Freebie & Bargain Fridays–Holiday Edition

Is everyone getting busy? No matter how busy we are, it’s important we find ways to relax in the middle of the rush. Personally, my favorite way is to kick back, put my feet up on my ottoman (or snuggled under a warm comforter) and read. Especially seasonal reads that writers have put out especially for the holidays and at a savings, to thank me for being a reader or to gift new readers so they can try new series at a discount–or free. I’ll start by tooting my own horn since I added a free Bodies of Art Christmas story featuring Laurel Beacham & Jack Hawkes. Laurel does a little crime thwarting on Oxford Street in London in her own inimitable way. Short and seasonal. You can Read it Here. Next, here’s a reader extravaganza, with some of your favorite cozy mystery authors either giving away or discounting about 70 books Read more…

Excuse Me While I Change My Hat

This has been one exciting week. Nothing like a new book release to have all my friends come out, send congratulations, and tell their friends about my new book. I am so very grateful for that. For authors, release week leaves us to the point of almost walking in our sleep–it’s exciting, but completely exhaustng. There are so many things for authors to do All At The Same Time, and trying to keep up makes us long for the kind of promo teams James Patterson and Stephen King employ. But most of us do not make the kind of revenues those bigname authors get, so we happily jump in and change hats to whatever other job(s) we have to do besides writing. Even more exciting, to celebrate the release of ABSTRACT ALIASES, my publisher has discounted COUNTERFEIT CONSPIRACIES to just 99¢ until Sunday night. This is the first time Henery Press has discounted one Read more…

Tales of an Almost Art Class Dropout

In high school art class, I understood the principles, knew trivia on every artist, loved composition and atmosphere—but rarely turned in a project that wasn’t a disaster. I had the same art teacher from ninth until twelfth grade. Senior year, she looked at my latest what-the-heck-is-that? project and asked, “Why in the world did you choose to take this class for four years?” Yes, I chose to take the elective that humbled me on a daily basis. It didn’t matter if my work wasn’t displayed. Nothing beat watching my classmates—who were good at every medium—create beautiful original works. I was everyone’s audience. The kid who nearly didn’t get assignments completed because she was so busy marveling over the genius spilling out around her. I discovered art history classes in college. We discussed theory and design elements, but I never had to pick up a paintbrush or charcoal. In my element, Read more…

Been Blogging and Previewing this Week

It was release week for my Bodies of Art Mysteries, so me and my books have been blogging all over the place. My publisher, Henery Press posted a terrific Sneak Peak on their Club Hen House blog last Friday. On the February 2nd release day, there was a release blitz for the series, and on Feb 3rd, I Heart Reading posted the lovely blog tour coming up for the series (yeah, I’m still writing blogs and finishing interviews for the dates near the end of the tour–LOL!). Even more fun on the February 2nd release day, my fun post on how I research the Bodies of Art Books was also on Club Hen House, and I not only get to talk about my methods (and madness–LOL!) but I also get to use my pictures taken as we travel. Hint: the pics at the top of the post, showing the cloudy London panorama, were taken from Read more…

The Soundtrack of My Working Life

One thing that keeps me energized as an author is playing music as I write. My daughter used to always say she could tell which writing project I was currently working on based on what music came out of my home office. Her favorite was when I worked on a suspense/thriller with a particularly no-nonsense reporter as the protagonist, because I played Sheryl Crow all day. I’m not sure why, but the music perfectly fit that particular character. Right now, I’m on deadline for the next book in my Bodies of Art Mysteries series, and beyond watching YouTube videos of Barcelona and Switzerland (that’s all the clues I’m giving, no spoilers) I added new music to my “escape in Europe” repetoire. Have been writing to the soundtracks of the Oceans movies, thanks to a tip from terrific author Ellie Ashe. But a couple of weeks ago I saw the new The Man Read more…

Picture Me Organized

I never imagined when I penned my first story that I would eventually have to balance my writing work with such daily tasks as comb research sites and flag them for later use, file tax records, discover marketing options, network with advertisers, find fabulous clothes for my characters to wear, locate spy and tech stuff for my characters to use, figure out group activities for my characters’ children…and still find a way to write and have some fun in the middle of this publishing circus. One social media invention that helps me keep on top of all my treasured data is Pinterest. Yes, Pinterest. I know, a lot of people say it’s a time waster, but for me the site is an organizing sensation. Here’s why– Since I write two mystery series, I can have multiple boards about the endless number of things that relate to each series. I have fabulous Read more…

We’re Going Into the Home Stretch…

Do you know how writer’s whine? Well, let me tell you I’ve been happily whining up a storm lately because I’m having such a difficult time staying focused. But all the promos are starting on Marked Masters, the second book in my Bodies of Art Mysteries, and that makes me think of Florida and Florence, Italy–the two places Laurel & Jack focus their own attention in the book. The picture at the right shows the Duomo complex in Florence (you can see a hint of the exquisite dome on the far right edge) and the Giotto Bell Tower in the background plays a key role in the book. So… I’m having some difficulty staying in one point of view each day, and my cozy deadline is looming, and I have to keep reminding myself to get out of Laurel’s smart mouth POV and back into Kate’s much nicer and more dedicated one. Read more…