Sunday, June 26, 2016

My latest recording -- a cozy mystery -- is for sale on Audible!

I've been busy recording several books in the past two months.  One of them went on sale a couple of days ago.  It's a cozy mystery set in New Orleans and it was a lot of fun to record.  It's called Imogene in New Orleans by Hunter Murphy. 

At the ripe age of 73, Imogene Deal McGregor has a penchant for following her own instincts, as well as more grit and spunk than her hypochondriac son, Billy McGregor, and Billy's impulsive partner Jackson can handle. The boys take Imogene to New Orleans with their devilishly handsome English bulldog Goose, hoping to visit friends and attend a second line parade, but moments after arriving in the French Quarter, they find their friend Glenway Gilbert murdered in his art gallery. Immediately, Imogene and the boys run into a temperamental and ethically-challenged lieutenant who appears hell-bent on neglecting the crime, compelling them to seek answers themselves. As they delve into Glenway Gilbert's murder, Imogene and the boys realize the deceased artist was surrounded by suspicious friends and lovers. With Goose the bulldog by their side, Jackson and Billy seek answers among old friends and new enemies, while Imogene follows her own ideas on the case. But the sooner they solve the murder, the sooner they can get back to catching beads and eating pralines. 

To listen to a sample or to purchase, head to Audible here.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Antiquing in The Burg

Whenever my family visited Florida between moves when I was growing up, I always remembered St. Petersburg as being where elderly people lived.  In fact, St. Pete was known for its green benches around the city where you often saw older people sitting and enjoying the sun.  Duane grew up in Tampa and she recalled St. Pete being referred to as a place for 'newlyweds and the nearly dead.'  I had heard the term 'God's Waiting Room' more than once.  Boy, have things changed.

Linda, Duane, and I decided to go antiquing in St. Pete today.  My nephew Sam and his girlfriend Samantha live there and Samantha gave us a heads up on her favorite shops on Central Avenue.  These shops were terrific.  We went to Lion's Paw Antiques & Collectables, Paper Street Market, Furnish Me Vintage, White Owl Market, Janet's Antiques, and a few others that we came across nearby.

The stores were gearing up for the LGBT Pride Parade to be held tomorrow (Saturday) and the streets were very festive with the rainbow logos all around and discounts in some stores in honor of LGBT Pride Month.

Flag and Tee shirt displaying LGBT Pride.

Pretty white street lights down Central Ave.

St. Pete is now officially a 'Hipster Haven' with smoke shops like this one interspersed with antique shops and lots of great local places to eat.

This acupuncture shop below was next door to the smoke shop.   I accidentally cut off part of the print on the window -- 'Sticking It to The Man Since 2009!'

There were murals all over the place on the sides of the various buildings.  I couldn't get all of the one below because it was so large and I couldn't go much farther back in the parking lot.

Really BIG mural.

Central Avenue in St. Pete is also home to Haslam's Book Store -- the largest new and used book store in Florida.  It's been around since 1933.

We didn't go into Haslam's because we tend to spend so much time in book stores and today we were strictly looking at antiques and collectibles.  Mid-morning we had a nice coffee/tea and snack at a local place called the Genaro Coffee Company.  The owner waited on us and the iced coffee (mine) and teas (Linda and Duane) were terrific along with the homemade muffins (all three of us).

After a LOT of walking through the byzantine shops we were ready for lunch around 2pm.  We chose the Community Cafe which turned out to be a great choice.  It's a vegan cafe with freshly made wraps, sandwiches, and soups.  The desserts looked good, too, especially the orange dreamsicle cupcakes, but we were pretty stuffed after our meal.  Plus they constantly have art exhibits hanging in the shop.  The themes vary but this theme was "I Love the 80s" and I had to buy the digital print by artist Peter Charbonneau of Robert Smith of The Cure -- one of my all-time fave bands.   Unfortunately, I can't bring it home until the show has ended but it's SOLD now -- to moi.  I may hang it in our powder room for fun.

My new piece of art!

Here are Linda and Duane's purchases from a couple of the antique shops.  Linda bought the set of verdigris candle holders and Duane added another piece to her Delftware collection.  She also found the three vintage forks that have been repurposed as hanging hooks.  Duane plans to hang them in her kitchen when she's finished remodeling, as part of her finishing touches.

Linda and Duane's purchases.

Well, we know why St. Pete is called 'The Burg' now.  It has a thriving art scene and a great mix of residents.  Too bad we'll miss the LGBT parade.  One shop owner told us that there are usually girls who come into the shop dressed in paint.  ONLY paint.  Sounds like a hoot!  We're with them in spirit even if we're across the bridge.

Oh, I had to take a pic of this sculpture on top of a building on the way up the ramp of the Interstate.  Hmm... more art from The Burg.  We'll definitely be hitting Central Avenue again in the future for more shopping and eating.

"Easy, big fella!"

P.S.  Linda sent me a pic of where she placed her candle holders -- on her teak sofa table.  They look great.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

June is Audiobook Month!

Ah, my favorite month of the year is here.  June is Audiobook Month and it gives me the chance to give out some free audiobooks and post my favorite Ryan Gosling meme.  Can't beat that.  A lot of publishers, authors, and narrators are celebrating Audiobook Month in various ways with giveaways, contests, etc.  A good way to look for these is via Twitter.  Search using hashtags, #loveaudiobooks, #AudiobookMonth,  #JIAM, and #JIAM2016.  I'll add more if I come across them.

I'd also like to point you to the free weekly giveaways sponsored by Audiofile Magazine called SYNC.  This is already the fifth week of free audiobook downloads.  (I should have posted about this when it started.)  Two new books are released each Thursday and are available for download for one week.  One is a classic and the other is a contemporary book.  Here's how you can follow them on Twitter:  @audiobookSYNC and here's the website to see which books will be available in the coming weeks:  Audiobook SYNC.

I'll be giving away 10 free audiobooks at the end of the month.  All you have to do to enter is to leave a comment (and a way to contact you) below in the comment section.  Winners will be drawn at random.  I have over 50 recordings currently available on Audible here.   I will have at least one more available by the end of the month and possibly two depending on my schedule.  Winners have their choice of any of my recordings.  This includes Audible.UK members, too.  I have codes specifically for my books for those across the pond.  

So, spread the word and keep your eyes peeled on Twitter for more places to win!

Thanks for reading! To return to the FICTION WRITERS BLOG HOP on Julie Valerie’s website, click here: