Liberty Heights Redux!


The Liberty Heights series is republished! The first 4 books are now available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Apple and other vendors with a very cheap deal, 99 cents each! They are also being offered to libraries but I have no control over the distribution. You have to ask your library about getting a copy. Amazon is talking about paperback but so far it’s just talk. Still, good news, right?

The other books in the series will be coming soon. If you need a cheer up, a light read, a fun read, it’s time to visit Liberty Heights!


See you in Liberty Heights!


Stuck in a lockdown? Getting ready for a hurricane?

Preparing for a Lockdown and other natural disasters


Rather than talk about writing, I thought this week I would address the ongoing mess that so many are experiencing with Covid. Parts of Australia have been on lockdown for weeks. Sydney is in its 7th week with no end in sight. Half of Australia is in lockdown.  France has instituted a covid pass for entry into any public facility from supermarkets to restaurants. Cases are surging everywhere, even places with high vaccination rates. I’m not going into the politics of this nor public health failings. You can read plenty of that in other places. What I am going to talk about is how to try to get through these snap lockdowns and really the ideas apply to other disasters like hurricanes as an example.

Step 1: prepare. Don’t leave this until the last minute when supplies may run out or be limited. My mom lived in Florida and she was always prepared for hurricanes. She had loads of batteries, all sorts, ready. That’s incredibly useful. Have plenty of flashlights, better than candles since they can create a fire hazard especially stumbling around in the dark. But, battery candles are handy. They won’t shed  a lot of light but will help a bit and they last a long time. I also have two battery powered lamps, another idea from my mom. If you think the power might go out, make sure you have a battery radio and you can get a television too. I had one in the past and might get another one. They are useful for keeping up with the news and anything else you might want to watch. Here’s where those batteries come in handy! A headlight that straps around your head might be handy too, especially in the dark.

Food. Obviously have a good supply of non perishable food. It may include things you normally don’t eat but in an emergency, you’ll be happy to have these things. Fill your freezer and I don’t mean with things like ice cream. I see this all the time. People buying food that spoils quickly—milk, ice cream, etc. I don’t know why. Cook everything in the freezer. Then you can put it back in to freeze. If power goes out and you don’t continually open the freezer door, it will keep for quite a while, meaning maybe two days. Maybe more. It depends. To extend the cooling time, fill the entire freezer. If you have space, fill ziplock bags with ice cubes. You can always use them and if they melt they are clean water supply.

Get barbecue that does not require electricity. You can cook on it if you want a hot meal. As for milk, get the long life or a substitute like almond milk if you prefer. If you are going to buy canned goods, that’s fine but check expiration dates and obviously go for the longest. You might not use them up and you don’t want to have to throw them out later in the year. If you can get pop tops, even better, but make sure you have a can opener. Buy anything in pouches like tuna. Easy to store, no spoilage and easy to carry around.

Talking about power. If I know a hurricane is imminent, two or three days before, I make sure I fill the car with gas (petrol) because if power goes out, using cards may be difficult. Long lines and supply shortages are common. Don’t wait until the last minute. I also do everything that requires power the day before predicted hit. Laundry, dishwasher, etc. That way I start with everything clean. And while it might not save the planet this might be a time when you need to use paper plates and cutlery so you don’t waste water if that is a shortage problem too. Of course, fill anything you can with water in the event that water becomes a problem. Yes, fill bathtubs, containers of any sort (I have an old laundry hamper that I leave in the shower and fill it. It holds a lot of water.) You will need water for drinking, bathing, washing up anything and flushing a toilet. So the more you store, the better. Sure, you can buy it and should in advance but stores run out as panic buying sets in so if you are going to buy, do it well in advance and don’t throw out bottles. You can refill them. I also do anything that requires water early like washing floors the day before a hurricane might hit. Start out clean with everything done. That’s the general idea.

As a side note, I fill a thermos with hot water. If power goes out, I can still have a hot drink. If you don’t have a thermos, this might be a good time to buy one.

Charge everything right up to the last minute. Phone, ipad, laptop, kindle and make sure you don’t leave them on when not in use. It’s a good idea to have an evacuation list too if you have to get out for any reason and make sure the phone and charger, etc. are on that list. In a panic you might grab the phone but forget the charger. I have a backpack ready for emergencies so all I have to do is grab the phone, laptop, kindle and chargers and I’m ready to go.

Combat boredom and woe is me!           

Getting through being stuck inside whether covid lockdown or natural disaster. I have found that planning really helps. Make a list of things you really want to do. This is your chance to try new things. Look at it that way rather than I’m stuck inside. I can’t tell anyone what to do, it’s all about your own personal interests but don’t be afraid to try anything. A few of the things I have done:

Learn a new language. If you have wifi, use an app and start learning a language. It’s fun and most of the apps include speaking and reading. If you do it over time, you will learn. You don’t need to do it a lot, 15 minutes a day but if you are consistent, you will learn. There are heaps of languages on these apps, plenty to choose from.

Practice some exercise that you can do in confined areas. Again, there are apps and videos so if you are afraid of power outages, download some of the videos. You can do yoga in minimal space. Don’t worry if you can’t

do the exercises, adapt and do what you can. Tai chi is another one. And the bonus is you will find them relaxing too. Again, do it daily for a short period of time. More frequent and less time is better than once a week and a long time. Don’t say you can’t, just try it and see how it goes.

Get craft supplies ready. Anything. If you have a knitting project that you never finished, now it’s time to dig it out and get it done. That applies to embroidery, needlepoint, etc. Of course, that would be better during the day time with optimal light but go ahead. If that isn’t your thing, try something new. I’ve never painted, I’m not artistic but recently I bought some water colors and brushes with instructions. First attempt was terrible, second was better. Do I care how it turns out? Not really, not at this point but I’m trying something new and I can see improvement and I like fooling around with the paint and mixing the colors. You never know, you might get good at it.

Read. Well, that should be obvious. I read a tremendous amount all the time and in lockdown it must have doubled at least but it’s a chance to get caught up with reading in my TBL (To Be Read) pile. It’s your chance to discover new authors, new books, so before a storm, download a few or a lot! And have them ready.

I’m sure you know that you can use that time to catch up on movies if you have power like during a covid lockdown. Everyone does but try something you might not have watched before. I recently binged on Hit and Run. Fabulous! So go ahead and binge but even if you love movies, you get sick of that after a while which is why you need other things to occupy your time.

If your power works, do some cooking. Keep it simple if you are not especially experienced. Simple works.  In the past, I’ve used a slow cooker a lot. You can’t go wrong as long as you have enough fluid so it doesn’t dry out and know what you can cook in it. Meat always turns out well because it’s cooking in fluid so long whether you use stock or a sauce that the meat is tender and tasty. Vegetables don’t need as much time unless you want mashed potatoes so just keep that in mind. Of course, you can bake, do other cooking or whatever. Your kids can do it with you so you will all be occupied and you get to eat what you make! So make sure you add lots of those ingredients to the shopping list as part of your preparation.

Dance. Really. You can find loads of videos everywhere. You don’t have to be a dancer. Nobody will see other than your family and they can join you so they don’t roll their eyes! My dance teacher did online lessons during a lockdown. Was it ideal? Of course not. My house is not a dance studio but for some people it really worked. He did give me choreography to practice and that helped a lot. I did that every day and he gave me exercises to do. Again, very useful because I could do it on my own. Yes, I was happy to get back to the studio eventually! And the dancing counts as exercise so go for it!

Home repair. Ok, I am lousy at home repairs. Really awful but if you have any ability, now’s the time to fix that dripping faucet, fix scratches on I don’t know what, etc. And surprisingly, during lockdown I fixed a toilet.!!!!!!! Why? I didn’t have a choice so I had to figure it out. I completely surprised myself so don’t say I can’t do it because you might be able to do whatever it is.

Board games. I know. Hardly anyone has them or uses them much anymore but they are very handy for situations where you don’t want to waste power or don’t have it so it’s always a good idea to have a few around. Even if it’s only a deck of cards and it will keep everyone busy.

Try a new hairstyle. I did during lockdowns. It didn’t matter if it looked awful because nobody was going to see it but me so if you want to try curls or something else like creating a French twist, assuming you have internet, just do a search for a video that will walk you through the process. You just might come up with something terrific and that applies to make up too. Dig out all your make up. Again, if you have access to videos, you can have some fun looking at celebrity make up or iconic looks like Audrey Hepburn and see if you can duplicate it with the step by step process. It might look wonderful. You never know.

Do get dressed. It’s a temptation to slouch around all day in pajamas and sweat pants and it was pretty funny at first to attend a zoom meeting with everyone in pajamas. But, that doesn’t create a structure to the day so get dressed. Try on different outfits. It’s a good chance to see what the heck is in your closet. You can do a Marie Kondo and clear it out or you might find things you haven’t worn in years and you still like them and can fit into whatever it is. It’s like getting new clothes! But get dressed. The real deal. Between that and your new make up and hair you might look really different if you are doing zoom meetings, you still want to look presentable. Trust me on that.

Try to keep some structure. Have designated work hours, break hours, etc. If you don’t know what you are doing that day, you get lost and confused. That’s why it’s important to get dressed, have a list of things you are going to do that day and follow through.

Is any of this fun? Well, again, it depends on you. It’s an attitude so it’s up to you. I found during lockdowns that many of these suggestions really helped people. I made a few short clips of myself dressed in a sixties dress, hat and makeup—remember from above? Clean out closet and find stuff, try new make up and hair??– and sent them to people to cheer them up. It did. And then they got into the spirit of it and made videos too. So we were entertaining each other.

I could say a lot more but I think this is enough for now. You get the idea. So, the key takeaway is:


Plan. As detailed as you can be whether shopping for supplies, structuring your day and listing new things to try. Planning makes you feel more in control and losing control like in lockdowns fuels anger and frustrations. Stay in control.

Structure your day. Have a list of things you need or want to do that day. You won’t be wondering what do I do now? I’m bored. And then sit around and eat all day out of boredom. You don’t want that!

Be brave and try new things. Anything. You just might fall in love with something new. You won’t know until you try.


I hope this has been of help in some way. And last, attitude. Always look for a way to make lemonade out of lemons!

See you another time,



I’m back! With a re-release

Hi Everyone,

I’ve been absent for quite a while due to various problems but I’m back and happy to announce that the Liberty Heights series is being re-released! All of the books will be out there. The first three, Animal Crackers, Life of the Party and Hanky Panky are available at the very  affordable price of 99 cents each. So if you need a beach read, a feel good happily ever romance or just a good giggle, head on over to Amazon, Barnes and Noble and more sites are coming as well as libraries that will be able to get the books. Not bad huh?

So what else is new? Honestly, I’m grateful to be healthy and safe. I’m in Hawaii and yes, I’m working on a new book set here in our beautiful Islands. I know we have all been faced with challenges from covid and probably none of us thought we would be in this mess for such a long time. I think we have to face it that we have to learn to live with this virus because it has learned to live with us. I still remain optimistic that things will get better.

How did I handle the lockdowns? Better than expected. I did have to learn to teach online but I’m pretty good at it now. And I made a point of making a list of things to do every day to have some structure. I tried to see this as a chance to try new things rather than see it as being cut off from the outside world. What did I do? Went on to Duolingo to practice my French which did get better. I really enjoy the podcasts. I also tried Italian, doing so-so with that but it’s similar to French. I even started Hawaiian and Yiddish lessons. It’s free so why not? I started doing yoga with an app and same with Tai Chi. I’m back to playing tennis and some swimming and I’ve recently added attempting to learn to paint with water colors. Not so good but it’s for me so it doesn’t matter and like anything, if you stick with it, usually you get better, right?

I will be back soon with more news!



This is really great. My publisher is offering a Liberty Heights bundle, ALL 8 Liberty Heights books in one big fat read for–are you ready for this?–ONLY $2.99. IS THAT A DEAL OR WHAT?
I am sure this will not last long so grab this deal now!


Wait Watchers is coming!

Grab a bargain! Wait Watchers, the newest Liberty Heights book is now on pre-order with a huge savings. Order before June 20 release date at a special price of $1.99. Your book will be delivered on release. After June 20, the price will be $5.50 so don’t wait.

Here’s a brief peek at Wait Watchers:

Straightlaced literary agent Portia Hart is hiding out in Liberty Heights from a crazed writer. She’s sprained her ankle, minus her eyeglasses and can’t see a thing. Newly widowed Truman Wilder is home after a mystery surrounding his wife’s death. The last thing he needs is Portia, but this is Liberty Heights, where lunacy and romance abound. Portia’s stuck at LouAnn Freedbush’s bed and breakfast. Sister BettyAnn is hysterical due to her eviction from Registered Witches of America. Uncle Rupert Freedbush is big game hunting in the backyard. Why? Because Uncle Rupert insists he’s Ernest Hemingway.

The Valentine clan snatched the property Truman needs for his optometry business. They want to open a florist shop. The Valentines are experts thanks to attending loads of funerals only nobody knows where the bodies are buried. This is New Jersey, after all.

Portia isn’t sure how it happened but Elmo, an Alaskan Malamute, has been left in her custody. Elmo’s diet consists of her shoes. What does Wayne, the psychic beagle say about this? How did everyone end up at 1920s Parisian Lost Generation party? Will Elmo eat the town out of footwear?

Men definitely make passes at gals who wear glasses or are nearly blind without them. Romance rules in Wait Watchers!

The Liberty Heights series:

Animal Crackers still on special at 99 cents. No kidding!

Life of the Party, yep, another special at 99 cents.

Hanky Panky

Light My Fire

Rodeo Daze

Adams and Eve, A Liberty Heights Halloween

Pranksgiving–you can figure out which holiday

Wait Watchers

Galley proofs done! Wait Watchers

Wait Watchers! Book 6 of The Liberty Heights series will be out soon. I’ve finished the galley proofs. Yay! Lots of fun with this book.
Here’s a peek. Excerpt Wait Watchers: Copyright Elle Druskin 2014
Unable to contain her curiosity, Portia squinted out the window. She pressed her nose against the glass. Wayne leaned against her thigh. Obviously, Wayne was a lot smarter, or possibly, more fearful than LouAnn. The beagle clearly had no intention of sprinting out the back door with that old man still armed out there.
The front door banged open. Bud and Truman marched into the kitchen and glanced at the Valentines, all armed to the teeth. BettyAnn flounced past them. LouAnn’s boyfriend Howie shouted from the second floor.
“Me and Simon have a clear shot from the upstairs bathroom.”
BettyAnn yelled back. “Don’t shoot. It’s Uncle Rupert.”
“Rupert Freedbush? Oh brother,” Truman mumbled. He stooped next to the kitchen table and poked his head underneath.
“It’s safe for you to come out now. Whatever you do, don’t tell Rupert you’re a literary agent, or he’ll yak your head off.”
Portia stared at him. Truman must be going nuts too. It must be something to do with the water. Or the air. Or some weird electrical charge that only affected people in Liberty Heights.
He slipped an arm around her waist and helped her scramble to her feet.
“Boy, we’re in for it now,” Bud muttered.
Portia glanced from Truman to Bud. Serious expressions morphed into amusement.
“What’s going on?” Portia asked. Her temper was at all-time high. Scared half to death and nobody seemed the slightest bit concerned. The Valentines lowered their weapons. Portia wasn’t sure which was scarier; a pack of Valentines armed like a SWAT team or the old guy out in the yard.
Footsteps scraped on the back door steps. Alice steamed into the kitchen clutching the confiscated rifle. LouAnn followed with one hand hooked around the old guy’s elbow. She steered him into the kitchen.
“This is such a nice surprise. We’re so excited to have you here,” LouAnn said.
The man harrumphed. “Of course you are. Everyone is celebrity mad.” He shook off LouAnn’s hand, pivoted and glared at Alice.
“I demand my rifle back,” he shouted.
“Nothing doing,” Alice snapped.
“Alice is right,” LouAnn said. “No safari. It’s winter. All the animals are hibernating.”
“Alice?” The old man’s eyes narrowed on the police chief. “No wonder I didn’t recognize you, Miss Toklas. You’ve put on weight. Gertrude’s cooking must agree with you.”
“Thanks a bunch,” Alice muttered.
The old man eyed the crowd. Portia estimated the man was in his sixties although she couldn’t be sure. Stocky and slightly bowlegged, he was dressed in khaki pants, a safari jacket, and a topee. Confusion marred his round face, and his stubby fingers stroked his salt and pepper moustache and beard. A glimmer of a smile lit his features. He folded his arms over his chest and bowed to Portia in a rather courtly gesture. The smile widened to a grin.
“Lovely to see you again, my dear. As fetching as always.”
He leaned over and kissed her cheek. Portia’s eyes widened as he turned to Truman.
“Still married to the most exquisite woman in Paris. Some men have all the luck. You two should have come to Pamplona with us.”
“How was the running of the bulls?” Bud asked.
“Exciting as always. Spain is so inspiring Pablo. You should go home more often.”
Pablo? Portia shot a furtive glance at all the others. The Valentines all wore confused expressions. Alice’s face dripped of resignation. Bud and Truman seemed to be enjoying themselves.
“You remember Ernest,” Truman said and squeezed Portia’s hand. Tom tom pain thudded in Portia’s temples. She was getting the mother of all headaches. Plus, she didn’t have the faintest idea what the heck was going on. The old man snorted.
“Of course Zelda remembers me. No need to get a swelled head, Scott.”
Portia’s legs, still shaky from the sprain, gave way. She lowered herself into the kitchen chair.
“Surely you remember Hemingway. He’s so fond of you Zelda. Maybe a little too fond,” Truman said. He shot a dark glance at the old man.
Portia thunked her head on the table. For Pete’s sake. Every time she thought things couldn’t possibly get worse, somehow, they magically deteriorated to an entire new level.
If she wasn’t mistaken, the old guy thought he was Ernest Hemingway.
This wasn’t possible. It was insane. Maybe she should sign herself away for treatment. Was she the only person who thought this was crazy?


Just saw this review. Liberty Heights thanks you!

Another fun read about the residents of Liberty Heights, this time focusing on two of the minor characters from the previous books.
It seems everyone knows that Kara and Woody should be together except themselves.
Once again Elle Druskin manages to weave a funny intricate plot fun of fun to get Kara and Woody to realize they are meant to be together. As with her previous books the course of true love never does run smooth. With a mayoral election and a parade to help organize, Woddy also has his day and night jobs at the fire station and paramedic to contest with. Will he ever find time to romance Kara. Once Kara has a makeover the story gets funnier with misunderstandings by both our main characters.
Thanks again to Elle Druskin for another episode in the wacky world of Liberty Heights


Just saw a new reader review on Amazon UK for Hanky Panky. Sounds like another reader getting addicted to Liberty Heights!

An endearing read, full of fun and frolicking. Elle Druskin takes the reader back to Liberty Heights in the mid winter. there is sleet, snow, and groundhog day without the groundhog! What you need is to curl up and read a heartwarming story about the zany residents of Liberty Heights. there are the usual suspects plus new characters and of course the course of true love does not go to plan.
Elle Druskin brings to life her characters making you believe you are with them in their Liberty Heights neighborhood. It’s much better if you have read “Animal Crackers” & “Life of the Party” as an introduction the the series.
Thanks to Elle for another good read that made me smile throughout!

Where the heck have I been?

Okay, I haven’t written anything here in a looong time. In defense, I do get on Facebook pretty often, usually several times a week. I’ve been busy with the trip that turned into a nightmare of delayed and cancelled flights after sitting for hours on planes to be cancelled. Multiple times. It was a given that the luggage would get lost. Now get this, the airline is still looking for it and I keep getting phone calls from an Indian call center. Do you think I trusted the airline to find the suitcase? Not on your life. My sister and I went out to the airport and magically, we managed to find it so how come the airline can’t? Isn’t this disgraceful?
On a happier note, we are working through edits for the new Liberty Heights book Wait Watchers and getting close to the end. I am working with a new line editor. Val is great. I was sorry to lose Penny who retired and was devoted to Liberty Heights but Val seems to be just as taken with the place.

I don’t trawl Amazon every day but I did notice some new reviews posted on Amazon and Amazon UK for Life of the Party. Thank you for posting if you read this blog. If anyone is interested, here they are:

“How can two such opposite people find the way to be perfect for each other? Why, in Liberty Heights, of course! Elle Druskin has another winner!”

“It’s fun, it’s quirky overall it’s a great read, a perfect antidote if your feeling down.
This is the second book in the Liberty Heights series and it is such a fun read. You start to smile at the start of the book and the fun just continues as you read. The writing gives you such a good mental picture of the characters and the feel of Liberty Heights. By the end of the book you feel part of the community and have an emotional link to the main characters.
Elle Druskin manages to get the right tone going throughout the book. She engages you with her characters using accessible language and imagery. I have no idea what life would be like in New Jersey ( being a Brit), but after reading her books (LOVED ANIMAL CRACKERS) it would be a great place to visit. I then have to remember it’s not real.
The book sucks you into a ready made community that makes you feel it is a real place. Ellie Marx and Zach Resnick make a good love match if only they knew it. It takes many parties before they know it themselves. I think this is one party you should all gatecrash and you’ll feel the happier for it. ”

The Liberty Heights series
Animal Crackers
Life of the Party
Hanky Panky
Light My Fire
Rodeo Daze
Adams and Eve A Liberty Heights Halloween
Pranksgiving A Liberty Heights Thanksgiving


Yes, there will be a new Liberty Heights book this year. Wait Watchers is scheduled for release in late spring. Definitely had fun with this one–poor Portia Hart. Hiding out in Liberty Heights and stuck as the first guest at LouAnn’s bed and breakfast. Portia sprained her ankle, lost her glasses and can’t see a thing. Maybe that’s good. The other guests are driving her crazy. BettyAnn is in hysterics–she’s been kicked out of Registered Witches of America. Accident prone magician Howie broke a finger and none of his tricks work. The Valentines–John, Paul, George, Rocky and Eve employ creative methods of getting their way–hey! this is New Jersey, right? The last thing Portia needs is newly widowed Truman Wilder. He’s got enough problems with an unhappy teenage daughter. Then there’s Uncle Rufus Freedbush who’s taken up residence. He’s a sweet old guy with a teensy problem. Okay, a big fat problem. He’s convinced he’s Ernest Hemingway. Yikes! What does Wayne, everyone’s favorite beagle have to say about all this? Any psychic predictions?
More fun coming this year with Wait Watchers!