Sunday Lowdown #91


Did you survive Halloween? I’m so glad! We didn’t go out, but the spouse and I did make caramel apple shortbread cookies as a fun activity for the day.

We called up the nieces and nephew on Friday and colored Halloween pictures with them for a while. The oldest girl, age eleven, told us the entire plot of The Hatchet in detail. I’m so glad she’s becoming more interested in reading!

On Halloween, we watched Hotel Transylvania in the afternoon and Nick’s favorite Halloween movie, called Trick ‘r Treat, after the sun set. Trick ‘r Treat is four stories that take place at the same time and is a fun (though it’s gory) film.

Looking for a scary movie with a smart, empathetic message? On Friday night I checked out His House, which just came out on Netflix. Two South Sudanese refugees arrive in England and are given a house until the government figures out what to do with them. The walls are full of ghosts, but none of it is what you think. I thought it was an excellent movie.


Although many of you mentioned not being the type of reader who enjoys werewolf (or maybe paranormal in general) books, I appreciated all the kind words about my Seasons of the Moon review! I’m glad my enthusiasm came through, and I can’t wait to read the next series in S.M. Reine’s huge collection called The Descentverse.

You many not be into scary creatures, but plenty of folks expressed enthusiasm for reading about a murderous octogenarian! You guys are funny. An Elderly Lady is Up to No Good is a dark comedy, if that’s your jam.


I’m so grateful that Monica Nolan, author of the lesbian career girl series, agreed to participate in my Meet the Writer series. Get to know the wonderful writer who woos us with women on Tuesday. (Why did I use so many alliterative words, you ask? It’s Nolan’s pulp style. Here’s a small sample: “When Mrs. DeWitt’s will revealed a missing daughter, Pam found a project to pull her out of her pandemic doldrums.”)

To those of you who asked if Vianne Rocher from Chocolat would return to the village where we first met her, the answer is yes. And it’s changed a great deal. Find out more when you read my review of Peaches for Monsieur le Curé on Thursday.


When I finished the mystery novel Larger Than Death this weekend, the e-book shared information about the publisher. I did not know this, but Pearlsong Press only publishes books that do not encourage fatphobia or dieting. They’re totally about size acceptance! Many of their books star fat characters, but not all. The website and book covers look dated, but titles have links to purchase works through Google, Amazon, etc. I’m truly stoked to find a new press to support!


  1. I like the idea of Syd Arthur, it sounds like Hinduism for Poms (Brits, if you don’t understand Australian). I spent Halloween out in the desert under a full moon. No ghosts out there (I might have swerved around a werewolf. Or was it a dingo?). Those Monica Nolans have the best covers. Looking forward to another great interview.


    • I do not understand Australia, so thanks for the heads up! When I read your comment to Nick, he said, “DON’T! HIT! BINGO!” I agree, though I’m not sure I want you to hit a werewolf, either. I’ve grown fond of them after finishing my latest S.M. Reine series.

      Monica Nolan’s book covers are wonderful and nostalgic. The writing is fun, too, with that over-the-top, old-timey alliteration that I associate with news folks of black-and-white TV days.


      • I know, I had someone on design my covers for a while (it was more than $5 for what she did for me and I used her for five books where she could use a template she’d created at the start so I felt OK about that just about) then did my own one from Amazon’s offerings for my last one. I wasn’t criticising but it’s just a shame as it’s likely to put people off a bit.


  2. The caramel apple shortbread cookies look delicious! It sounds like you had a very nice Halloween. We did too. My kids didn’t go trick-or-treating. Instead, we did a Halloween candy hunt in the yard with my nephews. They are the only people we’ve seen for more than 10-15 minutes since the pandemic started. My kids said it’s the best Halloween they’ve ever had. I’m glad something about 2020 went well.


    • Awwww, what a nice thing for your girls to say!! It’s so easy for kids to be down about celebrating holidays differently this year, so it’s kind of them to understand that things are hard and there are other ways to have fun. My nieces and nephew had a taco pinata in the yard, lol.

      The only people I’ve seen since the pandemic started are co-workers/people who come into the library. We’ve visited no one. To ease the sadness, my mom and I started a video book club (just the two of us) that meets twice per week.


  3. Wow, I love the fact that that publihing house has that wonderful mandate. This is why books and publishing is so great! Publish what you want AND make the world a better place!!!

    Never heard of Trick r Treat but my husband and I watched the Adam Sandler movie, and yes it’s silly, but we really loved it. Perfect for Halloween watching after the kids went to bed 🙂


  4. We watched Hotel Transylvania too! We opted to avoid trick-or-treating this year and went to my in-laws and had a candy hunt in their yard. It made for a really relaxing weekend.


  5. Is Sandcastle Beach coming out so soon?! I just finished Paradise Cove and greatly enjoyed it. I read it over the course of two days and it just flew. Without reading a synopsis I’d put hard money on this book being about Law and Maya. Just sayin’. Then all the couples are together! 🙂

    I’m glad you found a publishing company that does not encourage fatphobia or dieting. I hope that EVERY book they publish is a winner and I cannot wait to hear about what works for you. Do you have any particular book selected to read next?


    • Santcastle Beach is coming out early 2021, so I’m stoked. It is about Maya and Law, and I hope there are loads of theater-related shenanigans.

      The first book I have planned from Pearl Song Press is called Unconventional Means: The Dream Down Under because Bill is following along with Reading Australia month, and I want to join just a tiny bit.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m glad you had a decent Halloween, even at home! Those cookies look delicious. I didn’t get to celebrate much beyond wearing my Halloween socks, but I don’t mind getting my spooks in out of season. Thanks for the tip about His House- it sounds like a good watch!


Insert 2 Cents Here:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s