Monday, October 31, 2011

Treat or Treat


I mean, Yay! Yay for FREE BOOKS!

Tonight, I’m attending a virtual Halloween party, thrown by Joanna Campbell Slan, to celebrate her new Facebook fan page. Guess what? You are invited, too!

I’ll be dropping in from 10 – 10:30 pm. Below is the rest of the author schedule (did I mention FREE BOOKS?):



9 - 9:30 PM EST
Mollie Cox Bryan (Scrapbook of Secrets)
Angie Fox (A Tale of Two Demon Slayers)

9:30 - 10 PM EST
Betty Hechtman (Behind the Seams)
Laura DiSilverio (Die Buying)
Deborah Sharp (Mama Sees Stars)

10 - 10:30 PM EST
Julie Compton (Tell No Lies)
Alan Orloff (The Taste)

10:30 - 11 PM EST
Casey Daniels (A Hard Day's Fright)
Vicki Doudera (Killer Listing)
Penny Warner (How to Party Like a Vampire)

11:30 – Midnight
Joanna Campbell Slan (Make, Take, Murder)
Camille Minichino (Murder in Miniature)

Special Drop-in Guests:
Linda O. Johnston (The More the Terrier)
Monica Ferris (Buttons and Bones)

All authors will be giving away FREE BOOKS--so you'll want to come and party with us! (Costume optional.)

And speaking of FREE BOOKS, you can still sign up to win an ARC of DEADLY CAMPAIGN (until 6 pm EST TODAY) at Dru’s Book Musings. I’m also giving away three ebooks of THE TASTE at Jenn’s Bookshelves.


Thursday, October 27, 2011

A Typical Day

If you’ve wondered what a typical day would be like for Channing Hayes, the protagonist in my Last Laff Mystery series, then wonder no more. Simply visit Dru Ann Love’s blog, Dru’s Book Musings, to read my Channing’s guest post!

But wait! There’s more!

We’re giving away, to one lucky winner, a signed ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) of the upcoming Last Laff Mystery, DEADLY CAMPAIGN.

Click here!


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Idea That Wouldn’t Die

Today, I’m guest blogging on Jenn’s Bookshelves as part of her “scary” Murders, Monsters, & Mayhem Month. My post, The Idea That Wouldn’t Die, is reason enough to visit her blog, but as an added enticement, we’re giving away a few ebooks!

Click on over and join the Halloween fun!


Friday, October 14, 2011

MWA and U

mwa_logoIf you’re reading this blog, chances are you’re a mystery writer or mystery fan/reader (or criminal, I suppose, looking for hints about how to beat the law). That’s why I think you should consider joining Mystery Writers of America (unless you’re a criminal—then change your ways and contribute positively to society!). Disclaimer: I am a proud member of MWA and I’m the treasurer of the Mid-Atlantic Chapter. However, the opinions I’m expressing here are my own, unofficial and slightly biased, ones.

MWA offers many valuable benefits and services to members, as well as to the public at large (and you don’t have to be a published author to join!)—newsletters, discounts, a listserv, the Edgar awards, anthologies, scholarship programs, and others. But I’d like to highlight two important aspects of being in MWA: the networking and the education.

Our local chapter has monthly dinner meetings, and because of our D.C. location, we get a wide range of terrific speakers. We’ve had an ex-spy, an FBI hostage negotiator, and museum director (and a wealth of great writers, too). During our last meeting, we learned about stalking, which was fascinating, in a totally creepy way (Did you know that about 2% of stalking cases end in murder or attempted murder? And that, in Virginia, stalking is only a misdemeanor?).

In addition to hearing great speakers, these meetings are excellent places to network. You can connect with potential research sources, find other writers for critique groups, or discover which mystery/writing conferences are worth attending. You can also learn about agents, publishers, and other arcane workings of the publishing biz (if your stomach is strong enough).

On a national level, MWA has recently (within the past year or so) begun offering what it calls MWA University, in different locations throughout the country. It’s “a full-day, low-cost writing seminar designed to teach participants the essential skills needed to write a novel, from the idea stage to the final editing. The focus is on the craft of writing, and the college-level courses are taught by published writers and experienced teachers.”

I had the great pleasure of attending the pilot seminar last summer, and it was fantastic. I recommend it to any writer, at any level.

If you don’t already belong to MWA, what are you waiting for?

(This blog entry is simul-posted on InkSpot.)


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Mystery Madness!

Tomorrow, I’m excited to be part of a Mystery Day at the Library of Virginia, in Richmond. If you’re a mystery lover, you should attend!

Here are the details, clipped right from their website:

Whodunit? | A Day of Mystery Madness for Mystery Fans
Thursday, October 13, 2011
Time: 9:00 AM–3:00 PM

Fee and registration for lunch; panels are free of charge but require advance registration. Questions? 804.692.3900

If you're a fan of the genre, don't miss this event that hosts a dozen of the best mystery writers in the business for a reader-friendly, interactive, and fun day of discussion and insight. There will be break-out panels in the morning and afternoon to enjoy casual conversation and Q&A, and a lunch hosted by the venerable author and People's Choice Award nominee Donna Andrews. Book signings will be available throughout the day.

This powerhouse lineup of talent includes Donna Andrews, Mollie Bryan, Meredith Cole, Ellen Crosby, Jan Neuharth, Alan Orloff, Brad Parks, Sandy Parshall, David L. Robbins, J. B. Stanley, Andy Straka, and Irene Ziegler.

Moderators are Art Taylor, Steve Weddle, Katherine Neville, and Meredith Cole.

9:30–10:30 AM: “What Comes First: Plot or Character?” – moderated by Art Taylor featuring Orloff, Crosby, Cole, Andrews, and Bryan.

10:45–11:45 AM: “Professionals v. Amateurs” – moderated by Steve Weddle featuring Neuharth, Straka, and Stanley.


1:30–2:30 PM: "The Cutting Edge: What makes a thriller different from a mystery?” – moderated by Katherine Neville featuring Parks, Parshall, Robbins, and Ziegler.


Saturday, October 1, 2011

Double Exposure

I’m not usually “in” magazines, but by some quirk of fate, I’m in two current issues. (Maybe it’s time to play the lottery!)

My interview of the very talented Darrell James is in Issue 43 of CRIMESPREE Magazine (page 32).

And I’m featured in a profile by fellow NoVA writer Richard Gazala in the September/October issue of VivaTysons Magazine. You can see it online here (page 102).