Guest Post

The Other Chicks in My Life

The Chicks are excited to welcome guest Chick Edith Maxwell, who shares a wonderful story about her very own Chicks. She’s even offering a giveaway.

EDITH: Thanks for inviting me to visit the Chicks! I’m happy to give away a signed hardcover of my new mystery, Mulch Ado About Murder, to one commenter here today.

My fifth Local Foods Mystery, Mulch Ado About Murder, came out recently. The series is set in a town nestled in the northeast corner of Massachusetts very much like West Newbury, where I raised my sons. It’s also where I ran and co-owned the smallest certified organic farm in the county, and where more than twenty years ago I wrote part of a first draft of A Tine to Live, a Tine to Die, book one in the series.

MaxFarmer (4)

People who live in West Newbury, which I oh-so-cleverly disguised as Westbury, recognize all kinds of landmarks of the town: the Food Mart, Mill Pond, the rather grandly named Public Safety Complex, and Main Street.

While my ActionCove (4)boys were little, I was home farming and on a break from my hi-tech career, most of the friends I made in town were parents of my kids’ friends. I also met some awesome women early on when the town came together to build a Robert Leathers playground behind the ballfields. I started going to the meetings with my baby in a backpack. I met other moms as eager as me to wield a hammer for the community, and we built Action Cove.

One of those women held an Usborne book party a few years later. It’s like a Tupperware or Avon house party, except for sale are high quality children’s books by a British publisher. After we bought books, some of us lingered with wine and resolved to do something for ourselves. We batted around the idea of a book club, then somebody suggested a movie group. Bingo! The Flick Chicks were born.

We still, more than twenty years later, meet on a Friday night once a month or so at one of our houses to eat high-fat appetizers, drink wine, get caught up, and once in while we still watch a movie. We don’t critique the films or engage in analysis. It’s a friendship group, and by now only two of the original seven still live in West Newbury. Many of us are divorced and have moved elsewhere. But we value our connection from so long ago.

So when I decided I had to include a fictional version of the West Newbury Memorial Day parade – a small town classic – in Mulch Ado About Murder, I knew I wanted to give my long-time friends cameo parts. The woman on horseback, the one on the volleyball team, the girl scout leader, and the civil war re-enactor – these are my four dearest Chicks. You’ll have to read the book and see what else happens!

Readers: What long-lasting group are you part of? Do you have a movie group or book club you cherish? Maybe a church group or service organization you couldn’t do without?

Mulch Ado About Murder debuted May 30th (Kensington.) It’s been a hot, dry spring in Westbury, Massachusetts. As organic farmer Cam Flaherty waits for much-needed rain, storm clouds of mystery begin to gather. Once again, it’s time to put away her sun hat and put on her sleuthing cap when a fellow farmer is found dead in a vat of hydroponic slurry—clutching a set of rosary beads. Showers may be scarce this spring, but there’s no shortage of suspects, including the dead woman’s embittered ex-husband, the Other Man whose affair ruined their marriage, and Cam’s own visiting mother. Lucky for Cam, her nerdy academic father turns out to have a knack for sleuthing. Will he and Cam be able to clear her mom’s name before the killer strikes again?

Bio: 2017 double Agatha-nominated and national best-selling author Edith Maxwell writes the Local Foods Mysteries and the Quaker Midwife Mysteries; as Maddie Day she writes the Country Store Mysteries and the Cozy Capers Book Group Mysteries. Her award-winning short crime fiction has appeared in many juried anthologies and journals, and she serves as President of Sisters in Crime New England.

A fourth-generation Californian and former tech writer, farmer, and doula, Maxwell now writes, cooks, gardens (and wastes time as a Facebook addict) north of Boston with her beau and three cats. She blogs at WickedCozyAuthors.com, Killer Characters, and with the Midnight Ink authors. Find her on Facebook, twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and at www.edithmaxwell.com.

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37 thoughts on “The Other Chicks in My Life

  1. That’s a great story and what a fun set of people to know for so long. I don’t have a similar long running group, but some singular friends fit the bill.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I have a group of friends that are from all over the country. We worked for the same Company and started getting together once a year in different cities to get to know each other. We now make a point of getting together every year before Christmas in either Chicago or Nashville.
    diannekc8(at)gmail(dot)com

    Liked by 3 people

  3. My closest friends are 5 women and one guy, who I met when we were all in my university’s anime club together (yeah, we’re a big group of nerds). It’s been 10 years and we’re all still very close, even though we don’t see each other nearly as often as we’d like.

    We call ourselves The Winner’s Circle, which started as a ridiculous inside joke that never really went away.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. You’d never think that watching something can lead to great friendships, but it does. Some of my best friends from over the years are ones I spent time with watching Babylon 5. As much as I love the show (and I do), I wonder how much of it is the memories of the people I’ve watched it with over the years.

    And I am really do for a rewatch.

    Liked by 3 people

      • OUAT is Once Upon a Time, starting season 7 in September. Babylon 5 is a 90’s science fiction show. It paved the way for a lot of today’s TV shows since it was designed to tell one story over 5 seasons, something that wasn’t done on TV at the time (and still today. Most of the time, it’s only a season long story arc.)

        Yes, Ellen, I’ve made some friends with Once Upon a Time as well. Not quite to the same level I have with Babylon 5, however. I mean, every wedding I’ve been in has been for someone I’ve watched Babylon 5 with. (The one exception is my brother. I need to get him to watch the show, however, because I think he’d love it if he could get past the sci fi setting.)

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  5. Yay, Flick Chicks! Edith, I think it’s awesome you gave your friends cameo roles in the book — I just love parades! FTR, I was captain of my junior high school volleyball team 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Hi, Edith — They say to be well grounded socially, people should belong to three social groups. Mine are SINC, MWA, two book groups, a Bunco group, several church groups. I guess I’m doing okay.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. Edith, thank you SO much for sharing this wonderful story! I roused myself from my sickbed to comment. My social group is just two other moms I met when our kids were super little. We get together about every other Friday for TGIF – and now our kids are rising seniors in high school!

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Really enjoyed your post, Edith! One of my long-running groups of friends is comprised of former Random House children’s book editors (and one art director). We first met in the 90s and when we get together periodically in NYC it’s as if we still see each other every day. More often than not, there are a few cocktails involved.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Everyone needs a group of chicks. Thanks for sharing yours with us! When I was in fifth grade, I remember trying to start a club. It didn’t stick, but I’ve always been a joiner. Writing groups, book clubs — I’m even part of a ukulele group that meets once a month!

    Liked by 4 people

  10. Special friends are always somewhere close, even if only on the phone. Some are no longer with us but others are still well & kicking after 45+ years.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. I love hearing about your group of young mothers. I remember going to meetings with one kid on the back and one in the stroller when we were trying to improved the school options — years later one of the women in that group ran for school committee and is now our state senator!
    Before that, I joined a wonderful playgroup with my first born and when I got put to bed with my second pregnancy, that wonderful group of women included my child, even would hold the playgroup at my house on my day and then my kid to bed and then go home to bed down their own.
    Then I had a group of women who were all weavers who met together, for years. As folks would move out, others moved in. I am close friends with 4 of them now, meeting about monthly with one, and the others are long distance in other parts of the country but still good friends. When I kept sharing my experimentations on designing in high harness overshot, the group decided I should write it up. They “published it” — one typed the manuscript on the early computer at MIT, another helped with photos, another editing.

    Like

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