Good News

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Happy Sunday readers and writers! I finally have news to share about the Jersey Girl Cozy Mysteries. Crossroad Press, specializing in the digital publishing of back lists, will be reissuing New Math is Murder, Hide nor Hair and Another Man’s Poison, which means Crossroad will be my new publisher. The books will be available again electronically, as well as in print and, if I’m reading the contract correctly, in an audio version. There is also a chance they will consider publishing a fourth book in the series – which thrills me. I would love to write more about Colleen, Ken and the entire gang. I’ll post as soon as the books become available for sale once again.

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As for Recurring, there’s no news as yet. I did manage to get into New Brunswick to take some shots of the vicinity where the book’s protagonist, Elaine Masters, is nearly murdered while fleeing an assailant. I loved being there in person to see exactly what’s going on in her mind as she desperately tries to outrun the guy who is out for her blood. The shot is of tiny Monument Square Park – offering no place to hunker down and hide in the dark!

Other writing non-news, I’m still working on and reworking other projects. Hopefully something good will come to light with those, too!

Enjoy this beautiful weather and read something wonderful outside in the gorgeous summer sun!

 

 

 

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Memorial Day

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The American Cemetery in Normandy, France

Hello fellow readers and writers. I hope you’re having a great weekend. The above image was taken by me! I thought it fitting to post the solemn picture on this Memorial Day.

I’ve been giving a lot of thought to reading (especially over this long holiday weekend). The weather is perfect for lounging under the sun with an exciting book open across your lap – unless you’ve slathered yourself with tanning lotion or sunblock. Tip: put a towel across your legs so the book cover doesn’t get greasy. I say “book” because outdoors in the bright light, the print on e-readers is difficult to see. I’ve tried it and it doesn’t work well.

So, what are you reading? A beach book that’s quick, fun and perfect for relaxing? Something deep or inspirational? Something that might scare the flip-flops off of you? Let me know if you care to  comment.

The Five

Book released April 9, 2019

I’m revisiting the Jack the Ripper and Black Dahlia murders. What better way to relax, right? Over the years, I’ve amassed quite a few books on these two subjects. After skimming through them for the hundredth time, I think I have it all figured out, until I pick up the next set of books and change my mind as to the killers’ identities.

Donald H Wolfe

This book’s release date will be in June, 2019. You can bet I’ll be ordering it!

I also watch every new theory pertaining to these murders on TV, hopeful that someone will prove beyond a doubt that so-and-so did the heinous deeds in Whitechapel, or that George Knowlton, George Hodel (interesting that both men are named George) or some other depraved psycho savaged Elizabeth Short in Los Angeles. So far, no dice.

As for me and my writing, things are going painfully slow – as usual. The thing is, slow is not unusual for a writer. And as I explained ad nauseam, the waiting game takes forever (or seems to take that long). I have work out there for consideration to both agents and editors. Time will tell. I’ll post, as well as shout it from the rooftop, if I hear anything regarding publication.

Have a wonderful day AND KEEP READING!

 

 

 

 

Happy Easter

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Wishing all a Happy Easter!

I haven’t posted in a bit because there’s been no news to share. However . . . I did finally manage to submit a short story to Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine and so far, so good. It’s a waiting game now to see if they’ll agree to publish my tongue-in-cheek murder plot entitled Slow-Cooked. If you’re thinking “what a bizarre name for a short story,” you’re absolutely right. Think about it for a moment. Now do you fully understand what I sick mind I have?

I’ve also entered the fun Werble Flomp contest – an annual event for those of us who love truly awful and/or sarcastic poetry. I don’t expect to win and didn’t enter to win either. I just needed to submit something somewhere, and know I that could still make a last-minute deadline like I used to do in my stringer days! I came up with a twisted little ditty – Ode to the 737 Max. It’s both awful and sarcastic! I promise to share this sicko-rhyme as soon as I find out I’m not a winner. If by the slightest chance the poem places somewhere in the winning sphere, I’ll furnish a link for all to read.

Meanwhile, my first book in the Boardwalk Psychic SeriesThe Body on the Boardwalk (working title) is coming along – slowly! Man, I’m such a ditz. I haven’t even decided on the killer yet!  As for Recurring, haven’t heard a peep from any agents. Do publishers suddenly hate thrillers with twist endings?

So have a wonderful weekend. Don’t eat too much chocolate and lay off those colored eggs!

Is it spring yet?

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Image by LMoonlight on Pixabay

 

Has it really been more than two months since my last post here? Time flies, but not really. Lately, it kind of drags. So much is happening in some areas of my writing life, while not so much in other areas.

I’m writing, working on new and exciting projects, going to critiques and conferences, and attending writers’ groups. It takes time, energy, and dedication. The search for an agent and a new publisher goes achingly slow. This is the most discouraging part of being an author (at least, for me).

Trying to create a social media presence is also a pain. I’m not a bragger by nature. There’s something inside me that keeps me from sharing the usual “hey, look at me” crap so many in my field use to stir up interest in their work. I don’t blame them. Actually, I admire them for being able to do that. It would probably help to have a grandiose Facebook page with tons of followers and a billion likes, but most authors’ posts have nothing at all to do with writing – even their own. I can’t see the relevance of sharing an author’s latest bowel movement just to have something to post every day. This explains why I have a Facebook page I don’t know how to use, or care to use, and why the only thing I really know how to do is click on that little “thumbs up” thing when I like something someone else has posted – generally pics of dogs and cats, or a really cute joke. I suppose I’ll have to figure it all out. Hopefully I’ll have plenty of legitimate writing posts to share with my multitude of Facebook followers – six in all!

Recurring is still making the rounds, ditto for finding a publisher to reissue the Jersey Girl series. Agents take up to six months to get back to you (yeah, I’ve mentioned this before. I’m repeating myself).

Sigh!

New projects are faring better. My short story, Slow-Cooked, is almost done but needs a bigger punch for the ending. I’m working on it. The critique group got a kick out of what exists of the story so far. The Boardwalk Psychic books are coming along nicely. Hopefully the first will be complete soon and I can shop it around as a series – which takes time. Dear God, I’m repeating myself again!

On a more mundane note, it’s going to snow again here in New Jersey. Garden State, my ass! I’m sick to death of seeing white. Did someone misplace spring? Where are those lovely yellow forsythias I’ve been waiting all year to see?

Have a wonderful day and please feel free to comment. It lets me know someone is actually reading my posts.

 

Merry Christmas to all . . .

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It’s been a while since I last posted. If you believe the old adage that no news is good news, there’s this bridge in Brooklyn I’d like to sell you. So far two literary agents have passed on Recurring. I think I know why. I have to rework the beginning of the book, which I can now see reads far too passively and doesn’t match the intensity level I have created throughout the rest of the manuscript. Second, I can’t write a decent query letter and/or synopsis to save my life.

There are different approaches when attempting to condense a book into one or two pages. I always take the high road and give the agent the crux of the story – in addition to revealing the ending. No surprises. I pull no punches. She or he knows exactly where the tale is taking her/him, and is better able to judge whether or not they are interested enough to see the entire manuscript. In my mind, it’s only fair. From all the advice I’ve gotten from fellow writers and through conducting extensive internet research, I’ve learned this is exactly the WRONG way to go if you’re seeking an agent. You have to keep them wanting more. You also have to whet their literary appetites enough to request the rest of the book. Logically, it doesn’t make sense to me. But humans are funny animals and I guess building up the suspense and leaving an agent hanging, or maybe (hopefully) even begging for more, makes a whole lot of sense.

Okay. I’ll play the fr*****g game. I don’t care much for it, but I’ll play.

I’m still mapping out the Boardwalk Psychic series, and those will be fun reads, but not as light and humorous as the Jersey Girl cozies. Actually, these books are more on the serious side, despite my protagonist’s occupation, which most people consider to be a complete scam. Hey, at least I’m writing!

Educated

If anyone is looking for a great non-fiction read over the holidays, I suggest you give Educated: A Memoir a try. I read it in one day. Now whenever I’m tempted to blame my parents for screwing up my youth, I thank God I had Marie and Joe Lamon to raise me, rather than author Tara Westover’s parents. I guess we all have to overcome our childhoods, don’t we?

Have a great Christmas all!

AND READ SOMETHING

Pop-Up Shop

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ME

Five Sisters-in-Crime writers spent an amazing day at the Pop-Up Shop event held inside the Monroe Library today. Eileen Watkins, Roberta Rogow, Daria Ludas, Nicki Montaperto, and yours truly, sold our books and spoke to readers and several would-be writers. It’s remarkable how talking writing can bring out the best in people. I heard life stories, dreams, and aspirations of those wishing to write, but lack the confidence to take that very first step and begin the process.

102_0451Eileen Watkins, Nicki Montaperto, Daria Ludas, and Roberta Rogow (front)

I also learned something that surprised me – I’m not as technologically-stupid as I had previously thought. Can you imagine? I actually knew how to transfer and download pictures from phones and cameras, and explained the process to a fellow writer. I also created (with the help of my daughter-in-law and WordPress) and maintain my own website. One writer has a website and she’s lost when it comes to posting – even though she had hired someone to design the site for her. I gave some suggestions (like, who am I to suggest this stuff to anyone?), but I found I actually knew what I was talking about! Okay, I’m no computer genius, but I almost feel like a tech-guru because I kinda get it.

Anyway, I had a successful book-sales day and loved talking writing, as always, to anyone who would listen.

No word on Recurring yet, but I haven’t really been sending out queries either. Hopefully more about that next week.

Enjoy the long weekend everybody. Stay warm if you’re in cold, blustery Jersey!

Pop Up Shop

Good evening everyone! This is just a brief post to inform Jersey readers (and those in nearby states) that I’ll be at the Monroe Township Library on Saturday, November 10, from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. for a Pop Up Shop. The shop will include several members of Sisters in Crime, and we will all be peddling our wares, ummm, I mean selling our books at the event. Join us if you’re in the area.

On a personal note, I went to an exclusive spa over the weekend for a complete head-to-toe makeover. Cost me a fortune, but I think it was well-worth the money:

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BEFORE                                     AFTER

Let me know what you think! Have a great night all of you readers!