Diane Sawyer Newsletter/Blog #31 November, 2016


Hello to all my loyal newsletter readers and a special hello to all the wonderful staff and authors I’ve met through Southern Yellow Pine Publishing, who published my sixth novel, The Tell-Tale Treasure. It’s a cold-case missing-person story, and my first novel set in St. Petersburg, Florida. It is now available from SYP Publishing, and also amazon and Barnes & Noble in paperback and e-book editions. If you are in the St. Pete area, you can also find The Tell-Tale Treasure at the Dali Museum Store. Scenes in the novel take place at the Dali Museum and several of Dali’s paintings play a role in the story.


Other Writing News

Montauk Mystery Montauk Steps Tomoka Mystery Cinderella MurdersMontauk Cave

Currently, you can find me as the featured author on three blogs:
Jackie Minniti’s  www.fabulousfloridawriters.blogspot.com
Rhett Devane’s  www.Writers4Higher.Blogspot.com
Darrell Laurant’s  https://snowflakesarise.wordpress.com/2016/12/06/the-tell-tale-treasure

A big thank-you to the three bloggers for inviting me to share my ideas with their readers.

If you are in the St. Pete area on Thursday, December 15, find me at the Holiday Bazaar at the Dali Museum (1 Dali Blvd, 5th Avenue SE), from 11-1:30 in the Community Room, and that same day, at the Mirror Lake Library (280 5th St. North) for a book discussion and signing from 2 to 3 o’clock. Many thanks to St. Pete Librarians and Friends of the Library for hosting my book signings.


  • I’d tell you a chemistry joke, but I wouldn’t get a reaction.
  • I wasn’t originally going to get a brain transplant, but then I changed my mind.
  • How did I escape Iraq? I ran.
  • I love Wi-Fi so much because we just feel that connection.
  • Geometry shapes my life.
  • After three days of fishing, the musician hoped he would catch a bassoon.
  • Do beginning vampires go to batting practice?
  • And in keeping with the season: Christmas dinner is a place where you can really talk turkey.


Let’s talk about the various names of Santa’s 7th reindeer. In the 1949 song Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer his or her name is Donner. But in most 19th and 20th century reprints of the poem A Visit From St. Nicolas, it’s Donder. Now, for all my friends from SUNY at Albany, an area of the state with a Dutch influence, check this out: On December 23rd, 1823, the Troy Sentinel (Troy is near Albany) referred to reindeers 7 and 8 as Dunder and Blixem (meaning Thunder and Lightning, a popular expletive in 18th and 19th centuries by Dutch-American people). This sounds like something to know if you are preparing to go on Jeopardy or to play Trivial Pursuit.  Years ago, my husband and I were playing Trivial Pursuit, and he was the only one who knew the translation of Dunder and Blixem was Thunder and Lightning. His mother had told him. She had grown up in a household with German parents. You just never know when a foreign language will help you!


 Who does the most traveling on Christmas Eve? That would be Santa Claus. I wasn’t sure but the Internet confirmed it and Wikipedia gave plenty of backup information. If you liked “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa,” you will love this official site: www.noradsanta.org. For instance, did you know that the North American Aerospace Defense Command has a Santa Tracker so that we can follow Santa’s journey around the world? The Air Forces who defend US airspace track Santa and his reindeer across the world and show his route on a map. Radar indicates Santa as he makes his way south. Satellites high above the earth use infrared sensors that can detect the heat from Rudolf’s bright red nose. Santa cams positioned around the world, used only on December 24th, show Santa as he and his reindeer enter a country and as they leave. The images are downloaded onto the NORAD website so that people around the world can see Santa’s progress. Check out the official site mentioned above, and see for yourself.  The site has a Santa countdown, Santa music, and much more.

A Merry Christmas to all, especially that hard-working long-distance-traveling Santa Claus!

Cooking Delights

Turkey Chili

In case you are looking for ways to use left-over turkey the day after Christmas or are planning ahead to next Thanksgiving, here’s a tasty treat. Lots of ingredients, but the preparation is easy.


2 pounds left-over roasted turkey meat, mostly white but with some dark meat too.

1 Tablespoon olive oil

2 cups coarsely chopped onions

2 tablespoons chopped garlic

1 each medium red, yellow, and orange pepper, cored, deveined and coarsely chopped

1 cup chopped celery

1 tablespoon oregano; 3 tablespoons chili powder; 2 teaspoons ground cumin

3 cups canned diced tomatoes (fire-roasted are especially good)

2 cups chicken broth

2 cans (15 oz each) red kidney beans, drained

salt and pepper to taste

shredded cheddar cheese, optional


Chop turkey meat into one-inch cubes. Cook in a large pot over high heat for several minutes in 1 Tablespoon olive oil, until lightly browned.

Add all ingredients except chicken broth, tomatoes, and kidney beans to the pot, stirring to combine. Cook for 5 minutes.

Add chicken broth and tomatoes to the pot. Stir. Bring to a boil. Lower heat, simmer for 15 minutes.

Add 2 cans drained kidney beans and cook 10 minutes longer. Stir occasionally.

Serve in bowls. Side dishes: taco chips and salad. You may wish to sprinkle shredded cheddar cheese on top.

Bon appétit! Stay well and Happy Holidays to one and all!


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