Sunday, November 25, 2018

Book Clubs and Signing Events...

Well, my first book club meeting with readers was so much fun!  They had read "She's Not You" and had really enjoyed it.  I was very pleased with the feedback. One member was an English teacher who had taught writing.  She said that she was very surprised at how well written the book was.  One item she picked up on was the use of all the senses - smell, touch, hearing, sight and taste.  I had to agree with her that most writers have a favorite sense that they use all the time.  You have to work hard not to depend on that favorite sense -- usually sight or touch.  Anyway, the feedback from this group was terrific.

My next book club is in two weeks and I'm looking forward to meeting this new group of readers.  Since they are meeting before the holidays, there will be a "Yankee Swap."  I'm bringing a copy of "The Looking Glass Labyrinth" as my swap.

Right before the upcoming book club, I have a book signing during a Christmas Stroll.  I did this a number of times for this Gallery... when my children's books (Fiona - the Lighthouse Firefly and Fiona the Lighthouse Firefly - LOST!) came out and again when "She's Not You" was released.  There will be music and refreshments -- a wonderful holiday event.

The books make wonderful gifts... go to Amazon, and pick up a copy!

I'm almost finished with the first draft of my next novel.  Still searching for a title!  Any ideas?

Will check in after my next book event.  This is a busy and exciting time for me!

Keep working on your writing.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

"The Looking Glass Labyrinth" is OUT!!

I'm so pleased to let you know that after weeks of editing and proofreading, "The Looking Glass Labyrinth" is now available on Amazon:  

It's a historical novel that takes you back to 1804.  Rachael doesn't heed warnings from her best friend and attends an estate sale at a “haunted” crumbling Victorian where a painted woman's sparkling blue eyes follow her every move.  Moving to the bedroom, she picks up a cracked discolored hand mirror that reflects another woman's face.  Words mysterious appear in a diary.  All these events create a vortex through which Rachael Corbet is sucked back to 1804 and into Lady Rachael Johnston’s body. 

I loved writing this book... it takes you to another time and place where sea captains and their women live and love.

Invitations have arrived from Book Clubs inviting me to attend their meetings.  They will be reading "She's Not You."  I'm looking forward to meeting more readers, discussing the story and my writing process and answering their questions!  

I'm still working on my Paris/Boston manuscript.  It sat for a few weeks while I worked with the publisher to release "The Looking Glass Labyrinth."  Now it's time to resume writing my draft.  I still haven't found a title that fits the story but there's still time.   I have about 90% of the draft complete and then the real work begins for me.  I'll go through it over and over refining and rewriting.  Not a chore but a labor of love!

More when all calms down,  Order your books early for the Holidays!!

Monday, October 1, 2018

It's weeks away...

3-D version copyrighted 2018
I've been busy working with the editor on "The Looking Glass Labyrinth" and we are currently on our second edit.  I'm thrilled that there hasn't been a lot of rewriting - a few nits here and there.  I'm still looking forward to an October release.

Looking back on the journey with my debut novel, "She's Not You," the real hard work wasn't writing the manuscript or editing it, but marketing it.   How do you put it out there so readers can find it?  Yes, the publisher distributes it to all the outlets, but how do reader's find you as an author?  How does your book stand out among the hundreds and hundreds of new ones available?  Sounds daunting , doesn't it... and it is. Even with great reviews, it is next to impossible to be recognized.

But, saying all that, word of mouth is important. Take for example the article that was published on me and my debut novel in a local newspaper - it helped immensely spawning two speaking engagements and two book club appearances.  I know, that seems like tiny steps but that's how you begin to become known as an author.

This weekend, I met with a group of published authors and those wanting to be published for a 'meet and greet' where we discussed how hard it was to set your book apart from all others.  We all know that we will probably not make the Best Seller list or make a fortune on our books... but saying all that, one of us might have that gem that could possibly make it.

Work hard... write a fantastic book, put it out there and give it wings!

Off to continue my second edit... remember, it's coming soon!!  Let's boost it to the Best Seller list... LOL!


Friday, August 17, 2018

Sneak Peek...

Well, since I'm still awaiting an editor to be assigned by my publisher, I thought I would give you a sneak peek of the cover for the soon to be published novel, "The Looking Glass Labyrinth."

While I'm waiting, I'm working hard on my Paris mystery.  One interesting fact about this one is that I have no title yet.  I'm usually pretty good coming up with a title, but this one hasn't shown up yet.  I have a list of possibilities written on the cover page, but so far, nothing seems to be the one.  Other authors tell me that they usually don't have a title until they finish the draft.  Sometimes it's a line that pops out or a scene or ... but so far, I have nothing.  I'm a good two-thirds of the way through the draft already and hoping that something hits my fancy soon.

In my last blog, I told you that I'm also working on the sequel to "She's Not You."  I really liked those two characters and felt they worked well together.  Both had baggage, but somehow it was endearing.  This book brings Jack's ex-girlfriend Lizz back into his life.  How does this sit with Jamie?  What do you think?  But wait - is that Jamie's ex Mike appearing as well?  Looks like it might be a full house.  In between explaining who's who, they're trying to solve a number of cold cases that seem to be linked to a serial killer, maybe?  And Jamie's working a case where a three year old girl was taken from her carriage over thirty years ago.

Phew... needless to say, they all manage to keep me up at night figuring out what trouble they're going to get themselves into next.

Well, back to my characters... they await my words moving them forward!

When I have more to tell, I'll be back.  Keep writing!

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Doing your homework!

Photo by Judi Getch

I awoke to this incredibly beautiful view.  It's like being by the ocean... every morning, the mountain takes on a very different  look.  Today, the top of the mountain was wrapped in a soft pure white gauze scarf.   Minutes later, the entire view had changed.  I try to feed off these views... to capture my words and make my story more dramatic and dynamic because, truthfully, a minute later those explosive lovely words are gone.  :-) . 

Right now, I'm doing my homework -- research on a case that I'm introducing into the sequel of "She's Not You."  Jack and Jamie have found an intriguing unsolved murder that peaks their interest.  This cold case will eventually become linked to other cases and possibly to another serial killer.   Jamie better be careful!! 

I'm also working on my Paris based mystery which is coming along nicely.  I had to do a lot of homework here as well... describing what an inherited old French apartment might look like, finding out what updates can be made that will maintain the look and the history of the flat, and looking up what kind of records (marriage, death, license plates, etc.) can be found where.  Since I know Paris a bit, I can place my characters in some unique spots.  Brielle, the editor-in-chief for a Boston based fashion magazine, finds herself being shadowed by a man during a fashion shoot.  Is he someone that her ex hired?  Or someone else?  We don't know yet, but she and Jacques are about to find out.  And, will she eventually solve the disappearance of her mother?

And then, I'm so excited.  I just received the cover for my next novel which will hopefully be published in October,  As soon as I have an assigned editor, I'll post the cover and talk a bit about the story.  It's so exciting to have a second novel coming out in the same year as my debut novel, "She's Not You."

Other exciting things happening... I have two readings and book signings scheduled for September!  A busy month for sure, but so much fun!

Well, back to my research.  Keep on writing and do your homework!! 

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Lemon Pie Cottage?

Could this be Lemon Pie cottage in She's Not You???  Maybe ...  these Lemon Pie cottages are so wonderful.  They sit where Captain Lorenzo Dow Baker, a devote Methodist and philanthropist, placed six of them on Shirttail Point in Wellfleet.  It's reported he owned a cottage at the Methodist camp in Yarmouth and around 1900 bought six more, transporting them by train to Milton Hill (which Baker owned)..  The hurricane of 1938 knocked many of them over distroying more than half of them.  A photo showing two of the cottages, one lying on its side leaning against the other, was labeled “Snug Harbor and its neighbor after a hurricane.”  I do love these cottages and their history so how could they not be part of "She's Not You."

"When she returned yesterday, it was sunset, the most beautiful time here on the hill. The bright reds and oranges and purples spread across the sky heralding the end of another day, another one without her parents, and now, without Pita. 

The house, dark and abandoned, offered no outside light to greet her. Weeds poked through the cracked white shells in the driveway with Pita not there to yank them out before they took hold. Her bike, basket empty, leaned against the shed. She'd never have left it outside during the winter like that. All summer she could be seen riding around town, her grey hair pulled up in a bun, a bright colored shirt blowing in the breeze, wearing her denim “pedal pushers” as she had called them. 

Jamie reconnected the drain pipe that fed Pita’s oak barrel with water that she used for her plants. New crocuses pushed up through the dead dried stalks that Pita would have cleared away last fall.

She'd thought that, with the passage of time, the task of cleaning out Pita’s belongings would become easier, the hurt less, but she was wrong, very wrong."

When I write, it gives me a chance to go back to the places I love - the cottage, the beach.  I close my eyes and see and feel Jack - I have the luxury of making him be everything I want him to be!!!  LOL... When I write about loss... a death, a spouse or lover who walks away, even the loss of a pet... it's hard to write about it without feeling the pain that I experienced as part of the loss. I lost my Dad when I was young and as I said earlier in a blog, that helped me write the scene where Jamie loses her parents... I cried writing it but I had to revisit how lost I felt and the hurt that never went away to make that scene real to my readers.  Maybe you lost a parent too, remember the tears and the pain?  The questions of why?  Remember the way it changed your life and you?  Maybe your loss was a broken marriage... maybe a relationship where he or she cheated on you.  How did you feel?  Did you cry, throw things, curse God?  Maybe you took it out on someone else?

In She's Not You, Jamie's clearly affected.

        "That day had changed Jamie forever. She had lost her parents, her God and her protection. At sixteen years old, she was alone, an orphan. She felt her heart become hard as a rock as the molten rage that coursed through her cooled and solidified."  

I've felt like that way, betrayed by a loss, angry at God, at the person I lost, and so I  hardened myself so that I couldn't be hurt again.  Doesn't work, does it... someone breaks through that wall.  Yet, as difficult as it is, we as writers have to feel that pain over and over again to make our scenes real to the reader.  It's one of the perils of being a "good" writer.  I'm writing a scene in my current manuscript where the woman is overwhelmed by loss and pain... the words come hard and I feel the tears building as I remember my own pain and sadness in a similar situation.  I'm reliving it all again.

And it's not just about loss, but the frightening scenes as well.  How did you feel when you were lost?  When you fell overboard and knew you couldn't swim well enough to make it to shore?  When your car started to skid on ice and the cars infront of you were all stopped?  

Anyway, here's some of the feedback that I've received about the last third of "She's Not You"

"It built up in mystery and emotion and certainly was tense at the finish." 

"I loved the story, it’s twists and turns and the ending leaving room for book 2 which I will await anxiously!"  

"I was engrossed & couldn’t put it down!"  

Keep the tissue box next to you. :-)  as you write and keep that feeling of sorrow, happiness or fear that you once felt right at your fingertips as you pound away at the keys...  bring that scene to life!  

And my car radio is still inspiring me with songs like "Cry" by the Beach Boys... and over and over again, "The Warmth of the SUN"!!  

Keep those words coming!  Writing is like anything else, the more you write, the better you get.


PS: Will be sending in my new contract for the next book tomorrow.  Then the fun begins!  So exciting!  Will post the cover when we've settled on one... although I have an idea :-) 

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

And remember...

Pick up your copy of "She's Not You" because I'm writing the sequel!!  Take it on vacation, to the beach, to the mountains or just to your porch with a cool drink.  Let me know what you think of Jack and Jamie.  Are they a good team?  Maybe I should break them up?  Bring back old loves?  Maybe???

I counting on your feedback :-)