I don’t know about you, but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve prayed not to eat dirt in front of someone else – a romantic rival…a romantic interest…my brother (cause, you know, he’d never let me hear the end of it. lol)
Wiping out in front of a bunch of people I don’t know, though? That’s totally fine (and something I’ve done way too often… Ha!)
So… week one of new job is down, and I’m having a ball – but that’s not what the disco ball is for. That’s for today’s #MusicMonday pick – “Le Freak” by CHIC. Nothing better than a 70’s throwback (unless it’s an 80’s throwback, but I digress…)
I seem to recall my brother had this on 45, and I wasn’t supposed to touch it. I did, however, decide to take it to school for show & tell, and I accidentally sat on it. And broke it. #Whoops
Anyway, enjoy today’s Music Monday – and have a fantastic start to the week!
I don’t know what it is about “Route 66” – especially the Depeche Mode version – that makes it perfect for a new start song. It evokes a sense of freedom and exploration and adventure. At least it does for me. 🙂
And so, it’s off to start a new job today – I hadn’t intended on working for anyone else ever again, at least as an employee, especially given the absolute batshit crazy of the last job. The opportunity presented itself, though, and so it’s off to new adventures in just a little bit.
Have a happy Monday, and enjoy your own adventures, new or otherwise!
So… this is my very own Mr. Dorian Gray – who’s 16+ and who had a tooth pulled yesterday. I was super worried about the anesthesia given his age, but he did just fine and now he’s on soft food and painkillers for a week or so to give his gum time to heal.
He’s currently hiding under the bed since his morning meds have taken effect.
No reason for post this except to share the joy. I was an absolute wreck yesterday.
Happy Good Friday and Easter weekend, to those of you who celebrate.
As an aside, if you’ve never read The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde, I highly recommend it. You can get it free from the Project Gutenberg site (linked above – they also appear to have an audio version available) and you can probably find free versions on the major retailers.
Writing this scene where Izzie and Delly are held captive by the missing raven – in the most unlikeliest of places – had me giggling the entire time. Whenever I have an emotional reaction of any sort while I’m writing, I know I’m heading in the right direction.
If you want to find out where the ladies and the raven are and what happens when they’re there, Yours Truly is available for purchase as the following links:
(The Wild Rose Press page will give you links to sites where you can purchase Yours Truly beyond the sites below.)
A wonderful friend of mine introduced me to this song last week – it’s fun and funky and it reminds me a little of Tom Petty, though I couldn’t tell you why. Maybe it’s the phrasing of certain words, or the beat, or the timber of his voice…
Whatever the case, it’s a song I feel I should share. So, Happy #MusicMonday and check out Aaron Lee Tasjan.
Welcome author Candace Colt for this week’s Thirteen for Thursday
What is one fun fact about yourself very few people know?
I love the reaction when I tell people I was a Nuclear Medicine Technologist. Most people assume I must have been a nuclear scientist (I wish!). I transitioned from a public-school teacher to this high-tech medical imaging field with really no idea what it was, either. It was a fantastic privilege to be a part of it.
What is your favorite childhood memory?
Playing outside with the neighborhood kids with the only rule to come home when the street lights came on. BTW we could play without any adult supervision. In fact, the adults got a break when we were all outside.
What is your favorite smell and why?
Lemons! They always pick up my mood no matter what’s going on. And they remind me of being a kid and watching my mom pick lemons in our backyard to make homemade lemon meringue pie. She always made a little individual pie just for me. And I grew up with zero baking skills!
What was your favorite toy as a kid?
Hands down, the first two-wheel bicycle that I got somewhere around fourth grade. Riding all by myself gave me the feeling of independence and freedom.
What is the one skill you don’t have but wish you did?
See my answer to my favorite scene. I would so love to have the ability to levitate and fly. But after you read my response to number 15, you will wonder how I could say that!
What is your favorite scene from a movie, and why?
The swordfight scene when the opponents float and fly over the bamboo trees in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. The effects were excellent, and you totally thought they were actually flying.
How far away do you live from your birthplace?
I was born in Inglewood, California, and now I live near Clearwater, Florida. As the crow flies, the cities are 2500 miles apart.
What is the one thing you wanted but never got as a kid?
I always wanted a big brother. I was an only child at a time when “onlies” were rare. Maybe one other kid in my elementary school class (I went K-6 with most of them) was an only child. I suspect we would have feuded and fussed like all siblings, and a lot of my friends are estranged from their grown siblings. All that said, I still wish I’d had that brother.
If you could travel anywhere, where would it be and why?
Pick only one? That’s not fair. But if I must, it would be Amsterdam. I’ve been three times, and I’m always amazed at how cosmopolitan yet steeped in history it is at the same time. You can walk or take mass transit everywhere. I could spend hours in the art museums or shopping in the outdoor markets. And don’t believe anything about Dutch food being bad. It is delicious. Though I never acquired the taste for raw herring, it was in Amsterdam where I fell in love with Pannenkoeken. These are not your IHOP pancakes, trust me! They are delicious with a hot cup of coffee and best eaten in an outdoor café. If I could, I’d book a flight right now and stay at my favorite place, the Hotel Estherea.
If you could write yourself into any TV show, which would you choose, and why?
I would love to be a character in the British series “Midsomer Murders.” With my dogged determination to get to the truth, I’d be an excellent Detective Chief Inspector and a great asset to the team—though they might get a little weary of my constant nosing into things!
Would you rather wear combat boots or heels?
Combat boots for sure! I had to wear heels for way too long, and at this point in my life, it’s about comfort. And anybody in combat boots has to be a badass, right?
What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done?
Years ago, my husband and I were talked into training for a 26.2-mile marathon. I was a plodding runner—well, walk-runner. So, guess which one we decided to do first? London! I know. Crazy, right? Yes, it was. We finished but looking back now, I have no idea how. We started in Greenwich, a town in south-east London. The race goes over Tower Bridge and finishes at Buckingham Palace. Amazing experience, but would I do it again? Nope.
What film or book gave you an intense emotional reaction?
I’m a sucker for classic movies. One film that really gets me is “The Way We Were” with Streisand and Redford. It doesn’t air often, but once it starts, I’m glued to the screen until the end. It hits all the marks for me. Period piece. Totally unlikely opposites who attract. Strong story. Flashbacks. Impossible odds. Romance. And Streisand’s clothes were amazing.
Are you related to (distantly or otherwise) to anyone famous? Who? What is his or her claim to fame?
My 9th great-grandmother was Rebecca Towne Nurse, accused and hanged as a witch in 1692 in Salem, MA.
What is the one thing you covet?
This might be the most challenging question. I guess I covet people who are not afraid of heights. I don’t know why, but I just go stupid when I get in high places. I won’t sit by the window on a plane. I hate driving over bridges—Sunshine Skyway in particular. Ladders above two steps? Not a chance. Outside glass elevators? Oh, that is not happening.
Candace’s Online Playground
I’d love to get acquainted with you. Connect with me online so we can continue the conversation.
Florida author Candace Colt always “believed she could” write, so after retiring in 2014 “she did!” She’s published nine contemporary paranormal romance novels (don’t worry–not gory or scary). Why paranormal? Because she thinks they are fun to write and besides even shifters, elves, psychics and time travelers deserve their happily ever after. Love’s a trip so hop on for the ride!
Welcome author M. Ravenel and The Arrangement for this week’s Tell Tale Tuesday.
I never thought in a million years that I would write any sort of mystery story. Ironically, my problem-solving skills are lacking, to say the least. So, who knew this day would come when I would end up publishing my very first detective mystery story like this? I’ve never read a mystery story prior to writing this book, and the most crime fiction I was ever exposed to was Law & Order: SVU. But like all things with my writing (or anything creative, for that matter), I like to challenge myself. This book was definitely a challenge, but not as hard as I thought it would be.
The Arrangement is a story about a young woman name Rita “Tootsie” Carter, a snarky, spunky, rough-and-tumble gal from the Bronx, New York City. The Arrangement takes place in New York City 1975, a crazy time, for sure. So you can imagine that this was also a great setting for a crime fiction story like this.
Tootsie’s story originated as a series of short stories about her as a nine year-old girl in 1956. Each of the stories involved her pretending she was famous detective like her idol, Dick Tracy, and solving little mysteries around her neighborhood. She also had a penchant for Tootsie Rolls, which garnered her nickname. I wrote the first short story for an anthology contest (which ended up getting chosen and published). I wrote more stories for subsequent contests and writing prompts. These stories were written in a way that kids today as well as kids from the 40s and 50s could enjoy and relate to.
With all of these Tootsie short stories I had written, a question was posed to me as to what Tootsie would be like if she were older. It took some thinking, but thankfully, I was able to turn to my parents, who remembered New York City in the 70s most vividly. In writing The Arrangement, I learned a lot of new things about life back then. The most interesting was that it was in 1974 that women were finally allowed to have their own credit card!
Tootsie is someone who likes to go against society’s norm—much like me. Being a woman in a man’s world, the odds were stacked against her. And being African-American, those odds were stacked even higher. A lot of the themes in The Arrangement centers on Tootsie navigating (and surviving) this tumultuous world. She was a former cop turned private detective, which was a bit of a rare thing for women. She’s single, independent, and can hold her own in most situations. There are some women’s liberation themes sprinkled throughout the story, as she faces her own challenges. But she doesn’t let that stop her from doing her job and stopping the bad guys.
The Arrangement is the first book in a planned series that will hold a similar charm as the kid-Tootsie short stories, but with a bit of a darker, more mature edge. I would classify this book as ‘hard-boiled detective mystery,’ but some readers may consider it ‘soft-boiled.’ There is plenty of dark humor, snark, and action.
I hope readers around the world will fall in love with Tootsie and her friends, just as I have.
“A gritty, hard-boiled mystery featuring a tough, snarky, female private eye from 1970s New York City.”
Another case has fallen onto the desk of Tootsie Carter; a female detective armed with a snubnosed Colt .38, unmatchable wit, and a pocketful of Tootsie Rolls.
New York City, 1975
A missing wife. The seedy underbelly of the boxing world. Lace your gloves and ring the bell, PI Tootsie Carter is on the case.
When a desperate man stumbles into her office, pleading for help locating his wife, Tootsie launches into the investigation.
Following the clues, she uncovers a boxing racketeer with a deadly agenda.
Can Tootsie deliver the one-two punch that brings the woman home safe? Or will more bodies fall to the mats?
Eyeing the knife, I inhaled. Then I grabbed his wrist with my free hand, holding him firmly, while I yanked my other hand out of his tight grip. I spun, keeping the knife in sight, and gave his wrist a sharp twist.
The knife dropped, and the kid howled. He keeled over and held his disabled hand. He looked back at me with fire in his eyes. “Bitch!” He gritted his teeth then straightened again.
I stabbed my leg into his gut with a bone-crushing side kick, my tough boot folding him back over like a book and knocking the wind out of him. His eyes bugged out, and he staggered backward. I whipped out my gun and aimed it at him. “Still wanna tangle?”
His face turned snow white, and his one good hand shot up in surrender. “H-Hey, baby… easy… easy with that!” he said between gasps.
I scowled. “Don’t call me baby. Now get outta here, sucker, before I pump you full of lead. And don’t let me catch you or your friends’ ugly mugs around here again, dig?”
He swallowed once then took a nervous step back.
“Scram!” I clicked off the safety.
The kid turned tail and ran, tripping over his two friends. He stumbled but quickly recovered and bolted down the sidewalk. His friends struggled to their feet and hurried after him. Soon, the three disappeared around the corner.
Sighing, I reset the safety and put away my gun.
Mitts raised his eyebrows. “Whoa. Who are you? Bruce Lee? Those were some bad moves. Where’d you learn that?”
I gave him a coy grin. “I was one of the few students who actually paid attention in self-defense class at the academy.”