An Historic Blog Visit

I love to visit Suzanne Adair’s blog, Rel­e­vant His­tory. There’s always some­thing new to learn about his­tory. Her guest blog­gers tell some of the unknown sto­ries, that hap­pen to be true, about var­i­ous times in the past. All that his­toric lore is really a by-product of research an author has done for his or her book. Some­times, the his­tory is more recent, and includes mem­o­ries never before writ­ten. And some­times, the com­ments by read­ers of the blog add to the history.

Suzanne’s own spe­cialty is the Amer­i­can Rev­o­lu­tion, espe­cially in our south­ern states. But she wel­comes any area and time as her guest blog­gers. Right now I’m a guest, which com­pletely thrills me. My newly pub­lished book is a ghost story, with a ghost from 1946. Since I’m old enough to remem­ber that year (I was 16), much of my post is mem­ory. But, when one is writ­ing a book, one can’t depend on mem­ory, so, of course, I did research too.

Come visit my guest post, Civil­ians and Internees in World War II. Suzanne will choose one who com­ment to win a copy of my book, Cher­ish (A Ghost Mys­tery), just in time for Halloween.

Shadows Over Paradise

Emmons-CoverAnne K. Edwards writes mys­tery (and I love mys­tery). Her book, Shad­ows Over Par­adise is the story of com­pli­cated char­ac­ters intent on achiev­ing their own ends, some heed­less of the cost to oth­ers. Action and ten­sion blended with a brood­ing house set on a vol­canic island with soar­ing cliffs and few mod­ern ameni­ties, along with tur­bu­lent emo­tions offer a per­fect cat­a­lyst for the storm that is about to break over the Man­tuan Islands.

I’d like to quote from a four-star review on Amazon.

Julia’s been invited to her friend’s wed­ding on an exotic island but noth­ing seems to go right in Anne K. Edwards’ Shad­ows over Par­adise. Even the boat­man on the way to this island par­adise says Julia shouldn’t be there. Still, the location’s great, the peo­ple are full of char­ac­ter, and, being a writer, Julia’s sure she’ll build a won­der­ful mys­tery novel from the expe­ri­ence. Mean­while she’s liv­ing a mys­tery of her own.”

There’s quite a bit more to this review, but this is the way it ends — “An excit­ing end­ing is filled with fear and adven­ture plus the sav­ing hands of good tim­ing and true love. While I guessed some of what was going on, I cer­tainly didn’t guess it all, but I might avoid island par­adises after this tale.”

Oh, that does sound like a sure-fire read! Love that kind.

Here’s all the nec­es­sary infor­ma­tion: Avail­able in paper­back and e-book formats

Order this book via check or credit card, aStore
~ or visit ~ Ama­zon; Barnes & Noble; Bamm.com; Indy bookstores.

Anne’s Ama­zon author page

Ghosts Writing Notes

I’m trad­ing blog posts with Donna G. Dri­ver. I’ve writ­ten a YA with a ghost and her YA with a ghost has just been accepted for pub­li­ca­tion. She told me what inspired her plot. So, here’s her fas­ci­nat­ing story…

Ghosts Writ­ing Notes, by D. G. Driver

If a ghost from the past wanted to com­mu­ni­cate through a series of hand­writ­ten notes, would a teenager today be able to read them? This was the orig­i­nal premise of my soon-to-be-released YA novella Pass­ing Notes.

A cou­ple years ago my 17-year-old daugh­ter was in a rela­tion­ship where I swear the only way she and her boyfriend com­mu­ni­cated was through texts – end­less amounts of non­sen­si­cal (and in my opin­ion, not very roman­tic) texts. I’m pretty sure they never actu­ally talked to each other. At the same time, my younger daugh­ter, who was nine, was learn­ing to write cur­sive. She was in the rare 3rd grade class­room that still taught cur­sive writ­ing, as most ele­men­tary schools have pulled that cur­ricu­lum, edu­ca­tors claim­ing it to be unnec­es­sary. Between the two expe­ri­ences of my chil­dren, I came up with a story idea: a boy is try­ing to win the love of a girl but is fail­ing because he keeps send­ing awk­ward and stu­pid texts or emails. Sud­denly, he begins get­ting a series of hand­writ­ten notes giv­ing him advice about how to write love let­ters and win the affec­tions of this girl. He first has to learn how to decode these mys­te­ri­ous notes, and then he tries to fig­ure out who is send­ing them and why.

I orig­i­nally wrote Pass­ing Notes as a short story, but ear­lier this year I felt inspired to take another look at it and stretch it out to a novella. Revi­sion is my mantra, and I am a big pro­po­nent of never throw­ing away a story idea, because you never know when the muse will visit with the per­fect solu­tion to “fix” what might be going wrong. In this case, my muse told me the story just needed more to it. I wanted to really explore who Mark’s girl Bethany was. Why would actual love let­ters appeal to her more than the ordi­nary texts and emails that every­one else gets? I intro­duced the rival boy at school, and added a cou­ple of Bethany’s girl­friends who aren’t par­tic­u­larly on Mark’s side either. Most impor­tantly, I wanted to build the rela­tion­ship between Mark and the ghost. How are the two of them related, and why does it mat­ter to the ghost so much that Mark win Bethany’s affec­tions?  And then, of course, if he fol­lows the ghost’s advice, will it work?

DonnaD-cryofthesea4 (2)

I was thrilled that Fire and Ice, the pub­lish­ers of my mer­maid novel Cry of the Sea, agreed to pub­lish Pass­ing Notes. It will be released on Jan­u­ary 24th, 2015. In the mean­time, do check out my cur­rent novel about a girl who dis­cov­ers real mer­maids washed up on the beach dur­ing an oil spill. You can sam­ple the first two chap­ters at the publisher’s web site: www.fireandiceya.com/authors/dgdriver/crysea.html Fol­low me on FB or Twit­ter to keep up to date on the release news for Pass­ing Notes, and read some of my other sto­ries for free on Wattpad.

www.dgdriver.com

www.facebook.com/donnagdriver

Twit­ter: @DGDriverAuthor

www.d-g-driver.tumblr.com

http://www.wattpad.com/user/DGDriver

www.pinterest.com/dgdriver

www.instagram.com/d_g_driver#

 

Buy Links for Cry of the Sea:

http://www.parnassusbooks.net/book/9781612357867

(It is my under­stand that if you buy from this indie book store in Nashville, you can request an auto­graphed copy. They will email me, and I just have to drop by the store to sign a copy before they mail it)

http://www.lulu.com/shop/view-cart.ep

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IM0JF06

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/cry-of-the-sea-d-g-driver/1118708060?ean=9781612357867

http://www.bookdepository.com/Cry-Sea-Driver/9781612357867

http://www.booksamillion.com/p/Cry-Sea/D-G-Driver/9781612357867?id=6119232814287

Goodreads Giveaway

Cherish-FrontI’m run­ning a Goodreads give­away through Octo­ber 7, 2014. Cher­ish (A Ghost Mys­tery) takes place in cur­rent time, and in 1946. (Things like that hap­pen with ghosts, you know.)

Sign up for the give­away here.

Read the first two chap­ters here.

It’s the sopho­more Local His­tory ceme­tery visit. Sure, it’s almost Hal­loween, but Kayla has seen that teen-age ghost for years. Why won’t she leave? When the dreamy senior asks Kayla for a date, she decides to prove to her­self that she’s mature and in charge. She’ll tell that ghost to go away. But Kayla shouldn’t have touched the ghost’s cold hand, because that’s when every­thing changed.

Sud­denly, it’s 1946, or is Kayla dream­ing? Is she crazy? Why is her name Cher­ish? Why is her mother at home bak­ing cook­ies when she should be at work? And, she has a father? Didn’t he die years ago? Why is her best friend Trudy instead of Dani? And the thing in her pocket is not a com­pact with a bad mir­ror. DON’T TRY TO OPEN IT!

Text mes­sages do travel across the years, judg­ing from those on her cell phone. But why is Dani mad at her? She isn’t there, is she? It can’t be, but it must. Some­one is tak­ing Kayla’s place in the twenty-first cen­tury. Who?

Fact: Cher­ish is ruin­ing her life in two cen­turies. If Kayla doesn’t find her way home to her own time and her own body, she will die in 1946 with Cherish.

Writes of Passage

Writes of Passage

Writes of Passage

There’s a new book com­ing out from Hen­ery Press on Sep­tem­ber 9. It’s a col­lec­tion of essays from Sis­ters in Crime mem­bers, all designed to por­tray per­sonal sto­ries of authors from multi-published best­selling to wannabes. The sto­ries span most any expe­ri­ence of a writ­ing jour­ney.  Any writer will find pas­sages of sup­port, laugh­ter, and under­stand­ing. Here’s the Ama­zon page for Writes of Pas­sage. (Should I men­tion I’m one of the 59 contributors?)

Cherish on Pre-Order

Cherish12-1-2013-Front-400Ama­zon has a new pro­gram, pre-orders on e-books for self-published authors. I couldn’t miss that with my new book. So Cher­ish is listed here. The e-book will be avail­able on Sep­tem­ber 10. The paper­back page will appear (and be on sale) Sep­tem­ber 1, 2014.

Here’s the blurb: It’s the sopho­more Local His­tory ceme­tery visit. Sure, it’s almost Hal­loween, but Kayla has seen that ghost for years. She wants to make the ghost go away, but she shouldn’t have touched her hand, because, That’s When Every­thing Changed.

Kayla finds her­self in 1946 as some­one else, some­one whose name is on an elab­o­rate tomb­stone. Is she Cher­ish, or is Cher­ish her? Is Cher­ish tak­ing her place?

Fact: Cher­ish is ruin­ing her life in two cen­turies. If Kayla doesn’t find her way home to her own time and her own body, she will die with Cher­ish in a few days.
Ques­tion: Do cell phone texts span the cen­turies? And, if they do, will Kayla’s friends believe her?

 

Revealing Cherish Cover Today

Today is the big day — the big REVEAL! Cher­ish, a ghost mys­tery for young teens is show­ing its face. (Okay, just the eyes.)Cherish12-1-2013-Front-400

This is really Kayla’s story. She’s the 15-year-old Sopho­more who is tired of see­ing things oth­ers don’t see. But when she faces the teenage ghost, it’s Kayla who disappears.

Where did she go? What’s with the year 1946? And why don’t her twenty-first cen­tury friends miss her? Who is tak­ing her place? 

Cher­ish (A YA Ghost Mys­tery) will be pub­lished Sep­tem­ber 1, 2014. If you can’t wait until then, read the first two chap­ters here.

Be pre­pared for a spooky read. Remem­ber — Hal­loween is coming!

Cover Reveal — Coming

In Sep­tem­ber my YA ghost mys­tery, Cher­ish, will be pub­lished (before allCherish-Pre-reveal cover my grand­kids get too old to be inter­ested in Hal­loween sto­ries). I’m doing a cover reveal pro­gram on my Goodreads site. I’ll encour­ag­ing per­spec­tive read­ers (of all ages) to list Cher­ish as “want to read” by giv­ing away a two-chapter PDF.

Here’s the back-cover blurb.

“Cher­ish can’t be my name. It doesn’t sound right. But who am I? I should have lis­tened bet­ter in that mini-psych class in mid­dle school. I’ve heard of bi-polar and mul­ti­ple per­son­al­i­ties. I think. Is this the way peo­ple go crazy?”

Kayla shouldn’t have taken that strange girl’s hand, because that’s when Every­thing Changed.

“And, wasn’t it the twenty-first cen­tury? What’s with the date, Octo­ber 1946? That can’t be right.”

But, if SHE is Cher­ish, how about the date on that tomb­stone? If she doesn’t find a way back to her own body, and her own time.., Kayla will DIE in a few days.

Not on the cover, the ele­va­tor pitch for this mys­tery: How can Kayla return to own cen­tury after she finds her­self in 1946 with only her cell phone and a cou­ple of Twinkies?

Ghosts and Hal­loween — sound like a mys­tery you’d like to read?

I’ve heard of mother-daughter reads. This is a grandmother-granddaughter read. I know, as a grand­mother, I con­tinue to be amazed by every­thing peo­ple do with their cell phones. (And, believe me, I had a lot of younger gen­er­a­tion help while writ­ing about text-messaging — a big part of the mys­tery in this book.) Teens will be just as amazed by last century’s antique social media — the hard-wired tele­phone that isn’t going any­where, or doing much of anything.

 

 

 

Under-the-Tree Good

Vin­nie Hansen, the very first guest I’ve had on this blog, is a retired high school Eng­lish teacher who lives in Santa Cruz, Cal­i­for­nia. From the story she tells me, it sounds like she and her hus­band, artist Daniel S. Fried­man love to travel—and read.


In my fam­ily we have the expres­sion “under-the-tree good.” It refers to a

Vinnie-under treehot South Dakota after­noon when my brother Frank mixed up some orange Kool-Aid for us, his three younger sib­lings. He put ice cubes in it. We sat in a shady spot in the tree line behind the house and drank the bev­er­age from brightly col­ored alu­minum cups. The four of us agreed this was the best Kool-Aid ever. Thus orig­i­nated the stan­dard of under-the-tree good.

How much dif­fer­ence really could there be in one batch of Kool-Aid vs. another? In truth, a con­flu­ence of elements—heat, shade, kind­ness, ice-cubes—conspired to cre­ate the sen­sa­tion of under-the-tree good.

Exter­nals can also shape our expe­ri­ence with a book. I recently read Cara Black’s Mur­der in the Latin Quar­ter while stay­ing in the Latin Quar­ter. The book became a blue print for a scav­enger hunt. My hus­band and I tracked down 61 rue Buf­fon, the scene of the crime.Vinnie-61 rue Buffon Across the street was the lovely Jardin des Plantes. With­out the mys­tery, I may not have vis­ited, although this gar­den is every bit as beau­ti­ful and wor­thy as Jardin du Lux­em­bourg. But I had to go to the gar­den! Pro­tag­o­nist Aimée Leduc escaped through the grounds on her Vespa.Vinnie-Jardin des Plantes2

My hus­band and I walked up into the area where Hem­ing­way lived and Ver­laine wrote his poetry. At the Pan­theon where Vic­tor Hugo is interred, I looked about and thought, “This is where the sec­ond mur­der in the book takes place.”Vinnie-Aimée’s Vespa escape

Impor­tant scenes in the mys­tery involve inhab­i­tants of the cat­a­combs that run under Paris. My hus­band and I didn’t descend into these tun­nels. How­ever, on Pont de la Con­corde, two men, clearly not city work­ers, popped up out of a man­hole and crossed the bridge. I felt as though the book were com­ing alive in front of me! Even though Mur­der in the Latin Quar­ter is set in 1997, it is clear that peo­ple still haunt this under­ground world of Paris.

Even now as I fin­ish the book at home, I fol­low Aimée along the streets of Paris. When she turns onto Rue Cujas, I think, “We were there!”

All this makes read­ing the book an under-the-tree good experience.

My own Carol Sabala mys­tery series is set in what author Laura Crum called a “faith­fully ren­dered” Santa Cruz. Santa Cruz is a tourist-destination beach town full of won­der­ful sights. Like Cara Black’s books, mine are set back in time, but many Santa Cruz land­marks have not changed. I love the idea of a Santa Cruz tourist pick­ing up one of my mys­ter­ies, newly re-released from mis­te­rio press.

While read­ing Mur­der, Honey, maybe he or she will be inspired to eat a burger—meat or veggie—at Carpo’s. If the per­son is in town for our annual Open Stu­dios in Octo­ber, what fun to com­bine the trip with Art, Wine & Bul­lets set dur­ing the art event!

I would love to pro­vide an under-the-tree-good experience.


Vin­nie is in the process of updat­ing her Carol Sabala mys­tery series for re-release by mis­te­rio press, while also work­ing on the next install­ment in the series.

Art, Wine and Bul­lets by VINNIE HANSENVinnie cover-ArtWineBulletsEbook

A Carol Sabala Mur­der Mys­tery
The stran­gled body of a gallery owner offers Carol an oppor­tu­nity to cement her rep­u­ta­tion as a pri­vate eye. Instead, the inves­ti­ga­tion turns into a night­mare dur­ing which Carol unrav­els much more than a mur­der case.

Avail­able through Ama­zon, Barnes & Noble and her pub­lisher mis­te­rio press.
Vinnie’s web site