Behind the Book: Wined and Died in New Orleans

Welcome to “Behind the Book,” our fun new Chicks on the Case feature! Join us as we Chicks share the real stories behind our stories. Inspiration, motivation, frustration, jubilation–you’ll find them all right here…  Hi, Ellen here, pulling back the curtain on my new Vintage Cookbook Mystery. The main plot of Wined and Died in New Orleans is twofold: 1) a valuable cache of 19th … Continue reading Behind the Book: Wined and Died in New Orleans

When Life Gets Away From You

Well, hello there! If you’re wondering to yourself,” “Wow, this post is late,” it’s because yours truly dropped the ball. I blanked. While there’s no such thing as a good excuse for flaking, here was my week last week: Tuesday night – cross our beloved dog Pogo over the rainbow bridge; Wednesday – pack for the first MWA board meeting of the year in New … Continue reading When Life Gets Away From You

Ellen’s Extraordinary, Ridiculously Age-Inappropriate Playlist

I’m always surprised when writers say they need music playing when they write. Not me. Music is what I dance or sing to, which is probably a result of my years as a performer. (This is also why I don’t read my drafts out loud like a lot of authors do. I start acting them out and lose all focus on the writing. Once a … Continue reading Ellen’s Extraordinary, Ridiculously Age-Inappropriate Playlist

Trying to define the “Quality of Life”

This photo is both hilarious and heartbreaking. Last week, Jer and I traveled to Baton Rouge for the Louisiana Book Festival, then down to New Orleans for Halloween. Our recent college grad daughter Eliza is back home, and she babysat Pogo, our sixteen-year-old chihuahua mix rescue. Pogo has been on a bit of a downward slide over the last year. In September of 2021, he … Continue reading Trying to define the “Quality of Life”

Guest Chick: Sandra Murphy

We’re so happy to welcome back the inimitable reviewer and author Sandra Murphy. Today she’s offering very wise words for both authors and readers. Take it away, Sandra! Do’s and Don’t’s of Book Reviews I review over 100 books a year for Kings River Life online magazine, cozies and thrillers, set in the present and in the not-too-distant past which means I spend seven or … Continue reading Guest Chick: Sandra Murphy

The Most Inane – or Most Useful Writing Tip Ever. You decide.

Much as I despise admitting it, words don’t always come to me as quickly as they once did. There’s nothing like having a word on the tip of your tongue, then have it dart away and zip around your brain like a fly trying to dodge a swatter. Recently I endured a particularly bad bout of what-is-that-damn-word-I-had-it-a-minute-ago-and-it-went-away-and-then-came-back-and-then-went-away-again-itis. The little devil of a word taunted me, … Continue reading The Most Inane – or Most Useful Writing Tip Ever. You decide.

Your memories from this day are… what????!

Not that long ago, I started receiving emails from OneDrive titled “Your memories from this day.” At first, I didn’t really pay attention to them. My motto, stolen from a book called The Year of Jamie’s Diary (which I’m ashamed to admit was also stolen by yours truly from the Scarsdale junior high school), is “Forward ever, backward never.” But eventually, driven by a combination … Continue reading Your memories from this day are… what????!

Sunsets in Studio City

When Covid closed my gym forever in 2020, the increase in my weight and blood pressure – both of which still prove annoyingly difficult to reduce – necessitated an alternative exercise plan. Luckily, power walks in my hilly neighborhood have provided just that until I find another gym offering the dance classes I love. Sometimes I walk with friends, sometimes alone. In addition to exercise, … Continue reading Sunsets in Studio City

How to Help a Book Series Thrive

When readers reached the epilogue in Cajun Kiss of Death, my 7th Cajun Country Mystery, they realized it was the last book in the series. Many emailed me to share their sadness about the series’ demise. I thanked them and shared that I was sad too. While sometimes authors make the choice to end a series, often the choice is out of their hands. This … Continue reading How to Help a Book Series Thrive