πŸ“š Are they or aren’t they? πŸ“š

Hey there, lovely reader!

Ack, I managed to plant my bulbs this week but forgot to water the Christmas tree. I love a profusion of daffodils in spring, but gosh, do I procrastinate putting them in. I finally got it done at the weekend, but then realized the tree was looking a bit woebegone. Hopefully, I'm not too late with either and they will withstand my cack-handed attempts at taking care of them. My orchids need a bit of attention too. But I did get a lot of writing done.

Today, I have an update, prize winners, and a question for you. Let's goooooooooooo!

Oh dear! I have been in the wars

I was going to make a video this week. Just a short one. I had it all planned out. But then I found out I had broken my ankle and needed to rest up for five weeks.

It's not a terrible break. I did it around a month ago and only just went to the doctor's thinking it was a sprain. But I am on light duties for several weeks.

Also, Star scratched my face when she used me, as she often does, as a pad from which to launch herself onto the back of the sofa. I now have a lovely deep scratch along my chin.

So currently I am a one-legged, facially-scarred author. I could cast myself as a character in one of my books!

All in all, I'm not at my best. I will try the video thing again in the new year. Sitting at my computer counts as resting up, so there'll be no interruption in my writing. The new Diana is coming along . . .

Book cover of Death at the Cafe by Alison Golden

This was a lot of fun!

My newsletter subscribers had a competition last week.

Readers entering the competition had to answer the question:

What would Annabelle buy Philippa for Christmas?

The winners were pulled at random, but I did want to share some of the entries that particularly tickled me. If you are looking for Christmas gifts for a Philippa-type person perhaps they will inspire you. There were themes. πŸ˜€

Readers thought Annabelle might buy Philippa:

  • Nice stationery and a fountain pen
  • A beautiful white A5 Filofax cover with her name in gold letters with a diary and lots of planner pages
  • Personalized pen set
  • A Mary Berry cookbook
  • A BBC Good Food magazine subscription
  • A cookbook with New Orleans cake recipes
  • The new Roxy Reinhardt novel so she could read the mystery without being scared to death
  • A monthly gift of specialty cupcakes from a favourite bakery/tea shop
  • A hat with flowers that bob around, preferably blue
  • A pretty apron with ruffles and a pretty fabric with flowers or one emblazoned with a picture of her famous kitchen creations and her name embroidered boldly at the top
  • A lovely tea towel with cats on it
  • A guitar
  • Some nice napkin rings
  • A cardigan
  • A Christmas sweater
  • A tea cozy
  • A pair of gloves
  • A special ornament
  • A spa day
  • A voucher at the tea and cake shop for two
  • A book
  • A new teapot and her favorite tea
  • A quality pair of binoculars for “bird watching”
  • A new set of baking utensils
  • Roller skates, so she could get around the village faster to get all the gossip and other chores done.
  • A beautiful and fancy tea service set including a silver platter and flowered teapot and/or a tea subscription to try different flavors of teas.
  • A cuddly robe and slippers for when she was done taking care of Annabelle.

Are they, or aren't they?

This week I got asked a question I often get asked: Are the Inspector Graham mysteries, cozy mysteries?

As usual, I gave my accurate, but long-winded answer: Technically no. A cozy mystery is one where there is no graphic violence, swearing, or “bedroom activities.” It is set in a small community – town, village, group of people – and the sleuth is an amateur like Miss Marple. Inspector Graham meets only two of these criteria. He is a professional.

However, I am learning of the increasing popularity of other cozy genres besides mystery. Cozy sci-fi and cozy fantasy are now a thing. The cozy part refers to how a reader may *feel* reading such a book. And I am wondering.

I'll be back next Thursday. I hope all is going well with you and that whichever holiday you celebrate, life is good. Happy reading!

Chaos in Cambridge by Alison Golden
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