Messy Kitchen

It’s almost the Fourth of July and you know what that means? New recipe time! I’m trying a couple of new things and a few tried and true favorites. Currently, my kitchen is a disaster zone. Pretzel crumbs on the counter, brown sugar melting on the stove top, bits of butter that exploded in the microwave and strawberry tops on the floor.

I think I decided to write this post, so I wouldn’t have to look at the mess and think about the cleaning, I’m going to have to do. The one good thing about a messy kitchen? When I do finally get up to clean, it will have to be deep cleaned and will hopefully be spotless when I’m done.

Next week, I’ll share another recipe (if these work out).

On the book front, I should know in a couple of days when the print book will be available and on the iBookstore. In the meantime, if you have a Kindle or a Nook, please check out my book and don’t forget to sign up to win a Kindle!

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It’s Finally Here!

No, I’m not talking about Tropical Storm Debby, although she has made things pretty soggy and windy the past couple of days. I’m talking about my book which is now available at Amazon.com and Barnesandnoble.com. Throughout July my e-book will be released onto other online retailers (including iBookstore).

Also in July, the print book will be available as well. Please check out “Where to Buy The Book” periodically for updates as to where the book will be available.

If you haven’t noticed the additional page “Contest Rules and How to Enter”, you need to check it out because I am giving away a Kindle to some lucky person who follows my website blog or my Author Facebook page.

Now my focus has shifted to promoting The Kings of Charleston AND working on the sequel, And All The Kings Men.

I hope you enjoy the book!

Front Cover Reveal

I’m excited again to be able to share another sneak peek of my book…the front cover! I cannot say enough good things about the cover design and I really lucked out when it came to working with talented people, who got my vision on the first try. Actually, they surpassed my vision and created something even more amazing than I could imagine.

Hope you like it too!

The Power of the Written Word

I’ve often heard the phrase, “The power of the written word”, but I don’t think I’ve truly understood it until now.

As you all know, today is Father’s Day and this one was particular special for me even though I didn’t get to spend it with my own father. My husband and his siblings did something special for their Dad this year, which in many respects was priceless. Instead of buying another gadget or tool that he may or may not use, they created a book of memories. They each wrote down special memories they had of growing up with their Dad and made it into a book, which they had printed on cream paper and spiral bound at Staples.

It was a actually a pretty big ordeal to get the stories formatted right (three trips to Staples) so that it would print front and back like a book. It may not sound too complicated, but when you’re dealing with multiple versions of Microsoft Word and printers which print out in different directions, then it becomes a big deal. I now have new found respect for Craig, the person responsible for my novel’s formatting. It’s a tough a job and I could have really used him for their Father’s Day project.

But in the end it was printed and beautiful. I remember looking at it and at the fake bar code my husband had put on it that had the price as “priceless”. It truly was priceless, not only because of the joy I know it brought their Father, but the joy on their own faces. They took turns reading their respective stories in the book to their Father and even their Mother read a few. I could see the smiles, the laughter, the tears and the pure joy in my husband and his siblings eyes. It was truly special, and a reminder of the power of the written word.

Why Charleston?

You might be wondering why my novel is set in Charleston, South Carolina. If you’ve read anything on my website, you’ve probably picked up that I’m originally from Kentucky and I currently live in South Georgia, which isn’t exactly near Charleston (about a five hour drive). My first answer? There was just something about the area that seemed like the perfect setting for a mystery/thriller.

Something that South Georgia has in common with Charleston? Spanish Moss. I love Spanish Moss (yeah I know it’s kind of nuisance, but it’s still pretty). There is one street where I live that the oak trees are so heavy with it, that it creates a cave, the moss almost touching the road. That’s my favorite street, because it’s beautiful yet foreboding. Charleston has plenty of Spanish Moss, and that in itself suggested mystery to me, especially for someone like my main character, Casper, who’s not used to seeing it on a regular basis.

Another thing Charleston has in common with South Georgia, is the steamy heat that’s sticky and hangs all over your skin. Yeah, you feel like you are constantly sweating, but I think the heat can also be sultry.

Charleston also has rich history,including many homes and buildings from past centuries and oak trees older than the Civil War. The beautiful plantation homes suggest a different time and place, the marshlands give the illusion of solid ground and the area is steeped in a history of “voodoo”. Adding to the rich landscape is the ocean, which lends it’s beauty and saltiness to the already humid air.

And if that wasn’t enough, it is the hometown to one of the greatest characters in literary history, Rhett Butler.

A little interesting fact about The Kings of Charleston? The short story that it is based on was actually set in New Orleans, another city who has a dark and rich history. Although the story has been reset in Charleston, don’t count New Orleans out. I can promise it will make a reappearance in the story at some point, because as you will find out Kythera has some deep roots imbedded in the coastal lowlands of New Orleans.

All I Want is a Pineapple!

I didn’t just buy a pineapple, I bought a pineapple plant (it was an impulse buy). It looked really cool and it already had a pineapple growing on it, so I thought I had a pretty good chance of having at least one home-grown pineapple.

I don’t have a green thumb. I have a terrible track record of keeping plants alive. One time I kept a hibiscus alive for over a year and I’ve kept a crepe myrtle tree alive (in it’s defense it was here when I bought the house and didn’t need much taking care of). And before you think this pineapple has met a certain death, it is still alive and well (I did just buy it yesterday).

This year my luck seems to be turning around though and maybe that’s why I felt bold enough to buy the pineapple plant. Coincidentally, I still haven’t been able to keep too many flowers alive, but my husband and I are having quite a bit of success with edible plants.

What’s still alive in our yard? Two lemon trees with baby lemons on it, two blueberry bushes with little blueberries, two rosemary bushes, green beans and cucumbers we grew from seeds and a grape vine. My larkspurs are struggling and the only reason my angel trumpet tree is living is that it loves the heat (and doesn’t mind if I forget to water it), but we’ve successfully grown some fruit and vegetables. All in all it’s a win to me.

But the pineapple plant has had a rough start. I successfully transferred it to a larger pot (can’t be put in the ground because we do get a few nights a year under 45 degrees) and set it out on our patio. The only thing that I’ve read that will kill the it? Too much water.  Since I get amnesia when it comes to remembering to water plants I thought this was a sure winner, but no one told me that we’d moved to Seattle (not really, but it sure feels like it).

If you ever watched the Weather Channel I’m in that very bottom spot in Georgia usually marked in dark red for extreme drought conditions. Not anymore. Apparently the key to getting rid of a drought? Buy a plant that can only be killed by too much water. I know the farmer’s around here love my impulse buy since the rains have seem to come with it. I love the rain because we needed it, but come on. I’ve had the pineapple plant for less than two days and it’s already been moved inside twice. All I want is a pineapple! Next time I’m buying a cactus.

Meet “Dole” the pineapple plant…lol. Corny, I know.