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Three happy things happened yesterday:

  1. I got a refund from a hospital I had overpaid by $20 about nine years ago.
  2. I got an email from a reader of World Wide Recipes who said he loved my Culinary Chronicles.
  3. Tony Burton, editor at Wolfmont Press, sent this:

DYING IN A WINTER WONDERLAND made the Top Ten bestsellers for 2008 for the IMBA (Independent Mystery Booksellers Association)!
1 – Lisa Lutz, The Spellman Files, Simon & Schuster
2 – Tana French, In the Woods, Penguin
3 – Brent Ghelfi, Volk’s Game, Picador
4 – Lorna Garrett, Murder is Binding, Berkley
5 – Louise Penny, Still Life, St. Martin’s
6 – tie
Christopher Fowler, Full Dark House, Bantam
Leonie Swann, Three Bags Full, Flying Dolphin
8 – Tony Burton, ed., Dying in a Winter Wonderland, Wolfmont
9 – Clare Langley-Hawthorne, Consequences of Sin, Penguin
10 – Jacqueline Winspear, Masie Dobbs, Penguin

Note position #8!!!

That, my friends, is the IMBA’s list of bestselling titles for 2008,
for softcover books.

It’s SOOOOOO cool to see a book from Wolfmont in there with
books from Simon & Schuster, Penguin, Berkley, Bantam…
and not at the end of the list, either!

Here’s the link to the page:

Wheeeeee! Today, it’s worth being alive!


writing prompt: Go to a bookstore, real or online, and pick out ten books at random. Create a character with that list as his/her top ten favorite books.

I went over and had lunch with Jane at Shiraz Mediterranean Grill on Frankfort Avenue. It is SO GOOD! I had the falafel. I usually can’t resist their shish kebab, but I had just had that the last time I was in, and their falafel is the best–big and fluffy and spicy…. Mmmmmm! I had one left over and I brought it home. I’m going to cook some Basmati rice and lentils to have with it.

Here is Jane in front of Shiraz, and a close-up of the Shiraz sign.



Then we went to Sister Dragonfly again, my major vice these days. I have GOT to stop GOING there! I bought a silver ring set with a blue/violet iolite, a silver necklace set with a red stone that I think Jane said was some kind of opal?? and a brown wood necklace. Must… stop… going…!

Here is a picture of their wonderful “signage”, of the dragonfly someone drew in wet cement outside their door, and two people coming to do their Christmas shopping. I told the lady I was going to put her picture on my blog so, if she’s looking, HI, LADY!




I got an email from Tony Burton today, editor of the DYING IN A WINTER WONDERLAND anthology, saying that he had put a trailer up here and there for the book. Then he said he was sorry, that he had misspelled my name. Well, that’s no biggie. For the record, my name is Marian, not Marion, but, even though he stated a firm intent to change it, I told him not to bother. What’s one little vowel between friends?

Oh, and I did my 2000 words for NaNoWriMo today. Yay!


Writing prompt: What is your main character’s favorite “Girls’ Day (or Boys’ Day) out?

I am so proud to announce I’ve had a story accepted in the third annual Wolfmont Press anthology to benefit Toys for Tots ™! This one is called DYING IN A WINTER WONDERLAND and my story is called “Team Player”.

Dying in a Winter Wonderland

Dying in a Winter Wonderland

All the authors donated our stories, and Tony Burton, the publisher, is donating all his profits to Toys for Tots ™. All the stories are mysteries that take place during the winter holiday season. The books can be ordered online from booksellers, through your local independent book store’s connections to Baker & Taylor and Ingram’s, or directly from Wolfmont. None of us–publisher or authors–are making a nickel off this. It’s all for the kids.


writing exercise: The parents of a child you have never liked find themselves in a desperate financial bind at Christmas. They won’t apply for “charity” and have no friends or family. What do you do, if anything? How would a selection of your characters react? Say, I like this one. I think I may write a story with this one. Sara, guess who it’s about? Who’s your second guess?


Here is where I ramble on about whatever happens to fall through my mind. I also have a professional site, where I post about my books, stories, news and appearances. Every month, I post a “Hot Flash” there–a story or prose poem of about 50 words. I hope you enjoy your visit. –Marian Allen

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