Relax, It’s a First-World Problem

Sarah Scott, author

Today I wel­come Sarah Scott to Terry’s Place. Sarah is the author of Lies at Six, a mys­tery steeped in the South and TV news. She lives in Ash­ford, Wash­ing­ton where she owns and man­ages the eco-lodging Cedar Loft Cabin at Mt. Rainier.

Per­spec­tive can be all, can’t it?
Next time, after I’ve cued the “Oh me, oh my” sound­track, I hope I’ll press pause. Is the dif­fi­culty of the moment truly calami­tous? Or is it just a quandary of priv­i­lege? In other words, is it a First-World prob­lem? I came across that line last year, and it’s been my per­cep­tual yard­stick since.
In Jan­u­ary, I found myself com­plain­ing about costly, pokey, and some­times non-existent inter­net ser­vice. I did this, mind you, from my state­room on a cruise ship tour­ing the Vir­gin Islands. Now that’s a First-World problem.
Con­tinue read­ing

St. Patrick’s Day in N. Ireland



My daugh­ter lives in North­ern Ire­land, and I thought I’d repeat the post she shared about the hol­i­day for last year. It’s NOT corned beef and cabbage.

St. Patrick’s Day is truly a world-wide hol­i­day, and here in North­ern Ire­land we cel­e­brate with the best of ‘em. Belfast puts on a big carnival-style parade, com­plete with floats and musi­cians. Most peo­ple have the day off work and schools are closed. The bars and pubs will be teem­ing with peo­ple, as you might expect. It’s a big day out for adults and chil­dren alike. And with any luck it won’t rain that much. But a lit­tle rain rarely damp­ens the spir­its of the locals.
Yes, as you might expect, there is a bit of a polit­i­cal prob­lem with the event. You will always have a small minor­ity of peo­ple out there try­ing to prove some point by being dis­rup­tive. How­ever, the police expect that and for the most part, the big cel­e­bra­tions go off with­out a hitch. I have a few friends who make a habit of try­ing to catch any “mis­be­hav­ior” on film, as I know many ama­teur photographers.
Other than per­haps some pipes and drums, you aren’t likely to hear what most Amer­i­cans would call “tra­di­tional” Irish music. No one will be singing “Danny Boy” or “Four Green Fields”, but it’s a good day out for most all the same. And you won’t find corned beef and cab­bage on a menu any­where. That’s a purely Irish-American inven­tion. Irish stew, soda bread, wheaten bread, and col­can­non (mashed pota­toes with cab­bage and ham) are more likely to be found. And please don’t look for green beer. Don’t pinch some­one if they’re not wear­ing green. Just grab a pint of Guin­ness, Smith­wicks, or Harp and a wee dram of whiskey and relax.
And, for the record, it’s “St. Pat’s” or “St. Paddy’s”. Never call it “St. Patty’s Day”. Patty is short for Patri­cia, while Paddy is short for Patrick!

Tips for Guest Blogging

What I’m read­ing: Ignited, by Kaylea Cross

Poster-FollowDirectionsOne of my tasks as a mem­ber of Booklover’s Bench is to man­age the con­tests. Many of our authors offered Kin­dle, Nook, or other e-book down­load for­mats as their prizes. When win­ners were noti­fied, they said, “I don’t want it; I don’t have an e-reader.” So why did they enter?

So, today, I’d like to take a moment to dis­cuss some­thing that should be a given for adults. Fol­low­ing direc­tions. Very soon, I’ll be open­ing my blog to guests for the next quar­ter. I enjoy hav­ing other view­points on my blog, and, frankly, enjoy hav­ing some­one else come up with a post for me. Should be a time saver, right? After sev­eral years of host­ing guests, I’ve learned that this isn’t as sim­ple or intu­itive a task as it seems.

Per­haps guests have no under­stand­ing of what it entails to put up a post. Rarely is it as sim­ple as “copy and paste” onto the plat­form. And, part of the idea of host­ing guests is to reduce my work­load, not increase it.

To make things eas­ier, and to cut down on time and effort with back-and-forth emails to guests I came up with guidelines/instructions for being a guest on my blog. They’re not really all that com­pli­cated. If you’re look­ing to be a blog guest any­where, here are some tips:

Con­tinue read­ing

Taking Time Off

birthday cakeI decided that I would cel­e­brate my birth­day with a day off from blog­ging. I’ll spend time read­ing, maybe plan­ning my next book, and get­ting ready for Sleuth­Fest in Orlando on Thurs­day. The blog will carry on as usual for the rest of the week, but today, I’ve got a gift for you. I’ve uploaded a never-before-seen scene from Nowhere to Hide. This is Colleen’s arrival in Orlando, one that never made it into the book. In fact, other than my cri­tique group at the time, nobody’s seen it.

And, a cou­ple of other gifts:

I still have some audio book coupons for free down­loads from All you have to do is ask. Plus, if you missed it, Find­ing Sarah is free at Kobo and Smash­words; 99 cents at Ama­zon, B&N and Apple (only because they won’t let me set it to free).

If you want to give me a present, how about a “Like” on my Face­book page if you haven’t already done so.

Hope every­one has a great day.

Tomor­row, my guest is J.R. Lin­der­muth, who’s shar­ing tips for writ­ing press releases that get used. I know I’ll be back. How about you?


Happy December 25th

Here’s my annual “not-really-Christmas” post. Hope your day, regard­less of what you cel­e­brate, is a good one.




Chinese Restaurant Sign

Hidden Fire audio book by Terry OdellAlso, I just found out that Hid­den Fire is now live as an audio book. You can find it at now, and it’ll show up via Ama­zon and at iTunes soon. Some­thing to lis­ten to while you’re trav­el­ing for the holidays.

Looking Ahead

What I’m read­ing:  Don’t Say a Word, by Bar­bara Freethy

Happy Holidays

                        Happy Hol­i­days from my house to yours

I imag­ine most of you are bogged down with hol­i­day prepa­ra­tions, travel, tak­ing in guests, being a guest, etc. It’s also a time when we start to look for­ward to the next year. I’ve been think­ing about next year, and thought I’d share a few things that I’m planning.

First, this blog has some great guests lined up for the first quar­ter of 2014. There’s always a list of recent and upcom­ing guests in the side­bar. I’m plan­ning to con­tinue recipe shar­ing (and always look­ing for more) and Fri­day Field Trips should resume in Jan­u­ary (always look­ing for pho­tos, too!).

Nook Simple TouchMy next quar­terly newslet­ter will go out the first week in Jan­u­ary. If you’re not already a sub­scriber, I sug­gest you click the newslet­ter tab in the side­bar and fill out the form. (Note – it’s a 2 step process, so once you hit sub­mit, watch your email for the con­fir­ma­tion and click through on that link.) What will my sub­scribers have in store? In addi­tion to sneak peeks and other exclu­sive con­tent, I’ll be con­tin­u­ing my con­tests and give­aways, full of things from me and from authors I know and enjoy. Also, there will be some great prizes, includ­ing a Nook Sim­ple Touch. Take a moment and sign up now.


I’ve also got another box of books to give away when I hit 2000 “likes” on my Face­book Page. If you haven’t clicked the ‘like’ but­ton yet, I hope you’ll do that, too.

I’m still think­ing about a “Street Team” and have been col­lect­ing lots of gifts for those who join. Watch this blog for more infor­ma­tion as things come together.

Thanks for stop­ping by. I’ll let you get back to your hol­i­day prepa­ra­tions and cel­e­bra­tions! But please find time to stop by tomor­row when Elaine Cantrell is in the Inter­view Room.

The Rule of Three and a Potpourri

red pencilI’m over at The Blood-Red Pen­cil today, where the Decem­ber sched­ule is run­ning favorite posts from the past. Hope you’ll pop over.

There’s still time to enter Kay Kendall’s give­away. Scroll down to Tuesday’s Post.


Booklover's Bench logoThe Booklover’s Bench Decem­ber con­test is open for entries. Con­test runs through the 18th. Enter to win.



Whats In A Name? by Terry Odell Audio CoverI’ve still got some audio book coupons for What’s in a Name? I’d love a review in return, but it’s not required. You can lis­ten to the first chap­ter at Sound Cloud if you’d like a pre­view. (And there’s a like but­ton there, too.)


And, a spe­cial Thank You! to all my read­ers who have kept Dan­ger­ous Con­nec­tions in the top 5 Action-Adventure Romances at Ama­zon. You’re the best! (I’d love reviews there, too).  Dangerous Connections by Terry Odell





My Fri­day Field trips are going to take a vaca­tion for the hol­i­days. If you have pic­tures to share for next year, let me know.

And, lastly, I’m open­ing up blog spots for 2014. Use the con­tact form if you’d like to be my guest. Still Tues­days, and still a choice of arti­cles or inter­views. Read­ers as well as writ­ers are welcome.

Happy Thanksgiving, Happy Hanukkah

Menorah, night 2, photo by Terry Odell







Or, Happy Thanksgivukkah.

This year, Hanukkah coin­cides with Thanks­giv­ing. I wish all of you a safe and happy hol­i­day, no mat­ter what you’re celebrating.

I’m thank­ful for each of you who takes the time to stop by my blog.

My gift to you is a new addi­tion to The Cut­ting Room Floor sec­tion of my web­site. With the release of What’s in a Name? as an audio book, I’ve uploaded the orig­i­nal, first draft ver­sion of the first chap­ter. You can read it here.

Friday Field Trip — NINC at Myrtle Beach

I was in Myr­tle Beach last week for the NINC (Nov­el­ists, Inc.) con­fer­ence. Given the logis­tics of the hotel’s loca­tion and the way the con­fer­ence kept us busy with work­shops, I didn’t get out much. But I thought I’d share the very basic “what it was like” type pho­tos. Noth­ing artsy, noth­ing fancy, just ‘where I went on my non-vacation.’

First, after check­ing in, I went up to my room to check it out and found one of my favorite hotel ameni­ties in the closet.

Marriott Hotel Robe
The room was billed as one with an ocean view, so I checked that out, too.

Myrtle Beach via Terry Odell
Next, I decided that since this was my only free time, and the only time the weather was going to be warm, I’d walk along the beach.

Shore at Myrtle Beach, photo by Terry Odell Con­tinue read­ing