Pam's Summer Tea Recommendation - Blueberry Cinnamon Crumble Sun Tea, Over Ice
Set the tea leaves in an infuser, set in a large glass container with a lid and fill with water. Let it steep in the sun for an afternoon. It will be ready for 4:00 tea time. Pour over ice for a delightful, fruit sweet herbal that will revive you. A rooibus, it's caffeine free. Tea leaves available from many sources, including Tea Runners. Of course Pam's tea leaves are from Bayside's Tea Ladies Shop.
Moonjava's musing from Abraham Lincoln, The best way to predict the future is to create it
Cherry Shakes In The Park, is available for pre-order. Yay! A fun beach read about dangers, divas, and frothy delights. A romantic love triangle with a twist, and these three characters: Bryson, Marta, and Senona lead you straight into a mystery . . . and then another mystery. It takes place in Bayside, and Bryson works for Arturo Girardo at his ice cream shop. Bryson is training for Olympics tryouts. Bryson ends up wrestling with mystery in town, and mysteries of the heart. Emotions reach wild heights during a midsummer's night dalliance at Loon Point. Can't wait for you to enjoy this romantic, mystery, adventure. What a fun time I had writing it!
Summer Appearances, and into Fall. I'd love to meet you at one of these appearances and book signings. I always have some of my favorite vintage purses with me from my collection, and I love to chat about purses and fashion along with the women's history associated, sentimental ties to the purse owners too, or any fun along with chatting about mysteries.
July 16 & 17 Gig Harbor Summer Arts Festival
August 18 - 21 Killer Nashville
September 9 & 10 Southwest Washington Writers Conference (Centralia)
September 23 - 25 Pacific Northwest Writers Conference (Bellevue)
October 4 & 5 Write in the Harbor (Gig Harbor)
Heart of Christmas Cookies and Dreams is my new, holiday season romance. So sweet but Liz hides some secrets deep inside, and George's only confidante is his beagle, Phil. Can Liz and George find love? Heart of Christmas cookies will play a part, and the recipe is included. Watch for my new book in November.
November 2021 - The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year, & More Wonder To Come In 2022
Meditation from Kat Out of the Bag's hippie, flower child Moonjava (aka MJ),
Where there is hope, love, true kindness, and life, there all is calm and all is bright
Exciting New Book! Desiree & Leo tangle in Mystery and Romance
Elementary teacher Desiree Tucker is being stalked by a creepy secret Santa. Who? Is her new love Leo The One, or is Leo The Stalker? As danger lurks, what can be learned from the legend of the snow kiss cookies?
Celebrating The New Book In The Series With 1/2 Price Book Sales!
Kat Out of the Bag 1/2 price until December - Katherine Watson purse designer goes from designer bags to body bags when a killer strikes. She'll have to solve this mystery or she may be the next knock off.
Purse-Stachio Makes A Splash 1/2 price until December - The series prequel involves an ice cream challenge and a chilling cold case.
Snow Kiss Cookies Recipe! Plus, Download A Free Cookies Cookbook
Leo coaxes Desiree to tell him her grandmother's Legend of the Snow Kiss Cookies. It's just as enticing as the cookies themselves. Can't wait for you to read the legend and how it relates to the mystery.
The delicious recipe is included in the book, but here for the holidays especially for you -
Snow Kiss Cookies Recipe
And find the recipe also among those in this free Cookie Cookbook.
It's on page 193
Secret Santa Game's History
In Snow Kiss Cookies To Die For, first grade teacher Desiree's class plays a secret Santa exchange the week before winter vacation. What started this holiday tradition?
Despite the exact origins being blurry, the tradition can be traced back to Scandinavia where Secret Santa is known as Julklapp. In Scandinavian countries, tradition dictates you knock loudly on the gift receiver’s door, open it, then throw the gift in and run. Secret Santa can also be traced back to Germanic folklore where they believed fairies helped out Santa Claus in delivering presents.
Conferences and Book Signings 2021
I've enjoyed meeting readers at Conferences and Book signings, and thank you very much for sharing how much you've enjoyed my books. It's been so much fun to talk with you about books, mysteries, vintage purses, fashion, women's history, family vintage purses, and so much more. I'm busily writing and editing and there's more books to come in 2022!
Best wishes to You and to Your Family for a happy ending to 2021 and a Cozy 2022 ahead
May, 2021 - More Fun Reading . . . .
A New Mystery/Romance is on the way!
Ebook - Snow Kiss Cookies To Die For
Coming to you fall, 2021
Including the delicious Snow Kiss Cookie recipe
First grade teacher Desiree Tucker hung her students' Santa stockings with care, but on Monday a sinister new one is there. Just when she thought she could believe in magic again, is her dream man really a threat or is his love true?
Desiree feared for her heart and for her life
For clutch situations, great mystery reads are blooming.
Here's trivia about K-9 Pawtner Hobbs' enjoyment of the garden flowers - his officer Jason Holmes in his spare time enjoys gardening very much and has studied the history of flower meanings. He blogs about different flowers' meanings here
Jason shared this picture of pretty dahlias. These flowers symbolize elegance, inner strength, change, creativity and dignity. There is also a connotation of potential betrayal, dishonesty and instability. An interesting mix of traits for a potential suspect . . . .
Here's a hint about the sequel, Kat 2 - An autopsy leads to the declared cause of death to be suicide, but the family does not agree and there are clues that indicate abduction and murder . . . . Here's a little information about Messenger Bags, one of the bags featured in this mystery.
Messenger Bags Are Styling Vintage
The history goes all the way back to the Roman Empire, from some notations. The bag made from either canvas or leather can be carried in a brief case style by the handle or most usually with a strap cross body over the shoulder. It became most popular in the middle of the 19th century with postal carriers including the Pony Express. They needed lightweight, practical and mobile bags. Later the Army, letter carriers, utility repair workers and others used these shoulder bags to carry tools and other items needed for their work.
The more modern, and waterproof canvas messenger bags appeared in the 1950's especially for telephone pole workers. A more populace surge in use came in the 1980's for bicycling messenger businesses. From there designers began matching this bag's functionality with style for students and professionals, especially for carrying not only books and files but also laptops. It also works well as luggage for a getaway, or as an alternative to a backpack.
It's a versatile carry - close to your body as a cross body that lies across your back. OR especially if it's a hot day you may prefer a shoulder carry. OR most have a briefcase style handle on top to grip in your hand. The versatility and organization of this bag style have been greatly valued through generations.
Memorial Day - Honoring Those Who Died in military service
Wishing you a thoughtful and memorable holiday weekend
Commander in Chief John A. Logan of the Grand Army of the Republic issued the 1868 proclamation declaring the first Decoration Day, which was celebrated with a large memorial observance at Arlington National Cemetery, with about five thousand attending. Those attending placed small flags on the graves of veterans. General Ulysses S. Grant and his wife presided.
Logan credited his wife, Mary Logan, with the suggestion for the commemoration.
On May 30, 1870, General Logan gave an address in honor of the new commemorative holiday. In it he said: "This Memorial Day, on which we decorate their graves with the tokens of love and affection, is no idle ceremony with us, to pass away an hour; but it brings back to our minds in all their vividness the fearful conflicts of that terrible war in which they fell as victims... Let us, then, all unite in the solemn feelings of the hour, and tender with our flowers the warmest sympathies of our souls! Let us revive our patriotism and love of country by this act, and strengthen our loyalty by the example of the noble dead around us...."
The acknowledged and more direct root of Decoration Day was the practice of women of decorating the graves of their loved ones who had died in the Civil War.
It was not until 1915 that Moina Michael, wrote a poem about cherishing "the Poppy red," and began encouraging people to wear red poppies for Memorial Day, wearing one herself. Moina Michael is featured on a 3 cent postage stamp in the United States, issued in 1948.
November 6, 2020 - Kat Out of the Bag . . . . Spilling the news
Wishing you all well, and thank you so much to all of you who have let me know how much you're enjoying
Kat Out of the Bag
The prequel Purse-Stachio Makes A Splash
Interesting Trivia About Purrada (I mean Prada)
(Picture of Katherine Watson's adopted, pampered pet Purrada)
Prada owes its present success to Miuccia Prada, granddaughter of founder Mario Prada. The Italian luxury brand made its debut in 1913 manufacturing premium Italian leather bags. It was Miuccia who brought out the ready-to-wear in the 1990's. Today Prada specializes across a range of goods including accessories, shoes, and perfume.
Miuccia is quoted as saying, "I love fashion but I think it should stay in its place, not rule your life. It's a very nice part of your life, but I think it should be fun."
The Devil Wears Prada is purportedly a tell-all film based on a novel fictionalizing an assistant's experience working for Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour. Despite the comedy-drama's witty depiction of a powerful fashion magazine editor with disparaging demands and an exhausting schedule, Wintour did not respond negatively to the movie, and even attended the special premier in New Yok wearing and carrying Prada
Hope You Enjoyed National Handbag Day! (October 10th)
For a memorable celebration, I podcast with a very special guest and it's an exciting interview - Joy Egbejimba, owner of Nuciano Handbags
Enjoy this peek into the world of handbag fashions -
The Neverending Bookshop Zoom Appearance Nov. 14 - You're Invited!
I hope you can join me at noon on Saturday Nov. 14th for a live chat together.
I'm looking forward to talking about mysteries, purses, my books, answer any of your questions
WOW! - All Kat Out of the Bag books ordered from The Neverending Bookshop will be author signed books mailed to you with special complimentary matching bookmarks
Sign up for free for the Zoom link by emailing: email@example.com
And remember to order your signed book copies - they make great holiday gifts too!
Looking Forward To Thanksgiving - Thank You Sarah Josepha Hale
She was widowed in 1822, single parenting 5 children. Her many accomplishments including publishing poetry, a novel, and a second book of poetry that included the familiar - Mary Had a Little Lamb .
By 1828 she became the first American woman editor of a magazine - Boston's Ladies' Magazine. By 1837 she merged her magazine with another creating the most popular fashion magazine of the 19th century - Godey's Lady's Book
The magazine was famous for its drawings of women dressed in the newest fashions. Those illustrations were produced by engraving a sheet of flat metal called a "plate" in the shape of that woman model. That flat metal sheet the image was reprinted into the pages of the magazines. The images were then meticulously colored by hand. In the past, have you ever heard of a woman referred to as a fashion plate? This process is the origin of that saying.
Sarah Josepha Hale also campaigned President Lincoln persistently to establish Thanksgiving as a national holiday. She pitched the idea as something that would bring the country divided by the civil war back together again. Lincoln issued the proclamation in 1863.
Here's text from a page right out of her own magazine, showing the fashionable Marguerite Pouch, an oval shaped purse and a style which is still sold today:
Our pattern is in dark blue velvet, lined with white silk. The ornaments, the lock and chain, are in steel. The velvet may be worked with a pattern in braiding or beads, the stars with steel beads, the steel hanging ornaments replaced by tassels made with steel beads, and the chain by blue velvet ribbon now so much in vogue. They make a pretty finish to a linsey dress.
For more stories of the extraordinary accomplishments of ordinary women, check out the blog A Passion For Purses, narrated by Kat Out of the Bag characters - https://apassionforpurses.blogspot.com/
Enjoy Purse-Stachio Makes A Splash
Novella available now for sale as ebook on Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, and all over online sellers
Also available in paperback anthology - A Taste Of Danger - through The Wild Rose Press
And I'm working on the sequel . . . .
I hope you'll contact me, and I hope to meet you via zoom on Nov. 14th at noon.
Wishing you all the very best, including great reading!
April 13, 2020 - Kat Out of the Bag . . . . Spilling the news
Today is Release Day!
available on Amazon, other online, and bookstores
I hope you are all safe, and in good health during these difficult times. I'm wishing you all the best, to get through this together, apart.
Publishing my first mystery of the In Purse-Suit mysteries has been an exciting process for me. From signing the contract with The Wild Rose Press on August 16, 2019 to today's release, I've learned so much. I've learned as much as I learned when I researched and when I wrote this book. What an exciting adventure!
If you decide you'd like to read it, I sincerely hope you enjoy the read as much as I enjoyed the write.
I did a lot of research for my book, some of it was at the local police station.
At the end of this newsletter, I've included an excerpt from the book that you won't find elsewhere. It's when Katherine, celebrated international purse designer, first meets local cop Jason Holmes' K-9 partner Hobbs. I did a lot of research with a local police department, including a ride along with a K-9 patrol when I was researching the book. Hear more about that adventure in this episode of my Kendall & Cooper Talk Mysteries episode - My Ride Along
Some of my research was on my trip to Little Rock, Arkansas to visit Esse Purse Museum, one of only 3 in the world, telling women's history through purses of the decades. Katherine Watson in my book opens her own purse museum, Purse-onality in Bayside Wa. I am a big purse fan, and although I don't own enough of them for a museum I do have a nice little collection of vintage through contemporary. Here's some interesting blog episodes of my visit to Esse from my blog - A Passion For Purses
Here's an excerpt from the mystery Kat Out of the Bag that you won't find anywhere else but in the book - Katherine meets Hobbs
"You shouldn't be here. You need to go."
It wasn't so much the commanding voice that freaked her out, as it was the hand grabbing her arm. Katherine screamed and jumped. Seeing the officer and then his dog's intent stare at her, she took a breath. "You shouldn't sneak up on people."
"You're disturbing evidence. We haven't cleared this shed for entry yet."
Katherine bristled visibly at that declaration. "Well it's my shed and I found something." Katherine's mind raced back to when he'd taken the note from her and refused to give it back. "I found out that tonight's trespasser disturbed it first." Katherine quickly added. Sticking her hand firmly in her pocket, fingers around the jewel, she moved to continue out the back door.
"No, go out this way," the officer instructed, pointing back to the front of the shed.
" Do you always speak in commands?" Katherine kept an eye on the dog, not convinced she could trust his controlled demeanor. She took a step and reached her hand out to the man. "Maybe we should start over again? I'm the owner of this place. I'm helping your investigation."
"I know who you are. Hobbs and I will walk you back to your house." He indicated she should keep walking.
She tilted her head curiously, with a small smile that she hoped appeared friendly. "Hi, Jason. It's nice to meet you. And your dog, what is his name?"
Jason commanded, "Fuss Hobbs." The dog stood up and heeled to Jason as he walked forward. Was that an odd dog name or another command? Katherine was deciding what she wanted to do next, when Jason stopped at the light switch, waiting for her. She walked outside as Jason turned out the light and moved through the door with the dog. They were back out on the lawn now and it seemed that the storm had moved through.
"His name is Hobbs." Jason firmly closed the shed door behind them.
"Hobbs. Hello Offier Hobbs. Is that dog language you speak to him?"
"Hobbs is trained in German, ma'am." At this mention of his name, the dog gave all his attention to Jason.
"You really are a GermanShepherd, Hobbs." Katherine laughed as the dog momentarily glanced toward her and then immediately back to his partner. They all started walking across the lawn toward the museum, but Katherine began to cut over toward the alley. "My grandparents live in that cottage across the alley. I need to check that they're okaNy."
"We'll go together then," Jason answered.
And More Good News To Come -
I've signed a new contract with my publisher The Wild Rose Press, for the novella prequel to Kat Out of the Bag. So stay tuned to find out when the prequel will be available.
And I'm busy writing the sequel . . . .
Katherine and Moonjava react to Release Day on their blog, now that they've taken over A Passion For Purses
The Awkward Adolescence of my Cozy Mystery - The Completed First Draft of Kat Out of the Bag
I'll be finishing my book's first draft in October. That's a meaningful milestone to celebrate, as many of you know. Like many writers, I'm so proud of my first draft, but it's not pretty. It's not ready to stand on it's own. My book is no longer in its cute, enthusiastic, exciting ideas of a childhood. It has entered into its awkward adoloscence.
My initial idea that at one time was just a glint in my eye is now all on paper. This is the story for me. Its not publish ready, but it's written and I can see it all even with its blemishes. I've gained momentum and I feel empowered. I know how the story ends and all that happens to get to the ending, but I don't know how it will all turn out - if it will get published. If published, will anyone buy it or read it? That's the risk I take and now I know I can go the distance and rewrite/edit my first draft to guide it from adolescence to an independent future when it will stand in the world on its own.
If you're working toward your first draft, take heart and keep writing. One word after another. Keep writing every day. You may feel fear, but write it anyway and take heart that you're writing your draft. You'll have time to fix it afterwards.
You can't fix what's not on paper
You're establishing your writing habit
You have a story and first you need to tell the story to yourself
During your first draft you're getting to know your characters even better
Your first draft will show you how what comes before can be fitted to the end of the story
So let your joyful, innocent young story idea grow in writing. You'll want to celebrate its awkward adolescence, which holds its own beauty.
Upcoming Workshops -
I'm so excited to be presenting two workshops at the Write in the Harbor Writers Conference on November 4th. Last year was my first adventure at this Conference and the organizers, presenters, and attendees are all so enthusiastic and we all learned a lot from each other.
The Contemporary Cozy
Layering Your Writing
Write in the Harbor - http://continuingedtacoma.com/writeintheharbor/writeintheharbor2017/
I was so impressed and motivated by the other two Writers Conferences I attended and presented workshops at this past summer
Rivers of Ink
Learn From Published Authors - Kendall & Cooper New Podcasts:
Kendall & Cooper Talk Mysteries with Claire Johnson - writing mysteries with a side of politics and humor
Recommended: Beat Until Stiff
Kendall & Cooper Talk Mysteries with Tonya Kappes - mystery and the supernatural
Recommended: A Ghostly Murder
Kendall & Cooper Talk Mysteries with Kevin O'Brien - A genius of suspense, he's Kevin OMG O'Brien
Recommended: Disturbed and also his newest Hide Your Fear
Kendall & Cooper Talk Mysteries with Kellye Garrett - Mystery goes Hollywood, written by an insider
Recommended: Hollywood Homicide
Recommended Reads - http://recommendreads.blogspot.com/
Exploring the Soul of an Octopus = by Sy Montgomery
Here’s a sweet read written by a mesmerizing storyteller who spins a true novel all about a sea creature that I discovered I knew very little about. This book entertains with so much interesting information that surprises.
Deep Under Cover - by Jack Barsky
The tension and intrigue of a thriller, spy novel is irresistible for so many of us. What about reading a spy memoir? Can real life spying stand up to artistic license to kill? In this case, yes.
Ghost Man - by Roger Hobbs
A casino robbery in Atlantic City goes horribly sideways, despite all appearances of its intricate planning. The brain behind the operation needs to repair the damage and make it go away.
Mastering Suspense, Structure, and Plot by Jane K. Cleland
Save the Cat by Blake Snyder
Fast Fiction by Denise Jaden
Stein on Writing by Sol Stein
The Art and Craft of Storytelling by Nancy Lamb
How To Write A Damn Good Novel by James N. Frey
Fun Fact From Cozy Research - Gucci
Guccio Gucci established the Florentine Company, which was a leather manufacturing company, in 1921 after working at the Savoy Hotel in London. Inspired by the style of the Aristocratic luggage passing through the hotel, his first Gucci iconic bag was The Bamboo which came from wartime shortages. Designed in 1947 with a handle made of burnished bamboo. It was seen on the arm of Elizabeth Taylor early in the 1950's and then it became a must-have.