Posts

What Are You Up To?

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 I have a friend who always answers, "About 5'6"." For me the question is often, "Are you working on a new book?" Silly question! It got more specific on election day. When I was done voting, an acquaintance asked when the next book will come out. I thought if she was wondering, so might others.  Cutest Little Killer will be out on July 14th. That's e-book and print, unless something strange happens. They'll be on Amazon and available for bookstores to order.  Audio takes longer, but it will happen too. Still haven't made the final cover decision, so weigh in if you have a preference!

Cutest Little Killer

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 It's been a while since I posted, but I'm interested in reactions to possible covers for Cutest Little Killer. Blurb: A private investigator gets a visit from two kids, a precocious nine-year-old and her almost mute teenage brother. They want him to help them locate and hire a hit man. The girl, Lucy, is the character named in the title, so I thought she needed to be on the cover, but it's apparently hard to find pics of little girls being bad but not evil. Think "Young Sheldon" meets "Home Alone."  Here's what we've got. Which strikes your fancy?

It Isn't What You Read. It's Why You Read

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(Thanks to reader Margaret who sent this darling pic of her cat Murphy with Sleuth Sisters Book #2)   I recently read a post where a woman said she re-reads books at bedtime because knowing what happened makes it unlikely she'll be kept awake by the story. A woman who bought my book at an author signing told me she reads the last chapter first, so she knows if the rest of the book is worth reading. In times of stress, my sister re-read favorite books as a way of comforting herself. They were usually romances, because one of the requirements is a "happily ever after" ending. Reading fiction serves many purposes in our lives. There's enlightenment, vicarious adventure, understanding of other times, places, and peoples, and, like the examples above, comfort, intellectual stimulation, and sleepiness.  Often I see lists of "MUST READ" books, and the implications of the NYT , Oprah, and other best-seller lists is "Here are the books you should be reading.&quo

Nice People Who Aren't

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 The other day I was talking to a woman I know slightly. She seems really nice, always friendly and smiling. As we talked, another woman walked by that neither of us knows well, since she's new to the community. The first woman grabbed my arm as soon as the second one had passed us and whispered, "You've got to watch them." I looked around for dangerous types, but it was just us. "Who?" I asked. "Them! The Asians or Mexicans or whatever she is." That was the point where I should have said, "Stop talking, Ms. Bigot." I'm always so dumbfounded by the stupidity of a) being a bigot and b) assuming everyone else is too that I'm often unable to respond. I tell myself I must have misunderstood. This woman is educated, economically middle-class, and as I said earlier, seems like a nice person. Seemed. I didn't find anything nice about this encounter. Instead, I got an earful about how "they" come to this country and look for

Book Reviews-The Good, the Bad, and the Unsure

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 Book reviews are golden for authors. They move a book up in the complicated algorithm system so that more people see the book when they go looking for something to read. They convince readers to at least download a sample of the book. And when the review is positive, it makes an author feel like she's done something right.                                                                                             Buy It HERE Getting book reviews is a problem. With so many books being released in the current world of self- and traditional publishing, it's hard to connect with a reviewer and make a pitch for that person to read my book. Chances are they have way too many books already in that TBR pile. For indie authors, it's worse. When I was traditionally published, my publisher had a list of reviewers they regularly submitted books too, and there was a strong chance my work would be reviewed and posted in the likes of New York Magazine or the Historical Novels Review. On

The Glitter Analogy

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   There's a meme on social media about spreading COVID-19 and working with glitter, how no matter how careful you are, it's going to end up everywhere. With no intention of doing so, I proved its truthfulness this week. I had a small area in my bedroom that needed some color. It's a long, narrow shelf with paneling behind it that was too monotone, too dull. I decided to spice it up with some creative decor, so I bought some little knicky-knacky things to hang on it. It didn't work. They faded into the dull background. It needed something else. So I started looking, and I came up with a swath of netting fabric. It matches the bedroom curtains and makes a great background for the knick-knacks, bringing out their shapes and colors. Except it's infused with glitter. First I ironed the fabric, and I noticed the floor around the ironing board was shiny. Okay, I'll sweep that away later. Putting it up, I had to stand on the bed, and I noticed glitter falling onto the

The Very Best People, According to Authors

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When you're thinking like an author, the best people are those who not only like your work, but also help you spread the word that it's out there and it's good. With that in mind, here's a link to an interview I did recently with Manybooks.net, which does just that. They liked The Sleuth Sisters , but they let me talk about my other work too, which is kind of them. Here's a link to the interview:  https://manybooks.net/featured-authors/maggie-pill-cozy-mystery-featuring-sisters As a reader, you might not be able to interview me online like they did, but you can still help. Spread the word: Tell others about books you like. Most people choose books that are recommended by someone they know. Loan your books : This is touchy for some, but I love sharing stories I enjoyed with people who might feel the same way. I have fans who read, then mail the books to faraway relatives and friends, which gets them read in a whole new part of the country. Comment on reviews