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Cat’s Ears and Survival Month

See the feathery puffballs? Did you think of dandelions? These are actually Cat’s Ears and are related to Dandelions, which I think should be spelled Dandy Lion, so we can remember the name of their distant cousin, Cat’s Ears, aka Dandy Cat’s Ears.

All parts of the Dandelions and Cat’s Ears plants are edible, but the leaves are a tender delicacy in the spring, and full of vitamins A, C, and K in addition to folate, calcium, and potassium. I’ve eaten dandelion salad, and it had a similar taste to arugula. As a side note: I think if I ever made a Cat’s Ears salad, I’d call it a dandelion salad, just because.

So, how is this related to survival? Including greens in a diet helps a body stay healthy, and walking outside to forage in a chemical-free yard or field is much more convenient and nowhere as costly as driving to a grocery story. Alternatives are good.

I’ve been trying my best to grow greens in my garden the past few years, and I’m looking at you, buttercrunch lettuce, bok choy, romaine, and collard greens, but the bugs feast on the leaves before I can.

I’ve discovered the leaves on the Cat’s Ears aren’t ravaged by bugs. Who knew? I had a whole field of salad with no painstaking planting, watering, thinning, weeding, or weeping.

So, why is this month Survival Month? Because first, I sobbed over my collard greens then researched Dandelions and Cat’s Ears; and second, Book 5 of the Grid Down Survival Series, Danger at the Farm, will be released at the end of this month!

Want to read Danger at the Farm? Click here for the link!

Or would you like to start the Grid Down Survival Series with Book 1, Danger in the Clouds? Click here for the link!

You keep reading; I’ll keep writing!

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Honey Bee Buffet

We don’t mow our front field in the early spring because the honey bees love the clover buffet. The bees gather pollen after the sun dries the dew in the morning until early afternoon when it’s bee quitting time because the Georgia sun is hot. I guess they get too sweaty, and they aren’t that kind of bee. *

Toby always goes with me when I take a walk in the front field. Evidently, Sadie taught him to take over her job of guarding me, and he takes his work seriously. I am particularly safe from all birds and grasshoppers. He used to snap at bumblebees, but he decided against that; we’re not to discuss that ever.

I don’t know if our bees are wild bees or if they have a lovely apartment at a beekeeper’s farm. It doesn’t matter to us; we’re happy they are enjoying their springtime buffet at our place.

I suppose you think there’s a story that was inspired by the Honey Bee Buffet… and you’re right. I’ll give you a hint: Donut Lady and Andrew decide to celebrate National Honey Bee Day.

You’ll have to wait for the story because it’s in SWEET AND SOUR DEAL. You can preorder now, and Book 6 of the Donut Lady Cozy Mystery Series will automatically be delivered to you on June 21.

       

Extortion, Murder, and Honey Bees. 

Another Story with a Twist.

Sweat bees* don’t make any honey and are particularly drawn to the salt and minerals of sweaty humans’ skin.

Not Into Cozy Mysteries? No Sweat*

*See what I did there? There’s a new Sci-Fi or Thriller book every month or so for you! Tap the link… to subscribe to the newsletter for book news and stories!

Or if you like, Tap on the cool Word Cloud!

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Inspiration, Weeds, and Books

How could weeds that overtook a garden be an inspiration for books? There’s a story for that!

This is one of my four raised garden beds. When I first heard about raised gardens, I thought the gardens were on tables that were waist-high. I loved the idea of not having to bend over or kneel in the dirt. I signed up for the local county Department of Agriculture Extension Service classes on raising vegetables, and I was excited that one seminar was devoted to raised beds. I was sorely disappointed when a tall (everybody’s tall to me), young (ditto, young) woman led us outside to view the raised bed garden she had constructed for the class.

Her raised bed garden was six feet by six feet, and she had some green plants in it. She knelt next to her raised bed to show how easily she could weed and maintain her garden. She implied that a raised garden bed had to be six feet by six feet for the garden magic to work, but I pointed out that she had a little trouble reaching the middle of the raised bed. She said her raised bed was new, and everyone limbers up as they garden.

I’m not sure how much gardening it takes to become so limber that you’re taller. She didn’t want to talk about it anymore.

A few years later when we moved to the farm, FarmerMan built a raised bed for my short self, and I can pull weeds from the middle of it without climbing in. Last year, this raised bed had serrano peppers. After a visit to the hardware store yesterday, I came home with vegetable plants and vegetable seeds, and it was time to weed.

The best weeding news of the week is that it rained a total of three inches this week, so pulling weeds could have been much worse.

Here we are! I weeded the raised bed garden and planted nine plants: all collard greens. The irrigation system is in place, and rain has been in the forecast for today and one day next week. The perfect supplement to our irrigation system.

So, how does that relate to books?

My oldest series got a little weeding and a snazzy new look too. The series is great and fun to read, but the covers weren’t quite limber enough because they didn’t line up well with the cozy mystery theme.  You wouldn’t see them in a group of covers and say, “Ah ha! That’s obviously a cozy mystery novel!” They aren’t bad, and they kind of imply they are mysteries, but that doesn’t make them limber or cozy mysteries.

Old Cover. You can tell it’s a mystery because it says so on the bottom line, but you probably didn’t immediately read the fine print at the bottom before you saw the picture.

  

New Cover. If you’re a cozy mystery reader, you’ll probably recognize this as a book that’s suited for you because of the cover. If you aren’t a cozy mystery reader, you might like the donut cover better; not because it’s a book you’d want to read, but instead…Donuts.

  

If you’ve read any of the Donut Lady Mysteries, just a note for you that the stories have NOT changed. We just gave our DONUT LADY more of the center stage on the cover. Unless you want to have the paperback with the most current cover, please wait just a little bit longer for Donut Lady, Book 6, for a new Donut Lady story.

 

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Binge Readers Rock!

We’re being told we need to practice self-care, right? Binge readers actually invented self-care by immersing themselves in a story that takes them away from day-to-day stresses and into a world where they share the exciting adventures of overcoming bad guys with their favorite characters.

Somewhere not long ago, a sharp pyschologist peeked into her office waiting room and noticed that three relaxed patients were reading ebooks or paperbacks while the rest of the patients paced, fidgeted, or fumed about the wait. Ah, ha! Self-care! She promptly instituted a take one/leave one book table and hired another psychologist to help with her practice.

Ready to binge read? Here’s an omnibus of the first three books in the Donut Lady Mystery Series; or in today’s language: boxset. Tap or click on the books for MORE…

BookBrushImage-2022-3-11 Boxset

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Bingeworthy Thriller

MAGGIE SLOAN THRILLER SERIES

When Maggie and her unusual team uncover long-hidden crimes, the desperate criminals attack, and Maggie fights for survival. It’s kill or be killed.

 

Maggie Sloan, librarian and self-taught spy and her unforgettable, unique team avenge a heart-wrenching murder in I ALWAYS WANTED TO BE A SPY, BOOK 1.

In RED IS THE NEW GRAY, BOOK 2, Maggie and her team travel to Galveston Island, Texas. Maggie  persists in her pursuit to uncover the deadly crime and the vicious criminal who has escaped detection for years.

In HIDDEN BY FIRE, BOOK 3, When Maggie and her team investigate the puzzling clues that point to a long ago, unsolved theft of famous works of art, Maggie intends to discover the truth hidden behind the series of fires.

In ONE EYE ON THE KILLER, BOOK 4, Maggie uses her uncanny skills and talents to piece together the deaths of senior center residents and staff and the theft of valuable jewelry. A deadly attack on Maggie leaves her maimed, but the killer wants her dead.

What the Readers say:

A well-crafted story! If you’ve thought you have it all figured out, the story jack-knives off the page and spins you in a whole other direction. Very fulfilling. — Amazon

I love it! Taut, well plotted mystery. Beautiful turns of phrase. Laugh aloud moments. A kickass heroine. Imaginary companions who are somehow tangible. You’ll love it, too. — Amazon

Have you read some of the Maggie books? Tap the download button for the ones you have missed!

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Once Upon a Halloween…

A Wicked and Wild Cozy Mystery Anthology 

Halloween, the day where the veil between the normal and the paranormal is as thin as a whisker on a witch’s chin…
 
Twenty-three cozy mystery authors cook up tales of fun, mayhem, and murder!
 
With a sprinkle of seniors with sharp minds and smart mouths, a dash of witches with familiars with more sass than sense, and a pinch of whodunits in quaint little towns…
 
Don’t miss the Exclusive DONUT LADY Halloween Story, SWEET SCARY DEAL, found only in ONCE UPON A HALLOWEEN!
 
PREORDER NOW for your copy of the October 18 Release of ONCE UPON A HALLOWEEN!
 

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Another Sweet Donut Lady Novel with a Side of Murder

Donut Lady Mystery Series continues with Book 5, SWEET SECRET DEAL.

Donut Lady is in a race to uncover the secrets and solve the murders before the desperate killer murders her.

Donut Lady’s reputation for solving murders continues to grow in Book 5 of the Donut Lady Mystery saga.

SSD 3D JPG

KAREN O’BRIEN is puzzled by the secrets of a respected, longtime resident of Asbury. How many secret partners can any one person have? And when one of the partners and then another is murdered, Karen is convinced the killer must have been one of the other partners, but which one? And why? The Donut Lady asks too many questions and uncovers too many secrets. She’s in the killer’s crosshairs.

DONUT LADY mysteries are best enjoyed by starting with Book 1: SWEET SEAL SEALED.

SweetDealSealedBuy  SweetDealConcealedBuy   SweetDealRevealedBuySweetDealAppealedBuy  SweetSecretDealBuy

DonutLadyMysterySeries 3D 5 Books July 25 2021

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More than Ever…Survival

The GRID DOWN SURVIVAL SERIES continues with Book 4, DANGER IN THE FIELD.

A killer obsessed with hate seeks revenge.

Stuart and Aimee Louise scrap their plans to return to Florida when their neighbors fall victim to home invasions and murder. After the ruthless gang halts all travel with roadblocks and the attacks escalate, Stuart and Aimee Louise suspect someone on their team is the target. When the callous enemy closes in, Stuart and Aimee Louise plan their own attack.

Stuart, Aimee Louise, and Rosalie stayed in Georgia because lawlessness still rules. No electricity has become the new normal as their fight for survival continues in Book 4 of the Grid Down Survival saga.

GRID DOWN SURVIVAL is best enjoyed by starting with Book 1: DANGER IN THE CLOUDS as our SURVIVAL heroes grow with each new adventure.

DangerInThe CloudsBuy    DangerInThe WindBuy DangeronThe RoadBuy DangerinTheFieldBuy

GRID DOWN SURVIVAL SERIES BOOKS 1 2 3 4 June 2021

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A New Mystery Series

A new series means we’ll be introduced to a story about a new person with a problem to solve. 

Meet RILEY MALLOY, a talented veterinary technician who understands her patients. When her employer abruptly closes the veterinary clinic where she has always worked, she adopts an abandoned dog at the worst possible time – no job and no animals allowed in her apartment building.

After she moves to her family’s hometown for a new job, death follows her.

TAGGED BY DEATH

Riley Malloy has a remarkable talent for understanding her veterinary patients. Unknowingly, she’s also the only one who can identify a serial killer. 

As one murder follows another, the evidence she discovers may lead her to expose the murderer’s scheme. When she gets too close, Riley finds herself in the crosshairs of the desperate killer as he escalates to a final murder. Can Riley escape his deadly intentions?