Friday, June 29, 2012

Visiting Lady Gwen and Funnies

So it is my last blog of the month and it somehow seems like in this month where I launched my first book, I ought to be able to be all profound, but you know what? I am EXHAUSTED!

I guest blogged three days a week (a week ahead initially, but fell down on that somewhere along the line—poor Gwen just got it last night), I had a launch party, and I tried to keep track of where I stood in rankings...

I EDITED a book that is due to my editor tomorrow (though thankfully have gotten another week from my editor... my FABULOUS editor is sadly leaving, and has handed me off to a colleague who happens to be on VACATION next week, so was perfectly happy to give me another week... which is needed because I only gave my agent a week with it... bad me. I need a spanking. It just seems like I always underestimate the time it will take to edit, so it always comes down to the wire. Anyway, Ellen is THRILLED to not have to speed read it before we turn it in.

And I wrote the first half of a book... Or close enough to say I suspect I will win BuNoWriMo (though this will be my first WriMo to come down to the last day or two to win—usually I have 3 or 4 days leeway... not so this time. And the BOOK isn't done... I didn't think it would be. Thrillers run 80-100K and this is on track to be no exception.

So Whew! *wipes brow *

So TODAY, I would love you to come over and see me at Lady Gwen's blog. I got my first negative review this week and am pondering how it fits into my world view...

In the meantime... some things that made me laugh or Squee...

Cutest little things EVER: Platypi

Do you KNOW how bad I wish I could afford this?
I call this one "Aberforth goes to the beach"

So there we have it... have a great weekend, friends! With the holiday next week, I may be slightly scarcish, though I have guest spots Monday and Friday, and THEN I will make a better effort to get back to normal. I've been BAD getting around to friends' blogs this month, as the promo seems to be all I can do... But I will be back to it! I promise!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Laura Eno Launches Wraith (and I visit Karen Gowan)

So I am over Coming Down the Mountain today visiting Karen Gowan, sharing a little advice on how social networking works with promoting books.  So I’d love it if you’d head on over THERE and share some of your experiences or take some of my worldly wisdom *cough*

So HERE, Laura Eno has a book launch today!!!! Here’s the scoop.

Launch date: Wednesday, June 27th  (That’s today!!!)

Wraith, Book Two of the Carriena Oracles

Blurb:  Someone wants them dead. Another wants them captured. No one can be trusted. Secrets, lies, and revelations await Raven and Mikael as their search for Mikael's missing friend leads them to Wraith, a mysterious moon owned by Jeffrey Hamilton, cybernetics genius and Ben's creator. How much of the Oracle's technology does Hamilton possess and where did it come from?

Raven's nightmares from the past threaten her sanity, while Mikael's guilt slowly consumes him. Ben's in more danger than anyone as they race to find the answers to uncertain questions—questions which could lead to death for them all.

Available for only .99!

As a bonus you can download the first book, Raven, for free today only! Click here and enter the code PU65D to download your copy in multiple formats, including PDF.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Book-Launch-o-Topia (or Aunt Agatha's Rocks)

I had the BEST SATURDAY EVER. It was my birthday, for starters, and birthdays are always fun, but it was combined with my first-ever book launch. I think I've shared my nervousness at approaching people... you know... other than online... and I have HORRIBLY delayed making contact. But a local bookstore owner—a MYSTERY-SPECIFIC bookstore had the kindness and initiative to contact ME and schedule a Book-Launch.

Aunt Agatha's is unique—they sell both new and used books which is perhaps why they've survived while a few of the local Indie bookstores have gone under. And Robin is FABULOUS. She is so inclusive—she has me signed up for bookfests and book events... She totally looped me in (where I SHOULD be looped, mind you... I just never KNEW!)

 The party itself had... maybe 20-25 people... I think I knew half, but felt reassured by the news SOME new authors have... you know... 3 or 4... in fact I need to make sure and go to these. I think it helps that by a half hour in all the chairs were filled.

So today I thought I'd share a few pictures from the launch party. (all pics taken by hubby with our cheap camera, as our daughter the photographer and her GOOD camera were both out of town)

While technically this pic may come later chronologically, it seemed the primary one in importance. These are my fabulous hosts, Jamie and Robin Agnew, owners of Aunt Agatha's Mystery Bookshop. The flowers are from my friend Carmen (mom of one of Thing 2s close friends who came with her daughter) and that stack of books was one higher and three wider when we started!

Is this a fabulous logo, or what?  I guess Robin designed it.  Love the little old lady with the murder weapon *snort*

And you've all heard about my Couch to Keg team, yeah?  This is us.. Jackie and Jean flank me. (and a view of the cupcakes!) Jackie started a new job yesterday, so good stuff happening for her, too!!!

And here is a close-up of those cupcakes... I ate that one with the piece of peanut butter cup on top(the yellowish frosting)--it was DELICIOUS!

See how I brandish that quill!  That is a HOGWART'S quill! Courtesy of Michael Di Gesu! I told the story of it, too!  You know me... naked all the way.

So that is what I have for today--the rest of the day was filled with a drink at The Raven Club (a 1920's Speakeasy, and then a barbeque with fabulous neighbors where they welcomed 6 adolescent Chickens to the Chick-Inn (ba domp ba) with a neighborhood party, complete with live music from Kevin and the Glen Levins (who are GREAT fun, and also neighbors)--this would be the SAME Kevin of farm duck fame, but never mind, they ROCK when they play Blister in the Sun (and many other numbers, but that was my favorite).  All in all, I think this is the best birthday I've had in a VERY long while (and last year was pretty darned good, as I had a spa day)

Monday, June 25, 2012

RaShelle Workman

So today's special guest is my buddy RaShelle, and since she is hosting me, too, we are officially swappers!  Erm... or something. Anyway, I love RaShelle's stuff, so I'm happy to have the chance to share her with you over here. And if you have time, I'd love it if you could visit me at her place, too!

Without further ado, Welcome, RaShelle!

A special thanks to the gorgeous Watery Tart for inviting me over to her blog today.

Writing is what I do. It’s fun. Irritating. Frustrating. Overwhelming. Obnoxious. And, I love it.

Writing keeps me healthy.

It keeps me sane.

I’d rather write than almost anything else.

Let me put it this way:

Writing exists to me as an appendage. Without it, I'd feel something was missing. It'd haunt me. And while I could survive, even thrive without writing, there would always be a hollow place in me. 

What is writing to you?

As an FYI, I've recently written and published the first 2 books in a 12 volume series. 
Blood and Snow, volume 1 & Revenant in Training, volume 2. 
I call each book a novelette because their length is a little over 12,000 words. Think of them as a weekly TV show. 
Check out the Blood and Snow series. 
Blood and Snow: Amazon
Revenant in Training: Amazon

"Lips red as rubies, hair dark as night. Drink your true love's blood, become the Vampire, Snow White." 

Yup. I'd echo that... Writing is what I do--life flows through the fingers... Thank you, RaShelle!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Roland Yeomans (and a Tart Begging Mercy)

So Wednesday while Roland was so kindly hosting me, I was supposed to be hosting him, too. Totally my fault. I just didn't have the trade in my head. He'd sent me the blog but had included information about me being a guest and somehow I only processed part of it.

So PLEASE forgive me, Roland!!! Roland is such an incredibly nice man, and it is just somehow what I do... I try to be nice most of the time, but when I screw up, it is with the people I feel the absolute worst about... He also has an AMAZING imagination, something that, as a writer, I am a bit insecure about... I tend to think of myself as more a puzzlemaster, noticing things and mixing them up in an original way. Roland, though, is incredibly creative.

Wee bit of other business... [I posted my intended Girls Just Want to Have Fun Blogfest overnight, if you stopped in as part of THAT, but I really need to make right on this other...]

I am ALSO visiting Talli Roland today:

Anyway, I am HONORED to have Roland here with me today!

Thanks, Hart, for inviting me to your cozy cyber home.  You write mysteries, and I write myths.  Yet, we both dream, both try to answer the eternal questions.

T.S. Eliot wrote that happiness did not consist of goals obtained or griefs lost but consisted of  different visions discovered.

{All the following illustrations are in END OF DAYS and are by Leonora Roy}



What draws us to write?
It is a solitary sojourn. Most of us will never receive world acclaim ...

nor do we expect it.
What then propels us on this journey?

What swept you up when you first started to read for yourself? How often do you find a book which conjures that same spirit within you now?
Not often I would wager.

I believe we write to create that world which spellbound us into reading in the first place. What voices called out to us then?

For me the voices were :
Magic, horror, and otherworld beauty
These three sirens dominated my solitary reading of choice during my high school years. And their voices can be heard in the background of all that I write. Like the three fates, they weave the tapestry of my unconscious muse.

As a young child, I wandered alone into Edith Hamilton's MYTHOLOGY.

In junior high, I joined the League of Five and group reading with BEAU GESTE and DR. FU MANCHU.

In high school, I was alone again in my reading, open to any influence that caught my fancy.
The authors of those years were my unknowing mentors in how to write well. Oddly enough it was an artist who led me in the land where they all dwelt :

Frank Frazetta. And he painted the first road sign on my path to becoming a writer :

When I spotted the cover to EERIE#23 with Frazetta's "Egyptian Princess" in a used book store, I was spellbound. Yes, she was clothing-challenged. But it were her eyes that ensnared me.

From that moment on, I noticed eyes : weary ones , dull ones, evaluating ones, and those who were black windows into the nothingness that lived in the souls of those who possessed them. 

The books with Frazetta's covers taught me my 2nd lesson: 


UNDER THE PYRAMIDS by H.P. Lovecraft (with Harry Houdini)

My hands went into warp speed when I saw the Frazetta cover emblazoned with that title. Frazetta. Harry Houdini. Wow.

I didn't know this Lovecraft fellow, but I had to see what kind of supernatural trouble Houdini had gotten into in his Egyptian travels.
And I wasn't disappointed :
The first sentence : "Mystery attracts mystery."
I was hooked.

Then, came the terrible imprisonment within an ancient, dark pyramid. The clever escape and the final glimpse of horror.

From Frazetta, Burroughs, Howard, and Lovecraft ... I learned how history can be made alive and alluring ... and supernatural. It is a lesson that stays with me still.


Perched in the used bookstore shelf right next to a Frazetta cover of a Conan novel was the book that was to teach me that prose could be beautiful and evocative without being stale and stiff. I picked up LORD OF LIGHT and read the first paragraph :

Mystery. Evocative imagry. I was hooked.

I became his student -- through his books, his essays, and his poetry.
Some of his words :
"No word matters. But man forgets reality and remembers words."

"For you see, the headwaters of Shit Creek are a cruel and treacherous expanse."
"Occasionally as an author, there arises a writing situation where you see an alternative to what you are doing, a mad, wild gamble of a way for handling something, which may leave you looking stupid, ridiculous or brilliant -you just don't know which.
You can play it safe there, too, and proceed along the route you'd mapped out for yourself. Or you can trust your personal demon who delivered that crazy idea in the firstplace.
Trust your demon."

What were the voices that beckoned you to write?

Visiting Talli and Girls Just Want to Have Fun Blogfest

So I am ALSO over visiting Talli Roland today, talking about wine and coffee and my characters... (These two characters, actually)

part of a blogfest today called Girls Just Want to Have Fun, whereby one of my girl characters is supposed to interview another of my girl characters (same book, different book, doesn't matter) about what they like in that special guy.

I've done a little twist on this, as the characters I want to use are a little old to be quite this giddy, so I've taken them back about 15 years to a journalism class in high school where they were required to interview each other.

ANNIE: Can you believe this? Like anyone in this class has ever done anything interesting.

CAM: You have. You're a senator's daughter.

ANNIE: Believe me, every person in this ROOM was born. It is not exciting. And who I was born to is my curse, not my exciting experience.

CAM: So what do you suggest?

The actress closest to my Annie image: Sarah McLeod
ANNIE: Tell me about your dream hunka hunka man.

CAM: *snort * Who are you and what have you done with my best friend?

ANNIE: No, seriously. Inquiring minds want to know what would drag Cam out of her extreme focus on her future?

CAM: Fine. I suppose he'd be a little ambitious, but in an ethical way.

ANNIE: You are so delusional.

CAM: What?

ANNIE: The two things are mutually exclusive.

CAM: They are not! I'm ambitious and ethical.

ANNIE: Yes, but you have two X-chromosomes, so there is the ability for one to balance the other. It's like a calico cat. A boy can only be black and white OR orange. A girl can be both.

CAM: Do you want me to answer the question?

ANNIE: Yes, yes. Tell me about this dream boy.

CAM: Athletic—not like a super jock, but fit.

ANNIE: Well sure. What's not to like about fit?

CAM: *rolls eyes *

ANNIE: I'm just sayin'.

CAM: And he'd like to think and have deep conversations.

ANNIE: So what you really want is a girlfriend.

CAM: Shut up. I do not.

A debate that will repeat for these two many times...
ANNIE: Fine. Boxers or briefs?

CAM: Well briefs are so much tidier.

ANNIE: Big mistake there. If things are too tight down there, then things get too tight in his head. There's not an open-minded man alive who ever wore briefs.

CAM: Oh, there is, too.

ANNIE: Prove it.

CAM: I don't know.

ANNIE: See, you can't.

CAM: I just haven't seen very many boys in their underwear.

ANNIE: Trust me. I'm right on this one.

CAM: Who's interviewing who, here?

ANNIE: Right. Okay, what is your biggest date horror story?

CAM: You already know this one.

ANNIE: Yeah, but I want it on official record.

CAM: Please don't make me tell this story.

ANNIE: Chicken.

CAM: Fine. Ninth grade. Tommy DeLuca. He invited me to that party and I thought it was... you know... a party. But it was totally just a pair off and make-out party and I didn't like him like that. I spent three hours hiding from him in his own house to avoid kissing him without hurting his feelings.

ANNIE: See, you had two other options that never even crossed your mind. Kiss him anyway, just for fun. Or tell him how you felt.

CAM: Which would you have done?

ANNIE: Both.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Naked Solstice Rules

First off, Happy Summer Solstice!
Second off, Happy Naked Thursday!

Now you KNOW a solstice is properly celebrated dancing naked in the moonlight, right (better yet, skinny dipping)? And you KNOW Thursday was the FIRST day to commit to nudity, and so has a special place in the nudist heart, yes?

So what happens when solstice falls on a Thursday?

We commit to a full-on naked SUMMER!!!

This is the Fremont Solstice Parade--they have the idea

Now those of you who don't know me well, might think this naked obsession of mine is all about sex. It's not. Don't get me wrong, I like sex as much as the next person (probably more than many). But it is about letting your skin be kissed by air and sun and water. About the feel of a summer rainstorm making you more slippery than you've ever been. About being free of itching, binding, unflattering clothing (and free of tan lines).

All together now!

It's also about being ALL YOU. Not very easy to pretend you are somebody else when you are standing there in your very own birthday suit.

It is ALSO very difficult to be MEAN when you are naked because no amount of posturing is going to fool anybody as to the size of your... well, you see what I mean...

And never let them tell you you are bucking tradition...

So embrace it! Let today be the day you embrace Nakedness! Commit for the summer and you will be a convert for life!

What do YOU plan to do naked this summer?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Visiting Roland Yeomans & Sharing Ideas

Halo, fine friends!!!

I am over at Roland Yeoman's blog today talking about my ancestral muses--the women in my family tree who made me feel I could conquer the world. Wouldn't THEY be shocked to realize they were responsible for Naked World Domination!?  On second thought... maybe not so much... So come see me over there and learn a little about my grandmamas!

And then just a quick thought about SHARING ideas.

It's funny how we can sometimes be very protective of our book ideas... and understandable. And I have ideas I definitely pause before letting out. But the reality is the SAME idea in different hands can lead to VERY different results.  Take my buddy Liz Crowe and I... and the idea of microbrew mysteries... and look at HER microbrew erotica and MY cozy mystery and just TRY to convince me there isn't room for both of us.  If her erotica has a mystery, that's fine--it will NOT taste the same as mine. If my mystery has some romance that's FINE, it will not taste the same as hers.

Yesterday a new reader, Candilynn Fite, who had seen me on Alex's blog on Monday sent me an idea of HERS that fit my Gardening Cozy theme. And it's BRILLIANT!  I've written the first three in my series, but if they contract me for more, I totally want to figure out how to use her thoughts!  And it was wonderful and generous of her to send it. But she was thinking--hey, it's a great idea, and I'm not going to use it.

A while back, I did the SAME THING. I had a dream about a restaurant critic (who was sorely asking to be murdered) and sent the idea to Elizabeth Spann Craig (who used it in Finger Lickin Dead).

I feel like the love just flows if we spread it around, eh?  So THANK YOU, Candilynn!

Any of the rest of you share a plot you weren't using?  How did it work out?

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

DOH! I Forgot to Blog!

Okay... so not FORGOT exactly, but on Saturday I got back the 2nd of my FABULOUS Beta reponses for this round, so I've been sitting with my head buried in Chrysanthemum Campaign for 3 days. I am FINALLY DONE addressing all their CAREFUL AMAZING Feedback. I have a few SQUEEES to share on the matter.

Both Leanne and Stacy, true-blue betas who've each read MOST of my stuff say this is their favorite. They ALSO pointed out all the holes and points of incredulity so I could address them head on. It is a better book for their input and I THANK THEM with this line of Chippendale Dancers.

Leanne's suggestion led to them, but Stacy will approve...

And this adorable set of animals.

How cute am I?

I am now BACK to my BuNoWriMo project and after three days off, MAN, I needed that!!! Passed 35K—it isn't the 2K per day average I was trying to keep, but the EDITING is really mostly DONE!

I even managed to read a GREAT BOOK while they had Chrysanthemum Campaign.

If you haven't read Susan Quinn's Open Minds, it is a BRILLIANT YA with excellent premise, excellent plotting, excellent premise... seriously. A FANTASTIC book.

But now back to reading my OWN darned book on the commute *pout* and THANKFULLY, writing at night. (and blogging on schedule... that will be good)

Monday, June 18, 2012

Visiting Alex and Ninja Funnies

Hey, friends! I'm over visiting Alex Cavanaugh today (with a ninja theme) and he gets SO MANY comments that I figure I will be running in circles just trying to keep up, so HERE, I leave you with some ninja funnies. You can come over THERE to hear about my ninja characters...

Friday, June 15, 2012

Never Surrender Blogfest

First, I want to say that I am ALSO over at Play it off the Page today sharing with Mary all the sneaksy ways I infused The Azalea Assault with Humor.

In honor of Elana Johnson's book release for Surrender (released June 5th, same day as mine!  Makes Alana and I book sisters, yes?), she is holding a blogfest called NEVER Surrender

All we have to do is SOME time this week (June 11 to 16th) talk about a time we refused to surrender. And today is my day...

And this is where we get to the TMI portion of my blog. I haven't over-revealed for a while now, have I? It's probably about due...

Because I am ONE STUBBORN GIRL and I really never surrender on ANYTHING. And when a person has that personality, it sort of is just par for the course—that not surrendering thing. But when I think about the time that took EVERYTHING I HAD... yeah. That one. So here it is...

I am going to have to be a little cryptic, because the involvement of MY stubbornness and MY will does NOT make this all MY story, and the OTHER person involved would not be even remotely amused to be the center of this. But this is really the time—the one that for me, in all my life, stands out. (excuse the grammar stuff to remain gender neutral--they, while inaccurate, is a lot less cumbersome than 'he or she')

I love someone who went a little crazy. Okay. A lot crazy. They were in my daily life and they were falling apart. And it wasn't MY stuff, it was THEIR stuff, so I felt really really helpless. I loved them and it wasn't enough for them to want to do anything to make their life better. Their CHILD was not enough for them to want to make their life better.

There were suicide attempts. Apparently five of them, but when I heard... the first time I heard... I called the local hospital and tracked down the local triage for this and I had them arrested. I committed them to save their life, knowing they might hate me forever for causing them to be dragged off in handcuffs and institutionalized. Hardest thing I've ever done, and I am crying thinking about it. Walking out with the police I received a cold stare. “I can't believe you did this.”

But it worked. They got cleaned up, got on medication. Life has not been a bowl of cashews since... there has been a lot of work and some lapses in sanity, but it has NEVER gotten this bad again. I was not willing to just LET THEM give up on themselves. Life is good. Life is worth living. And if I have to lock you up to prove it, dammit, I will.

Have you had a moment that called on everything you had? Where the consequences of surrender would have been too high to take?

Go check out the other entries, too!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Jay Mims Channels his Inner Tart

Halo Fine Friends!

Couple things first.  FIRST:  A huge THANK YOU to all of you who have been so amazing in the last 10 days!  Thank you for the support, the shares, the retweets, the reposts, and for making this generally an AMAZING experience!!! I've been moved to tears several times just thinking about how lucky I am to have you!!!

Second, I am over at Burrowers, Books and Balderdash today being delusional. It's how I roll.

And FINALLY, A while back I was talking to my friend Heather Savage. She writes, but also does publicity for several writers and when I told her I wrote Cozy Mystery, she said, "Oh, I have a Cozy Mystery author. He..."  And I had to stop her... HE?  I mean I know a COUPLE who writes them... but really it is pretty female dominated. So I asked the kind of question only I seem to ask... Probably I should let Jay tell you about it...

Without further ado, WELCOME JAY!

Hello Gentle Readers,

You can never find a Tiara when you want one. True story: When I got the note about what yours and my favorite Tart (I love the Gypsy Tart if you’re curious) wanted me to write about, she suggested what it was like being a man writing in a genre that was famous for being mostly women writing for women. Does he have a tiara to write?

AND THERE ARE NO TIARAS TO BE FOUND! I swear to you I’ve been trying to find the most pretty, pretty Princess Tiara, but apparently no one carries them. Well, that’s not true. They don’t make tiara’s big enough to fit on my head. My ginormous noggin snapped two of those cheap tiara’s you can pick up at the dollar store. But, I’ll keep looking, and I promise to send Hart a photo of me wearing my writing Tiara. I’m aiming for something like this:

But what is it like being a man who writes Cozy mysteries? Well, as someone who grew up on Magnum, P.I., Murder She Wrote, and Columbo I’ve always loved a good mystery. I love a good Whodunit, not to be confused with an episode of Doctor Who (Tennant is and always will be MY Doctor). But, somehow my sense of humor, which is a careful mix of warped, perverted and ADD has always been a good fit for Cozies. I just can’t see a hard-boiled detective like Sam Spade making a Highlander joke. Or really any joke at all that isn’t gallows humor.

Yes murders happen in my books, but even with the bodies, it’s still a reasonably nice place to visit, even if you wouldn’t want to live there. Dan has an extended group of friends and family, a steady job, and a mortgage. And it just so happens that he also stumbles across the body of a dead Santa (THE FIVE SANTAS) and the body of his closest friend (CULT OF KOO-KWAY). But, he still keeps on keeping on with a wink and a smile. And be honest would you rather have a hero smiling in the face of danger or as a sobbing wreck?

So, Gentle Readers, I hope that you’ll take a chance on my books. And in the meantime I’ll continue searching for a suitable Tiara.

And my thanks to Hart and the wonderful audience of Watery Tart for giving me this opportunity.

About Jay:
Jay Mims is a writer, though he always wanted to be an Astronaut as a kid. Except, being terrible at math and fear of heights cut that career short. He currently has THE FIVE SANTAS available, and its sequel CULT OF KOO-KWAY is scheduled for September. Both books center on the misadventures of Dan Landis, private investigator and trouble magnet. Jay is currently working on book three, part of the Oncoming Storm Quartet. And by quartet he means book series, not musical group. Though, admittedly the idea of a Meteorological themed barbershop quartet would be awesome. Jay currently lives in South Carolina.

Book Blurb:
THE FIVE SANTAS is a cozy mystery wherein Dan Landis is slumming the Christmas season at a Department Store. While chasing a shoplifter he discovers the body of Santa. A street corner Santa specifically. As the bodies keep piling up Dan races to protect the department store Santa, save the day, and discover the true meaning of Christmas. He also needs to find a present for his partner Abbey, steer clear of a gun-toting cowboy named Tex, and not get fired by snooty store manager Mr. Peters. But, that whole meaning of Christmas thing is important too.

The exciting sequel CULT OF KOO-KWAY will tell how Dan met Abbey, what happens when you hurt one of Dan’s friends, and batten the hatches folks because there’s a storm coming.

Barnes and Noble:

You can also find Jay online:
Twitter: @JayMimsey

Thanks so much, Jay!  Warped, perverted and ADD eh?  I wouldn't have any idea what you're talking about there *shifty*
You REALLY have to send me a picture when you get that tiara!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Flying High

I got the BEST news from my editor yesterday! And if you have ever even HEARD of Facebook or Twitter, you probably know it already. (I couldn't contain myself)  But I am going to repeat it anyway.

E-mail Heading: B&N List Just Arrived

THE AZALEA ASSAULT is #43 on the overall mass list, and #8 on the mystery list.
You are officially a NATIONALLY BESTSELLING AUTHOR (and it will say so on BB).

BB stands for Begonia Bribe, second in the series, due out in April. I have been happy dancing for the last 24 hours, and FINALLY feel worthy of my guest spot today. Overall mass list means mass market paperback and the website only lists through #20, but I believe Emily!

I am over on Escape with Dollycas. Lori has a GREAT book review blog. She is totally organized and has had a darned impressive list of authors. She offered me a spot and I was thrilled to accept, and then TOTALLY intimidated. But there I am... You should go see THAT (and look around her blog and be awed and amazed)

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Update Schmupdate


This keeping up with a book release is HARD WORK!!! (and possibly confusing, and maybe a little mental making, not that I have the skills to evaluate whether I've gone mental)

But the GOOD NEWS (as I know it) is:

Well you SAW my rocking friends yesterday! Man, how I LOVE the support... seriously--I know the most amazing people!

But besides that:

Book Launch Party

Last week I went in to talk to Robin, Owner of our local Mystery Book Shot, Aunt Agatha's. It doesn't make the Indie bookstore list because it ALSO sells used books, but being mystery specific, in the genre of mystery, it is competitive with ANYBODY in town. And Robin seems to have been the one on the alert for the gunshy local author. The local Berkley rep TOLD THEM I was local, but she was the one who contacted ME! (and I am forever faithful in response, because let me tell you, that call scared the POO out of me!) She invited me to come talk to her and ASKED if I had a book launch (to which I said, 'erm') and she said, "Well let's schedule one!" June 23, 2pm if you are anywhere near Ann Arbor. A day that ALSO happens to be my BIRTHDAY! (I know, right?)

I'm so excited!

Large Print

Emily, my amazing editor, emailed me yesterday to say Thorndike has just bought rights to large print! That means another printing in a new format, and knowing cozy mystery, a readership that it should do well in... not saying it is for older eyes specifically, but there are ENOUGH older eyes who like the genre that this is very cool. AND, I really like hitting a group that may otherwise have more limited reading access... I love that. (like I'd love audio and would think it rocked AWESOMESAUCE to be published in something like brail)--all things more accessible are amazing.

Berkley Author Interview

I knew this was coming as I answered the questions, but FINALLY, yesterday on my daily google search of my book (I can't possibly be the only one who does this), I found the Berkley interview... And I like it. I think it is a nice smorgasbord of information. So if you aren't tired of all the ME ME ME around here, I invite you to check it out.

(I tried an author chat last night but was much less proficient in real time)

And then FINALLY, BuNoWriMo is going really well. I KNEW I would need to frontload. I have two beta readers with Chrysanthemum Campaign (actually ONE back in my inbox) so I have a few days of editing ahead. But I have passed 28K on writing, so I am POSITIVE this detour will not derail me.

Sorry for sparse content... this book promo thing is SAPPING me (and I don't mean that in a good way:  READER CHALLENGE!!! What would be a GOOD WAY to be sapped?!)


Monday, June 11, 2012

Army of Friends

My REAL blog today is over at Tossing it Out, where Lee's juggling inspired me to talk about the influence of past lives in my writing... and I don't mean the past life where I am an Amazon Queen with a passel of men at my call (because honestly, that one is still in my future). You will have to go THERE to see what I am on about...

HERE, I am just throwing out a little gratitude for my book weekend.

I sometimes see dubious articles on whether the social media does anything... whether there is any point. Usually when I see these articles, I read and think... this poor person doesn't GET IT. This poor person is blogging into space and saying there is no point when she's only doing the 10% part that is WRITING a blog. She is deluded enough to think writing day in and day out about her BOOK is interesting. You know what? The person who thought the topic was interesting already BOUGHT the book. The rest of us want to see what else you got. We want to know YOU.

I know I'm preaching to the choir here.

Be yourself. Make real friends. Have fun. And then the magical day will come when your friends, the ones you've met in real life and the ones you haven't, make your weekend ROCK with this stuff.

First was Katy, three states away...

Then came Rissa, who had to force them to track down my book (the computer says it's here, but erm... I can't find it), as Books a Million was being mysterious with mysteries

Then there was Marjorie, who ALSO had to make them track down the ones they hadn't sold
 See... my book is at stores, but as my friend Leanne says, it only takes one dufus to get them in the wrong place and then nobody else can find them. So my Army of REAL AND TRUE friends I've made online, both had my back and made my weekend!

Thank you ladies!!!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Visiting Teresa Today

Teresa C over at the Journaling Woman interviewed me this week—she asked some fun questions, so you should go over THERE and see what we have to say!!!

And so for HERE, I will just share a few Ray Bradbury quotes. He died this week at age 91. A good long life doing what he loved.

"If we listened to our intellect, we'd never have a love affair. We'd never have a friendship. We'd never go into business, because we'd be cynical. Well, that's nonsense. You've got to jump off cliffs all the time and build your wings on the way down."

 "Don't think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It's self-conscious, and anything self-conscious is lousy. You can't try to do things. You simply must do things."

 "If you enjoy living, it is not difficult to keep the sense of wonder."

 "You don't have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them."

I will try, Ray. Rest in Peace.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Vic Caswell and Sketcher Girl Studios

I ALSO want to let you know I am visiting a couple places today as part of my blog book tour, so if you'd like to find me, head on over to The Alliterative Allomorph where Jessica is hosting me and I'm talking about flawed characters, and to Dru's Book Musings where Dru Ann is hosting A Day in the Life (in this case, of Cam Harris, my MC)--she even has a book to give away if you want to win it!--goes live at 6am eastern.

And NOW... a new business venture for my friend Vic Caswell that really compliments some of those writing needs we have!  Take it away, Vic!

Today is the day that Sketcher Girl Studios, LLC officially opens for business!

In celebration of this momentous event, Vic Caswell (owner/operator) is hosting a give-a-way.

Using the "Contact Us" form on the site, send her the secret word from the end of this post and you'll be entered to win.

Sketcher Girl Studios is a freelance illustration company with a focus on book cover design.  Vic Caswell has produced the covers of Emily White's debut novel ELEMENTAL, as well as it's sequel FAE (release date not announced yet), and Kimberly Ann Miller's debut novel TRIANGLES (releasing June 2013).

SGStudios is passionate about books and getting them out there and into the hands of the readers who will love them.  Vic will read your book.  She will work with you to ensure that the design you end up with is something you love.  She doesn't use stock photography, so you are guaranteed an image that is original and she offers full legal usage of her cover images.  So, if you want to print it on swag, and sell that, the money goes straight to you.

Her prices are competitive- affordable for small press publishers as well as self-publishers.

She also provides other services- such as: tattoo design, logo design, header design, artistic prints, children's book illustration, and pretty much anything illustration that you can think up.

Stop by and drop the secret word: Mischief, for your chance to win one of these nifty prizes...

such as:   postcard sized prints of  her work titled PERCHED CREATURE, one of two copies of ELEMENTAL by Emily White, a ten dollar Amazon gift card, an original painting, and  free labor on a book cover (costs may be incurred for props/ models/ wardrobe) and more!


Sketcher Girl Studios

SGS on Facebook


Vic Caswell is brilliant! Not only is she super easy to work with, but the things she comes up with are so amazing. She was able to take the half-coherent ideas I was kind of able to articulate and come up with exactly what I was thinking of. I loved working with her on both my books' covers and I can't wait to work with her again!- Emily White (author of ELEMENTAL from Spencer Hill Press)

"I'm loving my new logo!!! Victoria Caswell did a MARVELOUS job and was such a joy to work with. She made the process effortless and I swear she could read my mind. So, if you need some work done, please send it her way! You won't be sorry!" ♥ Nancy  Fennell (owner of Scents of Adventure)

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Fraud Police and a Winner!

Man, it's EASY to be insecure the first day after a book launch! But...

FIRST: our winners from yesterday... It was a very difficult decision. There were tons of great entries. Elizabeth and I EACH had favorites, but we thought... in addition... you know... we had the SAME second choice entry, so we thought instead of two winners, we would present three, ALL to receive copies of both of our books.

Elizabeth's Choice: Sylvia Bruggen and her geriatric mischief makers! (too funny—check them out)  (definitely agree with her on the merit on this one—VERY funny!)

Tart's Choice: Oh, Lady Gwen totally channeled me! I saw a lot of great posts, but this just REALLY spoke to me... the Brothel Owner that just wasn't quite fresh anymore...

Mutual Second Choice: And finally... this is additional... we each had our separate FIRST choices, but it so happened we had the SAME second choice, and thought that merited a prize, too... So Christine gets a prize for her Riverdance of Death.

So that's it... two winners plus an extra...

[appropriate emails to be sent shortly]

And then... yesterday as a book release day reminded me HUGELY of Neil Gaiman's recent graduation speech, which can be heard in completion HERE and is BRILLIANT, so you should definitely listen, whether graduation is related to anything you do or not, because it is MORE about living as an artist (a Writer even *GAH*)

Here is the speech, totally worth listening to no matter what. It's BRILLIANT, especially for a writer.

But my favorite detail of this is the Fraud Police... the folks who...once you achieve some measure of success COME FOR YOU because you are a FRAUD.

And I am feeling, at the moment, like... since I have a BOOK that has come out... that the FRAUD POLICE are coming for me. This is the fear I am worrying about today... that the Fraud Police are coming for me...

(note he says when you FINALLY feel naked, you are FINALLY making good art)

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Crazy Cozy Blogfest and Book Release!!!

I guess a girl only gets one FIRST book release and this is my big day. I'm so excited to be sharing it with Elizabeth Spann Craig, who launches a new series today, and who some of you may know (or will, if you read my book dedication) I credit with helping me a TON through this cozy mystery learning curve!

We wanted our launch to be really FUN, so that's what we hope we've managed. We asked people to sign up to pitch a zany cozy mystery idea—it seemed a nice mix of involvement and entertainment. The link to all the participants is at the bottom and I encourage all of you to check out everyone—it isn't a huge list, so you ought to be able to get through them.

Crazy Cozy Entry

Zelda Zambini is the Human Pretzel in the StarTarts Traveling Circus. They roam from town to town, and each place they land, some new, horrible malady (or murder!) awaits them, and it seems they ALWAYS get blamed. Zelda has long been in love with the Strong Man and relies on the support of Madam Estrea, the Fortune Teller (who is notoriously BAD at reading Zelda's fortune, but nevermind) to help her prove her Circus-mates are not the culprits to these crimes.

First Installments include:

Lying with Lions in Laramie
Mirror Mayhem in Minneapolis and
No Net in Nebraska

So go check out everyone else's entries!

Prizes: (yes, I said prizes! erm...not extravagant, but we wanted to give you something) Each Elizabeth and I will choose our favorite and BOTH winners will get BOTH books (signed).

We'd love help promoting the blogfest, as well. Feel free to take the button and banner and/or share the Linky Tool below. And I'm sure you will be hearing more about this over the next two months.

Quilt or Innocence
Beatrice has a lot of gossip to catch up on—especially with the Patchwork Cottage quilt shop about to close. It seems that Judith, the landlord everyone loves to hate, wants to raise the rent, despite being a quilter herself… But when Judith is found dead, the harmless gossip becomes an intricate patchwork of mischievous motives. And it’s up to Beatrice’s expert eye to decipher the pattern and catch the killer, before her life gets sewn up for good.

Elizabeth Spann Craig: Elizabeth writes the Memphis Barbeque series for Penguin/Berkley (as Riley Adams), the Southern Quilting mysteries (2012) for Penguin/NAL, and the Myrtle Clover series for Midnight Ink. She blogs daily at Mystery Writing is Murder, which was named by Writer's Digest as one of the 101 Best Websites for Writers for 2010 and 2011.

As the mother of two, Elizabeth writes on the run as she juggles duties as Girl Scout leader, referees play dates, drives carpools, and is dragged along as a hostage/chaperone on field trips.

Barnes and Noble
Indie Bound
Mystery Writing is Murder

The Azalea Assault
Cam Harris loves her job as public relations manager for the Roanoke Garden Society. It allows her to combine her three loves, spinning the press, showing off her favorite town, and promoting her favorite activity. She's just achieved a huge coup by enlisting Garden Delights, the country's premiere gardening magazine, to feature the exquisite garden of RGS founder, Neil Patrick. She's even managed to enlist world-famous photographer Jean-Jacques Georges. Unfortunately, Jean-Jacques is a first-rate cad—insulting the RGS members and gardening, goosing every woman in the room, and drinking like a lush. It is hardly a surprise when he turns up dead. But when Cam's brother-in-law is accused and her sister begs her to solve the crime, that is when things really get prickly.

Alyse Carlson: Alyse Carlson is the pen name for Hart Johnson who writes books from her bathtub. By day she is an academic researcher at a large midwestern university. She lives with her husband, two teenage children and two fur balls. The dust bunnies don't count. This will be her first published book.

Barnes and Noble
Indie Bound
Confessions of a Watery Tart