Saturday, July 14, 2012

The Perfect Margarita

Recently, I decided not to focus on anything about writing, being an author, or having a book published. What with Death Runs in the Family, 3rd book in the Alvarez Family Murder Mystery Series and Corliss, my suspense short story out within weeks of each other, and banging away on the keyboard trying to finish the Persephone Cole Series, which debuts in September, I needed a break.
So we zipped off to Las Vegas for a few days for a little R&R. We decided to drive, the pissed-off skies being what they are, and after several hours arrived at Barstow, California, mentioned in the famous song, (Get Your Kicks On) Route 66. We usually stop there when we drive to Vegas, get a motel room for the night, and have dinner at the Idle Spurs Restaurant. It's a tradition. A silly one, but there you are.
However, as this was the first time we arrived in Barstow on a Monday, we couldn't go to the Idle Spurs. Closed, dontchaknow. The best laid plans.
We wound up at the Los Domingos, where we stumbled upon good Mexican food and even better cocktails. Life being what it is, you never know when you are going to have a serendipitous moment like that. So instead of books, let's talk booze. Serendipitously, of course.

And enter Max, the Mixologist.
We walked into the Los Domingos Restaurant and there was Max standing behind a pretty interesting bar. Norman was in the mood for a Margarita, but not the super sweet kind made with lots of Rose's lemon-lime mix. That is more or less a north of the border tradition. He wanted one just like we could get in Mexico, Cuernavaca, specifically. Years ago the best Margarita we've ever had - and we've been searching endlessly you might say - was obtained and drunk there, several times over.
We told Max our experience and he promised us the 'perfect' Margarita, too. Man oh man, did he deliver. It was so smooth and delicious; I couldn't help but ask what his secret was. He told me it's equal amounts of lime, lemon and orange. I couldn't believe it, but Max swears it's true. Now that we're home, I'll be testing his recipe many times over!
People from Barstow seemed to flock into Los Domingos for his drinks. That evening we watched a lot of them drop by. Then Max showed me his own creation, the Huckleberry Margarita, which he gave me a sample of. Stand back, world! This is marvelous!! Slushy, gorgeous to look at, and even better to drink. The man is a genius. Yes, Max the Mixologist is a genius. Whenever you come across perfection, it must be applauded.
So take a bow, Max, to generous applause!!
When we head back to Barstow, we know exactly where to go for the perfect drink. Meanwhile, bottoms up!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Welcom Penny Estelle, Author of Billy Cooper's Awesome Nightmare

Just the title of this book, Billy Cooper's Awesome Nightmare, and the wonderful cover, sends me into laughter every time I see it.
Penny Estelle is a lovely lady, especially in her cowboy hat, and from what I've read so far of the story, it sounds like something I would enjoy, even though I am decades too old. That's what comes of being a kid at heart. Before you get a glimpse of it, yourself, here is an interview we did. A chance to get to know Penny a little better, of course.


1. What is your favorite book?
I am always looking for news about upcoming Janet Evanovich books. These are the numbered Stephanie Plum series books. I am waiting for number 20 (I think). Her books are laugh out loud funny!

2. Who is your favorite writer?
I have several but of course my #1 is Ms Evanovich. She actually answered three questions for me to put on my blog! OMG – I was floored when she said she would do that. That helps keeping her in the lead! But I also love Nora Roberts, Sandra Brown, Fern Michaels, and Linda Leal Miller

3. How old were you when you were first published?
It was one year ago – I was at the very young age of fifty-eight. (Heather's Note: You don't look it darling. You could say 38, and we'd buy it.)

4. What writing style do you most abhor?
This is a toughie….I’m not crazy about old style English dialogue and I don’t like it when an author goes on and on and on describing different scenes, etc.

5. What is your favorite writing cliché?
Apparently every cliché ever invented because I get dinged with using clichés from my critique group all the time and I don’t even realize it.

6. What is your favorite word?
Awesome! I can use it sarcastically (which I do all the time) or congratulating somebody, talking about an event, situation, personality, etc. etc! I really like the word(s) SOB, too. (I use that when I am frustrated, which is a lot)

7. When and how do you write? (typewriter, Mac, in a café, for four hours each morning, etc?)
With a pad of paper, lying on the couch! I am a horizontal writer! I wish I could tell you I write this many hours everyday, and I wish I did. No matter how many pep talks I give myself about forgetting all else and just write – it just doesn’t happen!

8. What is your greatest fear when you first turn in a manuscript?
That there will be tons of typos that I missed.

9. In what era do you wish you’d been born?
I would have loved to have been a pioneer woman, but there would need to be air conditioning, and I don’t like to cook anyway, so cooking over the hearth would probably suck (this is another of my favorite words) and bathing once a week would be out. Now that I think about it – I’m good in the 21 century!

10. Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
With regards to writing? Was and well. I was told once I used the word “I” way too many times – so now I write in third person!

11. Which talent would you most like to have?
I wish I could play the guitar – and if I could sing well, to go along with my great guitar playing, well that would be awesome!

12. What do you consider your greatest achievement?
I’m going to have to go with…. my husband and I building our entire retirement house by ourselves. Except for pouring the cement foundation we did all the rest! (well, let’s not get silly. My husband did most of it, but I was there helping, damnit!)

13. Who is your favorite hero of fiction?
Stephanie Plum

14. How would you like to die?
In my sleep!

Billy Cooper’s Awesome Nightmare
Billy Cooper’s seventh grade class has been given a last minute, weekend assignment. An oral book report is due Monday on some stupid historical figure, he draws from a box.
Billy’s weekend is way too full to worry about some legend – that is, until he meets him face to face!


Except for William Tell being one of the biggest men he had ever seen, he had to wonder what this guy did to get put on a book report list! “So, Du….I mean, Uncle William, what do you do around here, you know to bring home the bacon?”
“Here in Uri, we would kill a bore to get bacon,” William replied.
“Ooookay,” Billy said, but you are a legend. Why?” Billy figured he might as well take the bull by the horns!
“William, I am no legend. I am but a simple hunter.”
Billy had to wonder why old lady Wickware would put some hunter that didn’t do squat, in the drawing. There had to be more! “So, who’s this Gessler guy? Why is Auntie freaking out about him?”
His uncle did a quick double take and asked, “William, your speech seems so different. Do they all talk like this in Unterwalden?
“Unter-who?” Billy asked.
“Unterwalden. Where you live.” His uncle started to wonder if his nephew was more than just unbalanced.
“Oh yea, Unter….whatever. My home place,” Billy stammered. “Yea, we all talk like this. We are a laid back kind of group.”
William Tell just shook his head. “Gessler is the Governor of Altdorf. As you must know, Austria is trying to take our lands from us. Some are already paying heavy and unjust taxes. These Austrians are a cruel people, William, and they want everyone to live in fear. Until the Rutli Oath came to be we did not know what to do.”
“What’s the Rutli Oath? Billy asked.
They were almost to Altdorf. William stopped and looked deep into Billy’s eyes. “Countrymen from Uri, Unterwalden, and Schwytz are ready to take back what is ours and the Rutli Oath is our pledge to do so.
Billy nodded and turned to continue to the town when his uncle stopped him. His tone was deadly. “Speak of this to no one, William. It would not bode well for you.”
Even in a dream, Billy wouldn’t cross a man like William Tell. “No problem, Dude. Your secret is safe with me.”

MuseItUp Publishing -

Amazon –

Heather – thanks so much for letting me visit with you on your blog. I can be reached @
@pennystales – twitter

I love it when folks stop by and say “Hi”

And thanks for dropping by, Penny! You're a lot of fun!!