Buzz is the Word

For Easter Hair Hunt, I learned quite a bit about beekeeping. One of the characters in this story is a beekeeper at a historic estate. Hairstylist Marla Vail attends an Easter egg hunt there when she discovers a body in a bunny suit out on the manicured lawn.

Bees are not my favorite creature but they play an important role in agriculture. Many of the world’s most common food crops require pollination by honeybees. On their foraging flights, the female worker bees collect nectar and pollen to bring back to the hive. The nectar is mixed with enzymes from their gut and then dehydrated into honey. Pollen, containing proteins and amino acids, becomes the “bee bread” used to feed growing larvae and the queen.

Honeybee

A virgin queen will mate with up to eighty male drones. She uses this sperm for the rest of her five-to-six year lifespan, laying eggs along the way. A hive can raise a new queen by feeding a substance named royal jelly to a larvae.

When the hive gets large enough, usually in the spring, the older queen leaves with half the worker bee population. The others cluster in a swarm outside while their scouts look for a new location. When the scout bees find a suitable home, they’ll return to the cluster and perform a waggle dance to direct the swarm to the new hive. The first worker bees on the premises gather at the entrance and release a pheromone to direct the rest of the bees into the new hive. This pheromone resembles the scent of lemongrass oil.

While the bees wait in a cluster for the scouts to return, beekeepers can use a swarm box to catch them. It’s baited with honey combs and lemongrass oil. The bees are docile at this time, because they have no brood to protect and they have gorged on honey to sustain them for the flight. The beekeeper will transfer the swarm into a nucleus box where they can establish themselves before being moved to a hive.

The beekeeper uses a smoker to tame the bees while he’s working with them. Smoke makes honeybees believe there may be a wildfire nearby. They’ll eat as much honey as they can in preparation for a potential move. This full stomach makes them less likely to sting due to the physical difficulty in tipping their abdomens up.

Smoke also masks the alarm pheromone given off by guard bees. This pheromone smells like banana candy, so if you smell bananas in your hive, it’s time for another puff of smoke. Similarly, beekeepers shouldn’t eat bananas before working with a hive, since it may be detected as an alarm pheromone. My suggestion is not to eat bananas before taking a stroll in the woods.

Bees tend to attack the face of mammals, hence the veiled hood as part of the beekeeper’s gear. Bees have carbon dioxide receptors on their antennae, which allow them to detect our exhalations. They may respond aggressively. This ability developed to protect them against bears. Also, if you’re afraid, they can sense it because you’ll breathe more rapidly.

Beekeeper tasks include making sure the bees have enough food, water and ventilation. They need to make sure weaker hives aren’t been preyed upon by stronger hives. Bees also need to be checked for diseases and pests. This job requires year-round attention to the bees in their care.

Bee populations are threatened by pesticides, drought, habitat destruction, nutritional deficits, air pollution, climate change, diseases and parasitic mites, plus robbers such as bears and bees from other colonies. Ecological farming is the key to protecting the bees. This practice restores soil nutrients, avoids soil loss from wind and water erosion, and avoids use of pesticides and fertilizers.

I am not a fan of bees of any kind, including wasps and bumblebees and hornets. True, the honeybees play an important role in our agriculture and honey production, but I’d rather steer clear of them. That includes hollow tree trunks and other potential hiding places in the woods.

Do you ever think about the role of bees in the honey you use at home? 

Research for EASTER HAIR HUNT #cozymystery involved learning about honeybees and beekeeping. Click To Tweet

Disclaimer: I am not an expert in the field of beekeeping. This information is based on my understanding of the material I read.

<><><>  

Easter Hair Hunt, #16 in the Bad Hair Day Mysteries 

An Easter egg hunt at historic Tremayne Manor leads hairstylist Marla Vail to discover more than just dyed eggs. The dead body in the bunny costume is definitely not having a good hare day. Marla and her husband, homicide detective Dalton Vail, make an eggcellent team. He knows Marla finds solving mysteries and hare-raising adventures to be irresistible, but she may have found a basketful of trouble this time. Can Marla pull a rabbit out of her hat and crack the case of the body in the bunny suit? Recipes Included! 

BUY NOW

Amazon Kindle – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B083TZ78G1
Amazon Print – https://www.amazon.com/Easter-Hair-Hunt-Bad-Mysteries/dp/0999793276/
BN Nook – https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1136016947?ean=2940162711889
Apple – https://books.apple.com/us/book/easter-hair-hunt/id1494917053?ls=1
Kobo https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/easter-hair-hunt
Books2Read – https://books2read.com/EasterHairHunt
IndieBound – https://www.indiebound.org/book/9780999793275
Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/50494022-easter-hair-hunt
BookBubhttps://bit.ly/2u7ggIu
Website – https://nancyjcohen.com/easter-hair-hunt/

 

Research Insights – Postal Service

Visiting the National Postal Museum in Washington D.C. is an enlightening experience. From the history of mail delivery via land, sea, and air to postal police to rare stamps, the exhibits need more than one day to absorb. If you’re into vehicles, there’s a mail train car, a stagecoach, vintage airplanes, and postal trucks among other awesome displays. After touring the voluminous halls, I came away with a new appreciation for mail carriers. You can read about my experience here.

Postage stamps figure into Easter Hair Hunt, #16 in the Bad Hair Day Mysteries. Lacey Tremayne, owner of a historic estate open to the public for tours and catered events, tells my hairstylist sleuth how her late husband had collected stamps. Lacey never paid much attention to his hobby, but she did like the historical aspects. Here she explains to Marla about the early history of our postal service. Why is this relevant? Marla found the chief gardener dead on the estate grounds after an Easter egg hunt. She’s interviewing potential suspects to find a motive.

postage stamps

“In the early days of mail delivery, a letter’s recipient had to pay a fee. Letters were folded and sealed with no envelopes since postage was based on weight. But people tried to cheat by putting a secret code on the outside of the letter, so the receiver could read the message and refuse delivery. The postal service turned to prepaid postage as a way to get paid for their efforts.” 

“Sealing wax was used on letters,” Marla remembered from period movies she’d seen. Noblemen would stamp the melted wax with their signet rings. 

“That’s correct. Rowland Hill, an English inventor, proposed that mail should go anywhere in Britain for the same rate, a penny per half ounce. The sender would pay for the postage, denoted by a small piece of colored paper on the outside of the letter. The first government-issued stamp, called the Penny Black, was issued in 1840. It was printed in black and had Queen Victoria on the picture.” 

“When was the first stamp made in the United States?” Marla asked, thinking to repeat this information to Dalton. As a history buff, he’d be interested in early postal service lore. 

“The U.S. Postal Service printed its first stamps in 1847,” Lacey said. “We had a five-cent stamp picturing Benjamin Franklin and a ten-cent stamp with George Washington. Most were produced in pre-gummed, non-perforated sheets that clerks had to cut.” 

“What kind of stamps did Connor collect?” 

Lacey spread her hands. “You’d have to ask his pal, Jonas Sommers. I liked learning about the history aspect but not the rest. Jonny is a walking encyclopedia on the topic.” 

“Did this guy have any interest in buying Connor’s collection after he passed? That would have made it easier for you to unload the stuff.” 

“No, I went through a stamp dealer. Jonny acted oddly at the time. He advised me to hold onto Connor’s stamps. But neither Daniel nor I had any interest in them. It’s like any collection. You pay a lot to acquire the items and then receive barely anything when you sell them.”

What did happen to Connor’s stamps? Were all of them sold, or were some hidden in the same private vault where he kept his sword collection? No one could seem to locate this secret stash.

If you want to read more on the history of postage stamp prices in the UK, Go Here for a quick summary.

Routine mail delivery is something we shouldn’t take for granted. It’s fascinating to learn about the postal service and the methods of delivery by air, sea and land. Mail carriers used to deliver the mail to us no matter the weather outside. Nowadays they’ll often stick the mail into cluster mailboxes at the entrance to a housing development. I much prefer our mail slot in the front door and an older community where the carrier goes from house to house.

How do you get your mail delivered? Do you have the same person each day on your route?

<><><>  

Easter Hair Hunt, #16 in the Bad Hair Day Mysteries 

An Easter egg hunt at historic Tremayne Manor leads hairstylist Marla Vail to discover more than just dyed eggs. The dead body in the bunny costume is definitely not having a good hare day. Marla and her husband, homicide detective Dalton Vail, make an eggcellent team. He knows Marla finds solving mysteries and hare-raising adventures to be irresistible, but she may have found a basketful of trouble this time. Can Marla pull a rabbit out of her hat and crack the case of the body in the bunny suit? Recipes Included! 

BUY NOW

Amazon Kindle – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B083TZ78G1
Amazon Print – https://www.amazon.com/Easter-Hair-Hunt-Bad-Mysteries/dp/0999793276/
BN Nook – https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1136016947?ean=2940162711889
Apple – https://books.apple.com/us/book/easter-hair-hunt/id1494917053?ls=1
Kobo https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/easter-hair-hunt
Books2Read – https://books2read.com/EasterHairHunt
IndieBound – https://www.indiebound.org/book/9780999793275
Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/50494022-easter-hair-hunt
BookBubhttps://bit.ly/2u7ggIu
Website – https://nancyjcohen.com/easter-hair-hunt/

Research Insights for EASTER HAIR HUNT #cozymystery on the history of the Postal Service. #amreading Click To Tweet

GIVEAWAY

 

LAST DAY! Enter Here to win an Easter Fun Box with a signed proof copy of Easter Hair Hunt, a scarf, cosmetic bag, gardening gloves, candy, hair ties, dish towel and socks.

 

Book Blog Tour for Easter Hair Hunt

March 10 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW

March 10 – Carla Loves to Read – REVIEW

March 11 – 18, Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour 

Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour

Join my virtual book tour to celebrate the release of Easter Hair Hunt, #16 in the Bad Hair Day Mysteries. Reviews, Spotlights, Interviews, Guest Posts & Giveaway. Please leave comments at each site to support my hosts.

March 11 – Socrates Book Reviews – REVIEW

March 11 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT

March 11 – This Is My Truth NowAUTHOR INTERVIEW

March 12 – The Power of Words – REVIEW

March 12 – Ascroft, eh?AUTHOR INTERVIEW

March 12 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT

March 12, Booklover’s Bench – “Spring has a Buzz” GUEST POST & GIVEAWAY

March 12 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW

March 13 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW

March 13 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT

March 13 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

March 14 – I Read What You Write – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW

March 14 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT

March 14 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT

March 15 – Cozy Up With KathyRECIPE POST

March 15 – Hearts & ScribblesGUEST POST – “Honey is Healthy”

March 15 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW

March 16 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

March 16 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – SPOTLIGHT

March 16 – eBook Addicts – SPOTLIGHT

March 17 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT

March 17 – Jane ReadsGUEST POST – “Expensive Easter Eggs”

March 17 – Cinnamon, Sugar, and a Little Bit of Murder – REVIEW, RECIPE, & GIVEAWAY

March 18 – StoreyBook ReviewsGUEST POST – “Postage Stamps are History”

March 18 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – SPOTLIGHT

March 18 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

April 2, Dru’s Book Musings – “Get to Know You – Dalton Vail” CHARACTER INTERVIEW & GIVEAWAY

April 4 – Kings River Life – REVIEW, RECIPE & GIVEAWAY

Follow Nancy J. Cohen's Book Blog Tour to celebrate the release of EASTER HAIR HUNT #cozymystery - Guest posts, interviews, giveaways, & recipes! Click To Tweet

GIVEAWAYS

Enter Here March 10 – 23 to win an Easter Fun Box with a signed proof copy of Easter Hair Hunt, a scarf, cosmetic bag, gardening gloves, candy, hair ties, dish towel and socks.

Enter Here March 1 – 18 to win a free book from Booklover’s Bench

March 2020

New Book Release – Easter Hair Hunt

Easter Hair Hunt, #16 in the Bad Hair Day Mysteries, is now available in print and ebook formats!

Easter Hair Hunt


LAUNCH PARTY
tonight on Facebook from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm EDT. Join us for Fun & Prizes!

 

Ebook: ISBN 978-0-9997932-6-8, Orange Grove Press, $4.99
Print: ISBN 978-0-9997932-7-5, Orange Grove Press, $14.99
Genre: Cozy Mystery | Print Pages: 302

Hare today, dead tomorrow… Can a stylish sleuth pull a rabbit out of her hat to solve an Easter murder in this to-dye-for cozy mystery?

When hairstylist Marla Vail attends an Easter egg hunt at historic Tremayne Manor, she’s only there to fix hair for a client, Bonnie “Blinky” Morris. But when she’s asked to comb the grounds for leftover goodies, Marla discovers more than just a few dyed eggs. The dead body in the bunny costume is definitely not having a good hare day. And Blinky seems to have disappeared down a rabbit hole.

When trying to solve a murder, everyone needs a friend who’s all ears. For Marla, that’s her husband, homicide detective Dalton Vail. They make an eggcellent team. Dalton isn’t the kind to leap to conclusions, but with his wife seven months pregnant, and knowing Marla finds crime-solving to be irresistible, he worries about her running off on another hare-raising adventure.

Marla’s peeps are hoping for a happy ending, but she may have found a basketful of trouble this time. Can she crack the case before Blinky becomes the next victim?

Recipes Included!

“Marla is drawn into an investigation that involves a missing friend and a stolen Fabergé egg. As Marla and husband Dalton proceed, she finds her family life and pregnancy challenged in more ways than one, with everything overshadowed by Easter and a mystery steeped in South Florida history and culture.” Diane Donovan, Midwest Book Review

“Intrepid sleuth Marla Vail goes looking for her friend Blinky and instead finds a dead gardener. She also finds a Faberge egg on the estate grounds. In a case of classic misdirection in which no one is who they appear to be, Marla snips out the lies to reveal the truth and the killer. Another fun installment in Cohen’s entertaining Bad Hair Day series.” Muddy Rose Reviews

“Easter Hair Hunt is another delightful mystery for Marla as she embarks on new changes in her life while she works to solve a mystery that delivers an exciting and fun read.” 5 Stars! Liz Konkel, Readers’ Favorite

BUY LINKS

Amazon Kindle – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B083TZ78G1
Amazon Print – https://www.amazon.com/Easter-Hair-Hunt-Bad-Mysteries/dp/0999793276/
BN Nook – https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1136016947?ean=2940162711889
Apple – https://books.apple.com/us/book/easter-hair-hunt/id1494917053?ls=1
Kobo – https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/easter-hair-hunt
Books2Read – https://books2read.com/EasterHairHunt
IndieBound – https://www.indiebound.org/book/9780999793275
Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/50494022-easter-hair-hunt
BookBub – https://bit.ly/2u7ggIu
Website – https://nancyjcohen.com/easter-hair-hunt/

Booksellers & Librarians This title is also available on Ingram.

Follow my Blog Tour March 11 – 18 for Reviews, Spotlights, Interviews, Guest Posts & Giveaway. Please leave comments to support my hosts.

Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour

New Book Release - EASTER HAIR HUNT, #16 in the Bad Hair Day Mysteries. An Easter egg hunt is not all it’s cracked up to be in this #mustread #cozymystery Click To Tweet

GIVEAWAYS

Enter Here March 10 – 23 to win an Easter Fun Box with a signed proof copy of Easter Hair Hunt, a scarf, cosmetic bag, gardening gloves, candy, hair ties, dish towel and socks.

Enter Here March 1 – 18 to win a free book from Booklover’s Bench

March 2020

Publix Cooking Class – Noble Vines Winery

This past weekend, we attended a cooking class at Publix Aprons Cooking School. The guest speaker was from Noble Vines Winery, describing the wines that accompanied our meal. These are from the Delicato Family Wines in California. We started out with a welcome aperitif. I liked the Noble Vines 242 Sauvignon Blanc. It wasn’t too fruity and would make a pleasant drink just to sip or perhaps to accompany fish or poultry. Meanwhile, the chefs were busy creating our dishes and demonstrating how to make them.

publix cooking class

Noble Vines 446 Chardonnay was paired with the first course, clams with linguini. While our friends indulged in this dish, I had written ahead to request mushrooms instead of clams. I am not a big shellfish eater except for shrimp. The linguini with mushrooms was delicious and would make a satisfying meal in itself.  We liked the Chardonnay as well. In fact, all the wines tonight were really good.

Next up was pan-roasted duck breast served with mushroom farro and cherry vinaigrette. I’d never had farro before, and I liked this grain that reminded me of barley. The duck was tender. It was paired with Noble Vines 667 Pinot Noir. I could have eaten this dish for a meal alone.

duck breast

The main dish was grilled Korean beef short ribs with coconut rice and wok-friend bok choy. Noble Vines 337 Cabernet Sauvignon was the accompanying wine. The short ribs were done just right, but I’ve had better. Actually, the ones I tasted recently in my blog post about the Epcot Festival of the Arts were much more tender. I prefer short ribs slowly braised or done in a slow cooker so that the meat practically falls off the bone. The rice was okay but the bok choy had more taste.

beef short ribs

We left enough room for the dark chocolate raspberry tart and the Noble Vines 515 Rose wine. What’s not to like about chocolate?

By now, we were more than stuffed and woozy from all the wine. It had been an enjoyable evening with entertainment and an appealing meal experience. The best part is that we got to take the recipes home.

GIVEAWAY 

Enter Here March 1-18 to win a free book from Booklover’s Bench

March 2020

 

Packing Checklist for a Writers Conference

SleuthFest 2020 is on the horizon March 26-29, and I’m already gathering materials for what I’ll need to bring. Writers’ conferences require advance preparation, especially if you’ll be speaking on a panel or giving a writing workshop. You’ve already determined your goals in participating, some of which may be referenced here: https://nancyjcohen.com/benefits-of-writers-conferences/

Aside from determining your objectives—i.e. attending specialized craft sessions, learning about new publishing options, meeting editors, making new author friends, greeting fans—there’s the physical prep. Here’s a checklist of things to bring. (Note – This is an update to a previous post.)

Writers Conferences

Prepare for your talks. If you’re a panelist, it can be easier because you might not have to do much prep other than jotting down some notes about the points you want to get across. Moderator-run panels in general mean more work for the moderator but less work for the panel guests, unless you are each expected to present your material for xx minutes.

If you are conducting a workshop on your own, you’ll need to compose or update your material, prepare a PowerPoint presentation if desired, and make copies of handouts. Sometimes the conference coordinators will offer to make the copies for you. Bring your laptop or thumb drive with these files and another flash drive for backup.

If you’re speaking on different topics, assemble each handout in a separate manila envelope to keep them organized.

Order business cards unless you have them already in stock. Consider updating them with QR codes or with your social network URLs.

Design, order, and pack brochures, bookmarks, and/or postcards about your books. Bring along display containers so they don’t get strewn across the promo tables. That’s assuming your conference has space available for this purpose. If not, you can hand them out at your workshop or as you meet people one-on-one.

Design, order, and pack swag for the promo tables or goody room. These are items such as magnets, pens, door hangers, candy, and other giveaways. If you are driving, toss a box of extra books into your trunk in case the on-site bookseller doesn’t get your books in time or is unable to obtain copies of a particular title.

Bring a checkbook in case the bookseller offers to sell you leftover stock at a discounted price. Bring cash for raffle tickets, drinks at the bar, gratuities and other incidentals.

Pack a book or two to display at your presentations and panels.

Bring a copy of your receipts showing your registration and any other special paid events.

If you’re donating a raffle basket, either get your materials to the coordinator ahead of time or bring the basket prepared and ready to go.

Bring a signup sheet for your newsletter to circulate at your workshop and to put out at signings.

Print out the conference workshop schedule and highlight your appearances. List these on your website and other online sites and include these papers in your suitcase.

Bring a highlighter so you can go through the conference schedule and mark sessions you want to attend.

Print out contact info for friends you want to meet at the conference.

Decide which outfits to wear to the different events. Business attire for daytime, dressier clothes for evening? Don’t forget matching accessories.

Determine which gadgets to bring along—iPad or Laptop? Kindle or Nook? Camera to take photos for your blog? Charging devices?

Pack a notebook to take notes if not using an electronic device for this purpose. Later, write blogs about the sessions you attended to share your knowledge. If you intend to paraphrase a large portion, ask permission of the presenter at the end of their session. Or send an email afterward stating your request.

Include Sharpie pens for signing books and ballpoint pens for note taking.

If you belong to a professional writing organization, bring along chapter brochures to hand out to potential members.

What else would you add to this list?

Packing Checklist for a Writers Conference #writers #writingcommunity Click To Tweet

GIVEAWAYS

Enter Here March 1 – 18 to win a free book from Booklover’s Bench

March 2020

 

Learning About Love Bugs

Writers learn about all sorts of esoteric topics as research for our books. Most of the time, readers can enjoy learning about new things along with us, as long as we avoid what our editors call “info dumps.” But what we don’t put into our story can make an interesting topic for a blog post.

For EASTER HAIR HUNT, #16 in the Bad Hair Day Mysteries, I decided to learn more about love bugs. These pesky insects plague us during spring and fall months. When driving up the Florida turnpike at these times, you might hear the bugs go splat on your windshield. Your visibility might diminish since using windshield wipers will only smear them. They can also make a mess of your car’s finish if not promptly washed off.

Love Bugs

The black-bodied insects with a reddish-orange thorax — scientific name Plecia Nearctica—are sometimes called honeymoon flies because of their coupled flight. They came to the Florida via Central America in the 1940s. Because love bugs do not have many natural enemies, their population continues to grow. People consider them to be a pest.

During copulation, males face the opposite direction of the female. Love bugs remain paired this way for about three days. Then the male gets exhausted and dies. The female lays her eggs and then she perishes. Love bug larvae use decaying vegetation as a source of food. This aids in decomposing plant matter and provides nutrients to the soil.

May and September are their most popular months. They wait until the sun comes up and the air warms before moving around. Thousands of males may be seen hovering over a single pasture, waiting for the females to stir. Once mated, they forage for food, which is pollen and nectar. They stop feeding in the late afternoon. The pairs land on vegetation to rest during the night.

Love bugs are attracted to freshly painted surfaces and may be seen in dried paint on buildings. They’re especially attracted to car fumes on highways. These fumes contain organic compounds that smell similar to the decaying organic material where females lay their eggs. For this reason, the bugs will also congregate at gas stations.

Along the road, they splatter against car windshields, leaving a residue that can become a driving hazard. Using windshield wipers will only smear the mess. Their bodies can cause damage to car paint if you don’t clean them off. Their natural elements of decomposition plus heat from the sun cause compounds that can dissolve the paint. Other sources say their bodies are acidic, hence the damage. Here are some measures you can take, although I haven’t personally verified them:

When you arrive at your destination, wash the front of your car with water. Scrub it with a dryer sheet or a bug splatter sponge, and rinse again.

Use a deflector screen on the front of your car to prevent the bugs from sticking to the grill, or spray the front grill with cooking spray before driving.

Buy a bug remover solution that will remove the residue.

Take your vehicle to a professional car wash as soon as possible and pay extra for custom attention. (This one is my choice.)

What bugs you about love bugs? Have you encountered these pesky critters?

<><><> 

Easter Hair Hunt, #16 in the Bad Hair Day Mysteries

An Easter egg hunt at historic Tremayne Manor leads hairstylist Marla Vail to discover more than just dyed eggs. The dead body in the bunny costume is definitely not having a good hare day. Marla and her husband, homicide detective Dalton Vail, make an eggcellent team. He knows Marla finds solving mysteries and hare-raising adventures to be irresistible, but she may have found a basketful of trouble this time. Can Marla pull a rabbit out of her hat and crack the case of the body in the bunny suit? Recipes Included!

BUY NOW

Amazon Kindle – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B083TZ78G1
Amazon Print – https://www.amazon.com/Easter-Hair-Hunt-Bad-Mysteries/dp/0999793276/
BN Nook – https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1136016947?ean=2940162711889
Apple – https://books.apple.com/us/book/easter-hair-hunt/id1494917053?ls=1
Kobo https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/easter-hair-hunt
Books2Read – https://books2read.com/EasterHairHunt
IndieBound – https://www.indiebound.org/book/9780999793275
Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/50494022-easter-hair-hunt
BookBubhttps://bit.ly/2u7ggIu
Website – https://nancyjcohen.com/easter-hair-hunt/

Learning about Love Bugs #research #cozymystery Click To Tweet

GIVEAWAY

Enter Here March 1-18 to win a free book from Booklover’s Bench

March 2020

 

Epcot Festival of the Arts

We visited Epcot International Festival of the Arts at Disney World in Orlando. The tram let us off directly in front at the entrance instead of making us detour like last time due to construction. There was plenty of that going on inside the park. I liked how the baggage inspection is now in a shadier location with fans and multiple personnel so the process goes quicker. Spaceship Earth was open but the whole rest of the central portion of Future World was sectioned off due to remodeling.

We made our way around to the Land and watched the new film Awesome Planet. The scenery depicted was awesome indeed, including simulated flashes of light in the auditorium to accompany lightning on the screen and a sprinkle of water on my wrist when the screen showed rain. The film made me want to go right out and sign up for a conservation effort. We need to preserve our beautiful home planet so it’s safe for future generations.

At World Showcase, we turned left toward Mexico. Along the way, we stopped at the Pop Eats booth and sampled the sous-vide chicken roulade ($6.75). The dish was artistically presented and very tasty.

sous vide chicken

Next we tried the red wine-braised beef short ribs ($8.00) at Germany. The meat was very tender, accompanied by a dollop of mashed potatoes and broccolini. It was really good but didn’t leave much room in our stomachs for more.

braised beef short ribs   Germany pavilion

I’d seen a dessert I wanted back at Pop Eats, so we returned there after making a full rotation around the lake. My husband got the cookie with strawberry filling ($4.50). I had the almond frangipane cake ($4.50) as I’m a fan of rainbow cakes. This was nice and moist. I’d ordered the popping bubbles cocktail as well. This champagne drink has gel pearls that burst in your mouth with extra flavor ($10.50).

desserts

There were other dishes I might have liked to try, but I got too full. Plus, it was hot out with temps in the eighties, and I was beginning to wilt. After a very long walk to the exit, we boarded the tram to the parking lot and headed home to relax in our air-conditioned condo.

Amelia Island Book Festival Author Expo

The last day of the events I participated in at the Amelia Island Book Festival included an all-day Author Expo where we displayed and sold our books. The event was set up in a middle school gymnasium. We’d been assigned booth numbers prior to our attendance, and people were standing by at the curb to check authors in and assist carrying their stuff to the booths. We also received a ticket voucher for a box lunch.

  

Guests started streaming in starting at 10:00 am. Various celebrity authors gave talks during the day, and there was always an influx to the marketplace when these authors came in to sign books. I enjoyed meeting readers as well as other writers.

   

Dinner was at Brett’s Waterway Café downtown at the marina. We had a lovely view of the water as we dined on jumbo shrimp cocktail and stuffed flounder. This was a fitting conclusion to our weekend on Amelia Island.

     

A variety of interesting restaurants and gift shops, historic buildings and museums, state parks and boat rides are only some of the things you can do on the island, aside from lounging by a hotel pool or hunting for shark’s teeth on the beach. It’s worth a long weekend during one of their monthly festivals to relax, dine, shop and stroll along the beach. Amelia Island is north of Jacksonville nearly to the Georgia border and then east toward the beaches. Plan ahead so you can make the most of your time while there.

Amelia Island Book Festival Writers Workshop

On Friday at the Amelia Island Book Festival, I headed out of town in early morning and pouring rain to present my “Developing a Mystery Series” workshop. This event was held on a college campus about thirty minutes inland in the town of Yulee. A brief introduction by the day’s organizers at 8:00 am led to two workshop tracks, one on craft and one on the business of writing. Coffee and muffins were available to attendees.

I set up my book table out in the hallway by the check-in desk. At the allotted time, I gave my presentation to the group. Then I manned my table until lunch, which was a lovely buffet.

 

Bestselling author Sandra Brown gave the luncheon speech, talking about her career and about how the industry has changed.

The event concluded by 1:30 pm. I drove back to our hotel for a rest. The weather had cleared somewhat but was windy and cool. We went for dinner a block away at the beach to Sliders Seaside Grill. I ordered grilled shrimp that came with hush puppies and other accompaniments. We retired early as another big day was ahead tomorrow.