Janet Simpson: Lost Cause Sunday, Aug 10 2014 

Auntie M welcomes author Janet Simpson, living in Australia, who will discuss the origin of her series.
A quick note to fans of Nicola Upson’s Josephine Tey series: THE DEATH OF LUCY KYTE is now available in paperback from Bourbon Street Books.

Let’s travel to Oz and meet Janet Simpson. Welcome Janet!


Where in the world is Daisy Dunlop?

Every author has their own methods for crafting a story. Some people turn a vivid dream into a creative reality. Others hear a snippet of conversation that sparks the imagination. A movie plot or a TV show might stir the creative juices. There are writers who plan every twist and turn, others have a brilliant idea and jump right in, riding it until they type, The End. Some books are plot heavy and character light. Some bounce along and weave their magic purely on the addictive charisma of the imaginary people who have been brought to life by the author. The possibilities when a person who chooses to craft stories for a living sits in front of a blank computer screen, fingers hovering over the keys, or turns their notebook to a crisp blank page with their favorite pen in hand, are endless.

When I start writing a new book it always begins with the characters. I am captivated by an idea of a person. If ignored they niggle at me, demanding that I listen to their voice and tell their unique story. Daisy Dunlop was the character who drove me to write Lost Cause. It is her mystery series, her adventures and her life. However, she didn’t come alone. She dragged her dark and mysterious and sometimes sullen sidekick, Solomon, along with her. The story of the unwilling Irish PI and the, would be, Heir Hunter was born.

The plot was all disaster prone Daisy’s, the point of view both Solomon’s and Daisy’s. The setting is not the country I have called home since I was in my mid twenties, but rather the south coast of England, where I grew up and wasted a great deal of my misspent youth. The towns where I met and fell in love with my husband, where I had my first son, and where I revisited and lived for 18 months when my boys were still children became the backdrop to Daisy’s adventure. This may seem a strange choice for an Aussie author, but as an English girl abroad I have learned one important thing about being English: our sense of humor is unique. Some people love it and some people hate it, but it is not found anywhere else in the world. When Daisy first popped into my head she arrived with a full blown English accent and a sense of humor that could exist in no other country on earth. So, where is Daisy Dunlop? Right now, as I close in on the end of writing book two in the series, Lost and Found, she is at a dog kennels, which is really odd, because dogs scare her to death. I can’t see this ending well.


Diminutive English rose, JL Simpson, was stolen away by a giant nomad and replanted in a southern land filled with gum trees and kangaroos. She quickly grasped the meaning of G’day and mate whilst steadfastly refusing all attempts to convert her to Vegemite.
She loves sharing tales about unexpected twists of fate. Holding on to a steadfast belief every obstacle can be overcome, she spends her moments of solitude creating adventures where mystery and mayhem collide.


Lost Cause – Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Lost-Cause-Daisy-Dunlop-Mystery-ebook/dp/B00LG83E4O/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1404617793&sr=8-1&keywords=Lost+cause

Lost Cause – Taliesin Publishing http://www.taliesinpublishing.com/lost-cause-p58.php

Lost Cause – Nook http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/lost-cause-jl-simpson/1119886279?ean=2940149757732

Website: http://jlsimpson.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/JL-Simpson/126748204182731?ref=hl

Twitter: @jlsimpsonauthor

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/JL-Simpson/e/B00LGB1T48/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22587545-lost-cause?from_search=true

Melissa Westemeier: Kicks Like a Girl Sunday, Jun 29 2014 

Melissa Westemeier Punches Out New Novel in Kicks Like a Girlkicks-like-girl-melissa-westemeier-paperback-cover-art

Wisconsin writer Melissa Westemeier published her latest novel this February, now available on Kindle and in paperback.

Kicks Like a Girl was inspired by Melissa’s experiences as a karate student. Now a 2nd degree black belt, she recalled her first time stepping onto the mat and how she struggled to keep up with advanced students while mastering the basics of martial arts.

“It was tough and scary, not unlike taking gym class as a new kid when the popular kids pick teams. You feel like a failure at first when you’re the last kid picked, and then you grit your teeth and determine that you will become a success at dodge ball or floor hockey—not unlike my experiences with writing when I think about it.”

The heroine of Kicks Like a Girl, Gretchen Benton, takes up karate to learn self-defense after she’s assaulted by thugs robbing her flower shop. “I wanted to write a mystery, like a whodunit, but it morphed into a book about a woman becoming empowered. The physical strength she gets from karate mirrors the mental strength she acquires and you see that at play throughout different parts of her life.”

Readers report enjoying the book, and feeling inspired to try martial arts themselves, which is exactly what Westemeier intended. “I love karate and I wanted to share my enthusiasm for it. I want readers, especially women, to walk away from this book wanting to try martial arts and feel the thrill of punching and kicking something really hard.”

Those who have read Westemeier’s first book, Whipped, Not Beaten, will appreciate the humor in Kicks Like a Girl, too. The witty banter between the characters, the Bridezillas Gretchen encounters as a florist, and the range of karate students will keep you entertained until the very last page.

Kicks Like a Girl is available online.

Melissa Westemeier’s pboished work includes Whipped, Not Beaten, and Writing in a Changing World. A former high school English teacher-turned SAHM, Melissa blogs about environmental issues, and her adventures raising 3 boys and a ton of fresh produce on her family’s 60-acre homestead in Northeastern Wisconsin. Her current projects included a trilogy about a river town in Wisconsin, earning her 3rd degree black belt in karate and figuring out what to make for dinner tonight.

Jan McCanless: The Beryl’s Cove Mysteries and More Sunday, May 4 2014 

While Auntie M is in MN enjoying her four Grands there and her 23rd wedding anniversary, please welcome author Jan McCanless, whose wit and charm delight readers.

Over Connected but Underwired

by Jan McCanless
McCanless 1

There was a cartoon in the paper the other day that had the born loser looking forlornly at his computer screen, and Gladys was asking him what the trouble was. He replied that there was a news story he wanted to read that would help him with his memory, and he couldn’t access it because he had forgotten his password. That, my friends, is the story of my life!!

You would think that being a newspaper columnist I would know how to do tricks on a computer, I mean, really make it sit up and spin around. Hah !!!!! I know just enough to get me by vis-a-vis my emails and sending in my work to various editors around the country.

Somebody told me recently that they were surprised I was not banging away on an old Underwood typewriter someplace. Hey, if I could find one, I would…

I have a sister-in-law who raves about her Kindle, her iPad, her tablet, her iPhones, whatever. She will begin rhapsodizing over all these electronics, while I sit there with that deer-in-the-headlights look. Just this morning, my friend emailed about a new computer he is trying to set up at his house. He raved about memory chips, hardware, motherboard, gigabites, etc, and I sat here, my eyes glazing over. I’m thinking to myself, what in the world are these people talking about??

I recall a job I once had that required me to have a cell phone so the office could get in touch with me. At that time, my daughter had given me an old one she felt was obsolete, so, there I was, riding around on the tour bus I was escorting someplace, when the phone rang. I whipped it out, pulled up the antenna, and to my horror, all 56 passengers on the bus were laughing and pointing at me. What????? It was a cell phone for heavens sake!! Not long after this, the thing simply died on me. It was, after all, a fossil from the dinosaur age. Off I went to my local wireless store. See, I did learn the terminology. Wireless, has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? Give me the cheapest, easiest thing to operate, I told them. They did, but then the salesman started to explain all the neat things it would do: you hit this button, it turns on the camera; this over here, he said, was the speaker; on and on. Even told me how I could text. Text, me???

Putting my new toy in my handbag, I inadvertently turned the camera on. It would be a disaster, but, I did get a lot of nice shots of the interior of my handbag. The first time it rang, it scared me to death. I had forgotten how to turn it on and speak into it. Well, you can understand my predicament now, can’t you? I am definitely of the on/off switch generation, and you people have put me in this situation , and I can tell you right now I am not happy about it.

Soon after they bought me my first microwave oven, I told my children that I would never want for any other modern device. They told me I had to come into the modern age and to use a computer. “Get connected, Mom” they told me. “You can’t access the internet with a microwave oven.” How do they know, have they ever tried?

The whole world is ‘connected’ electronically, but I am underwired for such things. It’s all I can do to operate my can opener/knife sharpener, and I didn’t even realize my can opener also contained a knife sharpener until my daughter-in-law used it one day. I thought those ridges on the back of the thing were merely a nice design.

Look, I’m happy, blissful in my ignorance, and think of the time I don’t waste by being constantly on one of those electronic gizmos. Just for your information, I don’t care for vending machines, either. They always seem to take my money and stop functioning at that moment. Besides, if I learned to be really proficient on one of those things, what in the world would I write about?

Contact Jan at janet.mccanless@janmacbooks.com or via the e mail at janmccanless@aol.com She may write you back!

Jan McCanless is a retired high school teacher and free lance columnist for several national newspapers and national publications. She’s authored 9 books, 7 in the Beryl’s Cove mystery series, and 2 compilations of funny columns, magazine articles and humor presentations around the country. A former woman of the year in Rowan County, Jan was among the nominees for International Woman of the year in 2005, for her work as a child advocate and in family violence prevention.

Listed as one of North Carolinas premier humorists, Jan often writes about her escapades trying to unravel the confusion of electronics, while maintaining her status as a member of the on/off switch generation. She takes pride in the fact she just recently learned how to use my electric knife sharpener, and braved the world of the ATM.

Married for a lifetime, she is the proud mother of 3, and grandmother of 9, who happen to feel, as I do, that I am awesome! She resides in rural Rowan County, but, you can probably catch her at one of her appearances around the country, or some regional book fair or signing. Jan says: “You can’t miss me, I am the one without the cell phone attached to my head, or using the iPad or any other gadget popular today. I’ll be doing my figuring on paper, with pencil, but I do work crossword puzzles in ink. Having been compared to Erma Bombeck, all I can say is: I am funnier and prettier, so, enjoy yourself while you read about my latest adventure.”
Murder on the Mississippi cover galley

The Beryl’s Cove Mysteries:

Beryl’s Cove and the Elvis Man

The Case of the Doomed Diplomat – a Beryl’s Cove Mystery

Great Scott -A Beryl’s Cove Mystery

The Haunted Chapel – A Beryl’s Cove Mystery

Back to Beryl’s Cove -Train Ride to Homicide

The Choir Loft Murders – A Beryl’s Cove Mystery

Murder on the Mississippi – A Brother Jerome Story and Beryl’s Cove Mystery


Wyatt Earp, GAP Pickles and Thoughts of Home -won the Mother Vine award for best short stories of 2013

Tire Patch Cookies are Good for the Soul -nominee for Mother Vine award for 2014

th-th-that’s all folks !!!!!