Recovering from the Holidaze

It’s been a busy several weeks here at the secret lair of the Bloody Murder headquarters. November is the writing frenzy month–you’ll recall Bloody Murder had its genesis as part of National Novel Writing Month, though it underwent many many revisions before I considered it suitable for publication. A little encouragement from my beta reader didn’t hurt.

Anyway, the first draft of 5 is about 75% complete. Once that is done, the editing of 4 will continue in earnest. I like having at least one completed manuscript ahead. It’s too early to definitively state when it will be published, but if all goes according to my nefarious plan, I will announce the title over the summer and hopefully have the publication date by that time.

November also included the Day of Baking. My sweetie and I drive to my uncle’s in Massachusetts for Thanksgiving dinner and I travel loaded with carbohydrates. I also make my cranberry sauce in the oven. It’s ridiculously easy and involves cinnamon and bit of alcohol–this year it was Applejack.

While I love turkey and stuffing and potatoes, I do not like pumpkin pie. I actually don’t like pie crust at all. So I supply dessert in the form of scones. Scones are fun to make (I have a nifty mini-scone pan), and leave a lot of room for experimentation. Last year’s were lemon ginger. This year, I tried apricot and ginger, including bits of candied ginger. They went well with both double cream and with ginger marmalade. This is totally Celestial Seasonings’ fault–years ago, they made an apricot/ginger black tea that  I was totally gratified by my uncle snagging all the leftovers.

I tend to take December off from writing, though I am spending time on the D&D campaign. The people I play with have put together some fascinating characters and I have some interesting adventures coming up.  Reading fantasy and writing a fantasy world is a great way to stretch the imagination and I like to think it moves over the Bloody Murder books. While court politics (which are much more entertaining than Washington DC) may not apply directly, plots within plots are fun puzzles to solve and howdunit is as intereting as whodunit.

I was in New Orleans this month, though not for very long, just a Friday through Monday. I did have some wonderful meals–John Besh’s Luke, one of Emeril’s restaurants served squid ink buccatini, I had eggs cochon, one of my favorite things, at The Ruby Slipper. I also hit two of Dickie Brennan’s restaurants and the Audubon Aquarium. Besides the rainforest exhibit, the obvious sea creatures, I also visited a parakeet exhibit, which was incredibly entertaining.

IMG_0351You paid a buck and a half for a stick with some seeds stuck to it. My sweetie held them while I snapped a few pictures. One enterprising budgie realized all he had to do was climb on his hand and he could get at the whole goldmine.

Speaking of goldmines, well gem mines, I got a lovely dreamcatcher pendant and earring set with both a tumbled citrine and a raw one attached. The friend I travelled with last year discovered Earth Odyssey on Chartres.

Even though we didn’t have much time to poke around in shops or galleries, we did get a walk around Jackson Square and saw some nifty artists, had a wide variety of cocktails–my favorite involved pear and rosemary–and I generally got a chance to soak up some atmosphere. I’ve also compiled a list of things to do on my next visit, whenever that may be.

Snow Job has 5-star reviews on both Amazon and Goodreads. I hope you’ll take a moment to enjoy it in this pause between Christmas and New Year’s. If you like it, write a review! Tell your friends! Share the Bloody Murder love and mystery.

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