Tag Archive for: Dru Ann Love

Lack of TV by Dru Ann Love

It had to happen to this TV addict. It had to happen to this award show addict. What has happened? Well for the award shows, they rarely nominated a show that I watched, so it was useless to watch the Emmys or the Daytime Emmy since I don’t watch the few soap operas still on the air. I stopped watching the Golden Globes and the People Choice award shows because I knew less than one percent of the nominees – okay maybe five percent. The Grammys – who are these artists that are half dressed – wait, hardly dressed. I think the only show I still watch is the Oscars and that is to see what people are wearing.

Oh, and let’s talk about TV shows. Back in the day, my whole week was taken over by the TV shows I HAD to watch. Now, I calculated I watch one show on Sunday (Equalizer), one on Monday (9-1-1) and two shows on Thursday (Young Sheldon and the new show, So Help Me Todd). Nothing else enticed me to watch. They need to bring back shows like Columbo, Murder She Wrote, Mary Tyler Moore Show, Remington Steele and so on.

So, what am I doing when I’m not watching these four shows, I’ve been reading. Post pandemic my book reading was 2-3 books a week, now it has picked up to 3-5 books a week. I’ve been reading a lot of advance reader copies, mostly non-cozy titles with a few cozies in the pack. Last week I read a historical thriller and enjoyed it. A few weeks ago, I read a book that took place in Ireland. Everyone who knows me know I do not read books where the location is outside of the U.S.A nor do I read historicals. But lack of TV viewing is opening me up to branch out my reading habit.


So, has the lack of anything caused you to increase other things?


Setting dates

Bouchercon convention is fast approaching. This year it is being held in Minneapolis, Minnesota and it will be my first time in this city. For those that don’t know, Bouchercon is the world’s finest annual crime fiction event, bringing together more than 1,500 authors, fans, publishers, reviewers, booksellers, editors, and every other part of the community for a fantastic four-day event.

As a longtime fan of Prince, I’m hoping, mobility issues will hamper this, to visit Paisley Park. If it does, I was told there is a Prince store at the airport.

So I’ve read and scrutinized the schedule for what panels I hope to attend. It looks like I’ve penciled in two to three panels that I want to attend throughout the four days. There are also publisher’s events where you can get free books and meet the authors. I look forward to this event.

One of the activities I can’t wait to do while attending this convention is seeing my friends and meeting new ones. Some, it’s been two years since I’ve last seen them. Some I saw at one of the last two conventions I went to this year.

But the most important activity is setting dates for meals. Yep, I am almost booked.

What do you look forward to when attending reader/fan convention or writer’s conference?

Weekend with Friends by Dru Ann Love

by Dru Ann Love

Every year me and two of my friends plan a weekend getaway. We’ve been to Boston, Denver, Savannah, and most recently Memphis and Tennessee. Whatever is our destination, I always look to see if I have any author friends in the area and plan a lunch. I like to introduce them to the authors and the books they write. In most cases, they do tend to make a purchase or two.

This past weekend, we did the touristy things, Graceland, the National Civil Rights Museum, and the Peabody Hotel to see the ducks march to the fountain in Memphis and Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, Johnny Cash Museum, and the Musicians Hall of fame. But the most entertaining activity was meeting the authors and one of them was Lois Winston. We picked the Margaritaville restaurant for lunch, but who knew they had live music that just never stopped. It was hard hearing conversations if you weren’t nearby. It was great seeing Lois and my other friends.

When you travel, do you seek out friends to visit?

Going in . . .by Dru Ann

This past month, I got on a plane or two or three to attend two reader/fan conventions.

First was to Albuquerque, New Mexico for the Left Coast Crime convention. This was the first time I was in a crowd of over 100 people. Was I anxious, yes, but that feeling of being among your tribe took over and except for a few blips, I had a wonderful time. In New Mexico, the mask wearing was optional. I wore my mask when I was in mixed company, meaning if I didn’t know three-quarters of the group, my mask went all. Hugs were plenty, but I asked before giving out hugs. I was on a panel “Decades of Books” and it was cool research books during a section decade. We received kudos for our panel. As for the airplane ride, mask was still mandatory, so I was feeling comfortable on my flight. Next year, Left Coast Crime will be in Tucson, Arizona where I will be Fan Guest of Honor.

Second trip was to Bethesda, Maryland for the Malice Domestic convention. This time the mask mandate was lifted, but I still wore my mask. My guess is that 75% still wore their mask. I was Fan Guest of Honor this year and moderated a panel “Writing a Series: Keeping it Fresh” with Edith Maxwell, Amanda Flower, Cheryl Hollon, SC Perkins, and Barbara Ross. After the panel, there were continual compliments on how well it went. At the banquet, after my speech, I was surprised when I received a standing ovation.

The best part of the month of April and attending these conventions, was I got to be with my crime fiction family after an absence of two years and it felt so good.

The Best Room in the House

Good Monday morning. I slept like the proverbial
rock last night. Perhaps it’s because I spent the last month in flux—a weeklong trip to Colorado, followed by page proofs due in a week,
out-of-town company, followed by loading my car with
water bottles and pre-packaged snacks for my anticipated trip to Left Coast
Crime in Albuquerque. 

2020, like so many of my author colleagues, I haven’t attended an in-person conference. But on this one, I signed up because I could drive from my home base in Las Cruces to the Duke
City. I already knew my schedule at LCC would be hectic. In addition to Mystery Writers of America, I belong to three Sisters in Crime chapters, Sisters in Crime Colorado, Guppies, and Croak & Dagger, the
New Mexico chapter, based in Albuquerque.

Coast Crime is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, which depends on a massive number of
volunteers to bring together writers, readers, librarians, reviewers, and others. 
https://leftcoastcrime.org/2022/  Croak & Dagger, as the Albuquerque host, was called on to supply
the heavy lifting of volunteers. I believe Molly Moeglein, Ann D. Zeigler, Johanna Egert,
 Joan Golden, Margaret
Tessler, Donna Thomas, Janet Gregor, Don Allen, Anne Hillerman, Merit Clark, Linda Triegel, Bailey Herrington,
and throw myself into the mix were among the
many local volunteer contributors. 

To top this off, when others dropped by the Hospitality Room and saw how swamped we were, my friends Leslie Budewitz and Barbara Nickless got to work helping filling out forms and donations!

other writing chapters, including Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime sponsored events. Members affiliated with these organizations were
incredibly helpful in registration, author/reader tables, speed dating, room
and panel moderators, as well as the conference organizers Stan and Lucinda Surber who appear tireless in running this conference year after year. As
I was tasked with Hospitality and the Silent Auction, I didn’t get to attend
many panels. This was disappointing, however, volunteer for Hospitality and the
Silent Auction, people come to you.

met so many I wouldn’t have ordinarily met by being a mere author
attendee. What’s more, I got 15K steps in on Thursday, 12K on Friday, 10K on
Saturday, and 5K on Sunday (four-hour trip home—give me a break!) Was it all
work and no fun? Hardly. I had the best roommate ever. Author Barbara Nickless
and I kept each other in stitches saying, “We’ll go to sleep right after we
talk about this.” Merit Clark, who I shared an author table and panel with, was
a tremendous friend, volunteer, and champion during the event. I also got to
meet The Stiletto Gang members Dru Ann Love and T.K. Thorne!

Clark was on the ball finding the restaurants we’d escape to after a long day.
Fell in love with The Artichoke Café and Season 52 (picture of a group of us
here—Alistair “Jerry” Kimble, Matt Goldman, Barbara Nickless, Merit Clark,
Shannon Baker, Mark Stevens, and myself). Special thanks to Matt Goldman for
driving my car back to the hotel after dinner (no, wasn’t inebriated – I think he could
just sense I was exhausted and nervous about night driving in a strange city.)


also was on a panel called Graphic but Not Gratuitous, Getting Police Procedure
Right,  [pictured here hidden behind her microphone, M.M.
Chouinard], Shannon Baker, Donnell Ann Bell, Merit Clark, and James L.

When authors took the stage on Saturday evening,
I’d already met many of them. I didn’t get to meet the fabulous Kellye Garrett,
but after hearing her speak, and after more than $1,000 was raised that night
by attendees who wanted their name in her next book, I understand the
definition of “fan.” Catriona McPherson is hysterically funny and gracious, and
one of the most moving, inspirational speeches I’ve ever heard (period) was given
by Wanda M. Morris, the winner of the Lefty Best Mystery novel. Following are
the Lefty award recipients. 

do not have the exact amount of money that was raised by the auction and silent
auction, (Kudos to Ellen Byron/Maria DiRico for being an outstanding
author/auctioneer) and Ann D. Zeigler’s Great Little Library Adventure, but I’m
estimating $5,000 +/-, benefitting New Mexico’s libraries (currently state
funded) are the beneficiaries of these proceeds.

dropping off the delightful T.K. Thorne at the airport, I headed home to Las Cruces
to celebrate what I’d missed by attending, namely my husband’s birthday and our
39th wedding anniversary. I paused in listening to Robert Crais’s
Taken, to return a phone call to my friend Mike Befeler who ordinarily heads up the New Authors’ Breakfast and who couldn’t attend the conference due to knee surgery. Such a win/win ride home!

Still on the heels of Left Coast Crime, the fascinating and talented Pamela Beason will be my houseguest as she
passes through on her touring adventures – all because we reconnected at Left
Coast Crime!

On a final note, I left that event tired but
inspired, and I know I barely skimmed the surface. Overall, though, I remain convinced I had the best room/seat in the house.

 About:  Donnell
Ann Bell is an award-winning author, including finalist in the 2020 Colorado
Book Award, and the 2021 New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards for her first straight
suspense Black Pearl, a Cold Case Suspense. Until Dead, a Cold Case Suspense,
will be released May 31, 2022, and is available for preorder. She is
currently working on Book Three and the start of another series. You can learn
more about her other books or find her on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, or
BookBub. Sign up for her newsletter at


November 2021 Releases


Here is a list of over 65 new titles representing major genres such as cozy mysteries, traditional mysteries, historical mysteries, and others releasing this month, with eight debut series.

The longest running series on this list is the “Murder She Wrote” franchise at 54 books.

As always, I hope there is a new title to suit everyone’s personal taste. Embrace the adventure!  

November 2, 2021
Mystery of the Eight Islands by Terry Ambrose (Trouble in Paradise #11)
The Killing Carol by Jennifer Bee (Anna Greenan) *new series*
The Cry of the Hangman by Susanna Calkins (Lucy Campion #6)
Body and Soul Food by Abby Collette (Books & Biscuits) *new series*
Game On: Tempting Twenty-Eight by Janet Evanovich (Stephanie Plum #28)
The Collective by Alison Gaylin
Killer Research by Jenn McKinlay (Library Lover’s #12)
Debonair in Death by Jessica Fletcher & Terrie Farley Moran (Murder She Wrote #54)
All Her Little Secrets by Wanda M. Morris
An Eggnog to Die For by Amy Pershing (Cape Cod Foodie #2)
Carols and Yule Perils by Trixie Silvertale (Mitzy Moon #16)
Tyndall by James L Thane
Fogged Off by Wendall Thomas (Cyd Redondo #3)
Life Without Parole by Elaine Viets (Angela Richman, Death Investigator #5)
The Attic on Queen Street by Karen White (Tradd Street #7)

November 3, 2021
Treasure Under the Tree by S. W. Hubbard (Palmyrton Estate Sale #8)
Three’s A Clowder by Gin Jones (Crazy Cat Ladies Chronicles #3)

November 4, 2021
A Stranger from the Storm by William Burton McCormick
Rising Water by Joanna Campbell Slan (Tai Chi) *new series*

November 5, 2021
The Corpse with the Granite Heart by Cathy Ace (Cait Morgan #11)
Witches, Spiders, and Schemes by Elizabeth Pantley (Destiny Falls Mystery & Magic #4)

November 6, 2021
Pickled Petunia by Dahlia Donovan (Motts Cold Case #3)

November 9, 2021
Diner Knock Out by Terri L. Austin (Rose Strickland #5) *re-release*
Stitch X For Murder by ACF Bookens (Stitches In Crime #5)
Maggie Dove and The Lost Brides by Susan Breen (Maggie Dove #3)
Death on a Shelf by Allison Brook (Haunted Library #5)
Death by Doodlebug by Carol Caverly (Thea Barlow Wyoming #4)
Fatal Solutions by Becky Clark (Crossword Puzzle #3)
The Dark Hours by Michael Connelly (Renée Ballard and Harry Bosch #4)
Down a Dark River by Karen Odden (Inspector Michael Corravan) *new series*
Dead Write by Susan C. Richards
Death Under the Sea by Rosalie Spielman (Aloha Lagoon #16)
Midnight Hour edited by Abby L. Vandiver
The Murder Before Christmas by Michele Pariza Wacek (Charlie Kingsley) *new series*
Nowhere To Hide by LynDee Walker (Faith McClellan #4)

November 10, 2021
Straight Up by Cathi Stoler (Murder On The Rocks #3)

November 12, 2021
Banana Slit by Angela K. Ryan (Seaside Ice Cream Shop) *new series*

November 15, 2021
Beating the Wrap by Julie Anne Lindsey (Bonnie & Clyde #3)

November 16, 2021
Doggone Deadly by Deborah Blake (Catskills Pet Rescue #2)
Mrs. Jeffries and the Midwinter Murders by Emily Brightwell (Victorian #40)
You Can’t Candle the Truth by Sarah E. Burr (Glenmyre Whim) *new series*
Styled For Murder by Nancy J. Cohen (Bad Hair Day #17)
Poison in the Pudding by Kathi Daley (Inn At Holiday Bay #17)
A Secret Never Told by Shelley Noble (Lady Dunbridge #4)

November 18, 2021
The Dinner Lady Detectives by Hannah Hendy

November 23, 2021
The Christmas Stranger by Keith Donnelly (Youngblood Story #2)
Marshmallows and Memories by Agatha Frost (Peridale Cafe #24)
The Mirror Dance by Catriona McPherson (Dandy Gilver #15)
Murder in Second Position by Lori Robbins (On Pointe #2)

November 29, 2021
Death Among The Stars by Sharon Linnea (Bartender’s Guide to Murder #3)

November 30, 2021
Irene in Danger by Judy Alter (Irene in Chicago #2)
Murder Yule Regret by Winnie Archer (Bread Shop #7)
High Stakes by Kristi Belcamino (Queen of Spades #7)
Killer Words by V.M. Burns (Mystery Bookshop #7)
Isabel Puddles Investigate by M.V. Byrne (Mitten State #2)
Mimi Lee Cracks the Code by Jennifer J. Chow (Sassy Cat #3)
Tales of Life and Daph by Phillipa Nefri Clark (Daphne Jones #3)
Big Trouble in Little Greektown by Kate Collins (Goddess of Greene St. #3)
Murder at the Lobstah Shack by Maddie Day (Cozy Capers Book Group #3)
Petals and Poison by Jess Dylan (Flower House #2)
Lies of Omission by Kathleen Ernst (Hanneke Bauer) *new series*
Marriage Can Be Mischief by Amanda Flower (Amish Matchmaker #3)
Claret and Present Danger by Sarah Fox (Literary Pub #4)
Murder at the Bake Sale by Lee Hollis (Maya and Sandra #2)
A Murder Like No Author by Amy Lillard (Main Street Book Club #3)
Bear A Wee Grudge by Meg Macy (Teddy Bear #5)
Christmas Candy Corpse by Rosemarie Ross (Courtney Archer #2)
The Dead Cry Justice by Rosemary Simpson (Gilded Age #6)
Do I Know You by Sarah Strohmeyer
A Counterfeit Suitor by Darcie Wilde (Rosalind Thorne #5)

Hi, Ho, Hi, Ho, I’m seriously relating to a Disney cartoon

Sing along with me. . . 

Book edits and kitchen remodels don’t mix!

I’ve been working on editing changes, proofreading galore on book two of my cold case series, all 

while engrossed in a kitchen remodel and choking on dust and chaos. To tell you how much I miss my sink, stove, and dishwasher is an understatement. It was supposed to be completed last Thursday. But, in the time of COVID, we all know supply chain is hit and miss–the sink didn’t come in and my contractor can’t do the granite without a sink.  Moreover, I’m constantly stopping my edits to deal with a subcontractor.

This morning, with my blog date utmost in mind, I waded through volumes of email for inspiration and spied something that did my heart proud–fellow Stiletto blogger Dru Ann Love’s review of yet another Stiletto member, Lois Winston. 

Because I couldn’t agree more with Dru’s review of Lois’s Stitch, Bake, Die!, I thought I’d repost Dru’s musings giving full credit that her review ran on Dru’s Book Musing first. I happen to heartily agree.

I also want to go a step further before I post Dru’s opinion and say if you are a crafter interested in baking or stitchery, get thee this book. There’s a baking and stitching competition underfoot in this amateur sleuth mystery and the recipes and instructions in the back of the book are just an added bonus.

With that said, here’s Dru’s review:

Dru’s Short Musing:

In this fast-paced and action-packed whodunit, Anastasia Pollack and BFF Cloris are hosting a workshop when murder interferes in the conference activities. The more they get to know the attendees, the more it becomes apparent that these people are not what they seem. With both on the case, they have some unraveling to do to find a killer hiding in plain sight where everyone is a potential suspect. The mystery was nicely executed, with bits and pieces of clues here and there as well as humorous interludes that enhanced the telling of this tale. This is another great addition to this engagingly entertaining series and I’m patiently waiting for the wedding of the century. 

Stitch, Bake, Die! by Lois Winston

Series Name: Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery #10
Genre: Cozy
Release: October 4, 2021

With massive debt, a communist mother-in-law, a Shakespeare-quoting parrot, and a photojournalist boyfriend who may or may not be a spy, crafts editor Anastasia Pollack already juggles too much in her life. So she’s not thrilled when her magazine volunteers her to present workshops and judge a needlework contest at the inaugural conference of the New Jersey chapter of the Stitch and Bake Society, a national organization of retired professional women. At least her best friend and cooking editor Cloris McWerther has also been roped into similar duties for the culinary side of the 3-day event taking place on the grounds of the exclusive Beckwith Chateau Country Club.

The sweet little old ladies Anastasia is expecting to meet are definitely old, and some of them are little, but all are anything but sweet. She’s stepped into a vipers’ den that starts with bribery and ends with murder. When an ice storm forces Anastasia and Cloris to spend the night at the Chateau, Anastasia discovers evidence of insurance scams, medical fraud, an opioid ring, long-buried family secrets, and a bevy of suspects.

Can she piece together the various clues before she becomes the killer’s next target?

Crafting tips included.

Purchase Link

About the Author:  Donnell Ann Bell is an award-winning
author, including finalist in the 2020 Colorado Book Award, she is the author
of Black Pearl, book one of a series, and is currently editing book two.
You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, or Bookbub. Sign up for her newsletter


Clicking Our Heels – Summer Vacation Preferences


Can you
believe summer is almost over? Three more days and no more white shoes or white
pants! Before summer ends, the Stiletto Gang members thought we’d share our favorite
summer vacations – indoors/outdoors, beach/mountains, or staycation.

Debra H.
:  The Beach! Something
about the white capped swirling water and glistening sand is my nirvana.

Anita Carter:
Definitely outdoors. One of my favorite vacations was when my husband and I
traveled to Hawaii for 10 days. We island hopped. We had the best time at the
beach and hiking through the mountains and around the volcanos. I’d love to go

T.K. Thorne:
I have to see the ocean regularly or something inside doesn’t get fed. Also, I
live on a mountain, so I get my tree and fresh air fix every day.

: Staycation. I really don’t like summer weather. I much prefer
air conditioning.

Kathryn Lane:
My husband and I spend the summers in the mountains of northern New Mexico near
Taos, where we enjoy outdoor adventures as well as watching wildlife drift by
from our cabin deck.

Dru Ann Love:
I like sightseeing various locations, so outdoors. Staycations are good as well.

:  It’s the beach for me –

: Beach or staycation!

Lois Winston:
I much prefer a warm getaway in the winter, but I’m not a beach person. I love
exploring museums, ancient sites, and foreign cities.

: Anymore, I’m a stay-at-home person most of the time, thanks to
health issues. In summer, you’ll find me inside in the air conditioning or
sitting on my spacious porch, spinning or knitting and chatting with my

: I’m a culture vulture, so I’d love to somewhere with great museums
and theater. I live near a beach, so I’ll admit it, I’m spoiled.

Mary Lee
: My summer vacation preference would be outdoors with a beach and a
book! Staycations are fun but since I’ve been working from home since March
2020, I am more than ready to see some walls that aren’t my own.

Gay Yellen:
Mountains. Hiking in a cool mountain forest is the best break from summer in
the city.

Lynn McPhersonI love the beach and the mountains. I’m home most of the
time so when vacation time rolls around I’m ready to go explore new places.

Cathy PerkinsWhat is a vacation these days? When I can travel again, definitely the beach!

Caddyshack revisited by Dru Ann Love

We have pigeons. They can be annoying when they gather. Especially on my balcony railing.

I’ve tried everything. Shooing them off the balcony. Spritzing them with water. And yet the continue to land on my railing and make a mess. Now they come onto the balcony and walk around leaving a mess there as well. So the battle has begun in earnest.

Repellent ribbons, they worked well until rain caused the ribbons to shrivel up and lose their shine.

Repellent device #1, they did keep the pigeons away, but they made too much noise when it swung against the glass panel

Spinners, they worked fine until mother nature unleashed strong winds and spun my spinners from their pole into the ground below. Later I found remnants of my spinners.

Repellent device #2, same strong winds took these away as well.

Spikes, I took a gamble and bought these spikes. After losing the spinners, I put one strip up and watch a pigeon land on my railing, take a few steps and encountered my spikes and flew away. Victory, but now I have to wait to see what mother nature will do to these spikes before I put the rest down.

Do you have troublesome pests?

Rambles from a reader by Dru Ann Love

I have nothing.

I was going to give you stats from my blog, but decided it wasn’t important for this blog. Check out my blog at drusbookmusing.com. Would you like seeing those stats?

I was going to talk about return to the office – first week in July. Have you returned back to the office?

I was going to talk about my adventure last week – first time back in the city and met a few friends for lunch. Lots of chatting and hugs galore was given. It felt good to eat in a restaurant and laugh and enjoy each other’s company. Have you been in and about lately?

I was going to talk about the struggle with my reading. It still takes me a week and a half to read one book. One. Book. – How is your reading?

I was going to talk about movies – Have you seen “In The Heights?”

I was going to talk about streaming channels – my favorites are Netflix and Amazon Prime. What’s your favorite?

I was going to talk about TV watching – there is nothing on TV these days. My TV viewership is down, down, down. What about you? Are you watching less TV?

I was going to talk about traveling – I’m getting on a plane to visit my mom. What about you, any travel plans?

I was going to talk about virtual conferences – I’m looking forward to attending More Than Malice. Are you going? You can register here.

I was going to talk about reader convention – Bouchercon is in August and I’m going. It’s my celebration for the year I had and also I get to see my friends. Are you going? You can register here.

Thank you for reading my ramblings.