Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Life In the Fast Lane with Spunky Sally Berneathy

I grew up in pre-television days in a small rural town in Oklahoma. Our favorite entertainment on summer evenings was to sit outside under the stars and tell stories. When I went to bed at night, instead of a lullaby, I got a story. That could be due to the fact that everybody in my family had the singing voice of a bullfrog with a cold, but they sure could tell stories—ghost stories, funny stories, happy stories, scary stories.

For as long as I can remember I've been a storyteller. Thank goodness for computers so I can write down my stories. It's hard to make listeners sit still for the length of a book! Like my family's tales, my stories are funny, scary, dramatic, romantic, paranormal, magic.

I have sold fifteen romance novels ranging from comedy to dark suspense. For these novels, I won several awards including National Readers' Choice, Romantic Times Best Silhouette Romance and two Rita finalist slots.

About Sally's book -
Death by Chocolate, available as an e-book, is a cozy mystery with lots of humor and chocolate. My heroine, Lindsay, is a chocoholic who just wants to enjoy her brownies in peace and quiet, but her neighbor's secrets put her life in danger. I've included some of Lindsay's favorite recipes at the end of the book.

Lindsay Powell's only secret is the recipe for her chocolate chip cookies, but she is surrounded by neighbors with deadly secrets. Suddenly Lindsay finds herself battling poisoned chocolate, a dead man who doesn't seem very dead and a psycho stalker.

Her best friend and co-worker, Paula, dyes her blond hair brown, hides from everybody and insists on always having an emergency exit from any room. Secrets from Paula's past have come back to put lives in jeopardy.

Determined to help Paula and to save her own life, Lindsay enlists the reluctant aid of another neighbor, Fred, an OCD computer nerd. In spite of his mundane existence, Fred possesses tidbits of knowledge about such things as hidden microphones, guns and the inside of maximum security prisons.  

Lindsay needs more than a chocolate fix to survive all this chaos.

Amazon Kindle Link:

And now, let's read what Sally has to say about getting old -

You know you're getting old when:

You get upset with your current job and think, "I don't have to take that! I'll just go back to school and get another degree and get a different job!" And then you realize, the employment opportunities for 70-year old interns are probably slim.

Sally at the Grand Canyon
 Your doctor concludes your checkup with: "You're in really good shape…for your age."

You still come in last in a 10K race, but you win first place in your age group…because everybody else in your age group is walking with a cane.

You stop getting speeding tickets.

Okay, I haven't hit that last one yet. As long as I consistently drive 15 miles an hour over the speed limit—and more when I'm in a hurry—I think I'm okay on that one.

As a dedicated speeder, through the years my methods of squeaking out of a ticket have evolved into what I consider my best to date. I credit the wisdom of age and experience for coming up with the story, and my being over a certain age for the cop's acceptance of my story.

One day I was driving along, doing 72 in a 55. The older we get, the faster we have to go because we have less time to get there. Right?

Next thing you know, I hear a siren and see flashing lights in the rear view mirror. So I pull over and here comes gorilla cop wearing a pair of those silly mirrored sunglasses. "Going a little fast there, weren't you, ma'am?"

"A little," I admitted. "Not enough to matter."

"Oh? And just how fast do you think you were going?"

I may be old, but I'm not stupid! No way was I going to admit I was doing 72, and if I'd said 55, he'd have known I was lying. "Well, I had my cruise control set for 65."

He glared at me over the tops of those stupid sunglasses. "Ma'am, this is a 55 mile an hour zone."

I glared right back at him. "Sir, this is a 7 year old car, so deducting one mile an hour for every year, that means I was only going 58 miles an hour. Are you seriously going to give me a ticket for 3 miles over the speed limit?"

He blinked a couple of times, shoved those sunglasses back up on his nose and stepped away from my car. "What? No! You were doing 72!"

"Oh, man! You mean I got it backward? I'm supposed to add the years instead of subtracting them?"

He moved a little further away from me as if senility might be contagious. "Yeah, yeah, backward. Slow it down, okay?" Got in his car and drove away.

No ticket!

I hope that cop's not reading this blog. Is there a statute of limitations on speeding?

When I was young, I thought I'd never get old. Why on earth would I want to do something like that? It didn't look like fun, all those people with white hair tottering around, driving slow in front of me, holding up the line at the grocery checkout. Somehow, just by going to bed every night and waking up every morning, I have achieved membership in AARP and Medicare.

But I'm still in there trying. I've always been a late-bloomer. I graduated from college at the age of 43, sold my first novel at 47, learned computer programming at 56, learned to ride a motorcycle at 60, self-pubbed my first e-book at 66. Sky-diving is next on my list. After that, well, the sky's the limit! At least I don't have to worry about dying young!

However, I haven't been stopped for speeding in over three months. I wonder…


  1. Welcome to Spunky Senior Authors and Talents, Sally. You are quite a daring, Senior!

    Morgan Mandel

  2. Sally, you are an inspiration. I'm going to put learn computer programming on my to-do list...for next year! I'll have to wait a decade before I'm brave enough for skydiving, though.

    1. A decade? That's okay. It gives you something to look forward to!

  3. Rock on, Sally.

    Maggie Toussaint

  4. Thank you so much for having me today, Morgan! I love this blog, love hearing from others who refuse to assume the stereotype role of seniors.

  5. You look great on a cycle! In my opinion 70 is the new 40 and I'm subtracting years on purpose. *grin* Great blog.

  6. Sally, I've already told you you're my hero, but I'll say it again. Aging doesn't mean you have to stop doing the things you love. I think your accomplishments are amazing. And not just the cool tricks for getting out of speeding tickets.

  7. I have some more scams for getting out of speeding tickets (don't always work!), but I considered that one my best.

    Once when cop pulled me over and asked about my "heavy foot," I lifted my size 10 foot to the window and asked, "With feet this big, how could they be anything else but heavy?" Got out of that one, too.

    One very young cop caught me doing 93. I had him laughing and talking with me, which usually means they won't write that ticket. But this kid just kept writing! He kept saying, "But you were doing 93!" Like he'd never seen anybody going 93 mph before. Very young.

  8. Sally, I totally agree. The older we get the faster we have to go to get there. I'm not nearly as good at talking cops out of speeding tickets. Hat's off to you on that one.

  9. Wow, you look hot on that bike, babe.

  10. Sally,

    Enjoyed your post. I'm so jealous! I have always want to learn how to drive a motorcycle. I hope I look as good as you when I'm 66. We have a lot in common. I didn't learn the computer until 1998. I went bungie jumping at 40. Graduated from college at 50.

    I received my first ticket at 49, going 75 in a 55. I used my husband favorite line, "You got me officer, go ahead and give that ticket (he's a truck driver and it always worked for him). The officer told me, "Oh I plan writing giving you a ticket." Guess I need my own line.

    Next on the bucket list is to finish my novel and get published. Or I could learn to to drive a motorcycle. Do you give lessons? :)

    Diane Kratz

    1. Diane - You go, girl!

      You can learn how to deal with traffic cops. Most of the time, if you get them to laughing, they won't write a tickets. Doesn't always works, however!

      I had always wanted to ride a motorcycle, but my evil ex (an abusive control freak) threw a fit every time I talked about it. So I divorced him, took a class and bought a motorcycle! Check with your local colleges and dealerships. The best class, IMO, is the Harley class because they use small Buells. Easier to balance, ride, and pick up when you drop them!

      And keep going on the novel! It just takes persistence. I wrote for 4 years before I sold my first one.

  11. I have yet to talk a cop out of a ticket...even the one speeding to the hospital when my son was born. Oh well :)

    Lovely post, Sally!

  12. This was so much fun. Thanks for hosting Sally, Morgan. She is a delight and I loved her story about talking her way out of the ticket. I'm not quite as spunky when it comes to driving, sticking closer to 5 to 7 miles over the posted limit, but she does have a good point about how we don't have time to waste dawdling. LOL

  13. Sally, it is always fun reading about your shenanigans. Your life is never dull!

    Big hugs from chilly nawth jawjah, honey...

  14. Loved you & your cop stories!

    I started writing on a typewriter & "backed up" on carbon paper. Remember carbon paper? lol

    I sure wish I had kept those carbons. I could have sold them on ebay or donated them to a library!

  15. LOL!! Loved your speeding ticket story! And...if for no other reason than the title, I would buy your novel! You go, girl!

  16. Wonderful post, and sexy picture of you and the bike, Sally. This will, no doubt, be an exciting decade for you.

  17. Enjoyed your blob! What tales you do weave. Love it all friend.

  18. Age is just a number...look at all you've done and will continue to do in middle age (I'm there right near you, too!). Love how you got out of that ticket. Sky diving? Uh...let me know how that turns out. I'm too chicken to try that!

  19. Sally, you are definitely one Spunky Senior! Love your story. I think my ticket was for a lapsed inspection sticker, and since it had been lapsed for several months, he said he REALLY had to give me a ticket.

  20. Hi Sally, wow you are indeed a Spunky Senior, a dare-devil spunky senior, in fact.
    Love the title Death By Chocolate. I too am a chocoholic. Love the stuff.



  21. Thanks, everybody, for the wonderful comments!

    I have begun my day with a cup of hot chocolate. Big surprise, huh? My heroine Lindsay in Death by Chocolate shares my chocolate addiction as well as my need for speed. She maintains a pre-paid legal plan to get her out of her tickets! I have an attorney who loves me because I'm such a good customer.

    Goal for today--more chocolate but no speeding tickets!

  22. You are hilarious! I always worry that I'm old for my age. Then I catch myself going below the speed limit, and I freak. Great post!

  23. I always wanted to know who I would be when I grow up and now I know, you! LOL You are my kind of woman, Sally, and you have inspired me anew! Christy

  24. Doctor says I need new knees from all those years of running. I asked him if he could add a couple of inches to my legs when he puts in those new knees, make me taller so I'll look thinner.

    He said no. Jerk.

  25. Great post. My middle child now calls me Oldilocks. I guess at the ripe age of 43 I'm a geezer. :)

    Wishing you the best,



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