Tag Archive for: Washington State

The Newbie and the Mud Flood

Hi – Newbie to the Stiletto Gang here!
Joining a busy, successful blog is a bit like stepping into
a cocktail party that’s going full blast. Bubbling conversations, inside jokes,
and shared history. What do you do? You paste a smile on your face and dive
right in!
I’d planned to carry that analogy through this post, but I
took a left turn at abnormal this morning and waded through a ton of mud and
downed trees to make sure the beaver dam hadn’t ruptured.

Hmm, that’s a different story.
Perhaps I should back up a bit. I live in the Cascade
Mountains, up above Seattle. Before we moved to the mountains, we transferred
to Washington (well, actually we transferred to a small town in eastern
Washington) from South Carolina.

When people heard about our
planned move, everyone said, “I love

Because clearly Seattle is the only thing in Washington,
Bookwalter Winery ~ http://innovatewashington.org/
We love Seattle too. But there’s the whole rest of the state.  Eastern Washington is the complete opposite
to Seattle. It’s conservative, sunny and dry, and home to fabulous vineyards
and wineries.  There’s access to tons of
outdoor recreation…and a dearth of restaurants.
As an author, I often see conversations, characters (oops, I mean interesting people I encounter), and
settings in terms of story potential. And I knew there was potential here.

Once we settled into eastern Washington, I had to write a story set here. A story about a woman who came
home, not as a failure with nowhere else to go, but as a woman who loved her
nutty parents and put her ambitions on hold to bail out the family and their business. 

Then because I write mysteries, there had to be a dead body and a puzzle for my amatuer sleuth to solve!
Besides, I could have fun with the wineries, Native American casinos…and assorted farm animals.
So – ever been to Washington? Ever had a flood tear up your
My latest book released last week. So About the Money romps through eastern Washington. Or as Patty Smiley, author of the Cool Cache series said, “CPA Holly Price juggles dodgy clients, flakey parents, ex-lovers and a murdered friend before she gets to the bottom line in this fast and fun read.”

When Holly Price trips over a friend’s dead body, her life takes a nosedive into a world of intrigue and danger. With an infinitely sexy cop—Holly’s pissed-off, jilted ex-fiancé—threatening to arrest her for the murder, the intrepid accountant must protect her future, her business…and her heart…by using her
investigative skills to follow the money, before the killer decides “CPA” stands for Certified Pain in the Ass…and the next dead body is Holly’s.

Visit with Cathy at her website http://cperkinswrites.com

Heavy Cloud, No Rain

by Bethany Maines
It’s fall again. In Washington State that usually means a
return of gray skies, cold weather, and a persistent morning mist that makes it
feel like the your day is starting off with a little bit of a smokers
cough.  This is when I burrow under
a pile of blankets, shove my feet under a dog and return to writing.
Unfortunately for my writing, and for the wild fires raging over my state, the
weather has been unrepentantly sunny. 
The last time we had measurable rainfall was July 22.  We have now passed the 1951 record of
51 days without rain.
What the heck is going on!  If I wanted blue skies I’d move to California!  My running shoes should be caked in mud
by now; instead, they’re leaving a fine silt of dust between my toes at every
jogging opportunity.  That’s just…
it’s just not normal.  I’m having
mud withdrawals.  And writing
During the summer I try not to worry too much about how much
I am or am not writing.  After all
the season is so short, I need to cram in all the outdoor activity I can.  But I’m starting to have that feeling I
call The Looming Fat. 
Think of The Looming Fat as that feeling you get after
having spent a month on vacation eating nothing but gloriously fatty foods, and
then you return home.  And you know
the fat’s there, but as long as you don’t step on the scale you can pretend the
fat hasn’t settled into a permanent home on your rear end. But still the fat
looms behind the door and prepares to jump out at you when you least expect it
– like when you try on a pair of slacks for the first time before going back to
Only in this case, it’s the Looming Brain Fat.  Having spent most of the summer
watching the Olympics and reading “trashy” (aka fun) novels my writing muscles
may have developed a little bit of spare tire.  And instead of settling down, like they should, and plotting
out a new novel, they seem to be requesting more trashy novels and continuing
episodes of Grimm.  “This is not
productive!” I yell at them.  They
give me the stink eye and tell me to come back when it’s cold out. 
The good news is that Friday’s forecast says, “chance of
rain.”  Make that a “chance of
writing” and maybe I’ll make it to winter.

Bethany Maines is the author of Bulletproof Mascara, Compact With the Devil and Supporting the Girls.  Catch up with her at www.bethanymaines.com or check out the new Carrie Mae youtube video.

Wait… I have an extra Aunt?

As the Wishkah Flows
by Bethany Maines

I don’t have that many shows that rate the “I have to be home to watch” treatment (aside from Castle), but I have to admit that one of the shows that I will make time for is the show about famous people researching their family tree – “Who Do You Think You Are?” I know that the stars researching their genealogy are spoon fed the information and I know that the show is pretty much just one extended commercial for ancestory.com, but I don’t care! It suckers me in every time! The stirring saga of generations, combined with the detective work makes for storylines I love. (Yeah, I’ve watched Thorn Birds, why?)

My mother’s mother does genealogy with even more fervor than she does crosswords; she’s got us tracked back to England where some ancestor we’re connected to some how signed the Magna Carte, thus setting a precedent for Democracy and striking a blow for freedom (you know, if you were rich). So up until last weekend I thought that a TV style reveal of a deep family secret was not to be because Grandma has got all our details pretty well sorted out. But I should have remembered… that’s for her side of the family; on my Dad’s side the details are a bit fuzzy.

Dad’s mother hated her hometown of Wishkah, WA and was notoriously evasive about her past, up to not “remembering” how many brothers and sisters she had. (How do you not remember that?) Dad had poked around, but he was never able to get very far. Then last week a friend pointed me to the Washington State Digital Archives. Between the archives, ancestory.com, and familysearch.org I managed to cobble together my Dad’s family tree and uncover a few family secrets!

The biggest secret began to take shape after a week of pulling at threads, and hunting down birth dates and maiden certificates. Between the records and a few hints from other family trees on ancestory.com I began to suspect that Grandma’s mother, Daisy, had been the victim of a serious crime. When Daisy was 12 or 13 (about 1898) she was kidnapped by her 53 year old uncle and they lived on the run from posses in the wilderness near Aberdeen for nine months before he was captured. By the 1900 census Daisy was 14 and back living with her parents and her baby, Ivy, and the uncle was living in the Walla Walla State Pen. By 15, she was married to a man named Walter (my grandmother’s father) and settling down to hopefully live happily ever after, but little Ivy is nowhere to be found.

If I wrote such things in a book, my editor would tell me to tone down the melodrama and try for a little more realism! No wonder my Grandma was slightly evasive about the number of her siblings; it’s possible Daisy never even told Grandma about Ivy or her origins.

I will continue to track down my mysterious Great Aunt Ivy – I can only hope this is one mystery that won’t be lost in time.