guessing whodunnit until the very end. Honestly I thought I had the mystery solved. I was wrong. The twists are fun and inventive.

Suitable for Framing is getting great reviews on Amazon, and if you’re in the mood for a fun book that’ll keep you turning pages, this is one you’ll enjoy. Read on:

Description

Now that prize-winning photojournalist Callie Cassidy has returned to the mountainside village of her youth, she believes she’s put crime scenes and corpses in her rear view mirror. So why does she end up—once again—focusing her lens on murder?

Callie Cassidy is no stranger to dead bodies. Two decades as a photojournalist on a big-city newspaper landed her face to face with so many of them that her colleagues dubbed her Queen of the Dead. Now, Callie believes her days of hanging out with cadavers are behind her. With her lovable golden retriever Woody in tow, she has returned in disgrace to Rock Creek Village, Colorado, where she licks her wounds in a cabin on her parents’ Rocky Mountain ski resort property. But when her mother persuades her to abandon her fetal position beneath the quilts and take a photography gig at the Snowflake Swirl winter ball, Callie’s foray back into the real world lands her smack in the middle of town drama. 

Before the first partygoer arrives, Callie stumbles across a deadly scene. A former classmate, one of the “mean girls” from high school, lies lifeless on her office floor. Another woman from Callie’s past crouches above the body, holding a bloody letter opener. The conclusion is obvious—at least to rookie detective Raul Sanchez. But Callie believes there’s more to the picture. With the help of an adopted stray cat named Carl, whose investigative skills may rival her own, Callie sets out to find the real murderer. Because unless she, her pets, and a quirky group of villagers can solve the mystery, Callie’s photos won’t be the only thing being framed.

Peace, people!

Football Hangover

At Doright Manor we go to bed early. Studly Doright, my husband of 44.5 years, hasn’t retired yet and he rises early each day to get a jump on things before the rest of the work force shows up,

Last night, though, we stayed up to watch the Tampa Bay/New Orleans playoff game, and didn’t get to bed until ten eastern time. Basically that’s midnight in our world, and now I have a football hangover; although, perhaps it’s a true hangover given all the wine I drank while watching not only the late game, but also the earlier game between Kansas City and Cleveland.

Two great games featuring four of the best quarterbacks in the league were impossible for us to turn off. I have the luxury of sleeping in and staying home and working on a sequel to Mayhem at the Happy Valley Motor Inn and Resort, while poor Studly had to get up early to reattach himself to the old grindstone.

It’s a good thing he’s married to me—I can nap for both of us this afternoon. He has no idea what I sacrifice for him. I’d better nap for twice as long just to be on the safe side.

My favorite quarterback, Patrick Mahomes, suffered a concussion in last night’s game, but his backup, Chad Henne saved the day.

Peace, people!

Let’s Talk About Sex, Baby

I’m not going to lie, I’m a big fan of sex. In point of fact, I owe my whole life to a sexual encounter, as do we all. So why is it so difficult to write about?

My first novel, Mayhem at the Happy Valley Motor Inn and Express, didn’t have even a drop of sex in it. Some vague innuendo, yes, but no heart pounding, tantalizing love making. My second work in progress, The Cowboy and the Executive, though, is a different matter.

And while Cowboy isn’t inundated with sex scenes, it does have its moments. Last night, after rereading and tweaking one such scene for the 90th time in an effort to make it feel as hot and natural as I want it to be, I threw my hands in the air and told Studly that if my characters were riding bikes in a race instead of having a proper go at one another in the bedroom, I could easily describe their emotions and physical reactions—the act of pushing down on the pedals, the freedom of feeling the wind in their hair, the way the seat chafed their bottoms as they pushed through physical exhaustion to complete the race, the exultation at finishing first, or the despair of taking a spill.

After listening to my rant, Studly winked and said, “Maybe you just need to do more hands-on research.”

Personally I think he’s just angling for a special mention in the acknowledgements.

Peace, people!

Panic Mode

I did the dumbest thing yesterday. While grocery shopping in Tallahassee, I took my phone out of my purse to check the sales status of my book, Mayhem at the Happy Valley Motor Inn and Resort. That’s my current addiction. Unfortunately, the phone didn’t make it back into my purse. Instead I must have put it down on a shelf next to the organic soups.

At any rate, I didn’t notice that my phone was missing until I’d driven the twenty miles from the store to Doright Manor. And even then, I didn’t realize I’d left it until I needed to Google something. I’m embarrassed to say that once I realized the phone wasn’t in my purse or somewhere in the house, I panicked.

Since I couldn’t call the store because, duh, I didn’t have my phone, I had to drive all the back into Tallahassee and halfway across town to see if the phone was indeed at the store.,

I’m normally a cautious driver, but nothing about this situation was normal. With all due haste I proceeded to race across town in hopes that the errant phone had been found and secured. I alternated between praying and calling myself an idiot, daring to hope the phone was safe.

And ladies and gentlemen, it was! I had to identify the phone and demonstrate that I could unlock it—do you know how hard it is to come up with your code when a stranger is watching? I did get it right on the second try.

Now I’ve vowed to NEVER take my phone out of my purse for any reason. Since I write all of my blog posts on my phone, that vow sure made writing this post challenging.

Peace, people.

A Chris Stapleton Kind of Day

When I write I need background noise. When I edit I need silence. But I’m stuck on a problem in editing and trying to do some rewriting. So, which do I choose—music or silence?

I flipped a coin, with heads designated for music and tails for silence. It only took three tries for me to get the results I wanted, so music it is.

Now Chris Stapleton’s seductive voice is emanating from my Amazon Echo and instead of writing or editing, I’ve been dancing around the kitchen. I really should write, but not while a waltz is playing. That’d be a sin.

https://youtu.be/6pNSOyrkX5w

Peace, people!

Something Old; Something Lost

One of my older posts popped up in my feed today and I thought it was worth reposting. “Old and Lost River” was inspired during one of my epic road trips. Damned Covid-19 has shut down my solo travels for the past ten months, so I’m reliving a few in my mind. I hope you’ll enjoy this.

https://nananoyz5forme.com/2018/04/04/old-and-lost-river/

The Old and Lost River

Cross-eyed

I’ve looked at and reread the romance I’m writing a billion times. Well, not a billion, but enough times that I’m practically cross-eyed. I’d sent it off to my friend, Rachel Carrera so she could give it a once over and then design the cover and get it ready for publishing, but then I got cold feet, and asked her to delete the file. I wanted other eyes on it before we took that step.

Now, I’m conflicted. At the suggestion of several beta readers I’ve made some necessary changes (like taking out any mention of stairs in a ranch-style home) and making sure my characters’ names stay the same throughout the book (near the middle of the book one character took on the name of a character in my first novel). But some other suggested changes are tough to undertake, partly because I’m fond of the story as is, even though it’s not perfect.

Writing is fun. Editing is hard. I’m ready for a glass of wine.

Peace, people.

Lost in Tallahassee

It’s difficult these days to become lost. I have GPS in my car and on my phone, so there’s really no excuse for taking a wrong turn, or two, or twelve. But on Saturday afternoon I wandered around Tallahassee for over an hour in search of a specific address and only found it once I’d turned off my guidance apps.

Still, I can’t figure out what went wrong. The address was entered correctly, but first the car’s GPS directed me to a gas station and then to an office complex. I tried my phone’s app and it took me in a huge circle right back to the gas station. Weird. When I turned off the guidance I decided to try to find the intended location just by driving in what I believed to be the logical direction and lo, and behold, I found the venue rather quickly.

The sad part was, I arrived an hour after I’d planned and then had to immediately leave to be home for an outing with Studly Doright, and I was frazzled. I kept picturing my car’s make and model being flashed on one of the highway signs asking drivers to watch for missing senior citizens.

Tomorrow, I’m staying home.

Peace, people.

Last Year’s Greatest Hits Countdown: Number One

2020 was an awful year. In addition to dealing with the pandemic we also had to say goodbye to our sweet cat Scout who’d been our loving companion for 17 years. Losing her was such a blow, and we still miss her so much it hurts.

But we found our crazy Gracie cat, and she’s the topic of my most liked post of the year, It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.

https://nananoyz5forme.com/2020/10/11/a-beautiful-day-in-the-neighborhood/

Peace, people.

Last Year’s Greatest Hits Countdown: Number Two

My second most read blog post of 2020 is another oldie. I wrote My Heart Hurts in 2016, shortly after Donald Trump was elected president. It’s as true now as it was then, and after yesterday’s breaching of the U.S. Capitol building by thugs who’d been incited to violence by Trump, my heart feels broken.

I hope we’ve learned our lesson, but at the same time, I fear for our future. https://nananoyz5forme.com/2017/01/13/my-heart-hurts/

Peace, people.