Saturday, May 28, 2011

Strawberry Dreaming

It's strawberry time here. The strawberry beds are filled with plump berries and I'm picking them faster than I can eat 'em.

I've decided to do what we have done in years past with this berry abundance. I'm going to make jam. My husband I and I always made jam together and while I know it won't be the same now I'm going to give it a go.

My feeling is the jam will be bittersweet this year. Still, I'm getting out my canning pots and sterilizing the jars. Move over berries, I'm coming in!

So, that's the plan for my Saturday. What about you? Anything up your sleeve?

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Wecome to John Lindermuth

I visisted with my friend and fellow writer, John Lindermuth, and he has an exciting new book out at the moment. It is a book that is different from his normal excellent thriller/historicals so I invited him to tell us all about it.

As the 19th century winds to a close, Sheriff Sylvester Tilghman of the small Pennsylvania town of Arahpot ponders his biggest problems: finding a new deputy and convincing his true love, Lydia, to marry him. But an early autumn day finds Arahpot’s usual tranquility shaken when a stranger is fatally stabbed.

Upon seeing the victim, Tilghman recalls witnessing a strained encounter between him and Valentine Deibert, an obese man with a wife half his age who had recently moved to Arahpot. The sheriff questions Deibert who denies knowing the victim.

Tilghman is unconvinced, but lacks a connection until the widow arrives in Arahpot. Suddenly Sylvester is plunged into investigating two murders. As he works through an abundance of motivated suspects, Tilghman finds himself in danger. And worse -- Lydia is pushing her obnoxious cousin as a candidate for deputy.

Review: (Use as much or little as you see fit, but please credit Doug)
***** J. R. Lindermuth’s Best Book Yet. Highly Recommended. Review by Douglas Quinn, The Webb Sawyer Mysteries, The Ellis Family Thrillers, Cornelius The Orphan, Historical Fiction/Adventure, and Children’s Chapter Books.“I was weaned on the great fin de siĆ©cle 19th century mysteries of Edgar Allan Poe and Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle. Then Caleb Carr gave me the moody and exciting The Alienist and its sequel Angel of Darkness. All of these (even accounting for Sherlock Holmes forays into the moors and English countryside) were urban based. In contrast to the frenetic time-is-of-the-essence rush by these author’s protagonists to solve the crime, in Fallen From Grace, Lindermuth offers up a delicious, slow-paced murder mystery set in a small, rural Pennsylvania town called Arahpot.

“When the sheriff declares that the telegraph is the greatest invention ever for a sheriff, this gives you an idea of the pacing of the story. But this is a good thing, because it allows Lindermuth to spend time developing all of the interesting characters in this interesting and intriguing tale. What I enjoy about Lindermuth’s writing style is that he feels no need to spend time with detailed physical descriptions. Instead, as the characters are introduced and progress through the story, I had a perfect image in my mind of their physical appearance, who they were and what they were all about. This is the mark of an expert writer and I applaud Lindermuth for this skill.

“Sylvester Tilghman, Syl to his friends, is a bachelor who doesn’t do so well in the cooking-for-himself department and is always on the lookout for an invitation to a meal, be it breakfast lunch or dinner. His favorite targets are his girlfriend, Lydia, and her parents, and his neighbors, Dr. Mariner and his family. “That brings me to the other thing I like about Lindermuth’s writing, that being all the little side stories and character interactions he weaves throughout the tale, the most interesting being the relationship between Sylvester and Lydia. Lydia, who Sylvester wants to marry, clearly cares for him. However, she has been putting off his request for some time. The reader is left to speculate her reasons and, at the end of the book, while other town romances resolve themselves, he isn’t able to solve his dilemma with Lydia. During it all, Lydia is foisting her annoying cousin, Cyrus, upon Sylvester to fill a deputy sheriff’s position. There are other distractions, some related to the crimes, some not, that occupy Sylvester’s attention. These diversions add richness to the setting, the characters and the story.”

Buy links:
Fallen From Grace (March 2011), Wild Oak
Being Someone Else (July 2010), Whiskey Creek Press

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Author Central

I've been procrastinating on creating an author page at Amazon. But finally I did it and it was embarassingly easy.

Just go to Amazon Author Central and log in. You can use your existing password and then select the books that are yours and add a profile. Bingo it's done. I have a name that's not distinctive so it was good to pull my books together. Once I spoke at a workshop and the gentleman who introduced me read off all the books he thought I'd written -- a book on economics, a biography of a German philosopher. All books by Kathleen O'Connor but they aren't mine.

Here is my page Have you created yours?

Friday, May 20, 2011

Sailing Away

Says a lot, doesn't it? And believe me, these boots have gotten a workout this past month. By this afternoon they'll be sloshing through the yard again.

But yesterday...oh, yesterday...

Gorgeous. Sunny. Warm. A day to get outdoors and tramp around the property. A day to mow. To weed. To brush mow. A day so fabulous the only reason to come indoors was for bathroom breaks and quick fridge raids.

I don't know about you, but the lousy, wet weather has a rotten effect on my mood. Day after day of dark, dank, rainy hours. Blech! I know we can't have a rainbow without rain, but there's got to be a break somewhere.

Yesterday we got the break and I am so very grateful. I feel somewhat comforted by the blue sky and warm breezes. Hope comes on warm breezes, I think. And while today is forecast for afternoon rain, with more to come for the next six days, that glimmer of warmth and hope still lifts me up.

What about you? Does the weather bring you down? And, please, tell me how you manage to overcome the feeling. I'm in for another stretch of showers and storms and open to any suggestions for weathering the storm.

Hope you have a lovely weekend! Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Two Wolves Story

I'm reading two books right now -- one a novel by Elizabeth Berg and the other an inspirational book by Rabbi Kushner. Both cite the famous two wolves story. So thought I'd share this Native-American parable.

A Cherokee Elder was teaching his grandchildren about life. He said to them, "A fight is going on inside me... it is a terrible fight between two wolves.

One wolf represents fear, anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride and superiority.

The other stands for joy, peace, love, hope, sharing, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, friendship, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.

This same fight is going on inside you, and inside every other person, too."

They thought about it for a minute and then one child asked his grandfather, "Which wolf will win?"

The old man simply replied, "The one you feed."

Sunday, May 15, 2011


Evidently Blogger had issues on Friday so I was, like countless others, unable to post or comment. Very frustrating!

Just thought I'd pop in on this rainy Sunday morning to share this sweet bunch of grape hyacinths with you. How I wish you could catch a whiff! They were amazing!

I hope you have a peaceful Sunday. Me? I'm going to do some weeding. Yes, in the rain. The weeds just pull right out when the soil is wet. Besides, it's only water and, believe me, I'm not so sweet I'll melt!

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Life was going so Well!

Just when I thought life was almost perfect...

I finished my two outstanding novels. One a romantic suspense and the other a contemporary romance. Sent them off to the publisher, had them accepted. Already ideas were buzzing for another romance. As I said life was almost perfect...
Knowing I am prone to do silly things, tripping up a major thing I seem to be doing lately, I decided to have my bathroom re-jigged. A shower instead of a bath, you know the kind of thing.
The man came to start, I had forgotten the problems with going to the "comfort station!" Not being in the USA I have only the one. Got around that problem, I have great neighbours, phew that was a relief, in more ways than one. I hadn't realised how much I would actually miss my shower as well. Hadn't even considered the dust and muck (I wonder how much someone would charge to come clean my house after the plumber has gone?). But again a friend came up trumps offering me her shower whenever I want.
Ah well, as my mother would say, these things are sent to try us. I am getting there right, er wrong. Remember what I said about "tripping? and I don't mean tripping the light fantastic I mean tripping up and falling. Bang, down I went like a ton of spuds. Over on my ankle, which immediately came up like it was being inflated by a bike pump. The next day - ugh - forget it, ugly and painful. My friend's husband kindly took me to the hospital for an x-ray. The biggest fear was of course that just the day before I had booked my flight to the USA. Broken ankle, no way, and I hadn't even time to take out insurance.
I confess I could have cried (perhaps that really was me sniffling). The nurse said she thought it broken. How could this keep happening to me. I felt sorry for myself, don't mind admitting that.
But no, again as my Mother would have said, "God is good" just a painful, horrid sprain.
I can't think of tap dancing around my kitchen yet, or going for a long, lonesome walk at the beach, but I do know that, accidents, calamities, house falling down, me falling down again, I shall be taking the big bird to sunny Florida. I will be sitting at my computer till then working on my story and one day sooner than I hope, will be taking a long, hot shower in my super new bathroom, the decor of which will be so perfect, I think I will take up residence!
Thanks for listening!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Happy Wednesday

Today I am tackling my mid-week 'to do' list. I need to create an author page at Amazon. I've needed to do this for awhile but a lovely review at got me motivated. Here is what they said about my novel, A Private Matter. "This book is filled with twists and turns, and is a very enjoyable classic suspense story."

So this encouragement has me tackling a job I've avoided for months. What's on your mid-week 'to do' list?

Friday, May 6, 2011

Week In Review

Whew! We made it to Friday, didn't we? I've got to say, some weeks that feels like a huge accomplishment.

This has been one jam-packed week. A few highlights...

One day spent dodging raindrops while running errands. You'd be surprised by how drenched a body can get just going in and out of the car. But, banking, grocery shopping, posting, etc. all accomplished.

Spent all day yesterday doing yardwork. Wrangled with the pushmower for a bit, but the stubborn thing finally started so I mowed in the tight spots I can't possibly reach with the lawn tractor. Love it that things look less shaggy now!

Actually cooked a few times. Progress there, and I've got enough red rice and beans, beer bread and cranberry-chocolate clusters left over that I won't have to cook again for at least a day. Maybe two. No complaints there.

Am creeping along on the writing front. Really, creeping, trying to find my way in that part of my life. It feels different now but I'm working on getting used to it. On the whole, I'm pleased with the story I'm writing so that's an encouragement to keep going. Really, I want to see how it ends.

My biggie for this week? I learned how to change the oil in the lawn tractors! Yes, I did! I gave them a tip-to-ah, it's not toe, is it?-tail servicing and now know how the tractors operate. There's much more to it than just turning the key. Who knew?

So, what about you? How has your week gone? And have you any plans for today?

I'll be out in the yard again today. Working on weeding and mulching the blueberries. As I work, I write in my head so hopefully I'll get that story moving along.

I hope you have a peaceful day! Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Certain Slant of Light

A few months ago the winter sun cast this golden glow in my kitchen. I tried to capture the light with my new digital camera, but as you can see my efforts fell flat.

The whole experience reminded me of writing. There is the perfect novel in your mind and then there is the novel you actually write. The trick is rewriting and rewriting until you know the story is the best that it can be, but also accepting that it can't be perfect. I know a perfectionist who has been working on the same book for 23 years and I've read some big name writers (really big) who slap books out prematurely (they needed more work). The rest of us have to find that middle road.