Count Dracula: Forever Relevant

How many Halloween celebrants will appear as the undead Count Dracula?

The infamous vampire master was first seen on the pages of a novel on May 26, 1897, the day Dracula by Bram Stoker went on sale in London.

Abraham "Bram" Stoker was an Irish author better known in his day as the personal assistant of actor Henry Irving and as the business manager of the Lyceum Theatre in London which was owned by Irving.

Although Stoker traveled a great deal, often visiting the United States which he particularly liked, he never visited Transylvania where his famous novel was set. He also never equaled the publishing success of Dracula.

Write What You Know

Stoker followed the first rule authors learn: write what you know. He used the English village of Whitby, Slains Castle in Aberdeenshire, and the crypts of St. Michan's Church in Dublin as inspiration for his novel.

The dark, moody stories told by Armin Vambery, a Hungarian writer and traveler, also served as inspiration. After meeting Vambery, Stoker spent years researching European folklore and mythological stories of vampires.

Dracula, The Novel

Most people have never read the original Dracula novel which was written as a collection of diary entries, telegrams, letters, ship's logs, and newspaper clippings thus making what is called an epistolary novel.

Stoker's original 541-page manuscript of the work was thought to be lost. In the early 1980's, the manuscript was found in a barn in northwestern Pennsylvania.

The typed manuscript held editing corrections and on the title page, handwritten, was Stoker's title The Un-Dead.

The author's name appeared at the bottom as Bram Stoker. At the last minute, the publisher changed the title to Dracula.

Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft, purchased that rare manuscript. No price was given, but Allen is a billionaire with deep pockets. I don't know that he's ever put the manuscript on public display. I'm sure there would be many who would like to see it.

Just a side note, in 2013, in the UK, a signed first edition of the book sold for approximately $46,000 USD.

Dracula for Every Generation

If Stoker only knew how his vampire tale has morphed to be relevant to each new generation.

Instead of a Transylvanian vampire and English victims, we've had Lestat, the unforgettable vampire in Interview with the Vampire, and his sidekicks from the brain of Anne Rice.

The comic Dracula played by George Hamilton in the movie Love At First Bite made us scream—with laughter.

David Boreanaz as Angel, the sensitive tormented vampire with a soul, first appeared as the love interest on the TV series Buffy.

The actor and his character made such an impact that he was spun off into his own series, Angel.

A particularly compelling and emotional version of the story in 2014 was Dracula Untold starring Luke Evans

With the romance revolution, Romance became a bridge over which the undead crossed to other literary genres. Amazing,  considering Stoker had published stories for over 20 years before Dracula was published.

Popular From the Get-Go

London was primed for Stoker's novel because the horror genre, created almost entirely from European folk tales and legends, was very popular.

The Gothic movement in the 18th century strengthened the genre so that it carried into the 19th century. Notable examples are Frankenstein, 1818, by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson, 1886. 

When the 20th century ushered in the era of motion pictures, Dracula came to life. In 1931, the first movie about the vampire count premiered.

The film was based on the 1924 stage play, Dracula, by Hamilton Deane and John L. Balderston—which was adapted from Stoker's 1897 novel Dracula by Bram Stoker.

Not a decade has passed that there hasn't seen some incarnation of the famous vampire.

The vampire novel wears many labels today: alternative reality, urban contemporary, paranormal, and horror to name a few. 

Takeaway Truth

Whatever it's called, the tale of this particular type of undead provides fresh inspiration to each new generation which then puts its own spin on the mythology.

Recipe: Old-Fashioned Popcorn Balls

Halloween brings memories of the fun we all had when we were kids. That was back when you could go Trick or Treating without parents.

Getting Snickers and other little candy bars was great, but what we all treasured were the popcorn balls made by little old ladies in the neighborhood.

Sure, you can get a popcorn ball on Amazon or at a  supermarket checkout stand in October, but you miss the glorious deliciousness of one made at home.

My Mom made them a few times a year, and they were a favorite treat for my brothers and me.

One thing I must point out is to be very careful when heating the caramel mixture on the stove. I still have a scar on my upper right arm where I managed to brush against the side of the saucepan. So make sure your kids don't get up close and personal as you pour the hot mixture into the bowl of popped corn.

Old-Fashioned Popcorn Balls


8 cups popped corn
3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup Karo light corn syrup
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter (1 and 1/2 sticks)


1. Measure the popped corn into large heat-proof bowl.

2. Combine all the other ingredients in a large heavy saucepan like a Dutch oven.

3. Heat the mixture to over medium to high heat, stirring frequently.

4. Cook, stirring constantly, until the temperature of the mixture registers 260 degrees F. on a candy thermometer.

5. Reduce heat to low and stir in the butter. Keep stirring until it's all melted. 

6. Pour the hot mixture in a thin stream over the popped corn in a large bowl. Stir the corn as you're pouring the hot caramel mixture so the popped corn gets well-coated.

7. Cool the coated popcorn slightly. If it's too hot, it won't hold together in balls. If it gets too cool, it will be hard to form into balls.

8. Butter your hands, take a handful of coated popcorn, and shape into balls. Make popcorn balls as large or as small as you wish. My Mom and the other ladies made them the size of a baseball.

9. Place each popcorn ball on a sheet of wax paper to cool.

10. When completely cool, wrap each in plastic wrap. You can also place each in a sealable plastic bag.

Takeaway Truth

Try these once, and you'll make them as a Halloween treat every year.

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Review: Wanted, Australian Netflix Series

The SlingWords Review Staff (Darling Hubby and I) just finished watching the 3 seasons of Wanted, an Australian crime thriller.

I understand that this series was Australia's most-watched drama series of 2016.

I can certainly understand why most viewers were glued to their seats as the series with its train-wreck characters unfolded.

The first thing you'll notice is how every situation has unexpected complications. Complications? OMG! It's more like every single action results in catastrophic complications with no easy resolution in sight.

You might say an alternate title for this series could easily be "out of the frying pan and into the fire" because that's exactly what happens scene after scene after scene. You end up on the edge of your seat to see what happens next. I guarantee you won't see what's coming next. 

After a few episodes of this kind of plotting, I knew to expect increasingly worse complications with the characters always making the wrong choice. It was exhausting.

I mentioned train-wreck characters. I don't think I've ever watched anything where every character was so emotionally damaged, so screwed-up that they always chose the off-the-wall, criminal solution to everything!

Having said all that, the crazy weirdo characters end up getting to you. Even as you're shouting, "How can you be so stupid?" you're understanding that they're acting within the framework of their respective personalities and attitudes. 

The Cast

Rebecca Gibney as Lola Buckley.
Geraldine Hakewill as Chelsea Babbage.
Stephen Peacocke as Detective Josh Levine.
Nicholas Bell as Ray Stanton.
Charles Cottier as David Buckley.

There are more members of the cast, but these are the ones you need to know for the first season.

Binge Watching Continues

After the first season's episodes finished, I was hesitant to start Season 2 because it was so frustrating! 

I have a really low threshold for stupidity, which characterizes far too many of the characters' actions, but Darling Hubby couldn't wait to dive in.

Halfway through Season 2, I gave up and got a book to read. Darling Hubby couldn't believe I could just stop watching. *LOL* 

I asked him why he wanted to keep watching. He said, "I'm watching to see how on earth the writers get them out of the latest catastrophe."

That's the kind of answer I should have given! Maybe I'm rubbing off on him. *g*

Takeaway Truth

Check out the trailer for Wanted on YouTube. If you're a Netflix subscriber, be sure and watch Wanted.

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10 Tips to Survive Interior Painting

Today was the big day! We made the decision to have the interior and exterior of our house painted.

That decision wasn't easy to make considering the expense, but we were put on our painter's schedule a month ago.

We knew we were gambling on unpredictable fall weather, but we have more sunny days than rainy days in Houston. We were sure things would work out.


Last night, a cold drizzle started. Today, it's done nothing but rain. I had planned to spend the day outside on the courtyard patio in front. 

Instead, I'm trapped inside with the smell of paint. It's not as bad as traditional paint since we requested the no-odor which in actuality is low-odor.

How to Survive Interior Painting

Advance planning is the key.

1. Make sure you and the painter agree in advance about all issues, especially about who will move furniture that may be blocking walls, art hanging on the walls, etc.

2. Most contractor crews love to play music while they're working so tell them in advance they can do this. 

If certain genres of music bother you, i.e., gangsta rap with profanity would be a big no-no for me, then communicate politely so they'll know what's okay. Most willingly listen to classic rock.

3.  Even though painters will cover things with drop cloths, move anything especially precious from table tops and areas that are to be painted.

4. Secure any valuables. Good painters are responsible and honest and should have insurance that covers anything that may be damaged, or, heaven forbid, stolen. Your painter doesn't want someone on his crew doing that any more than you do. Prevention is a good thing. Don't create temptation by leaving things out.

5. If you have a pet who lives inside, plan on having a friend keep Fido or Kitty. Don't put your pet in a room with a closed door and expect it to be happy and quiet. They can hear strangers in the house, and that creates anxiety.

6. Plan where or what you'll be having for lunch on painting day. Paint crews sometimes take lunch breaks in rotation so you may not be able to leave the house for a lunch out. Stock up on sandwich items or microwave entrees.

7. Boredom creates anxiety if you're sitting around with nothing to do but wait. Plan in advance so you have a project to do on your laptop or tablet. 

Also have a book you've been wanting to read loaded on your Kindle or iPhone, or have a print copy handy.

8. Select a place where you'll be out of the way but available should the painters have questions and put a comfortable chair there.

9. Every hour or so, walk around to make sure the project is going according to contract. Ask questions if something doesn't look quite right.

10. Most of all, be polite. Most contractor crews are hardworking professionals who want to do the best job they can so you'll be happy and recommend them to others. Treat them with respect and consideration, and they'll love working for you.

Takeaway Truth

In all things, the Golden Rule is the best rule to follow. Treat others as you would want to be treated.

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Christmas Comes to Dickens Collection

I'm delighted to shine a spotlight on a holiday collection that is sure to delight readers. Created by my friends, the stories in this anthology are just what you need to get in the holiday spirit.

Christmas Comes to Dickens is only 99¢ so grab it for some heartwarming holiday romance.

About This Holiday Collection

Welcome to Dickens—a quaint New England town bustling with excitement and anticipation for the upcoming Christmas holiday. 

We have the annual tree lighting in the town square, a snowman building competition, ice skating on Grosvenor’s Pond, and horse-drawn sleigh rides. 

You’re welcome to cut down your own Christmas tree at Gridley Meadows, or join in the caroling on the Common.

Dickens offers an abundance of heartfelt wishes, a few much needed miracles, and—quite possibly—a touch of magic! 

Families reunite, new friends are made, and old flames take a second chance at happiness. All while celebrating this most joyful time of the year.

USA Today and Top 100 Best Selling & Award-Winning authors wrote this special anthology:
  • Nancy Fraser
  • Maddie James
  • Caroline Clemmons
  • Bonnie Edwards
  • Liz Flaherty
  • Kathryn Hills
  • Peggy Jaeger
  • Kathleen Lawless
  • Lucinda Race
  • Jan Scarbrough.
Fill your holiday stocking with 10 brand new novellas ranging from sweet to sassy.

While you’re shopping, don’t forget to grab the FREE It’s a Dickens of a Cookie! recipe book!

Takeaway Truth

Christmas Comes to Dickens is as delightful and lovely as the cover that graces this collection. Get it today for a weekend of reading fun.

Oh, and grab the free cookie recipe book too because Christmas cookie baking is just around the corner.

Saturday Share Recipe: Limoncello

It's been a while since I shared a recipe.

Recently, Darling Hubby picked half the lemons from our Meyer Lemon tree.

What did we do with the 134 lemons? We gave a half dozen to every neighbor who wanted them.

I made lemon meringue pies, lemon pudding, and lemon chiffon cake.

After all that, we still have a pile of lemons as you can see on the photo below. We pick them green, leave them on the counter at room temperature, and they begin to turn yellow. Then we store them in the refrigerator.

We took this pile of lemons to the ranch to store in the refrigerator here. 

I'm scrambling for more recipes because the lemon tree at home still has more than 100 lemons on it that must be picked because of the cold front that came in Friday.


One of our friends in Houston said she makes limoncello when she finds lemons on sale.

What? Limoncello? I love that Italian lemon liqueur. Actually, I love anything lemon-flavored.

Never had limoncello before? You've missed out especially if you like the taste of citrus. Limoncello is a sweet liqueur with an intense flavor of lemons. It lacks the tartness of lemon juice, tasting like a spiked concoction of melted lemon drops. Delicious.

Limoncello is made mostly in Southern Italy, in the areas around the Gulf of Naples, the Sorrentine Peninsula, the Amalfi coast, and the islands of Procida, Ischia, and Capri.

I never thought it could be made at home, but it sounds really easy. My friend gave me her recipe which I now share with you.

Limoncello for Friends

  • 10 lemons
  • 1 750-ml bottle of the highest proof vodka you can afford OR an equal amount of Everclear (the facts about Everclear)
  • 3 1/2 cups of a good tasting water (I used Ozarka spring water.)
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • a lemon zester device, not really needed but it sure makes it easier to get the zest off without the white pith

1. With the lemon zester, zest all of the lemons.

If you don't have a zester, which is a special grater, use a vegetable peeler to strip the zest. Make sure you get just the colored part, not any of the white pith. Save the lemons. You can later squeeze them to get all of the juice. Place the juice in a freezer storage bag for using in future recipes.

2. Place the lemon zest in a 2-quart container and pour in the entire bottle of vodka or Everclear over it.

3. Cover the container with a lid or with plastic wrap.

4. Let the alcohol and lemon zest macerate at room temperature for 4-5 days.

5. In a large saucepan, place the water and the sugar. Stir over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. This takes about 5 minutes.

6. Remove from heat and allow mixture to cool completely.

7. Pour this cooled sugar syrup over the alcohol-lemon zest mixture.

8. Replace the cover and let stand at room temperature overnight.

9. The next day, strain the limoncello mixture to remove the zest. Throw that away.

10. Wash and sterilize the bottles you plan to use. Note: If you use wine bottles, you need to be able to cork them or use bottles with screw-on tops. You can also use canning jars with lids and rings as a last resort.

11. Pour the limoncello into the bottles or jars. Seal the containers.

12. Refrigerate until thoroughly cold, at least 4 hours before serving. You can refrigerate this liqueur from 1 month to a year. You can even put it in the freezer for longer storage. Alcohol is a great preservative so it will keep.

How to Serve Limoncello

The traditional way is to serve it well chilled, neat, meaning no ice, in a chilled cordial glass. Or, on a hot summer night, serve as a cooler in a tall glass over ice.

You can also use it to make cocktails and martinis.
limoncello in desserts and in cocktails like a Lemon Drop Martini. That will probably become your new favorite cocktail.

If you plan to make a big amount and store it for up to a year, you should know that it will begin to lose the lemony taste over time, but it's still drinkable as a very strong sweet liquor.

Takeaway Truth

We plan on making our first batch of limoncello next week. I'll take photos and tell you all about it. Wish me luck!

7 Tips About Clutter

I've written and published SlingWords since 2005. I've consistently posted new content, rarely missing 2 days in a row—until the last few months.

Several reasons explain the lapse in posting new content, but the one most to blame is moving.

Moving Sucks

One of my goals this year was to sell our 2-story house and buy a 1-story. I'm really tired of my office being upstairs.

Then COVID happened which derailed a big landscaping project we'd already started because our landscaper had COVID in the family. Fortunately, he and his family came through okay, but we had to wait months before he could finish the project.

Same story with some minor "sprucing up" we wanted done. We're still waiting for those to be completed, but 6 weeks ago we decided to de-personalize and de-clutter the house in the hope of moving forward toward our goal.

We rented a storage space to hold all the things we needed to remove from the house. The decisions we made are the inspiration for today's post.

We Did It Wrong

Most of the clutter that clogged up our closets and cupboards were possessions that had belonged to our parents and grandparents.

We did it all wrong. Instead of taking the time to think about what we were doing, we just started packing boxes and carting them to the storage unit.

Do It Right

1. Think before you pack. Sit down with your spouse and calmly discuss all the things you've accumulated through the years from purchases and inheritances. Chances are the things that mean the most to you are on display and are used frequently. It's all the other stuff that has to be intelligently dealt with.

2. Make an inventory list of all the items that you plan to pack away and store.

3. For each item, ask yourself if you've used it within the last 12 months. If not, don't spend the energy needed to pack it and move it to storage, not to mention the money to pay for a storage space.

4. Make an inventory list of all these items. If  that's too work intensive, take cell phone photos.

5. Think about each item and think about who in your family or circle of friends would appreciate receiving the item as a gift. Contact them and ask if they'd like it.

6. If you can identify no particular person, then have a family meeting or Zoom meeting with everyone and ask who would like Aunt Harriet's gravy boat or whatever.

If no one wants it, then it goes to a charity thrift store or to eBay. Immediately remove it from your home.

If more than 1 person wants the item, then immediately throw the names into a hat and draw the winner. Immediately send the item to the recipient.

7. If you find yourself weakening and thinking about all the Christmas dinners when Aunt Harriet served gravy in that piece of china—which you've never used and never will use—take a picture of it and pair it with a picture of Aunt Harriet. Frame that collage. You'll enjoy the memory of her and the holiday far more than a serving dish tucked away in a china hutch.

8. My thanks to Kay, who left a great comment below. I've added her comment as #8 on my list. "Give yourself time. Don't hurry through the process. Some things are easier to get rid of than others." She's so right. Don't rush. Be thorough and think it through.

Takeaway Truth

Be firm with yourself. Clutter does more than take up space in your home. It's a burden on your emotions. Free yourself and the storage capacity of your cupboards and closets.

Dear Santa by Some of My Best Friends


Dear Santa: A Christmas Wish
A Holiday Romance Anthology
Presented by Authors’ Billboard

The Authors’ Billboard’s 2020 fabulous Christmas Box Collection, DEAR SANTA, is filled with 18 brand new stories about characters who have special wishes to ask the big guy during this season.

Most of us have had experiences when something we’ve desperately wanted is so close that Santa seems the perfect person to ask for the miracle.

When one believes, it’s amazing the conflicts that are overcome and the surprises that can follow.
You’ll be amazed by each of these fantastic holiday books full of Christmas cheer and thrilling romance we’ve written for your entertainment.

Mimi Barbour – Alone at Christmas: Being alone is Tara’s worst nightmare, especially during the holidays. Her wish comes true when she finds Mr. Right injured and stranded, but will they survive the dangerous storm?

Rebecca York – Christmas Miracle 1935: Can he trust her enough to help free her father from jail?

Patricia Rosemoor – Marrying Molly: Dear Santa, Please let me meet a McKenna man who will help me end Sheelin O’Keefe’s horrible curse on both our families. Molly Kavanaugh

Susanne Matthews – What Dottie Wants: All Ronnie wants is to give Dottie a great Christmas, but not being able to find the doll she wants may make that impossible.

Traci Hall – Christmas Kiss: Can a teenage crush become forever love?

Angela Stevens – Dear Sinterklaas: Dan had his heart stolen by a girl on summer vacation, now it’s Christmas time, and with a little bit of magic from Sinterklaas, he hopes to make his Christmas wish come true.

Melinda Colt – Saving Maddie: The only reason demons exist is because angels do, too.

Stacy Eaton – Finding Love with Dear Santa: All Faith wants is to get her life back on track.

Stephanie Queen – He Has Santa: A second chance hockey romance.

Josie Riviera – A Chocolate Box Christmas Wish: He’s been all over the world. She’s a home-town girl. Can a holiday wish bridge the gap?

Mona Risk – Dalia’s Christmas Wish: Will the doctor make the right decision between an angry fiancée and a medical emergency?

Rachelle Ayala – Toy Soldier Christmas: Can a toy soldier make her wish come true?

Dani Haviland – A Plate of Christmas Cookies: Is it too much to ask for a second miracle?

Taylor Lee – Please Christmas: Be Done: When his 7 year old son ran away looking for Santa… and all his teenage daughter wants for Christmas is for it to be done….the district attorney concedes not only did he lose his wife to cancer, but he was in danger of losing his children.

Susan Jean Ricci – Cruising for Mr. Right: Can a widow discover second chance romance aboard a Christmas cruise and make the right choice between two adoring men?

Alyssa Bailey – Christmas Wishes and You: Beth’s Christmas Wish of a Second Chance at Love could happen if only she would be willing to risk her heart… again.

Nancy Radke – Zsuzsa’s Christmas Wish: She asks Santa for a strong man to help corral a mule that won’t stay home, and is given a rancher who plans to corral her.

Carmen DeSousa – Chicago Hope: Aspiring journalist Maura Hall dreams of changing the world, but she’ll settle for Chicago.

**Only .99 cents!!**
Amazon * Apple * B&N * Google * Kobo * Book2Read

Get a FREE compilation of the “FIRST CHAPTERS” from the Dear Santa anthology!

Book Bites 13 – Dear Santa
Amazon * B&N * Kobo

Also, swing by the Authors’ Billboard for a monthly giveaway with 
a $40 Amazon gift card and more!

Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

Christmassy Bath & Body Gift Set

Writing About Love for Love

I write about Love, and I write for Love—the Love of Writing, that is.

All of my books are some form of Romance. I write (1) funny, sexy romance with a chick lit attitude, (2) edgy Romantic Suspense, and (3) Contemporary Romance with characters falling in love when they least expect it.

I write because I love putting words together to create a story that resonates with the reader. Writing is my vocation and my passion.

Who Writes for Love of Writing?

Several years ago, I heard a University of Houston Literature professor, who was also a published poet, say that only poets wrote for the love of writing. His reasoning was that poets never make any money from writing so they do it strictly because they love stringing words together.


I disagreed with him then, and I disagree now. I know many, many writers who have written hundreds of thousands of words and have never been published yet they still keep writing. I also know too many authors who write wonderful stories that sell only a few ebook copies. Hardly enough to pay an electric bill.

Why do these authors keep writing? Because they're storytellers. Because they want to share the vision in their heads with readers. Because, dare I say, they do it because they love the writing—selecting and putting words together to show someone else the vision of their story.

Ebooks were a game changer for Authors, and Readers reap the rewards of great books that cost less than a Venti Cappuccino at Starbucks.

For Your Consideration

With the cold front that just arrived, I'm thinking of the winter weather in Brianna's Season for Miracles. My brother has already had a couple of snows at his home.

Last Christmas was the last straw for Brianna Walker. Too much whisky, too much misery, and too much loneliness. That was the unholy trinity that resulted in a very public embarrassment.

Vowing never to return to her hometown, she left for Vegas, a city where she could be anonymous instead of grist for her hometown’s gossip mill.

Brianna really hated her life. Instead of partying all night and sleeping all day, she faced the fact that if she wanted her life to be different, she had to change.

Determined to ditch her so-called friends and the seductive persona she hid behind, she vowed to do whatever was necessary so she could look at herself in the mirror without being disgusted. She knew that changing her actions wouldn’t do a darn thing to “fix” her, but she had to start somewhere.

When her father demands she come home for the holidays, she’s devastated and afraid she’ll revert to old habits to deal with social situations that have always terrified her.

Then she meets Daniel Kelly, his warmth and kindness—qualities she’d never found in any of the men she’d dated—attract her. 

To her surprise, she finds his intelligence, courtesy, and niceness enormously appealing—and sexy.

Best of all, he’s a stranger in town and doesn’t know her reputation, but she’s learned it’s safer to avoid men like him for fear she might want forever out of the relationship.

A man like Daniel would never want forever with her once he knew her true self. Knowing that doesn’t stop her from falling for him.

Daniel already knows the secret Brianna is hiding. He knows he shouldn’t complicate the situation he’s in, but the attraction between them is hot and sizzling.

What will happen when Brianna realizes Daniel has a secret too?

Takeaway Truth

Brianna's Season for Miracles is a Kindle Unlimited Free Read if you're a subscriber, or buy and keep forever.

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Review: Mystery Road

Looking for something to binge watch? Try Mystery Road on Amazon Prime.

This series is produced by Acorn and it stars two-time Oscar nominee, Judy Davis, and Aaron Pedersen, an Australian television and film actor of Arrernte and Arabana Australian Aboriginal descent. 

Judy Davis as one of the stars is what made me add this series to my Watchlist, and it was a great introduction to the fabulous Aaron Pederson who is letter perfect as the detective who never takes the easy way out and follows the investigation wherever it leads. 

This is a 2018 Acorn TV Original drama set in the Australian outback and is about 2 boys who go missing from a cattle station.

Detective Jay Swan (Pedersen) teams up with local cop Emma James (Davis) to investigate. The mystery is tangled up with other crimes that haunt the remote town.

This compelling drama keeps you guessing all the way through to the end. The acting is superb, and the story is gripping. Absolutely add this to your Watchlist. 

Want More Mystery Road

After Darling Hubby and I had watched the 2018 series, we wanted more. 

I looked around the internet and found that Mystery Road starring Aaron Pedersen was also a 2013 movie, available for rent on Amazon or on Netflix if you're a subscriber.

The mystery in the 2013 movie is about a murdered girl found under a bridge on a remote road. Detective Jay Swan gets the case. 

He finds that no-one is that interested in solving the murder of an indigenous teenager and he is forced to work alone.

After we watch the movie, I imagine we'll add Season 2 of Mystery Road to our Watchlist. 

An online blurb says, "A mangrove swamp. An endless sky. A headless body. Detective Jay Swan (Aaron Pederson) returns and takes on a grisly case in order to be closer to his family.

"This season of Mystery Road is set in a small coastal community where the desert meets the ocean and secrets past and present run deep and dark!"

Season 2 is supposed to be available on Acorn TV (download the app for your Kindle Firestick on Amazon), Hoopla, buy it as download on Apple iTunes, Google Play Movies, Vudu, Amazon Video, and FandangoNOW. Most of these are subscription services but you usually get the first week free in order to try them out.

Takeaway Truth

This Australian series is gritty and realistic with performances that are never over the top—no chewing up the scenery. Instead, they are subtle and low-key and more effective for the restraint shown. Totally awesome series.  

All Author Cover Art Contest Has The Key To Kristina

I really liked the cover for my latest release The Key To Kristina so I entered it in theOctober Cover of the Month contest sponsored by!

They say not to judge a book by its cover, but I need you to do just that.

If you like the cover of my book, The Key To Kristina, please vote for it for the Cover of the Month contest on!

I need as much support as I can get because I really think this cover nails the premise of this mystery-romance that one reviewer called: "Brilliant!!Fantastic book. Very hard to put down."

Please take a short moment to vote for my book cover.

Click to Vote!

Because I'm posting this link on Blogger, a Google product, you get a re-direct notice from Google that says:

"The previous page is sending you to If you do not want to visit that page, you can return to the previous page." If you get that notice, just click the first link on it, i.e.,

Takeaway Truth

Thank you for your support. Please vote and tell a friend too.

Review: Enola Holmes on Netflix

Want to watch something that's a lot of fun? Try Netflix's Enola Holmes.

Millie Bobby Brown, one of the ensemble cast members of Stranger Things, and Netflix have struck gold with this movie.

The movie is based on The Case of the Missing Marquess, the first book in the Enola Holmes series by Nancy Springer.

The movie makes the most of the author's intriguing premise of Enola being the teenage sister of Sherlock and Mycroft Holmes. 

Sherlock is already a famous detective, and Mycroft is a member of the House of Lords and determined to keep "change" away from England.

Amazon has all of the Enola Holmes books available if you want to grab the first one or take a leap and get the first 6 books in 1 package

Since the first book in the young adult detective series opens on Enola's 14th birthday, the series is good for tween and teen readers.

Enola Holmes, The Movie

Unlike the book, the movie opens on Enola's 16th birthday.

When her mother disappears, Enola is to be handed off to her brothers Mycroft and Sherlock who have had no interest in her once they left home. 

Enola is to be Mycroft's ward, but her "blithe" spirit and intelligence akin to Sherlock's makes that arrangement anathma to her.

Instead, she runs away, taking the train to London, but her plans go awry when she meets the runaway Marquess. Together they get into more danger than one would imagine, and Enola learns that all of the truths her mother told her about life must be tempered with some new-found wisdom.

Directed by Harry Bradbeer, from a screenplay by Jack Thorne, the cast is headed by Millie Bobby Brown who also is credited as Producer on the film.

The wonderful Henry Cavill portrays Sherlock with Sam Claflin as the stuffy Mycroft. 

Adeel Akhtar is the Marquess, Fiona Shaw is the horrible director of the finishing school where Enola is more or less imprisoned.

The marvelous Helena Bonham Carter plays Enola's mother who has many secrets and enemies.

Warner Brothers had planned this movie for a theatrical release, but COVID derailed that plan. They ended up selling distribution rights to Netflix.

My Thoughts

Delightful family-friendly mystery movie that is suitable for all ages. Great story, presented well by the director and the cast. Millie Bobby Brown is superb as Enola. After a bit, you stop thinking of her as Elle, or 11.

I think this movie will be so successful that a franchise will have been born. I look forward to a second installment of an Enola Holmes movie.

Takeaway Truth

If you haven't watched Enola Holmes yet, add it to your Watchlist. If you're not a Netflix subscriber, ask a friend who is to invite you over to watch it. You'll enjoy it.