Posted in Monday blogs, Writing

Writing in the Age of Digital Books

Authors have always been challenged by change. Through words, they’ve sought to describe it, defy it, and even design it. The writers of today face a new challenge – gaining the attention of multi-taskers, screen skimmers, and eBook readers most of who are looking for instant fulfillment. If they don’t receive it in the first paragraph, they’re likely to put down their tablet, switch to another window, or close the book. However, there are still people who read traditional print and enjoy savoring a novel or work of literature. How do authors today satisfy both audiences?

As a librarian, as well as an author, I’m keenly aware of the shift in content from print to digital. When I started working at my public library twenty-five years ago, reference questions were answered by consulting thick books, indexes, and manuals. Today, those are replaced by online databases and search engines such as Google. The information profession has changed to meet the needs of those who want their queries met quickly. The writing profession has also had to adapt to this fast-paced quest for knowledge and entertainment.

The way that librarians and information professionals have dealt with this issue has been to offer materials in several formats including eBooks, audiobooks, large type print, and traditional print. Circulation has shown that each of these formats has significant borrowing numbers and that patrons often check out books in more than one. For instance, if a print copy is not available, many patrons will take out the large type or audio edition. In some cases, patrons prefer to borrow a book in two formats such as print and audio to help them get the most out of the material. As a reader myself, I have borrowed eBooks when a print copy was out and then switched back to the print version when it was available. Not every book, however, is published in a variety of formats. Small publishers generally only offer paperback and eBook releases. Some books today are also only published digitally.

Writers face the same challenges as librarians in meeting the changing demands of readers. Both need to address the needs of the public they serve. Authors should evaluate their marketing strategies, whether they promote their works themselves or along with their publisher. Their focus should be as diversified as possible. Even those whose books are only printed in one or two formats should promote their writing to audiences who might enjoy reading material in various ways.

To attract time-strapped readers, authors don’t necessarily have to shorten their writing, but it’s vital that they edit for conciseness without losing important content. Editors and agents usually make publishing decisions based on the first few pages or initial chapter of a manuscript. That’s because readers, crushed for time, need to be hooked by a story’s start or they will abandon the book.

Another technique that traditional, as well as Indie and self-published authors, can use to draw readers is to keep their chapters short and fast-paced. Many popular authors such as James Patterson know this trick.

When the middle of a book tends to drag, adding sub-plots can boost interest. They should enhance but not detract from the main story. Whether an author writes romances, mysteries, general fiction, or another genre, twists are also always appealing to readers. To execute them effectively, a writer should be sure to drop hints or red herrings to foreshadow the later revelations.

Another way that authors can gain the attention of today’s easily distracted reader is to develop relatable, multi-dimensional characters. There’s a current trend toward multiracial, LGBT, disabled and other diverse protagonists. That doesn’t mean a writer can’t feature a white heterosexual man or woman as the main character, but the fellow or lady should have some hobbies or idiosyncrasies. Maybe he’s an FBI agent and an ornithologist who spots a criminal while he’s bird watching or she’s a doctor with a black belt in martial arts who falls in love with her karate instructor. In my recent novella, one of my main characters is a CPA and a jewel thief who also likes cats.

Another factor to consider when trying to hold a reader’s attention is research. Most authors realize its importance even in fiction books. In our information-driven society, research poses no problem for writers. However, as a librarian, I’m aware of the dangers of websites that post unverified data. Writers should be wary, too, because the current plethora of sources allows readers to quickly catch false facts. Research also needs to be incorporated into the text without the use of lengthy or technical jargon. Readers desire to have their curiosities appeased but don’t want to be drowned in unnecessary details. A quick but accurate fix is what they demand. Tell them why specific plants flourish in a certain soil but don’t provide step by step instructions on how to plant the rest of the garden. Explain why a particular poison was used for the murder but don’t classify all the others.

What else can draw easily-bored readers to a book? While it’s true that books aren’t judged by their covers, having an appealing one can help but far from guarantee that it will be chosen from among all those on the shelf, website, or catalog. Having experience in reader’s advisory by selecting books for my library’s homebound patrons and editing and reviewing our monthly staff picks, I’ve found what I believe is a magnet that can attract readers to a certain title regardless of whether they are twenty something or eighty years or older, whether they rush through a book or read every word. I call that magnet, “emotional realism.” A book may be edited excellently. It can contain beautiful prose. Its characters can be unique; its storyline compelling; but if it can’t touch the reader, make them laugh or cry, feel surprise or fear, then that book can’t compete for a reader’s time with television or the movies.

How does a fiction author create emotional realism in their writing? They need to write about a situation that they’ve experienced and fictionalize it. There are many ways to do this. In between writing my novels, I started working on a collection of short stories from different periods in my life. As I composed them, I made subtle changes to the characters, setting, or plot, but I kept the basic experiences intact. I wrote the scenes as fresh and with as much feeling as I had lived them and embellished them to make them even more interesting and impassioned. My memories provided the realism that I hoped would ring true for readers and my imagination took those feelings and strengthened them.

Emotional realism is a strong weapon in the war against apathetic readers. If you write a love story, is it yours or someone else’s? If you can’t visualize the emotions your character is feeling, then neither will the reader. What if you read a love story? Does it help you recall your own romances or are you drawn into the embraces created by the author?

While escapism is often a goal of today’s readers (as are video games, television shows, and other such activities), the best escapism is often into one’s soul. That’s not to say that books can’t take you away to a sun-drenched beach, a 1920’s flapper dance, or even another planet. However, while settings can transport you in space and time, emotional realism provides the most rewarding escape. Once you’ve drawn in readers, emotional realism is what keeps them turning the page, swiping the screen, or listening to the audio. They need to feel involved, part of the action and experiences you’ve created for them. Stun them with incredible revelations. Break their hearts with tender, unrequited love. Keep them guessing and feeling until the end of the story and then make them sorry it’s over.

After writing a book that will appeal to readers on the different levels I mentioned, the final step is to promote it. This may be the most difficult task an author faces. There are so many advertising opportunities that a writer can practically go broke purchasing them. Those promotions that are low-cost or free still require a great deal of time to research, implement, and maintain. Which ones are worth the time, effort, and expense? The key, of course, is to know your book and the best audience for it. If your book would interest eBook readers, marketing it online might be best. You could check out Facebook and Twitter ads. Look for blogs where you could guest post or be interviewed about your book. There are also companies that host blog tours and Facebook groups where readers and writers can interact. I created my own group where the characters in my cozy mysteries take turns hosting each month and answering questions from my readers. Giveaways are also popular and can be part of a contest or for subscribing to your newsletter or blog. These don’t need to be costly. If your book is sold primarily on Amazon, a reader would appreciate an Amazon gift certificate—or you can give away an eBook copy of your own book. Most publishers will give authors a free PDF and/or Mobi (Kindle) file of their works, while print copies usually are only available for a discount.

If, on the other hand, your audience prefers traditional books, your best bet for promoting your writing could be through author appearances at Barnes and Noble stores, local author talks at libraries and community centers, small bookstores, and other venues that welcome speakers. There are groups that also host book signings, and authors can also sell their books and/or speak about them at writer’s conferences.

When creating marketing plans for your books, keep in mind that your focus interest group may overlap between reading platforms as was mentioned earlier. Many eBook enthusiasts also read print books. Audio listeners sometimes also use eReaders or read regular or large type books. The best promotional approach is through trial and error. Keep track of your sales and see what ad or appearance favorably impacts it. You can check your royalty statements and/or online sales through Amazon and sites such as Novel Rank. Timing is also important. Many authors offer holiday promotions for readers who might purchase books as gifts for their friends and family. Just remember that the market will be crowded with these offers at this time. You might try a campaign during the middle of the winter when people are staying indoors and looking for something to read. The summer can also be a good time for paperback beach reads and those who are traveling by car listening to audiobooks. Don’t rule out the spring and fall either. Avid readers seek books all year long.

Facing the changing world of the written word can seem overwhelming to fiction authors, but taking these ten steps can help:

  1. Start off with a bang. Make sure your first paragraph, page, and chapter are compelling.
  2. Write fast-paced chapters. Keep them concise and end with a mini cliffhanger to maintain reader interest.
  3. Add sub-plots and twists for more depth.
  4. Create multi-dimensional characters who jump off the page and into a reader’s heart or nightmares.
  5. Research details accurately.
  6. Touch your readers with scenes packed with emotional realism based on true but fictionally-enhanced experiences.
  7. Set your story in an interesting locale and/or time period.
  8. Determine your audience and design a flexible marketing plan.
  9. Check out online and in-person promotional opportunities.
  10. Evaluate your success by your sales figures.

It’s a brave new world for authors as well as information professionals, but remember that the variety of platforms for books today means more chances to showcase your work in different formats to a wider audience.

Posted in Books, Monday blogs

Why Most Indie Books Don’t Get Shelf Space in Libraries

A fellow author suggested I write this post to let other Indie authors and those who publish with small presses understand how books are selected for purchase by libraries. The reason I’m qualified to write this is that I’m a librarian at a public library and am in charge of ordering the fiction titles for our collection.

As part of my job, I select books from reviews written in publishing journals. Our library uses Booklist. Other popular professional journals include Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, and Kirkus Reviews. The books reviewed in these journals tend to be from the traditional Big 5 publishers. However, Booklist and Library Journal have both started adding sections devoted to self-published books. Kirkus offers an Indie Review service for a fee. Library Journal offers a database for local authors, Self-e by Biblioboard, that includes free downloads of self-published eBooks. Our library had previewed this database but did not feel it would be useful to our community at this time because we already use Overdrive, a popular library database for free eBooks.

How are print books selected for libraries? At our library, we divide ordering among the reference librarians. Books are primarily chosen through library journals as mentioned above and by patron request. We also order high-demand titles from the New York Times Bestseller List. Orders are placed through Baker & Taylor’s online ordering system. We receive a library discount for the books ordered. Unfortunately, most Indie books are not listed on B & T. For those we can’t obtain through them, we use Amazon.com. Some libraries use Ingram. Ordering budgets are set up for different types of books and materials – fiction, non-fiction, Audio, Video, Periodicals, etc. Depending on a library’s size, these budgets can be small or large. Our library serves a community of 40,000 people. However, not all our residents are library card holders, and we also welcome residents from neighboring libraries.

Even if a library stays within its budget, another factor needed to consider when ordering books is how much room is available on their shelves. Librarians are constantly weeding out damaged, old, or low circulating books to make room for new and bestselling titles. For this reason, they have to be selective. That doesn’t mean libraries don’t order any self-published or small press books. I often have local authors send me or bring in literature about their books. Some offer to donate the book if we place it on our shelves. The problem is that these books, if added to the collection, are rarely borrowed unless they are put on display or reviewed in our staff picks newsletter that is distributed in the library and also posted online. The reason is obvious. Without a name like Patterson, Grisham, Clark, Roberts, etc., a new author doesn’t yet have a following. These authors started out in the discard pile when they began and now some of their books are being reprinted to a larger audience.

So what should an Indie author or one who publishes with an Indie Press do to get their book in libraries? This is a question that I, as a librarian and author, have asked myself. While I’ve managed to have my books purchased by my library (of course, I’m the one in charge of ordering fiction), I haven’t had as much luck with other libraries. A few of the libraries in my county have purchased my books after I’ve made calls to fellow librarians, advertised in my library association’s newsletter, participated in an interview by my local paper, and done some author talks for nearby libraries. Since I haven’t had much success, I can imagine how difficult it would be for those authors who aren’t librarians.

But is having a library buy your book an important goal? Although some of the patrons at my library and also staff members who have heard me talk have purchased autographed copies of my books, most of them just borrow my books. That doesn’t do anything for my sales rating or my royalty checks. If I could get libraries across the country to buy my book, that would be another matter. There are 9,041 public libraries in the United States according to statistics from the American Library Association. This figure was last updated in 2014, so there may be more or less at this time. I wouldn’t mind 9,000 sales. But since many libraries are part of larger systems as my library is, there would be no need for each library to buy a copy when they could interloan or share it among their system libraries. That’s if there’s even a demand for it beyond the library that purchased it.

I figure that the reason libraries don’t purchase many Indie books is the same reason they purchase very few textbooks. According to a Bowker report, 700,000 Indie books were published in 2015. With these figures growing annually, it would be impossible for libraries (and bookstores, too) to keep up with the demand and find room on their shelves for these titles. However, if your book is of local interest, if it’s appeared in your local paper, or been reviewed anywhere (Amazon usually doesn’t count), or if you are a regular patron at your home library, you could give it a shot. It never hurts to try, and you never know, your book might be chosen for your library’s book talk group or staff picks newsletter. At the very least, it might end up shelved between some popular authors or in the local author section if your library has one.

 

Posted in Contest

Enter Now: Two Contests Ending August 31st

bignewspic

ANNOUNCING TWO CONTESTS FOR AMAZON GIFT CARDS AND AN EXCLUSIVE ANTHOLOGY

BOTH CONTESTS END ON AUGUST 31

 Only Newsletter Subscribers are eligible to enter

Subscribe at https://debbiedelouise.com or email debbiewriter@yahoo.com with your address to ask to be subscribed. Prizes will only be awarded if a minimum of 10 people enter.

 PHOTO CONTEST FOR a $10 AMAZON GIFT CARD

 Submit a photo of you, a friend, or even a pet with my book, A Stone’s Throw. All photos submitted to me by email at debbiewriter@yahoo.com by August 31st. will be entered in a random drawing for the $10 Amazon gift card. Those who submit photos agree that they may be used on social media.

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PURCHASE LINKS FOR A STONE’S THROW

Amazon U.S.: http://amzn.to/1MjaJgN
Amazon Australia: http://bit.ly/1Sdh82D
Amazon Canada: http://amzn.to/1SdheHi
Amazon U.K.: http://amzn.to/1QutXBW
Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/1nQPyv4
Kobo: http://bit.ly/1KGYHep
Also available on iTunes and Ingram

Anthology Contest + $5 AMAZON GIFT CARD
For a $5 Amazon gift card and an anthology of romances written by 16 authors including myself, read the excerpt below and answer this question: What magical power did the stone have? Send your reply by August 31st. to debbiewriter@yahoo.com. Only newsletter subscribers are eligible to win, and this contest is not sponsored by Mailchimp or Yahoo. The winner will be announced in the September 1st. newsletter.

lovealwaysgiveawaypic

DeLouise TeaserExcerpt from The Seashell and the Stone by Debbie De Louise (c) 2016 Debbie De Louise

As Virginia and Stephen made their way toward the end of the boardwalk, the merry-go-round music that drifted along their path changed to a loud cacophony of whistles and horn blasts announcing “the greatest show on earth.” A man on stilts came hobbling toward them, his wide yellow polka-dotted pants flapping in the breeze off the ocean. “Good day, Ma’am. Good day, Sir,” he greeted them. “Right this way to the midway.” He chuckled at his use of words.

Up ahead, Virginia spotted the circus tents lined on the beach and the acrobatic high-wire strung high across two tall poles. 

“I guess you need to find the person in charge to ask about selling here.” 

Mr. Granger was scanning the crowd seated on folding chairs by the first tent where a magician was performing some tricks to the rapt audience. “Let’s look around first. Would you like to sit and watch the show?”

Virginia was pleased that he seemed more interested in her company than the business that brought him there. “No, but I would enjoy going there.” She pointed toward a tent that displayed the sign, “Madame Marie, Fortune Teller.”

“Are you serious? You know these carnival mystics are not worth the money.”

Virginia felt her anger flare again as it had when he had criticized her for feeding Seashell table scraps. “It’s my money to spend and that’s how I wish to spend it.” Her father had given her a $1 note as well as a few silver coins for carnival expenses. 

“Very well.” Mr. Granger followed her reluctantly toward Madame Marie’s tent. The psychic sat behind a round table covered in red velvet. She wore a matching red kerchief in her long dark curly hair. Several rings graced her hands as she sat turning over tarot cards and gazing into a crystal ball. At their approach, she lay down the cards and beckoned them with a smile missing several teeth. Virginia could smell the lady’s foul breath, onions mixed with garlic. She lay down one of her coins, but the woman pushed it away. “For you, I will tell a fortune for free. Please have a seat.”

Mr. Granger stood waiting by the side of the tent as Virginia took the chair opposite Marie. “Why are you not charging me?”

Marie shuffled the cards and placed them face down in a pile. “Direct your energy on the cards and then choose one,” the woman instructed ignoring Virginia’s question.

Virginia followed her directions while Mr. Granger stood with a bored look on his face shuffling from foot to foot.

“Ah,” Marie said as she turned over the card Virginia picked to reveal a man and woman with an angel above them. “The Lovers. How appropriate.”

“Does it mean I’ll be wed soon?” Virginia asked.

“Yes, my dear. There is a special gentleman in your life or will be soon.” She placed the card at the bottom of the deck and tapped the glass ball in front of her. “If you’d like to know more or ask a question, it will be 1 greenback, please.”

“Wait one moment,” Mr. Granger interrupted. “You told the lady your predictions were free.”

The psychic smiled showing her missing teeth again. “The tarot reading is free. There’s a charge for the crystal ball.”

“I guess you have to make money somehow. Come on, Miss Vance, let us move on.”

“Wait.” Virginia did not like being ordered around, and she was curious as to what Madame Marie would see in her crystal ball. She had her fortune told at the circus last year but by a gypsy man. Marie seemed to be new to the troop. “I told you I’ll spend my money the way I wish.”

A fire flared in Mr. Granger’s blue eyes. “You mean your father’s money, but, go ahead. She will only tell you what you wish to hear and what she observes from your reactions. I am sure the Tarot card was planted too. Most young women are looking for love. You don’t have to be a psychic to know that.”

Virginia stood up. As much as she disliked his words, she knew he had a point. None of the predictions made for her last year proved to come true. “Thank you, Madame Marie, but I may return after seeing more of the circus.”

“As you wish.” Marie glared after Stephen as he walked away with Virginia.

“If you really want to know your future,” he said as they passed several more tents, “I have something that can help.” 

“Whatever do you mean?” 

“I was not exactly honest with you about my occupation.” Virginia felt excitement flood through her at the thought that Mr. Granger was about to share the information she sought without her having to resort to any of her tricks to pry it out of him.

“Let’s sit on a bench for a moment,” he suggested guiding her away from the crowd.

He seemed to hesitate briefly as if he regretted his haste in revealing what he was about to say. Then he reached into his trouser pocket and retrieved a translucent stone. For a second she thought it was a Cape May diamond, the crystals that resembled the real jewels that Cape May residents and visitors searched for along the beach. However, they had not spent any time on the sand, and he had just arrived in town.
“You may have wondered why I did not bring along my merchandise to show the circus leader.”

Her eyes were focused on the glittery stone. “I thought they were too heavy to carry on our walk.”

“I would’ve at least brought a sample.”

“But what is that you have in your hand?”

“This is the reason I’m here. I’ve been following carnivals and circuses along the East Coast to offer my services, and this stone is one of my tools.”

“Your services?” This was more intriguing than she expected. “What exactly are your services?”

He smiled and, unlike Madame Marie, exhibited perfect white teeth. “I’m a psychic. A genuine one, but I need the stone to aid me. It was passed down to me from my father who received it from his own father. I believe it was originally found by my great grandfather.”

Virginia was not convinced. “Are you saying that rock guides you in telling the future?”

His smile deepened, and she saw a dimple appear in his cheek. “I guess that’s a way of putting it. If I rub the rock and ask a question, the answer appears in my mind.”

 

Posted in Authors, blog challenge, Books

#LifeBooksWriting Blog Challenge: My Cat Collection

blogchallengegraphicupdatedI’m very excited to participate in the blog challenge Sophia Valentine of Lifestyle and Literature created (see graphic for topics and dates if you have a blog and would like to participate. If you’re a reader, I’m sure you’ll enjoy learning about some of the great participating authors).

catcollecting2catcollecting4editedThe topic of this week’s challenge is collections. I used to be an avid collector of all types of cat items — cat plates, cat music boxes, cat statues, cat knick knacks, cat jewelry, cat clothing, and, of course, cat books.

catcollecting5catcollecting6Not only did I collect cat objects, but I found creative ways to store and display them. Many of my delicate figurines are contained inside a tower of boxes featuring cats, while a bunch of round, cat-decorated boxes are home to my cat jewelry and scarves. Some of my Cat’s Meow Village pieces grace the window in my office while several figurines line my bedroom bookshelf.

I became so addicted to cat collecting that I even joined Cat Collectors, an international organization established by Marilyn Dipboye in 1982. It had its own newsletter, Cat Talk, published by Karen Shanks and even an annual conference. Although this organization is no longer active, I located a similar Facebook group that might be

catcollecting1I became so addicted to cat collecting that I even joined Cat Collectors, an international organization established by Marilyn Dipboye in 1982. It had its own newsletter, Cat Talk, published by Karen Shanks and even an annual conference. Although this organization is no longer active, I located a similar Facebook group that seems to be its successor: https://www.facebook.com/Cat.Collectors/

I don’t collect as many cat items as I once did mainly because there isn’t room for them in my house. However, if I come across a unique cat item or one that I can’t resist, I allow myself to splurge on it. Cat collectibles are still very popular and can be found at craft fairs, street fairs, festivals, garage sales, souvenir shops, antique shops, gift shops, department stores, and, of course, on Ebay, Amazon.com, and other online sites.

Here is the 1985 article about Cat Collectors: http://trib.in/29RMPyf

This is the Ebay site for listings of cat collectibles: http://ebay.to/29BtVrm

You can find some cat figurines through this search on Amazon: http://amzn.to/29GLB6G

This is the link to the Cat’s Meow Village collectibles site: https://www.catsmeow.com/

A Few Cat Collectible gift sites:

http://bit.ly/29Givs2

http://bit.ly/29BtNrY

http://bit.ly/29Tu9zM

 

 

 

Posted in A Stone's Throw, Books, Limitless Publishing, Uncategorized

What I’m Up To

debbieIn lieu of my usual Feature Friday, I’m taking a brief break to update you about A STONE’S THROW and its sequel that is almost ready for submission as well as share with you some other projects I have on the burner.

Today, March 4th, is the first meeting of the new writer’s club I’m starting at my public library. I’ve had men and women of all ages express an interest, and I’m excited about participating and sharing with both unpublished writers and those like myself who are published but still new to the field. Our group will initially meet on the first Friday of each month. I’ve prepared a questionnaire to determine the experience and interests of those who join. I know the value of a writing community, and it’s wonderful to be able to offer this type of benefit at the library where I work.

Ruff DraftsNewsletterThe first Ruff Drafts newsletter was sent out on March 1st with the opportunity for a lucky subscriber to win a free, autographed book or a $10 Amazon gift certificate. The contest is still open. To subscribe, you simply fill out the pop-up form that opens when you visit my WordPress site and then confirm the email you receive from MailChimp. Alternately, you can contact me with your email, and I can add you to the list.

Unlike this blog, the newsletter will contain only information about my writing. Subscribers will be informed of the latest news about my books, be sent exclusive content, and be eligible for special offers and giveaways. The newsletter is an attempt to help grow my fan base, so I hope all of you who read this blog will consider subscribing.

Next month, I’ll be speaking and signing copies of A STONE’S THROW at my local Barnes and Noble bookstore. Several of my co-workers and patrons as well as family members and friends will be attending. The event will be advertised online and in the store.

masendiesinnyWhat else am I up to? Besides adding the final research and revisions to the sequel to A STONE’S THROW that I hope to publish some time this summer. I will also be signing books at MASE at Foxwoods Casino in June and at INDIES IN NY in August. Tickets are already on sale for both events. Further details and any specials I’ll be offering at these events will be listed in an upcoming newsletter.

A STONE’S THROW continues to be on reserve at my library, and several people have been kind enough to purchase a copy to support my writing. Other libraries as well as Barnes and Noble have begun stocking it. If you request it at your local library or bookstore, they can order it through Amazon or Ingram.

reviews

For those who have already read the first book, reviews are very helpful to a new author. They don’t have to be complicated or long. Reviews can be submitted to Amazon, Goodreads, and/or barnesandnoble.com.

I hope this update has answered some of your questions about what I’m up to now and will be working toward in the the next few months. If you have any others, please comment.

 

 

 

 

Posted in A Stone's Throw, Books

Starting 2016 Off “Write”

happynewyearbookAs my New Year’s surprise to the followers of this blog and those who follow me on Facebook and Twitter, I would like to announce that I’ve finished writing a sequel (possible 2nd book of the Cobble Cove Novels series) to A STONE’S THROW  that I hope to publish in the spring. This new mystery will include some of the characters from the first book as well as several interesting new ones.

I’ve been blessed this year by joining the Limitless Publishing group and meeting many talented and supportive authors who I’ve been featuring in Author Spotlights on this blog. I’ve also been blessed by the readers who have shared such nice and motivating comments about the book as well as written some very favorable reviews on Goodreads and Amazon. One comment that particularly touched me was made by the library patron I acknowledged in A STONE’S THROW for her gentle nudging of me to keep writing. When I gave her a copy of the book, she said the reason she kept urging me to continue writing was because she believes in following dreams. When she was young, she had an opportunity that she had to let pass. Because of that regret, she realized the value of following a dream and wanted me to follow mine. I’m sure many reading this blog have dreams of their own. Why not make a resolution to follow yours this year?

Not to spoil it for those who haven’t yet read A STONE’S THROW, the only hints I can give about the follow-up book right now is that it will occur during the holiday season, six months after the first novel’s epilogue ended, and will feature three different crimes, lots of new characters of varying ages, and take place in both the fictional upstate town of Cobble Cove, New York and New York City. Keep visiting this blog or my Facebook author page for more details, announcements, sneak peaks, and other surprises. In the meantime, for those who haven’t yet seen  the trailer for A STONE’S THROW created by fellow author, Taylor Henderson, I’ve included it below along with the book’s purchase links. I’m also including some great review teasers created by Limitless author, Haley Despard. The Siamese one was a gift from Kat Shehata.

A very Happy and Healthy New Year to you all!  I hope your dreams, like mine, will come true in 2016.

teaser5dogteaser6teaser2fireteaser3agathateaser4holiday

Amazon KINDLE: http://amzn.to/1MjaJgN

Amazon PAPERBACK: http://amzn.to/1MjaHWb

Barnes and Noble