Everything But Books
Fun and more fun, but none of it relating to books (because I have another page for that)

April 22, 2013

Where to shop for those who have everything


In my research for American Blonde, I’ve been learning all about 1940’s-era forensics and the Los Angeles County Coroner. (I highly recommend Thomas Noguchi’s books Coroner and Coroner at Large , by the way. Both riveting examinations of his work as the “Coroner to the Stars.”)

During that research, one of the most fascinating things I discovered is that the Los Angeles County Coroner has a gift shop. A gift shop! Not so surprisingly, it’s the only coroner’s office in the world to have one.

Skeletons in the Closet is located at 1104 N. Mission Road in Los Angeles, and is open Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. till 4:00 pm. They have everything from housewares to office supplies to clothing to complete crime scene kits and body bags. My favorites: the body bath towel (their top seller) and the body sticky notes.

For pictures and more details, here’s an article from California Through My Lens.

February 11, 2013

Velva Jean Valentines

When I was growing up in Indiana, I used to love buying Valentine’s Cards at Hook’s Drugstore. My friends and I would walk up there (after a trip to the Dairy Queen) and browse through the packages: Super Friends, Barbie, Care Bears, Scooby-Doo. I deliberated over which one to choose with all the studious and exhaustive thought that I would give my first-day-of-school outfits and my choice of lunch box.

After all, the cards you picked said so much about you.

This year, as I’m working away madly on the next Velva Jean book, I looked up from the computer long enough to realize that it isn’t actually May of 1946, but is really February of 2013 and that Valentine’s Day is once again upon us.

Which made me start thinking about the type of card Velva Jean might send to her own Valentines.

Here are a few ideas (I might like the lipstick one best of all):

January 30, 2013

The Santiago Blues

I have been a huge fan of Jennifer Niven ever since Velva Jean Learns To Drive came out and I instantly fell in love with it. Being a musician, one of the reasons I love the Velva Jean series is because of the music. I have found Velva Jean very musically inspiring, and I now know I’m not the only one who feels this way.

I am deeply honored and proud to share with you a new song, entitled “The Santiago Blues,” inspired by Becoming Clementine, and written by one of my very best friends Shelby Padgett.

This is the first official song Shelby has written and I am tremendously proud of her! It is a beautiful song that makes you want to cry, whether you have read Becoming Clementine or not. (but it you haven’t read it yet, you should really go do that right now, because it’s amazing.)

Here is Shelby’s wonderful song:

The Santiago Blues – Shelby Padgett


A Very Proud Friend, Musician and Kindred Spirit. <3


Briana Harley, currently a music composition major in Southern California, plans to pursue a career in anything and everything under the vast umbrella of music, which includes indie/folk singer, symphony conductor/composer, rock stardom and film scoring. You can’t ask her what her favorite genre of music is because she doesn’t have one. She adores all music from Beethoven to The Beatles. When she’s not composing or performing she is a “textbook” nerd-fighter, anglophile, & fangirl of all things science fiction, comic books, fantasy, supernatural, history and literature. For a play-by-play of her crazy random happenstances you can follow her on twitter @BrianaHarley