Thursday, July 30, 2015

Throwback Thursday - The Hustle

If you were a 1970's teen, at some point you did the hustle. This disco dance was popularized by the movie Saturday Night Fever, with John Travolta.  I loved this movie, although it probably was too mature for me at the time.  The music and dancing is what made the biggest impression on me.
I am pretty sure I still could do the basic hustle moves today.  As a teen I even had a book about the dance moves.

I practiced this many times in the '70's. Here, for your listening pleasure, is "The Hustle" by Van McCoy (1975). Check out some of the '70's fashions in this video - parachute pants!  

I'd love to hear your disco dance memories in the comments, below!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Wordless Wednesday - Little Girl Gives Cocker Spaniel Dog a Bath (Vintage Postcard)

Found at Birdhouse Books:  Cocker Spaniel Postcards

Author Interview and Giveaway: Between a Rock and a Hard Place by Marty Wingate

Between a Rock and a Hard Place: A Potting Shed Mystery
(Potting Shed Mystery series Book 3)

Cozy Mystery
Publisher: Alibi (August 4, 2015)
Random House LLC

Perfect for fans of Laura Childs, Ellery Adams, and Jenn McKinlay, Marty Wingate’s enchanting Potting Shed Mystery series heads to Scotland as Pru Parke plans her wedding . . . all while a vengeful murderer is poised to strike again.

After her romantic idyll with the debonair Detective Chief Inspector Christopher Pearse culminates in a marriage proposal, Pru Parke sets about arranging their nuptials while diving into a short-term gig at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. At hand is the authentication of a journal purportedly penned by eighteenth-century botanist and explorer Archibald Menzies. Compared to the chaos of wedding planning, studying the journal is an agreeable task . . . that is, until a search for a missing cat leads to the discovery of a dead body: One of Pru’s colleagues has been conked on the head with a rock and dumped from a bridge into the Water of Leith.

Pru can’t help wondering if the murder has something to do with the Menzies diary. Is the killer covering up a forgery? Among the police’s many suspects are a fallen aristocrat turned furniture maker, Pru’s overly solicitous assistant, even Pru herself. Now, in the midst of sheer torture by the likes of flamboyant wedding dress designers and eccentric church organists, Pru must also uncover the work of a sly murderer—unless this bride wants to walk down the aisle in handcuffs.

Birdhouse Books Interviews Marty Wingate 

Birdhouse: When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?

Marty: It might’ve been somewhere around third grade – when our teacher read Charlotte’s Web to us. I was lost in the storytelling!

Birdhouse: What was your favorite book as a child?

Marty: See above! But also, I remember reading a series of chapter books for third and fourth graders that had something to do with a cat and a space ship. I was quite taken at the time, but can’t remember anything else now. If this sounds familiar to any of your readers, please let me know.

Birdhouse: What is your writing day like?  Do you have any interesting writing quirks?

Marty: I get at least two hours of new writing done every day. Well, that’s the goal. Every writer has her own style, and I prefer to write something new, and then go back to edit – comb through, clean it up, add detail. I find a twenty-minute walk invaluable to adding layers to my writing.

Birdhouse: What was the most surprising thing you learned while creating this book?

Marty: The story has to do with the journal Archibald Menzies kept when he sailed with Captain George Vancouver on the Discovery in the late 18th century. I was amazed to find out that not only was the last year of Menzies’ journal missing, but also the last year of everyone’s on that ship.  Conspiracy, you say?

Birdhouse: Who are your favorite authors?

Marty: I’m all over the map on this one. I love Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell (Susanna Clarke) and think J.K. Rowling’s new PI series is great. I’m a big fan of Sophie Kinsella and the Shopaholic series. But for all time, the author who most influenced me will be Ray Bradbury.

Birdhouse: What is your next writing project?

Marty: I’m just finishing up edits for the second book in my other mystery series (Birds of a Feather) – Empty Next. And then, it’s back to Pru: I’m working on Potting Shed #5 right now.

About the Author
Marty Wingate is the author of two previous Potting Shed mysteries, The Garden Plot and The Red Book of Primrose House. Her new Birds of a Feather Mystery series debuted with The Rhyme of the Magpie. Wingate is a regular contributor toCountry Gardens and other magazines. She also leads gardening tours throughout England, Scotland, Ireland, France, and North America. More Potting Shed and Birds of a Feather mysteries are planned.

Author Links
Purchase Links
Amazon           Barnes and Noble      Books a Million      Google Play       iBooks

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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Did You Know Tuesday - National Milk Chocolate Day

Did you know that July 28 is National Milk Chocolate Day?  Chocolate bars were first invented in 1847 (but these were not milk chocolate bars).  In 1879 Rodolphe Lindt (yes, as in Lindt chocolate!) invented a conching machine which made smooth, creamy chocolate like we have today.  The same year, 1879, Daniel Peter made the first milk chocolate bar.

Milk chocolate tastes more like sugar and milk than cacao, and so it was originally marketed for children.  Most milk chocolate bars today have less than 33% cacao.  I will admit that I prefer the sweeter milk chocolate to dark chocolate, which has a stronger taste.

My favorite candy bar - and also my favorite milk chocolate - is the Hershey bar.  This candy bar was invented in 1900.  The vintage ad above shows all the 1950's varieties of Hershey bars.

How about you - do you like milk chocolate?  And what is your favorite milk chocolate bar?  I'd love to hear from you in the comments below.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Music Monday - "Draggin' the Line" - Tommy James (1971)

I'll be short and sweet today because it's a busy Monday here.   Today's Music Monday song is "Draggin' the Line" by Tommy James.   I've always liked this song, which came out when I was in elementary school.  This sounds like summer at the neighborhood swimming pool to me!  Do you remember this one?