Author Webpage


Be sure to stop by my author page from time to time

In the meantime, while you're here, pull up a chair, pour yourself a cup of coffee or a cuppa tea, have a piece of pie and always feel free to speak your mind, and your heart, here at Meanderings and Muses.

Friday, May 31, 2013

High Country Festival of the Book




Mark your calendars - The High Country Festival of the Book - June 21 & 22! Right here in Boone, North Carolina! If you're able to attend, please come by and say "Hey!" Read all about it here - http://www.highcountryfestivalofthebook.com/

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The Road Less Traveled



Sometimes it's just a good idea to take a turn and drive down a road you've never been down before.  There can be surprises, and they can be lovely.





 
 
 









The Road Less Traveled
by George Strait


There's a road a winding road that never ends
Full of curves lessons learned at every bend
Goin's rough unlike the straight and narrow
It's for those who go against the grain
Have no fear dare to dream of a change live to march to the beat of a
different drummer
And it all might come together
And it all might unraveled
On the road less traveled

For the road less traveled ain't for the faint of heart
For those who choose to play it safe and never stray too far
Me I want to live my life and one day leave my mark
And it all might come together
And it all come unraveled
On the road less traveled

I've chosen a pathway I may not endure
One thing's for certain nothing for sure
And it all might come together
And it all might come unraveled
On the road less traveled

For the road less traveled ain't for the faint of heart
For those who choose to play it safe and never stray too far
Me I want to live my life and one day leave my mark
And it all might come together
And it all come unraveled
On the road less traveled

There's a road winding road that never ends

Friday, May 24, 2013

Get Whimsey for Free - this weekend only!




I'm having a Memorial Day Weekend Promotion Event for WHIMSEY: A NOVEL. 

The Kindle version will be available for free (Kindle Only!) at amazon.com beginning May 25 starting at approximately 12:00 AM Pacific Standard Time, ending at approximately 11:59 PM Pacific Standard Time on May 26. 

Enjoy!!  And Spread the Word!

Happy Memorial Day, everyone.  Let's remember to honor those who have served.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Final Week of the Whimsey Give-Away



Goodreads Book Giveaway

Whimsey by Kaye Wilkinson Barley

Whimsey

by Kaye Wilkinson Barley

Giveaway ends May 25, 2013.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win

Saturday, May 18, 2013

The '60s by Reed Farrel Coleman

Called a hard-boiled poet by NPR’s Maureen Corrigan and the “noir poet laureate” in the Huffington Post, Reed Farrel Coleman has published sixteen novels. He is a three-time recipient of the Shamus Award for Best PI Novel of the Year and a two-time Edgar Award nominee. He has also won the Macavity, Barry, and anthony Awards. Reed is an adjunct instructor at Hofstra University and a founding member of Mystery Writers of America University. He lives with his family on Long Island.




 









The ‘60s
by Reed Farrel Colemen

In writing my latest and penultimate Moe Prager Mystery, Onion Street, one of my biggest challenges was to try to bring the ‘60s to life for my readers without getting kitschy or campy. It is too easy for artists to reduce a significant historical era to popular touchstones and icons and no era, I think, is more easily reduced to such things than the ‘60s. Whereas shows like Mad Men labor to get things just right and are very successful at doing so, I’ve found most books, TV shows, and movies not from that era tend to go for the clichés. All kids wear love beads, granny glasses, bell bottoms, and sandals. They all make the peace sign by putting their index and middle fingers into Vees or pump their fists and say, “Right on!” or “Power to the people!” or “Groovy.” or “Hey, man, you’re bringing me down.” or “Cool it. Here comes the Fuzz.” or “I had a bad trip, baby.” They only listen to the Beatles, Bob Dylan, or the Doors. Their rooms are covered in Peter Max posters and the boys all burn their draft cards. Fathers always wear white shirts with skinny black ties. They have brush cuts and go to work at jobs in defense plants. Moms wear floral printed frocks, vacuum the house, smoke cigarettes, and drink too much. It’s all just silliness. If everyone burned their draft cards, how did we manage to get 55,000 American sons and daughters killed in Vietnam?

When I think back on it, I am almost breathless at how much turmoil occurred in such a brief period of time. In the first part of 1968 alone, there was the Pueblo incident, the Tet Offensive, Apollo missions 5 and 6, and the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr., and Bobby Kennedy. But as much as we would like to make those days all about the chaos, it’s my job as an artist to hold the mirror up to the reality of the times. The fact is that in spite of it all, my dad got up every morning and went to work. My big brothers went to college every day and I walked to PS 209. My mom cooked and cleaned, spoke on the phone to her sister. Life went on. That’s what I kept reminding myself as I wrote: life went on. Because as horrible or wonderful as all those events were, they didn’t happen in Brooklyn and they didn’t happen to me. The focus of the book was Moe’s world, how he dealt with things in his world. I tried very hard not to lapse into cliché. I hope I was successful.

It’s a good lesson for writers of all stripes. I think the best historical novels are those that focus on the little things, not the broad strokes. Focus on the people, on the characters, not on their trappings. I had a wonderful poetry professor at Brooklyn College named James Merritt. He taught classes in both Romantic and Victorian poetry. One of the things he said that I will never forget is that readers mustn’t ever devalue the feelings of people in the past. That cultures and technologies may change, but feelings are feelings.  I always keep that in mind when I write about the past.    

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Whimsey News!



Today I am a happy girl! 

I went to Amazon to see how Whimsey is doing.


I typed "Lowcountry Novels" in the search box and Whimsey is #15!!!  Yay!!!!  There it is, right behind some of my favorite writers, including Dorothea Benton Frank and Anne Rivers Siddons.

And THEN - to top that - it's #4 in Lowcountry Novels in the Amazon Kindle Store!!!  wow.

Y'all - Life is Good. 

And I thank each of you for supporting me, and Whimsey, from the beginning.  Hugs to you all!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Louise Penny's "How The Light Gets In"

 
 
 
 
 
Many years ago someone at DorothyL mentioned a book by the name of "Still Life" by a new author I'd never heard of.  Louise Penny.
 
I was captivated and spellbound before page 10.  So much so that I ordered the next book, "Dead Cold" from either Canada or the UK because it was being released there before being released in the US a year later under the name "A Fatal Grace."  Same thing the following year for "The Cruelest Month" - and the following year for "The Murder Stone," released in the US under the name "A Rule Against Murder."  Finally, in 2009 Ms. Penny's books started being released in the US at the same time as in Canada, and now under one name universally.  And I was lucky enough to receive an ARC, for which I will be forever grateful.  I'm still receiving ARCs of the Inspector Gamache/Three Pines novels and my life is richer for them. 
 
For each book I've used up my list of superlatives.  Exquisite, elegant, stunning, sublime, delicious.  I've made no secret of the fact that I think Louise Penny hung the moon.  She's thought to be one of the most gracious people in the mystery community by everyone lucky enough to meet her and be welcomed by her beauty and her open arms.
 
So what to say about "How The Light Gets In."  Truthfully, it leaves me speechless.  It's full of phrasing any writer would die to claim as their own.  It made me laugh out loud on one page, only to have me burst into tears of pure emotion two pages later.  I know I keep saying her writing just keeps getting better with each book, but I find it to be true.  I love her writing, and I love her stories.  I feel an attachment to the residents of Three Pines and hope they'll live in the pages of more and more books for many years to come.  There's still much to be learned about each of them.  My only complaint is having to wait so long in between!  (I am such a petty girl).
 
For fans who prefer their Penny in Three Pines, this book's for you. 
 
For those who just love Penny wherever she takes us, you are going to thank her for this one.
 
Most of you who have fallen in love with these books know by now that Louise Penny's books are about terror.  And, to quote what she says about them, they're also about goodness, and kindness.  In this latest entry she gives us a healthy dose of all these things and she touches every emotion with a strength unknown to most writers,, in my most humble opinion.
 
The title "How The Light Gets In" comes from Leonard Cohen's "Anthem."  "Ring the bells that still can ring, Forget your perfect offering, There's a crack in everything, That's how the light gets in."
 
Louise Penny shows the cracks in heartbreaking clarity.  We finish this novel understanding the cracks and bathed in purest light.  I love this book more than I have words to share.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Twenty-Seven Lovely Years

Donald and I celebrate twenty-seven years of marriage today.

I remember sharing Robert Browning's words from his poem Rabbi Ben Ezra -  "grow old along with me, the best is yet to be . . . "




Did we have any idea those words were so, so true?  Of course not.  We were happy, we were in love.  Thoughts of our future were seen through rose colored glasses.

We stood in that small chapel in Smyrna, Georgia and professed our trust in our future together.  In front of God.  In front of family and friends.  It was a perfect day.

But, of course, like any marriage, we have gone through some tough times. 

And we have gone through some of the loveliest of times.

And we have learned so much about one another.  I had no idea the love I felt for this man could grow so much deeper. 

We'll have more tough times ahead of us - and we'll have more of the lovely times, but we now know, without the slightest bit of doubt, we'll have them together - till death do us part.  And that makes the tough times less tough, and the lovely times lovelier.

We laugh, we cry, and we do it together . . . .

And we know that growing old together is the best thing we'll ever do.



My friend Michael has a terrific blog - "It Rains . . .  You Get Wet."  He pointed this one out to me today thinking it might be appropriate for us - and I love it.  Thank you, Michael.

http://le0pard13.com/2013/05/07/music-break-the-great-gatsbys-young-and-beautiful-by-lana-del-rey/





He even included the lyrics - - - which I'd like, in turn, to share with each of you.

I've seen the world
Done it all, had my cake now
Diamonds, brilliant, and Bel-Air now
Hot summer nights mid July
When you and I were forever wild
The crazy days, the city lights
The way you'd play with me like a child
Will you still love me when I'm no longer young and beautiful
Will you still love me when I got nothing but my aching soul
I know you will, I know you will
I know that you will
Will you still love me when I'm no longer beautiful
I've seen the world, lit it up as my stage now
Channeling angels in, the new age now
Hot summer days, rock and roll
The way you'd play for me at your show
And all the ways I got to know
Your pretty face and electric soul
Will you still love me when I'm no longer young and beautiful
Will you still love me when I got nothing but my aching soul
I know you will, I know you will
I know that you will
Will you still love me when I'm no longer beautiful
Dear lord when I get to heaven
Please let me bring my man
When he comes tell me that you'll let him
Father tell me if you can
Oh that grace, oh that body
Oh that face makes me wanna party
He's my sun, he makes me shine like diamonds
Will you still love me when I'm no longer young and beautiful
Will you still love me when I got nothing but my aching soul
I know you will, I know you will
I know that you will
Will you still love me when I'm no longer beautiful
Will you still love me when I'm no longer beautiful
Will you still love me when I'm not young and beautiful


Thursday, May 9, 2013

A Whimsey Give-Away !



Goodreads Book Giveaway

Whimsey by Kaye Wilkinson Barley

Whimsey

by Kaye Wilkinson Barley

Giveaway ends May 25, 2013.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

My Malice Domestic Report

Some of you may have seen my "Oh, Kaye! Goes to Malice" piece at Jungle Red this past Sunday.  This is just an expanded, slightly revised version, with more pictures.

I've just gotten home from Malice Domestic, which is just one big family type house party for the mystery community.  Lots of squeals, lots of hugs, and a few happy tears.

I had a ball - of course - and wanted to share some of it with all of you.

Starting with saying goodbye to Harley Barley at the Greensboro Train Depot.  (He looks totally heartbroken about me leaving, doesn't he?!)





North Carolina hits Union Station - - -
(North Carolina was well represented on the train - me, M'Lou, Molly, Karen, Ruth and Noel)




I adore Union Station - - -








 
 
 
 
We're Here ! ! ! 
 



The spot where many of us spent a huge amount of time having coffee or a drink or just catching up for a chat - even when there wasn't anyone there to serve us anything.  It's all about just catching up with friends.

 
 
Guess What I found in the Dealer's Room??  Kathy Harig of Mystery Loves Company - I love you!!!!!
 
 
 
 
 
I'm always excited to see my buddies from Canada -
Barbara Fradkin, Erika Chase and Mary Jane Maffini



One of the most elegant and gracious women in the mystery community, Louise Penny, interviews the also elegant and gracious Peter Robinson
 
 
 
 
 
 
I adore these women!!! 
Louise Penny and Hank Phillippi Ryan - is it any wonder I'm grinning like I've totally lost my mind? wow.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Hank Phillippi Ryan (wonder if she ever gets tired of being told how beautiful we all think she is?)  interviews the incredible Laurie King.
They had the BEST time and we all enjoyed being a part of this interview.
 
 
 
and here's someone we all love - Hi, Molly Weston!
 
 
 
And I get to connect with my old friend Aubrey Nye Hamilton who I haven't seen since Baltimore B'con.  Way too many years in between visits.
 
 
 
Another woman I think just rocks the world.  Laura Lippman.
(do I look like I'm getting ready to cry?  maybe . . . )
wow
 
 
 
Kathryn Hall Page and Hank Phillippi Ryan introducing Harlan Coben at the auction.
 
 
 
and Laura Lippman at the auction with Hank and Kathryn



and the robot that was part of Laura's auction package.  I really, really, really wanted this robot.  (sob)

 
 
 
 
 
Here's a few more of the items available at the auction - - - 
 




 

 
Here's just a couple of the many choices at the dessert party after the auction


 


Chris Roerden admire Edith Maxwell's earbobs.  The cutest little guns you have ever seen!


 
I could not WAIT to meet this woman face to face!  And she is every bit as adorable as I knew she would be - Stephanie Jaye Evans.
 
 
And - - getting a few pointers, 'cause they'll be running the Toronto B'Con in 2017!
 
 
 
Canadian women - they're everywhere!  Vicki Delany, Mary Jane Maffini and Erika Chase
 
 
 
Another woman I couldn't wait to meet - Larissa Reinhardt and I'm ashamed of myself for not remembering the lovely young woman with Larissa.  She was adorable!
I'll be seeing Larissa again in June - we'll both be at The High Country Festival of the Book.

 
 
Yet another fan girl moment for me - I am Sally Goldenbaum's #1 fan!



My buddies Con Lehane and Maryglenn McCombs



Rochelle Staab


Sally Goldenbaum and Kaitlyn Dunnett aka Kathy Lynn Emerson who is next year's Guest of Honor at Malice (and I have to squeal about this - guess what book Kathy/Kaitlyn told me she was reading??  WHIMSEY!!!)

 

 
Me and Jungle
Red Roberta Isleib aka Lucy Burdette



Jungle Red Rhys Bowen and Dean James



Mary Saums, Marcia Talley and Sara J. Henry
 
 
 
 Neil Plakcy



Liz Zelvin



Harlan Coben, Laura Lippman, Marjorie Flax, Greg Herren and Daniel J. Hale
 
 
Catriona McPherson, Carolyn Hart and Hank Phillippi Ryan


Dana Cameron

 
 
Laurie King and Laura Lippman

 
Daniel Stashower and Peter Lovesey


Joanna Campbell Slan

 
 

and this - THIS was a MAJOR Fan Girl Moment.  I have long loved Phillip DePoy's work and FINALLY got to meet him.  And I'll get to see him again in June, as he'll be one of the authors at The High Country Festival of the Book in Boone, NC.  Wheeeeee!


 

 
 
 
and this is the wonderful water color I bid on and won at the silent auction!  Yay!!!!!





I had intended to go to the Agatha Banquet, but you know - socializing is exhausting for me.  Toss in the fact that every time I turn around I'm seeing another writer I admire and well, truth be told, I was just exhausted.  So, I decided to turn in early - with Sally Goldenbaum's ANGORA ALIBI, a Maryland Crab Cake and my new Alice and the Mad Hatter finger puppets I bought in an attempt to ease the pain of not winning Laura Lippman's robot.
Life is Good.




 


 
 
 
My friend Lesa Holstine posted the Agatha award winners at her blog, and here they are - - -


Best Children's/Young Adult - The Code Busters' Club, Case #2: The Haunted Lighthouse by Penny Warner.

Best First Novel - Lowcountry Boil by Susan M. Boyer

Best Historical Mystery - Dandy Gilver and an Unsuitable Day for a Murder by Catriona McPherson

Best Short Story - "Mischief in Mesopotamia" by Dana Cameron. Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine.

Best Non-Fiction - Books to Die For: The World's Greatest Mystery Writers on the World's Greatest Mystery Novels ed. by John Connolly and Declan Burke

Best Novel - The Beautiful Mystery by Louise Penny




And now I'm back home in Boone with my Donald and Harley and life is good.