Sunday, September 24, 2017


I’m writing this from DC, and across the street, leaves are beginning to turn. Gosh, do I ever love this time of year. The colors outside are jewel-toned. The days are less humid, and the nights are a cool temperature.


Americans call this season “Fall” which is short for the “fall of leaves,” but Brits call it “Autumn.” Pumpkin-flavored everything is on the shelves, but only for a short while, as we enjoy the bounty of our harvest. A couple of weeks ago, in the Seattle airport, I sampled fabulous chocolate bars made by the Seattle Chocolate Company. My favorite was the Choc-o-Lantern, which had a subtle cinnamon and spice flavor. Yum! In fact, I’m going to send one of these to a lucky commenter, so don’t forget to leave a comment below. (I’ll pick someone on Tuesday, Sept. 26 at ten p.m. EST, and announce the winners in the comments under this blog post on Wednesday, Sept. 27.)


Yesterday, I made vegetable soup in the slow cooker. Getting out the slow cooker is always a sign of cool weather. Another sign is the changing of floral displays. Mums are in season, and I really miss the mums I grew back at our house in St. Louis. If you pinch mums back all summer, they spread out into huge pillows of riotous color, pink, yellow, orange, magenta, and gold. I remember how my mother and her friends used to share plant stems, roots, and seeds with each other. Everybody's garden was a gift from a friend or a neighbor. Does anybody still do that today?


Fall is terrific for cuddling up with a loved one. The journal Perception reported that men find women more attractive during the cooler months. Personally, I think it’s the pumpkin I dab behind my ears. LOL Babies born during the fall months are more likely to live to be 100, according to the Journal of Aging. That means that my husband will live to be a centenarian.


Did you know that apples in the grocery store can be as old as 12 months? HGTV Magazine says so. If you get the chance to buy apples from a farmer’s market, you’re in for a treat. The flavor is entirely different with all sorts of subtle hints. My husband and I love to go to the Vienna, Virginia, farmer’s market on Saturdays. Each visit I buy a bouquet of flowers: zinnia, cockscomb, marigolds, and asters. They last for at least a week, looking perky in their Mason jar. The apples I get there are fabulous.


How do you celebrate Fall? Remember, I’ll choose one lucky person on Monday, Sept. 25, and send that person a Seattle Chocolate Company candy bar!


I’m feeling particularly thankful this fall. I just re-released Make, Take, Murder: Book #5 , the 6th book in my Kiki Lowenstein Mystery Series, and Amazon responded by creating a series page. That means it’s now easier than ever for people to read my books in order. Hurrah! I’m reaping the harvest for my efforts. This Wednesday and Thursday only, Ready, Snap, Shoot: Book #6 will be available for only 99 cents. So, mark your calendars and check on Wed. and Thurs. (27 and 28 of September).


Make, Take, Murder  is 99 cents today (Sunday) because I'm running behind putting in the price change and it usually takes 24 hours for Amazon to make an adjustment. So if you don't have it, grab your copy now!


I'm one of 33 authors who are giving away books in a special Mystery Giveaway Promotion that started yesterday and runs through September 30. All you have to do is go to the link and load up on the books you want to read. How cool is that?


Will you take advantage of this offer to find a new favorite author? Are you celebrating the season? Have you ever traded "starts" of plants with friends? Have you read Make, Take, Murder? Are leaves changing where you live? Let's get this party started!


scaro said...

Leaves are just beginning to yellow and fall. Looking for
the caterpillars �� to see how much black they are....the
blacker the harder the winter!!
Thanks for the free books.
Carol Smith

Nancy Smallie said...

We have leaves changing colors and 95 degree temps in St. Louis!! I've read all of the Kiki books and can't wait for more;-)

Amy said...

Me - chocolate & cinnamon - perfecto!

Darlene said...

We hit upper 80s and 90 this week and coming up. Most heat we had all summer in Hudson Valley NY! Could use some chocolate to pep me up!!!

cflathers said...

I am so over this hot summer-like weather. Seriously like 95 out today. Longing for the nice cool, crisp, fall days.

Mary ellen said...

The chocolate sounds yummy! My family and friends often trade plants from our gardens here in pittsburgh pa.

Linda Donahue said...

It has been really hot and humid here the last few days. The most 90°+ days all summer. I love going to the apple orchard to get apples and fresh cider! They also have pumpkins and other produce. Hoping to go out there early this week.

Linda Donahue said...

Almost forgot, I have a friend with a beautiful yard, and she always gives us starts from her plants.

Amy Lampert said...

I love fall. It's my favorite season. It's hard to appreciate it here in St. Louis though when the temperature has been in the 90s lately!

Kim Autrey said...

I enjoy rather cool fall weather. Growing up on a farm, we spent most of the season harvesting. Fall is filled with fond memories for me.

Alisha Collins said...

The leaves are turning red and yellow here. We have a couple more events to go to with the robot and then it will be snuggle time with even more good books.

Marianne S-M said...

It is still summer like in Jersey. I celebrate Autumn by spending more time outdoors. I love pumpkin spice. Thanks for the chance to win, good luck to all!

Donamae Kutska said...

Leaves are falling and its 90 hot humid and sticky in Wisconsin! Hotter than summer! Yes ibtraded starts of plants. The leaves are changing colors.

Pam Calvey said...

Today I visited a sunflower field in our area, which is planted in memory of a young girl who died of cancer. Her parents started a foundation to raise money for childhood cancer research, and every year they plant acres of sunflowers, which was their daughter's favorite flower. It's become an annual visit, to enjoy the end of summer or beginning of fall. I'm looking forward to cooler weather, and taking the air conditioners out of the windows!

Erin Colley said...

I love all of the Kiki Lowenstein books. Just re-read "Killer Paper Cut"! I love Halloween and chocolate! Thank you for writing all of your books.

traveler said...

Fall here is beautiful and perfect temps. The bar would be delectable. Thanks for your great feature and wonderful giveaway. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

petite said...

Chocolate is always appealing especially with the cooler days of fall which I enjoy. Sunshine and lovely walks.

Joanna Slan said...

It's so heart-warming to share the joys of fall with all of you. It's a great time of year, isn't it?

Ellen Hardin said...

Dark chocolate is my fav..I am living in ga ..thanks to Uncle Sam..and I really miss the cool breeze coming off the ocean..I am a Long Island gal and the leaves changing colors

Joanna Slan said...

Pam Calvey, you win! Please email me at with your postal address so I can get the candy bar to you. I used RANDOM. ORG to pick Pam's comment.