Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Obsessive and Obnoxious

Yes, I’ve fallen into both of those categories. If there’s any hope, it’s that acknowledging the problem is the first step to recovery. Right?

Today is the official launch of Bridges Burned. 

Granted the online dealers have been shipping print copies for weeks now, and my big launch party was this past Saturday, so you would think the “official” release would be somewhat anticlimactic. Or at least I always think it’s going to be.


Besides the big publicity push for the new book, my brilliant publisher, Henery Press, does the remarkably smart thing and puts the previous book on sale during launch week. So Lost Legacy is available in all e-book versions for only 99 cents.

The deal hit BookBub.

And then Lost Legacy started climbing the sales ratings.

Most of the time, I pay little attention to these numbers. I check on occasion to make sure I’m hanging out in my usual range—adequate, but not newsworthy. But the BookBub thing stirred me to start watching.

I did a happy dance in spite of my lingering case of snuffles and sneezles. Then I posted to Facebook.

And Twitter.

And then the numbers improved. So I updated. 

Squeee! #1 Best Seller in Amazon Cozy Mysteries!

Honestly, my intention wasn’t to brag. I was shocked. Pleasantly so, but shocked nonetheless, and needed others to see that I wasn’t hallucinating.
Lost Legacy at # 2 in Mystery & Crime on Barnes and Noble!

Pretty soon I was annoying even myself. But then Circle of Influence, which wasn't even on sale hit the  B&N list at #30!

Every frigging hour I was on Amazon and Barnes and Noble to see if the trend had reversed.

It hadn't! Lost Legacy hit #1 on B&N!

And Circle of Influence climbed to #14 on Amazon!

I’m done now. Honest. For the moment, things have leveled off. For the moment, I’m trying to control my urge to check ONE MORE TIME.

Oh, and then there’s THIS!

Me??? #10 Mystery author??? Is this a joke?

Okay, starting tomorrow, I promise to be less obsessed and less obnoxious. I promise.  

Sunday, April 05, 2015

Launch Party for Bridges Burned

I was convinced that maybe three people would show up. I’d had that same fear for my first two launch parties (both of which were smashing successes), but this time I was more convinced than ever. The day before Easter? Everyone had family stuff to do. One friend had a broken leg. Another had hurt her back. Even the owner of the bookstore texted me that she was sick.

No one was going to be there.

And I had a horrible head cold.

Hubby and I arrived way early, expecting traffic that never materialized. No problem. I’d rather arrive early and wait than be late.

Right on time people started rolling in. My local Sisters in Crime. Fellow authors. Old friends. New readers. Before long, we had to set up more chairs.

In spite of my cold, in spite of the holiday weekend, my launch party for Bridges Burned at Mystery Lovers Bookshop was another huge success!

Thanks to my friend (and official photographer of Mystery Lovers), Steve Bucci, for recording the day. 

 Note the hand sanitizer and box of tissues within easy reach.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Bridges Burned Blog Tour

Tomorrow I'm kicking off my two week plus blog tour for the launch of Bridges Burned.

March 31 - A Blue Million Books

April 1 – Jane Reads

April 1 – Writers Who Kill

April 2 – Tea and a Book

April 3 – Shelley’s Book Case

April 4 – Deal Sharing Aunt

April 5 – Christa Reads and Writes

April 6 – A Chick Who Reads

April 7 – Readalot

April 8 – Marie’s Cozy Corner

April 9 – Community Bookstop

April 9 – Get Lost in a Story

April 10 – Chloe Gets a Clue

April 11 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too!

April 12 – LibriAmoriMiei

April 13 – MysteriesEtc.

April 14 – Escape With Dollycas Into a Good Book

April 14 – Dru’s Book Musings

April 16 – Killer Hobbies

Sunday, March 01, 2015

The End of Skye's Saga

Some of you may have already heard, but for those who haven’t, Skye didn’t make it.

Last Monday, the bleeding from her mouth became much worse and didn’t ease up.

In spite of that, she and I had a lovely night. She stretched out on my lap Monday evening while I watched TV, kneading my legs. I woke up Tuesday morning to her soft purring as she slept on my feet. But I knew when I looked in her eyes…she was ready.

My vet’s office took us right away. I had some quiet time with her before my wonderful vet came in. He’d been with us from the start. It was fitting he was with us at the end.

She died peacefully in my arms.

Kensi and I had several rough days afterwards. Kensi kept looking for her big sister. I tried to give her extra TLC, but she was mad at me. I took Skye away and didn’t bring her home.

But we’re both doing better. I’m down to one good crying fit a day. In case you’re interested, today’s tears are falling right now…as I write this.

Sweet Skye, you were much loved and are much missed. But you’re at peace and pain-free after a long, brave fight. Rest in peace, baby.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Skye's Surgery

The good news is I thought this post was going to be a memorial to my Skye kitty. Instead, it’s a tale of one tough little furbaby.

Skye has been a Bartonella cat for as long as I’ve had her. For those who know nothing about this wicked disease, let me give a little background.

Bartonella is a bacterial infection spread by fleas. It has no cure and, in Skye’s case, manifests itself as severe periodontal disease and gingivitis. Over the years, Skye has dealt with sore, red, often bloody gums. I’ve treated her with round after round of antibiotics and too-frequent steroid shots.

But lately nothing has been giving her more than a week or two of relief. For the last year, I’ve had a sense that we were on borrowed time.

This last month has been the worst. Yet through it all, she continued to eat and to snuggle with me. I wasn’t ready to let go when she still had so much fight left in her.

Last Sunday morning I awoke to find her right upper lip/cheek swollen. Of course, the vet’s office is closed on Sunday, but I called first thing Monday morning. I didn’t know what to think. Had the infection spread into other soft tissues in her face? Did she have an abscessed tooth?

My vet told me he was leaving for two weeks, and Wednesday was his last day of surgery until his return. He also told me his surgery schedule was already filled. However, he didn’t want to leave her to one of the other vets, so he squeezed Skye into the schedule.

Tuesday evening was torture. I truly believed she either would not survive the anesthesia with her age and her other health issues, OR the doctor would get in there and find too much to deal with, in which case I was prepared to tell him to simply not allow her to wake up. I spend the evening snuggling with Skye, fearing it would be the last time.

Wednesday ranks as one of the longest days on record. I felt relieved when the time I was given to call and check on her was approaching and I hadn’t heard anything from them. No news was good news. But when I called, I was told he was just about to start the procedure.

More waiting. More worrying.

Over an hour passed and I called again as I’d been directed. I was told he was STILL working on her.

More waiting.

At last he called me. She’d survived the surgery and done well. But the rest of the news wasn’t as good. The swollen face had been caused by the cheek separating from the diseased gum tissue. He said he got in there, cleaned out the dead tissue and sutured the cheek back in place. He added he was concerned about the potential for healing, but we would know pretty quickly if it would or would not heal. If it didn’t, he said there wasn’t much left that he could do.

Also, he pulled most of her teeth, leaving only the canines (fangs) and a couple of the back teeth that still had healthy root attachments. He debrided all the dead and diseased gum tissues, and he said he was optimistic that once everything healed, she’d be like a new cat.

It’s that “once everything healed” part that I continue to fret over. Yes, I’m a worried kitty mom and my head knows I need to give her time. This was a huge procedure.

The one thing I neglected to ask in the flurry of information he was throwing at me was HOW would we know pretty quickly if the cheek would heal or not.

Skye was a sad little cat for a day or two. I’ve had gum grafts, so I know what a painful mouth is like. But she’s eating her prescription food. She’s drinking water, using the litter box, and otherwise acting fairly normal. For her.
 Skye on Thursday, less than one day post-op

Most of the swelling from the teeth being pulled has gone down. HOWEVER, that right cheek remains swollen and she continues to bleed from it.

Okay, yes, it’s only been a few days. And I don’t know what my vet’s definition of “pretty quickly” is.

Skye on Sunday, almost 3 days post-op, napping comfortably

Tomorrow (Monday), I will call him as directed to check in, at which time I will ask for specifics. In the meantime, I continue to love her and pamper her…even though she hates me right now for squirting yucky stuff (antibiotics) in her mouth twice a day. I only hope she improves and lives long enough to forgive me for the torture I’ve put her through.

Monday, February 09, 2015



I’ve had this wild fantasy of snagging an Agatha nomination since I started writing mysteries. Never, never NEVER thought it would actually happen. I’d imagined what it was like so many times, when the phone call actually came, I thought I was dreaming.

I’m one of five wonderful mystery authors in my category. I’ll be thrilled no matter which of us wins. Just being nominated truly is an honor.

In other news, after nearly ten years of running this blog, I’m going to move it to a new home. I recently took over the reins of my website, changed to a new web host, and redesigned the whole blasted thing. The new website has a tab for a blog of its own. I’m still learning the ropes, so until I get it running the way I want it, I’ll probably post here, too. But eventually, I’ll post only there. My Writing, etc archives will remain available, however.

So head over to my newly remodeled home. I look forward to keeping it up-to-date with fresh content every few weeks or so. 

Friday, January 16, 2015

No Clutter Campaign

In my continuing effort to reclaim my house, I have named the process the No Clutter Campaign. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.

This week the No Clutter Campaign has moved into my office out of necessity. I have to get my tax stuff organized for my accountant. I’ve made good progress. Not enough to take any “after” photos, but enough that I have a clear table top for sorting receipts.

I’m drawing inspiration from several friends who have either recently moved or are in the process of moving. If I were moving, would I take this item with me? If the answer is “yes,” the item stays. If the answer is “no,” it gets tossed, put in the flea market/Craig’s List bin, or goes to Good Will.

For me, this mindset works better than the old “will I use it/do I love it” question. It’s too easy to think I might have a use for some gadget. I’m too sentimental about too many little inanimate objects. But the idea of packing and moving to a new home is daunting. Do I “love” that chipped coffee mug I use to hold pencils THAT much? Do I honestly believe I’ll EVER use that old 35mm film camera again?

Probably not.

So I’m letting go. Or trying to.

And as we all know, books are an entirely different category. Thank HEAVENS I’m not really moving, because we’d need fleet of U-Haul trucks just for my book collection.

Speaking of books, I’ll be at the Citizens Library in Washington PA this Saturday, January 17 at 2:00. If you're in the area and looking for something to do, I'd love to see you!

I apologize for my website being so out-of-date. My web guys’ mom has been in and out of the hospital, so he’s not been able to do the updates for a while.