Monday, January 30, 2012

Made in America Monday

This is the first in a new series that I'm starting called Made in America Monday, where I feature a company that is producing (or selling) products that are made within the United States. Although you can find wonderful things made in other countries, I think sometimes we overlook the craftsmen and products that are being produced just around the corner.

So with the familiar slogan "Think Global, Act Local" in mind, I give you the first Made in America Monday. I hope you enjoy it.

What's better than chocolate? Hand-crafted chocolate. That's what!

"Sweeteeth creates artisan chocolates using traditional, handcrafted techniques. Our operation in North Charleston, South Carolina, is devoted to the small-batch production of finely crafted chocolate bars and bon-bons, with an emphasis on high-quality chocolate couverture and innovative flavor pairings."

You can order their chocolates online at  or look for their products at a store near you:

Valentine's Day is just around the corner. Hint. Hint.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Mystery Writers of America Scholarship available for aspiring mystery writers!

The fabulous Chris Roerden, Chair of the McCloy-MWA Scholarship Program reminds all unpublished mystery writers to not wait until the postmark deadline of Feb.29, 2012, to decide to apply for a scholarship to take courses, classes, workshops, or other live (not online) educational programs to improve your writing skills. 

"It will take you more time than you think to pull together the specific info on courses and have in hand the two letters of reference required. If you have not been previously published for money in the mystery field, you are eligible to apply. ("For money" means a publisher paid you; if you paid, you may be considered unpublished)," she writes.

Here's how to apply:

Every year, two scholarships of up to $500 each are awarded in the McCloy-MWA Scholarship Program. The samples of mystery writing to submit can be 3 chapters of a novel or nonfiction, or 3 short stories or essays, or a full-length script. There's no entry fee or membership requirement. Applicants even get feedback from one or more of the 5 judges, who are commercially published in mystery fiction, nonfiction, and scriptwriting. Download details and the 2012 application form from (click McCloy Scholarship in the sidebar). And send for the FAQs to the email address shown on the form.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Little Blessings Add Up

One of my resolutions for 2012 is to recognize all the blessings in my life, big or small. I'm not going to let the days slip through my fingers this year without sending out a note of thanks for the good things that happened.

Since practice makes perfect...let me get started now:

My May 2011 release, FLOWERBED OF STATE was selected by the Bismarck, ND Public Library system as one of the best Adult Mysteries for Teens for 2010-2011. I'm thrilled to have my work recognized by library professionals. Some of my favorite people are librarians.

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!


Dorothy St. James writes the White House Gardener Mysteries for Berkley Prime Crime. Flowerbed of State is the first book in the series. Be sure to grab your copy while they're still available! Visit with Dorothy on the web or at Facebook. Or follow her on Twitter.

"Credible characters, a fast-paced plot, and a light look at political life in Washington, D.C., will delight cozy fans."
~ Publishers Weekly
"This spunky new romantic suspense series is an obvious pick for readers who enjoy Julie Hyzy's "White House Chef" series (Buffalo West Wing), but also think of gardening mystery series such as Rosemary Harris's (Slugfest)." ~ Library Journal
Order Flowerbed of State from your favorite bookseller. 
Look for The Scarlet Pepper in April 2012. Pre-order your copy today!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Book Recommendation

Looking for a new mystery to read? I know I'm always on the hunt for new books for my TBR pile....

Julie Hyzy's 5th White House Chef Mystery Affairs of Steak is available today from Berkley Prime Crime!

White House chef Olivia Paras and her arch nemesis, White House Sensitivity Director Peter Everett Sargeant, must work together to solve the double murder of one of the First Lady's assistants and the Chief of Staff-before they become the next victims of a merciless assassin with a secret agenda.

Get your copy today. This book promises to be a winner!

Click here for a list of all the Berkley Prime Crime novels released today.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Roses on Parade

In honor of the Tournament of Roses Parade and Rose Bowl today, I thought I write a bit about growing roses.

Anyone who knows me well, knows I'm more interested in growing plants that feed me than in growing flowering plants. However...roses do provide rose hips, which are a great source for vitamin C!

Poor roses, I've been overlooking their value for too long. But no more. This past fall I planted a miniature rose bush.

The neighbor's lawn service already mowed it down to the ground once, but the feisty little plant came back, winning my admiration.

Quick and Easy Tips for the Care of Roses:
1. Plant bare-root roses in spring.
2. Plant potted roses in spring or fall.
3. Water regularly during the growing season.
4. Prune in early spring.
5. In areas where winters are cold, mulch heavily with mounding soil and piles of leaves topped with another layer of soil. (Or grow in pots and bring in during the winter months.)
6. Your rose bush should flower all summer and into the fall.

Hopefully, I'll have good things to report about my new rose bush (and pictures of its flowers) in the coming summer months.

If you have any tips on how to grow lush roses, please share them! After all, I'm a newbie when it comes to my roses.

Get your hands dirty!