Wednesday, November 30, 2011

And the fabulous prizes go to ....

ResnickShotGlassThe Jeff Resnick "win a shot glass" contest is now over.  And the winners are:

Kris Bullock
Julie Daubert
Peggy Lee
Nancy Roessner

Two other readers left reviews on Amazon, but did not contact me with their mailing information.

Thanks for the wonderful reviews.  Your prizes will be in the mail today!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

I'm not just goofing off . . .

Where the heck have I been lately?  I used to be a very good girl and post every weekday.  Lately ... I've missed a few days here and there, and that makes me feel like I did in school when I didn't do my homework.

The truth is, times are tough.  I mean ... emotionally speaking.  I keep forgetting that not everyone who reads this blog also reads my weekly (Saturday) post on the Cozy Chicks. I sometimes save my big news for that post because, quite frankly, more people read that blog than this one.

Bonnie 3 6-08I had a roller coaster couple of weeks when one of our cats got sick and ... died.  I've been in a terrible place because of losing our dear sweet Bonnie.  (And you can read about her on Saturday's Cozy Chick post.)

The holiday (stressful) season has started.  At least this year I have no house guests.  (One brick off my shoulder.)  It's also Craft Show season.  As usual, I'm doing three this year ... and every year it gets harder.  I need to make a decision.  Do I keep doing these shows (which are a bear to prepare for and a bear to do--involving 6+ hours of standing on one's feet) or is it time to stop?

I have writing deadlines.  This is a constant.  I also have writing projects I'd love to be working on but can't because my time is limited.

And last of all ... it seems I've developed a couple of health (and yet more teeth) issues that need to be addressed.  My hope is that they can be controlled with meds ... but I'm just in the discovery phase (which is also the TERRIFYING phase).  The thing is ... how can you have health issues if you're not feeling lousy?  Go figure.  Still, it's stressful.

So please forgive me if I miss a few days on the blog here and there.
-----------------------------------------------------------
ResnickShotGlassLAST DAY TO ENTER THE JEFF RESNICK SHOT GLASS GIVE-AWAY.  Winners will be announced tomorrow.

Friday, November 25, 2011

A holiday special!

BlackFridaySale
It's black Friday -- a day when commerce expects you to rush out and spend money.

I don't know about you, but I gave up the Black Friday rush years ago.  In fact, I only did it one time and ended up spending more time waiting in check-out lines than actually shopping.  : (

Then I worked in retail for 12 years.  I found that more exciting than shopping.  Of course, I was working for myself then.  As a vendor at a crafts and antiques arcade (not unlike that found in my Victoria Square Mysteries), it was a thrill to see items from my own booth come through the checkout lines.  The holiday season was the only time of year it was worth being in business, making the other 48 weeks of the the year a time to sweat to see if I'd made my rent.

Although I'm no longer involved in retail, I do have products to sell.  My books.  And since it's the holiday season, I'm going to offer my readers a chance to try a couple of my books for only 99¢.  You can find them at Smashwords in any e reader format (and they're DRM free).  Just click the links below:

Recipes_To_Die_For.smRecipes to Die For: A Victoria Square Cookbook
(a $2 savings)

Murder On The Mind (Jeff Resnick Mystery #1)
(a $3 savings)

Are you lamenting the fact you don't have an e reader?  No worries, you can download the books to your computer and read them there or move them to your smart phone, iPad, or other electronic device.

MOTM-ebook.sm-1If you like them, I hope you'll consider reviewing them on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Goodreads, Chapters ... etc.

Happy shopping!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Time to bruise the old credit card

ChristmasshoppingHave you started your Christmas shopping yet?  I have.  I actually have two presents sitting on my shelf, and I ordered another online yesterday.  And I bought a couple of the cutest little gift card boxes for a buck at Michael's the other day.

In the olden days, I had a LOT of people on my shopping list.  I used to love to go ply the malls and look at everything, and drive around and enjoyed the bustle of people, lights, music, and everything else that goes with the holidays.  These days ... not so much.  And I find myself shopping earlier and earlier each year just so I DON'T have to go to the mall and search for something I'm not going to find anyway.

The truth is, I'll probably order a few more things online and that'll be it.  Heck, three people on my list only want gift cards, and I can buy them at the grocery store.  (It seems rather silly, really, exchanging gift cards, doesn't it?  I prefer presents, and it's usually only Mr. L who actually buys me anything.)

Have you started your shopping?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The emails that will never come

Silver pen thank youI'm feeling grumpy today, and maybe it's the two-hour dental appointment I've got later today ... and maybe it's because I didn't get a thank you.

Make that I didn't get THREE thank yous.

I recently participated in a campaign by two well-known blogs.  Every guest author wrote two blog posts and were required to give away at least one book on each blog.  When asked to participate, I was in a generous mood so I agreed to give away four books.  Three e books and one print book.

The campaign came and went and there were a lot of people vying for my contributions. That was good right?  Last week I heard from the blog owner, who gave me the name of the winners.  I immediately wrote to the three winners of the e books and told them how to obtain their prizes.  One of them claimed her e book within five minutes of receiving the email.  Another within half an hour.  The third took two days.
CricketI'm still waiting to hear from them with their heartfelt thanks.

(Do you hear the sound of crickets in the background?)

This is not the first time I've given away books, but it will be the last.

I will still guest on blogs that invite me.  I'll still hold contests with prizes. (I'm running one now for a Jeff Resnick shot glass and a goodby bag of bookmarks.  See Tuesday's post.) But I will not be giving away books via contests any more.

And I won't give away advance review copies to anyone who doesn't have a track record of writing reviews.  (That's why they call them advance REVIEW copies.)

It's a shame that a few people have ruined it for everyone else.
.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The shots are on Jeff

Do you collect shot glasses?  Do you use shot glasses?  Well, it just so happens I've got a bunch of Jeff Resnick Mysteries shot glasses.  (After all, he is a bartender.)

How can you get one?  All you have to do is post a review of my latest Jeff Resnick short story WHEN THE SPIRIT MOVES YOU on Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble.com, or Goodreads.

ResnickShotGlass

But wait, there's more!

For everyone who writes a review, I'll also toss in a goody bag filled with bookmarks, postcards, and/or buttons of some of your favorite cozy mystery authors.  (More than 25 pieces in each goody bag!)

Close_up_goody_bag
How can you miss?

Where can you find the story?

Spirit_Cover.sm Uh-oh ... you don't have an e reader?  No problem.  You can download a PDF version of the story from Smashwords and read it on your computer, your iPad, and just about any other such electronic device.  It's easy!

And did I mention this novelette (over 12,000 words) is only 99¢?

If you'd like a shot at the shot glass ... just email me and tell me where to find your review.  (Remember to close up the spaces.)  LLB @ LLBartlett.com

Hurry -- this offer is only good until November 29.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Recipes To Die For -- A Video!

Years ago I had stars in my eyes and went to Hollywood.  Okay, Santa Monica ... close enough.  I worked for a movie studio (20th Century Fox) in their Script Department. I wanted to learn to churn out scripts and make it big.

The only problem was, I soon learned that once you write and sell a script, it's no longer yours.  They can do anything they damn well please with your work and it won't resemble your original idea in the least.
Besides that, LA is a HUGE, impersonal, lonely place.  I didn't last long there and except for the first couple of weeks after leaving, I haven't regretted my decision to return to Western NY.  (And I've never been back . . . although I have been to northern California. Very nice!)

Things have changed.  Now you can make your own movies on your computer.  Well, I can't.  (I probably could if I had the patience to learn how.)  But my friend Ellery Adams can!  Over the weekend, we finished our third collaboration. A book trailer for Recipes to Die For: A Victoria Square Cookbook.

I came up with the pictures and the script.  Ellery tweaked the script (she's marvelous that way), put the pictures together, with the text, and picked out two different soundtracks.  I chose the jazz piano one because I really like piano music.  (Wish I could've learned to sight read . . . )

Anyway, here's the finished product.



So, do you like it?

BTW, RECIPES TO DIE FOR is available in print and for all ebook formats.
.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Ghosties anyone?

SpiritCoverAnd so there's a new Jeff Resnick story (novelette ... the thing kept getting longer and longer) available today.  It's called WHEN THE SPIRIT MOVES YOU.  It takes place a couple of months after Dead In Red ... and a couple of months before Cheated By Death.

Here's the blurb:

Jeff Resnick's curiosity is piqued when he sees a sign advertising psychic readings. At first he's sure the medium is a fake, but then his funny feelings lead him to suspect that a murder has taken place in the dilapidated house where Madam Zahara holds her readings. Just who died and how? And why is Jeff compelled to look for bodies buried in the medium’s yard?
It's available from:

Kindle

Nook

Smashwords (all e book formats)

I hope you'll like this latest story in the series . . . and if you do, I hope you'll take a few moments to tag and review it on the various review sites.  (Of course if you don't like it ... NEVER MIND!)
.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Another Word For Slob

We joke around that our cats are so messy that they're not cats, they're pigs.  (Oddly enough, the cats don't laugh at this.)

Dirty pigBut the other day I saw a real life pig, and it didn't have four legs.

I was sitting at a stoplight and a bus pulled up at a stop.  Three teenagers got off.  They were in the 13-15 year old range, two boys, one girl.  The girl reached into her pockets, pulled out a bunch of candy wrappers, and threw them on the ground.  Then she and her friends crossed (I should say ambled across) the street AGAINST THE LIGHT, causing those of us who had already waited an entire cycle to wait for them.

Were these kids brought up in a barn?  Didn't anyone ever teach them that littering IS A CRIME.  That crossing against the light CAN GET YOU KILLED?

LitterbugBut it was the littering that really made me angry.

There's one stretch of highway (Route 104) that looks like part of a third world coutnry because so many people toss their trash out their car windows.

Sometimes I'm really ashamed of my home town and especially some of the people who live here.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Time to change?

Time changeI don't know about you, but I have a hard time getting used to time changes.  (Good thing I don't travel a lot, eh?)

This spring forward/fall back stuff screws up my body clock something fierce.  Getting used to it in a day just doesn't happen for me.  Maybe a week and I'll be used to it.  But meanwhile the little clock inside me is telling me to ignore the one on the wall.  GET UP or GO TO BED--NOW!  Or "You're eating too early!" or "You're eating too late!"

The cats are confused, too.  In the morning they glare at me as if to say, "We showed up the bowls on time.  Where the heck have you been?"

I wish we could just do away with the whole thing. But then I guess the sun would be up at 4 am during the summer months, and who wants that, either?

Have you gotten used to the time change?
.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

This is what I call pre-planning!

The other day Mr. L invited me to go to the local nursery.

"What for?" I asked.

"To get spring bulbs."

Hot dog!

This is what I hope to see in late March or early April.

Crocuses
Okay, we've had a lovely (unseasonably warm) fall, but I know winter is right around the corner.  I don't think it's too soon to starting thinking about spring.  Do you?
.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Tricia Decks Those Halls . . .

Christmas musicI'm now hard at work on the next Booktown Mystery (and making good progress, I might add).  If you read my Cozy Chicks blog post on Saturday, you know I've been creeping into Christmas by playing holiday music. What's this got to do with Booktown #7?  (Gonna have to run a contest pretty soon to get a real title.  But more on that later.)

Back in May, I had lunch with my editor who asked me why I didn't write about winter in Stoneham.  The answer is simple, because I don't live in Southern New Hampshire and I don't KNOW what winter in New Hampshire is like.  He thought I could probably fake it.

Well, I'm not writing about winter, but I am currently writing about November in New Hampshire.  And what do retailers do in November?  They ramp up for Christmas holiday shopping.  Even in little stores like Haven't Got a Clue.

So what is Tricia doing in this story?  Decorating with the help of her staff . . . and hopefully it'll be funny.

What's fun for me about this is she's decorating her store with some of my own decorations.  Think of her front window with a few of these little cuties.

Orchestra
Vintage ornaments in a store that sells vintage mysteries. But that's not the only kind of vintage decorations going up at Haven't Got a Clue.  And she's being aided by a woman who would willingly wear this kind of Christmas apparel.

Christmas hat
Oh yes, I'm having fun with this one.

What's the first thing you put up in the way of holiday decorations?
.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

When Did Common Courtesy Become Uncommon?

Cocktail ringLast week I got an email from someone who wanted to sell jewelry at my holiday bazaar.

Um...I don't HAVE a holiday bazaar.  I am, however, participating in three of them (and if you're in the Rochester area you can check them out.  I've got them listed on my website(s) under Events).

Nowhere in the note was there a nicety like, "could you give me some information (PLEASE)," or "thank you for your trouble."  Nope, just "call me at this number."

I emailed her the information I had.  I got a note back saying, "the telephone number for this person doesn't work."  Not, "could you recheck the number or give me another one?" or "Thank you for your trouble."

Nope.  Nothing.  I thought twice about answering, but did anyway.  (My parents brought ME up right.)  And did I hear back from her saying "thank you for your help?"

Nope.

As it happens, it's probably too late for her to rent booth space (I rented mine back in the summer and I've been on their lists for years).  She's not selling hand-crafted jewelry, either, so it's not likely they're going to let her in the shows anyway.

But you know -- a please and a thank would would have been nice.  After all, these shows are holiday bazaars and aren't we supposed to be nicer to each other during the holidays?
Common_courtesy
Common courtesy seems to be foreign to most people these days.

More's the pity.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Does anyone REALLY care about Kim Kardashian?

Every week Mr. L opens USA Today and announces who is the hottest celebrity of the previous week.  I'm usually preoccupied feeding the cats or making coffee during this tremendous announcement and could care less.  But apparently there are a LOT of people who DO care.

KimMore often than not, the top celebrity (on the celebrity heat index) is Kim Kardashian.

Now here is a woman who rocketed to fame (notoriety?) because of ... (trumpets blare) a sex video.

Why does the world care, not only about her--but her sisters, her brother, her mother, and her stepfather?  Why is she plastered on the cover of every tabloid and gossip magazine cover?

Why did the world tune in to her (probably fabricated) wedding?  Why do people care that she and her new mate called it quits after 72 days?

It seems to me all she does is look for ways to expand her "brand" and rake in the dough.

What has this woman done to better mankind (or, more importantly, womankind)?

Why do people care about this woman?  Why do they want to know everything about her?

(BTW, I couldn't pick her out of a lineup ... that's how out of her sphere of influence I am.  I went to Google images to find her picture.)

I don't understand the allure.  And you know what?  I don't want to.

That's just me.  How about you?
.