Friday, January 31, 2020

Book Review: The Case of Too Many Clues

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The Case of Too Many Clues
Holy Catnip! With business booming, Cat Detectives, Buckley and Bogey, have their paws full when it comes to running the BBCDA — the Buckley and Bogey Cat Detective Agency. But just when they’re ready to take a little break, someone leaves them a clue . . . right on their own front porch! Naturally, the boys are suspicious, since they usually have to hunt long and hard to find any clues on a case. And things get even more odd when the clues just keep on coming — all in little glass jars with shiny black lids. Especially when one of those jars holds a bunch of sparkly diamonds. Holy Mackerel!

But clues aren’t the only things that land on the boys’ front doorstep. Soon their family takes in a few foster cats, including an energetic kitten with an overactive imagination. One who is determined to follow Buckley wherever he goes, even as the boys track clues all over town! And when clues just lead to more clues and yet more clues, it isn’t long before Buckley and Bogey realize there is something sinister going on in their little city of St. Gertrude. From creepy mansions to angry bees, and from rescue operations to midnight visitors, this case has way more danger than the boys ever bargained for. And before long, they learn the stakes could not be higher, especially when their family is framed for a crime. That’s when the boys have no choice but to add up all those clues in a hurry and crack the case . . . or else! Holy Catnip!

The Good:
I love the cats in this book...from Buckley to Trixie and every single one in between. The author does a superb job of giving each of them their individual identities and roles in solving the mystery. I don't know how Cindy comes up with these mysteries because they keep me on my toes every single page and I never know until the big reveal who it is.

The Bad:
I finished the book. Seriously. I feel as if these cats are somehow a part of my family and I miss them when there aren't new stories to read. I may need a trip to the cat cafe to get my fill of kittens soon!

The Summary:
Another great kitty mystery by Cindy Vincent. These are perfect for middle grade readers and if you're like me, maybe a few years outside of school. I can't recommend them enough for cat lovers and mystery lovers alike. Holy mackerel and holy catnip!

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Thursday, January 30, 2020

Writing Prompt Thursday: Excess

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Yay! It's Thursday! I've come to really look forward to the weekly writing prompts. Hopefully y'all have too! This week's prompt is:

What area of your life do you tend to enjoy in excess instead of in moderation?

Wow...tough one. My first reaction was Lego. It's a bit of a tiny obsession right now as I've become aware of my love of the tiny bricks again. When my boys decided they had outgrown them, I didn't have a good excuse to buy them anymore. There just wasn't the budget to spoil myself.

Now that they're off in college and living their own lives, there still isn't the budget, but I've found a few sets on clearance lately and I've fallen in love all over again. I find it relaxing to sit and build. I'm in awe of the people who have come up with the designs that I never could. I envy those with huge collections that are building their own cities or worlds.

I can't say though that I enjoy it in excess in the sense that I own a ton of them, but in the way that I enjoy them when I do have them. They're the happiest little hours of my week except when I'm with the kids or writing. Hopefully the budget opens up a bit soon so I can buy a few more sets...especially since my birthday isn't until September.

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Monday, January 27, 2020

Crockpot Monday: Pound Cake

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We're back! Pneumonia kept me away from the keyboard and the kitchen, but I'm back and what better day that my youngest son's 19th birthday! And it's a cake recipe!

Pound Cake:

2 cups of all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, melted
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
6 eggs.
1.5 teaspoons vanilla


Place all of your ingredients into a mixing bowl and mix until everything is well incorporated. Spray the inside of your crockpot with cooking spray and pour the batter in. Prop the lid open with a chopstick or wooden spoon.

Cook on high until an inserted toothpick or knife comes out clean, 3 to 4 hours.

Then enjoy with your favorite people!

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Thursday, January 23, 2020

Writing Prompt Thursday: Lost

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Last week I told you a story about my youngest son. Today's is all about a trip my oldest and I took together a couple of summers ago.

When was the last time you got lost?

In today's age with a gps built right into my phone, it's not often that I get lost. Trust me though to find an exception. A couple of summers ago, my oldest son, Ben, and I were headed down by Detroit to watch one of his friends play baseball. The weather was lovely and off we headed. We were doing really well, making good time, until we came across a train stopped on the tracks. Since we were limited on time, I decided to go around...and that's when it happened.

The turn I took didn't lead to where I thought it was going to. We were in the middle of nowhere and suddenly my phone lost signal. I was trying to keep positive so I joked that we were on an adventure. I got to the end of a road and took a left. Luckily, it led to a place called Turkeyville. Unluckily, my stomach had started acting up and I badly needed to find a bathroom. We pulled into the parking lot, but they were closed. No worries, a girl was walking across the parking lot. Surely she'd let me use the bathroom since it was becoming an emergency and then give me directions to the freeway. Nope. She acted as if she didn't hear me calling out repeatedly to her.

As I watched her go inside the building, my confidence was a bit shaken, but just then an rv pulled out from a side road. Since those often head towards civilization, I decided to follow it. Just a few miles down the road was a golf club. I was never so happy to see a sport I don't love. I pulled in and told Ben to wait in the car. I hurried inside to use the bathroom but before I was done, I heard Ben in the hall asking someone for a bandaid. Ut-oh...someone hadn't listened. Turns out he had come in and tripped on the sidewalk and skinned up his knee. Luckily for us, the gear shop had a first aid kit and got him fixed up while I got directions. Turns out I was only about a half mile from the freeway! Whew!

There were a few more small adventures before we got to the baseball tournament, but at least we weren't lost again!

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Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Wordsmith Wednesday: Absence

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Hey, everyone! Some of you may have noticed that the site got really quiet for about a month. It turns out that my little cough turned into pneumonia and knocked me out for about five weeks. I did little more than lay on the couch and watch tv. I didn't have the concentration to read, to work, anything. To say it was frustrating is probably the understatement of the new year. Finally though, after six weeks or so, I've been told by the doctor that my lung x-rays are clear again. Yay! Of course, after doing a bit of shoveling, I do have a cough creeping back in, but I'm going to be keeping a close eye on it.

Now that I'm better, it's time to make some plans for 2020! I finished the first draft of Nevermore at the end of 2019 and I'm waiting for notes from Nick. I hear there are a lot of them...erk! That's okay though. It's just going to make me a better writer. I also finished Tales from the Toy Store and sent that out to some beta readers. I should have some notes back on that soon and then Eric Cockrell and I will be working together to add some art before working on a launch.

On the editing side, I'm currently accepting projects. Being sick really hurt my finances. On top of that, I just love proofreading and editing. I can't wait to dive into some new projects. If you're looking for someone, don't hesitate to reach out.

Now, it's about time for me to be mom. My oldest, Ben, is doing Special Olympics basketball and it's practice night. His first tournament is this weekend, so wish us luck!

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Thursday, January 16, 2020

Writing Prompt Thursday: Stupid Questions

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It's been a while since I've posted here (there will be a post coming to explain) and it feels really good to be back! Today's question brought a smile to my face because attached is a happy memory.

What stupid question have you heard someone ask (or asked yourself)?

Probably about four years ago, I used to go to the park and lay by the river on the blanket to unwind and read. I was laying there one day when my youngest son called me from a friend's house. I don't remember why. I just remember that he was going to have to call me back with more information on whatever it was he was asking about. I told him to call me back and then it happened...he asked me if I had my phone with me. I could hear his friend and his friend's mom laughing in the background. Without hesitating, I asked, "You mean the one you called me on?" He felt dumb, but honestly, it's one of my favorite memories. He's a smart, talented kid and it's nice when something silly happens with him. It's good to be reminded that he's a kid. Well, was a kid. He's nearly 19 now and in college. He's grown up fast, but luckily I still have these memories with him.

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