The Princes’ Arches are located in Rotorua, New Zealand. This is an amazing park where there are some gorgeous grounds that include a small lake, a gazebo, and plenty of grassy areas. It was a cloudy day when we visited, but we enjoyed this beautiful, peaceful place nonetheless.
My writing journey
I get the question all the time, “Why did you decide to write your mystery?”
After a moment of pure panic, ’cause I’m a writer with anxiety, my answer is usually the same. “Because I wanted to write a book that I would want to read.” I’m an avid reader and have loved cozy mysteries forever. While I love reading about librarians, hotel owners, contractors, crafters, and others, I never found a character that I could completely relate to.
Here in New England, we are ride or die for our sports. The Red Sox have been an institution for so long that it seems odd there wasn’t any books written about the sports fans. Murder and sports! What could be better?
So, I decided to take on the challenge. I was initially going to murder someone at Fenway Park (fictionally!) but didn’t’ think the Red Sox would’ve been too jazzed about that.
So, in the great literary tradition, I made something up. A fictional team in the very real town that I currently live in. A main character who loves sports, loves her family, and loves the Red Sox. All things I can identify with, well, except the family owning a baseball team part. That is pure wish fulfillment.
I hope this starts a new trend with even more amateur sleuths in different jobs. I know a lot of cozy mysteries are branching out with organic sleuths, beer sleuths, and now my baseball sleuth. I may even start another series about another sport, who knows! Even if I don’t write another sports series, I do have another dance teacher series in mind (something else I’m passionate about).
I have always heard write what you know. But I take that in a different direction. Write about what you like! If it’s a particular hobby you’re in to, write about it! You’d be surprised about how many other people like the same things you do. I’ve met a whole new group of baseball fans as a result of this book getting published.
And just for fun (and because I hope he doesn’t leave us in the offseason…)…a little Brock Holt for your day! #Brocktober
Since we are approaching the World Series starting (probably already started by the time this post goes up), I would also like to give a shout out to one of my other teams. I lived in Washington DC for six years, and the Nationals ballpark was opened around the same time. I’m happy for all my friends who are season ticket holders down there, and hope they get the trophy!
Find Nicole Asselin at https://nicoleasselinwriter.com/.
Debra Sennefelder is the author of the Food Blogger Mystery series and the Resale Boutique Mystery series. She say mystery fiction is her obsession—it lets her channel her interest in people and relationships into her novels against a backdrop of crime and mystery. Debra’s latest Food Blogger Mystery is Three Widows and a Corpse.
The beginnings of Three Widows and a Corpse
“I guess the question I’m always asking in my books is how well do we really know the people in our lives?” Debra said. She added that when the submission process for the first book in the Food Blogger series started, she was asked to provide summaries of what the next two books would be. “While I had the first draft of book two written, I didn’t have a clue of what book three would be. Then one day the thought about three widows arguing who was the legal wife of a corpse was intriguing. Then a thought about a scavenger hunt popped into my head. So I wrote up a paragraph and that’s how Three Widows And A Corpse came about.”
Of course, there’s a lot that goes into the planning of a book. Debra said she spent a lot of time on Pinterest piecing together the scavenger hunt in the book. “I think I used about one percent of what I planned out.”
The Civilian Police Academy
Debra said she was lucky enough to be able to attend the Civilian Police Academy in her town to learn more about what the police department does. “I have sent some interesting texts to my nephews, who are both police officers, looking for advice. One of the best parts of writing the Food Blogger series is the recipe development. My friends and neighbors love when I’m testing recipes.”
Like most writers, Debra loves to hear from readers. “Whether it’s an email, a letter or social media comment. Hearing from a reader always makes my day.” So why not learn more about her at debrasennefelder.com?
I had just started to write this month’s scam tip when I received an undeliverable message alert in my email. The message had the subject line, “I hacked your device firstname.lastname@example.org and you have a problem now…” Not being one to overlook divine intervention (or pure dumb luck), I decided I’d found my November scam tip.
How the “I hacked your device” scam works
So, what’s the deal with the “I hacked your device” email scam? Is it a scammer, or was my device really compromised? While it’s impossible to tell as I write this tip, there is a very high probability this is a scam. In all likelihood, nobody has compromised my device. I’ve lost no data. It’s just a guy who sent me an email in hopes I would pony up money because of his threats.
The bottom line is this is an extortion racket. In the old days, it was two burly guys who showed up in person and demanded money for someone named Vinny. These days, it’s all done online—and is mostly anonymous.
What you can do about this scam
My solution for this email was to look at the source information. According to that, the email came from an IP address that belongs to a company called INAP. On their About page, I discovered that INAP’s mission is to provide “Empowering purposeful, performance-driven IT transformation at global scale.” Their mission sounds pretty ambitious to me, so I sent a message to their “abuse” email and reported the scam.
I received a response about 48 hours later telling me the sender’s information had been spoofed, the originating address was not on the INAP servers, and advising me I should change my login credentials for my email account. Sigh…so much for justice. On the flip side, that email address isn’t even real, so there’s nothing for me to change.
3 tips to deal with the I hacked your device scam
Tip 1: Don’t pay money to someone who claims they have compromised your device. I don’t know the odds on this, but it’s a long shot that the person contacting you is telling the truth. Most likely, they’re looking for an easy buck.
Tip 2: Keep your device software current. By downloading the most up-to-date versions of the apps you use, you’ll minimize your risk. This advice applies to all of your software, not just that designed to handle viruses and malware.
Tip 3: Never connect to an unknown network. In these days of mobile devices and our never-ending thirst for internet bandwidth, it’s tempting to make use of any available internet connection. But, before you sign onto a network, be sure you know who’s running it. Is it a business you frequent? If so, happy surfing. If not, think about finding a different way to satisfy that thirst.
Hank’s Mama’s Dump Cake
There isn’t anything simpler than dump cake, and it’s guaranteed to bring folks running. So, next time you’re in a hurry to whip up something sweet, grab these four ingredients from the kitchen, and you’ll be the hit of the party.
Note: You can use any combination of pie fillings and cake flavors to suit your fancy. Granny loves cherries and chocolate cake. Dot prefers peaches and yellow cake. Winnie likes pineapples and cherries. The recipe’s so simple you might as well try all three!
21 oz. can of cherry pie filling
16 oz. can of crushed pineapple
1 boxed white cake mix
1⁄2 cup butter cut into pats
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix cherry pie filling and pineapple together in a medium bowl.
Pour into a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.
Sprinkle cake mix over fruit.
Add pats of butter evenly across the top.
Bake 45 to 60 minutes, until top is brown and bubbly.
Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped topping.
Happy eating, y’all!
The morning of our arrival in Sydney, I looked out our balcony door and saw sunrise at the Sydney Opera House. My first thought was, get a photo before that’s gone! Not only were the sunrise colors spectacular, but with the iconic silhouette in the foreground, this was a very memorable moment.