Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Baby wombat news! :-)

As you may know, I have a fondness for wombats--even if they are the reason my poor protagonist Jamie Quinn can't be with her boyfriend, Kip. Check out this short video of the cutest baby wombat ever, you'll see why. :-)  


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-OOiUy6iXio&feature=youtu.be 

In other great news-- The endangered Northern Hairy-Nosed Wombat welcomes a new joey! 

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-40654802


Monday, July 17, 2017

Mental Health Day

            The stranger stared into my eyes so deeply it felt like he was looking into my soul. The staring went on for so long that I was starting to feel uncomfortable. He finally spoke.
            "You have presbyopia."
            "Oh my God," I said, "Is that serious? It sounds like a tropical disease."
            The ophthalmologist laughed. "No, it means you have old eyes. You also have a touch of astigmatism."
            I rubbed my blurry, traitorous eyes. "What's the cure, doc?"
            He shrugged. "Longer arms so you can read a menu. Glasses, of course."
            "Can't I just use a selfie stick to hold my papers? What if I enlarge the font on my computer? Isn't there a warehouse somewhere with spare parts for when mine wear out?"
            The doctor laughed again. "If you find it, let me know."
            After spending an hour picking out the least unflattering glasses and grumbling the whole time, I hightailed it over to the dentist for my next appointment, Siri helpfully mapping out my route.
            "Hmm," the dentist said, peering into my mouth. "That's interesting."
            "Uck-eww-argh?" I asked, which translated to what do you mean by interesting?
            "Yup," she said, after poking my tooth with a sharp object, "you need a crown."
            "Why?" I asked with my eyes since my mouth had fingers prying it open.
            "This filling is old, not much tooth left. You need a root canal and a crown. Make the first appointment on your way out."
            "First appointment?" I said, but she was already gone.
            Next stop on my day of doctor appointments was a bone density test. I was out of there in no time, but no sooner had I reached my car than my phone rang, it was my primary doctor calling with the results. The bone density test showed I had Osteopenia, a decrease in bone density. She said I should start taking calcium supplements and do weight-bearing exercises. That seemed manageable--definitely more pleasant than getting a root canal.
            My final stop was the ENT's office for a follow-up about my sinus issues.
            "I think you have sleep apnea," she said.
            "Is there a pill for that?" I asked hopefully.  "Maybe a spray?"
            She shook her head. "Afraid not. You have to go do a sleep study."
            "People are going to watch me sleep?" I croaked.
            She nodded. "Yup, you will be wired to monitors and an EEG machine, with sensors all over your head and body. They'll measure your oxygen intake, your REM sleep, your heart rate, and whether you have restless legs."
            "What happens if I do have sleep apnea?" I whispered.
            "You'll have to wear a CPAP mask that blows air up your nose and forces your airway open."
            "I HAVE TO GO HOME NOW," I said.
            After all that, I needed another full day just to recover, a mental health day. I had only one more question for Siri--which way to the beach?



           

            

Sunday, July 16, 2017

My Fifteen Minutes of Fame :-)

If you've always been curious about how Jamie Quinn popped into my head, check out my fun author interview at Indie Publishing Group, thanks, Ben!

http://www.indiepublishinggroup.com/author-interview-barbara-venkataraman/

For even more excitement, check out the new review of "Jeopardy in July" in the lovely "In D'Tale Magazine". Thanks, TJ!

http://magazine.indtale.com/magazine/2017/july-august/#?page=122



Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Paperback giveaway, enter to win! :-)

Happy 4th of July! 

I'm sponsoring a giveaway of 2 paperbacks of "Engaged in Danger", my 4th Jamie Quinn Cozy Mystery, (1st place winner in the "Chanticleer Murder & Mayhem Novel Writing Competition", Amateur Detective category, AND "Book of the Day" for www.bookoftheday.org).

Here's where you can enter:  https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/243168-engaged-in-danger

The contest ends July 20th. Good luck!

Friday, June 23, 2017

Free Promo starting 6/23! :-)

My fourth Jamie Quinn cozy mystery, "Engaged in Danger", is free today through 6/27, so grab yourself a copy and tell all your friends!

Here's the blurb:

Finally, life is good for reluctant family law attorney, Jamie Quinn--her father may get his visa soon, her boyfriend is the bomb, and her law practice is growing like crazy--but when she agrees to take on a high-profile divorce case, everything falls apart. What looked like an opportunity to work with her friend Grace and make some serious bucks has turned into a deadly game, one that could destroy their friendship and tear their town apart. Why couldn't Jamie just leave well enough alone?

Here's the link: 

https://www.amazon.com/Engaged-Danger-Jamie-Quinn-Mystery-ebook/dp/B0159LGVHA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1498222154&sr=8-1&keywords=engaged+in+danger

In other exciting news, "Engaged in Danger" is now available in paperback for only $10.00. Such a deal!



Monday, May 22, 2017

Let them eat cake! :-)

Of all the hobbies I've attempted the one I excelled at the least was cake-decorating. I had taken a class with my friend Cindy who, of course, turned out to be a natural--brilliant with buttercream, a Michelangelo of fondant flowers. Although I tried and tried to pay attention in class, my roses flopped over, my crumb layer was uneven and my frosting palette looked like a psychedelic album cover from the 60's. By the end of class I had more frosting in my hair than on the cake, in vivid streaks of neon green and screaming purple. Twenty years before people dyed their hair like that on purpose I was a trend-setter. I forgot to mention the homework, LOTS of homework, namely, baking a cake hours in advance so it would be cool enough to frost in class.

By all measurable standards I was a failure, although there is one person who wouldn't agree. Not my teacher, he knew I was hopeless. No, it was my wonderful husband, who forced himself to stay awake until I came home from class so he could "help" me into the house with my Frankenstein cake. He praised each of my creations as if it were a Monet instead of Picasso in his Cubist phase before shyly asking if he could have a piece. He LOVED my cake-decorating class.

I've since given away all the tools I bought for that class keeping only the cake container I used to transport the cakes back and forth. I remembered the teacher telling us about elaborate wedding cakes he'd created and how he prayed on the way to deliver them that they wouldn't fall over. Likewise, when I had a cake perched on the back seat, I drove like a little old lady on her way to church, barely hitting the gas, stopping carefully at each red light, nervously checking my precious cargo through the rear-view mirror. As a result I've become a more understanding driver, inclined to give people the benefit of the doubt instead of laying on the horn. Now, when I'm stuck behind a slow driver, I just smile to myself and think they must have a cake in the backseat. And maybe if I'm extra nice they'll give me a piece.  

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Fabulous review of "Jeopardy in July" & Giveaway! :-)

One of my favorite blogs, "Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book", has just published a fabulous review of my latest Jamie Quinn Mystery, "Jeopardy in July". Oh, happy day! And along with this gem of a review is a chance to win one of three copies of my book.  Hurry, the contest ends May 25th. Thanks, Lori!

http://www.escapewithdollycas.com/2017/05/11/review-giveaway-jeopardy-july-jamie-quinn-mystery-barbara-venkataraman/