Cozying into Spring

My son announced today at Story and Craft hour that Mother Nature needs to get it together and bring Spring.  He doesn’t even have to worry about driving in the snowpocalypse and even though I spent the afternoon sledding with him during the most recent one, he seems to be over it, too.  Thankfully the afternoon sun is stretching out over the landscape, pretending to be warmer than it really is.

Spring feels like it is taking forever but paradoxically the last few months have also blinked by.  I took next week off because I try to take off a week every three months to dodge burnout and although attitude wise I need a break, it doesn’t feel like it has already been three months since I did this.    I will spend the break hashing out most of the second half of my novel’s first draft and watching the geese on the yawning expanse of open water on the lake.  Probably more of the latter than the former.  But no one who has ever been a writer will judge this.

But, I have had two teaching sessions now and she has really helped expand my ideas and it has been flowing enough to make me feel happy with it, and that I have enough time for other things I like to do, like conquering a lace knitting pattern that defeated me over the summer.  I have returned and vanquished.  I was able to manage writing a lot of my academic papers with many other demands on my time (but not parenting, thankfully) when I was in graduate school and I have been pleased to find that I can still manage to write a lot, keep up at work, exercise, contribute to my close relationships and keep my sanity.

And, I was able to get another book done for BookRiot  in time to get this blog out.

A Mystery By A Person of Color or an LGBTQ+ author:

tall tail

Tall Tail, Rita Mae Brown and Sneaky Pie Brown

Now, I would like to have a co author cat.  My marriage has required me to be a big dog person, and I do have a loyal and affectionate rescue black lab who definitely likes me best, but it isn’t the same as a little purring thing in my lap.  She is on the hard floor by my chair right now, rather than on her bed or on the carpet or on a bed upstairs, and was curled up against me last night.  But while she likes me better than a cat would I bet a cat has better plot ideas.  Just saying.

Here she is for reference:


This was only taken a few weeks ago when she was breaking in the bottom bunk of my son’s new big boy bed that he loves.  Can you see the weather out the window?  Gross.

This story alternates between a historical fiction and a contemporary plotline that converge in the end to solve two murders. If you are interested in historical and modern day Virginia, this book is for you. And probably the series.  It is 25 out of the currently prolific number of 27 books.  I just said I am proud of being able to fit writing in but this author having hashed out 27 in this series alone deflates my pride a little.

This is pretty cozy.  It’s gentle. I liked the plotline of the history more than I did the modern plot.  It was faster and more happened.  It was more dramatic, where the modern plotline was more subtle and less dramatic.  It actually modern plot felt slow to me, even though Amazon totes it as fast-moving.  A lot of detail about Virginia and the history of racism and the country in its early days (which, given my unabashed love of historical fiction, I did like) in the dialogue of the story.  The story is more about the journey than the destination.  I didn’t guess it before the end, however.  I got a hint of it at the final installment of the historical plot line, but I didn’t figure it all out then.  And as an added bit of cozy humor, the animals like to banter in this series, so if you like snarky comments about being fat volleyed around by animals, this is it.

And if you are at all curious, Rita Mae Brown is a lesbian says the interwebs, so that’s how this book fits the category.  She looks pretty white to me in the pictures I have seen of her, but I don’t like to make assumptions.

I looked over BookRiot’s list of suggestions for this category, and even though I think this one was a little slow, partly because how much context was in it, I am glad I read this one over some of the suggestions of fast paced thrillers.  Maybe I didn’t want it to be faster.  Maybe it felt slow because I am trying to make my own novel as fast as possible.

However, one that made BookRiot’s list for this category that I had actually read and reviewed on here is Trouble is a Friend of Mine by Stephanie Tromly.  I would recommend that one again, any day, as well, and it looks like there is also a sequel to it coming out next month.  It says there will be a twist I don’t see coming, and…I’m totally game.  I don’t know how she can arrange the two main characters to hook up where it won’t be weird but I am willing to see if it can be done.  As well as, you know, seeing if they can locate Digby’s kidnapped sister, which is the actual story goal.

I also find it excellent that one of my reviews was discovered and shared by the author AND his publisher.  Yes.  Fame is just around the corner.

I would really like the lion to go back in its den to bring out the lamb.





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