Tag Archive for: #read

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.

I’m on Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride and I Don’t Want to Get Off

I’m on Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride and I Don’t Want to Get Off by Debra H.

The first
time I rode Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, a dark attraction at Disney, I loved it. It
was fast paced, had quirky turns that led to unexpected encounters, and was
fun. I look at everything to do with One
Taste Too Many
as being like Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride.

In reviews,
the book has been called suspenseful, fast paced, and edgier than most cozies.
I think that’s because I tend to write a cozy that edges into the traditional
mystery. I have the cat, small closed setting, cast of suspects, and murder off
the page, but I also have numerous quirky turns and unexpected encounters. As in
Mr. Toad’s Ride, where when intellectually I knew nothing would happen, out of
a fright response, I put my hand up once or twice to avoid something touching my
face or jumping out at me, there are red herrings and twists to keep readers on

From the
moment of One Taste Too Many’s
launch, it has been a wild ride. Expected and unexpected reviews have been
favorable and plentiful, blogs galore have appeared (forty-four plus, but whose
is counting?), I had the delightful opportunity to write four blogs with one of
my favorite writers, Barbara Ross, comparing our cooking styles (non-existent),
settings (North and South), regional food, and showing what might happen if the
characters from Steamed Open and One Taste Too Many met, and people have
been genuinely kind and excited for me.

There is a
lot of work involved with launching a book. I’m not particularly good at
juggling PR duties with writing, and while I’m trying to move my work in
progress along, I’m savoring every moment of my wild ride.  Thanks for being on it with me!

One Taste Too Many:

For culinary challenged Sarah Blair, there’s only one
thing scarier than cooking from scratch—murder!

Sarah knew starting over would be messy. But things fall apart completely when
her ex drops dead, seemingly poisoned by her twin sister’s award-winning
rhubarb crisp. Now, with RahRah, her Siamese cat, wanted by the woman who broke
up her marriage and her twin wanted by the police for murder, Sarah needs to
figure out the right recipe to crack the case before time runs out.
Unfortunately, for a gal whose idea of good china is floral paper plates,
catching the real killer and living to tell about it could mean facing a fate
worse than death—being in the kitchen

Book Fog

by Sparkle Abbey

We’ve all experienced it, right? That feeling when you’ve been so immersed in a story that you come up for air and the real world seems a little foggy.

As a reader, those are the best books aren’t they? The author has succeeded at taking us on a journey. We’ve lived in the world they’ve created and spent time with characters who seem like real people.

What readers might not realize is that writers experience book fog, too, but in our creative role, in a slightly different way.

Writers have many different approaches to writing a book – some plot extensively, others just jump in and write, and some revise as they writer. But regardless of the process, when we complete a book, we have lived with these characters, in this world we’ve created, living their hopes and dreams and conflicts, for a very long time.

We’re often asked: How does it feel when a book is done? Are you excited? We have to say, we’re almost always in a book fog. We’re tired, we feel that writing “the end” euphoria, but mostly we feel that a part of us is still in that book world.

Writers, we’re sure you’ll recognize what that’s like. Readers, the best way for us to explain it is that it’s like the feeling you get when the story captures you so completely that, for a little while after you finish the book, you’re still in – 1920s Australia, 1740 Scotland, or modern day Laguna Beach.

So readers, we have to ask, what was the last book that gave you book fog?

Leave a comment and we’ll draw for a prize in the next week!


Sparkle Abbey is the pseudonym of mystery authors Mary Lee Woods and Anita Carter. They write the national best-selling Pampered Pets cozy mystery series which combines murder, zany characters and the wacky world of pampered pets. Their latest book, Barking with the Stars, will be released November 17th and can be pre-ordered right now on Amazon, Kobo, and iBooks.