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!

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 Five

Thanks to each of you, 2020 was the best year yet for Praying for Eyebrowz. I never dreamed when I started writing this blog that the best part would be the connections I’d make with so many wonderful people. Those connections might’ve helped save my sanity last year. I’m not kidding.

To start off the first week of the new year, I thought it might be fun to take a look back at the top five posts of 2020. Please join me as we travel back in time….

The fifth most popular post of 2020 was Love is a Battlefield, a little glimpse into the imperfect perfection of a lengthy relationship. https://nananoyz5forme.com/2020/02/22/love-is-a-battlefield/

Studly Doright and me. (I’m the one in the left…)

Join me tomorrow for the fourth most popular post. The anticipation is intense! Or maybe I’m just hungry.

Peace, people!

Restless for Romance

For many years I worked on writing a novel. I started at least ten years ago when, out of nowhere, this crazy title, Mayhem at the Happy Valley Motor Inn and Resort, popped into my head as I sat drinking a glass of wine in front of our home in Illinois. My initial thought was, “cool.” My second thought was, “I think I need more wine.”

And so it went for several years. The title would nag at me, but I had no idea what was supposed to happen in the book. Was it a romance? A mystery? What kind of mayhem might ensue? Perpetrated by whom? I’d sit down at my computer to write, manage a couple of sentences, and then go back for more wine. Still, that title wouldn’t leave me alone.

Then the main character’s name came to me. Something awful had happened in Paula Jean Arnett’s life and she was left with doubts about her husband and their marriage. With this revelation I was able to begin my story, and before too long I’d written 20,000 words. Cool, right?

Wrong. My characters stalled out at a dinner party. They wouldn’t shut up and I was petrified by the thought of throwing away a large chunk of the words I’d written. So I put the story aside and let it flit around the corners of my mind.

It kept flitting around, occasionally getting me to pull out my computer in an attempt to move the story along. I finally deleted the whole dinner party scene after realizing I could store it in another file for future use. Thank goodness for computers and word processing software.

After Studly Doright and I moved to Havana, Florida, I had a burst of new interest in finishing Mayhem, but still couldn’t quite make the commitment to go all in. I began writing this blog and gained some confidence in my own skills. I found a generous audience in my readers and found similar stories to mine. There are many would-be authors out there.

Then in the spring of 2020, just before COVID-19 shut stuff down, I took an Ollie course on writing at Florida State. While we didn’t get to complete the course, the instructor gave me a figurative kick in the pants, and within a few months Mayhem was truly out of my head and onto the published page.

Between the time I completed Mayhem and the time it was ready to be published I became restless. I wondered if I could write another book—something short and sweet and fun. Lo and behold, I did.

As I type this, my romance, The Cowboy and the Executive, is in the hands of Rachel Carrera, the lovely woman who guided me through editing and publishing Mayhem and designed the cover. I can’t wait to see what she comes up with for Cowboy.

Yeehaw and peace, people!

Bear With Me

Studly Doright and I had a great time hanging out with our daughter and her family in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, last week. We ate a lot, played a bunch of fun games, enjoyed an indoor snowball fight with fake snowballs, played an intense Christmas game, and opened presents.

The week began rather inauspiciously when a bear made him/herself at home in my car, decimating a can of peanut brittle, but doing very little damage to the car. We apparently hosted a considerate bear.

Bears don’t recognize such niceties as lids.
Someone was sitting in my chair….

My daughter stepped outside just in time to take these photos on the morning after we discovered the car incident. Wonder if this was our culprit:

Move along bear….

The remainder of the trip was bear-free; although, we were on constant guard any time we were outside. Just look at this view from our deck:

Smoky Mountains floating above the clouds.

I’ll leave you with photos of my loved ones. We sure missed having our son and his family with us this year, but were so happy to be with part of the family after such a stressful year. I needed the hugs.

Harper, with a tiny piece from one of her Christmas game presents. She REALLY got into the game.
McKayla ended up with one of the gag gifts….
Garrett with a techie gadget.
Son-in-law, Stephen, with his bounty from our Christmas game.
Daughter, Ashley with her goodies.
Studly Doright with “snow balls.” We had quite the fight with these.

Hoping your holidays are bear free.

Peace, people!

Scout’s Honor Publishing

One of the sweetest surprises associated with self publishing was discovering that I got to create a name for my own publishing company. When my editor, Rachel Carrera told me to start thinking of a name for my enterprise I jotted down several possible titles, including “Scout’s Honor,” for our recently deceased cat, Scout, but thought I’d go with “Praying for Eyebrowz” in keeping with my blog’s title.

Then I spoke with my daughter, Ashley. When I told her about getting to christen my publishing company the first words out of her mouth were, “Scout’s Honor.” And that sealed it.

Scout was my co-writer, but died before we published.

For Christmas, Ashley had a friend design a logo for me. I cried when I first saw it. Studly Doright cried when he held it.

My photo doesn’t do it justice.

Now for a shameless attempt to encourage you to buy my book if you haven’t already:

It’s available on Kindle for just $2.99!

Peace, people!

Does a Bear Sh*t in the Lincoln?

The answer to that question is, “Thankfully not this time.” One did, however, carefully explore the interior and exterior of my car, completely decimate a container of peanut brittle, leave a trail of leaves and other detritus in the front seat, and paw prints on the hood, before going on its merry way.

Paw print in the frost.
Someone’s been sitting in MY chair….

I’d love to say that Studly Doright was to blame for leaving our car unlocked next to the cabin we’ve rented in the Smoky Mountains near Gatlinburg, TN, but it’s all my fault. I must’ve forgotten to lock the vehicle when I went out to fetch my bottle of wine.

The preliminary damage report doesn’t appear to be too awful. The seats aren’t ripped, neither is the headliner. He or she didn’t mess with my favorite throw blanket in the backseat. There are claw marks on the exterior of my once pristine Lincoln. The one we save for long trips. The one that is two years old and just barely has 10,000 miles on it. Sigh. But, as far as bear intrusions go, this one could have been a great deal worse.

I just hope our little friend doesn’t expect me to entertain him again tonight. I’m not Goldilocks, after all.

Peace, people!