I am excited to welcome Fran back to Escape with Dollycas!
Playing with Words by Fran Stewart
Guest Post Provided By Publicist
What do I do and where do I go when I want to escape any sort of humdrum? Not that my life is humdrum at all. I can always find something to intrigue me, amuse me, or inspire me. But there are those times when I want to veg out, and I find myself playing with words. Writers do that sort of thing. A lot. At least, this writer does.
Several years ago, for instance, I meant to type the word centimeter, but it came out sentimeter. That made me think about sentiment, sensation, sensible, and so on. At the time I was planning to drive 150 miles to pick up my first beehive.
But anyway, sent words led to scent words, which led to the following list, which I put together later while I sat outside one morning on the back deck next to my two hives, sipping tea, and listening to the songs of my 42,000 tiny yellow and brown-striped girlfriends. Talk about escaping somewhere? I was in heaven, even while I gleefully misspelled each one of these key words:
Scentence: the bedrock of a writer, the way odors are the bedrock of a beehive;
Scentient: really, really smart about figuring things out by paying attention to what they smell like;
Scentillate: the action of making bees curious by wearing a particular perfume;
Scentimeter: what a worker bee uses to distinguish her hive mates from outsiders;
Scentinal: the guard bee who uses that scentimeter to decide whether or not an incoming bee can be admitted to the hive;
Scentry: another name for the guard bee I just mentioned;
Scentsation: the excitement in the hive when an incoming forager proclaims a new abundant source of nectar and pollen;
Scentsibility: what inspired Jane Austen to write as she sat among the beehives in her family’s garden;
Scententious: what bees and writers shouldn’t “bee.”
Two Scents Worth: what I enjoy putting into conversations and enjoy hearing from others as well. Feel free to put your two scents’ worth into a comment below!
Then I went onto other bee-related words and came up with:
Nectar-grination: flying all around the place to find some flowers that have enough nectar to be interesting.
Queenification: the process of eliminating a weak queen and producing a new one.
Beebreadify: To bring bee bread (a rich mixture of pollen and various liquids) down from the storage cells and feed it to the baby bees.
Cleansi-depoopifi-dumpification: Taking the queen’s waste products away from her and depositing them outside the hive.
Scrubba-dubba-da-deck: What Frannie will have to do next summer after a lot of cleansidepoopifidumpification has been going on.
I ended up using some of the words in both of these lists in the beekeeping blog I wrote for a couple of years, so if you’ve seen them before, please understand I thought they were too good not to be recycled. In the meantime, I continue to play with words every chance I get.
Thank you Fran for dropping by today!
A Wee Homicide in the Hotel
(A ScotShop Mystery)
3rd in Series
Setting – Vermont
A Berkley Prime Mystery
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Release Date – February 7, 2017
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
The national bestselling author of A Wee Dose of Death returns to Hamelin, Vermont, where Peggy Winn, owner of a Scottish-themed shop, is spectator to caber tossing, sword dancing, and just a spot of murder…
Hamelin is overflowing with tourists enjoying the Scottish-themed games—and most of them are donning tartans from Peggy Winn’s ScotShop. And her fourteenth-century ghostly companion, Dirk, has been indispensable, keeping an eye out for shoplifters and matching customers’ family names to their clan plaid.
Adding to the chaos is Big Willie, a longtime champion of the games, but not everyone is happy to have him in town. So when he misses the first event of the weekend, Peggy senses something is awry. After Willie is discovered dead in his hotel room, the victim of a bagpipe-related crime, Peggy decides it’s up to her and Dirk to suss out a murderer.
Nothing puts a damper on a festival quicker that a murder especially when it is a long time champion of the Hamelin Highland Festival that is found dead in his hotel room. Peggy was just getting to know the man and finding his body was so traumatic. She starts her own investigation with her handsome ghost’s assistance. To add to the excitement the town in crawling with Secret Service. It appears the President wants drop in for a visit.
This story has a slow build as we get to know some new characters, especially Big Willie, the former champion who is killed and his Scottie Silla. Big Willie’s body is found about halfway into the story and the pace picks up considerably. There are two plots that converge along with another subplot to keep us turning those pages.
Ms. Stewart brings humor to this story with Peggy still explaining current time expressions and things to Dirk as he struggles with the ways of modern times. She does trust him more to go off by himself and they are learning to work together. She keeps his speech and its patterns true to his Scottish 14th century time. This was a bit frustrating for me in the first book but now it is natural for me to read. I can even hear the lilt in his voice. The author also tells a bit of the story from Scottie Silla’s point of view. Touched my heart as a pet mourned the lost of her companion.
As always the majority of the story takes place in or close by to out protag’s ScotShop. I can picture the store very clearly in my mind. Peggy also has a tent selling ties and scarves at the festival. I need to give a little shout out to Jessie Reisch for the amazing cover art for this book. Those two adorable Scotties with the festival grounds take me right into the story.
These characters have warmed my heart. Cozy lovers will love Peggy and Dirk. I suggest reading the series in order though so you don’t miss a minute.
About The Author
Fran is the author of fourteen books, including the Biscuit McKee mystery series and the ScotShop mysteries, as well as A SLAYING SONG TONIGHT and FROM THE TIP OF MY PEN: a workbook for writers. When she isn’t writing or otherwise playing/working with words, she loves to read, sing, knit, garden, put jigsaw puzzles together, and volunteer in her grandchildren’s school library. She lives and writes quietly beside a creek on the other side of Hog Mountain, Georgia, after having moved repeatedly from her birth through her fourth decade. The small fictional towns she writes about embody the hometown she always wanted—except for the murders.
To find out more about Fran Stewart and her books on her webpage here.
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”