Maggie Pill

The Most Entertaining Cozy Author You Never Heard Of!

Monday, May 25, 2015


MURDER IN THE BOONIES has been climbing the Amazon rankings, and watching it is a little addictive. Many authors admit to checking stats several times a day, and I do when a new book is released or a new giveaway is scheduled. The 3rd Sleuth Sisters is in the top 50 for cozies right now. It's just so cool to be loved!
Today's the last day for 3 SLEUTHS, 2 DOGS, 1 MURDER on Kindle for free, so if you haven't snapped that up, you've been warned. I didn't know how a giveaway of the middle book of a series would go, but it sailed to #1 in free contemporary fiction (it's at #3 today) and over 50,000 readers have downloaded it, so I guess I'll call it a success. The theory is, of course, that if you like the one you get for free, you'll buy the others. So far it's working!
Other than that, I don't have much of a sales strategy. Other authors tell how they adjust the price of a book for so many hours and watch their rankings to see if it helps. Or they offer freebies like short stories or whatever to entice readers to try their stuff.
I just can't be bothered with that. I prefer writing the next book to selling the current ones. So once in a while I'll do the free thing on Amazon (which is really easy). I'll try to remember to tell you about it on Facebook when something important happens. Other than that, it's up to you.
I'd never be able to sell iceboxes to Eskimos.




Monday, May 18, 2015

Book Release + Giveaway: This Is the Week That Is!

Remember that old TV show, That Was the Week That Was? (Um, me neither. That was way before my time. Really.)

Anyway, this week is the release of the third Sleuth Sisters book: Murder in the Boonies. It's available in print now on Amazon and at Ingram. The Kindle version goes live on Wednesday, so all of you who pre-ordered should have it show up on your device then.

This one concerns the sisters' family farm, which Retta manages, renting the land to a local farmer and their parents' home to a man, woman, and her three daughters. When they move away abruptly, the sisters become suspicious, fearing at least some of them didn't leave voluntarily.

To make matters more complicated, the renters leave behind their animals, and the sisters have to figure out what to do with them.

Strange things happen. Strange men appear on the property. And strange ideas lead to danger for not just Barb, Faye, and Retta but for a lot of others as well.

Here's something for my blog readers that the rest of the world won't know. The farm is real, at least for the most part. I grew up on one very much like it. I combined several farmhouses to make the Evans home, my grandparents' and two aunts' houses. The barnyard is pretty much like the one my dad and grandfather had, and yes, in the springtime it smelled really bad.

There are reindeer. Since I didn't know a thing about them, I interviewed some friends who used to raise them. Some things I would have assumed about the animals, like that they're shy, were completely wrong, and Paul and Debbie straightened me out. I'm so grateful for their input.

In order to celebrate the release of Murder in the Boonies, I'm giving away Kindle copies of Book #2, 3 Sleuths, 2 Dogs, 1 Murder. Just go to Amazon and download it between May 22nd and May 26th.

I hope you enjoy the Sleuth Sisters' new adventure. As always, it was fun to write, since I'm a little bit Barb, a little bit Faye, and even a little bit Retta.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015


That's how many days to the Kindle release of MURDER IN THE BOONIES!
It's pre-orderable for Kindle right now, and if you're sneaky, you'll find out it's available in print on Amazon already. (They're the big dog and they do as they like.) Ingram is dragging its feet (if a book company can have feet), but it will happen, and then you'll be able to order the book in stores as well as online.

Here's Retta's take on the release:

Our third adventure, MURDER IN THE BOONIES, is pretty exciting. Not only do we foil the bad guys, I also make headway on my plan to truly become part of my sisters' detective agency.
It's no walk in the woods--although there is plenty of walking in the woods involved. You see, the renters who'd been living on our family farm left unexpectedly. It really upset me, but Faye came up with an idea she thought would help out. Barbara got suspicious about the disappearance and started looking for the renters, a guy named Ben, his girlfriend Rose, and her three daughters.

Well, I have to tell you, we found more than we bargained for. I won't give away the secrets (I'm pretty good at keeping my mouth shut), but I'll give you some words to ponder. Corpse. Girls. Reindeer. Weapon. Mackinac Island.
My dog Styx was a big part of things, of course. He's really, really smart, and such a comfort for a woman who spends a lot of time on her own. If I gave advice (which I don't) I'd tell Barbara she needs to get a pet, maybe a cockapoo or a labradoodle.

She really would be happier with a pet. Maybe I'll just drop a hint or two.

Monday, May 4, 2015

The Boonies--Who Knew?

Boonies, boondocks, down in the boondocks.

Who'd have guessed the term has nothing to do with docks? It comes from the Philippines' Tagalog language: bundok, meaning mountain. It was picked up by U.S. military folk and apparently became associated with "way out there where the guerrillas are."

When I titled Book #3 MURDER IN THE BOONIES, someone asked if most of America would known the term boonies. I think they do, because of Billy Joe Royal's song, "Down in the Boondocks,"  and an assortment of Vietnam-era movies.

In Michigan we use it a lot. Someone lives "way out in the boonies" or we get "lost in the boonies" when our GPS goes crazy. Not sure if/how it's used in other places. (Chime in here!)

In Book #3 we learn that Barb, Faye, and Retta were raised in the boonies, ten miles from town. Typically, when they were kids Barb never thought much about where they lived, Faye loved everything about the farm, and Retta felt picked-on because she missed all the action going on in the big city of Allport. Now they return to the farm, where a family is missing, a bunch of farm animals are abandoned, and some killers are prowling.

It isn't all roses out in the boonies, but I think you'll enjoy it.

Releases May 20, 2015