Handbags, Books...Whatever

Handbags, Books...Whatever (http:/vickibatman.blogspot.com) is the website of Vicki Batman, sassy writer of sexy and funny fiction.

Avid Jazzerciser. Handbag lover. Mah jongg player. Yoga practioner. Movie fan. Book devourer. Choc-aholic. Best Mom ever. And adores Handsome.

HBW Calendar

  • 05/16 - Handbag & Book, open
  • 05/12 - Recipe & Book, Linda Tillis
  • 05/09 - Handbag & Book, open
  • 05/05 - Craft & Book, Vicki
  • 05/02 - Handbag & Book, Vicki
  • 04/28 - Diane Wickles
  • 04/25 - Handbag & Book, Anne Marie Brear
  • 04/21 - New Book, Melissa Keir

Search This Blog


April 27, 2016

Travels & Book with Diane Wickles #HongKong #recipes #fortunecookies #MFRWorg #RssosSisters

Travels & Book with
Diane Wickles
Hong Kong. Everyone knows Hong Kong as skyscrapers, glamour and glitz in a crowded metropolis, but when the crowds and sidewalks get to you there are places to go to relax and slow down.

·         Lantau Island, the largest island of Hong Kong, is home to Hong Kong’s Disneyland and the international airport. But if you go behind the world’s largest outdoor sitting Buddha statue and hike up to Lantau Peak, the second highest point in the city, you will be rewarded not with the traditional Hong Kong skyline but with a beautiful panorama of lush green forests. 

·         Lamma Island is one of Hong Kong’s many outlying islands. This island has a very laid-back atmosphere with no cars allowed and a restriction of the height of buildings. It’s also well known for its excellent seafood.

·         Ping Shan Heritage Trail depicts the New Territories history with sites at temples, Hakka villages and monasteries. This trail features very old buildings and a more rustic atmosphere than the bustling city.

·         Wildlife Parks and Reserves Although Hong Kong does not have a zoo, it does have several wildlife and marine parks which are well worth a visit.

If you’re like me, I love fortune cookies! Yes, I know fortune cookies are not a traditional Chinese dish. History has them originating in California in the early 1900s. Still, they are fun to share. Here’s a craft where you can make cloth fortune cookies that won’t spoil: You Tube Fortune Cookies
A deadly Philippines typhoon stole Annie’s memory. Now, can a handsome Chinese stranger save her from the danger she has forgotten?

Leyte Province in the Philippines. Her running steps echoed from the walls. Would he catch her? It meant white slavery if he did. Slamming open the kitchen door, she burst out of the hotel despite the typhoon ravaging the eastern coast. The destructive winds and rains were buffered in the alleyway behind the hotel, but she still had to fight for each step away from the man she knew was just behind her.

             Without warning, massive walls of water rushed into the alley from both ends. The sixteen-foot wave scooped her up and battered her against the buildings. When the storm surge receded, she lay bruised and unconscious beneath a mass of water-logged debris.   
           “I’m told there are eleven buildings, besides this church, serving as shelters,” Father Donovan said. “I haven’t left here since the typhoon hit four days ago. Is the damage extensive?”
          “Yes. Very. Many people with no homes, no food,” Deshi Han replied.
           Father Donovan put his hand on Deshi’s shoulder. “You brought much-needed food and supplies. Your movies are loved but your charity work is well-known here in the Philippines. I thank you. You are truly doing God’s work, my son.”
            Deshi watched as a volunteer passed out the blankets he had brought, which would help to cushion the pews they were using for beds. He shook his head. “I wish I do more.”
            “Perhaps there is something …” Father Donovan began.
            “What, Father?” He followed the priest to a courtyard. A young woman sat beside a storm-crushed rose bed. Deshi guessed her to be American, in her early twenties. “Who she, Father?”
            “No one knows, not even her.” Father Donovan tilted his head to the side and sighed. “She has no memory of anything before the typhoon. One of the doctors informed me that she just needs rest to regain her memory.”
            Deshi watched the girl slowly gather the broken branches from around the few unharmed plants. A child about five years old ran up and tapped her on the shoulder. The young woman’s solemn face broke into a smile as the child led her away toward another section of the church.
            Father Donovan turned to Deshi. “But she won’t get that rest here. She has nightmares and cries for the orphaned and injured children. I’ve prayed for someone to claim her and take her away from here.”
            “We delivered the supplies to the kitchen.” Jun Chew, Deshi’s assistant, spoke in Cantonese as she approached them.
            Deshi turned away from the doorway, nodded at Jun then called to his business manager, “Where the next shelter, Paul?”
            Paul Wu shook his head then responded in English. “We have distributed all the supplies we brought, Deshi. That is all we can do today.”
            “Besides,” Jun continued in Cantonese, “we have to get back or you will be late for the senior citizen center opening.”
            The supplies had gone so fast. They had only been to six of the eleven shelters and there were so many people still in need. “Maybe one more thing I can do today,” Deshi said with a sigh. “Father?”
            The priest’s right hand clutched the large cross at his neck and he smiled. “Yes, my son?
            “I will take her.”
Find Hong Kong Treasure at: Amazon
Connect with Diane at: Facebook
Bonus recipe!

Asian Garlicky Zucchini & Tomatoes over Rice Noodles
2 med zucchini, sliced 1/4 inch
2 T Olive Oil
2 Garlic Cloves, diced or mashed
1 15oz can diced tomatoes
½ can corn
Asian rice noodles (found in ethnic section of grocery store)
Tamari or soy sauce
Sesame seeds
Saute zucchini in olive oil ‘til soft. Add garlic, tomatoes and corn and simmer
10-15 minutes. Serve over cooked rice noodles. Sprinkle with tamari and
sesame seeds.
Wow, Diane! What a lot of stuff you've shared today. I love fortune cookies and the one you shared is adorable.
Well, readers, what do you think--to fortune or not?


April 24, 2016

#author Anne Marie Brear w #historicalromance Where Dragonflies Hover & #handbag #MFRWorg #RssosSisters #accessories

Handbag & Book with
Anne Marie Brear

I adore my handbag because it is the first designer bag I’ve ever owned.

My husband bought it (and the matching purse) for me from Macy’s in New York for my birthday while we were on our honeymoon last year. The grey colour and shape is very much my style.
So, not only is it a very classy Michael Kors handbag, it was bought with love from my wonderful husband. I will always treasure it.

Sometimes a glimpse into the past can help make sense of the future…

        Everyone thinks Lexi is crazy when she falls in love with Hollingsworth House – a crumbling old Georgian mansion in Yorkshire – and nobody more so than her husband, Dylan. But there’s something very special about the place, and Lexi can sense it. 

The trunk was nothing special, plain and in parts rusted. No ornament or writing hinted at its use.

Intrigued, she grabbed a hammer from the workbench, but then hesitated. She had no right to open someone else’s property. Lexi closed her eyes momentarily. What was she thinking of breaking into the trunk? What am I doing? Never had she broken the law and here she was guilty of trespassing and breaking and entering! She looked around the rowboat as though expecting someone to jump out and arrest her.

Something inside urged her on. She knew she couldn’t stop now. Sucking in a deep breath, she bent and hit the lock hard. The ringing sound was loud in the quiet serenity of the garden. The metal dented and with another few solid whacks the lock gave.

Shivers of excitement tingled along her skin. Gently, she eased up the lid.
 Find Where Dragonflies Hover at: http://goo.gl/HVlcH7/

Wow, first, Anne Marie, what a great bag and second, a very intriguing excerpt!

April 21, 2016

What is Real?? Literary work imitates real life w #author Melissa Keir #MFRWorg #RssosSisters #newanthology

Let’s Get to Know...
Melissa Keir
Sometimes literary work imitates real life. In The Notebook, the main characters have a love that lasts a lifetime, including dealing with dementia. This could have been written about my own grandparents. It was touching watching the two of them together. Grandpa would sing to Grandma and sometimes talk to the wall, but only when the wall was actually the Pope visiting. 
Authors have a ton of real life experiences to use as fodder for their stories. I am known for putting a real life event in each of my stories. In The Christmas Accident, my mom was really in a coma and came out of it just as it was written in the story. I am the oldest of five girls, like in the Wilder Sisters series, although none of my sisters are like any of the characters in the books.

When it came time for me to write Lucas Pigg’s story, I knew that I had to use a real life story that my accountant told me. My accountant is a fun guy. He’s lived a very full life with a ton of experiences. This one was too good not to use.

When Charles (name changed to protect the innocent) was dating this one young lady, they had been out to eat but urges became so strong that they decided to visit a hotel along the freeway for some stress relief. They couldn’t keep their hands off each other. 

They booked a room for the night and proceeded to enjoy themselves. Suddenly, the alarms started going off. The hotel was on fire. They couldn’t leave the room because of the fire in the hallway, so they broke the window. As they stood there looking down, the young lady freaked out. Charles had to slap her to calm her down before they jumped. Luckily, they were both fine (no major injuries) but it turned out that a person tried to commit suicide by fire and ruined so many people’s nights.

Whew! Scary right? Now you can see why I needed to use it, although it’s not exactly the same in my story. I am an author and I love to take liberties with reality. So check out my book Protecting Her Pigg to see exactly how the story happens.

Protecting Her Pigg

Strange. Jessi usually has music going or kitchen noises. It’s too quiet.

At the door to the kitchen, smoke assaulted my nose. My training kicked in. Dialing 911, I call it in. Checking the swinging door for heat, I ran my hand up and down the length then, pulling my scarf over my nose, opened the door with caution. The haze of smoke darkened the room. However, I couldn’t see a fire or flames. Going to my hands and knees, I entered the kitchen, intent on making sure no one was inside. As I moved closer to the rear of the building, the smoke doubled. Suddenly, I noticed Jessi lying on the floor in front of the rear delivery door.

I crawled to her, fear raging in my brain. “Jessi.” I shook her. “Jessi, are you okay?” She looked like a crumpled piece of trash. Running my hands up her body, I felt her chest rise and released the breath I’d been holding since I saw her. “Thank God.”

“Ooohhh. What happened?” She tried to sit up. Coughs wracked her body, and she reached out blindly before collapsing onto the floor. “What’s going on? Why are you here?”

“There’s a fire. Did you leave the oven on? Are you able to move?”

“I never leave the oven on. My head hurts.” She winced when she touched the back of her head. Her fingers came away red. “I think my head is bleeding.”

A noise behind Jessi caught my attention. A pop and then a whoosh. Flames engulfed the rear door to the alley. Frantic, I pulled Jessi toward me and the outer door. “Come on. Let me help you. We need to get out.”

Her body felt like dead weight as she tried to stand. She fell to the ground and moaned. “I can’t walk. I’m nauseous.”

The kitchen door slammed open. In shadow, a tall man strode in, looking like a hero from my favorite romance novel. My heart sped up.

“Anyone in here? The building’s on fire!” Thank God Lucas had arrived.

“We’re here. Jessi’s hurt.”

He must have followed the sound of my voice because, a moment later, he stood in front of me and then scooped Jessi up in his arms. “Put your hand on the belt on my waist. Follow me. The kitchen wall is in flames, and the smoke’s too dense for breathing.”

Reaching out, I threaded my fingers into his belt, glad for the help with Jessi and knowing, somehow, he’d make sure we’d get out.

Find Summer Heat at: Amazon

Find Summer Heat at:  Website

I'm sure you've answered this, Melissa, but how did you get your hero's last name?

April 17, 2016

Handbag & Book: #mysteryauthor Judy Penz Sheluk #fashion #vintagehandbag #RssosSister #MFRWorg #Sinc

Handbag & Book with 
Judy Penz Sheluk

  I’ll admit it. I’m not much of a purse person. In fact, I’ve been carrying around the same old black leather purse, year-round, for the past three years. When the shoulder strap finally broke, I simply took the carry strap off my Lululemon gym bag and used that. Problem solved.

But even a crusty old purse curmudgeon like me has at least one nice handbag, right? And in fact, I do: This lovely sequined evening bag that I’ve owned—and loved— since the mid 1970s. Note the rhinestone in the snap, and lovely creamy white silk lining. Not to mention all those shiny sequins and seed pearls.

The purse was a Christmas gift from a boyfriend’s parents. The boyfriend turned out to be a two-timing loser (a lesson learned later rather than sooner). His parents, however, were decent hardworking folks, and I enjoyed spending time with them, and their miniature poodle. I like to think the feeling was mutual.

Anyway, this was a time when you’d dress up for New Year’s Eve, even if you were just going to a house party. I can remember wearing a floor length black velvet skirt and a red blouse that year, along with this lovely little clutch, and feeling quite mature (I was about seventeen at the time). The moment was ruined when said boyfriend’s best friend asked me if I’d gained weight, but I digress. The point is, I still own that purse, but I’ve never worn it since that evening.

 And yet, in all my moves, in all my de-cluttering attempts, I’ve never once been tempted to get rid of it. Maybe that’s because it’s more than just a pretty purse to me, a memory maker if you will.

 And maybe because one day this pretty purse will serve as inspiration for a short crime fiction story. After all, it has all the ingredients needed for a darned good murder mystery: a cheating boyfriend, his jerk of a best friend, a na├»ve seventeen-year-old girl, New Year’s Eve… 
Small-town secrets and subterfuge lead to murder in this fast-moving, deftly written tale of high-stakes real estate wrangling gone amok. 

Emily Garland considered the offer on the table and nodded. It certainly sounded as though Urban-Huntzberger had everything covered. She wondered whether she should study the contract, contact a lawyer. Take a moment to decide whether this was the opportunity of a lifetime or an act of insanity. “How long do I have?”

“We need an answer ASAP. You’d move in by the end of the month, sooner if possible. The rental house has been recently renovated and is currently available.”

Michelle stood up. “Emily, you’ve been in this business long enough to know this kind of assignment doesn’t come along every day. Work with us. Get rich with us. And help us to expose Garrett Stonehaven for the lying, cheating, bastard we both know he is.” 

Definitely more to this scenario than meets the eye. Emily pulled a gold-plated pen out of her handbag, a graduation gift from her mother a dozen years ago. She twirled it between her fingers, remembering how proud her mom had been, her daughter the first one in the family to go beyond high school. Remembered the way her mother had looked the last time Emily saw her, shell-shocked and shattered.

“Where do I sign?” 

Find Judy at: Website

Find The Hanged Man's Noose at: Amazon

Judy, I swear I had a handbag like this one. I'm going to look now...

Blog Archive