Friday, August 3, 2018

Blood Garnets and Murder by Geeta Kakade

Life often intervenes and breaks up one's routine.  In January, I needed to get back to something I enjoyed doing.  I started a writing group in my neighborhood (no commuting).  As I helped two new writers get started and shape their ideas, I started listening to what I was saying.   I took my own advice, and started plotting a book.  The result, six months later, is 'Blood Garnets and Murder.'
Plotting a mystery is hard work, and writing it is a challenge.  Critiqued by my group and one other, I also received considered help from a retired police officer.  I soon discovered there's a great deal of difference in east and west coast policing, in terms, names and phrases.  
I learned a lot in this process.  Challenging my mind/brain to plot and write again and remembering what I'd written was a great brain exercise for me.  I started feeling more energized, waking up earlier, looking forward to get to my writing.
My advice to all those seniors out something that you enjoy and that challenges you.
Here's the result of all that hard work, thanks to my group and my publisher Jude Pittman at Books We Love Publishing.

An excerpt:
'Maya’s holistic center, 'Nithya Shanti', in Southern California, offers alternative medical treatments plus an opportunity to align mind, body and soul. The name means 'Daily Peace', but that carefully created environment of massages, meditation and mindful living is going to be tested every which way there is. Her blood garnet earrings are a reminder that the stones offer protection. From whom? Or from what?
Apple isn’t taken in by holistic mumbo jumbo. What is this place anyway? An internal lube joint? A con center? Well no one’s fooling her. She’s keeping notes, and reporting this place’s attempt to separate gullible seniors and their money to the CIA, FBI or Homeland Security. While she gathers evidence, her personal mantra is ‘So Help Me’.
When murder takes center stage at Nithya Shanti, finding the killer and saving an innocent person takes top priority. Maya and Apple find sleuthing makes life very interesting. The two seniors unite to prove that they may be old, but they are not extinct.'

If you have something positive to say, please leave a review.
Available on, and Barnes and Noble.

Friday, February 20, 2015


“If you have (or even if you don’t have) a bucket list, what top priority thing(s) do you want to accomplish?”

I’ve always had a bucket list.  It’s overflowing with ideas and I love the thought its there.  It's an idea bank, I can go to it, make withdrawals when I’m thinking ‘what next’?  I also feel good just knowing its there:  like a kid with a security blanket. 
As long as I have it, there’s no chance I’ll die of boredom.  Other things, for sure but boredom, never!

The first thing on the list is one I have no choice about.  It is to control my diabetes.  Meeting the daily challenges of testing, focusing on diet, exercise and rest, ensure I get a day pass to do what I would like to that day.  There are no exceptions to this routine, unless I want to have a ‘sick day’ or a couple.  Interestingly enough my experiences with diabetes are resulting in a cookbook to help others like myself.

The second thing on the list is completing my Dad’s memoirs.  He was in the British Army in the Second World War and fought in Burma, now Myanmar.  The journal keeping ways of the British rubbed off on him and his notes are imprinted in my memory.  I read them so often as a young adult.  The stories he shared of being a soldier, the war, India’s Independence, the painful partition of India and Pakistan and his transition into what became the Indian Army, were better than any book on the topic I could read.

The third thing on that list is my own memoirs.  Is it that time already?  Yes, it is. 
I have my own stories to share now of growing up in post Independence India and hopefully when others read these books my words will paint pictures of the world as I experienced it.

Last but not least is to find the right publisher for these books.
Know an editor interested in any/all the above projects?  I’d love an intro. 
In the meantime I’ll keep doing what I love best…dreaming and writing.

Rhobin, thanks for coming up with such a great Round Robin topic.
Now as I’m dying to see what the others have to say on the matter and gather a great deal more info along the way, lets check out this blog:

I’m listing the rest of the participants too, so you can get a really good overview of bucket lists.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Round Robin, November 22nd, 2014

"What is your favorite food or meal? (Doesn't have to have anything to do with Thanksgiving, although it can if you want it to.)  Tell why it is so scrumptious, and how you got hooked on it, where you first had it, etc. If you want to share a recipe, great!"


“You might get him with the way you look, but you’ll keep him by the way you cook.”

My mother, a cross between Jane Austen’s Mrs. Bennet and Indian saintly mothers, (and a very outspoken woman to boot) always said that. 

Growing up in post British India and in an Army family, we were exposed to both Western and Eastern cuisine.  Coming from a family of foodies we loved everything we ate!   My mother made a wonderful British dessert that I loved…Trifle.  She said the reason I liked it so much was the alcohol in the recipe  and she was afraid that I would follow in my father’s footsteps and become enslaved by the demon rum!
  I got hooked on Trifle as a child I guess.  I had inherited my mother’s sweet tooth and that made all desserts the best part of every meal.  This one with it’s layers of sponge cake (angel food), custard, fruit, cream and sherry/rum/brandy is superlicious.
  When I was 14 and enrolled in cooking class (in the hope that talent would make me irresistible to future prospects in the field of matrimony) I came across Trifle again…this time as Pineapple Trifle.  I can’t remember if it was my mother or I who changed it to Mango Trifle, with the fruit we love best. 
  From the time I was 16, I made the trifle for any party/get together at home.  My mother would proudly announce that I was a good cook, in the hope that the family and friends grapevine would relay this to the parents of prospective grooms and snag me a good match!!!  Sorry that’s such a long sentence but it has to be read like that to get the full impact.
  In the ‘mango season’ here I get the best Kent mangoes for the trifle and then freeze some of the chopped up fruit, so that on Christmas  or New Year’s we can have this delectable dessert.
It isn’t just the dish, it’s the memories associated with it that makes it a favorite.

  Hope you enjoyed this story and if you know an editor who wants a book of them, just give her my email address. While there’s life there’s hope …and Mango Trifle.
  Anyway to cut a long story short, here’s the link to the adored ‘Mango Trifle’ on my cooking blog “Payt Pooja’ which literally means worship of the stomach.  (Indians do it all the time with food.)

Now lets wander over to the other delicacies other chefs have posted for this Round Robin. Thanks Robin for thinking this one up!

Friday, October 24, 2014

BOO! 'The scariest thing that has ever happened!'

Round Robin Blog OCTOBER 2014
(Rhobin thanks as always.)

Topic: What is the scariest thing that has happened to you?

In 1986 (yes, all that time ago), I was driving on the freeway to pick up the kids from school when the car lost speed.
Wondering what was happening I tried to pull to the shoulder and stop and realized my brakes had failed and I couldn't stop my car.
I used the handbrake and nothing happened.
Fear swamped me.
The steering wheel seemed to work because I got off the freeway and took the exit...coasting.
It was a slope and in a horrible minute the car had picked up speed.  
I looked up.
I was about to enter an intersection and the lights changed against me.
Fear escalated to terror and all I could say was, "Oh God! Oh God! Oh God!."
I braced myself as the car raced through the intersection and thank God went  through four lanes of traffic and up against a pole and stopped with a horrible crash!
All that in five seconds.
School had let out and I was just aware I hadn't hit anyone, especially the children walking home, before I passed out.
I had concussion and severe whiplash as I had done the worst thing I could possibly do...braced myself for the accident.  It took months of therapy to be able to use my arms properly and the pain in my neck and shoulders has never completely gone away.
The car was totaled but eventually I was fine. 

That was one of the two most scariest things that have ever happened to me.  Even writing about it now revives memories of the horror.

Now lets float over to Marci's and see what she has to say on this topic.

And here are the others in the group with spectral insight too:

Heidi M. 
Skye Taylor
Anne Stenhouse
A.J. Maguire
Rachael Kosnski
Margaret Fieland
Geeta Kakade 
Marci Baun
Beverley Bateman
Victoria Chatham
Diane Bator
Fiona McGier
Ginger Simpson
Rhobin Courtright

Friday, August 22, 2014


Topic: Have you ever read or written a story that had a secondary character take over a story?

In my first published romance, ‘Faith, Hope and Love,’ the housekeeper Hannah (thrown in for light relief) stole the scene quite a number of times.
The story begins with Rachel the heroine and Luke the hero in court over custody of Luke’s infant nephew.  When Rachel collapses, Luke blames himself and takes her home to his ranch and Hannah.
Hannah’s worked for Luke’s parents since she was a teenager and is a member of the family now.  Deeply upset by the death of Luke’s brother and his wife and passionately wanting to set things right for their infant son Gordie, Hannah knows Rachel and Luke were made for each other.
As soon as Hannah senses the special tension between Rachel and Luke, she starts matchmaking with a vengeance. 
At one point she almost earned an entire chapter to her ‘good works’.  It was hard to keep her within the parameters of her role as secondary character as the story went on!

A friend told me she got caught up in the book just waiting to see what Hannah would do next to bring Luke and Rachel together.  That’s a compliment every writer needs to hear every now and then.

Thanks Rhobin for all you do.

Let’s head over to Rhobin’s blog to see her input on this topic.

Rhobin Courtright

Here are the other members participating this month:

Victoria Chatham