Critical praise for Christy!

For "Murder Hooks a Mermaid:"
"Author Christy Fifield creates the kind of characters that stay with you for a long time. Fifield’s new Haunted Souvenir Shop mystery, Murder Hooks a Mermaid has it all: a sunny, relaxed setting, captivating locals, delicious food, and—of course—murder! Delightful amateur sleuth Glory Martine is back with her wisecracking parrot and charming group of friends in this thoroughly entertaining adventure. Don’t miss it."—Julie Hyzy, National Bestselling author of the Manor House Mysteries and the White House Chef Mystery series
"A whodunit with a dose of the supernatural, "Murder Hooks a Mermaid" is a worthy successor to the series opener and showcases Fifield's talents for plotting, characterization and humor." - Richmond Times-Dispatch
"Quirky and unique, a heroine for whom you can't help but root. The story sucks you in." - The Maine Suspect
"With a lovable cast of characters, good conversations and a great setting, this well-written book is a terrific read." -- Dru's Book Musings

For "Murder Buys a T-Shirt:"
A refreshing new sleuth! - Lynne Maxwell, Mystery Scene Magazine
"A fun book that will make the dreariest of days a little brighter! Socrates' great Book Alert" - Socrates' Cozy Cafe
"An entertaining and clever Florida whodunit" - Harriet Klausner
"Hilarious! A great murder mystery with well-written characters" - Paranormal & Romantic Suspense Reviews
For the Georgiana Neverall Series:
"Christy Evans will find legions of fans with this new series" - Sheldon McArthur, Lincoln City News Guard
"Funny and entertaining -- a solid mystery filled with likable characters." - RT Book Reviews"
Cute cozy mystery debute -- wry humor -- adorable dogs" -Publisher's Weekly
"Will have you giggling out loud! Four Stars." - Kathy Fisher, The Romance Readers Connection"The Book is good! Keep them coming, Ms. Evans!" - Mystery Scene
"Evans delivers a fast-paced mystery with admirable finesse!" - Sharon Galligar Chance,
"Christy Evans has a hit on her hands" - Harriet Klausner,
"Christy Evans is aces. I'll be very suprised if Sink Trap isn't an instant hit with cozy readers!" -

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Day Five: Petaluma, Dinner, and the Company of a Fabulous Writer

Introduction:  I recently passed a milestone birthday, one of those numbers that as a child seems so impossibly large that you never expect to get there.  It came at the end of two years of personal disaster (see this post for an explanation, if you haven't already read it), and at a time when I desperately needed something good in my life.  I tossed around a lot of ideas of how to celebrate surviving the last year (lots of hospital time was involved) and making it to my birthday.  Finally, my husband and I decided to go see the Redwoods.  We had driven through several times, but always on the way to somewhere else.  This time, we would just head south and see what we could see.  We did some searching, settled on a few (very few!) priorities, and started making plans.  Somewhere along the way, we discovered a cool resort south and east of the big trees, where every "room" was a converted caboose, and decided that would be fun and unusual, exactly what we were looking for.  

These posts are my daily reports of our trip: the things we saw, the places we went, and the people we met as we drove approximately 1,500 miles in the course of six days, and had an adventure.  I tried to write down my impressions each night before bed, or over my first cup of coffee in the morning.  I wanted the memories to be fresh, undiluted by another day or days of travel and experiences.  I can only hope you enjoy reading them a fraction as much as I enjoyed living them.  (For anyone who hasn't seen the previous posts, here are links to Day One, Day Two/Part One, Day Two/Part Two, Day Three, and Day Four.)

One of the squirrels who entertained us with their antics.

Slow start today.  Since we decided to stay another night, we're just hanging around and kind of refilling our batteries, though we will head out soon for a leisurely trip to Petaluma (about 100 miles) for an early dinner with Steve Hockensmith, the author of the spectacular Holmes on the Range mystery series, as well as much other Good Stuff.  Actually we have to leave soon, or we are going to dissolve into a puddle of relaxation and become completely inert, which would not bode well for dinner!

Weather like this made it a perfect getaway!

Breakfast this morning was an excellent baked egg dish, preceded by a cup of fresh fruit - cantaloupe, honeydew, and blueberries - and followed by fresh strawberry sorbet.  The egg dish was a mixture of eggs, cheese, ham, and potatoes, baked in an individual souffle dish, light and fluffy in the middle, seasoned to perfection, with a golden crust on the outside.  Very delicious.  And fortunately for me, Steve doesn't care for strawberries, so I got double dessert.  Heaven!  The food here at Featherbed Railroad is worth the trip all by itself.  (I think I'm starting to sound like a shill, but this place has been amazing!  I can heartily recommend it to anyone looking for a place to relax and recharge.)

Our caboose.
 With sunshine like this every day it was hard to leave!
The one thing I haven't mentioned yet is the weather, which has been pretty-near perfect.  Clear and sunny, but not too hot, with a light breeze.  The evenings have been cool, but just right for sleeping with an open window and no heat or AC.  We couldn't have asked for better.  Perfect for sitting and reading, or taking a drive, or really just about anything.  I realized this morning that we have not turned on a TV since we left home Sunday morning.  I haven't missed it, either, though I know there will be a pile of stuff on the DVR when we get home, and I will want to catch up.  But for now I am relishing the peace and quiet.

Beautiful and peaceful.  How could you not relax in this place?


From the Cucina Paradiso Website.
It really is this lovely, and the food is amazing!
Made the round-trip drive to Petaluma, and had an amazing dinner with the fabulous Mr. Hockensmith, who is just as great in person as he is online.  We ended up at Cucina Paradiso, a wonderful Italian place with a slightly-upmarket but very relaxed and friendly vibe, and truly incredible food.  We arrived just as they opened for dinner, and were the first people in the place.  We figured it was a good sign when the waiters were talking to each other in Italian as they set up.  Also a good sign?  The groups of people that kept coming through the door.

We started with a Caprese appetizer that was superb, and excellent baguettes with a seasoned olive oil for dipping, then the Steves (York and Hockensmith) had Caesar salads.  I skipped salad, knowing I would never be able to finish.  For dinner I ordered Capellini Al Pomodoro E Basilico - one of my favorite things. Steve Y had Spaghetti Cozze E Vongole, which he declared excellent; the mussels were huge and tender, and the clams very tasty.  The other Steve had Pollo Rotolato Arrosto, which he also said was excellent. (Yes, if we were really foodies we would have taken pictures.  I was too busy enjoying the food, just like the breakfasts and the meal at Blue Wing Saloon.  I'll go back soon and take pictures, okay?)

Six short stories.  A great
introduction to the
Holmes on the Range series!
We lingered for a while, talking about writing and publishing and how to maintain a career in the current climate; all the things writers talk about when they get together.  It's a conversation we have often with other writers, as the publishing industry goes through some serious transformations and we each try to figure out our place in it.  For those of you who aren't familiar with Steve Hockensmith, take a look at this marvelous collection of short stories.  You won't be disappointed!

We passed on dessert, opting to wander a bit and look for a coffee and dessert stop after letting dinner settle a little bit.  We walked a couple blocks, then backtracked and eventually ended up at Lala's, just a couple doors over from the restaurant.  An old-fashioned ice cream parlor decor, stools at a granite-topped bar, and excellent coffee ice cream, as well as many other flavors and concoctions.  But after our dinner (I had to leave about half the capellini because I was full), a single scoop of coffee was as much as I could handle.  There was more conversation, and we probably could have talked late into the night, but Steve H had promised to be home for bedtime.

Then it was back on the road for us, and about 90 minutes later we stopped a couple miles from our B&B to fill the gas tank, wash the windows, and replenish the ice in the cooler - all in preparation for tomorrow's sprint for home.  The plan is to have one last Featherbed Railroad breakfast, and then dash over to I-5 and head north.  With luck we will be able to hit In-n-Out in Redding for lunch, then Eugene for dinner with friends, and a final push over the mountain and home.  We figure if we get too tired we can always find a motel, but after four nights of a genuine featherbed, we aren't likely to be comfortable anywhere but our own bed.

Midnight now.  Time for a quick bath, and then I need to tumble into bed.  Morning will come way too soon!

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