Author, Barbara Studham


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Creating A Children’s Book

My latest project!

I am so pleased to be creating the story line for my new children’s picture book. Friend, and artist, Heather Lamb, is the illustrator and has perfectly captured the essence of my characters. As creating a children’s picture book is a first for us both, it is definitely a learning process, but exciting nonetheless. The story and theme will be released at a later date, as will the book in 2017. For now, we will continue to work diligently to perfect our work in the hope of pleasing children everywhere.

My efforts to date.

While I have much catching up to do before I could even remotely emulate Heather’s artistic talent, for those of you who have shown curiosity over how my art lessons are progressing, here are a couple of acrylic paintings I completed over the past couple of weeks. I’m aware there is a lot of practice in my future!

For anyone interested in picking up artist’s tips, a great link is: http://www.paintingclass.net, where artist David Dunlop offers valuable information. He is a fantastic artist in many genres, and his blog is definitely worth a subscribe. He also offers DVD’s of works in progress.


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What is a cozy mystery?

Well, for a start, a cozy mystery is a fiction genre.

I have to admit, not until someone who had read my book, The Bathing Beauty, said, “Barbara, I loved your cozy mystery” had I ever heard the word cozy used in relation to a book. As a writer, I should have known what a cozy was, but, too embarrassed to ask, I thanked her for the compliment then turned to the Internet for help.

“Cozy… cozy… hmm… let’s see,” I said as I googled—What is a cozy?

Fifteen million, eight hundred thousand results came up. Which means, that amount of people and probably more know what a cozy is. Pathetically, though I had written several, I was not one of them.

So, just what is a cozy mystery?

Well, according to the first few of those fifteen million, eight hundred thousand results, a cozy is a fiction genre, usually a mystery. Some of the stipulations for a cozy are:

  • A cozy mystery does NOT drip with gore, blood, violence, nor vulgarity.
  • The emphasis of a cozy is on the whodunit aspect of the story, not the sensationalism of the crime.
  • The crime solver is an amateur sleuth, usually a woman.
  • The victim is often someone the amateur sleuth knows.
  • Evidence arouses the sleuth’s curiosity.
  • The amateur sleuth is a bit snoopy and actively seeks out gossip for clues.
  • She generally doesn’t stop until she solves the crime.
  • The activity takes place in villages or hamlets, where people know their neighbors and individual quirkiness is not only accepted but also often celebrated.

Given all those points, I was thrilled to come to the conclusion that Milly Mullan, amateur sleuth in my Under the Shanklin Sky fiction series, who actually is a bit of a snoop, though she would never admit it, falls into the cozy mystery genre. She is also featured in my next two books in the series: The Faring Foxglove, and, The Bathing Beauty. Right now I am editing the manuscripts for the next three in the series, titled, A Hint of Spring, The Spitting Image, and Mann Overboard, which will be available in 2017.

Under the Shanklin Sky, The Faring Foxglove, and, The Bathing Beauty, are available now at your Amazon store, or the following links, and many other ebook distributors:

http://www.amazon.com/author/barbarastudham

https://www.store.kobobooks.com

http://www.barnesandnoble.com

Available in 2017 from your Amazon store:

A Hint of Spring

A Hint of Spring

A Hint of Spring: A Hint of Spring is the fourth in the, Under the Shanklin Sky, fiction series and a brand new adventure for Milly Mullan. Rain, hail, sleet, gale; the petulant, English winter reluctantly gives way to spring by mercilessly battering Shanklin, on the Isle of Wight. Conversely, spring ushers in a new adventure for retiree, Milly Mullan, resident of flat number 6 in the Old Stone House situated on Hope Beach. Anticipating an upcoming fundraising gala, she is shocked to discover the host, Evelyn Scott, is embezzling funds from the charitable agency: Triple-F. With little evidence, Milly drags her obnoxious daughter, Rosie, into the fray, who then witnesses Evelyn’s murder. With so many suspects, all of whom hated Evelyn, Milly is at a loss as to whodunit. Was it Crystal, the receptionist at Triple-F, who held a long-standing grudge against Evelyn; or, perhaps, Evelyn’s love affair, married man, Fred Barker-Ford, of Barker-Ford dog foods, and collaborator in crime? Or, was the killer Tom Fielding, a local health and fitness business owner who, for personal reasons, detested Evelyn Scott. As Milly delves deeper into the case, she inadvertently saves scores of seniors from financial ruin. Given that, and her solving the case of Evelyn Scott’s murder, she is abruptly elevated to bees’ knees status in the eyes of Shanklin’s locals.

The Spitting Image

The Spitting Image

The Spitting Image: To be, or not to be, that is definitely the question in the fifth in the Under the Shanklin Sky fiction series, The Spitting Image. When something is afoot, leave it to retiree, Milly Mullan, to be forefront in solving the case. Residing in flat number six of the Old Stone House situated on Hope Beach in the seaside town of Shanklin on the Isle of Wight, she ruthlessly hunts down the suspect until all is revealed. This time, the suspects are an attractive church-going couple, Sarah and Martin Kendall, who turn into greedy, trigger-happy blackmailers. However, Martin suddenly goes missing, but, in place of grief, Milly senses Sarah’s relief. Piecing clues together, she completes the puzzle to Martin’s disappearance during her visit to Windsor’s Theatre Royal where snobby guest presenter Sir Nigel Evans introduces a play… but is it really Sir Nigel? Suspicious, Milly relentlessly searches for clues until all is exposed and the Kendalls get what they deserve.

 

Mann Overboard

Mann Overboard

Mann Overboard: In Mann Overboard, the sixth in the Under the Shanklin Sky fiction series, a howling storm rages through the town of Shanklin on the Isle of Wight, but not before retiree, Milly Mullan, amateur sleuth, eavesdrops on two young women, one of whom is seeking revenge on her ex-boyfriend. Feeling foolish for listening to teenage gossip, when the young man is found washed up on the beach the next day, Milly reluctantly confesses to her daughter, Rosie, that she believes foul play is afoot. Two witnesses, however, admit to seeing the young lad, the evening before, tossing stones into the raging surf, causing police to believe he was overcome by the sea. But, Milly knows better. So, how does a lost, silver, charm bracelet eventually lead her to the truth? Does it belong to the young man’s killer, or is it just coincidence that the revenge seeker was seen wearing it the night before his death? Find out more in, Mann Overboard.

 


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Visiting Confederation Park

Time To Relax!

After twenty years of raising four grandchildren with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (see my blog http://www.challengedhope.com), I often seek ways to relax. Right now, I de-stress through my writing, my new love of learning how to paint seascapes, and also visiting one of my favorite places:  Confederation Park on Lake Ontario.

photos of Confederation Park

photos of Confederation Park

If you are planning a trip to Hamilton Ontario next summer, a visit to Confederation Park is a must. Situated on Lake Ontario, it is an ideal spot for relaxing and picnicking on the sandy beach, or energizing at the many activity areas like Wild Waterworks, go-karts, batting cages, and mini-golf. The fish and chips from Hutch’s is to die for, as are the full meal deals at Baranga’s on the Beach. If you prefer to simply walk, then Breezeway Trail is for you.

 Visiting Confederation Park

Why am I promoting the park? Because we all need to relax, and Confederation is the ideal place to do so. But what about the winter months? What is there to do in Hamilton in the cold weather? Well, curling up in front of a roaring fire with a good book and hot chocolate, is a great place to start. If you find that image delightful, might I suggest you visit one of the links below and purchase one of my books to read while snuggled up on the couch as the blizzard rages outside? Any one of my three memoirs, or several fictional stories will aid in your relaxation, so why not hop over to your Amazon now and download my ebooks of your choice. All are available in ebook format for only .99 cents (usd) each, a bargain in anyone’s eyes.

ebooks

ebooks

All my books are available at your Amazon store, the following links, and at many other ebook distributors.

http://www.amazon.com/author/barbarastudham

https://www.store.kobobooks.com

http://www.barnesandnoble.com


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Painting a Seascape

My first assignment!

Painting a Seascape

Painting a Seascape

Painting a Seascape

Talk about throwing me in the deep end (pardon the deliberate pun!). Despite my mistake by registering for the wrong class, I was able to go back and register for the beginners’ class. As I enjoyed the intermediate session where I picked up painting tips, and met new people, which is always fun, I decided to enroll in both intermediate and beginners. So, for the next few weeks I will have my hands full. From my attempts so far, I need a lot of help with shading. It seems to be my worst point. “Practice, practice, practice,” advised the art teacher.

Describing a Seascape

It’s the same with writing. Wanting to describe the seascape and doing it well are two different things. It takes lots of practice to make the reader believe he/she is there on the beach. Like painting, writing is a work in progress. No author wants their writing career to be judged on their first attempt, any more than an artist wants their first picture to represent their absolute potential. That’s the wonderful thing about practice, it improves our work.

Barbara Studham's ebooks

Barbara Studham’s ebooks

All my books are available at your Amazon store, the following links,

and at many other ebook distributors.

http://www.amazon.com/author/barbarastudham

https://www.store.kobobooks.com

http://www.barnesandnoble.com

 


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Draw a Rose

Trying my hand at drawing!

In my previous post, titled, Learn To Draw, I mentioned that I have registered for “seascape painting” at my local art store. My hope is to improve the pictures I draw of English seasides and post on this blog. Until now, I have used Word’s basic shapes and color fill.  However, while I wait for the class to begin,  I purchased a book titled, Pencil Drawing, Project Book for Beginners, published by Walter Foster Publishing. Last evening, I got started by following the six steps to drawing a rose.

Draw a Rose

After following the six steps (see the picture below), here is what I learned:

  • While following instructions from a book helps, I would definitely benefit from real life lessons.
  • That everything has a basic shape.
  • That a 2H pencil lead is harder than an HB.
  • That I suck at shading! I’m not sure either how to shade, or where I should shade.

Here is a picture of my efforts. From figures 2 and 3, you will notice I was flailing a bit, but picked up when I applied the circular lines for petals in step 4.

Draw a Rose

Draw a Rose

Draw a Rose

My opinion of my final effort in step 6:

  • Hmm… not great yet! While my final attempt #6 looks like a rose, it does not capture its essence. It looks more like an end-of-season wilted rose. Oh, well, just keep trying… just keep trying!
All ebooks .99 cents (usd)

All ebooks .99 cents (usd)

My memoir and fiction ebooks are available from your Amazon store, the following links, and many fine ebook distributors. All are .99 cents (usd).

http://www.amazon.com/author/barbarastudham

https://www.store.kobobooks.com

                                            http://www.barnesandnoble.com

 

 


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Learn To Draw

It’s time I learn how to draw!

Learn to Draw

Learn to Draw

Learn to Draw: In the meantime, why not check out my ebook, Not My Type. Contrary to its title, it is not a romance, well, not in the fullest sense of the word, but, rather, a story about a non-fiction writer who craves the fame of her best-seller, fiction-writing, mother.

Not My Type

Not My Type

Not My Type offers a whimsical glimpse into how fictional characters invade an author’s mind: often to the detriment of their story. Lisa Paige is a respected non-fiction writer who envies the accolades bestowed upon her fiction-writing mother, Madge Paige. So much so that, while desperately trying her hand at fiction, Lisa begins to hallucinate, causing fictional characters to come to life and visit her home. Frantically offering her bribes in return for inclusion in her book, the characters insist her refusal would result in their deletion within the fictional world. As characters compete for billing, murder and mayhem ensues, as each are in conflict and equally determined to be forefront in Lisa’s novel. However, is there an alternate motive for their brawling? Does Lisa complete her work of fiction and find the fame she so desperately yearns? In Not My Type, discover how fictional characters’ skirmishes ultimately affect Lisa’s future.

Not My Type

Not My Type is available for only .99 cents (usd), from your Amazon ebook store,

the following links, and from most ebook distributors.

http://www.amazon.com/author/barbarastudham

https://www.store.kobobooks.com

http://www.barnesandnoble.com

 


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Seaford, East Sussex

A Great Place To Visit!

Seaford, East Sussex

Seaford, East Sussex

Retiree, Milly Mullan, is the main character in my fiction series, Under the Shanklin Sky. I enjoy interspersing her amateur sleuthing with descriptions of English coastal areas. The following is a paragraph taken from my latest manuscript: A Hint of Spring. Available in 2017, it will be the fourth in the series. Genre: cozy/amateur sleuth.

Seaford, East Sussex

… Waking early, she (Milly) slipped her feet into her pink slippers, pulled on her housecoat, and opened the balcony doors. Shading her eyes from the sun, she squinted at the ravaged shoreline ahead. Pebbles and broken shells interspersed with plastic bottles and brightly colored bits of garbage scattered the beach. Clumps of curly, brown seaweed, looking like masses of tangled hair hindered early morning swimmers. Despite the scene, Milly inhaled the fresh, intoxicating sea air purified by the storm, and anticipated the trip to Seaford that she and her daughter, Rosie, had planned for the day. A quick coffee with toast and jam, and a shower and change into her ‘perfect for iffy weather’ outfit consisting of gray pants, a rose-colored wool top, and comfortable walking shoes, left her with only a phone call to make…

Barbara Studham's ebooks

Barbara Studham’s ebooks

All my ebooks are available from your Amazon store, from the following links, and from most ebook distributors.

 

http://www.amazon.com/author/barbarastudham

https://www.store.kobobooks.com

http://www.barnesandnoble.com