Sunday, May 31, 2015

Travel Tips

Summer is just around the corner and it's time to start thinking about where to go on vacation.  I wrote a free travelogue called "Planning A Vacation?  Why not Chicago?" that is available at iTunes, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and Smashwords.

I also wrote "England in the Footsteps of Its Literary Giants," about my pilgrimage to the birthplaces and environs of some of my favorite British authors.  It is only 99 cents and is available at Amazon, iTunes, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and Smashwords.

Many of my novels take place in my favorite travel destinations, so you may also like: Honeymoon in Savannah, Honeymoon in New Orleans, The Ghost in the Plantation, The Buried Treasure on Route 66, The Stolen Mask (takes place in London), and The Missing Bachelor Farmer (takes place in Lake Wobegon).  They are available at Amazon, iTunes, Barnes & Noble, Google Play, Kobo, Smashwords, Scribd, and Oyster.

Happy traveling and I hope my books inspire you to go to many of my favorite places.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Murder at the Abbey

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

In this murder/mystery, the peaceful world of a monastery in Orange County, California is shaken apart when one of its priests is murdered. Who would want to kill him? Tempers have been running high in Silverado Canyon ever since the abbey purchased land to expand its property. Was the murderer an eco-terrorist who feared the expansion might cause the habitat destruction of an endangered toad? Or maybe was it the powerful anti-development lawyer who has fought tooth and nail to stop every construction project in the canyon? Maybe it was the owner of the motorcycle bar, Kline’s Corner, who got fed up with the priest’s complaints about the bar’s live music interrupting Mass and Vespers?

Detective Clarissa Santy is trying to solve the murder, while at the same time, she’s busy reintroducing her father to the world outside of prison, where he’s spent the past 30 years for a murder conviction. Between keeping him out of trouble, babysitting a Criminal Justice Intern from UCI, and dating again after losing her husband several years ago, her life has never seemed so complicated.

Available at Amazon, iTunes, Barnes and Noble, Google Play, Kobo, and Smashwords. Read for free with subscription to Scribd or Oyster.  Also available in paperback at Amazon.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Mad Men

Are you sorry to see "Mad Men" come to an end? I am and I wrote this romance novel a few years ago after binge watching the show. The librarian in the novel falls in love with a detective, who bears a striking resemblance to Don Draper, whom she met while on a double date at a mystery dinner show where someone was actually murdered--definitely not part of the act. She gets herself mixed up with some dangerous people when she goes undercover--in spite of his warnings--to help him solve the crime. Humorous and sexy, this novel is for readers 18+

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

Only 99 cents
Available at Amazon, iTunes, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, Google, and Kobo

Friday, May 15, 2015

New Orleans with Nancy

This humorous, PG-rated mystery about a teenager sleuth, who's very similar to Nancy Drew, is written especially for women baby boomers who grew up reading and loving the Nancy Drew series. It takes place in the French Quarter of New Orleans where Nancy, along with her father and friends, go on vacation.  When the concierge at their hotel dies mysteriously, Nancy is hot on the trail to find out whodunit.  Her fun and funky Aunt Audrey joins the investigation, and they get help from surprising real life characters.  When Nancy's not having café au lait and beignets at the Café du Monde, she's being chased down Bourbon Street by a man in a hoodie. Come ride the St. Charles streetcar through the Garden District, eat at Brennan's, listen to live jazz in Jackson Square, and learn about voodoo and ghosts with Nancy in her latest adventure.

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

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Planning a Vacation? Why Not Chicago?

Planning a Vacation?  Why Not Chicago?

My husband and I love going on vacation in the spring because the gardens are usually beautiful wherever we go, the crowds are less, and the temperature is usually neither too hot nor too cold. We’ve toyed with the idea of going to Chicago for years.  We wondered: “Is Chicago merely the land of Oprah, The Cubs, skyscrapers, and pizza?”

We are both seasoned travelers who have gone to Europe many times, as well as to most of the big cities in America, but we’ve never been to Chicago and have been bouncing around the idea of a trip there for years.  Why Chicago?  Because we are fascinated by Frank Lloyd Wright and the many craftsmen homes he designed there. We also grew up listening to Chicago-style blues and longed to hear some Blues’ bands perform at the famous “Buddy Guy’s”.  We were also intrigued by Chicago’s colorful gangster past and wanted to see a Live Show at the Second City Improv—the venue where the “Not Ready for Prime Time Players” learned their chops before starring on “Saturday Night Live”.  And then—there is the famous deep-dish pizza. Who can say no?

Upon arrival and checking into downtown’s “The Residence Inn”, we walked over to the John Hancock Tower—one of the many skyscrapers in the city.  It has a bar and restaurant (The Signature Room) on its top floor and advertised that we could “come kiss the sky” at the Observatory.  We took the elevator up to the restaurant on the 95th floor and felt our stomachs drop and our ears pop as we rapidly ascended to the top.  We were rewarded for our courage by the view of a beautiful and clear sunset as we sat sipping our glasses of wine and had our pictures taken. For the true tourist experience, the bar serves specialty cocktails such as “The Skyscraper” or “The Windy City Martini”. You’ll feel like you’re on top of the world.

Yes—it’s touristy—but we were 1st time visitors to the Windy City and we wanted pizza.  We took a cab over to Gino’s East—the most famous place for this regional fare.  Our waiter told us that, because our pizza is made to order, it would take about 45 minutes until it would be ready.  We were okay with this, since it would be a once-in-a-lifetime experience.  As we were waiting for our pizza, we entertained ourselves by reading some of the many messages left by patrons on the restaurant’s graffiti-covered walls.  When we finally were served our large deep dish, pepperoni and mushroom pizza, we discovered that it was definitely worth the wait.  I had never seen nor tasted pizza with a yellow instead of white dough.  I learned that their dough is made with cornmeal.  It smelled and tasted heavenly. We had so much pizza left over that we took a doggie bag back to our hotel room which had a microwave, refrigerator, plates and silverware; we saved money on dinner by having our pizza for the next two nights of our stay in Chicago.

We had read on a travel site about the hilarious “Untouchables Tour” which claimed to take visitors on a tour of Chicago’s “old hoodlum haunts, brothels, gambling dens, and sites of gangland shootings.”  It sound “kitschy”, I know, but you don’t want to miss this.  Our tour guides rolled up in their “Untouchables’ Tour Bus” that was riddled with bullet holes.  They were dressed like Prohibition gangsters and welcomed us aboard.  As we entered the bus, we heard jazz-era music and all of us women on the tour were given red roses.  This made up for them referring to us as “dames” during their comic spiel.   They were hilarious and everyone had a good time.  As we climbed out of the bus, they were selling souvenirs of Chicago’s gangster past.  I asked them if my husband could take a picture of them, and they surprised us by handing me a toy gun and telling me to point it at them.  They surrendered to me with their hands up as my husband took a funny picture.  It was a great way to start our first full day in Chicago.

Speaking of gangland shootings, the next day we took a ride on the El all the way out to Oak Park to see the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright.   The subway traveled through the West Side of Chicago, and there were some teens on our car who pointed out the window saying, “Someone was killed over on that street last night.”  It was quite disconcerting and there were some rough looking characters on the train; maybe we’d take a cab next time, we thought.  When we disembarked the El upon arrival in Oak Park, we immediately loved the neighborhood.  It really is worth the detour; in fact, we braved the subway again and spent the next day there, too.  Our architecture tour started at Frank Lloyd Wright’s house.  It was very interesting for us to see since we also have a Craftsman bungalow home ourselves.  We learned that Wright was such a control freak that he insisted on his wife wearing dresses designed by him which he’d created to blend into the overall design and feel of the house.  It really was a beautiful home.  He designed many of the houses in his neighborhood, and we took a wonderful and serene stroll through these streets, armed with our walking tour guides that told us of the many homes designed by him.

Our favorite of his homes is the Robie House, over by the University of Chicago.  We loved its walls of windows with his stained glass design.  We would have loved to live in this home, although there might have some issues of losing your privacy.

That night, we bought tickets at the famous “Second City Improv”.  Our night’s performance was titled, “The Taming of the Flu.”  We had great seats in the tiny theater where we could order drinks and appetizers.  The performers were first rate and did several skits.  Audience participation was encouraged.  We laughed so hard and enjoyed every minute.  We expect to see some of the performers someday on “Saturday Night Live.”

Our next day was devoted to “The Blues.”  My love of this unique Chicago genre began when I was a young teenager listening to my older brother and sister’s “Paul Butterfield Blues Band” records on our turntable.  When I was growing up, our city used to have “battle of the bands” contests and our favorite band played many of these songs.  Chicago’s “Chess Records” is famous for being the “creative home” of the Chicago Blues Style.  Muddy Waters, Chuck Berry, and Sonny Boy Williamson all recorded here.  Its history inspired the Rolling Stones and the Yardbirds to play here in the mid-1960’s.  It is still operating as a recording studio and visitors can take a tour.  That night, we were hungry to hear some live music, so we went to Buddy Guy’s to hear some blues.  This was definitely something that we had planned on for years on our “bucket lists.”  We were really getting a feel for and a love of the city.

The next day, we went to see the famous T-Rex Sue at the Field Museum.  While there, we happened to see the actor, Bill Paxton, also “playing tourist” and sight-seeing.  My husband and I are both fans of his HBO series, “Big Love,” so I told my husband that I was going to surreptitiously sneak over behind where Mr. Paxton was standing, so that he could get a picture of him and me.  As I approached the actor, he turned around and looked right at me.  I was taken aback and explained that my husband was trying to take a picture of him.  He was surprisingly friendly, and said, “Well, heck; he’s way over there; tell him to get closer so he could take a proper picture of us.”  He put his arm around me and my husband got a great shot.  The actor told me that he was in town for the 50th anniversary of Apollo 13.  After my husband took the picture, Mr. Paxton told us that we should take a photo of the elderly gentleman standing next to him, saying that, “He was a genuine American hero.”  We just assumed that he was speaking of his Dad.  We never took that picture he was suggesting.  Later, we found out that the older man was Jim Lovell, the astronaut on the Apollo 13 mission.  We were kicking ourselves later for not respecting the American hero, because we seemed more interested in a movie star. It is one of our favorite stories of the trip.  By the way, T-Rex Sue was very impressive, too.

Towards the end of our trip, we took a Grayline Sightseeing Tour called “Inside Chicago: The Grand Tour”.  It gave us a broad overview of the city: we drove by Oprah’s house on Lake Shore Drive, The Cub’s Wrigley Field, Millennium Park, The Chicago Tribune, and the Magnificent Mile.  Chicago was everything we hoped for and more.  We hope to go back there again someday, and will most likely find the courage to once again take the El to Oak Park.  We just can’t get enough of Frank Lloyd Wright.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

85th Anniversary of the Nancy Drew Mysteries

It's hard to imagine, but it's the 85th Anniversary of the first Nancy Drew Mystery.

I was inspired to write my own stories about a teenage sleuth, Nancy Keene. These stories are PG-rated and geered towards women baby-boomers like myself, who grew up reading and loving the series. My Nancy is precocious, filled with esoteric knowledge, kind of nerdy, and has a sense of humor.  She has a close relationship with her father, who is often conveniently away on a business trip, leaving her free to search for clues.  She loves to travel (and so do I) so the adventures I've written take place in some of my favorite vacation destinations. 

Here are my Nancy Keene stories; all are available at Amazon, iTunes, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Google Play, and Smashwords:

The Buried Treasure on Route 66
(Takes place in Arizona & New Mexico)

Ghost in the Plantation 
(Takes Place in New Orleans & Louisiana)

The Stolen Mask
(Takes place in London)

The Missing Bachelor Farmer
(Takes Place in Lake Wobegon)

Friday, May 1, 2015

Free Psychological Thriller At

This psychological thriller about sexual obsession will keep you on the edge of your seats until the very end. It's a riveting murder mystery about a female homicide detective who investigates the brutal murder of two teenage girls on a rural road in Orange County, California. In the course of the investigation, she begins to wonder if the serial killer is the same person who has been making upsetting phone calls to her. She comes to realize that not only does she know him: she used to be in love with him. How much danger must she be willing to put herself into in order to capture him? Based on real events.

The Body on Ortega Highway: A Detective Santy Mystery
By Louise Hathaway

To order your free copy, go to, type in this title, and use coupon code MC49V prior to completing your checkout.  This offer expires on May 10, 2015

This e-Book is also available at its regular price of 99 Cents
At Amazon, iTunes, Barnes & Noble, Google Play, & Kobo.

If you like this story, check out the other books in The Detective Santy Mysteries.  Reviews are always appreciated, too.  Thank you.