Bocce Ball to Bocce Gardens

Our Sebastopol house came with a Bocce Ball court in the front yard. So for the last six years John and I have debated what to do with this area. Buying Bocce balls and learning how to play never made the list.

John wanted a Bellagio type fountain.

Bellagio Fountains

Bellagio Fountains

Sprays of water shooting into the air, with wild gaudy colored lights. On the weekends we’d add music. Our brainstorming always ended with the phrase ‘enough to annoy the neighbors.’ We like our neighbors, so why annoying them played into the equation, I’m not sure.

 
I wanted to hire Patrick Amiot to sculpt a Loch Ness Monster type creature, based on this dragon from Dennis the Menace Park—my childhood playground. We’d fill the Bocce Ball court with some type of blue-green glistening material, and the great metal creature—named Nessie—would snake above and below our artificial water line.

Dragon at Dennis the Menace

Dragon at Dennis the Menace

A few days ago, John said, “Why don’t we put raised beds in the Bocce Ball court?” And I loved the idea. So we poked at the calculator for a few hours. In a case like this, it’s measure one hundred times, and buy once—that refers to cinder blocks and dirt—especially dirt.

John Building Beds

John Building Beds

 

 

 

Here’s John building the beds. He came up with the name Bocce Gardens.

 

 

Baocce Gardens

Bocce Gardens Empty Beds

And here’s Nessie, small but cute.

Nessie On Brick

Nessie On Brick

Thanks to MichaelPoulin@dyingindowney.com for the Dennis the Menace Picture.

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The Next Big Thing

Ana Manwaring tagged me for The Next Big Thing, a blog chain where authors blog about what’s coming next. Ana’s just finished her great Narco-thriller, Zihuatanejo, set in Mexico. This is a five star book, with a fast paced story, intriguing and sexy characters placed it a world you’d love to visit. Check out her blog Building a Better Story.


It feels a bit premature to be talking about my next book, when the digital ink for Grand Theft Death is barely dry. But I’m receiving questions about the second book in my Salty Sister Mystery Series, so here goes:

The Next Big Thing:

What is your working title of your book? The Zucchini Fairy Murder

Where did the idea come from for the book? I’m inspired to write by what makes me laugh. The title comes from the prolific nature of zucchini and the desperation of those blessed with such abundance. Bingo plays a major part in this book because when someone yells ‘Bingo!’ inevitably someone else immediately yells ‘Shit!’ Also small dogs, I love them, but seriously, they’re hilarious.

What genre does your book fall under? Cozy Mystery.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition? I’ve imagined Jenna Elfman as Patricia because she’s tall and does a great straight woman while those around her are crazy. Unfortunately, she’s a little old for the part now. Sorry, Jenna.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? A young surfer woman hunts down the killer of a postal carrier with the help of four woman in their golden years who play fast and loose with the law.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency? Self-published.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? I’ve been working on it for over a year. I’m half way through. Think tortoise, not hare.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum Series.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? Even though it contains a murder, it’s funny, and it won’t give you nightmares, unless you have a squash phobia, then I’d advise you not to read it.

And the Blog Chain marches on:
Frances Caballo will continue The Next Big Thing blog chain. Frances is a social media trainer and strategist with more than 23 years of communications experience. Presently, she is the Social Media Editor for the Women’s National Book Association-Francisco Chapter and the Bay Area Independent Publishers Association.

Frances specializes in social media training for users of all levels; sets up and manages social media marketing accounts for clients; provides coaching on clients’ social media marketing platforms; and blogs for clients. Her newest book is Social Media Just for Writers: The Best Online Marketing Tips for Selling Your Books.

Check out her blog at: http://www.act-comms.com/social-media-just-for-writers/

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Grand Theft Death is here!

Grand Theft Death is here! Available at Amazon for your Kindle.

Patricia Schuster acquires both independence and furniture polish after inheriting her grandmother’s house and antique business. Her new life in the Northern California town of Lakeville is in jeopardy, however, when she is falsely arrested for stealing a rare 1950’s Cadillac and is blackmailed by Jimmy, a toothpick-wielding used-car salesman. When the real car thief ends up dead, she turns to her grandmother’s friends—four women in their golden years who play fast and loose with the law. But how far over the line will Patricia have to go to find a killer and clear her name?

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