Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Next Best Thing Blog Hop


What is a blog hop? Basically it's a way for readers to discover new authors (new to them anyway) and new books and maybe even new genres. Please

So below you'll find a little bit about me, and my Atlanta-based mystery series featuring Confederate-themed gunshop owner Tai Randolph and corporate security agent Trey Seaver. The series has received multiple starred reviews (thank you, Kirkus!) and continues in March 2013 with Blood, Ash and Bone, available now for pre-order!

I was asked to participate by the lovely and talented Clea Simon, a fellow author at Poisoned Pen Press. In addition to her nonfiction, Clea writes the Pru Marlowe Pet Noir series. Click on the links below to discover the series of which Booklist (in a starred review) said, "Simon excels in creating unique and believable animal characters as well as diverse and memorable humans."


And now we move to the interview portion of the event. Please visit the next writer in the hop, Emma Bolden -- the links at the end of the post will take you right to her answers to this same questionnaire (in which you learn about her collection of poetry and why Josh Groban will be cast in the movie based on said collection).

And now . . . here tis more than you every wanted to know about the third book in the Tai Randolph series.

1. What is the working title of your book?

Blood, Ash and Bone. And since it went to press last night, I think that's the name that's gonna stick.

2. Where did the idea come from for the book?

I wanted to explore the my female protagonist’s history, and I decided that a return to her hometown of Savannah, Georgia, would be a great way to do it.  Confederate battles, treasure hunts, and fireworks of all kinds follow.

3. What genre does your book come under?

Cozy noir. I know that's not a real genre -- bookstores will probably place it with the traditional mysteries -- but if it were a real genre, mine would be the definitive example of it. I'm certain of it.

4. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

For Tai, my heroine, I’d pick Drew Barrymore, and for Trey, my hero, I’d get Jason Stratham to suit up.

5. What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?

Smart Southern gun shop owner Tai Randolph solves murder and avoids being homicided with a little help and weapons support from her hot ex-SWAT boyfriend Trey Seaver.

6. Is your book self-published, published by an independent publisher, or represented by an agency?

I’m published by Poisoned Pen Press, an independent publisher specializing in mystery fiction.

7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

Six months! And then it took me seven years to revise it into something worth publishing.

8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Readers have made comparisons to S.J. Rozan's Bill Smith/Lydia Chin stories. Which is a huge compliment!

9. Who or what inspired you to write the book?

I read an article in Scientific American about how certain types of frontal lobe damage caused a peculiar side effect — people became human lie detectors, better able to detect deception than even CIA-trained operatives. Trey’s presence in the books came as a result of that article. I decided such skills would make a formidable detective, but that the other results of such damage — especially the emotional instability and impaired judgment — would make him a dangerous one too.

But Trey couldn't tell his own story. For that, he needed Tai, a spitfire of a romantic and crime-solving companion who needs him just as much (but don't tell her I said that). Together, their peculiar mix of fire and earth, yang and yin, makes for interesting romantic entanglements and an excellent crime-solving partnership.

The story of how they meet -- and proceed to said partnership -- became the first book in the series, The Dangerous Edge of Things.

10. What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

This shirt.

Now Emma Bolden, tag you're it. Please click the links below to visit Emma's blog (with her answers to this questionnaire and the actual place where you can actually order a copy of her book Maleficae. 


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Read It! Wrap It! Love It! -- Jared Sexton's The End of All Things

My recommendation for your holiday gift giving is as timely as they come, since this book is making its debut next week, on Friday, December 21st. And I promise you, it's at the top of my Most Wanted list too -- Jared Sexton's An End to All Things.

I heard Jared read a piece from this anthology, and I was knocked upside the head. Seriously. I didn't see the wallop coming -- I mean, I sensed it, the way you can feel a pressure wave underwater when something big is swimming your way, but when it hit . . . Nope. Didn't see it coming.

I still think about that story -- about the voice, the insistent rhythms, the urgent drive of the first-person narration. The images. The set-up. The pow bang. Beautifully executed, a left hook of a story.

Here's some other things other smart, talented writers had to say:

“The stories in Jared Yates Sexton’s An End to All Things are, indeed, about ends—of relationships, of dreams, of innocence—but they also speak eloquently to the means of these ends. Laced through with booze and betrayal, and populated by half‐witted quick wits and good eggs with bad karma, Sexton’s stories get under your skin, split your ribs, and worm their way heartward.”
-Tom Noyes, author of Spooky Action at a Distance

“The characters in Jared Yates Sexton’s stories are desperate. They are obsessed. They speak a language that is part bar fight, part howl, part brokenhearted country song playing on a skipping vinyl loop. These are stories you want to listen to as much as read, full of fierce and searing and melancholy truths.”
-Chad Simpson, author of Tell Everyone I Said Hi

So keep a spot open on your gift list for this one. December 21st. Go get it.I know I'm hoping I've been good enough that somebody will get it for me.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Join Me For A Book-Happy Blog Hop

There's no gift like a book -- it's an entire universe between two covers. To me, there's nothing more exciting than a new edition to the TBR stack, and I am lucky to have some extraordinary writers and readers in my extended network.

So I'm appealing to the glorious collected YOU out there, and asking you to share your literary gems. Have you written a great book that's available (either in print or e-book)? Got a great book you're excited to recommend? Then you're in the right place.

So, here's a point by point breakdown:
  1. WRITE a blog post recommending a book (include a cover shot and why you like it -- it's totally cool to recommend your own book)
  2. TITLE this post "Wrap it! Read It! Love it!" Save and publish it. Copy the url of the post itself (you'll need it for the next steps).
  3. GO to my Book Happy Blog post (that's this one you're reading right here)
  4. ADD your blog post to the list by clicking the link at the end of my post that says "Click Here to Enter" (it's in blue). You'll be taken to a page that asks for your blog title (put in the title of your whole blog, as in MY VERY OWN BLOG). Then put in the url of the "Wrap it! Read it! Love it!" blog post itself. Enter your name and e-mail for verification purposes.
  5. JOIN the hop. After you've added your blog post to the hop, be sure others can continue on to the next blog in line. Look at the end of my blog post for a message that says Get The Code Here... See? Click that. Copy the code. Then go back to your blog and paste the code you find at the end of your own "Wrap It! Read It! Love It!" post  (be sure you're in HTML mode when you do this). The list of blogs will appear at the end of your post now.
  6. HOP! On the weekend of the Hop, use the linky list to go from blog to blog, reading about new books and meeting new authors. Your post will also have this list, making it easy for readers to "hop" from blog to blog.
I'll be collecting entries starting today through December 13th. Then on the weekend of December 14th through 16th, we'll have a blog hop showcasing all of the fantastic words just waiting to be gifted to someone on your list.

I'll be making a Pinterest board of all the different posts too. Because I love an excuse to Pinterest. And I'll be sharing  on Facebook. So the love just goes on and on.. (PS: This is a kinda techy thing, and I am a not techy girl, so this is also an experiment. Picture bubbling test tubes and maniacal laughter and very shiny tinsel. If you have questions or problems, holler).

And please "hop" with us on the weekend of the 14th-16th. You're sure to find something for yourself or some lucky recipient on your shopping list.

Here's the link:

Friday, November 30, 2012

Shop Small! Sugar Magnolia Bakery and Cafe

French Toast Cupcakes with Maple Buttercream Frosting. That's all I need to say to explain why you really need to go to Sugar Magnolia.

But just in case you need further convincing, here's the bread rack.

Here's what they have to say about themselves on their Facebook page:
Sugar Magnolia Bakery & Cafe specializes in fresh baked breads and treats, both sweet and savory; including breakfast pastries, cookies, brownies and much more!

For lunch, try any of our delicious sandwiches and paninis on house-made bread! Served from 11am-2pm.

Pizza is served from 5pm-8pm each Thursday & Friday evening. Pepperoni and spinach pizza is available each day, call for the special of the week!

Brunch is served Saturday and Sunday mornings, with everything from pulled pork hash to frittatas to homemade biscuits with sausage gravy and challah french toast with blueberry syrup!

And the NEWEST addition to Sugar Magnolia - our Saturday night hamburgers! Each Saturday from 5-9pm, come try one of our burgers made with locally sourced grass-fed beef! Choose from Original, Mushroom-Swiss, Bacon Cheese, our weekly special or create your own burger from any combination from our list of over 10 toppings!

Plus, everything is handmade from wholesome ingredients -- local and organic whenever possible -- so you can feel good about treating your body AND the planet right.

Sugar Magnolia is located in downtown Statesboro at 106-C, Savannah Avenue. If you're in the 'Boro, drop by and grab something tasty for yourself or as a gift.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Shop Small! The Snipesville Chronicles

First of all, you can get Annette Laing's A Different Day, A Different Destiny on Kindle for FREE until the end of November (that's Friday). Click HERE to go straight to the Amazon page.
Of course there are three books in The Snipesville Chronicles -- Don't Know Where, Don't Know When; A Different Day, A Different Destiny; and Look Ahead, Look Back. You can read more about them HERE. They're a great gift for any reader 8-12, although I've heard it rumored that smart grown-ups like them too.

Also, Annette has a really cool webpage where you can learn more about her and her work sharing Non-Boring History with students across the globe. Though, frankly, this photo says it all:

AND she has a blog! You can go and read it right now! Plus you can enter to win a gift certificate for chocolate! All you have to do is visit  THIS STATUS on her FACEBOOK page and follow some ridiculously simple instructions to be entered.

And that's the news from Snipesville. You're welcome.


Shop Small! Artworx Art Cards

These are handcrafted by my friend Deb, and until you hold one in your hand, you can't possibly appreciate how soul-filling they are -- part greeting card, part bookmark, part wall hanging, all art. Here's a photo of her holiday offerings, just to whet your appetite.

 Here's how Deb describes the process that brought Artworx Art Cards into being:
"Words and especially writing thank you notes were never my strong suit.  But making art… well that’s what I do. One year I decided to make a piece of art to send as a thank you that grew out of the work I was currently doing – assemblages.  Assemblages are artistic compositions created from assembling found objects.  Poking around my studio I found all kinds of  fun “found” objects – pieces of drawings, clock parts, string, special papers, sealing wax and lots more.  I created a “card” that said thank you, started assembling and … Voila!… Artworx were born.
They’ve been a huge hit with my family and friends, and I hope that you enjoy sending these worx of art to your friends and family.  I for one enjoy the send as much as the receive."
Visit her website at Or look Artworx up on Facebook HERE. Send a card that's a gift too.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Shop Small! The Golden Bough Bookstore

This is one one of my favorite bookstores of all time, so much so, that I chose it earlier this year as my haunt during Sisters in Crime's Bookstore Appreciation Day (if you want to see pics from my visit, including China the greyhound and a sloppy mess chili dog from Nu-Way Weiners, go HERE). Here's one of my favorite shots from that day:

If that doesn't look like heaven to you, then I don't know how we became friends. So this season, visit Eric and company at The Golden Bough. You can visit their website -- -- or their Facebook page. But best of all, come by 317 Cotton Avenue in Downtown Macon, Georgia, and say hello.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Shop Small! Doorstep Mobile Tax LLC

Ding Dong! Who's that at the door? Why, it's someone come to help you with your taxes!

This is an excellent idea, and if you're in the Decatur, Georgia, area, give my friend Keith Troy Bryant a call or drop him a line. And if you're not, you can show him some support by liking his Facebook page, Here's the link to that:

Doorstep Mobile Tax LLC

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Shop Small! Crafts by Danielle Walden

If you've talk to me for long, I'll start bragging about my crafty neighbor Danielle Walden, especially how she helped me decorate my table at the Georgia Author of the Year Awards (you can see that post HERE).

I was especially impressed with the table runner made from a rain-damaged copy of Darker Than Any Shadow, which would have had a sad existence in the recycle bin otherwise, and with the wine charms she made featuring scenes from my mystery series (see photo at left).

She also made a charm bracelet and pins with images of my book covers. And some of the cutest little giveaway pins for me to distribute at Bouchercon to the librarians and bloggers and reviewers who have been so generous to me during this whole author thing. Here's a photo of those (my favorites are the "cancelled dates" pin and the "I Think; Therefore I'm Dangerous" pin).

You can see more of Danielle's work in her Facebook Album "Things I Make": You can find that HERE.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Shop Small! Fortuna Photography

Love this shot!

Looking for a great gift for new parents or newlyweds, a mother-to-be or a family planning a reunion? Is someone on your gift list in need of professional portraits? New home, new car, new puppy? All are great occasions to gift someone you love with a portrait package or session.

And here's someone who can make it happen if you're in (or going to be in) the Orlando, Florida, area -- Kristin Fortuna of Fortuna Photography. Kristin is talented with a camera, and she's downright gifted at revealing personality and creating mood through her photos.

Visit her Facebook page here:

Fortuna Photography

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Cleveland Really Does Rock!

Here are some scenes from my recent visit to Cleveland, where I attended Bouchercon with too many famous writers to even begin counting. I had to pull Lee Child aside and tell him to stop stalking me, that if he wanted an autograph all he had to do was ask. Jeez.

Of course this is my fevered imagination, fueled by the scrumptious creation to the right -- a chocolate martini from The Chocolate Bar.  New York Times best-selling author C. J. Lyons bought it for me. I owe her one. Eventually. Once I make the NYT-bestseller list. Until then, I'm gonna go buy some of her books because they sound awesome, and because buying them helps her change the world. Seriously. Go see how you can enjoy a great read and help save lives here.

Downtown Cleveland Lights up on Fifth Street

Guitar Art at The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Monument to Ohio's Soldiers and Sailors of the Civil War

Another view of the monument, which contains a museum below it, and Freedom with her sword atop it.

Sunset from The Chocolate Bar

For those of us in the South, this is what autumn in October looks like for most of the rest of the country.

I think this is a statue of Mr. Cleveland. You know, the guy who . . . well, of course you can figure that one out. Sorry to be pedantic.

Cleveland also rises.

Flowers in bloom in the same park where The Avengers was filmed. So if those blossoms look familiar, that's because you saw Loki stomping all over them. They're much nicer now, once he got finished with his demi-god temper tantrum.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Writers' Police Academy Strikes Again!

How was my weekend at 2012 Writers' Police Academy? My final official report includes details on my Building Searches workshop and Police Gunfighting class, research into outlaw motorcycle gangs and undercover work and forensic identification, chance meetings with both Lee Child (very tall) and Marcia Clark (very smart), and yet another showdown in the Firearm Training Simulator between me and several villains (this time I took down two bad guys -- a switchblade-brandishing husband killer and an ax-wielding meth-head -- with no damage to innocent bystanders).

In short, EXCELLENT! But let's turn to the photographic evidence:

Ah, there's nothing like the smell of mystery writers in the morning.
A well-deserved Krispy Kreme break during my workshop on suicide and hanging investigations (what did you think a bunch of cops and writers would eat, granola bars?)
Then a little pretend bang-bang after lunch with ATF Agent Rick McMahon. Don't worry -- the gun's unloaded. Despite how things look, Agent McMahon isn't running for his life, he's just . . . walking very quickly and urgently away from me.

Meet the first guy they send out to get the explosives. Imagine if you crossed Wall-E with a SWAT team. He's controlled by an officer in the Hazardous Devices Van (look in the background to see that) and has a delicate touch (you would too if your job was picking up pipe bombs and unexploded grenades).

Just in case, though, they insisted I put on a bomb suit. Insisted, I tell you.

There. I feel much safer now. So does the free world.
See this ginormous backpack? This is an ER in a bag. It's carried by SWAT team EMTs when they charge into bullets and smoke to save not only civilians, but law enforcement officers injured on the scene. You want a tough job? Try hitting a vein when someone's shooting at you.

Forget all those mood-lit lab rooms you see on CSI: Wherever -- this is the nuts and bolts of crime scene investigation. Yardsticks and Super Glue, and above all, serious smarts.

So you wanna be a sniper? Meet your equipment, including a Heckler and Koch rifle (the black one there). I'm kinda in love with H&K firearms (so is my guy protagonist) and being up close to one made my heart go pitty-pat.

This is Lt. Randy Shepard. He led our class on a Building Search workshop through an unoccupied condominium complex. I'd tell you all about it, but then, Lt. Randy would have to kill you. Or me. Probably both. So I'm not chancing it. Here he is trying to give a nice informational talk on snipercraft when all of a sudden . . .
BANG-BANG-BANG! A felon on the run makes a tire-squealing turn into the parking lot, with several officers in hot pursuit, including the K-9 unit. Things end badly. Very badly.

For the felon anyway (she said she wasn't going back to prison. And she's not).
Good boy get bad guy. Good Mikey. Good dog. Here's your ball (Mikey proceeds to fluff ball in seventy seconds). He's a sweet dog. Speaks Dutch (since he's from the Netherlands) but you wouldn't want him apprehending you. So stay out of trouble, okay?

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Learning About Home – Guest Post by Douglas Corleone

Today I'm welcoming novelist Douglas Corleone to The Fascination Files. His third novel, Last Lawyer Standing, made its debut last week, and I'm happy to have him here sharing the details of what it's like to live and write in Hawaii (don't hate – just read).

P.S.  Be sure to check out my review of Last Lawyer Standing on The Mojito Literary Society, which you can find here.

*          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          * 

I’ve lived in Hawaii for almost 5 years now, and much of that time has been spent right here – at home, in my office, in front of my computer, tapping away at my keyboard while fairly indifferent about my geographic location.  Hey, trust me, I’m not complaining.  For me, making a living writing fiction is a dream come true, and that I’m doing it while living here in paradise is almost too good to believe.  My point is, I moved to Hawaii to take advantage of all the islands have to offer – constant sunshine, beautiful beaches, crystal clear waters, and a history and culture unlike any on the U.S. mainland.  But once you move somewhere new, at some point you inevitably begin to take your whereabouts for granted.  A visitor to Honolulu, for instance, is unlikely to pass on hiking up Diamond Head crater during their week-long stay.  I, however, still have “Hike up Diamond Head” on my to-do list.

But thanks to my Kevin Corvelli series of legal thrillers, my to-do list is a lot shorter than it would have been if I’d set my novels in a more familiar location, like New York City or Hoboken, New Jersey.  Aside from trying murder cases and dodging bullets, I’ve experienced just about everything Kevin Corvelli experiences in my first three novels.  I’ve kayaked out to the Mokulua Islands, went off-roading to discover Hidden Beach, and swam the 600 yards through Kaneohe Bay to Chinaman’s Hat.  I’ve driven up Tantalus, walked through Chinatown, snorkeled at Shark’s Cove, and tried just about every bar and restaurant on the island in order to keep my settings authentic.   These are all things I might have otherwise put off if I weren’t doing them for “research purposes.

In short, researching for a novel or a series of novels can help you learn more about your home.  I’ve combed back issues of the Honolulu Star-Advertiser for information on helicopter accidents, land disputes, cases of police corruption, and of course, murders.  During the years I spent working on the Kevin Corvelli novels, I kept up-to-date on everything that had to do with the Aloha State.  Alas, the third book in the Kevin Corvelli trilogy, Last Lawyer Standing, will be the last novel I set in Hawaii – at least for the time being.  I’m moving on to a new series of international thrillers that will start with next Spring’s Good as Gone.  Which might slow down my exploration of the Hawaiian Islands—but should make my vacations all the more interesting. 

Get your copy on
Douglas Corleone is the author of the Kevin Corvelli crime novels published by St. Martin's Minotaur.  His debut novel One Man's Paradise was nominated for the 2010 Shamus Award for Best First Novel and won the 2009 Minotaur Books/Mystery Writers of America First Crime Novel Award. A former New York City defense attorney, Doug now lives in the Hawaiian Islands where he writes full-time. Last Lawyer Standing is his third novel. Visit him online at and be sure to follow him on Facebook and Twitter. 

BLURB:  "A perfect blend of mystery and thriller, with laugh out loud moments sprinkled liberally throughout. Corleone is as good as it gets."--David Rosenfelt, Edgar and Shamus Award-nominated bestselling author of the Andy Carpenter mystery novels

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The 2012 Harbuck Scholarship

I'm sharing the following, which I received this morning from Georgia Southern's Department of Writing & Linguistics and the Creative Writing Program.

Writing & Linguistics Major Chris Combs to Receive Harbuck Award

Georgia Southern University senior Chris Combs, the winner of the 2012 Harbuck Scholarship  Georgia Southern University senior Christopher Combs, of Fayetteville, N.C., will receive this year's Brittany "Ally" Harbuck Scholarship during a reading and reception Thursday, Sept. 6. Award-winning novelist Tina Whittle served as this year's scholarship judge and will present the award at 7 p.m. in Room 1005 of the Allen E. Paulson College of Engineering and Information Technology building. The event is free and open to the public.

Combs and nine other nominees will read their entries during the ceremony, and members of the Harbuck family will participate in the award presentation. A catered reception will follow the ceremony.

Combs’ winning submission, a collection of 10 poems, reflect a range of subjects, from serious to playful, including “What the Night Dreams,” “Fifty-two Card Pick-up the Family Pieces” and “Blank Page Phobia.”

"Every time I returned to the pages, I discovered some new facet,” Whittle said of Combs’ poems. “The exquisite tension they held was never diminished by an easy resolution; indeed this writer possessed Keats’ negative capability in spades — to hold irreconcilable ideas in the palm of the hand and not seek to reconcile them. Moving and beautiful and profound.”

The Sept. 6 ceremony will also include readings by Harbuck Scholarship finalists Chad Sanderson and Jackson Sharpe, and award nominees Jennifer Coate, Jennifer Curington, Ryan Evans, Beth Martin, Jamie Morton, Naima Ozier and Jared Sharpe.

Combs is the fourth recipient of the scholarship endowed by David and Debi Harbuck of Savannah to honor their daughter, who died in a traffic accident in April 2005. The Harbuck Scholarship supports sophomore, junior and senior writing majors with at least a 3.0 GPA in their writing courses. To be considered for the scholarship, students must be nominated by faculty in the Department of Writing and Linguistics and must submit 10 to 15 pages of fiction, nonfiction or poetry to the Harbuck Scholarship Committee. The committee narrows the list of applicants to three finalists for judging by an outside author.

Whittle has published two novels: The Dangerous Edge of Things and Darker Than Any Shadow. Her fiction has appeared in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, The Savannah Literary Journal and Gulf Stream.

As part of the Harbuck award celebration, Whittle will hold a reading Friday, Sept. 7, at 7p.m. in Room 1005 of the College of Information Technology -- click here for that calendar listing.

For more information, contact the Department of Writing and Linguistics at 912-478-0739.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Crafty Graphic Genius Next Door


From the talented hands -- and mind -- of my neighbor Danielle. Seriously, she's amazing. First Tai's makeover, then all my GAYA decorations, and now these pretty things. I think I'll go stick them on something right this second.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Friends of the Library Evening in My Hometown

I recently had the pleasure of spending an evening with the fine folks of the Friends of the Library in Cochran, Georgia, at the Tessie W. Norris Library. I got to read the first chapter from my as-yet-unpublished mystery novel BLOOD ASH AND BONE, due for a March-ish 2013 release from Poisoned Pen Press. Even better, I got to visit with some of the best people in the world -- librarians and readers. Thanks, everyone, who attended -- I was pleased to make your acquaintance.


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

At the Georgia Author of the Year Awards Banquet and Ceremony

 I had a great time at the Georgia Author of the Year Awards held at Kennesaw State University -- I didn't bring home an award, but I did have a fabulous time meeting fellow nominees, and generally pretending to be at the Oscars.

My thirteen-year-old daughter had an especially swell time -- can't you tell? She's just basking in the glow of her celebrity mom in this shot.

There's a reason I write instead of doing something useful with my life -- wordsmithing is the only real talent I have. I can't math, can't draw, can't paint, can't sing.

So whenever I need craftiness, I call on my neighbor Danielle. She is extremely talented in both imagination and skill, and without her help, my table decor would have been maybe some glitter.  Here's her handiwork.
These wine charms were Danielle's biggest hit -- they went on the glasses at each place setting, and each one represents an image in either The Dangerous Edge of Things, Darker Than Any Shadow, or the upcoming third in the series, Blood, Ash and Bone. See if you can find a snake, a lipstick, a tie, a wolf, a red dress, a fancy purse, a treasure chest, a compass, and a cell phone.

Close-up of the red dress and cell phone
These table runner were stitched up from red and black ribbon and pages of a water-damaged copy of Darker Than Any Shadow. They looked smashing.

A close-up of the centerpiece -- three revolvers make a tripod for that most Southern of blooms, a magnolia. They're all make-believe, of course. Jeez.
And here is the centerpiece the night of the GAYA.

A different view of the table -- note the book Downtown, which was the giveaway for out table. It's by Lifetime Achievement Award winner Ferrol Sams,  and my daughter took it home.
Close-up of the table runner -- words, words, words.