Thursday, August 30, 2012

Buying Readership

A recent New York Times article described how Todd Rutherford started a company, (now defunct), to collect money from self-published authors in exchange for generating positive 5-star reviews on Amazon for their books--sometimes hundreds of reviews. And the "reviewers" that he paid to write those reviews usually never read the books. Also, the NYT piece quotes Mr. Bing Liu, a data mining expert, who "estimates that about one-third of all consumer reviews on the Internet are fake."

One self-published author who paid for 300 of those positive reviews is none other than John Locke, who is widely touted as a successful self-published writer and who has published a book on How I Sold 1 Million eBooks in 5 Months! However, nowhere does he say in that book that he bought reviews. Also, part of his payment to included compensating the reviewers for buying their copies of his books (that they didn't read) on Amazon. So, he was paying people to buy his books!

And you know what? It worked. People were sucked in by all those positive reviews and bought his books. He made a boatload of money.

And I, who stick to the high road, who has never paid for a review or paid someone to purchase my book on-line, haven't.

My mystery novels have received positive reviews from all four of the "big four" established review publications (Booklist, Kirkus Reviews, Library Journal, Publishers Weekly), none of which I paid for or even asked for. And my books have received positive reviews from ethical independent reviewers such as Kevin Tipple and Lori Caswell, again which I have not paid for.

Locke admits to buying reviews because "Reviews are the smallest piece of being successful, but it's a lot easier to buy them than cultivating an audience."

And cultivating an audience is what I've been working VERY hard at for many, many years. It's enough to make an honest author weep in frustration.

What can YOU do about this scandal? First, if you enjoyed reading a book by your favorite author, write a heartfelt positive review for it and post it on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads, or wherever YOU go to for on-line customer reviews. Help raise the percentage of real, honest reviews on-line. Second, take on-line customer reviews of books, especially on Amazon, with a sizable grain of salt. Compare them to reviews from professional reviewers. Look at what else those customer reviewers have reviewed and if they've ever given a review for a book that's less than 5-stars.

Educate yourself! Hopefully, a side benefit will be that you won't be taken in by fake rave reviews and you won't waste your money on bad books. There are plenty of good books to go around. I hope you'll include mine in your list:

A Real Basket Case
To Hell in a Handbasket
Deadly Currents
Wicked Eddies

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Googling Book Titles

Sometimes I'll type my name into Google to see what pops up, and if what pops up is some out-of-date information on an old website about me, I'll try to update it--or arrange to get it updated. When I Google my book titles, however, I reap more interesting results. I thought I'd share some with you, at least those that have nothing to do with the books themselves. I hope you enjoy these strange links related to my book titles, but I also hope you'll be intrigued enough to read the books themselves.

A Real Basket Case:

An article about a master basket weaver in Pinehurst, NC.

A really boring YouTube video about a cat who likes to sit in baskets.

A cartoon.

A T-shirt.

A review on how Glee went from brilliant to basket case.

To Hell in a Handbasket:

A Wikipedia article on the meaning of the phrase.

A Mother Jones article about the world going to hell in a handbasket.

A blog about a psychotronic/classics cinema experience.

The lyrics to Voltaire's song with that title.

A great quote by James St. James.

Deadly Currents:

IMDb's information about a movie of that title.

A YouTube video of a beautiful beach in Aruba known for its, you got it, deadly currents!

An article about QR codes being used to warn people of deadly currents.

An ABC how-to video on how to survive deadly rip tide currents.

An article about contaminated water killing the Yangtze finless porpoise, the last river-dwelling porpoise on the planet.

Wicked Eddies:

Information about a guitar workshop of that name in the United Kingdom.

A poem titled "Boyhood" that includes the phrase "Where unclad sin, in wicked eddies whirled!".

A fishing report from Darwin, Australia.

A ballad.

The resume of someone who is looking to crew on a boat.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Get Lost in a Story--Mine!

Today I am a guest on the Get Lost in a Story blog. I hope you will read my answers to their fun interview questions there -- and answer the question I ask of their blog readers. Every comment will be an entry in a book giveaway contest, so what are you waiting for?!

Also, just a reminder that the $1.99 Amazon sale of the Kindle versions of my two RM Outdoor Adventures series books ends today, so hurry to these links if you haven't snatched up your copies yet:

Deadly Currents

Wicked Eddies

 PS. Tell your mystery-reading friends!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Fruits and Vegetables

Yesterday at the Inkspot blog, I talked about editing a manuscript--and my body. I said one of the strategies I'm using to reshape my body is to eat lots and lots of organic fruits and vegetables to push all the high-calorie and high-fat foods off my plate. To do this, my husband and I have signed up for a double vegetable share and a single fruit share from Grant Family Farms in Colorado. The farm is a certified organic CSA (community supported agriculture) operation. Supporters like us pay for food shares to be delivered directly from the farm to us via a drop-off location (usually a private home) in our town or neighborhood. To learn more, and to see if there is a CSA farm near you, start your research at the Grant Family Farms website.

Anyway, below is last week's delivery, spread across half of my kitchen counter:

Clockwise from the top left are tomatoes, plums, peaches, two heads of lettuce (leaf and butter), two green peppers, spinach, parsley, mustard greens, cilantro, beets, carrots, green onions, an eggplant, four zucchini, and two cucumbers. That's a lot of food! What did I do with it? Well, we ate lots of salads, vegetable stir-fries and omelets with veggies, of course. And, we had whole fruit for breakfast, snacks, and desserts. I made zucchini brownies and a plum-peach cobbler. I also made peach salsa for tacos, and my husband grilled eggplant planks brushed with olive oil and ground garlic (yum!). Everything was seasoned with the cilantro, parsley and/or green onions, as well as spices we had on hand.

I can't wait to see what I get this week!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Editing a Manuscript -- and a Body

Today I am blogging at Inkspot, the Midnight Ink author blog, about editing a manuscript--and my body, and the parallels between the two efforts. I hope you will share your advice for both efforts with me in the comments there!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Sale! Sale! Sale!

Great news! Amazon has put the Kindle version of both books in my RM Outdoor Adventures mystery series starring whitewater river ranger Mandy Tanner on sale from August 11 - 23 as part of its "August Big Deal" promotion. You can get Deadly Currents and Wicked Eddies for just $1.99 each. Move fast to take advantage of this special promotion, and please spread the word to all of your mystery reading friends!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Today's Mystery Author Guest: Jess Lourey

As promised yesterday, fellow mystery author Jess Lourey is visiting my blog today. To read her bio and see her photo, please page down to yesterday's post.

The photo above is the cover for her recent July release, The Toadhouse Trilogy: Book One, which begins her new young adult series. In the book, Aine (pronounced "Aw-nee") believes herself to be a regular teenager in 1930s Alabama, but when a blue-eyed monster named Biblos attacks, she discovers that the reclusive woman raising her isn't really her grandmother, that fairies are real, and that she's been living inside a book for the past five years. With her blind brother, Spenser, she flees the pages of the novel she's called home, one terrifying step ahead of Biblos' black magic. Her only chance at survival lies in beating him to the three objects that he desires more than life.

As she undertakes her strange and dangerous odyssey, Aine must choose between a family she doesn't remember and her growing attraction to a mysterious young man named Gilgamesh. Only through treacherous adventures into The Time Machine, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, A Tale of Two Cities, and the epic Indian saga The Ramayana will she learn her true heritage and restore the balance of the worlds... if she can stay alive.

Wow! That sounds like a pretty amazing story to me! Below is Jess's guest article. I'm sure it will prompt many questions from my readers, and Jess is happy to try to answer them.


Hello! My name is Jess Lourey, and I write the critically-acclaimed Murder-by-Month Mystery series. Those books have been lucky enough to have earned multiple starred reviews from Library Journal and Booklist, as well as two nominations for the Lefty Award for best humorous mystery. So why would I take time away from writing successful mysteries to self-publish a young adult novel? The short answer is easy: I had the idea for the YA book in my head, and once I got it written, my agent couldn't find a home for it. The long answer is, well, longer:

1. I'd been wanting to self-publish for a while. I heard the rumors--lots of money to be made, total control over the book, they sell themselves--and I wanted to know if it was true. Turns out it isn't, at least not yet, not for me. My book has been available for two weeks and only sold 47 copies. I just sent out 30 review copies and will soon be taking advantage of Kindle's free promotion, so hopefully I'll see a spike, but this definitely is not money printing itself.

2. I believe in the story I wrote. It combines fantasy, adventure, and classic literature, and there were times when I was writing it that I got completely lost in the story in the best possible way. I think it's a story others will enjoy, and so I invested $3000 in professional editing, $650 in professional cover art, $400 in professional interior design, $100 for an ISBN, $25 for expanded distribution, and another $500 in marketing. Will I see that investment back? Right now, it feels like I spent good money that I didn't have on a couple magic beans, but I have hope they will sprout.

3. Writing is always a gamble. We open ourselves up to criticism of our deepest ideas, our imagination, and our ability when we publish a book, each time. It doesn't get any easier, at least not for me. In some ways, it feels harder because there is more to lose. However, I believe we are all connected by stories, and that the writer's job is an important one.

4. I don't do well with "what-ifs." I would rather regret trying and failing than not try at all. I realize this can be a dangerous game, and it's the reason a lot of self-published books get a bad rap. The writer puts a lot of work into their story, and they don't pay attention to what their agent or the market is telling them, which is that their book isn't quite where it needs to be yet. If self-publishing had been popular when I completed my first book (1997), I would have published that steaming pile quicker than you could have said "you sure?" It would still be haunting me today. Fortunately, I didn't have that option. Also, my agent loves The Toadhouse. Most of the publishers loved The Toadhouse; they just said that classic literature wouldn't sell with teens. I disagree. I think teens are some of the savviest readers out there, and they're smart.

So, yeah. I'm barely a month into my self-publishing experience, and it's scary, and overwhelming, and humbling. It's also a great adventure. I'd be happy to share any of my hard-earned lessons with you, so ask away!

Jess Lourey

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Tomorrow's Guest: Jess Lourey

Tomorrow, mystery and YA (young adult) author Jess Lourey will be a guest on my blog. Jess is the author of the critically-acclaimed Murder by Month Mysteries. The eighth, December Dread, will be released October 2012. In a starred review of the seventh, November Hunt, Booklist writes, "It's not easy to make people laugh while they're on the edge of their seats, but Lourey pulls it off!" The Toadhouse Trilogy: Book One, the first in her young adult series that celebrates the power of stories, will be released August 2012. Jess teaches writing and sociology at a Minnesota community college, is a member of The Loft and Sisters in Crime, and serves on the national board of the Mystery Writers of America.

In her guest post tomorrow, Jess talks about why she went from traditionally publishing mysteries to self publishing young adult novels. I'm sure you'll be intrigued by what she has to say. Then, feel free to ask her some questions in the comments.

Monday, August 13, 2012

What I've Been Reading Lately

Fiction authors, especially proficient and prolific ones, are first and foremost prolific readers. I still try to read at least one fiction novel a week, even when I'm in the midst of a busy schedule of research, writing, editing, or promoting. And I don't just read mysteries, my genre, though I do read a lot of those. I deliberately joined a women's book club that reads books other than mysteries to pull me outside my genre and broaden my horizons. The first book below was the book club selection for this month's discussion.

Sea of Poppies by Amitav Ghosh: This novel, published in 2009, is the first in a trilogy, the second of which, River of Smoke, was published in 2011. Hopefully the third will be released next year. It's a vast, ambitious tale that follows a large cast of characters, who in the first book start out widely separated, then are drawn together through a disparate web of circumstances to start an ocean journey together on the ship called Ibis. The Ibis is transporting indentured workers to Mauritaus. The story takes place in India during the early 1800s, during the period of the Opium Wars with China. The book is crammed full of Indian terms and sailing slang, which I had a horrible time trying to figure out the meaning of from context. Then I did a head slap at the end when I realized a dictionary was provided at the back of the book. Duh! I'm sure my reading experience would have been better had I known. So, here's my hint: refer to the dictionary for the first few chapters, so you can understand what's going on!

Wayward Saints by Suzzy Roche (of the Roche Sisters a capella singing group): This book will be released in August, and I was lucky enough to snag an ARC. I haven't finished it yet, but I'm about two thirds of the way through it, and I'm thoroughly enjoying the read. The book follows singer Mary Saint, who crashed and burned after her rock/grunge band Sliced Ham folded, and her staid, suburban mother, Jean Saint. Mary has been invited back to her former high school in Swallow, New York, to give a concert, and the upcoming appearance is rattling both her and her mother. You fall in love with the broken, emotional characters in the book through the beauty of Suzzy's writing. I recommend it!

Nowhere to Run by CJ Box: I've been a big fan of the Joe Pickett Wyoming game warden series until this book. It's well written, but it just got a little too political for me. Based somewhat on a true story, the book chronicles Joe's run-ins with two mountain men who are twin brothers. Violence abounds, and while you're reading it, you think there's no way this can end well, and it doesn't. If you like dark fiction, this is for you.

Dare to Die by Carolyn Hart: This is the ninth book in Carolyn's Death on Demand series about Annie Darling, a mystery bookstore owner in Broward's Rock, a sea island town in South Carolina. I've read and enjoyed many of the books in this series. In this book, Iris, a troubled former island resident, returns to the island, disturbing her former classmates--and a murderer. Carolyn consistently delivered an engaging mystery puzzle to solve in this book, but it wasn't one of my favorites in the series.

There you have it! What have you been reading? Got any recommendations for me?

Friday, August 10, 2012

Good Times with the Highlands Ranch Library Mystery Book CLub

Recently, I visited the Highlands Ranch Library near Denver, CO, to meet with their Mystery Book Club. The club had chosen my Deadly Currents mystery, the first in my RM Outdoor Adventures series, to be their discussion book for the month of August. We started off the meeting with a Q&A session where members asked me how I got into mystery writing, how I wrote my books, about the whitewater rafting research I did for Deadly Currents, and what the life of an author was like. Then we got into the Discussion Questions that I provide on my website for the book, as I do for all of my books. We wrapped up with some socializing and book signing, then we posed for the group photos shown below. I had a great time with the group and hope to see at least some of them again at the Left Coast Crime conference in Colorado Springs next spring.

Would you like me to visit with your book club, either in person or via Skype or speakerphone? Contact me at my website and let's make it happen!

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Today's Mystery Author Guest: Rex Burns

Today Edgar Award winning mystery author Rex Burns is guesting on my blog, with an article about his short story protagonist, Aboriginal Constable Leonard Smith, who will appear in one of Rex's short stories to be published in the October, 2012 issue of Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine. I hope you enjoy the article, and if you have a question for Rex about his short stories, or anything else, please feel free to ask it in the comments!

Australia, for me, is a land of fascination: Sydney, with its magnificent harbor and haunting echoes of settlement at the Rocks; Melbourne, rivaling San Francisco in its mix of sophistication, dining, and entertainment; Perth, reminiscent of sunny San Diego fifty years ago. But most emphatically, The Kimberley.

This thinly settled region of northwest Australia, a thousand kilometers north of Perth, ranges from the spinifex-clad deserts of the south up to the tropical coral beaches along the Indian Ocean and the Timor Sea. From east to west it's 600 kilometers from the old pearling center of Broome to the modern, booming town of Kununurra; and it includes vast and empty plains, low but challenging mountain ranges, deep gorges, outcroppings of phantasmagoric boulder fields and hoodoos, and rivers that flood in the Wet and disappear in the Dry. It's a landscape that, in addition to having unique and interesting characteristics, provides a writer with a variety of emotional effects that can intensify or even comment on a character's mood or the story's action.

It is also part of the single largest police district in the world.

Much of the region is maintained as Aboriginal Reserves. These have their own native police with limited authority, a governing council representing the various skin-groups that inhabit the Reserve, and a web of social services whose complexity varies with the needs of the population. There is also a very gray area of authority: local Reserve authority versus that of the state of West Australia and of the federal Australian Government. The resulting ambiguity in responsibility is being clarified by various court cases and provides rich material for developing complexities in plot and police activity.

The Reserves also have their share, and often more than their share, of violence and crime. Alcoholism and its attendant problems is a serious issue on almost every Reserve, along with petrol sniffing by the young people, narcotics use, child molestation, theft, and explosive violence. In short, despite the exotic cultural make-up of the population, the police concerns are familiar and mirror both the criminal activity and racial jealousies of the larger Australian society. For this writer, it's not so much the specific criminal activity that draws attention as it is the personalities, manners, and culture of those involved in those activities.

Constable Leonard Smith, the short stories' protagonist who is half-Aborigine and half-White, is my link between the Kimberley's physical and cultural settings and the reader who is probably not familiar with the region. Like many mixed-blood orphans, he was taken away from the Reserve to receive schooling in the British tradition. It was felt, and in many cases it was true, that a white education better prepared the child for life in the modern world. It also meant that Smith grew up largely ignorant of his mother's Yawuru culture, myths, and language. This allows me to hide my own ignorance of Aboriginal life behind Smith's ignorance. But his (and my) gradual education in Aboriginal lore as each case unfolds allows the reader to learn as well, and hopefully to do so without slowing the tale's action or making the author seem pedantic in presenting a point.

In addition to finding material in the unique landscape and cultures, the languages of both the Aboriginals and of the Sandgropers—as West Australians are called—have their own idioms. Many Aboriginals speak three, four, or five languages: their own tribal language, the language of one or more adjoining groups, Kriol—the lingua franca of the bush—and English. The latter is, of course, the Australian variety which is rich in linguistic play. The challenge for me, writing for an American audience, is to keep a feel of authenticity in the diction, syntax, and rhythms of my characters' speech without confusing the reader as to the meaning of that speech. Sometimes I am successful, sometimes not; but when in doubt, I err on the side of linguistic authenticity and rely on the intelligence of the reader to grasp at least a sense of a term's meaning. Sometimes this can be achieved by associating an unfamiliar phrase with a clarifying action: "'Ha!' Teeth flashed in the woman's face, then disappeared like, Leonard thought, a crack of lightning during the Build Up to the Wet.' Other times an outright definition can't be avoided: "'Miss Daisy! Bibi Daisy!' Leonard still referred to her with the Yawuru word for his mother's sister." And often the reader can guess what a colorful term means: "Left me bloody-well gob-smacked, it did."

Constable Smith is, and will remain, a personality undergoing development. His ignorance of his own heritage provides a psychological tension that, I hope, will give room for that development. On the one hand is the strength provided by his objective view of both Aboriginal and White cultures. On the other is an often-felt uncertainty about the accuracy of his perception of those people he must analyze for truth and motive. The result causes him to be almost self-effacing, except when he needs to exercise his authority. Acutely observant of human nature in manifold forms, he shows the curiosity of an orphan growing up in a world of divergent and often conflicting values. This allows him to achieve acts of justice that are not always sanctioned by White Law or by Aboriginal Law.

And he provides me with a good tool to explore a fascinating place and people.

What an interesting character! Now, does anyone have a comment or question for Rex Burns?

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Tomorrow's Guest: Rex Burns

Tomorrow mystery author Rex Burns will visit my blog with a guest article about his ongoing short story protagonist, Constable Leonard Smith. Rex Burns' The Alvarez Journal won an Edgar Award. The Avenging Angel was made into a film starring Charles Bronson. Fifteen of his novels were just published in e-format by Mysterious Press. Please visit the Mysterious Press website or  Rex Burns' website to learn more. Constable Leonard Smith stories currently appear in the Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine.

I'm sure you'll be intrigued by what Rex has to say. Then, feel free to ask him some questions in the comments.

Friday, August 03, 2012

What I've Been Working On Lately

First, I hope those of you who read Mystery Scene magazine have read my New Books article, "Fishing for a Mystery" on page 58 of the latest issue, Number 125, to promote Wicked Eddies, the second book in my RM Outdoor Adventures series. The editors and I had a lot of fun with the article, including adding a list of fly-fishing terms just before the issue went to press.

As I stated in my "Busy as a Bustling Bee" post on July 6th, I worked on two big projects in July:

1. Editing and turning in the manuscript for Basketful of Trouble, the third mystery in my Claire Hanover gift basket designer series.
2. Proofing the galley for the re-release in trade paperback and ebook of book two in the series, To Hell in A Handbasket, before it gets sent to the printer for publication in November.

I've also kept my blog going, with one mystery author guest each week and my own posts. And, I prepared the class handout for the Chaffee County Writers Exchange workshop I'm giving on Saturday, August 25th. I hope to see some Colorado writer friends there! I also hope to see some at MWA-University in Denver on Saturday, August 11th, which I'll be attending to "refill the well." To find out more, and to register, go HERE.

During August, I will be editing the manuscript for Fatal Descent, the third mystery in my RM Outdoor Adventures series starring whitewater river ranger Mandy Tanner. I've received edit requests from my editor at Midnight Ink, and I have to rename two characters. Two lucky mystery readers "won" character names in the book at this spring's Malice Domestic conference charity auction. I've already been in touch with both and know which characters will be named after them. I'm going to have fun tacking as many of their personal characteristics onto the characters as I can. And, the edit requests from my editor don't look too onerous, so I'm looking forward to the work.

And in the meantime, I'm trying to keep in shape with hiking and biking (see below).

No moss grows under my shoes!

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Today's Mystery Author Guest: Joanna Campbell Slan

As promised yesterday, fellow mystery author Joanna Campbell Slan is visiting my blog today. To read her bio and see her photo, please page down to yesterday's post.

The photo above is the cover for her August 7th release, Death of a Schoolgirl, which begins her new series, the Jane Eyre Chronicles. The year is 1820, and Jane Eyre is married to her beloved Edward Rochester, but their domestic tranquility is threatened when a note arrives from Adele, Jane’s former pupil. She is miserable at the girls’ school in London, and worse yet, someone wants to kill her! Rushing to Adele’s aid, Jane is mistaken for an errant German teacher. Jane maintains the false identity long enough to track down a killer who preys on schoolgirls.

As a fan of Jane Eyre, this sounds like a great read to me!

Below are Joanna's answers to my interview questions. Please leave a comment for her, and if you have a question of your own for her, ask it!

1. Who or what inspired you to start writing and when did you start?

 I grew up in a chaotic household because both of my parents were alcoholics. From the moment I learned to read, I thought books were my best friends. Certainly, they offered an easy escape. From there it was a short hop to wanting to write my own stories. I think I was about ten when I stapled together sheets of paper and called them, “My book.”

2. What tools and process do you use to “get to know” your characters before and while you’re writing the books?

I use a version of the personal profile system developed by William Moulton Marston, the creator of Wonder Woman and the lie detector. It divides people into four broad categories, determined by how they interact with others and how they see the world. That helps me keep each character distinct.

3. How do you construct your plots? Do you outline or do you write “by the seat of your pants”?

A bit of both. I might start a book by the seat of my pants, and then stop to work on an outline. Or I might outline a book, and then let my intuition guide me.

4. In the age-old question of character versus plot, which one do you think is most important in a murder mystery and which one do you emphasize in your writing? Why?

I think all fiction is about character. Ask anyone to relate the sequence of events in Gone with the Wind, and you’ll probably risk a confused jumble. But ask a person to tell you about Rhett or Scarlett, and they can do so in great detail. Character always drives plot. Two people in the same situation won’t respond the same way. That’s how character is revealed.

5. What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced as a writer and what inspires you and keeps you motivated?

In the beginning, it was hard to find a big enough block of time to write fiction. Once my son got his driver’s license, I was on my way. Of course, when you start, you don’t know what you’re doing. Very few of us admit that, but it’s true. It takes a while to have a pretty good sense of how to build a book.

As for motivation, I love what I do. I can’t wait to get started writing every day! If I miss a day, I feel lost.

6. What is a typical workday for you and how many hours a day (or week) do you devote to writing?

I’m up at six. I work for a couple of hours answering emails, doing social media posts, and so on. I go to Jazzercise. After I eat lunch, I sit down and start writing again, usually until six or so. If I can, after dinner I squeeze in a few hours.

I would guess I put in 60 hours a week on my writing.

7. What advice do you have to offer to an aspiring author?

Get a journalism degree. It will provide you with the basics of good writing. You’ll learn to appreciate an editor, and you will never worry about writer’s block because a pro writes whether he/she feels like it or not!

8. Now here’s a zinger. Tell us something about yourself that you have not revealed in another interview yet. Something as simple as your favorite TV show or food will do.

My husband teases me because I love Anderson Cooper. I’m a junkie. In fact, I relax by watching CNN at night.

9. What are you working on now and what are your future writing plans?

I’ve turned in Death of a Dowager, the second book in The Jane Eyre Chronicles. I’ve finished Book #4 in the Southern Beauty Shop series. It’ll be called Wave Goodbye and it’s written under the pseudonym “Lila Dare.” I’m halfway through Book #6 in the Kiki Lowenstein Mystery Series, and I try to produce a short story every month that features Kiki and Company. I have a lot of other ideas for books that I hope to tackle when I finish Kiki #6.

10. Is there anything else you would like to tell my blog readers?

I love connecting with my readers on Facebook. I’m available to Skype with book clubs, and I’ll happily provide them with questions and bookmarks. Please visit my website.

Thanks, Joanna! Now, who has a comment or question for her?