Keep Inspiring Me – Characters


38 Phrases coined by Shakespeare that you never knew

anita rodgers mystery writer

Some writers are just timeless. Shakespeare is probably one of the most timeless of them all. Don’t believe me? Following are common phrases that we ALL use, even today – that came from the Bard himself.

For goodness sake

Neither here not there

Mum’s the word

Eaten out of house and home

Knock knock! Who’s there?

All’s well that ends well

With bated breath

A wild goose chase

Too much of a good thing

A heart of gold

Such stuff as dreams are made on


What the dickens

Lie low

Dead as a doornail

Not slept one wink

Foregone conclusion

The world’s mine oyster

In stitches

Naked truth

Send him packing

Vanish into thin air

in a pickle

Own flesh and blood

too much of a good thing

Truth will out

Eaten (you) out of house and home

Had you in stitches over a joke.

Give the devil his due

A sorry sight

There’s method in my madness

Salad days

Wear your heart on your sleeve

Spotless reputation

Full circle

There’s the rub

All of a sudden

Come what may

So, the next time you utter one of these phrases, be sure to thank the Bard for it. 😉

Holy Barbecue, Batman – Scotti’s Potato Salad and Cupcake Recipe

Since we’re heading into a serious eating holiday weekend, Scotti thought she’d share a couple of barbecue worthy recipes:

Scotti’s Old Fashioned Potato Salad


5-7 large Russet potatoes

½ cup chopped celery

½ cup chopped sweet onion

½  cup chopped dill pickle

¼  teaspoon paprika

¼ cup of chopped red or green bell pepper

1 tablespoon prepared mustard

½ – 2/3 cup mayonnaise

1/3 cup dill pickle juice

2-3 cloves of fresh garlic chopped

Salt & pepper to taste


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add whole potatoes and chopped garlic – cook until tender but still firm, about 20 minutes. Drain, cool, peel and chop. (You can discard the garlic or leave it in, your choice).

In a large bowl, combine the potatoes, celery, onion, dill pickle, and bell pepper. In a separate bowl, mix the mayo, dill pickle juice, mustard, and salt and pepper. Blend mayo mixture until it is slightly runny and well incorporated. Pour mayo mixture over potato mixture and fold well so that potatoes are well coated. Sprinkle with paprika, then refrigerate until chilled (at least two hours). Serve with your favorite barbecue dishes.

Scotti’s Sourcreme Chocolate Cupcakes


½ C boiling water

¼ C butter

1 C granulated sugar

¼ C unsweetened cocoa powder

1½ C all-purpose flour

½ tsp salt

½ tsp baking powder

½ tsp soda

1 egg, beaten

½ C sour cream

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp black cherry extract


In a mixing bowl, combine boiling water, butter, sugar, and cocoa powder. Beat on low speed until smooth and sugar is dissolved.

In another bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.

In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, sour cream, vanilla, cherry extract.

Add sifted dry ingredients to the cocoa mixture alternately with the egg and sour cream mixture until fully integrated but don’t over-mix. Fill greased and lightly floured cupcake cups about 2/3 full. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean.

Cool for 5-10 minutes, then remove from the pan and cool completely before icing with your favorite frosting.

Stay safe, eat some good food, and have a great weekend.


   Coffee & Crimewhere cooking and crime come together.

Houston, we have a problem…

The Dead Dog Trilogy is out but…

Apparently, there is a problem with the universal links from the previous post and/or email, if you’re on the newsletter mailing list, so we are just going with the standard links for the books, below.

The Dead Dog Trilogy is the story of Lottie Stark, Chief of Police of a small town, pursuing a serial killer, whom she believed was dead. But apparently isn’t. Since this trilogy is considered ‘serial fiction,’ the books in this series are interconnected and the final resolution occurs in the final book.

However, each book in the series does resolve some issues, and you, the reader, are not left ‘hanging.’ The first book of the series is intentionally priced very low so that you can get a taste of the trilogy and decide if you want to continue reading the next two books, without having to make a large investment.

You also have the option of obtaining the boxed set “The Dead Dog Trilogy – Boxed Set” which contains the full series in one volume.

Let Dead Dogs Lie, Book 1 

In Book 1 of this gripping crime thriller trilogy, a dead serial killer comes calling

Lottie Stark, Chief of Police of small town Regal Reef, California, has a problem. A serial killer she caught when an FBI agent, is murdering young women again—but in her town. Donald Brown Stoker’s victims were blonde and blue, young and attractive. Just like her current victims. And the MO is eerily similar to Stoker’s—the strangled girls are left naked on the highway, wearing only a dog collar.

But Stoker has been dead for three years, so it can’t be him. Can it?

Unhappy with Lottie’s progress, the town mayor and city council go over her head and bring in the big guns. Profiler, Jack Brady—Lottie’s former partner and lover. Brady’s presence complicates her life and the murder investigation but also dredges up past failures and secrets that Lottie wants to keep buried.

Meanwhile, this calculated killer is leaving clues that feel personal. So when a close friend of Lottie’s is threatened, she fears the killer is going after people she loves to punish her. Who will be next?

LINKS:   U.S.   UK  Canada AU

Every Dog Has His Day, Book 2

In Book 2 of this exciting crime thriller trilogy the killer targets his next victim

Politics and backstabbing has thrown an unexpected twist into her path and Lottie finds herself on the sidelines of the murder investigation. Disgruntled and ready to chuck it all, Lottie decides to lick her wounds.

Until disaster strikes and another girl goes missing…

This time, a local and a much younger girl than the other victims. Time works against her, as she and Brady search for the girl, hoping to find her before the killer claims his 4th victim.

Meanwhile, the killer lurks ever nearer in a twisted game of cat and mouse. And his fixation on Lottie ramps up at a maddening pace. She has no idea the plans he has in store for her.

In a twist you won’t see coming, Lottie gets snarled up in her own trap. Will she be able to free herself before it’s too late?

LINKS:   U.S. UK  Canada  AU 

Dog in the Hunt, Book 3

In the conclusion of this fast-paced crime thriller trilogy, the man-hunt is on and somebody’s going down. Is it the cop or the killer?

With the killer identified and law enforcement agencies across the country searching for him, the illusive sociopath manages to avoid capture.

As opposing agencies stake out territory and angle for their piece of the glory, Lottie can only trust Brady to have her back. They’re anxiously on the hunt, chasing leads across the country and back again. But who is the hunter and who is the hunted? As they begin to put the pieces together, they have to face the mistakes they made and the signs they missed in Stoker’s case.

With the killer taunting them at every turn, will Lottie and Jack win the day – or does the day belong to the killer? Can they right their mistakes and catch the killer that seems to be a ghost?

In the final faceoff, Lottie finds herself risking everything to confront this sadistic killer who won’t go down without a deadly fight. But is she willing to pay the ultimate price to rid the world of this monster?

LINKS:   U.S.  UK  Canada  AU

Dead Dog Trilogy, Boxed Set

With every dead girl, they found a dead dog…

Donald Brown Stoker, a.k.a., the Keeper, brutally killed seven women before he was cornered in an abandoned barn by FBI agents. Rather than surrender, Stoker, set himself and the barn on fire—preferring death to spending the rest of his life in a federal prison.

And with him, went his sick secrets.

Former FBI agent, Lottie Stark, didn’t mourn the loss of Stoker, nor the death of her FBI career. She moved on to a quieter life as a small town police chief, where, though life could be tedious and a pain, she had no trouble sleeping. Because she no longer dreamed of monsters.

Until Stoker came back from the dead…

Three unidentified dead girls, all with Stoker’s MO, dumped in her town is giving Lottie a case of déjà vu all over again. With little evidence and no viable suspects, Lottie is ready to for a meltdown.

Frenemies and allies alike urge her to bring in the FBI but she’d rather die than churn up her past failures. But thanks to the town mayor and her underhanded lead detective, the past is headed straight for Lottie’s door. Not the least of which is, profiler Jack Brady, her former lover and partner.

As Lottie struggles to maintain control of her case and her town, the lunatic is still out there, free to kill again. And daring her to catch him.

LINKS:   U.S.  UK  Canada   AU


My Name is Lottie Stark

My name is Lottie Stark – Carlotta May Stark to be exact. The Carlotta was after my granny, my mama’s mama and the May was after my daddy’s mama. Kids made a lot of jokes about my name and I got in a lot of tussles because of it. But eventually we all settled on Lottie and that’s who I am.

My daddy, Ben Stark, is a lawman. Well, a former lawman. Thirty-five years in the Texas Rangers and he is one fearsome son-of-a-bitch when it comes to taking down bad guys. I wanted to be him when I was a kid and when I grew up, I did my best to emulate him—I think I’ve done him proud.

My mama, Mary Stark, was a redheaded spitfire with lots of spunk. But she also had the biggest heart of anybody I ever knew. She could make you feel better no matter how down you were and she made the best biscuits in the State of Texas. She was killed when I was twelve and has left its mark on my soul. Ben did the best he could at raising me and my brother Adam, but it was never the same without her.

After Mama died, we moved to Dallas where nothing reminded us of her. Daddy was still a Ranger and I became his junior ranger. We clung to each other in our grief and loss. And I became a pint-sized version of him. Leaving my brother, Adam, kind of out in the cold. It wasn’t intentional but Adam wanted nothing to do with law enforcement and even refused to go to Daddy’s retirement party.

Though now, Ben lives with Adam in Florida with his wife and kids. They get on better. But they never talk about Mama or law enforcement and probably not about me too much either.

After what happened to mama, I took to calling Daddy, Ben. Don’t know why or why he was okay with it but it somehow made things easier. Made me feel stronger and more able to cope with being a motherless child. Ben and I were partners. Equals. He taught me to shoot, hunt, and to read people. All the tools I’d need when I became a cop and eventually an FBI agent.

Adam became a straight A student and won a scholarship to Columbia and ironically, became a lawyer. But one of those corporate kind that doesn’t deal with criminals. I followed Ben into law enforcement, first the Dallas PD and then the FBI and now Chief of Police in a bodunk town in Central California, called Regal Reef.

Being a woman in law enforcement ain’t all that easy – even in this day and age. The men you work with either think you’re a ball buster or a door mat. And the perps figure you for an easy mark. Suffice to say you put up with a lot just to wear a uniform so you can catch some bad guys. Still, it’s worth it and I’m proud, for the most part, of what I’ve done and accomplished.

But as the past is wont to do, it decided to rear up its ugly head and knock me for a loop. Everything I thought I knew about my past is about to shift under my feet. And to be honest with you, I really didn’t see any of it coming…


  Get your copy now of this gripping crime thriller now at Amazon

Dead Dog Trilogy Boxed Set

Let Dead Dogs Lie, Book 1

Every Dog Has His Day, Book 2

Dog in the Hunt, Book 3






DOG IN THE HUNT,  book 3