Diane Sawyer Newsletter/Blog #33 January-February, 2017


Hello to all my loyal newsletter readers and a special hello to all of you who came to my book discussion/signings (all six of my novels) this past month at libraries in St. Petersburg and the Holiday Bazaar at the Dali Museum. Many thanks to St. Pete Librarians and Friends of the Library for hosting the events. Thanks too to the wonderful staff and volunteers at the Dali Museum for organizing and presenting the Holiday Bazaar.

For those of you in the area, I will be at the Main Branch Library, 3745 9th Ave. N, in St Petersburg on Saturday, Feb. 18 from 2-4 P.M. The format will be a panel discussion featuring 5 authors: Brian Simpson, Michael Tavon, Nancy Hartwell Enonchong, Mary Hill, and me.  Free Admission, Refreshments served, hosted by Friends of the St. Petersburg Main Library. Burton Hersh (The Education of Edward Kennedy) will be the moderator.

I would like to share with you a review of my most recent novel, The Tell-Tale Treasure. My publisher sent a copy of the novel to Scholars and Rogues, a literary magazine, with book reviews by Jim Booth, PhD. He is a professor of English and Writing at colleges and universities in North Carolina. Here is what he wrote:


The Tell-Tale Treasure by Diane Sawyer (image courtesy Southern Yellow Pine Publishing)

Book Review: The Tell-Tale Treasure by Diane Sawyer

The Tell-Tale Treasure is a thriller for which one cannot use the standard descriptions such as fast-paced, edge of your seat, or thrill a minute. That is its most interesting appeal.

Diane Sawyer’s The Tell-Tale Treasure is a bit of an anomaly for a work of its genre.

This is a good thing.

The novel, written in 3rd person limited narration, shifts between characters throughout the work. Most readers will find the two most affecting of these narrations those that shift between Rosie Renard, an antiques dealer whose discoveries reopen a cold case concerning a talented classical musician who plays the erhu, a Chinese instrument similar to the violin.

What Rosie finds, and where that leads her and the police and how all this works out to a successful (for the reader) conclusion is part of the charm of this novel. The pleasure for the reader in The Tell-Tale Treasure is not in its main plot. The pleasure for any astute reader of Sawyer’s novel is in the parts of the novel that offer readers the opportunity to know, really know, her characters, particularly Rosie and the musician mentioned above, the classical musician Ivy Chen.

For me, while the story of Rosie Renard and her struggle to come to terms with the abduction and murder of her cousin Tess is powerful and helps motivate the character and humanizes her, the real attraction of this novel is Ivy Chen. It is the story of her struggle to come to terms with her abduction and captivity. It is also the story of how she uses her intelligence and talent to keep herself alive.

Telling the story of these two remarkable women takes time. And it is to Sawyer’s credit that she does not sacrifice the telling of these women’s stories to the need to hasten her plot or create an unnecessary sense of urgency and suspense. By the end of The Tell-Tale Treasure, readers know and care about Ivy Chen and Rosie Renard. The patience of the reader in accepting a more thoughtful unfolding of the plots of their stories and the depth of their characters makes for a rich read. This enriches the novel and makes Sawyer’s work an example of how what could have been a typical example of the “woman in danger” suspense novel a surprisingly satisfying experience for the reader who desires something more.


A note to readers from me, Diane: For your reading pleasure, The Tell-Tale Treasure, paperback and e-book, is available on the Southern Yellow Pine Publishing site: www.syppublishing.com

It is also available on Amazon.com as well as Barnes & Noble.com

In addition, Amazon’s author’s page has information about all 6 of my novels. Please go to https://www.amazon.com/author/dianewsawyer.

Other Writing News

Montauk Mystery Montauk Steps Tomoka Mystery Cinderella MurdersMontauk Cave

  • Amazon’s marketing team is busily promoting my five novels, pictured above, in the USA and internationally too, in hard cover, paperback, and e-book editions.
  • Check out my author page at Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/author/dianewsawyer.
  • Visit my web site at http://www.dianewsawyer.com   Thank you, Roy Baker, friend, web designer, and photographer, for setting up my web site and including all my previous newsletters/blogs.
  • Find me on Facebook as Monica Sawyer (The famous name Diane Sawyer was not available.) My publisher has posted photos of The Tell-Tale Treasure in give-away gift baskets at the Tampa Bay Times Reading Festival in St. Pete, and other photos as well, including one of me on my porch, seeing the book for the first time.


  • Why was Cinderella thrown off the basketball team? She ran away from the ball.
  • Where do you find chili beans?  At the North Pole.
  • So, a dyslexic man walks into a bra.
  • Did you hear the one about the optometrist who fell into a lens grinder and made a spectacle of himself?


     I’m not the biggest fan of old black and white movies, but recently I watched Turner Classic Movies on TV because the movie choice had the unfamiliar and intriguing title, The Seventh Veil.  I got hooked immediately on the story and enjoyed it very mush. Later, I Googled the title and found out that of all movies made, The Seventh Veil ranks 10th in the number of people who watched it. I don’t recall the exact number, but it’s huge. If you are a classical music enthusiast, you will enjoy the soundtrack since the main character is a concert pianist. Dramatically portrayed is the role of hypnosis and talk-therapy in psychological treatment of a patient. Find the movie and see what you think.



     I thought you might enjoy a scattering of sketchy information about Valentine’s Day.  The tradition of a special day for sweethearts may go back to the Roman festival, Lupercalia, in honor of Juno, goddess of women and marriage. The event included a “pairing up” ceremony and was celebrated on June 15th. Or it may be because of the third-century Roman priest, Valentinus, imprisoned for performing weddings for Roman soldiers. The story goes that during his imprisonment, Valentinus healed the daughter of his jailer, Asterius, and before his execution, he sent her a farewell letter signed “Your Valentine.” Flash forward to the 14th century, during the time of Chaucer when courtly love flourished and many traditions arose. The idea of a special day for those in love was well on its way. By the 18th century, lovers presented each other with flowers, confectionery, and greeting cards, known as Valentines.  In Europe, St. Valentine keys are given to children with the hope of warding off epilepsy, (called St. Valentine’s Malady). St. Valentine’s Day is an official feast day in the Anglican and Lutheran Churches. The Eastern Orthodox Church celebrates St. Valentine’s Day in July.

Valentine was mentioned in Shakespeare’s Hamlet.  The phrase “roses are red” goes back to Edmund Spencer’s verse “Roses are red”…but it continued with “and violets blew, and all the sweetest flowers that in the forest grew.”

What about now in the United States? At the last count, 3 years ago, 190 million Valentine’s Day cards were purchased. Spending per person per year in the US for Valentine items reached $131.

Let me just say, Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone reading this!

Cooking Delights

    I went through my recipe files and came across a recipe which I had labeled “Best Ever Corn Casserole.” I usually serve it at Thanksgiving or Christmas. But why wait until November? Let’s serve it now. It seems too simple and easy to be so good…but it is!


1 can whole kernel corn, drained

1 can cream-style corn

1 carton 8 ounces carton PLAIN yogurt

1 egg

1 small onion, chopped

salt and pepper to taste


Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir together. Bake in a greased 8×8” dish for 45 minutes at 350 degrees. Enjoy!  Serves 8-10.

Bon appétit!


@ Copyright 2017 by Diane Sawyer. All rights reserved.

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