July 29, 2011

Book Blogger Hop 7/29-31: A New Book You're Reading?

Book Blogger Hop Decided to join in on the BOOK BLOGGER HOP at Crazy for Books.

** This week's question: Highlight one book you have received this week (for review, from the library, purchased at the store, etc.) that you can’t wait to dig into.

My answer:

I have several books I got a a garage sale, a rare YA stack! The one I keep looking at, curious about it, is WITCH & WIZARD by James Patterson. I may be the last person on the planet who has not yet read one of his books, and hearing about his writing methods with numerous co-authors makes me curious. As he also jumped into the YA field, I found this book intriguing.

Of course, as usual, I have several books I'm reading at once. I'm also reading, THE FULL MOON BRIDE, Shobhan Bantwal and THE HUNGER GAMES.

About Witch & Wizard:

Grade 5–9—Wisty and Whit Allgood have magical powers, but they don't know it. At least they don't know until they are arrested by the guards of the New Order, which has just come to power. Their parents have always been into herbs and plants and predictions; they don't send their kids to typical schools, and when the teens are allowed to take only one item each to jail with them, they send a drumstick and a book with no words that are visible to the naked eye. The kids start to get an inkling of what they can do when Wisty bursts into flames when she gets angry, and before long she is turning people into creatures and conjuring tornadoes, and lightning bolts shoot from her hands. The bulk of the book takes place when Whit and Wisty are locked up in a reformatory where they are bullied by the guards. ( - From School Library Journal).

July 27, 2011

Miniatures Idea: A Seashell House

Martha Stewart has a selection of interesting ideas for what to do with seashells - including an easy-to-make cardboard house covered with shells.

* Get the Instructions

July 26, 2011

Two Sentence Tuesday: Mystery to Romance....

Thought I'd join in on Two Sentence Tuesday at Women of Mystery.

Just finished reading a fascinating romance-crime story, The Dowry Bride by Shobhan Bantwal. (Great author of India-based tales. Come back on Aug. 24th for my interview with her regarding her latest book, The Full Moon Bride.)

In The Dowry Bride, a young bride overhears an extraordinary conversation, voices speaking of a plot to murder a wife who hasn't produced a child and whose family failed to produce the promised dowry... her.

Two sentences from The Dowry Bride (page 99): With a shudder Megha came awake from the sinister darkness of the foggy backyard to the brightness of the room, blinking-the scream still inside her throat. Her heart was beating so frantically it seemed ready to jump out of her breast.

My two sentences from the diner mystery I am reworking (pg. 99):
The giant picture window had a big hole in the center like someone had shot it out, except a gun didn’t do this. She eyed the palm-sized piece of red brick on the floor, thankful it hadn't hit any of them.

** Share your two sentences you read and you wrote. What are you working on?

July 25, 2011

Miniatures Monday: In Miniature Style II really mini!

Working on making up some items and making kits for the tote bags in In Miniature Style II.

A few of the items for the bags: pencils, and small books of course! (Non-opening.) Here's a completed tote I made before.

July 23, 2011

In Miniature Style II Print Sale!

The print version of In Miniature Style II has been updated (fixing pattern order and a couple things)

Good news is it's now on sale for $12. (Eligible for free shipping on Amazon if you're buying $25 anyway...)

EBook and other formats still available. (See link above.)

July 20, 2011

Writing: Too Much Nodding and other People Problems

Thinking I was "done," (really?) I let my wip (work in progress) sit a couple days, though deep down, I knew there was a problem I needed to look at. Nodding. As in She nodded, I nodded, Nodding, he, etc.

My characters nod. A lot. Nodding seems to be my oft-used, abused, and overused word. Going through the manuscript, I'm changing, fixing, deleting all those nods. After a while, though, the brain gets numb in thinking up new things to say.

So, share: what's your over-used or "fave" word or phrase? What do you put in exchange? And I'd love any suggestions for fixing mine (other than cutting off the characters' heads. Problem solved. haa!)

July 16, 2011

Books for Sale - Mini and Doll Related

**US shipping tbd; International, may cost more; not responsible for loss w/o insurance. click profile to email me. All books in very good and good condition. (Yes these are "real" full-size books!)

Doll dressing inspiration, wonderful details! Stunning costumes in The Tyler
Wentworth Fifth Anniversary Album. 176 pgs, hardcvr. Reverie Publishing (2004) VG condition.Collectible! Selling on Amazon and eBay, $55 and up. For Sale: $40 (or best offer) plus shipping.(RARE!)

In the five years since her introduction by the Tonner Doll Company, Tyler Wentworth has risen to the top of the world of fashion dolls. This book is a comprehensive collector's reference to all things Tyler, and a commemoration in words and photos of this groundbreaking doll. Entertaining and informative, this book offers a unique collection of facts, fiction and photographs. In this book, Tyler's storyline continues and is illustrated by new photographs featuring her and her friends in settings from their lives, such as Tyler's apartment and the fashion runway. Well-known contributors such as A Glenn Mandeville, who traces Tyler's place in the history of the American fashion doll, and Louise Fecher, as well as fashion designer Timothy Gunn, discuss Tyler's importance in various arenas. Masterful photographers Ernest Padro-Compos and Barry Sturgill pay homage to the doll in beautifully styled pictures, exclusive to this book. The collector's reference section shows every production doll and outfit ever made, with identification information as well as collector's notes, including nearly every exclusive and one-of-a-kind.


British Teenage Dolls, 1956-1984, Frances Baird, 2004 New Cavendish, hc, 195 page. Great pix,history, clothes, dolls - Blythe, Charlie's Angels, more. Fun history. Sells for $30 (different cover). Selling for $20 plus shipping.

A Beginner's Guide to the Dolls' House Hobby, Jean Nisbett, reprint GMC 1997. 120 pgs, sofcover. Oldie but goodie, good information, how to's and nice pix. Still a popular seller and good guide. VG condition, $10 plus shipping.


The Doll's House Sourcebook, Caroline Clifton-Mogg, Abbeville Press, 1993. 208 pages, softcover, oversized. Wonderful, inspiring book, beautiful large color photos. Lots of gorgeous rooms, scenes and inspiration. $15 + shipping.
Inside the World of Miniatures & Dollhouses, A Comprehensive Guide to collecting and creating, McKay, 1976; softcover, large size, 240 pgs, good condition, slight wear on cover side ends. Good overall information and photos, all b/w. Includes section on making basic furniture, bench, fireplace, etc. Good guide. Selling for $8 and shipping.

July 15, 2011

New Summer Mysterical-e - Mystery Interview and New Books

The summer issue of Mysterical-e is out!

My new Author Snapshot column features an interview with mystery author Deborah Ledford and shares new books by Bernadette Pajer, Victor J. Banis, John Lindenmuth, Ed Lynskey, Jeffrey Siger, Melodie Campbell and Jan Christensen.

Happy Reading!

July 14, 2011

Miniatures Thursday: Flowers for the Half Scale Tudor House

A few photos of a couple other things I made for the Half Scale Tudor House.
I made some of the flowers and others (plus the great birds!) I got in anniversary swaps from the Yahoo Half Scale Group and other swaps.

I made the cabinet a while back as I wanted something with a mirrored back. The fence is two pieces of the wood fencing you can buy at the hobby store. I glued it together, added shelves and cut out small brackets as I thought it would be a great display for a garden shop.

* See the door and links to other half scale house pix

July 11, 2011

Welcome to Guest Mystery Author Ada Madison aka Camille Minichino

Today I again welcome prolific, charming and talented mystery author Camille Minichino, who's come out with a new book, THE SQUARE ROOT OF MURDER, the first in her new Prof. Sophie Knowles mystery series written under the name Ada Madison.

In the book, Dr. Sophie Knowles teaches math at Henley College in Massachusetts, but when a colleague turns up dead, it's up to her to find the killer before someone else gets subtracted.

While Camille is a scientist and quite familiar with the academic world, she's also a miniaturist and author of the fun Miniature Mystery Series. And collectors, you'll be glad to know she hasn't left her hobby behind yet. Far from it as you'll see. (Keep reading, and be sure to check out the contest at the end!)

Tools for Life
By Camille Minichino/Ada Madison

The best thing about writing novels is also the best thing about doing miniatures: you get to manipulate the world any way you please. In fact, dollhouses are a kind of fiction, and fiction writing is definitely a craft.

Here are a couple of handy dollhouse realities: it's a fictitious roof, so if there's a little flaw in your gluing job when you laid down the tiles, the roof still won't leak; no one will know whether the sheet corners on the bed are perfect (or even there at all!) under the comforter in the master bedroom.

As you craft the novel, you have the same power to put things in order, or not. You can construct a satisfying Whodunit with justice for all at the end, or weave twisty plots toward a cliffhanger ending. As a miniaturist, you can construct a lovely half-inch-scale cottage with no bad plumbing or any other defect, but if you'd rather, you can mess things up by turning a miniature bedroom into a crime scene.

Pictured: One of Camille's mini crime scenes.

You can defy age: with only a little maintenance, your dollhouse will never get old or lose its resale value; and as long as you keep writing, your heroine can stay young, even through a dozen books, released a year apart. In my Miniature Mysteries (written as Margaret Grace), my protagonist's granddaughter, 11 years old, will never become a testy teen. How handy is that?

One of my favorite miniature projects was creating a museum. I love real-life museums and have been known to spend entire days in New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art. But my miniature museum has one feature that's impossible in real life: it has only paintings I like.

I've hung several paintings by Edward Hopper and Van Gogh (of course, Chris!) but none by contemporary artists whose work looks a little like a day care project to my untrained eye. There are sculptures by Rodin, but no ancient stone figures (apologies to the Egyptologists out there).

[Full disclosure: Unlike my blog hostess and her talented friends, I don't do miniature paintings; I take the low road and download them!] (Host Note: No judging here, I do that a lot, too! ha!)

My miniature museum has a bistro and a gift shop, of course, as well as benches everywhere for resting and contemplation. I used the power of crafting to make a museum that's perfect for me, just as I use the power of a novel to make characters and stories that satisfy me.

When I donate a dollhouse to a charity—a great move, since it also means I get to buy another one!—I supply some furniture, but not all. I include instead supplies for making pieces, sometimes with instructions, sometimes not. I want the new owner to have that same powerful feeling of being in charge of her environment.

Similarly, when I teach writing, I give my students guidelines, prompts, questions to help them shape their own stories.

In my new series, my protagonist, Professor Sophie Knowles, has a beading hobby. In fact, she manages to use beads as a defensive weapon! Writing and crafting—both powerful tools for life.

** Camille Minichino is the author of three mystery series. Her akas are Margaret Grace (The Miniature Mysteries) and Ada Madison (The Professor Sophie Knowles Mysteries). Read the first chapter of THE SQUARE ROOT OF MURDER, launched on July 5, at her website.

** Camille, thanks again for stopping by and I wish you great success with your new series!

** CONTEST: Comment and share a favorite scene from one of Camille's books, or a general observation for a chance to win a copy of THE SQUARE ROOT OF MURDER. Include an email so we can contact you.

July 08, 2011

Writing, writing,...What about you?

Nope haven't disappeared. Busy writing. 2,500 words to go to reach my 60,000 word goal on my YA girl zombie. Fixing some things, adding, re-editing the synopsis again. All that fun stuff. Nose to the grindstone. :>)

So if you stop by, please share what you are working on so I don't feel so lonely. ha!

July 04, 2011

Happy Fourth!

Have fun with BBQ's and relaxing today. Remember those who make sacrifices for freedom.

Here's my favorite scene I made fashioned after a vintage cookbook cover.