Thursday, March 31, 2011


June 28th was a memorable day in my life. The day when Scene Stealer was launched by Carina Press, I can’t remember what the weather was like but in my mind it must have been sunny, warm and lovely. I expected to receive “Congratulations,” from family and friends and I eagerly and nervously awaited reviews but something I never expected would happen—happened—once a few of the relatives and friends read the book and expressed their secret desire to write. My problem was they wanted to partner up and write with me. How do you tell the people you love and care about that you’re a loner enjoy characters that emerge from my imagination and—in your humble opinion—they should sit down with pen, paper, typewriter or computer and give it a try.

It isn’t easy. One relative continued communicating but I don’t think he finished the book. A friend took my advice but I’ve heard nothing further.

How many of you enjoy a partner? How many are loners like me? How many have friends who suddenly decide to write?


Download hot ebooks from Carina PressAudiobooks at!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Billy Boyle

Found a new mystery writer in James R. Benn. I've begun reading his first, titled Billy Boyle, in his World War II mystery series and finished half the book last night. It's a page turner and I will finish the book tonight and look forward to reading the other titles.

The hero, a cop from the south side of Boston, is sent to London--his family pulled a few strings--hoping to keep him from getting killed. They're distantly related to General Eisenhower and he joins the General's team. Add espionage and a murder and Billy is handed the job of finding the spy. Billy is a charmer and I am completely attached to him. All of Benn's people are real and I'm glad I discovered the author and series.



My cozy mystery, Scene Stealer, is available at Carina Press, Amazon, Barnes and Noble and wherever eBook are sold. An audio version is available through Audible .com
Download hot ebooks from Carina PressAudiobooks at!

Friday, March 18, 2011

A Day Off, A Day In

Meant to spend today at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, drinking in Cezanne. Rambling through the photography exhibits then stopping for lunch at a little spot with excellent Chinese food and affordable prices. Ahh, twas not to be. The cold I've been fighting since Tuesday won. The usual sore throat and sneezing--so the day was spent at the computer cutting an article with occasional stops for lemon drops, tea, orange juice, extra vitamin C and chicken soup. The Met is postponed until next week. Supper tonight will be yogurt and left-over Irish Soda Bread.

The article is simmering until tomorrow when I will take another look, then send it on its merry way. Meanwhile, I'm thinking about the novel, thoughts creep into my mind at unexpected times. What would we do without that pad and pencil by the bed?



My cozy mystery titled Scene Stealer is available at Carina Press and wherever eBooks are sold. An audio version is available though

Download hot ebooks from Carina PressAudiobooks at!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Elise Warner: St. Patrick's Day

Elise Warner: St. Patrick's Day: "Today is St. Patrick's Day and today everyone in New York City is Irish. There's a run on corned beef and cabbage at supermarkets and neighb..."

Download hot ebooks from Carina PressAudiobooks at!

St. Patrick's Day

Today is St. Patrick's Day and today everyone in New York City is Irish. There's a run on corned beef and cabbage at supermarkets and neighborhood restaurants, customers line up at bakeries to buy Irish Soda Bread, shamrocks and green carnations are sold at florists and everyone wears green. Today, would have been my mother's birthday. She was born on the Saint's day and since it was also Purim that year, she was named Esther in honor of the Queen.

Queen Esther was a lovely child who lived with her cousin Mordecai in Persia. Mordecai brought her up as he would a daughter. When she grew to be a beautiful, young woman she was taken to the house of Ahasuerus, King of Persia, to become part of his harem. (They didn't know much about women's lib in those days.) King Ahasuerus fell in love with Esther and made her his queen. Mordecai asked Esther not to reveal her faith as a Jew.

Haman, an advisor to the king, hated Mordecai because he refused to bow down to him and plotted to destroy the Jewish people. Mordecai asked Esther to speak to the king. She prepared herself by fasting and told the king of Hamen's plot against her people. The king's love for Esther conquered Haman and the people were saved.

Every St. Patrick's Day, my grandfather, instead of bringing a cupcake with green icing to celebrate my mother's birthday, would bring my mother a hamentaschen. Hamentaschen is a triangular fruit filled cookie that represents Hamen's hat.

Just like St. Patrick's Day, the motto on Purim is eat, drink and be merry. Gifts of food and drink are offered to friends and family and donations are made to charities. Whenever Hamen's name is mentioned, people boo, hiss , stamp their feet and rattle noisemakers.

Happy birthday, mom wherever you are and Happy St. Patrick's Day to all.



My cozy mystery titled Scene Stealer is available through Carina Press and wherever eBooks are sold. An audio version may be obtained at

Download hot ebooks from Carina PressAudiobooks at!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Spring Has Sprung

Set the clocks ahead Sunday. Two fat Robins greeted me when we made a visit to New Jersey yesterday and today, though a chill March wind encouraged the wearing of a sweater, coat, gloves and a hat, I could see the limbs of trees had buds ready to open and turn spring green on the first warm day. Tiny purple, lavender and blue flowers had already poked there heads above ground daring Mother Nature to send another snow storm.

I guess my writer's brain was feeling spring in the air because characters began poking me, telling me what they needed to do next to advance their story. Stirring up trouble and keeping me awake at night. I'm ready for them--a pad and pen in the drawer of my night-table.



My cozy mystery Scene Stealer is available at Carina Press and wherever eBooks are sold. An audio version is available at

Download hot ebooks from Carina PressAudiobooks at!

Thursday, March 10, 2011


A friend called this morning. she had been given an eReader for Christmas and was in the middle of reading Scene Stealer. We had worked in musicals together and she asked if a character in one of my chapters was based on a tenor we worked with. "Who?" I asked. I finally remembered the man she was talking about but I guess He hadn't made that much of an impression on me and he wasn't the character. Different height, weight, sexual orientation, outllook--in my mind he was completely different than the personality she imagined. Prhaps that's why when a book is made into a picture, many readers are disappointed.

Writers--have you had an experience like mine?



Download hot ebooks from Carina PressAudiobooks at!

Monday, March 7, 2011


This past week, public radio and television stations have been asking for contributions to keep their programs on the air. One of the announcers asked what would our lives be like without the arts and it got me to thinking. In the morning, after washing my face and teeth and throwing on some clothes, the first thing I do is turn the radio to our classical music station-WQXR-and listen while I make breakfast. Sometimes, after a restless night, the music soothes, sometimes a piece spurs me on to a more productive day. On weekends, I listen to Jonathan Schwartz on WNEW as he plays and talks about musical comedy and jazz greats. Singers like Sinatra and Clooney and Bennett. The fabulous Ella Fitzgerald and the singer's singer--Mabel Mercer. Composers and lyricists like Rogers, Bernstein, Porter, Gershwin, Hammerstein and Sondheim. What would I do without those stations?

Then there are museums where average folk can wander and fall in love with paintings that cover every taste from early Greek and Roman, African and Asian, renaissance, classical, impressionism, modern, and folk. Sculpture from the masters--Michelangelo, Rodin, Degas and photography--one of our latest arts. In Brussels--one can even study and gaze at the Ninth Art--cartoons.

Perhaps books mean the most to me. Words can make me dream, add excitemnt to a dull period in my life, encourage laughter and tears. Provoke anger, lull me to sleep and make me think. Books open my mind to the possible and sometimes make the impossible--possible.

Scene Stealer, my eBook mystery is available at Carina Press and wherever eBooks are sold. An audio version is available at

Download hot ebooks from Carina PressAudiobooks at!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Tulip Time

One day we were in the Jordaan area, thought to be named for the French Le Jardin (garden). Most of the alleyways and canals in this section are named for flowers and I visualize fields of tulips before we step through the door of Amsterdam’s Tulip Museum and meet the museum’s knowledgeable director Sjoerd van Eeden who brings the amazing history of the tulip to life.

A relative of the lily, the tulip did not originate in Holland but grew, wild and free, in the central Asian highlands. Brought by Sultans to Istanbul from Persia, the tulip thrived and reigned supreme in their gardens inspiring the admiration of Augerius Busbeguius, a Viennese Ambassador sent by the Austrian Emperor Ferdinand I to the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire. Busbeguius introduced the tulip to Europe. Flowers grown from the seed the Ambassador sent to Vienna became enormously popular; before long seeds and bulbs were carried to many parts of Europe including Antwerp, Brussels, Paris and Prague. The wealthy were captivated by this entertaining pastime and western European gardens blazed with the flower by 1630. The tulip had become an icon of prosperity bought and sold by specialists and academics.

Carolus Clusius, a biologist from Vienna, became the director of Hortus Botanicus in Leiden, the oldest botanical garden in Europe, in the 1590s. He had a background in medicine and in Leiden, he researched medicinal plants. Clusius was one of the first to grow tulips, introducing the bulb to Holland. He experimented, performing crossbreeding and propagation with different species. Displaying his sizeable collection; he presented bulbs for sale in 1591. The price, Clusius asked for the bulbs was high and no one knows whether the bulbs were sold or stolen from his garden but the citizens of Leiden began growing bulbs that to this day remains a principal industry in Holland.

Sjoerd tells us the Sultans thought the flower resembled an upside down turban called dulban or tuliban and the name developed into tulip. By the 17th century, many outstanding selections of tulips were developed for the prosperous by horticulturists and were desired for their elegance or delicacy, varied hue, rarity and social standing. Tulipomania in Holland led to speculation (traders often earned as much as 60,000 florins (approximately $61,000) in a month). Tulip bulbs were traded until the cost reached the price of a house. Financial disaster followed in the crash of 1637; in less than two months, thousands of Dutch businessmen were bankrupt but the cultivation of tulips continued and today is run according to standard business practices.

Many of the tulips that stirred the speculation are still in existence and history’s tulips may be planted or, if you’re inspired by the Dutch Masters, painted today. They can be purchased through mail order catalogues and garden centers.
The tulip is a member of the onion family and during World War II was fried and eaten when food was scarce; gardeners may notice that squirrels and deer consider the flower a delicacy. Deer are not as attracted to daffodils, alliums, lilies, snowflakes and scilla.

Travelers passing fields of tulips, after their first bloom, may be surprised to see stems without heads. Tulips are allowed to flower for seven to ten days before mechanical harvesters clip the flower stalks to preserve nutrients for their bulbs. The flowers are often fed to cows; they prefer the red ones. The big business in Holland is supplying bulbs not flowers but the Dutch fill their gardens with magnificent blooms and purchase fragrant bouquets for less than five Euros and as I passed flower stalls in the daily markets, I longed to fill my hotel room with nature’s vibrant works of art.

The museum offers a film that takes the visitor to the tulip fields of the Netherlands and a modern tulip farm. The museum’s gift shop, Bloembollenwinkel (Bulb Basket) offers prints, books, mugs, antique tiles, delicate cups and saucers, vases and note paper in addition to bulbs. Prices range from 2.50 euros for a keychain to 14 for a T-shirt to 35 for a handbag. The keepsakes make lovely gifts and are a sweet remembrance of Holland’s favorite flower.

Scene Stealer is available at Carina Press:
Download hot ebooks from Carina Press

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


Why, why can't I link to the Carina Press website? Not too good technically but I did set up my own computer and printer. Set up this blogsite and a website. Joined the social networks of Facebook and Twitter but I can't seem to link. Don't think there's a Dummies book on how to link.

What in the world am I doing wrong? Help.

Download hot ebooks from Carina Press