Friday, December 11, 2009

Holiday Cooking

The mass market edition of The Christmas Cookie Killer shipped so well, that the editor asked for another Christmas book. I had an idea for a New Year book, but I can probably adjust the plot. Recipes would be different. With the family Christmas get together coming up I will need to start working out the recipes now. If you put out a bunch of goodies in a large group, you can tell pretty fast which recipes are winners. It does take a lot more effort to create original recipes. You end up throwing your hard work into the trash at times. My problem is with not having some of the book written, I don’t know what I need in the way of recipes. This would be the best time to have other people test taste, however. I know one thing, something is going to have a lot of chocolate in it! Also I have to come up with a killer title. Get it??? Killer title! LOL I crack myself up at times. I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas spent with family and friends, and a healthy, prosperous 2010.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Winners of the Drawing

Using Jack Harville was chosen to receive the signed hardback, Huckleberry Finished, and Helen Morris was picked to receive the signed trade paperback, Killer Crab Cakes. Congratulations!

Monday, November 02, 2009

More Free Books

I have one autographed copy each of KILLER CRAB CAKES and HUCKLEBERRY FINISHED that I will be giving away, so only two people can win this time. Email me before November 15, 2009 to enter the drawing.
HUCKLEBERRY FINISHED (Kensington Hardback)
Delilah Dickinson's literary travel agency is a hit! And now, after an alarmingly lively tour through the Old South of Gone with the Wind, she's ready to embark on a leisurely steamboat trip down the Mississippi, a la Huckleberry Finn. But when one of her passengers winds up dead, Delilah reckons she'll have to get to the bottom of this downright ornery mystery...Ain't no doubt about it.
KILLER CRAB CAKES (Signet Trade Paperback)
When Phyllis’s cousin asks her to look after her Oak Knoll bed-and-breakfast for a few weeks, Phyllis jumps at the chance—mostly because the inn is located close to the annual Rockport, Texas, Just Desserts competition. But Phyllis’s holiday turns bitter when she and Sam discover a dead body—and all signs point to murder.

Reviewed at Mystery Reader Discussion

Frankly My Dear, I'm Dead has recently been released in a mass market paperback edition.
Check out the review at Mystery Reader

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Winners of The Vampire Affair

Using the following winners were chosen to receive a signed copy of The Vampire Affair.
Paul Bishop
Juri Nummelin
Craig Clark

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Lots of free stuff

It's time again for the annual Writerspace Halloween Party, to celebrate the chill in the air and find some terrific books to curl up with this fall! So please join me and dozens of your favorite authors at the 2009 Halloween Mash at Writerspace on Wednesday, October 28th from 8pm ET to 11pm ET. Authors will be dropping in to chat all during the evening and we will be giving away 100s of new books and other fantastic prizes -- autographed, hard-to-find, advance copies plus special treats like gift baskets and more. We hope to see you Wednesday night! You don't have to be present to win, but you must be registered. To register, and for details on all participating authors and the prizes they're giving away, visit

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Bill Crider Reviews The Vampire Affair

As you can plainly see by the cover to the left there, this is supposedly a romance novel in the Silhouette Nocturne series. Vampires, as anyone can tell you are a hot item these days in romance. But I'll bet this book isn't what you're thinking it is. The vampires here aren't the romantic leads. They're the bad guys. The very bad guys.

You can read more on Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine. Bill is a writer that I respect greatly, and his review means a lot to me.

This is the last week to throw your name into the drawing. I'm giving away 3 books and the deadline is October 26th. Just email me at for a chance to win an autographed copy of The Vampire Affair.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Another Nice Review

Here is a review of The Christmas Cookie Killer. This third book in the Fresh Baked series will be coming out in paperback November 3, 2009.
Signet Mass Market Paperback $6.99

Killer Crab Cakes Review

There is a great review on the Mystery Reader's blog.
The latest Fresh Baked Mystery by Livia J. Washburn was just released last month. It is called Killer Crab Cakes. I enjoyed getting back to another Texas mystery and this is a fun series.
If you are interested in reading more of the review check out
Mystery Reader Discussion
(Fourth book in Fresh Baked series)Nal Trade, September 29, 2009, ISBN: 978-0451228369 Trade Paperback $14.00.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Nice Review of The Vampire Affair

There is a very nice review of The Vampire Affair on the CataRomance website.

THE VAMPIRE AFFAIR brings out your deepest emotions on countless occasions, as the joys or fears of the beloved hero and heroine affect you as if they are your own.

If you want to read more go here.

I'm still collecting names for the giveaway until October 26th. Just email me at for a chance to win a copy of the book.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

And the Winners are . . .

Using the following winners were chosen to receive a signed copy of Frankly My Dear, I'm Dead.
Charles Gramlich
Gerry Tilley
Mary Arnold

Remember there's still time to enter The Vampire Affair contest.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Another Free Drawing

The Vampire Affair by Livia Reasoner
“I’m not sure if we can reach a deal or not, Mr. Brandt. The current owner of the resort has no interest in selling –”
Michael Brandt opened his briefcase and pushed aside a 9mm pistol, a vial of holy water, a wooden stake sharpened to a deadly point, and an antique knife with a silver-filigreed handle. He took out a legal pad, plucked a pen from the pocket of his jacket, and wrote a number on the pad. As he turned the pad around and pushed it toward the man seated on the other side of the table in the conference room, he said, “I’m sure you’ll pass along my offer to him anyway, as you’re duty-bound to do as his attorney.”

If you are interested in reading more, I am giving away 3 autographed copies. Send an email to to enter. The winners will be chosen October 26th, just in time to get the books before Halloween.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Drawing for Free Books

Frankly, My Dear, I’m Dead, by Livia J. Washburn. An amateur sleuth and travel agent leads a tour of Atlanta sites connected to Margaret Mitchell and GONE WITH THE WIND, but her group really gets an eyeful when the Rhett Butler impersonator ends up dead.

The mass market paperback edition will be coming out October 6, 2009. I will be giving away 3 signed copies. Email me before the publication date to enter the drawing.

Good Luck!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Huckleberry Finished Review in Publishers Weekly

Publishers Weekly likes my second Delilah Dickinson Literary Tour mystery, HUCKLEBERRY FINISHED. You can read the review here. The book will be out at the end of October. I just turned in the third one in the series, KILLER ON A HOT TIN ROOF.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Computer Backup Bling

Last week my computer died and I lost some of my data because my usb memory stick was in my purse. I didn't take the time to go dig it out and backup. I won't leave it next to my computer because the one I did before burned with the house last year. I've decided never again. I bought a ugly memory stick with 8g of memory and glued and wired it to this owl pendant. Added a ribbon and I will now be wearing my computer backup. With a flick of a switch the usb connector comes out under the tail. I wonder why there isn't jewelry like this on the market.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


This is the cover for my Silhouette Nocturne novel that comes out around November 1. I’m very pleased with it. I like the colors, and the characters actually look like they’re described in the book. The manuscript went through several titles before the editor and I decided on this one, and while I’m aware that it’s the same title as an old Man From U.N.C.L.E. novel, it really seemed to fit the story. I’ve written paranormal romances before, but this is my first book with vampires in it. I had a great time writing it.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Writers, Health, and a Writers Imagination

I believe writers are either the best at handling illness or the worst. Of course anytime any illness occurs in ourselves or families, we start researching. What could it be? What is the best treatment? Is this something that I can treat without a doctor? Sometimes this works out, and other times it just adds terror to our lives.

At one time I actually wondered if I had the Plague. Hey, quit laughing. Doctors were seeing cases showing back up at the time and the symptoms fit. I went to doctor after doctor trying to find out what was wrong, and they were baffled. I took many rounds of antibiotics the various doctors prescribed which caused even more problems, went to several specialists, and had an MRI of my brain. It was through my research that I discovered that many of my symptoms could be caused by nasty food allergies. I went in for a food allergy test, of course that doctor messed up and just did an environment allergy test which I didn’t want. I had already paid for the test, so I just lost that money. I went to a different doctor and had the test I wanted done. Sure enough I was allergic to legumes, and soy was making my life miserable since it is hidden in a lot of foods. Changes to my diet made a world of difference. This took care of at least half my symptoms. If I hadn’t researched, would the doctors have finally stumbled on this? I don’t know, but I would have suffered even longer waiting for the right doctor to discover it. The rest of my symptoms still baffle the doctor. All I know is it isn’t Lupus, even though it fits the symptoms . . .

This week my father started telling me that he could no longer take his blood sugar test on his right hand because it tested wrong. When questioned it turned out his blood from his right hand was testing higher. Now I will admit, I thought he was delusional. Blood flowing through the body should be the same, right? Well, doing what a writer does, I hit the search engines. What do you know, the dominant hand can have a different reading, but it’s the one he should be testing on. People have reported getting numbers 30-40 points higher in their dominant hands. Your dominant hand is more likely to reflect the more recent changes in your blood sugar because of increased blood flow. He’s not going to like it when I tell him the higher number is the one he should have recorded.

Friday, July 24, 2009

My Bios Are Mind-numbing

My editors often ask me to write new bios for books, websites, newsletters, etc. Since I’m a fiction writer who sits at a desk many hours, and a daughter who cares for her elderly parents, my life is pretty boring. I’m not a detective, doctor, or lawyer who writes as a fun hobby. I sit, type, research, copy-edit, and type some more. I’ve been married to the same good man for more than 30 years and have two sweet grown daughters who are teachers like my mom was. I have four dogs, two of which are young pups and are driving me crazy trying to housebreak them. I’m too soft. I can’t just crate them all the time and listen to them cry.

I cook when I have time and have fun coming up with my own recipes, usually by accident because I didn’t have time to go shopping and didn’t have what the recipe calls for.

Today I worked for a few hours on the computer, went out to pick tomatoes so I could take some to my parents, then drove to their house to check on them. I have to bathe my mom. She has Alzheimer’s and has forgotten how to even shower by herself. I know it disturbs her when I help her bathe, it disturbs me, too, but it’s the only way it’ll get done. My dad is in his 80’s, hard of hearing, and life confuses him. My mom took care of all the extra things in life for him for 50 years and now she can’t. My brother and I try to handle all that we can for them, because it’s just too much for my dad. Today his dryer quit working. I helped him hang the wet clothes around in the house. Luckily my brother can fix appliances. On my way home I stopped by his house to see if I should get a new dryer. He is going to go out there to check and see if the old one is worth fixing. If not, I’ll be shopping for a new dryer. It’s four in the afternoon before I realize I haven’t had breakfast yet. Where has the time gone?

This life isn’t something that makes an entertaining bio. The only thing entertaining in my life at this time is within the fiction I write. Why couldn’t I have been a rocket scientist who writes as a hobby? With that I could write an entertaining bio.

I won’t even mention trying to come up with a new publicity photo. SIGH!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Huckleberry Finished

ISBN: 0758225687
Format: Hardcover, 304pp
Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corporation
Pub. Date: November 01, 2009

I really like this cover. It's fun and really fits the book. I'll be writing more about this book closer to November.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Mighty Big Ears You Have

My daughter told Nicki and Nora at six weeks that they were going to need to start doing ear exercises to get them to stand up properly. Honestly I thought they would have ears that hung down as dogs, but they’ve been doing their exercises. As you can see at ten weeks later their ears are up. I swear if there’s a good wind little Nicki will blow away.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Hit By the Japanese Spammer

スパム My blog was finally hit by Sexy the Japanese spammer that has already hit everyone else’s blog. I truly do not understand the purpose of this. It took me an hour to delete it off all the pages. Translation at Google didn’t clear up the purpose of this. It translated into random words. It did give me a chance to respond to some of the bloggers that I hadn’t gotten around to. Seems like I run around lately like a chicken with its head cut off. Do people say that anymore? It was one of my grandmother’s sayings.

Hope everyone is having a great summer.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Rereading Overload

Lately we’ve had a sudden influx of books that need editing. I barely finish one when another comes in. The last couple days we’ve had three novels arrive FedEx that are in the page proof stage. For those of you who don’t know what page proofs are, they are preliminary versions of publications. They are unbound, and in some cases electronic. They are created as part of the proofreading and copyediting processes, but can be used for promotional and review purposes also. At this stage most of the mistakes should be already corrected. Usually mistakes we find are from what was corrected in copy edit stage and entered incorrectly. At this point I’ve read the book so many times that it is sometimes hard to catch mistakes. This would be my last chance to catch a mistake. It really bothers me when something stupid doesn't get fixed. For example in Frankly My Dear, I’m Dead I did not catch that I had Margaret Mitchell’s husband down as John Walsh. His name is John Marsh. I knew this, but for some reason my brain didn’t catch it. That still bugs me. Let’s hope my brain is sharper this week. I'd better eat some fish.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Killer Crab Cakes

Publisher: NAL Trade (September 29, 2009)
ISBN-10: 0451228367
ISBN-13: 978-0451228369
I wasn't sure what to expect for a cover with the title Killer Crab Cakes. I visualized a crab waving around a gun or knife. No crabs, but it is a nice colorful cover. The book is set in Rockport, Texas where James and I spent a month researching and working. He actually wrote a book and a half while were were down there while I researched, plotted, and cooked seafood. I'm much, much slower at this process than he is. It took a second trip down there to finish writing the book. Unfortunately we couldn't spend a second month down there. The second trip was just for a week, but the last touches were put on the book in Rockport.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Nicki and Nora

We finally settled on the names for the puppies. Who would have thought it would be that hard to name a couple little female pups. We went through a lot of names, but none fit them. I threatened to call them Jo and Anna since our youngest daughter, Joanna, recently moved out. I wasn't serious and she saw the humor in it.

I thought about Calamity and Belle, but we had a little goat named Belle. John suggested Min and Pin and Michael Davis went even further with Minnie and Pennie. Good names, but not for these two. Michael came up with a lot of good ideas for names on Facebook, some we’ve even used in the past for pets.

Finally we decided to name them Nicki and Nora. I like the salute to the mystery series, but since we didn’t have a boy pup Nick was changed to Nicki. Nicki also has a second meaning to us. When our daughters were little we read a book called No No Nicky. They loved that book. It was a book the whole family knew without actually seeing the pages, because we read so many times. Even though it was about a cat, it really fits the smallest pup. She climbs up my leg when I’m sitting and suddenly I have a tiny pup in my lap. She climbs so high, I’m afraid she’s going to fall. We do seem to say no, no to them a lot. They are only eight weeks old and have many things to learn not to do. Like don't go near the grumpy ol’ dog we’ve had for many years. I think he must look a little like Momma because they really, really want him.

They are getting more adventuresome which can be a problem because we have a pair of hawks that live in the nearby woods. Yesterday one flew right over them. Luckily it wasn’t interested in them because it had a big ol’ snake.

I’d forgotten how much fun babies were. We’ve had kittens before but never puppies this young. They will just make you laugh out loud and our house hasn’t had enough laughter lately.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A Very Nice Review

There is a very nice review of The Christmas Cookie Killer by Pamela James at the Mayhem and Magic blog. Thanks Pamela.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day Puppies

We have two new additions to the family. Today James and Shayna went to Denton and brought home these two little girls. These little half-pints are seven weeks old Min-Pin/Chihuahua mixes. They napped in a plastic tub while I bought supplies.

Now we need to come up with names. Any suggestions?

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Pot Roast

I finally bought a new crock-pot to replace the one I lost in the fire over a year ago. I never really used the old one that much at home. Actually I had two of the big ones, but they were bought to make nachos for the school math and science team home competitions while our daughter was on the team. James and I ran the concession stand for the teams for several years. You wouldn’t believe how many pots of cheese we’d sell in one competition. I would have to get up especially early on those mornings to start a batch in the first pot. The kids would start buying nachos as soon as we’d set up for breakfast. While setting up, I’d start the next batch in the second crock-pot so hopefully it’d be hot by the time the first batch was gone, so I could start the next pot of cheese, and then the next . . . I really hated nachos by the time our daughter graduated high school.
This morning I filled my new crock-pot with baby carrots, onions, celery, red potatoes and two braised chuck roasts. The smell is already getting to me and I haven’t even had breakfast yet. If it turns out tasting the way it smells, I’ll split it between us and my parents. I do love cooking a whole meal in one pot, not to mention I can work through the time I would normally cook supper.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

New Review

There's a nice review of A Peach of a Murder on the blog of the Mystery Reader Discussion.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Sweet Potato Buttermilk Pie

I felt lousy today and work wasn’t going well. That seems to be happening more often lately. I decided to bake a pie. My next baking book is set during Thanksgiving, so I need something that says Thanksgiving. I thought about pumpkin, but I’m a little tired of pumpkin as a holiday pie, to tell you the truth. I remembered how much my mother-in-law liked sweet potato pie, so I decided to try that with a twist. I wanted to mix the sweet potato pie with a buttermilk pie and add a pecan topping. It kept me busy this afternoon and I didn’t feel like I was just wasting the day, since technically coming up with these recipes is work. It just came out of the oven and I thought it looked pretty good. Of course the true test will be the taste.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Published Mistakes

It is always embarrassing when you make a mistake in a novel that gets published. A fan recently pointed out that Margaret Mitchell's husband was John Marsh, not John Walsh, as was in my book Frankly My Dear, I’m Dead. Yes, I know his name is Marsh. I do not know how I changed it to Walsh. I went over that book three times and still missed that one. I’m not even sure where the name Walsh came from. I have had problems with switching letters around in the past. I misspelled the word the in an entire manuscript before I had spell check. Fortunately I had find and replace and was able to make a quick fix. This little glitch in my brain is the reason I have to check, double check, and then triple check everything. It sure does slow down writing, and it's frustrating that mistakes still get through.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Fortune Cookie

James and I went out for a few hours this morning. Gone are the days when we could just take off for the whole day. We both have too much work, thank goodness. Anyway, we went to the library, Half-Price books, and Wal-mart. It was a typical morning off from work. We ended the morning with Chinese food while discussing the books we're working on. My fortune cookie said - You have a charming way with words and should write a book. What happened to the fortunes that say I'm going to get wealthy? Oh well, I don't know how charming my words are, but I sure do need to write a book. Deadlines are always looming around here, so I guess my fortune is already coming true.

Friday, February 13, 2009

All About Writing

James and I talked to our youngest daughter's gifted and talented students about writing yesterday . The last time we did this was when our youngest was in sixth grade. I won't tell you how many years ago that was, but it's been a few. It's always refreshing meeting a new generation of young intellegent readers.

We were in the school library and they asked if we knew any authors. Of course we scrambled to think of authors they might know. I'm sorry to say they wouldn't be impressed by most of our friends. Bill Crider was the first name we came up with. One of the girls scrambled to the Wishbone section and picked out his book, Muttketeer! They were very excited we knew Mr. Crider.

Before we left the students shared power points they had made about their favorite authors. These 8-10 year olds had professional looking power points that were very well researched and nicely made. Either my daughter is an amazing teacher, or these kids are beyond gifted, or maybe both.

It's always a good day when you can spend it with kids that enjoy reading.