So It Begins

There are a lot of "moments" in the creation of a new book. From the flicker of an idea to the index cards, sticky notes, and legal pads full of scribbles to the setting up the document and typing "Chapter One" to the rush of months later typing "The End." There are editorial note and revisions. There's the moment you first see the artwork that becomes the cover. There are galleys to be proofed.

But somehow, that moment when the latest title goes up online with the "Pre-order" button live, it all becomes real. We shift from creative mode to marketing mode because now there's something to sell. It's more than a vision. It's a novel soon to be in our readers' hands.

That's where I am right now. Uneasy Prey, the sixth (SIXTH!!!) Zoe Chambers Mystery is now available for pre-order from Amazon and from Barnes & Noble.

And so it begins.

2018: Looking Ahead

Happy New Year! We made it! There were times in 2017 when I wasn't so sure. But here we are with a fresh year ahead of us.

I'm excited about 2018! I have two (yes, TWO) new Zoe Chambers Mysteries coming out this year. Uneasy Prey will be available later this week for pre-orders and the official cover reveal will be Thursday on Dru's Book Musings Blog! The release is scheduled for March 27.

The 7th Zoe Chambers Mystery (working title: Cry Wolf) should be coming out sometime in September if all goes according to plan.

This will be the first time since 2014 that I've released two books in the same year. Back then I had no clue what I was doing or what I was in for. Not sure I do now either!

I always start out the year thinking I'm not going to travel as much as I did last year. This year is no different. I do know I'll be making my annual treks to Bethesda, Maryland, for Malice Domestic and to Aztec, New Mexico. I have a road trip planned in early April to Virgin…

2017: Looking Back

It's been a long, busy year, so I thought I'd share some of my photo memories from 2017.

The year started on a low note with the passing of my mom.

After laying low over the winter, I came out from grief-induced hibernation for a trip to Williamsburg, Virginia where I had a fun book signing for No Way Home...
 ...and got another hug from my favorite TV cowboy and Emergency! doctor, Robert Fuller. It's always great to see him!
Back home, we launched No Way Home officially at Mystery Lovers Bookshop.

And I joined my pals Joyce Tremel and J.J. Hensley for an author panel.
In April, I traveled to Bethesda, Maryland for Malice Domestic.
(Yes, that's Anne Hillerman at my left! I got to sit on a panel with her! Squee!)
(Agatha Award Banquet fun with my Henery Press editors and friends)

May brought a cross-state road trip for my first ever visit to Philadelphia.
 From the big city, I headed to the small town of New Hope for a group author event.
 I fell in love with the place…

A New Short Story is Coming!

For the second year in a row, I'm giving away a short story for Christmas. Last year, I shared the very first Pete and Zoe mystery, a short story published in 2006 in Mysterical-E Magazine. This year, I've written an original Christmas story about the night Zoe met Pete. It's set eight years prior to Circle of Influence and was a lot of fun to create.

And yes, it's free. But there is a catch. It will be posted on a members-only page on my website and the only way you can get the password is by subscribing to my newsletter. I'll send an e-blast containing the password out to subscribers on Christmas Eve.

A week or so later, Uneasy Prey goes live for pre-orders, so I'll send another newsletter with the buy-link and with the new cover art! And then I won't bother you again until spring, so don't be worried about me spamming your inbox.

If you're already a subscriber, thank you. If you haven't joined my mailing list yet, click here to sign up.


Writer's Retreat December 2017

I spent all last week in Book Jail again. On Monday, I traveled to Aston PA, south of Philly to meet up with Ramona Long and Kim Gray for a weeklong writing retreat. Wendy Tyson joined us for a couple of nights too.

The house is old but feels like home, reminding me a bit of my grandparents' farmhouse.

My writing space there was small but comfy.

Deer came to greet us at dawn and at dusk.

But most importantly, I managed to write "The End" not once, but twice! I finished the first draft of Zoe Chambers Mystery #7. And I started and finished a Zoe Chambers short story, which will be posted on my website on Christmas Eve.

The short story is free but there's a catch. The page it'll be on is password protected and the ONLY way to get the password is to subscribe to my newsletter. You can sign up here.

I promise I won't swamp your inbox with newsletters. But you will get the short story and you'll get a sneak peek of the cover of Uneasy Prey. Then you'll get…

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!