Friday, May 22, 2015

Welcome Our Weekend guest....Elaine Viets to the Blog!

          “Checked Out” is Elaine Viets 14th Dead-End Job hardcover mystery from Obsidian. South Florida PI Helen Hawthorne searches for a missing million-dollar painting in a Florida library with an organic mouse catcher and a ghost who may be all too real. The New York Times praises Elaine’s “quick-witted mysteries.”

“Shop till You Drop,” her first Dead-end Job Mystery, made the list of 16 Florida Must Read Books, along with John D. MacDonald, Carl Hiaasen and Elmore Leonard.

Elaine recently took the MedicoLegal Death Investigators Course for forensic professionals, given by St. Louis University. She lives in Fort Lauderdale. She’s won the Anthony, Agatha, and Lefty Awards.

Q: Welcome Elaine! Tell us a little about your background.

A: Thanks ROCCO! I live in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with my husband, newspaper reporter Don Crinklaw, and two cats, Harry and Mystery. I grew up in St. Louis and was a  reporter and columnist for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch for 27 years, and a syndicated columnist for United Media in New York. Then I started writing mysteries for Dell.

           My first four-book mystery series featured six-foot-tall newspaper columnist Francesca Vierling and was very dark. I have two other series, the cozy  Josie Marcus Mystery Shopper Mysteries (ten books) and the traditional Dead-End Job series (14 books), as well as short stories.

           I’m currently writing a new dark series featuring Death Investigator Angela Richman. Death investigators work out of the medical examiner’s office. At a death scene, the DI takes care of the body, measuring, documenting it, photographing it, etc. The police investigate the rest of the scene. Recently, I  took the MedicoLegal Death Investigator Training Course for forensic professionals, given by St. Louis University.


Tell us about your Dead-End Job series. How did that come about?

A: RandomHouse wiped out the division that published my Francesca Vierling series. While my agent looked for a new publisher, I went to work at a Barnes & Noble in Hollywood, Florida. When I was a bookseller, people treated me differently than when I was a columnist for a major newspaper. My time at the bookstore was the inspiration for my Dead-End Job mystery series, and I wrote Murder Between the Covers, the second Dead-End Job mystery.

Q:You also write the “mystery shopper” series.  Are you a shopaholic?

A: No, I’d rather shop on the Internet and avoid the mall. I don’t like big crowds – except at my book signings.


Q: How do you “get to know” your characters before and while you’re writing the books?

A: They seem to come alive for me as I write. I can see Helen’s landlady, Margery, with her gray hair and wild purple outfits, even smell her cigarette smoke. I hear her funny, sarcastic jokes. I imagine the sunset salutes by the pool at the Coronado Tropic Apartments, and hear Phil, Helen’s husband and PI partner, popping the top on another beer. The Florida  air is very soft and everyone is slightly sweaty.

          My great-uncle saw people in his mind and they talked to him, and he lived in a nice, padded room in a big building. But I get paid for my fantasies.

Q: How do you construct your plots? Do you outline or do you write “by the seat of your pants”?

A: I outline, but that outline is a road map, not a superhighway. If I get deep into the book and the plot outline isn’t working, I turn off that road and go in a different direction.

I agree with Sue Grafton who said she wrote seven novels before she started writing mysteries because mysteries have complex plotting. In traditional mysteries, all the clues to the murder must be there, with enough red herrings to lead readers to the wrong conclusion while they enjoy a satisfying ending.

Q: Which do you consider more important, plot or character?

A: Character. If readers don’t like your characters, they won’t care about your plot.

Q: What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced as a writer and what inspires you and keeps you motivated?

A: My first series, which featured newspaper columnist Francesca Vierling, was cancelled after four books in 1999. I was devastated. That’s when I went to work at a bookstore selling other authors’ novels. And discovered “clerk abuse.” If customers had had a bad day at home or at work, they’d take it out on the bookstore clerk. Working there was the inspiration for my long-running Dead-End Job mysteries.

My motivation? I love spinning tales and hope my readers enjoy them.

Q: What are you working on now and what are your future writing plans?

A: I’m starting my next Dead-End Job mystery, The Art of Murder. The fifteenth Dead-End Job mystery takes place at an offbeat museum with a romantic history. I’m also writing a short story and working on the Angela Richman Death Investigator series.

Q: What is a typical workday for you and how many hours a day (or week) do you devote to writing?

A: I get up about eight, have breakfast and start work about ten a.m. I write until noon, when I stop for tea, then go back to work until three o’clock when I have lunch. I write from four to seven p.m., then go for a walk along the water or work out at the gym. I write seven or eight hours a day, seven days a week.

Q: What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done?

A: You want me to mention that here? No way, Rocco.

Q: What’s one thing your readers would be surprised to find out about you?

A: I wanted to become a contemplative nun, a Pink Sister. Those are German nuns who spend their days in prayer and silent contemplation and wear very cool pink habits. I was the only girl in a house with three younger brothers. A life of absolute silence seemed like a good idea – until I discovered boys who weren’t my brothers.

Q:What question do you wish interviewers would ask? (And what’s the answer?)

A: You’ve asked me about everything but my shoe size. (It’s 11B.)

Where can we learn more about you and your books?

On my Website,

I blog for the Femmes Fatales with eight mystery writers, including Charlaine Harris, Dana Cameron, Catriona McPherson, Donna Andrews, Dean/Miranda James, Hank Philippi Ryan, Toni L. P. Kelner, Mary Saums, Marcia Talley, Kris Neri at

And I’m one of 11 writers who blogs for the award-winning The Kill Zone.

Just for Fun:

Night or Day? Night

Dog or Cat? (answer carefully) Two cats, a pedigreed French Chartreux named Mystery and Harry, my striped rescue tabby.

Beach or Pool?   Beach

Steak or salad?  Salad

Favorite Drink?  Dragonwell Green Tea

Favorite Book? The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain.

Favorite TV Series?  Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Favorite Movie?  Burn! with Marlon Brando

Favorite Actor: Leonardo DiCaprio

Favorite Actress: Helen Mirren

Dirty Martini or Pina Colada? Pina Colada

Hawaii or Alaska? Hawaii

Finish this sentence:  If I could meet anyone in the world, past or present, it would be Mark Twain.

Where you can find Elaine:

Usually at my desk in Fort Lauderdale, writing, assisted by my two cats, Harry and Mystery. But I’m on tour May 1-12, traveling from Maryland to North Carolina to St. Louis. Then I come home for more signings in South Florida. To find out where, click Events at

Online, you can find me at:

Facebook: ElaineVietsMysteryWriter

Twitter: @evmysterywriter

Folks, Check out the free “Libraries Are Like Vegas” poster and her monthly book giveaway Contest  at

Thanks to the good folks at Berkley, we have one copy of Elaine's latest book to give away!  to enter, leave a commnt with your email address below!  The winner will be chosen by  Contest ends midnight, May 25.  For extra entries you can:

FB about this contest
Tweet about this contest
Friend me on Facebook
Follow ROCCO on twitter @RoccoBlogger

Good luck!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Say hello to....Laura Bradford!

My guest today is author Laura Bradford!

Laura Bradford (aka Elizabeth Lynn Casey) has wanted to be a writer since she was ten years old. Today, she is the author of several mystery series, and a handful of romance novels. She is a former Agatha Award nominee and the recipient of an RT Reviewer’s Choice Award.  SUSPENDERED SENTENCE is her twentieth traditionally-published release. In her free time, Laura enjoys making memories with her family, baking, playing games, and catching up with friends.

Twitter:  @bradfordauthor

     Welcome to the blog Laura! Tell us a little about your background – what got you interested in writing as a career? 

~I was ten years old when I knew I wanted to be a writer, and I never strayed from that path. In the beginning, I thought I’d go toward children’s writing, but in the end, when I really looked at what I enjoyed reading, I went the route of mystery.

To pay the bills out of college, I worked as journalist, but once I left that world to be a mom, I started getting serious about that fiction-writing dream.

    As Laura Bradford, you write the Amish Mystery series; As Elizabeth Lynn Casey, you write the Southern Sewing Circle mysteries.  How did both those diverse series come about?

~The Southern Sewing Circle Mysteries is an in-house series for Berkley Prime Crime which explains the pen-name, Elizabeth Lynn Casey (a mash up of my daughters’ middle names and a nod to my grandparents all in one place). Honestly, when my agent first proposed this series to me in 2008, I almost didn’t submit a proposal. I didn’t sew, so I didn’t think I could write them.  But that little voice inside my head, urged me to try it…to make it my own. And so I steered the proposal toward the socialization aspect of a sewing group more than the sewing, itself and it paid off.  WEDDING DURESS, the 10th book in the series, just released last month. And two more books in the series are in the works.

The Amish Mysteries (written under my real name, Laura Bradford) is really a personal nod to my love of Laura Ingalls Wilder. I was always fascinated with the simple life. With my Amish Mysteries, I can explore that “simple life” juxtaposed against a modern world. I love everything about writing this series—the research I do before each book, the characters, the chance to educate people about the Amish lifestyle, and so much more.  The Amish, by their very lifestyle, are almost ripe for the picking with crime, so they lend themselves well to cozy mysteries. Add in the fact that my book isn’t ruled by the constraints (or benefits) of today’s technology and I have a whole lot of fun with these books.

    Tell us about your latest book(s) – Suspendered Sentence and Wedding Duress.

~SUSPENDERED SENTENCE is the fourth book in my Amish Mysteries.  Here’s the way it came to me in my head and why I had to write it…

Nineteen years ago, Sadie Lehman simply up and disappeared during her Rumspringa in the Amish community of Heavenly, Pennsylvania. Led to believe Sadie had gotten caught up in the English world, the girl’s mother, Waneta, clung to hope that one day Sadie would come back.


Yet while Waneta prayed for a reunion, Sadie’s friends hoped for something very different—that Sadie’s body would never be discovered.

Gives you chills, doesn’t it? If you haven’t read SUSPENDERED SENTENCE yet, I hope you give it a try. It’s gotten some really fantastic reviews and my readers are already clamoring for the next book (due out in March 2016).

WEDDING DURESS is the 10th book in my Southern Sewing Circle Mysteries (written as Elizabeth Lynn Casey).  In this book, my series’ main character, Tori Sinclair is finally getting married to third grade teacher, Milo Wentworth.  The bridesmaid dresses are ready, the rings are ready, the vows are written, and there’s even a surprise bridal shower in the works. But before Tori can walk down the aisle, she must figure out who killed Beatrice’s childhood nanny.

     Do you sew in real life? What sort of hobbies do you have?

               ~I’m not a seamstress but I play one in books. J  As for hobbies, I love to bake, read, play games, decorate cakes, and travel.

     How do you “get to know” your characters before and while you’re writing the books?

~I always start out with some idea about each character, but their true essence is revealed to me in the writing process.  Sometimes I find the need to give them a particular nuance that I don’t understand at the time, but invariably the reason behind that nuance always reveals itself. Kind of weird, I know, but oh so cool when it happens!

     How do you construct your plots? Do you outline or do you write “by the seat of your pants”?

~My plot always comes from a small nugget. In Suspendered Sentence, that initial nugget was the notion of a group of teenagers leading a family to believe their child had simply run away when they knew that wasn’t the case. The nugget always kicks off a series of questions in my head—questions I’m propelled to answer (why did they keep quiet? What really happened?). 

I always know the who and why behind the crime when I start. Everything else happens as I write. That said, I do utilize a bullet point system as I go. I’ll bullet-point out “have to happen” moments in each chapter, five chapters at a time. It’s not as constraining as an outline for me, yet still keeps me on task.

     Which do you consider more important, plot or character?

~I think they’re both important, however, in a series, if your readers don’t care about your characters, they won’t pick up the next book. 

     What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced as a writer and what inspires you and keeps you motivated?

~Tough question. Staying on task is always tough, but that’s internal so I can fix that when it becomes an issue.  I think the biggest challenge is finding ways to let readers know my books are out there. Social media is good, but the majority of people coming to an author’s page are coming because they already know about you and your books. The challenge is how to find more.

As for how I stay motivated, I’m a fairly motivated person to start with, so that helps. But at those times when I’m not, I think of the college tuition payments I have to make. Being accountable for daily word counts to my friend, Lynn, is a huge help, too.  

     Do you have an “How I got my agent” story you want to share?

~I was already a published author (small press) with an Agatha nomination and a book club deal when I got my agent. J

  What are you working on now and what are your future writing plans?

~I’m currently writing the second book in a brand new cozy series I have debuting in 2016. I’m not really sharing specifics about the series yet as it’s still too far away. But when we get a little closer, I’ll be talking about it on my website ( and my Facebook Author Page.

~In terms of future plans, I’m hoping the Amish Mysteries get picked up for more books after # 5’s release in March 2016. I also have a thriller and a women’s fiction novel I’d like to spruce up and send out.

  What is a typical workday for you and how many hours a day (or week) do you devote to writing?

~A typical workday for me has me at the computer by 7 a.m. I spend about an hour on my blog, Facebook updates/viewing, Twitter, and email. Then I switch to writing. My goal, under normal circumstances, is 2,000 words a day. If I need more because I goofed off the day before, than I write more. But I don’t move until I accomplish what needs to be accomplished that day.  If the words are flowing and I’m done before noon—great.  If I find myself sucked back onto the internet during a time I should be writing, then I have less time later in the day for non-writing.

  If you could take only three books with you for a year-long writing retreat in a gorgeous setting with no library, which three would you take?

~Oooh, fun question!   Since this is a writing retreat, I’m guessing I need to bring writing-related books?

I’m really not in to how-to books, so I’d pick ones I could consult for encouragement and inspiration;   Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott, On Writing by Stephen King, and Mary Higgins Clark’s A CRY IN THE NIGHT because it’s the book that made me want to write mysteries.

  What advice do you have to offer to an aspiring author?

~Read. Read. Read.

Write. Write. Write.

I see so many aspiring authors spending far more time reading how-to books on the craft of writing, than actually writing.  If you want to be an author, write.

  What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done?

~Early in my writing career, I took a woman (who’d emailed me about my first series) up on her offer to stay with her and her husband while touring. And I did it.  Looking back, I can’t believe how trusting (and probably stupid) I was to do that. But honestly, they couldn’t have been any nicer.

  What’s one thing your readers would be surprised to find out about you?

~If I could no longer write for some reason, I would bake. Something about baking just makes me incredibly happy.

  What question do you wish interviewers would ask? (And what’s the answer?)

~What’s a favorite memory from your journey as an author thus far?  My answer:  getting to speak to Mary Higgins Clark on the telephone—Harlan Coben’s telephone, to be exact.

  Where can we learn more about you and your books?

~You can learn more about me and my books by visiting my website:  There you can find all of the books I’ve written with links for more information on each title, a printable book list to make shopping easier, a fairly amusing bio (alongside the more official one), an event schedule, an opportunity to sign up for my several-times-a-year E-newsletter, and a super fun page devoted entirely to my Amish series (including a clickable map of Heavenly, PA, the town in which my series takes place).

In addition to my website, I have an active Facebook page that I frequent daily:

And, finally, I’m on Twitter, although I’m not the best Tweeter:  @bradfordauthor   

Just for Fun:

Night or Day?     Day.

Dog or Cat? (answer carefully)    Surely a dog snuck this question in when Rocco wasn’t looking, right?   CAT!!!    

Beach or Pool?    Beach

Steak or salad?    Steak

Favorite Drink?     A Vanilla milkshake

Favorite Book?     A Cry in the Night by Mary Higgins Clark (an oldie, but a goodie)

Favorite TV Series?    Survivor (been watching since the first show)

Favorite Movie?    27 Dresses

Favorite Actor:    Tom Hanks

Favorite Actress:    Meryl Streep  

Dirty Martini or Pina Colada?    I’m more of a Mudslide girl (sans Vodka), myself.

Hawaii or Alaska?     Hawaii.

Finish this sentence:  If I could meet anyone in the world, past or present, it would be Walt Disney. I’d like to thank him for creating the backdrop for some of my very favorite memories.

If I could trade places with anyone in the world, I wouldn’t. Being mom to my two daughters is the most beautiful gift in the world.

Laura will give away a copy of Wedding Duress and a copy of Suspendered Sentence to two lucky commenters!  Just leave your choice of book and email address in the comments section below. Two winners will be chosen by! 

For extra entries, you can do any or all of the below:

 * Follow my blog (+ 1 point)
* Follow me on Twitter (+ 1 point) (Link:
* Tweet about the contest (+ 1 point)
* Friend me on Facebook (+ 1 point) (Link:!/

* Mention the contest on Facebook (+ 1 point)
* Mention the contest on your blog (+ 1 point)

Contest ends midnight, May 22!   Good luck!

Friday, May 15, 2015

VICTORIA THOMPSON visits the blog!

Merow! Today my guest is author Victoria Thompson!

Edgar® Nominated author Victoria Thompson writes the Gaslight Mystery Series, set in turn-of-the-century New York City and featuring midwife Sarah Brandt. Her last book, MURDER IN CHELEA, was nominated for an Agatha Award.  Her latest, MURDER ON AMSTERDAM AVENUE, is a May 2015 release from Berkley Prime Crime.  She also contributed to the award winning writing textbook MANY GENRES/ONE CRAFT. A popular speaker, Victoria teaches in the Seton Hill University master's program in writing popular fiction. She lives in Central PA with her husband and a very spoiled little dog.

  • Welcome Victoria! Tell us a little about your background

I always wanted to write, and back in the early 1980s I got an idea for a story I thought was a Western.  I wrote it and sent it out to all the wrong publishers before I figured out it was actually an Historical Romance set in the Old West.  When I finally sent it to the right publisher, it got published in 1985.  I published a total of 20 historical romances before getting dropped by my publisher in 1998 when the historical romance market slumped. 

  • Tell us about your Gaslight Mystery series.. How did that come about?

I spent a year sending my agent proposals that didn’t sell, and one day she called and asked if I’d be interested in writing a mystery series set in turn-of-the-century New York City where the heroine was a midwife. This was a series idea Berkley Prime Crime had and they were looking for a writer.  That sounded like great fun, so I wrote a proposal and that was the start of the Gaslight Mysteries.

  • The stories for Gaslight are set in New York. Are you a former resident of the Big Apple?

I’ve never lived in New York, but my daughter had just started as a student at NYU when I was offered the opportunity to write the Gaslight Mysteries.  She continued to live there for about five years after she graduated, so we visited there a lot. Some parts of NYC are remarkably the same as they were in the 1890s, but many parts have changed drastically, so I find that visiting the city doesn’t really help that much. I rely on my library of research books for the real Old New York.

  • Tell us about your latest Gaslight mystery.

The latest Gaslight, Murder on Amsterdam Avenue, has been a long time coming.  This is the book in which Frank and Sarah finally get married!  I’m not giving anything away, since they’ve been engaged for two books, and my fans are getting anxious, I know!  But before they can actually get married, they have a murder to solve.  Sarah’s mother gets them involved with this one when she asks Sarah to accompany her on a condolence visit for a family friend who has died mysteriously. In solving the murder, they uncover some dangerous family secrets.

  • You also write historical romances. Which do you prefer, romance or mystery and why?

I haven’t written any historical romances since 1998, but all my back titles are now available as eBooks.  I enjoyed writing romances, but I don’t miss writing love scenes. Making each one unique and special is extremely difficult.  I’d much rather just kill people.

  • How do you “get to know” your characters before and while you’re writing the books?

After seventeen novels in this series, the regular characters are like family to me.  Sometimes I think I spend more time with them than with my real family!  Each book has a new set of victims and suspects, though, and I enjoy meeting them.  I usually start with a list of the suspects, their motives and their secrets.   The first interview with each of them is just as much a surprise to me as it is to Frank and Sarah and to my readers. Sometimes I have an idea of what they’re like, but that often proves to be mistaken.  I never know what they’re going to say, and they often tell me things I never would have dreamed.  So I guess you can say I get to know them as I spend more and more time with them.

  • How do you construct your plots? Do you outline or do you write “by the seat of your pants”?

When I wrote Romance, I would plot out the entire book in detail before I ever sat down to write. Now that I’ve got more experience writing mysteries, I don’t plot much before I start to write.  I decide who the victim is and who the suspects are. I give them each a motive, an opportunity to have committed the crime, and a secret that will make them look guilty even if they’re innocent.  I usually don’t decide who the killer is until at least halfway through the book, which is also around the time I choose the second victim.  Sometimes I even change my mind at the very end, if I’ve made it too obvious who the killer is. So I’m a minimal outliner, I guess.

  • Which do you consider more important, plot or character?

I’m a plot person, because mystery is so dependent on the plot, but it’s almost impossible to separate the two. When someone asks me, “What’s more important, plot or character?” I usually say, “Yes.”

  • What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced as a writer and what inspires you and keeps you motivated?

The biggest challenge I have faced as a writer was getting dumped by my publisher back when I was writing historical romances.  I’d published 20 novels, and suddenly no one would even talk to me.  I spent a year writing proposals for thrillers and women in jeopardy novels that no one bought.  My agent was wonderful during this time.  Many agents would have dropped me as a client, but she kept encouraging me and sending out my work.  She was finally the one who learned about the opportunity at Berkley Prime Crime that became the Gaslight Series.

I usually say my dwindling bank account motivates me to keep writing, but that isn’t really true. I was writing for a long time when I had no hope of getting anything published. What keeps me writing, really, is the stories that keep bubbling up in my brain. If I don’t write them down, my head will probably explode, so it’s just self-preservation.

  • Do you have an “How I got my agent” story you want to share?

My current agent was originally my editor for two of my romance novels.  I had just hired a new agent when she announced she was leaving Avon to become an agent.  Two years later, after a very unhappy experience with my last “new” agent, I finally hired my current agent. And we have lived happily ever after for about 20 years.

  • What are you working on now and what are your future writing plans?

I’m working on the next Gaslight Mystery, Murder in Morningside Heights, which will be published in 2016.  I have a second book coming out this year, too, a Christmas book entitled Murder on St. Nicholas Avenue (11/2015).  While Frank and Sarah are on their honeymoon, Gino and Maeve solve a murder with help from Sarah’s parents.  It’s a hoot!  I hope to soon be working on the launch book for a second series as well. This one is set in 1917 New York. The heroine is a con artist and the hero is a lawyer.

  • What is a typical workday for you and how many hours a day (or week) do you devote to writing?

I usually sit down at the computer around 9AM and manage to procrastinate for a couple hours by reading Facebook and the news online.  Around 11AM, I read over the pages I wrote the previous day.  Then I eat lunch and spend the afternoon writing new pages.  I quit for the day when I’ve written 10 pages or if it gets to be 8PM and I’m brain dead.  I write Monday through Friday and on weekends if I need to.

  • What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done?

Deciding to write a novel back in 1982.  I had no idea it would ever be published, and I wrote it between 9:00 and 11:00 at night, after my kids went to bed.  I wrote it by hand in spiral notebooks, then typed it on a manual, portable typewriter on which the E key was loose. I had to keep pushing it back on. It seems sensible now, after 30 years of being published, but believe me, it was a totally crazy thing to do, and if I’d known how hard it is to get published, I probably never would have tried it.

  • What’s one thing your readers would be surprised to find out about you?

Probably that I had a full-time day job the entire time I was writing the Gaslight series up until last summer when I finally gave it up.  I was a professional fundraiser for a not-for-profit agency. I got a job as a fundraiser back when I lost my historical romance writing gig, and I discovered that I enjoyed it and was good at it, so I kept it.  I miss it sometimes, but I do like being able to spend more time writing now.

  • What question do you wish interviewers would ask? (And what’s the answer?)

The question:  Why do you enjoy writing historicals?  All the books I’ve published have been historical. I’ve tried writing contemporary novels, but none of them ever clicked. I think I just have a historical voice and sensibility.  I’m also fascinated by history. Learning what happened is only part of it.  What I adore is finding out why it happened. The most fascinating part, however, is discovering over and over that people never change.  People today are still concerned about the same issues people were concerned about 100 years ago.  I think I’ve shown that over and over in my Gaslight books.

  •  Where can we learn more about you and your books?

You can find out all about me on my website,, or on my Facebook page, Victoria Thompson, Author.  I’m also on Twitter, @gaslightvt.

Just for Fun:

Night or Day?  . Night.

Dog or Cat? (answer carefully) Dog. I also love cats, but I’m allergic. 

Beach or Pool?   Beach. The sound of the waves is like crack to me.

Steak or salad?  Steak.

Favorite Drink?  Reisling

Favorite Book?  Don’t get me started!  There are thousands.

Favorite TV Series?  Currently, Game of Thrones, although I have several. I love a good drama.

Favorite Movie?  Too many to choose

Favorite Actor: You can’t pin me down to one

Favorite Actress: Ditto

Dirty Martini or Pina Colada? Pina Colada

Hawaii or Alaska? Hawaii

Finish this sentence:  If I could meet anyone in the world, past or present, it would be Abraham Lincoln.  I’d love to learn how he put his personal pride aside and got people who hated each other to cooperate.

If I had just one wish, it would be: that Americans could learn the joys of reconciliation and learn to work together, regardless of our differences.

If I could trade places with anyone in the world, it would be:  Nobody. I love my life the way it is.

Victoria will give away a copy of   MURDER ON AMSTERDAM AVENUE to one lucky commenter!

To enter, leave a comment on this blog post with your name and email address (entries without email will be disqualified). For extra entries, you can do any or all of the below:

* Follow my blog (+ 1 point)
* Follow me on Twitter (+ 1 point) (Link:
* Tweet about the contest (+ 1 point)
* Friend me on Facebook (+ 1 point) (Link:!/

* Mention the contest on Facebook (+ 1 point)
* Mention the contest on your blog (+ 1 point)

Winner will be chosen at random using  Don’t forget to mention all you’ve done in your comment. Good luck!Contest ends midnight, May 18.