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Friday, June 22, 2012


Today’s Book Club Friday guest is Terri Ann Armstrong, author of the “How To” mystery series. The first book in the series, How To Plant a Body, was released in April. She’s also the author of the “Menacing Trilogy” and an executive editor for Suspense Magazine. To learn more about Terri Ann, visit her website. 

Terri Ann is offering an ebook version of How To Plant a Body to one of our readers who posts a comment this week.  -- AP

A Stitch in Time

As an author, sometimes it’s hard to balance all the things in life that aren’t connected to my current book. When you write, sometimes there is nothing that fulfills you like catering to your passion, which is also true for any passion you have in your life, whether it be, crafts, cooking, traveling, wine tasting, dancing, whatever you covet. My biggest problem is, when the story is moving along and I’m really into it, the characters talk to me and when things like that happen, it’s best to obey otherwise, words, ideas and situations are easily lost. Even when you remember what you wanted to do, it doesn’t quite turn out the way you know it would have if you’d paid attention in the first place.

So now, I do reviews, I’m also an executive editor for Suspense Magazine, a mom, a grandma, a sister and friend. I also have the very day things in life like house cleaning, etc. I often comment I’m so happy I’m no longer married—who’s got the time?

Organization is not so much of a problem anymore. I sometimes cook meals ahead, crock pots are God’s gift to the busy woman, I have more lists and notes to myself you’d think I lived in a commune if you saw all the notes around my house, but it keeps me on track—when I read them of course. There’s the rub. You have to do as the notes tell you so you don’t end up in an empty bathtub, dressed with a bottle of merlot in your hand and your laptop on your knees trying to remember the last time you ate. Now there’s always a chance the wine played a part in your missing the notes, but it had to start somewhere.

So when you find yourself frazzled and forgetting to defrost the chicken or eating pork and beans from the can or you are being serenaded by the dust bunnies camping out underneath your bed, remember, notes, lists and agendas can help you organize so everything you want to accomplish in a day will come to fruition. And you will never again be sticking yourself with a sewing needle while trying to hem your daughter’s prom dress hem while she’s running out the door.

Thanks for joining us today, Terri Ann. I so know where you’re coming from. All those lists do nothing if we forget to check them! How about you, readers? Let’s hear from you. Post a comment, and you could win a copy of How To Plant a Body. Don't forget to check back on Sunday to see if you're the winner. -- AP


Donnell Ann Bell said...

Oh, good morning, Terri Ann, good morning Lois. You had me at dust bunnies sernading under the bed. Who would have ever thunk it--that dust bunnies could sing. Would love to win this book. I--er plant bodies occasionally ;)

Kathleen Kaska said...

Hi Terri Ann,
Love the title of your new book. I'm always looking for another series and this one sounds perfect. I enjoyed your humorous comments on organization. I'm glad to know I'm not the only one with notes stuck all over the house.

Pat Marinelli said...

Gee, I thought everyone hemmed clothing going out the door. That's my normal. Since my box spring in on the floor (I'm height challenged), I don't have to worry about singing bust bunnies. LOL

Love the title of your book. Hubby and I are always plotting how to get rid of a body. His best idea was when they dug up our sewer and placed a steel plate over the hole because the inspector arrived so late in the day they had to wait until the next day to get the filler. Don't all normal people have these discussions?

Aureal Williams said...

Hi Everyone,

I posted a question about keeping focus to our sisters in crime guppy group and a reply that works for me is to set a deadline.

The list thing does not work for me as my protagonist and I are both intuitives and making lists interrupts the flow of what is in the current for "now." In a wonderous and magical way, things still get done!

Susan M. Boyer said...

Hi Terri Ann and Lois! I laughed out loud at the vision this conjured: "You have to do as the notes tell you so you don’t end up in an empty bathtub, dressed with a bottle of merlot in your hand and your laptop on your knees trying to remember the last time you ate."

That sounds way too familiar.

Great post!

TerriAnn said...


Thank you for the great comment. This series was so much fun to write. I'm doing my rewrite on the second book "How to Bury a Body" now and it's truly my wish that you enjoy it. Lily Aster, my protagonist is delightful and maddening all at the same time. She's every woman who's gone to work only to find the cops there because there's been a dead body discovered! have a wonderful day. Blessings, Terri Ann

TerriAnn said...


I love the notes, I really do. My biggest issue is remembering not only to read them, but which ones are where in the first place. LOL. Organization is key and you would think a combination mom, grandma, sister and friend would be able to do just that. Thinking about it sometimes is as far as I get, which is where the bottle of Merlot in the bathtub comes in. I hope you have a wonderful day and thanks for checking in. Blessings, Terri Ann

TerriAnn said...


You know if hubby had only dug the hole a bit bigger and then just waited, your house could have been the last house he inspected.
(Tee hee hee) You realize now if this guy disappears, we're the first ones the cops are going to talk to, right? I always find it such a JOY when people are late like we have nothing to do all day, but wait. I hope all turned out well and I hope today is a better day. I'm so glad you have no worries about those dust bunnies either. Blessings, Terri Ann

TerriAnn said...


You definitely have a point about the flow interruption. I'm a firm believer in accepting everyone's helpful two cents, but then find what works best for me. That's half the battle. I hope you enjoy your day without interruptions and accomplish whatever you set out to do. And I thank you for your comments. Have a wonderful day. Blessings, Terri Ann

TerriAnn said...


I have to say, ending up in a bathtub with the bottle of Merlot is a great way to end the day...however, not fully clothed, balancing my laptop on my knees, wondering when I ate last. In a perfect world, of course, I won't need the WHOLE bottle to be able to relax, that will be purely by choice. LOL I thank you for your comment and hope you have a wonderful day. Blessings, Terri Ann

Kaye George said...

You're in a good place now, Terri Ann. Especially with Suspense Magazine--love the publication! (I do review there, for full disclosure.)

I don't quite understand what's wrong with the bottle and the laptop and the forgetting to eat. At least the bathtub is empty so you don't damage the laptop.

Thanks for a fun post!

Judy Donofrio said...

I have to say the title caught my attention too. The hope that this read will come in handy the day I decide to write fiction is strong :) I can use all the help I can get. Please enter me in the drawing, Terri Ann.

TerriAnn said...


Congrats on doing the book reviews, it is indeed a great publication. The bathtub is about how harried I can get and how things sometimes can go from bad to worse when one is not organized. Have a wonderful day. Blessings, Terri Ann

TerriAnn said...


I have to say your last name caught my eyes. I LOVE Vincent Donofrio! The book is fun. Best of luck on your writing and in the contest. Thank you for posting. Blessings, Terri Ann

Cynthia Sample said...

I loved this post. I've never crawled into an empty bathtub, but mine has overflowed once, twice and ... when I became wrapped up in a storyline. Those dead bodies can be so distracting.

On an organizational note, I recently co-chaired Left Coast crime and started typing my to do list (all 3 pages of it) and highlighting in red all "must dos." It works well especially when I remember to type in important stuff like buy more chardonnay!

Can't wait to read your hilarious book.

Donald Allen Kirch said...

In my opinion, Terri is one of the best new mystery writers out there. With the wit, humor, and humanity she places in her characters, her books are well worth both your time and effort. READ HER STUFF!

Lynn Franklin said...

Terri, loved the blog and the title of your new book. I have a solution for the singing dust bunnies: I've given them all names.

TerriAnn said...


You are very sweet. Right back at you. Thank you so much for stopping by. Blessings, Terri Ann

TerriAnn said...


I love the idea of giving the bunnies names. You know since they're singing DUST bunnies, you have to give them names like Dusty, Dirt (bunny version of Dirk), Fluffy, Willow (because they're so light and blow away easily), etc. Okay, I'll leave the bunny naming to the experts like you. Thanks for stopping by. Blessings, Terri Ann

jenny milchman said...

It is indeed hard to balance! With all you're juggling, you seem like you're doing great. Suspense Magazine is one of my favorites!

Anonymous said...

"You'd think I lived in a commune." Hilarious! Really good.


J K Maze said...


Your post really hit home for me. I am going to try your method. All I have to do is figure out where to post the list. Notes on post-its won't work. I lost them.

Joan K. Maze
writing as J. K. Maze &
Jaye Leyel

TerriAnn said...


Yes, those dead bodies are rather pesky aren't they? LOL Listen, I'll use any excuse for the glass of wine. Of course you realize, that's probably where the singing dust bunnies came from? LOL Have a wonderful day. blessings, Terri Ann

TerriAnn said...


Commune's aren't so bad. Everything is as good as you see it. You know what Dr. Phil says, there is not reality, only perception. I'm glad you got a giggle. Blessings, Terri Ann.

TerriAnn said...


Here's an idea, post the list where you go every day. Fridge, bathroom mirror, wine cellar, Twinkie box, LOL, whatever. Just be sure it's where you will see it several times a day so you can keep track of what you've done on your list. I don't recommend tattooing it on your forehead. The list will change daily and you'll run out of face before you run out of notes. LOL It makes it hard to meet men or anyone else for that matter. LOL Thanks for checking in. Blessings, Terri Ann