Fiction Writing and Other Oddities

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Happy Holidays 2013

Best Wishes for a Warm and Wonderful Holiday Season!
This year has been a "learning experience" for me since I made the move to retire from my "day job" and become a full-time writer.

 I've been busy with new Regency mysteries as well as contemporary mysteries set in my home state of North Carolina. The nice folks at Highland Press have accepted two novellas from me and I hope they will be out soon. The first is a Regency romance, The Thief, and the second is a western romance, The Lady and the Cowboy. I really hope folks enjoy them as much as I enjoyed writing them. They are novellas, which means they are a little shorter than my usual novels, but around the holiday season, everyone is so busy that maybe the shorter length will be good.

The rough drafts for several other manuscripts are going through the editing phase, including a contemporary mystery, a Regency mystery, and even a horror story.  It's not the "blood and gore" type of horror story--it's more of a southern ghost story. Writing a horror story was a change of pace for me, but probably a natural progression because of my love of gothics/gothic mysteries.

Speaking of gothics, if you are interested, you can sign up for my mailing list. (There is a link in the sidebar to this blog.) Folks who sign up this month will get a Smashwords code to enable you to download a copy of my holiday gothic Regency, Christmas Spirit: Stranded by a blizzard, Eve and her mother seek shelter at a nearby manor, little knowing a murderer has struck once and lies in wait for the next victim.

When I'm not writing, I've been busy kayaking around Nelson Bay with my Jack Russell Terrier, Daisy. She seems to love it as much as I do and was absolutely fascinated this summer by a pair of Osprey that nested on one of the channel markers.

We also now have a greenhouse that my husband built over our water pump when the pump house fell apart. This week, I'll be ordering some lettuce and radishes so that we can have salads this winter. I'm also going to put in a few pots of herbs so I can have fresh basil, parsley and other herbs to add to our food since I've been doing a lot more cooking lately.

Your gardening catalogs are probably starting to arrive already and I'd love to know what you are planning on planting this year! In addition to my green house crops, I'm hoping to plant tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, squash and basil at a minimum. I'm always curious to know what interesting things others are growing and how they are doing.

As for the holidays -- if you're looking for a relatively inexpensive, thoughtful, and tasty holiday gift, you might try fruitcake. I'm a fan of Alton Brown's (from Good Eats) although many of his recipes don't work too well for us. He does have an absolutely fabulous recipe for fruitcake, though, that may make you love it even if you've had "bad fruitcake" experiences in the past. It's really easy and I actually got all of the ingredients at our super Wal-Mart, which tells you that there are no weird ingredients included that you can't find anywhere. Except for the booze (rum and brandy) of course. :)

If you are interested, here is a link to his recipe: Free Range Fruitcake. I highly recommend it. Oh--I should mention that I did not have a 10" loaf pan as suggested in the recipe, so I used a bundt cake pan and it came out beautifully, so that is an option. It even bakes in about the same time as the loaf would have, so it's all good, as they say.

Have a wonderful holiday and best wishes for the New Year!