Posted By Susan Bernhardt

I was interviewed by the Sisters of Suspense and my Kay Driscoll mysteries featured. To read the interview please go to:

https://sistersofsuspense.com/2016/04/14/guest-susan-bernhardt/

 
Posted By Susan Bernhardt

This past weekend my husband, Bill and I attended a Bach concert featuring Natalia Moiseeva guest violinist from Moscow, Russia. She had just flown in after performing at Carnegie Hall in NYC the evening before, so I figured she must be good. She was.

Bill's first love (in music) is classical. And he loves Bach. We visited Bach's home in Leipzig, Germany. My only claim to fame on the Bach classical music front, well actually it's baroque, is that I used the restroom in Bach's home. ;) Sorry!

If you knew how many classical concerts I have attended in my lifetime, having held season tickets in various cities where we've lived, you'd think I'd be a bigger fan. I prefer rock and roll, blues, pop music. Still the concert was amazing and I was happy we were able to be there.

Afterwards we attended a reception where we could mingle with the musicians and sample decadent desserts. I mingled and I chose two desserts: a chocolate ganache torte and a vanilla bean petit four. Having been on a diet for the past week, I savored both. A lovely woman who I had visited with previously, came up and introduced me to her husband. She mentioned she had read all of my Kay Driscoll mysteries. I was quite pleased about that.

Bach, Chocolate, and Books, a great mix.

 
Posted By Susan Bernhardt

If I know what love is, it is because of you. – Hermann Hesse

Valentine's Day is a great holiday for many reasons. It comes after all of the "good will towards men" has worn off. We take time to celebrate love. And love is love, right? Love is never wrong.

It's quite wonderful that we take a day to think about the people closest to us, that makes the other 364 days worth living. Love need not have words, only the beating of hearts. But the expression, "I love you," can send one flying high. There is no message more joyful then those three magical words.

Kay Driscoll understood the biological connection between love and the heart. Emotional and physical closeness kept one's heart healthy. She knew that love lowered blood pressure, normalized heart rhythms through the release of oxytocin from the pituitary gland. Oxytocin evokes feelings of contentment, calmness, security, and many studies have shown a correlation wth human bonding.

As an additional health benefit for the heart, Kay made for a Valentine's treat of dark chocolate covered fruit for her and Phil's dessert on Valentine's Day. She also put together a bowl of high percentage (75%) cacao in dark chocolates. She understood that eating small amounts of dark chocolate, about one ounce daily, benefited the heart.

Dark chocolate is made from a plant and has many of the health benefits of dark vegetables. Rich in antioxidants which protects the body from free radicals, dark chocolate contained flavonols, which lower blood pressure. One ounce of dark chocolate inhibits blood from clotting, which reduces the risk of heart attacks and strokes. It lowers cholesterol.

Dark chocolate tastes good, it stimulates endorphin production giving a feeling of pleasure and contains serotonin which acts as an anti-depressant.

Who, being loved, is poor? – Oscar Wilde

Happy Valentine's Day!

 
Posted By Susan Bernhardt

Happy New Year! 2016

 
Posted By Susan Bernhardt

Excerpt from Murder Under the Tree: Kay Driscoll has Phil's relatives over for Christmas dinner. (After reading this, it may surprise you that Margo was not the murder victim.)

Around noon, the door bell rang. "They're already here?" I said in disbelief under my breath. I took off my apron and went to answer the door just as Phil came down the steps, all showered and looking handsome in a suit.

"Surprise! Merry Christmas! We're early," Phil's brother Tommy said, standing on the porch.

I smiled at Phil. "Yes, you are." Great surprise. Phil's brother Tom and my obsessive sister-in-law Margo. Their arms were loaded full of plastic Tupperware containers, plus a fruit cake. "Merry Christmas!" Phil and I said.

"Kay, Margo's looking forward to helping you out with Christmas dinner." Phil looked over at me raising his eyebrows. Andrew and Will, who were now at the front door, stood grinning.

I clenched my jaw. More like take over Christmas dinner. "How thoughtful, Margo, it's so sweet of you to want to help. But, I'd appreciate if you'd just enjoy your Christmas. Guests should be guests. Please, just enjoy yourself." I forced a smile. Would she buy it? My sister-in-law thought she was queen-of-every-kitchen. Everything had to be done her way. It wouldn't be so terrible, if she knew how to cook. Kay, remember it's Christmas.

Tommy looked towards Margo and she at him. "Something smells good in here," he said as handed me the fruit cake and walked into the house. "Nonsense. Margo wants to help you."

"I insist!" Margo said without a smile.

"Let me help you with all of those containers. You shouldn't have brought all of this food. We have plenty." An extra hour with Margo. My menu, ruined. Of that, I was sure.

Margo went straight into the kitchen. I followed with the containers and the fruitcake and put them on the counter. She took off her coat, handed it to me, and took a Christmas apron out of her large purse. I wondered if she had a chef's hat in there as well. She put on her apron and proceeded to lift up each lid of the pots on the stove, systemically tasting everything. "Well, we can rescue that," I heard her say under her breath as I left to hang up her coat.

Going into the living room, I heard a knock on the door. I opened the door to find Deirdre and Mike, Elizabeth and John standing on the doorstep, with packages in their arms, singing.

 

 

 
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