Sunday, December 28, 2014

New Orleans and Nancy Drew

Do you like Nancy Drew? Do you like New Orleans? Then, you will love this humorous and PG-rated story that especially targets women baby boomers who grew up reading and loving the Nancy Drew series. Nancy Keene, the teenage sleuth in our story, goes on vacation with her father and friends to the French Quarter. What starts out as a sight-seeing trip changes into a murder/mystery when a docent at Oak Alley Plantation is murdered while they are there. Part travelogue, part ghost story, this book mixes voodoo, ghosts, and bayous into a spicy gumbo of a whodunit. 

It's available at your favorite ebook store for only $2.99!
It's also available in paperback at Amazon and Barnes and

Cover for 'The Ghost In The Plantation: A Nancy Keene Mystery'

Purchase at the links below:

Monday, December 22, 2014

Murder at the Abbey: A Detective Santy Mystery

I talked my co-writer into going to hear vespers at St. Michael's Abbey. On the way there, we drove by some of the places we remembered from our wild youth and got nostalgic. The result: this murder mystery about a priest getting killed at the abbey after some nasty disputes with anti-developers and eco-terrorists who didn't like the fact that the abbey wants to expand on the diminishing wilderness of Orange County, California. Based on some real events in the news here.

eBook available at most online stores for $2.99
Paperback available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble 

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Sometimes our readers ask us, "Where did you get the idea for this story?" Most of our books are about our own experiences and our book "The Stolen Mask: A Nancy Keene Mystery" works on the premise of "What would you do if James Bond was at your hotel?"  This actually happened to us: in 1987, before I retired, we were splurging at a very expensive hotel in London and I just happened to look out at the garden from our upstairs hotel room window--and Lo and Behold, there was James Bond!!  Not really, of course, but it was the actor Timothy Dalton, who played the famous secret agent. He was drinking champagne with some other people and toasts were being made.

It was around this time that Timothy Dalton got the news that he would be "The Next Bond". So, that's where I got the idea to write this story in which I have our teenage sleuth, Nancy Keene, going to London with her father. She plans to go on a Jane Austen pilgrimage and do some sight-seeing while her father is attending business meetings, so this novel is partly a travelogue of England and some of the places my husband and I have been to.  It's also a  "mystery" because Nancy turns "sleuth" and is hot on the trail when someone steals James Bond's (Timothy Dalton's) acting award that looks like a mask.

The Stolen Mask: A Nancy Keene Mystery
Available for only $1.99 at the following online stores:

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The Tustin Chronicles: A Detective Santy Mystery

This murder mystery, about a daughter's search for the truth behind her father's murder, is an homage to the books of T. Jefferson Parker that describe crime in Orange County, California. Focusing on Tustin in the early 1970's and 1990's, this book brings back the bygone days of tractor showrooms; hippies and head shops in Laguna Beach; and a packing house called "The Sunkist Cathedral" where the Catholic Church once held Mass. It's a world of blimp hangars at the Lighter-Than-Air base; orange groves where virginities are lost; and a restaurant that looks like a train station in South Coast Plaza--all set to the music of Bob Dylan and the Eagles.

eBook available for $2.99 at most online bookstores

Saturday, December 6, 2014

D. H. Lawrence

I wrote a critical essay on The Oedipus Complex in D. H. Lawrence's novel Sons and Lovers and was delighted when my cousin Dominique Van Rentergem told me that I could use one of his paintings for the eBook's cover.

Here's what it looks like:

The Oedipus Complex in D. H. Lawrence's Sons and Lovers
by Louise Hathaway

I think the cover perfectly captures the feeling of the book, which is about a mother and son who have a destructive bond that causes a tremendous amount of grief for the son when he grows older and wants to date and love women.  Will his mother ever let him go?

My essay has pictures that my husband took when we went to the famous author's birthplace in Eastwood, England.  If you ever want to see this house and museum, I provide some points of interest around Eastwood and describe a wonderful hotel we stayed in that was nearby.  My husband and I also went New Mexico to see where D. H. Lawrence lived and was the happiest in a three-room rustic cabin near Taos.  The property also has a little chapel where his ashes are buried.

We spent three weeks in England, tracing the footsteps of major British authors. I write about this literary pilgrimage in the eBook below:

England in the Footsteps of Its Literary Giants
by Louise Hathaway

Both are available for only 99 cents at all your favorite online bookstores

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Pride and Prejudice

This eBook is a scholarly essay about marriage expectations in the Regency period as expressed in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.  It explores the different relationships between the sexes in the novel, and what the options were for women who were not yet married during this period. Accompanied by photographs taken by the author when she made a Jane Austen pilgrimage to Winchester and Chawton, England, this is a must read for all the “Janites” out there.

How can anyone not love Jane Austen?  I found out that she was looked down upon by “serious students of English Literature” when I was in graduate school and I announced to my class in Romantic Literature that I had chosen to write about Pride and Prejudice.  My fellow classmates dismissed the book, saying that it was just about "some silly girls wanting to get married."  I couldn’t help but be reminded of a letter that Jane Austen wrote to her sister, saying, “I must confess that I think [Elizabeth Bennet, the main character in the novel] as delightful a character as ever appeared in print, and how I shall be able to tolerate those who do not like her …I do not know.”  I hope this essay will help the skeptics take another look at her novel and reconsider.

Marriage in Pride and Prejudice
By Louise Hathaway
eBook available for 99 cents at the following online bookstores:

Amazon Apple B & N Smashwords

Kobo Google

Saturday, November 22, 2014

The Importance of Setting in "The Tustin Chronicles: A Detective Santy Mystery"

The best English teacher I ever had used to tell us that what we learned in class is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to understanding literature.  He'd remind us, "This book was not written in a vacuum: what was going on in the time the novel or poem was written?  What about the setting in which the action takes place?  Why did the author chose that locale to tell his story?  How about the author's life?  Did that affect the way he wrote the novel?  Most of the time I felt that I could never do enough to please him; he was always challenging us to do more and that's why his students either loved him or hated him.

His name was Alan Gauley and he taught at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa, California.  He also inspired T. Jefferson Parker, a classmate of ours in high school, who wrote books about Orange County, such as Laguna Heat or Little Saigon.  I wanted to write a book about my hometown of Tustin that takes place between 1970's to the 1990's.  Mine was a town where the Catholic Church used to hold Mass in a Sunquist packing house, with birds flying among the rafters, before the parish finally got enough money to build a "real church".  It was also a place of hippies and headshops and a nearby restaurant at South Coast Plaza that looked like the waiting room of the 20th Century Limited, complete with a steam train and an announcer intermittently proclaiming "All Aboard!"

My husband and I wrote this murder mystery about our home town.  We'd like to think that Tustin is one of the main characters in our story, The Tustin Chronicles: A Detective Santy Mystery. We live in a city where everyone across the United States, especially in the winter time, dreams of moving to; it's a place where the sun is always shining.  Our town has undergone tremendous growth in the last few decades as orange groves are plowed under to make way for housing tracks and mini-markets. We'd like to think that the theme of the book, a daughter's attempt to find the truth behind her father's murder, could only have taken place here in all the local places with all the interesting real life people that we feel are integral to telling this story.  Hopefully, while reading it, you can almost close your eyes and see it.

 Product Details
eBook available for $2.99 at all your favorite online bookstores
Paperback available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Romance at the Mystery Dinner Theater

Have you ever wanted to go to a mystery dinner theater where the audience has to figure out whodunit? That is where two lovers meet in this humorous and sexy romance novel. Isabella, a librarian in her early thirties, goes with her friends to a performance where an actual murder takes place. She falls in love with the handsome investigating detective, who bears a striking resemblance to Don Draper in Mad Men, and gets herself mixed up with some dangerous people when she goes undercover—in spite of his warnings—to help him solve the crime. This book is not just “chick lit”: written by a man and a woman, it appeals to both sexes.  For readers 18 years old and above.

eBook Available for $2.99 at your favorite online bookstores
Paperback available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, & Createspace

Friday, November 7, 2014

T. Jefferson Parker

The famous murder/mystery writer, T. Jefferson Parker, graduated in the same class we did in high school.  If you haven't heard of him, he wrote "Little Saigon" and "Laguna Heat" to name but a few. Orange County, California is the setting for most of his books.  We have followed his career through the years and a couple of years ago we told each other, "We should try to write some murder/mysteries that take place in Orange County, too." 

The results are our three books:

The Tustin Chronicles: A Detective Santy Mystery
Murder at the Abbey: A Detective Santy Mystery
The Body on Ortega Highway: A Detective Santy Mystery

All are available at your favorite online bookstores

Murder at the Abbey

Sunday, November 2, 2014

New Orleans Romance

When my husband and I were 25, we went to New Orleans for the first time.  Up to that point, the farthest we'd ever been from our home in Southern California was Colorado on a camping trip with my parents. From the time we'd met, we had spent countless hours talking about all of the places we wanted to visit and when we finally got a chance to go out and "see the world", our first choice was New Orleans. We fell madly in love with the city.  It was a place we'd return to again and again over the years.  That is my inspiration for writing this romance novel/travelogue.  I include all the fun places and experiences we've had in New Orleans and Louisiana.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Traveling to Lake Wobegon

I wrote this fictional story last year about my trip to Minnesota in search of Lake Wobegon and fall leaves. Now is the time of year when I wish I wasn't from sunny Southern California.  I want sweater weather, pumpkin spice lattes, and rainy days indoors reading a good book.  The opening chapter of my book has teenage sleuth, Nancy Keene, preparing for a Halloween party by painting headstone epitaphs in her backyard while ashes from a nearby brush fire are raining down on her. This really happened one year when my husband and I prepared for a party.  This book has Nancy and her father listening to "A Prairie Home Companion", like they do every Saturday night.  My husband and I have been listening to the radio show for thirty years.  On our pilgrimage to Lake Wobegon last year, my husband and I met Garrison Keillor while we were there: he was walking out of a bookstore and I saw him in the parking lot.  He wasn't there doing promotions; he was just buying some books to read during his flight to New Orleans, he told us.  He was very gracious and totally in character.  My husband got to shake his hand.  It was definitely the high point of our trip. I write about all these fun times in this book, which also includes pictures of some of the fictional places upon which Keillor bases his Lake Wobegon stories.

eBook available for 1.99. 
Also available in paperback at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Nancy Drew Meets Jame Bond

What would happen if Nancy Drew met James Bond?  Find out in The Stolen Mask: A Nancy Keene Mystery, a humorous, PG-Rated tale written for nostalgic women baby-boomers who grew up loving Nancy Drew mysteries.  The teenage sleuth in this story goes to London and stays in the same hotel as Daniel Craig (AKA James Bond) when his BAFTA award is stolen from his room.  When Nancy is not on a Jane Austen pilgrimage or visiting Buckingham Palace, she channels Agatha Christie, Sherlock Holmes, and Rumpole of the Bailey to help her solve the mystery of who took the award and why.

The Stolen Mask: A Nancy Keene Mystery
This eBook is available for $1.99

The Stolen Mask: A Nancy Keene Mystery

Amazon Apple B & N Smashwords

Kobo Google

Friday, October 10, 2014

Monterey Pop Festival and Woodstock

Back in 1968, many of the musicians who played at the Monterey Pop Festival made their way down to my home town of Costa Mesa, California and performed at "The Newport Pop Festival"--which was later known as "Orange County's version of Woodstock."  I went with my sister and my cousins. I was only 13.  We saw The Byrds, The Grateful Dead, The Jefferson Airplane, Steppenwolf, and Eric Burdon and The Animals, and many more bands.

Drawing upon that experience, I wrote this time-travel fantasy about two sisters from the present time who go to the county fair where the concert had taken place, and are magically transported back to 1968 when they are inside a photo booth.  Their younger selves join the other young hippies who attended the concert, listen to the bands, go back to the house they grew up in, and talk to deceased loved ones again.  They even encounter younger versions of their future husbands. But--will they be able to get back to the 21st century?

The Summer of Love: A Trip Back to 1968
By Louise Hathaway

eBook Available for $1.99 at Your Favorite Online Bookstore

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Common Theme in Literature

When I was an English Major in college, the search for family, for a sense of belonging, was a common theme in some of the literature we read and wrote about.  So, when I started writing novels, I tried to keep that in mind.  One of the first murder/mysteries my husband and I wrote together, "The Tustin Chronicles: A Detective Santy Mystery," is about a daughter's search for her parentage. We began the book after my brother passed away and it is loosely based on his relationship with his adopted daughter.

We've written four books with her as a main character.  The second book in the series is about her trying to help her father adjust to life outside of prison; the third is about her meeting her cousins for the first time in Savannah when one of them is murdered; and the last is a psychological thriller about someone from her past stalking her and threatening her family.  We hope you like our characters; many are based on people we know; in fact, the murderer in The Tustin Chronicles, is someone I knew when I was 13.  Art imitating life is what we've tried to achieve in our novels.

Here are the books in The Detective Santy Mysteries:
All are available at your favorite online bookstore for $2.99 and less

The Tustin Chronicles
Murder at the Abbey
Honeymoon in Savannah
The Body on Ortega Highway 

Friday, October 3, 2014

Nancy Drew Meets James Bond

I've been busy writing my next Nancy Keene book, "The Case of the Stolen Mask".  This book, a humorous, PG-Rated tale written for nostalgic women baby-boomers like myself who grew up loving Nancy Drew mysteries, has my teenage sleuth going to London and staying in the same hotel as Daniel Craig (AKA James Bond) when his BAFTA award is stolen from his room.  When Nancy is not on a Jane Austen pilgrimage or visiting Buckingham Palace, she channels Agatha Christie, Sherlock Holmes, and Rumpole of the Bailey to help her solve the mystery.

Check out my other Nancy Keene Mysteries at all your favorite online bookstores:

The Missing Bachelor Farmer
The Ghost in the Plantation
The Buried Treasure on Route 66

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Agatha Christie

I've been watching the new season of Miss Marple on PBS and once again I've been filled with wonder when I see how complicated Agatha Christie's plots are.  Just when I think I've figured out "whodunit", she pulls the rug out from under me once again.  It seems like everyone has a motive in her stories and I love when her Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot, gathers all of the suspects together in one room at the conclusion of the stories and drills them one by one in front of everyone else.

The first book my husband and I wrote together was in the spirit of Agatha Christie.  We took my experiences of working in a library and put together a cast of suspect librarians, each of whom has a motive for killing the U.S. Depository Inspector who comes to see if the library meets the exacting requirements of the depository program.  In our story, the victim dies when the mechanism that electronically opens and closes the compact shelves malfunctions and crushes him.  I was witness to a friend almost getting crushed between them, so it does happen.  I'll never forget her blood-curdling scream; luckily we were able to save her!  You will never look at librarians and library shelving the same after reading our homage to the "Queen of Mystery".

Death Among the Stacks: the Body in the Law Library

eBook at $2.99 at all your favorite online bookstores

Friday, September 12, 2014

Honeymoon in NewOrleans

I wrote this romance novel and included all the fun places and experiences my husband & I have had in New Orleans and Louisiana.

Honeymoon in New Orleans

eBook available at most online bookstores for $1.99

Thursday, September 11, 2014

New Orleans

I went to New Orleans for the first time on my 25th birthday.  Up until then, the farthest place from my home in Southern California where I had ever been was Colorado.  My husband and I arrived in New Orleans before dawn, and when the taxi drove us through the French Quarter to our hotel, I was amazed.  It was nothing like I'd seen before, and reminded me of what I'd always dreamed Europe would be like.  It was the first of many subsequent trips and the beginning of a beautiful relationship.

 Here are some of my favorite places:

Oak Alley Plantation
Commander’s Palace
Palm Court Jazz Café
Park View Guest House
Felix’s Restaurant and Oyster Bar

#NewOrleans #Travel #Louisiana 

Friday, September 5, 2014

#Environmentalists against the #CatholicChurch

Here is Southern California, an ongoing protest movement against the building expansion plans for St. Michael's Abbey is a story that just won't go away.  There are very few open spaces left in Orange County and some people think that the priests shouldn't be allowed to build a nunnery, a cemetery, and a vineyard on their property in Silverado Canyon.  I would love to live next door to them any day.  I've lived here all my life, and have realized that the County is going to keep on developing more homes as long as people continue wanting to live here. You can't stop progress here in "The OC". More protests about the abbey's plans were scheduled for today.

Here's an interesting article about it:

We wrote about this controversy in our murder mystery novel entitled Murder at the Abbey: A Detective Santy Mystery.  It's available as an eBook or paperback at your favorite on-line bookstores.

Sunday, August 31, 2014


  1. In 1994, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, a non-fiction story about a murder trial in Savannah, Georgia, became a best seller on the New York Times best seller list for 216 weeks following its debut.  It reigns as the longest standing best seller in their history.  What is it about this book that captivates readers? There are so many reasons I like it: first and foremost, is how it describes the physical beauty of Savannah, a town built upon a system of public squares with beautiful gardens, fountains, and statuary.  The homes surrounding each square are wonderful, too.  The last time my husband and I went there, we went on a home and garden tour in the Spring and got to look inside these houses.  Wow! What a world they displayed; if only we lowly ones could live like that, too.  I love the cast of characters in the book, especially Jim Williams and The Lady Chablis. We went to one of Chablis' performances the last time we were there and were treated to a night we'll never forget. Our murder/mystery, Honeymoon in Savannah: A Detective Santy Mystery, is about this beautiful city, where our homicide detective, Clarrisa Santy, and her husband go on a "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" pilgrimage and end up involved in a murder investigation when a famous chef is murdered while they are in Savannah.  Available at your favorite online bookstore for $2.99.  Also available in paper at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Saturday, August 30, 2014


My husband and I have been lucky enough to do a lot of traveling in the United States and Europe through the years, but we both agree that our favorite city in the United States is Savannah, Georgia (with New Orleans coming in as a close second).  What is it about this Southern city that has captivated us so much that we've traveled from our home in California four times to visit it?  What we love is its beauty; its people; and its history.  It is that quintessential southern town that reminds me of where Scarlett O'Hara might have gone to see her elderly aunt. It's the old South, with its beautiful moss-draped trees, sweet smelling tea olive bushes, red azaleas, and creepy yet beautiful cemeteries.  It's so different from Atlanta, which was mostly burned to the ground in the Civil War.  When Sherman marched to the sea to plunder and burn everything in sight at the end of the war, he was met at the gates in Savannah and told that the city would surrender, as long as Sherman's army left it unspoiled.  Thank goodness it was spared.

Here is a list of some of my favorite things to see and do, starting with our favorite hotel there, The Ballastone Inn.  For fans of the wonderful book: "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil," this is the hotel where Kevin Stacy stayed when he was starring in the film version. If you'd like to see "where the scene of the crime" took place, be sure to visit  the Mercer Williams House. There are guided tours of the interior.   For a tour of the places mentioned in the book, try "All About Savannah Tours".

If you'd like to see one of the most beautiful cemeteries in the world (outside of Pere Lachaise in Paris) be sure to visit Bonaventure Cemetery.  It's more like a park than a cemetery.  If you'd like to eat at someplace besides Paula Deen's, try Elizabeth's at 37th.  It's our favorite.  Definitely see a Home and Garden Tour during the Spring when the kind residents of Savannah open their doors and allow us to peek inside their homes and get a taste of what we're missing. I hope you will like it as much as we have.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Do you use real criminals in your fiction?

     Writing teachers always tell their students, "Write what you know.  Everyone has their unique story to share." Taking their advice, I based a suspect in my murder mysteries upon someone I briefly knew when I was 13 and he was 11.  I met him at a miniature golf course and he came over to my house a few times.  I had forgotten all about him until one day I read in the newspaper about a particularly savage murder committed by him when, in his early twenties, he attacked his ex-girlfriend and her husband with two claw hammers, shot them, and left them both for dead.  The husband died and the ex-girlfriend now is brain-damaged.  I remembered him as a nice kid and couldn't imagine him doing something so brutal; but it was true, and he was convicted and sentenced to 30 years in prison.  He became quite notorious when he escaped from the local jail and ended up clear across the country before he was finally caught.  
     I wanted to try to show the humanity in someone who had committed such a barbaric act.  I asked myself, 'What if he had a daughter, who's a homicide detective, and she lets him live with her and tries to help him when he gets out of prison?'  My sister told me, "Aren't you afraid he's going to come looking for you when he gets out?"  I seriously doubt that: it's not like my books are famous or anything and I don't use his real name.  He shows up in three of the murder mysteries my husband and I have written.

All are available as either eBooks or paperbacks at your favorite on-line bookstores.

Friday, August 22, 2014

England in the Footsteps of its Literary Giants

 I have a Master’s Degree in English Literature and after I graduated, I was lucky enough to go on a pilgrimage to England and walk in the footsteps of its famous writers.  One of the places I wanted to visit was the Lake District where my favorite English poet, William Wordsworth, lived.  I had heard that the Lake District is one of the favorite vacation spots of the British and I could see why: it is a magical, bucolic wonderland of peace and tranquility.  “Ramblers” are welcome to walk through the properties of many different farmlands, as long as they remember to shut the gates so the sheep won’t get out.
 We had a lovely view from our hotel room window of Lake Windermere.  The shores of the lake had sheep grazing on rolling green hills that were carpeted with daffodils, and a lone cottage on a hilltop had a welcoming fire coming out of its chimney.  I grabbed our video camera to capture its beauty and asked my husband to read Wordsworth’s poem, “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud” that spoke of the “jocund company” of the “dancing daffodils”.  He’s a good sport and read it with a lot of enthusiasm.

 We have a history of bumping into famous people on our travels and were very pleased to meet Wordsworth’s great-great grandson in the gift shop of Wordsworth’s home.  He signed a book I’d just bought that was written by the famous poet’s sister, Dorothy.  Standing close to a relative of this mighty literary figure was very exciting, to say the least; not to mention, a dream come true for this English Major.

See photos and read more our authors' pilgrimage to England in our eBook.
Available at your favorite online bookstores for $0.99.

Saturday, August 16, 2014


Do you love genealogy? If so, then this story is for you. I am the grand-daughter of a Belgian immigrant who came to America in 1910, and my book describes my efforts to find and reunite with my family in Belgium after a breakdown in communication for twenty-five years. When I made a pilgrimage to meet my relatives in the old world, they pulled out all the stops and treated me like a movie star.  The second part of this book is about my father’s family. His family stories include Quakers, buried treasures of gold coins, fighting Indians, homesteading, and owning slaves.

This eBook is available at all your favorite online bookstores for $0.99

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Thomas Wolfe

Does anyone read Thomas Wolfe anymore?  Apparently, yes.  A short time ago, I put together this essay as an eBook and it's been selling surprising well.  I wonder what is making people buy this little literary essay. Is it the provocative title?  Do people see "sluts" and "deep-breasted" in one title and say, "That's the one for me?" Or, do people still read Thomas Wolfe?  I hope it's the later.  He is one of my all-time favorites.  In 1991, I made a pilgrimage to Ashville, North Carolina to go to a Thomas Wolfe festival and this is what I wrote after my trip.  I had a chance to meet his nephew, who was the only family member still alive at the time who remembered and spoke with the famous writer.  It was quite the thrill for this English major.

This eBook (with pictures) is available at all your favorite online bookstores for $0.99.

If you can't see my incredibly-long, Thomas Wolfe-esque title, it's called "Nags, Sluts, and a Deep-Breasted Soulmate from the Shining City: The Women in Thomas Wolfe's The Web and the Rock"

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Chic Lit

When I was in graduate school as an English Major, I was taught to turn my nose up at romance novels.  If someone told me that they were reading a "Harlequin Romance", I'd tell myself that the series was just escapist fiction and not even worth the time it took to bother reading them.

So, who would have thought twenty-four years later, I'd be writing romance novels.  What would my literature teachers think?  I've come to realize that there's nothing wrong with escapist fiction; especially in the summer time and especially if they have a strong female protagonist.

So, I submit for approval three romance novels that I've written.  Available at most online bookstores for under $3.00.


Saturday, July 19, 2014

Honeymoon in New Orleans

Our new book, "Honeymoon in New Orleans", is a travelogue/romance novel about our most visited and favorite city in America.  Come along with our fictional characters Don and Isabella as they discover the wonders of New Orleans on their honeymoon. Learn about our favorite romantic spots, best places to eat, and best places to visit. This travelogue also includes helpful websites to consider before planning your next vacation.

This eBook is available at most online bookstores for $1.99:

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Smashwords Promo

Smashwords is having a promo this month and many writers are offering deep discounts. Do you like murder mysteries? Travelogues?  Romance Novels?  Literary Criticism? Chick Lit?  Then check out the books of Louise Hathaway.  We're offering 50% off.

Just use coupon code SSW50 under the "buy" button at check out and you're all set.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Do you like romance novels?

Have you ever been to a murder mystery dinner?  My husband and I went to one and loved it.  Afterwards, we asked ourselves, "What if a real murder happened during one of these performances?" That was our inspiration to write this novel.  We've also been watching  a lot of "Mad Men" lately, so we decided to have our two lovers look like Don Draper and Joan from the show.

The eBook is only $2.99
The Paperback is only $7.59

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Punctuation Can Be Fun

Many times when I've told people that I was an English Major, I am answered by a groan and someone saying, “I hated that class in school.”  Why?  They often answer, “Too much memorization of stupid rules.”  I’d like to stick up for those “stupid rules”: I think that they are important because misuse of punctuation marks can lead to confusion; and isn't writing ultimately about communicating, not confusing?  Here’s the best description of the importance of these rules:  “Punctuation marks are the traffic signals of language: they tell us to slow down, take notice, or stop.”  This quote is taken from Lynne Truss’s book, “Eats, Shoots and Leaves.”   She provides several funny examples of misused punctuation.  Consider her title.  It was taken from a sentence she had read that was presumably was about the eating habits of pandas; but the way it’s written, it makes you think that the panda had a gun: he ate his food, shot his gun, and then walked away.  Obviously, that’s not what the writer intended and there shouldn't be a comma in his description.  Frank McCourt, the noted writer and humorist, said that Lynne Truss should be nominated for sainthood; and he should know about the need for rules about punctuation: he taught English and most likely saw several examples of bad writing over the years.

Here’s a funny example from her book about the misuse of apostrophes: she had seen a sign about a large play area for kids that said: “Giant Kid’s Playground.”  Would you want your child playing with the kid of a giant?  I sure wouldn't.

Do you overuse exclamation points in your writing?  Truss quotes F. Scott Fitzgerald’s description of them.  He says, “An exclamation mark is like laughing at your own joke.”  She says that they are “like a big attention-deficit brother who gets over excited, breaks things, and laughs too loudly.”  This is definitely something we should keep in mind in our writing.  I do not want to over-use them.

I write books with my husband and he’s asked me for help in knowing where he should use commas.  I tell him to imagine saying a sentence out loud, and whenever you pause, you probably will need a comma or some other punctuation mark.  Like Lynne Truss says, “they tell us when to slow down.”

Have you ever wondered when you should use a colon?  Here’s her rule: “they deliver the goods that have been invoiced by the preceding words.”  I use colons a lot in my writing and I love this rule.  Here’s an example she uses for the correct way to use colons: in “The Hound of Baskerville”, Sherlock Holmes says, “This much is clear Watson: it was the baying of an enormous hound.”  The writer should imagine saying a delighted and satisfying, “Yes”, where the colon comes.  Colons are nearly always preceded by a complete sentence and are used to precede lists.  When should you use semi-colons?  They are used to combine two related complete sentences when there is no conjunction (and, or, nor, but).

I wonder if someday soon, because of text messaging and Twitter, things like good grammar, spelling, and punctuation will be seen as a dying art; like using a fountain pen and going to the post office to buy commemorative stamps to mail your correspondence and cards.  In my own fiction writing, I use a lot of sentence fragments because I think they make the paragraph more dramatic; so, there is a time and place to bend the rules; but I liked to think that when I read articles from Time Magazine or Smithsonian, the writers will continue to use sentences that deliver the goods and tell me when to slow down, take notice, or stop.  I have to admit, though, that misuse of punctuation marks can lead to some hilarious and unintended meanings which are always fun to catch.