I work the graveyard shift at my Silver Bullet Diner (open 24 hours, daily specials, air conditioned). My shift is midnight to eight in the morning. I’m a cook, although I prefer to be called a chef even though I’ve had no “professional” training. I trained at the side of my Uncle Porky and Aunt Stella Matkowski, the original owners of the diner.

After Uncle Porky died, Aunt Stella decided to retire. That’s where I came in. It was a perfect time in my life to move from Philly to small town Sandy Harbor, New York, and start over. I bought everything (the Silver Bullet, twelve housekeeping cottages and a big Victorian) from Aunt Stella on the “niece, easy payment plan” (NEPP).

Sometimes, I don’t go to sleep after my shift, but sometimes I do. It all depends where and when I’m needed. Most of the time, I feel like a zombie without sleep, but I love to cook diner food-comfort food.

Within shouting distance of the Silver Bullet, is the Victorian, painted white with green shutters that I call the “Big House”. As I mentioned, on the shore of Lake Ontario, are twelve housekeeping cottages that I own (also white with green shutters). It looks like the “Big House” had a litter!

The winters are harsh, so the graveyard patrons are the snowplow drivers, the cops, and an assortment of night owls. As soon as the lake thaws, the fishermen arrive. In the spring and summer, I’ll get families who have vacationed at the cottages year after year, just like my family and I did. I counted down the days to a summer at Cottage Four starting in September when school started!

I’m still feeling my way. As soon as Aunt Stella handed me the massive amount of keys and we figured out a payment plan on a Silver Bullet placemat, she headed for a cruise with her lady friends and bought a condo in Boca.

Talk about a fish out of water! I was a tour guide in Philly.

I love my staff, and they have been a great help. My pal, Juanita Holgado, is the day cook. Cindy helps her and makes the best cinnamon buns. Clyde and Max are my handymen, and are old U.S. Army pals of Uncle Porky. Waitresses are Chelsea, Bettylou and several others in varying shifts.

I try to make sure that everything is in ship shape: the grounds, the cottages, the diner, the Big House. Sometimes, I have to scout out Clyde and Max’s hiding spots, to get them working, but I’ve become a pro at it. If I could develop a decent spreadsheet, I could computerize my orders for food, but my notebook with all my innumerable lists will have to do.

Collecting recipes from family and friends is my hobby. I experiment with their various recipes at the diner. Someday, I’m going to publish a cookbook-RECIPES FROM THE SILVER BULLET DINER.

Oh sure, in my spare time!

Right now, I’m in the process of bringing back the Saturday night Dancefest on the grounds. Uncle Porky started the Dancefest back in 1950, and Aunt Stella stopped them when he became ill. But every Saturday in the summer, people would flock to the deck behind the Silver Bullet and the dance floor on the lawn and spend the night dancing, eating, and singing around a big bonfire. I’ve got my menu planned, booked the band, hung the posters, and it’s going to be a great time. Fingers crossed that there will be a big turnout.

And then there’s Deputy Sheriff Ty Brisco a transplant from Houston. He is six-foot-something-and-then-some when he wears his cowboy hat. Then there’s his drawl. Yum. Ty’s a Silver Bullet regular along with the two other members of the Sandy Harbor Sheriff’s Department, and he’s sweet, and kind, and smart and loves dogs and he’s, well, absolutely perfect.

But I’m not looking, really I’m not. I still haven’t recovered from my divorce from Deputy Doug.

No more cops for me.

So, that’s about it. My day seems totally boring, but it’s not. I keep busy, and I love it. I live on a beautiful piece of land on one of the Great Lakes. I just have to remember to take time to sit in an Adirondack chair and let the lapping waves relax me. Nice.

If you’re ever in the neighborhood, stop in for the daily special at the Silver Bullet. I make a delicious meatloaf. Or maybe mac and cheese is for you. Grilled cheese and tomato soup? Spaghetti and meatballs? Baked chicken with mashed potatoes and gravy?

And then there’s dessert….

And if you’re looking for a nice vacation, think of the Sandy Harbor Housekeeping Cottages.

We’re open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and even holidays because everyone needs a place to go!

And remember: What happens at the lake, stays at the lake!
All my best wishes to you and yours,
Trixie Matkowski

do-or-diner-tourClick HERE for more chances to win a copy of “Do or Diner” while participating in Christina’s blog tour.

Thanks to Penguin, I have one (1) copy of DO OR DINER to give away. Leave a comment to be included in the giveaway. Contest ends August 12; US entries only per publisher’s request.

Meet the author
I have worked in the criminal justice field for more years than I care to remember. It seems like I was forever going to school while I was working full time, but in the end, I received a dual master’s degree in Probation and Parole Studies and Sociology from Fordham University. Unfortunately, the knowledge gained from way too many years in night school, didn’t prepare me for what I love to do the most – write!

To date, I’ve written nine romances for Harlequin and one cozy mystery-my first!-for Obsidian Books.

DO OR DINER will be released from Obsidian Books on August 6, 2013, and it’s their first “comfort food” mystery! My second cozy mystery will be called A Second Helping Of Murder, and will be released in 2014. A third is yet untitled and unscheduled.

For fun, I enjoy watching professional bull riding and rodeo with my favorite cowboy, my husband Jim. We put on our cowboy regalia (I look horrible in a cowboy hat!) and have traveled to events in Las Vegas, Florida, Connecticut, and other states.

You can visit Christine at her website and on Facebook.

Books are available at retail and online booksellers.

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