Tuesday, August 1, 2017

August News

Last month, author Karoline Barrett interviewed me for her July newsletter, which was also posted on her blog. She asked me some very interesting questions but one in particular stood out because it was something I’d been thinking about a lot.

Question: What has surprised you most about being a writer? 
My reply: I was (and still am) pleasantly surprised at how supportive other authors have been and I’m thrilled to have made so many in-person and online (writer and reader) friends.

And I meant it! I am constantly amazed by the kindness and generosity of my fellow authors - how they support and encourage each other.

About two weeks ago, I saw that author Jacqueline Seewald had a new post on her blog, listing some books she recommended for summer reading. I clicked on the link and started to read. About halfway down the page, I saw my name! I was totally taken by surprise. Jacqueline had recommended my Malone mystery series!

Then, yesterday, I was reading Marja McGraw's new post titled "Back Cover Artistry," which is about enticing readers with book descriptions. She mentioned three novels where the author had done a good job of that and "Mixed Messages" was one of them!  

And those are just two examples. There are so many more!

We authors spend a lot of time “tooting our own horns.” I think most of us would rather use that time to write – I know I would. But we need to promote our books if we want to find readers, which of course, we do.

One of the problems with having to spend time promoting (while we’re writing and living life) is that it’s a constant juggling act and it’s easy to get so focused on promoting our own books that we forget to promote others. 

So I’m taking this opportunity to thank all the authors who have and do support me. I would love to name names but I wouldn’t want to inadvertently leave someone’s name off my list. Besides, if you’re reading this, you know who you are. Thank you!

I also want to acknowledge the personal friends and family members who have attended my book launch events. Their constant support means the world to me. A special thanks to three of my closest friends, Mary, Jan and Kathy, who have each "gone the extra mile" for me.

I’m not forgetting the people who aren’t authors, family members or personal friends; who are readers I’ve met either online or in person. People who have written reviews and/or taken the time to let me know how much they enjoyed my books.

For example, there's Peggy, a woman who works at my local post office. After reading each book, she sent me an email, telling me how much she loved it. When she finished the fifth (and last) book in my Malone mystery series, she wrote, “I’m going to miss the Malones.” I don’t think I have to tell you how much her words meant to me.

If you leave a comment, you'll be entered to win one of two signed copies of my Malone mysteries - winner's choice. I'll pick one name at random on August 15th and a second name on the 31st. Happy reading!

The winner in the first drawing is (Palmaltas) Pat Hernandez. 
Congratulations, Pat! I'll be contacting you by email.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

July News

Ah. The good ole summertime! Freedom! No coats, hats, boots, gloves, slippery roads. . . . Well, you get the idea.

Summer is the time when most people take their annual vacation. In my opinion, getting away from it all is crucial to a person’s mental health. Every day through the year each of us deals with a multitude of “challenges” and we need a break from all of that sometimes. Whether you prefer the mountains, the desert, the beach or another location, a change of scenery and daily routine is healthy.

For many years, I've looked forward to a vacation and, most years, my traveling companion and good friend, Jan, and I have gone to the ocean. Jan’s husband goes on golf trips with his buddies and Jan and I normally plan a “girls’ getaway.” But, this year for several reasons, it doesn't look like that will happen. We may manage a mini-vacation late in the summer but that's still up in the air.

So, what’s the next best thing to physically getting away? Escape into a book!  Let it take you places you’ve never been and, as you get involved in the lives of the characters, your own problems will disappear – at least until you reach the last page. Then, all you have to do is start reading another book and your "vacation" will be extended!

Imagine this: It's the Fourth of July and you're sitting on the beach watching the fireworks over the ocean. The crowd "Oohs" and "Aahs" as beautiful colors explode in the night sky. It's breathtaking!

Early the next morning, you go for a walk on that same beach and discover the body of a young woman in the sand. Once again, it takes your breath away.

Ann feels like she’s in Paradise as she digs her toes into the soft, white sand and gazes out at the ocean. She’s looked forward to this trip to South Carolina for a long time and all she wants to do is bask in the sun, resting and relaxing.

She and her two young children are enjoying their time on Fripp Island with Ann’s sister, Marnie, and Marnie’s elderly friend and former neighbor, Clara Brunner, a longtime resident with a vast knowledge of the island and the people who live there. At the Fourth of July fireworks, Clara introduces them to newlyweds Jenny and Mark Hall and their families.

But Ann’s plans for a peaceful vacation are shattered the next morning. When she goes for a solitary walk on the beach, she discovers the body of a young woman with the chain of a gold locket twisted around her neck and she immediately recognizes the locket as the one Jenny Hall was wearing the night before.
But things aren’t always what they appear to be.
Shocked and saddened, Ann is determined to try to find the killer and to see them brought to justice. She convinces Marnie and Clara to join her in conducting an investigation but, in the process, she places her own life in jeopardy.

Happy Fourth of July!