Smith Mountain Lake Mystery Writer

Contemplations from a quiet cove on Smith Mountain Lake.

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Location: United States

I'm a Southern gal who loves life, my husband and our family (which, to date, includes 13 grandchildren). I enjoy being with friends and family. But I also like being alone and thinking up plots for future books. I've published two novels, both mysteries, and I'm working on my third. For more about my books, visit me at If you ever hear me say, "I'm bored," please get me to the ER immediately! Paddling my kayak and snapping pictures of the critters I see relaxes me. Beach music has the opposite effect--when I hear those old "doo-wops" I want to dance.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Upper End Again

Upper End Again Consignment on the Bedford County side of Hales's Ford Bridge is on my list of must-visit-often spots at Smith Mountain Lake. Owner Evelena Mullens, a certified interior decorator, has packed the shop with useful, unique, and collectible items while maintaining the atmosphere of a cozy boutique.

I found a wicker cabinet that now resides on my bathroom wall and holds rolls of toilet paper and other necessities such as pencil and paper to record any worthwhile thoughts while I'm, uh, brushing my teeth.

All shelves in my house are jammed with books; once-empty spaces under the beds are crammed with boxes of them. So you can understand why I squealed like an excited pig when I spied a book table at Upper End Again. I don't know who gave it up, but I'm so glad they did. The top book even has a drawer. The table now resides next to my recliner.

Besides being an interesting lady, Evelena is a good business woman. After all, she invited Karen Wrigley and me to speak and sign books on March 20th! We had so much fun and sold books, too. And I got locked in the bathroom! I banged and banged on the door, yelled for Karen and Evelena. Nothing. And then I started laughing as I pictured how the obituary would read. Finally, I got smart and started yelling for Cody, Evelena's Great Dane who was in the shop. Sure enough, Cody brought Marichen to the door. Hallelujah! I was saved.

Cody in front of an Elvis on Velvet painting.
Elvis is for sale. Cody is priceless.

Make it a point to stop by Upper End Again Consignment located at 16483 Moneta Rd. Suite A, Moneta, VA 24121 (Hales Ford Center). Store hours are Tuesday-Saturday, 10-6 and Sunday 12-4.

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Living in the Heart of Virginia

On March 10, Tab O'Neal interviewed me on his TV show, Living in the Heart of Virginia (ABC, Channel 13 in Lynchburg, VA), that airs from 12:30 to 1:00 each week day, Monday through Friday. For four minutes we discussed the importance of writers' groups, i.e. Lake Writers, and talked about my two novels and writing. I read the first two paragraphs from my second book, Secrets at Sweetwater Cove.

So what was this experience like? Terrifying! And fascinating and educational. The staff at ABC and WSET's Channel 13 could not have been nicer or more professional. Tab O'Neal was relaxed, but cognizant of everything happening around him, and a true Southern gentleman all at the same time. Behind the scenes, camera men, producers, planners, people all busy with their jobs, talked and moved about as needed, usually quickly.

I knew that because of the bright lights I would need to apply more makeup, so before leaving home that morning, I caked on the eyeliner, mascara, blush and lipstick. I felt like a woman of ill repute when I left the house. I hoped no one would see me. As I waited to take my seat on the stage, I almost wiped it off. So glad I didn't! When I saw myself on TV, I looked like I had no makeup on! I looked like death! And old!

To view the video, click below. And if you watch it and respond, please be kind. Warning: it takes a couple minutes to load, and is 4 minutes long.

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Monday, March 08, 2010

Another Book Signing

This seems to be the season when life starts breaking out of the winter doldrums. I've seen more bluebirds, plants that slept all winter are peeping up through the soil, and book signings and appearances are increasing. Last Saturday (March 6) Karen Wrigley, Becky Mushko, Barbara Roberts, and I signed books at The General Store in Moneta.

Becky, Me, and Barbara

I liked where owners Rita and Vickie put us. We had lots of room for our stuff, and plenty of space for fellow book lovers to stop and chat with us and to purchase our books. The staff also kept us supplied with delicious coffee, mini-quiches, and small chocolate eclairs.

Me, Karen, and Barbara

The week before this book signing, Vickie and Rita were at market. You really should stop by and see all the neat things they brought back with them.

On March 20 from 11:00 to 2:00, Karen Wrigley and I will be at Upper End Again Consignment in Moneta for readings and to sign books. Stop by if you can.


Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Such Fun!

Sometimes things are such fun that you just want to jump up and down and yell "Yahoo!" for everybody to hear. I almost did that at The Bluebird Bakery and Grill on February 27th.

At 6:00 that evening, fellow writers Karen Wrigley (see my blog dated 2/15/10 for review of Beyond Woofs and Whinnnies), Becky Mushko (see blog dated 12/5/09 for review of Ferradiddledumday), and I met at The Bluebird for an "Ask the Authors" event, a first for the eatery and for us. With a fire roaring in the fireplace and surrounded by nice folks, we three gals discussed our books and answered questions from the crowd of friends, family, and strangers.

Me, Karen, Becky
All Photos by Ron R

Some of the folks who attended. Note the goodies on the right.

Me, Karen and Becky at table. Note fireplace, which brought welcomed warmth on a cold night.

Owned and operated by really nice people (the Greene family), The Bluebird Bakery and Grill is a great place to go for coffee and pastry, lunch, and even dinner. Located at 1123 Celebration Avenue in Moneta, Virginia, The Bluebird is open Mondays through Saturdays. I think their chili is delicious; my husband and son liked the barbecue sandwich, and I've heard several people rave about the ribs.

This coming Saturday night (March 6th), families are invited to bring their children with them to The Bluebird. While the parents eat a scrumptious meal, some of the staff will entertain the children by reading to them. So if you want a fun, inexpensive family night out, don't miss this opportunity.

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