Thursday, December 17, 2015

Do you like trains? Do you like history?

We were so happy today to see that one of our readers at Goodreads.com gave this book a 5 Star Rating.  It just made our day.  We hope that you will enjoy it, too.

Two years ago, my husband and I booked tickets for a sleeper car on the famous California Zephyr, in order to pretend that we had won Amtrak's Writer's in Residence contest. Although we did not win the contest, we considered this trip a "working vacation" and brought along both of our computers in order to be "Writers".  Without the distractions of Wi-Fi--that means no internet and no cell phone connections--we went back to basics and wrote, with only the beautiful scenery of the Sierras, the painted desert of Utah, and the canyons of the Rockies as company.  This book is the result.

Travelers in Time Aboard the California Zephyr
by Louise Hathaway
$2.99


Come along with us in this time travel tale about the building of the Transcontinental Railroad and the amazing real-life excursion train that several lucky 21st century passengers were able to travel aboard and meet Rutherford B. Hayes, George Pullman, and Robert Todd Lincoln who are all promoting Western expansion and train travel. How will our time travelers cope with their new surroundings? Will they ever come back to the 21st Century?  Will they want to come back?  Find out aboard this trip into history.

Available at Amazon, iTunes, Barnes and Noble, Google Play,
Kobo, Smashwords and Scribd

Also available in paperback from Amazon

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Writing Fiction About True Events

I live in Orange County, California and there is always a ready supply of current events to draw upon when writing my mysteries.  As a couple of examples: I knew a young woman who lived across the street from me who was later murdered by "The Bedroom Basher".  I also knew a teenage hood who liked to hang around with me who later turned into the notorious "Hammer-Murderer." Both of these characters show up in my writing (with their names changed, of course).

Murder at the Abbey: A Detective Santy Mystery takes place in Orange County and draws upon current events.  St. Michael's Abbey--where the priest in the book is murdered--is embroiled in a running battle with environmentalists and anti-development groups because the abbey has just purchased land to expand their facilities and environmentalists believe that if the abbey's plans go through, it will threaten the habitat of a endangered toad.  The Catholic Church got into further hot water when it purchased the famous "Crystal Cathedral" and removed some commemorative stones that donors had earlier purchased for their loved ones, with the reassurance from the former pastor that they'd always be there.  With so many people mad at the abbey and the church, it's easy to imagine that some unhinged person might resort to murder--perfect fodder for a mystery writer.

Murder at the Abbey: A Detective Santy Mystery
by Louise Hathaway


Only $2.99 at Amazon, iBooks, Barnes and Noble, Google Play, Kobo, and Smashwords.
Available in paperback at Amazon.

Here are the direct links for the book at each of the retailers:

Friday, November 27, 2015

Avoid the Black Friday Frenzy

Are you wondering what to buy that special someone in your life who likes to read?  Instead of going to brick and mortar bookstores such as Barnes and Noble, please consider purchasing any of our novels that are available in both digital and paperback formats at Amazon.  We write mysteries, time travel, and romance novels.  To purchase, just click on the titles of the books below.

For Readers Who Like Murder Mysteries:










For Fans of Cozy Mysteries and Nancy Drew:








Here Are Two Time Travel Novels:





For Those Who Like Romance Novels:



Monday, November 16, 2015

Literary Pilgrimage to England

This is an excerpt from my eBook entitled "England in the Footsteps of its Literary Giants".   I wrote this in 1987 after I'd received my Bachelors Degree in English Literature.  My husband & I took a 3 week trip to see the birthplaces and environs of some of my favorite British writers.  

Our next stop was the Yorkshire Dales, where James Herriot lived and wrote of his experiences as a veterinarian in “All Creatures Great and Small”.  We knew that the name “James Herriot” was his “nom de plume” and we wouldn’t be able to look up that name in the local phone book, but we wanted to make a pilgrimage to Thirsk, the town where we’d heard that he lived and practiced.  We went into a bookstore in the town’s square, and, being the intrepid travelers, asked the clerk if he knew where the famous writer lived or worked.  He told us that all we had to do was to walk across the street and look for the red door and the sign, “Veterinary Surgeon’s Premises”.  Outside was a white drop off box where Herriot often left medication for his clients to pick up after hours.  He was still practicing medicine at the time when we were there, but, unfortunately, we never got to meet him.  He has passed away since our visit and his home/office is now a museum in his honor.



Home/Office of James Herriot


****


The Yorkshire Dales really were beautiful: rolling green hills with hedgerows discretely separating each farm.  Another reason why we had come to this area was to visit the home of the Brontes.  We saw the Parsonage where the family resided and were able to see the desks where the sisters had done their writing. We walked the moors and thought of Heathcliffe and Kathy from “Wuthering Heights”.  It was cold there and we stopped for some tea in a little shoppe.


****


The Bronte Parsonage


****


The Brontes weren’t the only 19th century female writers whose house we visited--we also made a pilgrimage to two of Jane Austen’s houses.  The first was in Chawton, which is about 60 miles from London. Walking the neighborhood, I was struck by the vision of thatch-roofed cottages and I saw an old, creepy cemetery attached to an ancient-looking church. The town looked like it hadn’t changed much since Jane Austen’s time.


****


Her last home was across the street from the Winchester Cathedral.  She died here just when she was starting to get famous.  She is buried beneath the floors of the cathedral. I again thought of music from the 1960’s and the popular song that said, “Winchester Cathedral—you’re bringing me down”.  I seemed to have had a 1960’s song track playing in my head on this vacation.  Not only did I think of music on this trip: almost every place we visited also spoke of England’s literary heritage.  We strolled through the town of Winchester, and we saw a parade of “19th Century British soldiers” marching through the Victorian-looking town.  We found out that the mini-series, “Vanity Faire”, by William Makepeace Thackeray (another of my favorite Victorian writers), was being filmed.


****


“Are you going to Scarborough Faire”? asks the song from Simon and Garfunkel—another of my favorites from the 1960’s.  The town of Scarborough, northeast of York, sits on a bluff overlooking the coast.  It is famous for the awe-inspiring remains of a castle and a church.  The ruins were partially destroyed in 1645 during the Civil War between Cromwell and Charles I.  When we were there, the wind from the coast was eerily whipping through the ruins.  It was a very beautiful location and definitely “worth a detour” as guide book say.


Scarborough Ruins


****


When the time had come to return to our lives in California, we didn’t want to leave. England has so much more to see.  California is so young compared to “jolly olde England”, with all its history and culture.  The trip was a splurge—we were lucky that our bosses allowed us to take three weeks off for our vacation.  Before we had left California for our pilgrimage to literary England, I had been saving up money from my paychecks all year.  We wouldn’t have changed a thing.  It was the trip of a lifetime and a dream come true for this English Major.

###

Would you like to read the rest of this eBook?
It's only 99 cents.
Available at Amazon, iTunes, Barnes and Noble, Google Play,
Kobo and Smashwords.



Saturday, November 14, 2015

Terrorist Attack

I was stranded in London on 9/11 wanting to get back home and now my niece is stranded in Paris after yesterday's horrible terrorist attack. It's such a helpless feeling when all you want to do is come back to the U.S. and be with your family and you can't. I write about my experiences in London on and after September 11th in the last part of this book. 




Here's what Destination Europe: The Summer the World Changed is about.

Based upon real experiences of the author, this travelogue is about two friends who travel to Europe to recover, sight see, meet long lost relatives, and find love in unexpected places. Come along with them as they follow in the footsteps of the Caesars, marvel at the beauty of the Sistine Chapel, see Monet’s garden at Giverny, and go on a literary pilgrimage in Great Britain. On their way back home, aboard a plane at Heathrow, they first hear about the terrorist attacks on 9/11. Their pilot tells them to get off the plane and gather their luggage in the baggage claim area. Where will they go? When will they be able to come back home?

This eBook is only 99 cents and is available at Amazon, iTunes, Barnes and Noble, Google Play, Kobo, and Smashwords.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Jane Austen

The Forgotten Sister: A Sequel to Pride and Prejudice
by Louise Hathaway
Only $1.99


Here's some good news for Jane Austen fans: "The Forgotten Sister: A Sequel to Pride and Prejudice" is now available at the lowered price of $1.99. It's about Mary Bennet, the plain middle daughter in Pride and Prejudice, as she compares herself to her beautiful sisters, tries to get her father to notice her, complains about her mother’s melodramatics, falls in love, considers a move to America, becomes a writer, and a ultimately becomes a champion of those less fortunate. What makes this book different from other books written about Pride and Prejudice is its depiction of the social history in Britain during the nineteenth century. Mary Bennet learns about the worlds of their servants in Pemberley, poor chimney sweeps, and factory workers. Transport yourself back to the Regency era and get better aquainted with one of period's famous fictional families.

Available at Amazon, iTunes, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Google Play, Scribd, and Smashwords.  Here are the book's direct links at each store:



Friday, October 23, 2015

Vacation in Europe

Based upon my real experiences in Europe, this travelogue is about the adventures of two girlfriends who go to Europe together. For Nicole, it’s her exciting first trip there. For Isabella, it’s a chance to recover from her husband’s recent death. Come along with them as they follow the footsteps of the Caesars, marvel at the beauty of the Sistine Chapel, see Monet’s garden at Giverny, and go on a literary pilgrimage in Great Britain. Feel their frustration and grief aboard a plane on September 11, 2001 where they first hear about the terrorist attack. Where will they go and when will they be able to come back home?

Destination Europe:
The Summer the World Changed
by Louise Hathaway


Only 99 cents at Amazon, Google Play, and Smashwords

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Is there a ghost in Oak Alley Plantation?

Just in time for Halloween, here's a murder/mystery about a docent who was found dead at Oak Alley Plantation in Louisiana.  Was she killed by a ghost?  There have been lots of sighting at the plantation throughout the years since its antebellum days.

The Ghost in the Plantation:
A Nancy Keene Mystery
by Louise Hathaway


In this story, my teenage sleuth, Nancy Keene, tries to figure out what happened to the hoop-skirted docent.  Nancy had been standing outside the plantation, along with her father and friends, waiting for a tour to begin when they learn of the docent's mysterious death.  I based Nancy on my childhood heroine, Nancy Drew, and wrote this humorous and PG-rated tale that is especially targeted to women baby boomers who grew up reading and loving The Nancy Drew Mysteries.  

For readers who don't know who Nancy Drew is, here's a brief description.  The original Nancy Drew stories first appeared in 1930.  They starred a pretty blonde teenager who led a charmed life: she was popular, knew all sorts of obscure facts, had a very kind and permissive father, a snazzy blue roadster, and plenty of unsupervised time to go off searching for clues in each of her latest "cases". Many famous women such as Hillary Clinton, Former First Lady Laura Bush, and Supreme Court Justices Sandra Day O'Connor and Sonia Sotomayor cite her as formative influences.

In my book, The Ghost in the Plantation, Nancy Keene goes on vacation with her father and friends to New Orleans. What starts out as a sight-seeing trip changes into a murder/mystery when the docent at Oak Alley Plantation is found dead. Part travelogue, part ghost story, this book mixes voodoo, ghosts, and bayous into a spicy gumbo of a whodunit. 

This eBook is available at: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Google Play, iTunes, Kobo, and Smashwords.
It is also available in paperback at Amazon.


Saturday, October 10, 2015

Do you like to read murder mysteries?

Do you love reading mysteries and trying to figure out whodunit?  If the answer is "Yes", please take a look at these four murder mysteries that my husband and I wrote.  They are part of "The Detective Santy Mystery" series and are about the life and career of Clarrisa Santy, a female homicide detective from Orange County, California. The series begins with the murder of her father. When she turns 18, she looks into the court records of the murder trial, and realizes that the wrong man was arrested. Ivan, the man accused of the crime, is based on a real person I used to know, who was infamously known as "the hammer-murderer". When Clarissa contacts him, she finds out more about her family and learns, the hard way, that there are some questions best left unanswered.  The series has received five star and several four star reviews and each book can be enjoyed on its own without having to read the entire series.  The bestseller among the four books is "Honeymoon in Savannah" and it is our favorite, too.


The books in the Detective Santy Mystery Series are:

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

All are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Google Play, Kobo, Smashwords, Oyster, and Scribd.  







Sunday, October 4, 2015

Free Time Travel eBook About the 1968 Newport Pop Festival

Have you ever wished you'd been at Woodstock?  Do you like classic rock from the 60s?  If so, I hope you'll like this humorous time travel fantasy about two sisters who are magically transported back to the 1968 Newport Pop Festival in Costa Mesa, California--an outdoor concert later described as “Orange County’s Woodstock.”  It's received Five Star and several Four Star Reviews.

I'm offering it FREE on Smashwords if you use coupon code MK64C upon checkout.  Offer expires November 4, 2015.  Reviews are greatly appreciated!


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


If you don't want purchase it at Smashwords, it is also available at its regular price of $1.99 at Amazon, iTunes, Barnes and Noble, Google Play, Kobo, Scribd, and Oyster.  Also available in paperback at Amazon and Createspace.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Genealogy: Finding My Roots

Chasing My Roots: New World Finally Meets Old World
By Louise Hathaway


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 this eBook is about my efforts to find and reunite with his 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. My ancestors on his side of the family traveled to America with Quaker William Penn and one branch on the family tree supposedly had buried treasures of gold coins that were never found.  They fought Indians, were homesteaders, and later owned slaves. I couldn't believe it when I found out that they owned slaves in Missouri and were involved in that shameful chapter in American history; but that's what happens sometimes when you start looking into family history.

If you are interested in buying this eBook that only costs 99 cents and has several FIVE STAR REVIEWS, it is available at Amazon, iTunes, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Google Play, Smashwords, Oyster and Scribd.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

First Day of Autumn!



Happy First Day of Autumn.  This is my favorite season of the year.  It's a time when I long for fall leaves in Lake Placid, white, steepled churches in Vermont, and covered bridges in New England. So many images come to mind: pumpkin people on the porches of old-fashioned general stores, maple syrup, caramel apples on a stick, cinnamon scented candles from Bath and Body Works, Pumpkin Spice Lattes, and cozying up to the fire with a good book.

When it comes to autumn, this California girl lives on the wrong coast.  The temperatures here are still in the 80s and some days, even the 90s.  It's our season of fires and Santa Ana winds.  I'll never forget the time my husband and I planned a Halloween party that was supposed to take place in our back yard, but had to be moved indoors because ashes from a nearby fire were raining down on us and our decorations.  Forget about small paper lanterns lining the patio; we didn't want to burn our house down.

Autumn also reminds me of the radio show "A Prairie Home Companion" which my husband and I have religiously listened to for over thirty years. The Fall is the time when the sun is getting low enough for us to light our candles and turn on our space heater that looks like an old-fashioned coal fireplace.  We lose ourselves in the stories that Garrison Keillor's low, mesmerizing voice weaves.  I love his world of bachelor farmers, Pastor Liz, Dorothy's caramel rolls, The Sidetrack Tap, and the Chatterbox Cafe.  Maybe there really are some places like the Chatterbox CafĂ©? Wouldn’t it be fun to go find out?

So after all the years of talking about this town where "the women and strong, the men are good looking, and the children are always above-average," my husband and I finally went to Minnesota on a pilgrimage to find the real Lake Wobegon.  This book is the result. I hope you will enjoy this story about a precocious teenager who talks her father into taking her to Minnesota on just such a quest. Her father  wants to go on a Bob Dylan pilgrimage while there, but she has other plans when a "bachelor farmer" (who was last seen at the "Chatterbox Cafe") goes missing and they join the search party. Part travelogue, this book also contains pictures.  It's only $1.99 and available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Google Play, Kobo, Smashwords, and Scribd.  Also available in paperback at Amazon.

The Missing Bachelor Farmer:
A Nancy Keene Mystery
by Louise Hathaway


Saturday, September 19, 2015

Jane Austen

Do you like Jane Austen? Do you wish you'd lived in the Regency era? Can't get enough of Mr. Darcy? If so, perhaps you'll like my books:


The Forgotten Sister: A Sequel to Pride and Prejudice:
Marriage in Pride and Prejudice (this is a literary essay I wrote in Graduate School):
http://www.amazon.com/Marriage-Pride-Prejudice…/…/B00PYYS8U6
Also available at iTunes, Barnes and Noble, Google Play, Kobo, Smashwords and Oyster

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Where Were You on 9/11? I Was In A Plane

What a sad anniversary we Americans must face each year when September 11th comes around again.  It was a day I'll never forget, on so many different levels.  My husband and I were on a plane in London, strapped in our seats, and ready to come home after two weeks in Europe. We hadn't heard about the terrorist attacks yet until the pilot got on the intercom and told us that two passenger planes had just crashed into two towers of the World Trade Center.  Everyone on the plane was stunned!  It was too awful to be true!  Then, the pilot told us that the airspaces have been closed and we'd have to get off the plane and collect our luggage.  We didn't know where to go or what to do.

This was a special service attended by the Queen, Tony Blair, the American Ambasador,
and me along with hundreds of other commoners

I tell more about this experience in my eBook "Destination Europe: The Summer the World Changed."  This travelogue is a compilation of my happiest memories and favorite places to visit in London, Paris, Rome, and Belgium.  It also covers a literary pilgrimage I went on in England.  I haven't been back to Europe since 9/11.  In a lot of ways, those earlier days were "The Golden Age of Travel" for me. After the attack, I didn't want to ever fly anywhere again for a long time.  I hated the idea that passenger planes were used as "weapons of mass destruction".  Who would do such a horrible thing and how did they get away with it?  September 11th has definitely changed my feelings of safety in the rest of world; but what a glorious time I had in Europe before that fateful day.  Come along with me as I follow in the footsteps of the Caesars, marvel at the beauty of the Sistine Chapel, and see Monet’s garden at Giverny.


Available for $1.99 at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iTunes,  
Google Play, Smashwords, Oyster and Scribd






Monday, September 7, 2015

Destination Europe




Destination Europe:
The Summer the World Changed
by Louise Hathaway

Based upon the writer's real experiences in Europe, this travelogue is about the adventures of two librarians who go to Europe. For 30-year-old Nicole, it’s her exciting first trip there. For 40-year-old Isabella, it’s a chance to recover from her husband’s recent death. Come along with them as they follow the footsteps of the Caesars, marvel at the beauty of the Sistine Chapel, see Monet’s garden at Giverny, and go on a literary pilgrimage in Great Britain. Feel their frustration and grief aboard a plane on September 11, 2001 where they first hear about the terrorist attack. Where will they go and when will they be able to come back home?

This eBook contains three travel essays previously published:

England in the Footsteps of its Literary Giants
Chasing My Roots: New World Finally Meets Old World
Where were you on 9/11?

Only $1.99
Here are the direct links to purchase this book:

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Books about Librarians


When was the last time you visited a library?  How long has it been since you asked a librarian a reference question?   These days, it seems like the only people who go to the library are those wanting to use the Internet or check out DVDs.  It's a favorite hang-out for the homeless or those seeking either an air-conditioned or heated place to camp out all day and night until closing.  The times they are a changin' as Bob Dylan says.

I started working in a law library in 1983.  It was the heyday of libraries. It was interesting work and we had a lot of lawyers as patrons, before Lexis/Nexis came along.  The library was in the civic center where all the county business took place.  Our library was between the Federal and the State building, so there was always a lot of buzz and never a boring day.  When the governor visited our library, his body guards were stationed atop the State Building with their rifles drawn and ready. Before Bill Clinton was nominated for a second term, he came to the old county courthouse to give a speech.  My friends and I walked over to see him and passed  through security that was similar to what you'd find at an airport.

The people I worked with were all college educated and three were former lawyers.  We used to have enjoyable conversations about politics, TV, movies, and each other (there was a lot of office politics that I did my best to steer clear of). I was one of the writers of the library's newsletter so it was fun coming up with ideas for my articles.  I got to go to other libraries on field trips on work time.  One of my favorite's was the National Archives in Laguna Niguel where I saw how and where all the boxes of data were stored.  I'll never forget the time when the library's electronic compact shelving malfunctioned and almost crushed to death one of my coworkers.

I used that background for the first novel I wrote that takes place in a library.  It is called "Death Among the Stacks: The Body in the Law Library".  I had Agatha Christie's detective, Hercule Poirot, in mind when I wrote this book with my husband.  We wanted it to be a story with multiple suspects who, in the last chapter, are summoned by the detective, who then grills them in front of everyone, saying why he suspected each one until he finally reveals whodunit.

Death Among the Stacks:
The Body in the Law Library
by Louise Hathaway


The second book about libraries I wrote is a romantic comedy.  It's about a librarian who goes to a performance at a mystery dinner theater where someone is actually killed--definitely not part of the act.  A handsome detective comes to investigate and she falls madly in love with him.  This one is a little racy: her fantasies about him are quite graphic (and very funny).

Watchin' the Detective:
A Mystery Dinner Romance
by Louise Hathaway



These books are available at Amazon, iTunes, Barnes and Noble, Google Play, Kobo Books, Smashwords and Oyster

Available in paperback at Amazon

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Travel to New Orleans

Have you always wanted to go to New Orleans?  If so, come along with fictional characters Don and Isabella as they discover the wonders of New Orleans on their honeymoon. Learn about their favorite romantic spots, best places to eat, and favorite places to visit. This travelogue also includes helpful websites to consider before planning your next vacation.

Honeymoon in New Orleans
By Louise Hathaway
$1.99


Thursday, August 6, 2015

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 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 aloud, 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 where to use a colon in your writing?  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 of the correct way to use a colon: 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.


Wednesday, July 22, 2015

What is your favorite Jane Austen novel?

I had never read Jane Austen until the semester before I received my Master's Degree in English. Isn't that odd?  What took so long?  I think Jane was a bit looked down upon in the "serious" literature department: I remember how my classmates dismissed Pride and Prejudice as "a story about a bunch of girls wanting to get married."  That's what they said to me when I announced that I wanted to write my research paper on it.

Needless to say, I loved Jane from the very first page of Pride and Prejudice.  I'm from a family of a lot of girls, so the characters and their concerns seem very real to me.  Add to that attraction, I loved everything British:"Masterpiece Theatre," The Rollings Stones, Twiggy, Yardley lipstick--I could go on and on.

Looking back, from where I am in my life right now, I would choose "Sense and Sensibility" as my favorite Jane Austen novel.  To me, it echoed my relationship with my sisters; especially between my younger sister and myself.  She and I would often say about the novel that she was the "Sense" to my "Sensibility": she was the one who went for the bad boys; for the roller coaster ride; while I played it safe in my world of prudence and sensibility.

My younger sister died six years ago.  I often think about Jane Austen's novel as it pertains to her: I remember discussing it with my sister and saying that the scene in the novel where Marianne almost dies is how I would feel towards her if anything ever happened to her.

Unfortunately, my fears came true when my sister, like Marianne in the novel, had a life-threatening illness.  Marianne survived; but my sister did not.  I loved her with my heart and soul and I dedicate my book to her:

Nonsense and Sensibility: 
A Modern Austen Variation
By Louise Hathaway


Available for $1.99 at iTunes, Barnes and Noble, Google Play, Kobo Books, Smashword, and Oyster.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Jane Austen and Sense and Sensibility


30% Off.  Only $1.99


Nonsense and Sensibility:
A Modern Austen Variation
by: Louise Hathaway

$1.99 at Barnes and Noble, iTunes, Google Play, Kobo and Smashwords

This romantic comedy is a modern version of Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility. It’s the story of two American sisters and the men who love them. Elinor, the older of the two, is the sensible one who is prudent and dependable. In contrast, Marianne is the passionate one guided by her emotions who tends to get carried away, especially when it comes to love. Will she choose bad boy Willoughby who comes to her rescue on his mighty steed, or Colonel Brandon, an older man who could offer her a lifetime of safe and dependable love? Will Elinor and her true love, Edward, ever be free to marry? Will Lucy ever let him go? Find out in this story, told with deep and abiding love for the inimitable Jane Austen.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Mysteries and Time Travel Novel Half-Off at Smashwords

This month, I am offering five books for 50% off at Smashwords.com.  They are also available at the regular price at other online bookstores such as Amazon, iTunes, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Google Play, Oyster, and Scribd

Do you like murder mysteries that have strong female characters?  If so, check out the first book in a series about Homicide Detective Clarissa Santy.  In "The Tustin Chronicles," we meet her when she is a little girl and her father is murdered.  When she turns 18, she digs deeper into the mystery of his death and ultimately discovers that there are some questions best left unanswered.  Normally $2.99, it's now half-off this month at Smashwords if you use code SSW50 at checkout.  This sale applies exclusively at Smashwords and will continue until July 31, 2015.  The links below take you to the book's Smashword's page.




When I was a girl, I loved reading Nancy Drew Mysteries; and about 3 years ago I inherited some of the books originally published in the 1930s.  I read them again and rediscovered the world of my childhood hero.  I decided to write a PG-Rated, humourous series called The Nancy Keene Mysteries that would appeal to babyboomers like myself who remember the perfect and precocious teenage sleuth.  The following titles below are half-off this month:  that's only 99 cents.
Once again use coupon code SSW50 at checkout exclusively at Smashwords.com  This promotion expires at the end of the month also.

The eBooks in The Nancy Keene Mystery Series are:

"The Missing Bachelor Farmer" finds Nancy traveling to Lake Wobegon with her father on a sight-seeing trip and a chance to see the towns that Garrison Keillor bases his fictional town upon.  While there, a bachelor farmer goes missing and Nancy becomes part of the search party. She and her father also run into Garrison Keillor as he is leaving a bookstore in St. Paul--which really happened to my husband and I when we were there; which was quite a thrill!




"The Buried Treasure on Route 66" finds Nancy at her French-themed, 18th birthday party.  Her doting father doesn't like overhearing her boyfriend say that she looks hot in her French maid's outfit.  Her Dad also doesn't like the fact the his little girl is going off to college in another state. How will he handle letting her go?  Find out as she, her father, and her boyfriend go on a roadtrip on Route 66; accompanied by a little old lady who Nancy is trying to help find a buried will.



"The Stolen Mask" finds Nancy accompaning her father to London on one of his business trips.  The hotel where they stay has a guest who is a movie star: Daniel Craig.  Nancy loves James Bond and experiences her first teenage crush when she sees the actor who plays him walks out his hotel room door, first thing in the morning, and dressed only in a towel around his waist.  When someone steals his BAFTA award from his hotel room, Nancy tries to impress him by figuring out who did it.



Here's another book that's 99 cents this month at Smashwords with code SSW50 at checkout, "The Summer of Love: A Trip Back to 1968."  When I was 13 and my pregnant sister was 18, she and I went to an outdoor rock festival that was later compared to Woodstock.  I include our Newport Pop Festival experience in this time travel novel where the two of us find ourselves back at the concert, at the house where we grew up, and talking to loved-ones who have long since died.




Monday, June 29, 2015

Agatha Christie Whodunit

Why did an Inspector from the Government Printing Office get crushed between two rows of electronic compact shelving? Find out in this murder/mystery, an Agatha Christie-type whodunit with multiple suspects whom, in the last chapter, the book's detective assembles in one room for "the big reveal." Death-by-compact-shelving may seem like a stretch, but it almost happened at a library where this book's author worked. You will never look at librarians and library shelving the same after reading it.

Death Among the Stacks: The Body in the Law Library
By Louise Hathaway


Only $2.99 at most online bookstores
Paperback version available at Amazon


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

New Orleans Travelogue and Romance Novel



"Honeymoon in New Orleans" by Louise Hathaway is mostly a travelogue, but it's part romance novel also. It is chock full of my favorite places to visit and dine at in the Crescent City. Have you ever wanted to pretend that you're Scarlett O'Hara and live at Tara? With a little imagination, you can at one of my favorite plantations, Oak Alley, a short drive from New Orleans. You can stay there overnight and soak up the vibes after the tourists have left. Sounds fun. I wish I was there now. Until then, this travelogue will have to do.

It's only $1.99 at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iTunes, Google Play, Kobo, and Smashwords.  If you subscribe to Scribd or Oyster, it's free.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

High School Reunions


How many of you go to your high school reunions hoping to see “the one who got away”? That’s what this PG-rated romance novel is all about. In this story, Danielle, a woman who has just turned 30, goes to her high school reunion hoping to see Sandy, a tall redhead, who, on their last day of school, gave her a poem he’d written about her. One of her biggest regrets is that she let him go away without telling him that she shares his feelings. He’s been impossible to locate so far, but she’s hoping that at tonight’s reunion, he will finally walk back into her life. For the most part, it is a true story about my husband & I, who met in high school, and reconnected after some time had passed. The people mentioned in it are real, too: we really did have a pimp, Playboy centerfold, and famous mystery writer in our class.
Available at most online bookstores
Only 99 cents

Friday, June 5, 2015

Dogs: Woman's Best Friend

My husband and I recently said goodbye to our little fur child.  His name was Rascal and he was a Jack Russell Terrier. We were lucky to have him in our lives for almost 15 wonderful years.


We never had any children and were used to a very solitary life of reading, gardening, and traveling. We were afraid that we wouldn't be good parents to a breed of dogs who are notorious for being high-enery and willfull.  Beforehand, we even found ourselves taking quizzes about whether or not we would be able to "handle" a dog with such special needs.  It was scary; but we were willing to take a chance.

I think I first fell in love with Jack Russell Terriers when I watched PBS's "Wishbone".  It was a show for children featuring a dog who was able to talk, read and travel back in time to become a character in literature and teach kids to love reading.  I'm an English Literature Major, so this was right up my alley. In the series, Wishbone would wear cute costumes and would be Sherlock Holmes and Robin Hood.

Then, I saw the movie, "My Dog Skip".  That had to be the cutest dog and the cutest story I'd ever seen. To top it all off, a flower shop in my town owned a little JR named Gumbo who would often hop up onto the window display at the store and I'd see him whenever I drove by. It really was like the song, "How much is that doggie in the window?"  And then, of course, there was the JR in the movie "Mask" and the TV series "Frazer."

So, with much trepidation, my husband and I threw caution to the wind and became parents to our little 8 week old JR who we named Rascal before we'd even met him.  We picked out his name, thinking that it best described the temperment of this lovable but challenging breed.  It was love at first sight.  He was the runt of the litter and had a interesting early life: his mother had become "Mommy Dearest" and attacked and killed the last puppy of the litter.  She had tried to kill our little boy, too, until the breeder intervened.  The breeder had to separate the mother from the rest of the puppies and bottle-feed the rest of the litter.  Everyone loves an "underdog" and that's who our little Rascal was.  I immediately considered myself his "mother" and protector.  I was going to save this little dog from his psycho mom.  He weighed only 6 ounces when we brought him home.  I was so afraid that I was going to step on him and crush him accidentally.


My husband and I love to travel: we have been to France, Italy, England, Belgium, Holland, Luxemberg, and Switzerland and many big towns in the US such as New York, New Orleans, and Chicago.  But our lives entirely changed when we brought this little bundle of joy into our world. Whenever we traveled, all we could think about was coming home and seeing our Rascal again.  We even cut vacations short because we missed him so much.  We were truly smitten. 


Our little fur child died almost a week ago.  He had "been there for me" through it all and was by my side when I lost both my parents and my brother and sister, who died 3 months from each other. Rascal and I were inseparable.  Whenever I'd be gone for the afternoon, when I opened the front door he was there waiting for me and would crawl on the ground with his tail wagging until I got down on my hands and knees and crawled right along with him.  He acted like I'd been gone for days.

 We brought his ashes home tonight.  I'm so glad to finally have him back.  He was the best dog in the world.