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Showing posts from July, 2016

My June Book Bub Promo for a Boxed Set by Marla Madison

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My June Book Bub Promo for a Boxed Set




I am fortunate to have had some of my books selected for occasional promotion on Book Bub; one series’ books, anyway.
The summer sales slump hits my books the worst in June and July. I write suspense, and for me, things don’t improve until late July, even early August. So with this in mind, I decided to put the three novels of my TJ Peacock & Lisa Rayburn series into a boxed set for the express purpose of (hopefully!) getting it on Book Bub for a summer promotion.
I got a slot for the set on June 20. Because of the timing (summer slump) I was concerned about sales because the cost for a boxed set promotion is considerable. I paid a little more than one thousand dollars.
I priced the set at $0.99 in an effort to get as many buyers as possible. The downside of this is that price puts it into Amazon’s 30% royalty range. One way around that might be to use Countdown days, but I wanted to have the set on sale longer than the days allowed for a co…

Are Characters with Manners Weak? by Jacqueline Vick

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Are Characters with Manners Weak?

Who remembers the witty dialogue and impossible social situations of old movies like My Man Godfrey and Bringing Up Baby




Bringing Up Baby (1938)
"Now it isn't that I don't like you, Susan, because, after all, in moments of quiet, I'm strangely drawn toward you, but - well, there haven't been any quiet moments."  Bringing Up Baby





My Man Godfrey (1936)
"If you're going to be rude to my daughter, you might as well at least take your hat off!" My Man Godfrey
The movies poked fun at social conventions, but they did it with style.  Being blatantly rude to another person was unthinkable, but that didn't mean one had to remain silent.  It was all in the phrasing.
Rude Response:  "You are so stupid."  Mannered Response: "I was prepared for a battle of the wits, but you appear to be unarmed."
Which person would you vote for as the winner of that confrontation?  The clever one, of course, and unle…

A Missing Post

Once in awhile this happens. An author or publicist contacts me to be a guest on my blog--and the material never arrives. That's what happened here--I should have had a post and all that goes with it yesterday. Of course, it is possible that the post got lost in cyber space.

This makes me sad because someone didn't do what they were supposed to do.

Being a guest on my blog isn't going to bring anyone fame or fortune, but I do get a lot of visitors. I'd even get more if the guests promoted more--some do and I see their promotions. I also promote my posts on my blog.

If someone goes to the trouble of writing a post, he or she ought to take the time to promote it. Most do, but there are those few.

As long as I'm complaining, I have a problem when a guest doesn't respond to comments that others make on their posts, that's only common courtesy,

Of course, I've been blogging for a long time and hosting other authors almost as long. I also am a guest on many b…

Dreaming in Italian by Maria Graza Swan

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I always wanted to be a writer. When I was a little girl, I lived with my grandparents in a 3 story house my grandfather built. One rainy day I went up into the attic to look for something, not sure what. Keep in mind that was before phones, before TVs’ and certainly before computers. I found a wooden crate full of old books. Gialli that’s what mysteries are called in Italy. The books had been left there by my uncle Agostino who migrated to Canada. From then on I spent my week ends in the attic, reading. Agatha Christie, Rex Stout…I loved them all. In school, my best grades were in Literature. My teachers liked my writing, often would read it out loud. Then my parents moved to Belgium and I said goodbye to my grandparents, the attic and the books.

            In Belgium I had to learn French, and I did. Soon my teachers liked my French essays. I still dreamed of becoming a professional writer. By the time I was fourteen, not today’s fourteen, mind you, I entered a short story contest…

Maggie King's Life as a Writer

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I used to think I had to be an English major and hole up in a garret with huge blocks of time in order to call myself a writer. This garret of my imagination is located in the Montmartre district of Paris. I’d turn out novels at an alarming rate on my manual typewriter.

Alas, my background is in business and IT. No garret. No typewriter (thankfully). I work out of the converted bedroom of a 60s-era split level in Richmond, Virginia. I do spend huge blocks of time writing, but not just novels and not at an alarming rate. Short stories, blog posts, and social media posts also flow from my brain and fingers while I shoo cats off my keyboard.
Presently, I’m writing the third volume of my Hazel Rose Book Group series and doing the final edits for the second volume, Murder at the Moonshine Inn. I’m also editing a short story I’ve written for a wine anthology.
I love my work. I love having multiple writing projects. I’m not wedded to technology and find it difficult to be creative on the c…

RIPPER THEFTS AND ANCIENT CODES: Fodder for Fiction

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By Katherine Ramsland

Recently, I published a supernatural murder mystery, The Ripper Letter, based around items related to Jack the Ripper. It all began with a mysterious correspondence known as the letter “From Hell.”
Let’s get some background first about the 1888 crime spree in London’s Whitechapel. Not everyone agrees on when it began, but officially, it was the end of August. Two prostitutes were murdered in two separate events a week apart before the so-called “double event,” two killed on the same night in September. Two weeks later, a letter came to the head of the Whitechapel Vigilance Committee, accompanied by a grisly trophy: half of a kidney, seemingly preserved in alcohol.
There have been many stories about this kidney, from it being a practical joke by a medical student to being the very kidney that had been cut from one of the victims. The note's author indicated that he'd fried and eaten the other half, which was “very nise.” He offered to send "the blo…

Where Do You Get Your Ideas? by B. K. Stevens

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What’s the first question people ask writers? Judging from my experiences, I’d say it’s “Where do you get your ideas?” That’s probably partly because people are fascinated by the creative process, partly because they wonder how a harmless-looking person like me ended up writing so many stories about murder and other crimes. But mostly, I suspect, it’s because so many people are interested in writing, and they want to know where they can find ideas of their own.
I think ideas are everywhere. They hide in slivers of experience, in conversations we overhear and observations we make, in things we read, in anecdotes our friends share. These things don’t have to be dramatic. They usually won’t be. The crucial thing, I think, is to be alert to possibilities and to be ready to combine whatever fragments you find with plenty of imagination. If you do that, your notebook will fill with ideas so quickly you probably won’t be able to write fast enough to turn all of them into finished stories o…

THE JOURNEY TO PUBLICATION AIN'T EASY by Jill Amadio

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Balboa Island isn’t too shabby a place to live if you are banished to the colonies as I was. As a result of my divorce I had to agree to live in America with our three children.  Chance brought me to this small island that is part of Newport Beach on the edge of the Pacific Ocean, the ritziest coastal town in Orange County, California.

A virtual village, quaint and stunningly beautiful, Balboa is a place where nothing untoward ever, ever happens. Several of the beach “cottages” are stylish mansions with yachts bobbing at private docks and everyone goes to bed at 10 p.m. When I lived there crime was non-existent except for an occasional purloined bicycle.  In short, the perfect setting for a murder or two.

I’d spent decades as a journalist and investigative reporter in foreign countries. After ghostwriting a crime novel for a Beverly Hills financier who never read books but wanted his name on one I decided I liked creating crime fiction. I’d developed a series character for him hoping we…

My Interview of Sue McGinty--Marilyn Meredith

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I understand you’ve taken your character to a new location in “Murder in a Safe Haven.” What’s that all about?
As you may remember from “Murder in Mariposa Bay,” Bella’s mom dies and, being a good daughter, she honors her mother’s wishes and brings her ashes back to Detroit for burial. While there she finds new dangers in her old haunts, including the convent where she spent her formative years. The Mariposa Bay book ended with her getting on a plane for Detroit, and the new one opens with her arrival. Poor Bella, in real time she’s been flying around at 39,000 feet for two years.
It’s natural that you should set your mysteries on California’s Central Coast since you live there. What about Detroit? Where did that idea come from?
I’m from Detroit originally and so is Bella. Of course, the city has problems, but those are grist for the writer's mill, right? It also has gorgeous lakes and greenery, warm, "tell-it-like-it-is" folks, and a proud history. It was a major stop on …

My Interview of Sue McGinty--Marilyn Meredith

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I understand you’ve taken your character to a new location in “Murder in a Safe Haven.” What’s that all about?
As you may remember from “Murder in Mariposa Bay,” Bella’s mom dies and, being a good daughter, she honors her mother’s wishes and brings her ashes back to Detroit for burial. While there she finds new dangers in her old haunts, including the convent where she spent her formative years. The Mariposa Bay book ended with her getting on a plane for Detroit, and the new one opens with her arrival. Poor Bella, in real time she’s been flying around at 39,000 feet for two years.
It’s natural that you should set your mysteries on California’s Central Coast since you live there. What about Detroit? Where did that idea come from?
I’m from Detroit originally and so is Bella. Of course, the city has problems, but those are grist for the writer's mill, right? It also has gorgeous lakes and greenery, warm, "tell-it-like-it-is" folks, and a proud history. It was a major stop on …

Writing MY Boston – A New Take on a Familiar City By Bridges DelPonte

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For decades, Boston has been a popular “scene of the crime” for a wide range of well-known mystery and crime novels.  From hard-boiled PIs and gritty Irish mobsters to trendy Back Bay urbanites and posh Beacon Hill Brahmins, this city of distinct neighborhoods has played an important role in many famous works.  Years ago when I told a friend that I was starting to write a mystery series set in the Boston area, she asked, “Why bother?  Boston has been so done.”  I understood her reaction, having admired these earlier novels set in my hometown.  But I knew that the famed Boston archetypes in those books did not capture my Boston.
My Boston wasn’t in Southie, Back Bay or Beacon Hill, but across the river in the tight-knit Portuguese community of East Cambridge.  My grandparents, who emigrated from Madeira and the Azores, lived the rest of their lives in this neighborhood.  My parents met and married there before taking their growing brood to the nearby suburbs.  I also moved back to Eas…