Nancy's Notes From Florida

Leu House Museum

February 24, 2024

The Leu House Museum is located inside Harry P. Leu Gardens in Orlando, FL. Overlooking Lake Rowena, this stately residence is on the National Register of Historic Places. Although we’ve been to the botanical gardens many times, this was our first tour of the house.

 

The original owners were the Mizell family who claimed the land in 1858. There they grew sugar cane, cotton and corn. David Mizell was the sheriff of Orange County. He got killed in an ambush in 1870. Duncan Pell, the next owner, hired David’s son to add two more wings to the house. He made this a weekend getaway for him and his second wife, silent screen star Helen Gardner.

The Woodward family came next in 1906, adding on to the house to make it the present size. They used the house for a winter retreat.

Finally, Harry P. Leu and his wife Mary Jane bought the property in 1936. They traveled widely and brought back seedlings and plants for their garden. They donated the acreage and house to the City of Orlando in 1961.

Inside, the rooms have been restored with a mixture of original furnishings and donations. The lifestyle reflects turn-of-the-century living. The first families lived without plumbing and electricity, which were later additions.

       

Through the front door, we entered the living room. There’s a pleasant parlor to the left and a dining room straight ahead, with a staircase next to a bookshelf I’d like in my home. Most of these rooms had fireplaces.

       

              

    

The kitchen has been modernized in some ways but still has a wood-burning stove and an old-fashioned refrigeration unit. Originally, it was a warming room while the food was cooking in an outbuilding accessible from a breezeway. But then the kitchen moved indoors.

   

The upstairs held several bedrooms that looked bright and airy. They appear easily habitable.

     

 

A screened porch out back would have been a pleasant place to relax during temperate weather.

  

On the paths back to the garden entrance, we viewed some of the glass and steel sculptures by Alex Heveri for a special exhibit. Otherwise, try to time your visit to include a tour of the house. Go to https://leugardens.org for more information.

 

Leu House Museum is worth a trip to Leu Gardens in Orlando #Florida #history Click To Tweet

We enjoy touring botanical gardens and historic homes. Are there any near you?



• Posted in Blog • Tags: , , , , , , |  Be The First To Reply!


Quick Prep Recipes

February 15, 2024

Here are some quick and easy recipes that will serve you well for breakfast and dinner. They’re fast to prepare for your family.

BANANA OAT FRITTATA

This is a quick preparation breakfast that’s healthy and nutritious. It’s as hearty as any omelet and gives you a serving of grains as well.

Banana Oat Frittata

Ingredients

3 Bananas
0.98 oz. packet Quaker Original instant oatmeal (4 Tbsp.)
3 eggs
¼ tsp. cinnamon
3 Tbsp. olive oil
Honey

Directions

Mash one banana in a medium bowl. Add 3 eggs and oats. Sprinkle in cinnamon and stir to blend. In a separate bowl, slice remaining two bananas. Heat olive oil in large nonstick frypan. Place rings of sliced bananas inside pan. Pour oat mixture over top and tilt pan to spread evenly. Cover and cook on medium heat until bottom is browned, about 5 to 10 minutes. Remove cover and flip frittata over to set on other side for 5 minutes or less. Slice and serve warm. Dribble with honey or use maple syrup if preferred. Serves 2-4.

Note: To downsize for a smaller frypan, use only 3 Tbsp. oats, 2 eggs, and 2 Tbsp. olive oil.

STRING CHEESE MANICOTTI

Make sure the food is cooked through enough that the string cheese melts. This tastes even better heated for leftovers the next day. Serve with garlic bread and a fresh salad.

String Cheese Manicotti

Ingredients

12 oz. package string cheese (12 pcs)
8 oz. package manicotti pasta (12-14 pcs)
1 jar spaghetti sauce (24-32 oz.)
Grated parmesan cheese
Dried parsley
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
Fresh chopped basil
Dried oregano

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook the manicotti in boiling water according to package directions. Drain and set aside to cool. Roll string cheese in a mixture of parmesan cheese and dried parsley. Stuff cheese sticks inside manicotti noodles when not too hot to handle. Pour a coating of tomato sauce on bottom of greased 9 x 12 baking dish. Place manicotti on top in single layer. Spread remaining sauce over noodles. Sprinkle with chopped fresh basil and dried oregano. Add shredded cheese. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes until heated through. Serves 6.

Quick prep recipes for breakfast and dinner #cooking #recipes Click To Tweet

GIVEAWAY

Enter Here to win 7 First-in-Series Books AND a Logo Mug from Booklovers Bench in our 11th anniversary blowout giveaway!



• Posted in Blog • Tags: , , , , , |  Be The First To Reply!


A Valentine’s Day Gift for You

February 1, 2024

Happy Valentine’s Day Month!  As a gift to you, I’m offering a copy of Permed to Death for FREE. Yes, you heard me. My First-in-Series for the Bad Hair Day Mysteries is Free!

Sassy salon owner Marla Shore is giving grumpy Mrs. Kravitz a perm when her client dies in the shampoo chair. If that isn’t enough to give her a bad hair day, handsome Detective Vail suspects Marla of poisoning the woman’s coffee creamer. Figuring she’d better expose the real killer before the next victim frizzes out, Marla sets on the trail of a wave of wacky suspects. Her theory regarding whodunit gels only after she looks for the culprit closer to home.

Click Here to Get Your Free Copy Now

What can you expect from this story?

Amateur sleuth
Colorful characters
Family Drama
Humor
Intriguing plot twists
Red Herrings
Small-Town Secrets
South Florida Charm

A Sample of Industry Reviews

“Fast-paced and jaunty.” Publishers Weekly 

“A plot with more tangles than an uncombed perm.” Kirkus Reviews

“An amusing tale, buoyed by a likable amateur sleuth and enhanced by the South Florida atmosphere.” Sun-Sentinel

“A very successful mystery in a new series.”Fort Myers Life Magazine

As a reader, I’ve found many favorite new authors through their freebies. I’ve gone on to buy their entire series. I’ll discover them through daily newsletters such as BookBub, The Fussy Librarian, Freebooksy and Book Doggy. These allow you to try new authors without financial risk. It’s a great way to find your next great read. Subscriptions to readers are free and you can filter your genres.

Will you be my Valentine and download my book? Please share the link with friends and help spread the word. Happy Reading!

Download your free copy now: https://books2read.com/PermedtoDeath

What are your favorite ways to discover new authors or series to read?

GIVEAWAY

Enter Here to win 7 First-in-Series Books, plus a Logo Mug, from Booklovers Bench in our 11th anniversary blowout giveaway!



• Posted in Blog • Tags: , , , , |  4 Comments


Goal Review 2024

January 28, 2024

As a writer, setting goals each year will give you a path to follow. Each item you cross off your list will provide a sense of accomplishment. You might add new goals as you go along and find additional tasks to do.

Setting Goals for Writers

Each January, I set myself new creative and business-related writing goals. For 2024, since I have many business tasks to do, I’ve separated my goals into monthly projects.

January 2024
Upload revised editions of Books 1-3 in my series – DONE
Update Box Set One, my Book Sampler and audio covers – DONE
Publish Box Set Six on Jan. 23, 2024 – DONE
Do blog post and newsletter for new release and reissues – DONE
Promote new release on social media – ONGOING
Revise Murder at Your Service version 3 – ONGOING 

February
Set the price on Permed to Death to Permafree to attract new readers – IN PROGRESS
Schedule a promo stack and other ads.
Announce sale on social media sites, blog and newsletter.
Apply for distributor promotions.

March/April
Continue Above Projects.
Consider a BHD short story for newsletter subscribers.
Consider a newsletter automation sequence.

May/June
Initiate audiobook production of Writing the Cozy Mystery.
Plan the Launch.

Fall
Finish current WIP. Send to Editor.
Plot a new BHD holiday mystery novella.

File Management – Mindless tasks for spare time.
Improve SEO on older blog posts.
Sort through photos to clear storage space.
Delete old files.

Of course, the best laid plans often go awry. Who knows what the universe has in store for us? We just have to go with the flow and get as much done as we can. This is why I like being an indie author. No deadlines and no pressure to attend distant conferences. I can stay home and work at my own pace.

Have you set your goals for this year?

Goal Review 2024 #writetip #writingcommunity Click To Tweet


• Posted in Blog • Tags: , , , , |  Comments Off on Goal Review 2024


Bad Hair Day Box Set Six Release Day

January 23, 2024

The Bad Hair Day Mysteries Box Set Volume Six: Books 16-18 is now available!

I am excited to announce the release of my latest box set in the Bad Hair Day cozy mystery series. This collection includes Easter Hair Hunt, Styled for Murder and Star Tangled Murder.

Digital ISBN: 978-1-952886-35-5
Published by Orange Grove Press
Cover Design by The Killion Group, Inc
Interior Design by Formatting4u.com

BOX SET SIX

A deadly Easter egg hunt, a remodeling project gone awry, and a Fourth of July murder at a living history village make for a sparkling cozy mystery collection.

EASTER HAIR HUNT

An Easter egg hunt at historic Tremayne Manor leads hairstylist Marla Vail to discover more than just dyed eggs. The dead man in the bunny suit is definitely not having a good hare day. Marla’s husband, homicide detective Dalton Vail, knows she finds solving mysteries to be irresistible, but she may have found a basketful of trouble this time. Can Marla use her eggcellent sleuthing skills to crack the case?

Readers’ Favorite Gold Medal Winner

“This story will fill your reading basket with entertainment, charming characters, plot twists, tasty recipes, and a cozy murder mystery to solve.” Thoughts in Progress

STYLED FOR MURDER

When salon owner, Marla Vail, gets a frantic call from her mother that there’s a dead body in her shower, Marla realizes this wasn’t part of the home remodel plans. The victim turns out to be the project manager, who had a shady reputation in town. Disgruntled customers, unpaid suppliers, and the design company’s staff are among the suspects, but Marla is more concerned about her stepfather’s connection to the victim. Can she flush out the clues and nail the killer before he strikes again?

Suspense Magazine “Best Cozy Mystery”
Readers’ Favorite Bronze Medal Winner

“A charmingly funny whodunit!” Woman’s World Magazine

STAR TANGLED MURDER

Hairstylist Marla Vail and her detective husband Dalton are having a blast visiting a Florida living history village over Fourth of July weekend. But when a battle reenactment turns up a dead body, it sets off fireworks among the villagers. One of the cast members has gone off script to murder the town marshal. Soon it become apparent that every one of the villagers is a suspect. Instead of spending the holiday chilling and grilling, somebody’s mind is on killing. Marla needs to find the culprit before she becomes the next victim.

FAPA President’s Book Awards Silver Medal Winner

Star Tangled Murder shines with excellent plotting, lots of twists and turns, and a satisfying ending. Highly recommended.” Suspense Magazine

Play the Jigsaw Puzzle for Box Set Six

Download Now – Get Three Books for the Price of Two!

Amazon Kindle
Apple Books
BN Nook
Kobo
Google Play
Books2Read

 

Get your copy of Bad Hair Day Mysteries Box Set Six now - a sparkling cozy mystery collection! #boxset #cozymystery Click To Tweet


• Posted in Blog • Tags: , , , , |  Comments Off on Bad Hair Day Box Set Six Release Day