Category Archives: General

Ah, Paris… We’re sleeping where?

peggyAt first, I was leery, but traveling through Europe by car had been fun.

My husband said, “We don’t need hotel reservations. We’ll be just fine.”

So far, it had worked, just fine. We had been traveling (in a small rental car) from Luxembourg, Belgium, making pit stops (we had 3 small children with us) so you get the picture. Trust me, we were all tired and slightly claustrophobic after three weeks, but were happy. We arrived in Paris (our last major stop) at noon that day to find a hotel quickly so we could sightsee the rest of the day. Easier said than done.

We went from hotel to hotel: no rooms. We started at the lower priced. Slowly, it went higher and higher. By 6PM, my husband would’ve settled for anything with a bed. No go. By 11PM, we were all dizzy, tired and getting slightly grouchy and about to give up when my husband came running back to our car saying he found a room. Cheering with what little energy we had left, we all dragged our luggage into the four-story quaint hotel. Since it was the rule of the hotel, my husband had to pay in advance. And since it was located in the center of Paris and located in a nice area, it was perfect. It was their last room available. Just one snag: the elevator was broken.

So my three sons and I carried up the lighter luggage. My husband would bring up the heaviest after he paid for our room. The stairs were narrow and winding. We were on the fourth floor. I think this was when I started to have some reservations of my own about this hotel, but I was exhausted and so were the kids. Out of breath, the four of us finally dropped our luggage just inside the door to our room.

As we ventured further in, my son said, “Mom, what are those things on the walls?”

I walked closer. Creatures, bugs …whatever! Ugh!

“Don’t move!” I ordered, as I walked over and peeked into the bathroom. There were bugs crawling all over the place: walls, tub, etc. I whipped around in time to catch my other son about to throw himself onto the bed. I yelled, “No!” He stepped back as I gingerly pulled the sheets back. …Bed bugs! “Out! Out!” I ordered, as I ushered the boys out of the room with their bags. “Now!”

Halfway down the stairs, we met my husband, (sweating profusely) lugging those heavier pieces up. I gave him the death glare. “Don’t even bother! We are not staying here. We are leaving. Now!”

His head whipped around, as I kept moving downward. “But I already paid….”

“Then get a refund! The room is infested with bugs crawling everywhere!”

“Are you sure?” he asked, glancing back hopefully toward what (was) our room.

I gave him the death glare again.

“How am I going to explain this to the manager? He doesn’t speak any English.”

My husband followed us, marching down to speak with the manager. What transpired was a lot of screaming in rapid English then French, while my husband shook his head no. (I must explain we didn’t know French back then. We hadn’t purchased our home in the south of France for several years yet.) But we were extremely fluent in English. So everything was lost in translation and the shaking of heads, as my husband went through the motions of moving his fingers like legs walking all over, trying to explain the bugs on the walls, tub, beds, etc. I stood there with our three sons while  my husband imitated his best French, saying, “infeeestaaasseeoon!”

Finally, the shocked manager got the message then began swearing passionately, like my husband had just insulted his mother. I covered my smallest’s ears as I marched them back outside to our parked car. After several minutes ticked by, my husband joined us, slamming the door closed. He then turned to me with a smile, holding up his refund.

I frowned after checking my watch. “Now, where? It’s after midnight.”

Exhausted, we circled Paris again, my husband stopped again, we waited again.

“That’s the last straw,” said my husband getting back into the car at the last stop.

“So, where to now?” I asked.

“I’m pulling into the first open parking space I can find, that’s what,” he announced.

And he did: directly under the Eiffel Tower. (This was pre 9/11) Then he turned the car lights off, saying, “Everyone get comfortable and get some sleep.”

I turned to him. “We’re sleeping in this economy car …here with three children?”

“How was I supposed to know there are three major conventions going on in Paris?”

After some moaning and groaning, everyone settled in. I was almost asleep when a small voice said from the backseat, “I have to go…real bad.”

My husband eyed me then we both looked over to that tower and back to each other.

“There are more shadows over there. Besides, he’s only 3 ½ yrs. old…”

Afterward, we settled down once again and covered ourselves with our jackets. We did see the gendarme go by a few times, but they never stopped, just smiled at us and kept going. I guess we weren’t the only one’s without a hotel room because no one bothered us all night.

Lesson learned: we never traveled again without reservations well in advance.

Now during the holidays when the whole family gathers around the table and old family stories are retold, the boys always ask, “Did you make hotel reservations, Dad?”

Now, he laughs, “Very funny…”

Did I ever tell you about the time I had to use a hotel toothbrush for the bottom of my children’s sneakers one trip? You see, they had this petting zoo… 

…And people ask where I get my inspiration and imagination from for my mysteries.

Ha! 

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The Bat

peggyThis family story took place at our house during these recent holidays. As usual, the whole family showed up Christmas Eve for food and fun. It was a wonderful time with pictures taken, family stories retold of family pranks from years past. And before we knew it the hour was late: little ones needed to go to bed, older ones were exhausted, so we all decided to call it a night.

There was a constant stream of family filing out the side door with goodies and gifts to take home and hugs and kisses were exchanged. My husband and I sighed from happiness and exhaustion as the last one filed out. We turned out the lights and made our way up the stairs to our bedroom delighted everyone had a great time.

Two days later I was walking up our stairway to our bedroom busy reading a card I received from a friend, turned, opened our bedroom door and then shut it.

I heard my husband yell from downstairs, “Holy **** There’s a bat in the house!”

I stopped cold and peeked out, yelling, “…What? …Where?”

He said, “It just flew down our bedroom stairway.”

I sucked in air. I had just walked up those stairs reading my note and had walked right passed it. My mind wouldn’t accept that and I yelled back reassuringly, “It was probably a bird.” I could deal with a bird. A bat? Uh-uh.

“I know the difference between a bat and a bird!” he retorted.

Then panicky thoughts gripped me. Could it be rabid? Where in the world did it come from: one of the fireplace chimneys’? No, we had screened caps on them.

I yelled to him from behind the safety of our bedroom door, “Well, where is it now?”

He called up to me, “When I approached the first step it flew passed me over my head. I don’t know where it went! I don’t see it anywhere down here.”

Well, there are only two rooms in that area: my office and his then the hallway that leads from his office out to the rest of the house. I cautiously made my way down the steps and we both searched our two offices from top to bottom: He did the heavy lifting and moving, while I gave instructions. Isn’t that the way it’s supposed to be?

We then proceeded to check the rest of the house and were walking back to our offices when I spied the basement door standing wide open.

“Let’s go,” said my husband. “We need to check down there too.”

I stared at him like he had two heads. “What do you mean, we?”

He gave me a look. “You’re kidding, right? You write murder mysteries!”

Then I gritted my teeth and gestured, “You first, my good man. I’ve got your back.”

He shook his head and I followed closely. You guessed it. No bat. So we reluctantly made our way back up to our bedroom. I firmly shut our stairway door to our room behind us and kept asking, “Are you sure it wasn’t a bird?”

All I got back was, “Remember our barn in New Hampshire?”

He was right, of course. We had a horse farm in New Hampshire a while back with a large barn, and bats were always congregating in the cupola. He could identify one.

Several days passed. Though we searched when we could, we never saw it again.

One night after bathing and watching the news on TV we were making our way up through his office when I said. “Oh! I almost forgot. I left my laptop on. Let me go and shut it off.” I turned on my lights by the stairway and guess what flew right in front of me across my office? You guessed it, that bat. I started screaming like a wild woman. I think they heard me all the way in California.

I raced out and smacked right into my husband rushing in. “Help! Get it out! I can’t believe I have been going in and out of my office all night to check emails and that creature was in there with me. Find it and get rid of it before it disappears again!”

My husband approached my office door and walked through, while I followed peeking over his shoulder. He turned on all the overhead lights and that bat went crazy flying across my office. I screamed again and promptly slammed my office door shut leaving my husband in my office with me yelling, “Don’t let him escape!”

I heard all kinds of commotion then nothing. Then I heard, “I can’t find him.”

I was leaning against the door dumbfounded. “…What! He’s got to be in there!”

“Well, he’s not here anywhere.”

I whipped the door open. “We can’t just leave him in here. That’s way too creepy.”

“I agree,” he said. You’ll have bat shit and urine all over here in no time.”

Then I recalled the last week. Where did he go in our house all that time? Ugh…

After a few minutes my husband said, “We might as well go up to bed. He’s not here.”

I looked back at him. “Over my dead body. You expect me to write in there?”

I couldn’t even muster up the thought of him relieving himself in there either.

My husband looked at me and smirked, daring me to come up with an alternative.

I marched passed him entering my office. “We are finding him together and tonight!”

My husband grabbed a flashlight and started peeking under furniture, behind my bookcase. Me? I’m a Virgo: very methodical. I started on the first thing on the perimeter of my room: blinds first, nothing. Next, my closed drapes. While keeping my body as far away as I could, I reached out and vigorously shook the heavy drapes back and forth. Out tumbled the bat rolling onto my floor. He went airborne and so did I, right out of my office slamming the door firmly behind me.

“Get him out! I know you can see him now!” I shouted.

I heard more commotion and cursing from the other side. I wasn’t sure if it was my husband or the bat. I was so proud of my brave husband duking it out in there. Of course I was hanging onto the doorknob tightly. So even if he did try to open it he couldn’t. He had a job to do and by golly he was going to do it that night.

“Grab a towel from my powder room in there and trap him in it,” I suggested.

I heard more commotion: one of my French doors opening and crunching footsteps outside then that door closing again. Oh, I forgot to mention it had snowed heavily, was below freezing and my husband was wearing only his pajamas and slippers.

Suddenly the door separating us was ripped from my grasp. My husband stood there grinning, his face flushed from the freezing cold and his victory. “He’s out.”

I jumped into his arms and kept kissing him, saying, “My hero has done it again.”

My husband earned the title of Batman as I kissed him again in thanks. We aired out my office for several few days regardless of the frigid weather. The smell that was in there… We never found stains anywhere in my office only that foul odor.

I must admit that this family story rivaled many others: the Crazed Woodpecker one, the Plague of the Crickets, The Attack Of The Skunks story, My Son Riding Into The Sunset On The Back of Our Sheep, Sleeping In Our Car Under The Eiffel Tower one and The Dog Locking My Husband Out In The Pouring Rain From His F150 Truck story… Oh, and their was that time…

Remember, everyday is a blessing. Don’t take it for granted.

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I Remember

peggy I remember when I was a little girl sitting on the piano bench next to my mother, my legs swinging freely because they were too short to reach the floor, enthralled, watching her hands float over the ivory keys, hearing her soprano voice singing along, and being transported to another place by the sheer pleasure of it.

I remember my father nurturing and tending his irises, grapevines, and fruit trees when he wasn’t working. I always preferred playing hide and seek with my friends in my yard because I would always sneak behind the grape trellis and pluck away at the grapes as fast as I could, hoping no one would find me. Afterward, I would sit in the crook of a fruit tree, my legs dangling, biting into a pear or peach, and then wipe my sticky hands on the grass and running to my next adventure.

I remember my mother cutting a small bouquet from her numerous rose bushes still wet from the morning dew and wrapping them with wax paper for me to take to my teacher.

I remember in the summer sitting on the back porch step with a freshly-plucked ripe tomato from my father’s garden, sprinkling salt on top, and taking that first bite as the juices squirted all over me and giggling from the wonderful taste.

I remember my mother never wrote down recipes, not even her favorites. So when I was older, I had her sit down and list the ingredients and instructions, which I promptly filed away, only to laugh years later when I was newly married and finally read them. It was trial and error on my husband’s palate, experimenting with her ‘touch of this and handful of that, with a pinch on top’ until I got it just right.

I remember reclining on the grass under the massive oak trees in our backyard daydreaming and reading my favorite book of the moment, being carried to another world, totally captivated, and thankful the library kept me well supplied.

I remember my father always had a book in his hand, too, whether it was historical, biographical, or a scientific journal while I sat in his lap pretending I was reading it, too. He would often read three books, alternating from one to the other. Love for the written word was passed from father, to daughter, to my three children.

I remember racing my bicycle down the hill of our street throwing my hands up in the air and feeling the wind rake it’s fingers through my hair, tossing it in all different directions. It was exciting to feel free and race against the wind. To this day, the small scars on my knees are a constant reminder of those thrill-seeking rides that occasionally ended with me spread-eagled on a neighbor’s lawn, laughing.

I remember the joy, the heartache, the laughter, the pain, and the numerous celebrations of the births and deaths of the lives of those I’ve loved and lost.

I remember the birth of my three sons like it was yesterday.

I remember reaching the goals I set for myself, and those I never met.

I try to remember to stay humble and gracious to those who believe in me.

It is important for me to remember, to look back, to remind myself never to forget what molded me into exactly who I am today so I will always try to keep my adventurous spirit, my fearlessness, and my love of life.

And most of all, I try to remember what is important and what is not.

Chase your dreams and remember everyday is a blessing.

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Recalling Preschool

peggyOut of my three boys, I guess I expected my third son to have the easiest time in adjusting to nursery school. But then children sure are unpredictable. You see, he was the house tuffy, independent, hated to cry and would take on anyone any size. He was a joker and loved to put you on. I guess 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! I said to myself, this couldn’t be my youngest saying this! After some convincing, I finally coaxed him to the classroom door. He hesitated in front of it, but all the other mothers were bringing in their children and somehow we were maneuvered into the classroom.

You’d think it was a snake pit from the look on his face. I said to myself, I think I’m in for trouble. Right away I felt him grab my leg. That gesture did not make things look very promising for the next few minutes. I felt myself growing tense. Some children were clinging to their mothers, but I could feel mine digging trenches in my leg with his fingernails, like he was getting ready for an attack.

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

The whole time after placing his lunch in a cubby, I had been trying to convince him of all the nifty things there were in the classroom and how wonderful it was. I could see by the look on his face it wasn’t having any effect on him at all.

He just marched over to the little cubby, picked up his lunchbox and nonchalantly announced to me, “I think I’m going home now,” and then proceeded to head for the door. I made a mad dash for it and blocked him. All of a sudden it wasn’t a three year old I was dealing with, it was a football linebacker.

Where did all this strength come from?

All I heard was, “I’m not staying!” Then came the torrent of tears.

The teacher decided the best thing to do was for me to make a quick break and he would settle down in five minutes. She then proceeded to pry his fingers from me and grab him, kicking and screaming. My last glance back, I saw him kicking the poor teacher, who deserved a medal for sheer perseverance.

When I picked my son up at the end of the day, the teacher explained that maybe we should try another approach the next morning, as he had cried for thirty minutes after I had left. She suggested I stay for awhile until he was comfortable with the classroom. Well after staying 45 minutes the next morning, every time I rose, so did my son. Every time I started to walk slowly to the door, so did he. The teacher finally said to leave and there was crying once again.

The subsequent morning after that the teacher said to my son and another child, “I need help carrying the lunch boxes to the kitchen not the cubbies. Please help.”

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

I told him, “No, mommies have to wait 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 on. I raced to my car and drove out: guilt trailing me all the way.

The next day his teacher informed me that when they came 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. She finally caught up to him out front.

Needless to say, we scratched that approach.

So after the first week we had tried every tactic imaginable and nothing worked: he still cried. The funny thing was that after the initial crying, the teacher said he was just fine. He was an excellent student in every possible way. She loved him.

I felt so guilty leaving him to the enemy. Was I being cruel by continuing to send him? Boy, I really felt bad.

Then one morning as we were driving to school, out of the clear blue sky, my youngest announced, “I think I’m not going to cry today.”

I tensed. What does he have planned for today?

To my shock, 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 said goodbye and gave him a kiss and headed for the door. Then I felt a little tug on my clothes, turned and saw him staring up at me. My heart sank. He eyes were a little teary. He reached up and gave me another kiss and hug then calmly walked back to his seat. I was so proud of him. I waved through the glass partition in the classroom door and left teary-eyed.

I slowly walked to my car smiling, thinking well at least I still have two more years to prepare him for getting on a school bus.

I paused.

I didn’t like what I envisioned. He’d be two years older, stronger and faster.

I mumbled, “I wonder if I should start preparing him now?”

P.S. A life lesson I still hold with me today: Have a plan, have a 2nd plan, have a 3rd plan, etc…you get the idea. As an author this taught me to try and plan for every scenario and twist when weaving my mysteries. Have a game plan. Don’t give up. Keep trying. Eventually it will all work out. Of course this is probably much easier said than done on some days. My mantra to my protagonist, Samantha Jamison: expect the unexpected. (We constantly fight over dialogue) That threat of my delete tab works like a charm…

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The Snake

peggyMy three young boys were playing by our small waterfall moving large rocks at our log home in Highlands, NC (the setting for my first mystery, Volume 1, The Puzzle). They were hard at work hauling and dragging rocks to build a dam. My oldest son said his younger brother suddenly yelled out, “There’s a gigantic snake!” After getting a good look at it, our oldest son ran as fast as he could to go for help. I was in the kitchen baking cookies. He already knew how I felt about snakes and went straight for his father. My husband took the news in stride. He knew kid’s imaginations. They always exaggerated the size of things. He took his time strolling down that dirt road on our property wondering what kind of garden snake they managed to uncover.

 

He approached smiling, but then did a double take, stopping dead in his tracks. That snake was well over twelve feet long. My husband stepped back a pace and told our oldest son to quickly go back to the house and tell his mother to get his shotgun and cartridges from our locked gun case so he could bring them back to him. Our son ran back, hollering about what was going on. I handed over his father’s unloaded shotgun and he quickly flew through the door. I stared out the window, but they were too far away for me to see clearly. There was no way I was walking out there. I hate snakes.

 

I was told later on that our son gave the gun to my husband, who loaded the shotgun. He then waited so see what the snake would do, as he was undecided about shooting it. It wasn’t acting hostile. The snake then started to slowly slither toward the woods, but then it stopped. It turned around and rose straight up in the air about four feet, like someone was playing a flute then latched onto a branch with its head. It stopped and just stared at my husband at eye level, showing no fear whatsoever. The three boys and my husband could not believe what they were witnessing. My husband considered his dilemma. His young boys played in that spot everyday, and since the snake wasn’t slithering off like it should and wasn’t talking, the snake had to go. My husband didn’t want to take chances. He raised his shotgun and eliminated the potential future threat.

 

My husband then picked up a large branch, draped the snake over it and asked our son to go back to the house to show his mother the snake so I could see sheer the size of it, otherwise, I wouldn’t believe it. Well, I have to tell you it the wrong thing for him to do. I watched our son drag it back all excited. I had a fit. That snake was not entering our house. I beat our son to the door, took one look at how long that thing was, snatched that branch from my son’s hand and ran to the edge of our drive and heaved-ho. That snake went sailing over the cliff, branch and all.

Moral of the story: Be cautious in the forest and pay attention where you walk or place your hands. ….Oh, and anything that remotely threatens the safety of my children better make sure they know how to fly first: dead or alive.

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A Perfectly Deadly French Mystery

86 Avenue du GouletWhen I began the Samantha Jamison Mystery Series, Samantha made her debut as my protagonist in solving her husband’s death in The Puzzle in Highlands, North Carolina. Certain distinctive characters from that book went on to Volume 2, Without Any Warning at the New Jersey shore. When it came time to do the third in the series, 86 Avenue du Goulet Vol. 3, I decided to take everyone to the French Riviera. Why? Well, we had a house there and I thought the property lent itself to make a very intriguing mystery. Continue reading

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The Puzzle Desk

We were moving across town and were selling our smaller place mostly furnished, deciding we’d move the few things we were keeping ourselves. We both had good intentions, but as time wore on with all the packing and unpacking, loading the car and making quick runs back and forth, I found it was all heading south by the third day.

By the fourth day, I was donating, tossing, or leaving behind items I thought I would never part with. All that attachment, especially to the heavier pieces (not worth hiring a mover for) suddenly seemed not worth the effort. Did I really need this? Was it worth lugging several miles? Would it fit in our new place? What did I ever see in that piece in the first place? What was I thinking keeping it all these years?

I never thought I was capable of being so ruthless, but after several days and nights of sore muscles and lack of sleep, I was bordering on the edge. It was sort of like going through your closet and deciding on the keep and the donate piles. After several hours that emotional attachment started to wear pretty thin. All I kept envisioning was the time and effort involved in lugging all that stuff in and out of our SUV.

Normally I was a very easy-going individual, but several days into the big move, I was transformed into Sybil with multiple personalities. Happy, then depressed one minute and near hysteria the next. I wanted all this done. I wasn’t writing and was going toward the dark side from withdrawal. My schedule was no more. I was eating fast food from the drive-thru on the fly. Breakfast, lunch and dinner went by the wayside. Answering emails and twitter went down the toilet as well.

Where did I leave the normally pleasant, cheerful me? Was it in that keep or donate pile? Finally, on the last day for making final decisions about shutting the door one last time on the old and embracing the new, I walked into my old bedroom and there squeezed into the corner sat my desk, my puzzle desk. Yes, you guessed it. That was the desk where I wrote my first mystery, The Puzzle.

It was an old desk with multiple secret compartments. After a while, I thought I’d found them all, but I always managed to find another when I swore there were no more to be discovered. Just like in my mystery, The Puzzle, another secret was revealed. It was where I sat hour after hour: happy, sad, frustrated, brain blocked, pounding out clues and dialogue. I stood there just staring at it, but then decided that since I had moved onto other mysteries and embraced new horizons, that maybe my desk should too. Why not let someone else discover and unlock all those secrets just waiting to be revealed?

Besides, it was very, very heavy…

…It was day number eleven of our big move and the last of what we were taking with us was finally at the new house. We were on our way back from the store, when we decided to stop at the old place for one last look. I walked in and stopped dead in my tracks. Staring at me was The Puzzle desk. I looked at my husband and sighed…

“Can we make one more trip?”

Post Script:

We found an additional surprise puzzle piece when we went to lift (lug) it into the back of our SUV. The desk magically slid apart and separated into two large pieces, which made it not the heavy piece we originally thought to be! What a surprise! We stood there gaping and then laughed. Another puzzle piece was discovered, which cemented the deal to take it with us. Everytime I pass that desk to this day I smile, glad I brought my friend with me. Who knows there might be another surprise lurking somewhere in this old gal.

Chase your dreams and remember, everyday is a blessing.

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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 know it goes without saying that I love 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 them, nevertheless. Continue reading

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Suzanne Jenkins Interviews Author Peggy Edelheit

The Savant of Chelsea author Suzanne Jenkins interviews author Peggy Edelheit about her sleuth Samantha Jamison mystery novels.

Suzanne is a terrific Author of several books: The Greeks of Beaubien Street,  Pam of Babylon Trilogy, The Greeks of Beaubien Street, Someone Like You, The Tao Pam. Her website is: http://suzannejenkins.net Please check her out.

 

peggyInterview

Author: Peggy A. Edelheit

I have always loved the written word and have been making up and writing stories since I first learned to write, which my parents wholeheartedly encouraged while I was growing up. Although I read and appreciated every genre, mysteries were my preference of choice. I always read late into the night. I had to know how that mystery turned out! Constructing and deconstructing the mystery always intrigued me. Later as an adult, after ignoring certain voices in my head that began intruding on my daily life, I finally let those voices have their say. Sam sort of jumped out to the forefront. (I’m afraid there might be a lot of me in there too…chuckle)

I’ve been extremely lucky to travel abroad with my family over the years and have drawn from those travels and experiences for my writing. We had a home in the south of France, which was the perfect backdrop for 86 Avenue du Goulet, Volume 3 in my Samantha Jamison Mystery Series. That home was also the location for Volume 5.5, my French Memoir, The Riviera Is Burning. It’s my true story about how we fled the French Riviera wildfires one summer when they raged out of control. I can still see those flames. It was a frightening experience I wanted to share with my readers.

I have been blessed with three wonderful sons and live with my husband and Miniature Schnauzer, Sam. I spend time in both Bucks County, PA and South Florida.

 

The Samantha Jamison Mystery Series, Volumes 1-6, is a Mystery/Thriller series about an author, Samantha Jamison, aka Sam, who writes about how she gets caught up in unexpected mysteries, a kind of story within a story with a touch of humor. They are all written in the first person, so the reader has the same disadvantage as Sam, who is always turning around and talking to them and will sometimes ask the reader what they think is going on so they get involved in solving it with her. She confides in them. Maintaining my reader’s interest is important. If you lose your reader they will move onto another book and may not come back. With that in mind I try to keep my mysteries fast-paced page-turners with unusual twists and turns, and of course, my signature surprise endings.

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Peggy-A.-Edelheit/e/B004RB75NS/

 

Samantha made her debut as my protagonist in Volume 1, The Puzzle, which takes place in Highlands, North Carolina. As a widow, Samantha Jamison, an author, revisits her husband’s past to solve the mystery surrounding his questionable death. She is a reluctant sleuth having always lived in the shadow of her husband. The reader is shown how Samantha grows and changes both as a woman and author while doggedly pursuing the truth no matter the consequences. Originally, The Puzzle was meant to be a standalone book, but by the end of the book, I realized I wasn’t finished telling Sam’s story. It would continue in a series. Sam decides she enjoys and is fairly good at solving mysteries. Because I once owned a log home in Highlands, it was a great location to write that first mystery with those beautiful but mysterious mountains as a backdrop. I used to sit out on our back porch daydreaming what a great isolated place for a writer to get caught up in her own mystery. Events in that book did happen including that frightening ice storm.

 

I try to write everyday. There may be times when nothing is developing the way I like it, but I keep typing anyway trying not to lose momentum. I’ve even deleted whole sections of a chapter if it doesn’t feel right to me. I don’t outline. Like I’ve said many times before, I like to compare it to throwing food against the wall to see what sticks. Some days nothing sticks, but I keep typing. I swap dialogue between characters too. The important thing is don’t stop. When a character suddenly dominates the conversation or the crew does, and they often do, I can’t type fast enough, wishing sometimes they would slow down so I can get exactly what they are saying, yelling stop!

 

My personal workspace is everything. In other words, I surround myself with what I love: family photos and events, memorabilia that elicits a smile or laugh whenever it catches my eye. I’m a firm believer in surrounding yourself with a comfort zone environment. I find it’s a great atmosphere for writing. It is my space and no one else’s. I have a mug sitting on the shelf behind me. It says: Careful, you may end up in my novel. (They do!)

 

I can honestly say that no particular author has influenced me more than another. I love a well-written story that grabs me the minute I start to read it regardless of the genre. But somehow, I always seem to drift back to mysteries and how complex they are. I love trying to figure them out. Samantha is always repeating to her “crew” in the series to always expect the unexpected.

 

With The Puzzle I tried to convey how Samantha felt: her scattered, rambling thought process connected to her fear, anxieties and hopelessness in the loss of her husband, her marriage, and her life, which she discovers was all a façade from what she thought she actually had, hence her rambling on the pages and her anxious, incoherent thoughts, constant questions and second-guessing herself. As the mystery progresses Sam evolves, gaining confidence and becomes a stronger personality. Much to her surprise, she becomes obsessed just like her husband was as she searches for the truth to The Puzzle.

 

Digital books seem to be outpacing physical books in sales everywhere. 99.9% of my sales are digital. All I see when I travel are digital readers. I find it much easier to travel with one device rather than several books, which are cumbersome. I love my large Kindle fire HD. As a lover of words, I quickly became a convert once I got my hands on one. As an author, forgive the pun: I saw the writing on the wall. After Volume 4 in my Samantha Jamison mystery series, I used digital format only. So far I am pleased with my decision.

 

New authors constantly ask me about any advice. First and foremost, don’t give up. It you have your heart set on writing then do it, even if you have to write early in the morning, late in the evening or during your lunch hour. Follow your dreams. Anything is possible. Sacrifice is a part of success. Don’t let other’s discourage you. Keep trying. Keep writing until you get it right. Read other authors to see what they are doing right. Proofread like crazy until it reads smoothly then use a professional EDITOR! A good editor will tell you what you should hear not what you want to hear. Once you get the book back from them make corrections, reread several times to make it flow. A beta reader helps or several. You might not like some of their feedback, but they are worth it. Then send it off to be published. Have your covers express exactly what you want to convey to the reader. You might have a great cover, but you better have a great story too.

 

I’m currently working on my next book in my Samantha Jamison Mystery Series

Volume 7 (Name? Ah! Another mystery!)

Here’s a tease:

“Listen, I’m no detective or sleuth, I’m just an author.”

I knew some readers out there may not like my personal writing style, but this was taking it too far: almost surreal. I pinched myself hard just to make sure this was happening.

“Ouch!” I yelled.

…I’ll never write a book that pleases everyone.

“Hey, read the parts you like,” I said rubbing my arm.

“Are you crazy?” he asked, like I was the nut. I heard some authors are flaky, but you? I had no idea.”

…Everybody’s a critic.

  

Other Books by Peggy A. Edelheit

The Samantha Jamison Mystery Series & A French Memoir

Amazon Author Page

http://www.amazon.com/Peggy-A.-Edelheit/e/B004RB75NS

 

The Puzzle 

 

The Puzzle (Volume 1) Takes place in Highlands, NC

http://t.co/q2WqMCsK

 

 

 

 

 

 

Without Any Warning

 

 

Without Any Warning (Volume 2) Takes place in Ocean City, NJ

http://t.co/iaWjd5UX

 

 

 

 

 

86 Avenue du Goulet

 

 

86 Avenue du Goulet (Volume 3) Takes place on the French Rivera

http://t.co/Zqs5277b

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Lethal Time

 

 

A Lethal Time (Volume 4) Takes place during Motorcycle Week in Laconia, NH

http://t.co/fzR72h99

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mouth Of The Rat by Peggy Edelheit

 

 

Mouth Of The Rat (Volume 5) Takes place in Boca Raton, FL

http://t.co/S7NrAJikFr

 

 

 

 

 

Riviera-burning

 

 

A Samantha Jamison Detour: My true French Memoir: Takes place on the French Riviera

The Riviera is Burning (Volume 5.5)

http://t.co/QYU3edNBYw

 

 

 

Walk on a roof edge

 

 

Death Knell in the Alps (Volume 6 Takes place in Grindelwald, Switzerland

http://t.co/3g3OEjcUPt

 

 

 

For my blogs and excerpts of my books please stop on by to say hi!

 

My Samantha Jamison website is:  http://samanthajamison.com/

 

I’m also on Twitter: @samanthajamison.com

 

Remember: Chase your dreams, not someone else’s!

 

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Friends

According to one definition, a friend is a person with whom one has a bond of mutual affection, typically exclusive of sexual or family relations. That is true enough, but that obviously does not always apply, depending on the circumstances. My husband is my friend. When my parents were still living, we were friends. I consider my three sons my friends. I am also lucky enough to have male and female friends as well. Continue reading

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