Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Writerly Wednesday AND Did You Know


 What's your word, sentence, synonym or example for:


Example: The eyewinker in my eye is driving me crazy!


 Did you know, due to his love of animals, Leonardo da Vinci was a vegetarian?

For more information: History of Vegetarianism - Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) - da Vinci's vegetarianism (


The answer to yesterday's question, one cat or two?

Two. Maisy and Frank:)

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Ketch-Up Day


How are you? Not much going on today. Just some quick pics and that's it. Have a great week.

Hydrangeas for Andrew



Do you see one cat or two?

That's all, buds.

Wednesday, June 5, 2024

IWSG Wednesday AND Did You Know



The first Wednesday of every month is officially IWSG day. IWSG was formed by Ninja Captain Alex Cavanaugh. Members post about their doubts and fears, discuss struggles and triumphs, and offer words of encouragement to others who are struggling.

 Twitter handle: @TheIWSG  

Hashtag: #IWSG 


 The awesome co-hosts for the June 5 posting of the IWSG are Liza at Middle Passages, Shannon Lawrence, Melissa Maygrove, and Olga Godim!

Every month, we announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say. 

Remember, the question is optional

June 5 question - In this constantly evolving industry, what kind of offering/service do you think the IWSG should consider offering to members?

I’m going to be really embarrassed if this is a service we offer that I’m not aware, but I think a crit group would be extremely helpful to all members.


May/June Reviews in no particular order.

* Disclaimer. If I run into an occasional typo, I ignore them and don't factor them into my review.


HOW TO MURDER A DUKE by Sherri Hollister

This is Book 2 in the YA Applegate Series.

I found the first book to be entertaining and the same held true for the second. It did a great job of holding my interest. I zipped through it. 

Winnie is once again having adventures and solving mysteries. This time in her grandfather’s ancestral home in England. Being a bit of a free spirit from living and working in the circus, she doesn’t fit into the stifling confines of a duke’s ancestral home. But that doesn’t stop her from trying to save the current duke who is very sick and may be dying, AND find out who is killing off the dukes of Applegate before it’s too late.

That the author has thoroughly researched the era, including the medicine and holistic remedies of the time add another layer to the richness of the story.

If you’re a historical, suspense YA fan or just want to escape for a few hours in a good tale, I can highly recommend this book.  Enjoy.

Available at  Amazon



Another fun romp.  It's always good to pick up a Joan Smith Regency if you are looking for a mood lightener.

Available at Amazon











FOURTH WING by Rebecca Yarros

All I can say is OMG. This book is 498 pages. I got it one day and finished it the next.  It’s a new adult fantasy about a young woman who has studied to be a scribe all her life but her militant mother has different plans for her and tosses her into the brutal academy of dragon riders.

This is definitely an addictive story and will have you reading way past bedtime. Highly recommended.

IRON FLAME by Rebecca Yarros

Violet and most of her friends have survived the first year, but worse is coming and to survive the enemy they will need to team up with the gyron riders. While all this is happening tension between Violet and Xaden mount as she discovers his secret. A secret that threatens their relationship.

Thanks to Jacquie Biggar for turning me on to this series.

Available at Amazon


THE CONTRACT: Between Heaven and Earth by John Howell and Gwen Plano

Two angels are sent back to earth in human form to prevent an international war.

This romantic thriller will keep you wondering what’s going to happen next as the two protagonists Brad and Sarah join forces to save the world. The two angels have had their memories wiped but can’t help feeling they’ve known each other in another life as attraction between them burn bright while they race to save their country and the world.

A fascinating tale for readers of thrillers and romance alike.

Available at Amazon



This is a sweet memoir journal for every mother and/or grandmother, with a spot to write down or draw those special once in a lifetime memories.  There’s a spot for all aspects of childhood from the early years to adolescents.  There’s even a spot for your reflections and to leave letters to your children and grands. A perfect gift for the mom in your life.

Available at Amazon






POETRY TREASURERS 4: IN TOUCH WITH NATURE ANTHOLOGY compiled and edited by Kaye Lynne Booth and Robbie Cheadle

This collection of poetry is indeed a treasure. It is a compilation of verse concentrating on nature in word and picture provided by a different writer each chapter month. For instance:  June guest D. L. Finn touches on the seasons in Spring Moment ‘perfect nature hiking’, in Silver Beams ‘full autumn moon’,  in Hope ‘under gloomy snow’, etc. 

April guest Marcia Meara mentions ‘The ink-blotted sky’ in Star Gazing. And in The Bridge Home September Guest Selma Martin talks about ‘a purple path-like a ribbon fallen from the sky.’

These are just a sampling. There’s much, much more to enjoy, especially by readers that love nature.

Available at Amazon



GIDEON’S SWORD by Preston and Child

These two magician/authors do it again.

It goes without saying this book is well written, but I am stunned by the way that up until the very end, every time the end goal is in sight for our protagonist, the authors throw another road block up. I was stunned at their audaciousness.  Near the end of the book, the last three times the hero has nearly reached his objective, the authors would pull another rabbit out of their collective hat and keep it dangling just out of reach.  *Spoiler alert Gideon does complete his mission, but what a ride getting there.

GIDEON’S CORPSE by Preston and Child

Gideon Crew is given ten days to save the world when he’s charged with tracking down a terrorist cell and a nuclear bomb.

This tale grabs the reader’s attention from the first paragraph and doesn’t let go till the end. Hold onto your hat because this story is a wild ride.

LOST ISLAND by Preston and Child

This is the third book in the Gidgeon Crew series. Each one just keeps getting more intriguing. The story-line will surprise.

Available at Amazon




Did you know, June 19th is National Writing Day?


For More information: National Writing Day 2024 | National Literacy Trust | National Literacy Trust



Tuesday, June 4, 2024

Ketch-up Day


How are you? How was your weekend and how goes your week?

We went to Blowing Rock Tuesday.

Here are a few shots from the car. And they really don't do the mountains justice.

This was taken at the outlet mall. I thought it was a fun idea.

And we picked these up at a little outdoor kiosk.  The raspberry and pistachio cake weren't as good as I anticipated, but that cheesecake. OMG.


More Eternal Garden Pics

Besides 'tater plants cropping up from the compost pile, looks like I've got a tomato plant going too. Heh.

I had to get a hydrangea pic in for Andrew:)


FYI: For those that read Westerns, the e version of  Keeper Tyree is free today at Amazon.


That's it for today:)

Friday, May 31, 2024

Your Weekend Read: HOW TO MURDER A DUKE


Harry’s honor is tested when Winnie becomes the target for a murderer. Will he choose love or duty?


Winnie Applegate becomes the target of a killer when she investigates who is killing the dukes of Applegate.

Facing many changes and heartaches, Winnie throws herself into learning who is trying to kill her cousin. Using the skills she honed as a performer and caregiver with her family’s wild west traveling show, Winnie combines science, moxie and her incomparable abilities to unmask the person behind the attacks on her family.

Romance is in the air as well as danger. One couple will be reunited while another is ripped apart.

Who is killing the dukes of Applegate? Can Winnie and Harry uncover the truth before it’s too late? 


This book is dedicated to the girls who grew up playing in the dirt and dreamed of adventures, 

who rode motorcycles and horses, and struggled to define the word lady.



My favorite food is fried chicken. I also love a grilled chicken salad with ginger and soy vinaigrette. I love ginger candy and pickled ginger, and bread and butter pickles. Two of my favorite fruits are pineapples and avocados, both of which I didn’t taste fresh until I was grown. I had of course tasted canned pineapple which is nothing like fresh. When my middle son was sick with chicken pox, I had my first taste of fresh pineapple. With his brothers away at Lion’s Club Bingo with their father and grandparents, I entertained my son with movies and foods only he and I liked. One of which was pineapple. Together we ate that whole pineapple that night. I had blisters in my mouth from the citrus, but it was worth it. I’d never had anything that tasted so good.     

We have an onion farm close to where I live and in my upcoming story, How to Murder a Duke, Winnie makes the duke onion and mushroom soup.

Onion and mushroom soup

1-large sweet onion

1 beef bouillon cube

1 tablespoon of butter

¼ cup chopped mushrooms

Shredded parmesan cheese

Wrap in foil.

Bake in oven or on grill 350 degrees until onion is almost liquid.

If you are making it on the stove, I use a small pot, chop up my onions and mushrooms and sauté them in butter until the onions are sweating and soft. Add in bouillon cube and a little water as needed to dilute the bouillon. Top with a little shredded parmesan cheese and serve with a hunk of French bread.


Tin foil was invented in 1910, just a few years too late for Winnie to use in my Applegate Mystery Series. 



S L Hollister 

Romance, Suspense and Mystery 

with a quirky cast of family and friends 

set in small towns where everyone knows your business sometimes before you do.


Buy Link: