About Jessie Crockett

Jessica Estevao writes the Change of Fortune Mysteries. The first in the series, Whispers Beyond the Veil, will release in September 2016. She loves the beach, mysterious happenings and all things good-naturedly paranormal. While she lives for most of the year in New Hampshire with her dark and mysterious husband and exuberant children, she delights in spending her summers on the coast of Maine where she keeps an eye out for sea monsters and mermaids. As Jessie Crockett she’s the author of the nationally bestselling Sugar Grove Mysteries and the Daphne du Maurier Award winner, Live Free or Die.

Wicked Wednesday- Favorite Halloween Candy

Jessie: In NH where the foliage is beautiful it breaks the heart.

pick-and-mix-171342_1920Everywhere I’ve been in the last couple of weeks, from the pharmacy to the gas station, has had bountiful displays of Halloween candy for sale. So far, I have managed to leave it be. But it has got me to wondering which sort of candy do you each favor? Which ones beg to be tossed into your shopping basket?

Liz: Milk Duds and Tootsie Rolls! Omg, I love them both. So I don’t buy them, even for Halloween, because I know I’ll eat them way before the trick or treaters arrive!

Sherry: I was in the store today and passed the candy row. It was tempting, but I managed to resist! Pretty much anything that is chocolate is what I throw in and pass out — Snickers, Kit Kats, M&Ms…I could go on and on and on. I’ve taken to waiting until the last minute so we don’t eat it prior to the big night.

Jessie: I love candy corn. There, I said it. Candy corn. Or the tiny pumpkins made out out the same sugary, toxic madness as candy corn. When I was a child I loved to put pieces of candy corn on my incisors and pretend I was a vampire. Ok, sometimes I still do…

Edith: (Why am I not surprised, Jessie!) I bought the tiny bags of peanut M&Ms last week – and pretty much assume they’ll be gone by Halloween! I also love Baby Ruth bars, and if I come into contact with candy corn I still have to bite off one color at a time. I swear each color tastes different.

Barb: I love candy corn, too, Jessie! I’m so glad you admitted it. My favorite though is mini-Butterfingers. I don’t buy until the last minute and I hate that neither Bill nor I have an office to send the leftovers to, though our street in Somerville, MA was the “trick or treat street” and there were never any leftovers.

Julie: Count me as another candy corn girl! Love it. Also love Butterfingers. My favorite are Reese’s cups. LOVE. Them. Will admit, I hit target after Halloween to get some sale stuff. Also, the Halloween M&M colors are harvest, so good to get a bag or two for Thanksgiving.

Readers, what is your favorite Halloween candy?Save

Newsworthy?

Jessie: In New Hampshire where autumn has well adn truly arrived.

Last week I attended a conference for novelists down in Florida. There is a lot to thinkfullsizeoutput_5c7 about and I left with a head crammed full of possibilities and things to ponder. One of the workshops that I attended was on the subject of newsletters.

I must admit, rather shamefacedly, that I do not currently have a newsletter. I have meant to put one together, told myself I should put one together, added it to my projects list and agonized thoroughly over the lack of one. But somehow, I have never seemed to have managed it. The workshop presenter convinced me it was time to change all that.

Apparently, a newsletter is not all that difficult to produce and according to the presenter readers actually truly love to find them in their email inboxes.  she made the entire thing seem like fun instead of like something overwhelming and tedious. Which brings me to the point of this post. I could use a little help from all of you.

I would love to know which sorts of things you like to hear from writers when you subscribe to a newsletter. I’d love to know how frequently you like to receive such things. I’d like to know if you value notifications about upcoming releases, author appearances, exclusive content available only to newsletter subscribers, or newsy tidbits and behind-the-scenes information about what went into the books that you like to read.

I also would love to grow the numbers of people interested in receiving the inaugural issue of my newsletter. I do have a sign-up link  for one on my website and have added it here should any of you be interested in signing up.

Readers, I’d love to hear the answers to the questions above. Writers, do you send out a newsletter?

Wicked Wednesday

Jessie: In New Hampshire, thinking fondly of the sunny shores of St. Petersburg, Florida I enjoyed visiting at this time last week.

Last week I asked which of the household chores facing you left you procrastinating and groaning with despair. Today I’m wondering if there are any particular tasks that you happen to like doing, especially those that other people would rather avoid? Do you polish the silver during times of stress? Enjoy getting that very last cobweb off the ceiling fan? Do you delight in making a grocery list? Do tell!

ShinyCounters

Edith: I like cleaning the kitchen counters. We have lovely dark greenish granite, and long expanses of it. I wipe it with a damp dishrag and then polish with a clean dishtowel. It’s exclusively my job, because the person I live with does not SEE crumbs (in the same category as dust for him, I guess,) and his superpower is leaving toast crumbs everywhere…. The counter looks so pretty when it’s clean and polished, and the polishing is meditative, too.

Sherry: The closest thing to tasks that makes me happy would be periodically cleaning out my closet. But the everyday tasks? I like making my bed every day, but anything else? Not so much. My sister likes to iron to relax. I wish I’d gotten that gene. The last time I cleaned out my closet I found a shoe with change and a Swedish fish in it. That was very strange!

Barb: I like the events that mark the seasons: putting away summer clothes and getting out the winter ones, spring and fall cleaning, getting out the holiday decorations and putting them away.

Liz: I really like vacuuming and decluttering. I get a lot of weird pleasure sucking up cat fur. And I’ve really become a fan of throwing things out. Of course, these things are procrastinating techniques too…

Jessie: I actually do like to polish the silver. There is something so satisfying about seeing something tarnished gleaming once again. I also like to make my bed up with clean sheets, a fluffed duvet and a stack of pillows.

Julie: Loading the dishwasher, and shining my sink. Even when the rest of the house is chaos, my sink is shiny. Baby steps!

Readers, do you have any household chores that you secretly love to do? Or at least ones that you find surprisingly satisfying?

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Wicked Wednesday

Jessie: In New Hampshire, where the leaves have started to turn.

Over the last few weeks I’ve been keeping my head down in order to complete a book that was due to my editor in October. Every time I have a looming deadline lots of other things in my life take a backseat, most notably, any real standard of housekeeping. As soon as I turn in a manuscript I cast my bleary eyes over my home in despair. So what I’m wondering today Wickeds is which household chore is your very least favorite of all?

Sherry: All of them? Okay, I’ll winnow that down. Probably mopping the floor — the water, the wringing, ugh! I don’t mind sweeping or vacuuming, but I will put mopping off as long as possible.

DustingEdith: Dusting. Especially when a shelf has a lot of knickknacks or pictures on it. You have to pick up each one and dust it and under it. By the time I’m done I’m sneezing so hard I quit, even though there are four more bookshelves to clean. And the person I live with (who is an exemplary vacuumer, by the way) doesn’t even SEE dust.

Barb: Does grocery shopping count? That is my very least favorite, bar none. Basically, I love project-y type tasks–spring cleaning, fall cleaning, decorating for holidays. I hate the repetitive stuff-where you do it and then you just do it again.

Liz: Love my furries, but litter box scooping…ugh. I wish I could teach them to do it themselves!

Jessie: I hate scrubbing the bathtub door track. I don’t mind cleaning the tub itself or even the shower surround but the track of the door never seems to get clean no matter what I do to it.

Julie: Litter box scooping is not my favorite, but I do love my cats, so I do it. I’m with Barb on the repetition. I am so, so, sick of dusting and vacuuming. But I persist.

Readers: Your least favorite chore?

Yea or Nay-Pumpkin Spice

autumn-1947782_1920

Jessie: In New Hampshire, shivering under a wool blanket and hoping the furnace is fixed sooner rather than later!

Autumn is well and truly in the air and in the past few years that has come to mean Pumpkin Spice everything. From coffee to air freshners pumpkin spice is the belle of the season.

So, Wickeds, I wondered how each of you feel about it? Do you swoon to see the signs proclaiming it to be available at the local Dunkin Donuts or do you just find it all baffling?

Liz: Next to summer, fall is my absolute favorite season, and it’s mostly because of the pumpkin spice craze. Beginning October 1, I make it my mission to have as many pumpkin-flavored anythings as possible. Although I much prefer Starbucks pumpkin spice lattes over Dunkin Donuts any day….

Sherry: I’m not a fan and don’t rush out to buy everything from M&Ms to Oreos flavored with pumpkin spice. That said I do make an excellent pumpkin spice cake that I’ve been making for about ten years (that predates the craze, right?). It’s so easy — two ingredients a spice cake mix and a can of pumpkin. You mix the two together and bake it at 350 for 25 minutes. It’s low calorie and full of fiber. It doesn’t need frosting because it is so moist.

Jessie: I really dislike tinkering when it comes to my coffee. I like it black and very strong, with no sugar so the idea of gussying it up with dessert flavors just leaves me cold. I guess I don’t really get the whole pumpkin thing unless we happen to be talking about pumpkin squares with cream cheese frosting. Or jack-o-lanterns. But I think I will try baking Sherry’s cake! That sounds intriguing.

Barb: When I rule the world, (not that anyone has asked me to), everything will have a season. In North America, that will mean cider in September and October, pumpkin spice in November, and peppermint hot chocolate in December. No overlapping or rushing the seasons! I do treat myself to a pumpkin spice coffee (or maybe two) and a peppermint hot chocolate, but only in the appropriate month (as decreed by me). (They’ll be a lot more changes when I rule the world, btw.)

Julie: One of my favorite parts of the pumpkin spice craze is how much Liz loves it. Because, seriously, she’s a wicked healthy eater. And yet, she stands in line for her pumpkin spice lattes at Starbucks, which have never seen a real pumpkin. But I digress. I love pumpkin pie, and was surprised that the craze doesn’t taste like that. I can take it or leave it. But eggnog latte season? THAT is my favorite.

Edith: Only in pies! Never in coffee! But I think I’ll try Sherry’s cake, too – except maybe I’ll make the spice cake from scratch and use canned pumpkin for the butter and eggs part.

How about you, dear readers? Fans of the pumpkin spice, or not?

The End is the Beginning

WhispersOfWarningCover

Jessie: In New Hampshire, where she is sorry to say the leaves are starting to color up.

Today is the launch of my sixth book. To be honest, I am still not sure how I got here. It really does seem like just yesterday that I was sitting at the breakfast bar in my kitchen with tears streaming down my face, staring at the words “The End” typed on my laptop computer screen. But it wasn’t yesterday, it was sometime in January of 2008 and the book in question was my first one, Live Free or Die. And it wasn’t really the end. In fact, it was the beginning.

I hadn’t truly understood how much writing mattered to me until I burst into tears as I realised I was not going to be one of those people who had always wanted to write a book. I had become someone who had gone ahead and done so. I still cannot believe I wrote that one and haven’t quite believed my eyes whenever I’ve seen the words “The End” in front of me all the times that followed.

Since then, more books have reached the end and more bouts of weepiness have ensued. Every book has been a pleasure in its own way, including this second Change of Fortune mystery. I hope many of you will enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. But even more, I hope each of you will find a satisfying ending of your own that turns out to be a delightful new beginning as well!

Readers,  have you ever reached an end that was a beginning? In order to celebrate the release of Whispers of Warning I will give away a copy to one commenter! 

 

 

Sleep Tight

Jessie- Enjoying a last bit of summer vacation on the coast of Maine

alarm-clock-1193291_1920I’ve written several times in blog posts, either here or as a guest on other blogs, that I am an enthusiastic planner and goal setter. For many years I’ve spent time once each looking over my resolutions and plans for the year and bringing them down to weekly and daily courses of action. Every year I buy a planner to help me to stay on track and to achieve those things I most want to accomplish.

This year I have been using a planner by Ink and Volt which I adore. The one feature that has been more useful to me than all the others is the monthly challenge. It is a page used to state a habit or skill you would like to work on for the month with a place to  write a note to yourself about why you feel like bothering and a daily check off area to mark if you manage to achieve what you set out to do.

In July the habit I decided to work on was getting 8 hours of slep each night. My husband has been remarkably sleep deprived for quite a long time and I wanted to be supportive of him making a priority of turning in early. I thought if I went to bed early enough to accomplish my goal he would feel he had to do so too and that it would do him a world of good. What I hadn’t realized was that more sleep was just what I needed myself.

For years I had no time to hear myself think until after the children went to bed. I would squeeze out a couple of hours for reading or knitting or movie watching after they were asleep. This wasn’t so bad when they went to bed at 7:00 or 7:30 but as they stayed up later and later themselves, I did too. As a result, for the last several years, I’ve managed on five or six hours of sleep every night and I thought it was enough. That is, until I made a habit of sleeping for eight.

By the end of the first week in July I felt like a different woman.  I popped out of bed with energy I hadn’t felt in years.  I wasn’t as likely to find myself looking in the refrigerator for no good reason. I was more productive with my work.  It was marvelous. By the second week I didn’t even feel guilty about lazing about in bed for so long every night. By the third and fourth I was astonished at the change in my life. I was awake fewer hours each day but each was more enjoyable and productive.

Now when I don’t get my eight hours I feel it. I even attempt to take a nap to catch up if need be. I’m not sure how I managed for so long on so little. Even after a couple of months I am astonished by how much better I feel and how little appeal just one more chapter or another episode of any given program on Netflix has in comparison with a full night’s sleep.

Readers, do you ever get enough sleep? Do you wish you could squeeze in a another hour or so every night?