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Tempe Book Festival and ‘Flapjacks’

April 2nd, 2016

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Ah, April. The most fabulous month of the year. The trees are all abloom with the most eye-popping colors and the air is fragrant and warm. It virtually never rains. The only problem is that April is the threshold to summer, which is not generally a time one anticipates with eager pleasure out here in the desert. Unless you’re a lizard. And the truth is there are plenty of lizard-people who live here. I just don’t happen to be one of them.

I’m still slogging along on the next Alafair book. It always seems to me that I’m NEVER going to get finished with whatever may be my work-in-progress, yet suddenly the day comes when it is just magically done. I’m counting on that being the case with this book. I’m so close…but then I’ve been so close for months.

Now that I’ve done my requisite moaning and groaning, let me invite you to the first annual Tempe Public Library Festival of Books on April 16. I’ll be there, of course, manning the table for the the newly-formed chapter of the Society of Southwestern Authors, Valley of the Sun Chapter. The festival is free, and if you come, Dear Reader, you’ll help kick off what we hope will be an annual event that will eventually rival…dare I say it?….the Tucson Book Festival. Check out the details here.

Teaching the art of writing historical mysteries can be a hoot!

Teaching the art of writing historical mysteries can be a hoot!

Speaking of the Tucson Book Festival, I was certainly there last month. I appeared on a panel with two other historical authors, and I taught a workshop on writing the historical mystery. They ask me every year to teach a mystery or historical workshop, and I always have such a good time with it.

Last but not least, this month’s old-time recipe is for my mother-in-law’s flour tortillas, which the family called ‘flapjacks’. I used this recipe in The Wrong Hill to Die On. It’s easy and unexpectedly delicious, and the perfect accompaniment to almost any dish you can name. Which reminds me of a story, as most things do. A few years ago I spoke to a book club about Wrong Hill and one of the readers made a point of telling me that people didn’t make tortillas out of flour back in those days. The conversation moved on before I had a chance to say, “I beg to differ.” I know for a fact that my mother-in-law (born 1911) learned how to make flour tortillas from her Mexican/Apache mother-in-law (born around 1880).

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