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.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Happy 100th Birthday, Julia!

MasteringartfrenchToday would have been Julia Child's 100th birthday.  I must admit, I never paid much attention to her until after she was gone.  I've never been much of a cook.  But writing the Booktown Mysteries, which include recipes, has made me a fan of all kinds of cookbooks, including Julia's Mastering the Art of French Cooking.

I must admit it was the movie Julie & Julia that really caused me to look into Julia Child's life, and what a fascinating one it was. I've probably seen it about 20 times by now.  I love it on so many levels, not only because of the cooking, but the struggle of two writers to become published.

DearieI not only read Julie Powell's book, Julie and Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously, but also My Life in France, by Julia Child.  And I've been contemplaing reading the new Julia Child biography, Dearie, The Remarkable Life of Julia Child, by Bob Spitz.

To celebrate her birthday, I'm going to cook one of the recipes in Mastering the Art of French Cooking and blog about it on Friday at The Cozy Chicks Blog. (And I'm not telling which one!  You'll just have to go over there and take a peek!)

Julia_child100And so ... Happy Birthday, Julia.  You really did live a remarkable life.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Have a good one! Really?

Heathby guest blogger Heath P. Boice

I swear.  The next time I'm going to say it.  I really am.

The next time a cashier, or anyone says to me, "Have a good one."  I'm going to respond, "I already do."

Or maybe I’ll say, "What about two, three, and four?" 

I’ll admit it.  I’m a sucker for good customer service.  This might account for the fact that one of my favorite places on earth is Walt Disney World, the mecca of service “magic.”  But even though I realize that I cannot live in customer service nirvana, is it too much to ask a store’s cashier to say, “Thank you, please come again.”  Or perhaps, even more outrageous, “Have a nice day.”  Instead, these platitudes have been bastardized into, “Have a good one.”  Why is this? 

In today’s world of social networking, texting, and email, perhaps, “Have a good one,” is just about as personal as it gets.  I suppose that compared with “LOL!” (laugh out loud) or, “TTYL,” (talk to you later) “Have a good one” is a veritable feast of hospitality.  But is this the new standard that we want to condone?  I don’t.
EeyoreMaybe it’s not the statement as much as the overwhelmingly bland way it is commonly delivered.  Never have I heard a cashier at the supermarket say excitedly, “Thanks so much.  Have a good one!!!!”  or the kid at the drive through window shout, “Don’t forget to have a good one, sir!”  It’s always a monotonous drone, almost as an afterthought as I walk away, “have a good one.”  As if Eeyore were working in retail.  Why does this irk me so much?  Perhaps I need a life.

I suppose if there was a law against, “Have a good one,” something worse would probably take its place.  Maybe, “Get the hell away, now.”  Or, “I hate my job.” Or worse, “Did you really need those fries, tubby?”

I guess that there are much more important issues to get annoyed about.  I realize, at the end of the day, that there are more significant things to consider in the world.  Like the use of “at the end of the day.”   I cringe every time I hear it.  Clearly I DO need to get a life.

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Missing by the midwayA college administrator for 20 years, and former resident of the New Jersey shore, author Heath P. Boice combines both in his new series of cozy mysteries.  The first book in the Ocean Grove Mysteries is "Missing by the Midway."  The second book, Buried By The Boardwalk, will be out this fall.  For more information, check out www.101mysteries.com

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

A day later than the Penguin releases comes the first in a new series by my Cozy Chicks blog sister Maggie Sefton, Deadly Politics.

Deadly politicsMolly Malone was driven from Washington, D.C., by political back-stabbing, scandals, and personal heartbreak. But now she’s starting a new life in the one place she swore she’d never come back to.

When Molly’s only Washington job prospect falls through, her politico niece, Karen, sets her up with a position in the office of a freshman senator. As the former wife of a congressman, Molly is alarmed to hear that Karen is having an affair with her boss,  congressional chief of staff Jed Molinoff. Just days later, Molly finds Karen shot to death. Discovering that Molinoff has ransacked Karen’s apartment, Molly investigates further . . . and finds herself in the crosshairs of a shadowy political group that’s killing anyone who gets in its way.

Maggie also writes the Kelly Flynn Knitting Mysteries.  The first one in that series is Knit One, Kill Two.
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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Need something to read? These cozy books fit the bill.

I love the first Tuesday of the month.  That's when my publisher releases a new bunch of books.  (Not that I want you to forget my book, Murder On The Half Shelf, that came out last month, which Amazon has reduced to $13.91 -- an $11.04/44% savings off the $25.95 list price.)

First up, by my Cozy Chicks blog sister Heather Blake (who also writes as Heather Webber), A Witch Before Dying:

A Witch Befor DyingDarcy Merriweather is Salem, Massachusetts’ newest resident Wishcrafter—a witch who can grant wishes for others. While Darcy isn’t able to grant wishes for herself, she does possess a certain knack for solving problems—including the occasional murder…
     When Darcy is hired by Elodie Keaton to clean up her missing mother’s disorderly home, the Wishcrafter is certainly up for the task. After all, the motto of her Aunt Ve’s personal concierge service As You Wish is “No Job Impossible.” But beneath the piles of old newspapers and knickknacks Darcy discovers something much more disturbing—Patrice Keaton’s body.
     Darcy’s determined to give Elodie peace of mind by investigating her mother’s disappearance and death. Patrice was last seen over a year ago after a fight with her Charmcrafter boyfriend. Was her murder a crime of passion? Or were Patrice’s troubles caused by the Anicula, a wish-granting amulet? Now Darcy has to not only find a killer, she has to find the Anicula— before the power of ultimate wish fulfillment falls into the wrong hands…

Next up, Allergic to Death by Peg Cochran (who also writes as Meg London).

Allergic to Death
Preparing calorie-conscious meals for the dieters of Woodstone, Connecticut, Gigi Fitzgerald knows a cheater when she sees one. And when murder is on the menu, she's ready to get the skinny on whodunit...

     Business is looking up for Gigi's Gourmet De-Lite, thanks to her newest client, restaurant reviewer Martha Bernhardt. Martha has the clout to put Gigi's personal meal plans on everyone's lips. But instead of dropping a few pounds, Martha drops dead from a severe peanut allergy...right after eating one of Gigi's signature dishes.

     When the distractingly debonair Detective Mertz identifies traces of peanut oil in Martha's last meal, Gigi suddenly finds her diet catering business on the chopping block. Now she'll have to track down who tampered with her recipe before her own goose is cooked.

Dead blondesDead Blondes Tell No Tales by Denise Swanson (an ebook special):

A Novella-Length Mystery  from the New York Times bestselling author of the Scumble River Mysteries!
     Skye’s beau, Simon, asks her to keep an eye on his mischievous mother, Bunny, who is hosting at her bowling alley a Spring Break Bash that will include a talent show, trivia games, and karaoke. As Skye sets up for the event, she’s stunned when a statuesque, scantily clad blonde shows up at Bunny’s door—Ruby, a sex-toy shop owner who used to be a showgirl with Bunny in Las Vegas. Bunny is overjoyed to be reunited with her old friend, but barely a minute later, Ruby butts heads with the police over showing off paraphernalia from her shop. More mayhem ensues when Ruby’s beloved Cadillac is vandalized and her room is set on fire.
     It appears that someone is after Ruby, but the blonde is too nervous to cooperate with the authorities. Ruby’s evasive behavior convinces Skye that she’s hiding some critical information that would explain the recent havoc at the bowling alley. With the safety of the Spring Break Bash attendees on the line, Skye decides to find out Ruby’s secret before some nefarious criminal decides that dead blondes tell no tales.

 I hope you'll give these books a try!
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Thursday, August 2, 2012

A new to you Jeff Resnick Mystery?

#2What do you do with a perfectly good manuscript that's sitting on the shelf?

These days, you publish it, and that's exactly what I'm going to do.

The problem?  Way back in the day (we're talking 2004), I sent the 2nd Jeff Resnick book to my agent.  She read the first three chapter and told me, "I won't represent this.  It's a cozy."  PIty she didn't read the rest of the book. It does have a cozy setting (a country inn in Stowe, Vermont), but it's still a Jeff Resnick book, and that means it's gritter than my Booktown or Victoria Square books.

Woman writingShe went on to say, "Write another book.  You have lots of ideas."  The problem was, I was working full time, I was running my own little business, and I didn't have lots of ideas or time.  I started the book and then lost my job, which did give me the time to write and finish it (record time, I might add). I decided to set Dead In Red three months after the first book (where the original second book happened six months after the first), and I borrowed elements from that book and incorporated them into Dead In Red. I will admit, Dead in Red is a lot grittier and violent than the original 2nd Jeff Resnick book.  But man, what an exciting ending to the original book.

I finished Dead in Red, was in the midst of polishing it, when I got a note from my agent.  Surprise!  I'm retiring!  And she did, I had no representation, and that was it.  I was not a happy camper.  I felt abandoned, and I'm sure I could have sold that original book to Five Star (where the first one ended up) without a blink of an eye.

Read meSo, the original 2nd book has been sitting on a shelf for the past eight years, gathering dust.  The problem was ... I'd already finished the first four books when I wrote Dead in Red.  I hadn't figured out how to remedy the stolen storylines.  But ... now I have.

When will the new book come out?  Sometime this fall.  I have to work on my contracted books first.  (And since I don't know which one will be due first, I'm juggling Victoria Square #4 and Booktown #8.)  I'm giving myself weekends to rewrite the original 2nd Jeff Resnick book.  I'm giving myself firm daily writing quotas and if I don't meet them, I can't "play" with Jeff.  (Although, my ideas to "rescue" it really aren't all that extensive after all.  Go figure!)  So ...  if you'll indulge me bringing out a new book that's plunked down at the series (so far) halfway point, there will be a "new to you" Jeff Resnick book sometimes this fall.

The name?  Room at the Inn.  (And it'll be available as an e book and a Trade Paperback.)

Do you think you'd be interested?
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