Monday, May 17, 2010

Moving is Fun!

Moving is fun. {Do I hear groaning from the crowd?} No really, it's fun!!! It gives us a chance to clean out closets, say goodbye to friends (but promise to keep in touch), and make new friends.

While moving, we have to think outside the box. We have to see things around us in a new perspective. You know how they say that most accidents happen within 25 miles of home?That's because we stop paying attention. Moving to a new city (or even to a new neighborhood just miles away) changes all that.

I moved to Los Angeles from Connecticut in July. We stayed in an apartment until the major mold issues etc. in the house we bought were handled. Did we get a steal? Oh, no, not necessarily. We rebuilt portions, did the floors, and voila. I'm in a "new" home. There are boxes everywhere. My sweet dog is trying to figure out what all the new scents are. [I keep telling him they are other doggies, but he doesn't believe me. We're on the hunt.]

But we're in, we're happy, we're blessed. And everything is "new" to the senses. As I walk the dog through the neighborhood, I'm looking at the houses around me, the flowers, the people. I'm drinking it all in and it's amazing how fresh I feel because everything around me is "fresh."

While going through this process, I learned a lot about the people who did the work for me. [For writers, this is character study.] I have to admit that I wasn't sure about my gardener, who I inherited from the previous owner. The garden was yucky, dry, overgrown. However when I met him, I liked him, so I decided to give him a shot. He was pretty apologetic about the state of the garden. He said the owner didn't like to do anything to the garden. (i.e., no investment whatsoever!) I'm a garden nut. I need "pretty." I need color and flowers and scents. So I said we're going to revive this garden. He was excited! During the time we've been working together, I found out he lives the American dream. He's Hispanic. Moved to the states at the age of 14 with his parents. He's legal and gone through all the channels. His daughter is just graduating from law school. How's that! He's so pleased for her. I wouldn't have met this man if I hadn't moved. It's these stories that thrill me, not just as a writer but as a person.

That little diversion had nothing to do with what I'm offering for today's recipe. The story is just a slice of my life, and I hope you can appreciate that my mind is a little scattered, my back aching, but my spirit is alive!

In honor of all those who don't have any time on their hands (from moving or otherwise), here's a simple pick-me-up recipe inspired by my protagonist Charlotte. Savor and enjoy.


1 slice of your favorite bread (mine: egg-based)
2 slices of your favorite cheese (mine: Taleggio)
2 tablespoons of your favorite jam (mine: raspberry)

Toast the bread
Remove from toaster. Layer with cheese. Broil under the oven for 3-4 minutes.
Remove from oven and slather with jam.

Eat with a cup of hot coffee, tea, or glass of milk. I would imagine it tastes good with wine, too. :)

That's it. Too easy and too yummy for words!

And now to MLK contest info!

Julie’s first book in the Manor of Murder Mystery series, Grace Under Pressure, debuts June 1st! To help launch the book and to celebrate its release, she's running a very special contest: Pre-order Grace Under Pressure any time before May 31, 2010, and you're eligible to win a $25 gift certificate from Mystery Lovers Bookshop! (and if you've already pre-ordered, you just need to let Julie know!) No receipts required. Just email Julie at with the date that you pre-ordered and the name of the bookstore you ordered it from, and your name goes in! (Please put "CONTEST" in the subject header. Thanks!)

Here are a few helpful links to get you started:
Independent Bookstore List: here
- Mystery Lovers Bookshop (free shipping on book orders over $10!) - Centuries & Sleuths (Julie's local mystery bookstore) - Barnes & Noble -

And while we're here...

I am offering FREE BOOKMARKS on my website. Click this FREE BOOKMARK link to send me your information.

My "fan club" contest just ended on May 15 (winner to be announced on the website and in the newsletter soon). Learn about upcoming contests on the Avery Aames website and check out the "fun stuff."


  1. Yay! I knew the move must be coming up, Avery, but I didn't know when. It sounds like everything is going well, it's all fresh and new and exciting, and you've got yourself a real garden underway! Make sure to give yourself some time to put your feet up and relax a little!

    Mystery Writing is Murder

  2. The Pick-Up recipe looks delicious. I think that would be good for breakfast this morning.

    Hope all goes well with your garden. Sounds very exciting.

    Thoughts in Progress

  3. Thanks, Elizabeth and Mason. Feet up, good idea. Later today. Breakfast - next on my agenda. :) "Gotta have a plan."

  4. I just love your outlook and attitude, Avery! You're inspiring me to do something fresh and exciting in my house, even though we plan to stay right here. Hmm... I have a book deadline. Isn't that always the best time to start a house project? LOL
    Thanks for the cheery email on this dreary (here in Illinois) Monday morning.


  5. We moved from Florida to Colorado. We sold our house, but didn't have a clue where we'd end up, outside of "Colorado". I wouldn't call it fun, but it's definitely an adventure. We moved into our house about 3 weeks ago after renting and looking and dealing with closings, etc. for about 6 weeks. The place is chaos, and it'll get worse because we're redoing so much -- floors, cabinets, kitchen appliances. And of course, hubster unpacked boxes of useless stuff--bric-a-brac, etc., which will all have to be moved again when the work starts.

    We thought we didn't bring much with us, but there's still a lot of STUFF lying around.

  6. I love the simplicity of the Pick-Me-Up, especially for breakfast.

    Congrats on the move and best of luck in your new home, especially the garden.

    Have a good Monday.

  7. The worst is behind you now, Avery! Soon all those boxes will just be a memory. Enjoy a Pick-Me-Up outside in your lovely new garden!

    ~ Krista

  8. Oh, Avery, the future garden looks like it will
    be a lovely place to enjoy your Pick Me Up yummies. I'm so glad the dust is settling for you! Enjoy your new digs.

  9. Aren't you all sweet! Thank you. I actually made another little pick me up this morning to share in my newsletter. It has olives. Oh, yum! Back to boxes. Did I mention I turned in book two this morning? Yeah! Busy hands, busy minds. ~Avery

  10. Congrats Avery in turning in book 2!

  11. I'll second Dru's congrats - you are smokin' girl! Second book in and just six weeks to the release of THE LONG QUICHE GOODBYE. (BTW, Everyone, it's on sale July 6th, and it's a delicious read. How do I know? I had the pleasure of reading it in mansucript form.) Avery's main character and amateur sleuth, Charlotte Bessette, is just as full of postive energy as Avery. And Charlotte's gorgeously drawn world is one you'll want to revisit again and again.

    Cheers, Avery, and have a great week in your brand new home. :)

    Free Coffee Drawing LIVE tonight at 7 PM (est) Cleo Coyle on Twitter

  12. This sounds wonderful, Avery. Congratulations on book 2 being turned in!

  13. Thanks, Cleo, for your kind words. So glad everyone is enjoying the snack. It is delish!