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Wednesday, September 7, 2011


Today is International Literary Day. In celebration, beauty editor Nicole Emmerling has invited a special guest blogger. Former reporter Deborah Sharp left the sad stories of the news biz behind to write the funny Mace Bauer Mysteries. She demonstrates unusual dedication to verisimilitude. She trekked 120 miles on horseback across Florida to “feel’’ the trail-ride setting for her second book. Far too many times, she donned hideously tacky bridal garb to promote her last book, set at a wedding (Mama’s fifth). Viewers of NBC’s Today got a glimpse last year of Deborah sporting her … uh, Mama’s … veil when she appeared on the program. She has no idea how she’ll top that stunt for the release this month of MAMA SEES STARS. You can read an excerpt from the first chapter of MAMA SEES STARS right here.  Or, you can check out Deborah’s website here.

In honor of International Literary Day, Deborah is giving away a copy of MAMA SEES STARS to one of our readers. All you have to do to enter is post a comment to the blog. In addition, for those of you with Kindles or Nooks, MAMA DOES TIME, the first book in the Mace Bauer Mysteries, is now available for a limited time as a FREE DOWNLOAD. Click here for the free Kindle download, and click here for the free Nook download-- AP

Thanks to Anastasia and the gang at American Woman for inviting me here today. I’m going to turn things over to “Mama,’’ from my fictional town of Himmarshee, Fla. Mama loves nothing more than talking about beauty, preferably her own.

Hey, there! Mama here. I wish y’all could see Ms. Author – not a dab of makeup, not even lipstick, dragging her butt around the house in her sweatpants. You’d understand why it makes sense to have me guest star today to talk about the beauty benefits of aromatherapy.

I know from personal experience how scents and essential oils from flowers and herbs can help a person through tough times. When I was married to Husband No. 2, I’d have been nuttier than a squirrel at a peanut festival without my potions. If breathing scented steam under a tented towel keeps you from sticking your head in the gas oven, well that’s a good thing, isn’t it?  You can’t be beautiful if you’re dead.

My middle daughter Mace refuses to take my advice about aromatherapy, along with just about anything else: Hair. Clothes. Matters of the heart. I just know she acts obstinate to make me crazy.

Now, she’s somehow managed to land this handsome detective, Carlos Martinez. That’s despite the fact she makes no effort whatsoever to take advantage of her God-given looks. The two of them even got over that little misunderstanding about him trying to send me to prison for murder. To me, that says they’re meant to be together.

I just hope Mace doesn’t screw it up.

I have half a mind to hide an aromatherapy lamp in her house, fill the basin with distilled water and a few drops of the essential oils of flowers and plants known to be, well . . . stimulating, if you get my drift. Okay, they’re aphrodisiacs. We’re all adults here.

Well, I’m getting the signal from Mace to stop discussing her private life and get to my task.

I’ll tell you one important thing, just like I tell the folks at Hair Today, Dyed Tomorrow beauty parlor. Pregnant women, people getting medical treatment, and those with sensitive skin should be cautious with aromatherapy. In fact, it’s probably a good idea for anybody to check with their doctor first, just to be sure. Essential oils can be strong. Don’t take them internally. Don’t apply directly to skin. Always mix in just a few drops with a “carrier’’ oil like almond, apricot kernel, or even a light olive oil, to rub on your skin.

Here are a few things you might like to try:

* Oil of lemon helps you think clearly. Dilute two drops in a tablespoon of almond or some other oil, then massage a bit onto your temples. This potion can also calm emotional outbursts and improve communication. I’m going to slip a little bottle in Mace’s purse since she always manages to say the wrong thing around Carlos.

* Are you plagued by body odor? Nothing pretty about that! Don’t worry, sage can help. Rub some of the dry, powdered herb under your arms. Or, use one teaspoon per cup for tea.

* Neroli oil, made from orange blossoms, is linked to blushing brides and wedding nights. Maybe that’s why it makes a good massage oil to enhance matters in the bedroom. A sniff before public speaking also calms stage fright. I’ve never used neroli in the latter way. About the former, I’d rather not say.

If you find yourself near Himmarshee—the Gateway to Palatka – stop by Hair Today. I’m the salon’s aromatherapy expert. I’ll give you a free 10-minute consult if you mention my latest adventure, MAMA SEES STARS. Did you hear I got a part in the movie those Hollywood folks came to shoot down here? Of course, there was that little matter of a murder. Still, everyone said I killed when they filmed my scene … well, I don’t mean killed literally. That’s just the way we movie people talk.

Mama, it’s always a pleasure having you stop by! (You, too, Deborah!) Readers, remember, if you’d like to enter the drawing to win a copy of MAMA SEES STARS, post a comment. Since it's International Literary Day, tell us what you're reading. Or tell us your beauty secret. Or just stop by to say hi. And don’t forget to either include your email address or check back on Sunday to see if you’ve won. We’ve had a lot of winners recently who haven’t done either, and we have no way of contacting you. -- AP


Deborah Sharp said...

Thanks so much for hosting me ... uh, Mama ... at ''Killer Crafts.'' I love giving Mama the chance to chat with the gals at American Woman, even if all of us seem to have a bit of problem determining what's fiction and what's real ;-)

Elaine said...

I'm reading "The Ballad of Bob Dylan: A Portrait" but I'll probably put it asside for the new Laura Lippman book,"The Most Dangerous Thing", which is waiting for me at the library.


Anonymous said...

Hi Mama, Great advice on the aromatherpy. I'm taking a very short break from murder and am reading Up The Gangway, a book supposed to be the true story of life as an officer on a cruise ship.


Anonymous said...

Happy Literary Day ---- my kindle's just full of books (and all unread) so, good thing it's raining here! Thanks for great advise!

Joyce Lamb said...

Hi, Mama!
I've already made a shopping list of oils. I'm thinking I need A LOT of aromatherapy. Thanks for the great advice -- and for keeping that snippy author in line.

Patricia said...

I love aromatherapy but unfortunately have only experienced it while having the very infrequent massage. Right now I'm reading Claire Cook's "Life's A Beach" and it's funny and enjoyable. Thanks for telling us a bit about Mama.

Deborah Sharp said...

hey, y'all ... so nice of you to comment!
Patricia: I read Claire Cook's book too, and it was a hoot! Try crinkling up some fresh lavender leaves and sniffing. Great relaxation technique, and don't need to pay for the massage!
Joyce: You know I love you, girl. Signed, that Snippy Author (PS: Takes one to know one!)
To Elaine, Nancy, and our ''Mystery Reader,'' Anonymous: Thanks for stopping by and checking out Mama's aromatherapy tips today.

leftywrite said...

Thanks for the aromatherapy tips Mama. I plan to double the lemon oil recipe. I need all the help I can get.
Hope the free download puts you in contact with a passel of new fans.
Just finished Laura Lippman's Baltimore Blues and William Martin's Harvard Yard. Now reading Stephen King's On Writing.

Anonymous said...

Love the aromatherapy tips. And the premise for the series sounds great. I can't wait to read Mama Does Time on my Kindle.

Anonymous said...

Just finished Dorothy Gilman's A NUN in the Closet. First read it decades ago and found it just as much fun this time around. Now I've got to read a 'Mama" book.

boots9k at wowway dot com

Liz V. said...

Niece sent me lovely handmade soaps, including lavender and calendula. Wonderful scents help smooth away the worries. Must try your suggestions.

Robin Allen said...

Fun post Mama Deb! I'm going to try some lemon oil when I have writer's block.

Right now I'm reading a British mystery, Down the Garden Path by Gerald Hammond. A body was found buried beneath the roots of sequoia tree.

pennyt said...

Great post - Add my name to those who want to try lemon oil!!

I have enjoyed the previous mama books and downloaded Mama Does Time to reread it on my Kindle..

I just finished Unusual Suspects - a collection of paranormal mysteries!!

pennyt at hotmail dot com

Deborah Sharp said...

Leftywrite: Ha! Careful ... that lemon oil is powerful stuff.
Thanks to C.K. and Anon ... let me know what you think if you get the chance to read Mama Does Time.
Liz: Enjoy those fine-smelling soaps. Ahhh . . .
Robin: Thanks for stopping by, and thanks to you and all for notes on what you're reading now. Sound like some good ones.

Theresa said...

Learning the secret of lemon oil and a free nook download! What a treat! Thank you for the joy Mama brings.

Anonymous said...

Great tips especially for lemon oil. I am read South of Superior and enjoying it greatly. Loved your fascinating post. Best wishes. anne. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

Anonymous said...

What an informative post. I must jot all of this down so that I can refer to it. Right now I am reading The Soldier's Wife. British novel which is great. Ellie. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

Msmstry said...

Hey, thanks for posting the free download! I was delighted to take advantage of this—I got into this great series late. I stopped a lady in the library parking lot yesterday. She had a stack of Janet Evanovitch books in her arm. I told her that she's probably enjoy reading about Mama too.

The moral of this story is: Beware of crazy old ladies when roaming in the mystery aisles!