Finding Your Style

“Style is something each of us already has, all we need to do is find it.” — Diane von Furstenberg

Happy Thursday Southernistas! We’ve almost made it to the weekend and I’m sure we are rejoicing that it is almost Friday. 

I’ve been thinking about this topic for some time and now I’m going from thinking about it to writing about finding your style. The sage advice from fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg are wise words to live by my friends. When it comes to fashion it also reminds me of the quote by Yves St. Laurent “fashions fades, style is eternal” which is so true and many of us tend to think of fashion and style as the same thing but it is not. Fashion is what you wear and fashions change all the time but style is who you are. It is finding what works for your personality and life and making it your own. For many years I struggled with this very thing I thought fashion was style so I spent a lot of years chasing trends and clothes and never liking anything because I was rolling with the fashion instead of defining who I am I let fashion define who I was. It took me a long time to find my style but I finally found it and so while I follow fashion (almost slavishly) I am looking at what I can incorporate into my closet and fits my style which is modest, classic, and super feminine I mean you’ve seen the pictures so I’m sure y’all already worked out what my style is by yourselves. 

Finding your style doesn’t happen overnight it takes trial and error and really knowing who you are and what works for your life. Style can be edgy, feminine, nerdy, sexy, vintage, eclectic and the list goes on and on. Maybe you’ve let others define your style for you and you’ve just worn what you were told to wear but was never comfortable well this is the day you declare your independence! If you’re plus size then I don’t need to tell you that for so many years our style was determined by a bunch of dos and don’ts and mumus. 

I can already hear some of you saying but how do I find my style? Glad you asked first take an self assessment of you ask yourself what makes you feel like you. Ask friends you trust what words would they use to describe you and take those words and use them to determine your style. Think about you automatically find yourself wearing or your what are your go to pieces. Is your go to a killer leather/pleather jacket and jeans and cool top sounds like you have edgy style or do you find yourself wearing that jacket with a cute little pencil or mini skirt is could be a mix of edgy/sexy. You can have more than one style but it needs to be unique to you.

Another great resource to help you find your style is a subscription service like Stitch Fix, Trunk Club, Dia & Co, Wantable, Amazon and so so many other fashion subscription services. With these services you complete a style quiz which you can update and change as you find your style and depending on what service you use you can get between 5–10 pieces to try on in your home. You can keep what you like and return what you don’t like or you can return everything and all it will cost you (again depending on the service) is $20. You work with a stylist and some of these services the stylist will actually reach out to you and talk with you to get an idea of who you are before they actually send you a style box.

Style is all about who you are! It makes a statement about that all about you and nobody knows you better that you do! When you find your style and you will it may take some trial and error it did for me but once I stopped chasing fashion and thought about who I was my style reflected who Regina is and yours will too!

Until next time Southernistas!

Eloquii Sun Dress, Shoes & Tote Just Fab (NLA) alternate, alternate, alternate

Wednesday Reads

Happy Wednesday fellow readers! Ya girl has been on a reading roll…YES! Not only did I finish Put Out to Pasture by Amanda Flowers but I also read Elementary, She Read by Vicki Delaney and I am now reading No Good Tea Goes Unpunished by Bree Baker

As I already stated I finally finished reading the second book in Amanda Flower’s Farm to Trouble mystery series Put Out to Pasture and I loved it! I was lukewarm towards her debut novel Farm to Trouble the first book in the series but I live by personal rule of not dismissing a series based on the first book. Often times the next book in a series is better than the first and you find yourself a new cozy series or it you don’t.

That is the case with Put Out to Pasture I loved this second book in the series so much. Shiloh finds herself solving another murder when her best friend Kristy is accuse of murdering Minnie Devani who she has a very public fight with at Shiloh’s Fall Daze event she is hosting at Bellamy Farm to try and raise much needed funds and recognition of her fledgling organic farm business. But things go sideways when Minnie is found murdered later that day in the corn maze and Kristy is the prime suspect!

I liked Shiloh much more than I did in the first book but I much confess that I really wish she would have some serious heart to hearts with her father, cousin, and possible love interest Quinn. The author does a great job of character development, world building, and plot but she still leaves a lot of loose ends when it comes to family and possible romantic relationships and I am hoping that will not always be the case with this series.

Overall I give this book 4 stars!

My Reading Buddy

Elementary, She Read (A Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery) Book 1 by Vicki Delany

Vicki Delaney is one of my favorite cozy mystery authors. She is the author of several cozy series that I love and read and I’ve been wanting to read her Sherlock Holmes Bookshop mystery for awhile and it has been on my virtual TBR (to be read) pile for a long time so I was so happy this was picked as the May of my Facebook book club.

This is another winner from Vicki! Gemma Doyle is a transplant from England to West London, Massachusetts in Cape Cope and co-owns Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Emporium with her great uncle Arthur and the adjoining Mrs. Hudson Tearoom with her best friend Jayne but Gemma is not a Sherlock Holmes fan her great uncle Arthur and friend Jayne are the Holmes fan. While Gemma may not be a fan of the fictional detective she has the same observational skills as the great detective so much so that nothing gets past Gemma. I really enjoyed this first book in this series and I loved the Sherlock Holmes Easter eggs all through the book. If you are a fan of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s detective you really should give this book a read.

When Gemma finds a possibly valuable Strand Magazine signed by Arthur Conan Doyle tucked among her bookshelves she remembers the lady that came in when she was in the mist of a rush of tourist and realizes she much have put it there. Gemma finds out where the lady is staying and along with her friend Jayne goes to the hotel she is staying at to let the woman she know she found her magazine but instead finds the woman dead. Now its up to Gemma and Jayne to find out who killed this mystery woman and remove themselves as suspects no matter how many times the police tell them to stay out of the investigation.

When I first started reading this novel I started out not liking Gemma very much but as I read I began to warm up to Gemma and found myself liking her very much!

I’ve just started reading the second book in Bree Baker’s Seaside Cafe Mystery Series No Good Tea Goes Unpunished and wow what a great book so far. If you’re looking for some great beach reads I highly recommend this series.

Such a Fun Read!

How I am Learning to be Single

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for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. Phil 4:11b

Happy Friday Southernistas and also Happy February 1st! There is nothing like starting the weekend off in a new month!

When I was thinking about content for this week’s blog I was trying to decided what I wanted to talk about regarding fashion and style but the I felt the prompted to talk about something I’m not comfortable talking about…my singleness especially in February. My martial status is something I try not to think about mostly because I’ve spent a lot of time and energy thinking about my martial status. The closer I get to 50 (I’ll be 48 this year) the more aware I am of the fact that I am still single and I mean single never been married single. I always thought that by now I would be married for a number of years and provided my daughter with siblings.

Then I realized last year that although I am single I never really learned how to be single I mean your status is single when you come into the world but then as we get older and discover the opposite sex we feel the pressure to be coupled up with someone. I remember desperately wanting a boyfriend all though high school and college (not one date in college) especially when you see everyone all lovey dovey. The month of February was torture for me but I had friends that made it bearable. Except for one brief relationship in my 20s I have been very, very, very single and for most of this time I have been very sad, lonely, and depressed about being single.

The number of times I cried on my best friend shoulder about being single are too many to count! The times I’ve spent in prayer asking God why am I still single again too many to count. My Pastor and First Lady encouraged me that it would happen for me but it just seemed that every year it never happened. One year at my church it seemed like all I did was announce upcoming nuptials! To encourage myself I would ready 1 Corinthians 7 to remind myself the benefits of being single versus being married.

I look back over those years and realize now that I wasn’t ready for a real relationship. I was needy, desperate and was looking for someone to fulfill all my emotional needs. I had a lot of baggage that needed to be unpacked and dealt with. I also realize now that I wanted to be a relationship so I could say I was in a relationship so I was more committed and in love with the idea of being in a relationship.

Then last year it happened! No I didn’t meet a man but I realized that I had to learn how to be single. I had to learn to truly appreciate being single and being happy with my state until God changes my status. I had to learn that I can go out by myself and shop, eat, visit museums and enjoy my own company. Also I also realize how great it is to have the freedom to come and go as I please without having to consider someone else. My spending choices are mine alone. Most importantly this is the time when you can really focus on God and really seek Him.

As I was thinking about what to say the latter part verse 11 from Philippians chapter 4 came to me in this last chapter the Apostle Paul is encouraging the Philippians to rejoice, not to worry and if you do what to think on to ease the worry, and then he begins to let them know that he has experienced different circumstances the one thing he has learned is to be content. Now I want say I’m content with being single but I am learning to be content. I am learning that my life is not dependent on having a man in my life but it is dependent on having Jesus in my life!

Yes I am still single but the difference now is that I am waiting for that someone that is right for me and not doing anymore is moping around discontent and depressed because I don’t have someone in my life. I know longer dread February 14th. I am learning in this phase of my life to be single and content and that has made all the difference.

Until next time Southernistas Be Bold, Be Beautiful, Be Confident!

Dress from Eloquii x Draper James Collection (no longer available) | Shoes from Payless

Spring has Sprung!

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Hello Southernistas and Happy Spring! At the risk of being a broken record I do so love Spring! I know this time of year can be miserable for allergy suffers and I am so sorry the pollen is making your life miserable but SPRING IS HERE…WHOO HOOO! It is just something about seeing the Earth waking up from its long winter nap that lifts my spirits. To see the trees budding, feel the sunshine, the flowers blooming, and the most important thing the Spring fashions and swimsuits my favorite brands rollout well a girl can’t help but be happy.

In this blog I’m going to post some of my favorite pieces I’m loving right now from two of my favorite brands Eloqui and Lane Bryant!

Until next time Southernistas!

Eloquii Textured Full Empire Dress
Eloquii Wrap Around Dress
Lane Bryant Cami Dress
Lane Bryant Ruffle Hem Eyelet Fit & Flare Dress

The Bodycon Dress

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Hello Southernistas! Hope you’ve had a great week and that you have an even better weekend! I confess the one article of clothing that puts me way outside my comfort zone is the bodycon dress. What is a bodycon dress you ask. Bodycon is a dress that hugs your body and trust me I realize this dress makes many plus size women uncomfortable and many avoid this dress . I understand because I was one of those women for years because of my tummy. My comfort zone is an A-line or fit and flare dress that doesn’t draw attention to my middle.

As you can see from the numerous pictures of me on this blog I carry my weight in my middle so in my mind bodycon dresses are more suited for an hourglass shape or a pear share. If you’ve wanted to try a bodycon dress but have been hesitant I recommend a sweater dress they have stretch and they tend to skim the body so they’re not too bodycon which I personally believe is the perfect dress to start with or size up the dress will not hug your curves as much. If you’re self conscious about your tummy or another part of your body you don’t want to draw attention to add a duster, cardigan, moto jacket, or blazer to give you a little more coverage. I cannot stress the importance of the right foundation garments! The right shapewear and bra with the dress will not make you slimmer but smooths everything out so the dress fits you like it should!

I promise you bodycon dresses are nothing to be afraid of and there is a dress out there for you that will make you feel sexy and a total bombshell. Don’t let the negative voices or doubts stop you from dipping your toe in this part of the fashion waters. If you’re still not ready to try full on bodycon look go with a pencil skirt to begin with and work your way up to the dress.

You have a wide selection of brands to choose from but I highly recommend Fashion to Figure they are my go to for bodycon dresses and this little red bodycon sweater dress (buttons are not functional) is FIRE! I wore a cami under it for the office and wore this red moto jacket to complete the look. This dress is sold out but click here and here for an alternate

There is a bodycon dress out there for you I promise!

Until next time Southernistas

Dress — Fashion to Figure (sold out), Moto Jacket — Eloquii (sold out) alternateShoes — Just Fab

Embrace You

“To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance” Oscar Wilde

Hello Southernistas! I hope ya’ll’s week has been a good one! First let me start off by saying Welcome MARCH! As far as I’m concerned when March arrives it’s Spring even if the 1st day of Spring is March 20th.

I want to encourage y’all to embrace who you are. Now if you’re thinking this sounds like something she has already talked about then I say it may very well be but I’m going to beat the drum until you get with the beat! I’m not just talking about accepting your body and learning to love the body you have now rather than the body you want but I’m talking about all of Y-O-U! Yes that’s right embrace all the loveliness of your person. Every quirky, weird, funny personality trait about yourself. You may not be everyone’s cup of tea but you are someone’s cup of tea. We spend way to much of our life trying to conform to the expectations of people who in reality don’t really matter in the grand scheme of thing. God made you and gave you your own individual idiosyncrasies that makes you unique. Our ultimate goal is to be who God has created us and called us to be.

It took me years to embrace myself and to stop trying to fit in with everyone just to have friends by changing who I am. I finally embraced that yes I like rock music, B movies, classic movies, and other things that people find weird but when I embraced me that’s when I found my real friends. Real friends love the person you are and they help you to grow as a person but not loose your spark or who you are. I am blessed to have real friends in my life who lift me up and have always loved and accepted me for me but have helped me to grow and do the whole adult thing.

There is no one like you. No one can bring to the table what you can bring to the table or offer what you have to offer. Only you have that particular skill set to do what needs to be done. No one has your sense of style, sense of taste, sense of humor, or problem solving skills that are unique to just you. So go ahead and embrace all of you. If you need help seek help from a great therapist who can help you on your journey of growth.

Y’all life is too short to bend ourselves to the will of others instead of just embracing who you are and being who God has created you to be so I encourage you today to embrace YOU! As Polonius said to Shakespeare’s Hamlet ‘This above all: to thine own self be true, And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man.’

Until next time Southernistas!

Why I Love Shoes…especially Heels!

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“Give a girl the right shoes and she can conquer the world!” Marilyn Monroe

Hello Southernistas! Well I hope y’all are having a great week and that you have great plans (or not) for this last weekend in February! You might not know this but I love shoes! I actually own a little over 100 pair of shoes. I’ve actually written previously about two of my favorite shoe brands Nine West and Just Fab. Now I can hear the men saying “what woman doesn’t love shoes”…LOL! But my love of shoes especially heels border on obsession okay it is an obsession. I mean I use to watch Sex and the City just to get my shoe fix. I wear heels 6 days out of 7. My motto is the higher the heel the closer to God!

I can’t remember a time when I didn’t love high heel shoes it is definitely a life long love affair. I think I get my love from my grandmother who loved heels and tried to pass it on to my mother but it skipped her and passed to me. I remember going out shopping with her and how she would bypass the flats and go straight to the heels section of the store. I guess it rubbed off on me because I’ve been wearing heels since I was 13 and as I got older my heels got higher. At one point I actually owned a pair of 5 1/2 inch heels.

Why do I love heels maybe its because I’m 5’3′ and I love how “tall” I feel when I wear them. I love how great my legs look in heels and as a short girl when I wear maxi dresses, skirts, or certain pants heels assist in “lifting” the hems so I’m not tripping over my hems and I don’t have to pay a visit to my tailor. They give a little extra oomph when I walk. Heels can take a plain ordinary look and kick it up a whole level. You’re wearing a LBD (little black dress) just add a killer pair of red stilettoes, animal print, sassy pattern or a jeweled sparkly shoe and boom just sit back and watch the compliments roll in!

The best things about heels is that unlike shopping for clothes they fit regardless of dress size. I love that heels come in different heights, types, and styles. I love a wedge heel for a relaxed and causal look and they are the best type to wear if you want to wear heels and be comfortable. Block heels are right up there with wedges when it comes to comfort but are dressier and perfect for the office and church. Stilettoes are for the ultimate girly girl and when you want to totally vamp it up! I myself am personally a stiletto girl and they make up a large percentage of my shoe collection but when I want to feel sexy, fierce, and unstoppable then my go to shoe is a pair of killer stilettoes and I feel like I can take on anything or anyone!

Now I know that many of you can’t wear heels or any kind for health reasons. Some of you have had surgeries, suffered sports related injuries, are dealing with a chronic illness, back issues and other reasons. I have friends who love heels but are just not able to wear them. But for those of you who are just a teeny, tiny bit hesitant about wearing heels my best advice is to start with a kitten heel (2″) or a cute little wedge and work your way up and stop at the heel height that feels comfortable for you.

I absolutely love shoes and I’m pretty sure when I’m 95 I’ll still be wearing high heels and they will probably be orthopedic and I’ll probably be using a walker but I’ll still be wearing them and loving them!

Until next time Southernistas! Keep your head, standards, and heels high!

The Southernista

I’m a 50 something southern girl who has a passion for fashion. Join me on my fashion journey. Follow me on Instagram: @reginathesouthernista

Yes You Can!

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Hello Southernistas! As I was thinking about what I wanted to talk to y’all about the campaign slogan from President Obama’s 2008 first presidential run popped in my brain! His slogan was Yes We Can except I substituted the we for you (you get it). This also lead me to Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” So many times in this life we live we are more often told no you can’t do that in one way or another but as then Senator Barack Obama proved Yes…You…Can! The Apostle Paul list a number of situations he had experienced but then followed up with verse 13 in chapter 4 which is every Christian’s go to scripture (and Romans 8:28). I think about all the times I allowed the negative words from well meaning and some not well meaning people to tell me I couldn’t do something or you can’t wear this or you shouldn’t wear that because of my size but I’ve come to realize that I don’t have to listen to the no you can’t/shouldn’t and start to listen to the yes you can Regina voices!

Today I want to let you know: YES YOU CAN! Yes you can start that business, blog, YouTube channel. Yes you can wear that swimsuit, pattern, print, color. Yes you can leave that toxic relationship weather it is a romantic, a friendship, or a work relationship. Yes you can write that book. Yes you can heal from unspeakable trauma with the help of a great therapist and Jesus. Yes you can take that trip by yourself or with your girls. Yes you can buy that house all by yourself. Yes you can take that chance on that new relationship. Yes You Can! Yes You Can! Yes You Can! YES…YOU…CAN! God will give the strength you need to make the steps you need to make.

It is so important to surround yourself — not with yes people — but with cheerleaders who will always bring out the best in you, cheer you on, encourage you, tell you the truth, help you achieve your goals. I am blessed to have some great cheerleaders in my life. People who saw my potential when I didn’t and couldn’t see it and was listening to the negative voices. People who loved me, encouraged me, pushed me, cheered me, and wouldn’t let me accept less than in my life. Who said to me yes you can until I could say if for myself. This blog exists because of my mom, a friend at work, my church (love you AHOD) especially, and my besties Lisa and Laura. When I first thought about starting a blog I talked to my cheerleaders and they helped me pick out the name of my blog and gave me really great input and not one word of negativity or discouragement was spoken.

So if you’ve been thinking about taking that first step in a new direction in life and you’re wondering if you should let me be one of your cheerleaders to tell you YES YOU CAN with the help of God (always seek God first), therapy (if needed), and great people in your life you can achieve your goals!

Until next time Southernistas!

Skirt & Top from Ashley Stewart (sold out), Faux Leather Blazer from Eloquii, Shoes from Just Fab (sold out)
Cropped Blazer, Top, Skirt from Ashley Stewart (sold out), Shoes are Just Fab (sold out)
Blazer and Jacket from Lane Bryant (old), Turtleneck from Ashley Stewart (sold out), Shoes are Torrid (old)
Faux Leather Blazer and Pants from Eloquii, Sweater from Old Navy, Booties from Just Fab

How I Handle SAD

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Hello Southernistas! Well here we are at the end of January and unless you live in the Caribbean, Canary Islands, or some other year round warm haven then you like me are in the depths of winter. I am sure that some of you like me are tired of winter and ready for the H.E.A.T! Here in NC we started last week with snow and ended with snow and now the weatherman is predicting more snow this weekend. Make…it….STOP!

So I suffer from a mild case of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) which is a thing and it affects some 3 million people. This occurs during the winter when the days are shorter so longer nights (how do people in the Arctic Circle survive) and some of the symptoms are depression, fatigue, hopelessness and social withdrawal pile on top of this pandemic. This can be treated with therapy and in some cases medication. If you can afford it a vacation to warmer climes it is a wonderful boost.

Last week with the frigid temperatures coupled with snow and ice I really struggles. I just didn’t want to get out of bed and felt so low so I recognized the signs and knew I needed to practice my coping skills when I began to experience some symptoms.

Here is how I handle the winter blues:

  1. I lean more into my quite time with God when I get up I grab my Bible, devotional, journal and I spend time praying and letting God’s word speak to my soul. I try to spend at least an hour and when I come to the end of that hour reluctantly I feel lifted and ready for the day.
  2. Exercise! Weather it’s just 15 mins or you go full on beast research shows that exercise releases those wonderful endorphins which gives you a boost. I am by no means a morning person but when I get up and go walking at the YMCA, because hello it’s cold outside, for 45 minutes at the end of my walk I feel in the words James Brown good and I am in a better had space! So get moving
  3. Fashion (I mean you knew it was coming) I am firm believer in the Regina Brett quote “No matter how you feel get up, dress up, show up!” and that is what I do! Last week and this week has been a real struggle for me. I didn’t want to get up and do #1 or #2 but this quote would pop in my head and after my quiet time and walk after I shower and go through my morning routine I hit my closet and pull on something fabulous. By the time I dress and step into my heels I am ready and in a totally different place. Now I know there are many who don’t believe in the power of fashion but I am telling you there is nothing like putting on that dress or suit that gives you boss feelings! When you put on that outfit you know the one that puts a big smile on your face. There is indeed power in fashion and there is something to be said for the feeling you get when you see yourself dressed and ready to take on the world.

Now as I said my SAD is very mild and I am in no way a psychiatrist or therapist so please seek treatment if you are suffering from SAD. These are what work for me and hopefully along with other treatment these suggestions can be incorporated into your treatment.

Until next Southernistas! Stay Safe! Stay Warm!

Top Ashley Stewart, Faux Leather Skirt alternativealternateShoes Just Fab
Blazer, Pants, Sweater Ashley Stewart sold out
AlternateAlternate
Top, Pants & Coat — Eloquii (sold out) alternatealternate, coat alternate
Dress (sold out)— Elquii alternate, Shoes — Just Fab
Blazer & Pants — Eloquii

My Favorite Cozy Mystery Podcasts

Hi Southernistas! Well we are 14 days into 2022 and I hope it’s going great for y’all and that y’all are being a fruitful and productive but most of all haven’t broken your resolutions (if you make one)!

Like many of you I love a good podcast mostly true crime and Christian podcasts but between the true crime and Christian podcasts I’ve discovered some great book podcasts. I am an avid reader of cozy mysteries in fact the last three posts were a wrap up of my favorite mysteries I read in 2021. So now I want to share some of my favorite cozy mystery podcasts. You can listen to these podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcast, Goggle Podcasts or whatever platform you listen to podcasts.

Happy listening y’all!

  1. The Cozy Corner with Alexia Gordon — Alexia Gordon is the author of the Gethsemane Brown mystery series and the host of this podcast. I love this podcast and her interview style. It’s always great to hear an author interview another author about their writing process. New episodes every Wednesday. For more information you check out the podcasts website www.thecozycornerwithalexiagordon.com

2. Cozy Ink Podcast — Leah Bailey is the host and she is also a author. What I love about this podcast is that there are not only author interviews but Leah also has several authors on to discuss different aspects of publishing and writing. They give great advice and tips for aspiring authors. You can learn about Leah and the podcast on her website www.leahbaileyauthor.com. New episodes are not out yet but when she does they will come out every Tuesday.

3. Get Cozy Podcast with Krysti Meyer — Krysti discovered cozy mysteries at the beginning of 2021 and fell so in love with this genre of mysteries she decided to do a podcast and TA DAH…the Get Cozy Podcast is born. Krysti brings a millennial view point with her podcast and you clearly hear her love of cozy mysteries as she interviews the authors. Every episode deals with a particular topic in cozy mysteries the she talks with the authors about and I love it! At the end of every episode Krysti gives book recommendations. New episodes every Wednesday. You can follow the show on Instagram @getcozypodcast

4. Sister in Crime Writer’s Podcast — This podcast is hosted by Sisters in Crime Executive Director Julie Hennrikus. Julie interviews members and past presidents of Sisters in Crime about their writing journey. The authors are from every genre of mystery and don’t let the title of the podcast fool you male mystery authors are interviewed also. If you want to learn more about this organization check out their website www.sistersincrime.org.

5. Mysteryrat’s Maze Podcast is produced by King’s River Magazine that features actor’s reading the first chapter of a mystery or a short story. For more information www.mysteryrat.com or http://www.kingsriverlife.com