Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy Book Launch Day, Julie Hyzy: Fonduing Fathers

Today is Book Launch Day for my friend Julie Hyzy, with her 6th White House Chef mystery FONDUING FATHERS.

Fonduing fathers.smWhite House executive chef Olivia Paras has enough on her plate. But after gaining new information about her father’s death, the First Family isn’t the only family Olivia is concerned about…

Olivia has always believed that her father was an honorable man—until a trip to visit her mother reveals that he was dishonorably discharged from the army. Olivia is even more shocked to learn that he was brutally murdered because someone at his company suspected him of selling corporate secrets. Refusing to believe that her father was a scoundrel, Olivia won’t rest until she proves his innocence.

Enlisting the help of her boyfriend, Gav, Olivia must reach out to her father’s colleagues to discover the truth behind his murder. What she’s about to discover may not only put her at risk, but threaten national security as well…
It's available from:

Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Indigo/Chapters ~ Book Depository

Kindle ~ Nook ~ Kobo ~ iTunes ~ Sony

Hey, did you know Julie also has a bunch of great indie e books from her backlist? From Mystery to SF--Julie's got all genres covered.  Check them out on her Backlist Ebooks page.
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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Show me your Nook--download a free story!

The holidays can be stressful, and maybe even lonely.  I've always found that books are a wonderful escape--whenever you need it.  They can take you to new worlds--or visit the world you live in but see it in a new way.  They can introduce you to new friends (via series like mine).  It's said that readers don't just live one life--they live thousands!

NookYou see a lot of free ebook promotions, I know (because my readers tell me) that not enough of them are for NOOKs. Today, we remedy that. Until December 31st, we're offering a meme game to those who would like a little bit of fun -- and to earn free EPUB (the Nook format) books for playing. (Although *cough* DRM-free EPUB files can readily be converted to MOBI for the Kindle.  Like I said, we’re all about choice!)

We believe that if we want a thriving book community, we need lots of options. We need print, we need ebook, we need CHOICE. So that's why we are doing this. We support choice! Over at Backlist eBooks, that’s exactly why the authors provide links to all of a book’s available retailers to which many of the participating treasure hunt authors belong.

Cold_Case.smI'm offering my short story, COLD CASE.  If you haven't read the Jeff Resnick mysteries, this is a good introduction.  It was the first published story about that character, and the basis for teh 5th book in the series (Bound By Suggestion).

Psychic Jeff Resnick has no expectations when investigating the disappearance of a four-year-old, until he confronts the mind responsible--a shattering experience for all involved.

It’s easy to play!  Just show me a picture of you–or your four-footed friend–with a NOOK!  It doesn’t have to be your Nook, if you’ve a hankering for the story.  

You can post your photo on my FaceBook Author Page.  You may have to “Like” the page, but that only takes a moment.  When you do, I'll message you via Facebook with the Smashwords Coupon Code for the story via Epub file. (See below for how to download the story for your Nook.)

Here are the other authors who are participating.
  • Cat Kimbriel:  Fires of Nuala  (Science Fiction)  FaceBook & LiveJournal
  • Jeffrey A. Carver:  Eternity’s End  (Science Fiction)  FaceBook
  • Phyllis Irene Radford:  Guardian of the Balance, Merlin’s Descendants #1  (Fantasy)  FaceBook & LiveJournal
  • Mark Chisnell: The Defector  (Thriller)  FaceBook
  • Brenda Hiatt:  Lord Dearborn’s Destiny (traditional Regency romance) FaceBook
  • Phoebe Matthews:  Demonspell  (contemporary fantasy)  Web Site
  • Lorraine Bartlett: Cold Case  (Mystery)  Facebook
  • Ruth Harris: Modern Women  (Fiction/Chick Lit)  Blog
  • Jennifer Stevenson:  King of Hearts  (romantic comedy)  Web Site & FaceBook
  • Vonda N. McIntyre: Starfarers, Book One of the Starfarers Quartet  (Science Fiction) Book View Cafe
  • Lise McClendon:  All Your Pretty Dreams  (Adult Fiction)  FaceBook
And in case you’re wondering, this is how to sideload an EPUB file into your NOOK:
1) Download the epub file to your computer.
2) Attach your NOOK to the computer with its USB cable.
3) A “Nook” drive will appear in My Computer (PC) or Desktop (Mac).
4) Copy and Paste, or Drag and Drop downloaded EPUB (or even  PDF!) files into the My Documents folder on the Nook drive.
5) Go to My Library on the Nook, hit View My Documents, and then hit Check for New Content.
6) Choose one of the files you sideloaded into My Documents and press Select to open it.
You can also read EPUB on other devices! It’s a widely-used format with great convenience.
Be an explorer.  Show me your NOOK!

Obligatory disclaimer: Copyright to these free books is retained by the authors. You may share this post in its entirety. All pictures must be posted by 11:59 PM, December 31, 2012, CST. If anyone posts any of these EPUBs to a torrent site, the portal closes and we won't have any more games. This is a gift to you, not an invitation to set the book free forever. If you post a picture that would be considered in bad taste, it will be deleted and you won't get a coupon code. Thank you for keeping things fun!

Monday, December 17, 2012

A small, life-changing thing?

A writer never knows what she writes that will influence a person--hopefully for all the right reasons.  And where do we get all these wonderful tidbits we share with readers?  Usually from real life. 

BuddyYears ago my parents had a West Highland terrier who was a joy to walk.  Buddy had gone to obedience school twice. Um, he flunked the first time, but it couldn't have been by much, for he aced it the second time.  And the thing he learned best was how to walk.  That doesn't sound that difficult, does it, but it actually is.  How often do I see people supposedly walking their dogs who are either being dragged by them, or dragging them, or struggling just to control them while on their constitutionals? The answer to that is wayyyyy to often. 

I would often take Buddy for a walk.  You didn't have to take a litter bag with you when you walked with Buddy.  He knew where he was to do his business--and that was at his own backyard.  When you came to a curb, he automatically sat down and waited for the "all clear" signal that it was safe to go on.  He trotted beside you with a smile on his doggy face and tail held high and wagging.  Is it any wonder that when I added a dog to the Booktown Mystery series that I would have him be as well trained?

Christmas letterAs I wrote last week, I LOVE getting Christmas cards.  I also love to get those newsy Christmas letters from friends.  Sadly, I don't get as many as I used to get, but I thoroughly enjoy the ones I do get.  I got one on Friday, and added at the end were a couple of personalized paragraphs.  It said:

"As I was reading MURDER ON THE HALF SHELF, and noting the little Bichon would stop at the corners, I found myself remembering how I used to tell my dogs to "stop" and, surprise, they actually did.  Glad I saw that, because now I've begun trying to train my Bichon-Poodle mix and ten-year old shih-tzu to also stop at corners.  This is even more important to me since January, when my next-door neighbor and best friend was killed by a car about a block from home while she was walking two of her shih-tzus.  Thanks for the reminder."

I cried when I read that paragraph. First, for the loss of my friend's friend, and second, that something I wrote has caused her to train her dogs to sit and stay until it's safe to cross the street.

It's just such a little thing, but it made me glad that I write books.  That my words can touch people.  That in some small way I can make a difference.

Holly thank youThank you, Karen.  You made my day.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Where are all the Christmas cards?

Candy cane cardI admit it, I love Christmas cards.  In fact, I collect them.  Well, I collect VINTAGE Christmas cards and have about 50-60 of them.  Thanks to Pinterest, I now have an even bigger collection (spread out over several of my writing personas). 

I like cards from the 1950s.  It was such an innocent era.  (Well, we like to think that.  The WWII had ended, but Korea was in full swing, and there was the Cold War going on ... but let's think innocent.)

Most of my cards came from yard sales.  Usually when daughters were cleaning our their parents homes.  They bagged them up and I bought them. (I also have an entire box of assorted cards for every occasion that I got FOR THREE BUCKS!) I love them all!

Every year I hand the last Christmas card I got from my Granddad back in the 1980s.  It wasn't an expensive card, but it has his signagure on it and it says "with Love"  (sniff).

But so far this year I haven't received one Christmas card.  I'm so sad that that tradition seems to be going the way of the doh-doh.  I looked forward to the mail every day in December. Now people send virtual cards which, less face it, don't entail much effort at all.  Especially when all one has to do is gang a load of email addresses and shoot off one card with one message.

A cheery christmasI've got my cards all ready to work on this week, and will feel sad that my wall of cards might only have a couple of it this year.

If you like vintage cards, they have reproductions on Amazon.  I'll be sending out a few of my vintage cards to a chosen few.

Will you be sending out Christmas cards this year?

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Holiday stories to put you in a festive mood

Are you having a tough time getting into the holiday spirit?  Well, have I got some great holiday stories for you.  Okay, two of them are mine -- but a lot more are by my friends at the Incredible Indie Authors. (We're all traditionally published authors who have backlist and new titles available as ebooks.)

Mine are:

Humbug.smBah! Humbug (which really won't make much sense unless you've just read my 4th Jeff Resnick mystery, Cheated by Death).  It’s Christmas Day, and Jeff and Maggie spend Christmas dinner with Maggie’s family, who are not receptive to her new significant other. It’ll be a Christmas to remember . . . but who wants to?

and

Uncle_Albert_Cover.smWe're So Sorry, Uncle Albert:  The Nichols family finds that their stingy Uncle Albert, who’s been mooching off of the family for years, is actually quite wealthy.  Naturally they aren’t at all that happy about it and decide that Uncle Albert has overstayed his worldly welcome.  What to do?  They plot to get rid of him–just in time for Christmas.  It’s a jolly holiday all right!

Both are just 99 cents.  Such a deal!

They have a Facebook page (please LIKE us!), and a Pinterest account.  Here's the link to our Christmas stories (in many genres--and even a few audio books),and here's the link to our regular Pinterest page.

Please come and visit!
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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Icing fever strikes!

R and 2 cookiesEvery couple of years I make cut-out cookies for Christmas. The reason I don't do it more often is because ... well, let's face it.  If you make it, you must eat it. If I didn't already need to lose (mumble, mumble) pounds, I'd go for it.

Pinterest is terrible.  It is.  There are hundreds and hundreds of pictures of cut-out cookies and dammit--I must repin and admire them over and over again. I was actually so inspired, I spent Sunday making cookie dough, and yesterday baking the cookies.

I lost my favorite recipe, so I often punt--and use an unfamiliar one.  I must stop this.  Next year (for I've already baked my cookies), I'm going to do more research to find the perfect recipe ... although, perhaps i won't have to look that far.

Thanks to Google, I found a great blog that walks you through decorating your cookies.  (And gives recipes and tips and stuff.)  OMG -- I could explore this site for days on end.  It's called The Sweet Adventures of Sugar Belle. Of course now that I have investigated the site I want to go out and buy all the things you need, like icing bottles, and have learned all kinds of new terms like 20-second icing and fill icing and icing bottles, etc. And that I should make icing 4 pounds at a time.

CookiesWill I ever have the talent to make gorgeous cookies?  Not unless I practice a whole lot and I won't do that because I would eat the cookies and gain more weight and ... it's a vicious cycle.  Maybe I should just BUY a cookie now and then.

Still, I've got 5 dozen uniced cookies in the freezer and must hit the craft store (which has a HUGE Wilton section), or maybe just Amazon.  After all, I have just under three weeks before Christmas to finish these cookies.  (Mostly stars.  I'm a star girl.)

Are you baking cookies this year?  If so, the Cozy Chicks Blog is going to hold a Cookie Exchange -- 7-8 (we haven't decided yet) of our favorite recipes to share.  It'll be Dec. 16-22.  Don't miss it!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Make a Beeline to Trouble!

Yay!  Today my pal Hannah Reed (aka Deb Baker) has a new book out. 

Beline to troubleIt’s a real buzz-kill when beekeeper Story Fischer gets a visit from her frantic sister. Now she has to help host a combative trio of professional food flavorists. Good thing the well-stocked shelves of Story’s grocery store, the Wild Clover, can provide the morning meal.

During a pre-lunch tour of Story’s hives, however, one of the guests is found dead. Just what Story needs only days after hunky boyfriend, Hunter Wallace, finally decided to move in. As if a dead body isn’t enough to put a damper on romance, Story becomes a prime suspect when the carrot juice she brought with the breakfast fixings is found to contain poison. Now it’s up to Story to comb through the evidence and find the real perpetrator before she ends up getting stung herself...

You can get it from:

Amazon ~Kindle

Barnes & Noble ~ Nook

Book Depository ~ Chapters

iTunes

Monday, December 3, 2012

Time to bake?

Saturday I made a HUGE batch of cookie dough for cut-out cookies.  By the time I'd done that, I was too worn out to actually spent another couple of hours BAKING the cookies.  Okay, baking doesn't take all that much time.  It's the cutting out and trying to get the cookies onto the cookie sheet without mushing them that takes the time.  I'm saving that for later this week.

Mr. L has already given me a list of holiday treats he's eager for.  Some of them don't take much time, and some of them do.  (I must admit, I like the ones that DON'T take much time.)
Icing pen
BTW, I got a great little cookie decorating tool at the grocery store the other day.  (Okay, I haven't tried it out yet, but I'm anticipating it'll be a great little cookie decorating tool.)  The E-Z Deco icing pen.  I've never been able to draw a straight line with a pastry bag, and I'm hoping this little gadget does the trick.  I'll let you know.

But for now, I have to figure out when the best time will be for baking the cookies.  This week is booked pretty tight, and I'm already behind on my self-imposed writing schedule.  This time of year is just so busy ... even if all I seem to do is spin my wheels.

On tap for tonight:  decorating the tree.

Where are you in your countdown to the holidays?
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Thursday, November 29, 2012

It's the holiday season--haul out your Christmas music!

Christmas musicI don't know about you, but I LOVE Christmas music.  I know, I know -- I blog about it every year, but I can't help myself. 
I've been playing Christmas music in my office since about the first of November. Nothing with singing -- mostly just a plain piano.  I have to admit, I like the jazz or new age ones the best, but I'll take just regular "classic" tunes as well.

It's funny that I should listen to so many piano CDs (yes, I still have a gazillion of them--and CD players scattered around the house, too.  They're hard to find.  I buy most of them at yard sales these days). When I was a kid I took piano lessons, but I could never sight read, which was a huge disappointment to me. I had friends who could sit down at the piano and play any piece of music I put in front of them, but their playing had no soul. It was very mechanical.  So here I had all this soul, but no ability to play without memorizing every note first.  I gave it up.  I never understood how I could take to typing so easily, but not playing the piano. I don't even think when I type...my fingers just know what to do.  But then I'm just thinking the words not trying to read them letter for letter.

I got a lot of my piano Christmas CDs from The Dollar Tree.  (Yeah, a buck a piece.)  I have little notes written on the inside of the sleeve:  Not bad.  Slow tunes.  Okay.   The ones marked "not bad" are ... not bad!  One of them is of Celtic tunes.  That's really good, but is so lively it kind of distracts me when I'm trying to write. And as it happens, while I'm listening to Christmas music, I'm writing about Valentine's Day.  Oh well, at least it's still winter.

Charliebrown christmasOur local radio station has been playing Christmas tunes 24/7 since November 16th.  That's a bit early to be hearing Michael Jackson wail "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town" or "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus."  Why couldn't they start out with instrumentals (of which you never hear ANY) and gently ease into the singing ones.  They could play just about any tune from A Charlie Brown Christmas and everyone would be happy and tapping their toes.

Bing-andrews-christmasAs for singing ones, my favorite is Celine Dion's These Are Special Times, but I will admit to listening to Der Bingle and The Andrews Sisters, too. (Theirs is my very favorite version of Jingle Bells.)  I've also made a lot of compilation Christmas CDs.  Where else can I hear the Waitresses Christmas Wrapping and the Tran-Syberian Orchestra?

So, what's your favorite Christmas music?
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Monday, November 19, 2012

Where's the off switch?

Last Friday, I posted on the Cozy Chicks Blog that I recently got a new car.  If you want to know more about it (and why I'm not driving it), go and check out that post.

Last night I was working on sending out the entries in the cookbook contest I did on Goodreads. (Sorry I didn't post about it. I thought I had another day, but Hello! There were the winners' addresses in my in-box this morning).  All of a sudden the quiet night was broken with the obnoxious sound of a car alarm going off.  And it went on and on and on.  And the neighbors didn't come out to turn it off!

What was with them?

CaravanAnd then Mr. L yells out to me from the kitchen, "Hey, it's YOUR car!"

So I grab my keys, run to the car and realize I DON'T KNOW HOW TO TURN IT OFF!  I open the car, slam the door.  Open the door again, grab the pseudo owner's guide (they dont print the BIG one anymore, they give you a CD and if you want more, you have to call and order one--which I had not done because ... well, I didn't need to).  Well, who can find their reading glasses at a time like that (um, they were on my head), so Mr. L had to fumble to find ALARM in the back Index.  He finally found it and it says to put your key in the ignition and turn it.  But before we could get back to the car, it had stopped.

All was quiet.

Hmmm.  I wasn't liking the new car all that much,and I'm not liking it even less today. And I'm also wondering ... what other surprises is it going to hand me ... and when?

How long did it take you to get used to a new car?
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One_Hot_Murder174-smDon't forget, I've got the Goodreads GIveaway for Advance Review Copies of ONE HOT MURDER.  Only 3 days left to enter.

P.S.  The Jeff Resnick Mysteries are going to audio ... hopefully all of them ... in the near future

Monday, November 12, 2012

One hot Goodreads Giveaway

You know what?  My Lorraine name has been in print for almost two years.  Well, you wouldn't know it by my website hits.  And that's why I spent the last week talking with my web designer.  We did an overhaul, and you can see the results here:  LorraineBartlett.com
Go on, take a look -- then come back and tell me what you think.

One_Hot_Murder174-smAnd in another effort to get the Lorraine name out there, I'm participating in a book giveaway over at Goodreads.  I'm giving away TWELVE advance review copies of ONE HOT MURDER:

Katie Bonner, the reluctant manager of Artisans Alley in the quaint shopping district of Victoria Square, is no stranger to ambivalence ambivalence. Things have been going hot and heavy with pizza maker Andy Rust—so much so that Katie has moved in over his pizza parlor. But now that summer’s ushered in a heat wave, an apartment above pizza ovens without an air conditioner is making Katie hot and bothered.

At the height of the heat wave, a tragic fire strikes Victoria Square. Wood U, a small store selling wooden gifts and small furniture, is destroyed. But the fire may just be a smokescreen—for murder. Because a body is found among the charred wreckage—and the victim didn’t die from smoke inhalation. He was shot. Now—despite making Detective Ray Davenport hot under the collar—Katie is determined to smoke out a cold-hearted killer…

How do you enter?  If you're a member of Goodreads, you log in and click on the link for the book.  They also ask that you add the book to your to-be-read list. 

What's the point of all this?  To get my name out there.  A lot of cozy readers still don't know that Lorraine and Lorna are the same.  A lot of my L.L. Bartlett readers don't even know about Lorraine or Lorna.  I want them to know all three names.

I'll be updating my Lorna Barrett site in the next couple of weeks, and getting new Facebook banners.

Stay tuned!
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Thursday, November 8, 2012

Hot off the press!

My good friends and Cozy Chicks blog sisters Ellery Adams and Kate Collins have new books out this week.  They are:

Written in stoneWhen Munin Cooper, known as the Witch of Oyster Bay, warns Olivia Limoges that death is coming, neither of them realize that it is the older woman herself who will soon be found dead. And Olivia’s instincts tell her that something—or someone—more sinister than a mystical force is at play…

Olivia has a lot on her plate preparing for the Coastal Carolina Food Festival. When she hears the news of Munin’s untimely death, however, finding the murderer takes priority. The witch left behind a memory jug full of keepsakes that Olivia knows must point to the killer—but she’s got to figure out what they mean.

With handsome Police Chief Rawlings by her side, Olivia starts to identify some of the jug’s mysterious contents—and finds its secrets are much darker than she suspected. Now Olivia must enlist the help of the Bayside Book Writers to solve the puzzle behind the piece of pottery and put an end to a vengeful killer before any more damage can be done…

KINDLE - Nook - Kobo - iTunes

NightshadeIn addition to running her flower shop, planning her wedding, and juggling two mothers who both want to host an elaborate bridal shower, Abby Knight is facing another complication. Her ditzy cousin Jillian asks her and her longtime beau, Marco, a private detective, to find a woman who’s gone missing from the exclusive beach house belonging to Jillian’s in-laws, the Osbornes. The missing woman is also the fiancĂ©e of Pryce Osborne, a wet noodle with a big bank account who dumped Abby just before their wedding several years ago. Merely being anywhere near Pryce makes Abby’s insecurities grow like kudzu….

Then a woman’s drowned body surfaces, and Pryce becomes a prime suspect in her death. Unless Abby and Marco can get a killer to come clean, their bridal shower will turn into a complete washout...and Pryce will be exchanging a sunny beach for a prison cell.

Kindle - Nook - Kobo - iTunes
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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Absent Without Leave!

AwolDid you notice I've been AWOL for a while?  First of all, I was sick.  For about a month.  Then I went on vacation, where I spent most of my time writing.  (What a great vacation!  While everyone else was sitting in the sun reading, I like to think I was writing what they'll read on their NEXT vacation.) I also went to a writers conference where I learned a lot, and I've been trying to use what I learned to help me reach the next tier.

What's the next tier?  I'm not sure myself, but I know I'm not there yet.

ToblogornotWhile I was away, I contemplated the fate of this blog.  It seems that industry professionals (editors, agents, etc.) think a blog is a great idea. It keeps your name out there during the l-o-n-g months when you don't have a new book out there. Meanwhile authors don't believe they help your career much, and suck away your creative juices.  I can vouch for that.  I've been blogging for seven years now and I can't say that that's where people find me or my books.

I'm stubborn.  I'm not yet ready to give it up. But I've also decided to cut myself some slack and not try to post every weekday as I have in the past. I'm going to try for at least twice a week, and I'm not certain what days I'll pick.  One thing is for certain, it won't be Fridays.  I post with the Cozy Chicks on Fridays and I get about doube the hits with those posts that I get on my own blog.   : (

I'd like to institute something new on the blog: spreading the word about free or reduced priced ebooks by my friends.  Hey, we all need to keep those to-be-read lists full, right?
Truth or dareToday I'm plugging a YA story Truth or Dare by my pal Peg Cochran. It's currently 99 cents:  Here's the blurb:

Four girls. One summer. And a game of truth or dare gone horribly wrong.

When new girl Rivka Polsky begins dating Pamela Miller’s brother, Pamela is afraid he will spill their deepest, darkest secret. And then everyone will know. She’ll do anything to prevent that. Pamela lures Rivka into her inner circle of friends and their games of truth or dare which they have been playing since kindergarten. But the stakes are considerably higher now, and one hot summer night the game spirals out of control and nearly ends in tragedy.

So ... I'm back.

Did you miss me?

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Booktown #7 Cover -- It's Not The Killing Type

Here's the cover for the next Booktown Mystery:  NOT THE KILLING TYPE.  It's currently available for pre-order only from Amazon, but I'm sure Barnes & Noble will list it in the not too distant future.

NottheKillingType

What do you think?
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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

New Booktown release

My latest Booktown offering is available.

Wait a minute, it's Booktown, but I had nothing to do with it.

Wait a minute, I wrote the books, but I had nothing to do with this offering.

Booktown-three volumes.medOkay, it's like this; my publisher decided to offer a trade paperback edition of the first three Booktown Mysteries and has called it MURDER IN THREE VOLUMES.  (Catchy title that, eh?)  Of course they picked my least favorite cover.  But wait a minute--it looks so very different than it did when it was the cover for Bookmarked for Death.  Oh -- wow, you can see a LOT of the detail that my cover artist (Teresa Fasolino) added to the painting and was covered up by the banner title and the little box proclaiming recipes.  I always thought of it as a PURPLE cover, because it has that god-awful purple band at the left hand side.  (Now that the latest book is in hardcover, they've decided not to use that band of color on the book (and I sure hope they don't add it to the paperback edition of Murder On The Half Shelf, which will be available on July 2nd of next year.)  So maybe I do love this cover as much as the others, after all.

It's a BIG book, and a good value--three books for the (list) price of two. (And if you preordered, it was an even betterdeal at a 43% discount--don't know if that will hold after today--or was it yesterday?)

The one thing it won't be is an ebook, which is too bad, because I think it would have sold really well.  (Hey, I'm selling the boxed sets of my Jeff Resnick books and they sell like hotcakes!)  But don't blame me, it was the publisher's decision.

I admit, I didn't pull out all the stops promoting this one (sending out postcards, etc.) because if you like the series, you had to have already read all three books, right?  But ... this could be a great introduction to the series for other people you know.  Or for a library.  Hey, Christmas is right around the corner ... think stocking stuffers! (Or gifts for Halloween, Thanksgiving, baby and wedding showers ... birthdays ... the possibilities are endless!)

At any rate, it's out there.  If you're among the Booktown faithful, I hope you'll spread the word about Murder In Three Volumes.

You can find it at Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and other independent booksellers.

Thanks!
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Thursday, September 13, 2012

My love-hate relationship with my computer

Heart my computerOver the weekend, I got a new computer.  I've been stalling for over a year, despite the fact my old computer ate my mailing list FOUR TIMES.  I lost updates to books in progress.  It froze all the time.  It was very slow.  Still, I dragged my feet.  It wasn't just the investment, it was ... the dreaded learning curve.

I worked production in a machine shop for 18 months.  While there, I learned to swear like a sailor.  (When you work with a group of really rough guys, you'd better grow a thick skin PDQ.)  I think I repeated everything I learned there during the past few days of adjustment to my new computer.

The good?  A 27-inch screen.  Can you say, "SAAAAWEEEEEEETTTT?"  It's wonderful.  I pumped up the font size and don't have to wear glasses when I work anymore.  And I can have my spreadsheets open while looking at websites.  I found a lovely wallpaper of an alien planet with planets and stars filling the sky.  The screen saver puts on a show with my own pictures, and I've found myself sitting there watching the slide show.

It bytesThe bad?  New software.  I loathe when software engineers have to change everything around JUST BECAUSE THEY CAN.  Luckily, I have someone I can email and yell, "HELP!"  (I love you, Dru Ann!)  Even just making a new file folder has become a strange and alien practice.  There's all kinds of new software on this thing and I have no idea what it does or why it's there.  I have strange new icons.  What are they for?  I used to line up my windows on my bottom tool bar thingy in a certain order.  Well, forget that.  They're in whatever order some engineer wanted them (and look suspiciously like the set up on my iMac).

It's going to take me weeks before I figure this all out.

And did I mention I got a new laptop, too?  I can't wait to try that out this weekend. 
NOT.

How about you?  Did you have a long learning curve the last time you got a new computer?
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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

What's in a (duplicate) title???

SnafuDo you know what a SNAFU is?  In the Army it's "Situation Normal:  All Fouled Up."  (Um, that's not the real F word, but we won't talk about that.)

Guess what?  The next Booktown Mystery has the SAME TITLE as another Penguin mystery.  Only that one is scheduled to come out in December, and mine is scheduled to come out next July.  To make it worse, my shame is public.  They're both already up on Amazon!

Short of happy mealHello!  Do the people in the Marketing Department (which approves these titles) talk to each other?

Now, if I had chosen the title, I might not be as perterbed. I chose a FUNNY title. It's a pun. It directly relates to two major aspects of the story. But no, they want to go "in another direction." Well, let's hope the direction they choose doesn't include another duplicate title that's about to see print, or one from the recent past.

There are many fine things that a big-name publisher does for its authors, but they aren't perfect. They don't always know what's right for a book. I know and love my book much more than they do. And the fact that the protagonist has a major meltdown early in the story might just mean that a little levity is definitely in order.

*Sigh*

I admit it. I'm upset. I announced to the world (on Facebook, here on this blog, and just Monday to THOUSANDS of readers via my newsletter) what the new title for my book would be. All I can hope is that those of you who read it have immediate and total amnesia on the subject.

So what is the title of the next Booktown Mystery?

I'm pretty sure I'll be the last to know.
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Monday, September 10, 2012

ROOM AT THE INN: now available

ROOM_AT_THE_INN_medIt's official, my (now 3rd of 5) new Jeff Resnick mystery, ROOM AT THE INN, is available from the following e-tailers:

Amazon (Trade paperback)
Kindle
Nook
Kobo
Smashwords (all e formats)

(It'll take a couple of weeks, but the paperback will be available at Barnes & Noble, and on the other big e-tailer sites (iTunes, Sony E Reader, Diesel, etc.).

Here's the blurb:  Jeff Resnick is definitely out of his element when he and Maggie take a working vacation at a quaint Vermont inn. For most people, the chance to spend time with a beautiful woman in a romantic, isolated setting would be a plus, but the moment Jeff crosses the Sugar Maple Inn’s threshold, his sixth sense warns him that someone is about to meet a violent death.

His anxiety intensifies when he travels on one of the local roads and he is nearly overwhelmed by feelings of impending doom. Ultimately, Jeff can only find respite in his brother Richard’s presence and it is only after one of the inn’s guests is murdered that Richard reluctantly becomes a third wheel on Jeff and Maggie’s trip. With their own lives at stake, Jeff, Maggie, and Richard must use all their wits and skill to bring a ruthless killer to justice. And if they don’t, one of them might just become the next victim.

Hope you enjoy it!
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Thursday, September 6, 2012

I shouldn't have, but did anyway ...

Last week, Mr. L and I went to beautiful Niagara on the Lake to visit the even lovlier Prince of Wales Hotel for afternoon tea.

Prince of Wales-cropped

Food 3.sm-croppedIT WAS WONDERFUL!

One of the things I like best, besides the charming ambiance, the delicious food, the nice strong cups of tea, is the china.  I wondered what it was, turned my saucer over, but didn't see any marking.  : (

So there I was last night, flipping through the latest issue of Teatime Magazine and there it was--featured in a story.  Oh boy, you never saw someone flip to the products page so fast in your life.  It said they had obtained the china from Replacements Ltd.

Hey! Over the years I've bought a bunch of china from Replacements Ltd. Of course, I didn't like the price they quoted so I went online to see if I could do better. Damn. It was the same price. Still, I went ahead and ordered ONE cup and saucer.  I love the pattern so much I had to have it so that I can drink my tea from it and think about those lovely afternoons at the Prince of Wales.

Oberon Wedgewod cupWhat do you think?

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

That was one happy mailbox!

Sample copies

Wee!  As you can see, the other day was a great mail day.  Not only did I get my sample copy of Room at the Inn, but two sample copies of Murder In Three Volumes

It might not look like it from this picture, but that three-volume book (Murder Is Binding, Bookmarked for Death and Bookplate Special) could A) choke a moose, and would B) make a great doorstop.  But the best use would be as a gift (Christmas is coming!).  Have a relative or a friend who doesn't yet know about cozy mysteries?  This might be a way to introduce them to the genre.  (Not that I'm being pushy or anything. No--no!  Perish the thought.) 

Even better, Amazon and Barnes & Noble are currently discounting it by 43% (it lists for $16 and is being sold for $9.09--free shipping at Amazon if you spend $25).

Room at the Inn will be available at most online retail outlets on September 10th.

Murder in Three Volumes will be available everywhere on October 2nd.
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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

First Tuesday of the month = new cozy mysteries!

Oh, how I love the first Tuesday of the month.  It's when my publisher releases new cozy mysteries, and there're three really good ones I think you should consider.

Murder 4 coursesMurder In Four Courses by Lucy Burdette

The annual Key West Loves Literature seminar is drawing the biggest names in food writing from all over the country, and Haley Snow is there to catch a few fresh morsels of insider gossip. Superstar restaurant critic Jonah Barrows has already ruffled a few foodie feathers with his recent tell-all memoir, and as keynote speaker, he promises more of the same jaw-dropping honesty.

But when Hayley discovers Jonah's body in a nearby dipping pool, the cocktail hour buzz takes a sour turn, and Hayley finds herself at the center of attention--especially with the police. Now it's up to her to catch the killer before she comes to her own bitter finish.






Murder unmentionableMurder Unmentional by Meg London (also known as Peg Cochran)

Emma Taylor thought she knew what to expect when she abandoned life as a big-city fashionista to help her aunt, Arabella, breathe new style into Sweet Nothings, her waning lingerie boutique. As Emma settles back in to Paris, Tennessee—a world where pie is served with a parable and a pitcher of sweet tea is the cure for most of life’s ills—her escape seems smooth as silk.

But when the town acquires a touch of unneeded je ne sais quoi with the arrival of Emma’s philandering ex, an unseemly murder turns her world inside out. As the police’s top suspect, Emma is going to need more than fishnets to snare the real killer. And when she and Arabella refuse to let death threats wrapped in knifed nighties stall Sweet Nothings’ vintage lingerie fashion show, it becomes increasingly clear that any garter may hide a gun and that bullet bras might have to live up to their name…



Cat's meowMurder of the Cat's Meow by Denise Swanson

When ex–Vegas showgirl and local business owner Bunny Reid starts an online dating service called Cupid’s Cat’s Meow, out-of-town visitors flock to her bowling alley for the speed dating and cat show events that she hosts to bring in extra cash. Bunny’s scheme sounds harmless enough, but school psychologist Skye Denison knows all too well that an influx of strangers in Scumble River always spells trouble….

Meanwhile, Skye is convinced that her house is haunted and is afraid her fiancĂ©, police chief Wally Boyd, won’t move in until the ghost moves out. But ghost-hunting takes a back seat when Skye is called to the bowling alley, where a riled up contestant is choking a cat show judge for insulting his feline. Skye breaks up the scuffle, but the next morning the judge’s dead body is found, strangled with a cat toy. Now Skye must solve this purrplexing mystery—and show a devious killer that her sleuthing skills are the cat’s meow.

Hope you'll give them a try!
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Monday, August 27, 2012

A cozier Jeff Resnick returns September 10th

ROOM_AT_THE_INN_medYesterday I got the cover for my upcoming Jeff Resnick release, ROOM AT THE INN, which will be available on September 10th.  Needless to say, I'm really happy.  (How about you?)

Here's the story description.

A Cozier Side of Jeff Resnick …
 Jeff Resnick is definitely out of his element when he and Maggie take a working vacation at a quaint country inn in Vermont. But just crossing the inn’s threshold brings Jeff’s funny feelings to life: someone is going to die. He’s also gripped with anxiety when he reaches a certain point on a local road. The feelings intensify and he feels the only thing that will quell them is his brother Richard’s presence. A reluctant Richard joins them—after one of the other guests has been murdered. And while the local cops do their best to investigate, Jeff knows—or at least feels—more than they do, and is driven to find the killer before he, Richard, and Maggie become the next victims.
 
(The story fits, chronologically, between When The Spirit Moves You and Cheated By Death.)

Will you help me spread the word? 

(Thank you.)
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Friday, August 24, 2012

Come on over and visit me at the Cozy Chicks Blog

It's Friday - Friday
Ya gotta get down on Friday ...

Fb like buttonAnd that means I'm over at the Cozy Chicks blog talking about being LIKED on social media.

I hope you'll check out my post, and then fly over to Facebook to LIKE me.  (Really, really, LIKE me!)
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Monday, August 20, 2012

Three Weeks And Counting until there's ROOM AT THE INN

3Three weeks from today, my fifth Jeff Resnick book will be released.

What's the hold up?

Several things.  The cover; formatting the book so it will be available in Trade Paperback. I also need time to order postcards. (And I guess it wouldn't hurt to write the product blurb, eh?)

Door-thumb19762831This is the photo that will be used on the cover.  I'm eager to see what my cover designer will do with it.  What do you think it means?

Friday, August 17, 2012

Which Julia Child recipe did I choose?

MasteringartfrenchAs promised, I blogged today about making a recipe from Julia Child's Mastering The Art of French Cooking. I've included LOTS of pictures of the process, too.

You can find my post over on The Cozy Chicks blog.

Go on.  It's waiting there for you!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Oh, Just Do It Already!

by Guest Blogger Evelyn David

HeartWe love mysteries. It's why we got into writing them in the first place. And we confess we love a nice touch of romance in our whodunnits because, well, why not? But here's what we don't like, be it in mysteries, television, or for that matter, real life. We hate, and yes that's a strong word, but we hate the concept that the only interesting part of a relationship is the chase.

Yep, we love good, crisp, flirty banter in a relationship. Think Tracy and Hepburn, Cary Grant and just about any actress, Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. Both the man and woman are smart, sassy, and instantly attracted and immediately repelled by the other. The build-up of a relationship captures our imagination, teaches us about the characters, and most of all, it's fun. But what happens next?

All too often writers drag out this stage of a relationship ad nauseum. The "will they-won't they" grows stale after a few years or a few books. At some point, it's not "will they-won't they," but "who cares." If the couple can't commit to each other and also can't quit each other, that tells us something about their emotional maturity. At some point, the unresolved adolescent longing in a 30-something man or woman isn't attractive, it's worrisome.

MoonlightingMany fiction writers have bought lock, stock, and barrel into the Moonlighting Curse. The underlying premise of this myth is that the hugely popular television show Moonlighting tanked immediately upon the coupling of protagonists Dave and Maddie. One kiss, after two years of protracted verbal foreplay, and the show died. The twosome lost all ability to form clever quips; doomed to be assigned to the subset of boring married couples who sleep in separate bedrooms. Who'd want to watch that?

In a very thoughtful essay, Laura Akers points out that it's really an indictment of writers that they are stuck in the junior high school paradigm of romantic relationships. "…the idea that there is no one capable of producing a series [or book] in which two people solve crimes, fall in love, move in, argue about where to spend Thanksgiving, and all the other things that we, as human beings, not only experience but pursue almost above all else, is patently ridiculous. Are all…writers single and have never learned that that first (real) kiss is only the beginning of the best part of what it is to be in love, and in a relationship? That a life together--especially one punctuated by gun fights, serial killers’ riddles, and the like—is the real adventure? Can it really be that hard to make an actual relationship both genuine and compelling?"

50 shades bannedAnd so we have accepted the challenge of defeating the Moonlighting Curse with our Brianna Sullivan Mysteries and the story of our psychic heroine Brianna and her small town police detective Cooper Jackson. We've decided that we want to write about grownups in our mysteries. The focus is still on the who- and why-dunnit, but their relationship moves forward with each book. The mystery's the thing, but the romance is real. We're not talking about Fifty Shades of Grey kind of real. Our mysteries are cozies and sex and violence take place off-the-page. But we are determined that our couples take charge of their romantic lives as fearlessly as they do their sleuthing. No hocus-pocus involved, but poof, the Moonlighting Curse is broken.

Summer_Lightning_400-210If you're already a Brianna Sullivan fan, the ninth book has just been published – Summer Lightning in Lottawatah. It's available in e-book format at Amazon, BN.com, and Smashwords.
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Evelyn David is the pseudonym for Marian Edelman Borden and Rhonda Dossett. Marian lives in New York and is the author of eleven nonfiction books on a wide variety of topics ranging from veterans benefits to playgroups for toddlers! Rhonda lives in Muskogee, Oklahoma, is the director of the coal program for the state, and in her spare time enjoys imagining and writing funny, scary mysteries. Marian and Rhonda write their mystery series via the internet. While many fans who attend mystery conventions have now chatted with both halves of Evelyn David, Marian and Rhonda have yet to meet in person.

Please check out Evelyn's website at www.evelyndavid.com for information about Evelyn David's appearance schedule and writing projects.