Diane Sawyer Newsletter/Blog #37 September-October, 2017


Hello to all my loyal newsletter readers. Thank you for reading this edition and many of the editions that preceded it. Let me begin with some sad news…I am home recuperating from an accident (I’ll spare you the details), and that’s why this newsletter is a week late. Let me move on quickly to good news: My publisher offered me a contract for a novel I submitted, Trouble in Tikal, set in Guatemala. It features Rosie and Ted, two main characters from my latest novel, The Tell-Tale Treasure, so there is a St. Petersburg connection. Possible release date could be April, 2018. I just composed this brief blurb to entice readers. You are the very first to see it:

Trouble in Tikal

From the moment Rosie and Ted arrive in Guatemala for a vacation, they are caught up in dangerous situations. When they visit Tikal, the country’s beloved Mayan archaeological site, the danger escalates. Soon they are involved in a death-defying edge-of-your-seat tale of intrigue that asks these questions: Why have they been singled out? Can they, even with help from their driver-guide, archaeological experts, and undercover agents, find the answers before it’s too late? Time is running out.

For my new readers (“Hello! Welcome!”). Here is a review by Trudi LoPreto for Readers’ Favorite for my latest novel, The Tell-Tale Treasure:


The Tell-Tale Treasure is a thriller that will keep you involved from the exciting first page until the very spectacular conclusion. Ivy Chen is a kidnap victim that has only her erhu (a type of fiddle) musical instrument to give her peace. Rosie Renard is the owner of a second hand shop, who discovers a trunk with Ivy’s belongings. Ivy is taken and locked away in 2008 by a man that believes her erhu is talking to him and forces her to play music to him every night; often taking his anger with the world out on her both physically and emotionally. Upon opening the trunk in 2012, Rosie realizes that it has several articles that might link back to a girl who had been kidnapped and never found several years ago. Rosie immediately calls the police and Detectives Tony DeLuca and Hank Hernandez are assigned the case. We are privileged to get inside each of the involved characters and learn their thoughts, motives, fears and hopes as each chapter tells their story. Each of the characters is woven together in a web that slowly puts all of the pieces of the puzzle together in a dramatic sequence of events.

I absolutely loved The Tell-Tale Treasure; it had mystery, thrills, sit on the edge of your chair tension. Diane Sawyer is an amazing storyteller, adding all of the right ingredients to make The Tell-Tale Treasure a sure fire, top notch winner. The Tell-Tale Treasure is a must-read book by all fans of psychological thrillers, good detective sleuthing and mystery plots with very strong character studies. Please don’t pass this one up – it is a winner for all readers: young and old, male and female. 


Here is the usual look at my 6 novels with publishing information.


Montauk Mystery Montauk Steps Tomoka Mystery Cinderella MurdersMontauk Cave


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. 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 my newsletters. Thanks to my friend, Barry, for recently adding photos. Find me on Facebook now at www.facebook.com/DianeMonicaSawyer.  (no spaces ). Until recently I went by Monica Sawyer (The famous name Diane Sawyer was not available.) at this facebook address:  https://www.facebook.com/monica.sawyer.50

New News

My publisher, Terri Gerrell, Southern Yellow Pine Publishing, and several of her authors (including me) will be at the annual Tampa Bay Times Reading Festival on Saturday, November 11, ten o’clock until four o’clock, on the campus of The University of South Florida, St. Petersburg, located at 140 7th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, I will be at the Southern Yellow Pine Publishing Booth from 11 o’clock until two o’clock, discussing and signing copies of The Tell-Tale Treasure, talking about Trouble in Tikal, signing the contract, meeting new people, and enjoying those of you I’ve known for years. The locations of booths in the publishers and authors area has not yet been announced, but the locations will be available on the day of the event. Please visit me at the SYP Booth, meet the SYP authors. Enjoy prizes, fun, and more. Looking forward to seeing you soon!

Also, don’t miss my friend, featured author, Renée Garrison, graduate of the University of South Florida, former journalist at the Tampa Tribune, and award-winning author of the Young Adult novel, Anchor Clankers, published by Southern Yellow Pine Publishing. Renée will be speaking about her book at the Peter R. Wallace Florida Center for Teachers, Room 118, at 10 A.M., followed by a book signing. Here’s a thought: Meet and enjoy what Renée Garrison has to say. (Tell her “Diane sent me.”)Afterward, find me at the SYP Booth.



Dating back to the Middle Ages, trick or treating was originally called “guising,” (derived from the word “disguise,”) Back then, children and even poor adults put on costumes and went from house to house, begging for food or money. In exchange they offered songs and said prayers, on behalf of the dead. Centuries later, in rural areas of the New World, “trick” meant to “steal” usually outdoor items, such as barrels, wagon wheels, and other large items from barns and yards and place them in the street. Most often, the “treats” they begged for were barley or oat cakes. These cakes had a religious role: assurance that the dead person’s spirit would be allowed to enter into Heaven. This begging for cakes was called “souling” and the children who begged for cakes were called “soulers.”

In various countries, supernatural tales and legends were told during the Halloween season. Bonfires often took place. Much of this can be traced back to the Celtic festival of Samuin, also called Salhaim (referring to summer’s end).  It was the predecessor of the Christian All Saints and All Souls Day. Part of the Celtic tradition was to dress up as evil spirits, possibly a defense mechanism, so that if you encountered a demon roaming the area, they would think you were one of them and leave you alone.

We’ve come a long way from those customs to dunking for apples, parents driving trick and treaters through neighborhoods, “best costume” parties for adults, and costumed pet parades.



What do you call two witches living together? Broom Mates!

Where do vampires open their savings account? At a blood bank!

(My favorite:)What do you get when you cross Bambi with a ghost? Bamboo!

What do you call a person who puts poison in a person’s cornflakes? A cereal killer.

How do vampires invite each other for lunch? …Do you want to go for a bite?

Why couldn’t the mummy attend the conference? He was all tied up!

What is the largest building in Transylvania? The Vampire State Building!

What dessert do ghosts like most? Ice Scream!

What do Italians eat on Halloween? Fettucinni Afraid-O!

What do you get when you cross a vampire and a snowman? Frostbite!

Monsters can tell their future by reading their horror-scope.

(Thank you one and all for your Halloween contributions.)

Consumer Spending and Halloween:

Americans spend 3.9 billion dollars on candy during Halloween. Each trickster receives an average of 250 pieces of candy.


I thought I’d see what I could dig up about Transylvania. I’ve never been there, but here’s information I enjoyed and I think you will too.

Transylvania, located in Eastern Europe, actually a region in central Romania, has a reputation for bloodthirsty vampires and howling wolves, probably because of Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula, written in 1897. Not surprisingly, the top tourist attraction is Bram Castle. Here’s a surprise: Bram Stoker is Irish. Dracula was known as Vlad the Impaler, a 15th century Wallachian nobleman who reputedly skewered 80,000 enemies on long spikes. Ouch!!

Romania is by all accounts a land of beautiful forests, pastures, and meadows. Travel brochures claim you can still see old-fashioned horse-drawn carts traveling along dirt roads. There are many World Heritage sites, therapeutic springs, and a popular drink, a fiery plum brandy called “palinca.” If you go there, try it and then shout out:”Noroc!” meaning “Cheers!” Some people there supposedly descended from Attila’s Huns. The language spoken is Hungarian. For a sample of the language, here are the names of two towns: Miercurea-Ciuc and Cluj-Napoca.

And now for a bit of humor on this topic, from my friend Barry. (I’m not tech savvy and couldn’t duplicate the photo he sent, so I made up a few words to give you the full picture.) This requires you to think “Vlad the Impaler” and then think “Darth Vader.” (Come on and play along with this.)  Here goes: Darth Vader’s rarely photographed wife has been seen lately in high-rise apartment buildings on every floor. Her name is Ella Vader.


Bon appétit!!

Most of the Halloween recipes I found were meant to produce items with scary names and apparently provide a few laughs. For example, bread sticks would be called “bones.” An olive surrounded by a piece of mozzarella cheese, and floating in tomato soup would be called “Eyeball soup.” Finally, red wine would be served, and you can figure out what it would be called. Hint: it begins with “B.” Or you can be a traditionalist and just add a few seasonal touches. Decorate your favorite cookies and muffins with candy corn. Serve fresh fruit. Top it all off with cider. Enjoy all the candy left over from the Trick or Treaters.

Fondly, Diane

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