Halloween

orange pumpkin

Photo by Trygve Finkelsen on Pexels.com

What is it about Halloween that stirs the imagination? Is it the love of a good scare? The chance to dress up as anything from a ballerina to Michael Meyers? Maybe it’s the candy!

Creepiness has always appealed to me. I write horror as well as mysteries and always have. I think we’re all attracted to the strange, probably because we’re all a bit strange in one way or another. That’s a good thing – almost as good as the trick-or-treat candy.

Stories, in particular, fire our imaginations as Halloween approaches. Think of Sleepy Hollow and the Headless Horseman. How about a little Edgar Allan Poe? Who isn’t captivated by The Mask of the Red Death, The Pit and the Pendulum and my favorite, The Tell-Tale Heart?

At a recent Sisters in Crime – Central Jersey meeting, I had the privilege of hearing a talk by Irene Curran, a local Poe expert.

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What I learned about Poe is that he was, well, an odd-ball. His life was horrible, awful, tragic, sad . . . there aren’t enough adjectives to cover the kind of life this guy endured since early childhood. Yet he wrote. And wrote. And wrote some more.

Primarily Gothic in his writings, the macabre author was the one of the first American writers to make his living by writing alone. As such, the poor man was dead broke for most of his life (I can certainly relate, as do many of the writers I know). If you get the chance, read his life story. Also, there’s an excellent movie called The Raven, made in 2012 starring John Cusack. It doesn’t cover Poe’s whole life and much of it is fictional, but I loved it and think it’s worth watching.

Other news:

OB Library Event

left to right: Nicki Monteperto, Christine Clemetson, Kristina Rienzi, Jo-Ann Lamon Reccoppa and Linda Rawlins

The picture above is a bit blurry. I didn’t take the shot (this time) so it’s not my fault!I had the pleasure of appearing with fellow Sisters in Crime authors at my local library on the Saturday before last, for a discussion about writing mysteries and getting published. I was amazed at how many would-be writers there were in the audience – all seeking advice on how to get their stories down and into print.

That’s all for now. I hope to have some good news about my upcoming books in the very near future. Please keep your fingers, toes, legs, etc., crossed for me. Meanwhile, enjoy Halloween, eat plenty of candy, dress up weird, and read something chilling.

 

Library Event

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Good evening all! Members of Sisters in Crime – Central Jersey will hold a writers’ event this Saturday at the Old Bridge Public Library, Old Bridge, NJ:

Sisters in Crime Mystery Women’s Writers Group

October 19 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Sisters in Crime Central New Jersey Chapter offers a friendly, supportive network for women crime writers at every stage of their crime writing career. Join them as several authors share their experiences as crime writers.

If you are in the area (or care to take an enjoyable weekend drive to our area), please join us. The address is One Old Bridge Plaza, on the corner of Cottrell Road and Route 516 West in my beautiful hometown of Old Bridge.

Including yours truly, other speakers will be Kristina Rienzi, Nicki Montaperto, R.G. Belsky, Linda Rawlins and Christine Clemetson. We will have our books for sale, speak about our crime fiction, and hopefully recruit some new members (both readers and writers) into our local Sisters in Crime chapter. Remember, too, that we’re not all sisters, we also have misters.

I hope to see lots of faces at the event.

As always, keep reading!

Open Mic – Sisters in Crime Central Jersey

Open Mike June 29

Good morning everybody.

This is just a quick post to inform readers and writers in the vicinity of Central New Jersey about the open mic/fundraiser, which will be held at the Sisters in Crime – Central Jersey meeting tomorrow at the Jamesburg Senior Center, Jamesburg, NJ. (See above)

I will be reading an approximately five minute except from one the Jersey Girl books (haven’t decided which one yet, but I’d like it to be a body-discovery scene). There will be plenty of talented fellow sisters and misters reading excerpts from their own work as well.

The address is 139 Stevens Avenue, Jamesburg, NJ 08831. If you happen to be in the area, please stop by. I’d love to meet you in person!

Have a great day.

Good News

New Math Is Murder Cover           HideNorHair-front-cover           AnotherMansPoison-Cover2-page-001

 

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!

 

 

 

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

nature flowers spring colorful

 

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.