I have a new cover for my first book, Yesterday’s Body. Inside the book, my amateur sleuth is just the same. On the cover, she’s changed.
The first cover was done by the small publisher, Wings ePress. Then, after my contract with them was up, I self-published with a cover by my daughter, Donna Hedricks. Now, since I’m about to publish a sequel, I wanted them to match. So… a new cover, by Karen Phillips. But let’s face it. Jo’s image has changed.
Of course, I must admit, there’s not much of Jo on the third cover. But they all have the yellow cat.
There are a lot of good books listed on Kindle Scout for readers to nominate. Forgotten Body is mine. It’s a good deal for readers as well as authors. The program lists each accepted book for thirty days, then gives readers the opportunity to nominate their favorites. Best part—when a book is chosen for publication by Kindle Scout, all those who nominated that title get it free (as an e-book) shortly before publication.
The program is good for authors too as they receive an advance and a favorable contract.
My blurb: Jo Durbin, embedded reporter, covers a reenactment of America’s forgotten War of 1812. Piece of cake. Action, faux dead bodies, pretend battles, and everyday lives of the RVers (Workampers)—all fodder for her pen. Except there’s a real body, forgotten in the grass. With the victim’s checkered past, suspects multiply. When children are endangered, Jo follows a figment of her imagination despite any help or hindrance from her sister, a friend, and the man who wants to be more than a friend.
I’m gearing up to sell my books at a local Christmas bazaar. Books will be in the minority of products. There will be sewn lovelies, cut felt hangings, hand-made jewelry, paintings, and a variety of decorated items wanting to be under someone’s Christmas tree. There will be commercial booths with candy and goodies galore that may not last until Christmas. (I know, any I buy will suffer that fate.)
Ah, but books? One can partake of their delights and still gift them to others. (That’s what often happen to my holiday purchases. However, one must hold the book only partially open so as not to crack the spine, definitely not dog-ear any pages, and never read while eating anything sticky.)
And after the bazaar? Will I count my money, always assuming I actually sell a few books instead of buying others’ goodies. Well, hopefully. But I’ll go back to promoting my book that is currently available for nomination at Kindle Scout. (You knew I wouldn’t miss that opportunity right now.)
That taken care of, I wonder how many of you participate in Holiday Bazaars. Or, do you suffer (like me), with ambivalent thoughts of—what? It isn’t even Thanksgiving yet.
November 14, 2015, is the big day! I just got word this morning (the 12th). My next mystery, Forgotten Body, will be on Kindle Scout.
Okay, you want to know exactly what Kindle Scout is? It’s partly a choose-your-own-read, in that anyone can nominate books they would like to read. After giving the reading public thirty days to choose a book, Amazon decides which ones they will publish in e-book form. (Part of their decision is based on the book’s popularity.) The best part for the reader: You receive a free e-book copy of each of the books you nominated. Okay, that’s only true if they decide to publish the book. (If not, they tell you where it is available.) As a reader, I’ve nominated many books I’d like to read. (They allow three nominations at a time.) Several have been published by Kindle Scout, so I’ve received free e-books. They were all great reads. They earned four or five stars when I placed my reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. (Since I know those reviews help the author and the reader, I try to review every book I read.)
Of course, there’s good news for the author too. The Kindle Scout program offers a favorable contract with advance and royalties, as well as publicity.
The Kindle Scout site for Forgotten Body will include the one sentence teaser, the blurb, and almost all of the first two chapters. It will even tell you something about me and ask me questions. (I answer, of course.) Meanwhile, I’ll tell you Forgotten Body is a sequel to Yesterday’s Body. Jo Durbin, my amateur detective will do her thing (along with that elusive, imaginary cat) at a reenactment of the War of 1812. On Saturday the 12th, the whole thing will go live here. So visit, and if you like what you see, nominate. If you have any questions, ask here.
I enjoyed this book tremendously. Rather surprised me— It’s in 14-year-old Charlie’s viewpoint (and I’m a great-grandma). Grandma’s really should say something like this is scandalous—a child driving a car half-way across the country, aided and abetted by his grandfather who is seriously ill, dodging the police and evading his parents. But that’s not what I want to say. I say, “Go for it!” (Just don’t let MY grandson try this 😉 ) It’s thoughtful, surprising, and sounds just right.
This book is from Edgar Award-nominated author Ben Rehder. The average readers review is 4.6. Most think it quite wonderful. It’s hilarious with a quite serious undertone, I guess you might say. One review gave it a good score for the writing, but didn’t agree with the viewpoint.
Since this is recommended for ages 13 to adult, it might be on your list for holiday giving. Amazon listing here.
First, I just heard about this book yesterday. Second, I have not read it. So, how can I list it as one of my five-star reads? By a bit of slight of hand—magic, if you will.
It’s somebody’s five star read. In fact, it has way over 200 reviews on Amazon with an average of 4.9 stars.
So, how did I come to choose it? How did I hear about it? My good old local newspaper. Seems the book was the pick of patrons of 80 libraries in six counties in my part of Pennsylvania as the book to read for One Book: One Community.
Sounds like an excellent pick. The book blurb is: “One fateful day in 1996, after discovering that five freight cars’ worth of glittering corn have reaped a tiny profit of $18.16, young Forrest Pritchard vows to save his family’s farm. What ensues–through hilarious encounters with all manner of livestock and colorful local characters–is a crash course in sustainable agriculture. Pritchard’s biggest ally is his renegade father, who initially questions his son’s career choice and rejects organic foods for sugary mainstream fare. But just when the farm starts to turn heads at local farmers’ markets, his father’s health takes a turn for the worse. With poetry and humor, this inspiring memoir tugs on the heartstrings and feeds the soul long after the last page is turned.”
The book will be available in all the libraries, preparing for the early 2016 events. Does your local bookstore carry this book? Probably. It’s also available by order from Amazon and Barnes and Nobel. Considering the complete title: Gaining Ground: A Story Of Farmers’ Markets, Local Food, And Saving The Family Farm, sounds like a winner to me.
Deadly Occupation is a just-published prequel to the other Michael Stoddard historic mysteries. Lieutenant Stoddard is a British officer stationed in the American colonies during the Revolution. As such, one might not think him a hero to a 2015 American reader, but that is not a concern for this American reader. I have read the other mysteries in this series, and while I recognize characters from those, this book gives backgrounds of characters without spoiling or revealing anything from other books.
The Stoddard books bring out the ambiguity in America at that time. There were Americans who preferred British rule as well as those who didn’t. (And there were nasties on each side, one revealed for sure.) Deadly Occupation also illustrates the ambiguities of historians, for Suzanne Adair has delved into history that is seldom reported. Makes for a (excuse me) damn good read!
Other readers agree. Here’s a bit from one Amazon five-star review: “Michael Stoddard is a young, 27-year-old, Lieutenant with a gift for solving crimes, a chin full of blemishes, and a murky past. In this novel, he chooses an assistant, 18-year-old Nick Spry. Spry has his own talents, an eye for detail and a relaxed way with people that encourages them to open up to him. He’s young, but he’s no one’s fool. They are an unlikely pair, yet they get results.
“Whether stationed in one location or on the move with the Regiment, the settings are well-crafted with historical details that bring each scene to life. The suspects and characters populating the novels are realistic, with basic human motivations. They are colorful, interesting, and many are seemingly drawn from authentic historic figures.”
One place to order Deadly Occupation is Amazon. (There are others as well.)
I’m twittering memes, even though I’m not sure memes is the word I want. According to the dictionary a meme (meem) is “an idea, behavior, or style that spreads from person to person within a culture”. So, I can only hope my memes will fit that description.
And why do I hope that? Because I’m using them to advertise on Twitter. I’m hoping the countdown project I’m running for one of my books this week will catch some attention, and some purchasers. What do you think? Some of them are below. (Successful promotion for the self-published is just another writing skill. Hope I’m accomplish
And, by the way, you may have noted this Monday post is not my usual review of a five star book. (Tune in next week when I’ll be back on schedule.)
I really love M. Louisa Locke’s historic mysteries. When she announced that she had joined a group writing about a future world, despite not being a science fiction reader, I had to check it out. I’m certainly glad I did. Between Mountain And Sea: Paradisi Chronicles is this week’s five star read.
This is the story of Mei Lin Yu in the future world of New Eden. It takes place a century and a half after ten families left an increasingly devastated Earth to colonize the distant planet.
Chapters begin with the 2092 AD diary entries of Mei Lin’s ancestor. But the story is Mei Lin’s. She’s a teenager who doesn’t really want to follow her parents’ desires, that she train at a top university for a successful career. She has trouble taking tests, but misses the all important test when minor surgery on her eyes goes wrong. She is dumped in the ancestral home that is far from the elite centers. But she loves it there. The relatives she meets for the first time, the original planet natives, the land, the animals—all seem more real to her than the life she had so far led.
I’d better not tell more. It’s hard for me, but it would ruin the story for others, and I won’t do that. Just believe it only gets better. I recommend it for all lovers of a good story. YA appropriate as well.
My question today: Do you sometimes read outside your usual favorite genre?
The years my husband and I spent sailing on Chesapeake Bay and beyond contributed to my mystery writing. For one, I found a couple of boats I wanted to include in my stories. One, a small lobster boat converted to a live-aboard cruiser, is front and center of my second published mystery. Here’s the picture, and here’s the resulting cover.
That’s just one of my stories. As one of the contributors to the Sisters in Crime Writes of Passage, I visited the Henery Press Blog (no longer active). I told them why I place my mysteries on Chesapeake Bay.