Book Milestone Party Huge Success!

Yesterday at Baird Nuckolls home, I was surrounded by talented, giving friends and writers, who shared their good will and best wishes with me. Baird throws a party as she does everything else in her life, like a master, being a true Renaissance Woman. It was a perfect soirée. The weather was glorious, the wine and cheese first-rate. Some people brought gifts and flowers, totally unexpected, but I accepted their offerings with gratitude and humility, because the greatest gift they gave was of themselves. The Bay Area is a big place and some friends traveled as far as from Oakland, Sausalito, and Half Moon Bay to be with me on this day. Friends like this are a blessing, whether near or far. I will never, never forget Sunday, August 21st. It was a milestone for me in so many ways. Thank you all so very much.

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Night Owl’s Treasure Hunt http://www.nightowlreviews.com/nor/Pages/FullMoonDetails.aspx

It seems like it’s almost time to do a treasure hunt! Night Owl’s Treasure Hunt is soon to commence and if that’s your thing, September 1st is the first day to start hunting. The contest ends October 31st and you have to find the symbol (to the right) in at least 25 places, 40 for the grand prize. Go to the website for more details, altho I can’t get the url to paste into the body of the blog, only the title! Don’t that beat all?

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Grace’s New Blog

My cousin, Grace DeLuca, is a great person and a fine writer. Her first book, a YA called Betwixt and Between, was published in May by MuseItUp Publishing. Grace now has her own blogsite By Grace at http://gracedelbygrace.blogspot.com/. Pop on over and see it and leave a comment. Thanks and have a great day!

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Book By Book

The first book of the Alvarez Family Murder Mystery Series, Murder is a Family Business, is finally in print. As my book was published by a small, independent epublisher called MuseItUp, there were and are no provision made for marketing print copies of books. Actually, the fact it has come out in print at all is a minor miracle to me. That said, I ordered 75 copies of my book at discounted prices, intent on distributing them myself. Naturally, because I am married, I roped my husband into helping me. So husband, Norman, and I threw the books into the trunk of the car and started the job of trying to get independent bookstores in the Bay Area to carry the book. We are helped by the fact the book cover is so darling you could eat it with a spoon. Thank you, cover artist, Delilah K. Stephans. It’s a great size, too, somewhere in-between a pocket book and a hard cover. The book shows really well. That said, I still can’t bring myself to go into stores and ask them to carry it. I simply can’t. I blither, I blush, I stammer, I look everywhere but at the person in charge. I have discovered I am horrible at promoting myself. So Norman to my rescue. He’s also darling and is willing to wear a suit in the summer heat to give him a professional touch. Wearing his new Panama straw hat, he marches right into that store, and tries to talk them into carrying my book while I trail behind. Norman introduces me, says I have laryngitis, which I did but don’t anymore, but it is really so much better if I still pretend to. Norman is terrific. I, as I’ve said, become a mere shell of my former…

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How to Write The Perfect Mystery

Naturally, that’s a teaser. I’m not sure there is a perfect anything, certainly not the perfect hairstyle. I know; I’ve felt the pain of that one. But back to writing mysteries. I guess if anyone has penned the perfect mystery, it would have to be Agatha Christie’s The Murder of Roger Ackroyd or The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey. Both still stand up after decades of cultural use.But next June 24th, I have the effrontery to host a writers’ blog conference on the MuseItUp Blog Site, where I show how to write one. Forgive me, Oh Ye Greats Of The Mighty Pen.So forget that premise. What I can do, however, is give a few tips on how to write a mystery — good, suspenseful, and readable — if not absolutely perfect. But who wants perfection, anyway? Soooo boring.Join me June 24th at http://museituppublishing.blogspot.com/. We’ll have a lot of fun!!

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Pump Up Your Book Blog Tour

My PUYB blog tour is over as of today. It was nearly a month of whirlwind landings here and there, reading interviews or Q&As I’d forgotten I’d given, reading reviews that were mostly sensational, and being exposed to readers I might never have been exposed to any other way. The tour was upfront a lot of work. All the interviews, articles, columns, promotions, etc., had to be done beforehand. That part was intense. Basically, how many ways can you say, “Please buy and read my book, pretty please, pretty please?” But I did my best, actually had a great time, and hopefully, a few books got purchased along the way, or at least, read about. My personal PUYB tour guide was Cheryl Malandrinos, a lovely gal with talent, perseverance, a lot of innate sweetness and tolerance, and very savvy. I adore her. Cheryl’s willing to go where no man (or woman) has gone before within the blogging world. She set up my tour (and others at the same time) and traipsed along with me into the virtual world of web touring. She was there every step of the way, every single day, and I am grateful to her. it didn’t always go smoothly, but what does? During the merry month of May, the blogger was down, it was up, it was down, it was down. Then the mighty floods happened, taking out some of our fellow bloggers in the Midwest, who couldn’t deliver the goods on the specific dates committed. No matter. Everyone – without exception — came through eventually. I had an opportunity to experience a nationwide coming together of we the people of book minds. It was wonderful. I would do it again in an instant and probably will when I get another fistful of dollars. Meanwhile, thanks…

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Kirstie and Oprah, my kinda gals

For those of you who are fans of Dancing with the Stars and The Oprah Winfrey Show, you know better than anyone that we will no longer be tuning in to see either Kirstie and Oprah strut their stuff. Kirstie didn’t win the glitter ball trophy, and even if she had, it’s done and over. Oprah decided that 25-years was long enough for a talk show. These two women have some things in common other than being in show biz. They are often two larger than life ladies – literally – and we love them for it. They balloon, they shrink, they balloon, they shrink, all in front of our eyes. And we love them for it. They talk about the problems of losing weight and we see them battle it, just like the rest of us do. It doesn’t hurt they both are funny, down to earth, and seem to let it all ‘hang out,’ figuratively, moaning and groaning about life’s travails, just like the rest of us. it has been a blast watching the two of them throughout the years. For one thing, I had no idea Kirstie was 60. That’s six-oh. I mean, the woman’s gorgeous and doesn’t look a day over 45. I’m impressed. As for Oprah, I have always been a fan, even though I’ve watched her shows only occasionally. I did see the finale and she is one gutsy lady. She says we should all take responsibility for our own lives and not blame anyone else for what happens to us.She didn’t mention the scale, but you could transfer the responsibility of life to that. I’m with her. I’m the one that ate the candy, cookies, pasta, bread, and drank all that wine. I’d love to blame someone else for being a pudge, but…

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Just Finished Reading Pat Dale’s Sleeping With Her Enemy

And thought I would let you know what I thought of it. Sleeping With Her Enemy, by author Pat Dale, is a novel about a beautiful, bitter widow; a handsome, sad widower; a precocious, adorable nine-year old; and a darling, rambunctious dog. Deftly written, this story satisfies the reader from beginning to end, with large amounts of mountain scenery thrown in. If you are into a lot of romance, a little sex, a lot of plot twists and turns, and no small amount of villainy, then this is the book to take with you into a warm bath or under a cool tree. Pat Dale is an accomplished weaver of tales. You can find this novel at MuseItUp Publishing: http://tinyurl.com/3smc8dg Cheers! Heather

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So the Blogger Was Down

I’m sure that shocked a lot of people. It occurred to me that in this day and age, you can’t trust much. One of these days, your car isn’t going to start, you’ll be charged by your bank for a withdrawal you didn’t make, and your cat’s going to poop in the bathtub. That just happened to me, by the way. Ellie, my little Black Ash doll baby, wasn’t happy with the condition of the floor in her bathroom. I write her bathroom, because I’ve turned over one of the two bathrooms to the cats, Yulie and Ellie. I mean, where do you put litter pans, anyway? Who thinks of that when you get a cat? No screened-in front or back porch, no laundry room, and these are two indoor kitties. So, you turn over one of the bathrooms to them. Their litter pans are on the floor, their food and water sit across on the other side of the small room. Their bags of dry food and treats are on the back of the tub. Ellie uses the inside of the tub to play with some of her toys. My two beautiful and well-trained cats have never made a mistake, even when they were small kittens. I should say ‘had’ never. Recently, I was sick and hadn’t vacuumed the floor of the bathroom in several days. There was a build up of litter than had made its way onto the tiled floor, so much so I’d made a mental note to drag out the vacuum cleaner when I was feeling a little better. As I was thinking this thought, Ellie looked me dead in the eye, hopped into the bathtub and squatted. I was so stunned, I watched her in mute horror. Then when she was finished, she looked…

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