Tag Archive for: #lovetoread

Crazy About Socks?

Recently I read that during the pandemic online shopping spree, socks became a hot item. Socks? Really? Must have taken some pretty bored people to shop for socks!

I wondered if socks had ever been written up in literature. As a mystery writer, I immediately thought of possible book titles: Murder by Socks, The Sock Strangler, or Forensic Socks.

Next, I researched books with “socks” in the title and found the expected “how to” category teaching you to knit socks. Children’s stories have a surprising number of titles with socks, starting with Dr. Seuss’s famous Fox in Socks.

In Battle of Hogwarts, the Harry Potter book/movie, Harry tricks Lucius Malfoy into freeing the house servant Dobby. Harry uses one of his socks to gift-wrap Tom Riddle’s Diary before giving it to Lucius. When Lucius throws away the unneeded sock, Dobby catches it, thus freeing himself from Lucius.

My personal experience with socks was during my corporate days when I racked up millions of airline miles flying all over the globe. At that time, business and first class gave an amenity kit that included a cheap pair of socks that were supposed to be used once and discarded. Well, I collected and used those socks. For over twenty years I never bought a pair—I had all those airline ones. And they never wear out! Though my husband disagrees; he’s thrown away the ones with the comfortable holes in the toes.

My stream of consciousness led me to research the sock market. Every theme you can think of can be printed on a pair of cotton, stretchy, or wool socks. The most expensive, so expensive in fact that the price was not listed, are those made from Cervelt, a fiber from New Zealand’s Red Deer. Only 20 grams of fiber can be collected per deer per year making it one of the most exclusive fabrics in the world.

In my search I discovered an organization in the Netherlands, Sock by Sock, whose mission is to keep overproduced socks from ending up as waste. After seeing the availability of socks on the Net, I can assure you that organization has plenty of work to accomplish.

Do you have a sock story? If so, sock it to me!


Kathryn Lane is the author of the award-winning Nikki Garcia Mystery Series. Nikki Garcia, the protagonist, is a private investigator based in Miami. She does work in foreign countries, including countries where private investigators are forbidden by law.

Kathryn’s early work life started out as a painter in oils. To earn a living, she became a certified public accountant and embarked on a career in international finance with a major multinational corporation.

Two decades later, she left the corporate world to create mystery and suspense thrillers, drawing inspiration from her Mexican background as well as her travels in over ninety countries.


Photos are taken from the public domain. They are used in either an editorial or educational manner.

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Happy Valentine’s Day

by Saralyn Richard


Today is Valentine’s Day, and I hope you are spending
the holiday enjoying the people, places, and things you love most. As for me, I can’t help thinking of my most
cherished Valentine’s Day gifts over the years–you guessed it–books.

Unlike the more
traditional Valentine’s Day gifts, books don’t die in five days. They don’t
increase the numbers when you step on the scale. They don’t break or go out of

Instead, they provide
hours of entertainment, improve the mind and spirit, offer topics for
discussion, and connect readers. Also, purchasing books stimulates the economy,
because so many different industries are involved in the creation, production,
and selling of books.

Romances aren’t the
only appropriate Valentine’s Day books. Most mysteries also include love in
their plots, sometimes as motives. Whatever your genre, take yourself on a love-ly
journey of the heart, and snuggle up with a great book!

Not ready to commit to
a deep relationship? How about having a blind date with a good book? You might
just fall in love!


Saralyn Richard is the award-winning author of the
Detective Parrott Mystery Series, as well as the standalone mystery, A
Murder of Principal
, and the children’s picture book, Naughty Nana.
Her new mystery, Bad Blood Sisters, is up for pre-order and releases on
March 9. Check out Saralyn’s book events and subscribe to her monthly
newsletter for fun content at http://saralynrichard.com.

To Find a Monarch

 By Kathryn Lane

Mexico, my country of origin, is a cultural
paradise. I always experience a nostalgic yearning for the traditions I grew up
with, especially during the last quarter of the year, which is rich with
festivities. Starting in September, we have holidays that spill over into
multiple days, like the 15th and 16th of September,
independence day. Posada time, from December 16th through the 24th,
brings out families from entire neighborhoods where revelers of all ages gather
in candle-lit processions singing Christmas carols along the streets until they
arrive at the host house for that evening. At the designated home, the carolers
sing “Para Pedir Posada” to reenact Mary and Joseph’s journey into Bethlehem
asking for shelter before the birth of Jesus. The hosts, after several stanzas,
invite the revelers in for food, drink, and games for the kiddos.

Wonderful as Christmas and Independence
celebrations are, it’s Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) on November 1st
and 2nd, that makes my soul yearn for a trip to the state of

When I was twelve, my mother took me to Lake Pátzcuaro
to experience a vigil in a cemetery where townsfolk would commune with their departed
loved ones by sharing music, dance, food, and drinks.

I’ve never forgotten the scene when we arrived.
Lake Pátzcuaro’s famed butterfly net fishermen, their canoes filled with bright
cempasúchil, or marigolds, floated on the lake like a colorful flower
market. The marigolds, like rays of sun dropped along the way, to lead the ancestors’
spirits into town where ofrendas, or altars, awaited them in the private homes
of their earthly relatives.

We climbed into a vividly decorated canoe to
navigate to
Janitzio, the largest
island. On the way, Mother told me Día de los Muertos
is a truly Mexican tradition, a legacy of indigenous Aztec practices. The
Aztecs recognized that death was part of the continuity of life. Yet Pátzcuaro
territory, the other powerful Mesoamerican empire, the one the
Aztecs never conquered
he two empires fought many battles. Yet, the Purépecha integrated the Day of
the Dead as their own

We were mid-lake when a
butterfly brushed its brilliant orange-red wings with black veins on the golden
marigolds. The fisherman smiled, saying, “
Está perdido este ancestro. Debe tener familia en
Rosario o Angangueo.”

Mother agreed the
butterfly was lost and had overflown its winter home near mountain villages. She
explained that monarchs migrate yearly from Canada and the US to the high elevations
Michoacán where they cluster on oyamel
trees to spend the winter. They start arriving at the end of October,
coinciding with the Day of the Dead celebrations. The local people believe the
butterflies are the spirits of their ancestors returning home.

I remember asking if we would
visit the monarchs.

“Another year,” she said.

Yet, we never trekked to
the monarch’s overwintering sites. When I see a butterfly, it reminds me of that
trip we never took.

My brother, Jorge Lane, is
a nature photographer and monarchs are one of his favorite subjects. He’s
visited several sanctuaries to photograph them.

Carlos Gottfried, a butterfly
conservationist in Mexico, said: “When you stand in a Monarch butterfly
sanctuary, your soul is shaken and your life is changed

Gottfried’s quote
beckons me to find monarchs overwintering on Oyamel firs to fulfill that trip
never taken.

¹ Also
known as the Tarascan.

For fun articles on Mexican holidays, you can purchase: The Insider’s Guide to the Best Mexican Holidays. It will be available in Kindle format on Amazon on December 17, 2021. Nineteen authors, including yours truly, contributed articles. 



Encantadora© by
Jorge J. Lane

Monarca© by Jorge J. Lane