Thursday, March 15, 2018

Audiofile Magazine Hearts Jamie Quinn! :-)

Jamie Quinn has an admirer, and it's not Kip this time--it's Audiofile Magazine, hooray! My new narrator Fay Annette did such a lovely job reading my 4th Jamie Quinn mystery, "Engaged in Danger", that it's no wonder they loved it. If you would like a chance to love it too, I still have some free download codes to give away. Just message me and it's yours. In the meantime, check out this great review and, while you're at it, read all the reviews in this excellent online magazine. J

Wednesday, March 14, 2018


Being a major Hamilton fan has its advantages. Hearing the music again in all its creative brilliance and high energy inspires me to do great things and to tackle tough problems--and not throw away my shot, of course. But it also has its downside--my mind becomes so over-stimulated that it sings Hamilton lyrics at three a.m. Rise up, rise up! I'm sure Lin-Manuel's intention wasn't that kind of rising up.

The song The World Turned Upside Down recounts the Battle of Yorktown, the most important battle of the Revolutionary War, the one that ended the fighting in the American colonies and ultimately led to The Treaty of Paris, which recognized the United States as a free and independent nation.Why was the world turned upside down? Simple, the colonies were the underdog, as Lin-Manuel elegantly explains it, they were outgunned outmanned outnumbered and outplanned, but they won anyway. They changed the world as they knew it.

Is it a coincidence that a generation of middle school, high school, and college kids, brought up on Hamilton, are turning our world upside down, staging their own revolution and threatening to overthrow the government that ignores them? It is not. And by overthrow, I mean vote the bastards out, exactly as our Founding Fathers intended. These wise forefathers tried to imagine every possible scenario and although they couldn't have foreseen the NRA's hold on our elected officials, nor the firepower of weapons of war in the hands of civilians, they understood power and corruption. They had faith that their system of checks and balances could withstand the onslaught and that good people would rise up. I think we can agree that our system of governing has never been tested like this before, but if our future rests in the hands of these brave children, the Founding Fathers were wise men indeed.

Monday, February 12, 2018

The New Me :-)

I was complacent, I'll admit it. Sure, I sent checks to causes I believed in and expressed my outrage on Facebook with angry emojis, but I was a 'Slacktivist' and I knew it. It didn't bother me much and I didn't have any sleepless nights. I figured the country could run itself and I didn't have any particular expertise to offer anyway. Oh, I had twinges of guilt occasionally and an annoying case of noblesse oblige, but I shook it off. Even when a cause got under my skin, I did nothing. I mean, what could I do? I wasn't the kind of person to attend a protest or slap a bumper sticker on my car. I never made waves because, honestly, I was kind of a chicken. What if someone confronted me about my bumper sticker? Did I really want to argue with strangers? What if I got arrested? My comfort zone had strict borders and after fifty-five years of living there, I wasn't moving an inch. 

My, how times have changed! I can even pinpoint the date--November 8, 2016, my first sleepless night. As a Jewish woman who lost relatives in the Holocaust, a woman married to an immigrant, a woman with brown children, a disabled nephew, and a gay nephew, I was terrified about the election results. I even broke up with a friend who had chosen to be on the wrong side of history. When I angrily told her that Nazis would soon be marching in the street, she scoffed. Although I was exaggerating to make my point, my prediction came true, to my horror. This constant barrage of attacks on the democracy I love (Yes, I love it!), as well as everything I cherish, and the people I care deeply about (including all the ones I've never met), have woken me the hell up.   

The metamorphosis of me is ongoing and my outrage fuels my activism. Attending the Women's March in Miami (I hate crowds, taking buses filled with strangers, sitting through speeches) changed my life. I found my heart filled with love for these total strangers and inspired by the words of the marginalized and persecuted. I was as fiercely protective of them as if they were my own children. When one of the speakers that day proclaimed if you come for one of us, you come for all of us, I cried. And that became my mantra.

Now I drive a car covered with bumper stickers; I wear a bright red Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America t-shirt and engage in conversations with strangers every chance I get. We talk about what’s happening in our country, what it means to us, what we can do about it. I always walk away inspired and hopeful. I am gathering petitions to restore the vote to 1.7 million disenfranchised Floridians and I know I will never miss another opportunity to vote again even if I'm 100 years old and on oxygen. I write postcards to people in other states encouraging them to vote, I attend meetings (LOTS of meetings), I send donations to candidates, I stay informed on the issues and pending legislation, I call my legislators constantly, I register people to vote, and I write op-eds like my life depends on it. Which it does. I not only attend protests, I also organize them.

When I look in the mirror, I ask in amazement Who am I? My reflection smiles back and says You are the person you were always meant to be.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

A New Year's Tale :-)

Ah, a new year, a fresh start, a resurrection of old resolutions with a few new ones thrown in, yes, that was my plan. But, as we know, man plans and God laughs and chaos is my middle name. I wish I could say no when someone offers me a new project, an exciting opportunity, or a crazy idea, but I live for that kind of stuff.. which is how I find myself in my current situation.

My tragic flaw is ergophobia, a fear of work. Frankly, it terrifies me--which explains my pathological procrastination. In my heart, I believe that all things will magically erase themselves from my to-do list if I just ignore them--and half the time they do. But, when that doesn't happen, I wait until the last possible moment before allotting exactly the right amount of time to knock it out. This only works in theory since I fail to account for life getting in my way...

It started in December when I was on my computer and a tiny black hummingbird started zipping back and forth in front of my eye, literally IN my eye. How did a hummingbird get in my eye? He was cute, but incredibly annoying, so I called my ophthalmologist who explained that this was normal for a person over 55 and how I could expect light flashes as well. He insisted I make appointments two weeks apart to make sure my retina wasn't torn. Sigh.

In the meantime, I had volunteered to take on three new projects, organize a monthly protest, write several letters to the editor, as well as a lengthy article; I  had a huge New Year's Day brunch to cook for, a potluck dinner and a potluck lunch; I had to finish an old project, start a new project and schedule my oral surgery.

Yes, after canceling the appointment three times, I finally scheduled my oral surgery to fix two problems. It wouldn't drop off my to-do list no matter how hard I tried, so I had to do it. To prepare, I picked up 6 (!) prescriptions from the pharmacy and made a chart as to when to take each one, It was complicated and was giving me a knot in my stomach. On top of that, my elderly father had fallen and broken a hip and was recovering at a nearby rehab center. We had hired an aide to stay with him, to make our lives easier, but I was constantly getting calls and texts about him. I'd just sorted out my meds when the aide called crying about the awful rehab people and then the other phone rang and it was the angry rehab people complaining about the troublesome aide.  

It made me laugh to picture their screaming match in the middle of the rehab, but I kept that to myself and calmed them down.

Today, I'm out of commission, oral surgery making me woozy and puffing up my cheeks. I'm eating squishy foods around the stitches in my mouth and icing my face with ice packs. There is good news though. I'm making no plans, taking on no new projects. Instead, I'm binge-watching shows on Netflix, but, luckily, I'm not alone. I have my hummingbird to keep me company.   

Monday, December 18, 2017

New Jamie Quinn audio-book and a fun cat blog! :-)

The holidays are upon us and my to-do list keeps growing--just like my waistline! Gulp! Is it a coincidence that holiday and hectic both start with "H"? Just like harried and hey, what's the deal with all this traffic? But happy also starts with H and I'm happy to spend time with family and friends, and happy to have all of you. 
I'm also happy to tell you that my 4th Jamie Quinn Cozy Mystery, "Engaged in Danger" is finally available as an audio-book, hooray! The wonderful voice of talented Fay Annette gives life to each and every character. If anyone would like a download code, I have some to give away. Just message me. J

Finally, I'm happy to share with you a fun blog called "Cuddlywumps Cat Chronicles--Cats in History, Mystery & Culture".  Our own Mr. Paws, a/k/a Mr. Pain in the Ass earned us a review of the Jamie Quinn box set in this fun blog. A must-read for cat lovers!  Check it out here:  

And next year will see the release of Jamie Quinn Cozy Mystery #6, "Villainy at Vizcaya". I'll be sure to keep you posted on that. Happy Holidays to all!

Thursday, December 7, 2017

What would you do for a Klondike Bar? :-)

I think we could all use a laugh at least once a day, so here's your Thursday laugh:

Then ask yourself, what would YOU do for a Klondike Bar? :-D

Friday, December 1, 2017

Holidays for Everyone! :-)

Great news! You don't have to wait until December 23rd for "Festivus for the rest of us", you have plenty to celebrate right now. According to the website, there are tons of holidays in December. There are some fun ones and I think we all could use some fun right about now.  Here are some of my faves.

December 5 is The Day of the Ninja, a day to honor and celebrate the masked warriors in black garb from ancient Japan. This unofficial holiday was created in 2003 to commemorate the release of Tom Cruise’s movie, The Last Samurai.
How to Celebrate?
§  Watch ninja movies or have a Teenage Mutant Ninja marathon.
§  Have a ninja themed party.
§  Go to work dressed as a ninja
Did You Know…
…that contrary to popular belief, ninjas were not all men? Women ninjas were known as Kunoichi.

December 8 is Pretend To Be A Time Traveler Day
How to Celebrate?
§  Watch your favorite time traveling movies and shows (Dr. Who, anyone?)
§  Host a blast from the past party. Choose an era and base the party around the clothing, food and language of that period.
§  Walk around dressed like someone from the past or the future. People will think you're cool, I swear!

December 12 is Gingerbread House Day This unofficial holiday celebrates the tradition of making houses and architectural models out of gingerbread cookies. The tradition can be traced back to the 1600s.

How to Celebrate?

§  Make your own gingerbread house. Maybe try and recreate a architectural landmark with gingerbread.
§  Hold a gingerbread house competition  

Did You Know…

….that according the Guinness Book of World Records, the World’s largest gingerbread house was made in 2013 by the Traditions Club in Bryan, Texas. The house was 60 ft  long and 10.1 ft tall. My kind of house!

December 17 is Wright Brothers Day and recognizes the first time Orville and Wilbur Wright successfully flew their heavier-than-air, mechanically propelled aircraft in 1903.The day has been observed nationally since 1959 when President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed a proclamation declaring December 17 as Wright Brothers Day.

How to Celebrate?

§  Read more about the history of aviation
§  Visit your local aviation museum  
§  If you have always wanted to learn how to fly, why not start lessons on this day?
§  Catch a plane home for the holidays and marvel at the fact that you don't have to travel by steam locomotive or covered wagon.

December 30 is Bicarbonate of Soda Day. Used in baking, cleaning, polishing silver and treating heartburn, bicarbonate of soda was used by ancient Egyptians for painting. Its scientific name is sodium hydrogen carbonate but it is known by many other names around the world. Some of the common ones are baking soda, cooking soda and bread soda.
How to Celebrate?
§  Learn about the history of the manufacturing and use of baking soda.
§  Learn what other things you can use baking soda for.

§  Build a baking soda and vinegar volcano at home!

Happy December to all!