Showing posts from June, 2012

Five Lazy Ways to Write Better Stories, by Dr. John Yeoman


Next Personal Appearance, SJ SinC

In case you don't know what those cryptic abbreviations are, it stands for San Joaquin Sisters in Crime chapter. This is my home chapter, in fact I am one of several founding members.

Our chapter has moved its meeting place a few times, but right now we're meeting at the Yosemite Falls Cafe on Ashlan in Fresno.

I love this chapter. Because of speakers we've had in the law enforcement profession, I've gotten lots of ideas for plots and subplots in both my Deputy Tempe Crabtree mysteries and the Rocky Bluff P.D. crime series.

This coming Saturday, July 7th, between 11 and 12, I'll be the speaker for the chapter. We're going to do something fun--a presentation I've given many different places, :"How to Write a Mystery." (The meeting starts at 10:30 and you'll need to make reservations.)

What we're going to do is brainstorm and figure out the skeleton for a mystery. As a group we'll decide upon what kind of mystery: cozy, police procedural…

Review: A Fair

The Unexpected Pleasures of Marketing

by Mar Preston
I thought I knew what marketing was before I published my two mysteries featuring Detective Dave Mason of the Santa Monica Police Department. Something to do with hustling, standing on a street corner waving my book at traffic, grabbing the mic and chattering on about me, me, me.  The thought made me flinch. Instead I discovered a more pleasant reality. In the year following the publication of the first one, No Dice, I went to conferences, among them Bouchercon and Left Coast Crime. I had worked up an elevator speech about my books but, hey, nobody asked me. There were pleasant moments, yes, but I felt as though I was at a high school reunion where everyone knew each other and I hadn’t graduated yet. Eventually I was invited to chair a couple of panels. The purpose of the moderator is to showcase the panelists and that I was comfortable doing. And it gave me something to blog about. I’m more comfortable behind a keyboard than making small talk and sneaking in a me…

R. P. Dahlke Reveals Inspiration for A Dead Red Oleander

I asked Rebecca aka R.P. Dahlke to tell me why she wrote A Dead Red Oleander and here's her answer:
 This is the 3rd in the Lalla Bains mystery series, and though I've wrestled with continuing a series based on a woman cropduster since my son and muse for this series died, readers have made one thing I didn't see, very clear: It's never been about the flying. All they talk about are my characters. 
Well, gee, I can do that. So I decided that I could continue to create mischief with yet another gang of miscreants, the kind of people that readers learn to love, or hate, but they don't forget them, either. So I added some new characters, one or two who will continue into the next book, and a few who won't. 
Now a whole year ago, when I started working on the outline, nobody had any books out on the subject of Witness Protection… well, okay, not anybody who wrote humorous mysteries featuring the tenacious, exasperating, Lalla, and her taciturn, cranky ol' cropd…

What Makes you Decide to Buy a Book?

What I want to know is if there is any particular promotion that might tickle your fancy enough to buy a book? I don't care if you buy it for your Kindle or Nook or other reading device, or a paper book.

In today's world so many people are writing books because it is no longer necessary to go through the agent/publisher process to get a book published. For no dollars you can publish on Kindle or Smashwords. If you have a good book,  you can find a small press who will publish you in paper and electronically for not outlay of cash.

So what tickles your fancy enough to make you buy a book?

Is it the cover? The blurb on the back of the cover? What you've read about it on the Internet? Reviews? What people are saying about it?

Have you ever bought a book because of what you read on a blog? Or followed an author on a blog tour promoting a book?

What about Facebook, has that ever influenced you to buy a book? Or any other social media?

Today we're told over and over if you w…

Review of City of the Dead

City of the Dead, by Daniel Blake

The book begins with a tsunami where Franco Patrese escapes with his life, but his girlfriend doesn't.

The story jumps to a murder in New Orleans and Marie Laveau, so-called Queen of the Underworld and voodoo authority where Patrese is now an FBI agent. He is caught up in the investigation of unusual and gory murders involving the amputation of a leg and an axe in the middle of the forehead.

Many threads are woven through this sometimes wild and adventurous thriller--threads that at times become what seem to be hopelessly tangled. Much is revealed about New Orleans politics and the mysticism of the city itself as the story moves along at a breath-taking pace.

The climax and solution to the mysteries coincides with Hurricane Katrina with conclusions that have a strong element of truth.

Highly recommended to those who like excitement on nearly every page and don't mind a bit of gore.


This books was sent to me by Simon and Schuster.

A Case of Fatal Attraction by K. Dawn Byrd

Cover Blurb: Zoe is thrilled when she lands her first paying case until she learns she'll be going undercover at a local blood bank. The fact that she faints at the sight of blood makes working there more than difficult. Who would steal blood and what would they do with it? Is her creepy vampire-like coworker using it in a cult ritual?

When Zoe learns that Nate will be working undercover with her, she's overjoyed. She soon finds that the gorgeous Rikki's attraction to Nate is too distracting and considers throwing him off the case. Zoe questions his loyalty even as Nate proclaims that she's the only girl for him.

Nothing is as it seems and Zoe has no clue who can be trusted. Who's stealing the blood? Is it the director? The vampire-like guy with the fangs who wears all black? Or, her gorgeous co-worker who has a thing for Nate?
Questionnaire: 1)How did this story come to you?
Sometimes I get the strangest ideas! I love a good mystery and I love romance, but you don&…

Springville Community Club Tea to Enjoy, Book to Share

This was a fun event. The table hostesses sell tickets to those they invite to come (there's only so much room and women clamor for the tickets.) The hostess chooses the book to talk about and decorates her table with that theme.

The table I sat at was decorated for the book One for the Money. There was a gun in the cookies, a cooked chicken on the table, a hamster in a soup can. Fun, fun, fun. I did take a photo but for some reason it didn't come out.

 I'm Pissed Off was the name of this book and had been written by the hostess' husband. See the toilet? Interesting table decoration.

This one is Heaven is Real by Todd Burpo.

The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford.

The Summer House by Jude Deveraux

Thirteen Moons by Charles Frazier

Paris Wife by Paula McLean

Other books represented were The Bee Keeper's Apprentice by Laurie King; 19 Minutes by Jodi Picoult, The No. 2 Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith.
The menu consisted of Chai Tea and …

Review: Blessed are the Dead