Fear in Writing: 2009

Today in Literary History

Today in Literary History...December 14, 1907: Rudyard Kipling receives the Nobel prize for literature, the first English-language writer to do so.ud

Thursday, December 31, 2009

60th Follower Come on Down!

You never know what number will strike me as giftworthy.  40 sent my heart aflutter and gave Kristi of Random Daily Thoughts a copy of Mark Terry's The Serpent's Kiss.  I love to support authors found through the blogs as well as authors I count as my friends.  That is why I gave Kristi a choice of some great writers - from Elizabeth Spann Craig to Galen Kindley.

But it is also nice to support small businesses and other web ventures.  Today I discovered Book Venue, a site that brings together gifts, articles, links and discussion.  And in honor of my 60th follower, I would like to give something from this site.

That 60th follower is Jennifer of Crazy-for-Books.  She seems to have eclectic taste in reading, so I thought something a little more general and appreciative of literature as a whole would be appropriate.  However, please tell me if you absolutely hate the idea or already have it!  Here is your gift, Jennifer, and thank you for your support.  I will need all the support I can get when my writing comes to public fruition, and I truly enjoy the interaction we have on this and other blogs.

The Book Lover's Cookbook provides recipes described in such books as Little Women and Fried Green Tomatoes.  The only catch for Jennifer is you have to tell us how yummy the recipes are and whether or not we should all rush out and buy the cookbook!

Welcome to SouthernCityMysteries, Jennifer.  And thank you to all who read what I ramble and dare to discuss the subjects that pass through my brain.

If you love cooking and booking, check out Mystery Lover's Kitchen.  You'll recognize Elizabeth Spann Craig writing as Riley Adams, and find some tempting mysteries as well as recipes.

30 Russ

Russell Todd Emrath was born this day in 1977. That makes him 30 today, and I've been rubbing it in since January first of this year! But as much fun as I've had at his expense, he is taking the new decade with grace and confidence. Russ is so much more man than I married seven years ago. He is an amazing father. He is my best friend. He is the person to whom I go to when I get showstopping, fabulous news, and the one who catches my tears when my day falls way below flat.

So happy birthday, True Companion.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Wish that we wish...can come true!

We wish for things and then we move on.  When we were small we held out hope those wishes would come true, those packages would be delivered, those ribbons would unfurl to reveal our deepest desires.  As adults we know more often than not we must make our own happiness, wrap our own gifts.

But today I bring you a story of wishes fulfilled.

On October 26th I blogged to you about a wish I had.  I wrote of something sinfully decadent.  Something extravagent and unnecessary, but so enticing to me I couldn't stop desiring it.  I didn't think anyone was really listening.

Two envelopes slipped themselves into my lap on Christmas Eve.  They were unassuming things, neatly wrapped in mint green paper and tied with gold ribbon.  They felt light and pliable in my hands and I couldn't for the life of me guess what they contained.  As my attention was torn between helping my children unsnarl the two thousand twist ties keeping their toys prisoner inside molded plastic and my own meager unwrapping, I barely noticed my fingers slip off the ribbon and remove the paper.

And then they were in my hands: eight sheets of glorious bookplates set to proclaim "Ex-Libris Michele Emrath."  I barely looked at them and I know I must have insulted the gift-giver, but they are so precious to me I had to hide away their colorful faces from the little faces that surrounded me!  I love them and I cannot wait to get home to Raleigh to place them in my 'chosen' books.

Said gift-giver is my sister-in-law Rachel.  You all know her as the wife of Scott, my brother-in-law Nick.  She is also a supporter of this blog and my writing, a mother of two beautiful little girls and an excellent giver of gifts.  In honor of our wishes this year and instead of physical gifts, she donated money to charity in my husband's name and helped provide prenatal care for six women in Afghanistan.  So not only does she have to put up with Nick/Scott, she has a heart for others and a knack for gift-giving.

For more on bookplates and their history, click here or check out Lew Jaffe's blog, Confessions of a Bookplate Junkie.

Postscript: I am driving my children home to Raleigh today, so I won't be available to comment. Catch you all tomorrow!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


This is a photograph I found in a Photobucket album.  It is a close-up of the 41ft (four stories), gilded Athena statue that resides inside Nashville's Parthenon.

In my opinion this is not the most beautiful of sculptures, but it is quite powerful.  I was writing a scene in which I described her and thought I'd share a picture with you all.  Here are some more from the site I found...

Athena's shield with Medusa's head at the center.

Athena Parthenos, with the winged Nike, goddes of Victory.

I'm so easily distracted.

The Book and The City

How beautiful this city is.  Monday, my father took me on a driving tour of the more historic aspects of Nashville.  We only covered a small portion of the city, but we found a lot of interesting places for people to die suspiciously.  And my filled-with-facts father imparted tons of knowledge to me.

Here's one for you:  did you know the term 'music city' does not refer to the modern country and Christian music for which Nashville is famous, but rather for the Fisk Jubilee Singers who, following the Civil War, toured in order to earn money for the University?  This nine-student, all-black ensemble performed for President Grant at the White House and for Queen Victoria in England, among others.  Even though these amazingly talented students were earning hundreds of thousands for their university and great acclaim for their hometown, their "strength was failing under the ill treatment at hotels, on railroads, poorly attended concerts, and ridicule" (Ella Sheppard, original Jubliee singer).

I also took some photographs today.  They aren't amazing in terms of art, but I was able to capture some great locations and research material for my book.  It felt great to walk in the steps of my characters, to see what works and what doesn't.  Here are a few:

I've spoken of the Parthenon before.  Nashville's is the only to-scale replica in the world, built in 1897 for Tennesee's centennial celebration.  This was the last picture I took of the place.  I was literally walking to my car and turned back for one last look, only to find this perfect angle.

Classical Greek architecture casts art deco shadows...Just caught my eye.

Columns soar upward and draw the eye to blue pieces of the sky captured in Athena's ceiling.

The path of research is interesting.  The past is sad (the way we treated others, like the Jubilee Singers just because of their color) and yet rich.  Literature is the same way.

Monday, December 28, 2009

E-Reader: How dost one marketeth?

Kay Scarpetta battles southern conspiracy and bad writing in her middle-aged hands. Robert Langdon uncovers centuries-old symbolise with earth shattering consequences in his twenty-somethings. And in that child's anxious fingers, Peter Pan still fights the same pirates and saves the same Tiger Lily; and it brings the same wonder.

But the businessman with the bloated PDA? Words and images float down his page and he seems to be engrossed in a story. His attention has barely wavered from the "page" before him, but what has him so caught up? Is it an international thriller with nuclear warfare at the center of the plot? Is it an historical fiction set in the American West, ravaged land for a ravaged people? Or is this perfectly coiffed man hiding his love for romance novels inside this electronic box?

Gone are the colorful covers advertising a writer's work. Gone are the blaring titles and large-print author's name.

Immediately one great form or marketing has disappeared.

What are you reading, Kindle customer? What are you buying, Nook reader? It is now your secret.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Sunday Foreign Post Roundup: Christmas Edition

Short roundup this week - short blogging week!

1. You've been to this blog before if you've been to my blog before. But this post will hit you hard. Treat yourself to good writing at Cathy's Kittling Books. I won't share any other aspects - click to read for yourself!

2. Though the year is almost at an end, 365 posts of mystery await you at this blog. Mystery writers should know 2009 is master of the macabre Edgar A. Poe's bicentennial. Scholar and Poe expert Rob Velella reveals the strange and fascinating tales that hold us rapt two centuries later.

Please leave your great links found this past week...Looking forward to blogging more this coming week!

New additions...
3. An old post but found it today: New-to-me Val McDermid book courtesy of Cathy at Kittling Books. As Cathy also said, McDermid has been one of my favorite authors since I read A Place of Exeuction, which made my Absolute Favorite Mysteries List. And now I find I have another one to sink my ravenous eyes into!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas, friends.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve

Happy Christmas Eve.

May your holiday be all you wished for. May you remember the cause of this great season. May warm arms surround you and pull at the hem of your shirt. May little voices, be they barks, meows or squeals of delight, ring in your ears. May the lights shimmer long into the night, and the holiday drinks warm your throat as you sit, unable to shake the last of the smile from your lips.

Merry Christmas.

Dostoevsky, Punishment & Crime make good reading

Well, I missed a most important date in literary history. It was one I was very excited to post at the top of my blog. One with which I was most impressed. One that would make for a great story, and did.

On December 22, 1849, Fyodor Dostoevsky was led before a firing squad and prepared for execution. The crime: allegedly taking part in anti-government activities. However, at the last minute he received a reprieve (of sorts) and was sent to a Siberian labor camp. In 1854, Dostoevsky was released into the army and worked on the Mongolian frontier. He finally returned to Russia from exile in 1859, but life got no better.

In 1864 and 1865, his wife and brother both died, the magazine he had founded collapsed and Dostoevsky found himself deeply in debt. In 1866 he published Crime and Punishment. The next year he married again and fled to Europe to escape his creditors. After another successful novel, The Possessed (1872), the Dostoevskys returned to St. Petersburg. The Brothers Karamazov came in 1880 to resounding praise. Fyodor Dostoevsky died one year later.

(All historical information was taken from History.com.)

What have you read by Dostoevsky? What do you think of Russian literature? One of my all-time favorite books is Tolstoy's Anna Karenina, and I am about to begin Crime and Punishment (embarrassingly, for the first time). I find Russian literature and culture fascinating. Do you find it accessible?

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Absolute Favorite MYSTERIES

I apologize for skipping a day when I said I would be blogging this week. Travel and The Sick Bug hit harder than I expected this week. But happy holidays and here is today's post...

Today - because this is a mystery writer's blog - we are discussing our absolute favorite mystery books. And I mean of all time.

I won't give you choices. You must really dig deep and think. Think. THINK.

Here are mine:

Louise Penny's Still Life
Caleb Carr's The Alienist
Arturo Perez-Reverte's The Club Dumas
Val McDermid's A Place of Execution
Agatha Christie - anything with Hercule Poirot

What have I forgotten? What should I read that I have missed? There are many more "near favorites," but this is the Tip of the Top List (at least as of today).

Monday, December 21, 2009


How often do you scroll?
As it is a week of travel for us, I wanted to take you on a tour of my blog while I travel across the Southeast United States.

I am sure you are familiar with the bar to the immediate right. If you'll turn your attention there now, we'll take a quick scroll. SouthernCityMysteries' sidebar holds the usual: brief blogger bio, link to my website, links I adore (both mysterious and non) and the most important part of any blog - the followers. Seriously, what good is an author without readers? A blogger without followers? I appreciate every one of you - admitted followers, one-time commenters or uncommitted lingerers.

But there are some parts that make my blog uniquely mine. And here they are, so you may peruse at your own interested pace and skip that which doesn't strike your fancy. I will skip the self-explanatory ones, like "Quotes that Speak" and blog awards.

1. Today in Literary History. You'll find this just above the latest post, taking prominence beneath the banner. I believe we are formed by those who came before us, be it Edgar Allan Poe, Jane Austen or James Patterson. This connection with history is important, so I strive to etch a bit of the past into your daily blog-hopping.

2. One Click Promotes Literacy. It's really that simple. So why not click every time you come to my site and promote the one thing I know we all believe in: that everyone should have access to stories? This is on the sidebar below blog awards.

3. Worldwide Mystery Lovers. (Just below Literacy button.) A recent addition to my site, thanks to one I saw on Elspeth's It's A Mystery. I love signing on every day to see the map covered in more and more red dots. How amazing that a little thing like writing could bring us all together! It's worth a trip with your mouse to see the different countries represented.

4. Crimespace. A network for mystery writers and mystery lovers. A great place to promote your book or find new ones to read. I am a member, so click the tab to link to the site. If you choose to sign on, make sure to friend me!

5. Paperback Swap. This fantastic book exchange I found through Cathy of Kittling Books. At first I wasn't sure if it was for me. I am a smell-the-glue, new books kind of girl. But once books started hitting my mailbox and people started making requests of my bookshelf, I was addicted! The world is your bookshelf...

6. Favorite Books List. Sounds self-explanatory but I thought I'd say a little more. These aren't just my favorite mysteries or even fiction. These are my favorite books overall - from childhood reads that stuck with me to a nonfiction human rights memoir that still makes my blood boil. As a writer, I feel it is important to have eclectic taste, to pull from different places. As a reader, I am lucky to feel the same way. Maybe I'll post about favorite reads sometime this week...Oh, and there is a second page of favorites if you click 'next.'

7. NC Writers' Network and Sisters in Crime. Keep on scrolling and you might see a part of the site you've never before explored! These two links are groups of which I am a member. The first is exactly what it sounds like, and I am fairly new to it so I can't tell you much more. The second is specifically for mystery/crime writers and is nationwide.
8. Tools for Writers. Every time I find a site I think would be beneficial, I place the link here. I know this is not a much-travelled section of the blog, but it seemed the best place for the list. I hope you will take the time to peruse these links and see if there is something here that can help you. Several I have used myself - SeventhSanctum, Writer's Cafe, Writers' Market. Others I just glanced through briefly and hope to get back to someday.

Whew! It's been a long trip but I hope you learned something! I'm sure my travels have not ended, but I wish you all well and Happy Holidays! Except for Friday, I will be around and blogging all week.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Sunday Foreign Post Roundup

1. I first showcased this blog last Sunday, but Murder is Everywhere gave us a post this week that sent my dreaming two-thirds into flight. The trip at the end of this link will be will be my reward for publication. Talk about a book lover's paradise...

2. New to me and should be on your list: Eyes 2 Page An Aspiring Author's Anecdotes. This specific post because I know where she is coming from.

3. We all know Twitter is here to stay, and that even congressmen and -women use it from the floor during presidential speeches (much to my and Jon Stewart's chagrin). But it can be so much more, and Helen has the scoop this week.

4. A new follower and a new blog to follow: The Cajun Book Lady. I know we have some YA lovers and writers on here, and we definitely have some Southerners!

5. While perusing links from The Literary Lab, I found Query Tracker through blogger Michelle Davidson Argyle. Thought this would be a helpful piece for any writers out there in the submission or near-submission stage.

6. POV was a big discussion point on here this week, and Simon kindly pointed out a blog that delves into the literary quite often. Check out the specific POV post, or the general blog for interesting discussions.

7. I may have mentioned this one before, but you've all seen Dezmond around on my blog (and several of yours now, too!). His is the great Hollywood Spy. I don't know how he does it, but somehow, from deep in Vojvodina (part of Serbia, very interesting history worth checking out), he manages to know the latest. So get your sexy/movie fix here. Plus, Dezz is super witty (and a professor) and this is One Cool Blog.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

This is Today

Three birthday parties and one adult Christmas party. Last-minute shopping and normal kid-juggling. Fit in baby's nap, breakfast, lunch and dinner, and shake until parents go crazy...

If you don't mind, I'll take the day off from blogging.

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Writers Know

Carol Valdez Miller of Carol's Prints made an exciting announcement on Thursday: she finished her MS! This is her second YA novel and we bloggers were wondering where she had been this past week...So congratulations to Carol!

In her honor, and in anticipation of the completion of hundreds of MS's in the near future (surely we can do hundreds, right guys?), I created an award. On the surface, naming such an award seems simple. Originally it was to be the "Complete MS Award," but that didn't strike me as witty enough.

So I now present, to Carol, the first ever "Writers Know Award," because only fellow writers know how hard you worked to get to this point. And we (you all don't mind if I speak for you, do you?) honor your accomplishment today.The only rule attached to said award is that you are allowed to pass it along to whomever you please upon completion of their MS. I hope many of you will reach this point and receive this award in the near future - or far future! Just put a little feeler out there in the blog-world and champagne will pop in your honor.

But today, Carol, it is for you! Congratulations.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Exorcise your Dreams

My sister took the train to New York today. She wandered Fifth Avenue in typical dreamer fashion, taking in the festooned buildings and dramatic window displays. She probably drank a steaming latte at Bergdorf and tickled her senses in Macy's glittering perfumery.

I am intensely jealous. I hadn't planned to be married, living in a lower tier city with two kids and a freelance job at the age of 29. No ifs, ands or buts. I AM JEALOUS.

So my question to you is this: what do you do with your jealousies and fantasies? Do you write them into characters or scenes, or do you bury them so deep you can't even express them on paper?

For instance, if you have always wanted to travel to France, do you make a connection with your detective that forces him/her to follow a lead to Paris? Or do you set your entire plot on a vacation overseas, thereby living out your dream through your writing?

This is not to say you won't live your own dreams. I have been to New York plenty of times, even at Christmas time. I have seen many major cities and I have lived. But I make no apologies for my jealousies. I think we all have them, a sort of regret or desire of the path not taken.

Not as a way for me to exorcise my demons, but purely as a curiosity of what drives your fiction, do you exorcise your dreams and fantasies through your writing? If so, do you take it further than you would in real life, or do you keep it realistic?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


As a reader it never occurred to me to care - first person or third? As a writer I notice its importance, but I feel comfortable writing in both. But as an observer of human tendencies, I notice that some people have definite opinions on the subject.

Yesterday I shared with you a bit of my own work. It was a piece of lighter mystery fiction I wrote, perhaps to be completed, perhaps not. The response was phenomenal! And I don't just mean praise. I gained invaluable knowledge from just this small sampling of readership.

One particular response stuck with me. Kristi Faith of Random Acts of Writing wrote, "Usually, I prefer third person, but..."

And this this is not the first time I have read bloggers/readers write this.

Unless the writer has completely misjudged, I am comfortable reading a book from any viewpoint.

As a writer the test comes in how you want to tell the story. What is the mood you want to set? How much information do you want to unveil and are you able to do it in first person? I have actually written several chapters of my WIP in different POVs, trying to find the right one. Writing it in first POV helped me get to know the main character a little better, but it also showed me that was not the voice I wanted speaking to readers. In another book, maybe, but not in this one.

How about you? When you read, do you have a preference? When you write, do you always write in one POV, or do you let the story dictate?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A piece of my writing

Finally getting around to sharing a bit of my writing. This is not from my current WIP. Enjoy. Any comment or criticism is welcome.

Somewhere over the Pacific a Boeing 747 carrying disaster is hurtling my way.
I don’t mean terrorists and their bombs.
I mean my future wife.
Let’s forgo the obvious question and accept the forthcoming marriage as fact. And if said marriage is inevitable and future wife is headed my way at 560 miles per hour with an arrival time of nine o’clock tonight, I have to do something about the body in my living room.
The body is dead, so asking it to move is out of the question.
The body was killed against its wishes, so simply calling the police to remove said body is also not a possibility.
Thirdly, the one who made this body dead (i.e. the “killer”) is very precious to me and should be protected at all costs. And this would not be assured if my future wife arrived at her future home to find her future carpet soaked in blood.
There is a lot of blood.
I am a park ranger. I see dead animals from time to time and the occasional bloody carcass feeding a group of vultures. But a human body is totally different. And the blood…
My closest friend Jenna sits on my couch. Any blood not in the body or on the carpet can be found on Jenna. She is said “killer.”
She is not a killer. It is not in her DNA to take life for sport of pleasure. She just happens to be the killer of this dead body.
I won’t muddle your thoughts with details about the so-called victim right now. The important thing is to find a way to clear my home of death in the next four hours.
“I stabbed him, Paul,” Jenna says.
“I get that, Jenna. I really do. It’s the seven other times you plunged the knife in I don’t get. Didn’t the first time do the trick?”
She is staring at the body again. Her eyes aren’t numb or unfocused the way I’d expect, but thoughtful.
“Will he be missed, you think?” she asks.
“It would help if you told me who ‘he’ is. Was.”
It’s been thirty minutes since I walked in my front door to this sight: Jenna standing over the body, blood spattered on her and soaking completely the victim’s torso. On the last thrust she hadn’t bothered to remove the knife, so it stands there still, like the handle of a dolly, convenient for transport. The beige carpet is now rust-colored, and blood is drying in streaks on my sofa where Jenna keeps moving around.
I really thought she’d be paralyzed by the situation.
“We have to move him, Paul. Do you have some old sheets? Or tarp? We could take him out to the forest, you know it so well. Surely there’s a good spot?” Now her eyes are pleading.
“You want me to help you move a body you stabbed eight times in my house, to a place where I work and would have to walk by every day? Not to mention it’s my duty to protect that forest. I mean, bodies are organic and all but I don’t think they’re on the list of approved items for Federal Park property.”
“Dammit, Paul!” Flames erupt behind her eyes and I see a bit of what the dead man must have experienced. Why does she keep saying my name? “You don’t believe me! You think I wanted to kill him? You think I enjoy being covered in blood? Is this really what I need the day Irina arrives?”
And there it is. Irina: my future wife.
But not really.


I was supposed to make eight dozen cookies for my husband's work cookie exchange.

I don't do cookie exchanges. I'm not exactly what one would call "domestic."

I don't clean, either. I don't own an apron. I cook very well, but that's because I enjoy eating, not to fulfill some role.

Cookie exchange? It didn't happen. Domestic exchange? My husband thinks about it, I'm sure.

Monday, December 14, 2009

From Mundane to Monday

Another Monday, another blog...What should I write? Should it be about prose or characters? Plot or outlining? Blogging or my life off-line? Will anyone really read this?

Then, like an Angel from Writers' Heaven, Elizabeth Spann Craig blogs into my life with Awards Day. And she bestows upon me not just any ol' award, but rather one she created herself and felt called upon to give to her "community."

I say it this way not to brag, but because I do feel so honored.
Those who know Elizabeth, or who have read her blog or books, know she is highly organized, motivated and motivational. She is ever-encouraging to new bloggers and new writers, and always first to jump onto your Twitter page or your Following box just to give you a boost.

So SouthernCityMysteries wears the Blogging Writer Award proudly. And I hope I can sit beside her at a book signing someday.

Thank you, Elizabeth.

Today Elizabeth has a wonderfully helpful post for writers at A Good Blog is Hard To Find.
And so you have some more (hopefully) new blogs to check out (trying to fill your time), check Elizabeth's post for her "community" list.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Sunday Foreign Post Roundup

So it's been an interesting week. Not only are the holidays hitting me upside the head with the strength of Muhammad Ali, but work and my so-called social life took a giant bite out of my "free" time.

However, I did have time to find some new great blogs! And on those blogs (and on some great oldies), are some can't-miss posts...

So here they are:

1. I was familiar with neither her writings nor her status before The Rap Sheet announced Dorothy Gilman's ascension to the MWA Grand Master throne in 2010. The article includes other interesting bits about MWA, but Ms. Gilman is worth a further look, as is the quite intriguing list of past Grand Masters! That is a list from which we mystery writers should be reading.

2. "New blog to me" means I spent too much time on the Internet this week, but I am glad I stumbled upon this one. Stephanie Thornton claims she is "just a high school history teacher obsessed with Hatshepsut;" and if that doesn't have you hooked, try this quote:
"Her face was a perfect oval, like a circle that had its two sides compressed by a Thigh Master."
I won't ruin the surprise. Check out this post at her blog.

3. New ways to publicize books! Got your attention? The blogger at Chasing Empty Pavements certainly got mine this week. She recommends the site www.bookdrum.com - which says it takes the book "beyond the page." Skeptical? Wary? (I am!) Still worth checking out. At least swing by Chasing Empty Pavements for the writings of an enthusastic, young booklover.

4. Finally, I discovered two blogs nearly simultaneously. At Constant Revision, blogger Simon C. Larter said he was busy guest blogging at Carol's Prints. That is the How, now for the What. Turns out Simon is a lightning rod installation professional turned flash fiction expert (pun greatly intended), while Carol writes, in her words, "YA fantasy and paranormal romance ."
I highly recommend Simon's post on Flash Fiction on Carol's blog. If you can dissect that sentence, you'll find your way to worthy links!

As usual, I will update this throughout the day as time allows. Please include your Great Finds of the Week in your comments!

5. Already an addition...Cathy at Kittling Books does a weekly roundup as well, and she recommended Murder is Everywhere. I checked it out, and I recommend it, too! Writers from four continents come together on one blog. Enjoy!

Friday, December 11, 2009

The 40th Follower Award goes to...

Kristi of Random Daily Thoughts has become my 40th Follower (no Jim Jones thing going on here). And for this effort, unbeknownst to her, I am awarding her one paperback book from the following choices:

For a cozy mystery- Elizabeth Spann Craig's Pretty Is As Pretty Dies -

Terrorist-plot/Thriller- Mark Terry's The Serpent's Kiss -

Historical fiction- Galen Kindley's Hearts of The Morning Calm

Or if you prefer YA/A reads- one of L. Diane Wolfe's Circle of Friends books.
Merry Christmas, Kristi! And welcome to SouthernCityMysteries!

Kristi is also an aspiring author, a little further along in her career than I. Her book The Wolf Within is set to be released February 25, 2010. Furthermore, she is a fellow NCer, so more power to the Tar Heel state!

Stay with me, who knows what other secret awards I have up my blogging sleeves?