You've heard of the 12 Days of Christmas? Well, this is the 15 Days of Connect the Dots. Starting December 1!!
In celebration of the December 15 release of Connect the Dots, I and a bunch of blogging friends are going to play blog connect the dots.
What’s that you ask?
It is 15 days of fun, friends and prizes. Starting December 1, we will build our own connect the dots of blogs. December 1, I will post a question and tell you where to find the answer. That blog will also have the next question and where to find the answer for the next day.
Once you have the answer each day, you return to my blog and post your answer.
What do you get for all this fun?
Prizes! It could be as small as a bookmark, a T-shirt, a poster, a game, a book. The grand prize for the person who comes up with the most correct answers is a box of my three books signed by me, bookmarks, posters, game, and who knows what else we may come up with.
You won't want to miss this opportunity to visit a bunch of blogs, learn about Connect the Dots, and maybe win a prize.
Return here tomorrow morning, December 1 to get your first question and directions to get the first answer.
Monday, November 30, 2009
Yesterday my friend and fellow writer as well as artist Lisa stopped by. She showed me the drawing of the beautiful glass art she is going to make for me. I am really looking forward to seeing it when it is completed.
Beyond that we talked about our current writing works in progress. This is typical of us when we get together and it's always helpful and interesting. As we talked we discussed the research we have to to do. Lisa's was particularly interesting because one of the pieces of information she needed we don't think you can find in a book.
Now, if you're a sensitive soul you might want to turn your head or you'll blush.
Here's the question: If you're the hero in a book and you need to either prevent yourself from getting um. . .excited, hard, what do you do?
Or another version of the same question: What if you're already in an erect state? How do you, uh, deflate the situation?
Whatever help you can provide us would be helpful not to just Lisa and I but I'm sure to other writers as well. Thanks.
Heather Graham is one of my favorite authors. I don't think there has been a book that I have not enjoyed. I like her series of paranormal stories that revolve around the Adam Harrison agency. Enjoy the read!
Pub. Date: September 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback, 368pp
When Sarah McKinley is finally able to buy and restore the historic Florida mansion that she has always loved, she dismisses the horror stories of past residents vanishing and a long-dead housekeeper who practiced black magic. Then, in the midst of renovations, she makes a grim discovery. Hidden within the walls of Sarah's dream house are the remains of dozens of bodies—some dating back over a century.
The door to the past is blown wide open when Caleb Anderson, a private investigator, shows up at the mansion. He believes several current missing-persons cases are linked to the house and its dark past. Working together to find the connection and stop a contemporary killer, Sarah and Caleb are compelled to research the history of the haunted house, growing closer to each other even as the solution to the murders eludes them.
But there is one who knows the truth…a spirit who follows every move they make. Soon Caleb begins to fear that if he can't stay a step ahead, he could lose Sarah to a killer with an ability to transcend time in a quest for blood and sacrifice.
Friday, November 27, 2009
Yesterday was Thanksgiving and as some of you know I sold my dining room table set. Yes, on Thanksgiving. Don't ask me what I was thinking. The person wanted to pick it up so they could have dessert with the family at their house. How could I refuse?
Later in the day when I sat down I stared at the empty dining room and the lone rug lying on the floor. I decided that the floor needed to be cleaned. First I vacuumed the rug then rolled it up and moved aside. Then I swept up the wood floor. No, that was not good enough. I got out the all natural floor cleaner and a microfiber cloth and yes, on hands and knees I cleaned my dining room floor.
That was still not good enough. With the room being empty I thought it the perfect opportunity to polish it. I pulled out my trusty all natural polish and another microfiber cloth and once again got on hands and knees. Using a lot of elbow grease I polished that floor to a wicked shine. It smell great because of the oil in it and when I walked across it in my sock feet the floor squeaked. Isn't that a great sound?
So here's the bad thing with me. Once I get started, I cannot stop. I did the exact same steps to the kitchen, pantry, half-bath, and the entry floors. I would have done the living room but by that time of night it was a little late.
As a reward to all that hard work I treated myself to another slice of my best ever pumpkin pie with Cool Whip on top.
This morning I get up and before I work out I always go down the stairs to feed the kitties. As bare foot hit freshly polished wood floor I realized my mistake. My foot skidded, pulled my legs into an amazing split, and then yes, I landed straight down and hard on my butt. OUCH!
I yelped, cats scurried away, and then all I could do was laugh. This is what I get for my obsessive nature and liking the fresh smell of my all natural polish. Or maybe it was all the sugar from the pie the previous night. Either way, my backside is a tad sore and no I did not even bother working out after that.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
I’m sitting here the morning before Thanksgiving and remembering the Thanksgivings from when I was a kid. Every year my parents, sisters (3 of them), and I would travel to my grandmother’s house in Iowa. We would drive for over three hours and the whole way someone would ask “how much further?” or “are we there yet?” When we would see the huge statue of Pocahontas we knew we were getting close.
When we arrived family members would come out of the woodwork. I’d see cousins that I would only see once or twice a year. Inside the house the place would be jammed with more relatives and the counters would be covered in fresh, homemade pies. I love homemade apple pie with cinnamon and sugar on top. My father is more of a banana cream pie guy. The one thing my family agrees on is we have to have pumpkin pie with Cool Whip on top, not whipped cream. Yes, there is a big difference.
Before we could eat pie though, we had to eat dinner. Dinner usually consisted of turkey and/or ham, baked beans, some disgusting 3-bean salad, this icky green salad that my family loves even to this day and I can’t stand. The icky salad is made with cottage cheese, lime Jell-o mix, and pineapple. I’m sorry, you will never convince me that is yummy. There would be rolls, mashed potatoes, and candied yams. My favorite part of the dinner is the candied yams. All that gooey marshmallow, butter, brown sugar melted on top of sweet potatoes. Delicious!
My favorite part of Thanksgiving when I was little was sitting around watching sports with my dad and uncles while waiting for dinner to be ready then getting through the meal just to get to the pies. It’s all about the pies!
Later, after much of the family departed we would all have that snack craving hit us. You got it, I went for the pie. So did dad.
Even now when I no longer live close enough to go to my grandmother’s house and watch sports with the men in the family, I still watch and yes, afterwards I eat pie. I make a deep dish pumpkin pie and absolutely top it off with Cool Whip.
What’s your favorite part of Thanksgiving?
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Today's writing prompt: Walking on the treadmill. . .
Remember it doesn't matter how much you write just that whatever you write captures your reader's attention. Hook them in!
Have fun and look forward to reading what you come up with.
Monday, November 23, 2009
This is one of those “On the way to the bank. . .something happened tales.”
A little over a year ago in about August maybe September I found myself intrigued by the Georgia-Russia War. Not because I am a ghoul but for the simple fact that a longtime friend was in the Republic of Georgia and I wanted to understand what was happening and how at risk he may be.
I, being the computer-savvy person that I am, decided to use the Internet to search and gain more knowledge. At the same time, I was getting ready to start my third novel. Ultimately, I decided to marry the two interests together.
The issue came down to what would the story be about and my ineptitude at Internet searches. The funny part is that while I may not find what I am always looking for I somehow manage to find something even more interesting. That is the case with the Georgia-Russia War and my novel Connect the Dots.
Somewhere in my search, I came across the words “black sites” in one of the article. The very words caught my attention, which sent me off in another direction and in a direction that grabbed a hold of my shirtfront and my mind and would not let go, not even after I finished writing the book.
So now, your question is or should be “What is a black site?”
I’m so glad you asked. According to Wikipedia “a black site is a location in which a black project is conducted.” Yes, Wikipedia was my first stop when I wanted to learn more. Wikipedia.
That’s a simple but not very detailed explanation, don’t you think? I did however, know what a black project was but just to confirm my suspicion I did look it up. According to Wikipedia “a black project is a classified military/defense project, unacknowledged publicly by the government, military personnel, and defense contractors. Yup, I was right.
I already knew this because I have a complete fascination with DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) and many of their projects start out as classified. To find out more visit http://www.darpa.mil/.
From Wikipedia I was able to discern that black sites were secret prisons operated by the CIA outside of the US and currently used in the War on Terror.
Now if that does not take hold and squeeze your heart making it stop for at least a second or two I don’t know what will.
Are you intrigued yet? Want to learn more?
Stay tuned. As the days draw closer to the release of Connect the Dots, I will share more of what I learned.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
This week, we had the pleasure of reading The Last Enemy by Pauline B Jones. Pauline graciously agreed to do an interview with me to post on the blog and to respond to questions.
Even if you did not have a chance to read The Last Enemy, feel free to ask Pauline a question.
Now on with the interview:
1. What motivated you to write this book?
I started this book way back when the internet was just beginning to move into the mainstream. It fascinated me that I could “meet” people that I didn’t actually know. I had to take their word for who and what they were, how they looked, no way to know if they were really male or female. Then I saw The Fugitive and got interested in US Marshals Service and the story started to come to a boil. The theme of not really knowing people, virtual or real, threads through the story—though I didn’t know that until it was finished.
2. What are your current projects?
I just finished and turned in Girl Gone Nova, a follow up story to my Project Enterprise series set in the Garradian Universe. Then I started working on a short story for our next chapter anthology, except the story turned into a novella, so now I’m working on it as a standalone—and the next chapter in my Project Enterprise series. It’s also got some steampunk mixed in, which is making it a lot of fun to work on. It’s also a novella in search of a title. Usually titles aren’t that hard for me, but the title I wanted has been chosen by two books releasing next year. Sigh.
3. How do you come up with your story ideas and your characters?
I get story ideas in weird ways. Sometimes a character will come to me and I’ll have to write a story for him or her. Sometimes I get the idea first and then have to find people for the story. The Key is unique for me. I got hooked on Stargate Atlantis and got this story idea for an episode. It kept getting in the way of me writing a book, so I thought, I’ll just write it down and get it out of the way. Well, 100 pages later, I realized I had a character in need of a story. I had nothing but this woman with special abilities. And she required a science fiction world, something I’d never done before. I tried everywhere I could think of to situate her in the “real” world and she would have none of it. So I followed her lead and ended up with a huge science fiction romance novel.
One thing I do when I finish a book is to interview myself about writing that book. I call it my Behind the Book interviews. I have a little fun with them, but they also keep details fresh that I might otherwise forget. Here’s the link to my interview about The Last Enemy:
4. What genre are you most comfortable writing?
I get the most buzz from writing suspense and/or action-adventure. Not sure what that says about me. LOL! I’ve tried writing straight romance and can keep from killing anyone or blowing anything up if the story is short, but past about fifteen pages, stuff starts to happen. I also enjoy adding humor. For me, humor is the leavening of life, so it’s natural for me to filter it into my writing. While I’ve written what I’d call suspense from the beginning, my writing has been edging toward action/adventure for some time. When I look back and I can see it more and more, so that’s where I am right now. I call it action/adventure, but my books always have a romance element. I’m told that The Key is science fiction romance or space opera. For me, space is a setting, just as Denver was the setting for The Last Enemy. Both settings had to be, they are as essential to the plots as the characters, but through all my books there is peril, romance and action. (That’s where I got my website tag line: The Perils of Pauline—is the unifying theme of all my books.)
5. How did you come up with the title for your book(s)?
I got the title for The Last Enemy from a quote:
“Death is the last enemy: once we've got past that I think everything will be alright.”
Alice Thomas Ellis
It really suits the story, because my character has survivor guilt issues.
6. How much of the novel is realistic?
All of my books are completely realistic. Really. Okay, so maybe the time travel and the space travel aren’t exactly true yet, but they could be.
Seriously, I try to make my characters feel real. If readers believe in the people, then they will believe in the story. I once had this reader busting my chops about a small detail in Out of Time. I was like, dude, you’re fussing about where the guys go to the bathroom on a B-17, but have no trouble with travel through time? It’s fiction. So basically I made it all up.
7. If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything?
I wouldn’t. I’ve enjoyed writing my books, have loved what I’ve learned from each one. Sometimes people ask me why I don’t publish with a larger publisher, like one in New York. The short answer is: they didn’t like what I like to write. That meant one of us had to change and we’re both determined not to budge.
I feel blessed to find a publisher who likes me and my writing as is (other than the edits of course). I have to spend so much time with a book that it’s just not possible for me to do anything but write what I want. While this is a business for me, I would not spend this much time doing something that didn’t bring me joy.
8. If your book was made into a movie who do you picture playing the part of the hero and heroine?
Matt would be played by Tommy Lee Jones (well, a younger one) and Sandra Bulluck for Dani?
10. When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I made my first sale: a short story to a children’s magazine. I didn’t start telling people I was a writer, though, until my first novel, Pig in a Park, was published.
11. Who is your favorite character in the book?
Well, Dani, I guess, though I loved writing Matt, too. I liked Dani a lot because she had courage and a sense of humor and she was real. She reacted to events the way a real woman would and didn’t use any extraordinary powers to overcome evil. She is like the women I’ve known through the years, woman who face hard things with a sense of humor and determination.
12. What is your favorite way to take a break from writing?
I like to put a movie into the dvd player, curl up with a bowl of popcorn, chilled Jr. Mints and a Diet Dr. Pepper and let the world go by. The movie can be a romantic comedy or an action –adventure. I also have this secret love of critter features or disasters flicks. I’m drawn to Tremors, Lake Placid and any movie that will mean an end to life on Earth as we know it. I have no explanation for it, though I suspect it is hereditary. I once caught my mom watching some earthquake flick, mini-series. Sorry to out you, Mom, but it is long standing tradition to blame our parents for stuff, and well, you were watching it.
Author website: http://www.paulinebjones.com
While you're there checkout Pauline's book The Key, An Independent Publisher Book Awards Bronze Medal Winner. http://www.paulinebjones.com/thekey.htm
Saturday, November 21, 2009
This week's writing prompt was: The wine bottle crashed. . .
My response: The wine bottle crashed to the floor, shattering into tiny fragments of glass lying in a pool of deep red. Motionless, Susie stared at the mess, her eyes not seeing wine, but blood. A dark pool of blood spreading beneath her feet.
“No, not again.”
What did you come up with? Share it here.
Friday, November 20, 2009
I love my parents and am thankful every single day for them. However, there are days when I am even more grateful.
My parents flew up from Florida just to help and attend/participate in the wine/mystery event I mentioned numerous times on my blog. Without asking, mom and dad folded, stuffed, shopped, carried, and sweated over the event in order to help make it the tremendous success it turned out to be. They endured the cold of the northeast to show their daughter how much they cared and loved me. That in itself is HUGE especially when the temperatures here were in the 30s to 50s while in Florida they had 80s.
Once the wine/mystery event was over, they turned their attention to me and my “do list”. We replaced the flusher thingies inside the toilets, lined one toilet that sweats during the summer, and changed the plastic seats the builders had put on the potties with ceramic ones that cannot be slammed shut. I swear I have the quietest toilets around – NOW.
Mom helped me take down cabinets installed in basement so I can install them in the garage. Sounds easy, but they are not light and mom is not exactly a body builder. We did it without breaking any cabinet or any injury.
My father raked the leaves in the front yard and mowed it for me. I still have the back yard to contend with but hey, that’s less than what I started with. He also made me bean and ham soup. Yes, I know there are many people that do not care for that soup but I love it especially how my dad makes it. The problem with the soup was not in the taste but in the heat. We decided to eat the soup out of paper bowls. No biggie. . .except when you sit said paper bowl with hot soup on dining room table and it leaves a water stain ring.
Talk about freak out. I flipped. I was so upset thinking my furniture was ruined. Mom comes along as moms do and she pulled out the mayonnaise from the refrigerator and tried the old household remedy. Unfortunately, it did not work, but it was nice that she tried. This morning we were all standing around talking about the stains and decided that there had to be an answer to my water-stained wood. I, my father’s daughter, got up on the Internet and did a quick search. I found several suggestions, one of which was the mayonnaise trick. The one I found and was easiest to try was the hot iron. Yes, this is a tried and true remedy. I immediately grabbed a clean cloth, my iron, plugged it in, set it on low, and tried it. Holy cow! It worked. Of course, both my parents chime in that they “know what I will be doing tonight.” Oh yeah, I will be ironing out the water stains in my dining room table.
Now we come to the biggie, the tile I wanted above the spare bath shower. Mom and I went out and shopped for the tile and all the necessary tools/supplies. The first tile I picked she wrinkled her nose at it so I set it aside and found another one, the perfect one. We took everything home including this new product that allows you to put up tile lickety-split. While mom and I did some other tasks, dad started on the tiling. When I went upstairs to help, I saw that he had the back wall fully tiled. My heart sank, my stomach did this quivery heebie-jeebie and I wanted to cry. It was ugly and so not the perfect tile.
Once again, yours truly spazes out and has to get it removed immediately or life will be ruined. Oh! I am not kidding. Dad and I yanked every last one of those 1-inch glass tiles off the wall. The sound of them clinking and clattering against the tub was music to my ears and relief to my eyes. Well, it was until I realized the tile mat thingy was not going to come off as easily. Damn! What do I do now?
Simple. I packed myself in car, ran down to other hardware store, searched for tiles and bought the ones I liked but mom wrinkled nose at. Before we ran out to meet friend for chicken wings, dad and I replaced the tiles we ripped down. AMAZING! Beautiful! I bow to my father for making my world right again.
After dinner, we returned to the spare bathroom where dad and I finished installing the tile and then he showed me how to grout it. Okay, bring on more tile work. I can do this. My bathroom is now gorgeous. I love it and I love my parents!
We celebrated by me baking a dozen fresh baked chocolate chip cookies and eating them while still warm. YUM!
See. . .these are just a few of the many reason why I just gotta love my parents.
Mom and Dad – if you read this I’m sending hugs and kisses your way.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
I am slowly but surely making my way back from the wine/mystery event. Yes, I know I owe you pictures and details so stay tuned. I promise I will get them out soon.
In the meantime, how about a little writing boost. I know I could use one. Since I'm just getting out of wine mode and I never put a writing prompt up last week let's keep it to do with wine.
This should be good.
Prompt: The wine bottle crashed . . .
Can't wait to see what you come up with and since I am sticking my parents on a plane today, I will hopefully have time to write a response to this tonight. Enjoy and happy writing!
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
I'm baaaackkkkk! Okay, well not really. I'm here just for the moment because Denise (pictured far left - see how much we look alike?) has been kind enough to allow me a short break from my extensive community service work to announce the winner of the our Blog Takeover Mystery Contest!
And the winner is.....
Ahem, can I get a Drum-roll please???
Josie was chosen because she responded to every post and even though she picked the wrong person as the 'bad guy' she is the only person who gave it a shot! Denise and I agreed that her intense sleuthing efforts should be rewarded.
What did Josie win? Glad you asked, her prize swag pack is as follows:
- 1 signed copy of It Happens in Threes
- 1 signed copy of Killer Bunny Hill
- 2 Bookmarks from Denise's Books
- 1 Book Promo Poster
Plus, (and I am sure this will be the most exciting part) she is now an honorary member of the Wicked Wino Sleuths!
Josie, Please email me your address and how you would like the books signed to: bookedobsessedblog(at)gmail.com I will also be notifying you via Twitter. If we haven't heard back from you within the next 48 hours with the information another winner will be chosen.
And....now.....I'm off to continue my community service work and am returning this fantastic blog back to Denise.
Before I go, I will leave you with this thought: You may not have heard the last of me just yet...hmmmm.
Cheers, The Hostess
(You have no idea how hard it is to do community service in this dress? I'm just sayin'...To answer you question: No, I never take it off. Seriously, if you had a dress like this one, would you take it off?)
Posted by BookObsessedGrl at 12:24 PM
Monday, November 16, 2009
This week, we have the pleasure of reading The Last Enemy by Pauline B Jones.
A US Marshall and a romance author against a killer...what is there not to love?
Enjoy the book and then join me and Pauline back here on Sunday, November 22 to learn more about Pauline, her books, and what else she has for us to read.
Thriller/Suspense: Two men need her. One needs her dead. Betrayed by those who were supposed to protect her, romance author Dani Gwynne is plotting her own survival, working against time, terror and her fear of heights in the mile high city of Denver. Deputy U.S. Marshal Matthew Kirby is the lonesome lawman in charge of finding Dani. Hunting is what the Marshals do best and Matt is their top tracker, but even he hasn't been able to close the law and disorder gap with an elusive killer who's never missed his mark. Until now...
Paperback: 260 pages
Publisher: Hard Shell Word Factory
Author website: http://www.paulinebjones.com
Saturday, November 14, 2009
This post comes to you live from Denise's front yard where we are working off our debt...owed to her for the general mess in the house, as well as the mess and...well you get the picture. She wouldn't let me get back on the computer for a final post but she hasn't gotten around to changing the passcode yet so we logged in through KB's Blackberry. I really need to find out who gave her access in the first place! Regardless, I have to do this quick before Denise catches me and takes the Blackberry away. (We don't want that to happen because then I'll have the wrath of both Denise & KB to deal with!)
On with it....
As I am sure you know by now Denise wasn't the Bad Guy!
Denise is not just an author she is really an undercover cop!
We're not going to jail!
We have many hours of community services under Denise's watchful eye and poor Michelle's visa has been put on hold for a while...my apologies to her family who will hopefully get to see her eventually.
We had figured out who it was and he was apprehended!
We were too late...or so we thought.
King Mho Fho the Demon Sheep is doing well and decided to never drink again.
I keep having to get between KB and Jason to keep from having the only man on the crew murdered. It was Jason who left the wine with Mho Fho, but in his defense the Demon Sheep did ask him for the wine and told him that KB had given permission. (Don't ask me why he believed what the DEMON Sheep said?!) No, Jason was not the one who blew up the safe and stole the recipe for the...uh...Special Wine. Hello what were you thinking? He's part of my carefully chosen Wicked Wino Sleuths Crew!
Kyra's ghost has moved on from Zorvino's and is finally at peace. Loretta showed her the light and she headed towards it taking laughing loudly (or so Lo tells us anyway) at the sight of her murder finally being taken away in hand-cuffs. Oddly, the weather immediately cleared up right after Lo told us she had passed over. I can't explain it because Lo, won't tell us. She keeps waggling her finger at us and saying "Some things have to remain a mystery."
It was her ex-husband who'd killed her. Yup, that's right...it was her and the Editor in the Vegas picture with Denise. The three of them grew-up together. Kyra was Denise's best friend.
If like us you figured out it was the Editor you were right!
If you chose anyone else you were wrong...even if you chose Miss Concerned Citizen...unfortunately...very, unfortunately because WE have to fix that dang step her butt broke! I still don't know why we have too, anyway! She broke in also and it was her butt that broke the step!!! Nevermind, won't do me any more good to complain to you about it than it did complaining to Denise about it.
Okay, Denise seems to be distracted on the phone so let me see if I can tell you what happened when we arrived at Zorvino's to meet up with KB and stop the killer.
We screeched to a halt just inside the gates to of the Vineyard, where KB was waiting impatiently for us with King Mho Fho in what I can only call a cat carrier. (She claims it's a Demon Sheep carrier but seriously who does she think she's kidding? There is no such thing as a Demon Sheep Carrier!) We took off at a dead run and went slamming through the doors to the main hall, all yelling at once. We quickly skid to a halt when we saw the chalk outline on the floor and noticed the dead silence around us. As we scanned around the room at all the surprised faces we noticed someone face-down on the floor with Denise's knee in his back and his arms half cuffed. She was glanced at us, said "Be right with you," and continued to cuff the guy. When she was done she proceeded to thank us for showing up so that she wouldn't have to swing by her house to arrest us there. It was our turn to look stunned! I stepped forward to explain and tell her it was the Editor who did it (at this point we still hadn't seen the face of the guy on the floor). She listened, then said "I know." Walked away yanked the Editor off the floor by the arms and told us to follow her.
Uh-Oh...she's hanging up the phone.
Real quick: (really this time)
They set him up! She'd figured it out. Didn't need our help and no one died at Zorvino's last night. She knew we were at her house too. Not because of the blog, mind you. Nope, she is much to crafty for that to have been necessary. (I did hear her tell someone she enjoyed the posts - heh she thought they were funny. They were soooo not funny!) She had the place bugged! The whole dang house is wired up. Can you believe that?
So there you have it. All of our super-powers combined and the cop figured it out first. Plus none of us have the kind of powers necessary to clean this mess up!
Oh-No....She's headed straight for me with her hand out....KB's gonna kill m...........................
Posted by BookObsessedGrl at 12:00 PM
Friday, November 13, 2009
What the heck was that? I don't remember giving KB the passcode for my blog..uh...I mean Denise's blog that we hacked into? (What? I am getting a bit attached. So sue me!)
Anyways...I suppose its a good thing that she got on here some how because otherwise I wouldn't have know about the secret recipe having been stolen or what had been done to poor Mho! Yeah, I did just find out at the same time you guys did. Don't you start too! I forgot my cell in the basement...it happens to even the best of us.
Wait a minute, were you really thinking that I had something to do with this mess??? Uh...NO! That would be too easy. I don't have time to chastise you right now though. I only have time to bring you up to speed and get out of here. We have figured it out and have to get to Zorvino before someone else pays the price.
Let's see...hmmm...Ah yes...That's what you need to know...
What are some of the things we found under the stairs in the basement?
Pictures below with explanation beneath them. (Some of the things referenced in Miss Concerned Citizen's letter we did not take pictures of or scan so as not to jeopardize our investigation.)
Picture #1 is a fairly recent picture of Denise - It has been cropped so we can verify what it implies after we get to the vineyard. Picture #2 its pretty obvious is Denise at a Vegas wedding from some years back - what is probably less obvious to you is who it is getting married behind her - it looks a lot like the Editor and Kyra, the woman who died at the vineyard years ago, who Fab-Para spoke with yesterday. Picture #3 is a bottle of wine with a faded label that upon closer inspection does in fact have an old Zorvino logo on it. It is oxigenated just like she said in her letter to the paper.
What did Fab-Para learn from the chat with Kyra's ghost?
Well, I can't really tell you that, yet. It didn't all make sense until a few minutes ago anyway.
But I will offer you the following written by Loretta a.k.a. Para-Fab to the newspaper via email. I'm posting it here for you now because I have a feeling that after tonight it might never see the light of day and she did work hard on it while she was fuming earlier.
Letter to the Editor:
Upon the disclosure of my presence in Sandown, I felt the need to shed some light on the nature of my investigation. (That is not a directive for any lost souls to run hurly-burly into the light until we have had a chance to lovingly ascertain what has held you here).
I have come to town at the request of a person I feel should remain anonymous. My presence here is simply to test the waters as it were, or perhaps more aptly put—test the cold spots in certain vicinities that might prove helpful.
Zorvino Vineyards has graciously allowed me entrance to their grounds at times when guests were not in attendance. I might also add, they have graciously shared several bottles of their lovely wines which I and a few friends have been more than delighted to sample. I have found the Zorvino Zinfandel to be delightful and very relaxing after dealing with the events of the last few days.
My findings while here were to be kept private until my contact deemed it appropriate to disclose the information. Since this privacy has been breached in some unknown way, I will go so far as to say, that yes, I have received contact from a spirit who passed years ago at the vineyard. They have brought to light certain pieces of information that have been extremely informative.
As to my whereabouts, I cannot see why that should have any bearing on my investigation, and can only speculate this was mentioned strictly for sensationalism.
Whatever presence is here, will certainly find me I’m sure—whether it be at the vineyard, or where I am currently residing.
Love and light,
Loretta Wheeler C. P.
And with that I bid you ado...hopefully I'll be able to find a way to update you regarding whodunit?
Posted by BookObsessedGrl at 6:23 PM
There is some shadiness a foot at the Zorvino Vineyards and I’m afraid to admit, because for concern for my safety, that I believe one of my fellow Wicked Wino Sleuths may be in cahoots with Denise to cause some mayhem. The reason? There is a very special unveiling tonight of a top secret red wine that the winery has created. This wine is made with some special ingredients that the other vineyards in the surrounding area don’t have. Whoever can figure out the recipe and make the wine before the Zorvino Vineyards announce it will become multi millionaires and the kings of the wine world!
Because I have a sidekick, Mho Fho, we were able to split up and look at the suspects. And there are plenty. With my hand dandy palm reading skills, with one touch I can find out who will steal this bottle of wine and break into the safe where the recipe is hidden. Mho Fho has been guarding the room where the safe is located and even though he has a weakness for wine (because he’s a lushy sheep), he has promised me he won’t drink any until these culprits are caught. And because I have my Blackberry on me, I can report everything as it’s happening. Why, I have just seen-
The recipe for the top secret wine has been stolen! Everyone is running around in a tizzy. The dastardly person or persons responsible knew of Mho Fho’s weakness for fruity wine and because he is such a weak sheep, they gave him a few bottles to drink.
I’ve been trying to get a hold of my fearless leader, Heather, who goes by the name Book Obsessed (you may know her better as The Hostess)- because with her wonderful investigating skills, she can get to the bottom of this crime! All I know is that the lock to the door has been destroyed and the safe blown open! Someone who has these skills is the villain. Also Mho Fho keeps moaning Heather’s name. Could she be the one who pulled off this?
Stay tuned while I get to the bottom of this. The gloves are coming off and no one will be safe from my touch because I will find out who caused my demon sheep to fall back on the wagon and the one who wants to bring down the Zorvino Vineyards!
Posted by BookObsessedGrl at 5:59 PM
The emotions in the house are tense to put it mildly. It has now been three days since we last had any contact with the Editor of The Sandown Scene. This is also the third time something about us instead of by us has appeared in the paper!
How this even happened is beyond me. Nobody should have known we would been there or could have seen us. At least I didn't think it was possible that anyone could have seen us, but sadly, I am obviously be wrong. Something is not right about this...so much is not right about this in fact.
The worst part is who found this tasty little tid-bit in the paper. Of course it was Loretta, our very own Fab-Para Fearless who found it and now we might have to change her name from fearless, to feared - that's how livid she is! (Everyone else is tip-toeing around. That is everyone else that is here right now anyway...but that's another story.) Read the article below...
Breaking News: Parapsychologist amongst us?
This reporter has had a very familiar, although dormant chill run up their back once again. As most of you may recall, a most gruesome murder was committed at the Zorvino Vineyards several years ago. A murder that was never solved and which may or may not have helped with the success of the Zorvino line. Evidently, due to rumors of strange occurrences at the vineyard, someone has seen fit to have a parapsychologist brought in to do a little investigating and communing with, dare I say it—dead people?
Now, this reporter knows that loose lips sink ships and not wishing to find themselves under investigation, or perhaps added as a no longer living participant to this murder mystery tour, I will not be disclosing the source for the information printed below. (I have read Agatha Christie’s “And Then There Were None” and do not wish to find myself on the list of the None). I have it on good authority that this female parapsychologist has actually been in town for several days (staying where one wonders?) and that there have been some very strange events reported by her. Even at this moment, city council is deliberating as to whether they should follow her directives. It seems “Ms. I See Dead People”, has intimated that the infamous murder victim has led her to believe that there are TUNNELS beneath the lovely Zorvino Vineyard. According to this reporter’s very reliable source, what lies beneath the vineyards—in the dark—holds a clue to the truth of the happenings at Zorvino’s.
You all already know we were there yesterday, and yes, Fab-Para did have an interesting chat with the ghost of the woman who was murdered there years ago. There may be some truth to some of the other things she mentions but...Where does she get this stuff about the CITY COUNCIL??? I am really wondering about this newspaper and where they find these hacks.
I am off to drink some of the Australian Shiraz that I. Sneak brought over with her. I know its not a Zorvino's wine but I can't help it if they don't produce an Australian Shiraz. I mean if they did I would of course be drinking that, but...oh forget it...I'm off to find the bottle opener.
Posted by BookObsessedGrl at 4:08 PM
Thursday, November 12, 2009
I was so riled up yesterday about the whole Miss Concerned Citizen incident, I forgot tell you that we went on a little field trip to Zorvino Vineyards. We learned some interesting things while we were there, but I'll get into that later.
Earlier in the week I mentioned that our Mild Mannered Genius would be doing weather updates as often as there were weather changes to report. Well there weren't really any changes, unless you count it getting colder and colder as changes - that is until yesterday when we snuck onto the Zorvino Vineyards property....and the wicked weather appeared to follow us...
Wicked Weather Report:
Reasonable temperatures and sunshine had been the norm in the area immediately surrounding the local vineyards for the past several days. Even while the Sandown area continued to battle the unexpected arctic blasts, bleak cloud covering and continuous heavy fog. In a bizarre turn of events, lasting only a few short hours, the weather patterns seemed to have switched places. Sudden bursts of lightening light assaulted the Zorvino winery, leaving behind strange, smoldering patterns throughout the vineyards. A heavy blanket of gloomy fog enveloped the entire area and heavy snow fell in rapid succession. Meanwhile, the Sandown area was temporarily bright, warm and coated in plenty of that golden yellow magic. Just as suddenly as it started this weather phenomenon reversed leaving behind a crisp carpet of snow at Zorvino and plunging the Sandown area back into the grips of the gloom we had seen for over the past week.
This is an image we just pulled from the Zorvino website of what it looked like after we left. Curious, isn't it? None of us are complaining because the fog offered us valuable cover for our investigating needs but...well to be honest the only one of the WWS who wasn't a bit creeped out by the whole thing was our, Fab-Para Fearless, Loretta. Which now that I am thinking about it probably makes sense...gotta go find her.
Cheers ya'll - be back soon...
Posted by BookObsessedGrl at 2:53 PM
Our evening of wine drinking was cut woefully short last night by the nosy neighbor I have mentioned a couple of times. That would be the one who has been wandering around in front of the house. Last night she didn't stay outside the house! For reason we could not fathom at the time she decided to come into the house. We all had to grab as much of our stuff as we could get quickly and scramble to hide in the first places we could find. Then she made a whole bunch of noise down in the basement and then proceeded to walk around the house taking pictures. I could feel the waves of excitement rolling off of her from my hiding place, but then she just left.
To say that we were quite annoyed by the entire incident is a serious understatement. We went to the basement and looked down the after she left but didn't see anything amiss besides a broken step. Then we made sure everything was locked up tight and went back to our drinking. We figured that she had just wanted to see the inside of Denise's house.
Our darling, I. Sneak, by the way always goes to the "Dear...Whoever," section of any newspaper because she claims the real info is always hidden there. She has been saying "I told you, so!" to us all day long and we can't even argue with her because she was right.
I feel it my civic duty to bring to your attention something unusual I discovered, by accident of course, at the house of a successful local author. She is a master of secrets, her novels, full of suspense, thrilling mystery and sexy romance. Do I need to name names?… I don’t think so!
I cannot stress enough my level of surprise over my discovery and at such great personal cost to myself! I have sustained injury to both body and mind in bringing you this information.
Recently, I had need to visit our author's home but after discovering her not there I turned to leave. I was still on the stairs when I heard something fall and smash. Thinking it a neighboring thing to do, I decided I should check that all was well inside. The porch window was open wide so I popped in. Honestly people, why lock your doors if you’re going to leave the windows open! Anyway, back to the story. I made my way around the house but couldn’t see anything amiss until a big fluffy cat shot out of the basement door. Gave me such a fright!
One of her cats causing mischief or mayhem down in the basement I suppose. I had not taken two steps down into the basement when I heard a strange clicking sound and felt something wrap around my ankles. Next thing I know I’m flying through the air and landing with a crack on the third step from the bottom. After extricating myself from the stair, I inspect where I landed. The stair is completely broken, snapped in half. Amazing what damage well rounded, child bearing hips can do!
I pulled one of the pieces away and was surprised to find a whole collection of things stored in there. The first to catch my eye was a bottle of Zorvino wine, it had been opened. I pulled the cork and could smell it had gone bad. The next was a photo. It was very damaged but it looked like it was of a group of people at a dinner. They were all holding up a book each for the camera. I’m sure our author was the woman in the middle but it was obviously taken many years ago and she looked quite different. The last was an old newspaper folded open to an article on an old murder.
Why would anyone hide an opened bottle of wine? With all the bad luck that our beloved Zorvino Winery has suffered recently, it makes you wonder doesn’t it. Also, what tripped me up? I couldn’t find any sign of what might have wrapped around my feet. Who sets a trap on their basement stairs?
So there, I’ve done my duty. What does it all mean?… Don’t have a clue but I’ll leave it to you to draw your own conclusions. I can sleep well now, knowing I’ve shared my discovery.
This "Concerned Citizen" must have ran home typed it up and emailed it straight to the paper. She even included some of the pictures she took while she was here! If you look closely at the images she took (seen below), you might even be able to see us hiding. (In fact I am pretty sure you can see King Mho Fho peering out from under the curtain in one of them.) After perusing her lov'ahly images page down for what we did after reading her, uh...letter... to the paper. (I mean seriously what does she think she is an iReporter? Heh.)
Needless to say we all took off for the basement. Where we almost fell down the stairs after - I. Sneak stopped short, just before the first step and we all ran into her! (My sides still hurt from laughing over that one!) In the excitement everyone except for I. Sneak forgot wait seemed to be very valuable information about the trap on the stairs. After regrouping we decided to throw a cat toy down there to trip the trap and we all held our breath....and....nothing! There's no trap. The woman is obviously a serious klutz and completely out of her mind. That said, when we got to the bottom and inspected the steps - everything she said was there - amazingly enough really was! (Makes me wonder what she took with her?) What's almost as interesting as all the things found under the broken step is that all of the lower stairs are actually drawers, as seen in the next picture.
So we have a long night of wine, foraging and research ahead of us. If only we had know about the plethora of hidden stuff in the basement I think we might be a little farther along in our investigation. I am still not thrilled with 'Miss Concerned Citizen', but I supposed we should be thankful for her inability to mind her own business.
Tonight I leave you with another picture I just snapped of Mayhem seen here about to climb onto my keyboard and behind the laptop you can just make out Mischief - Denise's cats. One of whom is probably the real one we have to thank for all the new pieces to this puzzle!
Posted by BookObsessedGrl at 2:49 PM
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
As I mentioned earlier the past 24 hours have been interesting to say the least. As you know we were hired by the Editor of the local newspaper, The Sandown Scene to investigate connections between Denise Robbins and some unusual events at the Zorvino Vineyards. The Editor made it very clear that our presence here was supposed to be a secret and that any report we submitted for the paper would be publish under false names and no details regarding how we obtained any of our information would be revealed. As it turns out not only are our reports not being printed, but reports about us are! Thankfully the reporter did not get the story completely right but it is a bit to close for comfort.
Our Master of Mayhem, had submitted his own Crime Beat article and was told it would appear in this morning's paper. His article was about a murder that occurred several years ago at the Zorvino Vineyards and a possible connection to Ms. Robbins. However, when he opened the paper this morning he discovered this article about us in its place. (seen below) Our attempts to contact the Editor have gone unanswered. Read the article, then I will tell you what really happened.
According to local authorities, strange lights and sounds have been emitting from the home of one Denise Robbins. Neighbors reported a glowing blue light coming from the front windows of the house recently. The sounds, according to one witness, were crashes, and "Like a massive electric wine-bottle opener."
Authorities have attempted to contact Robbins, but it is being reported that she is out of town on the Zorvino writer's retreat. Police have monitored the house and noticed individuals moving about inside, but no one has answered the doorbell. Currently, the authorities are considering entry into the premises under the "Just Cause" umbrella.
This is not the first time the Robbins Estate has been in the news. Two years ago, esteemed wine reviewer, Caleb Sinclair turned up missing after visiting the home.
Attempts to contact to Ms. Robbins are still underway.
Posted by BookObsessedGrl at 7:00 PM
The past 24 hours here have been pure insanity. I have so much to catch everybody up on, but before I get into all that I had to take this rare opportunity to share a picture I took of our Truth Teller's Demon Sheep side-kick. She is out following up on some leads right now so I have to make this quick.
I had quite the talk with King Mho Fho last night and to hear him tell it he just allows our dear Truth Teller to think she's the one in charge. In his opinion she is the side-kick not him. (Really, would you expect any less from a Demon Sheep King, with delusions of grandeur?) It was so hard to keep a straight face as he told me all about his clandestine escapades. Many of which I noticed sounded oddly like a combination of story lines from several romance novels. So of course I had to asked him if he read romance novels and as it turns out he is addicted to them! He even thinks that the heroines all fall in love with him! Mho Fho is an absolute trip and I see why she keeps him around. The only complaint I have is that he really needs to lay off the wine and leave some for the rest of us.
Posted by BookObsessedGrl at 1:13 PM
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
The weather somehow seems to be mirroring our collective feelings as we delve deeper into this investigation. After some discussion we have all agreed that you should know as much as possible about everything going on here; so from now on we will do our best to keep you informed about the weather we are and have been experiencing since shortly after our arrival at Denise's house. I know you are thinking "Weather? Really, its just weather. Why are they making such a big deal about it?" If you will bare with me I will explain why we find this important enough to report to you: When we first got here yesterday it was chilly and the sky was a bit hazy, but the sun was visible. That was how it remained for a few hours, when with no warning it suddenly went downhill. The local meteorologists are stunned and mystified by this unanticipated weather phenomenon.
The weather reports will be brought to you as often as seems necessary by our Mild Mannered Genius, April and will include a picture when possible. Then I will add which wine I think goes best with the weather at the end of each reports. It is after all very important that the wine you choose be appropriate for your weather conditions.
Wicked Weather Report:
Warmth and sunshine continue to elude the Sandown area, as arctic blasts and bleak clouds remain. Sudden bursts of lightening also continue to assault, leaving behind strange and smoldering patterns, explained only by an unstable atmospheric occurrence. A heavy blanket of gloominess looks to be sticking around, at least for the the rest today and into tomorrow evening.
Meanwhile, surrounding areas are bright, warm and packed with plenty of that golden yellow magic.
*This image is of a highway not far from Denise's house, taken about an hour ago. If we one of us can get out to one of the surrounding areas tomorrow we will snap some pictures to show the contrast.*
The wine I have chosen for this evening is Zorvino Vineyards, 2008 Great Nor'easter Red. We just popped the cork on it and it even smells perfect for this weather!
Posted by BookObsessedGrl at 5:08 PM
Monday, November 9, 2009
I had hoped to have all of the introductions done by the end of the day yesterday but alas that was not to be. It has taken us quite sometime to get set-up and settled in due to a few strange phenomenon (even by our standards), the arrival of our newest addition(s), and a nosy neighbor that kept wondering back and forth in front of the house. Fortunately things seem to have settled down a bit, our equipment is in place, the neighbor appears to have found somebody else's business to get into and we are getting used to the doors slamming on their own, the odd cold spots throughout the house and the gusts of cold wind threatening to freeze us to death. I for one am glad we have the exceptional crew we do because most people would have run for the hills by now after the day we had yesterday. Though I think it's possible that the copious amounts of Zorvino Cabernet Sauvignon and Riesling that we plundered from Denise's under-counter wine cooler may have both slowed us down and calmed our nerves. (Well to be fair I am pretty sure I'm the one who drank most of the Zorvino Riesling. What can I say? It's one of my favorite types of wine.)
Let's get on with it shall we?
I am Heather as you have probably already figured out if you are any sleuth worth your salt. I am an as-yet-to-be published author (unless you count poetry in Miami Herald may years ago) and the voice of the book blog Book Obsessed. I discovered at a very young age that I had both keen observation skills (much to the chagrin of most of the adults around me then) and that I am an Empath (much to my own chagrin until I learned to harness it). It is these two skills combined that have made me a natural at bringing people together and pulling off many near impossible stunts, performances and events. My day job for the better part of the past 14 years has been coordinating everything from weddings to corporate branding parties all over the world. That is how I became known as The Hostess. I am absolutely incapable of sitting still, completely obsessed with reading (well, maybe just obsessive overall), an insomniac and am curious to a fault. That curiosity kicks into overdrive when I switch on my Empathy and feel incongruent emotions from those around me. I often practice my Empathy skills on my husband and two teen-age daughters (more chagrin to be had there no doubt). One marathon 36 hour sleepless reading binge inspired me to utilize my talents and those of a few key people I had recently encounter to form the Wicked Wino Sleuths crew. Wicked is my favorite word. Wino is a nod to all of our reverence for well made wines. Sleuths is what we are.
Without further ado, please allow me to introduce you to my awesomely eclectic, increidably talented and often tipsy crew, know as the Wicked Wino Sleuths or WWS for short:
April was one of the first people I contacted when I began putting together the WWS crew her special talent being no small factor in that decision. She is not only the genius responsible for the mesmerizing book blog Cafe of Dreams but she is also a stay-at-home-mom of two rowdy little delights. When she is not crawling the ceiling or banging her head against a wall in a rare show of insanity, she is busy typing away at the computer. Little does her kids, husband, family and friends know of the real person lurking within. A secret life previously known to no one but her. Is she saint, sinner, savior or destroyer? Hmmm.....perhaps it just depends on the day. (I'll give you a hint: I didn't hack into this blog myself. I'm just sayin...) You can find her most often at her blog where she brings the joy of books to the world at large and perhaps while you are there, you can spots some clues as to who the real April truly is....
Jason blogs about writing and is an as-yet-to-be published author with six novel length completed manuscripts and a considerable number of short stories under his belt. On the surface Jason seems to be as laid back and easy as Sunday morning, but one look into his eyes and you will get a glimpse at what he is truly capable of. Thanks to my gift I was able to catch far more than a glimpse and what I saw a talent I could not pass up. He is a make things happen and let the chips fall where they may kinda guy and an indispensable member of the WWS crew. Wherever Jason goes mayhem is sure to follow! Nothing and I do mean nothing can stop him when the goal is in his sights. (I will admit that this has caused the need for some shall we say creative explanations in the aftermath before, but it is a small price to pay I assure you.) Some of the gifts he brings to the table are his ability to open any lock/safe/security system without any tools I have ever seen, an impressive knowledge of explosives, plus an expertise with both modern and archaic weaponry. Like I said indispensable. (Just one piece of advice don't make the mistake of asking him how he is able to 'open' things without tools, as others have. Lets just say he doesn't like to talk about it and leave it at that.)
Loretta, was asked to join WWS after I read an article about her in the newspaper and I am especially glad she agreed because for this investigation her expertise with the paranormal seems more essential by the minute. She is a certified parapsychologist who is contracted periodically to work alongside the police. She jokingly refers to herself as a New Age Ghostbuster who is very “spirited”. It has been said though that one trip around the block with her quickly dispels any doubts one might have as to her seriousness when working on a case. She has been known to offer more than a few hair-raising occurrences for those who have accompanied her in her line of investigations. Loretta lives in the southern part of the U.S. with her Australian husband and her cat Lil’ Dickens. In addition to her paranormal investigations Loretta is also an published author whose paranormal stories can be found in two anthologies, all the information on her current releases as well as upcoming ones can be found on her website.
Michelle is the undercover reader from Down Under behind the magnificent blog, Torch Under the Blanket Books has traveled all the way here to help solve this mystery because she is the the truly insatiable sneak of the WWS crew. (Sometimes I swear we have to hold her back when she's onto something. Hope she doesn't see this...Shhhh.) She can smell a conspiracy at a hundred paces. Her extraordinary talent for sneakiness makes her a valuable and dangerous member of our crew. She loves nothing better than rummaging around, torch in hand, into every dark chapter of people’s private lives. Anything goes when there is a mystery to solve. She keeps in good sneaky shape by knowing everything that goes on in her own house. Just try and sneak an extra biscuit while she is in the house. (Seriously, don't do it. I've tried and it got ugly.) Her husband and son live in awe of her ‘spidey-senses’ as they call them. She lives in her own slice of paradise, a stone’s throw from the beach and appears on the surface to be your usual run’a’the’mill hippy chick flower child but don’t be fooled. Her obsession with books has put her on intimate terms with some of the best super-sleuths of all time.
Last but not least our newest addition to our illustrious crew...
KB is the mastermind behind the Katie Babbles About Books Blog and an as-yet-to-be published author. As someone who cannot stand to be bored for even a moment KB has completed five manuscripts and is currently working on two WIP's in the Urban Fantasy and YA genres. She generously dropped everything to join our crew as soon as she discovered we were missing a key member. KB brings a skill set that is not only useful to this particular investigation but also quite hard to come by these days unless you know just where to look. (Luckily I do) As a the palm reader that she is in her spare time most people don't pay her to much mind or off as much respect as KB also has the rare gift of knowing when someone is lying just by touching them. Of course this has not made life easy for her, especially growing up but these days you will most often find her wearing beautifully decorated and very custom made gloves. KB even arrived this afternoon complete with her very own side-kick, King Mho Fho the Demon Sheep. We are all very excited to have KB join our crew! (I might even be able to sneak a few pictures of the uh...King Demon Sheep. Ya'll just have to promise not to tell KB about it. She doesn't like to feed his already huge ego by letting him to pose for pictures, as he's a bit of a camera hog. Shhhh...)
Your first mission should you choose to accept, my dear fellow sleuths is to figure out which aspects of our biographies are completely true and which might be exaggerations. Leave your answers in the comments section.