Showing posts from 2017

A Step Closer

After roughly a year of looking at the story in the form of a Word document, I now get to see the pages as they'll appear in the final product. For the uninitiated, these are called galley proofs and they're the final step in the editorial process before the next Zoe Chambers Mystery hits the bookstore shelves in March! I get one last chance to pick over the words, searching for typos, spelling, and punctuation errors.

FYI, I hate proofreading!

But it's still a thrill, even six books in, to see another novel become something more than voices in my head.

Release date: March 27!

Henery Press Giveaway

My fabulous publisher, Henery Press is having a giveaway now through November 14. Grand Prize is 32 awesome e-books and a Kindle Fire on which to read them. First Prize is 32 awesome e-books. And there will be FOUR second-place winners of 8 awesome e-books!

One of the 32 books is my Lost Legacy (Zoe Chambers #2) so that you haven't read it yet, you'll have a chance to meet Pete's dad Harry before Uneasy Prey comes out in the spring.

Click HERE to enter!

And good luck!

Lost Legacy and the Walk to End Alzheimer's Update

I want to give a HUGE thank you to everyone who donated to the Alzheimer’s Association, either through my page or individually. My team raised $650 this year for the Walk to End Alzheimer’s, which is a personal high, one I hope to top next year. Part of that donation came from my pledge to give a portion of my royalties from the sale of Lost Legacy to the Alzheimer’s Association.

For those of you who don’t know why this is my pet charity, I lost my dad to Alzheimer’s over ten years ago and lost my mom to a nasty cousin of Alzheimer’s, Vascular Dementia, almost a year ago.

Speaking of Lost Legacy, in it I created the character of Harry Adams, Pete’s father. He was a labor of love since Harry has Alzheimer’s and I infused him with bits of my own dad. Creating a character with a disease that touches so many was a huge risk. I wanted to be true to the illness, but I also wanted a character that readers would want to spend time with. I guess I succeeded because I’ve been getting requests …


Every November, a large population of writers participate in something called NaNoWriMo AKA National Novel Writing Month. The idea is to write a 50,000-word novel in ONE MONTH.

There are forums and support groups, badges to be won... It's all about accountability. Even if you don't make your goal, you'll probably write more than you would have without all the other participants encouraging you to write write write.

I've never done an "official" NaNo. But I always try to ride the wave of creative energy to bolster my considerably smaller word-count numbers.

This year, I'm doing my own thing again, but this year I'm looking at it differently. My next deadline is early February, which is coming sooner than you think. I still have a little over 100 pages to go on my first draft. So instead of NaNoWriMo, I'm declaring a personal FiNoWriMo. Finish the Novel Writing Month.

Yes, I'm sticking close to my writing cave and pounding out pages with a dogge…

Why I Walk

On November 4, I will participate in my third Walk to End Alzheimer's.

It's a small thing. A couple hours out of one morning of my life. But every time I've done it, the tears follow me, just beneath the surface. An ache for what this disease has taken from me, from my family, and my friends. Is there anyone out there who has not been touched in some way by this disease? I don't know of any.

I lost my dad over ten years ago. I lost him much earlier than that to Alzheimer's. He slipped away in dribs and drabs.

The first time I walked, it was in his memory.

Last year, my mom was failing. Technically, not from Alzheimer's, but from a close cousin to the disease, Vascular Dementia. I walked in memory of my dad and to honor my mom.

This year, I walk in memory of both of them. Because I wouldn't wish the disease on my worst enemy. Having it. Being a caregiver to someone who has it. Loving someone who has it. It all is cruel beyond words.

This year, I'm a &quo…

My Fangirl Moment with Craig Johnson

It's no secret that I'm a huge fan of Craig Johnson and his Walt Longmire series. The one the TV show is based on.

Yes, there are books.

That's Craig's new motto for those who are surprised Walt existed before Robert Taylor and Lou Diamond Phillips brought his characters to life.

Hubby and I took a trip to Erie, PA earlier this year to hear Craig give a talk.

Hubby is now a fan too.

I had another encounter with Craig at Writers Police Academy where he was the keynote.

All of this happened BEFORE I learned he was coming to Pittsburgh.

In spite of having attended these two previous events, I couldn't wait for him to return to my city, if for no other reason than I'm a fangirl who couldn't wait to snag his newest book!

As I said, it's no secret what a fan I am, so you can imagine my delight when Natalie of Mystery Lovers Books asked me to introduce Craig!


I could have babbled and gushed for hours, but I knew the capacity crowd wasn't interested…

Back in Business

As I last reported, my beloved old Dell Monster Machine gasped its last breath. Within two days, the delivery guy brought my new computer, Dell Monster Machine version 2.0, to my door.

That was a week ago. One week, more money than I want to think about, days of file restoration, and a variety of curse words later, I'm back to where I was before the old compute went kaput.

I liked how my old machine was set up. I liked the software I had installed on it. I didn't have to think about how to do stuff on it. I just clicked and tapped and things happened the way I wanted.

My first victory (of sorts) was installing my ancient Office 2003 software. Yay! It installed! Boo... all the updates to make it compatible with newer versions are no longer supported. This means I can still use it on my WIP (work in progress), but I can't open documents from other sources. Okay, I can. I download them onto my laptop, save to Dropbox, and then open them on the new machine. A lot of work. So I…

In Requiem of a Computer

Most of us, myself included, have a love/hate relationship with our electronics. Some days we wonder how we survived without our smartphones and our tablets. Other days, we want to throw the blasted beasts out the window.

I've lost track of how many computers I've owned over the years. Laptops and desktops. My first was a Gateway running Windows ME. I didn't know about computer bugs, so every time it blue-screened, I assumed I'd done something wrong. It ran slower and slower. I added memory. It still blue-screened and booted up like a slug. By the time I'd decided to move on to something else, I was thrilled to see the thing go.

Each new computer arrived bright and shiny. And FAST. And each computer, laptop and desktop, eventually became bogged down by all the programs I installed until they limped and crashed.

Almost six years ago, I got fed up. I decided I was going to splurge on a computer with more memory and a bigger hard drive than I would ever need. My compu…

Writers Police Academy 2017

Better late than never, here is my photo journal from last month's Writer's Police Academy.

This has to be one of the coolest hotels I've ever been in. While I didn't get to see much of Green Bay, the hotel and its decor definitely gave me a feel of the area.

First, we got to practice some hands-on police techniques. 

The drone demonstration was fascinating. I had no idea what these things could really do. Or in some cases, what they can't do.
Did I mention how awesome the hotel was?
There are always a few surprises when you get off the bus at the training facility.

Deadlines, Book Jail, and Catching Up

The entire month of August got away from me! First, there was Writers Police Academy. Then I had an August 29 deadline for revisions to Uneasy Prey. So I have excuses.

I turned in my manuscript on time and now I'm catching up.

I should have a blog post ready by the weekend about my experiences at WPA, complete with photos. So check back!