Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Monday, April 29, 2013

April Photo A Day Challenge - Day 29

Topic of the Day
"Photographer's Choice"

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Food, Glorious Food by Lucy Burdette

Clinical psychologist Lucy Burdette (aka Roberta Isleib) is the author of eleven mysteries, including TOPPED CHEF, the third Key West food critic mystery--coming May 7. Her books and stories have been short-listed for Agatha, Anthony, and Macavity awards. She's a past president of Sisters in Crime. You can find her on Facebook (www.facebook.com/lucyburdette), Twitter (www.twitter.com/lucyburdette), Mystery Lovers Kitchen (www.mysteryloverskitchen.com), and Jungle Red Writers (www.jungleredwriters.com).

Food, Glorious Food by Lucy Burdette

When I grew up in the suburbs of New Jersey and Detroit in the fifties and sixties, haute cuisine consisted of adding a can of Campbell's cream of mushroom soup to the dish in question. Spinach, green beans, chicken-they all got the same treatment.

Red meat selections, on the other hand, were married to Lipton's onion soup (pot roast) or Campbell's alphabet soup (meatloaf.) Just add a crisp, pale wedge of iceberg lettuce dressed with a glob of other-worldly-orange bottled French dressing and voila-fancy company fare.

Oh, we had ethnic dining options too: heat up a can of slimy lo mein noodles and flaccid vegetables and sprinkle with crunchy faux-noodle topping.

With that background, you might wonder about my qualifications to write about a food critic character. Basically, I love to eat. And I love to eat good food--not fussy, just delicious. My husband teases that "Isleib" (my family name) means "is stomach" in German. His other fictionalized translation for my name is "large lunch followed by a restful nap."

I don't think I'd enjoy being a food critic in real life--when I go out to eat, I like to choose what I feel like eating, not what I think other folks want to hear about. And I draw lines where my character Hayley Snow, cannot. For instance, tentacles. Raw fish and meat. Slimy things. Like that:).

In TOPPED CHEF, the third book in the Key West food critic series, Hayley Snow gets roped into being a judge for a reality TV contest. During the contest, three contestants cook their way through a variety of challenges, beginning with presenting their "signature dish."  I had lots of fun imagining how the three chefs would think about food and what they'd prepare. One of them leans toward home-style Southern food (a carping judge calls him "Paula Deen squared"); a second cooks from the tradition of molecular gastronomy; and the third, now that I think about it, is a little lost. Although she did produce some killer key lime cupcakes for the wedding challenge. (Recipes for the cupcakes and the shrimp and grits dish made by the fictional chefs will be posted on www.mysteryloverskitchen.com on May 2 and 9 to celebrate the launch of TOPPED CHEF.

My husband says the shrimp and grits could be the best thing I've ever made.) As usual, I've gone on too long about food and not told you much about the book. Here's the tiniest little snippet to whet your whistle: "Four little judges, judging for TV. One swinging from the mast, and then there were three. Three little judges, tasting wine and roux. One couldn't swim, and then there were two".

Hayley Snow, Topped Chef TOPPED CHEF will be in stores on May 7, but you can pre-order here: http://www.us.penguingroup.com/nf/Book/BookDisplay/0,,9780451239709,00.html?Topped_Chef_Lucy_Burdette And you are invited to "like" Lucy on Facebook (www.facebook.com/lucyburdette) or follow her on Twitter (www.twitter.com/lucyburdette) If you had been persuaded to enter a cooking contest, what would your signature dish be?

Saturday, April 27, 2013

April Photo A Day Challenge - Day 27

Topic of the Day
these are all pictures Donald took of flowers growing here at home   -  
our own little piece of heaven on earth

Friday, April 26, 2013

Thursday, April 25, 2013

April Photo A Day Challenge - Day 25

Topic of the Day
"Life is . . . "
good.  It's made of many little things that mean a lot.  Life waking up every morning to find this cup of coffee on my nightstand.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

April Photo A Day Challenge - Day 24

Topic of the Day
"Inspired by Mary Cassat"

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Monday, April 22, 2013

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Aprl Photo A Day Challenge - Day 21

Topic of the Day
Bonfire at a neighborhood party
Photo by Don Barley

April Photo A Day Challenge - Day 20

Topic of the Day
"On My Mind"
what was on my mind was slipping into my boots and taking a ride to Charlotte with my husband to spend the day with good friends

April Photo a Day Challenge - Day 19

Topic of the Day

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Whimsey News

News Flash!!!
I'm posting pictures of Whimsey as it's spotted on a shelf.  If you spot it, I would appreciate it very much if you'll send me a photo, please.

Here it is at Quarter Moon Books -
Topsail Island, NC
And - - -
It's also available at ArtWalk in Boone, NC - Yay!!
And at Appalachian State University's Bookstore in Boone, NC,  Black Bear Books in Boone,  Mystery Loves Company in Oxford, MD, and Laurel Bookstore in Oakland, CA
I will keep you posted as it gets picked up by additional bookstores, shops and galleries.  This is a very big deal to a self-published author - word of mouth advertising is so important, and in our case, very important.  I appreciate all your help.
And if you see it on a shelf, please let me know!  And if you don't see it on the shelf of your favorite bookstore OR library, I would very much appreciate you asking them to order it.  If anyone would care for a "sell sheet," just drop me a note and I'll send you one.  barleykw at appstate dot edu
Thanks, everyone!!!

April Photo A Day Challenge - Day 17

Topic of the Day
Right now I'm busy trying to figure out what to toss into this little suitcase for the Malice Domestic Convention!

April Photo A Day Challenge - Day 16

Topic of the Day
"Favorite Color"
my favorite colors are red and pink and I love them together!
this is a picture of print we have by Eastern Shore artist Danny Doughty

Monday, April 15, 2013


My friend, the incredibly delightful, Lesa Holstine, interviews me today at her place - Lesa's Book Critiques ( http://lesasbookcritiques.blogspot.com/ ). I hope you'll take a minute to drop by and say "Hey!"

April Photo A Day Challenge - Day 15

Topic of the Day

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Evolution of a Novel by Earl Staggs


Earl Staggs earned a long list of Five Star reviews for his novel MEMORY OF A MURDER and has twice received a Derringer Award for Best Short Story of the Year. He served as Managing Editor of Futures Mystery Magazine, as President of the Short Mystery Fiction Society, is a contributing blog member of Murderous Musings and Make Mine Mystery and a frequent speaker at conferences and seminars. Email: earlstaggs@sbcglobal.net Website: http://earlwstaggs.wordpress.com

by Earl Staggs

Like most writers who’ve been around the block a time or two, I can produce a new book from start to finish in several months, a year at the most. I’d like to tell you a story, however, about a book that took much longer to write. How long? Ten years. That’s right. Ten years.

I didn’t work on it full time for that long. It took me that long to get it right

The idea for the book came to me not long after the horrendous incident we now refer to as 9-11. Terrorists killed three thousand innocent, unsuspecting people that day and left a scar across the world that will never heal. Like most people in the world, particularly Americans, I was deeply affected. I wanted to rush out and kill terrorists. I couldn’t do that for real, of course, but it occurred to me I could do it in a book. That’s how it started.

I came up with a fictitious secret agency which tracks terrorist groups. If the agency determines the group has definite plans to kill innocent people, it steps in and stops them with extreme prejudice. That usually means the terrorists are killed.

I gave the book what I thought was an appropriate title. JUSTIFIED ACTION.

I needed a central character and came up with the name Tall Chambers.

After twenty years in the Army, most of it in Special Services, Tall joined the agency.

While I admit, in the wake of 9-11, I enjoyed writing about saving innocent lives by taking out those who would kill, I soon realized an entire novel of that would not be interesting for long. I put the book aside and worked on other projects.

Tall Chambers never really left my mind, however. He took shape over a period of time until I knew him as a friend, someone I liked. I formed ideas of what kind of man he would be, what were his goals and ambitions, and what did he want for his life.

While Tall remained a fixture in my mind, I occasionally went back to the book. This time, the business of tracking and dealing with terrorists became only a background on which Tall’s personal life played out. I liked the story much better this way, but still didn’t stick with it full time. I’d put it on a back burner from time to time and write other things. Eventually, his story, a personal one played out on the stage of international terrorist activity, became more clear and fully developed.

And Tall definitely had a personal life. He met the ideal woman, fell in love, and married. He’s also a man of action and, since I love writing action scenes, there are plenty of them in the book.

But his life did not become a happily ever after story. Everything changed when a murder turned his life completely around. After that, Tall has only one goal in mind: find the killer and set things right. In the process of doing that, he comes to a hard-earned decision about the path his life will travel from that point on.

Eventually -- and the process actually did take ten years -- I finished the novel, completely satisfied with how it all came together. I’m as proud of it as anything I’ve ever written.

I recently announced the debut of JUSTIFIED ACTION, a Mystery/Thriller novel, in both print and ebook form. But then came that nail-biting, can’t-sleep, why-did-I-ever-become-a-writer, what-made-me-think-that-book-was-good-enough-to-publish, suppose-everyone-hates-it phase. That’s the period when you don’t breathe, the hands of the clock don’t move, the sun never rises or sets but just hangs over you, and you wait for reviews.

Happily, the reviews were as good as they could be.. All Five Stars.

Feedback included comments such as:

“Couldn’t put it down.”

Read this book. You'll be glad you did.”

“. . .a strong emotional impact and a satisfying ending.”

 Action and suspense without all the gore.” 

“When I got to the last page, I wished for more.”

Can’t ask for better than that. Two major hurdles are now in the rear view mirror – getting it published and receiving great reviews. It feels good, especially when I think about how long it took to write this book.

I’m also excited about the cover. I wanted a particular mood and attitude on the cover. I wanted it to speak in a voice filled with suspense and tension and say, “Get ready. Here comes trouble.” It took a while, and I had help from a good friend, but the perfect cover eventually came around. The cover is. . . . But, wait. Instead of talking about it, let me show it to you. Here it is.

Cover by Carole Ryan

You’re invited to read Chapter One of JUSTIFIED ACTION and meet Tall Chambers. I hope you like him as much as I do. You’ll find it at http://earlwstaggs.wordpress.com

And that’s the story of a book that took me ten years to write. Thank you, dear Kaye, for letting me tell it here.



Another Whimsey Giveaway !

This time you'll have to work a little bit. 

But join the scavenger hunt we're having at Cozy Chicks ( http://www.cozychicksblog.com/2013/04/guest-blogger-kaye-barley-sends-you-on.html ) and you could win a $20 gift card from The Cozy Chicks, or a copy of Whimsey from me.

Ready, set,  go!

Have fun!!!!!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Monday, April 8, 2013

Where I Am

I'm Everywhere!

I'm all over the interwebs lately trying to spread "The Word of Whimsey."

If you're interested in winning a copy of Whimsey, you'll have until 8:00 this evening to send my friend Mason an email.  Check it out at her blog "Thoughts in Progress" right here - http://masoncanyon.blogspot.com/2013/04/author-kaye-wilkinson-barkley-whimsey.html

And - - -

I'm also having a fun chat with my friend Julia at her place, "Mysterious Musings" right here - http://juliabuckley.blogspot.com/

Thanks, everyone, for your support and for helping me spread the word!!!

April Photo A Day Challenge - Day 8

Topic of the Day
"On My Plate"

April Photo A Day Challenge - Day 7

Topic of the Day

Sunday, April 7, 2013

"Oh, Kaye!" at Jungle Red

It's that time again.  Time for me to play at Jungle Red Writers, and I hope you'll drop by and say "Hey!"


Saturday, April 6, 2013

Whimsey News!

Whimsey is now available at ArtWalk in Boone, NC

And at Appalachian State University's Bookstore in Boone, NC,  Black Bear Books in Boone,  Mystery Loves Company in Oxford, MD, Laurel Bookstore in Oakland, CA and Quarter Moon Books at Topsail Island, NC

I will keep you posted as it gets picked up by additional bookstores, shops and galleries.

And if you see it on a shelf, please let me know!  And if you don't see it on the shelf of your favorite bookstore OR library, I would very much appreciate you asking them to order it.  If anyone would care for a "sell sheet," just drop me a note and I'll send you one.  barleykw at appstate dot edu
You can keep up with all the Whimsey news here - http://www.kayewilkinsonbarley.com/

Thanks, everyone!!!

April Photo A Day Challenge - Day 6

Topic of the Day
The air above Grandfather

Friday, April 5, 2013

April Photo a Day - Day 5

Topic of the Day
"Something Good"

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

April Photo A Day Challenge - Day 3

Topic of the Day
"Something Beginning With A"
The Appalachian Mountains
Photo by Don Barley

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

April Photo A Day Challenge - Day 2

Topic of the Day