Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Daily Vintage - Easter Postcard, Baby Chick in a Bird Nest

Today's Daily Vintage is a lovely vintage Easter postcard.  It features a baby chick in a bird's nest.  The card is trimmed with glitter, which is now dark (a sign of older glitter - early 1900's).  This is one of those cards that just looks like Spring to me.

Found at Birdhouse Books:  vintage Easter postcard, chick in nest.

Author Interview and Giveaway: Side Trip to Kathmandu by Marie Moore

Side Trip to Kathmandu
(Sidney Marsh Murder Mystery)

3rd in Series
Publisher: Camel Press (March 15, 2015)
Paperback: 186 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1603812979
E-Book ASIN: B00U6GK472

Sidney Marsh’s job as a New York travel agent is on the line. On her last two tours, she and her colleague Jay ended up smack in the middle of murder and mayhem. Their sleuthing sideline did not endear them to their employer, Itchy Feet Travel, so naturally they are relieved when their wealthy friend Brooke requests their presence on a no expense spared tour of India and Nepal. Another agency has made the arrangements, so all they need do is sit back and enjoy the ride. Well, not quite all. Brooke has enlisted them to keep a sharp eye on their fellow travelers, all “friends” who have grown rich from the demise of others. After surviving an attempt on her life, Brooke is certain the culprit must be one of the five: a handsome Scotsman, a Bollywood actress, an investment banker, a Parisian filmmaker, or a twice widowed blonde. Many of the tour accommodations prove to be as dodgy as the reputations of the travelers themselves. After one of the members of the moving house party dies of an apparent heart attack, everyone’s nerves are on edge. Sidney can hardly be blamed for assuming a deadly game is afoot … or for falling for Adam, the doting Scotsman. Now, if only she can unmask the killer before the killer beats her to the punch. Side Trip to Kathmandu is the third book in the Sidney Marsh Mystery series, which began with Shore Excursion.


I enjoyed interviewing Marie Moore for her visit at View from the Birdhouse.

When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
In the third grade.  I wrote a poem and my teacher, Mrs. Thorne, who I adored, loved it and encouraged me.  I wrote stories and poems throughout high school and college, then lost the thread for a long time while busy with a new husband and new career as a junior-high science teacher and mom.  Later, I wrote for a newspaper, then left writing again until eighteen years later when I began writing my first novel.

What was your favorite book as a child?   
There were many.  I learned to read Bertram the Rhinoceros when I was four, read every Maida, Nancy Drew, and Cherry Ames book I could find, and most of the children’s classics.  The Secret Garden, Eight Cousins, Swiss Family Robinson, and Heidi were special favorites.

What is your writing day like?  
Do you have any interesting writing quirks? I begin writing around 4:00 A.M., which I guess is a quirk in itself.  But all is quiet in my house at that time of day.  The phone is not ringing, no one wants anything, and I love the peace of the early morning.  It also leaves most of the rest of the day free to do my other stuff.  Sometimes I go back to it at night, after the dinner dishes are done. I rarely write longer than about four hours at a stretch, for it begins to go stale for me after that unless I’m really on a roll.

What was the most surprising thing you learned while creating this book? 
I was shocked to learn that an amazing number of people seem to have no clue what Kathmandu is, or where it is located.  I find that astounding. 

Who are your favorite authors?  
 I have many favorite authors, in many different genres, for I absolutely love to read and have been that way all my life.  I used to get in trouble with my mom for reading under the covers with a flashlight after lights out.   Eudora Welty, J. R. R. Tolkien, Willie Morris, James Clavell, Mark Twain, Lawrence Block, Annamaria Alfieri, Dick Francis, Carolyn Hart, Michael Stanley, and many others come to mind.

What is your next writing project?   
I am now working on Sidney’s next adventure, the fourth novel in my Sidney Marsh Murder Mystery Series.

About This Author
Shore Excursion was Marie Moore’s first novel, but not her first writing experience, and like Sidney Marsh, she is a native Mississippian.  She graduated from Ole Miss, married a lawyer in her hometown, taught junior high science, raised a family, and worked for a small weekly newspaper, first as a writer and later as Managing Editor.  She wrote hard news, features and a weekly column, sold ads, did interviews, took photos, and won a couple of MS Press Association awards for some of her stories.

In 1985, Marie left the newspaper to open a retail travel agency.  She completed agency and computer training with Airlines Reporting Corporation, Delta Airlines and TWA, earned her CTC (Certified Travel Counselor) designation, and joined the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA), International Air Transport Association (IATA), and Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA).  For the next 15 years, she managed her agency, sold travel, escorted group tours, sailed on 19 cruises, and visited over 60 countries.  Much of the background of Shore Excursion comes from that experience.

Marie also did location scouting and worked as the local contact for several feature films, including Heart of Dixie, The Gun in Betty Lou’s Handbag, and Robert Altman’s Cookie’s Fortune.

In mid-1999, because of her husband’s work, Marie sold the travel agency and moved to Jackson, MS, then New York City, Anna Maria Island, FL, and Arlington, VA.  She and her husband now live in Memphis, TN and Holly Springs, MS.

Marie and her mystery novels have been featured in Click! Magazine, At Home Memphis and MidSouth Magazine, Portico Magazine, and Southern Writer’s Magazine.  She has been a guest on WREG’s Live at 9, BookTalk, and The Earle Farrell Show.  She has given 30 minute presentations: Whodunnit? Crafting the Mystery Novel and Finding A New Career in Mid-life to numerous civic groups, senior citizens groups, libraries, and from The Balancing Act Stage as part of the program of The Southern Women’s Show. She has served as a program panelist for Malice Domestic Mystery Conference (Bethesda, MD, 2012 and 2013) and Killer Nashville Mystery Conference (2013). In 2013, Marie’s books were specially chosen for inclusion in the onboard libraries of all the Holland America and Seabourn Cruise Line ships. GAME DRIVE, Book 2 in The Sidney Marsh Murder Mystery Series, was named Finalist in Foreword Review’s 2013 Mystery Book of the Year. Marie is a member of Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America. 

Author Links:
Twitter: @ mariemmysteries 

Purchase Links
Amazon B&N

Win an eBook copy of Side Trip to Kathmandu.
a Rafflecopter giveaway 

Guest Post and Giveaway: Tillie's Tale by by Mindy Mymudes


Who is the mysterious ghosty haunting puppygirl Tillie? And why? George, the magical basset hound familiar is on the trail.

It’s not often a basset hound puppy is haunted by an unhappy ghost, but George’s packmate, Tillie, manages to attract one. George and Tillie need to find out how to help the ghost before she turns into a poultry-ghost.

GUEST POST by Mindy Mymudes:  My favorite dog breeds

Mindy:  I think you’re trying to get me in trouble. I live with a pack of English Springer Spaniels and my muse is a very egotistical Basset Hound. I’m going to make them all very unhappy if I have to choose any other breeds besides them or their friends. Unhappy dogs fart in my face, bring me live squirrels, rabbit, and birds, and steal my food. Oh, wait, they do that anyway.

I love all dog breeds, even though Springers are the breed I’ve lived with most of my life. They are hunting dogs, bred to stay close to hunters and spring (flush) birds out of the grass and retrieve it back to their handler. That means I have Velcro dogs that like to sleep on my head. Or legs. Or chest. Preferable across my head and they like to roll each other off so they can take the spot. Grandmother Chrystal, mother Cera, and Freaky Beak, her daughter, take up more space on the bed than my 6’4 husband. They are very easy to train, very busy (read, they like to play outside and get lots of exercise), and usually settle on the couch or on my foot in the house when I’m doing something that doesn’t include me. Most of the Springers I know have a wicked sense of humor. Or at least think they do.

I’ve been an instructor at obedience clubs for years as well as an AKC judge, and have found a lot of breeds I adore. I take care of Whippets for friends during the day. A smaller relative of the greyhound, they are more catlike than my spaniels. Very active and smart, they aren’t as close working as the Springers, and Whippets aren’t really into perfect competition obedience, either. A lot of fun, and they’re a lot easier to groom.

Papillons are a small breed of spaniel that I’ve always admired. Very sweet and smart, my biggest worry is stomping on them. I always thought they’d make a great retirement dog, as long as I carried it.

The longhaired miniature Dachshund are just plain cute. Short legs, happy faces, they make me smile. I love to judge them in rally obedience.

Border Collies are far smarter than I will ever be. While I think they are beautiful and admire them in competition, it’s likely I’d drive one crazy.

Then there are…

George:  Do you really think this is all about you? I hired you for your hands, not for your mouth. You’re my secret-ary, not my translator. There is simply one breed that is everyone’s favorite, the Basset Hound. We’re perfect, soft, cuddly and smart, with great hair. Well, almost every Basset has great hair. I love my snuggums, but she has had a bad hair day since we met.

Mindy: That’s because Phoebe isn’t a Basset Hound. She’s a PBGV.

George:  She’s alphabet soup? You really are going crazy. I should put an ad in the paper for a new employee.

Mindy: Not alphabet soup, stop thinking with your stomach. She’s a PBGV, a Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen, pronounced "Puh-TEE Bah-SAY Gree-FOHN VON-day-uhn.

George:   That’s just a fancy way to say Basset. I know my sweetlips loves me to bark in French to her. Oh, my sweet Bah-SAY. Shame she can’t do something with her coat.


Tillie’s tail is spinning in circles. She’s staring at a filmy thing sitting on the steps of an old, rough-brick building. I know it’s really a large Peeps’ den, but since it’s bad to be in the dog house, I assume it’s bad to be in a house. Why don’t they just call it a den if houses are so bad? From the smelltaste of cooking, Peeps, dust, skin, and the other stuff Peeps like, there are many small dens inside. Tillie “wrrrrrtttles” again and adds a soft “wuff.” Her front goes down into a play bow. The thing she’s trying to get to play is shimmery and clear, with thick and thin spots swimming on the surface.

“Snoof. Snuffle” I lick my lips. There’s a disturbing smelltaste of dustmoldlightningozone.

Oh mousefleas.

It’s a ghosty.

Mindy will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.