Cold Heart is getting positive reviews so it’s a good time to celebrate! Black Rose Writing and Goodreads are partnering to give away 3 autographed copies of Cold Heart.

Goodreads is the world’s largest site for readers and book recommendations. Their mission is to help people find and share books they love.

Entering the contest is easy: you just enter your mailing information, and Goodreads will inform the winners at the end of May! Click here to enter the contest

Also, I want to give a BIG thank you to everyone who has written a review! They mean a lot to me and I truly appreciate them! I want to highlight a recent review that really made my day, but you can read all the Amazon reviews here.

 

Old Spirituals readers, I need your help. I’m used to floundering around to find an answer to historical mysteries but I’ve finally found one that I can’t seem to crack.

I’m working on Book #3, which is about a murder that took place in Missouri, and right there we have the mystery. How do you pronounce Missouri? Is it Missouree or Missourah?

You’d think I could get away with just writing it and not pronouncing it, but people often ask about my books so it comes up.

Last week, for instance, I had two conversations that illustrate why this is a pressing question. In the first one, I referred to Missouree, and the other person said, “It’s pronounced Missourah.”

Two days later, I mentioned to a different person that the new book takes place in Missourah, and this heartless person laughed and said, “You mean Missouree?”

I hate mispronouncing things, though I do it all the time. I went to YouTube for the answer, but came away even more confused. More people say Missouree, but that doesn’t mean it’s correct. Also, in the state itself, there’s a large percentage of people who say Missourah, including employees at the historical society I’ve been working with. Apparently, even the governor of Missouri alternately calls the state Missourah and Missouree.

The only other word I have this trouble with is “niche”, as in a niche market. (Is it neesh or nitch? Whichever way I say it, the person I’m talking to will invariably correct me and tell me the opposite.) I just stopped using “niche” but I can’t get away with avoiding “Missouri”.

In the future, it’s probably best to avoid writing about locations I can’t pronounce, but since I’ve already put in a lot of work on this one, can anyone shed some light on this mystery?

A tip o’ the glass to Old Spirituals’ friend, and the editor of The Poisoned Glass, Beth Crosby, for pointing out that today is National Absinthe Day!

Absinthe was a central element to my first book, The Poisoned Glass, which is the true and tragic story of 17-year-old Jennie Bosschieter’s murder in 1900. And in honor of National Absinthe Day, here is the first cover of The Poisoned Glass, a lovely original drawing by acclaimed artist Alexandra Balestrieri! If you would like to see more of Alexandra’s artwork, I highly recommend visiting her Instagram and her page on Etsy!

Alexandra Balestrieri original artwork for The Poisoned Glass

 

If you aren’t familiar with absinthe, it’s a legendary type of spirit that tastes like licorice. In the US, it ranges between 90-148 proof. It’s a plant-based alcohol made from fennel, wormwood, anise, and other herbs.

 

The Absinthe Drinkers (1881) by Jean Francois Raffaelli.

 

It’s noted primarily for being a controversial drink, which is said to bring on hallucinations, which made it a favorite with turn-of-the-century artists. Its nickname la fée verte, or the green fairy, comes from its distinctive green color. In advertisements it’s often depicted with a green woman, luring the viewer to drink a glass.

Absinthe originates in Switzerland, though many associate it with France. Its reputation as a dangerous drink resulted in its being banned in 1915 in the United States.

There’s good news for those who are interested in trying absinthe: it’s back on the market today! Have you tried absinthe? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!

Old Absinthe House, New Orleans, circa 1900