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

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!

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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?

Wicked Wednesday: Santa Claus Stories

purringFriends, we are still celebrating Liz Mugavero’s Purring Around The Christmas Tree release. A reminder about what the book is about:

To the townspeople’s delight, the annual lighting of the tree is a spectacular success. Unfortunately, Santa pulled up in his sleigh, DOA. At first Stan is sure it’s Seamus, her boyfriend’s uncle, inside the red suit. But the victim turns out to be an employee from the town’s Christmas tree farm. Rumor has it the deceased was a mean drunk with a soft spot for feral cats. Stan has no idea why he was dressed as St. Nick—or why he’s dead.

Meanwhile, Seamus, a jolly Irishman who comes to America every December to visit his pub-owner nephew, is nowhere to be found. Could he just be off on a Boston bar crawl? Or is something more sinister under the tree? Seamus was supposed to be dressing up and posing for pet pictures with Santa at the shop, but the dogs and cats might have to find another lap to curl up in if Stan doesn’t solve two mysteries soon. Or murder might be the only thing under the mistletoe this holiday . . .

The question this week–Wickeds, do you have a Santa Claus story you want to share?

Jessie: Huzzah, Liz! When I was a small child my mother would read me the story The Jolly Christmas at the Patterprints every year on Christmas Eve. It was the story of a family of mice who end up with Santa dropping into their cauldron of soup hanging over the fire. Quite the kerfuffle ensues. I now read it to my own children every Christmas Eve.

Edith: Congratulations, Liz! I can’t wait to read this new installment. When I was growing up we always read the old standard “Night Before Christmas” on Christmas Eve, and I continued that tradition with my sons. The poem has so many perplexing words and concepts for a child. “Threw up the sash” always made me feel a little queasy, as if Santa had eaten the sash to a dress and then vomited. And for years I thought he put a finger INside his nose – not a foreign concept at all to kids. Here are my sons (at 11 and 14) getting almost too old for the tradition.

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Sherry: Yay, Liz another new book! When my daughter was in second grade we were stationed in Florida and my husband traveled a lot. There was a movie on the Disney Channel that Elizabeth and I had watched about the tooth fairy. One night after I put her to bed, I sat in the family room reading. Elizabeth came out, put her hands on her hips, and said, “Tell me the truth is there a tooth fairy?” I told her no there wasn’t. She lectured me about lying and stomped back off to bed. A few minutes later she repeats the process, but this time asks about the Easter Bunny. Another lecture, more stomping. I sat there dreading what might come next, wondering why Bob was never home for these things. Sure enough Elizabeth comes back out, places her hands on her hips, and glares at me. “I don’t even want to know about Santa Claus,” she announced. Then she twirled around and went back to bed.

Barb: Congratulations, Liz. I LOVE your cover and can’t wait to read this new addition to the Pawsitively Organic Pet Food Mysteries. I love Christmas, and pretty much everything around it. My husband’s father’s family has a party every year on the Sunday closest to the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. Santa comes and gives each kid a small gift to tide them over to the big day. I loved this tradition when my kids were small, and my granddaughter has participated the last few years. (With, I admit, mixed results.)

Julie: First off, HUGE congratulations Liz!! So happy for you!! When I was growing up, my father always took us shopping and out to lunch one day around Christmas, likely to give my mother some time to catch up with the holiday. One year, when we were really little we went to meet Santa. This Santa was tiny, thin, and had horn rimmed glasses. We would have nothing to do with him, insisted that this was NOT Sand, and my sister started weeping. So my father, who was always quick with a story, told us that we were right. It wasn’t Santa. It was too close to Christmas, so he sent two elves down to stand in for him. There were actually two elves in the suit. WHEW. Childhood memories were saved.

Liz: I love these stories! Thanks so much for sharing them, guys! And for celebrating my release with me! xo

How about you, dear readers? Any Santa stories you want to share?Save

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Wicked Wednesday: Whispers of Fortune

whispersWickeds, we are celebrating Jessica Estevao’s Whispers of Warning. A reminder about what the book is about:

Free from the clutches of her con artist father, Ruby Proulx is starting to settle in at the Belden, her aunt Honoria’s seaside hotel. She loves finally being rooted in one place and also feels a sense of purpose as she helps Honoria keep her business afloat by acting as a psychic medium for the hotel’s metaphysically inclined guests.

When one of the guests, renowned Spiritualist and outspoken suffragist Sophronia Foster Eldridge, checks into the hotel for a monthlong stay, Ruby finds her sense of purpose expands outside the confines of home and family. Sophronia takes Ruby under her wing and mentors her in the mediumistic abilities, encouraging her to fight for women’s rights.

But not everyone is as happy with Sophronia’s appearance in Old Orchard. When a dangerous act of sabotage is carried out and a body is found floating in the pool of a local bathhouse, Ruby takes it upon herself to find answers— and in the process learns that her new friend has been hiding some deadly secrets of her own…

Today’s question for the Wickeds–Jessie has built up a wonderful world that touches on spiritualism. Tell us–are you a believer?

Edith: Wow. Just hit us with the easy question, Julie! I have a vague sense of the “beyond” – and vague is where it’s going to stay. I certainly think the universe contains something larger than us all, and that a continuation of spirit beyond our earthly shells is possible. That said, I love Jessie’s Change of Fortune Mysteries and can’t wait to pick up my pre-ordered copy from my local indy bookstore.

Liz: I am a TOTAL believer! I love all this woo-woo stuff – which is one of the reasons why I love this series. The rest of the Wickeds can attest to my, shall we say, quirkiness in this area. I think they love me anyway, even if they do think I’m a bit strange half the time…

Barb: I’m one of the non-woo-woo Wickeds. I don’t believe there’s a place we go when we die, and I don’t believe we’re ourselves (or anyone else) once we get there, so returning to visit is out of the question. However, I fully admit there are many things about our universe we don’t yet understand. There was a time when the rational people believed the sun revolved around the earth and that illnesses were caused by humours. They weren’t entirely wrong. Bodies did rotate and invisible (or should I say not yet seeable) entities cause diseases. We’re always learning new things, so I’m not going to knock anyone else’s beliefs.

Sherry: I’m never quite sure where I stand on this. I believe in God and angels. I believe that some people are very perceptive (Jessie, Julie, I’m looking at you two). After that it all gets a little blurry for me. There’s a dark side of all of this that scares me which is why I hate horror books and movies.

Jessie: I think the world is vast and strange and there are a lot of ways of knowing things, not all of which can be explained. I adore things that can’t be explained. After all, isn’t that the allure of mysteries, that which has yet to be explained?

Julie: Wickeds, you went deep on this one! I am one of the woo-woo people. And I do believe in spirits, and guides. I’m figuring out what it all means, and am fascinated by Tarot cards and their uses. Another reason I love this series–the exploration of this world. Congratulations again, Jessie!

Readers, what do you think? Are you a believer in psychics? Save

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Wicked Wednesday: Fall Preview

A Wicked CozyFall PreviewJulie here. In my theater life, we had the Greater Boston Theater Expo yesterday, which was a preview of the coming season. Since we have three (three!!) Wicked releases this month, I thought it might be fun to catch up with what all of the Wickeds are up to this fall.

Liz: It’s all about the writing this fall! I’m wrapping up book two in the Cat Cafe Mysteries now–which is tentatively titled Purrder, She Wrote (cute title, right??) and then I’ll be on to Murder, She Meowed, the 7th book in the Pawsitively Organic series. And a couple other projects I’ll be working on simultaneously… I guess I better get used to not sleeping, right? And in between all that, I’ll be celebrating the release of Purring Around the Christmas Tree, book six in the Pawsitively series, out in late September!

Edith: I’m finishing Country Store mystery #5, Death Over Easy, polishing Quaker Midwife #4, possibly titled Seeking Unity, and starting Cozy Capers Book Group Mystery #2! But I’m also traveling to Toronto for almost a week in October like most of the other Wickeds for the big Bouchercon mystery convention, where among other activities I’ll hear if Delivering the Truth wins a Macavity Award.

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I’m looking forward to seeing almost all the Wickeds in one spot at the Lawrence Library on October 21, and am on a MWA panel at the Boston Book Festival on October 28. I’ll be moderating a panel at Crime Bake, and doing a couple of library gigs here and there, too. Most exciting for me personally will be providing labor support as my goddaughter gives birth to her first baby sometime in the next month. Squee!

Barb: The mass market paperback of Eggnog Murder comes out October 31. I’m working on another holiday novella for a new collection with Leslie Meier and Lee Hollis for 2018, as well as the seventh Maine Clambake Mystery, Steamed Open. Along with three other Wickeds, I’m headed to Bouchercon in October. I’m looking forward presenting an expert session, “Four Lies People Will Tell You about Marketing Your Novel,” at the New England Crime Bake in November. On the personal front, we’re moving to our new condo in Portland, Maine on September 21. Can’t wait!

Sherry: Time is flying by! I am writing book seven with a working title of Let’s Fake A Deal — I’m not sure it will make it to the shelf with that title. I’m waiting for the copy edits for I Know What You Bid Last Summer which come out on February 28th. I’m really looking forward to going to Bouchercon in Toronto. I’ve never been there and am going to go up a couple of days early to do some sightseeing with my husband. And shortly after is Crime Bake. It always feels like I’m home when I land in Boston.

Jessie: Wow! What a busy bunch! Right now I am finishing up the second book in my new Beryl and Edwina series. On September 19 the second Change of Fortune mystery, Whispers of Warning releases. I have a second launch date on Halloween for the first Beryl and Edwina mystery, Murder in an English Village. I’ll be heading to conference in Florida in October too as well as speaking on a panel at the NH Library Association conference and to the NH Romance Writers group. And, of course, I’ll be at Crime Bake in November with the rest of the Wickeds!

Julie: What a busy group we are! There area a couple of Wicked library events coming up this fall (stay tuned!). I will be at Bouchercon and Crime Bake as well. Additionally, I am expected edits on the second Theater Cop mystery, and have a December 1 deadline on another series I will be announcing later.

Friends, stay tuned for more information about events that gather more that one Wicked at a time–we will let you know! In the meantime, let us know what is coming up for you and yours this fall!

Wicked Wednesday: A Christmas Carol

Cover of A Christmas Peril by J.A. HennrikusWickeds, today we are celebrating the Friday, September 8 release of A Christmas Peril by J.A. Hennrikus. It is the first in a new series about an ex-cop, Sully Sullivan, who runs a theater company in Massachusetts. Friday’s post will be more about the book. and the series.

In A Christmas Peril, the theater company Sully runs is doing A Christmas Carol, and chaos ensues. So today’s question–what is your favorite version of A Christmas Carol?

Barb: Wow. I’m tempted to say Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol, which is the one I grew up with, or the Muppets, which is the one my kids did. As I was thinking about this answer, I realized how embedded this story is in our lives, from books (I always put a few editions out at Christmas) to movies to TV. I was even in the play as Mrs. Cratchit when I was in high school. Without it we’d never have the expression, “Bah, humbug,” or call someone a Scrooge. Some people think it popularized the saying, “Merry Christmas,” itself. Anyway, Julie, congratulations on becoming a part of this rich canon. I can’t wait to read it!

Liz: Julie, congratulations!! So excited for you and this book. I love A Christmas Carol – for movie versions, the Patrick Stewart is my favorite. I’ve also been lucky enough to see the production twice at The Hartford Stage, and they put on a wonderful version.

Sherry: I’m so excited to read A Christmas Peril and I’m so happy for you, Julie! Like Barb the Mr. Magoo version loomed large in my life as a kid and it scared me! But my favorite version is the 1970 movie Scrooge with Albert Finney. I confess I had to do a search to find it. I knew I’d seen it with my family and remember it being a visual feast along with the wonderful story. I haven’t seen it in years, but now hope I can track it down. I’m amazed how many versions of A Christmas Carol there are!

Edith: Congratulations, dear Julie! I can’t wait to read this book, and am so glad you’ve joined the Midnight Ink family. I haven’t seen A Christmas Carol in so long I have no idea what my favorite version is, but I do love the Muppets, so that one would probably win.

Julie: There is no Mr. Magoo shame in my world–that is my mother’s favorite version. And Sherry, I have Scrooge on DVD. A perfect excuse to get together around the holidays. We can all sing the songs. I do love the Muppet version, and George C. Scott, and . . . I own over twenty different versions on DVD, so lots to chose from. Thank you for your best wishes dear Wickeds! I am so excited about this book seeing the light of day, and will blog more about that on Friday!

Jessie: The Muppet version is my favorite, Barb! I love the way it sticks to the backbone of the story while bringing its own personality and twist. Just as I am sure you will do with your addition to the story! I couldn’t be happier for you, Julie!

Readers, what is your favorite version of A Christmas Carol? Let us know in the comments!

 

 

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