Monday, February 25, 2013

Teacup contest -- will you win?

I'm always trying to engage my readers in a little conversation.  So lately I've been posting "a teacup a day" on my Lorraine Bartlett author page.  (BTW, I also have Facebook pages for Lorna Barrett, L.L. Bartlett, and the Jeff Resnick Mysteries (although that one is under construction right now).  I'd LOVE it if you'd come and like them.  Thanks!)

Readers seem to like the teacups.  LIke this one:

and this one:

My character, Katie Bonner of the Victoria Square Mysteries, always aspired to be an innkeeper, and one who served afternoon tea.  Since she isn't yet an inkeeper, she patronizes the teashop on Victoria Square.

All this talk of teacups gave me an idea about author giveaways.  I'm not fond of giving books away, but I do like to reward my readers for their loyalty and support.  (You guys are great.)

So, I'm going to give away this teacup (BELOW):
  Contest cup

In addition to the teacup, I'll send out 5 Goody Bags full of bookmarks, postcards, and buttons to the runners up.

 Enter now for a chance to win! 

Tell me the name of the tea shop in my first Victoria Square Mystery, A Crafty Killing.   Email your answer to me at:  LLB @  (remember to close up those spaces).  Be sure to include your snail mall address so I can mail the prizes.  (P.S.  Those not already on my mailing list will be added--and you'll receive a postcard when my next book is out.)

BONUS QUESTION:  The names of the owners. (The winner will get the cup AND a goody bag!)

DO NOT put your answer in the blog comments. 

You have until midnight on Thursday, February 28th, to enter the contest.  Mr. L will choose the winners from a hat, and they will be announced on Friday, March 1st.

Good Luck!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Apple says I've got a break-out book!

Final-_Apple_email_blastEarlier today two of my friends sent me an email they got from Apple which FEATURED MY BOOK, DEAD IN RED!  (Thank you Leann Sweeney and Sandra Parshall!)  Needless to say, I'm absolutely GOBSMACKED!

I knew the book was doing well at the iBookstore (iTunes) but I had no idea they would pronounce the book a break-out!

Snoopyhappydance(Pardon me while I take a short break to dance around my office.)
For those of you who buy your e-books from the iBookstore, you can find the book at this direct link.

You can learn more about the Breakout Books promotion at the Smashwords Blog.

(By the way, Dead In Red will soon be available as an audiobook, and will also be available from iTunes.)

Will you help me spread the word about DEAD IN RED?


Thursday, February 21, 2013

E.J. Copperman's true confession ...

By E.J. Copperman

OhTheShameIt bugs me when people ask me what I read. There. I said it.

Mind you, I don’t think the question is the least bit rude or inappropriate. Actually, I consider it natural that if a reader likes an author’s work, she might wonder what the author reads for fun—maybe even as a possible source of new writers, or an affirmation of the reader’s own taste. It’s something that authors get asked, and I should have an answer prepared in advance.

Except, I don’t.

The sad truth of the matter is that I’m a very bad representative of the publishing business in general and the crime fiction publishing business in particular. I should probably be shunned, exiled, or at the very least subjected to a finger wagging. I do not promote the industry the way I should.

I honestly don’t read very much, and when I do, it’s rarely a mystery novel.

Now, that wasn’t always the case. I was a voracious reader from childhood on, and some of my favorite authors were mystery and crime fiction writers all the way from Agatha Christie to Robert Crais. I read Lee Child and Robert B. Paker. I was inspired by Donald J. Sobol when I was a kid and by Dashiell Hammett when I was in college.

But now I write for a living. And unlike, say, all the other authors in existence, I have found that by the end of the day, my eyes have seen enough words, and can see no more. My brain overloads. I can’t concentrate on someone else’s story. I’m still turning my own over and over in my troubled head.

I will often tell those who ask that I don’t read while I’m writing (which is pretty much all the time, anyway) because I’m concerned that I will subconsciously “pick up” some phrase or plot turn and forget where the idea came from in time to include it in my own work. While that is at least nominally true, it’s not a really deep concern, and the fact is that if I wanted to read other crime fiction authors (like Lorraine, for example), I could be reasonably sure I wouldn’t steal from them. Certainly not purposefully.

There are other reasons I don’t read the way I used to: Now that I am a published author, I’ve been to conferences and conventions, panels and discussions, with other authors.  A number of them have become cherished friends (like Lorraine, for example). If I’m asked who I read, and I mention one and not another, I’ll feel badly about omitting a friend. The friend might actually never find out about it, and in most cases wouldn’t mind at all, but I would be mortified at having slighted someone I care about. So I don’t mention names.

At the core of it, I really don’t read very many books these days. I read newspapers, and I read screens, and I quite often will read whatever it is I’m typing out on my keyboard every day, just to make sure I’m not repeating myself or making some hideous error. I put my all into the books I write. And I do read sometimes. In the car on the way to a teaching gig in Philadelphia every week, I will listen to audiobooks. But reading for pleasure at the end of the night? I’m exhausted. I’m overloaded on words. I just can’t do it.

I know. I’m a terrible author and a worse person. Feel free to snub me. Wag your finger. I’ll understand.

But if someone asks you who you read, if you could mention my name…
Chance of a ghostE.J. Copperman is the author of CHANCE OF A GHOST, the latest in the Haunted Guesthouse mystery series, which published February 5. You can find out more at

CHANCE OF A GHOST:  Even with a blizzard bearing down on New Jersey, Alison can count on at least two guests—Paul and Maxie, the stubborn ghosts who share her shore town inn. Then there’s her widowed mother, who hasn’t just been seeing ghosts, she’s been secretly dating one: Alison’s father. But when he stands her up three times in a row, something’s wrong. Is he a lost soul…or a missing apparition?

Their only lead is an overdramatic spirit—stage name Lawrence Laurentz—who doesn’t take direction well and won’t talk until they find his killer. Alison will reluctantly play the part of PI, but when the clues take a sinister turn, the writing is on the wall: If Alison can’t keep a level head, this will be her father’s final act—and maybe her own.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Can you buy a Dolly Dolittle? Uh ... probably not.

I recently got a letter from a reader asking about the Dolly Dolittle figurines mentioned in Sentenced to Death. (Booktown Mystery #5.) She wanted to know if they were real, and if so, where she could buy them.

Well, they're real.  They're not called Dolly Dolittle, and I have no idea where someone would buy them.

In the book I described them this way: Dolly Dolittle was an angel in Victorian garb. The cover shot showed a little girl in pastel blue, with a white fur collar. Her hands were thrust in a furry muff to match the collar, and the entire figurine was covered in iridescent sparkles.

As you can see, I was (sort of) describing the figurine/ornament (they have pink ribbons should one want to hang them on a Christmas tree). Here she is in a bigger size.

Dolly 2
And here's her darling sister.

I remember that I saw four of them, but for some reason felt I'd already blown enough money on Christmas that year, so I didn't purchase the other two.  Now I could kick myself.  They're marked MADE IN CHINA, but with no manufacturer's name.

I must confess, when I became a published author, I thought I'd get a lot of questions about my books such as this one.  Hasn't happened--but it still could.

Is there something about any of my other books you'd like to know about.  PLEASE feel free to ask.  I love to talk about my characters.  (It's a lot more interesting than talking about myself.  They lead much more exciting lives than me.  After all, I sit in front of a computer all day giving them these adventures.)

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentines Day!

Happy Valentine's Day to all my readers.  Thank you for getting ONE HOT MURDER on the New York Times Bestsellers List at #16.  And congratulations to my pal Lucy Arlington for her second Novel Idea Mystery, EVERY TRICK IN THE BOOK, hitting the list at #23.

Love you guys!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

One Hot Murder released today!

Happy book dayHappy Book Day to me,
Happy Book Day to me,
Happy Book Day One Hot Murder,
Happy Book Day to me!

At long last, the third Victoria Square book is available today.

One_Hot_Murder174-smAt 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 Katie Bonnier is determined to smoke out a cold-hearted killer…
To order your copy, click one of the following links:
Barnes & Noble ~ Nook
Amazon ~ Kindle
Books A Million
Indigo / Chapters
Book Depository (Free shipping worldwide!)

Want to read more about Katie Bonner and the rest of the gang from Victoria Square?  Check out my website.

Happy reading!