Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Ask Zodia’s Halloween Predictions

That’s me . . . Julia Bonatti.   
Only a very select few know that I’m AskZodia! 
That’s the name of my astrological advice column for the San Francisco Chronicle.  I get some of the most wonderful fan letters and questions and some of the most heartbreaking ones too.  I do my best to give good sound astrological advice and sometimes all that’s needed is a dose of common sense.  

But that’s not what’s exciting me now.  It’s Halloween, and it’s coming soon.  Next to Christmas it’s one of my favorite holidays.  Especially since my friends at The Mystic Eye go all out this time of year.  Sometimes a party, a special show or just an open house for all their customers with a psychic fair to boot.

Between my private clients and my newspaper column, I barely have time to look at my own chart and check my transits, but this year, Halloween is shaping up to be a great holiday!

Yes, I know, Saturn and Pluto are hovering in Capricorn, making like very difficult for both Cancers and Capricorns, but let’s forget that for a little while.  This year, on the magical night, Uranus is rising as the sun goes down, and it’s opposed by the Moon in Scorpio.  Fasten your seatbelts, some electrifying surprises are in the air.  The Moon and Jupiter are close together in Sagittarius.  You’ll make lots of fun connections and Venus and Mercury are also conjoined in late Scorpio.  
Could very well be some romance in the air, you just never know.  Behind that Halloween mask could be the love of your life, even if he does look like a ghoul. 
So that’s it, stargazers.  Have a marvelous time, stay safe and be open to new friends and exciting connections! 

If you’d like to know more about Julia, San Francisco or The Mystic Eye, you can visit my author at her website or Facebook or Twitter @askzodia.

Monday, October 14, 2019

Séance Anyone?

FROM:  Twila Baxter
OF:  The Bad Luck Cat Mysteries
BY:  Kay Finch

My favorite time of year – Halloween! When most people start thinking about spooky stories and Halloween ghosts and witches, I think about having a séance. My dear departed husband Constantine was the first to introduce me to the concept. He loved Halloween and scary movies, and I remember a séance scene from an old Boris Karloff picture Connie took me to.

Now that poor Connie is gone, I can feel his restless spirit here in the antiques store with me and I just know he wants me to contact him through a séance. The problem is finding willing and non-skeptical participants to hold the Halloween evening séance I have planned. You’d think that one of our boys would relish the chance to reach out to their father for a few last words, or to ask why his spirit is so restless. No such luck – whenever I bring up the subject, they can’t disappear fast enough.

My friend Sabrina is the same way. Only her black cat Hitchcock is willing to sit patiently and listen to my séance planning. I often sense Connie in the room with me, and I know Hitchcock feels his presence, too.

I wonder if Hitchcock could be the medium through which we can communicate with Connie’s spirit. Can a cat be a medium? He looks skeptical whenever I bring up the idea, but we need strong psychic energy in the room and I think he's the best one for the job. I want this to be a peaceful, healing experience for me and for Connie. We deserve peace, don’t we?

Is Halloween the right evening for me to reach out to Connie? Or maybe tonight is the night. I feel a new energy in the room right now. A faint breeze.

Did you see that candle flicker?

Kay Finch is the National Best-Selling author of the Bad Luck Cat Mysteries, including the recent installment – The Black Cat Steps On A Crack. Though her character, Sabrina Tate, has left the paralegal profession behind to move to the Texas Hill Country, Kay still works as a paralegal at a Houston, Texas law firm. She resides in a Houston suburb with her husband and pets. Visit her at www.kayfinch.com.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

I’m Bernadette Butler, United States postal carrier. Mom to Grady Butler. Widow. *GIVEAWAY*

Have you ever been around one of those people who say there’s something coming or something about to happen? Or you’ve been thinking ‘bout her and she calls at that moment, that instant?
My best friend, Iris Peabody, she’s not one of those psychics or anything, but she does get those weird feelings ever once and a while. The first time we were in third grade. She swore to me how she’d seen a vision of Bobby Peters, the cutest boy in school, kissing me on the old rubber tire that was cemented into the ground on the playground. As soon as the teacher said it was time for recess, I darted out to that playground and perched myself right on top of that tire.
Bobby Peters himself ran by and pushed me right off, sending me to the ground and breaking my wrist. Boy, was Iris wrong.
Then there was another time when we were in high school and Iris told me she’d had one of them visions where Bobby Peters was going to ask me to prom. When I saw him walk over to our table in the cafeteria, my heart went pitter-pat.
He up and asked Iris. She went.
It wasn’t until years later, when I’d already gotten married to Richard Butler—making me Bernadette Butler, stay-at-home mom and ex-United States postal worker—and Iris was already divorced from Bobby Peters when she called me up at three p.m. one afternoon. I was getting ready to head on over to the high school football stadium to watch Grady. Oh no, he didn’t play football; he was the Sugar Creek Gap grizzly bear mascot that did get promoted to manager of the team the following year. Still, I went to every game Sugar Creek Gap High School played to watch my boy run up and down the sidelines in the ridiculous bear outfit, waving the high school flag in our very small town of Sugar Creek Gap, Kentucky.
Anyways, back to Iris. Well, she called me right before I was setting out for the game, asking all sorts of questions about Richard and whether I’d talked to him. Her exact words were, “I feel like something is wrong with Richard.”

To this day, I still get chills thinking about it.
Iris insisted I call him, but I knew Richard was away on business in our neighboring state of Tennessee, according to the online calendar we shared. There was no reason to bother him, especially when Iris’s little “feelings” had never come true yet.
I was cheering on the cute bear when I noticed the state Sheriff had showed up at the game. It was like a slow-motion scene when I recalled seeing them ask someone a question, and the person had pointed directly at me. The Sheriff officers’ eyes met mine, and my stomach dropped. Iris Peabody’s feeling about my beloved Richard had come true: he had been killed in a car wreck on his way to his meeting.
I’m Bernadette Butler, United States postal carrier. Mom to Grady Butler. Widow.

NEW MYSTERY SERIES! Meet the FRONT PORCH LADIES...retired, nothing better to do but sit on their front porches and taking it all in.... They might’ve been witness to a murder!



Do you ever get one of those "feelings"? Or do you know someone who gets them??
Leave a comment and be entered to win a PRINT and SIGNED copy of STAMPED OUT when it comes out on release week!

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Don't You Love Cool, Crisp Mornings?

by Jackie Fonesca, of Apples and Alibis, by Gayle Leeson

I do love the cool, crisp mornings of early fall. Of course, it still gets as hot as the dickens during the day here in Southwest Virginia, but those mornings remind me that fall weather is on the way.

My cousin Amy Flowers, who owns the Down South Cafe, is trying to talk me into going with her to a corn maze. Now, I'm as adventurous as the next person, but getting lost in rows upon rows of corn doesn't appeal to me. Being in a cornfield doesn't say fun or excitement to me; it says allergies and itchy nose. I told her I'd tag along but that I'd spend my time at the bonfire toasting marshmallows and eating s'mores.

We've both been a little rattled lately. This woman called into the cafe and asked Amy to make a delivery. The Down South Cafe does not make deliveries, and I'd have told the woman that in no uncertain terms, but Amy made an exception. Wouldn't you know it? When we got there, the poor old lady was dying! And, get this--the corn maze Amy wants to go to is located on the deceased customer's property. Amy swears she's not going into Nancy Drew mode again, but I can see that she is. It's eating her up that we didn't get to the woman's house in time to save her. But that woman was murdered--and her killer made sure we weren't going to be able to prevent her death. Amy thinks visiting the corn maze will help us find out more about Ms. Pridemore's death. I don't know about that, but I do want to know why the killer involved Amy and me by setting us up to find Ms. Pridemore.

Sorry, but I'd better get back into the kitchen. I'm helping Amy make apple crisp.

Apple Crisp


10 cups all-purpose apples, peeled, cored and sliced
1 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup water
1 cup quick-cooking oats
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup butter, melted


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Place the sliced apples in a 9x13 inch pan. Mix the white sugar, 1 tablespoon flour, and ground cinnamon together, and sprinkle over apples. Pour water evenly over all.
Combine the oats, 1 cup flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and melted butter together. Crumble evenly over the apple mixture.
Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for about 45 minutes.

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED © 2019 Allrecipes.com

Please visit Gayle Leeson online to find out more about the Down South Cafe series and to enter her current giveaway to win a $10 Amazon gift card.  

Friday, October 11, 2019

Fall Pet Parade & Chili Cook-Off

by Caro Lamont, pet therapist in Sparkle Abbey's Pampered Pets Mystery Series

One my favorite fall traditions in Laguna Beach is the long-running annual Pet Parade and Chili Cook-Off. When I say long-running I truly mean it. This year was the twenty-third year for the event!

I've attended every year since I moved to Laguna Beach and I wouldn't miss it for the world. It's a chance for all of us to get out with our pets and mix with our neighbors. This year, over 400 of our neighbors.

And in addition to great fun, the Pet Parade and Chili Cook-off is also a fabulous fundraiser. Over the years it's raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for local charities. Local members of the community contribute items for the raffle and we all bid on them. I have definitely spent more than a few dollars bidding on raffle items!

So, a fun chance to support great charities, mix and mingle with your neighbors, and taste world-class chili. Besides all that, the pets dressed up in costumes are downright adorable.

Have I convinced you? I hope so. If I have and you decide to bring your furry family member along and plan to dress them up for the event, I have a few tips for you:
  • Make sure your pet can still move freely and that the costume isn't too tight. 
  • Never cover their mouths or noses. It's important the costume doesn't restrict their breathing. 
  • Be aware of choking hazards. Some costumes have small buttons or decorations that could be a problem if swallowed.
  • Never leave your pet alone while they are in costume. There's the potential for them to get stuck or be injured. 
If you do decide to go, I hope you have fun. And I also hope you post photos, I'd love to see your pets dressed up!

Sparkle Abbey is actually two people, Mary Lee Ashford and Anita Carter, who write the national best-selling Pampered Pets cozy mystery series.

They are friends as well as neighbors so they often get together and plot ways to commit murder. (But don't tell the neighbors.)

They love to hear from readers and can be found on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, their favorite social media sites. Also, if you want to make sure you get updates, sign up for their newsletter via the SparkleAbbey.com website.