Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Just for the Cuteness

Today, in honor of National Pigs-in-a-Blanket day, I'm celebrating with this little guy.

I found him on the blog for the San Francisco Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (you can visit them HERE to see more awwww-ness).

And while you're swooning over that sweet porcine grin, you can remember the loving animal companion in your life and give him or her a big smooch. 

Life is what you make it; animals make it even better.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

One Mysterious Afternoon, In Macon . . .

Come on in!
Booksellers and Librarians -- without these members of the creative community, those of use who love books and words and all things literary would be out of luck.

There she is!
Which is why I was happy to participate in an event honoring the people who keep our bookstores and libraries running. Sponsored by Sisters in Crime, this one-day celebration brought mystery writers and readers together across the country to say "thank you" for this service. This debut event -- entitled Librarians and Booksellers Solve Mysteries Every Day -- featured SinC members in many different regions of the US and Canada.

I spent Saturday afternoon hanging out at The Golden Bough in Macon, GA. Located in the downtown area, The Golden Bough is a vintage bookstore that also offers new releases, and provides a venue for local music and literary events.

I came prepared to solve mysteries, bearing tarot cards and Krispy Kreme donuts, but alas, no mysteries presented themselves. I thought for a second we had one when I couldn't locate my daughter -- but that was only a mystery for about two seconds. I found her in the stack, reading (see above). Of course.

Or hanging out with China, the owner's greyhound. That's the pair of them, to the right. Nothing like a book and a big, soft dog to make an afternoon perfect.

The Golden Bough is one of my favorite hangouts when I'm visiting Macon. Lush with personality -- and slam chock-full of books -- it's the kind of bookstore that has developed organically, with roots and branches.

The perfect reading room -- quiet, pillowed, and lit with honeyed afternoon light.
Eric -- in there somewhere
Here's some more images from my afternoon at the shop. Many thanks to both Eric the owner (see his photo below, hard at work), and Sisters in Crime for sponsoring the event. I'm looking forward to next year! Count me in for an afternoon of books and mysteries and greyhounds and doughnuts and chili dogs and people who love words.

Heaven? The Golden Bough, actually. Which may be the same thing.

Exhibit A -- A Dog's Life is a Grand Thing

Lunch at Nu-Way Weiners -- Chili Dog all the way
Author Richard Jay Hutto signs and delivers a copy of his book, A Peculiar Tribe of People to Yvonne Whittle
Graffiti discovered on the bathroom wall
Lookit! I know those books!

And that's me. Notice the very cool "handwriting on the wall" wallpaper

Monday, April 16, 2012

Sisters -- and Misters -- Solve Mysteries

All the fine print you could possibly need
Please join me this Saturday, April 21st from 12-4 p.m. at The Golden Bough in Macon, GA I'm excited to be part of an international event celebrating our community bookstores . . . and maybe even solving some mysteries.

I’ll be working as volunteer staffer at The Golden Bough for a “Booksellers and Librarians Solve Mysteries Every Day” celebration.

The event — produced by Sisters in Crime, an international organization founded to support the professional development of women writing crime fiction — is designed to thank librarians and booksellers for 25 years of support of the mystery genre.

On this day, a select group of Sisters in Crime member authors will be volunteering in bookstores and libraries in their hometowns — from Albany, New York, to Honolulu, Hawaii. In addition, SinC’s more than 3,000 members worldwide are gearing up to go into libraries and bookstores on that day to personally thank the booksellers and librarians they find working behind the counters and in the stacks.

While at The Golden Bough, I’ll be stocking books, assisting customers, making literary recommendations, plus . . . solving mysteries. So if you have one — a mystery, that is — bring it to the store, and I’ll give it my best shot. I won’t have any CSI tools (alas) but I will have a store full of written materials, a really smart bookseller, some crowd-sourced creativity a la Facebook, and several packs of tarot cards.

Look! Another mystery solved!
Just in case anyone brings me a very mysterious mystery.

The Golden Bough is located at 371 Cotton Street in Downtown Macon. The event lasts from 12 - 4 p.m. For more information about the store, you can call 478-744-2446 or visit the store’s website at www.goldenbough.com.

Sisters in Crime is currently celebrating its 25th anniversary year. The organization is made up of more than 3,000 members and 48 chapters worldwide—authors, readers, publishers, agents, booksellers, librarians and others who love mysteries. You can learn more about Sisters in Crime www.sistersincrime.org.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

England's Lake Country

Some snaps from our whirlwind tour of the Lake District near Lake Windermere and beyond. There would be more specific captioning, except that I have no clue where we were most of the time. We shared the tour with a Japanese couple with an odd map and very specific ideas about where they wanted to go. Which was all over. Add to that the incessant rain and wind, and the fact that Kaley and I were jet-lagged and James was recovering from food poisoning, and we're lucky we could hold the camera straight. So here you go -- random shots from a breathtaking part of this country, none of which capture the raw beauty and wild glory of the place.

Standing stone at Castlerigg Stone Circle in Keswick
Highland cattle

One of William Wordworth's daffodils
Lone tree against gray sky

A stand of gorse and bracken next to one of the lakes
Rocky waterfall leading under a bridge

The Windblown, Water-soaked Whittles

Tumbling scree leading down to one of the lakes

Monday, April 9, 2012

Darker Than Any Shadow Debuts!

Photo Courtesy Tri-County Monitor
My husband James and Me
Cochran Booksigning at A Flower's Scent
Saturday, March 10th

One of my favorite events when a new book comes out is heading back to my hometown to meet and greet friends and family. It's like Old Home Week when I do, getting a chance to reconnect with those dear people I only get to see at weddings and funerals. And as always, the real star of the show was the fabulous food -- my moms outdid themselves with fruit and cookies and punch and oh-I-can't-even-remember-what.

My daughter Kaley joined us for the afternoon, and the folks at the flower shop provided a backdrop of fresh blossoms. Always a pleasure, always a delight.

Photo Courtesy G. M. Malliet and Sophie Littlefield

Left Coast Crime Panel
Sacramento, CA
Friday, March 27

To the right are the participants of our most excellent LCC panel (minus Clem, alas) -- our topic was "Your Hero Does What?" and we had a marvelous time!
Sacramento - (Photo courtesy of Sophie Littlefield). From L-R, Bill Fitzhugh, GM Malliet, Julie Goodson-Lawes, and Tina Whittle.

Photo Courtesy Joe Rose
Book Signing at Books-A-Million
Statesboro, GA
Saturday, April 7th

Tina Rose (pictured here with my books and me) is one of my favorite people in the world. She's smart and funny and talented and doesn't mind one but if you create a character based on her, change the sex, and then kill that unlucky literary creation. So it goes without saying that she's also a good sport with a great sense of humor.