Cozy Review: Bookmarked for Murder

We are delighted to feature a book-themed mystery here today! Bookmarked for Murder (Mystery Bookshop) by V.M. Burns About Bookmarked for Murder   Title: Bookmarked for Murder (Mystery Bookshop) Cozy Mystery 5th in Series   Author: V.M. Burns Publishing info: Kensington (November 26, 2019)  Paperback: 256 pages  ISBN-10: 1496718313  ISBN-13: 978-1496718310  Digital ASIN: B07P9MR138      Publisher's Blurb: Amateur sleuth Samantha Washington’s shopping trip to Chicago takes a deadly detour when a man is murdered on her bus . . . After some post-Christmas retail therapy in the Windy City, mystery bookshop owner and historical whodunit novelist Sam Washington is returning home to North Harbor, Michigan, on a chartered bus. With Nana Jo and her gal pals Irma, Dorothy, and Ruby Mae from Shady Acres Retirement Village along for the ride, it's a lively trip. But one passenger is not so lively—a gentleman Irma befriended is found dead in his seat after an unscheduled stop. The ladies

#Fi50: Forging Ahead

Fiction in 50 has been a regular feature in the last week of every month here for several years now. It was founded by Bruce the Bookshelf Gargoyle , and when he retired from blogging in 2017 I decided to take over the hop. Now, I'm throwing in the towel. I really enjoy writing these ultra-short stories, and reading those Jemima Pett writes. But the hop has no traction, no momentum and (navigating way from hackneyed metaphors to the concrete problem), no members. The December post will be the last official Fi50 post. So... if you want to participate, time is running out! Read the instructions below and hammer out your 50 words!       What is #Fi50? In the words of founder Bruce Gargoyle, "Fiction in 50: think of it as the anti-NaNoWriMo experience!" Pack a beginning, middle and end of story into 50 words or less (bonus points for hitting exactly 50 words). The rules for participation are simple: 1. Create a piece of fictional writing in 50 words or less, ideally usi

Writer's Wednesday: NaNo Update #3

... And a Happy Thanksgiving!   With only four days left in the official NaNo month, how's your writing? I've hit the "winner" mark and kept going. I feel like I've been struggling with the book, though I've been able to hit my word goal almost every day. The strange thing is... I've been getting those words in the evening. I have always believed myself to be a morning person, and that I'm usually pretty much incapable of thought by evening. And yet here I've been, day after day frittering away my mornings, and finally sitting down in the evenings and writing like a mad thing. And it works. So am I no longer a morning person? Or has procrastination reached a new peak? As for the outline that was going to make it a breeze, well, I am still more or less on the outline but the writing is coming hard in any case. Stats: Around 57,000 words Attended three write-ins, where the peer pressure really helped Several gallons of coffee.   Don't forget--sig

Photo Friday: Tongariro National Park, New Zealand

Yes, I know, Photo Friday is happening on Saturday this week. I've been very busy writing that new novel! This will probably be the last of the reports from New Zealand, freeing me to start in on the travels we've done in the US since returning! As we made our way up the North Island to meet our flight home from Aukland, we were able to explore one of the most striking New Zealand landscapes: Tongariro National Park. Picking just enough photos for a blog post was very, very hard. New Zealand's oldest National Park, Tongariro is also a World Heritage site preserving Maori culture. We would look into some of that later. For our time in the park, we merely tried to be sensitive about hiking around a mountain sacred to the Maori people (Ngauruhoe). The Tongariro Northern Circuit, most of which we hiked, starts out between Ruapehu and Ngauruhoe, and circles the latter. Part of the hike, along the northern side of Ngauruhoe, is also part of the insanely popular Tongariro Crossing

Writer's Wednesday: NaNo update #2

Battle of the Brains: Planning Vs. Pantsing   Hey, everyone! I'm coming up for air (from the depths of my new MS) and wanted to let you know how it's all going--especially that extensive outline I started with! We're three weeks in, which means most of us are in the doldrums. At least, that's where I am. I've been managing to meet my word counts every day, but I feel like I'm forcing it out. Like I have constipation of the imagination. This, of course, is famously where the outline helps. So is my outline helping? Have I stuck to the plan well enough for it to have any meaning at all at this point? Yes and no, on both counts. I've wandered a bit--things I planned for one point have ended up happening earlier, which leaves me with holes, or a lack of a point for a planned scene. But I do still have a more or less chronological list of the the things that need to happen to get to the solution of the mystery, and I can consult it when I'm flagging. I also h

Launch spotlight: The Chronicles of Marsh

The Ninja Librarian is delighted to announce the release of a new addition to the Princelings series!   The Chronicles of Marsh , by Jemima Pett (#9 in the Princelings Series) was released Nov. 14! Genre: fantasy/history/memoir/MG/crossover (yes, it really is all of these things!) Length: 59,000 words Triggers: one sad death scene Recommended: for children over 10 with advanced reading skills Publisher's Blurb: The Princelings of the East are now King Fred and Prince Engineer George.  Gone are the years of innocence when they travelled for adventure and uncovered time tunnels and pirate plots. Now Fred, assisted by his queen, Kira, has the responsibility for his people, his lands, and for persuading the lords and kings of the Realms to act together for the common good. George just has to work on his inventions, always thinking of a final goal: to fulfil the promises made to Lord Mariusz so long ago. Neither has an easy task. Fred decides to write this history of his reign

Favorite Holiday Memory Blog Hop

Running a little behind here... Blog Hop Question: What is your favorite holiday memory? (This includes Hanukkah, Kwanza, Yule/Winter Solstice, Christmas, etc.) My Memory: I have a lot of good holiday memories. I admit I love Christmas, from opening stocking in our jammies to big family dinners (and pie! I like pie!). A couple of favorite memories stand out in my mind, though. When I was about 5, my mom got creative on a budget. She sewed each of the three of us a patchwork snake (thus thriftily using up scraps of fabric, some furry, some not) and put it in our Christmas stockings. The kicker? Those snakes were 6' long! We know that, because my middle brother got a tape measure in his stocking as well, so of course we measured them. Mom stuffed the snakes using cut-up scraps of fabric, and I remember that she was sitting around snipping the scraps into little pieces, and I got worried that she was wasting good fabric! She just gave that mysterious mom look and said she thought she