Travel Tuesday, Anyone?

Here in the states we’re celebrating the 4th of July, and hubby and I are heading for the lake to spend some quality time eating BBQ and talking to friends. But the joy of the internet is that I can also be online too, so I’m over at the Reade & Write blog today getting interviewed by Amy and sharing insights about writing and my latest release. Drop by if you have a minute and feel free to leave a comment if you’d like to ask a question, make an observation, or tell us how you’re spending the day — here’s the link Reade & Write interview. In the meantime, I’ll be the one in the lounge chair under the shade tree, waiting for the fireworks to start, and grabbing the Lab to keep her from jumping in the lake then shaking water off on everyone around her–and trying to keep the opportunistic canine away from everyone’s hamburgers. Happy Birthday, U.S.A! Here’s fireworks with a London twist 🙂


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Goodreads Giveaway Ends This Week


Interested in a signed copy of FATAL FORGERIES?  Henery Press has a GoodReads Giveaway going right now, but the contest ends the middle of this week. Sign up today! To enter, click this link —

GoodReads Giveaway on FATAL FORGERIES

Good luck, everyone!





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Map Your Mysteries

Working files for Bodies of Art Mystery series manuscript

Christine Gentes was nice enough to interview me for her Map Your Mysteries blog. If you haven’t yet checked out her blog, it’s becoming one of my new favorite binge reads. She ties books and authors to the geographic locations they place their titles and characters. I’ve had a lot of fun going down the list in the right sidebar to read more about author friends and titles based on where the works fit on the map. Have a minute? Check it out 🙂   Map Your Mysteries interview

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Freebie Friday — Travel Accessories for the Literate Traveler

A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned a new group of authors I’d joined up with–The Passport Ready Writers-Readers Group–a group of authors who write mysteries that are set in far flung locales and readers who enjoyed these kinds of mysteries. Well, yesterday was the official launch date for the Facebook group, and what’s more fun than starting things off with a contest? Right?

I thought so too.

So, for that reason, I’ve posted a fun contest and prize, with the entry requirements easily found at the top of the group page. The post is pinned at

All you have to do to enter is be a member of the Facebook group and tell an item you always take along when you travel.

And what is the potential prize, you ask? How about a brand new Bodies of Art Mystery canvas tote to help carry around all that stuff we actually take along whenever we go anywhere. Yeah, I know you do it too. Something big and roomy that looks like this–

If you’re interested, get over and enter. The winner’s name will be drawn tomorrow afternoon–June 3rd–when my neighbor’s grandkid comes by my house to pick a name from the ones collected by that point in the tote. Hurry and Good Luck!

Happy Travels 🙂


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Freebie Friday — Sample Summer Reads

Would you like to check out six (6) great mystery series in one place in one neat package? My publisher Henery Press would like to oblige. Hot off the digital presses is a new Summer Sampler with the opening chapters of books currently on preorder and to be released in the next couple of months. Henery Press is making the first 10 percent or so of each book available in this digital sampler for free.

Because the booksellers don’t offer samples while books are on preorder, this may be your only opportunity to get a peek at these upcoming titles ahead of release day, and have them waiting in your mailbox or on your ereader the day they go live. Based on the length of the FATAL FORGERIES portion (yes, I’ve already download a copy on my Kindle–I want to read everyone else’s books too!) the excerpts run somewhere around 10% or a little better for each–depending on the chapter lengths each author employs. And there are quick buy links at the end of the excerpts. Handy, handy!

So what are these titles? I’m glad you asked 🙂

The Summer Sampler selections run in order from the soonest release day to the farthest. In order of appearance, you’ll read —

Alice Loweecey with Giulia Driscoll Mystery #4, The Clock Struck Nun

Ritter Ames with the Bodies of Art Mystery #4,  Fatal Forgeries   

Wendy Tyson with Allison Campbell Mystery #4, Fatal Facade      

Susan M. Boyer with Liz Talbot Mystery #6, Lowcountry Bonfire

Alexia Gordon with Gethsemane Brown Mystery #2, Death in D Minor

Nancy Cole Silverman with Carol Childs Mystery #4, Room for Doubt

To get this fun Summer Sampler, just go to and sign up. In a short time you’ll receive instructions in your email inbox with a link to download the sampler to your ereader, tablet, or laptop. How great is that, right?

But hurry! This exclusive Henery Press offer won’t be available for long!




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Travel Tuesday, Anyone? Bring Your Own Armchair

One of the best things about being a mystery author is brainstorming new stories and settings. I love that I can “virtually” hang around London most days as I write, and have my characters hop a fictional plane at any moment to go to France, Italy, Spain–or wherever. My friend Eleanor was “literally” hanging out in England last week and sharing pictures of her trip on her FB page, and giving me some fun new things to think about as I work up future Bodies of Art books.

That’s the beauty of writing about characters who use their passports on an almost daily basis, all the time I spend reading my friends’ FB pages that show their travel shots counts as research, too. But that’s not all.

If you like your mysteries with an international flair, consider joining me and four other fun mystery authors (including the afore mentioned Eleanor) at a new Facebook group we’re starting called Passport Ready Writers. The page doesn’t officially open until June 1st, but here’s the link if you want to check it out, and click the JOIN button to be ready on day 1:

What’s the connection? All of us write fiction that globe trots, and we want to connect with readers who want to know behind the scenes info and why we write what we do. The five of us don’t just put our characters in danger, we make sure they’re in great settings while they run for their lives or catch a murderer. So, do you like mysteries with English tea and scones, overlooking the pyramids, or in a gondola on an Italian canal? Or fast-paced plots with more twists than a Grand Prix at Monte Carlo? How about likeable characters and lively conversation? If so, grab your virtual passport and join us as we cross borders and solve murders. After all, crime doesn’t require a visa.

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The Glamourous (Not!) Life of a Bestselling Author

In between eating bon-bons and going to red carpet events with my peeps (HA!) thought I’d blog today about the Real Life of an author.

Ever buy something and be told “Easy to assemble” and “No trouble to carry along” and actually believe them? Don’t. People lie. Especially people who want to sell you something.

Case in point:

I bought banners that are about 1-1/2′ by 3′ for each of my novels. Thought they’d be great to stand or hang one behind me at speaking and booksigning events. For the first two books, I didn’t have a metal stand–I used the super-sticky plastic foldover holes the printer provided with the banners and hung whichever banner I wanted using removeable hooks. Worked fine, but I had to make sure I was positioned near a wall with the kind of backing to which the 3M hooks stuck/unstuck well.

So, I decided to buy the metal stand recommended and sold by the same printer to hold my banners. Beside the afore mentioned “easy assembly” and “no trouble to carry” lines, I was also told this stand was perfect to hold one banner of my choice, and “ideal for show and presentation.” Easy, light, perfect for my needs–what could go wrong?

Yesterday, I found out.

I began assembling the stand for the first time. Easy instructions–they actually gave me both full sentences and drawings, not just stick figure pictures. The stand was taller than I’d planned, as it was made to accommodate banners as small as mine and up to twice the size as the ones I’d chosen. That gave me a moment of hesitation, because I couldn’t shorten the back rod. But I realized the device would easily show most of the banner above my head when I was seated at a signing table, or keep everything at eye level if I was standing to speak, so I kept an open mind.

Until I loaded the banner.

No hooks this time. Just nice skinny little aluminum and plastic rods that stretch as long as the width of the banner and anchor the top and bottom, then the rods clip to the display stand. Used the dining room table as a flat surface and put the rods onto each end of the banner. The tension didn’t really clip the banner super tightly, but I figured that was so there was no risk of a crease made into the graphic.  So far, so good.

I gathered the banner and rods in my self-satisfied arms and headed back to my office where the stand awaited.

The banner displayed beautifully–for a nano second.

Then the top of the banner slid out of the top rod, and as it flipped to the ground the bottom of the banner slipped out of its rod.

Okay…Plan B.

I thought it just needed more width banner-wise, so I added a second banner behind the first and tried a double thickness. That clipped somewhat tighter, but when I pulled on one side the banners still slipped easily from the clip. Three banners were too bulky–and too heavy for the clip/rod anyway–and slipped out before I could even attempt to hook the top rod to the stand.

Which leaves me with a sad little stand that kind of looks like a Charlie Brown Christmas tree, and four book cover banners again hanging on my wall with the more successful plastic sticky-holes and 3M removable hooks.

I’ll try again–likely by adding some 3M removeable squares inside the wimpy clip mechanism so they hold the banner while the rods just sit around and look pretty. Luckily, I’m a firm believer in keeping a ready supply of 3M removeable products and replenish supplies regularly. Just have to remember to always take them along wherever I go.

On the other hand, maybe this stand thought it was just going to sit around and eat bon-bons. Someone has to maintain the image 🙂

What about you? Have you bought some “easy to assemble and/or perfect to use” item that didn’t live up to the salesman’s pitch? Would love to hear your story. Feel free to add it in the comments!

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