Diane Sawyer, Newsletter-Blog # 39, December 2017


Hello to all my loyal newsletter readers. Thank you for reading this edition and many of the editions that preceded it. Thanks too to those joining my newsletter followers.  And finally a special thanks too to all of you who visited the Southern Yellow Pine Publishing booth at the Tampa Bay Times Reading Festival in St. Petersburg last month. We appreciate your enthusiasm and follow-up comments.

I would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, a Happy Hanukkah, a Happy Kwanzaa, and any other holidays you might be celebrating. Enjoy your family and friends, the traditions and inspiration of your holiday, the music, and the food. My husband and I will be celebrating with 11 family members, three generations, and I predict it will be wonderful!

Here are my 6 novels with publishing information. First, the award-winning The Tell-Tale Treasure, a cold-case missing-person story.  It won first-place (gold medal) in the mystery category, and also in the suspense-thriller category in the Florida Authors and Publishers Association (FAPA) President’s Book Awards, 2017. Following The Tell-Tale Treasure are my previous five novels, still read in the United States and 12 other countries. Hooray!



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



And now for some very exciting new news. Following a written application and a 45-minute phone call interview with a committee member, I have been selected to be a guest panelist at the Venice Book Fair and Writers Festival in Venice, Florida on March 23, 2018. The topic is Action Fiction for Adults, intended for writers at all stages of their career and readers who like to know what is involved in writing a story, particularly a mystery. I will be discussing all 6 of my published novels and sparking interest in number 7, Trouble in Tikal, an archaeological mystery, scheduled to be released by Southern Yellow Pine in the spring of 2018.  This is a two-day Festival. I look forward to meeting other authors, visiting many booths, enjoying the beautiful area, and appreciating the interest the area has in writing and reading.

This and That

Several days ago I attended a performance at the local South Branch library (I am a Friend of the Library) to enjoy a performance by Nan Colton, a local actress/writer/performer, who delighted the audience with a lively interpretation of Christmas tales and legends from around the world, including her native South Africa. She asked the children to name Santa’s reindeer (remember, Rudolf was not one of the originals; he was added later). The children knew them all. Then Nan asked how many of the reindeer were male and how many were female. Guess what? All are female. (Picture the reindeer in your mind. It is Christmas; it is December. They all have antlers. Therefore, they are all female.)  Some facts: Male and female reindeer grow antlers.  The males lose their antlers in November. The females don’t lose their antlers until springtime or later, after they give birth. I know what some of you are thinking: If you want a job done well and on time, ask a woman, but come on, this is about biology.

Other facts about reindeer: Male antlers can reach 51 inches; female antlers 20 inches. Reindeer are plant eaters. Reindeer antlers are like fingerprints. No two are alike. A male is called a buck; a female, a doe; a baby, a fawn. Reindeer in North America are called caribou. Reindeer hooves expand in summer or when the ground is soft; they shrink in winter when the ground is hard. Finally, some subspecies of reindeer have knees that click when they walk. This enables the reindeer to stay together when traveling during a blizzard.


Christmas puns, jokes, and one-liners.  Feel free to groan at many of them: 

What do you call people who are afraid of Santa Claus?

What do Christmas trees and bad knitters have in common?
They both drop their needles.

What did Adam say the day before Christmas?
It’s Christmas, Eve.

How did Scrooge win the football game?
The Ghost of Christmas passed.


What did the gingerbread man put on his bed?
A cookie sheet.

How do you know when Santa’s in the room?
You can sense his presence.

What do you call Santa’s helpers?
Subordinate clauses.   (my personal favorite)

What playwright was intimidated by Christmas?
Noel Coward.

What do reindeer say before they tell a joke?
“This will sleigh you.”

What did the salt say to the pepper?
Season’s Greetings!

If athletes get athletes foot, what do astronauts get?
Mistle toe.



I haven’t traveled very far this year. My excuse? I had misplaced my brand new passport a year or so ago on the very first day I received it. I didn’t want to replace it until I had searched every possible place. Guess what? Last week, I was looking through a file folder, marked PERSONAL, in my alphabetically-organized desk drawer. Preceding “PERSONAL” was a file folder marked PASSPORT.

Yes, all is well, my passport is right where I placed it. Now I have no excuses, not that I was ever looking for any.  By the way, in the desk drawer, I also found a magazine article about traveling in the United State to places made famous by writers. The focus of the article was the home where they lived—the architecture, surroundings, possible influence on the author’s writing, etc.— and exactly where the author chose to write: in an alcove, bedroom, at a table in the living room, etc. Exploring several sites and extending my search to Europe, I found many homes that were intriguing. However, to speed things ups, Google this: 10 Famous Writers’ Houses Worth Visiting/Mental Floss.  Or this: 10 American Authors’ Homes Worth Visiting :: Books :: Lists…

Or take your time and explore on your own searching for any of the following:

Charles Dickins, Georgian home in London. Oliver Twist.

Emily Dickinson, Amherst Mass., more than 2,000 poems.

Ralph Waldo Emmerson, Concord, Mass. near Walden Woods. Essays.

William Faulkner, Rowan Oak, Oxford, Miss. The Sound and the Fury.

  1. Scott Fitzgerald, Summit Terrace in St. Paul Minn; and Long Island, the

setting of The Great Gatsby.

Ernest Hemmingway, Key West, FL. For Whom the Bell Tolls.

Victor Hugo, Island of Guernsey, Les Misérables.

Jack London, a ranch in Glen Ellen, CA.  The Call of the Wild.

Herman Melville, Pittsfield, Mass. Moby Dick.

Margaret Mitchell, apt. #1, Atlanta, GA. Gone With the Wind.

Flannery O’Connor, Andalusia Farm, Milledgeville, Ga. Short Story


George Orwell, Barnhill Farmhouse in Jura, Scotland. Animal Farm.

John Steinbeck, Salinas, CA. East of Eden.

Leo Tolstoy, Tula, Russia, War and Peace.

Mark Twain, Hartford, Conn, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

Edith Wharton, estate, Lenox, Mass. The House of Mirth.

Virginia Woolf, Monk’s House, East Sussex, England. To the Lighthouse.


Cooking Delights

My favorite recipe of 2017 is Brussels Sprouts Salad. It will be an annual Thanksgiving treat, thanks to my daughter who introduced it.


Brussels sprouts, 2 packages 10-oz each pre-shredded/shaved.

1 cup sliced red onion

2/3 cup dried cranberries or substitute raisins, or cherries.

2/3 cup almonds, toasted

1 cup citrus vinaigrette: 1 orange juiced; 1 tsp orange zest, 1 lemon juiced, 1 Tbsp minced garlic, 1 tsp. yellow mustard, ¾ cup olive oil, pepper and sea salt to taste.

Method:  Place Brussels sprouts in large bowl. Combine with red onion, cranberries (or cherries) and almonds. Whisk together vinaigrette ingredients.  Add vinaigrette immediately before serving and toss well to coat.  Enjoy!!!

Warning: you can try to shred/shave the Brussels sprouts by hand, using a potato peeler, but it is tedious and you can easily cut your fingers. Enjoy the holiday and splurge on pre-shredded/shaved Brussels sprouts, available in specialty stores, such as Trader Joe’s.


Bon appétit!


Fondly, Diane


Sorry, no comments or trackbacks are allowed on this post.