Are You Listening?

Hello, Readers and Audiobook Lovers,

I wanted to let you know that this week, I hired Mr. Tom Jordan, Narrator and Producer, to create an Audiobook for Nutmeg Street: Egyptian Secrets. Mr. Jordan has done commercials and has a great range of voices to bring our story to a new, exciting level. I chose him after listening to about 200 male and female voices on ACX (Audiobook Creation Exchange). His voice is enthusiastic and engaging–just what I wanted.

The Audiobook should be available on Amazon, Audible (owned by Amazon), and iTunes on or shortly after April 27, 2020. Watch my Giveaway section in my monthly Newsletter later this spring. I will be holding contests for coupons for a free Nutmeg Street Audiobook (with a trial membership in Audible).

So get a clue, Readers, and get ready to hear the Botanic Hill detectives, Uncle Rocky, Dr. Abbott, and all the rest of the crew come to life! Kids, soon you can take the squad with you and follow their adventures on those long car trips.

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Best-Selling Author!

Dear Readers,

I needed some good news, and I got it on February 25.

I’m now officially a BEST-SELLING AUTHOR!

I hit two best-selling categories on Amazon for my Nutmeg Street: Egyptian Secrets paperback! Best selling means an author’s book is in the top 100 books sold in a particular category. I made #42 and #28.

The evidence is in the two photos.

Whoo-hoo! Thanks for you support.

So get a clue, Readers. Head on over to Amazon for more copies of my book in Nutmeg Paperback or in Nutmeg eBook.

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RIP, Mr. Bean

Dear Readers, 

Today, I am veering off my usual literary topic to sadly report the passing of my granddog, Mr. Bean. He was eleven.

Bean lived a great life in Virginia with my daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughter. He quickly intertwined himself around their hearts, souls, and daily routines. Bean enjoyed a good walk around the lake, showing off for my granddaughter, splashing in the ocean during the annual family trip to the Jersey Shores, and holding sway at the head of the table during his yearly dog birthday party right after Thanksgiving. He was King of Dog Fashions, always sporting a sweater or t-shirt to match a season or holiday. He even dressed up in theme with the rest of the family’s Halloween costumes.

Bean was a little Lakeland terrier, but his heart, presence, and unconditional love equaled those of ten mastiffs. His sudden passing has left a huge, gaping hole in the Virginia household and in all our hearts.

Bean was my little snuggle buddy whenever I would visit, keeping me company when no one was around, and springing up onto my bed in the guest room to nap or cuddle. How do you let go of all of that and move forward? We must, of course–when the ache and tears can eventually be replaced by smiles and fond memories of a Great Dog.

Mr. Bean, your family, neighbors, and dog friends miss you terribly and will love you forever.

RIP, sweet Bean. November 28, 2008 – February 21, 2020. Thanks for gracing our lives and teaching us about love and patience.  We thought we would have you longer to keep showing us the way.

Now, it’s your turn to romp and play, young and healthy again, with Rosie, Snickers, and all your doggie best buds over the Rainbow Bridge. Until we meet again to hold you in our arms, we will continue to hold you in our hearts.

 

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“Riddle Me This!”

Dear Readers,

Now that Nutmeg Street: Egyptian Secrets, Book 1 in my Botanic Hill Detectives Mysteries series is launched, some of you have asked when Book 2 will come out. Books 2 and 3 are finished and awaiting publication.

The short answer about Book 2’s arrival is . . . hopefully, by the end of this year or early 2021. I won’t bore you with the long answer.

The title? Eucalyptus Street: Green Curse. If you’ve read Book 1, you might have noticed the reference to the next book at the end of the last chapter: “[The four detectives] would have been heartened to know their next daring mystery was already simmering not too far away on Eucalyptus Street.”

If you read to the end of the Acknowledgments (no one ever does), there is a teaser scene for the book: “You will be challenged by a mysterious old mansion, a seventy-year-old puzzle poem, dusty secret passages, a hidden gemstone, and a flickering light in the nearby cemetery.”

To whet your appetite, below is the entire puzzle poem.

So, get a clue–or two or three– dear Readers. Let’s see what you can figure out about Book 2’s mystery from this riddle. Use the contact form on my website, Website Contact Form, and let me know your guesses! Here is the puzzle poem (riddle). Good luck!

 

‘Wishful dreams of bold emerald trappings

From radiant treetop and archaic wrappings;

To find what you seek, you must dash and dart

Only to discover the ending was at the start.

 

Deep down below a chamber to nourish

The players’ voices, where still flourish

Wooden words helped create the magic:

Sometimes comic and sometimes tragic.

 

Lions’ threatening stares from their moonlit perches

Warn of danger for would-be explorers’ searches;

But once their eyes are turned down to the floor,

The way becomes clear, it reveals much more.

 

An artisan’s tilework leads to loftier places

Where there are myriad quarters with timeworn traces.

When the sunlight’s ray strikes the portrait at three,

Look to the jeweled hand that recommends your knee.

 

Treehouse gardens seen from highest window stained,

Its panes have witnessed material treasures that remain

Dazzling and fine, but now hidden, soon forgotten with time,

Perhaps to be rescued because of this rhyme.

 

At the end of it all, blackened roses, wicked thorns, and delusions,

So from Gray’s elegy, I ask if beauty isn’t wasted in seclusion?

Searching must continue now but at a funeral’s pace, awaiting the light

That appears however improbably, yet shining green and eternally bright.’”

 

Whoa! Right? Think you know what the riddle is about? Please let me know.

 

 

 

 

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Heartfelt Thanks!

Dear Readers of Nutmeg Street: Egyptian Secrets,

Thank you so much for taking your time, effort, and money to get your hands on a copy of my debut Middle Grade book! Some of you have also been so kind as to review it on Amazon and/or GoodReads. (It’s not too late–hint, hint! https://amzn.to/3ad9T6T  and  https://goodreads.com/book/show/46306620-nutmeg-street).

A special thanks to all who helped make my book possible: Acorn Publishing, friend and author R.D. Kardon, cover designers, editors, a map maker, a formatter, marketers, publicists, literary assistants, friends, and family.

Buying and reviewing an author’s works are so complimentary and important for a writer. For me, knowing that my first mystery story is out in the world and doing well is especially heartwarming!

So get a clue, Readers. Stay tuned for Book 2, Eucalyptus Street: Green Curse, coming soon! You can rejoin our four detectives as they take on a spooky ancestral estate, secret corridors, hidden rooms, and a decades-old puzzle poem to find a gigantic hidden emerald. Suddenly, time is of the essence when they learn of a sinister competitor. And remember. Duck your head in those dusty passages. In the meantime, Happy Valentine’s Day!

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An Origins Tale

Dear Readers,

Today, I want to share with you how I came up with the primary settings in Nutmeg Street: Egyptian Secrets.

My story takes place in the Pacific coastal resort town of Las Palmitas (“the little palm trees”). It is a quainter, much less populated version of palm-filled San Diego, California, USA, where I grew up and still reside.

I came up with the idea of “Botanic Hill,” a neighborhood in Las Palmitas, one day while walking my dog, Jimmy Lambchop. He and I live in a historic neighborhood in San Diego with charming botanical street names like Jacaranda Street, Nutmeg Street, and Quince Street. There is even a neighborhood nearby called Bankers Hill; hence, “Hill.” As a child, I always wanted to live on Nutmeg Street because I thought something magical would happen to me there. Well, I never did end up living on Nutmeg Street (at least, not yet), but on that walk that day, it and the other streets seemed to be screaming at me, “Make us famous!” I hope to do just that.

And just a reminder: In case you haven’t gotten your hands on your copy(ies) of my book yet, it is now available in paperback and ebook. An audiobook version arrives in April. You can get your paperback or eBook now by accessing the links below, or by clicking on my websites’ Buy Links.

Amazon Paperback: https://amzn.to/3ad9T6T

Kindle (eBook): https://amzn.to/2NuhVyq

Other Fine Online Retailers (eBook):  https://books2read.com/u/3JD0yJ

So get a clue, Readers. Join the Botanic Hill detectives in sun-drenched Las Palmitas as they take on ancient Egypt, venomous snakes, wily criminals, and earthquakes. It promises to “shake you up,” too. (Sorry. Couldn’t resist!)

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