Sharlot Hall Museum in Prescott, Arizona

I broke my budget at Prescott’s Farmers Market. Who could resist coffee, marmalades, patty pan squash, sourdough bread, cactus tea, Lebanese zatar bread and spinach pies, radish sprouts, raw cacao nibs, and veggie samosas? Not me.

But I digress.

After a hike at Pinnacle Park and the farmers market, fueled by New Zealand cold brew coffee, a mung bean samosa and Lebanese dolmas, my brother and I headed for Sharlot Hall Museum.

The Sharlot Hall Museum is an open air museum located in Prescott, Arizona. Opened in 1928 by Sharlot M Hall as the Old Governor’s Mansion museum it is dedicated to preserving the history of folklore of Yavapai County, Arizona. Above is a photograph of the governor ‘s mansion.

Sharlot Hall (October 27, 1870 to April 9, 1943) was an American journalist, poet and historian. (Sharlot is the Kansas Indian version of Charlotte.) She was the first woman to hold an office in the Arizona Territorial government and her personal collection of photographs and artifacts served as the starting collection for history museum which bears her name. I found this 1911 photo of Hall at Wikipedia.

Each museum building was rich with history and mostly attended by docents who could answer questions or give a spiel. One of my favorite exhibits was in the main building and included world class visuals of life of Prescott’s first inhabitants. The video and exhibit on WWI was also fascinating.

One building was a replica schoolhouse that would fit easily in a motel room. Another was a ranchhouse with a hobbit-high front door. Opportunities to experience frontier life abounded on these grounds.

I spent time and money in the museum shop: a lovely carnelian cabuchon necklace crafted by a member of the local gem club and two books: The Doctor Wore Petticoats by Chris Enss and a short story collection Meeting the Four O’Clock Train by Dixon Fagerberg Jr. (Boyhood recollections of Prescott, Arizona 1909–1927)

My own recollections of a wonderful Saturday in Prescott are now recorded here.

Happy reading and adventuring!


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Lists and a FREE Book: Lists of Books and Films at Prescott’s Film Festival

For those who like lists and free stuff, this post is for you. The two lists are my ever-changing top seven must read books, this one limited to authors that have passed AND the films I’d see if I was at the Prescott Film Festival opening June 8, 2018. Scroll down for the link to the anthology free until June 10.


I took a Facebook challenge to list seven books I love. My self-imposed rule? Only books by authors no longer with us and ranked in no particular order. Check my Facebook Page to see my final list. I just posted day three. Who knows if I’ll alter this list tomorrow!

  1. A Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey. The book made me a fan girl of Richard III and of forensic mysteries.
  2. Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth Peters. Discovered this book in a Boston bookstore ages ago. Who wouldn’t love a Victorian archeological mystery set in Egypt?
  3. Cannery Row by John Steinbeck. Location brought back childhood memories of times I spent with my Pacific Grove grandparents.
  4. The Crystal Cave by Mary Stewart. I was so obsessed with this book, a blend of fantasy and history of King Arthur, I named my first rescue cat Merlin.
  5. Doorways in the Sand by Roger Zelazny. I don’t blame you if you believe his Princes of Amber series the best ever. I recommend Doorways just because it is science fiction at its best.
  6. Otherwise Known as Possum by Maria Laso. Destined to be a classic with a voice as distinctive as Scout’s in To Kill a Mockingbird.
  7. The Fifth Daughter by Jade Snow Wong. Captivated me in middle school. Memoir of growing up Chinese American in San Francisco.


I won’t  be attending the film festival as I heard about it too late. I spent a morning scouring the film guide and picked seven I’d see if I could attend the first three days of the nine day event at Yavapai College.

  1. A Boy called Sailboat. JK Simmons, a slanted house, and a ukulele come together in a small town.
  2. Downside Up. In a world where everyone has Down syndrome, a normal boy struggles to fit in.
  3. Swimming in the Desert. In a drought-stricken town, a 10-year-old girl challenges her grandfather to bring water back to the dry river.
  4. Gray Area: Wolves of the Southwest. In the American Southwest, a unique species of wolf unlike any other is making a comeback. Considered extinct nearly 40 years ago, the little known Mexican gray wolf has slowly pulled back from the very brink, against all odds. Is it possible for man and wolf to coexist?
  5. Meercat Maantuig. (South Africa Meercat Moonship) A fearful 13-year-old visionary meets a little boy who spends his days training to be an astronaut, an enchanting magical journey of hope.
  6. Woman Walks Ahead. Stars Jessica Chastain. A New York widow is an artist in the 1890s who decides to walk away from her privileged lifestyle and head west to Dakota. She hopes to paint a portrait of Lakota holy man Sitting Bull.
  7.  I Got You Babe. An ambitious young woman must decide what she is willing to sacrifice should she marry her boyfriend before midnight to save him from the Vietnam War draft due to an executive order signed by President Johnson on August 26, 1965.


This just in! The anthology ebook is FREE for a very limited time. Grab it quick.

My short story, Last of the Skipjack, reveals a typical day in the life of an engineer—if she were the type to consider mass murder mere collateral damage to win a submarine program for NASA.

Murder, Mystery & Mayhem is available for e-readers and in paperback. Check it out for yourself and your favorite mystery, thriller and suspense reader family and friends.

If you like the anthology, I hope you’ll consider leaving a review on Amazon or Good Reads. Reviews really do help authors and readers.

Happy reading!


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FREE Book for Memorial Day 2018 and a Boxed Fantasy Set for 99 Cents

Have you read Michelle Dutton’s  Lillian in the Doorway? Did you know that Alice and her detective boss had a case in California three years earlier? That mystery was documented in a novella called The Admiral of Signal Hill. I’m offering it for FREE from now until Tuesday, May 29, 2018. FREE for those who like Lillian, FREE for mystery fans, and FREE for those who are remembering someone the lost this Memorial Day. The novella includes doughboys from WWI.

Here is a teaser.

A 1920s mystery novella with bootleggers, whale bones, doughboys, and murders …

Maybe you’re looking for a fantasy? Maybe you’re looking to binge tomorrow, reading three novels between dawn and dusk? You are in luck! Megan Haskell’s Sanyare Chronicles, books one, two, and three, are available in a boxed set for ONLY 99 cents.

Another teaser …

The epic quest ranges from the High Court to the Shadow Realm, from the beaches of the Human Realm to the water fae city beneath the waves. These are The Sanyare Chronicles.

If you like kick-butt heroines, snarky carnivorous pixie sidekicks, enchanted blades, and an action-packed adventure filled with mythological creatures, you’ll love the first three books in Megan Haskell’s debut series.

Click on the title below for either or both deals:

The Admiral of Signal Hill (FREE for a limited time)

The Sanyare Chronicles (99 cents)

If you like the novella and the boxed series, I hope you’ll consider leaving reviews on Amazon or Good Reads. Reviews really do help the author and readers.

Happy reading!

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Jacqueline Diamond’s THE CASE OF THE DESPERATE DOCTOR is on Pre-Order!

Jacqueline’s medical mystery novel The Case of the Desperate Doctor will be released on May 15th! This is the third book in the Safe Harbor Medical mysteries.

USA Today best-selling author Jacqueline Diamond has sold more than 100 novels, including romantic comedy, romantic suspense, fantasy, mystery and Regency historical romance, to a range of publishers. A two-time finalist for the Rita Award, Jackie received a Career Achievement Award from Romantic Times and is a former reporter and TV columnist for the Associated Press. She wrote the Safe Harbor Medical miniseries for Harlequin American Romance.

The first book in the mystery series, The Case of the Questionable Quadruplet, was released in 2016 to glowing reviews.

Here is The Case of the Desperate Doctor teaser!

Two women are dead. A doctor desperately seeks justice for them both.

Haunted by the loss of his wife, Dr. Eric Darcy discovers she was linked to another woman, a female obstetrician, who has just died. Was it suicide or murder? His inquiry sets him at cross purposes with his sister-in-law, a private investigator, and his close friend, a homicide detective.

The pursuit of truth drives Eric on a quest to Israel, and back to his small town in California. There he uncovers shocking secrets that lead to a stunning climax.

Learn more about Jacqueline Diamond at:

Amazon Author page:

You can order her books at Amazon or by clicking: The Case of the Desperate Doctor

Happy reading! Michelle Knowlden

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Elijah and a Festival of Creative Women

I attended Mendelssohn’s Elijah concert Saturday at CSUF Clayes Performing Arts Center. Conducted flawlessly by John Alexander, I was mesmerized by the singers, the choir, and the orchestra. I’ve not seen Elijah performed live before and boy, am I a fan girl now!

If you missed it, I’m so sorry, but check out the CSUF program notes and biographies.

My wide-eyed moment came when mezzo soprano I-Chin Lee played Jezebel. She both terrified and delighted the concert hall! All four soloists were fabulous, but I’ve never been so riveted by a singular performance and I see much musical theater and opera! Here is her biography:

Mezzo-soprano I-Chin “Betty” Lee currently sings professionally with Pacific Chorale, the John Alexander Singers, and is the cantor at St. Paul’s Cathedral Center in Echo Park. Ms. Lee has performed as a chorister and soloist with Pacific Chorale on numerous occasions including Bach’s Mass in B minor, Handel’s Messiah, Beethoven’s 9th Symphony and Bach’s St. John Passion. She has also appeared as soloist in Mozart’s Requiem, Phillip Glass’ The Passion of Ramakrishna, Rachmaninoff’s Vespers, Duruflé’s Requiem, Handel’s Judas Maccabaues, and Mendelssohn’s Elijah, which was praised by Timothy Mangan of Orange County Register as, “delicate and aristocratic singing in her solos”.

Now I’ll tell you about a fabulous event where, hopefully, I’m giving you enough advance notice. Wine, Women, and Words festival will have shopping, music, panels, and opportunities to talk to your favorite present and future writers. Seventeen authors at the restful and gorgeous Giracci Vineyard and Farms! Wow! Read more about it here. Here’s the crucial details …

Saturday, May 12th

4:00 to 7:00 PM


Giracci Vineyard and Farms

16162 Jackson Ranch Rd Silverado, CA 92676


Happy reading and adventuring!


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April Family Time in Oceanside, California

We siblings grew up near the beach and something in us hungers to return. Even my mother, born and raised in Kansas, longs to watch the ocean during the day, walk the coastline, and fall asleep to the sound of waves crashing.

After spending thirty-five years in Colorado, my family moved to Arizona two years ago. They were finally within a reasonable driving distance of the Pacific. I, who’d never moved from California, could share a beach experience with them again, maybe on a regular basis.

The four of us and two dogs tried an Encinitas hotel last Fall. We had a wonderful time walking Moonlight Beach (humans only) and Solano Beach (all of us), visiting dog parks, and an enlightenment center. Lots of vegan eateries in the area, and we tried them all. We jammed much into five days.

Last month through VRBO, we reserved a pet-friendly four bedroom house in Oceanside for four days. Mom watched the waves during the day, walked the strand, and listened to the crashing waves at night. The sunsets were spectacular. All but me saw dolphins swim, sometimes leaping in the waves. Platoons of pelicans sailed by hourly, sometimes diving into the water. Helicopters from nearby Camp Pendleton flew overhead.

The spacious kitchen allowed preparation of our favorite meals. First full day there, we zoomed through Frazier Farms to fill the pantry. We found our favorites and tried new food. We had delicious oat/cornmeal pancakes, porkless pockets, and nut-based cheese.

We siblings and the dogs visited the Rosicrucian Center in Oceanside with its fabulous views. Walking on the cliff edge and among the buildings felt eerie. From Wikipedia: Mount Ecclesia (dedicated on October 28, 1911) is the location of the international headquarters of the fraternal and service organization, The Rosicrucian Fellowship, located in Oceanside. It is also is the location of its spiritual temple, called The Ecclesia, situated upon the promontory of a high Mesa over looking the San Luis Rey River valley and the Franciscan Mission San Luis Rey de Francia.

On the penultimate day, I walked alone to the Oceanside pier. Each member of the family had either together or alone made the trek. I took dozens of pictures of the pier and the ocean vistas like the two above. Then I inadvertently selected the b/w mode. I collected several pictures that felt like a flash back in time.

Besides the hours we spent together, one of my favorite moments was not recorded. Walking back from the pier, I saw a humpback whale spout near a buoy. Then he breached. What a sight!

Within a week of our return, we checked our schedules and reserved the Oceanside house for another visit in the fall. Can’t wait!

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Teresa Burrell‘s Advocate Series is on Sale!

The Advocate Series: Box Set by Teresa Burrell will have a Kindle Countdown that started Tues. 4/10/18. (Sorry for the late notice!) The box set includes the first 3 books in the series was only $.99 on Kindle Tuesday and Wednesday, and if you act fast you can still get that. This morning, Thursday, 4/12 at 11:00, it goes up to $1.99 for 2 days. Still a great deal! On Saturday at 5:00 p.m., the cost goes up to $2.99 and by Tuesday 4/17/18, it will be back up to original price of $4.99. Don’t miss out on this Amazon Best-Selling, by a legal-suspense Author at

As an attorney in San Diego, Teresa Burrell maintained a private law practice for twelve years, which specialized in domestic, criminal, and civil cases. Her work in juvenile court focused on representing abused minors and juvenile delinquents. Burrell has received several awards and special recognition from the San Diego Volunteer Lawyers for her countless hours of pro bono work with children and their families.

Burrell has also enjoyed a satisfying career as a teacher. She has taught children of all ages with diverse backgrounds and special needs. After creating an after-school program that kept kids off the street, she received a community service award.

Now in semi-retirement in California, Burrell continues to educate groups about social issues impacting children and write novels, many of which are inspired by actual legal cases. She is the author of The Advocate Series which now contains eight novels: The Advocate, The Advocate’s Betrayal, The Advocate’s Conviction, The Advocate’s Dilemma, The Advocate’s Ex Parte, The Advocate’s Felony, The Advocate’s Geocache, and The Advocate’s Homicides. Teresa has recently started a new series with a character from The Advocate’s Felony called Mason’s Missing.

Burrell also has two children’s books that are fun for the whole family–Gaspar, the Flatulating Ghost, and Gaspar Meets a Bully.

Here is a little about the Advocate series, beginning with The Advocate:

Sabre Brown is a juvenile court attorney whose work is far more settled than her social life. In The Advocate, Sabre’s job is to protect her minor client, but she’s obsessed with solving the mysterious disappearance of her brother. When Sabre’s search for her brother and her career collide, can she protect herself and the child from the obscure and treacherous truth?

In The Advocate’s Betrayal, the killer left nothing behind but a kitchen knife, a rosary, and a dead body. Sabre Brown is hired to represent her long-time friend who is accused of the murder, but everything she turns up about her friend is a lie—even her name.

In The Advocate’s Conviction, Sabre’s clients keep disappearing. In her race against the clock, Sabre discovers a conspiracy years in the making, secrets hidden for decades, and the twisted work of a mysterious society have all come together in the ultimate test of the strength of Sabre’s conviction.

Learn more about Teresa Burrell at:


Facebook address:

You can order her box set at Amazon by clicking: The Advocate series.

Happy reading! Michelle Knowlden

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