Author Archives: Peggy A. Edelheit

Unforgettable Christmases #3 of 3

This 3rd Christmas tale was downright nightmarish. Again we headed to our vacation log home in the Nantahala National Forest in Highlands, NC, the setting for my 1st mystery, The Puzzle. All the ornaments were packed in the trunk (this time) of our diesel sedan, and as usual, we were packed to the hilt. But after arriving in Highlands the winter weather wasn’t very conducive for a snowy, wintry Christmas. The day of Christmas Eve the weather ventured all the way to 70 degrees! So we went for a hike in the valley only to see the weather turn on a dime sooner than was warned. The temps plummeted like a stone in water. We couldn’t get back to the house fast enough as it began to thunder, lightening with heavy downpours just as we shut the door to our cabin. A cold blast swooped in and the rain changed to chunks of hail bouncing off the driveway, then it turned back to a downpour. Now picture our electricity abruptly went out, which included our well water (The pump needs electric to get water). Our mainline phone went dead and we had no cell service when the storm hit. With travel impossible, we hunkered down and started both of our fireplaces, one in the kitchen and one in the living room, and lit several candles so we could see our way around.

Let me share with you a slice from one chapter to give you an idea of what some of those dicey conditions were like. In my mystery, my protagonist, Samantha Jamison was in Highlands to find out who killed her husband. She’s alone, inexperienced in situations such as this, and not sure what to expect when everything goes south.                                     A sample from that storm chapter:

Chapter 12

Resolutely, I set off for the front door, opened it, and clung to the frame, as an arctic blast assaulted my body and face. Its unexpected force stung on impact, whipping my hair wildly about, while I weighed my odds for escape.

Bewildered at first, I stared further out, stunned. Solid ice was everywhere. The trees had grown grotesque frozen fingers that swayed heavily back and forth. I stepped forward and lost my footing. I barely managed to grab hold of the doorknob to get upright. I found myself staring directly at my car. My car! I turned and tore a heavy jacket from the coat rack, grabbed my car keys and gingerly made my way to the car. The wind propelled me backward as I tugged hard on the handle, finally opening it, and jumped inside. Shivering, I jammed the key in the ignition and turned it. Nothing. I tried again. Dead. How could that be? I pounded the dashboard.

With my fingers going numb, I ditched the car, inched back to the house, slammed the door behind me and slid the lock back in place. I stood there, shaking from the cold and rock-solid fear. Sneakers (my cat) anxiously ran around my ankles. I tried to catch my breath, feeling my world closing in. I knew I couldn’t walk up the ice-coated steep driveway and I couldn’t escape through the woods. I might get disoriented in the dark and freeze to death. Besides, even if I did make it to the road, who in their right mind would be out there at this hour and in this weather?

I scanned the interior of the house. The candles were barely flickering and my flashlight was dead. I could wing the rest, but I needed heat if I were to survive. I quickly threw the last scrap of wood into the fireplaces, frantically taking a quick look around. What else could I possibly do? I came up short and stood absolutely still when it finally hit me. … I was trapped.

The actual story for us was: Having already bundled up in layered sweaters, socks, pants, and gloves, (I could not feel my fingertips) what I never mentioned in my book was that the water froze in our toilets just before they cracked. We were using Dixie cups lined up on the back of the toilet. (Too frigid and icy to step outside to go) Being Christmas Eve, I decided we should open up our gifts, and then we burned the wrapping paper and boxes in the fireplaces after running out of firewood to keep us warm. We wrapped the boys in blankets by the burning fireplace.

The trees did have grotesque frozen fingers that swayed heavily back and forth. A coating of that thick ice covered our car door lock, so my husband ran to the fire, placed the fire tongs holding the car key in the fire then ran outside to slip it into the door locks to get in the car to try to start it. The diesel engine was too cold and would not turn over. Trying repeatedly had killed the battery. As we began to have sporadic electricity, he hooked up a battery charger to an extension cord from the house to jumper cables attached to the car battery. But it was so frigid the diesel fuel had turned to gel. (Diesel fuel gelling occurs when the paraffin usually present in diesel fuel begins to solidify when the temperature drops. At 32 degrees the wax in liquid form begins to crystalize, leaving the fuel tank clouded. At 10-15 degrees it begins to gel clogging the tank.) It was well below that. We had to wait it out for higher temps. The driveway was a steep sheet of ice, along with recurrent freezing rain/hail with high winds and a low wind-chill factor.

Every thirty minutes my husband would run outside to try to jumpstart our car, as the temps began to rise slowly to try to start the diesel engine. Finally, it came to life. Afraid to turn it off, he left it running, cranked up the heater, raced into the house and told us to get packed up. We were driving back home, rather than risk freezing to death. In thirty minutes the tree was stripped and thrown over the cliff into the woods to decompose, we were packed and loaded, and by daylight we slipped and slid up our steep driveway and made it to the main road, cheering as we slowly headed down the icy mountain roads toward home from that colder, higher elevation.

Back then there was an old cafeteria just outside of Atlanta that was somehow miraculously open that Christmas day on our trip back home. We pulled in starving to death. Inside it was toasty. We were the only ones there. We grabbed a table, tray, and food from the Christmas Brunch buffet that was set up, the steam and savory smells tempting our palates. When we were settled with our food at our table, and after giving thanks for surviving our dangerous ordeal, I turned to my family (who were wolfing down their food) and smiled. We were safe. We (and I might add, my childhood ornaments) had survived an inconceivable nightmare.

“Merry Christmas,” I said, feeling grateful and truly blessed.

I hope you enjoyed my 3 true Christmas tales:                                                                                   ‘Ah, Christmases: some good, some bad, some downright nightmarish.’    One was a bit humorous, one upsetting, and one downright scary.

There was also another one about when I packed a small, decorated tree in our luggage for our ski vacation in Switzerland. I can imagine what the luggage handlers were thinking when they scanned our bags. The kids had no idea it was in there. We surprised them Christmas morning, saying Santa found us all the way over there, leaving a few wrapped gifts for them under it too. In Book 6, Death Knell In The Alps, Samantha experienced some true incidents that actually happened to me on one of those Swiss trips we took.

Oh, the stories I could tell… Hey, wait a minute! Come to think of it, I do…chuckle.

Remember, everyday is a blessing. Don’t take any of them for granted.

the puzzle

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Unforgettable Christmases #2 of 3

 We had moved into a new home which was exciting for all of us. It wasn’t huge by any means, but each of our three boys would have their own room for privacy. There were palladium windows with views of the street below from where our house was perched on the hill with woods behind it.

The minute I saw the house I knew just where my tree would go. I’d put it in front of the tall windows in the living room facing the woods under the fourteen-foot ceiling. I was overjoyed at the prospect of having a huge tree to do it justice. So when Christmas rolled around we went to hunt for the perfect ‘tall’ tree for that spot. We ended up coming home with a huge twelve footer. My husband kept reminding me it might be too big, but for me, the dreamer, it wasn’t tall enough!

What I didn’t mention was it didn’t quite fit into our old tree stand that always held our usual seven-foot tree. I hadn’t thought of that at the moment I’d spotted that impressive-looking fir. The five of us stood there looking at the tree resting on the hardwood floor trying to figure this out.

Never tell a woman it won’t fit.

I said to my husband, “Simple. Let’s cut a large chunk off the base.”

“Might work,” he replied, leaving to retrieve his saw.

That tree trunk was huge and heavy. It had taken all five of us to drag it in the front door. We weren’t dragging it outside again. We were cutting it in place on the hardwood floor.

Hey, that’s what vacuums are for: moments like this, right?

After much sweating and sawing, about a foot was removed. We all strained and grunted, but managed to fit it into place in the tree stand, which strained under the weight of it. To our amazement, it held. We all cheered and began decorating it. When it was done it looked majestic and magical.

Pleased with the end result, I went to the kitchen to make dinner while the boys set the table for me, and my loving husband vacuumed up glitter and sawdust at the base of the tree. The tree lights were left on so I could turn and see through the archway from the kitchen table our beautiful tree.

We were busy laughing and talking when suddenly we heard a crash. We turned, gaping at the spectacle. The tree had toppled over. We jumped up, hustled over to it, and with grunts and groans, set it upright.

My husband checked the base. A screw was loose. He retightened it. I observed the damage: a few broken ornaments and some loose garland. To my relief, the broken ones were not any of my older, cherished ornaments.

We then returned to the kitchen to eat our dinner. But within minutes, we heard another loud crash. The tree had fallen again. We hurried over and repeated the same process of uprighting it, but this time my husband used a wrench to tighten all the screws at the base, which had come loose.

“I guess the added weight of the ornaments didn’t help,” I said, as I surveyed the damage on the floor. Although saddened by more broken ornaments, none of them were my prized ones. Again, we cleaned up and returned to our dinner. I stared at that tree for a full minute. It held.

The others were already talking and laughing. Every once in a while I took a covert glance back at the tree that was still thankfully holding its own. I finally relaxed and resumed eating and joined in on their dinner banter.

But then the unthinkable happened: another loud crash.

Silence…

I dropped my head into my hands as tears began to fall. “I can’t do this.”

I couldn’t bring myself to look. The odds that my cherished ornaments survived this last fall: impossible. I wanted to pass them on to my children and their children. Overwhelmed with the tree’s beauty, I’d chosen one that was too tall and heavy for our tree stand, and with the added weight of all the ornaments, it became top heavy. A major blunder on my part.

I heard the scraping of everyone’s chairs but mine. I couldn’t bring myself to move and face the disaster. I felt physically sick. All I heard were grunts, whispering then some hammering, and finally silence.

Then I felt a gentle tap on my shoulder and opened my eyes and turned to see my youngest smiling. “Dad fixed your tree, Mom! We helped!”

I sighed and forced a smile. “We let’s see what you guys did!”

He dragged me over to the others standing in front of the upright tree.

My middle son pointed to the window frame, grinning. “Look!”

Then my oldest son said, “Dad wired the tree to the window frame.

My husband stepped forward. “This time it’s not going anywhere!”

“But I’m afraid to look closer,” I said frowning, teary-eyed, as I heard the crunching under my feet and everywhere around us.

That’s when everyone laughed then said, “Look down!”

I did, then up to the tree, and then back down to the floor again, my mouth agape. None of the broken ones were my cherished prizes from my youth. Not only had they survived that highway broken ornament box disaster, (in my 1st Christmas story) now this. How could that possibly be?

My family came close and hugged me. Then we all stared at our tree.

I touched each child, kissed my husband then eyed my old ornaments.

I guess Christmas miracles come in all sizes and shapes.

Next up: my 3rd Christmas tale, the one from hell. To be continued…

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Unforgettable Christmases #1 of 3

Okay, I guess the title of this posting could go either way, depending how much you want to read into it. And after looking back, recalling what my family and I went through out of these three Christmases, this first tale was somewhat humorous.

Ah, Christmases: some good, some bad, some downright nightmarish.

Let me first say that when we left our home to travel to our vacation log home in Highlands, N.C. (The one I used in my first mystery, The Puzzle) we were upbeat and excited for the holidays. Our log home was cozy, deep in the forest, and remote with spectacular views of the mountains and valley below. I had visions of toasting marshmallows, baking cookies, sledding, ice-skating, searching out that perfect Christmas tree, and decorating it with my family in front of a roaring fire.

The road trip there would be a breeze. We were jam-packed with our clothes and wrapped gifts in our Jeep Cherokee. But then my husband and I saw the ornament box still sitting in the driveway. Having run out of room inside the Jeep, my husband and I both eyed the luggage rack on the roof. We could put our Christmas ornaments in the large box strapped to it! Brilliant! It worked! Finally, we were on our way!

I had packed sandwiches and drinks so we wouldn’t be slowed down except for gas and bathroom breaks for our three young boys. Cruising on 85 northbound I heard some giggling and a lot of whispers from the backseat. I turned to see what all the commotion was about. Our boys were waving out the window at the passing cars. I then looked out the window too. People were waving. How nice!

My husband turned briefly to look and waved back. “Boy, they sure are friendly here in the South, aren’t they?” he said, grinning. “I’ve never seen anything like it.”

Well, this kept up for a few miles, people passing and waving, but then I noticed one woman drew alongside us and was pointing, first at us then behind us.

“Why is she pointing?” I asked. “Is our tire going flat? Did we hit something?”

My husband glanced at her again. “Hey, it looks like she pointing to our roof.”

Then everything clicked in place. I yelled, “Stop the car!”

After pulling to the side of the road, we all jumped out to have a look. Our large box of ornaments had blown open in the back, exposing the tightly packed ornaments for my not-yet-bought Christmas tree. I turned to look behind us and spotted one of them laying far out on the highway right before an eighteen-wheeler ran over it. My husband and I both jumped on the running board of the Jeep. Apparently, several of our ornaments were scattered between Atlanta and where we were now parked on the side of the highway. My children were staring at me, knowing mixed in with those ornaments were ornaments from when I was little just like them and cherished every Christmas, smiling each time I hooked them on our tree for Christmas. I had no idea if they were still in there. Teary-eyed, I pasted on a smile and said, “Well, it’s a good thing there is a Christmas store in downtown Highlands. We’ll pick out special ones to add to our collection for new memories. I hope you guys will find some special ones.”

My husband took down the box off the roof. Then the boys dragged it into the jeep and across their laps, refusing to let it go. I got it. Great minds thought alike. Why temp fate twice? Setting aside sentimental value, I knew things could be replaced, but not the people I loved. I smiled. “I am truly blessed.”

P.S. After checking that night, I found I didn’t lose any of my old ones.

Next up: a 2nd Christmas tale. I swear fate played a role in it. To be continued…

the puzzle

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Giving Thanks

Giving Thanks 

peggyI guess you could say that November is the perfect time to give thanks. And we should. But will it be a blanket thanks that covers just about everything you’re grateful for? Do you really mean it? Or are you actually going to sit back and really think about exactly what you should be grateful for? I do, all the time.

I am so very grateful to have been blessed with a mother and father who taught me respect for others, even those we disagree with. They are no longer here, but their love, which was a constant, still surrounds me everyday. I know it goes without saying that I love the rest of my family to death, even the ones who annoy me and drive me crazy. Of course, my friends are also included in that. But what I’m really talking about, are the things that occur when you are too busy to think about at the time, but are still extremely grateful for, nevertheless.

I am grateful to my husband for rubbing my aching back when I was hustling to get an approved and final edit of one of my books out. But in the sheer ecstasy of the massage, I pressed the wrong key and didn’t discover that zzzzzzzzzz blunder until just before my book was to go to print. I made a panic-stricken call to my publisher, who I am also grateful for, who caught it and corrected it in time.

I’m even grateful to my critics who point out my faults and shortcomings…chuckle.

And here I thought that was strictly my husband’s territory.

John Locke said it perfectly when referring to one of his novels. “…Who’s gonna get hurt if you brake a flippin’ rule once in awhile? I get a lot of criticism from purists for my writing, but I can live with it, because English teachers aren’t my target audience. Not all English teachers. Just the cool ones…”

I’m grateful for several authors whose friendship and sage advice over the years has meant so much to me. More than they will ever know. Thank you!

I am so very thankful to all my followers, many friends, and all the other wonderful multi-talented authors I have met on Twitter. You know who you are.

I am also appreciative for all those wonderful people who left such heartfelt comments on my website to my posts, and the many thousands of readers out there who really do enjoy my books and give me great feedback and constructive advice. You are valued!

But most of all, I am grateful for every day that I am lucky enough to wake up and write knowing so many wonderful people who are a part of my life. And as long as my fictional characters, I’m not mentioning any particular names, they know who they are, restrain themselves and stop telling me their dialogue is better than mine, I am good to go.

Be grateful. Life is too short. Give thanks.

Chase your dreams, not someone else’s.

Remember, every day is a blessing. Don’t take them for granted.

 

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The Woman At The Window

Each night the woman sat at her second floor bedroom window. She loved staring out into the darkness. She always did this before going to bed. After a long day she would gaze down at the street, stars, everywhere, because the night was different. During the day things were hectic and noisy. Nights were peaceful and serene. Her husband never chided his hard working and loving wife: whatever made her happy. If sitting at the window at night brought her comfort that was fine with him.

One night as she scanned her and the neighbor’s front yard including the evergreen bushes that divided their two properties, an oddly shaped shadow caught her attention. Something wasn’t right. The end bush, which lay in shadow from the streetlight across the street, appeared altered from the night before. It was larger.

She leaned in, straining her eyes. Was something there? Was she imagining things? Should she wake and tell her husband? She sat very still in her darkened room and waited. It felt like forever, but was merely minutes. Could the larger shadowy shape be a crouching figure hiding there? Instinct kicked in. Better to be safe than sorry.

She woke up her husband. Slowly and still groggy from sleep, he finally came over and took a look. But there was nothing there but shadows. She relayed what she had seen. Her husband had never seen his wife so upset. She was convinced someone had been there and was concerned for the safety of their neighbor, who often came home very late with cash receipts from his store. Trusting his wife’s instincts her husband promised to go to the neighbor’s house and repeat his wife’s story to at least warn their neighbor to be on the lookout just in case.

Another hectic day passed and the woman sat at her window in the dark staring out once again. She sat in relative silence feeling better about warning their neighbor. Had she just imagined that moving shadow? This was such a safe, peaceful, and quiet neighborhood. But then her breath caught. There it was again: that moving shadow behind that same bush. Something was definitely there. Before she could react, a familiar car drove up the street and turned into the driveway next door. Her neighbor. Her eyes darted back to that bush. The shadow moved. Her eyes shot back to her neighbor’s car, as a police car pulled up and a scuffle ensued.

The next day her neighbor couldn’t thank her enough for warning him to be on the lookout. Her instincts were right. That moving shadow she’d seen behind the bush wasn’t the wind ruffling the branches, but an armed man waiting to rob him.

That woman, my mother, always loved sitting at her window staring out at night…

With Sam, the female sleuth in my Samantha Jamison Mystery Series, I continually stress, trust your instincts. Let them guide you. You know yourself better than anyone else. When something doesn’t feel right, don’t be complacent. Do something. Pay attention to your inner voice. Let that guide you. I did in my memoir, The Rivera Is Burning.

Remember, everyday is a blessing. Don’t take any of them for granted.

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Life lessons: Have a plan, a 2nd plan, a 3rd plan, and most of all, have patience.

Out of my three boys, I guess I expected my third son to have the no problems adjusting to nursery school. But then children are unpredictable, aren’t they? He was the house tuffy, independent, refused to cry, and would take on anyone any size. He was a joker and loved to put you on. I guess that’s because he always had to fight for whatever he wanted because he was the youngest of my three boys.

So it was a shocker when we went to his first day of preschool, he suddenly decided he wasn’t getting out of the car.

This couldn’t be my independent youngest saying this!

After some convincing, I finally coaxed him to the classroom door. He hesitated in front of it, but as other parents brought their children inside, somehow we were maneuvered into the classroom in the shuffle. You’d think it was a snake pit from the look on his face. I knew I was in for trouble when I felt him grip my leg. That gesture set off alarm bells. I glanced around. Some children were clinging to their mothers, but I could feel mine digging gouges into my leg.

We placed his lunch in a cubby. Then I quickly walked around with him showing him all the nifty things there were in the classroom and how fun it was all going to be.

Then the teacher announced, “Well, it’s time for the parents to go now.”

He glanced up at me then calmly walked over to his cubby, pick up his lunchbox, came back to me, and nonchalantly announced without stopping, “I think I’m going home now,” and headed for the door. I made a mad dash and blocked him. All of a sudden it wasn’t a three year old I was dealing with, it was a football linebacker as he tried to make a break for it.

All I heard was a firm, “I’m. Not. Staying.” Then tears began trailing down his cheeks. He gripped my leg again when the teacher approached, saying things would settle down and maybe I should go. She gently pried his fingers from me and firmly, but lovingly, escorted him away. My last glance back I caught him aim a kick at her shin, but she expertly dodged it and patiently smiled down at him, talking a blue streak.

I was on pins and needles eyeing my phone all day, but no 911 call came.

When I arrived for pickup later that day, the teacher explained what bewildered everyone was that after he cried for thirty minutes he was an excellent student in every possible way. Maybe we should try another approach the next morning to make separation from me less traumatic. She suggested I stay longer until he became acclimated to his new environment.

Well, after delaying my exit the next day, every time I rose, so did he. Every time I started to walk slowly to the door, so did he. Final result? A teary encounter.

The subsequent morning as I eyed the exit, the teacher said to my son and another child, “I need help carrying some lunch boxes to the kitchen today. Please help.”

So my son picked up two boxes, turned to me and said, “Aren’t you coming?”

I told him, “No, parents have to wait out here.”

He turned every three or four steps to see if I was still there all the way back to the kitchen. Then when they were out of sight, another teacher waved me out. I raced to my car and drove out: guilt trailing all the way, realizing I couldn’t stay there all day.

Later on, the teacher informed me that when they came out from the kitchen, he registered shock and made a run for the parking lot to look for my car. She almost had a heart attack, but finally caught up to him just before the main door.

Week one: every possible tactic was tried on both sides.

Originality award: He unraveled all the toilet paper in the bathroom in protest.

It was gridlock as to who would win the nursery school separation battle of wills.

On the first day of week two as we drove to school, I contemplated forgetting the whole idea of nursery school. It wasn’t worth it. But then out of the clear blue sky, my youngest announced, “I think I’m not going to cry today.”

Be still my heart.

He walked into the class holding my hand, asked me to stay for a few minutes, which I did, and then he sat down at his table. I leaned down, gave him a kiss, whispered goodbye, and headed for the door. But then I felt a little tug on my clothes. I turned and held my breath. He stared up at me. My heart sank, as his eyes turned a little teary. But then he reached up and gave me another kiss and hug then walked back to his seat. Now I was teary-eyed as the teacher winked and closed the door between us. I waved through the glass panel of the door, so proud of my youngest.

I walked to my car beaming with relief. This battle was over. I had at least two years to prepare him for riding on a school bus. I stopped dead in my tracks.

He’d be two years older, stronger and faster, wouldn’t he?

 

P.S. Life lessons: Have a plan, a 2nd plan, a 3rd plan, and most of all, have patience.

 

As an author I try and plan for every scenario, twist, and stumbling block when weaving my mysteries. I have a basic goal in mind and don’t give up. I keep trying different scenarios until it works out. Of course that’s easier said than done on some days. My mantra to my protagonist, Sam, the female sleuth of my Samantha Jamison Mystery Series: Expect the unexpected. And even though the two of us constantly fight over dialogue, we manage to reach détente by the end of the book.

My delete tab warning works like a charm every time…

 

Remember, everyday is a blessing. Don’t take any of them for granted.

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Inspiration from my repertoire of visuals, scenes and dialogue

The Spiderman Party

 Okay, so we thought, since our son (first born of three sons) was crazy for Spiderman, it would be a natural to have that as the theme for his 4th birthday. So we set about buying and ordering the invitations, napkins, paper plates, you name it, everything had to have the Spiderman theme: including the gift prizes. We even found a woman who made specialty cakes in her home and she agreed to make a spectacular Spiderman cake.

Trust me. Besides that cake, there was red and blue everywhere: even the balloons.

Then we hired someone to come to our house to give pony rides to the twenty children at the party. We also bought our son a cowboy hat to wear as the first rider on the brown and white pony. (I have no idea how this related to Spiderman, but as parents of their first child, it sure seemed like a good idea to save our sanity rather than having all those 4 yr. olds running around going crazy for something to do.)

Games were played, while goodies were consumed from the picnic table in our backyard. The pony rides were out front on our street. We took pictures and presents were opened: one of which was a large figure of Spiderman from us. Spiderman and the pony were a hit. Our son thought his birthday was perfect and couldn’t get much better.

Ah, but as parents we knew better…

As a final surprise for our son, my husband snuck up and decorated his room. He draped webbing everywhere, even up in the corners and by the window with another smaller Spiderman caught up in it. When everyone had gone home, we brought our son upstairs for his “final birthday surprise.”

Well, our son was speechless as he stood at his bedroom door: his mouth hanging open. His eyes darted around nervously. His father then explained in an excited voice, “Wow! Spiderman must have visited your room for your birthday!”

Our son, eyeing all that webbing, froze to the spot, freaked out, started crying, and refused to enter his bedroom.

I knew that look…

No way, no how, was he moving one inch into his room to sleep or otherwise.

“The real Spiderman might come back while I’m sleeping!” he shrieked.

Note to parents: When planning a surprise, try to think through the eyes of your child before telling them that a superhero with superpowers visited their private domain.

I think our son would have tolerated that pony sleeping there a whole lot better.

Note to writers: Draw from past visuals of scenes and dialogue to inspire drama too.

…I remember the time we were tramping through the train station in Brussels on our way to Switzerland to ski. It was called Brussels Nord (also known as Gare du Nord or Noordstation). My 5 yr. old (middle one of three boys) was pulling small luggage on wheels and carrying his grandfather’s expensive camera around his neck. About every few seconds or so, I would turn around to count heads. Three boys and my husband and me. I had turned just before approaching the platform and our 5 yr. old had vanished! I had just done my count! We did find him in seconds, but you get the idea of what was about to take place, right? The frantic yelling (by me) the pandemonium. Imagine the visuals from a panic-stricken mother.

When telling a story I try to incorporate as much visuals and dialogue as I can so the reader can just picture it themselves. A writer should always remember: don’t tell the reader, show them, a rule I try to follow when writing my Samantha Jamison Mystery Series and when I wrote my personal memoir of fleeing from our home on the French Riviera during some devastating fires that swept through one summer, told from my point of view only.

Remember, everyday is a blessing! Treasure them.

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THE RIVIERA IS BURNING – MY MEMOIR

The setting for my 3rd mystery: 86 Avenue du Goulet
TOP 500 REVIEWER: “She makes the reader see it, hear it, smell it, & FEEL it.”
“Truth more terrifying than fiction!”
“Thrillingly reminiscent of Daphne Du Maurier” 
“Fear along with a burning sense of place was riveting.”
https://www.amazon.com/Riviera-Burning-Memoir…/…/ref=sr_1_1… …

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NEW! #11 DIAMONDS ARE NOT A GIRL’S BEST FRIEND

Click image to purchase at Amazon

Who says, ‘Diamonds are a girl’s best friend?’ Don’t believe all those clichés you hear.  If you want a friend, get a dog! Trust me, they are more reliable. Want another piece of advice? Trust, but verify! In this one, nothing is as it seems, as I end up in a double-blind conspiracy, resulting in a gem of a mystery!

CLICK ON COVER TO READ CHAPTER ONE!


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86 Avenue du Goulet

My friend in France said odd things are going on next door. Soon it’s misdirection, hostility, buried secrets, a gardener, a cat lady & house of red light. How do I solve it when I barely speak French? With humor of course! REVIEWERS: “Loved it!” “original style” “protagonist turns around and talks to the reader” “Great read!”
“You come away feeling like you know the people in her books personally.” “This 3rd novel by Peggy is like the first 2, hard to put down!” “I have read everyone of her books and love them all.” “The villain’s identity was a well-kept secret until the end.”
“The third Samantha Jamison Mystery is a fast-moving, unpredictable, totally enjoyable novel.”
“Never saw the end coming! I can’t wait for the next adventure!”
“I love the chaos of getting a result. the Mix of “detectives” is a riot.”
“It’s a somewhat funny romantic mystery. A combination I love!”

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