Diane Sawyer, Blog/Newsletter #28 March-April 2016

Diane Sawyer Portrait

Hello to all my loyal newsletter/blog readers. Welcome to my new readers from St. Petersburg, Sarasota, Bradenton, and Longwood Ranch. I hope all of you enjoy this March-April 2016 edition.


Diane Sawyer

Writing News

Montauk Mystery Montauk Steps Tomoka Mystery Cinderella Murders Montauk Cave

You might like to know: Amazon’s marketing specialists are busily promoting my five novels, pictured above, in the USA and many foreign countries too. Happy reading!

My author page at Amazon can be found at https://www.amazon.com/author/dianesawyer

My web site address is http://dianewsawyer.com (The middle initial “w” must be included.) Please visit my site, set up by my friend and web designer, Roy Baker. Enjoy his gorgeous photo of a sunset at Lake Maggiore, near my home. All the previous blog/newsletters are there. The hardcover, paperback, and e-book editions of my novels are available on Amazon and other on-line sites. You can even find them via my web site (by clicking on the photo of the book cover). Thank you, Roy!

Newest news: My recently completed novel, The Tell-Tale Treasure, a cold-case missing-person mystery, set in St. Petersburg, FL, is on schedule, advancing through the editing process with my publisher and her staff. I’m betting that readers will root for the heroine, Rosie—and chew their nails and sit on the edge of their seats—as she turns up the heat under that cold case and keeps it sizzling until the final showdown. Two themes running through the story—the power of music and childhood trauma—add emotional impact to the character development and plot. I like to think of this story as a testament to the resiliency of the human spirit. Stay tuned for more news in my next newsletter.

This and That

Enjoy these puns, guaranteed to make you groan. (Thank you, Peggy.)

• Two hats were hanging on a hat rack in the hallway. One hat said to the other: ‘You stay here; I’ll go on a head.’
• I wondered why the baseball kept getting bigger. Then it hit me.
• A sign on the lawn at a drug rehab center said: ‘Keep off the Grass.’
• The midget fortune-teller who escaped from prison was a small medium at large.
• The soldier who survived mustard gas and pepper spray is now a seasoned veteran.
• A backward poet writes inverse.
• In a democracy it’s your vote that counts. In feudalism it’s your count that votes.
• When cannibals ate a missionary, they got a taste of religion.
• If you jumped off the bridge in Paris, you’d be in Seine.
• A vulture carrying two dead raccoons boards an airplane. The stewardess looks at him and says, ‘I’m sorry, sir, only one carrion allowed per passenger.’
• Two fish swim into a concrete wall. One turns to the other and says, ‘Dam!’


Usually my travel articles center on trips I took to exotic places, like Morocco, Peru, Croatia, Slovenia, and Turkey, to name a few. This time, I would like to tell you about the city I love, the city where I live, St. Petersburg, Florida, in Pinellas County, on Florida’s West Coast. I think you will agree that with research, determination, and transportation, you can explore your town, and enjoy the experience of being a tourist. Check your local newspaper and the city’s web site and you may find that, like St. Petersburg, you town offers walking tours, bus tours, bike tours, and trolley tours, with a tour guide or driver or group leader who provides the narration, while you simply look and listen as you ride or walk along. Often these tours focus on history, geography, or architecture, or a combination of several. Sometimes, there is a very specific focus, such as St. Petersburg’s bus tour of public art, or a walking tour or bike tour of mural art, which is popping up all over downtown and beyond. (It’s best to Google for a map of mural locations.)

I have taken the public art tour (thank you, Marlys); the trolley tour (with friends and family) that passes by well-known landmarks as the driver/narrator delves into local history, reinforced with amusing anecdotes; and the guided walking tour of downtown historical buildings (with my sister-in-law, Mary Kay). I decided to explore further, by checking out St. Petersburg’s varied styles of architecture, such as Art Deco, Art Moderne, Beaux Arts, Colonial Revival, Craftsman, Florida Cracker, Mediterranean Revival, Mid-Century Modern, Neoclassical/Classical Revival, Queen Anne/Victorian, and Vernacular. Here’s a sampling of the buildings I saw:

The St. Pete Municipal Utilities Building/City Hall, 175 Fifth Street N. ….Williams Park Bandshell, 330 2nd Ave N. ….Detroit Hotel, 217 Central Avenue….The Dali Museum, One Dali Boulevard….St. Petersburg Historic Post Office/St. Petersburg Open Air Post Office, 76 Fourth Street N. ….Boone House, 601 Fifth Ave. N. ….Pasadena Community Church, 227 70th St. S ….and The Renaissance Vinoy Hotel, 501 5th Av, NE.

Now when I pass by those buildings and others too, I will admire the architectural details and think about the history associated with that particular building and era. I hope you discover interesting information as you explore the town where you live. Bon voyage!

Cooking Delights

Baked Chicken Fingers (serves 4 or more)

1 ½ pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into strips, about 1 inch wide
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour (place on a plate and add salt and pepper to taste)
1 cup ranch salad dressing, or more if needed (place on a second plate)
¾ cup seasoned bread crumbs and ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese (combine&place on third plate)

Method: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.

Working with only 2-3 chicken strips at a time (this can be messy, but it’s worth it), proceed as follows: lightly dust chicken strips with flour; dip the chicken strips in ranch dressing (don’t overdo it); coat chicken strips with combined bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese; place chicken strips on the prepared baking sheet (don’t crowd them). Now you should have all the chicken strips lined up on the baking sheet. Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 20 minutes until golden, turning the chicken strips once with a spatula after 10 minutes. Test for doneness.

The chicken strips go great with corn on the cob, baked beans, carrot and celery sticks, sliced tomatoes, and any other items usually found at a picnic supper.

Bon appétit!

Fondly, Diane

@ Copyright 2016 by Diane Sawyer. All rights reserved.

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